LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR MAKES HOLIDAYS HAPPY FOR WORTHY FAMILIES
JAMES BYRD GIVES CASH TO UPSTATE FAMILIES
ALSO APPEARING IN: THE GREENVILLE (SC) NEWS [link]
PUBLISHED FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2004
(December 22, 2004 / Greenville, SC In the lobby of Greenville’s Hyatt Regency, Christmas came early for nine Upstate families today as local businessman James Byrd presented larger-than-life checks to families in need.
Recipients included Crystal Thompson, Jamie Raymond, Maureen Rush, Diana Butts, Sonya Sullivan, Yolanda Young, Olistia Marshall, Justina Hill and Jaques Mansell.
Accompanied by his wife Dionne and their sons Alexander and Deandre, Byrd told the assembled crowd, “I’m glad to help make Christmas possible for these families. While some people think that charity should begin only when you reach a certain income level, my parents taught me that giving from the heart begins when people who can’t afford to give do it anyway. That’s the way it worked in our house, and now I’m fortunate enough to be able to give more.”
One of today’s recipient families included Crystal Thompson. She and her husband have two boys – one who recently required surgery and the other who has a chronic health condition. Crystal was moved to tears when thanking the Byrds for their $1,000 gift.
Diana Butts also received $1,000. To find a better place to rear her four children, she recently moved to Travelers Rest from an urban area in Virginia. She was fortunate enough to find an apartment that would work with her on rent, but she had already told her children that Christmas might have to wait until her tax return was filed. That is no longer the case.
“Growing up, so many of us were blessed with generous families, and it’s important for us to make sure that others feel blessed this holiday season. It’s a privilege to make that possible for these families,” offered Byrd.
Today’s presentation is a continuation of Byrd’s year-round philanthropic spirit that extends beyond the holiday season.
In addition to today’s presentations, Byrd also funds 20 annual college minority scholarships and provides housing assistance to needy families in the Greenville community. Next year, Byrd said he plans to begin an annual tradition of giving a home to a single working mother in the area.
A 34 year old Greenville native, graduate of Southside High Schools, SC State University and business owner, Byrd added that an underprivileged background does not determine a person’s potential and that “no one should be penalized for their circumstances.”
Aside from education and housing charities, Byrd is also a member of numerous charitable boards and associations including the United Way of Greenville County and the Phyllis Wheatley Association. He also supports the YMCA, United Ministries, and funds meals for more than 100 homeless people annually.
OUR TURN: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY MEMORY?
SEEMS LIKE EACH YEAR BECOMES MY FAVORITE
FROM: THE GREENVILLE (SC) NEWS [link]
PUBLISHED THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2004
As hard as it may be to believe, my favorite holiday memory is not chestnuts roasting, Jack Frost nipping or even "The Nick & Jessica Christmas Special."
Continuously learning to be a father, a husband, and hopefully a better person, I realize that my favorite holiday memory hasn't happened yet.
When Addy and I were married six years ago and spent our first Christmas together in our new home with our own tree, that became my favorite memory.
Last year, only months after the birth of our son, I watched him remind us what this season is really about. That became my favorite memory.
For me, if I'm living like I should and enjoying each day to the fullest, each holiday gets better and better.
We all have our Griswold family moments, but like Clark we're determined to make this the best darn Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny Kaye.
Now almost 14 months old, Trey is becoming his own person. He's discovering the wonders of the world (and the cabinets and the coffee table). He's allowing Addy and me to live vicariously through his toddlerhood.
Will this Christmas be better than the last? Something tells me, "Yes."
TAFT MATNEY, 32, LIVES IN GREENVILLE AND IS THE PRESIDENT OF A LOCAL PUBLIC RELATIONS AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS FIRM.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: MUNICIPALITIES POSE A THREAT TO DISTRICTS
FROM: THE GREENVILLE (SC) NEWS [link]
PUBLISHED THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2004
As a proud 34-year resident of the Boiling Spring Fire District, I have seen this rural area develop into a dynamic and well-planned sector of Greenville County.
Through progressive vision and action by an unpaid Board of Commissioners, Boiling Springs Fire District keeps costs down while providing superior fire protection and first responder emergency services.
In addition to steadily reducing millage rates from a high of 30 mils to the current 21.2 mils — a 28 percent decrease since 1980 — the district recently achieved a Class 1 ISO rating which will potentially reduce insurance premiums for property owners.
Now that the district made a successful transition from rural to urban growth and developed income to support its achievements and activities, surrounding municipalities are poised to "cherry pick" what we paid for.
Boiling Springs Fire District established itself and assumed responsibility when municipalities did not want to provide area coverage.
What is the result of our efforts? One municipality will own part of our investment in 2010 while another vigorously works toward selective internal district annexation.
This encroachment should not be allowed or considered acceptable. Acquisition of another government's tax base disrupts surrounding areas and places a greater burden on those of us who remain. If this area becomes contiguous to a municipality like Greenville, what area will be targeted next for annexation?
Special purpose districts played a positive role in making our county what it is today. They are owned by their residents and can best serve local needs.
Thomas M. Mitchell
FROM: GSA BUSINESS [link] PUBLISHED MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2004
GREENVILLE — Goddard Technology Corp. launched WinBadge NoFly Review — a security application designed to help airports comply with a recent security directive from the US Transportation Security Commission.
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