The Isle of Palms Exchange Club is gearing up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Isle of Palms Connector Run and Walk For the Child – and it’s planning something extra special for this year’s event.
The race – which has raised more than $1 million for local charities since 1992 – is set for Oct. 7. To commemorate the milestone event, the IOP club decided to seek entries for the poster and T-shirt design from the local community. Shortly after the submission deadline, a display table was set up with all of the design entries at the iconic Cooper River Bridge Run. All those in the area designated for packet pickup were encouraged to cast their vote for the winner of the IOP Run design contest.
Kevin Curran, a local businessman and artist who has lived throughout the Isle of Palms, Charleston and Mount Pleasant area for more than 25 years, submitted the winning entry. He and his wife, Jenny, who at one time owned a local art gallery, now run a successful graphic design and screen-printing company. With their two sons, they have enjoyed cheering from the sidelines – Curran’s sister and brother-in-law run the race each year. When the poster and T-shirt contest was announced, Curran decided to take on both challenges at once – signing up for the 5K run and entering his design in the contest.
The design itself is reminiscent of a vintage beach poster, with silhouetted figures running toward the water and faded blues and greens marking the palm trees that Isle of Palms is known for. Brooke Casey, marketing director for the race and longtime volunteer with the IOP Exchange Club, said that Kevin’s design was exactly what she was envisioning for a poster celebrating the 25th anniversary of the run, though they never spoke before he submitted his entry.
“I love that he captured the marsh and was able to create a design that people would really want to wear,” Casey said.
And while Kevin hasn’t entered a contest in some time, he is no stranger to winning when he does. In 2003, he designed the wildly successful poster for the IOP Garden Club, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the city of Isle of Palms. He said people still call him about purchasing the artwork from time to time. In 2014, he entered and won the Mount Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet poster contest.
“I was incredibly happy to win this year’s IOP contest, since I don’t often submit anymore. But I love the cause of the IOP Run and being part of something local, so it felt like the right event to participate in.”
He went on to say that the fact that his art gallery originally opened in Isle of Palms added to the sentiment of the event and of winning the contest.
With almost twice the votes as any other design, it’s clear that Curran’s retro-inspired submission struck a chord with the local, beach-loving community. Now, after years of having simple T-shirts embellished only with the race logo, runners will have a beautifully designed memento honoring their hard work, the commitment to their community and 25 years of running across the awe-inspiring Isle of Palms Connector.
By Krysta Chapman