By Bob Sofaly
More than a dozen families from Bluffton to Beaufort teamed up during the eighth annual Friends of Hunting Island Sand Sculpture contest held Saturday, June 18, at Hunting Island State Park.
During the past seven years the contest was just something fun to do. But this year, according to Carol Corbin, “The Friends” decided to turn it into a fundraiser to help raise money for the Sea Turtle Conservation Project.
The event, sponsored by The Friends of Hunting Island “has always been free,” she said, “but this year we had food, face painting, music and a silent auction to help raise money.”
But the main attractions were the sand sculptures.
And playing in the sand was nothing new to Michael O’Riordan, of Bluffton, as he explained to his family how he wanted four tall towers interconnected with a wall forming a nest for a mother and baby sea turtles.
“It’s a metaphor” he said. “This place is a nest for the turtles and I’m going to sculpt a nest too,” though he admitted this was his first attempt at sand sculpting.
O’Riordan’s wife, Kathy, said, “Mike always comes here and plays in the sand,” as her husband filled interlocking buckets with their bottoms cut out to help form sand into towers.
“This is what he wanted to for Father’s Day, so here we are.”
The Frederick family, of Beaufort — all four generations of them — were busy piling sand and pouring water over the mound that would later be sculpted into the “Charlotte Dragon.”
Three-year-old Charlotte Maffett helped her grand-parents, Michael and Jane Frederick, pat down the sand and haul water. For their efforts, the “Charlotte Dragon” took second place.
Top honors went to Zoee Fischer for her sculpture called “Pompeii.”
Corbin said they raised about $1,000 for the Sea Turtle Project.
Photo at top: Michael Frederick, of Beaufort, fills a bucket with excavated sand while his wife Jane (in green) checks the base of their “Charlotte Dragon” sculpture during the eighth annual Sand Sculpture contest at Hunting Island State Park. Photos by Bob Sofaly.