Rooted in Bringing People Together

By: Chaunte McClure

I would often hear Grandma say to family and friends, “I was thinking about you not long ago.”  My cousin and I would low-key think Grandma was just making conversation. Now that I’m older, I find myself often thinking about others and the good ol’ days. Like the ones we spent under the tree, just a stone’s throw from my grandparents’ house, where we made mud pies, let our imaginations run wild, and played all sorts of traditional and made-up games during the summer.

When we’d visit my great-uncle Fletchie in what we called the backwoods, most times we’d find him tending the garden or sitting under that old pecan tree. Air conditioning was a luxury in the 80s and folks knew how to take the heat. Others would probably argue that it wasn’t that hot back then. Regardless of opinion, that ol’ pecan tree was the setting for many conversations shared by family and friends. It’s still standing and family and friends still gathered there until recently.

I started thinking about those trees after a recent visit to Angel Oak, the famous tree on Johns Island that’s believed to be around 400 years old. I’m amazed that thousands of people travel near and far to see this tree. Though the Angel Oak just isn’t any tree, like many others, it’s rooted in bringing people together to make new memories and share old ones.

Every small town has a tree where friends, family, or old winos meet to shoot the breeze. Where is, or was, that tree in your community?

5 Reasons to Participate in the Tunnel to Towers SC 5K Run & Walk

By: Kristen Nida, Guest Contributor

This year marks the 5th annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk. Join Lexington Medical Center and other members of the community on Friday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. in Columbia’s Vista to honor our veterans and heroes.

Below are 5 reasons to gather your friends, family members, and coworkers and participate in the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk:

It is a way to honor those who have sacrificed in the line of duty. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created by the Siller Family to honor the memory of their brother, Stephen. New York City firefighter Stephen Siller was off duty on September 11, 2011. When he heard what was happening at the World Trade Center, he strapped on 60 pounds of gear and ran from Brooklyn to Ground Zero to save lives.

This foundation honors Stephen Siller’s legacy by supporting our first responders and service members who sacrifice for our country. Attending the Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run and Walk is a great way to show support for the men and women who keep our community safe.

It’s for a great cause. The proceeds from this event supports Building for America’s Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that constructs specially adapted smart homes for injured service members.

It’s a fantastic way to get your family up and moving. This 5K is open to all ages and activity levels. Participants are welcome to walk or run. Not only will this 5K give your busy family an opportunity to spend some quality time together, but it will also be a good way to get your family active.

Running is always more fun with friends! Switch up your usual Friday plans with your friends and create a team for the 5K. Running with friends not only gives you quality time to catch up and chat, but it also gives you that extra ounce of motivation you need to continue on.

There is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you come for the run, the live music, the food vendors, the after party, or just to enjoy the beautiful views of Columbia’s Vista, there is sure to be something for each and every person to enjoy.

For more information or to register, visit https://www.crowdrise.com/T2TSouthCarolina2017.

Barbara Willm honored by Girl Scouts with Women of Distinction Award

Barbara Willm 2013
The Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands has honored Lexington Medical Center’s Barbara Willm, Vice President of Community Relations, at the 20th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Dinner. Willm was recognized Thursday, April 11, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia for her excellence in leadership throughout the midlands.

“I am honored to be a part of such an esteemed group of women and it is even more special because I was a Girl Scout,” said Mrs. Willm.

First launched in 1993, the Women of Distinction dinner is a recognition and fundraising affair that celebrates outstanding women and their impact on the community. The event pays tribute to women who exemplify excellence in service, leadership, community, visibility and professionalism.

“I was proud to nominate Barbara for this outstanding award,” said Bootsie Wynne, Assistant Director Business Partner of Human Resources at Lexington Medical Center. “When I saw that the criteria asked for women who excelled in professional community leadership andcommunity service, who are excellent role models for girls and have community visibility, I knew she fit the bill perfectly. Not only was Barbara a Girl Scout when she was younger, she has also gone on to exemplify women in leadership. The goal of the Girl Scouts of SC Mountains to Midlands is to build girls with courage confidence and character. I think Barbara is a great example for all girls and women alike,” added Wynne.

Girl Scouts exists to transform today’s girls into tomorrow’s leaders. Girls face many critical issues including school bullying, childhood obesity, teen pregnancy, self-esteem issues, substance abuse, and performance pressure in school. Participation in the Girl Scouts is proven to make a life-long difference.

“I’ve worked with Barbara for eight years and she always manages to bring life to the mission of our organization,” said LaTanza Duncan, Chief Advancement Officer, Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands.

Barbara Willm is one of four exceptional community members to receive the 2013 honor:

• Cynthia B. Cooper: Vice President, Government Programs Compliance Office with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
• Sara B. Fisher: Chief Operating Officer with NBSC
• Elizabeth “Liz” McMillan: General Manager, Gamecock Sports Marketing, University of South Carolina
• Elise Partin: Mayor of Cayce, SC and Adjunct Faculty, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
• Barbara Willm: Vice President of Community Relations with the Lexington Medical Center