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The Byerly Foundation donated $900,000 in grants this fiscal year

The Byerly Foundation donated $900,000 in grants this fiscal year

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HARTSVILLE – The Byerly Foundation, a private foundation in Hartsville with a mission of helping many organizations in the community help make Greater Hartsville one of the best places to live by focusing on education, economic development and social needs, distributed $900,000 in grant funds during the current fiscal year, from Oct. 1,2020, to September 2021.

The grant-making foundation in the previous fiscal year granted $841,980. Since The Byerly Foundation began awarding grants in 1998, more than $22 million has been awarded, said Richard A. Puffer, executive director of The Byerly Foundation.

The foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees who include Linda Weatherford, chair; Susan Henderson, secretary; Lex West, treasurer; Roger Schrum; Chris Shirley; Brandy Johnson; Lunella Williams; Casey Hancock; Pat Youngblood; Orville Dyce; and Terrence Hassler.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Byerly Foundation has reviewed grants on a monthly basis instead of a one-time grant cycle. This has been happening since the previous year and as a result it makes sense to report both of the fiscal years together, Puffer said.

Grants paid during the 2020/2021 fiscal year

The Butler Heritage Foundation was awarded a grant of $207,500 to assist with the renovation of the former Butler High School gym. Butler Heritage worked to design a project that provided significant value and opportunities for growth on the former Butler campus. One of the primary users of the newly renovated gym will be the Boys & Girls Club of Hartsville, whose operations are located on the Butler campus. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area was able to help get a grant to assist with this project, and the other major grantor was the Sonoco Foundation.

Butler Academy, an elementary charter school in Hartsville, was awarded a multi-year grant for the start up and operations of the school and this year received $275,000 in grant money from The Byerly Foundation.

Coker University has been in the process of establishing a new nursing degree program on the Hartsville campus, and this year that program received $200,000 from The Byerly Foundation.

The Byerly Foundation and the Sonoco Foundation joined forces to contribute $100,000 each to the Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville to award grants to nonprofit organizations within the Greater Hartsville area ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. These grants were emergency funds to help nonprofits who were struggling as their normal sources of funding have been impeded since the beginning of the Pandemic in 2020. The grants awarded by the Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville went to 40 different organizations across the greater Hartsville area.

The South Carolina Division of the American Red Cross was awarded $15,000 to help with the emergency fire relief program activities in the Hartsville area.

The Pee Dee Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Abuse received a grant for $50,000 to aid in helping to sustain the activities of the Hartsville Durant Children’s Center, which has been hit by losses of funding from victims assistance programs.

Trees for Tomorrow of Hartsville was awarded a multi-year grant of $20,000 at $10,000 per year to help with the planting and caring for trees within the Hartsville area with a focus on the downtown streets.

The South Carolina Governor’s School For Science and Mathematics and Technology Foundation was awarded a grant of $25,000 to assist with creating a new hydroponics laboratory at the school that will be used for continuing research by the GSSM students.

The Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County received a $17,500 grant from The Byerly Foundation to help with hiring a nurse practitioner to help serve patients at the clinic’s locations.

Grants paid during the 2019/2020 fiscal year

The city of Hartsville was looking for a way to bring life back to many of its businesses. They crafted a program called the All America City Comeback Business 2020 campaign and received a grant from The Byerly Foundation of $150,000 to help fund mini loans/grants to Hartsville businesses. The city also had a grant from Sonoco to help fund this campaign that eventually reached 38 businesses, making a positive financial and psychological impact on the business owners.

Another major grant in this fiscal year was $300,000 to help Butler Academy move from concept to reality. The grant amount was one year of a multi-year grant for the school.

The first payment of $100,000 on a three-year grant to start a nursing program at Coker University was paid during this time frame.

Cypress Adventures received a grant of $100,000 to assist with operations, and this was the second payment of a multi-year grant approved for Cypress Adventures.

The Main Street organization of the City of Hartsville had a grant of $10,000 that was to help businesses with signage and façade work and this grant helped support numerous projects in 2019-2020.

One of the grants that no one had envisioned prior to the beginning of the pandemic was to help distribute masks across the greater Hartsville area, Puffer said. The Byerly Foundation provided a grant to the city of Hartsville for $10,000 to help purchase masks. Several other organizations also worked to help fund this program.

The Darlington County Schools had to reorganize how they would deliver education to students during these pandemic times, and the Hartsville YMCA was awarded a grant of $10,000 to set up e-learning centers at the Y for those children part of their day-care operations.

The Hartsville Interfaith Ministries program to help families in financial emergencies was awarded $18,000 to help cover some of the dips in fund raising during the uncertainty of the pandemic.

The McLeod Medical Center Foundation was awarded $5,000 to assist with building up inventory in their Hope Food Pantry that aims to help cancer victims with fewer resources get more nutritious foods.

The Man2Man Fatherhood had been working to expand its program in the Hartsville area, and it received $102,000 to help build this program.

The foundation awarded the Center Theater Building Commission a grant of $19,000 to match some funding to complete a rebuild of the orchestra pit in the stage area of the Theater.

Black Creek Arts Council received a grant of $7,000 to help with the purchase of a new air conditioning unit for the building.

The Friends of the Library were awarded $980 to help fund a grant from a children’s librarian to enhance the Summer Reading programs at the Darlington County libraries.

Trees for Tomorrow was awarded $10,000 to help with the clean up and pruning of a number of trees in the Hartsville also to assist with purchase of new trees.

New fiscal year begins Oct. 1

The foundation meets the last Tuesday of every month, and the final meeting of the current fiscal year is Sept. 28 and will be held by zoom. Anyone with questions about the foundation can call the office at 843-383-2400 or email The foundation was formed in 1995 when the board of directors of the former Byerly Hospital made the decision to sell the hospital and put the assets from the sale into a private foundation to serve the greater Hartsville area.


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