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Springhill Construction would like to wish you a great start to 2020! Thinking of expanding your current office or building a brand new location? We can make it happen! Happy New Year!

2401 Dutch Fork Rd., Suite A, Chapin, SC 29036 | (803) 407-1905 |






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(left to right) Dr. Phillip Milner, Dr. John Hibbitts, Dr. William Owens, Dr. James Loging, Giridhar Gundu, MD, Jacquelyn Van Dam, MD, Dr. Alaric Van Dam, MD, Mark Wilson, MD



New Year, New Office! We Welcome New Patients! Compassionate Care for Women of all Ages. Michelle B. B Gee, MD FACOG Office hours: Monday through Thursday from 8:30-5pm Friday 8:30-12pm

1 Wellness Blvd, Suite 102, Irmo, SC 29063 (803) 638-3946 | |

Make 2020 Your Year! Losing "stubborn fat" is hard and as you get older-- it just gets harder and harder. You might go to the gym five days a week, sweat on the treadmill for an hour, and see maybe a pound or two drop a month. Is that really worth your time? Call our office today! When you do, mention this ad and you will receive your weight loss consultation and one full body non-invasive lipo laser session for $47! You will learn what you need to do to "lose the weight" and keep it off. And the good part pa is there's no surgery, no medications, and no chance of getting an infection. Call (803) 356-9315 today to schedule your NO OBLIGATION weight loss consultation.

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General ContractinggRemodeling Kitchen & Bath DesignnCabinetry CountertopssTile | Lighting Interior Design Irmo office: 803.345.5888 Gervais St office: 803.254.5889

Dr. Robert Bigbie DC 943 Old Cherokee Rd, Lexington, SC 2'3072 www.Eds4thinSCcom (803) 356-9315 Visit us on Facebook : Easy Thin SC





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Valid on full-priced merchandise only. Not valid on previous purchases, sale items, or in conjunction with any other coupons or offers. Excludes: all wicker, deep seated cushions, all outdoor furniture (including polywood furniture, adirondacks, and metal furniture), all accent furniture, red and blue tag merchandise, food, wine, cemetery memorials, premade floral wreaths and arrangements, and custom floral orders. Other exclusions may apply, see store for details. Coupon must be redeemed at time of purchase. Limit one coupon per customer per day. Expires 1/31/2020. 2816 AUGUSTA ROAD (HWY. 1) • I-26 EXIT 111-A • 936-1447 • WWW.CAROLINAPOTTERY.COM

from the EDITOR

16 INSIDE the ISSUE FEATURES Happy New Year! It is now officially 2020 and, believe it or not, next year “millennial” babies will be 21 and legally able to drink. How crazy is that? Time flies by. In fact, I just bought a new refrigerator for the house. After 20 years of extremely hard usage by our family, it was time for a new one. As I shopped for the new family fridge, I was amazed by the advances in refrigerator technology. One even had an LED screen built into the door. Usually I am a traditionalist, but I opted for a white Whirlpool with the freezer on the bottom. With all the stainless-steel fridges being sold, white is now a special-order color. Times sure change. The old fridge had plenty of family history hanging magnetically on it. Cruise pictures from 2002. Snow pictures from the Lexington blizzard of 2009. Basketball player of the game pictures circa. 2010. It was a treasure trove of memories getting the old Amana ready to be put out to pasture. I can’t believe how fast it all flew by. The new fridge is clean for now. Boringly white, with no photographic decorations, I know it will fill up fast with graduation pictures, weddings, and one day hopefully some grandbaby pictures. When it comes time to replace this fridge in 20 years, both Donna and I will be on social security. Ouch! I am planning to use this new year to evaluate and plan for what God has in store for me and my family in the 2020’s. Will it be another Roaring 20’s like a century ago? Who knows? Next year, I plan to enjoy each day’s sunrise and sunset and not take them for granted. Best wishes to you and your family for a happy, safe, and prosperous 2020! Thanks for reading Irmo Chapin Life! Todd Shevchik

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Leo’s Pride- Love Every One New Year, New You 2020 Bridal Fashion S.C. Abaco Relief: Supply Delivery, Evacuations, Hope PETSinc- Rescue, Shelter, Adopt, Spay, Neuter


Tracy Tuten, Anna

Faith Matters David Clark

Dempsey, Donna She vchik, Todd Shevch ik, Kristi Antley, Kim Curlee, Elinor Fatato

DEPARTMENTS 9 From the Publisher 11 Events 15 Leader 38 Spice of Life


GRAPHIC DESIGN Jane Carter Kim Curlee

DIRECTOR OF SALES Donna Shevchik • 803-518-8853


EDITOR Kristi Antley EDITOR EMERITUS Allison Caldwell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Tracy Tuten • 803-603-8187 Elinor Fatato • 803-447-0873

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Robin Howard, Linnette Mullin, Jackie Perrone, Derek Savoy, Marilyn Thomas

CONTACT US: 5483 Sunset Blvd., Unit G, Lexington, SC 29072 • 803.356.6500




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Events JAN UARY/ FEBRUARY Thursday, January 10 Saturday January 12 Disney’s Frozen, Jr. Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, 7300 College St., Irmo Don’t miss the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission Children’s Theatre presentation of Disney’s Frozen, Jr. Tickets are $8 each. For show times and tickets call (803)407-5011 or visit First Sunday of Each Month Edventure Sensory Sunday Edventure Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St., Columbia, 9:00 a.m.10:00 a.m. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and sensory processing differences are invited to enjoy exclusive Sensory Friendly Days the first hour the museum opens. They will have the opportunity to explore in a safe and accepting environment and enjoy interactive, hands-on activities. For details, visit First Sunday of Each Month $1 General Admission Days South Carolina State Museum, 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. General Admission is only $1 for guests who visit the South Carolina State

um on the first Sunday of each month! Explore four floors of permanent and changing exhibits, planetarium and 3D shows are an additional price. For more information, visit Thursday, February 6Sunday, February 9 Shrine Circus Jamil Auditorium, 206 Jamil Rd., Columbia Enjoy the nostalgia of a traditional, live, full ring event featuring the Royal Hanneford Shrine Circus with clowns, jugglers, wild animals and performers. To purchase tickets and view show times, visit or call (803)772-9380. Sunday, February 23 Beethoven and Birthdays Symphony No. 5 Harbison Theatre, 7300 College St., Irmo, 3:30 p.m. The Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday

with his famous symphony No. 5 and Romance No. 1 for violin. Free admission, donations accepted. Saturday, February 29 Recycling Day at the Zoo Riverbanks Zoo, 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Discard your recyclable electronics, paper products, scrap metal, tires and cooking oil at this event. Saturday, February 29 Run for Her Life 5k Glow Run/Walk Saluda Shoals Park, 6071 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, 7:00 p.m. Presented by Lighthouse for Life, this event will promote restoration of victims of sex trafficking to spiritual, emotional and physical wellness. Proceeds will go toward the first safe house in SC for girls age 12-17 who have been rescued from sex trafficking. Registration is $35, for details visit or email

Submit your event info five weeks in advance to Events will be included as space permits. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



Family Gathers Here Tuesday Night: Kids Eat Free Wednesday Night: All you can eat Spaghetti Night Spaghetti & Meatballs, Salad, Garlic Bread for $7.99 Thursday Night: All you can eat Fried Shrimp

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faith matters Pastor Chuck McAlister Dutch Fork Church 3517 Dreher Shoals Road, Irmo 803.781.2532

As you start 2020, what do you need to forget? Isaiah 43:18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”

As we face a new year, what do you need to leave behind so that you can move forward in the new thing that God wants to do with you? For some of us, we made mistakes this past year that we need to move past by forgiving ourselves. For others, we need to forgive someone else of the wrong that was done to us. We may even find ourselves struggling with a situation that is just plain unfair or suffering from the consequences of someone else’s bad decision. You cannot live in these “former things” and know the “new thing” that Jesus wants to do in your life. Once you have forgiven or been forgiven, you can build on these to become the new person that the Lord wants to make you. Dwelling on the past is like trying to drive your car backward using only the rear-view mirror when you could drive forward and use the windshield. Don’t you think it’s time to move forward and stop backing up? Keep your focus this year on where God wants to take you. Let Jesus do a “new thing” in your life!!!

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Irmo–Chapin LEADER By Jackie Perrone

Katrina Goggins Katrina Goggins is proud of her family, her Gullah background, her South Carolina education, and everything she has been able to achieve here. Growing up in Charleston in a matriarchal family, she set her goals for higher education and a career she could love. She’s sitting right there now, in fact: director of communications for Richland-Lexington School District 5, supporting the education track she has always admired. “No one in my family had ever been to college,” she says. “As I learned to read and write, I fell in love with language and wanted to learn everything possible about it. I attended Columbia College then had to leave school. I enrolled in Americorps to save some money, spending a year there. That experience widened my horizons, going to places like New England and Washington D.C., and meeting other people. That’s when I met Vincent, who became my husband.

“I liked language and could express myself in writing, but I knew nothing about speaking in front of others. Americorps helped me with that also, and then I was determined to finish college. I enrolled at Clemson and graduated with a major in English. I wrote for “The Tiger”, and I am a huge Clemson fan. My daughter Alana hopes to go there.” The next few years provided a variety of experiences for Katrina. She did some teaching and then began her journalism career with the South Carolina Radio Network, followed by a reporting job at The State newspaper, and then a four-year stint as a reporter for the Associated Press. That combination of educational experience and communications brought her to Richland-Lexington School District 5, and she has moved up that ladder to become director of communications for the district. “I was raised by my mother and grandmother,” she says. “I do not come

from what would be the right circumstances to succeed in life, but they inspired me to move on, and I wanted never to disappoint them. I hope my story can motivate others who have to overcome obstacles and detours to persevere and follow their dreams.” Husband Vincent Goggins is a veteran and longtime law enforcement officer, now a captain with the Richland County Sheriff department. Their daughter Alana is a seventh-grade honor student, and Katrina’s stepdaughter Chelsea is a freshman at Winthrop this year. Both these young women are thriving as they pursue their educations. Katrina says, “In the Gullah culture, we have a saying, ‘It’s Day Clean.’ It’s about dawn/sunrise, a new day, an opportunity to commit to being a little better today … a little better each day. What could be better for building your life? That, along with Psalm 23, is what I live by.” n




Leo’s Pride Love Every One Community inclusion is the motivation and message that the Bugenske family chose to embrace after their son Leo was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in infancy. Because they want to be inside of every moment of the life they have together, they began looking for opportunities to help others do the same. From a Facebook page to a successful fundraising foundation, “Leo’s Pride” has endeavored to seek effective ways to achieve positive change throughout the community.

by Marilyn Thomas

Meredith and Adam Bugenske are life-long local residents and former high school sweethearts, joined in marriage in 2008. Their journey led them from downtown Columbia into a restored historic landmark that previously functioned as a stagecoach and tavern but had been relocated to a 15-acre wooded lot in Chapin. This dynamic couple enjoyed sports together, graduated from college, and established careers in physical therapy and immunology before they welcomed their first child. In 2013, Leo was born. After a difficult birth, the couple was told that the newborn’s poor muscle tone was not necessarily a cause for concern. When his symptoms continued, the couple were referred to specialists who arrived


at a daunting conclusion: Leo had SMA type 1, which, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, is caused by a genetic deficiency of a certain protein; without it, the body’s muscles become extremely weak. Type 1 is the severest form of the disease and is the most common genetic cause of mortality in infants. “We were told that he would have eight months to two years when he was diagnosed at three weeks,” says his father, but Leo has defied those odds. Three years ago, he was prescribed a medication by specialists at the University of Virginia that halted the disease’s progression. “He’s just turned six and what was originally considered a terminal diagnosis very much feels not that way at all. It feels like we’ve got a

diagnosis, but we are absolutely living an incredible life together.” Shortly after his birth, his parents started a Facebook page called “Leo’s Pride,” as a way to share updates about their son’s health and life. Eventually, the social media page was used to

Dash, a shorter race that exclusively spotlights all “special and exceptional athletes.” As onlookers cheer, “Kids in wheelchairs, kids with ADHD, autism, Down syndrome” race to the finish line because “Everybody gets a chance to compete.”

“He’s just turned six and what was originally considered a terminal diagnosis very much feels not that way at all. It feels like we’ve got a diagnosis, but we are absolutely living an incredible life together.” promote a special five-kilometer (5k) “Go Leo Go” race (or one-mile walk) to celebrate their son’s first birthday, raise awareness for SMA, and solicit funding for research and medical equipment. Because of the community’s support, the Bugenske family was able to purchase a medically accessible van that “was critical to Leo being able to safely get to his appointments and safely get back out into his community,” says Mr. Bugenske. “That van opened our community back up to us, so we wanted to be able to create those same opportunities for other families.” Because of this opportunity in 2015, “We decided to turn Leo’s Pride from just a Facebook page into a foundation and create an opportunity to raise money and to identify families like ours,” says Leo’s father. The purpose of that foundation is clearly defined by its directive to “Love Every One,” an acronym created from Leo’s first name. Initially, all donated proceeds were designated to assist with SMA research as well as medical equipment provided by Cure SMA, a national organization that loans special technologies to families at no cost. Later, this focus shifted to projects that promote inclusion and help purchase medically accessible vans for families in need. The Go Leo Go 5k is the main source of fundraising for the foundation, and the event is held each year at Saluda Shoals Park the last weekend in October, as Leo’s birthday is November 1. On race day, national fitness groups sponsor warm-up activities and loan out racing wheelchairs, while participants show up in their Halloween costumes with decorated strollers and wheelchairs. The “favorite part about Go Leo,” adds Mr. Bugenske, is the Lion Heart

In the fall of 2019, a record-breaking turnout completed the 5k at a different destination: a newly built, “inclusive” playground called Leo’s Landing, which was funded by Leo’s Pride, and is located at the St. Andrews entrance of the Saluda Shoals Park. The idea for

this inclusive playground originated with Leo’s mother after they visited the park in 2016. Because physical barriers prevented those in wheelchairs from accessing the playground equipment there, Mrs. Bugenske email-blitzed the affiliates of the Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission seeking a solution. A plan began to develop, and Dolly Patton of the Saluda Shoals Foundation helped champion the cause. The grand opening of Leo’s Landing was August 24, 2019, and Leo’s grandfather, who lives in Chapin and owns Contract Construction, was able to oversee the building process. “That building community has really rallied around our cause because they appreJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



ciate seeing something being built in the community that creates an impact like Leo’s Landing will create,” says Mr. Bugenske. “This is a playground for everybody to come and play on,” says Mr. Bugenske. “whether you are a child who has some special need or if you are a grandparent or parent that has limited

mobility. Every single piece of the playground was thoughtfully and specifically chosen to meet the need of a child that would be there.” It features complete accessibility, slides that stimulate the senses, a large swing that can accommodate a wheelchair, components that are imprinted with Braille and sign language, a ramp that anyone can ride or walk along, a section of musical instruments, and a several other surprises. Additionally, a nearby family changing room was also constructed and specifically designed to accommodate those with special needs. Because of positive experiences at similar parks in Chicago and Myrtle Beach, the Bugenske family wants the

playground to achieve the higher purpose of encouraging inclusion among the young. “If you create a space where it comes naturally to kids,” explains Mr. Bugenske, “the hope is, as they grow up and become leaders of their generation, they don’t think about inclusion anymore,” and, ultimately, they will learn “through inclusion that that’s the way life should be.” Leo’s family longs to see everyone accepted as a part of the local community. “I think that we cherish the opportunity where somebody just engages us, and engages our children in a way where it’s not sympathy or empathy,” says Mr. Bugenske. “You just want somebody to come up and to say ‘hey’ and very simply treat [Leo] like he’s anybody else.” “[Leo] doesn’t see himself as different,” says his father, “although he knows that there are some things that are different about him.” Because SMA does not affect his cognitive ability, he is a typical sixyear-old in many ways. Leo loves his parents and younger siblings and likes music, camouflage, super heroes, Star Wars, and knock-knock jokes. As a huge Clemson fan, he is also a member of the therapeutic recreation “T-Rex” sports team. The Make-a-Wish foundation has even built a small barn on their property, which houses a miniature horse, a pig, goats, and chickens. He attends kindergarten at Chapin Elementary School, and his wheelchair is outfitted with special equipment, such as a Tobii, which is “a communication device that

allows him to use his eyes on a computer screen to make selections that act as his voice.” “We would never want Leo to have gotten this diagnosis,” Mr. Bugenske adds, but, “I think that we are extremely happy with the way it’s shaped our life and what it’s allowed us to be able to do, not just for Leo but to do for others. It’s allowed us to be in the moment, inside of every moment. When you are told you have a very limited amount of time with somebody, you appreciate those moments, so it’s taught us to be very present.” The Bugenske family is open to assisting others dealing with a difficult childhood diagnosis, and Leo’s father specifically mentions Hayes Wingard, another young Lexington resident with SMA. His family will be hosting the fifth annual Hayes’ Heroes Evening of Hope, a fundraising gala, on February 22, 2020. For more details and to buy tickets, visit the event website at http:// Leo’s father also says, “If there are people looking inside of their own communities to find additional ways for us to be able to come in and educate or fundraise, we want to continue to spread our message of inclusion and opportunities for inclusion and the idea of Love Every One.” The Bugenske family can be contacted by email at, through their website at, or via Leo’s Pride Facebook page. “If Meredith and I could, we would want to say thank you to everybody,” he concludes. “We are thankful for our life and the opportunity to do the things that we get to do through our foundation because we know how powerful and impactful and important it is.” n

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NEW YEAR By Robin Howard

When faced with the blank canvas of a new year, most of us resolve to eat better or save more money to make the next 12 months better than the last. However, evidence proves that more money does not ultimately make us happier, and there is little evidence that losing inches is a magic bullet. One of the reasons New Year’s good intentions tend to sputter out in the first weeks is that many of our resolutions have to do with eliminating the symptoms of negative behaviors instead of changing behaviors that lead to more of what we don’t want. We don’t take time to get to know ourselves, or our real motivations, to make a lasting change. What kind of resolutions could we make this year that would truly make 2020 the year of positive change? New research and new technologies could provide some insights.


Check Something Off Your Bucket List

Having a bucket list helps you become aware of what’s really important to you. It ensures that you’re putting your time, money, and effort into doing things that energize you and make life more enjoyable. Having a bucket list also gives you a channel for spending money on experiences instead of things, which research shows make us happier, more grateful, and more content. For example, let’s say you find spare cash under your sofa cushions, and you’re trying to decide whether to spend the windfall on a new television or checking parasailing off your bucket list. If you want to be happier, Thomas Gilovich, a happiness researcher at Cornell University, says skip the television and go on the adventure. Choosing experiences over things may seem counterintuitive, i.e., you’ll be able to enjoy a new TV for years while your parasailing experience will be over in an afternoon. However, that’s not how long-term happiness


Three Life-Changing Resolutions works. If you buy the television, it will give you an emotional boost for about two weeks. Then, a hardwired process called “adaptation” takes over, and your new TV becomes part of the landscape of everything else you take for granted. If you go parasailing, the experience becomes part of who you are. You’ll have a story to remember, enjoy, and tell over and over again. Experiences also help us feel more engaged, content, and grateful. “When you come home from a vacation, you are likely to say ‘I feel so blessed I got to go,’” Gilovich says. Using money for experiences rather than stuff can also help you challenge yourself, expand your horizons and skills, and connect with new people.

Create Tech-free Time

On average, Americans spend an average of 11 hours a day watching, reading, interacting with, or listening to media on a device. In a survey by the American Psychological Association, 18% of adults said ever-present technology is a significant source of stress in their lives. Another study found that heavy tech use is linked to sleep disruption, loneliness, depression, and increased anxiety. If your aim is to reduce fatigue, stress, and anxiety in the coming year, you may not need to work less, exercise more, or start meditating. Merely carving out tech-free time may be the best resolution you can make to reduce stress and anxiety. Consider setting aside one day a week as a tech-free day or reserving a few hours in the evening as device-free. If you have a hard time going no-tech for several hours at a time, at least set limits on device usage during meals, at bedtime, when you’re trying to focus on a project, or when spending time with friends and family. “Not having technology allowed me to think about life priorities instead of always thinking about work, or what other people were doing,” says Andrea Collins, a writer who gave up technology as an experiment. Collins says in her first week without tech, she found herself naturally drawn to




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taking long walks, reconnecting with her family, trying new recipes, and getting more sleep. In other words, instead of relying on self-discipline to force yourself to exercise, spend time with loved ones, or learning new things, you may need to create space for those things to happen naturally.

Get Your Finances in Order

Saving more and spending less are noble goals, but improving your money flow – and reducing financial stress – may be a matter of getting organized. Disorganization, including not having a budget, not knowing how much debt you have, and not having specific savings or debt reduction goals, can lead to constant anxiety. A better resolution than “save more” is to take time to complete an honest and thorough evaluation of your real expenses, debts, and assets, then create a realistic budget. “I am a big believer that orderliness begets wealth,” says financial guru Suze Orman. If staying within a budget is your resolution, user-friendly apps now make it easier than ever to monitor spending, save money automatically, and determine what you need

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to change to live within your means. Getting in the habit of using a mobile app for budgeting means you can see where you’re at with monthly spending in real-time, no matter where you are. Some award-winning apps that are new or expanded this year include: • Mint: Connects to all of your financial accounts and generates easy-to-read real-time reports about spending. • You Need A Budget (YNAB): A debt reduction, savings, and budget-tracking app that comes with truckloads of easy-to-follow advice for living within your means. • Acorns: A micro-investing app that allows you to automatically invest spare change by rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar. Want to save more money this year? Financial planners agree that saving more can be an easy byproduct of being financially honest, aware, and organized. Whatever your goals for 2020, if you’re starting to think about how you’ll improve life next year, remember that simple shifts in behavior – and understanding your real motivations – may yield better results than self-discipline. n

Lamont Watson licensed to do business in the states of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Brad Burdette is licensed to do business in the state of South Carolina. Guild Mortgage Company is an Equal Housing Lender; Company NMLS ID 3274 ( Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee. GA #6268. GA LO-55400. 101 Westpark Blvd. Suite B + C, Columbia, SC 29210. Guild Mortgage Company is not affiliated with Irmo Chapin Life Magazine




2020Bridal By Holly Westmoreland Photos by Theresa Adams

Model Anna Dempsey

The Mon Cheri Modest Collection

Offering both classic style and on-trend design with sleeves honors traditions, values and integrity. Present a dynamic statement of who you are while allowing your true beauty, femininity and personality shine.

The Mon Cheri Enchanting Collection Intricate bodices to meticulous embroidery, this collection showcases breathtaking details that are destined to steal hearts. The Spring 2020 collection is a fresh mix of dreamy fabrics and soft lux laces that will absolutely astonish your guests.

Mon Cheri. Sleeveless allover lace and tulle fit and flare gown with spaghetti straps, sweetheart neckline, hand-beaded illusion lace midriff sides mirrored by matching deep scooped back with covered buttons, scalloped hemline, and chapel train. Available to order in white or ivory sizes 0-20.


Fashion Model Cameron Soltysiak

The Palmetto Bride 7011 St. Andrews Rd., Unit C-1, Columbia, SC 29212 Tues-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat. 10am-4pm (803)740-0865

Maggie Sottero. Bohemian beauty is found in this lace sheath wedding dress with gorgeous, illusion lace poet sleeves and a dramatic illusion back. Finished with pearl buttons over zipper closure. Available in store only.

Model Kristi Antley

St.Patrick Bridal. Timeless mermaid gown in fitted crepe, coated with generous placements of Parisian lace along the straps, plunge bodice, and lace cut out back. Available in store only. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



The lovely and feminine dress is a perfecting satin gown with princess seams that accentuate the figure. The illusion bateau neckline flows into a scoop back with clusters of heavy beading, finishing with a trail of beautiful buttons. Available in store only.

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Better Senior Care-Helping People Age in Place • (803)233-3343 28 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

saluting the Greatest Generation h and a charming ar with a hearty laug be dy ted t an gi a s ks wa voted member of My great uncle Broo s wife Mini and a de hi to d an sb hu g in ador loved, this loyalty as he was to all he cleft chin. He was an l ya lo As . ily m fa ped his orphanVirginia an orphan and esca an extended West up ew gr ks oo Br d ss. Uncle . His escape metho was born out of lo her, at the age of 17 ot br s a hi d an ith y w lit er age togeth ch offered stabi ue at the time whi was the only aven arines. he enlisted in the M 17 years old. guaranteed meal: listed, he was only en ks oo Br cle Un When the color guard, was a member of he r, te la s ar ye our Stars and Just a few onsible for raising sp re es in ar M of n The morna collectio on a base flagpole. ng ni or m rly ea was located at Stripes each and that flagpole , 41 19 7, r be m ce ooks heard ing was De en though Uncle Br Ev r. bo ar H l ar Pe d ing as he bea base calle and a bomb explod ad he s hi er ov g in raised the flag. planes fly ished his duty and fin he , sk ta ng ni or y Pearl Harbor was gan his m ’ story about the da ks oo Br e movies cle Un of The rest t. We have seen th rip sc ie ov m a e lik d a bit Uncle Brooks stood attacked can soun y. When I tell you da g in ify rr te is th ts of I, and shot at the and read the accoun et from World War lm he a ks g rin ea w , hand e knew Uncle Broo with a gun in his does it? Because w al re e H em . se ily t m no fa r es is do ce in ou planes in the sky, th steady calm presen e th y as ck w lu he , en ily be m ve r fa rs of our family ha as the “hugger” in ou ir that a few membe ha ick th ul tif au had the be st ber of our Greate enough to inherit. a hero and a mem so al as w ks oo Br le The truth is, Unc ld past his ear. He to n. Generatio ed him, flying right iss d m an ly w re lo ba t be lle ung men He told us how a bu air fired on the yo e th in es es ly an on ’ pl ks se Broo pane us also how the Ja ese were not Uncle Th o. , to ild er ch ng a da as e is ped th phanag he somehow esca gh he lived in an or ou e Th th e. d lif s pe hi ca g es e durin his own family. H capes from danger at d heartache within an n tio nc tion in my family sfu dy d he avoide l pattern of destruc ca g cli cy on a str as a w e m ch whi to beco throes of addiction cism and grew up ni cy d pe ca es ly us culo that time. He mira patriarch. h and joy-filled family e ns with us throug iv sit po y, and stead mily, but he remai fa r e ou th ith w ow er kn e ng w lo use Uncle Brooks is no folklore to me, beca st ju t an ou th ab e or ng m ni is ar He tire of le the stories we tell. y respects, I never an m rin ne ro ge e he A Th . e. us t s lif that walk amongs tapestry that was hi ned from the heroes ear. ar le ng be ni n te ca lis h a d uc m an him. So r respect ou ed rn ea ve ha us , fore 2016 we were cerations that came be eod Home Care in cL M ed Our rm fo I d an d ices to our clients. When my husban much-needed serv y an ho w m ts, fer of en to cli r le e to ou tain we would be ab forms of assistanc of r be n). m tio nu ra a ne fer Ge of our Greatest of rs skilled caretakers be em m e ar e nd many Our clients provid are often elderly (a was unexpected. rn tu re iss in -m ar ed ne in ga of s d. Live What we have from a life well-live es ie m ov co m ly a on of y at th rth wisdom to us heroic moments wo mily and yes, even is born out of re Ca e om H d es, laughs, hugs, fa eo e do at McL w t ha w threads to n tio vo al ed through l the er script. Our de ev rs pe ve ha ho r those w our deep respect fo y. str of a full life-tape

for the elderly, Serving and caring Melisa McLeod JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



South Carolina

Abaco Relief: Supply Delivery, Evacuations,

HOPE By Linnette Mullin

Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Monday, September 1, 2019, on Marsh Harbor’s shores – the Abaco Islands’ commercial hub and the Bahamas’ third-largest city. It then encompassed Grand Bahama, where it sat for another 24 hours, resulting in the complete shutdown of all Abaco Islands and parts of Grand Bahama. Brandon Liles, private pilot and owner of Exit Realty in Chapin, SC, was at the ready with his four-passenger plane. His friend, Craig Summerall, owner of Exit Realty in Lexington, SC, brought relief supplies, e.g., food, blankets, water, bug spray, etc., for him to load and transport to Abaco. Liles then set out to help others, not realizing the magnitude of what he was about to embark upon. “It started as a desire to help friends,” Brandon says, friends he had made over years of vis-


iting the Abaco Islands. Yet, more than that, he simply has a heart to help people in need. Prior to Dorian, Brandon used his plane to help with Hurricane Florence relief efforts in North Carolina. He had no way of knowing how it would prepare him for what was to unfold with Hurricane Dorian. Brandon grew up in Columbia, SC, and graduated from Irmo High School and USC. His passion for aviation led him to take his first flight at age 15, soloing at age 16. Even though decades passed without flying, his love for piloting never died. Returning to the hobby resulted in earning a private license in 2015 and just recently a commercial license. As the first non-native pilot flying into the Bahamas on Thursday, September 6, 2019, Brandon stepped up to the challenge of flying over 15

South Carolina Abaco Relief (843) 817-7911

hours each day for seven days, loading and unloading supplies, and rescuing victims out of hard-to-reach areas with airstrips too short for safety. Meanwhile, Craig Summerall had started receiving donations. He and another friend, Wes Covington of Murrell’s Inlet, SC, and owner of Marsh Tacky Carbon (which has a business presence in Abaco), started a viral media challenge to raise more donations. At the same time, Morgan Brooks, a medical aesthetician in Charleston, SC, who had also established friendships in the Abacos over the years, had started her own search-and-rescue effort through phone calls, social media, and other venues. Morgan connected with Brandon and Craig while coordinating relief flights for victims to Nassau and Eleuthera (Bahamas), and the United States. Referring to Brandon’s expertise as a pilot, Morgan remarked, “It’s hard work and takes a lot of focus. He’s been a blessing to our group, and we couldn’t have done it without him.” Morgan met Wes through a mutual friend, Diana

Allbritton of Charleston, SC, widow to another heart-for-people pilot, Joseph Allbritton. Along with many other projects, Wes would later help Morgan ship out nearly 800 pounds of donated firefighting gear via Paradise Fund and Operation Air Drop. Morgan’s efforts have aided in the rescue of many, including a family trapped for eight days before being airlifted. Together, Brandon, Craig, Wes, and Morgan decided to form the SC Abaco Relief organization in order to better meet the great and urgent needs of Dorian survivors. The team’s mission is to fill in gaps left by the government and other organizations on the ground that cannot give attention to each individual need due to the vast overload of demand. The affected areas of the Bahamas, an area as large as the entire state of South Carolina, went from paradise to what has been described as post-apocalyptic within 24 hours. There is simply not enough government assistance, from Bahamas or the United States, to meet the amount of critical immediate

need. Electricity or sanitation services are still inoperable in many places, no water, no food, or way to get food, random daily fires, and little to no transportation or shelter. Many families are living together under the few roofs still standing, many of which now have mortgages without homes. Because SC Abaco Relief does not have “red tape” to wade through, often tasks are completed in a timelier manner than other relief organizations by working directly with Bahamian churches and communities. On the US side, it spearheads for indi-




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viduals, businesses, and organizations who wish to donate. So far, the organization has raised just over $150,000 yet has barely touched the surface of need. Items donated include water, food, clothes, Bibles, lumber supplies, tarps, peel and stick sheeting for an instant roof, generators, firefighting equipment, power and hand tools, cars, school supplies, and free flights off the devastated islands, just to name a few. Some examples of individuals and organizations working with SC Abaco Relief are Operation Air Drop, The Paradise Fund, 3rd Wave, Water Missions, Shep Rose, and Mt. Horeb UMC, but corporate sponsors are desperately needed. Here are several options of how to get involved: 1. Utilize connections with affiliates such as a lumber company willing to donate lumber and building supplies. 2. Partner with Bahamian recovery, i.e., churches, community organizations, and schools. Business and school supplies are in great need. 3. Volunteer hands-on services, i.e., fundraising, construction, ground transportation, pilots, boat captains, fire fighters. 4. Sponsor a house, family, or church. 5. Donate needed supplies (water, fresh food, nonperishables, toiletries, clothes, school supplies, toys, building supplies, generators, emergency medical supplies, diabetic supplies, etc.). 6. Monetary donations. As SC Abaco Relief continues to provide for needs of Dorian survivors, Brandon and his affiliates continue to fly down every two to three weeks fully loaded with supplies, delivering dozens of burgers and chicken sandwiches, flying out refugees, reuniting families, etc. What started out as a trip to help friends turned into so much more than he or his teammates ever imagined. Find and follow SC Abaco Relief on Facebook for current events and photos. You can also click over to the website to access the most immediate needs and ways you can get involved on several different levels.n

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TS Inc by Derek J. Savoy

With approximately 6.5 million animals entering shelters each year, roughly 3 million of these animals are euthanized annually, according to the ASPCA. There are several different types of animal shelters, but the most familiar are municipal shelters such as “pounds” and “high-volume” shelters, which are run by the local government, and private “humane” shelters such as nonprofit organizations and other independent companies. Often the high-volume shelters are forced to euthanize many of the animals they bring in, primarily due to overcrowding and lack of funding. Private shelters, such as the local PETSinc located at 300 Orchard Drive, West Columbia, do just the opposite – they go out of their way to find these animals a proper home, and, through fundraising and volunteer contributions, they are able to house these animals until they are properly placed. PETSinc, an established nonprofit humane shelter in West Columbia has been proudly serving the Midlands of South Carolina since December 1991. The current acting CEO of the 501(C)3, Mr. Reid Barrett, has been spearheading the operation since February 2018. With him, came over 25 years of experience in both animal health and veterinary care. “I was approached by the company several years before coming on board,” Barrett says, “but after sitting down to discuss their focus, dreams

and long-term goals for PETSinc, I fell in love with their ideas and agreed to join the team.” PETSinc places over 3,200 animals into adoption or temporary foster homes each year and houses approximately 100 homeless animals at any given time while they are waiting to be adopted. In 2018 alone, PETSinc placed approximately 380 cats/kittens and 680 dogs/puppies in their forever homes – and the number of animal placements has continued to climbed year over year. The nonprofit organization offers an extensive list of services to the community in addition to foster and adoption of animals. One of the most prominent services, which commits 100% of all profits back to PETSinc, is the low-cost full-service veterinary clinic. Here, members of the community are able to have their pets spayed and neutered, vaccinated, receive a variety of surgical and dental procedures, grooming, microchipping and health and nutrition education to help owners pick quality foods and supplements

rescue shelter adopt spay neuter




specific to their animal’s needs. This is a phenomenal resource for pet owners, as they are even able to order various flea and heartworm preventatives as well at a significantly lower cost than most retailers. “We are capable of doing anything from just routine shots to exams and full orthopedic surgery at a fraction of the cost to the community,” Mr. Barrett explains. “This can truly be the difference between life and death to many animals, predominantly due to the high cost of these procedures at other veterinary locations.” The low-cost, full-service “Neuter Scooter Vet Clinic” is the number-one fundraising activity for PETSinc. Through years of successful operation and a noticeable positive impact on the community, PETSinc has raised

Irmo Chapin & Lake Murray 803.381.8950 36 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

Call or Apply Online!

Mark Smith | Branch Manager NMLS# 156485 1303 Chapin Road, Suite. A Chapin, SC 29063 W: 803.932.2034 C: 803.920.8914 F: 803.693.0822

thousands of dollars from generous sponsors, private donors, and volunteers. The PETSinc Monthly Partners are an incredible asset to the company, as donors pledge anywhere from $10 to $400 per month on a recurring basis. These donations help PETSinc to be successful in its mission. Supplementary to private donors, the nonprofit has multiple corporate sponsors, including Lexington School of Music, Irmo Music Academy, Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society, Capital City Plumbing, Grace

Outdoor, and many more. In addition to private and corporate donations, PETSinc hosts several fundraising events each year, including its primary fundraiser, an annual Casino Night/Silent Auction. The other primary annual fundraising event is the river boat cruise, which takes place on the Spirit of Lake Murray. This event includes food, live music, and a two-hour cruise on Lake Murray. The mission of PETSinc is to aid the Midlands of South Carolina and surrounding counties with rescue, shelter, adoption, and spay/neuter of unwanted or found animals through addressing each individual animal’s physical and emotional needs. Oftentimes when an animal enters the shelter, they are scared, confused, anxious, and even sick or malnourished. To combat this, PETSinc provides medical, nutritional, and rehabilitation services to ensure successful life-long adoptions and strives to educate the public about the causes and solutions to the dramatic plight of hundreds of thousands of homeless dogs and cats in the United States. If you are considering adoption, would like to volunteer, or are interested in donating to help this extraordinary cause, please visit www.petsinc. org or stop by the physical location at 300 Orchard Drive, West Columbia, SC, 29169. n

Make Some Noise in the New Year! Let Irmo-Chapin Life help get your business noticed! Call us today at 803.356.6500 to find out how we can help!




spice of life Easy, One Pan Meals

or pot



4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 8 carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds 4 green bell peppers, sliced 8 stalks celery, chopped 8 green onions, chopped Ÿ c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley ½ c. olive oil 1 tsp salt 1 tsp Italian seasoning 1 tsp chili powder 1 tsp lemon pepper ground black pepper, or to taste Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Arrange chicken breasts on a baking sheet; spread carrots, bell peppers, celery, green onion, and parsley around chicken. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and vegetables; season with salt, Italian seasoning, chili powder, lemon pepper, and black pepper. Bake chicken breasts in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center and juices run clear, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

1 tbsp. olive oil 2 1/2 c. cubed fully cooked ham 1/2 c. chopped onion 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp Italian seasoning 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes salt and pepper to taste 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth 1 1/4 c. fat free half-and-half 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta 2 c. frozen peas and carrots 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese chopped parsley for garnish Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add ham and onion; saute for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk together chicken broth, half-and-half, and flour in a bowl until smooth; pour into the pot. Stir in farfalle pasta, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Add peas and carrots. Cook until pasta is cooked through, about 8 more minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

GREEK FLANK STEAK AND VEGGIE SALAD 2 pounds flank steak 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons ground oregano 1 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved 1 English cucumber, chopped 1 red onion, chopped 8 c. chopped romaine lettuce 1 c. crumbled feta cheese 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley Put steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for 38 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

vegetables; pour remainder over steak and turn to coat. Seal bag. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place 1 rack in center position and another 4 inches from broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Toss chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion with reserved 1/2 cup marinade on the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Roast on center rack until vegetables begin to pucker and brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and turn oven to broil. Push vegetables to the middle of the pan. Remove steak from marinade, allowing excess liquid to drip off, brush off garlic, and set on top of vegetables. Broil steak on top rack, flipping once, until it begins to char and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 125 degrees F for rare or 135 degrees F for medium-rare, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing steak thinly across the grain. Serve warm steak and vegetables with pan juices over romaine, sprinkled with feta cheese and parsley.

Twenty- Twenty Speak these words: Twenty-Twenty. One thinks of the clarity of vision. There’s no such thing as coincidence. All the tiny pieces we experience join to other unseen pieces to form God’s jigsaw puzzle. We forget the big picture is not our business. Our business is to see clearly. The big picture belongs to God. The important thing is focus. There are three big topics: God, Country, Family. Proper dealings on all three requires intense inner focus. The only way one can focus on God is to continually seek clarity. Our unchanging God appears fuzzy and vague, but it’s not God who’s fuzzy and vague. Increased clarity about God’s hand makes all other topics clearer. It’s a non-stop vision test where many shiny objects compete. It’s difficult to focus on our country. The national fabric is a tough topic, as we witness its unravelling. Lack of focus on God is part of it -- our culture is mentally lazy. One is a thread of the fabric whether or not one chooses to be a strong thread. There is undeniably a malicious and destructive tearing alongside the lazy unravelling. I have no good solutions for these malicious acts. Our country is like one giant orchard. We are both tree and caretaker. The best one can do is to be clear about the fruit of nearby trees. The most helpful thing is to learn about the plans and instructions left by those who originally laid out the orchard. Our history is a record of how the orchard has been carefully tended and purposely destroyed. Orchard-tenders must be diligent, because the destroyers are diligently seeking to cut it down. The most difficult focus is one’s family. Often our family becomes the close friends we choose, while one’s flesh and blood can sadly be some of the most destructive forces we know. We must reconcile our innermost conflicts. This is a lifetime of work. As our inner conflicts disappear, our family will become clear and strong. It will become evident as we study God and Country how our family stands relative to those two. History tells there were times when our ancestors proved themselves under fire. Women loaded the rifles while men took aim and killed an enemy. Those were terribly clear and focused times. One should consider who one would depend on in similar circumstances. We struggle on a path of shimmering briers tearing at everything we are. We’ll finish the journey by close conversation with God, so it’s a good idea to be talking to God now. We need God’s guidance to improve things however we can so our family has half a chance.

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

We are involved in a mighty battle. As we climb further up Mount Hindsight we will plainly see we are at war. Each of us has a part to play. Let us understand that the failure to focus is the focus we choose and becomes our decision to fail. God is the destination. The destination will remain. n JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



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Profile for Todd  Shevchik

Irmo Chapin Life - Jan 20'  

Irmo Chapin Life Magazine was launched in 2011 to serve the residents who live around the Lake Murray. The magazine was created as a direct-...

Irmo Chapin Life - Jan 20'  

Irmo Chapin Life Magazine was launched in 2011 to serve the residents who live around the Lake Murray. The magazine was created as a direct-...