‘Celebrate The Season’ gives $115K back to charity

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The 2013 Celebrate The Season, supported by 45 local businesses and organizations as a holiday gift that keeps on giving, has delivered $115,171.29 to charities serving Berkeley County and the tri-county area, officials announced last week.

That total includes sponsorships, gate proceeds during the month-long event, and proceeds from the Tinsel Trot.

“As a result of the incredible support from our sponsors, including presenting sponsor Berkeley Electric Cooperative, we’ve been able to donate a significant amount to charities serving our community,” said Santee Cooper President and CEO Lonnie Carter. “We also added the new Tinsel Trot event, helping us donate additional dollars to charity. Santee Cooper is pleased to support the Coastal Community Foundation, which administers donations and ensures they are distributed to charities in a meaningful, measurable way.

“The Giving Back to Berkeley Fund will ensure today’s gift helps fulfill basic human needs for needy residents in Berkeley County.”

Carter presented a check today 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.

“Thanks to Santee Cooper, Berkeley Electric Cooperative and the incredible community support of Celebrate The Season, these funds will allow the dozens of nonprofits to serve those of us who have the least, during a time when resources are scarce,” said Coastal Community Foundation President and CEO George Stevens.

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.

“We want to thank BEC employees their efforts to support Celebrate the Season and give back to our community,” said Dwayne Cartwright, Berkeley Electric Cooperative president and CEO. “As we work as a team with other cooperatives and contractors to restore power from Winter Storm Pax, we appreciate their team work and our members. The money raised will be given to our charity as we give back to the community.”

Along with Berkeley Electric Cooperative, major 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 is also distinguished by its commitment to the environment. The month-long event uses energy-efficient LED bulbs in displays lining the driving route, and the entire festival is powered by renewable Santee Cooper Green Power. Finally, most of the people who work the event are volunteers, which ultimately boosts the amount donated to charity.

To learn more, visit www.santeecooper.com.

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