Maxine Dawes took over as chairwoman of the Murrells Inlet 2020 board of directors in January.
Maxine Dawes has a long history of volunteer service, but she picks her causes as carefully as she chooses her words.
She will not throw her support behind something that she doesn’t believe in, but once she gets involved, it’s a total commitment.
Don’t ask her what she’s done, however. She is a giver when it comes to credit, rather than a taker.
“The survival of Murrells Inlet 2020 is totally dependent on the contributions of our donors and the work of our volunteers. One person can’t make much of a difference in any situation,” Dawes said. “But a group of people can.”
For the next year, Dawes will lead one group. In January, she became chairwoman of the Murrells Inlet 2020 board of directors.
She may have the title, but the success or Murrells Inlet 2020 will rest with the board and volunteers, she said.
“It is because of the board and the people that we are where we are,” she said. “Surround yourself with the right people and good things happen.”
One of the first good things under her watch was the Taste of the Inlet, which raised $12,000 for its sponsoring organization.
She credited the success to the community and the dozens of volunteers who worked on the event.
“I’ve been in public service for years,” she said recently. “I’ve never seen anything I’ve been involved with have as much community support as the things that go on in the Inlet.”
That support puts the organization in good standing for the work ahead.
She sees the importance of maintaining the status quo with Murrells Inlet 2020, ensuring it does not fall behind and to continue to raise money to support its projects.
“We’re involved in so many things,” she said of the organization, citing the bypass maintenance, the jetty view extension of the marsh walk, and the maintenance of the creek, all to make Murrells Inlet a better place to live and work.
When Dawes joined Murrells Inlet 2020 three years ago, the last thing in her mind was being elected to the board.
“I was interested in getting involved in the Inlet, in helping. I live in the Inlet and I want to be productive wherever I am. If I’m not helpful, I move on to something else,” she said.
There is little danger of her moving on from Murrells Inlet 2020.
She, the board and volunteers have too much on their plates.
“Murrells Inlet 2020 is growing,” she said. “We need to be ready.”
The effort has cut into her personal time – at least initially. The first month, she said, she spent 52 hours at the organization.
“It won’t be that much now,” she said. “But I had a lot to learn.”
Juggling work, volunteer efforts and personal time is something that is almost second nature to Dawes.
When she lived in Loris, she served on city council and was mayor for 12 years, the first woman in the community to be elected mayor.
She also was chairwoman of the local American Red Cross chapter, all while running her own real estate company.
She’s still a real estate agent, working for Keller Williams, and she brings her same people skills to that job.
“I help,” she said with a smile. “It’s what I do.”
By Anita Crone
For The Times
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