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Fun for all ages

Focus is on families at 43rd annual Colonial Cup

Posted: November 18, 2012 3:37 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2012 5:00 a.m.
Tenell Felder/C-I

2-year-old Bryce Hegler enjoys the Colonial Cup with her dad, Rob, and her mom, Brene of Lugoff. Rob Hegler is serving in the military in the Air Guard.

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Children’s laughter mixed with the barks of terriers could be heard as you approached the infield during Saturday’s 43rd annual Colonial Cup. As temperatures hovered on the cooler side, many spectators were bundled up yet ready to enjoy a day with friends and family at Camden’s Springdale Race Course.

Carolina Cup Racing Association Assistant Director Teri Teed said she believes that the Colonial Cup -- as compared to the springtime Carolina Cup -- has a special focus on the family and the local community.

"The family aspect of the Colonial Cup has been there from the start. Over the years we’ve added more to it. The infield is full of family activities. That’s why we push the family tradition in front," Teed said.

Councilman Stephen Smoak and his wife, Crystal, were surprised when their daughter, Sarah Anne, let them know she wanted to celebrate her sixth birthday at this year’s Colonial Cup.

"Her birthday was November 1, but she was willing to wait two weeks to have her birthday party at the Cup," Crystal Smoak said.

Sarah Anne, who was joined by friends, was particularly excited about the infield’s carousel and petting zoo.

"They’ve had a bull you can sit on, a carousel, teeny horses who give rides on a tiny carriage …" her mother said, listing events from past Colonial Cups that her children have enjoyed. "It’s definitely a family event."

Stephanie Hayes from Stanley, N.C., enjoyed watching the morning’s terrier races with her sons, 5-year-old Ben and 3-year-old Will.

"We come every year," Hayes said; her mother races terriers in the race.

Among the many spectators at Saturday’s Cup, quite a few were dressed in military uniforms.

As another focal point of the 2012 Colonial Cup, a "Salute to the Military" continued the tradition of honoring American’s armed forces.

"Our board wanted to have a way to honor our military," Teed said. "We looked at the race dates and figured it was a good day because it was a family day. I can personally say this has been the highlight of my career to have the privilege of meeting military people … it gets emotional."

The Colonial Cup’s tribute to the military included an official swearing in ceremony of U.S. Army recruits and a tribute to veterans read by Paula Darrow, post narrator for Fort Jackson.

An American flag coloring mural allowed guests to create thank you notes to send to troops and was sponsored by Blue Star Moms of the Midlands.

Blue Star Mom Loretta Smith has a son who is currently stationed in Colorado Springs as a first lieutenant in the Air Force. Smith was grateful to everyone who stopped by the mural to express their gratitude to the soldiers.

"It’s all about honoring them. We’re just trying to keep them being remembered … a lot of these folks have no family," Smith said.

The Carolina Cup Racing Association received recognition from the military thanks to community members who expressed their appreciation on the mural.

"Every year after the races we send off the mural to the troops then our South Carolina National Guard comes and picks it up. For the past two years, the unit that received the mural has sent us a picture of them in front of it," Teed said.

Much of the money made from the event stays in the community through various charity organizations that support the Colonial Cup and through the Carolina Cup Racing Association.

"The net profit each year goes to KershawHealth. We also involve our local charities. For example, the Junior League, Jaycee’s and Camden Booster Club take a percentage of the money from their proceeds at the Cup and put it back into the community," said Teed.

Through the Colonial Cup, Camden offers a relaxing afternoon of fun that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

"It’s just fun, people like to come out and have fun. It’s a social event," Teed said.

 

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