Bela Family Dentistry Celebrates Opening in Florence

by Ardie Arvidson

Bela Family Dentistry of Florence joined ambassadors of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce on Thursday to celebrate its grand opening and its chamber membership. The celebration included a ribbon cutting with chamber ambassadors.

Dr. John DuRant, who was formerly at the Bela office on West Palmetto Street, and Dr. Liz Shelly from the Darlington office have moved into this facility to better serve the community.

They have seven dentistry rooms to serve patients. Bela provides general dentistry to children through adults. Services include restoring implants, denture services, gum treatments, filings, crowns and bridges.

“It is a great location with state-of-the-art equipment,” DuRant said.

Shelly has been in South Carolina for 30 years but is originally from Chicago. She attended Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago.

DuRant is a native of Gable. He received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his dental degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. He did a one-year residency at the Medical University of South Carolina.

“We are happy to be a part of this community,” Shelly said.

“I am very excited,” DuRant said.

Dr. Matthew Cook, the chief executive officer, welcomed guests to the ribbon cutting. He thanked the ambassadors for coming out and supporting them.

For additional information about the services, call 843-662-8413.

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Chamber and Agape Hospice Host Business After Hours

The Florence Chamber of Commerce held a Business After Hours with Agapé Hospice at their new location in Florence on 1516 W Palmetto St on Thursday, May 23.

The guests were able to enjoy food, drinks, music, and fresh air as they networked with other professionals in their area.

Agape decorated their building with a multitude of flower umbrellas in correspondence with their theme “Life Blooms Eternally.”

Chamber welcomes Carolina Kickboxing Academy

by Ardie Arvidson

A ribbon cutting was held Monday at Carolina Kickboxing Academy, 1717 W. Palmetto St. to announce the opening and recognize a new member of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. Chamber ambassadors helped to celebrate the occasion.

Chief executive officer and head trainer Walker Vivian said his academy has been open for approximately three months.

He has been teaching kickboxing for roughly 12 years. Before opening his own establishment in Florence, Vivian taught in Las Vegas at Syndicate Mixed Martial Arts.

“I wanted to move back home,” Vivian said.

“I started when I was 17 years old in Myrtle Beach,” Vivian said.

He said he moved to Thailand for approximately five years between 2010 and 2015 to fight and train.

Vivian said he likes the competition aspect, but he started kickboxing for health reasons. He said he is a Type 1 diabetic and needs to stay healthy.“That is why I got into it,” he said. “It is a good challenge mentally and physically. You learn a life-long skill.”

He said it is a lot of fun, too.

Vivian has taught his 10-year-old son, Brody, to kick box. His son helps him teach classes. Vivian said his son is the West Coast kickboxing champion for his age group.

Vivian teaches Muay Thai, kickboxing, self-defense and anti-bullying classes.

“I have about 25 students, but I want 125 students,” he said.

He said he teaches ages 5 to 100.

“People can come and try their first class for free,” he said.

Hours are 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 4 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

To sign up, stop by or call 843-380-3037.

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