Community leaders gathered together Thursday night to celebrate the positive impact of neighborhood associations and members of various communities at the annual Healthy Greenwood Neighborhoods award banquet.
The banquet kicked off with dinner before keynote speaker Rev. Bill Stanfield addressed those gathered. Stanfield is the co-founder of Metanoia Community Development Corporation of North Charleston. Stanfield told those gathered that communities are often identified by their weaknesses rather than their strengths. Stanfield said a recent study showed that the neighborhoods with the most programs suffer the most. Stanfield attributed that trend to communities having to show how bad they are in order to receive help, rather than identifying what a community’s assets are and investing resources in those areas.
Stanfield told the story of a boy in his neighborhood who did not get any help until he had a run-in with the police. Stanfield said the boy was only able to have resources invested in him as the result of his worst day. The boy turned into a community leader under Stanfield’s mentorship.
A number of awards were given throughout the night. The Anna l. Robinson Neighborhood of the Year Award was given to Westside Community Club. Westside Community Club hosts educational events from organizations such as Beyond Abuse and on a variety of topics such as cancer risk. The neighborhood collects food for the Food Bank of Greenwood County and school supplies for children. Their annual back-to-school event is one of the most attended events in Greenwood County, attracting more than 400 area youth.
Toni Able of Healthy Greenwood Neighborhoods praised the work being done in the community.
“(Westside Community Club) has truly practiced the vision and mission of Healthy Greenwood Neighborhoods,” Able said. “Their neighborhood has excelled in the components of social, physical and collaborative revitalization efforts in Greenwood County.”
A complete list of award winners can be found in the sidebar to the right.