Monday, July 31, 2017

Summerton SC Health Fair: Community Strives for Better Health

Summerton, SC, was abuzz Saturday morning as approximately 150 local residents attended the Summerton Health Fair in the Clarendon One Community Resource Center on Fourth Street. More than 20 organizations participated in the event sponsored by the Lake Marion Artisans Art Gallery by providing free screenings, services and information to anyone interested in health and well being.

The brainchild of two gallery members, Nancy Foster and Marlise Guillerault, the Summerton Health Fair was a service that Summerton needed. Both organizers said they’d been wanting to coordinate a health fair for some time. Guillerault said it was relatively easy to procure support from the community for the event when she explained the reasons. 
Foster said, “We were overwhelmed by the people and organizations who called to participate or to donate.” Among the numerous financial supporters are First Citizens Bank in Summerton, Bank of Clarendon, Agape Hospice, Short Trip Convenience Stores, Goat Island Restaurant and so many others.

Various businesses, organizations and individuals not only provided financial support, they also provided support by setting up booths, providing literature and information, giving away promotional materials and screening local attendees for things like vision, diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol. Participants included Hope Health, the American Red Cross, Clarendon County Fire Department, Clarendon Women’s Shelter, Clemson Extension, McLeod Clarendon Hospital, Walmart Vision Center and Summerton Primary Care, Short Trip Convenience Stores - amongst nearly 20 others.

Kathleen Gibson, site coordinator for the Clarendon One Community Resource Center, was instrumental in procuring the facility and all sorts of additional assistance for the event. Gibson said, “People were extremely receptive and eager to participate.”

As attendees stood in lines to get screened or to garner information and products, Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart looked about the venue and said that this event was extremely important for all the citizens of Summerton—especially because of the poverty in the area and the difficulty of transportation for some residents. Stewart said, “Two health issues that particularly affect this and other areas like Summerton are blood pressure and diabetes.” He said he was pleased to see free screenings provided at the health fair for those medical concerns.

Hope Health was a major player at Saturday’s event by providing free blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol screenings. Diane Davis, Community Outreach Coordinator for Hope Health, said, “I’ve been doing this for over 4 years, and this is one of the busiest health fairs I’ve seen.” At that point in the morning, she said Hope Health had completed over 60 screenings.

Many people found the event convenient because of their busy lives and jobs and were able to attend because it was planned for a Saturday instead of a weekday. Susie Murry said she was pleased that she could get her blood pressure checked. Ella Johnson said, “I enjoyed the health fair, and the fire safety information was helpful.” Pleased that she could get cholesterol and diabetes screenings, Ann Robinson said, “I’m looking forward to next year’s event.”

After the screenings many attendees enjoyed the free snacks, fruit and bottled water available, thanks to the donations of supporters. St. Matthias Church even baked homemade muffins for the event. In addition to providing the venue, Clarendon District One Schools provided lunch from Subway for the organizations providing the free services for the health fair. 

Written and submitted by VickiWilkerson
Local Summerton-based author of The Summerbrook Series of Southern Novels.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Clarendon County, SC, Historical Employment Data From 2009-2017

In late 2008, the US economy began to crash and the ‘Great Recession’ began. The following are historical data on employment and unemployment figures for Clarendon County, South Carolina from 2009-2017. Former SC Governor Nikki Haley played a key role in fostering job creation across the state during this difficult period. The trend has continued under Governor McMaster. Statewide data is available at SCWorks Online.

Unemployment Rate

The economy and job market in Clarendon County and across the state of South Carolina is looking good. The state’s unemployment rate recently dropped to 4%. Clarendon County's unemployment rate is now down below 5%. It is hoped that the trend will continue to improve over the coming years.

It’s time to take a big breath and be thankful to everyone in the public and private sectors who have helped guide us through the Great Recession. Now let’s look ahead to a brighter future as we head into 2018.

Clarendon School District 1 - Back to School News

Clarendon SC School District 1 schools will hold registration from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, July 31-Aug. 4, 2017.  The first day of school for Clarendon School Districts 1, 2 and 3 is Thursday, August 17, 2017.

Required documents for registration are a Social Security card, birth certificate, immunization record and proof of residence. The following documents will be available for parents to complete during the registration process: student information form; lunch application form; Internet usage form; student health information form; Summerton Smiles Clinic parent permission form; and sign-up for school volunteers/Parent Teacher Organization.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Spotlight on Dictators Around the World Today

What exactly is Dictator? Even though they have been with us since the beginning of time, why are there still so many around the world today? We have learned about past dictators like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Fidel Castro, Gaddafi, Noriega, and Saddam Hussein in our history books.

Dictator - A political leader who wields excessive power. Like the terms ‘tyrant’ and ‘autocrat’, the label ‘dictator’ has come to be used to describe oppressive or abusive rule. In modern usage, the term ‘dictator’ is generally used to describe a leader who holds and abuses an extraordinary amount of accumulated personal or political power. See Wikipedia

Today we look around and see similar examples in North Korea, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Turkey… Somehow, dictators still continue to emerge and somehow grab power over countries around the world. So, it’s time to briefly revisit the topic in this blog and look at just some of the many ‘lessons learned’. 

  • Dictators will attempt to rig the election process early and get all the help they can to win office. 
  • Dictators will talk about popular Democratic reforms, but will stay away from specific action. 
  • Dictators will attack, neutralize, or take control of the country’s news media. 
  • Dictators will attempt to stack the courts with supporters to uphold their questionable decisions.  
  • Dictators will attempt to seize control of the election machinery to control future election outcomes. 
  • Dictators will avoid the use of overt violence before taking power, then all bets are off. 
  • Dictators will attempt to distract citizens and win support by focusing people’s attentions on internal and external enemies. 
  • Dictators will repeatedly declare that the people have spoken, take power, and try not to ever look back.  
  • Dictators will follow up and consolidate power by taking control of the government bureacracy, military, justice department, and legislature. 
  • Dictators demand pledges of personal loyalty to themselves versus the country they serve.  
  • Dictators tend to move towards isolationism and disengage from global treaties and activities.

Selected Links

People must remain ever vigilant to deter the emergence of future dictators in countries around the world. Freedom and Democracy are at stake and must always be protected. It’s amazing how quickly things can change.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Local Clarendon County Football Teams: Upcoming Schedules - August 2017

Looking Ahead - The following are links to the upcoming 2017 Football schedule, roster, and stats for Summerton and other local high schools across Clarendon County, SC:
Most of our county High School football teams will start their season on August 18, 2017. Good luck to everyone as preparations for the new season continue.

* Check out MAXPREPS, a web site for team standings and more complete statistics across the state.