Council bankrolls fundraiser for Chamber

BLYTHEWOOD – Town Council voted Tuesday night to award $14,000 of Hospitality Tax revenue for a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce.

In an application requesting the funding, Sarah Ballard, an event manager hired for the event – a Bavarian Oktoberfest – noted that it was being held to raise funds for the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce.

She added that it will also provide an opportunity for residents of Blythewood and the surrounding areas to gather to build community and learn about Bavarian culture.

The request said the total project cost would be $37,394 and would be partially funded by the proceeds from food, merchandise and beer sales ($14,500), cow paddy bingo ($18,450) and sponsorships ($10,000) plus $1,520 in in-kind services.

According to the request, the Chamber expects a total net profit of $21,125.12.

Council unanimously approved the Chamber’s budget for the event which includes $1,800 for advertising in The County Chronicle, $1,600 in The Free Times and no advertising in The Voice.

The German Octoberfest-style event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5 from noon to 10 p.m. at the Doko Meadows Park. According to the request, the theme of the event will be based on the traditional Bavarian beer and folk festival with eating, live traditional German music, drinking, dancing, children’s activities and games.

Hutto Golf Tournament

Council also awarded $2,500 for the Parks Hutto Bengal Invitational Golf Tournament set for March 11-12 at the Columbia Country Club. Jason Minkel, golf coach for the tournament, said the funds would be used to pay for gifts, snacks and drinks for the players.

Now in its tenth year, Minkel said the tournament is the premier high school golf tournament in South Carolina. Formerly named the Bengal Invitational, the tournament was renamed in 2015 in memory of former team member Parks Hutto who died June 11, 2015, after a short battle with myocarditis. He was 14 and a rising freshman at Blythewood High School at the time of his death. Hutto had been on the Bengal varsity golf team since seventh grade.

Minkel said the tournament has become so popular that he now has to turn teams away.

“This year we will host state champions from 2A to 5A schools as well as SCISA champions and many other top state golf teams,” Minkel said. “Last year we had 26 teams from all over South Carolina.”

After learning that the annual tournament brings in almost 200 players, coaches and visitors that stay in Blythewood hotels and eat at the towns restaurants, Mayor J. Michael Ross suggested the tournament might also be eligible for Accommodation Tax (A-Tax) funds and encouraged Minkel and Hutto’s mother, Ginny, who was present at the meeting, to apply for the funds.

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