Mayor John Tecklenburg was not the first Charleston mayor to be recognized for doing something to make West Ashley a better place to live. His predecessor, some guy named Riley, received a Westie Award a couple years ago for his efforts to bring more parks to our side of the river. But Tecklenburg is the first mayor from West Ashley to receive the award and that makes it that much more special because there is little doubt that the mayor is focused on what he has referred to as a “West Ashley Renaissance.”
Last week Tecklenburg and the other recipients of the 2016 Westie Awards dropped by Gala Desserts at 829 Savannah Hwy. to pick up their golden cow trophy and chat with fellow winners. The Westie Awards are West Of’s annual awards honoring members of the community that make West Ashley a better place to live and work. This year’s Westie class was made up of some really special folks, including Tecklenburg and the late Cynthia Hurd, a librarian in West Ashley who died in the Mother Emanuel shooting last year. Aside from the mayor and Hurd, the other 10 Westie winners were Senior Center and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital volunteer Debbie Carter, DuWap community crusader Carmen Nash, Swig & Swine co-owner Anthony DiBernardo, City Councilman Keith Waring, Fabulon art center founder Susan Irish, obstetrician Dr. Kathryn M. Hargrove, West Ashley project manager for the City’s Planning Department Mandi Herring Bello, wound care nurse Faith Singleton, YESCarolina founder Jimmy Bailey, and The Drayton Family from Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
“Enjoyed and appreciate the Westie Awards!,” Tecklenburg wrote on his Facebook page following the event. “Thank you to West Of, our work continues!”

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