February 27, 2024

FMU presents annual Marion Medallion Awards

Pictured Left to Right: Kyla Fraser, President & Director of Local Sales and Marketing, Lee Enterprises; Jayne Boswell, President of the Florence Area Humane Society; Mirah Horowitz, Founder and CEO of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue; and Dr. Fred Carter, President of Francis Marion University

The 13th annual Marion Medallion awards ceremony was held at the FMU Performing Arts Center on February 27, 2024. Mirah Horowitz, Founder and CEO of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, and Jayne Boswell, President of the Florence Area Humane Society, were the recipients of this year’s medallions.

Horowitz journeyed into animal rescue when she adopted her first dog in 2005. Shortly after his adoption, she turned her attention to finding a better and more efficient way to get more rescue animals into adoptive homes. Along with a group of volunteers, she founded Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing homeless, neglected, and abandoned animals and finding them forever homes. 

Boswell first began serving as a volunteer at the Humane Society after rescuing a kitten. Her passion for rescuing animals grew and led her to her current role, President of the Florence Area Humane Society. In addition to serving as president, Boswell still volunteers. Today, the organization is involved in the rehabilitation, health care, nutrition, and socialization for the cats, dogs, and horses in its care.

Francis Marion University and the Morning News have presented the Marion Medallion award annually since February 2012 to recognize Pee Dee citizens who have made sustained and significant contributions to improve the region and lives of its residents. The award is given each year on or about February 27, Francis Marion Day. 

To read more about Jayne Boswell, click here.

To read more about Mirah Horowitz, click here.

Past Marion Medallion award recipients include:


Kathy Baxley (Darlington clinic) 

Henry Johnson & Heyward King (IGA, corporate/personal philanthropy, Lake City) 


Bill and Olive Timberlake (Hartsville, volunteerism, philanthropy) 

Ralph Porter (Florence, Choices Charter) 


Henry Badie & Clyde Odom (Florence, homeless ministry) 

Henry Brunson (Florence, Cooks for Christ) 


John and Vicki Kirby (Latta, education) 

Paige Alexander, Deanna Strickland (Florence, Camp Rae) 


Carlos Washington (Florence, Barnes Street Rec Center youth basketball) 

Manna House (Florence Soup Kitchen, awarded as a group) 


Regi Armstrong 

Carl Harmon (Hemingway Food Pantry) 

Courtney Graham (posthumously) 


W.O.  “Billy” Powers (philanthropy) 

Help 4 Kids (feeding hungry children) 


Chuck McNeil (resurrected public transport system) 

Parking Lot Ministry (feeding the hungry) 


Mayor Stephen Wukela (leadership, econ dev. Progressive revitalization of town center) 

Allen Floyd (Mullins parks and rec, selfless devotion to children in area) 


Allie E. Brooks (education, community leadership) 

Hope Health (community service) 


Jean Leatherman (community leadership, education) 

Ellen Hamilton (community service, women’s rights) 


Tim Norwood (downtown development, community leadership)

Jim Brown (downtown development, community leadership)

Pat Gibson-Hye Moore (community service)