One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for June 2, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
We have a pretty dynamic brother and sister leadership team in Lumberton, NC. The brother is small business owner, NC State zealot, father, and husband to two talented sons. The sister is an executive director of a non-profit foundation, a doting aunt, collector of fine artwork, and cherished friend to many. The brother and sister are Lee and Sissy Grantham.
Lee Grantham is the owner of Grantham Farms and Nursery. He is a hard-working businessman who has strong beliefs in the free enterprise system. He is very active in the local and state Republican Party.
Lee is also a man who is very appreciative of his friends. Never is that appreciation more evident than during the holiday season when he and his employees host an oyster roast. He opens up his nursery on Kite Rd in Lumberton for a lunchtime event. This takes place a couple of days before Christmas Day. The Grantham Nursery and Farm Oyster Roast is a “Who’s Who” from our community. It is a men’s only affair with the guys enjoying fellowship over oysters, shrimp, and sausage dogs. I am one of the many men who get to partake in this event every year and I really enjoy it.
Lee is also one of many NC State Wolfpack fans in our community. He has been a staunch supporter of NC State and has one of his twin sons Mac attending school there today. Mac like his dad is a lifelong NC State fan.
Mac has a twin brother John who attends the University of Mississippi.
John has converted his parents into giving up some NC State football games to take in the tailgating atmosphere at a “Ole Miss” game. The word out of Oxford, MS is the Grantham’s are hooked on SEC football and their version of tailgating in “The Grove”.
The Grove on game day at Ole Miss
(l-r) Lee, John, Norris, and Mac Grantham tailgating at Ole Miss
Lee is also like every leader I know someone who will serve others. He has demonstrated that time and time again to me but probably no more than in recent years with our church’s youth mission trips. Just a few years ago he drove a van full of teenagers from Lumberton to New Orleans, LA. He flew home and a few days later flew back again to drive them home. For those unfamiliar with that trip it is about a 13 hour ride.
On top of everything else Lee is married to Norris who is not only a wonderful women but a successful attorney in town. The Grantham’s are one of those couples that make living in our community special.
Lee doesn’t have the market cornered in his family on being special because his sister Laura “Sissy” Grantham is also an exceptional leader.
The Friend-LEE GRANTHAM
The Friend of the Friend-SISSY GRANTHAM
Brother and Sister
There are some undeniable facts about our community that some people want to make the entire story. We live in a part of North Carolina that has a lot of poverty and in an area that has many people lacking basic needs. I get disappointed when people only tell that part of the story. What they often overlook is that we also live in community where people do more to help those people in need than more affluent areas of the state.
The reason for the strong level of giving is multi-faceted but one component is that we have non-profit executive directors like Sissy Grantham that are talented leaders. Sissy knows how to build relationships and those relationship turn into people who listen to the needs of our community and do what they can to address them. As Executive Director for the Foundation at Southeastern Health Sissy helps lead a number of initiatives each year that makes our community a better place to live.
The foundation Sissy leads has a mission to organize regional community efforts which assist in the growth and development of quality health care provided by Southeastern Health. Whether it’s the Annual Boots and BBQ event, Swing for Good Health Golf Tournament, or the Winter Black Tie Gala all of these efforts help the Foundation provide better health care opportunities to people in need.
Sissy also has a life outside of work that included great friends. Her gal pals organize book clubs along with an annual trip that challenges some great American city to deal with a southern invasion. Below is a picture of one of the book club meetings Sissy participates in.
Friends like Tina Bullard, Melissa Musslewhite, and Bonnie Biggs have all told me stories involving Sissy and their travels together.
The duo of Lee and Sissy Grantham are proud to call Lumberton home. I am proud to know both of them and appreciate what they do as leaders.