BEHIND THE SCENES
Get to know our members!
Meet the owners of Gulley’s Garden Center - Megan Gulley Hunt (holding a picture of her mother, the late Linda Gulley), Pete Gulley, and Graham Gulley. Pete and Linda started the business with $2.00 and a truck load of Azaleas on the corner of Illinois Avenue and Broad Street in 1974 (They are celebrating 45 years this year!). They then moved to where they are now and kept putting all the money they made back into growing the garden center. Megan and Graham have enjoyed watching it grow and they are proud of being a part of its continued growth. They both love helping people bring beauty to their yards with plants and flowers and teaching people how to care for their yards and plantings.
Gulley’s isn’t your typical garden center. Guests have been heard saying things like, "I never knew this place was so big!” and "This place is like Disney World for gardeners!" People love the beautiful paths that wrap around the gardens, which supply the perfect way to explore their HUGE selection of trees and shrubs. Kids love wandering around the paths, throwing pennies into the water fountain, and watching the mini waterfall and water wheel.
Gulley’s also offers a large selection of annuals, perennials, garden products, pots (that they can help you fill!) and décor. During the holidays, the garden center turns into a winter wonderland with cut/live Christmas trees, wreaths and roping, and the Christmas store full of decorations and gift ideas. Everybody who works at Gulley's is family. Several employees have been there for 10-15 years and even one for over 20 years! They all love helping people with any aspect of gardening and they are ready to help you the moment you walk through the gate. Gulley’s is more than just a garden center….it’s an experience!
Sandhills Knockerball, owned by Rich Padin of Pinehurst, is run by local first responders! Rich is a former Aberdeen Police Officer, having been on the force for 7 years. He is now an auxiliary police officer for the town of Robbins working on the software side of things. Rich and his team care about our community and about having fun! All of this fun stemmed from tragedy and heartache…
Rich’s son, Richie, was born with congenital heart defects and passed away at the Boston Pediatric Cardiology Hospital at just 2 and a half years old. Rich received a lot of help from the community and wanted to pay it forward. In his son’s memory, he created a non-profit called “Little Richie’s Smiles” (visit the Facebook page HERE) and he began to put together fundraisers to help local families with children that are diagnosed with congenital heart defects. 1 in 100 newborns are born with CHD and about 25% of those children will need heart surgery or interventions to survive.
During an event, he remembers spending a lot of his personal money on attractions. He was worried that he would not generate a profit to donate. One of the attractions was Knockerball from a Raleigh franchise. Everyone loved it! Rich considered starting his own Knockerball business, but he was on the fence. Fate intervened when he was sitting at Hickory Tavern one day and saw a commercial playing for Knockerball. That was the sign he needed to start his franchise and he’s never looked back.
Sandhills Knockerball is a party rental business for all age groups, children to adults, that can bring out the fun at the smallest of to fairs and festivals. Knockerball, their staple item is a big ball you get inside. It’s like human bumper carts, mixed with soccer, where you can run, jump, roll, kick and flip while being fully shielded from the thighs up! So fun! But that’s not all. Rich also offers Nerf Wars, Archery Tag, interactive inflatables and MUCH more. Click the image to visit the Sandhills Knockerball website to see everything that’s available. And remember, when you support Sandhills Knockerball, you’re supporting a man on a mission to help others.
Meet Perry Youngblood of Youngblood College Consulting. Perry is a North Carolina native who has been working with students for over 18 years initially doing SAT and ACT tutoring. After a few years, he realized that students need much more than help preparing for tests. So, he undertook the training and research necessary to become a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultant Association and a Certified Education Planner.
Youngblood College Consulting provides a full set of services advising students and their parents: recommending colleges, helping with essays, coaching for interviews, assessing likely aid and scholarships, tutoring for SAT/ACT testing and even exploring careers! Perry even works remotely with students all over the country! What a wonderful gift for grandparents to give their grandchildren, regardless of their location!
When Perry isn’t working with clients, he plays trombone in the Moore County Concert Band and some golf as time allows. He also enjoys traveling and reading about the history of science. We’re proud to have Perry and Youngblood College Consulting in the Moore Choices family!