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April 10 now ‘Sam Jones Day’

SAM JONES DAY - Former Olympian competitor, Mount Olive resident, and Southern Wayne High School 1978 graduate Leora “Sam” Jones was honored before the Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners in session last week with the approval of a Sam Jones Day proclamation. Ms. Jones is shown here with the approved plaque. In the background is Mount Olive Town Attorney Carroll Turner. (photo by WILLIAM HOLLOMAN)
By William Holloman
Staff Writer

A Mount Olive resident who competed in three separate Olympics has been honored by the town.
April 10 was declared by the Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners as Sam Jones Day. Mayor Ray McDonald, Sr. approved the proclamation and presented the framed copy to Ms. Jones before the town board session last week.

Leora “Sam” Jones was born on August 11, 1960 to Ernest “Red” Jones and Ruthie Hill Jones in Mount Olive, stated the proclamation. It noted she was a 1978 graduate of Southern Wayne High School, and then attended Louisburg College and East Carolina University. She went on to represent the United States in the sport of team handball in 1984 in the Los Angeles Olympics, the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, and in Barcelona, Spain in 1992, where she placed 5th, 7th, and 6th respectively.

The proclamation also recognized Ms. Jones as she went on to become an assistant coach at USA Team Handball from 1993 until 1995, and then went on to work with UPS delivery before retiring in 2016. She earned numerous player of the year and international awards during her celebrated career.  

Further, the proclamation noted that Ms. Jones lived in Austria and Germany for a total of three years and traveled to numerous countries and always proudly represented her country and town.

“In partnership with the Widows and Widowers New Beginnings Support Group,” said Mayor McDonald in authorizing the proclamation, I declare Monday, April 10, 2017 as Leora “Sam” Jones Day, and encourage all citizens of this community to express appreciation and support for the past and future accomplishments of Leora “Sam” Jones,” said the Mayor.
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