ECVC Annual Banquet Provides Inspiration

WITN's Dave Jordan emceed the 46th annual Eastern North Carolina Vocational Center banquet Thursday night. It was a night of inspiration to remember.

As the non-profit ECVC says, it allows people's abilities to outshine their disabilities. Thursday night, companies from all over the east that not only support but hire many of the disabled workers from ECVC- celebrated the drive and determination those workers show while on the job. Tony Deblois, a blind, autistic pianist with savant syndrome entertained guests with beautiful music. He says he has memorized more than 8-thousand pieces. Jessica Cox was the guest speaker. She was born without arms and shared her story about not letting that stop her from getting her pilot's license- or anything else for that matter. She reminded everyone- a disability doesn't mean you cant live your life to the fullest.

"I got my pilots license about 3 years ago. I learned how to drive a normal vehicle, so I drive an unmodified vehicle. I have a black belt in taekwondo. Actually I have 2 black belts. So I've earned a second degree black belt in taekwondo and I've done a lot that probably most people wouldn't even imagine someone without arms could do," said Cox.

"They have what we consider true disability, but they do a lot of things that most of us can't do," said marketing director Susan Daughtry.

The ECVC provides job training and employment services for about 300 people with disabilities each year in Pitt and surrounding counties.

ECVC is holding its 46th anniversary banquet tonight in Greenville at Rock Springs Center.

The banquet is designed to celebrate the "abilities of persons with disabilities," according to ECVC CEO Daneel le Roux.

ECVC stands for Eastern Carolina Vocational Center. It's a private, non-profit company that helps people with disabilities secure jobs.

ECVC has won multiple awards for its efforts.

The guest speaker at tonight's event is Jessica Cox. She was born without arms, and her goal is to help people reconnect with their inner strength and aptitude. Cox is a scuba diver, pilot, surfer and black belt.

The guest entertainer is Tony DeBlois. DeBlois is blind, autistic and has Savant syndrome. He is a gifted musician and singer. His story has been featured in a TV movie.

WITN is a proud sponsor of tonight's banquet, which is being emceed by Dave Jordan.

We'll have more on the event tonight on WITN News at 11 p.m.

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