Tricentennial celebration enters its next phase

With the city of Beaufort's tricentennial approaching, one group is ramping up its effort to celebrate the big birthday, and another is concluding three years of community events.

The city kicked off a fundraiser Nov. 9 for a permanent monument in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort by asking 300 people to contribute $300 each in recognition of the city's 300th birthday Jan. 17. The money will go toward the monument and other tricentennial festivities planned as part of a yearlong celebration.

Corporate sponsorships of $500, $1,000 and more also are available.

The first contributors will be recognized Jan. 17 at a public birthday party in the park.

Beaufort 300 is an offshoot of the city's Tricentennial Committee, which plans other events, including a "Founders Night" on Dec. 31.

Not to be confused with those city-affiliated efforts, the Beaufort Three-Century Project is winding down three years of community activities in coming weeks.

Already, 4,000 to 5,000 people have been involved in the Beaufort Three-Century Project through various school and book projects, a lecture series, oral histories, participation in a Hunting Island lighthouse celebration, a tree symposium, the B3C Project's series of community forums, its design competition and a website hosted by The Beaufort Gazette.

The B3C Project will cease to exist after Jan. 17, but its legacy will endure -- not only in the archive of materials collected and produced during its three years, but also through its charitable successor, a fourth-century fund established through the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. The B3C Project is still accepting donations that will be used to seed that fund, which should help parlay an appreciation of the community's history into a means of brightening its future.

Both Beaufort 300 and the Beaufort Three-Century Project are worthy endeavors, and we urge all who can afford to do so to support the groups financially.