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Community Connection

BEAUFORT COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT NAMES TEACHER OF YEAR FINALISTS

Karri Kearns, a May River High School math teacher, Laverne Stewart, a language arts teacher at Hilton Head Island Middle School, Kinsey Butler, a Bluffton Middle School band teacher, Justine Hardy, a health science teacher at Battery Creek High School, and Jennifer Lyles, a Coosa Elementary School third-grade teacher were named Beaufort County School District finalists for its 2022-2023 District Teacher of the Year. The final announcement is set for this fall.

CHORAL SOCIETY LAUNCHES 46TH SEASON WITH A NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

The Hilton Head Choral Society will kick off its 46th season with the debut of Choral Society Artistic Director, Dr. Dustin Ousley. “A Night at the Movies,” with full chorus and orchestra, is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at First Presbyterian Church at 540 William Hilton Parkway. Ousley is an assistant professor of Music at Charleston Southern University.

UNITED WAY OF THE LOWCOUNTRY PARTNERS WITH SC HOUSING

A partnership between SC Housing and the United Way Association of South Carolina, United Way of the Lowcountry disbursed $1.25 million in Emergency Rental Assistance Funds community connection to qualified area partners to help assist with housing stability. Since the funds were disbursed in July, 492 Beaufort and Jasper households received 848 housing services made available through the ERA Fund. To learn more, visit schousing.com/home/sc-stay-plus or call 1-800-476-0412.

SECOND HELPINGS SEEKS COMMUNITY HELP TO FILL THE FOOD GAP

Second Helpings, a nonprofit food rescue organization serving Beaufort, Hampton, and Jasper counties, said the need for food has increased in 2022. Through its annual Share the Bounty fundraiser, Second Helpings is working to provide healthier food. The organization is targeting the purchase of 60,000 pounds of healthy food. To assist, donate online at secondhelpings.app.neoncrm.com/forms/donate-online. Donors can also send a check to Second Helpings, PO Box 23621, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925. Learn more at secondhelpingslc.org.

BRIGHT IDEAS TEACHER GRANTS AVAILABLE

Applications are available for Palmetto Electric Bright Ideas grants, which provide funds for innovative classroom-based projects. Deadline to apply is Sept. 8. In 2021, 50 grants were awarded to teachers totaling $40,365. Since Palmetto Electric launched the program in 2004, teachers in southern Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties have received over $640,000 in grants. For more information, email brightideas@palmetto.coop or call 843-681-0075.

HARDEEVILLE AWARDS COVID RELIEF GRANTS TO SMALL BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS

Hardeeville and its Community Transformation Foundation gave grants to local businesses and nonprofits to help those impacted by the COVID- 19 pandemic. Funds were awarded to six businesses totaling $61,003 and seven nonprofits totaling $126,336, including Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry ($24,167), Lowcountry Legal Volunteers ($14,445), Bluffton Self Help ($15,278), Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry ($8,000), and Community Foundation of the Lowcountry ($16,112).

CYCLING FUNDRAISER IN BLUFFTON TO BENEFIT THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB

The Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton will host a cycling fundraising event on Nov. 6 in Bluffton, “Bike Bluffton.” Bike Bluffton is mirrored after Pedal Hilton Head, an event that draws over 600 riders of various abilities and raises over $100,000 for The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head. There are four ride routes. For more information, visit bikebluffton.org.