Johnston Community College and the Johnston Community College Foundation hosted the 2nd Annual Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society Luncheon at The Farm at 95 on March 12, 2020. During the luncheon, nine nominees for the 2020 Philanthropist of the Year were honored, and the winner was announced. Miss Lynn Daniels of Smithfield was named the 2020 Philanthropist of the Year. Daniels strives to benefit the lives of others through hands-on service in several non-profit organizations. Not only does she dedicate time and skill, but she also supports these organizations financially. She is active in numerous non-profits, including Junior Women’s League, Triangle East Chamber of Commerce, Johnston County Travel and Tourism Authority Board, Alpha International Ministries, the Business Women’s Network, and Johnston Health Foundation. Sol Haliburton, Johnston Health Foundation Director, stated, “She cares deeply for those in need and works tirelessly to help others.”
(Pictured left to right) Dr. David Johnson, JCC President, Lyn Austin, JCC Board of Trustee Chair, Lynn Daniels, 2020 Philanthropist of the Year, Sarai Daniels, mother, Hank Daniels, father, Dr. Twyla C. Wells, Vice President of Advancement and Community Relations
Nearly 200 individuals attended the annual event to celebrate the philanthropic spirit of the nominees while remembering the legacy of Linda Vann Lassiter. Nominees for this year’s award included Belle Allen of Clayton, Lisa Bland of Clayton, Michele Brownlee of Smithfield, Janet Daughtry of Selma, Cleo McKinnon of Benson, Dr. Dicky Parrish of Selma, Anne Peedin of Selma, and Addie Rawls of Clayton.
(Pictured left to right) (First Row) Janet Daughtry, nominee, Addie Rawls, nominee, Belle Allen, nominee, Lynn Daniels, 2020 Philanthropist of the Year, Anne Peedin, nominee, Michele Brownlee, nominee, Christine Mancuso, Society Committee Chair, Janet Wilson, Society Committee Member. (Second Row) Jean Barnes and Debbie Strickland, Society Committee Members, Leta Parrish Woodall, representing nominee, Dr. Dicky Parrish, Lisa Bland, nominee, Cleo McKinnon, nominee, Sara Lassiter Massey, Society Committee Member, Rachel Camarota, event keynote speaker, and Beth Watson, Society Committee Member.
In addition to the philanthropist award, 15 individuals representing families and industries were inducted into the Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society during the March 12 event including Grifols, HH Architecture, Dr. and Mrs. Eric Janis, Mr. Donnie Lassiter, Mr. and Mrs. Eric Brownlee, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Orr, Mr. and Mrs. John Parrish, Mr. and Mrs. Josh Thompson, Mr. Joey Creech, Mrs. Faye Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Harrison, Mr. and Mrs. David E. Lee, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Massey, Dr. Twyla C. Wells, and Ms. Tina Winbourne.
Following Linda’s untimely death in December 2018, the Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society (the Society) was established by the JCC Foundation to honor the legacy of the late Linda Vann Lassiter. Lassiter, alongside her husband, Donnie, and children, Trent and Sara (Massey), worked hard to serve the needs of our community for many years. Not only have Linda and the Lassiter family donated financial gifts to the College, but Linda was also always giving of her time and talents. She served on several advisory boards with the College, and in her final years, she was Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee while serving on the JCC Foundation Board of Directors.
The Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society consists of three subprograms: mentoring, honoring, and scholarship. First, honoring. The Society honors a philanthropist each year based on an application process.
The philanthropist exemplifies traits demonstrated by Linda’s giving spirit. Second, mentoring. The Society is working alongside Johnston County Public Schools to kick off the mentoring portion of the program in late 2020. The mentoring program will include current Johnston County Public School students and members of the Society. The mentoring program will go hand-in-hand with JOCO Works, a county-wide initiative partnering JCC, Johnston County Public Schools, and area Chambers of Commerce.
Lastly, and most importantly, scholarship. Students who are engaged at an early age in their identified career path are more dedicated and improve the quality of our county’s prospective workforce. During the JOCO Works event, vendors and volunteers worked hard to assist Johnston County 8th graders in pinpointing a career path that fits their interests. The long-term goal of the Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society is to ensure that each of these students will be eligible to receive the Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society Scholarship upon completion of high school to pursue their identified career path. Collaboratively, mentoring and scholarship will work together to ensure students of our county have the necessary resources to pursue secondary education and training.
The overall goal of the Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society is an endowment valued at $75 million. Every dollar counts and goes to impact the students of Johnston County.
Join the Society today to become part of the change in Johnston County! By supporting the Society, you are improving the lives of our students, preparing our future workforce, and fulfilling the needs of local industry partners. “The Society is more than raising money, it’s raising the bar for Johnston County’s future,” stated Dr. David N. Johnson, College President. Contribution levels range from $50.00 to $15,000 or more and are named for North Carolina’s Lighthouses as Linda loved the beach and lighthouses. Click Here to make your donations online or via mailing a check or money order to JCC Foundation 245 College Road, Smithfield, NC 27577. Naming opportunities are also available for the new Student Success Center and the forthcoming Engineering building, both located at the Smithfield Main Campus. Leave a lifelong legacy today by contacting the Johnston Community College Foundation at 919-209-2222.