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Issue 2.07 | Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 | Gobble gobble

Happy Thanksgiving to Charleston Currents readers, underwriters and nonprofit partners. We'll be taking Thursday off to cook, eat, and watch parades and football, so our next issue will be published a week from today on Monday, Nov. 30. Have a happy holiday, and if you'll be on the road, drive safely! (Photo by Ann Thrash)


:: Blackbaud supports creative giving


:: Now is the time for courage

:: What are you thinking about?

:: Home fire stats

:: Eagle scout, wine event, more


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next

___:: REVIEW: Send us a review

___:: HISTORY: Cherokee Path

___:: QUOTE: Wizenberg on food, family

___:: SPOTLIGHT: Meet an underwriter


ABOUT US 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 | Reader testimonials


Blackbaud finds ways to support 'creative giving' by employees
Director of corporate relations and philanthropy, Blackbaud
Special to

NOV. 23, 2009 -- "Service to others makes the world a better place." I really believe that, as do my 2,000 colleagues at Blackbaud, a technology company headquartered on Daniel Island that works exclusively with nonprofit organizations. Every day when we come to work, we know our job is to help a nonprofit be more successful. We help them manage their finances, raise money, market their missions, and be more effective in a society that is demanding accountability more each day.


Service is a fundamental part of each relationship with have with our 22,000 customers. But we don't stop there. At Blackbaud, "service to others" is a much broader concept, incorporating our belief that individual people can make positive change in the world by giving of themselves.

Why give back? As nonprofits face an increased demand for services this year during uncertain economic times, it's time to get creative with giving. At Blackbaud we've increased focus and resources - both locally and around the world. At the base of our approach is a commitment to be a good corporate citizen and to serve as a catalyst for individual employees to give back. We believe that, in addition to being "the right thing to do," giving your time and talent is a terrific way to learn. It's a way to build new skills, develop your resume, broaden your network of relationships and -- because of who we work with -- learn more about our customers.

While many people are digging deeper to give, giving comes in different forms. From financial commitments to time, from corporate gifts to peer-to-peer fundraising, this economy lends itself to creative giving.

Blackbaud has a number of programs to encourage employees to serve, providing opportunities to give back as a team - such as the Trident United Way Day of Caring (we sent 150 out into the community this past 9/11) -- or to match a personal interest with a nonprofit that needs help.

One program is Volunteer for Vacation, which allows employees to earn extra vacation days as a reward for volunteerism. We also give more than a dozen $500 "Reward Your Passion" grants each quarter to nonprofits where our people serve, which is a fabulous way for us to recognize team members for their good work -- and encourage others to follow suit.

Probably one of the most meaningful things we do with employees is to work with them individually to match their passions not only with a cause, but with an organization looking for committee or board members willing to share their professional skills (for example, an HR expert helping a nonprofit to develop an employee handbook). We know from our work with nonprofits that effective boards are critical to their success, and good board members can be hard to find. So we take the time to match interest and skill with opportunity, shepherding employees through a process where they get to know organizations, understand the expectations of the role, and make an informed decision about whether the match suits.

More than 60 Blackbaud employees serve on nonprofit boards, many of them in the local community, including the Coastal Community Foundation, the MUSC Children's Hospital Fund, the Trident Urban League, Sidewalk Chalk, East Cooper Meals on Wheels, and so on. Coming soon, we'll be launching a nonprofit board society within Blackbaud that gathers all our employees who serve in this capacity and aims to learn from them, channeling that knowledge back into our business so we understand nonprofit organizations even better.

Now is the time for courage

By ANDY BRACK, publisher

NOV. 23, 2009 – Now is the time in our state and nation for courage - - for leaders who will stand up for what’s right for the state and nation, regardless of how it will impact them personally.


What do we have instead?

  • Blowhards like Sarah Palin who are more interested in soundbites, making money and getting on TV than actually doing any work.

  • Weaklings like Mark Sanford, who drag out the release of a public report of a public investigation by a public body about his failings as a public servant.

  • Scoundrels like three Democratic U.S. senators who held out voting for health care reform because they were scared they wouldn’t be re-elected.

  • Partisan boobs like the infotainers Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Keith Olbermann.

  • Political lemmings, like many in the state House and Senate who aren’t able to make up their minds without consulting the polls, lobbyists and special interests.

Where are the Martin Luther King Jr.s of today? Where are the crusading editors, such as the Atlanta Constitution’s Ralph McGill, who wrote about kicking the Klan in the teeth from the 1940s until his death in 1969? Where are more leaders like Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who marched on Columbia earlier this decade in protest of the Confederate flag on the Statehouse?

In 1955 when then-Senator John F. Kennedy published “Profiles in Courage,” he recognized that all sorts of forces seek to dampen the spirit of courage in our elected leaders – the influence from political peers in office, the desire to be re-elected and the pressure from constituents and lobby groups. In the Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, he recognized the increased impact of mass media, which has exploded since Kennedy’s day with the Internet, faxes, Blackberries, Twitter, Facebook and cable television.

But in the end, he concluded that political courage and the ability to compromise without giving up principles remains important for America to remain America: “A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality,” Kennedy wrote.

“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality."

-- John F. Kennedy

Eleven years later, respected U.S. Sen. William Fulbright wrote in “The Arrogance of Power,” that it was important to criticize one’s country. “Criticism is more than a right: it is an act of patriotism, a higher form of patriotism, than the familiar rituals of national adulation.”

So when there’s news that Republican county parties in South Carolina are censuring U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham for diligently working with others to come up with a national solution on carbon pollution or immigration, we think of Graham’s courage and others’ callousness and cowardice.

When we read how Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mullins McLeod of Charleston wants the Confederate flag taken off the Statehouse grounds, we easily can predict the firestorm of hatred his campaign will get. And while he may have been trying to kickstart his campaign, at least he had the courage to take a stand unpopular to many.

When we see President Obama trying to fix health care, get better options on Afghanistan and move the economy forward, we know we’re seeing flashes of courage, and not grandstanding. These are tough decisions.

More of our leaders need to take a political lesson from the daily, unheralded experiences of our police, firefighters, soldiers, sailors and airmen -– sometimes it’s just time to say, “Damn the torpedoes … full speed ahead.” These elected officials need to ignore pollster politics and stand up for what’s right.

More in our media need to stop the hype, ask hard questions and do the real stories that highlight what’s going on in America and our state.

It’s time for political and editorial courage – for people to look into their hearts to do what’s right -– to work on big challenges in the economy, education, health care and poverty. And if not now, when?

Andy Brack is publisher of This commentary first appeared Friday in SC Statehouse Report. You can reach Brack by email here.

Get it off your chest

Have a comment or want to vent? If you have something to say about leadership in South Carolina, the state of baseball today, good barbecue or something about your community's government, drop us a line to: Please send no more than 200 words and include contact information (phone number, hometown) so we can get in touch with you.

Pluff Mud Connect

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. In this issue, we highlight Pluff Mud Connect, a new Web service that connects Lowcountry nonprofits and the businesses that serve them. Nonprofit organizations register for free, and can search across more than 100 categories or fill out a simple form to request multiple quotes from local businesses. Lowcountry sole proprietors, small businesses and corporations pay a low annual fee to market directly to nonprofit organizations and receive requests for bids via email. Pluff Mud Connect -- helping Lowcountry nonprofits and businesses thrive. Click here to send a message or visit online at: .

Eagle Scout collects over 3,000 books for Trident Literacy

A North Area Eagle Scout has collected more than 3,000 books - just since Halloween -- to donate to the Trident Literacy Association. Sean Carter, a member of Boy Scout Troop 484 at Charleston Air Force Base, far exceeded his goal of collecting 1,000 boys in his Eagle Scout project.

"I can't imagine not being able to read," he said when he approached the association about the project. "I wanted to make sure Trident Literacy's students had books."

Carter, an eighth-grader at Pinewood Prep, and the other Scouts in his troop began collecting books on Halloween, and soon his family's garage was piled high with books ranging from children's story books to adults novels and more.

Trident Literacy Association provides basic literacy instruction, GED prep, English-as-a-second-language classes and computer instruction for adults in the tri-county area. For more information, call 747-2223.

Residents turn out in force for Electronics Recycling Day

Charleston area residents turned in 950 items Nov. 14 during the second annual Electronics Recycling Day event sponsored by the Charleston County Environmental Management Department. The Tanger Outlet shopping center was the site for the program.

Among the most popular items turned in for safe recycling were telephones and other equipment (144), computers (113), monitors (100), computer parts (113) and TVs (82). Microwave ovens, calculators, shredders, fax machines, VCRs, DVD players, stereos and more were also turned in.

Electronic devices often consist of valuable resources such as precious metals (gold or silver), more common metals (aluminum and copper) and engineered plastics. Electronics recycling helps to recover these valuable materials while also conserving energy and landfill space.

Wine Under the Oaks to benefit Lowcountry Red Cross

The Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the American Red Cross will sponsor the Wine Under the Oaks Holiday Wine, Food and Gift Expo from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 6 at Boone Hall Plantation, 1235 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant. The event includes a silent auction with all proceeds benefiting the local Red Cross chapter, and a portion of ticket sales will benefit the organization as well.

The casual event will give guests a chance to sample a variety of wines and gourmet foods from Lowcountry chefs while enjoying live music. There will be some holiday shopping opportunities, too; specialty gifts, wines and edibles will be on sale, and bidding on the silent auction items will be held throughout the afternoon. Items up for bid include jewelry, artwork, meals at local restaurants, spa treatments, fitness club memberships, lodging at local hotels, toys and more.

Tickets are $20 in advance here online or $25 at the gate.

Realtors group donates $15,000 to Education Foundation

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors has contributed $15,000 to the Education Foundation, an initiative of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce that strengthens cooperation and relationships between schools and businesses.

"This investment is testimony to CTAR's broad vision about the link between a good education and the health of our region's economy," said Deb Campeau, Education Foundation chairman. "The Education Foundation will use these funds to create and strengthen the career preparation of today's students so that they are ready to succeed as they move into the world of work and make meaningful contributions to our society."

South Carolina ranks last in the country for the percentage of students dropping out of high school. Between ninth grade and 12th grade, the number of students enrolled in public schools in our region fell by 3,420 students in the past four years - a 44 percent decline - and nearly one-third of the enrollment decline in the region occurs between the ninth and 10th grades.

"The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors is committed to supporting the work of the Education Foundation in strengthening and improving education in the Lowcountry. We are investing in Charleston's future, which will ensure the continued growth and development of strong, successful communities in the years to comem," said CTAR President Ralph Wetherell.

Tell your view to our readers

HAVE 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.

The Cherokee Path

The Cherokee Path was one of the most important trade networks of early Carolina, connecting the city of Charleston with the Cherokee Indians of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Access to the tribe was originally by way of the Savannah River, over which Charleston merchants conveyed their goods to Savannah Town (Augusta). Here, Native American nations bought and resold these goods, eventually putting them into Cherokee hands either through a trail that led from Savannah Town to Keowee, the first of the Cherokee lower towns, or via the Creek Indians of northern Georgia.

Following the Yamassee War (1715-1718), the trade between the English and Cherokees shifted eastward. Traders moved northward along the Santee River to Fort Congaree and then northwest through Saluda Old Town and Ninety Six to the Dividing Path on the Savannah River. Here, a trail to the west led to Cherokee villages along the Tugaloo River and to the Creeks, but the more traveled northern path alongside the Chattooga and Little Tennessee Rivers accessed the Cherokee lower, middle, and upper settlements, a total of at least sixty villages and upward of eleven thousand inhabitants in 1715.

These towns produced quality deer hides, pelts, baskets, and chestnuts. At first they delivered these goods to neutral trade depots such as Fort Congaree. But increased demand for metal trade goods, red cloth, muskets, ammunition, and powder led to the establishment of trade stations among the lower villages and the middle towns. Fort Prince George was built at Keowee in 1753 to protect the trade.

The Cherokee Path, hundreds of miles long and yet only a trail, was gradually improved. Horses replaced Indian bearers, and inns were opened along the way to accommodate the traders, travelers, settlers, and soldiers who made the trail their own.

- Excerpted from the entry by Louis P. Towles.
To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


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Home fire statistics

The upcoming Wine Under the Oaks event at Boone Hall Plantation (see today's Good News column) will benefit the Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the American Red Cross, which does much more than just collect blood. Among the organization's most vital work is helping those who have suffered a fire at home. Here are five stats on the Red Cross and how it helps fire victims.

  • The Red Cross is the only social service organization that responds to residential fires.

  • In the Lowcountry, 45 percent of home fire cases involve families with infants and children.

  • A total of 1,307 individuals benefited from Red Cross assistance in fiscal year 2009, an increase of 17 percent from the previous year.

  • Of the fire victims helped in 2009, 73 percent had a household income of $25,000 or less.

  • It cost the Red Cross an average of $1,250 to assist a family displaced by fire. Assistance includes temporary shelter, replacement clothing, food, medications and eyewear replacement, mental health counseling and other fire related needs.

On food and family


"When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten. Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be."

-- Molly Wizenberg, food writer, in "A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table," 2009


(NEW) "Precious" Screening: 7:25 p.m. today (Nov. 23), Terrace Theater, 1956 Maybank Highway. Three local nonprofits - the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center, Florence Crittenton Programs and Louie's Kids - are hosting a screening of "Precious." The film, whose executive producers are Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, tells the story of Precious Jones, a teenage girl growing up in 1980s Harlem who suffers horrific abuse at the hands of her parents and finds her voice through the help of a teacher at an alternative school. A panel discussion will follow the screening. Tickets: Online or at the theater.

Cookbook Release Party: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 23, Blue Bicycle Books, King St. downtown. Blue Bicycle Books and Garden & Gun magazine will host a release party for "Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook," by Chris and Idie Hastings. Chef Chris Hastings' roots are in Pawleys Island, where his great-great-grandfather belonged to a 19th-century epicurean hunt and fish club called Hot and Hot. Hastings and wife Idie now run the Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham. Their first cookbook ($35) features 200 recipe, lifestyle menus, and profiles of a dozen local purveyors who supply them with fresh ingredients. Party is free and open to the public. More info: 722-2666.

'A Spiritual Christmas': 6 p.m. Nov. 27, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 67 Anson St., Charleston. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble under the direction of Nathan L. Nelson will perform African-American spirituals set to a holiday theme. Tickets: $10 per person at the door.


Citadel Candlelight Service: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Dec. 5 and Dec. 6, Summerall Chapel, The Citadel. The S.C. Corps of Cadets will present its Christmas Candlelight Service for the Lowcountry. Cadets from the Protestant, Catholic and Gospel choirs, the Chorale, the Women's Ensemble, and members of The Citadel Regimental Band will take part in the annual celebration, which features Scripture lessons and carols (both traditional and international favorites). Free and open to the public. More info: 953-5049.

(NEW) Holly Days: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5, downtown Summerville. Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday experience in historic Summerville with shopping, caroling, cookies and cider for shoppers and visitors. Sponsored by the merchants of Summerville and Summerville D.R.E.AM. More info: 821-7260 or online.

Holiday Parade of Boats: 5 p.m. Dec. 5, Charleston Harbor. This Lowcountry holiday tradition features festively decorated and lighted boats of all sorts parading through the harbor, following by a fireworks display. View the procession along Charleston's waterfront or decorate your own boat and join the parade. Parade begins in the harbor off Mount Pleasant at 5 p.m.; viewing from the peninsula begins at 6:30 p.m., and fireworks start about 6:45 p.m. More info: 724-7305.

Small-Business Lending: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Dec. 9, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speisseger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston. The chamber's Charleston Area Business Council will discuss small-business lending and how to obtain financing in today's current lending climate. Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More info/registration.

Latin American Business Expo: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 10, 10 Storehouse Row, Noisette, North Charleston. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's Latin American Business Council (LABC) will host a seminar and expo to educate attendees on the economic impact that Latin Americans and their businesses have on our region, and to offer local businesses an opportunity to exhibit to this community. The event will also provide Latin American and traditional business owners with an opportunity to network with industry experts. Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More info: Email Emily Brown.

(NEW) Festival of Wreaths: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Palmetto Café, Charleston Place Hotel. Fourth annual festival will feature champagne, hors d'oeuvres, live music from Silver Lining and wreaths from local interior designers being auctioned with all proceeds going to the MUSC Children's Hospital. In addition to the wreaths provided by members of the American Society of Interior Designers, kids from the Youth Center at the Charleston Air Force Base will provide several wreaths as well. Tickets: $10 in advance at the Orient-Express Boutique at Charleston Place or by calling 937-9142; $15 at the door. Guests can get parking-ticket validation for the Charleston Place garage on Hasell Street.

"Beauty, Bliss and Scrooges": 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, Omar Shrine Temple, 176 Patriots Point Blvd., Mount Pleasant. Family-oriented event to benefit Windwood Farm features Santa, snow, live performances, the Grinch, Scrooge, shopping from local retailers, carolers, cocktails and more. Tickets: $5; free for kids age 12 and younger. More info: 971-2860.

Kimono Silks Exhibition: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, 214 King Street Gallery, 214 King St. Kimono Silks features new works by batik master Mary Edna Fraser. Fraser discovered the vintage narrow silks on a recent Australia trip and has blogged about the experience at A master dyer, Fraser came home with aerial landscapes featuring batiks, monotypes, oils and archival prints. Exhibition on display through Jan. 24; gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. More info: 762-2594 or at


12/23: Christian: Mannie's story
Bender: Polar Plunge prep
Brooks: Homes for Christmas
Doll: Enjoy holidays sans lbs.
Yarian: Instruments of Hope
De Armas: Latin biz expo
Blevins: Autism
Hutchisson: Giving
Barnette: Nutcracker
Franklin: Reverse mortgages
Wutzdorff: Be a principal
Haley: Buying local
McCutcheon: Work gap
Ohl: On carpooling
Wiedman: Women at Gibbes
10/26: Matouchev: Bear markets
Conover: BarCamp buzz
Wilson: Symphony update
Bender: Special Olympics
Baron: Breast Center
Ginn: Growing prosperity
Buffum: Waterkeeping
Personal branding


12/17: Cookbook, shopping
The Pig's wines
Neat shopping
LowCANtry holiday
Hawks vs. doves
Improving turnout
10/29: Celebrating a year
10/22: Good, bad signs
10/15: Bob's new food show
10/8: Robot ice cream
10/5: Costumes, snarks
Must-see TV
9/17: Fall leaves
Cold comfort, more
Being a fan
Good, bad, spineless
Locals on Runway
Cookie contest
Vote on car tags
True confessions
New way of tithing?
Lookout for manatees


12/23: Photographer Meyer
Ain't over on Sanford
Back off a little
Sanford presses on
Now is time for courage
Alliance's good news
SC's hidden gems
Boeing highlights needs
No place for prejudice
Have fun at Halloween
Renovated Gaillard?
10/1: Napa wine trip
9/28: Anti-crime measures
9/21: Caw Caw park
Debris policy
Mystery solved
This and that
SC's treasures
8/17: RIP to old clunker
8/10: Lots to squeeze in
8/3: On flying Delta
7/27: Conspiracy theories
7/20: Protect carriage animals
7/13: Economic thaw here?


12/23: Blackbaud 5
4 on holiday lights
Five about oysters
Winter finds
Free parking
Holiday parades
Home fire stats
Being a tourist here
Growing your business
Electronics recycling
Beyond the lights
Weather watching
5 cooking classes
Best lists of year
Oyster recycling
Howl-o-ween fun
Giving blood
Top ratings
Major league
Book sale
Citadel football

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