Volunteerism epitomized in August ‘Flame’ winner

PICKENS — “I think a city will thrive when members of the community are actively involved,” Louise Pence Hope, the August winner of the “I Fan the Flame” award said.

“I teach my students the importance of being a positive influence in the Pickens community and try to be a role model for them,” Hope said. “I am excited about the changes taking place in uptown Pickens.”

Hope has been a resident of Pickens since 1989, when she moved here to care for her aging grandmother, Dorothy Folger. She still resides in the Folger homestead with her parents today.

She is a National Board Certified teacher, having worked at Pickens Middle School for 17 years. Currently teaching community education, Hope has been honored as Teacher of the Year at PMS and by the American Legion and has earned the coveted Golden Apple Award. A 23-year member of Pickens Presbyterian Church, she has taught in and been superintendent of its Sunday School.

Currently an active member of the PRA Promotions Committee planning the founders Day Music Festival, her list of volunteer credits is extensive. Recently, she is best known for, along with Susan Hilyer, heading the Turtles on the Town project in downtown Pickens.
Other volunteer credits include helping to build Town Creek Trail, working on the Playground of Promise, assisting with Relay For Life and participating in city clean-up days. She is an active trail runner and helps in other ways at Table Rock State Park.

Hope was March of Dimes coordinator for several years, wrote Palmetto Pride grants for Pickens, established Geocoaches for tourists to enjoy and has assisted in numerous city Halloween activities. A long-time member of the Pickens County Museum and the Pickens County Historical Society, she promoted the Rock Art Center, helping her students raise $2,000 towards its construction, and co-wrote the History Mystery Scavenger Hunt for the museum.

Created by the city of Pickens and the Pickens Revitalization Association, the “I Fan the Flame” award honors individuals that have supported and contributed to the community in extraordinary ways — those who have demonstrated a passion for helping make Pickens a great place to live, work and play. The program will be expanded, in the future, to recognize the many contributions of various academic, charitable, youth, adult, civic and religious organizations towards “fanning the flame” in Pickens.

I Fan The Flame 2012 Platinum sponsors include the Historic City of Pickens and Great Oaks Dental. East Main Treasures and Pace & Reeves BP, Inc. are this year’s bronze sponsors.

Pickens Mayor David Owens presents the “I Fan the Flame” award to Louise Pence Hope.