Annual Golf Tournament Quickly Approaching

golf sponsorsThe Greater Lexington Chamber’s annual golf tournament is just a month away.

Don’t miss your opportunity to play in the tournament, sponsor the event, or both.

“Our golf tournament is perfect to entertain existing and new business clients,” Events and Sponsorship Manager Sondra Gettys said.

The tournament, scheduled for Monday May 19 at the Country Club of Lexington, brings out golfing enthusiasts of all levels to enjoy a day on the links.

Not only will the golf be great, the food will also be fantastic. Once again our infamous Chamber chef Butch Hale of US Foods will be cooking at the food tent.

The tournament format is Captain’s Choice, with four-man teams playing in the morning and afternoon. Morning tee time is 8 a.m.; afternoon tee time is 1:30 p.m.

Reserve your four-man team now. The cost is $360 for a morning team and $435 for an afternoon team. The price includes greens and cart fees, range balls, breakfast, lunch and beverage carts. The afternoon tee time is about half full at this point. Both tee times have been full in the past, and both should fill up again this year.

Sponsorships also are being reserved at a steady rate, with only 10 Hole/Tee Sponsorships remaining available. The Hole/Tee Sponsorship is $150, and you may pay an additional $50 if you would like a tent, two chairs and a table included. The tent, table and chairs will be set up and taken down for you.

Many of the Hole/Tee Sponsors are back again this year, and there are many new sponsors as well.

“They have some creative ideas to get people to come talk to them,” Gettys said.

The following businesses have already reserved their spots:

Stratos Wealth Partners, GMM Insurance, Clark’s Termite & Pest Control, Absolute Glass, North Lake Construction, Allwaste Services, Dixie Youth, State Credit Union, Walgreen’s, AllSouth Federal Credit Union, SCBT, Brand Mortgage, State Farm – Denise Thomas, NBSC, Comporium, Michelin North America, Senior Solutions of SC, Experienced Real Estate Group, Atwater for House, Security Federal, Pine Press Printing, First Citizens and Lexington Medical Center.

We’re also looking for a Beverage Cart Sponsor for $750, and Eagle Sponsorships are available for $1,000. For sponsorships, contact Sondra Gettys at or 359-6113. To reserve your team, contact Melanie Sandor at or 359-6113.

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2014 GLC&VC Board Nominations

The GLC&VC Board of Directors is accepting nominations for new Board Members.

2014 Nomination Ballot

To download a nomination ballot please click here.

Each new board member will serve on the Chamber Board for three consecutive years starting July 1, 2014 and ending June 30, 2017.

The Board of Directors is the legal representative of the Chamber. Its role is to plan, make decisions and policies and set objectives for the Chamber on behalf of the membership.

When thinking about potential nominees, consider what qualities these individuals should possess. Board Members are chosen because of their interest in the Chamber, their standing in the community and their experience and ability in civic affairs.

Each one brings special skills or knowledge to add to the community; his/her constituents are all the people. Each director should bring to the decision-making process the fact that he/she represents a particular sector of the business or professional community, the interests of which must be considered. Chamber bylaws are to be upheld at all times.

If you would like to nominate a fellow Chamber Member, please fill out a nomination ballot and return it no later than April 25.

To download a nomination ballot please click here.

If you have questions, please call Melanie Sandor at 359-6113, ext. 102.


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The Keys to Success – S.W.A.T Lock, Lexington SC

SWAT LockIf you’ve been locked out of your car, home, or business at some point over the past 30-plus years, then there’s a good chance you know Edward Gould.

Gould owns and operates S.W.A.T. Lock, which has been in business in Lexington for 33 years.

S.W.A.T. Lock recently joined the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center and celebrated with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the Chamber office.

“I try to provide fast and courteous service. I’ve found people like somebody to respond quickly. They don’t want to wait,” said Gould, who has no employees. “I generally try to pull through.”

The business focuses on assisting customers who are locked out of their car, home, or business, but there’s more to it than that, including rekeying locks, and installing or repairing doors.

“I do small handyman repairs, like adjusting doors. That’s a big thing,” said Gould. “A house is built, then 10 or 20 years later, the locks aren’t working properly, not catching, so I go in and adjust those doors. I specialize in doing that.”

Gould, who worked at Safety-Kleen for 31 years, started the business on the side when he was working the 4 pm to midnight shift.

“I looked around and nobody in Lexington was doing locks, so I thought that would be good, because it’s one of those jobs where people need you now,” he said, recalling a recent 10 pm call on a Friday night.

Gould enjoys the work, especially the interaction with customers.

“I would say I’m a people person,” said Gould, who has lived in nine states. He’s spent the past 38 in Lexington. “I like the people in this area. I enjoy meeting people, and I’ve met a lot of nice people over the years.

To contact S.W.A.T. Lock, call 803-359-3356.

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Joe Wilson receives Spirit of the Enterprise Award

Joe Wilson

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently presented Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) with its annual Spirit of the Enterprise Award in recognition of his support of pro-growth, pro-job policies during the first session of the 113th Congress.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Our local Chambers provide significant opportunities for South Carolina’s job creators and play a vital role in helping our communities grow.   I am honored to receive this award and pledge to continue supporting pro-business policies that create economic opportunities for millions of American families,” Congressman Wilson said.

“2013 was challenging, but Congressman Wilson worked to pass legislation and enact policies that will keep our country moving forward economically,” U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said. “The Spirit of Enterprise Award recognizes legislators like Congressman Wilson who have demonstrated their commitment to supporting pro-growth policies in the 113th Congress.”

The Chamber’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Award is given annually to members of Congress based on their votes on critical business legislation outlined in the Chamber publication, How They Voted. Members who supported the Chamber’s position on at least 70% of those votes qualify to receive the award. According to this year’s scorecard, Congressman Wilson received an 85% rating with the Chamber in 2013.

During the first session of the 113th Congress, the Chamber scored members on eight Senate votes and 13 House votes, including those to reopen the federal government and raise the national debt ceiling, delay enforcement of the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, and ease approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Also scored were votes on a number of other issues including trade, transportation, legal reform, and the budget. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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How to get Chamber members to buy from you

Member 2 Member Discount Program

The Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center is proud to offer a Member2Member (M2M) Discount Program to its members.  This member benefit was created to add value to a Chamber membership. This program helps promote member to member buying, boosting sales for our members and increasing member visibility.

Chamber members are encouraged to patronize fellow members. We currently have over 920 Chamber member companies representing nearly 30,000 employees. This number represents significant purchasing power that can positively impact your business.

As part of the Member2Member Program, Chamber members are issued a key-card identifying their membership in the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center, and their eligibility for discounts. Chamber members who offer a discount display a Member2Member decal at their business location identifying them as a participant. Members simply present their card at these participating businesses to receive their discount on many products and services.

We encourage our members to take advantage of this opportunity to save money, as well as generate new exposure and new clients for your business. If you are interested in adding your business to the list of participants, please email

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Creating a Positive Work Culture

Ben Harrison, Amick FarmsWhat came first, the chicken or the egg?

That age-old question and many more were answered at the Chamber’s April breakfast, which was sponsored by Crescent Financial.

Ben Harrison, Chief Executive Officer at Amick Farms, enlightened the crowd, imparting the information, that in his business, the baby chick comes first.

The product flow at Amick Farms begins with baby chicks growing to sexual maturity. They lay eggs, which are taken to the hatchery, where they hatch 21 days later. Those chicks are then taken to grow out farms, where they grow to eight or nine weeks, before being brought to the Amick Farms processing plant, where the chickens are slaughtered, processed, packaged, sold and shipped.

“This is a good business. You get to connect with everyday people. It’s a real blessing, and it’s a neat way to spend your career,” said Harrison, who has been leading the business since taking over for his Uncle Bill in 2006.

Harrison’s grandparents started Amick Farms back in the 1940’s, and it’s been growing and prospering ever since, thanks in large part to the culture created at the plant.

“He taught me the business, taught me about people,” Harrison said of Bill Amick, who ran the company from 1972-2006. “He saw his work as good work that God had prepared for him to do. Work was significant to him, but he had his priorities right. He had the balance right.”

Having the right balance has been integral to the success at Amick Farms, because that helps create a culture promoting engaged employees, who look at their jobs as much more than just a paycheck.

Harrison spun a tale about the humble beginnings of that approach upon his Uncle Bill’s graduation from Clemson.

Harrison’s grandfather, AD Amick, gave his son Bill a roll of dimes when he started working at Amick Farms. Bill was instructed to go around and give each employee a dime out of that roll. Bill was to ask each employee to go to the break room, buy a coke and drink it. Bill would take each employee’s place while they were on break.

“We don’t use the dimes today, but we still use that same approach,” Harrison said, explaining that supervisors go through all the training and must know every job in the plant.

But it’s also about getting to know the employees, not just their jobs.

“Our employees, they have a story too. They represent an opportunity for us to pour into their lives,” Harrison said. “How do we do that? How do we invest in our employees’ lives?”

With 3,000 employees, it’s impossible for Harrison to do that with every employee. But the leadership is trained to make that investment in the workers in an effort to create a positive culture.

“The culture we create impacts how we treat our employees,” Harrison said. “We haven’t got this figured out, but we do strive every day to get better. To create that engaged employee that will produce the product most efficiently.”

One foundation for leadership is trust, according to Harrison, who pointed out several key factors to building that in a company.

The first aspect is having employees with character, people who are going to do the right thing, whether it’s good or bad for them personally. The company also must have competent people, who are good at what they do. When you combine those two qualities, you have credibility.

The final piece to that puzzle is connectivity or taking an interest in your employees and being involved, knowing more than just their work life.

“Add that then you get trust. That’s the kind of leader we’re trying to develop,” Harrison said. “It’s not easy, and we’re not there, but that’s what we’re striving to do. There are times when I get glimpses of that success.”

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Golf Tournament Sponsorships Available

spring golf tournament

The Greater Lexington Chamber’s annual golf tournament is scheduled for Monday, May 19 at the Country Club of Lexington.

Sponsorships for one of the Chamber’s most popular events are still available, ranging from the $1,000 Eagle Sponsor to the $150 Hole/Tee Sponsor. You may also pay an additional $50 if you would like a tent, two chairs and a table for your hole/tee sponsorship. The tent, table and chairs will be set up and taken down for you.

“It’s a great way to network and promote your business,” Events Manager Sondra Gettys said.

The tournament format is Captain’s Choice, with four-man teams playing in the morning and afternoon. Morning tee time is 8 a.m.; afternoon tee time is 1:30 p.m.

Reserve your four-man team now. The cost is $360 for a morning team and $435 for an afternoon team. The price includes greens and cart fees, range balls, breakfast, lunch and beverage carts. The afternoon tee time is about half full at this point. Both tee times have been full in the past, and both should fill up again this year.

For sponsorships, contact Sondra Gettys at or 359-6113.

To reserve your team, contact Melanie Sandor at or 359-6113.

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Mary Kay: More Than Just Makeup

MaryKay Cosmetics

Takiyah Green has been an independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay since June 2008, but she has recently refocused her attention on expanding into the Lexington community.

“I decided to provide business to Lexington County because I wanted to expand to an up-and-coming town that has big goals,” Green said. “Lexington County has shown that it thrives upon and embraces small businesses and businesses that focus on providing personal service and relationships.”

Green enjoys the business in large part due to the personal service she provides and the great relationships that are built with clients.

“Unlike similar companies, we offer one-on-one advice from your very own beauty consultant,” said Green, who recently celebrated her Chamber membership with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the GLC&VC. “We pride ourselves in personal service, custom recommendations, convenient product delivery to your home or office and excellent skin care and beauty products.”

Mary Kay has been providing quality products and service since 1963. But the company is about more than just makeup, according to Green.

“I give free beauty consultations to anyone that wants or needs it. I offer fundraisers to schools and sports teams. I help people with birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, anniversary gifts and the list goes on,” she said. “I make life easier for my clients.”

Green enjoys many aspects of her job, including the opportunity to instill self-confidence in her clients. And she plans on doing that throughout Lexington and many other communities across our state.

“My plans for the future are to expand in many locations in South Carolina and to give back to the community in the form of scholarships to high school students,” Green said. “I believe that a thriving business should help the youth thrive as well.”

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Orangeburg Country Club Makes Top Golf Courses in SC List

Top Golf Courses in South Carolina Announced for 2014
The Ocean Course Ranked #1

Cliffs Mountain ParkThe Cliffs at Mountain Park Debuts at #26

For Release: Sunday, March 30, 2014

For Information: Contact Michael Whitaker, 864-907-1949 or

The Ocean Course, which has played host to the 1991 Ryder Cup matches and the 2012 PGA Championship, again has been selected the “Best Golf Course in South Carolina” in balloting by the South Carolina Golf Course Rating Panel.

The crown jewel of Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the Ocean Course earned the honor in a tight race that featured the same top 10 courses _ but in a different order _ from the organization’s 2012 survey.

“As always, there are so many outstanding golf courses in South Carolina that you’re really splitting hairs,” Michael Whitaker, the association’s executive director, said in releasing the Top 50 rankings at the panel’s annual spring meeting Saturday and Sunday at Hilton Head Island.

Designed by Pete Dye and opened for the 1991 Ryder Cup matches, the Ocean Course always ranked among the nation’s most challenging by national publications, and the layout adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean won rave reviews from the elite of professional golf during the 2012 PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy.

May River Golf Club at Palmetto Bluff jumped to two spots to second place and Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville remained third. Greenville Country Club’s Chanticleer Course moved up to fourth and Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head Island is fifth.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Yeamans Hall Club in Hanahan (sixth), Long Cove Club at Hilton Head Island (seventh), the Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach (eighth), Secession Golf Club in Beaufort (ninth) and Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken (10th).

The panel is composed of 125 golf enthusiasts from throughout the state and represents a diverse range of occupations, handicaps and backgrounds. The organization’s objective is to promote excellence in the state’s golf course design and operations through the competitive rankings, education and public advocacy.

Judging criteria include routing, variety, strategy, equity, memorability, aesthetics and experience. The best courses, public or private, are selected in even-numbered years, and the best public courses are ranked in odd-numbered years.

“With new panel members and the renovations and upgrades on a lot of courses, you’re always going to have fluctuations on the list,” Whitaker said. “There are so many good ones that a lot of quality golf courses don’t make the Top 50.”

The Top 10 represent both the old and new, and some of the game’s greatest architects designed the courses. Dye fashioned the Ocean Course and Long Cove and, in association with Jack Nicklaus, Harbour Town. Nicklaus designed May River in addition to his Harbour Town credit, and Robert Trent Jones Sr. has Chanticleer and the Dunes Club on the list. Seth Raynor produced Yeaman Hall, Tom Fazio did Sage Valley and Bruce Devlin did Secession. Palmetto, which dates to 1892, got its start from Thomas Hitchcock and Alister MacKenzie contributed by lengthening the course and converting the greens from sand to grass during the time he worked at nearby Augusta National in the early 1930s.

“Over the years, Pete Dye has refined the Ocean Course,” Roger Warren, president of Kiawah Island Golf Resort said, “but the skeleton and heart are still there.”

Kerry Haigh, the PGA’s managing director of tournaments who sets up the organization’s championship courses, said, “I have watched the course’s growth and maturity. The grasses have changed quite a lot, but the routing is the same and always the biggest factor will be the wind, both in strength and direction.”

Courses that made the largest advances since the 2012 ratings include Colleton River Plantation’s Nicklaus Course, up six positions to 12th; Old Tabby Golf Links, up five to 15th; Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards, up four to 18th; DeBordieu Club, up five to 38th; and Berkeley Hall’s North Course, up eight to 39th.

Moving into the Top 50 are the recently opened Cliffs at Mountain Park in Travelers Rest (26th), the Reserve at Woodside Plantation in Aiken (42nd), the Greenville Country Club’s Riverside Course (44th), Orangeburg Country Club (45th), the Callawassie Island Club in Okatie (48th) and Prestwick Country Club in Myrtle Beach (50th).

The Cliffs Communities, upscale developments in the Upstate which are under new ownership, placed five courses in the Top 50: Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards 18, Cliffs at Mountain Park 26, Cliffs at Keowee Falls 29, Cliffs at Glassy 35 and Keowee Springs 37.

Information on past rankings can be found online at

# # #

South Carolina’s Top 50 Golf Courses for 2014
Selected by the South Carolina Golf Course Rating Panel

RED = New to Top 50


The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort


May River Golf Club (Palmetto Bluff)


Sage Valley Golf Club (Graniteville)


Greenville Country Club – Chanticleer Course


Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort (Hilton Head Island)


Yeamans Hall Club (Hanahan)


Long Cove Club (Hilton Head)


The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (Myrtle Beach)


Secession Golf Club (Beaufort)


Palmetto Golf Club (Aiken)


Kiawah Island Club – Cassique Course


Colleton River Plantation – Nicklaus Course (Bluffton)


Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (Pawleys Island)


Country Club of Charleston


Old Tabby Links (Spring Island)


Chechessee Creek Club (Okatie)


Cherokee Plantation Golf Club (Yemasee)


Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards (Sunset)


Bulls Bay Golf Club (Awendaw)


Colleton River Plantation – Dye Course (Bluffton)


Kiawah Island Club – River Course


Musgrove Mill Golf Club (Clinton)


The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek (Johns Island)


Haig Point Club (Daufauskie Island)


Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation (Little River)


Cliffs at Mountain Park (Travelers Rest)


Belfair Golf Club – East Course (Bluffton)


Wachesaw Plantation Club (Murrells Inlet)


Cliffs at Keowee Falls (Salem)


The Reserve at Lake Keowee (Sunset)


Belfair Golf Club – West Course (Hilton Head)


Daniel Island Club – Ralston Creek Course


True Blue Plantation (Pawleys Island)


Wild Dunes Resort – Links Course (Isle of Palms)


Cliffs at Glassy (Landrum)


Thornblade Club (Greer)


Cliffs at Keowee Springs (Six Mile)


DeBordieu Club (Georgetown)


Berkeley Hall – North Course (Bluffton)


The Reserve Club of Pawleys Island Pawleys Island)


Camden Country Club


The Reserve at Woodside Plantation (Aiken)


Country Club of Spartanburg


Greenville Country Club – Riverside Course


Orangeburg Country Club


Barefoot Resort – Dye Course (North Myrtle Beach)


Grande Dunes Resort Course (Myrtle Beach)


Callawassie Island Club (Okatie)


TPC of Myrtle Beach (Murrells Inlet)


Prestwick Country Club (Myrtle Beach)


Top Golf Courses By Region

1 The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (Myrtle Beach)
2 Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (Pawleys Island)
3 Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation (Little River)
4 Wachesaw Plantation (Murrells Inlet)
5 True Blue Plantation (Pawleys Island)
6 DeBordieu Club (Georgetown)
7 Barefoot Resort – Dye Course
8 Grande Dunes Resort Course (Myrtle Beach)
9 TPC of Myrtle Beach (Murrells Inlet)
10 Prestwick Country Club (Myrtle Beach)

1 The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
2 May River Golf Club (Palmetto Bluff)
3 Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort (Hilton Head Island)
4 Yeamans Hall Club (Hanahan)
5 Long Cove Club (Hilton Head)
6 Secession Golf Club (Beaufort)
7 Kiawah Island Club – Cassique Course
8 Colleton River Plantation – Nicklaus Course (Bluffton)
9 Country Club of Charleston
10 Old Tabby Links (Spring Island)

1 Sage Valley Golf Club (Graniteville)
2 Palmetto Golf Club (Aiken)
3 Camden Country Club
4 The Reserve at Woodside Plantation (Aiken)
  5 Orangeburg Country Club
6 Florence Country Club
7 Mount Vintage Plantation & Golf Club
8 Savannah Lakes – Monticello Course (McCormick)
9 Forest Lake Club (Columbia)
10 The Aiken Golf Club

1 Greenville Country Club – Chanticleer Course
2 Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards (Sunset)
3 Musgrove Mill Golf Club (Clinton)
4 Cliffs at Mountain Park (Travelers Rest)
5 Cliffs at Keowee Falls (Salem)
6 The Reserve at Lake Keowee (Sunset)
7 Cliffs at Glassy (Landrum)
8 Thornblade Club (Greer)
9 Cliffs at Keowee Springs (Six Mile)
10 Country Club of Spartanburg

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2014 Oysters Down on the Farm

Oysters Down on the Farm

The combination of ideal weather and a magical makeover to Harmon’s Tree Farm resulted in the perfect venue for the Greater Lexington Chamber & Visitor Center’s largest annual event last week.

The Chamber presented Oysters Down on the Farm and a crowd of well over 400 enjoyed an evening of great country music and 50 bushels of steamed oysters.

Trent Jeffcoat and his band ignited the party with country music inside the barn, where patrons danced on the cement floor with strings of white lights and chandeliers hanging from the beams above.

“The place looked incredible, and the ambience was exactly what we were hoping for,” Events Manager Sondra Gettys said.

“We were very thankful the weather turned out to be an ideal “Chamber of Commerce Day” for this year’s event. “The Barn” at Harmon’s Farm was the perfect venue.  I’m excited about making a few modifications for next year’s event so it can be even bigger and better,” said CEO/President Randy Halfacre.

Celebrations was largely responsible for the transformation from ordinary barn to party atmosphere.

Trent JeffcoatDuring one of the crowd favorites, “Moonshine Margaritas,” Chamber Ambassadors served moonshine margaritas for the crowd to enjoy.

Jeffcoat also wrote and sang a jingle to help entice Stone Brewing, makers of Arrogant Bastard Ale, to come to Lexington. Stone Brewing Company, based in San Diego, is considering Lexington over several locations for their new brewery.

Charlie Branham, from the Charlie Brown Group filmed the jingle that will be sent to Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Brewing Co.Please visit and like our Facebook page: Stone Brewing Co. Come Experience Lexington.

Oysters at the event were supplied by US Foods and steamed by staff of Clark’s Termite & Pest Control.

The Lexington Jaycees handled parking for the event, and Simplified Office Solutions manned a photo wagon, which was sponsored by Palmetto Health.

The event was sponsored by Lexington Medical Center, Palmetto Health, BB&T, First Citizens Wells Fargo, SCBT, AllSouth Federal Credit Union, US Foods, Comporium, Michelin, North Lake Construction, Clark’s Termite & Pest Control, Dennis Corporation, Rogers Property Management, Elliott Davis, Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems, South Carolina Medical Association, 94.3 FM The Dude, 92.1 FM The Palm, Z93 ‘The Lake’ and 107.9 WLXM.

To view the photo’s taken from the event please visit our Facebook page.

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