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Jan 29 2020

They’re Back

By Mike Gorski for The Island Connection

Last year’s banner at the Backpack Buddies Chili Cook-off.

He’s back once again this year and with him are most of his clients, friends and fellow business owners – and he’s added a few in an effort to smash last year’s record of $40,000 raised for a worthy cause: helping children in need. This year’s goal is a whopping $50,000.

Mike Gorski, owner of Island Transportation Services, launched this project four years ago to help raise additional funds at the Backpack Buddies Chili Cook-off, scheduled for March 17 at Bohicket Marina.

This year, Gorski has already received commitments from 14 returning friends and an equal number of new friends. All of them have committed to donating $1,000 each, which will be used to match dollar-for-dollar donations made by the residents of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns islands.

The Chili Cook-off, along with The Gorski and Friends Challenge, benefits Backpack Buddies Seabrook Island and the Backpack Buddies Group of Kiawah Women’s Foundation. Both organizations are 501(c)(3) nonprofits whose mission is to feed local schoolchildren on the weekend and during school holidays. These children receive breakfast and lunch from their schools but often are left to fend for themselves on the weekends. Currently, more than 530 local children are benefiting from the program each week.

Returning friends from last year include: Island Transportation Services; Carolina Girl Promotional Products; Coastal Getaways of South Carolina; Emery and Nick Macpherson – Akers Ellis Real Estate; Fipps & Sons Garage; Holy City Construction; Kiawah Cares; Kiawah Partners – Townsend and Stephanie Clarkson; Pam Harrington Exclusives; Pelican Development; S. Bogan Designs; Timbers Kiawah; Wells Fargo; and Will Shiver & The Island Company.

The new friends who are contributing to this year’s great and worthy cause are: AO Smith; anonymous; anonymous Kiawah Island; anonymous-Seabrook Island; Barbara and Vin Lewis; Bob and Linda Fetch; Design Gaps, Inc.; Dolphin Architects and Builders; Dunes Properties; Jessica Jones Charitable Fund; Pierce Distribution Services Company; Seabrook Island Real Estate; The Naples Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley; and Vincent’s Drug Store.

A great big thank you goes out to these friends for their generous contributions to the cause.

Now for the residents of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns islands: Because of this year’s lofty goal, we are starting to take donations now. All donations are tax-deductible as permitted by law, and, since the friends are matching your donations dollar-for-dollar, it’s a win-win for the Backpack Buddies’ programs on the islands.

Making a donation is easy. Simply call or text Mike Gorski at 864-316-3894 and tell him how much you would like to give. He will provide all of the details.

Thank you in advance for your support.

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