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Celtic Nights ‘One You Do not Want to Miss’

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts concludes its 67th season on Friday, March 28, with an appearance by Celtic Nights.

ImageDubbed “The Emigrants’ Bridge: A Night of Music, Song and Dance,” the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, features beautiful ballads and striking choreography. It tells the story of the Irish people’s hopes and dreams, and struggle to find their place in the world.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for children. They can be ordered by going to the GLPA website at GreenwoodLanderPerformingArts.com or by calling the GLPA office at (864) 388-8326.

Celtic Nights has been widely acclaimed for the artistry of its performances. Irish prime minister Enda Kenny said that the troupe has “brought our distinctive and evolving music and dance tradition to the world stage and showcased our tradition in spectacular fashion.”

The upcoming show will mark not only the last date of GLPA’s season – with the exception of a rescheduled and sold-out performance by singer Sandi Patty on Friday, April 4 – but also the last date of Celtic Nights’ American tour, and GLPA executive director Cecily Ferguson said that tickets have been purchased by fans from as far away as Florida and Texas.

“We haven’t had a music and dance production of this magnitude since Ballroom with a Twist or The Moscow Ballet,” she said. “This is one you do not want to miss.” 

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U.S. Sen. Graham Tackles ObamaCare, Russia, Benghazi, Social Security and other Topics during Visit to Savannah Lakes Village

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

By Greg K. Deal
Shorelines Magazine Editor & Publisher

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stopped in Savannah Lakes Village on Friday to speak about a variety of national and state issues ahead of the 2014 congressional election season.

Graham, who spent the day visiting several areas in the Blueway and Lakelands regions, met a crowd of constituents at the Red Barn in McCormick’s Hickory Knob State Resort Park. He talked about healthcare, Social Security and Medicaid, recent and recurring foreign affairs – including the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine – the military, education, and he addressed a question on Republican Party infighting.

ImageGraham is expected to face a primary challenge this summer, and, if he’s successful, will square off against the Democratic challenger in November’s general election. If he loses in the primaries, Graham said he will support the party’s nominee. Some in the Tea Party have threatened to mount an attack to unseat the once-highly popular senator, who some on the far right of the GOP call a RINO (Republican in Name Only) because he’s worked across the party aisle with Democrats on some volatile issues that have several times nearly brought the government to a deadlocked standstill. Graham said he’s ready for any challenge.

“I’m not going to hate my opponent,” he said, adding that the party is stronger when it unifies under a broader tent. He said members of the Tea Party, traditional “Reagan Republicans” and Libertarians must come together to take back control of the Senate from Democrats.

He also said the party must do more to reach out to African-American voters, noting that if you go to an African-American church that you will hear the same conservative values the GOP supports preached from the pulpit and discussed among members of the congregation. He said Republicans are only out of touch with the minority communities because of poor party branding (marketing identity) – that they share the same principles and values. In a state that is 33 percent African-American, Graham said education here in the state is critical. He said some schools in South Carolina look “third world,” and that we must bring 21st-century education to all children, not just to those who live in the places with the highest tax bases.

In challenging the often-discussed topic of whether the senior senator is conservative enough, Graham said, “You don’t have to become socially or economically liberal to grow the party.” He said legislators should stand firm behind their core convictions, but also be prepared to work across the aisle to make a real difference in the country. He noted how Republican President Ronald Reagan worked in the 1980s with Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill on Social Security reform and other measures. He talked about his own workings with the “Gang of 14” to try to find common ground on judicial nominees, ending filibusters and a threat of the so-called “nuclear option” that would bypass filibusters.

Graham said he, too, wants to see more conservative judges; but he said he doesn’t want to bend laws or congressional rules to make it happen. He said the best way to get more conservative judges and Supreme Court justices is by making sure the party has a president in the White House to make the appointments and a Senate that will approve them.

When there are differences, Graham said, “Republicans and Democrats must get in a room and figure it out.”

“I’m willing to be that Republican,” Graham said, making his pitch for re-nomination for another term as senator. “I’m a proud conservative, but Republicans cannot do it by themselves.”

He said the last time one party – the Democrats – tried to figure out something on their own, the result was the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare).

“ObamaCare is not working,” he said, adding that the economy is suffering because companies scale back employee hours to part time to avoid the healthcare mandate. He said this country can’t grow business by incentivizing employers to cut hours. The system also forces people not to want to cross a certain earnings threshold to avoid losing subsidies, he said.

“If you make more money, you lose money,” he said.

The senator offered several ideas for reforming healthcare in a bipartisan fashion. For instance, he said those who participate in unhealthy behavior – such as smoking – should pay more, while those who use health savings and engage in wellness behaviors should pay less. Being able to purchase healthcare insurance across state lines will create competition, he said, adding that we also need serious malpractice reform in America.

“There are so many things that we can do that are bipartisan,” Graham said.

He warned that people who currently have private health insurance will eventually be pushed into the ObamaCare exchange and that we are headed toward a “European-style healthcare system.”

And there are consequences, he warned. Those consequences are never more evident than with Social Security and Medicaid, the senator stressed.

There are 80 million Baby Boomers who “will flood Social Security,” he said, noting that in 1935, when the entitlement was born, life expectancy was just 60. People are living longer, and there are today just three workers for every retiree, compared to 1955, when the ratio was 16 to 1, he said.

“We are not generating enough workers in our country,” Graham said. “We have to find a way to come up with new workers.”

Reforming immigration is one way. He noted how in 2012 the Professional Golf Association (PGA) staged at tournament at Kiawah Island, S.C., and needed about 300 workers at above minimum wage, with benefits, to work the event. Only a handful of people applied. He pointed out how certain jobs – such as chicken farming – were important to people’s livelihood years ago, but that today illegal immigrants are taking many of the jobs that others are no longer doing. He said it’s clear where the focus of immigration reform needs to be, joking that we aren’t being overrun by Canadians from the North … that they mostly come to South Carolina for the beach and golf.

He joked that Social Security was a pretty good system – for the government’s coffers – when life expectancy was 60 because most people would “die off” before receiving benefits. That’s not the case today. Benefits are being paid in bundles. He said the system was not set up to succeed as a model for the Baby Boom generation.

Graham said the government can – and should – do a better job helping people prepare for the Social Security age of their lives. How can the more prosperous in our society help? Graham noted one area – Medicaid and the prescription drug benefit – where he believes the federal government shouldn’t be subsidizing prescription drug bills for people making more than $250,000 a year.

“There’s not enough money going into the system to account for all the changes,” he said, referring to the increase in life expectancy and the influx of Boomers into the retirement age of life.

Foreign affairs have been in the news recently with the fear of Russia trying to annex Crimea in the Ukraine. Graham had very strong words for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. “He’s an anti-democratic defacto autocratic dictator,” Graham said. “He’s ripping off the Russian people, and they (the leaders) are living like kings.”

He also had strong words for President Obama, who he said must show leadership and not blink in the face of Putin’s moves or that Putin, and other leaders, specifically rogue dictators, will be emboldened by the U.S.’s failure to act in support of the Ukraine in a bold and decisive way. Graham said having this world crisis at a time when the U.S. military has been cut to some of its lowest levels magnifies the need to keep America’s defenses strong. Iran, for instance, might see the U.S.’s failure to act as more reason to pursue a nuclear weapon, he cautioned.

“Israel will never allow the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon without a Jewish fight,” he said, noting that how the U.S. administration acts at this time sets a precedent that radical Islamic regimes and terrorists will follow closely in making their next moves on the world stage.

“We have a weak president, a dysfunctional Congress and a war-weary public,” he said. That’s a recipe for disaster, according to the senator.

Graham repeated his long-held support for Israel, then he turned to questions from the audience. One was in regards to the belief that Obama is usurping the Constitution. Graham said presidential powers under Obama have been misused, and he said he supports legislation such as the “STOP (Stop This Overreaching Presidency) Bill,” which would help Congress rein in unilateral attempts to change laws from the executive branch.

“Elections matter,” Graham said, noting that people have to live with the consequences and do the best they can if they don’t work to get their preferred political party voted into federal offices.

Another audience question was about party infighting, particularly between the more conservative wing (the Tea Party) and some of the more liberal factions of the GOP. Graham called himself a “Reagan Republican,” but he said there is room under the tent for all conservatives. He said if Republicans do regain the Senate and have power in both branches of Congress, they must use the power wisely.

One thing Graham said a Republican-led Senate should do right away is take a strong look at what happened when the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi was attacked and four people were killed on Sept. 11, 2012. He said there are many questions left unanswered, and it’s not the American way to leave someone dead on the battlefield without making an effort to do something about it. In this case, that “something” would be investigating the incident thoroughly to find out more about what was known and what was done or could have been done.

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Reception Planned for Troy Native, Actress

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

A reception for Erskine College alumna Millie Ballinger Is planned for Friday, March 7, from 2-6 p.m. in the Bowie Arts Center on the Erskine campus, where an exhibit recognizing her accomplishments will be on display. The public is invited to attend.

ImageBallinger, a native of Troy, S.C., is a member of the Erskine College Class of 1948, says she has devoted her life to her family first, then to acting and service to her community.

She is the mother of four children, Kitty, Bill, Jr., David, and John, and has performed in nearly every playhouse and theater in South Carolina, and has also appeared on television and in films. She has served as a volunteer reader for recordings for the blind; acted as an advisor for Clemson Youth, an organization sponsored by Clemson churches; and worked as co-director for “Aftercare,” a mental health program in Pickens County.

Her portrayal of the poet Emily Dickinson in William Luce’s play “The Belle of Amherst,” can now be seen online.

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Historic gathering of LPGA legends coming to Greenwood for Pro-am

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

In conjunction with the Self Regional Healthcare Women’s Health Classic, 17 of the top names in women’s golf will assemble in Greenwood for a Pro-am on May 6. The celebrity pro-am will serve to kick off the four-day Symetra LPGA qualifying tournament that week with 144 golfers and will also raise additional funding for women’s charities in the Lakelands region of South Carolina.

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Betsy King

LPGA champion Nancy Lopez was at the Foundation’s Mid-Winter Ball on Saturday night to promote the tournament. “This will be a spectacular event for golf lovers and a great way to raise funds and awareness for women’s health in the Lakelands,” Lopez said. 

The champion women golfers slated to attend include the following: Pat Bradley, Betsy King, Beth Daniel, Meg Mallon, Jan Stephenson, Hollis Stacy, Rosie Jones, Jane Crafter, Laurie Rinker, Sheri Turner, Barb Mucha, Nancy Scranton, Cindy Figg Currier, Dede Cusimano, Dawn Coe Jones, Kris Tschetter and Cindy Rarick

“We are thrilled to be able to bring these golf legends to Greenwood to lead into our tournament,” said Jim Medford, Women’s Health Classic tournament chairperson. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see both the LPGA pros and the young women competing for a card on the LPGA. “

The pro-am will take place at the Links at Stoney Point on May 6. Sponsors may play with a pro for a $10,000 donation to the tournament, which includes access to exclusive VIP events and also gift cards to use in the tournament golf shop. Anyone interested in playing in the pro-am should call the Links at Stoney Point at (864) 942-0900.

In conjunction with the Self Regional Healthcare Women’s Health Classic, 17 of the top names in women’s golf will assemble in Greenwood for a Pro-am on May 6. The celebrity pro-am will serve to kick off the four-day Symetra LPGA qualifying tournament that week with 144 golfers and will also raise additional funding for women’s charities in the Lakelands region of South Carolina.

LPGA champion Nancy Lopez was at the Foundation’s Mid-Winter Ball on Saturday night to promote the tournament. “This will be a spectacular event for golf lovers and a great way to raise funds and awareness for women’s health in the Lakelands,” said Lopez.

The champion women golfers slated to attend include the following: Pat Bradley, Betsy King, Beth Daniel, Meg Mallon, Jan Stephenson, Hollis Stacy, Rosie Jones, Jane Crafter, Laurie Rinker, Sheri Turner, Barb Mucha, Nancy Scranton, Cindy Figg Currier, Dede Cusimano, Dawn Coe Jones, Kris Tschetter and Cindy Rarick.

 “We are thrilled to be able to bring these golf legends to Greenwood to lead into our tournament,” said Jim Medford, Women’s Health Classic tournament chairperson. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see both the LPGA pros and the young women competing for a card on the LPGA. “

The pro-am will take place at the Links at Stoney Point on May 6. Sponsors may play with a pro for a $10,000 donation to the tournament, which includes access to exclusive VIP events and also gift cards to use in the tournament golf shop. Anyone interested in playing in the pro-am should call the Links at Stoney Point at (864) 942-0900.

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SAVE THE DATE: French Heritage Festival to Focus on History of Abbeville and McCormick

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

You are going to want to save the date for this special event.

The Abbeville French Heritage Festival will provide a historic window into the past of both Abbeville and McCormick with events and tours planned for April 11-13.

See an attached schedule of events and visit www.AbbevilleFrenchHeritageFestival.com for exciting information about this event.

Abbeville County, which once encompassed much of present McCormick County, including the Town of McCormick, has fascinating, well-documented and well-known Colonial, Revolutionary, Antebellum and Civil War histories. The French experience here is a vital aspect somewhat unrecognized and underserved.

The French men, women and children who came into the wilds of the South Carolina upcountry in the 1700s brought their strong devotion to freedom of religion and their refined and gracious French culture. Their descendants became leaders in both state and national life.

Highlighting and honoring French heritage and its contributions is simply polishing another beautiful fact on the history of Abbeville and McCormick counties.

Gen. Andrew Pickens of Revolutionary Ware fame owned the land where Abbeville now stands. In the late 1750s, he laid out a plan for a town. Pickens asked his friend and neighbor, Dr. Jean (John) de la Howe, owner of Lethe Plantation, to select a name for the new village. Dr. de la Howe suggested “Abbeville,” the name of the city in France from which many of fellow Huguenots had come. Pickens liked the name, and the rest is history.

The first wine made for commercial sale in American colonies was produced by the Frenchman Jean Louis Dumesnil de St. Pierre outside the Colonial village of New Bordeaux in Abbeville District. St. Pierre brought cuttings from French vineyards to start his own vineyards on the banks of Little River. He was the first colonist granted permission by the English Crown to sell wine in American colonies.

Abbeville boasts such important people and places as John C. Calhoun, the Opera House (the state’s official theatre), the McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House, Burt-Stark Mansion, and the historic downtown Square. Abbeville is part of the National Heritage Corridor, and, in 2008, was named by then-First Lady Laura Bush as a Preserve America Community.

Abbeville also has the unique distinction of being both the birthplace and the deathbed of the Confederacy. On November 22, 1860, a meeting was held at Abbeville, at a site since dubbed “Secession Hill,” to launch South Carolina’s secession from the Union; one month later, the state of South Carolina became the first state to secede.
At the end of the Civil War, with the Confederacy in shambles, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled Richmond, Virginia, and headed south, stopping for a night in Abbeville at the home of his friend Armistead Burt. It was on May 2, 1865, in the front parlor of what is now known as the Burt-Stark Mansion that Jefferson Davis officially acknowledged the dissolution of the Confederate government.

To learn more about the festival, visit http://www.AbbevilleFrenchHeritageFestival.com or call (864) 366-4600. You can pick up maps and tour information from the Chamber of Commerce located on the Square, or visit the aforementioned website for an extensive overview, a downloadable brochure, and more information.

Drag schedule to your desktop to save and/or print.

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NEW: Local Medical Center Part of National Hub for Genetics Research

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

Self Regional announced today a partnership in genetics research that medical center President and CEO Jim Pfeiffer said will be both an economic windfall for this area and a major advance in cancer and heart disease genetics research — something of paramount importance to the active-living residents of Savannah Lakes Village, McCormick County, and those living throughout the Lakelands and Blueway Regions of South Carolina and Georgia.

The partnership, which has global implications, also includes a $5.6 million commitment by Self Regional to support the initiative. It’s all part of Self’s longtime commitment to bring advanced care closer to home.

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The new partnership will establish formal collaboration among genetic researchers and Clemson University faculty at the Greenwood Genetic Center and Self Regional Healthcare, expanding an already successful working relationship.

Self Regional has invested itself in McCormick County and Savannah Lakes Village with the hospital-owned Savannah Lakes Medical Center located in the heart of the Village. The medical center also provides plenty of local outreach in wellness education and home health services to the Village. The impact of this partnership will create an influx of data-collecting and research capabilities in the battle against various diseases that affect residents in our communities, Pfieffer said.

See Shorelines Magazine’s April edition for an SLV/McCormick area-impact story and the specific areas in which the regional referral hospital expects tremendous benefits for Savannah Lakes Village residents.

Pfieffer said this is more than just an area or statewide story of interest, but one with major global implications. Many statewide media members and dignitaries attended today’s press conference at Self’s new cancer center.

For those living in Savannah Lakes and McCormick, this provides new hope in the battle against a number of diseases. For the many property owners living nationwide who are considering moving to SLV, Pfeiffer hopes they will not only see this healthcare advancement as a major selling point for this community as a destination place for relocation, but also will note the hospital’s many accomplishments on a national scale in spine surgery, stroke care, heart care, cancer treatment, patent satisfaction and other areas. He notes how high-quality healthcare is one of the major things people look for when considering where to live.

Self Regional is the largest employer in six counties, with 414 beds and nearly 2,500 employees. The hospital is a six-time Gallup Great Workplace award winner, placing it among the top places to work in the nation, with some of the most engaged healthcare providers.

Self Regional will support the Clemson University Center for Human Genetics with a gift of $5.6 million over three years. The gift consists of an initial contribution of $2 million for the center’s facilities and a subsequent contribution of $3.6 million to support research in genetics and human diagnostics at the facility located on the Greenwood Genetics Center campus.

The center will address research and clinical opportunities in human diagnostics and epigenetic therapeutics, advancing personalized medicine for intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and disorders of the immune and nervous systems. Specific research will include molecular diagnostics and therapeutics, bioinformatics, and computational/systems biology.

Self Regional, as a research and lead healthcare partner, will support hospital-based clinical trials and will collaborate in designated research activities.

“Today’s announcement will create a new pipeline for genetic research,” said John Pillman, chairperson of the Self Regional Board of Trustees. “The collaboration of these three partners will ultimately connect genetic therapeutics research to patients.”

Pfeiffer said the partnership will accelerate the rate of innovation in genetic medicine. “This is what I call a win-win-win scenario,” he said.

Steve Skinner, director of the Greenwood Genetic Center, said such collaborations are crucial in turning research advances into clinically available therapies for patients, not only in this area, but across the state — and globally.

“This collaboration is a major step forward for patients as we combine the resources and strengths of each institution: Self’s commitment to patient care, Clemson’s expertise in basic scientific research, and our expertise with genetic disorders and treatment,” Skinner said.

Self Regional and the Genetic Center have had an affiliation agreement since 1975, with the Genetic Center’s clinical faculty serving as the Department of Medical Genetics for Self Regional.

Clemson University President James P. Clements said the announcement brings us a step closer to moving basic discoveries in human genetics from a research environment to a clinical setting, where they can be used to diagnose and treat genetic-related human disorders.

“Clemson is proud to be part of this important collaborative effort, and we’re grateful to Self Regional Healthcare for its support of our research efforts at the Greenwood Genetic Center,” Clements said.

Clemson’s Steve Kresovich, the Coker Chair in Molecular Genetics, is responsible for overseeing research programs and managing collaborative activities between Clemson faculty and personnel at the partner institutions.

Kresovich said this unique partnership will catalyze the development of a regional research hub for human genetics, clinical activities, and provide unique training opportunities for students.

“Each group brings visions and capabilities that complement each other and will allow for the rapid establishment of truly integrated and trans-disciplinary research teams working on challenging medical problems of importance to many stakeholders in our region,” Kresovich said.

Today’s announcement marks Clemson’s third significant development at the Greenwood Genetic Center. In June 2013, Clemson announced it would build a 17,000-square-foot research and education center in human genetics on nearly 15 acres donated by Greenwood County and the Greenwood Commissioners of Public Works..

The Clemson Center for Human Genetics will expand the college’s genetics programs, create an internationally competitive research and development team, and expand research capabilities at the Greenwood Genetic Center’s J.C. Self Institute.

And, in November, Clemson established the Self Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Human Genetics. Jointly funded by the Self Family Foundation and the State of South Carolina, the endowed chair will advance development of novel therapeutics to treat genetic disorders at a cellular level.

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Golf Legend Nancy Lopez to make special appearance at Self Regional Healthcare Foundation’s Mid-Winter Ball

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

One of the guests to the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation’s Mid-Winter Ball will be world-renowned golfer Nancy Lopez. 

Lopez, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, is attending the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation’s Mid-Winter Ball to award a Pro-Am golf experience package to one lucky bidder at the ball’s silent auction. In addition to golf for three, the package includes a $200 gift certificate and lunch for each player. The players are also invited to a VIP “Meet the Pros” reception and Pairing Party. The package is the donation of the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Charity Classic organizers Jim and Denise Medford, who own the Links at Stoney Point.

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“I can’t think of a better person and a better way to highlight the upcoming golf tournament,” said Jim Medford. “Nancy is a sports icon and symbolizes what this tournament is about. We are honored to have her present the package, and come to Greenwood to build excitement for the upcoming LPGA Symetra Tour event.”

In addition to the golf experience package, Lopez is donating a staff bag, which she will autograph to the winning bidder of a separate auction.

The Self Regional Healthcare Women’s Health Classic will be held May 5-11 at the Links at Stoney Point and includes a four-day LPGA qualifying tournament with 144 golfers, a Pro-Am, and a host of other special events throughout the week. Charitable proceeds will benefit Self Regional Healthcare’s women’s health initiatives and women’s charities in the Lakelands region.

Jack Schwartz, Executive Director of the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation, said Lopez’s visit and the addition of the golf package is an added highlight of the sold-out ball. “The Mid-Winter Ball is always a spectacular event and this golfers’ dream package will be extra icing on the cake,” said Schwartz. The golf experience package has an approximate value of $5,000. “This will go a long way toward helping us reach our fund-raising goal,” said Schwartz.

The foundation’s Mid-Winter Ball raises approximately $100,000 each year to support special programs and equipment purchases at Self Regional Healthcare. This year’s proceeds will support the Self Regional Healthcare Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The 2014 ball chairs are Jenni Shingler and Jane Dean; the honorary chair is Martha Dunlap, and the silent auction chair is Jane Marshall.

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