Dr. Dan Murrey, the executive director of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee, presented a convention update to the Charlotte City Council regarding convention planning and community outreach.

Charlotte in 2012’s community outreach was the main theme of Dr. Murrey’s presentation. He discussed the many ways that people can get involved with, and learn more about, the convention — from community service to naming an eaglet at the Carolina Raptor Center to submitting events to Charlotte in 2012’s online community events calendar.

Dr. Murrey announced for the first time the results of Charlotte in 2012’s eaglet naming contest. People from across the country voted online on one of four possible names for an eaglet born at the Carolina Raptor Center, one of the 12 sites chosen by Charlotte in 2012 to host official delegate parties during the convention. Tipping their hat to the region, online voters overwhelmingly chose to name the eaglet “Carolina.” Little Carolina (pictured here with credit to the center) will be soon be released into the wild by the Raptor Center.

Charlotte in 2012’s current grassroots fundraising campaign calls for donations of $5 to have their name placed on the official NASCAR stock car for the convention. The stock car will be featured at events leading up to the convention. Civic and community organizations looking to promote local events may submit them for posting on Charlotte in 2012’s community calendar so that visitors and Charlotteans can attend community events that are relevant to the convention. Dr. Murrey concluded his presentation with the ways in which the convention will leave a lasting legacy on the city of Charlotte and how the city leaders may carry Mayor Foxx’s legacy projects forward after the convention.

For those interested in being a part of this convention while supporting both the community and the convention at the same time, Dr. Murrey introduced two newly formed non-partisan groups dedicated to these core missions. The DVAs (Donors, Volunteers, Ambassadors) is a women’s group dedicated to building a positive, effective network for engaging Charlotte women in support of the community and the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee. An energetic group of young professionals called “GO CLT” have formed with a similar mission. The DVA’s and GO CLT invite any person committed to these goals to become members.

The DVAs officially launched in April with their first community service project. DVA members volunteered their time to refurbish the Amay James Recreation Center, which had been closed for nearly two years. GO CLT launched with a happy hour membership recruitment event earlier this month. Both groups ask for a $20 donation to the convention and a commitment of 12 hours of community service to become a member. They will both focus their community service projects in the four legacy areas; sustainability, youth employment and civic education, healthy children; healthy families and an inclusive local economy.

Reports indicate that Denver, Colo., hosted roughly 1,200 unofficial events hosted by outside entities during the week of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In an effort to take advantage of similar business opportunities for local businesses in Charlotte and the Carolinas, Charlotte in 2012 has taken steps to engage with a diverse population of local businesses and encourage visitors to purchase the goods and services they provide.

“We expect at least 1,000 events to be hosted in Charlotte during convention week. That means we will need the full engagement of Charlotte’s robust business community to provide needed goods and services,” said Dan Murrey. “Convention visitors are already being encouraged to find what they need using our online vendor directory and I encourage all local businesses to register and take advantage of this influx of opportunity.”

Charlotte in 2012 developed a vendor directory to catalogue local businesses and link visiting groups with goods and services in the area during convention week and beyond. It is an innovative and interactive online tool that enables local and regional businesses to create company profiles and broadens the local stream of commerce by ensuring that businesses can connect with one another and that convention organizers, subcontractors, and locals can find the goods and services they need.

Dr. Murrey encouraged everyone to sign up for email updates and join the Host Committee’s social networks on Facebook and Twitter to keep informed of convention updates, opportunities and the date of Carolina’s release into the wild. More information on Charlotte in 2012’s community outreach initiatives can be found at charlottein2012.com. : :