Monthly Archives: August 2016

Day of Service — Augusta University

Community Groups in Action
About 1,000 Augusta University faculty, staff members, students and their families volunteer their services for more than 40 nonprofit organizations and community partners during the school’s annual Day of Service. This year’s event will be held from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, September 24.

About 1,000 Augusta University faculty, staff members, students and their families volunteer their services for more than 40 nonprofit organizations and community partners during the school’s annual Day of Service. This year’s event will be held from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, September 24.

Any day is a good day to give back to the community. However, Augusta University has held a designated Day of Service for a number of years. During the event, AU faculty and staff members, students and their families volunteer for various nonprofits throughout the area. This year’s Day of Service will be held from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, September 24.

The event continues to grow in popularity, and about 1,000 people have volunteered their services for more than 40 nonprofit organizations and community partners each of the last two years.

“We’re taking advantage of what we do best, and that’s giving back to the community,” says Karyn Nixon, AU government relations and community affairs specialist.

CP-PIC-2The volunteer opportunities are as varied as the people and organizations that participate. Volunteers can clean or paint buildings, do yard work, mow grass, perform landscaping, pick up trash, sort cans at local food banks, sort clothes and merchandise, walk dogs, play with kittens and puppies clear trails or read books to seniors. Nursing students conduct health screenings at some locations, and student-athletes hold a basketball clinic at the Boys and Girls Club. Volunteers also can play Bingo and hold an ice cream social for veterans at the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home. 

CP-PIC-4Other places AU volunteers serve include Columbia County Cares, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Phinizy Swamp, Mistletoe State Park, Aiken County Animal Shelter, Lucy Craft Laney Museum and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta. 

“Everybody likes to do something different, but doing anything to help animals is the most popular activity,” Karyn says. “I get thank you notes from the organizations. Our volunteers are good workers.”

CP-PIC-3In recognition and appreciation of their efforts, a barbecue and jazz concert will begin at 6 p.m. that night at the university’s D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre on the Summerville campus. Dinner will be served to the volunteers, but the concert is open to the community.

The Master’s Transport Ministry

People

The Master’s Transport MinistryWhen someone with a disability needs to go to a medical appointment or simply wants to get a haircut or go to church or a ballgame, transportation can be difficult and costly. 

However, the Master’s Transport Ministry, founded by Margaret and Randal Gossett in 2012, helps people with disabilities get from one place to another – regardless of how far they need to travel.

Randal, who retired from the U.S. Army in 2007, has always enjoyed traveling and serving others. After he used his motor home to transport a group for a church trip, he found his calling. 

calling post 2The ministry’s mission is to provide low-cost or no-cost transportation to local disabled people and to improve their quality of life by taking them to leisure activities. “We can help people enjoy life despite their disability,” Randal says.

The service, which can transport up to 25 passengers and 20,000 pounds of cargo, also serves other nonprofit organizations, groups and businesses. Vehicles are fully insured, and the fleet includes a motor coach for large groups, two wheelchair vans, two one-ton pickup trucks and a Cadillac sedan to transport ambulatory people. 

“I like to drive. I don’t mind sitting in traffic,” says Randy. “I like to make people’s day and share the love of Christ.”

calling-post-3The Master’s Transport Ministry receives referrals about passengers from various sources including area hospitals, home healthcare agencies and family members. Drivers have taken groups to Atlanta, and the organization took a woman in a motorized wheelchair to Ohio to live near her family. The ministry loans its vehicles to others as well. 

Passengers are asked only to cover the cost of gasoline for their trips, but the organization accepts donations. In addition, the ministry holds an annual golf tournament fundraiser the last weekend of September. This year the four-person scramble will be held Saturday, September 24 at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club in North Augusta.

For more information, visit masterstransport.org.

Float Your Boat

Sports

Float Your BoatThose who prefer to be on top of the river can join the festivities at the second annual Big Float on Saturday, August 27.

For the first time this year, the Big Float will include the homemade raft competition, which formerly was part of Paddlefest. Homemade rafts, kayaks, canoes, SUPs and inner tubes are welcome. 

The 3.4-mile event begins at 9 a.m., and vessels will launch from the North Augusta boat ramp at 10 a.m. Registration, which starts at $30, is available online. An after-party will include local barbecue, SweetWater brews and live music. 

All participants, including those on tubes, must have a life jacket, a whistle and a paddle or an oar. Prizes will be awarded to winners in various categories such as the fastest, most original and best in show. 

Big Float participants can park their cars at 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta, and take a shuttle to the starting point of their races. Participants should leave their vessels at the launch area first. More information about the events is available at savannahriverkeeper.org

Terry D. Elam President, Augusta Technical College

P.Y.S.K.

Terry D. ElamPresident, Augusta Technical College

Number of years in position: 19

Family: Wife Patricia; son Brandon; daughter Joi; dog Meme

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: I fundamentally believe that people can change their lives no matter what they’ve been through, and I believe that my role is to help them make that change through education. 

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: I overcame being a college freshman dropout, but I still graduated in four years. After being faced with failure, both small and large, I came up with a plan of recovery and used those obstacles to motivate me to attain other things in life.

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: My wife and kids. I appreciate the support I’ve received from people in my family and the confidence that they have shown in me.

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: Relaxing

Favorite TV Show: Live sports, doesn’t matter as long as it is live. I like the competition, the effort, but I particularly like team sports (soccer, laccrosse, racing, basketball, football, etc.).

Favorite Movie: Life with Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy. The movie shows the fine line between right and wrong and consequences you can suffer being at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Favorite Sports Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite Comfort Food: Peanut butter pretzels

Favorite App: Pandora

Last Book Read: Schools Cannot Do It Alone by Jamie Vollmer

Dream Vacation: Alaska because of its beauty and untouched natural features 

Something That Has Changed My Life: A gift of love changed my life. I had a kidney transplant in 2014, which allows me to lead a normal life.

Best Thing I Ever Learned: My parents taught me to be humble.

Favorite Hobbies: Traveling, gardening

Secret Aspiration: Being able to hit a jumpshot 

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “Jeopardy”

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: I appreciate quiet time.

What person do you think we should know? If you’d like to suggest someone we should meet, email editor@columbiacountymag.com and tell us why.