B-Social: Chamber Honors Community Leaders at Annual Ball
Author: Special To C2 Magazine
One of Hilton Head Island’s well-known community leaders, J. Dudley King, Jr., was honored with the coveted Alice Glenn Doughtie Good Citizenship Award during the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce’s annual ball held Saturday evening, February 2. The award was presented to King during the Oscar-themed event at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.
King, owner of Plantation Interiors, was recognized for embodying the award’s standard of “selfless community service leadership.” Known for his role in the development of two cornerstone organizations, The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and The Children’s Center, he has left his mark on the arts, enhanced the lives of families and children of our community as well as a great number of other charities and organizations that have felt his positive impact.
“This is not an individual that’s content to simply write a check,” said Tom Upshaw, chamber board president. “He dives into whatever he’s working on. Whether it’s moving furniture, working with architects or managing finances, he is committed and involved from beginning to end.”
The Alice Glenn Doughtie Good Citizenship Award was first presented in 1971 and is dedicated by her family to the memory of Doughtie, who died at 22 after a short life in service to others.
Organization of the Year Award: University of South Carolina Beaufort and Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Foundation
Two separate organizations were recognized with the Organization of the Year Award at the black-tie gala. Serving the community and enriching the quality of life for area residents, the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Foundation were lauded for their important contributions throughout the Lowcountry.
While honoring its commitment to providing a liberal arts education, USCB continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of higher education. The college’s enrollment has more than doubled since it began offering four-year degrees a decade ago, serving nearly 2,000 students at its two campuses and providing an economic impact of $74 million in the region.
“USCB is our beacon for the future,” said Paula Harper Bethea, executive director, S.C. Education Lottery. “This organization unites us as a people and brings us together as a region.”
Serving the community since 1979, the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Foundation has spent the past 33 years with one goal in mind, raising money for the children of the Lowcountry. Since its inception, the celebrity golf tournament has raised more than $3.9M for area children’s charities.
“They have been serving the community for a very long time, and their contributions have impacted so many,” said Sissy Jarrell, director, First Presbyterian Day School. “Without this event, the children of the community and their parents would have a big void; it’s so important to what we do and who we serve.”
The Sue West Educator of the Year: John Abbott
For John Abbot, it’s more than just numbers; he brings math to life for his upper grade students at Hilton Head Christian Academy. Far beyond lessons learned in algebra, geometry and statistics, he teaches his students to be leaders that can impact the world.
“John always has students in his room seeking him out for extra help,” according to Larry Green, Hilton Head Christian Academy principal. “He is sought out because of his love for students, his desire to see them be successful and his personal determination to make HHCA a better place and his students better people.”
Bluffton Regional Business Council Member of the Year: The Bluffton Oyster Company
The Bluffton Oyster Company is one of Bluffton’s longstanding family businesses. Owners Tina and Larry Toomer’s family history is entwined with the shores of the May River, a legacy of fishing the local waters that goes back well over 100 years.
The Bluffton Oyster Company has occupied its site longer than any other oyster-shucking house in the state and serves as the last standing shucking house in South Carolina. Their restaurant, Bluffton Oyster Co.’s Family Seafood House, specializes in the area’s fresh, local seafood. Working closely with regulatory agencies on water quality, they return thousands of oyster shells to the river each year for seeding for future harvesting.
“The Toomers are a very thick thread in the fabric of our community,” said Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka. “They are givers who give back to our community in every way.”
Zonta Woman of the Year: Cindy Taulbee
Cindy Taulbee, vice president of finance with The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette, is a compassionate champion of community causes. Over the past 28 years, she has served as past president of Zonta on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, a board member of the Island Recreation Center, a founding member of The Sandbox Children’s Museum and current board member of Bluffton Self Help.
“Cindy definitely embodies that woman who takes her skills and talents and not only uses them professionally, but gives them as gifts to the members of the community who need it most,” said Jennifer Stupica, president, Zonta Club of Bluffton.