The Palmetto Palace nonprofit group and state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter are teaming up to sponsor Orangeburg’s third annual Day of Hope community health and wellness fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 15 at the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds, 350 Magnolia St., Orangeburg.

Cobb-Hunter said she is pleased at how the free event turned out last year.

“The turnout has grown each year. We know that in the second year there was an increase, and hopefully we will experience that again this year. It doesn’t matter how many people show up. Hopefully those who do show up will see it as a blessing and a benefit,” the Orangeburg lawmaker said.

Day of Hope 2022

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter speaks during the 2022 Day of Hope.

“It’s not just fun and games, but we have support from a number of agencies. People will be able to get support services. They will be able to get free mammograms. Women and men are encouraged to come out Saturday because they’ll be able to get one at no cost,” Cobb-Hunter said.

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A Family Fun Zone will include a 27-fooot inflatable Lava water slide, combo jump castle and a spinner amusement ride. The 246th Army Band of the South Carolina National Guard will also perform at the event, which will include live gospel performances from Flossie Boyd Johnson and Favor, Mary Myers and the Team of Joy and Devonte and the Voices of Zion.

Free community health resources will be available through a variety of outlets, including the South Carolina Department of Mental Health RV, the MUSC Health-Orangeburg Mammography Unit, which will provide free onsite mammograms, and The Palmetto Palace Mobile Health Unit, which will be providing free health screenings.

“OCAB will be out there, South Carolina State University 1890 Program, Orangeburg Area Mental Health Center, Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and the South Carolina Highway Patrol,” Cobb-Hunter said.

“It’s just been great. It’s been very heartwarming to see people come take advantage of what’s available and express appreciation. That is a very gratifying feeling for me,” she said.

The S.C. Highway Patrol will have its roll-over simulator and handouts for kids, while the LifeNet Helicopter will be on site from 12 to 2 p.m. The SCDMV CARES mobile office, tractors from Bair-ly Pulling Tractor Group, the Walterboro Corvette Group and a free community cookout will also be among the event’s special features.

Cobb-Hunter said the idea of the Day of Hope came from Dr. Youlanda Gibbs, CEO and founder of Palmetto Place.

“She approached me three years ago with the idea of providing hope for the people in the community. As she shared her idea, I kind of got excited about it, too, and said, ‘Hey, let’s try that,’” she said.

The Palmetto Palace Mobile Health Unit was launched as a nonprofit in 2019 to provide health, dental and education outreach to help conquer social and cultural barriers that often hamper low-income and hard-to-reach residents’ access to health care services.

Gibbs said the free event is “an opportunity to bring valuable health screenings and get to the root causes of some of the socioeconomic determinants of health.”

“Food bags filled with healthy food items will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s an opportunity to really fellowship with folks who will be able to come out and have lunch. We have a whole Family Fun Zone that will be provided and free door prizes every hour,” she said.

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Gibbs continued, “It’s such a pleasure and an honor to partner with Rep. Cobb-Hunter. She has really been on the ground for so many years being a voice for so many of our community members who do not have a voice. We are bringing additional resources in support to what she’s already done.”

Cobb-Hunter said special thanks for support are due to Billy Staley, the county’s director of emergency services; Matt Stokes, the former president of the Orangeburg County Fair Association, and incoming fair President Lin Haire.

“I would just encourage people to come out for a day of wholesome fun and activity.”

Learn more about the event at

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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