Gaston Outside Campaign
Coalition/Law Enforcement Breakfast
Madeleine Jo Hendrix, Sadler Elementary
Individual School Winners
Kinley Stiles, New Hope Elementary.
Community Leaders Roundtable
Warlick Family YMCA
Community Foundation Grant Recipients
Law Enforcement Covenant Renewal
Gaston County Commission
Gaston Together Clergy & Citizens Coalition and Community Partners Say, “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” - Get Vaccinated!
May 24, 2021
Members of the Gaston Together Clergy & Citizens Coalition, law enforcement, and community partners met on Monday, May 24 at the Rotary Pavilion to show their support for getting the Covid vaccine. Despite the sudden, summer type heat, several met together to show their support and encouragement for getting the vaccine. According to clergy members, rolling up your sleeve for the vaccine is a wonderful example of “loving your neighbor as yourself.” These community members are hoping to serve as a positive example to help our entire county. If you have not already done so, they ask that you get vaccinated and encourage others to do the same.
Graduates pictured L-R: Vincent Wong, Will Jones, Earnest Sumner II, Ashlyn Wadesworth, Jeff Phelps, Whitney Hill, Michelle Melton, Shelton Watson, Lisa Clement-Bryant, Reggie Bloom, Josh Watkins, Natasha Gilbert, Diana Willman, Krystle White, Verlina Lomick and Labrey Burris. Kneeling, facilitators Octavia Seawell and Jennifer Davis. Graduates not pictured: Miles Braswell, Holly Powell and Rachel Wildstein.
Gaston Together’s Civic Engagement Leadership Graduation Celebration!
May 14, 2021
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a long awaited event.
On Tuesday, May 11th, Gaston Together was finally able to conduct the graduation celebration for the third class of their Civic Engagement Leadership (CEL) process. These graduates began their sessions in August 2019 anticipating a June 2020 graduation. Due to Covid restrictions, they had to extend their number of sessions by three and conduct them via a virtual format just to complete the CEL process. Fortunately, they were far enough along in the CEL process to enable a virtual format to work. One year later, they were able to graduate AND celebrate!
The graduation celebration event was held at the Gaston Country Club at 5:30pm. Guests were greeted with a welcome reception that was sponsored by the second class of CEL. The program and presentation followed.
Gaston Together created the CEL process in response to a two-fold community request: 1) to create a potential future pool of leaders for Gaston County and 2) to attract and retain young adults in Gaston County through leadership opportunities. Gaston Together conducted an extensive research and discovery phase to examine other leadership programs in the county to identify any possible gaps and avoid duplication of efforts. The CEL process was built around three areas for enhancement identified during this research phase: intentional cross-sector community building, greater knowledge of Gaston County (its past, present and impact on the future) and in-depth personal awareness and skills development.
The process is designed with eight sessions: six full-day and two half-day. Classes are limited to a group of 20-25 participants to allow for active engagement. Sessions are conducted as an “experiential learning laboratory” where participants feel safe to practice skills learned during the sessions. Some highlights of the process include work on communication skills and civic dialogue, influencing as a leader and community building by working across differences in demographics and community sectors, and self-assessment pre and post program testing for growth/change comparison.
Community focus areas important to them as residents of Gaston County such as education and diversity in leadership are identified early in their sessions. Subsequent sessions are then developed around these focus areas. One highlight of the sessions each year is the Community Leaders “Speed Networking” day. Community leaders are selected to participate based on the focus areas important to that particular CEL class.
Funding for the third class of Civic Engagement Leadership was graciously provided by the Carrie E. and Lena B. Glenn Foundation, the First Gaston Foundation, Dominion Energy and Gaston County. Fellowship Sponsors were Charlie and Helene Pearson, TJ Solomon and Parkdale Mills.
Gaston Together is currently taking applications for CEL 4 which will begin with an orientation in August. Sessions will begin in September. For more information or to get an application, contact Gaston Together at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-867-9869, ext. 111.
City of Cherryville Earns Silver Level Award
Healthy Gaston was proud to honor the City of Cherryville with their Silver Level Award. The City of Cherryville continued on their wellness journey even during the pandemic. Well Done!!
2021 Gaston Together MLK Unity Award Request for Nominations
The Gaston Clergy & Citizens Coalition (GC3), an initiative of Gaston Together, will present the 2021 Gaston Together MLK Unity Awards on Monday, January 18th, the MLK national holiday. The details for the event are pending based on current coronavirus guidelines.
The Gaston Together MLK Unity Award was established in 2004 by the GC3. The award recognizes current or former Gaston County citizens who have performed exemplary community service to help build bridges of unity across lines of race, class, gender, faith and/or among municipalities within our county. Names of the honorees are engraved on the MLK Monument located at the MLK Plaza. The Plaza is at the corner of Long Avenue and MLK Way in downtown Gastonia. Past winners include notable community members such as Senator Marshall Rauch, N. A. Smith, Mildred Sadler, the 1964 Gastonia Human Relations Committee, Rev. Houston Matthews, Danny Jackson, Sam Shoukry and Richard and Lucy Penegar to name a few.
To get the nomination form and award criteria, contact Gaston Together at email@example.com. Completed nomination forms must be received no later than 5pm on November 1st. The selection committee composed of former MLK Unity Award Honorees will determine the 2021 recipients. The award recipients will be notified in mid-late December.
The GC3 is a county-wide, non-denominational ministerial association formed in the late 1990’s by Gaston Together. The GC3 meets on the second Thursday of each month at 9:00am normally at First United Methodist Church Family Life Center, Gastonia. They are currently meeting in a virtual format. For more information, please call Gaston Together (704-867-9869.)