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Gy.Sgt. Sean Kaspar

Chamber holds 2022 Civitas Awards

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From staff reports

The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce held its annual Civitas Awards for Business Excellence on Thursday, Oct. 13 at Old Bay Marketplace Rooftop in downtown Beaufort, and Gy.Sgt. Sean Kaspar, winner of the Sentinel Award given to a military citizen, was the highlight of the event.

An Illinois native, Kaspar has served in the United States Marine Corps since 2005, according to the Chamber’s narrative. He deployed to Iraq in 2007 and to Afghanistan in 2008 where he supervised the Afghan National Police and led more than 25 Marine combat patrols.

While severing as lead vehicle commander on a patrol in June of that year, Kaspar and his Marines were ambushed, and he was wounded by enemy RPG and mortar fire. His wounds led to his emergency evacuation and ultimately required 18 surgeries, three skin grafts, a bone transplant, and constant speech and physical therapy. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Kaspar was told he likely would no longer be able to serve in the Marines. He didn’t listen.

Instead, after a lot of rehabilitation and hard work, Kaspar currently serves as Assistant Chief of Staff for Recruiting at MCRD Parris Island. Since his arrival in the Lowcountry in 2020, he has completed more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service with Operation Patriot: Forward Operating Base (OPFOB), a Ridgeland-based organization that provides support for combat veterans with post-traumatic stress and helps service members readjust after deployment.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Bill Prokop. Prokop, who became Beaufort’s City Manager in 2015 will be retiring in January.

Here are the rest of this year’s finalists, both businesses and individuals, with the winners in italics:

Cornerstone Award For Small Business Excellence

1. Alpha Graphics

2. Brunson Construction

3. The Island News/Lowcountry Weekly

Torchbearer Award For Regional Impact

1. 303 Associates

2. Eat Local Beaufort

3. Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort

Trailblazer Award For Investment/Innovation

1. Magnus Development Partners

2. Safe Harbor

3. Shell Ring Ale Works

Caretaker Award For Non-Profits

1. DragonBoat Beaufort

2. Lowcountry Habitat For Humanity

3. Junior Service League of Beaufort

Sentinel Award For Military Citizen

1. Gy.Sgt. Sean Kaspar

2. Sgt. Gabriel George

3. Sgt. Justin A. Hoey

Pillar Award For Community Leadership

1. Jonas Gadson

2. Bennett Schiller

3. Courtney Worrell

Buzzworthy Award For Rising Professional

1. Blaire Lent

2. Mike Ponder

3. Charlie Stone

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