As hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the country flock to the dreamy southern town of Summerville for the highly acclaimed Flowertown Festival, the festival is still the quintessential community event. Presented by the Summerville Family YMCA, the festival draws assistance, participation and service from all parts of the community, including local businesses.
“We’re here and trying to do whatever we can to help our community,” said Todd Smith, Managing Director of McElveen Automotive Group.
McElveen sells new Buicks and GMCs, used vehicles and golf carts and, at this year’s festival, will provide YMCA employees with golf carts so they can easily get around and work the event. .
When the need arises, the company lends vehicles and trailers to the Y and also financially sponsors the Y businesses.
“We try to participate in as many local events and efforts as possible because we value the community that shops with us,” Smith said.
McElveen is one of the many commercial sponsors who engage in community service during and outside the festival.
Numerous Flowertown festival t-shirts will be on display throughout the three-day event courtesy of screen printing and embroidery company Fancy Trimmins, which prints, promotes and sells this year’s signature top. The company sells personal items and gifts as well as school and business clothing and uniforms.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when face masks were hard to come by, employees at Fancy Trimmins began making them, selling themselves every day. Some of that money was used to buy food to help replenish blessing boxes in the Lowcountry, according to owner DeeAnn Farrell.
“Business and community service go hand in hand,” Farrell said. “When you shop in our store, you are helping the community. I employ three employees who support families.
Summerville Medical Center – HCA Healthcare has been the primary healthcare sponsor for the Flowertown Festival since the hospital opened nearly 30 years ago. The 124-bed acute care hospital has a 24-hour emergency room and offers comprehensive medical services.
“We provided a variety of services and community education at the Flowertown Festival, such as new mom breastfeeding stations with our certified lactation consultants, bleeding stop training and stroke awareness. brain, ”said CEO Jeff Taylor. “Our community is founded on the values of family and compassion. We are proud to have developed strong partnerships with the many industries and businesses that serve our community with these values in mind.
Home Telecom is another major sponsor of the festival. The company also organizes blood drives for the American Red Cross four times a year, has employees participating in Trident United Way Day of Caring, and founded the Home Community Fund which has awarded more than $ 340,000. since 2005. In addition to CEO William S. Helmly, several employees serve on boards of directors and are involved in local charities throughout the community.
“Our employees foster a spirit of community engagement through volunteerism,” said Caoimhe Zett, Head of Client Marketing.
Boeing South Carolina, which has been home to the full production cycle of the 787 Dreamliner for over a decade, has been an annual sponsor of the Flowertown Festival for several years, with some of its 5,000 employees providing hands-on activities and company information. and careers in STEM and advanced manufacturing.
“I grew up in Summerville and enjoyed attending the Flowertown Festival with my family and friends,” said Engineer Jennifer Branton, who served on the YMCA Board of Directors in addition to working for Boeing Research and Technology.
Boeing teammates display a strong connection to the community and help create lasting change in where they live, Branton said. Since arriving in South Carolina, the company has invested more than $ 52 million in local charities focused on education, veterans and the environment.
Grow Financial is a Florida-based not-for-profit credit union with operations in South Carolina and the Southeast. The company offers services ranging from financial literacy, home buying, investments, and checking and savings accounts. Employees at the nonprofit’s offices in Summerville, headed by Market Manager Stephen McNeil, volunteer at this year’s festival, handing out “great prizes” and participating in games, said Anthony Weston, responsible for commercial loans.
“We serve people, not profits,” Weston said. “Our goal is to make a difference in the financial well-being of our members. “
Additionally, Grow Financial organizes activities within the community, including working with schools and spotlighting businesses with their Grow On Us campaign. Weston himself has been a volunteer coach at a local school for 13 years.
“We engage our members and employees through service and philanthropy as part of the growth of the common good,” said Weston.