Helping Out for Nov. 14, 2012

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

Chase After a Cure will hold its fifth annual gala benefiting childhood cancer research at 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Charleston Marriott. Tickets go on sale today for a discounted one-day price of $75. On Thursday, the price goes up to $100.

The theme for this year’s black-tie gala is Around the World, featuring an international flavor of decor, food and music by the Cuban jazz band Gino Castillo Quartet. The ticket price includes food from Charleston-area restaurants, an open bar, and live and silent auctions. Additional discount tickets days will be Dec. 11, for $85, and Jan. 4, for $90. Chase After a Cure will also offer giveaway promotions on its Facebook page. To purchase tickets, visit

Charleston Waterkeeper, a local nonprofit working to protect Charleston’s waterways, will host the second annual Great Oyster Point Runoff from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Colonial Lake. The event is a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series Event, presented nationally by Toyota in partnership with Keen footwear. The event will feature a variety of water activities, such as a team relay race, a boat parade and open paddle, in addition to local oysters, food trucks, live music, gear demos and workshops. The event is free to attend. Registration for the team relay race is $100 per team of four and kayak and/or SUP will be a $10 rental fee for the day.

The event will conclude a four-week charity initiative called Give 444, which encourages locals to donate $40 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

Boeing South Carolina and the South of Broadway Theatre Co. present A Merry Medieval Holiday Show at 4 p.m. Dec. 2 at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. In addition to selling tickets to the public, the theater will donate 500 tickets to underserved school children.

The show is entirely cast with Lowcountry youth ages 10-18. South of Broadway Theatre Co. is partnering with Communities in Schools to distribute free tickets to disadvantaged students in the tri-county area. Additional sponsors of the “Boeing Presents South of Broadway Theatre Company Concerts” are the city of North Charleston, North Charleston Performing Arts Center, Impeccably Clean, and Palmetto Adult and Children’s Urology.

Families Learning Together is a family literacy program of Trident Literacy Association funded by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. The program is open to 30 families and spaces are still available. Applicants should be at least 17 years old, did not graduate from high school and have a child between the ages of 2 and 5.

Parents will work on their skills and can earn their GED and WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificates and qualify for jobs. They receive one-on-one tutoring from trained specialists. The program pays for their GED and WorkKeys tests. Participating children attend pre-school and develop their school-readiness skills. To learn more, call Sandra Fraser at 843-576-9109, or Felicia Holland at 843-576-9136.

The American Cancer Society is encouraging people to quit smoking during the Great American Smokeout Thursday. Local hospitals have teamed up with the society to set out information tables in cafeterias during lunch hours with information on smoking cessation programs, the benefits of quitting smoking and more. For more information or for free coaching sessions from the American Cancer Society, call 800-227-2345 or visit

Wine and Design Mount Pleasant will be surprising local businesses and nonprofits during November with its “Paint It Forward” event. To celebrate its one-year anniversary, as well as the upcoming holiday, the company is sponsoring “22 Days of Giving,” in which it will donate original works of art or Wine and Design gift certificates to selected businesses in the Mount Pleasant area each day.

Music, food and flight demonstrations will be part of the third annual Wild at Wingswood celebration 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at The Center for Birds of Prey. The outdoor event will feature a Lowcountry picnic, live music from Minimum Wage, beer and wine, a silent auction, children’s activities and flight demonstrations. Tickets are $45 for adults and $12 for children age 7 to 17; kids 6 and under are free. Order tickets by calling 843-971-7474. All proceeds benefit the center.

Join Taco Boy as it “gathers the elves” to benefit The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center. Beginning at 7 p.m. Nov. 29, bring an unwrapped toy or gift valued at $10, or a $10 donation and be entered into a drawing for prizes.

The Charleston Association of Grant Professionals is hosting a lunch and learn from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Monday at Charleston County Public Library Auditorium, 68 Calhoun St. in Charleston. Speakers are Susan DuPlessis, S.C. Arts Commission participation program director and arts coordinator; and Madeleine McGee, president of the S.C. Association of Nonprofit Organizations. The lecture is called Why Thanks Matters in Our Shared Environment: A Funder's Perspective. McGee will give a preview of the recently released third edition of Guiding Principles & Best Practices and talk about the benefits of SCANPO membership. Reservations are requested; RSVP to

The Palmetto House homeless shelter in Summerville will benefit from a portion of proceeds at the Holiday Extravaganza hosted by The Ponds, a 1,950-acre master-planned community in Summerville. The event is 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Ponds also will help stock the Palmetto House food pantry through donations brought to the event.

The Holiday Extravaganza will feature a variety of vendors selling items such as jewelry, arts and crafts, kitchen items, pet gifts and food. Participants include Pampered Chef, Silpada, Candy for a Cure, Canine Creations, Pink Crocodile, It Works Wraps and others.

Door prizes will be given away every 15 minutes, and the Knightsville Elementary School Chorus will be singing holiday music. Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items for donation to the food pantry and only cash and checks will be accepted for sale items. For more information, call 843-851-3939.

The Charleston RiverDogs’ front office staff is participating in its monthly Staff Volunteer Day today and Friday at Crisis Ministries’ soup kitchen in downtown Charleston. This month, the staff will volunteer to help feed the Lowcountry’s homeless.

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