It’s a common phrase around Garner.
“This is a tight-knit community. You hear it at ball games, at community events. Heck you even hear it at town hall.
But one always wonders about that. Just how tight-knit can a community of nearly 30,000 really be?
It would have been easy to see a couple weekends ago in Chapel Hill, where the Garner High School boys basketball team won the state 4-A Championship.
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And it would have been easy to see at Garner High School on Wednesday when the student body turned out to celebrate that team’s title.
In fact, it was one of the ways Coach Eddie Gray has described the Garner community in several recent forays with the media.
So how does a town the size of Garner retain its tight-knit personality in the midst of a growth spurt?
By celebrating its successes. As Garner’s communication director Rick Mercier pointed out recently, Garner has, in nearly successive years,, produced Scotty McCreery, the American Idol winner, won the title of All-America City and, now, it can add a state sports title to its resume.
There’s a lot to celebrate. Successes on those scales are rare, but Garner has been on a roll lately and it has a tangible effect on people.
We all want to be associated with winners. So we turn out when they show up. We see old friends. We make new ones. We talk with each other about how nice it is to see the successes our community is enjoying. And, like a snowball running downhill, our momentum grows and before you know it, we’ve become that tight-knit community everyone keeps talking about.
Who knows what Garner’s next success might be. There may never be a success on quite as large a stage as those we mentioned above. And, the truth is, there might not be any truly noteworthy successes for some time to come.
But Garner will remain a tight-knit community because of the common experiences we’ve shared over the past few years. And, we honestly believe that, because Garner residents do share some a camaraderie that the next success is probably just lurking around the corner.