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0215-People-SonjaEvans honors her roots and cherishes her evolution

Ten years ago, Sonja Griffin Evans was trying to battle out of a very dark place. In therapy and fighting through a battle with depression, Evans was asked what makes her happy.
She thought back to her days drawing anything that came to her mind in high school. She thought of her Gullah heritage. And then, she just started painting.
A decade later, Evans is one of the featured artists at the 2015 Gullah Celebration XVII Arts Ob 
We People annual art exhibition, a healthy, celebrated and thriving artist still using art as her daily therapy.

0215-People-EmoryEmory Campbell a leader in the Gullah preservation movement

Emory Campbell has spent a lifetime enduring and influencing change on Hilton Head Island. He grew up Gullah at a time long before artists and tourists celebrated the culture.
Long before the days of a bridge connecting the Sea Islands to the mainland, Campbell boated to high school and became the valedictorian at Michael C. Riley High School in Bluffton. At first, the scholar was oblivious to the history of the region.

0215-People-WalterGraverEven at the age of 93, Walter Graver has no time for things such as relaxing, kicking back or reflecting on a life well lived.

Instead, the long-time Hilton Head Island resident, activist and philanthropist continues to be fueled by his love of the arts, passion for helping area youth and his commitment to enhancing the future of an island that has been his adopted home for nearly three decades.

Come chill with Kaylie Abney, the Lowcountry’s resident Elsa

0215-People-ElsaAlmost every little girl dreams of growing up to be a princess. And if you’re a little girl of Disney age right now, the princess you want to grow up to be is Elsa, the velvety-voiced protagonist/antagonist of the box office juggernaut “Frozen.” And if you’re a little girl of Disney age right now and you live in the Lowcountry, you’re in luck. Because we happen to have our very own Elsa.

An avid cyclist, Joan Lemoine has logged miles through the rolling pastoral beauty of Vermont and even through the subtropical peaks and valleys of Vietnam. But there is one trail that daunts even her, right here on the island.


Working as a young servant at a posh Swiss hotel, Venetian-born Roberto Coin was constantly surrounded by affluent people. Determined to become one of them, he climbed the hospitality industry's ranks, eventually purchasing a 4-star luxury inn and restaurant. At the age of 33, he sold his successful businesses to pursue his true passion — jewelry design. He started his company in 1977 in Vicenza, Italy, the gold and jewelry center of Europe. He began producing collections on behalf of some of the most prestigious brands of international fine jewelry.

After years of dreaming of his own brand, he made it a reality in 1996. Eighteen years later, the Roberto Coin brand ranks at the very top of the fine jewelry world. His collections are celebrated around the world and are synonymous with luxury, style and elegance. From unique $1 million pieces to more practical jewelry in the $300 range, Coin strives to make his collections accessible to every woman.

Imagine your car suddenly breaks down and you’ve got to spend $800 on repairs so you can get back on the road. Or you’re sidelined by a medical emergency, such as cancer or a heart attack, and you can’t work for months.

“People are surprised when they open their eyes. They’re surprised that there’s poverty on Hilton Head.”

Deep Well Project staff members are (from left) Betsy Doughtie, Rita Jones, Chris Wilcox and Sherry Pritchard.

Deep Well Project staff members are (from left) Betsy Doughtie, Rita Jones, Chris Wilcox and Sherry Pritchard.

Hilton Head Island resident Raz Reid has made a second career out of fly fishing

No matter how often the question arises, Raz Reid has a tough time answering.
Why fly fishing?
Reid always enjoyed fishing, but it wasn't until he first held a fly rod on a trout safari in Australia in the late 1970s that it became a passion. Even after years of landing world-record catches on fly, Reid had difficulty describing what drew him to that particular niche.

Hilton Head Island outdoorsman makes the most of life in the Lowcountry

From his youth on the lakes and streams of Tennessee to his adulthood navigating the waters of the South Carolina Lowcountry, Michael Perry has always been a man of the outdoors. It’s a passion that’s delivered the longtime islander a career he loves, and the opportunity to share that passion with thousands of others during his many years on Hilton Head Island.