Special to the C-I, by PADDY BELL
The Hobirk Hill Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) held a luncheon April 10 at Springdale Hall Club to support their scholarship program for Kershaw County High School graduates. Proceeds from this annual event have provided financial aid for students who are currently studying at the Citadel, USC, Furman University, Lander University, the College of Charleston, Columbia College and Francis Marion University. Mackenzie Sholtz presented a program on authentic Colonial Costumes. The DAR Community Service Award was also presented to honoree Jack Brantley, owner of Aberdeen catering, one of the foremost caterers in the southeast.
This award was established by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1995 as an opportunity to recognize individuals in their communities for outstanding voluntary achievements in cultural, humanitarian, historical or environmental endeavors.
"A resounding ‘yes’ to all these for Jack Brantley," Chairman of the Hobirk Hill Chapter Community Service Award Sarah Reed said. "Jack has supported the Community Medical Clinic for over 15 years as an event planner and caterer, as well as opening his property for their annual garden tour. He shares his beautiful historic home and its treasures for revenue-raising tours for numerous organizations. He is the backbone for the Junior Welfare League’s candlelight tour each year, showcasing his collection of Christmas ornaments and serving hundreds of tour participants. The United Way, KershawHealth, Food for the Soul and the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County have all benefitted from Jack’s generosity."
A few of the many projects that Brantley has spearheaded or supported include: funding and building the catering kitchen in the historic Robert Mills Court House, refurbishing the Lyttleton Street Methodist Church’s parlor, sponsoring in the culinary arts and contributing to the Camden Tree Foundation for plantings for benches at Monument Square. Brantley also lights and decorates the park at Christmas each year for the enjoyment of the community. This year the third annual Easter Family Tour was held at Brantley’s home to benefit Mental Health America of Kershaw County.
"He was easily identified as one of Camden’s most generous and thoughtful benefactors. There is little in this community that he has not touched. Jack Brantley has never said ‘no’ to anyone. He is well deserving of this honor," Reed said during her introduction of Brantley.
Lifelong friend, Chuck Nash, presented a resolution on behalf of State Representative Laurie Slade Funderburk and the South Carolina Congress which recognized Brantley for his numerous civic contributions and gracious hospitality for philanthropic organizations.
"Jack is a true ambassador of cordiality and a civic-minded patriot with a generosity of spirit that is beyond measure. It is an honor to recognize and applaud his endless efforts in service to individuals, organizations, humanitarian initiatives and community benefit," Paddy Bell, regent of the Hobirk Hill Chapter said, "This is a reflection of the spirit that this award embodies – and Jack is the embodiment of that spirit. Well done!"
Brantley commented on the foundation he established to guarantee the preservation of his historic home, Aberdeen, and entrusting it to the Camden community for generations to come.
"I was indeed very honored to receive the DAR award. Each day I look forward to my work catering, which in turn allows me many opportunities to reach out and help many worthwhile causes. Since moving to Camden in 1971, it has always been a real joy to assist worthwhile causes such as Food for the Soul, the United Way of Kershaw County and the Junior Welfare League, a theme that was taught to me many times, especially by my dad … It is better to give than receive," Brantley said, "I take joy in sharing and I especially am excited to know that the Aberdeen Foundation will always be a part of the community … a community that has given so much and for which I am most thankful."
Past recipients of the DAR Community Service Award include Ingrid and Niles Blackburn, Sarah Davis, Sibby Wood, Karen Ekford, Mary Ellen Jordan and Ed Royall.