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Community Awards

FABRIC OF THE COMMUNITY AWARD RECIPIENTS

On Sept. 20, surrounded by fervent supporters and friends, The Springs Close Foundation celebrated its fifth and final Fabric of the Community Awards at The Dairy Barn at Anne Springs Close Greenway.

Culminating a five-year objective to recognize those in the region who conduct superior service in a similar spirit to Colonel Elliott Springs, the Foundation tasked itself with awarding a total of $150,000 to area individuals and nonprofit agencies. The final dollars and accolades were bestowed at this Wednesday afternoon event, which marked the 75th anniversary of The Springs Close Foundation.

Three nonprofit organizations received the final Fabric of the Community Awards, including a $10,000 donation toward their continuing philanthropic missions. Each recipient represented one of the three counties served by the Foundation – Chester, Lancaster and York counties. They were selected among nine finalists, three per county.

Representing Chester County, The Brown’s Corner, created by NFL player and Fort Lawn native Sheldon Brown, was honored for helping students in Chester and Lancaster counties develop the tools necessary to become successful adults.

Columbus Parker Track Club in Lancaster County was recognized for its 34 years of work with boys and girls in the development of athletic skills and learning opportunities.

And in York County, Hospice & Community Care received its award for bringing hope, comfort and compassion at the end of life, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

“Our community is blessed beyond measure to have individuals and organizations such as these in our backyard,” said Angela McCrae, president of The Spring Close Foundation. “On behalf of the Foundation, we’re grateful for the opportunity to help support their continued endeavors.”

For five years, the Fabric of the Community Awards has honored many recipients demonstrating a passion and commitment to the region. But only once, in 2014, had someone mirrored the legacy of Colonel Springs to receive his namesake award. The Colonel Elliott Springs Legacy Award was again presented this year to a trusted community member who embodies servant leadership and to the company he represents. Bruce Brumfield, president and CEO of Founders Federal Credit Union, received the second-ever honor for the way in which he and his company reflect the philosophy of the Colonel.

“From unpaid volunteer hours and widespread community engagement to relentless service, Brumfield and Founders Federal Credit Union exhibited every attribute worthy of this recognition,” said McCrae, noting that one can find a Founders in every county served by the Foundation. “Where there’s a Founders, there’s Bruce, tirelessly contributing to the community. The Colonel would be proud.”

The awards event celebrated honorees past and present as the Foundation concluded its five-year goal. To mark the occasion and the 75th anniversary, a commemorative book on the Foundation’s history of philanthropy was created – Giving Back. Moving Forward. – and distributed among guests.

Chester County
Chester Ministerial Association Food Pantry

For more than 40 years, the Chester Ministerial Association’s Food Pantry at Purity Presbyterian Church has provided sustenance for thousands of hungry individuals and families. In 2015, the Food Pantry adopted changes to its service model to better preserve the dignity and offer choices to the clients it serves. Instead of pre-bagged selections, clients at the Food Pantry now “shop” with a volunteer for the items they like, using a point system based on the household size. An appointment system ensures that clients receive personalized service. As a result, the Food Pantry is even more welcoming and provides a meaningful and rewarding experience to both clients and volunteers.

Lancaster County
Kershaw Area Resource Exchange – KARE

In 1982, KARE was formed to help the victims of local tornadoes get back on their feet. Since then, this Christian organization has grown from an all-volunteer agency providing short-term relief to a comprehensive support organization that brings multiple churches together to provide food assistance, home repair, clothing, transportation and other services in addition to crisis support. It mobilizes hundreds of volunteers each year and operates a full-time summer program to provide outreach, growth and service for teens.  KARE also operated a medical clinic for several years to meet the needs of uninsured patients — one of the precursors to the creation of Lancaster County CareNet. As one fan described it, “KARE has and continues to be the agency that provides assistance for all.”

York County
Habitat for Humanity of York County

Since 1998, Habitat for Humanity of York County has helped bring people together to provide decent, affordable housing for hardworking families in need. While most people think of new houses when they think of Habitat, completing repairs to existing family homes is a much more efficient way to ensure consistent housing and stability. With this in mind, Habitat of York County launched a home repair program for the Paradise neighborhood in Fort Mill in 2014, and has since offered significant repairs on 42 homes, mostly owned by senior citizens. Habitat volunteers have repaired roofs, walls, wiring and plumbing. They installed ramps, modernized kitchens and made aesthetic improvements such as interior and exterior painting. Habitat also has partnered with Lowes and Keller Williams Realty to help homeowners learn some maintenance skills.

Other nominees for the 2016 Fabric of Community Awards were:

  • In Chester County: Chester County Connector and The Lord’s Lunchbox
  • In Lancaster County: The Community Powerhouse and the Women’s Enrichment Center
  • In York County: Girls on the Run Tri County SC and Keystone Substance Abuse Services

LANCASTER
Christian Services, Inc. 

Defeating poverty takes a broad range of services — like those provided by Christian Services, Inc. Since 1981, this organization has provided assistance to those in need, growing steadily to serve nearly 500 families each week. Christian Services distributes almost 1 million pounds of food a year, operates 20 mobile food trucks, helps families transitioning into homes with security deposits for housing and utilities, and operates a Family Store for those in need of household items and clothing. In addition, Christian Services had helped more than 1000 adults become workplace-ready through its free Employability Skills Lab. All told, the direct impact of Christian Services’ work in Lancaster County exceeds $2,000,000. But the lasting impact is in the stability and hope it instills in the families that live there.

Fort Mill
Children’s Attention Home (Nonprofit) 

The Children’s Attention Home believes every child is “a success story waiting to happen.” Since 1970, more than 7,000 children who have been removed from their families have found loving and secure temporary care here. The Home’s Shelter Program welcomes any child in the state who has been a victim of abuse, abandonment or neglect, and provides them with 24-hour care while they await court dates, family rehabilitation or foster care placement. All children receive a warm welcome from dedicated staff members who help them feel safe and accepted during a time of great crisis. Each child also receives medical and mental health assessments, is enrolled in school, and works with the care team to create personal goals for growth and learning.

Chester
Samuel Rogers Stone, MD 

Dr. Stone is a force for health and community. For more than 30 years, he has provided free athletic physicals at three county high schools, and was a co-founder and medical director of the Good Samaritan Free Clinic. He also served on the Springs Close Foundation Community Advisory Committee from 2004-2006, and has participated in countless community volunteer roles, including Chester Rotary Club, Chester Jaycees, deacon and elder at his church, sponsor for various youth sports teams, and Christmas in Chester. Dr. Stone has served as chief of staff for Chester Regional Medical Center, and as medical director for several organizations, including Hospice Care of S.C. which named him Medical Director of the Year in 2008 and 2014. In 2013, he received the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award. Dr. Stone designated the following organizations from Chester County: Battered But Not Broken, Chester Ministerial Association, Good Samaritan Medical Clinic, The Turning Point, Chester Citizens Alliance, Friends of the Animals and Chester High Athletic Department, Great Falls High Athletic Department and Lewisville High Athletic Department as the recipients of the Foundation grant that accompanied his award.

Other nominees for the 2015 Fabric of Community Awards were:

  • In Lancaster: Southside Adult Family Literacy Project and Julie Walters of the Women’s Enrichment Center
  • In Fort Mill: Affinity Health Center and The Community Café
  • In Chester: Battered But Not Broken and Chester Ministerial Association

LANCASTER
Lancaster Fatherhood Project

When absent fathers become positively engaged in the lives of their children, everybody benefits. The Lancaster Fatherhood Project has helped more than 800 men reconnect with their children and become responsible fathers over the past 12 years. Program participants develop job and parenting skills, advance their education, and health screenings and support. As a result, they are more willing and able to pay child support, and are less likely to fall victim to debilitating health issues — both of which have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in public expenses. But even more importantly, the Lancaster Fatherhood Project has strengthened area families, provided more than 1,000 children with connections to their fathers, and helped to create a more tightly woven community fabric in Lancaster County.

Fort Mill
Anna Potts Dixon

When she was just 13 years old, the late Anna Potts Dixon made a pledge to her own dying mother – to “take care of the children.” That became a lifetime mantra for this Paradise community resident, who raised her niece and nephew and became a mother figure to the entire community. From serving as a Scout leader to registering her neighbors and others to vote, she was a tireless worker for others — a mentor, teacher, nurturer, leader and example setter. During her long and productive lifetime, she demonstrated in countless ways her dedication to the welfare of others and earned the respect and affection of people from all walks of life, especially those in the Paradise community.

Chester
The Turning Point

Under the direction of John Williams, The Turning Point offers supportive residential services for men recovering from drug and alcohol addition. Residents learn new life skills, find employment and manage their behavior in successful ways. In addition, The Turning Point operates an emergency food bank and The Dove’s Nest thrift shop. Together, these two entities serve more than 600 families each month. The Turning Point’s services and philosophy are deeply rooted in Christian faith, and Williams leads daily Bible study as a core part of the residential program. Since 1986, The Turning Point has helped to turn around the lives of nearly 150 residential service clients and touched the lives of thousands more with essential food and clothing.

Other nominees for the 2014 Fabric of Community Awards were:

In Lancaster: Kershaw Area Resource Exchange (KARE) and Columbus Parker Track Club

In Fort Mill: Joyce and Bob Sullivan and The Fort Mill School District Backpack Program

In Chester: Chester Ministerial Association and Battered But Not Broken

LANCASTER
Lancaster High School Junior Civitans (Nonprofit Organization)

For more than 30 years, students of the Lancaster High School Junior Civitans have given their time and energy to serving others in their county. The club’s Backpack Feeding Program began in 2009, in response to increasing financial hardships and hunger in Lancaster County. Their service has focused on providing weekend meals to 182 students at seven different Lancaster schools — that’s more than 49,000 meals each school year. Junior Civitans fill backpacks of food for delivery each Friday, and collect them again each Monday. Thanks to their efforts, Lancaster students who might otherwise go hungry have food to tide them over and their school performance has improved.

Fort Mill
The High Five Club (Nonprofit)

The High Five Club helps young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities engage with one another and their community in meaningful, rewarding ways. Beginning in 2008 with just three clients, High Five now serves more than 35 clients in two locations and is the only program of its kind in the state. Clients build life skills as part of the daily Club program, but are also required to spend part of their time as community volunteers. Currently, High Five members deliver food backpacks to seven area elementary schools, volunteer at Birthday Blessings, the Caring Center and the Humane Society, and help out at events like The Springmaid Road Race and Miles for Memories. Club members not only help their community, but also raise awareness about the potential offered by adults with disabilities.

Chester
Good Samaritan Medical Clinic (Nonprofit)

Since 2002, more than 3,000 low-income, uninsured residents of Chester County have received free, high-quality medical care from The Good Samaritan Medical Clinic. The Clinic was the brainchild of Dr. Sam Stone and Rev. Steve Bishop, who wished to help those who were ineligible for Medicaid and unable to afford private insurance. The Good Samaritan services include an onsite clinic, a staff physician, medications, a laboratory, physical therapy, and a special Women’s Services Clinic. In addition, Good Samaritan provides referrals for radiology and other services, as well as health education for patients and the broader community.

Other nominees for the 2013 Fabric of Community Awards were:

In Lancaster: Mrs. Jackie Brown, who runs Jackie’s Place (individual) and The Lancaster Fatherhood Project

In Fort Mill: The Children’s Attention Home (nonprofit) and Kay Carter, Executive Director, Second Harvest Food Bank (individual)

In Chester: Geraldine Clawson, The Turning Point and The Dove’s Nest (individual) and John Williams (The Turning Point)

ABOUT THE AWARDS

The Fabric of the Community Awards honors individuals & organizations that uphold Colonel Springs’ legacy of service to others.

“Giving back to these communities is a value that we hold dear,” said Board Chair Anne Springs Close, whose father, Colonel Elliott White Springs, created the Foundation in May 1942. “He felt very strongly that the money made came from the efforts of the people who worked in the mills and that it should go back to them.”

The Fabric of the Community awards will be bestowed on one individual, nonprofit organization or business from Lancaster, Chester and Fort Mill each year. Each winner receives $10,000 to direct to a nonprofit organization in the communities served by The Springs Close Foundation. Nominations come from former members of the Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee. Current Community Advisory Committee members select finalists and choose the award winners. The Foundation will give these awards for the next five years, culminating on its 75th anniversary, for a total of $150,000 by 2017.

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