Despite the instant notoriety and the unlikely accomplishment of being one of the top eight contestants on the final season of “American Idol,” Lee Jean Jr. takes it all in stride. If you have the pleasure of meeting Lee, you will instantly see that the 16 year old Bluffton resident exudes a gentle, fun-loving and humble persona that is surprisingly unaffected by his instant Hollywood success. 

“AND NOW FOR SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT.”

According to British comedian and actor Eric Idle, “A few brave men took a risk to allow us to make ‘Monty Python.’ One in particular took the biggest risk to put it on American television.” In a personal note, Idle writes about Hilton Head Island resident Ron Devillier: “His inspired bravery to take an obscure, late-night BBC show and put it on public television was the catalyst that led to Monty Python quietly subverting America.”

Photo From left: Christina Bates, Paulette Singleton, Dorothy Singleton, Vernie Singleton and Alvin Singleton

Hilton Head Island has the unique distinction of being the home of Mitchelville, the first black self-governing town in the United States. Stories of what happened in Mitchelville and the continued impact that it had on the Gullah community, the outcome of the Civil War, race relations and even compulsory education today are still unfolding. But little is known about the individuals and families, who after being thrust into servitude in a new land, chose to not only embrace their new surroundings, but to love, nourish and cultivate this island as their home.

When most people retire, they choose to relax, take it easy and chill.

Not Mary Waterfall. In fact, the Hilton Head Island resident found a completely new career using her artistic skills.

She and her husband, Gene, both originally from Wisconsin, had a condo on the island since 2001. When Waterfall retired as an executive secretary after 18 years on the job, she started to focus on her arts and crafts skills.

Volunteering is a very important part of life, especially life here in the Lowcountry. We seek to improve our community on a day-to-day basis.

Volunteering is not simply helping others, or adding a few service hours to your résumé. Volunteering is serving the community by bringing people together for a common cause. You are strengthening your community’s foundation and building relationships.

A tragedy spurred Irene Vouvalides to help other parents facing the loss of a child.

For Irene Vouvalides, the death of her only child Carly turned her world upside-down.

“The natural order of what we think life is going to be has been disrupted,” said Vouvalides. “We are living the unthinkable living with the loss of a child.”

The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island started in 1961 with 23 members as the Hilton Head Garden Club. Started with the idea to turn Coligny Circle into something beautiful, the club has not only grown but still remains committed to the community. The group has been involved in countless projects around the island, including the restoration of the Hack House at Honey Horn, donating to the beginning of a Dolphin Education Program at Honey Horn, contributing to the pathway map kiosks that dot Hilton Head’s bike paths, starting the Youth Community Service Awards, and helping to establish the first day care on the island the Children’s Center.

familypromiseFAMILY PROMISE OF BEAUFORT COUNTY HELPS THE SITUATIONAL HOMELESS RISE ABOVE THEIR SITUATION

Family Promise of Beaufort County helps the situational homeless rise above their situation.

It could happen to anyone in the silent “working poor” demographic that invisibly blankets Beaufort County. And what’s worse, it could happen at any time.

Rodel Gonzalez is truly representative of the term, “May the Force be with you.”

While he is not Yoda in the “Star Wars” series, he is very involved in doing prolific art for the genre, including the movie coming up this year.

Gonzalez, who grew up in the Philippines, now calls Los Angeles home and produces Lowcountry art as well as special reproductions from classic Disney movies.

Most people come to Hilton Head Island to relax. Jeff Boshart isn't like most people. Instead of playing a round of golf or playing in the sand, the seasoned sculptor and educator drove 17 hours from Charleston, Illinois, to play with 2,000 pounds of steel on a particularly warm October afternoon.

"It’s just ignorance, I guess," Boshart laughed, firing up his generator during the hottest part of the day.