More than half a million dollars that the Exchange Club of Charleston raised from operating the 2008 Coastal Carolina Fair was distributed recently to 61 tri-county area charities.

At its annual Community Service Day, the Exchange Club delivered checks to service organizations in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Each year, the club shares the funds it raised via the fair, and this year's distributions totaled $531,014, said club public information officer Sonja Pearlman.

Among this year's recipients of fair proceeds were the Association for the Blind, Cannon Street YMCA, Canterbury House, Charleston Area Senior Citizens Services, Children in Crisis in Dorchester County, the Coastal Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, Crisis Ministries, volunteer fire and rescue squads in Charleston and Berkeley counties, Camp Happy Days, Berkeley Seniors, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Trident Area, Lowcountry Food Bank, Meals on Wheels in St. Paul's parish and in Summerville, Pet Helpers, Reach Out and Read, Shepherd's Care Adult Respite, Star Gospel Mission, Teachers' Supply Closet and Walk for Autism.

The Exchange Club is an all-volunteer national service organization for men and women who want to serve their community, develop leadership skills and build friendships. The Charleston club was organized in November 1923 with 32 members. Today, there are more than 250 members.

There are nearly 1,000 clubs and 33,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.