YEScarolina Sells Out Annual Gala to Benefit Youth Entrepreneurship

YEScarolina’s sold out 8th Annual Gala took place at the Gaillard Center on October 19th, 2017. 


2017 Student Entrepreneurs of the Year. Photography by Pat Black Visuals

The YEScarolina 8th Annual Gala was held the evening of Thursday, October 19th at the Gaillard Center. This is the organization’s biggest fundraiser to benefit YEScarolina’s mission to empower South Carolina’s youth through entrepreneurship. This year’s Cuban affair recognized teachers and students from across the state, featured a Student Business Showcase, a live and silent auction, entertainment provided by the Emerald Empire Band, and a formal dinner by the Gaillard Award winning Chef Frank S. Halasz. Appetizers were sponsored by the world-renowned Hall Management Group, and a beautiful apple pie dessert was provided by the talented Pastry Chef Cynthia Wong of Butcher & Bee.

YEScarolina awarded the inaugural Jimmy Bailey Scholarship to recent Summerville High School graduate David Nieto. This scholarship is awarded to a student that demonstrates the determined, caring, and passionate spirit that Jimmy Bailey encompasses as the founder of YEScarolina.

Earlier this month, Olivia Crosby, an 8th grader at Cario Middle School, was chosen as this year’s Ronald L. Motley Memorial “Big Heart” Award recipient, and was presented with her $1,000 award that evening, sponsored by Paul Hulsey. While suffering from a brain tumor in 2014, Crosby spent a lot of time at MUSC’s Children’s Hospital. To help kids like herself through their experiences in and out of the hospital, Crosby founded Next Step with her business partner Maya Khaskhely, a company that sells stress balls, slime, and animal stress balls. So far, Next Step has donated over $500 of their proceeds back to MUSC.

Fort Dorchester High School’s Maria Williams and Wando High School’s Colin Posnanski were also recognized as Entrepreneurship Teacher and Student of the Year, respectively. Teacher of the Year Award was sponsored by the Atlantic Coast Advisory Group. Along with Posnanski and Crosby, eight other student entrepreneurs were in attendance and recognized, courtesy of the Student Awards Sponsor, Advantage Media Group / Forbes Books.

This was YEScarolina’s primary fundraiser of the year, with many respected business owners and leading entrepreneurs in attendance. Funds raised at the gala benefit YEScarolina, enabling this local 501c3 nonprofit organization to provide entrepreneurship training to South Carolina teachers and empower students throughout the state with a meaningful and experiential entrepreneurship education that is relevant to the real world.

Blackbaud, King Street Hospitality Group, Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union, Paul Hulsey, Steve Swanson, Hall Management Group, PDA, Eventworks, Coastal Creations, Lee Distributors, TD Bank, Auburn James Winery, Vertical Bridge, Gwynn’s of Mt. Pleasant, Rafa Distributing & Butcher & Bee Charleston.

See more photos of the Havana Nights Gala here.