The 2021 Charitable Giving Awards

Downtown Greenville
Downtown Greenville | Photo by @sonerakbas_

We’re here to tell you about the annual Charitable Giving Awards event by the Community Foundation of Greenville + Community Journals. The Charitable Giving Awards, presented by Elliott Davis, recognizes individuals, businesses, and nonprofits that provide outstanding service to the community. 🏆

Here are the awards presented, who won them, and why they were chosen:

Visionary Leadership Award, sponsored by Elliott DavisDJ Rama

Giving highlights: DJ Rama is the President + CEO of Auto Hotels, and if you’ve had a drink at Juniper or stayed downtown at the Hyatt, you have DJ Rama to thank for that. More recently, he committed $500,000 to the Auro Bridge, which will be located in Unity Park.

Community Spirit Award, sponsored by First HorizonMill Village Ministries

Giving highlights: This award is given to an outstanding local nonprofit, and Mill Village Ministries is just that. If you’ve heard of Mill Village Farms, stopped by Village Wrench, or shopped during the Third Thursday Market at Poe West, then you’ve experienced the effects of Mill Village Ministries in the community. 

Education Spirit Award, sponsored by the Capital CorporationDr. Marjorie Jenkins

Giving highlights: Dr. Marjorie Jenkins is the Dean of the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville + Chief Academic Officer for Prisma Health—Upstate. She’s only lived in Greenville since 2019, but in two short years she’s made quite the impact on our community.

Healthcare Transformation Award, sponsored by Prisma HealthKen Dority

Giving highlights: The health of our community is vital, and that includes mental health. As the Executive Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greenville since 2013, Ken Dority with NAMI helps to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and supports those suffering through education and advocacy. 

Philanthropic Spirit Award, sponsored by Marsh & McLennan AgencyTD Bank

Giving highlights: This award is one that focuses on giving back to the community, and TD Bank sure does give back. They not only support the community as a brand by sponsoring local events, but their employees often give back by volunteering and serving on boards.

Leadership in Arts Award, sponsored by the Graham FoundationMetropolitan Arts Council

Giving highlights: Art is part of what makes Greenville so great, and MAC has been recognized as having elevated the artistic opportunities in our city. The local arts organization has been able to provide funding for individual artists, art organizations, and different art education initiatives.

Ruth Nicholson Award, sponsored by Community Foundation of GreenvilleLesa Kastler

Giving highlights: Since moving here in the 1990s, Lesa Kastler has touched the community in many ways. She’s a past chair for the Community Foundation of Greenville, she’s volunteered with the Speech, Hearing, and Learning Center, been a part of the advisory council for A Child’s Haven, served as president of the Junior League, and been a part of the Rose Ball committee.

Congratulations again to all those who received awards, and thank you for all you do to make Greenville a better place.