2019 Auction for A Cause: Results Announced

November 15, 2019

The Uptown Spartanburg Sertoma Club announced the results of its annual Auction for A Cause event at their December 13th meeting at the Piedmont Club in Spartanburg.  The event, held November 1st at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, provided food, entertainment and featured 558 live and silent auction items and raised $91,293.76.


This was the 26th year the Club has been serving the community through these six non-profit agencies:  The Bethlehem Center, Safe Homes Rape Crisis Coalition, Spartanburg   Humane Society, The Haven, Upstate Family Resource Center and Camp Sertoma.

Each agency provides an invaluable service to the community and Uptown Sertoma is proud to partner with them. 


“I am blessed to be a part of Auction for a Cause,” said Caroline Phillips, AFC Chairman and long-time Sertoma member,  “What a year!  Celebrating 26 years of Auction for a Cause and raising over $1,187,621 in those 26 years to support local agencies in Spartanburg County is truly special.  We are also thankful for having amazing sponsors who support this event every year including our Signature Sponsor, the JM Smith Foundation.  We are the Doers, the Givers, it is what makes our club, our community and this event so special.”

Uptown Sertoma Club Presents the Service to Mankind Award to Dr. Gloria Close

July 19, 2019

The Uptown Sertoma Club recently announced the 2019 Service to Mankind Award recipient. The Service to Mankind Award is the top recognition award that a club can give to a non-member.  The award is based on an individuals’ contributions to the community.

Dr. Gloria Close, founder of CAST – a summer camp for children who live in area motels in Spartanburg county is this year’s recipient.

Dr. Close started CAST, which stands for Care, Accept, Share, Teach, in 2015.  CAST was born when Gloria, then a guidance counselor for Spartanburg’s School District 7, learned that one of her students had been living in a motel for several years.  From there, Gloria discovered that many more students and parents were stuck in motels.  Some of these families had lived in the same room for over three years and lacked the financial means to obtain their own apartment or home.

CAST started as a summer camp for these motel children.  The three-week camp was and still is, hosted by First Presbyterian Church, and gives these kids the chance to experience places for the first time, like a farm, the Chapman Culture Center, playing golf with First Tee, and playing

in the park.  CAST has blossomed into much more than a camp.  Through a fund at the Spartanburg County Foundation, donations can be made to CAST, which allows Gloria and her team of volunteers to assist these families in obtaining affordable housing and a job.  When a family is ready to transition to their new home, Gloria posts on Facebook seeking donations of household items and her loyal friends come through with needed supplies.  Children who attend CAST’s summer camps receive school supplies, clothes, and shoes for the upcoming school year, and another pair of shoes at Christmas.  CAST also offers mentoring, enrichment programs and other activities throughout the year.

Spartanburg County has the 5th highest number of homeless people in South Carolina.  But families who live in motels aren’t considered homeless.  They’re invisible.  Forgotten.  In 2017, Spartanburg’s District 7 had 260 children classified as homeless, which included students living in motels.  Since 2015, CAST has helped multiple families move out of these motels and into their own place.  One former motel resident said this about Gloria: “you really have no idea of the impact that you have on people’s lives.  You literally change lives and I thank you for it.”

CAST is just one of many contributions Gloria has made to Spartanburg.  She’s served as a board member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, the Children’s Trust of South Carolina, the Salvation Army, the Piedmont Area Girl Scouts, and was President of the Junior League of Spartanburg.  Additionally, she was a founding board member of the Boys and Girls Club and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Citizens Scholars Institute, a Spartanburg County Foundation initiative.  The Spartanburg County Foundation honored Gloria for her work with CAST by awarding her the 2017 Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change.

The Uptown Sertoma Club is honored to present Dr. Gloria Close with the Service to Mankind Award for identifying many needs in our community, creating solutions, and rolling up her sleeves to get the work done.  We thank Gloria for her dedication to the children of Spartanburg.

Uptown Sertoma Club Names Sertoman of the Year

July 19, 2019

The Uptown Sertoma Club recently announced Diane McAndrew as their Sertoman of the Year for 2019. The Sertoman of the Year Award is the top recognition award that a club can give to one of its members.  The award is based on the member’s outstanding service to the club, community and organization.

Diane McAndrew has been a member of the Uptown Sertoma Club since July 2013, and in that time has unselfishly donated her time with the Uptown Sertoma Club’s two major fund raisers, Auction for a Cause and Rummage for a Reason, and most recently spearheaded the development of a new fund raising event, Carolina Women.  She served as president from June 2017 to July 2018 and then again as president from December 2018 – June 2019.

As a Sertoman, Diane has participated and attended many Sertoma conferences and training sessions in local and national levels such as: National Convention, Regional Convention and Leadership Training Conference for two years.  She has received several awards including the Sertoma Service Award and the Leadership Award. During her tenure as president she has led the Uptown Club to receive several national awards; Member Services Award, Mission Club Award, Market Development Award and as a result of receiving these three, the Circle of Excellence. Diane does indeed embody the Sertoma motto “Service to Mankind”.

Sertoma, Inc. Supports The Important Work of The Walker Foundation at the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind

March 22nd, 2017

Sertoma, Inc. has awarded The Walker Foundation, the fundraising arm of the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind, a grant in the amount of $5,000 to support a Hearing Aid Loaner Program. This grant award is one of only 22 grant awards given by Sertoma, Inc. during this grant cycle.

“We are very appreciative to the Sertoma International Office for their support of our school,” said Ann Akerman, CEO of The Walker Foundation. “We have been so honored to have the support of our local Sertoma Clubs including the Uptown of Spartanburg Club and the Downtown of Spartanburg Club for decades.  The support of the Sertomans throughout South Carolina as well as Internationally, truly makes a difference for our students with a hearing impairment here at the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind” continued Akerman.


“As Sertoman’s, we are pleased to be able to offer our assistance in helping to raise awareness of the hearing health initiative that the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind dedicate themselves to on a daily basis” said Gail Noland Dowell, President of Uptown of Spartanburg Sertoma Club.  Dowell continued, “Our passion in addition to raising awareness, is to support those whose lives can be improved through better hearing and what better resource do we have within our community other than the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind”.


The award from the Sertoma, Inc. will allow The Walker Foundation to financially support a new Hearing Aid Loaner Program for the students served by the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind.  The program was created out of a need to ensure that the students did not miss any auditory stimulation including classroom instruction and therapy sessions during times when a student’s personal hearing device is in repair or lost.


“Sertoma, Inc. is pleased to support our National Affiliates who do direct service for those at risk or those who have hearing issues.  Our grant program allows Sertoma to help communities across the United States further our mission in a very direct and impactful way.  We have been able to award $100,000 in grant awards in the past several years. Gifts from Sertoma members and clubs make our grant program possible”, Holly Walls, Director of Mission Strategies/COO, Sertoma, Inc

Uptown Sertoma Club Announces Fundraiser Results

January 20, 2018

The Uptown Sertoma Club, announced at their December meeting, the results of funds generated from their 23rd annual “Auction for a Cause” which was held in November. Last year’s Auction raised over $70,000 with 100 percent of proceeds going back into the community. All of the participating agencies go above and beyond to assist those who need their services and the Uptown Sertoma Club was proud to work with them. This year’s Auction raised more monies than any in the past, $91,900.

Children are sponsored each year by Uptown Sertoma, from the proceeds, to attend Camp Sertoma of SC, which provides summer camp experiences for speech and hearing impaired children and those who are economically disadvantaged. The Club provides tuition, transportation to and from the camp, and all necessities. In addition, other funds were distributed to the following agencies: Bethlehem Center, Spartanburg Humane Society, Upstate family Resources, The Haven and SAFE Homes - Rape Crisis Coalition. Representatives from each organization were presented with their proceeds from the Auction at this meeting.


This fundraiser exceeds all expectations each year and this year was a stellar year for the Auction. The Spartanburg Community provides such strong support for this cause. Everyone involved in this huge effort is so thankful of this support.

The corporate sponsors are generous in providing financial support each year and are especially appreciated by Uptown Sertoma and all other participating agencies. JM Smith Corporation was the signature sponsor of this year’s event.

Uptown Sertoma Club of Spartanburg Presents Funds To Local Organizations

September 22nd, 2016


At a recent Meeting held at the Piedmont Club, The Uptown Sertoma Club of Spartanbug awarded over $7,000 to local organizations from Funds raised at their annual “Rummage for a Reason” fund raiser. Uptown Sertoma presented checks to each organization.


Recipients of the funds were: SC School for the Deaf and Blind, Hope Center, Humane Society, The Haven, Santa Toy Drive, Halter, Children’s Security Blanket.

Each year The Uptown Sertoma Club sponsors a variety of fundraising events, including their largest event, “Auction for a Cause”, which is held in the Fall, at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. Past years funds raised have exceeded $70,000. All funds are returned to Spartanburg local community charities sponsored by Uptown Sertoma.

Uptown Sertoma Announces 2016 Service to Mankind Award

August 24th, 2016

John Wardlaw was recently recognized as Uptown Sertoma’s 2016 recipient of their “Service to Mankind” award. Mr. Wardlaw has founded non-profits and started many programs within the community, as well as advised many business and community leaders. He has served as trustee and chairman of the Spartanburg County Foundation, assisted in establishing Spartanburg’s Habitat for Humanity, served on the Board of Housing Authority, presided over the Rotary Club, and played a leadership role in the effort between Church of the Advent and the community through St Luke’s Free Clinic, Mary H. Wright School, and Stop the Violence.

Mr. Wardlaw has also been awarded the highest honor by the State of SC with the “Order of the Palmetto.”


He was instrumental in creating the nonprofit corporation, known today as “Adult Learning.” To date over 1,600 people have earned their GEDs. The Adult Learning Center serves over 1,000 students per year. He founded the Adult Learning Center in Spartanburg and was Director for the first five years. After many years of leadership on the Board, he was named Board Chair Emeritus.

Uptown Sertoma recognizes Mr. Wardlaw’s selfless contribution to the Spartanburg Community. He exemplifies the true meaning of “Service to Mankind.”

Wardlaw Receives National Service Award From Sertoma International

April, 2016

John Wardlaw has been honored with the top Service to Mankind Award by Sertoma Inc. at the National level, recognizing his extraordinary service to the community through the founding of the Adult Learning Center as well as his work with the Spartanburg County Foundation.  The award was announced at the Sertoma National Convention in February, and was recently presented to him by Carol Moore, Past National President of Sertoma Inc, and Gail Noland Dowell, President of Uptown Spartanburg Sertoma Club.


The Uptown Sertoma Club of Spartanburg recognized Wardlaw in July 2016 with their Service to Mankind Award for his selfless contribution to the community.  He was nominated at the next levels within Sertoma and subsequently won recognition by the Palmetto District (nearly 50 clubs in South Carolina) as well as the Atlantic Region (the states of NC, SC, VA, MD, DE, and the District of Columbia). 


He was one of only seven nominees across the country for Sertoma Inc.’s most prestigious national service award to an individual outside Sertoma who has demonstrated strong positive community impact through volunteer activity.

Wardlaw’s national award includes a cash donation from Sertoma, Inc. to the non-profit organization of his choice, and he has designated the Adult Learning Center in Spartanburg as the recipient.

Uptown Sertoma Awards Proceeds To Local Agencies

March 4th, 2016

At the December meeting of the Uptown Sertoma Club, over $70,000 of proceeds, from the November Auction for a Cause fund raiser, were presented to agencies sponsored by the club; Bethlehem Center ($8,976.94), Spartanburg Humane Society ($8,352.11), Upstate Family Resources ($15,060.17), The Haven ($9,380.92), SAFE Homes- Rape Crisis Coalition ($13,178.35), and Camp Sertoma ($4,760.23).


Uptown Sertoma Club’s annual Auction for A Cause is held each year to raise monies for local charities and Camp Sertoma. The club sponsors children each year to attend Camp Sertoma, providing tuition and all necessities, including transportation to and from the Camp, in Clemson.

Each year this fund raiser exceeds everyone’s expectations. The support from the Spartanburg Community is always strong and Uptown Sertoma Club, along with the other participating agencies and corporate sponsors, recognizes this support and is thankful for it.

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Uptown Sertoma Club

P.O. Box 5108

Spartanburg, SC 29304


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