Officer Mark Hamilton

Officer Mark Hamilton addresses youth Dec. 29 at Day Dawn Baptist Church.

On Jan. 1, the 131st Rose Parade was broadcast live, internationally, with an estimated 7000,000 parade spectators, 45.5 million U.S. television viewers and approximately 28 million international viewers. Among the beautiful floats present in the parade, was one that was extremely special to residents of St. Stephen.

The 2020 Donate Life Rose Parade float celebrated the gifts of organ, eye, and tissue donors. This year’s float featured the theme “Light in the Darkness,” and prominent on its front were pictures of deceased 2019 organ donors. On the front left side of the float was a floragraph, sponsored by “We are Sharing Hope SC,” of the late Craig Bernard Owens of St. Stephen.

Organ, eye, and tissue donation is often the first spark of light families see when in their darkest of moments, the opportunity to honor their loved ones’ legacy provides hope and light to both grieving donor families and grateful recipients.

Craig Owens was a dedicated, loving and devoted son, father and husband. He lived his life the best way he knew, and he worked at a local power company until his retirement. His friends and family described him as a caring person who would do anything for anyone he met. Despite being a giant in stature, he had a soft-spoken voice and a kindred spirit.

Craig’s health became a concern over recent years, as he battled with blood pressure and diabetes. On January 6, 2019 Craig became suddenly ill, and two days later, he gained his wings at age 43, he left behind a loving family that was not ready to see him go. However, they have found solace in knowing that he lives on through his gifts of Life.

The Donate Life float’s riders and walkers represented millions of people touched by organ, eye and tissue donations as recipients. The floragraph honor the many individuals who lovingly thought of others, prior too, or as they prepared to transition. There are numerous area residents who have benefited from organ donations and we encourage our readers to consider giving the gift of life.

A potential donor may be considered if he or she is at least 18 years of age and has a blood type (A, B, O, AB) that is compatible with the recipient’s blood type. After a compatible blood type is confirmed, other preliminary tests are performed.

If these tests indicate that the donor candidate is medically eligible, the transplant coordinator presents the information gained through testing to the Transplant Committee. If test results indicate that a living donation is appropriate for donor and recipient, pre-surgical testing begins.

Living donation is not for everyone. However, most living donors feel that their donation is one of the most positive events in their lives.

If a living donor is not available, or if it is not possible to receive the needed organ from a living donor, the organ will be donated by a deceased person.

Deceased-donor organ donation is the process of donating an organ, or part of an organ, at the time of the donor’s death. If the donor is an adult, he or she may have agreed to be an organ donor before becoming ill. Parents or spouses can also agree to donate a relative’s organs. Most transplanted organs still come from deceased donors.

Hamilton addresses youth

During 10 a.m. services, Dec. 29 at the Day Dawn Baptist Church, Pineville, Officer Mark Hamilton spoke with church members, with a target emphasis of youth attendees, on numerous topics of concern.

His primary emphasis covered the importance of youth being obedient, respectful and disciplined.

Subtopics of discussion were bullying; gun violence; mental health; self-esteem, and drugs and alcohol. He also addressed the importance of parental involvement in monitoring the activities and tools of youth.

The importance of positive role models in homes, churches and schools were also fully discussed. Officer Hamilton also stressed the importance of communities providing opportunities for youth growth and development in beneficial ways.

These opportunities should include work, training and education. Ultimately, the youth is responsible for the actions he/she takes in life.

Happy New Year

It is my pleasure to wish each of you a very happy and prosperous new year.

Get Well Wishes

Keep in prayer our many sick and shut in members. With special acknowledgement of Deacon Jackie Pinckney, Rev. John Williams, Queen Dingle, George Casey and Mary Lee Casey.

Belated birthday wishes

I’m sending belated happy birthday wishes to Father Marreddy Allam, pastor at St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church in Moncks Corner and Our Lady of Peace Mission in Bonneau.

Send items of interest to Yvonne Barnes, 1458 Colonel Maham Dr., Pineville, SC 29468 or email