Very Berry Breakfast

It was a very berry breakfast!

On Thursday, May 2nd, Foothills Family Resources hosted their inaugural
fundraising breakfast at South Wind Ranch, Travelers Rest’s newest event
venue. It was the perfect location for our guests to enjoy beautiful scenery in a relaxed atmosphere, while enjoying a delicious breakfast of pancakes with strawberries, bacon and eggs. Following a brief presentation by FFR’s Executive Director, David Bolton, which highlighted its 30+ years of service to Northern Greenville County, personal stories from two former program participants were shared with the audience.

The first was from Jenny Butler, a graduate of both FFR’s GED program
and The Center for Working Families career development program . A quick study, Jenny not only finished her classes in short order, but is now the smiling face you see when you enter the lobby of Foothills Family Resources! The second speaker was Trey Everette, who spoke of his re-entry into the workforce and the start of a better life after a stint in prison due to opioid addiction. Through FFR’s Center for Working Families program and partnerships with local employers, Trey has been employed for over eight months and has already become a supervisor! Jenny and Trey are just two of our many “success stories” and we couldn’t be prouder of them and all of our participants!

School Tools 2019

August 13, 2019 quickly became a busy day here at Foothills Family Resources. Parents and grandparents with school aged children lined the sidewalk waiting for the doors to open to be welcomed inside.

This is the day of the BIG School Tools distribution! The time when children would receive the necessary tools needed to start the new school year: book bags filled with paper, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, notebooks, pencil pouches, scissors, glue sticks, calculators and yes, hand sanitizer and tissues!

This day would not have happened without the generous donation from the Southeastern Chapter of International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and United Way of Greenville County. Every year when this time approaches, United Way finds a company that is willing to go that extra mile to supply children with the tools necessary to start school.

We were fortunate enough to have some extra hands at FFR that day as Linda Esposito, Peter and Cyndy Oligny, John and Camille Hood, and Kim Pierce volunteered to help out hand out the book bags, as well as several other treats, including delicious mini cupcakes from Marci Jo’s Olde Mountain Store, and toothbrushes from Slater Drug Co., Paris Mountain Dental, and The Carolina Oaks Dental Group! Victoria Chandler was gracious enough to lend her photography skills to snap a few pictures of the event for us too! Ronda and Amber from Crystal Valley Day Spa also gave their time by giving free haircuts to over 20 students while they waited for their turn to get book bags! We were truly blessed on August 13, 2019.

For the 2019-20 school year, Foothills Family Resources staff and volunteers distributed 195 well-filled book bags to the future scholars of Northern Greenville County.

Strawberry Festival 2019

Many thanks to all who participated in and attended this year’s Strawberry
Festival! It was held on Saturday, May 4 th , and had something for every age group. Inside Slater Hall, there was dancing by the Irish Dancers from the West End, a theatrical presentation by the Travelers Theatre, rousing music by Authenticity, mind-blowing magic by The Magic Man, improv by
Adliberation, and karate at its best, performed by Living Water Martial Arts. On our outside stage, we opened the festival with the Slater-Marietta Green Wave Chorus, led by Ms. Brenda Lee, and enjoyed an afternoon of timeless music by Main Street, one of our local favorites.

We were excited to host over 50 arts and crafts vendors, with everything
from jewelry to pottery, and caricatures to face painting. Top that off with a
host of twelve food trucks and vendors, serving a variety of foods to satisfy
everyone’s taste buds, including STRAWBERRIES!
One of our highlights for this year, given the date of the festival being May
the 4th , was our “May the 4th Be With You” Dog Costume contest. With the help of PetSmart and Blue Buffalo, our Star Wars-themed contest allowed us to get photos of dogs dressed in a Star Wars costumes, and our panel of judges picked the winner, who won a large gift basket put together by PetSmart and Blue Buffalo. Our winner was “Lazarus” who was a very convincing Yoda!

We love hosting this event for our community, and hope that everyone will
plan to join us again next year. The festival is always held on the first
Saturday in May, and we hope you’ll join us next year!

TrTribune: We’re Here for You; April 2013

Shameless plug of the day…….like us on Facebook!

“Beautiful Scenery, Great Food, Friendly People, Classic Bluegrass and Fun for All Ages.” That’s the motto we’ve adopted and the best way to explain one of the ways Foothills Family Resources (FFR) provides the income needed to move our neighbors from crisis to self-sufficiency.  The 11th Annual Strawberry Festival Strawberry, presented by the Bank of Travelers Rest, is not only a great way to usher in the summer with thousands of other festival goers, it’s one way that you can help provide services to the less fortunate in Cleveland, Marietta, Slater and Travelers Rest. Please come join us on May 4!


Start the day with breakfast

The day begins at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast provided by FFR’s dedicated Board of Directors. Pancakes, sausage, strawberries freshly picked locally at Beachwood Farms, Leopard Forrest Coffee, orange juice and all the fixins. Breakfast will be served at FFR’s community room on 3 Main St in Slater.

$4 Adults, $2 Children


Stay for Bluegrass, festival food and fun

After breakfast stroll up to the beautiful grounds of Slater Hall to enjoy a full day of spring weather, Cherry Blossoms and a festival atmosphere. The day will begin with the raising of the colors by Boy Scout Troop 007 accompanied by the Slater-Marietta Elementary School Green Wave Choir’s perfect rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. The musical performances that follow include the Young Appalachian Musicians Sweet Potato Pie Kids and the West End String Band, both based out of upstate South Carolina. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.


The Strawberry Festival is kid friendly, of course. Arts and Crafts activities provided by another nonprofit organization, Blue Wall Group, along with a playground and inflatable rides will provide opportunities for life long memories and ensure early bedtimes that night.


And of course, the food! Vendors from throughout the region will cure every festival craving. Items to be offered include BBQ, smoked turkey legs, Italian Sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers, snow cones, slushies, chocolate dipped cheesecake, funnel cakes, strawberry shortcake, strawberry cobbler and much more.


Check out for more information.


Get Involved

As you probably know if you’ve been partaking in this conversation, I always try to provide a way you can help the cause. It’s a true pleasure to let you know that one way you can help is by coming, participating and eating! FFR receives a percentage of income from all food sold at the festival. By merely enjoying some bbq, washing it down with a slushie and finishing it off with some strawberry shortcake you are helping to support your neighbors in need.


Another way you can support this mission is to become a sponsor of the festival.  By doing this you not only gain visibility for you or your organization, you join the sponsors below in helping provide food, education and counseling to the residents of Northern Greenville County.  Please contact me for more information on sponsorship opportunities.


Finally, volunteers are always need for an event like this.  Please contact me if you would like to enjoy a beautiful spring day while helping supporting FFR’s mission.


TRTribune: We’re Here for You; June 2013

As anyone that works in the nonprofit industry will agree, planning and executing a fundraising event like the Strawberry Festival, can be very challenging. Recruiting sponsors, volunteers and vendors along with all the minute details is a yearlong undertaking.  Luckily I am blessed with a talented staff that is willing to go outside of their “job description” in order to make the Strawberry Festival something this community can be proud of.

One thing we cannot control is weather, which can make or break an event. Last year’s festival saw clear blue skies while this year we were graced with clouds, a poor forecast and eventually rain which shut the show down an hour early. Last year had seasonal temperatures in the 80’s, this year was unseasonably cold with temperatures dipping into the mid 50’s. Last year saw thousands of festival goers enjoying good food, blue grass music and a festive atmosphere as can only be imagined in a Rockwell painting.  The 2013 Strawberry Festival saw the exact same thing.

As an organization, we have no choice but to accept the weather as is comes and do our best to make lemonade out of lemons. As festival goers, the community has no such obligation. But this community did. As I looked out over the grounds of Slater Hall, I was amazed to see thousands people enjoying hot dogs, BBQ, strawberry shortcake and even snow cones. Everywhere I looked, people dressed in raincoats, jeans and even winter hats were enjoying the craft vendors and listening to music. The grounds were essentially flooded in lemonade!

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Foothills Family Resources, please accept my gratitude for believing that good weather is not a prerequisite for fun at the Strawberry Festival. For understanding that a sausage dog goes just as well with hot coffee as it does with sweet tea. Finally, for accepting that good family fun sometimes means dancing in rain….

The staff at Foothills Family Resources and Blue Wall Group have already started to plan a bigger and better Strawberry Festival for 2014 and we promise a good time, rain or shine.  Look forward to seeing you there!

TrTribune: We’re Here for You; November 2013

We’re Here for You: Being part of an ‘Abundant Communmity’

In the book “The Abundant Community,” authors Peter Block and John McKnight present the argument that the community is better suited to meet the needs of its neighbors than the systems currently in place to meet those needs. At Foothills Family Resources we are taking this concept of how much a community can do all by itself to heart and we ask you to join us while supporting the Center for Working Families (CWF).

This support of CWF does not necessarily have to be financial as Foothills Family Resources’ goal is to essentially create a database of the skills in our abundant community which we are all proud to live and/or work in. Whether you make a mean lasagna, have serious plumbing skills or would like to serve as a mentor, every skill is welcome to assist those working to move from crisis to self-sufficiency.

Do you want to serve on a board of directors which has a direct impact on your neighbors in need? We always need members dedicated to the cause. Are you good with woodworking? You can donate some time to help a young child learn how to make a birdhouse. Do you make paper-mâché? Let’s gather the CWF families for a crafts session on making piñatas and use them for birthday parties for our students’ children. The beauty of this program is we can think outside the box and effect our students in ways most programs don’t. Remember, we are serving the entire family unit, and I’m sure that you have a talent to share which can have an impact!

When we create programming it’s important to identify goals which will indicate success and, in the case of the Center for Working Families, those goals will revolve around the financial success of the students. This includes improvements in employment status, decrease in debt and an increase in savings. But there’s another angle we will focus on which will revolves around our community that’s a bit more abstract, but just as important. Our goal is to hear graduates speak of missing Ms. Smith’s lasagna at monthly meetings or to hear them tell stories of how Mr. Jones was always there when there was a plumbing issue at their house.

We are just as excited to hear about the times when mentors went above and beyond as we are to learn that a student is working in a job that will change the course of their families’ future.  Helping people find a successful career is a primary goal, but helping them establish positive relationships skills is just as important in the long run for that person and our community. If students graduate, change their lives and talk about lasagna, plumbing, mentors and piñatas we’ll know that it’s the community helping the community. That’s when we’ll know this is a sustainable way to empower those in need. That’s when we’ll know that we have a program that will not only change the lives of its students, but will have an impact on our entire abundant community.

If you would like to be part of this abundant community please contact me at or 864-836-1100. Remember, there’s no skill or talent we don’t want to hear about.