Prince's quarter million dollar contribution helping Midlands kids


    Music legend, Princes contribution continues to impact the Columbia community.

    COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - A contribution from music legend Prince continues to impact the Columbia community.

    The musician made an appearance at the Colonial Life Arena for a concert back in 2011, and after his performance he promised Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin a donation to a charity of his choice to help the community.

    Mayor Benjamin chose the Eau Claire Promise Zone. The contribution still continues to make an impact on young children in the capital city.

    Mary Myers has been working with a program that helps children in Columbia for three years.

    "They're going to be our future, we're not going to be here forever, children are exposed to a whole lot of things and so this program has given them a lot," Meyers said.

    The Go Forward After school center program is part of the Eau Claire Promise Zone.

    The Eau Claire Promise Zone is a citywide coalition of neighbors and community partners committed to doing "whatever it takes" to ensure all of our children in the Eau Claire Promise Zone graduate from high school, prepared to be successful in college, in their career, and in life.

    It's a project that was kick started in 2011 after a $250,000 donation from the icon Prince.

    The donation helped provide resources like books, art supplies and furniture.

    Myers and a team of Midlands Technical College students teach kids in the Gable Oaks community.

    The classes have anywhere from 10 kids to more than 40 with kids ages two to 18.

    The classes help students with life skills like sewing, ironing clothes and dancing.

    Myers also teaches Bible lessons to the kids.

    Due to health reasons, Mary Myers has to step down from her position with the program.

    However, she says she hopes her lessons have lasting effects on the children in her classes.


    Friday, Mayor Steve Benjamin with the City of Columbia saying:

    "We used Prince's concert stop in Columbia as an opportunity to recognize & celebrate John Blackwell's success as Prince's world class drummer with a great celebration & a Key to the City awarded to him at WJ Keenan High School. I believe that Prince was touched by our pride in John's success and he indicated to his staff that he wanted to leave a gift to a charity of my choosing in Columbia & he then directed that $250,000 be donated to the Eau Claire Promise Zone as he was a huge fan and supporter of the Harlem Children's Zone. We remain humbled by the generosity of this incredibly gifted artist."

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