This fall we had the opportunity to participate on a panel discussion at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. The topic was on “Success Through Service”. Hope had the pleasure of working with John Fikany, a 13 year Microsoft Veteran on developing a talk centered around humanizing corporate America.
Take a peak at this quick 2 min video to get a sense of Social ImpactEvent.
It is hard to beat Charleston. It’s why so many folks visit here, move here, and never want to leave here. It’s why she’s no stranger to the “#1 city in the world” moniker, and a downright veteran as the “#1 city in the U.S.”
Still, it sure is fun to celebrate in other lovely corners of the world - especially when that corner looks like this:
(Photo Credit: Kate Holstein)
Over the course of seven days, our team had the enviable pleasure of making merry in Italy with an adventuresome couple and their 70 guests. KLH Group coordinated four unforgettable events across a precious pocket of Tuscany, culminating in a breathtaking – and tear-jerking – wedding ceremony.
(Photo Credit: Leo Payne )
Our destination locale was Pienza, a small town named for the birthplace of Pope Pius II. Pienza is teeming with 15th century Renaissance architecture, and is considered to be the first application of the era’s “humanist” concept of urban design. Surrounding this early adaptation of a harmonious town are the artist-inspiring hills of the Val d’Orcia. And with street names that translate to “Love Street” and “Kiss Street,” where better to exchange vows of lifelong amore?
Breaking bread in an intimate Tuscan villa was our way of making certain that – though some may have arrived as strangers to one another – the rest of the week would put everyone among friends. By the time we visited the famed Ciacci Piccolomini winery, there was little distinction between “sides” of the guest list. In the days that followed, our band of happy revelers was welcomed by gracious locals, fed by brilliant chefs, and warmed by the Tuscan sun.
But the highlight of the holiday, of course, was the wedding. La Bandita properties hosted both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding ceremony – the former at its village-nestled townhouse and the latter at its hilltop-perched country house. Both properties blend rustic with retro in the most charming way. Moment after delightful, stunning, delicious moment, we found ourselves wishing we could stay forever.
(Photo Credit: Leo Payne )
In the end, it felt great to be home. And we needn’t have worried about taking a little amore overseas. The Holy City’s sister city, Spoleto, Italy, is a Tuscan neighbor of Pienza. Among family, and in the name of love, Charleston is happy to share. She knows we’ll always come home.
It’s not that we don’t like spring. She’s lovely, really. It’s just that, here in the Lowcountry, we consider another season to be one of refresh:
We get how those in colder regions of the country crave the turning of the calendar from March to April (and sympathy-cringe when they get those late-season snowfalls), eager to unwrap the wool from their bodies and throw open the windows that have been sealed since November.
But down here, winter is not terrible. Oh, sure, we get the occasional freeze and accompanying short-lived precip. Generally speaking, however, Charleston winters are marked by lightweight jackets and moderate HVAC bills. In short, it’s the season that makes us the envy of friends to the north.
Now, summer? That’s a different story.
We know what we’re in for, and we have the grit to get through the worst of it. But around the time the kids start heading back to school, we’ve had our fill of sweat dripping down our backs at 7 a.m., the severe thunderstorms that inevitably tie up rush hour traffic, and the humidity that apparently had different plans for our hair. We love the beach and the festivals, but we’ll spend the dog days feverishly cleaning the sand and gunk from our floorboards, seats, and coolers. When we’re done, we’re done… and ready for a new beginning.
And that’s where fall shows up in all her merciful glory. It is at this intersection of our readiness for change and Mother Nature’s timely relief that we have great potential to enjoy more than just cooler temperatures and pumpkin spice everything. With the more indulgent days of summer in the rear view, we are able to re-focus our energies, both personally and professionally.
And this is where another extraordinary intersection can be found. We call it the Social Impact Experience, and it connects corporate outreach strength with individual employee compassion. By partnering with KLH Group, local organizations choose from a curated cadre of “Day of Service” ventures, selecting the philanthropy that best suits their culture and goals. Whether it’s a morning packing meals for hungry neighbors, an afternoon building a playhouse for an underserved child, or an entire day at sea with military veterans, the positive consequences are enduring: team building and bonding, retention of (happier) employees, community pride and accountability, and a wonderfully habitual answer to the call of life-changing social responsibility.
As our climate calendar gives way from oppressive heat to autumn’s cool-down, consider making your own benevolent transition – and let us help from planning to production.
It wasn’t the plan to call him the “Star” that day, but Trenton’s bright, shining light was undeniable. The intention of that day in November was to change the life of one little boy, and yet we learned that the number of lives Trenton touched and continues to impact will know no limit.
Trenton spent the days before coming to his “clubhouse build” in the hospital continuing to fight the cancer that had taken hold of his body. A cancer that has now taken his physical life but cannot dull the memories of his bright spirit and love of life. Singing “The Sun will come out tomorrow” in the hospital, he wanted to be known, to have his voice heard, he told his audience that day- “put that video on the internet, I want to be famous”!
It’s Trenton’s other famous video (below) - power tools in hand, smile firmly planted on his face, high fiving his team of builders- that we at KLHgroup will keep alive and playing for many years to come. With his passion for life, courage, hopeful outlook, and willingness to dream, Trenton teaches us to lead with our hearts and his legacy is one to admire and inspire. We will carry a piece of Trenton with us for the rest of our lives, and we feel honored and privileged to have been a part of his life.
Scholars and scientists assert that kindness, social connection, and gratitude are key drivers of happiness.
They could have used KLH group as a case study, because we are goose-bumped with good vibes and grinning ear to ear after the second quarter we just experienced. Here's a recap:
How do you package 110,000 meals in 90 minutes? You partner with a fabulous corporate client to host the kind of affair that draws 800 guests. With so many hands making light (and life-changing) work, relief for residents of disaster-stricken areas and schoolchildren in developing countries were fed more expeditiously by way of our first big second quarter event.
The needtobreathe classic
Later in the spring, another powerhouse collaboration further propelled the effort for worldwide sustainable healthcare. It was with great pleasure that we partnered with Grammy-nominated NEEDTOBREATHE on the golf classic bearing their name. Benefiting OneWorld Health, the annual tournament and concert event has, to date, raised over $1.2 million to build and operate medical centers in Africa and South America.
something to celebrate!
Capping off such a tremendous season, we were overwhelmed to receive the 2018 Social Impact Entrepreneur Award. Presented by Local Choice, the award recognizes businesses “creating stronger, prosperous communities” – without question, that is our aim.
With no shortage of great places to party and great people to toast in Charleston, it seems the celebrations comes easy around here. Still, it is only with time, creativity, and a bit of muscle that each of our shindigs come together. Spring of 2018 was highlighted first by the production of a high-touch corporate outing at a five-star Lowcountry property. We had our hands in everything from the fine linens and décor to the incredible live music and oyster roast, and we made sure each guest was on the golf roster or the spa schedule. But the gorgeous nightly sunsets? That was all Mother Nature. And she smiled on us again in May as we presented The Harbor Entrepreneur Center’s 2018 Founder’s Ball. Blue skies were the backdrop at Pacific Box & Crate for some semi-fancy fun (craft cocktails meets cornhole), as more than 200 local entrepreneurs were represented. Considering the innovative talent in attendance and the cool urban venue, we figured a champagne-pouring aerialist was only fitting. Indeed, our event production cup overfloweth.
A GIANT THANK YOU
We feel it in our hearts more than our heads are able to say.
From the planning meetings with partners to the culminating big event… from the “typical” office days that run like clockwork to the frantic logistical hiccups that somehow find resolution… we look around us and feel gratitude every day, without exception.
To the clients who put their faith in us, the vendors who share their efforts with us, and the partners who take the journey with us: thank you.
We are collectively proud of the road behind us, and positively giddy about the road ahead.
When given the opportunity to partner with a company like Newell Brands, everyone rolls up their sleeves and the dreams get big and real, quickly. Looking to connect this incredible team of volunteers with a larger and incredibly powerful social impact opportunity, KLHGroup delivered in spades creating a day of service at Sea Mark Ranch.
Seamark Ranch, located on a beautiful 468-acre campus in Northeast Florida, opened in 2007 and has since served over 100 children with its homes, on-campus school, and extensive childcare programs. Through the equestrian program, farm care, and the provision of a safe and loving home, each child is set on a journey towards healing, while developing life skills to support their future independence as adults.
KLHGroup’s exceptional team took care of all the logistics and preparations so that the teams of volunteers from Newell would be able to install shelving units in the pantry, re-furbish and update the physical buildings and the grounds through painting, pruning and planting, as well as have enough time to play kickball and provide a listening supportive ear to the children and staff at Sea Mark. “It was amazing to have everyone out here, we don’t get that very often. The people that came out were amazing people, I really appreciated having them here to talk to.”-SeaMark Ranch Resident
With the fundamental vision of “Dream Big, Dare to Act” driving both Newell and KLHGroup, the success of this event was like watching the grand finale of the fireworks at 4th of July- you leave in awe of what you saw and experienced!
They say that March ushers the spring season “in like a lion, and out like a lamb.” We’re pretty sure they are referring to the weather, but let’s be honest: the Lowcountry’s version of March 1 is not nearly as menacing as that in other parts of the country. In fact, our exit from February is generally not a stark departure from our entrance to April. It stands, then, that our definition of the famed idiom would be a bit different in Charleston. Rather than a forecaster of extreme temperature and precip activity, our “lion” is a roaring harbinger of extreme social and cultural activity.
Case in point? Of the Travel Channel’s 10 “Can’t-Miss” annual Charleston events, three land in the month of March:
Charleston Wine + Food Festival
During this four-day culinary extravaganza, nationally-recognized chefs, sommeliers, restaurateurs, and food artisans converge with their award-winning peers in the Holy City. Now in its 13th year, the aim of CHSWFF is simple: “to create meaningful experiences that ignite a spark in our culinary + hospitality industry and community as a whole.” Those experiences range from signature dinners at some of Charleston’s most beloved restaurants to hands-on oyster shucking and mixology workshops. At the heart of it all is the Culinary Village, an arrangement of white tents that transforms the historic Marion Square into an eating, drinking, and shopping mecca. Warm wafts of smoky barbecue mingle with cool vapors of distilled spirits, luring locals and visitors into the tasting tents, where they just might find themselves talking boiled peanuts with the Lee Brothers or heirloom seeds with Sean Brock.
Charleston Fashion Week
In case you haven’t heard, Charleston style is so much more than seersucker and printed shifts. Spend some time at Charleston Fashion Week, celebrating its 12th year, and witness for yourself the City’s stunning engagement with all things fashion. Live shows, special events, and catwalks run over five dazzling nights. CFW not only attracts top international designers; it also serves as an incredible showcase for local, up-and-coming talent. The sets, lights, and music that turn Marion Square into its annual alter-ego runway are a sight to behold – just be sure to save some energy for the after-parties.
Charleston Antiques Show
You simply can’t disconnect Charleston from its rich history, and with good fortune (plus a lot of luck), much of that tangible history has been preserved. During the three-day Charleston Antiques Show, championed by the Historic Charleston Foundation, collectors and enthusiasts rub elbows with dealers and designers. Showcases of 17th to mid–century modern English, European, and American period furnishings, decorative and fine art, architectural elements, garden furniture, vintage jewelry, silver and more take over the beautiful Gaillard Center.
Oh, sure, there are enough fabulous events in Charleston to fill your calendar every weekend of every month of the year. And most of the weeks in between. But for some reason – perhaps the full official recovery from the holidays, perhaps the calm before the spring break swell - March gets the lion’s share.
You don't have to look far to find love in Charleston. We're not talking the serendipity of meeting your soul mate over mint juleps at a rooftop bar (although that has been known to happen). We mean the love that's innate to this southern city, from the lovely Lowcountry backdrop to the beloved culture and cuisine. Honestly, it's almost too much for any one person... which is why we recommend sharing it. Whether it’s a first date, a rerun rendezvous, or even a mom-and-dad-scored-a-sitter evening, there are almost unlimited ways to spark romance and celebrate love in the Holy City. Here are just a few over which we most swoon:
1) Trace Waterfront Park past the Pineapple Fountain to the impressive pier, and work your magic to score a bench swing. Snuggle and sway as you look out over the harbor, watching for dolphins and welcoming a head on your shoulder.
2) Savor a meal on Sullivan’s Island, then head down to the beach. As you walk the water’s edge, collect butterfly or “kissing” shells (bonus points for also collecting a kiss for each find). Marvel at the massive ships entering and exiting the harbor at the island’s south end, and imagine together the adventures of each vessel.
3) Simple, but tireless: grab a hand, and follow on foot the length of the High Battery sea wall. Admire the grand antebellum homes lining White Point Gardens to one side, and the iconic harbor and Fort Sumter to the other. Compare historical acumen as you weave your own special history.
4) From undeniably bewitching to downright spooky, walking tours on the peninsula combine fascinating tales of centuries-old Charleston with plenty of opportunity to snuggle close. Find a tour guided by candlelight, and be sure you experience a famed cemetery with rich haunted lore.
5) Hold one another tightly 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean – just be sure it’s as you stand at the end of the Folly Beach Pier. Climb to the pavilion’s second level, and stare at the horizon as the salty sea breeze blows. Too soon, the distant lights of the island town illuminate your way back to land.
6) Make the scenic, live oak-canopied drive out to Middleton Place on the Ashley River. Meander unhurriedly through the fragrant gardens, then linger over a world-class southern supper overlooking the Mill Pond and Azalea Hillside.
7) Sneak like forbidden lovers down a (somewhat) secret alley. From the Battery, follow the brickwork of Church Street and turn right at Stoll’s Alley. Hand-in-hand, under the cover of night or in the shadows of day, step quietly toward East Bay Street… then back again.
Though only a sample of romantic interludes in the Holy City, it is one you will want to keep handy – not just for Valentine’s Day or the month of February, but for all your days in Charleston. Think of it as your love-bucket list.
KLHGroup created its own mosaic of successful and incredibly meaningful events throughout the Fall 2017 season. As always, the interwoven constant to each event is the incredible people with whom we get to collaborate. Hope and her team continue to make taking what could be an ordinary logistical plan from paper to a work of art look easy, here is a sampling of our fall at KLHGroup.
The Governor Thomas Bennett house provided the most exquisite backdrop for an intimate “Give Back” community event in early November. With Event Works luxurious table settings and on point setup, they set the Good Food Catering up for the delicious southern inspired meal to shine. The addition of this beautiful meal to the event allowed for the hard working team to break bread together and cheerfully celebrate what happens when you put aside your own needs for the day and invest in a project bigger than yourself.
The BusShed in Downtown Charleston provided the perfect space and ambiance for the highly anticipated and exciting annual Low Country Hoedown. Annual events are the kind of fun that leave you fulfilled and yet eager to be back again for the next one. The Low Country Hoedown is definitely this type of event. This year 1500 eager attendees enjoyed 2 incredible bands, and food and drink from over 40 vendors. Each competing for the famous taxidermy squirrel! Can’t wait until next year!
Returning to a favorite event destination of KLHGroup, Mingo Point, Hope and her team, enjoyed the pleasure of planning and executing an intimate wedding for a couple whom were a delight to work. Focused on intimate details of showcasing their union and the family that they have become, KLHGroup was honored to be a part of the “Blessing of the Family” and the celebration that followed.
This year has brought many fresh faces and creative work to KLHGroup. We enter the holiday season, hearts full and thankful to the incredible clients who elevate what we do from work to a joy, to our new team of dedicated employees committed to ensuring that each event is as successful as possible, and to our vendors who bring the special magic to make each event shine. Look forward to hearing from you in 2018 at our new office 78 Line Street, Charleston, SC.
Draping live oaks, majestic southern reds, and ancient pines envelop the entry way into Palmetto Bluff, delivering you into an untouched preserve of rich sea landscape and a magical journey from the busy world of demands and deadlines to a quiet respite of luxury and relaxation.
Fall in the LowCountry is one of my favorite times of year, with the coolers air settling in and the surroundings in full bloom. Using the land to guide the design, respecting and maximizing the topography and miles of marsh and river’s edge, Hope and her team paired each location with exquisite lighting, furniture, and food. Guests were swept from one movie-esque scene to another, experiencing luxury at its highest caliber. From the unique outdoor lounge, to the folk sounds of a local bluegrass band, to delicious food and drink, guests left begrudgingly, for why would you ever want to leave.
It all started in 2012, when my life changed forever. My husband and I served on a mission trip to East Africa. Being welcomed in to the lives of such beautiful people filled with kindness and gentleness, people with no worldly possessions, impoverished at the most significant degree, and yet people with richness of character left a significant mark on me, one that reshaped my lens through which I viewed the world and my role in it. This was the beginning of my journey, a journey that gains momentum daily for ways to continue to be a part of these lives in East Africa; to forge new ways to provide resources and support to this area of the world and beyond.
Over the next month I'll be showcasing via social media, African women who are paving their way through entrepreneurship and changing the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their families.
My hope is that you will fall in love with this country and it's people the way I have over the last 5 years.
Photo Credit: Joshua Drake
When Purpose and passion collide, magic happens. In her very first book, Daring to Dream with KLHGroup, Hope Caldwell masterfully describes what CSR (Corporate Social Responsible) events could be, why she is committed to their success, and how they stand to revolutionize the event planning industry and the very fabric of corporations and communities alike.
Hope writes- “Hands-on community service projects are an opportunity to give back to the community, not to mention inspire guests, bond them together, and give them something worth talking about when they return home.”
Getting her story printed and published has allowed for the magic that typically occurs exclusively in real time at events, to jump off the pages of this book. Her story, founded on the mission to build a culture of generosity, is one of growing momentum.
Invited to participate in podcasts and speaking engagements, Hope delights audiences with her wit, detailed stories and magnetic personality, as she shares her journey to develop the KLHGroup and Doors to Dream.
Partnering with Doors to Dream and KLHGroup, Newell Brands was able to offer their employees an afternoon of memories to last a lifetime. Accepting the “clubhouse challenge”, a corporate social responsibility experience, Newell elevated their vision of building a strong foundation from the philosophical to the literal. The Newell Brand employees arrived to their “worksite” at Mingo Point, Kiawah Island, to find pallets of materials and smiling faces of 20+ deserving children eager to watch the creation of their very own clubhouse. The magic happens in the making of these houses into homes. In teams of 10-12, Newell’s incredible employees collaborated with the children to build a “mini-house” fashioned after classic Charleston single family architecture. The smiles and confidence on the children’s faces, the shouts of glee, and giggles of excitement enhance the musical score of live music, hammering, and drilling, while participants work together with growing inspiration to work hard without complaint or any personal gain. With heads held high, standing tall, these children look to a future that includes a new open door, one that cancer doesn’t close, offering them a customized space to imagine and play without abandon, providing lasting memories for their siblings and parents alike.
KLH Group rocked out with Grammy award winning band, NEEDTOBREATHE, to standing ovations. Partnering with One World Health, a global non-profit organization empowering impoverished communities to have sustainable healthcare, KLH struck exactly the right chord for spreading awareness and raising funds for One World Health. Sophisticated design and thinking allowed each detail to create the perfect harmony for a highly successful night with lasting memories.
Showcasing the historic charm of Charleston, with its blooming azaleas and cobblestone streets, KLH had the honor of producing an intimate wedding for 25. When Hope first met Leah & Jonny she knew they were of similar personalities – a perfect fit for a couple & wedding planner. Their style and laid back approach to all the details allowed for KLH to step in and customize the personal details of this intimate affair.
A southern ceremony at White Point Garden followed by a stroll down the Charleston Battery, finally arriving to a reception at an antebeullum home, allowed for guests to experience a quintessential evening in Historic Charleston creating memories that will last a lifetime.
A night to celebrate the legacy of medicine and heroism, Hacksaw Ridge Movie premiere at Cinnebarre was a night to remember. KLHGroup was thrilled to work with local Charleston Orthopedic Surgeon and founder of Walk Nicaragua, Dr. Del Schutte, to raise awareness, funds, and celebrate a cinematic masterpiece based on the courageous WWII Army Medic Desmond T. Doss. Uncle Desmond's inspirational commitment to serve during the Battle of Okinawa, refusing to kill, earned him the first Medal of Honor without firing a shot in American History. Dr. Schutte continues the legacy of his uncle, through his work with the surgical mission organization, Walk Nicaragua, established in 2015, to create a sustainable joint replacement program in Nicaragua. With 60 successful joint replacement surgeries under their belt, Walk Nicaragua is off to a strong start and the legacy continues.
Showcasing the historic charm of the Cigar Factory, constructed in 1881 as a cotton manufacturing facility and recently re-opened for mixed high-end uses, KLHGroup matched the beauty and intrigue of the physical setting of the Cedar Room with a sophisticated lineup of food, entertainment, and atmosphere. Seamless execution and exquisite planning allowed for author Michelle Moore and local photographer Jack Alterman to lend personalized experiences to the evening's events, intermixed with indulgent dining and drinks. PURE Insurance customers were left wanting to know when the next event would be!
Crossing international waters is not new territory for KLHGroup founder, Hope Caldwell. Taking on the adventure with grace and exquisite execution, KLH's sophisticated team blended American traditions with Italian style and cultures to create an epic experience for all involved. The customization and personal attention to the settings chosen and designed, to the duties performed throughout the events in live time convey KLH's commitment and heart to elevating a client's vision in their mind to real memories that last a lifetime.
KLH’s non-profit arm is actively engaged throughout the Charleston area and beyond, opening doors and bridging gaps between each clients inner drive to give back with creative and unique ways to do so, building a culture of generosity one event at a time.
November 19, 2016
Enter 6 year old Trenton, aware that he was the star of the day, but unsure how or what was expected of him. Recently released from a long hospital stay, receiving another round of Chemotherapy for neuroblastoma, Trenton and his family were due for a change of pace, to be the recipients of generosity and a community serving without any expectation in return. KLH group worked to create an experience for Trenton, his mom, his sister and each of the “workers” that wouldleave lasting memories. Partnering with Kiawah Island Golf resort, KLH Group delivered a full and luxurious event, allowing for each participant to stand back and appreciate the gorgeous views of the marsh, take breaks for delicious food and beverage, and allow Trenton and his family access to unexpected indulgences and treats. The sun setting over the salt marsh was stunning, not easily outshone, but the smile on Trenton’s face upon completion of his new clubhouse, shined so bright there wasn’t one person who could miss it. Head held high, shoulders up, Trenton carried himself like the star this event was designed to highlight. Special thanks to Camp Happy Days and the incredible work they are doing to have provided us the connection to Trenton and his family.