Upstate, SC [November 30, 2016] – Ten at the Top (TATT), an organization created to enhance economic vitality and quality of life across the Upstate by fostering collaboration and strategic partnerships has announced the recipients for the 2016 Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants.

    The program, which began in 2013, annually provides “seed funds” to support vibrancy initiatives in communities across the Upstate region. There were 19 applications for the 2016 grants and five finalists gave brief presentations before the selections were made during the Our Upstate Vision Forum on November 29th.

    The two recipients of $5,000 Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Grants were the Town of West Pelzer for their Expand Your Wings project and the Anderson Free Clinic for their F.R.E.S.H. project. In addition, Hughes Investments presented each of the other three finalists (City of Pickens, Hub-Bub in Spartanburg and Children & Choices/Hello Saville in Union and Spartanburg) with $1,000 to be used to help start their vibrancy initiative.

    “The goal of the Elevate Upstate program is to get communities thinking about what types of initiatives or programs might help spark vibrancy within their area and then provide some seed money to get some of them started,” said Hughes Investments President Phil Hughes. “In the four years we have done this program, I have been amazed by the great ideas and passion of communities across the region to grow their vibrancy and sense of place. It was a real challenge to narrow the field to five finalists and to select the recipients.”

    In the four years of the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Grants program, Phil Hughes and Hughes Investments has provided a total of $56,000 to help with 17 different vibrancy initiatives across the Upstate region.

    The two $5,000 recipients for 2016 are:

    F.R.E.S.H. (Food Resources Ensuring Satisfactory Health) – Anderson Free Clinic – Healthy communities are vibrant communities. The “Farm to Table” style event will promote awareness of food insecurity in low access communities in Anderson County while featuring local farms and food products.

    Expand Your Wings – Town of West Pelzer – The Town of West Pelzer is established and declared to be a wild bird sanctuary. “Expand Your Wings” is both an educational venture and an art installation that will allow residents, visitors and passersby to West Pelzer to “Become like a bird, expand your wings, learn new things and fly high as you can.”