Each year the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina presents special awards to individuals or organizations that represent the core values of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine: Collaboration, Compassion, Courage, Justice, and respect. The 2015 award winners have been chosen and will be formally recognized in June at the Foundation’s Annual Luncheon.
This year, the Foundation will present the first ever Catalyst Award to Dee Dee Chewning. The Catalyst Award was created to recognize an individual who exemplifies the qualities of a servant leader through volunteerism, community involvement, compassion and professional contributions. Mrs. Chewning served three terms on the Foundation Board and as Board Chair in 2013. She has been a member of the Sisters of Charity Family since 1992 when she began as Director of Healthy Learners. Prior to that, she served as a school nurse for many years. After retiring from Healthy Learners in 2005, she continued to provide extraordinary leadership and compassion in her volunteer role at the Foundation. She is also active in her church and other community organizations such as the Brookland Cayce High School Foundation. Mrs. Chewning has the unique ability to bring people together in a collaborative way. She also contributes to the betterment of the community through her kindness and support for all people.
The Foundation will also recognize Charles T. “Bud” Ferillo as its 2015 Leadership in Diversity Award winner. In 2005, Ferillo directed and produced the documentary “Corridor of Shame: The Neglect of South Carolina’s Rural Schools,” which focuses on the education equity case of Abbeville v. State of South Carolina. Thirty-six school districts argued that the state did not provide adequate teacher quality and facilities and that the legislature did not provide adequate education to all students. On December 9, 2005, it was ruled that the state had not met its constitutional responsibility to provide a “minimally adequate” education for students through grade three. For his work on “Corridor of Shame” Ferillo was given the Harvey Gantt Triumph Award in 2010. The Leadership in Diversity Award recognizes an individual or organization that illustrates 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. Mr. Ferillo is well known for his passion and support for South Carolina’s marginalized population and has taken an active role in many social justice issues across the state.
Reverend Tony McDade of Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (GAIHN) will be awarded the Foundation’s Caritas Individual Award. “In omnibus caritas” means “In all things Charity”. Since its inception in 1851, the congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine has sought to put into practice these simple but all-encompassing words. GAIHN’s mission is to assist local congregations to share hospitality (in the form of emergency shelter, meals, and short-term housing) with homeless families that include children, and to help those families achieve self-sufficiency and self-fulfillment. The Caritas Award recognizes an individual that illustrates exemplary performance in the area of health, education, and community outreach. The award is intended to honor the individual that serves as a model and whose accomplishments are made through community engagement, awareness, bridge building, compassionate leadership and courageous advocacy. Rev. McDade has served as an energetic and compassionate leader in the Greenville area for many years. He continues to serve his organization and the community with a humble and grateful heart.
Neighborhood House of Charleston is this year’s Caritas Organization Award winner. The Neighborhood House, a social service outreach ministry, was established by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy in 1915 and currently provides education services such as G.E.D. preparation, basic skills, literacy training, computer education, a clothes closet, a food pantry, direct emergency financial assistance, and a five day per week soup kitchen that serves an average of 120 people a day. Neighborhood House will be honored for exemplary performance in the area of health, education, and community outreach through its faithful and long term commitment to Charleston’s inner city neighborhoods and its residents.
Congratulations to all 2015 award recipients. The Foundation is dedicated to efforts which help build a sustainable, healthy economy, promote educational success, support stronger families and contribute to strengthening neighborhoods and communities across the state. The Foundation is proud to honor these outstanding people who share in its mission.
About the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, established in 1996, is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Foundation is committed to addressing the needs of the poor and underserved in all 46 South Carolina counties, and strategically uses resources to reduce poverty through action, advocacy and leadership.