Skip to content

Greater Chapin Community Foundation Donates to Lake Murray Power Squadron

*Blog post by Brandon Liles, GCCF board member*

The day after Christmas I was fortunate enough to meet Ray “RJ” Becht, Mike Starewicz and McLean Sims to get a tour of the Lake Murray Power Squadron Facility, get a better understanding how their organization gives back to the local community/Lake Murray as well view the enhancements to their building as a result of Greater Chapin Community Foundation’s $1,700 donation to their organization.

During my visit, I learned that the Lake Murray Power Squadron (LMPS) has been providing Lake Murray and our surrounding communities with Certified Boating Safety Classes, community service/outreach, and local EMS support for over 50 years! All of their members are volunteers who perform all of the maintenance and location correction for all the reference lights and day markers located on Lake Murray. If you are familiar with boating on Lake Murray, you should be well aware of the day markers and the night time navigation beacons strategically located on and around the lake. The volunteers at the Lake Murray Power Squadron ensure that all of these lights are maintained and fully operational! RJ explained that their volunteers are in the process of upgrading all of the marker lights on Lake Murray with LED bulbs.

LMPS is also proud to host a “Fun Day at the Lake” for the kids from Thornwell Home for Children. This function hosts 100 children and sponsors from the home and features lunch, swimming, kayaks, paddleboats, and boat rides.

In addition, GCCF also serves the following nonprofit organizations:

  • Freedom Hope Foundation – supporting children with Life-threatening diseases along with supportive therapy for both Active and Inactive Veterans
  • Security for the Dam Swim for Drew
  • Security for the Lake Murray Paddleboard Classic supporting Special Olympics

GCCF also provides access to our Home Port for the following services.

  • Lexington/Richland County City EMS Training water exercises
  • Lexington/Richland County Water Rescue Exercise
  • Lexington/Richland County Fire Rescue
  • DNR Water Rescue Exercise/Training
  • Helipad for Life Flight Lake Rescue
  • Life Jacket Loaner Station

These organizations use the facilities at Flotilla Island at no cost.  As a result, the facilities at Flotilla need ongoing maintenance and upkeep.  As you can see, GCCF is an important part of our success and support of our Lake Community. We have an open-door policy and Members of GCCF are welcome to take part in any of our functions on the Lake or at our Home Port.

This past year, Greater Chapin Community Foundation donated $1,700 to Lake Murray Power Squadron to have new shingles installed on their building at Flotilla Island. During my visit, I learned that their building was actually donated by Ft. Jackson many years ago and had recently started to show signs of wear and tear common to a building that dates back to WWII. In 2019 the members of LMPS had to have a new septic system installed, new foundation on one side of the building and a new roofing shingles installed! While these repairs were needed, they certainly do not represent all of the items left to maintain or upgrade their facility however it is a huge step in the right direction.

There is no doubt in my mind that the volunteers at Lake Murray Power Squadron are having a significant impact on our local community and especially on the boating community that enjoys Lake Murray. Many thanks to RJ, Mike, and McLean for their time and information.

Greater Chapin Community Foundation’s goal is to grow philanthropy in the Greater Chapin area. GCCF currently has an endowment with $500,000 of invested funds and has awarded over $120,000 to local nonprofit organizations since 2003. Greater Chapin Community Foundation seeks donations to grow the endowment. Each year, GCCF donates all of the proceeds generated from the funds invested in the endowment. GCCF actively encourages donations to enhance and grow the endowment. You can make a secure gift online or contact one of the board members to discuss other methods of philanthropy.