Dale Folwell with First Tee donation

State Treasurer Dale Folwell, second from left, at The Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst, with Matt Massei, executive VP of Pinehurst, Inc; Gary VonCannon, BB&T market president and First Tee board member; Bob Farren, director of course maintenance of Pinehurst, Inc. and First Tee board member; and Scott Brewton, general manager of Pinehurst, Inc.

State Treasurer Dale Folwell delivered an $1,100 check to First Tee of the Sandhills on Friday. The money comes from the state’s unclaimed property fund, which Folwell’s office oversees.

“As keeper of the public purse, I am in the check delivery business,” Folwell said. “Most people associate our office with pensions, but we do this too. The goal is to get this money back in the hands of its rightful owners.”

First Tee is a national nonprofit that delivers affordable junior golf programs to communities across the country. The organization was founded through a partnership among the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America, the PGA Tour and the USGA.

Folwell frequently travels to different parts of the state. When his staff learned he would be headed to Moore County, they searched their records to see if there were unclaimed funds owed to any local charities.

“First Tee is a worthy cause and a worthy organization. We were pleased that we were able to locate this for them,” said Dan Way, State Treasurer’s communications manager. “And there are other people due money in Moore County. People would be wise to search our database.”

Gary Von Cannon, First Tee of the Sandhills board treasurer, accepted the check on behalf of the local chapter. He said the money would support the group’s ongoing mission to provide educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

“We can never say thank you enough to our donors,” Von Cannon said.

Currently the state coffers hold an estimated $798 million dollars in unclaimed funds from bank accounts, utility deposits, policy proceeds, stocks, bonds, and contents of safe deposit boxes. Funds become unclaimed because a company loses track of the consumer, due to an incorrect address or other missing information.

State law requires businesses to report all unclaimed property, regardless of the amount and, typically, these accounts have been abandoned for one to five years. Items under $50 may be reported and remitted in a lump amount listed as aggregate.

By law, these funds are escheated — or turned over — to the Department of State Treasurer for safekeeping until claimed by the appropriate business, nonprofit, individual or heir. The state office coordinates a free search service to help people and businesses locate unclaimed funds at www.NCCash.com

Citizens may search by individual, nonprofit or business name. There is no time limit on filing claims. The state maintains unclaimed assets in trust for the rightful owners forever. If the claim is over $50, the specific amount is not listed in detail to reduce the chance of fraudulent claims or for-profit property search companies using the state’s free service illicitly.

“There is no fee to get this money from the state, ever,” Folwell said.

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