For International Women’s Day, and every day, we are celebrating the accomplishments of women in the Grand Strand community that have been influential in the past and present of the area we all love so much - The Beach! 

Women of the Present

There are three female mayors in the Grand Strand: Barbara Blain-Bellamy of Conway, Marilyn Hatley of North Myrtle Beach and Brenda Bethune of Myrtle Beach.    

Amy Prock is the Police Chief at the Myrtle Beach Police Department, serving and protecting the city for over 20 years. 

Karen Riordan took the helm of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau as the President and CEO in 2018, and has had tremendous impact not only the business realm, but the entire community. Read more about the impact of the Chamber on their website

Kathryn Hedgepath created trolley tours to interactively share the history of Myrtle Beach. Board the trolley at The Market Common and ride around Myrtle Beach learning the fascinating history of our area. Register for one of her trolley tours here

Mary "Cookie" Goings is instrumental to preserving the African American history of Myrtle Beach and continues to work each day on advocacy and awareness. Freda Funnye works towards greater community awareness of Charlie's Place, a historic black nightclub operated during segregation, that was vital to the history of the Myrtle Beach area. Learn more about Charlie's Place here

Mayors of the Grand Strand for Womens Day

Shaping the Past

Myrtle Beach was named by Franklin Burroughs’ wife who won the submission contest drawing inspiration from the wax myrtle trees that once lined the beach.

“Shag” was a dancer at Charlie’s Place that is rumored to have invented the popular shag dance.

Mary C. Canty was influential in the community for youth advocacy and civic involvement, honored by the Mary C. Canty Recreation Center on Canal Street.

Gloria Sapp was an area teacher, businesswoman and volunteer who was a strong supporter of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk project that was completed right after her death in 2010. A section of boardwalk is named “Gloria’s Way” for her advocacy.

Gloria's Way on the Boardwalk

Anna Hyatt Huntington was a famous female sculptor that established Brookgreen Gardens and owned Atalaya Castle and the land at Huntington Beach State Park. Many of her sculptures are on display at Brookgreen Gardens to this day. 

Spring flowers at Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC

There are so many more women who helped make The Beach what is is today, and the Myrtle Beach Area has a rich history that has impacted the culture and lifestyle of The Beach. Read more about our history on our blog