Y honors 4 with awards at volunteers lunch

The Upper Palmetto YMCA gave out four awards at its first volunteer award lunch Oct. 17.

Three of the awards will be given each year during the lunch, which is to become an annual event, said Christle Ross, marketing director.

The fourth award, the Heritage Award, was created to acknowledge someone who has provided exemplary service to the Y and might not be given annually, Ross said. This year it went to Robert Hope, executive director of the Y from 1961 to 1991.

"We gave the first Heritage Award to Robert Hope because of his leadership and service," she said.

Other awards went to:

• Nora Stroupe from the Clover Y for Program Volunteer of the Year. Stroupe volunteers for the First Thursdays club, a program for the special needs adults in York County.

• Bessie Vastis for the Policy Volunteer of the Year. Vastis is a board member who rallied the community to establish a Y and a pool in Chester. She, along with the Chester Y, hosts an annual Halloween carnival.

• Mike McGraw for Campaign Volunteer of the Year. McGraw chairs Taste of the Town, which raises money for Y scholarships and is hosted by the Fort Mill Y.

Also at the lunch, state Reps. Herb Kirsh, D-Clover, and Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, presented $200,000 for water and sewage improvements at Camp Cherokee, a 60-year-old summer youth resident camp at Kings Mountain State Park.

More than 250 people attended the lunch at Rock Hill's Magnolia Room in Laurel Creek. Guest speaker coach Herman Boone, whose life was portrayed in the movie "Remember the Titans," encouraged volunteers to keep the Y a strong anchor for children in the community.