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Jesse Helms Honored In Special Tribute

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Over a decades-long political career, Jesse Helms attracted both friends and foes.

On Saturday night, those who admired Helms came out for a special tribute to honor the former Senator and to benefit the recently established Senator Jesse Helms Agricultural Legislative Internship Endowment.

The event, organized by N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and the Jesse Helms Center Foundation, brought out about 400 people to the North Raleigh Hilton.

WRAL NewsChannel

(Ch. 256/5.2)
  • Jesse Helms Tribute Ceremony:Sunday 8 p.m., Monday 10 a.m., 8:30 p.m.

    “Well, I don’t think there’s really any way to pay the proper tribute to Senator Helms in one evening,” Retired Army General H. Hugh Shelton said.

    The proceeds from the night will fund internships in Washington, D.C., for students enrolled in agriculture programs at N.C. State University and North Carolina A&T State University. The $242,000 raised also will go to pay for a summer leadership school at Wingate and Campbell universities for members of 4-H and Future Farmers of America.

    Justin Lowe will head to Washington, D.C. in the fall for a prestigious agriculture internship funded by the endowment.

    “Senator Helms did a lot for the agriculture industry," Lowe said.

    Helms spent 30 years in the U.S. Senate, serving some of that time as the chair of the Senate agriculture committee.

    “He would stand for what was best for America and not for what was necessarily the most popular thing to do,” General Shelton said.

    Before his political career began, Helms made a name for himself at WRAL as a news director and commentator.

    Now Helms is 83 years old, and he said he’s “having a ball.”

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