Thomas Tafel of Lexington Medical Center selected as 2024 Judith M. Davis Volunteer of the Year

February 13, 2024

United Way of the Midlands will recognize Thomas Tafel of Lexington Medical Center, as the recipient of the 2024 Judith M. Davis Volunteer of the Year Award during the Humanitarian of the Year Ceremony on February 22, 2024.

“United Way of the Midlands is honored to present this award, a testament to Judy Davis’s unwavering dedication to bettering our community, to Thomas Tafel,” said Sara Fawcett, President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands. “This award celebrates individuals who embody Judy’s spirit, and Thomas does just that. We are excited to recognize his achievements and commitment to the Midlands.”

In the past, Tafel has served as board chairman of the United Way of the Midlands Young Leaders Society and is currently the chair of the Education Council and a member of the Board of Directors. In 2023, he also spearheaded a hospital-wide book drive at Lexington Medical Center, benefiting the Midlands Reading Consortium.

“I am deeply grateful to receive the Judith Davis Award. My passion for giving back to my community has led me to a close relationship with United Way of the Midlands, and I am truly humbled to receive this award,” said Tafel.

Tafel has greatly served the Midlands area for years, both through United Way and beyond. His philanthropic efforts focus on education and medicine, which led him to serve on the Board of Directors for the Free Medical Clinic and as the chairman of the Community Advisory Board for LMC’s Graduate Medical Education Program. He is also a founding member of UPLIFT Lexington County, which received a $1 million grant to combat behavioral health problems.

The award recipient is selected based on a demonstrated commitment to community service and a desire for professional development. The recipient must be an active donor in United Way of the Midlands’ Young Leaders Society, complete a minimum of 50 hours of community service in the past year, have at least one year of nonprofit volunteer board or committee service, and must be currently employed with a for-profit organization. The recipient will receive tuition and travel expenses to attend a Harvard University Leadership Development course in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

To learn more about the United Way of the Midlands, visit


About United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the Midlands is the most collaborative, efficient and accountable model for investing in the improvement of the Midlands community. With 70 Community Impact Partners, United Way works to identify and respond to the critical human service needs of Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties. Funds are raised through workplace campaigns, grant writing and individual donations and are directed to creating generational change by breaking cycles of crisis and empowering people to build their own paths to success. For more information, please visit