The Exchange Club of Charleston, SC

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  The first local Exchange Club was formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1911. Charles A. Berkey is the man who is credited with the founding of this great organization. The second was the Exchange Club of Toledo, Ohio formed in 1913. Subsequently, two others were organized in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio. These four clubs were the first to be chartered by The National Exchange Club after it was organized as a nonprofit, educational organization in 1917. Since then hundreds of clubs have been chartered in the United States and Puerto Rico. The National Exchange Club headquarters is located in Toledo, Ohio. Our chief objective is to help Exchange Clubs realize their full potential of community service.

 

* The Exchange Club of Charleston, SC was organized in November 1923, and chartered on April 15, 1924. The Club started with 32 memberrs, and now has over 250 members, making us the nation's largest Exchange Club. In the mid-1950's, the Club began searching for a community service project which could be a fundraiser to finance other community service events and projects. After purchasing the Charleston County Agricultural and Industrial Fair, the Exchange Club Fair began in 1957.In 1970 the Club purchased a facility on the corner of Calhoun Street and Ashley Avenue for use by the Charleston Chapter of the American Cancer Society to provide overnight accommodations for cancer patients and their families while receiving cancer treatment at local hospitals. In 1982 the Club donated the facility to the local cancer chapter. Since its meager beginnings in 1957, Fair proceeds have funded over $10 million dollars for the Club's community service projects and cash grants to other charitable organizations.

* The funds we raise enable us to help many people--the elderly, the young, the poor, inexperienced parents, abused and neglected children. Profits derived from the operation of the Fair are used exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Our Program of Service impacts the lives of hundreds of people within our community, benefitting them in many ways, such as the following: Child Abuse Prevention, Americanism, Community Service, and Youth Programs.