Hal Hyde to Receive Cornerstone Award
The United Way of Moore County has selected the Rev. Hal Hyde Jr. to be the next recipient of its highest honor, the Cornerstone Award.
Hyde has been a staple of the nonprofit community in Moore County for many years. He was pastor of Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines for more than 20 years.
"He is a wonderful man," said Linda Pearson, executive director of the United Way. "He's had his hand in the building of and the ongoing strength of the community."
The Cornerstone Award Banquet will be held Jan. 22. It is usually a toast-and-roast format, and Pearson insists it will be so this year as well, but some people might have a tough time poking fun at a doctor of ministry.
Pearson said not to worry, the United Way will work with Hyde to find friends and community leaders who can share some funny stories and insights.
"There are people here who have known him all his life," she said.
The United Way presents the Cornerstone of the Community Award annually to an individual "who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment, creativity, leadership, volunteerism, inspiration and sustained service with broad scope of impact on the quality of life in the community," according to a press release.
"Whether serving committees supporting recreation or fair housing," Chairman Gerald Galloway said, "to serving as chaplain and minister to many, or as an advocate for education or the disadvantaged, Hal Hyde has served many areas of our community well and certainly deserves this recognition."
Hyde is a native of Atlanta. He attended The Citadel, earned his master's degree at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., and his doctorate in ministry from the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
"Rev. Hyde is the epitome of what the Cornerstone Award stands for in our community," said Lee Riggsbee, chairman of the United Way Board of Directors. "His involvement in the Moore County community is far-reaching, as he has used his skills and experience to benefit others. This is a perfect opportunity to celebrate his lifetime of commitments, and we look forward to presenting him with this honor."
Hyde and his wife Elizabeth, who goes by Betsy, live in Southern Pines. He served as pastor of Brownson from 1973 to 1993. He has been active with a number of church organizations, boards and other community agencies including the United Way.
He will be the sixth recipient of the Cornerstone Award. He joins the company of Dr. John Dempsey, president of Sandhills Community College; Peggy Kirk Bell, Pine Needles owner and women's golf legend; Felton Capel, businessman and entrepreneur; Charles Frock, CEO of FirstHealth of the Carolinas; and David Woronoff, publisher of The Pilot.
The award banquet will be held at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, beginning with a reception at 6 p.m. Anyone needing information about tickets can contact the United Way at 692-2413.
The dinner represents the culmination of the United Way annual fund drive. Pearson said that in these tough economic times, giving is even more vital. Many of the United Way agencies have seen an increase in basic needs.
"The need is greater," she said. "They've seen quite an increase in need for their services."
But giving is down as well. The United Way didn't set a goal this year, but Pearson said that it's about $24,000 behind where it was last year.
"People are having to tighten up in certain areas," she said. "We're hopeful that when we finish up the campaign it will make a difference."
Some donors, recognizing the need, have increased their usual donations.
"A bad economy sometimes is good for us," Pearson said. "They (donors) realize the need and step it up. We can never tell until we get to the end."
Contact Matthew Moriarty at 693-2479 or by e-mail at moriarty @thepilot.com.
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