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Ahead of this month’s Twilight Festival, a fundraiser for Hope Hardy which highlights the importance of organ donations, Donna Hardy spoke to Roanoke Rapids High School Early College students.

A retired educator from the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District, Donna was the wife of the organization’s namesake — Doug Hardy, who died in 2013.

Speaking to Misty Faloretti’s Scholar Seminar Class, Donna shared information about the organization named after her late husband — an organization which originally began as a way for friends and family to raise money to cover the cost of a liver transplant for Doug.

(Twilight Festival begins at 5 p.m. on September 22 in the 900 block of Roanoke Avenue and ends at Centennial Park where the Feature Attraction Band will perform. There will be food trucks, vendors, a classic car show, a ping-pong ball raffle drop as well as a live painting by Riley Mills)

Since his passing, however, Hope for Hardy has morphed into a nonprofit that promotes organ donation and helps people in need who are waiting for or have received a transplant.

To date, Donna estimates that the organization has helped 50-60 people and has raised over $50,000. 

“Hope for Hardy is all about helping other people,” Donna told the class. “I believe we’re here to serve others. Whatever path you take, step back and put others before yourself and life will be better for you.” 

Said the school system: “This message is taken to heart at the early college, where students are required to get service hours each semester as part of their seminar class.”