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The original item was published from 3/29/2022 11:48:52 AM to 3/29/2022 11:53:33 AM.

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City of Greenville - Featured News

Posted on: March 29, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Spero Financial Donation to Unity Park Honors Community Leader Mary Duckett

Southernside leader Mary Duckett standing in front of a rendering of the Spero Financial Plaza

Spero Financial announced a $250,000 donation to sponsor the plaza at the center of Unity Park and dedicated it to longtime Greenville community leader and Southernside Neighborhood in Action President Mary Frances Duckett. Situated between the Park’s welcome center, playgrounds and open green space, the plaza offers visitors a beautiful and safe pedestrian space at the park entrance and stunning panoramic views.

In making the announcement, Steve Griffin, vice chairman for the Spero Financial Board of Directors shared, “Hope and unity capture our organization’s core traits – our name ‘Spero’ means hope after all. We believe the same is true for Unity Park; the name says it all. Unity Park reflects our community’s history, celebrates our positive progression, and commemorates the individuals that paved the way to make it a reality.”

Brian McKay, Spero Financial president and CEO continued, “The goal for Unity Park is simple – to bring people together. As a credit union, we know this cooperative spirit all too well. It’s what spurred the credit union movement many centuries ago when individuals not afforded traditional banking opportunities pooled their money together to make their financial lives better. It is through unity that they were made stronger; we still believe this today. Just like our name, Unity Park represents hope. This contribution is our way of planting seeds of hope for present and future generations in the community Spero has called home since 1935.” 

In a surprise reveal on Tuesday, Spero Financial dedicated their contribution to Mary Duckett for her invaluable, countless acts of service to the Greenville community and beyond. 

In addressing Mary, McKay shared, “March is designated as Women’s History Month – set aside to celebrate the impact that strong women have on our communities each day. Mary, it is an honor to celebrate you today! This dedication is symbolic of your legacy – one that will be remembered for uniting a community and instilling a hope that anything is possible when never giving up. May your actions drive us all to be greater – because when we do this, our community will truly become a better place to live, work, and play.”

Greenville Mayor Knox White described Mary Duckett as the heart and soul of Unity Park and said its construction would not have been possible without her tireless energy and determination.

“In her seven decades living in Southernside, Mary Duckett has dedicated herself to making our community better ­– a better place for seniors, children, her neighbors, and for people she has never met. I want to thank Spero Financial for their investment in Unity Park. And I want to thank Mary for her passion for this park, her love for our community, and her beautiful grace,” said White.

Surrounded by friends and family at the surprise announcement, Mary shared, “Unity Park is a dream come true for me and for so many families in the Southernside community and across Greenville. I can’t wait to see all the children and families come to the park when it opens.”

Unity Park is scheduled to open May 19. 

About Spero Financial 
Spero Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1935 as a not-for-profit financial cooperative with one mission: to improve financial lives. As one of the Palmetto State’s largest credit unions, today, it has more than 49,900 members and $559 million in assets. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, the credit union’s footprint spans the Upstate and Midlands with branches in Anderson, Easley, Greenville, Simpsonville, Spartanburg, Taylors, and Columbia. More at

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