Pianist Kiril Zahariev, originally from Bulgaria, first came to the Lowcountry about 15 years ago as a participant in the Hilton Head International Piano Competition and decided to stay in the area. He will perform works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt at North Island Baptist Church. The concerts are November 12 at 6 p.m. and December 23 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. The church is at 3800 Main Street, Hilton Head Island. For more information call 843-689-3800. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will soon start issuing ID cards that will allow veterans to prove their military service without providing a copy of their discharge papers. Vets who want one of the new wallet-size cards must first register online at vets.gov, a website that authenticates users through the ID.me system. The VA will start accepting applications in November, but government officials say there is no timeline in place for how long it will take vets to receive the cards. The cards will not be considered government-issued IDs, so they cannot be used for proof of age or for identification for air travel. To apply for the ID card, go to www.vets.gov

toysCollins Group Realty is turning the 2017 Bluffton Christmas Parade into a town-wide toy drive for Lowcountry families in need. The company’s decorated “Community Vehicle” will be seen during the parade, and Lowcountry residents are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for donation. Collection boxes will be located along the parade route, and Collins Group Realty team members will collect donations as the parade moves along. Toys are also being accepted at Collins Group Realty locations and the Bluffton Police Department. They will be distributed by Bluffton Self Help. For more information, call Gwen at Bluffton Self Help at 843-757-8000, ext. 5, or email holiday@blufftonselfhelp.org. 

Bluffton Town Council is seeking qualified applicants for various boards, commissions and committees that provide valuable input to Town Council when it is making decisions and formulating policy. The most immediate need for new appointees is on the Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee and the Municipal Election Commission. Interested applicants should contact the board, commission or committee best suited to their skills. Detailed descriptions of openings and contact information can be found at www.townofbluffton.sc.gov.

The University of South Carolina Beaufort has been awarded a nearly $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, which works to position South Carolina as a leader in advanced materials manufacturing, boosting the state’s production capabilities in the field. USCB will use the grant to plan a master’s degree program in computational science, establish an undergraduate program, and hire three tenure-track computational science faculty members. 

Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity is planning a meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at Hilton Head Island High School for families interested in applying for its homeownership program in southern Beaufort County. Selected families will pay for their homes with a small down payment and an interest-free mortgage that does not exceed 30 percent of the their monthly incomes. Selection is based on need, ability to pay, willingness to partner with Habitat, and residency status. For more information, call 843-681-5864 or go to www.habitathhi.org

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks will host its 19th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. This long-standing tradition, sponsored by St. Andrew By-The- Sea United Methodist Church and Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks, celebrates the meaning of Thanksgiving with a free community Thanksgiving Dinner, with turkey, dressing and all the trimmings, served family style. All are welcome to either come alone and make new friends or bring the whole family.

Book lovers rejoice: The Bluffton Book Festival, now in its second year, is expanding to three days for 2017. From Nov. 16-18, the festival will feature New York Times best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Alice Monroe, Mary B. Morrison, Patti Callahan-Henry and C.J. Lyons. Local favorites Cassandra King Conroy, Bernie Schein, Ellen Malphrus and James McTeer also will be in attendance. Festivalgoers can meet authors and purchase signed books.

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island has added two charging stations for electric cars — one universal charger and one dedicated to Teslas. Charging is free. Sonesta Resort is now one of four spots on Hilton Head participating in Tesla’s “Destination Charging,” a program meant to expand the availability of charging locations in travel destinations. For more information, go to www.sonesta.com/hiltonhead

Pedal Hilton Head Island takes off Nov. 19, starting and finishing at Coligny Plaza. This non-competitive, multi-distance bicycling event for riders of all ages and abilities encompasses pathways, beaches, bridges, roads and parks on Hilton Head Island. It’s a fun-filled ride that will brings together families, friends, co-workers and cyclists from around the Southeast. Pedal Hilton Head Island raises funds to support the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island. For more information or to register go to www.pedalhiltonheadisland.org.

For one night only, Coligny Plaza will become the island’s biggest open-air art gallery, “Gallery Night” is 4-7 p.m. Nov. 10. Throughout the plaza’s more than 60 stores and restaurants, select venues will host artists who will to show some of their work and discuss their technique and influences with guests. Along with the chance to meet the artists, this free event includes appetizers and drinks. Artists interested in showing their work during Gallery Night can contact cheflucier@gmail.com.

St. Luke's Church on Hilton Head Island, which traces its history to the 1700s, will unveil new facilities Nov. 12. The three-year, $3.3 million capital campaign includes a new fellowship hall, renovation of the church’s pre-school and education wing, construction of a separate ministry building for youth activities, installation of state-of-art audio visual facilities in the sanctuary, and upgrades to the grounds and parking. For more information, go to www.stlukeshhi.org

THOSE LOOKING FORWARD TO A NEW AND IMPROVED COLIGNY BEACH AREA ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT

Those looking forward to a new and improved Coligny Beach area are going to have to wait until the beginning of the next decade, at least.

The island’s expenisve recovery from Hurricane Matthew combined with a complicated bidding process for the multi-tiered project will delay the completion of the beach area redevelopment until 2020 at the earliest, town officials said.

LOWCOUNTRY OFFERS ITS SUPPORT TO STORM VICTIMS

Lowcountry residents remember all too well the impact Hurricane Matthew had on the area just a year ago.

So after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Texas, Florida and the Caribbean in quick succession, many in the Lowcountry felt the need to help. Local individuals, businesses, schools and charitable organizations have stepped up to offer aid to the victims of the storms, sending money, gift cards, bottled water and other supplies.

AUDUBON NEWHALL NATURE PRESERVE IS FLOURISHING AGAIN

Audubon Newhall Preserve has bounced back after Hurricane Matthew and is open for business daily on the south end of Hilton Head Island.

Business, in this case, could mean bird watching on a sunny morning, joining a guided nature walk led by volunteers, or strolling solo through the park’s tree-lined paths.

Avoid fraud after Irma by doing your research before hiring a contractor

Now that Hurricane Irma has come and gone, a new danger could blow ashore: scammers posing as contractors and other workers, eager to get paid for work they have no intention of completing — or completing to code — on your storm-damaged property.