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.


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.

Sculptor James Tyler doesn’t have a big head, but he does create them.

Inspired by the giant stone, clay and ceramic heads found in ancient cultures, the New York artist has unveiled more than 30 giant head sculptures at public parks, universities and sculpture gardens around the country.

His latest effort, Brickhead Orisha, is currently on display through Dec. 31 at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. The sculpture is one of 19 exhibits in place for the 2015 Public Art Exhibition, a bi-annual event presented by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.

Some people are born with a thirst for adventure. John “Skip” Barber, a retired race car driver and grand marshal of this year's Savannah Speed Classic, part of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance, is definitely the adventurous type. The former Formula One driver has been interested in racing for as long as he can remember — long before he even got an up-close-and-personal look at a race car. Once that happened, Barber was hooked and channeled his enthusiasm for racing into successful careers as a professional driver and racing instructor.


Julie Wade ran from chemotherapy treatment.

Sometimes, she changed shirts and wore slippers while reclining in what she equates to “medical lounge chairs” as chemicals coursed through her body, devastating the cancer within her.

But afterward, she’d lace up her Mizunos, and run the two miles to her Savannah home, making it four miles for that chemo session—because she’d also run to her treatments.

Even before Bluffton Police Chief Joey Reynolds, 57, was appointed to his position after 35 years in law enforcement, he and his wife wanted to move to the Lowcountry after falling in love with Bluffton after vacationing here.

The South Carolina native inherited a full-time staff of 33 officers in September 2012 when he took office; the police department now totals 49 with a support staff of five. The department’s $6.2 million budget and increased force numbers reflect Bluffton’s growth to a town of more than 13,600 residents.

Shawn Leininger knows he’s a Lowcountry cliché, the Ohio native and Ohio State Buckeyes alum drawn south by the siren call of the May River. Bluffton’s director of growth development once admired the town’s expansion from afar while forging his own real-life “SimCity” efforts up north.

Leininger made the move to Bluffton in 2011 and has spent the past four years using that admiration as a base for putting his own mark on the area’s growth plan. How does he think it’s working out so far?