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Two Greenvillians were awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor a civilian can receive in South Carolina, this week.
Megan Riegel, president and CEO of the Peace Center, was awarded The Order of the Palmetto by Gov. Nikki Haley on June 25. State Sen. Larry Martin presented the award during a board of trustees meeting at the Peace Center.
According to a Peace Center press release, the theater "has an economic impact of $25 million annually and generates $1.1 million in annual tax revenues" under Riegel's leadership.
In addition, the Peace Center's 20th anniversary campaign, initiated by Riegel and the board of trustees in 2010, surpassed its $21.5 million goal in two years, with $23 million currently raised, which has helped to fund the expansion and renovation of the property.
Also, according to the Peace Center, "Riegel's leadership since 1997 has helped the theater's annual fundraising program to grow from $400,000 to $1.9 million and its annual endowment to grow from $6 million to $26 million."
Cecil D. Buchanan, a Korean War veteran who helped build a Greenville American Legion post, was given the Order of the Palmetto June 23.
David Wilkins, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada, presented Buchanan with the award at a ceremony dedicating American Legion Greenville Post 3 to Buchanan.
"South Carolina is blessed by your tremendous work and community service," said Haley in a message read by Wilkins at the ceremony. "Thank you for your efforts to make our state an even better place to live, work and learn."
Buchanan has been a member of the American Legion for 43 years, and is a past Post 3 commander. He has been honored as Legionnaire of the Year by four past Post 3 commanders.