Cold Stone Creamery hosts silent auction for South Strand Helping Hand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The team at the Cold Stone Creamery in Market Common is hosting a fundraiser to coincide with the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival that brings unique art to the store and helps South Strand Helping Hand.

The employees at Cold Stone Creamery will fill the ice cream shop with art for a silent auction with benefits going to South Strand Helping Hand in Surfside Beach. In addition to the auction, customers can bring in canned food items for a discount starting Monday. Anyone who brings in three canned items will receive 10% off their purchase at the Market Common location.

“When it stays local, the benefits go to the people in our community,” says South Strand Helping Hands Director beth Kohlmann. “And if we can’t help each other, then we have a real big issue. So keeping it local and being it’s a 501 c (3), it’s an opportunity for the businesses and the residents of this town to really donate to a place where they can see it being used in such a positive way.”

South Strand Helping Hand provides food and clothing to people who are in need. The organization also offers support in certain circumstances, like women who are attempting to leave an abusive relationship.

In an effort for the crew members to help contribute more, many Cold Stone Creamery employees have created artwork to decorate the store while the film festival is happening.

“Since I have been the manager for Cold Stone Creamery, the South Strand Helping Hand has helped several of the crew members’ families, so it was the perfect charity to partner with to help teach the crew the importance of giving back,” reveals Jennifer Herrmann, the creamery’s manager. “Most of our crew is in high school or college, so this is a great opportunity to be involved in giving back to a charity thus allowing them to see how it benefits people in the community.”

The student-aged employees say the experience of hosting the fundraiser has helped them realize the need of families along the Grand Strand and how to appreciate even the necessities in life.

“Growing up my dad had a good income for my family and so I never had to worry about living like they do and now giving back to the community makes me appreciate what I have,” says employees Donnie Smolenski.

The artwork will be on display throughout the store starting Monday. Customers are also encouraged to bring hygiene products in addition to the canned goods, to be donated to South Strand Helping Hand. The artwork can be seen through Sunday. The film festival will be hosted at the Grande 14 Theater in Market Common.