Grant Committee makes recommendations
By Stephan Drew, Editor
The City of Darlington Grants Committee met on Thursday, September 29th, in council chambers at Darlington City Hall, located at 400 Pearl Street in Darlington. Six grant applications were considered during the meeting with grant requests totalling over $49,000. City Council set aside $35,000 for these disbursements.
Hospitality Grants are issued to businesses and organizations can show that they have an impact on tourism and increased revenue from those outside the Darlington area.
Of the six grant applications approved for submission to council, it was recommended that Darlington Country Club receive $2,500. Country Club General Manager Jim Vernon stated that the club wished to purchase new mowers to “increase efficiency and maintain the grass at a better level for golfers.” There were approximately 100 competitors in this year’s tournament, with some coming from Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
The Federated Organization of Darlington, Inc., which operates the B.A. Gary Community Center, was recommended to receive $5,000. Lonnie Eldridge, representing the organization, explained that a new heating/cooling system had been installed and the center needs to replace many of the windows. Started in 1951, and subsidized by the City since that time, the center has different entities come into town to host events throughout the year.
The Darlington Pilot Club, which hosts the Sweet Potato Festival and other yearly events, was recommended for $5,000. The 2022 Sweet Potato Festival will be held on October 28 and over 100 vendors have signed up to be there. This year, the Pilot Club is distributing evaluation questionnaires tailored to better serve vendors, visitors and the citizens of Darlington in the future.
The committee recommended that The Southeastern Bluegrass Association of South Carolina should receive $7,500. The association holds regular concerts at the Grand Old Post Office, located at 201 Pearl Street in Darlington. They also offer lessons in guitar playing for children and beginners.
The Terence F. Carraway Foundation was recommended for $10,000 to help complete the memorial now under construction. Mrs. Allison Carraway, widow of the fallen officer, described her undertaking when she said, “This is something that I never thought I’d be in but, this is something I’m doing on my own.”
The West End Heritage Corporation, which has begun the memorial to workers of the former Darlington Cotton Mill, was recommended to receive $5,000 in order to further construction. Peggy Sheffield, Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, described the importance of this effort. “It’s been a long battle but, the purpose is to recognize the people that worked at the cotton mill. It was a very big part of this community,” Sheffield stated.
The six grant applications were voted on separately by the committee. The committee does not issue the requested grant money on its own but evaluates grant applications and presents recommendations to the City Council for council’s approval of grant requests.