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Congratulations Adom Appiah, the 2018 Recipient of the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change!

Adom Appiah, 2018 Recipient of the Mary L. Thomas Award

Foundation Honors 14-Year Old Philanthropist While Celebrating 75 Years

By Samantha Swann for the Herald-Journal

Members of the Spartanburg County Foundation celebrated the organization’s milestones and goals and honored a young Spartanburg philanthropist Tuesday evening during their 75th annual meeting.

Chairman John Stockwell expressed his gratitude for the foundation’s many partners and laid out plans for the future.

The Foundation also presented the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change, which recognizes individuals who display an outstanding commitment to community improvement. In the spirit of looking toward the future, this year’s candidates were young philanthropists between the ages of 12-30.

Candidates were nominated based on their participation in community projects, either of their own design or in coordination with a charitable or philanthropic group. They were judged based on their character and community impact and engagement.

The 2018 award went to Adom Appiah, a 14-year-old Spartanburg Day School student.

Appiah established Ball4Good, a nonprofit that gives back to the Spartanburg community through sports. Ball4Good began as a celebrity benefit game that raised $7,500 for the Boys and Girls Clubs.

The award won $5,000 for the Ball4Good fund.

“As I think about the future, by the time I finish high school, my goal is to raise $200,000 so that Ball4Good can step up and provide additional opportunities for our community,” Appiah said. “I want to be able to support Spartanburg, even when I go off to college.”

The foundation also recognized Mary L. Thomas for her 20 years of service.

Founded in 1943, the Spartanburg County Foundation has helped establish and support many Spartanburg institutions and programs including the Hope Center for Children, the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project and the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute.

The foundation has given more than $148 million in grants to Spartanburg County organizations and projects.

In honor of its 75th anniversary, the foundation recently presented a $75,000 grant to the Northside Development Group to fund the creation of a garden and outdoor classroom for The Franklin School, an early childhood learning center that is currently under development.

When looking toward the next 75 years, President and CEO Troy Hanna was confident in the foundation’s place in the future.

“We would suggest that philanthropy in Spartanburg County stands ready to embrace future challenges,” Hanna said. “The Spartanburg County Foundation has a proven track record of adapting to change in order to serve the residents of Spartanburg County. Together we will continue to improve the lives of all Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement, and responding to community needs.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story identified Appiah as 13 years old.