Scott Bowman, former Chairman of the Alexander County Board of Education, with the support of Dr. Jennifer Hefner, ACS Superintendent, and Baxter M. Hayes, Jr., Patty Hayes, and Brushy Mountain Golf Course, issue the following statement:
Brushy Mountain Golf Course and Alexander County Schools’ golf teams have a longstanding partnership, and Brushy Mountain’s support of ACS continued when Baxter Hayes purchased the course in 2013. Baxter Hayes and his wife, Patty, have been committed to bringing Brushy Mountain back to life for the enjoyment of the citizens of Alexander County. More than anything, they want Alexander County to prosper and grow. This means they invested in the local economy by hiring residents of Alexander County, using local vendors, and supporting Alexander County schools, specifically the golf teams. (Go Cougars!)
In February 2016, Baxter Hayes reached out to Alexander Central High School and offered to help them develop a budget so Baxter Hayes, Brushy Mountain, and the school could determine the level of support the school needed for the golf teams. As you may know, the school relies on donations for many of the athletic department’s essential needs. At no time did Baxter Hayes communicate a bill to be charged for the golf teams to use Brushy Mountain’s facilities. It is important to acknowledge the first priority of Baxter and Patty Hayes and Brushy Mountain Golf Course is seeing Alexander County and its schools succeed. Baxter Hayes proposed the budget after he made clear by email that he wanted to do more, not less, to help the golf teams. It is with deep regret that Alexander Central High School Administration made the decision to move the golf teams to a course out of county for the 2016 season. This move caused uproar in the community, sent the team away from its home course, and limited opportunities for Baxter Hayes and others at Brushy Mountain Golf Course to volunteer their time and resources to help the team succeed. We need to work together to heal the rift for the good of the community. We know just how destructive the power of social media can be and how fast false information can be spread via the internet.
The School Board and Alexander County Schools do not support any campaign against Brushy Mountain Golf Course, McLindon’s Restaurant, or Baxter and Patty Hayes. Such negativity has hurt the Hayes family tremendously, but it hurts all of Alexander County as well. It’s time for us to move forward and work together to support local charities, schools, parent organizations, booster clubs, and businesses. This commitment will only make Alexander County better. We ask Alexander County residents for their support of both the schools and Brushy Mountain and McLindon’s restaurant.Brushy Mountain Golf Course and Baxter and Patty Hayes, major donors to the ACHS Athletic Department, continue to support ACS in many ways. In turn, the Alexander County Board of Education renews its commitment to open communication and transparency in how Alexander County Schools plans for all student athlete needs through state funding, donations, family contributions, and fundraising.
The Alexander County Board of Education encourages employees, students and families to visit Brushy Mountain and McLindon’s Restaurant as a sign of Alexander County’s support of a local business, and we thank them for their continued support of our schools. We look forward to seeing you all soon at McLindon’s for dinner or at the Cougar’s next football game.
Scott Bowman, Chair, Alexander County Board of Education
Baxter M. Hayes, Jr