Strickland benefit set for April 12
Tickets are available for the Tracy Strickland Benefit, which will take place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday, April 12 at numerous locations.
Advance tickets are available at the Boiler Room and Chef and the Farmer. On the day of the event, wood-cooked barbecue and chicken plates with sides and dessert can be picked up at the Kinston Farmer’s Market, Pink Hill Fire Department, Pink Hill IGA, Jackson Heights Piggly Wiggly and Whaley’s Supermarket in Beulaville.
The cost for a plate is $8 and all proceeds will go to Strickland’s family for medical and living expenses. Strickland was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer in August and is beloved by her coworkers at The Boiler Room, including Jennifer Sinclair, who helped put the benefit together.
“I started working at The Boiler Room March of last year and she took me under her wing,” Sinclair said. “The staff knew her affectionately as Mama Tracy — it didn’t matter how old you were, she basically became your mom and was the type of person who would give you the shirt off her back. I remember about a week after I started working there, my car broke down — she left work, picked me up and brought me back home after my shift.
“Everyone from The Boiler Room and Chef and the Farmer helped to put this together, and we had so much support from the community with donations. We hope to have as many people as possible come out on the day of the event.”
Middle Grounds owner Jessy Dawson will also have tickets for a free cup of coffee at her store for each person who purchases a plate. Dawson said she has a strong bond with Strickland and wanted to assist where she could, purchasing thousands of plates and utensils for the benefit.
“We want to do everything we can prevent the family with the bills,” Dawson said. “The second job I had when I was 16, she was my manager and I loved her. She was sassy, fun and was basically the Momma bear to everyone.”
Ben Knight, owner of The Boiler Room, said Strickland brings a positive attitude each day and is respected by everyone.
“She took care of the kids there and they all looked up to her,” Knight said. “She was a big influence on them and everyone loved her.”