Celebrating Mary Black Foundation’s History: 2009
Mary Black Foundation Becomes a Private Foundation2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the Mary Black Foundation’s role as a private foundation in Spartanburg. However, the Mary Black Foundation has a legacy that extends beyond the last 25 years. In fact, the Foundation was originally formed in 1986 – 35 years ago – to support the Mary Black Memorial Hospital and related community programs. The sale of the nonprofit hospital to a for profit company, in 1996, led to the reconfiguration of the Mary Black Foundation and its significant growth in assets. In the 25 years since the Mary Black Foundation separated from the hospital, it has provided over $62 million in grants to support health and wellness initiatives throughout Spartanburg County. During this same time, the assets have grown to over $75 million.
Bridging a GapIn 2009, families in the Middle Tyger area were suffering from the lack of safe, easily accessible, and affordable programs that provide for and promote wellness through physical activity. Leaders in the area sought to invest in opportunities for a healthier lifestyle that would benefit people from all generations and backgrounds.
Middle Tyger ConnectedWith a grant of $283,000 from Mary Black Foundation, along with other state and nonprofit funds, the Town of Duncan, the Town of Lyman, and District Five Schools partnered to implement changes to infrastructure that encouraged positive behavioral changes. Middle Tyger Connected is a community-wide effort designed to connect children and adults living in the Middle Tyger area (Duncan and Lyman) to active living programs. The goals of this project were:
- to encourage families to participate in leisure activities that will improve health and strengthen family bonds;
- to encourage behavioral changes by providing outdoor venues that will bring the community together through recreational & fitness activities, social events, and celebrations; and
- to promote an awareness of the environment and the importance of preserving natural resources