I had the opportunity to watch the live stream of the All-American City competition today. Davie County was one of 20 other communities that sent a delegation to Denver, Colorado, this weekend to compete for the title of “All-American City”. I would have liked to be a part of the delegation, but my daughter’s graduation from Davie High trumped me going to Denver. I watched the group of adults and students talk about youth engagement here in our county and beamed with pride at hearing the talking points brought to life by our young people. Even if we hadn’t won, the experience and the opportunity to reflect on what we have going on here in Davie County was well worth the effort of the committee. But…WE WON!!!

What does it mean to win this prestigious title? Was it worth the time and effort our community leaders and students put into the application? Was it beneficial to all concerned?

These are all questions that you may be asking as you hear about our win. Sure…we will be able to put up a sign coming into the county that says “All- American County”; sure…we were in a competition that put our youth up against other youth from Texas, California, and New York; and sure…the experience had by these young people will be remembered for the rest of their lives. But I already knew Davie County was a great place to live. I told my wife, Julie, on our second date that I wanted to live here when I started a family. I heard Charlie Frye speak at graduation about how, despite the fact he was related to most of the girls in the county which hindered his dating life, he loved the fact that he had a close bond to all the students his age that attended Davie High School. All high school experiences are special, but the fact that we have one high school in the county brings us all closer; we watch our kids grow up together and for at least four years they learn, play, and interact under one roof.

I have lived in various cities across North Carolina and even served a “tour of duty” in Washington DC and New Jersey, but my roots are right here in Davie County. I see comments from time to time about how we don’t have a skating rink, a movie theater, or even a bowling alley. But we do have a Davie Community Park, a Farmington Community Center, a River Park at Cooleemee (the Bull-Hole)’ and a greenway at Rich Park. We have live concerts on our town square and in Kinderton. We have a strong faith community and many non-profits that help local folks out, including Storehouse for Jesus, Family Promise, and Just Hope.

We are truly blessed to live where we live. It doesn’t take a title or an award to let me know there is something special about Davie County! Not to mention the fact that we just got a Chick-Fil-A.