March 2024

Page 1

Tammy Clark, Publisher

Heather Page, Editor/Sales

Tuesday Taylor Creative Design/Sales

Tiffany Mecham, Office Manager

Julie C. Tyler, Sales

Ashley Rogers, Creative Design


Contributing Photographers

Fred Salley Photography

Penelope Penn

Contributing Writers

Kimberly Brauss

Cynthia Ford

Elizabeth Franken

La’Quanita Goodman

Bryan Holt

Arrvind Raghunath, MD

Penelope Penn

Doug Smith

Thomas Smith

Taylor Thompson, FNP-C

Serving Florence, Hartsville, Darlington, Marion, Mullins, Lake City and the surrounding areas

2011-B Second Loop Rd, Florence, SC 29501

For advertising rates, email












34 Pastor Thomas Smith: Easter, What's It All About?

36 Cynthia Ford: Madison Vereen, Encouraging Youth to Appreciate the Rewarding Work of Farming

38 Penelope Penn: Sustainability by Gardening for Wildlife

40 Bryan Holt: Sipping Through Time


Give Us This Day, Our Daily Bread

Doug Smith: Exploring the Delightful World of Fruit Compote



Peddlers: The Harrington Family
Little Theatre: Celebrating 100 Years
YMCA: 100 Years of
a Difference
Magazine: Creatively Connecting
100 Issues
24 HopeHealth: Growing Pains
McLeod Health: Offering Women Advanced Breast Cancer Care
La'Quantia Goodman: The Sour Shamrock
and Events
March 2024: Fun Days
I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
Page 12 Page 24 Page 36 Page 38 Page 34 Page 42
March 2024 9

The Harrington Family

Richard, Joan, Brandon, Jil, Margaret, & Jazelle


The Harrington family offers Florence and beyond unique shopping!

In 2010, Palmetto Peddlers opened its doors to the public in Florence, South Carolina, and, with that opening, a love letter to the community began to be written. The antique mall started small, with only a handful of booths open in the beginning. Even then, though, the quality of goods and service highlighted the dedication of the Harrington family to bring something of excellence and uniqueness to the small business world of Florence. Not only were they going into business for themselves, but because of the unique business model an antique mall such as Palmetto Peddlers requires, members of the community found themselves also going into business. As word of mouth began to spread, more and more customers came to see what the antique mall had to offer them, and many of those customers found themselves wanting to rent booths and sell goods for a little extra income that could help supplement their lives. It’s rare for a small business to offer an opportunity like that to the public it serves, but with Palmetto Peddlers, the Harringtons knew the success of their antique mall would only be possible through the success of their vendors.

These days when a customer walks into Palmetto Peddlers, they find themselves in an open factory space that houses more than 175 booths, each offering unique items ranging from antiques to collectibles to vintage items to jewelry and so much more. Customers can spend

10 March 2024
Photography by Fred Salley

hours exploring the many aisles of the store, all of which have names that elicit memories, like Yellow Brick Road, Penny Lane, and Sunset Boulevard; and while exploring, customers find that each booth has its own unique oasis of goods. Vendors take pride not only in their items for sale but also in the ways they name and arrange their booths.

Oftentimes themes are present from booth to booth — nautical decor, antique hand mirrors and decorative hair combs, vintage children’s toys, sports memorabilia, and handmade wreaths. There’s a reason a sign sits behind the register that encourages customers to spend money without regret; it’s almost impossible to go into Palmetto Peddlers and not find a treasure trove of items that would make a home that much more unique and beautiful.

Encouraging and helping their customers, while also engaging in the community, is what the Harrington family is all about. Not only is Palmetto Peddlers a local small business, but it is also a family business.

On any given day, you can find three generations of Harringtons behind the counter or lost somewhere within the booths helping customers and vendors alike. They work closely with their staff, which is largely made up of young people in our community who are working part-time jobs as they go through school.

And while the antique mall is their main focus, they also use Palmetto Peddlers to host events that impact the community.

Oftentimes, Florentines will drive by to find car shows, beer fests, and cook-offs happening on the grounds of Palmetto Peddlers. People dream of doing what they love, and Palmetto Peddlers has allowed the Harringtons that gift. In return, they strive to give back to the community that has loved them so well over the past fourteen years.

While Palmetto Peddlers has solidified itself as a successful business that serves the Florence community with over thirteen Best of the Pee Dee awards, it has also gained the attention of those outside of our small community because of advertising through channels like HGTV and articles by Southern Living Magazine. People travel, sometimes for hours, to explore all the goodies the lanes of Palmetto Peddlers have to offer. With this influx of customers from all over comes a boost in Florence’s local economy, as people explore the many different food and shopping services Florence has to offer. Florence has something for everyone, and Palmetto Peddlers is the most unique example of that. Anyone unsure of that only needs to spend a few hours wandering the store. It’s guaranteed you’ll find just what you’re looking for or as they say “Great finds all the time”!

March 2024 11

Celebrating 100 Years

The History of the Florence Little Theatre

On September 8, 2023, the lights dimmed and the curtain rose for the premier event marking the centennial celebration of the Florence Little Theatre (FLT). Hearts were blessed as The Sound of Music filled every inch of the performance venue with professionalquality voices, acting, music, lights, and sets. Playing to sold-out audiences each night, this show not only delighted FLT's incredibly supportive community, but it paid tribute to those who paved the way to make it all possible. What they started 100 years ago remains an inspiration today and certainly for generations to come.

It all began in 1923 when Margaret Wright formed a group called The Community Players. Their first show, in August of 1923, was staged on the lawn of Mr. James Lynch’s home on West Palmetto Street in Florence. After the inaugural performance, the impassioned players would perform outside, in homes, garages, or any place they were allowed. While the initial audiences were coaxed into attending, before long they came willingly and in great numbers.

With the onset of winter that year, coupled with their need for a larger performance space, The Pinewood Club offered their building for productions. This led to renaming the group The Pinewood Players.

A fire ravaged The Pinewood Club, but it did not extinguish the desire to perform. From 1929 to 1940, they performed at various venues including the YMCA, Florence High School, and a storage building behind the Sanborn Hotel. In 1940, the group changed its name to The Little Theatre Guild and opened auditions to the general public.

1947 brought about several changes. The group created bi-laws and elected officers for the first time. Headed by Sylvia Stein, Mary King, and George Glass, the guild was instrumental in obtaining rights to the old Army Air Base movie house as their new home. To raise funds for much-needed repairs to the facility, the first Junior Players production was added. The show was so successful, that it not only made the needed repairs, but it kept the Little Theatre out of bankruptcy. However, additional challenges, including a lack of adequate dressing rooms, plumbing issues, sparse bathroom facilities, and limited sound and lighting features, led the theatre into action.

In 1966, a Board of Trustees was formed to oversee a capital campaign intended to raise money for a new permanent home. Within one year, the committee raised $160,000 in pledges and contributions. An anonymous donor gifted land on South Cashua Street. Four men – Ronald Sopkin, Jeff Corbin, Joe Baroody, and Phil Stephensen – were instrumental in bringing this dream to fruition. They, along with a dedicated board, channeled their love for the theatre into a vision of building one of the finest state-of-the-art facilities in South Carolina.

The new Florence Little Theatre held its grand opening on November 14, 1968, with a production of The King and I. It was a resounding success. During the next 40 seasons, FLT continued striving for excellence and garnered greater support from the community and local businesses than ever before.

12 March 2024 BUSINESS
Army Air Base Movie House South Dargan Street South Cashua Street

FLT hosted an impressive and extensive list of musicals and plays over the years at the South Cashua location, which was affectionately referred to as “The Grey Lady”. Having earned a reputation throughout the Carolinas, FLT received the 2005 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award from the S.C. Arts Commission. A delegation from the theatre accepted the award at a ceremony held at the State House in Columbia.

Because of the number of productions, as well as community events taking place in the facility, the theatre quickly began to realize they were again faced with severe limitations. FLT had to rent or barter for space outside of the performance venue to meet their obligations. In addition to requiring more space for rehearsals, the need for larger bathrooms and storage for costumes, props, and sets became a major concern.

Dreams began to look like possibilities when Encore Theatre Company approached the board. They were in the process of dissolution and wanted to bestow upon FLT the remainder of their assets. It was a sizable donation that set the wheels in motion. This gift, along with a grant from the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, established a Capital Improvement Building Fund. In 1999, FLT launched a successful capital campaign with hundreds of individuals, businesses, and financial institutions donating.

With funding starting to take shape, discussions for expansions and renovations were a hot topic. It was during this time that the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation presented an interesting and unexpected proposal. They offered an astounding $10 million toward building a new theatre on South Dargan as part of the downtown revitalization. The City of Florence and McLeod Health also made significant contributions toward making this dream a reality.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 19, 2006. The building committee, spearheaded by Patsy S. Stone, worked with the Foundation and architects Goforth Brown and Associates to finalize plans. The new theatre would feature multi-tier seating incorporating side galleries, a large backstage and scenic shop area, bathrooms with numerous stalls, and a spacious lobby and rehearsal hall. Empty office space adjacent to the planned theatre would be renovated and adjoined to the new facility, creating much needed storage, multiple dressing rooms, and staff offices.

In the summer of 2008, the last show was cast at South Cashua. The excitement for this show extended beyond the production team, musicians, and actors. The entire community of theatre supporters anxiously awaited the opening, as they knew it would be at the new South Dargan location. On September 12, 2008, Jesus Christ Superstar opened to a packed house. Many dressed in formal wear, reminiscent of earlier times when opening shows, and the accompanying gala, looked like a red carpet event.

The 2013-2014 season marked FLT’s 90th year. In recognition of the long-standing history and reputation of the theatre, FLT was the first community theatre in South Carolina granted the rights to perform Les Miserables. As the opening show in September of

1970 Rapunzel And The Witch


The Last Of The Red Hot Lovers

1974 Twelfth Night

1975 Showboat




The Visit

1980 Vanities

2013, Les Mis made theatre history by being the first show to sell out all shows before the first performance. It was so well received that a concert version of the show was reprised for a two-night celebration of the 90th Anniversary.

On the other end of the season, The Wizard of Oz opened in April 2014. All nine performances were sold out before opening night, prompting the board to add a 10th show to accommodate the evergrowing waiting list. This incredible season was not only rewarded by eager theatergoers but the theatre was recognized with two special awards – the 2013 South Carolina Arts Alliance Award and the 2014 South Carolina Theatre of Distinction Award.

While FLT has continued its unceasing effort to present professional level productions, the Educational Programs developed over the years are paramount to its ongoing success. They not only provide essential revenue for operational costs, but their outreach extends to many different groups. These efforts have made a huge impact on the children in Florence and the surrounding areas.

The Schoolhouse Players has been a highly successful venture. This dedicated group of talented performers presents plays to school-age children. These students often have never experienced live theatre and may not have an opportunity otherwise. The shows are educational, inspirational, entertaining, and interactive. Local schools consistently attend these events with rave reviews.

The highly popular summer camps, Children’s Workshop, and Rising Stars program are designed for a wide variety of ages. These curriculums foster a child’s love of learning and help develop their talents in a safe, supportive, and professional environment. They are taught skills and presented with knowledge involving all areas of theatre.

These programs teach teamwork, focus, public speaking, and creativity. Not only are they having fun, but they are also learning life lessons that promote better social skills, self-confidence, and self-expression. In 2020, Lisa Sims, FLT’s Education Director, was presented the Outstanding Arts Organization Award for her tireless contributions to arts education in Florence County.

FLT is so blessed and grateful for its incredible theatre in the center of the arts and education district, talented volunteers, generous patrons, underwriters, and benefactors. However, for many, FLT is more than a building. It is a home away from home. It is a haven and sanctuary where people from all walks of life gather as equals.

FLT is a family, literally and figuratively. Generations of families have volunteered and continue to have ties back to before FLT ever had a permanent home. However, some families are not related by blood at all. They come together with a common goal to enhance the lives of their friends, families, and community by creating the magic that we call live theatre. One hundred years have come and gone, but FLT enters this new century stronger than ever before, with a deeper passion to honor the contributions of the past, and the dedication to carry the traditions forward.

For upcoming shows:

1982 Cheaper By The Dozen 2006 I Hate Hamlet 2007 Shenandoah 2008 Jesus Christ Superstar 2012 Ragtime 2018 Driving Miss Daisy 2023 Lion King Jr.
March 2024 15

100 Years of Making a Difference

“I was drawn to the YMCA because of its mission, ‘to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for All,’” said Brian New, CEO of the Florence Family YMCA, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. “I am proud that we have drawn a very diverse membership base here to the YMCA that reflects our community while showing God’s love to everyone who comes through our doors. The last two words of the mission statement, ‘for All,’ are very important to me, and we strive to accomplish this in everything we do and every program we offer.”

Built on Christian principles, the Florence YMCA has grown and transformed lives throughout its history focusing on moral well-being, good health, and sense of place.

New, the Florence YMCA’s longest tenured employee, started working straight out of college in 1987 as a childcare counselor/teen coordinator for the YMCA in Hartsville.

“I came to the Florence YMCA a year and a half later in 1988 and have been here ever since,” New said.

“I started in Florence as the youth sports director and over the years more responsibilities were added like wellness director, operations director, associate CEO and finally CEO,” New said. “I was very fortunate that this all happened at one YMCA and I did not have to move to other Y’s in order to move into other positions.”

“The Florence YMCA has seen lots of growth and additions over the years,” New said, “and my goal is to keep that going.”

Today’s Florence Family YMCA was organized on Friday, January 26, 1912, at City Hall as the Atlantic Coast Line Young Men’s Christian Association of


social hall, locker rooms, kitchen, gymnasium, auditorium, and a miniature golf course.

It was about forty years later that the Florence Family YMCA focused on serving all members of the family. A diversified community

In 2001, the “Building for the Future” Capital Development Campaign enabled the Florence YMCA to double in size and expand many community programs.

Mike Wightman, operations director and second-longest tenured employee at the Florence YMCA, started working for the YMCA while in college. He came to Florence, his third YMCA employer, as the Wellness Director in 2004.

Mike said he was drawn to the YMCA for a career by seeing the difference he could make in children’s lives while working as a day camp counselor. In his time at the YMCA, he said he is most proud of the YMCA helping make a difference in people’s lives, both members and employees.

Renee Mitchell began working at the Y in 2009 as a part-time seasonal employee and has seen it transform over the years.

“We’ve added different programs, allowing more people to be a part of the YMCA. I’ve seen relationships develop. I’ve seen families grow. We consider our members to be part of our Y family!”

Programs at the Y include aquatics, arts and humanities, before school, after school, early learning, health and well-being, and sports and recreation.

2016. Through grant funding, a playground, shelter, bathroom and a quarter-mile asphalt trace with exercise stations was built.

The Y’s day camp in Philadelphia is what brought Angel Wilson to be a member since she was 7 years old. As newcomers to the area, one of the first things the Wilson family did when they relocated to Florence five years ago was find the YMCA to become members. Once she and her husband, BJ, joined the Florence YMCA, they got involved in everything going on and they were recognized in 2022 as the Florence Family YMCA members of the year.

Angel and BJ said they consider it a privilege to be members at the YMCA and love all of the people they have met over the years.

About eight years ago, Elsy Anderson, who was an active Florence community member, donated 3.4 acres of land adjacent to the YMCA in

Wightman said the biggest changes he has seen while at the Florence Family YMCA is the growing diversity in membership. He said he attributes it to the growing offerings of programs, the community outreach, and the additions of green spaces on campus that the public can use such as Friendship Park and the athletic fields.

As the Florence YMCA vision has grown, so has the membership, financial aid, and programs offered to the community. Today, the Florence YMCA serves 4,500 members, $60,000 a year in financial aid to children, families, and adults, and has more than 1,600 children participating in its programs.

And this year, New said they will make plans for the next phase of Friendship Park and start looking for grant opportunities to help complete the park.

“The YMCA has always been a part of my family’s lives,” New said. “To start with, I met my wife at the YMCA in Hartsville, where we worked together in childcare. My children were raised at the Florence Family YMCA participating in swim lessons, youth sports, childcare and camping programs. To say the YMCA has been a big part of my family’s lives would be an understatement.”

Florence Family YMCA 1700 Rutherford Dr., Florence (843) 665-1234 |
March 2024 19

100 ISSUES Creatively Connecting For

Sharing vision, innovation, and progress to inspire readers to join in the growth & development of our community

When we first began discussing the concept of Vip Magazine, the main goal was to share positive stories of local people and businesses in our community. We hoped to inspire others to take a leap of faith in opening their dream business and to encourage others to support those businesses by purchasing items and using their services.

Being the editor at Vip Magazine for the last one hundred issues has brought me some of life’s greatest moments. I’ve been honored to meet some amazing people who have poured their heart and soul into what they love. Even through a pandemic that rocked our community, many of these businesses continued to fight to share with others what they believed was a great necessity for our community. We watched how

they turned lemons into lemonade and focused on what would keep their businesses thriving.

One thing I’ve learned for sure is that everyone has a unique story to tell. In 2023, Amber Anderson, owner of The Patchwork Quilter, shared that she learned how to sew from a long line of family seamstresses; In the February 2022 issue, Vicky Peterkin, a Behavioral health Consultant at HopeHealth, described her job as discovering that everyone is healing from something, and everyone wants to be seen, heard, respected, and validated; In 2017, Billy Hoyle praised his mother for pioneering footsteps in the business of insurance; And I couldn’t pass up a moment to remember the late Pastor Elijah Green for his many wonderful words of encouragement shared through the pages of Vip over the years.

20 March 2024

Aside from sharing wonderful stories of the incredible people and businesses that make up our community, the Vip staff have had the opportunity to work with an abundance of creative-thinking photographers and writers over the years. Their artistry helped our vision come full circle and certainly enhanced our readership. We are forever grateful for their colorful influence found throughout our pages.

We are also extremely fond of the advertisers and readers who have allowed us to build the business of our dreams. The relationships we’ve created with our advertisers are similar to the best friend you may miss a few moments with, but as soon as you’re back together it’s like you never skipped a beat. Every month we welcome the opportunity to think how we can creatively market their businesses to the community. We enjoy getting their feedback and that final email or call that

says, “It’s perfect!” The messages we’ve received over the years from readers have solidified that what we are delivering to the community is not only needed but wanted. Every one of those messages has inspired us to keep pursuing our dream!

I have countless recordings of people describing what it means to them to run their dream business, continue a family business, or work for a city or government entity that brings their passions alive. Employees positively raving about the environment their bosses provide. And catalogs on my computer of pictures that bring each one to life. I treasure these experiences. These moments.

Thank you from the Vip staff for allowing us to share your stories for one hundred issues. We look forward to the next one hundred issues! We can’t wait to create new memories with the wonderful people in our community.

March 2024 21
Tammy Clark Publisher Heather Page Editor/Sales Tuesday Taylor Sales/Creative Design Julie Tyler Sales Ashley Rogers Creative Design Tiffany Mecham Office Manager To read past and current articles in Vip magazine, visit


Getting your driver’s license, heading off to college, entering the workforce - these are just a few of the milestones that may mark your journey from childhood into the adult world. Included in this list is the transition from pediatric to adult health care. While this change may not be as exciting as getting your first car, continuity of care is incredibly important for your overall health!

Historically, pediatricians have provided care for patients from birth to 18 (or 21) years old, depending on many factors, including provider policies, patient preferences, and individual health care needs. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians ditched the concept of a golden age to transition to an adult health care provider. The focus has instead shifted from the “right age” to the “right time,” leading providers to evaluate an individual’s readiness to transition to an adult provider based on their unique needs. The path can be confusing, causing

some patients to fall out of care between adolescence and adulthood. The good news is, efforts are underway to ensure parents and adolescents are given what they need to ensure a seamless transition from pediatric to adult care.

In addition to sometimes being an unclear process, the transition may bring other emotions and challenges. While the shift to health care independence may feel exciting and liberating, it may also feel scary and intimidating. Adolescents typically spend years relying on a parent or guardian to help them schedule appointments, communicate with their provider, and ensure visits are covered from a billing and insurance standpoint. While the shift to an adult provider certainly does not mean parents have to totally step away, it does often demand you take a bit more control in navigating the health care system.

Pediatric providers often begin preparing their teen and young adult patients for health care independence by asking them questions about their general health needs directly. Even though parental consent is required for procedures and immunizations if a patient is under 18, teens and young adults are often encouraged to begin attending appointments alone to foster confidence and comfort.

Once an individual is deemed capable of understanding and communicating their health care needs and can take responsibility for managing their own health, they are ready to transition to an adult primary care provider. Similar to pediatricians, adult primary care providers focus on age-specific primary prevention measures, mental health and well-being, lifestyle choices, and reproductive health.

24 March 2024 HEALTH + WELLNESS

Continuing care is essential for overall health and provides many important benefits. A primary care provider will become familiar with your medical history, family history, and lifestyle choices to provide you with individualized preventive care, comprehensive health management, health care advice, chronic disease management, and health education. Staying plugged in with a provider also increases accessibility, reducing your need to make costly visits to an urgent care or an emergency room, especially in non-urgent situations.

Another benefit of having a primary care provider is being able to get referrals to specialists in a timely

manner when needed, like an orthopedic surgeon or chiropractor. Adult providers are also typically able to help patients navigate concerns with insurance and affordability. While most insurance companies will allow coverage under a parent’s plan until age 26, your provider may be able to help you navigate options for health care coverage following termination of your childhood benefits. Ultimately, having a provider and a health care home you are familiar with increases the potential for staying upto-date on primary prevention measures, early detection and treatment of health issues, and accessible, affordable health care. Staying in good health will ensure you can accomplish all the other adult milestones on your list!

At HopeHealth, we are working to encourage continuity of care through HopeXpress, a program geared towards helping patients transition from the pediatric to the primary care model. Our providers understand the benefits of a smooth transition from one provider to the next, and offer patient-specific support and direction.

For more information about HopeXpress, visit or call (843) 667-9414.

Taylor Thompson, FNP-C is a family nurse practitioner providing care for patients in the HopeXpress program for young adults. She has special interest in heart health preventive care for younger adults, and keeping young adults in care.

From Florence, Thompson earned her Master of Science/Family Nurse Practitioner degree from South University, Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with summa cum laude honors from the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, South Carolina Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society.


Offering Women Advanced Breast Cancer Care

Established 20 years ago, the McLeod Breast Health Center promotes continuity of care by providing the full spectrum of services for women, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and support. Striving to provide personalized breast cancer care, the Breast Health team at McLeod individualizes a plan to each and every patient’s needs.

The goal is to make the individual patient’s entry into the system as painless and seamless as possible through the assistance of a Breast Health Coordinator, Maureen Byrd, FNP-C, and two oncology nurse navigators, Tracey O’Neal, RN, CBCN, and Angela McNeil, RN. As patient advocates, these staff members are there by a woman’s side holding her hand every step of the way from diagnosis to survivorship.

Dedicated to the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, McLeod is the only Breast Health Center in the area accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. McLeod received this prestigious acknowledgement in 2010 in recognition of the high-quality care it offers to breast cancer patients –the first and only breast program in the region to achieve this designation.

Annually, breast cancer is the most commonly treated cancer at McLeod Regional Medical Center. Because a tremendous volume of breast cancer patients are cared for at McLeod, the hospital, staff, and physicians have put considerable effort into ensuring state-of-the-art care for women with breast cancer and that the NAPBC standards are met or exceeded.

Facets of the comprehensive breast cancer program at McLeod include all of the following:

Breast Imaging

Today’s 3D mammograms pick up tiny cancers that are not just treatable, but curable. So, most of the women, who are diagnosed with breast cancer at McLeod, are detected at a very early stage. These women have a totally normal life expectancy. As surveillance and imaging has improved, the McLeod team finds and treats cancer earlier.

McLeod Physicians believe at age 40, a woman should start having yearly mammograms. However, any woman with a breast abnormality should definitely be seen by their doctor. If a woman has a first degree relative with the BRCA gene (mother, sister), then the McLeod Breast Health Team advises to begin annual screening mammograms 10 years earlier than the family member who was diagnosed. So, if your mother was diagnosed at 38, then at 28, you need regular screening.

As an American College of Radiology (ACR) Designated Comprehensive Breast Imaging Center, the McLeod Breast Imaging Team is led by Medical Director Dr. Shawn Conwell who completed a Fellowship in Women’s Imaging and is an ACR Fellow. The team also includes four technologists registered in Breast Sonography and 14 registered in Mammography. Additionally, McLeod offers the following modalities which have been accredited by the American College of Radiology: 3D Screening and 3D Diagnostic Mammograms, Breast Ultrasound and Breast Ultrasound Biopsies, Stereotactic Breast Biopsies and Breast MRI.

Breast Tumor Board

At the McLeod Center for Cancer Treatment and Research, breast cancer patients receive a second, third, fourth and fifth opinion on their treatment plan from the Tumor Board, whose mission is to provide patients not only with peace of mind but also the best cancer treatment plan possible for each specific diagnosis.

26 March 2024
The McLeod Breast Health Team includes three patient advocates who are there by a woman’s side every step of the way from diagnosis to survivorship. Pictured from left to right: Angela McNeil, RN, Maureen Byrd, FNP-C, and Tracey O’Neal, RN, CBCN.

Each week at McLeod, physicians representing Medical Oncology, Pathology, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, and Surgery, discuss every breast cancer patient’s case presented to the tumor board. Together, they recommend the best treatment plans for patients with breast cancer. During the Breast Tumor Board meeting, these cancer specialists review the pertinent imaging and diagnostic studies, as well as the pathology, and listen as the patient’s case is presented by their physician, including the history and physical findings. All members of the team give their input and the plan is put into place.

Breast Surgery

When a woman is faced with breast cancer, the first goal is to perform an operation that removes the breast cancer. The second goal is to give the patient a cosmetic outcome that results in the breast looking as natural as it did before the surgery or even better in some cases.

If a woman undergoes a mastectomy, she may be interested in breast reconstruction surgery which involves the expertise of a plastic surgeon. At McLeod Regional Medical Center, patients are offered the option of implant-based reconstruction using silicone or saline breast implants to recreate the breast.

Breast Cancer Research and Oncology Treatment

Discovering new ways to treat and prevent cancer is the goal of medical research. At McLeod, cancer research efforts were first developed more than 40 years ago with the arrival of Oncologist Dr. Michael Pavy. Today, the McLeod Center for Cancer Treatment and Research offers patients access to three dedicated cancer research nurses.

One cancer that has benefitted greatly from research is breast cancer. Thanks to clinical trials, breast cancer research continues to evolve with multiple advancements in care. There are now more chemotherapy agents and targeted treatments to help women than ever before. McLeod Cancer Specialists also understand that there are very specific pathways cancer cells navigate for their survival. This research has led to the development of drugs that can block parts of those pathways and suppress the cancer. Additionally, immunotherapy is available which arms the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. This form of therapy helps the immune system recognize the cancer, then stimulate an intense response against the tumor. As research of breast cancer continues, these discoveries will help guide treatment in the future and improve survival.

Radiation Oncology Treatment

Radiation therapy is necessary for many women with breast cancer. Most women who undergo a lumpectomy are receiving radiation to eradicate any microscopic cancer cells in the breast that remain after surgery. This significantly decreases the risk of recurrence of cancer within the breast.

Traditionally, the post-lumpectomy radiation would be delivered, five days a week for five to seven weeks. But,

thanks to clinical trials we now know that the majority of women can receive shorter courses of radiation which are equally effective. Today, many women, who have early-stage breast cancer, can actually be treated with a technique called moderately hypofractionated radiation therapy where the length of radiation treatment is reduced down to three to four weeks, making it more convenient for patients.

Genetic Counseling and Testing

At the McLeod Cancer Center, we offer pre-test counseling about genetics, obtain a collection of a patient’s family history and determine if they are suitable for genetic testing. Our primary goal is to identify individuals and families at increased risk of cancer in order to promote awareness, early detection and cancer prevention. Genetic counseling for individuals at risk for breast cancer includes: assessing the risk of developing breast cancer based on a detailed cancer-focused personal and family medical history; determining whether the history is suggestive of an inherited cancer syndrome; coordinating genetic testing with outside reference labs for patients with appropriate genetic risk; and reporting and explaining the results of the genetic testing to the patient and their physician. Genetic testing involves a sample of blood that is sent to a genetics lab for analysis. The lab results are then compared with the patient’s DNA to determine whether they have any of the cancercausing genes.

Advancements in early detection with the latest technology and a dedication to ensuring the national standards in breast cancer treatment are met or exceeded, demonstrates the McLeod Breast Health Team’s commitment to improving survival and access to care.

For more information on the McLeod Breast Health Center, please call (843) 777-4444 or visit

Arrvind Raghunath, MD

Dr. Arrvind Raghunath cares for patients at McLeod Oncology and Hematology Associates, a division of McLeod Regional Medical Center. He joined McLeod in September 2023 following the completion of his Fellowships in Hematology and Medical Oncology and Leukemia at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas. Dr. Raghunath received his medical

degree in 2015 from SRM Medical College and Research Center in Chennai, India, and completed his Internal Medicine Residency in 2019 at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center in Akron, Ohio.

March 2024 27

MARCH 2024


April 5-6 Hub's Farmland Rodeo 4341 Langston Rd, Timmonsville

April 4-6 Florence Food + Wine Weekend

April 13 FMU Arts International Festival FMU PAC, Florence

April 26-May 4 ArtFields Lake City

Masterworks Choir Winter Concert Central United Methodist Church, Florence

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Reformers Unanimous Program Every Friday pm & Sunday am Florence Baptist Temple

St. Patrick's Day

Fabric Concrete Pots Workshop Growing Hobby, Florence

Beginning Clay/Pottery for Kids Black Creek Arts, Hartsville

Evening of Hope with Jeff Foxworthy Florence Center

The WannaBeatles & Florence Symphony Orchestra FMU PAC, Florence

March 18-22

Lighthouse Ministries BBQ Fundraiser Week

Palm Sunday Waffle Day

Easter Sunday

Macrame Air Plant Holder Workshop Growing Hobby, Florence

Francis Marion University Concert Band FMU PAC, Florence

Tabletop Fountain Workshop Growing Hobby, Florence

Boys & Girls Club Steak N Burger Dinner First Presbyterian Church, Florence

Flo Co Disabilities Foundation BBQ Benefit Rogers BBQ, Florence, The Continuum, Lake City & Johnsonville Deliveries

Artful Expression Group for Cancer Patients and Caregivers Meet (3rd Tuesday of the Month) Florence Public Library


The Continuum, Lake City

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

Spring Masterworks Concert Watson Theater, Hartsville

FMU String Ensemble FMU PAC, Florence

Florence Chamber Outlook Luncheon Florence Center

Easter Egg Hunt Sparrow Swamp Baptist Church, Timmonsville

March 7-10 "Nunsense: The Mega-Musical" Blanding Street Auditorium Lake City

Market & Late Night Shopping Downtown Marion

Cooks for Christ Fundraiser West Florence Fire Department

The Palmetto Mastersingers The Bean Market, Lake City

Open Mic Night (every Thursday), Lula’s Coffee Co.- Southside Location, Florence

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

Grief Share (every Thursday), Compassion Church, Florence Comedy Show Local Motive Brewing, Florence

28 March 2024 Sunday Monday
3 4 5 6 7 10 11 12 13 14 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 27 28 31
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
City-Center Farmers Market, Downtown Florence Every Saturday, 9a-1p Marion's HMRA Farmer’s Market, Main St Commons March 2, 16 & 30, 10a-1p
in the Dark


March 1-2

Garden Open | Early Blooms

March 8-16

The Play That Goes Wrong Florence Little Theatre

Lucky Shamrock Festival

Downtown Florence


Bluegrass Music

Grand Ole Post Office, Darlington

Evening Wine Walk Moore Farms, Lake City

Grow Your Own Microgreens

ForestLake Greenhouses, Flo

2nd Annual DCB Gala The Bean Market, Lake City

Power Comicon, Flo Center

“Forever Motown”, FMU PAC, Florence Cars and Coffee Highland Park Church, Florence

Paws Around The World Florence Rail Trail

Cars and Coffee Mike Reichenbach Ford, Florence

Become an Oshibana Artist Moore Farms, Lake City

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Downtown Dillon

SC Ballet's Snow White FMU PAC, Florence

REO Speedwagon and Rick Springfield

Florence Center

Peter Rabbit

Florence Little Theatre Good Friday

March 29-30

Eggstravaganza 2024

Don't forget to submit info on your upcoming community event to share with our readers!


March 2024 29
1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23
Palmetto Destruction Florence Center
Young As You Feel Day
Moore Farms, Lake City As
March 2024 31
32 March 2024 DRINK OF THE MONTH
34 March 2024 LIFESTYLE
Sunday Service • March 24, Sanctuary & The Well 10:30am
Thursday Service • March 28, Sanctuary 7p
Friday Service • March 29, Sanctuary 12p Easter Sunday Service • March 31, Porte Cochere 7:30am, Sanctuary & The Well 10:30am
South Irby Street, Florence

Easter, What's It All About?

Several years ago, my wife and I went to a friend’s wedding in Mexico. In our rush and confusion at the airport, I left my prescription sunglasses in the car. After arriving at our destination and realizing my mistake, there were two options. I could either wear my regular glasses on the beach, squinting in the sun, or I could buy a pair of cheap sunglasses in the hotel gift shop. With a pair of cheap sunglasses, I would not get a headache from the sun, but I would be unable to see. After a day or two of walking around in my new ten dollar sunglasses, it became obvious that the cheap sunglasses made things worse by ensuring that the world was both blurry and dark.

I do not wear glasses because they complement the shape of my face or make me look intelligent. I wear them because I cannot see well. My astigmatism is too strong to make contacts practical and without corrected vision, my world is a blur. My eyesight is so bad that if I remove my glasses and forget where I left them, I sometimes must enlist the aid of someone to help me find them. I wear glasses because I have no choice. Without my glasses, the world simply does not make sense.

Perhaps you feel at times that the world does not make sense. Perhaps you feel that there has to be something more, something better, something different than what we have and what we experience. We all too often seek meaning and purpose in ways that leave us feeling empty and wanting more. We buy things we think will make us happy or place unrealistic expectations on relationships. This sense of emptiness can even lead us to seek artificial joy with harmful substances or the pursuit of unhealthy behaviors. We delude ourselves into thinking stuff and status will lead us to happiness and personal fulfillment, but that is not where meaning and purpose lie.

But all is not lost. God loves us so much that God became one of us and provided a way to fix all this. As Jesus, God knew the world’s awfulness and provided the avenue through which true purpose and fulfillment are found. On March 31st, followers of Jesus across the world will gather to recall and celebrate what Jesus did, does, and will do for us. Before he died, Jesus’ followers were convinced that Jesus was the One who would right all the world’s wrongs and inaugurate a new and perfect existence. But then, a group of religious and secular leaders conspired to have Jesus executed. Three days later, when Jesus’ followers thought the world was bereft of any hope or goodness, those same followers encountered the now-resurrected Jesus in a new way. The risen Jesus, even now, offers the avenue to find true meaning in life. We find true meaning and purpose when we become followers of the One who offers life eternally, a life with God that we begin to experience here and now.

If what I write here sounds odd or unreal, I get it. Perhaps you feel like someone stumbling around without glasses on, in a world that does not make sense. If you feel that way, and even if what I claim about Jesus does not make sense to you, might you be open to checking it out for yourself? Churches across our area offer a multitude of opportunities this Easter to see what it’s all about. God loves you, God sees your struggles, and God seeks to help you make sense of it all. Jesus lived, died, and rose for you. When we encounter the risen Jesus, it is not unlike putting corrective lenses over our eyes. Becoming a follower of Jesus brings life into focus. With Jesus, the world makes sense and our lives have meaning. On March 31st, see a local church for details.

Madison Vereen

Encouraging Youth To Appreciate The Rewarding Work of Farming

It is often stated, “You are what you eat.” Some cultures encourage people to consume food for nutrition instead of just for pleasure. In an age where we are more attentive to what we eat, kudos should go to our local farm heroes who work daily to provide fresh local foods for us to consume. Research shows the quality of fresh foods far exceeds processed foods. Fresh foods help prevent disease, are better for overall health, have fewer additives, and support

There has been a recent push to encourage more people to get back into farming. Farming is not highlighted as one of the top careers for students when compared to other careers. However, farming is vital to the success of restaurants, stores, and the food industry. The current average age of farmers is 65 years old. However right in the heart of the Pee Dee, in Mullins, South Carolina, is an uprising farmer at the tender age of 10 years old, who has learned the art of farming and is enjoying it.

36 March 2024 LIFESTYLE

one of the farms within the network of farmers that provides fresh local foods for Pick 42 Foundation, a local nonprofit organization that provides fresh local foods to citizens across four counties (Dillon, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg). As a farmer within this network, she is allowed to attend training and receive several certifications and resources.

As we move forward with enjoying our foods, consider the farmers who put in the work to ensure fresh quality foods are planted, harvested, and distributed to the right places for our enjoyment. Consider the farmers early mornings or late nights to ensure the perfect crop is produced despite all weather conditions. Farming can be a rewarding and joyous career. Let us continue to appreciate the work farmers do and encourage more youth to do as Madison Vereen has done.

March 2024 37

FOR WILDLIFE Sustainability by Gardening

It’s the time of year to restart your engines and there’s no better way than planning your outdoor space to welcome spring. If you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, plantings that attract local wildlife will further enhance your view, impress and inspire your neighbors and friends, empower you, and brighten your day.

Whether you start small with a few plants that attract butterflies and dragonflies or go big to provide for other wildlife for every season, you’ll discover beauty and aspects of nature you never dreamed were only within steps of your back door.

A popular belief is that if you are fortunate enough to see dragonflies mating, you will be blessed with true love, now or in the future.

As is customary, this male Blue Skimmer is grasping the female at her neck. Her abdomen will soon curve, and when mating is complete they’ll form a circle symbolizing their bond.

Interesting lore and curious symbolism have always surrounded dragonflies, including in the Bible.

Besides their voracious appetites for mosquitoes and gnats, they compel interest to your wildlife gardening endeavors that add entertainment and beauty to your everevolving ambitions.

The bold hues of Purple Hearts with the pops of their shy pink blooms in summer make the perfect palette to pair with a vibrant

Penelope Penn


green Asparagus Fern potted to enhance a patio or balcony. Both plants grow well in South Carolina and if sheltered properly can even winter over assuring a head start the next year. Since dragons are aerial predators, it’s also the perfect camouflaged perch for a hungry dragon’.

If you're smitten with our indigenous Anoles, surprisingly they’re excellent pollinators even in our nonindigenous palm trees, like our Pindo or Jelly Palms. This palm does well here and will produce a striking sheath that bursts open spilling tiny flower buds that ultimately bloom and become fruit. While growing effortlessly to provide beauty and shade, they attract pollinators. Opportunistic lizards camouflage while they patiently wait for insects to visit the flowers and later, squirrels camp out in them, spending entire days enjoying the resultant fruit that’s turned hard and crunchy. The little lizards have unwittingly dragged pollen along with them, assuring that the tiny blooms become fruit. Some enthusiastic epicureans delight in collecting the fruit to make gourmet vinegars, jams, and wine so if that’s your goal you can always plant one for your culinary escapades and one for your wildlife.

Cities in South Carolina, like Greenville know the importance of gardens for wildlife and to their credit have lined their inner-city streets with alluring pollinator beds for locals, tourists, and wildlife to enjoy.

Another perk to a wildlife garden is that nature surprises in every season, even at the end of summer when cold temperatures are just around the corner. This huge bumblebee appears to be stalking this little Green Lynx, completely preoccupied with securing her hundred or so spiderlings in an egg case. The irony is bees are the favorite meal of these spiders, and if she weren’t otherwise focused, motivated by recent cold nights, she could easily ambush the bee in keeping with the mammal cousin for which she’s named.

Bluebirds are a favorite to South Carolinians and stay here year-round now, despite occasional ice and freezing temps. They raise a second, and sometimes a third clutch in the summer but they start choosing mates and nesting to raise their first clutch in late winter. Attracting these beauties can be as easy as putting out bluebird nesting boxes and meal worms in January, and keeping a birdbath full of fresh water. Whatever your plan for your new 2024 wildlife garden, now is the perfect time to get out and begin exploring and planning.

When the Smithsonian saw the growing interest and popularity of wildlife gardening to help balance our ecosystems, they started a new initiative to motivate and inspire.

For more information and inspiring stories visit the site at, show/12400 and best of luck.

January 2024 39
March 2024 39

The Journey of Orange Wine SIPPING THROUGH TIME:

Orange wine, a unique and ancient elixir, has transcended the confines of conventional winemaking to become a trendsetter in the contemporary wine scene. In this article, we'll delve into the history of orange wine, explore its current surge in popularity, and speculate on the future growth of this distinctive vino. Additionally, we'll tantalize your taste buds by pairing orange wine with two delectable dishes as we welcome the vibrant flavors of spring.

Originating from the Caucasus region, the birthplace of wine itself, orange wine traces its roots back thousands of years. This amber-hued nectar is crafted through a process that involves fermenting white grapes with their skins, a departure from the traditional method of separating the juice from the skins. This ancient technique imparts unique flavors, aromas, and textures, resulting in a wine that stands apart in a sea of reds and whites.

In recent years, orange wine has experienced a renaissance, captivating the palates of adventurous wine enthusiasts and sommeliers alike. The allure lies in its complexity – a harmonious fusion of the freshness of white wine with the structure and tannins reminiscent of reds. Its popularity is further fueled by a growing interest in natural and minimal intervention winemaking, as well as an increasing appreciation for unique and diverse flavor profiles.

LIFESTYLE March 2024

Bryan Holt is the owner of Cru Wine & Tap located in Downtown Florence, SC. He was the wine buyer at Micky Finn’s for over 20 years.

As the wine world continues to evolve, orange wine seems poised for sustained growth. Its versatility and ability to pair well with various cuisines make it a favorite among those seeking something beyond the ordinary. Winemakers experimenting with different grape varieties and aging techniques contribute to the ongoing evolution of orange wine, ensuring its relevance in the ever-changing landscape of oenology.

Dominio de Punctum 20,000 Leguas Amber Wine

& Juan Orange Wine

Pairings for Spring:

1: Grilled Spring Vegetable Salad: The earthy undertones of orange wine complement the vibrant flavors of grilled asparagus, artichokes, and peas. The wine's subtle tannins provide a delightful contrast to the crisp textures of the vegetables, creating a harmonious symphony of taste that embodies the essence of spring.

2: Apricot Glazed Chicken Skewers: Embrace the sweet and savory dance of apricot-glazed chicken skewers paired with orange wine. The fruity notes in the wine enhance the succulence of the chicken, while the slight acidity cuts through the richness of the glaze. This pairing promises a delightful culinary experience that captures the spirit of the season.

As orange wine continues to carve its niche in the world of wine, its journey from ancient origins to modern popularity reflects the enduring appeal of authenticity and innovation. With an exciting future ahead, this amber elixir invites us to explore new frontiers in taste, making it a delightful companion for springtime gatherings and beyond. Cheers to the rich tapestry of orange wine and the flavors yet to unfold!

Bryan's Recommended Wines:

• Vincent Roussely VDF Orange Wine

• Kiki & Juan Orange Wine

• Un Litro di Orange Passion

• Dominio de Punctum 20,000 Leguas Amber Wine

April 2022 41
March 2024 41

Give Us This Day, Our Daily Bread

There’s something special about the sweet aromas of freshly baked bread wafting through a home. The bread does more than electrify your sense of smell. The process of shaping the sticky dough and watching it until it rises to the perfect height before putting it into the warm oven really awakens your senses. Let’s not forget the taste that sends you straight back to sitting around the table at your grandmother’s house. So little that your feet just dangled from the chair, not touching the floor.

Sharing the tasty concoctions with friends and family often brings the most joy in what can be a rigorous task to perfect. Not only can you share the final preparation, but splitting the bread starter and directing others on the exact measurements to keep it alive is also special. Linda McElveen has mastered the art of replicating her grandmother's baked goods while using an original starter and has the best story to tell of how she has kept it alive for 16 years.

A lifelong friend, Teresa Graham was a recipient of Linda’s starter many years ago. As the two friends sat across the kitchen table swapping recipes, they each repeatedly mentioned the family members who guided

the stir of their spoons and pinches of ingredients. While there are many tasty recipes shared, Linda’s breadbaking skills originated in her Grandma Blackmon’s kitchen.

Linda can remember standing on a kitchen chair at six or seven years old while her grandmother cooked and she handed her the needed spices and utensils. “My first memory of baking bread with her was in 1967 when I was 13 years old. My family and I had moved back to New Zion from Columbia, South Carolina. She called her bread ‘potato bread.’” When Linda asked why it was named that, her grandmother responded, “Well, honey, it’s because it’s

“Oh, I can see us standing in her kitchen. We would measure the ingredients with a pinch of this and a smidgen of that, then stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, and finally knead the bread

42 March 2024 HOME
Teresa Graham & Linda McElveen

into a big ball of dough. The ball of bread dough was placed in a large plastic dishpan and covered with a clean kitchen cloth where it sat on the counter for hours waiting for it to rise… ‘Double in size’, she would say.”

In 2008, Linda’s father passed away. During her time of bereavement, a friend shared a pan of warm yeast rolls with her. “I could smell my Grandma Blackmon’s kitchen as my friend walked in our back door,” said Linda. “I asked this friend if she would share her recipe for the delicious rolls. She responded that it was made from a starter and she graciously shared it with me.”

While learning how to care for the bubbling starter, Linda asked her friend where she received it. She was startled to discover that the friend had gotten it from someone who attended New Town Church in Lake City, South Carolina. “She went on to say that an ‘old lady’ from New Town who was deceased was the original owner of the starter and she called it potato bread. My grandmother was deceased, went to New Town, and also called her starter potato bread. We concluded that possibly… just maybe…this starter was shared by my grandma with someone at the church who shared it with someone, and so on until it was shared with me… her granddaughter.”

Linda continued, “Grandmama wasn’t afraid of hard work and was a friend to so many, always trying to help someone in need. Her talents extended far beyond the kitchen. She was a woman of great faith and lived that faith before her family and others every day. She raised her children to know and love the Lord.” These beliefs and ways of living were then carried on to Linda’s upbringing.

Today, every loaf of bread that is formed and cinnamon roll that is iced is prayed over by Linda. She says:

“Father, as I stand here preparing this food, I ask Your blessings upon it that it may taste good, look nice, and be physically satisfying. I pray for Your blessings on the receiver of the food and all who might eat it. May they find joy in Your saving grace and love and know You are the Bread of Life. Please bless me with Your presence as I prepare this food. Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Linda is filled with great joy that she can gift these items prepared in her kitchen to family, friends, and more. “I could not begin to guess the number of pans or loaves I have shared in the 16 years I have been making it. I cook and bake when there is a need, want, or God places it on my heart to do so.”

Cinnamon Roll Preparation:

Rise, season, roll, & cut!

Grandma Blackmon's original handwritten recipe

From Linda’s kitchen:

THE STARTER: The liquid starter should be refrigerated in a glass jar with a lid or cloth until time to feed it. Then it should be removed from the refrigerator, poured into a glass, wooden, or plastic bowl, and fed with one cup room temperature water (water that is too warm or hot will kill the yeast in it), 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and three tablespoons of potato flakes. Stir it with a wooden or plastic spoon (do not use metal - it will deactivate the yeast and make the bread have a bad smell and taste). Allow the fed starter to rest on the counter for six to twelve hours, but no longer than twelve hours or it will begin to sour and lose the rise effect. At the end of the rest time, pour one cup of starter into a bowl to make bread and refrigerate the remaining starter. If not making bread, give the one cup away or discard it.

NOTE: The starter should be fed every three to four days or at least once a week. When the jar of starter is slightly shaken and bubbles, it is active – alive. If the starter isn’t fed for several weeks (maybe when on vacation or away for other reasons) do not throw it away…it can be revived. It is forgiving, so simply feed it with the starter feed of water, sugar, and potato flakes several times and the bubbles will begin to form. Once it bubbles well when shaken, it is ready to use again.

To Learn More About Baking Bread From A Starter: May 31, 2024 | 5:00p - 6:30p

will host All Things Sourdough

In this wild fermentation workshop Jamie Powell will be demonstrating how to make an easy Sourdough Sandwich Bread. If you’re a beginner and new to sourdough, then this class is for you! From savory to sweet, the options are endless. Rather you want to add fruit or herbs she’s got you covered!

Everyone will go home with a small active jar of Jamie's sourdough starter along with a copy of instructions for care.

To purchase tickets, visit

44 March 2024
March 2024 45

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

You can become a Friends of Florence County Library member for as little as $15 a year! Visit and select the Friends tab at the top of the page for more information.



The name Jennette McCurdy might sound familiar to people of a certain age. She started acting at the age of 6 but is best known for her roles on Nickelodeon’s iCarly and Sam & Cat. Her memoir covers her life as a child star, including her relationship with her mother, alcohol abuse and an eating disorder. Her mother was so overbearing that she still showered Jennette until she was sixteen. This is Jennette’s story told with candor and dark humor.

As with many memoirs of teen stars, you find out the awful things that happened and can’t understand how it happened. Ms. McCurdy definitely pulls no punches when talking about her mother, becoming a star, and everything she has gone through. Some parts may be tough for people to handle, but it also makes one think about stardom and how it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. This book was almost like a car wreck, you don’t want to look, but you can’t not. You feel for the young girl from the past and hope that there is healing for the woman in the present.

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jennette McCurdy chronicled the unflinching details surrounding her life and rise to fame in her critically acclaimed memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and has stayed at the top of the list for forty-three consecutive weeks since its release, selling millions of copies to date. In the inspiring book of resilience and independence, Jennette uses candor and dark humor as she dives into her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.

Jennette recently closed a deal to write her debut fiction novel, which will be released in 2024, and has also been honored as part of the 2022 TIME100 Next list, a compilation of emerging leaders from around the world who are shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership.

More on McCurdy can be found at

46 March 2024
March 2024 47

Exploring the Delightful World of Fruit Compote

Fruit compote, a timeless and versatile culinary creation, has been gracing tables across the globe for centuries. This delightful concoction of simmered fruits offers a burst of flavor and a touch of sweetness that can elevate a variety of dishes. We will delve into the origins, preparation methods, and the endless possibilities that fruit compote brings to the table.

Origins and History

The concept of fruit compote dates back to medieval times, when fruits were preserved in sugar and spices to extend their shelf life. The word "compote" itself is derived from the French word "compost," meaning mixture. Initially, compotes were created as a way to make the most of seasonal fruits and enjoy their flavors throughout the year.

Over time, the popularity of fruit compote spread across Europe, with each region putting its unique twist on the recipe. In some cultures, compote became a staple dessert, while in others, it was paired with savory dishes to create a harmonious balance of flavors.

Basic Ingredients and Preparation

Fruit compote typically consists of a combination of fresh or dried fruits, sugar, and various spices. The beauty of compote lies in its adaptability; you can tailor the ingredients to suit your taste preferences and the fruits available.

The beauty of fruit compote lies not only in its simplicity but also in its versatility. Here are some creative ways to incorporate this delectable creation into your daily meals:


Top your morning oatmeal, yogurt, or pancakes with a generous spoonful of fruit compote for a burst of natural sweetness and flavor.


Transform a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream or a slice of cheesecake into a gourmet dessert by drizzling it with a luscious fruit compote.


Serve fruit compote alongside a cheese board to create a delightful contrast of sweet and savory flavors. It complements a variety of cheeses, from brie to blue.


Use fruit compote as a glaze for grilled or roasted meats. The sweetness adds depth to the savory notes, creating a harmonious balance.


Elevate your cocktails by incorporating fruit compote. Whether muddled into a refreshing mojito or added to a bubbly Prosecco, it brings a burst of flavor to your libations.

Fruit compote is a culinary gem that adds a touch of sophistication and flavor to a myriad of dishes. Whether enjoyed as a standalone treat, a breakfast accompaniment, or a versatile ingredient in cooking, the possibilities with fruit compote are endless. So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the art of simmering, and let the aromatic symphony of fruits elevate your dining experience.

48 March 2024 HOME

Berry Medley Compote

Learning how to make berry compote is simple and should be a staple in every kitchen. This versatile mixed berry sauce/compote can be used in dozens of ways.


• 2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

• 1/2 cup sugar (adjust to taste)

• 1/4 cup water

• 1 teaspoon lemon zest

• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


1. In a saucepan, combine the mixed berries, sugar, water, lemon zest, and cinnamon.

2. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the berries release their juices.

3. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the berries soften and the compote thickens.

4. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

5. Transfer the compote to a jar or container and refrigerate. It can be stored for up to a week.

This simple berry medley compote can be enjoyed on its own, swirled into yogurt, or drizzled over a stack of fluffy pancakes.

April 2023 49
Get more from Doug Smith by following him on Facebook and Instagram at "Doug the Food Guy".
Apple podcasts @The Pizzeria
Enzo Show
March 2024 51
52 March 2024 DRINK OF THE MONTH
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.