Boys & Girls Clubs of Pee Dee honors Buddy Brand as Champion of Youth
Florence Mayor Pro Tempore Buddy Brand was honored as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area’s 2016 Champion for Youth on Aug. 30. Approximately 250 people attended the 12th Annual Champion for Youth Tribute held in the Waters Building on S. Dargan St. This event, hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee, raised over $100,000 to support its six clubs around the Pee Dee. Erik Marechal, chair-elect of the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors, was master of ceremonies.
Dr. Allie E. Brooks Jr., 2009 Champion For Youth, presented the 2016 award to Brand. Sen. Tim Scott sent two representatives who presented Buddy with a letter and certificate from the senator. Widely involved in civic and community affairs, Buddy serves on the Florence City Council and actively advocates for the Boys & Girls Clubs. In addition to its Board of Directors, he has served on the boards or as an officer of many other organizations impacting youth, directly or indirectly.
These include United Way of Florence County, The Founders Society of Francis Marion University, Kiwanis Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pee Dee Land Trust, Florence County Progress, and the Florence County Economic Development Partnership. Buddy also chaired the CHOiCES Charter School Board, and is a former elder for First Presbyterian Church in Florence. A video was shown at the event with comments from several friends and colleages, listed below.
“Buddy is a very down-to-earth person....He shoots for the stars, he under promises and always over delivers. So, it’s fun to work with Buddy in all types of projects....I can’t think of a better candidate for Champion of Youth,” said Lyles Cooper Lyles of Pee Dee Land Trust. “I see Buddy as a person of integrity...and I see Buddy and his work and he is right in the middle of it all. He wants to make an impact for Florence and the Pee Dee,” Rob Colones, President of McLeod Regional Medical Center, commented in the video. When her husband, the late Ralph Porter, started CHOiCES, Buddy Brand was one of the first who showed up to help, noted Marlene Porter.
“He is motivated by his love of God, his love of his community and his love of his family.” “Buddy has a soft spot for youth and I think that’s what drives him,” said Bobby Floyd. Past honorees are:
2015: Tammy H. Pawloski, Ph.D., Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty
2014: Boys & Girls Club Alumni & Supporters 2013: East Florence Mission/Center Day School 2012: Rev. Dr. William P. Diggs, Trinity Baptist Church
2011: Darla Moore, Rainwater Investments
2010: Ralph R. Porter Jr., Choices Charter School 2009: Dr. Allie E. Brooks Jr., Educator
2008: Richard C. Harrington Jr., Retired Businessman 2007: Rep. James E. Clyburn, SC 6th Congressional District
2006: Sen. Hugh Leatherman, Sr., South Carolina Senate 2005: Dr. Luther F. Carter, Francis Marion University 2004: Frank Avent, Pepsi Cola of Florence