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2 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2013





104 Saluda Pointe Drive Lexington, SC 29072

Summer is here! The kids have already been busy with a flood of summer activities, and there have been plenty of nicks and scrapes to go around. Since we were out of “adhesive bandages” (no matter which brand name you prefer), I went to CVS to restock. I can’t remember the last time I browsed the pediatric health aisle, but I was amazed at the selection of themed bandages available. Scooby-Doo, Superman, Batman, Dora the Explorer, and Strawberry Shortcake were just a few options. When I was a youngster, I only remember plain old band aids. When did we get so specialized? I noticed the same thing when I moved to the toothpaste aisle. Superheroes and cute girly subjects adorned every package of kid’s toothpaste. Deciding which one to purchase was made more difficult by the fact that I was not only checking the flavor, consistency and brand of toothpaste; now I also had to fig-

ure out whether Noah would prefer Superman over Transformers. I needed a break from all these tough decisions. I went back to the bandage section and bought a large box of plain, unmarked adhesive bandages. If they were good enough for me, they’re good enough for my family. I headed back to the toothpaste aisle, grabbed the Colgate-Spiderman-CherryGel-Fluoride tube, and headed for the register. I couldn’t help but wonder about American marketing and commercialism at its finest. What will toothpaste and Band-Aids look like when I’m a grandpa? Noah was thrilled with the toothpaste, and hugged me when he said it was his favorite. He was disappointed in my bandage selection, but when I told him they were much stronger than the Power Ranger ones, he gave me a big hug and said “Thank you,

Daddy.” I told him next time he was coming with me. Stay safe, and have a great summer!

contents COVER STORY 10 War Dogs

16 Faith Matters Pastor Ken Jumper



12 Marketing in the Midlands 24 State of the Heart 28 Pet Boarding Tips

3 5 7

From the Publisher Events Lexington Leaders Charlie Thomas




6 Financial Strategies Stratos Wealth Partners 14 Car Talk Baker Collision Express

Publisher & Editor -In-Chief Todd Shevchik

EDITOR Allison Caldwell

Sales Manager Anne Reynolds

Editorial Assistant Tiffanie Wise

Account Executive Donna Shevchik

GRAPHIC DESIGN Jane Carter Production Manager Cory Bowen

Website Designer Paul Tomlinson Contributing Writers Cindi Boiter, Allison Caldwell, Kristen Carter, Sandra Johnson, Sarah Melchers, Jackie Perrone, Tom Poland, Aïda Rogers, Todd R. Vick Contributing Photographers Lynne Branham, Johnny Mayo, Bill Rogers

L-R: Allison Ca ldwell, Tiffani e Wise, Cory Bowen , Anne Reynol ds

Contact Us: 225-B Columbia Avenue, Lexington, SC 29072 • 803.356.6500 •

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4 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2013

July Friday Nights at Riverfront Park 312 Laurel Street, around 8 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets and enjoy some quality family time under the stars. Movies begin around sundown, around 8 p.m. July 12: Life of Pi; July 19: Parental Guidance; July 26: Spongebob Squarepants. Sat-Sun, July 20-21, 2013 Moonlight Paddle on Lake Murray Get Your Gear On, 7:30 p.m. Take a moonlight paddle on Lake Murray— see a beautiful sunset on the lake, and then watch the full moon rise. Transportation to Lake Murray is provided from 208 Candi Lane near the Zoo. Reservations required. 799-0999. Saturday, July 20 4th Annual Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival City Roots Farm, Columbia Enjoy live music, old-time festival fun, local food and drink as you celebrate the champion of the garden: the Heirloom Tomato! Buy advance tickets and explore volunteer opportunities at Thursday, August 15 Lexington Kiwanis Club ZumbaRama Lexington UMC, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Enjoy a back-to-school fellowship fundraiser and meet the new high school football coaches! Open to all ages; instructor is LHS grad Holly Pontoon. $15 admission includes and three prize drawing tickets; prizes include cash, jewelry, gym memberships and more! Additional drawings tickets

can be purchased for $5. Proceeds benefit Key Club scholarships and local children’s charities. Sponsorships available. 359-7644 or 359-9060. Saturday, August 31 Labor Day Celebration at Big Man Shealy’s Little River Marina, Noon-until Drive, bike or boat your way to this all-day celebration featuring live music, food, drink, friends and plenty of fun! Located on the lake at Hwy. 391, Leesville. (803) 532-4770. Saturday, September 28 2013 Pedals Against Child Abuse Ride Congaree State Bank on Knox Abbott Drive, 8 a.m. This cycling event will benefit the Dickerson Center for Children, a local nonprofit that provides services to victims of child abuse. Two loops (62 and 28 miles) will leave from Congaree State Bank; each will have rest stop support. Event includes a Family Fun Fest from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sponsor and vendor opportunities available. 791-1511 or

July 2013 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 5

Stephen Sturkie Founding Partner & Wealth Advisor

Women Increasingly Primary Earners, But Not Financially Confident More than half of women (53%) surveyed recently are the primary breadwinners in their households, yet only 20% consider themselves “very well prepared” with their financial decision making..1 Nearly one-third of those surveyed said they earn more than their spouse as a direct result of the rocky economy. Among male breadwinners, 45% consider themselves “very well prepared” with their financial decision making. Other key findings: • Women worry most about household expenses, levels of debt, and saving for retirement. Men worry most about the state of the economy, household expenses, and saving for retirement. • The majority of women see themselves as “savers” (70%) rather than “investors,” and most are only interested in guaranteed/FDICinsured products. • Younger women are experiencing greater financial challenges. Those under age 35 have an unemployment rate of 25%, and 22% don’t own a checking or savings account. • Women overall are underserved by financial advisors. Two-thirds do not currently work with an advisor. The biggest obstacles are perceived to be cost and lack of funds. What can you do to increase your financial confidence? • Seek education about the investment vehicles that can help you reach your goals. Contact local professional/trade associations, women’s groups, community colleges, and adult education centers in your area for information on investment or personal finance seminars taking place. • Work with an investment professional. An advisor is an excellent source of information and guidance to sort through the many choices available. • Obtain information about the retirement benefits that are available through your employer and actively participate in any plans offered. • Most important, recognize the unique challenges you face and start saving and investing as early as possible to overcome them. 1Source: Prudential, “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women,” August 2012. Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Partners, Ltd., a registered investment advisor and a separate entity from LPL Financial.

Jim David, Greg David & Stephen Sturkie 5080 Sunset Boulevard, Suite A Lexington, SC 29072 (803) 386-0307 6 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2013

by Jackie Perrone

Charlie Thomas Charlie Thomas can’t remember a time when he did not plan to be a soldier. He decided at about seven years of age to join the military, and a short time later he did exactly that, lying about his age at 16 in order to enlist. Ever since, his life has reflected the service he gave in Korea, Vietnam and stateside bases. “I came from a family of Marines,” he remembers. “For some reason I never wanted to be a Marine, and I dropped out of high school to join the Infantry. I found myself in Germany at 16 years old, trained and ready.” He received basic training at Fort Bragg N.C., and qualified as an RTO — that’s Armyspeak for Radio Telegraph Operator, an essential post in every unit. He moved on to Korea in the 1950s, and earned the rank of Sergeant. Then despite his lack of formal education, he qualified for Officers Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., and emerged as a Second Lieutenant. He served as a recruiter in Nashville, and went on to obtain a college degree before being summoned to Vietnam in the 1960s. An encounter with a land mine mangled both feet very badly, but physicians managed to save his feet and he was allowed to stay in the Army despite his injuries. Finally, in 1968, Charlie Thomas retired as a Captain and a Company Commander. His chest full of medals includes Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, and Combat Infantry Badge. Fast-forward about 40 years: Charlie

and his wife Harriett now live comfortably at Woodcreek Farms in Lexington. “We’re the candy guys on the block,” he explains. “We love children, and keep candy at the front door all the time for any who come along. It’s trick-or-treat time all year round at our house.” Charlie started life on James Island S.C., and some of his civilian jobs since leaving the Army include work with the Charleston Sheriff’s Department, Property Disposal at Fort Jackson, and the U.S. Post Office in Columbia and Lexington. The couple is active in Fellowship Baptist Church on U.S. Highway 1, where they focus on teaching children in Sunday School and youth groups. Their seven children and five grands keep them young. The neighborhood children call him Papa No-Toes, and never miss a chance to drop by for a game or a chat. He conceals from them the fact that the medical problems encountered in Vietnam are still a challenge; he is currently undergoing surgery and treatment on his legs and feet, and gets around best on his Scooter. Charlie echoes the sentiment often heard around town: We can’t stop Lexington from growing, but we hope it never loses that small-town friendliness and charm. “Best place in the world to live!” he says. n

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Semper Fido: Honoring War Dogs in South Carolina by Todd R. Vick | Photos courtesy of Johnny Mayo Shakespeare once wrote, “Cry ‘havoc!’ And let slip the dogs of war.” (Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 3, Line 273.) This phrase gave the go-ahead for armies to unleash their assault on the enemy. Today, man’s best friend is primarily a domesticated member of the average family. But “dogs of war” have existed for centuries, and are still an integral part of today’s military. Local resident Johnny Mayo served in Vietnam as a Scout Dog Handler from 1969 to 1971. The job of the scout dog was to sniff for enemy trip wires or mines that human eyes could not see. The dogs were maintained on a six-foot leash, held by handlers like Mayo. According to his

website, over 4,000 dogs served in Vietnam, but only 200 survived. After the war, Mayo’s appreciation for the military working dogs led him on a personal crusade that is very close to becoming a reality: a War Dog memorial at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Columbia. “In 2001, I began traveling to various Vietnam memorials with a War Dog exhibit I had made,” recounts Mayo. “I wrote a book called Buck’s Heroes, which is a compilation of war dog stories depicted as being told by the dogs themselves.” The success of the book and Mayo’s passion for military working dogs caught the attention of Columbia architect Allan Marshall and

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S.C. Memorial Park Commissioner Bud Ferillo, who approached Mayo about being the point man for building a monument to war dogs in Columbia. “When I showed my first war dog exhibit in 2001, I had no idea that it would begin the journey which led me to this point. I just wanted to educate people on the importance of military working dogs, and their value to the military.” Mayo’s love and respect for these faithful canines was fueled into a burning passion by a Discovery Channel documentary he saw in 1999. “I learned that war dogs were euthanized after the war as ‘surplus equipment.’” Mayo contacted a local politician and pushed for legislation to adopt dogs of war instead of killing them. It was passed 13 months later, in November of 2000. “As long as the dogs are docile and nonaggressive,” says Mayo, “they can be adopted out to loving homes.” Mayo says if a war dog is killed in action, he is notified within three days. Before the legislation passed, it was over 30 years.

As for progress on the memorial, artist Renee Bemis was contracted to build the monument itself, and architect Allan Mar-

“When I showed my first war dog exhibit in 2001, I had no idea that it would begin the journey which led me to this point.” Johnny Mayo shall built the granite base. Sadly, Marshall passed away in November of last year. When complete, the memorial will be positioned in the center of the current Vietnam memorial in Columbia, on Gadsden and Hampton Streets. The project was announced on Memorial Day of 2012, with a tentative completion date of Spring 2015. Phase One includes a larger than life bronze sculpture of a military dog handler and a German Shepherd; Phase Two will add sculptures of a Labrador Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, and the Belgian Malinois—representing the four primary breeds of military working dogs that have served our nation since WWII.

July 2013 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 11

The War Dog Traveling Wall represents all 4,000 dogs that served in Vietnam.

Help Build the South Carolina War Dog Memorial! All financial gifts are tax deductible. The War Dog Memorial is funded purely by personal and corporate donations. Mayo reports that they are currently around $80 thousand short of reaching their Phase 1 goal of $140 thousand; the completed monument will cost around $200 thousand. It is worth noting that Mayo’s travel expenses for promoting the memorial come out of his own pockets. f A model o f o 1 se Pha d se o p the pro South a C rolina War Dog Memorial.

“Not one dime comes out of the memorial fund to pay my expenses. It is all going toward the memorial itself,” he says with humility. n

Donate online and learn more about this worthy cause. Donate by mail War Dog Memorial Fund c/o Smith Barney P.O. Box 7277 Columbia, SC 29202

Military Dog Adoptions Learn how to adopt retired military working dogs. MilitaryWorkingDogAdoptions. com

12 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2013

July 2013 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 13

Matthew Baker Owner

Continuous Improvement What is continuous improvement? The answer to that question may seem obvious, but the concept forms a distinct ideology. The ideology of continuous improvement revolves around a central idea that there is always a better way to whatever it is you do for a living. At Baker Collision Express, our belief that there is always a better way to repair vehicles shapes all of our production, employee, and customer processes. Therefore, we are firmly committed to constant, incremental improvement to move us closer to the best possible way to repair collision-damaged vehicles. As improvements take hold, our targets change. Continuous improvement is a moving target. While the majority of our time is spent tied up in the tasks of helping customers, sorting through complicated insurance claims, and engaging employees, our primary focus is always defined as finding a better way to do each of these tasks. How can we continue to differentiate ourselves from our competition? How can we make our shops premier places of employment? What changes can enable us to deliver a better product, at a competitive price, faster? How can we dramatically improve our customer’s experience? What can we do to enrich the communities in Lexington and Irmo where our shops are located? These questions form the foundation of our strategic planning and drive us toward the answers. The thrill for us at Baker Collision Express is that the answers to these questions open doors to new questions and new challenges. The reality is that there are many quality collision repair facilities in our community, but few strive to find a path forward to a better way to do what our customers need us to do. Many of our differentiators at Baker Collision Express are the product of our commitment to continuous improvement, including non-commission technicians, providing rental vehicles for customers if their vehicle is not ready when promised, using water-borne paint, utilizing email and photos to keep our customers updated on the status of their vehicles, and many more. After 60 years and three generations in the collision repair business, we do not believe that we have it all figured out, but we are absolutely committed to getting better every day. What does continuous improvement mean for us at Baker? It means that while we are helping our customers with their collision repair problems, we are also in search of better solutions.

Larry, Steve, Matt, and Abby Baker 7433 Broad River Road Irmo SC • 407-5288 5215 Sunset Blvd Lexington SC • 957-4900 14 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2013

July 2013 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 15

Pastor Ken Jumper The Harvest

I was working in the yard and enjoying my Saturday morning a few weeks back, making some good progress cleaning up and putting down some fresh mulch, when it dawned on me that my office and desk were a mess! They really needed some attention and had needed some for weeks. But I prefer the outside work. It just seems to be more pleasurable, and the results are visible to all. Then I was reminded how my spiritual journey can take on the same characteristics. We give a lot of attention to the outside, and rarely take the needed time to clean up on the inside. It’s that time of year when many of us spend money and energy putting on a nice tan for summer outings, getting a new hairstyle, and maybe dropping a few pounds for the sake of that swimsuit (and ladies, you even paint your toenails!). However, when it comes to the “inside” work, well, I just close the door to my office when friends or family drop by. And when someone does make their way into my office, I explain how busy I am and how I have a good plan to address the mess on my desk…tomorrow. Could I be so bold today to ask: “How are doing on your inside work?” When is the last time you tended to your workspace? Our culture puts all the focus on the outside, and yet God, the One who created us and knows us so well, stresses other values. He puts the value on things like goodness, kindness, humility, generosity, and forgiveness — the matters of the heart. So why don’t you and I take a little time this summer to do some inside work? Let’s take a break from the busy pace of summer, find a quiet spot, and look into the matters of our heart. Those external repairs last but a brief moment, while embracing an orderly and well-mannered life extends far beyond the summer into the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Now where’s that waste basket?

Follow Pastor Ken on Twitter at @pkharvest

The Harvest • 4865 Sunset Blvd. Lexington, SC 29072 • 808-6373 • Saturdays: 6 p.m. (378 campus) Sundays: 378 campus 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and Noon Whiteford and Northeast campuses, 10:30 a.m.

16 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2013

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in the

An Intimate View into the Hearts and by Sarah Melchers Minds of Local Ad Agencies Interconnected by touch screens, Wi-Fi signals and pop up banners, it seems easy enough to reach the masses with the click of a button. However, marketing agencies have come to know all too well that within the onslaught of ads, slogans, billboards, and TV and radio commercials that barrage the senses, it is a constant battle to stand out in a crowd. Due to the evolutionary changes in marketing over recent years, companies have had to resort to alternative and more creative avenues through which to reach their target audiences. Some such agencies established in the Lexington and Columbia area that are ready and fully equipped to take on this challenge include Riggs Partners, Shull Media Partners, Splash Omnimedia, The Ad Agency, and PAG Marketing.

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Riggs Partners: Promoting Social Good As a creative marketing and consulting firm, Riggs Partners’ philosophy concerning the rising struggle to be unique is to allow the lines between the business and personal sectors to blur into a tailored advertising platform that allows for pointed, customized marketing techniques. Established by Cathy Monetti in 1987, Riggs has thrived for the past 25 years in Columbia. More than just a

Teresa Co le


marketing agency, Riggs (per Monetti’s vision) has always had a keen interest in giving back to the community. They do this by sharing creative marketing skills with organizations that are trying to ad-

dress difficult social issues of not just the Midlands, but worldwide as well. Because many of these organizations are nonprofits, Monetti realized their desperate need for advertising aid but also recognized the limited funds at their disposal. Stemming from her desire to help those in need, Monetti and business partner Teresa Coles established what is now known as CreateAthon — a 24-hour pro bono groupthink and marketing campaign. What began as an annual community service project in Columbia has blossomed into a national network that has become the catalyst for serving over 1,275 nonprofits through 3,000 marketing projects worth over $15 million. Amazingly, Monetti and Coles have also recruited close to 80 different marketing agencies around the U.S. to help in this endeavor. Concerning their mission when working with any client, Cole says, “The work we do is very meaningful — that is what sets us apart. Our desire is to do community-minded work and to conduct ourselves as if looking through a socially conscious lens. We help all of our clients uncover the truth of their brand, and if there’s an opportunity for their brand to embrace an element of social good, we encourage them to do so.” Shull Media Partners: Giving God the Glory Also based in Columbia, Shull Media Partners is a full-service advertising agency that has its own distinctive business approach. Founder and President Janice Shull has had tenure in the marketing business for over 30 years and is business partners with her husband, Wyman Shull. The couple started Shull Media Partners a year and a half ago.

Janice & Wyman Shull

richly. We started off with 30 clients, which is unheard of. We are just stewards of what God has given us,” says Janice. Clients can be assured that when dealing with Shull Media Partners, every business transaction, marketing campaign, and consultation is prayed over by the Shulls. “Let’s face it; we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Him,” says Janice. “We are very humbled by what the Lord has done for us. I believe that we should use every platform He has given us to glorify Him.”

Splash Omnimedia: Focused on Results What especially sets this agency apart is Splash Omnimedia started out as a its profound desire to run the company marketing and consulting agency for real on Godly principles. As a husband and estate businesses and clients. In 2006, wife team, the Shulls endeavor to repre- when someone outside of the realm of real sent Christ not only within their busi- estate requested that Splash Omnimedia ness transactions but within their mar- come up with a marketing platform for riage as well. their business, founders Matt Thompson “This is important for people to and Michael White jumped at the opporknow,” says Janice. “We were married tunity. As primarily business consultants, 25 years ago, and it has been a Godly Thompson and White quickly realized partnership ever since. We still feel like that they had a great deal of research and newlyweds.” Their main goal is to guide preparation to do before they could funcclients in a way that will allow their busi- tion as a marketing agency. nesses to prosper, “because that is what Instead of choosing one avenue of emGod wants,” says Janice. Her favorite phasis like many other firms seemed to verse is Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (NIV). Even though they have only been in business for a year and a half, the Shulls have been humbled by how quickly their business has taken off. The Staff at Splash Omnimedia “God has blessed us

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July 2013 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 19

have done, Thompson and White kept their options open and decided to emphasize the results rather than the advertising vehicle itself. Get the job done no matter what, and do it well. “With prayer, it just evolved!” says the banner on their website. As the business grew from two partners to six, Splash Omnimedia continued to bring in talents and skills from all areas of marketing experience. “What makes Splash different isn’t just that we do it all — web development, graphic design, SEO/SEM, video, social media, public relations— it’s that we combine it all into a comprehensive, cohesive marketing strategy that is measurable and works,” says White. Necessity is the mother of invention, and Splash Omnimedia understood this concept well as they continued to pray that the firm would grow in its success. From that initial random caller who became their very first marketing client, to the 20 new clients that almost immediately followed, Splash Omnimedia has continued to thrive and expand to several hundred clients within just a few years’ time. “Our marketing is really powerful

because it is adaptive — not one-sizefits-all,” says White. “We tailor our recommendations to your business and help you craft a custom marketing plan that meets your specific needs.” The Ad Agency: A Rare Perspective “Our clients are a good mix of the truly local here in the Midlands, throughout South Carolina, and the Southeast,” says Brad Kneece, owner of The Ad Agency. Since 1996, The Ad Agency has diligently researched, planned and implemented custom-made advertising campaigns for their clientele’s marketing visions. Even though the agency also deals with national clients, over 65 percent of their business has remained in South Carolina, and they are dedicated to the local communities and organizations therein. They are also proud to announce that they have just opened an office in the Charleston area. What sets this firm apart is its multi-faceted experience within the marketing world. According to Kneece, all account managers have actively worked within the media before working for The Ad Agency. They have a rare perspective from both sides of the playing field.

“We know how the advertising business works through media, whether it be radio, billboards, TV, or directory advertising. We are those singular individuals who, at one time, sold the media itself, and now purchase it for clients. We know both sides,” says Kneece. Not only do they understand the position of the clients, the account managers at The Ad Agency are simply good at what they do. Instead of proposing the baseline and fundamental avenue of ru-

Stephen Hammond, Greg White & Brad Kneece dimentary marketing, the firm strives to conceptualize and bring to term the most detailed, personalized form of advertise-


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ment for each client’s individual needs and desires. “Our method is one-on-one with the client and an account manager,” says Kneece. “Everything from their media to business consulting, we bring personalized care. In the truest sense of the word, we are a full-service agency.” PAG Marketing: A Local Focus Started three years ago in Columbia, PAG Marketing understands that advertising campaigns are essential investments for the continued success of local businesses. When considering the genesis of her company, founder and president Kathleen Agustin noticed that many local businesses were struggling to find the time and funds necessary to effectively advertise their goods and services. “As a small business owner, it’s not necessarily in your background to know how to advertise on your own. My goal is to alleviate the marketing burden of the business owner,” says Agustin. She found that a lot of people were trying to advertise on their own, but felt as if they were wasting money because they were not getting the desired results. Agustin

recognized this negative Interestingly, Agusmindset in local business tin’s goal was and alowners, and thought that ways has been to help if they had someone to local businesses. help invest money in the “I don’t have major right places they would companies or national discover that marketing clients,” she says. “I was a powerful investwork with people who ment. Thus, PAG Marare just like me, and I keting was born. am personally involved. Much like a good If my client’s business friend, Agustin listens doesn’t succeed, my own Kathleen Agustin to her clients’ visions business doesn’t sucfor their companies, ceed. If you don’t invest seeks solutions to their probin the right marketing lems, and does her best to help encour- opportunities, then how are people supage business development and success. posed to know how to find you?” Stand Out from the Crowd While these five agencies share similar goals and desires, each one has endeavored to find a niche within the highly competitive, ever-changing marketing environment. Each of these companies understands the importance of being unique and pertinent in a world inundated with marketing campaigns on a minute-to-minute basis. Target audiences must be stirred, entertained, and induced to not only remember the advertisement, but also be convinced of their need for the product or service being promoted. What is the solution to standing out amongst the deluge of media? Be singular. Be creative. Be effective. Sentiments that all five agencies embrace as they market to the Midlands. n

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Photo rs Roge

South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love

by Bill

State of the Heart:

ogers Aïda R


nless you’re brand spanking new to Lexington, you know (or at least know of) the Rogers family. Our entire community is richer because of them. Hugh Rogers is a lifelong resident, attorney and former mayor of Lexington. His wife, Maro K. Rogers, taught three generations of local kindergartners at The Little Red Schoolhouse before her retirement in 2004. Daughters Myda Tompkins and Margot Parrott may be less well-known to the greater Lexington community (residing in Columbia and Charlotte, respectively), but son Clifton owns Rogers Property Management, and daughter Aïda is a longtime writer, editor, and the Visitors and Information Coordinator for the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center. Her latest book was released by the University of South Carolina Press in May, just in time for the South Carolina Book Festival. Rogers conceived and edited State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love is a collection of heartfelt recollections of place. Sportswriters describe beloved arenas, historians reflect on church ruins and forts, and a playwright recalls the magic of her first theater experience. Restaurants, rivers, vegetable gardens, porches, a small library at a children’s home, and places that are gone except in the memories of the writers who loved them—these are just a few of the locales covered. Enjoy the following excerpts, courtesy of the editor! – Allison Caldwell

From When the Peach Trees Bloom, an introduction by Aïda Rogers Writers are haunted people. When it comes to places, they either haunt them or are haunted by them. And there are good reasons why. Something happened there, or there’s something good there, something meaningful. Sometimes there’s just some-

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thing about a place that puts your soul at rest. You belong there. My soul belongs somewhere on Highway 23, between Batesburg and Edgefield. I like it especially in the early spring, when the peach trees are in bloom. I drive by, charmed and somehow soothed, by the pastel blur of orchards, so pink against the

sky. They’re interrupted by an occasional grand, old, unpretentious home. They seem as rooted to the earth as the farms they command. The writers who’ve contributed to this book have their own special places. Some of them are icons, famous for their history or beauty. Others are as obscure as a pri-

Photo nne B

by Bill

by Ly




Cindi B oiter vate back yard or hidden-in-plain-sight as a chain coffee shop. And then there are those places that no longer exist, except in the memories of those writers who can’t shake them off. Haunted, they are. From Blackberries for BMWs by Cindi Boiter, about her homeplace in rural Spartanburg County Suddenly, a forty-year-old, three-bedroom Masonite house in need of plumbing repairs and a new roof but with a sweet little strawberry patch out back increased in worth exponentially. No longer needed to shelter families or provide backdrops to the rituals of life good country people had enjoyed—spring gardens, watermelon slicing, and shade tree sitting, to name a few—our former homes suddenly claimed an unheard-of value that could only be realized in their absence. Value and worth are tricky concepts. From For the Birds by Tom Poland, about Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge For three summers running in the 1960s, I spent two weeks at my aunt’s home in Summerville. Daily trips to Folly Beach made my heart beat wildly. All that openness, sun, sea,

nd Tom Pola and stretches of beach created a horizon like no other. I could see for miles. When I went back home to eastern Georgia’s forests and hills, the world closed in on me, and a longing for salt, sand, and spray consumed me. The surf kept calling in the whelk shell I held to my ear. Nothing’s worse that growing up landlocked once you’ve had a taste of the sea. Rural outposts grow big dreams in country boys and my dream was to live on the coast. Fate, however, had something else in mind—something beyond the cost—beautiful islands in a beautiful refuge called Cape Romain. From Solace Among the Sycamores by

Sandra Johnson Sandra E. Johnson, about the Congaree riverwalk in West Columbia This place—timeless yet constantly evolving. Each moment here is a reminder that everything is in the process of being created, existing, then dissolving; and recognition of this softens the sharp edges of my pain over the unexpected death of my forty-seven-year-old brother and other losses. Yes, this place is a source of solace. No manmade structure, not even the most beautiful cathedrals, could give me what this place does because despite all our knowledge and skills, we humans cannot create nature. We can only be a small part of it. n

State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love is available at the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center in hardcover ($39.95) and softcover ($19.95). The anthology includes a foreword by Pat Conroy and recommendations from New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe and South Carolina historian Dr. Walter Edgar. Join Rogers and contributors Cindi Boiter and Sandra Johnson for a discussion and book signing at the Lexington County Library on Wednesday, July 10 (6:30 p.m.).

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your Four-Legged FamilyMember by Kristen Carter

Whether traveling for business or fun, it’s not always practical to take along a fourlegged family member. Arranging care of a beloved pet for an extended absence can be daunting. Knowing what to look (and look out) for in a kennel can help you choose wisely.

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Scout out facilities Be sure to tour a facility before boarding your pet. “Ask to see everything, not just a single room or two,” says Dr. Barry Kellogg, senior veterinary advisor for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. Here are some factors to consider during your tour: Cleanliness. Floors, runs and kennels should be clean and free of debris Light and ventilation. The interior should be bright, with odors whisked away. Cage size. Each animal needs space for a bed, plus room to move. For cats, the space also should accommodate a litter box, and offer a place to hide. Exercise runs. Runs are usually located inside and out; those with a double-gated entry provide extra security. Separation of dogs and cats. Ideally, cats and dogs are kept in separate rooms,

not just separate enclosures. It can be highly stressful for cats to reside near unfamiliar canines. “I agree wholeheartedly about having enough room for each pet,” says Jeff Murray, owner of Chapin Pet Lodge. “Our dog runs are 4’ by 16’ with gates at each end, block walls between each run to prevent cross contamination, and a sliding glass door at the end to allow ventilation for the entire wing. For cats, each unit was hand-built with cleanliness and space in mind. We left enough space for a personal bed, blanket or toys so the cats can wind down and enjoy their visit. Our garden apartments feature screened-in porches where cats can go out and lounge on their private porch in peace.” Who are the caretakers? Most kennels won’t have a veterinarian on staff, but the staff should be trained

and experienced, and include at least one Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) to address health concerns and elderly pets. Kellogg reminds pet owners to “watch staff interaction with your pet. You want to see if they can sense the personality, and understand animal communication and behavior.” The experts also advise to ask about the ratio of staff to pets. The fewer animals each staffer is responsible for, the more individual attention your pet is likely to receive. Daily activity Ask about the daily routine, the number and length of walks and exercise sessions. Exercise should occur more frequently than is necessary for bladder relief. Kellogg suggests asking kennel staff to define “exercise.” “Do they put your dog in a run by himself, or is there a person there with handson interaction? Some dogs prefer to go running alone. Other animals would become highly stressed without human playtime,” says Kellogg. He also recommends against group play. “Dogs are pack animals, but the pack is hierarchal. There will be issues. This is always the risk associated with group play,” he says.

“... watch staff interaction with your pet. You want to see if they can sense the personality, and understand animal communication and behavior.” When boarding a cat, beware the cat condo structures with lots of cubbyholes. “A big castle may look appealing, but the carpeted surfaces pose a sterility problem. It cannot be cleaned thoroughly, and can become a source of disease,” Kellogg says.

Individual needs and preferences Even though the Humane Society names boarding kennels as a known cause of stress in pets, you can take steps to help calm your furry friend. Providing a familiar blanket or sleeping pad can help to reduce anxiety associated with being in different surroundings, and providing food your pet regularly eats can prevent gastro-intestinal upset. If your pet is on medication, ask about the administration procedure. Most facilities will give medications, but some will not. Ask ahead of time to be sure. “Stress is a huge factor in boarding facilities, and we think we have it down pat for owners as well for the pets,” says Murray. “If a client wants to board with us and it’s their first visit, as long as we have the proper vaccine information we allow the owner to come by, drop the pet off for a couple of hours, and then come back and pick their pet up. We let the client do this twice at no

cost before booking a reservation, simply because it gives the pet a chance to visit and realize that Mom or Dad is coming back, the staff a short time to bond with the pet prior to the reservation, and lastly gives owners a little more peace of mind.” A little research and informed decisionmaking will ensure a happy, healthy summer for you and your four-legged family members! n

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Lexington Life Magazine - July 2013  
Lexington Life Magazine - July 2013  

Lexington Life Magazine, a premiere publication serving the residents of Lexington, SC. Published since August 2004, Lexington Life Magazin...