Rantin: A healthy challenge (803) 771-8306July 24, 2013 

Columbia businessman and philanthropist Norman Arnold and his wife, Gerry Sue Arnold, recently helped raise more than $1 million for the Palmetto Health Foundation.

The Arnolds issued a family challenge to match up to $500,000 received in community donations for the foundation. Individual and corporate donors contributed $700,000, bringing the total gifts to $1.2 million.

The funds will benefit Palmetto Health Women’s and Children’s Services and will be used to support and enhance such programs as the Pediatric Institute for Diabetes and Obesity, Camp Kemo, Camp Wonderhands and the Children’s Hospital Child Life department. It also will be used to purchase pediatric wheelchairs, a NICU portable X-ray machine and other medical equipment.

“Being able to positively impact the lives of the people we serve drives everything we do at Palmetto Health,” said chief executive officer Charles D. Beaman Jr. “We are very grateful to the Arnold family for their inspirational challenge gift to help Palmetto Health help others, and to our community’s donors who came together so quickly to meet and exceed the challenge.”

Palmetto Health Foundation engages the community to enhance healthcare for patients and families served at Palmetto Health. For more information, visit or call (803) 434-7275.

High gear for hunger relief

The Jim Hudson Automotive Group recently presented $100,000 to Harvest Hope Food Bank and the Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta to help fight hunger during the critical summer months.

The donations include $75,000 from dealerships in Columbia to Harvest Hope and $25,000 from Jim Hudson Lexus in Augusta to the Golden Harvest Food Bank.

Matching grants from Toyota and Lexus also contributed to the fund as part of the Lexus Pursuit of Potential. The program supports organizations that help children realize their potential.

The $100,000 donation will provide a half-million meals to struggling families in South Carolina.

“We are passionate about supporting agencies like Harvest Hope Food Bank,” Hudson said. “We’re pleased to be able to help families who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.”

The recent gift was the latest in a long line of charitable contributions by the Jim Hudson Automotive Group, which has supported such local charities as Harvest Hope and the Oliver Gospel Mission for more than 30 years.

Fundraising dinner

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Irmo Fire District firefighters will join the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation for a fundraising dinner for the Jeffrey Chavis House next week.

The deputies and firefighters will serve meals to customers from 5-9 p.m., Aug. 1 at Romano’s Macaroni Grill at 148 Harbison Boulevard near Irmo. All tips and donations will be given to the Jeffrey Chavis House, a 40-bed guest house that serves relatives of patients at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital of Augusta.

The house is named in memory of Jeffrey Chavis, a Lexington County Fire Service firefighter who died from burns suffered while fighting a residential blaze several years ago.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill also will donate 15 percent of each bill, excluding tax and gratuity, at the restaurant that day.

For more information or to make a donation to the Jeffrey Chavis House, call Sgt. Jeff Weed at the Sheriff’s Department at (803) 234-1308.

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