Mary Burr has been named the inaugural recipient of the Roy L. Smith Humanitarian Award, presented in the September 4 worship service of First United Methodist Church. Burr, a long-time public servant and volunteer in the Cheraw community, received the award which was named after another humanitarian, Roy L. Smith. Smith died in December of 2010.
On hand for the surprise presentation were family members of Roy Smith as well as family members of Mrs. Burr. A plaque will hang on a wall at First United Methodist which will give permanent recognition to Burr and future recipients of the award.
In presenting the award, Debbie Adams, chairperson of the Missions Ministry Team of First United Methodist, said the following:
“The inaugural recipient of the Roy L. Smith Humanitarian award has been a member of First United Methodist of Cheraw for 54 years. This person has very willingly served her church and her community during all of her adult life. With service to FUMC in a variety of ways, this deserving individual has worked with Vacation Bible School, MYF and most recently the Joy Club. She has served First Church in a number of ways, including being a delegate to the South Carolina United Methodist Conference.
“This dedicated volunteer has been involved in a plethora of community affairs serving as either a volunteer or leader for over 14 years with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies and Girl Scouts. Her service to scouting earned her the Silver Fawn Award — the highest award given to a female who is involved in Boy Scouts. Her dedication to the community did not end there however, as she served as a member of the Four Seasons Garden club for 28 years.
“Professionally, she was involved in the cultural development of the town of Cheraw, but gave unselfishly of her volunteer time as well. Professional accomplishments include the co-founding of the Cheraw Arts Commission, co-chair of the SC Bicentennial Committee and a key leader in the development of the SC Jazz Festival. As the mother of three, she served ably for 34 years with the Cheraw Recreation Commission responsible for the Arts program. She has been recognized statewide as well, having received the Governor’s Award for her work with the Arts Commission. To round out an already busy schedule, this Cheravian also volunteers for Relay for Life. In addition to all of these acts of service, she also gives of herself to individuals in the community. These acts of devotion and compassion are hidden-from-view, but greatly appreciated by the ones whose lives she has touched.
“A true friend of Roy L. Smith, it is fitting that this individual be recognized in his honor. The inaugural recipient of the Roy L. Smith Humanitarian Award is Mary Burr.”
Previous to the award presentation, the following comments were made about the award’s namesake, Roy Smith: His willingness to help anyone with anything at anytime is foremost. Organizing drivers for people needing treatments — without being asked to — just knew of the need and met it. Picked up and took widow to night time functions, shows, movies — wherever they wanted to go (His station wagon was lovingly referred to as “the widow mobile”). Instrumental in getting the participation of First United Methodist in the Lenten meals at First Baptist. For many years an important part of Relay for Life. Always smiling and making people laugh. Amazing green thumb with roses and generous in sharing them with people: hospital patients, and his church. Like the Energizer bunny — always ready to help in any way he could. Was a recipient of the WCRE Volunteer Award. Loved by us all at First United Methodist and greatly missed.
For further information about the award presentation, contact First United Methodist Church.