Lowcountry Forever – The Podcast

Lowcountry Forever – The Podcast

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Every weekend, all six Charleston Radio Group stations come together to highlight the Lowcountry! Lowcountry Forever is a 30-minute program focused on those making a difference here, where we live. Every week, we talk one-on-one with community leaders, heads of nonprofits, newsmakers and individuals working to make the Lowcountry an even better place to live. Tune in each Sunday and hear about the good things going on in our neighborhoods, and to learn what you can do to help.

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If you have a group, event or an idea to feature on Lowcountry Forever, let us know! Give us your name and contact information in this form and be sure to include any relevant dates or deadlines. If your topic is a good fit, we’ll contact you at the email address indicated. Thanks for your interest in being on the show.

      I AM VOICES and the Charleston Friends of the Library (May 15, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      South Carolina ranks in the top 30 states in sex trafficking case as of 2021.  I AM VOICES is a non-profit which provides housing, resources and support for girls and young women, especially those who have aged out of the foster care system.   Founder and ED Megan Manigault explains that while people may believe trafficking is a “big city” concert, it’s happening here in the Lowcountry.  Manigault, a victim herself, explains how and why it happens, what individuals can do to stop it, and the needs her organization has.   Plus, she promoted an upcoming May 20th fundraising and informational event on the Charleston Radio Group stations.

      I AM VOICES

      Segment #2:

      The Charleston Friends of the Library helps fund more than 7,000 free and innovative program offered by the Charleston County Public Libraries.  The non-profit, volunteer organization provides critical support across the Charleston County Public Library Branches.  The organization’s Operations Manager, Nulani Bennett spoke of the specific things the CFOL do, and the needs they have.   May 19th – 22nd is there largest fundraiser of the year, “That Big Book Sale” which is now in its 40th year.   Bennett provided the details on the sale, and explained its importance.

      Charleston Friends of the Library

      American Heart Association & Charleston Memorial Stair Climb (May 8, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. While men are more likely to die of a heart attack, since women live longer, they are more likely to die of a stroke.   May is Stroke Awareness Month.  Dr. Christine Holmstedt is a stroke specialist at the Medical University of South Carolina who discussed the additional health challenges caused by the pandemic.   She presented steps that women can take to regain their rhythm for long term health.  Dr. Holmstedt also provided information on the Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women Luncheon” on May 26th.

      American Heart Association

      Segment #2:

      To honor those first responders lost in the attacks on 9/11, the Annual Charleston Memorial Star Climb event will take place at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday, June 18th.   This year’s event is made more noteworthy as June 18th will be the 15th anniversary of Sofa Super Store Fire in Charleston.   Rachel and John Cole organizer and run the event, which raises awareness and funds for our local first responders.   As a former firefighter, John shares his experiences and provides insight into what it’s like to be a first responder, and what the event means locally.

      Charleston Memorial Stair Climb

      Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce & Carolina Youth Development Center (May 1, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      Affordable housing is a major issue in the Charleston area, as the price of a new home, or to rent continues to rise.   The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has recognized this issue and has made it a legislative priority for the organization.   Craig Logan was recently hired as the Chamber’s House Executive Fellow.  Logan goes in-depth on the issue, and the challenges it presents for not only residents, but businesses in the area.   He also explains what the Chamber is attempting to do about the housing challenges and the steps they are taking to address the issue.

      Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

      Segment #2:

      For more than 200 years, first as the Charleston Orphan House, and since 1981 as the Carolina Youth Development Center has been helping our area’s most vulnerable children by providing a safe environment, educational support, and career readiness.  Dan Daniel from the CYDC discussed their mission, their challenges, and needs as they continue to serve.  With money a huge need, Katie Bendon talked about the upcoming May 7th Give Me Shelter Color 5K event.  In addition to letting people know how they can get involved, she also shared how the funds raised would be used.

      Carolina Youth Development Center

      Town of Mount Pleasant & Hire Dynamics (April 17, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      While contracting since the turn of the century, the shrimping business is still a big part of the Lowcountry. The start of the shrimp season has been celebrated for the past 35 years with the annual Town of Mount Pleasant “Blessing of the Fleet.” Nicole Harvey, the Community Affairs & Marketing Division Chief and Tracy Richter, the Special Events Manager for the Town of Mount Pleasant shared the details on the Sunday, April 24 event, explaining the importance of the shrimp fleet to the town, the history behind the “Blessing,” and why this particular event is so special to the town and its residents.

      Mount Pleasant, SC – Official Website

      Segment #2:

      This is an interesting time in the job market. Unemployment is low, but many Lowcountry businesses are having staffing issues. Jon Nickalus is the Charleston Manager of Hire Dynamics, a company that specializes in finding businesses qualified employees. Nickalus shared his analysis as to the reasons why this situation has occurred in the job market and what he believes will happen over the next six months. He also provided tips for individuals who are looking for either a job, or to move to a new position. And, offered up for employers searching to fill open positions.

      HireDynamics.com

      Mind Impact Consulting (April 10, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      Perhaps now, more than ever, following the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health has become a forefront issue with many people in the Lowcountry. Dr. Melissa Millanak is a licensed clinical psychologist, an associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina and the founder of Mind Impact Consulting LLC. Dr. Millanak shared her definition of what mental health is, and how wellbeing has become a huge part of mental health. In addition to laying out what wellbeing is, the doctor discussed, at length, how the pandemic had such a huge impact on the mental health of individuals across the Lowcountry. As well, Dr. Millanak shared some specific challenges that people have been dealing with over the last 18 months to 2 years. In speaking to those challenges, particularly the loss of sleep and the increase in work stress, Dr. Millanak provided listeners some specific tips to help people in dealing with both areas. The doctor also provided her perspective on the mental health situation of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, and thoughts on how parents, and people/athletes should deal with similar situations.

      MIND Impact Consulting

      Joint Base Charleston & Charleston County Parks & Recreation (April 3, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      After a break because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bi-annual Joint Base Charleston Airshow returns. This year’s event is April 9 and 10. The Director of the Airshow, Lt. Col. Mark Jones discussed all the elements of the air show. The Lieutenant Colonel presented the show rundown, including the need for attendees to have a parking pass to attend the free show. Jones also spoke of the work being done at Joint Base Charleston, why they do the airshows, and the portions of the event that are direct community outreach, including the STEM element of the airshow.

      Joint Base Charleston 2022 Air Expo

      Segment #2:

      The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Department hosts a number of community events each year. One of the larger ones is the annual Lowcountry Cajun Festival at James Island County Park on Saturday, April 9. The show hasn’t happened in 2 years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sarah Reynolds, the Parks and Rec Public Information Coordinator, provided all the details of the 2022 Lowcountry Cajun Festival. Plus, Reynolds explained the reasons why the county sponsors these events and how they benefit the people and businesses in the area.

      Charleston County Parks & Recreation

      Summerville YMCA & We Are Sharing Hope (March 27, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      The Summerville YMCA’s largest event, and biggest fundraiser of the year is the annual Flowertown Festival. This year’s event is Friday, April 1st through Sunday, April 3. One of the largest arts and crafts shows in the southeast, the Festival is critical for the YMCA. Erika Stubbs, the Marketing and Membership Director at the Y discussed the 3-day event and its importance to not only the YMCA, but the Summerville community as a whole. Stubbs shared the ways the money raised was invested, providing scholarships and helping to fund YMCA programs and initiatives.

       

      Flowertown – YMCA Summerville (summervilleymca.org)

      Segment #2:

      Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the national organ transplant list. More than 100,000 Americans, and over 1,200 people in South Carolina are waiting for a transplant. Victoria Coleman, from We Are Sharing Hope SC, explained the donation process and the role her organization plays in that process. She also discussed the simple process to follow to become a donor and the biggest misconceptions about organ donation. Coleman also shared information on the organization’s next fundraising event, The 17th Annual Race for Life on Saturday, April 9.

      We Are Sharing Hope SC

      Gaillard Center - Raising the Volume (March 20, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      This spring, the Charleston Gaillard Center is releasing volume three of their “Raising the Volume” interview series. This program is a conversation on music, race, art, activism, and community-curated by Charleston’s Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker and Grammy Award winner Charlton Singleton. The pair discussed how the series initially came together, and what they hope these conversations will accomplish. The hope is to provide a space where these conversations, some of which may be uncomfortable, can happen. Each interview focuses on an individual community member who shares their life experience, both personally and professionally. These conversations are meant to introduce the listener to not only the individual, but that person’s life story and what effect race has had. Amaker and Singleton also discussed the Gaillard Center and Raise the Volume series educational aspect, include the lesson plans that are provided to teachers, and Amaker’s program of visiting area schools.

      Raising The Volume – Charleston Gaillard Center 

      Charleston Animal Society & Water Mission (March 13, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      The Charleston Animal Society’s largest fundraising event of the year is their “Celebrity Paws in the Park” on Saturday, March 19th.  Kay Hyman, the Director of Community Engagement, discussed this first ever event.   Along with an appearance from Celebrity Dog Trainor Travis Brorsen, the event will feature a 5K run/walk, a Dock Dogs competition and family friendly events all day.   Hyman talked about where the funds raised would go, and the specific needs that money would address.   She also spoke about how the Charleston Animal Society is partnering with the other smaller, local shelters to foster No Kill South Carolina 2024.

      Charleston Animal Society

      Segment #2:

      Most people may not be aware, but there is a water crisis.  And not just in 3rd world nations, but close to home as well.  Water Mission is a Charleston, SC based Christian organization that empowers communities to sustain ownership and sustainability of safe water solutions.   Mary Hoffman of Water Mission discussed the organization’s role in the water crisis and some of the recent disasters where they have lent their assistance.    Hoffman also shared local volunteer opportunities within the organization, and laid out this year’s 16th annual Water for Water fundraising event on Saturday, March 26th.

      Water Mission

      Charleston Black Expo & Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Lowcountry (March 6, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      The Charleston Black Expo is held in an effort to promote economic development through increased exposure for minority-owned businesses.   Darrin Thomas is the founder of the Black Expo and the driving force behind this annual event.   He discussed the history behind the Expo and what attendees can expect this year.   The Expo has expanded with an additional Taste of Black Charleston event the night before the Expo.  Thomas also explained how the Expo is also a forum to educate, enlighten and inspire the entire community. Aside from economic development, exposure to cultural resources is a part of the focus for this event.

      Charleston Black Expo

      Segment #2:

      Big Brothers/Big Sisters is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.  Their belief is all youth can achieve their full potential.   Meredith Crowe, the area President discussed their program, and the incredible need they have for adult mentors.   She provided information on how to get involved.  Big Brother Jeffrey Mercer shared his experiences in the program as a mentor, and how it has helped him personality, as well as assisted his Little Brother Gregory.

      Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Lowcountry

      American Heart Association & North Charleston POPS (February 20, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      About 40,000 American children are born with a heart defect each year and childhood heart defects are the number one killer of infants with birth defects.  The American Heart Association is working to change those numbers. Kelly Nix is a Lowcountry resident whose daughter was born with a heart defect.   Nix’s daughter was diagnosed in the womb, and thanks to American Heart Association research, was born healthy. Nix talked about her unique experience, shared the ways the American Heart Association helped, and spoke of the annual Lowcountry Heart Walk on February 26.

      Lowcountry American Heart Association

      Segment #2:

      The North Charleston POPS is putting together performance with education to help residents of North Charleston. Tacy Edwards, the founder and executive director of POPS, spoke of how and why the orchestra was formed. She discussed how it is being embraced by the community and how POPS is giving back. Their latest initiative is Kidz POPS, a program to teach music to students in Title One schools in the Charleston/North Charleston area. Edwards explained the importance of learning to play an instrument, and the positive impact it has on a child’s overall education and life as well.

      North Charleston Pops!

      Charleston Animal Society & Town of Mt. Pleasant Police Dept. (February 13, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      With a goal of No Kill South Carolina 2024, the Charleston Animal Society continues to expand their mission. To reach the goal, the Society needs to raise funds, and will sponsor their first “Celebrity Paws in the Park” on March 19, featuring celebrity dog trainer Travis Brorsen. Brorsen provided tips to pet owners and getting their dogs in shape and living healthier, while promoting his appearance at the event. Kay Hyman talked about the Animal Society’s mission, and all that is being presented as the Celebrity Paws in the Park event. 

      Charleston Animal Society

      Segment #2:

      The Town of Mount Pleasant Police Department will be giving back to the community later this month. PIO Donald Calabrese discussed the department’s mission in the town, and how they reach out beyond their regular duties.     On Feb. 19, the Department will host their annual “Polar Plunge” on the Isle of Palms. The Plunge is a fundraiser for Special Olympics of South Carolina. Officer Calabrese discussed the relationship between the police and Special Olympics, and how the event will unfold to raise the maximum amount of funds. The conversation also included how and why the department and officers serve beyond their paid hours/shifts.

      2022 Isle of Palms Polar Plunge

      Southeastern Wildlife Expo & Charleston Music Hall (February 4, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      Because of the pandemic, it’s been two years since the last Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, the event generally known as the kick-off to the tourist season in the Lowcountry. The annual 3-day event, better known as SEWE, generates millions of dollars for the local economy. SEWE Executive Director John Powell talks about the effects of cancelling the event the past two years, and the reasons behind those decisions. Plus, he spoke of the impact that SEWE has had on the area, and what visitors can expect when attending the 2022 Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.

      Southeastern Wildlife Exposition 

      Segment #2:

      Almost everyone, and every business was affected one way or another by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The live entertainment industry was hurt as much or more than any other business. Charles Carmody runs the Charleston Music Hall, an entertainment venue in downtown Charleston.   The Music Hall had a unique way of dealing with the pandemic, taking live entertainment outside to keep some stream of revenue, and keep live music available in the area. Carmody discusses their decision making process, the ups and downs of working through this challenging time, where the venue is now, and how they are moving forward today.

      Charleston Music Hall Tickets

       

      American Heart Association & Hope Repair (January 30, 2022)

      Segment #1:

      To kick-off Heart Month, Allison Crouch of the Lowcountry American Heart Association talks about the two major event the organization is holding in February. Both are to raise awareness of heart disease and funds to support heart research. The annual “Wear Red Day” is February 5th, and the Lowcountry Heart Walk is February 27th. As part of the Lowcountry Heart Walk, Lakeshia William’s son will be crowned the “Little Heart King.” Ms. Williams discussed her son’s medical situation and the many ways the American Heart Association assisted their family.

      American Heart Association

      Segment #2:

      The Lowcountry, and in particular Berkeley County, are among the biggest growth areas in the state, and even our nation. However, among all that growth, there is poverty in these growing communities. Hope Repairs is a 5013c that assists those in the most need, providing free repairs to their homes. David Ensor is the founder of Hope Repairs, who recently just completed repairs on their 1,000th home. Ensor spoke about how their program works, who specifically they are trying to help, and why there is such a need in the rural areas of Berkeley County. The Pastor also provided information for those in need, and for anyone who wants to help.

      Hope Repair – Pointe North Church

      Lowvelo w/MUSC Hollings Cancer Center & Charleston County Community Development Department (June 13, 2021)

      Segment # 1

      It is said that if you haven’t been affected by cancer personally, someone in your family, or someone you know has.    The MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is the area’s leading cancer facility.    To help provide funding for the center, each year Lowvelo, a fundraising bicycle event is held.    The organizers of Lowvelo explained the event, how funds will be raised and how individuals and groups can participate.     Also discussed was where the money raised will go, and how it will be able to assist both individuals dealing with cancer, as well as their families.

      Lowvelo

      Segment # 2

      Among the challenges created by the Covid-19 Pandemic were housing issues.   Specifically, tenants that were unable to pay their rent, and landlords dealing with financial hardships because of unpaid rent.    The Charleston County Community Development Department, who provide administrative and financial oversight for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, received $12.4 million in grants.   Anne Eskridge explains how and why they received that money, and how both tenants and landlords can apply for the assistance.

      Charleston County Community Development Group

      Palmetto Military Support Group & North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary (June 6, 2021)

      Segment # 1

      The Charleston area is one of the few in the nation which is home to each branch of the military. The Palmetto Support Group is an organization which supports the military, and its members as well as veterans in the tri-county area. The organization also provides support and scholarships to high school senior who choose a military careers.  Colonel Judi Hughes discussed the Third Annual Lowcountry Salutes, a June 27th event which supports and honors those seniors who are moving on to their selected branch of the military. 

      Palmetto Military Support Group

      Segment # 2

      Education was one of the most challenged areas during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Erin Tarpley, a 5th grade teacher at North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School, discussed how teachers adapted to changes created to deal with Covid.   Along with providing insight on the effect of the pandemic on the students, staff and curriculum, Tarpley discussed positive ways educators dealt with the challenge. In partnership with the Gibbes Museum, her students executed a year-long “Going West” project, which she shared and explained how it helped her students.

      North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School

      Charleston Friends of the Library and Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services (May 23, 2021)

      Segment # 1

      Has the internet made the library obsolete?   Even in the 21st century, the library is an important part of our community.   Susan Hoffius, a former librarian and the President of the Charleston Friends of the Library talked about the importance of libraries and the positive impact of the Charleston County Public Library system.   In addition to discussing how residents can use the library and how they have evolved, Hoffius also explained how the non-profit “Friends” support the library system, including through their Memorial Day Weekend “That Big Book Sale,” their largest fundraising event of the year.

      Charleston Friends of the Library 

      Segment # 2

      At some point in almost everyone’s life, a person needs the assistance of an attorney.   However, not everyone can afford legal services, which is where Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services can help.    Kristi Harrington, a team member and a nominee for their “Champion of Justice” program, discussed ways the organization assists those in need, and how people can use their services.    Harrington also shared details on the “Champion of Justice” program and how people can vote and raise money for the non-profit organization.

      Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services

      First Steps of Charleston County and the Charleston Memorial Stair Climb (May 16, 2021)

      Segment # 1

      Education starts with kindergarten, but learning begins at birth.   Pre-kindergarten and headstart programs are important, however, also not available to all in the community.  First Steps of Charleston County is working to provide those services to every family. Their goal is to ensure all children are healthy and ready for kindergarten. Taresha Whelldon and Hafeezah Yates explained how First Steps of Charleston County works, and how families can become involved with the program.

      First Steps of Charleston County

      Segment # 2

      This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.  To remember and celebrate the first responders who gave their lives that day, the first ever Charleston Memorial Stair Climb will be held June 19 at the North Charleston Coliseum. Former fireman John Cole provided a perspective on 9/11, as well as the Charleston Nine, from a first responders view. Rachel Cole explained the event, including the organizations that would receive the funds raised by the benefit.

      Charleston Memorial Stair Climb

      North Charleston Police Department and Chief Reggie Burgess (May 9, 2021)

      The conversation about policing, and police misconduct has been raised since the George Floyd incident in Minnesota. However, that conversation was raised in the Lowcountry years earlier when was shot and killed by North Charleston Police Officer Michael Reggie Burgess, the North Charleston Police Chief, addressed the issues facing not only the police, but the community as well. Chief Burgess addressed police training, the importance of diversity in the force, as well as explaining what he considered is a “good stop.” The top cop in North Charleston also discussed the recent audit of the department and changes that have been made and are being considered.

      North Charleston Police Department

      The Town of Moncks Corner and Force Blue (May 2, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      As more people continue to move to South Carolina, development has become an increasingly important issue.   One of the fastest growing areas is Moncks Corner in Berkeley County. Doug Pullen, the town’s Community Development Director, discussed the growth in the community over the past few years, and what that has meant for quality of life, and economic growth in Moncks Corner.  He also laid out the benefits of living in Moncks Corner, and the 10 year growth plan being developed. 

      Town of Moncks Corner

      Segment #2:

      Currently based in the Lowcountry, in Mount Pleasant, Force Blue is a non-profit which addresses two unrelated issues, the decline of our planet’s marine resources and the difficulty returning combat veterans have in adjusting to civilian life. Jim Ritterhoff explained the mission of Force Blue and how it assists veterans while also helping the planet. The organization is currently a finalist in the “Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards” sponsored by Land Rover.

      Force Blue

      Trident United Way and the Dorchester County Board of Disabilities & Speical Needs (April 25, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      Among the many things effected by the Covid-19 Pandemic was the Trident United Way.    The agency not only was unable to execute all of its programs, but also had fundraising challenges, making it difficult to meet the needs of its clients. Amy Macianielio, the TUW Director of Strategy and Innovation introduced “Sing United,” a virtual singing competition which was the organizations major spring fundraiser. Macianielio explained the competition, how funds would be raised and how those funds would be used and who they would ultimately benefit.

      Trident United Way

      Segment #2:

      The Dorchester County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs develops, coordinates and operates services and programs for persons with intellectual disabilities, autism, and head and spinal cord injuries in Dorchester County. The Executive Director of the organization talked specifically about their services and programs, how they’ve dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic. The organization is looking for people to join the organization, both as clients, and employees and provided details on their upcoming job fair.

      Dorchester County Board of Disabilities & Special Needs

      Charleston Parks & Recreation & the Summerville YMCA (April 18, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      As the Lowcountry, and the entire nation, begin to transition from the Covd-19 Pandemic to “getting back to normal,” the Charleston County Department of Parks and Recreation is adding additional programs and facilities. Renee Dickerson, the Director of Marketing, discussed the adjustments the Department made due to the pandemic and what they were able to continue of offer.   Additionally, she discussed the New Stono River County Park, what programs and events were returning for this spring and summer, and elements offered to county residents, including the CCDPR “Gold Pass.”

      Charleston County Parks & Recreation Department

      Segment #2:

      The Summerville YMCA is a major part of the Summerville community.    With four locations in the Summerville area, the YMCA continues their mission of building healthy spirits, minds and bodies for all.   The YMCA’s Kimberly Howell discussed the organization’s role in the community, and how they’ve dealt with the Covid-19 Pandemic, including the cancellation of their largest fundraiser, the Flowertown Festival.   Among the things the non-profit offers is child development, and health and wellness programs.   

      Summerville Family YMCA

      Autism Speaks and MUSC on the Covid-19 Vaccine (April 11, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      April is Autism month, something that over time, has affected more and more individuals. The goal of Autism Speaks is to assist individuals with autism to reach their full potential. Lauren Kidder explained what autism is, and the reasons why autism has been diagnosed more in the 21st century. Kidder spoke about what her organization is and does, and provided information to parents to help notice if their son or daughter has autism, and what individuals can do to help those with autism, and how to deal with those people.

      Autism Speaks

      Segment #2:

      As vaccines have been created to deal with the pandemic created by Covid-19, there are many questions about different vaccines. Dr. Mileka Gilbert, who has a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology discussed the various vaccines, and who should get vaccinated. The Doctor spoke about how that vaccines are supposed to work, and the side effects from getting a shot. Dr. Gilbert explained who should get the vaccine, and laid out the scientific case why individuals should get vaccinated, and also addressed why certain sectors of the population are not getting vaccinated and what should be done about that.

      MUSC

      The Trident Literacy Association and Louie's Kids (April 4, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      Adult literacy is a huge problem across our country as well as here in the Lowcountry. Eileen Chepenik from the Trident Literacy Association discussed the problem, which is a generational one. The Trident Literacy Association works with adults, teaching them how to read. She brings an understanding to the challenges created by illiteracy, since people who can’t read generally don’t find employment, or at least good paying jobs. Chepenik also addresses the benefits and challenges created by the digital age in which we live, and how the Covid-19 Pandemic has affected their work, serving the tricounty area.

      Trident Literacy Association

      Segment #2:

      There is a nationwide problem with obesity, that is even worse than the national average in the Lowcountry.   Louie’s Kids was founded to teach children, and as importantly, their families how to eat healthy.   Louie Yuhaez addresses the overweight problems with our youths and discusses how families can address the challenge.   He also discussed on of the organizations signature events, “Little Chef, Big Chef,” and an essay contest being conducted to find the five children who would win the opportunity to be a “Little Chef” as part of this year’s fundraising event.

      Louie’s Kids

      The American Red Cross and the Pure Concert Festival (March 21, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      Blood levels in the Lowcountry remain at dangerously low levels.   Patricia Ammons from the American Red Cross spoke of why the blood supply is so low, and what effect Covid-19 has had on blood donation and collection.    Additionally, Ammons explained the blood giving process, discussed where a blood donation goes, and who and how it helps.   Plus, she promoted the next major drive on Thursday, March 25.

      American Red Cross

      Segment #2:

      April is Autism month. To raise awareness of that, and raise funds for the Charleston Walk for Autism, concert organizer Zandria Dunning spoke on the upcoming Pure Festival Concert, an April 3 benefit for the Charleston Walk for Autism. Gillian Kohl, a mom of an autistic child and Charleston Walk for Autism representative talked about the challenges a child with autism faces and how Covid-19 has affected their organization. Plus, Jay Davis of the Greater Charleston YMCA talked about his facility, why it was hosting the festival, and all that the YMCA has to offer to those interested in joining. 

      Pure Concert Festival

      The American Heart Association and AME Churches & Father to Father Incorporated (Mar. 14, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      Heart disease and stoke are a leading cause of death in our country, particularly in the African-American community. The American Heart Association has teamed up with the Women’s Missionary Society to raise the awareness of the importance of knowing your blood pressure and addressing risk factors like unhealthy eating and the lack of physical activity. Myra Haney Singleton and Nevja Wigfall from the Women’s Missionary Society discussed conversations being had in the church, and about an AHA workshop being held on March 18, 2021. 

      American Heart Assocation

      Segment #2:

      Being a father, particularly a good father, isn’t easy. Father to Father is a local organization created to help fathers. Whether they are in a situation where they are together with the child’s mom, or not, Father to Father helps men become better parents, and, in some cases, better partners. Sandino Moses, the Outreach Coordinator in their North Charleston office spoke of the challenges facing today’s fathers, the important of a child growing up with an involved mother and an involved father, and how his organization assists fathers.

      Father to Father Incorporated

      East Cooper Meals on Wheels and the Town of Mount Pleasant (Mar. 7, 2021)

      Segment #1:

       East Cooper Meals on Wheels is more than just an organization that provides meals to elderly shut-ins – much, much more.  George Roberts, the President of the organization explained all that Meals on Wheels does for its clients, and where the meals and items they provide come from.    Also discussed was the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Meals On Wheels and their clients, and what the community can do to help.

      East Cooper Meals On Wheels

      Segment #2:

      The first major event cancelled by the pandemic in March of 2020 was the Town of Mount Pleasant’s annual ArtFest.   In 2021, the first major event of the year the town will put on is ArtFest 2021.   Nicole Harvey and Tracy Ritcher from the Town of Mount Pleasant discussed the effects of Covid-19 on events and how that, in turn, has effected residents.   Additionally, they talked about ArtFest 2021 and the schedule events for this year, and the additional precautions and measure that are being taken to ensure that participants and attendees are safe and feel comfortable.

      Town of Mount Pleasant ArtFest 2021

      CPR3 at The Citadel and Riverdogs Baseball
      (Feb. 28, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      Is fitness a national security issue? It is, according to Dr. Daniel Bornstein, the Director of The Center for Performance Readiness, Resiliency and Recovery (CRP3) at The Citadel. According Dr. Bornstein, only 25% of military age Americans are able to qualify for the services physically.   Dr. Bornstein discussed how that affects other areas of our society, such as first responders, and explained how The Citadel is the only college offering academic programs in tactical strength and training , and how CPR3 extends out into the Lowcountry community.

      The CPR3 Program at The Citadel

      Segment #2:

      Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charleston Riverdogs were not able to play baseball in 2020. That will change as the 2021 Riverdogs schedule has been released and baseball returns to Charleston on May 4, 2021. Ben Abzug, Assistant General Manager of the Riverdogs discussed the effects of the 2020 season on their business, what the 2021 season looks like, how their interactions with the community have played out during the pandemic, and what Riverdogs fans can expect when baseball returns to Joe Riley Ball Park.

      The Charleston Riverdogs

      The Lowcountry Food Bank and H.O.P.E. Acres Rescue
      (Feb. 14, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      The Lowcountry Food Bank serves a 10 county area across South Carolina, helping those in need. Typically, the first part of the year is a slow time for donations, coming off the holidays. Brenda Shaw from the Lowcountry Food Bank discusses the current challenges of the Food Bank resulting from the ongoing pandemic. Plus, shares ways that people can assist, including how they’ve transformed one of their largest fundraising events, the Chef’s Feast, into a virtual event.

      The Lowcountry Food Bank

      Segment #2:

      H.O.P.E. Acres Rescue is a South Carolina non-profit that provides equine rescue assistance statewide. Executive Director Kurt Abel introduces us to his organization and discusses what they do, and why there is a need for them. Abel also provides details on how the organization has been affected by the COVID-19, and how the pandemic has changed one of their big fundraising events, the H.O.P.E. Lope 5K Run.

      H.O.P.E Acres Rescue

      "Raising the Volume" @ The Gaillard Center and School Choice with My SC Education
      (Feb. 7, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      On February 1, 2021, the Charleston Gaillard Center released the second set of videos in the “Raise the Volume” series. One of the two hosts of the series, Grammy Award winner Charlton Singleton discussed how he was part of the development of the idea, and who is featured in the second set of programs.   Singleton also talked about the stories being told, how they affect the Lowcountry, and his hopes for what this conversation on race will mean.

      The Charleston Gaillard Center

      Segment #2:

      Following the completion of School Choice week, the Executive Director of My South Carolina Education, Dr. Shaunette Parker, discussed school choice in the Palmetto State. The deadline for parents to make a choice for their children for the next school year is February 26. Dr. Parker addressed the many issues surrounding school choice, including the question does this take money away from public schools. Her emphasis, and her organization’s focus is providing information to parents and encouraging them to make the best choice for their child.

      My SC Education

      Heart Month w/The American Heart Association and the COVID-19 Vaccine
      (Jan. 31, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      To kick-off Heart Month, Allison Crouch of the Lowcountry American Heart Association talks about the two major event the organization is holding in February. Both are to raise awareness of heart disease and funds to support heart research. The annual “Wear Red Day” is February 5, and the Lowcountry Heart Walk is February 27. As part of the Lowcountry Heart Walk, Lakesha William’s son will be crowned the “Little Heart King.  Ms. Williams discussed her son’s medical situation and the many ways the American Heart Association assisted their family. 

      The Lowcountry American Heart Association

      Segment #2:

      As Covid-19 begins to transition from testing to vaccination, Dr. Mileka Gilbert, a pediatric rheumatologist at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital shared up to date information on the pandemic. Dr. Gilbert, who also has a Ph.D in microbiology and immunology, focused on the differences faced by people of color. There is a higher COVID-19 infection and mortality rate for people of color.   Plus, people of color are less like to get vaccinated. Dr. Gilbert explained the reasons behind this and what needs to be done about it.

      MUSC Covid-19 Information

      The Community Resource Center and the City of Hanahan
      (Jan. 24, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      The Community Resource Center is a Lowcountry non-profit operating in Summerville and North Charleston. Louis Smith and his family founded the organization, which provides education and empowerment to low income individual and families. Because of the effects of the pandemic, his organization is providing assistance to more people than ever. He speaks of those challenges, how people can assist, and what those in need can do to receive help.

      The Community Resource Center Website

      Segment #2:

      The Mayor of Hanahan explains her role in the city’s government and what is next for the residents of Hanahan. Christine Rainwater provided a breakdown of priorities for the city, including parks and recreation projects, how a new bond referendum was passed and what it will ultimately mean for Hanahan. Mayor Rainwater also discussed the city’s attributes, how it is dealing with growth, and how residents can provide feedback and contact the Mayor.

      City of Hanahan Website

      The City of Goose Creek and SEWE
      (Jan. 17, 2021)

      Segment #1:

      On the eve of the City of Goose Creek’s 60th anniversary celebration this spring, Mayor Greg Habib discussed the town’s Comprehensive Plan that is being formulated, and how residents can provide input to the plan. Additionally, the Mayor talked about economic growth and development in the city, and how the “Kickstart the Creek” program is assisting in that. Plus, the challenges Goose Creek is dealing with because of Covid-19 and ways the city will celebrate its 60th anniversary.  

       City of Goose Creek Website

      Segment #2:

      The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is known as the kick-off to the tourist season in Charleston and the entire Lowcountry. However, because of Covid-19, the 2021 SEWE was cancelled. Executive Director John Powell explained why the decision was made to cancel this year’s SEWE. Additionally, he discussed the economic impact that will have on his organization, and Charleston and the surrounding area, plus what the organization is now working toward in the future.

      Learn more about SEWE by clicking through to their website.

      Charleston MLK Celebration and The Formation Project
      (Jan. 10, 2021)

      Segment #1:
      The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Charleston is one of the oldest in the nation, dating back to 1972, prior to the establishment of a national holiday honoring the Civil Rights leader. The Executive Director of the YWCA of Greater Charleston, the organization in charge of the celebration, LaVanda Brown talks about the history of the celebration, the challenges brought on by the pandemic, this year’s events, and the legacy of Dr. King and his impact in our community today. Learn more about the celebration on the YWCA of Greater Charleston’s website.

      Segment #2:
      The Charleston region is one of the areas of our country that has a large percentage of the human trafficking that occurs in the U.S. As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Kat Wehunt, the founder of the Charleston “The Formation Project” spoke about the problem in the Lowcountry. Wehunt talked about her own experiences with trafficking, why so much of it occurs in Charleston, what people should know about the issue and how The Formation Project is working to prevent human trafficking and assisting those who have been trafficked. Visit the website of The Formation Project to learn more.

      "Pick Me SC" w/the Charleston Animal Society & South Carolina Stingrays (Dec. 6, 2020)

      Segment #1:
      The no-kill Charleston Animal Society continues its community outreach. From December 4th through the 13th, the Charleston Animal Society has taken the lead in “Pick Me SC,” a statewide event where larger shelters work with, and help out smaller, rural shelters in getting animals adopted. Kay explained how “Pick Me SC” works, and spoke about animal issues in the Lowcountry, and provide tips for listeners with pets for the holidays.

      Segment #2:
      When COVID-19 hit the Lowcountry last spring, the South Carolina Stringrays were one of the many businesses directly affected, having to end their season two months early, in March. Rob Concannon, the teams President and GM, discusses how the organization reacted to the shutdown, the adjustments they had to make over the spring and summer months, and how they are preparing for a new season, with COVID-19 restrictions, which opens on Friday, December 11th.

      Toys for Tots & "Turkey & a Twenty" at One80 Place (Nov. 22, 2020)

      Segment #1:
      Homelessness continues to be an issue across the Lowcountry, particularly in the city of Charleston. One80 Place is a non-profit with a mission to prevent and end homelessness. Chief Development Officer Marco Corona discussed how One80 Place works and what their short and long terms goals are for the Lowcountry. Katie Smith, their Director of Annual Giving spoke of the effects of COVID-19 on their fundraising efforts, and talked about their upcoming holiday fundraiser, “Turkey and a 20” on Tuesday, November 24th.

      Segment #2:
      The annual Marine Corp Reserve “Toys for Tots” campaign is underway for the holiday season. The toy collection drive in the Lowcountry is one of the largest across the country. Staff Sgt. Woodruff, the local Toys for Tots coordinator talked about the challenges of this year’s drive because of COVID-19. He shared information on Toys for Tots needs for this year, important deadlines, explained how the toy drive helped the community and how listeners could take part in this year’s Toys for Tots campaign.

      Raising the Volume (Gaillard Center) & The Charleston Basket Brigade (Nov. 16, 2020)

      Segment #1:
      The Charleston Gaillard Center has launched a new program entitled “Raising the Volume,” a conversation on music, race, art, activism and community. One of the two show hosts, Markus Amaker talked about his hope for the program and explained his role in the project. Also discussed was who would be featured on “Raising the Volume,” why they were chosen and the education angle of the program, and how it would impact area schools.

      Segment #2:
      Every year, the Charleston Basket Brigade gathers at the North Charleston Convention Center on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving to pack and deliver more than 3,000 meals to families in need. Because of Covid-19, this year’s Charleston Basket Brigade will be different, with no packing event. Pam Hartley, the founder of the Charleston Basket Brigade talks about the challenges the pandemic has provided, the greater need in the community because of it, and how they are moving forward this year. Plus, she provides information on how people can still assist in providing turkeys to those who otherwise might have to go without.

      The Salvation Army & Camp Rise Above (Nov. 8, 2020)

      Segment #1:
      Like most non-profits and community organizations, Covid-19 has created challenges for the Salvation Army. Sgt. Mike Michels, the local commander of the Salvation Army, explained how their “Angel Tree” program is adapting this year because of the pandemic, as well as sharing the changes to their kettle program. In addition to explaining the year round services that the Salvation Army provides through the Lowcountry, Sgt. Michels spoke of their needs and how people could volunteer and assist them in their mission.

      Segment #2:

      Every year, millions of children are able to have the experience of going to camp. However, not all children are provided that opportunity. Erin Ulmer, the Executive Director of Camp Rise Above, explains how the non-profit give children with disabilities or diseases that same opportunity. In addition to the discussion on the services Camp Rise Above provides, Ulmer also shares the challenges COVID-19 has presented, and give information about the November 14th Homebrewed Harvest event, to raise funds for Camp Rise Above.

      Operation Gratitude, The Reindeer Run & Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Center
      (Nov. 1, 2020)

      Segment #1:
      The Halloween Candy Give-Back Program, part of Operation Gratitude, has been connecting communities with Military and First Responder Heroes each fall since 2007. Suzy Kopp, a local real estate agent and Operation Gratitude advocate, provides information on the organization and how area residents can donate their extra Halloween candy to Deployed Troops, Veterans, and First Responders with the goal of forging strong bonds between the civilian and service communities nationwide.

      Segment #2:
      The annual Reindeer Run, sponsored by Half Moon Outfitters is a 5K charity run that benefits the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. Haley Krischner is the race director, and spoke about the history of the race, how Covid-19 has changed this year’s event to a virtual run, and how people can register and get involved this December.

      Segment #3:
      With Veterans Day approaching, Sue Kerver the Voluntary Service Program Manager at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Center, updates the Lowcountry on their upcoming programs for Veterans. Plus, shares details on the November 11th, virtual Veterans Day Parade. And, provides information on how people can volunteer and help Veterans in need during these COVID-19 times, and throughout the holiday season.

      Dee Norton & American Cancer Society
      (Oct. 25, 2020)

      Segment #1:
      The Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center in Charleston has a goal to create a community where children are safe from abuse and trauma. Throughout the month of October, the Center is asking Lowcountry residents to take their pledge to prevent child abuse. Beverly Hutchinson discussed how the pledge works, as well as explaining the mission of the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center, what the center does to help children and families, and what area residents can do to assist their efforts.

      Segment #2:
      October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Charleston Radio Group has teamed up with the American Cancer Society to support their local events all month long. The final, and signature event is the “Making Strides Charleston Car Parade.” Kyle Jamison is a cancer survivor who not only participates in the event, but has involved the North Charleston Police Department, where he is an officer. Kyle talks about how the American Cancer Society assisted him while he was fighting the disease, how the organization helped his mother, also a cancer survivor, and how people can be a part of this year’s Making Strides event.

      Charleston MLK Celebration and The Formation Project
      (Jan. 10, 2020)

      Segment #1:
      The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Charleston is one of the oldest in the nation, dating back to 1972, prior to the establishment of a national holiday honoring the Civil Rights leader. The Executive Director of the YWCA of Greater Charleston, the organization in charge of the celebration, LaVanda Brown talks about the history of the celebration, the challenges brought on by the pandemic, this year’s events, and the legacy of Dr. King and his impact in our community today.     Learn more about the celebration on the YWCA of Greater Charleston’s website.

      Segment #2:
      The Charleston region is one of the areas of our country that has a large percentage of the human trafficking that occurs in the U.S. As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Kat Wehunt, the founder of the Charleston “The Formation Project” spoke about the problem in the Lowcountry. Wehunt talked about her own experiences with trafficking, why so much of it occurs in Charleston, what people should know about the issue and how The Formation Project is working to prevent human trafficking and assisting those who have been trafficked.     Visit the website of The Formation Project to learn more.