Camel rides on Main Street? MGC Law Firm holds fundraiser for Children’s Chance

Ross taking his ride on the camel. Karamie Sullivan photos.

A crowd gathered on Columbia’s Main Street Wednesday afternoon, all looking at one attention-grabbing spectacle. Five employees of MGC Insurance Defense were the lucky winners (or not-so-lucky, depending on how you look at it), of a fundraising event that resulted in taking a ride on the back of Abraham the camel. The money raised from the event is being donated to Children’s Chance, a local non-profit that helps families of children facing pediatric cancer.

Founding Member of MGC, Rusty Goudelock, explained how the fundraiser worked. “We had a drive where you voted with your pocket book,” he said. “Anyone in the office could be nominated to ride the camel, and the top five who got the most dollars in votes had to ride it.” Goudelock said there was a lot of competition between the nominees, including some people who even paid extra to not have to ride the camel. “If they were in sixth place, they would go pay up somebody else to make sure they stayed out of the top five,” he laughed.

The last of the five employees to catch a ride on Abraham was real-estate attorney David Ross. His coworkers stood nearby, taking pictures and videos as he held onto the large animal. Ross said he didn’t expect to be one of the “winners,” but he was happy to do it, considering what the money was going towards. “I wasn’t in the top five until today, so I was not expecting to have to do this, but you know, I was a lucky winner,” he said. “Our firm does a great job doing things like this, where everybody can have a sense of community while raising money for charity.”

Goudelock said he estimates the amount from Tuesday’s fundraiser will be around $2,000. That money will go into a cumulative amount the firm will be donating to Children’s Chance at the end of the year.

Children’s Chance Administrative Director Neil Boone voiced his gratitude for being MGC’s chosen charity of the year. “They researched us online and saw what we did for families, and they contacted us,” Boone said. “It’s an amazing experience to have a law firm support us throughout the entire year, and to have such a big leader in the community put their backing behind us.”

Many onlookers contributed to the Children’s Chance donations so they could also take a ride on the camel.

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