Ocean Lakes Family Campground Kicks off Holiday Fundraiser
Myrtle Beach's Ocean Lakes Family Campground is kicking off its Christmas Challenge today (Nov. 22).
This competition, which runs through Saturday (Nov. 26) at the South Carolina campground, has a threefold focus on recycling, charity and saving money in today's economy. The Christmas Challenge will enable the campground to raise and donate proceeds to Substitutes for Santa, a local charity that provides a Christmas experience to between 50 and 85 underprivileged children from the Loris and Myrtle Beach communities, according to a news release.
The challenge asks the campground's teammates to decorate a tree or wreath as best they can without purchasing any decorations and only using items they find in their own offices. The Ocean Lakes Family Campground judges will cast ballots during the week for winners in three categories: Most Festive, Wow! and Most Creative Use of Departmental Supplies. Ocean Lakes' guests and teammates will vote for the "People's Choice." Winners will be announced at The Jackson Cos.' Teammates Awards Breakfast and on the Ocean Lakes Facebook page on Dec. 12.
Christmas Challenge entries will be sold through a silent auction during Thanksgiving week while the campground is nearly full with more than 20,000 guests. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Substitutes for Santa.
In light of the country's tough economic times, Ocean Lakes' Marketing Department came up with the Christmas Challenge idea a few years ago as a fun way to save money and help the staff get in the holiday spirit.
"We came up with this challenge in 2008 and the teammates loved it; so in hindsight, we thought weshould have auctioned them off for charity," said Barb Krumm, director of marketing and public relations at Ocean Lakes Family Campground. "We brought the Christmas Challenge back in 2011, and the teammate response has been overwhelming. They are already plotting next year's challenge. This time we planned enough in advance to include our guests' votes and an auction for charity."
In the past, there's been no limit to the teammate's creativity. The Ocean Lakes Storage and Transport Department previously made a wreath out of a blown camper tire, decorated with flashing tail lights, mangled camper parts and reflectors. Security staff at the 310-acre campground created a wreath with old uniform shirts, handcuffs, reports, confiscated items and a flashing blue light.
The 2011 challenge continues to showcase the teammates' creativity with departmental supplies including old fluorescent bulbs, orange caution cones, unused toilet plungers, iCare Program dog biscuits and mutt mitts, tools, toilet paper, and garden hose. This year, Security teammates formed the wreath itself out of caution tape. The Accounting Department crafted beautiful angels with halos out of coin wrappers and garland from dollar bill wrappers.
In all, there are 14 departments participating in the 2011 Christmas Challenge. Teammates are hoping to raise $1,000 for Substitutes for Santa, giving 10 underprivileged children a Christmas shopping spree with volunteer Santas.