News Release

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Local Citizens Receive Honored Islander Awards in Recognition of Their Community Service

October 11, 2021

Congratulations to Kathleen Harper, Ronald Farsetti, Dean Roberts and Rev. Louis Johnson on receiving the Hilton Head Island Mayor’s Honored Islander Award in recognition of their service and contributions to community organizations and projects.

"One of my favorite things to do is recognize our local citizens for all they do to make our Island community great. This is a well-deserved recognition for each honoree," said Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann.

Kathleen Harper, the Middle Year Program Coordinator at Hilton Head Island Middle School, connects students and the school to the community through arts and volunteerism. Kathleen helped start the Junior Interact Club, a Rotary International program that brings together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills and learn about the world through service projects and activities. She produced an anthology of students’ poems, personal narratives, original artwork, and photography that illustrates the challenges of living through a global pandemic as an adolescent. Copies of the anthology will be sold in the community with proceeds benefiting Volunteers in Medicine. Kathleen also worked with members of the Gullah community to provide art for a school display titled Pursuit of Opportunity and Freedom. She coordinated student artwork now on display in the Art League of Hilton Head Island’s gallery at The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. She organized Light the Night, an activity through which middle school students created lanterns for the Hilton Head Lantern Parade.

At a time when people were searching for COVID-19 vaccines, Hilton Head Islander Ronald Farsetti found a way to help residents who had difficulty navigating the appointment system to sign up for shots. Ron took it upon himself to learn how to find and sign up for vaccines being offered in multiple locations. Within a week’s time, he helped more than 160 persons sign up for vaccines. He also organized an auction that generated $30,000 for the Deep Well Project and has helped with other fundraisers for  scholarships and other worthy causes. Some of his other contributions included designing and donating a xylophone musical art piece displayed at the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra's Soundwaves Building and designing and building reading chairs for children at the Children’s Center. After Hurricane Matthew in 2016, he jumped in to help with numerous recovery tasks including tree removal and various repair jobs. In his spare time, he provides rides to Charleston for those who lack transportation.

Dean Roberts is a longtime volunteer who has contributed time to the Boys and Girls Club on Hilton Head Island and helped with the Island's Juneteenth Celebration, hosted by the Mitchellville Preservation Project. In midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dean took the reins as president of the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island and helped it continue its work on various projects in the community.

Rev. Louis Johnson, the pastor of the historic Central Oak Grove Baptist Church, is noted for cofounding the One Island One Community event, an Island-wide celebration held on July 4th. Under Re. Johnson's guidance, Central Oak Grove partnered with area grocery stores to get and distribute food to people who needed it during the pandemic. He helped organize a vaccination event at the church to provide COVID-19 shots for members of the community. In addition to pastoring the Central Oak Grove congregation, Johnson serves as a Media Assistant and a Mentor to at-risk males at Hilton Head Island Middle School. He is President of the Hilton Head Ministerial Alliance and is a leader on the state and national level for the Congress of Christian Education.

About the Mayor's Honored Islander Award Program
The Mayor's Honored Islander Award Program publicly recognizes Hilton Head Island residents who make a significant sacrifice of their time, talents and/or resources, to better the community without compensation or significant public or media attention. A committee of individuals appointed by the Mayor reviews nominations and selects individuals to receive the award. Anyone or any organization may nominate individuals for the award. For more information or for a nomination form, visit https://hiltonheadislandsc.gov/forms/honoredislander.cfm

Contact
Carolyn Grant, Communications Director
843-341-4618
CarolynG@hiltonheadislandsc.gov