Sat, March 02, 2024

Local charity receives an extra-large check from merchants association

Reynold Borseth, president of the Merchants Association of Columbia County, presented a $150,000 check to Betts Murdison with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta. They’re pictured here with other local business leaders (Photo courtesy of Steve Johnston).

Last year, the Merchants Association of Columbia County presented a check for $50,000 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta. Yesterday, they have tripled that donation.

The local Ronald McDonald House – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that aims to help families of children with serious illnesses – just received a check for $150,000, according to Steve Johnston, owner of Team 1 Advertising and Marketing and a long-time member of the Merchants Association. The Association’s “whole purpose is to help local organizations,” says Johnston. “We donate to a lot of fine community organizations,” including Safe Homes, the Lydia Project, and the Martinez-Evans Little League. This donation comes from part of the proceeds from the county’s Spring Fair, which was held April 24 through May 2.


Founded in 1962, the Merchants Association is made up of a group of local business leaders who volunteer their time to support the community. Johnston says the organization’s largest fundraiser is the county’s annual fair, but they also provide scholarships for seniors at the five Columbia County high schools and sponsor the Miss Columbia County Fair Pageant each fall. The Association also sponsors the annual Martinez-Evans Christmas Parade, which is “our gift to the community,” he explains. The organization’s corporate sponsors include Coca-Cola, Textron, and Waste Management.

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