Landlovers Community Service Merit Award

By Bud Equi
Communications Director

Landlovers invites all outstanding high school juniors and seniors to apply for our Community Service Merit Award. The Landlovers Community Service Merit Award recognizes outstanding volunteer work and contributions made by high school juniors and seniors. The Award is offered to junior and senior students in private and public school, as well as to those who are home schooled. 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. 

Applicants must be residents of The Landings and should have volunteered more than 100 hours (not counting community service required by the applicant’s school). The Community Service Merit Award is a Cash award to the winning applicants. Awards range from $500 to $3,000 depending on the amount of time committed and impact of the applicant’s contribution to the particular project(s)/programs.

The  goalof the Landlovers Foundation is to improve community life through philanthropic, social, and cultural activities. Through the generosity and hard work of our members, Landlovers has given more than $1.8 million in grants, scholarships, and merit awards.

The 2023 Community Service Merit Award Application can be found on the Landlovers website (,

Applications must be submitted online no later than February 12, 2024.

The 2023 recipient of the Landlovers Community Service Merit Award was Ellie Samara Neil. Below is a synopsis of her achievements at the time of the award. 

A graduating senior attending Savannah Country Day School, Ellie Samara Neil is an active and committed community volunteer, dedicated to an incredible number of school and community service projects, as well as sporting activities.  She served as a participant, leader, and co-founder of such efforts as Inspiritus, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, SCDA Welcome Club, UTime, One Love, Ronald McDonald House, and Interact/Union Mission. 

In addition, Ellie is a member of the National Honor Society and the Varsity Cheerleading Team. She was named a Scholar Athlete all four years and was presented with a Leadership Award, Captain Award, Coach’s Helper Award, and ACE Award, and participated in the Tree Club, Swim Team, and Orchestra. Ms. Christine Hefner, the SCDA School Service Coordinator, stated in her letter of recommendation: “We are all fortunate to have students like Ellie looking out for us!”  The Landlovers Foundation is pleased to have presented Ellie Neil with a 2023 Community Service Merit Award, Highest Honor.

Ellie has continued her education and is in her freshman year at Elon University. She is majoring in Psychology with minors in Spanish and Leadership Studies. As expected, Ellie is active in University Life in the Elonthon and Elon Danceworks, as well as volunteering at a local elementary school. She clearly was a deserving recipient of the 2023 Service Award. 

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.