For Immediate Release: June 20, 2011
CONTACT: Casey Fields
Municipal Association of South Carolina honors Orangeburg with Achievement Award
The City of Orangeburg received a Municipal Achievement Award for its Angel of Hope garden. Officials were presented with the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s 71st Annual Meeting on June 18. The city won in the 10,001–20,000 population category. Thirty-nine cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
Tim and Sherri Adams of Orangeburg lost their daughter in a car accident in 2008 and wanted to provide a place of remembrance for all families in South Carolina who have lost a child.
Inspired by Richard Paul Evans’ best-selling novel, The Christmas Box, about a woman who mourns her lost child at an angel statue, the Adams approached Orangeburg Parks and Recreation Director Buster Smith in 2009 to suggest establishing an Angel of Hope monument. The purpose of the garden was to provide a place of quiet remembrance of children lost and a place of solitude and serenity to celebrate life.
A year later, the City of Orangeburg opened South Carolina’s first and only Angel of Hope Garden in Edisto Memorial Gardens. The Angle of Hope Garden features the 4-foot-tall Angel of Hope statue set atop a granite base, a Wall of Love and a Walk of Love.
The project was the result of the Adams’ request that went beyond just an idea. The couple provided the start-up money and helped form a citizens’ committee that raised the entire $45,000 needed for the project.
The committee raised funds from residents attending the Orangeburg Festival of Roses. Local businesses, churches, civic groups and other foundations also donated, raising about 90 percent of the total. Granite markers commemorating the lives of individual children also helped raise funds.
City staff, primarily from the Parks and Recreation and Service Departments, planned and installed irrigation, lighting and landscaping as well as the Wall of Love, the Walk of Love and other walkways. A local brick mason and monument company donated their skills and labor.
Orangeburg’s Angel of Hope statue is the 100th such statue built around the world. Fifty families affected by the loss of a child and some 200 attended the dedication of the garden, which memorializes children from five counties but stands to serve families statewide.
“The Angel of Hope Garden is a great example of what happens when hometowns and residents work together to help those in need,” said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information
and a video about the project are available on the Association’s website (www.masc.sc
The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.
The Municipal Association of South Carolina is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit Association of incorporated cities and towns dedicated to raising the standards of municipal government through a broad range of services.