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Editorial: Foundation keeps Pinckney's name alive

  • Tracy Glantz/The State via AP The Rev. Kylon Middleton comforts Jennifer Pinckney, the widow of Sen. Clementa Pinckney, in the Senate Chambers in Columbia in July. In Pinckney’s honor, his family established the Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation, which plans to back South Carolina charitable causes that Pinckney supported.

We remember the sorrow that filled Turpin Park the night after Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s death, but we also remember the hope that Pinckney’s death would inspire goodwill throughout the county and the state.

We remember probate judge Buster Kleckley looking out at the 150 people at the park and being heartened by what he saw: a mix of grieving faces who wanted to keep alive Pinckney’s name and ambitions.

Last Thursday, July 30, would have been Pinckney’s 42nd birthday. In Pinckney’s honor, his family commemorated the day by establishing the Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation, which plans to back South Carolina charitable causes that Pinckney supported.

Established by Jennifer Pinckney, Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington, and Pinckney’s best friend Rev. Kylon Jerome Middleton, the foundation will ensure Pinckney’s goal of helping others — especially those in poorer areas — remains alive.

It is fitting that the family started a charity since Pinckney was named after former Pittsburgh Pirates star and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, who on New Year’s Eve in 1972 was killed in a plane crash. The plane was carrying supplies to the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. Clemente was 38.

Months later, Sen. Pinckney was born. His mother named her son after the baseball hero and philanthropist.

Her son went on to rise to the Statehouse in Columbia, seeking to help the disadvantaged.

Pinckney was among nine parishioners killed in June at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. His death stunned the nation, but it did not end his efforts. His family is making sure Pinckney’s name lives on and his objectives are met.

A foundation in his honor is an appropriate way to continue the Jasper County senator’s work.

 

 

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