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Regional leaders honored

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Two individuals and two organizations in the Triangle have been recognized for outstanding regional leadership.

Recipients of the fifth annual Goodmon Awards, presented by Leadership Triangle on Dec. 11, were Bruce Lightner, CEO of the Lightner Funeral Home in Raleigh; Alice Gordon, a member of the Orange County Board of Commissioners; Triangle United Way; and the High Five Reigonal Partnership for High School Excellence.

The awards, named for James F. Goodmon, president and CEO of Capital Broadcasting Co. in Raleigh, are designed to reward foresight and action in regional thinking and cooperation.

Winners of this year’s awards are:

* Bruce Lightner

Lightner, who received the award for exemplary leadership by an individual, has led the Raleigh-Wake Martin Luther King Celebration Committee for 26 years.

The committee sponsors the Martin Luther King holiday celebration and raises funds to support the North Carolina Martin Luther King Resource Center.

Lightner also spearheaded the creation of the Lost Generations Task Force, which works to identify strategies to reduce the number of African-American and Hispanic youth in the criminal justice system.

* Alice Gordon

Gordon, who received the award by exemplary leadership by an elected official, has been an Orange County commissioner for 16 years.

She has focused on addressing regional growth and enhancing the quality of life in the Triangle, and helped implement the “Lands Legacy Program,” the first comprehensive county land-acquisition program in the state.

In six years, the program has protected over 1.700 acres in the county, including farmland, parkland and critical natural areas.

* Triangle United Way

United Way, which received the award for exemplary leadership by an organization, has generated over $50 million for human-service programs in Durham, Orange and Wake counties since it was formed 10 years ago, and its agencies have touched more than 3 million lives.

United Way has helped coordinate regional efforts to end homelessness over the next 10 years, and helped organize over 1,700 volunteers in a nationwide movement to make the Martin Luther King Holiday “A Day On, Not a Day Off.”

High Five Regional Partnership

* High Five, which received the award for exemplary regional partnership, is a collaboration of regional businesses, charitable foundations and the five school districts in the region.

The goal of the partnership is to graduate 100 percent of the districts’ high-school students by 2013.

It also aims to see 90 percent of all students complete college tech-prep or university-prep courses, and 80 percent meet minimum admission requirements to the University of North Carolina system, by 2009.

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