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The George Henry White

Memorial Health & Education Center


What is the George Henry White Memorial Center?

The George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center is a living memorial honoring Congressman George Henry White, (born in Rosindale and raised in this area), preserving his courageous legacy fighting for justice and empowerment.  This community center, located in Bladen county next to the border with Columbus County, also highlights the rich history of the area: Farmer’s Union, St. James, Bolton, Pembroke, Welches Creek, Lake Waccamaw and other surrounding communities.  


The Center provides a venue for activities to improve the lives of citizens; it serves as an education center where they can attend classes on health care, computer skills, financial management, community empowerment and more.  It is a venue for public meetings and projects. Public and private donations help finance and support the operations of the project.  

The GHW Memorial Health & Education Center makes all of its programs, facilities, and services available without regard to race, color, sex, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or political affiliation.  The building and rest rooms have been modified to make it handicap accessible with approved handrails. The GHW Center is open to the needs of the entire community.

The Benjamin and Edith Spaulding Descendants Foundation, which is a nonprofit group established for educational, literary, and charitable purposes, is leading the project. Tax-deductible contributions to support the project are welcome and should be provided to BESDF, Inc. as follows:


BESDF, Inc, Attn: GHW Center
5607 Catskill Court, Durham, NC 27713          
Tax ID: 56-2068902


Why the George Henry White Memorial Center is needed:

In a vastly underserved region, much of the work of filling in the gaps is taken up by the various church communities.  They perform many functions that are nothing short of heroic, and they have the added benefit of being able to draw upon shared beliefs and practices.

However, there is also a need for a civic space, that can be used by all, for many functions that are not within the faith framework.  Public schools and other public buildings are frequently closed or have various restrictions.  This is a space for the community at large--including all churches--but also fraternal, civic or secular projects.  Health care, education, history, civic meetings, youth groups, celebrations and artistic projects can be delivered to the general public through an easily accessible civic space.  

The George Henry White Memorial Center belongs to the entire community--a public space that can be used by the people, for the people.  Whether for elderly to access services, or for tutoring, or for workforce training, the Bladen and Columbus country area deserves a place where they can receive critical services.

Renovation overview:

The estimated cost to fully renovate the house, landscaping, and provide intended amenities is approximately $137,172.   A representative of the North Carolina Museum of History has agreed to serve as an adviser to our foundation as we move through the steps necessary to bring this project to full reality.  Since the project was introduced in July, 2014 and work started during CY 2015, the following work has been accomplished and was donated by individuals, families, businesses, and organizations totaling more than $118,000:

  • The metal roof has been repaired and a major section replaced.

  • The exterior siding has been repaired, primed, and painted with a high-quality paint.

  • The exterior windows have been repaired and secured with security bars.

  • The four exterior doors have been secured with high-security storm doors and master-keyed.

  • The building interior has had wood framing, plumbing and finish work done for installation of two bathrooms with one equipped for handicap persons.

  • The interior of the building has had structural deficiencies repaired.

  • The interior floors and walls that don’t need additional work have been refinished and painted.

  • The building has permanent electrical service installed with an electric meter and approval by building inspector.

  • Wall and Base kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances installed and functional.

  • Installed deep well water pump and constructed masonry block pumphouse.

  • Local community leadership implemented comprehensive landscaping that includes memorial trees, a rose garden bed, lawn maintenance and flagpole (American and North Carolina flags).  

  • Installed plumbing to support the kitchen, two toilets and outside irrigation system

  • Removed wall between two rooms and supported flooring to create large assembly room.

  • Rebuilt and restored the front porch with benches for seating, and safety rails flanking the steps

  • Installed handicap ramp to rear deck for full accessibility.

  • Rebuilt rear deck with built-in seating

  • Placed signs on the property to let the public know that the GHW Center is established and operating.

  • The local community watch organization is providing security watch services

  • State-of-the-art security system with 24-hour camera surveillance and on-site monitor and remote monitoring

  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System (2 zones, with gas tank installation)

  • New furnishings: Podium, tables, chairs

  • Media outreach has included several news articles and stories in local news outlets.

  • Pictures of work done since 2015 when the GHW Center was established can be seen on website: and website (designed specifically to publish information on the GHW Center and community involvement).

Work Remaining on GHW Center and Costs

Essential work to facilitate full-service operations:

  1. Insulate crawl space and attic to save energy costs: $2,200

  2. Meals on Wheels Program: Kitchen modifications and storage room repairs to make usable as a location for a Meals on Wheels and/or Food Pantry program to support the local community: $3,800 

  3. Need WiFi system: $1,800

  4. Need projector and drop down screen: $2,800

  5. Need laptops for computer training : $12,172


  Total Cost: $19,172

 Additions and upgrades to facilitate enhanced operations:

  1. Interior Doors: Purchase and install new doors as needed for the GHW Center: $2,800

  2. Windows: Install new windows for the GHW Center as needed: $7,500

  3. Second Floor: Clean out second floor and install storage and display equipment for community archives and exhibits: $6,500

  4. Furniture and Equipment: Purchase various furniture and equipment to bring the GHW Center into full service for the community: $2,500

  5. Replace building metal roof: $12,000

  6. Paint exterior of building: $4,500

  Total Cost: $31,300

How you can help:

Raising funds to complete the project and support operations is ongoing.  In addition to private individuals, organizations and businesses are invited to contribute materials, goods or services as "in-kind" donations. 


BESDF, Inc., (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group established for educational, literary, and charitable purposes, among other functions), is leading the project.  The tax ID number is 56-2068902. Tax-deductible contributions to bring the project to fruition are welcome and should be provided to BESDF, Inc. as follows:



Attn: GHW Center

5607 Catskill Court, Durham, NC 27713

For questions on the project: Contact Vincent M. Spaulding, R.A. at 202-441-3589 or via email at


Thank you for your support and contributions!

News and Updates

Volunteers at the GHW Center Work Day, October 26, 2019, sponsored by the “Community Watch Organization” for the St. James, Farmers Union, and Welches Creek Communities.  Featured in several of the pictures is the Whiteville High School Drama Theatrical Class grades 9-12 and their teacher. The group won a prestigious award from the American High School Theatre Festival to travel to Scotland and England. The “Community Watch” is helping these students raise funds for their trip.  Donations to help the students cover the cost for the trip can be made as follows:


Mailing a Check to:

WHS Drama Club

413 N Lee Street

Whiteville, NC 28472


Or Online at:

Trip ID: 179795


The POC for Questions: Ms Julia Heckathorn

Current Activities at the GHW Center

September 2020 Update

August 2020 Update