When I retired and returned home in 2018, I never imagined I would be involved with a project of this
magnitude and complexity. But deep inside me was a desire to help my community revive itself and I
felt the presence of the ancestors before me as my guide and azimuth. This has been a rewarding and
very fulfilling five years since we restarted The Trust in order to purchase and now to develop the
property. I mostly appreciate all the new friends, donors, supporters, and organizations that have been
with us, and continue with us, on our journey. From my lens, I am confident that we as a community
made a historical change and we demonstrated that we can come together to achieve a significant goal
Since the purchase of the campus, we have experienced a number of milestones: we hired an executive
director who is tasked with making the property what we have envisioned; we witnessed the retirement
of my friend, Fenton Wilkinson, who needed time to spend with family and to write a book; we
successfully orchestrated an extraordinary fundraiser sponsored by the Van Camps; and, we mourned
the untimely loss of one of our board members, Allisha Watts.
We cannot name all those who have supported us along the way but thank you; we are now in the long
game. To my friends, the citizens of West Southern Pines, thank you for believing in me and trusting me
enough to fulfill your vision.