Another Toast to Our Towns Gala is in the books! And what a moving event it was. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and donors, we set a new revenue record of $271,000. On behalf of the Board of Directors and Gala Committees, THANK YOU! And if you were not able to attend (or would just like to relive the evening), we hope you enjoy our Gala photo gallery and videos. The evening was led by the quick wit and compassionate storytelling of our emcee, Mark Alford, Fox 4 Morning Host. More than 650 guests joined us to raise a glass to the extraordinary people living, working, and serving in Eastern Jackson County and surrounding communities. Each year we look to our communities to find the very best of us, those individuals who go above and beyond to make a noticeable positive impact. We ask local Mayors to recognize a citizen from their community, someone who has given freely of their time, talent, and funds to create a better community for all. We held a special Citizens’ Reception for all the honorees at Beth and Steve Silverstein’s beautiful home on Friday, September 10. Learn more about the 2021 Citizens of the Year honorees and watch their Gala videos, or flip through the pictures from the Reception . This year, while the effects of Covid-19 are still being felt, THCF recognized six healthcare professionals from each of our area hospitals for their leadership during the pandemic. These individuals represent the very finest frontline medicine has to offer. Check out their Gala videos to learn why they were selected for this special award. Local businesses that make a significant contribution to the well-being of the community are also recognized at the Toast of Our Towns Gala. Alec Cook started with Continental Siding while still in college and learned the ins and outs of every position. As Owner and President during the Covid-19 pandemic, Alec ensured his business stayed solvent and all 200 employees received a steady paycheck, regardless of whether they worked or not. He also initiated a pay it forward bonus for each employee. Everyone on staff was given $500 to help someone in need, even if that someone was themselves or their family. Learn more about Continental Sidings community contributions here . The highest honor of the entire Gala is the Humanitarian of the Year Award. This honor is awarded to those individuals who are wholly dedicated to their community and exemplify the very best in community service, philanthropy, and volunteerism. Jim and Mary Stilley have all those qualities and more in droves. They are a dynamic couple who inspire those around them. Jim and Mary are not only pillars of our community; they have laid a strong foundation of philanthropy and are genuine role models for all of us. Learn more about the Stilley’s philanthropic interests and watch their award video. On behalf of the THCF Board and the presenting sponsor, Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Co., THANK YOU to all those who took part in the 2021 Toast to Our Towns Gala. Mark your calendars now for the 27 th Annual Toast of Our Towns Gala, which will be held on September 24, 2022 . Until then, learn more about how the Gala impacts our local community .