Seeking 600 volunteers to help tutor Beaufort and Jasper elementary students in reading, United Way of the Lowcountry is turning to social media Thursday as part of the national United Way’s “Day of Action.”
The day includes “The Big Tweet” when United Ways across the country, including the local organization, send out special tweets on the social network Twitter. Follow United Way of the Lowcountry on Twitter at @UW_LowcountrySC or Facebook at UnitedWayLowcountry.
“More and more people are keeping in touch using the digital world, and we are sharing our message and information through Facebook, Twitter and our website,” said Clarece Walker, CEO of United Way of the Lowcountry.
“There’s nothing to replace face to face contact, but using social media helps us reach more people with more information,” Walker said.
The 600 volunteer tutors are part of an expanded initiative by United Way of the Lowcountry to improve education in Beaufort County and Jasper County. The goal is to have 80 percent of students reading at grade level by the time they enter fourth grade, and to reduce the local dropout rate by 50 percent by 2018, Walker said.
United Way of the Lowcountry is reducing tomorrow’s struggles by tackling problems today.
Today, two-thirds of American fourth graders cannot read at grade level. In Beaufort and Jasper counties, pockets of elementary children are behind in developing their reading skills.
United Way of the Lowcountry is recruiting people with passion, expertise and resources to be volunteer tutors for students in kindergarten, first, second and third grades at eight area schools.
Volunteers will serve in the following elementary schools:
• Hilton Head Early Childhood Center
• Hilton Head School for Creative Arts
• Hilton Head International Baccalaureate
• Pritchardville Elementary
• Joseph Shanklin Elementary
• St. Helena Elementary
• Ridgeland Elementary
• Hardeeville Elementary.
In 2012, United Way celebrates the 125th anniversary of the United Way movement. The organization invites all people to join hands with others to improve the education, income and health of our community.
During this milestone year, United Way celebrate those people and organizations – past, present, and future – who continue to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all.
The Big Tweet” will be all day Thursday and will highlight the United Way’s Day of Action. If there are enough participants, the Big Tweet will become a trending topic on Twitter.
“It’s not just the unique history of St. Helena, or the state of South Carolina. It’s a unique American history, and a lot of people don’t know about it,” said Victoria Smalls about Penn Center. Smalls is in charge of organizing the 150th anniversary of Penn Center’s foundation in 1862 during the Civil War. The event will mark a three-year commemoration beginning this weekend, June 22-23.
Laura Towne and Penn School Students 1862. Photo courtesy Penn Center Archives.
Founded by two missionaries, Penn School would be the first school of its kind in the South to educate newly freed slaves. It would be the only safeguard for interracial groups in South Carolina to meet with “the King” during the Civil Rights Movement. It would teach the first volunteers in the Peace Corps about “the third world,” the jungle-like St. Helena Island, which had not the modernized tools of agriculture but instead a rich language and culture foreign even to other Americans.
Today, Penn Center is a nationally historical landmark and a community center with the mission “to promote and preserve the Sea Islands’ history and culture.”
As told by Executive Director Walter Mack: “[The Penn Center] was the people’s answer to everything from education to how to grow food to politics to land retention. Everyone came here and it hasn’t changed that much … We are the heartbeat of this community and Penn has responded to the needs and wants of the people of this community — not only on St. Helena Island, but I would say everyone within the Gullah-Geechie Cultural Heritage Corridor.”
The Founder’s Day Celebration this weekend will focus on the founding of Penn School, the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Robert Smalls and his capture of the steamship planter through the Reconstruction era. Everyone is invited to learn more on guided historical tours Friday, June 22, at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.; or to visit the Regional Art Showcase at its York W. Bailey Museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Enjoy the “Fish Fry with Blues” by local celebrity Bill DuPont from 12-3 p.m. on the Frissell Grounds. It’s also a chance to stop by the book signing with Bob Rogers, author of “First Dark: A Buffalo Soldier’s Story” — a fictional work based on real events and people during the Civil War, Indian Wars, American Reconstruction and Mexican Revolution. Also at the signing will be illustrator John W. Jones, well known for his watercolor paintings of Penn’s historical buildings.
Children currently in the Penn P.A.C.E. program take a historical tour with mentors in the Penn Teen Leadership program.
Also, don’t miss the first public screening on Friday at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. of a 30-minute documentary highlighting the deep connection between the Sea Islanders and the land and water that sustains them. The filmmakers and several of the local resident featured in the film will be in attendance.
At the end of the day from 4-6 p.m. in Frissel Hall forum facilitator Fred Washington, Beaufort County Board of Education Chairman, will join 11 expert panelists and members of the community in drawing the future of Penn. A true testament to the Penn Center’s attention to the wants of its community, this community forum will discuss “Penn Center: Then, Now and Tomorrow.”
“Because it does take the whole community and because this is a community center, you want to have everyone’s input — youth, a college student to a 104-year-old person,” chimed Smalls and Mack together.
Saturday, June 23, will begin with an opening ceremony that includes the 54th Massachusetts Vol. infantry Civil War reenactment, the sesquicentennial memorial unveiling and spiritual vocals of church choirs. Penn Center, Inc. will host a banquet at the historic Brick Baptist Church built by West African slaves. Then the celebration will culminate with keynote speakers Roland J. Gardner and Dr. Emory S. Campbell.
Gardner is the C.E.O. of Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc., which provides affordable health services for more than 19,000 patients in the three counties. Of course, before Mr. Gardner was recognized nationally and locally for his excellence in leadership, he was a graduate of Penn Center’s Nursery School and a lifetime committed supporter of Penn Center as a former chairman on the Board of Trustees and now an 1862 Circle inductee.
Dr. Campbell, also an 1862 Circle inductee, is the Executive Director Emeritus of Penn Center and one of the nation’s leading experts on Gullah culture. Campbell was the former chairman of the Gullah-Geechie Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission and is currently the Director of Gullah Heritage Consulting Services and the manager of Gullah Heritage Trail Tours. He is also working with a team to produce “De Nyew Testament,” a bible translation into Gullah with marginal text of the King James version.
“I’m so amazed of the role that Penn played not only in this region but in the history of the United States,” Mack remarked. “Education for Freedom — that was the key. The whole idea of Reconstruction for the South, it started here. Teaching citizenship to newly freed people, that all started here. No other part of the South. Right here. It used to be a taboo [for Gullah people] to talk about their history or speak their language because it would hold them back. Things have changed. We’re letting the world know we have a unique culture here that needs to be preserved.”
Executive Director Arlene Hull said the Alzheimer’s Family Services of Greater Beaufort had a sellout crowd of more than 240 people at last weekend’s dinner theater fundraiser at The Shed in Port Royal. The money will go directly to help caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease in our community.
Arlene said, “Thank you, thank you to all of the hard-working volunteers and staff, and the generous sponsors, and the wonderful people who supported us by attending, and the night would have been nothing without our great entertainers, Ron Daise, Harry Chakides, Bernie Schein and Steven Keyserling — the “Unreliables” whose incredible talents made this event such a success. You are all my heroes!”
She added, “Please also thank all of the donors of our many silent auction items and the generous people who bid on them.”
The wonderful dinner stations were provided by Breakwater, Emily’s, chefs from Lady’s Island Country Club, Summit Place Assisted Living, Helena House, Morning Side Assisted Living. The salad bar was sponsored by Tidewater Hospice and Roland Washington of We Island, and a bread station was sponsored by Publix.
Special thanks goes to the many generous sponsors: Butler Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep; CBC Bank; Low Country Home Oxygen; the Family of THK, THA Group; Coastal Neurology; Roxanne Cheney Home Organizations & Administration; Century Link; Morning Side; Summit Place of Beaufort; Marilynn and Jim Koerber; The Sandbar & Grill; IV Specialists; John Troutman; Eric Fennell; Hometown Realty; SCB&T; H. Rubin Vision Center; Virtual Marketing; New South Shirts; Premier Home Health Care Services; Strategic Communications; Furniture Warehouse Design Gallery; Moss, Kuhn & Fleming; and Bob Carney of BIAS.
Hot on the heels of the energizing Havana Son show, the final act in the popular Street Music on Paris Avenue summer concert series will take to the stage Saturday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m.
Webb Wilder and The Beatnecks are described as “Rock for Roots fans and Roots for Rock fans.”
Musician Webb Wilder.
The Associated Press calls the band’s music and stage performance “a glorious amalgamation of grunge chords, killer grooves, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins theatrics, a healthy sense of humor, and great pop melodies.” It’s “full of wit and personality, and devoid of technological or conceptual gimmickry,” added the Houston Post.
Webb Wilder is an evangelist for real rock ‘n’ roll. As a singer, guitarist, bandleader, film actor, songwriter and humorist, he may be roots-rock’s only true Renaissance man. The Webb Wilder Credo is “Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need ’em.”
Remember to bring chairs and dancing shoes to this show produced by ARTworks. The free concert series is a gift from the Town of Port Royal; the rain location is The Shed. For more information, contact ARTworks at 843-279-2787 or visit www.ArtWorksInBeaufort.org.
Morgan Bennett, a 2012 graduate from Beaufort High School, is the recipient of the South Carolina Dance Education Organization (SCDEO) Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Merit Award. To be considered, Morgan was required to answer essay questions, provide a letter of recommendation, and submit a video of her own choreography. Morgan performed an original solo piece “Shattered,” which is her interpretation of someone struggling with Alzheimer’s. Morgan’s inspiration for the dance comes from a family friend who has been struggling for years with the disease. The SCDEO was so impressed with Morgan’s choreography that they nominated her for the National Dance Honor award, where she received Honorable Mention.
Morgan is a member of National Honor Society for Dance Arts, was president of the Beaufort High School chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, and dances with Low Country School of Performing Arts. Morgan will be attending College of Charleston in the fall where she plans to double major in dance and business.
In its 10th year, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Civitas Awards will celebrate the best and brightest businesses and business leaders in Beaufort, Port Royal and the Sea Islands June 29 at the Dataw Island Clubhouse.
Part of the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, the event includes a cocktail reception for networking, dinner, comments by the outgoing and incoming chairmen of the Chamber Board, and the highlight of the evening – recognition of the Civitas winners.
“This year, we recognize 34 highly qualified nominees and will celebrate 11 Civitas Awards,” said Blakely Williams, president of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Civitas program is in line with the Chamber mission to lead the enhancement, expansion and diversification of the business community. The awards cover a wide scope of excellence in the community, she noted.
“We are so proud of these nominees, the work they’ve done and the promise they hold for our future,” said Jon Rembold, 2011-12 Chairman of the Chamber Board. “It’s a real honor for us to recognize them at such a big event.”
Early-bird tickets to the Annual Meeting and Civitas Awards are $50 for members and $65 for non-members of the Beaufort Chamber through Friday. To buy tickets or for more information, contact Renee Faucher at 525-8537 or email@example.com.
Judges for this year’s event included Kevin Cuppia, Modern Jewelers; John Perrill, CBC National Bank; Mike McFee, Hometown Realty; Jeff Evans, Lowcountry Weekly; Bill Bootle, individual; Frankie Denmark, Hargray Communications; Jeff Kidd, Beaufort Gazette; and Sallie Stone, Beaufort Memorial Hospital and The Blood Alliance.
The highlight of the Civitas Awards is the coveted Lifetime of Leadership honor. This award recognizes an individual who has made great contributions to his/her community with their lives through various avenues of service. Service may come in the form of business growth and development, setting higher standards and/or demonstrating great leadership skills.
Lifetime contributions in communities prior to moving to the Beaufort region are also considered in determining lifelong leadership, provided the nominee meets the eligibility requirements. Nominees for the 2012 Lifetime of Leadership Award are:
Robert DeLoach has lived in Beaufort all his life with the exception of his college years and his World War II service in the Navy.
He has positively impacted the lives of Beaufort residents over the last six decades with his invaluable engineering experience, beginning at Parris Island where he worked for 37 years as a mechanical engineer and at BES, Inc. where he has completed countless projects, introduced groundbreaking technologies in the field of engineering and mentored five generations of young engineers for the past 36 years.
Among DeLoach’s numerous volunteer hours include: the Beaufort Academy Board of Directors; Lady’s Island Business Professionals Association (LIBPAS) Board of Directors; South Carolina Social Services Board of Directors; and the Boy Scouts of America as District Commissioner.
Bernie Kole was drawn to Beaufort nearly 20 years ago by its strong sense of community and friendly people, Bernie Kole is the owner of Kole Construction, a well-known real estate development and residential homebuilder in Beaufort. Kole served as the 2001 Chamber Chairman of the Board and played a key role in the Military Enhancement Committee for BRAC in 2005.
Kole’s volunteer hours include building the shelter and office building in 1998 for Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse, the Child Abuse Prevention Association office in 2007 and most recently, the CAPA Closet project on Ribaut Road.
Kole currently serves as president of CAPA, president of the Friends of the Beaufort County Library, Inc., and as a trustee of the Beaufort County Public Library system.
Larry Mark is a Beaufort native and founder and owner Furniture Warehouse Design Gallery (FWDG). He started his furniture business at just 20 years old in a converted garage in 1972. Now in its 40th year, FWDG enjoys its 60,000 square feet showroom space, has generated millions in sales revenue and employs nearly 20 people.
As the fourth person in his family to graduate from Leadership Beaufort, Mark has served as Chairman of the Beauport Area Transportation Commission, Co-Chair for the Beaufort County Schools Air Quality Task Force, Chairman of the University of South Carolina division of the Small Business Development Centers and Beaufort Planning Board Officer.
Larry and Robyn Mark founded the FWDG Coat Drive, a 21-year old effort that has resulted in over 40,000 coats being distributed to needy children and adults throughout Beaufort County.
Other categories and nominees for this year’s Civitas Awards include:
Regional Economic Impact
This award recognizes a business that has demonstrated significant accomplishments in promoting economic prosperity and quality of life in our region. Businesses nominated create a significant economic impact through investment, risk-taking or job creation at a macro level.
Nominees include the City of Beaufort; Mitchell Brothers Inc.; and Technical College of the Lowcountry.
Excellence in Free Enterprise
This award recognizes a business that is a model of successful enterprise for others. Success can include job creation, creating economic diversification for the community, unique risks and results, turning a business around or filling a market niche. Nominees include Greenbug and The Island News.
This award recognizes a for-profit business that actively and voluntarily supports community service organizations or provides support to individuals in need. It recognizes businesses that have made exemplary or long-standing contributions to our community, promoting community involvement within its corporate culture. Nominees include Beaufort Memorial Foundation, Robinson Grant and The Greenery.
This award recognizes a private, non-profit organization that demonstrates enhancement of the quality of life and betterment of the community, contributes a balance of time, expertise and funding, meets an identified community need, and serves locally, regionally or nationally with a local or regional presence. Nominees include Alzheimer’s Family Services, Beaufort Art Association, Beaufort County Historical Society, HELP of Beaufort and the Wardle Family YMCA .
Outstanding Leadership Beaufort Alumni
Leadership Beaufort Alumni was organized in 2009 and launched this award in 2010. The award recognizes one of the alumni who best exemplify the directive of Leadership Beaufort to get engaged and give back to the community. Nominees are Terry Bennett, Jack Cunningham and Charlotte Gonzalez.
This award recognizes a business, person or organization that has made great contributions to Beaufort County’s number one industry: tourism. Nominees are Beaufort Water Festival and Ron Tucker of the Beaufort Film Society.
This award recognizes an individual who provides excellent customer service, who are good team players and who raise the bar in their workplace by contributing new ideas that better their company. Nominees are Josh Castillio, Plums restaurant and Androula Weiland, Main Street Beaufort USA.
Military Citizenship Award
This award recognizes retired military in our community that makes exemplary and lasting contributions to our community. Nominees are Garry Parks, Bill Severns and Jack Snider.
Lowcountry Young Professional
This award recognizes a young professional who exemplifies strong professional capabilities, leadership qualities, service to the community and a respected character. Nominees are Will Achurch, Wells Fargo; Julie Good, Beaufort Historic Foundation; Joel Iacopelli, Capstone Financial Partners; Stephen Murray, Kazoobies Inc.; and Charlie Nolette, Berry Island.
The Civitas Awards also will recognize the Junior Enlisted Service Member of the Year and Non-commissioned Officer of the Year. Both winners are selected by staff at the three local military installations.
By Terry Sweeney
OK, so fungi is not the most appetizing word in your vocabulary. But like ’em or not, mushrooms have been the wild forage food of choice all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome. Mexican Aztecs used to call a very special magical mushroom the “food of the Gods” (if you don’t know what the heck they’re talking about, ask one of your old trippy hippy friends).
The only “magic mushrooms” I ever knew were the cutesy toadstools with tiny doors and windows where little people with wings lived, found on the pages of my kiddie books and which delighted me to no end. Finding an actual mushroom on my childhood plate, however, could elicit highly confrontational dinner time drama.
Eight year old me: “What is this?!”
My mother: “A mushroom.”
Me: “Quick, get it off my plate!”
Mother: “But it flew all the way here from a farm in Pennsylvania, honey.”
Me: “Well I hope it bought a round trip ticket ‘cuz I wouldn’t eat it if it was the last thing on earth!”
Cue sound effect: Stomping of little feet out of dining room.
Now a grown-up food and wine enthusiast, I can’t get enough of mushrooms and I owe Pennsylvania — still the number one grower of mushrooms in the country — an apology. A trip to my local supermarket or farmers market is never complete until I have armfuls of portabellas, buttons, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, and on the most the blessed of occasions: chanterelles.
And, of course, mushrooms and wine are my favorite pairings. However, one must definitely choose the right wine carefully.
My most favorite wine to cook mushrooms with or just plain drink with them is Spanish Rioja. And actually since the Spanish were the first to settle here in Beaufort in the late 1500s, I feel that combining the two honors the memories of the conquistadores who probably came over here looking for gold and found, rather disappointedly, mud, marshes and mosquitoes instead. (See how I just made getting drunk on Rioja and eating a big plate of wild mushrooms sauteed in hot garlicky butter seem like some sort of touching tribute to our local history? With practice, you too can pull off that kind of Happy Wino hokum!)
But really, nothing brings out the earthiness of a mushroom like the world’s most beautiful earthy wine: Rioja. The exception is the otherworldly and elegant chanterelle which can be found June and July at abundance in farmers markets now through August (depending on rainfall). With chanterelles I would choose a dry white wine, especially when using them in a risotto or scrambled eggs or on a white pizza. There’s nothing that the heavenly chanterelle can’t elevate to a higher level (except maybe an episode of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”)
The chanterelle aside, my favorite Spanish affordable Rioja of choice to accompany all other mushroom dishes is Marques de Caceres Rioja ($15), a sleek blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano grapes. Its macho earthiness pairs beautifully with the wild, down and dirty, flirty fungi.
So what are you waiting for? Go have yourself some summer fungi fun! Cheers!
By Dennis Tavernetti
“Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog” from the World Film Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts on Monday, June 25 at 4 p.m. and Friday, July 6 at 4 p.m.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, this is the sweet tale of a yellow Labrador Retriever guide dog for the blind named Quill. We follow Quill from the litter to his selection as a guide dog shortly after his first birthday. After training at a Japanese school for guide dogs, Quill is paired with a blind man named Watanabe who at first is reluctant to rely on him. But Quill’s great patience, gentleness and skill eventually win him over and they become inseparable friends.
Ratings & Reviews: Internet site Rotten Tomatoes rated: critics: 84/audiences: 88. Very high scores. Newspapers reviews: New York Times: “undeniably powerful … fascinating; Newark Star-Ledger: “…wonderful”; Roger Ebert: “… realistic in every aspect … they love us, listen to us, are happy when they help us …”
Previewer Comments: This heartwarming film in Japanese with English subtitles will appeal to children, families and dog lovers of all ages. It also is fascinating to learn how a “seeing eye dog” is selected and then trained to be the eyes of a blind person. There is a huge human interest element in the film between the reluctant blind man and the trusting faithful dog; which reminds us of the special relationship that canines have with humans compared to any other animal on the planet.
Rated: Unrated, but can be considered to be G, suitable for family and adults.
“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” from The World Series documentary presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts on Wednesday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.
Synopsis: The dreams are those of 85 year old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in the basement of a Tokyo office building. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 stars by Michelin, and sushi lovers from around the globe call months in advance and shell out top dollar for a coveted seat. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son, Yoshikazu, the heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential as long as he is in his father’s shadow.
Ratings & Reviews: Internet rating sites, IMDb: 7.6; Rotten Tomatoes: Critics: 98/Audience: 92. Outstanding marks. Newspaper Critics: New York Daily News: “… An extraordinary morsel of a movie”; TIME Magazine: “… beautifully photographed …” ; LA Times: “elegant and tasty …”
Previewer Comments: This world film in Japanese with English subtitles makes clear the sacrifices of perfection by their absence. None of us are going to be top sushi masters, nor massage an octopus for 45 minutes to make it feel soft and subtle in a customer’s mouth, but a lot of us focus on “work” to the near exclusion of all else. This film should not only amaze you about how difficult and time consuming it is to master the art, but all that one gives up in order to achieve that goal and excellence. This film should remind us of the need for balance in our lives.
Tickets for adults are $7, seniors $6, students $5. Call USCB Center for the Arts box office at 843-521-4145 or purchase day of performance. Box office opens one hour prior to show time.
Dennis Tavernetti is a resident of St. Helena Island and retired to the Lowcountry having a lifelong interest in the arts.
Blue Mudd had a sold out show in Charleston for the Piccolo Spoleto Jazz performance and the band will be back this Thursday at the Foolish Frog. Blue Mudd is Beek Webb on mandolin, Jevon Daly on fiddle, Roger Bellow on lead guitar, Adam Granade on doublebass, and Vic Varner
Blue Mudd will play The Foolish Frog.
on rhythm guitar and vocals. The band has added some new peices to the playlist, plus, they will have women singers sitting in — none other than Amanda Brewer and Jordan Norris. There will be two one-hour sets, the first at 7 p.m., the second set at 9 p.m. They will perform on the deck, weather permitting (rain plan moves band inside) with great food and atmosphere. Foolish Frog is located at 846 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island. For more information, call 843-838-9300.
“CAPTURING WATER’S MYSTERY” in Water Mixable Oils with Jay Kenaga will be offered Tuesday through Thursday, June 26, 27 and 28. Paint and some supplies furnished; all skill levels welcome. The instructor will supply water mixable oil paint, water bottles, paper towels, etc., at no charge. Learn to paint placid pond water, breezy low country water, rough water hitting rocks, water in beautiful swells hitting the coastline, or a single transparent wave slamming the beach. Class hours are from 1-4 p.m. at the BAA Studio of the Beaufort Art Association Gallery at 913 Bay St., Beaufort. Cost is $80 for three classes. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request registration forms and supply list. Call Ellen Long at 843-838-3205 for more information.