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LANDSLIDE VOTE: Friends of Laurel Park replaces civic association

LAUREL PARK — The town of Laurel Park is about to get new friends, or maybe it’s old friends with a new name.

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Leaders of the old Laurel Park Civic Association will move next to recast the town-supporting nonprofit corporation as Friends of Laurel Park after the membership voted overwhelmingly to dissolve the old organization.
Of 183 members eligible to vote, 133 voted yes, three voted no, and four votes were found to be invalid. The LPCA will now begin the process of dissolving in accordance with North Carolina law. The ballots will be retained for inspection at the Laurel Park Town Hall for 60 days.

The Civic Association has been working for months on the new organization. Unlike the Civic Association, the Friends of Laurel Park is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, making it easier to accept donations.
The new organization plans a meeting to explain the transition and invite participation, said Mark Morse, who was president of the Civic Association. The Friends of Laurel Park will have a board of directors and an annual meeting and plans a Facebook to announce events and report on the organization’s work.
“For all practical purposes it is the Laurel Park Civic Association with a different name,” Morse told town residents during a public meeting in late July.
The Civic Association donated $31,952 to the town over the past four years, including $3,112 for historic markers, $20,600 for Jump Off Rock improvements and $7,240 to repair the Civilian Conservation Corps wall. In addition, it directly funded Jump Off Rock landscaping design work. It sponsored the Music at Jump Off Rock festival, Easter egg hunt at Laurel Green and the town Christmas tree lighting, raised money for historic markers and undertook other projects to enhance the town’s quality of life.