will connect nonprofits, businesses along coast
Pluff Mud Connect
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
14, 2009 -- There's
an unnoticed group of people running loose in the Lowcountry. They
are everywhere: in grocery stores, at nonprofit organizations, in
service businesses, and on bridges and highways throughout the community.
many who are dejected and downhearted about the state of the economy,
they haven't hunkered down to wait for difficult times to pass;
they just aren't "Chicken Little" or "glass-half-empty"
kind of folks. Instead, these quiet entrepreneurs view "challenges"
as opportunities, and they are using this time of economic uncertainty
to reassess, streamline, innovate and implement new approaches.
Not surprisingly, many of the winning new approaches have a common
theme: a local focus, forging community connections, and staying
solvent -- even thriving -- during difficult economic times.
Mud Connect is one example of these innovative new concepts
in the Lowcountry. The web-based service, which officially launches
tomorrow, matches local businesses with nonprofit organizations
throughout eight counties in coastal South Carolina. Registration
is free for nonprofits.
"win" because they can easily search for qualified local
experts in categories such as board and staff recruitment, fundraising,
marketing and more. Even better, nonprofits can fill out a simple
online form and receive competitive bids for services from local
businesses with just the touch of a button.
providers and consultants pay a small annual fee to enroll. Sole
proprietors, small businesses and larger companies "win"
by building detailed service profiles and putting their qualifications
directly in front of local nonprofits. They also win by receiving
business opportunities via e-mail, directly from nonprofits that
need their services.
community "wins" by having a strengthened network between
local businesses and local nonprofits, but that's not all. Pluff
Mud Connect is also setting aside a portion of the enrollment fees
to create a new funding stream for small projects between enrolled
consultants and registered nonprofits. With such a clear value proposition,
more than 25 nonprofits and more than 20 local businesses have enrolled
before launch, based just on word-of-mouth referrals.
Mud Connect will hold a launch mixer tonight from 5 p.m. to
7 p.m. at Plum Elements, 161½ King St., downtown, and
owner Laura Deaton says all are welcome. Learn more at Pluff
Pluff Mud Connect is focused on the nonprofit sector, there are
several other recent examples of winning ideas that are building
local connections. Earlier this year, Touchpoint Communications
owner Colleen Troy created Brand-Aide, a social business venture
designed to match local businesses with unemployed marketing and
public-relations professionals. Not only does it help keep the local
marketing professionals solvent during difficult times, but it provides
top-notch talent to small businesses and other organizations that
might not otherwise be able to afford it.
Local First is another great new organization, with a focus on uniting
local retail, manufacturing and agricultural businesses to encourage
consumers to buy and sell locally and support businesses that reinvest
in Lowcountry communities.
if you're having a "Chicken Little" kind of day, take
a deep breath, go for a walk or go shopping. Chances are that you'll
be brushing shoulders at the lunch counter or standing in line with
someone who is turning brick walls into blue skies. Perhaps you've
already got a great new idea yourself. If so, don't wait to act
on it. Now is the time to reassess, streamline, innovate and implement
new approaches. Embrace the challenges, search for those opportunities
and you'll be amazed at what you find. At the same time, join the
ranks of the folks who are taking the "nay" out of "nay-sayer"
and finding ways to spread the word about these new approaches.
The Lowcountry benefits from them, and so do you.
is the founder of Full Glass Consulting, and her team is launching
the new Pluff Mud Connect service. Learn more at http://www.pluffmudconnect.com.
The last in
the veggie alphabet is first to appear in garden
ANN THRASH, editor
14, 2009 -- So
far, so good with my fledgling vegetable-gardening efforts. Nothing's
ready to pick yet, but we wait and water and hope.
started out with a modest assortment of transplants: four tomatoes,
two eggplants and two yellow crookneck squash. They all seemed to
take off right away, much to my delight - and so, in a moment of
unbridled enthusiasm, we bought more: a third squash plant, two
cucumber plants and six zucchini plants. That's right - six zucchinis.
And, yes, I did get a little carried away.
husband and I tried to shoehorn all the newcomers into the raised
bed he had built, but there was no way -- so the bed is now flanked
by some very large pots that held our tomato plants last year, back
when we were honing our skills on container gardening.
guess is that the first vegetables we'll actually be able to harvest
and eat are the zucchini -- and that's fine with me. Thanks to a
recipe my mother clipped out of a magazine about 35 years ago, I've
always loved zucchini. Here's our longtime family favorite recipe
for zucchini pie - kind of a quiche-like dish with zucchini, eggs,
mozzarella cheese, lots of herbs and a crust made of crescent roll
dough. I believe it was a Pillsbury crescent roll ad that gave us
the recipe. The one change I made over the years was to substitute
fresh herbs for dried herbs.
4 cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (8-ounce) can crescent dinner rolls
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard.
the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet set over medium-high
heat, melt the butter and cook the zucchini, onions and garlic
for about 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned and
the zucchini is softened. Stir in the parsley, basil, oregano,
salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes more, then remove the pan from
a mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs and mozzarella, then stir
them into the warm zucchini mixture. Set aside.
the eight crescent rolls into triangles. Arrange them in the bottom
and up the sides of an ungreased 10-inch pie plate; pinch the
seams together to seal the rolls into a solid crust. Spread the
Dijon mustard over the crust, then pour in the zucchini mixture.
Bake the pie for 18-20 minutes; if needed, cover the edges of
the crust with foil to keep them from getting too brown. Remove
the pie from the oven and let it stand 10 minutes before slicing.
6 servings, great for lunch or a light supper with a salad or some
sliced fresh tomatoes.
is editor of CharlestonCurrents.com. She can be reached at: email@example.com.
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companies honored with 1773 Chamber Awards
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce honored 12 local businesses
and industries on Wednesday with the organization's 1773
Chamber Awards. The honor, named for the year in which the chamber
was established, goes to companies that reflect the organization's
vision, mission and core values of leadership, relevance, integrity,
diversity and innovation.
in each category will vie for the 1773 Chamber of the Year Award,
which will be presented at the annual meeting on June 26.
12 categories and winners are:
Construction/Real Estate, The Beach Company;
Educational Services, Drayton Hall;
Finance/Insurance, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina;
Health Care, Roper St. Francis Health Care;
Hospitality/Tourism, Holiday Inn Express;
Manufacturing/Processing, Low Country Case and Millwork
Professional, Dunhill Staffing Systems of Charleston;
Public/Non-Profit, Center for Women;
Retail/Wholesale Trade, Pierre Deux;
Scientific/Technical Services, Space and Naval Warfare
(SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic;
Transportation/Warehousing, Mediterranean Shipping Company.
demo to introduce annual teas at downtown church
special cooking demonstration by the chefs from Caviar & Bananas
will kick off the annual Afternoon Teas at St. Matthew's Lutheran
Church at 403 King St. downtown. The cooking demo will be offered
in two seatings, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., on May 21. Guests at the
event will also be able to enjoy tearoom fare and shop at a gift
are $25 per person and are available at the center, online at http://www.connectinghands.org
or by calling 579-0420.
May 22 through May 31, afternoon tea will be served at the church
daily, featuring finger sandwiches, scones, homemade desserts and
beverages. Live entertainment, a boutique, a Charleston Artist Guild
exhibition and tours of the history sanctuary will also be offered
during tearoom hours, which are noon to 4 p.m. daily, except for
Sunday, when teas begin at 12:30 p.m.
the proceeds from these events benefit the church's Outreach Learning
Center, which offers community programs including English as a Second
Language, an emergency food pantry, respite care ministries, computer
classes and other services for neighbors in need.
recycling program, manager win two awards
County's Environmental Management Department (formerly the Solid
Waste and Recycling Department) received the 2009 Most Successful
Local Government Award at the Carolina Recycling Association's 19th
annual awards ceremony. In addition, county recycling manager John
Foster took home the Recycler of the Year award for the county's
Neighborhood Initiative Program.
county award is given annually to the local government that has
the most successful recycling/waste reduction program in the state.
Criteria include not only a successful and sustainable recycling
program, but also innovation, education and professional leadership.
was nominated for the Recycler of the Year award by his staff at
the Charleston County Recycling Center because he exemplifies passion
for recycling and dedication to his job and community. In 2004,
he developed the volunteer-based Neighborhood Initiative Program.
The program uses volunteers to put out a "Recycling Day"
sign indicating the curbside pick-up day in their neighborhood.
The sign helps remind residents when to put their recycling bins
out at the curb.
simple volunteer program has greatly increased recycling rates in
Charleston County. There are a total of 234 volunteers, all of whom
Foster has personally spoken with or recruited. Almost 100 new volunteers
joined the program in 2008.
County also recently won the 2008 Most Outstanding County Waste
Reduction/Recycling Program Award for a county with a population
greater than 150,000 at the 14th Annual Recycle Guys Awards Program,
which honors South Carolina's top recycling programs, projects and
Pleasant named Tree City USA for 20th year in a row
National Arbor Day Foundation has designated Mount Pleasant as a
Tree City USA for the 20th consecutive year. "Tree City USA
recognition from the National Arbor Day Foundation represents the
long-standing commitment of our town to urban forestry," then-Mayor
Harry M. Hallman Jr. said recently. He congratulated Site Planner
Eddie Bernard for his commitment to the annual award and thanked
Town Council for its dedication to community forestry.
trees planted today actually cool and serve to further improve the
appearance of the town for years to come," Bernard said. "They
increase property values, help clean the air and water, conserve
energy, provide wildlife habitat and buffer our properties from
order to retain Tree City USA status, the town had to meet four
standards: It had to have a tree board or department, a tree care
ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor
Day observance. Since originally receiving the Tree City USA designation,
the town has planted more than 4,500 trees, mostly live oaks. Last
year, the town beautified roundabouts on Porchers Bluff, Bowman
and Muirhead roads with more than 38 trees and palms, including
Sabel palmettos, live oaks, red cedars, devilwoods and yaupon hollies.
members also planted more than 268 trees and palms in the north
area of Mount Pleasant, at the Mount Pleasant Senior Center, on
Wingo Way, at Kearns Park and at the Mount Pleasant welcome sign
Food + Wine fest accepting
'signature charity' applications
BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival has decided to accept applications
from local charitable agencies that would like to be the festival's
signature charity for the 2010 event.
year in the past, the festival has chosen a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit
organization to be the main benefactor of the proceeds of the festival.
The charity or charities are also highlighted in festival marketing
and provided an opportunity for on-site exposure to reach thousands
of attendees. For the upcoming fifth anniversary of the festival
(March 4-7, 2010), festival organizers decided to open the process
to nonprofits within the Charleston community that have a culinary
connection or related projects and programs.
chosen charity must assist the festival with marketing the event,
provide volunteers and auction items for the event, and provide
leadership, support and involvement for the event. Applications
must be postmarked by July 8; faxed or e-mailed applications must
be received by July 10. The festival's Charity/Auction Committee
will evaluate each application and notify the organization of the
outcome. If a group is selected as a finalist, a brief 15-minute
presentation to the festival's Board of Directors and/or the committee
will be arranged.
online. Applications can be mailed to Charleston Wine + Food
Festival, Attn: 2010 Signature Charity Application, P.O. Box 22823,
Charleston, SC 29413; hand-delivered to 975 Morrison Drive, Suite
C-1, Charleston; or faxed to 727-9996.
us your recommendations
A REVIEW? If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant
or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to
editor Ann Thrash.
Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
in design, a joggling board consists of one plank, or seat, supported
by stands at each end. The plank length varies, sometimes extending
as long as sixteen feet. Variations include joggling boards that
have stands with curved bottoms resembling the rockers on a rocking
chair. This allows the user to "joggle" both up and down
and sway from side to side.
with just about any type of wood, fir and cypress are two of the
more common varieties. Lauded for their ability to ease arthritic
pain and other forms of bodily discomfort, joggling boards have
also remained popular with romantic couples, mothers trying to soothe
a fitful infant, and children intent on enjoying hours of play.
joggling board is a tradition with a long history in South Carolina.
While the origin of the joggling board has fallen into the murkiness
of local legend, they were quite common on the coast by the 1880s.
One of the more enduring creation stories involves the Kinloch and
Huger families of Acton Plantation in Sumter County. In 1803, after
the family patriarch was widowed, a sister moved to the plantation
to care for the household. She suffered from severe rheumatism and
the "first" joggling board was designed and built for
her relief. The popularity of the joggling board spread quickly
and, while they have generally been concentrated along the coast,
they were also used in other parts of the state. Like the rocking
chair, the joggling board has long been a fixture on porches in
Pawleys Island, Georgetown, Charleston, and throughout the Lowcountry.
from the entry by Saddler Taylor. To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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Charleston, SC 29413.
is one of the spring-season recommendations on the S.C. Aquarium's
of sustainable seafoods. Off the S.C. coast, yellowfin peak
this month. Here are five facts about these popular fish from an
aquarium fact sheet prepared for the local restaurant community:
are also called ahi tuna -- "ahi" meaning "fire"
are capable of trans-Atlantic migrations.
- About 25
percent of the yellowfin tuna sold in the United States are caught
by U.S. fisheries, including those in the Atlantic (15 percent),
Gulf of Mexico (35 percent) and Pacific (50 percent).
- The Atlantic
yellowfin tuna stock is not overfished or experiencing overfishing,
but is below the target population size.
yellowfin tuna are highly migratory and can cross international
boundaries, they are managed at an international level by the
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
(ICCAT). Domestically, the U.S. government implements ICCAT regulations
through the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan.
Among the management regulations in the U.S. are permit requirements,
bait and gear restrictions to reduce the incidental catch of protected
species such as billfish and sea turtles, use of logbooks to track
and report catch, and closed areas to prevent the harvest of sea
turtles and juvenile swordfish.
of people approach risk as if it's the enemy when it's really fortune's
Gordon Sumner, a.k.a., Sting
Wine Weekend: May 15-16, Woodlands Inn, 125 Parsons Road,
Summerville. Master Sommelier Robert Bath, one of the world's most
recognized wine experts, will lead a series of wine seminars throughout
the weekend and join seminar participants for special wine dinners
each evening. For a specific schedule, prices and details, call
1-800-774-9999 or go
Summer Pier Kickoff Tournament: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. May
16, Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Registration begins at 6 a.m.
and takes place on-site only. Tournaments end at 4 p.m. and prizes
will be awarded at 4:15 p.m. in the following categories: Adult
Angler, Lady Angler, Youth Angler (12 and under), Senior Angler
(60 and over), total weight of five fish, and King Mackerel. Open
to ages 3 and older. Cost for King Mackerel contest: $12 Charleston
County resident, $14 nonresident; for all other tournaments, $9
residents, $12 nonresidents, or $7 for ages 3-12. More info: 588-3474.
to Your Business: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 16, Charleston
Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive, North Charleston;
also offered June 20, same time. FastTracSC,
a nonprofit coalition that promotes entrepreneurship and small business
in South Carolina, will sponsor the workshop to help business owners
learn how to evaluate their companies and put them on the path to
success. Topics include setting a three-year plan, determining where
you are now and translating your goals into action. Cost: $50. Registration:
Mary Dickerson, 805-3089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gibbes Community Day: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 16, Gibbes
Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St. Sponsored quarterly by the Junior
League of Charleston. Free admission, art-making activities for
kids, plus music and tours. More info online
or at 722-2706.
Life in Antebellum Charleston: 1 p.m. May 16, Charleston
County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. Free talk hosted by Dr. Nic
Butler, special-collections manager at library. International fans
of the legendary Swedish operatic tenor Jussi Bjorling (1911-1960)
are gathering in Charleston this year to celebrate Bjorling's legacy.
Illustrated presentations by Butler and others will look at the
musical life of antebellum Charleston and its connections to the
operatic world of 19th-century Sweden.
ONGOING AND SOON
Photos Exhibit: Through May 29, Charleston Center for Photography,
654 King St., Suite D, Charleston. "Red-Right-Returning: Buoys
of the Ashley and Cooper," a free exhibit of photographs from
Charleston photographer Jack Alterman, will be featured throughout
May. In the photographs, Alterman combines the landscapes of the
Ashley and Cooper Rivers with the colors that mark a mariner's course.
A Spoleto Opening Reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May
21. More info: 720-3105 or http://www.ccforp.org.
Cage Aux Folles":
Various dates in May, Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen
St., Charleston. The Footlight Players bring to the Lowcountry this
Broadway smash about love, family and acceptance in an untraditional
setting, filled with outlandish costumes, extravagant dance numbers,
and snazzy songs. Tickets: $30 adults, $27 seniors, $20 students.
Show dates and times: 722-4487 or visit
to the Military: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 19, 28 Bridgeside,
Mount Pleasant. Reception presented by the Charleston Metro Chamber
of Commerce to show support for the local military and celebrate
their contributions to the community and nation. Awards will be
presented to active-duty personnel and reservists from each branch
of the military. The U.S. Air Force Blue Aces Popular Music Ensemble
will entertain. Cost: $75, or $45 for active/reserve military and/or
military spouse. Registration.
Nighttime at the Museum: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 5,
Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St. Family event with museum staff
bringing history to life in unusual ways. Kids might bump into a
band of pirates, a unit of Revolutionary War soldiers, a Viking,
George Washington or King Tut during the adventure. Curators and
staff will be stationed throughout the dimly-lit galleries (bring
your own flashlight) to share stories and tell tall tales. Event
includes a light supper. Tickets: $10 member adults, $20 nonmember
adults, $5 member children, $10 nonmember children, free for those
younger than 3. Reservations available online
or by phone, 722-2996, ext. 264.
Cultural Arts Festival: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 5 and noon
to 8 p.m. June 6, Laing Middle School, 2213 Highway 17 North,
Mount Pleasant. Gullah-Geechee skits, gospel groups, storytelling,
folklore, music and dance performed by local entertainers. The largest
showcase of diversified sweetgrass baskets in the Lowcountry will
be displayed by local basket makers, along with handmade quilts,
paintings and crafts. Kids' activities include jump castles, water
slides, face painting, and arts and craft. Lowcountry foods will
be provided by local restaurants and vendors. More
In this section,
we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:
Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Turn in the South, V.S. Naipaul
Book of Marie, Terry Kay
Jazz, Jack McCray
Deep: 20 Classic Sports Stories,
Gary Smith (review)
Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes,
Chris Lamb (List)
Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller
a book to us
New local music CD
Uses of social media
Time for renovations
Dog days at Drayton
Get it clean
Cheer on US rugby
Dress for Success
Field to Families
Book burning event
on car tags
way of tithing?
green bus here
Mt. P. promo
weekend at home
P. Farmers Market
Food + Wine Festival
Creek park input
bald eagles thrive
man moves up in contest
to old clunker
to squeeze in
is in the air
at the ballpark
leaves great legacy
positive about economy
at three books
hood on "reform" efforts
book is great pleasure
band is inspiring
know you're from...
the school menu
Day Fest facts
to bid on
in the sun
go the lights
on duck race