July 2023

Page 42

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

Tuesday Taylor

Ashley Rogers

Contributing Photographer

Fred Salley Photography

Contributing Writers

Kim Brauss

Mark W. Buyck, III

Kitty Finklea, RDN, AFAA-CPT

Cynthia Ford

La’Quanita Goodman

Doug Smith

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, email heather@vipmagsc.com.

July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 5



34 Business Happenings: Something to Celebrate


42 Doug Smith: The Fascinating History of Hot Dogs


Stone Season
28 Carolina Pines: Kidney
30 McLeod Health: McLeod MyChart - All Your Health Information In One
8 PLC Commercial Real Estate Services 12 Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A.: John Laurens' Folly 14 FDTC: Early College Academy 16 Employee Spotlight: Hannah Davis & Rachel Lee 18 The Queen Bee: Home Grown Flowers and Design 20 Mariner Learning Collaborative
Baseball League
Bucket List: Exploring Downtown Hartsville
Cynthia Ford: A Shifting Workforce
32 HopeHealth: Food Poisoning Prevention Tips
36 Sandlapper
CALENDAR 24 July 2023: Fun Days and Events
44 La'Quantia Goodman: Hemingway Daiquiri
Page 16
GIFT GUIDE 26 Shady Summer: Sunglasses & Hats
Page 18
July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 7

Commercial Real Estate Services

PLC Commercial is a full service commercial real estate firm specializing in brokerage, leasing, property management and development throughout South and North Carolina. With a team steeped in knowledge and experience, we deliver comprehensive commercial real estate services with strategic precision and effectiveness. At PLC Commercial, our commitment is to provide exceptional value to our clients and investors.

Leveraging years of industry experience, PLC Commercial provides effective commercial real estate solutions for Office, Retail, Industrial and Land assets. Our services encompass Brokerage, Leasing, Property Management and Development.

Ethical, Diligent, Experienced

At PLC Commercial, we’re more than just a team – we’re a synergy of experienced professionals dedicated to creating a top-tier full-service commercial real estate firm. Our collaborative approach leverages our individual expertise to deliver efficient and effective commercial real estate solutions for our clients and investors.

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Client Driven Results Oriented Long Term Relationships

Who We Are

Ken Jackson, CCIM

Having grown up in Dillon and attended Francis Marion College, Ken has been a resident of the Pee Dee for most of his life. He has resided in Florence for over 35 years where he has made a name for himself as a successful realtor, developer, and community leader.

Ken has an impressive track record in the real estate industry, having served as the President of the South Carolina Association of Realtors and received recognition as the 2013 South Carolina Realtor of the Year. He has also been actively involved in the National Association of Realtors. Additionally, Ken has served as the President of the Florence Board of Realtors and received their Realtor of the Year award.

Along with his real estate work, Ken has been deeply involved in local growth issues and served for many years as the Chairman of the City of Florence Planning Commission and the Florence Municipal-County Planning Commission. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Florence County Economic Development Partnership and the Florence Downtown Development Board. Ken is committed to the revitalization of Downtown Florence and has been involved as a developer in several Downtown projects, including the Kress Corner project, which won the SC Historic Preservation Honors Award for successful and exemplary historic preservation.

Rhett Spencer, CCIM

A Florence, SC native and Clemson University alum, Rhett earned his degree in Construction Science and Management while minoring in Business Administration. Furthering his expertise, Rhett also earned a Master of Real Estate Development from Clemson in 2014. After having summer internships in both commercial construction and commercial real estate, Rhett decided to follow his passion for commercial real estate. He particularly enjoys the networking aspect of the business and the ability to help others achieve their goals through helping them with their real estate needs.

Upon graduation, Rhett spent over three years as a Leasing Associate at Ziff Real Estate Partners in Mount Pleasant, SC before moving home to pursue real estate development with Pearce Land Company. He is now a Partner at PLC Commercial, a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designee and member of ICSC.

Leveraging his education and experience, Rhett provides his clients and customers with the highest quality of service and strives to maximize value in every project.

John Etheridge

Chris Scott

Originally from Spartanburg, SC, Chris attended Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, where he graduated with a degree in history. Following graduation, he began his professional career in the banking industry, but he always had an interest and an eye on real estate.

After gaining more than a decade of experience in finance and banking, Chris went on to pursue his passion for real estate development and joined the Pearce Land Company where he now serves as President of the company. Since joining Pearce Land Company, Scott has completed various commercial real estate developments across the Southeast, including retail, office, hotel and industrial projects.

Utilizing his extensive experience and industry relationships, Chris plans to expand the property development and management offerings and he is looking forward to creating greater value in the communities he serves.

John is a Florence native, born and raised in the local area. Growing up, he was always involved in extra-curricular activities through school and various organizations. Upon graduating from Francis Marion University in 1997, Etheridge began a career as a mortgage broker. Later that same year, he opened the mortgage brokerage firm E&A Mortgage.

After 11 years of running a successful mortgage brokerage, Etheridge became a real estate broker. Within a few years, he purchased E&A Realty and became its BrokerOwner. John grew his company into a full real estate company, providing services such as Property Management, Buyers & Seller Representation, Lease Listing, and Tenant Representation. It was during this time he began specializing in commercial real estate.

July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 9

PLC Commercial provides effective commercial real estate solutions for Office, Retail, Industrial and Land assets. Our services encompass Brokerage, Leasing, Property Management and Development.

Why Choose Us


Our brokerage services include buyer and seller representation for most types of commercial real estate properties including: income producing, vacant land, outparcels, value add and redevelopment opportunities. Our goal is to close every transaction so that we satisfy the needs and goals of our customers, in a timely fashion, with attention to the details that makes the entire process as efficient and hassle free as possible.

Brokerage Service > Seller Representation / Buyer Representation / Strategic Investment


At PLC Commercial, we recognize the importance of strategic and effective leasing practices required to maximize an asset’s value. Our seasoned leasing team brings years of expertise, having leased a wide variety of properties across diverse markets in the Southeastern United States. Our understanding of the market landscape is a potent tool, instrumental in achieving the leasing objectives of our clients and investors. With a proven track record in leasing across all property types, our team is adept at devising innovative solutions for intricate leases.

Leasing Services >

LANDLORD REPRESENTATION- Tenant Mix Management / Lease Negotiation / Ground Lease / Build to Suit / Lease Analysis

TENANT REPRESENTATION - Site Selection / Lease Negotiation / Market Knowledge


/ Comparable Analysis


Property Management:

At PLC Commercial, we understand that effective and efficient property management is essential to the value of an asset. Our extensive experience in managing both self-owned and third-party owned properties has honed our approach of treating every asset as our own, with the owner’s investment always in mind. We also recognize the importance of tenant satisfaction, ensuring that the success of our tenants is aligned with the success of our assets. Our hands-on approach allows us to provide customized property management programs that meet the specific goals of any investor.

PM Services > Asset Management / Rent Collection / Financial Management / Property Maintenance & Repairs / Tenant Relations & Customer Service


PLC Commercial offers strategic and all-encompassing development solutions for Office, Retail, and Industrial projects. Our services are based on the principles of integrity, diligence, and experience, allowing us to strategically navigate through complex development projects.

Development Services > New Development / Redevelopment / Build to Suit / Debt & Equity Structure / Due Diligence / Design & Permitting / Construction Management / Project Closeout and Occupancy

1943 Hoffmeyer Road, Suite A (843) 702-9685 www.plccommercial.com
July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 11

John Laurens' Folly

In the Winter of 1778, John Laurens was serving as General Washington’s aide-de-camp in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. On January 14, he wrote a letter to his father Henry, the president of the Continental Congress. Henry was one of the largest slaveowners in the colony of South Carolina. In his letter, John asked his father to release to him “able bodied men Slaves, instead of leaving me a fortune.” John was certain that he could train and equip a regiment of Black soldiers to fight in the Continental Army. “I am sure of rendering essential Service to my country… I am tired of the Languor with which so sacred a War as this, is carried on.” John argued that his plan accomplished a “two-fold good … advance[ing] those who are unjustly deprived of the rights of mankind to a state which would be proper gradation between abject slavery and perfect liberty.” He was proposing that these men would secure their freedom through military service. He argued that “Men who have the habit of subordination almost indelibly impresse’d on them, would have one very essential qualification of soldiers.”

Henry, while not flatly rejecting the proposal, expressed misgivings. He asked his son “[H]ave you considered that your kind intentions towards your Negroes would be deemed by them the highest cruelty, & that to escape from it they would flee into the woods, that they would interpret your humanity to be an exchange of slavery a state and circumstances not only tolerable but comfortable from habit, for an intolerable. Taken from their wives and children and their little plantations to the field of battle where loss of life and loss of limbs must be expected by every one every day.”

John promptly responded, “I have long deplored the wretched State of these men and considered in their history the bloody wars excited in Africa to furnish America with Slaves, the Groans of

despairing multitudes toiling for the Luxuries of Merciless Tyrants.” He asked his father “when can it be better done, than when their enfranchisement may be made conducive to the Public Good?” Henry continued to discourage his son’s idea, but at the same time he did discuss the matter with a number of his colleagues in Congress, all of whom were opposed. Henry also warned John that if he persisted, he would suffer the derision of his contemporaries and be viewed as a laughing stock. On February 15, 1778, John responded to his father that he would not pursue the matter further. Henry responded, “You would not have heard the last jeer until the end of your life.”

The next year, 1779, South Carolina feared an imminent invasion by the British. Governor John Rutledge sent Brigadier General Isaac Huger to the Continental Congress to request military aid. When Huger arrived in Philadelphia, he met with a 5-member committee of the Congress tasked with developing a plan to defend

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John Laurens

the southern states. Henry was a member of the committee. After discussing the matter with Huger, the committee presented a report to Congress recommending that South Carolina and Georgia raise a Black battalion of “3000 able bodied Negroes.” Congress adopted the plan and agreed to pay $1000 to the owner of each slave enrolled and all who served loyally would receive their freedom and $50 at the conclusion of the war. The Continental Congress conditioned the plan upon the approval of the two state governments.

Congress then commissioned John Laurens as a Lt. Colonel and directed him to travel to South Carolina and present the plan to the government. Governor Rutledge and the privy council were deeply disappointed that instead of sending Continental troops, Congress instead proposed that the state arm its enslaved. On May 26, Governor Rutledge and the council formally rejected the Congress’s plan.

John Laurens’ idea would be rejected two more times. After his exchange in November 1780, he planned on returning to South Carolina with the expectation that attitudes had changed since the surrender of Charleston and the government would be agreeable to a slave battalion. From his

own funds, he acquired uniforms and arms for 400 soldiers. Before he could leave Philadelphia for South Carolina, plans changed and Congress elected him a special minister to France, as discussed in last month’s article. Following the surrender at Yorktown in 1781, John Laurens once again returned to South Carolina. Contrary to his father’s fear of shame, he was selected a member of the Jacksonborough Assembly which first convened on January 8, 1782. Even though the British had surrendered at Yorktown, Charleston was still occupied and fighting continued in the state. John proposed to the Assembly that the state take 2,500 slaves confiscated from Loyalists’ plantations and form a slave battalion. Again, this motion was overwhelmingly unpopular and promptly voted down. He would die in battle before the end of the year.

During the war, African Americans fought on both sides. It is estimated 20,000 served in the British cause, which, like John Laurens, promised freedom at the conclusion of hostilities. It is also estimated that as many as 5,000 Black soldiers saw combat for the Patriots, the most famous being the 1st Rhode Island Regiment.

July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 13 Business Law, Litigation, Real Estate, and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys 248 West Evans Street | Florence, SC | 843.662.3258 2050 Corporate Centre’ Drive, Suite 230 | Myrtle Beach, SC | 843.650.6777
BUSINESS 14 VIPMagSC.com July 2023
July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 15

Forward-Thinking Approaches Rooted in Community Connections

Rachel Lane Hannah Davis

Hannah Davis and Rachel Lane hold two of the most interesting and dynamic positions within the City of Florence. Together they are responsible for many downtown doings but most importantly they are responsible for creating a space that attracts locals and visitors alike. Read along as they share their daily assignments and why they love what they do!

"My position with the City of Florence lives within a unique space of being both a non-profit leader and government employee, so I have a lot of multi-faceted responsibilities. I am responsible for our Main Street Accreditation, all of the data gathering, reporting, and research. I also work with small business owners and entrepreneurs to ensure they have the resources they need to be successful throughout the entire business cycle. Our office manages all of the Florence Downtown Development Corporation-produced downtown events and provides support and assistance for partner organizations like the Greater Florence Chamber, Junior League, Habitat for Humanity, and Wilson Alumni Association which also plan events.

"Additionally, I work on historic redevelopment projects to match developers to properties for placing buildings back into service. We develop promotions related to downtown, administer downtown grant programs, apply for grants for our program, and facilitate community input sessions to ensure our program remains on track with the needs of the ever-evolving community. Most importantly, I am a change agent.

"Rachel and I make a great team. We have complementary skill sets and interests, and the work produced by our office reflects that. I always tell folks she is the yin to my yang and we both really love to get things done and take on challenges presented to us.

"Aside from our incredible recent Great American Main Street Award win, I would have to say that I knew I found my calling when I found Main Street by accepting the position of Downtown Coordinator in 2016. I went to school for Historic Preservation and Community Planning, and finding something like Main Street – that perfect intersection between economic development, historic preservation, and community building has allowed me to grow and contribute in ways I only dreamed of. I’m immensely proud of what I get to wake up and do every day."

“My position is to assist Hannah with running the Downtown Florence Main Street program. Many people associate our office with the events held downtown, but our office, and Downtown Florence, offer more than just events. We support small businesses, preserve downtown’s historic buildings, foster partnerships, develop campaigns to attract visitors to downtown, and do many other things necessary to have a successful Main Street program.

“Our office is extremely collaborative, so there aren’t many projects that Hannah and I don’t both have at least some level of input on. Which is helpful because there is always quite a lot going on. For example, we are currently celebrating this Great American Main Street Award, while also planning the next Florence After 5, as we work to wrap up our last mural project, along with helping downtown property owners identify tenants for their buildings, after assisting other departments in the city, before stopping all of that to talk to someone interested in opening a new business. And that still doesn’t even begin to cover everything we do.

“One of the responsibilities I enjoy most about my job is working with our small business owners. For most of these owners, opening up their own business has always been their dream and being one of the people who can help ensure that dream becomes a reality is very rewarding.

“As a Florence native, I grew up with downtown Florence being a place you absolutely did not go to, and to be able to witness and have a hand in the transformation of it into this thriving, cultural, and award-winning district has been truly special. Having our Main Street program recognized on a national stage in front of a thousand or so individuals from across the country was incredibly rewarding.”

The Downtown Florence Main Street Program, Great American Main Street Award 2023 Winner, is a quasi-public entity made up of the Florence Downtown Development Corp. and the City of Florence’s Downtown Development Office. Founded in 2002, the organization has helped lead the revitalization of Downtown Florence which has experienced over $300 million of investment since 2010. The Downtown Florence Main Street Program is nationally accredited and a member of Main Street South Carolina. Find out more about events, programs, and ways to get involved at www.florencedowntown.com.

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Home grown flowers and design.

Simply put, full-time-law-clerk-turned florist Molly Lee has created a niche most nature lovers and gardeners dream.

For years Lee, a wife and mother of three, worked in the courtroom –from litigating to estate planning and business formation/dissolution, to being guardian ad litem, and clerking for a Federal Magistrate Judge – until the pandemic hit.

“I was working full-time as a federal clerk from home in my home office. I could look out my window and see my flowers while I worked inside. I loved my job, but I longed to be outside working in the dirt.”

Lee’s love for working with the earth stems from family and loving being outside enjoying nature. Her ingenuity

Molly Lee
photo by Fred Salley Photography story by Kim Brauss

and know-how come not only from her artist mother but also her mother-in-law, an avid gardener, and Lee’s paternal grandmother. “All of the women in my family and my husband’s family have created and maintained beautiful gardens that they built by their own hands,” Lee said. And Lee followed her elders’ footsteps.

Once she and her husband, Jay, were married in 2004, they bought their first house in Florence. Lee’s mother-in-law brought day lilies and iris to plant in the new yard. “I felt such personal satisfaction in creating that first garden that gardening became a daily part of my life. We have since lived in two other homes,” Lee said. “I have planted gardens everywhere we have lived.”

There’s more to building a welcoming garden fit for a home. “For me, creating a relaxing and beautiful place on the outside of my home for my family to enjoy is a way to show them my love and care. There has been A LOT of experimenting in my 20 years as a gardener. Sometimes things go sideways. I move plants every year and change my gardens constantly. I consider this part of the learning process.”

Part of the learning process crossed into her career path when the pandemic set in. “I eventually decided that I needed to take a step back from practicing law and spend some time praying about what I wanted to do for a long-term career. I knew I wanted to do something creative and involving flowers,” Lee said, “but I wasn’t quite sure what it would be. I asked close friends and family to pray for me and prayed God would lead me into a new career and way to serve Him.”

In stepped social media. Lee started her Instagram blog about her garden and growing roses in October 2022. The selfproclaimed self-taught Southern gardener (and Columbia native) launched “The Rosy Review” with several photos of arrangements, flowers in the garden, and her introduction to her soon-to-be followers on how easy and fun flower gardening can be.

Lee’s garden includes hydrangeas, daisies, cosmos, zinnias, gardenias, lilies and over 60 different varieties of roses. “My personal favorite flower is a garden rose. … I’ve always loved and grown roses but my interest grew about six years ago when I joined a few Facebook groups about growing romantic roses. Until that point, I had only grown landscaping roses (Knock Out and Drift Roses) and a few Hybrid Teas,” Lee said. “I learned that the rose world is so much larger than I knew previously. Contrary to popular belief, roses are fairly easy to grow if you choose the right ones for your climate and conditions. A few of my favorite roses in my current garden are David Austin’s Vanessa Bell, Travatia (by Meilland), and Poseidon (by Kordes).”

Lee’s intent with sharing her love of flowers was to encourage others to join in the fun of growing roses. “I would post pictures on my personal facebook page of little arrangements I made as

well. Pretty soon, friends started asking if they could purchase my arrangements. My friend Sally told me about a small business in her hometown in Texas that offered inexpensive daily arrangements for pickup. The idea for The Queen Bee Floral Design was born, and I started my business online in November 2022.”

Lee said her first sales were small arrangements of flowers she grew in her garden and posted on social media selling them for $25.

In less than a year, Lee’s customers started asking for larger arrangements and flowers for events. She now works full time as a floral designer growing and arranging flowers in her home. What’s more, Lee added teaching classes on floral design in her home studio and out in the community. She’s also incorporated rose consulting and plant container gardens for her clients in their homes.

“I love my new career and don’t miss practicing law at this point. I tell people that delivering flowers is the highlight of my day. People get so excited when I deliver flowers unexpectedly from their loved ones. Seeing people happy and feeling loved is deeply fulfilling as an artist and business owner.”

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When it comes to receiving an education, every child learns differently. Oftentimes, discovering an enrichment learning environment for a student can be overwhelming for parents and the child. When a traditional classroom setting can be intense, Mariner Learning Collaborative offers an option that focuses on the individual needs of students. The non-profit learning center for ages 10 to 19 combines the most valuable parts of homeschooling and conventional schooling (classes, peers, and mentors) with personalized attention and the freedom for students and parents to choose what and how they learn.

Ross Hill, founder and director of Mariner Learning Collaborative, has spent over 15 years teaching in a vast array of learning environments including public schools, charter schools, and colleges, as well as homeschooling his own children. Additionally, he has taught in a variety of settings from pre-k and elementaryage children’s church,

Vacation Bible School and youth ministry, to middle school, high school, and college students, and adults. Ross obtained a Bachelor’s degree in History from Francis Marion University and went on to earn a Master’s degree in American History and eventually received a National Board Certification for Professional Teaching Standards. In 2019, he was recognized as Teacher of the Year at the public school he was employed with.

During Ross’s teaching career, he became frustrated with the regulations and constraints placed on students that appeared to be a onesize-fits-all approach to education. “The goal of improving standardized test scores at the expense of deep engaging learning and children’s socialemotional well-being did not sit well with me,” explained Ross. “At Mariner, there is no mandatory or predetermined curriculum taught. Instead, we offer diverse, engaging, and optional classes, workshops, and tutoring that are taught by staff, parents, community volunteers, and members.”

Mariner students are registered as homeschoolers and Ross and fellow instructors are available to help make this a smooth transition. Ross explains, “We help parents that are new to homeschooling register with a homeschool association of their choice and then assist in unenrolling them from their previous school. It is a simple and quick process that frees families to begin pursuing an educational path that works best for their child.” Because all of the students at Mariner are registered

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Empowering adolescents to navigate their own educational journey

homeschoolers, they have the freedom to create a unique educational plan for each student based on their interests, strengths, and goals. While parents are legally responsible for ensuring that their homeschooled child receives instruction, they do not have to provide that directly. “That is where Mariner comes in,” says Ross. “We provide classes, tutoring, mentoring, support with college courses, and workshops, and connect students with the wider community through field trips, internships, and part-time jobs. Each student is assigned a mentor who meets with them weekly to discuss their goals and progress.”

Mariner believes that an adolescent’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being and character are more important than their ability to recite Shakespeare or the Pythagorean Theorem. “We will never make adolescents feel more or less valuable based on their knowledge or skills,” says Ross. “We want adolescents to know that they are created by God to know Him and reflect His character which makes them infinitely valuable aside from any knowledge or skills they may acquire. We want to see Mariner students grow in their relationship with Jesus, not just their academic and social skills. To support their spiritual growth, we will facilitate weekly whole-group devotional times, and offer classes on Bible history, apologetics, evangelism, and much more. One way to think of Mariner is a combination of school, homeschooling, and youth group.”

Mariner is committed to being an economically diverse community. They are part of Liberated Learners, an international network of self-directed learning centers that operate independently but work collaboratively to support one another. They work with families of all financial backgrounds and offer need-based fee reductions to make Mariner widely accessible. They will never turn a family away based simply on their ability to pay the full membership fees.

Classes are taught by Mariner staff and community volunteers. If you are retired, a homeschooling parent, a college student, or an entrepreneur who is interested in sharing your passion with young people (e.g. gardening, pottery, photography, horses, baking, drones, entrepreneurship, etc.), reach out to Ross at 843-496-1113 or ross.s.hill85@gmail.com. We ask that you commit to one hour per week for classes and we work around your schedule.

Ross Hill & Family

Avery Freeman

At Mariner Learning Collaborative, Avery is eager to find creative ways to ignite students' interests and increase their confidence both in the world and in Christ.

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July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 21
Involved: Learn more at www.marinerlearningcollaborative.org


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first issue of Marvel 1602. Written by Neil Gaiman, the series finds familiar superheroes some four hundred years in the past. Though their surroundings may be changed, our heroes' quest is the same as it's ever been: to, as one character summarizes it, "Save the world, of course. Or die trying."

These days it's hard to say what Gaiman is best known for. He's written everything from short stories to children's books, essays to comics, novels to Doctor Who episodes. (He's even made animated appearances on The Simpsons and Arthur.) Throughout his works you'll find a sense of mystery and wonder, a deep and often dark imagination, and a hearkening back to old tales, whether they be history or folklore. These themes are all at play in Marvel 1602. In the Marvel universe(s), the 20th and 21st centuries have not always been accepting of characters with supernatural or enhanced abilities; the 17th century proves even less so, calling even benevolent mutants "witchbreed" and attributing their powers to demonic sources. From the court of the dying Queen Elizabeth I to the fictional Latveria to the shores of the New World, the witchbreed and their allies must

overcome prejudice, politics, and other peril to prevent the end of all existence.

The main series comprises eight issues, collected in one volume. Andy Kubert provided the art, with digital painting by Richard Isanove and lettering by Todd Klein. Scott McKowen's scratchboard covers deserve special mention; they call to mind copperplate engraving, a printing process in use during the story's 17th-century setting.

(Not a Marvel fan? Elseworlds is an imprint from DC that transplants their superheroes into different times or lives. Elseworlds: Justice League Vol. 1 and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight are some of the titles in the imprint available in Florence County libraries.)

You don't need an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel Comics or the Elizabethan era to enjoy Marvel 1602. Just bring an open mind, a sense of wonder, and your library card.

Save the Date for Friends of the Library Book Sale!

The Doctors Bruce and Lee Foundation Library in Florence will hold its annual book sale Saturday, September 9, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Many genres and formats will be available including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, DVD movies, and music CDs. Proceeds from items sold go to Friends of Florence County Library to support library programs, services, and collections.

The library is also accepting donations of gently used books for the book sale. The library accepts all books in good condition except textbooks, magazines, and encyclopedias. All other genres and formats are welcome including hardcover, paperback, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, etc. DVD movies as well as audiobooks and music CDs are also welcome.

For large deliveries of books, please call first so that library staff can assist you in unloading. For tax purposes, the library can provide documentation of the approximate number of books donated, but does not give cost evaluations of donated materials; these evaluations are up to the donor or their tax accountant.

To schedule a drop-off, or for more information, please call (843) 413-7074.

Did you know that Friends of Florence County Library provide critical support to library services and collections? This includes supporting children’s literacy through the Children’s Summer Reading Program and the Children’s Bookmobile, as well as by funding the library’s e-books and downloadable audio books (available through the Libby app, which can be found on the library web page at www.florencelibrary.org).

You can become a Friends of Florence County Library member for as little as $15 a year!

Visit www.florencelibrary.org and select the Friends tab at the top of the page for more information.

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Neil Gaiman
July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 23


Friday, June 30 (Fireworks)

Monday, July 3 (Fireworks)

Thursday, July 6

Friday, July 7

Tuesday, July 11


Thursday, July 13

Friday, July 14

Thursday, July 20

Saturday, July 22 (Fireworks)

Friday, July 28

Saturday, July 29

Wednesday, August 2

Friday, August 4


24 VIPMagSC.com July 2023 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 2 3 4 5 6 9 10 11 12 13 16 17 18 19 20 23 24 25 26 27 30 31 JULY 2023
Mic Night
Tues.) F.E. Pops, Florence Reformers Unanimous Program Every Friday pm & Sunday am Florence
July 18-23
Artful Expression
Baptist Temple
Disney’s The Lion King, Jr. Florence Little Theatre
Demo Run, Naturally Outdoors
Group for Cancer Patients and Caregivers
(3rd Tuesday of the Month) Florence Public Library
Trivia (every Wed.) Green Frog
Social, Lake City
Karaoke (every Thur.) Green Frog Social, Lake City Dinosaur Plant Workshop Growing Hobby, Florence Macrame Plant Hangers Workshop Growing Hobby, Florence
Don't forget to submit info on your upcoming community event to share with our readers!
Florence Flamingos Game of Hope Carolina Bank Field, Florence
Pina Colada Day
Eat Your Beans Day Emoji Day Ice Cream Day Get To Know Your Customers Day Hot Dog Day Avocado
Cheesecake Day International Self Care Day Love Is Kind Day Wine and Cheese Day
Happy Independence Day! Eats on the Street Downtown Dillon Downtown Development Office, Dillon



Family/Youth Program: Natural Art Moore Farms, Lake City

Bluegrass Music Old Post Office, Darlington

Back-to-School Bash Village Green, Lake City

Kingstree LIVE- Thomas Road Downtown Kingstree

Friday After 5- Downtown Florence

Friday Night Flicks

Amazing Grace Park, Marion

Florence Cars and Coffee Highland Park Church, Florence

Back-to-School Bash

Playin’ Hooky Boutique, Florence

Screen on the GreenThe Lion King Downtown Dillon

One Child At A Time’s Freedom Walk Magnolia Mall,Florence Carolinas’ Mind Body & Soul Expo SiMT Building, Florence

City-Center Farmers Market, Downtown Florence Saturdays, 9a-1p

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Second Friday at the Fountain South Plaza- Downtown Dillon Mango Day Junk Food Day Macaroni Day
VIPMagSC.com July 2023 GIFT GUIDE
July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 27

Kidney Stone Season or Not

Carolina Pines Has Your Urology Needs Covered

Summer is unofficially “kidney stone” season, as slightly more cases occur during the summer months, typically due to dehydration caused by higher temperatures.

But to pin the condition on a season is a bit of a misnomer, according to two local urologists, Dr. David Horger and Dr. Wallace Vaught, who practice at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center (CPRMC).

“More may occur in the summer because of dehydration and the stones may move on the individual,” said Dr. Horger, who is now in his 20th year of practice and fifth at Carolina Pines Medical Group. “But sometimes, it takes years to build up a kidney stone. You can’t really attribute it to a season when they take longer than a season to form.”

Summer is high season for onset of this painful condition. Proper hydration is critical to warding off kidney stones. If you've had kidney stones in the past, drinking lots of water is very important.

“It’s not like flu season, where summer comes and kidney stones are here - it’s really a year-round thing,” added Dr. Vaught, a urologist for 37 years, the past sixplus at Carolina Pines.

Still, approximately one in 11 individuals in the U.S. will suffer from kidney stones, and of those, approximately two million each year end up in the emergency room due to the pain caused by the ailment.

The urology team at CPRMC offered some simple suggestions to help you avoid kidney stones.

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“Don’t eat a lot of red meat, have a lowsalt diet, and drink lots of water,” Dr. Horger suggested. “Avoid things like caffeine and sweet tea – and drink lemonade if you like it.”

Added Dr. Vaught, “If you have a history of kidney stones, you need to keep yourself wellhydrated, because the more diluted you can keep the urine, the less likely kidney stones will form.”

If by chance you do develop kidney stones, Carolina Pines offers a full range of services to get you back to health.

“We have the full array of services,” said Dr. Vaught. “Anything that can be done to treat kidney stones, we do. And, we have aroundthe-clock service.”

“We have the ability to do any kidney stone treatment,” added Dr. Horger. “We have all the technology we need – the lasers, the shockwave lithotriptor - and we can do percutaneous nephrolithotomy for really large stones, but thankfully we don’t see those as much anymore.”

The team’s services expand to the full gamut of urology issues, from kidney stones to incontinence, urinary infections, and cancers of the prostate, bladder, and kidney. They also perform in-office vasectomies and vasectomy reversals. They treat men, women, and children.

“We treat pretty much anyone that walks in the door with conditions related to the urinary system and the kidneys, bladder, and prostate,” said Dr. Horger.

Both doctors know and enjoy the area and like the variety of practicing urology with the patients and families they have come to know over the years.

“I like it because it’s a good combination of seeing patients in the office, but also doing major surgical procedures like taking out kidneys or prostates,” said Dr. Vaught. “And with treating men and women, children and adults - there’s a lot of variety, and I enjoy that aspect of it.”

“Urology is a lot of problem-solving for short-term problems like kidney stones, but then it’s also a lot of relationship building like taking care of people with prostate or bladder cancer where you are going to be their doctor for 10-20 years and hopefully get them through their problems,” said Dr. Horger. “I’ve been in the Hartsville and Florence areas for a total of 15 years now and I still have people coming to see me that I took care of their cancer 15 years ago and you see them on a year-to-year basis and that’s nice.”

Most of the week, you can find both doctors at Carolina Pines Medical Group Urology, located at 701 Medical Park Drive, Suite 110 in Hartsville. To schedule an appointment - this summer or any season - visit cprmc.com/urology or call 843.383.2764.

Wallace Vaught, MD David Horger, MD

Learn about our secure online health connection

One of McLeod Health’s priorities on our journey to deliver medical excellence is to give patients access to their medical information. McLeod MyChart delivers online access to your medical record 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the convenience of your computer or smart device.

With McLeod MyChart, you can:

• View all of your health information in one place. See your medications, test results, appointments, medical bills, estimates, and more all in one place, even if you’ve been seen at multiple healthcare organizations.

• Schedule appointments and find care. Make appointments at your convenience, complete pre-visit tasks from home, and find the nearest urgent care or emergency room when you need it.

• Connect with a provider no matter where you are. Send a message or arrange to follow up in person, depending on the level of care you need.

• Take care of your children and other family members. Stay on top of everyone’s appointments and check in on family members who need extra help, all from your account.


View Your Test Results

• With McLeod MyChart, you can view test results as soon as they become available, rather than waiting for a phone call or letter from your physician. Know that you will likely see results before your healthcare provider has had a chance to review them. After your provider reviews your results, you might see additional comments and interpretations in MyChart.

Manage Your Medications

• With MyChart, you can see all of your current medications in one place. You can see the details for each medication, including the prescribed dosage, instructions and the physician who prescribed the medication. You can view additional information about a medication, such as precautions to consider when taking the medication and potential side effects.

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All your health information in one place


View Messages from Your Clinic

• You can read any messages sent by your doctor or other clinic staff.

Ask Your Doctor for Medical Advice

• If you have a non-urgent medical question, you can send a message to your doctor/nurse. This message is secure, meaning your information stays private as it is sent over the Internet. You might use the Get Medical Advice feature if you are unsure whether you should come in for an appointment, if you need clarification on the dosage of one of your medications or something that was discussed in a recent visit, or if you just want advice about a common illness. Someone at your clinic should respond to you within two business days.

Sending a message to your provider should never be used if you are having an emergency. Always call 911 or visit your nearest emergency department if you need immediate care.


• If you have access to your family members’ medical records, you can view most of the information in their records in the same way that you view your own. This includes viewing or printing your child’s immunization record, viewing your child’s growth charts, and viewing a family member’s test results.

BILLING AND INSURNACE View Your Outstanding Balance

See the outstanding account balance for any of your accounts, and view additonal information about an account, including past statements. And this is just the beginning. McLeod MyChart offers additional features designed to make managing your healthcare easy and convenient. For more information or to request your activation code, speak to your healthcare provider at any McLeod Physician Associates office or hospital registration department. Our commitment is to continue providing excellent healthcare to you and your family.

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Sign up today
How Do I Access MyChart? Need help? Email MyRecords@McLeodHealth.org or call 843-777-5377 for assistance.
• On your computer, go to www.mcleodmychart.org • On your mobile device, download the MyChart app.

Kitchen Safety:


Have you ever had food poisoning? If you have, you know how miserable it can be! The good news is food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is highly preventable in your own kitchen. Each year, one in six or 48 million Americans get sick from food poisoning, with 138,000 people hospitalized, and 3,000 deaths. September is Food Safety Month and a great time to review ways to keep your kitchen safe from growing the tiny bacteria “critters” that can make us sick!

Often people mistake a stomach flu or bug, also called viral gastroenteritis, for food poisoning. Stomach flu such as the norovirus is a result of an infective virus caused by being in close contact to others who have it. Foodborne illness comes from bacteria on food caused by improper handling, storage, or preparation. It is a challenge to tell the difference between the two since the symptoms are almost identical, including stomach cramping, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms from food poisoning can appear in four hours and up to a week after ingesting the contaminated food, and symptoms can last anywhere from 24 hours to a week. Most people can tell the difference if a food tastes “off” and symptoms come on quickly or if many people get sick from the same food source.

Proper kitchen safety can keep food almost completely safe from the bacteria that causes foodborne illness. You can prevent foodborne illness in your kitchen by following the four basic steps of food safety: clean, separate, cook, and chill.


• Keep your hands clean by washing often during meal prep using warm soapy water (anti-bacterial soap is not necessary!) and scrubbing hands, fingers, and under nails for 20 seconds, which is the time it takes to sing the happy birthday song twice.

• How often do you need to wash your hands? Do so before and after each part of meal prep and especially after prepping any kind of meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs. If interruptions happen during meal prep, also wash your hands after using the bathroom or helping someone use the bathroom, after feeding or caring for a loved one, petting, feeding, or cleaning up after a pet, and after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

• Make sure to wash surfaces, containers, and utensils with warm soapy water after each use, and sanitize surfaces with a commercial spray (follow directions) or add one teaspoon of bleach in one quart (32 ounces) of water in a spray bottle. Spray and leave on for 10 minutes before wiping to be effective. Make sure all surfaces are dry before using.

• Rinse and scrub fruits and vegetables well, clean the lids on canned goods before opening, and machine wash dish cloths often in hot water.

• Avoid cross-contamination (moving germs to other areas) which occurs when you don’t properly rinse or wash meat, poultry, seafood, or egg products.

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story by Kitty Finklea, RDN, AFAA-CPT

Kitty Finklea, RDN, LDN, AFAA-CPT, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified personal trainer, and health writer for HopeHealth. Contact her at kfinklea@hope-health.org


• Risk of cross-contamination is highest in raw animal proteins so keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate in the grocery cart and bags and in the fridge or freezer.

• Use a separate cutting board or plate for raw animal products.

• Keep your refrigerator and freezer clean from drips or spills and avoid overcrowding food to encourage circulation of air.


• The danger zone for bacterial growth is between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat kills germs making it important to cook meat, poultry, and seafood to the proper temperatures:

Beef, Pork, or Lamb


Ground Beef, Pork or Lamb

Turkey, Chicken, Duck

145 degrees Fahrenheit

145 degrees Fahrenheit

160 degrees Fahrenheit

165 degrees Fahrenheit

• Check foodsafety.gov for guidelines for other foods.

• It is recommended to use a food thermometer to check the food temperatures to make sure there is no doubt that it’s cooked properly!


• Place perishable foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, produce, or other perishable items along with leftovers in the fridge or freezer right away.

• Follow the two-hour rule – never allow perishable food to sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. If the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, such as at an outdoor event, food should be refrigerated no later than one hour after buying or serving.

• Never thaw foods on the counter or in a sink full of water. Instead move frozen meats from freezer to the refrigerator, defrost in the microwave, or under cold running water.

• Marinate foods in the refrigerator and do not reuse marinades on raw or cooked meats unless they are brought to a boil first.

• Check to make sure the refrigerator temperature is at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer is at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.


• Check storage directions on labels. Many items other than meats, vegetables, and dairy products need to be kept cold. If you've neglected to properly refrigerate something, throw it out. It’s not worth it!

• Once a week, check expiration and "use by" dates, and throw out foods if the date has passed. If in doubt, throw it out!

• Replace excessively worn cutting boards (including plastic, non-porous acrylic, and wooden boards). Bacteria can grow in the hard-to-clean grooves and cracks.

• If soap and water aren't available, use alcohol-based wipes or gel formulas to sanitize hands.

• Be aware that food can make you very sick even when it doesn't look, smell, or taste spoiled. That's because foodborne illnesses are caused by infective bacteria, which are different from the spoilage bacteria that make foods "go bad." Many infective organisms are present in raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs, and on fruits and vegetables. Rinsing and scrubbing fruits and veggies well and keeping foods properly chilled will slow the growth of bacteria and proper cooking can help destroy them.

• If you think you have food poisoning, contact your health care provider immediately to seek care. Save the food package, can, carton, or food item from a food seller. Report the problem by calling USDA at 1-888-674-6854 if you think the illness was caused by meat, poultry, or eggs. Call FDA at 1-866-300-4374 for all other foods. Contact your local health department if you think you got sick from food you ate in a restaurant or from another food seller.

Take the time and adopt the steps outlined above to help keep your food safe!


July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 33 360 N. IRBY STREET, FLORENCE

Something to Celebrate...

CareSouth Carolina showcased by The Commonwealth Fund For “Transforming Care”

The monumental task of assessing the eligibility of 92.3 million Americans for Medicaid benefits based on their age, income, and disability status has begun in all 50 states. These crucial "redeterminations," typically conducted annually, were temporarily halted during the COVID-19 public health emergency to ensure continuous coverage for individuals at high risk of severe outcomes from the disease.

Yesterday, SC Gov. Henry McMaster announced a historic collaboration and investment in a $100 million behavioral health facility in Florence. MUSC Health is proud to partner with regional public-private colleagues to make this happen.

The new innovative facility will serve as a regional behavioral health hub and include triage, crisis stabilization, telehealth, outpatient and inpatient services to expand much-needed behavioral health resources in the Pee Dee region.

"We are excited to partner with these public-private colleagues to make these services available as quickly as possible and have been supportive of finding innovative ways to serve some of our most vulnerable citizens in this way for some time," said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. "Access to this kind of care is of paramount concern when we consider the economic and societal impact of mental illness, substance abuse and other behavioral health concerns.

MPD Electric Cooperative Contributes to Future Training Facility for Marlboro Sheriff’s Department

MPD Electric Cooperative recently donated $2,500 to the Marlboro County Sheriff’s Office toward the acquisition of a training facility and firing range for officers.

“Our law enforcement officers are some of the most selfless public servants in our community,” said Matt Haynie, chief marketing officer of MPD Electric Cooperative. “Officer training and safety is of the utmost importance, and we are proud to support this project.”

The future facility will serve as a multi-purpose building for classes and training and can accommodate agencies across the region. It will also house a sixlane firing range that will be utilized to keep deputies’ firearm certifications up to date with South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy standards.

“We greatly appreciate this donation from MPD Electric Cooperative,” said Sheriff Larry McNeil. “I will continue to work as hard as I can to help find ways to develop and maintain a respectful, well trained law enforcement agency that serves the citizens of Marlboro County with the highest standards possible.”

As the redetermination process unfolds, an estimated 15 million individuals are projected to lose their Medicaid benefits over the next 13 months, according to The Commonwealth Fund. Some will no longer meet their state's eligibility criteria, while others may be disenrolled due to administrative and paperwork errors. Among those affected will be individuals who miss notifications regarding the redetermination process, subsequently missing deadlines to enroll in affordable marketplace plans or apply for coverage through an employer.

Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), responsible for caring for approximately one in six Medicaid beneficiaries, are expected to play a pivotal role in identifying individuals at risk of losing their coverage. These centers will assist in maintaining their enrollment, or alternatively, support them in finding alternative insurance options.

As a federally-qualified health center, CareSouth Carolina was one of the community health centers showcased in the report. CareSouth Carolina CEO Ann Lewis expressed the concern the organization has about ensuring people get the coverage they need.

“It can be a heavy lift for each application because there’s so much uncertainty about the personal information the state has and may request,” says Ann Lewis, CareSouth Carolina’s CEO. “One of her biggest fears is that the addresses in the state’s database are outdated. “This is a population of patients that moves around quite a bit,” she says. “Ultimately, people are going to fall through the cracks.”

CareSouth Carolina’s Community Outreach Team is working hard to ensure that community members are properly re-enrolled in Medicaid. One of these ways is through the newly-introduced Healthy Kids Project initiative. CareSouth Carolina was awarded a grant from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help enroll and renew Medicaid coverage for kids, parents, pregnant individuals, and non-English speaking individuals.

If you need assistance in changing your address or signing up for Medicaid, CareSouth Carolina has Family Support Services Benefit Counselors who are available to assist.

For more information or help with Medicaid re-enrollment, please call 1-866498-0399 and a CareSouth Carolina representative will be happy to help.

Through the Healthy Kids Project, CareSouth Carolina has hosted community events, marketed in targeted areas, and looked to eliminate transportation barriers to patients who may not be able to get help otherwise. You don’t need to be a CareSouth Carolina patient to receive these services, either.

Ashley Ford, Director of the Healthy Kids Project, said that CareSouth Carolina understands that the Medicaid enrollment and re-enrollment process can be confusing. That’s why the organization will be with you and take care of all aspects from start to finish.

“If in doubt, just give us a call,” Ford said. “Don’t scramble your brain to try and figure it out. We’ll be able to walk with you through the entire process. Let us do the lay-work for you. Going to the local Medicaid office can be stressful, but we can do all of that for you, if you’ll let us assist you. It doesn’t cost you a thing.”

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Chief Deputy Larry Turner and Matt Haynie of MPD

Closet discussed the updates and renovations done to the building and thanked HMRA and the City of Marion for their assistance in this endeavor.

The Clothing Closet is a great place to donate/recycle things you don’t need any more and a great place to shop when you need something different. It is run by area churches and the profits go back into the community. They are open Wednesday-Friday from 10am4pm. Drop by to browse and see what’s new.

The South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society

Names Dr. W. Mark Jones 2023 Resident of the Year

The South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society presented Dr. W. Mark Jones, V with its 2023 Resident of the Year Award on June 8 at its Annual Meeting.

This award honors a current DO Resident who demonstrates commitment to osteopathic patient-centered care, provides exemplary patient care and clinical promise, contributes to scholarly activity, and demonstrates leadership and a commitment to the community.

More than 35 new graduate nurses attended a celebration Signing Day event at SiMT in Florence on June 15.

Designed to be like an athletic signing day event where athletes sign letters of intent to play college sports, these nurses signed their letters of intent to work for McLeod Health. The nurses attending represented the new hires for McLeod Regional Medical Center, McLeod Health Clarendon, McLeod Health Cheraw, and McLeod Health Dillon. The new graduates invited their loved ones to join them for a fun and exciting evening of photos, gifts, and interacting with fellow graduates as they were welcomed into the McLeod Health family.

“As a nurse, I truly understand what this evening means to each of you,” said Donna Isgett, RN, President & Chief Executive Officer of McLeod Health. “Nursing is where my heart is. It is what is leading this organization. The sky is the limit on what you can achieve as a nurse.”

The nurses attending the celebration were graduates of Francis Marion University, Central Carolina Technical College, Williamsburg Technical College, FlorenceDarlington Technical College, Lander University, University of South Carolina, and Northeastern Technical College.

“At McLeod, we work to recruit and retain the best employees. Our greatest asset is our people,” added Octavia Williams Blake, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resource Officer. “We are so grateful you have decided to join our family.”

Dr. Jones is a 2020 graduate of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM-Carolinas) in Spartanburg, SC. His academics into medical school placed him in the top one percent in every standardized test where any medical field would be available for his career choice. Yet his compassion for people and his extreme desire to help all sorts of everyday folks was confirmed with his VCOM training that led him into a Family Medicine residency.

“Rarely if ever has a more qualified resident come along in all my 40 years on Family Medicine faculty,” said Dr. Gerard Jebaily, Program Director at McLeod Family Medicine Residency Program. “Dr. Jones volunteers with local charitable events, happily helps with medical staff improvement projects, and has earned the respect of his attendings and full-time faculty with his caring ethic. He represents the very best of the Osteopathic tradition and, in my mind, is a very deserving candidate.”

Dr. Jones is a third-year Family Medicine Resident at the McLeod Family Medicine Residency Program in Florence, SC. He has maintained his leadership skills and community involvement by serving as the PGYII and PGYIII Chief Resident, as well as providing multiple lectures and skills labs for the VCOM Family Medicine Interest group.

While in residency, Dr. Jones furthered his passion for organized medicine by serving in multiple capacities in the South Carolina Medical Association Resident and Fellow Section and currently holds the position of RFS Delegate and Member at Large. He has co-authored multiple resolutions on subjects that include Pharmacy Benefit Manager gag clauses, COMLEX acceptance within SC residencies, and prevention of second-hand smoke exposure in minors. He also serves on several hospital executive level committees.

July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 35
First McLeod New Graduate Nurse Signing Day Held in Florence

ONCE A Sandlapper, ALWAYS A Sandlapper

The loyal fans, the satisfying saltiness of a sunflower seed on a hot summer day, and the crack of a bat perfectly connecting with a ball are all gratifying moments that entice the five senses and are collectively experienced during the game of baseball. There is something about this sport that is like no other and once you’ve encountered it, there’s no going back. You’re hooked! Coaches Trae Allison, Brandon Hyman, Kenny Gray, and Terrance Scott share a passion for baseball and are in the business of helping others discover their skills. Through the newly founded Sandlapper Baseball League (SBL), the group of four is dedicated to developing young men to be successful on and off the field.

After years of playing and coaching baseball themselves, the Sandlapper staff came together to offer a league that promotes unity amongst players. In 2012, Coach Gray, head coach at South Florence High School, started a summer program for his baseball players with the purpose of keeping them together while continuing to develop them and help further prepare them for the next spring season.

“It was also a way to continue to build team chemistry which is very important at the varsity level,” explains Coach Allison. “When I came on board in 2015, we continued doing this but at times ran into situations with Junior Legion Baseball where returning players weren’t eligible to play over the summer with us because of age restrictions even though they were rising seniors and eligible per High School League Rules. It was at that time that we first discussed starting a new league that would be governed under South Carolina High School League Rules where the age restriction would not affect programs that had rising seniors that were ineligible to play due to their age.”

With the SBL, all of the kids in a high school program have a place to play over the summer if a coach chooses to take advantage of the two leagues offered. “This is great for the continued development of the great programs in our area,” says Coach Hyman. He continues, “I’ve coached high school baseball for six years and one of the most critical parts of developing a championship program is ensuring your guys have a place to play over the summer so they can continue to develop and get better.”

pictured l to r: Kenny Gray, Brandon Hyman, Trae Allison, Terrance Scott photo by Fred Salley Photography

Sandlapper Baseball League has had an incredible response from coaches, parents, and players in its inaugural year. When the four began recruiting teams and players, they received several verbal confirmations but when it came time to play ball, they were overwhelmed with the commitments from so many teams. Coach Allison added, “Much like any new league, there are going to be hiccups but we encourage parents, players, and coaches to be honest with us about how things are going so we can fix them for upcoming seasons. We told our coaches and the teams that it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us to make this league work so that we are doing right by our kids.”

Haley Sink, a rising junior at Francis Marion University, helped bring the Sandlapper dream to life by creating a logo that encompassed their league’s values. “Even though we had visions of what we wanted this league to look like, her logo brought it full circle,” says Coach Allison. The Sandlapper staff considers themselves family. Coach Allison continues, “It is a brotherhood, exactly how you would hope a coaching staff would be. At South Florence, in my opinion, we had one of the better coaching staffs and were able to get the most out of our kids. I believe this was because the kids could see the trust and camaraderie we shared. Coach Gray is a big reason we are the coaches and family men that we are and his leadership and guidance is why the league is where it is.”

The guys agree that this venture is built upon the values instilled in them as young baseball players. Coach Scott says, “I love being around a game that has given back to me more than I can repay it. Working with young people who want to become better ball players and people through baseball is very rewarding.” Coach Hyman adds, “I was blessed with some really great coaches growing up and they had a tremendous impact on my life. They taught me how to be a better player and a better man. My coaches prepared me with all of the tools and lessons I would need to be able to step out into the world and do great things once my playing days were over.”

The goal of Sandlapper is to be the premier summer baseball league for high school players and coaches in South Carolina. The staff hopes to create an environment where the great high school coaches within our state can continue to build their programs without worrying about age restrictions. In addition, they want to reduce the financial burden of summer baseball for programs and parents. “The SBL does not need their money to operate and therefore the cost to the coach’s program and parents will be significantly less without sacrificing the quality of the league,” says Coach Allison. Instead, the league relies on community support, especially from local businesses, and has received incredible support in the Pee Dee area during its first year. “We would like to thank everyone that has been involved with our league so far and we look forward to many great years of baseball ahead of us,” says Coach Allison.


Kenny Gray has been a teacher and coach at South Florence High School since the fall of 1992. He teaches AP Macroeconomics, Economics and Current Events. Kenny was an assistant baseball coach from 19921998 and became the head coach in 1999. During that time, the teams made have made the playoffs 20 years, won the region three times, and played for the lower state championship once.

Coach Brandon Hyman

Brandon Hyman was born and raised in Florence. He played high school baseball for Coach Gray at South Florence High School from 2004 to 2008 before signing to play at Florence Darlington Technical College. Brandon is employed as a pharmaceutical rep with Novartis and is also the head baseball coach at Trinity Collegiate School.

Coach Trae Allison

Trae Allison is a graduate of South Florence High School where he played baseball from 1994 to 1997. He was a three-year starter for the Bruins and in 1996 they began the season winning the IP Baseball Classic and finished the regular season ranked number one in the state in all classifications and was ranked number seven in USA High School Baseball. Trae signed with the University of South Carolina to play baseball while also earning a Bachelor’s degree. He has been employed with Capstone ISG for over 12 years where he manages day-to-day operations in NC, SC, VA, and MD.

Coach Terrance Scott

Terrance Scott teaches Social Studies at Southside Middle School and is in his second year as the Social Studies Department Chair. Terrance played varsity baseball at Lucy C. Laney High School in Augusta, Georgia. He then played at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida before transferring to Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina. After several coaching assignments both in and outside of South Carolina, Terrance has served as an assistant coach at South Florence High School for the last four seasons.

For sponsorship information on helping to sustain the Sandlapper Baseball League and ensure they can effectively develop their young aspiring athletes, please email sandlapperbaseball@gmail.com or call Coach Allison at (843) 992-9123.

July 2023 VIPMagSC.com 37
Coach Kenny Gray
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The Fascinating History of Hot Dogs

Hot Dogs will be on my grill this 4th of July, but where did they come from? And can you put ketchup on them?

Early American immigration created an interesting mix of influences from around the world that affected our culture and began forming our food and culinary traditions. Although the hot dog might seem as the ultimate American meal or snack, the sausage actually finds its roots on a whole different continent. Straight off the bat, the story surrounding the history of the hot dog is contested. Indeed, it’s quite hard to pin down where exactly the savory snack that was made famous at our baseball parks and back yard grill outs came from.

The Greeks are actually the first ones credited in history for the hot dog. However, they were not the ones who invented the hot dog. They are just here to claim the credit. As I think back to my high school days, when we read Homer’s Odyssey, there is actually a line about hot dogs. Yes I know it’s actually a sausage specifically but hot dogs are sausages.

“As when a man besides a great fire has filled a sausage with fat and blood and turns it this way and that and is very eager to get it quickly roasted. . .”

So, that’s a start. Or at least, we’re talking about sausages now. Food historians deem this mention in Homer’s Odyssey as the very first mention of something that resembles a hot dog. The mention is somewhere around the 9th century B.C., placing the initiation of the hot dog at about 3000 years ago.

The Germans described the hot dog in a new way that would eventually end up what we know today. The first frankfurter was developed, you guessed it, in Frankfurt, Germany. The city celebrated the 500th birthday of the sausage in 1987. The frankfurter sausage would also be referred to as Wienerwurst. The first part of that word, wiener,

42 VIPMagSC.com July 2023
Get more from Doug Smith by following him on Facebook and Instagram at "Doug the Food Guy". by Doug Smith

is believed to be a reference to Vienna, Germany. The term Wienerwurst is therefore literally translated as the Vienna sausage. I know, but stick with me here...

Staying with the Germans, the first actual references that inspired the contemporary term hot dog start to appear around the 1690s. A German butcher by the name of Johann Georghehner started to promote his dachshund sausages. The literal translation is “badger dog”. So indeed, dachshund sausages are a reference to the dog that is known in the English language as the sausage dog.

But okay, just a sausage with maybe some sauce is of course not a hot dog. So who invented the hot dog?

Here it really becomes an open battlefield. A lot of German immigrants were trying to sell their European food to people of the new world America, making the history a bit hard to trace down. So really anyone can make a claim on selling the first hot dog, either as a restaurant food or as a street food. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, it’s a real thing), it is certain that German immigrants brought the hot dog to the United states. Although German immigrants already appeared to have sold the popular sausage with sauerkraut, legend has it that the first actual hot dog was inspired by the wife of a German immigrant who was a sausage vendor in the streets of St. Louis in Missouri. It was quite inconvenient to eat as a street food so his wife suggested that he put the sausages in a split bun, so that’s what he did and the hot dog was born.

What is a hot dog without its bright yellow mustard, green relish, some sport peppers, and celery salt? Hot dog connoisseurs know you can’t put ketchup on your dog (The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council disapproves of using ketchup on hot dogs.)

The problem with putting a sugary condiment like Ketchup on a hot dog is it can mask the meaty flavor of the hot dog. The result might be a taste that's not so appealing to some. For a die-hard hot dog lover, masking the flavor of the frank is simply unacceptable. Don’t tell any one, but I put ketchup on my dogs.

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DRINK OF THE MONTH 44 VIPMagSC.com July 2023
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