This month, Grand Strand Happening is profiling Kathy Foxworth-Garrell, the President at LITUS Properties and President/Executive Director of Katie’s Project. The mission of Katie’s Project, a 501© (3) is to enhance the self worth and esteem of underprivileged youth by providing support in attending milestone social events and opportunities for positive development. The focus is making sure every student has the proper dress they need to attend special school functions.
GSH: Kathy, what drives you?
KG: I think I am very compassionate person. I am also hard headed. If I get something in my head I go with it.
GSH: Why Katie’s Project?
KG: Before Katie’s Project I supported the Heart Ball and the American Heart Association because of my grandmother. When I read about the class project and learned what a great need there was in the community for formal wear, I asked to meet with Katie Rhoden and her parents. I wanted to carry on what she started because she was ready to go to college. Personally never having been in that position I did not know there were so many students who could not go to their prom and I wanted to support them financially as well as mentally. I made Katie’s Project a nonprofit and my team and I have grown it to what it is now.
GSH: How did you first find out about the project?
KG: I read about in the Sun News that Katie Rhoden was taking donations for the St. James High School prom as part of her high school senior project and I donated 21 dresses out of my closet.
GSH: How do you keep those people around you as motivated as you are?
KG: I think it’s all about the team seeing what it does for the kids. Those that come to the prom boutique to help and hear how excited they are speak volumes. People say it is just a prom dress; there are things that are more important but some of the families have to decide between eating and a dress. It is not about the dress but about self esteem. Most of the kids that are beneficiaries of the dresses give back and donate their time: they re-donate the dress, come on as an advisory member or give time in other ways.
GSH: You are doing a new event with House of Blues this year. What was the idea behind that?
KG: We were looking for a spring event and decided to hold a 2nd Chance Prom on March 7. It is for everyone who did not go to their own prom, went and had a fabulous time and everyone in between who wants to have a great time and support Katie’s Project. We will continue to hold a spring event but change the theme yearly.
GSH: What can we expect from Mr. Myrtle Beach this year?
KG: Ahhh! We never know. We added the swim suits last year and just want to make it bigger and better. We are always in need of donations of money or gowns or tuxedos. We are so thankful to have the continued support of the community.
For information on how to be a sponsor or buy tickets, go to 2nd Chance Prom.
Do you know a person or organization that is “Making it Happen”? We want to hear about them! Submit their stories here. We’ll pick one charities and missions from communities across the country to highlight.