Archive for March, 2010

March 30, 2010

 Amy Phillips
Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau

Spartanburg, SC—As spring begins and the flowers bloom and the sun shines, what better time to capture the beauty of the Spartanburg area on camera. The Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) will once again hold a Photography Contest and is asking you to go out and show us how you see Spartanburg through your lens. 

This is the third year that the Convention and Visitors Bureau has held a Photography Contest and as in the past, the winning pictures will be used in the 2011 Spartanburg Visitors’ Guide. 

“We think this is a wonderful way to get locals out to explore out County and to take pride in what we have to offer here and ultimately share it with visitors to our community,” says Amy Phillips, with the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The contest is beginning earlier this year, so that the beauty of the spring and summer seasons can be photographed. There are also many special events coming up soon in the community and the CVB hopes that people attend these events with their cameras in hand.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau asks that you stop by their office, located in the Chamber of Commerce building to pick up a current Visitors Guide to get an idea of the events that are coming up and to familiarize yourself with attractions throughout the County.

Please submit your photographs on CD-ROM (digital files only, highest quality) with a numbered print out of titles/descriptions of the photos being entered by Friday, August 13th to Amy Phillips, 105 N. Pine Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302. Please be sure to include your contact information with the pictures you submit.


The Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, the region is known for its beauty, quality of life and friendly people. Spartanburg is conveniently located at the junction of Interstates 26 and 85, making it easily accessible from Columbia, SC, Atlanta, GA, Asheville and Charlotte, NC. 

For more information, call (800) 374-8326 or bookmark our website: www.VisitSpartanburg.com

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Cheri Anderson-Hucks
Director, Marketing & Public Relations 
(864) 592-4931 or (864) 494-6679 (cell)
For Immediate Release
March 23, 2010             


Spartanburg Community College’s Student-Run
PC Repair Clinic Wins 1st Place State Award

Spartanburg, S.C. – Since its inception in 2004, the Spartanburg Community College Free PC Repair Clinic has completed repairs on more than 1,000 computers.
The initiative, sponsored by SCC’s Computer Technology Club and run by current SCC computer technology students, recently won first place in the South Carolina Technical Education Association’s Student-Community Involvement project competition. Competition guidelines required that club projects provided a positive learning experience for students and make a contribution to the community.  The club also received $300 towards funding future clinics.  
“The Free PC Repair Clinic continues to be an outstanding experience for our students,” said June West, SCC’s computer technology instructor and faculty sponsor of the clinic.  “They learn valuable troubleshooting skills that will go with them as they graduate and enter the workforce, plus they have the opportunity to practice critical customer service skills which will help them no matter what they do or where they go.”   
Winners were announced at the annual SCTEA conference in Myrtle Beach. SCC students Herb McLaughlin and Kevin L. Smith have volunteered hundreds of hours during the clinics.  They drove from Spartanburg to Myrtle Beach for the awards luncheon to represent all SCC students involved in the project.
“We are increasing our skills by working directly with people, and we are also helping our community by providing this free service,” said McLaughlin.  “I enjoy working with people and have met a lot of very thankful people for the services the clinics provide.”
The Free PC Repair Clinics are offered each semester by current SCC computer technology students and are free and open to the public.  It is a unique community service that has saved many area residents costly computer repair bills and helped to educate them on the dangers of computer viruses and other issues that damage computers.
The clinics provide SCC students the opportunity to gain practical experience in dealing with the public and in diagnosing and completing repairs.  Clients receive free service, a chance to ask questions and the opportunity learn more about their computers while the work is being done.
“I will graduate with hands-on experience that will give me a solid foundation when I enter the workforce,” said Smith. “The PC Repair Clinics have helped me gain better skills in solving computer problems, everything from quick fixes to unique and time consuming issues,” Smith added.
SCC faculty members and program graduates who are lead technicians with A+ certification specific to the computer industry give final approval for all work completed by students.  No work is performed without the clients’ prior approval.
The next PC Repair Clinic will be held at the SCC Tyger River Campus in Duncan on Saturday, April 10 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Tyger River Building, room 120.
For additional information about SCC’s computer technology programs contact June West, SCC computer technology instructor, at (864) 592-4864, via email at westj@sccsc.edu or online at http://www.sccsc.edu/academics/programs/comp.

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Contact: Tammy Hopkins, Carolina Region

CBL Shopping Malls Nationwide to Encourage Shoppers to Recycle for a Cause

 Spartanburg, SC – This Earth Day season, shoppers across the country can drop off their old stilettos and loafers at WestGate Mall before picking up new ones. WestGate Mall is excited to announce their partnership with Soles4Souls, a national shoe charity organization. Beginning March 20, shoppers at the more than 50 CBL malls nationwide will have the opportunity to celebrate Earth Day by recycling their shoes. 

With an estimated 300 million pairs of shoes ending up in US landfills each year, and the more than 300 million children in the world who don’t own a single pair, the idea of recycling shoes for a cause is what motivated the partnership. Soles4Souls, the international shoe charity dedicated to giving shoes to people in need, has given away more than 7 million pairs of shoes. 

A collection bin will be placed at the Mall Office and the Easter Bunny Set located in the Belk Court where shoppers will be able to drop off their gently worn shoes during the month long campaign, which concludes on Earth Day. Shoppers who donate will also receive select discounts from mall retailers as a “Thank You” for their participation. With the goal of 150,000 pairs of shoes, shoes collected from all participating CBL Malls will be tallied by Soles4Souls.  Soles4Souls will hold an event on Earth Day at CoolSprings Galleria in Nashville, TN to celebrate the total number of shoes collected.

“We are proud to partner with CBL Properties in this call to action to celebrate Earth Day,” said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls, Inc. “This initiative will not only help put shoes on the feet of the millions worldwide who need them, but it also furthers the global effort to reuse.”

 “This partnership will provide many families with gently worn shoes, which otherwise may not be available to them. Soles4Souls’ charitable initiative and CBL Mall’s Celebrating the Earth campaign is a perfect opportunity to work together to support the many families in our communities. This campaign is an extension of CBL’s sustainability efforts across our portfolio,” said Shannon Gonzalez, Carolina Regional Marketing Director.

 The graphic company FASTSIGNS has united with WestGate Mall & Soles4Souls to produce the printed material for the shoe drive. Supporters can also sponsor pairs of shoes for children by visiting WestGate-Mall.com and clicking on the Soles4Souls logo. 

In addition to these partnerships, WestGate Mall is proud to offer a Celebrating the Earth website landing page that can be found at WestGate-Mall.com. Visitors to this site can find helpful tips on recycling, local community initiatives and retailer recycling efforts.

For more information about Soles4Souls and their recycling initiative nationwide, visit www.giveshoes.org

About Soles4Souls®
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you.  We distribute these shoes, free of charge, to people in need around the world. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 9 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.

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What is it?  The Cinderella Project provides financially-challenged young ladies from Spartanburg, Cherokee & Union Counties with dresses and accessories for prom, semi-formals, graduation and other important events.

What can you donate? Modern/current styles of evening gowns, special-occasion gowns, prom & bridesmaid dresses, gently used shoes, jewelry, accessories & unopened cosmetics. 

All colors, sizes & current/modern styles are needed!

No stained, torn/broken items will be accepted. 

When is the event?  A “Boutique Setting” will be held by the Spartanburg Bar Association April 10, 2010 from 9 a.m. – Noon where the girls will choose special occasion clothes & accessories.   

 When is the donation deadline? Friday, March 26 

 Where should dresses be delivered?  Bring your items to one of the following locations by March 26th 

Central Campus, West Bldg, Room B23, B27 or B28
Cherokee Campus, Academic Bldg, Room 125
Tyger River Campus, TRB, Room 206

 ***(Please hang dresses and include dress bags if available.)***

 The donation drive at SCC is sponsored by Mu Alpha Theta

 For more information, contact Mu Alpha Theta advisors: 
Melanie Roberts          592.4230 robertsm@sccsc.edu
Linda Schmidt              592.4731 schmidtl@sccsc.edu

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Sally Young
SC Assistive Technology Program (SCATP)
USC School of Medicine
Phone: (803)935-5263 or toll-free (800)915-4522

For Immediate Release:
Friday, March 12, 2010                                                                  

Special Feature & Guest Includes:
Adapted Dragster Race Car & Driver

Spartanburg, S.C.: Are you interested in the latest assistive technology devices, equipment, gadgets, and software to help people of all ages live more independently in all areas of life? If yes, make plans to attend the South Carolina Assistive Technology (SCATP) Expo 2010  in Spartanburg on Thursday, March 18 from 9am-4pm at the Marriott Spartanburg at Renaissance Park.

This event is of interest to people with disabilities or temporary limitations, caregivers of children or parents, educators and people who provide services to people with disabilities. Expo 2010 is the only event of its kind in the state, offering more than 60 exhibits, hands-on opportunities to see and try technology, and 15 workshops in three time slots during the day. The event is free, open to the public and no pre-registration is needed.
Workshops will address a wide variety of topics, including assistive technology for computer access, employment, education (including post secondary education), communication aids, home modifications, and living aids for seniors. Sessions on designing accessible web pages are also offered. A full workshop schedule can be found at http://www.sc.edu/scatp/expo/expo10sessions.html.

This year’s Expo will feature something special and interesting to anyone who enjoys race cars. A specially adapted 200 inch long dragster will be on display and the driver, Craig Hairston, who uses a wheel chair and has adapted the race car with hand controls, will be there to talk about his experiences.

In January of 1979, an automobile accident left Craig with paralysis.  According to Craig, the challenge was not “What will I have to give up?” but “How can I do it now?”  Prior to the accident, Craig had been involved in various forms of racing, and one thing he knew was that motor sports competition would still be part of his lifestyle. By 1983, he raced in one of the toughest races known to man, the Baja 1000.  Racing in a specially prepared off road car with hand controls, he not only finished, but won his class and received a special “Racer’s Spirit” award from the SCORE sanctioning body.

Since that time he has continued to race in off road vehicles, Mini-Sprint cars, Legends cars, and is now building a dragster he calls the ”World’s Quickest Wheelchair” to see if he can crack the 200 MPH barrier in a quarter mile.

When asked why he chose racing as is recreational passion, Craig responded, “In racing, there’s no separate class for me. There’s no sympathy, special privileges, or accommodations. I’m either going to be the best on that day or I’m going to have to come back and try again. Racing doesn’t separate me from everyone else, it includes me.

“Another important part of the racing program is the positive effect it has on other people with disabilities, especially kids. I am always in awe of a young person that has to fight the battles of any disability to have a quality life.  Underneath the label of being disabled, they are regular people that have passions, dreams, and goals just like everyone else. So my real joy is inviting a young person with a disability to come join the team and be part of the racing experience. At the end of the weekend, if they go home with a big smile on their face, then I’ve made a small difference.”

For more information contact: Craig Hairston at handicappedracer@aol.com , 803-606-0153 or 803-777-3886

The South Carolina Assistive Technology Expo 2010 is sponsored by the agencies and organizations:

  • South Carolina Assistive Technology Program at the USC School of Medicine Center for Disability Resources
  • S.C. Department of Education
  • S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
  • S.C. Association for Educational Technology
  • S.C. Assistive Technology Advisory Committee, Division of State Information Technology (DSIT)
  • S.C. Budget and Control Board
  • Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Department of Education

Photo information:
This attached photo is of Craig Hairston, who uses a wheel chair and has a specially adapted 200 inch long dragster race car that he operates with hand controls.

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Cheri Anderson-Hucks
Director, Marketing & Public Relations 

For Immediate Release
March 3, 2010             

 Spartanburg, S.C. – On Thursday, March 4, Spartanburg Community College will host an evening of humor, mystery and memoirs as three local authors share their insights, creativity and enthusiasm for writing at the College’s inaugural WOW ~ Wonders of Writing ~ conference.
“We are delighted to present the Wonders of Writing conference and invite SCC students, faculty, staff and community residents to the College to learn more about writing,” says Linda Klinzing, event chair and SCC’s director of The Tutorial Learning Center. “Our lives are so busy that we often overlook the value and importance of writing. This conference is an opportunity for us to not only encourage and promote writing, but also share details on becoming a published author by recognizing some of Spartanburg and South Carolina’s talented authors.”
The event will be held on the central campus of Spartanburg Community College on Thursday, March 4 from 7-9 pm in the Tracy J. Gaines Learning Resource Center auditorium. The event is free and the community residents are invited to attend.
The conference will feature three celebrity authors, each with their own distinct writing style-

  • Carla Damron – published novelist
  • Annemaie Korcheck – published memoirist
  • Lane Filler – published humorist and reporter/columnist for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Carla Damron draws on her experiences as a Southerner and a social worker in her writings, which include short stories and two mystery novels, Keeping Silent (2001) and Spider Blue (2005). The State newspaper (Columbia, S.C.) claims that her “carefully constructed plot and thoughtfulness about social ills contribute to a noteworthy work” and that she “has the talent to play on a much broader stage.” When she is not writing, Damron works as a licensed independent social worker in mental health care where, she says, her clients are her best teachers.
In Escape From East Berlin: An American Tale, Annemarie Cronin Korchek describes both the surrealistic nightmare of living through the bombings of Berlin in cellars beneath the gutted city and her ultimate escape to the West. Her memoir is the voice of a German whose family opposed Hitler’s policies, and it is filled with the tiny details that make her unique experiences come to life. Korchek resides in Spartanburg, where she and her late husband, Robert, made their home for nearly three decades.
Lane Filler, author of Ask Mr. Smartypants (2008), left the cold winters of Wilkes Barre, PA, behind to become a reporter, columnist, and assistant city editor at The Herald-Journal in Spartanburg in 2005. In his 10-year career, he has covered the war in Iraq, presidential elections, puppies, philosophy, running in marathons, sports, politics, and Practically Every Other Topic Known to Mankind. Filler lives in the Upstate with his wife Angela and his daughter Quinn, both of whom often appear in his columns.
“This conference is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in writing to learn from experts,” explains Judy Sieg, WOW co-chair and chair of SCC’s humanities and languages department. “We have planned two days filled with activities for students, faculty, staff and community residents to interact with these guest authors. Students enrolled in our English composition class will have an opportunity for one-on-one dialogue with the authors during classes on March 4. That same day SCC culinary students will cater a lunch for our special guests.”
Sieg goes on to explain that WOW evening activities planned for March 4 from 7-9 pm will feature readings by each author as well as a panel discussion giving audience members a chance to ask questions. Authors will be available for book signings after the program. The community is invited to attend this event, and admission is free.
The authors return to SCC’s central campus the next morning – Friday, March 5 – for a faculty-staff development workshop featuring a roundtable presentation by each author and a chance for SCC faculty and staff to talk with each author.
Throughout the WOW conference, books by each author will be available for purchase and authors will be available for signings following the presentations.

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Cheri Anderson-Hucks
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
(864) 592-4931 or (864) 494-6679 (cell)
For Immediate Release
March 1, 2010             

Union, S.C. – The Union County Development Board, in partnership with Union County, The City of Union, Spartanburg Community College and the University of South Carolina Union, announced the grand opening of the Union County Advanced Technology Center, including QuickJobs Development Center, at a celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony at the center on Friday, February 26 at 10 am.
Approximately 100 community residents, elected officials and special guests filled a crowded room to celebrate the unique partnerships begun over four years ago.
The event is the culmination of years of planning and collaboration among many local, state and federal entities all with dual goals in mind – to provide Union County residents with local technical job training and general educational classes, while at the same time providing a much-needed economic boost to the region through the development of a trained workforce to successfully compete in high-tech industries.
 “We are thrilled that the Union County Advanced Technology Center is operational and now serving our community,” says Andrena Powell-Baker, executive director of the Union County Development Board. “Thanks to the collaboration of our partners and funding from multiple granting agencies, we –Union County residents– now have a $4 million dollar high-tech training center in our backyard and the opportunity to prepare for the next generation of high-tech, high-demand jobs. The possibilities are unlimited.”
The S.C. Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Administration, AdvanceSC and Competitive Community grants provided almost $4 million to establish the center. In addition to funds, each partner provided vital support for the project including the following:

  • The City of Union furnished the architectural drawings and the land.
  • Union County agreed to provide operating and maintenance support.
  • USC Union will provide course work in general education.
  • SCC is securing grants to provide technical training, furnishings and equipment for the center.

The 14,000-square-foot facility incorporates traditional classroom learning with hands-on technical training through three traditional classrooms, one industrial classroom, a computer lab and three industrial labs. SCC offers industrial training and technology courses in the QuickJobs Development Center, which is located within the Advanced Technology Center. Classes in welding and Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) certification began in fall 2009 through SCC’s Corporate & Community Education Division classes. Future training and apprenticeship opportunities currently in development include mechatronics, certified nursing assistant, arrhythmia technician monitoring, EKG technician as well as introductory health sciences courses. USC Union has taught general education courses such as math, English and political science courses at the center to date. Additionally, the university’s general education courses provide a seamless transition for students who desire to fulfill transferable academic requirements while taking technical courses at the center.
 “It is an incredible day in Union County” stated Dr. Hugh C. Rowland, campus dean, USC Union. “This center was conceived by bold leadership from many outstanding partners as an economic development project that would not only benefit our community, but serve as a model for our state.”
Rowland went on to explain that the center allows USC Union an opportunity to fulfill the university’s mission of providing a high quality and affordable education to the Union community.
Dr. Para M. Jones, president of Spartanburg Community College, sees the partnership at the Union County Advanced Technology Center as an invaluable opportunity for all involved. “Our changing economy mandates that we forge partnerships and work together to support our economy and our citizens. This center is a shining example of that.
“With an unemployment rate of 12.7% in the college’s service areas of Union, Cherokee and Spartanburg counties, this center is needed now more than ever before,” states Jones. “I see this center as the beginning of great things – an evolution of serving our community through partnerships involving education, technical training, workforce and economic development.
“This center represents the core mission and vision of SCC – to change lives and build futures by acting as a catalyst for economic development through innovation, collaboration and excellence in our educational programs and services. The center will afford Union County residents the opportunity for hands-on training, certifications and skills that will ultimately make them more valuable employees for local industry after they graduate and enter the workforce.”
S.C. House of Representative member Mike Forrester, also SCC’s director of economic development, who has been involved in the center’s development since inception said he had never before seen so many entities work together for a community’s benefit. “This has been a fantastic journey – this truly is a great day in Union County.”
Forrester welcomed  special guests including representatives from the offices of U.S. Congressman Lindsey Graham and U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis; S.C. House of Representatives member Mike Anthony; and S.C. Department of Commerce’s Bonnie Ammons.
The City of Union Mayor Harold M. Thompson spoke of the center as being a reminder of learning and achievement to all in the community.
Also in attendance was Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair, who stated, “I am happy to be here on behalf of Union County. This center has grown and has had many names for a good reason – so many partners have had a part in making this day a reality. This Union County Advanced Technology Center is an excellent example of government at all levels using resources and tax dollars wisely to benefit a community.”
At the conclusion of the formal program, demonstrations on robotic equipment used in teaching were shown and tours of the center were conducted.

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