For those who go above and beyond

The Community Service Merit Award was the idea of Louise Rutland in 2003, a time when several negative issues involving teenagers at The Landings were highly publicized. Louise, the mother of two girls, wanted those children who live at The Landings who were good role models to be recognized and honored. To that end she proposed that Landlovers award high school seniors for their community service participation. First named the “Community Service Scholarship”, the name was changed in 2005 to “The Community Service Merit Award”. The awards recognize students who go “above and beyond” in giving time and talent through community service. Commitment, creativity, leadership, and total time dedicated determine the winners.

To qualify, students must be Landings residents, be in their last year of high school with graduation anticipated this year and plan to attend higher education full time next fall.

The recipient for the 2020 Community Service Merit Award is Thomas Gauntt Hudgins, an outstanding, energetic and memorable young man who is committed to service, innovation, creativity, speed and walking on Mars.  An honor student at Savannah Arts Academy, Gauntt has volunteered for years at the Greenbriar Children’s Center, the Sylvan Learning Center, The Skidaway Island United Methodist Church, the Humane Society of Greater Savannah and with his boy Scout Troop 57.  For his Eagle Scout project, he created 6 benches for animal shelter visitor seating and also agility equipment for the residents.  This project required that he raise funds in a variety of ways, as well as learn how to plan and build the devices.  A student pilot and race-car driver, Gauntt always finds a way to use his talents to benefit others, such as raising $1000 for the children’s center by having volunteers sign the hood of his race car and also creating and producing an award-winning video PSA entitled “Avoid the Wrecks Don’t Drive and Text.”  It would be impossible to spend time with Gauntt and not be drawn into his enthusiasm for all things exciting, new, helpful and fast.  Accepted into several of the best schools for his intended field, Gauntt will enter Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall studying Aeronautical Sciences-Aviation and Aerospace Engineering.

Please click below for the 6 page application which must be postmarked by April 16, 2021: