2014 Mayor & Vice Mayor's Award of Excellence

In 1996, a neighborhood hillside covered in brush and litter was soon transformed because one woman took the time to clean it up. Thousands of people drive by the Tinbridge Hill garden every year and many have stopped to offer a word of encouragement to Carolyn Baker and other volunteers who tend the garden almost daily. Though Carolyn is quick to say she hasn’t done anything special.
Cynthia Coles has a green thumb but she also has her hands in many local organizations. Her love for the Daniel’s Hill community is deeply rooted, not only in the neighborhood garden she helped plant, but in the children and senior adults in the community as well. Cynthia has volunteered for more organizations than we could possibly mention here. 
From his humble beginnings as a math professor at Roanoke College—and when I say humble, I mean he used to make his lunch by cooking hotdogs over a Bunsen burner in the science lab—Dr. Kenneth Garren has spent nearly four decades rising through the ranks of higher education to his current position as President of Lynchburg College. Friends and colleagues say “Kenny G”—as he’s known around campus—is an innovative and energetic leader who inspires his students and his staff to make their mark not only at LC, but in their community and around the world. 
If our next award recipient had her way, we’d be talking about anyone else BUT her. Claudette Haskins has always been more comfortable working behind the scenes of her favorite projects like the Legacy Museum, the Lynchburg Voters League and Diamond Hill Baptist Church.  She also was at the forefront of the civil rights movement both in her native North Carolina and here in Central Virginia. In fact, she’s probably one of the few people whose parents were proud when she called to tell them she’d been arrested and spent the night in jail. As Claudette and her friends will tell you, if the cause is right, there’s no sacrifice too great. 
Reverend Dr. Meriwether Anderson Sale or Andy has spent most of his life in the service of others. He has given his time and his heart to numerous organizations and initiatives. He served on the Planning Commission for nine years and just mentioning the City’s historic districts brings a smile to Andy Sale’s face. Though Andy and his wife recently relocated to Harrisonburg, he has volunteered to come back to Lynchburg to help with special projects that are still near and dear to his heart.
The Vice Mayor’s Award of Excellence this year is being given to the Links Intercultural Leadership Institute. This special program was created with the mission of expanding the horizons of young people and helping them adapt to an ever-changing global community.  The host organization, The Links, was founded in 1946 by a group of African-American women in the Philadelphia area who decided they wanted to make a difference in their community. There are now chapters all over the country. The local chapter is involved in many community service activities, and several years ago developed the Intercultural Leadership Institute.