A yearlong push to fundraise for a cause she loves paid off with a huge statewide honor for an Indian Land teacher.
Robin Massey-Kirk won the 39th annual State of South Carolina NAACP Woman of the Year Competition at a ceremony June 23 in Columbia. She competed against 17 other women representing branches from across the state to raise money for the causes and campaigns of the NAACP in the state. She said she was shocked she beat out women from other larger cities, and thrilled when her name was called.
“I was not expecting in my wildest dreams to be the winner, I was speechless,” she said.
Massey-Kirk raised $10,778 for the South Carolina chapter, which is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the nation. Proceeds raised will fund the chapter’s legal, civic engagement and youth initiatives.
Young people are close to Massey-Kirk’s heart. As a native of Indian Land and preschool teacher at Southside Early Childhood Center, she now has the opportunity to help raise the next generation of children in her community. One of her goals is to help encourage young people to become active in the NAACP.
“I want people to know that it’s not just a black organization, it’s for people of all races,” she said.
Massey-Kirk said she was given some help along journey from the last woman from the area to win. Dr. Peggy Clark won more than a decade ago, in 1996. Massey-Kirk said the two women met and shared strategies for success. She had a committee of people who helped her through events like Chinese auctions, a masquerade party and a Mother’s Day giveaway. She also had support from local churches as well as friends and family.
As the Woman of the Year winner, Massey-Kirk will attend the annual State Convention in Greenville in October. She also will serve on the Woman of the Year committee for a year.
Massey-Kirk said she’s never undertaken such a large fundraising effort before. Her prior experience includes competing in a Delta Sigma Theta Sorority pageant in 11th grade. But she said that didn’t even compare to this competition.
“There were times when it felt like a part time job… but it paid off,” she said.
Katie Rutland: firstname.lastname@example.org