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Lights of Hope Needs Set Up Volunteers

Anderson Interfaith Ministries is looking for volunteers to help set up the "Lights of Hope" at Darwin Wright Park. Individuals, groups and families are encouraged to get involved in this holiday project.

Below is the schedule for setup, park staffing & tear down dates.
Please see the instructions & requirements below as these are mandated by Lights of Hope.
Saturday, Oct. 31st – 9am to 4pm (or 9am to lunchtime if they can’t stay the whole day)
Sautrday, Nov. 7th  - 9am to 4pm (or 9am to lunchtime if they can’t stay the whole day)
Saturday, Nov. 14th - 9am to 4pm (or 9am to lunchtime if they can’t stay the whole day)
Saturday, Nov. 21st – 9am to 4pm (or 9am to lunchtime if they can’t stay the whole day)
Volunteers must contact AIM at least 48 hours prior to going out. Please sign in that you are representing AIM on the park sign in sheet. Volunteers will erect light displays, string light line on structures, decorate trees with mini-lights and replace light bulbs.  Lights of Hope staff will provide instruction.
Volunteers should dress in warm clothing & layers.  Also, work gloves are advisable.  Bring a cell phone as the park isn’t equipped with a phone Bring water or drinks.  Lunch will be provided for volunteers who are staying all day.


Not Too Late to Trick or Treat So Others May Eat

Because it’s scary to be hungry!
What if, instead of just eating candy on Halloween, you helped make it possible for hundreds of families to have food to eat?  Trick or Treat for canned goods rather than candy!
This year you can help stock the food pantry at Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM)….and we need your help now more than ever!  In July, we assisted 776 families with their food needs and another 751 families in August.  Our monthly average continues to rise as unemployment and a poor economy leave more and more families needing to ask for help to make ends meet.
During this unique annual food collection effort, canned goods and non-perishable items are collected to stock our Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry.  This event has successfully jump-started our busy holiday season for more than 11 years now, and we hope that you will want to be a part of the fun, fellowship and service this year!
We encourage your class/group to join AIM in fighting hunger by participating in Trick Or Treat So Others May Eat!  There are many ways to become involved.  You can form a team and collect in neighborhoods; or you can collect within your church, school, or organization.  AIM can help provide any materials you might need along with lots of support, while you provide the volunteer power and enthusiasm during the last two weeks of October.

Visit AIM on Facebook … click to become a fan of AIM…



8th Annual Concert of Hope & Remembrance Saturday 

            The eighth annual Concert of Hope and Remembrance benefiting the Cancer Association of Anderson will be performed Saturday Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at Concord Baptist Church in Anderson. The concert is conducted by Dr. Robert Heritage, assisted by Darian Krimm, and presented by Am-Can Transport Service, Inc. 

             This year’s repertoire has as its theme “The Gospel of America” and is composed of songs that tell America’s story. These include songs about the westward expansion, immigration through Ellis Island and the escape of slaves on the underground railroad, as well as a selection of gospel and spiritual songs. The Choir of Hope has 130 adult members, and there is a 30-member children’s choir as well.

            The concert is dedicated to the memory of Jessie Lee Broadwell, a music lover and long-time member of the Choir of Hope who died of cancer this summer.

            Tickets to the concert are $22 for general admission; and $100 for reserved patron seating and a reception following the concert in the AnMed Health Cancer Center atrium sponsored by the doctors of Anderson Area Cancer Center.

             During the concert, Concord Baptist Church will be decorated with votives that honor people who have fought cancer. Votives in honor of or in memory of an individual may be purchased for $10 by contacting the Cancer Association office at 222-3500. Credit card orders for tickets and votives will be accepted over the phone, or may be placed on the website,

            Proceeds from the concert will assist Anderson County cancer patients and survivors and their families with information, emotional support and financial needs. The Cancer Association, formed in March 2003, helps more than 100 patients each month with financial aid, information and referral and emotional support, according to Executive Director Kathryn Smith.


Southwood Wins National Recognition

The usual studious and quiet atmosphere of Southwood Middle School’s library erupted into cheers Wednesday afternoon as students and faculty learned the school has been named a national AVID Demonstration School.

Southwood is one of only two schools in South Carolina and only 118 nationwide to earn this prestigious honor. AVID, which stands for “Advancement Via Individual Determination,” is an in-school academic support program that focuses students toward the goal of college eligibility and success.

“I knew Southwood would be named a national demonstration school, because the students and faculty here always accomplish what they set out to do,” said District Five Superintendent Betty Bagley.

Southwood began its program in 2006 with a sixth grade AVID class, said Assistant Principal Kathy Dobbins. The school now offers two classes in grades six through eight. The AVID certification and validation process began last spring, according Walter Mayfield, assistant principal at Southwood.

The decision was announced Wednesday afternoon by Julie Elliott, Director of AVID National Demonstration Schools; Ann Hart, AVID Eastern Division Director; and Bob Saunders, AVID Director of Program and Events.

The report summarizing the committee findings states, “Southwood Middle School is clearly focused on student success and academic excellence. The shared belief in the power of high expectations, support, and diverse teaching strategies has produced a school with steadily improving academic outcomes.”

“The warm, welcoming and nurturing environment exemplifies the best of an AVID schoolwide college-going atmosphere where all students are challenged and valued. The staff, core AVID team, the AVID teachers and administrators are to be commended for building a program that is at the heart of Southwood’s transformation.”

AVID programs are in place at ten schools in District 5: T.L. Hanna and Westside high schools, Lakeside, McCants and Southwood middle schools, Varennes, Homeland Park, New Prospect and Whitehall elementary schools, and Nevitt Forest Community School of Innovation. For more information on AVID, please visit


County to Catalog Land, Resources for Economic Development

On Monday night Anderson County Council set in motion a cooperative effort to make sure all available buildings, water lines, are cataloged and listed in a database which can be updated and made available locally and at the at the South Carolina Commerce Department in Columbia.  To this end, an Anderson County Economic Development Exposition has been scheduled at the Anderson County Civic Center Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to bring together realtors and other business and civic groups to seek to remedy the problem.

“It’s pretty shocking to find we don’t have all the properties and infrastructure available in writing in a database for prospective businesses (looking at Anderson County),” said Anderson County Council Member Cindy Wilson. Wilson said after the meeting that pulling together such a list should not take very long.

Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday night to explore turning the current Anderson County Animal Shelter into a Spay and Neuter Clinic upon completion of the county’s new animal shelter. The county will begin discussions with non-profit groups which are interested in the operation of the clinic, and there are no current plans to use county funds for the project.

In a relatively quiet meeting, council rejected by a 6-1 vote, an ordinance by Councilmember Gracie Floyd which would have amended an early ordinance and would have prohibited acquaintances and business associates of former council members from profiting from financial gain as a result of information gained from former council members.

Council members also approved, in a 4-3 split vote, paying $15,306 for furnishings for the Broadway Lake Community Center.

In other news, Councilman Tom Allen said he had been contacted by the National Rifle Association in regard to gun/shooting safety in the county, and that consideration is now being given to public shooting ranges and other ideas to reduce problems.

Council also heard a report from Bob Gabbard, a Partnership Specialist with the United States Census Bureau, which encouraged the county to improve the state’s response to the upcoming 2010 U.S. Census. Ten years ago South Carolina boasted the 49th worst response of any state to the census. Census figures are used, among other things to determine congressional apportionment and access to federal funds and grants. Council will nominate citizens for a census committee to look for ways to increase participation in the 2010 Census.

Council also approved on third reading ordinances which approved a pair of land swaps and land sales in the southern part of Anderson County; and the debt service of the partnership project between the town of Pendleton and the City of Clemson, which in essence gives the county solid waste capacity on Clemson Boulevard.


Candy and Greg Jones on "Regis"

Candy and Greg Jones of Anderson, though a bit hard to recognize, were part of this morning's "Live with Regis and Kelly."

The couple entered the syndicated television program's Halloween costume contest, and a photograph of the pair dressed as Cruella de Vil and a Dalmation, both characters from Disney's "101 Dalmations," was shown on the program Tuesday.


Special Olympics This Weekend

Where: Anderson Sports & Entertainment Center, Cobb’s Glenn Country Club and Skateland USA

Anderson County officials and staff would like to take this opportunity to encourage you and your family to join more than 800 athletes from all across the State of S.C. as they compete in the 2009 Special Olympic Fall Games, scheduled on October 23 to 25 in Anderson County, S.C.

The weekend’s festivities will begin on Friday evening with the Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics Flame, which officially opens the 2009 Fall Games. Competitions, which include soccer, tennis, golf, volleyball, flag football, bocce and roller skating, begin on Saturday morning. Venues for the competitions are Anderson Sports & Entertainment Center, Cobb’s Glenn Golf Course and Skateland USA.

Bring your family and friends out for this fun, free weekend activity! Show your support, while helping these athletes “be brave in their attempt.”

For more information about the event, visit the SC Special Olympics site at:

Opportunities to volunteer are still available:

To volunteer with Area 14 efforts, call Susan McMahan at (864) 260-4142.


Charleston "Friendliest City" in Poll


Join AIM's "Trick or Treat So Others May Eat"

Because being hungry is a SCARY thing!

For the eleventh straight year, volunteer groups are busy delivering “Trick or Treat” bags throughout Anderson County, seeking donations to stock the shelves of the Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry at Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM). This annual hunger campaign, called “Trick or Treat So Others May Eat”, brings in thousands of pounds of food, allowing AIM to continue serving the needs of the more than 700 families who seek food assistance each month.

If you should receive one of these bags, generously donated by Chick-fil-A of Anderson, please consider filling it with non-perishable food items (no glass please) and leaving it back out on the specified date for the volunteers when they return to collect it. Even if you didn’t have a bag delivered to you, you can still fight hunger with a food donation by filling your own bag and dropping it off at one of the following locations:

Chick-fil-A, Anderson Mall

Chick-fil-A, 3725 Clemson Blvd..

Chick-fil-A, 1641 E. Greenville St.

Shell Rapid Lube, 1704 Pearman Dairy Rd.

The approaching holidays and cold weather, coupled with a tight economy, has AIM officials anticipating an even busier than normal winter season in the food pantry. Your help will ensure that hungry families in Anderson will continue to have a place to turn when they need help putting food on their tables.

To learn more about Anderson Interfaith Ministries and the programs through which they serve hurting families, visit . An informative orientation and tour is held on the 3rd Tuesday each month. Please call 965-9074 to reserve your seat at the next session or to schedule an appointment at another time.


Duke Golf Tournament Benefits United Way

Dayle Stewart, of United Way receives a check for $2503 from the Duke Energy Lee Steam Station golf tournament benefiting United Way of Anderson County, from Debbie Leopard, golf tournament coordinator.




County GOP to Meet Monday

The Anderson County Republican Party Executive Committee will meet Monday at 7 p.m. at Concord Community Church, located at 729 Concord Road in Anderson. Bill Conner, a candidate for lieutenant governor from Orangeburg, is the featured speaker. For more information, call 221-0154 or visit


S.C. Teachers Tops in U.S. in Training to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina teachers are leading the nation to keep kids safe thanks to a public / private initiative to help prevent, recognize and react responsibly to signs of child sexual abuse.

By the end of this year, 20,000 S.C. teachers and school employees will complete child sexual abuse prevention training. That's more than 40-percent of the state's 54,000 school staff and sets a national record among U.S. school systems, according to Darkness to Light (D2L), a national non-profit that administers the training. By the end of 2010, state officials anticipate more than 38,000 (75-percent) school teachers and school employees will complete the training.

Funding for the training programs has been boosted through donations of $25,000 by Select Health of South Carolina and $15,000 by Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, two of the state's largest health insurance carriers.

The training was launched statewide in 2008 by the S.C. Department of Education in partnership with D2L. Dr. Jim Rex, S.C. Department of Education Superintendent, said several S.C. school districts have already trained 100-percent of their educators.