PEMBROKE — On Sept. 14, 2023, the National Association of Development Organizations announced the winners of the 2023 NADO Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards.
The NADO Impact Awards recognize creative approaches to the advancement of regional economic development and the improvement of quality of life. This year, only 108 projects from across the country were recognized, with the Lumber River Council of Governments receiving three of these awards.
The Lumber River Council of Governments received awards for its Lumber River Operation Heat Relief, Lumber River Redistricting, and Lumber River Rural Transformation Grant Assistance.
David Richardson, executive director of the Lumber River Council of Governments, stated, “The Lumber River Council of Governments is delighted to be recognized for the fourth consecutive year by the National Association of Development Organizations for the creative approaches that our agency is taking to impact our member governments and the citizens of our five-county region, including Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties.”
The Lumber River Council of Governments’ Aging Division was recognized for its Operation Heat Relief program in Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties. The Lumber River Council of Governments’ Aging Division provides fans for older adults throughout the five-county region every spring. This program has been expanded over the years to include the provision of window air conditioning units in various counties. The program has provided more than 350 window air conditioners to older adults in the region.
The Lumber River Council of Governments’ Local Governments Services Division was recognized for its Lumber River Redistricting. This work provided support to Bladen County, Robeson County, the City of Laurinburg, the City of Lumberton, and the Public Schools of Robeson County in developing their required new electoral district maps for their county, municipal, and school board elections following the 2020 decennial census.
The Lumber River Council of Governments’ Local Governments Services Division was also recognized for its Lumber River Rural Transformation Grant Assistance. This program provided grant writing assistance and technical assistance to seven local governments. The support of the LRCOG helped to secure grant funding totaling almost $2,500,000 in Rural Transformation Grant funding for the Town of Bladenboro, City of Hamlet, City of Laurinburg, City of Raeford, Town of St. Pauls, and Town of Wagram to support various economic and revitalization projects.
The LRCOG provides an array of programs and services to the member governments located within its region: Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties. It serves as an administrative and service delivery arm for federal, state, regional, and local programs of its member governments.