Five Points Association donates $43,450 to local charities from St. Pat’s funds

Members of the Five Points Association proudly presented a $43,450 check to 29 local charities at the Five Points fountain Thursday morning. The funds were collected through the organization’s largest annual event: St. Pat’s in Five Points.

Co-chair Amy Beth Franks explained that the event represents much more than what meets the eye. “While we think of St. Pat’s often as a day of music and fun, it’s actually so much more than that,” she said. “While the impact of St. Pat’s is so substantial on Five Points, it’s also very important for local charities and nonprofits across the Midlands.”

Franks said many of the charitable organizations’ members volunteered at the festival, which helped the event run smoothly. “You are the ones that keep us running. You are the backbone of Columbia’s marquee festival, and we are thankful for you,” she added.

Representatives from each organization came to the podium to receive their individual checks. Executive Director of the HIV Aids Council, Bambi Gaddist, said the donation makes a huge difference to them each year. “This particular event, because of the magnitude of it, is important to our agency,” Gaddist said. One of the biggest hurdles her organization tries to overcome is the stigma behind HIV and Aids, she said. “Because the Five Points Association sees what we’re doing in this community and the city – it’s really de-stigmatizing. It really validates the work we’re doing.”

According to Franks, there were 37,000 guests who attended St. Pat’s in Five Points this year. The event created more than a $6 million economic impact on the city of Columbia in one weekend.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Columbia, Richland County