Witches’ Night raises donation funds for kids


Photo by Sazie Eagan

Community members of all ages came out to the Marshwalk for Witches’ Night.

Community members dressed as witches gathered at the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet to raise money for the Children’s Recovery Center (CRC) on Oct. 8. 

The Grand Strand Witches’ Night is an annual fundraiser for local charities, but also a reason to get into the spirit of Halloween by enjoying live music, food and ghost stories.  

Amanda Hynes, a volunteer fundraiser for the CRC located in Myrtle Beach, launched the event in 2015. They collaborated with Help 4 Kids when the event started, which is a volunteer organization that supplies food for public schools in Florence County. The Witches’ Night originally planned to alternate charities to collaborate with each year, but Hynes said CRC is her favorite organization. 

Hynes said the organization serves about 300 to 500 families and sexually abused children a year from Horry and Georgetown counties. 

“They are so underfunded and in demand,” Hynes said. “Which is sad and horrible. But they do such amazing work that it is really important they receive support.” 

The idea for Witches’ Night started with a group of mothers who enjoyed dressing up and taking a stroll along the Marshwalk as a pre-Halloween festivity. Hynes said the local restaurants and locals began to recognize them. She said she saw this as an opportunity to support local charities. 

This year, the “witches” raised a total of $12,861, which exceeded the previous years’ record of $11,000.   

The funds are raised by selling wristbands, beer koozies and raffle tickets. The wristbands provide discounts at restaurants throughout the Grand Strand for the following week. Hynes said the restaurants help by offering incentives for people to donate.  

Coastal Carolina University Student Maddie Maddox said she had friends and family in town and as a newly transferred student, and she wanted to try everything out and find new things to do. 

“I had no idea the Marshwalk was here. I have come to Murrells Inlet a lot, but this is totally different. It’s great. I love it,” Maddox said. 

Corporate sponsors such as WEC Properties, Coastal Concierge Medicine, and Miss Chris’ Inlet Walking Tour made direct donations to the Witches’ Night event. 

“A lot of people have worked hard to make this event happen,” Hynes said.  

Christine Vernon, known as “Miss Chris,” started the Inlet Walking Tour about five years ago.  

“I came out one night and thought it was a fabulous charity to be a part of,” Vernon said. “I told Amanda I would absolutely love to donate the money from one of my ghost tours to the Children’s Recovery Center.” 

Vernon said she was inspired to create this ghost tour because she and her husband would walk down the Marshwalk and notice many people glued to their phones. She said she wanted to encourage them to look up and appreciate the beauty and history of Murrells Inlet.  

The tour is an hour long, and she covers some history, ghost stories, and legends that date back to the 1500s up to today. Locals and tourists alike often think Murrells Inlet is simply a fishing village, and Vernon said the history is always a big surprise to attendees.   

Her tour on Witches’ Night sold out and she had about 50 people in attendance. All proceeds went directly to CRC. Her ghost tour will be available through November at the Marshwalk. 

Summer Hakoun’s said this was the first Witches’ Night event she had attended. She said she will be returning next year. 

“It’s festive. Everyone is happy and we’re just celebrating life,” Hakoun said. 

To learn more about the Children’s Recovery Center can visit their website at childrensrecoverycenter.org.