Local Newsmakers - December 16, 2007

Sharon Girl Scouts earn Gold Awards

Four Gold Award recipients were honored by Sharon Girl Scout Troop 1395 at a ceremony last month.

Laura Deas, Elizabeth Podmore, Katherine Podmore and Bethany Welborn achieved the highest level in Girl Scouting by completing council-approved projects.

Laura helped renovate, furnish needed supplies and made care packages, which included baby blankets made by the 4-H Sewing Club, for clients at the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Rock Hill.

Bethany held an overnight event called "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!", where the girls made crafts, blue jean purses, jewelry, ribbon boards, cookies and decorated flip-flops and picture frames. The items were given to girls at the Children's Attention Home.

Elizabeth and Katherine's joint project called Cover to Cover helped provide more than 1,000 books, 140 videos, two boxes of magazines and 50 lap blankets for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Burn Center.

Each Gold Award recipient must earn four interest project patches, the career exploration pin and the senior leadership award, which requires 30 hours of leadership experience, as well as completing five parts of the senior Girl Scout challenge. When completed, each girl must spend a minimum of 50 hours designing, planning and implementing a project that meets a need in the community and has a lasting impact. The girls earned their Silver Awards in 2004.

Bethany is the daughter of Bobby and Carol Ann Welborn of Hickory Grove; Laura, daughter of David and Janette Deas of York; and Elizabeth and Katherine Podmore, daughters of Richard and Carol Podmore of York.

Juvenile Justice worker honored on state level

Amahl Bennett from the York County Department of Juvenile Justice was recently recognized as the recipient of the James W. Sparks South Carolina Youth Worker of the Year award.

The award was presented by S. Anne Walker, executive director of the Alston Wilkes Society in Columbia, along with the board of directors. The society celebrated 45 years of service to the state in working to rebuild lives for safer communities with help from law enforcement, employees and volunteers around the state.

The society was formed in 1962 by the Rev. Alston Wilkes, a Methodist minister, to serve offenders, former offenders and their families. Over the years the organization has expanded service to at-risk youth, therapeutic foster care and service to veterans.

Springs Close Foundation makes grants

The Springs Close Foundation board of directors and the Community Advisory Committee recently gave $1.25 million in grants to 28 agencies and organizations in Chester, Lancaster and York counties.

The following is a list of the local recipients and amounts awarded: Leroy Springs & Company, $525,000; Lancaster County School District, Gear-up program, $300,000; Fort Mill, Tega Cay, Indian Land Adult Day Care's High 5 Club, more than $58,000; Children's Attention Home's therapeutic services, almost $48,000; Chester-Lancaster Disabilities and Special Needs' accessibility project, more than $41,000; HOPE in Lancaster, almost $37,000; Communities in Schools of Lancaster County's FAST program, $35,500; the Boys & Girls Clubs of York County's operation connect project, $25,000; the Good Samaritan Medical Clinic, $22,500; Fort Mill Rescue Squad, $15,000; Interfaith Hospitality Network of York County, $12,500; Lancaster County Council of the Arts, $10,000; Girls on the Run, $8,000; and the United Ways in Chester, Lancaster and York counties, $60,000.

In addition to the grants, 116 student loans totaling almost $179,000 were distributed to 24 colleges and universities in the state. The foundation has distributed $92 million to the area since 1942. For more details, call 548-2002.