2014 Community Leadership Awards Event PDF Print E-mail

Gaston Together’s Community Leadership Awards Event:

A Tremendous Success!

cla2014recipientThe 2014 Community Leadership Awards Event was an evening to celebrate outstanding Community Leadership that we enjoy today as well as leaders of the future!  Gaston Together, in its seventeenth year of service to Gaston County, honored Holy Angels, Inc. as the winner of the 2014 Community Leadership AwardAmy Burkett, WTVI - PBS Charlotte, was the event emcee.  Over two hundred guests were in attendance to be a part of the evening.  Event Gold Sponsors were PSNC Energy, Duke Energy and Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund/ Firestone Fibers.


Holy Angels was recognized as an organization that has made a tremendous impact on the quality of life in Gaston County.  Since 1956, they have offered dependable, round-the-clock care for children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities.  They have also been an active and important corporate citizen in Gaston County.  In addition to fulfilling its mission of enhanced compassionate care, Holy Angels continues to support our community by providing executive staff for active civic leadership roles throughout Gaston County.   They not only strive to meet the needs of their residents but also take responsibility as a corporate citizen to work towards the long-term growth of our community at large which makes Holy Angels a most deserving winner of the 2014 Circle of Caring Award.

Community Leadership Awards Committee Chairman, Mr. Robert Browne, presented Regina Moody, President and CEO, with the “Circle of Caring Award,” a sculpture commissioned by Gaston Together to commemorate this honor.  The sculpture was designed by local artist, Dr. Graham Weathers.


The Gaston County Education Foundation once again graciously sponsored the “Proudest Kid in Gaston County” Essay Contest.  Education Foundation Director, Jennie Stultz, presented the check for next year’s contest during the event saying, “The Education Foundation has seen this funding as an investment in our children, the future of our county.” The 2014 winner of the essay contest for third graders was also announced at the event.  Kennette Bess, Woodhill Elementary, was this year’s County-wide winner and was presented with her award by Dr. Benjamin Hinton, Chairman of the Essay Selection Committee.  Honorable mentions were Celia Roche, New Hope Elementary, Lainey Renee Baakko, Belmont Central Elementary and Jake Baysden, Chapel Grove Elementary.  Individual school winners were presented with a Lantern of Knowledge medal for their essays.


Gaston Youth Connected was also recognized with the Circle of Excellence Award.  Launched in 2010, Gaston Youth Connected is a community-wide initiative to prevent teen pregnancy in Gaston County, bringing with it $5.8M in federal funding.  Under their guidance, Gaston County’s teen pregnancy rate has dropped 28 percent and the historical gap between white and African American teen pregnancies closed, drawing national attention to Gaston County’s success.  These tremendous victories are a reflection of the hard, thoughtful work of Gaston Youth Connected and Gaston County’s shared commitment to the health, safety, and future of its young people, making them a worthy recipient of the 2014 Circle of Excellence Award.

circleofexcellenceGaston Together is a county-wide non-profit organization whose mission is to bring the people and resources of Gaston County together to address our community’s unmet needs.  This work is conducted through the principles and best practices of collaboration, facilitation, promotion and the anticipation of possibilities.  Kerri Massey is serving as the 2014 Board Chair.



Picture #1: Mr. Robert Brown, Community Leadership Awards Chairman, presenting the “Circle of Caring” Award to Regina Moody, President and CEO, Holy Angels.

Picture #2:  The Gold Event Sponsors with their “Circle of Caring” replica award were (from left), George Ratchford, PSNC Energy, and Tony Powell, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund/ Firestone Fibers.  Not pictured:  Tim Gause, Duke Energy.

Picture #3:  2014 “Proudest Kid in Gaston County” Essay Contest winner, Kennette Bess, Woodhill Elementary, and Amy Burkett, WTVI PBS Charlotte, event emcee

Picture #4: Gaston County Education Foundation Director, Jennie Stultz, with Dr. Benjamin Hinton, Chairman of the “Proudest Kid in Gaston County” Essay Contest Committee

Picture #5:  Sally Swanson, Gaston Youth Connected, Director, and Robert Browne, Community Leadership Awards Chairman, presenting the Circle of Excellence Award.