Our Community Set Up
Our View — Congratulations II.
As summer gives way to September, the Congratulations just keep rolling in to The Chronicle office. We have witnessed something remarkable - construction and operation of a massive water treatment plant that promises clean water for decades to come to many of the citizens of Laurens County - to the “usual” but often underappreciated work of our social service agencies.
First, to social services, Laurens County Habitat for Humanity continued its excellent work with a house dedication at 201 Bailey Street in Clinton last Saturday. This work gives homeowners, who must invest their own “sweat equity,” the chance for a stable life. Also, the Laurens County Cancer Association staged its 13th Annual Run Like a Mann event at the Professional Park, between Clinton and Laurens. Named by his friends for the late Tim Mann, the event raises money to assist Laurens County people in their personal bouts with this terrible disease. As long as there is no cure, but there are treatments, these people-helping-people efforts are so very important to make sure those with cancer know they are not alone. Kudos to both groups for their continued dedication to their causes.
We saw last weekend Presbyterian College make good on a promise. When a student-athlete signs a notice to attend a college, he or she makes a pledge to take athletic talent to represent that college or university. But, the institutions make a pledge, too - to provide adequate facilities, to keep playing fields free from harassment, and to provide medical care and training opportunities. PC’s friends have pledged $8.2 million to fulfill these obligations, through additions and upgrades to the Templeton Center, THE major athletics venue in Laurens County. We certainly congratulate them for their forward-thinking approach to enhancing OUR College.
Hand in hand with developing a well-rounded community in the athletic arena comes The Arts. We certainly are thankful to see the Laurens County Community Theater back in business - and we URGE everyone to attend the upcoming performances of “Willie Wonka Junior.” A small reminder here - This was the show LCCT was producing when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. In a sense, they are “simply” picking up where they left off - this time in a partnership with School District 56 and Clinton High School. Well done to the cast and crew, and everyone involved with bringing this delightful, yet meaningful in its underlying message, production back to life.
AND, what would a Congratulations column be without mentioning the gridiron gladiators that brought us the Clinton-Laurens high school varsity football game on August 26. The Clinton crowd was overwhelming, and the Laurens crowd was loyal to the bitter end. It was everything a rivalry should be - and here seems to be a good spot for our one-thousandth plea for Presbyterian College and Newberry College to renew theirs on the football field. The Bronze Derby game could be the second game on the Blue Hose and Wolves schedule - just as Clinton-Laurens has become in non-region action. There are just some football games and rivalries that are Meant To Be.
Clinton High School Principal Dr. Martha Brothers told the Clinton Rotary Club last Tuesday that school officials are projecting upward their attendance figures for the Clinton-Laurens game - to 8,000 spectators. There could be at least that many accommodated by 20-year-old Bailey Memorial Stadium should the Blue Hose and Wolves renew their rivalry and award The Derby to the winner. If nothing else, think of publicity - as some rivalries are falling away because of “bad-blood,” we are bringing ours BACK - 2 schools, 20 miles apart ... the script almost writes itself.
In any event, that decision is above our pay grade. What we do know - what we can do - what is exactly in our pay grade - is to tell everyone within the sound of our voice that Laurens County has much to be proud of. Our people are sustaining long-time traditions, in some cases; and bringing new, exciting ventures forward, in many other cases. Water from Lake Greenwood? Who would have thought it just 5 short years ago (outside of the LCWSC visionaries). So many housing projects coming that our county had to employ a full-time planner? It’s what we’ve said we’ve wanted for years - all through the time of a sliding population - and now it’s here, if we can manage it well. We say “Good Work” and keep looking forward.