For the Black Mountain/Swannanoa Kiwanis Club, finding a worthy recipient for its 2017 Community Service Award was a no-brainer.
She’s Margaret Fuller Hurt, a Black Mountain resident and mother of three children. The list of all she’s done to help local schools, church, Boy Scout and community organizations since moving here 18 years ago was too long to fit in the program at the club's Aug. 17 luncheon, held in her honor at the Christmount Assembly dining room.
Hurt, married to local architect Maury Hurt, began pitching in to support local our public schools 10 years ago when their first child, William, entered kindergarten at Black Mountain Primary. Upon finding no active parent teacher organization (PTO) there, she immediately set out to form one herself.
“She was aware that the staff needed the support of parents, not just their appreciation, but also their time, volunteering in classrooms and for school-wide events,” said Alison Banzhoff, one of the parents Hurt approached in summer 2008 to serve on the PTO executive committee.
In the 2008-09 school year, Hurt “went above and beyond anything that had ever been done before,” Banzhoff said. The bonds of support she helped nurture from the local business community, the parent volunteers she recruited, the fund-raisers, teacher appreciation events, and other programs she initiated led a national magazine to name it one of the strongest first-year PTO’s in the country, Banzhoff added.
Echoing Banzhoff’s praise, fellow parent April Roy said Hurt has special gifts, including “the ability to see a need, then gather and organize people around her to develop a vision and a plan to fulfill that need.”
"She knows how to connect with people and how to build lasting relationships with them," Roy said. "These qualities have helped her to make a positive and powerful impact on this community. She has never been known not to be volunteering.”
In addition to leading very successful PTO groups in both the primary and elementary schools, the Hurt has volunteered in classrooms, served on local and countywide school advisory councils and been a “tireless” volunteer with Boy Scout Troop 50, Christ Community Church, and Black Mountain Recreation and Parks, the Kiwanis Club noted.
As if that weren’t enough, Hurt has also coached soccer, taught swimming, helped with the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Hunger Walk and with the Relay for Life, taught Sunday school, served on the Parks and Greenway Foundation and volunteered at the Kiwanis Thrift Shop.
“We are awed by and grateful for her many contributions to our community,” the Kiwanis Club stated.