York County group raises money for nonprofit projects

dworthington@heraldonline.comNovember 19, 2013 

  • Want to help?

    Tickets to the Dec. 4 Good Folks of York County banquet are $30 for one seat, $250 for up to two seats, $500 for up to four seats, $1,000 for up to eight seats, $2,000 for up to 16 seats and $5,000 for up to 50 seats.

    For more information or to register, go to goodfolksofyorkcounty.com.

Their needs are simple.

Meeting those needs could affect lives for years to come.

The Palmetto Pregnancy Center in Rock Hill needs an ultrasound machine. The one it has is about seven years old, and it is almost impossible to get parts or service.

The Adult Enrichment Center in Rock Hill needs a minivan to transport clients, and a cover where the buses unload clients. About one-third of the Rock Hill center’s 60 or so clients use wheelchairs. When it rains, they and the center’s volunteers get wet as they get on and off the buses.

The two nonprofit, volunteer-driven organizations have turned to Good Folks of York County for help.

Good Folks of York County, all volunteers too, has a simple mission: Raise money for worthy causes.

Since 1991, the group has raised more than $900,000. This year’s campaign should push total donations over the $1 million mark.

Once a year, the Good Folks get together to eat and raise money. This year’s banquet is scheduled for Dec. 4 in the Richardson Ballroom of Winthrop University’s DiGiorgio Campus Center. The deadline to register for the banquet is Friday.

The executive directors of the Palmetto Pregnancy Center and the Adult Enrichment Center are counting on Good Folks patrons to come through for their clients.

The two organizations were selected from about 15 applicants, said Good Folks chairman Grier Sandifer, senior vice president at the Bank of York. They also were selected because their needs were capital projects and not day-to-day funding, he said.

“We’ve got two great organizations that do good work in our community,” he said.

Last year, Good Folks raised more than $70,000 to help the Boys and Girls Clubs of York County buy two buses.

That has helped the Boys and Girls Clubs increase its participation rate by 60 percent, said David Carriker, the club’s executive director.

“But more than that, we also use the buses for field trips that inspire our kids and help change the way they look at the world,” he said. “We’ve been just about everywhere – from Atlanta to Winston-Salem.

“We’ve taken elementary children to play, to learn and to explore, and teens to visit 16 colleges, to learn life skills and to explore job opportunities.”

Frieda Price, executive director of the Adult Enrichment Centers, and Trudy Laub, executive director of the Palmetto Pregnancy Center, hope the same thing happens for their clients – that they learn, explore and acquire life skills.

Both organizations have been helping York County for 30 years.

The Adult Enrichment Centers offer adult day services to the elderly and disabled from three centers in Rock Hill, Fort Mill and York. Collectively, they assist about 150 clients. Volunteers at the centers help seniors and middle-aged adults who suffer from the effects of a stroke, physical injuries and dementia enjoy social activities and wellness programs, as well as breakfast and lunch.

Price hopes the enrichment centers will get at least $25,000 from Good Folks. The center will combine that donation with grant money to complete two projects.

One is the bus cover at the Rock Hill facility. Work has already started thanks to grants from the Junior Welfare League and the Comporium Pioneers.

The minivan would serve the center’s “High 5” program for young adults with developmental disabilities in the hope that in the future they are able to largely care for themselves.

“These people still want to learn, keep up their skills,” Price said.

The Good Folks donation will allow the centers to enhance clients’ quality of life, she said, and help maintain their safety.

At the Palmetto Pregnancy Center, Laub said, the Good Folks donation will allow people who feel hopeless find hope.

The ultrasound machine is used to confirm a pregnancy, especially the cardiac signs of the fetus. That information is shared with the mother, the father and other family members.

After ultrasounds, women frequently change their behaviors, Laub said. They stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and they eat more healthy and take prenatal vitamins.

“You see how the child affects their decisions,” Laub said.

The Palmetto Pregnancy Center started with three rooms. Now it has three centers and has helped more than 27,000 people in York County.

The pregnancy center hopes to raise $40,000, which would buy a new ultrasound machine and pay for the training needed to operate it.

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066

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