On one of the hottest days this summer, over 100 people filed into The Hall at Senates End, Columbia, S.C., to celebrate and honor four extraordinary Foundation friends.

These honorees included: Rev. Tony McDade, Executive Director of Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network; Neighborhood House, a Charleston based social service outreach ministry; Bud Ferillo, an advocate for public education and civil rights; and Dee Dee Chewning, a former Healthy Learners employee and Foundation board member.

Rev. McDade accepted the Grantee Individual Award for his work in the GAIHN program. He leads the only organization in the Greenville area that provides for homeless families with children. Rev. McDade puts a large emphasis on collaboration with community partners, helping his organization reach and impact more families.

Rev. McDade received his Bachelor’s degree from Furman University and his Masters of Divinity with Languages from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He then received his PCUSC Doctor of Ministry from the Columbia Theological Seminary.

See how Rev. McDade impacts his community here: https://youtu.be/IG6LlW_q_is

Neighborhood House was represented by Nikki Grimball, Neighborhood House Director. He accepted the Grantee Organization Award on behalf of all the individuals who work so hard to create a safe and positive environment for the underserved of Charleston.

Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Neighborhood House has served the poor of Charleston for 100 years now. Its primary function is to provide services to keep people safe, fed, and clothed while also emphasizing the importance of education and self-reliance.

Listen to volunteer & participant testimonies from Neighborhood House here: https://youtu.be/De2eJheN-fE

The Leadership in Diversity Award was accepted by Bud Ferillo. He was chosen as the recipient of this award because of his exemplary performance in the area of diversity and inclusion. The award honors those that serve as a model and whose accomplishments are made through community engagement, awareness, bridge building, compassionate leadership and courageous advocacy.

Ferillo has served as chief of staff to the Speaker of the House in 1974, Deputy Lieutenant Governor of S.C. in 1983, and worked closely with Gov. Richard W. Riley to draft and pass the state’s Education Improvement Act in 1984. He also produced and directed an award winning film in 2005, CORRIDOR OF SHAME: The Neglect of South Carolina’s Rural Schools, as a part of a multi-year effort to build awareness for the needs of S.C.’s poorest school districts. Ferillo also partnered with the Foundation and the South Carolina State Museum to create the “Faces of Poverty” exhibit. This exhibit was viewed by hundreds of school children and citizens as it traveled throughout S.C.

To hear what others have to say about Ferillo’s work, click here: https://youtu.be/4xewi86q2eA

The Catalyst Award was presented to Dee Dee Chewning because of her servant leadership through volunteerism, community involvement and professional contributions. She first served as a nurse for 15 years before joining the Foundation family.

In 1992, Chewning was the first director of a program, Seeing is Achieving, for children without insurance and no way to pay for eye exams and glasses. Through hard work and tenacity, this program then grew to become Health reach and soon after, Healthy Learners, a Ministry of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. After retiring, Chewning joined the Foundation Board of Trustees, various Foundation committees and eventually serving as Board Chair. She remains involved with the Foundation as a member of its Program Committee.

These four individuals stand for what the Foundation believes in; among many things they represent community outreach, collaboration, advocacy and compassion. Through these awards the Foundation hopes to spread awareness of the great things these individuals have accomplished and inspire others to do the same.

Chewning’s friends and colleagues speak to her leadership & kindness in this short video: https://youtu.be/8O1QcHGZ-xw

To view all photos from the 2015 Awards Luncheon, click here!