The lights of uptown sparkled in the distance, dotted with construction cranes that marked another year of growth in Charlotte. With this view out the window from the cozy pavilion at Cordelia Park in Villa Heights, Partners for Parks celebrated another year of growing and strengthening the “outdoor living rooms” in Mecklenburg County.

The 11th annual Partners for Parks Awards and Sponsor Celebration recognized the 41 Annual Sponsors who made our important work possible in 2019. Partners for Parks also presented five awards to special individuals and organizations that made significant contributions this year and over the years to promote and enhance regional parks, greenways, open spaces, active play, and recreational and enrichment opportunities. Nearly 100 partners enjoyed food from Savory Moments and entertainment provided by the Nita B Trio for the celebration.

“It was so rewarding to celebrate this year’s accomplishments with fellow park and recreation supporters,” says Partners for Parks President Beth Poovey. “We have made clear strides in helping make Charlotte a better community, bringing such a diverse mix of people together with Open Streets 704, advocating for increased funding for parks, and helping to activate our parks with fun-filled, family-friendly nights of music.”

Partners for Parks is grateful for the contributions of this year’s award winners and the impact they have had on our mission:

  • Brad Davis Lifetime Achievement Award: Nancy Brunnemer
  • Corporate Recognition Award: Womble Bond Dickinson
  • Joe Cogdell Volunteer Service Award:  Mike Godsey, Abilities Unlimited
  • Project Recognition Award: Clover School District Community YMCA
  • Non-profit Award: Center 360

Read about this year’s winners here:

“The awards were given to recipients who really deserve it for their tireless work for local parks and recreation,” says Doug Youngblood, Vice President of Partners for Parks. “They were a really good group — again. They were a really deserving group.”

And once again, the park venue in Villa Heights, a growing center city neighborhood, was a popular choice for celebrating the Annual Sponsors and award winners whose contributions make our parks such an integral part of our urban landscape.

“We want to thank Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation for a great park space like Cordelia Park Indoor Pavilion for this year’s celebration,” says Al Brown, Partners for Parks Treasurer and Annual Sponsor Campaign Chairman.  “It’s a great setting with a beautiful view of our Uptown skyline.  We sincerely appreciate all of our Annual Sponsors, whose support provides us resources to fulfill our vision of Breathing Life Into Our Communities.”

Poovey is looking forward to another great year, and encourages anyone who loves parks and activities to get involved with Partners for Parks or any of its events and programs:  “Please let us know if you are interested in being more involved through a gift of time.”

For more details about getting involved with Partners for Parks, learn about projects and programs making a difference in our community, or to become an Annual Sponsor, visit

Thank you to all our Annual Sponsors who are  truly the life of our work, and without them we couldn’t engage in the activities that so many of our Mecklenburg County neighbors have come to enjoy.  For a full list of Annual Sponsor Benefits visit

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