By Todd Miller
We are honored that Fred and Alice Stanback allowed us to name our new coastal education center in Wrightsville Beach after them. We announced the name of the new center on May 3 at its grand opening.
The federation asked permission to name the center after them with some hesitation. That’s because we know the Stanbacks do not seek the limelight for what they have done to make North Carolina a much better place. We took a chance and asked them because we felt that this was a really meaningful opportunity to thank them publicly for all they do for our state’s environment.
This past month we moved into this new center in Wrightsville Beach. It is a historic 1948 Wrightsville beach cottage that was donated to the federation, moved by barge to its current location in the Town’s Historic Square (next to the Wrightsville Beach Museum and Chamber of Commerce also in historic cottages)
and has been made ready to serve us for at least the next 30 years as a very high-profile, public location for the coastal advocacy work of our Southeast Office. The town is providing the land where our building sits. We have raised donations from residents, visitors, businesses and foundations to pay for the move and to remodel the building, and it now starts serving as an effective tool for our work. Already, we held an April 21 reception on its porch for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island where he made some remarks about his work to address climate issues.
For the last three decades, the Stanbacks, who live in Salisbury, have helped the federation to be a consistent and effective voice for the coast. Their generous support allows us to plant our roots deeply into our coastal communities and work with current and future decision-makers to bring about long-term improvements in how our coast is managed. They have enabled us to maintain positive forward momentum in improving how we protect our coast and to approach our work knowing that we’re going to be a long-term force. This is allowing us to gain greater trust and respect of coastal residents and visitors and to expand the groundswell of public interest and support to bring about fundamental changes and improvements in how we care for the coast. This new center is an important tool to help us expand upon this momentum.
In addition to what the Stanbacks have done for the federation and the coast, their widespread and significant support for environmental causes and protection all over North Carolina is making a huge difference from Calabash to Murphy. They have made the entire state a better and more healthy place to live.
Thus, it’s with great pride that our new center is now named after the Stanbacks. They in no way sought this recognition, which is why we feel it’s so special that they have allowed us to name the building in their honor.
Thank you Fred and Alice Stanback for helping to make North Carolina a wonderful and special place for generations to come.