* The Sandhills Chapter was instrumental in planning and execution of a parade - shown in the below video link. It was the first such parade in Southern Pines - and, as far as we know, Moore County - since 1923 when they had the last Armistice Day parade. A local businessman who helped us with online ticket sales for our concert made this video of the parade.
* Southern Pines, Aberdeen, and Pinehurst, NC, are small towns whose borders abut, forming essentially one contiguous community. In an effort to gain support for our concert from the three towns, we went to the town councils and briefed them on the project. All three agreed to provide assistance and support. The Southern Pines mayor suggested a parade which meant we had about two months to pull it together. Several organizations – VFW, VVA, DAV, American Legion, Masonic Lodge – pulled together to organize the parade. Our Chapter’s 1st VP (John Boesch - Co-chairman), 2nd VP (Tom Nesbit – Operations Director), and I (Admin Advisor) played key roles in organizing and executing the parade.
* Sandhills also arranged for the three mayors to sign a proclamation declaring 9-11 November “Veterans Weekend” which they signed at a press conference. As far as we can tell, it is the first time the mayors have signed a similar agreement for any event. We presented each mayor with a framed copy of the proclamation at the intermission during the concert.
* This was one of four events that the chapter sponsored over the weekend. The parade was on Saturday. On Sunday, 10 Nov, we held a patriotic pop concert at the local high school auditorium. It was well attended and a rousing success. We have been asked by numerous folks if we are having the band back for a concert next year and the Pinehurst mayor said “We need to have them back.”
* On Monday, 11 Nov at 1100 hours, we hosted the traditional Veterans Day Ceremony in the Pinehurst Village Hall with a full house attendance. The Chapter has hosted the ceremony for many years. The mayors of Pinehurst and Southern Pines were present as well as state representative Jamie Boles. This was the first time ever that the Southern Pines mayor has been in attendance and he has thanked me numerous times for the Chapter’s efforts toward the parade specifically and the weekend in general.
* Finally, at 1330 Monday afternoon, we hosted a Veterans Putting Challenge fund raiser for the DAV that was planned and executed by member Ed Cottrell (WWII vet), and directors Steve O’Brien and Jerry Townley. We had nine foursomes on the practice putting green at the local Mid Pines Golf Resort. Resort owner and golfing legend Peggy Kirk Bell was in attendance. Each foursome consisted of a veteran from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and a more recent conflict. The putting challenge raised about $10,000 for the Moore County DAV.
* Each event was hugely successful with good attendance and many compliments. Kudos to everyone who participated.