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Rhodes receives Leonard Price Award from KCSF

Posted: November 7, 2013 5:29 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Foundation (KCSF) honored Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Safe School Healthy Students (SSHS) Director Kevin Rhodes as its 2013 Leonard Price Award winner.

Kershaw County Board of School Trustees Vice Chair Kim DuRant and the KCSF, presented the award during Tuesday nights’ board meeting at Blaney Elementary School. Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews, KCSF Chairman Joe Dorton and the late Leonard Price’s daughters -- Nonie Price of Columbia, Kathy Stitt of Augusta, Ga., and Beth Tisdale of Lugoff -- all spoke during the ceremony.

Rhodes thanked everyone for keeping such a significant secret. He said he is just the conductor of the orchestra, however, and that the people working for the programs are the ones doing the work. Rhodes has been with the program since it began after a Camden High School student died in a 2007 gang-related shooting. SSHS is a federal grant that has allowed the district to implement summer and afterschool programs, various counseling partnerships, school resource officers, drug and violence prevention programs, and the installation of security cameras on school buses.

Last year, the KCSF presented the first Leonard Price Award to Joe Upchurch of Upchurch & Jowers Insurance. Dorton said that after that successful award ceremony, it occurred to him that the KCSF should continue to choose someone that “does something truly outstanding.” There are many friends of law enforcement in Kershaw County, hundreds if not thousands, Dorton said, and choosing a winner is extremely difficult. He said Rhodes supports law enforcement in a unique way.

Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said a light bulb went off when he heard that nominations were being taken for the award on the radio.

“(Rhodes) is a worthy recipient because of the tremendous, sustained work that he does for prevention -- for preventing kids from going the wrong way. I know prevention is very difficult to measure, but it’s still very, very powerful and I think that’s why (Rhodes) is so special. He does this with the work he does through his livelihood and also his long standing work as a scout master in our community,” Morgan said.

Morgan, who briefly quoted his nomination letter, said,  “I truly believe that an individual who has worked so diligently and effectively on prevention is a friend of law enforcement in the truest, most legitimate sense of these words.” Rhodes has helped thousands of young people throughout the last several years, he said.

Stitt thanked Kershaw County for the invitation to honor her father; adding that she was “flattered” the county named an award after Price.

“We know that our father would be extremely pleased with the person you’ve chosen to receive this award,” she said.  

Price was a resident of the county’s North Central area. He was an avid supporter of law enforcement and education, according to a press release. He also was a supporter of the boy scouts, Dorton said. Matthews said Price was a generous person and once donated $7,000 to the foundation to purchase bulletproof vests with no questions asked. A long-time law enforcement agent, Matthews said community and citizen involvement is critical to what the sheriff’s office does. Price was a help in a number of ways, he said.

Rhodes is also a scout master for Troop 316, which -- along with Rhodes’ family -- attended the event.

The KCSF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.

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