Helping Out for Nov. 11, 2009

Helping Out highlights some of the many charitable events and activities going on in the Charleston area. Submissions should be sent to dailyjournal@scbiznews.com.

Lowcountry Local First The first Lowcountry Field Feast, a trip to a farm in Walterboro to benefit Lowcountry Local First, drew 150 guests and raised $3,500.

The Oct. 11 event featured a farm-to-table, family-style dinner prepared by Chef Mike Lata of FIG restaurant, live music, games and farm tours led by Keegan-Filion Farm owners Marc and Annie Filion.

The money raised from the event will go to Lowcountry Local First’s Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, which focuses on strengthening local farms and producers by creating partnerships with local restaurants, institutions and the community.

The organization works to bring local food into local communities and educate people on the benefits of eating locally. 

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Gents Barber Spa in downtown Charleston is celebrating its sixth anniversary in the Charleston market by raising money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Gents will donate all sales proceeds earned between noon and 6 p.m. Thursday to the organization. The barber spa will hold a silent auction and cocktail reception from 6 to 8 p.m. that evening day, also to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

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The Walmart Foundation is donating a refrigerator truck and food to the Lowcountry Food Bank as part of its Walmart Gives Back holiday initiative.

The truck, which will help the food bank feed local families in need, is scheduled to arrive on Thursday. The truck is valued at $85,000, Walmart officials said.

Also heading to the Lowcountry Food Bank are 12 pallets of Great Value-brand products and apples. The donation is part of a nationwide effort to help food banks meet the increasing demand for food assistance.

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Heart Ball The Charleston Heart Society campaign has surpassed the $175,000 mark in its $250,000 fundraising campaign, thanks in large part to a $25,000 gift from Nancy Bush. 

The campaign will culminate with a celebration at the 13th annual Charleston Heart Ball on Feb. 20. Nearly 70% of tickets for the event are sold.

The 2010 Heart Society, led by Chef Brett McKee of Oak Steakhouse and Dr. Eric Powers of the Medical University of South Carolina Heart and Vascular Center, has 50 members.

For information on joining the Charleston Heart Society or to sponsor the Heart Ball celebration, contact Meredith Jarvis at the American Heart Association at 843-853-1597 or via e-mail.

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Logan DiTullio, a ninth-grader at James Island Charter High School, and Osbaldo Duarte, a third-grader at St. Andrew’s School of Math and Science, are the grand prize winners for the Lowcountry in the Subway Fresh Fit Video and Poster Competition.

Both students received an awards package including a $1,000 Subway card and a $1,000 fitness grant for their schools.

Nearly 400 students in the Lowcountry entered the recent Subway Fresh Fit contest. Students showed how they stay healthy and fit by creating a poster drawing or a video. The contest was meant to raise awareness about childhood obesity and provide incentives for students ages 5 to 17 to embrace healthy diet and exercise habits.

Runners-up in the contest, who each received a $100 Subway card, are Brandon DiTullio, an 11th-grader at James Island Charter High School; Hannah McDermett, an 11th-grader at Wando High School; Maddie Granger, a fifth-grader at Harborview Elementary School; and a group of fifth-graders, Mayra Lomeli-Garcia, Joshua Bailey, DaeQwan Haynes, Destiny Roberts and Victoria Wrighten, at North Charleston Elementary School.

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East Cooper Community Outreach began distributing Thanksgiving meals to low-income families on Monday and will continue for two weeks, Mondays through Thursdays, through Nov. 19. The organization plans to supply more than 450 meals, but officials are concerned by a significant increase in demand.

“We saw last year’s demand soar from years before, but this year it has increased much more than last year,” said Jack Little, executive director of the outreach group.

Demand for food throughout the year has increased 30% compared with last year. Through the third quarter of 2008, East Cooper Community Outreach gave emergency food supplies to almost 6,500 families. During the same period this year, 8,400 families have received emergency food supplies.

Little encouraged East Cooper residents to help meet the Thanksgiving need by purchasing an extra turkey through grocery stores’ special programs.

To learn more about East Cooper Community Outreach, go online or call 843-849-9220.

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