Barnwell Pool, Scouts and Animal Center get help

AIKEN, SC, November 30, 2021 – A million dollar multi-purpose aquatic center for the Barnwell County Family YMCA is now one step closer to meeting its fundraising goal, thanks to a recent $20,000 contribution from Savannah River NuclearSolutions.

The aquatic center will offer a wide range of features, including a six-lane pool for recreational swimming and future competitive events, a waterslide and other features. The center will also provide approximately 30 summer jobs and leadership development for local youth.

“We are so grateful to our friends at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions for their heartfelt contributions to this important cause,” said Pamela Rush, Executive Director of the Axis I Center at Barnwell. “We believe the impact of this new facility will be significant, with a positive economic effect throughout the region, in addition to recreational and much-appreciated health benefits for local residents and neighbors.”

Rush also explained that this state-of-the-art facility will also save lives. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States

The Barnwell County Recreation Commission has already secured $725,000 of the total amount needed to build the aquatic center. “We are working closely with our partners in this effort to reach our final goal, raising the final $350,000. Thanks to a significant grant from the State of South Carolina and friends like SRNS, we’re getting closer,” Rush said.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River site.

World Finance collects donations for an animal center

AIKEN, SC – World Finance will be collecting donations to benefit the local SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare through December 31 at the Community Branch located at 778 Silver Bluff Road in Aiken.

The public can drop off donations during store hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare needs dog and cat food, cleaning supplies, chew toys and more. A full list is available at

“We are so grateful to be a member of the Aiken community and to take this opportunity to use our resources to give back during the holiday season. We believe that when we come together as a community, everyone benefits,” “Animals bring so much joy to their families and we hope this fundraiser can help them make their time at the shelter a little more comfortable until they reach the end of life,” said Jennifer Easler, World Finance branch manager at Aiken. ‘they find their forever home.’

Scouts partners with Bechtel to offer STEM-based merit badges

AUGUSTA, Georgia – Bechtel Corp. will partner with the Georgia-Carolina Council of Boy Scouts of America on December 11 to provide three STEM-based merit badges, including electrical, engineering, and space exploration.

Forty-five Scouts will have the opportunity to earn one of these badges during the eight-hour session at the new Georgia-Carolina Nature and Adventure Center.

“The opportunity to work with professionals from Bechtel Corp. to provide world-class instruction in these exciting areas is a great benefit of being a Scout. We are deeply grateful to Bechtel Corp for their financial support as well as their professional support of time and talent,” said Scout Director Dan Rogers.

He said as Scouts expand the Nature and Adventure Center they will look to partner with more local businesses to provide mentorship opportunities for participants.

For more information on how you can volunteer with the Georgia-Carolina Council, or to join Scouting as a youth member, contact Ron Bane at 706-733-5277.

Columbia County Youth Leadership is accepting applications

EVANS, Ga. — The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for its Columbia County Youth Leadership Program, presented by Gold Cross EMS.

The program is designed to educate and motivate young leaders through experience, enabling them to play an active role in their community. The program results in strong leaders who have hope for the future and the tools to influence a positive and progressive community. Applicants must be sophomores or juniors at Columbia County public high schools, private schools, or home school students.

Applications can be downloaded at and should be submitted to [email protected] by March 18, 2022.

For more information about this program, contact Ashley Rice at 706-651-0018 or [email protected]

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Benjamin M. Yerger