Hilton Head Island Magazine and News

BEAUFORT COUNTY STEPS UP ITS PARKS PROGRAM

Beaufort County residents should soon begin to see the fruits of a $25 million referendum they passed last November to fund the county’s Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program.

The county and the Beaufort County Open Land Trust — which is contracted to oversee the Rural and Critical Lands program — have begun a 12-month “greenprinting” process in which public feedback will help prioritize which land parcels the county chooses to acquire and protect with its latest windfall.

Generosity is one of the best things about the Lowcountry. Has your business or organization given back to the community? Submit your photos to editor@hiltonheadmonthly.com for this section. Space is limited.

WOMEN IN PHILANTHROPY AWARDS GRANTS

Women in Philanthropy recently awarded: $76,200 in grants to local nonprofits whose work fit the theme “Preserving Our Lowcountry Heritage and History.” Recipients included: ABLE Foundation, Coastal Discovery Museum, Foundation for Educational Excellence, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry, Heritage Library Foundation, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Penn Center and Mitchelville Preservation Project. Since 2006, Women in Philanthropy has awarded $518,200 in grants to local nonprofit organizations.

A LOOK AT MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, THE WORLD’S MOST GRUELING FINISHING SCHOOL

It was Dec. 16, 1986, when local artist Jack McNulty first arrived on Parris Island.

“The first thing I remember seeing was a one-way sign pointing toward the island. I thought that was pretty fitting,” he said.

The next thing he remembers is the bus coming to a stop, the dawn still yet to rise around it, and drill instructors flooding the aisle ordering everyone off. Still groggy, the recruits stepped out onto the famed yellow footprints for the first time.

TAKE A WALKING TOUR THROUGH HISTORY

Some of the greatest secrets of Savannah are hidden in plain sight along the oak-lined streets of the city’s historic district. Its squares are a prominent feature of the district, and their unique history and Southern charm make them must-see destinations.

Savannah’s founder, Gen. James Oglethorpe, designed the city in a grid pattern to allow for easy navigation and growth while encouraging citizens to get out and about. Johnson Square was Savannah’s first established square, dating back to 1733. And while back then the city’s squares served two purposes — gathering spots for local residents and practice area for the militia — today they are serene spots to sit and observe the city.

Adding a pool this summer? Here are a few trends to keep in mind:

DARK INTERIORS

Dark interior finishes will continue to be a big trend in 2019. Historically, dark interiors have been reserved for high-end hotels and spas, but there has been a recent increase in homeowner demand.  The dark interiors are often made of tile and styled with natural features like rocks or waterfalls to create the essence of a relaxing lagoon. These darker finishes also have functional qualities, as they attract and retain heat more effectively as well as mask any dirt or debris.

THERE’S NO NEED TO PACK A TOWEL FOR THESE SUMMER ACTIVITIES. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HAVE A BLAST ON DRY LAND.

There’s a lot to be said for dry land. For one, it’s dry. You can have all the fun you want without having to pack a bathing suit and a towel and you don’t wind up with water in your ear.

And in the Lowcountry, there’s no limit to the good times you can have without ever once touching the waves. Whether you’re looking to improve your handicap, spend a little quality time with the family or discover the island’s history, enjoyment awaits. Get out there and find it.

SALLY MURPHY’S NEW BOOK RECOUNTS EARLY CONSERVATION EFFORTS

People have always told Sally Murphy that she should write a memoir.

After all, as a biologist and environmentalist with South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources, she spent three decades getting a lot closer to the endangered species than most people. She was among the first to document threats — like shrimp nets — to the state’s turtles, and successfully advocated for mandatory turtle excluder devices that helped them escape the nets.

POCKETS FULL OF SUNSHINE HELPS DISABLED ADULTS LIVE FULLER LIVES

Blake Gannon enjoys swimming, going to the movies, listening to music and working on his computer. He loves his cat Suki, and his eyes light up when his younger sister, Whitaker, walks in the room.

The 27-year-old Hilton Head Island man is intelligent, organized and able to stay on task mentally for long periods of time, according to his parents, Andrea and Chris Gannon. But Blake’s autism makes communicating difficult and hinders his ability to live and work independently.

THREE LOCAL BOYS COMPLETE EAGLE SCOUT PROJECTS

Becoming an Eagle Scout requires dedication — plus a certain amount of time and maturity. For three Lowcountry teens, it also required a significant amount of sweat.

Jake Lopko and brothers Andrew and Matthew Sherbune all set out to achieve the highest possible rank in scouting, and all three chose to do their community service projects outside.

ISLAND DRIVERS BEMOAN TWO YEARS OF REMAINING TOLLS

On summer Saturdays, traffic stretches from the Cross Island Parkway’s toll booths in both directions on Hilton Head Island. The toll will disappear in two years, but for those who drive it every day, this a long time to wait behind drivers who fumble for change and ask the attendants for directions.

FAMILY TIES SUSTAIN ELECTRICAL MANUFACTURING AND CONSULTING FIRM

In 1938, Al Traver Sr. took a gamble on his family’s future that would eventually lead them to Hilton Head Island. With the Great Depression at its peak, he left behind a job as a factory worker to set out his shingle as a manufacturer of electric motors in Waterbury, Connecticut. More than 80 years later, Traver IDC has grown to include 49 employees doing everything from consulting on energy conservation to providing electrical supplies. And just as they did on day one, they still manufacture electric motors.

TEDX GETS LOCALS TO PRESENT IDEAS WORTH SPREADING

Throughout his career in human resources and management, Rex Gale’s easy, approachable style motivated employees. Now’s he’s motivating people on Hilton Head Island to take the stage and share their ideas. Gale presented the island’s third TEDx event last month, and between those who have spoken at the forums and the people who have come to hear them, much of the Lowcountry has taken note.

Sgt. Major Donna Dunbar of Bluffton, a retired Marine and successful Realtor, passed away last month. Originally from Washington, D.C., she was a member of the Coastal Group at Charter One Realty and specialized in helping military families find homes.

CHARTER ONE EARNS TOP NOD FROM REAL TRENDS

Charter One Realty has been ranked as one of the nation’s top brokerages by REAL Trends 500. With more than 130 agents and 11 offices throughout the Lowcountry, Charter One Realty is also one of the largest independent firms in the nation with more than $900 million in sales last year. Rankings are based on those firms who choose to participate, and then listed by closed transaction sides and closed sales volume.

Many homeowners find themselves eyeing their homes, wondering if it’s time for an update.

One of the easiest ways is to redo a kitchen or bathroom, changing the color scheme, textures, materials, finishes, fixtures and hardware and adding furnishings, architectural details and smart technology. And while some trends come and go, many Lowcountry interior designers have crafted a coastal aesthetic with staying power — one that still embraces some of the design trends popping up around the country.

Some brides and grooms are currently planning their perfect 2020 weddings, while others are making last-minute adjustments to plans for a wedding that’s just a few months away. Whether your nuptials are next year, in a few weeks or not till 2021, it’s fun to keep an eye on the trends highlighted on wedding websites across the country that are having a moment — or are about to.

When native New Yorkers Valerie and Patric Ruppel got engaged in 2017 and began planning their nuptials, they knew they wanted a destination wedding in a warm climate — but not the same setting as the beach, barn and big city weddings they’d attended. After a quick brainstorming session, they both settled on the perfect vision, and it was a place they’d been to before: the Avenue of the Oaks in Belfair, where Patric’s grandparents live.

Kevin and Victoria Basirico’s love story didn’t bloom until they were young professionals living in two different states, but the seed was planted much, much earlier: They met at Sea Pines Montessori School when they were just 6 years old.

The couple, who are both 30 and now live in Hilton Head Plantation, were married March 30 at a private estate in Bluffton that Victoria said “showcased the beauty of the Lowcountry in a laid-back yet sophisticated way.”