Edition: 11-28-2012
Written by Advertizer-Herald   

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Wild eatin’ for many

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

To some, the festivals throughout and around Bamberg County may seem a tad bit odd, but The Wild Game Banquet brings those with opposing views together each year at the Edisto Electric Co-op to congregate while eating anything from alligator and oysters, to venison and quail before heading towards the shrimp, grits, BBQ, and catfish stew.

On Tuesday, November 20th, city and country folks alike found themselves crowded around tables, or standing close together enjoying the delicious tradition only found here in Bamberg County. The banquet first began 23 years ago for Farm City Week, which was a way for farm and city folk to come together. There were other events involved however, after the wild game banquet turned to be such a success, it seemed to be the hit to keep on hittin'.

While lines form for the appetizers of alligator and quail, the band Flatland Express picked and sang away to those in attendance. The homemade lemonade quenched the thirst, and the grits and shrimp stuck to the insides of bellies of those with a yearlong desire for this wild game eatin’.

As the plates and eating utensils quickly ran low, Gilbert Miller, the man responsible for leading the way with this event, refilled them while supervising servers, who happened to be the Bamberg Ehrhardt High School Cheerleaders and dancers from Mary Jane’s School of Dance. That night there was plenty to eat, time to fellowship, and good memories to share.

Miller said the funds to purchase meat and other food were donated, like usual. The time and effort of those involved, especially the chefs who prepared each meal also donated their time.

Edisto Drive Thru Bethlehem December 13th-15th

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

The drive thru sponsored by Edisto Baptist Church located on Highway 61 between Bamberg and Branchville, doesn’t have a ‘Dollar Menu’ with an array of fast food items to choose from. This drive thru, which has become a yearlong planning project for the church for the past eight years, takes guests through the Bible before Christ was born, to the day He rose from the grave.

This event has reached people from all over South Carolina and even from different states to see the story of Christ acted out in front of them as if it they were living during the time. As the guests actually drive through the play, they will give their information to the Census/Tax Collectors before they head past the farm animals and into the City of Bethlehem. It’s there where they will see the woman at the well, the market place where individuals are making purchases, and even Mary and Joseph with their new born baby Jesus. Then as the tales of Jesus are told through the reenactments of the congregation at Edisto Baptist Church, the story of Jesus and the love His father had for His children will unfold before those in attendance.

Pastor Jakie Walters of Edisto Baptist Church said this event is free, and it’s open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of December 13th-15th for any and all to view, as many times as they wish. The church is currently in the process of building the scenes, many of which will remain undone until closer to the event, due to the weather. "The dusty streets of ancient Bethlehem: its busy marketplace; its synagogue; the stable where Jesus was born; the Last Supper; cross of crucifixion; empty tomb and so much more," are some of the events shown during the drive-thru.

Pastor Walters shared the passion and commitment he has, along with those who help to put this event together. Their goal is to share the story of the birth of Christ with as many as possible, and this free event is just another way Edisto Baptist is reaching out to the communities in the area.

The drive thru will begin at 6:30 each night and will end by 8:30 at 4831 Edisto River Road (Hwy 61) in Branchville, South Carolina.

A Buccaneer comes baring gifts

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The line outside the Blair Crosby Wellness Center on North Main Street was long early Tuesday morning as local citizens came out to receive Thanksgiving boxes courtesy of native son, former Bamberg- Ehrhardt High and Clemson University Star and present Tampa Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.

Bowers said his first annual Thanksgiving give away was a way to give back to the community that nurtured him and that he will never forget. “I just decided to do something nice for the community-just something to give back to the less fortunate people and try to bring the spirit up around my hometown,” Bowers said.

Bowers noted that even though he spends most of his time now in the Sunshine State of Florida and going around the country playing football, the town of Bamberg is never far from his mind. “Anytime we do anything, my hometown is always the first people I think about, the first people I pray about when I get up in the morning, because everything I’ve been blessed to be a part of is really because I had good people around me in my life.”

When the subject turned to the sport that he loves, that being football, Bowers said he owed his presence back on the field this year “to a lot of prayer and hard work.” “It feels great. A lot of people thought I would not play this year because of the torn Achilles. It was a long fight, but I came back. It was one of the fastest recoveries from an Achilles tear in the history of the NFL (National Football League).

Community Day in Denmark Reaching out in Christian Love

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Being a police officer is a job an individual can be good at, but can never master—just like helping a community according to Georgia Police Officer Everett Spellman, a 1983 graduate of Denmark-Olar High School. Spellman, who moved away after graduation to attend Western Carolina University on a football scholarship, came up with the Community Day for Denmark when he was driving through his hometown of Denmark and felt the need to reach out and help. It was after his idea, and being put in touch with Denmark First Baptist when Spellman, his graduating class, and other area churches and businesses, that the first Community Day occurred seven years ago this past Thanksgiving.

Community Day, which is celebrated every Thanksgiving, is a way for Spellman and others throughout the area to give back to others, and not to just others who are less fortunate, but for any and all. It resembles the first Thanksgiving, when all came together to eat and fellowship, no matter their social or economic status.

As over 900 plates were fixed, 100 bags of groceries and countless outfits were given out at Denmark-Olar High School on Thursday, November 22nd, the seventh annual Community Day reached more people than it has ever reached since its initiation. Mary Polasky, church member of Denmark First Baptist, said this day is about reaching out to others with Christian love, which they hope to share with the community around them.

The event which is “a year round effort,” was first presented by Spellman to Denmark First Baptist and the church agreed right away to help put the event together. As the years have passed, and as plates of the traditional turkey, dressing, ham, and cranberry sauce have been shared with those all over the area, volunteers show up to help all day or for just a few hours. The volunteers do anything from cleaning to cooking to counting how many people come to eat. They even help deliver meals to the surrounding towns where there are shut-ins, and even deliver the food left over to different residences close to the school.

Spellman said when he was growing up people always gave him rides home from football and basketball events and fed him. His community took care of him, and he this day an opportunity to take care of those who helped him become the person he is today. Polasky said Spellman’s efforts involved a passion to help others, and with his and the help of many others, they have been able to help so many people in the area.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Polasky when asked what to say to those who have helped to make this event possible, adding, “There are not enough words,” to describe the appreciation felt by all of the motivation shown to this cause.

Spellman shared the plans of a website in the future for the Community Day event, which will allow volunteers and other interested individuals to find out more information concerning the event, and even make donations toward the cause.