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2276 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Graniteville, South Carolina,29829
The Aiken Technical College Foundation is dedicated to making the students of Aiken Technical College successful. Our sole purpose is to advance the mission of Aiken Technical College by raising funds that support the college's student, faculty, staff and prog... more.
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Savannah River Site
Family & Marriage Coalition of Aiken Inc
Character First Steering Committee
CNTA College Community
Councilman Gary Bunker, Mayor
Advisory Committee Member
The Salvation Army
Aiken High School
Virginia Military Institute
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Fred Cavanaugh, Mayor of Aiken, SC
Fred & Joan Locke called to thank us for the great gift basket they received!
Staff photo by Bill Bengtson / Abby Thornton, a student at North Augusta High School, is congratulated Saturday morning in the Celebration of Character event by former Aiken mayor Fred Cavanaugh, who helped establish the Character First program in the late 1990s.
Staff photo by Bill Bengtson / Celebration of Character honoree Israel Hernandez, center, a student at Hose Creek Academy, poses for a picture Saturday morning with Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon, left, and Osbon's predecessor, Fred Cavanaugh.
In 1999, then Aiken Mayor Fred Cavanaugh planted a seed of character.
Cavanaugh made the character initiative his singular mission above all others, to see that Aikens youth and citizens learned about and practiced good character traits. When he left office in November of last year, Cavanaugh said spearheading Aikens efforts in the Character First initiative was the one accomplishment during his 24 years of service of which he was most proud. Aiken was the first city in South Carolina to join many other Character First communities around the country Cavanaugh was the chair of Aikens Character First initiative, and it will be his most enduring legacy. Getting these kids introduced to character building traits in the schools is important, Cavanaugh said as he began his retirement. Developing core values that produce good character is important to instill in our young people, not just in Aiken, but everywhere. This years Celebration of Character is Saturday at 10 a.m. in Saint Angela Hall where 241 area high school students will be honored for their participation and completion of the Character First initiative started by Mayor Cavanaugh. This next generation of leaders in America, not just in Aiken, need this training and guidance to do the right thing, a longtime and often used quote by Cavanaugh as he presided over City Council. The Aiken Downtown Development Association also honored Cavanaugh by including his Character First initiative in the design of its 2015 commemorative medallion. It is up to us to water the sapling growing from the seed Fred Cavanaugh planted.
Leaving 24 years as mayor of Aiken, S.C., and six previous years on City Council, Aiken Mayor Fred Cavanaugh has presided over some of the most important advances in the 180 years of his city's life.
Many of those initiatives and political victories were brought to light by "Mayor Fred. Fred Cavanaugh A brochure from 1991, when Fred first ran for the office of mayor. But he just doesn't see it that way. He sees Aiken's success as a continuum of the efforts of the generations who first founded the town and then brought it along to where we are today - sometimes in huge changes but more often in a steady flow of improvements of the quality of life in this most unusual little Southern city. Cavanaugh sees the progress during his time as the combined efforts of dozens of people - coming together one step at a time to take up the next opportunity to make life in Aiken better. The Brightest Gems Were Ideas of Citizens "I am continually amazed at the unselfish, and often even unsolicited contributions of so many people," said Cavanaugh in reflecting upon his service and his retirement in late November 2015. "If there is one continuous tradition in Aiken it is of citizens coming up with an idea, getting some friends together to plan it out and then joining with the city to make it happen," says Cavanaugh. Council voted to accept it on a razor- thin four-to-three vote," Cavanaugh remembers. "Beautiful Downtown Aiken - Is No Accident," was the name of an eight-page broadside commissioned by Mayor Cavanaugh and City Manager Roger LeDuc to tell the story of Aiken's citizens saving themselves and turning our downtown from "Just Anywhere" South Carolina to the sparkling, vibrant city it is today. Fred Cavanaugh As just a few more examples, Mayor Cavanaugh named the citizen initiatives that became the Aiken Visitors' Center and Train Museum; the SRS Museum; The Aiken Center for the Arts; the not-yet-finished Center for African-American History, Art and Culture; the Aiken Performing Arts Theater; and the AECOM international headquarters building. Over his 30 years of service, Fred and the Council members he worked with faced dozens of tough decisions. He says he wants to remember the positive achievements, such as his establishment of "It's meant a lot, probably in ways we won't ever know," said Cavanaugh on the 10th anniversary of the All-America City designation in 2007. "The All-America City logo can go on stationery, it can go on letters - but it remains more than that," he said. "Although Fred couldn't take the trip because of conflicting duties," Osbon remembers, "he and Roger were with us every step of the way as we decided to enter, planned out what our presentation would be and then practiced, practiced, practiced. Fred Cavanaugh Cavanaugh's leadership in the celebration of Aiken's 175th year-long birthday party in 2010 started in February of 2009. The mayor says the most important decision made during the entire two-year process was asking "Aiken Booster" Bill Reynolds to serve as Steering Committee Chairman in unison with Cavanaugh's overall chairmanship. Reynolds oversaw 13 committees, each with about a dozen members that made their own plans and successfully pulled everything off - with a little guidance from Bill and Fred. Fred was involved in the smallest details wherever we asked him to be involved," remembers Reynolds. Cavanaugh says he is told nearly every week of examples of young adults citing their character training for the thought behind some good work they were just "caught" doing. "The Character Initiative is very dear to me," said Cavanaugh shortly before his retirement. "It After gaveling the meeting to order, Mayor Fred Cavanaugh called for approval of the minutes of the November 9 meeting and then introduced City Clerk Sara Ridout for the purpose of swearing in Rick Osbon, the man who succeeds Fred as Aiken's next mayor. After gaveling the meeting to order, Mayor Fred Cavanaugh called for approval of the minutes of the November 9 meeting and then introduced City Clerk Sara Ridout for the purpose of swearing in Rick Osbon, the man who succeeds Fred as Aiken's next mayor. Fred Cavanaugh was first elected to City Council in 1985. He then succeeded Mayor Weeks in 1991 and has been re- elected every four years for the past six terms. Fred Cavanaugh moved to Aiken in 1953 as a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Richmond, Virginia. His family, Fred, Sr., (an SRP engineer), mother Mary and three sisters, Mary Ann, Judy and Tish, first moved into Crosland Park and within a year had taken up the family's permanent residence on Brandy Road. After three years of active duty and his honorable discharge, Fred began a 30-year career with DuPont, working in Delaware, Houston, and Aiken at the SRS, and six more years at the Site with Westinghouse. In the 1970s, Fred took the chance on a blind date with Lee Quinn. and Fred, parents of two fine young men, Alex and Brian, are retiring together to live a more Fred Cavanaugh In pre-political days, Fred was a Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts. Now, we really are excited about going to places in the United States that we have always wanted to see, like Mount Vernon, the Hermitage, and Monticello - especially the wonderful places in Virginia where Fred grew up. When asked to talk about her long-time boss, City Clerk Sara Rideout, a 55-year city employee, gave a similar answer to what every other person had to say first when queried about Fred Cavanaugh: "Mayor Cavanaugh is a man of many fine character traits. Fred listens to what everyone has to say.
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Fred Cavanaugh, Mayor of Aiken, SC