Builders Cup Awarded to Johnsons
The Country Club of North Carolina was the setting Wednesday, Jan. 27, for the annual presentation of the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills Builders Cup award. President Leigh Baggs introduced master of ceremonies George Hillard, who in turn, introduced Builders Cup Committee Chair Linda Hubbard. Dr. David Bruton made the award presentation. The cup was given to Olive Johnson and her late husband, Lawrence M. "Larry," Johnson a longtime Kiwanian who died in 2008.
This was the 75th annual award of the cup, which is awarded "from time to time to a man or woman of Moore County who 'By unselfish personal service, without hope of personal gain, has outstandingly contributed to the upbuilding of the Sandhills Section.'"
Larry and Olive Johnson were the fifth couple to receive the award, which was first presented in 1927. It was not awarded during three war years, 1944-46.
The program also honored two other Kiwanians, both of whom were Builders Cup winners. They were Voit Gilmore and Hoke Pollock. Gilmore, who died in 2005, was a prominent businessman, community leader, Democratic politician, philanthropist, environmentalist and scholar. He received the cup in 1960. Pollock, who died in 2009, was a longtime attorney in Southern Pines, community leader, family man and active churchman. He was an advocate for excellence in education. He received the cup in 1991.
Larry Johnson's father, J. Talbott Johnson, was one of the founders of the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills. Larry Johnson was a graduate of UNC Law School and practiced law in Aberdeen. He served as the Aberdeen town attorney for many years. He was founder and first president of the St. Andrew's Society of North Carolina and one of the founders of the Sandhills Branch of the English-Speaking Union. He was also involved in the founding of the Pinehurst Forum, the Moore County Music Association, and the Moore County Charitable Foundation. He served in many roles at the Bethesda Presbyterian Church.
His wife, Olive, who received the award, was described as "a dynamo in her own right." She has been recognized for public service in the 2009 Outstanding Alumna Award from St. Mary's College, and in a Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from St. Andrew's College in 2008. She has served on the boards of the North Carolina Nature Conservancy, the Moore County Symphony and Bethany House, a substance abuse halfway house for females. She was a longtime member and former president of the hospital auxiliary.
"While many of the couple's works are known publicly, their reputation also includes diligent but quiet work on behalf of many in need without fanfare or publicity," says a club spokesman. "Their service and contributions to the Sandhills are numerous."
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