2021 Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award Winners Personify the Spirit of Public Service

Written by Jessica Marabella

CivicPlus is pleased to announce the 2021 Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award program winners. The initiative highlights the urgent need for local engagement in critical civic roles by honoring 100 hometown heroes throughout the United States. The top three winners are W. Paul Prince, a volunteer fireman from the City of Loris, South Carolina; Boone Bowling, councilman and parks and recreation chairman from the City of Middlesboro, Kentucky; and Kimberly Loggins, community volunteer, former council member, and vice mayor from the City of Chickasha, OK. The winners will receive cash awards of $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000 for their respective communities. In addition, the top one hundred civic volunteer award winners’ communities are eligible to receive a free volunteer portal from CivicPlus.

Paul Prince, this year’s national winner, has volunteered in his community of Loris, South Carolina, for 56 years and served as a Horry County, South Carolina council member for nearly 30 years and in numerous volunteer government and community roles in Loris. At 78, he still responds to almost every fire and rescue call in the city. Prince has also served as the LVFD chaplain for 45 years and secured funds for needed fire-fighting equipment. In addition, Paul has led by example, mentoring younger volunteers and setting a positive example for the youth in his community. His servant-heart has even led his children to serve as firemen, coaches, community leaders, and civic volunteers.

“Paul has lived out a passion for building a strong community for future generations. His community service is an illustration of how we should step up to serve our communities so they will continue to be strong and vital,” said Loris Mayor Todd Harrelson, who nominated Prince.

2020 was the inaugural year of the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Awards. In 2020, the nomination committee received 160 nominations. In 2021, it received 700, an over 400 percent increase.

“This year’s group of nominees are truly outstanding individuals,” said CivicPlus Chief Executive Officer Brian Rempe. “Reading the stories from our applicants that showcase the selflessness and spirit of innovation demonstrated by their volunteers reinforces to me why we created this award. We need more people like Paul, Boone, and Kimberly to keep pushing for progress, fostering the vision of their local leaders, and keep our communities thriving. It is an honor to recognize and celebrate this year’s 100 top winners.”

Click here to see a list of winners and the video recording of the virtual award ceremony.

Thank you to the Barton Russell Group for administering the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award program and our co-sponsors for their tremendous support in promoting this year’s award program and advocating for civic volunteerism. Thank you, National Association of Counties, National Volunteer Fire Council, Main Street America, Points of Light, and National Association of Towns and Townships.