Funds to help serve a growing number of families in need in Pickens County

(Sunset, S.C.) – At a special dinner ceremony on December 1, The Reserve at Lake Keowee Charitable Foundation’s Board of Directors and Outreach Committee, along with Executive Director Kathryn Coleman-Gravely, distributed four $5,000 checks to Prevent Child Abuse of Pickens County, Pickens County Meals on Wheels, MARYS House, and Helping Hands. These four non-profit organizations, all based in and serving the families of Pickens County, were chosen by The Reserve’s membership earlier in 2010 to receive the Foundation’s annual gift which, this year, totals $40,000, half of which was already distributed to the organizations in April. Though the organizations knew that they were beneficiaries of the funds, the amount of the gift was a surprise.

The 2010 total donation of $40,000.00 was distributed in two equal payments of $5,000 per benefiting organization. The funds making up last week’s distribution of $20,000 were raised through The Reserve Foundation’s annual charity golf tournament that took place on October 18, 2010. The funds making up the April 2010 distribution of $20,000 represented 10% of The Reserve Foundation’s budget for 2009, including the proceeds generated from the 2009 charity golf tournament.

Meals on Wheels of Pickens County’s executive director Meg Benko said, “This gift along with the previous donation of $5,000 this year will purchase 2,257 hot meals that will feed 9 people for an entire year. The Reserve at Lake Keowee also helps Meals on Wheels by delivering meals. Thirty – four residents make up The Reserve Driving Team. They drive three different routes and are on the road every week delivering a hot meal and hope to people who would otherwise go hungry. With their help, Meals on Wheels was able to complete its Six Mile expansion. The expansion added 7 more recipients and divided one of our most rural routes. Reserve volunteers have also stepped forward to assist with the new frozen meal program that serves the homebound who live out of the service area.”

“This has been a tough year for Meals on Wheels to maintain its growth,” Benko continued. “The Reserve has once again come to our aid so that we can continue to serve seniors who need us. This gift and their volunteerism are tangible examples of their compassion toward the people of Pickens County.”
Jennifer Barbour of Helping Hands explained, “This was a blessing to Helping Hands! We have so many small children - 17 four and under and 3 that are five and six! We need so much for Christmas and this will help us with gifts, food, etc. The donations we have received in the past from The Reserve have primarily been used for milk, which is served with every meal and snack. Our milk bill runs about$600 - $1000 per month, including formula and special milks needed by our children. [The Reserve’s] donations have been an answer to our prayers.”

Heather Witt, director of Prevent Child Abuse of Pickens County, responded, “We hope to use the additional donation to leverage funds in order to support our girls empowerment program that we hope to start in the 2011/2012 school year. These funds will help us to raise the self esteem of these young ladies so that they make better choices and don't become future clients. A big thanks to all the members of The Reserve and the Foundation.”

MARYS House’s executive director Ashley Cummings commented, “The extra money was a blessing to MARYS House this holiday season. The money this year was used to help with operational expenses at the Shelter. In 2010 MARYS House shelter has served 167 women and their children from Pickens County and surrounding areas.”

“The Reserve at Lake Keowee is very much a part of the Pickens community,” stated Kathryn Gravely, executive director of The Reserve at Lake Keowee’s Community and Charitable Foundation. “Many of our community members are deeply involved in volunteering in a variety of ways. Volunteering interests range from working with the arts, the environment, local animal shelters, and with organizations dealing with personal issues that we can all relate to. Being able to donate financial support to these four worthy organizations throughout 2010 has meant so much to The Reserve Community. We appreciate all that they do to make our area a better place to live, and their commitment to help those that need it.”

The 2010 Reserve at Lake Keowee Charity Golf Tournament took place on October 18 and exceeded all expectations, thereby securing a significant end-of-the-year donation to this year’s four beneficiaries. Player participation increased 55% from the inaugural tournament held in 2009, and 29 sponsors supported this year’s event. Sponsors included The Reserve at Lake Keowee and Greenwood Communities and Resorts, who contributed substantial manpower and time, Leonard Financial Group (Platinum Sponsor), and Justin Winter Real Estate, Ridgeline Construction, and Sexton Griffith Builders, LLC (Golf Sponsors).

The Reserve at Lake Keowee Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization created to enhance the quality of life at The Reserve and in the local area while fulfilling a sense of community and philanthropy for The Reserve’s members. The Foundation has four major functions, one of which is to provide outreach for neighboring communities in Pickens County. The Charitable Foundation operates as a supporting organization for the philanthropic goals and intentions of The Reserve at Lake Keowee Community Foundation. Charities chose to receive donations are suggested by property owners. Reserve property owners voted by emailed ballot on the slate of area charities under consideration via email in February. The Trustees give priority to the charities suggested by the results of the property owners’ ballots.

Upon joining The Reserve, new resident members are given information about local charitable organizations in their welcome baskets. The Community Foundation at The Reserve then works to pair up interested residents with area community organizations based on their various interests.

About The Reserve at Lake Keowee
With a membership of nearly 650 families from 30 different states, The Reserve at Lake Keowee is a lake, mountain and golf community stretching across 3,900 acres including 30 miles of shoreline on Lake Keowee. Created by Greenwood Communities and Resorts, The Reserve offers more than $100 million in completed, family-friendly amenities, including a 200-slip Marina, Village Center complete with Guest House and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and more than 1,400 acres of parks, preserves, trails and green space. Homesites at The Reserve begin in the $100,000’s.

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