Community

Hilton Head girl donated savings to charity before her death. Now they’re honoring her

Community members release flowers at The Folly in remembrance of Charli Bobinchuck

Members of the Hilton Head Island community carried flowers to The Folly on Wednesday to celebrate the life of 11-year-old girl who died after being hit by a car on William Hilton Parkway. The flower release followed a celebration of life ceremony.
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Members of the Hilton Head Island community carried flowers to The Folly on Wednesday to celebrate the life of 11-year-old girl who died after being hit by a car on William Hilton Parkway. The flower release followed a celebration of life ceremony.

Charli Bobinchuck is remembered by her friends and family as an animal-loving girl who always thought about others. Now, she’ll be remembered by anyone who visits the Yacht Cove neighborhood on Hilton Head Island.

On Thursday, a small statue was placed in Yacht Cove to honor Charli, who was killed last June when she was struck by a car while crossing U.S. 278.

The memorial, donated by the Wexford Plantation Charitable Foundation, represents Charli’s spirit of giving back.

In 2016, Charli saved up her money over the summer and wanted to donate it, her mother, Daisy, told The Island Packet. After shopping around for local uses for her money, she donated her hard-earned $300 to the Wexford Plantation Charitable Foundation.

“We just thought that was amazing,” secretary and trustee of the foundation Andi Purple said. “It’s just the money that she earned and for a 9-year-old, that’s huge amount.”

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A rendering of the statue placed in Yacht Cove to honor Charli Bobinchuck, an 11-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a car on U.S. 278 in June 2018. Moonlight Productions Wexford Plantation Charitable Foundation.

Daisy Bobinhuck saw the statue that honors her daughter for the first time Thursday. It will stand in the park where she holds her Charli’s Critters shows — near a bench Yacht Cove neighbors donated last year.

“I am honored that Charli touches so many people,” Daisy said. “Charli is loved and remembered by people of all ages and literally from around the world ... The stories and memories and gestures are healing to me.”

Purple said the money Charli donated went toward grant programs that support local education organizations, homelessness prevention and hunger prevention efforts.

Hilton Head crosswalk safety and lighting

Charli’s death sparked an island-wide conversation about crosswalk safety and lighting in a place that values its darkness.

Is a pedestrian is required to only enter a crosswalk when it is safe to do so? That's one of the important rules of the road guiding the interaction of vehicles and pedestrians that we cover in this video.

Since June, Charli’s father, Bryan, has approached Town Council members about installing flashing crosswalk signs and overhead lighting. His presentations have been met with both praise from council members and concern about lighting on the island from members of the public.

Originally, town leaders stopped short of streetlights and implemented pavement markings that read “PED XING” as well as reflective tape on the crosswalk signs at the Yacht Cove intersection.

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Town of Hilton Head Island

Those crosswalk improvements are now being installed at 11 crossings of U.S. 278 that don’t have signals, starting at Wexford Plantation and ending at Wild Horse Road on the north end, according to town engineer Jeff Buckalew.

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Town of Hilton Head Island

In January, council approved an overhead lighting plan that would match the brown traffic light mast arms that hang over the city’s intersections.

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Hilton Head’s design review board suggested that crosswalk lighting match the style of traffic signal mast arms on the island, like this one from 2009.

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Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.


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