The pine forest adjacent to Wiggins Mill Reservoir has swallowed its share of golf balls in the past century. The 18 holes of Willow Springs Country Club can be found amid the forest's trees, as can a relatively flat and walkable stretch of 6,641 yards patrolled by herds of feral golf carts. If the par 71 layout proves elusive, players can enlist the constructive criticism of Class-A PGA member Jimmy Gurkin, the club's resident professional and its owner since 1989.
Course at a Glance:
With a mission to enable deaf-blind individuals to achieve their full potential, North Carolina Deaf-Blind Associates advocates for the rights and needs of its constituents through consumer advocacy and community-building events. John Washington and Sue Etheridge started the group as a consumer organization in 1983, but it expanded to offer annual conventions and retreats to help reduce the isolation that can result from living with communication obstacles. Conferences promote new technologies and advocate for individual rights, and the Camp Dogwood Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat provides a much-needed space for deaf-blind adults to socialize, share stories, and participate in life-skills classes, sporting events and dances, and outings to local shopping centers or the lake.
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The General Assembly Chorus lacquers auditory passageways with the lush, soothing harmonies of barbershop numbers and traditional choral arrangements, living up to its distinction as Barbershop Harmony Society's top-rated chorus in the Carolinas for 2010. These skilled songsters will headline the a cappella merriments in the Harmony, Hope, and Healing concerts, raising funds and awareness for the Pretty In Pink Foundation—an organization aiming to provide quality care for North Carolina's underinsured and uninsured breast-cancer patients.
For more than 70 years, Triangle Family Services (TFS) has helped families in need by working to eliminate family violence, improve financial stability, and promote emotional well-being. The non-profit coordinates diverse programs, including consumer credit counseling services, individual and family counseling, and medication management. Numerous volunteers and partner organizations help keep TFS running, along with the patronage of the general public during special events such as the family-centric Tea with Santa, taking place on November 29 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and an adults only evening gala located the same night from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Stop Hunger Now distributes food and other life-saving aid to provide hunger relief to developing countries around the world. Through its meal-packaging program, volunteers package high protein, dehydrated meals for use in crisis situations, school feeding programs, and orphanages around the world. Its partner organizations note increased enrollment in schools that receive these meals, ensuring that more children receive a quality education in addition to a healthful meal. Stop Hunger Now hosts meal-packaging events to prep food for recipients, during which 40–50 volunteers can typically package 10,000 meals in two hours.
Toxic Free North Carolina provides education about pesticide hazards and aims to change the way communities view and use toxic chemicals, with the goal of reducing pesticide pollution. In addition to combating pesticide exposure among the general population, the organization focuses specifically on farm workers and their families, who are at a particularly high risk for pesticide exposure, with programming that aims to reduce their risk and address hunger in that population.