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Shag Club donates more than $50,000 to local non-profits

Posted: August 7, 2017 5:34 p.m.
Updated: August 8, 2017 1:00 a.m.

 For the last 24 years, it’s been important to the Camden Lugoff Area Shag Society (CLASS) to actively give back to their local community. 

   Since 1993, CLASS has donated more than $50,000 to local nonprofits in Kershaw County. The majority of these donations were generated by the organization’s annual Shag BLAST -- a yearly gathering featuring beach music, food, and of course, lots of dancing. This key event began in 2005 and has grown over time. All proceeds from the Shag BLAST are donated to Kershaw County non-profit organizations. 

   “We’re all about having a good time and being actively involved in our community,” said Ray Amyette, chairman of the Shag BLAST committee. “It’s part of our mission, really. We want to support folks and we want folks to come out, be a part of (CLASS). It’s all about community.”

  CLASS presented $2700 to both the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County (CMC) and Food for the Soul Thursday night during their monthly board meeting at the Venue on Broad.

   “We are grateful for the support of CLASS. What a wonderful group of people,” Susan Didato, Community Medical Clinic development director said. “This generous gift goes directly toward funding diabetes medications for CMC patients.”

  Didato also told the group Thursday that “sitting is the new smoking.”

“We want to thank you all for not only supporting the medical clinic, but also for encouraging people to come out, have a good time, socialize and move around. One of our goals is to make Kershaw County the healthiest county in the state, and you all are helping us achieve that goal.”

   CMC opened in 1998 as a nonprofit, charitable family practice medical clinic. It was founded with the mission of providing medical care to the uninsured residents of Kershaw County. CMC has grown from seeing several patients a week in one room to having a fully staffed medical facility as well as satellite offices. 

Food for the Soul Director Darlene Thomas also said she was thankful for the support.

   “Without the support of organizations like yours, we wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open,” she said during the check presentation. 

   Food for the Soul is the only local facility that provides temporary shelter for men, women and children. The organization also provides breakfast and lunch to the public Tuesday through Friday. Food for the Soul guests enjoy heat in the cold weather and A/C in the hot summer months. All services are provided free of charge.

Thomas said the money donated from CLASS would be going towards a van to take cooked meals to Cassatt and Mt. Pisgah. The van will also offer transportation services to those in the North Central area who need to get groceries or make it to a doctor’s appointment. 

   “It’s support like this that make our mission possible,” Thomas said. 

   Amyette would like to encourage anyone who is interested to come out and have a “classy” experience. 

   “It’s a great way to meet folks and have fun,” he said.

   Other CLASS members agreed with Amyette.

    “Being a part of this Shag Club changed my life,” Judie Midgett said. “Meeting people is hard when you work full-time. We are all about fellowship, friendship and fun. Plus, we don’t judge anyone on their dancing ability. We just want everyone to have a good time!” 

   CLASS gets their groove on every Thursday night at the Venue on Broad from 7 to 10pm. The group offers free lessons from 7 to 8pm. 

   The mission of CLASS is to promote and preserve the heritage of beach music and shag dancing. Shag is the official South Carolina State dance. CLASS strives to provide members and guests with dance opportunities as well as education on the art and history of shag dancing. 

   New members are always welcome, Amyette said.

   The next Shag BLAST will be held June 16, 2018 at the Shrine Club in Camden, located on Hwy 521 North. Tables have already gone on sale.

   “We usually sell out,” Amyette said. “If anyone wants to go ahead and sign up for a table, they can give me a call.”

   To learn more about CLASS, visit To RSVP to next year’s SHAG Blast, call Amyette at 803-423-1800.


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