• Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine


story by Emily Burgess     photos by Susan DeLoach

There are piles of things all around. Sticks covered in dried moss, branches of ferns, wax, hammers and pieces of jewelry in their beginning stages of development in a makeshift garage studio. “Organized chaos” is what she calls it and it is indicative of the artist’s mind that she possesses. She knows where each thing is and over time works to bring them to life as wearable art. JoAnn Graham, an unlikely silversmith, but one who is making her name known in the lowcountry.

     Graham began her art in silversmithing in 2004. She works with sterling, fine, and argentium silver, gold and steel to create unique and individual wearable art jewelry. All of her pieces are hand-fabricated, form-folded, forged and texturized.

     She received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 1988.  Modeling the dance programs that had been so successful in North Carolina schools, Graham helped implement dance programs across the state of South Carolina as the first dance consultant for the State Department of Education of South Carolina.

     After years of serving, a hip replacement and back injury forced her to retire on disability. Graham had no intention of sitting idly once she healed and knew that she had to find a creative outlet.

     A friend gave her a brochure, which spurred her to attend the New Hampshire Institute of Art, Penland School of Arts and Crafts, Joseph Campbell, Sawtooth School for the Visual Arts in 2005. She later received her welding certification from the Technical College of the Lowcountry in 2011 where she studied with Michael Goode, Betty Helen Longhi, Ben Dyer and Chris Nelson.

     Everything she makes starts as flat pieces of sterling silver or wire. Graham finds inspiration from things she discovers in nature. With equipment like a crucible and kiln, she casts a mold of an object and eventually turns it into a piece of jewelry. Each and every piece she makes is truly a one-of-a-kind piece that can’t be exactly replicated making her collection unique.

     In true organized chaos form, Graham is working on anywhere from five to six pieces at one time. She creates a mold for one and hammers another, while placing the finishing touches on an additional piece. She will spend four or five days doing this before completing each distinct piece.

     Pins, bangles, cuffs with bamboo etched into the shiny metal, necklaces fired and manipulated into intricate links, earrings cast from the resurrection fern leaves found in downtown Beaufort. Graham’s jewelry is stunning to see in person and even more so after you understand the intense process it takes to create.

     “I choreograph in sterling silver,” says Graham. Her pieces are very abstract and she doesn’t like symmetry. She brings movement and fluidity to her work that stems from her dance background.  “It’s art. I made sure that was on my website. It’s wearable art.”

     Graham claims to be a terrible salesperson when it comes to marketing her jewelry, but she is passionate that those viewing or purchasing her pieces understand and feel the depth of what her pieces express in their own art form. She may have started out in dance and her medium may now be different, but it is all connected; it is all a creative expression of the person doing it.

     Making jewelry may have begun as a creative outlet that was meant to keep her mind and body agile in retirement, but as she learned, and fabricated jewelry it was evident that it could morph into more. Five years ago is when she says she got serious about her work and serious about making JoAnn Graham Collections successful.

     A huge aspect of making her collection successful includes more medial tasks such as creating and updating a website, marketing, ordering materials, keeping books and doing taxes. As exciting as these are in showing her success, it is also this that causes her the greatest obstacle. These tasks that are necessary for further accomplishment in her field, also take her away from time in her studio, her time creating and making and expressing herself through her art. Graham says that two-thirds of her time is spent on the behind the scenes tasks and only a third, actually spent constructing jewelry.

     “It is me, myself, and I,” Graham said. She is solely responsible for all things JoAnn Graham Collections including traveling to art shows and exhibitions throughout North and South Carolina and a few select shows in Georgia. She travels to between 7 and 15 shows a year and has had great success at them including placing first at Art in the Park in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2011 and again taking third place in 2013, as well as second place at Piccolo Spoleto last year.

     Her most recent show was the American Craft Show put on by the American Craft Council in Atlanta, Georgia, which is the biggest show she has done to date. Her next show is The Art Market at Historic Honey Horn in Hilton Head, South Carolina Saturday, April 30th through Sunday, May 1st.  Graham says that at every show she manages to find some connection back to Beaufort and the lowcountry. Whether it’s a person who resides in Beaufort or someone who knows someone in the lowcountry, she says it is so rewarding to continually find ties back to this place she loves.

     Graham originally moved to Beaufort County almost 24 years ago because she said it is where the best dance education programs were. Even after retirement, when she realized she could move anywhere, she couldn’t bring herself to leave the lowcountry.

     “I’m really lucky. I love the beach,” said Graham. Although, much of her inspiration for her pieces derives from nature, she says the nature specific to Beaufort and the lowcountry is what inspires her most. “I don’t find inspiration elsewhere like I do here. I’m always looking at different things, the shells, all sorts of things. You begin to view things with a different perspective which is why we have art.”

     Pieces from JoAnn Graham Collections can be purchased through her website, but Graham also offers private fittings and consultations in her home for those interested in her work. Additionally, her pieces will now be available at LaPetit Gallerie in Bluffton, South Carolina, as one of seven artists displayed.

     Graham is so passionate about creating and sharing her art of silversmithing that she will also be teaching classes at La Petit as a beginner’s introduction. Classes will begin April 1st and will be held the first Wednesday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Additional days and times will be available upon request. Graham says ideal class sizes are anywhere from three to ten people. The class fee is $50 and each attendee leaves with the product they make.

     As for the future of JoAnn Graham Collections, Graham has no intention of stopping anytime soon. Despite the workload that is solely hers, the artist inside of her can’t retire.  She plans to ride this out as long as possible, even if that means quitting the shows and exhibitions and exclusively working on fabricating jewelry.

     She has big plans for her pieces. She desires to move her collection in a more abstract direction and combine the individual techniques she has learned over the years into single pieces. Mixing metals that have been forged with something that has been cast, she hopes to have more constructed pieces available, as well as trying new techniques such as tap and die to finish off her pieces.

     JoAnn Graham is an artist through and through. The end of her dance career was not the end of her art. Her hard work and desire to find a unique niche in the world of art has led to a beautiful and exquisite collection of jewelry that others can enjoy again and again. It is clear that Graham is making a name for herself as a silversmith in the lowcountry.

story by Cindy Reid     photos by Paul Nurnberg

Beaufort Lifestyle recently got to meet Kip Leming, Lady’s Island resident and rock and roll veteran. He shared some of his story with us over coffee on a sunny morning.


     Born and raised in Hopewell, NJ, which is near Princeton, Kip started playing the bass at age 13. He said, “Everyone wanted to play guitar or drums, so being a bass player, I could be in as many bands as I wanted to be in. My first band played at sock hops and other various local functions and we used shopping carts to wheel our equipment because we didn’t have cars! Good thing the amp was on wheels.” Kip continued, “After a few bands, I discovered cars and girls and took a break from music for a couple of years. But then a friend needed a bass player and when I saw their “Marshall stack” I knew they were a good band. We called ourselves ‘Marshall Law’.” (FYI  … “At the request of Pete Townshend, Marshall produced an 8×12-inch cabinet on top of which the 1959 amplifier head was placed, giving rise to the Marshall stack, an iconic image for rock and roll. The size of the wall of Marshall stacks soon became an indicator of the band’s status” https://en.wikipedia.org)

     Kip adds, “At that time I went from that band to another band, which is what happens as bands come together, play for a while and then start to fracture. A bass player can try and hold a band together, both musically and socially, but change proved each band got better. There was always a place for a bass player!”

     Kip was doing well and in 1977 that lead to being noticed by a new group called Mistress, which had been formed by Rick Derringer’s (Rock & Roll Hootchie-koo) guitar player. Among the highlights, Mistress actually got to tape a demo in the studio owned by Jimi Hendrix in NYC.

     Kip says, “We were playing rock in a disco era- it was tough! “ He continues, “I became a luthier and started building acoustic guitars. I would build the whole body from scratch; another guy would build the neck and so forth. I would build two a day. We went to trade shows, met a lot of musicians, including the legendary Les Paul. That was a lot of fun.”

     Back at the band, the drummer from Mistress went on to join the New York band Riot. Kip says, “They put out two records which got great reviews and  they were going on tour opening for Sammy Hagar in Britain, when I got a phone call asking, “do you want to go?” Obviously the answer was yes!” he laughs, “I had three weeks to learn the show. Playing with Riot was a great time, we were playing hard rock and touring with Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush and Kiss, which had great productions and you could see these legendary bands at their peak. These bands were professionals who knew exactly what they were doing. But watching them night after night, doing the same ‘spontaneous’ bits, you could see how the time and touring turns them into the equivalent of professional wrestling!”


     It wasn’t all rock and roll bands and life on the road. Kip says, “I always liked cars. Where I grew up in rural Hopewell, you had to have a car. I built a ’56 Chevy and drove it to high school. Back then you had to be good at fixing cars or know someone who was. “ He says, “Although I was still working as a musician, if you are not touring there is no money coming in. Touring is the only money you make in rock and roll. I needed  an income so I got a job at a foreign car repair shop washing cars. One day all the mechanics quit. At the time, I had a BMW and I had tools so I became the mechanic on the spot.”

     It was a great fit for this bass player. Kip says, “ After that I went to Porsche and after that I went to Mercedes Benz where I stayed for thirty years. I started as a technician and worked my way up to Service Manager. The cars are great and it was a great career. I went to Germany to their factories many times, I got to ride around Daytona with race car driver Johnny Rutherford , and have many other great experiences. Mercedes Benz is a wonderful company that really values their mechanics.”

Finding Beaufort

     Kip and his wife Cathy, a writer/editor and retired C-suite executive assistant from Bristol- Myers Squibb, moved to Beaufort six years ago. He says they originally started looking at property in Jacksonville, Florida and worked their way up the coast to Savannah, Georgia. He says, “We were in Savannah  and we rented a car and drove up to Beaufort to check it out. We loved it immediately and moved here two years later . We love it here, we love our neighborhood. In our old neighborhood up north, I knew the neighbor across the street and the one to our right. That was it. Here we walk outside and it’s ‘hi how is it going!’ We love the people and the friendliness here.” Their household includes two Cornish Rex cats, a Model T and a Harley.  Kip and Cathy’s son, Scott, lives in Pennsylvania and daughter, Marie, lives in Hilton Head.

     Not ready for retirement yet, Kip wanted to share his love of Beaufort with others. So, he is a realtor at Ballinger Real Estate. Kip says he enjoys taking classes and learning new things, in fact, he recently obtained his  Residential Electrician Certificate.

     You may recognize Kip from a feature in the Beaufort Hospital’s Living Well magazine. He says “I have a heart condition, elevated LP(a) , and when we were thinking about moving here I was worried about finding a doctor with expertise in my condition. Come to find out, Dr. Vyge on Lady’s Island actually wrote his thesis on it, so that worked out very well.”

     Kip says, “I am always in one or two bands, playing bass. I just started playing in a new band, RKs (short for  Rhythm Kings) We play pop, soul, R&B. We cover Amy Winehouse, Earth Wind and Fire, Al Green and Santana. I like all the stuff we play because I like all different kinds of music.” The RKs have played at Maggie’s Pub at Habersham and at Gullah Grub on St Helena Island and will be adding gigs as the weather warms up.

Lightning Round

Favorite current band?

     “Cadillac Three”- a Nashville band that is Led Zeppelin meets ZZ Top.

Favorite car?

     The Porsche 930. White.

Favorite Place in Beaufort?

     Anywhere on the water – I mean physically on the water in a boat. I recently learned how to sail at the Beaufort Yacht & Sail Club, found I really liked it and plan on continuing. I haven’t found a bad place here yet.

     Check out Kip’s page at The Metal Archives, https://www.metal-archives.com/artists/Kip_Leming/15275 and the many videos of Riot on You Tube. Rock On Beaufort!

The needs in our community are great as many working families struggle to make ends meet.  “Many of the clients we see at United Way of the Lowcountry are working parents trying to raise a family on a minimum wage salary in an area with a high cost of living and few affordable housing options,” said Chrystie Turner, Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of the Lowcountry.  “As many live paycheck to paycheck, any unforeseen financial burden can send a working family into a financial crisis.”

     United Way of the Lowcountry depends on the generosity of this community to help meet the immediate needs of our neighbors and reduce future needs.  To address those immediate needs, United Way funds well-known agencies and their internal HELPLINE.  Through United Way’s Community Impact process, the organization is also working to create a positive impact by focusing on four priority areas including Basic Needs, Education, Health and Income/ Family Stability.  In addition, the organization supports education through its comprehensive Reading Program, Read Indeed.  Evidenced based strategies are used to tutor children in elementary schools throughout Beaufort and Jasper Counties.

     The dollars donated to United Way of the Lowcountry stay local, helping people throughout Beaufort and Jasper Counties.  As the organization’s fiscal year wraps up this month, United Way is encouraging anyone who hasn’t given to this year’s Annual Campaign to donate $19 and anyone who has already given, to consider donating an additional $19.  You’re probably wondering why $19. This amount represents the 19% of children in Beaufort County living in poverty.  “We want to bring awareness to this issue and encourage everyone to get involved, says Tina Gentry, United Way of the Lowcountry President & CEO.  “Just imagine the impact it would make if everyone in our community donated just $19.”

     “My wife and I give to United Way because we know they are accountable for the dollars we invest,” says Charlie Francis, United Way of the Lowcountry de Tocqueville Co-Chairman.  “With this year’s Annual Campaign ending on March 31st, I ask you to please consider making a donation to this worthy organization.  No gift is too small. “

     By making a donation to United Way of the Lowcountry you could help provide:

Seniors with dietary specific home delivered meals

Students with one on one, in-school tutoring as well as books to help them read on grade level and succeed through United Way’s Read Indeed program

Students with the opportunity to attend a financial literacy workshop to establish positive spending habits early in life, stressing the importance of protecting your identity and credit

Homeless family members with housing, as well as case management, budget classes, employment services and education to secure housing when the family leaves the program

Primary care services for  low income, uninsured adults (Individuals who make too much to receive Medicaid, but not enough to be able to afford private insurance)

Electricity to a family in need to help keep the lights on and provide heat to keep children warm

     “Our Annual Campaign is not about the dollars raised, it’s about what those dollars will do to help us meet the immediate needs of our neighbors and build a stronger community,” says Tina Gentry, United Way of the Lowcountry President & CEO.

     To make a donation to United Way of the Lowcountry, visit www.uwlowcountry.org or mail a check to United Way of the Lowcountry at P.O. Box 202 Beaufort, SC 29901.  You can also text LOWCOUNTRY to 30306.

Creating Healthy and Beautiful Smiles in the Lowcountry

story by Cindy Reid     photos by Susan DeLoach

Welcome to Beaufort Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, where they are proud to provide a state-of-the-art facility for the highest quality dental care available. You will feel right at home in their office as they welcome all patients as if they were family. The team of dentists, hygienists and other professionals at Beaufort Family Dentistry is committed to providing you and your family with the highest quality of care. They offer same-day appointments for busy families, a dedicated children’s area, as well as services and treatments for cosmetic dentistry, periodontics and implants.


     The Beaufort office offers same-time appointments for the entire family so there’s no driving back and forth to get everyone to the dentist. They also have a fun waiting room just for kids! They have the ability to perform all phases of dental care at their Beaufort office, keeping your scheduling as simple as possible. All dental procedures are offered, including a wide range of cosmetic dental options to improve your smile and boost your confidence. Services offered included:

Anxiety-Free Dentistry, Children’s Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Periodontal Health, Digital x-rays, Braces/Traditional Braces, Braces without brackets, Root Canal (Endodontics), Dental Implants, Bridges and Dentures, Extractions, Soft Tissue Graft, Crown Lengthening, Gum Disease Treatment, Veneers, Crowns, HPV and Oral Cancer Screening, Whitening/Bleaching, Inlays/Onlays (Porcelain Restorations), Mercury-Free Dentistry, Bonding/White Filling, Custom-made Mouth Guards, Bone Grafting Insurance & Discount Programs.

     At Beaufort Family Dentistry, they are “in network” with most major dental insurance plans. Have a question? No problem, you may call them at 843-524-6363 and talk to one of the Beaufort office’s insurance specialists. Many patients put off treatments and procedures because they cannot afford to pay. The office offers Care Credit that will allow you to pay over time — often without incurring interest charges instead of a lump sum prior to treatment.

     In addition Beaufort Family Dentistry now offers the all new Alliance Dental Plan, an innovative discount program that was designed primarily for patients who do not have dental insurance. The discount program is available for only $89.00 per year for a single adult, with discounted prices for families. The program includes some free x rays and exams, including 25% off most services. Please visit the website

AllianceDentalPlan.com or call the office for further information. You can address your dental needs right away as there is no waiting period once you join the program and you don’t have to worry about maxing out of your insurance benefits.  It is a win win!


     Meet the dedicated dentists who practice at Beaufort Family Dentistry & Orthodontics:

     Louis Costa III, DMD / General Dentist Originally from Charleston, SC, Dr. Costa received his undergraduate degree in biology from The Citadel and his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Costa joined Beaufort Family Dentistry in 2016. Dr. Costa, along with his wife and two children, live in Bluffton. He is committed to providing the highest standard of personalized dental care using his training in the latest dental technology and loves being a Beaufort dentist. Dr. Costa is a member of the American Dental Association and the South Carolina Dental Association.

     Taylor Turner, DDS / General Dentist Born and raised in Georgia, Dr. Turner completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 2008, and obtained his dental degree from the New York University College of Dentistry. He has also received extensive multidisciplinary training under the mentorship of his father, Dr. Thomas H. Turner, an accomplished dentist in Kennesaw, Georgia. Dr. Turner performs all disciplines of dentistry including aesthetic, restorative, endodontic, pedodontic, oral surgery, and Invisalign orthodontics. He is a member of the American Dental Association and Georgia Dental Association. He loves his continuing education and is constantly looking for better ways to help his patients achieve a beautiful smile.

     In addition Beaufort Family Dentistry & Orthodontics is proud to have four dental hygienists and a staff of dedicated office professionals on your team.


     One of Beaufort Family Dentistry & Orthodontics top priorities is to protect the well-being of their valued patients. For this reason, their office meets and surpasses all OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and CDC (Center for Disease Control) standards.

     If you would like to make an appointment, please contact the office by phone at 843-524-6363 or via email, cda-beaufort@carolinadentalalliance.com . Appointments are available and welcome

     The office facilitates communications and emergency calls. 843-524-6363

Beaufort Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, 1274 Ribaut Road, Beaufort, SC 29902


story by Kelly Harley     photos by Paul Nurnberg

You can say Zeke Wilson has been a fighter all of his life. He was born in 1957 in St. Helena Island, South Carolina. That was the same year President Dwight Eisenhower passed the Civil Rights Act. Zeke, one of eight children, was raised by a single mom and learned at a young age that hard work and perseverance were two of the most important qualities needed to make something of your life. “I spent a lot of time on the farm, doing field work; I got a proper education; and I got into sports,” says Zeke.

     Zeke played football for St. Helena Junior High School and says he got really good at it, but he wanted more.

“I remember watching a telecast and Joe Frazier was about to fight Muhammad Ali. I instantly knew I wanted to box,” says Zeke.

     He went to work one day and chopped down three trees. He dug two holes and put a tree in each hole. He used the third tree as a cross beam in which he hung a pair of jeans filled with sand on it and started punching. It wasn’t long before people took notice of his skill. “One day a man saw me jogging home from work and stopped me and asked what I was doing,” says Zeke. “The man later became my first boxing manager.”

     Zeke, who at the time lived near Parris Island, the training base for enlisted Marines, was able to spar with local Marines. After practicing and honing his skills, at 16 years old he took on his first true opponent during a match in Savannah, Georgia. He was matched with a Golden Glove Champion and State Champion. “I remember the night before the fight, I asked my mom what if I lose,” says Zeke. “She said, ‘As long as you do your best, you can’t lose’.” In 10 seconds, Zeke knocked the guy out cold. That night in the ring propelled his nearly 25-year boxing career.

     After graduating high school, Zeke moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He spent time as Joe Frazier’s sparring partner and made his boxing team. He then joined the United States Marine Corps and boxed on the Marine Corps boxing team. After four years of active duty, Zeke was honorably discharged and continued boxing.

     Throughout his career, he won the State Golden Glove the State Championship on Hilton Head Island. In 1977, he won the USA Amateur Athletic Union Heavyweight Box-Off at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, which qualified him for a seat on the US Boxing Team.

     When his career in the ring ended, his passion for boxing didn’t. Zeke went on to become a manager, trainer and promoter. It was during his time as a promoter that led him to fight his biggest fight outside of the ring and make history. “I was a fight promoter and I went to Massachusetts to do a boxing event, but different bodies of the state canceled me because of the color of my skin. The state law said anyone who did boxing events had to pay $5,000. I was asked to pay $10,000 and white individuals didn’t have to pay,” says Zeke.

     In 2000, Zeke fought a precedent-setting court battle that defined the view of a modern form of racism, that of same-race discrimination. Wilson-vs-McClure was the first same-race discrimination case in the US to reach a Federal court jury. In this case, white Boxing Commissioner William Pender performed direct discriminatory acts, while the black Commission Chairman Wilbert McClure failed to provide Zeke sufficient protection under his authority and cooperated in the unjust cancellation of a series of boxing events, causing financial harm to Zeke. “I didn’t have a lawyer. I did all of my own court proceedings in front of the Chief Justice and the jury. I did it because I believed in myself,” says Zeke. Hard work and perseverance that were instilled in him as a child, paid off. He won his case in front of a jury of his peers. “I hope people learn to stand up for themselves. I had to. Justice is for everyone and it has to be for everyone or you’re just a nobody,” says Zeke. “We are living in a time where people are taking more away from us. If you allow people to take away your rights, then I think you’d be a fool. You have to stand up for what you believe in.”

     Zeke’s experiences were the driving force behind his book titled, The Eighth Round. “In the book, I share my life struggles, the valuable life lessons I learned, and how determination helped me through trying circumstances,” says Zeke. “This true story will keep you engaged and cheering for the underdog all the way. It will leave every reader forever changed.” He also wrote a movie script based on the book and it’s with Sony right now. Zeke believes they will move forward with it this year.

     Zeke currently travels around the world doing book signings and speaking to kids. Zeke believes the children are our future and he wants to leave a lasting impression on them. He says his appearances and his book are meant to inspire people to take action, especially kids. “You can do anything you put your mind to and kids can be anything they want to be,” says Zeke. “You can’t do dumb things and expect to do great things later. Trouble can put you in places you don’t want to be. If the people don’t stand together, it’s only going to get worse. It’s not going to get any better if we don’t change. I believed in myself and when you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.”

     To learn more about Zeke’s story and purchase a copy of The Eighth Round, visit www.theeighthround.com.

New Partnership to Relocate, Expand Cancer Services on Beaufort Memorial Hospital Campus

story by Courtney McDermott     photos by Paul Nurnberg

Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) is partnering with Alliance Oncology and the Medical University of South Carolina Health System (MUSC Health) to relocate and expand the Keyserling Cancer Center to the main hospital campus later this year.

     The new center will be located in the Beaufort Medical Plaza, the three-story medical office building next to the hospital. Radiation oncology and infusion services will be provided on the first floor, where board-certified radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Briggs will be located. Board-certified medical oncology physicians Drs. Majd Chahin and Mark Newberry will be co-located on the third floor.

     Construction is expected to begin late this month. The move will bring together the full array of lab, imaging, breast health services and infusion that support the cancer program.

     “Beaufort Memorial Hospital has been providing outstanding cancer care to the community for more than a decade,” says Russell Baxley, MHA, President and CEO of Beaufort Memorial Hospital. “Our new and expanded partnership with MUSC and Alliance Oncology will allow us to offer cutting-edge technology and resources locally, providing the latest in cancer care to our patients.”

     Last fall BMH officials announced that they would be moving the cancer center to a new location to consolidate and expand cancer services. The newly formed partnership provides both the capital investment and program development expertise required to expand and upgrade services to meet the growing needs of the Lowcountry.

     At the new Beaufort Memorial Keyserling Cancer Center, an MUSC clinical advisory committee will collaborate closely with local oncology experts and a dedicated clinical liaison will be onsite in the radiation oncology center. This expands upon the collaboration that was formed in 2016 when the cancer center began enrolling qualifying cancer patients in clinical trials through an affiliation with the National Cancer Institute-designated Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC.

     “Given the needs of our patients throughout the state, it is imperative that we find innovative affiliations such as this one to ensure we are reaching all of those who need the expertise of our teams,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., CEO, MUSC Health and Vice President for Health Affairs at Medical University of South Carolina. “We are excited and pleased to work with our colleagues at Alliance Oncology and Beaufort Memorial to bring the expertise of the Hollings Cancer Center even closer to those who need us.”

     Alliance Oncology partners directly with hospitals and physicians to develop fully integrated oncology programs. Providing a full range of inpatient and outpatient service line capabilities, Alliance Oncology’s comprehensive approach to cancer care affords its partners the speed-to-market, quality clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and operational expertise that sets them apart from the competition.

     This project represents Alliance Oncology’s vision to partner with leading providers to expand regional services to communities, giving patients and their providers improved access, convenience and services closer to home.

     “In partnership with MUSC Health and Beaufort Memorial Hospital we are excited to add this location benefitting the local Beaufort community, and to augment academic cancer care services in the region,” said Greg Spurlock, President of Alliance Oncology. “As one of the nation’s leading providers of cancer care, this center will join Alliance affiliated locations across the country in providing high-quality, patient-centered services in partnership with premier cancer care providers and caregivers.”

Though she be but little, she is fierce. – William Shakespeare

story by Cindy Reid     photos by John Wollwerth

Molly Monroe was a teenage beauty queen who had her future planned out for her. When she makes an impulsive decision to join the Marine Corps the summer after high school graduation, her boyfriend breaks up with her, her brother bears the burden of guilt, and her mother feels betrayed.

     As a Combat Camera Marine, Molly observes and records her environment from behind the lens, where image shapes day-to-day life. This story unfolds through multiple perspectives, and as the negatives and positives develop, an image of the Model Marine is sharpened into focus.

     It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. -William Shakespeare

     Author Sondra Sykes Meek says she “didn’t even know women could be in the Marine Corps” until a female classmate in her hometown of Lakeland, Florida joined. She said, “I told my Dad I was thinking about joining the Marines and he laughed so hard that I had to enlist just to prove him wrong!” She credits her Marine recruiter for preparing her for boot camp. “He really helped me and although boot camp was a big challenge, I knew what to expect.” Ultimately Sondra says she joined the USMC to find “stability, direction, and to be part of something bigger than myself.” She soon discovered that joining the Marine Corps also increased the size of her family. She developed bonds that she will always treasure.

     Clearly it was a good fit. Sondra spent twenty years as a Marine, retiring in 2010 at the rank of Master Sergeant after serving at six duty stations, including two combat deployments, in Iraq and the southern Philippines. Simultaneously pursuing her love of writing and literature, Sondra earned a BA in English while she served on active duty and an MFA in Creative Writing after she retired while living in San Diego on her husband’s orders. Since 2011 she has been working full time as a Project Manager for the Department of the Navy.

     Sondra has recently published her first novel, Model Marine, which she has dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces.

     To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. -William Shakespeare

     Although Model Marine follows the events in a female Marine’s life, Sondra says, “The events in the book are all fiction but the characters are composites of many of the Marines I served with, who are some of the most extraordinary people I’ve known.” Regarding her title character, Sondra says “there are a lot of ways I empathize with Molly, but she is not me. All of the characters in the story have pieces of me in them, but I wanted them to have different opinions and perspectives. The main female characters include Molly Monroe, who is my idealist; Ramirez, who is my cynic; and Baptiste, who is my spiritual guide in the story. There are several male Marine characters, but among them Sergeant Hicks is an enigma, in that he may be easy for some readers to dislike but he embodies the same characteristics of many Marines who are willing to die for you. He is ultimately a chivalrous character.” Sondra says the diverse cast of characters is an accurate reflection of the diversity found in the Marines. She says, “I loved that about the Marine Corps and I love that about my characters!”

     When discussing the themes of the story Sondra says, “Molly‘s previous life as a model put her in front of the camera whereas her career in the Marines puts her behind the camera. What I wanted to show in the book is that joining the Marine Corps is a transformation. My main character, Molly, is a beauty queen, which shows what a ‘girly girl’ she is at the beginning, and she is the centerpiece of her family unit. By the end of the book, she is no longer the centerpiece. There are subtle shifts and eventually it’s not just about her anymore.  She has made a full transition, and other Marines’ stories are as relevant as hers. In my opinion, all of the characters are ‘model Marines.’

     Shakespeare quotes are found throughout Model Marine and Sondra says “I do love Shakespeare because Shakespeare touches on big subjects like death and other human experiences that are still so relevant today. The play Hamlet moves me emotionally on a deep level.” When asked about her favorite authors she says, “Shakespeare of course. I love the classics; Wuthering Heights is my favorite book, and I adore To Kill a Mockingbird. But I also read and love modern books; The Help by Kathryn Stockett is one of my absolute favorites.”

     “I wanted to incorporate my love of literature into the Marine Corps storyline in my book. There is a lot of symbolism in the story. Liberal arts may seem to be distinctly different from the military but they have several similarities I tried to draw attention to in the book. I think the reader will discover how meaningful they both can be when you take the time to learn about them.”

     The golden age is before us, not behind us. -William Shakespeare

     Sondra has a long history with Beaufort. She says “I went to Parris Island for basic training. I was so disappointed when I received my orders after military occupational school and learned I was headed back to Parris Island for my first duty station because I wanted to travel somewhere new. But it all worked out because that is how I met my husband Eric, who was also a Marine. In fact, we were married here in Beaufort.” Sondra and Eric are the proud parents of two daughters, Breanna who is the model on the cover of the book, and Amanda who took the picture on the cover and is moving to Arizona soon with Jason, her Marine husband.

     Because they still owned the home on Lady’s Island they purchased in 2005, the Meeks chose Beaufort to return to after their mutual retirement from the Marine Corps. Sondra says, “Before we only knew Beaufort as Marines, but this time we are able to really enjoy it, especially using our boat and being on the water. Now I love Beaufort!”

     Although she has written short stories she wants to turn into novels, right now Sondra is focused on promoting Model Marine and looking forward to the day when she will be devoting herself to writing full time. She says, “I feel very connected to the natural beauty of the lowcountry and I look forward to becoming more connected to the larger community, especially writers and the literary community.” Until then, wise words from the Bard…

     “From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive: They sparkle still the right Promethean fire; They are the books, the arts, the academes, That show, contain, and nourish all the world.”

     Follow on Instagram @modelmarine and on Face book as Model Marine

     Model Marine by Sondra Sykes Meek is available locally at the Beaufort Bookstore and The Corps Store. It is also available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.
Visit sondrasykesmeek.com

Take Control of Your Hearing Health

story by Emily Burgess

“Better hearing is better living” is the motto at Kalady Audiology, an industry leading hearing clinic that strives to enrich the lives of those who are experiencing hearing loss and has been serving the Beaufort community for nearly two years.

     “I have traveled to China three times. Each time we added to our family through adoption. While preparing for the trips, we did manage to learn (we thought) some of the language. We quickly learned that we were wholly dependent on our guides and translators for communication. I experienced that feeling of isolation from being unable to understand what others were saying and misunderstandings arose. This has stayed with me as I counsel patients about the emotional aspects of living with hearing impairment and reinforces my desire to provide the best solutions for my patients’ communication needs,” said Dr. Meg Kalady.

     Dr. Kalady has practiced Audiology for 30 years.  She moved to Beaufort almost two years ago, where she bought an existing Audiology practice.  She is originally from the  suburbs of Philadelphia. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and received her doctorate in Audiology from AT Still University in 2012. She is Board Certified in Audiology by the American Board of Audiology, a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, a member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology and the South Carolina Academy of Audiology.

     “Hearing loss affects your entire life,” Kalady said. It is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease, affecting 48 million Americans. “Our focus is making sure you don’t miss out on anything because of your hearing loss.”

     Hearing loss can negatively impact your life in many areas including your work performance, your relationships, your safety and has been linked to more serious conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and cognitive decline.

     The practice strives to thoroughly evaluate patient’s hearing, the impact the hearing loss is having, the areas where patients feel they need assistance and the solutions to meet those needs. Kalady Audiology combines a patient’s needs with their knowledge to come up with a plan in order to be successful.

     The compassionate staff at Kalady Audiology understands that achieving better hearing is an on-going treatment process between the patient and audiologist. They dedicate extra time in getting to know the patient and their specific hearing needs in order to ensure the best results. This individualized approach allows for treatment based on the patient’s listening needs, lifestyle and budget.

     Kalady Audiology offers a wide range of services, the most common being hearing tests and evaluations along with hearing aid fittings and programming. They also offer hearing aid repair, hearing protection, tinnitus management and live speech mapping.

     Kalady Audiology offers a vast array of resources and tools on their website at kaladyaudiology.com. There is a hearing loss survey to help determine if you are experiencing signs of hearing loss, a guide to hearing aids and a video library to help you better understand hearing loss.

     The office is open for appointments Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and would love to hear from you about how they can get you started to better hearing health. Email info@kaladyaudiology.com or call us at 843-271-6978 with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Family. Friendly. Dental.

story by Emily Burgess     photos by Susan DeLoach

Howard Family Dental has been serving Coastal Georgia and South Carolina for all dental needs for close to 40 years. Today, the practice has grown to two specialty practices and 11 general practices, including a Beaufort location that has been serving our community since December 2015.

     “Family. Friendly. Dental,” are the priorities that Howard Family Dental focuses on to ensure the best dental experience for the whole family. They genuinely value relationships with their patients and guarantee you will feel apart of the family. The team of doctors and hygienists at the Beaufort office truly care about making each appointment exceptional for the patient. They personalize each patient’s appointment and treatment plan to help every patient achieve their oral health goals and ensure they develop and maintain healthy good oral health.

     The mouth is the gateway to the body’s overall health. While maintaining good oral health care is good for obvious reasons, such as preventing bad breath, tooth decay and infection, it is also imperative to help reduce the risk of serious health complications, such as heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

     The Howard Family Dental dentists are extremely skilled and dedicated to every patient’s dental health and well-being. Two dentists, Dr. Isaac Hankla and Dr. Ian Barnard, who started with the practice at the end of February, serve the Beaufort location.

     Dr. Isaac Hankla completed his undergraduate studies at Transylvania University where he studied Biology before graduating from the University of Kentucky, School of Dentistry.

     Dr. Ian Barnard is a graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a double minor in international studies and biological studies. He then graduated from Indiana University, School of Dentistry. Dr. Barnard completed a one-year dental residency program aimed at treating medically compromised patients and became certified to perform IV sedation. This will enable the practice to expand services and offer IV sedation to patients later this year.

     Howard Family Dental sees patients of all ages and offers general dentistry including dental implants, crowns and bridges, fillings, root canals, oral surgery and more. Additionally, they offer cosmetic dentistry such as veneers and teeth whitening. A majority of patients seen are seeking routine care, but the practice also sees many who are seeking emergency treatment due to pain.

     The practice offers the Howard Family Dental Discount Plan that is designed to provide affordability and greater access to quality dental care. Patients receive immediate, hassle-free and convenient eligibility. The Dental Discount Plan offers a range of discounts for dental services, with annual enrollment fees starting at just $247.00 for a single plan. The office accepts CareCredit to help patients finance their dental treatment. PPO insurances, along with Tricare and Meritain Health are also accepted.

     Howard Family Dental is also dedicated to serving the local community outside their office walls. They have proudly established the Howard Family Dental Foundation to fund programs that support the education and health care of youth in the community and around the world. Additionally, the Foundation supports their own team members and their families in times of crisis and educational endeavors.

     Howard Family Dental Beaufort believes everyone deserves to have a healthy, confident smile and their goal is to educate every patient that walks through their door to help them reach their optimal oral health. The office is conveniently located on Robert Smalls Parkway in the Beaufort Plaza Shopping Center just 10 miles from Parris Island. Call their office or visit their website to schedule an appointment Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.