Future Entrepreneurs Foundation cuts ribbon in Effingham

By:Andrew Boardwine, Morning News

EFFINGHAM, S.C. — Nanaefua Eshun believes investing in the lives of youth today will result in stronger and better leadership tomorrow.

Eshun, the president and chief executive officer of Future Entrepreneurs Foundation, joined ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to hold a ribbon cutting for the organization on Tuesday at Savannah Grove Baptist Church in Effingham.

Eshun said the Future Entrepreneurs Foundation was started with the goal of helping teenagers become better businessmen and women.

 “I’m very proud to be a part of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce,” Eshun said. “I’m excited to be a part of a community that exemplifies diversity first and entrepreneurship, and I love how they promote those things within our community.”

The organization provides opportunities for students to have one-on-one mentorships, chances to ask questions to business professionals and be involved in the community through service.

“I work with students within the Florence school district, and we help them hone skills and gain resources in the field of entrepreneurship,” Eshun said. “I believe our youth are our future leaders, and it’s up to us to empower them and invest in their future.”

Eshun said the foundation will hold a fundraiser on Sept. 21 at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology Center on the Florence-Darlington Technical College campus.

Celebrity Christopher Gardner and Florence City Councilwoman Teresa Myers Ervin will be the speakers for the night. Gardner was portrayed by actor Will Smith in the movie “Pursuit of Happyness” in 2006.

“The fundraiser will go toward educational field trips for the kids,” Eshun said. “This will give us the opportunity to help the youth even more to fulfill their dreams and become the best leaders they can be within the community.”

Eshun said being involved in the growing process and seeing youth succeed is what makes it all worthwhile.

“Whatever vision they have, they have can achieve it,” Eshun said. “I can be right there beside them, coaching them and getting them to focus on their future. We want to give them all the resources that we can to help them succeed. I believe that it takes a village to raise a child.”

For more information, visit www.scfutureentrepreneurs.com. To contact the foundation, email sc@futureentrepreneurs.info or call 800-913-8261.

SCNow Web Article – Future Entrepreneurs Foundation cuts ribbon in Effingham

Greater Pee Dee Realtor Association holds ribbon cutting

By: Andrew Boardwine

FLORENCE, S.C. — The Greater Pee Dee Realtor Association’s motto for 2018 is “it’s a new day.”

The association kicked off the new year by joining ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to hold a ribbon cutting on Wednesday morning.

Keon Jordan-Aldrich, president of the realtor association at 1375 Celebration Blvd, said joining the chamber is something the association needed to do.

“Today is a great day for real estate,” Jordan-Aldrich said. “It’s been a long time coming, but we are very excited to join the chamber. We’re making sure that we stay in the community and that we continue to have our voice for the community, which is a great thing to be a part of.”

Jordan-Aldrich was elected the 2018 association president by her colleagues, and she said she is looking forward to seeing what the new year holds.

“I’ve been an agent for about 16 years,” Jordan-Aldrich said. “I just enjoy being able to meet new people and make their dream a reality. Now that I’m board president, I enjoy being able to help make the decisions and hopefully assist in taking our association to another level.”

Jennifer King, the chief executive officer of the Greater Pee Dee Realtor Association, said the partnership with the chamber will enable the association to continue to service the community.

“We are glad to be a part of the chamber,” King said. “We are excited to be able to support our community. We are the Greater Pee Dee Realtor Association and they are the Greater Florence Chamber. We both believe in bringing growth to the area, so I think it’s a great fit.”

The association helps link realtors together, provides education and looks to give back in the community.

“We are a trade association for all realtor members in the nine-county area of the Pee Dee region,” King said. “Anyone who is a licensed realtor can be part of the association, and that means the buyer and seller will be dealing with some who abides by our code of ethics and standards. We run the MLS service, which shows all current listings, and put on several community events, as well.”

For King, the realtor association has given her a chance to work with new people and meet realtors from across the Pee Dee region.

“I don’t come out of the real estate world,” King said. “My favorite thing is working with all the people. Everyone is really nice and passionate about what they do. It’s a lot of fun getting to work with people from all corners of the Pee Dee and watching them work with others to achieve their dream of homeownership.”

SCNow Web Article – Greater Pee Dee Realtor Association holds ribbon cutting

Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School cuts ribbon for a new building

By: Rebecca Cross

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Construction is complete for a new academic building and dining hall at Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School.

Representatives from the school’s board of trustees, First Reliance Bank, Hunter Builders and Munnerlyn Architects participated in a ribbon cutting on Wednesday evening at the school.

Dr. William Naso, chairman of the Trinity-Byrnes Board of Trustees, said it is an exciting time to be a part of the school.

“We are the fastest growing independent school in the Pee Dee region,” Naso said.

The school has 273 students.

“We’re really busting at the seams, and that’s why we’re here today,” Naso said.

Students are from throughout the region. Naso listed Hartsville, Darlington, Florence, Lamar and Cheraw as cities that students are from.

“We have built a school that is second to none in this region,” Naso said.

The 12,000-square-foot building features seven classrooms, two seminar rooms and one multipurpose room to also be used as a dining hall. Two of the seven classrooms are science labs. The building is designed to support advanced math and science teaching and technology for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

A reception was held in the new building after the ribbon cutting, and attendees toured the building.

SCNow Web Article – Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School cuts ribbon for a new building

Ribbon Cutting: Goodwill

By: BY ANDREW BOARDWINE, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. — A rain-soaked Thursday morning was unable to dampen the excitement of Palmetto Goodwill employees and shoppers as they celebrated the grand opening of the store’s second location in Florence, at 260 N. Beltline Drive.

Goodwill officials and employees joined ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to hold a ribbon cutting at 9:45 a.m. before officially opening the store to customers.

Rick Shelley, director for workforce development for Goodwill in the Pee Dee and Grand Strand regions, said the goal of constructing the new store is to help with missions and services in the community.

“We’re very excited to be opening our second location,” Shelley said. “This is going to help us expand our footprint in the Pee Dee and give folks another opportunity to promote the mission of Goodwill in the Florence area.”

Shopper Katrienne Ham was one of the first to enter the new store on Thursday and came away impressed with the selection and price.

“I love the Goodwill and the mission they have,” Ham said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing. Nowadays, people don’t have a lot of money and they have things in the Goodwill store that are just as nice for a reasonable price.”

The mission of Goodwill is “to help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work.”

Palmetto Goodwill CEO Robert Smith said the organization assists people in finding jobs, trains them in resume building and helps adults who haven’t received a high school diploma get their education and obtain certifications to get back out in the workforce.

Over 90 cents of every dollar made through retail is given back to the community through those education, training and employment programs.

“We bring them in, train them and help them become successful in the workplace,” Smith said. “This store not only serves as an opportunity to employ people, but also an opportunity to train them and place them back out in the community.”

In addition to store manager Ruth Cain and assistant manager Lamar Meyers, 15 store associates were hired in conjunction with the new store opening, according to Palmetto Goodwill.

“We’re really excited to have the Florence community and their support,” Smith said.

People can register all weekend long for a free 60-second Goodwill shopping spree by visiting the store location.

Last year, Palmetto Goodwill placed more than 1,596 people into new jobs and provided services for more than 57,981 in South Carolina.

For more information about its programs and services or to donate, visit palmettogoodwill.org.

Sharonview Federal Credit Union celebrates office relocation in Florence

By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Sharonview Federal Credit Union held a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon to celebrate the relocation of its Florence branch to 1921 W. Palmetto St.

Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce held the ribbon cutting and congratulated Sharonview executives and employees on their grand opening. The branch also held its “Cocktail & Conversations” event at 3:45 p.m. just before the ribbon cutting. Attendees mingled with Sharonview staff while enjoying light refreshments.

Sharonview Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution that offers a variety of services from banking to loan education and financial planning. The branch has been serving the Florence community since the 1970s and Bill Partin, president and CEO, said the company is thrilled to be opening the new branch.

“Achieving an enhanced member experience holds great value to Sharonview, and this new location will bring current members and new members the resources they need to meet their financial goals,” Partin said.

Alger Holloman, Florence branch manager, said the new location with allow for even more growth within the “Sharonview family.”

“Our team in Florence looks forward to building new and maintaining current relationships with our members in the area,” Holloman said.

Members of Sharonview Federal Credit Union have a say in credit union procedures because members are owners. Because it is a community charter branch, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Florence County can become a member. To learn more about membership, call 800-462-4421.

The Florence hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit sharonview.org.

SCNow Web Article – Sharonview Federal Credit Union celebrates office relocation in Florence 

Thrift shop holds ribbon cutting at new location in Florence

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence County Disabilities Foundation’s Pee Dee Thrift Shop held a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning to celebrate the opening of its new location at 1524 S. Irby St. in Florence.

Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce joined foundation board members and executives as well as local customers for the ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. The thrift shop moved to the new location from 1723 S. Irby St.

The public was invited to the ribbon cutting as well as to the shop’s grand opening set for Friday. During the grand opening, customers can look forward to special deals and sales throughout the day to help get a head start on holiday shopping.

The foundation operates other thrift shops in Scranton, Lake City and Johnsonville as well as a second location at 1650 E. Palmetto St. in Florence. The stores are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Florence County Disabilities Foundation was established to provide funding for the Florence County Disabilities and Special Needs Board. The foundation seeks support from sources such as corporate donations, fundraising activities and grants, as well as volunteer assistance for the agency. For more information, call 843-662-4021 or visit fcdfoundation.org.

SCNow Web Article – Thrift shop holds ribbon cutting at new location in Florence 

Florence Civic Center unveils new name, branding design

By: Joshua Lloyd, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – The 2018 season at the Florence Civic Center will be one for the books.

Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the center’s opening, as well as the grand opening of the $16 million expansion that’s under construction and set to be complete by this year’s end.

Amid this forward progress, a new branding campaign was born, and officials revealed Tuesday what that entails. Starting in January, the facility will be called the “Florence Center,” and a new logo and color scheme will reflect that. The new slogan is “We’re at the Center of what’s happening.”

The new brand incorporates a “rivers, rail and roads” theme, to capture what makes this area special.

“This component is true to us, and we wanted to make sure what we’re promising is authentic to who we are,” said Barry Townsend, who designed the logo. “You have to make a promise you can keep. This idea of rivers, rails and roads is true to us and carries out authenticity.”

Becky Davenport – founder of Strategiz, a marketing company involved in the rebranding – said the goal with this rebrand was to get to the core of what the center is doing where it realistically wants to be: at the center.

“The mission the team developed is to deliver a unique experience that meets the diverse needs of our clients and creates an economic impact for our community,” she said. “Looking forward, the goal is to be truly be a destination for local, regional, national and even international events.”

Holly Beaumier, executive director of the Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau, said this expansion and rebranding will usher in a new, transformative era for Florence.

“There’s this connectivity that’s being carried out in the design and brand, but it’s also carried over to the team,” she said. “It’s very exciting to see this connectivity with this team and the community. We have the same goals of creating an impact through events, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

The forthcoming expansion will add 28,000 square feet to the center, which includes 8,000 square feet of subdividable space, 5,000 square feet of new kitchen space and 12,000 square feet of lobby and meeting room space. There will also be an additional outdoor pavilion and sitting area.

The grand opening tentatively is scheduled in mid-January.

SCNow Web Link – Florence Civic Center unveils new name, branding design 

Pecan Festival offered something for everyone

By: Rebecca Cross, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – An estimated 50,000 people flooded downtown Florence on Saturday to enjoy food, games, music, fellowship and vendors at the 14th annual Pecan Festival.

The festival spread through nine square blocks of downtown Florence, and attendees said that everywhere they turned there was something new to see, hear and do.

“It’s all-around fun and a family atmosphere,” said Lasheena Douglas. “Everyone can take something out of it.”

Douglas is a regular attendee at the Pecan Festival.

“It’s positive to see a variety of people come together, sharing fun and experiencing different activities and foods,” Douglas said.

For Kathy Ham, sharing her culinary talent has consistently drawn her out to the festival. This was her 14th year participating in the cooking competition, and she won three awards for her pecan dishes, including the overall award from Duke’s Mayonnaise.

“I take this contest very seriously, and I try to choose unique recipes with great presentations,” Ham said. “I very much appreciate the people who sponsor this contest and am grateful for the work they do.”

Duke’s Mayonnaise sponsored the cooking competition as it concluded a 100th anniversary tour at the Pecan Festival.

Musicians and dancers performed on stages throughout downtown, offering attendees a constant stream of entertainment. Beach music, jazz, blues, country and gospel were just some of the music genres represented at the festival.

Young performers gained confidence as they shared their talents with a large crowd. While Trinity Stewart has performed at other festivals with Extreme Cheer and Tumble, this was the teen’s first time taking the stage at the Pecan Festival.

“It’s enjoyable to see everyone’s reactions,” Stewart said. “All the little kids adore you.”

Visiting vendors joined with local vendors to offer more than 250 food and craft booths.

For Julia Hill-Montgomery, the dedicated attendees always make it worth the trip from Easley to sell her handmade soaps and crocheted items at the Pecan Festival.

“I love the crowds,” Hill-Montgomery said. “They come out rain or shine. I didn’t know Florence had so much to do.”

Smiles were wide as children played games, bounced on inflatables, carried balloon creations and met super heroes in the Kids Fun Zone. Activities were at no expense to parents’ pockets, another feature that Lasheena Douglas said keeps her coming back to the festival and bringing her daughter.

A new STEM Zone was adjacent to the Kids Fun Zone, offering more free activities from leaders in science, technology, engineering and math.

Jim Frederick, a professor at Clemson University, oversaw the construction and flight of paper airplanes. Through Clemson’s “Nature of Flight”-themed activities, Frederick said leaders wanted to engage students in intellectual conversations.

“It challenges them to see the science and math behind these fun challenges,” Frederick said.

The Pecan Festival has been held on the first Saturday of November each year since its inception in 2003.

SCNow Web Article – Pecan Festival offered something for everyone

The Library restaurant in Florence holds ribbon cutting

FLORENCE, S.C. — The Library restaurant in downtown Florence hosted a ribbon cutting Thursday morning to celebrate joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

The Library, at 154 S. Dargan St., has been in operation for several years but recently closed and reopened under the new ownership of chef Adam Silverman in late September. Silverman manages the city’s farmers market and had been running Tracks Cafe at HopeHealth before taking on his role as chef and owner at the Library.

According to Silverman, the restaurant’s new menu will feature locally sourced foods and locally themed dishes with exciting and delicious twists. The Library will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The bar will open at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with the kitchen open from 5 to 9 p.m. The bar will remain open as long as there are customers Silverman said, except Saturday when it will close at midnight.

To view The Library’s menu, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page at facebook.com/thelibraryflo/.

SCNow Web Article – The Library restaurant in Florence holds ribbon cutting