Non-profit supports Lowcountry women, Hollings Cancer Center breast cancer patients

October 02, 2019
Group shot at The Point
Point members gather for a group shot at their Camp for a Cause event in 2018. This year’s special Night Before Camp fundraising event, the Lowcountry Barn Bash, is Friday, Oct. 4. Photos provided

When women support women, lives can change.

The Point, a women’s nonprofit organization, is dedicated to supporting underserved women in the Charleston area by providing financial and volunteer support to the community, including breast cancer patients at Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Claire Richardson, The Point’s community outreach chair, is one of 35 members striving to make a difference for women in need.

“It's like they say on the airplane – put the oxygen mask on you first and then everybody else,” Richardson says. “If mom is suffering, the whole family is suffering.”

The Point started in 2006 when members of the Ambrose family decided to get together and began to discuss their good fortunes, Richardson says. They wanted to give back to the community, and so the idea for The Point was born on a cocktail napkin at a happy hour.

What started as a monthly meeting where money was thrown into a hat has turned into a nonprofit organization hosting six community events a year.

“The donations were very small in the beginning and now we're at $80,500 last year,” Richardson says. “It's been very successful.”

Band members at The Point 
Point members celebrate ‘OktoBRAfest’ at the 2018 Camp for a Cause event.

Around half of that money comes from The Point’s biggest event of the year, Camp for a Cause. The event, which will be hosted Oct. 4 and 5, benefits breast cancer patients at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.

“The only dedicated fundraiser we have is our Camp for a Cause and we added the Night Before Camp last year as well,” Richardson says. “The money raised goes to Hollings Cancer Center just to keep the mobile mammogram unit up and running.”

Camp is an invitation-only event for around 150 women featuring a night on a private, waterfront property with fun competitions and catered meals, she says. This year’s theme? Supbra Heroes.

While Camp is a private event, the $50 tickets for the Night Before Camp event, the Lowcountry Barn Bash, are available to the public, Richardson says. The public event will take place October 4th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Selkirk Plantation at Heron Island. Everyone 21 and older is invited to enjoy delicious food, good music and a chance to bid on opportunity baskets and in the live auction. In the past, baskets have totaled around $50,000, with winners taking home prizes from paddleboards to Tuscany villa rentals.

“We also auction off mammograms, and we sold a fortune in mammograms at $50 each,” she says. “That provides not only money to keep the mobile mammogram unit on the road but also covers mammograms for women who don’t have the money to get one.”

Researcher and surgical oncologist Nancy Demore, M.D., of the Hollings Cancer Center will be the highlighted speaker and will give updates on advances in breast cancer treatment and research.

“Many of the participants have either been through breast cancer or have friends or family who have suffered,” Richardson says.

The Point also hosts other community events, such as their annual oyster roast the Sunday before Thanksgiving, to raise money for various organizations that support women.

“For the donations aside from Hollings, our members vote on who we are supporting for the next year,” Richardson says. “We work hard for the money, so everything that we donate has to go directly to the recipient in some way, shape or form.”

This year, The Point is raising money for Barrier Island Free Medical Clinic, Blessing Basket, Meals on Wheels, LEAP, Lowcountry Firefighters Support Team and Our Lady of Mercy. For organizations they can’t help financially, The Point members offer their time as volunteers.

Richardson says The Point is able to help those in need thanks to the support and donations of the community and the hard work of its members.

“It's amazing to see how many people are out there trying to do better and just with the heart for helping others,” Richardson says. “Just working together to do something that you know helps your local community.”