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The Special Gathering cheer the Charleston Battery to victory

Members of the local chapter of The Special Gathering were excited about their most recent outing. Members of the group were able to attend soccer matches on June 24, 2017. 29 adults who are members of the special needs community in Walterboro were transported to Charleston for an evening of food, fun, and fellowship. Not only were they able to socialize with each other many made new friends and also enjoyed the fellowship of those who helped make their trip possible, the Walterboro Elks Lodge #1988.
The group who attended the first match witnessed a strong offensive showing between the Charleston Battery and the Toronto FC II at MUSC Health Stadium Saturday night. Once at the field, the group enjoyed chicken fingers, chips, slaw, and cookies. Once the game started, the attendees shouted and cheered as the ball went up and down the field. The match ended in a blowout as the Charleston Battery defeated the Toronto FC II 6-1. Terry Godbee cheered louder than any other member there as he yelled “GOAL” every time the Battery scored. According to his caregivers, Godbee has been looking forward to this outing ever since he was able to attend last year. The rhythmic beating of the drum and cheers from the crowd kept Godbee in the moment of the exciting offensive show.
The Special Gathering is a ministry dedicated to sharing the good news within the mentally challenged community in Walterboro. It is the only chapter in South Carolina. The program is headed up by Ferne Brandt who was excited to be able to provide this experience to the community she loves. “The Elks Lodge has been so wonderful to us. By making it possible to attend the matches at the Charleston Battery, they are helping the people in the special needs community feel like they are a normal part of society, something that many people don’t do,” said Brandt on the outing. The Special Gathering meets regularly on Sunday afternoons at The Good Sheppard Lutheran Church. Once a year, the disabled even lead a church service, all on their own. Brandt also brags they have a phenomenal choir that is frequently asked to come and sing or play the bells for other churches.
The trips to the Charleston Battery games were made possible by the Walterboro Elks Lodge #1988. Tim Anderson, the local Elks National Foundation chairman and grants coordinator, was thrilled the Walterboro Elks were able to provide this opportunity to the local disabled community through the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant. Last year, the Walterboro Elks Lodge took members from this same group to a Battery match and the event was so successful Anderson knew he wanted to make it happen again this year. Anderson hopes to be able to bring more groups in the future.

Christie Slocum (464 Posts)