Cindy-Mackie Awards given in memory of Winthrop professor

YORK, S.C. – A smiling senior at York Comprehensive High School led the list of the latest recipients of the awards and grants Friday. They were established in the memory of the late Winthrop University professor Cynthia Furr and her infant daughter McAlister, who everyone called "Mackie."

Having no idea why, Lauren Jones and her classmates were called down to the library by Principal Christopher Black.

There, Lauren found her parents waiting along with Furr's sister, Sharon Furr, who presented her with a scholarship grant.

"We just know that you are wonderful and will make such a difference in the world," she told the teenager.

The grant program honors Cynthia and Mackie who died in April of 2009. Cynthia Furr was driving her daughter to church when they were hit by one of two cars that were street racing along Route 49 in south Charlotte.

Both drivers were arrested and served time in prison.

After receiving the grant, Lauren said, "This means a lot. This way I can go to college and actually continue to do what I want."

Lauren hopes to become a librarian and teach other kids the joy of reading.

Sharon Furr told Lauren that Cynthia's gift was the ability to inspire her students.

"It became real in their lives, which made them want to learn," Furr said to Lauren.

Furr said the day when she hands out the awards each year is special to her and the memory of her sister and Mackie.

"It gives us reason to keep going because we realize as we do this each year, we are inspiring lives and enhancing lives and causing others to continue Cindy's legacy."


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