By Paul Gable
For the past five years, Bubba Owens has donated his time and money to give a helping hand to those in dire need.
Owens organizes and directs charity events to raise money to help people through very hard times.
“About five years ago, several people approached me about someone with cancer and no insurance to sponsor an event to raise money to help with the medical bills,” said Owens.
A businessman in the south end of Myrtle Beach for many years, Owens called on his many contacts to help with the event.
“We were fairly successful with the first event and I liked the feeling I got from helping someone in real need,” Owens said.
Owens said he has run approximately 25 events in the past five years raising a total of approximately $250,000. The beneficiaries have included a family who lost their home to fire, cancer patients and others with serious medical problems and trust funds for small children who have lost parents.
The events include an auction of items such as chartered fishing trips, tickets to pro sports events, sports memorabilia, arcade games, gift baskets and much more. There are also raffles and food items that raise additional money.
All the items are donated by local businesses and individuals.
“As soon as the event is over, we give all the money we raise directly to the person or family we are helping,” Owens said.
Last Saturday, Owens held his latest event at Rascal’s Tavern in Conway to benefit Karen Lynn James who suffers from nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) liver disease. James will undergo a liver transplant soon and the money raised will help pay the post operational costs associated with transplant surgery recovery and the need to live near the hospital for three months after the procedure.
Owens was able to present James with $17,705 at the end of last Saturday’s event.
“It was a great event and one of the largest moneyraisers we have had,” said Owens. “I’m happy we were able to help a really great person.”
Owens said people come to him all the time now, but the situation has to be very serious before he considers it.
“We don’t help people pay their electric bills or things like that.” said Owens. “The problem has to be serious. We have a group of volunteers, myself included, who help run each event now. We enjoy helping those who are really up against it.”