Red Cross to Honor Lee Gliarmis

It’s quite difficult to imagine Wilson without Dick’s Hot Dog Stand and Lee Gliarmis.

The Frederick E. Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross will honor Lee Gliarmis, owner and proprietor of Dick’s Hot Dog Stand, at the annual Heroes Banquet on February 26, 2013 at Wilson Country Club. The banquet kicks off the chapter’s Heroes Campaign held during the month of March, in honor of presidentially declared, National Red Cross Month.

Each year, the Red Cross honors real, local heroes in the community as part of the Heroes Campaign. Heroes for the American Red Cross is a grassroots fundraising and awareness campaign that gives community members the chance to make a big, lasting difference by raising vital funds to help those in need.

“Lee Gliarmis is a hero to the Wilson community and to the entire state of North Carolina for all the work he has done in sports and recreation,” said Lynwood Roberson, CEO of the Frederick E. Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross. “It is our privilege to honor Lee as a Red Cross Hero for his lifetime of diligent work making the City of Wilson a better place to eat and live.”

“His humble nature is one of his most endearing qualities and why he would never call himself a Hero. It’s indeed our honor and privilege to recognize Lee at our Banquet this year,” said Roberson.

For more information about the Heroes Campaign and to purchase tickets, please call 252-237-2171 or 252-977-1720.

Lee Gliarmis and his work in the community

Dick’s Hot Dog Stand and the Gliarmis Family have been longtime fixtures in the Wilson community. Dick’s Hot Dog Stand was originally opened by Lee’s father, Socrates “Dick” Gliarmis, in 1921during the glory years of the Virginia League. Wilson was the smallest team in the country to have a Class B semi-pro team, the Wilson Bugs. The Bugs played at the old Wilson Baseball Park located behind Dick’s Hot Dog Stand. The Bugs would win two pennants with the leadership of Peahead and Bunn Hearn, who would later become baseball coach at the University of North Carolina. The success of the Bugs in those years aided to the success of the Hot Dog Stand.

Lee had no intention of joining the family business. He had inherited his dad’s passion for sports and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, Lee was a member of the soccer, basketball and baseball teams. He majored in Physical Education and had a career plan of becoming a coach. In 1950, when Lee’s father became ill, the career path was changed and so was Wilson history so much so that it’s quite difficult to imagine Wilson without Dick’s Hot Dog Stand and Lee Gliarmis.

Wilson sports and recreation have been deeply impacted and influenced by Lee’s involvement. His passion for sports is proudly displayed in numerous photos and sports memorabilia at Dick’s Hot Dog Stand. As with the Hot Dog Stand the tradition of supporting local sports began with Dick Gliarmis supporting Atlantic Christian College Basketball in the early 1920’s. Lee took the support of Atlantic Christian Athletics to an entirely different level with his and others involvement in beginning “The Century Club,” today known as the Bulldog Club, which was the first athletic booster club for the college. Members of The Century Club donated $100 to support the Athletic Department of the College. Today, Barton College has 14 men’s and women’s athletic teams supported by the Bulldog Club.

Baseball is a tremendous passion of Lee’s. In 1975, Lee, Eddie Fulford, Kent Montgomery, Gilbert Ferrell and a few fellow baseball fans created the Wilson Hot Stove League with a purpose of promoting and supporting local high school, college and recreational baseball programs including the Wilson Tobs. Perhaps his most cherished accomplishment is his involvement in the renovation of historic Fleming Stadium and the creation of the North Carolina Baseball Museum which is located at Fleming Stadium.

While Lee is incredibly proud of continuing and building upon his dad’s legacy at Dick’s and of his involvement in supporting local sports and recreation, he is most proud of his family. Dick’s Hot Dog Stand is a family business. Lee can still be found daily at Dick’s Hot Dog Stand making his world famous chili early each morning. Lee’s son Soc and daughter Crisanne continue to work at Dick’s Hot Dog stand with him today. His other children Lee and Ricki Leigh Barger, also spent much of their youth working in and around the restaurant before moving to other professions and areas of the state. Through it all there has been Lee’s rock, his wife Janie Gliarmis. While Lee spent hours working at the Hot Dog Stand, Janie raised the family and supported Lee in all of his activities in the community.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please click here or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.