The Beach Company John Darby Colonial Lake

John C.L. Darby, President and Chief Executive Officer,
The Beach Company, Charleston, SC

For more than 70 years, The Beach Company has remained committed to preserving the quality of life in our community and contributing to the long-term economic vitality of the region through our work and through the support of nonprofits aligned with promoting citizenship, youth and education, and arts and culture. In 2016, The Beach Company participated in multiple community initiatives. Here are a few highlights:

Colonial Lake

In June, The Beach Company donated $1 million towards the beautification of Colonial Lake to revitalize the park and ensure enduring value for generations. The park had not undergone renovations since its opening in the 1880s and required major infrastructure updates. Through a public/private partnership, the Charleston Parks Conservancy (CPC) and the City of Charleston raised $5.9 million for renovations, including a new water flow control structure to better manage the water that flows between the lake and the Ashley River. In the weeks leading up to the grand reopening, hundreds of CPC volunteers called “park angels” planted 20,000 trees, bushes, grasses and bulbs. It is now once again a beautiful place for recreation and gathering.

 Reading Partners

The Beach Company partnered with Memminger Elementary School to promote literacy and provide mentorship and support in several ways last year. The Beach Company started the Reading Partners program, which trains The Beach Company employees to mentor a student once a week on reading. To date, more than 15 employees have been certified to work with kindergarten or first-grade students. The Beach Company and Memminger also teamed for its “Empathy for All” campaign that addresses social-emotional learning at the school. The Beach Company donated T-shirts that were worn by students and faculty in a school-wide assembly to kick off the campaign. Throughout the year, they have been proudly wearing their shirts as an outward and inward reminder to continue on the path to be the change in the world they want to see.

Mother Emanuel AME Church Memorial

The Beach Company continued its partnership with Mother Emanuel AME Church to create a permanent memorial in honor of the nine victims of the June 17, 2015 tragedy. Over the past year, The Beach Company has worked hand-in-hand with leaders of the church and family members of the victims to collaborate on the development of a memorial to honor the lives of the victims. The Beach Company established a fund to facilitate contributions from the community as well. The memorial is currently in the conceptual phases and will begin to take shape in 2017.

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