ASHEVILLE – A celebration of the work of 64 rural communities in the western North Carolina mountains took place on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the 67th WNC Honors Awards Program. Over 250 community leaders from 15 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee attended the luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton.
The Big Y Community was a big winner on the night being named a Community of Distinction and taking home a $2,000 cash award. They were chosen because of their ability to work together in assessing, developing, and implementing strategies to address community issues.
“Our rural communities are dedicated and work tirelessly on numerous projects,” states Linda Lamp, executive director of WNC Communities. “The communities with the Eastern Band of Cherokee make a great difference in the quality of life for all of us. It is only appropriate that we honor them and draw on their continuous positive example of neighbor helping neighbor.”
The Big Cove Community was named a Community of Promise, selected because of the initiatives implemented by the community that show promise and can be replicated around the region, and won $1,000.
Towstring and Yellowhill Communities were named Engaged Communities and won $500 each and the Snowbird Community was named a Participating Community and won $250.
In addition, Towstring Community received the President’s Award for submitting an application to the WNC Honors Awards program for 25 years.
Generous sponsorships from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Harrah’s Valley River Casino & Hotel, Biltmore Farms Inc., Duke Energy, Mission Health, The McClure Fund, Buncombe County Farm Bureau, Carolina Farm Credit, First Citizens Bank and Wells Fargo made it possible to award a record amount of $39,500 to a total of 64 community centers and clubs throughout the mountains for innovative approaches to addressing community needs.
Community centers and clubs across the region voluntarily participate in the annual WNC Honors Awards by submitting an application to WNC Communities in September.
– WNC Communities