The Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry

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Local Atheist Group Wins Top Charity Award

Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry and Camp Quest South Carolina Raise Funds to Fight Cancer

Charleston, SC, January 25, 2013: The Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry (SHL), along with Camp Quest South Carolina (CQSC), raised $7400 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) this year through the society's popular Light The Night Walk fundraising program. On January 22, 2013, the SHL/CQSC was named top corporate fundraising team in the Lowcountry.

"We believe we have this one life, and so this cause was very important to us," said Amy Monsky, SHL president and local Light The Night team leader. "We were very happy to do our part to improve the quality of life for others and to reduce suffering by helping to advance scientific research and education. I am proud of our group and the outpouring of support shown by our members."

SHL/CQSC was among 140 atheist groups in more than 30 states and 90 cities raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) this year through its popular Light The Night Walk fundraising program. SHL, a Charleston-based non-profit organization, was founded in 1994 to promote a nontheistic, human-centered viewpoint as a valid contribution to public discourse and to advocate for the First Amendment guarantee of separation of state and church. Camp Quest South Carolina is a residential summer camp geared toward children from atheist, humanist, and other freethinking families.

Charleston's Light The Night Walk occurred on November 1, 2012 at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. Seventeen men, women, and children from SHL/CQSC attended the walk, and many others in those organizations contributed financially to the success of the team.

SHL chooses four charities a year to support the local community. The organization passes the plate, so to speak, to its members, collecting donations which are then forwarded to the recipient. The Light the Night fundraiser was SHL's Charity of the Quarter in September and October 2012.

SHL/CQSC's local team was part of a larger nationwide effort organized by Foundation Beyond Belief, a nonprofit that encourages philanthropy among nontheists.

"This is one of the biggest giving efforts of its kind in the history of our movement," said humanist philanthropist Todd Stiefel, of Raleigh, N.C. "Our goal is to improve the lives of countless cancer patients and their families, while demonstrating that freethinkers are a legitimate force for good in the world." Stiefel and his family pledged to match dollar-for-dollar the first $500,000 raised by the Foundation Beyond Belief Light The Night initiative. The effort has raised more than $400,000 so far. SHL/CQSC's $7400 includes the Stiefel match. All proceeds from the Light The Night Walk go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

"The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is incredibly appreciative that Foundation Beyond Belief has chosen to support our efforts to beat blood cancer, and has set such a generous goal," said Nancy L. Klein, LLS chief marketing and revenue officer. "We look forward to having their teams join our walks."

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