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Publisher Tammy Clark Editor Heather Page Office Manager Tiffany Skipper Advertising Executives Julie C. Tyler Creative Design Tuesday Taylor Ashley Rogers

Contributing Photographers Rebecca Giese Des Keller Fred Salley Contributing Writers Mark W. Buyck, III Kent Daniels Ashley Elvington Rebecca Giese Zach Hughes Allie Roark Doug Smith Anna Tingen Donna Tracy Angela Weathersby Alicia White

Serving Florence, Hartsville, Darlington, Marion, Mullins, Lake City and the surrounding areas 2011-B Second Loop Rd, Florence, SC 29501 FIND US ON FACEBOOK

For advertising rates, call 843-687-4236.


Vip proudly supports F1S’s goals to redefine our local public school system. The district’s superintendent, Dr. O’Malley, along with his staff have and still are working hard to change the Corridor of Shame stigma that has swept through our county for years. To hear more about what they’ve done and their future plans, go to pages 26-31. If you’d like your photography featured on Vip’s cover, send your entries to


October 2019





OCTOBER 2019 LIFESTYLE 10 The Art of Cocktail, Cuisine and Community 12 Gift Guide: That's What This Said 14 Pee Dee Land Trust: Are Our Rivers Ready? 16 Allie Roark: Falling Into Hope 18 Sweater Weather Guide 20 Rebecca Giese: How To DIY Your Fall Decorations 22 Fun Fact: Interesting Facts About Hurricanes

BUSINESS 26 Cover Story: Florence 1 Schools 32 October 2019 Calendar of Events 34 Wilcox, Buyck, Williams, PA: SC's World's Fair 36 The Grumpy Pumpkin 38 WebsterRogers: William Hardaway 40 Hartsville Chamber: Thomas Hart Academy 42 Tracy Woodard: Covered in Cotton


HEALTH + BEAUTY 44 What You Need To Know About CBD Oil 46 HopeHealth: Medically Preparing for Hurricanes

HOME 50 Kent Daniels: Lake City Produce Market 52 Doug Smith: The Season of Apple Pie 54 Gift Guide: Pumpkin Patch 56 Bucket List: Falls Park on Reedy 58 Newsworthy: Something To Celebrate 60 Drink of the Month: Traditional Whiskey Sour

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Cocktails, Cuisine and Community story by Ashley Elvington

Lake City’s ongoing downtown revitalization has been on the local & regional radar for some time now. With recent accolades including “Best Small Town Cultural Scene” as voted by readers of USA Today 10 Best and “Best Places to Visit in May” from Travel + Leisure magazine, it’s fair to say that Lake City is now on the national and even international radar! These recognitions are largely due to popular local events such as ArtFields, a burgeoning arts scene to include multiple art galleries and a Public Art Walk, and stellar attractions such as Moore story by Ashley Elvington Farms Botanical Garden. Visit Lake City Executive Director Seth Kines shared details about what’s next regarding revitalization in Lake City. “We’ve enjoyed great success with revitalization efforts over the past few years, and now is the time for a strong focus on Lake City’s food & beverage scene. One aspect of this endeavor is The Lake City Culinary Series, a collection of “foodie” events to celebrate the pleasures of food & drink. We’re committed to delivering an outstanding culinary experience not only for Lake City Culinary Series events, but year-round for locals & visitors as well. With the addition of John Masters as the Food & Beverage Director for Crossroads on Main, LLC, we’re thrilled to have a passionate “foodie” in the right leadership position to help take local dining to the next level. John has a proven track record in the hospitality industry, having spent years perfecting his craft in Nashville and Charleston.” Key members of John’s culinary team include Culinary Director Jason Houser and Crossroads on Main Executive Chef Chris Carpenter. Crossroads on Main, LLC includes Crossroads on Main (fine dining restaurant located inside The Inn at the Crossroads), The Clubhouse Grill, Snax Gourmet Ice Cream & Hot Dogs, and The Green Frog Restaurant & Pub (slated to open in December 2019). Visit Lake City and Crossroads on Main, LLC, work together to present the Lake City Culinary Series. The “flagship event” of the Lake City Culinary Series is Cocktails & Cuisine. The inaugural Cocktails & Cuisine event was held in June of this year at The Mule Stable, which is the event venue at The Inn at the Crossroads. Cocktails & Cuisine pairs the talents of John’s local culinary team with visiting chefs and mixologists to create a collaborative dining experience like no other! 10

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The Cocktails & Cuisine June event was a smash hit, featuring Chef Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill, Jeremy Young of downtown Charleston’s Bourbon N’ Bubbles, and Sommeliers Femi Oyediran and Miles White of Graft Wine Shop in Charleston. The evening began with signature craft cocktails prepared by Jeremy Young as a violin quartet set the stage for an elegant evening. Guests then adjourned to the dining room for an undeniably delectable multicourse meal created and executed by the culinary team. Sommeliers Femi Oyediran and Miles White paired each course with a stellar wine selected to complement each delicious dish, and provided insightful, entertaining commentary as well. Local musician and teacher Angel Neil entertained during dinner with a solo piano performance that added to the elegance of the evening. Cocktails & Cuisine is a bi-annual event, and planning has already begun for the fall event scheduled for Saturday, November 16. The Mule Stable will once again serve as venue for the evening, with craft cocktails in the beautifully appointed outdoor Courtyard at The Inn at the Crossroads. Visit Lake City Executive Director Seth Kines shared, “We are honored to announce that Chef Jacques Larson of The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island & Wild Olive on Johns Island will serve as Special Guest Chef for the fall event. He will work with Crossroads on Main’s culinary team to create an

extraordinary menu. Chef Jacques has a long list of career accomplishments, including a James Beard Foundation Award nomination in 2019 for “Best Chef: Southeast.” Ryan Casey is the Beverage Director at The Dewberry, a downtown Charleston hotel that is one of the newer ‘it’ hotels in South Carolina. The Living Room, which serves as the lobby bar at The Dewberry, has some of the best craft cocktails in Charleston, so we’re thrilled that Ryan will create craft cocktails at the fall event! Finally, we’re so pleased that Sommeliers Femi & Miles will return for an ‘encore performance’ at the fall event. This dynamic duo was named 2019 Sommeliers of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine, and they have proven that they will bring their ‘A game’ to Lake City. We are so honored to host this level of culinary talent for our Cocktails & Cuisine events. The collaboration between the local and visiting culinary teams is executed seamlessly and flawlessly.” Whether you’re looking to enjoy the arts scene of a small southern town, or you’re “culinarily curious” about a multi-course food & beverage experience hosted outside of the big city, Lake City invites you to visit the small town with big culture!

For more information on this fall’s Cocktails and Cuisine event, visit October 2019



T A H W S ' THAT . . . D I A S THIS



4 3

5 5

1 Seven Boutique

130 E Main St, Lake City, 843.374.7777

4 COAST on Carolina 124 E Carolina Ave, Hartsville, 843.951.0005

2 Shade Tree Outiftters

5 The Salon

3 Main Street Mercantile 111 E Main St, Lake City, 843.374-2333

6 Pieces Boutique 1228 Celebration Blvd, Florence, 843.407.1177

124 E Main St, Lake City, 843.374.0124


October 2019

1263 Celebration Blvd, Florence, 843.662.4003


October 2019




THE STORMS ARE COMING The Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Lynches, Black, Sampit, and Waccamaw Rivers are household names for hundreds of thousands of people over the years who’ve seized opportunities and succumbed to the vulnerabilities of these massive watersheds. These rivers along with a vast amount of creeks, streams, and tributaries served as transportation routes and provided the bounty that has fed residents and supported generations of families; they are critical sources for clean drinking water; their torrential flows in times of high water have swallowed homes and businesses and even taken lives. These local waterways are integral to the largest water basin in the state, The Pee Dee Basin, a massive 7,860 square miles, more than 25 percent of South Carolina’s land area. This is the same watershed that Pee Dee Land Trust works to protect. These efforts and the need for more protection are critical every day, but particularly in preparation for major storms. Other than the threat of Hurrican Dorian making landfall, the 2019 Hurricane season has been relatively quiet. However, past performance and predictions for the future indicate that the East Coast has seen and will continue to see an increase in rainfall rates and storm intensity. Part of the answer to these troubling trends lies in the protection of working forest and farmlands across our region. Forests and healthy soils – natural ecosystems – provide public benefits by directly mitigating the impacts of severe weather. Forested wetlands reduce the peak of a flood by holding water and releasing slowly over time; and while the water is being held, excessive sediment is trapped, providing clean water for downstream communities. Healthy soils, those created through responsible farming practices, serve as a sponge, absorbing excess water. In short, working lands have benefits far beyond timber and agriculture. Pee Dee Land Trust exists to protect working farm and forest lands and to support landowners who want to ensure that their long-term goals for their property are honored forever, regardless of ownership. Our primary land protection tool is a conservation easement, a legal agreement developed with the landowner that promotes conservation by outlining what activities can (or cannot) happen on the land. Land trust staff works with the landowners to identify the conservation values that the landowner desires to protect and outlines their continued agricultural uses. The results benefit all of us who call the Pee Dee Basin home. Our work is not successful without the broad-based support of willing landowners who voluntarily enter an agreement with PDLT or the generosity of community members who care passionately about our mission to protect landscapes. Visit our website to learn more. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date. Contact our team to start that conversation about your land legacy. Let us hear from you today. 14

October 2019

October 2019




falling into

story by Allie Roark

I am a huge fan of new seasons, especially fall. Fall is my favorite time of the year because the air is crisp and fresh, I am not sweating while getting out of my car and walking into Target, I love leggings, haunted houses, and turkey. I also love the newness of a new season. I’ve never been a girl afraid of change. In fact, I was the girl praying for a new season desperately. A new season in life. If you know this Florence gal, then I’m sure you have heard the news. Yes, I am engaged! It happened on a Wednesday and was the best day of my entire life. We didn’t date long, because we didn’t think we needed to. I knew the prayers I had been praying ever since I was a little girl. So when this Hartsville boy walked in, pursued me, and was actual proof that my prayers were heard—I finally believed.

Ryan and Allie


October 2019

I believe it’s common to anticipate a new season. Something I’ve recently learned is that God has you in the exact place you are in for specific reasons. I’m not sure if that’s comforting enough to give you peace with where you’re at, but in case it doesn’t—just know you’re not alone. There are so many other people around you waiting for their turn. Hope is trusting that the desires of your heart will happen for you, and you won’t just have to stand and watch them happen to the people around you. Hope takes boldness. Sometimes we have to do away with unrealistic expectations, take ownership of what we are filling our thoughts with, and step away from negative people. I’m a dreamer. This is such a good thing because with dreaming comes creativity, but dreaming can also set you up for a letdown. I’m a sap, and I love a good Nicholas Sparks' movies. But you know, no one has ever laid down in the street with me to watch a traffic light change signals or bought me an art gallery. These examples may sound silly, but I think we are all guilty of having expectations that are so high that anything not as great feels like a letdown. High expectations make you feel like you’re not worth it and will leave you second-guessing your value. I mention social media a lot, but that’s mainly because it affects us and our emotions more than anything. When I was in my single season, I felt like every time I got on Facebook or Instagram a new couple got engaged. My best friend told me that in her season of infertility, she saw so many pregnancy announcements that it took the remainder of hope that she once had. We

have to own our thoughts and what we are filling our thoughts with. It could be that this may be a time for you to take a step back from social media or limit the usage. Comparison is the thief of joy. I promise that just because it hasn’t happened for you yet doesn’t mean it’s never going to. Negative people have good intentions. I think many don’t realize that they come off as negative. If it’s someone dear to you, maybe you can talk to them about it? If not, it may be a good idea to take a step away during this season. That doesn’t mean forever or that you can never speak to that person, but it’s wise to fill your circle with uplifting people that will love on you, encourage you, and celebrate you throughout the course. Love yourself and believe that you deserve that. I’m pumped. My best friend that struggled with infertility is due in a few short weeks. The night of my engagement, we hugged and cried. Our prayers happened right in front of us. It wasn’t luck, but it was God. If only I had the strength, faith, and hope that I do now. I believe that God’s plan was bigger and better than me this whole time. I wish a result didn’t give me that strength though, because I want to be a girl that doesn’t doubt, question, or worry that my God doesn’t listen to me.

Seasons change and it happens fast. My goal for this season is that we all fall into hope. I don’t know what season you’re waiting for or prayers you keep praying. Just know, you are heard, and there are so many around you that will love on you and help you get to the next season. October 2019



style expert advice provided by

218 S. Main St, Mullins (843) 430-7870

date night


With the night's chill coming into effect, it's time to find that perfectfitting pair of jeans that can keep you comfortable during the day and take you into the evening looking and feeling jazzy. We suggest these ankle-length skinnies that can easily be paired with heels, sneakers, or boots. It's amazing what a tiny bit of stretch in the material can do for our shape. Now for pairing a sweater for the soon-to-be crisp mornings and evenings, we pulled three options to get you through the week. Our "DATE NIGHT" pick perfectly shows off enough of the back to keep you feeling cute. Fringe is all the rage this season so why not spend all "WEEKEND" in it. And for offices across the country that are equally cold as the outdoors, stay warm inside with this color block super soft sweater that hits right about the waist for your "OFFICE DAYS".


October 2019

office days

October 2019



How To DIY Your Fall Decorations photos and story by Rebecca Giese

Who else loves decorating with pumpkins but hates how fast craved pumpkins go bad? I mean sometimes I may spend hours carving a pumpkin for a squirrel to dig into it the next day. But the squirrels are not going to win this year because I am sharing no-carve pumpkin ideas to add a festive touch to your front porch and around your house. By not carving the pumpkin, they will automatically last longer, but if you want yours to last for seasons to come, I suggest a faux pumpkin from your local craft store. The following design ideas will work on either. (Please note that the resulting designs are not weatherproof. Keep your pumpkins in a dry area or at the very least move it to a safe, dry spot before storms.) All of the designs call for ModPodge and for those of you that do not know, Modpodge is a water-base adhesive/sealer and found at your local craft store. And of course, you need a pumpkin! My favorite pumpkins come from The Grumpy Pumpkin; I love the variety of colors, textures, shapes, and sizes they have. 20

October 2019


Painted Pumpkin

Decoupage Pumpkin

Painted pumpkins have been a trend for several seasons now and are not going away anytime soon. The possibilities are endless, from all-over designs to fun fall sayings or even your house numbers! To paint your pumpkin, you will need the following:

Use scrapbooking paper, any funky paper to create a pumpkin that matches your style and home decor. To Decoupage your pumpkin, you will need the following:

• Craft or Acrylic Paint • Brushes • Pencil • ModPodge sealer Sketch out your design lightly with your pencil. The pencil will leave a slight mark on the pumpkin, but too much pressure may indent or scratch. Once you have it sketched out, it is time to paint. Depending on the paint type, it may take several coats. Let the paint dry between coats and then let it dry overnight. The next day, or at least 12 hours later, take a broad brush and brush a thin layer of ModPodge over the whole design and pumpkin. Make sure the layer is even. Areas, where the ModPodge is thick, may create a cloudly film or bumpy texture.

On My Radar!

• Fun Paper • Craft or Acrylic Paint (optional) • Brushes • ModPodge sealer • Xacto knife/scissors First, decide if you want to paint your pumpkin with a background color. If yes, then paint your whole pumpkin with the craft or acrylic paints and let dry. Carefully cut out your paper design. For the best effect, take the time to cut out small background spaces leaving only the foreground. Apply a layer of ModPodge to the dry pumpkin in the areas you want the designs adhered to and place the paper on top. If the paper is having difficulties adhering, add ModPodge to the back of the paper as well. Let it dry and come back in a couple of hours to make sure all of the paper is attached smoothly. Then add another layer of ModPodge on top of the full design and pumpkin to seal it. Make sure the layer is even. Areas, where the ModPodge is thick, may create a cloudy film or bumpy texture.

Gilded or Gold Foiled Pumpkin Add some sparkle and glitz to your fall decorations with the help of gold foil sheets. To gilded your pumpkin, you will need the following: • Two paintbrushes • ModPodge • Gilding sheets Paint the pumpkin with a thin layer of ModPodge. Let it dry to the point that it is sticky but won't come off on your fingers. Then take the second brush, dry, and use it to pick up and place pieces of gold foil. Repeat with full sheets, small bits, and scraps all around the pumpkin to give a perfectly imperfect effect. My biggest tips are, place the pumpkin on a piece of paper to help clean up any flakes of gold that come off and do not do this craft with a fan on nearby, or you will find tiny gold flakes everywhere later. *To have the best results, read the instructions on the back of your gilding sheet packaging, and follow the steps provided.* 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, she’s telling stories on her blog,


• October has so many great events from the Greater Pee Dee State Fair (Florence October 4-13) to Writers in the Round 2019 in Lake City on October 24th. So get out and explore locally this month! • Last year I spent October trying different pumpkin and fall-inspired drinks at our Pee Dee area coffee shops. And I plan to do the same this year; I love supporting my local coffee shops over the chains, especially during pumpkin spice season! October 2019



Interesting Facts About Hurricanes story by Angela Weathersby

Hurricanes are a fascinating display of Mother Nature. Most of us do as the experts tell us to do and hide from the storms but it doesn’t stop that innate feeling of wanting to run towards it. We want to see it up close and personal, feel the sharp beats of rain on our skin and see how fast and hard the wind blows through the trees. Well here are a few facts you may, or may not, have stored many years ago in your memory. Let's retrieve these old facts as we ride out the last couple of months of hurricane season.

• Hurricane season occurs from June until November in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico when conditions are humid and seas are warm.

• Hurricanes release a large amount of energy. Each second, a large hurricane can release an amount of energy equivalent to 10 atomic bombs.

• Hurricanes very rarely produce thunder and lightning. Thunder and lightning are formed by vertical winds that cause water and ice to rub together where hurricane winds are horizontal. However, in recent years, thunder and lightning have been recorded. In 2005 alone, Hurricane’s Emily, Rita, and Katrina all had thunder and lightening.

• Hurricane Camille of 1969 still holds the highest wind speed at landfall. It was moving at an estimated 190 miles per hour when it struck the Mississippi coast.

Let’s take preparedness during these last two months of hurricane season and let's think about how we can help those that have already been affected by this seasons hurricanes. The Bahamas are recovering the devastation brought on by Dorian, a category 5 hurricane that occurred on September 1st. Of course, monetary donations, goods, and time helping are needed. However, experts are saying travelers to the area are needed too. The Bahamian economy revolves around tourism and the island-nation needs funds generated by travelers to continue recovery. So go ahead, plan that Bahama's trip in an effort to help! 22

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• The deadliest storm in history is the Galveston hurricane which killed 8,000 to 12,000 people. The island city of Galveston, Texas was all but destroyed when, with little notice, a hurricane made landfall the night of September 8, 1900.

October 2019


October 2019





EDUCATION story by Ashley Elvington

There have been books, documentaries, newspaper articles and countless speeches given about the Interstate 95 Corridor of Shame and the lack of funding for public education in South Carolina. Florence 1 Schools (F1S) Superintendent Dr. Richard O’Malley said that his district is changing the conversation, finding ways to fund more than just a “minimally adequate” education, because ALL of Florence’s kids deserve better. “Nationally when you hear people talk about I-95 and education, they are always talking about the Corridor of Shame,” O’Malley said. “We want to change that image; we want to be a light in that darkness.” In the last year, F1S has seen numerous changes, some that are highly visible and some that have occurred behind the scenes with only the understanding that longitudinally things will improve. A district that lost over 600 students over the past 5 years is now gaining students, with over 90 students coming back from private school to Florence 1. The district’s Imagine Forward initiative, a plan to close the technological divide, put a device in the hands of all NORTH VISTA STEM UNIT

ALL K THROUGH 8 CLASSROOMS RECEIVED NEW SMART BOARDS 16,000 students and 1,300 staff members. In addition, all classrooms throughout the district’s 26 facilities received 21st century technology advances including projection systems throughout the high schools and over 800 new smartboards in all preK-8 classrooms. “Our district had an enormous number of areas that needed to be addressed,” O’Malley said. To begin to resolve this, “The Board agreed to spend approximately $8.5 million in facility upgrades for all schools in order to address and update items including water fountains, doors, paving parking lots, bathrooms, classroom floors, HVAC, roofing needs and LED lighting.” Space issues in the high schools also had to be addressed in locations like South Florence where walls were put up to create a state-of-the-art TV studio and classrooms in the media center to enhance the Arts Magnet Program curriculum; new innovative programs like piano labs and guitar classes were also added at all three high schools to continue to elevate the arts throughout Florence One Schools.


October 2019

great strides in one year, even in our schools that have historically struggled the most, and we are very proud of those results,” O’Malley said. At the high school level, teachers, principals and guidance counselors have been tasked with increasing graduation rates.

And while O’Malley is excited for students, parents and the community to see the positive changes in their buildings, he’s truly eager for them to hear about what he calls the “Results that Matter,” things like standardized test scores and graduation rates.

“Our goal is 95 percent by 2021” O’Malley said. “That is a really lofty goal, and it will probably be one of the highest in the state. We are very proud of Wilson High School this year, as they had the highest graduation rate in the district, and their highest in ten years, at 85 percent. We have a long way to go but if you average the three high schools it is about 84 percent, which is above the state average of 81 percent.”

“In just one year, we have managed to show significant increases in scores in every grade in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math,” O’Malley said. “Those numbers are unbelievable for our first year. In ELA, scores in two grades had double-digit gains. In math, we have seen gains in student achievement, more along the lines of 4-7 percent. As the final numbers come in, we’ve seen some significant growth.” Dr. O’Malley contributes these improvements to a teaching and support staff who have worked hard to improve teaching and learning as well as the robust leadership at the building level. “If we continue to see this growth year after year, Florence will be the premier school district nationwide that we are striving to be.” According to the state’s accountability standards and the recently issued School Report Cards, Florence One Schools went from having 11 schools at the Unsatisfactory/ Below Average categories to only having one school at Below Average this year; three schools were at the highest level of Excellent. Two schools that O’Malley specifically mentions when talking about standardized test scores are Henry Timrod and Wallace Gregg Elementary Schools. These schools have the highest poverty rates in the district (over 90 percent of the students), but their students had increased pass rates in nearly every grade, third through sixth, in Math and ELA. “Timrod is our year-round school,” O’Malley said. “They saw the highest gains and missed achieving the highest rating in the state (Excellent) by one point. I give credit to (former superintendent) Dr. Bridges for starting this and, more importantly, to Michelle McBride the Principal of Timrod, who recently was selected as Principal of the Year in Florence One, for raising expectations. This school has a 90 percent poverty rate, but their results are unbelievable. In third grade they have a 60 percent passing rate, which in some cases is the highest in the district. We have made

O’Malley said that there is a lot of work behind the scenes to get and keep the district moving forward. “All of these increases in test scores and graduation rates don’t happen unless we change the rigor in the classroom,” O’Malley said. “We have more students taking higher level classes this year, including a 110 percent increase in students taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes. There was a 292 percent increase in African American students taking AP classes this year. Last year, there were only 36 African American students in the entire district who took an AP class; this year, there are 141. If we do this, if we create more learning opportunities, these students will rise to the occasion.” West Florence and South Florence High Schools have increased their AP offerings as




well, now offering 15 AP classes each. Furthermore, Wilson High School has extended their offerings to 6 AP courses and has expanded their International Baccalaureate Program as well. “Our IB Program continues to grow and it is probably one of the shining stars in our district and across the state of South Carolina; we have great results there as well,” O’Malley said. “There are nearly 100 more students in the IB program in both the middle school and high schools this year. We have had a 52 percent increase in African American students enrolled in IB in the seventh and eighth grade and an 18 percent increase in the high school. We are trying to ensure that our students are taking the most rigorous academic courses and programs we have to offer and that it is afforded to everyone.” The Exceptional Education Department has also seen increased growth, including the addition of 10 new positions to assist and enhance the department with it’s 2,300 students by creating, implementing and monitoring progress on Individualized Education Plans (IEP) as well as bridging the gap between resources for students at home and school.


Three schools, McLaurin, Carver and Lester Elementary Schools, constructed inclusive playground equipment this past year that lets students with all abilities, wheelchair and walker users included, play together. McLeod Regional Medical Center has partnered with Florence 1 Schools to implement Project Search, a nation-wide transition-to-work program that gives non-diploma track students in the exceptional education department an opportunity to receive skills training and job experience that will assist them in gaining employment in the future. There are currently eight students participating in the program in areas such as Pharmacy, Environmental Services (sanitation, laundry), Radiology, Warehouse, Food Services and Patient Transport. Florence 1 is the only Project Search site with students working in a pharmacy setting. The goal of the program is to help students find a job that they enjoy doing, something that could be a life-long career for them, O’Malley said. “Our three-year vision, Florence 1 in 2021, has focused on One Vision. One Voice. One Future. When we say ‘We Are One’, we mean it.” 28

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Local partnerships play an extremely important in F1S, O’Malley said. Aside from Project Search, McLeod has also partnered with the district to offer Telehealth at four schools. “The students won’t have to miss school and their parents won’t have to miss work to take them to the doctor because everything can be done within the school,” O’Malley said. “The visit takes place virtually with instruments used by our school nurses to transmit the data to a physician via a teleconference and parents can even join the call.” The Governor’s School in Hartsville extended another virtual opportunity to students when it partnered with F1S to offer classes at Wilson and South Florence High Schools. Students will receive instruction from an off-site teacher for part of their school day and take regular classes at their home school during the rest of the day. And while a few of these virtual partnerships are available at select schools, all students will benefit from e-learning, thanks to the completion of the Imagine Forward initiative. The district applied for and was selected to take part in a state-wide e-Learning program which means that in the event of bad weather, such as a hurricane or snowstorm, students can complete lessons or homework on their Chromebooks rather than having to miss a day of school that will need to be made up later. “In everything that we do, we look for the benefits to our students,” O’Malley said. “They deserve a worldclass education, regardless of the stigma that has surrounded education in this area for many years. Through partnerships and grants, and looking very closely at our budget, we have expanded programs and offerings for all our students.”

WEST FLORENCE''S NEWLY RENOVATED GYM The last five years have seen a lot of new faces in F1S, O’Malley said. Last year alone, 353 new employees were hired. To help attract new employees and retain those already employed in the district, several new incentives have been put into place. “It isn’t always about salaries," O'Malley said. “To be able to compete, we have to have the quality of life that staff members look for. One of the first things we implemented this year was to offer free preschool to our employees for their three-and four-year-olds. The number of teachers taking advantage of this has been overwhelming in the best way. To me, that is a quality of life issue. Not only do their kids receive a quality education, but also parents save money on preschool. It’s a peace of mind for our staff to know their kids are receiving a quality education. We are also offering free lunch this year to our staff on Mondays and Fridays.” Another incentive that was very well received last year was a bonus for perfect attendance, which has been expanded this year. “Our perfect attendance program was very-well received last year,” O’Malley said. “We had 278 teachers with perfect attendance last year and they received a $2,000 bonus at the end of the year. It was only open to teachers last year; this year we opened it up to every employee. We expect the number of perfect attendances to climb greatly.”


When O’Malley talks, he speaks a lot about thing that ‘we’ are doing. The ‘we’ he’s speaking about is the 2,300 employees and 16,000 students that fill the 26 schools and 31 facilities in the district, Florence County’s second largest employer. STORY CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE


LUCY T DAVIS COLLEGE COLOR DAY On top of a five percent raise for all employees, F1S began offering tuition reimbursement for employees seeking higher education. “This is a no-brainer,” O’Malley said. “We are an educational institution and we want our employees to be better educated. We have secured $100,000 to help our employees and we will offer a max of $2,000 per person to obtain a higher education. Whether the employee wants to advance in a particular subject area or an assistant wants to get a degree or certificate in special education, they have $2,000 that we will invest in them to achieve that goal. Incentives and raises help keep employees engaged and retained in the district. That in turn benefits the local economy, something that O’Malley said can’t get lost when the district seeks money from the public for building projects. “Our district is a huge economic engine to our local economy,” O’Malley said. “We are looking at this holistically; we aren’t just self-serving. We are contributing a lot to our community to make it a great place to live. When our employees get a raise, one or more may use those funds as a deposit on a new home or they may choose to repair their home by using local services. The

amount they receive as a raise has a huge impact on how much they spend locally. Additionally, we spend about $10 million every year with local goods and services; that’s just our district, not our employees. When you put all of this together, you can see how much F1S can contribute to our local economy. People need to understand that we are more than just a school district; we are part of a local economy and a very important part of our community growing and striving. If we keep exceeding expectations, everyone is benefiting from that.” “We have a lot of community supporters, individuals, organizations and businesses who believe in the power of education, the power of public education. Florence 1 is now known across our state as a progressive and innovative educational district that has a large number of amazing educational opportunities, people who work tirelessly with us every day on behalf of our students, and this is the story of a district that was once floundering, but now is flourishing. This is the new narrative of Florence 1 Schools that people are talking about.” Florence 1 is the new beacon of light in the once known corridor of shame.



October 2019

F1S RECENTLY INTRODUCED PROJECT SEARCH: McLeod Regional Medical Center has partnered with Florence 1 Schools to implement Project Search, a nation-wide transitionto-work program that gives non-diploma track students in our exceptional education department the opportunity to receive skills training and job experience that will help them gain employment in the future. There are currently eight students participating in the program in areas such as Pharmacy, Environmental Services, Radiology, Warehouse, Food Services and Patient Transport. Florence 1 is the only Project Search site that will have students working in a pharmacy setting. The goal of the program is to help students find a job that they enjoy doing, something that could be a life-long career for them.

OCTOBER sunday







3 Trivia Thursday Retrofit Sip-n-Seat, Harstville

Oct 25th, 26th, 29th-31st Darkside Tours, Hartsville Museum Paw Patrol Live! Florence Center



Tour of Homes (5th & 6th) Florence


Trivia Seminar Brewing, Florence


10 Downtown Block Party Hartsville

Taste of Coker DeLoach Center, Hartsville ECA Fair begins Florence Fairgrounds



Music Monday Soule' Cafe, Florence

Train Your Brain Day




Pete the Cat FMU PAC



An Evening with Habitat: Celebrating 25 Years! Woodhaven, Marion

Roasting with Rotary Drengaelen House, Hartsville National Boss Day



Trunk or Treat Highland Park Church, Florence 32

October 2019

24 Treats on the Streets Downtown Hartsville

National Nut Day


Starlight Soiree’ Kalmia Gardens, Hartsville


Think & Ramen Local Motive, Florence International Sloth Day

Aquatic Landscapes Moore Farm Botanical Gardens


Wine Down Wednesday Dolce Vita, Florence


Writers in the Round Bean Market, Lake City


Karen White Book Signing Florence Public Library National Chocolate Day

National Candy Corn Day

Happy Halloween!

Put this on your calendar! friday


Fiesta Friday Lake City



Festda Ville Burry Park, Hartsville

Fall & Plant Show (4th &5th) Farmers Mrkt, Florence

Tandem Newspring

Greater Pee Dee State Fair & Expo begins Florence Center

Hometown Hootenanny Reverse Raffle McRae Family Farms, Mullins


Celebrate Fall Moore Farm Botanical Gardens Costume Party Local Motive Gin Blossoms FMU PAC

12 Hartsville Farmers Market Oktoberfest Downtown Florence



Rhythm & Q’s BBQ & Live Music Competition The ROB, Lake City

Yoga & Healing Arts Fest Burry Park, Hartsville

Kickin Chicken Wing & Chili Festival Downtown Florence


Hippie Fest 2019 Cook Farm House, L City Food Truck Festival Florence Center, Florence


Florence After Five Hocus Pocus Moore Farm Botanical Gardens

Bootanical Garden Moore Farm Botanical Gardens Pee Dee Electric Annual Meeting Florence Center, Florence

Send in your events to!

October 2019


BUSINESS The Cotton Palace & The Sunken Garden

South Carolina's

World's Fair

In the decades following the Civil War, coastal South Carolina was lagging behind other southern areas in regaining the agricultural and commercial prominence it experienced prior to the War. Charleston, in particular, was slow to rebuild. Charleston had also suffered the devastating 1886 Charleston earthquake which damaged or destroyed nearly every building in the City.   By the turn of the century, the City’s progressive young businessmen with the support of The News and Courier newspaper formed the Charleston Exposition Company. The fair was formally known as the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition. It ran from December 1, 1901, to June 20, 1902. The goal of the fair was to stimulate international trade through the port of Charleston. The Spanish-American War had recently concluded and the City’s business promoters sought to establish Charleston as the principal port for trade between the United States and Latin American and the Caribbean. The exposition was patterned after similar fairs such as the World’s Columbia Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, the Cotton States & International Exposition in Atlanta (1895) and the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition in 1901.    The fair was promoted to mixed reviews. Glowing predictions of massive crowds were made by the

story by Mark W. Buyck, III

stockholders and the local press. The News and Courier encouraged the building of hotels and other lodging establishments not only in the City but also in the surrounding suburbs and towns. The promoters advertised and sought “local ladies” willing to open their homes to travelers who would surely be looking for accommodations while visiting the fair. Contacts were made with foreign companies and governments offering exhibition space at the event. The exposition was located along the Ashley River at the site of the old Washington Race Course and adjacent to the Lowndes farm. This is currently the site of Hampton Park, the Citadel, and Lowndes Grove.   The centerpiece of the fair was the Cotton Palace. The Cotton Palace was 320 feet long with a 75 feet tall dome. The Palace of Commerce and the Palace of Agriculture flanked the Cotton Palace in a horseshoe surrounding the Sunken Gardens. Individual states and cities, principally from the northeast, erected state buildings. Several Pan-American countries exhibited; however, there was no official foreign participation. The buildings were painted with ivory tints, hence the nickname “The Ivory City.” South Carolina Governor Miles Benjamin McSweeney and Mayor James Adger Smyth presided over the formal opening on December 2, 1901. It is estimated that 22,000 witnessed the opening parade. South Carolina newspapers heavily

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 34

October 2019

Liberty Bell

promoted the fair. The Sumter paper had a weekly column “This Week at the Exposition” highlighting the weekly schedule. The local newspapers would report on local citizens’ trips to Charleston to visit the expo. In early January, the General Assembly recessed and boarded the train to Charleston. March 26, 1902, was South Carolina Day and all South Carolinians were encouraged to attend. (Unfortunately, only 10,000 of an anticipated crowd of 25,000 showed). President Teddy Roosevelt attended the exposition on April 9, 1902. This was dubbed “President’s Day” and drew a crowd of 24,000 visitors who witnessed a large military parade of South Carolina Guard Units. One of the most popular exhibits was the Liberty Bell. The Bell arrived from Philadelphia on January 9, 1902, and was displayed in the Philadelphia Building.   The exposition was not a financial success. Many old-line Charleston businessmen refused to participate in the venture. The weather in Charleston was not cooperative and the timing of the event over the winter months appears to have been a mistake. When the exposition closed on May 31, 1902, attendance for the 6 months totaled 675,000. The estimated cost of the expo was $1,250,000, the receipts were only $313,000. The Exposition Company went into receivership at the conclusion of the fair. On July 30, 1902, the buildings, contents and all of the remaining accommodations were sold at public auction for the grand sum of $10,105.   October 2019



The Grumpy


story by Alicia White

story by Alicia White

The one thing we see this time of year possibly as often as we see leaves changing color are pumpkins. They are everywhere! They decorate our porches and dining tables. We place them in little spots throughout our homes to remind us that fall has arrived; everywhere you look sits a pumpkin. Lucky for us, even after we carve a few for Halloween, we can grab more for our Thanksgiving decor. With all of the pumpkins you see, have you ever thought about those farmers that are providing them for us? Farmers like William and Caid Kirven, fifth-generation farmers at Kirven Farms in Darlington, S.C. Amongst many other crops including cotton, corn, soybeans, grain, peas, and popcorn, the Kirven brothers have become known locally for their pumpkin patch referred to as the Grumpy Pumpkin. The brothers along with Caid’s wife Mary Shaw and William’s fiancé Tamara Weatherford spend countless hours helping our favorite fall decoration find its way to our front porches. While the boys mostly tend to the growing and picking, the girls step in to help with picking and delivering pumpkins around town. You can find Grumpy Pumpkins at all of your local farmer's markets and often in downtown Hartsville on a Friday afternoon loaded down in the back of a pickup truck. The Grumpy Pumpkin patch was started only four years ago on just a half-acre field and has since grown into four acres. Along with their local deliveries, Grumpy Pumpkins William are distributed Caid, Mary Shaw, Tamara, and throughout the state with Charleston and Florence being their larger hubs. If part of the adventure for you is visiting the 36

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farm yourself to pick the perfect pumpkin, that’s an option too at Kirven Farms. In addition to growing and delivering pumpkins, Mary Shaw and Tamara say, “We will decorate anything for you!” They enjoy visiting homes and businesses in the community to decorate entryways and porches. This family also appreciates the value in giving back to their community. On October 12, Darlington will host it’s 37th annual Sweet Potato Festival. The Kirven family and friends will be in attendance with a fresh pick of every type of pumpkin imaginable. All proceeds made that day will be donated to The Lord Cares, a food bank in Darlington. It’s a special day to come out to support your community, small businesses, local farmers, and local nonprofits. Whether it’s an orange, white, blue or green pumpkin you’re after, there’s a Grumpy Pumpkin that's perfect for you. Their farm is located on Leavensworth Road in Darlington. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages regularly for hours to visit the patch and to see what new fun events are going on at the farm.

October 2019



William Hardaway and his wife, Kristen, are natives of Florence. They are also the proud parents of three boys: Billy (6), Owen (3), and James (1). William is the son of Betty and Dan Hardaway, and he is a graduate of Francis Marion University, where he received his BBA in accounting.

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.


July 2019

William Hardaway NAVIGATING YOU THROUGH LIFE'S TRANSITIONS story by Ashley Elvington / photo by Fred Salley William Hardaway joined the Webster Rogers team in 2013. Having started his career with a smaller firm he recognized that working with a bigger firm he would have access to better training, the opportunity to specialize, and exposure to larger and more complex projects. “I’ve always wanted to be considered an expert, and I saw WebsterRogers as a catapult to propel me in that direction.” Beginning as a tax associate, William was a sponge for knowledge while working on partnerships, S-Corps, and individual tax returns. Once he learned the ropes of general tax, he was ready for the next level – this meant William would have to choose an area of specialty. “As I worked my way up I was groomed for two areas state and local tax (SALT) for larger companies or compliance and planning for high net worth individuals. As I spent more time in both of those areas, focusing on individuals became the clear winner. Working with individuals felt more personal…I enjoy developing relationships with people and learning things that I can apply in my own life. It gives me the opportunity to help people find financial freedom and peace of mind.” Willing to go above and beyond to help his clients achieve financial success, William expanded his credentials to include Personal Financial Specialist and Certified Financial Planner™. He then began working between WebsterRogers, LLP and WebsterRogers Financial Advisors where he is an advisor and financial planner. “Having the ability to work in financial planning, wealth management, and tax enables me to take a very comprehensive approach to personal finance.” William shares, “Clients come to us for a variety of reasons, some want the ease and comfort of finding most of their financial solutions under one roof, others come because they want to work with a fee-only fiduciary, others come as they experience a major life transition like having kids, selling a business, retiring, or the loss of a spouse. Both PFS and CFP® standards require certificate holders to act in a fiduciary capacity and since WRFA is structured as a Registered Investment Advisory firm, the laws that govern us require the firm to act in a fiduciary capacity. Having a windfall, leaving the paycheck behind, or taking on financial responsibilities that were previously handled by another can be scary and leave one feeling vulnerable. As fiduciaries we’re going to do all we can to make sure your financial life is in order.”  

By taking a goals-based approach to financial planning, William can help others find peace of mind by assisting them with the development of a clear approach to accomplishing what they’re determined to achieve. “Whether it’s a retiree that wants to make sure their money will last, a family planning for their child’s education, or someone who wants to be sure they’re making sound financial decisions.” His clients trust him to take care of their needs. William’s favorite part of working for Webster Rogers is the people. “I couldn’t ask for a more engaging and diverse group of talented individuals. I love walking through the office passing out high fives, hearing about their families, and the projects they’re working on.” In addition to helping his clients, William also gives back to the community. “I’m a member of Central United Methodist Church, where I serve on the finance committee and I’m also a member of the Florence Kiwanis Club. I do my best to stay involved with the sports and activities that our boys participate in. I had the privilege of being an assistant coach this year for small fry baseball and I recently joined the cub scouts as a co-den leader.” Indeed, William is passionate about helping people. Looking back on his career so far, William is grateful for everyone who paved the way and provided their support while he began his journey into the world of accounting and personal finance. “My parents were instrumental by providing financial advice, reading materials, and encouragement. My tax professor Brad Johnson at Francis Marion University, who used interesting real-life stories to teach tax law, making it sound much more alluring. Charles Carpenter, also a professor at FMU, acted as a mentor and career coach long after graduation. Vicki Arthur, who helped me land an internship at Sonoco and helped me see the value of the CPA credential. I’m most grateful for my wife Kristen. She puts up with me, provided encouragement, and so much more as I spent long nights for months on end studying for the CPA exam and the CFP® exam. Even now, she continues to support me during the push and long hours of tax season.”




#whyTHA story by Anna Tingen, Fundraising and Marketing Director Thomas Hart Academy

Thomas Hart Academy is a little school with a big heart. Full of fun. Commitment. Dedication. And most importantly, a loving Hornet family. At Thomas Hart Academy, we pride ourselves in being a safe and nurturing environment for children. We foster a love of learning and aim to create an environment where learning is fun! We educate the whole child— intellectually, socially and emotionally. We have some really great things going on at 852 Flinns Road. Our numbers are up. We’ve added a 2k and a 3k class, Latin is now taught beginning in 2k and our middle school kids are gearing up for their field trips to Barrier Island, Camp Greenville and our annual 8th grade trip to Washington, DC. So many exciting things! Casey Copeland, THA Board member said, “Why THA? Because our kids are worth it. I can't believe my second grader is learning Latin. She's the first in her family to ever do so. She loves it and she's teaching everyone she comes in contact with now. Because THA doesn't have to teach to a test so often, more time can be spent on enrichment, individualized instruction and holistic learning. Sophia has been back at school a few weeks now and it's obvious that we are in for another year of hearing about THA constantly because it's literally her favorite thing to do. And we genuinely could not be happier that we found this school last year, this extension to our family. It is 110% worth it, one of the best decisions we ever made for our daughter.” THA encompasses so many wonderful things! We are thriving and growing and in order to keep up, we 40

October 2019

must fundraise. Our second annual auction will be held on November 8, 2019 at Hartsville Country Club. Tickets will be on sale soon and we invite you to come and celebrate with us! We will have a silent and live auction, two live musicians, a champagne toast and so much more! Save the date! Also, our annual Halloween Carnival will be on Thursday, October 24th from 6 until 8. It’s a great event and supports our PTO. We’d love to see you there! I’m a THA alum, class of 1998. I absolutely loved being a student, and now it’s come full circle for my family. I’m employed and 2 of my 3 boys are students. I get asked lots why we chose THA and I tell people it’s the sense of family, the love from the teachers and a safe environment. Sure, the academics are amazing but it’s not really why we chose the school. My husband and I knew that if our boys felt loved and safe, then in turn they would be learning. And they are learning every day! We are so proud to be a part of the Hornet Family! If you’d like more information about Thomas Hart, or want to set up a tour, please call the office at 843.332.4991.

October 2019




Tracy Woodard

owner of Covered in Cotton Covered in Cotton is more than just high-quality cotton blankets. It is a piece of the Carolinas with purpose and heart woven into every step of the process. How did Covered in Cotton come to be? My husband, Ty, and I had spent years just talking about how we could share a part of what we grow on our family farm, Woodard Farms. It had always been something fun to daydream about until December 2017 when I actually woke up from a dream with a vision for Covered in Cotton. I woke up that morning and scribbled everything I felt the Lord had shown me in a notebook, which I then shared with Ty.  Without hesitation, Ty said “Let’s do it.” So, that began our journey of finding the right people to help take the cotton grown on our farm through the process of becoming yarn, which is then woven into 100% cotton throws - all within North and South Carolina. And, after almost one year of ups and downs, we launched our online store and started selling our throw collection in November 2018! Which pattern is your personal favorite? That’s like asking a mother who is her favorite child - they all are! Each design we currently offer is named after our three kids - Tate, Tobin and Tyson. And, just like our sweet kiddos, each throw is different and beautiful in its own way.   Tell us more about the philanthropic side of Covered in Cotton? Back in December 2015, our son Tobin was three months old and diagnosed with a very destructive type of bacterial meningitis. He spent 35 days in the children’s hospital in Columbia, SC, where he had emergency brain surgery on his first Christmas Eve. The first nurse we met when Tobin was admitted to the PICU gave us a gift - a blanket. It was a practical gift for “living” in a cold and uncomfortable hospital room, but even more it was an incredible reminder of how the Lord had covered our family and blessed us during that difficult season.


October 2019

So, the connection was immediate when the vision for Covered in Cotton came two years later. Our “cotton with a cause” mission allows us to donate one throw to a local children’s hospital for every ten that we sell. Today, our Tobin is a completely healed and healthy four year old, and we have the incredible blessing of sharing our story and our Hope with other families who are facing a similar hardship with their child in the hospital. To date, we’ve donated 90 throws to children’s hospitals in Columbia, Florence, and Charleston, with plans for more this fall in Greenville. In a day and age where many things are produced abroad, your blankets are made from seed to sew in the Carolinas. Tell us more! Before we started Covered in Cotton, we really had no idea what the process looked like after our cotton was sold and left the cotton gin. We soon found out that the majority of the cotton grown in the USA leaves our country for exports and manufacturing, making it rare to find a cotton product that is 100% grown and made in America. So from the start, we had a mission to invest in American small businesses and families, and we knew that we wanted every part of our products and our company to be as local as possible. Thankfully, we have been so blessed to find family owned small businesses to make our products possible - right here in our backyard of the Carolinas.

photo by Des Keller with DK Communications Group

After the cotton is harvested from our farm in Darlington, SC it is ginned at the S.P. Coker Cotton Gin in Hartsville, SC. The ginned cotton then makes it way to Hill Spinning in Thomasville, NC where it is spun into yarn. Then, the yarn is plyed together in Hickory, NC at Shuford Mills. From there, the yarn makes its way back to SC to be woven into the finished throws at Weavetec in Blacksburg, SC. Finally, the throws have a 100% cotton label sewn on at Craig Industries in Lamar, SC. Our cotton makes around a 500 mile round trip journey before it makes its way back to us, and we can package and ship them all over the USA! What is your favorite part about owning a small business? Just like on our farm, owning a small business is a process of sowing and reaping. Having the opportunity to see a seed, an idea, grow into something that can be shared with others is really an energizing and fulfilling thing. I’ve always had a passion for creating and being creative, and Covered in Cotton allows me to put my hands, my mind and my heart into something that challenges myself and grows me along with it. Any plans to expand the selection and designs of Covered in Cotton? We’ve been working hard this summer on adding another design to our throw collection, as well as launching our baby blanket collection and kitchen towel collection this fall! We’re really excited to offer these original designs in the coming months, which are cultivated and crafted entirely in the Carolinas!

Where can we find and purchase our own Covered in Cotton products? Our website is, where you can read more about our story, our farm, and our products! You can purchase online from our website and have your order shipped to your doorstep or to a loved one anywhere in the USA! How are other ways to support our local farmers this season? We are truly fortunate to live in such a rich and diverse agricultural community. Our area is full of incredible farms and farmers that offer local products and opportunities to have some farm fun this fall. Whether you stop by a roadside produce stand, have some fun at a corn maze or pumpkin patch, or make plans to visit our many farmer’s markets throughout the Pee Dee, this harvest season is the perfect time to support our local farmers and celebrate South Carolina agriculture!




October 2019

October 2019



Medically Preparing for

HURRICANES story by Donna Tracy, Communication Coordinator, HopeHealth

The Pee Dee was recently spared the fury of Dorian as the hurricane destroyed the Bahamas then slowly crept across the Atlantic before pouncing on the North Carolinian coastline. It’s not the first nor last hurricane to threaten our region and, in recent years, being prepared for hurricane season seems more important than ever. Other severe weather, such as the February 2014 ice storm that left thousands of South Carolinians without power for more than a week, illustrates being prepared at all times is essential. The hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends November 30 each year; though it can begin earlier and end later. Historically several hurricanes have caused significant damage and deaths in our state: • According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), federal estimates make Hurricane Florence the 12th most expensive storm since 1980 with damages totaling $24 billion - more than twice 2016's Hurricane Matthew. Nine people in South Carolina were killed during the storm. • In 2016, Matthew, though a Category 1 hurricane, was responsible for four deaths and intensive flooding in South Carolina. Damage totaled an estimated $10.3 billion across the U.S., according to NOAA. • Although 2015’s Hurricane Joaquin never directly hit the United States, its moisture fed a large storm system that resulted in catastrophic flooding in much of South Carolina. Several areas exceeding the threshold for a 1-in1,000-year flood event. The storm killed 19 people and caused $2 billion in damage • Hurricane Hugo made landfall in Charleston on Sept. 22, 1989. The Category 4 storm had estimated winds of 135 to 140 mph. The storm incurred $7 billion in damages and was responsible for 26 deaths in the U.S., according to the NOAA


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• Hurricane Gracie struck Beaufort as a Category 3 in 1959 and, according to the Department of Natural Resources, caused $14 million in damage and 22 deaths with about half of its damage in Charleston County • Hazel, another Category 4 hurricane, made landfall near Little River in 1954, causing 95 deaths and $163 million in damage according to the Department of Natural Resources; $63 million of those damages were to North and South Carolina beaches

Because of these events, almost everyone who has lived in the Pee Dee for more than a year likely has some sort of emergency plan; whether they evacuate to family or friends in safer regions, make use of an emergency shelter, or stay on their property. Likewise, most understand the basics such as making sure plenty of clean water is on hand, batteries and flashlights are ready, and the car is full of gas. But are you prepared for taking care of your health during these emergencies when your regular doctor’s office and urgent care clinics may be closed? According to Health Care Ready, pharmacists in South Carolina may dispense up to a 30-day emergency refill if the Governor declares a State of Emergency and the prescription is not a controlled substance. However, waiting until an emergency happens may not be ideal as weather conditions, power losses, road closures, etc., can make it difficult to find or get to an open pharmacy. “You need to make sure you always have at least one week of your medications available, especially those for chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes,” said Dr. Heather Leisy, director of preventive medicine at the HopeHealth Medical Plaza in Florence. “You need to make sure that you have refills available and always fill them at least a week before you run out.”

According to Health Care Ready, pharmacists in South Carolina may dispense up to a 30-day emergency refill if the Governor declares a State of Emergency and the prescription is not a controlled substance.

Other ways Dr. Leisy, who is board certified in public health and general preventive medicine, recommends to medically prepare for an emergency include:

• Keep a hard copy of your medical records in a safe location and take them with you if you evacuate • If your emergency plans include evacuating to a family or friend, check with their local hospital systems, urgent care clinics, etc., so you know where to go if you need care • Keep a first aid kit filled and accessible and include ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and antihistamines if you have allergies

“During a storm and recovery, there is a high risk for exposure to unsanitary conditions and injury and you should be careful of any open wounds and pay attention to any swelling or redness that develops,” she said. Additional tips during clean up include:

• Wear personal protective equipment like gloves, masks, safety glasses • Use a NIOSH-approved N-95 filtering facepiece respirator (“N-95 mask”) if you suspect mold in the area • Stay clear of areas with suspected mold if you have asthma or COPD

• Stay up-to-date on tetanus shots and boosters • Ensure you have alternative power for any medical devices such as breathing machines • Know where your evacuation center is and find out if they are able to support your medical needs • Avoid flood waters, especially if you have open wound • Keep wounds clean and bandaged


For more on preparing for hurricanes, visit

October 2019




Did You Know...

The Bean Market story by Kent Daniels

Lake City Produce Market The Lake City produce market from its creation in the early 1890s hit its height in the 1950s. Selling from the platform of the Lake City train depot as early as the 1920s, the truck market grew rapidly. In 1933, Mr. J. V. Carter suggested to Mayor Jack Dalziel that he appoint a committee composed of members of our city council and some produce buyers to go to Mount Olive, North Carolina, to observe the auction market there. After viewing the auction market in Mount Olive, a similar auction market was established here with similar rules and regulations. Our truck buyers board of trade was also organized the same year. The 1933 season proved to be a wonderful success.  The State May 31, 1936 The following year, Mayor Dalziel called a special council meeting, the purpose of which was to consider allowing the managers of our Truck Growers Association to erect a building at a location selected for the municipal market. A platform was built for this purpose on the vacant lot next to the Jones and Carter Company.  City Council Minutes  May 23, 1934 In April of 1934, a committee was formed by the Truck Growers Association to seek funds in Washington D. C. to build a municipal market building. The Federal Emergency Administration of Public Workers, the PWA, was granting loans at that time to “governmental subdivision(s) for the erection of self-liquidating projects.” Mayor Jack Dalziel suggested that we make an application for a loan to build an adequate handling facility. The town council decided that this would be a fine thing to do. They also suggested, if possible, getting a cold storage plant and cannery in connection therewith.  The State May 31, 1936 J. B. Urquhart of Columbia was selected as the architect and a committee consisting of members of the Truck Buyers’ Association and the Town Council was appointed by the mayor. They conferred in drawing up the plans to be submitted with the application. The first set of plans was submitted and rejected. Finally, in June of 1935, the mayor, after several conferences with the 50

October 2019

PWA officials in Washington, was informed that plans were approved for a building approximately 0 (sic)* x 200 feet for a cost of approximately $24,000. Plans were revised to meet these requirements, approved, and in October of 1935, the town received an offer from the federal government for a combination of a loan and a grant to build the municipal market building for Lake City. The projected cost would be $25,454. ($484,460 in 2019 value), $14,000 of which was a loan secured by bonds and a lien on the building and to be paid solely from the revenue derived from the operation of the building. The remaining $11,454 was an outright grant or gift from the government, to be used for this purpose. The building is probably the only building of its kind in the entire United States built under this plan.  The State May 31, 1936 (*The author measured these dimensions on this existing structure, known now as the Lake City Bean Market, and found them to be approximately sixty feet, actually closer to sixty-three feet, by two hundred feet.) Lake City’s new auction market was opened to producers and buyers on May 12, 1936. The new facility was able to handle thousands of crates and hampers of beans, squash, English peas, cucumbers, and other vegetables each day. The selling platform extended the full length of the building with driveways on either side so that trucks, cars, and wagons could load and unload their samples of produce easily. The first supervisor of the produce market in 1936 was A. J. Thorpe. With the aid of a few assistants, the new market worked like a clock. The auction fee was two cents (thirty-six cents in 2019 value) a hamper which went to pay the help, maintain the market and pay off the indebtedness on the market.  The State May 31, 1936 The auction sales of in-season vegetables were conducted from the latter part of April until July, depending on how productive the growing season had been that year. The produce was brought to market in all types of conveyances. It was not an unusual sight to see two lines of traffic extending a mile or more through

the business section as each vehicle waited its turn to reach the auctioneer’s block. Some farmers would come to Lake City the night before so that they could be among the first in line to sell their produce.   Government graders, auctioneers, and other officials would stand at the bean market where vegetables were quickly graded, purchased, and packed into hampers. The hampers were packed into trucks or nearby railway freight cars which carried this produce to the large eastern markets - New York, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, and Boston - and from there on to chain grocery stores and other large buyers.  The News and Courier February 21, 1937


The Bean Market photos provided by the James Vernon Epps collection

During a single day during the season, approximately twelve to fourteen railway cars and forty to fifty large trucks hauled the beans away from Lake City. The railcars routinely carried 450 hampers each while each truck hauled approximately half that number.  The News and Courier February 21, 1937 In 1940, the Town Council elected necessary personnel to operate the produce market. They were Charlie Green as a manager, Wesley J. Singletary, and Edward C. Bowen as alternating bookkeeper and auctioneer, and Dewey Nettles as ticket marker.  The News and Courier May 2, 1940 Around 1941 Lake City was the largest truck market in the United States and was known as the world’s largest string bean market, handling an average of one-half to three-fourths million hampers each year.  Lake City News June 7, 1956 In 1949, Mayor Willie H. Cooke suggested moving the market from the present site at 111 Henry Street to a new location adjoining the Carter Manufacturing Company on South Acline Avenue because of the traffic situation. This never happened. The Produce Marketing Association of Lake City was chartered in 1956 with Joe Dew as president. The founding directors for this buyer-farmer non-profit organization were David G. Bowen, Booker Sparrow, LaMarr McFadden, Wilbur Brown, and Jim Moore. H. E. Godwin, who headed the commission to study the change over from city supervision to buyer-farmer supervision, was the market manager. At this juncture, the bean market essentially moved from the control of the city to the control of the farmers and buyers.  Lake City News June 7, 1956 The major reason for the decline of the produce market was lack of good labor with another issue of more competitive markets elsewhere. Mr. Eugene Moore reminisced that our produce market was a great place for the small farmers in the 1930s and 1940s where if they had an acre or so of some produce, they could bring their vegetables in and sell them. 

Kent Daniels Lake City native, retired teacher, and now Director of the Lynches Lake Historical Society

Continue to follow Kent in future issues of Vip as he sheds some light on the history of Lake City.

Sadly, the 1970s brought an end to the produce market here in Lake City. October 2019



The Season of

APPLE PIE story by Doug Smith

Can you feel it? The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping and the trees are full of color. This can only mean one thing - fall has arrived. After enjoying a long hot summer, I’m ready for fall with its cool mornings, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin scones, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pies, and just about anything else “pumpkinish.” However, October is about more than just pumpkins. In little towns all across this great land, people come together to celebrate the harvest. Each weekend with a short drive from wherever you call home you can find local festivals loaded with artisans showing off their seasonal crafts and local entertainment. Let’s be honest, there are also lots of great foods to try. I especially look forward to visiting one of the multiple apple festivals each year. To me, the trip is as much fun as the destination. There’s something special about driving on a narrow winding roadway decorated with the colors of fall and trying not to look over the edge at the breathtaking view. The sounds of people talking and laughing and the sweet smell of festival food drives me to walk faster than anyone else in our group. I like to find a good spot in the middle of all the excitement with my cup of hot coffee in hand, maybe an old fashion hot apple turnover or a warm biscuit with apple butter, and watch people walk by. I’m always amazed at who we just happen to bump into. It’s almost like a family reunion that no-one planned. We just show up at the same place at the same time to enjoy the festivities. How cool is that? Since apple festivals are what my heart is currently after, this month I'll be sharing my family's apple pie recipe. You're sure to enjoy!

Doug Smith's Granny Smith Apple Pie INGREDIENTS 1 refrigerated pie crust, a package of 2 (My secret crust recipe.) For the filling: 6 peeled Granny Smith apples sliced  3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon sea salt  1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 tablespoon lemon juice

METHOD • Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom. • In a large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust. • Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving. *Note - after slicing the apples, place in a colander and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let it stand for 30 minutes to drain. Get more from Doug Smith by following him on Facebook and Instagram at "Doug the Food Guy".

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July 2019 2019 October

October 2019




PUMPKIN PATCH Give your home some fall charm with pumpkin decorations for every room.



Pumpkin Spice Bath Bombs De Anna's Bath & Body 112 E Main St, Lake City 843.374.4000



Harvest Ceramic Pumpkins Minnie's Giftique 142 E Carolina Ave, Hartsville 843.383.6380



Vietri Pumpkin Salad Plates B Nance Fine Gifts & More 1939 Hoffmeyer Rd, Florence, 843.799.2440 4

Autumn Throw Pillow Main Street Mercantile 111 E Main St, Lake City 843.374.2333


October 2019


October 2019



Falls Park story by Zach Hughes

There is something to be said about a

city that has a thriving downtown area.

It is even better when that city invests in greenspaces to allow a place for people to gather and relax.

I think Greenville, South Carolina is a city that has invested a great deal into both of these things. It says that they care about the well being of their people as well as creating an enjoyable environment for them to thrive. I remember the first time I got to experience Downtown Greenville. It was on a week-long mission trip in the upstate to help with community outreach. One of the greatest things about this particular trip was we got to spend the evenings exploring the downtown area. Even though this was years ago, I can still remember how open and vibrant the streets of Greenville felt. What made our time there so much more magical was the fact that we were weeks away from Christmas and the streets were lined with strands of soft white Christmas lights. There was even an ice skating ring in the open-air market. Here recently, my wife and I have made no shortage of trips to Greenville. Its as if we can't get enough of the upstate. It doesn’t help that Greenville is not far 56

September 2019

from Table Rock, Jocassee, and Ceasers Head. Even on our way home after a weekend in Asheville, we will still make a point to make a stop downtown. My favorite time of day to walk around the streets of Greenville is right before the sun begins to set, and the already shaded sidewalks are cast into an even cooler epicenter full of life as the sun is hidden by the buildings. Greenville is filled with several wonderful restaurants and stores. One of our most frequented restaurants is Handi Indian Cuisine. We are complete suckers for some good authentic Punjabi Indian food. My favorite store is no surprise to many who know me. I could spend hours in the Mast General Store looking at camping gear and items to tempt me to sell everything and live in a cabin. It is worth mentioning that the best coffee in Greenville is easy to miss if you aren't looking for it. Coffee Underground is literally underground, down a set of steps hidden in plain sight. As you walk down the sidewalk of North Main Street, the street begins to slope downward, and if I didn't know any better, I would say that it was almost as if gravity was pulling you towards something that ties the whole area together. With the shadow of the historic buildings coming to an end, a stone bridge leads you over the Reedy River that flows towards a dramatic waterfall over broken up rocks where an old mill used to sit. From here

Falls Park, located at 601 S. Main St, Greenville, is open from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. There is no admission fee.

you get the first glimpse of the Falls Park Bridge. A curved suspended bridge that guides you far above and around the breathtaking waterfall. Once you make your way down the set of steps and onto the bridge, the captivating view of everything from the park to the waterfall makes it easy to see why this is a place everyone raves about. The view of the waterfall is even more mesmerizing as you see how wide the span of the waterfall is. One of my favorite things about this area is how much open grass there is for people to gather. There is a walkway that leads from under North Main to a slight curve with the river, then downwards to stairs or zigzag walkways. Each time we return here, it never fails that we end up spending more time than we expected walking along the riverbank or sitting on a bench.

I honestly believe there is no better city in South Carolina to spend time in as fall begins to roll in. The upstate always gets a little colder, a little sooner, and the leaves always change a little bit earlier. It's worth mentioning too that downtown Greenville hosts an incredible festival called Fall for Greenville in October. This fall, go spend time along the edge of the waters of the Reedy at Falls Park or discover downtown Greenville.

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.

October 2019



Something to Celebrate... FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY PILES UP MULTIPLE “BESTS” IN USN&WR RANKINGS Francis Marion University has once again been recognized by U.S. News & World Report magazine as one of the top Regional Universities in the South. The 2020 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges,” one of the most venerable college rating websites in existence, is now available online. The information will also appear in the magazine’s print edition this month. FMU has been a regular member of the top-ranked Regional Universities category for two decades. FMU was also recognized in five separate “best” categories — four of them for the first time — and saw two individual academic programs recognized among the nation’s best. The special recognitions included Best College for Social Mobility, Best College for Veterans, Best College Value, Best Colleges for Campus Ethnic Diversity and Top Public Colleges. Dr. Fred Carter, president of Francis Marion, says the rankings validate FMU’s ongoing efforts to provide a superior education to its students. “We are proud to be recognized in so many areas,” says Carter. “It reflects the comprehensive nature of this university. But it’s not a surprise. The depth and breadth of our programs, taught by the finest faculties in the state, has grown steadily. We have a lot to offer the people of this state and region.” U.S. News ranks colleges and universities in all its categories using data that reflects academic excellence, and various other aspects of university life.


Palmetto Realty of Hartsville expands their business with the addition of two new Realtors, Nick and Kasey Cannon. Nick and Kasey have been married for 19 years and have three children; Gage, Maddie, and Ben. The couple are excited to embark on this new career change together and the Palmetto Realty team are proud to have been chosen by the pair as their career choice!


October 2019

RALDEX CELEBRATES 1 YEAR OF STAYBRIDGE SUITES At Staybridge Suites – Florence Center, we’re at the heart of a movement. We exist to help guests conquer the rat race and live the life they believe in, even while on the road. A traditional hotel doesn’t always cut it, and we know that when traveling for days, weeks or even months at a time, it’s the little (and big) things you can’t fit into a suitcase that truly matter. Each of the 112 suites features a fully equipped kitchen, living area with pull out sofa and is 25-40% larger than a standard hotel room. A full breakfast with multiple hot and cold stations is available from 6-10 AM each morning and start off the list of complimentary amenities that enhance our guests' experience. Other complimentary amenities include high-speed internet, daily newspaper, parking, storage rooms, and a manager’s social 4 nights each week featuring a light dinner and beverages. We recommend utilizing our 24/7 state of the art fitness center, business center, and complimentary laundry facility. Staybridge Suites guests will find our seasonal zero-entry outdoor pool and custom-designed grilling pavilion with two infrared grills an absolute delight. As an added bonus, walking and biking trails are adjacent to our property with bike rentals available at the front desk. Lastly, Staybridge Suites boasts the largest ballroom located within a hotel in Florence. With 2600 sq. ft. of beautifully decorated event space in 'The 'Bridge' grand ballroom, along with an additional pre-function area and independent lobby, Staybridge Suites can accommodate groups, meetings, and events up to 300 people. We offer a selection of 'break-out' snacks and beverages and have a list of audio- visual rentals available. We believe our guests deserve more, and it’s always been our simple mission to provide something different. Distinct. More space and a greater sense of community that breaks down the walls of monotonous, restrictive travel…to help you feel unconfined…and experience a Break from the Travel Norm.

If you are celebrating a positive achievement or have been awarded for a newsworthy accomplishment, email Heather Page at


October 2019




1.5 oz Bourbon of your choice 1 tsp Lemon juice .5 tsp Sugar Orange slice Maraschino cherry Add bourbon, lemon juice, and sugar to cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into chilled rocks glass. Garnish with orange slice and maraschino cherry.


October 2019

Profile for VIP Magazine

October 2019