Billboard bucket list an inspiration to Whiteville community members
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WHITEVILLE, N.C. -- There is usually nothing particularly striking about the corner of Madison and Pecan in downtown Whiteville.
If you look close enough, you will see something very special.
"People just come up and share their secret goals or whimsical ideas of things they want to do before they die," said Whiteville resident Mark Gilchrist.
Gilchrist brought the idea to the Columbus County Arts Council after learning about the idea from artist Candy Chang.
"She got out in the middle of the night and just painted a wall black without anyone really knowing it and she put these words, " Before I Die" up there and left some chalk out on it and people just started writing essentially their bucket lists," he said.
Chang's idea took off and billboard bucket lists started popping up all over the world on university campuses and downtown areas.
Community members in Whiteville say it's an interesting way to bring the community together.
“As I rode through town, I would see a lot of people writing, I'd see some really studying and I would see some people talking about it with each other," said Whiteville resident Butch Pope.
Gilchrist originally thought the board could help inspire people to take part in the annual Take the Lake event held at Lake Waccamaw each Labor Day weekend.
"A lot of people around here do have Take the Lake on their bucket list. They want to swim 4 miles, they want to walk 15 miles or paddle or bicycle," he said.
Although the chalk will fade away, those who have written out their dreams say the experience will stick around.
Pope said, "It makes you kind of stop and say, even if you just ride by, you stop and say, what would I write on that line right there? So it's been a lot of fun. Learned a lot about our county."
The billboard will stay up through the end of June.