Bluffton Packet

Guscio to be next inductee to Bluffton's Wall of Honor

Bluffton's Wall of Honor should be expecting a new resident.

The new inductee -- Babbie Guscio -- will be honored during the Nov. 10 Town Council meeting in a public ceremony.

A longtime Blufftonian, Guscio inspired the Wall of Honor committee and the Town Council with her ability to organize and execute Bluffton festivals, with the intent to draw the community together and celebrate the things that make the town special.

"I've always enjoyed being involved," Guscio said. "I've organized a lot of fundraisers, and I've been on a lot of boards. I started the Children's Easter Festival and the Fourth of July Festival."

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While Guscio works to bring a sense of celebration and fun to the community, she also runs The Store on Calhoun Street. The Store has created a lasting mark on Bluffton, since being established in 1978.

"Did you try The Store? She's always there," is the sentiment between Guscio and her beloved shop placed neatly in the middle of Old Town.

"My mother was a designer and artist and owned a store in Athens, Ga., where I'm originally from," Guscio said of how she came to open her shop. "It was so much fun and exciting to me, I guess it just came naturally."

Since 2010, Bluffton has honored residents who have brought about positive change and who instill pride and hope in the community. The Wall of Honor is housed in Town Hall.

The new inductee will be joining the ranks of Miriam Jenkins Brown, an active resident and beloved teacher for over 40 years, as well as Ida Martin, the creator of Bluffton Self Help, which aids residents who have fallen on hard times.

A five-member committee meets quarterly to add new faces to the Wall.

"This honor is only done two or three times a year to keep it special," city clerk Sandra Lunceford says.

The committee reviews a list of possible inductees. They are names well known in town for their work, or they come from nominations from the community.

After continuous offers to be nominated that were always turned down, "finally they all insisted," Guscio says with a sigh. "I got stern looks, and I don't like stern looks. I was embarrassed, but I finally agreed."

Once the committee has a candidate, the nominee's name is forwarded to Town Council for a final decision. After the council approves the addition, a few weeks of preparation are needed, and the new inductee's photo is added to the Wall of Honor.

The purpose of the Wall, started by Mayor Lisa Sulka, is not only to bestow an honor but to create a written history of how Bluffton has been improved by its honored residents.

Lunceford understands the impact the honorees have had on her community.

"It is great for the town," she says, "to celebrate the ones who have contributed so much to our community, without any expectations, only because they love Bluffton."