GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- A legacy celebration was hosted at Unity Park to honor three of Greenville’s elected officials who have all recently stepped down from their roles.

Councilwoman Xanthene Norris, Representative Leola Robinson-Simpson, and Probate Judge Debora Faulkner sat in Unity Park’s Welcome Center on Sunday, reflecting on their careers and being celebrated by many others alongside them. 

“Many times people actually leave the planet before we can recognize them and today we recognized three ladies who have done so much for Greenville County that it was extremely important that we do it while they’re still here in good health and can really enjoy and appreciate it,” said Alan Mitchell, Greenville county council district 23.

Councilwoman Norris was raised in Greenville and was later elected for five terms on the Greenville county council. She played many other roles too, including being a state democratic party delegate and a Greenville county educator. Alan Mitchell is taking the place of Norris and said he knows he has big shoes to fill. 

“She and I are very much alike,” said Mitchell. “We are people-oriented. We like to make sure the person who does not have a voice can still be heard.”

Serving as Greenville county’s probate judge for 24 years, Debora Faulkner said she’s always had a heart for public service. She highlighted Greenville’s advantages for those in career paths like hers.

“Greenville gives you the opportunity to make a change, to be innovative,” said Debora Faulkner, retired Greenville county probate judge. “In my time on the bench, I was very fortunate to have resources such as the county’s information technology office to allow me to use technology to make our services available across the board.”

A common theme among the chatter in the room Sunday was the importance of learning from the three honorees and what they have accomplished. And as a former member of the state house of representatives, Robinson-Simpson had many lessons to share.

“There are still voices out there that are crying out in the wilderness, there’s still the hopeless voices, the homeless voices, there are the voices of at-risk students in this beautiful town,” said Leola C. Robinson-Simpson, a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

With a discussion of what comes next came the assertion of what is needed to make it all happen.

“I would encourage young people or anyone with a heart for public service to get involved and run for office and give up your best for the community so everyone can benefit from it,” said Faulkner. “We all have a part that we can play to make Greenville County better for everyone.”