Posted May 16, 2018 at 2:01 AM
There will be a passing of the baton June 30 in Barnwell County and it won’t be on a high school track.
Cheryl Long, who has led Axis 1 for 44 years, will be retiring. We can’t imagine her riding off into the sunset and hope she will stay involved in a community where she has impacted just about everyone in Barnwell County, whether they knew it or not.
Pam Rush, who has been with Axis 1 for 32 years and is currently the Deputy Director, will be accepting the baton. She is trained, primed and ready to start her own race to improve the lives of Barnwell County residents.
Axis 1 is an organization funded by the state and grants to provide alcohol and drug treatment, education, prevention and recovery services. They also oversee the Eat Smart Move More program to improve the health of local residents. The local teen pregnancy prevention program is also under the Axis 1 list of core programs as is EHCO – Empowering Communities for Outcomes, a program to reduce impaired driving. They also work with the Rotary Club of Barnwell County to provide the FINS program, teaching youngsters the life-saving basics of swimming. Until recently Axis 1 also oversaw the Food Bank but that program is now being given over to local churches so they can better focus on their core programs.
A key to the success of Axis 1 has been the ability of Long and her staff to establish community partnerships. While their staff has only 8 full-time and 3 part-time employees, they expand their abilities by working with other individuals and organizations.
To put it succinctly, they get things done.
They get people in distress the help they need. They work on programs to guide people away from unhealthy and destructive choices. They assist and support those whose lives are in turmoil.
They give hope and help.
Axis 1 is a team. Cheryl Long built and coached the team to its current success. Now it will be Pam Rush’s turn to take the baton and run with it.
Like any good team, each person has their way of doing things but it is the cohesiveness of the team that gets the gold. Pam Rush won’t run Axis 1 exactly like Cheryl Long has but she shouldn’t be expected to. What we fully expect is she will continue as she has for 32 years – building relationships, helping people and making a huge difference in the lives of Barnwell County residents.
Axis 1 is vital to Barnwell County and we want this organization to continue to thrive. We congratulate Cheryl Long on her retirement and can only say a deep, heartfelt “Thank you!”. We also congratulate Pam Rush and her team, and support their efforts to lead Axis 1 as it makes an impact on Barnwell County.