Last updated: April 17. 2014 4:55PM - 747 Views
By - cberendt@civitasmedia.com



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Last year, a fairly new group with a shared love of shag dancing raised funds to send five young cancer patients to summer camp. Next month, that same group will be holding an event at Ribeyes of Clinton to benefit a local nonprofit ministry.


The SamCo Shag Club, bolstered by the assistance of more than a dozen local business and individual sponsors, is holding the “Tossing for Tim’s Gift” cornhole tournament and raffle, scheduled for Saturday, May 17, at Ribeyes. The event starts at 11 a.m. and the tournament begins at 1 p.m. with the tourney, festivities, vendors and music extending until 5 p.m.


SamCoShag Club founder John Bradshaw said the feedback has been positive leading up to the event.


“It’s been really great,” Bradshaw noted. “We’ve sold a lot of tickets.”


The cost is $40 for teams that pre-register and $50 per team on the day of the event. First place will get $300 and second place will net $200. Raffle tickets are being sold for $10.


Among those items being raffled off are a Wilmington Grill from B.J. Williamson Gas, a $1,400 value; a 15-gallon Yeti cooler from Leinwand’s of Elizabethtown, a $400 value; a rocker recliner, valued at $400, donated by Owens Home Furnishings; a 55-inch LED television; and a Seiko watch, valued at $350, donated by Gary Wayne Hall and Sessoms Jewelry.


There will also be other items raffled, including a set of customized cornhole boards made by Steve Powell, as well as other smaller items. The plan is to sell about 800 tickets,


“It’s going to be a whole family-type day,” Bradshaw said. “This will be free admission. They can just come out. We’re also inviting vendors to come out and set up.”


That will not include food vendors, as Ribeyes will provide food.


“They’ll have their regular menu, but they might also have hot dogs and chips and that sort of thing,” Bradshaw said, crediting Ribeyes owner Trey Cummings with hosting the event in his parking lot. “They will also donate a portion of all their (food) sales to Tim’s Gift.”


For years, Turkey native Bradshaw brainstormed how to bring a regular shag event to Sampson County, knowing the interest was there. After years in the works, he filed the articles of incorporation for SamCo Shag Club in January 2013 and held the first meeting in March 2013 at Coharie Country Club, hosting 152 people.


“It’s going really great,” Bradshaw said of SamCo Shag Club. “We have 110 members for this year and we’re averaging about 80 people per event.”


While a private organization, anybody with a love of beach music is invited. For its first big fundraising event, SamCo Shag held an event this past September for CAMP KEMO.


One of the many programs put on by the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, KEMO is a week-long summer camp for patients ages 5-18 and their siblings. The cost to send one child to camp is $500.


SamCo Shag Club raised $2,600 on that September night.


“We sent five kids to camp,” Bradshaw said. “We’re doing that again this September. We’re hoping to send at least five more.”


Furthering its outreach this year, the club is hoping to help out a local organization in Tim’s Gift Inc. through the May event.


“I knew Tim and I felt that would be a good charity,” said Bradshaw, who took the idea to the SamCo Board, whose members felt the same way about the local nonprofit organization, whose ministry and efforts are dedicated to helping individuals and families in need.


“We’re here to help out others in the community by way of having fun and doing something we love to do, which is dance,” Bradshaw remarked. “There are a lot of fundraisings where donations are given that don’t stay in the county. We wanted to try to give back to our community.”


For more information, visit www.samcoshagclub.com or call John Bradshaw at 910-990-4647 or Blake King, at 910-590-4436. Registration forms and other information can be found at Owens Home Furnishings, Ribeyes of Clinton and Warren Engines (NAPA dealer) in Clinton.


Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at cberendt@civitasmedia.com.

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