Local woman wins free trip | Reporting
Valeria “Eddye” Myers does not answer phone calls if she does not know who is on the other end of the phone, and while waiting in a long line at the bank on May 11, 2020, at the onset of COVID- 19 pandemic, a strange number fell on his phone.
She sent the caller to voicemail. If it’s a real person and it matters, they’ll leave a note, Myers thought.
Before the Rocky Mount resident reached the bank teller, a completely unexpected message passed.
The post was from Janean Flowe, an advertising and marketing representative at AAA Carolinas, who told Myers that she won a two-night trip to Hammock Coast in South Carolina, tickets to the famous Brookgreen Gardens and a special piece of art on the beach.
Myers immediately returned the call – she had entered the contest a few months ago, after all – but was the caller serious? Was she really the winner of a beach vacation trip?
Yes, confirmed Flowe, Myers was the winner, and the announcement of her victory appeared in the May-June 2020 issue of Go Magazine from AAA, the sponsor of the Hammock Coast Vacation Getaway. .
Myers could barely contain his excitement.
“I call everyone I know who gets AAA and they can’t find their magazine, so I had to wait until I got home,” she recalls. “Sure enough, I open the magazine and there is my name.”
Myers, 73, had won her first raffle, but worried about the emerging pandemic and whether she would be happy to delay her visit to Hammock Coast, a pristine collection of six coastal communities – Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island , Murrells Inlet, south of Garden City, Georgetown and Andrews – in Georgetown County, South Carolina. The Hammock Coast is perfectly located south of Myrtle Beach and north of Charleston.
“Eddye and I talked, and because it was in the very first weeks of the pandemic, she asked if she could delay the trip,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Chamber of Commerce of Georgetown County and the South Carolina Hammock. Rating. “Of course I said yes. I wanted Eddye to enjoy her vacation at the best time for her.
Tourism along South Carolina’s Hammock Coast ended up seeing an increase in tourism in 2020 and 2021, despite the pandemic. Most of its accommodations being vacation rentals – private homes and condos, all safely away from the crowds – Hammock Coast had exactly what vacationers wanted. And miles of clean, pristine beaches to boot.
For Myers, she delayed her trip by almost 18 months – until September 2021. With an extra year to plan, Myers was able to coordinate with three friends who would accompany her to take advantage of her good fortune.
Shelley Dandanell of Wilson, was Myers’ best friend for 50 years, and for years she has taken an annual trip with Janet Bean of Maine and Phyliss Giles of Easley, SC, friends from their college days in NC Wesleyan College.
The trip with his college friends usually revolves between their home states. The next trip was scheduled for Maine, but Myers had other ideas.
“I said, ‘Girls, we’re going to the beach,’” she recalls.
On September 21, the quartet achieved this goal by arriving in the community of Litchfield Beach in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, greeted by Stevens and other Chamber of Commerce staff.
The four friends were treated to a beachfront condo at Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort and free tickets to Brookgreen Gardens, which this year celebrates its 90th anniversary as one of America’s first sculpture gardens. House staff also provided each of the women with Hammock Coast T-shirts.
For two days, Myers and his friends enjoyed their stay at Litchfield Beach, which has been proclaimed by Tripadvisor as one of America’s best beaches.
The highlight of their vacation, however, was provided by Mother Nature, nothing less.
“One night on the balcony there was a thunderstorm over the ocean,” Myers recalls in a phone conversation about what she and her friends will remember the most. “We watched the lightning behind the clouds and enjoyed an incredible light show facing the beach.
“The day after the storm, we took a morning walk on the beach.”
Indeed, Myers said, she and her friends will have to return to Hammock Coast in South Carolina for a longer visit.
“We had a wonderful time,” she said. “We really enjoyed our trip. The accommodations were particularly nice and comfortable, but I would tell people to plan wisely as there is so much to see on Hammock Coast.