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:
Theater of the American South celebrates Southern culture and history with a spring festival featuring a theatrical double-header, culinary demonstrations, speakers, and an antiques show. The Civil War in Song & Legend puts Broadway actor and 200-year-old gentleman Bill Schustik onstage to relive the turbulent 1860s by relating stories, personal memories of the events, and songs with intermittent youth-chorus and gospel-choir accompaniment. Doris Baizley’s Shiloh Rules portrays present-day Northern and Southern women involved in a reenactment of the famous battle as their personal feud escalates across the battlefield through events both dramatic and comedic. The antiques show proffers purchasable relics of past epochs in Southern history, providing relief for time-traveling antebellum ladies seeking their lost autograph books.
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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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.
A small group founded 2PawsUp in 2007 to help transport animals from the local shelter to potential adopters. After a few months of this service, 2PawsUp expanded into an adoption agency. Today, it rescues animals from high-kill shelters, provides medical care, and helps find them loving, permanent homes. It also spays or neuters animals to limit the growth of the stray-animal population.