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Being a leader means taking the initiative. For members of a Leadership South Carolina class, that means bringing thousands in cash and donations to a local program.
About 40 businesspeople from throughout South Carolina converged Saturday at Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries bearing gifts of cash, food and labor.
Each year, a class at LSC comes up with three or four options for a project, said Katherine Cupp, an LSC program leader. This class voted to give back to the children’s community. They selected Connie Maxwell. People donated items such as food and hair care products, cleaning products, suitcases — anything Connie Maxwell might need, she said. They also raised $27,000, which was presented to Connie Maxwell President Danny Nicholson as a giant check.
“Everyone loved it,” she said. “They felt really good about what they accomplished. Their goal was to raise $25,000. They raised $27,000.”
They didn’t stop there. Several classmates visited the boarding cabins on the Oasis Farm. They rolled up their sleeves to work on the wiring and brushes to deliver a new coat of paint.
Classmates started work about 9 a.m. and continued through 5 p.m., Cupp said.
LSC has a connection with Connie Maxwell through Nicholson, who graduated from the program. Cupp said Nicholson also visits classes in Greenwood to talk about the work his organization does.
“We had a great time. They really made a splash across the state,” Nicholson said Tuesday. He was a member of an LSC class 30 years ago. His classmates have since helped Connie Maxwell several times.
Given all the causes the class could have chosen, Nicholson surmised that the class chose Connie Maxwell because “we can get things done for childten.”
The buildings the class worked on house many of the 4,000 volunteers that help Connie Maxwell each year, Nicholson said. Connie Maxwell is working on a 10-year strategic growth plan. The work the class did really helped make progress.
LSC is the state’s oldest and most recognized leadership development program, Cupp said. Business leaders, government officials and others who have demonstrated commitment and service to the community can apply for classes. LSC has seven to eight sessions yearly. Classes include natural resources in Charleston, social and health care issues in Greenwood, economic development in Spartanburg, public education and workforce development in Greenville, and future challenges in Florence.
Companies such as Duke Energy and Dominion Energy require staff members to go through continuing education classes to avoid getting stuck in one mindset, Cupp said. Those credits show students are continuing to learn about things outside their field.
One thing LSC offers is a partnership with Midlands Technical College in Columbia. If people register at the start of the fiscal year, they receive more than 100 continuing education credits.
“It’s very much an open dialogue so they can bounce ideas off each other as well,” she said.