April 21, 2015

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina names 2015 award winners

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina presents annual awards to individuals or organizations that represent the core values of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine: Collaboration, compassion, courage, justice and respect. The 2015 award winners who will be formally recognized in June at the foundation’s annual luncheon include:

Catalyst Award—Dee Dee Chewning
Dee Dee Chewning will be the recipient of the first ever Catalyst Award, which was created to recognize an individual who exemplifies the qualities of a servant leader through volunteerism, community involvement, compassion and professional contributions. Chewning served three terms on the foundation board and as board chair in 2013. She has been a member of the Sisters of Charity family since 1992, when she began as director of Healthy Learners. After retiring from Healthy Learners in 2005, she continued to provide leadership and compassion in her volunteer role at the foundation. She is also active in her church and other community organizations. Chewning has the unique ability to bring people together in a collaborative way and also contributes to the betterment of the community through her kindness and support for all people.

Leadership in Diversity Award—Charles T. Ferillo
Charles T. Ferillo will be the recipient of the 2015 Leadership in Diversity Award. In 2005, Ferillo directed and produced the documentary, Corridor of Shame: The Neglect of South Carolina’s Rural Schools, which focuses on the education equity case of Abbeville v. State of South Carolina. Thirty-six school districts argued that the state did not provide adequate teacher quality and facilities and that the legislature did not provide adequate education to all students. On December 9, 2005, it was ruled that the state had not met its constitutional responsibility to provide a “minimally adequate” education for students through grade three. For his work on the documentary, Ferillo was given the Harvey Gantt Triumph Award in 2010. The Leadership in Diversity Award recognizes an individual or organization that illustrates exemplary performance in the area of diversity and inclusion. The award honors those that serve as a model and whose accomplishments are made through community engagement, awareness, bridge building, compassionate leadership and courageous advocacy. Ferillo is well known for his passion and support for South Carolina’s marginalized population and has taken an active role in many social justice issues across the state.

Caritas Individual Award— Reverend Tony McDade
The Reverend Tony McDade of the Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (GAIHN) will be awarded the foundation’s Caritas Individual Award. "In omnibus caritas” means “In all things charity.” Since its inception in 1851, the congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine has sought to put into practice these simple but all-encompassing words. GAIHN’s mission is to assist local congregations share hospitality (in the form of emergency shelter, meals and short-term housing) with homeless families that include children, and to help those families achieve self-sufficiency and self-fulfillment. The Caritas Individual Award recognizes an individual that illustrates exemplary performance in the area of health, education and community outreach. The award is intended to honor the individual that serves as a model and whose accomplishments are made through community engagement, awareness, bridge building, compassionate leadership and courageous advocacy. McDade has served as an energetic and compassionate leader in the Greenville area for many years. He continues to serve his organization and the community with a humble and grateful heart.

Caritas Organization Award—Neighborhood House
Neighborhood House of Charleston is this year’s Caritas Organization Award winner. The Neighborhood House, a social service outreach ministry, was established by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy in 1915 and currently provides education services such as G.E.D. preparation, basic skills, literacy training, computer education, a clothes closet, a food pantry, direct emergency financial assistance, and a five day per week soup kitchen that serves an average of 120 people a day.  Neighborhood House will be honored for exemplary performance in the area of health, education, and community outreach through its faithful and long term commitment to Charleston’s inner city neighborhoods and its residents.  

About the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, established in 1996, is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Foundation is committed to addressing the needs of the poor and underserved in all 46 South Carolina counties, and strategically uses resources to reduce poverty through action, advocacy and leadership.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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