DARLINGTON, S.C. — The Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet and celebration at the Darlington Country Club on Thursday night.
Chamber President Harriet Hobbs said the chamber has gained 24 new members in the last three months.
“That is unheard of,” Hobbs said. “I am thrilled and would like to thank each of our board members for their time dedicated to the chamber.”
The chamber is up to 144 total members, one of which is Man2Man Fatherhood Initiative Program.
Anthony Green, of Man2Man, talked about the program, which has spread across the state of South Carolina over the last 18 years.
“We connect families and help bridge the gap,” Green said. “Our purpose is to work with people for economic development, personal development and healthy relationships. We help people find jobs and mentor young parents who are going through tough times because it’s all about the children.”
Hobbs added that Man2Man wasn’t just a proud member of the chamber, but a great place to find job candidates.
“If any businesses need employees, Man2Man is where to go,” Hobbs said. “They don’t just find employees, they help train and counsel them and that makes a difference.”
The chamber presented three awards on Thursday: The Lifetime Achievement Award, the Community Pride Award and the Citizen of the Year.
Connell Delaine was honored with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I thank the chamber and everyone who was involved in this selection,” Delaine said. “When I see people in need, which I see every day when I visit the school system, I want to be able to help. I want to take care of people and I’m very honored to win this award.”
Delaine is a veteran of the United States Army, in which he served for over 25 years, and now works to mentor young men, in addition to helping with the Boy Scouts of America and many other local programs.
The Darlington Garden Club was given the 2018 Community Pride Award. The organization has been part of Darlington since 1949, helping perform projects of beautification, including downtown revitalization and many other tasks, around the Darlington community.
Last, Pat Cavanaugh and Tony Chavis were both named as the 2018 Citizens of the Year.
Cavanaugh was originally from Pittsburgh before moving to Darlington in 1993. He is a past captain of the Darlington Rescue Squad and was appointed fire chief in 2012.
“This is my home now,” Cavanaugh said. “I was taught that if you love this town, go to work for it and make it better. There are a lot of people that deserve this award more than I do, but I appreciate it and this is a great honor.”
Chavis echoed Cavanaugh’s sentiments and said that he couldn’t think of a better place to raise his family.
“I’m not originally from Darlington County. I’m from Marlboro County,” Chavis said. “I became a deputy in Chesterfield County in 1988. After I got back from Desert Storm, I was stationed in Darlington County. I fell in love with the people of Darlington County.”
“I live and I work to make sure that you’re safe here and this is truly an honor and blessing. I’ve been a servant since I was 18 years of age and I look forward to continuing to serve.”
Article via Andrew Boardwine, Reporter – The Morning News