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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mother’s Insurance Policy

Editors note: Lee County native, Isabel 'Smith' White, a sister to my good friend Paul A. Smith; daughter to the late J. Manly and Fay T. Smith and wife to Tom White, wrote the following Devotion to give to her Church Activity Club. She and Tom are members of Littleton Street United Methodist Church in Camden, South Carolina.

DEVOTION --- October 15, 2008 Lost Property - Mother’s Insurance Policy

Matthew 10: Verses 29-32
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without the will of your father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth many sparrows.

Ecclesiastes 11: 1
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

Earlier this year, my nephew Jake Smith of Bishopville was surfing the internet in the files of the Unclaimed Properties Program of South Carolina. He keyed in “Smith” and “Bishopville” and made a big hit. There are many Smiths in Bishopville. As he scrolled down the list, he found the name, Fay T. Smith; my mother; his grandmother.

Jake called my brother, Paul Smith in Easley and told him of the discovery. Upon checking it out, they found a life insurance policy in the amount of $250. It was dated March 29, 1937.

I don’t know how many of you remember that period of time but, back in the thirties THAT WAS A LOT OF MONEY!!!! The policy was not interest bearing but the company is still active and the policy was valid.

In my family, there were six children – 4 boys and two girls. Three of our brothers have gone to their rest but their wives are alive and are our “sisters of the heart”. My brother Paul lives in Easley and my Sister, Rouie, lives in Virginia Beach. Margaret, Ann and Mary Alice all still live in Bishopville. Because of health, age, distance, and time, we don’t get together very often but phones and e-mail keep us close.

As a family, we decided to file a claim. As the oldest living child the claim was filed in my name. The legal requirements took some time but were not difficult. We all agreed that, if we were successful in our claim, the money would be donated to The First Baptist Church of Bishopville. This was Mother’s Church and the Church in which we grew up.

We realized that $250 was not a lot of money in today’s world so each of us contributed what we could. Some of the grandchildren also chose to be part of our caper.

Next, we contacted the Board of Deacons of the Church to determine where this money might be needed. In honor of Mother’s birthday in September, we donated nearly $1,000.00 for the Youth Mission Trip to Montana next summer.

This is a story that evolved over many months and had a profound effect on all of us. Over seventy years ago, our parents, a young couple in their early thirties celebrated the birth of their fifth child by insuring the life of our mother so that their children could be cared for even if God should call her home at an early age.

Seventy years later, their grandson, using technology not dreamed of at that time, discovered this treasure hidden in the coffers of our state government.

A large family, living apart but close in spirit, was able to share their blessings with a group of young Christians who will share themselves with others in need. This will give them the opportunity to grow in their love of God and love of each other. It may be a turning point for one or more of them who will devote their lives in the service of God. Perhaps one or more of the people in Montana who are receiving much needed assistance will also give thought to help others.

Back to the scripture: God knows of the sparrows and everything that happens in his universe. Cast your bread upon the waters. Each and every action we take has a cause an effect. Perhaps this is one time my family, from early in the last century and on into the years to come had an opportunity to participate in some of the good things that will happen in the future.

Lord, we thank you for the love of family and friends. We thank you for the opportunity and guidance we gain through our Church and Christian fellowship. Give us the strength to live each day of the rest of our lives with JOY and GRACE and DIGNITY.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vote November 4th

We hope you are registered to vote and strongly encourage you to exercise that right. For general information use this site: South Carolina Votes

Be sure that you are registered to vote: Check Your Voter Registration

Learn how to use South Carolina's Electronic Touch Screen Voting System.

See a video instruction on the use of the Electronic Touch Screen Voting System.

If you have questions or want to vote Absentee click on this link for more information.

Also there will be several Amendments to South Carolina's Constitution presented on the ballot for you to record your decision. You will be given YES or NO options so it is important that you understand the Amendments.

Amendment 1
Must Section 33, Article III of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to delete the provision that no unmarried woman shall legally consent to sexual intercourse who shall not have attained the age of fourteen years?

Yes []

No []

Explanation of Above:
This amendment deletes the section of the Constitution which says an unmarried woman must be fourteen years old or older in order to consent to sexual intercourse. Deleting this section would allow the state legislature to set the age of consent. Currently, the state legislature has the age of consent set at sixteen for most cases.

A "yes" vote would delete the section from the Constitution and let the state legislature set the age of consent.

A "no" vote would leave the section of the Constitution in place.

Amendment 2
Must Section 16, Article X of the Constitution of this State relating to benefits and funding of public employee pension plans in this State and the investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems be amended so as to provide that the funds of any trust fund established by law for the funding of post-employment benefits for state employees and public school teachers may be invested and reinvested in equity securities subject to the same limitations on such investments applicable for the funds of the various state-operated retirement systems?

Yes []

No []

Explanation of Above:
"Post-employment benefits" are benefits, mainly health insurance, provided to eligible state government and school district retirees.

To comply with a change in accounting standards, the state has created trust funds to pay for these post-employment benefits. This amendment relates to how the money in these trust funds may be invested.

A "yes" vote would give the state government the option to invest these funds in equity securities (stocks).

A "no" vote would mean that state government is not allowed to invest these funds in any kind of equity securities (stocks).

Amendment 3
Must Section 16, Article X of the Constitution of this State relating to benefits and funding of public employee pension plans in this State and the investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems be amended so as to provide that the funds of any political subdivision of this State that have been set aside for the funding of post-employment benefits for the political subdivision's employees, including those invested in independent trusts established for that purpose, may be invested or reinvested in equity securities of the type permitted for investment by the various state operated retirement systems, as provided for by the General Assembly?

Yes []

No []

Explanation of Above:

This amendment is the same as Amendment 2 except it applies to local governments' post-employment benefits (instead of the state government's post-employment benefits).

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Creatures of the Night Program Offered At Lee State Natural Area

BISHOPVILLE – Celebrate Halloween in the great outdoors. Lee State Natural Area is offering a “Creatures of the Night” nature program at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31.

Participants will learn about animals that live on the park and move around mostly at night, including eastern screech owls and big brown bats. They will also learn how to identify different species of bats and owls and how these animals benefit people.

Park Ranger Laura Kirk will lead participants on a 1-mile nature walk to look and listen for these animals. The program fee is $3 per person. There is no entrance fee to the park for children or adults. This program is for children 6 and older. Registration is required. To register for the program, contact the park at (803) 428-4988.

Participants should meet at the park’s Education Building, dress for the outdoors and bring a flashlight.

Lee State Natural Area, a South Carolina State Park, covers 2,839 acres of wetlands, sand hills and mixed pine-hardwood forests along the Lynches River in Lee County, four miles east of Bishopville. The park also features camping, hiking, picnicking, equestrian facilities and a boardwalk into the wetlands.

For more information, go to

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