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Quinnie’s Covers wrap families in love

in Community

From left, 8-year-old Bellamy Barrett, Michelle Fraser of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office and Nila Barrett of Lady’s Island surround dozens of donated blankets from Quinnie’s Covers, a local organization created by the Barrett family following the September 2017 death of 13-month-old Quinn Barrett. Each blanket is marked with a special hand-sewn tag. Since its inception, Quinnie’s Covers has donated nearly 900 blankets to local hospitals and other service providers across the country. “We just want families to know that they are loved, that they’re prayed for and that someone cares,” Nila Barrett said. To learn more about Quinnie’s Covers visit or read about it in The Island News at

Taste of Beaufort crowd wet but happy

in Community

By Bob Sofaly

Although she didn’t cause a complete rain-out or cancelation, Mother Nature once again threw the annual Taste of Beaufort festival a curve ball as thunderstorms pounded the popular event Friday night and Saturday, May 3 and 4. Even so, hundreds of people were still able to gather at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park and sample what area restaurants had to offer.

Celebrate Birthday for the Birds in Port Royal

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The seventh Birthday for the Birds, hosted Saturday, May 4 by the Town of Port Royal, is a one-of-a-kind event that showcases Beaufort County’s natural resources, the Port Royal Rookery and Wetlands and the wildlife thriving within.

The celebration runs from 9 to 11 a.m. and is free to the public.

The event was created by Pete Richardson, who wished to share his love of birding.

“The importance of the birthday is making wildlife and birds accessible to community, families and children,” Richardson said in a release.

With support from the Fripp Island Audubon Club and other local organizations, the birthday will provide educational and information resources focused on the various species living in the rookery and wetlands.

Representatives from the Fripp Island Wildlife Department will be onsite as they showcase many inhabitants of the wetlands, including alligators and other species. 

Master Naturalists will escort a tour of the boardwalk through the wetlands, answering questions along the way. There will also be a scavenger hunt aimed at finding all the unique species, allowing participants the chance to claim “I found all the wildlife species at the Port Royal Rookery.”

There will be wildlife tattoo stickers for all to wear, local school children’s artwork to view and a birthday cake for all to enjoy.

Did we mention kazoos to play in the background as you tip your bird hats? Look for the Costumed Bird Greeters, the 1979 Silver Toyota Land Cruiser Pick-Up festively decorated with Birds for the occasion and a morning of fun and education for the whole community.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Kate Hamilton Pardee at 508-221-7355 or email or

Photo of Great Egret chicks by John Albert

May is for moms during First Friday celebration

in Community

Moms are the focus of the Downtown Beaufort Merchants Association’s First Friday for the month of May.

Downtown shops will feature specials and promotions this Friday, May 3, and many will have refreshments and activities for shoppers to enjoy while looking for that special something to show mom how much she’s loved and appreciated. 

Bay Street will be closed to traffic from 5 to 8 p.m. while the public enjoys an evening of dining, shopping, live music.

The musical duo of Velma Polk and Elaine Lake will be at the clock tower adding their special touch to some favorite tunes. 

Shoppers and diners will also get a sneak peak of the upcoming Beaufort Children’s Theatre’s May 17-19 production of The Wizard of Oz. An ensemble from the cast will perform excerpts from the show.

It’s a busy weekend downtown, as the Taste of Beaufort Festival begins on Friday and runs through Saturday. As an extra bonus, downtown shoppers can take unused Taste of Beaufort Festival food and beverage tickets, (valid 2019 festival tickets valued at $1 each), to participating Merchants Association member businesses and use them toward purchases they make from Friday through Monday May, 6.

First Friday events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Downtown Beaufort Merchants Association at

Crazy for crabs in Port Royal

in Community/News

By Bob Sofaly

Thousands of people followed their noses and converged at the 16th annual Port Royal Soft Shell Crab Festival on Saturday along Paris Avenue.

Various food vendors served up local delicacies of fried crabs, oysters, chicken wings and just about anything that could be could cooked in hot oil, including deep-fried cheesecake. 

For the younger at heart there were a bounce houses and for the auto lovers, there was a classic car show.

Beaufort Young Life’s trivia night a success

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More than 250 people attended the 4th annual William Trask and Holly Konoza Trivia Night fundraiser on April 6 in support of Beaufort Young Life, a non-profit organization that serves hundreds of area teens. 

Honoring Konoza and Trask, who founded Beaufort Young Life in 2006, this year’s event grossed more than $30,000 through ticket sales, sponsorships and a silent auction. 

Young Life area director Andrew Lancaster said in a release, “Trivia Night is a unique fundraiser in Beaufort. It involves fun yet challenging questions, dressing up in wild and crazy costumes and of course, lots of laughter.” 

Trivia Night featured 24 themed teams, who enjoyed friendly, yet intense competition among their friends and neighbors. This event gives adults the opportunity to experience what teens enjoy at our weekly meetings and camps – fun, laughter, and genuine relationships. 

The silent auction included a vast array of items given by generous Young Life supporters – vacation homes and other family events, gift certificates to restaurants and businesses, gift baskets, jewelry, dock parties, golf foursomes, fishing charters, hunting events and even a kayak.

Lancaster is delighted by the support from the Beaufort community. 

“We are so grateful for everyone who sponsored, participated, donated, and helped this event be a success. It is because of them that we can continue to impact the lives of teens in Beaufort,” Lancaster said. “Young Life activities reach middle school students, high school students, and teen moms in Beaufort, with nearly 250 participating on a weekly basis.”

Title sponsors for the event were Moe’s Southwest Grill and Durham Dental. Corporate sponsors included Chick-Fil-A, Southern Palmetto Landscaping, Pendarvis Law, Charleston ENT, Southern Tree Service, Ameris Bank, Carolina Sportscare, Clark Troutman Group Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, It’s Retail Therapy, Lowcountry Real Estate, Collins Pest Control, Ribaut Medical Partners, Aesthetic Dentistry, Where’d Ya Get That, Keith’s Plumbing, Modern Jewelers, Palms on Parkway, Carpet One and Gilbert Law.

Beaufort Young Life staff and volunteers focus on what matters to Beaufort teens — fun, adventure, friendship and a reminder that they are loved. 

“Young Life is all about relationships,” Lancaster said. “Our adult leaders are involved in kids’ lives every day.  These friendships earn them the privilege to share the truth about God and his love for them.”

If you are interested in becoming involved with Beaufort Young Life, contact Lancaster at 919-921-2338 or visit

Historic Beaufort Foundation gives out highest honors

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Historic Beaufort Foundation’s highest honors were awarded recently to individuals who have contributed to the preservation and promotion of Beaufort County’s historic resources. Master craftsman Rick Wightman, longtime community activist Maxine Lutz and homeowners Catherine and Wallace Scarborough and their team, architect Bill Chambers and contractors Powell Brothers Construction Inc., were recognized by the foundation.

Wightman received the Howard E. Danner Award for Lifetime Achievement in historic preservation for his work to preserve tabby ruins throughout the Lowcountry. Wightman has developed techniques for preserving historic tabby and reproducing it. He was also recognized for his skills reproducing buildings and furnishings at AuldBrass Plantation, the Frank Lloyd Wright home in northern Beaufort County. 

The Danner Award is named after the founder of the Committee to Save the Lafayette Building (Verdier House) in 1945 and HBF in 1965.

The Wyatt B. Pringle, Sr. Outstanding Service to Historic Beaufort Foundation was given to Lutz who recently retired after 21 years as an HBF employee, the last six as executive director.

Historic Preservation Honor Awards which recognize exemplary projects in restoration, additions and adaptive reuse were given to the Scarboroughs, Chambers and Brian and Eric Powell for a sympathetic addition at the ca. 1790 Robert Means House at 1207 Bay Street. 

The team successfully removed modern bathrooms and kitchen from the footprint of the historic house and created an addition that serves modern uses.

Beaufort Academy hosts Great Helicopter Egg Drop

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Photos by Bob Sofaly

Hundreds of children swarmed the field after a helicopter dropped plastic eggs during the second annual Great Helicopter Egg Drop on Saturday, April, 13 at Beaufort Academy. Some of the prizes tucked away in the eggs included tickets to Disney World, a Nintendo Switch and free tuition to the school.

PAL’s online auction returns

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For the 10th year in a row, Palmetto Animal League is giving folks a great excuse to shop during their Bid for PAL Online Auction. This event is a unique opportunity to treat yourself and save homeless pets at the same time. 

Funds raised benefit abandoned, abused and neglected animals in our community. 

The auction gets under way Thursday, April 25 at and continues through Sunday, April 28. 

Register now and browse the online catalog which is filled with hundreds of items from all around the Lowcountry and beyond. By registering now, you’ll also get reminders when the auction goes live and updates on the status of your bids once you start shopping.

Products and services up for bid include golf packages, vacations, pet items, spa treatments, artwork and much more. Proceeds help PAL provide a home-like environment for homeless pets until they find a family.

“With so many options in one place, it’s fun to browse the online catalog and shop from home,” Stephanie Bashaw said. Bashaw is in charge of this year’s auction. “You can set a maximum bid on your favorite items and check back later to see how your bid is doing. It’s easy and so much fun!”

PAL makes a lifetime commitment every animal that comes into its care – an assurance that no matter their medical needs, they will receive all the love and care they need until they are adopted. Auction proceeds support Palmetto Animal League’s “no kill” Adoption Center, located in Okatie’s Riverwalk Business Park. 

“Compassion is the driving force behind PAL, and we are often an animal’s last chance at life,” PAL president Amy Campanini explained in a release. “By taking part in the Bid for PAL Online Auction, you are changing a homeless pet’s life forever.” 

Brays Island hosting AMIkids croquet fundraiser

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Croquet players from across the Lowcountry will converge at Brays Island on May 4 to help AMIkids Beaufort raise money to support its residential education and treatment program for boys who made bad choices. 

AMIkids Beaufort is a residential facility in Dale that provides education and numerous hands-on educational opportunities, treatment and behavior modification for troubled boys. Though a part of a national organization, AMIkids Beaufort is locally governed. 

For 27 years, the Croquet Picnic has been the primary means of raising local money to help the program succeed. 

That success pays off: Young men who complete AMIkids typically don’t run afoul of the law, and many leave the program with job training such as nationally-recognized certificates in welding and food service. 

“These young men are with AMIkids because they want a second chance at life,” AMIkids Beaufort chairman John Harris said in a release. “Our croquet picnic at Brays Island is our main way to provide what’s needed for our local program. The people are very generous to help us, and Brays Island has been such a gracious host to share their property with us year after year.” 

Every year, Brays Island and its owners donate the golf course practice range tee in which eight 30-by-40-foot croquet courts are groomed to the finest playing conditions for the event, Harris said. 

“We really consider Brays Island and its residents to be our partners. We couldn’t do this without them, and it’s such a spectacular setting for croquet,” Harris said. 

The Croquet Picnic will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brays Island off U.S. Highway 17 in Sheldon. A Captain’s Party for all participants will be held the evening of May 3 at a waterfront home in Beaufort’s Spanish Point. 

Teams of four to eight people compete in the friendly croquet tournament. While some experienced teams participate, most teams are there just for fun.

For more information or to sign up a croquet team, call Dr. Mike Harris at 843-524-3770 or Mike Ingram at 843-846-3149. To learn more about AMIkids Beaufort, visit 

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