Lakewood is very active in the Grand Strand Community. We work with dozens of organizations and institutions. Some of which include: Brookgreen Gardens, all local-area schools, the SC Angler League, the Chicora Rotary Club, the American Heart Association, The Alzheimer’s Association, and Backpack Buddies.
Lakewood has hosted the American Heart Association’s “Horse-Ride-a-thon” Beach Ride for 14 years. While the ride itself has been around for 36 years, we are so proud that Lakewood has become it’s Home. It is the largest ride in SC, and we host over 2,000 participants, and 1,200 horses each year. Heart disease and stroke are the nation’s #1 and #4 killers, and we understand there is still a lot of work to be done to combat them. Cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year but, in 2017 we raised over $375,000.00! To date, this event has raised over $5-million to support research and educational projects by the American Heart Association. We are thankful to Jack Monroe, the ride’s founder, and the AHA for allowing us to be a part of this necessary and life changing event that helps all Americans live longer, healthier lives. You can visit here to find out more about the Ride, and here, to officially register to participate. We hope to see you there!
For the past 4 years, we have held our annual Griller’s Cup BBQ cook off to help raise money for Back Pack Buddies of Horry County. BPB of Horry County is a 100% volunteer-based organization that has been serving children and families in the community for more than 25 years, supplying food, and other tools needed to stay strong, learn, and be better able to finish school for a brighter future. This two day event includes a barbecue wing tasting contest, a pork-butt cooking contest, live music, and a silent auction. It is Free and open to the Public. We are proud to say that every single dollar raised will go directly to Backpack Buddies, to make sure that Horry County kids are not going to school hungry or without the proper clothing, shoes, or school supplies. This year we raised nearly $17,000.
Lakewood believes that the world needs people who can do more than just add up a string of numbers, or write a coherent sentence. We need them to solve problems, communicate ideas, and be sensitive to the world around them. The Arts are essential to developing these skills. Arts in education, organizations like band, theater, singing, dancing, painting, etc., teaches kids how to think with the creative side of their brains. This teaches them to be flexible and innovative. The Chicora Rotary Club supports Arts in Education with their annual Waves of the Future production. We are so proud to partner with them and the Horry County School Board to bring this production to life, and to provide the resources that help encourage our community’s school kids to embrace their creative sides, and to become culturally literate, not just math and science literate. Lakewood has given $10,000 to Waves of the Future every year, for the past 4 years.
Waves of the Future isn’t the only way we support the Arts in Education on the Grand Strand. We also, often, donate to local Drama Departments, Bands, Choral groups, and Art Departments. We go even further by volunteering to produce, direct, costume, do makeup & hair, build and paint sets, etc.
Lakewood has sponsored several Art installations at Brookgreen, including “Lego” and “Ribbit the Exhibit”.
Every year we also sponsor the Summer Music Event. This incredible annual outdoor tribute concert has become one of the region’s premiere entertainment events of the summer, and we are so proud to help bring this cultural experience to the Grand Strand. Past years’ concerts have included tributes to The Beatles, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, Elton John and Billy Joel, and most recently The Music of Motown.
Then, of course, there is Nights of a Thousand Candles! As a Corporate Benefactor to Brookgreen, Lakewood has been sponsoring this event for over a decade! We do this because there is no other Holiday tradition on the Grand Strand that brings the feeling of the holidays alive, like Nights of a Thousand Candles! Brookgreen Gardens comes to life amid the soft glow of more than 5,500 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights. You walk the paths with a warm cup of cider or the best hot chocolate you’ve ever had, hear the sound of holiday music, and celebrate the season with family and friends. Then you’ll watch as the 80-foot-tall fir tree, decorated with 70,000 lights, is lit in ceremonial fashion. We could not be more proud to sponsor this remarkable Grand Strand Tradition.
Lakewood has sponsored the SC Angler league for several years, but in 2017 we upped our support by founding our annual Christopher Morris Fishing Seminar. The day long seminar is for kids ages 7 – 12, and promotes and teaches fishing skills using activities and games. It is not only for kids staying at Lakewood, but also for the public.