Letters to the Editor

Strand lucky to have Lazarus in area

Pure summer time bliss, happy, laughing children enjoying a day at the beach eating hot dogs, pizza, chips and drinks. Bubbling with courteous enthusiasm many foster children enjoyed Wild Water and Wheels this summer thanks to Mark Lazarus and his continuing generosity.

Years ago in 2003, a fellow church member at First Presbyterian Church in Myrtle Beach and another UNC Tar Heel alumna asked him to host a Day at Wild Water and Wheels in Surfside Beach for Horry County’s foster children. Mark Lazarus eagerly agreed.

Since the first group of 99 splashed, swam, enjoyed the wading pools, lazy river, the wave and the log flume, over 1,900 have enjoyed the annual Fun Day at Wild Water and Wheels over the last nine years. The vendors in the food court, lifeguards, staff and Karen Pierce in marketing all strive to make this a fun day for the group, which has been as many as 300 children, siblings and foster parents on a summer afternoon. Horry County Department of Social Services staff and First Presbyterian Church volunteers assist with the planning though the foster children ministries at First Presbyterian.

Myrtle Beach is the heart of the tourism industry and Mr. Lazarus gives from his heart as he shares the fun with children from Horry County foster homes, Managed Treatment Services and Waccamaw Youth Center. This year, for the first time, Georgetown County foster children were included also.

This year, Horry County Department of Social Services recognized Horry County businessman Mark Lazarus with the 2012 Volunteer Recognition Award. He is a former county councilman, past Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce board chairman, UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and football player, member of First Presbyterian Church and is married to Helen. They have three children. He is the former owner of Myrtle Beach Grand Prix, owner of Wild Water and Wheels in Surfside Beach and co-owner of Ocean Drive Pavilion Amusement Park in North Myrtle Beach.

How fortunate that Mr. Lazarus believes that what’s good for the community is his corporate responsibility! He is truly deserving of this honor.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.