Note: This article, by Mike Barnhardt, was originally published in the Davie County Enterprise-Record and is republished here with permission.
“It’s a great day to be in Davie County.”
Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, used to say that every time there was an announcement about a new business or that one already here was expanding.
He was right. Business success means a community is economically thriving.
Then, the Chamber of Commerce and other officials started using the phrase for the opening of all types of businesses, big and small.
They were right, too. While the big businesses provide jobs and support the community, the mom and pop smaller businesses provide a community with its soul. Walk into one of those businesses in any community and you can find out a lot about its people.
But it could be taken a step further. It’s a great day to be in Davie County is a great phrase, but let’s expand it to …
It’s a great time to be in Davie County.
It truly is, especially for those with families.
After years of what amounted to a Civil War inside the county, we finally voted to build a new high school.
And with that vote, it left the old campus on US 601 South in Mocksville vacant. Ride by, and see all of the construction still going on. It’s going to be a park we can all be proud of – the Davie County Community Park.
During those hot summer months, families will be able to take advantage of one of the largest splash pads around. Soccer players, lacrosse players, and others will benefit from the renovated football stadium, thanks in part to a partnership with the Twin City Youth Soccer Association. Youth football, baseball, basketball, and softball games can be played there. (Adult games, too.) An amphitheater should bring entertainment. Take your dog to the park. Exercise. Be proud.
The park should become something we all take pride in, no matter which side of that Civil War you were on.
There’s Cognition, a new interactive learning and maker space being built by the Davie Community Foundation adjacent to its offices on Salisbury Street in Mocksville. This new space didn’t just happen; it came after studies to see what area families wanted and needed. Funds came from the foundation and many generous donations from local residents and businesses. They know that opportunities to learn – to have fun while learning – are worth paying for. Thank you.
Now we have Ignite Davie, a college promise program. Funds are still being raised for that, and what a worthy cause it is. Free college for the first two years will be available to all Davie County students attending Davidson County Community College. For those parents who fret overpaying for their children’s college – and that’s just about all of them – this program is a godsend.
I’ve written before about how much the four-year liberal arts education in colleges is worth. Not much. But the partnership with the community college is great. The college can teach our students real-life job skills. It stays in touch with local industries to see the needs and offers programs accordingly. Wouldn’t it be great to know your child would get a college degree and be employable – at a job that pays a living wage (That’s another story.)? And the best part, it wouldn’t cost you a penny.
With all of the talk about college debt, about students graduating with more debt than they can pay off in the foreseeable future, this program is a no brainer. Support it. Encourage your children to sign up.
It’s a great time to be in Davie County. – Mike Barnhardt