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MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (March 29, 2022) – East Cooper Community Outreach and Carolina Children’s Charity will receive the net proceeds of the 35th Annual Town of Mount Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival presented by East Cooper Medical Center and Harris Teeter.
This year’s festival is scheduled for Sunday, April 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ,at the beautiful Memorial Waterfront Park on the Charleston Harbor.
Both local nonprofit organizations will work with town staff to recruit and manage the dozens of volunteers needed to make the Blessing of the Fleet such a meaningful occasion for Shem Creek fishermen and shrimpers as well as a favorite pastime for the Lowcountry community.
“We are so proud to work with ECCO and Carolina Children’s Charities as we celebrate 35 years of blessing our fleet with two nonprofits who have been offering such important services to our neighbors for almost the same number of years each,” said Nicole Harvey, Mount Pleasant Recreation Community Affairs & Marketing Division Chief.
Since Hurricane Hugo more than 30 years ago, ECCO has been providing low-income residents living east of the Cooper River with safety-net services while also empowering them to create a better future for themselves, their families, and our community.
"The Blessing of the Fleet has always been one of my favorite Mount Pleasant traditions,” said ECCO Executive Director Stephanie Kelley. “Being able to help ensure the success of this annual celebration makes the event even more meaningful. ECCO is thrilled to have been selected as one of the beneficiaries for this year's event.”
Carolina Children's Charity was founded in 1987 by local volunteers and firefighters to help local children with birth defects and/or disabling diseases to pay for the costs of medically necessary special equipment, medications, tests and more. The nonprofit has helped thousands of Lowcountry children who have received assistance totaling more than $4.5 million.
“Carolina Children’s Charity is honored to be a beneficiary of this year’s Blessing of the Fleet,” said Executive Director Sonya Beale. “On behalf of Lowcountry children diagnosed with a birth defect or childhood disease, thank you for believing in our work. We are blessed by your generosity and for 34 years of support from our community!”
The Blessing of the Fleet began 35 years ago when the Magwood family brought together local Shem Creek shrimpers to create an event that honors Mount Pleasant’s rich maritime heritage, gives community members a chance to celebrate and shake hands with the captains who put fresh seafood on their plates, and raise funds for local nonprofit organizations.
The event offers free admission, free parking and free activities including live music, a ceremonial blessing and boat parade, shrimp-eating and shag-dancing contests and more. Delicious local food and a beer garden are available for purchase along with a variety of handmade goods in the craft show. Event memorabilia sales are a primary source of revenue for the beneficiaries.
“My colleagues,” said Kelley, “along with our amazing ECCO volunteers and supporters, are excited about volunteering throughout the day and interacting with the good people of this community who enjoy honoring our local shrimping and fishing industries."
For additional information on the Mount Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival, visit ExerienceMountPleasant.com/play or the event page on Facebook.com/MountPleasantRec.