A full day of activities is planned for Nov. 10 when Perry’s Bait & Tackle in Murrells Inlet hosts its second annual benefit in memory of Jessica Lynn Hill, the bait shop’s former owner who was killed a little more than a year ago.
“We wanted to do something to honor Jessica, something that made a difference,” said Claire Collins, the current manager at Perry’s Bait & Tackle and the organizer of this year’s benefit.
Organizers hope to raise money to drop an artificial marine reef about 5.5 nautical miles off Murrells Inlet’s south jetty. The artificial reef would be in memory of Hill, who was 36 years old and had three young children at the time of her death in late September 2017.
“We wanted to keep it relatively close so that some of our Murrells Inlet fishermen and women could go out in a john boat on a calm day and fish there,” Collins said.
Eric Justin Perry is charged with killing Hill and remains in custody at the Georgetown County jail.
Guest speakers planned for the fundraiser are Vicki Bourus, the executive director of the Family Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry Counties, and Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet, a member of the Senate’s Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Fish, Game and Forestry committees. The Nov. 10 event will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The benefit is family friendly, with face painters, stilt walkers, balloon animals, a bouncy house and a photo booth for the youngsters, live music, 50/50 raffles, a silent auction and a rig-tying expo for the older crowd. Throughout the day, Cooper said, there will be drawings for a number of gift cards or other items.
“People do have to be present to win the gift cards, but they do not have to be there for the 50/50 drawing,” Collins said. “Smokin’ Sumthin’ is providing barbecue plates, complete with chips and a drink, or just a sandwich.”
The silent auction, which includes rods and reels, near and far shore fishing charters, artwork, jewelry, a fishing trip to the Gulf Stream, a kayak and a surfboard, is not limited to those attending the event, Collins said. People who want to bid can call Perry’s and staff will enter a bid for them.
The bait shop is located near the Marsh Walk on Highway 17 Business.