The Fabric of Our Community Awards will be presented as part of the 2023 Golden Rule Lightkeepers & Fabric of the Community Awards Luncheon set for 11:30AM, Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at the Onslow County Government Center, 234 NW Corridor Boulevard. Tickets available at www.uwonslow.org.
The Onslow Civic Affairs Committee serves to advance Civic Education and annually holds the 9/11 Patriot Day Observance, Freedom Fountain Observance and holds tributes for those fallen in war. They perform a Civic Index that assesses the community’s civic infrastructure and performs other actions to advance Civic Education.
Thirty-three persons have been awarded the status of Fabric of our Community Award. Four additional panels will be added as part of the 2023 class. The award is given to people or organizations who perform actions that could span several years or a lifetime and help to improve the fabric of our community.
Retired Chief Resident Superior Court Judge Charles H. Henry
Chuck Henry continues service as a retired special judge benefiting our community with wise and careful administration of justice. His contributions to the improvement of our community include his torch carrying effort to start a Boys and Girls Club in Onslow County. He saw the power of the club system in his native New Jersey and wanted that for the children of Onslow County.
His civic power came after he volunteered with noted civic activist Sarah Humphries in her Clean County efforts and with Onslow Christmas Cheer as a volunteer leader. With Carl Ragsdale, he was a major supporter of an effort to bring a baseball stadium to Onslow County.
While the effort did not succeed, the value of sports as a civic improvement and as an economic development activity advanced the creation of the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission, on which he served as an inaugural board member, and which continues operation today.
Ron Brown (Posthumously)
Ron Brown typified a ready hand, a community volunteer, a business leader and a humble servant ready to lead or work for his family and his beloved Onslow County. Ron passed in 2016 leaving behind a legacy of volunteer work, business development, family ties and institutions he started, rescued or furthered.
It was love of community that showed bright with his leadership in WJNC radio and encouraged his other work. He saw a need to help the Jacksonville-Onslow Arts Council and when others failed, he stepped in and helped them find and get a building that they continue to occupy across from the Jacksonville City Hall.
He had a love for the environment and was a great advocate for improvements to the waterfront in Jacksonville as well as the preservation of the New River.
Sandra Wyrick Crane
Sandy has been a business operator, a community organizer, the first full time Volunteer Center Director and the executive director for what is now Onslow Community Outreach. She is also a dedicated mother, grandmother, and family matron. She has led business associations, organized events, observances and created enduring bonds among all sectors of our community.
Sandra Wyrick Crane was also an Executive Director for Bettering Our Local Downtown, served for years on the Jacksonville Planning Board including several years as vice chairman was named to state commissions advocating for volunteerism.
Since 2013 she has served as a member of the Onslow Civic Affairs Committee and has been a leader on the Observances Subcommittee. This group responded to the request of the Onslow County Board of Commissioners to make permanent an observance of Patriot Day 9/11. Since that time, Sandy has been an integral part of making the observance a memorial to those who died in 9/11, those who have died in the war on terror, and to give honors annually to our first responders in honor of those who lost their lives responding to 9/11
Finney (posthumously) and Louise Greggs
Born in Texas, Finney Greggs’ heart was as big as his home state. He joined the United States Marine Corps to begin his legacy of service. Marrying his wife Louise in 1971, the Greggs Family would eventually make Onslow County their forever home when Finney completed his military career. But his service certainly did not end.
Finney would become director of the Onslow County Chapter of the American Red Cross fulfilling the mission of that organization each day. His love of the United States Marine Corps and the story Montford Point Marines would place he and Louise in the roles of caretaker and curator of the Montford Point Marine Museum. As director and assistant director respectively, Finney and Louise helped to honor and share the history and tradition of the Montford Point Marines. Their efforts to build support for the Museum included not only the museum building itself but books and documentaries gaining national and international recognition of the story of the Montford Point Marines.
Finney passed away in 2019. His story has been honored as a member of the Montford Point Marine Association, Inc. Hall of Fame. Inspired by her early encounters with Montford Point Marine Veterans and the stories they shared, Louise continues to help tell the story of all those who served.