ROCKINGHAM — Those seeking treatment for alcohol or drug addiction will now be able to apply for a scholarship in honor of a prominent Richmond County resident.
Samaritan Colony on Thursday announced that a scholarship has been established bearing the name of G.R. Kindley in honor of his 90th birthday.
The G.R. Kindley Treatment Scholarship, according to the Facebook post, was created by Gene McLaurin, Dr. Jerry McGee and Jim Mason.
“For over 30 years, G.R. Kindley and I have served and worked together on many public service and community projects,” McLaurin said. “We have the type (of) relationship that allows us to speak candidly about many things — I value his friendship more than I can describe in words. “Providing this scholarship to Samaritan Colony in his honor is a small way to thank him for what he means to me and my family.”
Kindley, a Randolph County native, was instrumental in the establishment of Samaritan Colony in 1973, according to the post. He joined the board of directors soon after the center’s nonprofit status was made official and served as chairman for two decades. Kindley is currently chairman emeritus of the board.
“G.R. and Mary Kindley entered my life when I was 14,” said McGee. “They never left. Even as I moved around the Carolinas they encouraged and supported me. They were there to greet me when I returned to the area and stood by me as I led Wingate University for 23 years. I am so grateful for their friendship.”
In addition to serving on Samaritan Colony’s board, Kindley was the mayor of Rockingham for 20 years and the N.C. Board of Transportation for 16 years. He is also an Army and N.C. State Highway Patrol veteran.
The U.S. 74 Bypass between Hamlet and Rockingham was named for him in 2000.
“I first met G.R. Kindley through his son Ken when we were students at Wingate College in the ‘70s,” Mason said. “Over the years our relationship has strengthened, and I greatly admire G.R. as a businessman, and public servant, and for his strong Christian beliefs. I feel lucky to have a friend like G.R. Kindley.”
In March, Samaritan Colony announced a scholarship in honor of the late Shirley Fuller, a longtime educator who passed away in 2020.
This past July, the treatment center was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Levine Foundation for continuing operations at its men’s facility and a $150,000 grant towards the future Women’s Recovery Center Capital Campaign.
Samaritan Colony broke ground in January on the SECU Women’s Recovery Center — a 13,000-square-foot, 14-bed facility on the 25-acre campus to help women struggling with substance use disorders and histories of trauma.