Beaufort kicked off a fundraiser Tuesday for a permanent monument in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park commemorating the city's first 300 years.
The "Beaufort 300" seeks 300 people to contribute $300 each in recognition of the city's 300th birthday on Jan. 17..
The money will go toward the tricentennial monument and other tricentennial festivities planned as part of a yearlong celebration.
During a brief event Tuesday at City Hall, Kevin Cuppia, chairman of the "Beaufort 300" project, gave Mayor Billy Keyserling a ceremonial first $300 check to jump-start the campaign.
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"Beaufort is a very giving community," Cuppia said after the event. "We're hoping people will want to give the $300 to memorialize history. ... We're excited to finally have it under way."
The city will add contributors' names to the monument, Cuppia said, and give donors a car decal with the "Beaufort 300" logo on it. The design for the monument has not been determined yet.
Corporate sponsorships of $500, $1,000 and more also are available, Cuppia said.
The first contributors will be recognized Jan. 17 at a public birthday party for Beaufort at the park.
"It's a very special way to commemorate Beaufort's 300 years of formal history and a way to put your family's name on the monument that we expect will stand for at least the next 100 years," Erin Dean, chairwoman of the Tricentennial Committee, said in a news release.
The Tricentennial Committee is planning events throughout 2011, including a "Founders' Night" on Dec. 31 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the park with music entertainment and fireworks, Dean said.
The Jan. 17 birthday party will feature music from the Parris Island Band of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and presentations on the city's history, among other events, Dean said.
A historical parade is planned for Sept. 17, she said.
Brochures about the Beaufort 300 project are available at City Hall and the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce and will be distributed soon to Beaufort-area merchants.