FLORENCE, S.C. — Charlotte Smith of St. John’s Church won first place for her performance at the Florence Area Literacy Council’s Lip Sync Battle on Thursday.

Smith’s performance to "Firework" by Katy Perry also won her the first-place award for fan favorite.

Nine performances were done Thursday evening by people representing various organizations in the Pee Dee. All proceeds raised will benefit the literacy council.

“Keep contributing to the literacy council,” Smith said after accepting her award. “They need y’all. They don’t need you tonight. They need you throughout the year. Go volunteer there. Contribute your services.”

Smith said the literacy council benefits the community. And Kenya Walker is a testament to that. She told the audience at Thursday’s event how she obtained her GED last month after receiving services through the literacy council.

“I did not think that I had the talents to do anything,” Walker said.

But the people at the literacy council made her feel confident that she could accomplish her goal, Walker said.

“She (Walker) is the reason that we do what we do every single day,” said Christina Lawson, director of the literacy council.

Because of the support received from the Lip Sync Battle, Lawson said, the council is able to do a lot of great things for people who need it. The council works with students who are at all different grade levels, but the average student is at a third-grade level, she said.

The goal of Thursday’s fundraiser was to raise $30,000 for the council.

Recommended for you