‘Celebrate the Season’ donations exceed $145K
“There is no sophomore slump with ‘Celebrate the Season,’” Santee Cooper President and CEO Lonnie Carter told a gathering a business and civic leaders during a ceremony at Old Santee Canal Park on Friday. “Our sponsorships were up, our attendance was up, and all this is good news for charities of Berkeley County.”
Carter announced that a total of $145,412 was given back to charity due to proceeds raised from the 2012 edition of Celebrate the Season.
The total includes sponsorships, gate proceeds during the month-long event and vendor sales that were donated to the charities of their choice.
Carter presented a check totaling $98,926.54 to the Coastal Community Foundation’s Giving Back to Berkeley Fund.
“Thanks to Santee Cooper and the broad community support of Celebrate the Season,” said Coastal Community Foundation President and CEO George Stevens. “These funds will enable dozens of nonprofit organizations to serve those of us who have the least, during a time when resources are scarce.”
A second check for $15,000 was presented to Carolyn Pilgrim, manager of the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center.
“Berkeley County is a treasure trove of history,” Carter said. “We fought the Revolutionary War here and in fact, the Revolutionary War was won due to the actions of those who lived and fought right here.”
In addition, the four major Celebrate the Season sponsors designated donations to their charities of choice, which include the amount of $3,447.96 each for the Cross Health Center, the Home Telecom Community Fund and the American Cancer Society.
Vendor sales also totaled an additional $17,694 in donations.
“We had tremendous support from our sponsors,” Carter said. “This helped us return such a significant amount to charities serving our community. We also added 100 percent of the gate admissions to the gift, which means everyone who attended the festival in 2012 helped make these donations possible.”
Celebrate the Season made its debut in 2011 and according to Carter looks to become a holiday mainstay for Berkeley County for several years to come.
“The numbers are more than promising and those of you who know me know that I’m a numbers kind of guy,” he said.