244 Greenville St NW, Aiken, SC 29801

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Trivia Night for a Cause returns

By Melanie Phillips

Operations Manager

After two years of in-person fundraisers put on hold due to COVID-19, the clinic made its comeback with Trivia Night for a Cause on July 27. The community came out and put on their thinking caps as they competed for prizes in multiple categories hosted by Tom Sargent with DJ Kenny Ray.

Participants worked as teams to answer questions related to history, sports, entertainment and a mash-up of subjects. Some also competed individually in mini games, which got people out of their seats and had them putting their hands on their head or hips depending on their answer.

President of the board of directors and the clinic’s medical director Dr. Charles Pexa spoke about the clinic and all the services it offers to those in attendance at the event. He also introduced the new director Orion Jeter, who some hadn’t met yet since he became director in May.

“It was great to see so many generous people enjoying themselves and when it was all over, especially after Orion and I talked, the people that really didn’t know what our clinic was about and how it changed their perspective on what we do,” Pexa said. “I had people coming up to me afterwards, as I had before when I talked, expressing their gratitude for what we do and their support for what we do. And trying to know what they can do even more to help besides contributions. It was very gratifying. I’m so glad we got to send our message and spread our mission to as many people as possible.”

This event was a first for Jeter in his new role, who said he learned a lot about what goes into planning fundraisers. The reception he received exceeded his expectations and was extremely positive.

“Trivia Night for a Cause was a learning experience. It was a great feeling. I feel like it was a chance for us to learn about what works and what doesn’t, but it was overwhelmingly very positive. Our community really supported us. It was a packed house. People enjoyed themselves and while they had a good time, they supported a great cause, too,” Jeter said.

Many people expressed how much fun they were having and hope that the event comes back in the future.

“I learned that Trivia Night for a Cause is an event that we need to keep doing every year. It is fun, it can bring out the competitiveness in people. It’s a great opportunity for people to unwind, have a good time, stretch your brain and memory about all those little pop culture things that Tom posed in the questions,” Jeter said. “It’s something that’s a formula for success that we can take a lot from in deciding the other fundraisers we do as an organization, but I just think it’s one that we’re going to keep on our calendar every year because the response was great, and people wanted to return.”

Not only was the event great due to the fun those in attendance were having, but also because it allowed the clinic to reach people who didn’t understand the entirety of services that are offered.

“Because it’s so far out of what they might imagine a medical clinic would do, and it’s transformative. It’s taking people truly from hopeless to hope and creating a worthwhile future for people who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance,” Pexa said.

“I got a lot of feedback from people who attended who did not know the full scope of what we do. They want to be a part of our mission. I think it’s a matter of people don’t know what we do, and the people in attendance now are going to spread the word about what we do to the people in their circle,” Jeter added. “I got a response from people who want to support. Some people expressed wanting to be volunteers, and some already reached out to me since the event to see how they can help us out in lending their skills and experience in what we do as well.”

Holding fundraisers like this one is a great way to reach people who may not have known who the Community Medical Clinic is or what they do. It gets the name of the organization in people’s minds and allows them to celebrate in the organization’s successes.

“These kinds of events are important because like our name says – this is the Community Medical Clinic. This medical clinic belongs to our community. It gives us a chance to celebrate with our community and talk to our community face-to-face. The people that allow us to exist – we’re able to give them a good time, we’re able to allow them to see what we’ve been up to and just to be able to celebrate our own success and have fun with our community and do fun events like trivia,” Jeter said.

Seven steps to tone down when life turns up

By Orion Jeter

Executive Director

In these times of what sometimes seems like unrelenting stress and stressors, our sanity and overall wellness requires us to pause and plan to put things into their proper perspective. Some stress is good. Stress can be a motivator to get things done. However, chronic, uncontrolled stress is unproductive, dangerous, even deadly. So how do you tone down when life turns up? Here are seven steps to consider following:

1. Since most stressors in our everyday life are not immediate, life-threatening situations, we must take a pause and remind ourselves that we are safe and secure in the current moment, so our body and mind can realize that it can calm down and stop the fight or flight reaction and return to your baseline, non-alarm state. Tell yourself: You are alright. You’re fine. You’re safe. You’re going to be okay. Focus on the details of something non-threatening in your surroundings. Put on your favorite calming music. Go for a peaceful walk. Take a bike ride. Go out in nature. Read or recall positive affirmations. Do some journaling. Draw or paint. Create music or some other form of art. Do whatever takes you to your peaceful place the most effectively. What will you do?

2. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe in. Then, breathe out.

3. Now identify the challenge/problem in its true, reasonable light. What specifically has stressed you? What made your body’s alarm sound off? Focus your attention on that challenge and don’t let your thoughts wander off into other things to cause panic. Just focus on the true challenge before you and why it specifically has caused you to feel stress.

4. What’s your challenge/problem? Why has it caused you to feel this stress? Decide what you are going to do about it. Devise a logical plan to meet the challenge or solve the problem. What’s your plan of action to meet your challenge/solve your problem?

5. Be realistic and don’t be too hard on yourself. Cancel any unreasonable expectations and realize your limitations. You may not get done everything you had planned for the day or by the time you thought you would have it done. Life happens, things happen. Remind yourself that you have overcome challenges and solved plenty problems before and that everything is temporary and will pass. You can do it and you will. What challenges have you overcome and what problems have you solved in the past that make you proud and feel resilient?

6. Act. Take action and execute your plan of action to meet your challenge or solve your problem. Realize that any challenge is going to require its certain length of time to get it done and get it done right.

7. Revise your plan of action or individual steps in the plan as necessary. Do you need to revise any part of your plan? If so, what part(s)?

“A calm mind leads to clear eyes. Clear eyes are a reliable guide through the journey of life.” – Orion Jeter