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Foundation created for state Sen. Pinckney

  • Senators, including Sen. Joel Lourie, D-Richland, pay their respects to Jennifer Pinckney, the widow of Sen. Clementa Pinckney, and The Rev. Kylon Middleton after voting to pass the bill to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Pinckney and eight other black people were fatally shot June 17 during Bible study at a historic African-American church in Charleston. (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP)

COLUMBIA — The legacy of Jasper County’s slain state senator continues to grow.

To commemorate what would have been his 42nd birthday, the family of Clementa C. Pinckney has established a foundation in honor of the late pastor and South Carolina State Senator. 

Pinckney was one of the nine people murdered at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June. A professed white supremacist who sat among the worshippers for an hour before allegedly gunning them down may face the death penalty for the massacre.

“While the shock has started to dissipate, we are still in a state of deep grief,” said Jennifer Pinckney, the foundation’s Chair, in a news release Thursday. “But, we are answering God’s call to continue my husband’s work and that starts with establishing a charitable foundation in his honor.”

The Foundation was established by Jennifer Pinckney, Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington, and Rev. Kylon Jerome Middleton, a former high school principal and current AME pastor, who was Pinckney’s best friend.

“We are reaching out to those who have been raising money in Clem’s name in order to consolidate efforts," said Malloy, who served with Pinckney since 2002 and is helping the family in launching the official Pinckney Foundation.

“And on his birthday, we are thankful for your generous support as we begin to build a foundation that will become part of the Senator's legacy.”

According to the news release,  the Honorable Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation is designed to improve the quality of life for all South Carolina citizens by supporting religious, educational and charitable causes that the late Senator supported while serving as a leader in his church, community and the South Carolina Senate.  To donate, visit www.senatorpinckney.org.

Pinckney, a father of two daughters, earned a reputation as a staunch advocate for the state’s poorest residents. Among his efforts was an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to convince state leaders to accept the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Last month the McNair Law Firm approached the University of South Carolina Beaufort with an initial $25,000 donation and a proposal to create an endowed scholarship toward a baccalaureate degree at USCB for a Jasper County student.

USCB’s goal is to raise at least $100,000 for the scholarship fund to help deserving Jasper County residents achieve their potential by pursuing a baccalaureate degree at USCB, according to the announcement.

To contribute to the USCB fund, donations should be sent to: University of South Carolina Beaufort, Office for Development, One University Blvd., Bluffton, SC 29909. Check payable to the “University of South Carolina Education Foundation” and write “Senator Pinckney Scholarship Fund at USCB” on the check’s memo line. To make a credit card payment, call: (843) 208-8008. For more information regarding the fund, call: (843) 208-8242.

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