The African proverb says “it takes a village to raise a child” and not much can embody that proverb more than the Boys and Girls Club of the Sandhills who provides support and resources that have made a difference in the lives of thousands of local youth.
A fixture in the Moore County community for 20 years, the Club recently held the Founders and Futures 20th Anniversary Gala at the Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst Resort. It was especially fitting to have the celebration at the Resort since it played such an instrumental role in getting the Club started.
Robert Dedman, Sr., who owned the resort at the time, donated $500,000 of the proceeds from the 1999 U.S. Open Golf Championship held at Pinehurst No. 2. Mr. Dedman’s wife Nancy and son, Robert Dedman, Jr., were the guests of honor at the Gala. The Club’s new Executive Director Fallon Brewington presented the Dedman family with roses and a card signed by the club’s members.
Between its main Southern Pines center and 2 satellite locations, the Club today has about 1,000 members and serves more than 400 children on a daily basis from 10 schools in southern Moore County within the Pinecrest High School attendance area.
The Club provides hot meals, academic tutoring, after-school activities, and enrichment programs that include classes ranging from basic nutrition to career planning and financial literacy. Program director Deon Allbrooks said the atmosphere that children find there is the foundation of its value.
“Just to be able to be in a place full of love, full of kids who are happy about their environment, happy to be in a place where they feel that they belong, it means the world,” he said.
“The kids of Southern Pines are incredibly lucky to have you all here who care so much, come to events like this, support the club, make a difference and give them a chance to better their lives,” said Dedman, Jr. “Because it’s a crazy world out there and these kids need the opportunity of a safe place and a nurturing environment.”
It was clearly evident that Moore Countians have big hearts when it comes to supporting local children. More than 250 supporters attended the Gala during which $55,000 in donations were pledged to fund a new bus to transport children from their schools to the club and another $30,000 to fund a year’s worth of academic tutoring.
“That purpose [youth development] has really come alive in the Boys and Girls Club here. It’s incredible what you all have done,” said Dedman, Jr.