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The Hasties, 'force of nature' for good, honored as Cranford Award winners

Donna and Sandy Hastie are the 2020 Rob and Ginger Cranford Community Service Award. [GOOGLE VIDEO SCREENSHOT] Donna and Sandy Hastie are the 2020 Rob and Ginger Cranford Community Service Award. [GOOGLE VIDEO SCREENSHOT]

Donna and Sandy Hastie, a "formidable combined force of nature" who have led philanthropic and organizational efforts to benefit youth, the performing arts, the war on cancer and more, have been named this year's winners of the Rob and Ginger Cranford Community Service Award.


United Way Executive Director Denise Cumbee Long announced the award this week in a six-minute video tribute that included praise and appreciation from nonprofit leaders and volunteers who have served with the couple over many years.

The award honors people who have been supportive of the United Way and have also "very active in the wider community for many years, and the two of you have a legacy of giving back that goes way beyond our organization and extends into many corners of Henderson County," Long said. "We think you are the absolute perfect recipients for this award."

"Thank for being leaders, thank you for leading with love and thank you for setting an example that we can all strive to follow," said Julia Hockenberry, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club.

"I couldn't think of a couple more well deserving," said Tom Murrill. "Each of you has contributed so much to our community," citing Donna's work for the United Way and the Hendersonville Symphony and Sandy's support of the Boys & Girls Club and Kenmure Fights Cancer, which has raised $500,000 for Pardee and Advent hospitals over the past 10 years.

Madeleine Duncan praised the couple for giving children at the Boys & Girls "the gift of giving" through a program where the young folks buy presents for family members. "Your dedication, your leadership and just the desire to do good has made it a very successful venture — every year more successful than the last," she said. 

"On any number of occasions during the years I was invovled with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, when we needed something important done, when we needed broad shoulders we could trust, the HSO turned to Donna and Sandy Hastie," said Bill Humleker. "The Hasties are a formidable combined force of nature, ultracapable. ... If Sandy and Donna were on board, we knew we would succeed."

"When it comes to community involvement and support, you guys set the bar really high," said Mark Warwick, a past United Way campaign chair.

Paige Posey, who co-led the campaign with Warwick, her husband, thanked the Hasties for their support of the Flat Rock Playhouse, which she chairs.

"You've been awesome supporting players and all of the wonderful work you've done in the gardens — all those labors of love continue to flourish," she said.

"I can't count all the ways you've enriched our community," said Sharon Tirrell, a retired social services administrator. "You have been dedicated board leaders, you've been generous donors, you've been indefatigable fundraisers and you've been partners who've been willing to get your hands dirty to get the job done. You're true servant leaders, and you've also been role models for us as you demonstrated courage, tenacity and faith when you are facing diversity. We appreciate you and we thank you."