Lauren Sklar, 2022 HOC Award Recipient

Lauren Sklar

Lauren is a native of Rome and a graduate of West Rome High School. She attended Converse College and received a master’s degree from the University of West Georgia. Lauren is married to Marc Sklar and they are the parents of Abby and Emma.

Her community activities include:

-Junior Service League past president and a Sustainer of the Year recipient.

-First Baptist Church — Deacon, missions teacher, Sunday School teacher, Women of the Church chairperson and chairperson of the flower committee.

-Leadership Rome graduate and Leadership Rome coordinator

-Darlington School parent

Nominator: “Lauren is adaptable and flexible no matter what comes her way. She loves and is passionate for this community.”

2022 Award Recipients:

Scott Thompson, 2022 HOC Award Recipient

Scott Thompson

A native of Marietta, Scott attended Young Harris College, majoring in Theatre. He and His wife, Dana, share their home with “five fur babies.” Scott is known as a singer-songwriter community advocate and champion of all things Rome.

His activities include:

-Christmas Back Home Concert free tickets to Davies Homeless Shelters and Open Door Home
-“Sing for Your Supper” fundraiser concert for Community Kitchen-Thus far has raised $20,000.00
-Board member and Events Chairman of Coosa River Basin Committee
-Volunteer and Board of Rome Area Council for the Arts
-Member of Downtown Development Authority Promotion
-Originator of Brown Bag Concerts
-Mentor for local high school student

Nominator: “Scott’s passion for creating change for the better and changing the status quo has brought vibrancy to downtown Rome.  His passion for serving the community cannot be denied.”

2022 Award Recipients:

Hardy Realty, 2022 HOC Business Award Recipient

Hardy Realty

Hardy Realty recently developed a company initiative that focuses on volunteer work, community service and donations. CEO Jimmy Byars has spent years contributing his time to this community and has cultivated a strong volunteer ethic among his agents and staff.

They will often be seen volunteering or donating to the following:

DaviesHome Shelters                                                     Desoto Theatre
Free Clinic                                                                     Open Door Home
One Community United                                             Sexual Assault Center
Heart of the Community                                            Junior Service League
Java Joy of Rome                                                         TRED of Rome
United Way                                                                   Cancer Navigators
American Red Cross                                                    South Rome Redevelopment
Elevation House                                                          South Rome Early Learning Center
Boys and Girls ClubRome International Film Festival
Boy Scouts                                                                   Keep Rome Beautiful
Shakespeare Festival                                                  Habitat for Humanity
One Table Rome                                                          CRBI

Nominator: “Jimmy Byars, CEO, works to ensure this community is positioned for growth and the future while providing help to those living  in the shadows and on the fringes.”

2022 Award Recipients:

David Thornton, 2022 HOC Award Recipient

David Thornton is a native of Rome. He and his wife, Teresa, have five children and 13 grandchildren. His community activities include:

-Chaplain:  Floyd County Police Department
Floyd County Sheriff’s Office
Gordon County Sheriff’s Office
Metro Drug Task Force
-Georgia Homeland Security Division
-Sr. Chaplain Emeritus Georgia Sheriff’s Association
-Armuchee High Football Team

-Leader of Mission Trips to Israel and Greece

-Founder of Essential Church for First Responders
-Leads local ministers in service at the jail and other local needs in the community
-Active in Rome GA Cares Program for Hurricane Relief
-Vice-President Rome Noon Optimist Club
-Referee for High School Basketball
-Volunteer Coach

Nominator: “He takes care of our officers and their families, the incarcerated, our community, and other communities. We are so very fortunate to have someone as selfless as David Thornton here in Floyd County. He truly cares about ALL people and takes action to make lives better.”

2022 Award Recipients:

Brown appointed 2021-2022 Chairman

Kristy S. Brown has been appointed chairman of the Heart of the Community Foundation Board of Governors for 2021-2022.

The Heart of the Community Awards recognition program is sponsored by Redmond Regional Medical Center and the Heart of the Community Foundation, Inc., and honors local citizens for their volunteer service to our community.

Recipients of the awards are honored at a black-tie gala, Loving Hearts, Helping Hands, the 36th annual event will be held on February 26, 2022. Location and method of presentation will be announced later.

Proceeds from the event will be designated for heart education and safety programs in the Rome and Floyd County community. Previously funded projects have included the Heart House for families of critically ill patients on the Redmond campus, AED units in public facilities in Rome, a fitness course at Ridge Ferry Park, fitness equipment at the Thornton Center, swimming scholarships at the YMCA, exercise equipment for Summit Quest and grants to various humanitarian and heart related agencies in Rome and Floyd County.

Kristy is the Vice President of Retail Banking at Greater Community Bank, where she been employed since 2013. Prior to joining GCB, she had a twenty-year career with Kate Spade and Liz Claiborne, Inc.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the Miss Rome Scholarship Organization and the Voluntary Action Center and is the chairman of the Calhoun-Gordon Community Foundation.

Kristy has one son, Chase, who is completing a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Kennesaw State University.

Additional Heart of the Community Foundation Board members who assist in the event and the mission of the Foundation include:, Angie Beard, David Brearley, Steve Graves, Dawn Irmscher, Chris Jackson, Mai Mai Kelly , Mandy Maloney, , Artagus Newel, , Elaine Price, Mimi Richards, Pam Roberts, , Megan Otwell, Barbara Earle, Jake Hager, Sarah Martin, Brooks Mathis, Sara Molnar, Jennifer Perkins, Michele Rikard, William Richardson, Jim Talley


Heart of the Community Award Nominations Being Sought

Nominations are being accepted for the annual program that honors individuals who have worked tirelessly to improve the community through volunteerism.

The Heart of the Community Foundation, Inc. and its Board of Governors are accepting nominations of potential recipients for the 36th anniversary of the Heart of the Community Awards of Honor.  The deadline for nominations is October 22, 2021.

According to Kristy Brown, Chairman of the Board of Governors, the awards committee searches for individuals who have given their time and talents to make this community a better place in which to live through their selfless dedication to volunteer and community service.

“Candidates who should be considered for the award are those “unsung heroes” who have distinguished themselves through volunteer services that have greatly impacted the lives of children, the elderly, disadvantaged, or the community-at-large.  Their service could be in any or several of the following areas: education, religion, health and medicine, government, community, humanitarian, youth, arts, general leadership, retired/past service, conservation, or others,” or others she said.

Over the past 35years approximately 275 individuals have received these prestigious awards.  “In order for us to continue our longstanding tradition of honoring some of Rome’s “unsung heroes”, we need the community to support our efforts by nominating deserving individuals that have touched their lives or the lives of others.  When you look around at our community and see all that it has to offer, you know there are outstanding volunteers working diligently behind the scenes, don’t let a deserving individual go unnoticed because you thought someone else might nominate them,” noted Brown.

Due to Covid-19 and there is a possibility of a virtual Program. If necessary, information on how to connect to virtual program. The number of recipients to be honored will be determined by COVID and the number of nominations received.

The award recipients will be selected by an anonymous committee in November and announced in December or January.  They will be honored at the 36th event ”Loving Hearts, Helping Hands, to be held on February 26, 2022.

Nomination forms are available at here or the Heart of the Community Facebook page.