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2018 Edisto Chamber Awards – Edistonian is Business of the Year

Local business leaders and members of the Edisto Chamber of Commerce gathered for their annual dinner meeting on Wednesday June 13, The Edisto Civic Center meeting facility is a comfortable setting to enjoy light refreshments during a cocktail hour, followed by recognition of town officials and an invocation before supper. After a review of the past calendar year Executive Director Lisa Harrell recognized The Edistonian as the 2018 Business of the Year, citing three generations of ownership.

The Business of the Year nominees are chosen by the chamber board, and then the chamber members are asked to cast ballots to determine the winner,” said Harrell. Edistonian owner Jerome Kizer came to the stage to accept a plaque from Harrell, but quickly recognized his mother in the audience with other family members and employees. Whether one needs gasoline, groceries, beach items or even home decorum the Edistonian remains a great place for one-stop shopping on Edisto Island.

“Our Martha Whetstone Service Award goes to the founders of the Edisto Island Youth Recreation program, Geno Middleton and Jack DiLuna,” said Harrell. When these two gentlemen came to the stage, they shared how island youth are having a tough time finding facilities to play ball games and how grateful they are for community support from local churches and the Edisto Chamber. The need to provide safe community gatherings for active youth is only increasing, and the youth recreation program is raising awareness for the future.

The mission statement for the Edisto Chamber is to support and promote member businesses in the community and to the tourism industry. The annual dinner meeting allows for some members to sponsor the event such as the Town of Edisto offering use of the Civic Center. Bi-Lo and Green Boat Liquors provided beer and wine during dinner and At Your Service Events provided the catering. The King’s Market supplied the dining table centerpieces and artist Seth Gangwer performed live music throughout the evening.

The highlights from the past year included statistics, with more than 850 visitor packages mailed from Edisto to 32 states regarding tourism. “Our top five target states are Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, Tennessee and Georgia,” said Harrell. “Thanks to our reciprocal memberships with the Colleton County Chamber we have a new record 222 business members now, including 52 new members in 2018. Our Facebook campaign is building momentum and we have a new website that is already loaded with content, and almost ready to roll out to the public.”

The Edisto Chamber supports other local initiatives including the Arts in The Park gatherings, the new Movies in the Park program, the Edisto Road Race, the Jungle Road Fall Festival and the Christmas Parade. The Edisto Chamber is a member of the marketing team for the wider Lowcountry Tourism Commission, and the Edisto Chamber put up a new sign with updated logo near the bridge in September of 2017. The Edisto Chamber staff also includes membership coordinator Cyndy McCormick and media assistant Laura Yeomans.

Various business and community leaders were happy to share that Edisto Beach is filled with seasonal visitors once again. The popular Bingo night put on by the Lions Club recorded a full house on June 12, and that trend is expected to continue through July when they intend to add some extra dates. The Edisto Island Land Trust hosts their annual fundraiser on June 23 to fund efforts to protect and preserve the island’s natural resources and scenic beauty. The Fourth of July parade and the Edisto Billfish Tournament are sure to please both locals and visitors alike, which is a winning combination for business members of the Edisto Chamber.

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (392 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com