Since May 2007


Volume 9 Issue 16

November 20, 2015


Sam’s Spit Sea
Wall given go
ahead, again

The Island Connection Staff Writer


n December 2014, after hearing the
case for an unprecedented third time,
the South Carolina Supreme Court
ruled Kiawah Partners could not build a
revetment needed to advance development
on Captain Sam's Spit, a strip of land at
the edge of Kiawah Island. Approval of
the revetment would have paved the way
for construction of up to fifty houses
across 30 plus acres of high ground nestled
amongst the over 150 acre sand spit. The
case was sent back to the Administrative
Law Court. Kiawah Partners subsequently
rewrote its application and was granted
permission by DHEC to build a steel wall
in support of a road into the Spit.

Edmond Robinson celebrating making the 53-man roster after the Viking season
opener in Minneapolis with John and Marilyn Olson.

Wadmalaw boy takes on the NFL,
with help from Kiawah's John Olson

The Island Connection Staff Writer


ood things come in big packages, too, if local hero
Edmond Robinson Jr. is the bundle being considered.
Standing 6’3” and weighing 249 pounds, Wadmalaw
Island native Robinson can finish a forty yard dash in 4.63
seconds. Those are the sort of “measureable” skills NFL agents
seek, and exactly what the Minnesota Vikings got when they

Festival of Lights

Page 11

signed the linebacker to their 53 man roster earlier this year.
Describing the destination, however, doesn’t do justice to the
worthier part Robinson took getting there.
Kiawah resident, coach and mentor John Olson first met

Wadmalaw continues on page 5

Underwater Holidays

Page 12

Partners is
pleased that
the [law court]
granted its
motion to lift
the automatic
Bill Hindman
The appeal process and SCSC directive
put Kiawah Partners back in front of
Chief Administrative Law Judge Ralph
King Anderson III. His decision, as
reported in The Post and Courier on
Monday Nov. 9, “would clear the way for
Kiawah Partners to build a half-mile long,
in-ground steel sheet pile wall along the
roadway to support it. It’s an abrupt turn
of events in one of a series of lawsuits now
underway for the controversial 50-home
“Kiawah Partners is pleased that the

Sam’s Spit continues on page 5

Turtle Release

Page 14


November 20, 2015


Lynn Pierotti
Jennifer Tuohy
managing editor
Swan Richards
senior graphic designer
Lori McGee
sales manager
Alejandro Ferreyros
graphic designer
Ralph Secoy
contributing photographer
Staff Writers
Gregg Bragg
Stephanie Braswell
Doug Reynolds
Martha Zink
Sarah Reynolds
Kate Dittloff
Alan Armstrong
Maria Gurovich
Gary Lohr

Published by
Lucky Dog Publishing
of South Carolina, LLC
P.O. Box 837
Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482

Town of Kiawah council meeting,
November 2015

The Island Connection Staff Writer


council meeting started quietly
enough with a relatively spartan
attendance compared to recent months.
Parliamentary obligations were dispensed
and minutes were approved when the
agenda was abruptly amended to include
room for the announcement that the town
had hired a new treasurer. The motion to
amend passed unanimously and the item
was added to new business.
In citizen's comments Kiawah resident
Dennis McGill reminded council of his
several requests to review the resumes
of the final candidates for the position.
Citing the town's municipal code to
warrant his claim of entitlement to the
documentation, he asked why he had not
been allowed to review them prior to the
decision. Responses to his emails from
council on the topic claimed no decision
had been made. He also asked why a
forensic audit of 2012 was not finished
after nine weeks when the original audit
of over two years (2013-2015) had been
completed in seven. He concluded by
asking why council had not responded
to his request for pay information/
observations and was about to drop the
mic when a chorus of council members
insisted they had responded. In sum,
council said both positions (administrator
and treasurer) on both occasions (past and
present) were “exempt.”
Kiawah resident Wendy Kulick took
the stage to welcome Stephanie Tillerson
(the newly hired town administrator). She
also applauded council for the process
used as they moved forward with plans
for the new municipal complex, calling it
the most open she had witnessed. [Kulick
would later tell The Island Connection
this was not a comment on or endorsement
of the project itself. She concluded her
public comments by asking if the town's
Emergency Operations Committee had

Civic Calendar
Tues., Nov. 24

TOKI continues on page 3

K iawah Island Town H all
21 Beachwalker Drive
Kiawah Island, SC 29455
Phone: 768-9166
Fax: 768-4764

Wed., Dec. 2

Thurs., Nov. 26

Application Deadline
Applications for Town
of Kiawah charitable
contributions are
made available today
under the “In the
News” section of www.
Applications are due 3
p.m. January 15, 2016.

Town Offices Closed

Tues., Dec. 1

Planning Commission
Seabrook Island Town H all
Kiawah Town Hall
2001 Seabrook Island Road
3 p.m.
Seabrook Island, SC 29455
Phone: 768-9121
Fax: 768-9830
Thurs., Dec. 3
Arts & Cultural
Events Council
Johns Island Council
Kiawah Town Hall
Meetings are held at the Berkeley Electric
3 p.m.
Co-op located at 3351 Maybank Hwy, Johns
Chairman Chris Cannon: 343-5113

Future deadlines: November 25
for submissions for the
December 4 Issue
Op-Ed articles and letters to the editor do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of
Lucky Dog News or its writers.

Ways and Means
Committee Meeting
Kiawah Town Hall
2 - 4 p.m.

Lucky Dog Publishing, LLC
Publishers of Island Eye News,
The Island Connection,
The Folly Current

“Tomorrow, at the Town meeting, I
will be publicly recognized. I want you to
know and share with all the volunteers,
that any accolades given to me, will
be accepted on your behalf and the
Proceedings ground to crawl, however,
with discussion of the new municipal
complex as the last item of new business.
Council walked through a line by line
breakdown of the needs for each staff/
council person. The line items were a bit
cumbersome, though the square footage
comparison was easier to digest, since
it was separated into just four areas.
Council chambers will be over four times
its present size, work areas will be just
less than double, the lobby will be only
slightly larger than present and the garage
will be over four times present size. The
$9.622 million needed to complete the
project was something of a savings over
the $10 million mentioned in previous
months and gave rise to a discussion of
Debt service numbers had been worked
up for each of several figures. For example,
the debt service on a loan of $4 million
would run approximately $654,178/year,
according to information provided by the
town. Additional examples were provided
and the entire package is available from the
town by written request. November made
the fourth consecutive month, council
mentioned selling the existing building
to the Kiawah Island Community
Association, although no mention has
been made whether KICA has the funds
to purchase the $2.5 million building.
Four months ago, James Bailey, COO
of KICA, was in chambers, overheard
the comment and seemed surprised by

Mon., Nov. 20

Comprehensive Plan
Public Hearing
Kiawah Town Hall
1 - 2 p.m.

The Island

functioned as planned following recent
flooding on the island. Council member
Weaver addressed the last item, saying
it had not, but was being reviewed for
improvements with representatives from
all relevant agencies [on Kiawah]. Weaver
continued saying the plan did not fit well
with a flooding situation and the mayor
never declared an emergency.
Lacking old business to cover, council
sprinted for a discussion of newly hired
treasurer, Dorota Szubert. Although she
had no municipal experience and no
CPA designation apparent on her resume,
initially required by the town, she had
been working as an accounting manager
for Kiawah Partners Inc. (Kiawah’s main
developer) for the last seven years. Szubert
is a 1994 graduate of the Academy of
Economics, in Poznan, Poland and
received a masters degree from the
University of New Haven, New Haven
Turtle patrol patriarch and legend Joe
Pezzullo was recognized for his decades
of work with the endangered species. This
was no ordinary recognition, however.
Pezzullo was awarded his very own day,
Nov. 3 2015, as the second item of new
business. “If only I had known sooner,”
hooted Joe, although no offer of comp
time was made.
Pezzullo, in a note to his zone captains
the previous day and eschewing the
limelight would say; “I want to thank
each one of you for your support and
effort these past 9 years that I have been
the permit holder for the patrol. We know
better than anyone the continuing effort
necessary to keep the best patrol going.
When you look back at the years our
committee has been together, it is amazing
how well we worked with one another
without disagreements [or] animosity.
Your willingness to do what was necessary
for the success of the patrol made my job

Fri., Nov. 27
Town Offices Closed

Town Council
Kiawah Town Hall
2 - 4 p.m.

Charleston County Council
4045 Bridge View Dr, N. Charleston
City of Charleston
75 Calhoun St.

November 20, 2015


Town of Kiawah Island
hires treasurer

For The Island Connection

Dorota Szubert


he Town of Kiawah Island
announced at the Tuesday, Nov.
3 Town Council meeting that it
has hired Dorota Szubert as the Town
Treasurer. Szubert was most recently
the Accounting Manager for Kiawah
Partners, Inc. since 2008.
Szubert replaces Kenneth Gunnells
who resigned in May, and was later
accused by the town of misappropriating
town funds.
With 10 years experience in
accounting, Szubert will support the
direction of town council and newly
appointed town administrator Stephanie
Monroe Tillerson in administering and
performing all governmental accounting
and auditing standards for the Town. Her
official start date is Nov. 16, 2015.

“Ms. Szubert brings a wealth of
accounting knowledge and experience
to the position, which will be invaluable
in meeting town council’s goals and
objectives,” Tillerson said. “I am confident
Ms. Szubert will be an excellent match
for this position and a strong asset to the
town’s management team. Her formal
education, first-hand working knowledge
of the town’s public and private economic
sectors, and commitment to the
betterment of Kiawah Island make her
uniquely qualified to serve as the town’s
next treasurer.”
“While I will miss the relationships I
have established during my eight years
at Kiawah Partners, I am very excited to
take the role of the treasurer and provide
highest quality financial and accounting
support to the town,” Ms. Szubert said.
Town council retained an executive
search firm to identify the most qualified
candidate pool from across the region.
The search resulted in receiving 47
applications for which eleven candidates
were recommended to town council
for further review. Town council
selected three primary and three backup
candidates. From that group of six,
three candidates were interviewed before
offering the position to Szubert.
Originally from Poland, Szubert
graduated from the Academy of
Economics with a Masters in Science
and Finance. She also holds a Master in
Business Administration and Accounting
from University of New Haven. She is
resident of Johns Island, where she has
lived for ten years with her husband and

TOKI continues from page 2
the suggestion. The ramifications of
adding to KICA’s ledger, which could
cost residents, garnered Bailey’s full
attention. He corrected the record at the
first opportunity, saying KICA might
be interested in discussing the idea, but
strongly conveyed KICA’s lack of firm
The town, however, had apparently
resolved $800,000 in unanticipated costs
on the part of the Municipal Center
Committee. The surprise requirement
to scrape the top 2 feet of dirt off the
Betsy Kerrison property to remove any
remaining fertilizer/chemicals in the soil,
had been accounted for and an additional
$400,000 trimmed. The motion to
accept estimates, proceed to construction
quality drawings, and begin to solicit
interest from general contractors passed
unanimously despite the reservations
expressed in previous months by council
members Weaver and Wilson.
Stephanie Tillerson gave her first official
report as town administrator, despite only
a week or so on the job. “I don’t really
have anything to report but I did want to
inform mayor and council that I’m going

to put together the lengthy maintenance
and [debris] removal Request for Proposal
for the greenery. The contract is due to
expire the first of next year …. I’m going
to put that out later this month with it
due in the second week of December…
in an open format. I’m also working on
a number of things … through council,”
said Tillerson.
The mayor reported the driver of
the truck that overturned in front of
Cassique is liable for damages and said
the company’s insurance company will be
billed. He also reported calling for action
on the roads, in light of recent flooding.
Following an Executive Session,
council came back into open session
with the results of the “docks located
on Salthouse Lane” issue. The town has
officially settled the suit and will not be
paying the legal fees of the defendants.
The town's attorney read three pages
of details into the record, being careful
to note any differences (e.g. there were
two separate defendants). When he was
finished, the motion to accept language
in both settlement agreements was made,
seconded and passed unanimously.
There being no further business, the
meeting was adjourned.




November 20, 2015

Ciancio wins Arts Council offers up holiday treats
mayor race
For The Island Connection


For The Island Connection


he Town of Seabrook's Nov. 3
election resulted in Mayor Pro
Tem Ronald Ciancio being elected,
defeating Bill Nelson by 527 votes to 161.
Four were elected to the Town Council,
two incumbents, John Gregg and John
Turner, and two newcomers, John B Wells
and Skip Crane. The full results are below:


Ronald J Ciancio 527 (76%)
Bill Nelson 161 (23%)
Write-in 2
Total 690

Town Council

John B Wells 459 (20%)
John Gregg (incumbent) 434 (19%)
John Turner (incumbent) 376 (16%)
Skip Crane 278 (12%)
Joe M Sanders Jr 266 (11%)
Robert Driscoll 264 (11%)
Kimber Smith 234 (10%)
Total 2,318
The new mayor and town council were
sworn in on Nov. 6.

The College of Charleston Madrigal Singers Present A
Madrigal Feast
Sunday, December 6, 2015 - 6:30 pm, River Course Clubhouse;
Tickets $90; Ticket Release: Kiawah 11/17 Public 11/20.No online
ticketing for this event. Sponsored by the Town of Kiawah Island
Arts and Cultural Events Council.
The Arts Council is bringing the College's Madrigal Feast back to
Kiawah! Save the drive downtown along with the parking hassle, and
enjoy it close to home. Many of you have experienced the Madrigal
Singers' holiday magic either in person or on South Carolina ETV.
If you haven't, go to click here and hear and see them for yourselves.
The College's choral program under the direction of Dr. Robert
Taylor is generally regarded as one of the finest in the country. Why
not join us in the River Room, and experience the Madrigal Singers
for yourself? They'll be dressed in traditional renaissance garb while
singing madrigals and holiday music throughout the evening; it's
the perfect kickoff to the holiday season.
You'll enjoy a fabulous three course feast, wine throughout
the meal, mulled cider to accompany the wassail toasts as well
as occasional renaissance music performed by Mary Taylor and
Dr. Julia Harlow as we feast. Would you like a special treat to
conclude the evening? Count on it; we'll be singing Silent Night
along with Dr. Taylor and the Madrigal Singers!During the 2013
holiday season, the Arts Council sponsored Madrigal Feast drew
a full house with patrons clamoring for a repeat performance.
Well here it is; and to ensure a perfect performance venue, we’re
once again limiting seating to 17 eight person tables.
With this in mind, we suggest making your reservations early,
beginning Tuesday, Nov. 17 for Kiawah residents and Nov. 20 for
the general public. Do so by calling Ms. Stephanie Braswell, TOKI
Administrative Assistant (768-9166), or stopping by Town Hall to
see her for information, reservations and seat/table selection.

Pricing for the dinner is $90 per person including tax and
gratuity; entertainment is sponsored by the Arts Council. Checks
can be left with Ms. Braswell at Town Hall, or credit cards can
be used over the phone or in person to confirm your reservation.
Hope you can join us for this special holiday treat.

Burning River Brass
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 -7:30pm Holy Spirit Catholic Church;
Ticket Release: Kiawah 11/30 Public 12/3. Complimentary Tickets
Available at Kiawah Town Hall 843.768.9166 or online beginning
12/3 at Sponsored by the
Town of Kiawah Island Arts and Cultural Events Council
Since 1996, Burning River Brass has been dazzling audiences
from Alaska to Taiwan with its power and virtuosity, harmonious
blend, and consistently stirring performances. Composed of
twelve of the finest brass and percussion players in the country,
Burning River Brass is an ensemble on fire!
The original inspiration behind Burning River Brass was to
give great players who were also good friends a chance to play
together on a consistent basis. Soon after the first rehearsal in
May 1996, BRB began to grow rapidly. The ensemble made its
debut in September of 1996 and by 1998 the group was touring
nationally. The camaraderie continues into BRB’s educational
and outreach programs, where the players provide students with
a rich, positive experience to encourage their enthusiasm for
music in the future.
We are pleased to present Burning River Brass in a concert
of Christmas music—a touch of tradition, a dash of jazz, and
a healthy measure of festive cheer! Burning River presents
Christmas concerts with a little something for everyone. It will
be the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit.

November 20, 2015

John Olson talks to Robinson over the rail
after a Viking preseason game.

Wadmalaw continues from cover
Robinson on the basketball court ten
years ago at St. Johns High School.
“He was a terrible free thrower and
[though making efforts to improve after
practice] spent half his time retrieving the
ball,” said Olson.
The two worked together to make
practice more efficient, productive
and became friends in the bargain.
Olson leveraged their relationship,
and Robinson’s good parenting, to
emphasize general communications
skills, performance in the classroom and
conduct befitting a leader. Robinson took
the advice well, helping him on his way
to play defense for Newberry College. He
avoided contact with unscrupulous NFL
agents and delivered the same standout
level performances everyone had come
to expect. His size and speed, however,
come with some built in temptations for
ambitious Newberry coaches, who tried
him as a receiver during a spring practice.
Robinson caught the pass and a cleat to
the top of his foot, resulting in a Lisfranc
injury. All he could think to do was call
his mom with what is often career ending
“The Lisfranc is an injury to the foot
in which one or more of the metatarsal
bones are displaced from the tarsus and
are commonly misdiagnosed,” claims the
American Family Physician website. The
site describes the injury this way; “Typical
signs and symptoms include pain,
swelling and the inability to bear weight.
… Reevaluation may be necessary if pain

and swelling continue for 10 days after
the injury. ... Patients with fractures and
fracture-dislocations should be referred
for surgical management.” Naturally,
Robinson’s was among the most serious
versions. Local doctors weren’t taking
chances, however, and referred him to a
Charlotte based surgeon.
“Cam Newton was sitting in that
very same chair yesterday,” said Olson,
echoing the reassuring words of Dr.
Robert Anderson, team physician for
the Carolina Panthers. The surgery was
successful and recovery was six weeks
ahead of schedule. Robinson was able
to play his final year with Newberry,
exhausting his collegiate eligibility. The
next step would be The Combine, (an
NFL sponsored opportunity for prospects
to showcase skills) which meant finding
and engaging an agent.
Robinson’s consistently good classroom
performance suggested an ability to learn
prized by prospective agents. NFL plays
designate a player’s responsibilities in a
plethora of circumstances, attempt to
account for every imaginable variable,
and are extremely complicated. Adding to
the problem, the plays can’t account for
mismatches, (when the play you called
isn’t proof against your opponents play).
Speed and strength are required, but
you have to be able to do what’s asked
and you have to be able to think on your
feet. Because an agent’s income depends
on finding the optimum combination of
objective and subjective skills, the good
ones are understandably particular in
representing someone.
“Typically, NFL agents are paid 3
percent of a player's earnings,” said
Olson. It doesn’t sound like much and it
isn’t, when you consider prospects, like
Robinson, aren’t being paid. The agent
has to risk paying expenses up front, on
the order of $30,000, without guarantee
of repayment.
“Edmond was so good we had people
calling us,” said Olson but the problem
wasn’t solved. Not content to select an
agent at random, Olson called on fellow
Kiawah resident Art Jones, whose son
in-law is president of the Kansas City
Chiefs, for assistance. The arduous and
deliberate process ended with Cliff Brady
of Sports Planning Inc., who said “[I’ll]
get him trained up [for The Combine],”
and that is exactly what he did.
Robinson did little else besides
training. He ultimately managed a 37
inch vertical jump and a 4.65 forty yard
dash. The time may not have been his
best but was enough to dispel any concern

NFL scouts had about the Lisfranc injury.
“You get me into a camp and I’ll prove
my worth,” said Olson, recounting a
conversation between client and agent.
The aggressive if naïve sounding comment
meant getting drafted by the NFL.
However, Brady came through again,
sloughing off the magnitude of the task.
Imagine the names of every college
you have ever heard of, each with roughly
100 players on their roster. One person
from each of those teams would exceed
the number of draft choices made each
year by the NFL. The draft itself is a
made for television affair one night every
year but the entire process takes days to
unfold. Surrounded by friends, family,
his agent and Olson, Robinson waited for
the phone to ring. For days! Expectations
were being managed and alternate plans
were in the works when the phone jangled
frayed nerves. Robinson had been drafted
in the seventh round, the 232nd person
out of 253 choices and the only Division
II player selected, leaving exactly zero
time to rest.
Robinson’s triumph made him one of
eleven candidates for six positions with
the Vikings. Again, expectations were
managed and alternate plans were floated.
There are “practice squads” in the NFL in
addition to the regular roster. Participants
can still make a decent living, stay in the
game and be in the right place until the
right time.
“He [Robinson] had always been the
best player on every team and now, all of a
sudden, he wasn’t,” said Olson.
The realization only fueled the fire,


motivating Robinson to greater heights.
Despite being relegated to special teams
with limited play at linebacker, his
potential shone through. Robinson won
every way he could; in the weight room,
on the track, in meeting rooms and on the
field, rendering alternate plans moot. His
dream of playing in the NFL was reality
as he laid claim to the last available slot.
The Vikings are doing well enough with
Robinson on the team, boasting a record
of 7-2. Robinson was recently credited
with his first solo tackle in a win against
Saint Louis. The Viking Age, the team’s
newsletter, said this about Robinson:
“7th round draft pick Edmond
Robinson also has reason to be happy.
With the Vikings down to five linebackers,
the door is open for Robinson to make
the game-day lineup as both a special
teams player and a backup linebacker.
Robinson popped during preseason and
that definitely helped him when it came
time for the Vikings to trim their roster.”
Robinson remains humble in the face
of success, determined to improve and
exchange his brass ring for something
more ornate. He visits his parents often
and still calls Wadmalaw home, anxious
to give something back and serve as an
example to those who come after him.
Visit his page on the Vikings website
for updates to stats and information on
one of the Sea Islands’ best and brightest. 4316-905eb9328d4187bd

Holiday Shopping Guide


November 20, 2015

November 20, 2015



Sam’s Spit continues from cover
(law court) granted its motion to lift the automatic
stay,” Bill Hindman, spokesman for the developer,
said in a press release.
The ruling would have allowed construction to
begin immediately. Left with only days to respond,
conservationists, including the South Carolina
Coastal Conservation League with the assistance of
the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, were
already in motion.
“The Supreme Court has protected the Spit
through several rulings over the years, recognizing
that a pristine barrier island and critically important
public trust resource providing habitat to a variety
of rare, threatened, and endangered species is not
something to be sacrificed for the sole benefit of a
private developer,” Katie Zimmerman, SCCCL
Program Director, said. “Therefore, our attorneys
at SCELP have asked the Supreme Court to grant
'extraordinary relief' and impose a stay upon the
Administrative Law Judge's order until the issues are
properly and fully heard and decided. The Supreme
Court has ordered both sides to provide supporting
arguments. Those were due yesterday [Nov. 10]. So
we are now waiting to hear what the Supreme Court
will decide. It should be a quick decision.”
Margaret Sands, a project manager with SCELP,
told The Island Connection, “We were successful in
filing our reply to the developer's Response to the
Petition for Extraordinary Relief which we filed last
week. We are hopeful for a swift decision from the
Supreme Court given the urgency of this matter.”
One explanation for all the immediacy associated
with Anderson’s ruling became apparent only
indirectly. James Bailey, COO of the Kiawah
Island Community Association, confirmed the
interpretation of covenants which allow Kiawah
Partners to “automatically convey” infrastructure
to the community association upon completion.
KICA then becomes responsible for maintenance,
paying for any necessary repairs out of the pool of
funds collected from Kiawah residents. According
to Bailey, Kiawah Partner’s ability to automatically
convey the Spit or any other property to KICA,
expires on January 1, 2016.
As of press time, an email to KICA Board Chair
Dave Schoenholz was not returned. However, the
consequences seem clear. Without quick action,
Kiawah Partners, or the homeowners in the
proposed Captain Sam’s development area, would be
responsible for maintenance and repairs. Requests by
past KICA Boards to form a separate sub-association
from the Spit were declined by the developer at the
time. Simultaneously, the tenuous nature of the Spit
comes into stark relief in the face of recent weather.
October flooding, for example, resulted in 12 feet of
dune loss directly adjacent to the proposed road site
on the Spit, leaving only a 6 foot margin. Another
example was the loss of a bulldozer and dump truck
during the re-nourishment project at the western
tip of the Spit and the eastern tip of Seabrook. Both
vehicles were eventually extricated.
The alternative to quick judicial action is that
Kiawah Partners asks the KICA Board for permission
to convey property/infrastructure to the community.
The Board currently consists of one Kiawah Partners
representative and six resident representatives who
are elected by the community. Kiawah Partners has
publicly pitched the Spit project with the promise
that 80 percent or more of the Spit would be turned
into a conservation easement.




November 20, 2015

'Tis the season for giving Christmas decorations

help fill a need

M T. Z I O N N E E D S Y O U R H E L P


H A N D - PA I N T E D O R N A M E N T S O N


For The Island Connection

nce again the Mt. Zion Holiday
Fund Committee is seeking your
help to place smiles on the faces of
Mt. Zion children. The nurse and teachers
at Mt. Zion Elementary School are already
identifying families who are in most need
of our support. The funds that we raise
will be used to buy clothes, shoes, toys
and books for each child. Every family
is also given a gift certificate for food for
their holiday meal.

For each of the past eight years, your
contributions have helped more than 40
families and over 90 children. The gifts
we are able to provide are often the only
ones the children receive.
Checks made out to Mt. Zion Holiday
Fund may be mailed to Anne Smith at
2849 Cap’n Sams Road, Seabrook Island,
or donations can be dropped off at the
Racquet Club Pro Shop or Golf Pro Shop
on Seabrook Island.

Noah Brown and Peyton Ourada, fourth graders at Angel Oak
Elementary, decorate Christmas bulbs.



The Island Connection Editor


here's no denying it, the holidays
are almost here and before you
know it the tree will be up and
ready for trimming. This year, while
decorating your home, consider helping
feed a hungry Sea Island child by
purchasing specially decorated Christmas
tree ornaments.
Available in a pack of 3 for $10 at The
Ice Cream Boat in Bohicket Marina, the
bulbs have been decorated by children
from Mount Zion, Angel Oak and
Frierson elementary schools, all of which
participate in the Backpack Buddies
Program. The program, supported entirely
by two groups of Kiawah and Seabrook
island volunteers, raises the money to
supply hungry children with backpacks
of food to take home on the weekends.
Started two years ago with 57 children,
there are 370 hungry mouths to feed.
“It costs $195 a year to fund a child
for their food for the weekend,” explained
Todd Gerhart, owner of The Ice Cream
Boat and the man behind the Christmas
decoration idea. “With demand escalating
I felt the need to do more during the
holiday season and hit upon the idea of
buying 300 christmas bulbs and having
the kids decorate them.”

The bulbs, all hand painted by 3rd and
4th graders from the elementary schools,
will be on sale beginning Nov. 20 at the
Ice Cream Boat.
“We’ve had people come in and donate
already–just wanting to help out, didn’t
even want the bulbs. We’re hoping to raise
a couple thousand dollars, we think we’ll
sell them all.”
The schools the program supports
are on Johns Island, and 90 percent of
students live below the poverty line. At
Frierson Elementary every child receives
the weekly backpack of food on Friday.
“We were down at Angel Oak yesterday
helping them decorate. They’re very cool,
different and unique and all done by
hand. The Seabrook Garden Club will
string them with red yarn so you can hang
them on your tree.
“The kids were just thrilled. We’ll be
doing it every year. They wanted to take
them home! But I explained what we
were doing and many of them receive
backpacks so they understood.”
Stop by The Ice Cream Boat at Bohicket
Marina to buy yours. The store is open 7
days a week from 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., or call
843.737.5351 for more information.

November 20, 2015



Kiawah Womens Foundation feeds
hungry Sea Island children
For The Island Connection

Volunteers pack food to be given to children to help
sustain them through the weekend.


ith a seemingly endless number of restaurants,
grocery stores, farmer’s markets and more
throughout the Lowcountry, it is easy to take
hunger for granted. For many families on the Sea Islands
(Johns and Wadmalaw Island), however, it is an all too
real problem.
The issue is particularly noticeable at schools in the
area, where a majority of students come from families
living at or below the poverty line. Though schools do
provide free and discounted meals for these students
during school hours, many were spending the weekends
“With the poverty levels on the Sea Islands, it’s just
a difficult situation for many families to provide for
these children,” explained Kiawah Island residents Terry
Weaver and Theresa Widuch. “The schools do all they
can, but these kids still need our help.”
Recognizing this need, Terry and Theresa created the
Kiawah Womens Foundation in 2013. Among other
efforts, the KWF works with Kiawah Island volunteers

to provide packs of healthy, balanced food and snacks to
feed Sea Island children in-need on the weekends. The
program is known as Backpack Buddies, and a similar
group of volunteers on Seabrook Island also support the
program by raising funds and packing the food each
week for Mt. Zion Elementary.
“We began the program working with Angel Oak
Elementary, feeding just 25 school children,” said Terry.
“Thanks to the community’s generosity, we’re now able to
provide food items for over 265 students throughout three
schools – Angel Oak Elementary, Frierson Elementary
and Haut Gap Middle.”
Every Thursday during the school year, KWF
volunteers work together to fill that week’s portion of
food packs. The packs go home with select students each
weekend and feature two items for breakfast and two for
lunch, including fruit and other healthy snacks.
“We wanted to not only be able to provide food and
snacks for these children, but give them healthy options
as well,” said Terry. “We focus on making the food packs
as balanced as we can.”
In addition to the weekly packs, the KWF provides
year-end packs given to students at the end of the school
“These students have had breakfast and lunch provided
to them at school all year, now parents have to provide
three meals a day, seven days a week,” said Terry. “This is
a big expense for them, so these packs help the families
into summer.”
For those interested in helping, there are a number of
ways to contribute to their cause. The foundation hosts or
participates in several fundraising events throughout the
year, including the annual Sip and Shop at J. McLaughlin
in Freshfields Village on Nov 27 and a fundraising dinner
at the Sandcastle Community Center on Kiawah Island
on Dec. 8. Also the KWF accepts volunteers to help fill
food packs each week.

For more information on the KWF, including information
on fundraising events and volunteer opportunities, visit



November 20, 2015

Monarchs on Kiawah


For The Island Connection


he Kiawah Island Garden Club
had a wonderful meeting in
October, learning all about
Monarch butterflies from John W. (Billy)
McCord, who worked for the Department
of Natural Resources for 30 years. After
he retired he began to work for them “part
time” in 2010 and now spends many,
many hours each week locating Monarchs,
tagging and releasing them, then
recording where they are next spotted. He
mainly works on Folly Beach but also all
around the area. He believes that many
Monarchs that pass up and down the
Eastern seaboard stay in our area or go
no further south than Florida and Cuba.
Western Monarchs winter in Monterey,
CA and those from the Midwest and
north, fly to Mexico. McCord asks people
not to release butterflies at weddings, as
they are usually Western and can spread
diseases and mismatched genes with local
A Monarch egg grows into a caterpillar
in 3-4 days, which then lives 14 days
before forming a chrysalis for 10 days and
emerging as a butterfly. Monarchs can
live 4-8 months if they winter over here,
but usually it’s much shorter and you
will see the great-grandchildren of this
year’s butterflies in just one year. They fly
north to breed. As the days shorten they
begin to convert sugar to fat so they can
cling to trees to “sleep” and survive cold

There has been a 62 percent decline of
Monarchs in the past 10 years as ethanol
has caused the conversion of 24 million

acres of grasslands to corn. Crops have
been modified so they are not tilled under
and milkweed and wildflowers have been
killed off. In our area Red Bay has been
killed by Laurel Wilt and Groundsell
trees, which grow at the edge of marshes,
have been cut down to improve human
views.They are both favorite roosts for
There are many plants we can use to feed
Monarchs: in the Fall Seaside Goldenrod,
Dune Camphorweed, Spotted Beebalm
and Beach Blanket flower (Firewheel). In
the Winter they feed on Dandelion, Henbit
and Sow-thistle flower. Also Lantana (not
white!), Viburnum, Loquat, Bottlebrush
and annuals like Cosmos, old-style open
face zinnias, and Mexican Sunflower.
Gulf Coast Swallow-wort is a source of
nectar in August and a host plant for the
caterpillars in September. Pinewoods and
Aquatic milkweed may grown here, and
Tropical milkweed (Bloodflower) is great
but may be invasive and must be pruned
to the ground around Halloween so the
female will not be confused by the winter
growth and lay eggs out of season.

On Oct. 26, the Garden Club was
invited by the Photography Club of
Kiawah to hear a presentation by the
renowned photographer Joyce Tenneson.
She talked about the many projects she
has worked on over the years including
a bestselling book called Wise Women,
a series of photographs of women from
65-100 and another book in which she
photographed flowers against a black
velvet background, portraits of individual
flowers. Her photographs were truly
On Nov. 13 the Kiawah Garden Club
will be guests of the Seabrook Garden
Club to hear about forcing bulbs.
On Monday, Nov. 23, there will be a
pumpkin/floral workshop where members
can create Thanksgiving arrangements
in pumpkins. There will be a $40 fee,
and the workshop will take place at the
Sandcastle at 10 a.m. Checks may be sent
to Donna Pomian at 169 Bluebill Court,
Kiawah Island SC, 29455.

November 20, 2015

arts & events


Believe in magic at the Holiday Festival of Lights
For The Island Connection


he Holiday Festival of Lights is returning for its
26th year with even more to experience. Featuring
an estimated two million shimmering lights,
Charleston’s most popular holiday event is now open
nightly at James Island County Park through Jan. 3,
More than four million people have toured the
Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the
Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission at
James Island County Park. The event has received many
awards and mentions in publications throughout the
country, and the three-mile driving tour delivers more
every year. Join us as we kick off the 26th season at the
Grand Opening Celebration on Nov. 13, featuring live
entertainment from Lowcountry Power Brass, awards
presentations for the gingerbread house, greeting card
competitions, and all the excitement of the festival.
The Holiday Festival of Lights is much more than

just a driving tour. Park the car and experience family
attractions, shopping, dining and more. There are
many celebrated attractions to see and activities to do,
• Marshmallow Roasting
• Festival Train Rides
• Lakeside Lights Interactive Activity
• The Amazing Dancing Light Display
• Enchanted Walking Trail
• Old-Fashioned Carousel
• Portable Climbing Wall
• Four Unique Gift Shops, featuring the new
Prancer’s Presents, a children’s toy emporium
Santa’s Sweet Shoppe
• Santa’s Sleigh – unique group/family photo
• Special Family Events on select evenings,
including photos with Santa, live music and more.
Grab dinner at concessions stands, or just spoil
your sweet tooth at Santa’s Sweet Shoppe. In Winter
Wonderland, see a meticulously crafted sculpture
constructed with 50 tons of sand. View sugary hand-made
houses from the annual gingerbread competition. Shop at
four festival shops for unique gifts, official 14-kt gold on
brass collector series ornaments, toys, personalized items,
angelic decorations and stocking stuffers. Hop aboard
the festival train for an intimate look at the festival, only
seen on this enchanted ride.
Explore Santa’s Village, where the man himself is
available for photos on select dates after Thanksgiving.
Take a whirl on the traditional 18-animal carousel, make

Tid e Char t

High Tide

Low Tide

Nov 20
Nov 21
Nov 22
Nov 23
Nov 24
Nov 25
Nov 26
Nov 27
Nov 28
Nov 29
Nov 30
Dec 01
Dec 02
Dec 03



Hurricanes, storms, etc., are NOT included in the predictions.
Tidal current direction changes and tide time predictions can be
very different. Tide predictions are PREDICTIONS; they can be
wrong so use common sense.

s’mores at the marshmallow roasting pits, and marvel at
the giant 4-by-8 holiday card designs created by local
students for the annual art competition. Enjoy family
entertainment on select nights, including live music,
storytelling, visits with Mrs. Claus, outdoor movies and
more. On Dec. 31, the festival features fireworks.

For more information on the Holiday Festival of Lights,
including event hours and fees, call 843.795.4386 or visit This event is presented by
Boeing and Your Charleston County Parks.


arts & events

November 20, 2015

Celebrate the holidays under the sea

Photos courtesy S.C. Aquarium.



For The Island Connection

t can be hard to get in the holiday spirit in Charleston,
where the weather stays sunny and temperate through
January, but the South Carolina Aquarium has
you covered. Now through the end of December, the
Aquarium is celebrating the SEA-son with special holiday
Kick off your holiday adventure on a ride to the
North Pole aboard the Polar Express. The Polar Express
4-D Experience is now playing in the Aquarium’s 4-D
Theater through December 31. The 15-minute film is
based on the beloved children’s book featuring a young
boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North
Pole. The 4-D Theater combines 3-D imagery, interactive
seating and waves of special effects such as snow, gusts of
wind, the smell of hot chocolate and movement under
the feet, all synchronized to the film. There are multiple
show times daily, and tickets can be purchased as part of
the Aquarium’s Premier Pass or individually for $6.95.
Aquarium members receive free admission to the theater.
The holiday fun only just begins with the Polar Express
4-D Experience. Starting Nov. 27, the jolly old man
in the big red suit—or should we say scuba gear—will
be diving in the Aquarium’s Great Ocean Tank. Scuba
Claus will make special appearances during the 11 a.m.
and 3 p.m. dive shows the weekend of Nov. 27 as well as
weekends in December and Dec. 21 through 23. When
Scuba Claus is away, his special elf helpers will dive in
the Great Ocean Tank during the weekdays starting
Monday, Nov. 30 through Friday, Dec. 18.
During the first three weekends in December and Dec.
21 through 23, experience the magic of the holiday season
through the Aquarium’s interactive “snow day” activities

which include fun for the whole family. Activities include
snowman cookie decorating, terrapins painting holiday
ornaments, snowman bowling, and the popular Shark on
a Shelf. When guests find Finzy, the Shark on the Shelf,
they receive a special prize.
The Aquarium also has several options when it
comes to giving that perfect holiday gift. The gift of an
Aquarium membership is one of unlimited family fun
for one full year. Members receive exclusive benefits such
as free admission to the 4-D Theater, special discounts,
invitations to members-only events and much more. The
gift of an animal adoption, such as an otter, sea turtle or
bald eagle, is sure to put a smile on someone’s face as well.
Adoptive parents receive a special certificate, sticker and
exclusive offers, and proceeds support the care of animals
that call the Aquarium home.

For more information on all of the holiday happenings at
the South Carolina Aquarium visit
or call 843.577.FISH (3474).


November 20, 2015

Fall Festival Fun


Charleston County School District and Charleston County
Parks celebrated the season with the District 9 Fall Festival
for Johns and Wadmalaw Island schools and the Harvest
Festival at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center.



November 20, 2015

Botany goes back
to the deep blue



For The Island Connection


otany, a 120-pound loggerhead sea
turtle, was released into the deep
blue sea last week at Isle of Palms
county park. Following 5 and a half
months of rehabilitative care by the South
Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue
Program, Botany received a clean bill of
health and was returned to the wild to aid
sea turtle conservation efforts.
This release marks 177 threatened and
endangered sea turtles rehabilitated and
released into the wild by the Sea Turtle
Rescue Program.
Botany was rescued by an SCDNR
research vessel, the R/V Lady Lisa, in
May. Upon being brought onboard the
boat, Botany was found to be severely
lethargic and in extremely poor physical
condition. The turtle was subsequently
transported to the Aquarium Sea Turtle
Hospital where team members jumped
into action. Preliminary medical
treatment included intravenous fluids to
treat severe edema, antibiotic and vitamin
injections, and supportive care. As each
month passed, Botany’s health improved
and s/he became extremely active.
As patients like Botany receive medical
treatment and are released, it is important
now more than ever to execute the
planned expansion of the Aquarium’s Sea
Turtle Hospital. The planned state-ofthe-art facility will significantly increase
the Aquarium’s capacity to rehabilitate
threatened and endangered sea turtles.
The new facility will be equipped with
triage units, a private intensive care unit,
deeper tanks, an exercise pool, cutting
edge medical equipment, and additional
laboratory and life-support space.
As approximately 19,000 guests
currently tour the hospital annually
the expansion of the hospital onto the
Aquarium’s first floor will expose all
430,000 annual guests to the rescue,

rehabilitation and release of these
threatened and endangered sea turtles.
As a not for profit, the Aquarium is
looking to the community to support
the construction of this hospital. To
help expand the Sea Turtle Hospital visit

If you find a sick or injured sea turtle,
contact the SCDNR sea turtle hotline at
800.922.5431. To read about the hospital's
patients visit the Sea Turtle Rescue Program
blog at

November 20, 2015


arts & events

Calling all
December Artist and
Photographer of the Month Hoosiers
For The Island Connection

Photographers of the Month

In the month of November, members of the Seabrook
Island Photography Club were charged with a Theme
Assignment. Photographers were to take photos that
depicted their interpretation of the word "emotion."
These photos could range from human emotions, pet
emotions or any other element that created an emotion
for both the photographer and/or the viewer.
There were many submissions for this particular Theme
Assignment and so for the December Photographer of
the Month wall the guild decided to showcase some of
the entries made by its talented photographers.
Please take a minute and stop by the Lake House and
view a wide array of photos that will be sure to capture
your interest and give you a unique perspective of how
some of your fellow Seabrookers see the world through
their camera lens.

Artist of the Month

Brenda Tilson
The Amish, step into their world, Tuesday, Dec. 1.
"If you admire our faith, strengthen yours.
If you admire our sense of commitment, deepen yours.
If you admire our community spirit, build one.
If you admire the simple, cut back.
If you admire quality merchandise or land stewardship,
then make quality.
If you admire deep character and enduring values, live


Over time, many Seabrookers have become familiar
with interest in art and my background. That resume
hasn't changed, thus not to be repeated here. For others
who want to know more about all these cows, sheep,
buggies, horses and farms, stop by and we'll chat.
The Artist of the Month reception will be held Dec. 1,
5 - 7 p.m. at Seabrook Island Lake House

owcountry residents are preparing
for the 5th Annual Indiana Day
on Dec. 9, 2015 to celebrate the
anniversary of the state’s admittance
into the Union on December 11, 1816.
The gathering has become an annual
event which includes food, drinks,
games, prizes, and singing all with a lot
of Hoosier gusto. Participants (Including
spouses and significant others) are asked
to bring a hearty appetizer to share.
The organizing committee will provide
plates, utensils, and soft drinks (BYOB).
Participants are also asked to donate $5
to cover costs associated with the event.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. and runs to
8 p.m. at the Oyster Catcher Community
Center on Seabrook Island. If you have a
connection (born, raised, lived, educated,
traveled through; anything works) and
would like to attend please contact Max
Willis at 843.768.8301 or mwillissc@

Island Connection Calendar

November 7

Intermediate Oil Classes
At the Todd & Huff Art Center located
at Bohicket Marina, Wednesdays and
Fridays, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Topics include
value work, applying composition elements
to your paintings, edge work, brush and
palette knife use. Painting from still life
and photos. Email toddhuffcenter@gmail.
com for information.
Monday Bridge Group
9 a.m. at the Lake House. The Monday
Bridge Group needs new players. For more
information, please contact Lori Muenow
at 843.768.2314 or Ilse Calcagno at


Mah Jongg Practice
1 - 4 p.m. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Tuesday
of the month. Located at The Lake
House—Osprey 2. Open to all new
players, those returning to the game, and
anyone else who wants a chance to practice
with others who are learning the game.
If you have any questions, please contact
Helen Thompson at
The Charleston County Bookmobile comes
to Freshfields Village on the first and third
Tuesday of every month from 10 – 11:30
a.m. The Bookmobile will be parked in the
lot behind Hege’s and Java Java.

LoKal Seabar Party On The Patio
Every Tuesday in October, on the outside
patio from 6 to 9 p.m. A fun evening for
the whole family. Come watch the sunset
over Bohicket Marina while listening
to DJ Jim Bowers Entertainment and
enjoying LoKal’s drink specials.


Lake House Yoga
8:30 a.m. Join us for Rise and Shine Yoga
with Patti Romano, formerly known at
Gentle Flow Yoga. Rise and Shine Yoga
is an all-levels practice focused around
finding your day’s intention, set up yourself
for success and be ready to shine.


Friday Indoor Pickleball
12:30 - 2:30 p.m. at St. Christopher’s
Camp. For further information, please
contact Mary Torello at 843.768.0056.

Fall Art and Artisan Showcase
Reception, Friday, Nov. 20 (4 - 7 p.m.),
Showcase and Sale: Saturday, Nov. 21 (10
a.m. - 3 p.m.) Looking for a beautiful piece
of art, handmade crafts or locally produced
jewelry to add to your collection? The
Sandcastle’s Fall Art and Artisan Showcase
includes classic oil paintings, photographs,
beautiful wearable jewelry, and interesting
crafts. For more information on the event,
contact the Sandcastle Community Center
at 843.768.3875 or

Charleston Animal Society Annual
Celebrity Chili Cook Off
1- 5 p.m., Citadel Football Stadium.
Form a team and sign up at Tickets
are $25, kids are free.


10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Johns Island Farmers’
Market. Every Third Saturday at 3546
Maybank Highway Johns Island.
For more information, visit www.
2015 Sea Island Cars and Coffee
9 - 11 a.m. The third Saturday each
month at Freshfields Village.

Seabrook Island’s 5th Annual Sprint
Triathlon Relay.
It’s a triathlon with a team twist. Instead
of an individual tackling all three events,
share the fun among a team of three.
Teams are comprised of one swimmer,
one biker, and one runner that will work
together to complete all 3 legs of the event.
Registration forms are available at the
front desk of The Lake House. Please note,
this event will be capped, so sign up early.
Time: 8 a.m.
Cost: $50 per team.

Christmas 1860: Reliving the Eve of
Civil War
The Edmondston-Alston House, 21 East
Battery, Dec. 4 and 11 from 6:30 –8:30
p.m. 543722-7171. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25
at the door. Celebrate a Victorian holiday
season by candlelight at the EdmondstonAlston House, decorated for the holidays
as it would have been in 1860. Costumed
interpreters will present dramatic scenes
exploring Charleston last opulent
Christmas before the start of the Civil
War. Performances are giving continuously.
Afterwards, visitors can enjoy hot cider in
the courtyard.

That Holiday Book Sale
December 4 through 6, shop the
Charleston Friends of the Library Holiday
book sale from 9 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m., Friday
and SAturday and 2 - 4 p.m. Sunday at
the Charleston County Main Library, 68
Calhoun St.

Homegrown Holiday Bazaar
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3546 Maybank
Highway, Johns Island, South Carolina
29455. Come enjoy a festive-filled day at
the farmer’s market’s annual holiday event.
Open House Cottage Aroma Bella Day
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cottage Aroma Bella
invites you to join them for a day of
shopping. Enjoy a
glass of wine or sip a cup of their
custom-blended tea while you peruse
a varied selection of holiday offerings,
chic assortment of accessories.For every
sale, Cottage Aroma Bella will donate
a children’s toy to “My Sister’s House”,
a non-profit organization that provides
assistance to victims of domestic violence.
2671 Fort Trenholm Rd. Johns Island,
843.266.3219 cottagearomabella,com

The 26th Annual Holiday Festival of
Ongoing nightly, Nov. 13 – Jan. 3, James
Island County Park. For hours and
fees, call 843.795.4386 or visit www.

Thanksgiving Buffet at The Atlantic
12 - 6 p.m. Chef Banta has created dishes
that capture the spirit of the season with
his Thanksgiving buffet menu. Savor the
flavors of the holidays while taking in the
dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Call
(843) 266-4085. | $75 adult, $35 child
(4-12 years)

Seabrook Island Holiday Tree Lighting
5:30 to 7 p.m. The Lake House. Come on
out and enjoy the Holiday Tree Lighting
event at The Lake House. We’ll have music
and refreshments, plus we’re expecting a
very special guest ... YOU!
Free Family Fun at Bohicket Marina
and Market
12-4 p.m. Bring an unwrapped new toy
for TOYS FOR TOTS! Jump Castle, face
painter, ballon artist and music by Jim
Bowers, DJ Extradionare -12-4 - for all
you Carolina Shaggers. Come have lunch
at our restaurants and visit the Christmas
Shoppe at Doin’ the Charleston Gourmet
and shop for your gifts. Sponsored by: The
Bohicket Merchants Association
Mingo Point Oyster Roast & BBQ
5 - 9 p.m., $44.95/adult, $24.95 child.
Celebrate the holidays at Mingo Point and
come out for the last oyster roast and BBQ
of 2015! Enjoy an authentic Lowcountry
experience at Kiawah’s most popular family
outing. Indulge in a riverside oyster roast and
an all-you-can-eat buffet of Southern BBQ
specialties highlighting holiday favorites. Live
entertainment from The Island Trio, a local
artisan craft market, and a kids “cool-zone”
featuring hair braiding and a design-yourown tote bag station. Be sure to be on your
best behavior because good ol’ Saint Nick
is coming to the Lowcountry for holiday
photos. Photos with Santa 6:15 - 7:15 p.m.
Reservations: (843) 768-2790.
Thanksgiving Tree Lighting Ceremony
at The Sanctuary
5 p.m. Join us as we “Deck the Halls” of
The Sanctuary for the holiday season. Staff
will be busy assembling our Grand Lobby
Christmas tree, as well as decorating our
mantels and grand staircases. Be there
as The Sanctuary is transformed into a
magical, holiday mansion.

Holiday Festival
Freshfields Village decks the halls as
this annual celebration returns to the
Village Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free
children’s activities include face painting
by Cupcake the Clown, an inflatable
obstacle course, jump castle, and rides
on the Mechanical Reindeer. There will
also be complimentary holiday craft and

activity booths, including the “North Pole
Post Office” to send your letters to Santa.
Enjoy live music from an interactive kid’s
band throughout the afternoon and Santa
will be available for photos.
Santa Arrives on Kiawah
3 - 5 p.m. Grand Lawn The Sanctuary.
Come witness as Santa and Mrs. Claus
make their grand arrival on Kiawah Island.
Kids of all ages are welcome to visit with
Santa as parents get the opportunity for
a picturesque holiday card. After visiting
with Santa, join Mrs. Claus Christmas
stories. S’more kits will be available on
the Grand Lawn for purchase during
the activities. Be there as our Pastry
Team unveils this season’s Sanctuary
Gingerbread creation.
Legare Farms Holiday Open House
10 - 2 p.m. Come enjoy free hayrides to
feed the cows, shop in the farm store, and
shop with vendors. Take a break from
turkey and enjoy a lunch of Legare Farms’
hamburgers, brats, barbeque sandwiches,
and boiled peanuts. Gifts certificates for
everything the farm sells will be available
as well as gift boxes and Legare Farms’
jams, salsas, pickles, and relishes. Farm
fresh eggs will be for sale and beef and
pork. For more info call 843.559.0788.

Santa Paws Sunday
Visit Santa’s Workshop at Freshfields
Village with your pet for a photo
opportunity with Santa! Each family
will receive one free print compliments
of the Village merchants. Donations will
be accepted on behalf of local pet rescue
groups. Santa will be available from 1 to 6
p.m. for photos with children as well.

The Nutcracker
North Charleston’s Holiday Family
Tradition, 7:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 5 at the North Charleston
Coliseum Performing Arts Center. The
South Carolina Ballet brings a cast of
over 35 professional dancers and over 60
local children to the stage. Tickets range
from $27-57 and can be purchased at
or by calling (843) 529-5000. For more
information about the South Carolina
Ballet, visit

December 5


The College of Charleston Madrigal
Singers Present A Madrigal Feast
River Course Clubhouse, $90 Dinner/
Beverage ticket. No online ticketing for
this event. See story page 4.

The Little Match Girl
Original ballet with live chamber
orchestra. Dec. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. at
Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street. Tickets:
$13-$39. Group rates available, www.

Holiday Carol Fest
7 p.m. The Charleston Music Club will
present a free intergenerational holiday
“Carol Fest” on Monday, in the chapel
at Franke at Seaside, 1885 Rifle Range
Rd. directed by Christopher Selby.
Middle-school, high-school & adult
instrumentalists are invited to sightread Christmas carols in a relaxed, lowstress environment. Call 224-9933 for
additional information. Anyone who is
not playing an instrument is invited to
sing. Refreshments will be provided. www.

11th Annual V-Tones Holiday
Main Library, Calhoun Street at 3 p.m.
Join Charleston’s premier ukulele band to
ring in the holiday season. Expect hijinks,
harmony, hilarity, holiday favorites, tap
dancing, crowd participation and festive

The Night Before Christmas
1 p.m. at the College of Charleston Sottile
Theatre (44 George Street), Chamber
Music Charleston brings back its holiday
classical kids concert. Musicians of
Chamber Music Charleston will play a
variety of holiday music as actors from the
Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina retell
classic Christmas tales. Tickets: $12 adults/
$6 children 4-16/ Free for children 3 and

“The Night Before Christmas”
Chamber Music Charleston brings the
annual holiday Classical Kids Concert to
the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre
(44 George Street). 1 p.m. Concert length:
45 minutes. Tickets: $12 adults/ $6
children 4-16/ Free for children 3 and
under. Group rates available. Tickets are
on sale now by calling (843) 763-4941 or
online at www.ChamberMusicCharleston.


volunteer spotlight

what’s hot

November 20, 2015

Ellen Hoppensteadt Don't fry those turkeys!
For The Island Connection

Editor’s Note: Volunteer Spotlight is a column in The Island Connection highlighting
members of the community who give their time to help others. If you know of a volunteer
who deserves the spotlight email


llen Hoppensteadt was raised by
her grandparents in a small town
in Tennessee: “I loved growing up
there. It was peaceful. People knew each
other well. Most of them lived there their
whole life.” There, she met her husband
and, shortly after in 1956, Ellen and her
husband moved to the Chicago suburbs,
where she ended up living most of her life.
In 1979, she moved to Fort Lauderdale,
before moving to Ladson, SC in 2012.
Ellen, who most of her life worked as a
legal secretary, has 9 children and 19
She has always been involved as a
volunteer. She began volunteering with
The Cooperative Feeding Program in Fort
Lauderdale that served lunch to over 200
people a day. In addition to volunteering
with Our Lady of Mercy Community
Outreach and The Neighborhood House,
she currently volunteers with five other
nonprofits: the Lowcountry Food Bank,
the Reading Partners, the Red Cross,
Laundry Matters, and North Charleston
Liberty Hill Academy. She also drives
cancer patients to their appointments.

She first got involved with The
Neighborhood House in 2012, when she
met the kitchen manager, Vonceil, and
has been serving lunch for the last three
years. Ellen enjoys volunteering with
the Cooking Matters program because
it teaches people life skills. The program
makes the participants embrace new ideas
about nutrition and implement them into
their own lives. She strongly believes that
everyone needs to give back and perform a
daily Mitzvah (good deed). For instance,
Ellen loves to pay for the person behind
her in a coffee shop: “You always get back
more than what you give. I believe it with
all my heart.”
You, too, can get involved with Our Lady
of Mercy Community Outreach and make a
positive change in someone’s life. For more
information on how to get involved with Our
Lady of Mercy Community Outreach call
843.559.4109 or email maria.gurovich@

For The Island Connection


he Thanksgiving holiday season is a
perfect time for bringing families and
friends together, but the holidays also
bring a specific set of dangers to the table.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission, the chances that a
house will catch fire on Thanksgiving is
three times greater than on any other day of
the year, and most of those fires start because
food is left unattended while cooking. One
specific issue of concern involves the frying
holiday turkeys.
Association discourages the use of outdoor
gas fueled turkey fryers that cook the
turkey in hot oil. They urge those that love
the taste of a fried turkey to utilize grocery
stores or restaurants that sell deep fried
turkeys, or consider a new type of “oil-less”
turkey fryer. Another option is a rotisserie
turkey fryer/steamer to help reduce the risk
to oneself or property. If you still want to
fry your holiday bird, here are some tips to
help reduce your risk of a fire:
• Choose a smaller turkey for frying.
A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best;
pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
• Make sure the turkey is completely
thawed (USDA says 24 hours for
every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry the
turkey before cooking. Ice or water
that mixes into the hot oil can
cause flare-ups.
• Watch the weather. Never operate
a fryer outdoors in the rain or
• Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out
of garages and a safe distance away
(approximately 10 feet) from trees
and other structures.
• Place the fryer on a level surface,
and avoid moving it once it’s in
• Leave 2 feet between the tank and
the burner when using a propanepowered fryer.
• Follow
instructions to avoid overfilling.
Oil can ignite when it makes
contact with the burner. Here is
a simple way to figure out how
much oil to use:
• Place turkey in pot
• Fill with water until the

turkey is covered by about 1/2
inch of water
• Remove and dry turkey (a
wet turkey can cause oil to
splatter latter)
• Mark water level. Dump
water, dry the pot, and fill
with oil to the marked level
• Wear goggles to shield your eyes,
use oven mitts to protect your
hands and arms and keep a greaserated fire extinguisher close by.
• The U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) says
that most turkey frying accidents
occur while the oil is being heated,
prior to even adding the turkey.
This means we must be extra
vigilant when heating the oil, and
turn off the fryer immediately if
any smoke appears.
• Purchase a fryer with temperature
controls, and watch the oil
temperature carefully. Cooking
oil that is heated beyond its smoke
point can catch fire. If you notice
the oil is smoking, turn the fryer
• Turn off the burner before
lowering the turkey into the oil.
Once the turkey is submerged,
turn the burner on.
• Skip the stuffing when frying
turkey, and avoid water-based
• Keep children and pets away from
the fryer at all times.
• Never leave fryers unattended.
• Never drink and fry.
• Once finished, carefully remove the
pot from the burner, place it on a
level surface and cover to let the oil
cool overnight before disposing.
• If a fire occurs, immediately
call 911, DO NOT attempt to
extinguish the fire with water.
Please take these tips into consideration
when preparing your holiday meal and
make your event one to remember for the
right reasons. Finally, the members of the
St. Johns Fire District want to wish you
and your families a happy and fire safe
Thanksgiving holiday!