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Leadership Stanly additions aid parks

Courtesy of two new required components of the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Stanly, county residents will experience the fruit of the group’s labor as early as Saturday.

Beginning with the current Leadership Stanly (LS) class, the Chamber now requires each class perform a type of community action and service project. The additions are designed to enhance local communities while also better investing the participant in Stanly’s fabric.

The community action component consists of various activities designated to help develop leadership skills, especially within the community where members live and work.

LS participants have access to a number of community action options including volunteerism for the county’s various nonprofit agencies. Other options include participating in government meetings or ride along programs with police and fire departments.

To further bolster leadership, the class project will project a positive and sustaining improvement in the community.

“As leaders, the LS class members are to design, define and implement their own projects,” said Kathy Almond, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce.

“They are also securing funding and/or in kind contributions to successfully complete their community projects,” she added.

During LS’ retreat designed to kickoff the annual class, the group identified a beautification project at two of the county’s parks. The first occurs today (Saturday) at Memorial Park on West Turner Street in Norwood and where LS will be making repairs to and painting the bleachers, dugouts and concession stand.

“We wanted to do a project that might not otherwise get done,” said Ross Hartsell, LS class participant and employee with Stanly County Economic Development.

After consulting with Jeremy Forsythe, an LS class member, John Mullis, town administrator for Norwood, identified the park as a worthy candidate for repairs.

“Memorial Park is frequented by citizens with children from all over Stanly County,” Mullis said. “We host a number of softball and baseball youth recreation leagues at the park.”

Recent rains and storms have damaged bleachers at the park.

“The town of Norwood is grateful that Jeremy and the 2018 Leadership Stanly class selected Norwood for their community service project,” Mullis said.

Next, on Dec. 1, the class will begin replacing mulch under the swing-set, painting the swing-set and adding an infant swing and park bench at the Pine Street Park in Badin.

“Adding a swing might not seem like much, but when you have a small child it’s a big deal,” Hartsell added.

The above projects have been made possible by donations from Uwharrie Bank, First Bank, Preformed Line Products, Lowes and the 31st class of LS.

LS is a 9-month comprehensive program designed to locate, cultivate and motivate a core of informed, committed and qualified individuals from diverse backgrounds to take an active role in community affairs.