January 2023

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Publisher Tammy Clark tmclark225@gmail.com

Editor Heather Page heather@vipmagsc.com

Office Manager Tiffany Skipper jtskipp35@gmail.com

Advertising Executives Julie C. Tyler juliectyler@yahoo.com

Creative Design

Contributing Photographers Fred Salley

Contributing Writers

Tuesday Taylor Ashley Rogers
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Mark W. Buyck, III Cynthia Ford La’Quanita Goodman Farrah Hughes, PhD, ABPP Cyrus Kocherla, MD Doug Smith Serving Florence, Hartsville, Darlington, Marion, Mullins, Lake City and the surrounding areas 2011-B Second Loop Rd, Florence, SC 29501 FIND
For advertising rates, email heather@vipmagsc.com.


6 VIPMagSC.com January 2023 ABOUT THE COVER CONTENT: JANUARY 2023 08 Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A.: James Montgomery & Harriet Tubman 10 Campbell Accounting Solutions 12 The Citizens Bank: Solid Traditions. Smart Solutions. 14 Book of the Month: Good For A Girl 16 Wildlife Action Fun'raiser Supper 18 Jacobee Sansbury: Vip Mag Intern 20 Gift Guide: Neutral In The New Year 22 The "R" Rule For Shellfish 24 January 2023: Fun Days and Events 26 McLeod Health: A Laser Treatment To Remove Cardiac Scar Tissue 28 HopeHealth: Improve Your Health By Giving Your Time 30 Newsworthy: Business Happenings 34 Bucket List: Angel Oak Tree 36 Gift Guide: Shiny & Scented in 2023 38 Stop Human Trafficking 40 New Years Resolutions You can Achieve 42 Cozy Winter Foods 44 Drink of the Month: Bronze Antioxidant ISSUE 86
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The new MUSC Health Black River Medical Center will feature 25 licensed beds, full operating and diagnostic services, a 16-bay emergency department, and the latest capabilities in telehealth. The hospital represents MUSC's ongoing effort to extend its mission to communities and the citizens across the state.
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James Montgomery & Harriet Tubman

The Confederates firing on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861 was the first hostile action between Confederate and Union soldiers. It is recognized as the beginning of the Civil War. The first major naval engagement of the war occurred during the battle of Port Royal during the first week of November, 1861. The battle was a major win for the Union as their forces were able to capture the Confederate forts on either side of Port Royal sound. This left Beaufort defenseless, and it was immediately occupied.

Beaufort would remain under control of the Union throughout the war. It was a major supply hub located strategically between Savannah and Charleston. Beaufort also became a refuge of sorts for the former slaves who had worked the cotton plantations along the South Carolina Sea Islands. The Beaufort area also became a focal point for Northern abolitionists in their efforts to educate and ultimately assimilate former slaves into society.

When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, it declared that if the Southern states did not end the rebellion, all slaves in the Confederate states would be free as of January 1, 1863. At the time the Proclamation had little immediate effect as the Confederates still controlled the vast majority of the southern states. The effect in Beaufort however was obvious, as it was under Union control.

At this point of the war, the United States government’s policy prohibiting blacks in the armed services began softening. On January 1, 1863, an “impressive ceremony” was held outside Beaufort taking into Federal service the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry. By February the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry regiment was formed and recognized. Both the regiments were recruited from former slaves. Like other black units throughout the war, these unit’s officers were Northern whites. The commanding officer of the 2nd was James Montgomery, a long-time abolitionist who supported and served with John Brown during Bloody Kansas. Montgomery and his

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Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Raid on Combahee River 34th United State's Colored Infantry Regiment

regiment became reviled by plantation owners. They would raid low country plantations burning homes and outbuildings and freeing and carrying off slaves. One Northern soldier said of the regiment, “No white regiment for months and services has done as much to injure the Rebel cause as this handful of hated negroes, nor has any white regiment had the incentive that this fractional regiment had to distinguish themselves. They rescued their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters from the galling servitude of the plantation.”

The most famous of these raids occurred on June 1 and June 2, 1863, and became known as the Combahee Ferry Raid. On the night of June 1, 1863, 300 men from the 2nd South Carolina sailed from Beaufort for the Combahee River. They disembarked at several locations as they proceeded up the river exchanging fire with Confederate sentries but faced no consequential resistance. They sailed as far inland as the Combahee Ferry. The ferry was located at what is now the U.S. Highway 17 bridge over the river. During these plantation raids they carried away what supplies they could and burned what they could not. The plantations were owned by well-known Secessionists such as Oliver Middleton, Mr. Manigault, Charles Lowndes, and William Heyward. They also destroyed the pontoon bridge at the Combahee Ferry. Contemporaneous newspaper reports indicate that approximately 800 slaves were freed during the operation and returned to Beaufort with the regiment. As many as 100-150 of the freed males would join either the 1st or 2nd Regiments.

In July 1863, the 2nd relocated from Beaufort to Morris Island to participate in the operations associated with the Union siege of Charleston, including the Battle for Battery Wagner. In February 1864, they were relocated to Jacksonville, Florida and ultimately reorganized as the 34th United State’s Colored Infantry Regiment.

The most famous participant in the Combahee Ferry Raid was Harriet Tubman. Tubman was born a slave in 1822 in Maryland. In 1849 she escaped to freedom. She would become known as one of the most successful conductors of the Underground Railroad. Tubman joined other abolitionists in relocating to the Beaufort area following its capture. She served as a nurse to the soldiers and a helping hand for the fugitive slaves. By 1863 she was serving as a scout/ spy mapping the Sea Islands and becoming familiar with the terrain as well as the enslaved people living there.

Tubman accompanied Montgomery on the raid sharing with him the knowledge she had gained during her clandestine visits. She assisted in the rescue of the 800 slaves. Like much of Harriet Tubman’s life, it is a bit difficult to distill the myth from the facts in assessing her contribution to the battle. Nevertheless, she was there, and she participated. While it may be hyperbole to declare that she led the raid, it is more than appropriate that the Highway 17 bridge at Combahee Ferry is now officially known as the Harriet Tubman Memorial Bridge.

Business Law, Litigation, Real Estate, and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

248 West Evans Street Florence, SC | 843.662.3258

2050 Corporate Centre’ Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC | 843.650.6777

Mark W. Buyck, III
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Celebrating 40 Years!

Campbell Accounting Solutions, LLC was William (Bill) E. Campbell’s idea that came to life in 1983. He rooted the business in one room of a real estate company with one desk, one chair, a phone book, a phone, and a computer. There was no social media back then and word of mouth was the only way to go unless you had the budget for fancy newspaper ads, and he did not. His family stepped in as needed, direct mail was his friend, and he was soon able to hire real employees. Clients were always considered family and treated as such. That tradition will forever carry on.

By 1992, his daughter, Elizabeth (Betsy) Campbell was working in the office on a part-time basis. Bill required that she learn the business from the bottom up, so she started in the file room and had to work her way to an actual office. Together they grew Campbell Accounting Solutions (CAS), bouncing ideas off of one another and implementing change necessary as technology improved. In 2003, a startling diagnosis of pancreatic cancer for Bill turned their personal lives upside down and put plans for the business on the fast track. Future plans became current plans and with very little knowledge from staff and friends, the business was completely turned over to Betsy as Bill suffered through treatments, holding on for one more day, one

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Campbell Accounting Solutions, LLC Created A Well-Versed Team That Continues To Move The Business Forward 10 VIPMagSC.com January 2023

more week, one more month with his family. On April 21, 2004, Bill lost his battle with pancreatic cancer but made it through his 21st Tax Season as the firm’s owner.

Although Betsy was no stranger to the business, she certainly had some very big shoes to fill. She worked hard to maintain existing clients, bring in new clients and create a team that could work together and move the business forward together. The team is all cross-trained and each member has a specialty assigned to them that they continually research and stay current on changes that may impact clients. The goal is to have a well-versed team that can help a large variety of clients. The current team consists of nine women of varying ages, backgrounds, and personalities. Chances are, they have the right team member ready to work with you!

The firm specializes in monthly accounting services to businesses in the Pee Dee and surrounding areas. That includes data entry, production of profit and loss statements and balance sheets, bank reconciliations, preparation of sales tax, and processing payroll and related reports. Additional services include elder care, non-profit work, LLC/S corporation set ips, assistance with the IRS and state agencies, and personal and business returns in all states. There is secure technology in place allowing documents to be scanned or emailed. Conference calls and Zoom calls are offered as well as good old-fashioned face-to-face meetings. Team members can remote in and work from home when the need arises. CAS found that they had to be flexible and in tune with a wider variety of ways to reach their customers and continue working at their high pace when Covid struck. During that time, many hours were donated to clients with the hope of keeping

them afloat during the shutdown. Thankfully, most of the monthly clients did indeed make it through the shutdown and are stronger than ever.

As CAS celebrates its 40th Anniversary in business they look forward to continuing long-term, active relationships with its clients. The CAS team strives to make sure you have the best possible accounting experience that you can. Often quoted as saying “We put the fun in accounting,” seeing the firm itself you quickly realize they are right. They worked hard to have a calm, relaxed interior resembling the inside of one’s home. They speak in terms everyone can understand and genuinely want to help you with your business and tax needs. The team is down to earth and interacts easily with anyone who walks through the door. Their door is open for anyone, no matter how big or how small. They want you to be part of their family.

Campbell Accounting Solutions is located at 1623 Second Loop Road, Florence, South Carolina 29505 and can be reached at 843-662-9700 or taxinfo@ campbellgroupsc.com. Operating hours during tax season are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, closing from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm for lunch. During non-tax Season the office closes at 12:00 pm on Friday.

A special thanks to fellow Boss Babes Angie Powell with Bloom, A Unique Boutique for styling the team for pictures, and Amber Hopla with Carolina Moments Photography for capturing the personalities of the CAS team so well.

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Connect with Us:

An old-fashioned style of service coupled with modern day financial products; that's who we are. When you bank with us you get the best of both worlds. www.tcbsc.bank

Since 1943, The Citizens Bank has provided individuals and commercial customers with the best old-fashioned style service coupled with modern-day financial products. Following the traumatic years of The Great Depression, the citizens of Olanta, South Carolina, were eager to pursue their dreams and set new financial goals, but they needed a bank nearby. The practical name for the bank once it was established was The Citizens Bank, representing the unique style of personal, courteous, and efficient service the local citizens received.

On the cusp of celebrating 80 years, The Citizens Bank (TCB) still operates on these same principles while maintaining consistent growth. In 2022, TCB merged with Sandhills Bank expanding its customer relationships to the eastern part of South Carolina. Today, TCB operates 25 locations throughout South Carolina. TCB’s President, Thomas Bouchette, described

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the merger as, “the perfect partnership.”

He continues, “With size comes additional resources and the ability to handle larger loans and banking products. The additional branches provide an increase in ATM coverage and also allow us to invest more in technology that further enhances our customer’s banking experience.”

The Citizens Bank is known for its local management and decision-making ability at customer level. “We understand the local market and strive to empower our bankers with the autonomy they need to be responsive and use good judgment based on individual circumstances. Decisions are made by using a simple and straightforward process,” explains Bouchette. TCB operates on “Solid Traditions. Smart Solutions.” While the bank has nearly doubled in size over the last few years, they still maintain their unique style of hometown services for all of its customers' financial needs.

When asked what 2023 brings, Bouchette is excited about the continued growth for customers and career advancement for TCB’s bankers. “Their [bankers'] commitment to our customers and the communities they serve are unparalleled. Even though we have increased our footprint with new locations and more employees, we have been able to maintain our culture which is predicated on small-town bank core values. This culture and core values have served us well over the last 80 years and we have no plans of changing it regardless of size,” says Bouchette. “Watching the TCB ‘family’ grow personally and professionally by building long-term and sustainable relationships with the TCB brand is the most exciting part of what motivates me and our team to do better every day.”

Whatever your financial needs, TCB is ready to serve you. The Citizens Bank is here to help you and your business grow.

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Thomas Bouchette, President of The Citizens Bank

Jesse are the couple behind Picky Bars, a performance bar that is also real food. In addition to being a professional athlete, business owner, and author, she’s also a mother of two young children.


With the new year comes resolutions. Many of us strive to be active runners and there’s no better time than the beginning of the year to attempt the feat. Lauren Fleshman, the author of Good For A Girl and avid runner, has grown up in the running world. She is one of the most decorated collegiate athletes of all time and a national champion as a pro. Lauren use to be a major face of women’s running for Nike before backing the women-based brand Oiselle, and now coaches elite young female runners. She has seen firsthand how our sports systems, originally designed by men, for men and boys, has failed young women as much as it has attempted to empower them.

In Good For A Girl, Lauren describes how she fell in love with running as a girl and pushed her limits to succeed to only succumb to devastating injuries and a daring fight for a better way for female athletes. Fleshman and women everywhere are waking up to the reality that they are running, playing, and competing in a world that wasn’t initially made for them, but they refuse to accept those terms. Lauren tells her story through this riveting novel while also sharing the research she discovered on the physiology and psychology of young athletes of all genders. She is using her platform to be the voice of the often-silent female athletes of our generation.

Good For A Girl is a joyful love letter to the running life and a personal narrative of growth and change for a young girl who loves to run.


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Lauren Fleshman and her husband
if you would like to share a book review with our readers. Do You Love To Read? A Book Review Of


Wildlife Action (WLA) is a non-profit, national conservation and education organization that has been teaching children, as well as adults, about the great outdoors for forty-four years. Our mission is to promote public awareness about wildlife habitat, conserve our natural resources, educate people on stewardship of the good earth, and promote responsible sportsmanship and ethics.

Each year our organization hosts a fun'raiser supper, which includes a social hour, dinner, silent auction, raffles, awards ceremony, and live music, to raise money for certain projects. Last year, the proceeds were used for hurricane repairs; this year, the money will be used to support the Youth Summer Adventure Camp program, which has grown tremendously and has over 300 children in attendance each summer. Donations for prizes at the fun'raiser are much needed and welcome; sponsorships are also available. Sponsors will be listed on our central banner at the event and in our national publication. Tickets for the event, which is scheduled at The Homestead on February 18, 2023, are also available.

For more information on how you can help support our efforts, please, contact us at 843-464-8473 (WLA Headquarters), 843-431-8148 (Karen) or 843-845-5008 (Lisa).

You can also e-mail us at wlasect@wildlifeaction.com.

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Graphic Design Intern

Vip Magazine and The Savvy Mag had the privilege to work with Advantage Academy, a vocational program for Florence One Schools, during the last semester of 2022. Our intern, Jacobee Sansbury, quickly became an inspiration to our office. His smile, eagerness to contribute, and courteous behavior were greatly received during the two days a week he visited. The program enlightened the magazines on young talent with high ambitions.

Advantage Academy, formerly The Florence Career Center, has applied occupational/career education instruction for students in Florence One Schools for more than 25 years. South Florence, West Florence, Wilson, and Timmonsville High School students may attend Advantage Academy and earn certificates of completion in more than nineteen areas. Jacobee visited our offices with a desire to learn about graphic design. He navigated the programs we used quickly and even began creating graphics we could use for social media campaigns. We admired the way he took instruction and implemented it into his work.

Jacobee was a treasure to work with and provide guidance to. The Vip and Savvy staff look forward to seeing what career path his education takes him and even hopes to one day possibly have the opportunity to work with him again!



1. Pieces Boutique

1228 Celebration Blvd., Florence (843) 407-1177 • shoppiecesboutique.com

2. Pretty N Bliss 1267 Celebration Blvd., Florence (843) 662-8135 • prettynbliss.com

3. Naturally Outdoors 2519 W Palmetto St., Florence (843) 665-1551 • naturallyoutdoors.com

4. Butler's Fine Men's Clothing 2533 W Palmetto St., Florence (843) 667-9671 • butlersfineclothing.com

5. MOGS Boutique

823 S Fifth St., Hartsville (843) 309-9412

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1. 2. 3.
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The “R” Rule for Shellfish

The story has always been told that we should only enjoy shellfish, especially oysters, during the months that include the letter “R.” That means from September to April, we can indulge as often as possible while May through August, shellfish are off limits. So while you partake in shellfish season, here are some tips on exactly how to get into those shells to reach the soft, often salty and sometimes firm, oysters.

1. Make sure to scrub the shells under cold running water. There’s nothing worse than getting a mouthful of sand or pluff mud.

2. Offer your hand some protection with a towel or mesh shucking glove. Lay the oyster flat in your hand and hold it into place.

3. Insert the tip of the oyster knife into the “hinge” and twist to pry open.

4. Use the oyster knife to cut the muscle away from the shell. Use a clean finger to wipe away any broken shell or sediment.

5. It’s ready to eat! Enjoy plain or add some toppings such as hot sauce, cocktail sauce, lemons and saltine crackers.

6. Serve with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc!

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sunday monday tuesday wednesday thursday

New Year's Day

Reformers Unanimous Program

Every Friday pm & Sunday am Florence Baptist Temple

Help 4 Kid's Vienna Sausage Food Drive begins January 15-22

SCAA 2023 Annual Conference

Staybridge Suites Florence Center, Florence

Open Mic Night (every Tues.) F.E. Pops, Florence

Buffet Day Clean Your Desk Day Houseplant Appreciation Day Milk Day

Trivia (every Wed.) Green Frog Social, Lake City

Karaoke (every Thurs.) Green Frog Social, Lake City

Stick to Your New Year's Resolution Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The Hannah Skipper Foundation's Food Drive begins January 16-27

Vienna Sausage & Pop-top Chef Boyardee cans can be dropped off at the Savvy/VIP office

"Get To Know Us" Night The King's Academy, Florence

Darlington County Coordinating Counsel's Community Health & Resource Fair Coach T.B. Thomas Sports Center


Saint Anthony's Catholic School's Open House Saint Anthony's School, Florence

FMU Evening College Program Classes begin FMU's Downtown Florence Campus

Craig Hultgren, cello FMU PAC, Florence

Cooks for Christ Chicken Bog Benefit West Florence Fire Department

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Florence 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Festival SiMT Building
Plan for Vacation Day Croissant Day Compliment Day


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Send in your events to heather@vipmagsc.com! friday saturday Always A Bridesmaid January 20-22 & January 24-28 Florence Little Theatre 2023- Your Brand Your Voice Lunch and Learn Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce- Duke Energy Community Board Room
Bluegrass Music Concert Grand Old Post Office, Darlington
Kids Jamboree Florence Center Miracle League of Flo County's Annual Oyster Roast Florence Fairgrounds NC Underground Invasion of Galactic Comics Galactic Comics, Florence
2022 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition Waters
Sip & See
Cuddle Up Day
Chapter Model Train Show The ROB, Lake City
Building, Florence
Parker Pines Events, Latta

A LASER TREATMENT To Remove Cardiac Scar Tissue

Implantable devices have been used for decades to treat heart disease -- saving or improving the quality of countless lives. These devices provide electrical stimulation to the heart to help maintain normal heart rate and/or rhythm for a heart that is diseased or damaged.

Implantable devices, which include pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, are small generators that are placed under the skin in the left or right upper chest area. They are attached to small wires called leads that carry current back to the heart.

Pacemakers help control abnormal heart rhythm rates when it is too slow. They deliver small electrical impulses to stimulate the heart.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators stop dangerous rapid heart rhythms by delivering an electric shock to bring the heart back to normal rhythm and help regulate rhythms for patients with heart failure.

When a permanent pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator is implanted, the expectation is that the device will remain in the patient's body for the rest of their life. But, as with all medical devices, there are circumstances that may require the removal of the system.

The most common reason is device infection usually spreading to the lead from a blood infection or infection in a heart valve. Another cause may be a lead failing to work properly from a break in the metal wire or surrounding insulation. There could also be too much scar tissue accumulated at the tip of a lead affecting device performance. Or, as technology evolves, the patient's existing device may need to be upgraded with a newer, more effective model.

The body's natural response to a foreign object, such as a pacemaker, is to form scar tissue surrounding the leads that run through the blood vessels down to the heart. The longer the device is inside the body, the more scar tissue there will be, making removal difficult. Old leads cannot remain in the body as they would interfere with new devices. If the physician is unable to remove the lead with gentle pulling, a special laser extraction device is used.

With the extraction device, a controlled dose of laser energy is applied to break up the scar tissue and free the lead so it can be pulled out.

The laser energy produces pulsed bursts of UV light energy that gently dissolve the fibrous tissue into tiny, microscopic particles which are easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

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HEALTH + WELLNESS 26 VIPMagSC.com January 2023
McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Cary Huber and McLeod Electrophysiologist Dr. Cyrus Kocherla, pictured with OR support team members, are prepared for a laser lead extraction procedure.

Sometimes new leads will be implanted during the extraction procedure. It depends on the reason for the lead removal. It is essential any infections be cleared before implanting new leads.

Because of the complex technical requirements, lead extraction should only be performed in specialized centers. Studies have shown that the procedure is more likely to be successful when performed by physicians and medical centers, such as McLeod Regional Medical Center, which have the experience and training in caring for patients in need of lead extractions. The team of medical professionals performing the lead extractions include an Electrophysiologist, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, an Anesthesiologist, a Nurse and a Surgical Technician.

The laser lead extraction procedure is safe, effective and efficient. As with any surgical procedure, discuss the risks and benefits with your physician before proceeding.

Great strides have been made in the development of guidelines and protocols for lead extraction. The McLeod Heart & Vascular Institute team has been pioneers in developing a program that safely and effectively removes leads for patients in our region.

An electrophysiologist is a physician who specializes in evaluating the abnormalities of the heart's rhythm. Dr. Cyrus Kocherla is one of three physicians at McLeod whose specialty is in the electrical system of the heart or electrophysiology, a study of the electrical impulses of the heart. Dr. Kocherla is accepting new patients. Appointments with Dr. Kocherla at McLeod Cardiology Associates can be made by calling 843-667-1891.

For more information, visit McLeodHealth.org.

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Dr. Huber and Dr. Kocherla with the device used to perform laser lead extractions. Dr. Kocherla applies a controlled dose of laser energy to break up scar tissue in order to remove old leads.

Dr. Farrah Hughes joined HopeHealth in August 2017 as Director of Behavioral Health Services and is board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Hughes and her husband are avid RV travelers and enjoy taking their two children to new destinations.

For many, the new year is a time for new beginnings. People make resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, and reduce their spending, all in an effort to live longer, happier, and more fulfilling lives. Did you know that by volunteering your time to a worthy cause, you can improve your physical health and mental wellbeing while also having a positive impact on others?

Volunteering offers many physical, psychological, and social benefits for individuals while also making a difference in their communities. Giving time doing something you love enables you to share your gifts and talents while helping others, improving your confidence and satisfaction with life, and providing a sense of purpose.

But outside of making you feel good about yourself, how exactly can volunteering benefit your overall health?

According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteering may lead to lower rates of depression and anxiety, particularly for persons who are 65 and older. Donating your time helps to produce dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter linked to mood, which helps combat stress and promote a positive mental outlook.

Volunteer service also offers opportunities to strengthen current relationships with friends and family when you volunteer together, as well as make new social connections. This helps build an essential support system to reduce stress, depression, and loneliness. Support is especially important following years of social distancing during the pandemic and an increasing reliance on technology, including social media, which may have adverse mental health impacts.

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IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH BY GIVING YOUR TIME Make a resolution to volunteerhelp others while helping yourself in 2023!
Farrah Hughes, PhD, ABPP

Not only is volunteer service great for mental health, but it can also lead to enhanced physical health with increased longevity, especially for older adults.

Western Connecticut State University says that there is evidence for reduced rates of mortality in people who volunteer compared with those that do not. There are also reports that show volunteer work can lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease and reduce risk for heart disease and stroke.

However, the American Psychological Association (APA) notes that a person’s motive for volunteering is important to consider. People who volunteer for other-oriented reasons may live longer, but those who volunteer for selforiented reasons do not appear to have a longer lifespan. An other-oriented focus may indicate that the person has more altruistic values or desires social connection.

Volunteer work is a truly rewarding experience and opportunities exist everywhere, allowing you to donate your time to organizations and communities that are important to you. Whether working with children, animals, your church, the environment, or patients in health care, the possibilities are endless.

If you are interested in volunteering in health care, HopeHealth Volunteers is looking for people to assist our guests in navigating their health care experience while also forming new friendships and improving your mental and overall health.

Volunteers help us provide services to those who often encounter social and financial roadblocks to receiving health care. HopeHealth is working in our service areas, offering health care for everyone, providing free testing, education, and assistance even beyond medical needs. Become a part of making the health of our communities even better. Visit our volunteer website at hope-health.org/ volunteer for more details.

Have a safe and joyous New Year, and let’s make 2023 a year for giving back for everyone’s benefit!

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Something to Celebrate...

Main Street Hartsville Thanks Intern, Gause

We are grateful for the outstanding work of our intern, Keti’lyieen Gause, and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. Keti’lyieen has been a tremendous asset to the Main Street Hartsville program.

When asked what she most enjoyed about the internship, she responded that she enjoyed participating in all the wonderful city events. We know Keti’lyieen will continue to do amazing things.

Kiwanis Club of Florence Joins Chamber

The local Kiwanis Club of Florence recently joined the Chamber of Commerce. The members where pictured here helping the community by packing lunches for Help 4 Kids. The members of the Kiwanis Club of Florence strive to enrich the lives of children in our community and beyond and to assist in the development of our present and future community leaders.

The Kiwanis Club of Florence was established in 1920 as the first Kiwanis Club in the Pee Dee. They meet every Thursday at the Florence Country Club for a social lunch and program that consists of speakers from all areas of the community. Since their inception, they have strived to maintain the Kiwanis ideals of helping children develop into model citizens. Involvement in the community is one of the ways that Kiwanis of Florence helps to reach the children one on one. The organization hosts several fundraisers as well as direct community involvement throughout the year. They also host several annual club gatherings that allow members to socialize and just have a good time.

ArtFields 2023 Makers Market Begins Accepting Applications for Festival

Otis Worldwide Honored by Newsweek

Otis Worldwide was honored by Newsweek as one of America’s Most Responsible Companies.

America’s Most Responsible Companies were selected based on publicly available material, including CSR reports and annual sustainability reports, like Otis’ Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report. An independent survey asking U.S. citizens about their perception of company activities related to corporate social responsibility was also used to help create the final list.

The ArtFields Makers Market is an open air market that coincides with ArtFields, an epic 11-day art festival in Lake City! The market is chock full of goods made by incredibly talented artists from across the Southeast. Lake City ArtFields Collective is beginning the call to makers who would like to exhibit during ArtFields 2023. This market showcases everything from fine art to unique hand-crafted goods and objects, inspired by the heart and soul of artists from this region. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with the makers and purchase their creations. Makers Market will take place during the first weekend of ArtFields 2023 on Saturday, April 22 – Sunday, April 23, 2023, on Main Street. Applications accepted until February 16th, 2023; Vendors notified on March 3rd, 2023; Makers Market on April 22, 2023 from 11AM – 6PM and April 23, 2023 from 1 – 6PM. Visit www.artfieldssc.org for more info.

Hartsville Police Department's Officer Of The Year Named

Corporal Tracy Myers was selected as the Hartsville Police Department's Officer of the Year for 2022. The HPD would like to congratulate Corporal Tracy Myers for receiving Officer of the Year for 2022. The award is chosen by a vote of the officers and staff of the Hartsville Police Department. The entire department thanks Corporal Myers for his continued service to the community and all of the extra tasks he takes on throughout the year that helps HPD run smoothly.


If you are celebrating a positive achievement or have been awarded for a newsworthy accomplishment, email Heather Page at heather@vipmagsc.com.

Ribbon Cutting Held For Freckles and Giggles Ice Cream

City of Hartsville's 2022 Employee of the Year Named

Congratulations to the City of Hartsville's 2022 Employee of the Year, Orlander Wheeler from Public Works - Water Utilities. Mr. Wheeler is a valuable asset, not only to the Utilities Department, but Public Services and the City of Hartsville as a whole.

A huge thank you to Mr. Wheeler for his dedication and service to our city!

BMW Battery Supplier Invests $810 Million in Florence, South Carolina, Plant

A Few Key Points With This Investment:

• South Carolina battery cell plant will create 1,170 jobs

• Plant will start producing cylindrical cells for BMW in 2025 Envision AESC, a former battery unit of Nissan Motor Co., is investing $810 million to build a new battery manufacturing plant in Florence, South Carolina, to supply BMW AG.

• The plant, which is scheduled to start production in 2025, will create 1,170 new jobs and produce 30 gigawatt hours of battery capacity a year in its initial phase with room for expansion, said Jeff Deaton, Envision AESC’s managing director in the US.

• The battery plant will supply BMW’s manufacturing hub in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in which the automaker is investing $1.7 billion to produce electric vehicles. BMW has pledged to make at least six new EV models for the US market by 2030. It has capacity to produce 450,000 vehicles a year at the Spartanburg center, its largest export hub.

Main Street America has announced Downtown Florence as a 2023 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) Semifinalist for the second consecutive year. This prestigious award is the nation’s top award recognizing communities for their excellence in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization. A jury of convened to review a nationwide pool of applicants.

“The Great American Main Street Award is the highest honor that we grant to organizations within our network,” said Hannah White, Interim President and CEO at Main Street America. “We are proud to recognize Downtown Florence and seven fellow organizations as 2023 GAMSA Semifinalists for their excellence in transforming their downtown districts through strategically implemented economic vitality, design, promotion, and organization initiatives.”

“Downtown Florence has brought a new level of respect and awareness for the power of Main Street in South Carolina. The Downtown Florence team has achieved exemplary community-wide revitalization, which is evident in their strong partnerships, visible community transformation and outreach, and their commitment to historic preservation,” said Main Street SC Manager Jenny Boulware.

“To be selected again for a second year as one of the top eight Main Street Programs in the country is a testament to the work of our entire community—our partners, business owners, residents, elected officials and visitors,” said Hannah Davis, Development Manager for the City of Florence and Downtown Florence Main Street Program Director. “We are honored to be included in this lineup of exceptional Main Streets this year and look forward to the announcement of the winners in March 2023.”

Downtown Florence’s Main Street Program was established in 2002 by the Florence Downtown Development Corp., a quasi-public 501c3 non-profit organization formed in partnership with the City of Florence to compliment ongoing downtown revitalization efforts. Since its inception in 2011, Downtown Florence has seen over $300M in public and private reinvestment, hundreds of new jobs created, and thousands of volunteer hours served. Downtown Florence was also selected as a 2022 GAMSA Semifinalist and is a National Main Street Accredited Program.

The 2023 Great American Main Street Award winners will be announced on March 27, 2023.

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The Marion Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Freckles and Giggles Ice Cream on Friday, Dec. 9th at 11:30am. Marion Chamber President, Audrey Wiggins welcomed those attending and thanked owners Ricki and Summer Ford for investing in Marion. They are located at 302 North Main Street. Drop in and enjoy their delicious homemade ice creams and other delicious options. Downtown Florence Announced As Great American Main Street Award Semifinalists For 2nd Consecutive Year
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The Angel Oak Tree located on Johns Island just outside of Charleston is estimated to be more than 1,500 years old and is known today as an impressive landmark in the Lowcountry of SC. Live oaks are typically known to only grow out rather than upwards, but the Angel Oak’s long history has allowed it to uniquely grow both out and up. The live oak has a height of more than 65 feet, a circumference of 25 feet, a diameter spread of 160 feet, and covers about 17,100 square feet of ground. Some of its large and heavy limbs even drop to the ground, something which is only universal among the oldest living oaks. The majestic spread, strength, and beauty of the tree make it a must-see for anyone visiting the Charleston, SC area!

Historical records trace the ownership of the tree and the land on which it stands to 1717 when it was given to Abraham Waight as part of a land grant. Mr. Waight was a wealthy man who owned several plantations. The tree stayed in that family for four generations. Angel Oak acquired its name from the Angel family, descendants of Abraham Waight. In 1991, the tree became the property of the City of Charleston.

The Angel Oak Tree is thought to be one of the oldest trees and living things in the country. It has survived rough weather conditions and human interference. If you are taking a trip to Kiawah Island or Seabrook Islands, it is likely you will drive within a few hundred feet of the Angel Oak Tree, making it a worthy detour. Seeing the impressive live oak tree should be at the top of your to-do list, as it costs nothing to visit. Though located on Johns Island, the tree has come to symbolize Charleston. The Angel Oak Tree’s impressive age and natural beauty are sure to leave you in awe!


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Bucket List


After the Civil War and until the early 1900s, Rainbow Row was considered a slum and was a very run-down area of Charleston. A woman named Dorothy Porcher Legge invested in homes 99 through 101. To improve them, she painted them a light shade of pastel pink. Others in the area began following in her footsteps by painting their houses beautiful pastel colors to improve the overall appearance of the neighborhood. There is conflicting reasoning behind the colors, though some believe the light colors helped keep the interior of the houses cooler while some believe that the hues were used to capture the attention of drunk sailors who might not have otherwise been able to find their way home. Another theory is that the hues were the merchants’ way of indicating what types of items they sold there. To date, there are around 36.8K posts tagged with #rainbowrow on Instagram!

Marion Emporium, Marion

Bubbles by Bridget, Florence

Pieces Boutique, Florence

Palmetto Outpost, Florence/Marion/Dillon

Goosie Ganders, Florence

Trendy Twist Boutique, Florence

Seven Boutique, Lake City

The Pharmacy, Florence

Main Street Mercantile, Lake City

Flowers by Starks, Florence

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If you are a victim of Human Trafficking or suspect a loved one or friend of being a victim, contact the Human trafficking hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888

National Human Trafficking Hotline

SMS: 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO")

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week Languages: English, Spanish, and 200 more languages Website: http://humantraffickinghotline.org

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Standing Against Trafficking Together

We have made it to a new year. Many of us are focused and have painted a mental picture of the life we desire this year and in the foreseeable future. The most significant part of the transition is to have a changed mindset. Without a changed mindset, outward change is not possible. One issue that should be revamped this year is the awareness and prevention of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a horrible act that continues to plague our communities daily. Traffickers often hide in plain sight. Human tracking involves oppression, forced sex, forced labor, or other forced services. There are two types of human trafficking – sex trafficking and labor trafficking. The volume of human trafficking is much larger than people realize. In January, we recognize Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The purpose is to provide updated facts about human trafficking and make intentional moves toward human trafficking prevention.

Prevention is an action word. We must actively put resources in place to reduce and eliminate human trafficking. Awareness is a huge piece of prevention. We must first acknowledge that the threat of human trafficking remains a problem. Many have started this journey by interviewing previous victims of trafficking. The interview provides insight into the minds of the victims and the potential habits of the perpetrators.

Traffickers' exploitation affects every gender and race. There is also no discrimination for age. Some believe that human trafficking primarily affects young females. Human traffickers study the victims that they wish to pursue. One of the first goals of a trafficker is to begin manipulating the victim's thoughts. When you control the mind, you also have control of the body.

Human trafficking is a prevalent issue that is often hidden in plain sight. The trafficker will blend in on virtual platforms as well as in person. As part of the manipulation process, the trafficker must be able to grab the attention of the intended victim. Easy targets are victims who are less aware of their surroundings.

Human traffickers convince victims to stay in various ways, such as bribery, threats, and fear. Fear is the ultimate barrier that keeps victims trapped. Victims delay seeking help because of being harmed, their families being harmed, or the trafficker may promise the victim something in return for their work. Traffickers sometimes have additional sources and key players to help execute the initial trafficking incident.

Some believe labor trafficking only happens in less developed countries. Labor trafficking is just as prevalent in developed countries as in less developed countries. Depending on the victim's need, the trafficker will tactfully force labor on the victim.

Recruitment happens online and on apps. The internet, the dark web, and social media apps are hot spots for human traffickers. There are virtual spaces that run deeper than what most online traffic is exposed to. Beyond the walls of major search engines are secret virtual hiding spots for traffickers and other illegal activities. Eventually, perpetrators are exposed, and law enforcement attempt to rescue as many victims as possible. It is essential to be mindful of who you interact with virtually and to keep a very close eye on the apps used by children.

Traffickers have also used other tactics, such as sending a victim to recruit a new victim. The victim would appear less harmful and befriend the new victim, only to succumb to the perpetrators' trap.

An expansion of awareness and prevention is needed. The hidden places of traffickers should be exposed to prevent more victims. Children must be taught protection at an early age, and adults should be encouraged to maintain a sense of awareness at all times. As the shift in technology happens, lurkers will always seek avenues to hide in order to do dreadful things.

Human Trafficking is a form of bullying. The battle to control human trafficking must be a collective effort of many. Those involved in trafficking victims must be prosecuted. There must be consequences to maliciously altering the lives of innocent victims. We must start by teaching our loved ones about the reality of human trafficking. We must echo our sentiments with our lawmakers. We must empower the victims to reclaim their stolen identities and use their voices to create freedom for themselves and others. Together we stand, ready to enforce zero tolerance for any form of human trafficking.

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New Years Resolutions

You Can Achieve

There is no doubt that 2020 and 2021 were tough years. Some would argue that 2022 hasn’t been that great either. That gives us even more reason to focus on the inspiring, the good, and the positive for the year ahead!

For many of us, planning goes hand in hand with making (and inevitably breaking) New Year’s resolutions. But what if you set yourself some realistic, healthy, and enjoyable goals? Instead of just another year feeling disappointed, you’d be left with a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. Plus, you will have some gratification and the opportunity to learn something along the way.

Let’s have a little fun as we plan our 2023 goals. To get you started I have included a few of mine.

Reducing Stress

For years now we’ve heard about the benefits of embracing a minimalist lifestyle. From reducing stress to improving sleep, mood, and general life enjoyment. Getting rid of clutter is a game changer. Becoming more thankful for everything is also beneficial. Set aside five minutes to just reflect on the day and maybe jot down a few things you're grateful for. You’d be amazed at how quickly these seemingly small activities lead to big accomplishments!

Stick to a budget

Guilty of setting savings goals only to watch your bank balance go down, down, down...Yep! I’m guilty of this one. It’s hard to set a budget and actually stick to it, let alone save anything these days. But this year I’m committed to using cash. Not only will this allow us to be more accountable but also cash goes further than the card. It's true, cash is king.

Try new recipes

It’s all too easy to eat out and order in these days, especially with only having to feed my wife and myself. With the new year comes the opportunity to break out the apron and embrace the enjoyment of cooking at home. The best (aka easiest) way to do this is to make it a date night. If you really want to have some fun, host a few friends or family to a potluck dinner. Indulge in your favorite foods. Don’t forget to work together in the kitchen. Let the fun begin.

Read every day

A great way to start the day is with inspirational morning reading as you drink a great cup of coffee (or tea). Reading improves your vocabulary, gives you a feeling of inspiration, and exercises your imagination.

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Set up a sleep routine

Sleep routine is something most of us can improve on and it’s easier than you might think to get started. Small changes to your nightly routine like switching off the TV earlier, putting the phone away on “do not disturb”, investing in comfortable pillows, and one of my favorites is a little spray of lavender essential oil to assist with relaxation. So if you’re looking to create a better sleep routine, this is the year to do it.

Love on a plant

This may seem a bit silly, but it’s actually an important one. As many studies have shown adding a little plant life to your home office, bedroom, living room, or patio can help reduce stress, improve your mood, and even assist with concentration and productivity. Pick something fun and colorful. I have no idea what plants I have in my office but I know they look great and give me pleasure. Side note Jackie knows them all by name, when and how to water.

Book a vacation

Goals can’t all be practical or about the day-to-day. It’s just as important to reward yourself, have something to look forward to, and get out into the world. Your next trip awaits!

Side note I didn’t say anything about losing weight, getting healthy, or any of the other “resolutions” you hear so much about. That’s because increasing your reading time, practicing better sleep, or booking your next vacation, will lead you to a healthier life and maybe even a few pounds less. I hope you move into the new year with a sense of empowerment, gratitude, and pleasure. Surround yourself with wise people, be humble, be kind, live your life genuinely, don’t pretend, and allow yourself to love and be loved.

Happy New Year!

Get more from Doug Smith by following him on Facebook and Instagram at "Doug the Food Guy". Find Doug the FoodGuy on Spotify and Apple podcasts

@The Pizzeria & Enzo Show

My new recipe for the new year:

Sticky chicken with coconut rice


6 Chicken bone-in chicken thighs

1 tbsp Yep! Original shake (or your favorite spice blend)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp butter

2 good drizzles of honey

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 cup rice

1 14oz can of coconut milk

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1- Season the chicken with Yep! seasoning and let sit for 10 min.

2- In a saucepan (or rice cooker) add 1 can of coconut milk, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of rice, and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to very low heat for 45 minutes. Let stand, covered for 10 minutes before serving.

3- Heat a pan over medium-high heat. (I will use a cast iron pan) Add the olive oil and the chicken skin side down. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn and cook till the internal temp is 160 degrees (about 5 more minutes). Remove chicken and set aside.

4- Add the red wine vinegar first then Worcestershire sauce, butter, and a good drizzle of honey. Use a fork to combine all the goodness in the pan. Add the chicken back to the pan skin down. Cook for about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

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