Packet Thank You Letters for Nov. 1

For Discovery treat

Recently, 250 of southern Beaufort County's middle and high school kids were treated to an unprecedented environmental experience. They were guests of the state Department of Natural Resources educational vessel Discovery on a trawling expedition on the Colleton River. Besides an up-close view of some of the often unseen residents of our marine waters, the students learned about the special dynamics of the Port Royal Sound ecosystem and toured the Waddell Mariculture Center. This was unusual for several reasons:

The Discovery vessel has previously never been available for trips south of the Broad River.

The lecture series, called "Port Royal Sound 101" and created by local naturalists, presents the story of an ecosystem that has such special characteristics that it instills a deep pride and a strong concern for its welfare.

The Mariculture Center, with its internationally renowned research reputation, is a venue unequaled in the Southeast.

Most importantly, the week was organized and conducted by volunteers, whose only concern was that our children understand and respect the fragile marine ecosystem that they live and play in.

Friends of the Rivers, Susan Dee of H.E. McCracken Middle School, Al Stokes of Waddell Mariculture Center, Al Segars of DNR and the Master Naturalists from the Lowcountry Institute deserve the credit. Dockage for the Discovery was donated by Capt. Jim Clark of the North Island Charter Fleet on Hilton Head Island.

We expect this educational program to grow as we make this an annual event for the children to whom we are entrusting the great Port Royal Sound estuarine system.

David Harter, chairman

Friends of the Rivers

Hilton Head Island

For Montessori playhouse

Thank you to Reclamation by Design and the Hilton Head Home Builders Association for the donation of a beautiful playhouse to May River Montessori.

The playhouse was constructed exclusively with reclaimed wood and materials. The playhouse sold in two days and the money will boost our fundraising efforts, which help keep our tuition affordable for families.

Thank you for helping our school provide an excellent Montessori program and school in our community. Your support is truly appreciated.

Sharon Haag, director

May River Montessori


For awareness efforts

I have been in awe of the beautiful coverage of breast cancer awareness last month. From the entrance to Windmill Harbour, donned with bright pink ribbons, walk-a-thon signs and brightly colored yard ornaments, I took notice.

A recent headline beamed that Daufuskie Island raised more than $40,000 for the cause. The arts and those who take the stage always seem to care enough to break the fourth wall and address the audience. These special performers always seem to be great ambassadors of awareness, whether it was the blood-red AIDS ribbon to this month's hot pink ribbon, and more recently the passionate purple ribbon, for senseless bullying, teen suicide and domestic violence. The world spoke out, and we listened. No, we heard.

Recently, the Savannah cast of "Rocky Horror" donated proceeds from a performance to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I took notice. Following the performance, the doors of a pink firetruck gleamed with the statement: "Pink Heals. Care enough to wear Pink." Twenty spirited cast members, still in costume, climbed aboard. Tourists and audience members shot photos for about 20 minutes. I took notice and snapped away.

My own mother, as of this writing, is having a mastectomy. We never want our own mothers to have to endure such a moment. My work on the annual American Cancer Society Winter Benefit in February now strikes a strident chord. I am proud to be in a community that cares so much. Taking notice is the least I can do.

Don Hite

Hilton Head Island

For walk sponsors

NAMI Beaufort County would like to thank our sponsors and many friends and supporters for making the fifth annual NAMI Walk the best ever, with more than 400 walkers on a perfect Hilton Head Island day at the beach.

We exceeded our fundraising goal and enjoyed beautiful fall weather, lively music from The Islandeers and a great cookout. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Companion Benefit Alternatives were the presenting sponsors of the walk, and we are grateful for their generosity.

We particularly appreciate Skip Young and the excellent staff at Holiday Inn Oceanfront, who anticipated our needs and made it all seem so easy. Special thanks also to Vic Neeley from Callahan's Sports Bar & Grill, who lent us an enormous grill for our hamburgers and provided a large supply of ice. JoeDon Boney from LongHorn Steakhouse brought his signature hot dogs and sauerkraut, which was a delicious surprise. Members of BNI volunteered their time and talents -- what a wonderful bunch of great-hearted local business people.

All of us at NAMI are grateful to the many people in our community who helped make the NAMI Walk such a success. Your support enables us to continue our local programs of education, support and advocacy for people with mental illnesses and their families.

Dick Males, president

NAMI board of directors

Hilton Head Island