LANDIS, NC (WBTV) - The first ever Purpose Prize ceremony was held on Tuesday night at South Rowan High School in Landis.
The idea originated from the South Community wanting to recognize people within the community who "live with purpose," according to South Rowan High School principal Kelly Withers.
Students and staff at each public school in the south Rowan area were tasked with nominating one person who embodies someone living with purpose.
"Each nominee exemplifies living with a purpose in various ways, and we want to thank them for their dedication to helping others," Withers said.
Dr. Steve Yang, a well-known Rowan County dentist and the coach of the 2015 World Champion Girls Little League Softball team, was the keynote speaker. Yang talked about his past, his volunteer work, and encouraged those in the audience to live their lives with purpose.
The nominees for the night included Crystal Karriker of China Grove Elementary, Mike Davis of Enochville Elementary, Toby Weast of Landis Elementary School, Mark Rockwell of Millbridge Elementary School, Willie Chambers of Corriher-Lipe Middle School, and Kenny Isenhour of South Rowan High School.
Rockwell earned the Grand Prize, the Purpose Prize Award, for his work with the Hands and Feet project that aids orphans in Haiti. Rockwell received $500 from the South Community as a thank you. The winning school will receive a plaque with the name of their nominee to display in the school.