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Rock Hill’s Celriver Legacy Project awards first scholarships, residents celebrate wins

Each month, The Herald shares accomplishments from the York County region.

Here are the highlights:

Celriver Legacy scholarships awarded

Two local students are the first recipients of scholarships established by the Celriver Legacy Project, according to a release from the project coordinators.

The Celriver Legacy Project, launched in 2014 by former Celriver employees, honors the contributions of those who worked at the Celenese Celriver facility, according to Winthrop University.

The textile plant employed thousands in Rock Hill for six decades before closing in 2005, The Herald previously reported.

“Celriver was an influential part of Rock Hill’s economic fabric and it is important to preserve that history so upcoming generations really understand how the city has been able to prosper for so long,” Mack Bailey, legacy project board member, said in a prepared statement. “We must keep that economic momentum going with young minds who can acknowledge the past while developing an even brighter future.”

The Legacy Project established scholarship endowments at Winthrop University and York Technical College in Rock Hill, according to the schools. Preference is given to descendants of former Celriver employees.

Kathryn O’Donnell of Rock Hill was awarded the Sue and Ed Ewald/Celriver Legacy Scholarship, the release states. O’Donnell’s grandmother, Alice Faye Sutton, worked for 10 years at the Celriver facility.

O’Donnell’s scholarship is named for Ed Ewald, former Celriver plant manager, the release states. The Ewalds contributed to the legacy project.

O’Donnell, a senior at Winthrop University, is majoring in early childhood education and plans to pursue a master’s in education, according to the release.

“Teaching is my passion and this scholarship has helped me fulfill that passion,” O’Donnell said in a prepared statement.

The York County Natural Gas Authority/Celriver Legacy Scholarship was awarded to Ben Matthews, a student at York Technical College, the release states. The National Gas Authority contributed to the scholarship fund.

Matthews is in the construction management program at York Tech, the release states. His great grandfather Jimmy Munn and Munn’s wife, known as Mickey, worked at the Celriver facility from the late 1950s until the early 70s.

In 2017, the Celriver Legacy Project created the Legacy Plaza in Rock Hill. The Plaza includes art, memorials and sculptures that pay homage to the site’s history and its former employees.

750 volunteers clean up Lake Wylie

On Oct. 5, 750 volunteers came together for the Lake Wylie Rotarians’ fall Riversweep clean up in Lake Wylie, a release states.

The group collected 1,200 bags of trash at 10 sites, the release states. Along with 22,000 pounds of trash, the group collected a toy alligator, two refrigerators, 90 old tires, a discarded roof and two dilapidated docks.

Piedmont Medical Center honors nurses

Piedmont Medical Center recently presented 14 nurses with Nurses Achieving Clinical Excellence (Clinical Ladder) program awards, a release states. The program rewards nurses for showing professional growth and clinical excellence.

“I am humbled to be able to share in not only my accomplishments but the accomplishments of my coworkers who also completed the clinical ladder with me,” Nurse Informatics Analyst Allison Warren, BSN, RN, said in a prepared statement. “It is satisfying to be rewarded for being inventive, creative and for advancing our profession of nursing.”

“I feel like the ultimate goal of the Clinical Ladder program is to promote professional growth no matter what stage of your nursing career,” Warren said.

The Level Three award recipients are: Wendie Blankenship (Cardiovasculary Telemetry), Shanika Baxter (Orthopedics and Spine), Lakeisha Crawford (Orthopedics and Spine), Mary Ashley Barron (NICU) and Sarah Austin (Orthopedics and Spine).

The Level Four award recipients are: Allison Warren (Informatics), Alyssia Starkey (Cardiovascular Telemetry), Jennifer Reddick (Infusion Center), April Roberts (Orthopedics and Spine), Christina Deal (Orthopedics and Spine) and Lorianne Statts (Progressive Care Unit).

The Level Five award recipients are: Anne Morley Vrooman (Infusion Center), Rachel Miller (Women’s Service – Lactation) and Barb Shores (Infusion Center).

Rock Hill business owner named to York Tech commission

Charles ‘Chad’ Williams, Jr. has been named to the York Commission for Technical Education, York Technical College’s governing board, a release states.

The Commission is in charge of the upholding the college’s mission, ensuring financial stability and developing policies to ensure the college follows state, federal and local laws, according to York Tech.

Williams will serve through April 2022.

He is the president and CEO of Caretaker Management Services, a lawn and garden maintenance company in Rock Hill, the release states.

Williams served as the planning commissioner for the City of Rock Hill and was a York County councilman, according to the release. He also served on the Rock Hill Economic Development Board and the board for the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill.

Williams graduated from Clemson University. He served in the Army National Guard from 1986-1994 in Clemson and Gaffney, the release states.

“I am excited to be on the York Area Commission,” Williams said in a prepared statement. “Technical colleges are something that are under-utilized and on the rise and I am looking forward to being a part of that.”

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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