With the holiday season fast approaching, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has launched the Season of Giving holiday resource on its Volunteers Connection website. Season of Giving is a listing of holiday needs, drives and volunteer activities in the Lowcountry. Whether you want to sponsor a family for the holidays, donate a toy or help serve a meal, you’ll find the opportunities listed on Season of Giving. For more information, go to www.cflowcountry.org/seasonofgiving.

The Town of Hilton Head Island is selling 2019-20 beach parking passes to Hilton Head Island property owners and residents. The parking pass is $30 per vehicle and is valid thru Dec. 31, 2020. The pass allows property owners and residents to park in designated spaces at Islanders Beach Park and Driessen Beach Park. Beach parking passes may be purchased 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Town of Hilton Head Island’s Facilities Management Division office. For more information, call 843-342-4580 or go to www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov.

Society of Bluffton Artists and the Lowcountry Autism Foundation will offer free art therapy classes to Beaufort County children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The free classes will be held in the Center for Creative Arts building next to the SOBA Gallery in Old Town Bluffton. Art therapy pairs the creativity of making art with counseling to improve and to enhance physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Art therapy services are free for Lowcountry Autism Foundation members. For more information, go to www.lafinc.org.

Shaded by live oaks and nestled beside Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church, Bluffton Boundary celebrates the culture of Old Town Bluffton — the art and history that give the town its identity.

That culture is on clear display at the new center: A colorful mural stretches from the building almost to the street, painted at a paint-by-numbers party over the summer by local residents, and picnic tables dot the sandy yard for monthly gatherings that celebrate the region’s Gullah heritage.

The name Spanish Wells conjures up images of galleons and wooden buckets — a romantic vision that seems far removed from the Hilton Head Island of today. But you wouldn’t be far off of the origin of the island community’s name — or the names of several other island landmarks.

SHORT-TERM SALES TAX INCREASE COULD HAVE LASTING IMPACT

Of all the choices Hilton Head Island and Bluffton voters face in this month’s election, deciding whether to approve a 1 percent sales tax increase may have the most impact on their quality of life over the long term.

The transportation sales tax referendum would fund a project designed to ease severe traffic congestion between the mainland and Hilton Head — but could cause uncertainty for property owners along U.S. 278 between Moss Creek Drive in Bluffton to Squire Pope Road on Hilton Head. Expanding U.S. 278 could encroach upon their land.

The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island recently held its annual Teacher Appreciation Program to honor 14 educators at Hilton Head Island schools.

Teachers honored were:

The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island has received a $10,000 grant from the Palmetto Electric Trust to help fund the club’s Intervention Reading Program. The award, part of a highly competitive grant process, is part out of $513,000 in grant money awarded. The trust funds are collected through the Palmetto Electric Operation Round Up program. 

The Greater Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine celebrated the ribbon-cutting on its new location in September. The new clinic is located at 29 Plantation Business Park, Units 601-604. The new space will allow the organization to better serve clients as well as offer expanded services. The new clinic includes a pharmacy, offices and exam rooms.

The Outside Foundation of Hilton Head was the 2018 recipient of the ACA Green Paddle for Waterway Conservation Act. The award recognizes organizations who have illustrated exemplary leadership, service and dedication to various aspects of paddlesport.

The Bluffton Police Department is actively recruiting motivated and ambitious men and women to become police officers. Individuals interested in applying, or who have additional questions about the hiring process and what the job entails, are invited to an open house from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Bluffton Police Department. For more information: 843-706-4550

The American Red Cross is seeking blood drive hosts this winter to help prevent blood shortages and potential delays in medical care. In South Carolina, about 115 more blood drive hosts are needed this winter. Blood drive partners who host a drive between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6 will receive long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirts for all who come to give. To learn more about hosting a blood drive or to sign up, go to www.redcrossblood.org/hostadrive.

In spring 2019, United Airlines will begin flying into Hilton Head Island Airport. The airline will run seasonal service to Washington, D.C.; Chicago and New York City. The Hilton Head airport recently finished a runway expansion project that made it possible for larger jets to land there. The partnership between United Airlines and Hilton Head Airport has been in the works for nearly 18 months. The new service hopes to serve as an important business opportunity for the region and help attract new tourists to the area.

THE LOWCOUNTRY’S PREMIERE NETWORK OF LOCAL BUSINESSES IS CELEBRATING ITS TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY

It began with a speech, one of many that media entrepreneur Marc Frey has given during his career. He was addressing a group of politically minded women when he posed a frightening what-if scenario for the country’s future: What if, he posed, you left your house one day to find your choices limited to Walmart, Target or going back inside and ordering from Amazon?

Dominion EnergyAs early as the end of the year, some Lowcountry residents could have a new power company. SCANA, the parent company of SCE&G, has announced a plan to merge with Virginia-based Dominion Energy.

SCANA and Dominion held a public meeting Oct. 2 in Beaufort County to discuss the merger. Approximately 60 residents attended, asking questions about Dominion’s customer benefit plan and other issues. Bluffton Monthly had a chance to talk with C. Ryan Frazier of Dominion Energy; here’s what he had to say.

aplicationThe town of Bluffton is seeking applicants for its neighborhood assistance program, which offers repairs to homes and properties of low- to moderate-income residents. The program, which is operated through the town of Bluffton’s Affordable Housing Committee, helps with repairs for things like leaking roofs, unstable floors and failing septic tanks or removing unsafe structures from a resident’s property. Applicants must have an income that does not exceed 60 percent of the median income for Beaufort County. For more information, call 843-706-7818 or email bmole@townofbluffton.com.