Arnold Fields Awards ceremony celebrates deserving citizens
The annual General Arnold Fields Community Endowment Awards Banquet provided much deserved recognition for several Hampton County do-gooders Saturday.
Major General Arnold Fields, a Hampton County native who commanded Marines during the Gulf War, bestowed high honors to several Hampton County residents during the annual Arnold Fields Community Endowment Fund awards banquet Saturday, March 11, at North District Middle School.
Held in the school’s gymnasium, a meal was provided to attendees and served by staff members from Alpha Genesis, of Yemassee. Musical entertainment was provided by Fayetteville, NC’s Willie Bradley and the Main Street Band. The upbeat jazz was a hit with the crowd, which greatly enjoyed Bradley’s tour through the throng of tables while never missing a note on his trumpet.
As well as touching remarks from Major General Fields, LTC. Alexander Shaw, Pastor Thomas Williams, Dr. Roy Hollingsworth (who introduced recipients), HCSO Sheriff T.C. Smalls, Albert Wiggins, Charlie Grant and the Honorable Terry Wright spoke during the event.
Also during the ceremony, Gary D. Loadholt was presented with his White Crane Donor Jacket. This is the first time in three years that a White Crane Jacket has been awarded.
“It’s easy to give, and it lasts a lifetime,” said Loadholt.
Also looking sharp in special jackets, members of the Estill High School Army JROTC Color Guard presented the flag for the national anthem.
2017 Arnold Fields Award recipients
The 2017 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Theodore V. Murdaugh Sr. The Lifetime Achievement award is given to individuals who have improved the quality of life for the residents of Hampton County.
Murdaugh has been an instrumental figure within the Hampton County school system, as both an educator and as a Hampton District 1 School Board member. During his time as a board member, Murdaugh helped to advance the vocational education opportunities within the district.
Maj. Gen. Fields gave high regards to Murdaugh, and informed the audience that Murdaugh was an influential former teacher for him during his time as a student in Hampton County.
“I appreciate Mr. Murdaugh for setting me off to a great start,” said Maj. Gen. Fields. “I have called on principals throughout my career.”
An award meant to honor those whose hard work and dedication often goes unnoticed, the Unsung Hero Award recognizes individuals who display strong community pride and a commitment to improve the lives of others.
The 2017 Unsung Hero Award was presented to Charlie I. Crews. Crews has devoted his life to assisting the residents and religious organizations within the community. A faithful supporter of the Brotherhood Men’s Ministry at his church, he has organized several fish fries to raise funds for numerous individuals and families. Crews stated he greatly appreciated the award which was “Unlike any I’ve had in my entire life,” he said.
Arts and Culture
Arthur Roy Hughes was awarded with the 2017 Arts and Culture Award for his work organizing the annual Yemassee Marine Train Depot reunion celebration. Hughes approached the Yemassee Town Council in 2003 with the idea of utilizing the once bustling train station for a Marine reunion.
Accepting the award on behalf of Hughes, who could not attend the event due to unforeseen circumstances, was Yemassee Town Council’s Jordan Jenks. Reverend Martin Wright spoke on behalf of Hughes and stated Hughes was grateful for the award.
Friends of Hampton County
The 2017 Friends of Hampton County Award was given to Lee Smith.
A Hampton County native and a graduate of North District Training School, he began his career at Boyles Furniture Store in Hampton. He later went on to work for Maxwell Furniture for several years before purchasing his own business in 1996. In 2015, he purchased a new location, in Downtown Hampton, and opened the doors to Lee’s furniture.
Smith lent usage of his business for local Narcotics Anonymous meetings from 1998 until 2015. He was also formerly employed at WDOG Radio Station in Allendale (1983-86), and is married to wife Evelyn and has two sons, Troy and Timothy, who help their father operate the family business.
The 2017 recipient of the Inspirational Gospel Music Award was awarded to Olden Morris, who has been performing uplifting gospel music for the better part of 50 years. His legendary voice has been a staple within Hampton County and the Lowcountry for decades.
He began singing with his father as a young boy in churches. Later, he led a choir in his father’s home church and also sang in sever gospel groups, including The Sanders Brothers, The Imperial Gospel Singers, The Gospel Stars of Joy, as well as others.
After he accepted the award, Morris led the packed house in a gospel song. Morris was in prime form and received a standing ovation by the audience for his beautiful performance.
Public Safety Award
The 2017 Public Safety Award was presented to George K. Youmans. Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls spoke of Youmans’ dedication to the residents of Hampton County and the Lowcountry during his time as a law enforcement officer.
Youmans thanked God for allowing him to serve the community and Sheriff Smalls for “Choosing little me.”
This year’s Arnold Fields Endowment Scholarship recipient was Patrick Henry Academy’s Lenore V. Bishop. Bishop has plans on attending the Technical College of the Lowcountry and pursuing a career in Radiology.
2017 HCSO CITIZENSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS/ THIRD GRADE
Hazel Elementary School, Jordan Nelson; Brunson Elementary School, Alexander McDonald; Estill Elementary School, Diego Santana; Fennell Elementary School, Jimiah Brown; Patrick Henry Academy, Sophie Westendorf; Varnville Elementary School, Autumn Williams.