Awards Toolkit 2020
- The COVID-19 Response and Resiliency Showcase: A third awards category has been added to this year’s awards program. The COVID-19 Response and Resiliency Showcase will honor the ways our counties have responded to the unprecedented health pandemic. Adjudication for this category will be different from the other two awards; all entries submitted for this year’s showcase will receive special recognition.
- Venue and Date Change: To accommodate social distancing, the awards competition will be held on a date to be determined in August 2020 rather than on-site at the SCAC Annual Conference. The meeting format could involve a virtual meeting, an in-person meeting at a location in Columbia that can accommodate social distancing, or a combination of both. Details will be provided soon.
- Without exception, all applications must be submitted online or received at the SCAC office by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020. If mailing your application, please send it to: SCAC, PO Box 8207, Columbia, SC 29202-8207. If using an express carrier, send it to SCAC, 1919 Thurmond Mall, Columbia, SC 29201. Only the written submission is due by this date. Any PowerPoint presentation and/or video file that will be used during the Awards Competition will be due a week prior to the competition.
- Each county may submit one entry for the COVID-19 Response and Resiliency Showcase. The project entry must be submitted by the county and include a letter of support from the county council chairman or the county chief administrative officer.
- Each county may submit one entry for the J. Mitchell Graham Award. The project entry must be submitted by the county and include a letter of support from the county council chairman or the county chief administrative officer.
- Counties may submit multiple entries for the Barrett Lawrimore Award. If a county worked on a regional basis with another political subdivision (counties; county partnerships formed with a city, town, district, or councils of government), its project should be submitted as an entry for the Barrett Lawrimore Memorial Regional Award. When appropriate, judges reserve the right to change the award category of any application.
- Each entry may address either a single project or two related projects. A project is considered to be a group of associated activities. An example of two related projects would be:
a. the construction of a parkway to reduce traffic congestion—including a comprehensive plan to mitigate its impact upon wetlands and cultural resources; and
b. an educational program to teach children about the area’s culture and history that contains material and information from a study about the impact of the parkway.
- Projects must be put into action or completed during the 2019-20 Fiscal Year; however, they may be initiated prior to this time period.
- Barrett Lawrimore Award applications must include letters of support from the chief administrative officers of each participating political subdivision.
- Each application should include a concise Project Description to explain the purpose and significance of the entry, and counties may provide additional materials to support their application. Please review the instructions for completing the Project Description and support materials carefully to be sure your application addresses the judging criteria and is formatted correctly. Judges may deduct points for entries that do not adhere to the rules and requirements.
- Applicants who meet the deadline and all requirements will be scheduled to present their projects during the awards competition. A representative from the county submitting the entry must participate in the presentation.
Each entrant will provide a 10-minute presentation, followed by a brief period for judges’ questions. Judges may deduct points for presentations that do not adhere to the 10-minute presentation time.
- The J. Mitchell Graham/Barrett Lawrimore Awards Competition and COVID-19 Response Showcase will be scheduled for a date and venue to be determined in August 2020. The date and meeting details will be provided soon. The meeting format could involve a virtual meeting, an in-person meeting at a location in Columbia that can accommodate social distancing, or a combination of both.
- Nothing may be given to the judges during the competition. The judges will only consider the Project Description and support materials received by the deadline and the presentation.
The Project Description may include up to eight pages and should address all of the questions below. Applicants may choose to organize their Project Description by following the sample outline or incorporate these points throughout their narrative.
In addition to the application form and Project Description, applicants may submit up to five pages of additional material—such as newspaper clippings, brochures, photos, tables, graphs, or other items—to support their entry. Letters of support and the cover page do not count toward the 13-page limit.
These requirements apply whether your entry addresses one or two projects—thus, the total number of pages should not exceed 13.
If you plan to submit your application online, you will have the option of uploading your Project Description and support materials. Please use the following naming convention for your PDF or Word file: projectname.COVID2020, projectname.JMG2020, or projectname.BL2020. Your PDF or Microsoft Word documents should be formatted for 8 ½” x 11” paper with 1” margins. All pages, except the cover page, should be numbered.
You must use the most recent version of Adobe Reader or Acrobat to apply using the fill-able PDF. (Available free for download here.) The application must be completed in one session; you will not be able to save and reopen it.
If you plan to send a paper submission, four copies of both the Project Description and support materials should be provided on white, 8 ½” x 11” paper, printed on one side and 3-hole punched. All pages, except the cover page, should be numbered. Do not use binders, tabs, or staples.
Benefit/Importance of Project
1. Why was this project undertaken?
2. What is the significance of this project to your community as a whole? How does it relate in importance to the other problems in your community?
3. How much of the county’s population is benefited by the project? In what specific ways are different groups of citizens within the county better off than before?
4. What degree of success did the project attain? What major objectives were achieved? Provide data where possible.
1. What did your county have to do to accomplish its objectives? If your county worked with another local government or consultant, how was the work divided?
2. What challenges occurred during the project? Were there any community concerns?
3. What were the nature and extent of the county government’s efforts to alleviate the problem(s)? How difficult was it to accomplish the project’s goals and/or objectives?
4. Was financing the project an obstacle? Were there any unusual factors inherent in financing the project?
5. Did any agencies, citizen groups, or other organizations assist your county with this project? Did their participation pose any particular challenges or offer any unique contributions or benefits?
6. Are there any unresolved problems or other goals left to tackle?
1. Justify the uniqueness of this project. What makes it different from other projects designed to achieve the same objective?
2. Do you know of any other similar programs in South Carolina? If so, how is your program different?
3. What innovations were required in accomplishing your objectives?
4. Who provided the creativity and imagination in your project?
- How has the county been impacted by the Coronavirus? Please feel free to address the tangible ways such as number of confirmed cases and deaths, as well as the intangible ways.
- How have county operations and services been affected?
- Describe the various ways your county has communicated with the public during this pandemic. Is this different from the communication strategies you’ve used in the past?
- Describe the ways your county has partnered with local businesses and non-profits during this period (e.g., county grant/loan program for local businesses, county promoting local businesses, local businesses donating supplies to county, etc.)
- How has the county’s response to COVID-19 been similar and/or different from natural disasters?
- What lessons or advice would you share with a community that hasn’t been exposed to COVID-19?
- In what ways will the county’s experience with the Coronavirus make the county stronger and more resilient?