Lisa Sulka is the first female mayor of Bluffton, currently serving her third term. But it isn’t a position she’d ever thought she’d be in.

Sulka grew up in Prosperity, on the northern side of Lake Murray. Growing up in that area, where several towns connected into one larger community, Sulka’s furthest relative lived 90 minutes away in Clemson. Surrounded by family, she and her cousins would go outside in the morning and not come in until supper.

indigorunINDIGO RUN HELPS FAMILY KEEP HEIRS’ PROPERTY

Stephanie Stevens has lived in her Hilton Head Island home for 22 years, including 15 years with her husband, Leroy, and their family. Both Leroy and Stephanie work on Hilton Head and enjoy life in the Lowcountry. But things changed drastically for the Stevenses last winter after tragedy struck the family on two separate occasions. 

Denise SpencerFOUNDATION LEADER BRINGS A SENSE OF DRIVE AND PASSION TO HER WORK HELPING THOSE IN NEED

The coastal lifestyle did not lure Denise K. Spenser to the top job at the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. In fact, after she interviewed for president and CEO of the foundation, she was sure she had blown her shot at the position because she had admitted that she did not play golf.

CHANCE ENCOUNTER LEADS TO A LIFETIME TOGETHER FOR ONE ISLAND COUPLE

James Campbell, known as Jimmy or JC, and Carol have known each other for as long as they can remember. Jimmy, a Hilton Head Island native, got his first glimpse of Carol when he worked for her uncle. He had been sent on a delivery trip to Bennettsville, a small town in Marlboro County where Carol, a young city girl from New York, was spending the summer at her grandmother’s home. Over many such trips, their attraction grew and they started dating. They married on July 4, 1981, settling on Hilton Head and sharing more than 36 years of love. Here, they discuss their life together:

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING CENTER OFFERS A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE

Each semester at University of South Carolina Beaufort/ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (USCB/OLLI) begins with members eagerly searching their course guides for new classes with experienced and fascinating instructors. Registration is met with excitement.

More than 1,400 Lowcountry OLLI members attend several hundred classes on topics such as art, history, science, government, health, music and more. OLLI’s tours and trips are also very popular. Why is OLLI so popular? One of the strengths of the program lies in the passion of the many dedicated instructors who teach at campuses in Beaufort, Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island.

The blanket of stars over the open ocean, the soft lap of water on the hull, the freedom to go anywhere. For most, living on a boat is only a dream, but for others, it’s smooth sailing.

Karen Hyska and her dog, Captain Jack Sparrow, live year-round aboard her Viking 60 motor yacht, which she keeps at Shelter Cove Marina. She also owns a home on Hilton Head Island, but she rented it out when she decided to set up house on her boat.

SENIOR HELPERS OPENS NEW HILTON HEAD FACILITY

Senior Helpers, a national provider of personalized in-home senior care, will open a new facility franchise on Hilton Head Island. Senior Helpers will bring up to 50 new jobs to the region, including professionally trained caregivers who will help local seniors continue to enjoy the comfort of their own home, despite age-related illnesses and mobility challenges. The Hilton Head office will be managed by Scott and Christine Wellinger. For more information, go to seniorhelpers.com.

Love Soper

THIS BLUFFTON COUPLE CAN TEACH US A THING OR TWO

To endure, love must adapt to the many stages of life, from the birth of children to the death of parents, financial ups and downs, and the changing mores of a society in flux. Monthly recently caught up with Mike and Bess Soper to see if this well-known Bluffton couple could share the secrets to their long, happy marriage.

Peaches PetersonHISTORIC MITCHELVILLE IS THE FOCUS OF PEACHES PETERSON'S PASSION

When Shirley Peterson was born, her round face and the peach fuzz hair covering her head meant one thing to her father’s side of the family: The baby’s nickname should be “Peaches.”

“I have relatives who don’t know what my real name is,” Peterson said. “People ask me if I’m from Georgia and I say, ‘No, I’m from Chicago.’”