Carol Browning: Keeping up with the community

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 27, 2015


By Mark Schmerling

If one is thoroughly active in the community and spends lots of time with others who are active in that community, wouldn’t it be natural to devise a way to help groups and individuals publicize their events as far ahead as possible, so planners can avoid conflicts, and get the most participation at, and benefits from, each event?

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Such a service would also make it easier for event participants to attend more events, without having to give up one or two to enjoy another.

About four years ago, Carol Browning, who moved to Landrum in 2003 with her husband Lorin (another person very active in this community), conceived such an ambitious and effective tool, which has become known as the Community Calendar.

Carol said the calendar idea grew out of several arts groups getting together to discuss arts in the community, and how to maximize participation at each event, while minimizing scheduling conflicts.

“I volunteered to put together a calendar,” Carol remarked. “The Community Calendar grew from that.”

This calendar is not one you’ll find on the wall of a home or business; rather it’s updated monthly, and e-mailed to a list of some 200 recipients including event planners and participants.

Browning, who compiles the calendars and e-mails them out, recommends that anyone putting on events get the information to her as far out as possible. Events to be held well into 2016 are already listed.

“If you know your events for 2016, send them in,” Browning advised.

Browning, a retired financial planner and investment consultant, from institutions that became Wells Fargo and TD bank, said that as a financial planner, she had the opportunity to help individuals reach their goals. These days, the Community Calendar helps groups and individuals reach many of their goals as well.

Examples of events listed on the Community Calendar are the annual Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival, the Fabulous Fourth bicycle ride and Shrimp Fest (all sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tryon); community parades; church events; events at Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC); Saluda’s Top of the Grade concert series; Tryon’s Summer Tracks concerts at Rogers Park; and many more.

So many events are held in this community and Browning treats Saluda, Columbus, Tryon, Landrum and Green Creek, and locales in that general area, as one rich community.

“The calendar is a way to make our community a better community. It’s a great community,” Browning noted.

To best help planners minimize scheduling conflicts, Browning encourages event planners, whether individuals or representing groups, to e-mail event information, as far out as possible, to her at

If anyone in this community is qualified to work with event planners and participants, it’s Browning, who, at various times in the past dozen years, served on the boards of Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (and was once named Volunteer of the Year there), Tryon Little Theater (here she helped costume some 30 productions), Second Wind Hall of Fame, Community Chorus (where she has also sung). She’s also been an active member of Rotary Club of Tryon, serving as a volunteer at club events.

In addition, she volunteers (on finances, naturally) at TFAC, at the Running Club of Tryon, and at Thermal Belt Outreach Ministries.

“I love giving back to my community,” Browning noted. “I love being able to help people. My husband and I thoroughly enjoy living in this community. In many of our projects, we are a team.” Lorin, a photographer, preserves many treasured moments at Landrum High School athletic activities.

Carol Browning tells people, “If you live here and get bored, it’s your own fault. We have such a giving community. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

A service like the Community Calendar is a natural in an area so rich in art, cultural, social and outdoor recreational events, Browning noted.

“I have commonly been referred to as ‘the Calendar Girl,’” Browning said.