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from the EDITOR

26 INSIDE the ISSUE March is already here—how did that happen? --- and most of us are preparing for spring. There is something refreshing, exhilarating and just plain happy about the beginning of spring. The doldrums of winter pass as the weather perks up, and the sun seems to shine a tad bit brighter. College students plan their spring breaks and eagerly anticipate fun with friends before the real world comes crashing down on them. Baseball and softball players get their gloves and cleats ready to play ball for yet another season. Families perform the annual rite of spring cleaning and get their houses ready for the remainder of the year. Gardeners closely monitor the temperatures and make plans for seeds to be planted for the upcoming bountiful harvest. Boaters get their upholstery repaired and prepare their boats for a Lake Murray summer of fun. Personally, I enjoy watching the grass in our front yard morph from a drab brown into the rich green color that makes our entire house come to life. The crepe myrtles that were cut back in the fall, will soon begin to blossom and grow. From nature to sports, cleaning to self-improvement, spring offers almost everyone and everything an opportunity for a fresh start. Why not take advantage of it? I appreciate you taking the time to read Irmo Chapin Life. May your spring be filled with good fortune, good health and all the happiness of a fresh, new beginning. Todd Shevchik

FEATURES 15 2019 High School Baseball Preview 26 Optimist Club 33 Saint Patrick

COLUMNS

11 Faith Matters 37 David Clark

DEPARTMENTS

7 From the Publisher 9 Events 13 Irmo-Chapin Leaders 36 Good Eats 38 Spice of Life PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Todd Shevchik toddshevchik@gmail.com

Tracy

antt, , Katie G or Fatato arine Clark, n li E : R L to e, Cath im Curle Tuten, K

Cara Hardy cph@carahardy.com • 803-315-9671

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HOSPITALITY COORDINATOR Catharine Clark cclark0835@gmail.com 803-800-0835

EDITOR Katie Gantt kpgantt@gmail.com

GRAPHIC DESIGN Jane Carter Kim Curlee

EDITOR EMERITUS Allison Caldwell

WEBSITE DESIGNER Paul Tomlinson

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Tracy Tuten tracy.tuten@outlook.com • 803-603-8187

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Events March/April Every Tuesday Coffee Talk Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce, 1235 Columbia Ave., Irmo, 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Have a cup of coffee and build business relationships with other Irmo Chamber members. Your entry fee is your business card! ceo@greaterirmochamber.com for more information.

Monday, March 4 – Saturday, May 4 In Cotton High and Low McKissick Museum, 816 Bull St., Columbia, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. In Cotton High and Low: The History of a Carolina Cash Crop explores the material culture of cotton through multiple lenses, beginning with the natural history of the plant itself and progressing to the social effects of its cultivation in the US South. Admission is free. Contact Amanda Belue at 803.777.7251 for more information. Thursday, March 7 Really Rowdy Readers Book Club Irmo Branch Library, 6251 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, 10 a.m. This book club reads a variety of books and encourages lively discussion in a friendly, casual atmosphere. Call 803.798.7880, ext. 111 for more information. Saturday, March 16 St. Pat’s in 5 Points Five Points Columbia, 29205, all day Enjoy the parade, 5 stages for live music, an interactive baseball fan fest, and some awesome Irish fun! Kids under 12/Free; General Admission Advanced/$20; General Admission Day Of Event/$25; Saluda’s VIP Experience/$125. Stpatscolumbia.com for more information. Saturday, March 16 Spring Fling Wingard’s Market, 1403 N. Lake Dr., Lexington, all day Go get your Irish on at Wingard’s Spring Fling! Enjoy Guinness Stew from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Irish shortbread cookies all day. First 100 customers get 50% off any one

regular price item. Enter the drawing for a “Luck of the Irish” garden stone. Take advantage of special discounts throughout the nursery. Sunday, March 17 7th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Worship Service Lake Murray Evangelical Church, 501 Lake Murray Lindler Rd., Chapin, 10:45 a.m. Enjoy a celebration of Irish music, a challenging message, and a buffet dinner of Irish cuisine. Admission is free. Come as you are to this unique, uplifting, and fun event. Call 803.345.7788 or 803.446.3464 for more information. Monday, March 25 Lexington Woman’s Club 35th Annual Charity Golf Tournament Country Club of Lexington, 1066 Barr Rd., Lexington, 12 p.m. Noon marks the tournament’s shot gun start! Enjoy a silent auction, raffle, and other contests. Sponsorships are available. Entry fee is $200 per two-member team and includes greens fee, cart, lunch, cocktail, and awards party. Proceeds go to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation. Contact Angela Rewis at 803.413.8925 for more information. Saturday, March 30 Columbia City Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty Koger Center, 1051 Greene St., Columbia, 3 p.m. Columbia City Ballet collaborates with the SC Philharmonic in presenting The Sleeping Beauty. Featuring the magnificent Tchaikovsky score conducted by Morihiko Nakahara, the entire family will delight in this beautiful presentation of the classic fairy tale. Contact Columbia City Ballet at 803.799.7605 for more information.

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The other night I woke out of a sound sleep at 3 a.m. with the feeling that I needed to pray. I started talking to God, asking Him about the needs in the lives of people I know and thanking God for His gifts as well. It should have been a really remarkable time, except it wasn’t. I was annoyed that God had the power to keep me asleep, but didn’t. I was annoyed because I had a full day of meetings the next day with people who deserved my full mental engagement. I was annoyed that God could have spoken to me during any of the daylight hours the day before or later, but He chose the most convenient time for me to have a conversation. Thus, I was groggy the next morning, both unfocused and unmotivated. I wolfed down a meager breakfast, barely said two words to my family on the way out the door, nursed a knot next to my shoulder blade that I could not get to release, and finally, I noticed halfway to the office that I was wearing a shirt with a stain on it. There are certain events I would willingly and joyfully agree to lose sleep over, for example, staying up late talking with friends, playing a game with our kids, and seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert. Yet the other night for several minutes, I sat in the presence of the God of the Universe and He listened intently to me, talked with me, laughed lovingly at my attempts to stay awake, pointed out some things I should not have done or said in the previous 24 hours, and then watched over me while I nodded back off to sleep. God loves me and wants to spend time with me. What is that love really worth? Isn’t it worth a few hours of my sleep? Wouldn’t many of us give up that much just to have dinner with our favorite celebrity? And yet the God who created us, invented gravity, designed our circulatory system, and created the beautiful and unique hippopotamus…that God wanted to spend time with me, indeed with all of us. That, my friends, is worth welcoming all the grogginess in the world whenever God comes to call.. n

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Irmo–Chapin LEADER by Jackie Perrone

Alecia Klauk Struggling with inadequate income for daily life is hard anywhere. Trying to make it in affluent, upscale Chapin just adds an extra level of stress for those not fortunate enough to have fat bank accounts. That’s where the We Care Center comes in. For 32 years, this haven of generosity has offered helping hands to the needy in the Chapin area as well as in Newberry County. For the past three of those years, Alecia Klauk has served as Executive Director, overseeing the agency’s outreach to all who need help. “Chapin has a reputation as an enclave of the wealthy and privileged,” she says. “Plush real estate, excellent schools, a gorgeous lake, and a do-able commute into the capital city have combined to attract money and prestige to the area. It’s easy to forget that only a few decades ago, much of the local population was rural, with limited education and opportunities. Many of those people are still here, living on land which may have been in their family for generations. There are no big apartment developments here, just old farmhouses among the large expensive new homes. No public transportation. No sidewalks, even. No big businesses offering employment. How are they supposed to pull up out of poverty without leaving the place of their roots? We are here to help them make ends meet.” Alecia proudly recites the history of the We Care Center, which came about through the initiative of 30 Chapin churches combining their resources to offer help to the needy. The Center is funded entirely by grants and donations, from all sources: churches, businesses, individuals, and a few agencies such as United Fund and Harvest Hope. The assistance offered includes food, utility bills, vouchers to thrift stores, and a partnership with Good Samaritan Medical Clinic. Alecia and one other full-time employee are joined by 150 dedicated volunteers, and the Center is able to offer life coaches giving nutrition education and help with such issues as job training and resume development. Nearly 10,000 individuals served, in more than 3,000 families. 480,000 pounds of food, about $1 Million worth, given away. Utility bills paid: almost $100,000. Thrift Store vouchers: nearly $6,000. These are We Care’s figures for 2017. “We are very proud to have received the Angel Award from the state Secretary of State in 2017,” she says. “This is recognition for those who keep administrative costs down, maximizing the use of their funds. We earned a client-expense ratio of 93.4% - meaning that less than seven percent of our funding goes to administration. We could never do it without our wonderful volunteers.” Alecia Klauk’s husband Brian is Project Engineer for the Carolina Crossroads program which is redesigning and improving South Carolina’s highway system. They grew up in Irmo together and now have five teen-aged children. n MARCH/APRIL 2019

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2019 High School

Baseball Preview As winter turns to spring, the high school sports world moves back outdoors for baseball. The Irmo Chapin area has a long tradition of competitive programs that are in the mix well into the playoffs. 2019 brings new coaching and new players stepping up to the plate with big expectations for a new season. Irmo Chapin Life caught up with the head coaches of our local teams to find out what to expect. MARCH/APRIL 2019

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Chapin Eagles 2018 saw the Chapin Eagles reaching the summit of South Carolina high school baseball, winning the AAAA state championship by sweeping Airport High in the best-of-three finals. It was the program’s eleventh state title but their first since 2002 when they were a smaller school and in the class AA division. Can they repeat the feat in 2019? Coach Scott McLeod says they’ll play the games with the same strategy and style of play that got them to go the distance last season, at least. “We pitch and play defense,” he says of the focus they need to keep opponents from scoring. On the offensive side, McLeod doesn’t rely on big hitting. “We’ll play small ball,” he says. The Eagles will return six starters, five of whom will be moving on to the next level and playing in college next year. Watch for Cade Austin, William Privette, Drew Highfill, Drew Calhoun, Chris Veach, Tyler Teal, and Gio Macaluso to contribute in the field and at the plate this season. McLeod is glad for the on-field success his program is enjoying these days, but he’s well aware as a longtime coach at the high school level that there’s more to baseball than even the players realize. “I have always felt baseball will do more for the kids than they will do for the game,” he says. “I want to develop players that will be good husbands, fathers, and productive members of society.”

“I want to develop players that will be good husbands, fathers, and productive members of society.” ­— head coach Scott McLeod

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Irmo Yellow Jackets The Yellow Jackets had a tough 2018 season, finishing only 7–17 on the year, but a sign of the team’s improvement was that not only did they win their first region game in several years, they won three of them. They’ll have eight seniors returning from last season, most of them on the pitching staff. Irmo also moves this year from the hyper-competitive region 5 to region 4, where they’ll compete against Sumter, Lugoff-Elgin, Blythewood, and others. Watch for contributions from Aaron White, a four-year varsity player at pitcher and center field; Trent Polley at shortstop and pitcher; Isaiah Cantey, a Presbyterian College commitment as designated hitter and pitcher; Payne Disque in multiple roles at second, short, catcher, and pitcher; and left-fielder Luke Winslow. Also notable will be second year starter and junior Jackson Smith in right field. Varsity head coach Bruce White says that the goal this year is finishing the job on the field. “We scored runs against good pitching, but we just left too many on base,” White says. “We’ll have to play more small ball and concentrate on scoring that guy from third, getting those runners in.” This is White’s second season as the Yellow Jackets head coach after seven years in the assistant coach role, and he’s ready to see some growth in expectations for the program. “I’m excited about this year,” White says. “This is the best talent we’ve had in 10 years, and we’ve turned some corners in understanding the game. Now we have to go play some games and see what happens.”

“This is the best talent we’ve had in 10 years, and we’ve turned some corners in understanding the game.” ­— head coach Bruce White MARCH/APRIL 2019

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Dutch Fork Silver Foxes Dutch Fork finished their 2018 season at 18–10, losing in the Lower State semifinals to Wando. The 5-AAAAA division they are a part of includes major competition in perennial powerhouse programs Lexington and River Bluff as well as newly resurgent and now defending state champs Chapin. “We feel like as long as we get in the playoffs we can make a run,” head coach Casey Waites says. “Our players, coaches, and school expect us to be among the best in the state, and we focus on competing at a high level every time we play.” Dutch Fork will return seven players offensively from 2018, including seniors third baseman Price Alexander, first baseman Bryan Helms, second baseman Noah Jackson, shortstop Crosby Jones, infielder Jalen McDuffie, and outfielder Hugh Ryan. Add junior outfielder and pitcher Ty Olenchuk, and the Silver Foxes’ batting order should be solid every night. Catcher Lance Fuhr and Brandon Shealy return from injuries to play their senior years, and, along with Olenchuk, the Silver Foxes return four other pitchers with varsity experience in seniors Andrew Fulmer, Chris Horton, and Rhett Richardson along with junior Doug Webb. Waites says the Silver Foxes will rely on their defense to win games this season. “Our pitching philosophy is to throw the ball over the plate and get the batter to swing,” he says. “Offensively, we believe we will have a lineup that won’t allow opposing teams to take a break.” For Waites, coaching baseball is about being a team but also being a family. “We are truly a Dutch Fork baseball family, our student athletes are expected to do their best in the classroom and the community,” he says. “I want our young men to grow up to be great members of their communities, and along the way we hope to make some everlasting memories on the baseball diamond.”

“I want our young men to grow up to be great members of their communities.” ­— head coach Casey Waites

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Ben Lippen Falcons At Ben Lippen, Matt Padgett is settling in to the head coach role after starting as an assistant and taking over midseason last year. Coach Padgett has been the Ben Lippen junior varsity baseball coach and varsity assistant since 2016, and he’s a 1995 graduate of Lexington High School where he won a state championship as well as the interim varsity coach in 2018, the Falcons were the SCISA AAA state runner-up. He’ll have a solid group of seniors to work with this season, including Madison Matthews, Kempton Meetze, Elie Johnson, Benjamin Satcher, and Garrett Gamble. Others to watch for include infielder/pitchers Tripp Williams, Zach Sutton, and Will Taylor. Padgett says they’ll be concentrating on fundamentals and game play this season. “I feel like this is a repetition game, so we’ll prepare daily for the kinds of plays or pitches we will see in games,” he says. “We will be aggressive and confident on both offense and defense.”

“I feel like this is a repetition game, so we’ll prepare daily for the kinds of plays or pitches we will see in games.” ­— head coach Matt Padgett

MARCH/APRIL 2019

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A Helping Hand for

The Optimist Club of St. Andrews – Irmo by Derek J. Savoy

26 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2019

The Optimist Club of St. Andrews – Irmo, organized under the 501(c)(3) Optimist International, is a civic organization made up of local men and women who strive to change young lives in our area. Between hosting two of its own fundraising events each year – a Christmas tree/wreath sale and an annual golf tournament held at the Oak Hills Country Club – the Optimist Club of St. Andrews is an incredible organization working to make a positive impact on

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r Local Youth the lives of youth in our community. Each year the Optimist Club of St. Andrews – Irmo club holds two events: a Christmas tree and wreath sale and a golf tournament. This past year, in 2018, the 501(c)(4) sold approximately 320 trees at McGregor Presbyterian Church located at 6505 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC, 29212. The event sold out of trees in less than three weeks and used the trimmings of said trees to create wreathes not only to sell but to place irmochapinlife.com

at the graves of veterans at our local Elmwood Cemetery. These wreaths were created with the inclusion of the local youth, specifically those attending Irmo High School. The other event the Optimist Club of St. Andrews – Irmo hosts each year is a golf tournament held at the Oak Hills Country Club in Columbia. This event brings in numerous sponsors who support the club throughout various levels of monetary donations. All donations

are spread among various local charities that benefit the youth in the area, including but not limited to Palmetto Place, Katrina’s Kids, D.A.R.E., the Just Say No program, Camp Kemo, Snack Pack, and many others. The goal of this civic organization of men and women is, simply put, to benefit the youth of our area. Whether it directly or indirectly impacts young people, the Optimist Club boasts a moral and civic duty to aid in the development of youth in our community. Local nonprofit organizations such as Katrina’s Kids, founded by Senator Katrina Shealy, raise awareness and funding for foster children. One big event hosted by Katrina’s Kids and sponsored by the Optimist Club of St. Andrews – Irmo is called “Race for the Case,” which provides children with bookbags

MARCH/APRIL 2019

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IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | 27


The Optimist Creed:

and suitcases as they transition from a permanent home to a foster facility. As a primary example, even though the Optimist Club does not directly host this event, its monetary contributions greatly impact the cause. This is just one way that the Optimist Club can help the youth of our area from an arms-length. The Optimist Club of St. Andrews – Irmo began on August 6, 1971, and has grown ever since. Through its progres-

sive thought and community service surrounding the youth of our nation, it has made tens of thousands of monetary contributions and, in turn, changed the lives of hundreds of local children in the Midlands of South Carolina. Currently there are 33 members of the club who meet every Friday morning in Irmo to hear speakers from related organizations, discuss club finances and anticipated donations, and to brainstorm on

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how to make the club more effective each year. In the 2017–2018 fiscal year, the Optimist Club of St. Andrews gave away approximately $35,000 to roughly 34 organizations aiding in its mission. The overall goal for the 501(c)(4) is to raise money to benefit the youth of the community, which it continues to succeed at year after year. As “Wreaths Across America” participants, this Optimist Club provided over 100 wreaths during the holiday season at Fort Jackson (in addition to other local cemeteries) to honor our veterans. The creation of said wreaths was spearheaded by our community’s youth and guided by club members, which creates an incredible sense of importance and impact for all involved. As the Optimist Club continues to thrive and host its weekly meetings in Irmo, it brings in speakers from organizations across the state to introduce new ideas to the table as far as how the fundraising and monetary donations will be allocated. For example, it met with a representative of Epworth Children’s Home, a residential facility for children who are currently placed with the state,

to hear more about what it does and how the organization could contribute. As it continues to meet with organizations such as Epworth, it is constantly

searching for opportunities of outreach to see how the organization can continue to grow and benefit as many of our youth as possible. n

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P

AN by Kristen Carter

32 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2019

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HARNESS THE

POWER

OF YOUR

NXIETY Anxiety often gets a pretty bad rap these days. Living with anxiety can be debilitating and incredibly challenging for many people. It can worsen or even cause health problems, interfere with your work and key relationships, or leave a permanent sense of emptiness and worry in your stomach. Anxiety can be serious business, and if you do have severe problems with it, go get the help you need. However, living with anxiety doesn’t have to be a total nightmare. There are ways to control and harness the energy and power coming from your anxiety to live a better, more productive life. Reframing how you view anxiety is essential to be able to use anxiety to your best advantage. Think of it as an advanced warning system. It is a finely tuned instrument that lets you know something is off in your life and you need to pay close attention to your life or a situation in that is potentially harmful to you. If you start to realize that anxiety is slowly ramping up in your life, it can be a good opportunity for change. Your can take the time to center and check in with yourself. Are you happy in your relationships? Are you happy in your career? Are you happy with the general direction of your life? If you have background anxiety and are unsure of where those feelings are coming from, it can be a sign that you might need to make a change in your life or you have been ignoring your own wants, needs, or emotions. Take the time to ask yourself, “Why am I feeling anxious?” Think about what areas of your life need extra attention or even a change. In that way, you can use your anxiety as an opportunity for growth, learn something new about yourself, and keep yourself focused and oriented in the right direction on the best path for happiness and success. Other times, you may know exactly

MARCH/APRIL 2019

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IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | 33


34 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2019

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LEARNING TO UNDERSTAND, INTERPRET, AND HARNESS YOUR anxiety WILL GIVE YOU MORE CONTROL OVER YOUR DAILY LIFE.

why you are feeling anxious about something. You have a large or important project at work, you have a final exam to study for, or you have a high-pressure social engagement where you must impress the right people. Whatever the situation, feeling this anxiety can actually be a good thing. It can bring out your perfectionist tendencies and push you to pay attention to the important details and prepare for what is coming. Use your anxiety to push harder and study for an extra couple of hours, rehearse conversation starters, or double check the details of your project. An added benefit is if you are thorough and prepared, your anxiety often lessens and you feel calmer and happier. Have you ever felt anxiety about a certain person or situation, only to find out it really was well founded? Maybe that person was untrustworthy or the situation turned out to be dangerous or not what it seemed to be. This is another way you can use anxiety to your advantage. You can use it to keep yourself safe and avoid potentially harmful situations. You can learn to trust and know when the anxious feeling in your

gut is telling you something isn’t right. Pay attention to that feeling and think of it as a warning sign. You should be on guard and pay attention to all your surroundings and the people you are interacting with. Learn how to politely excuse yourself from situations that make you feel uncomfortable, or take note of the people who trigger your anxiety and avoid getting too close to them too often. Learning to understand, interpret, and harness your anxiety will give you more control over your daily life. Not only will you no longer be at the mercy of your anxiety; you will also be able to use the feeling to your advantage. Instead of having a negative view of anxiety and letting it rule your life, try to view the emotion as a special (albeit challenging) gift, an instrument that can alert you to details that might be off in your life, things that deserve more attention and effort, or things that should be avoided and kept at a distance. Once you reframe your view of anxiety, you will find you can harness and wield its power successfully to improve your life. n MARCH/APRIL 2019

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IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | 35


good eats by Todd Shevchik

Catch Seafood 411 West Main Street Lexington, SC 29072 (803) 359-2979 catchlexington.com

Are there any seafood lovers reading? Well then, it’s time to make plans to visit Catch Seafood Restaurant in downtown Lexington. Located next to Walgreens, in the former Harbor Inn location, Catch Seafood offers up mouthwatering options of seafood, chicken, and steak to choose. Catch owner Tommy Georgiades is focused on serving many tasty broiled seafood options to his customers. “We still serve traditional fried seafood options but have developed new recipes for broiled seafood entrees that have become very popular,” explains Tommy. “Today’s society is much more health conscious and Catch Seafood wants to provide healthy and delicious meals for our customers.” In addition to an entire new menu, Catch Seafood’s building has been totally remodeled. They added a full bar and a party room that seats 50 people. The bar area is complete with TV’s and has been popular with the young profession36 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2019

al crowd that takes advantage of the cozy area and weekly discounted drink pricing. On Tuesdays, Catch Seafood features all you can eat crab legs. Call Catch 803359-2979 for all you can eat crab leg pricing. Another popular item on the Catch Seafood menu is the Salmon Rockafeller which pairs a blackened salmon over cream of spinach, bacon, parmesan, and creamy grits. Catch has upgraded appetizers like Bang Bang Shrimp which mixes fried shrimp with a sweet chili sauce that has customers come back for more. Are oysters your thing? Catch serves oysters different ways, so you can choose your favorite. Catch Seafood Owner Tommy Georgiades is almost always on the premises to make sure customers are completely satisfied with their meal and dining experience. During renovations, he personally made sure that the booths and seatbacks were extremely comfortable so that folks can relax and totally enjoy their Catch experience. “We have something for everyone at Catch,” explains Tommy. “We want to be the place that everyone can agree on to go eat. From Grandma and Grandpa to little Johnny and Suzie our menu has something special for every generation.” In addition to the delectable appetizers and main course options, Tommy takes great pride in personally creating and baking his own desserts. One never knows what they will find in the Catch Seafood dessert case. Cupcakes, pies, and cakes are just some of the mouthwatering desserts Tommy bakes for customers. Catch also offers a Sunday brunch menu with optional mimosas. Tommy explains that his brother Mikey created and developed the Sunday brunch menu. Recently, Mikey was hired by the NFL to be the executive chef of the Carolina Panthers. Tommy beams with pride when talking about his “little” brother Mikey and his path to NFL executive chef. “I taught him everything he knows,” chuckles Tommy, “but seriously I am very proud of Mikey and his new opportunity with the Panthers.” Tommy Georgiades invites you to visit the new Catch Seafood and enjoy a meal in a relaxed, comfortable setting where you can enjoy good service and even better food. Sounds like it’s about time to catch up with Lexington’s own Catch Seafood. n irmochapinlife.com


B

Training’s Purpose

ad things happen. By bad things, I mean the scale of Alzheimer’s or Death. These are things that make all previous “bad things” pale in comparison. An old man told me twenty years ago — when Mama forgot who I was — “this is the kind of thing that adjusts your camera lens, son.” He wasn’t lying. I don’t pretend to know the grand scheme of things. But I have walked the journey of wondering, which led to screaming, which finally led to the ultimate destination of a desperate whimpering “why?” I got a call from an older friend named Ben a month ago. Ben changed my life when I was 12 by kicking me in the butt and getting me to use my brain. We’ve stayed in touch over the years, and I’m amazed to consider how many good things in my life happened because of this one great mentor at the right time. Ben was somewhat despondent when he called a month ago. His aging Mom was having a difficult time. Any caregiver understands the situation of loving someone and feeling guilty about being

frustrated with being unable to help them, yet feeling frustrated at one’s life being overwhelmed with giving care. I don’t know if Ben called me for encouragement or just to be doing something different from being frustrated with his Mom. But I heard a deeply familiar strain in what he was saying. I recognized that unspoken gut-wrenching cry from my own experience. I remembered the old man talking about camera lens adjustment. I responded to Ben with some comments he may not have liked — about the stages of grief, about the need to take care of himself, and about the need to hang in there the best he could. I had been to the place where he was and I had the advantage of hindsight, as well as the obligation to speak to his situation because others had spoken to mine when I was in that place. I thought I’d made Ben angry. I didn’t hear from him for a month. But just the other night he called and thanked me. The morning after we talked a month ago, a friend of his called who was despondent with a similar situation. Ben

told me he repeated much of what I had told him. That afternoon he ran into another friend who was in the same situation. Two days later it happened again. Ben told me that he was able to help all three people in their situation, and in so doing had helped himself. Hearing that helped me. I don’t know why bad things happen. Maybe God chooses us as servants and gives us hard training so He can work through us. It’s probably no comfort to know you’re in training when you’re whimpering “why?” But you’ll see over and over that God uses you as an instrument in small ways that will change people’s lives. Have faith. There is indeed a purpose. n

MARCH/APRIL 2019

David Clark writes and works in Cochran, GA. Connect with him at cw.w4trj@gmail.com.

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IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | 37


spice of life

Sweet and Salty Million Dollar Spaghetti Ingredients: 16 ounces spaghetti noodles 1/2-pound ground beef 1/2-pound ground Italian sausage Salt and pepper, to taste 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 24-ounce jars marinara pasta sauce 3 tbsp. butter 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup sour cream 1 cup cottage cheese 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 2/3 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese Fresh parsley leaves for garnish, optional Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook and crumble the ground beef and Italian sausage and season with salt and pepper. Drain most of the grease. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add all but 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce (reserve that 1/2 cup for the noodles) to the mixture and stir to combine fully. Set aside. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions, just to “al dente”. Place hot spaghetti in a large mixing bowl with butter and 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce and toss to combine. Pour HALF of the pasta into a 9x13’’ pan. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese in a bowl and mix well. Smooth over noodles in the pan. Top with the remaining noodles. Add meat mixture on top and smooth once again into an even layer. Top with Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Check at around 20 minutes and if the cheese is browning too quickly, place a sheet of tinfoil over the mixture. Wait about 10-15 minutes after removing from oven before cutting and serving.

Pan- Fried Cinnamon Bananas Ingredients: 2 bananas slightly overripe 2 tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. nutmeg Directions: Slice the bananas into rounds, approximately 1/3 inch thick. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. Lightly spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and warm over medium heat. Add the banana rounds and sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon mixture on top. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip the rounds, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon mixture. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until the bananas are soft and warmed through. Simple Crepes Ingredients: 4 tbsp. sugar 8 tbsp. coconut oil, melted 2 tbsp. vanilla extract Dash of Salt 8 eggs 4 cups milk 2 cups water 4 cups all-purpose flour Toppings of Choice Directions: Combine all ingredients in either a blender or a large bowl. Blend or mix very well, so there are no lumps in the mixture. Spray a frying pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. For large pans (10-14 inch) use approximately1/2 to 2/3 cup of batter per crepe. When the edges begin to come up and the crepe slides a bit, as the pan is shaken from side to side, it’s time to flip it . Spray the pan again before each crepe and continue making crepes until all the batter is used. Serve warm with toppings of your choice. n

655 St. Andrews Rd. (803)731-2538

Voted Best Sushi Restaurant 38 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Lunch:Tues-Fri 11:45am-2:00 pm Dinner:M-Thurs. 5:00-10:00pm, Fri & Sat. 5:00-11:00pm Facebook.com/inakayawatanabe

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5-MILE RUN

5-MILE WALK

3-MILE WALK

LEXINGTON MEDICAL CENTER

Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler South Carolina’s premier all-women’s road race

April 20, 2019

Finlay Park Columbia, SC

Register Online

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SPONSORED BY A CAROLINA MARATHON ASSOCIATION EVENT MARCH/APRIL 2019

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IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | 39


We’ve Updated! Come By and See the Improvements!

Thank You for an Amazing 35 Years and Counting!

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Profile for Todd  Shevchik

Irma-Chapin Life March 19'  

Irmo Chapin Life is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September and November of each year. 22,500 copies are printed per pu...

Irma-Chapin Life March 19'  

Irmo Chapin Life is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September and November of each year. 22,500 copies are printed per pu...

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