Upstate, SC [November 17, 2014] – Ten at the Top (TATT), an organization created to foster collaboration, partnerships and strategic planning across the Upstate, has announced the 2014 recipients for the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants.


    There were five finalists chosen from a total of 22 applications that were submitted for the two grants available in 2014. Hughes Investments is contributing $10,000 per year to the program with two recipients each year receiving $5,000 to support a new vibrancy initiative in the Upstate.

    During the Our Upstate Vision/Ten at the Top Forum on November 13th the five finalists provided a brief overview of their initiative. After all presentations were given, Phil Hughes, President of Hughes Investments and a member of the Ten at the Top Community Vibrancy Task Force, announced the two recipients of the grants.

    The recipients are:

    Let’s Keep Travelers Rest Beautiful – Before I Die Wall – The ‘Before I Die’ wall concept has been implemented all over the world to encourage healthy discussions regarding dreams and hopes. Travelers Rest will construct several different walls to spark discussion and actions across the community.

    Main Street Laurens – Finally Friday on the Square – Finally Friday on the Square will be a monthly celebration of all things Laurens with live music hosted in the historic downtown.

    “I was absolutely amazed by the number of great ideas submitted for the program. It was a real challenge to narrow the field from 22 applications to five finalists, to two winners”, said Hughes. “While we cannot fund all of the finalists, I would like to provide $1,000 to the other three projects in the hopes that this will allow your projects to come to fruition.”

    The other three finalists that will each receive $1,000 towards their project are:

    City of Gaffney – Unforgettable Gaffney – The Unforgettable Gaffney project will create a coherent and engaging system for communicating the esthetic and historic value of properties in two historic districts in the city.

    City of Clinton – Rhythm of the Rails – Rhythm of the Rails will be an annual celebration to be held the last Saturday of April as a finale of the Celebrate Clinton Month.

    Pickens Revitalization Association – Pickens Main Street Challenge – The Pickens Main Street Challenge is designed to attract new businesses into downtown Pickens by providing reduced rent in currently vacant storefronts.

    “The Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants are a great opportunity to provide seed funds to help communities increase the vibrancy and sense of place within their community,” said Ten at the Top Executive Director Dean Hybl. “Phil Hughes has been a great champion of the community vibrancy task force since the beginning and the idea for the grant program was his.

    “Last year he surprised everyone by presenting a third grant and this year he decided to give all of the other finalists $1,000 to help get their projects started. It just illustrates how committed he is to helping our local communities grow their vibrancy and sense of place”