FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Former Florence City Councilwoman Pat Gibson-Hye Moore has made a lifelong commitment to helping neighborhoods in Florence by providing resources for the city’s homelessness, initiating neighborhood revitalization and creating positive opportunities for the city’s youth.
Gibson Hye-Moore has done a lot in her more than 30 years since moving to Florence from New York City.
Her nominator, Suzanne La Rochelle, said Gibson-Hye Moore has impacted the lives of countless people of the Pee Dee. La Rochelle said that during a recent celebration of Gibson-Hye Moore’s life, the public testimonies of gratitude were overwhelming as people stood up and said they were alive and thriving because of her.
Gibson Hye-Moore’s love of community service started at a young age, shortly after she was adopted. Her parents were very active and taught her how to serve. She served on multiple boards between 1995-2016, including the Florence Housing Authority for nine years, Florence Transportation Commission, Florence One School District Board for 11 years and Florence City Council for six years.
She has devoted her life to others, but what is even more inspiring and remarkable is that she is doing this while in treatment for a recurrence of lung cancer.
“I just enjoy helping others, helping to make others happy,” Gibson-Hye Moore said.
La Rochelle said Gibson-Hye Moore has become razor-focused on homelessness. She was influential in the development of Hope Village, a tiny housing community that houses homeless men in Florence.
However, she’s also humble and hardly boastful about her good deeds.
“When you smile, I smile, when you’re happy, I’m happy. It’s great, but I don’t do it to be honored, I just do it because I enjoy doing it,” Gibson-Hye Moore explained.
Gibson-Hye Moore also helped start the Florence Pecan Festival, now called the South Carolina Pecan Music and Food Festival, which happens the first weekend in November. She teamed up with Jeanne Downing and pitched the idea to Florence Councilman George Jebaily and the Florence Downtown Development Corporation.
The group agreed to help Gibson-Hye Moore and Downing put on the festival. Created in 2003, the festival’s mission, according to its website, is to stimulate the local economy, entertain, and involve the community and visitors in a fun-filled atmosphere.
More than 60 thousand people attend every year, and the festival now spans 10 linear blocks and has nine stages. In 2011, the event was designated as the official South Carolina State Pecan Festival. It has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Best Community Festival in 2013, 2019, and 2022.
“We have a group called Alliance for Youth, and right now I’m so proud of him, one of the young men we mentored from the time he was 13 until the time he graduated from college, he is now teaching at Williams Middle School, and he’s a coach on the basketball team,” Gibson-Hye Moore said.
Gibson-Hye Moore also has a nonprofit called, “Hearts for Homeless.” It does many service events, including feeding the homeless and toy drives for youth. However, its local goal is to create a community center that provides services for the homeless. Those services will include a place where they can do laundry, take a hot shower and grab a bite to eat.
Gibson-Hye Moore said the center will also tackle food distribution, offer medical/health care services and serve as an emergency overflow shelter.
To help her with this mission, please email Patricia Gibson-Hye Moore at patghmoore@hceballos.
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Annette Peagler is an evening anchor at News13. Annette is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She joined the News13 team in December 2020. Annette is an Emmy-nominated journalist and has won journalism awards in Mississippi and Tennessee. Follow Annette on Twitter and read more of her work here.