Wilson Auto, Hawthorne Pharmacy take home top chamber awards

Bob Prather presents Freddie Wilson with the Fitz John Creighton McMaster Industry of the Year award. | Photos: Barbara Ball

WINNSBORO – Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce leaders presented a flurry of awards during its 2021 Annual Meeting last week at The Farm of Ridgeway. Before the awards presentation, outgoing board chairman Charlene Herring passed the gavel to the incoming chairman, Lisa Kelly, who in turn recognized the Chamber’s board of directors.

Chamber President Gene Stephens missed the meeting entirely when he was admitted to Prisma Health for an emergency appendectomy.

MaryGail Douglas, right, presents the Small Business of the Year Award to, from left, Nadine Young, Markita Belton, Jo Banister, Deon Qualls, and Carrie Baker for Hawthorne Pharmacy.

Board member MaryGail Douglas presented the Terry Vickers Small Business of the Year Award to Hawthorne Pharmacy.

“All of these employees at Hawthorne Winnsboro Pharmacy grew up in their community,” Douglas said of the six women accepting the award. “They personally know and care for their patients. They can do the extras like calling the doctor’s office to change your medication to a cheaper drug, check on drug interactions and make the appropriate decisions, and even deliver when necessary.

“Hawthorne’s also offers a hardship account that help those in the community who cannot afford it, receive their much needed medication. So, when COVID-19 happened, the store stayed open, offering curb-side service. This is still offered today, though the store is now open to the public,” Douglas said.

The 2020 Chamber Chairman Bob Prather presented the Fitz-John Creighton McMaster Industry of the Year award to Wilson Auto Sales.

“Freddie Wilson, owner of the dealership, started in the car business part time at the Chevrolet store after school when the store was Winnsboro Motor Sales owned by Forest Hughes, in the parts department,” Prather said. “Freddie worked up thru the ranks until Hughes sold the store in 1998 to a group out of Columbia. Freddie was able to purchase the Chevrolet store in 1991 with the help of his father Hiram Wilson.”

After returning the store to the old-fashioned values with a local hometown feel that made the store successful for years, the Wilsons were able to turn the store around. Freddie later purchased the Chrysler store in 1997 from Hennis Pope here in Winnsboro. Freddie added the Jeep franchise at that time.

Wilson’s moved to the old Piggly Wiggly building in 2006, where they are today. The Chevrolet store is in the same location it has been since 1948 with major renovation in 2013.

Dillon Pullen, the Chamber’s Community Relations Director, introduced a new annual Community Partner award and presented it to two people – Sam ‘Carburetor’ Edenfield and Hannah Phillips.

Edenfield’s passion for mechanics and old cars fueled the coordination of his first car show, held in Fortune Springs Park. After the show outgrew the park, Edenfield brought it to downtown Winnsboro where it continues today as part of the Rock Around the Clock and Car Show, an event which draws top antique refurbished cars from all over the nation. Pullen describes Edenfield’s car show as second to none.

The other Community Partner award went to Hannah Phillips, whose keen interest in Fairfield County history was evident in her being a charter member and Board member of the Fairfield County Historical Society.

She was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in 1985. She was a charter member of the Winnsboro Downtown Development Association and a Fairfield County Tour guide for over 40 years. For over 6 years she had “Hannah’s History Quiz” on our local radio station and what she thoroughly enjoyed was being a member and serving one term as Chairman of the Olde English District Commission comprising seven counties.

She was a member of the Anemone Garden Club for over 50 years serving as president several terms and was a member of the first faculty of Richard Winn Academy. The list of her memberships and awards are many.

Phillips family was named the South Carolina Family of the year.

Pullen announced that going forward, the Community Partnership award will be called the Phillips-Edenfield Citizen of the Year award.

Assistant Town Manager Chris Clausen, Mayor John McMeekin, Town Manager Jason Taylor, and Fairfield County Director of Economic Development Ty Davenport
Belva Bush Belton with Carolyn and Don Prioleau

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