More good news is blossoming in Greenwood with news of an award bestowed upon the Festival of Flowers. You might call this a green thumbs up.

While many of us were experiencing a bit of the wrath of Hurricane Matthew this past weekend, a couple of representatives of the festival -- the Chamber's Angelle LaBorde and Kelly McWhorter, executive director of the Tourism and Visitor's Bureau -- were in sunny California for the annual America in Bloom awards ceremony.

There, they accepted an outstanding achievement award based on the festival's topiaries display. This is a great way to celebrate the festival's 50th year, which will be -- er -- in full bloom next June. Greenwood beat a number of other entrants in the national contest hosted by the organization that is designed to promote beautification programs through the use of flowers, plants and trees.

Look for Greenwood and the festival to grow even stronger and more beautiful as an America in Bloom city. And congratulations to all who tend the topiaries. If it were not for their dedication behind the scenes and while the topiaries are on full display, the award would not have been possible.


Speaking of the hurricane, Matthew threw us off a bit last week as we had fully intended to give a thumbs up to the Greenwood Chamber, Greenwood County Community Foundation and the Leadership Greenwood Class of 2016 for collaborating and bringing about the first of what is hoped to be an annual event for our Greenwood County high school student, the South Carolina Student Leadership Conference.

Participants were given a leadership development experience that offered 21st century skills to provide them with a competitive advantage as they advance onto their college years and future careers. It is this type of collaboration and effort that can prove to be a worthy investment in our future, our future generations.


And finally -- but hardly last in terms of importance -- another word of thanks and a thumbs up to all who helped out during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Utility and road crews whose services were not needed in our region were quick to respond and head east to help our neighbors who were more greatly affected by the storm. Other individual volunteers and nonprofit organizations, such as the local office of The Salvation Army, took their skills and training across the state and, in some cases, to North Carolina to help out. People helping people. That's good.