Sophia's in Surfside Beach to donate to new pier

Sophia's in Surfside Beach to donate to new pier

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A recently reopened Surfside Beach business plans to dedicate a portion of its profits this summer season to help bring back one of the town's main attractions - the pier.

"As soon as we started looking harder again at businesses when we found this area, it's the first thing Sherri and I talked about," Perry Gold said. "We've got to do something to help the town."

Perry and Sherri Gold are now the owners of Sophia's on South Ocean Boulevard. They opened up the ice cream shop and restaurant under their ownership May 1.

"We just like being a part of a community," Gold said.

They plan to give the town a portion of sales this summer, along with any donations collected and 100 percent of the profits from the Surfside Sundae, which the mayor created, to the rebuilding of the pier, which was damaged during Hurricane Matthew.

"We know once the tourist season starts, I think everybody who loves Surfside who comes here all the time, vacations here, they're going to want to be a part of it too," Gold said.

Mayor Bob Childs said everyone he has talked to has been in favor of rebuilding the pier. As for funding it, he's not sure how the town will go about that yet.

He said he thinks Collins Engineering will present several options with different price tags.

Childs would like to see concrete pilings and a wood deck so it has the aesthetics of a pier, but it's stronger and can withstand more force from hurricanes.

He said FEMA will cover 75 percent of the cost to rebuild the pier back to what it was before Hurricane Matthew damaged it.

However, if the town does decide to go forward with something beyond that, such as those concrete pilings, then it will be the town's responsibility to fund the additional expenses, which could be done through bank loans or bonds, Childs said.

Childs thinks the overall cost to get the pier back up will be in the millions, no matter what.

"Anything that we can do to help out, we're excited to be a part of it," Gold said.

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