Birdie, by the town of Southern Pines and village of Whispering Pines, for reversing years of saying “no” and showing they can be open-minded about the prospect of hosting a skateboard park for local enthusiasts.

Skateboarders have been virtually begging for years to have a park at which they can enjoy their pursuit. A park in Pinebluff run by a nonprofit more than 10 years ago was popular but couldn’t figure out the finances to keep going.

“I think this is something we can look at,” said Southern Pines Mayor Carol Haney. “I don’t like where you’re saying you can’t do it and then not providing an alternative. That is wrong.”

Leaders in both Whispering Pines and Southern Pines are moving forward with opportunities. The Whispering Pines Village Council approved an ordinance last week allowing a skate facility behind Village Hall.

In comparison, when a skate park was the overwhelming option requested during a recent survey of Pinehurst residents for a new westside park, consultants pooh-poohed the finding, suggesting supporters had gamed the survey. A skate park wasn’t included as an option.

Birdie, by Richard Moore, the CEO of First Bank, for offering an enlightening message to local business leaders.

Moore’s bank, which has its headquarters here in Southern Pines, has long been a leader in the many communities it serves. Moore offered several suggestions for the betterment of the Sandhills, from faster internet speeds to a more inclusive culture.

“When you look around the table and everyone is like everybody else, that is not the future,” said Moore, a former state treasurer. “The future is listening to people who might not have been raised the way you are or think the way you do.

“I don’t think people know how important inclusiveness is from not only a political but business standpoint.”

Birdie, by the Boys and Girls Club of the Sandhills, for fighting through all the curves thrown by the pandemic to keep its eye on its future.

Since 1998, the Boys and Girls Club of the Sandhills has become the largest youth service organization in Moore County. The club offers after-school and summer programs that emphasize fun and educational activities as well as developing life skills for students who might not otherwise be supervised outside of school hours.

When the pandemic shut down usual services, the club turned around and refocused to supply meals for its members and families, working with Moore County Schools on meal distribution.

Now, the club has opened a new space in Southern Pines and, soon, a new space in Aberdeen to serve its elementary school students in those two communities. When all is said and done, the club could be stronger and larger than it was during the pandemic, offering services and mentorship to more children.

Eagle, by Ralph Jacobson, who along with his wife, Vivian, graced Moore County with their many talents and exposed countless residents to new cultural opportunities.

Jacobson passed away in late October at the age of 93 and was remembered in a “celebration of life” ceremony last Monday at Sandhills Community College.

Together, the Jacobsons contributed to countless good works and nonprofits in Moore County, and both were frequent lecturers to both children and adults. Ralph offered a survivor’s experience of the Holocaust and the horrors that millions of Jews suffered in Europe during Hitler’s rise to power. Vivian Jacobson is an expert international lecturer of the famed artist Marc Chagall. She recently donated a collection of books, exhibition catalogs, articles, special letters, photos and media to UNC Pembroke.

“Statues should be dedicated, schools named for him,” SCC President John Dempsey said.

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