Lowcountry Strong: Restaurant owners donate generous tip to nonprofit

Updated: Mar. 30, 2020 at 4:37 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Restaurants are continuing to feel the impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

While we are seeing the struggles of restaurants having to close their dine-in portion, we are also seeing the supportive response from the community.

McConkey’s Jungle Shack on Edisto Island is taking that generosity an extra step.

“We’ve been pretty busy with to-go orders,” Jennie Smith, the co-owner of McConkey’s, said. “The community has made a point to come out and support the restaurants and certainly have supported us.”

And the generosity reached a new level last week when a couple gave a tip that left those in the restaurant speechless.

“A couple came up and they handed me an envelope that said, ‘Thank You for All You Do,’” Priscilla Padgett, the other co-owner of McConkey’s, said. “I didn’t know what it was. I opened it up and saw that it was $1,000 and I was just stunned.”

But, because McConkey’s is doing okay right now financially, Smith and Padgett decided it was a gift they wanted to pass on.

“I wanted to keep it on Edisto,” Smith said. “The group that we awarded it to, the Edisto Island Youth Recreation, they always have a need for extra funding.”

“It’s just incredibly humbling,” Jack DiLuna, a volunteer with EIYR, said. “The first thing that went through my mind was why would you do this because restaurants and businesses are hurting so much.”

DiLuna said there are about 60 kids involved in their sports programs. But, right now, everything has been ground to a halt.

“We have a great track program that we’ve had to curtail but some of the kids are running up and down the road trying to keep themselves in shape a little bit,” DiLuna added. “So they’re doing okay. They’re hanging there.”

Smith said they chose the EIYR program because it’s the only way kids in this area are able to participate in any sports.

“There are no Charleston County or Colleton County parks on this island,” Smith said. “The nearest park I believe is about a 40 minute drive from here.”

And those with the program can’t wait to hit the ground running again soon.

DiLuna said the entire $1,000 will be going directly toward the program.

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