For decades, the Jackson Family has been giving back to the Grand Strand area. Instead of starting their own private family foundation, they decided to work with the Waccamaw Community Foundation and establish the Jackson Family Donor Advised Fund in 1999. They are one of the original families to help found the Waccamaw Community Foundation 15 years ago. As we celebrate our 15th anniversary this year, we felt it was appropriate to thank and recognize one of our leading founding families.
With deep roots in the Conway and Grand Strand communities, the Jackson Family has always made giving back a priority in both life and in business. This legacy of giving began with the Jackson patriarchs, Mary Emily Platt Jackson and Nelson Jackson, II, who founded Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach in 1971.
Since that time, the family has built The Jackson Companies into a diverse business enterprise comprised of Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Prestwick Golf & Country Club, Ocean Lakes Properties, Sunway Charters and Tours, Crystal Lake Mobile Home Village, Ocean Lakes RV Center and the master planned development SayeBrook. Several divisions of The Jackson Companies have been recognized nationally in both the golf and camping industries. The family-owned business makes an economic impact on the Grand Strand area as well. They provide jobs for over 250 employees year-round and another 250 in the peak season. They were recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in South Carolina” in 2006.
Mr. and Mrs. Jackson were very active in the Conway and Myrtle Beach communities and served on numerous civic boards and organizations. They were married for 67 years and had five daughters. They passed on their strong community values and legacy of giving to their family.
Today all five of the family’s sisters – Rachel Jackson Gandy, Laura Jackson Hoy, Jeanne Jackson Mize, Mary Emily Jackson Vallarino and Kathryn Jackson Williamson – serve on the fund’s advisory committee. They recommend grant recipients each year in various charitable areas, with particular attention to education, health, arts and culture, religious organizations and local community programs. The Jackson family members continue to be active business leaders, philanthropists and public servants. They truly make a difference in our community. Some donors choose to support only one or two organizations each year. The Jackson Family has supported over 100 organizations throughout the years.
One of their most notable projects was the establishment of the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values at Coastal Carolina University in honor and in memory of their parents. The primary focus of the Center is to cultivate awareness of the importance and lifelong rewards of personal and professional integrity. The Center is made up of four main focus areas, including: The Jackson Scholars Program for selected CCU students who exhibit leadership and interest in ethical living; The Jackson Junior Scholars wherein sixth graders from local middle schools participate in a Spring Ethics Academy on campus; The Jackson Visiting Ethics Lecture Series which funds a nationally renowned Ethics scholar’s visit to campus to present a lecture for the students, faculty and the public; and The Jackson Resource Center which offers ethics-based seminars and programs that are free and open to students and the public. These explore the impact of ethics on daily life.
The family hopes that their successful philanthropy can be an example to other families and businesses in the region by showing how easy it is for them to give back as well. They want to encourage others in the community to make the Grand Strand area a better place to live by giving through the Waccamaw Community Foundation.
“We plan to involve our children and grandchildren in future grant-making decisions so they learn the value of philanthropy, giving back, and taking an active role in the community in which we live,” said Laura Jackson Hoy, who also has served on the Board of Directors for the Waccamaw Community Foundation. There’s no doubt the Jackson family legacy will continue to make a difference for many generations to come.
The Waccamaw Community Foundation is honored to work with the Jackson Family to build their philanthropic legacy. To learn more about establishing your family’s endowment to benefit causes you care about, visit waccamawcf.org or contact us at (843) 357-4483.
Posted March 6, 2015 by WCF.