What an exciting time to live in Columbia County! Personally, aside from a few months of cooler weather, I think our county has all of the amenities that continue to attract new residents. We have a lot to be proud of in our community. As the New Year begins, I hope to be able to give you updates throughout the year, not only about upcoming events, but other information that you may find insightful and helpful.
In addition to the News-Times’ announcements, have you ever wondered, “How do I know what events are taking place in the county?” There are several places to find updates on festivals, concerts and other activities. The 2014 wall calendar is a good start. These calendars are fresh off the press and are going like hot cakes! If you have not picked up your free copy, we do have a few available at the News-Times office or the Community & Leisure office, Bldg C, First Floor of the Government Center. Inside the calendar, you’ll find confirmed 2014 events at the various county facilities along with photos from 2013 events. You can also like us on Facebook “Columbia County Community Events”, follow us on Twitter at CCCEvents_ ETCP, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address to receive notices of upcoming events. We use two websites, www.evanstownecenterpark.com (for activities solely at Evans Towne Center Park) and www.columbiacountyga.gov for all Columbia County community events.
We are kicking off 2014 with a special event, the Fifth Annual Columbia County Charity Gala, Feb. 22 at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. This annual black-tie affair is a Vegas-themed night with all of the proceeds benefiting the Columbia County Cares Food Pantry, Columbia County Foundation for Children, and the Columbia County Arts Development Fund. To date, we have given over $71,000. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with these charities, here is just a quick overview:
• Columbia County Cares is located on Columbia Road in Appling. They provide food, health & comfort items on a monthly basis to 967 registered families consisting of 2,563 individuals living in Columbia County. They provided 4,645 families with groceries in 2013. The organization is completely operated by volunteers with 756 individuals giving over 11,600 hours of their time last year.
• The Columbia County Foundation for Children provides an array of services to help local children build a healthy foundation for their lives. Services include financial support, food, clothing, educational support, and recreational activities.
Ongoing projects of the foundation are the Helping Hands Thrift Store in Appling, a Christmas gift program for children, annual need-based college scholarships, and financial assistance for summer school and camps.
• The Columbia County Arts Development Fund assists local nonprofit groups who are hosting public events in county facilities.
Each group can apply for money to help with associated expenses. Events have included charity walks, Jingle Jam 10K, Halloween Spooktacular, and many others.
Tickets to the Charity Gala are $80/person or $150/couple, and make a perfect Valentine’s Day present. The night includes dinner and drinks, dancing, Vegas-styled gaming tables (although no real gambling occurs), raffles, and even a few special “Hollywood Celebrity” guests.