Birdie, by Bob Harling, who will be honored this coming week by the United Way of Moore County with its prestigious annual Cornerstone Award.

Harling’s name is not one you’ll see in the headlines, but it is his years of dedicated volunteerism to Moore County nonprofits that has earned him this recognition.

The Cornerstone Award is presented to an individual or individuals who demonstrate extraordinary commitment and sustained service to the quality of life in the community. Harling, 88, has represented all that over the years.

“He has the biggest heart and is one of the greatest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,” said Barrett Walker, Sandhills/Moore Coalition for Human Care’s executive director.

Birdie, by the folks at Golf Pride, who have, with their partners, crafted a fine corporate headquarters opening in a couple of weeks inside the gate of Pinehurst No. 8. The company, which is the industry leader for golf club grips, is consolidating three Moore County locations into one facility that will provide office space, product development labs and consumer interaction.

In a village long known as a global destination for people wanting to play golf, it’s a long-realized dream to see a corporate headquarters for people who work at the sport. Business leaders are developing a goal that could recruit more jobs around the sport whose roots run so deeply through the Sandhills. Golf Pride’s project could just be the start.

“The new Golf Pride building perfectly aligns with that,” said Pat Corso, executive director for Partners In Progress and the county’s chief economic developer, “and it sets the stage for a potential new future in golf for our community.”

Birdie, by Sandhills Community College for a long-range vision — and corresponding investment — that has cut its energy costs 30 percent over the past 10 years and saved millions of dollars. Faced with a campus of aging buildings with similarly aging heating and cooling systems, the college hired a consultant to study its situation and recommend improvements for its Moore and Hoke campuses.

The college expects to spend about $7 million less on energy costs over the 20-year term of the agreement than it would have otherwise.

“In the meantime we have better lighting, better heating, better temperature control in facilities for faculty and staff and students,” said SCC executive vice president Brenda Jackson. “It really has been huge for us to be able to do that.”

Birdie, by Moore County Schools, for the refreshed brand campaign that smartly updates the district’s message and goals in an ever-increasingly competitive arena for education. It’s been 10 years of “Growing to Greatness” and the capital M with the graduation cap. The new branding, approved this past week, adopts a new color scheme, new message — “Engage. Inspire. Succeed.” — and new icons that represent the district’s multiple pursuits of academics, arts, sports and technology.

The smart update incorporated feedback from within the district’s teachers and staff. “It represents all we have and all we offer as a school district,” said school board Chairwoman Helena Wallin-Miller, “and it’s exciting to see we cover the whole child in what our offerings are. This, to me, is a great vision for our future.”

Bogey, by Frank Theaters, for taking its eye off the ball a few years ago and expanding haphazardly into bowling, allowing its chain of theaters to degrade. The company finally filed for bankruptcy last month, a filing that shed light on why Sandhills Cinemas and other Frank properties were in such poor condition.

Turns out the company’s ill-managed expansion drained it of resources. But at least we have a happy ending, with a new company, Paragon Theaters, stepping in to take over management and a multi-million-dollar rehab.

(2) comments

Kent Misegades

If government school branding guaranteed success, the US would lead the world in academic performance. It is in reality far behind other industrialized nations such as Switzerland and South Korea. But we do lead the world in per pupil spending for government schools. The new wildly expensive schools for Moore County is evidence.

Kent Misegades

“In a village long known as a global destination for people wanting to play golf, it’s a long-realized dream to see a corporate headquarters for people who work at the sport.“. But Eaton, a company better known for truck components, has been in Moore County for many years. It is just a move to a new building. Why not suggest they move production of golf grips back from Asia to Moore county where it started. Praise should go to Aberdeen manufacturer Southeastern Tool & Die, which pioneered some of the technology that helped make Golf Pride a market leader. Our area desperately needs more real jobs, ie industrial, the true creator of wealth. You can not build a solid economy on government pensions, breweries and medical care for the aging.

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