|Issue 1.29 | Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009 | Wash your hands to ward off sickness!|
CharlestonCurrents.com is a new online twice-weekly publication that offers insightful community comment and good news on events. It cuts through the information clutter to offer insight and news on the best of what's happening locally. More.
FEB. 19, 2009 -- As the BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival grows each year, so does the organization's ability to increase its charitable giving. From its inception, the festival has been committed to supporting the Charleston community and both the culinary and tourism industries. Raising money for local culinary-related charities has always been an important focus for the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and each year the goal to raise and donate money grows with the number of attendees. To date, the Festival has raised more than $14,000, and the goal for 2009 is to reach at least $50,000.
"We are thrilled to have already raised significant funds this year considering the current state of the economy," stated Laura Hewitt, chairperson of the festival's Board of Directors. "We still have a ways to go to reach our $50,000 goal, which would double previous year amounts."
The festival's first charitable focus each year is to award money for culinary scholarships at area colleges and universities. In the festival's four-year history, it has awarded nine Trident Technical College and College of Charleston student scholarships. These scholarships have provided students the means to enroll in culinary programs, travel abroad, gain one-on-one networking and skill-building opportunities and much more.
This year the festival launched a new "Fill the Glass" campaign to support its 2009 signature charity -- the MUSC Children's Hospital, which is South Carolina's premiere pediatric academic medical center. Expanding the focus of previous years, the festival is working with the Children's Hospital to raise money and awareness for juvenile diabetes and lifestyle prevention research. Donations were accepted at the Summer Launch + Benefit Party and brought in close to $4,000.
Thanks to the generous support of BB&T, celebrity chef Bobby Flay is hosting a charity luncheon, Flay Down South, in which $25 of every ticket goes directly to the hospital. Festival supporters can also directly benefit the MUSC Children's Hospital by visiting this Web page and clicking the automatic "Donate Now" button to donate directly to our MUSC Children's Hospital fund.
Another new program to support the "fill the glass" initiative is the 2009 "Round-Up" with local merchants and restaurants. During the week of the festival, March 2-8, patrons of BB&T, Blossom, The Charleston Club at Daniel Island (at wine tastings every other Wednesday in February), Cypress, Magnolias, Sunfire Grill, Tristan and Circa 1886 will be asking their customers to "round up" their checks or change to benefit the hospital.
Members of the Charleston community can help the festival reach the $50,000 goal by attending and supporting the live charity auction on March 5 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. There, guests will have the opportunity to bid on luxurious trips and private parties - including a taping of Bobby Flay on "Iron Chef America." The auction is free, and wine and beverages will be served.
Those guests attending the festival's signature events throughout the weekend can also support the campaign to raise money by visiting our silent auction tables to bid on jewelry, one-of-a-kind paintings, bottles of wine and much more. For a complete list of live and silent auction items, visit the festival's Web site and look under "Culinary Village."
The Festival also supports and raises money for the Lowcountry Food Bank Kids Café program at the annual Amuse Bouche kickoff party with Charleston magazine on Feb. 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Renaissance Charleston Hotel. Food is provided by Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q and wine is courtesy of Whole Foods Market. The $15 at the door directly benefits the program.
All of the food throughout the weekend of the festival is donated to Crisis Ministries to assist in its campaign against hunger and homelessness.
is a weekend of incredible food, spectacular wine and wonderful Southern
hospitality. We encourage all of our guests and supporters in the local
community to lend a hand in raising charitable donations for the organizations
that we support.
FEB. 19, 2009 -- Welcome to a grab-bag: a little news, a couple of views and a follow-up on an earlier column:
Cheap date: Charleston, a cheap date? Looks like it, but that's a good thing. According to the latest newsletter from Upper King Charleston (an organization that promotes businesses on Upper King Street), a recent survey of couples who travel rated Charleston as the best city for providing value for one's money. D.K. Shifflet and Associates, the leading U.S. consumer travel research company, says the data come from the Directions Travel Performance/Monitor. After the Holy City at No. 1, the rest of the top five, in order, were Williamsburg, Va.; Asheville, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; and San Diego, Calif. Gracious Charlestonians will want to tip their caps to Myrtle Beach, which came in No. 8.
"While Charleston comes out on top, a common thread among these cities that make the top 10 value list is their significant offering of free or nearly free cultural exhibits, galleries, walking tours and reasonably priced romantic dining," said Cheryl Schutz, vice president of account services for Shifflet. "Flowers are nice, but a romantic getaway to one of these high-value cities can generate a lasting memory and still be within a couple's budget."
SEWE crowds: Stories in the news earlier this week revealed that, according to Southeastern Wildlife Expo officials, vendors were reporting lower sales during last weekend's event, although the number of attendees seemed to keep pace with last year's crowds. It will be interesting to see whether that pattern holds for the Lowcountry's next two big tourist draws - the BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival (March 5-8) and the Historic Charleston Foundation's Festival of Houses and Gardens (March 19-April 18).
I'll vouch for the reports about the crowds being steady last weekend. I was traveling on East Bay Street on Saturday around 1 p.m., and cars were bumper to bumper from the Market Street area all the way to George Street (heading east toward the Market). Traffic picked up again at Calhoun and stayed thick as far as the post office. I hope most of those folks were on their way to or from shopping, having lunching or enjoying the Expo.
Spring thing: No-see-'ums? No kidding. I stopped to talk with a neighbor last week while I was taking our dog, Indigo (the world's calmest Jack Russell terrier), for a late-afternoon walk, and we cut the conversation short because the no-see-'ums were eating us up. Spring doesn't officially begin until March 20, but looks the bugs didn't get the memo.
Oh so close: Finally, back on Jan. 8, I wrote about a local gentleman, Tom Gengo, who had been named the South Carolina winner in the National Chicken Cooking Contest. All the state winners were divided into regions for another round of competition, with the regional champs getting the chance to compete for a $50,000 grand prize later this year. Tom's recipe for Whole Chicken with Honey-Fig Sauce went up against contestants from eight other states in our region. Unfortunately, Tom's recipe didn't advance. The regional winner was Spanish-Style Sweet and Sour Chicken, a recipe submitted by a woman from Gainesville, Fla.
Tom, I'm sorry to hear that, but maybe greater things lie ahead for you - such as the Pillsbury Bake-Off, where the top prize is a cool $1 million. Now that ain't chicken feed.
Ann Thrash is editor of CharlestonCurrents.com. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To the editor:
[In response to Andy Brack's Feb. 16 column:] Hooray! From your lips to the ARB's ears. "Not every shack has to be preserved. Not every decrepit crack house needs to have a fuss made over it." I could not agree more!
No to cookie-cutter units, yes to heritage structures
I liked your story on the old buildings. Down at Manly, which is a big tourist area, there are many similar buildings. However, rather than put up the cookie-cutter town houses and units, I wished they would do heritage-type replacements.
Signage at former library creates unfortunate impression
I attend St. Matthew's Lutheran Church at 405 King St. across from Marion Square. Coming out of church Sunday, I was standing on the sidewalk and I overheard some tourist saying, "They don't think much of their library here; look at the signage and the windows." I did stop them and direct them to Calhoun Street to the library, but it made me think -- we really do need to ask for the signage to be taken down and maybe a temporary paint job on the graffiti, at least until the city lets the developer put up the new hotel.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank Industries, LLC of Charleston, SC. With broad experience in commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service to provide innovative business solutions for project development, information technology, logistics, vessel design, shipping agency services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally. Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.
17th-century reproduction cannon to be demonstrated
Charles Towne Landing will be the host for a live demonstration of a reproduction 17th-century saker cannon on Feb. 21 at the historic site, 1500 Olde Town Road, west of the Ashley. The demonstrations will take place at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the cannon platforms overlooking the secluded point off the Ashley River where the Carolina colony was founded in 1670.
During the early years of the settlement, the Charles Towne colonists faced several threats, especially from the Spanish, who were their primary enemy and colonial rival. The Spanish fleet at St. Augustine, Fla., was within just three days' travel of Charles Towne.
Following a review of the settlement's fortifications and defenses, the Charles Towne Militia living history team will conduct the cannon demonstration. Similar programs are held the third Saturday of each month.
Admission is $5 for adults, $3.25 for S.C. senior citizens, $3 for ages 6-15 and free for children 5 and younger. For more info, call 852-4200 or visit the park online.
Converting old CDs, DVDs and books into cash
Symphony Orchestra has formed a fundraising partnership with AbundaTrade.com,
formerly Millennium Music, to raise money for orchestra operations. Patrons
can support the CSO by selling their old CDs, DVDs and books to AbundaTrade.com
at upcoming CSO performances. In past fundraising events organized by
AbundaTrade, the organization was able to convert several hundred collections
into thousands of dollars. In addition, AbundaTrade.com will make its
own contribution of 10 percent of total proceeds directly to the CSO.
will collect items to benefit the CSO until the Merrill Lynch Masterworks
season-ending concert on April 25 at 8 p.m. at the Gaillard Auditorium.
Patrons can either bring their boxed items to an upcoming CSO concert
or they can drop the materials off at the AbundaTrade.com warehouse, 498
Wando Park Boulevard, Suite 1000, in Mount Pleasant.
Block party to focus on local, regional food specialists
Ted's Butcherblock and Lowcountry Local First, a Charleston nonprofit agency, are holding a block party from noon until 6 p.m. March 7 at Ted's, 334 East Bay St. Food, beer and wine from local and regional purveyors will be offered, along with live local music.
A variety of craft beers will be offered on tap, along with rotisserie lamb from the S.C. Upstate Farmers Alliance. There will be tastings of wine, local pasta from Rio Bertolini, and artisan chocolate from Sweet Teeth Confections.
The cost is $25 per person, which includes a plate of food, a beverage and samplings. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Lowcountry Local First's Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, which works to strengthen local farms and producers by creating partnerships with local restaurants, institutions and the community.
Free Gullah programs to look at rice, indigo production
Rice production and indigo dyeing are the topics of a free Gullah heritage program planned for 2 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, 1254 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant. The National Park Service and the town of Mount Pleasant are sponsoring the program.
Sharon and Frank Murray will present the program on rice production, and Paul and Loretta Hromoga will offer information on indigo. Both crops were critical to the Lowcountry's economy for generations.
For more information on the programs, call 881-5516 or go to http://www.nps.gov/chpi.
Actress, singer and television personality Mabel King was born in Charleston on December 25, 1932. She had a starring role in Melvin Van Peebles' Broadway hit musical "Don't Play Us Cheap," in which two imps are sent by the devil to break up a party in Harlem. She was a talented entertainer whose most memorable role was as the oversized, all-powerful Mama in the 1976-1979 ABC sitcom "What's Happening!!" The main comedic events of the show centered on her role as the loving mother to a teenage son, Roger (Ernest Thomas); his friends Rerun (Fred Berry) and Dwayne (Haywood Nelson); and a precocious daughter, Dee (Danielle Spencer). The series, loosely based on the motion picture "Cooley High," was one of several all-black-cast programs that succeeded during the 1970s.
King played the part of Evilene, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the Broadway production of "The Wiz." Her stellar performance earned King a Tony nomination in 1975 for best actress. She reprised her role in a 1978 film version of the musical and subsequently had roles in the films "The Jerk" (1979), "Scrooged" (1988), "Dead Men Don't Die" (1990) and "Tales from the Darkside 6" (1992).
King's career stalled as her health failed. She ultimately lost both her legs to diabetes, a stroke damaged her left hand, and a fall from a wheelchair knocked out her upper teeth. She lived at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, for nine years before leaving the facility in August 1999. When asked about the trials and tribulations she had endured, she was quoted in the Los Angeles Times in 1995 as saying, "Sure enough, I've been through a lot, but so what? I thank God for my life." She died in Woodland Hills on November 9, 1999.
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These five organizations do great work helping people in our community, but are struggling to provide their services in this difficult economy. Because we're all interdependent, connected and united, supporting them means supporting our whole community. Thanks to Barry Waldman, vice president of communications for Trident United Way, for providing this list of five agencies that could use your help today:
Of course, don't forget that your continued support of Trident United Way is a charitable investment in our community that yields measurable results in people's lives. Learn more at http://www.tuw.org.
"It wasn't until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say 'I don't know.'"
'To Kill A Mockingbird': Feb. 11-28, Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St., Charleston. Charleston Stage production of Harper Lee's moving novel is directed by Julian Wiles. Tickets: $15-$29. For show dates and times, visit Charleston Stage online.
Entertaining with Nathalie: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 16 through Feb. 20, Culinary Institute of Charleston, Palmer Campus, 66 Columbus St., Charleston. Join internationally known cookbook author and Charleston resident Nathalie Dupree for "Entertaining With Ease," a week's worth of classes on the art of entertaining, including recipes, ideas and tips for preparing ahead. Each day's class includes a brief talk and demo followed by hands-on cooking with Nathalie. The week concludes with dinner at Nathalie's Charleston home on Feb. 20 featuring the menu prepared that day. Cost: $899. Click here to register (it's course number is XPOC 657-501) or phone 574-6152.
(NEW) Home & Outdoor Living Show: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 20 and Feb. 21; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 22, Charleston Area Convention Center. Sponsored by Charleston Trident Home Builders Association, the show offers ideas from more than 150 vendors for remodeling, redesigning and showcasing both home and garden. Free seminars on mortgage financing, green building, budget-minded updates of home décor, 10 things to know before hiring a remodeler, and other home and garden topics; cooking demonstration with local chefs. Tickets: $6; free for kids under 12 and adults 55 and over. More info.
An Evening in the Orient: 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 21, Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St., Charleston. Annual fundraiser sponsored by Friends and Needed Supporters (FANS) of the Charleston Museum. Far East food, culture and items from the museum's Asian collections are showcased. George Read of Sotheby's will preside at an auction, with items including vacations, jewelry, Charleston silver, a 100-person oyster roast, a quail hunt, and artwork by local artists. Tickets: $60 members, $70 nonmembers. To register: 722-2996, ext. 264, or http://www.CharlestonMuseum.org.
Your Memories: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 22, John Rutledge House
Inn, 116 Broad St. Sponsored by the Charleston Parks Conservancy, the
free event invites residents to bring new or old photos, videos and stories
about any local parks to be compiled into the first Charleston parks wiki.
Conservancy volunteers will digitally scan photos and type in stories.
Event also includes a free tour of the historic inn, which was built in
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Sea and Save: Throughout February, S.C. Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston. Reduced admission fee of $10 for all South Carolina residents during the month, a savings of $7 off regular adult admission. Proof of residency required. More info online or at 577-3474.
'Uptown in Downtown Charleston': Throughout February, Saul Alexander Gallery, Charleston County Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St. Watercolors by artist Andrea Hazel, a native Charlestonian, will focus on the neighborhood people, corner stores and small businesses that becoming harder to find in downtown Charleston. The paintings are part of an ongoing series that reflects Hazel's love for her hometown and the streets where locals live and hang out.
(NEW) Food + Wine Festival Preview Party: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 27, Renaissance Charleston Hotel, 68 Wentworth St. Get the scoop on the upcoming festival while raising money for the Lowcountry Food Bank's Kids Café program. Hors d'oeuvres provided by Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q; wine provided by Whole Foods Market. Tickets: $15 at the door, cash or check; reservations not needed. More info.
BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival: March 5-8, various venues. The fourth annual festival highlights Charleston's distinctive restaurants, culinary history and cuisine while allowing guests to meet stars of the food world from around the nation, including chefs, authors, wine makers and pitmasters. Events include dinners, a gospel brunch, tastings of food and wine, cooking demonstrations (including a burger demonstration with Food Network star Bobby Flay) and more. MUSC's Children's Hospital is the signature charity for the festival. Details, tickets and more info: click here.
RiverDogs Job Fair: 9 a.m. to noon March 14, Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. Apply for game-day working positions, including ushers, ticket-takers and Kidz Zone staff, with the RiverDogs, the Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. More info: Jake Terrell, 723-7241.
Photographing Your Baby: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 15, Charleston Center for Photography, 654 King St., Suite D, Charleston. Portrait photographer Julia Lynn will lead this workshop, giving demonstrations and teaching students how to choose the right location for shooting, properly position the baby and get a great exposure every time. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO and lens selections will be discussed as well. Cost: $125. Register here.
Nature Photography Workshop: March 18-March 21. Through the Charleston Center for Photography, nature photographer Kenny McKeithan will lead a workshop called "Nature of the Lowcountry." Participants will travel around the greater Charleston area photographing various sites. Sessions include hands-on instruction for each student along with critiques. Cost: $300. Details/registration: http://www.ccforp.org or 577-0647.
Penguins 'n' Pajamas Family Sleepover: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. March 20, S.C. Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston. Sleep with the penguins at the aquarium on the night that the new Penguin Planet exhibit opens. Family sleepover will offer special chances to watch the penguins dive underwater, learn about penguin colonies and discover what makes them march. One adult required per two children attending the event. Reservations and advance payment required. Cost: $30 per member child, $40 per member adult; $40 and $50 for nonmember child and adult, respectively. Reservations: 577-3474. More info.
Mom to Mom Sale: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 21, National Guard Armory, 245 Mathis Ferry Road, Mount Pleasant. Sponsored by three Mount Pleasant MOMS clubs (Moms Offering Moms Support), the sale will offer new and gently used children's, baby and maternity items from 80 different consigners. Ten percent of proceeds will go to Windwood Farms, a local group home for boys ages 5 to 16 who have been removed from their homes because of unstable family situations. Cost: $1 entry fee for sale. Details.
(NEW) Walk for Water: 9 a.m. March 21, Cannon Park, downtown Charleston. Join Water Missions International for an educational, 3.5-mile walk inspired by the experience of women and children who are responsible for fetching water for their families every day. Walkers are encouraged to form teams and recruit as many supporters as possible. After the walk, enjoy refreshments and family-oriented activities and entertainment. More info.
In this section, we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:
New local music CD
to old clunker
know you're from...
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