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Employees Support Eli Collins Foundation

Employees Support Eli Collins Foundation

(Conway, SC) 05/19/2023

a check is presented to a woman holding a baby

Kari Royals (right), HGTC Administrative Assistant for Academic and Workforce Development, presents $1,490 check to Selena Tisdale (left), Director for The Eli Foundation. Professor Rachel Fowler (center) and her son, Colt, join in the presentation.

Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) employees recently demonstrated support for the Eli Collins Foundation for Premature Babies. The HGTC Academic and Workforce Development Division hosts a “blue jeans week” fundraiser twice a year. The spring fundraiser raised money and collected many items for the Eli Collins Foundation and its efforts in providing support, encouragement, awareness, and resources for families of premature babies.

Dr. Rachel Fowler, HGTC Biological Science Professor knows firsthand the profound impact the Eli Collins Foundation can have on parents of a premature baby in this area. Her son, Colt, was born weighing only two (2) pounds eight (8) ounces and stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for 61 days. She recalls the difference made in her life during that time.

“While Colt was in the hospital, we had to drive back and forth to Florence every day. The entire NICU journey was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, mentally draining and physically isolating during the pandemic. An unexpected glimpse of hope and sense of normalcy came in the form of a Mother’s Day gift from the Eli Collins Foundation,” said Professor Fowler.

HGTC employees presented a $1,490.00 check for the cause. Accepting the check on behalf of The Eli Collins Foundation was Selena Tisdale, Director.

“I am very proud of the efforts of HGTC employees donating in support of The Eli Collins Foundation. Our faculty and staff genuinely care about the community HGTC serves and always look forward to supporting local charities in the area during fundraisers like this,” said Dr. Jennifer Wilbanks, HGTC Executive Vice President for Academic and Workforce Development.

The Eli Collins Foundation for Premature Babies is an established 501(c)3 charitable non-profit entity in the State of South Carolina. Preterm births are the second leading cause (35.8%) of infant deaths and nearly 14,000 preterm births occur weekly in the United States. South Carolina has a two percent higher preterm birthrate than the national average (10.5%). The risk of preterm birth increases based on an individual’s age and ethnicity. Infants admitted to the NICU stay on average 14 days, with their stay varying based upon gestational age and illness’ severity. An average day in the NICU costs $7,500.

“My family and many other South Carolina NICU families have been positively affected by the generosity of this wonderful foundation. The HGTC donation will directly impact a multitude of South Carolina preemie families, just like mine,” continued Professor Fowler.