Art Rogers receives Order of the Long Leaf Pine award

One of Stanly County’s most distinguished residents received quite the surprise Monday afternoon, as Art Rogers, longtime owner of Stanly Knitting Mills in Oakboro, was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The award, bestowed upon individuals who have a proven record of service to the state, is among the most prestigious given by the governor of North Carolina.

Nominated by attorney Charles Brown, Rogers, who has helped improve student literacy through his efforts to raise funds for the Hill Reading Achievement Program, a small-group reading intervention for struggling readers, has been active in the community ever since moving to the county from his hometown of Burlington in 1965.

Rogers was president of Stanly Knitting Mills for about 25 years.

“His dedication and commitment to Stanly County and the state of North Carolina is matched by very, very few,” Brown said before a crowd gathered at Pfeiffer’s Center for Health Sciences, noting “he is, in every sense of the word, a good citizen.”

Charles Brown presents Art Rogers with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award.

Rogers was selected as the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation’s Main Street Champion of the Year in 2006, he served multiple times as president of the Stanly County Community Foundation and helped create Stanly Community Christian Ministry’s clothing closet about 20 years ago.

“Art Rogers’ involvement has not simply been that of a board member with a title,” Brown said. “He does not care much for titles. His participation more appropriately has been as a servant worker in our community.”

Rogers struggled to convey how much the award meant to him.

“I’m completely overwhelmed and without words,” he said. “This town, this county and friends like you have made a big difference in my life. I’ve been very fortunate.

“I can’t express how much this means to me, but it’s a high point in my life and I deeply appreciate it,” Rogers added.

Rogers later emphasized that the many achievements Brown had credited him with would not have been possible without the help of so many people throughout the county.

“I could not have done anything by myself,” Rogers said. “I’ve only accomplished a few things around here because of the people who helped and the people who want things to be better.”