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Media Release

Mayor's Honored Island Award Dinner

Release Date: May 20, 2016

Contact Information:
Lynn Buchman email icon , 843-341-4700


Mayor David Bennett will recognize seven (7) Hilton Head Island residents at his semi-annual “Honored Islander Award” dinner being held on Monday, May 23, 2016, at 6:00 PM.  The dinner is generously hosted by Brian Carmines of Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks, located off Squire Pope Road on Skull Creek. The Honored Islanders attending the dinner were recognized at Town Council meetings held on March 15, 2016 and May 3, 2016, and are as follows:

Dylan Jacy Brown:

In 2015 Dylan received the Mayor’s Call to Service Award as a 9th grade student at Hilton Head Island High School for volunteering over 440 hours in one year.  She also plays on the Lady Seahawks Basketball Team, the unified basketball team at USCB, helps young gymnastic student’s afterschool at Island Rec, and pursues her own interests in modeling, dancing, singing, and photography.  This year she was selected as an applicant for the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program. Dylan has been described as extremely personable, outgoing, kind, thoughtful, charming, and truly amazing. She has unselfishly shared those attributes with Special Olympics, SOAR, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Rotary Interact Club, and Project Unify – even charming her way into an invite to the prom for special education students, to the delight of all.  I expect we will hear much more about Dylan in the future as she serves as an excellent ambassador and role model to her peers, our community, and to everyone she touches.

Trish Elliot:

Trish has been described as a consummate volunteer and giver of self who always adds “Love” to everything she does.  She shares her musical talents on the violin with residents in nursing homes and with the Hilton Head Choral Society.  Trish prepares food for the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Musicales and cookies for the Beach Patrol.  Whenever anyone is sick or needs help, she is there – whether it is organizing dinners, preparing them, or simply listening.  If there is an event, Trish is first in the kitchen to prepare and serve and the last to leave after the final dish is cleaned and put away.  While Trish would much prefer to remain unsung, I am pleased to recognize the love she has shared that makes our community special and sets her apart as an Honored Islander.

Cinda Seamon:

Cinda spends her week days helping keep all our citizens, both young and old, safe through her role as Fire and Life Safety Educator with Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue.  Her passion to help others, however, extends much further.  After arriving on the Island over 25 years ago, she completed rigorous training to become a rape crisis intervention volunteer.  That beginning has evolved into coordinator for the Hope Haven volunteers who respond to Hilton Head Hospital. Cinda’s love of ballroom dancing and involvement with Programs for Exceptional People (PEP) led her to help develop and organize ballroom dancing at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio for special needs students to give them the opportunity to discover and experience the joy of dancing and performing.  Her advocacy on behalf of others in need has made a significant difference in many lives, and we are blessed to have Cinda in our community.

Bill and Phyllis Neville:

Bill and Phyllis make a dynamic pair who have contributed countless hours and their many talents to support the youth of our community.  While Bill applies his financial skills as Treasurer of the Seahawk Theatre Guild and quietly builds and move sets, and does whatever else is needed, Phyllis serves as Secretary of the Guild, and together they have acted as the “glue” that has held the Guild together.  But it is not just making youth theater available for them - Phyllis has also served as Junior Achievement Program Coordinator, PTA President, and Girl Scout Leader and Program Coordinator for the Council of Eastern South Carolina, and shop manager for The Church Mouse, the fundraising ministry of St. Luke’s of Hilton Head Island.  She facilitated the development of the LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth to address substance use and abuse by teens and promote healthy development and positive choices.  Together, the Nevilles are ensuring a safer and happier environment for our young adults.

Ryan Wilkie:

Ryan is an enthusiastic advocate and supporter of many different causes and organizations, volunteering countless hours to help others in need.  Among those benefitting from his efforts are Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Baldrick’s Foundation where Ryan goes bald to raise awareness for pediatric cancer, the Hilton Head Island Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Day Dinners, Children’s Relief Fund and Fishing with Friends, as well as Lawton Stables, Low Country Riding Academy, and Wish Upon a Horse, where he shares his love of everything equine.  You can count on seeing Ryan’s smiling face wherever an extra hand is needed.  He truly exemplifies his favorite quote - “To volunteer is to contribute your goodness and works to humanity unselfishly, without seeking any rewards.”  I am honored to bestow the Honored Islander Award on this remarkable young man, who has touched so many people in our community, and I am sure he will continue to do so.

Reverend Ben Williams:

Reverend Williams has truly been a “force” in this community since his arrival on the Island in 1973, not only bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through his ministry, but also fostering understanding between people from different races, faiths and economic backgrounds.  Reverend Williams was influential in the founding of Volunteers in Medicine, and started the Mt. Calvary Baptist Achievement School to provide preschool opportunities for children who would not otherwise have access to quality day care.  Reverend Williams led a march on Hilton Head Island to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1986, one of the first nationwide observances, and that tradition has continued and grown.  Many lives have been changed for the better on Hilton Head Island as a result of Reverend Williams’ leadership, and we hope his voice will continue to be heard for many years to come.

NOTE:  Please note that a quorum of Town Council may result if four (4) or more of Town Council members attend this dinner.