juggling, alligators, giving back and a prize to 'Thrive!'
By LAURA DEATON
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
3, 2009 -- Just a little over three months ago, my husband, Mark,
and I started our new family-owned "social enterprise"
in coastal South Carolina. We're part of growing group of for-profit
businesses who are building philanthropy into the very essence of
our business models. In our case, our service directly benefits
nonprofit organizations, and we also take a significant portion
of our revenue and set it aside for small capacity-building projects
within the communities we serve.
a new business during one of the most difficult economic times in
recent history was a bit of a wild card. And doing it in May, just
as summer heated up and things slowed down, added some extra insanity
to the mix. But hey, "no risk, no reward" right?
we've ramped up the business, things like Web site glitches, vendor
management and new service rollouts have often made us feel like
jugglers walking on a tightrope suspended above an alligator pit.
But once in a blue moon, we've also had moments where everything
clicked, such as getting some unexpected news coverage, a sudden
surge in enrollment, and even making it to the bank on time.
been fortunate, and now just three months post-launch, those alligators
aren't looking quite so hungry. Our service, which connects local
businesses with local nonprofits, continues to grow. Being part
of making those connections is rewarding, and just last week, we
met with nonprofits who received our first round of special funding
called the Thrive! Prize.
than 50 nonprofits competed for five $1,000 donations signaling
needs as diverse as marketing support, volunteer program development,
strategic planning, and new governance structures. Thankfully, our
members helped us select the finalists, since we found it to be
a huge challenge to winnow the field when every application reflected
both real need and a passionate commitment to mission.
In this first round of funding, Alzheimer's Respite and Resource
in Hilton Head is getting highway signage as it moves out of donated
church space, tripling the number of families it serves and changing
its name to a less-confusing "Memory Matters." Born
To Read in Beaufort is working with a consultant to help the
organization build a sustainable fundraising plan that will allow
volunteers to continue to encourage more than 2,300 new families
each year to read to their children starting the day they are born.
The Mediation and Meeting Center, a completely volunteer-run
nonprofit, will be able to put outreach materials into the hands
of 1,000 families who might otherwise end up in Family Courts throughout
the Trident area. The Palmetto Project, based in Mount Pleasant,
will be able to accept donations and capture e-mails for the first
time via the Web. And, Rural Mission will use our funding
to create a newly strengthened governance model.
So, now we're back in the office. Even though the alligators are
still circling below us and there are more balls in the air than
ever before, there's a new lightness in our step that makes balancing
on that tightwire a little easier. Meeting with so many nonprofit
organizations that spend every day making a tangible difference
in the lives of Lowcountry residents lifted us from our everyday
work and allowed us to reflect on what's really important: community,
caring, commitment and real connections.
Deaton is the founder of PluffMudConnect,
an underwriting partner of Charleston Currents.
dove banding, 'Runway' and cold comfort
ANN THRASH, editor
3, 2009 -- So this is how it's going to be this fall: Tell someone
you've got a cold and all you hear is, "Hope it's not swine
flu!" Take it from one who knows - you get either a nervous
swine-flu joke or the sight of someone's hind end as they run immediately
in the opposite direction from you.
colds and coughs seem to be making the rounds in the past week or
two, and if the cold-relief aisle at my neighborhood drug store
earlier this week was any indication, lots of people are either
feeling the pain themselves or trying to ward it off before they
fall victim, too. You could hardly find a place to stand in front
of all the bulk-up-your-immune-system items, and it was just as
crowded where I was - the cough syrup section.
under the weather gives me a short attention span -- or maybe it's
the syrup -- so without further ado, here are a few short takes
on some news that's flown under the radar.
Market shortens hours: The Mount Pleasant Farmers Market moves
to a fall schedule next week for the rest of the season, opening
at 4 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. (and still closing when it gets dark).
The schedule change sort of makes sense now that schools are back
in session, since the market is located at Moultrie Middle School
and parents need to be able to get in and pick up their children
after the bell rings at 3:20 p.m. But it's starting to get darker
earlier, and that, combined with the later opening, really shortens
the time people have to shop.
view has long been that the market should stay open through the
end of the year, rather than wrapping up for the season in late
October as it does now. It would be great to have another way during
the holiday season to support local farmers and other small-business
owners who are market vendors. We'll bet that lots of folks would
patronize the market in the final two months of the year to pick
up pecans for holiday baking, greenery and wreaths for decorating
the house, collards for New Year's dinner, sweet potatoes for pies
and casseroles, etc.
banding under way: Our state Department of Natural Resources
is doing its part to contribute to the national knowledge base about
mourning doves, one of the most abundant birds in South Carolina.
Since 2003, the agency has been taking part in a long-term, multiple-state
banding project to help gather information on the birds. The data
-- harvest rates, survival rates, population trends, etc. -- are
used to help make decisions about dove management regionally and
nationally. DNR hit a milestone in July, banding its 10,000th dove
at Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area in Aiken County. As of mid-August,
the number of banded birds was up to 11,400.
dove-hunting season starting Sept. 5, hunters will want to know
what to do if they kill a bird that's been banded. "Hunters
are a critical link in assuring the success of the banding study,"
a DNR news release says. "By reporting any banded doves harvested,
hunters add valuable information that will assist in the management
of this important migratory bird resource. Hunters who harvest a
banded mourning dove should call 1-800-327-BAND (1-800-327-2263)
to report the band number. Operators will be on duty 24 hours a
day, Monday through Friday, during the hunting season. Outside of
the hunting season, hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Banded
birds may also be reported online. Hunters can keep the bands and
will be provided a certificate identifying the age and sex of the
bird, as well as the date and location the bird was banded."
sew on for Charleston designers: After two weeks, the Charleston-based
fashion designers competing on the new season of "Project Runway"
are still standing. Carol Hannah Whitfield and Gordana Gehlhausen
are representing the Lowcountry's growing design community on the
smash-hit show, which airs at 10 p.m. Thursdays on Lifetime (Comcast
Channel 29). In fact, in an online vote that lets viewers pick their
favorite designer, Whitfield was doing very well, coming in as third
most popular among the 14 remaining designers (two have already
been sent packing). The Yugoslavia-born Gehlhausen has fans, too,
including an online Entertainment Weekly columnist who writes, "I
must give a thumbs-up to Gordana, who continues to enthrall
me. Her stone-cold impassive tone and bordering-on-Borat accent
just crack me up."
Thrash, editor of CharlestonCurrents.com, can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
us your opinions on public issues
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public spiritedness of our underwriters and nonprofit partners allows
us to bring CharlestonCurrents.com to you at no cost. This issue's
featured nonprofit partner is the Lowcountry Food Bank, which was
founded in 1983 as a clearinghouse for donated food items. The Food
Bank, which receives more than 10 million pounds of donated food
annually, seeks to feed the poor and hungry of the ten coastal counties
of South Carolina by soliciting and distributing healthy food and
grocery products to nonprofit agencies serving the poor, and to
educate the public about the problems of and solutions to domestic
hunger. For more, visit the Food Bank online at: http://www.lowcountryfoodbank.org/.
independent-business directory deadline extended
Local First has extended the deadline for local independent businesses
to be included in its first business directory. The new deadline
is Sept. 15. Local independent businesses who are Lowcountry Local
First members are eligible to be included in the directory. LLF
defines a "local independent business" as one that is
privately held, has owners having more than 50% controlling interest
living in the Lowcountry, is able to make independent decisions
regarding purchasing, practices and distribution, and pays all its
own marketing, rent and other business expenses.
goal of the directory, according to an LLF press release, is to
help local businesses "level the playing field" with larger
national companies. "By educating the community on how local
independent businesses are better for our economy, create better
jobs, have less impact on the environment, make more efficient use
of our tax dollars and preserve our historic and rural spaces, we
hope to see a shift in local spending," the release states.
"We vote with our dollars every day."
directory will be distributed to business members, local visitor
centers, Piggly Wiggly stores, and local real estate agents. It's
expected to be distributed in late fall before the next Buy Local
Week, which is scheduled for Nov. 30 through Dec. 6. All members
of Lowcountry Local First will have a listing, and advertising opportunities
are also available. For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to http://www.lowcountrylocalfirst.org.
Literary Association offers lots of help
Trident Literacy Association students from across the tri-county
area received either a General Educational Development (GED) or
WorkKeys certificate during the past year. A ceremony to mark the
students' achievement, held recently at the Sheraton in North Charleston,
was the largest ever for Trident Literacy. The Rotary Club of North
Charleston sponsored the event.
Literacy helped these adults prepare for the GED exam and WorkKeys
certification," said Eileen Chepenik, executive director. "But
it is their determination and their families' support that really
helped them achieve their goals."
students received a GED, 44 earned a WorkKeys certificate and three
students earned both.
blood, get a chance to win a $1,000 gas card
Medical Center is hosting a blood drive today, Sept. 3, from 8:30
a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the hospital cafeteria, and those who donate
will be entered into a drawing to win a $1,000 gas card. "There
is a constant need to replenish the blood supply in the tri-county
area" said Christy Joiner, medical technologist with Trident
Medical Center. "Presently, we are at critical levels for O
Negative, A Negative and B Negative units."
Walk-ins are welcome, or you can schedule an appointment by calling
Joyner at 847-3376.
Park pools to go doggie-only on Sept. 13
Waters at Wannamaker County Park will open its gates to dogs from
noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 13 in the Charleston County Park and Recreation
Commission's first Dog Day Afternoon.
Large dogs can romp in the 27,000-square-foot Big Kahuna Wave Pool,
and smaller dogs will be able to use the Otter Bay Kiddie Pool.
Owners will not be allowed in the water. Concessions will be available
for purchase so pet owners can relax while Fido meets new friends.
admission is $8 per dog for Charleston County residents or $10 per
dog for nonresidents, with owners getting in free with their pets.
Owners must bring proof of their dog's current vaccinations. Tickets
purchased on the day of the event will be $10. For more information,
go to http://www.ccprc.com
or call 795-4FUN (4386).
forces change in lane closures on Maybank Hwy.
to some poor weather, road work that was expected to occur Aug.
28 to Aug. 30 on Maybank Highway has been rescheduled for 9 p.m.
Sept. 11 through 5:30 a.m. Sept. 14. Crews will be working to install
a new 60-inch drainage pipe under Maybank Highway at Old Folly Road
as part of the Folly Road and Maybank Highway Intersection Improvement
crews will be working in the roadway, there will be temporary lane
closures on Maybank Highway, but at no time will the entire roadway
be blocked in either direction.
Folly Road will be closed to traffic coming from James Island heading
toward Johns Island. Drivers going to Johns Island via Maybank Highway
will need to continue on Folly Road to the intersection at Maybank
Highway. A law enforcement officer will be on site at the intersection
to direct traffic and allow drivers to turn left from Folly Road
onto Maybank Highway and continue toward Johns Island.
completed, the Folly Road and Maybank Highway intersection improvements
will include signaled left turns, with mast-arm stoplights, from
Folly Road onto Old Folly Road and from Old Folly Road onto Maybank
Highway; new lighted and landscaped medians on Maybank Highway,
Folly Road and Old Folly Road; sidewalks with pedestrian lighting
along the three roads; new stormwater drainage facilities as well
as new curbs and gutters throughout the project area; and new pavement
markings, including crosswalks and signs.
traffic alerts or other information, click
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.
of two parts)
cycle of planting, processing, and marketing indigo began in March,
when the fields were prepared for sowing. Planting began in early
April, with a first harvest in July and often a second harvest in
August or September. After cutting, the plant was carried to the
processing site, a work area generally shaded by a thatched roof.
Specialized equipment included three graduated vats set next to
each other, in which the plants would be converted to dye. The conversion
involved soaking the plants in the first vat, beating the indigo-soaked
water in the second vat until thickened grains formed, then draining
away that water into the third vat. The thickened mud that settled
to the bottom of the second vat was the indigo paste, which was
dried, cut into squares, packed in barrels, and shipped to market
during the winter months.
were responsible for most of South Carolina's indigo production.
Field slaves planted, weeded, and harvested the crop, and skilled
"indigo slaves" worked to convert the plant to dye. Slaves
who understood the art of processing the dye had greater value,
as an entire year's product depended on the talents of the indigo
indigo was grown in a variety of locations and in a number of ways.
In the parishes south of Charleston, most indigo planters grew the
weed in combination with rice, as a "second staple." Planters
growing indigo closer to the city were split, with roughly half
growing rice and indigo and half growing only indigo. North of Charleston,
most planters focused solely on indigo. By the 1760s production
expanded from the lowcountry to the interior. Indigo was especially
important in Williamsburg Township, where the soil was ideal and
the crop was an important part of the local economy. By the 1770s,
some indigo was also produced in Orangeburg and Fredericksburg Townships.
Revolutionary War disrupted production, although the Continental
army used Carolina indigo to dye some of its uniforms. Production
appeared to recover after the war, as 907,258 pounds of dye were
exported in 1787. But indigo exports declined sharply in the 1790s.
No longer part of the British Empire, South Carolina indigo growers
lost their bounty and market as England turned to India to supply
its indigo demand. Carolina planters soon after turned their attention
to cotton, another crop that fit neatly into the plantation economy.
Indigo was produced and used locally throughout the nineteenth century,
but by 1802 it was no longer listed among Carolina's exports.
Excerpted from the entry by Virginia Jelatis. 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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The South Carolina
Bar's Pro Bono program makes legal information available free through
regular talks in various communities, and in Charleston County,
the public library plays host to the programs. Here's a list of
upcoming legal clinics on three topics that touch virtually all
adults. The clinics are free and open to the public, and all include
a 30- or 45-minute talk followed by a Q&A.
6:30 p.m. Sept. 15, John L. Dart Library, 1067 King St., with
attorney Stephan V. Futeral of Futeral Law Firm. More info: 722-7550.
Another program will be held 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Sept. 22 at the
St. Andrews Regional Library, 1735 Woodmere Drive; the lawyer
giving the program has not been announced. More info: 766-2546.
6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, Otranto Road Regional Library, 2261 Otranto
Road. More info: 572-4094.
Estates and Probate:
6 p.m. Sept. 24, Johns Island Regional Library, 3531 Maybank Highway.
Attorney Charles S. Goldberg will lead the program. More info:
esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break
your word or lose your self-respect."
Aurelius Antoninus, Roman emperor (121 A.D. - 180 A.D.)
+ Food Launch Party: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3,
Founders Hall, Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road. Barbecue
and beverages will be available, and the latest news about next
year's BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, including the lineup
of chefs and authors, will be announced. Entertainment by the Blue
Plantation Band. Tickets: $10 per person cash or check at the door,
with proceeds benefiting the festival's charitable efforts. Reserve
tickets by Aug. 31 by e-mailing
or calling 727-9998, ext. 4.
Last Home Stand: Sept. 3 through Sept. 7, Joseph P. Riley
Jr. Park. Five-game series with the Savannah Sand Gnats marks the
end of the regular season. Game times and promotions: Sept. 3, 7:05
p.m., Thirsty Thursday/Midget Wrestling II; Sept. 4, 7:05 p.m.,
Force Protection Industries Red Shirt Friday/Post-Game Fireworks;
Sept. 5, 7:05 p.m., Paint-It-Yourself Bobblehead Giveaway; Sept.
6, 5:05 p.m., Family Sunday; Sept. 7, 6:05 p.m., Fan Appreciation
Night. More info/tickets: 577-DOGS (3647) or http://www.riverdogs.com.
Mixer: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 4, Folly Beach Fishing
Pier. Next-to-last Shaggin' on the Pier mixer for the year (final
event is Sept. 25). DJ Rob Duren will spin oldies and beach music;
food and beverages will be available for purchase on-site at Locklear's
Beach City Grill and the Gangplank Gift & Tackle Shop. Cost:
in advance, $8 for Charleston County residents, $10 for nonresidents,
available at Charleston County Park and Recreation headquarters
(795-4FUN); at the gate (if available), $10. More
Rice Plantation Program: 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 5, Caw
Caw Interpretive Center, Ravenel. Investigate daily life and practices
on a South Carolina rice plantation in the colonial era. Examine
the details of field construction, planting, cultivation and harvest
to reveal an endeavor of amazing scope. Advance registration required;
a registered and paid chaperone is required for participants age
15 or younger. Open to ages 9 and up. Cost: $7 Charleston County
residents, $9 nonresidents. More info: 795-4FUN or click
ONGOING AND SOON
in a Tough Economy: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sept. 9, Charleston
Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive, Suite 100, North
Charleston. The chamber's Charleston Area Business Council will
offer a program titled "How to Sell in Challenging Times,"
featuring Dennis Kerwin of PURE and Craig Dellinger of The Citadel
Foundation. Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More
in the Carolinas: 7 p.m. Sept. 10, Bond Hall, Room 165,
The Citadel. John Shelton Reed, the 2007 Mark Clark Professor of
History at The Citadel and the author of "Holy Smoke: The Big
Book of North Carolina Barbecue," will give a talk titled "The
Balkans of Barbecue: Pit-Cooked Meat in the Carolinas." Reed,
a widely recognized expert on modern Southern identity, is professor
emeritus of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the American
South. Talk is free and open to the public. Reed will be available
to sign books.
on the Cooper:
7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, Mount Pleasant Pier at Memorial Waterfront
Park. Live music from Super Deluxe starting at 8:30 p.m., beverages
available for purchase on-site (no outside alcohol or coolers).
Tickets: $8; available beginning at 3 p.m. the day of the event
in the pier gift shop, or at the gate. Open to ages 3 and up. More
info: 795-4FUN (4386) or http://www.ccprc.com.
Professionals: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 15, Tate Center
for Entrepreneurship, College of Charleston. The Charleston Young
Professionals are hosting a luncheon that will focus on career navigation
and creating your own path to success. Cost: $15 CYP members, $25
of Women Voters Fall Kick-Off: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Renaissance
on the Harbor, 100 N. Plaza Court, Mount Pleasant. Two S.C. House
members representing Charleston County -- Republican Jenny Horne
and Democrat Anne Peterson Hutto -- will talk about their experiences
as first-term representatives and their priorities for the upcoming
legislative session in January. The Charleston County League of
Women Voters will also provide information about its activities.
Free. Parking available across the street in the Belvidere lot and
next door at the Motley Rice building. More info: 745-5166 or email@example.com.
Hurricane Party: 7 p.m. Sept. 18, Omar Shrine Temple,
Mount Pleasant. To mark 20 years of service, East Cooper Community
Outreach, which was founded in the wake of Hurricane Hugo in 1989,
is having a Hurricane Party featuring a an auction, music and dancing
to the music of the Mighty Kicks, heavy hors d'oeuvres by Cru Catering
and an open bar featuring hurricanes. Tickets: $50 in advance, $60
at the door. More info/tickets: 971-9500 or online.
Spiritual Journey: 7 p.m. Sept. 19, Christ Episcopal
Church, 2304 Highway 17 North, Mount Pleasant. The newly formed
Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble, under the direction
of Nathan L. Nelson, will kick off its first full season with this
performance, which is free (donations are accepted) and open to
the public. A pre-concert voice recital featuring lyric soprano
Shanelle Woods of Charleston Southern University will begin at 5:30
Sept. 24 through Oct. 4, various locations. Tickets are now
on sale for the annual arts festival, which highlights black artists'
contributions to dance, music, literary arts, visual arts, theater
and the overall cultural community in Charleston. Schedules, tickets,
more info: http://www.mojafestival.com.
Fall Party: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 25, Charleston Visitor
Center, 375 Meeting St. Casual event to unveil featured artist Luke
Frazier's official poster for the 2010 Southeastern Wildlife Expo.
Includes oysters, barbecue and side from Buck Ridge Plantation,
plus live music by Triple Lindy, an open bar, and a silent auction
and raffles to benefit Ducks Unlimited. Attendees must be 21 or
over. Tickets: $40 in advance through http://www.sewe.com
or by calling 723-1748; at the door, if available, tickets are $50.
Fashion Show: Noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 26, Jasmine Porch
restaurant, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Fashion show and luncheon
will benefit the Center For Women. Models will wear fashions from
Eden Boheme and Cose Belle, and jewelry designers will display their
work. Three-course lunch includes champagne. Cost: $45 plus tax
and gratuity; portion of the proceeds go to the Center for Women.
Lunch guests also get complimentary beach access at The Sanctuary
for the day. More info/reservations: 768-6253. The Center For Women
is a nonprofit partner of CharlestonCurrents.com.
in the Park: 6 p.m. Sept. 26, Mayflower Court park, next
to the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, 30 Race St., Charleston.
The concert is part of the church's year-long centennial celebration.
Program will feature Holy Trinity's Centennial Choir performing
liturgical music as well as secular selections in both Greek and
English; in addition, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers will
perform spirituals. Cost: $15 for adults; $3 ages 17 and under.
Tickets available at the Hellenic Center, 30 Race St., or by calling
577-2063 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays before Sept. 25).
Entertaining Charleston Style: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays,
Sept. 30 through Nov. 18, Culinary Institute of Charleston's
Palmer Campus, 66 Columbus St., Charleston. A series of short courses
celebrating the many facets of entertaining with a focus on Charleston
style and traditions. Guest presenters include hosts, event professionals,
authors, collectors, stylists and other specialists known for their
distinctive contributions to local hospitality and tourism. Light
beverage and cocktail samplings will be provided. Cost: $149. 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
Book of Marie, Terry Kay
Jazz, Jack McCray
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
Be a principal
Women at Gibbes
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
place for prejudice
fun at Halloween
to old clunker
to squeeze in
a tourist here
lists of year