Anderson Magazine - March/April 2022

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Anderson March/April 2022

PAWPRINTS on our Hearts Arts Center Celebrates 50 Years


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March/April 2022

Publisher/Editor April Cameron

Sales & Client Manager Jennifer Merritt

table of

contents 5

Graphic Design Jennifer Walker Online Editor Lisa Marie Carter Contributing Writers Lisa Marie Carter Evelyn Beck Bob Hanley Deborah Tucker Jay Wright

10 Colorectal Screenings: Spring Forward to Good Health

TCTC Police Pre-Academy Training Program


Featured Photographer Van Sullivan Photography Anderson Magazine is published six times a year. Advertising Inquiries:

12 Plan for Aging Care Today


ON THE COVER: Max, a rescue dog assited by the G.E.L.A. Foundation

16 20 Online Virtual Public Schools

Pawprints on our Hearts


Copyright: All contents of this issue ©2022 Anderson Magazine. All rights reserved. No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner without prior consent of the publisher. The publishers believe that the information contained in this publication is accurate. However, the information is not warranted, and Anderson Magazine does not assume any liability or responsibility for actual, consequential or incidental damages resulting from inaccurate erroneous information.

Anderson Magazine PO Box 3848 Anderson, SC 29622 864.221.8445

Like Me For Me - The Musical

24 Amazing Anderson Community Comes Together


March/April 2022

The Anderson Arts Center Celebrating 50 Years

Letter from the Editor Well, we are inching our way toward spring, and it’s glorious! I am not a cold weather girl. I do not like to be cold. I do not like to wear jackets. I don’t like the cold. Did I say that already? So, I’m excited that we are already into March because that means warmer weather is on the horizon! This issue is fun, informative and, as usual, highlights some really good people doing really good things. One of the reasons I created Anderson Magazine was to share with others that positive things that happen in our community and to be a platform for local businesses to share their stories. You’ll get a nice dose of each in this issue. I am a pet lover. I have a dog and two cats, all rescues. We have a wonderful story about an organization that helps put shelter animals into homes. As you can imagine, when someone visits a shelter to adopt, they don’t always get to see the best side of the animals. The cats and dogs are often timid and sad trying to adjust to their shelter situation. The organization G.E.L.A. helps by taking some of the seemingly “undesirable” animals and teaches them to socialize with other animals and humans. It works to provide some training efforts, and it also helps to provide funds to those willing and ready to adopt, but in need of financial assistance for vet bills, etc. Read about how our sweet cover boy Max was assisted by this organization. If you are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel for retirement, or you have parents that are aging and see some decisions for their health care or living arrangements in your future, be sure to read the article about planning for aging. It can certainly be a tough topic to face for yourself and those you love, but preparation will ease every transition. The information provided can direct you to professionals who can help with discussion, planning and execution of needs of aging adults. From making decisions about future living arrangements to choices regarding healthcare to financial goals for elder care, you’ll want to save this article as reference material. Speaking of aging, ya’ girl here is going to be 50 this year! And I am proud to share that number of distinction with the Anderson Arts Center. You may or may not know, but in addition to publishing Anderson Magazine, I also serve as the executive director of the Anderson Arts Center. The Arts Center has been a significant force in the community helping to bring dynamic cultural experiences to the Upstate. Those who founded the Arts Center 50 years ago had tremendous vision to look ahead and see what a benefit and need there was for this type of organization in Anderson County. Read about how it was founded, some of the unique and fun exhibits and special events that have been happening over the years, as well as a glimpse into where it is headed. I would love to give you a personal tour and invite you to come visit an upcoming exhibit or take part in an event or class! But listen, that’s just a little preview of what’s inside this issue! Settle in and read a while. I think you’ll enjoy it! And don’t forget to support the advertisers who make this publication possible! n



March/April 2022

April with Kim Kittle, Max’s mom, and Lisa Marie Carter, founder of the GELA Foundation.

My fur babies Miller the dog, and the cats Tilly(tabby) and Georgia (black)

Colorectal Screening: Spring Forward to Good Health By Deb Tucker Spring officially begins on March 20 – finally! It’s time to get out into your garden, work on your golf game, and watch the kids and grandkids play baseball and other spring sports. And you don’t want to be slowed down by a medical condition that could have been prevented if found early. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The purpose is to raise awareness of this common cancer and to help people understand the importance of early detection. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. Although colorectal cancer is most frequently diagnosed among persons aged 65 to 74 years old, about 10% of new colorectal cancer cases occur in people younger than 50, and that percentage is growing. The medical team at AnMed Health in Anderson can’t emphasize enough the importance of regular screenings. Primary care providers such as Dr. Laurie Rousseau of AnMed Health Pendleton Family Medicine want patients to understand that colorectal cancer has a 90 percent survival rate if discovered before it spreads outside the colon or rectum, and that starts with having an established relationship with a primary care provider who knows your health history, Dr. Rousseau said. Dr. Rousseau said giving patients the best chance at a healthy life is personal for her because her mother passed away from cancer at a young age. “I want everyone to know that in early stages colon cancer does not have symptoms. So ‘feeling fine’ is no reason to delay screening,” she said. “The first step in preventing colon cancer is to have an established relationship with a primary care provider who knows you very well due to regular check-ups and who will make recommendations based on your health history and current status.” A Story with a Good Ending Lee Boggs, of Anderson, received his first colonoscopy when he was 50 years old. He said knowing what he knows now, he wished he would have talked to his doctor sooner. “My granny had colon cancer in her 50s. She survived it, but not without major surgery and a long recovery,” he explained. “I now know that I should have been more aware of my family history and talked to a doctor about it. If so, I likely would have been screened in my forties.” During Boggs’ colonoscopy, it was discovered that he had a flat polyp, which can be more difficult to remove and has a greater risk of leading to cancer. The polyp had to be biopsied, tested, removed and tested again.

“My doctor told me I was very lucky,” he said, noting that the polyp was benign. “Due to the size, shape and location of it, it required an advanced procedure, and there was a good chance that I could have had cancer. He told me it would have been a life changer. I feel very fortunate that I had a wife pushing me to go, an excellent medical team, and a lot of people praying for me.” Questions? Dr. Rousseau recommends that you talk with your primary care provider about when you should be screened. If you need help finding a primary care provider, please call WellnessConnect, 864.512.3748, or visit n

Dr. Laurie Rousseau AnMed Health Pendleton Family Medicine 1005 Meehan Way Pendleton, SC 29670 864.646.7522 5

March/April 2022

Plan for Aging Care Today and Plan to Enjoy Your Tomorrows

Though we are all unique, there is one thing all human beings have in common: We are getting older every day. Aging isn’t a bad thing and doesn’t have to be something you dread, if you plan ahead. Though you may not feel you are an age to start planning for your own senior years, your parents need to have a plan in place, and you, as their adult child, need to know about this plan. So many elders believe if they have their will done and their funeral arrangements planned and paid for they have made their necessary plans and everything else will be dealt with as it happens. That is the kind of wishful thinking that can cause numerous problems not just for the aging adult but for their families as well. Consider this: What if your elderly parent had an accident and was unable to express their wishes and thoughts. Would you know where their important documents were? Is there a list of their current medicines and issues? What are their health care wishes? Who is allowed to make decisions for them? Go a step further and say they were recovering but not going to be able to live alone any longer. Have plans been made on where they’ll stay, who will care for their pets? If you and your siblings live in different states from your parents, do you know where they would prefer to be? Caroline Bell with Preparing for Care, LLC knows all too well the consequences of not having an aging plan in place. Bell gave up her lucrative career in finance to care for her aging parents, just as her parents

By Lisa Marie Carter


March/April 2022

Another thing to consider is where your parents live. Are they close to you? Are they willing to move closer to you or are you willing to move closer to them? Do they want to stay in their home and age in place or would they prefer to be a bit more carefree and live in a community for older adults? Many people want to stay in their home to age in place but can’t handle all the tasks this entails. There are several options for in-home care assistance. Home health care services like Kindred at Home can provide specialized services that offer just the right care that will meet specific health goals. Home health care services offer help that ranges from assistance with daily activities to providing in-home skilled care and support for families as well as caregivers. For those interested in a senior living community, Anderson County and the surrounding areas have many options to fit a variety of needs. Senior living communities in the area provide a range of services depending on the needs of the residents. You can find independent living, assisted living or memory care communities to fit the desires of the seniors in your life. Summit Place is a senior living option for those age 62 and older. Like other senior living communities, Summit Place offers tailored services, on-site amenities and recreational programming. With restaurant-style meals served daily and personal laundry services, seniors receive support for daily tasks that may have become burdensome or beyond their capabilities. April Duvall, the sales director at Summit Place, urged, “Don’t live alone! Surround yourself with friendly neighbors and caring staff members.” Whether you are a senior yourself or caring for your parents or other elders, now is the time to start taking the steps to plan for the future. The unknown can be difficult to face, but education, knowledge, and trusted experts can help you construct an aging plan. n

had cared for theirs. And though she doesn’t regret the time and memories she was blessed to share with them, the lack of a plan placed a financial burden on her parents and herself. She quickly depleted her savings and her future retirement in order to properly care for parents. It was because of her personal experience that she started her company, Preparing for Care, to fill this need. When is the best time to start planning? Bell suggests the sooner the better, but basically no later than the same time you yourself are planning to retire. One of the best ways to start planning is to hire an elder care advocate, she said. They can help you start on the right path of this challenging journey. If you are the child of an aging parent, you need to be prepared to help your parent make some hard decisions. Bell said to remember this is not a popularity contest with your parents, and you need to prepare for the fact they might be angry at you for making them start planning ahead and talking about some of the topics that you need to discuss. An advocate can help smooth things over and explain from a non-biased point of view. The best gift a parent can give a child is to sit down with them to have “The Talk.” This talk refers to the one about finances, covering things like which child is the best choice for the health care power of attorney (POA) and financial POA; their desires to live at home or in a community; even funeral planning and longterm care insurance. (Long-term care policies help with a variety of services that aren’t covered by regular health insurance. This includes assistance with routine daily activities, like bathing, dressing or getting in and out of bed.) When discussing the financial part of your parents’ or your own aging plan, you may want to consult with a financial planner as aging care costs need to be considered for retirement. David Chudyk, a certified financial planner with Parallel Financial, shares some insight into these financial steps. Chudyk said, “While ‘budget’ is thought of as a bad word, we all need to be aware of our spending. As seniors leave the workforce and have decreased earning potential, it becomes important to know where money is going. Social Security income is rarely sufficient to provide an extravagant lifestyle and income from portfolios can vary. Work with a trusted family member, financial advisor, or friend to ensure that you are not spending at an unsustainable rate.” Chudyk said we also need to consider “caring” and “support” when planning our financial futures. What does that mean? “Caring” is how handling our money could make the world better for us and those around us. “Support” is making sure to develop a financial support team that can include attorney, accountant, financial advisor, senior advocate, insurance agent, and trusted friends/family members.


March/April 2022

Debutante Club

The Debutante Club of Anderson celebrated the 2021 Debutante Class with the annual ball on Saturday, January 8 at the Bleckley Station.

Addie Caroline Anderson

MyKala Leigh Cantrell

Elizabeth Sue Coughenour

Mary Chamblee Craft

Mary Lawson Dorsey

Emma Grace Johnson

Meredith Claire Kidd

Lauren Rae Merritt

Alexis Tate Merriman

Leila Katherine Sconyers


March/April 2022

Christina Madison Speer

Addie Caroline Anderson Addie Caroline Anderson was presented by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Clark Anderson. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Richard Harrison Anderson, Senior and Ms. Marilyn Griffith McCormick and Mrs. John Douglas McCormick. Miss Anderson is a sophomore at Clemson University Honors College where she is pursuing a major in Health Sciences. She was escorted by her future brother in law, Tyler Gray Kirkland and Samuel Reid Brendle served as her marshal.

with a minor in Data Analytics. She was escorted by a family friend Mr. Scott Christopher Daughtry and her cousin Brooks Aaron Johnson served as her marshal. Meredith Claire Kidd Meredith Claire Kidd was presented by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Kidd junior. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Kidd of Hartwell, Georgia and Mr. and Mrs. Foster Scott Hardigree of Hartwell, Georgia. Miss Kidd is a sophomore at University of South Carolina where she is pursuing a major in Public Health. She was escorted by John Haddock Rogers and her grandfather, Mr. Foster Scott Hardigree served as her marshal.

MyKala Leigh Cantrell MyKala Leigh Cantrell was presented by her parents Mr. and Mrs. James Holden Cantrell. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Hold Cantrell of Belton and Mrs. Wilda McCullough Smith and the late Mr. Willis Melvin Smith of Anderson. Miss Cantrell is a sophomore at Lander University where she is pursuing a major in Healthcare Management. She was escorted by her brother Master McKane Holden Cantrell and Jeffrey Adam Madison served as her marshal.

Alexis Tate Merriman Alexis Tate Merriman was presented by The late Mr. Brian Dudley Merriman and Mrs. Susanna Lynn Merriman. Ms. Susanna Merriman was escorted by her son Mr. Jordan Thomas Britenburg-Merriman and Miss Alexis Merriman was escorted by Mr. David Potter Rogers. Miss Merriman is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Edward Merriman of Florence and the late Dr. John J. McLaughlin and Dr. Joan Bobbitt McLaughlin of Clemson. Miss Merriman is a sophomore at Clemson University where she is pursuing a major in Communications. She was escorted by Mr. Nestor McKneally and Mr. Benjamin David Rogers served as her marshal.

Elizabeth Sue Coughenour Elizabeth Sue Coughenour was presented by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Patrick Coughenour. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Norfleet Coughenour of Anderson and Mr. and Mrs. Ray Conner Kimbrell of Anderson. Miss Coughenour is a sophomore at Clemson University pursuing a major in Communications. She was escorted by her cousin Conner Anderson Kimbell and Richard Spain Vaughn, IV served as her marshal.

Lauren Rae Merritt Lauren Rae Merritt was presented by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lee Merritt. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Samuel Merritt of Easley and Mrs. William Ray Burngardner junior and the late Mr. William Ray Burngardner junior of Anderson. Miss Merritt is a sophomore at Clemson University Honors College pursuing a major in Pre-Professional Health Science. She was escorted by her brother Jackson Samuel Merritt and Mr. Layton Paul Gibson Barnwell served as her marshal.

Mary Chamblee Craft Mary Chamblee Craft was presented by her parents Thomas Denver Craft junior. She is the granddaughter of Mr. Thomas Craft and the late Barbara Craft and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Carew Alvarez III from Rock Hill. Miss Craft is studying Esthetics at Southeastern Esthetics. She was escorted by her older brother Thomas Denver Craft III and her younger brother Davis Thomas Craft served as her marshal.

Leila Katherine Sconyers Leila Katherine Sconyers was presented by her parents Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Coleman Sconyers. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Coleman Sconyers senior of Chester and the late Dr. and Mrs. Grady Rembert Oates of Bartow, Florida. Miss Sconyers is a junior at Clemson University where she is pursuing a major in Spanish and International Health with a focus in Health Administration and a minor in Political Science. She was escorted by Mr. James Elliott Curnow and her brother Master Townes Coleman Sconyers served as her marshal.

Mary Lawson Dorsey Mary Lawson Dorsey was presented by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Carl Lee Dorsey junior. She is the granddaughter of Carl Lee Dorsey and the late Sandra King Dorsey and Gary Michael Metz and Judy Dunn Metz. Miss Dorsey is a sophomore at Clemson University pursing a major in Nursing. She was escorted by her brother Brolin Marshall Dorsey and Master Garrison Joseph Metz served as her marshal. Emma Grace Johnson Emma Grace Johnson was presented by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Brian Loftis Johnson. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. William Aaron Johnson and the late Mr. William Aaron Johnson of Warrenton, Georgia and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Goode Christopher III of Anderson. Miss Johnson is a sophomore at Furman University where she is pursuing a major in Accounting

Christina Madison Speer Christina Madison Speer was presented by her grandparents Mr. and Mrs. William Duane Loftis. Miss Speer is a sophomore at Clemson University where she is pursuing a major in Elementary Education. She was escorted by her cousin William Watson Loftis and her cousin Thomas Andrew Loftis served as her marshal. 9

March/April 2022

Police Pre-Academy Training Program Is Pathway to Law Enforcement Career

First graduates of Tri-County Technical College’s Police Pre-Academy Training class Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) strives to be a solutions provider and to work collaboratively with others to solve our communities’ most pressing needs. Right now, one of our region’s most pressing needs is to recruit, educate and train a diverse pool of law enforcement officers. Dr. Chris McFarlin, TCTC public services department head and criminal justice instructor, had envisioned a Police Pre-Academy Training (PPAT) program long before it came to fruition in 2021. Over the last 10 years he steadily has been working to move toward this new statewide certificate program that provides a simple path to becoming a law enforcement officer. TCTC was selected to spearhead the PPAT initiative because of the changes Dr. McFarlin has been making to the College’s Criminal Justice program since 2011. These changes helped to establish the foundation for TCTC to lead the way in creating the PPAT program. Dr. McFarlin and TCTC President Galen DeHay worked with a criminal justice work group comprised of criminal justice faculty representatives from Greenville, Horry-Georgetown, Orangeburg-Calhoun, Tri-County and Trident technical colleges who teamed with SC

Criminal Justice Academy Director Jackie Swindler to design a certified statewide law enforcement certificate that also addresses the profession’s workforce shortage. Dr. McFarlin chaired the state workgroup. Committee members used the existing SC Criminal Justice Academy syllabus to develop four classes for the PPAT program that could be delivered at TCTC and the other 15 technical colleges to create better trained, vetted, and prepared individuals to enter the SC Criminal Justice Academy for the remainder of their basic law enforcement training. TCTC partnered with local law enforcement agencies who laud the program’s ability to recruit diverse candidates and educate and train them. With agencies struggling to find and recruit officers, PPAT will produce candidates who are academically and physically ready for the Academy which can increase the success rates and graduation rates. Over 14 weeks, candidates learn basic and introductory law enforcement training, tactics, and procedures. The certificate basic training totals 147.5 hours but TCTC CRJ faculty added an additional 50 hours of critical training to the curriculum which includes National Alliance on Mental Health, SI/SFST, 10

March/April 2022

force mitigation and crisis intervention, axon taser and Tactical Emergency Combat Casualty certifications. “The quality of the training is where we shine at Tri-County,” said Dr. McFarlin. All courses are taught by faculty who are subject-matter experts and who are current or former law enforcement officers. “Completion of the program greatly increases the chances of them being committed to an agency. Building a pool of candidates who have curriculum competencies and commitment makes them more invested,” Dr. McFarlin said. Seven students completed the 14-week certificate in December with a 100% graduation rate. One cadet secured a job offer mid semester when the CRJ program hosted its Interviews/Law Enforcement Career Fair October 22. Representatives from 10 local and state law enforcement agencies were available to discuss career opportunities, and representatives from TCTC were on hand to discuss the college’s criminal justice associate degree program and the new PPAT certificate program.

“The quality of the training is where we shine at Tri-County.” Dr. Chris McFarlin Public Services Department Head The event served as an opportunity for cadets to practice their interviewing techniques and to receive feedback from agencies to ensure that each cadet can better be prepared for the panel interview that most agencies conduct. The curriculum prepares individuals to work in the diverse and multicultural communities they will serve. By increasing their educational level, they can develop creative problem-solving skills and therefore relate better to their communities. Statistics show 33% of those hired and trained in law enforcement vacated those jobs in 2020, with the impact of COVID-19 as well as civil unrest being contributing factors. The program caught the attention of local government who are looking for better trained officers. The city of Clemson’s police department now offers new hires with this TCTC PPAT credential a $2,000 pay band upgrade. The 12 credit hours accrued by cadets can apply toward the 66 credits required to earn an associate degree should candidates decide to further their studies. “TCTC is the premier technical college for teaching law enforcement handson training as well as the degree curriculum. These combined give our graduates a solid foundation in the academic knowledge as well as the skill sets law enforcement expects of new employees,” said Dr. McFarlin. “This program gives the students a comprehensive holistic educational experience. The training is relevant and makes students more employable and therefore more successful when they enroll at the Academy to complete training and later in their on-the-job field training.” A major benefit of the pathway is candidates are eligible to receive Lottery Tuition Assistance and SC WINS scholarships, which cover 100% of all tuition costs. For more information about the PPAT program, visit n


March/April 2022

Ranked #1 in Student Success

TOP FIVE REASONS TO ATTEND TCTC • Highest Student Success Rate among State’s Sixteen Technical Colleges • Number-One Graduation Rate Among State's 16 Technical Colleges • Lowest Tuition in the Upstate • Four Campuses to Serve You • 19:1 Student-Faculty Ratio

3 Locations in Anderson County

864-646-TCTC •

Like Me for Me – The Musical By Jay Wright

While the world was quarantined, Anderson residents Kathy Stallo and Annette Martin took that most unusual time to create something valuable to move the world forward in a positive way — they wrote a children’s musical. Combining Stallo’s concepts and Martin’s musical background, the uplifting, encouraging, whimsical “Like Me for Me — The Musical” was brought to life. This play teaches children and young adults how to deal with life purposefully, one situation at a time. Created for a cast of eight to 80 children, characters build on seven concepts of understanding that get reiterated through dialogue and highenergy, motivating songs. These concepts are further reinforced by the antics of two puppets. The song melodies are memorable, and each song’s sparkle brings smiles and laughter, which deepens the learning. The instrumental tracks were written for adults back in the 1980s while Stallo and Martin were raising their own children. Stallo used the songs as she traveled the U.S. performing her motivational comedy business as “Thelma P. Figwort.” Meanwhile, Martin continued to write children’s musicals — 17 in all. Now, 32 years later with seven children and 17 grandchildren between them, their message is clear: It is now, and has always been, about the children. After a year of compiling and arranging hours of material into 35 minutes of educational entertainment, “Like Me for Me — The Musical” was ready. With the engineering of Boyce Skelton at his recording studio, local children and youth sang lead tracks for the teaching CD. Every song has a clear message that weaves through exciting instrumental backgrounds, each with its own personality. The song titles include: “Like Me for Me,” “Body Talk,” “Don’t Stuff Your Feelings,” and “Be Accountable.” Opportunities for choreography are limitless, yet the play can be performed on a simple stage requiring minimal investment for set items and props. Some of the song lyrics contain memorable lines. In the song “Don’t Judge Me,” the refrain lyrics are: “Don’t judge me for who I am, don’t judge me for who I’m not, and for Pete’s sake don’t judge me for the shoes I wear. Like me for me.” The lessons: judging others doesn’t

make anyone feel better. Don’t make fun of anyone’s hair, their clothes, or their shoes. In the musical, this is all done in a fun way that makes the message memorable. When the children were recording the teaching CD, the song that had the most impact was the song “Be Accountable.” The powerful last line of the song hit the hearts of everyone who sang it. It must be heard in context and is worth the time and energy of the entire musical to hear those words. The creators’ shared vision for this play is “that it promotes kindness, communication, and positive feelings and will turn frowns into smiles — starting with children who just need a little direction and encouragement.” A late January 2022 premier performance had been scheduled for a middle school in the Charleston area; however, it was postponed due to uncertainties associated with Covid-19 variants. Meanwhile, Stallo and Martin look forward to hearing from organizations interested in having local children and young adults perform this life-changing musical in schools, churches, theaters, parks, etc. It IS about the children. n For more information or to discuss a performance, contact Kathy Stallo at or Annette Martin at 12

March/April 2022


151 East Church Street | Anderson, SC 29624 864-225-7203 |





Phone: (864) 685-6060


Email: Website:



March/April 2022

Don’t Go House Shopping Until You Do This

head of mortgage operations and helps all of us out when needed,” said Penley. Penley said a fear she often hears expressed by buyers is worrying about how pre-qualification may affect their credit scores. “When I speak with a potential homebuyer, if we are just talking about income, debts, and proposed payments, no credit report is pulled,” said Penley. “It does not affect one’s credit score. However, if the buyer is interested in firm details, I will pull a credit report to confirm a credit score and discuss more accurate interest rates and payments. With this, one’s score could drop a minimum of 5 points, which is relatively insignificant. Issues arise if a potential homebuyer speaks with multiple lenders and has more than one bank/lender pull their credit,” she added. It is wise to do your research and determine if you are getting the best rate available. “Sometimes banks will offer some extra incentives for a short time period, but borrowers should be very diligent in reading the small print,” said Penley. “If something sounds too good to be true, it very well may be.” Penley said when a potential borrower informs her of a special offer, she will gladly review the paperwork to ensure the offer is legitimate. “At the end of the day, I want what’s best for the borrower, whether we get their loan or not. They will hopefully remember that I did that for them the next time they purchase or refinance,” she said. Mortgage services aren’t only for home buyers, though. With the recent low interest rates, refinancing has been big business. “Some borrowers benefit by lowering payments, some benefit by reducing the term, even though payments may go up a little. Some borrowers benefit by consolidating debt and only having a mortgage payment, which they can they concentrate on paying off quickly,” said Penley. “Every scenario is different, but a simple 5 minute phone call to discuss options is always what I suggest.” More and more mortgage lending services are surfacing, and it can be difficult to swim through the sea of details. But with The Peoples Mortgage Division, you will have one point of contact and a local connection whether you prefer to do business in person or over the phone or through their new website dedicated to mortgages. “I am always the contact person for every mortgage loan we do,” said Penley. “I believe that local, personal service is the key. Our customers aren’t calling a tollfree number and talking to someone different every time they call. When they call, they get me.” n

Imagine after months of searching, you finally find a house that will fulfill all your dreams! There are enough bedrooms and baths, beautiful hardwood floors, and maybe even a swimming pool. Now, imagine your disappointment when you discover the payments on this home are well above your budget, and you have to let it go to someone else.

I believe that local, personal service is the key. Our customers aren’t calling a toll-free number and talking to someone different every time they call. When they call, they get me.” “Buyers should always be pre-qualified so they know how much of a home they can qualify for and what their proposed payments will look like,” said Annette Penley of The Peoples Bank Mortgage Services. “Also, most Realtors want a buyer to be pre-qualified with a prequalification letter in hand so no time is spent showing homes to someone that can’t qualify for them.” So, when considering purchasing a home, your first stop should be a visit to a mortgage lender, not necessarily a realtor. The Peoples Bank Mortgage Services is ready to help you with the first step. Penley has been providing mortgage loan services for 36 years, and her team members are attentive and experienced to meet every individual’s needs. “Wendy Bernheisel is the branch manager at our Clemson Boulevard branch. She helps me talk to prospective clients in the early stages. Courtney Deering is at our Greenville Street branch and is our mortgage loan processor, and Chrystal Church is the

Loan Operations Center • 1921 E Greenville Street • Anderson, SC 864-222-2506 •


March/April 2022

Ready to Make a Move?

Get Prequalified! If you’re thinking of buying a home, get prequalified with THE PEOPLES BANK MORTGAGE SERVICES! • It helps things move faster when you make a decision because you’ve already started the mortgage process. • Sellers are more likely to accept an offer because it means there will be fewer issues finalizing the mortgage. • It can help you find out about any potential issues before you go under contract with a home. • It’s fast, easy, and you can get started at

Loan Operations Center 1921 E Greenville Street • Anderson, SC 864-222-2506 •


March/April 2022

Student Enrollment Increases in Online Virtual Public Schools By: Bob Hanley Once a rarity in the world of education, online schools have seen rapid growth in student enrollment over the past few years. Such schools vary in academic approach, schedule, format, and extracurricular options. Offering online education since 2008, the South Carolina Virtual Charter School has a longer history than most. As a tuition-free public school, it provides a curriculum for grades K-12 based on South Carolina state standards. According to Dr. Cherry Daniel, the school’s CEO, it has seen a surge in enrollment driven in part by the pandemic but also by a growing desire for more options in education delivery. Dr. Daniel estimates that the Covid-19 factor may account for about 1,000 additional students in the overall enrollment of 4,300 students this year. However, the increased popularity of the school lies in providing an education alternative that is attractive to students and parents. “What makes S.C. Virtual Charter School distinctive,” according to Dr. Daniel, “is that we have a set schedule, teach every day, are online, interact live, and in real time.” Students come to the school for a variety of reasons, she added. Some like the “hassle-free environment and lack of interruptions during instruction.” Overall, she asserted, the students experience quality instruction. The South Carolina Preparatory Academy is a more recent addition to online virtual school options. The school began its inaugural year as a free, public charter school in the fall of 2021, offering classes for 6-11th

grade. Current enrollment of over 250 students is expected to increase next year with the addition of the 12th grade and expanded marketing efforts. James Galyean serves as CEO of Reason and Republic, the administrative unit for the school. For him, “the addition of the South Carolina Preparatory Academy provides a much-needed curriculum option for students.” The program addresses state education standards through a classical approach, an educational model that utilizes literature, essays, and other works to explore ideas from the great minds throughout history. 16

March/April 2022

For Galyean, “the school offers students and parents a high-quality education through a flexible schedule that enables them to pursue other interests.” For some students, he said, participating in a virtual environment is attractive with its potential to decrease their risk of Covid-19 exposure. The school is also developing a mentor option. Don Peppers, mentoring program coordinator, noted that “mentors provide students with additional academic support and also promote character development.” The overall goal of the school is to graduate young adults who are academically prepared for college and/or career and are dedicated to serving as good citizens in their communities. As a parent with an eighth grader, Christy Buczko and her husband chose the South Carolina Preparatory Academy for its focus on a classical approach to education and emphasis on supporting the individual student. The schedule flexibility enables their daughter to participate in online courses required for graduation

(K-10); the South Carolina Connection Academy (K12); and the South Carolina Whitmore School (9-12. These programs vary in terms of academic approach, opportunities for teacher-student interactions, teacher credentials, scheduling format, extracurricular activities, options for AP courses and dual enrollment, costs, and other elements. For Galyean, parents should also note the accreditation status of any school they are considering for the student. With the continuation of Covid-19 issues, the desire for greater school options, and other reasons, Galyean anticipates continued growth in the number of students seeking an online virtual school experience. Those interested in learning more about online virtual education may find additional information at each school’s website. n

and also continue to take in-person classes at her previous school and connect with friends there. As an added benefit, she has more time to train for equestrian competitions. A seventh grader at South Carolina Preparatory Academy, Isaiah Allen, described his experience this year as “amazing.” He praises his teachers for “their flexibility in working with me and concern for my success.” He especially appreciates having a mentor. He and his mentor have visited the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta and worked together on community service projects. Most importantly, “my mentor keeps me focused on my academics and encourages me to get my work in on time,” he said. Reasons for shifting to the virtual academic pathway vary. Many cite the flexibility in scheduling as a primary motivation for change. Others point to the Covid-19 challenge as a deciding factor. Some note that this format enables them to have more time for other interests and activities. Many appreciate additional time with family. For such reasons, the online virtual education options in South Carolina have grown. Online virtual schools that operate in South Carolina also include the Cyber Academy of South Carolina

For more information on the schools mentioned in this article: South Carolina Virtual Charter School The South Carolina Preparatory Academy Cyber Academy of South Carolina www.casc.k12.comt South Carolina Connections Academy South Carolina Whitmore School 17

March/April 2022

Countybank Foundation Makes Charitable Donations Over Holiday Season The Countybank Foundation made a number of donations in December 2021 to local charitable organizations in Greenwood, Greenville, Greer, Simpsonville, and Anderson totaling $10,000. Donations went toward immediate human services needs and feeding the hungry. In addition to volunteer work, sponsorships, and donations, Countybank and Greenwood Capital provide funding to nonprofit and charitable organizations in their local communities through the Countybank Foundation, which was established in 1971. “We are always looking for ways to give back to our community,” said R. Thornwell Dunlap III, President and CEO of Countybank. “Our local non-profits do so much to support our residents and businesses, and we see these donations as an opportunity to say thank you and further support them during the holidays.” The Countybank Foundation made donations to the following local non-profit and charitable organizations, in addition to many others throughout 2021.

• Anderson Interfaith Ministries • Center for Community Services • Community Initiatives • Greenwood Food Bank • Greenwood Soup Kitchen • Greer Soup Kitchen • Project Host The Countybank Foundation contributed more than $150,000 to community organizations in 2021 as a whole. n

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PAWPRINTS on our Hearts By Lisa Marie Carter

adoptions like Max, our cover boy. Max was a rescue residing at P.A.W.S. and came to the first G.E.L.A Foundation fundraiser at The Local Pub and Eatery last May in hopes of being adopted. Though Max was not adopted that day, the board members of the G.E.L.A Foundation agreed we would foster this guy to get him out of the shelter and highlight his kind and sweet demeanor. We partnered with Camp Bow Wow of Powdersville to assist dogs like Max that are not being adopted because they are misunderstood or would otherwise be losing their home and/or be euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. We kept Max out of the shelter and had him stay at “camp.” It was there he could play and thrive and be a dog again. This not only helped Max but helped potential fur parents see the true dog. And we are happy to say, thanks to this program, Max is now in his forever home and thriving with his new forever family, Wes, Kim and fur siblings Buster and Lulu. Bert Basabe, owner of Camp Bow Wow, shares why he wanted to partner with the foundation. “The prime examples [of the importance of rescue] are Gela and Max,” he said. “When someone gives a dog a chance and shows them love they will blossom and return that love in so many ways.” Basabe continued, “We started our rescue mission with our first girl Xena. She was a beautiful pit bull that was dumped at a shelter in North Carolina because she would not fight. This was back in 1999 when we were looking for a nice family dog. Xena was the most loving dog that I have ever met. When you give a dog a chance, they will return that unconditional love in so many ways.” We are currently working on a new Camp Bow Wow recipient from one of the local shelters and hope to continue getting and giving extraordinary love through adoption, one dog at a time. Another example of how the foundation has helped a local fur baby is when local pet parents of a chocolate lab named Piper were expecting a new human baby and decided that Piper was not going to fit into their new plan. So they abandoned this dog. This poor soul spent her entire life with this family and now in her twilight years was going to be uprooted and just tossed out. With the help of the counselors (and board members) at Camp Bow Wow, Wendy Roach stepped forward and offered a loving home for this lab to spend out her days. Roach shared, “When I was told of Piper’s situation, I immediately knew I had to offer to take her. I have always had a passion for dogs but have a special soft spot for senior dogs. Having the monetary support from the G.E.L.A. Foundation was a huge help

For me this was a bittersweet article to write. Putting into words the close connections many people have with their pets is something I jumped at, but losing my heart dog, my baby girl Gela, a year ago has the tears flowing as I write. I am not alone when making the comment, “They’re not just a dog.” They are family, our fur kids, our best furry friends. The bond between a fur parent (I hate the term “owner”) and their four-legged baby is one that is hard to explain unless you have a fur baby of your own. When we had to say goodbye to our little girl it was, and still is, one of the most heart-wrenching days of my life. They simply are not here with us long enough. Needing to find a way to bring some joy and keep Gela’s light shining, I thought about all she gave us and did for us. It may be cliché, but it is true: the day we rescued her, she rescued us. Thinking of the extraordinary love this little girl gave when we adopted her sparked the thought to get the word out to others. To try to measure how you get such amazing love from adopted pets — you cannot, it is immeasurable. I realized I needed to do something in her honor; something to help the pain in my heart and something that would properly honor her extraordinary life. And so, the G.E.L.A. (Get Extraordinary Love; Adopt) Foundation was formed. Every board member for the foundation is a rescue parent AND has been touched by Gela in some way or form: her vet, camp counselor, parent of one of her fur friends, etc. Our mission is to share with others the extraordinary love you can both give and get from adopting a pet, the same extraordinary love we experienced with our Gela. The foundation has helped with several local


March/April 2022

with Piper’s vet expenses. It was much appreciated and what a wonderful tribute to precious Gela. This foundation is invaluable and is doing great work in the lives of the dogs it touches.” By helping with the costs of the vet bills and food, etc., people who have the heart but not the additional funds in their budget can do what their hearts call them to do and help these pups. Though Piper recently passed away, her final weeks were filled with extraordinary love and not spent in a cage in a shelter. In 2022 we plan to launch the “Be a Champion” program, named in remembrance of our board member/Vice President Ginny Baxter’s soulmutt Champion, aka Champy. The focus of the Be a Champion program is twofold: to shine a spotlight on special pups in local shelters and rescues (starting in Anderson County and Cobb County, Georgia, where Champy was from) in need of homes and provide them with a special day out of the shelter environment with a volunteer to promote their adoptability, and to give them a muchneeded break from the shelter. Each month, a VIP (Very Important Pup) will be selected to participate in the Be a Champion program. The selection can be made based on how long the dog has been in a local shelter or rescue, temperament, staff knowledge (knowing exactly which dog is sweet but has been overlooked for one reason or another), etc. Arrangements will be made for the dog to have a fun-filled day away from the shelter full of all the things that a dog loves — a hike at the park, a trip to Starbucks for a Puppacino, a trip to a local pet store to pick out a toy, even a trip to a dog-friendly big box store to visit with some other good pups and people. All the while, the VIP will be wearing a GELA Foundation “Adopt Me” bandanna and the volunteer will have information on how they can be adopted from their respective shelter or rescue. Photos of their special day will also be taken throughout and highlighted on the G.E.L.A. Foundation’s social media page for adoption promotion all month long. If the shelter or rescue has a website or any social media pages, we highly encourage the adoption promotion and photos to be shared there as well. The foundation will cover the costs of the day’s events AND work with the shelter to cover the adoption costs for this pup as well. While our goal is a quick placement into a forever home for every dog we select for the Be a Champion program, we also recognize that the shelter is an incredibly stressful environment and having a day away to remember what it is like to be a treasured dog in the outside world again is the boost that some pups may need to pull through until the day comes that they finally are adopted. We have more information about helping homeless pets as well as some tips and basic information for those considering potentially adopting in the follow-up article online at under the “stories” tab. n

learn more:

G.E.L.A. Foundation, 864-356-9857


March/April 2022

Defending the Faith (and Your Nonprofit)

By Deborah Tucker

Churches and nonprofit organizations face many challenges in today’s world. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the way organizations reach the people they serve. It has also impacted staff and volunteer resources. With all of these challenges, many churches and nonprofits are not thinking about insurance. It’s one of life’s necessities that doesn’t change. Or does it? There are some nonprofits with the misconception that they don’t need insurance because they are nonprofit. That’s not the case, said Keith Roberts, a principal of World Insurance Associates, LLC of Anderson. “Profits are irrelevant to risk,” explained Roberts. “If you’re doing business as a for profit or a nonprofit business, you have risk.” Roberts goes on to say that, in addition to the usual requirements for auto and liability insurance, there are other types of insurance that churches and nonprofits should consider. These include workers’ compensation insurance, cyber liability insurance, and employment practices liability insurance.

U.S. businesses. As threats grow, so do the number of businesses turning to cyber insurance for protection from financial losses. Similar to auto or homeowners’ insurance, cyber insurance protects businesses from loses caused by an event covered under the user’s policy. What’s covered, the costs of that coverage, and the terms of a policy can vary, but cyber insurance helps businesses manage cyber risks and recover from losses associated with attacks, including disruptions in business and legal expenses. Cyber liability insurance policies may vary by state. Cyber liability insurance in South Carolina covers liability which arises out of unauthorized access to or unauthorized use of electronic data or software which is stored, operated and used by your company, according to the General Liability Insurance website. Basically, it covers data theft and the spreading of viruses. It also covers negligence, error or omission associated with data and software use as well. An example General Liability Insurance gives is if an employee of yours sends the personal information of a client to another client’s email accidentally, the policy will cover the error. One of the latest additions to this type of insurance is the electronic media coverage, the website said. It covers you in case of defamation, libel, and slander, breach of confidentiality, invasion of privacy or copyright infringement arising out of the publication of electronic data on the web.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Many churches and nonprofits have full-time or part-time employees. In South Carolina, they may be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance protects employees when injuries or illnesses they sustain at work require medical treatment or missed work, according to the website WorkCompOne. Workers’ compensation insurance protects employers by covering medical expenses for injured workers, and can pay for employer legal defense fees in an injury-related lawsuit. According to the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission, nonprofit organizations are treated no differently under the Workers’ Compensation Act than a for-profit business. If a nonprofit organization has four or more employees, it is required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The commission goes on to say that part-time workers and family members are counted as employees. Employers with payroll of less than $3,000 the previous year are exempt.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance Employment practices liability insurance is another type of insurance coverage churches and nonprofits may not be familiar with. According to Roberts, it is the kind of insurance you need if, as an example, an employee is accused of sexual harassment. Lawsuits filed by employees against current, former, and even prospective employers for claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and other employment-related incidents have been on the rise for decades, according to the South Carolina Independent Agents website. No company in South Carolina, large or small, is immune from these types of accusations and lawsuits.

Cyber Liability Insurance “Cyber liability insurance is the next big wave,” according to Keith Roberts. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) agrees. The GAO says that large-scale cyberattacks—like those on Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds—have highlighted the growing threats these hacks pose to

Next Steps Now is a good time for churches and nonprofits to meet with their insurance agents and discuss these new types of insurance policies. If you don’t have an agent, a good source of information is World Insurance. They are located at 1807 North Boulevard in Anderson. They can be reached by phone at (864) 225-1633. n 22

March/April 2022

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March/April 2022

Our Amazing Anderson Community Comes Together By Lisa Marie Carter

Andersonians are amazing. When one of us is in need, our community will rally together and do all they can to help. Here is just one example. In December, Jillian Crabtree, a much loved and valued bartender at The Local Uptown, and her family were struck with a series of unbelievably serious health issues. Crabtree’s husband, Lane Shaw, took ill on Christmas day. Shaw was diagnosed with pneumonia the day after Christmas, a week later he was admitted to the hospital with multifocal bilateral pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, severe sepsis, and influenza A. At this point he had lost over 25 pounds. After five days in the hospital with no improvement, he was moved to the ICU. A biopsy was performed on the lungs, after which it was discovered Shaw has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and has since had a bone marrow biopsy pending results for staging of the lymphoma. He was moved to the oncology floor and remains in the hospital until he can be taken off oxygen and will then go home to begin radiation/chemo treatments. Lane owns his own garage door company, so being self-employed has taken a huge toll on them as he has been out of work since Christmas. They are homeschooling their daughter for now to ensure their home is germ free. The Uptown had struggled to find a consistent daytime bartender until Crabtree came along, and owners Shane and Sarah Dowler knew they wanted to do something to help her family. Sarah Dowler shared, “We have regulars that come in every day, and she

knows what they drink, knows about their families etc., she really got to know everyone and takes an interest in their lives. The regulars kept talking about wanting to do something to help Jillian and Lane. They all love Jillian.” The Dowlers talked about doing a fundraiser and Shane Dowler had the idea of hosting a celebrity bartender event. Though they had never done anything like this before, they did not really think it would be that big. They thought they could generate a couple thousand dollars with the tips. They started a group chat going with potential celebrity bartenders. (They had more people wanting to do it but ran out of spots to put them!) In the group chat, Trey Boggs with Palmetto Distilllery offered a gift basket from his business to raffle. Sarah Dowler explained, “I didn’t really think we had time to go around getting raffle items, but we posted on the group chat that Trey was doing that and if anyone else wanted to add to the raffles they could, but it wasn’t expected. Everyone started sending items and once I posted them on Facebook, more businesses and customers started


March/April 2022

messaging us with more items. We ended up with over 30 items and the raffle alone generated around $9,000.” “We were blown away by the support for Jillian and Lane,” she said. “Once it was out there it just blew up to being something we weren’t quite ready for but rolled with it and ended up with close to $18,000 raised.” A message came from from Jillian Crabtree and her family: “It’s so hard to put into words what this means to us. We just feel so thankful. Thankful to be surrounded by so many wonderful people and a part of such a great community who really cares and is there to support one another. Lane was born here in Anderson, and we moved back to raise our own daughter here and to be closer to family. I never imagined how big that family would get. Thank you to everyone for your generosity! It is all because of you that we are able to focus on the most important thing of all, each other. Thank you.” This is Anderson, this is what makes our town amazing. n



Thanks to these local businesses who donated raffle items to the fundraiser.

1. Palmetto Moonshine 2. Crowe’s Corporate Promotions 3. ECMMA and fitness 4. Lost Sailors Studio 5. Summa Joes 6. Ivan and Casey 7. Pandora’s Box 8. Ian Looney 9. Smart Marketing Agency 10. Derrick Ashworth 11. Olive Garden 12. Images Salon and Day Spa 13. Churchill’s Pub 14. Salon of Anderson 15. Earle Street Kitchen and Bar 16. Krilex Kreations 17. Electric City Realty/Park Avenue Appraisals 18. Louie’s Bar and Grill/El Arriero 19. Bottoms Up Tavern 20. Beer Belly’s 21. Air Carolina 22. Steel Custom Carpentry 23. Papa Bear Carwash 24. A Basket Of Blessings 25. Anderson Arts Center 26. Anderson Magazine 27. Carolina Beer Company 28. Stone Creek Cove Golf Course 29. Debo’s Den 30. West Business Services 31. Love Threads Boutique 32. The Local Uptown


March/April 2022

The Commercial Bank is proud to announce that C. Nakia Davis has joined The Commercial Bank, as Executive Vice President. Nakia was born and raised in Iva, South Carolina. He graduated from Crescent High School in 1993 and went on to graduate from Anderson University in 2000. He is a member of the Iva First Baptist Church. He serves on the IBSC Board of Directors, as well as United Way Board of Directors. Nakia serves on the Anderson University Board of Trust, and the Anderson County Board of Education. Nakia has worked in community banking for 25 years at the Peoples Bank. The Commercial Bank looks forward to welcoming C. Nakia Davis and his wife Brooke of 22 years along with their three daughters Ryleigh, Emerson, Brantley, to our family.

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March/April 2022

The Anderson Arts Center Celebrating 50 Years By Evelyn Beck


March/April 2022

The Early Years

in areas ranging from sculpture and dulcimer making to storytelling, weaving, and silk screening. The heart of the AAC has always been its exhibits, which linger in the memory long after they end. One was a national traveling quilt show called “Memories of Childhood.” It was timed to draw visitors during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The exhibit featured 50 babysized quilts along with weekly quilting bees to engage the public. Another notable exhibit featured artifacts of poet and writer Carl Sandburg and the works of his brother-in-law, photographer Edward Steichen, who has been credited with turning photography into an art form. The show featured black and white photographs by Steichen, accompanied by Sandburg furniture and family heirlooms. Local photographer Van Sullivan photographed the Sandburg home in Flat Rock, North Carolina to contribute to the exhibit. Lilian Sandburg was known for breeding goats, and the special guests at the opening were baby goats from Split Creek Farm. Other shows of note included a traveling exhibit of photographs by Ansel Adams and a Smithsonian show called “Please Touch” by artist Willa Shalit which showcased life castings of notable figures such as Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, and Rosa Parks. Students from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind attended the show and were able to experience this rare opportunity of physically touching artwork. The Arts Center’s annual juried show is one of the largest in the state, and will be hosted for the 47th year in April. This show has received upwards of 500 entries, and the most recent juried show awarded more than $20,000 in prize money. A more recent exhibit focused on pop art, and another is planned to showcase the pottery fired in an anagama (wood-fired) kiln in Pendleton. The pottery exhibit will also be featured on South Carolina Educational Television’s “Palmetto Scene”— yet another example of the AAC’s reach.

The Anderson Arts Center (AAC) got its start in 1972 through the vision and the backing of local philanthropist Callie Stringer Rainey with assistance from Elizabeth Belser Fuller. Originally called the Anderson County Arts Council, it was voted into existence on September 26, 1972, at its founding meeting location of what was then Anderson College — now Anderson University — until it moved to the former public library which had newly vacated the downtown Carnegie Library, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Improvements came quickly as staff pried plywood off boarded-up windows in the rear of the building, tacked linen and carpeting on the walls, covered the fireplace, and removed the steam radiators. Donations from the community helped fund these improvements. Later, further gallery renovations came after a check for $64,000 arrived, an unexpected gift from the estate of Maude Barton. Ms. Barton had actually worked across the street at the Calhoun Hotel when that building housed the Chamber of Commerce. Many changes followed, including the launch of an endowment and the start of a permanent art collection. The number of exhibitions increased, donations for juried show awards grew, and fundraisers like the annual auction of art, items and services kicked off and grew steadily grander, with themes like “Club Hollywood” and “Fire and Ice.” “Artlantis” featured a 50-ton sand sculpture and “Fire and Ice: A Glassical Affair” celebrated the art of Dale Chihuly, a world renowned glass artist. The décor included a replica glass ceiling honoring the Chihuly-created glass ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Programs for all ages were developed. Art camp has been a consistent summertime highlight while a myriad of activities reached children during the academic year with artists-in-residence in their schools and the annual Youth Art Month display in March. Children and adults took advantage of the quarterly art school and artist residencies by bringing artists into the classrooms with performances and instruction


March/April 2022

The Arts Center’s influence has been felt downtown and throughout the county from its inception. Being an anchor of Main Street positioned the center not only visually but also as an oasis for in-house as well as public exhibits. The first public art project in Anderson was downtown banners for light poles designed by art teachers and painted by their students, with each school creating a different piece. After this success, the Anderson Artists Guild members also painted banners, making Anderson the first-ever city to have original works of art on banners. Another public art project was the two-year-long “Fish Out of Water: Hooked on Arts” display. Local artists decorated 32 large fiberglasscomposite bass fish that were displayed around town and ultimately auctioned to raise funds for the Arts Center’s new home: The Arts Center Warehouse. The project was so popular with the public that “Fish Out of Water 2” was launched and 30 more giant bass were released. Another venture — this one permanent and well known to local citizens — is the downtown sculpture of William Church Whitner by Zan Wells. It honors the man responsible for bringing power to “The Electric City.” The AAC secured funding from the Duke Energy Foundation, with the county installing the piece on Whitner Street near the courthouse — an illustration of the many partnerships the AAC has become known for fostering. An emphasis on outdoor art has continued with SculpTOUR, a part of the annual juried show. Artists are invited to submit entries for the honor of adding additional outdoor art to downtown. Additional public art projects and collaborations continued, including the bronze Carolina wrens by Zan Wells placed throughout downtown to help tell stories of historical structures; the Mural on Main at the corner of Main and Orr streets designed by Anderson native Herman Keith, and dozens of volunteers helped paint it; a community garden and mural project at the Arts

Center; and the Church Street Heritage Project, an installation that tells the story of local black business pioneers. The park features story boxes by Scott Foster, Josh Davis, Sharon Jones, and Diann Simms. Stone benches created to look like people called “Story Tellers” were created by an internationally known sculptor from Colorado, Madeline Weiner.

The Warehouse

As programming grew, the AAC needed more space, as well as greater accessibility. The nearby P&N Railway warehouse, built in 1904 for railway storage, had long stood vacant. Located directly behind the Arts Center, it seemed to meet the AAC’s needs perfectly. A capital campaign kicked off in 2001 and ultimately raised $4.2 million for purchase and renovation of the warehouse. The Arts Center moved into the new location in 2006 and expanded into 33,000 square feet. This was the first private-public partnership in the community involving the Arts Center, the city and the county, and this collaboration served as a catalyst for downtown development. (The city maintains the parking lot, and the county built and operates a Farmers Market at the site.) The warehouse houses not only the Arts Center but also leases to tenants, including The Market Theater, Visit Anderson, the Bay3 Artisan Gallery, Sounds of Carolina Music Academy, Renaissance Interiors, McKay Zorn & Associates Architects, and Living Hope Presbyterian Church. Gallery space is also rented out for special events such as weddings, receptions, and private parties. With the new, larger home, the Arts Center’s budget morphed from $200,000 $400,000 and more. It truly became the cultural hub of downtown Anderson.


March/April 2022

The Future

As the AAC celebrates its 50th year, it is stronger than ever. A new capital campaign aims to retire the remaining $50,000 debt on the warehouse. Much needed maintenance has also been completed, with roof renovations, refinished gallery floors, and improved HVAC service. A master plan to study a renovation of the Historic Carnegie Library Building, which currently houses the AAC’s permanent collection and is used for artist studio space and special event rentals, has received grant funding. The goal is to make better use of the space and incorporate it into the warehouse. Fundraising still includes the annual auction, although it has been moved to August for less competition with other fall events and will now focus exclusively on artwork to better highlight the talent of the local art community. Additional fundraising includes a dinner wine tasting and an art market associated with the annual juried show. A new afterschool art studio offers classes for budding artists. A variety of classes are offered for adults as well. While the Anderson Arts Center hosts about ten shows a year in its main gallery, additional shows featuring younger and newer artists are held in the atrium gallery on the lower level to encourage their involvement and introduce them to the community. Community outreach efforts have brought art to the Westside Community Center, an Alzheimer’s disease respite program, and a special needs adult daycare group. The goal is to expose as many people as possible to the joys of art. Extra effort is also being made to make the Anderson Arts Center inviting and accessible for everyone. At age 50, the Anderson Arts Center is more vibrant and inclusive than ever. n

upcoming events at the Arts Center District-Wide Teacher Exhibit Opening Thursday, March 3

Art Slam

Friday, March 4

Juried Show Preview Party Saturday, March 19

Juried Show Exhibit Opening Friday, April 8

Art on the Town Friday, April 29

Alumni Brunch Wednesday, May 18 (tentative)

Bay 3 Exhibit Opening Friday, June 3

Anderson Artists Guild Exhibit Opening Friday, July 22

Annual Arts Auction Saturday, August 27

Beer Fest

Saturday, September 10 (tentative)

Annual Meeting

Tuesday, September 20

Anagama Kiln Exhibit Opening Friday, October 21

Costume Halloween Party Friday, October 28

Holiday Exhibit Opening & 50 Year Cocktail Party Friday, December 9


March/April 2022

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March/April 2022

The Poet’s Nook

By Jay Wright

A New Beginning

In keeping with our area celebrations of German Fest, this edition’s featured poet is German-born Ruth Merkle Ilg. Ruth moved to Anderson in 1967 at the age of 22 after studying in Germany, France, England, and Switzerland. She played a vital role in establishing the Anderson Arts Center as well as a writer’s guild that still flourishes today. Ruth now lives in Asheville, NC, where she has an art gallery. She still visits Germany often. Reflections, a collection of her poems, was published by Maverick Publications of Bend, Oregon in 1979. This final poem in her book speaks eloquently to the still unfolding story of her life of accomplishment.

by Ruth Merkle Ilg

The tide has come in – silently covering tracks of yesterday. The sea pulses as a heart – granting a new beginning for tomorrow. . .




April 21








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Benefiting AIM Anderson Arts Center Anderson County Museum Anderson Free Clinic Anderson Pregnancy Care

AnMed Health Foundation Cancer Association of Anderson Foothills Alliance Habitat for Humanity Hospice of the Upstate


March/April 2022

Junior League of Anderson County The LOT Project The Market Theatre Meals on Wheels - Anderson United Way of Anderson County


March/April 2022

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March/April 2022

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Dinner & Online Auction to benefit

Friday, April 8th, 2022 Bleckley Station Doors Open at 6:00 p.m. March 24 - Night for the Museum fundraiser - 6:30pm - tickets $30 each or two for $50. April 9 - Craft & Rummage Sale 9am-2pm April 24 - South Carolina’s Most Wanted exhibit opening 3-5pm Contact the museum for more information about any of our events. • 100 N. Main St. • Belton, SC • 864-338-7400

AUCTION ITEMS NEEDED! Online Auction starts April 1st at This is a great marketing opportunity! For questions or donations please visit our website at or contact Susan Anderson at


March/April 2022

Quality is our tradition.





Due to potential COVID changes please remember to check with the events as the date gets closer to confirm the details of the events are still correct.

Friday, March 4, 5-9 p.m. Art Slam at Anderson Arts Center. This is a live art competition where artists are given a mystery box and must create a piece of artwork within two hours. The event will also have artisan vendors, performance artists, kid activities, a food truck and cash bar. For more information follow the Anderson Arts Facebook page.


Friday, March 4, 5-9 p.m. Groucho’s Kids Eat Free Kids eat free every FIRST Friday at Groucho’s Deli in Downtown Anderson. Thursday, March 17 through Saturday March 19 St. Patrick’s Day weekend long celebration at The Local Pub and Eatery, featuring Justin Tyme Thursday, from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM and Mojo on Max Saturday from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Enjoy food and drink specials all weekend long. Follow their Facebook page for details and more information.


Saturday, March 19 & April 16, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. American Girl Club, Anderson County Museum. This program is designed for children 8 and older. Each meeting features specific dolls and time periods. You can even meet some of the American Girls in person! Bring a doll, if you have one, and register to attend. This program is free; donations are accepted. For more information and to register email

Call us today to schedule your free assessment. 1609 E. Greenville St. l Anderson l 864- 760-1524

Saturday, April 9, 8-10 a.m. (or until sold out) Master Gardener Plant Sale Anderson County Farmers Market. Perennials, trees, shrubs, native plants, vegetable plants and more. Anderson County Master Gardener Association hosts this annual plant sale as its major fundraiser to support their continued service-learning projects and education in Anderson County. Follow their Facebook page for more information.

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Friday, April 29, 8-10 p.m., Art on The Town Party Art on the Town is an extended exhibit of the Arts Center’s annual juried show. Original artwork is on display throughout many businesses in downtown Anderson, and new public sculptures will be revealed on this day. The community is invited to celebrate the Art on the Town artists at the Arts Center. $10 per person. Pre-purchase online at or in person at event.

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Friday, April 29-30, 4-8 p.m., Soiree A family friendly arts festival in downtown Anderson featuring multiple stages for live performances, visual artists with original works for sale, games and activities for kids, and food and beverages. For more information, visit the City of Anderson’s website.


March/April 2022

The Legacy of Anderson is an Independent Senior Living Community

Retire Well & Enjoy Senior Living at its Best!

Here at The Legacy of Anderson, we have over 40 years combined experience in the senior industry. At any given time you will be able to find conversation, socialization, and friends. We have been in business for over 15 years and plan another 15 strong. Please stop by if you are in the Anderson area or give Dee Golden a call at 864.276.3501. You will be pleased to be able to enjoy retirement living at its best at The Legacy of Anderon. We look foward to seeing you.

Call Dee Golden at The Legacy today to schedule a visit.

Healthier Living for Every Body For long-term weight loss, our procedures are safe and effective for people who have tried everything. Regardless of your body type, we likely have a weight-loss option for you. All of our choices are matched to your unique circumstances by our leading weight-loss providers, who will help you determine the right one. And the best solution will be the one that will help you achieve healthier living, such as playing with your children, walking your dog or dancing with your friends. You can do it, and we’re right here for you. To speak with someone about pre-qualifying, please call 864.512.4476. All AnMed Health facilities take COVID-19 precautions. For your health’s sake, please don’t delay when you need to see a doctor. Learn more at

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