3 Clarendon County cancer organizations receive donations

Sheriff ’s office’s Think Pink Gospel Extravaganza raises money to help community

BY SHARRON HALEY
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 3/15/19

MANNING - The bank accounts of cancer organizations are $822 healthier after receiving donations from the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office from the proceeds of the March 2 sixth-annual Think Pink Gospel Extravaganza.

The three cancer …

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3 Clarendon County cancer organizations receive donations

Sheriff ’s office’s Think Pink Gospel Extravaganza raises money to help community

Posted

MANNING - The bank accounts of cancer organizations are $822 healthier after receiving donations from the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office from the proceeds of the March 2 sixth-annual Think Pink Gospel Extravaganza.

The three cancer organizations that received the checks include Craig Q. King's Celebration of Life Gala 2019, Camp Happy Days and Clarendon County Cancer OverComers.

"Each organization received a check for $822," said Clarendon County Sheriff's Office DFC Annett Smith, chairwoman of the annual fundraiser. "We are so blessed to be able to donate money to these great organizations."

The Clarendon County Sheriff's Office has supported Smith and sponsored the event for the past several years.

"When I came into office, all of these community projects were important to me," Clarendon County Sheriff Tim Baxley said. "What Annett Smith does working for my department and working for these various causes is fantastic. Every one of these events that she does is important to me. I give her all the kudos. She goes above and beyond. I can't say enough about her dedication to these causes. She does an outstanding job, and I will continue to support her efforts."

Baxley said he tells all the new employees of the CCSO that they had better be on the lookout for Smith.

"Just go ahead and take out your wallet," he added with a laugh. "She'll get to you, and she isn't shy about asking for a donation."

Pat Fenters, an OverComer and treasurer of the Clarendon County Cancer OverComers, echoed Baxley's comments.

"I don't know what we would do without Annett," Fenters said. "She works so hard. She's out there selling tickets, sponsorships, collecting donations, and she gets her job done, too. She is Wonder Woman."

While most people want recognition for their efforts, Smith goes out of her way to give accolades to others, Fenters added.

"Annett is one of the most, if not the most, generous people I know," she said. "She works around the clock getting these events organized and the donations collected. She even dips into her own pocket to pay for supplies. If there is a need, Annett will see that that need is addressed. And she always gives God the glory."

Paulette King accepted the check for $822 to an organization established by her son Craig, who is a cancer OverComer.

"On behalf of the Craig Q. King's Celebration of Life Gala 2019, we are profoundly grateful for the generous donation from the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office," King said Thursday. "It will be very beneficial to our commitment to help Camp Kemo and we've added Camp Happy Days."

In its sixth year, the annual Think Pink Gospel Extravaganza has grown by leaps and bounds with donations to organizations this year almost twice the amount that was donated in 2018.

"We had a huge number of pre-sold tickets," Smith added. "We had a lot of people buy their tickets and then donate them back to be used for individuals who might not be able to pay for a ticket. That is the true gift of giving."

While many of them couldn't attend the event, dozens of CCSO deputies and employees purchased tickets and made donations to the event.

"I'm proud of our office," Smith added. "They really stepped in and helped out."

Several cancer OverComers canvassed their communities selling tickets and asking for donations.

Although Smith spent countless hours soliciting donations and selling tickets for the Gospel Extravaganza, she said the event would not have been as successful if not for hundreds who attend the annual event.

"I already have the event on the calendar for next year," she added. "We're changing things up a little bit. You know me. I like to keep it fresh."

Smith said that many of the groups who performed at the event were generous as well with most of them making monetary donations to the event as well as donating their time to perform.

Several county employees also donated monetarily and with their time. They volunteered collecting tickets, passing out wristbands for attendees and band members, working in the canteen and lining up the performers.

"I can't forget Mrs. (Carolyn) Reed and her famous chili," Smith said with a huge smile. "Everyone knows Mrs. Reed's chili. We sold out of hotdogs thanks to her chili. Mrs. Reed is always there willing to help out, and we're very thankful to have her help."

Smith said she keeps busy with a minimum of four events a year that are sponsored in whole or in part by the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office.

Upcoming events include the May 4 OverComers' Walk at J.C. Britton Park and the Oct. 5 8th-Annual Think Pink Banquet. The CCSO also sponsors an OverComers breakfast in the fall.

"I like to stay busy," Smith added. "I like working with the Clarendon County Cancer OverComers. It's a great organization with some really great OverComers. They inspire me to keep these events getting better and better each year. You know me. I look at the big picture. I don't look back. I want to raise more money each year."