Family Pledges $1 Million For ECU Basketball Practice Facility

Harry and Tammy Smith of Washington, N.C. have pledged $1 million toward the Step Up To The Highest Level Campaign, designated to raise funds for the construction of a basketball practice facility.

“We are all about the Pirates,” Smith said. “ We are excited about the vision that Dr. [Steve] Ballard and Terry Holland have for ECU and we are fortunate that we are able to be a partner. We understand that what’s good for ECU is good for the local economy and we wanted to give back.

“Jeff [Lebo] is a friend and he will do great things. He is a phenomenal coach with a great leadership and a great vision for the basketball program.”

Mr. Smith – a 1992 East Carolina University graduate – is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Flanders Corp., one of the largest manufacturers of air filters and related products in the United States.

“Harry and Tammy Smith have taken the ‘Step Up To The Highest Level Campaign’ as a challenge to move this project and our athletics program forward,” Holland said. “Their generosity should inspire us all at this important time in our athletic history.”

Construction on the two-story, 48,000 square-foot facility is expected to begin this spring. It will include separate practice courts for men and women along with separate office suites, lockerrooms and meeting rooms. It will also house the ECU Athletics Hall Of Fame as well as Pirate memorabilia from seasons past.


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  • by Occupy Flanders Location: Washington on Dec 5, 2011 at 01:57 PM
    Hey Fellow Flanders Employees, Let's help the generous Smith's celebrate with 3 days off for all in Washington! Here Here!
  • by Jimbo Location: NC on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:47 AM
    Funny. If he had donated the money to unc to build more unoccupied luxry suites at Kenan Stadium there wouldn't be so much as a wimper on this site. Folks, it's the Smith's money. Contrary to the the thoughts of the president and some of the regular posters on this site you are not entitled to THEIR money!!!! Get it? Got it? Good!!!
  • by Hmmm Location: Washington on Dec 2, 2011 at 09:59 AM
    Yeah he gave a million to ECU and gave his employees a free ice cream voucher for their great work. It's a good thing to give to a cause that you feel is needed but at the same time he need to treat his employees with respect and reward them according to their job performance. Ice cream...really?
    • reply
      by MooMoo on Dec 3, 2011 at 07:08 AM in reply to Hmmm
      What flavor...?
    • reply
      by Petey Pirate on Dec 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM in reply to Hmmm
      Sounds like a real charming family. Bet they are all smiles at church on Sunday, shaking hands while out to dinner & smiling for the cameras as they flaunt their inherited money. Ask the persons who work for them and find out the truth.
  • by Washington Resident on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:46 AM
    Why not keep the money in Washington where the business earned it? I think the children in Beaufort County need somewhere to go instead of roaming the streets. Support the younger generation.
    • reply
      by Mo Money on Dec 2, 2011 at 08:53 AM in reply to Washington Resident
      Yep.. Dump some mo' money in the Boy's Club. These roaming children need responsible parent(s) (hopefully there might be a father somewhere in neighborhood. If they want something to do then let them learn what a work ethic.
  • by Kane on Dec 2, 2011 at 04:48 AM
    The thing about your money is it's your money. You can do whatever you want with it. I find it funny how some people on this board are calling this a waste of money. So? What do you care? If he wants to donate his own money to the basketball program have at it. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume Petey Pirate isn't a fan of ECU.
    • reply
      by Petey Pirate on Dec 4, 2011 at 11:29 AM in reply to Kane
      Just a realist. Thats all.
  • by Flanders Employee Location: Washington on Dec 2, 2011 at 03:28 AM
    He'll give a million dollars to ECU basketball but will not give his employee's (who helped make that million) a raise.
    • reply
      by Mustang on Dec 2, 2011 at 04:07 AM in reply to Flanders Employee
      If you don't like what you are being paid; there is nothing holding you back from working somewhere else.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:35 AM in reply to Mustang
        Except the horrible state of the economy I suppose.
    • reply
      by h on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:37 AM in reply to Flanders Employee
      Thats sounds pretty wack to me!
      • reply
        by Petey Pirate on Dec 4, 2011 at 11:30 AM in reply to h
        Fat boyz are back & you know they can never be wack.
    • reply
      by Bill on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:48 AM in reply to Flanders Employee
      Perhaps because it's his money he should get to have a say in what he does with it. Its your job, and you get to have a say in what you do with it...if you are not happy I would leave and find another job. BUT PLEASE - why should you have any say in what he does with his money? You seem VERY Selfish and VERY spoiled to me Employee!
    • reply
      by Hmmm on Dec 2, 2011 at 08:16 AM in reply to Flanders Employee
      Shows his TRUE character.
  • by Petey Pirate on Dec 2, 2011 at 03:20 AM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2011 at 04:45 AM in reply to Petey Pirate
      Well good thing your just a mascot because you are highly uncapable of making a decision for this college. This is a win-win for the smith family...there giving money to a program they believe can grow (as well as pirate nation) and also that is going to be a nice tax write off!!!
    • reply
      by LOL! on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:32 AM in reply to Petey Pirate
      You are obsessed with something that you seemingly proclaim is irrelevant. This is great irony! Seek solace for the emotional emptiness that you are experiencing somewhere else than as a message board troll; truth be told, you're not very good at this troll thing. You just make the rest of us laugh at you (like everyone else in your life does).
      • reply
        by Petey Pirate on Dec 2, 2011 at 08:42 AM in reply to LOL!
        You've been watching too much Dr. Phil sweetie. Now get back to your ironing board.
        • reply
          by LOL! on Dec 3, 2011 at 06:14 AM in reply to Petey Pirate
          Dr. Phil is a tool; you must watch him to know, I suppose. I haven't ironed in years and I sure as heck ain't "sweet". Did this hit a little too close to home "Petey"? What else would explain your incessant postings about something you dislike? Hmmm... must be that you are over-compensating for other areas of your life. Quite pathetic, really. It doesn't take a psychologist to figure this out. You are simply this grossly obvious in your desperate attempt to seek attention on WITN. Now some advice for you- PLEASE keep posting as you are simple, mindless entertainment, much like Dr. Phil! Now, back to the keyboard to exhibit more emotional distress, "Petey". LOL!
    • reply
      by here on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:37 AM in reply to Petey Pirate
      Agreed!
    • reply
      by Petey Pirate on Dec 3, 2011 at 04:20 AM in reply to Petey Pirate
      I get on here & bash the police, health care workers, nuns,monks, school children, amputees, and little puppies, but let me call a mizer out for spending his money foolishly & WITN yanks the post. Guess thats how it works when you giving a million dollars away.
  • by Sherlock on Dec 1, 2011 at 08:17 PM
    Its coming, you can't deny it, you can almost taste it. ECU is developing a good basketball program regardless who you pull for. This generous gift from the Smith family is just one more spoke in the wheel that will lead to good things. Maybe the even the big dance.
    • reply
      by Petey Pirate on Dec 2, 2011 at 03:11 AM in reply to Sherlock
      Keep dreaming Sherlock.
    • reply
      by here on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:38 AM in reply to Sherlock
      ECU needs PLAYERS not more practice!
  • by Wolfpack Red on Dec 1, 2011 at 08:03 PM
    Wasn't aware that ezu had an indoor basketball court
    • reply
      by Petey Pirate on Dec 2, 2011 at 03:12 AM in reply to Wolfpack Red
      Oh no.. they on their way!
      • reply
        by Alex on Dec 2, 2011 at 04:46 AM in reply to Petey Pirate
        You know last time State came to Minges they lost right????
    • reply
      by HA on Dec 2, 2011 at 04:46 AM in reply to Wolfpack Red
      Yes they do and its the same court they beat your wolfpuppies on last time they came to it!!!!!!
      • reply
        by here on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:39 AM in reply to HA
        Good burn!!
    • reply
      by Fred on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:54 AM in reply to Wolfpack Red
      Red, you haven't really been in a position to criticize anyone's sports program here lately, especially basketball.
  • by ggirl Location: greenville on Dec 1, 2011 at 07:38 PM
    I wonder if he is that generous with his employees, or do they struggle while he reaps the rewards
    • reply
      by Hmmmm on Dec 2, 2011 at 08:11 AM in reply to ggirl
      No he's not generous....SELFISH is more like it! I'm not an employee but I know many employees that's been waiting for a PROPER RAISE for years. If you're not an ECU grad you don't stand a chance at Flanders. He need to take a look at who's pulling in the numbers and not what college you graduated from. Flanders put on a good show to the media but to get the TRUTH just ask the one's who actually bring them in the money (they're the ones waiting on a RAISE).
      • reply
        by Fred on Dec 2, 2011 at 09:37 AM in reply to Hmmmm
        Wow! It sounds like you think you're entitled to a share of his money. You DO have a job. If you don't like the pay go find another one! Personally, if Flanders shows favoritism toward Pirate grads (and I seriously doubt that) I don't see a problem with it. Maybe you should buy a purple and gold shirt and you'll get a raise too.
      • reply
        by Jimbo on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:44 AM in reply to Hmmmm
        You're not entitled to a raise. If you don't like what you are being paid then quit. It's his business what he does with his money.
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