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Life is what happens

Posted: March 6, 2014 2:40 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.

 “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” John Lennon

As the city proceeds with plans for an expanded Central Carolina campus, improved wastewater facilities, and a more welcoming downtown, we keep discovering signs of unexpected new life, perfect for spring.

Arts Arising

Today at 10:30 a.m. at the Douglas Reed House, the Fine Arts Center, I will present the Key to the City to Rose Sheheen of the South Carolina Arts Alliance. Founded in 1979 by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Arts Alliance serves the arts “through advocacy, technical assistance, and leadership development.” In plain English, the arts catapult all of us to a higher level of spirit and energy. They serve as a transforming power. They are the life’s blood of a robust and powerful civilization. Thank you.

Lugoff

Two weeks ago, I was honored to hold one of the golden shovels at the groundbreaking of the SAFE Federal Credit Union in Lugoff next to the Food Lion on U.S. 1. (Beverly Gagne is SAFE’s CEO, Wayne Hunter the builder.) Standing with shovel in hand, I could not help but feel the energy of our sister “city.” Lugoff is the “NOW” place, the emerging Southern Strip. It’s all good news.

Boys and Girls Club Teen Club

Question: “When is the Camden Boys & Girls Teen Club (B&G) going to open?” Answer: After friends raised almost $45,000 from private donors, as well as from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and the Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Teen Club will open this month without fanfare and will build its membership. Dr. Frank Morgan of the Kershaw County School District, along with Carter Clark, the B&G Club of the Midlands CEO, has been working for almost a year with community groups getting buy-in for the use of the former Continuous Learning Center building across from Camden High School. Facts: B&G Club high school graduation rate is 40 percent higher than with non-members. Students must finish their homework before B&G allows them sports or creative activity like theatre. The club offers them a variety of unexpected educational experiences, such as learning about money and investments.

Carter Clark writes: “We could use your help in furnishing the space. We are looking for the following items: Pool Tables; Ping Pong Tables; Foosball Tables; Couches and Love Seats; Microwave Game Tables (round with 4 to 6 seating); Computers/Laptops; Gaming Systems; (Nintendo Wii, X-Box, Playstation); Video Games; Board Games; Sport Equipment.

If you have any of the above or other items teens might enjoy, please let them know and they will arrange pick up. Contact number: Carter Clark, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands, 500 Gracern Road, Columbia, SC 29210 Phone: (803) 231-3300. Email: servicecenter@bgcmidlands.org

Mothers Day Festival, May 3

May 11 marks the 100th year of Mother’s Day. In keeping with the tradition, the newly formed Family Heritage Committee is sponsoring the first South Carolina Mother’s Day Festival. This event will be held on Saturday, May 3 at Zemp Stadium in Camden.

This regional celebration of our mothers will kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a parade from Camden City Hall down Lyttleton Street to Zemp Stadium. At Zemp Stadium, the event will feature live entertainment -- all kinds of music, hat contest, quilt contest, Mother of the Year recognition and a keynote speaker. Opportunities include parade entries, vendor participation and sponsorship of the event. The inclusive event will celebrate mothers from all cultures represented in our community, including Hispanic, Asian, and Native American. The festival will donate net proceeds through parade entrance and vendor fees to the following community charities that impact mothers and children: Family Resource Center, Sistercare, New Day on Mill, Midlands Women’s Center and the United Way of Kershaw County’s mentoring program. In the next few weeks, we’ll supply contact numbers for those who wish to make reservations for the parade. Mark your calendar.

The South Carolina economy

The South Carolina economic renaissance continues unabated.

From Bobby Hitt, S.C. Secretary of Commerce: Automobiles manufactured in the Palmetto State today are sophisticated, advanced driving machines. And more than changes to the make and model, the impact of automakers and suppliers in the Palmetto State travels well beyond the bottom line. The state's automotive industry employs over 45,000 people, creating an economic impact of more than $27 billion. In the two decades since BMW first arrived here in South Carolina, the industry has nearly quadrupled, growing to more than 250 auto-related companies and suppliers.

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