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“Alone, we can do so little: together, we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller

Mid-October, I attended the Greater Fayetteville Chamber’s annual State of the Community luncheon. Our speakers were mayors, politicians, an economic developer, and the Garrison Commander from Fort Bragg, and the words they all came back to was “community,” “partnership,” and “working together.” After having two hurricanes in our area within a short period of time, we could have all taken our burdens and gone our own way, but that was not the case for our community.

The local mayors, communities, and townships planned and worked together to help each other – to help us! The first responders, law enforcement, medical personnel, firefighters, and the entire community worked together to help for long hours and we are so appreciative of their service and dedication. I’ve seen the local growth of a community I’m very proud of in so many ways in just the past year. Seeing the mayors of Fayetteville, Spring Lake, and Hope Mills taking the platform to talk about how they all worked together, not only during the time surrounding the hurricanes, but daily. We want our community to grow, we want to bring in new businesses, we want others to come here and be proud of our community and to see all the positive growth we have.

I was fortunate enough to sit with a great group of people at our table. One was a wonderful woman who is working to help bring the stadium to our community. While she is also in a normally male dominated field, you could feel the excitement, strength, and belief she has for our community and the great change she is part of in our community. She is helping to change the history of our town. We also had another woman who worked for a politician sitting at our table and she talked about all the positive things they do to help people in our community. It might be helping someone get a passport, helping them to resolve some issue they have in a short period of time, or just doing what needs to be done to help members of our community. You could tell she is proud of the work she does.

Another one of the ladies sitting at our table had to leave early as she was helping to coordinate the delivery of 1,000 gift bags to chemo patients at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, an annual event that started with a little over 100 bags three years ago. This is just one of the many projects she works on to help our community…and she only came here three years ago. She is that friend you can call any time of the day or night and you hear the smile in her voice. She is an amazing leader to our sales team, among all the other things she does with ARRAY. We had a mom at our table, who does a direct sales business, works in advertising, motivates us at ARRAY, does photography, and has a family she takes care of – and it can be a family of eight at times!! We also had an amazing lady who, while fighting her own medical issues and overseeing her family of five while fighting several deliberating diseases, always makes sure things aren’t falling through the cracks and getting us organized at ARRAY. While she may show up at work in terrible pain, if you stop in the office or call on the phone, you will hear a smile in her voice and the desire to help you with your situation. Although we only had one man at the table, he is a powerhouse himself and puts a lot of passion into his career. He can meet and talk with folks to help provide services for people that will help guard them! He is a walking fountain of knowledge about his services, and his enthusiasm is felt when you talk to him. We had a table full of creative, dedicated individuals that also care for the community and the difference they can make on a daily basis.

I left the event feeling motivated, empowered, and very proud of our community and the growth we are experiencing and the work we are doing together to make our community a place we can all be proud of. In the words of Robert Van Goens’ daughter, “Fayetteville {and the community} ROCKS!!”

Feeling thankful,

AnneMarie