The week before Thanksgiving, USC Aiken faculty, staff, students and special friends, including students from the Aiken Scholars Academy, gathered for the annual One Table event on campus.

Each year, the USC Aiken community comes together to share a meal with familiar dishes served in many homes this time of year, according to a news release from the university.

For the third year in a row, people attending the festive event brought backpacks and nonperishable food, which were given to students at North Aiken Elementary School. In all, 160 backpacks filled with food that would last several days were sent home to elementary school students.

"One Table is a special tradition on campus," said Christian Medders, one of the organizers.

"Not only do we give thought to all the many things we're thankful for, but it gives us a chance to give back to the community, and it launches the holiday season."

Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken visits ATC

The Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken recently visited Aiken Technical College and saw firsthand how their support has made a difference for ATC students.

Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken Aiken Technical College

The Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken visits Aiken Technical College to see firsthand how their support has made a difference for ATC students. Pictured are Jill Hartzog, ATC nursing instructor; Allen Radcliffe, Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken president-elect; Flo McElmurray, Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken president; Peter Fabian, Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken past president; and Hannah Williams, ATC nursing.

The organization’s most recent donation of $5,980 to the ATC Foundation was used to buy four CareScape V100 Patient Monitors, which are used by nursing students in their skills lab.

During their visit, Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken members saw demonstrations of how the equipment is used in the skills lab, according to a news release from ATC.

The skills lab allows students to become proficient with industry-grade equipment while practicing skills and patient interaction prior to entering the field.

Since 2006, the Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken has donated more than $63,700 to the ATC Foundation for scholarships and to buy equipment for health science programs.

“We are overwhelmed by their generosity and compassion for our students at Aiken Technical College,” said Mary Commons, director of the ATC Foundation.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.