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Festival announces local donations
chamber check 1
The Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce and Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival sponsor Southern Eagle Distributing made donations to local nonprofits on Tuesday, including Youth Challenge Academy and Matthew Freeman Projects scholarships for Gold Star siblings. - photo by Jeff Whitte

Checks both big and small were handed out at the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, part of the aftermath of the chamber’s annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival.
The large checks were courtesy Southern Eagle Distributing, which donated $2,000 each to fund scholarships at Youth Challenge and the Matthew Freeman Project.
Checks of similar amounts — but much smaller in actual size — from the chamber also went to Youth Challenge and the Boy Scouts of America.
And more will be coming to local nonprofits who participated in the 15th annual GOSF, according to Bonnie Proctor, who serves on the chamber’s Seafood Festival Committee.
“That’s the reason we work so hard to raise the money,” she said.
Among the groups who’ve gotten donations are the Richmond Hill Lions’ Club, the YMCA, So Many Angels and others.
Over the festival’s lifetime, the chamber has donated more than $400,000 back to local nonprofit groups, Proctor said.
Southern Eagle was a sponsor of the festival. In addition to the checks presented Tuesday to Lisa Freeman of the Matthew Freeman Project and Dr. Robert Hughes and Carl Davis of Youth Challenge, Southern Eagle also provided the food for the special needs event at the seafood festival held prior to the opening for the general public.
“They did a great job,” Proctor said.
The Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival is the chamber’s largest annual fundraiser. In addition to allowing the group to donate to nonprofits, it also helps keep membership dues low, Proctor said.

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