He certainly is not the only generous businessman in the Lakelands, but Bal Ballentine deserves a thumbs up for his giving back to the community each year. Ballentine, who operates a car dealership on the 72 bypass, sponsors a number of events throughout Greenwood, but he also dips into the corporate pocket to return dollars to agencies that provide education and meaningful services to area residents.
Most recently, Ballentine teamed with Toyota Motors and dropped $20,000 — $5,000 each — into the coffers of four area agencies: Burton Center, Connie Maxwell Children's Home, Greenwood Genetic Center and Lander University Foundation. A generous gesture and no doubt a welcome Christmas gift for the four recipients.

The holiday season certainly has been stained with crime-related news in the area. Bond hearings for people charged in various killings, as well as arrests made in connection to killings are making headlines these days. And much of this is going on as others organize events in an effort to stop the violence and reverse what seems to be a tide of young people discarding their own lives along with the lives of others.
Truly, it is sad as we reflect on the Christmas season and all it means to those of the Christian faith. How, we are left to wonder, can so many people put so little value on life itself?

West Carolina Tel gets a thumbs up for stepping up in support of Calhoun Falls' Blue Hole project. The communications company plunked $25,000 on the table to go toward the pavilion to be constructed as part of the overall plan to develop the recreation facility. For its donation, West Carolina gets naming rights. It is good to see that type of business support taking place, and certainly the town could use plenty of support as it endeavors to turn a large dream into a large reality.

Something has to be done to better control the feral cat situation in Greenwood County, a situation that is creating an overpopulation of cats roaming the county. The Humane Society of Greenwood gets a thumbs up for Project Kangaroo, a plan to trap, neuter and release feral cats. We hope the county will support the effort as simply capturing and euthanizing feral cats has not made a significant dent in the problem.
It's only a trial program that will require minimal financial backing from the county, but it's worth a try. The idea is to trap known colonies of the cats, neuter and spay them, vaccinate them and return them to their territory.