The Roaring Twenties -- with men wearing fedoras and wing-tip shoes and women wearing feather hats and holding long cigarette holders while patronizing secret bars called speakeasies -- were alive and well during a recent Daughters of the American Revolution fundraising luncheon.
The Winyah Chapter of the DAR held its fourth annual scholarship fundraiser at DeBrodieu Golf Club on April 13, with the theme of "Winyah's 1920 Speakeasy." The event featured attendees dressed in 1920s attire, a three-course meal, a silent auction, raffle prizes and the duet Gracie and Lacy of Charleston performing hits from the era.
"This is such an elegant day and it is all made possible by volunteers," said Susan Davis, one of the organizers of the event. "We have a huge list of sponsors and the community, businesses and individuals have been extremely generous sponsoring as well. So we are going to have a real successful outcome for this event."
She said the local DAR chapter chose the theme because performers Gracie and Lacy, who performed at last year's event that had a 1940s theme, had a variety of songs from the 1920s ready to go. Davis said the local DAR chapter is grateful to the Swamp Fox Players of Georgetown who helped with the sound and murals.
Kathy Sullivan, chairwoman of the event, said the group's goal was to raise $15,000, which would allow the local DAR chapter to offer a $2,500 scholarship to one senior from each of the six high schools in the county. The scholarships would be awarded to one senior at each of the county's four public high schools including Andrews, Carvers Bay, Georgetown and Waccamaw. And one scholarship would be awarded to seniors attending the county's private high schools -- The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences and Lowcountry Preparatory School in Pawleys Island.
Sullivan said she expects that the event raised enough for the six scholarships, as well as extra to go into an endowment account for future scholarships.
"By making it a fun event that everyone looks forward to, people want to come spend money on the silent auction, the raffle, see great entertainment and have a wonderful meal from the chef here at DeBordieu," Sullivan said. "We just have a miraculous team that has put this together with their eye on the ball for scholarships."
She said there is a rigorous scholarship selection process, which is professional, fair and equitable. Patti Sutula, scholarship committee chairwoman, agreed, saying that scholarships are available to any high school senior in Georgetown County who is college bound and meets the qualifications.
"They have to be good citizens, so there are a certain amount of volunteer hours that are encouraged," Sutula said. "Candidates have to have good grades, a good standing in their class and participate in community service. There is also an essay that they have to write on a topic that we select."
She said this year that topic was “What are your goals for the future?” and must include what they have been doing in high school that is preparing them for those goals."
We grade the essays on content, how organized it is, grammar, spelling and punctuation, but mostly how their essay really describes to us what their goals are and what they are doing to get to that place," Sutula said.
Davis said this annual event has consistently raised the amount needed for scholarships, thanks to volunteers and the community.
"A lot of people donate the materials and the printing, so our budget is extremely low and all of our money can go to scholarships," she said. "Our committee goes nuts with the paraphernalia and the table decorations. We love to get people excited about different themes."