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Media Release

Mayor's "Honored Islander Award" Dinner

Release Date: April 24, 2017

Contact Information:
Vicki Pfanneneschmidt email icon , Executive Assistant, 843-341-4701

Mayor David Bennett will recognize six (6) Hilton Head Island residents at his semi-annual "Honored Islander Award" dinner being held on Tuesday, April 25, 2016, at 6:00 PM. The dinner is generously hosted by Brian Carmines of Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks, located off Squire Pope Road on Skull Creek. The Honored Islanders attending the dinner were recognized at Town Council meetings held on October 18, 2016 and April 4, 2017, and are as follows:

Jan Cale:
Jan has been described as the consummate volunteer, sharing her talents with both young and old. While raising her children, she was an active parent volunteer in the public schools and the athletic booster club, and she continues to volunteer as a mentor for elementary school students and their entire families, exposing them to varied cultural experiences such as plays and symphonies. At the other end of the age spectrum, Jan and Deacon, her trained therapy dog, are welcome visitors to local nursing home residents and to Memory Matters, brightening the day for many of our elderly citizens. Jan is also actively involved in the Children's Ministry at First Presbyterian Church, and has served in leadership positions as both a Deacon and Elder. As a member of Women in Philanthropy and a former member of its Grant Committee, she promotes the power of collective giving, inspires other women along the philanthropic path, and supports new approaches to address our community's needs. Jan is truly an asset to all the citizens of Hilton Head Island.

Terry Herron:
Terry's list of accomplishments, activities and interests is a long one. He has been a driving force behind the development of the Santa Elena Foundation, documenting the first European settlement and capital in the continental United States, a site that is now under excavation on Parris Island Marine Base. Terry has also been active in The Eco Initiative, the Gullah Consortium of Beaufort County to preserve the unique Gullah culture, Island Entryway Beautification Project, Arts Council of Beaufort County, and Heritage Library History Day. In addition to his many community activities, Terry is a professional musician, and is sharing his knowledge of the entertainment industry, financial analysis, marketing, and operations as a member of the Town's Venue Committee. You can also find Terry playing tennis, running, and organizing bike rides along the lowcountry and for US cyclists overseas. We welcome Terry's fresh perspectives based on his actual experiences to help keep Hilton Head Island a vital community for everyone to enjoy.

Blaine Lotz:
After a distinguished 26-year military career and 13 years of civilian service in government, we are fortunate that Blaine chose a "tour of duty" here in Hilton Head Island. He continues to hold military veterans dear to his heart, having served as President of the Military Officers Association of America Hilton Head Area Chapter. But his interests and involvement in the public and political life of our community has led to his roles as Chairman of the Beaufort County Democratic Party, Past-President of the World Affairs Council, and Elder and Chair of the First Presbyterian Church Outreach Ministry, Refugee Task Force, and organizer for Community Prayer Vigils. He has also been a champion for fundraising efforts for the rural SC school districts along the infamous "Corridor of Shame," and a staunch advocate for local missions and Deep Well. Our community can truly count on Blaine to "watch our back" as he continues his tour of duty here.

Linda Baird:
Linda could not be with us today, but I would like to tell you why she was chosen. Linda has been described as humble and generous in showing her love for children and their success - academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. For many years, she has been a committed and dedicated coordinator of Operation 100%, an in-school tutoring program for first graders staffed by community volunteers who tutor each child one-on-one. She recruits and trains the volunteers, prepares materials for each tutor to use, and works with the faculty and staff of Hilton Head Island Elementary School to make sure students receive this service 4 days a week. In addition, Linda has taken over the responsibility of planning and overseeing "The Good News Club," a weekly afterschool club that promotes respect for authority, moral values, character qualities and biblical principles - ensuring that our youth have a strong base from which to excel. Linda truly exemplifies a quiet but dedicated volunteer, and I am honored to recognize her tireless efforts on behalf of our youth.

Ezra Callahan:
Ezra - or Cal as he is often called - is a native New Yorker, and we are very fortunate that he returned to South Carolina, where his parents called home. With retirement goals to play tennis and golf in the sunny south, he quickly became enamored with the story of Mitchelville and the rich Gullah history, much to our benefit. Cal became Chairman of the Planning Committee for the Mitchelville Preservation Project and serves on the Board of Heritage Library. He continues his extensive research to identify the exact location and features of Mitchelville, the first self-governed town of freed slaves in America. Cal is also dedicated to identifying Mitchelville's first families, establishing an ancestry link to Native Islanders, and preserving other historical sites for future generations. By helping us to understand, preserve, and respect our past, Cal is helping to unite us further as one community.

Mike Overton:
For over 37 years, Mike has been a business owner on Hilton Head Island, and he has shared his business knowledge by serving on various boards such as the Hilton Head - Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, The Island Recreation Association, the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head Island, the Lowcountry Recycling Association, and the South Island Public Service District. His love of the lowcountry has lead him to establish The Outside Foundation, a local non-profit entity dedicated to involving youth in outdoor experiences and programs designed to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy ecosystem, to educate about the need to protect, restore, and promote responsible use of our natural resources, and to emphasize recycling as a means of lessening our impact on the environment. His projects range from "Kids in Kayaks" to get every middle school child out kayaking, to "Waterway Clean Ups" where volunteers collect and recycle trash collected to keep our waters pristine. His efforts to educate our youth will help preserve our fragile ecosystem for the enjoyment of residents, visitors, and future generations.

NOTE:  Please note that a quorum of Town Council may result if four (4) or more of Town Council members attend this dinner.