Health briefs for January 11th-17th

7 mins read

Photos above: 2017 had one more special gift on New Year’s Eve when little Ana Hernandez (left) arrived at the Beaufort Memorial Collins Birthing Center in the final hour of the year. Born at 11:09 p.m. to Maria Perez-Lopez and Omar Hernandez of Hilton Head Island, Ana was the last baby delivered at the hospital in 2017. Just a few hours later, at 4:21 a.m., Beaufort’s New Year’s baby, Nicholi Thompson (right) arrived. Weighing in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, he is also the first for his parents, Kayla and Drake Thompson of Beaufort. Photos by Charlotte Berkeley.

Valentine Ball auction bidding is underway

Dinner at the home of an award-winning author. A scotch-tasting for eight on the veranda of Beaufort’s historic Secession House. How about a day shadowing Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling?

“You won’t find these one-of-a-kind experiences for sale online – even on Amazon!” according to a press release.

The offerings are among the collection of packages being auctioned off at the 29th Annual Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Valentine Ball, the black-tie fundraiser earmarked this year for the renovation of the hospital’s surgical pavilion. 

“We wanted to offer truly unique items you can’t purchase,” said Brenda Molony, Senior Events manager. “People donated these experiences because they believe in the mission of our nonprofit hospital.”

T.D. (Tim) Johnston, honored with a 2017 International Book Award for his short story collection, “Friday Afternoon and Other Stories,” will be hosting a dinner for four at his private residence with his wife, Beaufort Memorial hospitalist Dr. Stacey Johnston. 

The Johnstons also have offered up their home – the famed Secession House – for hors d’oeuvres and a tasting of scotches from around the world, presented by scotch expert Bob Atherton. Additionally, Matt St. Clair will play his bagpipes for the eight guests. 

Among others donating a night in their private home are the Rt. Rev. Alden Hathaway and his wife Barbara. The Hathaways will host 20 guests and share their adventures in Israel and Africa over cocktails on the veranda.

For a different kind of cocktail affair, bid on the party at a waterfront home, offering a sunset view of downtown Beaufort. 

Other experiences up for auction include: 

• Seven nights in two adjoining condos only 200 yards from the ski lifts of Crested Butte, Colo.

• A week vacation in a five-star villa overlooking the stunning Knysna Lagoon in South Africa. 

• An evening of wine and cigars in the Oldfield Outfitters Center overlooking the Okatie River.

• Two nights in a two-bedroom house with screened porch and private dock on the Combahee River in the ACE Basin.

• A porch party, featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, wine with Cajun peel-and-eat barbecue shrimp and dessert, at the home of Paul and Betty Helig.

• Two VIP tickets to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” at the legendary Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York.

Some 115 items will be included in the silent auction taking place at both the Cocktail Affair Feb. 9 and Valentine Ball gala Feb. 10 in Beaufort’s Tabby Place. You may bid with your cell phone, iPad or computer starting Feb. 1. View the list, divided into categories like travel, sports and art, at 

Each item will include a minimum starting bid and bid increment. Bidding will begin online Feb. 1 and continue at both events. To participate, you need to complete a simple online registration. If you’re outbid, you’ll be notified via text. 

Since its inception in 1990, the Valentine Ball has raised more than $4.7 million for a wide array of hospital needs, from the Keyserling Cancer Center to the LifeFit Wellness Center. Proceeds from the 2018 event are earmarked for the renovation of Beaufort Memorial’s surgical pavilion. 

The deadline to purchase tickets for the Cocktail Affair and Valentine Ball is Friday, Jan. 12. For more information, visit or call the Foundation at 843-522-5774. 

Blood drives are set for January

The following sites will hold blood drives in January:

• Monday, Jan. 15: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Turbeville Insurance Agency

• Tuesday, Jan. 16: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the YMCA of Beaufort County

• Monday, Jan. 22: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Beaufort Academy

• Saturday, Jan. 27: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kalon & Co./Local Clothing Boutique 

• Wednesday, Jan. 31: 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Beaufort Jasper Sewer & Water Authority

Youth alliance holds forum on opioid crisis

The Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) is hosting a Community Forum from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, at the Seahawk Cultural Center on Hilton Head Island. Registration will take place from 5:30-6 p.m. 

This forum is open to the public and people of all ages are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

The keynote speaker is South Carolina Rep. Shannon Erickson of Beaufort County District 124. She is also on the South Carolina House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee.

Erickson, along with other experts, will be addressing the opioid epidemic in the Lowcountry and increase awareness about the effects of childhood/adolescent medicine and substance misuse.

Other speakers include Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen, Dr. Ravi Srivastava and Dr. Lynn Geiger.

The forum is free. 

For more information, visit

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