2010 a year of "giving back" on Daniel Island

Perhaps Daniel Island should be called "the land of giving." It seems that this island community is good for business, particularly the business of raising money for worthy causes. In 2010, a whopping $1.7 million (and counting) was raised through various island events and initiatives for charitable organizations near and far.

"I think it’s a testament to the power of community, really," said Julie Dombrowski, communications manager for The Daniel Island Company. "Whether its assisting a neighbor who has experienced a tragedy like a fire or a death in the family, or giving personal resources to help organizations that provide services for those in need throughout the region, the urge to help is infectious."

The numbers each tell their own story -- $152,000 raised at the annual Rotary Duck Race on Daniel Island for local and international charities; $40,000 for Charleston Young Life, a Christian organization targeting middle school students and teens; $24,000 for the Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry at the Buddy Walk; $209,000 dispersed for charitable causes by the Daniel Island Community Fund; and a whopping $460,670 for breast cancer research through Daniel Island’s annual Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure.

The Special Olympics also had an exceptionally golden year on Daniel Island, raising $80,000 at the organization’s annual Bocce Bash at Blackbaud Stadium and another $110,000 at a gala held at the Daniel Island Club.

"Daniel Island has been especially warm and generous," said Paula Byers, district marketing and development coordinator for Special Olympics of South Carolina. "The people, the community, The Daniel Island Company – we just feel like we have a real home on Daniel Island. There is a big Special Olympics connection."

Two festive tours of homes on the island – the Harvest Tour of Homes in October and the Christmas Tour of Homes in December – brought in about $10,000 each for their charitable beneficiaries.

"The community support was phenomenal!" exclaimed Virginia Cochran of the Daniel Island Garden Club, the sponsoring organization for the holiday tour. "We’re thrilled to death. It was overwhelmingly successful. The support from our homeowners was fabulous. They all outdid themselves! We appreciate everybody getting behind the wheel and helping."

Proceeds from the event, added Cochran, will go towards enhancing the Garden Club’s "Osprey Trail" in front of the Daniel Island School. The Berkeley County Library on Daniel Island will use funding generated from the fall home tour to upgrade children’s book shelves, replace furniture in the library and meeting room, and purchase additional materials for the facility’s collection.

"I think the people of Daniel Island are extremely generous and quick to share, and have demonstrated a wonderful balance of giving to help locally – right on the island and in the surrounding community – as well as in the larger nation and world," said Pat Richards, president of the Daniel Island Friends of the Library.

East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) was also on the receiving end of Daniel Island’s generosity last year. Close to $12,000 was raised to help those less fortunate through a variety of island events, including the annual oyster roast, a Park Day face painting booth, and a "Santa’s Closet Adopt-A-Family" program.

"We have been amazed at the outpouring of support of the Daniel Island residents this year," said Jack Little, ECCO executive director. "We are teaching people to fish and the Daniel Island folks believe in our mission of empowering people to break the cycle of generational poverty."

Island resident Tom Richards has experienced the community’s giving spirit through his work with two locally-based non-profit organizations – the Daniel Island Rotary Club and Water Missions International. When asked to describe the island’s support, Richards’ response began with two simple words.

"Overwhelmingly generous!"

The Duck Race, held in June, has become a highly anticipated event in the community. Funding brought in from the race has netted thousands of dollars for a number of local causes, including food drives for the hungry, Boys and Girls Clubs program support, a "YES Carolina" entrepreneurial education program, and numerous literacy projects at both Daniel Island School and Cainhoy Elementary Middle School. Internationally, the swimmingly successful event allowed the Daniel Island Rotary to lead a clean water project in Peru last year, with a second similar endeavor planned for early 2011.

"Through the generosity of thousands of people here and literally across the country, the Duck Race has generated more than $400,000 in net profits these past four years," added Richards.

The first ever "SIP of Daniel Island" was held in March of 2010 and poured in over $5000 for Water Missions International. The second SIP is now being planned, said Richards, and is set for March 23.

Daniel Island’s sporting community, and related events, also brought in plenty of green for non-profits in 2010. The Nationwide Tour Championship resulted in a fundraising "hole in one" for the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation (STAEF) and several local charities. The event’s Tickets Fore Charity effort brought in $95,000, according to island resident Denis Gallagher, who is Chairman and CEO of Student Transportation, Inc., and Chairman of the STAEF. Last year, the Foundation was able to give out 16 scholarships to local students attending colleges or universities in South Carolina.

"At Student Transportation, Inc., our corporate theme this year was ‘giving back,’" said Gallagher, who hopes to double the number of scholarships given in 2011. "When you’re part of communities, like we are, you have a sense of pride in your organization when you see everyone pitching in to help those in need. We are thankful to the many people who participated and helped us make this event a real success this year. The folks at The Daniel Island Company, Family Circle and our Foundation have made this great, fun, and exciting event something this community can be proud of."

At the Family Circle Tennis Center, charitable dollars had an equally impressive impact in 2010. Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Win4Life (an inner city youth program), Courting Kids, and several local high school tennis teams were among the beneficiaries of a combined $139,280 generated through cash and in-kind donations.

"Daniel Island has always been a very giving community," added Bob Moran, general manager of the Family Circle Tennis Center. "We sincerely appreciate the support of the businesses and residents who partner with us, contributing their time and money to support charitable initiatives on the island."

Juvenile Diabetes research also got a much needed financial boost in 2010, thanks to the success of the Abby’s Friends Golf Tournament held at the Daniel Island Club. This local, "grass-roots" initiative is named in honor of Abby Sutterlin, an island youngster who is living with the disease.

"Abby’s Friends has been successful because of the outpouring of support and overwhelming generosity of the Daniel Island community," said Kendell Sutterlin, Abby’s mother. "It is absolutely amazing how our neighbors/community always pull together to help others. We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful place."


Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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