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Community Foundation honors Sauer Award winner

Grace Poli receives the Sauer Award from Recognition Committee Chair Shirley McGee. Grace Poli receives the Sauer Award from Recognition Committee Chair Shirley McGee.

FLAT ROCK — Grace V. Poli, a devoted volunteer and philanthropist, was honored with the 2018 Richard C. and Vina L. Sauer Charitable Leadership Award during the Henderson County Community Foundation's annual celebration of the power of giving Wednesday at Kenmure Country Club.
“The 2018 Sauer Award recipient has supported community needs and given of their time to improve the health, quality of life and wellbeing of Henderson County residents,” said Shirley McGee, Community Foundation Board secretary and chair of the Recognition Committee. “Always committed to helping the less fortunate, particularly children and families not only survive, but thrive. Their year-end giving is typically designated to help feed the hungry, clothe children and adults, keep the lights on and help individuals from being evicted. Admired by co-workers, peers and the community, this year’s recipient is described as having a heart of gold and the passion to get things done, truly a hero among us.”
“Supporting a lengthy list of nonprofit causes, today’s recipient served as one of the early volunteers at Interfaith Assistance Ministry, Henderson County’s crisis services, and volunteered on the Martin Luther King Annual Breakfast Committee,” McGee said. “She is a past president of the League of Women Voters, continuing to serve and chair the childcare coalition, served on the board of Building Bridges for eight years and continues to help improve relations with the African American and Hispanic communities. She actively assists Hispanic residents who work in the fields through clothing drives, assistance development and the use of a voucher program to help with financial issues. She has also been very active in helping with reading programs, a founding member of Smart Start and supporting the children’s library. She served for 6 years on the Mediation Center Board and 13 years as a professional mediator.”
The award is named for Richard C. and Vina L. Sauer, who supported many local charities during their lifetimes and then left the first $1 million unrestricted gift to the Community Foundation through their will. The endowment, along with other gifts, provides resources to numerous causes throughout Henderson County.
Sauer Award Winners are distinguished philanthropic leaders in our community. Past recipients include Bernd and Toby Linder, Phyllis C. Rothrock, Ruth Birge, Thos. R. Shepherd, Mary R. Garrison, Dr. Stuart and Carola Cohn, Marian P. Lowry, Teddi Segal, Robert and Doris Eklund, the Dr. Kathleen McGrady Family, Jeff Miller, Duane and Peggy McKibbin, Dot Marlow, Dr. Colin Thomas, Frank Byrd, Tom and Sue Fazio, Eleanora Meloun, Marcia Caserio, William "Bill" F. Stokes, Jr., William E. "Jamie" Jamison, Kermit Edney, Morris Kaplan, Kenneth Youngblood and Frank Wyttenbach Ewbank.
Community members Rick Bryson and Julie Huneycutt gave remarks on the impact CFHC has had on their endeavors.
Rick Bryson, who lost his father, Tommy, to murder last summer, thanked the Foundation and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department for their partnership in making the Thomas A. Bryson Memorial Basketball Court at Mills River Park a reality.
Bryson says the opioid epidemic affecting Henderson County was directly related to his father’s death and encouraged the community to support the Deer Dash 5K coming up in October.

“All proceeds will benefit First Contact Addition Ministries serving Henderson County,” Bryson said. “We need to help stop this crisis. We are also planning a basketball tournament in the spring. We are able to do this because of the Foundation and what the community does.”
Julie Huneycutt of Hope Rx reiterated Bryson’s comments on the importance of stopping the opioid epidemic. “The conversations must be started,” Huneycutt said. “You can make a difference. Be it through active participation in the process or giving financially. No family should suffer from this epidemic.”
Community Foundation of Henderson County Board Chairman Cindy Causby announced The Dot Marlow Philanthropic Catalyst Award, a new award to be presented at the Foundation’s spring event, Vintage Carolina.
“At the Foundation we often refer to Dot as our “founding lady.” She joined our organization at a pivotal time serving as our first female board member bringing with her the spark that would ignite everything to come,” Causby said. “Rarely do we find one person to possess so many qualities with such beauty and grace: friend, role model, generous donor, etiquette instructor, board member, wife, mother, grandmother, volunteer, a woman of faith, career driven, and most of all a catalyst for community philanthropy.”
The recipient of this award will exemplify selfless leadership for philanthropic work for our community’s greater good, remaining engaged with commitment and determination to accomplish results that will help others and create a better future even beyond our life time.
CFHC Past Chairman Les Boyd thanked outgoing board of directors John Bell, Charley Rogers and Kaye Youngblood. Boyd welcomed incoming board of directors Dr. Wendy Frye and Carolina Gunther.
Boyd, reflecting on his past year as Board Chairman shared that in the 36 year history of CFHC, they have awarded over $50 million and in the past year investments performed at 9.3%. Also, in the past year the Foundation received its largest unrestricted gift to date of $3.3 million.
“Over the past year the Community Foundation awarded $3.59 million in grants and scholarships,” Boyd added. “This impacted 297 non-profits and 209 students.”
Founded in 1982, Community Foundation of Henderson County’s mission is helping people who care make lasting contributions to causes that matter. CFHC accepts gifts from individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create a permanent pool of charitable capital from which grants are awarded. Learn more about Community Foundation of Henderson County at, at the Community Foundation’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and by calling (828) 697-6224.