Many families have made the Lowcountry their home over the years, but few family trees are as deeply rooted in area history as the Kirk family, who originally owned Bluffton’s Rose Hill Plantation in the 1800s. Today, Eleanore Leavitt De Sole — a descendant of Dr. James Kirk, who died in 1858 — relishes her connection to the area and to the past.

Each month this column profiles Lowcountry citizens who offer fresh insights and a deeper sense of connection to our community.

A MOM SHOWS HER LOVE BY SPEAKING OUT

Jamie Berndt, 52, is the mother of four children: Ian, Ali, Marisa and Keira, ranging in ages from 27 to 17. She’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where her father coached football. Her husband, Eric Wojcikiewicz, is a retired trader, entrepreneur and philanthropist who co-founded an initiative to build a rural school in Haiti and provide college scholarships for underprivileged kids in Chicago. Before they moved to Hilton Head Island six years ago, they lived in suburban Chicago for 20 years.  

Pictured left to right; Chief of Security Willie Rice, Golf Course Superintendent Ashley Davis, Community Service Director Harold Sauls, Fire Marshal Joheida Fister, Assistant Chief of Security Johnny Young, General Manager Leon Crimmins, and Battalion Chief Jeffery Hartberger

"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” - Khalil Gibran

San Luis Potosí, named after Louis IX of France, also known as the "City of Gardens,” was founded in 1592. Silver and gold mines were the main reason people flocked to the area. Located halfway between the U.S. border and Mexico City with an elevation of 6,070 feet, the city's historic center was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010, due in part to its colonial architecture. The city's metro area has a population of well over 1 million. Victor Garcia was born and raised in San Luis Potosi.

Don Colcolough pioneered some of the key forensics and countermeasures used by investigators to identify Internet criminals. As AOL’s former Director of Investigations and Cybersecurity, he still consults with the FBI and intelligence agencies such as the NSA, CIA, and DARPA, which develops emerging technologies for the military. Some of his work required Top Secret security clearance, and he has testified in more than 300 criminal trials involving presidential threats, kidnappings and homicide, child pornography, securities fraud, and domestic and international terrorism.

Following genealogical bread crumbs leading us into the mysteries of the past can be a fascinating way to look into the lives of others. A genealogical paper trail that reveals the past can provide an important context for present realities; it allows you to know people differently.

Ask Frank Babel, one of Hilton Head Island’s most prominent cycling advocates, and he’ll tell you. The history of our island was written at 14 miles an hour. Cycling is as much a part of our DNA as golf, tennis and the feel of sand between your toes. It’s just that this part of our culture historically hasn’t received as much attention.

Maureen KorzikMaureen Korzik’s first job on Hilton Head Island was feeding people’s bodies as executive director of Second Helpings. Now, her job is to feed people’s minds.

Since January, she’s taken on the role of executive director of the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head. She replaced director Joan Apple Lemoine who retired after seven years. Korzik joined the council in November, receiving on-the-job training from Lemoine.

A decade ago, Gamecocks fans dreaded the appearance of Tim Tebow. The then Florida quarterback seemed a little too much at ease at Williams-Brice Stadium as he shredded the South Carolina defense for seven touchdowns in a 51-31 win in 2007 that became his Heisman Trophy showcase.

PART-TIME HILTON HEAD RESIDENT TRADED IN STRESSFUL TV CAREER FOR HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

Photographer, TV producer and documentarian Don Moore laid eyes on his first TV in high school in the mid-1950s, and he knew then he wanted to be a part of whatever was happening on that tiny 4-inch screen.

“I said ‘I want to do that,’” says Moore, who turns 80 this month.

CHAIRMAN OF ALL SAINTS GARDEN TOUR HAS ‘A PASSION FOR WHATEVER SHE DOES’

Carole Galli attributes her many years of volunteering to her mouth.

“I think out loud,” she says, “and the next thing you know, I’m in charge.”