Carolina Strong: Channel 9 honors the legacy of Cecil Neal

The community is coming together to pay tribute to someone who embodied what it means to be Carolina Strong.

It is hard to fathom just how many people have benefited from Cecil Neal.

Every year during the Channel 9 Food Drive and School Tool Collection Days, Neal could be counted on to be there with his white pickup truck packed full of donations.

Neal served 25 years in the United States Army and received the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding leadership in 1980.

He then worked for the Mecklenburg Police Office for 17 years. He eventually found his way to Channel 9, answering calls to feed others and make sure children had school supplies.

In 2016, Neal received Channel 9′s Golden Giver award and became very much like family to the station.

Which is why it was devastating to learn that he passed away a few days ago at the age of 88. And while he never married or had children, he did have lots of nieces and nephews.

Every August, his great-grandniece told Channel 9 that he would stop by the home of every niece and nephew, armed with enough clothes and school supplies to last the entire year.

He will be laid to rest on Thursday.

Every day, there are people across the Carolinas doing extraordinary things. They’re giving back, they’re helping each other, and they’re making a real difference. We’re highlighting the best in our community in our series, Carolina Strong.

Know somebody who’s making a positive impact? Let us know here.

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