IOP businesses frustrated after being excluded from event happening at Front Beach

Local News

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – It takes days of preparations to get ready for “LOWVELO,” an annual fundraising event that raises money for lifesaving cancer research. The event has brought tables, chairs, tents and more to Ocean Boulevard on the Isle of Palms.

Business owners like Jonathan Swartz of Luke ‘n Ollie’s say the preparations are blocking access to island businesses.

“It has blocked access to all the restaurants and all the shops. We are not included in the street fair and they are bringing in restaurants and other vendors,” Swartz said.

He says he would love to be a part of the event because he has a personal connection to the fight, losing his mother to breast cancer.

“I am not against the event. I think it is great. It was a great event for MUSC and I hope they make a lot of money. Other restaurants are upset because we didn’t have a knowledge of this,” said Swartz.

Swartz says he was never invited to or informed of the event. He had to call multiple agencies before finally getting an answer about the tents and port-o-potties set up outside his front door.

However, IOP Police Chief Kevin Cornett says that’s not the case.

“Officers have passed out brochures and different items to let them know this event was taking place,” Chief Cornett says.

Cornett is making sure that all the other businesses along Ocean Boulevard are prepared for Saturday’s event.

“We do our best to make sure that we maintain a positive relationship with our businesses. We understand our businesses play a crucial role in our city,” Chief Cornett said.

While Swartz acknowledged that the road closures were advertised, he is still upset that details about the event were not made clear, and that local businesses were not given the opportunity to be involved.

“The businesses on Ocean Boulevard have no idea what’s going on other than they weren’t invited to participate,” said Swartz.

MUSC sent News 2 a statement which reads:

“LOWVELO is excited to host our finale at the Isle of Palms this year. We have a record number of people this year, with over 800 registered for the event. We appreciate the support of the Isle of Palms City Council and the area businesses and will be encouraging our participants to show their appreciation as well. We can’t do this without the support of our community partners. We are especially grateful to the Isle of Palms firefighters, who recently hosted a great fundraising event at the Windjammer, and the Isle of Palms police. And, we can’t say enough about the great support we’ve received from many area businesses, including the Dinghy, the local Harris Teeter, and the CO-OP. 100 percent of what participants raise supports lifesaving cancer research.”

Rachel Haynie, Event manager for LOWVELO.

LOWVELO happens on Saturday, November 6th, and is put on by the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.

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