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 for the 2023 Award will open in November.
Identifying innovative solutions and implementing new ideas that successfully address critical issues facing the Spartanburg community.
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.
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.
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.
Nominees are not typically in the limelight but perform valuable public service at the community level.
The 2022 Award recipient is Ruth Davis, a Spartanburg resident with a deep commitment to building children, youth, and families. In 2021, she led a small group of Scouts in a food drive, bringing in over 500 pounds of food to help build food security during the pandemic and filling the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church food pantry. Ms. Davis she sees no boundaries when it comes to serving others – no age limits or racial lines.