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Florence Living

home : news August 29, 2014 

Florentines share love with children in Ethiopia
Imagine traveling halfway around the world to hold babies and play with children in orphanages. A group of caring people with a heart for missions did that. Sponsored by America World Adoption and led by Jennifer Danfield of Florence, ten people from Florence, along with four others from New Jersey, Tennessee and Michigan, made up a team that traveled to Ethiopia, Africa, June 21-30. While there they visited seven orphanages in five days, interacting with almost 800 children. They played games, music and crafts, and they held and loved on babies. “We sang to them and prayed over them,” said Jennifer.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014


HopeHealth breaks ground for new facility
The site of a former eyesore in north Florence will eventually be home to a beautiful new healthcare facility. HopeHealth, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) based out of Florence, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony last Wednesday for phase one of its new facility at 360 North Irby Street. Demolition of three structures on the property was recently completed and the start of site work will take place this month. Construction will begin in the fall. 
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Roosevelt, Judge Cheveron Scott elected to international Elks offices
DARLINGTON – Roosevelt Scott and Judge Cheveron T. Scott have been elected to international offices for the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World (IBPOE of W) during the organization’s recent convention held in Atlanta, GA. Cheveron T. Scott was elected to the fourth highest office in the organization as the Grand Esteem Lecturing Knight. In this office he will be responsible for educating members to fulfill the organization’s mission. 
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

School Foundation to honor William Hubbard
William Hubbard, a 1970 graduate of McClenaghan High School, will be honored as Florence School District One’s Distinguished Graduate at the 13th Annual School Foundation Celebration Gala to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 7, foundation officials announced recently. “We are excited to recognize William as our 2014 Distinguished Graduate,” stated Debbie Hyler, Executive Director of The School Foundation. “As the first attorney in South Carolina to be named president of the American Bar Association, William’s success proves that our goals can be attained through hard work and perseverance. 
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mike Miller named new Chamber President

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce announced today that Mike Miller has been chosen to serve as the organization’s next President. Miller will assume responsibilities around the first of April. In his role as President, Miller will oversee the chamber staff and focus on building future business activities for its members using strategic networking, leadership and professional development. Miller was the former Vice President and Publisher of the (Florence) Morning News from 1999 through 2006 before becoming President and Publisher of the Winston-Salem Journal and later in 2012 taking a publisher role with Jones Media of Tennessee. He and his wife Mary Kevin, raised their three daughters in Florence.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Schools are back in business
“Who is my teacher going to be? Who’s in my class? What are we going to do? When is recess?” These questions and more were buzzing around All Saints’ Day School Monday morning on the first day of the school year. Over 300 students and their families arrived to discover brightly decorated classrooms, enthusiastic teachers, familiar faces and new friends, and a nurturing, Christian environment throughout the campus. “This is my 19th year as Headmaster at All Saints’, and I cannot imagine a more wonderful place to be,” said Joan Pennstrom. “These children are bright and eager to learn everything!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Florence Career Center adds firefighter course
Florence Career Center is offering something new for students this year. With some 18 students enrolled, a firefighter curriculum is set to teach students who want to become certified, paid firefighters. Alphonso Bradley, Florence Career Center director, said county administrator Rusty Smith expressed an interest in the fact that the number of firefighters in our state is dwindling. He said Smith visited other career centers where the firefighter curriculum was offered. “After Mr. Smith’s visits to places like Georgetown County and after our staff and local fire chief Billy Dillon received training offered by the S.C. Dept. of Education, we became ready to help combat the concern about the availability of fewer fighters,” said Bradley.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Health & Harmony Festival set for Saturday
HopeHealth will join local organizations to celebrate healthy living in the Pee Dee by hosting the fourth annual Health & Harmony Festival and MoveIT Family Fun Run on Saturday, Aug. 23, on the grounds of St. John’s Church in downtown Florence. Presented by Long’s Drugs and sponsored by McLeod Health, Graham Law Firm, TD Banks, and many other local businesses, Health & Harmony will kick off the day with the HopeHealth Pediatrics MoveIT Family Fun Run at 8 a.m. This no-pressure 5K is open to all ages and athletic abilities. Runners can register by visiting Throughout the day, visitors will enjoy free health screenings, healthy food and exercise demonstrations such as Zumba, Pilates, and strength training.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Local author book signing

Kingdom Builders Publications announces the release of the inspirational encouragement and personal journal by Christian author, Virginia Scott Singleton of Florence. A premiere book signing will be held Saturday, Aug. 23, in the City Grill Banquet Room, 260 West Palmetto St. from 2-4 p.m., followed by a tour schedule to major cities on the east coast. Pre-order paperback copy at

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Watch out for school kids

School is back in session for 2014-15 and motorists are reminded to watch out for children walking to school, as well as loading and unloading on school buses. South Carolina state law mandates that a motorist stop for a stopped school bus with flashing lights under these conditions: If you are on a two-lane highway, travelling in either direction, you must stop; If you are on a multi-lane highway traveling behind the bus, you must stop. If you are on a multi-lane highway and meet a stopped school bus heading toward you, you do not have to stop but should simply slow down and pass with caution. The fine for passing a stopped school bus can be as much as $1,000 and up to 30 days in jail for a first offense.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

McLeod supports FMU nursing program
McLeod Health continues its commitment to nursing education at Francis Marion University (FMU). McLeod Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Tony Derrick and McLeod Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Training Tim Hess were on hand to present a $75,000 gift to Francis Marion University recently. Over the last ten years, McLeod has provided the nursing program at FMU with a total contribution of $950,000, nearing $1 million in support. “We want to thank McLeod Health for the continuing support to our nursing program,” said FMU President Fred Carter.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New school welcomes North Vista students
Merely two months ago, North Vista Elementary faculty and staff were scrambling to move things out of the school before demolition started to make room for a new building. In the last few weeks, the faculty and staff have been working diligently to prepare the new building to welcome students back on Aug. 18. The old building previously known as North Vista opened in 1954. It was torn down after June 12 due to normal wear and tear brought on by aging. Some construction is still going on outside of the school, but the inside is well prepared to accommodate students when they return.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to school safety tips for parents
Kids around the country are getting ready to go back to school and their safety is always top priority for parents. Back to School is the perfect time for AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog®) to share an important new app and seven simple tips to get the school year off to a great and safe start. AlertID has partnered with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to create the McGruff Mobile App. AlertID is the free national online and mobile service, which helps to reduce crime while providing a safe way for people to receive and share trusted public safety alerts and information.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Law allows video as evidence in school bus stop arm violations
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety last Thursday, joined by Sen. Thomas Alexander of Oconee County, reminded the public of changes in legislation this year that will allow law enforcement to use video obtained from school bus cameras to make charges for passing a stopped school bus. The legislation was championed in the Senate by Sen. Alexander and signed into law in June. It gives the Highway Patrol and other law enforcement an additional tool to use when making cases for a stop arm violation.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Youth participate in Mission Camp
First through sixth grade youth at Central United Methodist, First Presbyterian, Highland Park United Methodist, and St. Luke Lutheran Churches spent last week serving the Florence community through mission camps. Throughout the week, the children spent time visiting assisted living facilities, McLeod Hospice, the PADD House, and a few other places around town. The children also spent time making blankets for an orphanage in Ethiopia, Africa, making and filling Christmas shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and baking cookies for family members of people in hospice care. This is the fourth year that the churches have held summer mission camps for children. “As believers, we are trying to teach these children to serve all of God's people as a way of saying thank you to God for all of our blessings,” says First Presbyterian Director of Children's Ministry, Alexis Morris.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sheriff Boone announces staff promotion at Camp Pee Dee Pride banquet
Camp Pee Dee Pride hosted a banquet at the SiMT Building on Friday, Aug. 1, as the finale to its 2014 camp season. Conducted by the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, the camp holds three two-week sessions at Francis Marion University, serving more than 300 kids each summer. Sheriff Kenny Boone made a special presentation at the beginning of the banquet which included campers and parents from the three sessions. He recognized Lt. Wayne Howard for his 18 years as a camp co-founder, coordinator and leader, but also his efforts at raising the $60,000 needed each year to pay for the camp.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

FRAA announces five grants
The Florence Regional Arts Alliance (FRAA) announces five grant recipients in the second quarter of its grants program. Since 1987, the FRAA has awarded over $300,000 in grants to organizations, individuals, artists and teachers. The program is designed to support a wide variety of quality arts projects, professional development opportunities for artists and arts administrators. The Arts Alliance was encouraged and impressed by the diverse selection of applicants in its second grants quarter. Recipients of recent grants awarded are: The Florence Downtown Development Corporation (FDDC), Mr. Ramonta Lee, the Masterworks Choir, the Pee Dee Land Trust and Ms. Kate Smolen-Morton.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

United Way Makes Goal and Disperse Grants

Just hours before the start of their new fiscal year, United Way of Florence County (UWFC) made their $1.2 million pledge goal for the 2013/2014 campaign. Hundreds of donors, made up of individuals, corporations and organizations, brought UWFC within reach of its goal.  At the final hour, one generous donor, a local Rotarian, helped UWFC cross the finish line. UWFC’s named its 2013/2014 campaign “You are the Main Ingredient” to highlight the importance of donors in ensuring the continued success of local nonprofits.  Because of local donors’ faithful support, UWFC began distributing $766,000 in grant dollars at the beginning of July to 25 local programs offering an array of services from disaster relief to mentoring to basic needs assistance.  The grants range from $2,000 all the way up to $128,000, on average making up 20% of the funded program’s budget, and are operated by 17 area nonprofits designated as United Way partner agencies.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Coastal Surge trains here for competitions
Motorists on S.Irby Street were treated to a day of mini concerts last Tuesday by a group of young people with big horns. Fourteen members of the brass section of the Coastal Surge Drum and Bugle Corp performed impromptu on the side of the street across from Hallmark Square. Their idea was to attract attention and collect donations to help support their upcoming two-week tour. A pro-level marching band, Coastal Surge is a non-profit youth performing arts association from Myrtle Beach. Matthew Shrewbury of Coastal Carolina University is the executive director and CEO. Eric Thompson is the corp director.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

S.C. tax-free weekend starts Friday
COLUMBIA – For the 14th year, shoppers can save money when it comes to an array of items during South Carolina’s “Tax Free” weekend. The event is set for Aug. 1. through Aug. 3. According to the SC Department of Revenue, this is the third busiest shopping period of the year behind Christmas and Black Friday. Shoppers will save the six percent tax on their purchases, which include school supplies, computers, wedding dresses, clothing and bed linens. The tax free weekend starts at 12:01 Friday morning and will end at midnight on Sunday.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

You can help MatchingDonors save lives

There are a ton of social networking web sites. But one stands apart for a very special reason – this one saves lives. It’s links organ donors with people in need of kidney and other transplants. In the U.S. 19 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant. Most of them for kidneys. If you’ve ever considered becoming a living organ donor or if you are someone in need of an organ transplant, visit MatchingDonors is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the nation’s largest online living organ donor organization. You don’t have to donate a kidney to save a life. Donate your car, boat or plane. All proceeds will go to help saving the lives of people needing transplants. Call us at 1-800-385-0422 or donate online at

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Friends plan benefit barbecue, free concert to assist Mike Feaster with medical expenses

A concert and barbecue benefit is planned for the Mike Feaster Medical Fund. The event will be held on Aug. 2, from noon until midnight at Mike’s Corner Bar, on the corner of 340 and Rogers Road. Barbecue plates, with desert, will be sold for $7 until the plates run out. The free concert will feature Louder Than Light, Mike Creel, The Officials and Southern Pride. There will be door prizes, 50/50 and raffles. Mike Feaster and his wife Dianne, have helped so many – sick children, people battling cancer, widows, local humane societies and other non-profits by raising money and their own giving. Mike has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and the doctors have found a spot on his kidney. Their health insurance isn’t effective until December and he cannot wait until then for treatments. So, friends are stepping in to give back to Mike. For more information, call Gewene Anderson at 843-615-6094, Cynthia Jackson-Locklair at 843-453-9522, Shelia Collins at 843-861-0919 or Carey Mazzaroni at 843-472-8849.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Duke Energy Foundation helps fund youth work program
The Boys & Girls Club of the Pee Dee Area received a donation of $9,500 from the Duke Energy Foundation on July 16 to help fund a summer teen employment program. The Boys & Girls Club is using this donation, combined with support from the South Carolina Department of Social Services, to employ 24 low-income young adults at seven clubs throughout the Pee Dee. Duke Energy District Manager Mindy Taylor presented the donation to Ellen Pearson, board chair for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area. The young workers are helping Club staff in a variety of activities, depending on their special talents and interests. 
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Red Cross issues urgent call for blood, platelet donors
The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give. Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks. In addition, the Independence Day holiday falling on Friday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Duke Energy Foundation helps fund youth work program

The Boys & Girls Club of the Pee Dee Area received a donation of $9,500 from the Duke Energy Foundation on July 16 to help fund a summer teen employment program. The Boys & Girls Club is using this donation, combined with support from the South Carolina Department of Social Services, to employ 24 low-income young adults at seven clubs throughout the Pee Dee. Duke Energy District Manager Mindy Taylor presented the donation to Ellen Pearson, board chair for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pilots N Paws flies rescue dogs to new homes
Three mama dogs and their puppies from the Darlington County Humane Society flew to safety through the Pilots N Paws program last week. Rescue volunteers met pilot Scott Messinger at the Florence airport on July 17 with the dogs to be transported. They were flown to Schenectady County Airport in New York where receiving rescues were. gathered. Messinger, who lives in New Jersey, flew down from Philadelphia. He has flown over 4,000 rescued pets from shelters like Darlington to rescue groups in the northeast.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Galloway Mosley
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