Summerton children get new coats

by | November 28, 2018 6:30 pm

Last Updated: November 28, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Summerton Rotarians and Goody's store staff were on hand to assist families with outfitting their children. Pictured in front row: Manning Goody's Store Manager Deborah Lindsey, John Billups and Gloria Joseph. Back row: Brad Gerfin, Glenn Wells, Myra Dyson, Carole Summers and Rock Ouzts.

Once again, the Summerton Rotary Club has reached out to embrace the community through giving. Every year, the Summerton Rotary hosts fundraisers to support local residents with projects such as scholarships for students or sponsorships to send students to Palmetto Boys and Girls State.

The Summerton Rotary Club was formed in 2006 and currently has 30 active members. The Club meets each Thursday morning at 7:15 a.m. at St. Matthias Church in Summerton.

According to Cleve Dowell, Summerton Rotary’s Secretary/Treasurer, the Club began a “Coats and Shoes” project about five years ago. The Club applies each year for a grant from Rotary International, and the Summerton Rotary matches or exceeds those funds.

The project provides coats, shoes and other clothing items to children in the Clarendon 1 School District who might not otherwise have coats and new shoes. The Club partners with Goody’s Department Store and holds the event during a Goody’s sale to ensure the most “bang for the buck.”

This year, the Club met at Goody’s on Sunday, November 11, to meet with families to assist their children with purchases. Each of the 33 children assisted this year was provided with an allotted sum, and the Club members helped them get the most out of that amount. The children were from Summerton Early Childhood Center, St. Paul Elementary School and Scott’s Branch Middle/High School.

Dowell remembers well the first year they participated in this project. According to him, the weather that November had turned cold soon after the event, and as he drove to a morning Rotary meeting one Thursday, he noticed children standing beside the road waiting on the school bus.

“I got to thinking what a great thing the Club has done to provide these children with coats,” said Dowell. “Because otherwise they probably would be standing out there in the cold weather waiting for the bus being very cold. It’s a very gratifying project to be involved in.”

If someone feels led to offer monetary support to this project or other Summerton Rotary projects, please call Cleve Dowell at (803) 433-6397 or the Club’s President, William Johnson, at (803) 435-0909.

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