Hope Mills News

Fun family fare earns Putt-Putt recognition

17 Putt Putt 1 With all the competition for family entertainment in greater Fayetteville, Michael Edwards said it’s good for a business like Putt-Putt Fun Center in Hope Mills to get special recognition.

The Hope Mills business was recently recognized by the Greater Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce as its small business of the month.

Next year, Putt-Putt will mark its 10th anniversary in Hope Mills. The business is located at 3311 Footbridge Ln., not far from the Millstone Shopping Center.

“The competition in the area is hard,’’ Edwards, the assistant general manager at the Putt-Putt Fun Center said. “I think it’s awesome we were recognized and we were able to stand out among (our competitors).’’

Edwards said the secret of success to the Hope Mills location is simple: offer good customer service and a clean facility and try to stay current with the best games available to the public.

And there’s one other important element he said, affordable prices for the customers.

While the business continues in the tradition of the Putt-Putt franchise that was created by the late Don Clayton years ago, the hallmark of the Hope Mills location is a variety of family entertainment options.

In addition to the two 18-hole Putt-Putt courses, the Hope Mills Putt-Putt offers a go-kart track, bumper boats, bumper cars, a two-story laser tag facility and up to 30 video games in an indoor arcade.

The bumper boats are currently closed for the season and typically won’t re-open until March.

Hours of operation vary with the seasons of the year. For now, Putt-Putt is open Sunday through Thursday from noon until 9 p.m., Friday from noon to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Summer hours extend from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to midnight on the weekends.

In the event of bad weather, including heavy rain or lightning, the outdoor attractions close, but the indoor ones remain open.

Parties are a big part of what Putt-Putt offers, with package deals ranging from $160 to $240.

A typical party pack covers a guest of honor and seven guests. It includes two large pizzas and two large pitchers of drinks. The special guest gets a $10 game card and the others get a $5 game card.
The number of guests can be increased with add-ons. The larger party packs offer more attractions than the smaller ones.

Putt-Putt also offers fundraisers. For $15 per person, a group can get two-hour unlimited use of the park for each person that buys a ticket.

The organization doing the fundraiser is required to get everyone planning to come committed prior to the event, then they are given $5 back for every person that pays.
Group prices are also available for groups of 15 or more.

Pictured from L-R: Mayor Jackie Warner, Michael Knight, general manager;  Michael Edwards, assistant. gemeral manager; Tammy Thurman, member of chamber of commerce board, board of trustees of Greater Fayetteville Chamber and member military affairs council.

Hope Mills solicits citizen input for town committees

18 town hallFrom now through Dec. 15, citizens of Hope Mills who would like to be more involved in the goings on in their town are invited to apply for membership on any of several official town committees.

Anyone interested in applying for committee membership who has never served must fill out an application that can be picked up from the clerk’s office at Town Hall on Rockfish Road. Anyone who has applied in the last 12 months does not have to submit a new form.

Members who are currently serving on a committee and wish to continue do need to contact the town and make it known they’d like to serve again.

In addition to getting applications at Town Hall, they are also available on the town website, www.townofhopemills.com. Any questions should be directed to town clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113 or by email at jstarling@townofhopemills.com.

The town reloads its committees every two years in line with the town election cycle.

Once all the names of candidates have been received next month, a nominating committee will go over them and make assignments to the various committees. A full list of all the committees can be found at the town website as well, along with current members of the committees.

Hope Mills mayor Jackie Warner said the committees are like advisory boards for the town.

“When special interests or special projects are brought to the town, they go to whichever committee they would apply to,’’ she said.

Each committee also has a member of the town’s Board of Commissioners that serves as a liaison between the committee and the board.

“That member reports back to the board what took place in the meeting,’’ Warner said. “Sometimes they make recommendations for things they’d like to see and for concerns they’ve heard.’’

One body that’s a little different from the others is the town’s Historical Commission.

Town commissions can have a budget and spend money. They can also make decisions that don’t require approval of the full Board of Commissioners.

There are also certain criteria for members of a commission that require the members have specific expertise in the field the commission works, not just a personal interest.

If more people ask to be on a committee than spots are available, the nominating committee uses a ranking system based on which people submitted their request to be on a committee first, so it’s important to apply as soon as possible before the Dec. 15 deadline.

Warner said there have been discussions of limiting the amount of time someone can serve on a committee or rotating people between various committees. Neither idea has been approved.

Warner said it’s feared that any limits placed on serving could cut the number of people interested in volunteering.

“We get what we hope is a good representation of the community, so we are getting their opinions,’’ Warner said. “It keeps us informed and gives us the opportunity to have input on the decisions we make.’’

Family events added to annual chili cookoff

15 01 Dirtbag AlesThe annual Hope Mills Chili Cookoff is expanding this year to include a fall festival that will offer a variety of events for the entire family. The event is scheduled Saturday, Nov. 9, from 1-5 p.m. at Dirtbag Ales.

For the second straight year, the chili cookoff will be held at Dirtbag Ales Brewery and Taproom at 5435 Corporation Drive just off Interstate 95.

The chili cookoff used to be held in conjunction with Ole Mills Days. This is the second year it’s been hosted by Dirtbag Ales and the first since the relatively new Hope Mills business has completed construction at its new location.

Kelly Spell of the Hope Mills Area Chamber of Commerce said the chamber decided to make the event more family-friendly by adding a variety of carnival-style activities to the agenda.

There will be face paining, cornhole boards, potato sack races and music from a live band.

Other activities include a hula hoop contest, a candy apple station and a hot chocolate bar.

Some of the event sponsors will also offer other games.

But the centerpiece of the activities will be the chili cookoff itself.

15 02 ChiliSpell said entries are still being sought for the competition. The fee is $20 per entry, and each entrant needs to bring a prepared crockpot of chili containing at least five quarts.

To enter into the competition, go to hopemillsareachamber.com and click on the menu option for Event Ticket.

The cookoff also welcomes vendors who would like to purchase a table to promote their business for $100 per table.

There are two categories of chili cookoff competition — mild and spicy. Three cash prizes will be awarded in each category.

There will also be a people’s choice award presented.

All those entered in the chili cookoff need to arrive no later than 12:30 p.m. to allow time to set up all the tables for the entries.

Both the judges and public involved in the people’s choice award will taste-test each chili without knowing who made which batch.

The deadline for submitting an entry in the chili cookoff is Friday, Nov. 8, to allow chamber officials time to determine how many tables will be needed for the competition.

All contestants need to make sure to label their chili mild or spicy so it is entered in the correct competition.

For further information, call Kelly Spell at the chamber office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The phone number is 910-423-4314. You can also email her at hmacc@hopemillschamber.org.

Bolder nominated for Hall of Fame

16 01 south view 2From the 30-year stretch starting in the late 1980s and continuing until 2010, the South View High School marching band consistently ranked among Cumberland County’s biggest and best units.
A huge part of its success rested squarely on the shoulders of former band director Jay Bolder.

Bolder was recently recognized for his years of work at South View as he was nominated to be considered for induction into the North Carolina Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.
“It’s definitely an honor, without a doubt,’’ said Bolder, who is now retired and lives in Indian Trail, near Charlotte, not far from his native Monroe.

A graduate of Wingate College, Bolder’s first teaching job offer came from Cumberland County, where he worked at Armstrong Middle School.

From there he went to South View Middle School then moved to South View High School in 1985. After one year as codirector of the band, he assumed full leadership responsibilities in 1986.
During his tenure, participation in the South View band swelled, peaking at some 225 members in the 1990s.

“I guess people wanted to be part of it,’’ he said. “They pushed one another to excellence. It was exciting to play at halftime.’’

Part of the excitement came from the tremendous success of the South View football program during the band’s peak years, including a state 4-A championship in the 1991 season.
16 02 bolder“When they won the state championship, it was exciting football game after exciting football game,’’ Bolder said. “We supported the football team and they supported us.’’

Bolder’s bands traveled frequently for competitions, going all over the southeast as far as South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia.
They also traveled to Philadelphia and California and even took a cruise to the Bahamas.

During his career at South View, Bolder’s bands earned 41 superior ratings in competitions.

He sent 40 of his former band members off to college as music majors, with some of them also becoming band directors in their own right.

Bolder was awarded North Carolina’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and he was recognized with Jay Bolder Day in his adopted home town of Hope Mills.
In addition to the many awards he has won, Bolder is a composer, arranger and adjudicator.

He has held membership in a variety of organizations, including the Cumberland County Band Directors Association, the Southeastern District Band Association, South Central District Band Directors Association and he’s a member of the American School Band Directors Association.

As a performer he’s been in musicals, community bands, symphony orchestras, top 40 groups and jazz groups. He was also involved in casting and choreography for scenes in the movie "Bolden."

Bolder’s South View bands featured the corps style of performance, which puts emphasis on structure and musical performance, while at the same time offering the band members the chance to have some fun.
Off the field in the classroom, Bolder was also responsible for the teaching side of the band that gave the members their fundamentals in music.

“We had to start teaching them general music,’’ Bolder said. “They start in middle school in the sixth and seventh grade and work to the point where they get to high school and do a lot more performing.’’
In some parts of the country, art and music education are on the wane as local and state government officials direct money to other areas of education.

Bolder thinks it’s important to keep the role of art and music for students in perspective.

“I would personally invite someone who felt that way to go through the program for a couple of days, follow the band leaders around for two days and have a chance to see how we do things and                                                                     what we do,’’ Bolder said.

Whatever Bolder did during his years at South View, it was definitely successful and the results were visible to everyone.

Picture 1: The success of the South View High School marching band can largely be credited to former band director Jay Bolder. Photo credit: South View Safari Staff

Picture 2: Jay Bolder. Photo credit: Bobby Wiliford

Golden Knights highlight Hope Mills Heroes Homecoming

14 veterans memorialA special appearance by the United States Army’s Golden Knights parachute team highlights this year’s observance of Heroes Homecoming in Hope Mills.

Scheduled on Monday, Nov. 11, the Hope Mills observance will be held at and in the vicinity of the Hope Mills Town Hall complex on Rockfish Road.

Jim Morris, secretary for the Veterans Affairs Committee of the town of Hope Mills, said the ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the bell tower near Town Hall.

The end of World War I will be remembered there with a ringing of the bell.

From there, events will move to the Veterans Memorial Park nearby, where various members of the Veterans Affairs Committee will mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944, by reading the names of North Carolina residents who took part in the landings in France.

Morris said committee members will take turns reading the names.

Small American flags will be planted around the memorial park as part of the ceremony.

Following the ceremonies at the 11 a.m. hour, there will be a break until 3 p.m. when the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10630 holds its annual Veterans Day ceremony.

Weather permitting, the Golden Knights will jump in at the Brower Park baseball field across the street from the Town Hall Complex.

They will bring with them a wreath that will be used during the VFW ceremony.

Morris said the jump will recall major airborne operations of World War II, including the jumps at Normandy and later in the war in Operation Market Garden.

Morris said that now more than ever, it is important for Americans to pause on Veterans Day and appreciate the sacrifices the military has made on behalf of the average citizen during this country’s long history.

“We are involved in some of the longest wars America has ever been involved in,’’ he said, noting the extended conflict in Afghanistan as part of the war on global terror.

Morris noted that since the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, there have been some tremendous sacrifices by America’s active duty military.

“Some of these guys have done seven, eight, nine year-long rotations,’’ he said. “They are just flat worn out, their families are worn out, the caregivers that take care of them are worn out.’’

Morris said with the rise of suicides by some in the military, the psychological effects of all those years of strain are becoming evident.

“I believe it’s important to thank them and have a separate day of remembrance when we just look at all the blood, sweat and tears they’ve given for our country,’’ he said.

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