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Looking at all the programs and organizations George Holbrook has headed in his life, there are those who would dub him a born leader.

But Holbrook is quick to point out where his leadership skills really began to take root - when he became a member of the YMCA at age six.``(The YMCA) has given me an opportunity to be a leader and to learn leadership in the YMCA environment,' said Holbrook, president of Guilford Packaging and Fiber in High Point. ``It's been very beneficial in my relations to people.'

For all that the YMCA has given him, Holbrook has given much in return through 16 years as a volunteer and participant.

Holbrook was rewarded for his efforts Monday night at the YMCA's annual meeting when he received the organization's highest honor - induction into the YMCA Hall of Honor. Holbrook, 43, was recognized at the Elks Lodge for significant service to the YMCA.

``I don't want to underplay the award; it's a tremendous honor,' Holbrook said. ``But there's nothing I've done in my involvement (with the YMCA) that went toward receiving anything.

``If anything, it's been a selfish decision. It's nice to put your time into something you enjoy,' he said. ``Some of the projects are just a bunch of guys out on Saturday having a big time. At the same time, we're doing something that helps others.'

Holbrook was a charter member and first president of the Ken Yarborough Y's Men's Club, a YMCA service club founded in 1977. He has been a board member of the YMCA for six years, serving as chairman in 1992-93, has served on numerous committees and has participated in annual fund-raising and capital campaigns.

YMCA president Bob Rule praised Holbrook, calling him an ``action-oriented person' who is excellent at getting things done.

Also at the meeting, the YMCA elected board members for 1994-95: William G. Ervin, chairman; Phil Miller, chairman elect; and Clark Gibson, Dot Kearns, Hal Heavner, Ray Bretzmann, Ray Burrow, board members. Fred Wright and Mike Ilderton were presented with Distinguished Leadership Awards.

Former High Point businessman Paul Ingle was recognized for a gift of 21 acres of undeveloped property adjacent to the YMCA's Central Family branch on Hartley Avenue.


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