ELLOREE -- Seafood lovers, loyal supporters and newfound friends will gather at Elloree Museum and Heritage Center on Saturday, Oct. 14 for the organization’s annual Low Country Boil.

“It’s a fundraiser but it’s also a way to connect with everyone in the community,” said John McLaurin, the museum’s new president. “Everyone can enjoy a good meal together and feel good about supporting something so important to our community.”

Dinner will be served from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the museum, which is located at 2214 Cleveland St. The menu will feature South Carolina specialties with shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes and Southern banana pudding. The beverage selection will include iced tea, beer and wine. Musical entertainment will be provided by The Patriots.

“David Williams, the past president of the museum, helps cook,” McLaurin said. “He and the other board members have it down to a science, and it’s great quality seafood. I haven’t heard any complaints, that’s for sure.”

Last year’s event attracted more than 250 people. Tickets are $25 each. Ticket deadline is Oct. 9.

“The Elloree Museum’s Low Country Boil grows each year,” said Ruby Livingston, who chairs the event with the help of Marilane Felkel. “People now have gotten where they’re ready to buy their tickets as soon as they hear about it because it’s so good.”

“Everything is cooked separately so that if people have food allergies and they can’t eat shrimp, they can still eat the other items that we have,” Livingston said. “We would love for everyone from all of Orangeburg to come join us and see our museum.”

McLaurin, who is the farm manager at Cotton Lane Farm and has deep roots in the community, noted, “There’s not many places like the Elloree Museum and Heritage Center in as small a town as Elloree. My grandfather, Everette Gasque, was one of the people who helped start the museum. So, from early on when I was in my teens, I had some involvement when they were in the construction period.”

“(The museum) holds a place in our family, and that’s why I accepted the role as president,” he said. “We’re proud of the museum, and my goal is to make sure it continues to grow and evolve.”

McLaurin is confident he will have plenty of local support in the effort.

“A lot of volunteers keep the doors open and people take time out of their days and help with the exhibits, or help run the gift shop,” he said. “It’s just amazing.

“We have a lot of support from older people in the community. But we also have programs that focus on science, art and other subjects that appeal to younger audience of children and students.”

McLaurin added, “I want to make sure that everyone knows who we are and where we are and what a great thing they have right there in Elloree. We send out newsletters to let people know what activities are coming up. I’m also going to try to reach other, younger audiences by using more electronic and social media. We want to make sure we connect with all the generations."

To make reservations for the Low Country Boil, or to sign up for free updates about future programs at the Elloree Museum and Cultural Center, call 803-897-2225. For more information about the Elloree Museum and Heritage Center, visit.www.elloreemuseum.org.

Contact the writer: gwh903@yahoo.com.

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