The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 23, 2012

Local business leaders give back to community

By Brian Graves, Staff Writer
CNHI News Service

Friday, November 23, 2012 — When a group of local business, industry and government leaders get together for lunch, what is the one thing they enjoy doing most?


That’s what the Stanly County Managers Association (SCMA) did when it got together Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s a wonderful day we have,” said SCMA President Sherill Smith. “We’re not all managers, but we’re all business people and we’re all striving to make Stanly County a better place. We want to do some good for Stanly County.”

The organization raises money every year, primarily through a golf tournament and gas card sale, and then distributes those funds to groups or services that are filling a need in the county.

“The more we raise, the more we give away,” Smith said.

And with that statement, seven worthy recipients came to get their checks to help them serve others.

The first went to Stanly Community College and was accepted by Kathy Gardner.

“Through your generosity we help continuing education students and we help two full-time college degree students,” Gardner said. “In 2011, your generosity actually helped 16 students get an education that had no means of financial support and helped to put them back into the workforce.”

Dan Burris accepted a donation for the Boy Scouts of America.

“I am humbled by the support we get,” Burris said. “I can’t match what you give me in funds, so I’m just taking it to support the kids.”

SCMA’s gift to the Bridge to Recovery program was accepted by Jim Allred.

“It’s a transition house that takes men who want to get out of alcohol and drug addiction, and we become their  advocate, mom and dad, and keep them until we can get them in a treatment facility,” Allred said.

“This year, we have served 117 men and its dependent upon people of goodwill who want to make a difference in this world.”

The Community Inn was recognized with a gift for its good works.

“This is the overnight homeless shelter in Stanly County,” said Skeet Ayscue who accepted the gift.  “Since we began in 2009, we have had more than 289 men, women and children spend the night there.

“There is a meal provided every night by volunteers and it really is a community effort.”

Cassie Taylor received a donation on behalf of the YMCA backpack program.

“We were approached by a group of people who wanted to make a difference in the lives of children who were going home hungry and didn’t have food to eat,” Taylor said.

“We serve Oakboro School and we provide backpacks of food to about 10-15 kids every week, providing them with health snacks they can take home and eat over the weekends.”

Mark Gross of Badin School accepted a gift for that school’s backpack program.

“We recently got more involved with the new principal and trying to do more than the budget allows,” Gross said.

“I think it’s worthy to focus on the kids because they are the future.”

Vicki Coggins accepted the gift for Esther House, the local program that gives assistance to victims of domestic violence.

“We get busier and busier, and it’s the support of grants and the community that keeps us going,” Coggins said. “This (donation) couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Smith said he has seen people in need, and it’s not always the stereotypical picture.

“I’ve seen them in good jeans, but they’ve been downsized and it’s scary,” Smith said. “But, all of these people (who received donations) are helping. You are all doing good in this community and we want to help you accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish.”

He added everyone with the Association played integral parts in helping raise the funds that they are able to share throughout the county’s non-profit community.

“You believe in making a difference. If we effect one life or ten, we have done good in our community,” Smith said.

The Stanly County Managers Association is supported through the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce and is designed to offer a venue to share ideas that can be of help to local employers.

For more information concerning the Stanly County Managers Association, contact the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce, (704) 982-8116.