2019 Holiday Edition

Dear Reader:
It is our sincere hope that each of you are enjoying the holiday season surrounded by family, friends, peace and love.

Inside this special holiday edition of our newsletter you will read about the recent SC COGS conference, our Golden Anniversary and the 2018-2019 Annual Report, as well as taking a moment to recognize some local class graduates and a January educational class offering from the Aging Department.

Best Wishes for a prosperous New Year,
Michelle Grimes 
SC COGS Annual Conference

Your LCOG was privileged to host the 2019 SC COGS Conference, November 24-26 in Myrtle Beach!

From the Sunday night dinner to the Tuesday morning board meeting, LCOG Executive Director, Sabrena Graham and 2019 SC COGS President, Gerald Dawson masterfully presided over an inspiring event agenda.

Over 280 COG Board members from around the state, were treated to an impressive line up of speakers: Congressman James Clyburn (pictured above), Director Steven Dillingham of the Census Bureau (pictured below), Josh Davies from The Center for Work Ethic Development (pictured below), Brent Rewis & Cedric Keitt from SCDOT, Mike Shealy & Katie Turner, Budget Directors for the Senate and House respectively.

2019 Award Recipients

Legislator of the Year - Senator Brad Hutto
Senator Hutto is a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate, representing the Senate District 40 since 1996. Senate District 40 encompasses all or portions of the counties of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Orangeburg.

Partner of the Year - Mr. Harry Busbee
Harry Busbee retired from SCANA Corporation this year. He led a team that recruited new business and industry into South Carolina for the company for over 31 years. He and his group were also responsible for serving as liaison between local governments and all SCANA companies.
Regional Project of the Year - Upper Savannah COG, Ready To Roll

With South Carolina’s transportation budget expected to grow from $100 million to $800 million in less than 10 years due to the 2-cents per gallon gas tax increase, a need for road construction workers was projected. After some research, USCOG staff learned that there was also a need for commercial truck drivers and a training program to get them work-ready. The Ready to Roll program combines all of these, implementing a training course at Piedmont Technical College. One company provided land and a contractor paved a large practice lot. The Ready to Roll program donated the first truck and trailer and provided scholarships for participants. Students learn to drive trucks and take an online course from S.C. Asphalt Pavement Association that offers certification. Students are coached on ethics and resume writing and other job readiness skills. The program offers day and evening training for people with barriers to employment and can prepare them for multiple career options in about two months.

Local Project of the Year - Catawba COG, City of Union, Main Street Junction and Downtown Streetscape Improvements

This downtown revitalization project in the City of Union was designed in two phases, Main Street Junction and the N. Pinckney/N. Gadberry Streetscape. The Main Street Junction phase renovated a dilapidated former department store into a 10,000 square foot event space. The streetscape upgraded a city block to add accessible sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, irrigation, paving and improved parking. The project as a whole leveraged CDBG funds and contributions from local businesses and private donors along with a TIF general obligation bond. As an added benefit, the project employed local contractors, laborers and suppliers for the project.

Congratulations to all the 2019 Award Recipients!

Above: Gerald Dawson receives his President's Plaque from Mayor Julia Nelson. Mayor Nelson is the Mayor of Manning and the 2020 SC COGS President.

The 2019 SC COGS Conference was a rousing success and a significant team effort. We would like to thank the Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, Clemson University, COG teams, VIP's, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and support staff that made the magic happen.

In the Spring of 1969 an agreement "for the geographic area of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties" created the Lowcountry Regional Planning Commission.

In November 1970, Nathaniel Stroud "Buddy" Thompson was invited to serve as the first Executive Director. In the Fall of 1971, the agreement was revised and Governor John C. West, Buddy Thompson and four County Councils officially created the Lowcountry Council of Governments.

Click HERE to view the agreement.

Pictured below: Governor West signing ceremony. Buddy Thompson is the gentleman on the far left.
Articles II & III of the agreement established the Board of Directors. Judge Joseph McDomick, of Beaufort County Council, joined the Board in 1971, served as the Chairman in 1987-88 and still attends each meeting to this day.
Thank you Judge McDomick for your longstanding dedication!

The Lowcountry Council Of Governments is proud of its history, remains true to its mission and is looking forward to what the next 50 years may bring.

More celebration of our Golden Anniversary can be found in the 2018-2019 Annual Report.
LCOG Annual Report

The 2018-2019 LCOG Annual Report has arrived! Inside the report you will find outstanding program highlights, impressive statistics and heartwarming success stories, from our four primary program areas: Aging & Disability Resources, Community & Economic Development, Planning & Transportation and Workforce Development.

Click HERE to view the report.
Congratulations, Graduates!

The Family Caregiver Support Program partnered with Jan Hyatt with the ARK Alzheimer’s Family Support Services to teach Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes.  Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a 6 weeks evidence based educational program designed to help family caregivers take care of themselves while caring for a relative or friend who has a chronic illness. 
The classes started in Hampton County on October 1, 2019 and ended on November 5, 2019. 14 people registered for the classes and 11 caregivers received their certificates of completion (one not pictured).

Hampton County, Don’t Guess…Get Answers!
The Lowcountry Area Agency on Aging and The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence are pleased to welcome adults with diabetes, pre-diabetes and other chronic conditions to participate in a series of Diabetes Self-Management Education Classes .  

Classes will be held January - March 2020
at the Senior Centers in Hampton County

Hampton Senior Center 
January 15, 22, 29 & February 5, 2020
9:30-11:30 am

Yemassee Senior Center 
January 16, 23,30 & February 6, 2020
9:30-11:30 am

Estill Senior Center 
February 12, 19, 26 & March 4, 2020

The classes are facilitated by Sarah P. Smith, Quality Specialist, CDE
The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence and are helpful for all of those with chronic conditions, their caregivers and their family members.

Contact Karen Anderson via email for more information or to sign up.

If you have questions concerning any of the information contained in the newsletter, please feel free to contact me at 843.473.3956 or by email at mgrimes@lowcountrycog.org .