South Carolina's Best Fence Company for Privacy, Protection, and Peace of Mind
Most homeowners agree that one of the best-looking, multi-purpose additions to a house is having a quality fence installed around the property. When it comes to aesthetics, affordability, and practicality, few upgrades are as popular as a new fence. They help safeguard your property when you're away, can keep your kids or pets safe and sound in your yard, and even prevent neighborly hazards from happening.
When built by professional fencing contractors in North Charleston, SC residential fences can add curb appeal and resale value to your home, too. Whether you're looking to secure farm animals or want a little more privacy from your neighbors, installing a fence is a great, useful idea. When it comes to investing in your home, it's important you work with a trusted fencing company with years of experience. That's where Five Star Fencing comes in.
Our top-rated fencing company has built a reputation for building the most durable, attractive fences in metro North Charleston, SC. Our model is simple: give our loyal customers the highest quality fence products at reasonable prices, installed by reliable fencing contractors in North Charleston. Unlike some fence installation companies, we have built our reputation on hard work and true value. We strive to go the extra mile for our clients and do so with a friendly smile and helpful advice.
When you hire Five Star Fence Company for your fence installation project, know that you are working with the very best in the business. We take our work seriously because you trust us with the privacy, protection, and curb appeal of your home or business.
- South Carolina's Best Fence Company for Privacy, Protection, and Peace of Mind
- The Premier Residential Fencing Company in North Charleston, SC
- The Most Popular Residential Fence Designs in North Charleston, SC
- Benefits of Fencing in Your Residential Property
- The Top Commercial Fence Contractor in North Charleston, SC
- Quality Workmanship. Unmatched Fence Installation in North Charleston, SC
When you work with Five Star Fence, you can always count on:
- The Finest Construction and Fence Installation in North Charleston
- All Jobs Completed with Workers' Comp and General Liability Insurance
- Residential and Commercial Fencing Services
- Prompt, Reliable Installation
- Long-Term Fence Dependability
- Fencing Options Like Aluminum, Privacy, Picket, Chain Link, & More
- Free Quotes
- Friendly Service
We're proud to offer the same level of service for all our customers - whether they have a large commercial fencing project to
complete or a two-bedroom home that needs a privacy fence.
The Premier Residential Fencing Company in North Charleston, SC
Whether you're looking to define property lines, enhance your home's security, boost curb appeal, or all three, having a fence built for your home is a great choice. Whether you choose a classic picket fence or a sturdy aluminum alternative, Carlina Fence Company has the tools, experience, and expert team to install a high-quality fence for your home.
If you know that you need a new fence but are unsure of where to start with the process, ask yourself these questions:
- Where will your fence be placed? Backyard? Front Yard? Both?
- What are concerns will a fence help alleviate? Privacy Security? Curb Appeal?
- Do you prefer certain fencing materials like metal or wood?
- Do you want a certain kind of fence like chain link or picket?
- What is your budget?
Once you can answer one or two of those questions, it's time to give Five Star Fence Company a call. Our knowledgeable, friendly team of fencing experts can help narrow down your affordable fencing choices. When you're ready, we'll take a trip to your home and provide a thorough, hassle-free quote for your consideration. Once we know the details and scope of your fence installation, we'll get to work building you a beautiful, sturdy fence that will last for years to come.
But with so many different fence styles available, it can be hard to choose which fence will be the perfect fit for your home. To help you select the right fence, consider these popular styles:
The Most Popular Residential Fence Designs in North Charleston, SC
Usually, fences fall into three categories: decorative, functional, and privacy. Whether your plan is to use your fence for pet safety, family privacy, or property lines, Five Star Fence has plenty of options to choose from. With a myriad of materials like aluminum, wood, and vinyl, you're sure to find the perfect fence style for you and your family.
Privacy Fences: A great privacy fence not only protects your family from the prying eyes of strangers. It can be great for security, too. Available in a variety of materials like vinyl and wood, privacy fences transform spaces like backyards into secluded hideaways. Ask Five Star Fence about decorative options, too, like post caps, coordinating gates, and lattice panel tops.
Picket Fences: If you want to capture the essence of Americana, a picket fence might be your best choice. One of the most beloved styles of all time, many picket fences come with heavy-duty vinyl and feature extra-wide posts with slimmer top and bottom rails. You can also choose from several stylish wooden picket fences to enhance your home's appearance.
Chain Link Fences: Chain link fencing is one of the most common, cost-effective ways to keep your property safe. Available in galvanized and aluminized options, you can also select vinyl coated colors like black and green. For extra security, Five Star Fence Company can install barbed wire and even automatic gates if needed.
Aluminum Fences: Often considered the ultimate combo of beauty, durability, and strength, aluminum fencing enhances your home's curb appeal and protects too. Warranted by the manufacturer for life, aluminum fences at Five Star Fence Company come in many colors and styles. We even have a variety of heights to pick from as well, including special order aluminum fences.
Wooden Fences: From heavy-duty lattice fences made with pressure-washed pine to traditional estate-style split-rail fencing, wooden fences are affordable and effective. But wood fences do more than fill a need - they add value and style to your home. Fenced-in yards are a hot commodity in today's real estate market and can boost the value of your home if you're looking to sell. In terms of ROI, wood fencing is near the top of the list. At Five Star Fence Company, our design team will work closely with you to install the wooden fence of your dreams.
Benefits of Fencing in Your Residential Property
Whether you're looking to build a new fence out of necessity or as a beautiful addition to your home,
you may not be aware that there are many more benefits to installing a fence around your property.
Residential Fencing Protects Your Landscaping: Most South Carolina homeowners know that high winds and heavy rains are a common occurrence in our state. Those winds and rain can have a hugely negative effect on your home's landscaping, which you probably worked hard to perfect. Luckily, installing a fence can help prevent strong gusts of wind and help keep rain runoff from flooding your property. What's more, a wooden or aluminum fence from Five Star Fence Company will complement your landscaping style while protecting your shrubs and plants.
Residential Fencing Protects Kids & Pets: We have had the pleasure of working with many homeowners over the years. One of the most-cited reasons we hear for installing a residential fence is to protect kids and pets. If you're concerned about your tiniest family members wandering outside or into a neighbor's yard, installing a fence is a great preventative decision. Fencing in your front or backyard can also help keep out animal intruders, whether it's your neighbor's pets or a wilder animal.
Residential Fencing Minimizes Unsightly Views: Residential Fencing Minimizes Unsightly Views: If your neighbor's home is not exactly fit for a postcard, don't stress out. Our residential fencing company in North Charleston, SC can install a great-looking fence to minimize views of unkempt or unattractive areas beyond your property line. Our vinyl and wood fencing options are very popular for this purpose, creating a beautiful enclosure for your family to enjoy.
Residential Fencing Creates a Sound Barrier: Believe it or not, many vinyl and wood privacy fences are used as sound barriers. Busy communities or neighborhoods close to major highways suffer from noise pollution. The same goes for homes located near train tracks. If you're sick and tired of hearing the highway every time you try to take a nap, our wooden privacy fences can minimize the sounds polluting your property.
The Top Commercial Fence Contractor
in North Charleston, SC
As a licensed, insured company with decades of commercial fence installation experience, it's no wonder South Carolina's most respected commercial entities trust Five Star Fence with their commercial fencing projects. While residential fencing can be nuanced, commercial fencing is inherently complex, with a number of factors at play, like bids, deadlines, and employee downtime.
Unlike some commercial fencers in North Charleston, our team is dedicated to quality, efficiency, and effectiveness. We know time is of the essence with your commercial project, which is why we work with your busy schedule to complete your project on time. Our goal is to go in and do our job professionally, accurately, and timely so your other subcontractors can begin their respective jobs.
Hiring a team of licensed, insured fencing contractors like you'll find at Five Star Fence ensures a proper return on your investment while protecting your property and employees.
If you're still on the "fence" about whether you should consider commercial fencing for your business or organization, contact our office today to learn more about the commercial installation side of our business. We'll take the time to explain our commercial installation process and help you choose the best fence for your business needs.
Frequently Asked Fencing Questions
At Five Star Fence, we do everything in our power to make your fence installation easy, streamlined, and effortless on your end. If you're considering a new fence installation, you probably have some questions about our process. To help address some of your concerns, here are answers to some of the most common questions that come across our desks.
Q. I need a fence installed for my home in North Charleston. How long will it take?
A. A typical residential fence takes between two to four days to complete, depending on the size and build of your home. We will do our best to cater to your busy schedule and offer reliable fence installation services Monday-Friday. Should you have specific needs on the day of your fence installation, please let our staff know so that we can do our best to work with you.
Q. Another company told me that they don't use cement to secure posts in the ground. Is that true?
A. Absolutely not. Do not let anyone tell you that you do not need your posts cemented in the ground. At Five Star Fence, every post we plant is cemented into the ground, no questions asked. Depending on the type of fence that we're installing for you, your posts will be about 24-48 inches in the ground to ensure stability and durability.
Quality Workmanship. Unmatched Fence
Installation in North Charleston, SC
Whether you need a new, beautiful wood fence to enhance curb appeal or an aluminum fence to help secure your residential property, Five Star Fence Company is here to help. After 28 years in the business, we have the knowledge and the experience to get the job done right. We pledge to provide you with honest work and the best fencing services in the Lowcountry. Contact our office today to get started on your free quote. Before you know it, your property will be a safer, more enjoyable place to spend time all year long.843-607-2855
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Latest News in North Charleston, SC
North Charleston school holds drills for cardiac emergencies
The Emergency Response Team at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston simulated what they would do if someone went into cardiac arrest on Friday afternoon.NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Ever since Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest last month, there has been a renewed focus to educate people on how to respond to a similar event. Some Lowcountry schools are making sure they are ready if the scary moment ever comes.The Emergency Response Team at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston simulated wha...
The Emergency Response Team at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston simulated what they would do if someone went into cardiac arrest on Friday afternoon.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Ever since Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest last month, there has been a renewed focus to educate people on how to respond to a similar event. Some Lowcountry schools are making sure they are ready if the scary moment ever comes.
The Emergency Response Team at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston simulated what they would do if someone went into cardiac arrest on Friday afternoon. Faculty and staff simulated calling 911, administering CPR and using the school’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Friday’s drill was a partnership between the Charleston County School District and the Project Adam team at MUSC.
“It can be anybody, anywhere. It can be children; and so we need to have that plan in place,” Nurse Tara Lawson, project ADAM program coordinator at MUSC Children’s Hospital, said.
South Carolina is one of 15 states that require an AED in every school. But medical professionals say it is not enough to just have one on the wall.
“You don’t want to be scrambling when an incident happens,” Lawson said.
The goal is for every school in Charleston County to run a drill like this. The district said they will start with high schools and then move to middle and elementary schools.
“The faster that you can have CPR and an AED [in] place, the better the outcomes are,” Dr. Nicole Cain, MUSC director of pediatric electrophysiology, said. “Every second counts. We say time is muscle.”
R.B. Stall High School Nurse Kat Bouziane said the school has been forward-thinking in their emergency preparedness, but partnering with MUSC and Project Adam brings extra planning:
“It demonstrates to our community, the motivation, our sense of responsibility and commitment to providing a safe schoolhouse for our students, families and staff,” Bouziane said.
MUSC’s work with Project Adam began three years ago, and interest has increased in the last few weeks.
The goal is to certify every school in the state.
“I personally have a kindergartener in school,” Lawson said. “So I want him to be in the best place possible if he’s not with me. That people are going to know how to respond in case of an emergency.”
A life-saving drill, winning hearts and minds.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
North Charleston residents express concerns over potential redistricting
At a city council public hearing Tuesday, residents said they are not happy with the city’s first redistricting draft.NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Election season is still months away, but some people who live in North Charleston say they don’t want to wait until they have a ballot in front of them to make their voices heard.At a city council public hearing Tuesday, residents said they are not happy with the ...
At a city council public hearing Tuesday, residents said they are not happy with the city’s first redistricting draft.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Election season is still months away, but some people who live in North Charleston say they don’t want to wait until they have a ballot in front of them to make their voices heard.
At a city council public hearing Tuesday, residents said they are not happy with the city’s first redistricting draft.
Some say that based on the drafted district lines, some minority communities’ concerns might not be as well heard after they’re joined together with larger white communities, among other concerns. City officials say because redistricting is done only every decade or so, they’ve got some challenges ahead.
“The district was cut up as a minority district and it should stay a minority district,” Mayor Pro Tem Jerome Heyward said.
The first draft of the city’s redistricting map groups parts of Districts 7 and 8 together. Officials say Liberty Hill, one of the oldest Black communities in North Charleston that’s currently in District 7, would move to District 8.
Michael Brown, North Charleston councilmember District 1, says it would also connect with part of District 5, which includes Park Circle.
“It could be a good and it could be a bad thing,” Brown said. “We just don’t want the people of Liberty Hill to be forgotten about. So, we think it would kind of be fair to keep them in a district that would kind of cater to their needs.”
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says there’s more to the decision.
“The issue is it’s a declining population neighborhood,” Summey said. “And the area surrounding it, Park Circle in particularly, has completely almost doubled in population in the last 15 years.”
Additionally, many people who live in Northwood Estates and the Deer Park community in District 3 say they’re worried they will be forgotten about. Rivers Avenue and Greenridge Road, the main roads connecting their communities, will no longer be in their district if this draft is approved.
Brown says this would affect councilwoman Virginia Jamison, who represents that district.
“As you heard one of the gentlemen say, they’re not necessarily trying to re-learn a new councilmember,” Brown said. “Especially when they have developed a rapport and a relationship with the one they already have.”
The council says they hope to have another draft to go over within the next ten days.
Heyward says they are keeping community concerns in mind.
“I think being able to discuss and have open dialogue about what’s good and what’s bad,” Heyward said. “I think it’s a good thing. It helps us with the process.”
Summey says they hope to vote on a final redistricting map by the end of March.
At the end of the day, not everybody is going to be happy, but we’re going to do the best we can.
The city council will have their next meeting this Thursday at 7 p.m.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
City of North Charleston considering new district, re-zone at old Navy base
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of North Charleston will consider an ordinance creating a new zoning district Thursday night at the site of a former Navy Base.The Navy Base Redevelopment District would establish a mixed-use urban area that will provide office, retail, entertainment, civic and public uses, as well as a variety of urban housing choices for the region.Then, the council will consider rezoning 89 parcels of land to be a part of the NBRD. The city of Charleston, the South Carolina Ports Authority and the Sou...
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of North Charleston will consider an ordinance creating a new zoning district Thursday night at the site of a former Navy Base.
The Navy Base Redevelopment District would establish a mixed-use urban area that will provide office, retail, entertainment, civic and public uses, as well as a variety of urban housing choices for the region.
Then, the council will consider rezoning 89 parcels of land to be a part of the NBRD. The city of Charleston, the South Carolina Ports Authority and the South Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Public Railways own most of the land.
One parcel included in the zone is the non-profit Water Mission. The team of engineers, marketers, implementers, fundraisers, volunteers and donors works to create clean water systems for those who need them.
They recently sent a relief team to Turkey following the earthquakes.
Water Mission owns about 10 acres on the northernmost part of the former base. Founder and CEO George Greene says he enjoys the history of the area.
“Personally, growing up in Charleston; you know, I remember being out in the harbor and on boats and nuclear submarines coming and going and just kind of, you know, looking back on it, that was the middle of the Cold War,” Greene remembers.
He says he is excited about the potential for development along the old Navy Base since it will bring people to the neighborhood.
“As we look at more and more people coming into this area, whether it’s for a concert or whether it’s because it’s where they want to live or it’s where they want to go grab a meal,” Greene says. “There’s just some really neat things that are coming down the pipeline that are just going to make it an even more desirable place to be.”
The land is currently zoned with light or heavy industrial. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on Jan. 9, 2023, and voted unanimously to recommend approval.
“It’s just kind of crazy to think about how much growth we’ve had already been experienced and seen, and I think all that’s tied to everybody understands how valuable the location is,” Greene says.
The ordinance includes requirements for use, setbacks, street standard and streetscape use, all defined in its writing. You can read the details of the proposed NBRD here:
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Golf cart, EV manufacture expands with North Charleston plant
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston-based manufacturing company Bintelli is expanding its operation with a new 174,000-square-foot facility in North Charleston.The facility, off Palmetto Commerce Parkway, opened last week and will focus on building golf carts and low-speed electric vehicles.This marks the third expansion for Bintelli in the last three years.“This new facility is a testament to the amazing work our dealer family has done over the last few years,” Bintelli Founder and President Justin Ja...
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston-based manufacturing company Bintelli is expanding its operation with a new 174,000-square-foot facility in North Charleston.
The facility, off Palmetto Commerce Parkway, opened last week and will focus on building golf carts and low-speed electric vehicles.
This marks the third expansion for Bintelli in the last three years.
“This new facility is a testament to the amazing work our dealer family has done over the last few years,” Bintelli Founder and President Justin Jackrel says. “As we are now operational in what I believe is the largest LSV (low-speed vehicles) manufacturing facility in America, we’re going to be able to even better support our dealer family with the additional vehicles, parts and support they need to continue their rapid growth nationwide.”
Another focus for the move was to have more space for employees so the building is a more comfortable workspace without limiting tight boundaries, says Kevin Marques, Bintelli Production Facility Manager.
“It keeps growing and the biggest thing is keeping the culture the same; we pride our employees and making sure everyone is happy,” Marques says. “We actually know each employee by name and I want to keep that feel here because I think that’s very important for us; that’s the biggest thing, as we grow, I just want to maintain the culture within the company.”
Bintelli assembled 7,000 vehicles last year and is on track to produce 12,000 this year, making the move to a larger facility necessary.
Bintelli says with this new facility, they will be able to keep up with the demand for low-speed electric vehicles and golf carts.
“This expansion is another step in solidifying ourselves at the forefront of the industry,” Bintelli Vice President Jason Perske said. “While faster order fulfillment and greater inventory availability is going to be an incredible asset for our dealer family, I’m far more excited about what this means for the additional levels of support we can offer. I’m excited for all of our dealerships to share in this huge announcement and incredibly thankful for all the support they show us every day.”
In addition to the recent facility expansions, Bintelli says they are also focused on expanding its support and production staff.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
North Charleston same-sex couple prepares for 3rd child: ‘Family is very important to us’
The family conversation started pretty quickly once Ashley and Jessica Peele started dating.“For us it was a decision we talked about, not on our first date, but shortly after,” Jessica said, laughing.“Pretty close to it,” Ashley agreed. Before they married in 2018, the North Charleston couple were already talking to a fertility center about how to start. Now, on March 3, they will welcome their third child, Leighton Cooper Peele, and continue their domestic bliss despite a changing landscape in South Ca...
The family conversation started pretty quickly once Ashley and Jessica Peele started dating.
“For us it was a decision we talked about, not on our first date, but shortly after,” Jessica said, laughing.
“Pretty close to it,” Ashley agreed. Before they married in 2018, the North Charleston couple were already talking to a fertility center about how to start. Now, on March 3, they will welcome their third child, Leighton Cooper Peele, and continue their domestic bliss despite a changing landscape in South Carolina.
Fertility treatment for same-sex and heterosexual couples is increasingly common in the U.S. and it accounted for 79,942 babies in 2020, or about 2 percent of all births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC does not track how many were done among same-sex couples in the U.S. Under the United Kingdom’s National Health System, however, the number of same-sex female couples who used fertility treatments to start a family increased 10-fold between 2000 and 2019, according to a study in the journal Healthcare. Of the 631,900 same-sex female households in the U.S. in 2021, 21.6 percent were raising their own children, according to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.
It was never a question for Ashley and Jessica that they would be among them.
“We are really close to our families and family is very important to us so we knew very early on in our relationship, even when we started to date, that we wanted to have a family,” Jessica said. And when they started to look into it, they realized there was a wide range of choices available to them, including the fact that they could both carry a child.
When Ashley initially encountered some fertility issues at the first center they tried, “it was, ‘Okay Jess, you’re up.’” Ashley said. ”(But) we weren’t quite ready for that. And also it was a little demoralizing for me to feel like that was it. The hope was restored after meeting with Dr. Cook.”
Dr. Heather Cook, a reproductive endocrinologist at Coastal Fertility Specialists in Mount Pleasant, said it is not unusual for couples to get a second opinion from them.
“Fertility is such a personal thing that if you just don’t feel like it is a good fit or you didn’t really have a good feeling that first time, people don’t want to start on that big journey without getting a second opinion,” she said. “It’s a very personal thing.”
But the Peeles clicked with her and with Coastal Fertility.
“It was a much more comfortable setting and we just immediately got started after that,” Ashley said.
“I think we were high-fiving in the car after we left,” Jessica said. “We were like, this is it.”
Creating a family
Most couple start with intrauterine insemination, when sperm is introduced directly into the uterus, because it is the simplest and easiest procedure, Cook said. Success rates are very similar to natural conception, about 15-20 percent.
“It takes some time,” she said. “Persistence is the name of the game with fertility treatment, for sure. I try to be very honest with people from the get-go so they can make an appropriate decision.”
But after six tries with no success, the couple chose to do in vitro fertilization, where the eggs and sperm are combined together in the lab. And it worked.
“We had seven really healthy, beautiful embryos,” Ashley said.
One of them became Emmi, now almost 3 years old.
Then it was Jessica’s turn, again with intrauterine insemination. And again, it didn’t take right away. After several tries, they talked to Cook about transferring one of the embryos into Jessica.
“We were just at a point where I needed a break,” Jessica said.
“But then it worked,” Ashley said.
Just when couples start making alternate plans, the unexpected works out.
“It’s so true, we see it all of the time,” Cook said.
Archer, their boy, just turned 2 years old. Then the talk turned to their third child. Ashley is one of six kids, Jessica one of three.
“I came into the conversation with, let’s go big,” Ashley said. “I wanted a whole football team. I’m very close to my brothers and felt like we were best friends growing up. We didn’t need to worry about whether the neighbors were available to play.”
Jessica was thinking two would be enough.
“It was kind of a compromise,” she said.
Having the embryos available meant they could plan this one out and time it better.
“Once we have the embryos frozen, it is an incredibly straight-forward quick process,” Cook said. “It just takes about a month, with fairly minimal medications and a really high pregnancy rate.”
The future of fertility treatment
But the embryos are also a potential complication in light of a push in the South Carolina legislature to declare that life begins at conception. One bill debated in the House last week, for instance, declared that life begins at conception and an unborn child is defined as one from conception to live birth. The bill makes it clear it is okay to practice assisted reproduction without violating the law but doesn’t appear to address whether that now makes the five embryos Ashely and Jessica have unborn children.
It is something they have talked about, Ashley said.
“We have five embryos,” Ashley said. “If these are granted personhood, are we going to be forced to carry them or have somebody carry them? That may not be what we want. We may want to destroy those embryos once we feel like our family is complete. And maybe that option won’t be available to us.”
But they felt better about it after talking to Cook, who assured them that this comes up quite often.
“Every year,” Cook said, and Dr. Michael Slowey of Coastal has addressed the legislature many times about the potential impact on the fertility centers and their patients. It is the patients themselves that have really rallied against legislation like this, Cook said.
“I think they bombarded (the legislators),” she said.
The truth is, there are always options.
“A lot of our patients fear, just because their embryos are here, they are going to be told what to do with them, which isn’t the reality,” Cook said. “Even if we weren’t allowed to do certain things in South Carolina, you can send your embryos to another state. We can ship them anywhere we want to. We ship embryos, eggs and sperm all of the time.”
It is part of the reality the couple deals with, recognizing they live in a “changing political landscape,” Ashley said. But as they welcome their third child, their wish is that those tools remain for others like them.
“That’s our hope, that same-sex couples have the option to create their family whatever way they see best fits their needs and have the ability to come to a place like Coastal and have options laid out for them,” Ashley said. “We’re very fortunate that we are living in the time that we are.”
Seanna Adcox in Columbia contributed to this story.