By W. Thomas Smith Jr.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Less than one day after delivering 80 Thanksgiving Week dinners to senior citizens across Columbia and the South Carolina Midlands, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s (RCSD) Project H.O.P.E. was at it again: This time collecting 300 “love bags” – including socks, hand-sanitizers, handi-wipes, facemasks, gloves, and giant candy canes – for delivery to seniors, countywide.
The bags were collected at the home of Project H.O.P.E.’s Katie Bolden by other members of Project H.O.P.E., Tues., Nov. 24, for delivery to seniors by mid-December.
Each bag also included a Christmas ornament which was hand-designed by Konni Smith and Donna Rhoades, also members of Project H.O.P.E. The clear glass ornaments were filled with a mixture of glue and colored glitter then hand-inscribed with the word, ‘Hope!’
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Richland County Coroner Gary Watts received a commendation from Sheriff Leon Lott and the men and women of the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD) in recognition of Watts’ 20 years of “outstanding and dedicated service to the citizens of Richland County” in his capacity as coroner. The commendation was presented by Lott at the Richland County Coroner’s Office, Tues., Nov. 24.
“I’m honored to have watched you [Watts] take the Coroner’s Office and bring it up to the high level it is today,” said Lott in making the presentation. “But I am more honored to call you my friend. You were my friend 20 years ago. You’re my friend today, and 20 years from now you’re still going to be my friend.”
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – SOUTH CAROLINA 7, a new book chronicling and commemorating the historic month-long SC7 cross-state expedition in July 2020, was published last month, a copy of which was presented to Gov. Henry McMaster by expedition leader Tom Mullikin, Oct. 23.
“This is a beautiful coffee table book which tells the story of our summer trek from the mountains to the sea through the work of so many of the great photographers who accompanied us along the way,” says Mullikin, who conceived, planned, and led the SC7 expedition. “The layout and the overall design in this hardcover photographic essay from start to finish is the perfect way in which we have been able to document our journey: This and our forthcoming documentary film.” Continue reading “New book celebrates historic SC7 expedition”
MIAMI, FLORIDA: South Carolina Floodwater Commission Chairman Tom Mullikin joined several fellow military veterans last week for a day of diving – not for play, but for work – as the veterans, all hailing from prior service in the various U.S. special operations forces, worked to restore and rebuild 100 yards of coral reef in approximately 35 feet of blue water south of Miami Beach.
The work was part of an ongoing project of FORCE BLUE, a somewhat unique non-profit co-founded in 2016 by Jim Ritterhoff, SCUBA Diving magazine’s “2019 Sea Hero of the Year;” U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Rudy Reyes, best-known as the Recon Marine who played the role of himself in the HBO miniseries “Generation Kill;” and FORCE BLUE’s chief operating officer Keith Sahm, former general manager of Sunset House in the Cayman Islands.
“FORCE BLUE’s SOF veterans have that strong collaboration and teamwork which requires a mix of interpersonal, problem solving, and communication skills needed for a group to work together towards a common goal,” says Sahm. “For us, our strength is literally in the power of the team.” Continue reading “Special ops veterans building reefs to protect U.S. coastlines”