Irmo Chapin Magazine - September/October 2023

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you’re dealing with injuries or pain, you can count on the experts at Lexington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine to get you moving again. Our highly specialized physicians offer comprehensive care for patients at five convenient locations throughout the Midlands. Whether for diagnostics, treatments, consultations or physical therapy, our team is here to get you better, sooner.
SOONER. West Columbia Lexington Medical Park 2 146 East Hospital Drive Suite 350 West Columbia, SC 29169 Lexington Lexington Medical Center Lexington 811 West Main Street Suite 101 Lexington, SC 29072 Irmo Lexington Medical Park Irmo 7033 St. Andrews Road Suite 104 Columbia, SC 29212 Northeast Lexington Medical Center Northeast 3016 Longtown Commons Drive Suite 200 Columbia, SC 29229 Chapin Lexington Medical Center Chapin 557 Columbia Avenue Suite C Chapin, SC 29036
Getting You BETTER

Whew!! Hot could be an understatement for this summer weather. Hopefully, the full force of this summer’s heat wave is behind us as we thankfully move toward autumn. What goes better with autumn than football? Are you ready for some football? I sure am.

Irmo, Dutch Fork, Chapin, plus Carolina and Clemson finally get back into action as the temperature begins to cool and the daylight begins to shorten. I anxiously await the crispness of cooler air, similar to visiting the mountains of North Carolina. How long it will take until that happens is anyone’s guess. For me, I am hoping sooner versus later. What about you?

I want to congratulate the businesses nominated for the 2024 Best of Irmo Chapin competition. These businesses and most importantly business owners work super hard to tirelessly provide the best products and services to our community. Today’s world is constantly changing and keeping up with the present while working towards the future is a never-ending challenge for small business owners.

New businesses are popping up all over Lexington County. Current road construction can make travel times longer, in the face of the massive growth that is occurring, in the Chapin and Ballentine areas, especially with school back in session. Please be careful out there on the roads and watch out for the workers who are trying to make the roads better for us.

Thanks for reading Irmo Chapin Life Magazine. Please vote at irmochapinlife. com to recognize our local businesses that make a difference. Enjoy your favorite football team and if the temperature stays too hot, there is always apple picking in North Carolina for a brief break from the humidity.

Have a great autumn!

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contents 22 40 FEATURES
Easy Day Trips for Apple Picking 18 Carolina Football Preview 19 Clemson Football Preview 21 High School Football Schedules 22 Local Treatment Center Offers Education, Prevention, and Hope 26 Tailgate Challenge 28 Be Pro Be Proud SC 31 Best of Irmo-Chapin Nominations 40 Geocaching 43 Fight for the Light COLUMNS
Faith Matters
David Clark
From the Publisher
Calendar of Events
Irmo-Chapin Leader 44 Spice of Life CONTACT US IRMO CHAPIN LIFE MAGAZINE • (803) 356-6500 • IRMOCHAPINLIFE.COM JAN JOHNSON Editor & Director of Digital Media Follow us on Facebook KIM CURLEE Production Manager TODD SHEVCHIK Publisher & Editor-In-Chief ANNE REYNOLDS Sales Director JANE CARTER Editorial Designer
10 | Vote now for the Best of Irmo-Chapin Life 2024 at Remain where the memories are. Your Home. Our Care.™ DHEC License # IHCP-0494 ©2023 Assisting Hands® Home Care, Nampa, Idaho 83687. All Rights Reserved. Serving the Midlands Since 2012 104 Hamilton St., Lexington SC 29072 803.661.7557 Thomas and Jayne Falk - Franchise Owners Our in-home services include: 24 -Hour Home Care Transitional Care Personal Care Companion Care Specialty Care Our compassionate caregivers can help you or your loved one remain safe at home. irmo-chapin’s irmo-chapin’s


Wednesday, September 6

Community Game Night

Irmo Branch Library, 6251 St Andrews Rd, Columbia, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Drop in for an evening of games with the community, from old favorites to new adventures. Bring your family, friends, or come solo and meet someone new.

Friday, September 8

Outdoor Movie Night - Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Hwy, Chapin, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, Free Pack up your family and friends, bring blankets and chairs, and enjoy a movie on the big screen under the stars. Food Trucks will have food to purchase. Presented by Seacoast Church.

Thursday, September 14 –Sunday, September 17

Columbia’s 36th Annual Greek Festival

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1931 Sumter Street, Columbia, Thurs – Sat 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sun 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm Come enjoy the music, atmosphere, food and drink, and learn a little about Greece. Visit for more information.

Saturday, September 16

Lakeside Litter Sweep

Lake Murray, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Keep the Midlands Beautiful invites you to join them in cleaning up litter on islands and shorelines around Lake Murray. Pre-registration is required by Sept. 8th. Volunteers will receive a t-shirt, lunch, thank you gift, and a chance to win prizes from local businesses. Learn more at or call (803) 733-1139.

Saturday, September 23Sunday, October 1

Bringing in the Sheaves Camp Meeting

Behind Hillbilly’s Farm Stand, 261 Chapin Rd, Chapin, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm nightly, Free Eight nights of powerful worship and anointed preaching with a different Minister of the Gospel every night.

Friday, September 29 & Saturday, September 30

Lexington Medical Center’s Irmo Okra Strut Festival

Irmo Community Park, 7473 Church Street, Irmo, Free, Fri 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Sat 9:00 am –10:00 pm

The family fun, live music, and all the goodness that is Okra. Individual fees apply for rides, amusements, and food/drink. For more information visit

Sunday, October 1

Fall Fido Festival

Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Hwy, Chapin, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Grab your furry friends and come celebrate one of the most anticipated dog-friendly events of the year. A percentage of ticket sales will go directly to the rescue and nonprofit. Visit for more information.

Friday, October 6 – Sunday, October 8

Midlands Fall Plant and Flower Festival

SC State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Hwy, West Columbia, Free, Fri & Sat 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Shop seasonal plants, flowers, pumpkins, gourds, décor, and more. Wagons will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own due to the limited quantity.

Thursday, October 19

Irmo Chamber Fall Golf Tournament

Mid Carolina Club, 3593 Kibler’s Bridge Rd., Prosperity

Sponsored by United Community Bank, this event will be Captain’s Choice format. Registration and lunch will be at noon with a 1:30 pm shotgun start. Please note: This is a rain-or-shine event. For more information contact

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Grace Abbott

When asked about plans for the future she says, simply, “I want to be in the classroom until they kick me out. I love my job; I love being a teacher. I don’t know what I would do if I weren’t. I will be here until

Lexington Richland County’s 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year

Someone once said about teaching, “In essence, you teach who you are.” It is a fitting reference to Grace Abbott, English teacher at Chapin High School and Lexington Richland County’s 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year. Abbott’s intelligence, humility, candor, and passion for serving others are how she engages her students. She teaches who she is.

A graduate of Cardinal Newman Middle and High School in 2012, Abbott grew up in a Catholic school setting. She credits it with reinforcing her family’s belief in the importance of education and how it can change someone’s life. It taught her how to instill in students the importance of serving others. She says, “In order to fulfill my purpose, I need to serve.”

Abbott began her teaching career at Richland Northeast High School after her Master’s program. She says, “Students can’t

learn if their needs aren’t met. I learned to make sure they feel safe and valued, that it will make a difference in their lives.”

Abbott credits Mrs. Stephanie Sharpe, a fellow teacher there, whose classroom teaching she observed, for showing her how to be a better teacher and how to love her students.

A need to be closer to her aging grandparents in Irmo prompted Abbott to transfer to Chapin High School. She calls their hiring her an immense blessing and probably the smartest move of her professional life.

Abbott underscores the importance of teamwork and support in her department. “You are never alone in this profession,” she says. “The whole Chapin High School faculty is wonderful, but I particularly love my English department. They are the smartest and kindest, most thoughtful individuals.”

Abbott enjoys kayaking, camping, and hiking with her husband Ross, and she is learning to crochet. She loves to read. “I read a lot,” she says. “I love learning, and I am happy to learn just about anything, especially when I can share that passion with others. I teach students, but I learn from them every single day.” She invites her students to share their passions with her. It is what bonds teachers and students in the learning environment and builds trust. Her students love her for it.

She says, “My main mission, main goal, is to help every person I encounter feel that they belong. Everybody has value, everybody contributes, everybody belongs. Everybody deserves a seat at the table.”

These are trying times for teachers; no need to define the reasons. Yet woven through the strands of pessimism and fears are countless teachers like this young lady who are doing an incredible job of loving and teaching our children. It is still a noble profession, and Grace Abbott is one of the very best. n

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Easy Day Trips for Apple Picking

South Carolina orchards are among some of the most beautiful in the South with a variety of apples each season. Some of them are U-pick orchards, while others have roadside markets where you can buy already-picked apples and other products. Several variables go into the ripening dates in South Carolina, but most apples are ready for picking from July through mid-October each year.

Check out our Spice of Life recipes this month for apple snack ideas.

Bryson’s Apple Orchard in Mountain Rest, SC

Bryson’s Apple Orchard is in the Long Creek area of the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the Chattooga River and Oconee State Park. They have both U-pick apples and already-picked apples available to purchase. Try free samples of their cider and a wide selection of jams, jellies, canned goods, honey, and syrup. Pack lunch as they have picnic tables for guests. They also offer peaches through September.

Windy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill in York, SC

Windy Hill is a family-owned boutique apple orchard and hard cider producer located in the upstate. Stop in for a tasting of their hard cider or pick your own apples. There are several varieties to select from or check out their market for already picked apples. Throughout the fall, they have special activities such as music, hayrides, and festivals.

MacGregor Orchard in Travelers Rest, SC

MacGregor Orchard is located off the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway and is a family-owned orchard growing 11 different fruits with 111 different varieties. They make their own fresh fruit preserves and fruit butters. They press fresh apple cider and make their own applesauce. In addition, they carry a variety of local vegetables and other fruit from selected South Carolina farms while in season.

Chattooga Belle Farm in Long Creek, SC

Chattooga Belle Farm is a 198-acre working farm nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They offer U-pick apples and a general store full of a variety of items. They also have a bistro where you can have lunch and a distillery to grab a drink. You can play disc golf and schedule a full farm tour. Make a weekend out of it- they offer several lodging options and campsites. n

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7582 Woodrow St, Irmo, SC 29063

Choosing Sides

Children today have no idea what they are missing since adults started interfering with their games. The days of sandlot baseball with made-up teams are practically gone. Now you sign up for a league, get drafted, go to practices, wear a uniform, take directions from the coaches, and keep up with winloss records. Worse, you play in front of your parents who either embarrass you by shouting at the umpire or miss your big play because they’re chatting with friends. This, I believe, is what’s called progress.

I learned a lot through unorganized sports. I learned to negotiate as we decided how to adapt the game to our situation. I learned about speaking up and balancing my interests with those of others. We learned about trying to be fair and including everyone in the game.

The toughest choices were made before the game began. Two leaders would be singled out to choose sides. You wanted the best players so you could win. That was the point of the game. But what about your friends? Maybe it was more important for your friend to be picked just because he was your friend, even though he couldn’t hit the ball.

Every time the choosing occurred; we all faced the reality that someone would be chosen last. We learned to ease that pain by quickly starting the game. So, we chose sides, played for keeps, fought over questionable calls, and then went home as friends, vowing to return the next day to do it all over again. It wasn’t a bad way to grow up.

I thought about those experiences recently while talking about politics with a friend. We noted how today’s party members wouldn’t dare be seen as a friend of someone from the other side. We recalled leaders of the past who could argue over issues but could still work together and compromise for the good of the country. Maybe they grew up playing ball on sandlots.

How do we live in such a divided world and still follow the instructions of Jesus – to love one another? Maybe we need to recall some sandlot lessons – such as taking the game seriously, but not taking ourselves, or the team, too seriously.

Choosing sides is part of life. But we can also choose to handle it with honesty, respect, and grace. Because at the end of the day, what ultimately matters will be whether we give it our all, go home as friends, and vow to return the next day to do it all over again. n

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University of South Carolina Football Schedule

As Shane Beamer enters his third year as head coach for the Gamecocks, the momentum from last year is at an all-time high. Even though their 8-5 record ended with a loss in the Gator Bowl to Notre Dame, beating 3rd ranked Tennessee and 8th ranked Clemson (for the first time in 8 years) has this team and their fans ready for more. There is a lot of energy and excitement around these players.

Quarterback Spencer Rattler returns with hopes of cementing his place in Gamecock history. And with Trey Knox at tight end and Antwane “Juice” Wells at wide receiver – both placed on the nation’s top watch lists – he might be able to do it this year. Dowell Loggains, new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, brings thirteen years of NFL coaching experience that this offense needs to consistently execute plays.

Special Teams will remain one of the best in the nation. With seniors Kai Kroeger and Mitch Jeter leading the way, it’s Beamer Ball at its finest.

On the defense, Jordan Strachan and Mohamed Kaba, both injured last year, are back in action. Sophomores, and Columbia natives, DQ Smith and Nick Emmanwori, will both be looking to build off their successful freshman year.

South Carolina’s first game will be Saturday, September 2nd against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. The game will be the site for ESPN’s College Gameday 9:00 am-12:00 pm with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 pm on ABC. n

University of


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DATE OPPONENT TIME Sept. 2 North Carolina(neutral) 7:30 pm Sept. 9 vs. Furman 7:30 pm Sept. 16 @ Georgia 3:30 pm Sept. 23 vs. Mississippi State TBA Sept. 30 @ Tennessee TBA Oct. 14 vs. Florida TBA Oct. 21 @ Missouri TBA Oct. 28 @ Texas A&M TBA Nov. 4 vs. Jacksonville State TBA Nov. 11 vs. Vanderbilt TBA Nov. 18 vs. Kentucky TBA Nov. 25 vs. Clemson TBA

Clemson University


As Dabo Swinney enters his 15th full season as head coach at Clemson, hopes are high to return to the College Football Playoff. With an 11-3 season last year and an ACC championship win over North Carolina, the bar is set. Ranking #1 in the 2023 ACC preseason poll, Clemson is expected to keep their streak alive as ACC champions for the eighth time in the last nine years.

Quarterback Cade Klubnik, on pre-season national watch lists, is an energetic leader who took over for DJ Uiagalelei in the ACC championship game last year. However, a loss to Tennessee in the Orange Bowl has fans wondering what to expect this season. New offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Garrett Riley, who coached Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan at TCU last year, could be the reboot the Tigers’ offense needs. Klubnik is fast on his feet and has an accurate arm. With junior RBs Will Shipley and Phil Mafah, and WR Antonio Williams, the Tigers should have a dynamic offense.

Defensively, this group has a lot of experience. All-American seniors, Xavier Thomas and Tyler Davis, will lead their team to dominate on the field. Davis could join the elite company of Christian Wilkins and William Perry as a 4-time All-ACC DT at Clemson. The junior linebacker duo, Barrett Carter and Jeremiah Trotter, Jr, are arguably the best in the country and Ruke Orhorhoro is back even though he had a good NFL Draft grade.

Clemson University Football Schedule

DATE OPPONENT TIME Sept. 4 @Duke 8:00 pm Sept. 9 vs. Charleston Southern 2:15 pm Sept. 16 vs. Florida Atlantic 8:00 pm Sept. 23 vs. Florida State TBA Sept. 30 @Syracuse TBA Oct. 7 vs. Wake Forest TBA Oct. 21 @Miami TBA Oct. 28 @NC State TBA Nov. 4 vs. Notre Dame TBA Nov. 11 vs. North Carolina TBA Nov. 25 @South Carolina TBA
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Vote now for the Best of Irmo-Chapin Life 2024 at | 21 Irmo Yellow Jackets Aug. 18 @Chapin 7:30 pm Aug. 25 Lancaster 7:30 pm Sept. 1 River Bluff 7:30 pm Sept. 15 @Hartsville 7:30 pm Sept. 22 Airport 7:30 pm Sept. 29 Richland NE 7:30 pm Oct. 6 @Ridge View 7:30 pm Oct. 13 A.C. Flora 7:30 pm Oct. 20 @Westwood 7:30 pm Oct. 27 @Lugoff-Elgin 7:30 pm Chapin Eagles Aug. 18 Irmo 7:30 pm Aug. 25 Mid-Carolina 7:30 pm Sept. 1 @Spring Valley 7:00 pm Sept. 8 @Newberry 7:30 pm Sept. 15 Brookland-Cayce 7:30 pm Sept. 22 @A.C. Flora 7:30 pm Sept. 29 @Lexington 7:30 pm Oct. 13 Dutch Fork 7:30 pm Oct. 20 @White Knoll 7:30 pm Oct. 27 River Bluff 7:30 pm Dutch Fork Silver Foxes Aug. 19 @Colquitt County 7:00 pm Aug. 25 Spartanburg 7:30 pm Sept. 1 Hough 7:00 pm Sept. 8 Stratford 7:30 pm Sept. 15 North Augusta 7:30 pm Sept. 22 Weddington 7:30 pm Oct. 6 @White Knoll 7: 30 pm Oct. 13 @Chapin 7:30 pm Oct. 27 Lexington 7:30 pm Ben Lippen Falcons Aug. 18 @Asheville Christian 7:00 pm Academy Aug. 25 Heathwood Hall 7:00 pm Episcopal Sept. 1 @Pinewood Prep 7:30 pm Sept. 8 Hilton Head 7:30 pm Christian Academy Sept. 15 Porter-Gaud 7:00 pm Sept. 22 @Cardinal Newman 7:30 pm Sept. 29 Bamberg-Ehrhardt 7:30 pm Oct. 6 @Trinity Collegiate 7:30 pm Oct. 20 @Augusta Christian 7:30 pm Oct. 27 Camden Military 7:30 pm
HIGH SCHOOL Football Schedules

Local Treatment Center Offers Education, Prevention, and Hope

A local substance misuse center is making a difference with the programs and the hope they offer to individuals and families.

On top of that, their upcoming Rock 4 Recovery concert is one many won’t want to miss.

The Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, now known as LRADAC, is a non-profit organization providing treatment programs, education, prevention, and intervention to those living in South Carolina’s Lexington and Richland counties. The two substance misuse treatment centers, in Lexington and Columbia, provide day treatment and withdrawal management. Their programs reach out to the community with resources to educate, inform, and assist those in need.

Nearly 5,000 people receive help annually.

People are oftentimes the backbone of an organization that provides opportunities to help others. “With a dedicated staff and innovative programs and services, LRADAC takes a proactive approach to fighting addiction and substance misuse in our schools, businesses, and neighborhoods,” Robbie Robertson, communications director shared. “We tailor our programs to meet the ever-changing needs of the communities we serve. Our prevention, intervention, and treatment programs spread the message that there is hope and that substance misuse and addiction are preventable and treatable.”

The agency spreads the word through informative community events and projects including initiatives, overdose awareness, and town hall meetings. In April, town hall meetings were held to address underage drinking and substance abuse. “When it comes to conversations about substance misuse, transparency and candid

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communication are vital to make a real impact on our youth,” said Ashley Bodiford, LRADAC’s director of prevention. “Parents, other family members, and additional role models need to start open and honest conversations about substance misuse because when communities start talking, young adults do listen, and we can have a direct and long-lasting impact on our kids’ choices.”

To be able to help so many people with various services, it takes a staff of employees, volunteers (who have helped with past events), and dedicated board members who serve on one of two boards. Robertson explained the responsibilities of the two boards. The LRADAC board oversees the day-to-day operations. The volunteer-based Foundation Board is a community organization that helps support the LRADAC programs and services. This board also provides financial assistance to those seeking recovery who may not be able to pay for assessments, treatment, and other programs.

“Once a person decides to seek help, the cost of services is often the primary barrier to participating in treatment,” Robertson said. “Thankfully, LRADAC does not turn patients away because of an inability to pay for services. Because of charitable contributions to the LRADAC Foundation, individuals, and families without insurance or those facing financial hardships can apply for financial assistance that can help get them on the road to recovery.”

LRADAC recently had a change in leadership. After thirteen years of serving as vice president and chief financial officer at LRADAC, Wendy Hughes took on a new role as president and chief executive officer on June 1. “As we’ve all seen over the last several years, South Carolina—like most anywhere in our nation— continues to have high rates of substance misuse and mental health challenges,” said Hughes. “And while the opioid epidemic, the fentanyl crisis, and overdose rates make the most headlines these days, alcohol and other primary substances of misuse like marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine remain constant challenges that we continue to address for our patients.”

Having a support system in the local community is more than a convenience for individuals and families dealing with these challenges.

“The combination of these challenges seems daunting for our communities, and that’s why our work is more crucial than ever,” Hughes continued. “I know that with the hard work and dedication of our staff and community partners, LRADAC has been and will remain a constant and trustworthy resource for anyone who wants to get on the road to recovery.”

Federal grants, corporate and individual donations help with the necessary funding, as well as fundraising events. Fundraisers include Midlands Gives Day and Facebook individual fundrais-

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“I know that with the hard work and dedication of our staff and community partners, LRADAC has been and will remain a constant and trustworthy resource for anyone who wants to get on the road to recovery.” — Wendy Hughes

ers, as well as a Rock 4 Recovery fundraising concert.

An upcoming concert marks the fourth fundraising Rock 4 Recovery event. This concert’s headliner is Taylor Dayne. It will be held Friday, September 29 from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the Icehouse Amphitheater located at 107 W Main St, Lexington, SC 29072. Local food trucks will be available before and during the concert. Tickets for Rock 4 Recovery are $30 and are available for purchase at rock4recovery23.eventbrite. com. Proceeds from this substance-free concert will help raise awareness about the power and healing of recovery from substance misuse and help support those in financial distress to fully participate in recovery services for themselves and their families.

One concert has the potential to make a big impact.

“With the generous support of our presenting sponsor Dominion Energy, we are thrilled to bring Taylor Dayne to Rock 4 Recov-

ery,” said Leslie Maley, LRADAC’s Foundation chair. “With such a high-profile act like Taylor, Rock 4 Recovery has grown into one of the Midlands’ most anticipated concerts—and one of the only events around that offer a substance-free and safe environment for live music lovers of all ages,” Maley said. “In addition, because of the continued success of past concerts and other fundraising events, the LRADAC Foundation helps families and individuals enter recovery who could not do so on their own because of a lack of insurance or inability to pay. Each year, approximately 1,000 families receive the treatment they need in part because of the money raised at our concert.”

Dominion Energy has been a consistent sponsor. “We are blessed to live and work in a place where friends, neighbors, and organizations like LRADAC are there for you when you need them most,” said Keller Kissam, President of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “This amazing event is a testament to the collective power of our community as we stand together to support the critical work they do for families across the Midlands.”

Robertson explained a broader picture of the work done throughout the state. “As a non-profit agency, LRADAC is one of 33 county alcohol and drug abuse authorities recognized by the state of South Carolina. This network of direct service agencies provides prevention, intervention, and treatment programs to citizens in all 46 counties of the state,” he wrote. “More than 50,000 South Carolinians receive direct intervention or treatment services through county authorities each year.” n

Learn more at LRADAC’s website

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Luke Lorick, a graduate of Lexington High School and Darla Moore School of Business at USC, is on a mission to share his passion for tailgating with the world.

In elementary school, he often went to see the South Carolina Gamecocks play football. From those young experiences, he developed a love of tailgating.

About ten years ago he founded “Tailgating Challenge”, a platform to bring fans of all sports together to share food, drink, and new product ideas. Luke is a tailgating expert, having tested over 700 unique tailgating items. With his winning smile and quick wit, he shares unique tailgating ideas and honest product reviews. To date, he has about 275,000 social media followers making it the world’s largest social media tailgating site. The hashtag #NationalTailgatingDay trends regularly.

“Tailgating with family and friends will continue to grow because people love to share food and have fun in a safe and friend-

ly environment. You never see unhappy people at a tailgating event,” Luke believes.

Tailgating isn’t his only accomplishment. Always looking for new challenges, Luke set a Guinness World Record for the longest backward corn hole toss in June 2022. He also had a cameo in the new Warner Brothers Barbie movie with a licensed clip of his YouTube Tailgating Challenge review.

National Tailgating Day began in 2016 and is celebrated on the first Saturday in September. Luke loves to hear how others plan to celebrate and will feature fan photos celebrating National Tailgating Day. Be sure to share and tag them and use #NationalTailgatingDay.

And with the motto “Don’t Hate, Just Tailgate” – who wouldn’t want to join in?

For more information on how to get involved visit or follow them @TailgatingChallenge. n

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Building Tomorrow’s Workforce, Today

Be Pro Be Proud SC is a unique workforce development program designed to promote the benefits of skilled trade careers across the state in hopes of bringing a new generation of skilled professionals into the workforce. The Be Pro Be Proud Mobile Workshop is equipped with hands-on simulators and VR experiences for a variety of skilled trades including welding, truck driving, and heavy equipment operation. The Mobile Workshop crisscrosses the state throughout the year, visiting middle and high schools, Career and Technical Education centers, technical colleges, and special events statewide; more than 30,000 people have par-

ticipated in the experience since its launch in 2020, with the Workshop having traveled over 46,000 miles of SC roads.

“Students are the future of our workforce, and Be Pro Be Proud SC provides them with career options that many of them are not even aware of,” states S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey. “We hope to influence more people to pursue these jobs and to realize that essential work like transportation and logistics, utilities, construction, and diesel technology, among others, are crucial to our state economy and that the demand for these jobs will always be there.”

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“There is a difference between hearing about a job and experiencing a job,” says Rick Todd, President and CEO of the South Carolina Trucking Association. “Using a simulator and getting to speak to specialists from these skilled trade fields leave an impact on a young person. By attending these events, students will be in the driver’s seat while they learn that many of these jobs are high-paying and in-demand, that they have long-term career prospects, and that getting certified for these jobs costs only a fraction of the cost of a fouryear degree.”

Be Pro SC receives requests every day from schools anxious to have the big blue truck visit their students; even watching the high-energy promotional video about the Mobile Workshop pales in comparison to seeing it up close and in person. The schedule of upcoming tour stops is available on the Be Pro SC website at; schools can use the link at the bottom of each page to request a visit to their campus in the near future.

“We hope that the students can effectively communicate to their parents the excitement that they feel about their experience on the Mobile Workshop,” says SuzAnne Driscoll, Be Pro SC Project Manager. “The kids don’t know what they don’t know – until they see the Workshop, that is. Then they realize that there are some cool jobs out there that give them

other state education, workforce, and economic development agencies, as well as the SC Legislature, which has appropriated recurring funds for Be Pro Be Proud SC to operate the Mobile Workshop for many years to come; the private partners contribute money and in-kind donations to provide updated Workshop experiences and the accompanying educational and marketing materials.

In total, Be Pro Be Proud SC has almost

exciting, viable, and high-paying career options, many of which can begin right after graduation!”

Be Pro Be Proud SC is a great achievement of a public-private partnership in South Carolina. The private partners include the members of the Associated Industries of South Carolina Foundation (AISCF) -- comprised of the S.C. Trucking Association, S.C. Chamber of Commerce, Carolinas AGC, the Home Builders Association of South Carolina, and the Forestry Association of South Carolina – plus over 40 other large and small businesses around the state. The public support comes from the Department of Employment & Workforce (DEW) and

50 business partners committed at varying in-kind and financial levels to support the efforts to educate students around the state about the opportunities available today in high-paying, in-demand Skilled Professions. These partners host events and visit tour stops to meet with students directly to discuss the realities of jobs in these fields. Any business wishing to be part of this amazing non-profit effort can contact SuzAnne Driscoll at n

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“There is a difference between hearing about a job and experiencing a job”
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Vote now for the Best of Irmo-Chapin Life 2024 at | 31 Nominees for the Best of Irmo Chapin Life Magazine Contest! DEADLINE TO VOTE IS TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2023. Winners will be announced in the November/December 2023 issue of Irmo Chapin Life Magazine. Vote for your favorties today! T H A N K Y O U F O R N O M I N A T I N G U S F O R B E S T S A L O N W e L o o k F o r w a r d T o t
o u t o T h e H y d e E x p e r i e n c e
r e a t
n g Y

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Best Accounting Firm: Gierhart CPA

• Javis Financial Services • Patriot Consulting

Best Aesthetic Physician: Lake Murray Aesthetics

• Palmetto Cosmetic Surgery & Aesthetics

• Salty Siren Aesthetics

Best Afterschool Program: Chapin Christian Gymnastics• Crooked Creek Safari After School Program

• Dynamite Kids After School and Summer Camp

Best Allergist: Carolina Allergy & Asthma

• Palmetto Allergy & Asthma

• SC ENT Allergy & Sleep Medicine

Best Apartment Complex: Grand View at the Haven • Palisades of Ballentine • The Residence at Marina Bay

Best Art Gallery: Artcan Studio & Gallery • High Noon • Palmetto Fine Arts

Best Assisted Living Facility: Generations of Chapin • Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community

• The Heritage at Lowman

Best Attorney - Family Law: Hanson Law Firm • Harrell, Martin & Peace • Law Office of Laura Huggins

Best Attorney - Litigation: Aun and McKay • Howser, Newman & Besley, LLC • Studemeyer Law Firm

Best Audiologist: Affordable Hearing • Hear Again America • Lake Murray Hearing

Best Auto Body Shop: Ballentine Collision Repair • Broad River Paint & Body • Gerber Collision

Best Auto Repair Shop: Chapin Automotive Repair • Lake Murray Tire and Auto

• Royson’s Chapin Automotive

Best Bank: Ameris Bank • First Community Bank • Truist Bank

Best BBQ: Farm Boy Barbeque • Maurice’s Barbeque • Roy’s Grille

32 | Vote now for the Best of Irmo-Chapin Life 2024 at TENACITY. CREATIVITY. INTEGRITY. CONSISTENCY. 7478 Carlisle Street, Irmo 803.393.4399 Studemeyer Law Firm

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Best Boat Repair: Doss Marine • M&W Marine • Marine 360

Best Breakfast: Daily Grind Café • Eggs Up Grill • Kiki’s Chicken & Waffles

Best Burger: Higher Ground • Lucky’s Burger Shack • Social Grill

Best Butcher Shop: Caughman’s Meat Plant • New York Butcher Shoppe • Ole Timey Meat Market

Best Cell Phone Repair: CPR • CompuMax • Mr. PC

Best Charter School: Green Charter School of the Midlands

• Midlands Middle College • SC Whitmore School

Best Children’s Boutique: Enchanted Closet • Southern Stitches • Sweet Tea Boutique & Gifts

Best Chiropractor: Align Chiropractic • Bigbie Chiropractic • Family Practice of Chiropractic

Best Coin Dealer: Gilbert Coin and Collectible Exchange

• Golden Eagle Precious Metals Exchange

Best Commercial Real Estate Firm: NAI Columbia• Trinity Partners • Wilson Kibler

Best Cosmetic Dentist: Chapin Dental Associates • Irmo Smiles • Lakeside Dentistry

Best Cosmetology School: Kenneth Shuler • Paul Mitchell • Southeastern Esthetics Institute

Best CPA: Carter CPA • Leonard Lesslie, CPA • Robert Keisler, CPA

Best Credit Union: Allsouth Federal Credit Union • Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union

• SCU State Credit Union

Best Dance Company: Columbia Conservatory of Dance • Dance Department • The Southern Strutt

Best Day Spa: Blue Lavender Spa & Medical Aesthetics

Blush Facial Studio • Carolina Esthetics Med Spa

Best Décor & Rug Gallery: Nevin Broome’s Carpet & Rug Superstore

• Rug Gallery of Lexington • Whit-Ash Furnishing

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Best Dentist - Adults: Chapin Smiles Dentistry • James Denny • Peak Dental

Best Dentist - Kids: Great White Smiles • Lake Murray Pediatric Dentistry •Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry

Best Dermatologist: Carolinas Dermatology & Plastic Surgery

• Columbia Dermatology & Aesthetics • Columbia Skin Clinic

Best Exterminator: Bug Depot • Cramer Pest Control • Modern Exterminating

Best Facial: Affirmations Medical Spa • Blush Facial Studio • Blue Lavender Spa & Medical Aesthetics

Best Family Practice: Chapin Family Practice • Lexington Family Practice - Ballentine • Pinner Clinic

Best Fast Food: Cash’s Chicken • Sonic Drive-In • Zesto of Chapin

Best Fine Dining: Alodia’s Cucina Italiana • Bistro on the Boulevard • Chophouse of Chapin

Best Fitness Center: Athlete’s Arena • Burn Boot Camp - Lake Murray • The Pilates Sculpt Studio

Best Flower Shop: American Floral • Lake Murray Flower Shoppe • Publix

Best Funeral Home: Caughman-Harman Funeral Home - Chapin Chapel

• Dunbar Funeral Home - Dutch Fork Chapel • Whitaker Funeral Home

Best Furniture Store: Ethan Allen • Lovesac Furniture • Sugar Creek Amish Furniture

Best Garden Center: B.B. Barns of Irmo • Botanica Nursery & Landscape • Brabhams Nursery

Best General Contractor: Dunbar Builders

Pyramid Contracting • Spring Hill Construction

Best Glass Store: Bigger Glass Company

Century Glass

Best Hair Salon: Ego Boost Salon and Spa

Best Hairstylist: Heather Malovic - Debi & Co

Sheppard’s Glass Shop

Hyde Salon - Chapin • Salon 76

Karla Bickley - Ego Boost

Kelli Patterson - Bedazzled

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Best Hardware Store: Ace Hardware Newberry • Boland’s Ace Hardware

• Lowes Home Improvement - Harbison

Best Heart Doctor: Lexington Cardiology: Amy Epps • MUSC: Dr. Garrison Morgan

• Prisma Health Cardiology: David Isbell

Best Heating & Air: Kaminer Heating and Cooling • Lake Murray Heating and Air

• Richardson’s Heating and Air

Best Home Builder: Blythe Building Company

• Kinsey Homes • McGuinn Hybrid Homes

Best Hospice: Compassionate Care Hospice • Lutheran Hospice • MSA Medical Services of America

Best Insurance - Auto: Eva Beaty - Allstate • Hutson Insurance Agency • Russell-Massey & Company

Best Insurance - Health: Farm Bureau • Integrity Insurance Solutions • Jeff Howle - Health Markets

Best Insurance - Home Owner’s: Gamble & Associates - Allstate

• Irmo Insurance • Randy Dreyer - State Farm

Best Insurance - Life: Eric Wells - Southeastern Insurance Consultants

• Farm Bureau • Shannon Rikard - State Farm

Best Insurance Agent: David Strawhorn - State Farm • Scott Hanners - State Farm

• Victoria Ares - Allstate

Best Interior Designer: Haven + Harbor Interior Design • Mason Alexander Interiors • The Houston House

Best Investment Firm: Harry Cromer - Edward Jones

• Preservation Specialists • Sides Financial Strategists

Best Japanese Restaurant: Inakaya Watanabe • Koi Asian Fusion Cuisine • Mikino’s Diner

Best Jewelry Store: David’s Fine Jewelry


Moseley’s Diamond Showcase

Best Landscaping Company: Michael Wayne’s Landscaping & Tree Service

• Saluda Hill Landscapes • The Lawn Smith

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Best Landscaping Supply: Lake Murray Landscape Supply

• Miner’s Landscape Supply Center • SiteOne Hardscape Center

Best Manicure/Pedicure: City Nail & Spa II • Harmony Nails & Spa • Sassy Nails

Best Marina: Big Mans Marina • Lake Murray Marina • Lighthouse Marina

Best Massage: Essential Therapeutic Massage • Lotus Mind & Body • Spa Placidity

Best Medical Spa: Carolina Esthetics Med Spa • Radiant Med • Rejuvenations Laser Center & Medical Spa

Best Mexican Restaurant: Que! Bueno Mexican Bar & Grill • Taqueria Jalisco Restaurant • Uberrito

Best Mortgage Company: Guild Mortgage • Metro Mortgage Corporation • Network Funding

Best Mosquito Control Company: Mosquito Hawk Services

• Mosquito Joe of Lake Murray • Mosquito Squad

Best Music School: Freeway Music • Guitar Center • Irmo Music Academy

Best OB/GYN Practice: Carolina Women’s Physicians - Irmo • Elite Gynecology

• Lexington Women’s Care - Irmo

Best Oncology Practice: Lexington Oncology • SC Oncology Associates

Best Optometrist: Eyecare Center Chapin • Eyes on the Lake • Palmetto Eye Care

Best Orthodontist: Davis Orthodontics • O’Leary Orthodontics • Pitner Orthodontics of Chapin

Best Orthopaedic Practice: Carolina Bone and Joint

• Lexington Orthopaedics - Irmo • Palmetto Bone and Joint

Best Pain Management: Carolina Bone and Joint • Pain Medicine Specialists

• THERx Physical Therapy & Pain Management

Best Pediatrician: Ballentine Pediatrics • Chapin Pediatrics • Sandhills Pediatrics - Irmo

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Best Personal Trainer: Kara Madsen - Sozo Fitness • Tara Zigdon - The Pilates Sculpt Studio

• Tina Selix - Elite Personal Studio Training

Best Pet Groomer: Little Barks Grooming • Sutton’s Southern Pet Retreat • Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming

Best Pet Hospital: Crossroads Animal Hospital • Lake Town Animal Hospital • Well Pets

Best Pet Kennel/Boarder: Chapin Pet Lodge • Pet Vacations Irmo • Sutton’s Southern Pet Retreat

Best Pharmacy: Chapin Pharmacy • Irmo Drug • Peak Pharmacy

Best Physical Therapy: Carolina Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine - Irmo

• Chapin Rehabilitation Clinic • Drayer Physical Therapy Institute - Chapin

Best Pizza: Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders • Papa Gio’s Pizzeria of Irmo • Zorba’s Greek Restaurant

Best Place to Buy a Camper/RV:

Camping World • John’s RV Sales and Service • Lester RV - Newberry

Best Place to Buy a Boat: Captain’s Choice Marine Northshore - Irmo • Doss Marine • Marine 360

Best Place to Buy a Car - NEW: McDaniels Automotive Group

• Steve Padgett’s Honda of Lake Murray • Stokes Trainor

Best Place to Buy a Car - USED: Golden Motors • Jim Hudson Toyota - Irmo • Love Buick GMC

Best Place to Buy a Pool: Aquarian Pools • Cromer Pools • Griffin Pools and Spas

Best Place to Buy Bath and Kitchen: Bath and Bronze • Capital Kitchen & Bath • Gateway Supply

Best Place to Buy Carpet/Flooring: Floor Boys • Lake Murray Floor Covering • Lumber Liquidators

Best Place to Buy Tires: Christian Brothers Automotive Irmo

• Lake Murray Tire & Automotive • Royson’s Chapin Automotive

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38 | Vote now for the Best of Irmo-Chapin Life 2024 at Thank You DHEC License # IHCP-0494 ©2023 Assisting Hands® Home Care, Nampa, Idaho 83687. All Rights Reserved. Serving the Midlands 104 Hamilton St., Lexington SC 29072 803.661.7557 for nominating Assisting Hands® for Best Senior Home Care 3rd year in a row! We appreciate your vote! Your Home. Our Care. Vote online at Best Place to Work: Lexington Medical Center • Mungo Homes • Shaw Industries
Plastic Surgery: Columbia Plastic Surgery • Donen Davis Plastic Surgery • Lefkowitz Plastic Surgery
Plumber: Delta Plumbing • Homans Clearwater Company •
Plumbing Best Podiatrist: Columbia Foot Clinic - Carly Chapman • Columbia
Methuselah • Lexington
Pressure Washing: Mathis Pressure Washing • Not Your Average Joe’s • Squeegee Clean, Inc. Best Private School:
Lippen School • Chapin Academy • Heathwood Hall Episcopal School
Real Estate
Group • Christie
the Lake
Real Estate
Peace • Law
• ReMax
Lake • Southern Shores Real Estate Group
Roofing Services • Premiere Roofing • Vista Roofing Best Salad: Groucho’s -
• J.R. Cash’s Grill & Bar - Chapin • Little Mountain Antique Café Best Sandwich
Rizen Café • Luzianna Purchase • Mathis Sandwich Shop
Seafood Restaurant:
22 -Chapin • Catfish Johnny’s • George Roberts Wine & Raw Bar Best Self-Storage Facility: Lake Murray Boat and RV • Storage Rentals of America • Storage Sense - Irmo Best Senior Home Care: Assisting Hands Home Care of the Midlands • Brook Health Care • McLeod Home Health Care
Podiatry - Dan
Agent: Brent Downing -
Southern Shores Real Estate Group
- ReMax on
Attorney: Harrell, Martin and
Office of Smokey Brown
The Dial
Best Real Estate Company: Keller Williams Realty
at the
Company: Burgin
Shop: Doza

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Best Senior Living Community: Harbison Shores

• Southwoode Independent Living • The Heritage at Lowman

Best Foot Store: Fleet Feet - Irmo • Foot Savi Shoes & More • The Good Feet Store

Best Sushi Restaurant: Inakaya Watanabe • Red Sake Japanese Restaurant • Tsunami of Harbison

Best Tanning Salon: Carolina Tan Factory - Irmo • Palm Beach Tan - Chapin

• Without Limits Boutique, Gifts & Tanning

Best Temporary Employment Service: Nesco Resource • Roper Staffing • Snelling Personnel

Best Towing Company: Schroeder’s Towing • St. Andrews Express Towing • Wingard Towing Service

Best Unique Gift Shop: 3 Birds Boutique • Palmetto Fine Arts • Sweet Tea Boutique & Gifts

Best Urgent Care: Doctors Care - Seven Oaks

• Lexington Medical Center Urgent Care • Veritas Urgent Care

Best Urology Practice: Carolina Urology Partners • Lexington Urology • Prisma Health Urology - Parkridge

Best Veterinarian: Chapin Veterinary Hospital • Dutch Fork Animal Hospital

• Friarsgate-Ballentine Animal Hospital

Best Weight Loss Medical Program: Balance Medical & Day Spa • Physicians Weight Loss Center • SC Internal Medicine

Best Wigs/Hair Pieces: Carolina Beauty • Merle Norman - Chapin • Natural Wigs Store

Best Wings: Carolina Wings & Ribhouse - Irmo • Tipsy Toad Tavern • Wings & Ale - Irmo

Best Women’s Clothing Boutique: Joni’s Merle Norman Boutique

• Treasures of the Heart Boutique & Gifts

• Westmore Land of Gifts

Vote now for the Best of Irmo-Chapin Life 2024 at | 39

A Modern take on the old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek

Geocaching is a modern version of the old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek by using GPS technology for outdoor exploration to find the ultimate hidden prize.

As National Geographic reports, geocaching has evolved from a small hobby to huge, well-organized treasure hunts for people of every age and ability. There are nonprofit organizations, as well as businesses for geocaching, the largest being the website, which is a treasure trove of information. Geocachers can record their explorations, learn about others, and compare their adventures to others.

Although there are many newcomers to the hobby these days, some fans have been at it for years, among them Irmo resident Billy Easterbrooks. Starting out, he used a kayak for his geocaching expeditions. He began enjoying the hobby while an executive with a pizza restaurant chain. His pleasure in organizing geocaching expeditions allowed him to develop his dream

job. When he stepped away from the pizza business, he formed Carolina Outdoor Adventures in 2015, which provides kayaking and camping trips for outdoor enthusiasts. For years, he has been the administrator for the Facebook group, Geocachers of the Midlands, open to anyone who enjoys the hobby or wants to get started.

As a teacher in Lexington District One, Dr. Tamela Jett had the opportunity to attend a professional development session where she was introduced to the world of geocaching. That same summer she was on a hike with other teachers when a geocacher led the group to a hidden ammo can cache at a granite outcropping. The teachers stood around in awe as the can was taken out of its hiding spot and the small treasures were revealed.

Excited about the discovery, Jett saw the hobby as a learning experience for her children who were 8 and 10 at the time. She and her husband, James Jett, set up their

account on, establishing themselves as the JettClan. Their first cache was found on February 26, 2011.

Through Facebook, JettClan discovered the Midlands Geocache Facebook page. By connecting with fellow cachers and attending events, they began to learn the tips and tricks of caching. Since a GPS is needed to cache, as youngsters Taryn and Matthew Jett received their own handheld Junior Garmans - later replaced by cell phones - that were created just for geocaching. Taryn and Matthew were able to learn to estimate distance because of their geocaching experiences.

Although the JettClan doesn’t cache as often as they once did, they still find the time to look for a cache when traveling. Most recently, James and Tamela were able to reconnect with fellow cachers from the Midlands Geocache Facebook group during a summer event.

For newcomers, the website hobbyhelp.

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com offers “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Geocaching,” which covers everything from how the game is played to the essential equipment you need. Readers also learn about the different types of geocaches, how to find them, and the terminology you need to master.

As the Jett family discovered, geocaching is a great activity for all ages and an ideal way for a family to enjoy outdoor adventures together. Although opportunities are as wide as all outdoors, people can find at least one geocache at most of South Carolina’s State Parks. Some state parks have many geocache locations. To find the coordinates of these caches and for all other information, consult the major website Just type in the name of the park or geocaching locations you are interested in visiting. If you would like to place your own geocache trackables in a park, you should contact the park directly before doing so.

Players may register on, the most popular geocaching website, enter their postcode and obtain coordinates for geocaches around them. Geocachers obtain the coordinates for caches and log their findings in today’s updated take on an old-fashioned game - finding the prize at the end of the hunt. These are hidden or camouflaged containers placed all over the world by other members of the geocaching community – usually filled with knickknacks and small items.

A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and sometimes a pen or pencil. The geocacher signs the log with their established code name and dates it, to prove that they found the cache. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers can also contain items for trading, such as toys or trinkets, usually of more sentimental worth than financial.

Geocaching was started in 2000 by a group of people in Oregon who were interested in technology and geography. Growing in popularity across the world in all kinds of exotic outdoor locations, geocaching has evolved from a small hobby to huge, well-organized treasure hunts for people of every age and ability. There are nonprofit organizations, as well as businesses for geocaching. The largest is Dr. A. Brady Self and Keryn B. Page of Mississippi State University have developed an excellent guide for people wanting to learn

about geocaching as the outdoor pursuit grows in popularity.

According to, there are more than 3 million active geocaches spread across 191 countries on all seven continents. Over 1.3 million of these are hidden across North America. Caches are hidden in parks, along hiking trails, on street signs, beside roads, on/in/ under bridges, in cemeteries, around businesses and historical sites, underwater, and countless other places. Cache owners often hide geocaches in places that are interesting or have a special meaning to them. That’s what makes the game so interesting and exciting. n

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42 | Vote now for the Best of Irmo-Chapin Life 2024 at Thank you for nominating us Best Wings in Irmo/Chapin!

Fight for the light. Silence the darkness.

Human Trafficking is among the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world.

After working for more than ten years as a special agent for the United States Department of Homeland Security, Tim Ballard, retired from DHS in 2013 to start a nonprofit organization to rescue trafficked and exploited children worldwide. The goal of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is to deter, disrupt, dismantle, and completely eradicate child exploitation and child trafficking around the world.

The O.U.R. extraction teams are made up of highly skilled professionals who work in a coordinated effort with local law enforcement both in the states and abroad. They are not a vigilante team. O.U.R. fills the gaps in resources created by budget shortfalls. These resources can include any number of things such as tactical expertise, equipment, extra trained agents on the ground, etc. To date, O.U.R. has assisted law enforcement in the rescue of more than 6,000+ survivors and the arrests of 4,000+ predators.

Sound of Freedom

Released last month, the movie Sound of Freedom is based on the story of Ballard’s career, his rescues, and what led him to start O.U.R. It stars Jim Caviezel as Ballard and highlights one of his first missions to free dozens of children from sex trafficking and exploitation. It is a story of the fight for freedom and hope, even in the darkest of places.

By raising awareness with this movie, O.U.R. hopes to propel a movement that will save millions of children around the world. You can find showtimes at tickets/sound-of-freedom with new theaters added daily. If the price of the ticket keeps you from going, generous fans have Paid it Forward with tens of thousands of free tickets for the film, available at If you would like to Pay it Forward please visit n

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Sweet and Savory Apple irmo-chapin

Apple Smoothie

2 cups fresh apple chunks (skin on)

1 ripe banana

½ cup Greek yogurt

¼ cup milk

8 ice cubes

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp cinnamon

Optional: ½ tablespoon maple syrup or honey

Chop the apple & break the banana into pieces. Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until creamy and frothy. Garnish with an apple slice, pour into serving glasses, and serve immediately.

Apple Fritters

1 cup cake flour

1 tbsp sugar

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg, room temperature

1/3 cup 2% milk

4 tsp butter, melted

1 tbsp orange juice

2 tsp grated orange zest

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped peeled tart apple

Oil for frying

Confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, milk, butter, orange juice, zest, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients just until moistened and fold in the apple. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat 1/4 in. oil to 375°. Drop batter by round tablespoonfuls into oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

Apple Nachos

2 apples

½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt)

2 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey, plus more for drizzle

1 tbsp peanut butter

3 tbsp sliced almonds

Cinnamon, for dusting

Other toppings: granola, mini chocolate chips, etc.

Slice the apples. In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, maple syrup or honey, and peanut butter. Drizzle the yogurt sauce over the apples. Top with sliced almonds and a few pinches of cinnamon. If desired, add another drizzle of honey or other toppings.

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Cinnamon, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 225ºF. Slice the apples very thin, about 1/8” (a mandolin is recommended if you have it) Leave the cores in the apples but remove any seeds as you cut. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lay the apple slices on the tray in a single layer, as close as possible without touching. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until curled and lightly browned. Store the apple chips in a sealed container or mason jar at room temperature for about 1 week.

1 tbsp chia seeds

Add everything to a food processor and process until well combined. Once well combined, roll into balls and refrigerate. These taste best chilled straight out of the fridge.

Spread peanut butter on toast. Arrange apple slices over peanut butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Apple Donuts

1 apple cored and sliced

frosting of choice


mini chocolate chips

Spritz or dunk your apple slices with lemon water. Dry them gently with a towel and then spread on the frosting. Once they’re covered with frosting on the top, sprinkle with sprinkles and chocolate chips. n

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46 | Vote now for the Best of Irmo-Chapin Life 2024 at

My Daddy was born in 1917 in western Kansas. His father wandered off in 1925 and left a wife and six younguns. They never saw him again.

Daddy said the only thing they noticed from the Great Depression in ‘29 was that several men in town killed themselves “because they lost everything.” Daddy said they didn’t really understand what it meant to “lose everything” because his family had nothing to lose.

It stopped raining around 1931 and didn’t rain for three years. Some of Daddy’s schoolmates were part of the group of whole families who starved to death in their beds. Daddy’s family had a cow and a few chickens, so they ate eggs and milk every day until a man in town brought my Grandma a keg of dried Navy Beans. Daddy said they ate Navy Beans every day for a year and “were proud to have ‘em.”

He and his brothers went to the CCC and finally began getting three meals a day, and then the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and all the boys went to war. Uncle Bob was at Pearl Harbor. Uncle Dean

The Old Men

was in Patton’s Army. Uncle John went across North Africa and up into Italy.

Daddy served in the newly formed Air Force and was a “desk Sergeant” most of the war in Georgia. He sailed for Guam at the end of July of ‘45, got dysentery after two days with all the other boys on board, and heard about Japan surrendering while still on the way to Guam.

By the time I came along in ‘59, all these WW2 men were in their 30’s at the youngest. Daddy was 42. Twenty years later all these men were at the top of their game in terms of knowledge and experience. If you wanted to learn anything of substance, you learned it under the watchful eye of one of these “old men” who’d served in World War II.

These men were patient. They were hard and harsh and tough. They didn’t care two cents what we thought about anything, because they knew we didn’t know anything -- and they were right.

They expected a young man to use his brain and listen. They expected a young man to be on time, pay attention, and improve every day. If they had to tell you

something twice, they usually just fired you instead.

Today’s world views these old guys as impossible. But consider that just a few years earlier they had been fighting for their life with a Kabar knife against a Japanese soldier who’d jumped in their foxhole at night -- or some similar experience. Everything they faced afterward was easy compared to that nightmare. “Nobody’s shooting at you -- quit complaining.”

Most of my generation and those following us -- our children -- have had it incredibly soft. My generation was the last of a Golden Era and didn’t know it. We allowed a nation to be destroyed, and the replacement model materializing doesn’t appear to be pretty. n

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David Clark writes and works in Cochran, GA. Connect with him at