An Adopt-A-Highway road cleanup and scholarship fundraising events have been planned for Saturday, Sept. 21, to honor the memory of Warren County native and University of North Carolina junior Faith Danielle Hedgepeth.
The daughter of Roland and Connie Hedgepeth of Hollister, she was an active member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe and 2010 graduate of Warren County High School. Hedgepeth would have turned 27 on Sept. 26.
She was found dead in her Chapel Hill apartment on Sept. 7, 2012. Since that time, the Chapel Hill Police Department has investigated the case as a homicide.
This year’s events will focus on the theme, “The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women,” raising awareness of women of all ages across the United States.
Adopt-A-Highway road cleanup
An Adopt-A-Highway road cleanup will begin at 7 a.m. on Bethlehem Road, where Hedgepeth grew up and her family still lives.
Family and friends adopted a portion of Bethlehem running from the intersection at Old Bethlehem to Tuscarora Road in the Hollister community in Hedgepeth’s memory. An Adopt-A-Highway sign stands at the Bethlehem end of the road.
Anyone who is interested in participating is welcome. Safety vests, gloves and bags will be provided. Those attending may bring pick-up sticks.
A plate sale and fundraising event will be held from 1-7 p.m. at the Doe Spun Building, 403 Gibbs Ave., Hollister. Proceeds will benefit the Faith’s Smile Scholarship, which Connie Hedgepeth established in 2013 in memory of her daughter.
The family-friendly event will include musical entertainment, a bounce house for children, corn hole, a disc jockey, silent auction, crafts, other games and more.
The fundraiser also will feature a BBQ chicken plate sale. Plates, which will be available for $8 each, will include one-half chicken, two vegetables, bread and dessert.
Monetary contributions may be mailed to Faith’s Smile Scholarship, PO Box 393, Warrenton, NC 27589.
Scholarship awards in the amount of $1,000 are given annually to two Native American women from North Carolina tribes who will be freshmen at accredited universities. The scholarships are designed to aid students with expenses such as food, books, clothes and other needs.
Not giving up
In 2013, the Chapel Hill Police Department reported that evidence collected at the scene of the murder revealed DNA of a male suspect. Hundreds of court documents related to the case were released the following year, but no arrests have been made to this point.
Faith Hedgepeth’s sister, Rolanda, said that her family remains optimistic that continuing advances in technology will enable investigators to pinpoint a suspect.
“We’re not gong to give up,” she said.