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Bright Futures fundraiser supports area students

At the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, 144 envelope slots adorn a bright red board. Within each envelope, there are multiple chances to win 10 gift baskets from local businesses, each worth $400 a piece. Even more importantly, each envelope purchased will help support Beaufort County Schools students in need.

It’s all part of the Chamber’s 144 Envelope fundraiser for Bright Futures Beaufort County, a partnership between the Chamber Foundation and BCS to help meet the basic needs of students in our community.

“It’s been a huge impact,” Chamber Assistant Director Robin McKeithan said. “Not only with needs being met, but also with partnerships that have been created with local businesses and churches. It’s been kind of a ripple effect.”

Thus far, the program has had more than 400 individual donations of needed items that are used to help students and their families cover their basic needs. For the first three years of Bright Futures, the program received considerable financial support from the PotashCorp, now Nutrien. With that funding no longer available, McKeithan says Bright Futures will now depend on grant funding and fundraising.

“This is the first fundraiser we’ve actually done, and it’s to help us continue the mission of Bright Futures, basically for operation costs,” McKeithan said. “It’s just enough to keep the program going.”

With a total goal of $10,000, the fundraiser will spend $4,000 to purchase gift cards from local businesses, which will in turn be used as prizes. With that money going into the local economy, the remaining $6,000 will be used toward the mission of Bright Futures.

“We will be purchasing these gift certificates,” McKeithan said. “We’re not asking for donations. So we’re going to go out and spend $4,000 in the community on these baskets.”

Across the board at the Chamber office, 144 slots, ranging from $5 to $144, allow donors a chance to purchase the same number of entries as dollars spent. For instance, the person who purchases the $64 slot would then have 64 chances to win one of the 10 gift baskets. The fundraiser will continue until all envelopes have been sold.

To purchase an envelope, visit the Chamber during business hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Alternatively, envelopes can also be purchased over the phone by calling 252-946-9168.