Kershaw County a finalist for All-America City Award
By Jim Tatum
Kershaw County is in the running to be named All-America City by the National Civic League. Laurey Carpenter, Executive Director of the PLAY Foundation, which submitted the application for the award, said the foundation was informed last week that Kershaw County had been selected as one of the 20 finalists. Kershaw County is also the only county in the nation that is a finalist and is one of three areas in South Carolina that made the top 20.
The National Civic League, based in Denver, CO., awards ten All-America City designations nationwide each year. While the award has the word "city" in the name, the winner can be a town, city, county, neighborhood or region.
The National Civic League, which has conducted this program for more than 50 years, recognized communities for their diversity and willingness to collaborate for the greater good and achieve extraordinary results, Carpenter said.
"We are so excited about this - Kershaw County is a wonderful place - and now the entire nation will know it," Carpenter said.
Carpenter noted that Kershaw County's giving spirit and willingness to collaborate are two major factors in the decision. An example of this is the partnerships that have gone into the mission of the Community Medical Clinic. In fact, the Community Medical Clinic is one of only three in the entire nation that provides child healthcare in schools, she said.
Carpenter was also quick to praise and thank the efforts of everyone involved on the all-volunteer team putting together the application. Carpenter and the team of volunteers who have been working on this project appeared before Kershaw County Council Tuesday night to give an update.
"None of this would have been possible without the incredible efforts of this amazing group of people," she said. "This journey has been four years in the making -- and we have made the yellow brick road to Denver, Colorado!"
In addition to Carpenter, the team consists of Elgin Mayor Melissa Emmons; Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan; Connie Frith, facilitator for instructional support, KCSD; Michael Conley, planning and zoning director, Kershaw County; Gina Marther, vice-president/financial sales manager, First Citizens Bank; Susan Witkowski, CEO, Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County; Cate Goff, The Elgin News; Little Bug Designs, LLC; Codrington Banda, Continuous Learning Center, KCSD.
"We came to you back in December asking for your support and prayers," said said. "We have come this far and we will do some fundraising to attend the convention in Denver in June. We fully expect to come back before you and report on that -- as one of the ten winners."