• Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine

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Community Impact: United We Win

United Way of the Lowcountry

United Way of the Lowcountry (UWLC) continues to evolve.  While the organization works to help meet the immediate needs of our neighbors, they are also looking ahead to reduce future needs and create lasting, positive change in our community through Community Impact.  As they make the shift to their new model, UWLC is focusing on four priority areas including basic needs, education, health and income/family stability to address the root causes of key issues identified by the community.

     Chrystie Turner, Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of the Lowcountry, explains implementing the new Community Impact model has been a decade long process involving researching best practices and garnering community feedback to help create an effective model, tailored to our unique community.  “United Way of the Lowcountry felt so strongly about community support that we hired an independent facilitator to conduct a series of open community conversations, said Turner. “After knowing what issues the community wanted us to focus on moving forward, we gathered current partner agencies and other key stake holders to help us create common goals and outcomes for the four priority areas that allow us to measure the impact of our donor’s investment.”

     While the Community Impact model is being fully implemented, the review process used in determining funding is a signature process of United Way of the Lowcountry and remains intact through their Community Impact Committee.  Funding decisions are made local by this committee, which is comprised of volunteers and community members who donate to UWLC.  These volunteers help determine how undesignated United Way Annual Campaign donations will be distributed to local agencies and services throughout Beaufort and Jasper Counties to make a lasting impact. “By moving from a Community Investment model of funding to Community Impact, United Way of the Lowcountry is ensuring donors’ contributions are supporting programs that create lasting change in our community’s condition, while continuing to fund direct services to help those with immediate needs, says Becky Francis, Community Impact Committee Chair.  “My involvement over the last few years in this process to change to Community Impact has been the most rewarding job in both my career in business and as a volunteer because I see the difference it is making in our community.”

Who can become a volunteer on the Community Impact Committee? 

     No experience is needed to serve on the Community Impact Committee. Anyone who donates to United Way of the Lowcountry has the opportunity to serve on the committee and help determine what programs will provide our community with the greatest impact. “We want to ensure that our donors are the ones helping make these important funding decisions,” said Turner.

What is the time commitment to serve on the Community Impact Committee?

     The first step is a two-hour training session, where UWLC prepares volunteers on how to review an application and what items are most important when evaluating funding decisions.

      Based on availability and interest, volunteers will be assigned to a panel responsible for reviewing funding applications for up to 3 agencies.  These panels are filled with volunteers, who want to make a difference in their community.  After volunteers have selected a panel to serve on and have been trained, they will then have the opportunity to do site visits at local agencies applying for funding, where they will meet with the agency’s Executive Director and the Board Chair. “I encourage donors who are interested in learning more about the Community Impact process to get involved and become a volunteer, says Francis. “It’s a great way to see your dollars at work.”

Interested in becoming a Community Impact Volunteer?

Contact Chrystie Turner at cturner@uwlocountry.org or call (843) 379-3067 for more information.

The 2017 Gamecocks will represent the University of South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks will be led by Will Muschamp, back for his second year as head coach.

    Quarterback Jake Bentley is back to lead the Gamecocks’ attack and is one of 10 returning starters on offense. The defense also gets a big boost with the return of linebacker Skai Moore, who missed all of 2016 because of a neck injury. Moore’s presence will certainly help a unit that desperately needs to find a pass rush and features a secondary that has experience but must become more reliable. South Carolina should at least be competitive in every game this season. How many games the Gamecocks win and where they fall in the SEC East standings will likely depend on whether or not the offense takes a small or significant step forward.

    For the first time in his five-year head-coaching career, Will Muschamp seems to have found the answer at quarterback. Bentley started seven games last year after skipping his senior season at Opelika (Ala.) High School to join the Gamecocks. Bentley threw for 1,420 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

    South Carolina has got to get their defense on a roll.  Last season they were 92nd in the nation in sacks with 21. And, believe it or not, things could get worse this year. They must replace both defensive ends, including Darius English, who led the team with 9.0 sacks in 2016.

   Muschamp and his coaching staff took over a roster so depleted that some of the struggles of the 2016 can hardly be held against them. Year 2 is a different story. The Gamecocks should build on the offensive momentum established with Bentley at the helm in the last half of 2016, but the defense will be tested by this year’s thin group.

     Their schedule this year’s starts with NC State and then on to Missouri for their second game.  Week 3 they will be battling it out with Kentucky.

About the Head Coach:

William Larry Muschamp was born August 3, 1971. He is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach at the University of South Carolina. He was previously the head coach at the University of Florida from 2011 to 2014.

     Muschamp has built a reputation for his strong defenses and his intense demeanor during games and practice. In his second season as defensive coordinator at Auburn, Muschamp was a finalist for the 2007 Broyles Award for the most outstanding assistant coach in college football. Prior to accepting the job at Florida, the University of Texas had announced that Muschamp would eventually succeed Mack Brown as head coach of the Longhorns and designated him the “head coach in waiting.”

     Muschamp was born in Rome, Georgia, but grew up in Gainesville, Florida. He attended Martha Manson Academy elementary school and Oak Hall High School in Gainesville. His family moved back to Rome, where his father became the headmaster of the Darlington School, where he graduated from high school. Muschamp played football, basketball, baseball and ran track for the Darlington Tigers.

     Muschamp attended the University of Georgia in Athens. He walked on to the Georgia Bulldogs football team and played safety from 1991 to 1994. Muschamp graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in 1994.

     After graduating from Georgia, Muschamp became a graduate assistant coach at Auburn University. He earned a master’s degree in education from Auburn in 1996.

     On December 6, 2015, Muschamp was announced as the 34th head football coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks. Muschamp went 6-7 in his first season as head coach of the Gamecocks.

    Muschamp’s wife Carol is from Thomaston, Georgia. They have two sons, Jackson and Whit. His brother Mike Muschamp is the head football coach at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia who led the team to a state championship in 2013.

Chairman of the State Athletic Commission

Story By Cindy Reid     Photos By Paul Nurnberg

Beaufort’s own Will McCullough was recently reelected to a second term as the Chairman of the South Carolina State Athletic Commission. The Athletic Commission licenses and regulates professional and amateur combative sports, including mixed martial arts (“MMA”), boxing, kickboxing, professional wrestling and “toughman” contests, that take place anywhere in the state of South Carolina.

 “I have been heavily involved with martial arts and combat sports my entire life, Will says, “and in late 2013, I was appointed by Governor Haley to fill a vacancy on the Commission. This led to a Senate Confirmation Hearing in early 2014 and, by summer 2014, my appointment was approved by the full senate and I began serving on the board.”

     “The state Athletic Commission consists of nine members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the South Carolina senate, who serve four-year terms. We meet on a regular basis, making decisions and holding hearings as necessary.” Will says, “I was elected to the Vice Chairman position by my fellow commissioners after my first year on the Board and was subsequently elected Chairman one year later. I was honored to be reelected Chairman just last month and am now looking forward to another term of serving the fighting community of South Carolina. The Athletic Commission is made up of some really great people, with an eclectic variety of successful backgrounds in fighting, law, medicine and business, all of whom share a genuine desire to see the state’s combat sport community grow and thrive while simultaneously enhancing fighter safety.”

DEEP ROOTS

     Will’s love and appreciation of the combative sports goes back, way back, to his childhood in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. It was a childhood spent in a small rural town of dirt roads that had one drive-in movie theater for entertainment.

      “I come from a long line of athletes, my Dad played a bit of pro baseball before I was born, my uncle was a Commissioner for the SEC football conference and both of my older brothers were great athletes in their own right.” “But,” Will pauses and says, “My Dad died of a heart attack at age 46 when I was just 13 years old, and it was suddenly just me and my Mom. Without my Dad and with my two older brothers now both adults, we went from being a household of five to a household of just two. That‘s when I started to really focus on martial arts. For me, martial arts classes and, quite frankly, fighting in a controlled environment specifically, was an effective way to channel rage. And I had a lot of it.”

     Will says it was the best path he could have taken because “My Mom ended up passing away very early as well, just shortly after I graduated high school and joined the USMC. The martial arts, in general, have made me who I am. They’ve been a positive force for me, providing a foundation, decades deep, for the person I was to become. I don’t honestly think I’d have been able to keep from imploding without that outlet.”

     Will put his martial arts training to effective use in the United States Marine Corps, where he served for ten years.

     During his time in the USMC, he was a Combat Engineer, Senior Drill Instructor and Close Combat Instructor. Like many others, the Marine Corps brought Will to Beaufort by way of Parris Island. After ten years of service, Will felt that he was ready to move on to the next chapter in his life, now with his wife, Deena, by his side, and begin raising a family.

     A little background– Will and Deena first met in 1995 in a fairly unique fashion. Will was driving from Parris Island to Pennsylvania and Deena was driving from Florida to Ohio. They passed on I-77 in North Carolina. She passed him, he looked over and smiled, she waved and the rest was history. They have been married now for twenty years and are the proud parents of two children, 18-year-old daughter Keara, now attending her first year at the University of South Carolina, and 11-year-old Cooper, a 6th grader at Bridges Prep.

     He says, “In 1997 we decided to make Beaufort our permanent home and opened the McCullough Submission Fighting School. The school did really well and then, several years later in 2003, due to a combination of my own ongoing issues with past personal injuries coupled with the increasing demands of our growing local real estate interests, we passed the school’s ownership on to two of our top students, Abe and Rebecca Stem.  That school, now called “Beaufort MMA,” continues to do quite well locally under Abe’s continued guidance.  After parting with the school, Deena and I continued pursuing our interest in both real estate and business.” Currently the McCullough’s own and operate EquitySafe Realty, LLC, located on Lady’s Island.

COMBAT ARTS

     “I have always focused solely on fight related sports. “ Will laughs, “Believe it or not, I only recently saw my first ever football game just a few years ago and that was only because my daughter joined the varsity cheer team at Beaufort High. My school was too small and poor to have a football team and I went to the USMC as opposed to college.  Football and other traditional team sports have frankly just never appealed to me.  Well, that’s not completely true.  I can enjoy a good hockey game.  But my honest definition of “good” is measured in direct relation to the number of fights that break out on the ice!”

      “Bottom line, the combat arts are what has made me who I am. However, at this point in life, due to an unsurprising cornucopia of injuries, I just can’t get in there and train the same way I used to. That’s why I love serving on the state Athletic Commission. It allows me the vehicle to be involved and to give back, both to the fighting community I love and to the state that has given my family so many wonderful opportunities in life.”  He says, “Serving both my state and sport is a real privilege.”

     “South Carolina is starting to become a beacon of light for the combative sports in the southeastern United States and our athletic commission is working very hard to set the bar high for both service to our fighting community and for ensuring fighter safety.  For example, just this past April, we sanctioned South Carolina’s first ever nationally televised MMA event via the Legacy Fighting Alliance on AXS-TV. In addition, South Carolina has now become the first state in the union to sanction “2 on 2” mixed martial arts via Arena Combat out of Myrtle Beach.”

     Will says, “The combat sports momentum continues to build across South Carolina with multiple events being held nearly every month across the state by a great assortment of local, regional and national level promotions.  It’s our goal to do everything we can to embrace, enhance and encourage that growth while simultaneously ensuring that safety is kept as the top priority. It’s a lot of fun.”

BEAUTIFUL BEAUFORT

     “I love Beaufort” says Will.” I love every aspect, from the downtown to the oak trees draped with Spanish moss, from the water to the sand, from the people to the places.  I love every “Norman Rockwell meets Forrest Gump” aspect of it, I truly do.” Sounding like a Marine he states, with a grin, “Under no circumstances will we ever leave Beaufort.”

     Regarding his goals Will says, “Real estate has been very good to us and our unique EquitySafe Realty model has proven itself to be exceptionally popular. Now that we are in our new offices and are beginning to add new agents we are excited to embark on the journey of further growing our brand across the state.”

     Then the tough martial arts expert, former Marine drill instructor and Chairman of the state’s athletic commission says, “I still have many specific goals to accomplish, both in real estate and with the Athletic Commission, but I’ll share my secret life-long end game plan with you. I fully intend to retire a little early, so I can be Santa Claus. I love kids and I love Christmas, so yes, in all seriousness, that’s the plan. You will see me, in full jolly-ness, at a future parade and or department store.”Speaking for all of Beaufort we certainly look forward to that day Will!

Chris Lovelace

Taking our Youth UPWARD in SPORTS

 Story By Julie Hales     Photos By Susan DeLoach

Upward Sports is one of the world’s largest Christian youth sports providers.  It is based out of Spartanburg South Carolina. Upward Sports is designed for kids in grades K5-8, offering four sports programs, basketball, flag football, soccer and cheerleading. This sports program helps young athletes create a passion for which ever sport they are involved in. Upwards promotes sportsmanship with a healthy competitive spirit.

     For a children’s pastor looking to reach the kids in the community, sports is a great way to do that.  Upward Sports is a great avenue to accomplish this goal.

     Five years ago, Chris Lovelace was the children’s pastor for Praise Assembly of God. And, he knew that sports would be a good way to reach kids…sports had reached him at an early age as well.

     “Sports played a big part in my life, since I was a kid on through my collegiate career. I had heard about Upward Sports before and begin to explore the opportunity to bring it here to Beaufort. In my research, I found out there was a church here in Beaufort already doing the program and doing it very well,” shares Chris.

     Cornerstone Church in Beaufort was host for the program for years and it was under the leadership of Brian and Tammy Gates. “We partnered with Cornerstone Church, as they began to outgrow their current facility five years ago. Then, we started hosting Upward here at Praise Assembly,” Chris says.

     Chris Lovelace has been in Beaufort for seven years. He is originally from  Apex, North Carolina.  He came to the lowcountry after being hired as the Children’s Pastor at Praise Assembly of God, where he currently serves as  the Associate Pastor.

     Chris is married to Donna Lovelace, who works for the Beaufort County school system.  They have two children, Ben, age 6 and Sophia, who is 5 years old.

     After spending the last 5 years working with the Upward Sports programs, Chris is proud to say that they have over 100 kids from the community involved each season. He says, “Our programs are open to all the kids in our community. They do not have to attend Praise Assembly. We have kids that go to other churches and some that don’t go to church at all. We want the community to know our doors are always open here at Praise Assembly.”

     Upward Sports  offers four sports:  basketball, soccer, flag football and cheerleading. They currently offer soccer in the fall and flag football in the spring.

     Upward Sports is very hands on with the kids.  It is important to have enough people on board to make sure all of the kids are getting the proper guidance and instruction.  Currently, the program has over 50 volunteers.

     Chris has coached before being involved with Upward Sports in similar programs. “We are excited about the program here and are more excited about adding more sports over the years. Upward Sports is here to stay at Praise Assembly. There just isn’t another program that offers what this program  does. Having only one practice a week and a one hour game on Saturday is attractive for the parents and is very family friendly. I feel that sports should be a positive experience for both the parents and kids and that is exactly what Upwards offers,” he adds.

     Chris Lovelace is very passionate about Upward Sports.  Chis Lovelace is very passionate about kids.  He sums it up very nicely, “ I love working with the kids. It is great to help them develop and grow over the years. To know we have the opportunity as a church to impact these kids in a positive way is exciting. Hopefully, they will carry this experience with them throughout their life and sports careers. It’s exciting when some of them want to come back and volunteer when they are older and out of the program. “

      For more information on Upward Sports, contact Chris Lovelace at

(843) 525-1121 or email him at pastorchris@pagbeaufort.com.

Louis  Bruce

If the door to my studio is open, it means come in.

Story By Mary Ellen Thompson     Photos By John Wollwerth

Louis Bruce started his career as a artist in photography. “I inherited a camera from my father. I always knew how I wanted things to look but there was always something, a fire hydrant, a power line, in the way. And I realized I could do a painting without those things.

I was never into photo-realism. When I first started to paint I ran into a long-time painter who said ‘I’m going to make your life easy. Start with an accurate picture, then mess it up.’ I’ve taken his advice,”.

     “Another technique I use is that I end up cropping paintings. I take them off the stretcher, cut them, and re-stretch. It’s a drive I have so that I can have the painting arranged in a way that pleases me. Sometimes I laminate the canvas to wood and then cut it with a table saw. Sometimes half is better. I’ve done some paintings that wound up to be two paintings.”

     “I usually start with a coat of under paint,” he explains as he points to a canvas with only one color, but a distinct pattern. “This is just a start; put a horizon in and you’ve got a painting.” I use the same color for the under paint, raw sienna, because I like a warm painting and if I let some of it come through, it also makes a nice skin tone. I’m also not just faced with a white canvas.”

     Referring to a canvas covered in raw sienna with an almost abstract shape, Louis isn’t sure yet if that painting resembling the figure of a woman is finished. “Look around my studio, there are how many, six, paintings of my wife? It’s a process; when you want to paint someone in particular, it’s a challenge.”

     One of his large seascapes was purchased for the restaurant Hearth. It is an extraordinary rendition of waves, just waves. And although Louis may not be into photo-realism, when you look at that painting you can almost taste salt, and hear a wave moving towards shore. Really good paintings of waves are difficult to come by; many lack the appropriate field of depth. Louis’ explanation of his accuracy is delivered with a broad smile and a laugh tinged with nostalgia, “I was a surfer forever. I have vast wave knowledge; I come by it honestly. I spent two years chasing waves on the north shore of Maui. After Maui, I spent some time surfing in Costa Rica.”

     Ok, let’s back up here for a second. How did he get from Maui to Beaufort? “I went to Hawaii after college; that was about a hundred years ago. I grew up in Santa Barbara. Both my parents were from South Carolina; my dad was a POW so I could go to a state school on the GI Bill. I went to the College of Charleston, where I was a biology major. After Hawaii, I came back to Charleston where I worked in the restaurant business and met my wife, Kit. Her dad was in the paving business, I worked for him, eventually took over that business and finally sold it. Then I started Palmetto Brewery with a partner; it was the first brewery in South Carolina in one hundred years.”

     “I did all the artwork for the labels and packaging; it wasn’t painting, but it was art. I worked in the brewery for ten years when I realized that my partner was running the business and didn’t really need me on the payroll.”

     Living in Mt. Pleasant at the time, Louis and Kit were buying and renovating houses in the Charleston area but they had branched out and bought a small house in Port Royal. In 2003 they moved to Beaufort, where Louis was able to devote his time to painting.

     Louis’ artistic desire was born in Florence Italy in 2004 when “We wanted to buy a painting for $1500 we saw hanging in a restaurant. The manager very excitedly said, ‘Great let me bring some wine!’ He had to call the artist first so we had to wait a while. He came back with ‘No, it’s my favorite.’ So I said ‘I’ll paint one myself’. That was nearly 1000 paintings ago. I took lessons, but I really was taught by a guy named Peter Rolfe. He’s a life long painter and he taught me everything.”

     In his studio, above Hearth, Louis says, “If the door is open, it means come in.” Up a steep flight of stairs, lies his wonderful space. “This is a perfect studio, it has reflected north light. It’s what they all want in Paris, that north light. I have a studio at home, but it’s better here. I can go down the street and get a cup of coffee, it’s like my big outing.”

Louis and Kit go to Italy for months at a time where he loves to paint. He takes his traveling easel, sets it up anywhere and paints. “I like Italy a lot. The first time we went to Rome and I did five paintings; this year we went for four months and I did thirty. We went to France on one of the trips and I wanted to paint from the bank of the Seine, where you see so many artists painting. I did a painting of Notre Dame. When I got home, I cut the painting in half and then moved Notre Dame to another part of the canvas.”

If Louis could be anywhere in the world where he could just walk out the door and paint, where would it be? “Italy, I like it a lot, even though my Spanish is better than my Italian. I have rudimentary Italian, the food is great, and we have friends there. But sometimes the answer is New York City. I like to go to Roosevelt Island where you’re across from the Manhattan skyline. I did a painting there that I brought back home and did as a triptych where all the panels are interchangeable.”

His paintings are for sale at McDonald Marketplace in Frogmore on Saint Helena Island which is a beautiful place that can showcase some of his larger pieces. He mostly paints scenery, “Landscapes sell, (paintings of) people stay. Big stuff is just like painting little stuff – you have to have an idea before you start. Sometimes I spend more time thinking about a painting, than I actually do painting it. Some artists take so long to do a painting that they want lots of money for it. I think the longer it takes, it’s not getting any better, so it has to go. Some of the best paintings I’ve ever done are paintings over old paintings.”

Louis’ art is unexpected. Some paintings are huge, some tall and thin, some landscapes, seascapes, figures, portraits, small paintings. Some have surprises like the series of oyster shells in which the oyster is the figure of a woman. “I price my art to sell,” he says. “I aspire to abstract. I did one large abstract, but it turned into a fish camp; I did a painting of an art gallery that became a landscape. I paint mostly in muted, rather than bright, colors.” When he’s not painting, Louis has enjoyed the Pat Conroy Literary Center talks he has attended; and he likes to cook. But mostly he’s thinking about painting.

The 2017 Clemson Tigers football team will represent Clemson University in the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Tigers will be led by head coach Dabo Swinney in his ninth full year and tenth overall since taking over midway through 2008 season. They will play their home games at Memorial Stadium, also known as “Death Valley,” and will compete in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

   They will embark on the 2017 season with a hard-earned but potentially burdensome tag – defending national champs. Defending, chasing, contending – whatever the case, there’s no question that the Tigers have joined the exclusive club of college football elites.

   Under Coach Swinney’s guidance, the Tigers have won 70 games in the past six years, including a 35-31 victory against Alabama in the national title game in January for the program’s first championship in 35 years.

   Despite the loss of much of last season’s offensive firepower, including quarterback Deshaun Watson, wide receiver Mike Williams, tight end Jordan Leggett and running back Wayne Gallman, this team has the potential to make the playoffs for a third consecutive year. Much of Clemson success in 2017 will depend on who replaces Watson and Gallman.

   While the offense plays catch-up, Clemson’s strength, at least early in the season, will be built around a defense that returns seven starters. Defensive tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence are All-America candidates, and defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant are potential stars as well.

   This much is certain: It won’t take long for the Tigers to see what their shortcomings might be. After the opener, Clemson faces Auburn at home and then Louisville and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson on the road in Week 3.

About the Head Coach:

William Christopher “Dabo” Swinney was born November 20, 1969.  He is an American college football coach. He is the head football coach at Clemson University. Swinney took over as head coach for the Clemson Tigers midway through the 2008 season, following the resignation of Tommy Bowden. Swinney led the 2016 Clemson Tigers football team to a victory in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, capturing a national championship.

     Swinney was raised in Pelham, Alabama, and attended the University of Alabama, where he joined the Crimson Tide football program as a walk-on wide receiver in 1989. He earned a scholarship and lettered on three teams (1990–1992), including the Crimson Tide’s 1992 National Championship team.
During his time as an undergraduate at Alabama, Swinney was twice named an Academic All-SEC and SEC Scholar Athlete Honor Roll member.  He received his degree in commerce and business administration in 1993 as well as a master’s degree in business administration from Alabama in 1995.

      In 2002, his former position coach at Alabama, Tommy Bowden, made Swinney an offer to become an assistant coach for the wide receivers at Clemson, and Swinney joined in 2003. He took over as Recruiting Coordinator from popular longtime coordinator Rick Stockstill.
Swinney proved to be both an excellent wide receivers coach as well as recruiting coordinator, coaching ACC-leading receivers and being named one of the nation’s top 25 recruiters in 2007 by Rivals.com.

     Swinney was named the interim head football coach on October 13, 2008, after previous head coach Tommy Bowden resigned six games into the 2008 season. He later became the permanent head coach.

    Swinney’s nickname was given to him as an infant by his parents when his then-18-month-old brother would try to enunciate “dat boi” when referring to Swinney He married the former Kathleen Bassett in 1994 and has three sons.

Beaufort County Youth Conference

25 Years of Helping to Guide Beaufort Youths

The Beaufort County Youth Conference is set to 

celebrate the quarter century mark in style

Story By David Pena     Photos By Susan DeLoach

The annual Beaufort County Youth Conference (BCYC) will be held on Saturday, September 23 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm at the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort. This year will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the event, and organizers are expecting a great turnout. Carrie Major, co-chair of the Beaufort County Youth Conference Steering Committee, says, “We are expecting in excess of 250 students this year, and it truly promises to be a great success.”

     The BCYC was organized in 1992 by Major with the purpose of educating local youths with some vitally needed information in order to help them make healthy life choices. The information gleaned from the conference aims at motivating all attendees to become more successful both in school and as adults. The BCYC is primarily geared toward middle and high school students, but interestingly Beaufort County students also help to plan the event as well, as co-chair Belle White explains. “From the very beginning until now, those of us spearheading the conference felt that youths would know more than anyone else about the problems facing them today. Every year we have always brought in youth from all over the county to discuss the societal ills that they routinely face. We would then take the students through a process of team building, which would serve as a starting point for the committee’s planning.”  After the planning stage is complete, the Steering Committee then organizes the event and invites professionals from local community organizations that specialize in the areas to be discussed during the conference. However, the role of youths in the preliminary stage of the event is something that the Steering Committee does not take lightly. “We’re very proud of the fact that students have always been an integral part of the planning behind the BCYC,” White adds.

     The theme for this year’s conference is “Lessons, not Losses,” and there will be three workshops which will center around this unifying idea. In the first workshop entitled “Love Yourself; You Do Matter,” the focus is to deter suicidal tendencies in youths and help them to avoid any other self-destructive choices or actions. The next workshop, entitled “Look for the Real Relationships,” aims at helping teens avoid pregnancies and staying clear of unhealthy relationships. In the final workshop, “Learn the Truth about Alcohol and Drugs,” the destructive and sometimes fatal repercussions of addictive substances will be discussed. Major says, “All workshops will be facilitated by professionals who specialize at working with youths in these (specific) areas.” The Keynote Address speakers for this year will be Dr. Will Simmons and Dr. Rod Singleton, both successful Beaufort County natives and graduates of Battery Creek High School.

     Due to the generous donations from local churches, businesses and agencies as well as various members of the community, the Steering Committee will be able to offer this conference at no cost to middle and high school students in the county. However, they are still seeking donations to help offset the expenses. Co-chair Scott Gibbs adds, “We’d like to thank all the churches, agencies and individuals who have been instrumental in supporting us each year. We also have fraternities and sororities who have come on through the years to help financially, and without the generosity of these individuals and organizations, we wouldn’t be able to offer this conference for free to the students. When Carrie (Major) first brought this (conference) to mind, that was one of the key factors involved in its planning.”

     Looking back on the history of the BCYC, members of the Steering Committee marvel at the tremendous impact that the conference has had on the community in the last quarter century. “We’ve been informing our youth and helping them make healthy choices in their lives for a while now,” reflects Gibbs. “In fact, some attendees have come back after they’ve graduated and gone on to become professionals to speak at the conference as productive members of the community. They come to let the youths know that they can become just as successful. That’s the great thing about us being in existence for twenty-five years. It’s pretty special.”

     In addition to the workshops, students who attend the conference will be served lunch and be given T-shirts and backpacks. They will also have a chance to win door prizes. Registration for this year’s conference will start at 8:00 am on the day of the event in building 12 of the college, which is located at at 921 Ribault Road in Beaufort. Students may also pre-register by calling Carrie Major at (843) 812-4399 or Scott Gibbs at (843) 812-6111.

CHAUNCY CAMPBELL:

A Man of Many Vocations

Story By Mary Ellen Thompson     Photos By John Wollwerth

MARINE GUNNERY SERGEANT CAMPBELL:

     Retired from the Marine Corps in 1999, Chauncey Campbell and his wife, Gloria, first came to Beaufort from Warner Robins GA when he started his military career on Parris Island.

     “In November 1979, I graduated from Boot Camp at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. In 1980 to 1982, I took my first tour in Okinawa, Japan. In 1982 to 1992, I was stationed in Camp Lejeune North Carolina. From 1992 to 1994, I was a Drill Instructor at MCRD Parris Island recruit training battalion, and from 1994 to 1995, I worked at the Weapons Field Training Battalion as a Range Officer of primary marksmanship Instructors. In 1995-1996, I traveled back to Okinawa, Japan as a squadron Gunnery Sergeant with the air wing. In 1996-1999, back to Parris Island, I retired in August 1999.”

CIVILIAN CAMPBELL:

     His face lights up when he talks about his wife and children. “My daughter’s names from the eldest to the youngest: Sonja, Jessica, Erica. Jessica and her son, my grandson Jadyn, live here in Beaufort and Sonja and Erica both live in Atlanta, Georgia. Erica is married to her college sweetheart Kevin.”

     Thinking back,  Mr. Campbell laughs as he remembers, “When I took Gloria away from home in 1979, her dad told me I was taking his cook away; and boy can she cook! He told me if she ever forgot how, to just bring her back to him for a refresher! She is a real sweetheart – she has a special place in her heart for children and the elderly. Gloria has been a teacher’s assistant at Laurel Bay for 20 years; when she took the girls to school, she would hang around until they asked her if she wanted to help out and that’s how she became a teacher’s assistant.”

     Currently Mr. Campbell works at MCAS in the security manager’s office doing background checks on incoming industrial personnel; he comments that the rules are getting more stringent.

     In his free time he reads the Bible, articles about other ministries, and fiction. “I would read the Little Red Hen and Little Engine That Could as  sermons and translate that into being helpful and positive.” Fun, he says, is getting away with Gloria; “She has nine sisters – we visit her family all over Georgia.”

     What is his favorite holiday? “My favorite holiday, or should I say holidays, are Christmas, Thanksgiving and Independence Day. They’re all holidays that center around gathering with  family and friends – something I think is very important.”

APOSTLE CAMPBELL:

     “I’ve been a pastor at Old Fort Baptist Church for twenty-one years.”

     Pastor Campbell’s first ministry experience occurred when he was in the service. “I was in Rome when I first felt the call to God. I was deployed on a naval vessel that didn’t have a chaplain, so I filled in. We were stationed at Camp Lejeune then; I was ordained by the Trent River-Oak Grove Association.

     “When I got orders to be a drill instructor, people asked me how I thought I could be a drill instructor and a pastor? You render unto God what is God’s, and unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. You treat people with respect; I had a successful career as a drill instructor.”

     In days of increasing informality, he explains why he wears a robe when preaching. “If you get pulled over by the police, they are wearing uniforms. If you go to the courthouse, the judge wears a robe,”  acknowledging that people wear clothing and uniforms that  identify who they are. “I guess I think without my robe, the spirit won’t move you.”

     When asked, “When you’re preaching, how do you decide which color robe you will wear?” Pastor Campbell  replies, “When it comes to robe selection, I traditionally wear a white robe on communion Sundays. Outside of that I have a wide array of robes to choose from when it comes to everyday evangelizing.”

     Does he write all his own sermons? “Yes, I write all my sermons. I think it’s important to speak from a place of authenticity and writing those words for myself allows that to happen.” How long does it take to write one? “My usual process is starting the Sunday after a sermon and finalizing the message the following Saturday night before the sermon. It usually takes at least a week to shape the message I’d like to share, but that time frame and process can very from message to message.”

COACH CAMPBELL:

     Coach Campbell started coaching sports, football, baseball and basketball, when his grandson, Jadyn, started to play t-ball.  “It gave me the opportunity I missed with my girls because I was busy with the Marine Corps when they were young. When I was thinking about being a coach, someone said to me, ‘You can never go wrong investing in children.’ There is a parallel, I’m doing the same thing on Sunday morning – I’m coaching in church.

     “My dad was the first black deputy in our town in the 1960’s. I played sports growing up; I played  Little League  and my dad was a coach. I played football in high school. The Warner Robins Little League team recently won the World Series. It’s important to teach children values and sportsmanship: they need to know that you win some, and you lose some. If a child isn’t rooted and grounded, it will change them. Sports are an outlet. So many kids don’t have guidance; education is paramount to everything we do. The world will suck you in; you need to have initiative.

     “Kids are funny. In t-ball they may run to second or third base instead of first. They are all over the place, they don’t understand the progression yet. It’s a task, coaching; you have to want to do this because it’s all volunteer.”

     He explains his greatest challenge in coaching. “Often, children who are in the same age group have varying sets of skill level when it comes to grasping the technical aspects of a sport. One way I take on that challenge is by working with them on their confidence in the game which gives them the motivation they need to believe they can learn how to play – whether that is shooting a basketball, running a football, or catching a baseball.”

     What does he consider to be his greatest success in coaching? “Coaching isn’t just about teaching your team how to win, it’s about showing them how to best take on the challenges that come with every game. My greatest success is seeing the children meet those challenges by not only learning how to win, but how to win and lose.”

     And what is Coach Campbell’s greatest joy? “The greatest joy in coaching sports to children is watching them develop, both as individual players and collectively as they learn how to work together as a team.”

     So here you have it: Former Marine, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Coach. All jobs that take dedication and training; hard work and passion. But most of all, Chauncey Campbell is a believer. He believes in the best of people, he believes in faith, he believes in his country – all of which are nobel pursuits.

     About his life, he muses, “To whom much is given, much is required.” He would be most happy to invite you attend a service at the Old Fort Baptist Church in Port Royal on a Sunday morning.