Businesses, school partner on hospital fundraiser

Published 7:58 pm Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Beaufort County business is spreading a little hope and giving support for children with serious illnesses.

Carmike Cinema 7 in Washington is holding a month-long raffle to help raise money for Maynard Children’s Hospital in Greenville, as part of its annual fundraiser with Children’s Miracle Network.

This year, however, the theater’s new managing director, Stoney Crouse, is working to ensure those who donate know where their money goes and what it can do.

“A lot of people don’t realize that the children are going there for free,” Crouse said. “It’s not just treatment. It’s the research to come up with new treatments.”

She said she is trying to revamp the theater’s ways of community outreach, and one of the ways to do that is to help people realize the donations are staying to help children close to home.

Each raffle ticket costs $1, and the winners will receive a surprise prize package from a list of 16 possibilities. Prizes include anything from a free dinner and movie night, to lessons at Charles June Karate and T-shirts.

During last year’s Miracle Network campaign, Carmike raised $311, but Crouse said the theater surpassed that number within two weeks this year.

“I want people to realize that we’re here in Washington, and we care just as much and we’ll work twice as hard,” she said.

While Crouse has received support from businesses in Beaufort County, and as far away as Greenville and Williamston, she also employed the help of Chocowinity Primary School third-graders.

Third-grade teacher Katherine Davis said students are raising money for the children’s hospital with a coin drive instead of a raffle.

Davis said each third-grade classroom has a jug to fill, and the class to collect the most money will receive free movie tickets.

“Thus far, I think just about every class has about a fourth of the jug full,” she said. “It shows the children that the community cares. It’s not just about the teachers; it’s not just about the parents; it’s not just about the administrators.”

Davis said Chocowinity Primary is building a strong relationship with Carmike, and Crouse has been happy to help them out in the past. The coin drive idea sprung out of a chance meeting at the movie theater, she said.

“It was the right place at the right time,” Davis said. “To me, it shows what kind of person this manager is. … I think she’s trying to grow the theater, which is wonderful.”

A few businesses have also stepped up to match the amount of money the students raise.

Crouse said she wants to continue these partnerships, and by working together to give back, she thinks everyone can benefit.