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July 21, 2011

Naval Hospital Beaufort Serves Up Community Service at the Beaufort Water Festival

Naval Hospital Beaufort, in the spirit of being neighborly, provided the organizers of Beaufort Water Festival’s Lowcountry Supper night, July 21, the use of the hospital galley for preparing dinner for 3,500 event attendees.

The Beaufort Water Festival, a ten day community event celebrating the area’s clean waterways, traditionally serves up Lowcountry Boil, a local one-pot dish containing sausage, potatoes, corn, and shrimp, to thousands of event-goers.  But cooking that much food requires a large kitchen and very big pots, which is where Naval Hospital Beaufort comes in.  The hospital’s galley, with plenty of space and two industrial-sized pots, provided the perfect location for cooking up 1,200 pounds of sausage, 3,500 ears of corn, and 1,200 pounds of shrimp. 

“It’s a big event, and because we’re part of this community, we like to give back,” said Command Master Chief Tyrone Willis.  “We helped out last year, and we’re more than happy to help again this year.”

In addition to supporting Lowcountry Supper night, Willis pointed out that several hospital staffers are also event volunteers.  Among them, several members of the Naval Hospital Beaufort Chief Petty Officers Association helped move food from the trucks that carried it from the hospital to the tables at Beaufort’s Waterfront Park.  Additionally, Hospital Corpsman First Class Donna Patrick, who works at Branch Health Clinic Parris Island, has volunteered with the festival for the past seven years. 

The crew who cooked Lowcountry Boil, led by Mel Arant and Larry Swigart, current and past chairs of the Lowcountry Supper, we’re appreciative of all the support provided by hospital personnel.   

“The staff goes out of their way to help out,” said Swigart.  “When we needed electricity for the coolers to keep our ice from melting, they brought out a generator.” 

Open since 1949, Naval Hospital Beaufort provides general medical, surgical, and emergency services to all active duty personnel, as well as retired military and family members residing in the Beaufort area, a total population of approximately 35,000 beneficiaries.