Volunteers, the heart of Beaufort's events
By Anna Powell Schaffer | Whether you are lifelong resident of Beaufort, a recent transplant, or just a weekend visitor – it is hard to pick up any source of news in Beaufort and overlook glaring advertisements for a plethora of events, ranging from oyster roasts to 5k’s, planned by organizations all across the Lowcountry.
Beaufort is home to a number of non-profit organizations that promote its people, its places and its promise. With so many active organizations, annual fundraisers fill local to-do guides for weeks, especially during this spring season. It’s easy to find yourself enjoying food, perusing silent auction tables and socializing with fine folks nearly every weekend.
But what’s behind the event?
The planning process of a fundraising event is truly a cyclical process. As one event comes to a close, immediately begins the creation of a new date, concept and goals for the following year.
Take for instance, the Junior Service League of Beaufort’s annual BBQ Fundraiser. Since early fall, the women of this organization have been meeting with vendors, vetting locations, collecting sponsors and preparing for this annual event, which brings in money that is then distributed through grants to local organizations. Last year the league was able to distribute funding to organizations that promote the well being of local women and children, as well as literacy programs in the area. The collection of silent auction items and sponsors begins as early as twelve months before the event is realized.
Marketing the event is a reflection of hours of decisions and strategy to bring in the greatest number of patrons. The selection and implementation of theme, colors and décor is a continuous project with tweaks and additions that allows for a puzzle-like element to the planning process. Behind every event are unseen decisions and efforts.
The four hours of great food, cold beverages and entertainment you enjoy as a ticket holder is, of course, the highlight of the process, but is only a small representation of the hours and hard work of countless volunteers.
The next time you find yourself standing in the midst of an organization’s fundraiser, enjoying the sounds of a great band or a perfect signature cocktail – think of the volunteers that represent the submission of each silent auction item, the sponsors that so graciously provided funding, and the time and creativity that prepared each small detail to create a successful event.
When you begin to view these types of events in regards to manpower, I think you will find how the people of Beaufort are so incredibly giving. Volunteerism is such a pillar of life here in the Lowcountry. As a small town, we should celebrate the efforts of so many in the community that are willing to give of their time, energy and funding for the various causes that make the community, its environment and its people better.
Want to find out who has fundraising events on the calendar? Check out the Eat Sleep Play Beaufort Calendar with links to all kinds of things going on in Beaufort, including the aforementioned Junior Service League of Beaufort Annual BBQ, which will be held April 12th 2014 at the Shed in Port Royal.