Toyota and Food Banks Work Together to Serve More People


Toyota in West Virginia and New York have used manufacturing processes to help non-profits better serve their communities.

This holiday season, Toyota and food banks worked together to serve even more people in need. Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia (TMMWV) shared some valuable best practices from its manufacturing processes to help the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington, West Virginia be more productive.

With this collaboration, the food bank’s backpack program, which provides food to young people, became 600% more efficient. In addition, Toyota was able to help the food bank increase its warehouse storage by two-thirds.

“Better serving the community was the ultimate goal,” says Charles Jarrell, TMMWV training and development specialist. “More than that, it was incredibly rewarding to watch the food bank staff learn, grow and challenge their assumptions about how best to serve the community. This just goes to show the things we do every day at the plant can be applied anywhere and make a dramatic impact.”

This isn’t the first time Toyota has shared its manufacturing knowledge to help non-profit groups. In 2013, after Hurricane Sandy, Toyota helped Food Bank for New York City cut down on wait times for meals and helped a food warehouse pack and distribute meals more efficiently to those affected by the storm.

We at Dick Dyer Toyota are proud to be part of a company that not only provides monetary assistance to charities, but helps give them the tools they need to serve even more people.

Fun Fall Activities in Lexington and Columbia SC

Fun Fall Activities

The temperatures are falling, the leaves are changing colors, and the holiday decorations are starting to make their way out. Here are some fun fall activities in Lexington and Columbia that you don’t want to miss.


Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees Hall of Horrors

As we approach Halloween, more and more haunted houses and trails are starting to open. Don’t miss the Jaycees Hall of Horrors for a bit of Halloween fun.


Skirmishes for Lexington

A little history lesson can go a long way. The Civil War is the most important war fought in this country’s history, and this three-day reenactment includes demonstrations, speakers, and various children’s activities.


Swampfest at the Congaree

There’s fun for the whole family at this two-day-long festival that includes concerts, rides, games, arts and crafts, and various vendors.


South Carolina State Fair

There’s nothing quite like a state fair, so don’t miss out on all the rides, games, livestock exhibitions, food, and live entertainment that the South Carolina State Fair has to offer.


The next couple of months offer some of the best weather and activities that you’ll see throughout the entire year. So get out with your friends and family and experience all that South Carolina has to offer.

Check Out These South Carolina Halloween Attractions for a Good Scare

South Carolina Halloween Attractions

South Carolina Halloween Attractions

There is no shortage of Halloween attractions here in South Carolina. From the haunted houses that run year-round in Myrtle Beach to the enormous spectacles that are re-constructed annually this time of year, South Carolina is a haven for Halloween lovers.

Here are just a few of our favorite South Carolina Halloween attractions for you to consider this year.

Ghosts and Legends

Myrtle Beach – The various live action shows put on at Barefoot Landing will teach you all about local legends and real life tales. Check out their website here.


Ford Mill – Every year, the Carowinds amusement park turns into the terrifying SCarowinds for a select number of days. Check out their website here.

Boo at the Zoo

Columbia – Ever been to a spooky safari? Now is your chance at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden’s Boo at the Zoo. Check out their website here.

Dark Knight’s Terror Trail

Elgin – Lastly, this location is incredibly nearby and offers three separate haunts that are sure to scare. Check out their website here.

Wherever you go this year, be sure to stay safe, and have a spooky good time! For more info on local attractions and how to get there, visit us at Dick Dyer Toyota.

Top Three State Parks in South Carolina

State Parks in South Carolina

Did you know there are 47 state parks in South Carolina? With that many, it can be hard to choose a destination, so here is our list of three of the best!

# 1 – Table Rock State Park Pickens

Table Rock State Park gets its name from the mountain that looms beautifully over the 3,000 acres that make up the park. The fun at this park is in the scenic hiking trails. Head down those time-worn paths and they’ll take you past stunning waterfalls and streams and up to the peaks of towering mountains.

# 2 – Edisto Beach State ParkEdisto Island

As far as oceanfront parks are concerned, Edisto Beach State Park is one of the finest. Camp right on the beach and fall asleep to the sound of waves softly crashing. Before you explore all of the exciting trails, be sure to visit the environmental education center so you can learn about the wildlife. Then you’ll know what to look for as you hike!

# 3 – Croft State Park – Spartanburg

There is a variety of activities to indulge in at Croft State Park. Rent a boat and fish at Lake Craig. Or ride your mountain bike through miles of trails. If you’re a horse lover, bring them along when you visit. Croft State Park is known for having the best equestrian trails in the state.

What are your favorite parks to frequent? Let us know in the comments below!

Shaw Air Force Base Puts On “Thunder Over the Midlands” Air Show

If you’ve ever wanted the experience of watching an air force base put on an air show, or if that’s something that sounds fun and exciting to you, you’re in luck. This month, the Shaw Air Force Base of Sumter, South Carolina will be hosting the Thunder Over the Midlands Shaw Air Expo, where visitors will be permitted to explore the air force base through an open house event and watch the famous Thunderbirds and Black Daggers put on a demonstration of epic proportions.

General admission is free to the public for this event, which allows people to get a closer look at the inner workings of the United States Air Force through aerial shows and on-the-ground aircraft displays for attendants’ viewing pleasure. The goal of the expo is to introduce the general public to military hardware and build community relationships, but many people are there for one reason — to see the pilots perform.

The performers at the air show will be the US Air Force’s precision-flying demonstration team, known publicly as the Thunderbirds, and they will be accompanied by the Black Daggers, the US Army’s official Specials Ops Command Parachute Demonstration Team. These two teams were specially-selected and chosen to represent the United States military to the public. In short, that means they’re really good at what they do.

The event takes place two days on May 21st and 22nd from 8:00am until 5:00pm. If you missed the event this year, make sure you check it out next year. It is a great event for all! Do you have any photos to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Local Cinderella Project Is Collecting Gently-Used Prom Dresses

Cinderella Project

Help a local high school student by donating your old prom dresses and accessories to the local Cinderella Project!

Have you been dreaming of the perfect dress to wear on prom night? Or perhaps you have fond memories of your own prom years ago. If you’re in the latter camp, you might be able to make a difference with your own dress. Keep reading for a moment to learn what prom dresses and the local Cinderella Project could have to do with you.

The Cinderella Project, sponsored by the South Carolina Bar’s Young Lawyer Association and the Upsilon Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, is in the midst of its annual collection as gently used prom dresses are gathered for high schoolers looking to find that perfect dress.

The dresses, purses, shoes, and jewelry will be available at specific locations, providing high school girls unable to purchase those items for themselves with the opportunity to shop for the perfect dress that will be the beginning of a magical night.

Collections will be held at designated locations through February 23, so if you or someone you know has dresses or other accessories to donate, please visit the Cinderella Project website to find the drop-off location nearest you.

Clearly, this week’s post is a diversion from our normal news about cars, but we can’t help but jump at the chance to promote this worthy cause and see all of our area young ladies dressed up like Cinderella ready for the ball come prom night this spring.

Start Your Engines for NASCAR Night!

Ladies and gentlemen…start your engines! NASCAR night is coming to the South Carolina State Fair and we want to see you there! The event will take place on Wednesday, October 15 from 7-9PM. Stop by the WIS tent for your chance to see Dick Dyer Toyota sponsored driver Jordan Anderson along with Jeremy Clements, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Rex White and Jeremy Clements along with some of their cars.

This year is special for the state fair because it marks the 145th anniversary of the founding of the State Fair by the State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina. The fair is a vital part of keeping agriculture alive in South Carolina.

The South Carolina State Fair runs through Sunday, October 19th.  You can check each day for different deals and events that are running. Don’t miss out on your chance for some great family fun!

Oktoberfest Columbia at Incarnation Lutheran

Oktoberfest ColumbiaOctober is upon us and you know what that means: Oktoberfest! And Holy Schnitzel, are we excited!

Held at Incarnation Lutheran Church, this year’s Oktoberfest Columbia will be from October 11-13. And as you might have guessed, there will be plenty of beer and food to enjoy.

Oktoberfest Columbia is your chance to sample some of the great local beers and breweries that Columbia has to offer, such as Der Alte Fritz and Medusa Stout from Conquest Brewery and Oktoberfest from Carolina Brewery.

In addition, there will be plenty of other beers on tap, including Becks Oktoberfest, Widmer Okto Festival Ale, Widmer Hefe, Goose Island Harvest Ale, Red Hook Wit, Hoegarden, Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat, and Red Hook Pumpkin Porter.

As for food, you better come hungry because Oktoberfest is going to be your culinary destination for the entire weekend. Of course you can find your German favorites like sauerkraut, schnitzel, bratwurst, and potato salad. But there will also be a selection of other German fare to tantalize your taste buds: Spaetzle, Bratkartofeln (fried potatoes with bacon and onion), Rotekraut mit Apfel (sweet, sour cabbage with apples), Linzer (hazelnut and raspberry sandwich cookie), and Apelkuchen (traditional German apple cake).

Once you’ve got your bratwurst and beer in hand, it’s time to check out the special performances and entertainment. On Friday, you can experience the opening ceremonies, Edelweiss Dancers, and The German Connection Band.

When Saturday hits, come see the Walhalla Bavarian Dancers and receive Bavarian dance lessons. The Happy Musicians will be playing in the afternoon and The German Connection Band hits the stage again at night.

Sunday includes a special organ recital by Pastor Jim Parham and another performance by the Happy Musicians.

Oktoberfest Columbia is sure to be a great time! For more information, visit the Incarnation Lutheran Church website. We hope to see you there!

Top 4 Things to Do This September in Columbia SC

Things to Do This September September might signal the end of summer and the start of the school year but that doesn’t mean that the fun has to end! The folks at Dick Dyer Toyota have 4 favorites in particular that are sure to make your September one to remember!


Viva La Vista Columbia6th Annual Viva La Vista

September 7th 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Congaree Vista on Lincoln and Gervais Street

$10 Advance Admission, $12 General Admission, Children 12 & Under Free

Viva La Vista is your chance to experience some of Columbia’s best food, craft beer, and wine right in your favorite part of downtown, Congaree Vista. During the event, more than 20 Vista restaurants will display their culinary specialties, all at great prices. Live music will set the mood, with The Wailers headlining the event. For the adults, there will be craft beer from establishments like Columbia’s Conquest Brewery as well as the ever-popular Wine Garden. In addition, VIP passes are available. Experience everything that Congaree Vista has to offer during Viva La Vista!


Greek Festival27th Annual Greek Festival 2013

September 19-21st 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

September 22nd 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

At the corner of Sumter and Calhoun Streets

Free Admission

The 27th Annual Greek Festival is an event filled with excellent food, authentic dancing, and Greek shops and gifts! Brought to Columbia by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the Greek Festival also includes tours of the church, cultural exhibitions, video presentation, and live Greek music. Come enjoy some roasted lamb, spanakopeta, keftedes (Greek-style meatballs), gyros, and baklava. Greek wine and beer will also be available. It’s all Greek to us at the Annual Greek Festival!


Italian Festival Columbia SCColumbia’s 6th Annual Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament

September 28th 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Main Street in Downtown Columbia

Free Admission

Hosted by the Bella Italia Lodge, the Italian Festival is your chance to experience free entertainment, tons of delicious Italian food, check out some awesome Italian cars, and even buy some unique gifts. In addition, the Italian Festival hosts a Bocce Tournament. Bocce, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, is described as “lawn bowling” and is a fun and easy way to win some cash! The top three teams will receive a cash prize for the Bocce Tournament. Entries are limited so be sure to reserve a spot! On September 28th, we can all be Italian at the 6th Annual Italian Festival!


ZOOfari Columbia SCRiverbanks ZOOfari

September 27th 7:00 PM

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

$50 Riverbanks Members, $60 General Public, $70 Day of Event

You may have been to the Riverbanks Zoo before, but you have never seen the zoo like this! Deemed the wildest fundraiser in town, ZOOfari is a night filled with animal encounters, great food, auctions, and more! Bring your friends for a stroll through the zoo to see all of the wild animals while tasting some great cuisine and sipping your favorite cocktail to the beat of live entertainment. Then stop by the live and silent auction to snatch up some awesome prizes. All proceeds from ZOOfari benefit the conservation and education efforts of the Riverbanks Zoo. Get a little wild this September at ZOOfari!

5 Things to Do This May in Columbia SC

Columbia SC EventsNow that we are in the middle of May, you may be anticipating the coming of summer, the hot June and July months, and all that the warm weather brings. But, hold on a minute – May is a great month with tons to do as well!

Sure, we at Dick Dyer Toyota are looking forward to summer too but we’re not done with May yet! Check out our picks for some fun things to do during the remaining days in May:

Block Party at Lake Carolina: May 17th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM

This family friendly block party will be hosted in Lake Carolina on Lake Carolina Boulevard. Enjoy food like 2 Fat 2 Fly wings and Marco’s Pizza, music from The Boomers, a bouncy house, face painting, and more.

Forest Acres Festival: May 18th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Come to the AC Flora Athletic Field for the best free family festival of the year! Events include a free magic show, petting zoo, face painting, pony rides, games, live bands, and community performances. In addition, fresh fare from local restaurants will also be available for purchase. This year marks the 14th year of the Forest Acres Festival, with thanks to the Rotary Club which hosts the event.

Hansel and Gretel: May 24th at 6:00 PM and May 25th at 2:00 PM

Hosted by the USC Dance Conservatory, come to the Drayton Hall Theatre to experience this rendition of the classic ballet. The show will feature student dancers ranging in age from 3 to adult. USC Dance Conservatory director and an instructor choreographed the ballet and wrote the words for this version of Hansel and Gretel.

The Haynes 4th Saturday Bluegrass Series:  May 25th beginning at 4:30

Come to The Haynes Auditorium to see The Carolina Rebels and The Hinson Girls perform live. Admission is only $7 and you can enjoy an early jam session and open stage performances before the show.

Get Your Bid On, Silent Auction & Wine Tasting: May 30th from 6:00 to 10:00 PM

Put on by the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center, this silent auction features tons of products and services to bid on as well as a variety of wines and appetizers to try from local restaurants. Tickets are priced at $25 a person.

See, May is a pretty exciting month after all! TO find out more about these events and to check out everything else going on during the month, visit