McDonald’s group honors Sprinkle-Hamlin

Pictured from left to right are; James "Smitty" Smith, local McDonald's owner/operator; award-winner Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin; and local McDonald’s Owner/Operator Johnny Tart.

McDonald’s group honors Sprinkle-Hamlin
February 09
07:15 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



For the past 17 years, McDonald’s, 97.1 WQMG and 1510 WEAL have honored local individuals who have made a significant impact in the communities of Winston-Salem, High Point and Greensboro.  The unsung heroes honored this year have raised the bar for future honorees with their tireless work in their respective cities, officials said.

Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin of Winston-Salem, Lindy Garnette of Greensboro and Keith G. Pemberton of High Point were honored from the three cities. Alana V. Allen of High Point was honored as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

The partnership that merged two concepts, music and community into one program that would bring affordable entertainment to everyone but more importantly honor the heroes in the community birthed the Rhythms of Triumph.

According to officials, the program is designed to celebrate those special individuals that have the ability to see past the reality of our world into the vision of our future. The program says thank you to those that have worked tirelessly, burned the midnight oil, worked while others played and dedicated their lives to affect a positive change in the lives of others and the community.

The city of Winston-Salem recipient is Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, who serves as president of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company Inc. Sprinkle-Hamlin also is the director of the Forsyth County Public Library System.  She says she is grateful and excited to be honored in this manner. She says it was a total surprise but a welcomed one.

“You know I do a lot in the community, but I’m more like a behind the scenes type of person,” Sprinkle-Hamlin said.  “It seems as though people have been paying attention to what I have been doing. I’m the type of person that like to stay busy and I like to set positive examples for young women that anything is possible through the strength of God, your family and friends.

“The things that I do I can only do because I have really good support from my friends and family.  I just hope that I’m an inspiration to the young actors and actresses,” Sprinkle-Hamlin said.

Lindy Garnette is the recipient from the city of Greensboro.  She has served as the CEO of the YWCA Greensboro since January 2010.  For more than 34 years, she has worked for both the non-profit sector and in local government.  Garnette’s passion and much of her work has been in advocacy and programming for disenfranchised populations.

Keith G. Pemberton was the High Point award winner.  He is employed by Say Yes to Education, Guilford as the director of Student and Family Engagement.  He previously served as a school social worker for Guilford County Schools. Pemberton says he was speechless after learning of his being the nominee and he is honored to receive the award.

“When you look at the list of the past nominees, it’s quite phenomenal,” Pemberton said.  “To be on the same list as those folks, it’s only God.  There is a lot that goes into preparing the young people for the future and I’m happy to be a part of that list of things.”

“You sometime think you are working hard but with this honor it inspires you and motivates you to step up and do more.  I always like to be outside my comfort zone but this takes me to another level, so who knows what’s to come.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Alana V. Allen, says it was a shock to be honored and she was humbled by the experience.  She is the founder and executive director of the I Am A Queen nonprofit organization, which focuses on girls ages 10-18 mentoring them to build self-esteem and leadership skills.  Since 2009 the organization has touched more than 8,000 men, women and children through its annual community events.

“You don’t do the work to get an award and for your work to be honored was very humbling,” Allen said.  “I don’t take it for granted and with my non-profit we are year round. For the girls to see me come from my humble beginnings to now being honored shows them you can do anything.”

Local McDonald’s owner/operator and event organizer James “Smitty” Smith says it feels fantastic to see the growth of the event throughout the past 17 years.

“The bottom line is we feel blessed to have this be the 17th year and we will look forward to the next year and people out there are telling us we are doing the right thing,” Smith said. “We go into the community and find those individuals that are dong an outstanding job taking care of people and don’t get the recognition.”

“We feel good about reaching out to those people because nobody else is. What we do is recognize people that are doing a good job whether they are white, green, orange or blue, it doesn’t matter.  This is the first time we have had a Caucasian but it will not be the last.  Whoever is doing for the community, especially our community is going to be recognized.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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