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Blacktop Classic to tip off at Event Center

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The 2017 252 Blacktop Classic drew a large crowd to Sunset Park. This year's event will be held Thursday at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

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BY JENNY WHITE
Staff Writer

Monday, August 12, 2019

The third annual 252 Blacktop Classic will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

The Rocky Mount Opportunities Industrialization Center and Moe Deloach are teaming up to present the community event and give out backpacks loaded with school supplies to area students.

The city of Rocky Mount adult summer basketball league will have its championship game at about 6:30 p.m. Deloach, a professional basketball player and local entrepreneur, said he is hopeful his team will be in the championship game.

“I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s looking like I’ll be playing,” he said with a laugh.

Families are encouraged to come and spend the day getting to know the Rocky Mount Event Center and taking part in the many activities to keep kids and adults busy.

There will be food, music, games, fire trucks and health screenings sponsored by the OIC.

An army of volunteers helps put on the event, including people from the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region, the National Pan Hellenic Council, the OIC and the NAACP.

The backpacks will be given out after the basketball game.

Cooper Blackwell, resource development coordinator and administrative supervisor for the OIC, said the nonprofit agency is planning to offer activities at the event that encourage intergenerational physical fitness.

“The OIC is celebrating 50 years of serving the community by offering opportunities to underserved populations — especially when it comes to health. We hope to offer some ideas, some resources, some encouragement to help make our community healthier,” Blackwell said.

Both Deloach and Blackwell agreed that the event is a true community collaboration and is meant to offer a time for everyone to gather together for fun, interaction with other community members and spread a message to area kids about the importance of starting the school year off right.

“I love to see the area’s movers and shakers take on being role models at this event and talk to the kids about doing good in school,” Deloach said. “It’s a time of great positive energy and I really look forward to working together with OIC and the city of Rocky Mount to make it happen and see all the kids and families having a great time.”

Blackwell said in the past, his favorite part of the event is at the end.

“When it’s over, you’d expect, you know, for everyone to leave. But at the past events, people stay and help clean up. So it’s nice that it’s not just an event for the community, but everybody feels a part of it,” Blackwell said. “That’s what ‘community’ is all about.”

The event is free to the public.

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