WINTERVILLE — After fighting off one curveball after another thrown by the coronavirus pandemic, the Pitt Community College Foundation has reached the short rows in terms of preparations for the 2020 Down East Holiday Show.

This year, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser will take place Nov. 6-8, but it will do so with a significantly different format due COVID-19. Instead of hundreds of vendors selling their wares to thousands of shoppers in the Greenville Convention Center, the show will feature mouse clicks and virtual shopping carts, since it will be held virtually.

During a Sept. 21 news conference, PCC Foundation Executive Director Beth Sigmon announced that the 2020 edition of the Holiday Show would take place online due to state social distancing regulations and health safety concerns associated with COVID-19.

“It’s been a difficult year for planning practically any activity, and that has certainly included PCC Foundation fundraisers,” Sigmon said this week. “After completely changing plans for our spring fundraiser at the last minute due to the coronavirus, we held our fall employee fund drive entirely online. And now, of course, we’re preparing to hold the Holiday Show virtually for the first time ever.”

PCC Events Coordinator Erin Greenleaf says shoppers began registering to participate in the virtual Holiday Show on Oct. 1. Registration is still underway at, she said, adding that the cost is $10 for three full days of shopping from the comfort of home.

Once registered, Greenleaf says shoppers will receive an access code that works for each show date. They’ll also be eligible to win a Kate Spade purse from Bob 93.3.

Greenleaf says shoppers will enter the show through an app they download to their smartphone or computer. Vendors, she says, can be located by name, product category and on a map.

“We’ve tried to make the virtual show as similar to our in-person event as possible,” Greenleaf said. “Vendors will be displayed on a map as if they were set up in the Greenville Convention Center.

“Shoppers can simply click on a booth to see what they have for sale, and there will also be an option for them to message vendors directly with questions.”

Even though there isn’t a uniform process for vendors to ship the items they’ve sold, Greenleaf says the foundation has designated Nov. 14 as an opportunity for shoppers to pick up their purchases on the PCC campus. She said many businesses may choose to ship purchases directly to customers at no additional cost, while others will offer drop-off options and porch pickup opportunities at their storefront locations.

In addition to items for sale, Greenleaf says the show will feature vendor demonstrations at scheduled times, holiday music from PCC faculty, and Santa Claus reading stories for kids.

Since it began in 2002, the Down East Holiday Show has generated more than $1.4 million to benefit PCC student scholarships and educational activities.

Last chance to take classes this fall

With a little more than a month to go, PCC is preparing to launch its final round of late-start classes for the fall semester.

The five-week courses run from Nov. 5 to Dec. 14. Though material will be covered at a rapid pace, the classes are a great way for students to complete college coursework in a short timeframe.

“Students considering these courses must be focused, proficient with the online learning process, and have excellent time management skills, because the classes are fast-paced,” says Lori Preast, PCC Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Though limited in number, the selection of courses is wide-ranging, including classes on sociology, computers, philosophy and music appreciation. All will be offered online due to health safety concerns associated with COVID-19.

No matter the course, though, Preast said PCC offers an array of support services online to help students succeed academically.

Those interested in five-week courses are asked to contact Preast at [email protected] or (252) 493-7700, so she can walk them through the admissions process.

For more details and a listing of five-week classes, search “late-start classes” on

CIT Division to auction student-built home

PCC’s Construction and Industrial Technology (CIT) Division is preparing to auction off a student-built home Nov. 7 to fund future CIT training.

The single-story structure is 1,344 square feet and features three carpeted bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Its master bedroom has a nine-foot tray ceiling and bathroom with double vanity, vinyl tile floor and fiberglass shower. The exterior is covered by half-inch rigid foam beneath sage green vinyl siding, and the roof includes radiant barrier sheathing and 30-year shingles.

“The highest bidder will be purchasing a quality home that meets current building codes and exceeds Greenville Utilities Commission E300 standards for energy efficiency,” said Maurey Verzier, chair of PCC’s Building Construction Technology Department.

Some of the home’s other features include:

  • Front porch with cedar columns
  • Hall bathroom with single vanity and fiberglass tub/shower combo
  • Kitchen with white shaker-style cabinets, navy shaker-style island, and solid surface quartz countertops that are white with grey veins.

Potential bidders can schedule an appointment to view the home by calling 493-7522. The house, which is located on campus at the corner of Memorial Drive and Dr. Fulford Road, also will be open for viewing the day of the auction, starting at 9 a.m.

The auction will begin with a minimum opening bid at 10 a.m. The winning bidder must be prepared to make a 10 percent-down payment immediately following the auction and is responsible for having the home moved.

Since 1988, Pitt CIT students have built nearly 50 houses to gain extensive hands-on experience in the construction trade.

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