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History of the Palmetto Shag Club


2017 - 2018

     In 2016, Billy Fanning was elected to serve as Palmetto Shag Club’s fourteenth President. Again in 2017, Billy was elected to serve another Presidency for the 2018. Prior to this, Billy served as Vice-President in 2015 and 2016.The following held office at this time-Janice Bartell Prather-Vice President, Vivian Davis-Treasure, Jackie Nichols-Secretary, David Stout-Sergeant at Arms, and Susan Martin-Immediate Past President. Billy Fanning was Event Chair for Southern Comfort with Linda Fanning and Susan Martin Co-chair. During this period we were able to maintain membership numbers close to previous years with the normal transition members that join for a while and then move on. Our parties held onto the high reputations that Palmetto Shag Club is known for. We had the best food and music at parties and it was recognized by all clubs. Southern Comfort was our biggest Party with around 300 attending each year. This party supplemented our dues and enabled us to maintain quality parties thru-out the year and put a little back for future needs. That strategy paid off, because in October of 2017, we had our dance floor trailer stolen with the following contents missing: dance floor, DJ Booth, portable bar, lights, drop cords, stools, and a host of decoration items to mention a few. The elected board immediately reacted with the following actions to have items needed for the Christmas Party and New Year’s Party: replaced trailer, dance floor, DJ Booth, and portable bar. We were able to donate $1000 each year to Junior Staggers’ from Southern Comfort proceeds. Another benefit we had each year was the DJ Marathon at the Blue Coyote where we raised money for the Cancer Society. We were able to donate around $2000 each year for these two events. One of our favorite outings was the bus trip to Lynn’s in Charlotte we did each year. We always had a bus full of happy feet. We received news in July of 2018 from the SCHA Conference Center that we would need to secure another location for our parties for the 2019 year. Our resources went to work and we secured the Tri-City Leisure Center in the Cayce-West Columbia area for our 2019 venue and actually saved money in the process.  During his term he also worked to have two of our members recognized as Shag Icons, Elton Johnson in 2018 and Susan Martin in 2019.

2015 - 2016

In 2015, Susan Martin was elected to serve as the thirteenth president of Palmetto Shag Club. She was also elected to serve a second term in 2016. Susan served as secretary of Palmetto Shag Club in 2012 and Vice President in 2013 and 2014. She served as the Southern Comfort XV Silent Auction Co-Chair in 2012, and was a Co-Chair of the next 4 years of Southern Comfort Events (2013 – 2016).   She was the event co-chair for the ACSC Summer Workshop event in 2016 and a Tri-Chair for the 2014 ACSC Winter Workshop. She was the Co-Chair of the 2013 – 2016 New Year’s Eve Parties, served on the decorating committee in 2012 – 2016 and food committee in 2012 – 2016. In 2015/2016, under her leadership the Palmetto Shag Club Board, including Billy Fanning - Vice President, Gerry Stricklin - Treasurer, Janice Thomas/Connie Moody  - Secretary, Bill Moody - Sgt. at Arms, Cecil Martin - Immediate Past President accomplished several things.  A new a professional dance floor was purchased for the Club.  The 2016 ACSC Summer Workshop was hosted which allowed the club to replenish the funds that were spent on the dance Floor. The Junior Shag Dance Team was invited to participate at the PSC hosted ACSC Summer workshop.  During the workshop approximately $5,000 was collected to support the Junior Shag Dance Team.  PSC also initiated a Junior Shag Club Program in 2016.    Our Club provided support to numerous charities including the American Cancer Society, Junior Shag Dance Team, Ellen Taylor Foundation for Junior Shaggers, the Harvest Hope Food Bank, the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots. The membership for the club grew at a 15% rate per year, making the club one of the larger clubs in the Association.  A new dance venue for our regular parties was investigated and negotiated with the SCHA Yates Conference Center.  This location will give the Club a beautiful central party location that will continue to encourage membership growth.  We appreciate the contributions of the PSC Board and our Committee Chairs for their leadership and service, giving unselfishly of their time and efforts on behalf of the Palmetto Shag Club.

2013 - 2014

In 2013, Cecil Martin was elected to serve as the twelfth president of Palmetto Shag Club. He was also elected to serve a second term in 2014. Cecil served as treasurer of Palmetto Shag Club in 2012. He also served on the floor committee and decorating committee in 2009 - 2014. As treasurer of Palmetto Shag Club in 2012, Cecil introduced a new and more user friendly online accounting system that would be both easier to use and save the club money by eliminating the need to maintain equipment and software. He also served on the Southern Comfort XV committee in 2012. As President, he was the event chair for Southern Comfort XVI and Southern Comfort XVII. In 2012, Cecil was instrumental in bringing the first ACSC Workshop to the Palmetto Shag Club and served as the event chair for the ACSC Winter Workshop event in 2014. He made a bid presentation at the ACSC Summer Workshop in 2014 for our club to host the ACSC Summer Workshop in 2016. Based on the huge success of our ACSC Winter Workshop in 2014, we were awarded the ACSC Summer Workshop in 2016. In 2014, he re-designed the club's website and took over as the Website Chair and Webmaster both saving the club money and making it possible to update the website more frequently and timely. In 2013/2014, under his leadership the Palmetto Shag Club Board, including Susan Martin - Vice President, Brenda Dixon - Treasurer, Rhetta Griffin/Janice Thomas - Secretary and Doug Brown - Sgt. at Arms accomplished a number of things. Among them were re-establishing participation in the SOS Parade winning a third place award in 2013. In 2014, the club held the first DJ Marathon and charity event supporting the American Cancer Society. The board also approved a new club sponsored annual event in 2013, the New Year's Eve Party. We appreciate the contributions of his board, their leadership and service, giving unselfishly of their time and efforts on behalf of the Palmetto Shag Club.

2011 - 2012

In 2011, Bruce Taylor was elected to serve as the eleventh president of Palmetto Shag Club. He was also elected to serve a second term in 2012. Bruce served on the By-law committee in 2007 & 2008, and was appointed to serve on the Disciplinary Policies committee in 2006. As president, he served as Event chair for Southern Comfort XIV and XV and initiated moving Southern Comfort forward to our very first Park & Party in 2012, making this annual premier event more manageable & cost effective for future years. During his second term in office, the club joined the National fast dance Assoc to protect the club DJ's against any possible legal action for playing copyrighted music at club parties, adopted a new and more user friendly online accounting system, took a group Bus trip and held our very first Chili Cook-off. Bruce also appointed a club Historian to ensure the safe keeping and convenience of storing & locating important club documents and memorabilia. He made our first ACSC Workshop bid presentation during 2012 Fall Migration where Palmetto Shag Club was awarded the bid for hosting our very first Workshop to be held in 2014. We appreciate his contributions, leadership and service, giving unselfishly of his time and efforts and for his sincere dedication on behalf of PSC.

2009 - 2010

In 2009, Judy Smith Coppock was elected to serve as the tenth president of Palmetto Shag Club. She was also elected to serve a second term in 2010. Judy served the club as social chairperson in 2007 and 2008. As President, Judy served as Southern Comfort Event Chair for SCXII and SCXIII. She maintained PSC’s presence in the SOS Parade at Spring Safari. In 2009, she moved the club parties from Jamil Shrine Club to Woodmen of the World to make the parties more manageable and more cost effective for future years. It also eliminated the need to put our wooden floor down for each club party, saving much time and effort. Members returned to the tradition of cooking to alleviate the need and expense for caterers. She developed the idea to use “Pictures with Santa and his Elves” at the 2010 Thankmus Party as an avenue to support the Nancy K. Perry Children’s home. We appreciate her dedication, leadership and the tireless efforts she made to “Keeping Shag Alive”.

2007 - 2008

In 2007, Novelene Powell was elected to serve as the ninth president of Palmetto Shag Club. She was elected to serve a second term in 2008. Novelene served as Treasurer in 1998, 2002 & 2003, and four years as Treasurer for Southern Comfort, providing the first detailed financial records for the club. She was appointed to serve on the first Financial Advisory Committee in 2005 and was instrumental in getting club records set up on the Quick Books program that we currently use. During her two year term, she served as Event Chair for Southern Comfort SCX and SCXI; created "Shag Notes" keeping club members informed by email; accepted a second place trophy on behalf of PSC for the 2007 SOS parade; initiated having the By-Laws of the Palmetto Shag Club, Inc. thoroughly reviewed, studied, organized and updated, and submitted the nomination for PSC's first SOS Icon recipient who was announced in Feb. 2009. As a Charter Member, Novelene, has diligently served in various other capacities within the club since 1992 and we appreciate her dedication and efforts on behalf of the Palmetto Shag Club.


In 2006, Alex Coleman was elected to serve as Palmetto Shag Club's eighth president. He served as Event Chair for Southern Comfort IX, and was appointed to serve as the first Chairperson for the Finance Advisory Committee. Alex also initiated having the monthly newsletter posted on our website in order to help cut mailing and printing expenses. Alex relocated to Myrtle Beach at the end of his first year term.

2004 - 2005

In 2004, Marie Kiesel was elected to serve as Palmetto Shag Club's seventh president. Marie served as Vice President for two years previous to being President. Marie was the co-chair of Southern Comfort III and Southern Comfort VI and as president she was the Event Chair of Southern Comfort VII and VIII. She also served as social chairperson for the club. It was during this time that Marie started the tradition of having our members decorate a Christmas tree for the Thankmus party. During her first term as president we had our first ever PSC Cruise and first ever Fun Monday Tent which was a great money-making event for PSC. She initiated the Finance Advisory Committee and the Disciplinary Policies Committee in 2004. She also started inviting other shag clubs to various PSC parties. She has kept everyone informed of all shag events, regardless of club affiliation through e-mail. Marie has been giving shag lessons and line dance lessons since 1993. We appreciate all of her tireless dedication and efforts on behalf of the Palmetto Shag Club.

2002 - 2003

In 2002, Helen Still was elected to serve as Palmetto Shag Club’s sixth President. Helen served two terms prior to this as Vice President. During the time she served as Vice President and Southern Comfort Tri-Chair, she was responsible for having a mural painted with a beach scene to be used during Southern Comfort. During her first term as President we had our first ever float in the SOS parade, which was a wonderful accomplishment for our club. Due to safety concerns of our members, alcohol cut off time was implemented at midnight , and coffee and donuts or other desserts have been served in an effort to provide continued safety when our members leave the party. Helen also created the club’s very own web site. It is We appreciate all of her diligent work and dedication in the completion of this project.

2000 - 2001

In 2000 Jimmy Munn who had served as immediate past Vice President of Palmetto, a position he held for two years, was elected Palmetto’s fifth president and first in the new millennium. He co-chaired the second annual Southern Comfort and was Event Chair of Southern Comfort 2000. The club welcomed Jimmy, with his experience and energy, he was extremely qualified to continue the good times, fun parties, and charitable works that Palmetto Shag Club had become known for. Jimmy transformed the newsletter into the booklet form that we have today with the current front and back covers. It was during Jimmy’s term that he initiated the “Presidential Award” for a dedicated, loyal and supportive person who is also an ambassador of the club. This award is given at the annual Thankmus Party. Governor Jim Hodges declared the first weekend in June as Southern Comfort Weekend during Jimmy’s term in office. The Gentlemen’s Corner was also initiated during this time.

1998 - 1999

In 1998 Mike Robinson was elected Palmetto’s fourth President. He co-chaired the first annual Southern Comfort. A supporter of the Junior Shag Association Mike developed the idea of Palmetto sponsoring an Inland Junior Shag Weekend in the capital city to introduce the state dance to children of the Midlands and to offer instruction from veteran shaggers to junior shaggers at the intermediate level. During Mike’s tenure the tradition of recognizing a hardworking behind the scenes member of the Palmetto Shag Club as the “Palmetto Pal” of the year was initiated.

1996 - 1997

In 1996 Carroll Yongue was elected PSC’s third President and the first woman to hold this office. She co-chaired Palmetto’s first annual Southern Comfort and gave the weekend party its name. Under her leadership PSC became a sponsor of the Hall of Fame fundraiser, and she began the tradition of PSC hosting a Tea Party at the O.D. Arcade the last Saturday of Spring and Fall SOS. Carroll was born August 15, 1948 and died on July 2, 2012.

1994 - 1995

In 1994 Elton Johnson who was a founding father of the club was elected Palmetto’s second President and the first to serve a two year term. Under Elton’s leadership the club sponsored a paver on the Shaggers Walk of Fame in Ocean Drive insuring that the Palmetto Shag Club would forever be immortalized as part of O.D. It was also during this time that the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Shag as the official state dance was celebrated. The club continued to grow and was recognized as one of the top five largest clubs in the ACSC, eventually reaching #2 in membership of all clubs in the association. It was during Elton’s term that the official Palmetto shirts were designed. PSC first co-sponsored an officially sanctioned SPA contest, and the idea for creation of an annual 3 day party was conceived. Elton served as the first elected Sergeant-at-Arms for PSC when the office was sanctioned as part of the By-Laws in 1998. All of us in Palmetto thank Elton for his vision in creating the club, for his being a founder and charter member, for his tenacity in guiding a growing club, and for his incredible generosity as many of the free pours, donations of raffle items to bring money into the treasury, and monies for parties in the early years came out of his own pocket.


In 1993 David Johns was elected the first president of the club and under his leadership the club was unanimously approved for membership in the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs. The club was sponsored by the Camden Lugoff Area Shag Society with Palmetto recognized as the club with the largest membership of any newly accepted shag club in the association. In fact the membership had grown so much that it ranked in the top 20% of all shag clubs in the association. It was during David’s term that many of the parties we enjoy today were created and that Palmetto sponsored the Hall of Fame Summer Blast in which over 200 Palmetto Shag club members were able to meet and dance with many of the members of the Shaggers Hall of Fame.


The Palmetto Shag Club was formed in 1992 by “the elite eleven” with founders ruling that none of them could serve as an officer in the first year. The eleven founders included David Adams, Butch and Teresa Alsing, Tommy and Virginia Baird, Linda Burns, Marshall Fields, Mel Grove, Dan Humphries, Elton Johnson and Frank Thiele. News of the formation of a new shag club in the Midlands spread quickly with enthusiastic members holding their first party in November 1992 and no officers elected until 1993. The club was named by Teresa Alsing.

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