Foundation Seeks Nominations for 2013 Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change

November 30, 2012

SPARTANBURG, SC – December 3, 2012 – The Spartanburg County Foundation is seeking nominations for the seventh annual Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change. This annual award honors individuals who with innovation, leadership and civic participation are making a significant difference in the Spartanburg community.  The recipient will be presented with an award at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in March and will be honored with a $5,000 grant to be given to a charity selected by the recipient and the Foundation.

Through the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change, The Spartanburg County Foundation is seeking to recognize residents of Spartanburg County who are not typically in the limelight but who perform valuable public service at the community level. Individuals nominated should be connected to a Spartanburg County nonprofit organization either as a volunteer or through paid employment. Paid employees must demonstrate community impact beyond the scope of their job.  When selecting the recipient, the committee will look for individuals who, within the last year, have made a positive impact on the community through one or more innovative projects and who meet the following criteria:

Innovation:  Bringing new ideas to fruition in tackling critical community issues facing the Spartanburg community.

Community Leader:  Adding value, providing leadership and being a change agent in the Spartanburg community.

Civic Participation, Engagement and Broad Community Impact:  Demonstrating leadership in working with the Spartanburg community, and particularly the grassroots community, in bringing about positive community change; and effectively engaging all segments of the community in problem solving.

The Mary L. Thomas Award is a legacy from Thomas’s 2006 recognition as recipient of the national Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking. Upon receiving the Scrivner award and $10,000 cash prize, Thomas chose to use the funds as seed money to open the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change Fund and start a similar recognition program in Spartanburg. Through the support of the Spartanburg community, Thomas’s initial gift of $10,000 exceeded $100,000, enabling the Foundation to permanently endowing the award. Thomas, executive vice president of The Spartanburg County Foundation, is known for leading the Foundation into a period of innovation and grassroots leadership. The award will honor individuals who, like Mary, are community leaders, innovators and contributors to community change.

The deadline for nominations is January 16, 2013.  To nominate someone for the 2013 Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change, go to to fill out an online nomination form. Those without internet access are asked to contact the Foundation at (864) 582-0138.

The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs.  Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina.  Additional information about the Foundation is available at