Jan-Feb 2021

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Anderson andersonmagazine.com January/February 2021

Meet Anderson County’s Senior Citizen of the Year Time Flies When You’re Having Rum

Top Teachers Recognized


January 22, 2021 • 6:30 p.m. Join the Anderson Arts Center for a Palette to Palate wine dinner. Enjoy a delicious menu provided by Friends Farm & Catering paired with delectable wines.

Tickets: $75 per Person or $550 for Table of Eight The event will follow SC DHEC guidelines as they pertain to restaurants, so ensure you are seated with friends and/or family by reserving a table of eight for your party.

Order tickets at www.AndersonArts.org or call 864.222.2787

January/February 2021 andersonmagazine.com

Publisher/Editor April Cameron

Sales & Client Manager Jennifer Merritt

table of

contents 5

Graphic Design Jennifer Walker Online Editor Lisa Marie Carter Contributing Writers Caroline Anneaux Lisa Marie Carter Deborah Tucker Jay Wright

6 Glenn Hellenga Retires from Tri-County

Weight Loss Solutions



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


Gowan Wins Anderson Sings

FAVOR – Recovery Program



ON THE COVER: Tommy Forrest, Senior Citizen of the Year

Woman-Owned Businesses


Copyright: All contents of this issue ©2021, 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

Anderson’s Top Teachers

Preventing Teen Pregnancy andersonmagazine.com



Staying Healthy for Women

January/February 2021

Letter from the Editor

Well, here we are kicking off a new year! I cannot even begin to imagine what 2021 may have in store for us. No one could have guessed what 2020 looked like, so I’ll just check my expectations at the door and do the best I can to make it great year. I always love the January/February issue of the magazine because it marks another year of success for us. Thanks to the dedication of our advertisers, distribution partners, and readers, we are able to continue sharing good news about Anderson County. And speaking of good news, we’ve got pages full of it for you! I’m excited to introduce you to our “cover man,” Tommy Forrest. Besides being named Senior Citizen of the Year for Anderson County, he is just simply a lovely person. He has a hobby that is quite unique to men, but it is a hobby that offers him the chance to honor others. We also have a feature on the Anderson County public schools’ Teachers of the Year. Each district recognizes a special teacher for her dedication to her school and the children she impacts, and we’re sharing their phenomenal stories with you. Teachers have certainly had to make some major adjustments over this past year, and these individuals have continued to shine. Shining in a spotlight is nothing new for local resident Easton Gowan, the winner of the United Way of Anderson County’s Anderson Sings contest. This young man began playing the guitar at age 14 and enjoys writing and performing his own music. This unique singing competition has earned Gowan a chance to record his music in a professional recording studio. We may see him shining even brighter in the near future! The future is always on our minds at this time of year. With New Year’s Resolutions helping us to move in better directions, perhaps weight loss may be something you want to happen in your future. AnMed Health has several different options to assist in your weight-loss journey. Joy Vaughn, the bariatric program coordinator at AnMed Health gives some insights into the programs offered through AnMed. Perhaps your resolution is to make time for more fun! If that’s the case, be sure to read the story about Swamp Fox Distillery in Pendleton. Ernie Wagner has brought a little taste of the Caribbean to Anderson County by offering a craft distillery right on the Pendleton square. I’ve personally sampled a bit of this, and you don’t want to miss out! We’re rounding out the issue with a couple of stories focusing on women. One feature spotlights woman-owned businesses in the community, and the other looks at women’s health issues. There’s quite a bit of interesting information on both topics, so make sure to check out these features. Ready or not, here we come, 2021!




January/February 2021

Weight loss solutions for the New Year Regardless of your body type, we likely have a weightloss solution for you…one that will help you achieve healthier living in the New Year. From pre-procedure education to post-procedure support groups, AnMed Health provides a comprehensive bariatric program. Weight loss success requires a lifelong commitment to wellness — an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthier lifestyle. It is an ongoing process of development that takes personal initiative. We know that lifestyle change is not easy, but we can help with support and community programs. From dedicated dietitians and nutritional guidance to personal training and custom exercise programs to support groups and community events. How do I know if I’m eligible for weight loss surgery? In most cases, patients must be 100 pounds or more above their ideal body weight or have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Someone with a BMI of 35 to 39 will be considered for surgery (laparoscopic) if obesity-related health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea or others, create a medical need for weight reduction and if other non-surgical alternatives have been exhausted. Is surgery the only option? There are several nonsurgical procedures (endoscopic) available for weight loss and weight-related disease prevention for those who don’t qualify for surgery or would rather not have surgery. They are incisionless, minimally invasive and same-day procedures. They are for patients who have a BMI of at least 30 and have already tried diet and exercise without success. Are the procedures safe? Absolutely. Our specialists take all safety measures in coordination with the most current techniques, equipment and medications. Keep in mind, doing nothing at all may not be safe. Being morbidly obese can lead to severe health complications and life-threatening risks. Is surgery a life-long cure? It is important to understand that weight loss procedures are not a quick fix, and they are a major life change. Our procedures - surgical and non-surgical are part of a comprehensive approach to weight loss and healthier living. In addition to the treatment, regardless of which one is right for you, we offer diet and exercise counseling and management.

Initially, I will provide you with the forms needed to get pre-qualified, and then bring you in for a consultation if you qualify. What is the first step? That’s a good question, because the answer lies within yourself. The first step is to think about your health goals – short- and long-term – and ask yourself if you are committed to doing what it takes to get there. Please feel free to contact me and let’s discuss how we can get you started on the path to healthier living. n

Joy Vaughn Bariatric Program Coordinator 864.512.4476 AnMedHealth.org/WeightLoss

Do you have free seminars? Yes, but they’re on hold due to COVID-19. We’ll restart them as soon as possible. In the meantime, we can give you much of the same information in other ways. andersonmagazine.com


January/February 2021

Glenn Hellenga, Tri-County’s Longest-Standing Employee, to Retire For nearly five decades Counselor Glenn Hellenga has advised Tri-County Technical College students of all ages that life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy. They weren’t just words – they were his own personal life philosophy. November 15, 2020, marked Hellenga’s 47th year of service, making him the longest-standing employee in the College’s 58-year history. He will retire January 4, 2021. Ironically, he said he never intended to make a career at the two-year college when he signed on back in 1973 right out of graduate school but he says quickly discovered he found his calling. He vividly remembers the day he interviewed for the job as a counselor in the Manpower Training Program. He said when he drove up to the then-threebuilding campus and parked, he had a good feeling that continued throughout the interview process. What he expected to be a couple of hours turned into an allday conversation with folks who ended up being mentors and lifelong friends. Former Dean of Students and Anderson resident Al Norris and the late Dr. Don C. Garrison, who served as president from 1971 until his retirement in 2003, were among those who relayed the story about the birth of the S.C. Technical College System and its mission of being a comprehensive community college that fuels economic development while providing equal educational opportunities for everyone. “‘Dr. Garrison was so fired up. I identified with him and Al and David Shirley (former counselor and assistant dean of students). Al became a second father figure and David remains a great friend to this day. Dr. Garrison’s magnetism and passion for the College were infectious,” Hellenga said. “Dr. Garrison offered me a job that day, and I accepted. It felt like home, and it still does.” Norris is at the top of the list in terms of mentors. “He always treated every person

Glenn Hellenga with dignity and respect. He created a framework, a team. He worked shoulder-to-shoulder with us. I remember getting settled into the job and realizing this is a place where I can help people and that’s a good thing,” he said. Throughout his tenure, Hellenga remained committed to the College’s philosophy of serving students. “Jobs for People and People for Jobs. That slogan said it all in the 1970s and still does. That student-centered leadership continues today with President Galen DeHay and Linda Jameison, vice president of student support and engagement.” For years, Tri-County counselor Butch Merritt and Hellenga were mainstays in the Counseling Center. Throughout the years, they have



January/February 2021

“I believe in what we do here. It’s rewarding work that has resulted in long-lasting connections with graduates, their parents and even their grandparents. We’ve seen generations of families at the College. It’s about relationship building that’s at the core of it.”

Ranked #1 in Student Success

~Glenn Hellenga been known for going beyond the call of duty to ensure student success. They served as recruiters, advisors for the Student Government Association, student activities directors, and continue to provide academic, admissions and career counseling. He often runs into graduates out in the community, or those who are back on campus with their children who are enrolling at Tri-County. “They stop me and ask, ‘Are you still here?’ I always say, yes, and I am proud of it,” said Hellenga. He said their next comment is often, ‘Tri-County made a difference in my life. I didn’t realize how much until I went to work. “You don’t realize how much power that has until they tell you personally,” said Hellenga. “I believe in what we do here. It’s rewarding work that has resulted in long-lasting connections with graduates, their parents and even their grandparents. We’ve seen generations of families at the College. It’s about relationship building - that’s at the core of it,” he said. After serving as a counselor for five years, Hellenga established the Career Center in 1978 and became its first director. He later became director of the Workforce Investment Act and Special Projects and has led the Career and Employability Services office since 2006. “Few people dedicate their lives to serving others, and even fewer remain with an organization for their entire careers,” said TCTC President Dr. Galen DeHay. “Glenn Hellenga is the rarest of public servants whose career has spanned four decades of service to students and his community. Throughout his work, Glenn kept students first. His student-first priority came well before the current national focus on student success. Over the years, I have learned and been influenced by the clarity of Glenn’s focus on helping students have a better life. Glenn even offered his expertise to my niece as she struggled to figure out what she wanted to do after high school. His compassion and passion for helping others leaves an indelible mark on Tri-County Technical College and our employees.” In 1995 he was honored with the College’s Presidential Medallion for Staff Excellence and in 2018 he was the College’s Educator of the Year (staff) nominee. For 47 years he has been telling the S.C. technical college story. “I will be telling the story after I retire January 4, 2021. And I’ll tell it until I can’t talk anymore,” he said. He admits he is ambivalent about vacating his second home. “But Tri-County will always be in my heart. I’ll always say ‘we’ when I talk about Tri-County Technical College.” andersonmagazine.com


January/February 2021

TOP FIVE REASONS TO ATTEND TCTC • Highest Student Success Rate among State’s Sixteen Technical Colleges • Ranked in Top One Percent Nationally for Successful Transfer • Lowest Tuition in the Upstate • Four Campuses to Serve You • 19:1 Student-Faculty Ratio

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January 13 January 20 January 21

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864-646-TCTC • tctc.edu

Gowan Wins Anderson Sings

By Caroline Anneaux

By Caroline Anneaux



January/February 2021

Easton Gowan recently became a local celebrity by winning the first annual Anderson Sings contest. “I just took it one week at a time and before I knew it,” he said, “I was in the final round singing Graves into Gardens and waiting for the final votes to come in.” The United Way of Anderson County sponsored Anderson Sings as a unique way to raise money during the pandemic. The entire contest was a virtual event with all of the singers performing online and raising a dollar per vote with proceeds going to the United Way of Anderson. The proceeds from the event are currently helping meet the basic needs of struggling individuals and families here in Anderson County. “We were hopeful for a successful fundraiser, but we had no idea what to expect,” said Ellie Phillips, director of marketing/youth volunteer corps for United Way of Anderson. “We were thrilled that the contest brought in over $30,000 and also gave us a way to support local artists in a safe way. We are already looking forward to hosting the event again this year.” Not only did Gowan achieve fame for becoming the first winner of Anderson Sings, but he won several gifts. “I received several really nice prizes,” said Gowan. “I won a thousand dollars, the opportunity to record at Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, Georgia and I will be the opening act for Celebrate Anderson this year.” Gowan began playing the guitar when he was only eight years old. “Music has always been a huge part of my life,” said Gowan. “My dad sings and I wanted to sing but didn’t like my voice until it changed around age 14 or 15. So, I picked up a guitar and learned to play.” Gowan took some guitar lessons from Andrew Crawford in Anderson for a while, but he considers himself self-taught. “One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to create music,” said Gowan. “I have always been able to sit in my room for hours and work on my music. It is my creative outlet and something I love to do.” He still lives in Williamston, the town where he grew up, with his father

READ LISTEN WATCH LEARN Digital books, audiobooks, online classes, and more available free from your local library. Visit www.andersonlibrary.org or your local Anderson County Library branch today.


and brother. He attends Anderson University on a music scholarship. “I graduated from Palmetto High School,” said Gowen. “I am a freshman at Anderson University where I am majoring in worship leadership. I stay busy with my college classes, and I am also doing an internship at NewSpring Church main campus in Anderson.” He is on a worship team at NewSpring, where he is able to serve and lead worship each week, and this is exactly where he feels he should be. “I was called into ministry at a young age,” said Gowan. “This is what I am meant to do. It seems right and natural for me.” When Gowan isn’t writing his own music or playing his guitar and singing, he enjoys spending time with his brothers, hanging out with friends and whitewater kayaking. “I also like hunting and fishing,” said Gowan. “And, my dad taught me to ride a motorcycle last year when we both had to spend so much time at home.” Readers can keep up with Gowan by subscribing to his Easton Gowan Music YouTube page. n andersonmagazine.com


January/February 2021

Faces and Voices of Recovery By Lisa Marie Carter

( F A V O R ) “Our society has done a very poor job in responding to the needs of those with substance use disorder, and their family members,” said Richard L. “Rich” Jones. “Believe it or not, only 10 percent of those in need get help. That is a staggering statistic. This means 90 percent of those in need are left on their own until they ‘hit bottom’ and come and get it. This is an unacceptable reality.” Jones is chief executive officer of FAVOR, a nonprofit group that is trying to reverse this statistic in Greenville and Anderson counties. FAVOR is an acronym for Faces and Voices of Recovery. Recovery, in this circumstance, encompasses recovery from substance use disorders and all the associated issues. FAVOR Greenville has been in existence since 2004 and has been providing free recovery support services to the Upstate since 2012. FAVOR Anderson, a chapter of the Greenville group, has been operating in this community since 2018. “FAVOR Greenville, and by extension FAVOR Anderson, has distinguished itself as one of the premier providers of recovery support services nationwide,” said Jones. “We have been named a model program by the federal government’s Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration in 2017 and the Department of Justice in 2018.” andersonmagazine.com

FAVOR Anderson believes in multiple pathways to recovery, not a one-size-fits-all approach. The staff empowers participants to figure out what works for them. FAVOR offers the entire continuum of community-based recovery support services, Jones said, including individual and family recovery coaching, group meetings, crisis intervention, educational groups, community awareness events and patient advocacy. The organization does not provide residential housing or rehab services, though. According to Jones, the multi-pathway approach is unique. “Many providers believe in an ‘abstinence only’ model. Even though the research is clear, most people find recovery outside of traditional systems. We work intensely with families, regardless of the status of the addicted individual’s recovery, and our program is free.” Another strategy for recovery that FAVOR Anderson implements is to “meet people where they are,” Jones said, whether they are engaged in recovery or not. FAVOR strives to work with the person at any point in their recovery journey. “Simply put, we will find a way to connect to those in need rather than waiting for them to come to us. We ‘meet you where you are,’ both figuratively, and literally. For example, we outreach to homeless shelters and food banks and specialized services in the AnMed 10

January/February 2021

Emergency Department,” he said. Thelma Jones has experienced the benefits of working with FAVOR first-hand. She originally heard about FAVOR through Shalom House Ministries, a recovery treatment center located in Belton. As a program participant at Shalom House, Ms. Jones would attend FAVOR recovery meetings once a week. She chose FAVOR over other recovery programs because she liked that FAVOR did not tell her where she needed to start in her recovery. FAVOR engaged with her at her own personal stage of recovery and helped her to continue the process. “I attended All Recovery Meetings and at first just listened,” said Ms. Jones. “After a week or so, I started sharing. Talking about my fears, strength, and hope. I became an open book. What happened by sharing, it relieved the pressure of my situation. I asked for a recovery coach, who gives one-on-one support service. Leigh [Huckins, the recovery coach] has given me a different perspective on things, she’s motivating, and truly cares.”

guilt Anderson citizens appear to experience related to addiction presents a very difficult roadblock.” Malone said it is not uncommon for families to not attend support groups because they are so ashamed, yet family support plays an integral role in an addict’s recovery. FAVOR wants people to know that there is nothing unusual nor shameful about being a person who suffers from substance use disorder or having someone you care about who suffers from these challenges, he said. In addition to CEO Jones and Malone, the Anderson FAVOR branch has several key staff people, including Leigh Huckins, program coordinator and Ruthanne Aiken, recovery coach specialist. n

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“Simply put, we will find a way to connect to those in need rather than waiting for them to come to us. We ‘meet you where you are,’ both figuratively, and literally.” Ms. Jones said going to meetings and talking is what has kept her clean. She volunteered at meetings, received training and recently became a certified recovery coach herself. She wants people to know that FAVOR works. Whether meeting in person or by Zoom, she said this program will help change your life. “Surround yourself with people in recovery and listen to what works for them. You are not alone, and this can work for anyone,” she said. According to CEO Jones, a supportive community will make a significant impact on recovery success, and the success of recovery programs. For example, the organization’s first meeting home in Anderson was at Central Presbyterian Church. Then, First Presbyterian Church helped FAVOR secure its current location at 401 West Whitner Street, a property the church owned. The United Way of Anderson County supported the organization with financial assistance, and there were numerous other agencies and individuals who volunteered. Mike Malone, senior program director for FAVOR Anderson, said FAVOR “wants to reduce the shame around the disease of addiction and its impact on families through all our efforts. Despite all our awesome work so far, it appears the stigma related to the disease of addiction in Anderson County may be one of our greatest challenges. The stigma is not unique to Anderson, but the misunderstanding and andersonmagazine.com


January/February 2021

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January/February 2021

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January/February 2021

Senior Citizen of the Year


By Caroline Anneaux

Each year, the Jo Brown Senior Citizen of the Year Award is given to a senior in Anderson who shows great leadership and has the heart of a humanitarian. The Jo Brown Senior Center Advisory Council selects the senior based on recommendations from the director, Kelly Jo Barnwell. Tommy Forrest, founder and leader of the Anderson chapter of Quilts of Valor, is the 24th recipient of this highly coveted award amongst senior volunteer leaders in Anderson. When asked how they chose the recipient this year, Barnwell replied, “How could they not choose Tommy? He is a beacon of light in the community and so wellloved. His leadership ability is amazing, and we look forward to celebrating him over and over this year.” “I am honored to carry the title this year,” said Forrest. “It means the world to me to be doing something that I love and sharing that joy with others.” Growing up in Greenville, Forrest had no idea what an impact he would have in Anderson. He was born in 1944 and raised in the old Gassaway Mansion, known as Issaqueena Apartments, in the 1940s. Forrest graduated from Greenville High School and joined the United States Air Force before moving to Anderson in 1968 to open Economy Textiles. He closed that andersonmagazine.com

Tommy Forrest making quilt squares for Quilts of Valor. business and eventually ended up working and retiring from Frigidaire. After retiring and then losing his wife, Kay, in 2012, Forrest knew he needed to stay busy. He thrived on staying involved and connected with his family and friends. Forrest credits his next-door neighbor, Lynda Hempel, whom he affectionately calls “Sister,” for teaching him to sew and quilt. 14

January/February 2021

“When my wife was in her final year and under the care of Hospice, Sister showed me how to use some of my wife’s favorite shirts to make eight quilted bears for Hospice,” said Forrest. “Once I finished those bears, she dropped off a bag of material and a book of instructions on how to cut it and create a quilt. I was hooked.” Forrest and Hempel began making lap quilts for people in assisted living facilities. Every week they made five lap quilts each and delivered the ten quilts themselves. “Seeing the joy on their faces was the best part for me,” said Forrest. “They were so happy to receive those lap quilts, and they wanted to tell us their stories. Many of them remembered their mothers and grandmothers quilting, and they shared those loving memories with us.” In 2013, Forrest was pleasantly surprised when he was wrapped in a Quilt of Valor by the upstate coordinator of his local quilting guild. Forrest served in the United States Air Force and left with an honorable medical discharge after getting stuck in a silo in 1963. “Sister had nominated me without my knowledge, so it was a complete surprise,” said Forrest. “I was completely overwhelmed when I found out that volunteers took the time to make something that beautiful and meaningful for me.” Forrest decided right then and there to make quilts for other local veterans and formed the Quilts of Valor chapter in Anderson in 2014. His love of his community and fellow armed forces brothers and sisters has driven him to continually encourage the volunteer quilters to make as many quilts as they possibly can each year. “The Quilts of Valor Foundation has over 10,000 volunteers making quilts for veterans in this country and other countries such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, to name a few,” said Forrest. “In 2014, I applied for a group membership so quilters in Anderson could help make a difference in our little area of the world.” More than 30 volunteer quilters have helped this Quilts of Valor chapter finish over 2,000 quilts for local veterans. They work tirelessly every Monday in several large classrooms in the Jo Brown Senior Center in the old McCants Middle School, affectionately


called “Tommy’s corner of the building,” according to Barnwell. They moved to this location in 2018. “We get together every Monday to work on our quilts,” said Forrest. “It is definitely a group effort. We shop for fabric, cut material, put kits together, sew labels on and more. At any given time we have three to five quilts ready and waiting for completion on one of the long-arm machines.” Each Monday, Forrest is surrounded by women (and one other gentleman) who appear to care for him as much as he cares for them. They work together like a well-oiled machine, laughing and joking with each other as the hours pass. They take turns bringing homemade lunches in to eat together before going back to their respective stations. “This is what keeps me going,” said Forrest. “When I lost my wife, Kay, in 2012, I had just learned to sew. I threw myself into making quilts that year and have never looked back.” As any great leader should, Forrest looks ahead to the future and is already training his daughter, Kim Price, and another Quilts of Valor member, Ann Medlin, to carry on his legacy in Anderson. “They are shouldering about 75 percent of the work required to keep our Quilts of Valor chapter going here in Anderson,” said Forrest. “I am happy to sit back in my corner of the room and sew. The more quilts I can make to wrap veterans in, the better. I do this for the veterans who need to know that they are loved and their service mattered.” n Tommy Forrest and Kelly Jo Barnwell in a classromm at the Jo Brown Senior Center.

Tommy sewing a quilt together.


January/February 2021

Woman-Owned Businesses – Surviving in Crazy Times

By Deborah Tucker

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting daunting challenges to all businesses in this nation, especially small businesses. It is impossible for a business owner to know from one week to the next whether they will be allowed to open their doors. Woman-owned businesses are a significant part of the total business community. There are more than a million woman-owned businesses in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration. That’s about 21 percent of all employer businesses. Half of all womanowned businesses are concentrated in three industries: healthcare and social assistance; professional and technical services (including lawyers, bookkeepers, and public relation firms); and “other” services (such as hair and pet salons), according to the 2019 State of WomenOwned Businesses Report by American Express. Anderson County provides a robust business community for women. Based on 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 15,115 businesses in Anderson County. Of these, 4,881, or 33 percent, are woman-owned. Women in Non-Traditional Businesses Orthopedic appliances, mainly artificial limbs, are not what comes to mind when thinking of woman-owned business. Honea Path, population 3,597, is home to Friddle’s Orthopedic Appliances, Inc., a multi-generational manufacturing business currently owned by sisters Rachel Friddle-Johnson, CEO and president, and Rebecca Friddle, vice-president. Friddle’s Orthopedic began four generations ago. According to FriddleJohnson, her great-grandfather, William Dewey Friddle, Sr., was a mechanical engineer for the railroad in Greenville. Some friends who were physicians asked if he would go to school to learn to make orthotics and prosthetics and help with a new hospital in Greenville. In 1929, William Friddle, Sr. opened the orthotics and prosthetics shop at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville. His sons, William Dewey Friddle, Jr. and Frank Friddle, Sr., both

“The Friddle sisters may have grown up in a family business, but they obtained considerable education and put in lots of hard work as its fourth generation owners.”



January/February 2021

“I believe 3D technology is the future and we want to continue to be on the forefront,� said Friddle-Johnson. “We have worked with socket design in the area of 3D printing for four years and continue to make advances in the options for patients using this technology.�

Left: William Friddle works on a prosthetic.

Lori Vreeland and Diane Wagner run more typically woman-owned businesses in Anderson – a florist shop and a tax preparation business. What is different is that they operate their businesses in the same shop to the benefit of both. Vreeland, owner of Palmetto Gardens Florist on East Greenville Street in Anderson, has the floral business in her DNA. Her aunt had a florist shop and taught Vreeland the business as a teenager. Vreeland owned her first floral shop at age 19 in Charlotte. She and her family moved to Anderson in about 2007, where she set up a new shop. She moved to her current location in 2012. Wagner, owner of Beachfront Financial, earned a certificate in bookkeeping from Forrest College in 1984. She worked for a CPA for a few years, then took time off to raise a family. Vreeland and Wagner connected through their sons, who were roommates at Clemson University. They were also both members of a local trivia club. In 2014, Vreeland started looking for a small place for a tax business. The two women put their heads together, and in December of 2014, Vreeland moved into the Palmetto Gardens Florist shop. Working together has given both businesses a boost. “Tax clients like flowers,� said Vreeland. “Flower clients turn into tax clients,� said Wagner. Vreeland said about 30 percent of her business is order processing, where Wagner can help out. This frees up more workshop time for Vreeland. She even taught Wagner how to tie bows. It was not easy.

Below: Friddle’s Orthopedic Appliances in Honea Path. Rachel Friddle-Johnson and her family live in the old Friddle home, right next to the manufacturing facility.

worked at Shriners. They both sons went out on their own and operated private medical practices in the Upstate. Frank Sr. moved to Honea Path from Anderson in 1970. In the early 1980s, Frank Sr.’s son, Frank Friddle, Jr., helped transition Friddle’s from patient care to a distribution and manufacturing company. In 2015, Friddle-Johnson and her sister, Rebecca Friddle, purchased the business from their father, Frank Jr. “The Friddle sisters may have grown up in a family business, but they obtained considerable education and put in lots of hard work as its fourth generation owners.� Friddle-Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in integrative health sciences from Stetson University and a graduate degree from the Northwestern University Medical School in orthotics and prosthetics. Rebecca Friddle has a bachelor’s degree in English from Tusculum College and a master’s degree in business from Southern Wesleyan. Family still plays a large part in operating the business. “We work with our Uncle Reed, who is the purchasing manager, and our Aunt Treci, who manages our strapping department,� said Friddle-Johnson. “My husband, Mike, works as an account executive and is our Spanish translator. We are fortunate to have coworkers who are family and most are as close as family. We have a great team and excel at what we do.� Looking to the future, Friddle-Johnson is teaming up with other businesses in the latest technologies. Friddle’s Orthopedic currently partners with Extremiti3D, an additive manufacturing company in Charleston, South Carolina. andersonmagazine.com

Lori Vreeland (l), owner of Palmetto Gardens Florist, puts together a Williamsburg wreath, made of fresh fruit, for a client. She is assisted by Diane Wagner (r), owner of Beachfront Financial. 17

January/February 2021

aware that your business is woman-owned. “Woman-owned businesses need to be exploring different markets as we come out of this COVID crisis,” said Pittinger. “We don’t know all of the factors people use in making a buying decision. Companies can get overlooked because customers don’t know their woman-owned status.” The Upstate is served by the Clemson Area SBDC. For more information, contact Ben Smith, area manager and business consultant. His address is Clemson University, 413 Sirrine Hall, Clemson, SC 29634. His telephone number is 864-710-4717 and, his email is bennys@clemson.edu. Another organization that assists small businesses is SCORE. It is a nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Because of government funding and its volunteer mentors, SCORE delivers most of its offerings to clients at no cost. Woman-owned businesses can take advantage of SCORE’s free webinars and on-line workshops. The most important service SCORE offers is individual mentoring. Depending on the need, mentors who are retired bankers, lawyers, accountants, marketing professionals and other experts will meet with business owners and help them plan their way forward. The SCORE Piedmont Chapter serves the Upstate. For more information, visit its website at https:// piedmont.score.org/ or give them a call at (864) 2713638. n

“It took lots of loops and lots of practice,” said Wagner. Wagner likes the arrangement because Vreeland can cover for her while she is out of town, making it easy for her clients to drop off documents. In these uncertain times, she thinks businesses working together is only going to grow. “Co-working is the current trend,” said Wagner in summary. “People are learning they can share.” Finding Help for Your Business There are a surprising number of resources available for woman-owned businesses, whether well-established or just starting out. Two organizations that can help are the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and SCORE. The SBDC has 20 area centers in communities across South Carolina, serving both urban and rural business needs, according to its website. Through free consulting, low-cost seminars and links to resources, SBDC consultants work with companies in all stages of development – from a person with an innovative product but no idea how to move forward, to the owner of a company looking to capture new markets. In the past five years, SBDC consultants have assisted in bringing more than $1 billion in government contracts to small companies in South Carolina. One of the specialized services the SBDC offers to woman-owned businesses is certifications. Sherry Pittinger, a retired government contracting officer, is a SBDC consultant for the local region. She helps woman-owned businesses get the certifications they need for winning contracts with government agencies, state colleges such as Clemson University, and larger corporations, such as Bosch and Michelin. You don’t need to be a manufacturer of space rocket parts to benefit from certifications. These organizations also need catering, flowers, janitorial and other services typically provided by women-owned businesses, according to Pittinger. R achel Friddle-Johnson understands the value of these women-owned business certifications. “In 2016, we received a contract with the Department of Defense,” she says. “I have traveled to Walter Reed National Military Base over the years, and we sell them raw materials and finished products. We also work with many of the Veterans Administration hospitals around the country, some for raw materials and others for finished goods.” Being certified as a woman-owned business allows Friddle’s to work with Clemson University on some projects with prosthetic socket technologies. “We work with the bio-medical engineering department and frequently have students in-house working on projects,” said Friddle-Johnson. “We’re involved with new research with a PhD student in the area of additive manufacturing with socket technology. This is going through Clemson and we are proud to be playing a role.” From a SBDC perspective, Pittinger has advice for woman-owned businesses looking to the future: Look beyond the current pandemic and make customers




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Countybank Foundation Completes $23,000 Donation to Anderson Interfaith Ministries The Countybank Foundation recently made its final donation installment of $6,500 to Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM), fulfilling the pledged amount of $23,000 over the course of three years. Donated funds from Countybank and Greenwood Capital go toward AIM events throughout the year geared toward raising money for struggling individuals and families in Anderson County. “Countybank and Greenwood Capital have been honored to partner with AIM over the past three years,” said Wooles. “We’ve seen firsthand their extraordinary work building up our community by providing a helping hand and supporting those in need.” Countybank and Greenwood Capital associates have been actively involved in supporting AIM’s events and fundraising activities over the past three years. In 2020 Countybank served as the main sponsor for AIM’s Tailgate Party—Party with a Purpose, a virtual event with proceeds going to AIM’s five programs: Hunger Ministries, Pivotal Support, Women and Children Succeeding, Employment Pathways, and Housing Rehabilitation. Associates at Countybank’s Anderson financial center also participated in AIM’s annual Hearts for Helping fundraiser this in February 2020. “The Hearts for Helping fundraiser is just one of many opportunities for our associates, and the community, to come together in support of a great cause that can positively impact someone’s life,” said Chamblee. “AIM is grateful for Countybank and Greenwood Capital’s partnership over the past three years in helping us fulfill our

Pictured (left to right) are Peggy Chamblee, Vice President and Financial Center Manager for Countybank; Susan Anderson, Vice President of Resource Development for AIM; Kristi King-Brock, Executive Director of AIM; and Michael Wooles, Senior Vice President and Anderson Market Executive for Countybank. mission of providing resource, support, and education, which leads our clients to self-sufficiency,” said King-Brock. “Together we are ‘Giving Hope and Changing Lives.’” AIM is a non-profit organization in Anderson, SC. Their mission is to connect people in the Anderson community with the support, resources, and education so they can empower themselves to become self-sufficient. n

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January/February 2021

Time Flies When You’re Having

RUM! By Lisa Marie Carter

Calling all rum lovers! There is a rum distillery right here in our area! You heard me, locally made rum right here in Anderson County, at Swamp Fox Distillery on the square in Pendleton. We went right to the source, Ernie Wagner, the head distiller and owner of Swamp Fox, to find out how we lucked into getting our own rum distillery in our county. Ernie and his wife, Peg, run the distillery with the help of their three daughters. First thing we were curious about is why did this distillery choose rum? Typically, the South is known more for moonshine, and Caribbean Islands are more famous for their rum. Wagner said, “I’ve always liked rum, but when I started visiting several islands in the Caribbean, I fell in love with rum. I started going to all the distilleries on each island, meeting with distillers and workers, and learning all the characteristics of each brand and type. When I got home, I researched and tried numerous rums to know what I liked the most and what made the best rums, then researched those distilleries. In the end, I knew what type of rum I thought was the best, what type of still was used to make it, and how it was made.” What makes Swamp Fox’s rum different from many other rums you can purchase at a liquor store is quite simple. As a craft distillery, their rum is made in very small batches by hand. They use no automation for anything. Cuts are made by smell and taste. Wagner had his still, called an alembic pot still, custom made by an artisan in Portugal. This still only produces flavorful spirits like rums, brandies and cognacs. The perfect still, combined with the perfect balance of raw sugar (turbinado) and black strap molasses, and finally a proprietary strain of Caribbean rum yeast from Barbados, make Swamp Fox rum a very flavorful, heavy style, Caribbean rum. Two of the rums, The Dark Side and Toasted Coconut, just won gold medals at the East Coast Craft Spirits Awards. Wagner said this means that even professional spirits judges feel their rum is some of the best out there. Starting with the love of rum, followed by extensive travel, and what sounds like some fun research, it was decided a rum distillery would be in his future, but how did Pendleton get chosen to house this unique southern distillery? “We live about ten minutes from Pendleton, and fell in love with it right away,” said Wagner. “We went to Viva andersonmagazine.com

Wine bar and met Sheldon, the manager, who made us feel right at home. We ended up going to Pendleton once or twice a week, and decided that if we could, we would love to have the distillery in town. There was nothing available that we saw, but the owner of Viva thought that Sturie Tribal Village was available, while not being formally listed. I went in to talk to them the next week, and sure enough, we struck a deal on a lease/purchase for the building. It took us one-and-a-half years to build it out and meet code, and we formally opened selling rum on November 1, 2019. In the summer of 2020, we were able to exercise our option and purchase the building.”

One look at the distillery’s website and you’ll notice this is a family affair. Wagner says that all came naturally. Basically, this was his dream, and he just “dragged the family into it.” He first started conceiving this when he lived in Maryland, and formed the Prospect Bay Brewing and Distilling Co. His and Peg’s middle daughter, Stefanie, went to Clemson, met her husband, and ended up moving to the area. When they produced 22

January/February 2021

the Wagners’ first grandchild, Peg told him they needed to move closer to the new granddaughter, so they moved down south. He had originally planned to slowly transition from his day job to the distillery in Maryland, but when the discussion of the move to South Carolina came up, Wagner told Peg if they moved, he had to be all in on the distillery, as he was giving up his day job. And I think we can safely say she agreed. Wagner says she now helps him on days they are open to the public. The family ties don’t end there. Stefanie, who lives in Six Mile, helps out in the tasting room serving cocktails on their open days, Thursday to Saturday, 2-7 p.m. Wagner makes and bottles rum on Monday to Wednesday. Their youngest daughter, Kristen, lives in Charlotte, and she takes care of all the social media for the distillery. Their oldest daughter, Jenna, lives in Maryland, and has a physical therapy practice that keeps her busy, so she rarely makes it down to visit, but is a big promoter and taste tester. And last, but certainly not least, is the family dog, Berkeley. Berkeley proudly wears the badge of Official Greeter.

Top: Visit downtown Pendleton’s main street to check out Swamp Fox Distillery. Bottom: Taste test all the samples of rum. How did Berkeley get to be such a lucky dog? Wagner explains, “When we started the distillery, we knew we needed a distillery dog. We had been without a dog for several years, and it was just time. We had always had big dogs — Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, St. Bernard — and we had always wanted a Bernese mountain dog. We found a local breeder in Fairplay and got Berkeley as an eight-week-old puppy. We started bringing him into the distillery right away and acquainted him with his job of greeting customers. He’s pretty chill at the distillery as he knows that’s his job. At home, a bit more active. He loves to run around, chase the Frisbee, go on walks, and cuddle on the floor with his mom. It’s funny, people will see him, and come into the distillery just to meet him.” Finally, how did the name Swamp Fox Distillery come about? Wagner says that it came from a bunch of andersonmagazine.com

friends sitting around their home bar in Maryland with the goal of finding a cool name for the new distillery that tied into South Carolina. After about an hour, Swamp Fox came out. In researching it, Ernie learned that Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, known as the Swamp Fox, was a legend in South Carolina, so they decided it fit perfectly. He fought the British in the swamps of Berkeley County, which provided the name for their dog. So yo, ho, ho, go grab yourself a bottle of one (or all) of the local Pure Corruption Rums and see for yourself why the Wagner family is so proud of its venture. The distillery is located at 128 Exchange Street, Pendleton. To learn more about Swamp Fox Distillery you can check out their website www.swampfoxdistilling.com or their Facebook page, SwampFoxDistillingPendleton If you have any questions you can reach them at (864) 502-3080. n 23

January/February 2021

Top Teachers

of Anderson County By Lisa Marie Carter

Teachers are amazing. (Many of us may think that even more so after becoming temporary “teachers” during quarantine!) But there always are a few who stand out for their extraordinary ways. Each year the Anderson County public school districts recognize these outstanding teachers with the Teacher of the Year award. Let us introduce you to the 2020 winners from each of the districts. DISTRICT ONE Teacher of the Year is Hannah Heath of Easley. Heath is married to Dylan Heath. They live in the Wren Community of Easley and are expecting their first child in May. Heath grew up in Powdersville and is a product of District One’s schools. She graduated from Wren High School, earned her bachelor’s degree from North Greenville University, and received her master’s degree in administration and supervision from Anderson University. Heath said she always knew she wanted to make an impact on kids’ lives, and after teaching in Vacation Bible School at church, she decided to become a teacher. She is a lifelong member of White Plains Baptist Church in Pelzer where she is very involved in the children’s ministries. Heath teaches fourth grade at Powdersville Elementary, where she also attended school as a student. Her current principal, Brad Moore, was also her fourth grade teacher. Heath said Moore had a huge impact on her life from early on. As a student, she remembers his class being fun and how well he connected with his students. His fun personality along with the connections he made influenced Heath to want to have the same impact on her students. “I’m thankful for his influence on my life as a student and as a professional educator,” said Heath. “Many educators across our district have had an impact on my life as well, as a student growing up and now as a teacher.” As her principal, Heath said, Moore encourages teachers to take risks and allows them the freedom to try new ideas. “He’s the first person to say ‘yes, go for it,’” she said. He challenges everyone to be the best, and he emphasizes a positive school culture and that carries over into the classrooms, she added. Some of her favorite memories are when parents can join her and the students at school to celebrate the students’ accomplishments. Last year they celebrated the students’ writing with a Starbucks-themed Star Writers Cafe. They also celebrated the multiplication and division unit with a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course andersonmagazine.com

Mrs. Heath in which students solved math problems as they worked through the course. Heath is also the Powdersville Middle School Girls Basketball Coach. This is her seventh year teaching and sixth year as head coach. The team won the Division 2 AOP Championship last season. When Heath was chosen as the district Teacher of the Year, she said it was truly one of the highest honors she could have ever imagined. She expressed how blessed she feels to “work in the best district in the state” and that she is thankful for the support from many colleagues, district office staff, and the school board. Heath concluded, “This year has definitely been unique and challenging, but my message to our district is to 24

January/February 2021

do whatever it takes to make a difference this year and embrace the challenge. Students will remember our smiles, even through a mask. We must remember our purpose and our ‘why’ and continue to be a light during these unusual times.” School DISTRICT TWO’S Teacher of the Year is Katherine Dobbs of Simpsonville. Dobbs is engaged to her fiancé, Samson, and has a stepson, Mason, and two rescue dogs. Dobbs grew up in Columbia and received her BA in studio art from the College of Charleston in 2013. She received her MAT in art education at Converse College, which is when she fell in love with the Upstate. She taught art classes at the Spartanburg Art Museum while she was at Converse and has always loved working with, and teaching, art to children. She said she wanted to be a teacher because of her love of working with students and seeing them succeed. Her parents also encouraged her to pursue a teaching career, believing that it would be a good fit. She started teaching at Marshall Primary School in August 2016 and has loved working in District Two ever since. “I have been so lucky to have learned from the incredibly hard-working and inspiring teachers here in our district, and I have received so much support from the MPS teachers, our administration, our staff, and the other art teachers/support staff in the district,” she said, adding, “I cannot thank my District Two friends enough for all they have done to help me along the way! I also grew up watching and learning from my mom, who is a teacher in Charleston, and I’ve learned so much from many other educators in my family who came before me!” Dobbs feels teaching art is such an incredible way to build relationships and connections with students; it lets them express themselves, build confidence, and use their imagination in so many ways. “Art brings a smile to students’ faces,” she said. Dobbs also believes that working in education is an amazing way to be a part of a child’s life and help to build a strong, positive foundation for youth. She believes teachers have the power to make the educational experience as positive and amazing as possible for students, and she aims to continue pursuing that goal. Dobbs said, “Thank you to everyone who has supported me along this journey! I was so excited and speechless when I was awarded this honor. It makes me incredibly happy to be representing my school and representing all of the amazing, dedicated teachers of School District Two!” Dobbs concluded, “I will continue to do my best to inspire and teach children, despite the challenges we are facing currently. I will always remember that the students come first, and, as teachers, we will always rise to the challenge no matter what we face!” The DISTRICT THREE Teacher of the Year is Carly Herron of Anderson. Herron married her high school sweetheart, Zach Herron, six years ago and they have a one-year old son, James. They are also pet

Mrs. Dobbs parents of two retired racing greyhounds, Lana and Mickey. When Herron isn’t teaching or working on lesson plans, she enjoys designing classroom decor and activities online and making chalkboards. Herron has been teaching for nine years, all of them at Flat Rock Elementary School. She taught second grade her first six years, then began teaching kindergarten, which she believes is a better fit. As the daughter of a career first grade teacher, Herron’s childhood was spent witnessing what it truly meant to be an outstanding educator. That made her choice to work in education clear. Herron said her favorite thing about teaching is the children. She said, “Fostering a love for learning, reading, and thinking is what drives me. Most of all, showing my students what love is and learning from them is why I show up to work every day.” An interesting tidbit about Herron is the fact she attended Anderson District Three beginning in kindergarten at Starr Elementary and graduated from Crescent High School in 2008. Then, when it was announced that she was the District Teacher of the Year, imagine her awe. She remarked, “I felt both grateful and honored. How special it is to have come full circle in the district that I love.” While looking back at her time in school, Herron recalled her favorite teacher, Tim Bouchillon. She said he showed her how to “be real” with her students, love them, and teach what truly matters. But she is quick to state the mentor that made the biggest impact on her was her “Mama.” As a first-grade teacher, Instructional coach, and reading Coach,

Mrs. Herron Herron said, her mother understood teaching from every angle and was always there to answer questions and support her when needed. As with many of the other teachers around our county, and even the entire country, Herron experienced the craziness of the 2020 pandemic firsthand and had to address and tackle the new challenges presented by all that took place. “This year has definitely posed some challenges because of COVID-19,” she said. “However, I am learning to adjust and teach in new ways that I haven’t before to ensure my students continue to receive a quality education. While things are different, my goal is for students to stay safe, feel loved, and learn!” Susan Carroll of Townville is the DISTRICT FOUR Teacher of the Year. Carroll has been married to her husband, Mike, for 22 years and they have four children, daughters Madison and Mallory, and two sons, Brett and Brogan, as well as three dogs and 23 chickens. When she is not teaching or planning lessons, she enjoys hiking, traveling, spending time with family, reading and going to concerts. Carroll has been teaching for 25 years and part of the reason she became a teacher was some amazing teachers she had while growing up. They impacted her life so much she still keeps in touch with several of them regularly. These teachers have been her inspiration through the years, as they were always showing students how much they cared about them. She said one memorable experience she had was when she was andersonmagazine.com


able to teach for a few years at her childhood school with several of her former teachers. In addition to the influence of the teachers she had growing up, Carroll credits her parents, who always encouraged her and instilled in her the love of school and learning. Carroll commented, “My goal as a teacher is to help children develop that love of learning and realize that learning is a lifelong adventure. It is a privilege to be part of their journey!” Her favorite thing about teaching is watching students reach milestones and accomplish goals. Currently, she works with elementary students but previously when she worked with adult education students, she found it so exciting being able to witness those students earn their diploma, as she feels earning a diploma changes lives. “It was such a powerful moment to witness” Carroll noted. “Being able to help students reach the next level, whatever that level may be, is so exciting. It truly is what motivates me every single day.” When told she won the District 4 Teacher of the Year award Carroll remarked, “I was completely floored. It has been a deeply humbling experience. I work with such smart, kind and dedicated people. To be selected by them leaves me speechless.” Carroll concluded, “It is truly an honor to represent the teachers of my school and my district. Anderson School District Four is a very special place. I cannot say enough about the tremendous leadership of our superintendent, Dr. Joanne Avery, and my principal, Denise Fredericks. It is such a joy to come

Mrs. Carroll January/February 2021

to have hope. Smith showed Simpson the power of working out math problems using engaging, hands-on activities. Smith’s mentorship instilled a new passion for math in Simpson. Simpson believes there is more to education than being a speaker in front of the class, and there is more to being successful in life than regurgitating math facts. In addition to showing the real-world application of math by designing lessons such as shopping sprees where students have a budget and evaluating how math calculations could have saved the Titanic, she has also helped students recognize the importance of relationships by building trust using community circles where every student has the opportunity to discuss their concerns and provide suggestions on life issues. She also created an environment of encouragement that bolsters the confidence of the most uncertain, selfdoubting students where they can find success in areas where they once imagined it was out of reach. Considering her discouraging history with math as a student, she feels one of her greatest accomplishments was receiving national board certification in mathematics. When she began her career, she had someone to step in and be her supporter; this gave her the desire to give back what once was given to her and help new teachers and colleagues. Simpson concluded, “Relationships do not end with students, for they are equally important with colleagues.” n

Mrs. Simpson

to work knowing that the needs of the children and of the staff are the top priority.” School DISTRICT FIVE’S Teacher of the Year is Carrie Y. Simpson of Honea Path. Simpson is married to Warren Simpson, who is a teacher as well; he received the Teacher of the Year award in School District Two for the 2019-2020 school year. They are the parents of two daughters, Sydney and Gracyn, and three rescue animals, cats Twilight and Moonlight and a dog, Sapphire. Teaching has been a part of Simpson’s life from a young age because her mother was a middle school teacher, and she spent much of her childhood around schools. Simpson recalled, “Every new school year was something I eagerly anticipated because my mom would let me help create bulletin boards, make copies and arrange her classroom. Anything that revolved around teaching, I adored.” From an early age Simpson wanted to be a middle school teacher like her mom and had planned out exactly what she wanted to teach. The one subject that would never be an option was math, which she said she “despised with a passion.” As a student she struggled greatly in math. Destiny had a different plan for her, though. When she began her career, teaching jobs were hard to find, so she took the only offer available, teaching seventh grade science and of all things, math. In her second year, the school hired a math consultant, Dr. Patty Smith, and Simpson began



January/February 2021

Going Green

For many, January is a time to re-start healthy habits. That often includes eating more fruits and vegetables, especially green veggies. Here is a delicious smoothie recipe to help you get in your greens in a delicious way!

Limeade Green Smoothie INGREDIENTS 2 cups spinach 1 green apple, sliced ½ English cucumber, skin removed 1 banana 1 large lime, peeled and quartered ¼ inch piece of fresh ginger root ¼ cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt 2 handfuls of ice

DIRECTIONS combine all ingredients in a powerful blender and blend until smooth.

Storefront Storybook

The City of Anderson and Anderson County Library present a Storefront Storybook, with a read-along podcast by Market Theatre. In a year when traditional library events, holiday fun, and stage plays have been impossible, this collaboration brings Anderson author Scott Foster’s book “The Magic Snowflake” to life for the whole family to safely enjoy! Embark on a walking tour of downtown Anderson, finding each page of the storybook on different storefronts throughout downtown. While you read, brilliant voice actors bring the story to life in the free podcast, available on Apple, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Visit markettheatre. org/listen for all the details!

Anderson author and illustrator Scott Foster enjoys page 1 of The Magic Snowflake at Belle Beauty (109 N. Main St.)

Charlotte, Daisy, and Caroline Bates enjoying the Storefront Storybook walking tour and podcast. andersonmagazine.com


January/February 2021


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United Way Obtains Fact Forward Grant United Way of Anderson County (UWAC) is pleased to announce we have obtained a grant from Fact Forward to continue the work of preventing teen pregnancy in Anderson County for another three years. Carol Burdette, President & CEO of UWAC, states in regards to teen pregnancy prevention, “This is one of the things we are most passionate about!” Between 1991 and 2016 teen birth rates in South Carolina decreased by 70% due to better education and access to contraceptives, according to Fact Forward data. A Community Health Worker at UWAC will receive referrals for the program, Adult Identity Mentoring 4 Teen Moms (AIM 4 Teen Moms or AIM4TM), developed by the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. AIM4TM is an evidencebased intervention to reduce rapid repeat pregnancies by helping teen mothers define specific life aspirations, engage in planning to successfully achieve them, and consider the role of contraception in their lives. It’s an 8 session program (6 individual sessions, 2 group sessions) delivered over the course of 12 weeks at each participant’s home or any location she feels most comfortable. The program is designed for mothers between the ages of 15-19 with at least one child living in zip codes 29621, 29624, 29625, 29626, 29627, 29670, and 29697. Our goal is to sustain declines in the teen birth rate and reduce occurrences of STI’s/ STD’s in adolescents. According to the most recent data provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (2019), there has been an increase among adolescents in the rate of STI/STD infections. South Carolina was ranked 5th in the nation for chlamydia infections and 4th for gonorrhea infections. Adolescents accounted for 67% of chlamydia infections and 53% of gonorrhea infections nationally. UWAC, in conjunction with Fact Forward, is committed to improving the health of teens by reducing STI/STD rates. Statistics show pregnancy is a leading cause of teens dropping out of high school. In fact, only 51% of young women who become mothers as teens get their high school diploma by the age of 22, compared to 89% of young women who were not teen parents. Tom Wilson, Anderson School District 5

Superintendent states, “The number one indicator that tells us if a child will graduate is if that child’s mother graduated.” A press conference was held at United Way of Anderson County on November 9, 2020 announcing the grant. It can be viewed on the UWAC Facebook page. Stakeholders include the City of Anderson, AnMed Health Women and Children’s Hospital, Nurse-Family Partnership, Anderson Housing Authority, The Parenting Place, Developmental Center for Exceptional Children, DHEC, and Anderson School District 5. The project described was supported by Grant Number 1 TP1AH000216-01-00 from the HHS Office of Population Affairs. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Office of Population Affairs. n



January/February 2021

United Way of Anderson County Receives 4-star Rating United Way of Anderson County’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.“United Way’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds United Way to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support United Way of Anderson County.”


Childhood hunger is a silent epidemic that affects nearly 1 in 4 children. For the poorest school-age children, Friday night begins the Weekend Meal Gap, two days when the school lunch programs are not available and the children have little or nothing to eat. These children come back to school on Mondays, famished and weak, thinking only of the free meal that will come at breakfast and/or lunchtime. Weekend SnackPacks help close the Weekend Meal Gap and ensures children come to school ready to learn.Buy-A-Box to help feed Anderson County children at UnitedWayofAnderson.org/buyabox

for Children in Anderson County!



January/February 2021

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January/February 2021 Events Friday, January 1 – January 31 - 2:00pm – 9:00pm Countybank Holiday Ice, Carolina Wren Park, Anderson. This is a synthetic ice rink for holiday skating - it is appropriate for all levels. For ages 7 and up, the cost is $5 which includes skate rental. There is also a kiddie rink for 6 and under at $3 per skater. For more information check out the Countybank Holiday Ice Facebook Event page or www.downtownandersonsc. com Saturday, January 2, and February 6 9:00am – 5:00pm Pendleton Handmade Market, 5413 us 76 Pendleton. Happening the 1st Saturday of every month to shop local handmade artisans, enjoy food & entertainment, and visit gift shops for a souvenir! Most of the vendors accept cards, but some only accept cash. There is no ATM on site. $2 admission, children are free. This event is outdoors. They encourage social distancing. Masks are not required. For a vendor application, please email PendletonHandmadeMarket@yahoo.com Tuesdays and Thursdays in January and February 5:00pm – 8:00pm $20 Clay Studio, at the Anderson Arts Center at 110 Federal Street, Anderson. Make your clay ideas come to life! Drop-in anytime during open studio hours – newbies and experienced potters are welcome. For more information, www.AndersonArts.org Various Days in January and February 9:00am – 2:00pm Expedition: A Natural History Adventure Around the World, Belton Area Museum Association, Belton. Expedition: A Natural History Adventure Around the World features fossils, gemstones, and minerals from around the world and animal mounts from three continents. Go face to face with the world’s 5th largest lion to come out of Africa. Look at the various adaptations of squirrels from North America. Marvel at the markings and sharp teeth of fish caught in the Amazon River. See gemstones gathered from quarries all around the world. Ponder fossils that are millions of years old. For more information check out their website at www.beltonmuseum.com, or call (864) 338-7400. January 22, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. Join the Anderson Arts Center for a Palette to Palate wine dinner. Enjoy a delicious menu provided by Friends Farm & Catering paired with delectable wines. Tickets: $75 per Person or $550 for Table of Eight The event will follow SC DHEC guidelines as they pertain to restaurants, so ensure you are seated with friends and/or family by reserving a table of eight for your party. Order tickets at www.AndersonArts.org or call 864.222.2787.

Please remember to check with the events as the date gets closer to confirm the event is still on.

Friday, January 29 - 6:00pm, Anderson Chapter Conservation Banquet, 3027 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Anderson. Support the South Carolina Waterfowl Association. Enjoy food and drinks, participate in live & silent auctions, and take a chance on unbelievable raffles. For more information check out the South Carolina Waterfowl Association Facebook page, or email them contact@scwa.org. Friday, February 5 - 6:00am - 5:00pm SC Museum of Natural History First Annual Youth Wildlife Photography Contest, 100 N. Main Street, Belton. Historic Belton Train Depot. Calling all youth photographers! Grab your camera or phone and snap a winning photo for the first annual SC Museum of Natural History Youth Wildlife Photography Contest. Photos taken by South Carolina residents, age 18 or younger, of indigenous wildlife or those found in zoos or wildlife preserves in our state can be submitted by the Feb. 5, 2021 deadline. All eligible submissions will be part of the exhibit Expedition: A Natural History Adventure Around the World, and winners receive monetary awards presented by Belton Metal Company. And best of all, the winning photo will be featured in SC Wildlife Magazine. For more information, rules and submission forms check out the Facebook Event page.

Valentine’s for 2021 With the ups and downs of restrictions due to Covid-19, there’s no telling what Valentine’s Day options might be for a lovely date night. So, here are a few ideas that you can enjoy regardless of a pandemic! Take A Hike There are so many hiking trails available in the Upstate, so unplug and unwind with your Valentine in the great outdoors. Take an Online Class MasterClass offers an entire catalog of content where you can learn about a variety of subjects from the best in the world all online. Take a class together and hones some skills. Make Heart-shaped Food So, you aren’t ready to head to a restaurant? That’s ok. Get in the kitchen together and see what foods you can make into heart shapes. Consider pizza, pancakes, cupcakes… Celebrate the one’s you love, even if in a nontraditional way, and make sure Valentine’s 2021 is one to remember.

Staying Healthy

What Women Need to Know by Deborah Tucker When women think about health issues, breast or ovarian cancer is usually at the top of the list. These are dreaded diseases still seeking a cure. But there is an even bigger health issue for women lurking in the shadows. Statistically, according to the Mayo Clinic, heart disease is the more significant risk. In fact, the Mayo Clinic says it is the No. 1 killer of women. Heart disease is not just a man’s disease anymore. Closer to home, the doctors at the AnMed Medical Center in Anderson understand this risk very well. Dr. Jeremy Parker practices at the AnMed Health Cardiac and Orthopaedic Center. He specializes in Cardiac Computed Tomography, Cardiac MRI, and Echocardiography Dr. Jeremy Parker Nuclear Cardiology. Dr. Parker doesn’t mince words about women and heart disease. “Cardiovascular remains the number one cause of death for women in the United States–and world,” says Dr. Parker. “Essentially one in three women die from cardiovascular disease. According to the American College of Cardiology–45% of women over the age of 20 have some type of cardiovascular disease. Despite this, data suggests that women are often undertreated for their cardiovascular disease.” In addition to the traditional risk factors of age, hypertension, and smoking, Dr. Parker says there are additional risk factors that just apply to women. “There are pregnancy-related concerns with regards to cardiomyopathies (weakened heart muscle) and other coronary artery disease processes,” says Dr. Parker. “There are risk factors related specifically to breast cancer treatments including the use of chest radiation as well as chemotherapy agents known to weaken the heart muscle. Menopausal hormonal changes are associated with changes in risk. Certain autoimmune diseases are more prominent in women–and that may lead to worsening risk.” SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: “The typical symptoms of a heart attack or impending heart attack include chest pain or discomfort often in the center or left chest with associated pain in the shoulder, back or jaw. People may feel nausea, sweating, or shortness of breath. These issues can be seen with

Dr. Brian Miller andersonmagazine.com


January/February 2021

Impact of the Cancer Association of Anderson in our community

activity or even at rest. Older data do suggest that women’s symptoms are often more atypical and thus unfortunately discounted. I would encourage anyone with new onset of shortness of breath, chest discomfort, or even jaw/shoulder pain to seek evaluation. I do encourage folks to consider that people don’t always experience pain per se. I find that people often describe symptoms as pressure or fullness rather than pain.” On a personal note, my father suffered from various heart diseases back in the day – the ’60s and ’70s. It was a time when heart pacemakers and heart valve surgery were bleeding edge technologies. My father had to go to San Francisco to get treatment from specialists. He would spend weeks at the hospital recovering before he was able to come home. Well, times have certainly changed. The heart surgeries being performed today at the AnMed Medical Center were not even conceived of back in my father’s day. And much of it is outpatient surgery. Dr. Brian Miller also practices at the AnMed Health Cardiac and Orthopaedic Center. He specializes in cardiac electrophysiology and is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. He specializes in treating patients with atrial fibrillation or AFib. Atrial fibrillation, according to the Mayo Clinic, is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase the risk of strokes, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Dr. Brian Miller of AnMed Health Arrhythmia Specialists uses the fluoroless ablation technique - or no radiation - in treating irregular heartbeat. Traditionally, in the electrophysiology (EP) community, radiation is used during a catheter ablation procedure, which can expose the patient, surgeon and staff to radiation. “The EP community has begun to work towards minimizing radiation exposure during ablation procedures by using the fluoroless ablation technique which eliminates the exposure to radiation for the patient, surgeon and staff,” Dr. Miller said. “Technological advances in electrophysiology in the last decade have paved the way toward safer, zero or near-zero radiation use in ablation procedures to treat an irregular heartbeat,” he said. Dr. Miller says the focus in ablations over the last 5 years has been safety and efficiency. “Technological advances in electrophysiology in the last decade have paved the way toward safer, zero or near-zero radiation use in ablation procedures to treat an irregular heartbeat,” he said. The causes of AFIB are multifactorial. Some of the risks are the usual ones for heart disease – smoking, drinking, obesity. Some of risks are congenital – not unusual for athletes to get AFib in their 30s and 40s. Ablation is the most effective treatment. Women tend to be diagnosed for AFIB at a later age than men. Increases risk because older patients are more likely to have other health issues such as obesity. “Ablation strategies are customized to the individual patient.” n andersonmagazine.com

The Cancer Association of Anderson, in collaboration with Dr. Diana Ivankovic (Anderson University Undergraduate Cancer Research Center), Laura Ivankovic and students - Finn Jacobsen (AU), Alyssae Edwards (CU), Abigayle Stringer Roberts (graduate student, Clemson University Environmental Engineering), have completed a project gathering data to map the cancer types and locations of patients who have received assistance through the Cancer Association since its inception in 2003. This map reflects the impact of the Cancer Association on our LOCAL community. The group plans to expand this project by adding medical facility partners to provide an even more comprehensive overview of cancer in Anderson County and to allow the students to research any cancer clusters that may emerge in specific areas. The Cancer Association of Anderson is the only LOCAL cancer charity in Anderson County. CAA’s mission is to reduce the burden on Anderson County residents who are battling cancer by providing financial and emotional assistance. CAA receives NO funding or support from the American Cancer Society or any Relay For Life events. All our funds stay LOCAL. If you would like to find out more about the exciting developments going on at the Cancer Association of Anderson, you can email Angela Stringer at Angela@ CAAnderson.org or Diana Ivankovic at divankovic@ andersonuniversity.edu or visit the Cancer Association’s website: www.CAAnderson.org. n

Let the Good Times Roll at Mardi Gras in the Electric City on February 16, 2021 Meals on Wheels – Anderson is excited to announce that Mardi Gras in the Electric City is on for 2021! Come celebrate with us on Fat Tuesday, February 16! You will be greeted with Mardi Gras beads, masks, boas, great music, exciting silent and live auctions, and amazing food and drink that are all provided by local Anderson restaurants and caterers. The event will be held at the beautiful Bleckley Station, in the heart of downtown Anderson giving the event a French Quarter-like atmosphere. Meals on Wheels - Anderson is currently seeking sponsors as well as restaurant and catering partners for the event. Tickets will be available in January 2021. For more information, call 864-225-6800. All proceeds from this event will help Meals on Wheels - Anderson continue to provide weekday meal deliveries to disabled and elderly homebound residents of Anderson County. n


January/February 2021

The Poet’s Nook

By Jay Wright

Beth Batson is a marketing professional and writer from Anderson and has played a major role in the City of Anderson’s evolution. She received Foothills Writers Guild’s 2020 Stewardship Award for her many contributions to our guild and for writing excellence. Here is her latest poem, a free verse narrative, welcoming 2021.

Peace Speaks By Beth Batson

Note: Recently, I was fortunate to sit down with Peace. It was awe-inspiring to be in her presence, even for a moment. She was humble, and very shy, but she agreed to let me share a portion of our conversation. I offer her my deepest thanks for the time we spent together. Q: Peace, you are notoriously elusive. Help us understand why. A: I suppose it is because it’s difficult for people to be still long enough to notice me. Generally, people are not willing to put in the work to find me. And quite often, they are not following a path toward me. Q: How do you suggest people find a path that leads to you? A: Well, it’s actually not that hard. You have to start with a willing spirit. I’ve left “breadcrumbs,” of a sort, all around. You can find me in songs, in psalms, in art – even in books and movies. One of my favorite places to be is in a mother’s lullaby. Q: Is there an instrument you like best? One that sounds the most like you? The harp maybe? A: Ah…the harp is nice. I could never choose a favorite instrument, though. I’m where you find me. Sure, some people think I reside solely in the pipes of a church organ. But I’m just as likely to be present in the guitar rift of a scratchy rock-n-roll song or the high-pitched rippling wave of a fiddle. Q: Many people say that they have found you in nature. Do you spend a lot of time there? A: Oh yes! I’m on long walks and in flower beds all the time. Especially in the spring. But I also love getting bundled up in winter white and hearing the crunch of snow break a cold silence underfoot. Q: Though people may have a hard time getting to know you, it seems that animals are very close to you. Is that right? A: Certainly. They are my best adherents. Especially pets, like cats and dogs. Some people say animals are more in tune with me because they can’t talk. But I can tell you it’s because they made more room for me in their hearts. And, the fact that they seem to take more naps than humans do might have something to do with it. andersonmagazine.com


Q: Sometimes it seems that you are most elusive when it comes to groups in conflict. Why do you think it’s so hard to find you when countries or factions disagree? A: Frankly, I wish I knew. Great theologians and scholars throughout history have worked tirelessly on “a cure for conflict” which usually involves finding me. And you are right. I seem to be embraced for a moment, but my influence is not sustainable. All I can tell you is that a group can’t find me, or hold on to me, until its members do. Sort of like “the sum of its parts,” you know? Q: Yes. And it seems as if you come and go – like you are always somewhere, but never everywhere. Why can’t you be everywhere at once? A: Whew. That would be a tall order, even for me. My friend, Love, and I muse about that all the time. I guess it comes down to man-made barriers…ego? money? hate? jealousy? power? Unfortunately the list of roadblocks to me is long. Love seems to feel the same way. And by the way, when you hear her say “Love is all you need,” she’s not bragging, she’s just trying to help. Q: So, you are close to Love? A: Absolutely. People who know us best think we are twins. You rarely see one of us without the other. We are in tandem, I guess. Q: There’s lots of “sloganeering” about you…T-shirts, bumper stickers, even tattoos. How do you feel about that? A: It makes me happy. I just hope they live it and don’t just wear it. It’s more important to me to be an action than an icon. All I really ask is that people give me a chance. Q: The world seemed to be missing you in 2020 on many levels. Can we expect to see more of you in 2021? A: Well…I respectfully disagree with your premise. I was actually hard at work during 2020. I was deep in the hearts of frontline workers and families who needed me during tough times. Churches, businesses and schools called on me with collective voices of a strength I’ve never heard or felt before. Many people struggled to hold on to me in the quest for a more just society. I’d say I touched a record number of people in 2020. Often, the best time to find me is when you need me the most. Q: Point taken. That said, Peace, you do you plan to be with us in 2021? A: Only if you ask me. My hope is that I will be even more present in the New Year but that it will be because people truly value me, rather than from dire necessity. Q: Anything else you’d like to share with us? A: At the risk of sounding self-serving, yes. I would like to ask that everyone sing these words, share these words, and write them on your hearts forever: “Let there be Peace on earth and let it begin with me.” January/February 2021







January/February 2021

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.

AnMedHealth.org/WeightLoss 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 AnMedHealth.org/Covid-19-Safety.

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