Special to the Tribune
Asheville – The WNC Honors Awards are built on a 70-year tradition of recognizing rural community development clubs for their innovative ideas and grassroots solutions. These centers and clubs are the backbone running through our beloved mountains. Several of those communities are in the Tribune/Leader coverage area.
The culmination of this year’s program occurred at a luncheon held on Saturday (November 2nd) with 250 community leaders from 13 Western North Carolina counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in attendance, where awards were handed out.
Communities of Promise receive a cash award of $1,000 and are chosen because of the initiatives implemented by the community that show promise and can be replicated around the region. Three community centers in North and Northwest Buncombe received this honor: Big Ivy, Leicester, and Sandy Mush.
Engaged Communities receive a cash award of $500 and are involved in numerous programs impacting their residents. The Ox Creek Community Club received this recognition.
Participating Communities receive a cash award of $250 each for their successful projects implemented during the past year The Newfound Community Center received this award.
The Leicester Community Center also received the Calico Cat Jr. award for its significant volunteer efforts toward the improvement and upkeep of the existing community center over the past year.
Leicester, like many of its fellow community organizations, knows that upgrades and improvements are not always choices; they happen when repairs no longer work. They are necessary and are key to survival. August 2018 to August 2019 will be recorded as one of the most challenging periods in the history of the Leicester Community Center.
The 65 communities participating in this year’s program made a $6 million investment of time, talent, money and effort in our Western North Carolina Communities. Their fundraising efforts brought in $950,000, with more than 5,500 volunteers investing an impressive 195,500 hours of their time in outreach programs dedicated to conservation, education, beautification, health, wellness, and economic development.
Generous sponsorships brought in $37,500 to award to the 65 community centers and clubs participating in the 2019 WNC Honors Awards.