Aunt Pearlie Sue needs help.
A fundraiser is to be held this Friday night to keep her from being evicted from her family home in Beaufort’s Northwest Quadrant.
Aunt Pearlie Sue is the stage name for Anita Singleton-Prather, a Gullah storyteller and founder of the Gullah Kinfolk musical and comedy ensemble.
She has won the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award from the state of South Carolina, and next week is to perform at the United Nations.
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But she has hesitantly gone public recently with a dire financial problem that could cost her the home she was reared in and that has sheltered five generations of her family.
Here’s what she says happened:
Sixteen years ago, an outfit from Charleston came by selling home renovations. She agreed to install energy-saving windows and siding. She was guided to a financing plan, and she borrrowed $19,000 at 14.99 percent interest. She has paid $40,000 on the debt, but has fallen behind and the lender says the home will foreclosed and sold in October. She was told that through the end of this month, the cost to halt the foreclosure would be $19,000 and the cost to pay off the loan in full would be $39,000.
The goal of the fundraiser is $19,000. A Go Fund Me page also has been set up on the internet.
“I did not want to do this,” Prather-Singleton said. “People try to fight their battles privately. But now I am hearing from many people who have faced the same thing from predatory lenders.”
She said the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce helped her find a way to take care of her first mortgage, and is helping with the fundraiser.
The fundraiser location has been changed from the Grand Army of the Republic Hall to Penn Center.
Here are the details:
“Old Fashion Rent Party … No Foreclosure Party” will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at Frisell Hall at Penn Center on St. Helena Island. Donations are $100.
The evening includes music by Phil Griffin and Jan Spencer, a silent auction, appetizers, a Gullah soul food buffet, and a live performance and comedy with Aunt Pearlie Sue & Gullah Kinfolk.
Call the Black Chamber of Commerce at 843-986-1102 for tickets and reservations.