Category: Inspiration Station

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

By Dustin Turner The North Augusta Cultural Arts Council is known for bringing performing arts, music and visual arts to the city of North Augusta. Now, the organization is planning a spelling bee, complete with songs, a live orchestra and a comfort counselor for competitors who get eliminated. No, this isn’t your average school spelling bee. It is, however, a beloved Tony Award-winning Broadway hit. In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, six quirky adolescents compete to crown the best speller. Ryan Abel plays Mitch Mahoney, who is the bee’s comfort counselor as part of court-mandated community service. “When...

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Augusta Autism and Disabilities Support Group

By Dustin Turner Lee Schel says the goal of the Augusta Autism and Disabilities Support Group is to provide a safe and comforting place that is free of judgment for people with autism and their families. He knows personally – his son, Evan, is autistic. “For me personally this group is very therapeutic in that I can go into a room with other adults and have an adult conversation with people who get it and understand what we are going through. When we are all at home, we are dealing with our challenges but to have a conversation with people...

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The 12 Bands of Christmas

By Dustin Turner The 12 Bands of Christmas fundraiser started in 2001 with a simple concept: Gather 12 local bands to put on an annual Christmas concert and donate the proceeds to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Joe Stevenson performed in one of the early concerts. He liked the concept and the mission so much that he came onboard in 2003 as executive director and has been leading the organization since. Though the official name of the organization is 12 Bands of Christmas, Stevenson said that is a little misleading. “These days, we are mostly referred to as 12 Bands....

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Finding Inspiration in the Face of Tragedy

By Dustin Turner Sometimes inspiration can be found in the face of tragedy. That happened for Kenny George, Scott Rankin and the members of the Aiken-based Kenny George Band after drummer Bucky Brown died while working in Nashville, Tennessee. A full-time truck driver, Brown was 54 years old. Brown’s death hit the band hard, but in that time of tragedy, the musicians found inspiration and realized that they were also inspiring others. Vocalist/songwriter Kenny George and steel guitarist Center Ely were performing in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina when they heard the news of Brown’s death on July 26. “People just...

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Talking to Your Children about Race, Bias and Diversity

By Dr. Dana Harris As violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12 with three killed and dozens more injured, TV screens, news reporters, as well as individuals of all shapes, sizes, and colors filled with streets with images of violence, chaos and terror. The weekend’s events were as disturbing and repulsive as they were demoralizing. Not since the turn of the century has the United States experienced as much diversity as in the last two decades. While this diversity has given our country its vitality and cultural richness, it has also caused some serious problems including racism, prejudice,...

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