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The third annual Quinton Coples Community Weekend is only 11 days away, and its namesake is excited about it returning to Kinston.

“It’s a celebration, but it’s also a movement to go forward in a positive direction in life,” Coples said of the three days of events. “That’s the message I’m trying to send, as well as enjoying each other without negativity or bad things.” quintoncoplesofffield

Coples is a former Kinston High School and UNC football star who is now a starter for the New York Jets defense. He started the weekend in 2012 as a one-day cookout before his rookie season. That original day was so successful it has expanded into a three-day event that includes a banquet and auction on Friday, July 11, at the Woodmen Community Center; football camps and basketball tourneys on Saturday, July 12 in the gyms at Teachers Memorial and KHS; and the cookout at Southeast Elementary School on Sunday, July 13.

Coples has been very pleased with the first two incarnations of the weekend.

“Overall, I’ve definitely seen it’s had an impact on the city,” Coples said. “Obviously, there’s always room for improvement. But I’ve seen a lot of progress. I’ve seen kids actually take heed to what’s going on in our city.”

The new addition to the weekend is the banquet and live auction that kicks off the festivities. For ticket information, call Kurtis Stewart and Coples’ management group at 919-809-7070.

“It’s a chance for the community to come together,” Coples said of the banquet. “I think a lot of times, we are separated for whatever reasons, but this will be a meet-and-greet session to give folks a chance to come in and shake hands and interact with some people they normally wouldn’t.”

Saturday is jam-packed with opportunities for Kinston’s youth, including a football camp at KHS in the morning and a 5-on-5 basketball tournament at Teachers Memorial that wraps up with a championship game at KHS at 6 p.m. A New Bern vs. Kinston All-Star basketball game will take place at 7 p.m. at KHS. All of Saturday’s events are free, although youngsters need to pick up registration forms at KHS or any Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Department facility. The deadline to register is today.

Coples said he recognizes the great job his sister, Aurriell Coples, has done in organizing a team of volunteers to help throughout the weekend. She has held several volunteer training sessions throughout Kinston for the weekend; the final session is Thursday, July 10, at Teachers Memorial Gym at 6:30 p.m.; visit her Facebook page for more details.

“I really have to thank her, but I also want to thank the community for coming out and volunteering their time to a special cause that is very dear to me,” Quinton Coples said of his sister’s effort. “It would be very difficult to put together an event like this without their help. Every successful person has a good team around them. This isn’t successful because of me, but because of the team around me.”

He continued, “They’re my family and they understand the message I’m trying to send. That’s what makes this such an exciting event.”

Source: Bryan Hanks, Editor

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