The award's namesake, Robert Allan Ballard, Jr., was a long-time neighborhood leader and supporter of the city who passed away in 2018. He succeeded Harold Koon, for whom the award was originated in 1998. Robert was the recipient of this honor in 2001.
Robert spent a career in public service, working for Charleston County in Community Development, Recycling and Facilities Management, and had a passion for protecting the livability of Charleston’s neighborhoods. For decades, he attended hundreds of City Council, Board of Architectural Review, Zoning Board and Town & Gown meetings, and he was the first president of the Radcliffeborough Neighborhood Association, a role he held for many years.
Robert often opened his home for community meetings, making sure that positive and tangible results came from the time and effort spent on each matter. He was the citizen volunteer that convinced the City of Charleston to implement a pilot program for street sweeping, where cars would move from one side of the street to the other to allow sweepers to thoroughly clean the curbs and storm drains. In 2002, he received the Three Sisters Award from the Committee to Save the City.
Robert was an extraordinary citizen whose dedication and passion for his community helped make Charleston such a special place.