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COA Foundation Receives $3.83M Gift from Entrepreneur Bill TaylorPartnership Developed with YMCA for Course Operations

ELIZABETH CITY — Mr. Bill Taylor, local businessman and entrepreneur, has had an affinity for Elizabeth City and The Pines since joining the club more than 40 years ago. In the fall of 2004, Bill purchased The Pine Lakes Country Club from his fellow members and spent the next 10 years working to achieve its true potential in Elizabeth City.

The change in ownership comes after the announcement by Mr. Taylor to gift the course to the College of The Albemarle (COA) Foundation — an institution that has been on Bill’s radar as a beneficiary for some time. The foundation and community college have been serving the residents of northeastern North Carolina for more than 55 years and maintains a strong focus on academic excellence.

H. Taylor Sugg, COA Foundation Board of Director’s President stated, “On behalf of my fellow Foundation Board of Directors, it is a privilege and honor to accept such a generous gift from Bill Taylor. Mr. Taylor has been, and will continue to be, a distinguished businessman and supporter of Elizabeth City and the surrounding communities. He has set the stage for excellence at The Pines of Elizabeth City.”

Although Bill lives in Virginia, he keeps his business office in the historic district of downtown Elizabeth City, where he maintains operations for the 15 McDonald’s restaurants he owns in northeast North Carolina and Hampton Roads.

“I was honored to take on the challenge of creating a championship golf course for the people of Elizabeth City more than 10 years ago, and am proud to continue my commitment to this community by granting this opportunity to the College of The Albemarle Foundation. I am eager to see what the future brings for this worthwhile endeavor,” said Bill Taylor, McDonald’s owner and business entrepreneur.

The COA Foundation, not in the business of operating golf courses, has partnered with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads who will take over the daily operations for The Pines at Elizabeth City. Both the COA Foundation and the YMCA wanted to see the long-standing local golf course continue to be operated for the residents of Elizabeth City and the surrounding communities. The Pines, currently a semi-private golf course which includes a banquet facility and outdoor pool, will be operated by the YMCA effective Sep. 1, 2017.

Mr. Sugg stated, “Working in collaboration with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads to operate The Pines — a staple in the community — was the right thing to do for our local communities. Billy George, and his staff, have worked diligently and swiftly to be prepared to offer golf and other services to the residents of northeastern North Carolina.”

Partnering with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads is not new to COA. The two anchors of the community have been working together for more than 14 years, sharing space at the Zack D. Owens and Martha Anderson Owens Health Sciences Center in the Albemarle Family YMCA, located on the COA’s Elizabeth City Campus. The opportunity to operate The Pines at Elizabeth City as a collaborative effort means more students, families and children will be served throughout Elizabeth City and surrounding counties.

The COA will have the opportunity to expand their classroom spaces to The Pines in order to accommodate more educational courses, while the YMCA plans to use the space for camp programming, outdoor activities and the pool for recreation and swim lessons.

“We are excited for the opportunity to expand our services and add an outdoor pool — a benefit for our members — and continuing to offer golf course services for the community.” said Billy George, President and CEO of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. “Until we have the opportunity to engage our golf members, we will continue to provide privileges as normal and the facility will still be available for banquets, family and group events, and business meetings.”

About the COA Foundation

An institution, like a building, measures its fortitude by the depth and strength of its foundation. COA’s success can be directly attributed to the diligent efforts of its Foundation, a nonprofit charitable corporation responsible for managing financial gifts and raising the private funds needed to support COA’s educational mission. Chartered in 1980, the COA Foundation helps provide for student scholarships, new technology, capital projects, program enhancements, and faculty and staff professional development.

About the YMCA of South Hampton Roads

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads is a nonprofit, community-based health and human services organization that serves over 250,000 children and families throughout coastal Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. More than 30 percent of those families receive financial assistance through the Open Doors program, whose funding is made available by the generosity of donors, helping them achieve their full potential in spirit, mind and body. The Y’s doors are open to people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and incomes.

Media Contact: Terri Reedy, 757-275-9432 or