community

We care: Gift packages show community’s support for military spouses

Military spouses in the Columbia area entered the gym at Polo Road Park on Wednesday not knowing what to expect. Most left smiling after being shown kindness by total strangers during the area’s first Support Military Spouses care package delivery party. About 500 care packages were assembled for delivery to military families in Columbia and Sumter. More than 60 families…

40,000 valentines: Church turns Sunday School hour into mission to feed the hungry

  The members of Trenholm Road United Methodist Church typically wear their Sunday best for morning services, but many added a new accessory this week. “Just wear the hairnet to church and don’t worry about your hair,” said Senior Pastor Mike Smith. Smith sported a blue hairnet along with his purple and white pastoral robes, and many followed his lead and…

EdVenture program for kids with disabilities gets $30,000 boost

EdVenture’s efforts to help families with children who have disabilities are getting a big boost from Molina Healthcare of South Carolina. Allison Whittle (from left) and Louis Fawcett of EdVenture pose with Dr. Cleo, Tom Lindquist and Catherine Rosado of Molina Healthcare at Thursday’s check presentation. (photo by Allen Wallace) Molina officials presented a $30,000 donation to the children’s museum Thursday. The…

Some turned blue to bring in green during Polar Plunge

  Seeing a group of people race happily into Lake Murray with the temperature just above 40 degrees and the wind making it feel like 32 might lead some to question the sanity of those racing toward the frigid water. But the dozens who braved the water Saturday morning were motivated by generosity as they plunged to raise money for…

One Book initiative gathers community to read together

Carla Damron lives in Columbia, and the capitol city is the setting of her newest novel, “The Stone Necklace.” Those facts were just the beginning of what made her book the choice for Richland Library’s “One Book, One Community” event. Carla Damron, author of “The Stone Necklace” (photo provided) The initiative is an effort to build community by encouraging everyone…

‘It literally gave life to Zoe’: Red Cross faces shortage of blood

Zoe Tipping will celebrate her fifth birthday this year. Her parents say she might not have lived to see that milestone without blood donated by strangers. The American Red Cross now faces a shortage of blood nationally, especially on the East Coast, and Zoe’s family is joining others in calling for more donors. Zoe Tipping at a Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital event…

T.J. Maxx donation boosts Meals on Wheels program

Seniors who rely on the Columbia area Meals on Wheels program got some extra help this week from a group of retail stores. T.J. Maxx Manager Dean Long (right) presents Senior Resources Executive Director Pam Dukes with the donation check. (photo provided) Dean Long, manager of the Harbison T.J. Maxx store, presented a $5,000 donation to Senior Resources, the nonprofit…

Doctors, lawyers team up to raise awareness of Daniel’s Law

A South Carolina woman could spend the rest of her life in prison if convicted of the murder of her newborn. The child was found abandoned in a wooded area, and authorities say the mother confessed to leaving the baby there. It is not the first case of its kind, but members of the South Carolina Bar and South Carolina Hospital Association…

Local Cola weekend preview: Join the Idiot Club; snuggle up with a bargain book or movie

Richland Library long has been more than just a place to borrow books. The library’s branches offer the community everything from music to video games, online downloads to borrow and keep, classes and seminars, help finding jobs, guest speakers and space for meetings. The Richland Library Friends’ Winter Book Sale starts with a Friday night preview. (photo provided) All are…

Special Olympics champions get assist from law enforcement officers to kick off 30th Torch Run

Nearly 23,000 athletes took part in Special Olympics South Carolina in 2015. In 2016, for the 30th consecutive year, those athletes will have support from law enforcement officers all over the state. Master Sgt. John Doudoukjian stands with his wife, Katherine, and their sons John and Jackson as he shares their personal experiences with Special Olympics. (photo by Brindy McNair)…

Local advocates challenge presidential candidates to focus on hunger, poverty

National security, the economy and health care are popular topics as the 2016 presidential election draws closer, but advocates in in Columbia and beyond are trying to push another issue to the forefront: hunger. Some of Columbia’s hungry residents line up for a meal provided by nonprofit Food Not Bombs. (photo by Allen Wallace) In Richland and Lexington counties,  approximately 87,500…

Band lineup, new attractions announced for St. Pat’s in Five Points

Bands from Charleston, Athens, Nashville and New Jersey will come together in Columbia on March 19 to headline the 34th annual St. Pat’s in Five Points festival. The headline acts, announced Thursday night, are Drive-By Truckers, Shovels & Rope, Old Dominion and The Front Bottoms. They’ll be joined by 16 other bands at four outdoor stages for the day-long event, which…

Local Cola preview: Free grits! Grant allows Columbia culture festival to drop admission fees

Indie Grits will celebrate its 10th anniversary this April, and organizers have partnered with the Central Carolina Community Foundation to provide what foundation Director of Community Impact David Laird called “a gift to all of Columbia.” Indie Grits founder Andy Smith speaks at Thursday’s announcement. (photo by Allen Wallace) All movies and events at the annual film and culture festival…

Fallen police officer inspires Heroes in Blue campaign

Forest Acres Police Officer Greg Alia died in the line of duty more than two months ago, but his widow and other family members and friends are hard at work to make sure his legacy lives on. Talia Kugler and Sal Alia support the Heroes in Blue campaign at the Original Pancake House. (photo provided) Kassy Alia has worked alongside other supporters to…

Donation boosts efforts to help seniors recover from floods

Senior Resources’ ongoing flood relief efforts have received a boost from a local insurance agency. (L-R) WoodmenLife Regional Director Don Molineu, chapter treasurer Cathy Meetze, past-president Dale Eargle, and secretary Libby Bedenbaugh with Senior Resources’ Director of In-Home & Community-Based Services Anne Shissias and Executive Director Pam Dukes (photo provided) The Columbia chapter of WoodmenLife donated $500 to provide non-perishable food items…