What it takes
- Written by Romana
Berkeley Hall Charity Cup posts record-setting grant for local charities.
By Barry Kaufman
If you were to go beyond the lushly manicured entrance to Berkeley Hall, through the gate and around its roads flanked by stunning fairways , you’d quickly surmise that this community’s official pastime is golf.
And fortunately for charities around the Lowcountry, you’d be wrong.
For Berkeley Hall has a much more fulfilling official sport. The sport of giving.
Nowhere was that more evident than in the latest iteration of the Berkeley Hall Charity Cup, held this past April. While the emphasis on that day was on an enjoyable round of golf on a breathtaking course, the driving force (see what we did there?) behind the event was the giving. And this year, that cup runneth over.
“In April, we raised $212,000,” said event chair Diane Anselmo. “It’s this community; everyone is charged up whenever we do this.”
That money was disbursed in a grant awards ceremony in June which saw thousands being granted to The Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton, Bluffton Self Help, Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine.
“Bluffton Self Help has found a generous partner in the Bluffton community, with a big heart, that amplifies the true spirit of giving,” said Lili Coleman, executive director of Bluffton Self Help.
The Berkeley Hall Charity Cup proceeds are critical in serving the 28,000 and growing Bluffton residents who rely on Bluffton Self Help for free food, clothing and financial emergency assistance.
And that’s just one of the organizations who have been helped by this year’s amazing total of $212,000 in grants.
It’s another amazing showing for a four-year-old event that raised $53,000 in its inaugural showing.
“We didn’t know what we were doing,” Anselmo said with a chuckle as she described that first event. “But we live in this beautiful place, and we didn’t want to forget the need outside the gates.”
So armed with a can-do attitude and 20 years experience in corporate America, Anselmo rallied this philanthropic community and the giving grew.
The next tournament, held in 2010, cleared $112,000.
“I was getting nervous deciding who would get what,” Anselmo admitted. “It became a lot of money.”
With the neighborly windfall too much for any volunteer group, the organizers turned to the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. With the foundation’s assistance, Berkeley Hall was about to establish a fund to keep the giving going in between the biennial tournaments. And according to Anselmo, executing a grant cycle between tournaments is just the beginning.
“We look at how do we handle two, three, five years down the road,” she said. “There are a lot of ideas we’re throwing around.”
In the meantime, the tournament has done wonders mobilizing not only Berkeley Hall residents, but local businesses. Among the many who give are big names like Audi, Kroger, Hargray, Marriott Surfwatch, and companies from as far away as Washington, D.C. and California.
And while local businesses have made it possible, the people of Berkeley Hall have shone just as bright.
“We try to engage as many members as possible,” said Anselmo. “If you’re engaged, you have a greater appreciation for what it takes.”