Community Impact Award

Recognizing the True Servants of Hickory Nut Gorge 


Buy Tickets to the Annual Community Impact Award

The term steward dates back to ancient history and referred to a household servant who dutifully and faithfully oversaw the valuables of the Master.

Today, a steward is someone who has accepted or been assigned responsibility to shepherd and safeguard the valuables of others.

The Community Impact Award (CIA) is given to an individual, couple, or organization who has demonstrated significant stewardship in the Hickory Nut Gorge community.

The Hickory Nut Gorge is a rare jewel, its majesty and beauty touch the soul, drawing in a population of people who put the needs of the community ahead of their own.

These community-minded people have provided the civic leadership that has been the cornerstone of the Gorge.

That leadership continues to be carried out by strong, dedicated people who accept the challenges and responsibility for its care.

The Community Impact Award acknowledges that spirit and recognizes those special people who have made the Hickory Nut Gorge a better place.

About our 2019 Recipients

Because of their steady stream of quiet, yet powerfully impactful contributions of time and talent over many decades, the board selected Todd and Melinda Morse for the 2019 Community Impact Award. 

Speaking of how volunteering her time has impacted her, Melinda Morse said, "Volunteering has meant so much to me over the years. I volunteer because I WANT TO. It is my time, my heart and my being that wants to give to causes that I find meaningful in life, and there are so many. A volunteer has so much to offer and fills a much-needed service where funding may not be available. It is seeing the beauty, the humanity of another and reaching out to give freely."

Todd shared a similar approach to how being a volunteer has touched his own life as well.

"Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune and privilege of working with such a wide variety of organizations and causes - each one I chose to work with because of how they appealed to my interest in business and, in many cases, my heart. It’s so rewarding to be a part of something bigger than yourself and something that helps move our community forward to make sure none are left behind. I’ve often said of the organizations I loved the most, that I got the better end of the deal in my volunteering - the work touched me more deeply than anything I could have given."

Please join the board of directors, Todd and Melinda's family, and our donors on May 30th at 6 pm at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa as we come together to learn much more about how the contributions of this special couple have made a lasting impact in Hickory Nut Gorge! 

Click on the Buy Now button at the top of this page to get your tickets. 

Since 2005, the Community Impact Award has honored the following individuals and organizations:

George and Hope Wittmer

Buck and Barbara Meliski

Russ Pitts and Lynn Carnes

the late Jim Dunn, Co-Founder Recognition Award

Chimney Rock Village Community Development Association

Kay and Ed Dittmer

Gary Wilson

Mary Ann Ransom