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'Jerry Jones Day' draws crowds in Shallotte

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SHALLOTTE—Jerry Jones wasn’t able to attend the event in his honor May 2 at the National Guard Armory, but his family was there to receive well-wishers and talk about how important their father has been to them.

Shallotte Mayor Gerald Long officially proclaimed May 2 “Jerry Jones Day,” and Jones’ friends and family organized a benefit barbecue lunch and blood drive at the armory, to assist with Jones’ medical bills.

Jones is a former Shallotte mayor and alderman and former Brunswick County commissioner who spent much of his life in public service. Now, the people he served want to give back to him.

Jones was diagnosed with leukemia and seemed to be in remission, but after a check-up in February, he was told the cancer had returned and he would need a bone marrow transplant. He and his wife, Barbara, were at Duke during Friday’s event.

The event began at 11 a.m., and by 12:30 p.m., they were sold out of barbecue, organizer Celia Winters said. By Monday, Winters said the event had raised $15,963, with more money promised.

“It was unbelievable,” said Winters, a neighbor of Jones who has driven him to and from the hospital and been in near-constant contact with his wife, Barbara.

According to organizers, Shallotte Middle School bought 80 plates, employees at the Brunswick County Government Center in Bolivia bought 100 plates and 600 orders were placed before 9 a.m.

“Our family really appreciates the support and love people have shown to Dad and to us,” said his son, Mark Jones.

Mark Jones said he was particularly thrilled to see the school where he works, Shallotte Middle, ordered so many plates. He even saw some of the students at the event.

“We also appreciate Ms. Celia Winters for organizing this. It means a lot,” he said.