May-June 2020

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Anderson May/June 2020


Maleia Bracone Breaking Records


The Starr Tigerbots

(864) 622-0429

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May/June 2020

Publisher/Editor April Cameron

contents table of


Sales & Client Manager Jennifer Merritt


Graphic Design Jennifer Walker Online Editor Lisa Marie Carter Contributing Writers Caroline Anneaux Evelyn Beck Lisa Marie Carter Tim Sonefelt Jay Wright

Lake Hartwell Country

Are Tricks Just for Kids



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


Bea Thompson Honored


May/June 2020

Class of 2020 Memories

Letter from the Editor I can sincerely say I never thought I’d be writing a publisher’s letter in the middle of a pandemic! Just so you know, I am writing this on April 15. I’m including the date, because by the time you read this magazine (which will hit the stands May 1), things could and will change again and again. I’ll be honest, I was pretty skeptical of the severity of this when we first learned of coronavirus. I am, however, a glass half full type of person, so I tend to think of the best situation instead of the worst. I am still confident our country and our great Anderson County will recover, but my eyes are now open wide to the time it might take. I am so proud of the way our businesses have tried to accommodate this new normal by still offering the services they can in innovative ways to meet the safety requirements dictated by this virus. And, I’m proud of our citizens who continue to support these businesses as they are able. As a small business ourselves, we at Anderson Magazine are acutely aware of how this pandemic can affect a business. I also salute all of the parents who now find themselves in a new career as a teacher! Luckily, my children are older and can manage their e-learning pretty well on their own, but kudos to all the new trial-by-fire “teachers!” And I personally think our inschool teachers and public school districts have done a great job trying to manage this situation as well. Besides trying to continue the education of the kids, their efforts to offer meals and WiFi to students have been tremendous. And, what bravery we have seen from our healthcare providers and first responders. They do not have the option to quarantine and reduce their risk of being exposed to the virus – they are in the trenches continuing to provide care under extreme circumstances. Besides patients who have contracted the virus, there are still heart attacks, strokes, broken bones, births, cancer treatments and so many more illnesses that have no regard for this pandemic. We are witnessing true heroes in action during this time. But, as always, here at Anderson Magazine, we strive to bring good news to the community. The plans for this issue changed as the virus evolved. Some stories we had planned lost their relevancy; however, even in a crisis, there is always something good happening. I hope you’ll enjoy the positivity in this issue and do business with the advertisers who support Anderson Magazine! Stay healthy & stay safe!

ON THE COVER: Maleia Bracone, T.L. Hanna Senior, Class of 2020


Copyright: All contents of this issue ©2020, 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


May/June 2020

AnMed Health adds K-9 to proactive safety and security program Raven is a unique member of AnMed Health’s security team. She is a nearly 2-year-old Dutch shepherd that will begin patrolling AnMed Health facilities in May with her handler, security officer Steve Reed. AnMed Health will be the first South Carolina hospital system with a K-9 unit, said AnMed Health Director of Safety and Security Todd O’Quinn. O’Quinn first heard of K-9 officers being used in hospitals about 10 years ago while attending a conference. Raven’s primary role is to provide added safety and security throughout AnMed Health. A large part of Raven’s patrol will focus on the Emergency Department. “People in the emergency department are stressed because of their health or a member of their family’s health. An emergency department is a stressful place,” said Reed, AnMed Health’s K-9 program coordinator. “We believe Raven’s presence could have a calming effect.” Raven, who was born in Europe and received some initial training overseas, was selected after an extensive evaluation process that including 11 K-9s. After her selection, Raven underwent three months of obedience and security training on her own at Tarheels Canine in Sanford, North Carolina. Tarheels Canine has trained K-9s for local and state law enforcement agencies and federal government agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Special Forces. Raven and Reed trained together for a month and will continue to train together on a regular basis. No single incident at AnMed Health prompted the creation of a K-9 unit, O’Quinn said. “We are constantly striving to enhance our safety and security program,” he said. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data, health care workers face the biggest risk of workplace violence of any industry outside of law enforcement. Many of the incidents involve patients or patients’ families, according to the study. “We believe that Raven could have a positive impact on lowering these type incidents at AnMed Health because staff safety is paramount,” O’Quinn said. “In hospitals that have K-9 units, 85 percent of people believe they are safer when the dog is around. In hospitals we studied there was a 15 percent to 50 percent reduction in security incidents in emergency departments with K-9s.” Reed said just the appearance of a K-9 officer is often enough to diffuse a situation. He said he read about an incident in a hospital where an individual didn’t want

2-year-old Dutch shepherd, Raven and Director of Safety and Security Todd O’Quinn

to comply with a staff request and became agitated. A K-9 and his handler were walking by and stopped. Seeing the K-9 standing in the doorway helped ease the tension and defuse the situation, Reed said. AnMed Health Security Manager Roger Dalton said that the hospital system already has a strong safety program. The K-9 program is another tool. “We’re trying to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said. “We want to prevent an incident from occurring rather than reacting when something happens.” The K-9 program is possible through support from the AnMed Health Auxiliary and the AnMed Health Foundation. n 5

May/June 2020


Where can you get a guide to waterfalls in Oconee County, research your Civil War ancestors and find out about all sorts of upstate recreational activities? It’s all under one roof at Lake Hartwell Country, located in a historic store building on the village green in Pendleton. And that’s just part of what Lake Hartwell Country does. One of 11 regional tourism offices in South Carolina, Lake Hartwell Country focuses on attracting visitors to Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. The area’s major draw—Lake Hartwell—brings in 11 million visitors each year. That’s why the former Pendleton District Historical Recreation and Tourism Commission morphed into Lake Hartwell Country. Tourism is the top industry in all three counties, bringing in $355 million in 2017. Established in 1966 and funded primarily by the state accommodations tax, Lake Hartwell Country spends most of its efforts on extremely targeted marketing. Through research, it is able to track where people are coming from and exactly where they go. For instance, the majority of people who rented Airbnb accommodations on Lake Keowee last June came from New York state, and most were believed to be women aged 25 to 55 coming for outdoor adventure. So Lake Hartwell geotargets social media ads to reach the right tourists in the right place at the right decision-making time. “All of our advertising and marketing is to people well outside our region,” said Les McCall, executive director of Lake Hartwell Country. “You don’t see our ads run here.” Additional targets are the Northeast, the

Midwest, Florida, and a little bit of the Southwest. The organization also works with travel writers and more recently with social influencers who share photos on Instagram. “Research shows that people make travel decisions based on social media, especially Instagram,” said McCall. Lake Hartwell Country also publishes print materials, including a waterfall brochure and a pocket fishing guide. Most visitors are lured by the lakes, but access is a key factor. For Floridians, for instance, South Carolina’s mountains are the most accessible. Interstate access and the diversity of the landscape are also significant. That diversity includes the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River and the Jocassee Gorges, the only temperate rain forest in the eastern United States. And then there are the waterfalls. Our area has the highest concentration


May/June 2020

of waterfalls in the country, most of them in Oconee County. While most of the advertising is unseen by local residents, Lake Hartwell Country is visible here through its unique historical preservation mission. At one time, the agency owned and operated the Stumphouse Tunnel in Oconee County. It helped start the county museums in Anderson and Pickens. It helped restore a Faith Cabin Library, a relic from the Jim Crow segregation era when African Americans built small cabin libraries because they had no access to public libraries. And Lake Hartwell Country operates the Agricultural Museum of South Carolina, located Highway 76 across from Tri-County Technical College. The museum’s artifacts include a mid-nineteenth century schoolhouse from Oconee and a mule barn from Starr that is being renovated as an event space. Another of Lake Hartwell Country’s responsibilities is running the state’s Century Farm Program, a free designation for families who can prove that their farm has remained with the same family for 100 or more years. Of all its services, the most used are the records for genealogical research. Individuals can look through photos and records from local businesses and churches for information about their ancestors. Academics also find much to peruse in the archive, located in the old store’s upper story. The archive includes cotton mill records that offer a snapshot of life in Anderson County in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as a treasure trove of Civil War letters. In fact, research done in the archive by the family of Barnard E. Bee, a Confederate general, led to park rangers at the Manassas Battlefield in Virginia having to change signage, for Bee was in fact not killed there as had been believed previously. For more information about Lake Hartwell Country, visit n

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May/June 2020

The Poet’s Nook


By Jay Wright

In the spring of 1965 Jean McKinney, Dr. Frances Mims, Eunice Sullivan, and Gayle Edwards of Anderson began meeting their homes and downtown restaurants weekly to read and share poems. They began calling themselves The Pegasus Poets and eventually published a book of poems that they had penned. In in 1974 they opened the group to visitors and formed what flourishes today – almost 50 years later – as the Foothills Writers Guild. In January of this year Angela Lowe, Yearbook Coordinator for the guild, resurrected the Pegasus Poets to read, write, and share poems. The 15-member group meets every Tuesday morning, online, face to face from the comfort and security of their homes to read the poems they’ve written since the previous meeting. Here is one of Angela Lowe’s March poems while selfquarantined: The Corona Virus By Angela Mason Lowe


LY WOR Email cga KSHOPS ddis@cit y o f a nde for more informat ion

Cowardly hiding, unseen Openly leaving destress Rendering all that it touches Oscillating as it spreads Negligence helping to move it on. An alien invasion Virus from the Twilight Zone Intruder: showing no respect Ruthless: attaching to lungs Unwelcome and unwanted Smothering life, then moving on. This poem was written by my fellow Rotarian and friend, Wanda Richey. It is an account of sights and sounds she experienced when in Hawaii. Wanda is moving and will not be able to attend the Rotary Club of Greater Anderson’s meeting anymore, and she will be greatly missed! - April Cameron



Under the Banyan Tree by Wanda Richey Under the Banyan tree As the sun begins to set God paints the sky with color The birds fly in to roost Under the canopy of the Banyan Coms a cacophony of sound Their tweets become a chorus And the ocean waves join in The sun drops beneath the horizon And leaves a glow to linger on.

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May/June 2020



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May/June 2020

May 14 - Under Construction Home School Event 10am- ages 9-14, $3 per student

May 17 - Opening - “Expedition: A Natural History Adventure Around the World” May 23 - Community Wide Craft & Rummage Sale at Belton Rec Center

May 29 - Chili Pepper Golf Tournament Saluda Valley Country Club

May 30 - S.C. Chili Cook-Off -10am-4pm Hot Chili Eating Contest - 12:30pm Expedition: A Natural History Adventure Around the World will be open through Oct 3.

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By Lisa Marie Carter

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of the summer. The camp works directly with the housing summer camp. I went to Girl Scout camp and Camp authority to bus in around 25 kids each day. Lunch is Congratulation s Thank you for again! provided. Archibald in Pennsylvania. There are so many camp letting me be part of your we dding day. options for children now! No matter where their “Summer 2019 was one for the books. At this point, interests lie, you can find a summer camp that’s right myself, and the executive director, Arthur Spriggs, have for your kids. it down to a science. Plan the schedule, connect with In our area of South Carolina, we have a selection the community, get the staff, get the campers, run camp of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and and it has been good,” said Paige Helms, marketing and mathematics), STEAM (science, technology, communications director. “While we had the logistics engineering, arts and mathematics), sports, church, down to a science, for the most part, the campers are theatre, art, traditional summer camps and camps that what are constantly changing. I still get tears in my eyes cater to those with special needs. telling them goodbye on Friday. I still see my boss tear STEM/STEAM camps like Adventure Tech at up sharing stories with our board members about our Greenville Technical College, located in Simpsonville, campers and I still get excited to plan the best possible offer curriculum in STEAM learning. Pre-teens and day camp experience for them.” Camp Providence is young teens can use this camp as a way to explore run totally on donations, and there is no charge at all to career paths. In addition to the STEM and culinary campers. camps they offer, Adventure Tech has added game Camp Sertoma of South Carolina is just one of the development and drones. camps held at the Clemson Outdoor Lab on Hartwell Faith-based camps, like Camp Providence, offer Lake. Others are Camp Odyssey, Camp Lions Den and a variety of activities for kids. Originally opened in Camp Hope. Camp Sertoma is a camp for speech- and 2017, hosting a one-week day camp for kids from the hearing-impaired children. This camp typically costs Anderson Housing Authority, Camp Providence has around $680 per week and all fees (including any since grown to have campers every day for two weeks in needs campers have such as clothes and essentials)


May/June 2020

Congratulatio ns Thank you for again! lettin part of your we g me be dding day.

Congratulatio ns Thank you for again! lettin part of your we g me be dding day.

please credit: Casey Bates

are paid for by Sertoma clubs. It’s also American Camp Association accredited. American Camp Association Congratulations aga in! is the only nationwide organization that accredits Thparant ofk youyourforweletting me be dding day. children’s camps. The ACA Accreditation process is a voluntary commitment by camps to the highest standards of health, safety, and program quality. Dale Treash, MD, is the camp doctor and has been with the camp since 1992 as a counselor. “Camp Sertoma, for me, is a little glimpse of what the world is supposed to be like,” he said. “Unconditional love for the vulnerable, great adventures with friends that give you the confidence to be who you were meant to be. It is a place where you can succeed because you try and you try because you know you are safe. And the fruit of the seeds of love down there is that you turn and help your brother do the same. Inside or outside the gates, on your return home or twenty years later, Camp Sertoma will always be home,” said Treash. The Market Theatre Company, a local performing arts theater in Anderson, offers a summer camp for youth and teens. Kids engaged in camp with the Market Theatre gain confidence, friendship, and respect for the craft while exploring creativity and honing performance skills. Eli Stone, age 13, performed as Aladdin in the camp a few years ago says, “I have done a lot of shows with Market Theatre but most of my confidence came from the camps. It’s a lot of fun and you are able to show your own creativity in what you do,” he said. “The experienced directors and actors help you to learn and have fun doing it,” said Stone. The Anderson Arts Center offers week-long camps throughout the summer. This year, the camps’ theme is Summer at the National Parks. Each week will feature national parks in specific geographic regions of the country, and children will learn about the artwork created to celebrate and promote the parks. Kids get hands-on activities in drawing, painting, clay, collage, printmaking, fibers, 3-D non-clay sculpture and design. There is also a teenager option for kids with a more advanced interest in art. n


May/June 2020

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We are STRONGER UNITED. Donate food and hygiene products to help those in need. We are Stronger United! If you are looking for ways to help as we face this COVID-19 crisis, we are accepting donations to assist people in need. Organizations that provide food to our community are having a difficult time sourcing enough food to meet the rising need in this critical time. Consider donating a bag of pantry items or hygiene products. If we all come together, collectively we can feed our community! All of the funds and donated items will be distributed equally to the agencies below, who provide frontline assistance in Anderson County.

Drop-off sites for food and hygiene products: Second Harvest Food Bank 311 Alliance Pkwy. Williamston Mon-Fri, 10-12 and 1-4

United Way of Anderson County 604 N. Murray Avenue Mon-Thurs, 10-3, Fri 10-12

Anderson Mall, Main Entrance 3131 N. Main Street Mon-Sat, 9-7

Text “STRONGERUNITED” to 443-21 to donate funds. Partnering Agencies:

Senior Solutions Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina AIM Good Neighbor Cupboard Meals on Wheels The Salvation Army The LOT Project Emergency Soup Kitchen South Main Chapel & Mercy Center Clemson Community Care (serving Pendleton)


May/June 2020

Serving Our Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic During the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus has been on supporting small businesses that are suffering an unexpected negative financial impact. With a mission to serve its clients and communities, Countybank has worked hard to provide opportunities to ease the financial burden that small businesses are facing through payment relief programs. In late March the community bank turned its attention to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was passed as part of the CARES Act and is designed to provide financial relief to small businesses. “Small businesses are the heart of our communities, and it is important that we put their needs first right now,” said R. Thornwell Dunlap III, President and CEO of Countybank. “Programs like the PPP acknowledge the value that small businesses bring to their communities. Countybank is here to let small businesses know that they are not alone and that we are here to help.” Since the PPP applications process opened, Countybank has focused its efforts on helping its small business clients apply for the PPP using a dedicated team of experienced lenders, more than 20% of the bank’s workforce. The PPP task force has worked quickly to help Countybank clients complete applications so that they can receive this much needed funding as soon as possible. Countybank is well positioned to support small businesses with this program as an SBA Preferred Lender. In fact, the bank was ranked No. 1 for SBA 7(a) Loan Volume in South Carolina in

Countybank was processing 430 Paycheck Protection Program loans for a total of $56 million in funding as of mid-April and was still accepting applications at that time. 2019, and Paul Pickhardt, Senior Vice President and SBA Lending Manager at Countybank, was recently named SBA 7(a) Lender of the Year. “Our professional lenders are fully engaged and working around the clock to get small business clients the funding they so desperately need,” said Ken Harper, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Countybank. For more information on how Countybank is supporting its customers, visit www.ecountybank. com/notice-details.html.

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May/June 2020

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 here at The Legacy. We have been in business for over 15 years and plan for another 15 strong. Please stop by if you are in the Anderson area or please give Dee Golden a call at 864-276-3501 for a complimentary meal from our culinary chef. You will be pleased to see you will be able to enjoy retirement living at its best here at The Legacy of Anderson. We look forward to seeing you!

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Breaking Records By Caroline Anneaux

career, only the fourth female player in T.L. Hanna’s history to do so. Bracone was named Region Player of Year for the 2019-2020 season. She was in Allstate 5A for three straight years and named 5A State Player of the Year for the 2019-2020 season. As if all these achievements are not amazing enough, Bracone reached a huge milestone in her high school basketball years during her final season this year as a senior. “I was averaging 20.4 points per game as a senior,” said Bracone. “My father takes his iPad to every game and keeps up with all of my statistics. I knew I was about 600 points away from beating the school record for the most points scored by any basketball player when I began the season in 2019.” Her father pulled her aside before her Senior Night game and told her she only had five points left to beat the female school record of 1,856 points scored in a high school career. “I told myself that I just needed to focus on the game and not beating the record,” said Bracone. A few minutes into the game, Bracone made a twopoint shot and then took a chance on a three-point shot — and she made it! The referee stopped the game. “I was confused for a few seconds,” said Bracone. “I wasn’t sure why he stopped the game. Then I heard the announcement that I had beat the school record. I was just so happy and proud at that moment.” Later in that same game on Senior Night, she broke the all-time men’s record at T.L. Hanna of 1,865 points held by Lanny Taylor. Bracone was recognized for her achievements at the next and final game of the year against Wren High School.

Maleia Bracone may seem like a typical teenager. She enjoys her friends, stays busy with school, volunteers from time to time…but once you see her on a basketball court, you quickly learn she is anything but typical! Over the past five years, she has helped the T.L Hanna Lady Yellow Jackets win region championships and has broken some outstanding school records in her position as a guard. Bracone started out playing basketball at the YMCA when she was under five years old. “I started playing at the Anderson Y for the five-andunder coed basketball team,” said Bracone. “I played on coed teams until I was old enough to play rec ball at age 12, where I played on an all-girls team for the first time.” She was in the seventh grade at Glenview Middle School when she took a technology class with Coach Glenn Elrod and joined the school’s basketball team. Coach Elrod recognized her talent on the court right away and encouraged her to try out for the varsity team at T.L. Hanna for eighth grade. “It was easy to see how good she was at such a young age,” said Elrod. “She is just a natural basketball player. I coached her in seventh grade and knew immediately that she belonged on the varsity team for Hanna.” Elrod played at T.L. Hanna himself as a student, graduating in 2002. He took the job teaching at Glenview Middle School in 2011 and coached there until he was offered the head coach position for the girls’ varsity basketball team at T.L. Hanna in 2015. “I was able to work with Maleia for all five years of her varsity career,” said Elrod. “Prior to 2011, T.L. Hanna girls’ basketball was stuck in a rut. The team wasn’t winning and didn’t have a chance at the post season playoffs. After Maleia started playing, the team started winning and the rest is history.” The fact that Bracone has 91 wins to her name is almost unheard of. Her varsity team also won region championships in 2016-2017 and 2019-2020. “Our school had not had a region championship win since 1990,” said Elrod. “This has been a really exciting time for our girls at Hanna.” In her junior year, she hit 1,000 points in her scoring


May/June 2020

“That was such an exciting night for me,” said Bracone. “Melinda Hall Long was there, and she gave me a gift and congratulated me. I was so honored that she was there for me that evening.” Long was a T.L. Hanna basketball player from 19781982, and she held the previous school record for 37 years with 1,856 high school career scored points. Long went on to play for Clemson and eventually ended up teaching and coaching at T.L. Hanna from 2009 to 2015. When Bracone is not playing basketball, she loves hanging out with her friends and family. They have all been such big supporters over the years, and she says she is thankful for them. Her sister, Michaela, is away at college and her parents, Sonya and Michael, will help her move to college this summer. “I made the decision to play for Presbyterian College,” said Bracone. “I earned at least five scholarships, but I chose PC for the small school atmosphere. On my visit, everyone I met — from the president to the coaching staff — was just so friendly and had such amazing school pride. I felt really comfortable there and knew it would be right for me.” As Bracone enters her college basketball career next year, keep an eye on her. She has a great chance of breaking even more records and helping the women’s team make it to NCAA championship games over the next four years. Go Blue Hose!

Tricks Really Just for Kids?


By Tim Sonefelt

Children love magic. Adults are intrigued by it. Can magic be anything more than entertainment? Yes, it can. I not only believe that it can be, I believe that it has intrinsic traits that can help individuals, especially children, on many levels. I know this because I’ve been a professional magician for over 30 years, and I see how this art influences children every day. CONFIDENCE Magic helps children be more confident. Magic is an art form of secrets. When a child learns a magic secret because they’re interested in performing it, they’re empowered with new knowledge. That alone will give them confidence. When they practice, that confidence grows until it gets to the point that they are even more confident when speaking to others… even without the magic.

PREPARATION Preparedness is a strong benefit of learning magic. You can’t perform even the simplest magic trick unless you’re truly prepared. Miss any aspect of the trick, and you’ll fail to amaze your audience and may even expose the method of your trick.

the student must transfer the learning from the page or screen, into their own hands. Watching something and doing that same thing require a completely different mindset and critical thinking will help bridge the gap.

EMPATHY Magic also helps children learn empathy. Learning a magic trick requires seeing and experiencing the magic before learning how it works. When a child performs a magic trick, they already know what the spectator is going to feel while experiencing the magic. That’s the core of empathy.

IMPROVISATION When special moves and hidden secrets are involved, eventually something will go wrong. Preparedness greatly reduces the chances but doesn’t eliminate possible failures. The ability to improvise when something goes wrong is a key to being a successful magician. Improvisation isn’t limited to being a magician. It is also a key to solving problems at home and on the job.

HUMILITY As individuals learn magic, they know things others don’t. They can do things others cannot. Being humble comes into play here. As Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Generations of magicians before us have discovered audiences appreciate a humble performer.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS Twenty-seven million Americans fear public speaking. Magic helps children learn to be conversational. No matter what job we go into as adults, public speaking can help us. Here are some interesting statistics:

CREATIVITY You’ve likely heard the old saying “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” The same is true of magic tricks. There is always more than one way to accomplish any magic trick. Additionally, the ability to present a trick in different ways with different scripts allows children to really tap into their creativity. When children perform magic, it allows them to be at their creative best. CRITICAL THINKING Magic also helps children develop their critical thinking skills. Whether reading instructions for a magic trick or watching a video, critical thinking skills kick in when


May/June 2020

• Those who fear public speaking make on average 10% less than those who don’t. • Fear of public speaking inhibits promotion to management by 15%. • Fear of public speaking has a 10% impairment on college graduation. I’ve seen magic help children overcome this fear when they stand in front of an audience after a week of magic camp and perform a magic trick for over 50 adults. It’s truly magic to see how far a child can progress in just one week.

A VOICE Finally, magic gives children a voice. Christie Block, a second-grade teacher from Bartlesville, Oklahoma believes this voice comes in two ways: literally and figuratively. Literally, magic gives children a voice through a script, for the tricks. Shy children who can’t think of what to say can decide ahead of time and write what they want to say. Figuratively, it gives children something worthwhile to share. This is especially true for children who may have told they are worthless or useless. Magic can give them something meaningful to share. ARE TRICKS REALLY JUST FOR KIDS? Yes. Magic is an art form to educate and enchant kids of ALL ages. I believe tricks for kids are truly . . . MAGIC! Tim Sonefelt is a professional magician specializing in educational programs for schools and family shows for churches and corporations. He also founded of Upstate Magic Academy, holding camps and after school clubs that teach children social skills through learning magic. For more info visit UpstateMagicAcademy. com, & .

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May/June 2020

Dr. Beatrice Thompson Honored with

Legacy Award By Caroline Anneaux


best that you have, the world will give the best back to you,’ and she was right. Dr. Thompson was born in Townville to very loving, hard-working and encouraging parents. She attended Anderson schools and went to college at South Carolina

he Dream Gala, hosted by the United Way of Anderson County, is an annual event that celebrates African American leaders in the community, and raises funds for programs and initiatives of the United Way. This year the event raised money for Camp iRock, which will host rising fourth graders in Anderson Districts Three, Four and Five at a daytime camp this summer. Children will be chosen based on underachieving reading test scores, and family income will not be a factor in who is chosen to attend. This year’s award ceremony was extra special for the Legacy Award winner, Dr. Beatrice Thompson. The person who receives this award each year is someone who has shown outstanding leadership qualities in the Anderson community. In order to be nominated, the potential recipient must have a minimum of ten years of service and leadership in the community and a history of making a difference in the lives of people and places throughout Anderson. “It was truly a humbling experience to receive the Legacy Award, and it meant a great deal to me that my peers believed I deserved to be honored in such an amazing way,” said Dr. Beatrice Thompson. “I have always had the desire to bring folks together and work towards kindness, caring and loving each other no matter who you are or where you come from. My mother always told me ‘when you give to the world the

“I have always had the desire to bring folks together and work towards kindness, caring and loving each other no matter who you are or where you come from. State College (now a University) in Orangeburg before attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. for her first master’s degree. Over the next few decades, she acquired a second master’s degree and a PhD while working as a teacher and guidance counselor for Anderson School District Five. In addition to the time spent in academia and her career, Dr. Thompson managed to raise three sons with her loving husband and


May/June 2020

“Back in the late 1980s I remember seeing Bea, dressed to the nines, stepping out of a limousine the night she was honored as the newly elected president of the Municipal Association of South Carolina,” said Burdette. “I thought to myself; I want to be like her!”

remain a dedicated and active community leader. Although she has held seats on numerous boards and committees throughout the years, her personal favorite achievements include renovating the old Westside High School into a thriving community center, being the first African American elected to hold a seat on Anderson City Council in 1976, and creating the Dream Team - helping the African American community and the local police department cultivate better relationships. After receiving her award, Dr. Thompson was called back up to the stage for another special announcement. “When the committee chose Bea as the recipient of the African American Legacy Award this year, Beth Batson from the City of Anderson suggested that the award should be named after her,” said Carol Burdette, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Anderson County. “I took that suggestion and ran with it. I made it my personal mission to change the name to the Dr. Beatrice Thompson Legacy Award.” Burdette was able to surprise her longtime friend and mentor at the Dream Gala this year. “I was honored to be able to be the one to tell Bea that from that night forward, the award would be named after her. She has blazed the trail for African Americans and women alike and is truly a legacy,” said Burdette. “From now on, the award will be known as the Dr. Beatrice Thompson Legacy Award.”

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May/June 2020

Starr Robotics Team

By Evelyn Beck The other three areas are closed to the public as well as to the coaches. For robot design, the students explain how they created the robot and programmed it and improved it. For the project, the Starr team designed new playground equipment that would be accessible to one of their classmates who uses a wheelchair. They came up with something that looks like a combination zip line and slide. A local carpenter, Ronnie Fowler, built a 3-D model, and the group presented their idea to Representative Jay West, the Anderson County Council and area recreation departments. Their ultimate goal is to raise money to install accessible playground equipment at a community playground in Starr. For the final area, core values, the team was given a challenge and two minutes to carry it out as the judges observed their interactions. Coach Tonya Fowler, a fifth-grade teacher, suggested Lego robotics about five years ago to an instructional coach looking to write a grant for STEM-based activities. (STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of

Programming, problem-solving and teamwork— these are the skills that have brought a group of fourthand fifth-graders at Starr Elementary School to the pinnacle of success in the field of robotics. Known as The Tigerbots, this octet has advanced through district, regional, and statewide Lego League competitions to secure an invitation to attend the Asia Pacific Open Invitational in Sydney, Australia, on July 2-5. They are the only team from South Carolina and one of only five teams nationally to be selected. The Tigerbots include Caroline Gray, Kaylee Sonefelt, Kyley Wiles, Parker Rutledge, Campbell Jordan, Gracie McGee, Anna Kathryn Bowen and Kaitlyn Norris. Their coaches are Michelle Sonefelt, Michelle Bowen, Delisa McCall, Meredith Dantzler and Tonya Fowler. Lego League competitions involve four areas: robot game, robot design, project, and core values. The robot game involves building a Lego robot and programming it to meet certain missions. The more that a team’s robot can meet its missions, the more points the team gets. This part of the competition is open to the public.


May/June 2020

educating students in four specific disciplines—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.) When the grant was successful, Starr Elementary launched its first of many teams to follow. For Fowler, the greatest impact for students has been learning to work through failure. “Failure is a good thing,” she said. “There’s value in learning from mistakes and going back to the drawing board.” Fundraising efforts to raise the $60,000 needed for the Australia trip are ongoing. Donations so far include a $50,000 donation from Duke Energy’s AdvanceSC, which distributes grants in areas that include education. Board President Carol Burdette, who had heard about the robotics team’s success, asked the board to contribute $20,000 and was overwhelmed when it decided to support the trip with $50,000. Burdette says she still gets emotional when thinking about the board’s generosity and the impact the trip will have on the students. “The seed will be planted to make them want to see the world and be part of something so big,” she said. Melissa Davis, principal of Starr Elementary, is also stunned by the board’s decision. “It was huge,” she said. “We probably would not be able to go if not for that donation.” Additional donations came from WCTEL, the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation, the Town of Iva, the Kiwanis Club of Anderson, the Anderson Area Sister Cities Association, First Baptist Church of Iva, the Thomason Bowie Foundation, state legislators Mike Gambrell and Jay West, someone known only as “the magician’s nephew,” and many individuals who gave $50 or $100. If the Australia trip is cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions, the group will attend the following year if possible. If not, all money raised will be used to build accessible playground equipment at a local park.

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May/June 2020

Welding Grad Dustin David Credits Instructors for his Success

Dustin David, right, talks with CNC and Welding Department Head Paul Phelps. The very day that he received his GED, Dustin David headed to Tri-County Technical College to enroll in Welding courses. “Every day since I was 21 years old, I said to myself, ‘I wish I had graduated from high school and gone to college.’ Then I wouldn’t have to play catch up,” said Dustin, now 32. He made up for lost time by taking full-time evening classes while maintaining a 40-hour a week paid coop position at Duke Energy through its Power Careers Program. Duke Energy offers high school graduates and first-year community college students the opportunity to gain experience in power plant operations. “It’s a great opportunity,” said Dustin, who, for two years, worked at Duke Energy’s Lee Steam plant in Belton during the day and took evening Welding classes

at Tri-County’s Industrial Technology Center in Sandy Springs. He credits Welding Department Head Paul Phelps, other Welding instructors, and his former supervisor at Duke, Kevin Brown, with helping him to succeed. “They all influenced me in different ways and all served as mentors. I’ve observed their dedicated work ethics and successes and tried to model my life after theirs. They all helped me,” said Dustin. “Dustin has been what we expect of an adult learner and have seen over the years -- dedicated, focused, hardworking, high expectations, and critical of his work,” said Phelps. “Dustin has been an example to those around him, always with a smile and an encouraging word for others. Even when tired after a full day’s work, he would be here ready and prepared for class. Dustin has a bright future, and I look forward 28

May/June 2020

to seeing all that he will accomplish moving forward in his career.” After graduating with honors – he maintained a 3.95 GPA – he continued working at Duke while taking online Manufacturing Management and Leadership classes at Tri-County. Last July Duke offered him a full-time position as a Combustion Turbine Technician II at the Lee Steam plant. “This is a big deal. I wanted my children to see me graduate - how important this is,” Dustin said. He says he dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade. “I was young and stupid and made bad decisions. I wish I had known years ago to stay focused and motivated.”

“They all influenced me in different ways and all served as mentors. I’ve observed their dedicated work ethics and successes and tried to model my life after theirs.” Dustin David, talking about Welding Department Head Paul Phelps, other Welding instructors, and his former supervisor at Duke, Kevin Brown He worked jobs in construction through the last decade, jobs that paid the bills and as a result, reinforced delaying college. But after meeting his fiancé, Jessica, and starting their own family, he began to set goals, a college degree being one of them. Juggling family, work, and a demanding school schedule was tough, he said. “I missed out on the kids’ lives. But if they see what I’ve accomplished, they will take it through life. Kids watch, learn, and listen to us. What I saw in me wasn’t a good example for them. I took the wrong path. I paid for it with the consequences. But I strive to be the best father, husband, and employee I can be. That’s what this degree is about. It allows me to provide for my family.”

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Dustin David, of Sandy Springs, received his Welding degree at Tri-County Technical College’s 2018 summer graduation ceremony. His family - fiancé, Jessica, and their three children, Brayden, Coleson, and Bonnie Lea - are pictured with him.

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May/June 2020

Wren High School

Senior Thoughts 2020 Liam Khaleighi

My Favorite Memory of School is: My favorite memory of high school is having the opportunity to play soccer with the boys that I get to see and talk to every day. High school sports teams, as opposed to travel teams, typically have higher chemistry and better relationships within the team because the individuals get to see each other every day.

Tamyah Johnson

My Favorite Memory of School is: My favorite memory of school is the first day I walked into school in my senior year. It was exhilarating to know that everything I worked so hard for would finally be paying off. High school taught me that hard work pays off and making sacrifices for the greater good and for the sake of our futures are always worth it in the end. My advice to rising seniors is: My advice to rising seniors is to cherish

every moment and not take anything for granted! Take your destiny into your own hands and make it a time lacking regrets and full of academic, social, and most importantly, personal success. Also, your senior year is still imperative to your years after graduation so do not slack off! One of the greatest lessons that I have learned from high school is that you can never start an assignment too soon! Procrastination and lack of preparation is a senior’s greatest enemy

Karl Undheim

My Favorite Memory of School is: All the amazing memories I have been able to create with all of my friends in school. From just spending time with friends to playing football and winning the state championship, these will be some of the greatest memories of my life. So much has happened during my many years of school that I will remember for the rest of my life, and I will always remember the truly amazing experience I had during school.

Kate Beckish

My advice to rising seniors is: As a junior, I had my mindset on graduating and getting through my senior year as fast as possible. As my senior year progressed, I began to see why this was the wrong mindset to have. It started to dawn on me that I would never get these years of my life back. Because of this, my advice to rising seniors would be to enjoy the time while it lasts rather than wishing for the time to pass by.

My advice to rising seniors is: Enjoy every minute of your remaining time in high school. I can remember being a stressed and terrified freshman who wanted nothing but for high school to be over. Sadly, this wish has become a reality. In the blink of an eye, four years of high school have flown by. Now, as the time is quickly ticking by, I greatly encourage all underclassmen to enjoy the little amount of time they have left in high school.

My advice to rising seniors is: Be proactive. If you want something, go My Favorite Memory of School is: after it. If you want to get a certain grade What I love most about Wren High School on a test, work for it, and if you want to be is the energy at every sporting event. From a part of the high school experience, go to the children to the students, and even the parents- everyone gives one hundred percent. the events your school offers. Don’t let fear of failure hold you down, take hard classes, My favorite memories are being surrounded by all my classmates cheering on our football challenge yourself. The more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it, and team, our soccer team, track team and our volleyball team. The energy from Friday night the more you’ll learn about yourself. Enjoy your time in high school, because that’s football games carry over into the Tuesday where life is right now. It’s high school, so night basketball games as we cheer on the enjoy the time with the people that are in Golden Hurricanes. your life right now.

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May/June 2020

Social Distancing

Please practice and encourage others! Remember the following to help slow the spread of COVID-19: • Stay at least six feet away from others when possible. • Limit gatherings to three people or less. • Hold virtual meetings instead of meeting in person whenever possible. • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer often. • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. • Avoid touching your face. • Wear a mask when in public. #InThisTogether