News Archive

(3305) Week of Aug. 17, 2005

Rai$ing Race raises $50,000 for Calvary Home

District One Ranks Third in State on ACT
Woodmont community returning to new school
Davis running for open Council seat
McClain seeks reelection to Council
Town readies for Spring Water Festival
County considers Clemson Research Center property

Sexton joins agency

Rai$ing Race raises $50,000 for Calvary Home

Forty two teams participated in The Rai$ing Race in Anderson’s Amazing Space Friday and Saturdary which raised more than $50,000 for Calvary Home for Children, according to organizers.

The Metco Motorsports team won the two day event which included a number of local teams. Team Farm Bureau, Randall Johnson and Travis Rankin, finished second, just yards behind the winners.

Friday morning the excitement at the Anderson Civic Center could hardly be contained as participants, volunteers and organizers readied for the start of Rai$ing Race.

Reality show celebrities talked with fans and volunteers and had their photos taken between interviews with local media.

Some of the Rai$ing Race contestants took the opportunity to receive tips from the celebrity contestants who participated in the Amazing Race and Survivor reality series.

Three waves of teams with 13 and 14 teams each began the fun filled event at approximately 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Events included opening a clue which led them to the Iva Elementary School where each team read a story to a 3rd grade class before receiving their next clue.

The clue sent them on to other activities which included putting pennies into a roll at People’s Bank in Anderson, finding a certain fish art in downtown Anderson for the next clue, a swim or shoot event at the YMCA which was followed by a pit stop at Calvary Home for Children where the first 10 teams were eliminated.

The second leg of the race sent contestants to the Williamston and Belton area.

After finding a clue at the Veterans Park, contestants faced a detour at Mineral Spring Park where they found themselves faced with filling a one gallon jug with water from the spring, by sucking it through a straw.

They then proceeded to the Historic Williamston Cemetery where they were faced with the challenge of finding the infamous horse head on a tombstone in the graveyard.

The next task was to navigate the corn maze at Callaham’s Orchard in the Cheddar community.

A final pit stop in Anderson saw another 10 teams eliminated, leaving 22 teams remaining as participants finished the first day of competition.

Saturday morning  the race began early with teams facing activities throughout the Anderson area including finding a statue to receive a clue, chipping a golf ball onto a green or driving range at Cobbs Glen Country Club, deciding to pitch or squirt in Honea Path where they either pitched horseshoes at the Honea Path Horseshoe Courts or faced the Honea Path Fire Department.

At that point ten more teams were then eliminated.

The remaining teams were then off to find the standpipe in Belton,  deciding between Babe Ruth or Arthur  Ashe during a detour at the Tennis Center or Sports Plus, and then to Pendleton where they had to rope a steer or find a clue in a horse stall at the Garrison arena. Here 10 more teams were eliminated.

The final leg of competition included finding a clue in a hay stack at Split Creek Farms off Centerville Road, eating  barbecue at Ole Country Smokehouse Restaurant or selling at McCauleys Boutique, returning to Williamston to find out which box a key opened at the Williamston Post Office and finally returning to Kid Venture Playground for the final clue and the end of the Rai$ing Race.

Co-organizer Renee Tollison said she was physically and emotionally drained following the end of the event Saturday, but she said she “had the best time of my life.”

“I met some amazing people like Uchenna and Joyce, Rob and Amber, Ron and Kelly, Meredith and Gretchen, Ray and Deana, Ryan and Chuck, Jonathan and Victoria (from AR6), and Patrick and Bianca! They were all super,” she said.

The participating teams had names like Moms for Mazzara, Sheep Gone Baad, Stick & Stuck, Science Guys, PD Chicks, Twin Peaks, Paws for Cause and Awesome Aces just to name a few.

Tollison said there were more than 150 volunteers who helped with the event.

“I think our biggest problem was that we had more teams on Friday before eliminations and too few volunteers because many had to work,” Tollison said.

Though there was some confusion on Friday, Tollison said, “Everybody (except the volunteers) kept telling us they were amazed at how organized this event was. Friday night we regrouped making Saturday go smoother. Of course, we had fewer teams and more volunteers. Many of our volunteers have already told us they will be racing next year and have already picked out a name for their team.”

According to Tollison, the Finale Celebration was impressive as well. 

“The Shooting Star Classics (Ray & Deana’s band) performed and were outstanding.”

OnSat One had videoed much of the race and after editing footage on Saturday afternoon, returned to play the days events on a screen behind the band during the party.

Those attending also enjoyed barbecue and Brewster’s Ice-cream. 

The celebrity teams posed for souvenir pictures and there were program books and t-shirts for fans. Leftover items will be available for purchase soon on the web site, Tollison said.

“I had a blast and can’t wait till next year. Hopefully, we’ll have more time to plan next time around and it will be bigger and better than this year’s,” she said. The event was planned in just two months.

Rai$ing Race organizing committee members included organizer Kelly McCorkle: David Meade/The Journal; Renee Tollison; Mayor Phillip Clardy/Town of Williamston; Paul Clem; Anna Hanks; Sam Henderson; Danette Hanks, Gloria Morris, and Carol Adams.

Numerous volunteers and sponsors also helped make the event a success.

 “Who knows where this thing will lead Kelly and those of us involved? Maybe I’ve found my after-retirement career,” she said.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the Leslie Mazzara Cottage, which will be the third in the Calvary Home for Children center, according to Calvary Director Sam Henderson,

Mazzara, a former Miss Williamston, was fatally stabbed along with her roommate last October in Napa California.

Mazzara was crowned Miss Williamston in 2002 and went on to compete in the Miss South Carolina Pageant along with friend Kelly McCorkle who organized the benefit event.

District One Ranks Third in State on ACT

The average Anderson School District One ACT score for the 2005 year was a composite 21.6, 0.7 above the national average and 2.2 points above the state average, ranking the District third in the State on ACT scores. 

The American College Testing Program (ACT) is a standardized test, with a 36-point scale, designed for students who plan to attend four-year colleges. Results of the test are used by colleges and universities to make decisions about the admission of individual students to their programs and to assess students’ academic potential for success in college.

“We understand and share the high expectations of parents in our communities to see that their children can attend major colleges and universities,” commented Dr. Wayne Fowler, Superintendent of Anderson School District One.  The five year trend for Anderson One students indicates steady improvement with this past year as the high point.

The ACT measures students’ abilities in the key course areas of English, Math, Reading, and Science and arrives at the composite average total for all areas combined. 

Anderson One students scored highest in Reading followed by Math, English, and Science with all areas above the national average, District officials said.

The scores ranked Anderson District One students second in the state in English, fifth in Math, second in Reading, and third in Science. The District placed third in the composite average.

Students taking advanced level math and science courses typically achieve substantially higher ACT scores, according to Dr. Fowler.  “This points to the fact that students who prepare themselves by taking the most rigorous academic classes do well on the ACT,” said Fowler. “ACT and SAT scores are not designed to measure the quality of a school or school district. However, we know our communities expect constant improvement. Anderson School District One has historically encouraged all students to aspire to a two or four year college causing an increasing number of students to take either the ACT, SAT, or both,” Fowler stated.

“ACT scores, like SAT scores, vary from year to year, class to class.  We have had an increase in test takers over the past five years.  National statistics tell us that when you see an increase in test-takers, you usually see a temporary decrease in scores.  We are proud that both of our high schools demonstrated significant gains this past year and that our scores rose even though we had more students taking the test,” stated John Pruitt, Director of Secondary Education for Anderson One.  “We have a system-wide focus on rigorous academic requirements and constant encouragement for students to complete honors and advanced courses. In addition, the school system has provided extensive ACT/SAT preparation sessions for students and information sessions for parents,” Pruitt continued.

“With the driving forces of the Hope and Life Scholarships, many students take the ACT and SAT who have not prepared themselves as well as they should.  There is financial pressure as well as academic pressure being applied to these students.  Many have had lifelong dreams of attending a certain state university only to have these dreams put aside by the reality of these tests being used as predictors of collegiate academic success.”  “We have identified needs and have begun implementation of strategies such as reading improvement, critical thinking skills, and vertical and horizontal alignment in an effort to provide the very best education we can deliver.” “We will continue to have high expectations and will work with the principals and school staff members to identify short and long term strategies for ACT and SAT improvement,” Pruitt concluded.

Woodmont community returning to new school

More than a decade ago, the need for more classroom space at Woodmont High was recognized, and plans begun to address the problem. Now, in just a few days, what began as a plan to renovate the existing school has transformed into a $40 million showpiece of a high school.

Students will begin classes on August 22, and their first reaction to the new school promises to be one of sheer amazement: amazement at the size of the new school, at the variety and quality of facilities available, and at the state of the art learning environment.

Students and parents will get a preview of the new school at a First Day Celebration, an event designed to involve parents and family in the day to day school activities.

Running from 2-7 P.M. on Friday, August 19, the day’s activities will include tours of the school, distribution of information on the school’s clubs, opportunities to volunteer, chances to meet teachers and staff, purchase parking permits, and pay student fees, as well as tie up other loose ends involved with starting a  new year at school. Parents, students and other interested family members are invited to drop in. Refreshments will be available.

Woodmont High will also use the popular and increasingly proven Freshman Academy approach; a means of reducing the stress of adapting to high school which freshman encounter, as well as helping the newcomers integrate socially and maintain a focus on their academics.

The freshman academy program has shown remarkable results in reducing freshman dropout rates, as well as improved academic performance.

The freshman Academy is only one sign of an innovative educational philosophy at Woodmont. There are professional quality production and rehearsal facilities for the school’s choral and theater groups.

In addition, there are wireless laptop computer labs, classrooms connected by technology into a network for learning, a multi-media production facility, and top of the line science labs.

Obviously, it takes well trained and qualified educators to get the most out of  such amenities, and Woodmont High School has them. There are five administrators, and 53 teachers for the approximately 1200 students who will begin class next week. Just under one half, 49.1%, of the faculty have a Master’s degree or higher degree. Not only are they well qualified, they are dedicated; with an attendance record of 96.9% last year.

That quality among the faculty shows results. Of the Class of 2004 graduates, 52% have gone on to some form of higher education. Among Woodmont students from 2003/04, the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) showed that 60% of the students graded above the state average in math skills, while the percentage went even higher, to 77%, in the language category.

Over the last 16 years, the school has produced 2 National Merit Scholarship Program finalists; 1  semi-finalist; 9 Commendations; and 6 Outstanding African American Students. They also have won the S.C. Scholastic Press Association Award repeatedly, the Excellent Improvement Award in 2001-02, The Palmetto Silver Award 2001-02; the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Silver Crown 2003; the Principal’s Cup Award Program; and the National Teacher Boards.

Such scholastic achievement is obtained through a wide variety of special programs, including National Honor Society, AP courses, the International Baccalaureate Program, and the Michelin Partnership, to name just a few.

This year, after following a traditional seven period schedule for two years, Woodmont High will return to the 4 X 4 block schedule. Four different classes are taken during the spring and fall semesters, with the periods lasting 90 minutes.

This offers students several advantages, according to Woodmont High School Principal Randy Reagan. “It makes it easier for kids to keep up with their schedules. It also allows for more intensive training and greater flexibility with the longer periods. Perhaps most importantly, it can allow a student to earn 32 credits during high school instead of 27.”

But it’s not all work and no play. Among the various facilities on the new campus is a spanking new 5000 seat football stadium, where the Wildcats will defend their home turf.

A baseball diamond lies nearby and a track and field layout for those who prefer their sports without all the pads.

Indoor facilities include the competition basketball court, as well as a separate practice court that can also be used for physical education classes and activities. There are also tennis courts and a modern weight training room.

The cafeteria is designed to and is capable of feeding 2000 students a day, although the initial enrollment will be closed to 1200.

The school is designed and built to allow for additional construction with a minimum of difficulty. Classroom space for 2000 students is expected to be built in the coming years. The physical plant, the boiler room and cooling towers, and the generator room would do justice to a large industrial plant, or a small hospital.

At 252,000 square feet, spread over three stories, Woodmont High School takes a lot of heating and cooling.

Hundreds of men and women have worked and toiled to build the school. Dozens of subcontractors worked together under the umbrella of Institutional Resources Inc. to bring this giant dream to life. Construction took almost two years.

Such a large building is not easily made secure, but the state of the art systems and equipment used at Woodmont make the job much more manageable.

Surveillance cameras record day to day events, as well as special events in case a review of the tape is needed later.

Special student IDs also help increase security. The photo IDs must be worn at all times, and include a bar code for use in the library and in the cafeteria. Students attending other campuses for training will ride buses this year, making parking lot security easier to maintain.

School officials are excited about the coming year, and well aware of its challenges. As a result of changes recommended by the Student Assignment advisory committee (SAAC), a number of students from Hillcrest High School were reassigned to the new Woodmont School.

Principal Reagan is certain that both the quality of the school and the warmth of the welcome will soon ease that transition.

“We offer our new students a great place to go to high school, and a great place to maintain old friendships and build new ones. The Woodmont Wildcats have a new den, and we’re ready to go.” (See special section page 4B)

Davis running for open Council seat

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer voters will go to the polls August 30 to decide between two candidates who are seeking the Town Council seat vacated by the untimely death of Councilman Terry Davis.

Candidate Pete Davis has lived in West Pelzer for more than twenty years, and he thinks he has a couple of ideas to offer, as well as his extensive experience in the water and waste water fields.

First of all, he thinks that every business in town, large or small, is important. 

“I’d like to see an addition to the agenda at the Council meetings, so that  business owners could speak, just like the citizen’s comments on the agenda. These businesses pay business fees and sales taxes, and usually higher property taxes because they’re commercial. But a lot of them live out of  town, so they have no real say. I’d like to see that change,” said Davis, in a recent telephone interview.

Davis also has 18 years experience in the areas of water and waste water management. He has worked for the Greer Public Works Commission for that time, and thinks his experience could serve West Pelzer well. “I think the new water line project will be great for the town, but they’ll still have some service line problems to deal with. There’s a lot of old plumbing in the houses in town, and the problems will continue. I get paid every day to deal with problems like that, so I think I can offer the town a lot in that area.”

Davis favors the use of grant money to fund improvements and infrastructure projects in the town. “Grant money is one of the few sources we have access to in small towns. It’s just something you have to do.”

He also understands that only so much can change. “When you’re working under DHEC’s  rules, you’re working at their pace. It’s  not like you can just jump out there and start doing things your own way at your own speed,” said Davis. “But I do think we need to work on improving our customer service. The citizens are not only our bosses, but our customers too. When they have a leak or a problem, they don’t really care about anything but getting it taken care of. That’s not going to change.”

Davis also sees another problem that needs to be addressed but will take time. “We really have a parking problem for our businesses. It will be a tough thing to solve and it won’t get solved quickly, but it is something we have to work on if we want our business district to grow”.

Davis is Chairman of the Deacons at Columbia Baptist Church and has been a member of the Princeton Masonic Lodge for 28 years. “I think I can do some things for the town. I just care about West Pelzer and want to see it do better. I hope folks will see it that way too.”

McClain seeks reelection to Council

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer voters will decide August 30 between two candidates who are seeking the Town Council seat vacated by the untimely death of Councilman Terry Davis.

Of the two, Rey McClain is the more experienced of the two, having served on Council while Bill Alexander was mayor. As much of an advantage as that is, perhaps a greater advantage is McClain’s promise to return his salary to the town to help defray the costs of various projects. Councilmen are paid $600 per year.

McClain, a local pharmacist and a 1986 graduate from the Medical University of South Carolina, says he wants to restore “common decency” to the political process. He and his wife have lived in West Pelzer for 14 years and have spent some of that time restoring the historic Welborn House on Main Street.

McClain says the town needs positive leadership, and has no room for the “ silly he said, she said” politics that have been prevalent in recent months. “We need to work together with the Mayor and get the wonderful citizens of this town involved. The mayor has done a really good job. I think the audit and the budget really came along this year, and it should get even better. The records keeping is really improving, and that was an a area that caused a lot of problems, I think.”

McClain sees a more extensive involvement in the town’s workings as being a key. “I think you have to put in time on the town’s needs during the week, and not just at Council meetings. Especially when working with grants and various state and federal agencies, preparation is so important. The town needs to run like the business it is, and business takes extra work and effort to succeed,” said Rey

 He sees the pursuit of grants as a viable source of funding on future projects, but stresses the importance of balancing growth with the small town atmosphere that he enjoys. “Grant money is just a fact of life, especially in small towns where the tax base isn’t large. But at the same time, the small town atmosphere and the area’s substantial history are very important and need to be preserved. There’s no reason that we can’t move forward without losing our sense of our history.”

McClain also sees the town’s citizens as having a role in improving the town’s appearance. “I would like to see a citizens’ Beautification committee which would recognize and honor those who take pride in their homes and yards.”

McClain was an active Boy Scout as a child, attaining the rank of Eagle scout.

Town readies for Spring Water Festival

The 24th annual Spring Water Festival  will be held Saturday Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Williamston’s Mineral Spring park.

Bennie Hyder , coordinator for the 2005 festival, said the festival will feature more than 40 craft exhibitors, food, an antique auto show and children’s rides  and a new jump houses and pony rides. The popular National Guard rock climbing wall will also return.

Crafters from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, along with local crafters, are expected to participate in this year’s festival.

Handpainted clothing and jewelry crafted of brass, silver, and copper will be available. Folk art and pastel paintings and art prints, ceramics, painted tinware, sand art, wreaths, and florals will also be offered.

Craft applications are still being accepted, however there are only a few spaces left, according to Hyder.

New souvenir ball caps and tote bags with wording Williamston, SC and the state emblem, a Palmetto Tree and Crescent moon, are available as part of the the 2005 festival. Ballcaps are $5 and tote bags are $7. They are available  in advance at the Municipal Center and at ERS Video and Applicance.

Local artist Thomas Addison, who has contributed artwork for the festival throughout its history, has contributed artwork featuring Bluegrass music being played at the historic depot.

T-shirts featuring the art are also available at the locations, she Hyder said. All sizes will be priced at $10.

Party Animals of Lexington, S. C.  will offer an expanded interactive, hands on animal petting zoo featuring many rare and exotic animals.

Palmetto Amusements will provide kiddie rides, including an inflatable bounce, trackless train, castle moonwalk, inflatable obstacle course, kiddie swing, water wars games and others.

The Greater Williamston Business Association is sponsoring a prize drawing give-away allowing a 1 in 4000 opportunity to win a 2006 Ford Mustang or F-150 pickup truck.

Only 4000 tickets will be sold locally for the promotion. Tickets are now available at GWBA locations and will be available at the Spring Water Festival for a $10 donation. The vehicles will be on display at various business locations and at the festival, officials said. The drawing for the vehicle will be held following the Williamston Christmas Parade in December.

The Williamston Fire Department is also sponsoring a chance to win a new ride, an ATV four wheeler. $1 tickets are available from firefighters or at ERS Video & Appliance, where the ATV, supplied by City Scooters, can be seen prior to the festival. Tickets will also be sold at the festival.

A variety of businesses and other organizations are also expected to have displays at the festival. Anyone interested in participating should contact Hyder or Joel Vagen at (864) 847-7473.

The 2005 festival will feature a variety of entertainment with one of the largest lineups in gospel and bluegrass music performing on two different stages.

The Main Stage will feature performances by 

Local gospel entertainer Caitlin Tierce will organize the gospel stage and local picker Jack Ellenburg will again organize bluegrass picking at the historic depot. A jam session will also be held outside the depot for any musician who would like to sit in.

Various entertainment will be offered on the amphitheater stage, according to Hyder. In addition to local entertainers, a performance by Trilogy, a festival favorite, is also planned.

The Williamston Fire Department is sponsoring the festival’s auto show, which will include 75 to 100 local antique and classic autos.

Owners may register their vehicles between 8 a.m. and noon. A $10 registration fee will be charged. Awards will be given to the top 50 vehicles. Five specialty awards, including best Chevrolet, best Ford, best truck and Mayor’s choice will be presented.

Persons interested in displaying a customized vehicle in the show should call 847-4155 or 847-4950 for more information.

The fire department will be offering $1 rides on the restored 1936 Chevrolet fire engine.

Local non-profit groups will be offering a variety of food items including hamburgers, hotdogs, barbecue, hot wings and chicken fillets.

Williamston EMS will offer a handicapped shuttle service in addition to providing medical assistance during the festival.

A special 24th anniversary Spring Water Festival program tabloid will be published by The Journal.

The Spring Water Festival began as a fundraising event for the Christmas Park in 1981. It was organized by citizens making up the Park Committee until the town was asked to take over the event in 2002.

County considers Clemson Research Center property

By Stan Welch

Anderson County Council resumed operations following an extended summer break, which saw them last meet on July 19. A seminar for public officials held at Hilton Head clashed with the normally scheduled meeting for early August, a meeting which was cancelled as a result.

Council took care of some public relations work early, recognizing Senator Lindsey Graham for his actions concerning the filibuster over federal court appointments, acknowledging the retirement of Hanna High School Coach Wayne Jones, proclaiming September as Diversity Month, and awarding a Palmetto Pride award to Belton resident William Thompson for his service to his church and to seniors in the area.

A special proclamation was made honoring Mrs. Elize Teasley Roland Richey from Belton, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Councilman Larry Greer presented her with a framed resolution in her honor, and she was accompanied by approximately a dozen relatives. According to family spokesman Jim Richey, that is about 10% of the family.

Once into the serious business of the County, Council gave final approval to an ordinance changing the zoning for a small tract of land on Hwy. 29 North and Stringer Road. The change was from C-2 to R-20. First reading approval was given to three other zoning changes: changing two lots on Old Williamston Road from R-20 to PD; changing property on Frontage Road at I-85 off of Manse Jolly Road from I-1 to R-20; and changing 20 acres at Shacklesburg Road and Scott’s Bridge Road from R-20 to R-15.

During those discussions, District 7 Councilwoman Cindy Wilson asked that all stormwater and sediment controls be observed and required. She referred to a project currently underway on Midway Road which is under review by the City of Anderson, the COE, and SCDOT for possible violations of such regulations, including the alleged burying of a spring on the property.. “It is a terrible mess out there. I was told a stop work order would be issued by the town, but every time I drive by there on the way to town, they’re working full blast.”

Steve Pelissier, of the Appalachian Council of Governments, or ACOG, was on hand to present the comprehensive economic development strategy for the county, as developed by ACOG..

There was some discussion, including several questions by Wilson concerning solid waste and waste water issues, as well as a planned $1.8 million road project for Long Road.

Councilman Greer, after a suggestion by Council Chair Gracie Floyd, moved that the report be received as information. That was approved, with the proviso that council members research any issues they might have prior to Pelissier’s return at a future meeting.

Council also approved a home detention program, which County Attorney Tom Martin described as being for Martha Stewart type prisoners. The program is necessary, according to Martin, because of severe overcrowding at the county detention center. A  letter from Detention Center Director Bob Daly stated that there were 451 prisoners in the ACDC on August 10, up 110 from the same date last year.

Martin explained that the state criteria for a prisoner’s eligibility, as well as the court’s determination, would be the standards. “People who are behind on child support for example, would be prime candidates,” said Martin. Hew also explained that the prisoners would pay the costs for the electronic bracelets or anklets, not the county.

Councilman Bill Dees explained that the cost of adding 50 beds to the DC’s capacity would approach $1 million. “These are huge numbers, and the problem is going to get worse, not better.”

Economic Development Director John Lummus spoke in support of a request for $300,000 to purchase 103 acres in the Clemson Research Center. Lummus said that the Anderson County Development Partnership felt that such a close association with Clemson University and the Advanced Materials Research Center would be beneficial to the county.

“I think that the AMRC can be bigger than ICAR one day, because of the greater range of possible applications for the technologies developed.”

Councilman Michael Thompson asked where the $300,000 would come from, especially in light of the recent budget struggles to keep costs down.

Administrator Joey Preston reported that the County had recently been through mediation over the TriCounty Regional landfill and as a result, is a one-third owner of the 500+ acres originally slated for that facility.

“That land is currently being appraised and will probably come in at around $15,000. We’ll use some of that money,” said Preston, who later said that there are already interested buyers.

Hopefully, they will close a deal in time to meet the deadline which Lummus referred to in asking Council for quick action on the proposal.

Councilwoman Wilson, who sought to delay the vote until further study could be done, abstained from the otherwise unanimous vote to buy the land.

Business & Industry

Boyd Sexton joins Hedstrom Agency

Boyd Sexton, former Human Resource Manager of the closed Delta Mills, Inc., Estes Plant, is now working with Hedstrom and Associates in Piedmont as a commercial insurance agent.

After 31 years in the human resources profession, Sexton decided to make a life changing career move to Hedstrom and Associates to work with Ron and Norma Hedstrom, long time friends, fellow Piedmont Presbyterian Church members and more importantly, golf buddies.

The introduction to the insurance industry was a natural for Sexton.  He had worked closely with the various insurance programs at Delta Mills and had helped his fellow employees solve many insurance problems. 

As the Estes Plant closed late last year, and even occasionally to this day, Sexton has assisted many of the employees in finding new jobs and helping them obtain eligible benefits through the South Carolina Employment Security Commission.

In the near future, he will obtain a license to represent the agency in providing life, accident, and health insurance. 

Sexton has added a great deal to the community over the years and continues to add to the lives of everyone he has touched.  When clients see him at the agency or when visiting, he is remembered with warm and welcoming smiles. 

Sexton also volunteers with P.E.R.C. (Piedmont Emergency Relief Center), which is an organization that assists people in need through a food pantry and referral service.  He is also a member of F.A.C.T. (Faith Action Community Team), a sub-committee of the Piedmont Ministerial Association.   F.A.C.T. is working with all of the churches in the community to participate in some common activities in Piedmont.

His wife, Jane, is a fifth grade teacher at Cedar Grove Elementary in Williamston. They have two daughters, Mindy and Meredith. 

Mindy lives in Williamston with her husband, David Watson.  Both Mindy and David are teachers. 

Meredith and her husband, Tommy Moore live in Rock Hill.  They are expecting their first child in November. 

The Sexton’s said they are very excited about being first time grand parents.

Sexton asks that if you are ever in downtown Piedmont, drop in and see him.  He always likes to talk about the “old days at the mill”.  And, of course, he will also like to talk with you if you have any insurance needs.

For more information call (864) 845-4520 or stop by the office at 4 Main St., Piedmont.






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