The Spartanburg County Foundation is now accepting nominations for the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change. This annual award honors individuals who have worked to improve the quality of life in Spartanburg County with innovation, leadership, and civic participation. The recipient will be presented with an award at The Spartanburg County Foundation’s Annual Meeting in March, and will be honored with a $5,000 grant to be given to a charity selected by the recipient and the Foundation.
Mary Thomas, chief operating office of The Spartanburg County Foundation, is known for leading the Foundation into a period of innovation and grassroots leadership. In 2006, she received the prestigious Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking. With the award, came a $10,000 cash prize, which Thomas chose to use as seed money to start a similar recognition program in Spartanburg. Through the support of the Spartanburg community, Thomas’s initial gift of $10,000 continues to multiply and has exceeded $100,000, enabling the Foundation to permanently endow the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change Award Fund.
“There are many individuals in Spartanburg who are working hard to make life better for others. The Mary L. Thomas Award recognizes the efforts of people who may not ordinarily receive credit for the things they do,” says Mary Thomas, chief operating officer of The Spartanburg County Foundation. “It is my hope that by bringing awareness to their work, it will inspire others to lead and lend a helping hand throughout the community.”
The Mary L. Thomas Award recognizes residents of Spartanburg County who are not typically in the limelight but who perform valuable public service at the community level. Individuals nominated should be connected to a Spartanburg County nonprofit organization either as a volunteer or through paid employment. Paid employees must demonstrate community impact beyond the scope of their job. When selecting the recipient, the committee will look for individuals or groups who, within the last year, have made a positive impact on the community through one or more innovative projects and who meet the following criteria:
Innovation: Identifying innovative solutions and implementing new ideas that successfully address critical issues facing the Spartanburg community.
Community Leadership and Impact: Adding value, providing leadership, and contributing to positive change in the Spartanburg community.
Civic Participation and Community Engagement: Investing time and effectively engaging multiple segments of the community in problem solving to contribute to positive community growth and transformation.
The deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m. January 11, 2019. Click here to nominate an individual for the 2019 Mary L. Thomas Award.