FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Whether in want of food or a clean car, or in need of respite from oppressive summer temperatures, Believers and Achievers of Fairfield County’s Saturday event had something to offer everyone.
The non-profit, youth-oriented group held a fish fry and car wash at Auto Zone. The event served as the culmination of a fan drive for the elderly dubbed the Fan Fair.
“It’s awesome,” said Darreyl Davis, Believers and Achievers president. “It’s truly a blessing for people to take time out of their days to help others.”
People from outside the county also supported the event.
Boxer Raymond Fowler and Kyle Nunn, former left tackle for University of South Carolina, were present with a Champions Challenge Championship belt and an SEC East Championship ring, respectively, to support the charitable endeavor.
Fowler, who overcame a terminal cancer diagnosis to find boxing success, and Nunn, who lost a family member to leukemia and saw another family member fight the disease before starring as a Gamecock, met while doing charitable work.
“You can’t fight cancer to survive it, you fight it to beat it, just like you’re in the ring,” Fowler said.
The two athletes found common ground, and now Fowler trains Nunn in boxing.
“I started boxing last year,” Nunn said. “I’m 2-0.”
Nunn and Fowler also share a passion for supporting charities and community involvement.
“It’s what we do,” Fowler said.
Fowler and Nunn said they appreciate the group’s goal of improving the lives of children and adolescents, and also admired the mission of providing the elderly with box fans.
“When I heard why they wanted fans, I was all over it,” Fowler said.
Nunn and Fowler posed for photos with volunteers and car wash customers alike.
Curtis Wilson, radio personality for 103.1 the Big DM, also was in attendance, and was recognized for his support of the Believers and Achievers. Wilson said he was pleasantly surprised by the recognition, which included the presentation of a plaque.
“It was awesome,” Wilson said. “It was unexpected as well.”
Wilson said he attended because he supports the Believers and Achievers’ vision and joked that being a relation of ex-Fairfield County Sheriff Herman Young, who was also in attendance, didn’t hurt.
Shaune Hemphill, recognized for his support of the Believers and Achievers of Fairfield County, manned the fish fry.
“It’s hot, but it’s all right though,” Hemphill said. “It’s for a good cause, so I don’t mind.”
Hemphill said he supports the group because he would like to better the community.
“I’ve got three little kids of my own,” Hemphill said.
Believers and Achievers normally focuses on helping Fairfield County’s youngest community members, but the fan drive, which benefited from help from Fairfield County Council on Aging and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, focused on providing the elderly relief from the heat.
State Rep. MaryGail Douglas, D-District 41, attended the event and previously served as president for the S.C. Association of Council on Aging Directors. Fans can be a vital resource for the elderly, she said.
“The thing that we really worried about was the medication they took interacting with the heat,” Douglas said. “Fans were at a premium.”
The fan collecting efforts received a boost from Jonathan Goode of the Goode Law Firm, who challenged local businesses to donate fans.
“I thank Jonathan Goode for challenging people, and the businesses and the concerned citizens that took the time to donate fans,” Davis said.
The car wash component of the event was also a success, according to J.R. Green, who had his car washed.
“They actually did a pretty good job,” said Green, superintendent of Fairfield County School District. “I was in pretty rough shape. I might need to get to a car wash a little bit sooner.”
Davis said the money raised will be put toward buying additional fans and Believers and Achievers events.
Reach Ben Hohenstatt at 803-635-4016. Follow him on Twitter @WinnsboroHerald