“So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun.” These oft-heard Christmas lyrics from John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas” keep coming to mind as we approach the 2021 Christmas season — another year over, and what have I done? Have I been using my time to make a positive difference this year?
Looking back over 2021, none of us thought COVID-19 would still be a factor in our daily lives at this point. Class reunions and other special events, even weddings, have been rescheduled … and rescheduled again. Here at CMM we faced the same dilemma. After postponing our Capital Young Professional Awards celebration three times, we finally decided that it was high time to honor these outstanding young leaders in our community, despite the absence of an in-person event. Turn to page 80 to read about these inspiring movers and shakers who consistently use their time and resources to make a positive difference in the Midlands.
Another individual who has shaped our community in enormous ways is Sheriff Leon Lott, the 2021 National Sheriff of the Year, the 2021 South Carolina Sheriff of the Year, and the recipient of the U.S. Department of Defense’s 2021 Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Extraordinary Employer Support Award. Read more about the life of this remarkable man and local treasure on page 44.
In this issue, we also showcase the Big Red Barn Retreat on page 64, a place for veterans and first responders to rest, heal from emotional trauma, and regain a sense of purpose.
To further encourage charitable giving during the holiday season and help educate you, our readers, on the various local organizations spearheading the hard issues affecting our community, we are proud to introduce the Giving Guide on page 32. The nonprofits that have chosen to participate in this inaugural section do so much to make Columbia a better place; it is certainly no hyperbole to say we would not be the same city without them!
Lastly, read our article on the charitable work of the Bar Foundation on page 128 for one final dose of feel-good inspiration this holiday season. For every difficult story in the news, innumerable acts of kindness and compassion are taking place around us every day.
And so this is Christmas,
I hope you have fun!
The near and the dear one
The old and the young.
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year,
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear.