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Local Artist Partners with Auto Dealer to Benefit Red Cross

Myrtle Beach, S.C., Friday, December 6, 2013 – An iconic painting of the Myrtle Beach strand could eventually benefit hundreds, if not thousands, of people struck by disaster.

Vic Gillespie, a resident of Little River, recently completed a painting commissioned by Freddie Hyatt that will be reproduced and sold as part of an annual fund-raising project for the Coastal South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The 2014 Heroes campaign officially gets underway this month, with the sale of 240 signed numbered 26-by-13 inch prints of Gillespie’s artwork.

“I was quite taken back by Vic’s generous offer and by Freddie Hyatt, who commissioned it,” said Nanci Conley, executive director of the chapter. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the Red Cross. The painting is a wonderful blend of what’s so important to us on the Grand Strand. It also serves as a reminder that the Red Cross is always here to help.”

The painting depicts a typical summer day on the beach with the SkyWheel and 14th Avenue Pier serving as a familiar backdrop. A plane trails a banner for the “Heroes Campaign,” a committee that raises funds to support Red Cross services in our community.

“The Pavilion used to be the big thing but it’s gone,” said Gillespie, a successful artist for more than 44 years. “Now, the beautiful boardwalk and SkyWheel have become the focal point for the beach and I tried to capture them in this painting. I think many people who live in Myrtle Beach or visit it will identify with this painting.”

Two hundred forty of the prints will be sold for $100 each. Ten have been reserved for sale as “remarques” prints, on which Gillespie will add something personal to the scene for a one-of-a-kind artwork. Those will sell for $500 each.

“If you want you or your family pictured on the print, I will do this as part of the package,” said the artist.

Proceeds go directly to the American Red Cross Coastal Carolina chapter, which serves Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties part of the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross.

Gillespie believes strongly in giving back to his community. He has done similar projects for the Boy Scouts of America, Hospice and the American Heart Association.

“God gave me the talent but it’s the people who buy these painting and prints who are the real heroes,” he said. “The Red Cross does so much that people just take for granted. For example, the Red Cross was at the Georgetown fire helping folks out. There are a whole lot of people who give in this country, and there’s a whole lot of them who could give more. I’m excited to be part of this project.”

The Heroes Campaign is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Coastal SC chapter, which provides services to help residents prevent, prepare and respond to disasters. They work with an average of one local military family a day providing critical contact and communication services, especially important in times of crisis.

Last year, the chapter used funds raised to:

  • Provide housing and help for 749 local people who lost their homes to fire
  • Emergency messages to 481 local members of the armed forces and their families
  • Assist local military families and military retirees through outreach services
  • Educate 15,160 community members in how to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters
  • Purchase Christmas gifts to 42 children who were victims of fire damage during the year
  • Provide information and referral services to 1,447 residents
  • The prints will be on display and available for purchase during business hours at:

  • South Atlantic Bank offices, Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet
  • Hyatt Buick GMC, Myrtle Beach
  • Boulineau’s IGA, North Myrtle Beach
  • American Red Cross Chapter , Myrtle Beach
  • Waccamaw Publishing, Conway
  • They will also be available at the dates and locations below:

    Dec. 7 | 2-8 p.m.; Grand 14 at The Market Common

    Dec. 13 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Myrtle Beach Mall

    Dec. 14 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Myrtle Beach Mall

    Dec. 20 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Coastal Grand Mall

    Dec. 21 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Coastal Grand Mall

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit