Helping Out for Feb. 26, 2014

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

Santee Cooper, Berkeley Electric Cooperative and several local businesses and organizations raised $115,171 for charities serving Berkeley County and the tri-county area through the 2013 Celebrate the Season. That total includes sponsorships, gate proceeds during the monthlong event, and proceeds from the Tinsel Trot.

Santee Cooper President and CEO Lonnie Carter presented a check for $83,932.67 to the Coastal Community Foundation’s Giving Back to Berkeley Fund. A second check for $15,000 went to the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center.

Santee Cooper serves as title sponsor and organizer for the annual festival and holiday lights driving tour, which is held at the utility’s Moncks Corner headquarters and its adjacent Old Santee Canal Park. This year, Berkeley Electric Cooperative joined as the presenting sponsor of the event.

Along with Berkeley Electric Cooperative, sponsors Berkeley County, Home Telecom and Goodwill Industries each received checks for $4,059.66 to present to charities they designated — the Berkeley Electric Cooperative Relay for Life Team, the Sumpter Free Health Clinic and the Home Community Fund, with Goodwill choosing to split its check between the Charleston Area Senior Citizens: Ansonborough House and the Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina Vets Program.

In addition to its focus on charity fundraising, Celebrate the Season also addresses the environment. The monthlong event uses energy-efficient LED bulbs in displays lining the driving route, and the entire festival is powered by renewable Santee Cooper Green Power.

Lowcountry Autism Foundation and Anderson Insurance Associates present Autism Beach Ball at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Tides on Folly Beach. In 2013, the Lowcountry Autism Foundation partnered with the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital as part of its Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Division. The semiformal fundraising event benefits the MUSC and Lowcountry Autism Foundation Autism Family Support and Outreach Programs serving children with autism spectrum disorders and features music from The Tams, a beach supper, drinks, and a silent and live auction. Tickets are $100 each or $900 for a table; call 843-876-0415.

Lowcountry Autism Foundation works to remove barriers and increase access to early clinical diagnosis and treatment services for individuals and families living with autism and related developmental disorders.

The Kickin’ Chicken recently held its companywide employee appreciation party at Founder’s Hall in Charleston Towne Landing. The owners, managers and employees brought canned goods to be donated to James Island Outreach. And owners David Miller, Bobby Perry and Chip Roberts presented checks totaling $32,852 to representatives from Camp Happy Days, Charleston Miracle League, Summerville Miracle League and James Island Outreach. The proceeds were raised during The Kickin’ Chicken’s fifth annual Month of Giving campaign in November.

The Biblical Family Center recently hosted its annual signature fundraiser, The 2014 Pink & Blue Gala at Hibernian Hall. More than 150 people attended, raising more than $30,000 for the Biblical Family Center’s efforts toward change in the Eastside community of Charleston. The goal is to establish authentic, long-term relationships with families and children through specialized ministries aimed at each stage of one’s life.

The Biblical Family Center provides spiritual, emotional and social tools that help them achieve full and equal participation in society. Summer camp and after-school programs are offered in a safe environment, and opportunities for special educational field trips are included.

ECPI University’s Student Veterans of America chapter in North Charleston will host The Lowcountry Pride Charity Softball Tournament Saturday and Sunday at Summerville’s Jerry Blackwell Sports Complex. This event features two days of ball games, children’s activities, prizes, drawings and a home run derby.

The tournament will support the Wounded Warriors Project and Lowcountry Food Bank. Event organizers are seeking sponsors, volunteers and teams to participate. Contact Joan Rogers, Student Veterans of America secretary, at 843-813-9532 or

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