The Spartanburg County Foundation Mary L. Thomas Award
Mary L. Thomas photo
Mary L. Thomas photo

The Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change recognizes the contributions of individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to improving the quality of life in the community. In 2006, Mary L. Thomas, executive vice president of the Foundation, was awarded the prestigious Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grant Making. Selected because of her imagination, optimism, and leadership, Mary received a $10,000 prize as part of the award. Mary used the money to start the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change Fund. Through the fund, an award is given each March to honor community leaders, innovators, and contributors to community change.

Nominations are currently closed
and will re-open in fall 2018.


Identifying innovative solutions and implementing new ideas that successfully address critical issues facing the Spartanburg community.

Community Leader

Adding value, providing leadership, and acting as an agent of change in the Spartanburg community.

Civic Participation, Engagement and Broad Community Impact

Investing time and engaging others to contribute to positive community growth and transformation.

The Mary L. Thomas Award accepts nominations for individuals acting as leaders and innovators, who actively work to improve their communities. The Spartanburg County Foundation considers nominations based on the following criteria:


Residents of Spartanburg County, SC.


Must be in good standing ethically, possess a strong sense of integrity, and good character.

Recent Efforts

The efforts of nominees must be documented during the past 12 months, illustrating the impact made on the Spartanburg community – whether through direct service, philanthropy, or drawing attention to a community need.

Project Development

The nominee’s project may have been developed in one or more of the following three areas: 1) Inside or outside of the classroom; 2) In partnership with a nonprofit organization or religious institution; 3) Through an initiative or organization started on his/her own or with friends. If the nominee’s project does not align with at least one of the three areas, please explain why the nominee should be considered for the award.

Personal Impact

If the nominee is connected to a Spartanburg County nonprofit organization through paid employment, the individual must demonstrate community impact beyond the scope of his or her job.

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.

For more information, please contact Tara Weese.
To learn more about Mary L. Thomas, visit her biography page.