Fort Mill Times

River Hills Lions name Lion of Year and Unsung Hero

Thomas named Lion of Year

With so many committee reports, so many fundraisers, and so many discussions about various proposed projects, just keeping up with it all at the River Hills Lions Club board of directors meetings would be enough to earn the board’s secretary Lion of the Year Award, club members say.

But Susan Thomas has done so much more, which is why she was unanimously chosen for the honor.

She attended Lions district and state conventions at her own expense. She spearheaded the Club Excellence Project, surveying community leaders to determine the club’s agenda for service in the coming years. She also served on the new member directory. On her own, she organized a project to provide ongoing support to York County deployed and returning military.

“When I ask for help with some task or project,” said club president Peggy Upchurch, “I don’t have to look to know that Susan has her hand up.”

Berres receives Unsung Hero Award

Gene Berres was a River Hills Lion for 12 years, serving mostly by his fundraising and sales skills, which came in handy when he was selling advertising for the Lions telephone directory, something he continues to do even though he is no longer a Lion. The Lions recently honored him with the Unsung Hero Award.

Through the years, Berres worked on many golf tournaments and benefit dinners by recruiting sponsors and prizes. He also was on the Lions Community Foundation Board, and when it came time to sell Christmas trees, he was on the tree lot putting those sales skills to work.

Berres also headed the All Saints Catholic Church building fund campaign, served as an Eucharistic minister and has been a Parish Council member for several years. He also worked as a driver and stocked shelves for Clover Area Assistance Center, and helped with administrative functions. In addition, he found time to serve on the Board of the River Hills Country Club.

Economist tells Lions ‘no dynamic rebound’

Mark Vintner, director and senior economist for Wells Fargo Bank, presented the River Hills Lions Club with his analysis of the economy at a recent dinner meeting.

Vintner addressed the negative growth quarter and predicted slowly improving growth during the next few years, but no dynamic rebound. The unusual 10-year bond rates are a key factor. Home ownership is depressed while apartment building is explosive. North and South Carolina economies are improving faster than the national average, mostly in the Raleigh and Charlotte. New regulations on coal emissions may effect economic growth in states that use coal more heavily.

Vintner expects oil prices to remain stable for some time. He answered a question about key needs to fix the economy with, first, a major tax system overhaul, particularly to prevent corporate tax evasion via inappropriate foreign based headquarters and, second, to fix immigration.

Lions phone book directories delivered

The River Hills telephone directories were delivered earlier this month to the 1,100 homes in the neighborhood. The directories are a project of the River Hills Lions Club.

This year, the directory has 258 ads, with 82 percent of those advertisers being renewed. The book lists churches, hospitals, utilities, schools, newspapers, River Hills social and services organizations, and children’s activities. This year, these services and advertisements are available at

John Cathcart is chairman of the yearlong project. JP Russell and Rick Thomas are the co-chairmen.

The phone book is the Lions largest fundraiser. As with other Lions projects, proceeds go to charities in the Lake Wylie and Clover areas. Annual contributions exceed $100,000.

Although books are free for River Hills residents, they are for sale at the Community Association office, 102 Hamilton’s Ferry Road office, for $8.

Ballroom Dance group meets Friday

The Ballroom Dance Club will meet 7:30-10:20 p.m. Friday, June 20, in the Oak Room at Fort Mill Golf Course Club House, 101 Country Club Drive.

There will be a free dance lesson 7:30-8 p.m. Attire is dressy casual. All adult ages and skill levels are welcome. The event is alcohol free and non-alcoholic beverages provided. Guest admission costs $7.50. For information, call 803-329-5764.

Sorority hosting human trafficking forum

Eta Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. will host a forum on human trafficking at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at Mt. Olivet AME Zion Church, 527 Dave Lyle Blvd.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 803-327-4269 or email

POP Club welcomes members

The Heart2Heart Foundation, a local nonprofit focused on raising awareness about heart disease, has joined Market at Inman Farms in York to launch POP Club.

The club is open to the public and will give children $2 in tickets to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables and food plants and seeds. POP Club will be available from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 11 at The Market at Inman Farms, 1101 Black Hwy.

The Power of Produce or POP Club is a nationally recognized children’s program started at the Oregon City Farmers Market in May 2011, to empower children to make healthy food choices and to introduce them to where their food originates.

For more information, visit