Moore County Community Foundation Honors Two
Two of the Sandhills' most illustrious citizens will share the honor of being named Man and Woman of the Year 2012 at a Moore County Community Foundation dinner being held Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Country Club of North Carolina.
This year, Norris Hodgkins Jr. and Cos Barnes are the recipients of the mark of distinction, which has been given annually for the past nine years by the Community Foundation.
Hugh Bingham, president of the foundation's board of directors, explains that the designation of Man and Woman of the Year is based on outstanding volunteer service to the community.
"As a philanthropic all-volunteer organization, with board members who reflect the entire community, we believe that volunteerism is an important factor in the livelihood of Moore County," he says.
Cos Barnes, known by many local residents for her delightful columns in PineStraw magazine, also has written short stories, and published two books. For several years she lent her talents to the Moore County Chamber of Commerce as its public relations person.
A native of Martinsville, Va., she graduated from Westhampton College at the University of Richmond, and taught third and fifth grades before her marriage to Harry J. Barnes.
Cos and Harry Barnes moved to Southern Pines in 1970, and he ran the Stanley Furniture plant in West End for 21 years.
Widowed in 1999, Barnes, a distinctive and charming example of Southern womanhood, has always been active in volunteering in various organizations aimed at community betterment. At her church she has been a deacon for many years and a hand bell ringer - an accomplishment she defines as "most rewarding."
Barnes served on the board of directors of the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, where she was in charge of the writers-in-residence program.
"I escorted the writers to a variety of retirement homes, college and schools to talk about their craft," she says.
Presently on the board of directors of the Sunrise Theater, she is also on the board of the Arts Council of Moore County, where she served as president..
Other nonprofits that have benefited from her energy and wisdom include the Arc of Moore County, devoted to the needs of the developmentally and intellectually disabled, where she served on the board of directors and was its president; the board of directors of the Moore County Historical Society; the boards of the Southern Pines Sister Cities and of Family Promise; and formerly the Friends and Advisory Board of Southern Pines Library.
And in her spare time, Barnes danced with the Sophisticated Ladies for 10 years - the all-volunteer troupe of women who entertain at nursing homes, schools and at Christmas tree lighting ceremonies
Norris Hodgkins Jr., fondly known to local residents as "Mr. Southern Pines," has lived in Moore County since 1935, when his family moved here from Bangor, Maine.
Educated in Southern Pines schools, he attended Duke University, where he earned a degree in economics.
Described in an article in The Pilot in 2004 as being "concerned about everything from good government to job opportunities to heritage and the arts," Hodgkins has served as a member of the Town Council, mayor, member or chair of numerous boards of directors and committees, with his influence widely felt through the years.
Hodgkins' father was president of the local bank in Southern Pines, and after a two-year stint working for Chase National Bank in New York following his graduation from Duke, he came home to work for his father in 1949. Unlike today, it was the only bank in town until 1962, Hodgkins recalls.
In the ensuing years, Hodgkins spent four years as Southern Pines' mayor and five years as city executive in Durham. He resumed his banking career, first with First Union, then Carolina Bank, and later with BB&T. In 1982 he became treasurer for The Pilot, a position he held until 1996.
Norris Hodgkins has given of his time, energy and business acumen to an impressive array of nonprofit entities, ranging from the Moore County Tuberculosis Association, the Moore County Historical Association, and Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church. His interest in education resulted in an eight-year period as a member of the board of trustees at Sandhills Community College.
He served on the board of directors of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital for 14 years. During that period, the hospital underwent one major expansion after another
"It's hard to believe that the massive compound in Pinehurst had such a modest start," he says.
Hodgkins was president of Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities a number of years ago when an architectural survey revealed the historic Boyd home was suffering from major structural weaknesses. Preliminary estimates indicated that it would take $1 million to cover restoration costs. He headed the capital campaign to make that work possible, and he determined that the work could be done for $500,000 with volunteer assistance.
No wonder Hugh Bingham says, "We are very excited to name Norris Hodgkins and Cos Barnes as our 2012 Man and Woman of the Year. They both reflect such a long-term and significant commitment to the true spirit of volunteerism within our community."
For information on joining the Moore County Community Foundation for the dinner event as they honor these two exceptional citizens on Oct. 18, call Pam Wase at (910) 692-6222, extension 223.
Contact freelance writer Mary Elle Hunter at email@example.com.
More like this story