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Kelley Ezell

Foundation Honors Kelley Ezell with the 2010 Mary L. Thomas Award

Kelley Ezell received the 2010 Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at The Spartanburg County Foundation’s Annual Meeting.

Kelley Ezell has served as the Executive Director of the Upstate Family Resource Center in its first two years.  The Center, which occupies the old Boiling Springs Middle School, is a non-profit organization that enriches the Boiling Springs and Chesnee communities by implementing education and assistance programs that empower individuals to build and maintain healthy, productive families.

I nominated Kelley for this award because the criteria asked who we knew was a person that had made a huge difference in Spartanburg County, and there was only one person that came to my mind and that was Kelley Ezell.  She has taken an idea, a concept, one we had seen in other places, and ran with it.  This old school building that we had that came open wasn’t empty a week.  Kelley came in with help from some others and put together a program that went from her car in the parking lot to one where the parking lot is filling up by 8:00 a.m. in the morning and still has cars in it at 9:00 p.m. at night,” stated Dr. Scott Mercer, Spartanburg County School District Two superintendent.

Kelly has indeed tapped every single resource and volunteer her hands could reach to bring the citizens of Boiling Springs together to establish a thriving community center which offers GED Classes, crisis intervention, family counseling, afterschool programs, and so much more.  According to Chuck Gordon, Principal of Boiling Springs High School, her leadership has been extraordinary. “Kelley has so many positive qualities.  She knows everybody and can resource with those ingredients that we have inside the community and outside, and bring those things to bare to assist us in the needs as far as the families are concerned.  She does a tremendous job with that.”

Helping others pull through is Kelley’s specialty.  Whether it is providing support to teenage moms, or helping families through difficult situations, it is Kelley’s heart and love for others that has made her so effective.  The significant difference she is making in the lives of families in the Boiling Springs area has made her a worthy recipient of the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change.

At the Annual Meeting, The Foundation honored Kelley in the presence of close to 375 community members.  Kelley was presented with a hand-sculpted award and a $5,000 cash grant, which she has chosen to grant to the Upstate Family Resource Center.

Learn more about the history of the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership & Community Change and review past recipients.