Chester school wins award named for Winthrop professor

Melinda Abercrombie


by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 10:04 AM

CHESTER, S.C. -- Sharron Furr had a big surprise for Chester school teacher Melinda Abercrombie.  It was a special award from the foundation named for Sharron's sister Cynthia Furr, a professor at Winthrop University and Cynthia's 2-year-old daughter, McCallister.

Police said that the car that hit them that Saturday back in April of 2009 was involved in a street race with another car along Route 49 in Steele Creek.

This year the Cindy Mackie Foundation wanted to do something special for all the kids at the Chester Academy of Teaching and Learning.

Melinda Abercrombie had written the foundation asking for some books to start a school library.

She was surprised when Sharron Furr showed up at the school Wednesday morning with a $14,000 check and a lot more.

"Dreams do come true," Furr said to Abercrombie.

School staff had been tipped off to the award and they all crowded into the room to watch the look on Abercrombie's face as Furr told her what else the foundation would contribute.

There will be furniture, electronics, even a stage for what will be named the Cindie Mackie Literacy and Performing Arts Center.

After getting over her initial shock, Abercrombie said, "It's going to be a place where children walk in and say, 'Wow.'"

"How could anyone walk into a literacy and performing arts center that was named for Cindy and the baby and not feel something wonderful when they step inside," asked Sharon Furr.

As a professor and music instructor, Cynthia Furr was always an inspiration to her students and the hope is now that the new room will continue that inspiration.

"It was a vision, and to know that today is the day it will happen for our school and our community is wonderful," said Abercrombie.

Click here to see a list of other award winners