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Believe in the Magic of Christmas: Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic to hold fundraiser Nov. 13

Believe in the Magic of Christmas: Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic to hold fundraiser Nov. 13

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Free medical clinic gala

The Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic will hold its third annual holiday gala fundraiser on Nov. 13. Proceeds from the gala go towards assisting the needs of the nonprofit entity, which serves residents of Orangeburg and Calhoun counties who cannot afford basic health care. A silent auction, supper and live entertainment are featured at the event. Pictured above is gala participants joining in together in the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" at the conclusion of last year's event.

The Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic will hold a Believe in the Magic of Christmas gala fundraiser on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Proceeds from the third annual event will help support the mission of the nonprofit clinic, which serves residents of Orangeburg and Calhoun counties who cannot afford basic health care. The clinic will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019.

The fundraiser, featuring a silent auction, supper and entertainment, will be held at the First Presbyterian Church Centre in Orangeburg.

The silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. Gift baskets, artwork and gift certificates will be among the auction items. Raffle tickets for a prize package will also be sold.

The supper, featuring food by Columbia-based Dupre Catering, will begin at 6 p.m.

Pork tenderloin will be carved on site and glazed with a fig, sweet onion and rosemary jam prepared by Sallie Dent Porth, founder of Sallie's Greatest Jams & Simple Syrups. Marinated, grilled and roasted boneless chicken breast, sharp cheddar cheese grits casserole, marinated leafless salad with Clemson blue cheese and an array of farm vegetables will also be included on the menu.

Holiday music will be performed at 7 p.m. by musical talent from Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, including Freddie Ford and Friends, Dee Shaw and Linda Parris. Sylvia Trimmier will provide piano accompaniment during the event.

Tickets for the event are $40.

Jeannie Gue, a clinic board member, said the Christmas event will not just help the clinic continue to serve the growing uninsured population, but also bring the community together in the spirit of the holiday season.

"They can expect an evening of good food, good fellowship and wonderful local talent," Gue said.

The clinic, which operates with mainly donations and limited grant funds, has been seeing more patients. Diabetes, hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are among the top chronic illnesses seen among patients.

"We have very few grants. The clinic mainly operates on donations from individuals, churches and community groups," Gue said.

The ultimate goal of the clinic, which is run by a 15-member board, is to reduce health care disparity and costs in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, she said.

"In 2017, the Free Clinic saw 394 new patients for 1,728 visits. The clinic enrolled 111 new patients. Volunteers recorded 1,551 hours working in the clinic," Gue said.

She said the proceeds from the holiday gala will be largely used for patient care.

"The proceeds are for the Free Clinic. Ninety-two percent of everything we raise goes directly to patient care. Currently, the Free Clinic is working with the Orangeburg Lions Club to provide surgery for a client who has two detached retinas," Gue said.

"The clinic also receives 60 food boxes during the year from Harvest Hope Food Bank to supply the clients who do not have refrigeration or ways to prepare meals. They are nonperishable food items," she added.

The Free Clinic is located at 141 Centre St. in Orangeburg. Contributions and gifts to the nonprofit organization are tax-deductible.

Tickets for the gala must be purchased by Nov. 9; they will not be available at the door on Nov. 13.

For more information on the fundraiser, or to purchase tickets, call Gue at 803-534-8847 or mail checks payable to the OCFMC to: Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic, PO Box 505, Orangeburg, SC 29116. Donations can also be mailed to the OCFMC.

Contact the writer: dgleaton@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5534. Follow "Good News with Gleaton" on Twitter @DionneTandD.

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