magazine Publisher Tammy Clark firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Heather Page email@example.com Office Manager Tiffany Skipper firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Executives Jordan Pupa email@example.com Julie C. Tyler firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Design Tuesday Taylor Ashley Rogers
Contributing Photographers Jonathan Boatwright Erin Daniel Rebecca Giese Phillip Guyton Collin M. Smith Contributing Writers Mark W. Buyck, III E. Nicole Cogdell-Quick Rebecca Giese Alexis Grantham Bryan Holt Zach Hughes Jack Muench Kelly Parker Lucy Price Allie Roark T. D. Rykard Doug Smith
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During May, we celebrate growth! Growth in our families, growth in our businesses, and growth in our communities. Thanks to NDC Photography, downtown Lake City graces our cover because of the extraordinary growth that their city has seen over the past several years. Read more of their story on pages 38-41. We hope you enjoy! If youâ€™d like your photography featured on Vipâ€™s cover, send your entries to email@example.com!
CONTENTS ISSUE 42
BUSINESS 12 Wilcox, Buyck & Wiilliams, P.A.: Estate Planning Without Estate Taxes
14 Tammy Lewis: Mullins On The Rise 16 Gina Heron: What's Left Between Us 18 Webster Rogers: Tom Fitzsimmons 20 Mary's Flowers & Gifts LLC + Florence Chamber 22 Newsworthy: Something to Celebrate 24 Around Town: MFBG Wine Stroll 26 Gift Guide: Kitchen + Serving Accessories
HEALTH + BEAUTY 28 Katelyn Whitlow-Boone: Bent But Not Broken 30 HopeHealth: Mental Health in the Workplace 32 May 2019 Calendar of Events 34 Liyana Shaik: Love for Liyana
LIFESTYLE 38 Revitalizing Downtown Lake City 42 Hillary Griggs: Thank Your Village
44 Crossroads: Change in Rural America 46 Micky Finn's: Wines To Get You Through the Summer 48 COAST on Carolina: Spray Tanning 50 Camp Pee Dee Pride: Making Memories 52 RedWolves: Thank You, First Responders 54 Bucket List: SC State Capitol Building
HOME 56 Rebecca Giese: April Showers Bring May Flowers 58 Doug Smith: Rosebuds and New Beginnings 60 Gift Guide: Mother's Day Gifts
Jack Muench Concentrating in Corporate Law, Tax Law and Estate Planning
Without Estate Taxes The current federal estate tax exemption, that is, the value of property that a person may possess at death without incurring federal estate tax, is currently $11.4 million, $22.8 million per couple. The author vividly recalls a time when that exemption was only $600,000, or $1.2 million per couple. In that unhappy time, a bit of family land, a modest pension, and some life insurance could push a person into having to engage in estate planning with an eye toward tax savings. Frequently, this was a frustrating and expensive process, as individuals were forced to confront estate planning documents which, at times, were nearly incomprehensible and which often forced people to adopt plans that did not always match their personal goals. Fortunately, the existing large exemption means that most people can now focus exclusively on their planning desires. The purpose of this article is to address several issues that individuals should focus on before visiting with their advisors to begin the estate planning process. We find that often the most critical -- and the least adequately considered -- issue in estate planning has to do with proper planning for minor children. All of the following need to be carefully considered in proceeding with an estate plan which features minor children. Bequests for Minor Children. Many people address their estate plan according to the following paradigm: a husband and wife, who leave everything to the other on the death of the first to die, and in the event of a common disaster or on the death of the second to die, everything to the children. Problems arise when
one considers that leaving valuable or substantial gifts to minor or even naĂŻve children may, for a variety of reasons, represent inadequate asset protection and, much more significantly, a child inheriting too much, too soon. Such a situation can present a substantial disincentive for a desirable education and an established work ethic. For this reason, itâ€™s frequently preferable to leave children bequests in trust. In addressing this matter, one should consider the identity and experience of the trustee; events, whether presented by the vicissitudes of life or by the passage of time, will require a distribution of assets; and the disposition of trust assets if a beneficiary dies or becomes disabled before his or her share of the trust would otherwise become distributable. Further, one should consider substitute or successor trustees in case the trustee initially named becomes disabled or passes away during the term of the trust. Of course, itâ€™s a good idea to discuss the potential trusteeship with the person to be named as trustee to be sure that she is up for the task, both as to her experience with asset management and her abilityand willingness- to refuse an improper distribution request. Address Guardianship Issues Sufficiently. We are all aware that we should appoint a guardian to take care of our children if we die while our children are still minors. The choice of guardian should always be discussed in detail with the person who is chosen to be the guardian. Further -- and this is of critical importance --your will should provide a bequest to the guardian(s) to compensate them for what may be considerable expenses, including food, clothing, and shelter needs, that the guardian(s) will face upon assuming this critical duty.
Blended Families Create Complexity. Many people desiring to enter into the estate planning process are in their second or third marriage and have children from previous marriages. Each of those children can possess markedly different characteristics when it comes to education, life experience, and financial abilities. Careful consideration must be given to achieving flexibility and, especially, not only fairness, but also the appearance of fairness. If you find yourself in this situation, be prepared to spend time and effort in coming up with a plan that is workable and achievable within the bounds of your marriage and your relationships with your own and each other’s children.
Remember that Your Plan is Your Plan. Frequently, we see people get tied in knots because they don’t want to hurt others’ feelings. None of us can please everyone. While it is always wise to try and consider the ultimate emotional effects of any particular plan, remember that your assets and your desires are of utmost importance in your planning process. Before doing much in-depth planning at all, step back and consider what you, after years of work and devotion to your family, want to achieve in your plan. Without addressing such high-level issues, dealing with matters such as those discussed above can create anxiety and unpleasantness which can derail the planning process.
Conclusion. The enhanced federal estate tax exemption signifies that most of us need not consider estate taxes when engaging in our estate plans. This leaves most of us free to consider what is important to us and how we want our beneficiaries treated. As discussed above, even that simplified focus features decisions which require considerable thought and reflection.
248 West Evans Street | Florence, SC | 843.662.3258 2050 Corporate Centre’ Drive, Suite 230 Myrtle Beach, SC | 843.650.6777
Business Law, Litigation, Real Estate, and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys May 2019
Mullins on the Rise Tammy Lewis,
“Do what you love, and you'll never work another day in your life.” We’ve all heard this advice many times, but Tammy Lewis has brought it to life with her passion for Mullins, SC. Tammy has been a resident of Mullins for 52 years and has had the opportunity to see its changes and growth over the years. Today she contributes so much to Mullins. Not only is she the Chamber of Commerce President, but she is also a wife, mother, grandmother, business owner, and manager amongst many other roles. She strives to see Mullins prosper again and puts in the hard work to make it happen. Tammy knew she wanted to own a business for several years and researched the best types of business for small towns. She opened Lillie K’s Collections in 2013, a trendy women’s clothing and accessories boutique located on Main Street. Tammy’s daughter, Whitney, is the manager at Lillie K’s, while Tammy manages the financial aspects of the business. Her favorite part of owning the shop is the great, supportive customers and meeting new people who stop in. 210 Vintage Market, which carries antiques, vintage, and refurbished items, was opened for business in September 2018. “My sister, Sherry Owens, and I have a love of “junk” and antiques and the opportunity came up for the building we are currently leasing,” explains 14
Tammy. “We rent vendor spaces in the shop so that other “Junk Gypsies” can join us!” In addition to taking part in her more recent ventures, Tammy has worked at J R Battle & Co since January of 2006 and is currently the Manager. She has worked several places in her lifetime but describes this job as being one of the most rewarding experiences. “My duties include managing the warehouse during tobacco season for Safe Marketing, LLC, maintaining all financial records of several businesses including accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll, as well as, maintaining crop insurance policies for farmers,” she shares. “This is a very rewarding job because I have a great working relationship with our farmers and R J Reynolds Tobacco Company.” Tammy’s duties do not end there. She became the President of the Mullins Chamber this year after serving on the Board of Directors. “As a business owner in Mullins, I realized the importance of “loving where you live, work and play.” Being a part of this organization has been so rewarding. We have one of the best Board of Directors who shares my passion for our community, and they are all dedicated to making Mullins the best it can be and marketing our local businesses.” Tammy
appreciates the support from her Executive Director, Michele Coleman Rogers, and Mayor, Bo McMillan, who share the same passion and help make things happen. The Chamber Board strives to involve their local businesses and citizens by hosting several events throughout the year. Tammy states, “With the loss of so much industry and the downsize of Tobacco in our area, we are starting to see Mullins come alive again with new businesses and new residents who believe in our great city.” Chamber events throughout the year include their Annual Banquet, Legislative Breakfast, Easter Egg-stravaganza, Chamber Golf Tournament, Let’s Cruise Main Street, Cruise, Shuck & Shag Event, and Hometown Holidays in Mullins, which includes Late Night Shopping and Breakfast with Santa. “All of these events are a great way to showcase our local businesses with advertising and marketing sponsorships,” explains Tammy. The Chamber is working to start the Mullins Activation Committee (MAC) again, which assists commercial property owners with façade grants. The program has been idle for a number of years. Tammy was also recommended to the Governor of South Carolina by the Marion County Delegation to serve on the Marion County Voter Registration and Elections Board as a Commissioner in October, 2017. She is currently serving her district in Marion County. In addition, she was recently appointed to the Wildlife Action National Board of Directors. While Tammy’s plate is full with her job, businesses, and community service, she describes it as being very rewarding. “You have to meet your obligations to all of them while putting God and your family first. It is very time consuming with all of the demands, but I have a very supportive husband and family.” Tammy also has an 8-year-old granddaughter, Lillie Grace, who is a huge part of her life. “I make time to be a part of any and everything she does including school, dance, church and softball.” The growth of Mullins over the past few years is exciting for everyone. “We are bringing tourists into town that are eating in our restaurants, touring the SC Tobacco Museum and, most importantly, patronizing our businesses.” Tammy encourages parents to get their children, our future leaders, involved in their community at an early age and to teach them the importance of community service. She also encourages readers, no matter where they live, to support their local businesses. “We want to keep our dollars in the local economy in order for businesses and our City to survive. As the saying goes, “It takes a Village”, so please give some of your time to your community. It’s the only way to GROW!” May 2019
This month, Vip visited Gina Heron, mom of two, Francis Marion graduate, and author of What’s Left Between Us, A Pearl Girls Novel. Her character’s story of heartbreak, sacrifice, and forgiveness leaves readers grasping for more while her ability to describe the Southern roots surrounding her, allows us to live vicariously through her words. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to tell a good story, follow Gina’s steps below. Gina, tell us a little bit about yourself. “I'm a native of the Hannah/Friendfield community in Florence County and moved back home around five years ago. After graduating from Francis Marion University with a degree in English Literature, even though I always wanted to pursue writing, I ended up settling into a career in tech. I started out as a technical writer for a software company, and now I work as an Agile Facilitator, which is a fancy way to say I help manage work streams for development teams. “At home, I'm a single mama to two awesome young people. Between parenting, being a full-time employee, and writing on the side, I stay pretty busy, but I'm fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family who pitch in to help in more ways than I can count. It truly takes the whole village to keep me going, and I couldn't be in a better one than I have here at home!” What inspired you to write? “I've always been a bit quiet and shy, so coming from a huge Brady-bunch style family (I was the youngest of seven), books were an early escape from the noise of the world for me. One of my best memories from my childhood is visiting the Bookmobile during the summer months, when it would stop at Carraway's on Highway 378, right down from our house. I still remember the way it smelled in there. Anyway, I'd load up on books and find a spot to tuck away and fall into a good story.” In What’s Left Between Us, you write about bay, a girl in love that turned into a woman in love. While this novel is fiction, did you find yourself relating to Bay?
photo by Collin M. Smith 16 VIPMagSC.com May 2019
“It's funny, I can't say that there are a lot of parallels between Bay and me and our histories with love, and I didn't internalize her experiences with Scott (Bay’s lifelong love)
so much as I observed how their story unfolded. My initial idea was to examine how we outgrow the relationships of our youth, but these two had other ideas! I intended for Scott and Bay to go separate ways, but as I got to know them, it became clear to me that they'd roll up their sleeves and fight for each other - no surrender! So, in the end, their storyline became one about two people who could have chosen to part ways but decided instead to reinforce the foundation of their relationship and build something solid together. That's something I learned from Scott and Bay: whether you give up on a relationship or rebuild it when it's been damaged, you always have a choice." Tell us about your career in writing. "What's Left Between Us is the second novel I've written, and I worked on it on and off for about five years before ultimately publishing it. Part of that time was spent doing a series of revisions based on feedback from my critique partners and literary agent, and about a year of it was spent submitting to publishers and making more adjustments. In the midst of that process, I had an idea for the Pearl Girls series. Each book in the series features a different main character, all connected to the same family. Making this story a part of a series required some extra work, so that added a little time on. The good news is I'm getting more efficient with each book, so hopefully, the rest won't take so long!" Your character Scott was a war hero. When writing his war scenes, how were you able to so vividly describe his experience? "The war research is probably what I worked on the longest for this book. It was important to me that I be as true to that experience as I could be. Over the course of several years, I read books and watched movies based on true stories of soldiers in captivity, hostage rescue missions, and soldiers suffering from PTSD. I also conducted interviews with and had early feedback from members of Special Forces and an Army nurse. Finding Scott's voice and hitting the right tone took some stretching for me, but it was worth it. I think." Tell us about the feeling of accomplishment when you could finally say the book was completed. "This is an interesting question! I don't think I felt that the book was completed until people started reading it, and reviewing it, and actually loving it! There were many points along the way where I felt a sense of pride about the work: finishing the first
draft, landing an agent, having it well-received by editors at publishing houses, and eventually holding the finished book in my hands. But nothing else comes close to having readers connect with the characters and story. That's the ultimate satisfaction, to have connected." What has been your favorite experience during this journey?
Purchase your copy of What's Left Between Us on Amazon.
"My favorite part of writing this book--my favorite part of writing fiction, really--is when the characters surprise me. It's a surreal experience when a scene takes off in your head, and the action is dragging you along so that you're typing as fast as you can, trying to keep up with what's unfolding in your mind. A couple of the scenes that played out that way in What's Left Between Us had me in either tears or breathless anticipation for what the characters would do next. That's when you know you're getting the good stuff.
"One of my other favorite things I can't fail to mention about the book is the beautiful cover art. When I decided to publish it on my own, one of the big upsides was having the creative freedom to choose whatever I wanted for the cover. Rather than rely on stock cover images, I turned to my favorite partner in all things creative, Michael Krajewski. Michael is a Columbia-based contemporary artist (if you don't know about him, please find him at www. krajewskiart.com), and while he'd never done a book cover before, I couldn't imagine anyone else putting art on this for me. And isn't it lovely? If you look hard, you'll see some little details in there, like a bee in Bay's hair and the palmetto tree in the background. Aside from the story itself, the cover is the most important part of putting together a book, and I couldn't be happier with this one. I can't wait to see what he comes up with for the next one!" Any future projects we should be on the lookout for? "Even when I say I'm taking a break, I'm always working on something new! Right now, I'm putting the finishing touches on the second novel in the Pearl Girls Series, BURIED BENEATH THE LIES, which I'll release in October 2019. I've also been working on a poetry series and am playing with an idea for a retelling of Tess of the D'Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy, which is one of my favorite classics." May 2019 May 2019
Tom Fitzsimmons with wife, Jodi
Helping Businesses Be Their Financial Best story by Lucy Price
Tough winters in Pittsburgh, a busy work season, and a long commute brought Tom Fitzsimmons and his wife, Jodi, south. Just before a post busy season vacation to Myrtle Beach, Tom reached out to a recruiter to explore some new options. As it turns out, the recruiter worked with WebsterRogers and they were looking for someone with the level of experience that Tom had. The first day of their vacation turned into a day of interviews and the rest is history. Tom joined WebsterRogers in 1996 and has been with the firm for 22 years. WebsterRogers serves individuals and businesses of all sizes, but Tom’s interest and expertise have always been in working with medium to large commercial clients, employee benefit plans, and not-for-profits. “When you have experience working with the same type of clients, you tend to encounter a lot of the same concerns,” shares Tom. “What inspires me is being able to share and leverage my experiences to help our clients.” Tom has held numerous positions over the years. His current role as Vice President presides over the firm’s finances. “What excites me most about this new role is the partnership with our President, Amy Urquhart, and our management 18
committee,” explains Tom. “We have a team that is passionate about our people and our clients. I expect to see great things in the future of the firm.” As far as Tom’s specialty goes, first and foremost, he is an auditor. He explains to us what an audit is and why it is important. “In an audit, we examine various documents and business records to support the recorded transactions and account balances reported in the financial statements. We also review and evaluate internal controls all under very specific guidelines. Audited financial statements provide business owners, board members, and stakeholders confidence in the financial statements they are relying on to make business decisions. In addition, an audit may help detect deficiencies in internal controls that could lead to fraud. The information from an audit can help businesses avoid cash flow issues and better plan for the future.” Tom explains how valuable the process is for both the clients and for WebsterRogers. “We get involved at every level in the business. I love going through this process with our clients and coaching them through various challenges.”
Cate with MerryLegs
With one deadline behind them, WR is still working diligently on client projects. Given the new tax laws, they have been planning with many of their clients since late last year as there are a myriad of changes impacting individuals and businesses. Taxpayers are impacted in different ways. Fortunately, WR has the expertise and experience to navigate the most complex issues.
While Tom often helps clients overcome obstacles, a memorable moment is when he helped a business client obtain a financial loan in order to expand their facilities. Tom shares, “I was able to get involved and lead them through some crucial conversations with the bank and provide insight that got everyone comfortable. This expansion was critical for the client. Seeing it all come together and the finished facility was truly gratifying.” Tom's ability to gain his client's trust is in part due to how he treats people. "My mother taught me to always treat people with care and respect; everyone is important," he said. A philosophy he keeps in the forefront of his business practices. Tom has had the extraordinary privilege of experiencing the evolution of WebsterRogers over his 22 years with the firm. They have grown by seven offices, including one in Myrtle Beach and one in Florence, to a total of nine locations. “Adding those offices has enabled us to serve clients along the entire coast of South Carolina through the Midlands,” says Tom. “With the physical expansion, we have probably added another 90 associates. As we have added people, we have also been able to add new expertise in specific areas they didn’t have before. Those capabilities have enabled us to better serve not only our individual clients but to also continue to take on more and more complex engagements.” While many changes have been made throughout the years, one thing has always stayed the same - the people. “The people of WebsterRogers are what I enjoy most about the firm. It was the founding partners that led to my decision to not only join WebsterRogers but to build my career with this firm because of who they were. I enjoy working and developing our young associates and working as a team to help a client. I truly believe the people of WebsterRogers make the difference.”
Tom Fitzsimmons earned a BS in Accounting from Penn State University. His wife, Jodi, oversees Revenue Cycle Management for McLeod Physician Associates. Together they have 15 nieces and nephews. Tom is a member and former President of the Florence West Rotary Club and a McLeod Fellow. May 2019
+ story by Jordan Pupa
A Local Shop Supporting the Local Community If you would have told Patricia Taira years ago that she would end up operating a flower shop, she would have said “no way!” Her career journey has given her experience in retail sales, customer service, and property management, and led her to locations such as Charleston, SC and even San Diego, CA. After being away from Florence for 22 years, she had a strong yearning to come home and has been back in Florence since 1997. On Jan 1, 1999, Patricia and her husband, Steve, purchased Mary’s Flowers & Gifts from her mother and father, making it a second- generation family owned business. Formed by Patricia’s parents, JC and Mary (Poston) Stone, Mary’s Flowers & Gifts originally opened in 1976 in the former Nell’s Beauty Shop on South Church Street. Unfortunately, arson consumed the original location around 1987, but the shop later reopened temporarily on South Dargan Street, then relocated to its current location on South Irby Street in 2015. Patricia’s father was diagnosed Patricia and her mother, with kidney cancer, the late Mary Stone and Patricia’s mother decided to give up the shop in order to take care of him. While Patricia and her husband knew very little about the business, they did all they could to keep the family business successful. Patricia shares, “I remember our first year, Mom asked me to reach in the cooler and bring her some Gypsophila and statice. I looked at Steve, and whispered 20
‘What? You’ve got to be kidding me. What is Gypsophila and statice? I’ll never be able to remember these varieties.’ It was at that point I realized that we might be in trouble and bit off more than we could handle! We stepped up to the plate, stayed late, grabbed some books and practiced all those names. It took about two weeks, but we slowly got there.” While Patricia’s parents both gained their wings over the years, the Taira’s made changes and improvements over time, including adding event planning and balloon sculptures, to stay relevant to current customer needs. Steve and Patricia celebrate their 20th year in operating Mary's Flowers & Gifts, LLC this year. However, this year also marks the businesses overall 43rd year of existence serving floral and events for the Florence area. Today, Patricia owes most of the business’ success to her parents. In fact, to this day, Patricia still gets called “Mary” by many customers. She describes Steve as being her “saving grace” and brags on her small, yet powerful, team of floral designers, delivery personnel, and store manager. Of course, the great customers are what keeps the business alive. “We do appreciate and thank our loyal customers who have supported us throughout our existence,” says Patricia. “It makes such a difference to both small and large companies, when our city, and hometown, supports and shops locally.” The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce has also been a great support to Mary’s Flowers & Gifts over the years. The business first became a chamber member in 2000. “The Chamber opportunity has allowed us to present and display some additional talents coming from our flower shop,” explains Patricia. “The exposure has landed us numerous other event and party work throughout the city. We thank the Chamber for the opportunity to work with them on their annual business luncheons.”
Jennifer Gainey, Floral Designer; Patricia Taira, Owner; Donna Stephens, Delivery Personnel; Seated, Paul Ponn- (AIFD), Floral Designer; Melonie Lee, Store Manager; not pictured, Diane Lee, Sales Support; John Vasilakis, Delivery Personnel
Being a Chamber member comes with many benefits. Patricia explains how their membership has increased business visibility within the community and provided networking opportunities where they have met many wonderful business partners. “We are extremely proud to display our membership decal. What creditability that alone brings to our local businesses.” Patricia has also been part of the Chamber’s Ambassador Program since 2017, which she describes as one of the best decisions she could have made. She states, “It is heartwarming to meet other businesses and welcome them into our community and the Chamber of Commerce membership pool.” In closing, Patricia explains how the Chamber’s mission is clear - Promote and enhance a favorable business climate and improve the quality of life to make Florence the best community in which to live and operate a business. “For this, we should be thankful,” says Patricia. “Thank you, Florence Chamber of Commerce, for your involvement and work, throughout our community.”
Mary's Flowers & Gifts, LLC 1222 S Irby Street Suite A&B, Florence
100 W Evans St, Florence 843.665.0515 flochamber.com
Something to Celebrate...
HISTORIC MARION REVITALIZATION ASSOCIATION RECEIVES $75,000 GRANT Historic Marion Revitalization Association is proud to announce the acceptance of a $75,000 grant from the Marion County Healthcare Foundation. HMRA employed MPA Strategies based out of Columbia, South Carolina to assist with the grant writing process. The grant, which spans a total of three years, will contribute a total of $45,000 to the Façade Grant Program, $15,000 to the Signage and Paint Program, and $15,000 for marketing and promotions. HMRA’s mission is to improve the historic appearance and economic vitality of the Historic District in Marion, South Carolina. “This is a huge leap in the right direction for HMRA and our Historic District. I am so proud of the hard work and dedication of our board members and HMRA supporters for what we have accomplished thus far, and I look forward to what is to come for our town. The forward momentum is palpable and contagious,” says Executive Director, Stephanie Rizzo. For more information about HMRA, visit www.theswampfox.org or find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
If you are celebrating a positive achievement or have been awarded for a newsworthy accomplishment, email Heather Page at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South East Express President Scott Wilson signing documents with Timmonsville High School Principal Tonya Addison
SOUTH EAST EXPRESS ESTABLISHES ANNIVERSARY SCHOLARSHIP AT EASTERN CAROLINA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION To commemorate their 25th anniversary, South East Express, Inc. in Timmonsville, SC, has established a permanent endowed scholarship at Eastern Carolina Community Foundation. The 2019 inaugural award is designated for a graduating senior from Timmonsville High School where the company has been located for the last 20 years. In addition, South East Express will also sponsor a paid summer internship for the winning applicant to learn more about the company and how it impacts the quality of life in Florence County. South East Express is a complete supply chain management company offering warehousing, sub-assembly and logistics services to its customers from eight locations in North America. They have a strong commitment to improve the quality of life where they do business which includes a strong belief in supporting education which will improve the talent pool that carries out South East Express’s commitment to excellence. For more information on ECCF and the South East Express Scholarship, call 843-667-1131 or send an email to email@example.com.
AROUND TOWN: MOORE FARMS BOTANICAL GARDEN WINE STROLL
Moore Farms Botanical Garden
On Saturday, April 6th, patrons gathered to sample some of the region’s best wines at Moore Farms Botanical Garden’s annual Wine Stroll. They sipped and strolled through the garden’s enticing 65 acres, dotted with vendor booths featuring more than 70 different wine selections and food from local eateries. All event proceeds benefited the Lake City Junior Sorosis Club, a group of women committed to making a difference in the lives of area residents. photography provided by Phillip Guyton
Serving + Kitchen AC C E S S O R I E S
JULISKA ISABELLA ACRYLIC PITCHER This pitcher allows for versatility across all beverages. The iconic bohemian Isabella motif was designed with the adventurous entertainer in mind. Matching acrylic goblets available. Pieces Boutique and Gifts 1228 Celebration Blvd, Florence
TERRACOTTA BUNGALOW PADDLE SHAPED SERVING BOARD Glazed terracotta paddle shaped serving board features handstamped patterned surface and natural grazed Terra-cotta edge. Minnie’s Giftique 142 E Carolina Ave, Hartsville
“DREAM” HAND TOWEL Indigo dyes through the use of shibori give way to this cotton dish towel, featuring the stitched word “Dream” and tassel corner details. Fleur De Lis- Booth 23 813 W Bobo Newsom Hwy, Hartsville 26
THAWTHAT! DELUXE Defrost quickly and naturally. Preserves all the nutrients and freshness with no pre-heating, no batteries and no electricity required! B. Nance Fine Gifts 1939 Hoffmeyer Road, Florence
VINTAGE IRONSTONE PITCHER Fleur De Lis- Booth 36 813 W Bobo Newsom Hwy, Hartsville
“EVERYTHING GETS BETTER WITH COFFEE” SERVING TRAY This serving tray makes a perfect display to greet guests. Fleur De Lis - Booth 10 813 W Bobo Newsom Hwy, Hartsville
ANTIQUE DEVILED EGG PLATTER Annieglass Roman Antique Deviled Egg Platter offers a sophisticated way to serve deviled eggs on game day, wedding showers and family gatherings. Handmade from clear glass with a hand-painted 24K gold rim, it holds twelve eggs, chocolate covered strawberries, macaroons, and more! Pieces Boutique and Gifts 1228 Celebration Blvd, Florence
HARRY ALLEN HAND BOWL By casting natural forms, Allen thoughtfully reimagines objects and gives them new uses. Here, a lifelike cast of the designer’s hands meet to form a bowl. AREAWARE www.areaware.com
FLAMINGO MELAMINE SERVEWARE SERVING TRAY The generous size of this tray makes it eminently useful. The curved edges and built-in handles make it truly stylish! Main Street Mercantile 111 E Main Street, Lake City
HEALTH + BEAUTY
BE N T B U T NOT BR OK EN
story by Alexis Grantham
As the saying goes, and 1 Corinthians 10:13 reflects, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” We’ve all been tested, some more than others, but through faith, we are able to overcome our trials. Not many have fallen witness to this quite as much as Katelyn “Kate” WhitlowBoone. For Kate, what began with a minor spine curvature quickly grew into a severe case of scoliosis, far worse than any of her doctors had seen. Multiple tests, several doctor visits at MUSC, and major spine surgery couldn’t deter her faith and the fact that He would be by her side throughout the entire journey. In 2017, at the young age of 12, Kate was diagnosed with scoliosis. “I had always known I had it but the hump on my back got bigger that summer and the pain had increased tremendously,” said Kate. After a summer visit to her uncles home in Alabama, Kate’s ideas became a reality. Her uncle, a pediatrician, noticed her curved back and immediately wanted to do X-rays. His discovery led to scheduling Kate an appointment with a physician in Florence for further tests. Those tests showed that Kate’s curvature was worsening rapidly and in only three weeks it had grown from 45% to 65%. In fact, her case was becoming so advanced that she saw three different surgeons before one would take her case. By the time Kate’s January 8th, 2018, spinal surgery came around, her curvature had grown to 95%. “I’d like to admit that I wasn’t worried at all, but as we pulled in the hospital parking lot, butterflies began to flutter throughout my body,” said Kate. Kate’s mom, Anna, couldn’t help but worry, this was a large surgery for her little girl. “As mom began to cry, I just kept telling her ‘I am fine, I will be fine.’” As the nurses wheeled Kate back for surgery, she reassured her mom by yelling, “I got this!” Anna smiled, knowing very well that she did. “At that moment, I knew that I would most definitely make it through the surgery because I had my mom and God on my side.” While resting post-surgery, Kate awoke to her “amazingly talented, favorite person on the planet,” also known as her surgeon, sitting on the edge of the hospital bed. His words couldn’t have been more satisfactory, “Congratulations Kate, you are at 19 degrees!” Before leaving the hospital three days later, her remaining curve
had regressed to 12 degrees. The diagnosis and 14-hour surgery were just steps leading to the most difficult part of all - recovery. “The hardest thing for me was to not be able to do anything, I couldn’t shower, use the restroom, anything, without help. My mom and I grew to an entirely new level of comfort and trust.” With Anna's (Kate's mom) medical background, they also opted for the "home treatment plan" suggested by Kate's doctors at MUSC. The plan guided Anna through daily activities for Kate to follow in order to get better without over extending herself. Kate's stubbornness, which she claims is hereditary, caused her to push the boundaries of her doctor's restrictions on activities. At first, she was told to walk to the mailbox each day. That quickly grew to several walks and eventually led to a gym membership where she would walk several miles. “When my surgeon finally released me to start jogging, I kinda giggled. I had already jogged.” She continued, “ I wouldn’t suggest pushing yourself more than the doctor says but I am very stubborn and had set goals for myself.” Ballet played a large role in Kate’s life prior to surgery and her long term goal was to be back dancing within three months, she did it in two! Kate gives all of the glory to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She also can’t go without mentioning the outpouring of love and support from family, friends and even people she didn’t know. “Someone brought us dinner every day, my mom didn’t have to cook for a month.” Kate describes her days following surgery as a constant competition. “Everyday I’m competing with myself to be better than I was the day before,” she says. For ballet, her hips don’t move quite as they did before and her leg hasn’t raised as high, but she knows that’ll come. Her biggest accomplishment to date has been her doctor releasing her to water ski this summer, a family favorite.
During Kate's journey, she created a blog to share her experiences. Read her post from November 12, 2017 below to learn more about the impact of scoliosis.
photos by Faren Kilpatrick
Drowning in the "What If 's" BY KATELYN WHITLOW-BOONE
If you just glance at someone, you would never know they have scoliosis. You really have to study them to see their uneven hips, collar bone, and ribs. But then they turn around and it’s like “Whoa! You can see the hump from the curve.” (Quote from my brother.) The definition of scoliosis is “abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.” What people don’t realize is that this “abnormal lateral curvature of the spine” doesn’t just affect your spine, it also affects your:
• head and neck, causes severe aches
• waking, sitting, and laying
• limbs, causing numbness
• mental health, or what my family calls the “emotional rollercoaster”
So many people are misinformed and think “it’s just your spine” but IT IS NOT JUST YOUR SPINE!!
“I don’t let scoliosis define me,” Kate says. “I love my scar and often wear open back shirts to display it. My scars are a part of my story.” She believes it’s all about your mindset and her mind is set on being a warrior. Kate’s story is that she is only bent, not broken.
Some days I feel as if I am drowning in ‘what ifs’ and it is okay to have a day or two that you wonder what it would be like if your spine was straight. What would it be like to fall asleep at night without having shooting pain, or to be able to breathe without feeling like there is a hole in your lung? How would it be to spend a week or even a day without feeling pain in my back and neck, to be able to carry things without a little voice in the back of my head telling me all of the consequences, to not speak to several doctors and them give me the same speech that I have heard what feels like a million times? I have those thoughts. One thing that helps me through these days is reminding me not to question God’s plan because he has a plan for every one of us and I pray that he guides my heart in the right direction, especially on my weakest days.
Proverbs 3:6 “God will direct your steps.” You are not going to be able to act as if you don’t have the days where you feel as if you’re drowning in these questions. Trust me, I tried, it doesn’t work. But having the courage to wake up again the next day and tell yourself, “Today is going to better than yesterday.” That is a strength! I think of the days that I drown in the “what ifs” as the days that make me stronger, and that is the biggest tip I have to offer you. I hope if you were drowning in the “what ifs” today that this helped you!
Yours truly, “Scoliosis Warrior” - Katelyn
FOR MORE INSPIRATION FROM KATELYN, VISIT:
BENTBUTNOTBROKEN17.WORDPRESS.COM May 2019
HEALTH + BEAUTY
Mental Health in the Workplace story by E. Nicole CogdellQuick, Behavioral Health Counselor, HopeHealth
Mental health has everything to do with how we as individuals think, feel, and behave. The more positive we think, the more balanced a lifestyle we maintain, and the better we feel and function overall. However, for many, mental health automatically brings to mind mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar, and schizophrenia.
Being unhappy at work is common. Feeling unsupported by a supervisor or boss, inflexible work hours, unrealistic expectations, lack of resources to complete job duties, and low pay all contribute to dissatisfaction. When employees feel unsupported, unheard, and unappreciated, it has a negative impact on mental health.
Mental health and wellness is just as real as our physical health and can impact our physical wellbeing. As most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work, it is important to cultivate mental health in the workplace.
Unhealthy work environments often have low productivity, low motivation, and increased absenteeism. Stress from work can also impact family life and even increase risks for chronic illnesses and heart attacks.
360 NORTH IRBY ST. FLORENCE 843.667.9414 | HOPE-HEALTH.ORG
The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages employers to implement clear and open communication within the company by: • clearly communicating expectations • promoting the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees • being open to ideas and feedback from employees • recognizing accomplishments by giving positive reinforcements • demonstrating trust by delegating responsibilities • demonstrating unity • being culturally sensitive • remaining aware of how everyone contributes to the mission of the organization A positive work environment compels employees to feel good about coming to work, gives them purpose, and provides motivation to sustain them and the organization. One key component to a healthy work place is employee position compatibility. Incompatibility is a sure formula for disaster, toxicity, dissatisfaction, and nonproductivity. When employers and supervisors understand their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, it is not difficult to know where they would best fit. Employees also have a responsibility for contributing to the wellbeing of others in the work place by being courteous to each other and not engaging in behaviors that instigate a toxic or unsafe environment. Clear, open, and respectful communication and participation in team meetings and projects ensures that everyone can contribute to the mission of the organization. Mental health in the workplace is possible and realistic! Mental health affects our life balance, focus, and day-to-day functioning. Everyone plays a role in promoting a healthy work environment. When everyone does their part, wellness is sure to flourish. E. Nicole Cogdell-Quick is a certified addictions counselor and a member of the South Carolina Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. She sees patients at HopeHealth on Palmetto Street in Florence.
2 Advertising on a Budget Hartsville Chamber Art After Dark Olio Studio, Lake City
May 3-5 Florence Little Theatre
Alzheimer's Community Forum Florence Center
Cinco De Mayo
Downtown Block Party College Ave, Hartsville
Yoga Basics Tuesday Flow Town Yoga
Darlington Co Photography Club Meeting Black Creek Arts
Mullins Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament
National Devil Food Cake Day
Crossroads: Change in Rural America Dillon Co Theatre
Salsa Social Soule Cafe', Florence
Pop-Up Farmers Market North Plaza, Mullins
Protein Preparation MFBG, Lake City
United Way Golf Fundraiser Florence Country Club
Small Business Roundtable Hartsville Chamber
National Chocolate Chip Day
National Waiters & Waitresses Day
Open Mic Night Dolce Vita, Florence
Chamber Business After Hours The Citizens Bank, Florence
Moveable Feast Burry Bookstore, Hartsville
Bone-E-Fit Waters Building
Taste of Hartsville Burry Park
Downtown Alive Concert Liberty Lane, Darlington
Wine Down Wednesday Dolce Vita, Florence
Battle of the Blends Wine Tasting 550 Pamplico Hwy, Florence
Open Mic Night Soule' Cafe, Florence
Chamber After Hours Agape Hospice, Florence
Learn About Composting Day
CofC Low-Country Boil Local Motive, Florence
ICG Golf Tournament Traces Golf Course
HMRA Casino Night Rosewood Manor, Marion
Cinco De Mayo Fiesta Downtown Florence
CAPES for Kids Run Florence
Cars & Coffee Jim Money Live Retrofit Sip-n-Seat, Hartsville Highland Park UMC, Florence
Carolina Food Truck Rodeo Hartsville Farmers Market Main St, Hartsville Florence Center Seussical Jr. Florence Little Theatre
Spring Into Summer Fest Flo City Farmers Market
Hairspray Jr. Florence Little Theatre "Color Your Wind" Center Theatre, Hartsville
City of Dillon Cornhole Tournament 101 W Main St
25 Rage Fuels Nationals Darlington Raceway
The Saxxy Keyz Band Retrofit Sip-n-Seat, Hartsville
Hwy 55 & Beef Jerky Palmetto Cruisers Woody Jones Blvd, Florence
31 Heritage Winds Free Concert Marion Opera House Florence After 5 Dargan St
HEALTH + BEAUTY
story by Allie Roark
Shaik story by Allie Roark
Y kraoR eillA yb yrots
You hear stories from students where they thank their teachers for the lessons that they taught them, and the time that they spent with them. This story is different from those. This is a thank you from the teacher to a student that taught them how determination, strength, and bliss can save a life. Liyana Shaik is a student like no other. She loves learning new things and relearning the old. She is known to make the best out of everything. Liyana contributes a positive attitude in the classroom, and she is always seen with a beautiful smile on her face. She is an outstanding student, loving daughter, caring friend, and a sassy little fashionista. In October, Liyana began to fight the exhausting battle that almost took her life. Uncertainty lasted for 72 days as Liyana was placed in ICU at MUSC in Charleston followed by 20 days in a regular room. What began with dizziness and a high fever had the doctors running multiple tests and procedures to discover what was causing this little smiley face beauty not to smile anymore. Results came back with Acute Lupus and a ruptured appendix. Recovery wasn’t easy for this 9-yearold. Chemotherapy, physical therapy, and homebound put Liyana’s strength to the test. That’s a test that she passed with a perfect score. Being Liyana’s teacher, I had the amazing opportunity of being her homebound teacher. This gave me time to work one on one with Liyana. During this time, I have learned so much about her. Ninety-two days is a long time in a hospital which caused her to become 2 semesters behind. That’s lot on a third grader. If you are the parent of a third grader, you understand that third 34
Liyana pictured with Allie Roark, her 3rd grade teacher
grade is no joke. In one month, this little go getter had already completed an entire semester’s load of work. I may be the teacher, but Liyana’s story has taught me how determination, faith, and a good support system takes you from being a survivor to being a warrior. Liyana got to this place with an amazing support team. Liyana’s parents and older sister stood by her side through it all. Her mom being a teacher had to travel back and forth to Marion each day. Liyana was prayed for by family members, wonderful friends, and classmates at school that never forgot to ask about her. They anticipate her return to school. They can’t wait to play with their friend again. Liyana plans to return to school after spring break. In May, Lucy T. Davis is holding a Kona Ice Fundraiser to help raise funds for the medical expenses along with a GoFundMe titled, “Love for Liyana.”
God is using Liyana’s story for His platform, and I am so excited to hear her tell it. Please continue to keep this family in your prayers.
CROSSROADS ON MAIN
THE INN AT THE CROSSROADS
REVITALIZING Downtown Lake City
significant improvements to its historic downtown story by T.D. Rykard
Over the past several years, Lake City has made significant improvements to its historic downtown.
Ongoing downtown building renovations and façade repairs spearheaded by the Greater Lake City Community Development Office, plus the creation and continued cultivation of multiple downtown “floral scapes” by Moore Farms Botanical Garden have positively transformed downtown Lake City’s once dated appearance. In Lake City, “revitalization” means more than physical improvements to downtown. With the birth of exciting events such as ArtFields, Fiesta Fridays, Hometown Holidays, and the upcoming inaugural Rhythm & Q’s BBQ and Live Music Competition, residents and visitors alike appreciate that revitalization is also about a cultural shift from the agricultural prosperity of the past to a vibrant, arts-centered downtown atmosphere. The successes surrounding Lake City’s revitalization are not going unnoticed. Seth Kines, Visit Lake City SC’s Executive Director, says that he feels that “Lake City has arrived on not only the national stage but the international stage as well!” Coming on the heels of being named the “Best Small Town Cultural Scene” by USA Today 10 Best Reader’s Choice in 2018, Lake City has recently been named one of the best places to visit in May by Travel + Leisure magazine! Mentioned along with notable international locations like Botswana, Monaco, London, and Stockholm, Kines says “It’s thrilling to see Lake City gain international recognition as a recommended travel destination. This clearly demonstrates the power of small-town revitalization to create powerful positive change, both economically and culturally.” Another indicator that Lake City has hit the international radar came with early April’s new transatlantic flights between Charleston and London. Kines lured a group of a dozen members of
the British Guild of Travel Writers to Lake City for a tour of historic downtown, and a traditional southern BBQ lunch at Piggyback’s BBQ and Catfish. This fun, enthusiastic group of travel writers couldn’t resist posing in front of the latest public mural in downtown Lake City’s ever-growing collection, an untitled creation by artist Donald Walker. Kines also offered an update on some of the most recent developments with Lake City’s continuing progress. Sauls Street, which runs parallel to East Main Street, has become a target for downtown revitalization with last year’s opening of TRAX Visual Art Center. This “Sauls Street Renaissance” popped into high gear with the February 2019 opening of downtown Lake City’s newest restaurant, Piggyback’s BBQ and Catfish, located at 116 Sauls Street. Piggyback’s was the winner of the first annual Lake City Launchpad business competition, with a grand prize of $55,000 towards opening a business in an identified building in downtown Lake City. After years of serving as vendors on the local festival and event circuit, Piggyback’s owners Mitchell and
Shannon Sims decided to enter the inaugural Lake City Launchpad to make their dream of owning a “brick and mortar” restaurant become a reality. They are currently serving plenty of happy customers in their new location. Another recent addition to Sauls Street is A’bloom Florals and Events, Inc. A’bloom’s services include event planning, event rentals, and floral design. Downtown Lake City is well-known for its historic venues, and now owner Merry Floyd and the A’bloom staff make throwing a successful local event that much easier! Finally, opening in April 2019, just in time for the 7th annual ArtFields, Lake City’s 9-day art competition and festival, will be a brand new restaurant that
sports the whimsical moniker, Snax. Snax will offer ice cream, frozen yogurt, and hot dogs for fun family dining. Located at the corner of Sauls and North Acline Streets, Snax is sure to be a hot spot with penny candy days, “Kids Eat Free Tuesdays,” and Saturday Night Shagging. ArtFields Marketing Manager Roberta Burns might be on to something when she said that Sauls Street is soon to be famous for “Snax, TRAX, and Piggyback’s!” Downtown Lake City’s historic venues have also seen needed improvements during ongoing revitalization efforts. The Stables at The Inn at the Crossroads has been renovated to include new flooring throughout the 8,000 square foot venue that was once the McClam Livery Stables, a dance floor, and a full audiovisual system. The Inn and its in-house restaurant, Crossroads on Main, have recently reopened after a full-scale renovation that included all guest rooms, and an expansion and redesign of the restaurant and bar so more customers may be comfortably served. Crossroads on Main’s “facelift” is particularly
impressive. The restaurant and bar have a stylish, modern appearance, and folding glass doors in the bar area now open to the outdoor Courtyard at The Inn, which features outdoor dining and several sofas and chairs available for guests to sit and enjoy cocktails and conversation under the stars! To accommodate future growth and continued improvements, unoccupied buildings adjacent to The Stables have been acquired to expand the meeting and event rental opportunities available at The Inn at the Crossroads, located at 128 West Main Street. Approximately 80 parking spaces will be added as well. Downtown’s largest venue, the 22,000 square foot Ragsdale Old Building (affectionately known as The ROB) will sport a brand new parking lot that, in addition to over 250 parking spaces, will include 35 RV parking spots that will soon be available for rental. The ROB is the go-to event venue for all large-scale events in Lake City, whether that be a private function to include weddings, receptions, and reunions, or public events like trade shows, art exhibitions, and the upcoming Rhythm & Q’s BBQ and Live Music Competition scheduled for October 18 and 19, 2019. The old Lake City Plaza on West Main is being transformed into The Continuum, a 46,000 square foot facility that will serve as a regional center for education and training in innovative, technical skills and workforce development. The Continuum is a collaborative effort from Francis Marion University, Florence-Darlington Technical College, and the Darla Moore Foundation. Jeanette Altman, former Principal of J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School in Lake City, has been named Executive Director of The Continuum. Courses offered will lead to two- and four-year degrees, and classes are slated to begin in fall of 2019. Finally, the staff at ArtFields has moved out of their space on Main Street, and are settling in at their new office space located on Sauls Street next to TRAX Visual Art Center, one of two art galleries currently located in downtown Lake City. This has opened up the opportunity for a brand new Visitors Center to move into the old ArtFields space at 110 East Main Street. This May, visitors to Lake City will have a place to inquire about area attractions and enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee! Hours for the Visitors Center are Monday thru Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Executive Director Seth Kines and the Visitors Center staff cordially invite you to visit Lake City to see what all the buzz is about!
Contact the Visitors Center at 843-374-0534 with questions about your stay in Lake City, or for assistance in crafting a travel itinerary. Stay informed about attractions, events, and festivals in Lake City at visitlakecitysc.com.
lage! l i V r u o Y Thank
Southside Early Childhood Center 5k Teacher story by Jordan Pupa
On May 12th many of us will celebrate Mother's Day, a special day each year where we can honor and celebrate our mothers, as well as other influential mother-like figures in our lives, for the strong and wonderful people that they are. It is true that mother figures come in all forms, and we should celebrate the many fantastic roles all women out there have on this particular day. Hillary Griggs, a single mother of a three-year-old, also cares for her twentythree 5k students at Southside Early Childhood Center in Hartsville every day as her own. “Educate” means “lead forth,” and Ms. Griggs does just that. Hillary knew she wanted to be a teacher her whole life. She will be completing her seventh year teaching this year, but also goes the extra mile outside of the classroom too. In addition to her primary role as a 5k teacher, Hillary is part of the Academic Leadership Team and is over the Parent Team at SECC, which is the PTO. While caring for her son and full-time job responsibilities may seem time-consuming enough, Hillary is also
enrolled in a master’s program in Educational Administration through the University of South Carolina in which she will complete in August. “My goal is to one day become a principal to have a larger impact on a larger number of students,” Hillary shares. “Many times, I will have my laptop on the counter cooking dinner or giving my son a bath while still participating in class. There is a large work load along with this, but because the subject is something I have so much passion for it doesn’t seem like as much work as it is. Balancing work, my son, the house, planning events, sleep, and my personal life has become a little more challenging, but it is all worth it.” Family and love are qualities that Hillary strives to focus her classroom around. The emotional aspect of playing “double duty” as both a teacher and mother can sometimes be challenging. Hillary explains how many students face personal situations at home. “Being a teacher, I do get very invested in my students, inside and outside of school. I hug each one of them every morning. I tell them I love them every day.” She explains how many days she comes home emotionally exhausted from putting out emotional fires, but she is only exhausted because of how much she cares. “I lay in bed each night thinking of other people’s children,” says Hillary. “I honestly love it though. I love that my students feel safe enough to tell me anything or to let go of some of the emotions they might be carrying around. I love being their safe harbor and I feel so blessed to be able to be in a career that allows be that opportunity. I also do have an amazing assistant teacher, Easter Arthur, whom I could not be half the teacher I am without.”
lass Ms. Grigg's 5k C
te Construction Si
Black History Month Lesson
Dr. Suess Literatu re
and what is in the inside; that the color of our skin does not define us. She uses a white egg and a brown egg in which they crack open to find that the yolk is the same. “I know that in this world we live in it is an unfortunate truth that my students may be judged or discounted because of their outer appearance, but I try to teach them to rise above and to know their importance. We talk about ways they can change their world right now, just by simply playing with a student alone on the playground or being kind to others.” Getting to know students at different levels, not only academically, but personally and socially as well, is important. Hillary builds long-term relationships with students and their families even after they have moved on from her class. A parent of a former student who is now having certain issues in his second-grade classroom recently contacted Hillary for help. Without hesitation, Hillary has picked him up several times since to enjoy some fun quality time, but to also discuss his situation so she can understand and help him to be successful. She has even helped raise funds to help with rent for a parent and collected Christmas gifts for her and her children. Hillary believes that parents are the key to student success, and she has an open-door policy and uses a communication app to constantly keep parents in the loop. Hillary implements many important and unique lessons throughout the school year. While she welcomes and encourages students, she also works to guide and push them. Hillary shares, “I love teaching Black History Month lessons. Not just because it is such a very important part of our history, but it also teaches my students about racism, bias, the importance of kindness, and most importantly, that no matter who they are, they can make a huge impact on others.” Hillary uses two eggs during this lesson to teach the value of character
Play is also an important aspect in Hillary’s 5k classroom. The classroom consists of six dramatic play centers including a Veterinarian Clinic, Grocery Store, a Diner, Post Office, Construction Site, and Dino Dig. All while playing in the centers, students learn reading, writing, and math skills, as well as social, language and real-life skills. “I am doing a large push to bring playbased learning back into kindergarten,” says Hillary. “We do units on each center before we open them, so the students have the knowledge to be able to correctly interact in the centers. They each sign up for a job whether it be paleontologist, receptionist, clerk, construction worker, architect, or vet. They know the jobs of each role and they thoroughly enjoy learning this way.” The district and the state department have come and observed Ms. Griggs’ students as they interact within their centers. She was also recently contacted by another school within the area asking if they could come observe the centers to implement within their own classrooms. It is true that “It takes a village to raise a child.” It is clear that a strong teacher-student relationship helps shape the way children think and act in school and beyond. Teachers that care can make the most impact. Take a moment to thank an influential mother-like figure in your life this month. On Mother’s Day, we have the opportunity to thank our entire village! May 2019
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition About Rural America story by Kelly Parker
In 1985, a group of dedicated citizens from all around Dillon County came together to form the Dillon County Theatre Board. Their mission was to raise the capital necessary to restore the former movie theatre as a venue to hold performances for the community and to have a building that could be rented by other organizations or individuals for the same purpose. The theatre, built in 1917, is one of the few remaining examples of pure Spanish Colonial architecture in South Carolina and is on the National Register of Historic Places. On January 26-28, 1990 the Dillon County Theatre was opened with a weekend filled with entertainment and activities. The Theatre has been thriving since. Most recently, Dillon County and the surrounding community have been chosen by SC Humanities through a competitive application process to host Crossroads: Change in Rural America as part of the Museum on Main Street program—a national/state/ local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. Crossroads: Change in Rural America is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. The exhibition will tour six communities in South Carolina from September 2018 through June 2019. Crossroads offers small towns a chance to envision their futures and engage in discussions about what happened when America’s rural population became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects that occurred. Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by these changes, America’s small towns creatively continue to find new opportunities for growth and development. Many
CROSSROADS: Change in Rural America
MAY 18 – JUNE 29 Dillon County Theatre Association
wonderful activities will be held in conjunction with the exhibit, including a writing workshop entitled Communal Pen: A Writing Workshop Celebrating Memories, Stories, and Traditions of Place to be held on June 8 at the Dillon Library.
For more information visit our website www.DillonCountyTheatre.com.
WINES TO GET YOU Through the Summer
story by Bryan Holt
Spring is finally here! Took a little longer this year for it to arrive, but it is here and now we can grill out for about a month. After that, it’ll get too hot and we will all complain about that too. This will be my last article until September, so I figured that I would show you some wines to get you through the hot months that are coming, and I’ll see you again in the fall. Thank you all for reading these articles and thank you to everyone who braved the mini-hurricane that showed up on April 12th and came to the Down Town Sip and Stroll. We are already working to make next years better, with a lot more countries and wine areas coming into the fold.
SUMMER WINE LIST 1- AMBLE + CHASE Rosé - This is a Provence, France
rosé that comes in a can…yes, a can. So, whether you’re getting ready for a day on the boat, prepping the awesome meal you’re about to cook on the grill or just want a small serving of rosé, this a great one to try out. A blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 30% Cinsault, AMBLE + CHASE Rosé 2018 is pale salmon pink in color and shows complex aromas of cherry blossom and white raspberry, giving way to notes of juicy peach and ripe red grapefruit on the palate. The wine has a persistent freshness and salty minerality thanks to the vines' southern exposure and cooling breezes from the Mediterranean. This rosé compliments any grilled fish or shellfish dinner. $17.99/4 pack of 250ml cans.
2- Echo Bay New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc This Sauvignon Blanc is grown in the pristine vineyards of Marlborough, surrounded by jagged mountain peaks, brilliant blue skies, and a maze of crystal-clear inlets. With its bright, exuberant flavors and crisp acidity, every sip of Echo Bay Sauvignon Blanc is pure New Zealand - a beautiful light straw color with a tint of green. Zesty citrus and floral aromas lead to balanced flavors of passion fruit, melon, fig and gooseberry, followed by a clean, refreshing finish. It’s exquisite on its own or paired with lighter foods, summer salads, and seafood. $16.98 2- Henry Fessy Gamay Noir - We recently had an After Hours tasting featuring the wines of Louis Latour and this wine was the star of the show. Going up with wines doubled and tripled in price, this light Gamay held its own and now is a featured wine at both locations. The estate of Maison Henry Fessy consists of over 70 hectares (175 acres) of exceptional vineyards in the heart of the region's celebrated Crus. Originally from Burgundy, the Gamay Noir variety is a naturally fruity grape that produces elegant and balanced wines. The reintroduction of the owl to the vineyards was carried out in order to sustainably combat and eliminate rodents and other animals that attack the vine. This wine will go great with any kind of wild game and is a pleasant red wine to just sip on. $12.98 46
550 Pamplico Hwy • Florence • 843.413.1183 194 S Cashua Dr • Florence • 843.317.9463
Bryan Holt with the Wine Maker and Co-Owners of Casir Dos Santos, producers of Avatar Malbec
4- Avatar Malbec - Founded in 1862, Casir dos Santos is one of the oldest wineries still operating today. With more than 100 years of history, the winery was selected to nurture our project. This is how Casir dos Santos was born. A winery which brings together a great history and a team of people who continuously bring professionalism, creativity, and passion. Easily, one of the coolest places I visited while in Argentina. This 100% Malbec presents a vibrant red color with glints of Bordeaux. Great aromatic intensity. It expresses in a very fresh way, with red fruits and a remarkable sweetness. In the mouth, it’s balanced with round and sweet tannins, rich and with marked acidity. In my opinion, nothing goes better with grilled steaks than Argentina Malbec and this one is a steal at $14.99.
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During this brief time of perfect weather, you need to get out and enjoy it. Invite some friends over, cookout and enjoy the weather before it gets too hot out there. Be sure to tell your mother you love her on Mother’s Day (Michelle Holt, I love you!) and we have some awesome tastings coming up too! May 9th WASHINGTON STATE WINE TASTING - Pamplico Highway, 7:20-9:00 pm, $15.00 admission, receive your ticket cost back when you spend $75.00 or more. May 10th & 11th FREE MOTHER’S DAY TASTING - 5 Points, 3:00-7:00 pm. May 23rd BATTLE OF THE BLENDS - 5 Points, 7:20-9:00 pm, $15.00 admission, receive your ticket cost back when you spend $75.00 or more. June 4th LANDS DOWN UNDER WINE EXPERIENCE - 5 Points, $15.00 admission, receive your ticket cost back when you spend $75.00 or more. LAST AFTER HOURS TASTING UNTIL AUGUST!
Haley Miller's dress and spray tan provided by COAST
A 'SUN-KISSED' LOOK WITHOUT THE SUN story by Jordan Pupa The summer months are approaching and some of us will sparkle in the light like Edward Cullen from Twilight the first time we put on a bathing suit this year! Of course, we will be looking for a golden glow fix to quick-start our summer tan. When sunless tanning comes to mind, many people usually consider spray tans versus tanning beds. The truth is, UV rays emitted by tanning beds are far from being a risk-free option and can be linked to melanoma development. Hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with melanoma each year. In fact, Johnna Hall, owner of COAST on Carolina in Hartsville, was one of those people. Not only can you leave her surf shop â€œsummer readyâ€? with new items and apparel, but you can also walk away with a beautiful, safe spray tan!
At COAST, Johnna only uses Norvell solution, which is the leading formula for spray tanning in the U.S. “I’ve made a habit out of showing people the scar on the back of my arm when they tell me they’re going to lay in the tanning bed,” says Johnna. “I’m from Florida, grew up on the water, and it was nothing to come home from school, jump in the boat, and enjoy the rest of the daylight hours out with friends. Laying in the tanning bed was also a way of life. Spray tanning is, hands down, the safe option, and when applied properly, gives you the most beautiful, natural glow.” Spray tanning not only is a safe option compared to a tanning bed, but also provides almost instant color with a short appointment time. You also have more control over the color and shade of your tan. Spray tans can last anywhere from 7-10 days, depending on aftercare. To make the most out of your spray tan, Johnna suggests exfoliating, shaving, and/or waxing at least a day in advance. When showering after a spray tan, is suggested to not use any sort of exfoliating loofa and to air dry or pat yourself dry. “Stay moisturized,” explains Johnna, “Avoid Dove products prior to your tan appointment, which can leave a film on your body that has proven to cause a spray tan to turn out uneven or blotchy.” Many people still believe spray tans will result in an unnatural, uneven, or orange tan. However, with modern advances in spray tanning today and proper care, it is rare you will run into that issue today. “Spray tan solutions have come a long way since the Mystic booth tan days which was pretty horrific most of the time,” explains Johnna. “I hear it all the time, the fear of the spray tan, and they’re all returning, obsessed spray tan queens!” COAST offers two different types of solutions, the one-hour solution and regular. One-hour is a rapid formula-based solution that gives you the opportunity to get a same-day spray tan. It is a great option for those who don’t want to wait 8 hours for the regular to set before showering. Spray tan pricing at COAST is $40 for one-hour and $25 for regular. It's important to remember that a spray tan will offer no protection from the sun. As your spray tan fades, your real tan will develop if you're out in the sun. This means that if you have been in hibernation during winter and you finally run away on a cruise vacation to the Caribbean, your skin (even though it looks a bronzed and beautiful with your spray tan) is going to react to the sun like it hasn’t seen it in a long time. It is highly recommended to still wear sunblock during sun exposure when you have a spray tan.
Message COAST on Carolina on Instagram (@coastoncarolina) or Facebook (@coastoncarolina2) to schedule a spray tan appointment today!
COAST o n Carolin a
124 E. Ca rolina A (843) 95 ve., Hartsville 1-0005 Mon-Fri: 11am Sat: 11am -6pm -3pm
MAKING MEMORIES Camp Pee Dee Pride Celebrates 23 Years with Wayne Howard
It’s easy to say that most of us carry a fond camp memory. The new friends you make, interesting places you go, and new experiences you have play a big role in the fun times had. However, the people orchestrating the weeklong events - the camp counselors - are the founding factor of those great memories. The Florence County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) celebrates it’s 23rd annual Camp Pee Dee Pride this summer and it’s success it due mostly in part to the hardworking individuals that spend their summer making dreams come true for the children in our community. Captain Wayne Howard has operated the free summer camp for the last 23 years. What began as a career in law enforcement 43 years ago easily transitioned into a full-time, special projects position with the FCSO. After working in the narcotics department and seeing the environments kids face, Wayne began forming Camp Pee Dee Pride to introduce positive alternatives to these kid’s lives. Captain Wayne’s passion for the kids made him the perfect person to lead the camp. Not only do the kids love Wayne, the counselors do too! Sarah Borck, four-year camp counselor, says, “Captain Wayne is literally the best boss ever.” She goes on to tell about one of her favorite memories with Wayne that happened on her first day of camp. “He was super inviting and jumped right into joking around; he made Camp Pee Dee Pride what it is today!” Jasmine Watson, eight year camp counselor, and Allie Roark, nine year camp counselor, agree that Wayne is the original creator of all things fun at Camp Pee Dee Pride. Allie adds, “Captain Wayne has worked extremely hard to make these camps possible.
Sarah Borck, Jasmine Watson, Allie Roark with Wayne Howard photo by Erin Daniel
I consider myself lucky to get to work with Wayne and watch him pour out his heart and soul into a camp that he created many years ago.” What began for Wayne as a meager attempt to provide children with a small escape from their daily lives has become a primary influence in their futures. Jasmine has witnessed this influence first hand working with the kids. “One of my favorite memories was on our weekly visit to Wild, Water & Wheels. I was riding on a slide with a camper when she looked at me and said, ‘This is the best day of my life! I’ve never been anywhere like this before.’” Jasmine was also told by a camper as they were eating at the Francis Marion University cafeteria, “This is like a feast. This is the most food I’ve ever seen!” These are the type of memories Captain Wayne and his group of counselors take pride in making for their campers, one’s that have a lasting effect. As summer approaches, Wayne and his counselors look forward to meeting new kids, seeing returning campers, and making new memories. Our community has been honored to have such a humble, loving and compassionate group to guide our children’s future. We hope for many years to come!
“Wayne and the counselors are always so nice! I love going to Wild, Water & Wheels and making new friends. Camp Pee Dee Pride is the highlight of my summer!” -Caroline H. L to R: Kingsley Wilson, Colton Wilson, Justin Hendrick Caroline Hendrick, Rylan Hendrick, pictured with Wayne
We have always done a first responder game but this season it has extra special meaning. The idea of the night is to show our local first responders, police, fire, EMS and dispatchers, just how much we appreciate the work that they do for us. â€œI believe it is very important to let these folks know that we appreciate all that they do,â€? said Barbara Osborne, General Manager with the Florence Redwolves. This game, this season, is dedicated to the Florence 7. We will honor all first responders at our June 1st game but especially the Florence 7. October 3, 2018 shocked the Florence community with violence and hatred. Our local first responders showed the Florence and surrounding communities how a regular day can turn tragic. These officers were just doing their jobs. It is proof of just how dangerous that job is and how dedicated and courageous these men and women are. It is our goal to show our first responders and the Florence 7 group, that we will not forget their strength and sacrifice. That the Florence 7 will always be in our hearts. Besides, our goal of recognizing our first responders for what they do, we are planning several activities to raise money for the Florence 7 fund. Our organization goal is to raise $5,000 on June 1st.
JUNE 1, 2019 First Responder Appreciation Night to benefit the Florence 7 $10 raffle tickets prizes: First Place - 2 night stay at the new Hyatt Place hotel in downtown courtesy of Raines Hospitality, dinner at Town Hall and drinks at The Dispensary. Second Place - 35 quart YETI cooler donated by Irby Street Sporting Goods. Third Place - One hour massage at the Forum Spa. Fourth Place - $50 gift card to Top Golf in Myrtle Beach. We will be selling blue line flag car window stickers for $5 each, courtesy of Evening Shade. 50/50 raffle will go to the Florence 7 fund. Our players will wear special jerseys created with our Florence 7 in mind. These jerseys will be auctioned off and 100% of the proceeds will go to the fund. The jerseys are made possible by the generosity of Sam Carbis Solutions Group, LLC. First responders get in free with their ID. Please come out and support our wonderful and dedicated First Responders.
POST GAME FIREWORK SHOW!
SC State Capitol Building
story by Zach Hughes
Anytime I take a day trip to Columbia from Florence, it is always by habit that I enter downtown via 277. My favorite reason for taking this route is that it lands you right on Bull Street, which leads you into the middle of Downtown Columbia. The sights and sounds of Columbia have always been mesmerizing to me. Though it never quite seemed as busy as Charlotte, the buzz of Columbia was always a little bit faster than Florence. Even though I have never lived there, it has always felt like a place I could see myself living. The first turn I make when entering Columbia it to take a right on Gervais Street on my way towards The Vista. As you drive through the bustling downtown traffic, it is hard to ignore the majestic granite building that overlooks Gervais. Surrounded by trees on both sides, it surprises you as it peaks through the trees. You get a glimpse of a broad-shouldered building lined with windows, monolithic columns, and a copper dome that pierces the sky. However, it isnâ€™t until you get up close and personal with the building that its true beauty reveals itself to you. If you take the time to explore the grounds that surround the capital building, you will find a variety of plant life along with multiple historic statues and markers. What I remember most about the building was how it appeared from the front. The stairs that present themselves in front of the building, edged with street lights always seemed so iconic to me. Another feature of the exterior that is hard to forget would be the stars that litter the outside walls. Each of these stars symbolizes a cannonball that hit the outside of the building as Sharman passed through the south. Interestingly enough, this all took place while the building was still under construction. There are so many stories that the exterior has to tell, but what I recommend most to tie everything together, is to take a tour of the interior of the building. The first thing you notice as you enter the building is the roman styling within the marble floor and monolithic columns. Each pillar then leads to a pristine white arched ceiling. All of which feels like its some sort of labyrinth. At the end of the first floor, you will find two sets of iron staircases on either side of you. I remember the tour guide telling us the story of how the 54
building burned during the burning of Columbia, and I will never forget the way I imagined the building looking from the inside. As soon as you step into the center of the second floor and look up, you can see the center of the dome that stands above the state building. Then it's not hard for your eyes to be drawn to the immaculate trim work that lines the ceiling of the lobby. One of the most striking features from the second floor would be the iron staircases that lead to a balcony that lines the outside of the main lobby. Edged with intricate iron and woodwork, the path overlooks the center of the building. I love how the whole room is lined with beautifully crafted wooden trim and historic paintings. On either side of the second floor, you will make your way to either the House of Representatives or the Senate Chamber. Here you will find where all of the Legislative decisions are made in South Carolina. If you are fortunate enough to take your tour in between January and May, you will be able to see the House and the Senate convene. I have only been in the state house when the two branches of government were not in assembly. Even with an
empty room, you can feel the grandeur of what takes place in these seats, each having their own ceremonies. As your tour comes to a close, make sure to remember the history and significance of this building. It has been years since I have stepped foot inside the walls of the State Capitol Building, but I can tell you that it left a lasting impression on me. The way I describe it to you will never do justice to how exploring it yourself can compare. So take a day to go explore our state capitol and let its walls tell you a story.
Zach Hughes resides in Florence with his wife Alexis and their newborn son Christopher. Zach is a local entrepreneur, and has spent most of his time working around the automotive industry. In his spare time, Zach enjoys discovering South Carolina and dabbling in journalism
May 2019 April 2019
April Showers Bring May Flowers
Floral Arranging for Beginners Floral Arranging for Beginners
Currently residing in Hartsville, Rebecca Giese enjoys exploring the Pee Dee area, shopping local artisans, trying new restaurants, and finding inspiration from the history and culture surrounding her. When not out on an adventure, sheâ€™s telling stories on her blog, Southernâ€™spirations.
VIPMagSC.com May 2018 VIPMagSC.com April 2019
Since I was little, I have always loved fresh cut flowers and helping my mom arrange a vase. Well, that love has grown into a bit of hobby of mine. I love taking a mix of garden and yard clippings with store-bought stems to create a show-stopping arrangement, usually for my enjoyment but now I am going to share how you too can unleash your inner florist on a budget. To create a floral arrangement that is large and impactful, you have to start with picking the container and build the support system. When picking a container, choose one that compliments the occasion and the florals you will be using. For this arrangement, I used my great grandmother's soup tureen. I love highlighting family pieces with flowers, and this white soup tureen was perfect for the bright blooms, and abstract Mad Hatter tea party feel.
Once you have your container, you will need to pick and set up your frog. I suggest using frogs instead of floral foam because they are reusable and last for years. Mine are hand-me-downs from my grandmother. Cover the base of the frog with floral putty and press it firmly to the bottom of the dry container. Then use chicken wire as extra support. Cut a piece of chicken wire and fold it in of itself to fit nicely in the container. The layers of chicken wire will help hold stems in place especially if you are traveling with the arrangement to an event. Once the supports are in place, add water, I suggest filling about halfway or so and filling the rest of the way once done. Next, I would gather and set up a game plan for the arrangement. I suggest starting with your greenery; this helps map out the shape before adding the statement stems (roses, hydrangeas, etc.). Greenery is where you can save a lot of money, by working with what you have in your yard. I just went outside with the pruning scissors and clipped off some branches, fern leaves, and other greenery. After you are comfortable with the shape and arrangement of the greenery, move onto the statement stems. There are fewer of them and you want to make sure they are spaced out and balanced well. And don't forget to think about where the floral arrangement is going, does it need a front or a 360-degree view? The answer to that question will help you figure out the best placement for the statement stems. And these flowers do not have to be costly; I got some from my yard (like the Iris) and some from the store.
Once the statement flowers are in place, fill in with your secondary florals like the Carnations or Ranunculus in my example piece. Again some of these were purchased, but most came from yard clippings. Use these flowers to fill in gaps, create layers and balance out the colors. Then lastly, add a little more greenery if needed to fill in a gap or two. After that, you have a gorgeous floral arrangement perfect for any dinner party or bridal shower this season!
What's on My Radar? Cute dog bandanas and bow tie collars, my favorites right now are from Crew Lala out of Charleston. Iris Festival in Sumter, South Carolina, May 24-26th. I love Irises and can't imagine seeing thousands in bloom at the same time! Memorial Day is May 27th, let us take time to remember and honor those we have lost serving our country.
HOME story by Doug Smith
& NEW BEGINNINGS The red rose is universally known for love and passion. White roses equate to purity, innocence, spirituality, and true love. They are sometimes even called the wedding flower. Pink roses symbolize elegance, refinement, grace, gentleness, and happiness. Yellow roses stand for appreciation, delight, joy, and a friend’s love. Orange roses are a blend of the yellow and red roses: blending the two together means a bridge between friendship and love. Lavender, or purple roses, represent enchantment, love at first sight. Royalty!
This time of year is my absolute favorite. Signs of new beginnings are all around. Flowers and colors are blooming left and right. My favorite new beginning is the rose. Nothing can be more exciting than to see a rose bush come to life. This is the simple pleasure that I look forward to each spring. For me, rosebuds act as a reminder of the empowering ladies in my life, especially my mother. Mother loved roses and shared this passion with me. We both understood that the bush itself has a deep meaning which begins with its beauty. It is a delicate flower full of vibrant color that completely captures our hearts.
My mother’s favorite rose, as well as mine, was the red rose. It holds a special place in my heart. Each May, we would pluck a few from the backyard and display them around the house. At the same time, we would have freshly picked strawberries to enjoy. Roses and strawberries are both plentiful in May, so I often associate them very close together in memory.
Upon a closer glance, the rose is supported by a strong stem that is covered by thorns. Some consider it an ugly feature yet I see it to be a symbol of strength and protection to the flower. We should remember that moms are like roses. They are beautifully made, capture our hearts, possess the unmatched strength to stand tall and have a built-in thorn of protection.
Get more from Doug Smith by following him on Facebook and Instagram at "Doug the Food Guy".
I tend to a small garden of long stem roses in my backyard. Each bush has a different color and can tell its own story. Each color rose has an associated symbol. It’s worth noting each meaning.
Strawberries N Cream recipe by Doug Smith
1 qt fresh local strawberries 1 c of fresh whipping cream 2 tbsp confections sugar
Directions: • Wash strawberries - “don’t remove the top” • Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 minutes.
• Add sugar to the cold mixing bowl and slowly pour in the whipping cream. • Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. • Let the strawberries be the star of the show with their natural flavor. Using the leaves as a handle, dip the strawberry into the fresh cream and enjoy. • To kick it up a notch, add a slice of pound cake.
story and guide by Rebecca Giese
other's Day, a day to remind your mom, grandmother and other important women in your life how much you appreciate and love them. Now you can get them flowers or chocolates, but it isn't Valentines Day. I collected some gift ideas to step up your game this Mother's Day and let them know how much you care. Some items are straight forward and small, so I suggest mixing and matching pieces in the guide to best fit your budget. Moms have the hardest job so give them some items to help them relax, like their favorite scented candle, cozy slippers, and bath products. I highly suggest shopping local retailer, Southern Fields, for lavender-infused bath bombs, bath salts, and soaps. Give her a full basket of these goods to enjoy whenever she needs to relax and take a moment for herself. Is your mom a superhero that somehow cooks, cleans and keeps everyone else in line? Maybe give her the gift of a day off from cleaning at least! Schedule a one time or monthly cleaning service so she can use her free time to perfect a hobby, play with the kids or take a nap. Or give her a break from the grocery store visits and meal planning with a meal subscription box. They prep everything and mail it fresh with easy to follow directions. Does your mom or wife think your kids are the next Picasso and that everything they do is "fridge worthy"? Get some of her favorite professionally framed to hang in the home for many years to come. What if she loves fashion or jewelry gifts? Get a ring or piece of jewelry with her children's birthstones. Or maybe a beautiful watch with a note on how you appreciate the time she has given to take care of the family. No matter what you give your mother this Mother's Day remember to take the time to tell her how much you love her and value her. Mom, I love you! M