Each year the Community Foundation of Greenville and TOWN Magazine — a sister publication of the Greenville Journal recognize service-minded Greenvillians through the Charitable Giving Awards. From nonprofits to businesses to individuals, awardees have contributed to the community in outstanding ways with both the Community Foundation and Community Journals highlighting the awardees’ mission of service and giving.
The awards began in 1996 when the Community Foundation recognized Debbie Nelson and Wison Wearn for their volunteerism, said Bob Morris, president of the foundation, in an email. It was named after Ruth Nicholson, who had run the foundation for years until the first staff was hired in 1982.
Award recipients are selected by a committee from TOWN Magazine, accounting group Elliot Davis and the Community Foundation. The committee creates a list of potential recipients for each award category, which has grown over the years as the community and its needs have changed. Those who shine brightest in the eyes of the committee are chosen. That is, the committee makes a “judgment call,” said Morris, based on the impact of individuals and organizations on that list.
“Over time an exceptional group of people have been recognized,” said Morris. “The reason we recognize them is to express our thanks to them for their work and commitment to the civic and cultural enrichment of Greenville County.”
Usually, the awards are given out in a 400-attendee reception, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award presentations were moved online.
“There are many remarkable and generous efforts, and our goal is to showcase how vision, persistence and leadership serve to [make] this a special place to live and raise our families,” Morris said.
The Charitable Giving Awards were:
- Visionary Leadership Award: Carl Sobocinski
- Ruth Nicholson Award: Marie Monroe
- Leadership in Arts Award: South Carolina Children’s Theatre
- Education Spirit Award: OnTrack Greenville
- Philanthropic Spirit Award: Bill Pelham
- Community Spirit Award: Greenville Free Medical Clinic
- Healthcare Transformation Award: Dr. Scott Sasser