AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION ANNOUNCES 2018 SEMIFINALISTS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 22, 2018 – Last night at Skidaway Island United Methodist Church (SIUMC), the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) announced the talented artists selected by the judges to advance to the Semifinals, which begin today.

There have been many stunning performances throughout the competition week so far, including appearances by ATC judges Ricky Ian Gordon, Morgan James, and Lynette Hawkins Stephens. Contestants have inspired audiences with a range of music from nine different genres. The ATC recognizes the following genres of American music: Opera, Musical Theatre, Hollywood, Jazz, Folk, Country, Pop/Rock Singer-Songwriters (1980-today), Art Song, Gospel, Songs of Johnny Mercer, Blues, Religious Music, Popular Music of 1950-1980, Great American Songbook, and Cabaret.

The semifinalists will compete for spots in the finals by singing their next sets of three songs each at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 at SIUMC 54 Diamond Causeway on Skidway Island. The remaining contestants are (in alphabetical order):

  • Emily Yocum Black
  • Aaron Casey
  • Erica Everett
  • Brian Giebler
  • Jasmine Habersham
  • Sarah Kervin
  • Brandon Michael Nase
  • Rebecca Odorisio
  • Rachel Policar
  • Michael Preacely
  • Dara Tucker
  • Kayla Wilkens

“We are thrilled for the talented contestants who have dazzled our judges and audience with stunning performances and made it to the semifinals,” said ATC Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren. “We are in for a real treat with amazing talent as these artists continue to compete in the hopes of becoming the 2018 ATC Gold Medal winner!”

Day passes to the semifinals cost $30 each and can be purchased by visiting https://www.americantraditionscompetition.com/donate/. The 2018 ATC will move to the Historic Savannah Theatre on Friday, Feb. 23 with a free master class at 3 p.m. and the finals at 8 p.m.

To learn more about the ATC – a nonprofit arts organization seeking to celebrate and preserve all styles of classic American music through a unique vocal competition for highly skilled and diverse singeing performers – please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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APPEAL LAUNCHED FOR GREENBRIAR AS ANONYMOUS DONOR PLEDGES $1,000 MATCHING DONATION

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 20, 2018 – Greenbriar Children’s Center has been raising funds for over a year to build a new website which is badly needed to attract support and donations to the organization and inform those who benefit from this local non-profit’s wide array services. A new site, which a local business has committed to building for $5,000, would assist Greenbriar greatly in their mission of caring for the community’s abused, neglected and runaway children.
The organization is now only $1,000 away from its goal, thanks to a $3,000 grant from the Kiwanis Club of Skidaway Island and a generous anonymous donor, who has pledged $1,000 if the community will donate the remaining $1,000.

Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said the nonprofit has needed a new website for years, but other priorities had to be tended to first.
“Greenbriar’s website hasn’t been updated or overhauled in nearly a decade. The technology isn’t user-friendly, and we can’t properly utilize the platform to make the public aware of all the wonderful programs and services Greenbriar offers. It just doesn’t do our organization justice,” Taylor said. “Funds we receive or raise have to go to the care, health, safety and education of the children we help. We haven’t been able to funnel enough money to the website because shelter, food, clothing and medicine for our clients come first. We hope the public and our supporters will help us raise the remaining $1,000 for a simple but attractive website that is well-organized and adequate to meet our needs. We would greatly appreciate any assistance.”

To make a donation and help Greenbriar reach its goal, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org and submit your contribution through the PayPal button.
Greenbriar promotes the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families by providing services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place.

For more information about Greenbriar Children’s Center, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912-234-3431.

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TWO HUNDRED CLUB PARTNERS WITH GHOST COAST DISTILLERY FOR ‘MUSIC & MULES’ EVENT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Feb. 19, 2018 – The inaugural “Music & Mules” event at Ghost Coast Distillery in Savannah is scheduled for 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire.

Host South is also partnering with the nonprofit club and distillery to provide support for “Music & Mules.” Steven Jones and Nathan Smith will provide live 1970s-80s music for guests to enjoy as they sip Ghost Coast’s signature Oglethorpe Mule and other cocktails. Service Brewing will also be participating, and a Molly MacPherson’s food truck will tempt attendees’ taste buds with culinary offerings. To end the evening, a high-dollar prize will be raffled off.

Tickets to “Music & Mules” are free with a donation to the Two Hundred Club; $10 is suggested. $1 from each drink sold – as well as a percentage of food sales – will go to the Two Hundred Club. Ghost Coast Distillery is located at 641 Indian St. in downtown Savannah.

The Two Hundred Club is an all-volunteer organization that provides immediate and significant financial assistance to the families of fallen and critically injured law-enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency service personnel, as well as college educations for the family members of first responders who die in the line of duty. All funds donated to the club go to support the work of the organization, which has given over $1.7 million to support local families of fallen and critically injured first responders.

According to Two Hundred Club President Mark Dana, he and the generous members and supporters are humbled each time a community organization or group is willing to partner with the club, offering to donate the proceeds from an event or fundraiser.

“We’re pleased to partner with Ghost Coast Distillery for what we expect will be the first of many successful ‘Music & Mules’ events. We hear about their philanthropic activities in the community frequently and we understand they likely receive plenty of requests to assist with fundraisers, so it’s wonderful to have their support for the Two Hundred Club,” Dana said. “Ghost Coast’s event are always enjoyable and well-attended, so we hope the community will join us for plenty of live music, food, drinks and networking. It’ll be a great night.”

For more information on the Two Hundred Club, please visit www.twohundredclub.org, call 912-721-4418 or email info@twohundredclub.org.

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ASBURY MEMORIAL THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST FOR SPRING PRODUCTION

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 15, 2018 – Asbury Memorial Theatre (AMT) has announced the cast for its 2018 spring production of “Plaza Suite,” which will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 2, 3, 9 and 10, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 4 and 11 at the Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (UMC), 1008 E. Henry Street, Savannah.

“Plaza Suite,” directed by Dr. Ronnie Spilton, is composed of three acts, each involving different characters, but all set in Suite 719 of New York City’s Plaza Hotel. The first act, “Visitor from Mamaroneck,” is about an unhappy couple revisiting their honeymoon suite to rekindle the romance they had when they were young and in love, but ends in a heated argument as her husband’s alleged affair surfaces. The second act, “Visitor from Hollywood,” revolves around a meeting between a movie producer and his old flame. The suburban housewife believes it will be a casual chat between old friends, but the movie producer and his reputation as a smooth-talking ladies’ man sees it differently. The third and final act, “Visitor from Forest Hills,” is a frantic couple on their daughter’s wedding day trying to coax her from the bathroom she locked herself in, saying she doesn’t want to attend her own wedding. Luckily, this comedic tale ends in marriage.

Ann Robb is excited to play the role of Karen Nash in Act 1. Ann is a lifelong professional vocalist who moved to Savannah after she retired in 2010. She was the stage manager in 2013 for “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” directed by Dr. Ronnie Spilton. She has also appeared in “Dixie Swim Club,” Vera in “Stepping Out,” and Jessie Rose in “Good Help Is So Hard To Murder.”

Ed Wischmeyer, who will play the role of Sam Nash, has a Ph.D. in engineering from MIT and is currently retired from Gulfstream as an engineer, researching advanced concepts for jet cockpits. He has a background in musical theater, but this will be his first performance on stage in 35 years. He currently studies voice, sings in parish and compline choirs at Christ Church Anglican. Ed has lived in Savannah since 2011.

Donald Jarvis will return to perform at Asbury Theatre, but this time in his first AMT production as Waiter in Act 1. Don has been involved in the theater since elementary school in the 1970s and has never gotten out. He currently lives in Savannah with his wife Bonnie Terrell.

Catherine Erhardt is anticipating her performance of Jean McCormack. Theater has been a part of her entire life, having played the baby Jesus at 9 months old. She’s been involved in performances in North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, and now in Georgia. She spends her spare time watching movies, reading, and hanging out with her husband, Kelly, and their alley cat.

Patrick Prokop is pleased to play the role of Bellhop as he joins Asbury Theatre once again. Pat has been in several previous AMT productions, such as Simon Stimson in “Our Town,” and is excited to be under the direction of Dr. Ronnie Spilton once again. He enjoys singing in ensembles in musicals and has participated in several musical productions, “Pirates of Penzance,” “The Mikado,” as well as the ensemble for “Barnum” and “Cotton Patch Gospel.” Pat is an active AMT board member and their web master.

Kelley Gray is excited to play Muriel Tate in her first production with Asbury Memorial Theater. She has performed in Savannah and the Low Country since moving here in 2009. As a student of improv, she is excited to be working under the direction of Dr. Ronnie Spilton.

Ray Ellis, who will play the role of Jesse Kiplinger, has been active in the theater scene in Savannah for over 30 years. He has participated in several AMT performances, such as “H.M.S. Pinafore” (2016), “The 39 Steps” (2015), “Barnum” (2015), and “Cotton Patch Gospel” (2014). He is excited to be in this production of “Plaza Suite.” Besides being active on the stage at AMT, he is also very active off stage as an AMT board member.

Cheri Hester, is excited to be back at Asbury Theater playing the role of Norma Hubley. She has been performing since she was 10 years old, with her last performance being at Asbury Theatre as M’Lynne in “Steel Magnolias.” After graduating from Northwester University with a degree in theatre, she moved to NYC for 10 years where she performed on and off Broadway and met her husband, actor-turned-minister, Billy Hester. Cheri continues to be an active AMT board member.

Les Taylor is pleased to return to AMT as Roy Hubley. Les is retired from Gulfstream as a data manager and manufacturing engineer. He has done theatre, opera, light opera, and musical theatre for over 50 years. Most recently, he has been a part of AMT’s productions of “The Mikado” (2011), “H.M.S. Pinafore” (2016), “God’s Favorite” (2012), and “Our Town” (2013). Les is also actively involved with the Savannah Children’s Theatre and has appeared most recently in their production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Rachel Veazey, stage manager, is an AMT board member. Having been involved in theatre since high school, her favorite roles include, assistant stage manager in AMT’s production of “Steel Magnolias,” Jennie Mae in “The Diviners,” and Maud in “The Music Man.”

Dr. Ronnie Spilton is the director for AMT’s 2018 spring performance of “Plaza Suite.” She has been a part of the theatre community for over 50 years as an actor, teacher, and director. This will be her third production for AMT, as she previously directed “God’s Favorite” (2012), and “Our Town” (2013). She holds a M.A. in Latin from Emory University and a Ph.D. in Communicative Arts from Georgia State University. After 31 years as an educator and high school administrator, she retired from Fulton Co. in Atlanta.

“We are grateful that Asbury Memorial Church has a theatre to hold magnificent performances, such as this one,” said Asbury Memorial UMC, Rev. Billy Hester. “We are looking forward to another pleasing performance with extraordinary talent again this year.”

Tickets for this production cost $15 each and are available online at  www.asburymemorial.org/theatre or at the door.

To learn more about the Asbury Memorial Theatre or this production, please visit www.asburymemorial.org/theatre.

 

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION’S 13TH COLONY TO HOST ARCHITECTURAL PUB CRAWL

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 14, 2018 –  Historic Savannah Foundation’s 13th Colony will host its annual Architectural Pub Crawl, led by Architectural Tours of Savannah’s Jonathan Stalcup, at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 1. The tour will launch from Prohibition Savannah, 125 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Upon leaving Prohibition Savannah, the tour will visit Husk Savannah, followed by El-Rocko Lounge, and will end at the Alley Cat Lounge at 9:00 p.m. This year’s Architectural Pub Crawl will focus on modernist architecture around historic Telfair Square.

“We combine two of Savannah’s favorite things into one exciting event: fun tours and beautiful architecture,” said Membership and Volunteer Coordinator Chassidy Malloy. “This event is a great opportunity for young professionals from our community to network while learning about modernist architecture adjacent to Telfair Square.”

Historic Savannah Foundation is cultivating the next generation of preservation-minded community leaders through its 13th Colony supporters. The mission of the 13th Colony is to promote greater understanding and awareness of historic preservation and the goals of Historic Savannah Foundation to a younger audience, while also engaging their participation in HSF programs and events, while building future HSF leadership. Participants of the Architectural Pub Crawl will be offered a 50 percent 13th Colony membership discount for all first-time members.

For more information about this event, please contact Chassidy Malloy by emailing cmalloy@myHSF.org, or calling 912-233-7787. To learn more about Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org.

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MARITIME BETHEL AT SAVANNAH TO HOST LUNCHEON CELEBRATING NEW GRANT-FUNDED MINIBUS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 14, 2018 – The Maritime Bethel at Savannah (MBS) will host a luncheon event at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Garden City United Methodist Church, 62 Varnedoe Ave., Garden City.

The lunch will include speaker Dr. S. Joseph Morgan, MD, who will portray Leonardo da Vinci in costume as he discusses the painting The Last Supper. Following will be the keynote address by Rev. Dr. Jason Zuidema, executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association, headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Following these presentations will be a brief dedication of Bethel 8, the new MBS minibus, funded by the International Transportation Workers Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Trust, headquartered in London, England.

ITF Seafarers’ Trust supports the provision of services to maritime workers and invests in long-term programs that improve seafarers’ health and well-being. ITF acts as a catalyst for positive change in the maritime community. Lesley Francis Public Relations grant writer Evelyn Fallon submitted an application to the ITF Seafarers’ Trust seeking $60,637.82 in June 2017. Maritime Bethel at Savannah was awarded $50,000 in January 2018 and utilized the funds to purchase a 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibus.

“We are looking forward to this Saturday morning program followed by the luncheon to be able to hear from two outstanding speakers and to celebrate our newest minibus. An estimated 59,730 international seafarers were served in 2017 by MBS volunteers and this number is expected to rise in 2018. The Bethel 8 van will play a huge role in allowing us to further our mission,” said Chaplain Andy Krey. “We are also grateful for the assistance Lesley Francis PR has provided us in acquiring the grant for the Bethel 8 minibus as well as Thrivent Financial, who has helped sponsor this event.”

The Maritime Bethel at Savannah is one of 539 maritime bethels across the world providing “far away from home” personal and practical support to seafarers. MBS is a faith-based nonprofit ecumenical organization which includes advocacy, spiritual, physical and emotional support to crew members.

The donation for lunch is $15 per person. Please RSVP to Chaplain Krey at chaplainkrey@gmail.com or mail a check payable to the Maritime Bethel at Savannah to P.O. Box 884, Rincon, GA 31326. For more information about Maritime Bethel at Savannah, please visit www.maritimebethelatsavannah.org.

 

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SD GUNNER FUND TO BENEFIT FROM WEST POINT SOCIETY FOUNDERS DAY EVENT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 13, 2018 – The 2018 West Point Society of Savannah (WPS) Founders Day event will support local non-profit organization, The SD Gunner Fund. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3 at the Hyatt Regency, 2 W Bay St. in downtown Savannah with cocktails and a silent auction before dinner is served at 7 p.m.  All proceeds from the silent auction will directly benefit the organization’s mission to assist with the expenses of service animals for veterans and disabled children.  Founders Day will also include guest speaker CSM Timothy Guden, 19th Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Military Academy.

“We are excited for this opportunity of partnership with the WPS of Savannah, an organization which supports the mission of The SD Gunner Fund,” said CEO and Founder of the SD Gunner Fund Britnee Kinard. “We are hoping Founders Day will be an evening of good times for a great cause.”

The SD Gunner Fund assists veterans and disabled children with the financial expenses of owning much needed service animals. These animals require a variety of necessary items to perform their service, such as vests, custom harnesses, and veterinary visits. Services dogs are trained to support individuals with mobility, hearing, psychiatric, and brain/neurological disabilities and perform tasks to meet the individual assistance needs of their partner.

Member tickets for this event cost $60 each while non-member tickets will be available for $70 each. For more information about The SD Gunner Fund, please webjobs.kender.org/sdgunnerfund For more information about the Founders Day event or to purchase tickets, please visit www.westpointaog.org/WPSS-2018FD.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION PREPARING FOR 25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

Categories: Public Relations.

AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION PREPARING FOR STELLAR 25TH SILVER JUBILEE ANNIVERSARY SEASON

SAVANNAH, GA – February 12, 2018 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) returns for its highly anticipated 25th Silver Jubilee anniversary season Feb. 19-23, 2018. With an outstanding line up of 28 contestants, three new judges, and three veteran pianists, this year’s performances are sure to entertain audiences of all ages.

This year’s judges include leading writer of vocal music that spans art song and opera Ricky Ian Gordon; New York-based soul singer, songwriter, and Broadway chanteuse Morgan James; and chart-topping Gospel singer from Oakland’s Gospel family, Lynette Hawkins Stephens. Crowd-pleasing pianists return, with Anastasia Victory and David Shenton celebrating eight years of incredible pianistic collaboration at the competition, and Wilson Southerland joining for his fourth year.

Michael Maliakel, 2016 ATC Gold Medal winner, will join this year’s competition as emcee. Maliakel received his earliest vocal training as a treble in the American Boychoir and continued his education at Georgetown University and the Peabody Institute of Music. In summer 2017, he played Hemant Rai in the thrice-extended world premiere musical production, Monsoon Wedding at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

The American Traditions Vocal Competition was established as the premiere vocal competition focusing on classic American music. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts institution, the organization is also dedicated to educating the public about not only the breadth of American musical repertoire, but also the cultural diversity naturally present in American music. This annual competition awards over $40,000 in cash prizes. As part of community-driven service and initiative, the organization provides music education, exposure and performances for Savannah locals of all ages.

The 2018 competition kicks off with a Judge’s Concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 at Skidaway Island United Methodist Church (SIUMC), 54 Diamond Causeway, on Skidaway Island. Guests will enjoy an evening of music with performances by all three ATC judges. Tickets to this concert cost $25 each.

At 4 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 and Wednesday, Feb. 21, the 28 quarterfinalists will perform three diverse, American songs each at SIUMC in the hopes of advancing to the semifinals. The first half of contestants competes on Tuesday, and the remaining contestants will put it all on the line Wednesday. Day Passes for the Quarterfinals cost $20 each.

The 12 artists who are selected from the quarterfinal rounds will sing their next set of three songs at the semifinals, slated for 4 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at SIUMC. Day passes for the semifinal rounds cost $30 each.

The cream of the crop will compete for top honors and prizes during the final round at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at the Historic Savannah Theatre, 222 Bull St. New for 2018, the People’s Choice award winners from each round will also perform in the finals. General seating tickets cost $35 and premium seating costs $50 a piece to see these finalists sing their hearts out to win the coveted medals.

This year’s competition will also include an outreach Master Class, slated for 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 at the Savannah Theatre. This class, which is free and open to the public, provides ATC fans and supporters with an opportunity to watch the three ATC judges in action as they each work with contestants to demonstrate their different styles of teaching.

The ATC requires singers to create three rounds of three different songs, all written by American composers. Each song must represent a different musical genre for a total of nine. The purpose behind this is for singers to learn about different genres of music as well as the history, the roots, the key players, and the stylistic nuance of each genre. The ATC recognizes the following genres of American music: Opera, Musical Theatre, Hollywood, Jazz, Folk, Country, Pop/Rock Singer-Songwriters (1980-today), Art Song, Gospel, Songs of Johnny Mercer, Blues, Religious Music, Popular Music of 1950-1980, Great American Songbook, and Cabaret.

All 28 contestants chosen for the ATC will be awarded a cash prize. Every quarterfinalist receives $300 for being selected by the ATC and semifinalists each receive $600. The first-place ATC Gold Medal Award winner receives $12,000, sponsored by Elizabeth Oxnard, and a paid solo performance with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. The runner-up will receive the Silver Medal and $6,000 sponsored by Patty and Heyward Gignilliat. The third-place Bronze Medal Award of $3,000 is sponsored by Enmarket Stations, Inc. The fourth-place prize of $1,200 is sponsored by Kay and Don Gardner, and Savannah Friends of Music sponsors the fifth-place prize of $1,2000.

The “Think Outside the Book” Award of $500 – new for 2018 – is sponsored by Steven Gross as MusicalTheaterSongs.com.  This award will be given to a contestant for the best rendition of a selection from the web database’s categories of “Not Heard a Lot” or “Rare Find” during the Quarterfinal or Semifinal rounds. The Johnny Mercer Award, for Best Johnny Mercer Performance, is sponsored by The Friends of Johnny Mercer, Inc., and Armstrong State University. This award of $750 will be awarded for songs performed during the Quarterfinal or Semifinal rounds. The $750 Toian Bowser-Alexander Award is given in memory of the late Ms. Toian Alexander, the first Treasurer of the ATC, and is sponsored by her husband, James Edward Alexander. The award is given to the contestant who exhibits helpfulness to others, encouragement and supportiveness and is voted on by fellow contestants. The Sherrill Milnes Opera Award winner will receive $500, sponsored by Barry and Naomi Cohen, for the best American aria. The $500 Ben Tucker Jazz Award is presented for the best Jazz performance and is given by Mrs. Gloria Tucker in honor of her late husband’s legacy and is sponsored by the Dr. David A. and Dr. Margaret M. Cohen Charitable Foundation. One Quarterfinalist and one Semifinalist not advancing to the next round will be presented with the $500 Richard Chambless’ People’s Choice Award. This award, given by Swann Seiler, is presented in memory of her dear friend, Richard Chambless.

At the helm of the ATC is the Board of Directors, which is led by President Daniel C. Cohen. Allen Henderson is currently the Vice President and President-elect. Jim Wann serves as Secretary while Barbara Jenks holds the role of Treasurer. Mikki Sodergren holds the position of Artistic Director. The remaining board members include Heyward Gignilliat, Elizabeth Oxnard, Les Anderson, Carol Bell, Patty Gignilliat, Nathan Godley, Maddie Harwood, Starr Holland, Susan Kleine, Dottie Kluttz, Beckett Spreng, Bill Udry, Dick Wallace, Debby Warner, Susan Whitaker, and F. Michael Zaller.

“I am tremendously looking forward to my sixth consecutive year with the ATC and feel extremely honored to be serving as the artistic director for this amazing competition’s 25th anniversary season,” Sodergren said. “It has been very special for me to participate with the ATC over the years in various roles, including as a contestant. Each year of this competition is better than the last and we owe it all to the incredible support we receive from the Savannah community. I can’t wait to see the level of talent brought to the competition this year!”

To learn more about the ATC or to purchase tickets, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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MEDIATION CENTER CELEBRATES SUCCESSFUL GALA

Categories: Public Relations.

MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE PRESENTS AWARDS, CELEBRATES SUCCESSFUL VELVET GALA

 

SAVANNAH, GA – February 12, 2018 – The Mediation Center of the Costal Empire recently hosted its inaugural “Velvet Gala” at Cohen’s Retreat.  Over 150 guests sampled appetizers and beverages – including the signature “Red Velvet Cake Martini” – while enjoying live music by Ricardo Ochoa & His Gypsy Jazz quartet. Kurt Hetager, emcee for the festivities, kept attendees entertained with lively banter and facilitated the raffle prize drawings. Proceeds raised from this event will benefit the Mediation Center’s Peer Mediation, Community Conferencing and Children of Peaceful Engagement youth programs.

During the gala, Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks recognized the following individuals with Volunteer Appreciation Awards for over 20 years of service: Betty A. Simmons, Howard Welt, Jerry P. Nusloch, Lee G. Hooper, Mark S. Cluett, Robert E. Nuemann and Robert Gordon.

“We had an absolute blast raising funds for important programs with our supporters at this event. It was also very special to recognize the volunteers and individuals who have helped our organization reach this point,” Cheeks said. “Our volunteers log a total of over 5,000 hours each year helping coastal citizens reach agreements and mediate over 900 cases per year, and it’s important that they be recognized.”

In addition, Cheeks also presented the following well-deserving individuals with various awards including:

  • Anne Shafer, Lifetime Achievement Award – 500 cases mediated
  • Bob Neumann, Lifetime Achievement Award – 600 cases mediated
  • David Purvis, Domestic Attorney Appreciation Award
  • James E. Kurhajian, Civil Attorney Appreciation Award
  • Larry Kopczak, Mediator Appreciation Award – over 100 cases mediated in 2017
  • Paul Johnson, Appreciation for Years of Board Service (2011-2017)
  • Savannah Chatham County Public School System, Youth Collaboration Award
  • SEIMITSU, Business Partner of the Year
  • Sherman Miller, Lifetime Achievement Award – 400 cases mediated
  • Susannah Pedigo, Stellar Advocate for Youth

The Mediation Center’s team of experienced mediators are trained to help residents in Chatham and surrounding counties. The organization’s reputation is built on over 30 years of integrity and expertise, with a high success rate in resolving thousands of disputes. The Mediation Center is proud to offer the highest quality mediation services to help people resolve disputes through resolution as an alternative to litigation.

The Children of Peaceful Engagement program, which will benefit from the funds raised from the Velvet Gala, teaches children who are going through stressful situations how to cope with their anger and other emotions. They’re taught to manage their responses using proven engagement strategies that focus on understanding and emotional learning.

Additional youth programs offered by this organization, set to benefit from this event, include Peer Mediation training and peer-to-peer mediations in schools, Community Conferencing collaboration with Juvenile Court, juvenile mediations, and parent/child mediations.

 

For more information about the Mediation Center or the programs offered, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com.

 

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MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO PRESENT AT ROTARY

Categories: Public Relations.

MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO PRESENT AT
ROTARY CLUB OF RICHMOND HILL FEB. 22

 

RICHMOND HILL, GA – February 6, 2018 – Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire Executive Director Jill Cheeks will present to members of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 at the Richmond Hill City Center, 520 Cedar Street, JF Gregory Park.

Cheeks’ presentation will provide background information on the Mediation Center, which is staffed with a team of experienced mediators who are trained to help residents in Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, Liberty, Tattnall and Bulloch counties resolve legal disputes without turning to litigation. The organization’s reputation is built on over 30 years of integrity and expertise, with a high success rate in resolving thousands of conflicts through resolution.

Cheeks has spoken and given presentations at various civic organizations and educational institutions around the Coastal Empire, including Armstrong State University. She also provides workplace conflict resolution and facilitation services through the Mediation Center and has worked in partnership with many local businesses. Cheeks is eager to share the Mediation Center’s mission with Richmond Hill Rotarians.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity to bring awareness to the Richmond Hill Rotary Club regarding what our organization does and how forming viable partnerships and collaborations is just as important as the mediation services the center provides,” said Cheeks. “I’m looking forward to gaining additional support to help keep us moving in a positive direction.”

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. Rotarians contribute their time, energy and passion to sustainable, long-term projects in local communities across the globe. Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Their work impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. The Rotary Club of Richmond hill meets at 12:30 p.m. every Thursday at the Richmond Hill City Center.

For more information about this event or the Mediation Center, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com, call 912-354-6686 or email info@mediationsavannah.com. To learn more about the Rotary Club Richmond Hill, please visit www.rotaryofrichmondhill.org.

 

 

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LOCAL AUTHOR TO PRESENT HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHY AT ROTARY CLUB OF SAVANNAH EAST FEB. 9

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 5, 2018 – Author A. Louise Staman will join members of the Rotary Club of Savannah East to discuss her latest Savannah centric biography at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at The Pirate’s House, 20 East Broad St. in downtown Savannah.

Staman’s book, “Restoring Lost Times: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter,” is the true story of Anna as she embraced the triumphs and tribulations of her long life with gusto working and playing hard, feeling deeply and participating fully. In a compelling tale of all the phases of her life as she became a wife, mother, widow and served abroad during the Second World War before her stunning contributions in preserving Savannah’s historic homes and landmarks, this beautifully illustrated book will be treasured by both residents and visitors alike.

“I always enjoy having the opportunity to discuss my books with interested individuals and this will be no exception,” said A. Louise Staman. “It will truly be special as we discuss Anna Hunter who helped save Savannah’s historic buildings while dining in The Pirate’s House which has been welcoming locals and tourists since 1753.”

It was in Savannah during the 1950s that Anna Hunter’s voice became widely heard. Something terrible was happening to her beloved Savannah. Historic downtown was largely abandoned and sometimes falling down and the developers were moving in. Historic structures often fell to the wrecking ball. Anna Colquitt Hunter and her group of six women changed the future, through the past and its preservation. There were many aspects of Anna Hunter that are less widely known. In addition to starting Historic Savannah Foundation, Anna was an avid painter, a writer for the Savannah Morning News, and loved to dance and socialize.

Louise Staman has been a writer, poet, and researcher for nearly all of her adult life. She has located criminals, learned that a ‘high-born’ heroine was once a prostitute, and traced many lives through wars, occupations, corruption, and malice. She conducts her searches through court houses, archives, and libraries with the same enthusiasm and care as a robber casing a bank, and she loves to interview those who once knew her characters, finding their personal stories to be a fascinating addition to history.

Staman lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband of over 50 years, Dr. E. Michael Staman. Her most recent book, “Restoring Lost Times: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter,” is her sixth published book (one published in Paris) and her third biography. She has written for French and English journals and has won several prizes for her writing.

Hard-cover copies of “Restoring Lost Times: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter” are currently available for purchase for $29.95 and soft-cover copies for $24.95. The book can be purchased online at Staman’s website or at the Davenport House Museum gift shop.

To learn more about this book or A. Louise Staman, please visit www.alouisestaman.com.

 

 

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LESLEY FRANCIS PUBLIC RELATIONS APPOINTS NEW MARKETING ASSISTANT

Categories: Public Relations.

Richmond Hill, GA – February 2, 2018 –  Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR) has appointed Sarah Bishop as Marketing Assistant. In her role with the Richmond Hill-based boutique PR agency, Bishop will be responsible for assisting in events, copywriting, design work, website updates, photography and videography.

 

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Bishop recently relocated to Savannah after having completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin. Before joining LFPR, she worked for the City of Savannah. While in school, she was a science writer for the university newspaper, The Daily Cardinal and held communications internships with the University of Wisconsin, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences as well as a local non-profit, the Clean Lakes Alliance.

 

Bishop commented, “I am very excited for the opportunity to learn and grow in my public relations career with LFPR. This strong team of marketing experts inspires me to do great work and help to achieve exceptional results for a wonderful range of clients. I am honored to have been selected to work with this company as it continues to thrive.”

 

LFPR was established in 2009 by Lesley Francis when she relocated to the USA from London, England, where she enjoyed a high-profile career in PR.  In 1998, Francis founded hsdcommunications, which she grew to a UK top 25 agency before merging it into a global marketing group in 2007.  LFPR’s philosophy is to strategically plan a tailored approach to meet every client’s needs and ensure a big impact with the right target audiences every time.

 

For more information about Lesley Francis PR, please visit www.lesleyfrancispr.com or follow @lesleyfrancispr on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO PRESENT MUSIC OF BILLY JOEL AND ELTON JOHN WITH PIANO MEN

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 2, 2018 –  The Savannah Philharmonic is slated to present a concert featuring the music of Billy Joel and Elton John with the Piano Men at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at the Johnny Mercer Theater, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave. in downtown Savannah.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic will be joined by the rousing quartet, Piano Men, to perform the hip-swinging, toe-tapping favorites of Billy Joel and Elton John. This concert will feature non-stop action from a golden age of music, sure to entertain audiences of all kinds.

 

Piano Men includes members Joe Boucher, Christopher Eastburn, Gary Backstrom and Steve Hodgkin. The quartet has performed many sold-out concerts across the U.S., including engagements with the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Jackson Symphony, Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, and others. The group has received numerous accolades for their performances from other musicians, including previous Billy Joel Band drummer Liberty DeVitto.

 

“’Piano Men’ is a super high-octane show featuring Joe Boucher and his fabulous band, who do the best covers of the music of both Billy Joel and Elton John,” Philharmonic Conductor and Artistic Director Peter Shannon said. “Boucher is a brilliant pianist and singer and his band features bass guitarist Chris Eastburn, who had composed charts for the whole orchestra to back up this fabulous act! The full orchestra and rock band on stage with the music of these giants?! This will be one of the most fun concerts we have done in a long time!”

 

Tickets to this concert cost $15-$80 each and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com. Students with a valid student ID card may take advantage of a 50 percent discount off any Tier 4, 5, or 6 seat, subject to availability. Tickets can be purchased at the Savannah Box Office or at each event. For more information about the Savannah Philharmonic or this concert, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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VOICEXPERIENCE’S FIFTH ANNUAL GALA, “LA PRIMAVERA”, TO HONOR DENYCE GRAVES

Categories: Public Relations.

VOICEXPERIENCE’S FIFTH ANNUAL GALA,

LA PRIMAVERA”, TO HONOR DENYCE GRAVES

TO BE HELD MARCH 20 AT NEW YORK’S HARMONIE CLUB, HOSTED BY LEGENDARY BARITONE SHERRILL MILNES

NEW YORK, NY – Feb. 1, 2018 – The VOICExperience Foundation will hold its annual VOICE Gala on March 20 at one of New York’s most established and exclusive private social clubs. Attendees will honor celebrated American mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves, as the 2018 Milnes VOICE Award-winner. Themed “La Primavera,” this elegant event will celebrate the first day of spring at New York’s Harmonie Club, located at 4 East 60th Street. The annual tradition will be hosted by opera legend and VOICExperience co-founder Sherrill Milnes and guests will enjoy a sumptuous Italian dinner and cocktails before the evening’s presentation.

In addition to recognizing Graves, special guests James Morris, Mignon Dunn, Martina Arroyo and Carmen De Lavallade will be part of this wonderful event. Festivities will include a special memorial tribute to esteemed actor and VOICE faculty alum Tony Randall with the Randall family in attendance.

Milnes expresses his enthusiasm, “Tony was such a great friend and lover of opera. I am so pleased to pay homage to his career and love of music. Along with the beautiful and talented Denyce Graves as our honoree, it will be a very special Gala for me personally.”

The Milnes VOICE Award celebrates and recognizes those who have made an extraordinary difference in the perpetuation of excellence in the art of great singing in the operatic repertoire and other classically sung genres of music. Previous recipients include legendary bass baritone James Morris, tenor Neil Schicoff, mezzo-soprano Mignon Dunn and soprano Diana Soviero.

 

Thanks to its vibrant reception, themed dinner and lively performances by VOICExperience alumni and guest artists, the event has become one of its guests’ favorite evenings and has raised over $78,000 in scholarships in the past.

The gala is part of “Opera as Drama,” a week-long, annual VOICExperience program, and funds raised from this event support the nonprofit organization in perpetuating the legacy of vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enhancing outreach events. Milnes and his wife, operatic soprano Maria Zouves, founded the VOICExperience Foundation to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Since 2001, VOICExperience has helped thousands of singers find their career path. Esteemed alumni include: Daniel Okulitch, Santiago Ballerini, Yonghoon Lee, Amy Shoremount-Obra, Micaëla Oeste and Christopher Tiesi.

“’Opera as Drama’ week – and the Milnes VOICE Gala – are the perfect way to segue into the wonderful things we have planned for 2018,” Zouves said. ”We’re thrilled to honor Denyce Graves, one of the world’s most famous mezzo-sopranos and upcoming faculty member for our summer program. Given Denyce’s focus on education, recognizing her during this week of intense study just seemed like a natural decision.”

“Opera as Drama” week is just one component of the many programs available under VOICExperience. The Florida VOICE Project, like all VE programs, is focused on helping singers find their career paths through educational programs and workshops, where they benefit from studying under the best names in opera, musical theater and song. It takes place annually in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

As part of the annual Savannah VOICE Festival, Camp VOICE offers mentorship for young singer as they transition into serious classical study. During their week in Savannah, the budding artists work with top professionals in the operatic world. Daily class topics include diction and interpretation, college preparation, and stage deportment. This program is an intensive. Camp students end the week with their own showcase concert during the Savannah VOICE Festival.

“Opera as Drama” week in New York City runs from March 18-25 at Opera America’s National Opera Center, 330 7th Ave., and The Explorers Club, 46 E. 70th St. This year, program directors Milnes and Zouves will be joined by a talented team of faculty members, including stage director Fabrizio Melano.

Highlights of this week include a Milnes Master Class at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 18, with a pre-event wine and cheese reception. Renowned stage director Fabrizio Melano will lead a master class at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 19, focusing on the exciting dramatic elements of performing. A “Broadway on the Eastside Concert” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at The Explorers Club sponsored by Faanya Rose. The intense theatrics continue at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 25 with the “Opera as Drama Concert” in the opera center’s Marc A. Scorca Hall.

Tickets for the Opera as Drama events start at $25. The “Broadway on the Eastside” and “Opera as Drama” concerts are $35. Guests may also take advantage of a Patron Ticket to the Broadway event, which includes a light supper following the performance, for $75. Specially discounted $10 student tickets are offered at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit http://voicexperiencefoundation.org/nyc-events/ or call 855-76-OPERA.

For more information on the VOICExperience Foundation, please visit www.voicexperiencefoundation.org.

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR

WITH SPECIAL CHAMBER CONCERT FEB. 16

SAVANNAH, GA – January 30, 2018 –  The Savannah Philharmonic is slated to present a special “Chinese New Year Treasures” concert as part of its chamber series at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. This concert will be held at Esther F. Garrison’s Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts, 649 W. Jones St., Savannah.

In another exploration of international cultures, Savannah Philharmonic principal violinist LiZhou Liu will lead musicians in a performance celebrating the Chinese New Year and Chinese culture. The audience will be in for a cultural treat as the Savannah Philharmonic celebrates the international holiday with performances of “Scent of Night, “Deep Friendship,” “Spring Festival Overture,” “Joy of New Year,” and more, with special guest narrator, Qiwei Sun. Following the concert there will be a Chinese New Year reception, free to concert attendees, the reception will feature traditional Chinese food sponsored by BWL Music Strings and the Chu family.

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is originally tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar. Traditionally, the holiday is a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors – in addition to bringing family together for feasting.

“This concert will be an exciting event for many reasons – not only will this chamber concert be presented during a special day and time, but we also hope to involve the Chinese community of Savannah with this New Year celebration,” Liu said. “Community outreach is extremely important to our organization and we are looking forward to reaching out to the Chinese community and celebrating the culture!”

LiZhou Liu earned his B.A. degree from The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, where he studied viola with Cen Yuan Ding, Situ Huacheng and Sui Kequiang. He received his Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. LiZhou’s prizes include first place in the 1988 SUNY Concerto Competition, performing “Der Shwanendreher” with the Stony Brook Orchestra. He also won the “Menuhin Prize” at the Portsmouth International Quartet Competition in 1982. LiZhou has held positions as Assistant Professor of Viola at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music and served as principal viola with Beijing Chamber Orchestra and Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra in New York. As a soloist, he performed modern composer Chen Yi’s viola concerto, “Xian Shi” with the Beijing Film Orchestra, the Central Opera Orchestra and the Central Philharmonic in China. In 2000, he performed Don Quixote with Yo Yo Ma and the Savannah Symphony. Currently he is principal viola with the Hilton Head Orchestra in addition of to the Savannah Philharmonic.

Esther F. Garrison’s Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts opened in November 2017. The new performance hall is a state-of-the-art facility, which can accommodate an audience of nearly 600 and includes a modern sound control room, a 3,251-square-foot performance stage and lighting, theater and band classrooms, a piano lab, chorus classroom, set-design space and a box office.

Tickets to this concert cost $25 each and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com. To learn more about this concert or the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, email info@savannahphilharmonic.org, or call 912-232-6002.

 

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL PARTNERS WITH EDUCATORS FOR FEBRUARY INITIATIVES

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 30, 2018 – The Savannah VOICE Festival is slated to return to Savannah with new educational initiatives and performances during February.

Opera legend and Savannah VOICE Festival Artistic Director, Sherrill Milnes, will join the annual Savannah Sings Festival as Master of Ceremony for the 2018 Choir Festival performance at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at the Esther F. Garrison School’s Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts, 649 W. Jones St. in downtown Savannah. Now in its fifth year, Savannah Sings 2018 is hosted by John Tisbert and the Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts Choir with generous support from the Savannah Friends of Music. The Invitational Youth Choir Festival is a two-part event featuring a concert program by some of the area’s top school and community youth choirs as well as a showcase of the Festival Men’s Chorus. This year’s festival will feature guest conductor Ken Berg with Milnes serving as emcee.

In addition to Milnes serving as Master of Ceremony, this year’s festival will include a special performance, video and talk back about the new Savannah opera, Anna Hunter, the Spirit of Savannah. This Anna Hunter experience is hosted by Savannah VOICE Festival at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8 also at the Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts. The Savannah VOICE Festival will invite students to join the composer Michael Ching as well as Davenport House Museum Director Jamie Credle and “Anna” herself, soprano Maria Zouves for a “talk back” about Savannah’s history through music. The opera highlights a trailblazer who helped spark the preservation of our historic city in the 1950s. Anna’s work led to the formation of the Historic Savannah Foundation and to the preservation of many landmark buildings including the Davenport House. This event will feature a video from the world premiere of the opera as well as a live music from the work and a special question-and-answer with the panel who will discuss the story and history behind the operatic commission. “Telling a story of Savannah’s rich history through opera is a great way to get people involved and inspired to engage in both.” said Maria Zouves, “I love that we can use the new theatre to reach students in this way.”

 

The Savannah VOICE Festival will also collaborate with Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus in its 2017-2018 Piano in the Arts program with “Come Together – An Evening of Relationships” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 at Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus’s Fine Arts Auditorium, 11935 Abercorn St., in Savannah.  This concert, directed by Savannah VOICE Festival co-founder and Executive Director Maria Zouves, will feature elegant music of varied genres performed by up-and-coming artists as well as Armstrong Campus’ own, Dr. Benjamin Warsaw. In addition, a free masterclass will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7.  Warsaw commented “Everyone at Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus is looking forward to partnering with the Savannah VOICE Festival for these initiatives”.

“We are honored to collaborate with Savannah’s wonderful educators for these exciting events and delighted that our Composer in Residence, Michael Ching will be performing at every event,” said Zouves. “It is vital to bring arts and music into the lives of our students and youth and I look forward to sharing in this experience with Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus, Savannah Sings, Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts, and Savannah Friends of Music.”

Universally acclaimed as the foremost operatic baritone of his generation, Milnes has performed over 650 times at the Met, where he was honored with sixteen new productions, seven opening nights, and ten national telecasts. As a leading artist in all of the world’s great opera houses, Milnes performed and recorded with the likes of Domingo, Pavarotti, Sutherland, Sills, Horne, Price, and Tebaldi. He is the winner of three Grammy Awards and the most recorded American singer of his time. In 2008 Milnes received the Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement. Driven by his dedication to make the vocal arts vibrant, vital and entertaining in today’s world, Milnes continues to give masterclasses, judge competitions, and mentor new generations of singers. With his wife, Maria Zouves, he co-founded and runs the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs: VOICExperience Foundation and the Savannah VOICE Festival, which provides training and performance opportunities for aspiring young artists while fostering new audiences for the arts.

The Savannah VOICE Festival is a celebration of the classical voice with over 25 performances, including operas, concerts, food and wine events, and masterclasses – often presented by Milnes – which takes place in Savannah during the month of August and throughout the year. The nonprofit arts organization brings classical vocal excellence through a celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations offering music from opera, musical theatre and popular song. Milnes and Zouves work together to serve the community by providing the highest level of education and quality performances by talented artists for all to enjoy.

 

Tickets to the “Come Together” concert cost $15 each and can be purchased by visiting www.tickets.armstrong.edu or calling 912-344-2801. For more information about Savannah Sings, please visit www.savannahsings2018.weebly.com. Tickets to Savanah Sings 2018 cost $10 each or $5 for children under the age of 18 and can be purchased by visiting http://internet.savannah.chatham.k12.ga.us/schools/gvpa/default.aspx.

To learn more about Sherrill Milnes, the Savannah VOICE Festival, or “Anna Hunter, The Spirit of Savannah,” please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE INVESTIGATOR PROMOTED TO SERGEANT

Categories: Public Relations.

PEMBROKE, GA – January 29, 2018 – Eric D. Gaustad was promoted to Sergeant, Investigations by Sheriff Clyde R. Smith on Jan. 23. During Gaustad’s career with the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, he has been assigned to the agency’s Patrol and Criminal Investigation Division.

 

As an investigator, Gaustad is responsible for conducting criminal investigations throughout Bryan County and assisting other criminal justice and associate agencies. The Bryan County Sheriff’s Office provides overall security of the Courthouse, is responsible for the Bryan County Sex Offender registry, and enforces the criminal laws of Georgia. The Sheriff’s Office also operates the Bryan County Detention Center and the Bryan County Emergency 911 Center, which provides Criminal Justice Information System services and 24-hour, daily dispatch capacity to all Bryan County Public Safety and affiliate agencies.

 

Gaustad began his law enforcement career in 1994 as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as a firearms instructor and Training and Operations Non-Commissioned Officer. Gaustad began his civilian law enforcement as a police officer with the Armstrong State University Police Department. In 2001 he was employed by the Richmond Hill Georgia Police Department, where he served as a patrol supervisor and field training officer. In October 2011, he was employed with Gulfstream Aerospace, Savannah, GA assigned to their corporate security office until he joined the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office in 2013.

 

Gaustad has participated in professional development programs in Savannah, Richmond Hill, and Forsyth, GA. He is a candidate for the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council’s Criminal Investigator Certification.

 

Gaustad is a recipient of the 2015 Exchange Club of Richmond Hill Public Safety Officer of the Year award and received the Richmond Hill Police Department’s Meritorious Service Award in 2010.

 

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION’S RACE FOR PRESERVATION RUNS THROUGH 5 HISTORIC DISTRICTS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 29, 2018 –  Historic Savannah Foundation is slated to present the 12th Annual Race for Preservation presented by Livingood’s Appliances and Bedding on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at 8 a.m. The 5K and 10K race will begin and end in Forsyth Park, at Gaston and Bull Streets.

 

This family- and pet-friendly event aims to educate runners, spectators and the Savannah community about the importance of preservation. The event showcases five historic neighborhoods (the Landmark District, Victorian District, Thomas Square/Midtown, Ardsley Park-Chatham Crescent, and Parkside) and two historic parks (Forsyth and Daffin).

 

Title Sponsor, Livingood’s Appliances and Bedding, along with Race Recovery Specialist Sponsor Chatham Orthopaedic Associates; Silver Sponsors Felder & Associates, Dulany Industries and Celebritees; Bronze Sponsors Georgia Power and Whole Foods; Starting Line Patrons Mingledorff’s, Judge Realty, Governomics, Bouhan Falligant, Savannah Construction & Preservation, American Craftsman Renovations and Coca-Cola; Supporters Savannah Hardscapes, R.B. Baker Construction, Bernard Williams and Colony Bank; Beer Sponsor Moon River Brewing Company, Media Sponsors Savannah Morning News and Lesley Francis PR, and Community Partners Savannah Bicycle Campaign and the Southside Fire Department have all signed on to help ensure a successful race. All race proceeds benefit HSF’s ongoing preservation work.

 

Registration fees from $25-$45 are structured to offer savings for military members, first responders, and students. Participants can register online at runsignup.com until Thursday, Feb. 22. Late registrations will be available during the packet pick-up from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 at Fleet Feet Sports Savannah on Waters Ave.

 

“The Race for Preservation has always been one of HSF’s most popular community events. The beautiful route through the various historic neighborhoods highlights the benefits of historic preservation,” HSF Director of Development Meghan Lowe said. “Our post-race celebration is also a treat for all involved – plenty of snacks and drinks for all, as well as post-race recovery, and other family activities.”

For more information, please visit www.myHSF.org. Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact Lowe at 912-233-7787 or mlowe@myHSF.org.

 

Historic Savannah Foundation saves buildings, places and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, HSF started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling nearly 370 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country — emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. HSF demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand.

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BRYAN COUNTY 144 WIDENING GETS BOOST FROM STATE, PROJECT NOW ON TRACK TO BEGIN IN 2018

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – January 26, 2018 – Bryan County’s transportation infrastructure plans are rolling along at a good clip. One such project – the long-anticipated 144 widening – received a substantial boost on Thursday when it was once again added to Georgia’s 2018 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program list.

Previously, the widening had been pushed back to the 2025 STIP project list, meaning residents and visitors would continue to deal with increasing traffic problems for the better part of a decade. However, Bryan County officials teamed up with officials from the City of Richmond Hill, as well as area legislators, Department of Transportation officials and advocates to emphasize the importance of the project and lobby for its placement on the 2018 list. Their persistence paid off, they learned Thursday. The 144 widening will now be funded and is slated to move forward.

Those who partnered to push the project to the forefront include Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter, County Administrator Ben Taylor, Rep. Ron Stephens, Senator Ben Watson, Rep. Jesse Petrea, Department of Transportation planner Jay Roberts, Richmond Hill City Manager Chris Lovell, DOT representative Ann Purcell, and local transportation advocate Steve Croy.

“We are very excited about the widening of 144 and the county has already started engineering work on roundabouts and other areas in anticipation of this initiative,” said Infinger. “There was a lot of work behind the scenes to reach this decision and I could not be more delighted.”

“This collaboration is a prime example of the county and the city working together,” Carpenter said. “People think we’re so much at odds, but that’s just not the case. If we hadn’t worked together on this, it wouldn’t be happening. The 144 widening is something we’ve all been working on for 10 years now, and we’re finally going to see it come to fruition. To say it’s good news is an understatement.”

Stephens concurred and also credited the previous Bryan County and Richmond Hill administrations for getting the ball rolling.

“Former Mayor Harold Fowler and Commission Chair Jimmy Burnsed worked on this, too. It’s way overdue,” Stephens said. He acknowledged the work will cause a few traffic headaches as the project gets under way but, in the long run, the benefits to residents will be worth it.

“It reminds of folks who work out a lot, looking toward the future. They say, ‘No pain, no gain.’ And that’s true here. It’ll be painful for a short while but ultimately, the project is very beneficial for this fast-growing county. They’ll finally get some relief from traffic problems.”

Other recently approved projects that will offer drivers some respite include plans for two major intersections. Last week, the Bryan County Commission gave the OK on funding for engineering intersections at Belfast River Road/Harris Trail and Belfast River Road/Belfast Keller Road.

The county is also exploring options with Highway 17 and Belfast Keller, according to Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor. “This is all in preparation for the passage of the upcoming TSPLOST referendum which will provide construction funds,” he said. “We want these projects ready to go if it passes.”

For more information on Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or call 912-653-5252 or 912-756-3177.

 

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FAMILY PROMISE APPOINTS LESLEY FRANCIS PUBLIC RELATIONS AS MARKETING PARTNER

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 24, 2018 – Family Promise of Greater Savannah announces the appointment of Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR) as marketing partners. Lesley Francis and her team are working closely with Family Promise of Greater Savannah and will be responsible for media relations, social media, website updates and maintenance, event planning, copy writing and other marketing initiatives.

Family Promise of Greater Savannah provides homeless families with children emergency shelters, meals, and encompassing support. The organization has a strong track record in keeping families together during difficult times, while offering support and resources towards long-term independence.  British-born Lesley Francis founded LFPR in 2009. Her public relations agency specializes in non-profit organizations as well as local businesses.

“We are very excited that Lesley Francis PR will be joining us as an extended part of our team aiding in various marketing initiatives,” said Family Promise of Greater Savannah Executive Director Katrina Bostick. “Our organization is focused on building the community and we look forward to working closely with marketing professionals who are very much a part of the greater Savannah community.”24

For more information about Family Promise of Greater Savannah, please visit www.familypromisesavannah.org. To learn more about Lesley Francis PR, please visit www.lesleyfrancispr.com.

 

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LOCAL AUTHOR TO PRESENT HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHY AT EXCHANGE CLUB OF RICHMOND HILL JAN. 24

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – January 23, 2018 – Author A. Louise Staman will join members of the Exchange Club of Richmond Hill to discuss her latest Savannah centric biography at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 at the Richmond Hill City Center, 520 Cedar St., JF Gregory Park.

Staman’s book, “Restoring Lost Times: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter,” is the true story of Anna as she embraced the triumphs and tribulations of her long life with gusto working and playing hard, feeling deeply and participating fully. In a compelling tale of all the phases of her life as she became a wife, mother, widow and served abroad during the Second World War before her stunning contributions in preserving Savannah’s historic homes and landmarks, this beautifully illustrated book will be treasured by both residents and visitors alike.

“I always enjoy having the opportunity to discuss my books with interested individuals and this will be no exception,” said A. Louise Staman. “It’s truly special to have the opportunity to speak about my book with local club members as it is centered around our community of Savannah.”

It was in Savannah during the 1950s that Anna Hunter’s voice became widely heard. Something terrible was happening to her beloved Savannah. Historic downtown was largely abandoned and sometimes falling down and the developers were moving in. Historic structures often fell to the wrecking ball. Anna Colquitt Hunter and her group of six women changed the future, through the past and its preservation. There were many aspects of Anna Hunter that are less widely known. In addition to starting Historic Savannah Foundation, Anna was an avid painter, a writer for the Savannah Morning News, and loved to dance and socialize.

A. Louise Staman has been a writer, poet, and researcher for nearly all of her adult life. She has located criminals, learned that a ‘high-born’ heroine was once a prostitute, and traced many lives through wars, occupations, corruption, and malice. She conducts her searches through court houses, archives, and libraries with the same enthusiasm and care as a robber casing a bank, and she loves to interview those who once knew her characters, finding their personal stories to be a fascinating addition to history.

Staman lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband of over 50 years, Dr. E. Michael Staman. Her most recent book, “Restoring Lost Times: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter,” is her sixth published book (one published in Paris) and her third biography. She has written for French and English journals and has won several prizes for her writing.

Hard-cover copies of “Restoring Lost Times: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter” are currently available for purchase for $29.95 and soft-cover copies for $24.95. The book can be purchased online at Staman’s website or at the Davenport House Museum gift shop.

To learn more about this book or A. Louise Staman, please visit www.alouisestaman.com.

 

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC APPOINTS CANDACE JENKINS

Categories: Public Relations.

ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC APPOINTS CANDACE JENKINS AS CONNECTIONAL MINISTRIES COORDINATOR


SAVANNAH, GA- January 22, 2018 – Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church  recently appointed Candace Jenkins as Connectional Ministries Coordinator.

 

Jenkins’ responsibilities as Connectional Ministries Coordinator will include welcoming visitors and helping them connect with people and programs at the church; coordinating Asbury’s Usher and Greeter Ministries; helping facilitate New Member Classes; assisting in Congregational Care Ministries, and being a point person for any inquiries about the church and/or the church’s many offerings.

 

Jenkins hopes to add a welcoming element to this position in the future that ensures parishioners have a true connection to the church family and everything the church has to offer.

 

“I will serve this position in a manner that brings people together and helps solidify that individuals truly feel like part of the church family,” Jenkins said. “I wanted to take this job because of the immense love and gratitude I have for my church home. Asbury is a welcoming, all inclusive church with a powerful and dynamic worship service that has touched people’s lives in a very meaningful way for many years. To be a part of this ministry is an honor and privilege for me as this church has taught me to appreciate the true meaning of inclusivity and differences among all of God’s people.”

 

Candace Jenkins earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Armstrong State University. In addition to this position with Asbury Memorial UMC, Jenkins serves as a program guide at the Massie Heritage Center. Throughout her 14 years as an Asbury Memorial UMC congregation member, she volunteered in the nursery and taught children’s church for fourth- through sixth-graders, in addition to serving on the Church Council and the Flower Ministry Team as a delivery person. Jenkins previously worked as an account executive in the sales department at WTOC-TV and WSAV-TV before serving as a substitute teacher and Administrative Assistant to the Lower School Principal at Calvary Day School.

 

Jenkins has joined the Asbury Memorial UMC team, which includes Rev. Billy Hester, Church Administrator Randy Canady, Office Manager Claudette DeLong, Associate Minister Jan Durham, Minister of Music Ray Ellis, Organist Kay Deffley, Youth Minister Laura Angell, Assistant Youth Director Chris Kincade, and Children & Family Ministries Director Ruthie Deffley.

 

Asbury Memorial UMC is a Christ-centered, forward-thinking, all-embracing congregation that celebrates the joy of God creatively. For more information about the church or Jenkins’ position, please visit www.asburymemorial.org.

 

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Family Promise

Categories: Public Relations. Tags: Media Relations, Social Media Management, and Website Management. Client Type: 1. Non Profit Organizations.

Family Promise of Greater Savannah utilizes a network of Host Congregations where the families spend each evening, having dinner and activities with volunteers.  After dinner each family then retires to a private room on the congregation’s property. In the morning, breakfast is provided, bag lunches are packed, and the Family Promise van returns the families to the Day Center.  The day center serves as a home-base for the families–giving them an address and access to a phone. Families enjoy the comfort of a day room and playroom designated for their use. They also avail themselves to shower & laundry facilities, and attend to small children. The day center provides an opportunity for them to prepare resumes, apply for jobs, and seek housing.  Family Promise offers families the opportunity to remain together; to build up savings, and to make connections with volunteers from Host Congregations who are motivated to help them succeed.  The one-family-per-room accommodations allow the families the dignity and privacy not always available through other organizations.

In addition to Host Congregations, the Network also consists of Support Congregations, which contribute volunteers, in-kind donations, and financial donations to the Network.

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION WELCOMES FULL-TIME HISTORIC PROPERTIES COORDINATOR

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 17, 2018 –  Ryan Arvay joined Historic Savannah Foundation in a full-time role as Historic Properties Coordinator. His duties will include managing the organization’s Revolving Fund and Easement Program.

HSF’s Revolving Fund was launched in 1960 and quickly rose to national prominence, inspiring other preservation-focused nonprofits to create similar initiatives. By investing in local real estate and acquiring blighted and endangered historic properties, HSF emboldened other private interests to also invest in saving buildings and the collective impact grew exponentially. To date, HSF has saved more than 370 properties.

The Easement Program offers property owners an additional layer of protection above and beyond that prescribed by Savannah’s Historic District Board of Review. HSF holds, monitors and enforces easements, thus further protecting historic properties for future generations. Historic properties throughout Savannah and Chatham County are eligible.

Arvay, a California native who grew up in Cupertino, is an architecture and history enthusiast. After moving to a historic Florida town in 2006, he became involved in the local preservation scene and eventually was named program manager of two nationally accredited Main Street programs. Arvay also worked as the living history coordinator for the University of West Florida Historic Trust, and served as the vice president of the Santa Rosa County Historical Society.

Arvay has a bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Media Arts from Brigham Young University and a master’s in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He enjoys advocacy work and intends to develop several personal projects that combine his love of film-making and old buildings to further the cause of historic preservation. Arvay is married and has four children.

After growing up in the sprawling suburbs of the West Coast Bay Area, Arvay said his move south provided a revelation about the importance of historic structures. Of all the cities he has spent time in, he said he has never felt a greater sense of belonging than in Savannah.

“We at HSF often say, with no apologies or exaggeration, the Revolving Fund is what saved Savannah. To be sure, there have been many who have helped in that endeavor: individuals such as Walter Hartridge, Mills B. Lane, Jim Williams, among others, and larger entities like SCAD have also made impressions. However, between 1955 and the late 1970s, no one did more to preserve Savannah than HSF,” Arvay said. “I am humbled to play a small part in that on-going legacy, which still does so much to protect Savannah’s most unique and valuable of all assets – its historic buildings.”

 

HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country — emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. HSF demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand.

For more information about Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org or call 912-233-7787.

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION’S 13TH COLONY HOSTS NETWORKING TOUR EVENT

Categories: Public Relations.

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION’S 13TH COLONY HOSTS NETWORKING, HISTORIC BUILDING TOUR EVENT JAN. 23

SAVANNAH, GA – January 15, 2018 –  Historic Savannah Foundation’s 13th Colony is pleased to invite young professionals to its upcoming “Preservation in Progress” event, which will include a tour of LaScala Ristorante. The membership event begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, at LaScala, 119 E. 37th St. in the Thomas Square Streetcar Historic District.

 

Attendees will have the opportunity to mingle and tour the eagerly anticipated gourmet eatery, located in a c.1900 building currently under restoration. The evening is sponsored by Cabretta Capital Corporation. Attendees will enjoy wine, beer, and light hors d’oeuvres.

 

LaScala Ristorante will feature the finest Italian cuisine and hand-selected wines amid an historic setting featuring original murals and ornate stained glass.

 

A special opportunity to join one of two 13th Colony memberships at a discounted rate will be offered at this event for first time members. Individual 13th Colony memberships, regularly $85, will be available for $42.50 and household memberships, regularly $125, will be available for $62.50.

 

“We’re excited to have this opportunity to tour LaScala’s impressive property for a behind-the-scenes look at preservation in action before the restaurant is open to the public,” said Historic Savannah Foundation Membership and Volunteer Coordinator Chassidy Malloy. “This event offers attendees a chance to network with other young professionals while enjoying the historic building’s beauty and unique character. We are grateful to our sponsor Cabretta Capital and Brent Watts for their dedication to historic preservation and generosity, which will aid in making the evening really enjoyable.”

 

Cabretta Capital Corporation is a finance firm based in Savannah with expertise in structured tax credit equity. Various government programs produce tax credits that can be monetized through public and private partnership and Cabretta monetizes these credits to create equity for qualifying ventures. Cabretta was formed in January of 2015 and has syndicated over $100 Million Tax Credits since its inception.

 

Historic Savannah Foundation is cultivating the next generation of preservation-minded community leaders though its 13th Colony supporters. The mission of the 13th Colony is to promote greater understanding and awareness of historic preservation and the goals of Historic Savannah Foundation to a younger audience, while also engaging their participation in Historic Savannah Foundation programs and building future Historic Savannah Foundation leadership. With a strategic plan focused on protecting Savannah’s heritage, they are rising to the challenge of increasing involvement of Savannah’s young professionals within Historic Savannah Foundation and their community.

 

13th Colony membership benefits include:

  • Invitations to excusive 13th Colony events, tours and programs
  • Invitations to lectures, the Annual Gala and other special events
  • Access to the quarterly newsletter and recognition as a new member
  • One free admission to the Davenport House Museum
  • 10 percent discount on Historic Savannah Foundation merchandise and at the Davenport House Museum shop

 

For more information about the 13th Colony, please visit www.myHSF.org/giving/13th-colony-society/.

 

For more information about this event, please contact Chassidy Malloy by emailing cmalloy@myHSF.org or calling 912-233-7787. To learn more about Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org.

 

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ELISABETH VON TRAPP, OF ‘SOUND OF MUSIC’ FAMILY, TO SING AT ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 15, 2018 – Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church is slated to host Elisabeth von Trapp at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The church is located at 1008 E. Henry St., downtown Savannah.

 

Elisabeth is the granddaughter of Maria and Baron von Trapp, whose story inspired “The Sound of Music.” Singing professionally since childhood, Elisabeth has enthralled audiences from European cathedrals to Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and hundreds of Performance Halls and churches across the United States. This concert will feature sacred and secular music ranging from the contemporary to Gregorian chant, early American hymns, spirituals and perhaps a song or two from the Rodgers & Hammerstein songbook.

 

This concert is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted during the performance with a suggested contribution of $10. Asbury Memorial UMC will receive 10 percent of all donation proceeds for its Children’s Ministries.

 

“We are looking forward to hosting Elisabeth von Trapp at our church and sharing this experience with the community,” said Asbury Memorial UMC Pastor Rev. Billy Hester. “It will truly be incredible to experience Elisabeth’s talent derived from the legendary von Trapp family.”

 

Inspired by her father, Werner von Trapp’s, guitar playing and singing, Elisabeth von Trapp has carried on the legacy of the internationally renowned Trapp Family Singers. She began taking piano lessons when she was eight and by the age of 16 she was playing guitar and traveling the back roads of New England, performing with her siblings at weddings, gospel meetings and town halls. Her concert repertoire ranges from Bach to Broadway and Schubert to Sting. With equal ease and eloquence, she sings timeless wonders, soaring gospel tunes, pop classics, and her own stunning compositions. Elisabeth has released five self-produced albums, and has performed across the United States, Austria and Russia. Her music has been featured on National Public Radio, BBC-Radio, Japanese National Radio and CNN Spanish Radio. She has appeared on CBS’s Eye on People, ABC’s Good Morning America, and BBC-TV.

 

Asbury Memorial UMC is a Christ-centered, forward-thinking, all-embracing congregation that celebrates the joy of God creatively.

 

For more information about this concert or Elisabeth von Trapp, please visit www.elisabethvontrapp.com. To learn more about Asbury Memorial UMC, please visit www.asburymemorial.org or call 912-233-4351.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC ANNOUNCES CHANGES IN CHORUS LEADERSHIP

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 10, 2018 – The Savannah Philharmonic today shared the news that Chorus Master Dr. Monica Dekle will not be renewing her contract with the Philharmonic Chorus, after the end of the current season in May 2018. Dekle has led the Chorus for four years in this part-time role, which she has combined with her full-time job as Director of Music and Organist at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church. This move will enable her to commit more time to her primary position at Wesley Monumental and to spend more quality time with her family.

Chairman of the Board of the Philharmonic, Austin Hill, said “The Board of Directors and staff of the Savannah Philharmonic are extremely grateful to Dr. Monica Harper Dekle for her extraordinary leadership of our chorus. Her hard work and dedication are evident in our performances, and we will value her family’s continued support of the Savannah Philharmonic.”

“I have seldom made decisions regarding the future of the Savannah Philharmonic that carried the weight that accompanied my decision as to who would lead the 110-strong Savannah Philharmonic Chorus. Having personally ensured their artistic growth since 2007, handing the Chorus over to another musician is like bringing your child to daycare for the first time and then pretending that it’s perfectly normal to wave and walk away. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Peter Shannon, Artistic Director and Conductor. “All the more wonderful it is then – to know with surety, as I have done now for many years – that Monica Dekle was the right choice to be first Chorus Master of the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus. At every concert, at every rehearsal and otherwise, she has exceeded expectations in every way. It’s been a wonderful journey for all of us who have been privy to her keen musicianship and stellar work ethic. Thank you, Monica. You will be a hard act to follow.”

Dekle, and her husband Andrew Dekle, who sits on the board of the Savannah Philharmonic, have pledged their continued support of the organization. A new Chorus Master is being sought to work with Shannon as the Philharmonic approaches its tenth season (2018-19) this fall.

For more information, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, call 912-232-6002 or email info@savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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MEDIATION CENTER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JILL CHEEKS TO SPEAK TO ROTARY OF EAST SAVANNAH

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 4, 2018 Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire Executive Director Jill Cheeks will present to members of the Rotary Club of East Savannah at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26 2018 at the Pirates House, 20 E. Broad St., Savannah.

Cheeks’ presentation will provide background information on the Mediation Center, which is staffed with a team of experienced mediators who are trained to help residents in Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, Liberty, Tattnall and Bulloch counties resolve legal disputes without turning to litigation. The organization’s reputation is built on over 30 years of integrity and expertise, with a high success rate in resolving thousands of conflicts through resolution.

Cheeks has spoken and given presentations at various civic organizations and educational institutions around the Coastal Empire, including Armstrong State University. She also provides workplace conflict resolution and facilitation services through the Mediation Center and has worked in partnership with many local businesses. Cheeks is eager to share the Mediation Center’s mission with Savannah Rotarians.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak with some of the area’s most noteworthy leaders and community pillars. Creating awareness for what we do and forming viable partnerships and collaborations is as essential as the mediation services the center provides, and I’m looking forward to this chance to garner additional support and keep us moving in a positive direction,” Cheeks said.

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who

come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. Chartered on November 7, 1983, the Rotary Club of Savannah East has been practicing the Rotary motto of Service Above Self in southeast Georgia and around the world for more than three decades. Members meet every Fridays at 12:30 p.m. at the Pirates’ House.

For more information about this event or the Mediation Center, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com, call 912-354-6686 or email info@mediationsavannah.com. To learn more about the Rotary Club East Savannah, please visit www.rotaryclubofsavannaheast.com.

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION TO PRESENT EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH CONCERT JAN. 25

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 4, 2018 The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) invites the community to its Educational Outreach Concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 at Skidaway Island United Methodist Church (UMC), 54 Diamond Causeway, on Skidaway Island.

This concert will celebrate the ATC’s first week of educating students in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. Working hand in hand with local teachers, the ATC seeks to educate local students on the history and various styles of American music, culminating in a competition opportunity for local high school students. All proceeds from this event will benefit the ATC’s education initiative for 2018 and beyond.

ATC Artistic Director and 2014 Gold Medal winner, Mikki Sodergren will be joined by 2014 Bronze Medalist Maria Failla, Educational Advisory Committee member Dr. Christopher Jordan, former contestant Rebecca Flaherty, and two-time judge and current Board Secretary Jim Wann to present a wonderful evening of music. ATC pianist Assaf Gleizner will accompany these talented singers.

“Our organization is committed to connecting with students of all ages in the community and we are looking forward to continuing this in 2018 with our educational outreach program. This concert will be a great way to kick off and celebrate our new 2018 educational initiatives,” said Sodergren. “We also hope music lovers in the community will take advantage of a great opportunity to attend Savannah Friends of Music’s (SFOM) Holiday Extension Party as well as our Educational Outreach Concert.”

In a special collaboration with SFOM, Sodergren will preview a taste of the great music to come with the 25

th annual ATC and Educational Outreach Concert. The Holiday Extension Party is at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at the home of Lynne and Charles Davis. Accompanied by pianist Assaf Gleizner, Sodergren will perform her favorite numbers from The American Songbook, Broadway Show tunes and jazz. This event will include a bountiful buffet and delectable desserts, as well as wine and beer. Reservations are available for $65 per person and attendance to this event includes priority seating and admission to the ATC’s Educational Outreach Concert on Jan. 25. For more information about this event or to buy tickets, please visit the Savannah Friends of Music website at www.savannahfriendsofmusic.com/events.html or call Phyllis Albertson at 912-441-7216.

The Educational Outreach Concert is free for students. Individual tickets to this event cost $10 each and can be purchased by visiting www.americantraditionscompetition.com/donate/.

To learn more about ATC and the Educational Outreach Concert, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com, email admin@americantraditionscompetition.com, or call 803-702-0305.

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO PRESENT ‘ROYAL BAROQUE’ CONCERT ON JAN. 27

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 3, 2018 The Savannah Philharmonic is set to present its next performance, Royal Baroque, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, 32 Abercorn Street, in downtown Savannah.

Grand masters Bach and Handel take center stage in this evening of beloved Baroque-era masterworks. From Pachelbel’s hauntingly beautiful Canon in D to Handel’s exhilarating Royal Fireworks Music, this is an evening of music sure to leave the audience wanting more.

“What I love most about Baroque music is that the composers of the time truly believed in the power of music to speak to its audience. This insistence on the power of music to communicate has to be taken very seriously by the performer and so when the Savannah Philharmonic take to the stage for ‘Royal Baroque’ it will be a powerful and moving experience,” said Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Shannon. “Performance practice of the time is complex but we are very fortunate in Savannah to have many players in the orchestra who have a strong background in this music.

Our Concertmaster Sinisa Ciric is a world class baroque player, and this makes my job a lot easier – the same can be said for the other string principals. We are delighted to feature our talented principal flautist Jeana Melilli as soloist in Vivaldi’s Piccolo Concerto,” Shannon said. “The rest of the program features the last giants of the Baroque Era; Handel and Bach. The trick will be to match the energy on stage for ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ with the beauty and serenity of Bach’s ‘Air on a G String’ from his 3rd Suite. This will be a stellar evening.”

Melilli has been the Savannah Philharmonic’s Principal Flute since the organization’s inception and currently serves as the organization’s Education and Community Outreach Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Flute Performance from The Catholic University of America and a Master’s degree from Northwestern University. Melilli is the piccolo/third flute for the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and the South Carolina Philharmonic, as well as an extra musician for the Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Opera, Charleston Symphony, and other orchestras throughout the Southeast. She is a historical performance advocate and a founding member of the Savannah Baroque and the Vista Ensemble playing Baroque flute in each.

Ciric has performed in countless concerts as soloists and in chamber ensembles and orchestras. As a member of the Symphonic Orchestra of Serbian Radio Television and Belgrade Philharmonic, he cooperated with many international conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Christian Mandeal, Christian Badea and others. Ciric is a founding member o the Balkan Quartet, with whom he has performed in many concerts promoting the rich musical heritage of his native Servia and the Balkans.

The Savannah Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.

Tickets to “Royal Baroque” cost $15-$80 and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com.

For more information about this concert or the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, call 912-232-6002 or email info@savannahphilharmonic.org.

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TWO HUNDRED CLUB TO RECOGNIZE SEVERAL OF THE REGION’S BRAVEST FIRST RESPONDERS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 3, 2018 – The Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire will honor four of the area’s most courageous first responders at the 2018 Valor Awards. This event will be held from 5:00-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 in the Trustees Garden’s Metal Building, 660 E. Broughton Street in downtown Savannah.

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Meet and Greet

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Valor Award Ceremony

The Two Hundred Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that immediately responds with financial support to the families of fallen or critically injured first responders. To date, the Two Hundred Club has given over $2 million to the families of first responders who have suffered serious injuries or death in the line of duty.

Each year, the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire honors two first responders or groups from the 20 Georgia and South Carolina counties they serve. Those selected for recognition must have exhibited valor during their performance of duties. The Valor Awards are presented to law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel who acted with strength of mind and spirit when confronted with extreme danger, knowing their personal health and well-being were in jeopardy.

Attendees will celebrate and honor the courage of four of our first responders. They will enjoy live music, wine, beer, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and have opportunities to meet with fellow Two Hundred Club members, Two Hundred Club family members, and first responders. The Trustees Garden, Host South, Paul Kennedy, and Advanced AV Rentals are serving as event sponsors.

“The Two Hundred Club’s Valor Awards Ceremony honors the bravery first responders exhibit every single day to keep our communities safe,” President Mark Dana said. “We put on this

event to show the first responder community know how proud we are of the dedication and service them and their families selflessly give to us.”

Tickets to this event cost $25 per person and can be purchased by visiting https://twohundredclub.mypaysimple.com/s/valor-awards.

To learn more about this event or the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, please visit www.twohundredclub.org, call 912-721-4418 or email info@twohundredclub.org.

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TWO HUNDRED CLUB OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE UNVEILS NEW WEBSITE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 3, 2018 The Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire recently unveiled its new website, which features a user-friendly layout and current statistics regarding the organization’s progress and charitable giving.

The website’s easy-to-navigate format allows individuals who want to become members, event participants, sponsors, or to donate to do so with just a couple of clicks. Information about 2018’s Two Hundred Club Events is easily accessible from the Home Page or Main Menu. The website features information about the organizations mission, goals, who we serve, who we have served, members, Valor Award winners, and up to date news.

The website was designed by Savannah-based United WebWorks owner Andrew Reilley and his talented team. They offered their time, talent and expertise to the Two Hundred Club as a pro bono project.

We had the new website designed in order to provide the community with information about the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, so they can become either new members or sponsors of the Two Hundred Club. Now we can assure everyone who is interested in joining, donating or learning more can quickly access relevant information, said Two Hundred Club President Mark Dana. “We want this update to reflect who we are as a group and to illustrate the passion, motivation and drive that our organization represents. We’re especially grateful to Andrew Reilley and United WebWorks for perfecting the site’s look and message.”

The principal objective of The Two Hundred Club is to provide immediate financial assistance to the surviving spouse and children of local law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line-of-duty while protecting their communities. The organization was incorporated on October 16, 2000, as a Georgia nonprofit charitable organization 501(c)(3). The board consists of members of the business, law enforcement, judicial, professional, religious and academic communities. The Two Hundred Club is a significant vehicle for expressing

community gratitude to the families of our fallen heroes.

For more information about The Two Hundred Club or to view this updated website, please visit www.twohundredclub.org.

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GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER LAUNCHES CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN

Categories: Public Relations.

GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER LAUNCHES CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR NEW WEBSITE

 

SAVANNAH, GA – January 3, 2018Greenbriar Children’s Center recently announced that it is raising funds via a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to assist them in their mission of caring for the community’s abused, neglected and runaway children. The nonprofit aims to raise $5,000 on Generosity by Indiegogo to help fund a new website, which is badly needed to draw donors to the organization and inform those who benefit from the organization’s wide array services.

Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital through the collective effort of an organization’s supporters, customers and individual investors. This approach taps into the collective efforts of a large pool of individuals, primarily online via social media. Crowdfunding has been used to fund a wide range nonprofit and entrepreneurial ventures, such as artistic and creative projects, as well as community programs and initiatives.

Greenbriar’s crowdfunding campaign offers supporters incentives for their participation and generosity. Those who contribute $500, which is “Emerald Sponsorship Level,” will receive a Greenbriar hat or T-shirt. Donors who commit to becoming a “Diamond Sponsor” by contributing at least $1,000, will have their names inscribed on a plaque mounted at Greenbriar.

Greenbriar Children’s Center Board Vice President Melissa Emery launched the online campaign and hopes that the giving spirit that typically surrounds the holidays will help bolster it, heading into 2018. Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor says the nonprofit has needed a website for years, but other priorities had to be tended to first.

“Greenbriar’s website hasn’t been updated or overhauled in nearly a decade. The technology isn’t user-friendly, and we can’t properly utilize the platform to make the public aware of all the wonderful programs and services Greenbriar offers. It just doesn’t do our organization justice,” Taylor said. “Funds we receive or raise have to go to the care, health, safety and education of the children we help. We haven’t been able to funnel enough money to the website because shelter, food, clothing and medicine for our clients come first. We hope the public and our supporters will help us raise enough for a simple but attractive website that is well-organized and adequate to meet our needs. We would greatly appreciate any assistance.”

Greenbriar promotes the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families by providing services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless residential care,

independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place.

To donate to Greenbriar via its crowdfunding campaign, please visit https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/greenbriar-children-s-center.

For more information about Greenbriar Children’s Center, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912-234-3431.

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER ANNOUNCES SECOND ANNUAL OYSTER ROAST AT FISH TALES

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – December 21, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper recently announced plans for its second annual Oyster Roast fundraiser, in partnership with Fish Tales at Fort McAllister Marina. This event, slated for 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, will festively kick off ORK’s 2018 fundraising efforts at Fish Tales, 3203 Fort McAllister Road in Richmond Hill.

Local musician Jason Courtenay will provide entertainment as guests enjoy a stunning view of the historic Ogeechee River while dining on local and domestic oysters, as well as an array of “landlubbers’” (non-seafood) fare. Beer will be provided by Southern Eagle Distributing, and prizes will be raffled off throughout the evening. Fish Tales will display an old-fashioned oyster steamer for demonstrations.

Proceeds raised from this exciting event will go toward the Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin. Fish Tales is at the end of the waterway’s seven-mile bend, just a few miles from the Intercoastal Waterway and Ossabaw Sound, and a 12-minute boat ride from Coffee Bluff in Savannah.

“I am truly looking forward to kicking-off the new year with Fish Tales and our supporters in the Richmond Hill and Savannah community,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Simona Perry. “We hope everyone will come enjoy delicious oysters with us while overlooking the beautiful river which will benefit from this fun event.”

Tickets to this event include all-you-can-eat oysters, along with non-seafood items, two beer or wine drink tickets, and entertainment. Tickets may be purchased online in advance for $30 each, $50 per couple, and $10 for children ages 2-12. Tickets will also be available at the door for $35 each, $55 per couple, and $15 for children ages 2-12. Raffle tickets will be available for $5 each or five for $20.

For more information about this event or to purchase tickets, please visit http://ogeecheeriverkeeper.org/event/fish-tales-oyster-roast/. To learn more about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

To learn more about Fish Tales at Fort McAllister Marina, please visit www.fishtalesrh.com.

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SD GUNNER FUND AIMS TO MEET ANNUAL GOAL WITH LAUNCH OF ‘DUDEOIR’ CALENDAR

Categories: Public Relations.

SD GUNNER FUND AIMS TO MEET ANNUAL GOAL WITH LAUNCH OF ‘DUDEOIR’ VETERAN & PITBULL CALENDAR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

RICHMOND HILL, GA – December 20, 2017 – The SD Gunner Fund is closing in on its annual fundraising goal for 2017 with a last push for the year with the launch of this local non-profit organization’s “Dudeoir” 2018 calendar. The fund is only $1,500 away from hitting the $50,000 goal which will enable the organization to place 14 service animals this fiscal year. All funds raised support their mission to assist veterans and disabled children with the financial expense of acquiring and owning service animals.

Britnee Kinard created SD Gunner Fund in 2014 while caring full-time for her husband as he grappled with post-traumatic stress disorder and recovered from physical wounds sustained while serving in Iraq. Over the past few years Kinard has undertaken extensive fundraising and continues to set the bar high with each passing year. As 2017 ends, SD Gunner Fund announces its plan to take two things society deems as dysfunctional and unrepairable; soldiers with PTSD and Pitbull dogs and shine light on these areas using a “Dudeoir Calendar” fundraiser. Kinard never anticipated the turn-out and interest of others willing to contribute to its creation.

The calendar will feature disabled veterans sharing the page with their service animal or Pitbulls. SD Gunner Fund partnered with Operation Pitbull to provide the dogs for the shoot. All animals provided by Operation Pitbull for this shoot were rescued from death row and within 2-3 days of being euthanized, and are available for adoption.

Any veteran wanting to adopt one of the featured dogs is welcome to adopt them as a pet. Operation Pitbull will waive the $125 adoption fee for a veteran and SD Gunner Fund will provide training with SDGF Trainer – James Quarterman. Adoptees should know this will not be a fully functional service animal but will serve as a pet and companion.

The shoot would not have been possible without local photographers that donated their time – Caroline Crull of Hinesville and Stephen McClosky of Columbia, South Carolina. Kelly White contributed as designer and worked directly with Kinard to complete the look, layout and taglines for each month.

The goal of the “Dudeoir” calendar fundraiser is to raise awareness and funds. SD Gunner Fund aims to sell 5,000 calendars. Calendars are now available, and can be purchased for $30 each by visiting www.createphotocalendars.com/Shop/sdgunnerfund.

“We have laughed more putting together this calendar than I can remember in a very long time. Our hearts are full, and we are hoping that someone out there will see our calendar, recognize that disabled veterans and Pitbull’s are not all dysfunctional, have a good laugh and want to adopt these awesome dogs,” said Kinard.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit SD Gunner Fund’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SDGunner or their website www.webjobs.kender.org/sdgunnerfund.

 

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THE MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO HOST VELVET GALA

Categories: Public Relations.

THE MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO HOST VELVET GALA FEATURING MUSIC BY RICARDO OCHOA & HIS GYPSY JAZZ QUARTET

 

SAVANNAH, GA – December 19, 2017 – The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire will host its inaugural “Velvet Gala” from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 at Cohen’s Retreat, 5715 Skidaway Road.

 

The “Velvet Gala” will feature live entertainment by Ricardo Ochoa & His Gypsy Jazz Quartet, drinks, appetizers, and a raffle fundraiser. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Mediation Center’s Peer Mediation, Community Conferencing and Children of Peaceful Engagement (COPE) youth programs.

 

Peer Mediation is a confidential process for resolving conflicts. Participants have the opportunity to talk through their disputes with the help of trained student mediators. Peer mediators do no take sides or place blame on anyone. They listen to all participants and help the participants to develop their own solution to the conflict.

 

The COPE program teaches children who are going through stressful situations how to better cope with their anger and other emotions and manage their response using proven engagement strategies that focus on understanding and emotional learning. Typically, attendees are early school-age children and participation consists of two one-hour lessons, which take place during a one-week period.

 

“We are really looking forward to kicking off 2018 with this fun networking event,” said Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks. “The ‘Velvet Gala’ will be an enjoyable, upbeat evening with fantastic music and delicious food. We are grateful for the community’s support and look forward to continuing to grow our youth programs with the funds raised from the party.”

 

Ricardo Ochoa was accepted into the Venezuela Philharmonic at just 15 years old, making him the youngest musician to ever enter the orchestra. In 2015, he was voted The Best of Savannah’s “Best All-Around Musician.” Now, Ochoa can be found in the Savannah community playing with his band, Velvet Caravan, or onstage with the Savannah Philharmonic as principle second violin.

 

The Mediation Center’s team of experienced mediators are trained to help residents in Chatham and surrounding counties, including Bryan, Effingham, Liberty, Tattnall and Bulloch. The organization’s reputation is built on over 30 years of integrity and expertise, with a high success rate in resolving thousands of disputes. The Mediation Center is proud to offer the highest quality mediation services to help people resolve disputes through resolution as an alternative to litigation.

 

Tickets cost $45 each and can be purchased by visiting www.velvetgala.eventbrite.com.

 

For more information about this event or the Mediation Center, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com, call 912-354-6686 or email info@mediationsavannah.com.

 

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MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE LAUNCHES ‘COPE’ PROGRAM AT GREENBRIAR

Categories: Public Relations.

MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE LAUNCHES ‘COPE’ PROGRAM AT GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER

SAVANNAH, GA – Dec. 19, 2017 – The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire’s “Children of Peaceful Engagement” program – or COPE – is now available to the residents of Greenbriar Children’s Center.

The COPE program teaches children who are going through stressful situations how to better cope with their anger and other emotions and manage their response using proven engagement strategies that focus on understanding and emotional learning. Typically, attendees are early school-age children and participation consists of two one-hour lessons, which take place during a one-week period.

COPE – provided by the Family Law Resource Center and its parent organization, the Mediation Center – is an interactive program designed through collaborations with educators and therapists. It is administered by Crystal Commodore, the Mediation Center’s Director of Youth Programs. Over the summer, it was added to the Mediation Center’s programs roster and was implemented it at Park Place Outreach, which provides services to at-risk youth and their families, aims to increase their functional levels, and reunifies families whenever possible. On Dec. 5, this beneficial service was launched at Greenbriar, another Savannah nonprofit committed to helping the community’s young people.

Greenbriar Children’s Center promotes the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families by providing services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place. Once per month, the FLRC will provide a one-hour lesson, followed by another one-hour follow-up segment, taught later that week. The first session focuses on understanding emotion, managing response and owning actions, while the second session educates participants on communicating when in conflict with others.

Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks is delighted COPE has been well-received and looks forward to increasing its availability by partnering with more Coastal Empire organizations and educational institutions.

“The community already knows we offer a variety of conflict-resolution services, but we also are pleased to be able to provide programs like COPE. These resources enable us to educate youth at an earlier age and equip them with skills to handle difficult situations and respond in a more positive manner to stress and conflict,” Cheeks said.

Greenbriar provides homes for orphaned and homeless juveniles as well as housing for young adults who have nowhere else to turn. The organization, which was founded 68 years ago, has more than 75 locations established around Savannah as Safe Places, where anyone can seek help or report a child they suspect is being abused or is in need of care.

“Greenbriar’s life skills training program has an emphasis on motivating and encouraging individualized processing. The COPE program further enhances the value of independent thinking and increases youth’s problem-solving skills,” Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said.

For more information about the COPE program or the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, please email Cheeks at jcheeks@mediationsavannah.com, call 912-354-6686 or visit www.mediationsavannah.com. For more information about Greenbriar, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912-234-3431.

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Davenport House Museum

Categories: Public Relations. Tags: Copywriting and Editing and Website Management. Client Type: 1. Non Profit Organizations.

The mission of the Davenport House Museum is to preserve and interpret the American Federal-style house, and the artifacts within, built by master builder Isaiah Davenport for his household with an emphasis on the years 1820-27, in order to educate, enrich and inspire our visitors and the community, as well as recognize the historical role of the house in the founding of Historic Savannah Foundation.

ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS SERVICE

Categories: Public Relations.

ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS SERVICE TO FEATURE LITURGICAL DANCERS AND CAROLING


SAVANNAH, GA – December 15, 2017 – Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (UMC) invites the community to its annual Christmas Eve services Sunday, Dec. 24 at the church, 1008 E. Henry St. The church will host its usual Sunday morning worship service at 11:15 a.m. and a special candlelight service at 7 p.m.

The evening Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will include liturgical dance by the Gretchen Greene Dancers, Holy Communion, and music by the Asbury Memorial UMC Choir and soloists. Guests are invited to join the congregation for caroling in the neighborhood directly following this service.

As a special treat for homebound individuals this Christmas season, Asbury Memorial UMC congregation members on Dec. 17 will visit various homes, including Azalealand Nursing Home, to bring the joy of Christmas through caroling.

“We are delighted to share the joy of Christmas again this year with our congregation and the community,” said Asbury Memorial UMC Pastor Billy Hester. “These special services are sure to get guests in the holiday spirit and will remind everyone what this season is all about – Jesus!”

After completing a run as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, Gretchen Greene returned to her hometown of Savannah and opened her first studio – the doors have been open ever since. She says her dream is to share the joy of dance with students, families, and the community.

Asbury Memorial UMC is a Christ-centered, forward-thinking, all-embracing congregation that celebrates the joy of God creatively.

For more information about these services or Asbury Memorial UMC, please visit www.asburymemorial.org or call 912-233-4351.

 

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION OPENS NOMINATIONS FOR 2018 PRESERVATION AWARDS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – December 15, 2017 –  Nominations are now being accepted for Historic Savannah Foundation’s 2018 Preservation Awards. Each May, HSF celebrates the area’s best preservation projects with a program that recognizes individuals, organizations, and companies who embody and practice excellence in preservation in Savannah and Chatham County.

Historic Savannah Foundation members who have completed a restoration project within the past three years or who know of a project that may be award-worthy are encouraged to submit a nomination.

Nominated projects must have been completed within the past three years, and entrants must have the consent of the property owner for a nomination. Self-nominations will be accepted. Nominations that were previously submitted but were not selected to receive an award may be revised, expanded and resubmitted. To be eligible for an award, nominated projects must have adhered to the applicable Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for preserving, rehabilitating, restoring or reconstructing historic buildings. For more information on these standards visit www.nps.gov/tps/standards.htm.

Winners receive signed certificates at a luncheon in May; bronze award plaques can also be purchased for placement on the building.

“We are eager to see an array of projects submitted for consideration. Savannah’s focus on high quality preservation efforts seems to improve annually, and this makes selecting winners an increasingly difficult decision. However, it’s a good problem to have and a challenge we’re happy to be tasked with,” said HSF President and CEO Daniel Carey.

Historic Savannah Foundation Preservation Awards are juried. The general evaluation criteria include:

  1. Quality and degree of difficulty of the nominee’s project or effort.
  2. Degree to which the nominee’s project or effort is unusual or pioneering, or serves as an example that influences good preservation practices.
  3. Demonstrable or measurable impact of nominee’s project on the community.

A jury of local professionals with representation from the fields of architecture, preservation, and planning is invited to review nominations for HSF’s Preservation Awards.

Nominations should fall under at least one of the following categories: restoration, rehabilitation, new construction, stewardship, craftsmanship, or archaeology.

The deadline for all award nominations is 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Mailed entries must be postmarked by this date. Preservation Award recipients will be notified by the end of March. The nominator or primary contact will be notified for those not selected. Award announcements and presentation will be made at HSF’s Preservation Awards Ceremony in May 2018.

Mail entries to:                                                                      Hand-deliver entries to:

Historic Savannah Foundation                                               Historic Savannah Foundation
Attn: Preservation Awards                                                      Attn: Preservation Awards
P.O. Box 1733                                                                        321 East York Street
Savannah, GA 31402                                                             Savannah, GA 31401

Historic Savannah Foundation saves buildings, places and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, HSF started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling nearly 370 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country — emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. HSF demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand.

For more information about the annual awards or Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org or call 912-233-7787.

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BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK WELCOMES NEW BOARD TREASURER LAURA MCGEE

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – December 14, 2017 – Bryan County Bark Park is pleased to announce the appointment of a new board treasurer, Laura McGee. McGee, who is a long-term Bryan County resident, has previously served the community through involvement with many nonprofits and civic organizations.

McGee graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in accounting and is a retired Certified Public Accountant previously licensed in Georgia and North Carolina. She is active in community activities and formerly served as treasurer for Arts on the Coast and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children. She is also a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill. She has also served as treasurer, Jr. Warden and Sr. Warden at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church where she was one of the founding members. When Richmond Hill’s Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1984 McGee was the board’s treasurer. She has also volunteered with Junior Achievement, the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, the American Heart Association, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, among others.

McGee’s previous professional positions include opening the accounting firm now known as McGee Collins, serving as a tax accountant with Thompson & Benken, an auditor with the North Carolina Department of Human Resources, a staff accountant with Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, CPAs, as well as Baird & Co, CPAs. These experiences make McGee an ideal treasurer of the Bryan County Bark Park board.

“We are honored to have someone as qualified and respected in the community as Laura McGee join our board as treasurer,” said Bryan County Bark Park Board President Wendy Bolton. “Our board is looking forward to working with Laura in 2018.”

The Bryan County Bark Park is a 501I(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a safe, well-maintained and clean environment for dog owners and their furry friends to play and run free. The park, located at 15849 GA Highway 144 in Richmond Hill, GA is open 24/7 and is free to all members of the public.

To learn more about the Bryan County Bark Park, please visit www.bryanbarkpark.com.

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL THEATRE ANNOUNCES ‘PLAZA SUITE’ AS SPRING 2018 PRODUCTION

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – December 8, 2017 – Asbury Memorial Theatre is pleased to announce it will present Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” as its 2018 production, with auditions to be held in January. The play is composed of three acts, each involving different characters but all set in Suite 719 of New York City’s Plaza Hotel. Three middle-age couples face three very different – and often hilarious – challenges to their relationships.

Auditions will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, Jan. 8-9 at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church. Parts are available for male and female actors from about ages 25 to 55+. The three couples could be played by the same two actors, or by different actors for each act. In addition, there are walk-on roles for a waiter/bellhop, maid, secretary and bride. Actors should be prepared to do cold readings from the script.  If necessary, callback auditions will be scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11.

Rehearsals will begin Monday, Jan. 15 and six performances are scheduled between March 2 and March 11 over four evenings and two matinees. The production is being directed by Ronnie Spilton.

Neil Simon is celebrated for his comedic scripts, which explore family relationships. The humor of his work is enhanced by sharp contrast with bittersweet drama or pain – in Plaza Suite, the pain of troubled marriages. However, Simon spins his tale with deep compassion for his very real characters ­– and this is the genius of his humor.

Audition forms and sides will be provided. Those auditioning are encouraged to bring a professional headshot, or a recent close-up photo, along with a theatrical resume to attach to the audition form. No appointments are necessary and it is only necessary to attend one night of auditions.

Asbury Memorial UMC is located at 1008 E Henry St, Savannah, GA 31401, at the corner of Waters Avenue. Please park in the lot behind the church and enter through the rear door (look for handicap ramp) of the Educational Building. For more information, please visit http://asburymemorial.org/theatre/ or e-mail rspilton@gmail.com.

Asbury Memorial Theatre is a thriving community theater in Savannah. Since 1994, audiences have delighted in the theatre’s plays, musicals, revues and light opera productions, which have earned several Best of Savannah awards. For more information, please visit http://asburymemorial.org/theatre/.

 

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RICHMOND HILL CITY CENTER APPOINTS NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF KEVIN J. NAPE

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – December 8, 2017 – The Richmond Hill City Center recently appointed Chef Kevin J. Nape as executive chef. He’ll oversee culinary operations for one of the most respected wedding, corporate and social event venues in Coastal Georgia.

 

Located just a few minutes from Pooler, Savannah, Rincon, Hinesville, Bloomingdale and Port Wentworth, the Richmond Hill City Center is primely located near historic wetlands. From the esthetic appeal of the facility to the well-trained staff, the Richmond Hill City Center is the perfect setting for events of all types and seasons.

 

Chef Kevin has been in the catering field for over 33 years, living in Richmond Hill for the past four. His hobbies include maintaining salt-water fish tanks, sporting events (especially football) and cheering on his daughters at their sporting events. Chef Kevin worked his way up the ranks as a sous chef in a wide variety of culinary landscapes from country clubs, hotels, fine dining establishments, convention centers and sporting events. He has been an executive chef for over 17 years, serving up fine cuisine for Quad Cities in the Illinois and Iowa areas, in establishments such as TCP of Deere Run, the Grand Harbor Resort, Swing of the Quad Cities, Iowa Events Center, Davenport Good Samaritan Center and Hotel Blackhawk. Chef Kevin’s culinary approach emphasizes unique, custom-prepared cuisine created by his experienced culinary team. He strives to set new expectations for catered events and special diet menus, bringing his knowledge and culinary expertise to every special event.

 

“We are so fortunate to have such a talented chef joining our team,” said Richmond Hill City Center General Manager Beverly Cosmann. “I’m looking forward to seeing Chef Kevin bring his fresh ideas and skills to our kitchen and continuing to serve our wonderful community for all event needs – from weddings, to social gatherings and corporate events.”

 

Chef Kevin has successfully catered over 5,000 banquets and weddings, serving anywhere from two to 8,200 guests, and has competed in various cooking competitions such as the March of Dimes where he placed second, third and fourth. He also won numerous awards with the Hotel Blackhawk team, including the 2012 and 2013 Triple AAA Four Diamond Award, the 2012 and 2013 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, the 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, and the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Property. In addition, President Barack Obama presented Chef Kevin’s  team with the Culinary of Excellence Award and  Presidential Award and placed their menu item on the West Wing menu. Additional awards and achievements include being one of South Magazine’s South’s Greatest Chefs of 2016, first place at the AquaCurean Challenge at the 2017 Seafood & Spirits Gourmet Festival, Best Presentation and Unique Food at the 10th Annual Dine South event, and Best Food and Best Booth at the 9th Annual Dine South event. Nape has catered to P.G.A. golf professionals and musical celebrities, including Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, and Hootie and the Blowfish.

 

The Richmond Hill City Center is set a midst 335 acres of wetlands and park. The center specializes in corporate and association meetings/events, weddings and receptions, as well as private functions and parties. The venue consists of a 4,000 square-foot ballroom and 10 meeting rooms, making up 23,000 square feet of multifunctional event space. Nape and his culinary team will provide the finest food and beverage solutions tailored to every individual event’s needs. Due to its central locations and unique atmosphere, the City Center has been voted Bryan County’s “Favorite Event Venue” time and again.

 

For more information about the Richmond Hill City Center, please visit www.richmondhillcitycenter.com or call 912-445-0043.

 

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SAVANNAH BAR ASSOCIATION’S YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION DONATES $5,000 TO MEDIATION CENTER

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH BAR ASSOCIATION’S YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION DONATES $5,000 TO MEDIATION CENTER FOR GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

 

SAVANNAH, GA – DECEMBER 8, 2017 – During a check presentation ceremony on Friday afternoon, Trish Murphy, director of the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire’s Family Law Resource Center, accepted a $5,000 donation from the Young Lawyers Division of the Savannah Bar Association. The exchange was followed by a brief reception with refreshments. The funds will go to the Guardian Ad Litem program, which Murphy has overseen since the Mediation Center began administering the program in January 2016.

The donation was presented by Young Lawyers Division President Philip Thompson, associate with Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams LLP, and YLD President-elect Kate Lawson Smith, associate with HunterMaclean, during a Continuing Legal Education class for Guardian Ad Litems at the Family Law Resource Center. The funds were raised during a recent golf tournament held by the SBA’s Young Lawyers Division.

A Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) is a specially trained attorney appointed by the Court to represent the interest of a minor child in Superior Court domestic or civil actions. The GAL investigates the pending issues and makes a recommendation to the Court to assist in the resolution of the case.

“This is a cause we’re always happy to support. This is a cause we look forward to continuing to support in the future,” Thompson said during the presentation. “Thank you all very much for the important work you do providing representation for those who can’t represent their own interests.”

Murphy accepted the check, thanking the two YLD representatives for their organization’s continued generosity.

“We appreciate your support and the financial assistance you have kindly provided us with for several years now,” Murphy said.

For more information on the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com, call 912-354-6686 or email info@mediationsavannah.com. For more information on the Savannah Bar Association, please visit www.savannahbar.org or email savannahbarassociation@gmail.com.

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VOICEXPERIENCE CO-FOUNDERS MARIA ZOUVES, SHERRILL MILNES BRING ‘A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS’

Categories: Public Relations.

VOICEXPERIENCE CO-FOUNDERS MARIA ZOUVES, SHERRILL MILNES BRING ‘A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS’ CONCERT TO TARPON SPRINGS

TAMPA/TARPON SPRINGS/ST PETERSBURG, FL – Dec. 7, 2017 – They’ve experienced Christmases around the world, enjoyed a multitude of cultural festivities and sung celebratory pieces in numerous languages … but for opera luminaries Maria Zouves and Sherrill Milnes, there’s no place like home, especially for the holidays.

The two legendary vocal artists and co-founders of the VOICExperience Foundation will soon treat Tampa-area music lovers to a seasonal tradition beloved by holiday revelers for generations. Zouves and Milnes, both Florida residents, will be joined by Constantine Grame, VE faculty member and artistic director of New Century Opera, on Dec. 15 for “A Night Before Christmas Concert.”

This special celebration, slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, will feature classic holiday stories and seasonal music favorites. Community members and visitors alike are encouraged to bring their families and join friends for an evening that will put attendees in the holiday spirit and warm hearts all winter long. The Palm Harbor University Men’s Chorus is also scheduled to make a special guest appearance.

“Our ‘Night Before Christmas Concert’ will truly be spectacular. We’re grateful to Tarpon Arts — whom we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with for over two decades — for working with us to make this festive show happen once again,”  Zouves said.

Zouves is an educator, producer, director and writer. This Greek American soprano has sung leading roles in the regional United States, made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1997 and is recorded under the VAI label.

Milnes, a world-renowned operatic baritone, sang over 650 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, where he was honored with 16 new productions, seven opening nights, and 10 national telecasts. As a leading artist in the world’s great opera houses, Milnes performed and recorded with Domingo, Pavarotti, Caballé, Sutherland, Sills, Horne, Price and Tebaldi. He is the winner of three Grammy Awards, and is the most recorded American singer of his time. In 2008 Milnes received the Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Grame holds an Advanced Certificate in Piano from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London. He is the Founder, Executive, and Artistic Director of the New Century Opera, and is the Music Director of Gilbert & Sullivan Players in Clearwater, Florida.

Tickets for “A Night Before Christmas” cost $25 for general admission, $20 for Tarpon Arts members, and $8 for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Proceeds from this holiday concert will support VOICExperience’s national vocal training programs. The Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center is at 324 Pine Street, inside city hall.

For more information on VOICExperience or the Florida VOICE Project or to buy tickets to “A Night Before Christmas,” please visit voicexperiencefoundation.org, call 855-76-67372 or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org. For more information on Tarpon Arts, please visit tarponarts.org, call 727-937-0686 or email info@tarponarts.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Under the umbrella of The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in New York, Georgia (with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival), Florida and Illinois. For more information, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAYS, 2018 SEASON TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Dec. 7, 2017 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) is gearing up to launch its 25th season with 28 contestants, three new judges and three veteran pianists.

 

The American Traditions Vocal Competition was established as the premiere vocal competition focusing completely on classic American music.  As a 501(c)(3) non profit arts institution, the organization is also dedicated to educating the public about not only the breadth of American musical repertoire, but also the cultural diversity naturally present in American music.  For the 25th anniversary season, the ATC is inviting three first-time judges: former ATC Silver Medalist and recording artist Morgan James, five-time Grammy nominee Vickie Winans, and the prolific composer of American opera and art song, Ricky Ian Gordon.

 

Crowd pleasing pianists return, with Annastasia Victory and David Shenton celebrating eight years of incredible pianistic collaboration at our competition, and Wilson Southerland joining for his fourth year. Gold Medalist and fan favorite Michael Maliakel returns to the competition as 2018 emcee, and the reigning Gold Medalist Julie Benko will not only attend the competition, but will offer a special performance on the night of the Final Round, February 23, 2018.

 

Ricky Ian Gordon studied piano, composition and acting at Carnegie-Mellon University. After moving to New York City, he quickly emerged as a leading writer of vocal music, spanning art song, opera and musical theater. His songs have been performed and/or recorded by numerous internationally renowned singers. Gordon has been a visiting professor at colleges and universities throughout the country, including Yale, NYU, Northwestern, The Julliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Carnegie-Mellon, Elon, University of Michigan, Eastman School of Music, Florida State University and San Francisco Conservatory. He has been a featured composer-in-residence at Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, The Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, The Van Cliburn Foundation, Songfest at Pepperdine University, Chautauqua, Aspen Music Festival and Ravinia. Among Gordon’s honors are an OBIE Award, the 2003 Alumni Merit Award for exceptional achievement and leadership from Carnegie-Mellon University, the Stephen Sondheim Award, The National Endowment of the Arts, The American Music Center, and many awards from ASCAP, of which he is a member.

 

Morgan James is a New York-based soul singer, songwriter and Broadway chanteuse. Her latest studio album, Reckless Abandon, is her first as an independent artist and features lush horns and harmonies and stretches limbs between genres for a sound all its own. She has released two albums, a live tribute to Nina Simone, and an EP featuring some of her fan’s favorite covers and can also be heard on countless theatre and concept soundtracks. James is proud to note that no vocal tuning of any kind has been used on any of her albums. Her music videos have accumulated more than 80 million views (and climbing). James previously toured the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand with viral sensation Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox and is currently touring with her band.

 

Vickie Winans is an award-winning gospel recording artist, and a consummate business woman.  Not only does she manage herself, booking hundreds of shows per year, she is also a producer, director, songwriter, actress and comedienne. Vickie is the President of her own record label, Destiny Joy Records. Among her many accolades, Winans feels that her most rewarding accomplishments are the significant roles she plays in her family. She is the mother of two hit producers and singers, Mario Winans and Marvin Winans Jr., and a grandmother to five grandchildren. She is one of the best-known artists in Gospel music with signature songs such as “How I Got Over,” “Shake Yourself Loose,” “As Long As I Got King Jesus” and “We Shall Behold Him.” Winans has been profiled in Ebony Magazine, USA Today and by the Associated Press. Her profile on BET’s Sunday morning TV series Lift Every Voice remains the most-watched episode in that program’s history.

 

This year, pianists Annastasia Victory, David Shenton and Wilson Southerland all return to light up the stage. Victory, a Russian-born pianist, music director, composer, arranger, orchestrator, songwriter and singer, is celebrating eight years with the ATC, along with the return of crowd favorite English pianist, arranger, and composer, David Shenton, also playing for his eighth year. Southerland, an American pianist, coach and conductor, will celebrate four years with the competition in February.

 

“I am very much looking forward to my sixth consecutive year at the American Traditions Vocal Competition! This will be my first ATC as the organization’s Artistic Director,” said Mikki Sodergren. “I am blown away each year by the talent demonstrated during our competition and I know this year will raise that bar even higher. With 28 exceptional singers, three incredible pianists, and three new judges, I know our 25th Anniversary will be memorable and a special experience for everyone involved.”

 

The ATC Gold Medal Winner receives $12,000 in addition to a solo performance with the Savannah Philharmonic. 2017 ATC Gold Medal Winner Julie Benko will take the stage with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus for their annual “Holiday Pops” concert Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Johnny Mercer Theater. For more information about this concert or to purchase tickets, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org/event-calendar/.

 

Given Savannah’s longtime support for and love of the ATC, tickets to the 2018 competition would make wonderful holiday gifts for friends and family. To accommodate those eager to give such a unique present, tickets for the 2018 ATC are on sale now. To purchase tickets, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com/donate/.

 

To learn more about the ATC or its 25th season, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY LAUNCHES ONLINE SURVEY TO GATHER INSIGHTS ON COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – Nov. 29, 2017 – Bryan County government officials want to get a better understanding of area residents’ wants and desires for their communities. So, the county has created a survey to gather information and serve as a guide as elected officials and local leaders move forward with the development of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

The county’s comprehensive plan consists of maps, text, data and support documents that form the foundation of Bryan County’s planning program. The plan provides guidance for the county’s physical growth through its various elements and related goals, objectives, and policies. The metrics gathered through the survey will be used in the planning process as the county prepares for the growth and infrastructure needs to come.

The survey, which can be accessed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RR68GNM, is open to anyone who lives, works or enjoys spending leisure time in Bryan County. Anyone interested in weighing in on the county’s priorities and plans has two weeks to complete the survey.

They survey is one of several measures put in place by Bryan County to ensure the public has plenty of opportunities to offer input and opinions on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Two weeks ago, county leaders held two public input sessions – one in North Bryan and one in South Bryan – and encouraged residents to share their insights and discuss any pertinent matters of concern. Over 100 people attended the sessions, and government leaders are intent on reaching many more residents through other means.

“We realize not everyone can stop by a meeting to talk with us, but that shouldn’t keep anyone from sharing their visions or community needs with us,” County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger said. “This survey is a very handy tool that will allow anyone with a few minutes to spare to weigh in on the plan and have a say in our county’s future. Our residents’ quality of life is very important, and we’ll take these thoughts and ideas into consideration when prioritizing the comp plan.”

For more information on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, please visit http://www.bryancountyga.org/government/departments-h-z/planning-zoning/comprehensive-plan. For more information on Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or call 912-653-5252 or 912-756-3177.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY INVITES COMMUNITY FAMILIES TO ENJOY BREAKFAST WITH SANTA AT FIRE STATION

Categories: Public Relations.

ELLABELL, GA – November 21, 2017 – Bryan County is planning a special family-friendly event next month, designed to delight the region’s youngest residents in North Bryan County and ensure all attendees are in the holiday spirit.

 

From 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 16, the Bryan County Emergency Services (BCES) Department will host “Breakfast with Santa” at Station 7, 5595 Highway 204 in Ellabell. Children will enjoy free pancakes and sausage, provided by BCES, as well as plenty of educational fire-prevention activities and other fun projects.

 

The guest of honor, jolly old Kris Kringle, will join in the festivities, taking photos with attendees and listening intently to excited little ones recite their Christmas wish lists.

 

“Bryan County officials are committed to providing residents with a great quality of life and, of course, that includes our youngest citizens. We invite area families to join us a week before Christmas to share breakfast and enjoy watching their children light up as they meet Santa. It’s a fun way to celebrate the season within the county and there is no charge for families attending,” County Administrator Ben Taylor said.

 

For more information, please visit www.bryancountyga.org, email bryancountyemergencyservices@gmail.com or call 912-858-2799.

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER TO BENEFIT FROM KENDRA SCOTT DROP-IN EVENT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – November 21, 2017 – Savannah area residents are invited to drop-in and shop from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Kendra Scott, 311 W. Broughton St., Savannah. Proceeds from this evening will benefit Ogeechee Riverkeeper.

The popular downtown Savannah jewelry store will donate 20 percent of proceeds from purchases made during the evening to Ogeechee Riverkeeper. These funds will directly benefit the nonprofit organization’s mission to preserve, protect, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin.

“We are looking forward to participating in a wonderful evening of shopping and grateful to have businesses, like Kendra Scott, in our community who recognize the importance of supporting local nonprofit organizations,” said Jenn West, Ogeechee Riverkeeper Director of Operations and Special Projects. “The drop-in event also serves as a great opportunity for our supporters to meet our new Riverkeeper, Simona Perry!”

The nonprofit Ogeechee Riverkeeper aims to accomplish its mission through several programs, including Watershed Watch, Healthy Waters, and Hometown Waterways. The Watershed Watch program keeps track of decisions that may impact our waters and organizes communities around protecting, conserving, and preserving the natural and cultural resources of the basin. The Healthy Waters program provides accurate and timely information on the health of our waterways through citizen trainings, water quality monitoring and promotion of ecological best practices. And, the Hometown Waterways program raises awareness about the natural and cultural history of the river and its people and provides educational programs for all ages throughout the basin.

Kendra Scott’s company is based on family, fashion and philanthropy. Her company stands behind the importance of giving back and because of this, philanthropy has become an integral part of the Kendra Scott company, with a focus on building relationships with customers and the community.

To learn more about Kendra Scott, please visit www.kendrascott.com. For more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper or this event, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org, email info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org, or call 866-942-6222.

 

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JIM WANN AND KIM POLOTE TO HOST INAUGURAL ‘TYBEE’S CHRISTMAS CABARET’

Categories: Public Relations.

TYBEE ISLAND, GA – November 21, 2017 – Tybee Post Theater is slated to present its annual Christmas Holiday Celebration with the inaugural “Tybee’s Christmas Cabaret,” hosted by Broadway entertainer and part-time Tybee resident Jim Wann and Savannah’s premiere songstress, Kim Polote. This high-energy, fun-filled event will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Home Ave., on Tybee Island.

Tybee’s inaugural Christmas Cabaret will feature old favorites and some new tunes, which will fill the theater with holiday cheer. Jim Wann and Kim Polote will be joined by an all-star band of local performers directed by Steven Bryan on keyboards, Phil MacDonald on bass, Bobby Hanson on harmonica, Steffens Clark on guitar, and some surprise guests.

From classics such as “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and spiritual songs, such as “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” this evening is sure to get everyone is the holiday spirit. This musical holiday celebration will include Fully Invested, a Savannah-based barbershop quartet as well the youth chorus from Tybee Island Maritime Academy.

Wann, who lives on Tybee for part of each year, is a renowned composer, songwriter and performer who supports and participates in several Savannah-based musical organizations, including the American Traditions Vocal Competition and the Savannah Philharmonic.

Polote studied at Armstrong Atlantic State University and works as a professional vocalist, songwriter, musician and producer. She is well-known Savannah vocalist and in 2001 she won the American Traditions Vocal Competition Gold Medal at the Lucas Theatre.

“I am thrilled to take the stage alongside Kim, who is such a talented performer, while spreading holiday cheer around the town that I know and love so dearly,” Wann said. “I know that each of our performers are also looking forward to getting in the holiday spirit with their community.”

This event is meant for the whole family to enjoy and revel in the Christmas spirit. Tickets to “Tybee’s Christmas Cabaret” cost $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. To purchase tickets, please visit https://tybeeposttheater.showare.com/.

For additional information about the inaugural “Tybee’s Christmas Cabaret,” please visit www.tybeeposttheater.com or call the theatre at 912-472-4790. To learn more about Jim Wann, please visit www.jimwann.com.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN INPUT SESSIONS WELL ATTENDED BY RESIDENTS

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – Nov. 20, 2017 – Two public input sessions held last week by Bryan County attracted engaged groups of residents, eager to weigh in on the county’s comprehensive land use plan.

The county’s 10-year comp plan consists of maps, text, data and support documents that form the foundation of Bryan County’s planning program. The plan provides guidance for the county’s physical growth through its various elements and related goals, objectives, and policies. In the weeks leading up to the sessions, the Bryan County commission had encouraged all community members to come share their thoughts and ideas, which they’ll take into consideration when sculpting the plan.

The south Bryan session, held Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Bryan County Administrative Building in Richmond Hill, attracted between 50-60 attendees, according to Commission Chairman Carter Infinger. The north Bryan session, held Thursday, Nov. 16 in the Commissioners Meeting Room in Pembroke, drew between 20-30 people. Certain issues sparked more conversation than others, with special attention paid to transportation-related projects, the chairman said.

Two traffic studies (one in the north end, and one in the south) recently were conducted jointly by Thomas and Hutton and the City of Richmond Hill. The studies took a scientific approach to traffic and pointed to the need for several important projects, which the county then asked Thomas and to prioritize by year. The projects are slated to be covered by SPLOST and T-SPLOST funds, as well as impact fees.

Infinger expected much of the conversation to center on transportation issues, which he says the county is focused on.

“There’s an estimated $167 million worth of projects needed for transportation in this community. Intersections need improving and increased access points are necessary. Bryan County is responsibly planning for future transportation needs, and we appreciate everyone who attended our public input sessions to weigh in on those matters and others of significant importance to area residents,” Infinger said.

T-SPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) is slated for a vote in May 2018. The county plans to hold additional informational sessions and forums leading up to that election in order to educate Bryan County residents about other projects that would be made possible by T-SPLOST.

For more information on the public input sessions or Bryan County’s comprehensive plan, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or call 912-653-5252 or 912-756-3177.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER TO BENEFIT FROM WHOLE FOODS MARKET PAIRING MEAL

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – November 20, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper is slated to benefit from a three-course seafood and beer pairing meal, which will take place from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Whole Foods Market, 1815 E. Victory Dr. #101, Savannah.

Proceeds from this event will benefit Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin. The dinner will feature a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts to choose from including succulent shrimp, delicious salmon, tasty mussels, and raw or steamed oysters. Beer pairings will be included.

“We are really looking forward to this seafood and beer pairing dinner and are grateful to Whole Foods Market for partnering with us for this event,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Outreach and Water Quality Specialist Luke Roberson. “Our organization would not be able to accomplish all that it does without our volunteers and community support from individuals and businesses such as Whole Foods Market.”

Whole Food Market team members are part of the local community and they are passionate about supporting the local causes that are important to their shoppers and neighbors. Whole Foods Market team members Blake Funderburk and Dean Liccardo, both fishmongers, will be preparing the delicious feast for this event. Whole Foods Market supports projects that relate directly to organics and environmentally-friendly production methods, animal welfare, sustainable seafood, and healthy families and nutrition. Overall, Whole Foods Market community giving exceeds 5 percent of its total net profits each year.

Tickets to this dinner cost $65 each and include the three-course meal and beer pairings. This dinner is limited to 17 guests, so interested individuals are advised to RSVP as soon as possible to Luke Roberson at luke@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or 866-942-6222.

For more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org. To learn more about Whole Foods Market, please visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK RAISES OVER $6,000

Categories: Public Relations.

BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK RAISES OVER $6,000

AT INAUGURAL ‘PUP PULL’ FUNDRAISING EVENT

 

RICHMOND HILL, GA– November 16, 2017– The Bryan County Bark Park is excited to announce that its inaugural “Pup Pull” event was a huge success raising over $6,000 (net after expenses). Nine teams and over 80 guests showed up to put their shooting skills to the test and raise proceeds to directly benefit this popular local non-profit organization.

 

Held on Friday, Nov. 10, guests arrived at 17 South Rod and Gun Club, owned by Bryan County Bark Park board member Dr. Kyle Christiansen, to compete in the shooting competition. Following the competition, guests delighted in cocktails and dinner as the Pup Pull winners were announced.

 

Team Coca-Cola consisting of Paul Childers, Michael Childers, Jackie Williams and Pete Gagne, took home the prize and honor of first place. Raffle winners Ernie Maddox and Donna Jones were thrilled to receive two guns provided by Pinault’s Defensive Solutions.

 

“We had a wonderful time and turnout. I’m glad we could bring the community together for a day of fun, that also helped fund maintenance for our community’s dog park and keep it free and open to the public,” said Bryan County Bark Park President Wendy Bolton.

 

Bryan County Bark Park’s mission serves to provide a dog park for the Richmond Hill, GA area which is safe for families and where well-behaved dogs can be let off their leashes to run free. They ensure that the Bryan County Bark Park provides a well maintained and clean environment for all responsible dog owners in our community

 

For additional information about Bryan County Bark Park or to donate, please visit www.bryanbarkpark.com or email bryan@bryancountybarkpark.com.

 

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL GEARS UP TO HOST HOLIDAY-THEMED EVENTS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL GEARS UP TO HOST HOLIDAY-THEMED EVENTS AND PERFORMANCES AFTER SELL OUT ANNA HUNTER OPERA PREMIERE

SAVANNAH, GA – November 14, 2017 – On the heels of a series of sold out shows at Davenport House for the premiere of Anna Hunter – The Spirit of Savannah, Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) is in the holiday spirit, and tickets are now available for a stunning series of events for patrons and music lovers in the Coastal Empire.

Following the success of last year’s Dickensian Ball, SVF has raised the bar for its second annual holiday fundraiser in the Historic District. This year’s celebration will be a Masked Ball: “Verdi in Paris.” Guests are encouraged to dress in their ball gowns and tuxedos for this extravagant dinner of French cuisine with a Parma, Italy flavor, prepared by local chef Damon Lee Fowler. The Savannah VOICE Festival artists will provide the evening’s entertainment. The festive soiree is slated for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at SVF supporter Helen Downing’s stately Italianate mansion on Chippewa Square.

Regular tickets to “Verdi in Paris” cost $225 each, and a scholarship ticket is $1,000. Auditioning potential scholarship recipients for its 2017 Festival, the VOICE Programs raises this money to allow singers to study in the hospitality city.  A portion of each ticket is tax-deductible and those who purchase scholarship tickets will also receive a listing in SVF’s 2018 Summer Festival Program, a collection of personal thank you notes and reflections from artists impacted by the scholarships, a VOICE Society membership for one year (non-transferable), and two tickets to “Winter Wonderland,” an SVF Holiday Concert at The Westin.

And thanks to that concert at The Westin, fans need only wait two days for their next dose of holiday cheer. SVF will present its first “Winter Wonderland” concert at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4 at The Westin Savannah Harbor, 1 Resort Drive on Hutchinson Island.

This festive concert will feature secular holiday songs performed by festival artists and directed by Dan Gettinger is designed to get guests in the holiday spirit. A portion of the net proceeds raised from this concert will benefit the Savannah Harbor Foundation and the remaining proceeds will aid the Savannah VOICE Festival’s Community Arts Outreach program.

Local composer and songwriter Jim Wann wrote a song, dubbed “Christmas in Savannah,” which will be performed at this holiday concert.  “We are delighted that the VOICE Festival’s home, The Westin, is the venue for this charming concert. In addition, Dan Gettinger’s arrangements and expertise will shine bright in this concert!” said Savannah VOICE Festival Executive Director Maria Zouves. “We are looking forward to singing songs of Southern holiday cheer with our audience. This evening will surely get everyone in the holiday spirit!”

The Savannah Harbor Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 to support local children’s charities and to present family-oriented community events.

Savannah VOICE Festival is a nonprofit arts organization that brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations throughout the year. Led by opera legend and Artistic Director Sherrill Milnes, the Savannah VOICE Festival takes place in the “Hostess City” of Savannah each year in August. Historic locations around the city and The Westin serve as the backdrop for these events.

As part of its nonprofit mission, Savannah VOICE Festival and its sister organization, the VOICExperience Foundation, have reached thousands of people who may never have come into a theater for an operatic performance through its Community Outreach program. This program includes: outreach events in area schools, retirement homes and for local charities, free educational events, teen workshops and master classes, special event ‘goodwill’ appearances, partnerships with community arts organization, scholarships for area artists, and ticket subsidies for the underserved.

Tickets to the “Winter Wonderland” concert cost $25 each. To purchase tickets to either the Masked Ball: “Verdi in Paris” or the “Winter Wonderland” concert, or for more information about Savannah VOICE Festival, please visit www.savannahVOICEfestival.org.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER SLATED TO HOST SPECIAL SUPERMOON PADDLE TRIP DEC. 3

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – November 13, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper is slated to host a special Supermoon paddle trip on Sunday, Dec. 3. Participants will meet at the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal, 681 Fort Argyle Road in Savannah, at 3 p.m. and launch at 3:30 p.m.

This two-hour paddle will end at Kings Ferry, which is located near Love’s Seafood & Steaks. Ogeechee Riverkeeper encourages participants to join the group for a dinner at Love’s following the paddle trip to watch the moon rise, which will happen at 5:48 p.m.

Luke Roberson, Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s outreach and water quality specialist, will lead this trip. Participants should bring snacks, water battle(s), sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water shoes or tennis shoes (flip-flops and sandals are not recommended), and a dry bag or way to store personal items.

“This is a great opportunity for paddlers of any level to have a cool afternoon on the water followed by a terrific view of the sunset and a Supermoon rising over the river,” said Roberson. “There are few things better than a relaxing float, following the tide, and finishing it off with a great meal with a beautiful view. We’re lucky to live in an area where we can enjoy these thing in succession.”

Ogeechee Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organization with the mission to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin, has offered guided paddle trips for the past three years. These paddle trips allow participants to experience the natural beauty of Southern “blackwater” rivers, observe wildlife, and establish camaraderie with fellow paddlers while enjoying the tranquility and intimacy of floating right on the water’s surface.

Ogeechee Riverkeeper asks that participants bring headlamps due to the paddle concluding at sunset. Paddlers will need to pay $6 to put in at the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal. Registration for non-members for this special paddle costs $35 per person while Ogeechee Riverkeeper members are invited to join these paddles at no cost. Ogeechee Riverkeeper memberships begin at the individual level of $35.

To register for this trip or for more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org, email luke@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org, or call 866-942-6222.

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD AND STRATEGY AT ANNUAL MEETING

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – November 13, 2017 – Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) recently unveiled its new strategic plan, trustees, and officers at the organization’s 62nd annual meeting at the Gingerbread House. At this event, which was free and open to the public, HSF welcomed its new leadership and President and CEO, Daniel Carey, delivered his annual report and took questions. HSF’s mission was unveiled: Historic Savannah Foundation saves buildings, places, and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future.

Shana Copeland, Mike English, Michael McLeod, Kathryn Murph, and Luci Thompson joined the board. Bill Daniel and Gaye Reese were elected to a second three-year term. Brian Felder will serve as the board chair and Josh Brooks will serve as vice chair. Gaye Reese is the new secretary, Susan Clifford is the treasurer, and Gregori Anderson is the parliamentarian.

Following its formation in 1955, Historic Savannah Foundation started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling nearly 370 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. In 2018 and beyond, HSF will build capacity within HSF’s operations, secure new financial resources, improve HSF’s image and visibility, and increase public policy efforts to protect Savannah’s historic districts.

“We are very fortunate to have the skills and support of our outstanding Board of Trustees,” Carey said. “I am excited to work alongside these new individuals and look forward to seeing our organization grow and prosper next year.”

For more information about Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org or call 912-233-7787.

 

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COUNTY INVITES COMMUNITY FAMILIES TO ENJOY FREE MOVIES IN THE PARK

Categories: Public Relations.

COUNTY INVITES COMMUNITY FAMILIES TO ENJOY FREE MOVIES

IN THE PARK IN NORTH AND SOUTH BRYAN

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – November 13, 2017 – Coastal Georgia likely won’t experience freezing outdoor temperatures around the holiday season, but area residents can still enjoy the chill vicariously through the characters of a popular, family-friendly film.

Bryan County is planning two free Movie in the Park nights, featuring the hit children’s film “Frozen,” for community members to enjoy as the time for holiday festivities approaches. The first screening, scheduled for 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, will be at Devaul Henderson Recreation Park in Richmond Hill in South Bryan. The second event, slated for 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, will be at George D. Hendrix Park in Ellabell in North Bryan county.

At both events, families are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and snacks to enjoy a free evening of entertainment and family-friendly fun. From 6-6:30 p.m., before the movie starts, Santa will make a special guest appearance. He’ll mingle with the crowd and pose for pictures until Queen Elsa and Princess Anna take to the big screen, journeying through a seemingly endless winter in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle.

“We encourage families in both the north and south parts of Bryan County to come together and enjoy a Friday night of free family fun in two of our beautiful parks,” County Administrator Ben Taylor said. “Attending a Movie in the Park is a great way to unwind and let your kids enjoy some outdoor fun at the end of a long work week.”

For more information, please visit www.bryancountyga.org, email bryancountyemergencyservices@gmail.com or call 912-858-2799.

 

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GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER TO KICK OFF THE HOLIDAYS

Categories: Public Relations.

GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER TO KICK OFF THE HOLIDAYS

WITH 2017 GIFT WRAP CENTER AND WRAP-OFF CONTEST

SAVANNAH, GA – November 13, 2017 – Greenbriar Children’s Center is set to kick off the holiday season with the opening of the Gift Wrap Center and annual Celebrity wRAP-OFF contest.

 

The festivities are slated to begin with the grand opening of the Gift Wrap Center at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 at Oglethorpe Mall, 7804 Abercorn St. in the Macy’s Department Store court. Gift wrapping will officially begin at 5 p.m. The annual Celebrity wRAP-OFF event will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Gift Wrap Center.

 

The Gift Wrap Center is manned by Greenbriar volunteers and will run throughout the month of December until Christmas Eve. This annual fundraiser helps support the organization’s mission to provide childcare, residential and family counseling services which lead to the healthy development of children and young adults and to the strengthening of families.

 

The annual Celebrity wRAP-OFF contest will feature local celebrities, politicians, and community leaders. The celebrities and their supporters will dress-up in holiday costume and perform either a cover or an original rap song incorporating seasonal messages and reference to Greenbriar’s mission. The contestants will be judged on their costume, rap, and the donations received during their segments and will also be invited to volunteer to help wrap gifts.

 

“The Gift Wrap Center and wRAP-OFF contest is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit – whether they are participants or bystanders enjoying the show,” said Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor. “We are incredibly grateful to the community members participating in the wRAP-OFF contest and our volunteers who work tirelessly throughout December wrapping beautiful gifts!”

 

Members of the community are asked to consider supporting Greenbriar’s work not only by choosing to have their gifts wrapped by volunteers but also by volunteering to become a gift wrapper this holiday season. To volunteer for a shift please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.wufoo.com/forms/pbqd6ad0fx15g9/.

 

Kinder Morgan, Oglethorpe Mall, and Members First Credit Union are proud to sponsor this year’s Gift Wrap Center.

 

Prices for gift wrapping range from $3 upwards per parcel and all funds raised will help meet the needs of young people in need of assistance this holiday season. For more information about these holiday festivities or to view the Gift Wrap Center’s hours, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912-234-3431.

 

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MARITIME BETHEL AT SAVANNAH TO HOST ANNUAL ‘CHRISTMAS-AT-SEA’ PROGRAM

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – November 13, 2017 – The Maritime Bethel at the Port of Savannah will continue its annual tradition of providing Christmas gifts for hundreds of seafarers who are away from home and their families at Christmas. The Maritime Bethel is looking for volunteers to help assemble and wrap these gifts for the seafarers to help share the joy of the holidays. The Christmas-at-Sea wrapping party will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at the Garden City United Methodist Church, 62 Varnedoe Ave.

 

“We ask that volunteers bring at least one guest and an unwrapped gift, preferably something spiritual, to this event,” Maritime Bethel Chaplain Andy Krey said. “Each year, I look forward to this event and seeing the community come out to help with the program. We couldn’t continue this tradition each year without the support of our volunteers.”

 

The Maritime Bethel at Savannah provides “far away from home” personal and practical support to seafarers who come into the Savannah port from all over the world. For almost 200 years, Maritime Bethels around the world in major port cities have prepared Christmas gifts for the seafarers who are thousands of miles from their loved ones on Christmas Day. The Maritime Bethel at the Port of Savannah has continued this tradition since it began.

 

A catered meal will be available to volunteers for $20 per person. Please RSVP in advance to ensure an accurate headcount for the meal by sending checks payable to M.B.S. (noting “Christmas-at-Sea” in the memo field) to Maritime Bethel at the Port of Savannah, P.O. Box 884, Rincon, GA 31326. For more information, please call 912-826-0206, email chaplainkrey@gmail.com or visit www.maritimebethelatsavannah.org.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY AWARDED $2.9 MILLION LOAN FOR WASTEWATER-TREATMENT

Categories: Public Relations.

BRYAN COUNTY AWARDED $2.9 MILLION LOAN

FOR WASTEWATER-TREATMENT FACILITY EXPANSION

RICHMOND HILL, GA – November 10, 2017 – Bryan County recently received word that it is among 17 Georgia communities to be awarded Georgia Environmental Finance Authority financing totaling $79,183,000 for water, wastewater and sewer infrastructure improvements.

The Bryan County Board of Commissioners was given a $2,900,000 Georgia Fund conservation loan to finance the long-planned expansion of its wastewater treatment system to accommodate residential and industrial growth.  The loan also addresses additional infrastructure acquisition for drinking water.  Bryan County is committed to providing this service to its unincorporated customers in an efficient, cost effective, and fully self-sustaining manner; and is pleased to announce that the loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because a portion of the project is an energy conservation activity.

“GEFA loans help local governments improve their environmental infrastructure. Financing water, wastewater, solid waste, and energy, land, and water conservation projects encourages economic growth and the stewardship of our environment,” GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark said.

According to Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor, the funds will prove useful in assisting with planned water and sewer improvements.

“To accommodate both residential and industrial growth, we’re aware of the need for expanding infrastructure. These plans for routine upgrades have been in the works and now, thanks to the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, we’ll be able to continue this upswing of development without missing a beat regarding the deliverance of quality services to meet residents’ needs,” Taylor said.

For more information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER ANNOUNCES NEW TEAM WITH RIVERKEEPER APPOINTMENT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – November 9, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) has announced staff changes, including the appointment of a new Riverkeeper/Executive Director. The nonprofit’s Board of Directors and current team members are excited to welcome Dr. Simona Perry as the organization’s new leader.

 

Before being named Riverkeeper and Executive Director, Perry led ORK’s Oral History Project in 2016. Perry, a Savannah native, earned her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, her master’s in Marine Policy from the University of Washington, and her doctorate in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before returning home to Savannah, Perry worked seven years as a marine fisheries biologist with NOAA, three years as director of an environmental education non-profit, and twelve years studying and writing about the cultural and political ecology of various rivers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York.

 

As the new Riverkeeper, Perry’s duties will include encouraging partnerships throughout the Ogeechee River basin, increasing membership, strengthening the donor base, building the organization’s Watershed Watch, Healthy Waters, and Hometown Waters programs, and serving as the “go-to” person for environmental issues across the river basin.

 

“I hope to continue to empower river landowners, as well as current and future river users, to become more directly engaged in Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission of protecting, preserving, and improving the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin,” Perry said.

 

Assisting her in this mission will be Director of Operations and Special Projects Jenn West and Outreach and Water Quality Specialist Luke Roberson. Since former Riverkeeper Emily Markesteyn Kurilla left the organization earlier this year, West and Roberson have kept the nonprofit running by planning and orchestrating special events, leading already-implemented programs, continuing with community outreach and education efforts, working in conjunction with ORK’s board, and focusing on fundraising and support initiatives.

 

Now that their team is complete, Ogeechee Riverkeeper staffers and the board are looking forward to continuing their work in the community with a strong emphasis on upholding the health and vitality of the river and its surrounding watersheds.

 

“My personal vision/mission in this new role is empowering and providing on-going support to local residents in their efforts to protect and monitor the ecological health of the Ogeechee, Canoochee, and the other rivers and headwaters in the watershed for future generations of all Georgians. As one of Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s long-term supporters recently put it: The Ogeechee Forever!” Perry said.

 

The Ogeechee River is a coastal plain river with unique fish and wildlife. The watershed is home to over 500,000 people and covers portions of 22 counties. Planted pine forest, coastal sands and clays, and wetlands are major features of the landscape. Environmental concerns include impacts to fish, wildlife, public health, wetlands, tidal marshes, river water quantity and water quality from activities such as titanium and zirconium sand mining, forestry practices, paper mills, solid and hazardous waste disposal sites, residential and industrial development, sea level rise, and invasions by exotic animals and plants.

 

The mission of Ogeechee Riverkeeper is to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin. The nonprofit organization, licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance, receives its operating budget from donations, grants and proceeds from various fundraising events.

 

“The relationships we build and maintain with landowners, recreational boaters, fishermen and hunters, farmers, foresters, and local governments is, in the end, what will ensure these local and regional places of ecological, cultural, and economic importance are protected for everyone,” said Perry. “This means building a network of individuals and organizations who no matter how diverse their perspectives can share a vision of drinkable, swimmable, and fishable waterways for their children’s children.”

 

For more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY LOOKS FORWARD TO PROJECTS FOLLOWING SPLOST’s PASSAGE

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – November 8, 2017 – Bryan County is looking forward to getting started on many projects which benefit residents throughout the county following the renewal of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). This one percent sales tax has been in place in Bryan County since 1987 and was overwhelmingly renewed by 84% of voters in favor of the taxation continuing in a county wide vote yesterday.

Revenue is expected to raise around $33 million from the SPLOST which will be divided among Bryan County and the cities within including Pembroke and Richmond Hill which fall within the county, based on population. Bryan County is expected to receive approximately $18.8 million.

Recently, Bryan County was able to purchase two fire trucks that will be used by the Emergency Services department thanks to SPLOST funding. In addition, these tax dollars will be used to help fund proposed and important projects especially those impacting public safety and transportation.

SPLOST drastically increases funding to emergency services and public safety in both facilities and capital equipment. This cycle dedicates almost $1.6 million to public safety to continue the trend of facility and equipment updates to better serve citizens and the 100 employees who serve with Bryan County Public Safety. Almost 18 percent of the County SPLOST share is dedicated to economic development, which leads to more jobs. In addition, with over $3.8 million allocated to transportation related projects with over 300 miles of roadways to maintain, SPLOST is one of many funding components of the county’s transportation plan.

“We are delighted that SPLOST has passed as it will benefit all of our county residents,” said Board of Bryan County Commissioners Chairman Carter Infinger. “This is a huge vote of confidence for the County and we are grateful to have the funding to continue to undertake so many important infrastructure and service projects to better serve our residents.”

SPLOST has funded projects over the last thirty years such as Hendrix Park in North Bryan, Henderson Park in South Bryan, the County Administrative Complex, the Dixie Harn Community Center/Miller Teen Center in Pembroke and the Richmond Hill City Center, to name only a few.

Bryan County is an ever growing and vibrant community and from 2010 through 2015 was the 27 fastest growing County in the nation with a population increase of over 16 percent. With no sign of slowing down, Bryan County pledges to be prepared for the growth and committed to preserving what makes the County so desirable to current citizens and future residents.

For more information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org.

 

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“LABS ARMSTRONG” AND “TWO SICK PUPPIES” WIN AT 2017 BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK HOWL-O-WEEN EVENT

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – November 8, 2017 – There was barking good fun at the Bark Park’s fifth annual “Howl-o-ween” ghoulish outdoor event at Fish Tales Restaurant held October 26.

 

“Labs Armstrong” took home first place in the large dog category and “Two Sick Puppies” received first place in the small dog category. The audience favorite award was presented to the “beer can dog” and the judge’s favorite was won by the “Breast Cancer Awareness dog” who was decked-out in pink.

 

“We were very pleased with the turnout again this year and extremely grateful to our hosts at Fish Tales,” said Bark Park President Wendy Bolton. “This annual celebration is such a fun way to get in the ‘Howl-o-ween’ spirit while spending time with your four-legged, family members and raising funds to keep our Bark Park free and open for everyone to use!”

 

Prizes consisted of Bark Park merchandise, Fish Tales gift cards, and plants from Elmgren’s Garden Center. Local, international award-winning photographer, Megan Myrick, photographed all the fancily dressed pups again this year.

 

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Bryan County Bark Park, a 501(c)3 organization. This mission of this nonprofit is to provide a dog park for the community which is safe for families and where well-behaved dogs can be let off their leashes to run free in addition to ensuring that the park provides a well-maintained and clean environment for all responsible dog owners.

 

For more information about the Bryan County Bark Park, please visit www.bryanbarkpark.com.

 

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EXTRA DATE FOR 2017 TO SUPPORT BRYAN COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL

Categories: Public Relations.

EXTRA DATE FOR 2017 TO SUPPORT BRYAN COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL – PET PHOTOS WITH SANTA AT PAWPARAZZI PET BOUTIQUE AND SPA

NOVEMBER 26 AND DECEMBER 3, 2017

RICHMOND HILL, NOVEMBER 8, 2017 Santa returns to PawParazzi’s Pet Boutique and Grooming Spa at 2485 US Hwy 17, Ways Station Shopping Center this holiday season to raise vital funds to support the work of Bryan County Animal Control.  Due to popular demand Santa is working two Sundays between 10am- 4pm on November 26 and December 3, 2017.  This popular annual tradition offers families the opportunity for their pets to meet Santa Claus and pose for holiday photographs (dogs and cats are both welcome!)  Photographs cost $20 each with proceeds supporting the non-profit organization, Bryan County Animal Control.  Additional photographic prints and digital images will also be available for purchase.

This event will help to raise funds to spay and neuter rescued dogs and cats which helps them to find forever homes. Bryan County Animal Control will be in attendance with fur-babies that are currently awaiting adoption and will be accepting donations of pet food and supplies.

In addition to photographs on Sunday December 3, PawParazzi will offer yummy treats for pets to enjoy and family fun with games, prizes, raffles, bake sale and more!  All photos will be entered into the “Cutest Photo with Santa” Competition – which will be posted on the PawParazzi’s Facebook page; the photo with the most “likes” will receive a gift basket and grooming coupon for the PawParazzi Spa.

Jane Honnor, Owner of PawParazzi said, “Our Santa Photographs have always been popular, and the images make wonderful holiday cards which is why we have added an extra date for the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This year will be our biggest celebration yet with lots of fun activities and we are encouraging people to bring along donations of food, treats, toys or any other doggy related items to donate to the shelter. These fur-babies deserve to enjoy happy holidays while they are waiting to be adopted into their forever homes. We are thankful to our talented photographer, Laura Lewis, who is donating her time for these two fundraising dates.”

Beth Murray of Bryan County Animal Control said “This fundraiser goes a long way each year to provide spay and neuter services so that our shelter animals can be offered for adoption.  Last year we were very thankful to raise $2,000 and hope to exceed this amount in 2017 as every cent is needed to help us help our shelter animals.  We really appreciate the tremendous support of the community and PawParazzi.”

Santa photos are by appointment only, please call 912 756-8807 for more information and to book photographic sessions.

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC AND GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER TEAM-UP

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC AND GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER

TEAM-UP FOR NEIGHBORHOOD BLOCK PARTY

SAVANNAH, GA – November 8, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic and Greenbriar Children’s Center are thrilled to present “Philharmonic in the Streetz” from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 at Greenbriar, 3709 Hopkins St. in Savannah. This is the second annual family-friendly event but new for 2017 is the collaboration between Greenbriar Children’s Center and The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

Free and open to all, especially children, and designed to celebrate music and neighborhood, “Philharmonic in the Streetz” will feature entertainment on an outdoor stage by Savannah Philharmonic musicians, Laiken Love and the Fellowship of Love, Marco Alexander, and Ricardo Ochoa and Friends. This neighborhood event will include special activities for children presented by local entertainer Magic Marc. Free Leopold’s ice cream will be provided, and Trick’s BBQ will be selling their famous BBQ dinners.

 

“Philharmonic in the Streetz is our effort to bring together all sectors of our community and enjoy each other’s company through the power of live music. Savannah needs efforts like this more than ever,” said Shannon. “Behind the scenes Marco Alexander will be going into the surrounding schools and Greenbriar to speak to youth about his own powerful journey and how to succeed in the face of adversity. It’s one of my favorite events on the Philharmonic calendar.”

 

Marco said, “People tell you often that the sky is the limit. I am one who finally understands that statement and can honestly challenge it by saying that the sky is NEVER the limit. There is so much more left to discover, if you only use what you’ve gone through as motivation. Your present, is never your final destination.”

 

The mission of Greenbriar Children’s Center is to promote the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families by providing services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless support, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care as well as Project Safe Place.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community. The mission of the nonprofit organization is to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists.

 

To learn more about Greenbriar Children’s Center please visit, www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org. For more information about Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER TO LAUNCH ‘680 CAMPAIGN’ AHEAD OF GA GIVES/GIVING TUESDAY

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Nov. 7, 2017 – As the Georgia Center for Nonprofits kicks off a new Georgia Gives on Giving Tuesday campaign, Greenbriar Children’s Center is gearing up to unveil special campaign of its own.

Georgia Gives Day and Giving Tuesday, usually two separate initiatives, have been aligned this year to create one enormous day of online giving – Nov. 28. This marks the sixth year for both. Georgia Gives, a statewide 24-hour online donation initiative, kicks off the giving season and supports more than 2,500 Georgia nonprofits. Last year, nonprofits raised $3.9 million on Georgia Gives Day. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

To set Greenbriar apart from the countless nonprofits who will be vying for charitable donations on Nov. 28, the Savannah-based organization is launching the “680 Campaign.” Greenbriar has been helping children and families in the Coastal Empire for 68 successful years. The nonprofit’s new initiative commemorates that achievement and gives Greenbriar a unique approach to the upcoming giving opportunity. Whether donors can contribute $6.80 or $680.00, Greenbriar leaders say they’re happy to have the community’s support.

“Every contribution helps to fund our programs and makes an impact in the lives of local children and families. Make Greenbriar your charity of choice on Nov. 28 and help us spread the word about our ‘680 Campaign,” said Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor.

The nonprofit’s leadership team is planning a multi-faceted campaign roll-out that will target print media, social media and other digital platforms, printed supplementary materials, and television and radio interviews.

Greenbriar promotes the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families by providing services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place.

To donate to Greenbriar on Giving Tuesday/Georgia Gives Day, supporters can go directly to the organization’s fundraising page at www.gagives.org/c/GGD/a/greenbriarchildrenscenter/donate/. Through Georgia Gives donations in years past, Greenbriar has raised $2,403.62.

For more information about Greenbriar Children’s Center, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912-234-3431.

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS ADD THIRD HOLIDAY POPS SHOW

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – November 7, 2017 – This year, Coastal Empire music lovers will have an extra chance to enjoy the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus’s beloved annual Holiday Pops concert. In response to popular demand and considering sold out shows last year, a full show, slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday Dec. 8, has been added to the regularly scheduled concert lineup, consisting of performances at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. These high-energy, fun-filled performances – which will be at the Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave. – provide Savannah residents and visitors alike with the perfect opportunity to enjoy the sounds of the season.

The concerts will feature musical favorites, both old and new, for everyone, including traditional tunes, sing-along melodies and holiday classics. American Traditions Vocal Competition’s 2017 Gold Medalist, Julie Benko, will perform as a guest soloist with the chorus during the 7:30 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday. At the 3 p.m. Family Matinee on Saturday, the Savannah Children’s Choir will make a guest appearance. This one-hour show is perfect for families with young children and other patrons who appreciate the convenience of an abbreviated performance.

Savannah Philharmonic Conductor and Artistic Director, Peter Shannon is looking forward to this annual event,

“We all love the Holiday Pops concerts! Whether its hosting little children to “guest conduct” Sleigh Ride with the orchestra in the Family Matinee or listening to the final notes of the rousing Savannah Philharmonic Chorus, these concerts are the ones where we all tank energy and excitement for the Christmas season!  As usual we are offering everything from Singalong Carols, Classical Christmas melodies right through to Christmas Movie tunes. Only here can you hear “Hallelujah Chorus” followed by with “Frosty the Snowman”! And we love it all!”

Savannah Philharmonic Chorus Master, Monica Dekle, has also seen firsthand how the iconic Holiday Pops has become a treasured local tradition,

“Of all the concerts the Chorus sings throughout the year, they sing most joyfully at the annual Holiday Pops concert.  We all need a little music—a little singing and ringing through the rafters—during the Holidays, and the Chorus’s happy melodies and bright faces will certainly lift your spirits this Holiday season”.

The evening concerts are the perfect way to cap off a day of holiday merriment in beautiful downtown Savannah. Patrons can spend an afternoon browsing in quaint shops on festively decorated Broughton Street, enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the historic district’s many local restaurants, and head to the Savannah Civic Center for a joyous evening of classic Christmas tunes, courtesy of the Philharmonic. These concerts are also a great way to show your employees how much you appreciate their contributions throughout the year. Corporate ticket packages of 10 receive a discount of 25% and are available at SavannahBoxOffice.com

Tickets can also be purchased by visiting http://www.savannahphilharmonic.org/event/holiday-pops/. Tickets for the evening performance cost $15-$80. Tickets for the matinee cost $10 each or four for $25.

For more information on the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, call 912-232-6002 or email info@savannahphilharmonic.org.

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STUNNING LINEUP OF CONTESTANTS ANNOUNCED FOR 25th AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION

Categories: Public Relations.

STUNNING LINEUP OF CONTESTANTS ANNOUNCED FOR 25th AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION IN RECORD BREAKING YEAR FOR APPLICATION NUMBERS

SAVANNAH, GA – November 7, 2017 – Today, the 28 quarter finalists have been announced for the 25th annual American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) which is slated to run Feb. 19-23, 2018.

ATC is not only Savannah’s premiere professional vocal competition, but it stands alone as a unique competition which showcases contestants performing American Music from a wide range of different genres. The talented quarter finalists announced today, who will all be awarded cash prizes, have already achieved great success amongst tough competition by passing the ATC’s stringent application process by creating three rounds of three different songs, all written by American composers. The silver anniversary of the ATC is likely to be the best yet as applications were received from all over the USA as well as Canada, the UK and the Philippines resulting in a 35% increase in the number of applications year on year building on a similar rise in applications last year.

The 28 successful applicants for 2018 who will appear in the quarter finals of the 25th annual ATC are (in alphabetical order):

  • Emily Yocum Black
  • Allyson Briggs
  • Emanuel Camacho
  • Aaron Casey
  • Julianne Daly
  • Maria Damore
  • Erica Everett
  • Ta’Nika Gibson
  • Brian Giebler
  • Adam Griffiths
  • Cooper Grodin
  • Lily Guerrero
  • Jasmine Habersham
  • Sarah Kervin
  • Cherresa Lawson
  • Duane Moody
  • Brandon Nase
  • Rebecca Odorisio
  • Rachel Policar
  • Michael Preacely
  • Josephine Sanges
  • Jackie Schiffer
  • Megan Schubert
  • Perry Sherman
  • Dara Tucker
  • Brenda Turner
  • Kayla Wilkens
  • Teresa Williams

 

Artistic Director of the ATC, Mikki Sodergren said “We are delighted to be entering our 25th anniversary season with such a strong line up of quarter finalists. Among the successful applicants we have seven ATC alumni including a previous Ben Tucker Jazz Award winner and Johnny Mercer Award winner.  It is always gratifying to see contestants returning as it demonstrates that people enjoy the experience of participating in the ATC.  With other quarter finalists including Savannah VOICE Festival and Kurt Weill Foundation alumni as well as winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Joy in Singing Competition, the quality and talent for 2018’s competition is truly exceptional.”

 

Performers are scored based off technique, diversity of program and artistry on a scale of 1-10. Competition is fierce and with a prize fund of over $44,000 including the Gold medal award with a prize of $12,000, the ATC medals are much sought after.  For 2018 the finalists include 19 female singers (12 Sopranos, 6 Mezzo-Sopranos and 1 Alto) and 9 male artists (7 tenors and 2 baritones).

 

Locals will be pleased to see three contestants from Georgia progressing to the quarter finals including: soprano – Brenda Turner from Decatur who was also a quarterfinalist last year; soprano – Jasmine Habersham from Lizella and Atlanta based Alto – Teresa Williams.

To buy tickets or for more information, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com  or call the Savannah Theatre Box Office on (912) 233-7764

 

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MEGAN MYRICK PHOTOGRAPHY ANNOUNCES SANTA EXPERIENCE SESSIONS

Categories: Public Relations.

MEGAN MYRICK PHOTOGRAPHY ANNOUNCES SANTA EXPERIENCE SESSIONS

TO BENEFIT FAMILY PROMISE OF BRYAN COUNTY

RICHMOND HILL, GA – November 6, 2017 – International award-winning, local photographer Megan Myrick is delighted to confirm the second annual Santa Experience. These sessions will be held from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, and 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19 at the Richmond Hill City Center, 520 Cedar Street in Richmond Hill.  Sessions are booking up fast so families are encouraged to reserve their time soon. This unique event will spread the magic of the holidays to our community by benefitting Family Promise of Bryan County.

 

Megan Myrick Photography is excited to once again create the magic of visiting Santa for local families.  This personalized experience includes the enchantment of reading a book, eating cookies, and even checking the ‘Naughty or Nice List’ with Santa! Santa Experience includes a one-on-one 10-minute appointment with Santa in his family room, cookies, a small gift, and fully edited, downloadable images via Dropbox. Appointments with Santa will be scheduled in advance meaning there will be no waiting in line for this truly unique experience. Megan Myrick Photography has partnered with Two Chicks and a Trunk who will be decorating the Christmas tree to help bring Santa’s family room to life.

 

Proceeds from each session will be donated to Family Promise of Bryan County. The mission of Family Promise is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.

 

“I honestly could not be more excited about our second Santa Experience. This magical experience will be fun for families and children of all ages,” said Megan Myrick. “I would like to say a special thank you to Two Chicks and a Trunk for helping bring the magic to life. And there is truly no better way to spread the Holiday cheer than benefiting those less fortunate in our community.”

 

The Santa Experience investment is $99 for the print collection. Additional collections begin at $125. For more information about Santa Experience or to register for a session please visit, www.meganmyrickphotography.com/santa-experience-2017/.

 

To learn more about Megan Myrick Photography please visit, www.meganmyrickphotography.com.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO ATTEND COMPREHENSIVE PLAN INPUT SESSIONS

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – Nov. 3, 2017 – Bryan County will hold two public input sessions where community members can offer insights and suggestions on the county’s proposed comprehensive plan.

The first session will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Bryan County Administrative Building in the Commissioner’s Meeting Chambers. The building is located at 66 Captain Matthew Freeman Drive in Richmond Hill. The second session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 in Pembroke in the Commissioners Meeting Room, located at 26 N. Courthouse St.

The county’s comprehensive plan consists of maps, text, data and support documents that form the foundation of Bryan County’s planning program. The plan provides guidance for the county’s physical growth through its various elements and related goals, objectives, and policies. The Bryan County commission encourages all community members to come share their thoughts and ideas, which they’ll take into consideration when sculpting the plan.

“We want to provide our citizens with a broad vision of Bryan County’s future. Based on this vision, the plan establishes a policy framework for land use changes, public investments, infrastructure improvements, and intergovernmental cooperation. We’d like to develop it with participation from county residents, so this is an excellent opportunity for the public to have a say in the decisions that will affect their community and lives for years to come,” County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger said.

For more information on the public input sessions or Bryan County’s comprehensive plan, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or call 912-653-5252 or 912-756-3177.

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC’S NEW CHILDREN AND FAMILIES MINISTRY DIRECTOR TO LAUNCH ‘GODLY PLAY’ PROGRAM

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Nov. 2, 2017 – Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (UMC) recently appointed a new Children and Families Ministry Director, Ruthie Duran Deffley. She will launch the church’s new Godly Play program.

 

To prepare, Deffley attended a three-day training program by the Godly Play Foundation, immersing herself in learning the philosophy and curriculum. Prior to becoming Asbury Memorial UMC’s Children and Families Ministry Director, Deffley grew up in Mexico City and always had a heart for serving children. She volunteered in high school in a local orphanage and taught Sunday school at her church. After graduating from Georgetown University, she moved to San Francisco and became involved in children’s ministry at Cornerstone Church in the heart of the Mission District. She moved briefly to Beijing, China, as an English teacher and spent her Sundays at an international church volunteering with children in Sunday school from all over the world. She then relocated to Minneapolis, MN, to pursue a double master’s degree in social work and public policy. While at school and upon graduation, she was involved with the children’s ministry at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN. She also started a small group for couples at her home after she married her husband, Nicholas Deffley. In 2012, the couple moved to Savannah to be closer to family. Deffley began attending Asbury Memorial UMC as her in-laws were congregation members. She said she quickly realized her core values and beliefs directly aligned with the church, leading the Deffleys to join the congregation as well. Deffley is the mother of two young children, Caleb, 7, and Mirabelle, 1.

 

“I can’t thank our church congregation enough for making this program possible,” Deffley said. “Thanks to the generous donation of our members, a Godly Play room was created, and we were able to purchase a large portion of the curriculum.”

 

The Godly Play program is currently offered at the church, 1008 E. Henry Street in downtown Savannah, every Sunday during the church’s 11:15 a.m. worship service to children ages three to five. On Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., the program is suited for children in sixth grade and below.

 

The Godly Play approach focuses clearly and deeply on children’s spirituality. This evolves, enhances, supports and enlarges the quality of relationships in other activities for children and their families. The Godly Play method, which is based on Montessori principles and was developed using a spiral curriculum, serves children through early, middle and late childhood.

 

The Godly Play Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 educational corporation created for the purpose of promoting and guiding Godly Play practice through research, training and resources.

 

Asbury Memorial UMC is a Christ-centered, forward-thinking, all-embracing congregation that celebrates the joy of God creatively.

 

For more information about the Godly Play program or to learn how to get involved, please contact Ruthie Duran Deffley at rdurandeffley@gmail.com. To learn more about Asbury Memorial UMC, please visit www.asburymemorial.org.

 

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VOICEXPERIENCE FOUNDER AND OPERA LEGEND SHERRILL MILNES TO WORK WITH RISING ARTISTS

Categories: Public Relations.

VOICEXPERIENCE FOUNDER AND OPERA LEGEND SHERRILL MILNES TO WORK WITH

RISING ARTISTS DURING ARIZONA OPERA RESIDENCY

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – November 2, 2017 – For VOICExperience founder Sherrill Milnes, sharing the wealth of knowledge and experiences he has amassed during his 50-year career as a world-renowned operatic baritone is just par for the course. Milnes, 82, has often expressed gratitude for the success he’s enjoyed and still delights in using his expertise to help ensure rising young artists get the best possible start to their own careers.

However, Phoenix-based vocal arts professional and educator Christopher Cano is about to experience a “first” – thanks to Milnes’ willingness to mentor those who are now where he once was. In his new role as head of music and director of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio at the Arizona Opera in Phoenix, Cano, who was hired in April, has been given the opportunity to bring in his first guest artists to work with the young studio artists. Given his 10-year history with Milnes, Milnes’ wife, Maria, and the VOICExperience programs, Cano knew just who to invite.

“Having known Sherrill and Maria for the past 10 years, when the opportunity came up for me to bring in my first guest artist to work with the studio artists and to come work with our sponsors for the studio, I knew Sherrill was absolutely the prefect person to do that,” Cano said.

Milnes’s residency at the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio will run from Nov. 14-18, when he’ll be teaching and coaching five singers and one pianist who were selected last year from a pool of over 600 vocal artists who applied and auditioned to be part of the experience. The students, who are between the ages of 25-32, have mostly just finished graduate school and are ready to move on to the next phases of their careers.

“They’re in that period between the end of their education and stardom. What we do here with them is pre-professional training,” Cano said. “We put them on stage and they do a lot of performances around the state. They’re ambassadors for the company, but they’re here to train and to work with me as well as people like Sherrill, who we can bring in from time to time. So, this is a huge opportunity for them to work with one of the great opera singers of the past century.”

Cano has been affiliated with VOICExperience programs for the past eight seasons and was on the faculty for Savannah VOICE Festival, which Milnes co-founded with his wife, operatic soprano Maria Zouves. She currently serves as the organization’s artistic director. Cano proudly recalled being present during the SVF’s inaugural year, when he and his wife, Jennifer, presented a recital at Savannah’s Christ Church, and earlier this year when they returned for the SVF’s fifth anniversary season. Cano has worked with VOICExperience nationally, as well in New York, Florida and Georgia with the Festival.

Cano believes his students will benefit tremendously from working with Milnes on a variety of vocal arts components, including stage craft, interpretation and style.

“Those three things are imperative in the development and training of any young artist, so to have someone of his caliber to come and work with them in such an intimate setting, one-on-one, in a master class and though private coaching, is invaluable to the students. Having worked with him for the past decade and having seen him in his element as a mentor, it really doesn’t get more inspirational than this. He’s so nurturing, giving and willing to share his experiences as well as his wealth of knowledge. To get Sherrill here for almost a week is really special for everyone,” Cano said.

For his part, Milnes was happy to collaborate with the Arizona Opera in any way needed. In fact, his days in Phoenix will include more than just instructional time, as he’s also scheduled to make a very special guest appearance at an Arizona Opera performance.

“Sherrill will be making an appearance at our opening night performance of “Tosca” on Nov. 17, which will really be something because he is one of the greatest interpreters of the role of Scarpia. Having him here for that is amazing,” Cano said. “Our maestro for this production is so thrilled. He told me that as a young boy, he wanted to be the next Sherrill Milnes. At 14 years old, he just idolized him and had his albums. Sherrill was just such an icon – and still is – to a generation of young baritones.”

When presented with the opportunity to work with rising young vocal artists in Phoenix, Milnes enthusiastically and immediately accepted the invitation.

“Engaging young artists at this vital stage in their careers is so important. Working with driven young people, who possess such determination and passion, is truly inspirational. It’s exciting to help mold and launch their careers by harnessing their optimistic, eager energy and channeling it in the proper direction,” Milnes said. “It’s rewarding to be involved in programs like this and to know you’re touching many lives in the process.”

Cano, who stresses he, too, has benefitted from Milnes’ mentorship and guidance, is quick to praise the outreach and educational endeavors facilitated by Milnes and Zouves through their programs. Witnessing the creation and resounding success of all the Sherrill Milnes’ VOICE programs is something he sees as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Sherrill and Maria have done a wonderful job of giving back to the operatic community, particularly when it comes to the training and mentorship of young talent, and even to young aspiring coaches and educators, such as myself. They took a chance on me 10 years ago and really sort of allowed me to develop and hone in on my own coaching styles through being a member of the faculty of their program. To have been a part of their faculty and the SVF in its infancy was a real privilege,” Cano said. “To be able to bring Sherrill to Arizona as I start this next chapter in my own professional career, on a personal note, just means the world to me. It’s not just anyone that I’m bringing – it is one of the greatest singers of all times.”

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BRYAN COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICE WELCOMES TWO FIRE TRUCKS TO FLEET AT STATION #2

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – October 30, 2017 – Bryan County is proud to unveil two recently purchased fire trucks that will be used by the Emergency Services department. Area residents are invited celebrate as the new fire trucks are dedicated during a community event at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3 at Fire Station #2, located at 79 Daniel Siding Loop Road.

 

County officials said upgraded trucks were necessary to ensure safety requirements were met and to prevent mechanical issues from occurring. The newly added vehicles are faster and more reliable than the older models they replaced, according to Bryan County Emergency Services Fire Chief Freddy Howell, who added that most fire trucks last about 20-25 years. The county’s oldest fire engine dated back to the 1980s. The new engines hold 1,000 gallons of water each and have pumps that dispense 1,250 gallons per minute.

 

The purchase was made with funds generated by Bryan County’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), which is a financing method for capital outlay projects in the state of Georgia. It funds schools, parks, roads, parks and county necessities, such as fire trucks.

 

“Every SPLOST dime or penny we get helps,” said Howell about the tax’s role in the essential growth and development of Bryan County.

 

Voters will be asked to approve a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) measure next spring to raise money for transportation projects across Bryan County. The measure will be on the May 22 ballot and the tax revenue would be collected starting July 1, 2018.

 

Bryan County Emergency Services delivers a full range of emergency services, including fire prevention and education, emergency medical services and fire suppression to over 30,000 citizens and covers over 450 square miles.

“We are committed to providing our citizens and visitors with the best emergency service possible at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayers. Bryan County Emergency Services will strive for professionalism in all areas of our performance,” Howell said.

 

Bryan County Emergency Service encourages all area residents to attend the Nov. 3 dedication. For more information, please visit www.bryancountyga.org/government/departments-a-g/emergency-services or email bryancountyemergencyservices@gmail.com.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY OFFICIALS URGE CAREFUL CONSIDERATION BEFORE ANNEXATION

Categories: Public Relations.

BRYAN COUNTY OFFICIALS URGE RESIDENTS, CITY LEADERS

TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER ALL ASPECTS BEFORE ANNEXATION

RICHMOND HILL, GA – October 24, 2017 – The city of Richmond Hill’s newly developing plan to significantly enlarge its municipal boundaries by annexing 5,013 unincorporated acres could be costly for Bryan County.

While Bryan County commissioners and administrators do acknowledge there are advantages to the annexation, officials wish they’d been consulted earlier in the process as it’s not a clear-cut situation for any of the parties involved.

The land is managed by Rayonier Inc. parent company Raydient Places + Properties, which filed the application of annexation that Richmond Hill City Council approved Monday night. If the plan comes to fruition, it would ultimately increase the size of the city by 65 percent – taking it from 14.6 square miles to 22.4 – however, county leaders said that they were not informed or involved as this idea took shape.

“The county came in at the end of the process, though we wish that had not been the case,” County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger said. “We’ve got to be strategic and do what’s right, but it’s got to all be a positive thing. We have to approach this responsibly and really weigh the consequences because there’s a lot at stake here, speaking from a financial point of view and taking into consideration what kinds of affects the annexation could have ten to twenty years from now.”

The county is committed to working in collaboration with the city to reach a resolution that is fair to residents, allows for managed and organized growth, minimizes financial challenges, and retains Bryan County’s integrity and reputation as an economically vibrant location option for industry.

The commission chairman and other county officials urge residents in Richmond Hill and unincorporated areas of Bryan County to weigh in on the annexation and related issues during a public forum at 7 p.m. Nov. 27, even if they hold unfavorable opinions.

“It is vital that infrastructure is in place and that tax dollars are used wisely whether by the county or the city,” according to Infinger, who also reminds the community that every resident of the city of Richmond Hill is also a resident of Bryan County.

“Please, just show up and voice your opinions at the forum – good or bad. We do want to move forward in the process, but we absolutely have got to thoroughly investigate the positive and the negative benefits of this annexation and see what’s best for all our citizens in the county,” Infinger said.

After the forum, the city council will hold two more readings of the annexation request. At that point, a vote may be scheduled.

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Bryan County, Georgia

Categories: Public Relations. Tags: Copywriting and Editing, Event Planning, Issues Management, Media Relations, Social Media Management, and Strategic Planning. Client Type: 2. Business.

Located along Georgia’s beautiful coastal region, Bryan County has become one of the fastest growing counties in the State. Whether you desire backyard proximity to one of the many tidal creeks and rivers located in our County, or if you are seeking the hometown appeal of our incorporated municipalities of Richmond Hill and Pembroke, Bryan County is sure to make you feel at peace and at home. Formed in 1793, Bryan County has experienced a rich history with Fort McAllister Historic Park, and the former summer estate of automobile titan, Henry Ford, located within its borders.

 

Just across the banks of Ogeechee River, the County’s eastern border, Historic Downtown Savannah and Savannah International Airport is just merely minutes away. Bryan County’s transportation infrastructure boasts major roadways such as Interstate 95 and Interstate 16, along with other State Highways. The area is filled with the sense of community pride and patriotism, as it is also home to Fort Stewart Military Reservation. Come experience life with us in Bryan County.

 

The location of Bryan County is unique in that we are the only county in Georgia to be separated by a military base.  Fort Stewart intersects with our county to create its northern and southern ends.  The closest interstate on the northern end of Bryan County, approximately 11 miles from Pembroke, is I-16.  This gives quick, easy access for traveling west to Atlanta or east to Savannah.   On the southern end, the closest interstate, located a few miles from Richmond Hill, is I-95.  Again, giving quick easy access for traveling south to Jacksonville or north to Hilton Head, with historic downtown Savannah just minutes away.

 

Bryan County is an ever growing and vibrant community and from 2010 through 2015 was the 27 fastest growing County in the nation with a population increase of over 16 percent. Bryan County also boosts a median household income well above the Georgia and national average.

 

This can be attributed to the wonderful climate of the area, vibrant economy of Coastal Georgia, and the excellence of our educational opportunities located within the County.

 

Bryan County’s immediate proximity to Savannah, the region’s economic heart, helps to make our County the perfect place to settle for those looking for opportunity and cultural fulfillment. With no sign of growth slowing down, Bryan County pledges to be prepared for the growth and committed to preserving what makes our County so desirable to current citizens and future residents.

 

 

Bryan County Departments

Animal Control

Cooperative Extension Service

Courts

Development Authority

E911 Administration

Elections

Emergency Services

Engineering & Inspections

Family Connection

Finance

GIS/Mapping

Health Department

Human Resources

Information Technology

Parks & Recreation

Planning & Zoning

Public Works

Senior Citizens Services

Sheriff’s Office

Tax Assessor

Tax Commissioner

Transit

Water and Sewer Services

THE TWO HUNDRED CLUB PARTNERS WITH SAVANNAH FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

Categories: Public Relations.

THE TWO HUNDRED CLUB PARTNERS WITH SAVANNAH FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

FOR SECOND ANNUAL ‘WHISKY AT THE WHITMAN’

SAVANNAH, GA – October 20, 2017 – Join the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, as they partner with the Savannah Food and Wine Festival, for the second annual Whisky at the Whitman event, 100% of the proceeds will provide financial aid and college educations to the surviving families of our fallen first responders. The celebration, which kicks off one of the region’s most popular festivals, will be held at the Whitman Mansion, 611 Whitaker St., from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. 100% of the ticket price will be donated to the Two Hundred Club, which provides immediate financial assistance to the family members of local law enforcement officers, EMS, and firefighters who lose their lives or are critically injured in the line-of-duty.

This tasting experience will not only benefit the Two Hundred Club, a 501(c)(3) organization that serves 18 counties in Georgia and two counties in South Carolina, but also offers an unparalleled opportunity to sample some of the best brands of whisky available. The Whitman Mansion is a stately and immaculately renovated Victorian mansion in the heart of theHistoric District with classic architecture, stylishly tasteful furnishings and lavish ornamentation, and is rarely open to the public. This opportunity to experience its sophisticated ambience while enjoying a cigar bar and great food pairings created by celebrity chefs guarantees a night for the true connoisseur of all things great.

“Last year, Whisky at The Whitman proved to be the perfect way to kick off the Savannah Food and Wine Festival. We anticipate even better attendance in 2017, now that word of the highly regarded celebration has spread,” Two Hundred Club President Mark Dana said. “We could not provide financial assistance and college educations for first responder families in the Coastal Empire without the support and partnerships of local organizations and businesses, like the Food and Wine Festival committee and The Whitman team.”

Tickets for this event cost $150 each and can be purchased on the tickets page at www.savannahfoodandwinefest.com.

To learn more about the Two Hundred Club or this event, please visit www.twohundredclub.org. To learn more about The Whitman, please visit www.thewhitmansavannah.com.

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL TO KICK OFF NATIONAL OPERA WEEK AT THE WESTIN

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – October 19, 2017 – Savannah VOICE Festival will kick off their celebration of National Opera Week with Café Voice at The Westin. This enchanting event will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, October 29 in the Aqua Star restaurant at The Westin Savannah Harbor at 1 Resort Drive on Hutchinson Island.

Savannah VOICE Festival will return to the “hostess city” and The Westin Savannah Harbor, which serves as the non-profit organization’s conservatory and venue for many performances throughout the year, to celebrate National Opera Week October 27-November 5. The week will commence with a dining event, Café Voice, a musical experience at the Aqua Star. Guests will enjoy a delicious meal in one of Savannah’s favorite restaurants as artists serenade them. This special concert and sumptuous dinner includes a three-course meal, one glass of wine, and a spectacular, intimate performance by the Savannah VOICE Festival Artists including the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) 2017 Milnes Opera Award Winner, Kisma Jordan.  The ATC introduced this new award, named after Savannah VOICE Festival co-founder and Artistic Director Sherrill Milnes, to recognize the best performance of an American opera aria during their annual competition.  Tickets are limited in number and priced at $70 per person.  The Westin Savannah Harbor will also host SVF’s “Winter Wonderland” holiday concert on Monday, December 4th of this year to raise money for the Savannah Harbor Foundation.

“Collaboration with other musical partners in our community is extremely important to our organization, which is why we are delighted to welcome the 2017 ATC Milnes Opera Awardee Kisma Jordan,” said Savannah VOICE Festival Executive Director Maria Zouves. “We also could not be more thrilled to be returning to our home-away-from-home, The Westin, for our new Cafe VOICE series. The Aqua Star restaurant at the Westin is not only my stomping grounds during the August Festival, the Westin itself serves as a beautiful, welcoming place for our staff and singers as well as the stage for some of our productions.”

Savannah VOICE Festival will continue their celebration of the 2017 National Opera Week with the World Premiere of their newest ghost opera composed by Composer-in-Residence Michael Ching, “Anna Hunter, The Spirit of Savannah.” Productions of this captivating and comedic opera, which will be staged at the historic Davenport House Museum, will be held November 2-4. For more information about these performances or to purchase tickets, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org/festival-at-a-glance/.

To learn more about Café Voice at The Westin or to purchase tickets, please visit www.SavannahVOICEFestival.org

 

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION WILL HOST ANNUAL MEETING NOV. 2 AT THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – October 19, 2017 –  Historic Savannah Foundation is set to host its annual meeting from 6-8p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2 at The Gingerbread House, located at 1921 Bull St. in the Victorian District.

 

This event, which is free and open to the public, will offer an important update about Historic Savannah Foundation as President and CEO, Daniel Carey, delivers his annual report, unveils the organization’s new strategic plan, and elects new officers and five new members to the Board of Trustees.  Annual membership for students start at only $25 and the annual meeting is designed to encourage new members to join and existing members to renew their support of Historic Savannah Foundation’s work and initiatives.  A light reception funded by the Edward F. Downing Fund will follow.

 

The Gingerbread House, one of the more famous houses in the Victorian District, was built in 1899. The house is an excellent example of Steamboat Gothic architecture and is known for the “gingerbread” arches that are featured prominently on the exterior of the structure. The Gingerbread House is one of the most photographed homes in Savannah, and has been featured in many films and publications as well as being visited by celebrities and U.S. Presidents including Woodruff and Roosevelt.

 

“Being able to hold our annual meeting at the Gingerbread House will be a treat for guests because the beautiful building is not open to the public,” Historic Savannah Foundation Director of Development Meghan Lowe said. “It will also be a special time as we share our progress and new strategic plan with our members.

 

Historic Savannah Foundation saves buildings, places and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, HSF started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling nearly 370 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country — emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. HSF demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand.

 

For more information about the annual meeting or Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org or call 912-233-7787.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS TO PRESENT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS TO PRESENT ‘FROM THE NEW WORLD’ CONCERT

SAVANNAH, GA – October 19, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic is slated to continue its dazzling 2017-18 season with its “From the New World” concert, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, 32 Abercorn St. in downtown Savannah.

 

“From the New World” will feature Dvořák’s beloved “Symphony No. 9,” with its well-known melodies inspired by Longfellow’s “Hiawatha.” The Savannah Philharmonic Chorus will join the Orchestra in another work, “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast,” based on the same source by African-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. These masterpieces use traditional American melodies to paint scenes of miracle and marvel.

 

Tenor Oliver Mercer will join the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus for this memorable concert. Mercer first performed with the Savannah Philharmonic in 2007 as tenor soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, subsequently returning on numerous occasions for both concert and operatic performances. Other credits include Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Opera Theater Company Ireland, Charleston Bach Festival, Charleston Symphony, English National Opera and Mid Wales Opera. He has appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Trinity Wall Street and in London at the Barbican and Royal Albert Hall. A specialist of the Baroque era, Mercer’s recent engagements include a national tour of the Monteverdi Vespers, the role of Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion and performances with Boston Early Music Festival.

 

“Our Ninth Season’s Opening night performance was the recipient of rave reviews; some saying that it was the best concert that they have witnessed to date! I was thrilled to hear the excitement of our supportive audience. My instinctive response was to say, ‘wait for the next one!’ I know that the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus are in flying form thanks to the dedicated work of Chorusmaster Monica Dekle,” Savannah Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Shannon SAID. “’Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast’ is going to be a huge success! If anything is going to top that then it’s going to have to be extraordinary. I feel confident that the Orchestra are going to deliver a ‘New World Symphony’ that, despite being so well known, will surprise the audience. Expectations are high when such a well-known symphony is being played. The Philharmonic Orchestra promises an evening of incredible drama.”

 

Under the artistic direction of Shannon and Executive Director Terri O’Neil, the Savannah Philharmonic’s ninth season will continue with orchestra classics, dazzling displays and crowd favorites throughout 2017-2018 concluding with the season finale May 5, 2018.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.

 

Tickets to “From the New World” cost $15-$80 each and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com. For more information about this concert, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org/event/from-the-new-world/.

 

For more information on the Savannah Philharmonic or to purchase tickets, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, call 912-232-6002 or email info@savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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FAMILY PROMISE OF BRYAN COUNTY TO HOST CELEBRATION

Categories: Public Relations.

FAMILY PROMISE OF BRYAN COUNTY TO HOST CELEBRATION OF COMPASSION, COMMUNITY, AND COMMITMENT AND UNVEIL NEW PARTNERSHIP

RICHMOND HILL, GA – October 19, 2017 – Family Promise of Bryan County is slated to host its “Soul to Soul” Event at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3 at Belhaven, located at 1051 Belfast River Road in Richmond Hill. At this fundraising event an exciting new collaboration will be unveiled which will benefit the families helped by this local non-profit organization.

 

The theme of the evening is community, compassion, and commitment. Guests will enjoy live entertainment provided by Monty and the Pythons as they dine on delicious “soulful food.” This evening will also include a large array of live and silent auction items donated by local businesses and individuals.

 

“We are looking forward to this enjoying this soulful evening with members of our community and support network to raise much needed funds to continue to assist homeless families,” Family Promise Network Director Candice Fife said. “At this event, we will honor and celebrate our community and the hard-working volunteers who make it possible for us to work toward our mission.”

 

Family Promise of Bryan County collaborates with local churches and social service agencies to help families become finically stable and independent. The nonprofit organization recognizes that poverty is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted response. Family Promise responds by integrating educational outreach, smart programming, effective policies, and the hands-on work of numerous volunteers in addition to providing food, shelter, and support services for homeless families.

 

Tickets for this gala cost $97 each. For more information about this event or to purchase tickets, please visit www.familypromisebryancounty.org or email ekjohnson@coastalnow.net.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION PLANS ‘BLUES IN THE NIGHT’ JOHNNY MERCER BIRTHDAY GALA

Categories: Public Relations.

AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION PLANS
‘BLUES IN THE NIGHT’ JOHNNY MERCER BIRTHDAY GALA WITH LAUNCH OF PRESTIGOUS NEW AWARD

SAVANNAH, GA – October 18, 2017 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) is proud to present the third annual Johnny Mercer Birthday Gala with “Blues in the Night.” This fundraising event will celebrate the 108th birthday of Savannah’s favorite son, Johnny Mercer, in addition to honoring the 2001 ATC Gold Medalist, Kim Michael Polote. “Blues in the Night” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 at The Landings Plantation Club, 1 Cottonwood Lane on Skidaway Island.

The evening will begin with hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and entertainment at 7:30 p.m. Guests will be dazzled by the voices of 2013 ATC Gold Medalist Kimberly Hawkey, 2016 ATC Gold Medalist Michael Maliakel, and 2014 ATC Gold Medalist and current Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren. David Duckworth (piano), Alisha Duckworth (bass), and Billy Hoffman (drums) will accompany the singers.  This popular annual event celebrates Mercer’s 50-year career, as this legendary lyricist, songwriter and singer founded Capitol Records and often cited Georgia as his source for artistic inspiration. Mercer’s work helped put the Peach State on the “musical map,” setting the scene for his native city of Savannah to become a hub of cultural and vocal entertainment.

A new initiative will be launched for the ATC’s 25th season which recognizes Ambassadors of American Music.  The ATC will honor Kim Michael Polote with the first ever “Kimmie Award,” named after Polote herself. This award establishes a new tradition for the ATC.

Polote, who has been called “Savannah’s Own Fabulous Vocalist,” is the only Savannah native to win the ATC Gold Medal to date. She was born and raised in Savannah, graduating from St. Vincent’s Academy, and has continued to entertain local and tourist audiences since the age of 7. Polote graced the cover of Savannah Magazine in 2001 to celebrate “striking gold” after three years of entering the ATC. From performing with Al Green, Harry Connick Jr., Charlie Daniels, to singing for President Jimmy Carter at his church in Plains Georgia, to cooking and singing on the Food Network with her friend Paula Dean, the internationally renowned songstress inspires and unites through the gift of music and sometimes historical portrayals. In the documentary, “Savannah and the Civil War,” the character of Susie King Taylor is re-enacted by Polote. In February 2015, upon request of the US Embassy of Moscow, Kim and a team of two male vocalists and five dancers took a humanitarian trip to four cities in Russia, engaging and facilitating workshops and performing. Her third and most recent album, called “Change,” is full of gospel and inspirational songs. Polote said she used her music on this album, which came out in 2016, to provide a boost to those going through difficult transitions.

“This year’s Johnny Mercer birthday celebration will be a truly special event as we present the first ‘Kimmie Award’ to the individual who inspired the honor,” said ATC Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren. “It is important to recognize individuals like Kim and Johnny Mercer who are beloved by Savannah and who have given so much to the musical community.”

Interested individuals are encouraged to reserve tickets now as this event sells out annually. Tickets to “Blues in the Night” cost $100 each or tables can be purchased for $1,000 each. To purchase tickets please visit, www.americantraditionscompetition.com/donate-and-buy-tix/johnny-mercer-birthday-bash-ticket.

To learn more about this celebratory event or the ATC, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com or call 803-702-0305.

 

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YOGA ME FIT SLATED TO HOST NEW WORKSHOP AND SPECIAL EVENT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – October 18, 2017 – Yoga Me Fit founder and owner Lynn Geddes Wolling invites individuals to attend the upcoming “Pelvic Floor & Core Restore” workshop and “Strings of the Heart” special event.

Two sessions of “Pelvic Floor & Core Restore” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21. Level I will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Level II will be held from 3-5 p.m. “Strings of the Heart” will be held from 7-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. The workshop and special event will both be held at Savannah Yoga Barre, 2132 Victory Drive.

Level I of “Pelvic Floor & Core Restore” will begin with anatomy, lecture and discussion where attendees will learn: diaphragmatic breathing, engaging transverse abdominis, stabilization of the spine and pelvis while moving limbs, and finding and connecting to the three layers of the pelvic floor. This workshop is open to anyone, male or female, interested in learning about and deepening their understanding of pelvic floor and core function and dysfunction.

Level II of “Pelvic Floor & Core Restore” is open to students who have accomplished Level I criteria. This session will incorporate the knowledge of Level I with a series of specific postures to deepen participants’ functional movement with the pelvic floor and core.

The “Strings of the Heart” concert will feature accomplished Bluegrass performer and 30-year veteran of the Banjo, Jimmy Wolling, and his wife Lynn Geddes Wolling. The couple studied Indian Classical Music with the Mishra family in Varanasi, India, and will perform an Indian classical composition called Raga Yaman. Considered to be one of the most fundamental ragas in the Hindustani tradition, it is often one of the first ragas taught to students.

“Foundation is the key to execute proper yoga form and function, so I am excited to share fundamentals with participants during my ‘Pelvic Floor & Core Restore’ workshop,” Geddes Wolling said. “’Strings of the Heart’ will also be a special event for me as I will be sharing the experience with my husband as we perform the traditional Raga Yaman.”

For more information about “Pelvic Floor & Core Restore” please visit, www.yogamefit.com/pelvic-floor-core/. To learn more about “Strings of the Heart” please visit, www.yogamefit.com/strings-of-the-heart/.

Registration costs $35 per session for “Pelvic Floor & Core Restore,” and $10 for “Strings of the Heart.” Individuals can register for both by visiting www.savannahyogabarre.com/workshops/. A DVD designed to enhance individual’s “Pelvic Floor & Core Restore” practice will be available for $10.

For more information about Yoga Me Fit, please visit www.yogamefit.com, call 912-308-3410 or email Lynn Geddes at lynn@yogamefit.com.

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BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK TO HOST INAUGURAL PUP PULL

Categories: Public Relations.

BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK TO HOST INAUGURAL PUP PULL FUNDRAISING EVENT – NOVEMBER 10, 2017

RICHMOND HILL, GA – October 17, 2017 – The Bryan County Bark Park is slated to host a “Pup Pull” fundraising event on Friday, Nov. 10 at the 17 South Rod & Gun Club, 5899 N. Coastal Hwy, in Fleming.  This nonprofit organization is looking for teams and sponsors for this fun shooting competition at the 17 South Rod & Gun Club which is owned by Bark Park Board Member and Richmond Hill based veterinarian Kyle Christianson.

 

Registration for this event begins at 2 p.m. The “Pup Pull” shoot will begin at 3 p.m. followed by cocktails at 4 p.m. and conclude with dinner and awards at 5 p.m. Teams of four will compete for the opportunity to win fantastic prizes and there will be a fundraising raffle to win high quality guns provided by Pinault’s Defensive Solutions.

 

“We are really excited about the inaugural ‘Pup Pull’ event and are looking forward to connecting with the community and gaining support through this new event,” said President Wendy Bolton. “This is a new direction for the Bark Park as we have always held evening fundraisers or fun events at the Bark Park. We are grateful to board members Renee Laurie who has organized the event along with Kyle Christianson who offered his gun club as the venue for this fundraising event.”

 

The mission of the nonprofit organization is to provide a dog park for the community which is safe for families and where well-behaved dogs can be let off their leashes to run free. Proceeds raised from this fundraising event will go toward helping the Bryan County Bark Park maintain and continue to improve the park ensuring a clean environment for all responsible dog owners in the community.

 

“Pup Pull” sponsorship opportunities and team registrations are available at the following levels: Working Dog Sponsor – $100, Gun Dog Sponsor – $600, and Big Dog Sponsor – $850. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Wendy Bolton at 912-657-1221 or by email at wnbolton@me.com or Renee Laurie at 912-660-9609 or reneelaurie30@gmail.com.

 

For more information about the Bryan County Bark Park, please visit www.bryanbarkpark.com.

 

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THE SPIRIT OF ANNA COLQUITT HUNTER RETURNS TO SAVANNAH WITH NEW BIOGRAPHY – RESTORING LOST TIMES

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – October 16, 2017 – The long-awaited return of Anna Hunter’s spirit to Savannah begins on Monday, October 30 with the launch of RESTORING LOST TIMES: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter, the third biography of award-winning author, A. Louise Staman. The book signing will take place at The Davenport House Museum from 5-7 pm at 324 E. State Street on Monday, October 30. This event will include the opportunity to meet with Anna Hunter’s grandchildren Hetty and Julie Jardine, who collaborated with the author and provided exclusive access to family papers and photographs.  In addition, characters depicting some of the history of Davenport House Museum will be in attendance along with Savannah VOICE Festival singers previewing some of the music from the premiere of the opera slated for later that week at Davenport House Museum.

RESTORING LOST TIMES: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter is the true story of Anna as she embraced the triumphs and tribulations of her long life with gusto working and playing hard, feeling deeply and participating fully.  In a compelling tale of all the phases of her life as she became a wife, mother, widow and served abroad during the Second World War before her stunning contributions in preserving Savannah’s historic homes and landmarks, this beautifully illustrated book will be treasured by both residents and visitors alike.  It was in Savannah during the 1950s that Anna Hunter’s voice became widely heard.  Something terrible was happening to her beloved Savannah.  Historic downtown was largely abandoned and sometimes falling down and the developers were moving in.  Historic structures often fell to the wrecking ball. Anna Colquitt Hunter and her group of six women changed the future, through the past and its preservation. There were many aspects of Anna Hunter that are less widely known. In addition to starting Historic Savannah Foundation, Anna was an avid painter, a writer for the Savannah Morning News, and loved to dance and socialize.

The launch of A. Louise Staman’s latest biography begins a triumphant return of the spirit of Anna Hunter to Savannah in both music and literature as it coincides with the premiere of the new Anna Hunter opera.   Savannah VOICE Festival will debut their world premiere of Michael Ching’s opera Anna Hunter, The Spirit of Savannah on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Davenport House Museum. A series of shows will then be held at the Davenport House Museum every evening throughout the weekend, concluding on November 4.  Louise Staman will be in attendance with copies of her new biography available for purchase at every performance of the opera.  The author has worked closely with Savannah VOICE Festival’s Composer in Residence Michael Ching over the last two years as they shared research, concepts and their visions.

Staman comments “It was fascinating to me to see two people come to a topic with two totally different viewpoints. I really enjoyed how the composer, Michael Ching, thought about it and how I thought about it, and at the end we both came up with a very similar story.”

RESTORING LOST TIMES: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter will be available at Davenport House Museum’s gift shop from late October 30, 2017 and retails for $29.95.  An enthralling tale lavishly illustrated with photos of Anna Hunter and her paintings, this must read makes a perfect holiday gift for any Savannah enthusiast.

For more information about A. Louise Staman or to pre-order Restoring Lost Times, please visit www.alouisestaman.com or email ALouise.Staman@TigerIrionPress.com

For more information about Davenport House Museum please visit http://www.davenporthousemuseum.org email shop@davenporthousemuseum.org or call 912-236-8097

For more information on the Savannah VOICE Festival, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org, call 855-76-OPERA or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL SLATED TO PRESENT WORLD PREMIERE OF ANNA HUNTER OPERA

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – October 16, 2017 –  Savannah VOICE Festival is set to debut the world premiere of Composer-in-Residence Michael Ching’s newest opera, “Anna Hunter, The Spirit of Savannah.” This comedic ghost opera about Savannah’s preservation will be staged at the historic Davenport House Museum located on Columbia Square, 324 E. State St., with immersion performances featuring a live instrumental ensemble.

Performers will take audiences on a journey through the Davenport House as they portray the story of the woman who changed the future of Savannah by preserving its past. Due to the immersive nature of these performances, the series of shows will begin with an accessible performance in the Davenport House’s Kennedy Pharmacy for guests with limited mobility at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2.

Additional immersion performances of “Anna Hunter” with a live instrumental ensemble will be held at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. A performance with reduced instrumentation and the lead role sung by Festival Artist Kristin Schwecke will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2. To end the run of Anna’s premiere, a patron performance will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, that includes a special a “Meet the Artists” dinner and wine reception following the performance.

Anna Colquitt Hunter, along with six other civic-minded women, incorporated Historic Savannah Foundation in 1955 with the immediate goal to raise funds to purchase the Davenport House and save it from demolition. This goal was reached and in 1963, the Davenport House was opened as a museum. Anna became the first woman to win Savannah’s top civic award, the Oglethorpe Trophy.

The opera follows Louise, a young tour guide-in-training at the Davenport House, who struggles to find her own voice. She encounters a ghost, who she believes is a museum guest that won’t leave at closing time. After a knock on the head, the mysterious woman who takes her on a journey through the history of the Davenport House, and the preservation of Savannah. Louise discovers this woman is, in fact, the ghost of Anna Hunter, and is awed by the profound impact she had on the Savannah we know today.

For the first time in the organization’s five-year history, Savannah VOICE Festival’s co-founder and Executive Director Maria Zouves will perform in her own production, as Anna Hunter herself.. Ching asked Zouves to take on this pivotal role and wrote the opera envisioning her as Anna. “Upon discovering Anna and learning about her life and many talents, I felt such a connection that I knew I had to take on this role as Anna Colquitt Hunter,” Zouves said. “Michael Ching was a big influence on my decision, but I also saw we have such an amazing opportunity we had to highlight Anna’s many accomplishments. Adding to that the ability to do this where the opera takes place, in the historic Davenport House, was an added incentive. It was such an important place to Anna.”

Additional roles include: Emily Righter (Louise), Jeffrey Martin (Mr. Progress), Melanie Campbell (Quortina), Shana Grossman (Sarah Davenport), Sean Christensen (Isaiah Davenport), Legera Danielides (Lucy Barrow McIntire), Abigail Martin (Katherine “Kass” Judkins Clark), and Angela De Venuto (Jane Adair Wright).   Maria’s understudy, Kristin Schwecke, will perform one performance on Saturday at 2pm. Kisma Jordan, the winner of the ATC’s Milnes Opera Award will act as the understudy for Quortina and will participate in the ensemble with Michael Ching, Lorraine Jones, Scott Moore, and Marc Chesanow playing the piano, flute, violin and bass.  Savannah VOICE Festival works extensively with students in the community through its educational outreach programs and is delighted to welcome Savannah Arts Academy in the role of callers at the city market.

Zouves continues, “We are so grateful that the Davenport House Museum and Historic Savannah Foundation have been so open to this idea and instrumental in the process of bringing this opera to life.”

Savannah VOICE Festival is a nonprofit arts organization that brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a three-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Savannah VOICE Festival recently celebrated its fifth anniversary in the Hostess City with the “Funny@Five” season.

In a unique collaboration, the release of local author A. Louise Staman’s book, “Restoring Lost Times: Savannah’s Anna Colquitt Hunter” will coincide with the world premiere of Ching’s opera. Staman, who shared research and ideas with Ching, will be present at performances to sign copies of her book.

Tickets to Thursday’s limited mobility accessible performance and Saturday’s reduced instrumentation performance cost $37.50 each. Tickets to the immersion performances with a live instrumental ensemble cost $42.50 each and Saturday evening’s Gala Performance including a ‘Meet the Artists’ dinner reception cost $75 each. For more information about these performances or to purchase tickets, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org/festival-events/.

For more information about the Savannah VOICE Festival, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org, email info@savannahvoicefestival.org, or call 855-766-7372.

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PHILHARMONIC, STRINGS & A STEINWAY FUNDRAISER TREATS GUEST TO INTIMATE MUSICAL EXPERIENCE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Oct. 16, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic’s fall fundraiser, “Phil, Strings and a Steinway,” will be a magical evening of music and art at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6 in the Neises Auditorium and Jepson Center Atrium.

For this one-night only fundraiser, Philharmonic Board of Directors Vice Chairman Samir Nikocevic will perform a program of classical and popular pieces on a concert Steinway Grand Piano sent to the Philharmonic from Fox Music House of Charleston. The program will also feature Concertmaster Dr. Sinisa Ciric, first violinist Danijela Zezelj-Guaidi, and principal second violinist Ricardo Ochoa. The sound from this magnificent Steinway combined with the talent of world-class musicians, in such an intimate venue, promises a magical evening and marks a continuation of the Philharmonic’s partnership with Fox Music House.

Following the concert, guests will be treated to a cocktail reception and an art auction. Attendees will enjoy champagne and canapes as they browse the work of local artists; the proceeds from any pieces sold will go to support the Philharmonic’s mission and programs

The night will cost attendees a little more than the usual Philharmonic events. VIP Select seats cost $150 each, and Premier Regular seats cost $95 each. The increase in price will help fund future concerts from the organization.

“Last year’s fundraiser, ‘Four Hands and a Steinway,’ proved to be such a success, we jumped at the chance to host a similar performance again this year,” Nikocevic said. “It’ll be a very warm and inviting performance – much smaller than a typical orchestra concert – but our guests that evening will enjoy and up-close and personal experience with the music. We’re looking forward to a fun and delightfully entertaining evening with the Philharmonic’s most enthusiastic fans and supporters.”

For more information about this event or the Savannah Philharmonic, please call 912-232-6002, visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, email info@savannahphilharmonic.org, or find the event page posted on the Savannah Philharmonic’s Facebook page.

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SD GUNNER FUND RECEIVES $4,477 DONATION, AWARD FOR CANINE EXCELLENCE

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – October 16, 2017 –The SD Gunner fund has recently received recognition due to their excellence in serving the community. The Surrency, Georgia chapter of the U.S. Military Veterans Motorcycle Club recently presented the nonprofit organization with a $4,477 donation. To add to their successes, SD Gunner – the service dog (SD) the organization is named after – recently received the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Award for Canine Excellence (ACE).

On October 7, 2017 the Surrency, Georgia chapter of the U.S. Military Veterans Motorcycle Club held their 10-year anniversary party where they were able to raise $4,477 to benefit the SD Gunner Fund. The U.S. Military Veterans Motorcycle Club is a non-profit organization that was established in 1987, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The club was created for qualified Military Veterans with the intentions of improving the image of Military Veterans and bikers. They also strive to promote pride, support and relationships with other Military Veterans alike.

The 18th annual AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) took place in order to celebrate five hard-working dogs who have demonstrated excellence and who have positively impacted the lives of their owners and communities. This year, SD Gunner took home one these five awards.

 

The SD Gunner Fund was started by Britnee Kinard in 2014 after she encountered many hardships and neglect regarding the approval of a service dog for her husband, Military Veteran and Purple-Heart recipient Hamilton Kinard. The nonprofit organization was created to assist veterans and disabled children with the financial expense of owning much-needed service animals to alleviate some of their financial burdens.

 

“We are so grateful to have SD Gunner recognized with such an honorable mention. He has been such an important part, not only of our family, but also of this organization and we are extremely proud of him,” Britnee Kinard said. “We are also extremely thankful to the USMVMC for their generous donation and for believing in our mission.”

 

SD Gunner is a Great Pyrenees who earned his credentials as a service dog in March 2014. He assists the Kinard’s oldest son Blayne, who is autistic, by providing calming techniques. Gunner also makes frequent visits to schools and universities, as well as state and federal government entities in hopes to raise awareness on the dire importance of service dogs.

If you would like to make a donation to the organization or for more information about the SD Gunner Fund, please visit www.webjobs.kender.org/sdgunnerfund. 

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL LOOKS FORWARD TO FOURTH ANNUAL PECAN AND HONEY HARVEST

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – October 16, 2017- Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (UMC) is set to hold its fourth annual Pecan and Honey Harvest from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 on Madison Square, at Bull and Macon streets.

This popular annual event began with the donation of South Georgia pecans  from a church member and has grown every year.  The Pecan and Honey Harvest includes a general store for the sale of shelled pecans, fresh baked pecan-themed desserts and candy, beverages and local honey as well as live entertainment and a café. The harvest is made possible by a team of helpful volunteers at Asbury, including committee chair Bill Jahn, who are dedicating their time and talent to the event, as they have in years past.

The harvest is scheduled for the same date and time as the Savannah Children’s Book Festival in Forsyth Park, which is just eight blocks south of Madison Square. For the convenience of those who would like to visit both events, Old Savannah Tours will be participating by sharing information about the Pecan and Honey Harvest and Children’s Book Festival with guests using their trolleys on November 18 and encouraging people to hop off at their trolley stop at Madison Square, take a break and enjoy the Harvest.

“The Pecan and Honey Harvest is a fun and exciting event that is becoming an Asbury tradition,” said Rev. Billy Hester, Asbury Memorial UMC’s pastor. “The congregation is already looking forward to a great time and we look forward to seeing everyone come out- new and old faces! It will truly be a celebration of Savannah’s spirit and funds raised will assist us in our work to help community members in need in the Waters Avenue revitalization area in which our church is located.”

Asbury’s famous clown dolls will be on display and available for purchase. The dolls, which are sold around the world, are made by Asbury’s “Busy Bees” group and were originally made for fellowship, but later helped keep the church running with the profits made. The honey is harvested from Asbury’s “heavenly” bees, who invaded the church in 2011 and whose hives now provide the honey.

Asbury Memorial UMC is a Christ-centered, forward-thinking, all-embracing congregation that likes to celebrate the joy of God creatively.

For more information about Asbury Memorial’s Pecan and Honey Harvest and Asbury Memorial Church, please visit www.asburymemorial.org.

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GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER TO BENEFIT FROM BELK CHARITY SALE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – October 13, 2017 – Savannah area residents are invited to attend the Belk Charity Sale, benefiting Greenbriar Children’s Center, from 6-10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. Belk is located in the Oglethorpe Mall, 7804 Abercorn St.

 

Tickets to this private event cost $5 and are available in advance through Greenbriar. The exclusive sale will feature deals on rarely discounted brands such as Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, Coach, Free People, Lucky Brand, Steve Madden, Trina Turk and more. Customers who present a ticket will be admitted, and a free gift card will be given to the first 100 attendees. All shoppers will receive $5 off their first purchase as a thank-you from Belk for supporting the community. One ticket may be redeemed per customer, with Greenbriar keeping 100 percent of ticket sale proceeds.

 

Greenbriar supporters and Belk patrons who would like to attend the sale but have a scheduling conflict on November 4 can still support the fundraiser by shopping the week of the event and pre-paying for their items, which will receive the discounted sale prices. Those who take advantage of this option can pick up their merchandise on or after November 4. The Belk team will hold paid-for items in a secure location until customers arrive to claim them.

 

“We are grateful to Belk for supporting us with this sale once again and we look forward to enjoying the amazing deals Belk has to offer as we ‘shop ‘til we drop’ with the community,” Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “Greenbriar would not be the organization it is today without the continued, tireless support of our community – and for that, we are so thankful.”

 

Greenbriar Children’s Center is a nonprofit organization that promotes the healthy development of children and young adults, as well as the strengthening of families through services provided. These services include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless support, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place.

 

For more information about Greenbriar or to purchase a ticket to the sale, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912-234-3431. For more information about this event, please visit www.belk.com/charitysale.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER TO CELEBRATE EAST COAST GREENWAY ALLIANCE

Categories: Public Relations.

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER TO CELEBRATE EAST COAST GREENWAY ALLIANCE

25TH ANNIVERSARY WITH PADDLE TRIP

SAVANNAH, GA – October 11, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper invites the coastal community to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the East Coast Greenway Alliance with a paddle trip Sunday, Oct. 15 on the Ogeechee River Sunday.

The East Coast Greenway Alliance is spending 10 weeks visiting communities along the East Coast Greenway celebrating healthy watersheds, active living, and local culture with its East Coast River Relay. This celebration, which will span over 3,000 miles, began in Calais, Maine on Aug. 24 and will conclude in Key West, Florida on Oct. 30.

This River Relay event on the Ogeechee River begins at 9 a.m. at the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Society, 681 Fort Argyle Road, and will end at Kings Ferry Park, 6811 Basin Road, in Savannah. Participants will enjoy a paddle on the historic Savannah-Ogeechee Canal to King’s Ferry on the Ogeechee River with leaders from the Ogeechee Riverkeeper organization, including Outreach and Water Quality Specialist Luke Roberson. This trip, which will take two to three hours to complete, will be followed by a BYO (bring your own) picnic lunch. Participants will also have the option to purchase meals at Love’s Seafood & Steaks. Picnicking paddlers will be joined by another group of environmental volunteers, who will be participating in an East Coast Greenway Alliance trail clean-up happening at the same time as the paddle trip.

Paddlers should bring snacks, water bottle(s), sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water shoes or old tennis shoes (flip-flops and sandals are not recommended), and a dry bag or way to store your personal items. Canoes will be available to rent for $30.

The East Coast Greenway Alliance is a nonprofit organization spearheading the development of the East Coast Greenway, an ambitious network of connected walking and bicycling trails which will stretch from Maine to Florida and connect 450 communities on its 3,000-mile route – making it the country’s longest biking and walking route. The organization works with partners at every level, from federal and regional officials to state committees, local officials, and legions of dedicated volunteers to bring the dream of this 3,000-mile route to life. The East Coast Greenway follows the Coastal Georgia Greenway through Georgia’s six coastal counties linking historic and cultural sites, waterways, and natural habitats.

“The East Coast Greenway Alliance’s goal with this River Relay celebration is to bring thousands of people out to enjoy the Greenway and to remind individuals of the importance of easy access to our natural surroundings, including the many critical watersheds and rivers such as our Ogeechee River,” Roberson said. “The overarching goal we are trying to accomplish with the organization’s mission to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin, goes hand-in-hand with this celebration as we continuously encourage community members to enjoy and utilize our beautiful river.”

Participants will need to pay a $6 parking fee at the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal in order to participate in this paddle trip. Participants are not required to be Ogeechee Riverkeeper members as this paddle trip is open to the public.

For more information about the Ogeechee River Relay Race paddle trip, please check Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s Facebook page, email luke@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

For more information about the East Coast Greenway Alliance or the River Relay, please visit www.greenway.org/river-relay.

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LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER MEGAN MYRICK HONORED

Categories: Public Relations.

LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER MEGAN MYRICK HONORED WITH AWARDS AT INTERNATIONAL AND STATE LEVELS

RICHMOND HILL, GA – October 11, 2017 – Richmond Hill-based custom photographer Megan Myrick was recently honored by both the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and the Georgia Professional Photographers Association (GPPA)

 

Myrick earned the GPPA’s first-place award in the child portrait category for her submission, “Little Patriot,” as well as the “Elliott’s First-Timer Award.” The PPA awarded Myrick with merits for two out of the four images she submitted to the entity’s International Print Competition.

 

Myrick’s GPPA winning images will now progress to the district level of competition, and her International Print Competition merit images will be on display at the International Photographic Exhibition at Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers. This time around, it runs Jan. 14-16, 2018, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The winning photos are images she chose from various shoots with her local clients.

 

“I am unbelievably honored by my awards from both the Professional Photographers of American and the Georgia Professional Photographers Association following a rigorous judging process. So many talented photographers submitted their photos to these competitions, so its enormously rewarding to be recognized among these skilled individuals,” Myrick said. “And I must say, having the No. 1 child image in the state – in addition to knowing all of my images feature individuals from our community – is particularly rewarding!”

 

Both the PPA and GPPA judge competition images on the following 12 elements: impact, creativity, technical excellence, composition, lighting, style, print presentation, center of interest, subject matter, color balance, technique, and story-telling.

 

The PPA, a nonprofit group founded in 1869, is the largest photography association organized for and by professional photographers, with more than 29,000 members in 64 countries. The International Print Competition challenges photographers to grow their artistic and technical photography skills by creatively capturing and presenting their best images, and by doing so, improving their businesses. The competition is open to all, but also gives PPA photographers the opportunity to earn merits toward photography degrees. GPPA, an official affiliate of PPA, is a community of like-minded professionals focused on education, friendship, and networking.

 

Megan Myrick Photography specializes in newborn, maternity, baby, child and family photography around the Coastal Georgia area. She strives to provide her clients with a custom portrait experience resulting in timeless, heirloom-quality art for families to cherish for years to come.

 

For more information about Megan Myrick Photography, please visit www.meganmyrickphotography.com or call 912-200-5284.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER TO WRAP UP 2017 PADDLE TRIP SEASON WITH OCT. 28 JOURNEY

Categories: Public Relations.

OLIVER, GA – October 4, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper will hold its last paddle trip of the season on Saturday, Oct. 28. Participants of this challenging nine-mile trek will meet at the put-in point, two and a half miles southwest of Oliver, GA on Highway 24 at the Bulloch/Screven county line, for a 9 a.m. start.

 

Luke Roberson, Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s outreach and water quality specialist, will lead this trip. Participants should bring lunch/snacks, water bottle(s), sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water shoes or tennis shoes (flip-flops and sandals are not recommended), and a dry bag or way to store personal items.

 

“This challenging paddle will be a great way to wrap up our 2017 season and I’m looking forward to getting on the water with supporters of our organization who are also paddling enthusiasts,” Roberson said. “This route includes a handful of fallen trees, which will make life just a little tougher for us.”

 

Ogeechee Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organization with the mission to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin, has offered these guided paddle trips for the past three years. The paddle trips allow participants to experience the natural beauty of Southern “blackwater” rivers, observe wildlife, and establish camaraderie with fellow paddlers while enjoying the tranquility and intimacy of floating right on the water’s surface.

 

Registration for non-members costs $35 per person while Ogeechee Riverkeeper members are invited to join these paddles at no cost. Ogeechee Riverkeeper memberships begin at the individual level of $35.

Registration for this guided paddle trip closes at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. To register for this trip or for more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org, email luke@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

 

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MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBER BUDDY METZGER

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Oct. 4, 2017 – Burton F. “Buddy” Metzger has joined the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire’s Board of Directors as a member-at-large. He also will serve on the board’s Personnel Committee.

Metzger graduated from Yale University with his bachelor’s degree in 1962 and from Columbia Law School with his juris doctorate in 1965. After completing his education, Metzger practiced entertainment law in New York from 1965-72. He served as the president of the Metzger Group, a manufacturing company in New York, from 1977-87. During his time in the Empire State, Metzger held many leadership roles and was recognized for his philanthropic contributions. He served as a campaign leader and was named to the Council of Top 100 Solicitors.

After moving to Georgia, Metzger practiced juvenile and family law in Savannah from 1992-2009 and served as the juvenile court’s judge pro tem from 2000-09. His community achievements and leadership roles include serving as president, a long-term officer and director of Savannah’s Congregation Agudath Achim, volunteering for the United Way’s Backpack Buddies program, co-founding and serving as a board member of Parent University, serving on the board of directors of the Savannah Jewish Federation, serving as chairman of the Interfaith Relations Committee, and focusing on interracial relations for the Mayor’s Council on Interfaith. Metzger currently volunteers for the Mediation Center as a civil and family law mediator.

The Mediation Center provides the coastal community with access to mediation and other dispute-resolution methods as an alternative to litigation. The Mediation Center also provides training to businesses, schools, organizations, other institutions, and individuals in order to enhance conflict-resolution skills throughout the community.

 

“We’re pleased to welcome Buddy to the Mediation Center’s Board of Directors. I’ve enjoyed working with him as a volunteer and have seen how his impressive skill set has proven beneficial to the center and those we serve,” Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks said. “I’m thankful he has accepted the position on our board, as I’m confident he’ll lead and serve the community well in his new capacity.”

 

For more information about The Mediation Center, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com, call 912-354-6686 or email info@mediationsavannah.com.

 

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THE MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO OBSERVE MEDIATION WEEK OCT. 15-21

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Oct. 4, 2017 – The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire has announced exciting plans to observe the American Bar Association’s Mediation Week, which runs Oct. 15-21. In 2011, the ABA declared the third week of October, “ABA Mediation Week” as part of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s long-established tradition of celebrating conflict resolution throughout October. The theme for this year’s ABA Mediation Week is “Mediation, Civility, and the Power of Understanding.”

The Mediation Center, which has been cutting the emotional and financial costs of disputes for thousands of people throughout the Coastal Empire region, will commemorate this observance with a couple events designed to thank current volunteers and draw new ones in.

As part of the observance, the center will host the Annual Mediation Appreciation Cocktail Hour on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Mediation Center. All volunteer mediators, supporters, staffers and board members will be treated to appetizers, drinks and networking opportunities as they celebrate the center’s 30 successful years. During the cocktail hour, a special announcement will be made about the Mediation Center’s annual fundraising event.

The Mediation Center plans to prolong its observance of the ABA’s Mediation Week by holding its inaugural monthly information session, “Mediation Matters,” at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. This meeting, held at the Mediation Center at 5105 Paulsen St., Suite 125D, will provide anyone interested in becoming a volunteer mediator with all the information, requirements and guidelines needed to make an informed decision about taking on this important role.  Topics important to attendees, such as how to incorporate mediation into the workplace environment or bring one of the Mediation Center’s youth programs to your organization, will also be addressed.

Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks encourages community members to attend one of the monthly information sessions to learn more about the Mediation Center’s services and resources.

“This is our first time celebrating the American Bar Association’s Mediation Week, and we hope to make it into an annual tradition in our region. It’s the perfect opportunity for the Mediation Center to express gratitude to our current volunteers and supporters while aiming to increase community involvement and support for our programs and services,” Cheeks said.

The Mediation Center of Savannah, established in 1986, is a non-profit United Way-funded organization that provides education, training and programs and is dedicated to providing and promoting methods other than litigation for settling disputes. The Center relies upon a dedicated volunteer board of directors and mediators who have experience in business, law, real estate, social work, education, and many other areas. All mediators are registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, under the Supreme Court of Georgia, and they attend annual in-service trainings. For more information about the Mediation Center of The Coastal Empire or any of the planned events, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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TWO HUNDRED CLUB THIRD ANNUAL RED, WHITE AND BLUE BBQ SLATED FOR OCT. 21

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Oct. 4, 2017 – The Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire’s third annual Red, White and Blue BBQ is set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 in Ellis Square. This family-friendly fundraiser, featuring live music and award-winning barbecue, is an important fundraiser for The Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire. The nonprofit all-volunteer organization provides immediate and significant financial assistance for families of fallen and critically injured law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency service personnel, as well as a college education for the family members of first responders who die in the line of duty.

 

For a $10 minimum donation, attendees will enjoy a plate piled high with Savannah’s best barbecue, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and a roll. Coca-Cola products, Service Brewing craft beer, Savannah Rae’s Popcorn and Leopold’s Ice Cream will also be available for purchase. Locals and visitors are encouraged to enjoy lunch or an early dinner while listening to live music by Keith and Jason, Stephen Rankin, and Bottles N’ Cans. New for 2017, the Two Hundred Club is offering special sales of smoked whole Boston butts for $25 each on Friday, Oct. 20. Those who pre-order and pay for one can pick up their purchases on Friday from 12-6 p.m.

 

All donations are tax-deductible and will directly support the families of fallen heroes. One-hundred percent of the profits from this event go to support the work of the Two Hundred Club, which has given over $1.7 million to support local families of fallen and critically injured first responders.
“The Red, White and Blue BBQ is one of the Two Hundred Club’s most important annual fundraisers. The donations we receive go directly toward providing support to the families of fallen and injured law enforcement officers, EMS personnel and firefighters,” Two Hundred Club President Mark Dana said. “Last year’s barbecue was canceled due to Hurricane Matthew, so we hope to garner extra support and patronage this year. Please join us in Ellis Square for this family-friendly event, where we’ll enjoy great food, drinks and music, all while supporting families who’ve lost loved ones in the line of duty.”

 

All donations are tax-deductible and will directly support the 200 Club and the families of fallen heroes. For more information or to pre-order smoked Boston butts, please visit www.twohundredclub.org/red-white-blue-bbq

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER GEARS UP FOR ANNUAL ‘OYSTERS FOR THE OGEECHEE’

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – October 4, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper has unveiled plans for their main fundraising event of the year, the fourth Annual Oysters for the Ogeechee, which will take place from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Isle of Hope Marina, located at 50 West Bluff Drive, Savannah.

Back by popular demand, Moon River Brewing Company will serve its specially brewed, unique Ogeechee Riverkeeper Spiced Pale Ale, made with locally harvested gallberry honey and local organic ginger root (from Verdant Kitchen), which give the beer a gentle, spicy palate and a light body. Guests will enjoy unlimited steamed oysters and a selection of “land lover’s” fare from Barnes Catering. DJ OB-1 Benob will be spinning classic rock tunes, and attendees will have the chance to bid on an impressive array of silent auction items, such vacations, local art, gift baskets from area businesses and more.

This year’s early event sponsors include Milliken, Isle of Hope Marina, Barnes Catering, Ambos Seafood and Moon River Brewing Company.

Tickets booked in advance are priced at an affordable $45 per ticket and $40 per ticket if there are two or more in your group. Tickets purchased the day of the event will be an additional $5 each. There is the option to purchase a VIP wristband, available only in advance, for $90 per ticket or $80 per ticket for groups of two or more people. VIP wristbands include prime parking, private seating, a personal oyster cooker and server, and a full open bar. Corporate and individual sponsorships are still available starting at $500. Ogeechee Riverkeeper, whose mission includes river preservation work, advocacy efforts and outreach.  is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Jenn West, Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s Membership and Communications Coordinator said, “Our annual oyster roast has become such a fun, annual tradition. We always enjoy the camaraderie, the delicious food and drinks, and the gorgeous view. We encourage the community to join us for a lovely evening and help to ensure the continuation of ORK’s mission and important work.”

For more information about the fourth Annual Oysters for the Ogeechee, to buy tickets, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org, email info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

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MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO OBSERVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION MONTH

Categories: Public Relations.

MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO OBSERVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION MONTH

IN OCTOBER 2017 WITH NEW INITIATIVES

 

SAVANNAH, GA – Oct. 3, 2017 – The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire has announced exciting plans to observe Conflict Resolution Month throughout the month of October. This special month stems from the efforts of many other national, state, and local organizations – including the Association for Conflict Resolution – which have been celebrating conflict resolution during the month of October for years.

This is the first year the Mediation Center is undertaking a series of special initiatives to coincide with this national annual initiative. This Savannah based non-profit organization has been cutting the emotional and financial costs of disputes for thousands of people throughout the region, will commemorate this observance with a series of events and initiatives throughout October.

The month gets under way with the announcement of a collaboration between the Mediation Center and Chatham County Juvenile Court, for the Mediation Center to provide Community Conferencing.

Community Conferencing provides a meaningful community-based response to juvenile crime by empowering the community of people affected by the incident. Young people accused of delinquent offenses have the opportunity to take responsibility for the harm they caused, those affected by the harm play a role in deciding accountability, and residents feel safer in their communities. The Mediation Center provides conference facilitators trained to facilitate challenging conversations and the program is managed by Crystal Commodore, Youth Programs Director of the Mediation Center.

Juvenile Court Presiding Chief Judge LeRoy Burke III, who helped facilitate the system’s utilization of Community Conferencing, is eager for the partnership to yield positive results.

On Monday, Oct. 9, Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks will continue the monthlong commemoration by speaking at Armstrong State University on the topic of conflict resolution. This training will be conducted in an organizational communication graduate class.

“College is a time of growth and development to prepare students for future job opportunities. Preparing students to manage difficult situations sets the students up for success personally and professionally,” Cheeks said. “We’ll address common causes of conflict and learn strategies mediators use to support parties in dispute.”

To round out the celebration of October as Conflict Resolution Month, the Mediation Center is joining forces with Greenbriar Children’s Center to make the Children of Peaceful Engagement (COPE) program available to Greenbriar’s residents and clients.

The COPE program teaches children who are going through stressful situations how to better cope with their anger and other emotions and manage their response using proven engagement strategies that focus on understanding and emotional learning. Attendees are school-age children and the delivery method is customized to fit the schedule of the organization.

Greenbriar promotes the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families through an array of services, including emergency shelter, responding to youth who are homeless or have run away, residential care, independent living, family preservation programs, and early childhood education and care. Greenbriar, a Savannah-based nonprofit, also facilitates Savannah’s Project Safe Place program, which provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need.

Lee Robbins, Programs Director at the Mediation Center, launched COPE earlier this summer. Robbins and his colleague, Crystal Commodore, the Mediation Center’s Youth Programs Director, will implement COPE at Greenbriar, focusing on residents ages 12-17.

Cheeks encourages community members, clients, supporters and potential volunteers to learn more about the Mediation Center’s services and resources in October and throughout the year by visiting www.mediationsavannah.com or by calling 912-354-6686 to schedule an appointment.

“Celebrating October as Conflict Resolution Month is a great opportunity for us to showcase our offerings to community members who may not be familiar with the Mediation Center’s mission and history,” Cheeks said. “We hope to generate new interest in our volunteer opportunities and increase engagement across the board. The Mediation Center has many valuable resources and we want area residents to know and use what’s available to them.”

The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, established in 1986, is a non-profit United Way-funded organization that provides education, training and programs and is dedicated to providing and promoting methods other than litigation for settling disputes. The Center relies upon a dedicated volunteer board of directors and mediators who have experience in business, law, real estate, social work, education, and many other areas. All mediators are registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, under the Supreme Court of Georgia, and they attend annual in-service trainings. For more information about the Mediation Center of The Coastal Empire or any of the planned events, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION AND THE GEORGIA TRUST PRESENT 2017 FALL RAMBLE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – September 29, 2017 –  The Georgia Trust and Historic Savannah Foundation invite locals and visitors to “ramble” through the Hostess City with the 2017 Georgia Trust Fall Ramble on Friday, Oct. 6-Sunday, Oct. 8. With stops in Midtown, historic Downtown, and the Moon River district, the ramble offers participants the opportunity to discover Savannah and see some of the best preservation projects – old and new – in Georgia’s first city. Tours will include private homes, recently renovated commercial projects, and behind-the-scenes access to projects in progress.

Friday, Oct. 6: Midtown The Fall Ramble will kick off with registration at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave., in Ardsley Park at 10 a.m. From 11 a.m.-5 p.m., participants will traverse Savannah’s earliest automobile suburbs filled with Colonial Revival and Craftsman homes before visiting the palmetto-lined pedestrian mall at the center of Chatham Crescent and the hidden mid-century gems of Kensington Park and Magnolia Park. Guests will then enjoy dinner and cocktails from 6-8 p.m. at the Charles H. Morris Center, 10 E. Broad St. Home of the original Trustees’ Garden, the Charles H. Morris Center is associated with the city’s founders and provides a unique backdrop to a site layered with history as old as the city itself.

Saturday, Oct. 7: Downtown Saturday’s festivities begin with breakfast and orientation from 9 to 11 a.m. at the historic Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn Street.  Saturday’s Ramble will be held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. During this time, participants will explore Savannah’s world-renowned National Historic Landmark District, including private homes and recently completed preservation projects.  Registration continues from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Kennedy Pharmacy, 323 E. Broughton St. and Saturday evening will feature dinner and cocktails from 6-8 p.m. under the live oaks at Three Rivers, 3 Rivers Bend Court.

Sunday, Oct. 8: Moon River District From 9 a.m.-11 a.m. guests will enjoy brunch along the banks of Shipyard Creek and explore the grounds of the original Bethesda Orphan House and Academy, 9520 Ferguson Ave. Founded in 1740, Bethesda includes a historic schoolhouse-turned-museum, an early twentieth century chapel erected by The National Society of The Colonial Dames in the State of Georgia, and an extensive tree lined alley planted in the late eighteenth century. The 2017 Georgia Trust Fall Ramble will conclude with the Moon River District Ramble, which will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Participants will get the Lowcountry experience as they tour sites in the district, just 20 minutes from downtown. This Savannah neighborhood is home to salt marshes, a Gullah Geechee oystering community, and picturesque Wormsloe Historic Site, where the opportunity to explore several buildings on the Wormsloe family property, including the 1906 library, will be provided. Discover Savannah’s waterfront plantation houses on Isle of Hope, highlighted by an 1864 Victorian home on Bluff Drive overlooking the Skidaway River. Finally, head over to Pin Point to see the historic Gullah Geechee community in a historic oyster factory-turned-museum to wrap up the Ramble.

“Our organization looks forward to being involved with the Georgia Trust Fall Ramble and the opportunity it provides to discover all of the beautiful architecture our city has to offer,” said Historic Savannah Foundation Director of Development Meghan Lowe. “We enjoy being able to interact and get to know individuals from around Georgia who are interested in the preservation of our city and who appreciate everything we have to offer.

Registration for the full ramble costs $260 for Georgia Trust members and $290 for non-members. For a full breakdown of costs and tickets available, please visit www.georgiatrust.org/historic_sites/rambles/fallregistration.php. For more information about the 2017 Fall Ramble, please visit www.georgiatrust.org/historic-sites/rambles/fallramble.php. To learn more about Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org.

 

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION’S ANNUAL GALA IS OCT. 21 AT ATLANTIC AVENUE MALL

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – September 29, 2017 – Savannah’s most enthusiastic supporters of historic preservation will gather Saturday, Oct. 21 for an evening of dining, dancing and delightful company at the Atlantic Avenue Mall in Ardsley Park.

The Historic Savannah Foundation’s 2017 Annual Gala, a members-only event, begins with privately hosted cocktail parties in a variety of Ardsley Park homes. At 7 p.m., guests will make their way over to the Mall for a sumptuous dinner, prepared by Chef Nick Mueller, and networking. Guests will enjoy an open bar and live music as they stroll through the palm-tree lined outdoor venue nestled between 44th and 45th streets in one of the Hostess City’s most architecturally intriguing neighborhoods. To cap of the glamorous evening, HSF will conduct a raffle drawing for a $5,000 cash prize. Raffle tickets – on sale now through HSF – cost $100, and attendance is not necessary to win.

Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF), saves buildings, places, and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. The annual gala, now in its 26th year, has set the bar as one of the city’s most elegant and festive fundraisers, always drawing a crowd eager to help maintain Savannah’s unique beauty and remarkable past.

Lisa Pinyan of LS3P/Dawson is serving as the chair of 2017 HSF Gala, supported by vice chair Natallie Santiago. Top-level Oglethorpe Sponsors include Ameris Bank, LS3P/Dawson, The Pinyan Company, Tharpe Engineering Group, and Dirrt.

The gala is also possible thanks to the support of community members and local organizations, who lend helping hands and offer other services. First Presbyterian Church on nearby Washington Avenue is partnering with HSF to store and arrange flowers in the church for the traditional stunning floral arrangements enjoyed by gala attendees. After the gala has concluded, the church’s outreach committee will deliver the floral arrangements to congregation members in nursing homes and hospitals.

“We have a beautiful, historic city that we can be proud of, and HSF is determined to protect that foundation and build on it, as we have for years. Historic preservation isn’t only about saving old buildings, though. Everyone in Savannah has a vested interest in the work we do, as preservation revives neighborhoods, creates jobs and investment opportunities, brings visitors to our city, and infuses the economy and the community with energy,” HSF Development Director Meghan Lowe said. “For these reasons – and those of a social nature – we hope Savannah residents will join us at the gala to celebrate and ensure the continuance of our efforts.”

HSF’s Annual Gala is the organization’s largest fundraiser with all proceeds benefitting ongoing preservation initiatives through advocacy, education, and community-involvement efforts.

Tickets are $250 for HSF members and $300 for non-members, which includes an annual HSF membership. Corporate and individual patronage packages are available. Additional ticket and sponsorship information can be found online atwww.myhsf.org or by contacting HSF Development Director Meghan Lowe at 912-233-7787 or mlowe@myHSF.org.

For more information about the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Annual Gala or purchasing a raffle ticket, please visit www.myHSF.org, email info@myHSF.org, or call 912-233-7787.

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FRIENDS OF BEN TUCKER ORGANIZING INAUGURAL ‘USED INSTRUMENT DONATION DAY’ OCT. 14

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – September 29, 2017 –  The Friends of Ben, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and preserving Savannah jazz icon Ben Tucker’s legacy, is working to ensure Coastal Empire children have the opportunity to follow in the legendary musician’s footsteps.

Understanding that tight budgets and financial hardship can prevent an otherwise eager and willing student from pursuing musical interests, the organization aims to eliminate that barrier. On Saturday, Oct. 14, Friends of Ben is partnering with Portman’s Music Superstore for a “Used Instrument Donation Day.” All instruments received will be refurbished and given to children who attend Title 1 schools within the Savannah-Chatham County system. Music teachers at the schools will coordinate the distribution of instruments to ensure they go to students who have a genuine interest and need.

Instruments will be collected from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 14 at Portman’s, 7650 Abercorn St. in Savannah. Organizers intend to make the charitable endeavor into a festive occasion, complete with music and refreshments. Student volunteers from Armstrong State University will also be on hand to help; however, more volunteers are still needed.

Friends of Ben President Barbara Essig said the group began planning this initiative in 2016 and they have plans to expand it if all goes well.

“We are targeting Title 1 schools to donate the instruments to because it was brought to our attention that children in those schools don’t always come from families that have good credit or own a home, which means they often cannot rent or procure an instrument for their child. So, there’s a population of low-income families who don’t have access to or can’t participate in a music program,” Essig said. “This program allows us to put instruments in the hands of children who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument.”

Friends of Ben was incorporated as a nonprofit in 2015 with the mission of continuing the work and outreach efforts facilitated and supported by Tucker, who was tragically killed June 4, 2013 in a traffic collision. He was 82. According to Essig, the organization has stepped in to continue projects Tucker was already involved in. Other times, they lend support and resources to programs they know the renowned jazz bassist would have endorsed.

A number of local businesses, organizations, educational institutions and fellow nonprofits have teamed with Friends of Ben for the inaugural “Used Instrument Donation Day.” In addition to Portman’s, the event has been made possible by Sonata (Sponsors of New and Talented Artists, Inc.), Coastal Jazz Association, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Savannah Philharmonic, Savannah Arts Academy, Savannah Music Festival, Performance Arts Choir and ACT. If the program is going to be a success, however, additional funds and supporters still are needed.

Essig said Friends of Ben plans to roll out the program this year – with the goal of putting instruments in the hands of 200 students – and run it for two years as they establish best practices for operating. Once they have things running like clockwork, program expansion is the next step. The goal is to hold an instrument donation day annually. It’ll come at a cost, though, because instruments will need to be refurbished and sterilized for use by other children.

Friends of Ben has submitted grants, and they’re looking at organizing some fundraisers.

“The first year, it will take $35,000 to run this program for over 200 students, so we’re looking for funders, contributors and sponsors,” Essig said. “Portman’s has been wonderful and we’re really excited to have them involved. Jerry Portman really stepped up to become the major partner here by refurbishing all these instruments. He’s been refurbishing for years and has partnered with the Savannah schools and other school districts for initiatives similar to this.”

The Friends of Ben president stressed that the group appreciates donated instruments in a wide range of conditions – even those that have seen better days.

“If people have instruments in their basements, attics or garages that haven’t been used in years, we’ll still take them. And we’re not just targeting Savannah – we hope to get participants from Tybee and surrounding areas, too,” Essig said. “Local musicians who have instruments that they are no longer using, they can donate them in honor of Ben. We know he would have been grateful. The last concert Ben played was at a public school, so this program is something he would have wholeheartedly supported.”

For more information on Friends of Ben, Inc., the inaugural “Used Instrument Donation Day,” or volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, please visit friendsofbentucker.org, email friendsofbentucker@gmail.com or call 912-925-4558.

 

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SHOP AND SUPPORT GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER AT VINEYARD VINES OF SAVANNAH

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – September 26, 2017 – Savannah area residents are invited to “shop ‘till they drop” on Thursday, Oct. 12 at Vineyard Vines of Savannah to support the local nonprofit organization, Greenbriar Children’s Center.

The popular downtown Savannah apparel store, located at 301 West Broughton Street, Unit 1A, has partnered for a “10/10 shopping night” to support Greenbriar Children’s Center.  During the hours of 4:00-8:00 p.m., customers will receive a 10 percent discount on their purchases, and Vineyard Vines will donate an additional 10 percent from each sale to Greenbriar.

Greenbriar Children’s Center is a nonprofit organization promoting the healthy development of children and young adults, as well as the strengthening of families through services provided. These services include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless support, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place. The organization is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services and is devoted to the care of children and youth who have reached difficult times in their family life. In addition to striving to provide children with a normal, healthy lifestyle, the primary goal is to support families so that they are equipped to provide safe, nurturing homes for their children.

“We are always appreciative of the Savannah community and local businesses, like Vineyard Vines, for their generous support,” Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “I love their brand and commitment to giving back to the community. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them and hope for events like this for years to come!”

Vineyard Vines locations across the United States often participate in charitable events, such as this one for Greenbriar. In addition to supporting causes the Vineyard Vines’ team believes in, the company’s leadership also feels strongly about contributing to the charitable efforts of their customers and their communities. The company was built on the following philosophy: “Give back more to the community than you receive.”

For more information about Greenbriar, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org.

 

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LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY WITH HALLOWEEN THEMED SESSIONS

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – September 26, 2017 – International award-winning photographer Megan Myrick announces a Limited-Edition Halloween Sessions event at her Richmond Hill studio. This fun-filled afternoon gives families a special opportunity to preserve memories of their little ones in their Halloween costumes. These sessions are scheduled for 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 at Megan Myrick Photography’s studio, 128 Frances Meeks Way, Suite 3 in Richmond Hill. Spaces are limited, so families who are interested are encouraged to sign up for an appointment soon. Pre-booking is required.

Always eager to give back to the community where she lives and works, Myrick is also using the sessions as a means to help area families in need. Any clients who bring at least three nonperishable food donations for the Way Station Food Pantry to their session will receive a complimentary extra digital image. The Way Station Food Pantry is an ecumenical food pantry supported by various churches of Richmond Hill currently serving over 100 households each month in South Bryan County.

Each limited-edition session will last 10 minutes, and includes the option of purchasing three images for $55, or five images for $75. Families may get group shots of siblings and step-siblings, but the sessions are for children only.

“I am looking forward to hosting these fun, Halloween-themed sessions again this year and am excited to seeing familiar faces as well as new ones,” Myrick said. “I am so grateful to be able to combine my passion for photography with giving back to our amazing community.”

Myrick asks that clients who bring nonperishable food items for the Way Station Food Pantry keep Thanksgiving and the holidays in mind by bringing items such as canned vegetables and soups, corn muffin, biscuit, stuffing, and cake mixes, cranberry sauce, potatoes, etc.

For more information about these sessions or to register, please visit http://www.meganmyrickphotography.com/2nd-annual-limited-edition-halloween-sessions-richmond-hill-child-photographer/. To learn more about Megan Myrick Photography, please visit www.meganmyrickphotography.com.

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC ANNOUNCES 2017 GOD ON BROADWAY WORSHIP SERIES WITH SPECIAL TREAT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – September 22, 2017 – Join Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (UMC), where the popular God on Broadway series will continue every Sunday this October. The special worship services will combine sermons with Broadway musical themes featuring songs from the musicals in celebration of God’s Word. Sunday worship services begin at 11:15 a.m. at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church, 1008 Henry St.

God on Broadway will kick-off Sunday, Oct. 1 with Pippin, the story of a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life, followed by the tale of a charming, carnival barker and mill worker who fall in love with Carousel on Oct. 8. The series will continue with the prequel to The Wizard of Oz and Broadway sensation, Wicked on Oct. 15, followed by the story of a lovable genie in Aladdin on Oct. 22. The 2017 series will wrap-up with the account of young dreamer, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Oct. 29.

The vibrant Asbury Memorial choir will perform selections from these Broadway musicals under the direction of Minister of Music, Ray Ellis. Rev. Reverend Billy Hester offers stimulating, and sometimes amusing, sermons that blend themes from the musicals and biblical texts.

“Each year the church looks forward to the month of October for this special approach to worshipping and celebrating God’s Word and Love,” says Minister of Music Ray Ellis. “This year will be one of the best yet and we hope the community will join us to experience these wonderful worship services.”

As a special treat during the final worship service on Oct. 29, Rev. Hester will make an appearance as one of the twentieth century’s most beloved, rock n’ roll cultural icons. This will be a worship service for the books that you do not want to miss!

Hester and his wife, Cheri, have acting experience from both on and off Broadway, and they love using their talents and their former careers to enhance the worship experience. God on Broadway has been a mainstay at the church since 2005 and, each year, it draws sizable attendance of individuals who appreciate the innovative approach to sharing the Gospel and Christ’s love.

This series is free and open to the public. For more information or to view segments from past God on Broadway worship services, please visit the God on Broadway page at www.asburymemorial.org.

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CELEBRATE HOWL-O-WEEN WITH YOUR DOG AND THE BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – September 19, 2017 – The Bryan County Bark Park announces its fifth annual “Howl-o-ween” BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) ghoulish outdoor event at Fish Tales Restaurant. Dress your canine in his or her Halloween best to compete in the costume contest beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 26, 2017. This event helps to raise funds to maintain the park and keep the facility free and open for all to enjoy.

Judges will award first-, second- and third-place prizes in both the best-dressed small and large dog contests. There will also be two special awards for the judges’ favorite and audience’s favorite dogs. Bryan, the Bark Park mascot, will also be in attendance to mingle with guests, collect donations and pose for photographs. An array of Bark Park products and merchandise with the Bryan logo will be available for purchase. Fish Tales has always been the generous hosts for this annual event and Megan Myrick of Megan Myrick Photography will once again donate her time and talent to photograph canine guests and their families.

“Howl-o-ween is an event we look forward to every year. It’s hard to resist all the adorable and festive pups and it also brings the community together to support the Bark Park,” Bryan County Bark Park President Wendy Bolton. “It’s one our favorite fundraisers and I guarantee it will be a fun time had by all, especially the canine guests of honor.” 

The entry fee costs $10 per person and includes a digital photo taken by Megan Myrick of your pet in their Halloween best. The money raised supports the fundraising campaign of the Bryan County Bark Park, which is a registered non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible. For more information about this event or the park, please visit www.bryanbarkpark.com.

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YOGA ME FIT LAUNCHES SUNDAY SESSIONS ON ‘THE ART OF YOGA’ TO BENEFIT TYBEE ARTS ASSOCIATION

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA- September 19, 2017- Yoga Me Fit launches “The Art of Yoga” classes which will take place at 11 a.m. every Sunday starting September 24 through the end of November, located at the Tybee Arts Association, 7 Cedarwood Avenue on Tybee Island. Yoga Me Fit will be donating 20% of proceeds from these sessions to the Tybee Arts Association, a nonprofit organization committed to developing and sustaining interest, appreciation, and enjoyment of the arts in Chatham County. Funds raised for the Tybee Arts Association from these sessions will help support the nonprofit organization’s mission to bring the arts into people’s lives through art shows, theatre workshops, art classes and much more.

Yoga Me Fit founder and owner Lynn Geddes Wolling has nearly thirty years of experience in yoga instruction and explains, “We can see art and science at our core human capacities, it represents our adaptive capacity and ability to surrender to change and be at peace in the unknown. These sessions will provide insight on balancing our true nature and I look forward to people experiencing the beauty and profound joy of yoga as we help maintain the work of the Tybee Arts Association.”

“The Art of Yoga” is suitable for all levels whether you are a beginner, teacher, seeker or just curious about yoga. Yoga Met Fit’s services deepen everyone’s knowledge and understanding of yoga through private sessions, group classes, workshops, lectures, spiritual retreats, kid’s yoga, special events, and a mentoring program.

Each individual shares a multidimensional nature that expresses depth, structure, space, composition and beauty. These sessions will aim to enhance personal growth through learning and educating attendees about some of the most fundamental practices that yoga offers. Anyone concerned with maintaining or improving their health and wellbeing should know that yoga can be the “root to wellness” on all levels.

Registration costs $15 per person for each of these sessions with 20% going to support the Tybee Arts Association. To register for sessions, please visit www.yogamefit.com/event/.

For more information about the Tybee Arts Association, please visit www.tybeearts.org. To learn more about “The Art of Yoga” sessions or Yoga Me Fit, please visit www.yogamefit.com, email lynn@yogamefit.com, or call 912-308-3410. Find Yoga Me Fit on Facebook by visiting, www.facebook.com/yogamefit/.

For more information about Yoga Me Fit, please visit www.yogamefit.com, call 912-308-3410 or email Lynn Geddes at lynn@yogamefit.com.

 

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2017 PICNIC IN THE PARK TO FEATURE HOLLYWOOD THEME: ‘Lights, Camera, MUSIC!’

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – September 18, 2017 – SAVANNAH, GA – September 18, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic, along with the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs, will present the annual Picnic in the Park, a night of fantastic music and free family fun in historic Forsyth Park. The event, slated for 3:30-9:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, will commemorate Hollywood’s contributions to popular music with noted film scores performed by the Savannah Philharmonic. The community-wide event will also celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month by featuring spectacular pre-concert performances which will include students from Savannah Chatham Public Schools, featuring students from the Savannah Classical Academy’s Strings Conservatory, Savannah High School Band, and Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts.

This year’s Hollywood theme, “Lights Camera MUSIC,” was chosen through a Facebook contest in which followers were encouraged to submit their ideas based on the trigger word, “Hollywood.” The competition winner, Lucinda Shultz, will be awarded premiere seating at Picnic in the Park and four tickets to the family matinee of the Philharmonic’s Holiday Pops performance in December.

In the spirit of the event, attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic, as well as participate in the Hollywood-themed picnic venue contest, which always results in many impressive and elaborate gourmet smorgasbords, accented by inspiring décor that cleverly reflects the theme. The first-, second- and third-place picnic table contest winners will win $500, $250, and $100 Parker’s cards, respectively.

Since its inception over 30 years ago, Picnic in the Park has served as one of Savannah’s most popular and well-attended community events. Over 18,000 people are expected to enjoy this year’s festivities, which are free and open to the public. This longtime autumn tradition is the perfect opportunity for Coastal Empire residents to relax with friends, family and colleagues beneath a starry southern sky, as the Philharmonic provides beautiful music for the evening. This year there will be beverage and ice cream vendors for attendees to take advantage of.

The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division Color Guard will take part in this exciting event and the 3rd ID will also provide their salute cannons as part of the program. The Savannah Philharmonic will take the stage at 7 p.m., performing beloved favorites from Hollywood classics, such as music from “James Bond” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” combined with melodic classical staples along the way for the city’s single largest outdoor musical event.

“Picnic in the Park represents a huge opportunity for everyone to come out and enjoy this fantastic orchestra with family and friends under a starry night,” said Savannah Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Shannon. “We are always very careful to try and have something in the program for everyone: for the students who love classical music, to the kids who love music from the movies, to the Army veteran who likes to sing along to the Star-Spangled Banner with almost 20,000 others! This isn’t lost to us on stage. The Savannah Philharmonic puts as much energy and spirit into this concert as we do in the biggest symphonies of the season. This year will be no exception. Come join us for moments of serenity, excitement and beauty; but don’t relax for too long. When the 1812 overture begins, be ready for those cannons!”

Anyone interested in entering the “best picnic contest,” made possible by Parker’s, can register at the event. Judging will take place during the first half of the concert. Greg Parker, President and CEO of Parker’s, is looking forward to seeing all of the inspired picnic venues in tribute to the evening’s theme. “Parker’s is delighted to be the partnering sponsor of Picnic in the Park for the sixth consecutive year. This partnership with the Savannah Philharmonic and the City’s Department of Culture Affairs provides our community with a thrilling evening of music and cultural arts,” Parker said.

Sponsors for the 2017 Picnic in the Park include: The City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs, Parker’s, Georgia Power, Gulfstream, WTOC, The Savannah Orchestral Music Advised Fund, First Citizens Bank, Thomas & Hutton, HunterMaclean, Turn It Pink, Inc., Southern Eagle Distributing, Coca-Cola United, Savannah Morning News, Lesley Francis Public Relations, Connect, Savannah Magazine, GPB 91.1, Old Town Trolley Tours.  And, our small business Picnic Patriot sponsors; Southern Motors, Collective Marketing, and Hansen Architects.

For more information about Picnic in the Park, call 912-232-6002, visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, email info@savannahphilharmonic.org or find the event page posted on the Savannah Philharmonic’s Facebook page.

Major funding for the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra is provided by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION EAGER TO KICK OFF 25TH SILVER ANNIVERSARY SEASON

Categories: Public Relations.

AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION

EAGER TO KICK OFF 25TH SILVER ANNIVERSARY SEASON WITH ‘SEPTEMBER SOIREE’ 

 

SAVANNAH, GA – September 15, 2017 – Join the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) for its “September Soiree” 25th year kickoff event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28 at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave., in downtown Savannah.

This soiree serves multiple purposes – to celebrate the ATC’s 25th year; to honor former, local ATC contestants; and to unveil the organization’s new education program. The event will feature performances by many past ATC contestants and locally acclaimed, talented singers, with a dessert reception to follow the program.

The evening’s performers will be accompanied by Timothy Hall of Christ Church and will feature members of the musical community in Savannah with ties to the American Traditions Vocal Competition.  Some are past contestants of the vocal competition, some are members of the American Traditions’ Educational Advisory Committee, and some fall into both categories.

Performers will include Heidi Bindhammer (2005), Danny Cohen (2003, 2004), Leah Coleman (2016), Cyril Durant (2011), Jillian Durant (2013), Rebecca Flaherty (2009), Jacquelyn Hamilton, Christopher Jordan, Roger Moss (2002), Kim Michael Polote (2001 Gold Medalist), Diane Ricks, Brenda Rucker (2007), Russell Watkins, Mikki Sodergren (2013, 2014), and Claire Watts (2008).  Many of these wonderful artists are teaching music throughout the Savannah area, including Savannah Children’s Choir, Savannah State University, the Voice Co-op, Savannah College of Art and Design, Benedictine Military School, Savannah Arts Academy, and others. Sodergren and Cohen represent the ATC board as Artistic Director and President, respectively.

The very first ATC took place in 1994, when gospel singer Ernestine Dillard took home the gold medal after a 33-year career as a nurse. Since that first competition, incredible judges and talented, diverse singers have visited Savannah, year after year, as the ATC has grown. In 2011, the organization became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and continues to attract new talent to share in the celebration of great American music.

“Today, the ATC is not only Savannah’s premiere professional vocal competition, but it stands alone as a unique vocal competition for stunningly talented and diverse singing performers,” ATC Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren said. “Savannah, which is popularly known as Georgia’s ‘Hostess City,’ is truly the ATC’s perfect home, thanks to its rich history and vibrant cultural life, as well as the community’s appreciation for the arts.”

Tickets for the evening cost $40 per person, or $35 for adults with children under 17.  Children under 17 are free, and older students may purchase a student ticket for $15 with a valid student ID. To purchase tickets or for more information about this event, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com/donate-and-buy-tix/september-soire.

To learn more about the American Traditions Vocal Competition, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION TO HOST YOUNG PROFESSIONALS GARDEN PARTY

Categories: Public Relations.

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION TO HOST YOUNG PROFESSIONALS GARDEN PARTY NETWORKING EVENT

SAVANNAH, GA – September 15, 2017 – Historic Savannah Foundation will host its annual 13th Colony Garden Party from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 in the Davenport House Museum Garden. This event, which provides Savannah area young professionals with the opportunity to network and connect, is sponsored by Savannah Dental: Stephanie J. Sweeney DMD LLC, with WTOC providing media sponsorship.

The evening will feature live music by James Lee Smith, hors d’oeuvres, and beer from Moon River Brewing Company. Historic Savannah Foundation will offer half-off memberships for those under the age of 40 and sell raffle tickets for a $5,000 prize at the organization’s Gala on October 21. Raffle ticket holders need not be present at the Gala to win.

Historic Savannah Foundation is cultivating the next generation of preservation-minded community leaders through its 13th Colony supporters. The mission of the 13th Colony is to promote greater awareness for historic preservation, the good work of Historic Savannah Foundation, and cultivate new leadership within the organization.  HSF is engaging young professionals to take up the cause of preservation, and the 13th Colony is a great place to start.

Individual 13th Colony memberships typically cost $85, but will be offered for $42.50 at this event, while joint household annual memberships, usually $125, will be available for $62.50. 13th Colony membership benefits include invitations to exclusive 13th Colony events, tours, programs, lectures, the annual Gala and other special events; a quarterly newsletter and recognition in it as a new member; one free admission to the Davenport House Museum and a 10 percent discount at the Davenport House gift shop and Historic Savannah Foundation merchandise, and a decal. For more information about the 13th Colony, please visit www.myHSF.org/giving/13th-colony-society/.

“This event is going to be such a fun, social evening providing young professionals in the area with the opportunity to make valuable connections while networking with other Savannah area residents who are currently at similar stages of their professional careers,” said Historic Savannah Foundation Membership and Volunteer Coordinator Chassidy Malloy. “It’s important for Historic Savannah Foundation to get young professionals involved in the organization because they are the future of historic preservation.”

For more information about the Historic Savannah Foundation or this networking event, please visit www.myHSF.org, email info@myHSF.org, or call 912-233-7787.

 

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HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION APPOINTS LESLEY FRANCIS PUBLIC RELATIONS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – Sept. 14, 2017 – Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) announces the appointment of Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR) as marketing partners. Lesley Francis and her team are working closely with Historic Savannah Foundation and will be responsible for media relations, social media, event planning, copy writing and other strategic marketing initiatives.

Historic Savannah Foundation saves buildings, places and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, HSF started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling nearly 370 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country — emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. HSF demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand.

British-born Lesley Francis is a graduate of the University of Bristol (England) and has extensive marketing experience. In 1998, Lesley founded hsdcommunications, an award-winning, London-based agency that she grew from one person to a UK top 25 PR firm. She sold her business in 2007 to Gyro International, a global group with offices in 11 countries, and ran their worldwide PR division before relocating to the United States, where she became a naturalized American citizen and founded LFPR in 2009. Her public relations agency specializes in non-profit organizations as well as local businesses.

“Those who have visited or live in Savannah know that preservation is crucial to our economy and quality of life.  Simply put, it is what makes our city different from any other in America. HSF is proud to be a big part of that and we’re ready to tell our story,” HSF President and CEO, Daniel Carey, said. “We are pleased that LFPR will become an extended part of our team as we aim to raise awareness for our organization and our important mission through new platforms and previously untapped resources.”

 

For more information about Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myhsf.org. To learn more about Lesley Francis PR, please visit www.lesleyfrancispr.com.

 

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BUY LOCAL SAVANNAH URGES PATRONS TO SUPPORT LOCAL

Categories: Public Relations.

BUY LOCAL SAVANNAH URGES PATRONS TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES RECOVERING FROM STORM

THINK LOCAL – BUY LOCAL – LOVE LOCAL

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 – SAVANNAH, GA – Following Hurricane Irma, Buy Local Savannah is heightening its recently-launched multi-media marketing campaign to stress the importance of shopping with local businesses as they recover from the storm.

The campaign – originally designed to encourage consumers to support locally owned and operated, independent businesses in general – now serves two purposes. It will continue to aid in the preservation of Savannah’s unique retail and dining markets, while aiming to boost traffic at the establishments most in need of patronage as they regroup from weather-related setbacks.

Now more than ever, the innovative new campaign theme and logo – urging the public to “Think Local, Buy Local, Love Local” – are imperative to the health of the area economy. The initiative is designed to raise awareness about the substantial impact that local, independent businesses have on our regional economy and to educate consumers on the negative effects that result as community-based businesses are displaced by national and global entities.

Local business generates 70 percent more local economic activity per square feet than “big box retail.” Spending $100 at an independent business equals $68 in local economic activity, while spending $100 at a national chain or franchise results in only $48. The difference means that money spent at a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy as a whole compared to money spent at a chain-owned business.

As part of this launch, Buy Local Savannah asked all members of the community to share their #MyLocalSAV stories, personal testimonials that describe an instance where choosing to make a local purchase made a difference in their experience. Prizes will be awarded for the best submissions and may be selected for media broadcasts and public service announcements.

Members of the organization are being asked to identify themselves by displaying the, ‘Come in we’re local,’ window clings along with wearing Think, Buy, Love Local buttons to encourage interest from consumers. In addition, the organization is asking the community to get involved by consciously wearing the color blue each Thursday to show their support.

“As our favorite local shops, restaurants and service providers recover from Hurricane Irma, we encourage all area consumers to take to heart our new initiative, encouraging community members to support locally owned and independent businesses. Before you dine, shop or select a professional service, consider those in your own backyard first. Everyone has a choice about where to spend their dollars and through our theme of ‘Think Local, Buy Local, Love Local,’ we believe that we can make a difference by appealing to the hearts and minds of shoppers,” said Buy Local President Mickey Minick. “The mission of our organization is summed up in our campaign and simply put, we are asking consumers to think before they buy. We want shoppers to know that we can all make a difference in helping to preserve the essence of the Hostess City by choosing to buy local first.”

Buy Local currently has an extensive membership directory of businesses in the following categories: business support & consulting, community organizations, entertainment, home services, legal & financial, lodging, mechanical services, medical services, real estate, restaurants, food, & spirits, and retail & art. For the full directory please visit, www.buylocalsavannah.com/member-directory.

Buy Local is currently promoting a free membership for November and December. Any new member who joins after Labor Day will enjoy membership through the end of 2018 for the price of 12 months. To become a member, please visit, www.buylocalsavannah.com/new-member.

For more information about Buy Local Savannah please visit, www.buylocalsavannah.com, call 912-660-8078 or email mickey@buylocalsavannah.com.

 

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WOMEN ROCK! RETURNS TO SAVANNAH FOR 2017 CONFERENCE SEPT. 23

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA- September 7, 2017- Scores of women from around the country will converge on Savannah to celebrate their Val-YOU on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at the third annual Women Rock! Savannah Conference. This popular event takes place in the heart of downtown Savannah at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. This conference is dedicated to helping women “rock their world” at work, at home and at play.

Expert speakers from across the United States will join forces with local, celebrity guest film producer Samone Norsworthy, among others. These individuals will inspire, educate and empower women to live the life they desire and deserve.

This year’s conference theme is “Val-YOU: Evaluating & Celebrating Your Worth” in business, health, wealth, your time, talent, and community. The Women Rock! Conference will also include lunch, a Val-YOU added Working Woman Fashion Show, fun door prizes, and vendor spotlights.

“This year we are so excited for the opportunity to honor fifteen little-known nonprofit groups with big hearts with our ‘You Rock’ award,” said Women Rock! Conference co-creator and former CNN anchor Sharon Frame. “This award will recognize the individuals who are quietly working with nonprofit organizations to serve the less fortunate and to make Savannah an even more caring community.”

As a special treat, on the evening of Friday, Sept. 22 Sharon Frame will conduct an exclusive pre-conference Mastermind Intensive. This workshop targets serious-minded small business owners looking to turbo-charge and take their business to the next level.

Sponsors for this conference include: Lesley Francis Public Relations, Coastal Georgia Center, Alpha Media, Savannah Coffee Roasters, Sharon Frame Speaks, Thrivent Financial, LeadHERShip, G 100.1, Peak Performers Institute, Milan Day Spa on Broughton, B Historic Savannah, Old Savannah Tours, and The Original Muffin Message.

Tickets to the conference cost $60 each. A group rate of $50 per ticket is available for individuals, businesses, or organizations purchasing five or more tickets. Tickets to Friday’s Mastermind workshop cost $60 each, or VIP ticket packages are available for $100 and includes tickets to both Friday and Saturday’s events. Only 20 tickets will be sold to the Mastermind Intensive so those interested should purchase tickets as soon as possible!

To purchase tickets please visit, www.eventbrite.com/o/women-rock-nation-7984549322. For more information about Women Rock! or this conference, please visit www.womenrocknation.com or find them on Facebook.

 

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BUY LOCAL SAVANNAH LAUNCHES NEW MULTI-MEDIA CAMPAIGN

Categories: Public Relations.

THINK LOCAL – BUY LOCAL – LOVE LOCAL

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 – SAVANNAH, GA – Today, Buy Local Savannah launches a new multi-media marketing campaign to raise awareness on the importance of supporting locally owned and operated, independent businesses as a way to help preserve Savannah’s unique appeal to residents and visitors alike.

An innovative new campaign theme and logo have been developed to encourage the public to “Think Local, Buy Local, Love Local.” The new initiative is designed to raise awareness about the substantial impact that local, independent businesses have on our regional economy and to educate consumers on the negative effects that result as community-based businesses are displaced by national and global entities.

Local business generates 70% more local economic activity per square feet than “big box retail.” Spending $100 at an independent business equals $68 in local economic activity, while spending $100 at a national chain or franchise results in only $48. The difference means that money spent at a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy as a whole compared to money spent at a chain-owned business.

As part of this launch, Buy Local Savannah is asking all members of the community to share their #MyLocalSAV stories, personal testimonials that describe an instance where choosing to make a local purchase made a difference in their experience. Prizes will be awarded for the best submissions and may be selected for media broadcasts and public service announcements.

Members of the organization are being asked to identify themselves by displaying the, ‘Come in we’re local,’ window clings along with wearing Think, Buy, Love Local buttons to encourage interest from consumers. In addition, the organization is asking the community to get involved by consciously wearing the color blue each Thursday to show their support.

“We are enthusiastic about our new initiative to encourage those in our community to support locally owned and independent businesses by thinking before they dine, shop or select a professional service.  Everyone has a choice about where to spend their dollars and through our theme of “Think Local, Buy Local, Love Local,” we believe that we can make a difference by appealing to the hearts and minds of shoppers,” said Buy Local President Mickey Minick. “The mission of our organization is summed up in our new campaign and simply put, we are asking consumers to think before they buy.  We want shoppers to know that we can all make a difference in helping to preserve the essence of the Hostess City by choosing to buy local first.”

Buy Local currently has an extensive membership directory of businesses in the following categories: business support & consulting, community organizations, entertainment, home services, legal & financial, lodging, mechanical services, medical services, real estate, restaurants, food, & spirits, and retail & art. For the full directory please visit, www.buylocalsavannah.com/member-directory.

Buy Local is currently promoting a free membership for November and December. Any new member who joins after Labor Day will enjoy membership through the end of 2018 for the price of 12 months. To become a member, please visit, www.buylocalsavannah.com/new-member.

For more information about Buy Local Savannah please visit, www.buylocalsavannah.com, call 912-660-8078 or email mickey@buylocalsavannah.com.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC APPOINTS NEW BOARD MEMBERS AHEAD OF 2017-18 SEASON

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – August 31, 2017 – Scott Lauretti, Kelley Parker and Rebecca Kirkpatrick have been appointed to the Savannah Philharmonic’s Board of Directors.

 

Scott Lauretti currently serves as the chief executive officer of SAL Companies, a diversified, privately-held company with interests in real estate, agriculture, media, and food and beverage service. He is the founder of The Emmy Foundation, a patient-focused program providing melanoma patients access to and funding for cutting-edge treatments and care. In addition to The Emmy Foundation, Lauretti has given back to the community by serving on various board including: St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations as chairman, Horizons Savannah as chairman elect, MedBank Foundation as chairman, The Italian Society of Savannah as president, The Fund for Savannah Country Day School as chairman, and the Savannah Book Festival. Lauretti earned an MBA in finance from The Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh University.

 

Kelley Parker earned her degree in business management with a minor in fashion merchandising from Miami University of Ohio. In the professional field, she has worked with GAP Inc. and Parker’s Market as a buyer/merchandiser. Parker currently serves on the Caretta Research Project board, and previously served on the Historic Savannah Foundation board as gala chair, the Savannah Country Day Parents Association and the Telfair Ball board as co-chair.

 

Rebecca Kirkpatrick is originally from Texarkana, Texas, where she was raised. She later moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Strategic Communications from the University of Kentucky. She’s lived all over the South and was thrilled at the opportunity to settle in Savannah. Kirkpatrick has lived on Skidaway Island for nearly nine years with her husband, Chris, and two young children. She is a Worth New York Stylist and works from home. She has been active in her community through volunteering. Kirkpatrick is an active church member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and the Seeds & Weeds Garden Club. She volunteers on Chef’s Table Committee for America’s Second Harvest, and is a Sustainer with the Junior League of Savannah as well as a golf member with the LWGA. Kirkpatrick will be working to recruit volunteers for the Phil Ambassadors program.

 

Lauretti, Parker and Kirkpatrick will join the 24-member board including: Chairman Austin Hill, Vice Chairman Samir Nikocevic, Secretary Phyllis Albertson, Treasurer Deepika Paul, Executive Committee Member Andrew Dekle, Executive Committee Member Nina Eidell, Executive Committee Member Linda Moore, Past Chairman Ron Morris, and members Alderwoman Carol Bell, Carolyn Brown, Michael Brown, Rhegan White-Clemm, Yvonne Johnson, Herb McKenzie, Linda McWhorter, Benjamin Couch Payne, Fran Thomas, James Spano, Molly Swagler, Bob Vinyard, and Susan Whitaker.

 

“I’m confident the 2017-18 Savannah Philharmonic season is going to set new records with the world-class talent of our musicians and the leadership skills of our board of directors,” said Savannah Philharmonic Executive Director Terri O’Neil. “We are very excited that Scott, Kelley and Rebecca have joined our board and I’m eager to see what this year holds for our organization.”

 

The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists.

 

For more information about the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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SHOP AND SUPPORT GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER AT VINEYARD VINES OF SAVANNAH

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – August 29, 2017 – Savannah area residents are invited to “shop ‘till they drop” on Thursday, Sept. 14 at Vineyard Vines of Savannah to support the local nonprofit organization, Greenbriar Children’s Center.

The popular downtown Savannah apparel store, located at 301 West Broughton Street, Unit 1A, has partnered for a “10/10 shopping night” to support Greenbriar Children’s Center.  During the hours of 4:00-8:00 p.m., customers will receive a 10 percent discount on their purchases, and Vineyard Vines will donate an additional 10 percent from each sale to Greenbriar.

Greenbriar Children’s Center is a nonprofit organization promoting the healthy development of children and young adults, as well as the strengthening of families through services provided. These services include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless support, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place. The organization is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services and is devoted to the care of children and youth who have reached difficult times in their family life. In addition to striving to provide children with a normal, healthy lifestyle, the primary goal is to support families so that they equipped to provide safe, nurturing homes for their children.

“We are always appreciative of the Savannah community and local businesses, like Vineyard Vines, for their generous support,” Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “I love their brand and commitment to giving back to the community. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them and hope for events like this for years to come!”

Vineyard Vines locations across the United States often participate in charitable events, such as this one for Greenbriar. In addition to supporting causes the Vineyard Vines’ team believes in, the company’s leadership also feels strongly about contributing to the charitable efforts of their customers and their communities. The company was built on the following philosophy: “Give back more to the community than you receive.”

For more information about Greenbriar, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org.

 

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Historic Savannah Foundation

Categories: Public Relations. Tags: Copywriting and Editing, Marketing, Media Relations, and Social Media Management. Client Type: 1. Non Profit Organizations.

Historic Savannah Foundation saves buildings, places and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, HSF started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling nearly 370 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country — emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. HSF demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand.

AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION ANNOUNCES STELLAR LINE UP OF JUDGES

Categories: Public Relations.

AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION ANNOUNCES STELLAR LINE UP OF JUDGES

FOR 25TH SILVER ANNIVERSARY SEASON

SAVANNAH, GA – August 28, 2017 – Coastal Empire music enthusiasts are looking forward to the 25th season of the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC), which is around the corner. This sparkling silver anniversary season will start with the annual Judge’s Concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 and today the board announces a stellar line up of judges for 2018: Morgan James, Vickie Winans and Ricky Ian Gordon.

 

Morgan James is a New York-based singer, songwriter, and Broadway actress, who has also accumulated over 100 million views from her music videos. James is no stranger to the ATC as she was a two-time finalist and silver medalist. She brings empowering, emotional, and soulful music to any stage she steps foot on. Her studio albums include Reckless Abandon, Hunter and Morgan James Live.

 

Vickie Winans is a revered producer, director, songwriter, comedienne, as well as the president of her own record label, Destiny Joy Records. The Billboard-charting gospel icon honed her skills at a young age belting out songs to stunned audiences in her hometown church in Detroit, Michigan. Among her many accolades, her most rewarding accomplishments are the significant roles she plays in her family. Her most satisfying jobs are her roles as a mother to two and a grandmother to five. Winans is best known for her signature songs such as “How I Got Over,” “Shake Yourself Loose,” “As Long as I Got King Jesus,” and “We Shall Behold Him.”

 

Ricky Ian Gordon emerged at a young age as a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera and musical theater. His songs are performed and recorded by “internationally renowned” singers and often performed during the ATC. A prolific composer, Ricky Ian Gordon’s catalogue includes operas and major works such as Morning Star, The Grapes of Wrath, 27, My Life With Albertine, plus choral scores, orchestral suites, and several song cycles. In his collections of individual songs, he favors American poets such as Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, E.E. Cummings, and Edna St. Vincent-Millay, as well as his own poetry settings.

 

The 25th season will be one of the organization’s most astounding yet, as vocal artists from all backgrounds come together to celebrate classic American music.

 

“The board and Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren are working hard behind the scenes and have been receiving positive feedback from everyone who will be involved with the weeklong competition,” ATC Board of Directors President Daniel Cohen said. “We work hard to keep the competition exciting every year and this is especially true for our silver jubilee year in 2018, as we have great judges and new genres for applicants.”

 

Applications for the 25th season, which is slated to run Feb. 19-23, 2018, are being accepted online at www.americantraditionscompetition.com/application/. All interested vocal artists are encouraged to apply before the Oct. 20 deadline. Contestants will be announced Sunday, Nov. 5, and all 28 of the chosen participants will be awarded cash prizes.

 

For more information on the American Traditions Competition, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

 

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL CLOSES COMEDIC FIFTH SEASON

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL CLOSES COMEDIC FIFTH SEASON AND ANNOUNCES 2018 LINEUP AND UNPRECEDENTED FOUR OPERAS

SAVANNAH, GA – August 28, 2017 – The 2017 Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) capped off a newly expanded and highly successful fifth anniversary season with a sold-out finale at Savannah’s First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Aug. 26 and a Festival Gala Dinner on Sunday, Aug. 27. Tim Guidera from WTOC joined Executive Director Maria Zouves to emcee the finale “Funny@Five” concert, which highlighted the comedic aspects of opera, musical theater and song.

The Festival closed officially with Sunday’s elegant dinner at The Plantation Club at The Landings. It also served as an opportunity for organizers to unveil the full 2018 season lineup for the first time.  Next year, the Savannah VOICE Festival will raise the bar to exceptional heights by featuring an unprecedented four operas and plenty of longstanding festival favorites. And, as was the case with the 2017 season, the annual celebration of classical music will run for three weeks to fit in all the shows, recitals, classes and activities.

Slated to run from Aug. 4-26, 2018, the sixth annual VOICE Festival will present two studio operas: Speed Dating, SVF composer-in-residence Michael Ching’s most popular opera, and Hansel and Gretel, based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale. It was written by nineteenth-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck and is revered for its folk music-inspired themes. Hansel and Gretel, originally written in German, will be sung in English.

In addition, the sixth annual Festival will begin a new Salon Opera Series. The Telephone, or L’Amour à trois is an English-language comic opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti. Following on the heels of the fifth season’s well-received comedic aspects, this production is guaranteed to leave the audience delighted.

The 2018 SVF’s fourth and main opera, La Traviata, is the famous three-act production by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave which will be performed with English supertitles. It is based on La Dame aux Camélias, a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas.

Thankfully, though, Savannah VOICE Festival supporters and opera fans around the Coastal Empire won’t have to wait until next August to enjoy excellent vocal entertainment and show-stopping performances.

The SVF will make a triumphant return to Savannah on Nov. 2-4, 2017, for the premiere of another specially commissioned Savannah-centric opera, Anna Hunter – The Spirit of Savannah starring soprano and Festival Executive Director and co-founder Maria Zouves in the lead role. Michael Ching, who composed Anna and her predecessor, Alice Ryley, will again put his masterful skills to work, bringing to life the music for “Anna.” This comedic piece focuses on the remarkable work of Anna Hunter, who assembled a group of women – they came to be known as “The Seven Ladies” – to persuade bankers and businessmen to help them preserve Savannah’s historic structures by portraying them as financial assets to the city.

 

In addition to the four operas in 2018, fans can expect the long-anticipated return of the ever-popular American Music Concert, Voices in Sacred Song, free masterclasses and much more.  “We achieved a great deal and enjoyed immense success during our 2017 fifth anniversary season, so expectations are high but we’re ready to continue delivering the highest quality performances,” said Zouves. “Whether you’re a fan who has been with us from the beginning or a new friend exploring the festival for the first time, our wide array of concerts and events offer opportunities to experience vocal excellence in many formats and genres. We hope Savannah’s music lovers will join us in November and beyond!”

For more information on the Savannah VOICE Festival, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org, call 855-76-OPERA or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO OPEN 2017-18 SEASON

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO OPEN 2017-18 SEASON ON SEPTEMBER 16 WITH ‘THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS’

SAVANNAH, GA – August 24, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic will kick off its highly-anticipated 2017-18 season with “Opening Night: The Thousand and One Nights” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, 32 Abercorn St., in downtown Savannah.

 

Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Shannon and the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra will take audiences on a thrilling and colorful ride through the legendary “Thousand and One Nights” in Rimsky-Korsakov’s evocative Scheherazade. Internationally renowned pianist Margaret Singer will join the orchestra in a performance of Mozart’s exquisite Piano Concerto No. 21.

 

Singer began her career as an accompanist at the age of 12, when she accompanied over 65 performances of Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” on tour throughout the Southwest. After graduating from Oklahoma College for Women, she continued her education on a Fulbright grant at the Royal Academy of Music in London.There, she was awarded prizes both as soloist and accompanist. Upon returning to America, she moved to New York City, where she accompanied many vocal studios, eventually serving as Assistant Conductor at the New York City Opera. This was followed by engagements with the San Francisco Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Washington (D.C.) Opera. In 1986, Singer moved to Hannover, Germany, where she was engaged as Solorepetitorin at the local Opera Company. She has also served as artistic assistant in the Studio of Professor Ulf Hoelscher, noted German violinist, and led the Opera Department at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Singer has a repertoire of more than 70 operas, which she has prepared in productions with conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Julius Rudel, Giuseppe Patane, and many more.

 

“This season is flanked by giants of the orchestral repertoire: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Beethoven’s monumental 9th symphony,” Shannon said. “In our first concert of the season Concertmaster Sinisa Ciric will shine in Scheherazade. We begin the concert with the brilliant ‘Bartered Bride’ Overture, which is thrilling and dangerously fast! And I get to enjoy the playing of one of my closest music friends from Germany, Margaret Singer. Margaret is from the States but we have known each other for decades in Germany. What a joy it will be to hear her share that German musical heritage with Savannah audiences when she plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto number 21, famous as the ‘Elvira Madigan’ concerto.”

 

Under the direction of Shannon and Executive Director Terri O’Neil, the Savannah Philharmonic’s ninth season will feature orchestral classics, dazzling displays and crowd favorites with performances spanning from this opening concert on Sept. 16, 2017 to the season finale on May 5, 2018.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.

 

Tickets to the opening night concert cost $15-$80 each and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com.

 

For more information on the Savannah Philharmonic or to purchase tickets, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, call 912-232-6002 or email info@savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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MEGAN MYRICK TO HOST BACK TO SCHOOL PORTRAIT EVENT

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – August 23, 2017 – Megan Myrick Photography is slated to host a “Back 2 School Portrait Event” from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 at her studio, 128 Frances Meeks Way, Suite 3 in Richmond Hill.

 

Do traditional school portraits always seem to fall short of your expectations? Megan Myrick Photography is set to take school portraiture to a whole new level with these “Back 2 School” sessions. Myrick will spend up to 10 minutes with your child to ensure authentic engagement and real smiles, plus parents will be present to help ensure every hair is in place and accessories are situated perfectly.

 

With the busy summer months behind us, families are invited to bring their students from pre-K to eighth grade to take part in this “Back 2 School Portrait Event.” Two charming backdrop themes will be offered: a rustic chalkboard with an antique desk and books or a sleek red-brick background.

 

These 10-minute sessions cost only $30 and include a choice of backdrop, engaging props and an online gallery with three to five images to choose from. Participants will need to purchase a separate time slot for each student, although accommodations will be made for one sibling image, if time allows.

 

“I am so excited to offer “Back 2 School” portraits this year! In the past, I have photographed preschoolers on location for area schools, but this year I am welcoming children of all ages into my studio,” Myrick said. “These one-on-one sessions aim to provide quality images of your kiddos, so you always have something special to look back on.”

 

Megan Myrick Photography specializes in newborn, maternity, baby, child and family photography around the Coastal Georgia area. She strives to provide her clients with a custom portrait experience resulting in timeless, heirloom-quality art for families to cherish for years to come.

Spaces for this “Back 2 School Portrait Event” will fill up quickly so reserve your session today by visiting www.meganmyrickphotography.bigcartel.com/product/back-2-school-portrait-event. To learn more about Megan Myrick Photography, please visit www.meganmyrickphotography.com.

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER TO BENEFIT FROM PINT NIGHT AT GREEN TRUCK PUB

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – August 21, 2017 – Join Ogeechee Riverkeeper for a charity Pint Night at Green Truck Pub, 2430 Habersham St., from 5-11 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20.

 

Green Truck Pub will match any personal donations made by patrons as well as donate $1 for every draft purchased that night to Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Pint Night will feature drafts from Moon River Brewing Company and guests will get an early taste of the special Ogeechee Riverkeeper Ale, which Moon River brews for the nonprofit organization’s annual oyster roast fundraising event in November.

 

The donations received will go toward helping Ogeechee Riverkeeper accomplish its mission to protect, preserve and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River Basin. Since Ogeechee Riverkeeper was formed following a merge between the Canoochee Riverkeeper and Friends of the Ogeechee River, the organization has focused on initiating educational campaigns to raise awareness of pollution, addressing illegal pollution discharged into the river and working to increase enforcement of environmental laws. Ogeechee Riverkeeper has also partnered with the Georgia Water Coalition to ensure clean water and protection of area natural resources.

 

Green Truck Pub was founded on the premise that the Savannah community deserves a casual place to eat and drink well while benefitting the local economy by “shopping local.” The Pub has been voted ‘Best of Savannah’ the past six years in a row.

 

“We are always looking for additional ways to get involved within the community and we are grateful to Green Truck for hosting Pint Night again this year,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Outreach and Water Quality Specialist Luke Roberson. “It’s a good reason to enjoy a burger and a beer with friends and family, while also supporting Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission and efforts.”

 

For more information about this event or Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER HOLDS SUCCESSFUL ANNUAL MEETING, AWARDS CEREMONY AT LOVE’S

Categories: Public Relations.

AUGUST 19, 2017 – SAVANNAH, GA – Those who support and enjoy the Ogeechee River as a source of recreation, income and local pride recently had a chance to catch up on matters relating to the region’s most prized natural resource.

 

ORK hosted its annual meeting and awards Saturday, Aug. 19 at Love’s Seafood Restaurant. The popular local eatery, a “River” level corporate sponsor of the non-profit organization and longtime supporter of the waterway itself, provided guests with stunning views of the Ogeechee River while they enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, drinks and good company.

 

Attendees received an update on the progress and development of the river basin and the organization. Ogeechee Riverkeeper recognized a few of their outstanding supporters and awarded Charlie Martin as Volunteer of the Year, Mark Dallas as Monitor of the Year, Moon River Brewing Company as Business of the Year and Cami Sockow from the Sustainability Center as Georgia Southern University as Education Partner of the Year. The organization was also honored to name Francis Allen and Keith Seibert as this year’s Legacy Award Winners.

 

“Each year, we hold an annual meeting to share how we are preserving the Ogeechee River and treat our devoted supporters and members to an enjoyable evening,” Ogeechee Riverkeeper Membership and Communications Coordinator Jennifer West said. “This gathering always proves to be the perfect way to connect with our advocates within the community, and we certainly don’t mind spending a few lovely hours on our beautiful river at Love’s.”

 

Proceeds from this event benefitted the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, a 501(c) (3) whose mission is to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin through a watershed watch program, a healthy waters agenda, and a hometown waters education program.

 

To learn more about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC WELCOMES NEW FINANCE ASSOCIATE, MARGARET MURPHY

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – August 16, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic welcomes Margaret Murphy as the new finance associate for the regionally renowned nonprofit musical organization.

 

Murphy, a CPA, takes on this role with over 25 years of accounting and management experience among for-profit and non-profit organizations. She has served on many boards, including the American Red Cross, Savannah Runaway Home and the Garden Council of Georgia.

 

Murphy has called Savannah home for many years as she has worked among many professional industries within the Coastal Empire. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Armstrong State University, and then moved on to receive her Master’s in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Murphy most recently served as director of accounting for Central India Christian Mission, and is looking forward to using her skillset to support and serve the Savannah Philharmonic.

 

The mission of the Savannah Philharmonic, which kicks off its 2017-18 season on Sept. 16, is to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. The nonprofit organization aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.

 

“The Philharmonic is key to providing Savannah with full-season orchestral music, student education and year around music therapy in local hospitals and we are excited to add Margaret to our team,” Executive Director Terri O’Neil said. “Her expertise in all facets of business and accountancy will certainly assist us in carrying out our mission and growing our community programs.”

 

For more information on the Savannah Philharmonic or to purchase season tickets, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, call 912-232-6002 or email info@savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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GEORGIA NONPROFIT SD GUNNER FUND DELIVERS SERVICE DOG TO MISSISSIPPI VETERAN

Categories: Public Relations.

BAY ST., MS – August 15, 2017 – The SD Gunner Fund recently provided U.S. veteran Jim Kirk with Service Dog (SD) Jasper in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

 

Two decades in the Air Force left Kirk with post-traumatic stress disorder, a brain injury and anxiety. Kirk travelled to Bay St. Louis to pick up his new companion, who will change his life. SD Jasper, a standard poodle, has been trained to assist Kirk with much-needed mobility support, as well as PTSD support.

 

Britnee Kinard, founder and president of SD Gunner Fund, united the two at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church for the annual Mississippi Circuit Clerks Association Convention, which assisted in pairing the veteran and canine. The Circuit Clerks Association donated $3,000 to SD Gunner Fund in 2016 to fund SD Jasper’s training over the past year. Originally from Mississippi, Kinard was happy to give back to her home state by sharing her passion for healing veterans and providing a support network to their families.

 

“I thrive on giving back to the community and this was a special opportunity to give back to my home state of Mississippi. I feel that providing service dogs to veterans is an integral part of the healing process,” Kinard said. “My passion drives me to research alternative medicines and therapies to help heal the pain and provide aid to their families.”

 

The SD Gunner Fund was created to assist veterans and disabled children with the financial expense of owning much-needed service animals. Service animals require a variety of necessary items in order to undertake their vital work. These dogs are professionally trained to meet the individual needs of their partners and aid in completing daily tasks.

 

To learn more about the SD Gunner Fund, please visit www.webjobs.kender.org/sdgunnerfund/about/.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION APPOINTS NEW MEMBERS TO 2017-2018 BOARD

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – August 14, 2017 – Les Anderson, Nathan Godley, Starr Holland, Dottie Kluttz and Bill Udry have joined the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) Board of Directors. Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren, along with this 21-member board, will lead the ATC in its 25th anniversary competition, which runs Feb. 19-23, 2018.

Les Anderson received his bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Northwestern University and an MBA in finance from Columbia University. Anderson worked for Chemical Bank, now JP Morgan Chase, for almost 30 years. He has had a varied career with both domestic and international responsibilities, including opening an office for Chemical Bank in Tehran, Iran. While living in New York and New Jersey, Anderson served on several nonprofit boards, including Summit Speech School for hearing-impaired children, the Summit Child Care Center, his church vestry, and professionally, the Fifth Avenue Association. In Chicago, he was a board member of the Samaritan Institute, a faith-based counseling service. In Savannah, he is the co-founder and director of Saving Lives in Chatham County and a member of Christ Church Episcopal, where he serves on the Endowment Committee. Anderson, along with his wife Kathie, have hosted ATC contestants in their home each year for the past 16 years.

A native of Savannah, Nathan Godley is a graduate of Armstrong College and Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Godley, a retired United Methodist minister, purchased 17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant in downtown Savannah in 2010, along with his wife and son. They now run this historic inn and restaurant as a local, family-owned business. Godley is an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church.

Starr Holland received her doctorate from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where she specialized in brain degeneration and pain disorders. She was the founder and President of Starr Clinical Communications, Inc., which was a physician accreditation and education company specializing in neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. She has since settled into a second career as an assistant professor of biology at Armstrong State University.

Dottie Kluttz holds a BSN degree from the University of Virginia. Throughout her nursing career, she taught pediatric nursing at the University of Virginia, Emory and Armstrong State University. In 1993, she joined Hospice Savannah and in 2001 she created their Story Keeping program. This program records the life stories and memories of patients through audio. In 2004, Kluttz received a Georgia Medical Hero award for Innovation in Medicine for this Story Keeping program. Her passion is storytelling and she has presented her ideas at both national and state nursing conferences including the McGhee Lecture at The University of Virginia School of Nursing. She has received acclaim for her work in articles written for The University of Virginia publication, The Legacy, and was chosen as one of the “Heroes Among Us” by Coastal Senior Magazine. She also presented a TED X talk at the annual Savannah event in May 2014. Kluttz is now involved with the Organizational Story Movement which teaches organizations the value of storytelling.

Bill Udry is the former executive vice president of the New York Institute of Technology, former administrative director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and former executive director of The Eye Research Foundation. He received his M.A. from the University of Cincinnati and attended Cincinnati College of Music. Udry is currently a volunteer docent for the Telfair Museum, and a member of The Landings Club.

“We are very pleased these individuals have joined us for our silver anniversary,” Board of Directors President Daniel Cohen said. “I know with the aid of these talented individuals our organization will continue to grow and prosper as Savannah’s premiere professional vocal competition.”

The ATC seeks to celebrate and preserve all styles of classic American music. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes these songs by producing an annual vocal competition in Savannah, that awards over $35,000 in cash prizes. As part of community-driven service and initiative, the organization provides musical education, exposure and performances for Savannah locals of all ages.

 

 

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Line-X of Savannah

Categories: Public Relations. Tags: Website Management. Client Type: 2. Business.

The LINE-X® range of tough, durable coatings are guaranteed to protect your truck and more from the harshest of elements. From bedliners to rocker panels to boat trailers, LINE-X has you covered and provides all types of truck accessories, including an exclusive product line, Truck Gear by LINE-X, which is backed by a Lifetime End-to-End Warranty. In addition to customizing trucks and SUVs, Line-X offers advanced protective coatings solutions with commercial, municipal, industrial and residential applications.

Yoga Me Fit

Categories: Public Relations. Tags: graphic design, Media Relations, Social Media Management, and Website Management. Client Type: 2. Business.

At Yoga Me Fit, owner Lynn Geddes-Wolling, focuses on integrating yoga into whole-body wellness. Yoga is a holistic discipline and teaches that the mind, body, and spirit are connected. Pain in the body that is not related to a physical injury may be related to emotional or mental stressors, improper breathing, and/or postural deviations affecting bio-mechanics, muscle tone, connective tissue and circulation.

When your body, mind, and spirit are harmoniously balanced, stress is reduced and peace dwells within your heart. Visit http://www.yogamefit.com for more information.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL’S FIFTH SEASON TO CONCLUDE WITH LAUGHTER AND LOVELY MUSIC

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – August 14, 2017 – Does opera ever end with a laugh? It does with The Savannah VOICE Festival as it comes to a comedic end with the Festival Finale: Funny@Five, a lively show named for this year’s overall theme. The finale will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave., in downtown Savannah.

The finale will focus on the comedic aspects of opera, musical theatre and song as the 2017 Festival comes to a close with a finale of beautiful voices, a few laughs and glorious music.

After three weeks of astounding performances and educational events, the Festival will say goodbye with a special dinner on Skidaway Island. The 2018 operas will be announced as guests enjoy great food, music and company. This special night will mark the end of the fifth anniversary season. Tickets to this event cost $125 per person with dinner and wine included. A cash bar will be available. The Festival Gala Dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27 at the Plantation Club at The Landings, 1 Cottonwood Lane and reservations must be confirmed by the 23rd of August.

The Savannah VOICE Festival, now in its fifth year, has created a sought-after festival that is a unique destination for music lovers both locally and globally, thus artistically and economically serving the Savannah community and the performing arts at large. The nonprofit arts organization brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a three-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during the month of August as well as throughout the year.

Opera legend and Artistic Director Sherrill Milnes and Executive Director Maria Zouves founded the Festival as part of the Milnes VOICE Programs, and they continue to work together to serve the community by providing the highest level of education and quality performances by talented artists for all to enjoy.

 

“The past three weeks have been an amazing combination of music, talent, laughter and tireless support from everyone involved in making this Festival such a wonderful celebration of opera and the cultural arts,” Zouves said. “Our fifth anniversary season may be ending, but we are happy to say it won’t be long before we return in November for world premiere of Michael Ching’s new, exciting opera, “Anna Hunter”!”

For more information about the Savannah VOICE Festival or to purchase tickets to the Funny@Five Finale or the Festival Gala Dinner, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

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SAVANNAH SENIOR STRIKERS TO DONATE GOLF TOURNAMENT PROCEEDS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH SENIOR STRIKERS TO DONATE
GOLF TOURNAMENT PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT
GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER

 

SAVANNAH, GA – August 14, 2017 –  The Savannah Senior Strikers are slated to host their Fourth Annual Devereaux Dixon, Sr. and John C. Jackson Memorial Golf Tournament with golfers from around the United States on September, 22-24 in Pooler. Proceeds will benefit Greenbriar Children’s Center.

 

The weekend starts Friday evening with a meet-and-greet at the Ramada Inn, 301 Governor Treutlen Drive in Pooler, featuring a delicious fish fry and low country boil. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, September 23 at the Crosswinds Golf Club, 232 James B. Blackburn Drive in Savannah, and run through Sunday. All registered competitors and guests will take a relaxation break Saturday night to enjoy a dinner and dance, also at the Ramada. The tournament entry fee is $150.00, which includes cart rental, lunch and dinners. Non-golfers are also welcome to participate in the festivities for a fee of $20. Mailed entry forms and payments are due by September 15; entries received after this date will be $165.

 

The Savannah Senior Strikers organization was formed in 2006 as a charitable organization made up of a group of local men who loved to play golf and wanted to give back to the community. They selected Greenbriar Children’s Center as a focus for their fundraising initiatives and began the annual golf tournament in 2014 to honor Senior Strikers who had passed away. The first year, the tournament raised $500 for Greenbriar and in 2016 they raised $2,000. Donations have continued to increase as the Senior Strikers also support the organization throughout each year with additional projects, such as providing Christmas gifts for Greenbriar’s young residents.

 

“We cannot express how grateful we are each year for The Savannah Senior Strikers’ support,” Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “They do so much for the children of Savannah and we look forward to this tournament every year.”

 

Greenbriar is a nonprofit organization that provides services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless support, residential care, independent living, and family preservation, as well as early childhood education and care which leads to the healthy development of children and young adults and to the strengthening of families.

 

To register or for more information about this event or the Savannah Senior Strikers, please visit www.savannahseniorstrikers.com. To learn more about Greenbriar Children’s Center, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org.

 

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SHARON RISHER, RELATIVE OF EMANUEL AME CHURCH SHOOTING VICTIMS, TO SPEAK

Categories: Public Relations.

SHARON RISHER, RELATIVE OF EMANUEL AME CHURCH SHOOTING VICTIMS, TO SPEAK AT ASBURY MEMORIAL

SAVANNAH, GA – Aug. 11, 2017 – Rev. Sharon Washington Risher, whose mother Ethel Lee Lance was one of the victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, S.C., will speak at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church on Sunday, Aug. 20 at the 11:15 a.m. service.

Risher, who also lost two cousins and a childhood friend in the tragedy, has been an advocate for re-examining the nation’s gun laws and is one of the national spokespersons for the grassroots advocacy groups Moms Demand Gun Sense in America and the Everytown Survivor Network.

Her sermon at Asbury is part of the church’s 2017 Summer Preaching Series, which brings an array of clergy men and women, inspirational speakers, educators and authors to the church each Sunday throughout July and August while Asbury’s pastor, Rev. Billy Hester, is on sabbatical.

While nothing can mitigate the loss that Risher and the other victims’ loved ones have suffered, she has managed to identify bits of positivity that emerged from the calamity and is doing her best to capitalize on them.

“It’s about turning tragedy into triumph. I’m an accidental activist. Never, ever in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have the national platform that I have. But now I’m out there, spreading the word through my faith contacts, and letting others know that their faith can carry them through tragedies of different scales. It doesn’t even have to be gun violence. We all experience tragedies in our everyday lives,” Risher said. “That’s the triumph that came out of this for me. I’ve been given a national platform to go forth and talk about gun violence, raise awareness, help change our laws. Tragedies can triumph into means of change.”

She is traveling the country extensively, visiting major universities, colleges, churches, conventions and other locations to talk about her personal journey of loss, faith, forgiveness, racism and gun-violence prevention. Risher is quick to add that gun violence is a touchy topic for a number of reasons and while it’s an issue that she firmly believes in addressing, she doesn’t approach it from an angle that many might expect.

“People, a lot of times, would rather not go there. They’ve never lived through gun violence; it has never personally touched their lives. But it needs to be heard, and part of my message and my mission now is to get that out there. But I want to let people know it’s not about taking their guns away or denying them their Second Amendment rights. It’s about coming together to bring common-sense gun laws in order to prevent such things from happening,” Risher said.

More effective gun laws may have saved the lives of those killed in the Emanuel AME shooting. The admitted Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof, bought his gun due to what now is known as the “Charleston loophole.” His admission of possessing an illegal drug should have disqualified him from acquiring a firearm, which he used to kill nine church congregants, but the three-day waiting period lapsed before the FBI could locate the records pertaining to Roof’s case.

Risher does not push for the eradication of weapons or other extreme restrictions that likely wouldn’t be enforceable anyway. She simply wants people to understand that Americans have complex relationships with their firearms, and part of that is the obligation to be responsible and accountable as a gun owner.

“Every day, we have people who are losing their kids or parents or other family members and friends to gun violence. I am doing this not only to share my story, but to hear theirs and help them ‘triumph through tragedy.’ To hear other mothers and fathers talk about how this has affected their lives, and giving them a new mission in their lives – that’s what it’s about,” Risher said. “I hear stories about shootings and the effects they have on families and people being torn apart. How do you get over such grief? How do you navigate that? It’s heartbreaking. And my mission is just to continue to put the word out there. To help people understand how gun violence affects not just families, but communities as a whole. Everyone is affected by it.”

The reverend is looking forward to visiting Savannah for the first time in her life, and delivering her message to Asbury’s parishioners and other community members. She plans to focus her sermon on the importance of employing faith to navigate through extreme hardship and will stress the fact that tragedy does not have to define an individual.

Risher is also eager to view Asbury’s “Ribbons for a Reason” memorial. The initiative was launched in June 2015 following the Emanuel AME Church shooting in an effort to call attention to the unmet need for tighter regulations and to honor the people who have been shot and killed in the City of Savannah. The church affixes an orange ribbon to its courtyard fence on Henry Street each time another local resident dies because of gun violence. Ribbons hung in memory of youth who have died as a result of gun violence are a lighter orange shade.

“We know you can’t possibly have 100 percent safety rate when it comes to firearms usage. But if we could just tighten up the laws or add new stipulations to the laws we already have, we believe that this would help. It would avoid having parents and others go through such pain,” Risher said. “The nine lives that were taken from us, my mission is to make sure that people don’t forget them. That their lives will be a catalyst for change. We have so much hate going on, but hate won’t win. We hope others will get this message deep down in their hearts and, in their own personal way, will do something to help ensure that it won’t win.”

The public is welcome to attend Risher’s sermon on Aug. 20. For more information on Asbury Memorial UMC, please visit www.asburymemorial.org, call 912-233-4351 or email church@asburymemorial.org.

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SVF SLATED TO PRESENT ‘VOICES AROUND THE WORLD’ AND ‘OPERA IDOL’

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL SLATED TO PRESENT ‘VOICES AROUND THE WORLD’ AND ‘OPERA IDOL’

SAVANNAH, GA – August 9, 2017 – The Savannah VOICE Festival has returned to Savannah to present their fifth anniversary season, themed “Funny@Five.” Festival artists are slated to present the annual crowd-favorites, “VOICES Around the World” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24 and “Opera Idol” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21. “VOICES Around the World” will be held at Christ Church, 28 Bull St. in downtown Savannah and “Opera Idol” will be held at the Charles H. Morris Center, 10 E. Broad St., also in downtown Savannah.

Attendees are invited travel around the globe with the Savannah VOICE Festival as they provide an evening of international song with “VOICES Around the World.” Festival singers will showcase their versatility while treating audiences to a range of songs in a variety of languages celebrating an array of cultures, focusing on German repertoire. Tickets to this event cost $45 each. This concert is sponsored by the Teutonic Council of Savannah which was founded as a non-profit organization in 2015 to support and raise awareness of Germanic art and culture.

The festival will continue to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to boosting the skills, confidence and progress of young artists by using “Opera Idol” to showcase and promote their rising stars. This exciting showcase of talent features Festival Artists of the Savannah VOICE Festival and these singers will perform in a mock feedback audition for directors of professional opera companies and SVF Directors. The pros will offer insight, but ultimately, it will be the audience who decides a people’s choice award which has been sponsored by Barbara Wilson.

“You will feature some of our shooting stars in ‘Opera Idol’ and VOICES Around the World’, it’s a great way to lead into our last week of our fifth anniversary” said Savannah VOICE Festival Executive Director Maria Zouves. “We are so proud to present these incredibly talented singers and we know you all will be just as dazzled by their talent as we are.”

To purchase tickets to either of these events or for more information about the Savannah VOICE Festival, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

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GEORGIA BAR FOUNDATION AWARDS $10,000 GRANT TO MEDIATION CENTER

Categories: Public Relations.

GEORGIA BAR FOUNDATION AWARDS $10,000 GRANT TO MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE

CHECK PRESENTATION CEREMONY AND RECEPTION
PLANNED FOR 1:30 P.M. WEDNESDAY, AUG. 9

SAVANNAH, GA – AUGUST 8, 2017 – The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Georgia Bar Foundation, Inc’s Fellows Program. The grant will contribute to funding vital programs provided by the Mediation Center’s Family Law Resource Center.

The Georgia Bar Foundation, Inc. is set up under the State Bar of Georgia to distribute grants for deserving, law-related entities, such as Georgia Legal Services, Atlanta Legal Aid Society and various other entities around the state, according to Savannah Attorney Patrick T. O’Connor of Oliver Maner LLP, who is the immediate past president of the State Bar of Georgia.

One of the programs within the Foundation is the Fellows Program, which provides support to local legal organizations, such as this new grant to the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire. The Fellows Program receives all of its funds from lawyers who are invited to be members. The offer to be recognized as a Fellow of the Georgia Bar Foundation is a prestigious honor that is not extended lightly, said O’Connor, a former foundation board member. Fewer than three percent of Georgia’s lawyers are Fellows.

“It’s for lawyers who have been recognized as leaders in the profession, especially in the areas of bar programs that support indigent services. The contribution to become a Fellow is a minimum of $1,250, and the money goes back out in the form of grants as worthy opportunities arise,” O’Connor said. “It’s really for locally based legal organizations that are responsible when it comes to supporting the community.”

The Neighbor to Neighbor Mediation Center was incorporated Feb. 27, 1986. The corporation changed its name to The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, Inc. in September 2001. Over the past 30 years, the Mediation Center has trained hundreds of volunteer mediators, conducted over 10,000 mediations and facilitated nearly 7,000 settlements. The Center is located at 5105 Paulsen Street, Suite 125D in Savannah.

The Family Law Resource Center, which falls under the umbrella of the Mediation Center, offers forms, education and assistance to self-represented individuals who need help preparing for cases of divorce, legitimation, modification, child support, contempt or adult name change.

“The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire is an excellent community resource for resolving citizen disputes and especially for those who cannot afford lawyers. The Georgia Bar Foundation is very pleased that it is able to assist the Mediation Center in its efforts to provide guidance and education to low-income and pro se litigants in this community,” O’Connor said.

Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks was elated to learn that the Family Law Resource Center is being rewarded for its efforts to provide assistance to area residents who otherwise might not have access to legal help. Since October 2015, the center has been serving self-represented citizens in Chatham County and surrounding counties, including Bryan, Effingham, Liberty, Tattnall and Bulloch.

The FLRC also has a section of the center devoted to resources for families in crisis and services available to low-income families. A frequently used section of the Center is the “Kids Corner” which provides snacks, drinks and a play area for children to use while their parents work on their documents.

“There’s a high demand for this service and, at this point in time, citizens are waiting a month for an appointment,” Cheeks said. “So, this grant provides us with needed equipment to help people closer to their true time of need. We’re eager to grow our services and continue making a difference in our clients’ quality of life by helping them initiate their cases and mediate their way to peaceful resolutions outside of a courtroom.”

O’Connor will present the grant check to Cheeks at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9 during a brief ceremony at the Family Law Resource Center, 5105 Paulsen St., Suite 111A. A short reception with refreshments will follow the presentation, and the community is welcome to attend.

For more information on the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com, call 912-354-6686 or email info@mediationsavannah.com. For more information on the Georgia Bar Foundation, Inc., please visit www.gabar.org.

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BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK AND FISH TALES TO HOST 2017 YAPPY HOUR

Categories: Public Relations.

BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK AND FISH TALES TO HOST 2017 YAPPY HOUR

TO SUPPORT BRYAN COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL

RICHMOND HILL, GA – August 8, 2017 – The Bryan County Bark Park will once again celebrate Dog Awareness Day at their annual Yappy Hour event. This fundraising initiative will be held from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, August 23 at Fish Tales Restaurant, 3203 For McAllister Rd. in Richmond Hill and once again will support Bryan County Animal Control.  Attendees are asked to bring much needed items for the County’s animal shelter including puppy, kitten, dog and cat dry food, small or medium size dog collars, poop scoopers, non-clumping cat litter, blankets/towels/beds, crates and carriers. These items will be collected at Yappy Hour and delivered to the Bryan County Animal Shelter located just off Spur 144. Attendees bringing items for the shelter will be entered in a drawing for a prize basket filled with goodies for people and pets.

 

National Dog Day (also known as: International Dog Day and National Dog Appreciation Day) has been celebrated since 2004. The day serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. The sentiments behind National Dog Day are the same as those of the Bark Park, which are to embrace the opportunity for all dogs to live a happy, safe and abuse-free life.  This will be the third year that the nonprofit organization has celebrated the day at Fish Tales and taken the opportunity to help Bryan County Animal Control

 

“We are so excited about our 2017 Yappy Hour and are looking forward to seeing many familiar faces – fur and human!” said Bryan County Bark Park President Wendy Bolton. “We also couldn’t be more grateful to Butch and Sherri Broome at Fish Tales for partnering with us for this event once again.”

 

For more information about this event or the Bark Park, please visit www.bryanbarkpark.com and like the Bryan County Bark Park on Facebook.

 

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ART EXHIBIT BENEFITTING OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER

Categories: Public Relations.

ART EXHIBIT BENEFITTING OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER TO END WITH ‘SUMMER SATURDAY’

SAVANNAH, GA – August 8, 2017 – Location Gallery’s Aqua Vista exhibit, with proceeds benefitting Ogeechee Riverkeeper, will conclude Saturday, Aug. 12. On this day, Location Gallery will host Aqua Vista Summer Saturday for an open house exhibit of “Life on the Water” from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at their gallery, 417 Whitaker St. in downtown Savannah.

Aqua Vista 2017 is a small works show focused on “life on the water” across a variety of mediums featuring over 30 artists. Artists featured in this show include Ogeechee Riverkeeper board member Lind Hollingsworth in addition to Karen Abato, Randy Akers, Stacie Jean Albano, Anna Bliss, Lyn Bonham, Angela Burson, Bob Christian, Julia Christian, Lennie Ciliento, Becca Cook, Joy Dunigan, Manda Faye Dunigan, Christina Edwards, Kelley Hagemes, Sassy Hall, Mary Hartman, Farnaz Jahani, Cathy Jarman, Geoff Johnson, Dan Kaufman, Rubi McGrory, Robert Morris, Lara Neece, Lisa Ocampo, Jennylyn Pawelski, Juliana Peloso, Peter E. Roberts, Daniel E. Smith and Lisa D. Watson.

Gallery proceeds from the Aqua Vista exhibit will be donated to Ogeechee Riverkeeper. The mission of the nonprofit organization is to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River Basin. The organization strives to accomplish this mission through their watershed watch program, healthy waters agenda, and hometown waters education.

 

“We are so grateful to Location Gallery for once again choosing to donate proceeds from this exhibit to our organization,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Membership and Communications Coordinator Jennifer West. “This exhibit highlights the beauty of life on the water, which our organization strives to protect.”

 

Location Gallery features group and solo art shows by local Savannah artists. Gallery profits from shows are designated to local nonprofits. The gallery aims to build a better community one art show at a time.

 

For more information about Aqua Vista 2017 or this event, please visit www.locationgallery.net. To learn more about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER ANNOUNCES AUGUST PADDLE TRIP ROUTE AND DETAILS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – August 3, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper is slated to hold its August paddle trip Saturday, Aug. 26. The journey will begin at 9 a.m. at the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge at 5000 Wildlife Drive NW in Townsend, Georgia. Paddlers will put-in at the boat ramp to the left of the refuge entrance from Harris Neck Drive.

Participants will be able to soak up the final days of summer break with a coastal trek that begins at the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge and winds through marshland, filled with all kinds of wildlife including dolphins, spoonbills, crabs, osprey and more.

Luke Roberson, Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s outreach and water quality specialist, will lead this trip. Attendees should bring lunch/snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, water shoes or old tennis shoes (flip-flops and sandals are not recommended), and a dry bag or other container to safely store personal items.

“These paddle trips are a great way to get beginner paddlers to strengthen their skills and endurance. The opportunity to observe an abundance of marine life really makes it an enjoyable outing,” Roberson said. “The natural beauty of the wildlife refuge is a great reminder for everyone about why we work so hard to protect these waters, and we hope they’ll join our efforts.”

Registration for non-members costs $35 per person while Ogeechee Riverkeeper members are invited to join these paddles at no cost. Ogeechee Riverkeeper memberships begin at the individual level of $35. To learn more or to become a member, please visit our website.

Registration for this guided paddle trip closes at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. To register for this trip or for more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

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GREENBRIAR PARTNERS WITH CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL

Categories: Public Relations.

GREENBRIAR PARTNERS WITH CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL FOR COMMUNITY FUNDRAISING NIGHT

 

SAVANNAH, GA – Aug. 1, 2017 – Savannah area residents are invited to drop by Chipotle Mexican Grill on Monday, Aug. 14 to enjoy a delicious dinner and support Greenbriar Children’s Center.

 

The popular fast-casual eatery, located at 1801 East Victory Drive, has partnered with Greenbriar for a Community Fundraising Night. From 4-8 p.m. Aug. 14, the restaurant will donate 50 percent of all sales to Greenbriar.

 

Greenbriar Children’s Center is a non-profit organization that promotes the healthy development of children and young adults, as well as the strengthening of families through services provided. These services include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless support, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place.

 

“We hope all of our supporters and those who are interested in Greenbriar’s programs and mission will join us at Chipotle on Victory Drive for a great meal in the name of a wonderful charitable cause. This is a wonderful way to help the children we serve and assist us in our efforts to advocate for the health and wellness of Coastal Empire area youth and families,” Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “We’re grateful for Chipotle’s collaboration and willingness to provide this opportunity, allowing Greenbriar to raise community awareness and needed funds.”

 

For more information about Greenbriar, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912-234-3431.

 

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL WILL ‘MAKE ’EM LAUGH’

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL WILL ‘MAKE ’EM LAUGH’ WITH BROADWAY VOICES
AND FUNNY GIRL WITH A GYPSY SWING

SAVANNAH, GA – July 31, 2017 –  In keeping with their fifth anniversary season theme, “Funny@Five,” the Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) is slated to present two lighthearted productions: “Broadway VOICES: Make ‘em Laugh” and “Funny Girl with a Gypsy Swing: Jessica Ann Best & Velvet Caravan”

The Savannah VOICE Festival will celebrate New York City’s Great White Way – the  nickname for the section of Broadway spanning the blocks between 42nd and 53rd Streets – with Singin’ in the Rain and other fun favorites in “Broadway VOICES: Make’ em Laugh.” This performance, featuring festival artists with pianist Dan Gettinger at the helm, will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13 at Asbury Memorial UMC, 1008 E. Henry St. in downtown Savannah.  This popular show is likely to sell out fast so the SVF recommends purchasing tickets early.

Gettinger will serve as musical director for the Festival’s Scenes and Songs concert and has also participated as in numerous workshops including: VOICExperience in New York, Orlando, and Tampa; the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Illinois; Lidal North International Opera Workshop in Oslo, Norway; the Manhattan School of Music Summer Voice Festival in New York; the International Vocal Arts Institute in TelAviv, Israel, and Montreal, Canada; and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. Dan has worked as a coach and principal pianist for Palm Beach Opera, Opera Tampa, Chautauqua Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Florida Grand Opera in addition to serving as a judge for prestigious opera competitions including the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition and the Loren L. Zachary Society Competition. Gettinger is delighted to return to the Savannah VOICE Festival again this year.

 

To keep the laughter going. Jessica Ann Best will celebrate her 10th anniversary as a VOICE Programs alum with her favorite group of local musicians in a lively concert for all ages. Best, along with Velvet Caravan, will make guests laugh, cry and stand up to dance with “Funny Girl with a Gypsy Swing” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15 at the Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St. This performance combines a sublime singer in any genre with a band of instruments who can swing with equal versatility. This is another show not to be missed.

Last summer, Best returned to the Savannah VOICE Festival to sing the title role in “Alice Ryley” by Michael Ching and Gertrude in “Romeo et Juliette.” She recently returned to the Opera Tampa stage to sing for the Opera Gala in honor of conductor Anton Coppala, with whom she has performed several times. She recently made her debut with the Center for Contemporary Opera in their production of “Jane Eyre” in New York City and will return to the Center for their next season in fall 2017, starring in “The Canterville Ghost.” Best is also a returning artist with the Savannah Music Festival, giving concerts of the operatic and musical theater nature. Velvet Caravan is an unorthodox, high-energy, acoustic-based quintet of guitar, violin, standup bass, percussion and keyboards.

“We have a wonderful lineup of talent this year to help us celebrate our fifth anniversary season and I am ecstatic that Dan Gettinger and Jessica Ann Best have decided to join us again,” said Savannah VOICE Festival Executive Director and co-founder Maria Zouves. Zouves speaks about the young artists with a maternal tone. “It is such an exciting and satisfying thing to watch artists grow each year through participation in our VOICE Programs and beyond, so having our beloved mezzo-soprano, Jess, with us is a real treat.” Multi-talented a wonderful educator herself, Best also serves as the Director of the 2017 VOICE Camp as part of the Festival intensives. Twenty singers, ages 15 – 20, will work on university preparation and find their footing in classical voice at the Camp this year, with Jessica’s nurturing and capable leadership. “I’ve learned from Maria Zouves about how to be a singer, producer and teacher. Doing all of this makes you better at it all!” says Best.

 

Tickets to “Broadway VOICES: Make ‘em Laugh” cost $55 each, and tickets to “Funny Girl with a Gypsy Swing” cost $45 each. For more information about these performances or to purchase tickets, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

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SCCPSS SUPPORTS MUSIC COLLABORATION

Categories: Public Relations.

SCCPSS SUPPORTS MUSIC COLLABORATION AS MILNES VOICE PROGRAMS AND GARRISON SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS UNVEIL NEW MUSICAL OUTREACH PROGRAM

SAVANNAH, GA – July 31 2017 – The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs and Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts are proud to announce a partnership to implement a comprehensive musical outreach program in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS).

Garrison, community and VOICE Programs leaders– including the Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) and VOICExperience (VE) – have been working together to create a detailed plan focusing on the importance of music education for the youth of our community. This new program, which will initially be rolled out at Garrison and Savannah Arts Academy before a later expansion to other schools, consists of a structured curriculum that will be taught by VOICE Program artists during campus visits. Tailored for students from sixth through twelfth grades, the subject matter provides Grade Level Appropriate Anchor Standards within the National Core Arts Standards.  This initiative has gained great success through the SVF’s pilot programs that were launched at Garrison, Windsor Forest Elementary and the Bethesda Academy, a privately funded organization.  Led by Executive Director of Savannah VOICE Festival and VOICExperience, Maria Zouves, and the organization’s Education Coordinator and VOICE Program alum, baritone Chad Sonka, it became clear that the program should be formalized and rolled out to benefit the wider SCCPSS.

The outreach program, designed to connect and inspire participants of various age groups and grade levels, will include school visits by SVF team leaders, the presentation of opera as an art form, live artist performances, student participation in “mini masterclasses”, question-and-answer sessions, talks on musical and opera history, videos of famous performances and subsequent discussions, study guides, multifaceted musical production engagement, workshops, special projects, roundtables, an art song festival, and more. The VOICE Programs and Garrison have entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to formally establish their partnership, which has the endorsement and support of SCCPSS.

The official launch of the outreach program is scheduled for the beginning of the new school year as students return to class on Thursday, August 3, 2017.  The launch coincides with the fifth annual Savannah VOICE Festival which begins the weekend of August 5 and runs through August 27 incorporating extensive outreach initiatives in Chatham County schools.

Facilitating connections within classrooms is not new to the VOICE Programs founders and administrators. World-renowned operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes and his wife, soprano Maria Zouves, created the VOICE brand and have been implementing successful outreach programs in schools for over 15 years. They currently are running a similar program in Pinellas County, Florida, and have enjoyed watching students flourish and express serious interest in music under the VOICE leaders’ expert tutelage.

Milnes will be working with Garrison and the Savannah Friends of Music (SFOM) as he will be the emcee at the Prestigious Savannah Sings initiative which runs from February 8-9, 2018.  This exciting initiative involves150 middle and high-school students with Garrison educators and culminates in a performance at Garrison’s new Performing Arts Center which is currently scheduled for opening in September 2017.

Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts is a public school dedicated to the performing arts. The school provides a specialized arts plan for middle school students. The program consists of stringent academic standards and high quality, professional performance. Garrison received the School of Excellence award in 2012 and in September 2015, Garrison was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. In addition to their academic studies, students participate in a variety of courses in the fine and performing arts.  Milnes and Zouves also developed the new fundraising initiative to provide the school a baby grand piano for their new performance hall.

“This partnership is the culmination of the hard work by VOICE Programs representatives and Garrison administrators and educators. I commend all involved parties on their dedication to expose our students to high-quality musical education through unique and interactive methods, and I’m proud to support this newfound consortium and their impressive efforts,” said former SCCPSS Superintendent Dr. Thomas Lockamy, who had a hand in bringing the project to fruition before he retired in May.

Dr. Ann Levett who was appointed as SCCPSS Superintendent on Dr. Lockamy’s retirement added, “This opportunity complements the high quality educational experiences our students receive each day.  We recognize the unique, hands-on programming afforded through this partnership which supports Savannah’s vibrant arts community, and facilitates an interest in music, culture and other art forms that are essential in our work to produce well-rounded, community-minded citizens.”

Principal of Garrison, Jim Heater commented,  “I am grateful to SCCPSS for their support, my hard working team at Garrison, Maria Zouves of the VOICE Programs, Charlie Brazil of Old Town Trolley Tours and Lesley Francis of Lesley Francis Public Relations for their commitment to bringing this program to fruition.  We are looking forward to another year of excellence at Garrison.”

For more information on the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, please visit www.voicexperiencefoundation.org or www.savannahvoicefestival.org . For more information on Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts, please visit www.garrisonarts.sccpss.com

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER ANNUAL MEETING AND AWARDS SET FOR AUGUST 19

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – July 28, 2017 – Those who support and enjoy the Ogeechee River as a source of recreation, income and local pride will soon have a chance to catch up on matters relating to the region’s most prized natural resource.

 

Ogeechee Riverkeeper has scheduled its annual meeting for 4-6 p.m. Saturday, August 19 at Love’s Seafood Restaurant. The popular local eatery, a ‘River’ level corporate sponsor of the non-profit organization and longtime supporter of the waterway itself, is located at 6817 Chief O.F. Love Road in Savannah with stunning views of the Ogeechee River. Tickets are $15.00 for adults and children 12 and under are $5.00, which includes heavy appetizers, awards ceremony and non-alcoholic beverages. A cash bar will be available.

 

After attendees have been brought up to speed on the progress and development of the river and the organization, including news on the quality of the river water and legislative issues, ORK will recognize its Volunteer of the Year, Monitor of the Year, Business of the Year and Education Partner of the Year

 

“Our annual meeting is vital to keeping our community and supporters up-to-date on all aspects of our organization,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Membership and Communications Coordinator Jennifer West. “This is also a fun way to recognize the businesses and individuals who help us work toward our mission of continuing to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River Basin.”

 

Proceeds benefit the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, a 501(c) (3) whose mission includes river preservation work, advocacy efforts and outreach. To learn more about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

 

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MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO ROLL OUT ‘COPE’ PROGRAM AT PARK PLACE OUTREACH

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – July 27, 2017 – The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire’s new “Children of Peaceful Engagement” program – or COPE – will be rolled out to help Savannah’s youth after a successful pilot program earlier this summer.

The COPE program teaches children who are going through stressful situations how to better cope with their anger and other emotions and manage their response using proven engagement strategies that focus on understanding and emotional learning. Typically, attendees are early school-age children and participation consists of two one-hour lessons, which take place during a one-week period.

Lee Robbins, Programs Director at the Family Law Resource Center and its parent organization, the Mediation Center, worked on developing COPE by researching and designing the interactive program through collaborations with educators and therapists. He introduced it to the Mediation Center earlier this summer. Now Robbins and his colleague, Crystal Commodore, the Mediation Center’s Youth Program Director, are about to bring this beneficial service to another Savannah nonprofit committed to helping the community’s young people.

Starting Aug. 15, the two will implement COPE at Park Place Outreach, which provides services to at-risk youth and their families, aims to increase their functional levels, and reunifies families whenever possible. Once per month, Robbins will provide a one-hour lesson on a Tuesday, followed by another one-hour segment, taught by Commodore, on Thursday. Robbins will focus on understanding emotion, managing response and owning actions, while Commodore will educate participants on communicating when in conflict with others.

Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks is delighted COPE has been well-received and looks forward to increasing its availability by partnering with more Coastal Empire organizations and educational institutions.

“The community already knows we offer a variety of conflict-resolution services, but we also are pleased to be able to provide programs like COPE. These resources enable us to educate youth at an earlier age and equip them with skills to handle difficult situations and respond in a more positive manner to stress and conflict,” Cheeks said.

Park Place Outreach, a youth emergency shelter, provides support for troubled children and teens from Savannah and the surrounding area. It is open 24 hours a day to youth in crisis, adolescents who are homeless, young people who have been abused, runaway youth, or those who may be thinking of running away. According to Park Place Executive Director Julie Wade, they also assist those who are referred through the Division of Family and Children Services and the juvenile justice system.

Wade had been in talks with Cheeks about possible collaboration efforts between the two nonprofit entities, and she thinks COPE is a great place to start.

“A lot of these kids come in with a whole host of challenges. They don’t have stable families, and they’ve often experienced violence and crime since the beginning of their lives, so they don’t have a lot of anger-management skills or coping skills. They just don’t have the communication skills to regulate their behavior,” Wade said. “We are trying to bring in some instruction on conflict resolution, which will help the children we serve communicate better and regulate their emotions appropriately.”

She believes Park Place Outreach’s efforts with the Mediation Center will benefit both organizations, as well as the segments the nonprofits strive to reach and serve.

“Everyone has incentive to collaborate; it’s just getting everyone to the same table,” Wade said. “Most kids are here about three weeks, so we don’t have much time with them. But we’ll offer COPE once per month, so we should be able to include everyone. We’re excited to have the opportunity to do it.”

For more information about the COPE program or the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, please email Cheeks at jcheeks@mediationsavannah.com, call 912-354-6686 or visit www.mediationsavannah.com.

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL’S VOICE SOCIETY MEMBERS ENJOY EXCLUSIVE EVENTS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL’S VOICE SOCIETY MEMBERS ENJOY EXCLUSIVE EVENTS, MANY OTHER BENEFITS

SAVANNAH, GA – July 26, 2017 – The Savannah VOICE Festival will return for its fifth anniversary season – themed Funny@Five – with an array of over 25 concerts, classes, operas, outreaches and other events taking place Aug. 5-27 around the Coastal Empire.

The festival, which previously spanned two weeks, has expanded to a third week this year, providing attendees with several extra days of delightful musical offerings, laughter and excitement. While most of these events are open to the public, the Festival’s Salon Series is available exclusively to VOICE Society Members.   Membership not only includes special access and benefits which include priority seating but the membership helps to support the vital educational outreach programs of the festival.

The Salon Series begins with an intimate evening with Jennifer Johnson Cano, featuring backstage stories of her skyrocketing career with musical performances by festival artists, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8 at the Green Meldrim House, 14 W. Macon St. in downtown Savannah. Cano will share her experiences and give insights into her characters, from being a Met “Walker” to a modern “Carmen” to a traditional “Donna Elvira”, while festival artists perform some of Cano’s most memorable music.

Cano, who made her professional operatic debut with the Opera Theater of St. Louis, earned degrees from Webster University and Rice University. She joined The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera after winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2008, and made her Met debut during the 2009-10 season. As first prize winner of the 2009 Young Concert Artist International Auditions, she has given stunning recital debuts with husband and pianist Christopher Cano in New York at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, at the Kennedy Center, and in Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Among her honors is a 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant, 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant and 2014 George London Award. Cano has given over 100 performances at The Metropolitan Opera and has a continued relationship with The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra. She was particularly honored to sing at the private funeral for American icon and astronaut Neil Armstrong. In 2014, Cano released her debut recital recording, “Unaffected, Live from the Savannah VOICE Festival.”

 

The second event in the Salon Series, “Camelot,” is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, also at the Green Meldrim House. As the festival closes, guests will have the opportunity to delve into the romance of King Arthur with an evening of excerpts from the Lerner and Lowe classic and other Arthurian-themed music.

In addition to Salon Series access, VOICE Society members enjoy a wide array of perks, including early seating priority at events, exclusive access to other members-only special events, early ticket sales to events throughout the year, pre-sale pricing at the door, a members-only bimonthly e-newsletter, and special discounts with local partners. The Savannah VOICE Festival offers three membership levels beginning at $175. To become a member or for more information, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org/join-the-voice-society/.

“Being a member of the VOICE Society offers much more than the tangible benefits listed,” said Savannah VOICE Festival Executive Director and co-founder Maria Zouves. “Members are able to connect with our artists and operas on a deeper level while also helping to make a difference in the lives of our young artists.”

Tickets to the Salon Series events cost $75 each and can be purchased by visiting the Savannah VOICE Festival’s website. For more information about these events or the Savannah VOICE Festival, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

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THE MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE APPOINTS LESLEY FRANCIS PUBLIC RELATIONS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – July 26, 2017 – The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire announces the appointment of Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR) as marketing partners. Lesley Francis and her team are working closely with The Mediation Center and will be responsible for media relations, social media, website updates and maintenance, event planning, copy writing and other marketing initiatives.

 

The Mediation Center provides the coastal community with access to mediation and other dispute-resolution methods as an alternative to litigation. The Mediation Center also provides training to businesses, schools, organizations, other institutions, and individuals in order to enhance conflict-resolution skills throughout the community.

 

British-born Lesley Francis is a graduate of the University of Bristol (England) and has extensive marketing experience. In 1998, Lesley founded hsdcommunications, an award-winning, London-based agency that she grew from one person to a UK top 25 PR firm. She sold her business in 2007 to Gyro International, a global group with offices in 11 countries, and ran their worldwide PR division before relocating to the United States, where she became a naturalized American citizen and founded LFPR in 2009. Her public relations agency specializes in non-profit organizations as well as local businesses.

 

“The Mediation Center has provided the highest quality of mediation and other related services to our region for thirty years” said Executive Director Jill Cheeks. “We are excited for LFPR to become an extended part of our team, as we have many exciting new initiatives planned for our organization as we prepare for the next thirty years of meeting the mediation needs of the Coastal Empire.”

 

For more information about The Mediation Center, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com. To learn more about Lesley Francis PR, please visit www.lesleyfrancispr.com.

 

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IN FIFTH SEASON, SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL WILL DELIGHT FANS WITH COMEDIC OPERAS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – JULY 24, 2016 – The Savannah VOICE Festival – always a dynamic annual celebration of opera music and vocal arts – is pulling out all the stops for its fifth anniversary celebration. Formerly a two-week event, the festival will now span three weeks to increase and diversify its traditional offerings of concerts, master classes, social events and showcases. With all the traditional offerings of past years, the Savannah VOICE Festival continues to establish itself as the opera company of the Southeast region and it is fittingly offering two of the world’s most treasured and entertaining pieces – Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) and Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville).

This year’s special theme, “Funny@Five” includes a lighthearted introductory show to the operas which Executive Director Maria Zouves has written entitled “Shave and a Haircut, Rossini takes a nap”. The 90-minute program tells the story of the Barber of Seville told through music from Rossini and Mozart as well as modern musical theater and song. The show’s storyline follows Rossini himself (played by opera great and SVF founder Sherrill Milnes himself) as he falls asleep in the Barber’s chair and is transported into the world of the clever Figaro. The show is at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at Asbury Memorial Theatre, 1008 Henry St. in downtown Savannah and tickets are $52 each.

“Our two comedic operas for 2017 are time-tested crowd favorites, sure to leave audiences highly amused, but even humorous operas with English translations above the stage can be intimidating to those who’ve never enjoyed this vocal art form before,” said Zouves, an operatic soprano who co-founded the festival with her husband, internationally acclaimed baritone Sherrill Milnes. “‘Shave and a Haircut’ is a lighthearted, easy introduction into our two big shows – really a delightful way to learn more about opera in general and fun for all ages!”

The season’s first opera, Le Nozzi di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), is the festival’s second annual VOICE Studio Program production. It serves as an excellent training and exposure opportunity for rising vocal stars ready to showcase the skills they’ve been honing during the program. This summer development intensive, led by opera legend and SVF co-founder Sherrill Milnes, focuses on personal training designed to take participants to the next level of their careers.

The VOICE Studio artists who auditioned for and won coveted roles and covers in Le Nozzi di Figaro will perform Mozart’s masterpiece about the day in the life of the famous “factotum.” Before audiences see the Savannah VOICE Festival’s second opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, they’ll skip to the second part of the story as Count Almaviva, Rosina and the Barber fast forward to the “crazy day” of Figaro and Susanna’s wedding. The studio production will be sung in Italian with English dialogue and supertitles.

Tickets cost $42 each, and the curtain rises at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18 at the Charles H. Morris Center, 10 E. Broad St. in downtown Savannah. The performance is sponsored by Arlene and Allan Ratner.

In its second opera of the 2017 season, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), the SVF reunites some of our favorite festival artists who have been cast to take us on a delightful journey into Beaumarchais first comedic installation of the Barber Trilogy. The famous barber is scheming and dealing in this masterpiece as Rosina and Almaviva need the Figaro’s expertise to be together, despite Bartolo’s plot to keep her for himself. Written 30 years after Mozart’s telling of part two, this “prequel” to The Marriage of Figaro goes back in time to where it all began. This dynamic production will draw audience into the action with virtual sets and a chamber ensemble. It will be sung in Italian with English dialogue and supertitles.

The first showing of “Barber” is slated for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Charles H. Morris Center. At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, SVF fans who missed the first performance will have a second opportunity to catch the classic comedic opera. The humorous tale will again unfold within the confines of the elegant Morris Center with amazing virtual design sets and traditional costumes. The performances are sponsored by Helen Downing. Tickets for both shows are priced at $62 each. Children 16 and under, Student and Military tickets will be sold for $15 at the door, 30 minutes prior to show time with proper ID.

“In our fifth anniversary season, the Savannah VOICE Festival is excited to offer our longstanding fans and new friends some amazing performances and concerts. These operas really complete and complement the carefully curated set of shows we’ve put together,” Zouves said. “To feature some of the vocal world’s most skilled rising stars amid advanced, multifaceted productions in this beautiful, hospitable city is really incredible. The two comedic operas are the perfect way to showcase the level of talent our artists possess while drawing audiences in to some highly amusing and entertaining storylines.”

For more information or to buy tickets to the operas and other SVF events, please visit savannahvoicefestival.org, call 855-76OPERA or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

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SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS AFTER HOURS AT FAMILY PROMISE, PARTNERED WITH LESLEY FRANCIS PR

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – July 21, 2017 – Around 60 community leaders attended “Business After Hours” on the evening of Thursday, July 20 at Family Promise of Bryan Country, co-hosted by Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR).

 

Family Promise Board Chair Jason Anderson, LFPR CEO Lesley Francis, and Family Promise Network Director Candice Stewart-Fife addressed guests who were able to tour the Family Promise day center while listening to great live music by Stewart Marshall. A selection of food and beverages with exciting door prizes and a 50/50 cash raffle were offered. The winner of the 50/50 draw as well as the Chamber both generously donated raffle proceeds back to help the work of Family Promise.

 

“We have a great history with Lesley Francis and we knew partnering with her team would make this a fantastic event,” said Stewart-Fife. “We are so appreciative to LFPR, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Bryan County community for their support.”

 

Family Promise helps homeless and low-income families become financially stable, secure long-term housing and live independently. The organization’s new day center on Ford Avenue is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. On site, an Interfaith Hospitality Network director and a social worker provide case-management services. Members of families who are living in temporary housing – often provided by area host churches – may utilize the center, and Family Promise helps by providing transportation to and from the facility. Family Promise of Bryan County began in October 2013 when concerned community members assembled to discuss the possibility of establishing an affiliate of the national non-profit organization.

 

Lesley Francis Public Relations is a Richmond Hill-based boutique PR and marketing agency serving the greater Coastal Empire and Lowcountry regions. The agency specializes in local businesses and nonprofit organizations including Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Megan Myrick Photography, the Savannah Philharmonic and River Street Inn.

 

To learn more about Lesley Francis PR, please visit www.lesleyfrancispr.com. For more information about Family Promise, please visit www.familypromisebryancounty.org.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION UNVEILS NEW LOOK AND WEBSITE

Categories: Public Relations.

AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION UNVEILS NEW LOOK AND WEBSITE AS NEW GENRES ARE INTRODUCED FOR APPLICANTS

 

SAVANNAH, GA – July 19, 2017 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) has unveiled a new look including a brand new logo and contemporary website to coincide with the announcement of exciting new genres for the February 2018 competition, which will be the ATC’s 25th anniversary.

Applications open on August 1st for this silver anniversary of the ATC and, unlike most vocal competitions, there is no upper age limit for applicants although they do have to be at least 18 years old on the day the competition begins – February 19, 2018.  Exciting new genres have been introduced for this year including pop/rock singer-songwriters 1980-today, popular music of 1950-1980, cabaret and a patriotic focus on the Great American Songbook with selections from the two world wars.  Nine genres have to be selected by each applicant to demonstrate their versatility and the new genre options have been added to existing genres which include, opera, musical theatre, Hollywood, jazz, folk, country, art song, gospel, songs of Johnny Mercer, blues and religious music. For the first time, the ATC board has excluded a number of songs which have been over-performed in recent years including: “Moon River,” “Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home,” “Over The Rainbow,” “Maybe This Time,” “Gimme, Gimme,” “Blues In The Night,” “Summertime,” “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” and “At Last.”

“I could not be more enthusiastic about our 25th year and I feel honored every day to be a part of this wonderful organization,” said ATC Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren. “This year will combine exciting updates with the very best of all that is traditional about the ATC and the beautiful ‘Hostess City’s’ rich history and vibrant cultural life.”

The ATC seeks to celebrate and preserve all styles of classic American music. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes these songs by producing an annual vocal competition in Savannah, that awards over $35,000 in cash prizes. As part of community-driven service and initiative, the organization provides musical education, exposure and performances for Savannah locals of all ages.

Applications open for the 2018 competition on Tuesday, August 1 and close at 10 p.m. Friday, October 20. There is a $55 nonrefundable application fee. For more information on applying, instructions and rules, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com/application/.

To learn more about the ATC, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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THE MEDIATION CENTER OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP AND INITIATIVES

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – July 12, 2017 – The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire has unveiled exciting plans and initiatives under new leadership as it marks 31 years of cutting the emotional and financial costs of disputes for thousands of people throughout the region.

New Executive Director Jill Cheeks has been appointed to lead the Mediation Center into this new era. As a Georgia Registered Civil, Domestic and Domestic Violence Mediator with over 25 years of business consulting and coaching experience, she brings a strategic mindset and collaborative spirit to the organization. She has supported a number of Savannah nonprofits, such as the Savannah Children’s Choir and the Creative Coast since moving here three years ago. Her leadership style includes empowering staff to produce outstanding results, community outreach to create key partnerships and quality service to clients and stakeholders. Cheeks is passionate about educating youth to manage conflict at earlier ages and expanding Youth Programs provided by the Mediation Center.

Cheeks is responsible for launching the Mediation Center’s new workplace programs, which complement the Center’s existing range of facilitation services. These new workplace programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of each organization and focus on meeting facilitation and resolving workplace conflict. Information about this brand-new program is available by contacting info@mediationsavannah.com or calling 912-354-6686.

 

Cheeks commented, “I am very excited about our plans for the Mediation Center, which we’ll continue to roll out over the next few months, including new branding, website and printed materials; fundraising initiatives; services and programs. I am honored to be a part of guiding this organization into the future as we build on the vital role The Mediation Center has played in the Coastal Empire over the last three decades.”

The Mediation Center of Savannah, established in 1986, is a non-profit organization that provides education, training and programs and is dedicated to providing and promoting methods other than litigation for settling disputes. The Center relies upon a dedicated volunteer board of directors and mediators who have experience in business, law, real estate, social work, education, and many other areas. All mediators are registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, under the Supreme Court of Georgia, and they attend annual in-service trainings. For more information about he Mediation Center of The Coastal Empire, please visit www.mediationsavannah.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER PARTNERS WITH LOCAL SALONS TO RAISE FUNDS

Categories: Public Relations.

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER RAISES OVER $600 THROUGH AVEDA EARTH MONTH CELEBRATION WITH LAVENDER HILL

RICHMOND HILL, Ga, – July 11, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper partnered with local Aveda concept salons, Lavender Hill and Salon Tribe, to celebrate Earth month with Aveda during the month of April. Over $600 was raised from this celebratory fundraising initiative to benefit the nonprofit organization Ogeechee Riverkeeper.

Ogeechee Riverkeeper was chosen as one of only 75 organizations in the United States to benefit from Aveda’s annual partnerships for 2017 Earth Month. Aveda salons and spas are founded on the common mission of caring for you and caring for our world around us and every April Aveda undertakes a clean water fundraising and awareness initiative during Earth Month. Aveda has been protecting water through partnerships with supporters raising over $44 million for environmental causes since 1999.

Lavender Hill and Salon Tribe were able to raise these funds through various initiatives including raffles, designating a percentage of service proceeds, and more.

“We were thrilled to see the impact of Earth month and what it brought to Ogeechee Riverkeeper. The community came together with a like-minded mission and we are looking forward to our partnership with these local Aveda salons for years to come,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Membership and Communications Coordinator Jenn West.

The mission of Ogeechee Riverkeeper is to protect, preserve and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River Basin. The organization is able to work toward this mission with funds raised through various initiatives, memberships, and community support.

To learn more about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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RAMPING UP FOR SUMMER

Categories: Public Relations.

I am pleased to say that there is no sign of a seasonal summer slowdown at LFPR although it is important that all of my hard working team schedule time to recharge their batteries on vacation.

We are ramping up for the beginning of the Savannah VOICE Festival’s fifth season which has been extended to three weeks this August and looking back at LFPR’s spring and early summer it has, as usual, been filled with lots of rewarding work and good times.  We recently welcomed our 2017 summer intern – Brennan Perry who is studying PR at Georgia Southern University and we are certainly keeping her busy.  We are thrilled to have been appointed by The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire working on media relations, social media, design, website updates and maintenance, event planning, copy writing and other marketing initiatives.

The Mediation Center is a wonderful non-profit organization which provides the coastal community with access to mediation and other dispute-resolution methods as an alternative to litigation.

In addition to a fun and memorable ‘English afternoon tea’ which my lovely team surprised me with for my birthday in May, we orchestrated and promoted some great initiatives for our clients.  Empire Construction collaborated with the Rape Crisis Center during Sexual Assault Awareness and hosted a Student Safety Night awareness event and fundraiser to benefit this important charity at one of Empire Construction’s renovations in downtown Savannah.  This was soon followed by The Pregnancy Care Center of Richmond Hill’s inaugural fundraising event, “City Nights at the City Center” which was a great success and which highlighted the work of our talented client – international award-winning photographer Megan Myrick and supporter of the Pregnancy Care Center – who unveiled a new joint initiative, the “Love & Legacy Project”.  More about that and other exciting cultural client news next time……………

 

 

GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER RECOGNIZED AT URBAN CHRISTIAN ACADEMY’S HONORS NIGHT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – July 7, 2017 – The Urban Christian Academy gave tribute to the descendants of Adeline Graham, Greenbriar Children’s Center staff, and Gamma Sigma Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. during its Urban Honors Night celebration last month at The Stage on Bay in downtown Savannah.

 

Elder and Pastor Charles Gordon and the Honors Committee of Urban Christian Academy voted unanimously to honor the work of Greenbriar Children’s Center at this event. In attendance were Greenbriar staff and board leaders, former residents of the center, the nonprofit organization’s very first resident and the descendants of the Greenbriar’s founder, Adaline Graham.

 

Like many of its residents and beneficiaries, Greenbriar has humble beginnings. Graham, a well-known Savannah philanthropist, died and left property and funds to whomever might start a movement to establish an orphanage for African-American children. So, as a community service project in 1943, five young African-American women of the Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority decided to utilize the funds and established a children’s center as Graham had specified in his will.  The sorority solicited the assistance of the Rev. Ralph Mark Gilbert, then pastor of First African Baptist Church, as it was also stipulated in the will that the black Protestant churches be involved in establishing and providing ongoing support of the orphanage.

 

In 1944, the group purchased a tract of land on West 50th Street, where they planned to build the facility. On June 8, 1944, using an additional $4,500 donated by the Graham estate, Greenbriar Children’s Center was founded. It opened on July 15, 1949 with a cottage-style building that accommodated 20 children and a private apartment for a resident housemother. In May 1954, the 15-acre tract on which Greenbriar now stands on Hopkins Street was purchased for $17,000. The center began accepting children of all races in 1964.

 

“It was a wonderful experience to have our staff honored alongside the descendants and supporters of those who first envisioned Greenbriar Children’s Center and the organization that brought that vision to fruition,” Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “We are grateful for the recognition. Without Adaline Graham and her family, we wouldn’t be here today. And without the support of places like Urban Christian Academy and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, we wouldn’t be able to continue our mission.”

 

The mission of Greenbriar Children’s Center is to promote the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families by providing services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education & care, as well as Project Safe Place.

 

For more information about Greenbriar Children’s Center, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org.

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ASBURY MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ANNOUNCES 2017 SUMMER PREACHING SERIES

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – July 5, 2017 – Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (UMC) unveils the lineup of speakers for their 2017 summer preaching series. Worship services will be held at 11:15 a.m. every Sunday throughout the summer at the church, 1008 E. Henry St. in downtown Savannah.

 

This summer series will begin Sunday, July 9 with The Rev. Lesley Brogran. Brogran, a minister in the United Church of Christ, works at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She has written two books – “Relying on the Moon: Companioning Grief for 29 Days” and “Grief and the Psalms” – and is ruminating over the third one. Brogan, who was born and raised in Mattoon, Ill., lives in Decatur with her partner, Linda Ellis.

 

Next up, on Sunday, July 16, is Savannah native, The Rev. Nathan Godley. Godley was an active member and leader at Epworth United Methodist Church. After graduating from Armstrong State University, he attended the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. He served a variety of churches in the South Georgia UMC Conference, including Epworth UMC and White Bluff UMC in Savannah. After retiring, Godley and his wife Patty bought the 17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant in historic downtown Savannah.

 

On Sunday, July 23, Rabbi Robert Haas will address the Asbury UMC congregation. Haas is a native of McAllen, Texas. He holds a BS from the University of Texas at Austin, and he attended Hebrew Union College, receiving his rabbinic ordination in 2002. After spending a year of service in Africa, Haas came to Savannah five years ago to be the 14th spiritual leader of Congregation Mickve Israel, one of the oldest Jewish congregations in the United States. Haas and Asbury Memorial UMC Reverend Bill Hester have collaborated on Savannah Gathering interfaith events for several years.

 

This exciting summer series continues Sunday, July 30 with the 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year and Asbury Memorial UMC congregation member, Ernie Lee. Lee has practiced law for more than 20 years. He worked as an instructor for the Georgia Departments of Revenue and Human Resources and the Technical College System of Georgia before becoming an in-house lawyer for SCAD in 2003. Changing careers in 2010, Lee became a public-school teacher. His goal was to make a lasting and positive impact on the lives of others. He currently teaches international baccalaureate history and AP psychology at Windsor Forest High School in Savannah. He was named 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year and traveled across both the state and country as an ambassador for the teaching profession. In 2017, Lee was awarded a prestigious teaching fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute.

 

C.S. Lewis will be in the midst of the Asbury Memorial congregation on Sunday, Aug. 6 when Bob Hereford speaks. Hereford is a life-long resident of Waycross, where he is a member of Trinity UMC. In 1990, he founded Cumberland Consulting Company to help employers reduce insurance costs. He recently served as executive director of the Waycross County Development Authority. In 1988, Hereford began a study of C.S. Lewis and his writing and has done a characterization of Lewis for over 25 years. He is currently writing a book about Lewis and his journey from atheism to belief, with an emphasis on three of Lewis’ books and a sermon. Hereford’s wife, Patricia, was born in Savannah.

 

Join The Rev. Jonathan (Jon) Chapman on Sunday, Aug. 13. Reverend Chapman graduated from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in May 2010. At Candler, he was active with the Office of Worship and was awarded the Hoyt Hickman Award for Outstanding Liturgical Scholarship. He returned to Emory in 2016 to pursue his Doctor of Ministry. In 2012, he joined Westfield Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, and was installed as Pastor and Teacher in May 2013. He was selected to be part of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative, an innovative UCC program that works with young clergy committed to parish ministry through a decade-long relationship.

 

This series concludes Sunday, Aug. 20 with The Rev. Sharon Risher. Risher was catapulted into the limelight after the Charleston, S.C., shooting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015. Her beloved mother, the church’s sexton, Mrs. Ethel Lee Lance, was killed, along with eight others, including two cousins and a childhood friend. Risher is traveling extensively to major universities, colleges, and churches around the country telling her personal journey of loss, faith, forgiveness, racism, and gun violence prevention.

“Prayers and vigils are not enough. As people of faith, we must be ready to stand up for what is good for all people,” Risher said.

 

Asbury Pastor Rev. Billy Hester, who will be on summer sabbatical during the speaker series, returns to Asbury Memorial UMC on Sunday, Aug. 27 with a special music and arts worship service.

 

“Our church congregation is in for a real treat with this summer preaching series,” Hester said. “I feel at peace going on sabbatical knowing our congregation will be hearing the word of God from all of these wonderful people and I am grateful to these individuals for sharing their experiences and knowledge with Asbury Memorial UMC.”

 

For more information about this summer series or Asbury Memorial UMC, please visit www.asburymemorial.org.

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SD GUNNER FUND PARTNERS WITH MAINTAIN BEAUTY BAR

Categories: Public Relations.

SD GUNNER FUND PARTNERS WITH MAINTAIN BEAUTY BAR FOR THREE-DAY FUNDRAISING INITIATIVE

 

RICHMOND HILL, GA – June 30, 2016 – The SD Gunner Fund is set to partner with Maintain Beauty Bar for a three-day fundraising initiative Thursday through Saturday, August 17-19, at Maintain Beauty Bar, 10471 Ford Ave., Suite B2 in Richmond Hill. Funds raised throughout this initiative will be donated to a local family to aid in supporting a service dog for their son.

 

The SD Gunner Fund provided 2-year-old Zander Ruiz, who has autism and Chiari Malformation, with Service Dog Chase, a golden doodle. SD Chase will become an invaluable part of Zander’s life as a source of comfort and security. Money raised from this fundraising initiative will go toward providing the training, care and equipment needed for SD Chase.

 

The SD Gunner Fund was created to assist veterans and disabled children with the financial expense of owning much-needed service animals. Service animals require a variety of necessary items in order to undertake their vital work. These dogs are professionally trained to meet the individual needs of their partners and aid in completing daily tasks.

 

On Thursday, August 17, Maintain Beauty Bar will host a “Girls Night Out” spa event. The evening will feature a variety of $25 services, including facials, blowouts, chair massages and other luxurious treatments. All service sales from this evening will be donated to Zander Ruiz and SD Chase. Maintain Beauty Bar will then donate 25 percent of all retail sales to the Ruiz family on Friday, Aug. 18.

 

This three-day initiative will conclude Saturday, Aug. 19 with an exciting, unique community event. Maintain Beauty Bar will provide beard blowouts and man facials for yourself or the hirsute man in your life for $15 each. Maintain Beauty Bar and the SD Gunner Fund invites local motorcycle groups and community members to join these festivities.

 

“This will be such a fun day to mingle with our friends, family and neighbors while supporting a great cause,” said SD Gunner Fund President and Founder Britnee Kinard. “Our organization is grateful for the support we continuously receive from area businesses, such as Maintain Beauty Bar, and the Richmond Hill community. We can’t wait to see everyone who comes out to help us raise funds for this sweet boy and SD Chase.”

 

Maintain Beauty Bar is Richmond Hill’s first and only blowout bar and beauty routine retail store. They offer the opportunity to experience each and every product carried in-store at the “Try Me Bar,” as well as makeup services and instruction.

 

To learn more about the SD Gunner Fund, please visit www.webjobs.kender.org/sdgunnerfund/about/. For more information about Maintain Beauty Bar, please visit www.thelilycollective.com.

 

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BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBER RENEE LAURIE

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – June 29, 2016 – The Bryan County Bark Park is excited to announce the appointment of a new board member, Renee Laurie, who is the senior corporate sales manager at Savannah Lodging. Her experience in top tier for-profit and non-profit organizations, businesses and corporations has given her extensive insights into channeling the efforts of volunteers into mission driven community outreach projects that translate into measurable results.

 

Among her many accomplishments, she is most proud of her position as Event Chair for the annual “What If … Festival,” presented by the Kennedy Center’s “Imagination Celebration.” The festival, which was named Colorado’s Best Event for five consecutive years, celebrates lifelong learning and delights the community with the innovation, creativity, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Pikes Peak region. “Imagination Celebration” ensures underfunded school in the Pikes Peak region resources for arts, music and theater.

 

Locally, and close to her heart, has been Laurie’s work with the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire. She has served as chair for the events and fundraising committees for The Savannah Mile from 2007 to 2013, raising $100,000 annually. She also created a format for the annual “Community Hero’s Golf Tournament” and the Valor Awards. The 200 Club provides immediate financial assistance to families of first responders, who have died in the line of duty.

 

Laurie lives in Bryan County with her husband Scott and their Brittany spaniel, Gunnison. Laurie can often be found running county roads as she trains for a half-marathon, fishing the nearby coastal waters or, on any given Saturday in the fall, donning her beloved Tennessee orange and singing Rocky Top.

 

“My dream is for every pup to have a play date with their friends,” Laurie said. “I believe the Bryan County Bark Park can make that dream come true!”

 

The Bryan County Bark Park is a 501I(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a safe, well-maintained and clean environment for dog owners and their furry friends to play and run free. The park, located at 15849 GA Highway 144 in Richmond Hill, GA is open 24/7 and is free to all members of the public.

 

To learn more about the Bryan County Bark Park, please visit www.bryanbarkpark.com.

 

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FAMILY PROMISE OF BRYAN COUNTY PARTNERS WITH LESLEY FRANCIS PR

Categories: Public Relations.

FAMILY PROMISE OF BRYAN COUNTY PARTNERS WITH LESLEY FRANCIS PR TO HOST BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

RICHMOND HILL, GA – June 29, 2017 – The Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber of Commerce will host its July “Business After Hours” on Thursday, July 20. Family Promise of Bryan County and Lesley Francis Public Relations have partnered to co-host the event from 5:30 -7 p.m. at Family Promise, 10695 Ford Avenue in Richmond Hill.

Light appetizers and drinks will be served, Roger Widener will entertain guests with music, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet Family Promise and members of the Lesley Francis PR team and learn a little more about what each organization does.

Door prizes will be raffled off, and a 50/50 raffle will be held with proceeds raised by the Chamber donated to support the work of Family Promise. Guests will also enjoy tours of the Family Promise center, which was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the United Way of the Coastal Empire.

Family Promise helps homeless and low-income families become financially stable, secure long-term housing and live independently. The organization’s new day center on Ford Avenue is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. On site, an Interfaith Hospitality Network director and a social worker provide case-management services. Members of families who are living in temporary housing – often provided by area host churches – may utilize the center, and Family Promise helps by providing transportation to and from the facility. Family Promise of Bryan County began in October 2013 when concerned community members assembled to discuss the possibility of establishing an affiliate of the national non-profit organization.

Candice Stewart-Fife, Network Director of Family Promise, said “We value this community deeply and Lesley Francis and her team have supported us with our marketing efforts for a number of years and we appreciate their ongoing in kind donation of their marketing expertise.  It seemed natural to invite them to partner with us when we were given the opportunity to host business after hours.”

Lesley Francis Public Relations is a Richmond Hill-based boutique PR and marketing agency serving the greater Coastal Empire and Lowcountry regions. Owner/CEO Lesley Francis, a British-born graduate of the University of Bristol in England, in 1998 founded hsdcommunications, an award-winning, London-based agency that she grew from a one-person operation to a UK top 25 PR firm. Francis sold her business in 2007 to Gyro International, a global group with offices in 11 countries, before relocating to the United States, where she became a naturalized American citizen and founded LFPR in 2010. The agency specializes in local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Family Promise of Bryan County and Lesley Francis PR encourage chamber members to join the celebration on July 20 to relax, mingle, enjoy good food and learn more about these community-focused entities.

To learn more about Family Promise of Bryan County and how to get involved, please visit www.familypromisebryancounty.org. To learn more about Lesley Francis PR, please visit www.lesleyfrancispr.com.

 

 

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VOICEXPERIENCE’S FLORIDA VOICE PROJECT TO RETURN TO TARPON SPRINGS THIS JULY

Categories: Public Relations.

TARPON SPRINGS, FL – June 28, 2017 – The VOICExperience Foundation is poised to triumphantly return its Florida VOICE Project to Tarpon Springs this July 24-30, giving rising young vocal artists an exclusive opportunity to hone their skills under the guidance of word-class musicians. This special program, established in 2000 and now in its 17th year in its Florida programming of opera training for young artists, is geared toward singers in Florida and the Southeastern region, to offer the highest quality intensive training to talented singers. VOICExperience was founded by legendary operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes and his wife and Florida native, soprano, Maria Zouves.

This year, fifteen singers have been selected to participate in this prestigious program. In addition to Milnes and Zouves, the eager artists will work with a top-notch lineup of vocal instructors, including world renowned soprano Stella Zambalis and composer Michael Ching, among others. Zambalis has appeared with many of the leading opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera. Ching is a composer, songwriter and conductor and former arts administrator. Ching’s operas are among to most performed in the modern repertoire and the composer is known for his melodic and accessible style.

The Florida VOICE Project, like all VOICExperience programs, is focused on helping singers find their career paths through educational programs and workshops, where they benefit from studying under the best names in opera, musical theater and song. Sherrill Milnes is looking forward to helping a new crop of passionate and eager students next month during the 2017 Florida VOICE Project in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

“There’s nothing more inspiring than watching these enthusiastic and passionate young vocal artists flourish under our direction,” Milnes said. “It’s very rewarding to help propel them toward their career goals of becoming major opera singers, while ensuring they’re primed and prepared for other opportunities along the way.”

The thousands of young vocal artists who’ve gone through the Milnes VOICE programs across the nation and excelled in their professions aren’t the only beneficiaries, though. The Florida VOICE Project has a sizeable and supportive fan base of opera lovers and music enthusiasts in the Tampa Bay area, thanks to the program administrators’ ability to bring high-quality musical programming, concerts, masterclasses and other entertainment options to the region. Each year, residents and visitors alike enjoy a carefully curated array of performances and shows, watching with interest as VOICE Project faculty support young people whose passion and desire to move their careers forward is enhanced by the events. Tickets are now available for the four public performances which take place during the training program as an essential part of developing expertise in the performance arts.

The general public has an opportunity to see these stars of the future first perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 24, with The Opera VOICE at Tarpon’s Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane. Hear and enjoy the participants of the VOICE Project while the panel of coaches offer feedback about their performance. Tickets for this event cost $18 each, $16 for groups of 10 or more or $14 for members and students.

On Thursday, July 27, world-renowned operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes will host a master class at 7:30 p.m., also at the Heritage Museum. Guests will observe as Milnes shares his craft with singers, listens to their performances and makes suggestions on how to enhance or fine tune their performances for even greater impact. Tickets for this event cost $18 each, $16 for groups of 10 or more or $14 for members and students.

Tarpon Springs will receive a visitor from historic Savannah’s ghosts on Friday, July 28. “An Evening with Sherrill Milnes and the Ghosts of Savannah” will feature a video, live performances and fascinating backstories. Attendees will enjoy a video from Micheal Ching’s opera “Alice Ryley, A Savannah Ghost Story” and a live preview of selections from Ching’s new comedy, Anna Hunter, the second installment of the ghostly operas co-commissioned by the Savannah Voice Festival and VOICExperience Foundation. This spirited event begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St. Tickets for this event cost $18 each, $16 for groups of 10 or more or $14 for members and students.

The stars of the future conclude performances at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 30 with “Musical Mash-up: Opera & Musical Theater Favorites in Scenes & Songs!” The Program’s grand finale, held at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, will take guests on a journey as the singers act scenes and perform their favorite selections from the world’s most famous operas and beloved musicals. Tickets for this event cost $20 each, $18 for groups of 10 or more or $16 for members and students. A special value ticket package is being offered for a limited time to guests who are interested in attending all four Florida shows. Those who purchase a “ticket bundle” will save 15 percent off of regular prices. A general bundle is $62, and a members’ bundle is priced at $40. This offer expires at 4 p.m. Friday, July 21.

VOICExperience’s ongoing programs clearly have a profound effect on participants: Florida VOICE Project participant, soprano, Lindsey Collins, now a senior at Palm Harbor University High School, will not only attend the program, but take part in a VOICExperience pre-college program in Savannah, Georgia. An emerging young artist, Collins she recently won first place and a $5,000 scholarship in the vocal music category at the 14th annual Walker’s Rising Stars Scholarship Competition. She also earned first place in the St. Petersburg Opera Guild’s 2016 High School Competition. Collins has aspirations to one day perform as a professional opera singer.

“I really want to be an opera singer. It’s my passion. I love doing it,” Collins said. “It’s such a high art form, and it’s so complex. It brings so many aspects of the performing arts into one.”

Diane Wood, director of Tarpon Springs Cultural & Civic Services and Tarpon Arts, is looking forward to welcoming back Milnes and his wife, Maria Zouves, with whom he co-founded VOICExperience.

“Having worked with Maria and Sherrill at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, they helped me not only understand opera so much better, but also appreciate and develop a love for it,” Wood said. “Opera is now near and dear to my heart because of my history with them, so I’m always happy when they come every year. I enjoy the performances and getting to work with them both once again.”

For more information on the Florida VOICE Project or VOICExperience, please call 855-76-OPERA or visit www.voicexperiencefoundation.org. For more information on Tarpon Arts, please visit www.tarponarts.org, and to purchase value bundles, call 727-942-5605.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Under the umbrella of The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in New York, Georgia (with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival), Florida and Illinois. For more information, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER PLANS INAUGURAL MOON RIVER FUNDRAISER

Categories: Public Relations.

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER PLANS INAUGURAL MOON RIVER  KAYAK AND STAND-UP PADDLE BOARD RACE FUNDRAISER

SAVANNAH, GA – June 28, 2017 – Water recreation enthusiasts are encouraged to show off their paddle skills and help raise money for Ogeechee Riverkeeper at the nonprofit organization’s inaugural Moon River Race the morning of Saturday, July 22 at the Rodney J. Hall Boat Ramp (Butterbean Beach), 25 Diamond Causeway.

 

Contestants in kayaks and on stand-up paddle boards are welcome. Race check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. with the four-mile Moon River race starting at 8 a.m. and the one-mile Butterbean Beach race kicking off at 8:15 a.m. Competitors in the four-mile paddle start at Butterbean Beach and will travel up and back down the Moon River, making their way through a well-marked course to cross under the Moon River bridge. The one-mile Butterbean Beach fun race is for beginners and those eager to try their hand at kayak and SUP racing.

 

At 11 a.m., an awards ceremony will be held to honor the following Moon River Race winners: top three female kayak finishers, top three male kayak finishers, top three female SUP finishers, top three male SUP finishers, and the top finisher in each age bracket. The Butterbean Beach Race awards will recognize the top three female and top three male finishers. There will also be a fun, special award for the best-dressed racer from either race, who will receive a gift certificate to the vintage clothing store, House of Strut.

 

Ogeechee Riverkeeper is grateful to the following sponsors for helping make this event possible: Bee Green, Savannah Canoe & Kayak, Ogeechee River Boat Co., House of Strut, Sandfly Bar-B-Q, Driftaway Café, the Georgia Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Deep South Orchid Society, Clayton Digital Reprographics, and Moon River Brewing Company.

 

“This morning is going to be filled with fun competition for a great cause,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Outreach and Water Quality Specialist Luke Roberson. “We are incredibly excited for this Moon River Race and the opportunity to get even more people involved in our mission.”

 

Ogeechee Riverkeeper is in need of volunteers to help make this race a success. Volunteer duties include helping time races, aiding racers with loading and unloading equipment, and helping keep racers hydrated. If you are interested in volunteering at this event, please contact Ogeechee Riverkeeper at info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or 866-942-6222.

 

This race is limited to competitors age 16 and up. Race entry costs $40 per person. Race entry includes an event T-shirt. Registration closes Friday, July 21. To register, please visit www.paddleguru.com/races/2017MoonRiverRacetoBenefittheOgeecheeRiverkeeper.

 

For more information about this inaugural race or Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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‘AQUA VISTA: LIFE ON THE WATER’ ART SHOW TO BENEFIT OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – June 28, 2017 – Location Gallery will host the opening of Aqua Vista: Life on the Water Art Show from 5-8 p.m. Friday, July 7 at 417 Whitaker St. in downtown Savannah. Proceeds from this show will benefit Ogeechee Riverkeeper.

 

Aqua Vista 2017 is a small works show focused on “life on the water” across a variety of mediums featuring over 30 artists. Artists featured in this show include Ogeechee Riverkeeper board member Lind Hollingsworth in addition to Karen Abato, Randy Akers, Stacie Jean Albano, Anna Bliss, Lyn Bonham, Angela Burson, Bob Christian, Julia Christian, Lennie Ciliento, Becca Cook, Joy Dunigan, Manda Faye Dunigan, Christina Edwards, Kelley Hagemes, Sassy Hall, Mary Hartman, Farnaz Jahani, Cathy Jarman, Geoff Johnson, Dan Kaufman, Rubi McGrory, Robert Morris, Lara Neece, Lisa Ocampo, Jennylyn Pawelski, Juliana Peloso, Peter E. Roberts, Daniel E. Smith and Lisa D. Watson.

 

“Our organization’s focus is all about protecting, preserving, and improving the quality of our waters in order to encourage life, recreation and work on the water,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Outreach and Water Quality Specialist Luke Roberson. “This art show is a great opportunity to promote our mission with others in the community who also share our appreciation for our beautiful waterways and beautiful art.”

 

The nonprofit organization Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River Basin. The organization strives to accomplish this mission through their watershed watch program, heathy waters agenda, and hometown waters education.

 

Location Gallery features group and solo art shows by local Savannah artists. Gallery profits from shows are designated to local nonprofits. The gallery aims to build a better community one art show at a time.

 

For more information about Aqua Vista 2017, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org/event/aqua-vista-art-show-opening/. To learn more about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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SAVANNAH FRIENDS OF MUSIC LAUNCHES ‘SUPPORT SOMETHING GRAND’

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH FRIENDS OF MUSIC LAUNCHES ‘SUPPORT SOMETHING GRAND’

PIANO SPONSORSHIP INITIATIVE TO HELP GARRISON

 

SAVANNAH, GA – June 26, 2017 – Yesterday evening at Skidaway Island United Methodist Church something grand was being planned as Savannah Friends of Music (SFOM) kicked off their “Support Something Grand” fundraising initiative.

 

SFOM, in partnership with the American Traditions vocal Competition (ATC) and the Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF), are fundraising to provide the Esther F. Garrison School for the Visual and Performing Arts a baby grand piano for their new performance hall. The organization needs 88 “key players” to help make this possible. Supporters are invited to sponsor a piano key for $200, or Middle C and Concert A key sponsorships are available for $500 each.

 

SFOM memberships are also available starting at $35 and all donations are appreciated. Please visit www.savannahfriendsofmusic.com/membership.html to become a member or for more information. Please make checks payable to Savannah Friends of Music and send to P.O. Box 15873, Savannah, GA 31416.

 

The concert featured local student pianists as guests enjoyed light refreshments as they helped the SFOM kick off this exciting initiative. ATC President Daniel C. Cohen served as emcee for the evening.

 

“Savannah Friends of Music has been instrumental in providing a platform for sustaining music and music education in our community over the years by providing local organizations such as the American Traditions vocal Competition and the Savannah VOICE Festival with much needed support,” said Cohen.  “I’m honored to have been chosen as the emcee for this kickoff event and to be involved in this wonderful initiative.”

 

The mission of SFOM is to support, sponsor, and promote classical music and music education in Savannah and the surrounding areas. The nonprofit organization has donated over $900,000 to accomplish this mission since its inception in 2003. SFOM has given grants to provide music education to students applying for private music lessons and summer music camps, as well as organizations committed to developing excellence in classical music, including the Armstrong Youth Orchestra, Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts, the Savannah Arts Academy, ATC, the Savannah VOICE Festival and the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.

 

Philip Greenberg, former conductor of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra and a long-time SFOM supporter, was instrumental in SFOM’s acquisition of the piano for Garrison. His friend Chris Jurgensen was preparing to sell the 1918 Sohmer piano, a 5-foot mahogany baby grand with ivory keys, which was in excellent condition. When Greenberg heard about this and saw the exquisite piano, he suggested Jurgensen donate the piano to SFOM, which he did. After SFOM member and SVF board member Wes Krulic saw photos of the instrument, he explained to his peers in the organization that the Esther F. Garrison School needed a piano for their new auditorium.

 

“I knew when I heard that this piano had been donated to SFOM that this organization had an amazing opportunity to provide students and the generations of tomorrow with a beautiful instrument to continue to provide music for years to come,” Krulic said. “Everyone who supports SFOM is investing in the future of music by helping this organization continue to work toward their mission.”

 

For more information about SFOM, please visit www.savannahfriendsofmusic.com. To learn more about this grand initiative, please visit www.savannahfriendsofmusic.com/something-grand.html.

 

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA WELCOMES NEW DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – June 22, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus is delighted to welcome Frances C. Colón, who will serve as Development Associate for this regionally renowned musical organization.

As a valued team member, Colón will support Executive Director Terri O’Neil by assisting in the Philharmonic’s mission of bringing high-quality classical music productions and educational programs to the Coastal Empire. Frances will focus on donor relations and recognition, special events, volunteer initiatives, as well as various organizational tasks. Additionally, Colón will help support marketing campaign strategies while collaborating with the Philharmonic’s public relations agency to reach media representatives across traditional and digital channels. She’ll ensure brand standards and strategies are consistently maintained and applied through all communication platforms.

The Savannah Philharmonic, which kicks off its 2017-18 season on Sept. 16, made its choral debut in October 2008, followed by the Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2009. It is under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Shannon and Chorusmaster Dr. Monica Dekle.

“We’re are thrilled to have Frances join our committed team of professionals at Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus” O’Neil said. “Frances brings a great deal of energy and expertise to the organization, and I’m confident she will help us continue the valued relationships we cultivate with our donors and sponsors.”

Colón, born in Ft. Lewis, Washington, traveled the world with her military family. In 2008, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of West Georgia. Colón moved to Savannah in 2010 and established skills in the development, special events, and administrative fields during her six years with Historic Savannah Foundation. She also acted as a front-of-house manager for the Savannah Music Festival in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons. This experience, coupled with her own personal interest in orchestral and chorus music, has resulted in a deep appreciation for the arts and a love of live music.

For more information on the Savannah Philharmonic or to purchase season tickets, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, call 912-232-6002 or email info@savannahphilharmonic.org.

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Mediation Center

Categories: Public Relations. Tags: Brochure Writing, Copywriting and Editing, Event Planning, Marketing, Media Relations, Social Media Management, Strategic Planning & Consulting, and Website Management. Client Type: 1. Non Profit Organizations.

The Mediation Center of The Coastal Empire was established thirty years ago and has an unrivalled track record of providing mediation services to keep disputes out of the courts.  Our certified mediators act as neutral third parties to help work through disputes in family law, business contracts, workplace conflict, landlord-tenant issues, accidents, juvenile and neighborhood issues.

LOCAL MUSICIAN HONORS BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY

Categories: Public Relations.

LOCAL MUSICIAN HONORS BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY AND RECEIVES CORRESPONDENCE FROM

DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE AND PRINCE HARRY

 

MACON GA – June 15, 2017 – Macon Symphony Orchestra and Savannah Philharmonic principal double bass player Vadim Volynets recently received a letter on behalf of The British royal family from the office of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, regarding a piece of music composed by Volynets.

 

A recording of the piece, written by Volynets in reaction to the death of Princess Diana, was sent to Kensington Palace as a gift to these two royal princes who lost their mother twenty years ago in a tragic car wreck in Paris.

 

This letter, responding to the gift thanked Volynets for his kindness and extended “the warmest thanks and best wishes from The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry”.

Click here to view Letter

Volynets was born, raised, and educated in Ukraine, where he graduated from a prestigious Ukrainian National Music Academy in Kiev and Odessa, Kiev State Music Institute, and State Music School for Gifted Children in Kiev where he earned degrees as a soloist, chamber musician, symphony orchestra musician and pedagogue. He has worked with numerous esteemed Russian and Ukrainian conductors. As a double bass soloist, he played with the Kiev Chamber Orchestra, chamber orchestra Virtuosi of Crimea, classical trio Riturnel, jazz quartet Black Fan, and as principal double bass with the National House of Organ and Chamber Music of Ukraine, the Kiev Academic Operetta Theatre, the Kiev Symphony Choir and Orchestra, and the Crimea Academic Symphony Orchestra. He has also participated as the principal double bass player at festivals with the Symphony Orchestra “Ukraine” in various cities in Italy and France and with the National Chamber Orchestra in South Korea.

 

Volynets began composing music and writing poems after he found inspiration after immigrating to America in 1996. He and his wife lived in Macon, Georgia until 2009. In addition to serving as the principal double bass of the Macon Symphony Orchestra, Volynets taught as a professor at Mercer University and he and his family were members of the First Presbyterian Church congregation.

 

Volynets, a teacher with over 30 years’ experience, teaches double bass, piano, cello, guitar, and bass guitar at his private studio. He worked as a professor at Mercer University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Southern University, and Wesleyan College in addition to participating in the Artists in the Classroom educational program sponsored by Macon Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the Savannah Philharmonic, Volynets has participated with the Savannah Music Festival and at the Savannah VOICE Festival under the leadership of Sherill Milnes and Maria Zouves.

 

“The death of Princess Diana made an impact on much of the world and it is an honor and a pleasure knowing that The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry received this piece of music honoring their mother,” Volynets said.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, which Volynets has been involved with since its inception, is a professional orchestra presenting a full range of concerts each season, from classics to pops. The Savannah Philharmonic’s mission is to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists aiming to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.

 

For more information about the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org. Volynets is set to release a piano CD this year including the piece, “Memory of Princess Diana.”

 

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER PADDLE TRIP WITH SAVANNAH STATE

Categories: Public Relations.

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER PADDLE TRIP WITH SAVANNAH STATE RESEARCH PROGRAM INTERNS FROM ACROSS THE U.S.

 

SAVANNAH, GA- June 8, 2017- Ogeechee Riverkeeper Outreach and Water Quality Specialist Luke Roberson recently had the pleasure to guide student interns from all over the U.S. on a paddle trip down the Ogeechee River. These students are currently participating in the Savannah State Marine Science Research Experience for Undergraduates – a joint effort between Savannah State University and Georgia Southern University funded by the National Science Foundation.

 

Almost 20 people including the student interns, Checo Colon-Guad, Ray Chandler, and two members of the Orianne Society joined Roberson on this 7-mile trip from Scarboro Landing to Rocky Ford.

 

Checo Colon-Guad, an Ogeechee Riverkeeper supporter, is currently an associate professor at Georgia Southern University teaching environmental biology, ecology, graduate research methods. His research efforts include exploring the ecology of coastal plain streams, rivers and wetlands in southeastern Georgia. Ray Chandler – who is also currently a professor at Georgia Southern University teaching evolution and ecology, ornithology, wildlife management, conservation biology, and biometry – is an ornithologist whose studies include the effects of forest management on habitat selection, morphological and behavioral strategies associated with migration, and conservation of rare species.

 

The Orianne Society works to conserve critical ecosystems for imperiled reptiles and amphibians using science, applied conservation and education. Reptiles and amphibians are an integral part of keeping ecosystems functioning but are often overlooked and not given the same level of attention as other animals and creatures.

 

“This paddle trip allowed us with a great opportunity to discuss the history of the river, the creatures that live in it, and the connection of the river to its residents as well as upstream and downstream to the ocean,” said Roberson. “Having this conversation while being immersed in the Ogeechee, literally and mentally, makes a real impact that will last for years to come.”

 

The mission of the nonprofit organization Ogeechee Riverkeeper is to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River Basin. For more information about this organization, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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LIND HOLLINGSWORTH EXHIBIT TO BENEFIT OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER

Categories: Public Relations.

“LOOKING BACK, MOVING FORWARD”
LIND HOLLINGSWORTH EXHIBIT TO BENEFIT OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER

 

SAVANNAH, GA – May 30, 2017- Please join Lind Hollingsworth for the closing of her exhibit of paintings “Looking Back, Moving Forward” from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at La Terra Natural Oils, 1520 Bull St. in downtown Savannah. Until the show closes, the artist has offered to donate 10 percent of proceeds from this exhibit to Ogeechee Riverkeeper. In addition, Ogeechee Riverkeeper employees will staff an information table at La Terra from 1-3 p.m. June 10.

 

This exhibit portrays work from Hollingsworth’s almost 20 years of artistry, including her early work as well as experimental pieces. She is a painter who works in mixed media, interspersing it with her personal style to create what she calls “relief paintings.” Using paper, mat board and spackling, Hollingsworth builds a scene “in relief” to which she adds paint, maps, photo transfers and found objects. She captures the character of the Southeastern United States through focusing on the juxtaposition of the fortitude of nature and human consumption.

 

Hollingsworth opened The Art School, providing after school lessons for youth, figure drawing sessions and art lessons for adults from 2000-07. In addition to serving on Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s Board of Directors she currently teaches classes in painting and drawing at The Studio School in Savannah and works as an adjunct instructor at Columbia College, teaching art appreciation and art history at Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart.

 

The proceeds donated from this exhibit will help promote the Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission to protect, preserve and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin.

 

“We are grateful to Mrs. Hollingsworth not only for choosing to donate proceeds from this exhibit to our organization, but also for her continued support in all facets as a board member,” said Luke Roberson, Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s outreach and water quality specialist.

 

For more information about Lind Hollingsworth or the “Looking Back, Moving Forward” exhibit, please visit www.goo.gl/tgSKvi or www.lindhollingsworth.com. To learn more about Ogeechee Riverkeeper and its mission, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS ACT WOULD HURT ENVIRONMENTAL NONPROFITS

Categories: Public Relations.

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER: FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS ACT

WOULD HURT ENVIRONMENTAL NONPROFITS

SAVANNAH, GA – May 30, 2017 – Former Ogeechee Riverkeeper Emily Markesteyn Kurilla traveled to Atlanta to attend parts of the 2017 Georgia Assembly session, focusing on legislation at the state level. Ogeechee Riverkeeper staff has also been paying close attention to proposed federal changes that have the potential to greatly affect the nonprofit organization – the Frivolous Lawsuits Act and proposed federal budget cuts.

 

The Frivolous Lawsuits Act (H.R. 1179) will deter the public from filing citizen suits against polluters – a right provided under the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act states that it is unlawful to discharge any pollutant into navigable waters without a permit. The Frivolous Lawsuits Act bill states that citizens who take legal action against water polluters for Clean Water Act violations would be forced to pay the defendant’s legal fees if they lose the case for any reason.

 

The Frivolous Lawsuits Act will greatly affect citizens and nonprofit groups like Ogeechee Riverkeeper, putting them at risk for financial ruin and discouraging them from taking legal action against polluters. If this bill had been in effect during 2011, it would have discouraged Ogeechee Riverkeeper and landowners from taking legal action against King America Finishing for discharge violations.

 

Any budget cuts for the Federal Environmental Protection Agency will negatively impact protections for natural resources and put even more of a burden on the state government. Currently, Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division is already underfunded and understaffed. These federal resources help pollution investigations, beach water quality monitoring, and a host of other protection programs. Federal budget cuts would leave Georgia citizens without important environmental protections for their property and families.

 

“It is important that citizens and small, nonprofit organizations like Ogeechee Riverkeeper are able to be heard and have a voice – the proposed budget cuts and Frivolous Lawsuits Act would greatly affect that,” Markesteyn Kurilla said. “That is why it is vital that these issues be brought to the attention of the community.”

 

The mission of Ogeechee Riverkeeper is to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River Basin. For more information about this organization please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER ANNOUNCES MORGAN’S BRIDGE JUNE PADDLE TRIP

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – May 30, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper will set off on their June paddle trip at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 24, 2017 at Morgan’s Bridge, on Highway 204, one mile west of the Old River Road intersection.

This trip, which is an intermediate difficulty level, will take paddlers through some of the Ogeechee’s more labyrinthian passages and end at the historic Savannah-Ogeechee Canal. The canal was completed in 1830 and opened to transport in 1831 becoming an important facet in the South Georgia economy at the time.

Luke Roberson, Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s outreach and water quality specialist, will lead this trip. Participants should bring lunch/snacks, water bottle(s), sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water shoes or old tennis shoes (flip-flops and sandals are not recommended), and a dry bag or way to store personal items. Paddlers will also need to bring $3 for admission to the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal.

“We are really looking forward this trip,” Roberson said. “Not only for the opportunity to soak up all of the beauty and scenery this route has to offer, but also for the history associated with the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal. This is sure to be a memorable paddle trip for our organization.”

Registration for non-members costs $35 per person while Ogeechee Riverkeeper members are invited to join these paddles at no cost. Ogeechee Riverkeeper memberships begin at the individual level of $35. To learn more or to become a member, please visit our website.

Registration for this guided paddle trip closes at 4 p.m. Friday, June 23. To register for this trip or for more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

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NATIONAL MARITIME DAY OBSERVED BY THE MARITIME BETHEL

Categories: Public Relations.

NATIONAL MARITIME DAY OBSERVED BY THE MARITIME BETHEL AT SAVANNAH AND THE ROTARY CLUB OF SAVANNAH WEST

 

SAVANNAH, GA – May 26, 2017 – The Maritime Bethel at Savannah (MBS) and The Rotary Club of Savannah West partnered Monday, May 22 to observe National Maritime Day during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Savannah.

 

National Maritime Day is observed on May 22 each year, as a way to encourage Americans to remember those lost at sea, honor those who serve at sea, and remind the maritime industry that ships carry more than just cargo.

 

A group of about 75 people joined together for a luncheon with a presentation by MBS Chaplain Andy Krey. Chaplain Ron Crews, a retired Army colonel, spoke to guests about the history of military chaplains, and Hunter Hall delivered President Donald Trump’s National Maritime Day proclamation on behalf of U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter. Savannah Port Welfare Committee chairman Captain Nicholas Farley presented MBS with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Savannah Port Welfare Committee.

 

Following the presentation, those in attendance honored the memories of seafarers lost at sea by solemnly watching as a large, ornate wreath was ferried out and placed in the middle of the Savannah River.

 

“With almost 90 percent of everything Americans use arriving by ship, it is crucial to remember that these ships carry human lives, not just cargo,” Krey said. “We are grateful for this annual opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of these seafarers who are miles away from their homes and loved ones.”

 

The Maritime Bethel at Savannah is a nonprofit faith-based organization that advocates for the safety, security, and well-being of the people of the sea. For over 35 years the M.B.S. has continued to meet the needs of over 78,000 seafarers who arrive at the Port of Savannah, far away from their home, each year.

 

To learn more about the Maritime Bethel at Savannah, please visit www.maritimebethelatsavannah.org.

 

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NATIONAL MARITIME DAY OBSERVED BY THE MARITIME BETHEL AT SAVANNAH

Categories: Public Relations.

NATIONAL MARITIME DAY OBSERVED BY THE MARITIME BETHEL AT SAVANNAH

AND THE ROTARY CLUB OF SAVANNAH WEST

 

SAVANNAH, GA – May 26, 2017 – The Maritime Bethel at Savannah (MBS) and The Rotary Club of Savannah West partnered Monday, May 22 to observe National Maritime Day during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Savannah.

 

National Maritime Day is observed on May 22 each year, as a way to encourage Americans to remember those lost at sea, honor those who serve at sea, and remind the maritime industry that ships carry more than just cargo.

 

A group of about 75 people joined together for a luncheon with a presentation by MBS Chaplain Andy Krey. Chaplain Ron Crews, a retired Army colonel, spoke to guests about the history of military chaplains, and Hunter Hall delivered President Donald Trump’s National Maritime Day proclamation on behalf of U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter. Savannah Port Welfare Committee chairman Captain Nicholas Farley presented MBS with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Savannah Port Welfare Committee.

 

Following the presentation, those in attendance honored the memories of seafarers lost at sea by solemnly watching as a large, ornate wreath was ferried out and placed in the middle of the Savannah River.

 

“With almost 90 percent of everything Americans use arriving by ship, it is crucial to remember that these ships carry human lives, not just cargo,” Krey said. “We are grateful for this annual opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of these seafarers who are miles away from their homes and loved ones.”

 

The Maritime Bethel at Savannah is a nonprofit faith-based organization that advocates for the safety, security, and well-being of the people of the sea. For over 35 years the M.B.S. has continued to meet the needs of over 78,000 seafarers who arrive at the Port of Savannah, far away from their home, each year.

 

To learn more about the Maritime Bethel at Savannah, please visit www.maritimebethelatsavannah.org.

 

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VOICEXPERIENCE’S 11th ANNUAL OPERA IDOL

Categories: Public Relations.

VOICEXPERIENCE’S 11th ANNUAL OPERA IDOL
ANNOUNCES 2017
NORTHSHORE WINNERS

CHICAGO, IL – MAY 23, 2017 – Lovers of opera and the vocal arts recently converged on the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, to watch as young singers from around the country embarked on an exciting chapter in their musically metamorphic journeys and competed for the top awards.

 

The 2017 Opera Idol winner, Jean Carlos Rodriguez, will be awarded a full $3,000 scholarship plus travel to Savannah, Georgia, to attend the nationally recognized two-week VOICExperience training program, the “Milnes VOICE Studio,” in August. The award was sponsored by the Tom Lysaught Scholarship Fund, and Rodriguez’s participation in the competition was sponsored by Middy Larson. The up-and-coming vocal artist, who won Opera Idol with his rendition of “Per me giunto” from Verdi’s Don Carlo, will sing the role of Figaro in the Studio Opera production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

 

Helaine Liebman won the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Bernard Dobroski, with her performance of “Mi chiamano Mimi” from Puccini’s La Bohème. Audience members were asked to rank the singers based on beauty of sound, artistic expression, responsiveness to direction by Milnes, and overall personality on stage. Liebman will attend the Milnes VOICE Studio this summer with the aid of this $1,000 scholarship.

 

The 11th annual Opera Idol event, held in Westminster Place’s Elliot Chapel, drew an enthusiastic live audience and even some television viewers as the event was simulcast throughout the Presbyterian Homes community. Co-founders Sherrill Milnes, a renowned operatic baritone, and his wife, soprano Maria Zouves, established the competition as part of their non-profit vocal training organization, VOICExperience Foundation, when the two served as faculty at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. The contest showcases and encourages budding opera stars in a format that emulates popular television shows featuring talent searches.

 

Zouves and Milnes, who hosted and conducted the competition in a master class format, concurred that the level of talent they witness annually at Opera Idol each continues an undeniably impressive upward swing.

 

As part of the “Opera Idol” weekend, VOICExperience teamed up with the esteemed Bel Canto Competition that weekend, as the Bel Canto Foundation awarded a full scholarship and travel to Savannah to soprano Michaella Cipriani for the Milnes VOICE Studio this summer. Cipriani was chosen directly by Milnes and Zouves after hearing the Grand Prize Final Evening at the competition at Monastero’s Ristorante in Chicago on Saturday, April 29th. The award is made possible by Bel Canto benefactors Bernie and Sally Dobroski, Lionel and Mary Go, Dr. Robert Bartolone, Dianne Bartosz, Dolores and Mary Petro, and Joseph and Martha Monastero.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with VOICExperience, offering one of our contestants a chance to realize their potential. Michaella will learn a great deal and refine her amazing talent,” said Martha Monastero, contest coordinator and director of the Bel Canto Foundation.

 

“It’s a joy to watch these young, aspiring singers gain confidence, control and poise under our tutelage. I relish the opportunity to watch them improve and evolve as they take bold steps to establish their careers, and I’m thrilled to be a part of that growth,” Milnes said. “I’m grateful to all our supporters for making that happen and look forward to this summer’s VOICE Studio workshop, where I’ll be working with some of them again.”

 

For more information on Opera Idol or VOICExperience, please call 855-76-OPERA or visit www.voicexperiencefoundation.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Under the umbrella of The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in New York, Georgia (with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival), Florida and Illinois. For more information, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER STEPS DOWN AFTER SIX YEARS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – May 18, 2017- After six successful years at Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Emily Markesteyn Kurilla has announced she is leaving her post as the Executive Director and Riverkeeper effective May 31, 2017. During her tenure, Emily publicly advocated for clean water and the citizens who live near, recreate in, and rely on the Ogeechee ,Canoochee, and coastal waters of Georgia.

 

As the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Emily’s responsibilities included education, monitoring, and advocacy activities to promote clean water quality in addition to working with the board of directors to ensure sustainable growth of the organization.

 

In 2011, Emily and Ogeechee Riverkeeper responded to one of the largest fish kills in Georgia’s history along the Ogeechee River in Screven County. She, along with the organization’s Board of Directors, donors, legal and scientific experts, and supporters, implemented a Clean Water Act lawsuit settlement with King America Finishing (now Milliken) which included a stricter discharge permit, more frequent and transparent water testing protocol, and financial resources to invest back into river research and protection. Emily also collaborated with the Georgia Water Coalition and Representative Jon Burns to introduce and pass Georgia House Bill 549 to address pollution spills in our waterways. Another career highlight for Emily, along with her fellow Riverkeepers and coastal advocacy groups, was the denial of Kinder Morgan to use eminent domain to construct the Palmetto Pipeline. Emily subsequently worked in collaboration on House Bill 413 to fine-tune the rules and regulations regarding petroleum pipeline construction.

 

Emily Markesteyn Kurilla was born and raised in Savannah and her love for the water began in the local tidal creeks learning to water ski and kneeboard with her friends and family. She attended Oxford College of Emory University in Oxford, GA, and received her Associates in Arts in 2001. She continued her education at Emory University in Atlanta and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies in 2003. Emily began her professional career at The Landings Association as the office manager in the Public Works Department, where she was later promoted to Facilities Coordinator. She accepted the position of Executive Director for Ogeechee Riverkeeper in April 2011.

 

“I am so grateful for the opportunity and my time spent serving as Executive Director and Riverkeeper with this amazing organization,” Kurilla said. “While I will miss being intimately involved with Ogeechee Riverkeeper, I am excited to see new energy lead the organization effectively in the future.”

 

Emily Markesteyn Kurilla will remain in Savannah with her family and work for Hasley Recreation, Inc.

 

For more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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ATC APPOINTS NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND ANNOUNCES 2017-2018 BOARD

Categories: Public Relations.

AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION APPOINTS NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND ANNOUNCES 2017-2018 BOARD

SAVANNAH, GA – May 17, 2017 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) has appointed a new Artistic Director as it announces its 2017-2018 Board.  This team will lead the unique national competition into its 25th year of showcasing vocal excellence. The Silver Jubilee ATC will run from Monday, February 19 through Friday, February 23, 2018.

Former ATC Gold Medalist and talented soprano Mikki Sodergren has been appointed as the ATC’s new Artistic Director with immediate effect.  Sodergren has been involved in the Savannah community throughout her singing career, including engagements with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and the Savannah VOICE Festival. In addition to winning the ATC Gold Medal in 2014, Sodergren was also awarded two further medals – one for best Johnny Mercer lyric interpretation, supplied by the Friends of Johnny Mercer, and the other for best jazz performance; the inaugural award in honor of the late Ben Tucker’s legacy. Sodergren has worked with the ATC over the last two years and is currently pursuing her musical career in both New York and Savannah.

In New York, Sodergren enjoys a diverse performance career working in opera, jazz, theater and with several professional choral ensembles. She has a passion for being involved in the creation of new works, and has performed in several readings and workshops. Her achievements include workshops of the Disney musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring as Ali in the fully-produced workshop of The Bad Years (an immersive musical written by award-winning songwriting team, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk), and as Brooke in rising composer Kamala Sankaram’s “tech” opera, Looking at You. Sodergren has sung solo engagements with the Jacksonville Symphony (FL), the New Jersey Festival Orchestra and the Savannah Philharmonic, in addition to performing with the chamber orchestras of Tel Aviv and New York, and the New York Philharmonic. She performs frequently with choral groups, most notably with the Grammy®-nominated ensemble, The Clarion Choir. On the theatrical stage, Sodergren has portrayed such iconic roles as Eponine (Les Miserables), Ilse (Spring Awakening) Luisa Contini (Nine), Carmen (Carmen), Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro). Sodergren is a proud alumna of Interlochen Arts Academy and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Sodergren is looking forward to continuing her work with the organization as Artistic Director.

“I am very excited to take on this new leadership role with the ATC and so grateful to the board for choosing me for this position. I was fortunate to work alongside our previous Artistic Director Vale Rideout and have been involved with the organization in various capacities over the years including being a competitor, a Gold Medalist, working with contestants in 2016 and 2017 and as the ATC’s social media consultant,” Sodergren said. “I am so honored and thrilled to be a part of guiding this organization into the future, including introducing our new outreach program designed to share American songbook classics and the diversity of American music with the Savannah community.”

Daniel C. Cohen will serve as board president for 2017-18 assisted by Dr. Allen Henderson who takes the position of vice president and president elect for 2018-19 Secretary Jim Wann and Treasurer Barbara Jenks round out the leadership team. Cohen, who practices law in Georgia and South Carolina, is a full-time mediator and team leader at Miles Mediation, and is a partner at Brannen, Searcy & Smith, LLP in Savannah. He was an ATC participant 2002-2004, majored in voice performance in college, and is on the Advisory Board for the Savannah VOICE Festival. Cohen is a frequent soloist in the Savannah area.

Henderson is currently executive director of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the world’s largest professional association of voice teachers, supervising a staff in promoting continuing education among a wide array of constituencies, from recreational singers to voice educators and medical doctors. He is also a music professor at Georgia Southern University, where he teaches voice and foreign language diction. He earned a Bachelor’s of Music from Carson Newman College, where he was the outstanding graduate in music; a Master’s of Music from the University of Tennessee; and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he minored in Arts Administration and won the prestigious Corbett-Treigle Opera Competition. As baritone soloist, Henderson has appeared in concert, opera and oratorio across the United States.

Wann is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the lead composer/lyricist for the Tony-nominated (Best Musical) Pump Boys and Dinettes. He also originated the role of “Jim” in the 1982-1983 Broadway hit, a pioneering work for actors-musicians that has been presented across the country and around the world. In 2014, the New York Times’ Charles Isherwood, reviewing the Summer Encores production at NY City Center, wrote that Pump Boys “hums along like a vintage Mustang.” Wann’s off-Broadway highlights included 1995’s King Mackerel & the Blues Are Running: Songs and Stories of the Carolina Coast, and 2007’s The People vs. Mona: A Musical Mystery Screwball Comedy, written with his wife, Patricia Miller (who is from Vidalia), and set in southeast Georgia. In 2010, the Carolina Chamber Music Festival commissioned A New Bern Romance, a song cycle composed by Wann and performed by baritone Ron Raines and a string quartet to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Bern, North Carolina. Wann’s CDs include Pardon My Southern Accent: Jim Wann Sings Johnny Mercer. The Wanns live on Tybee Island and in the Hudson Valley.

Jenks is a licensed CPA and holds an MBA. Jenks’ volunteer positions and accreditations include past board member for the Savannah Choral Society, treasurer for Savannah Friends of Music and treasurer for the Special POPS Tennis.

Heyward Gignilliat has been appointed Vice President of Endowments and has served on the ATC board for a number of years. After a career in sales at Coca Cola he now owns and operates the Gignilliat Realty & Management Company. His volunteer positions include: VP, St. John’s Hunt Club, Burkley, SC; Incoming President, St. John’s Hunt Club; Board Member, GA Society Colonial Wars; Board Member, St. Andrew’s Society; Past Vice Chair, Savannah Transit Authority; Past President, Mental Health Association of Savannah; Past Vice President, Mental Health Association of Georgia; Past President, The Oglethorpe Club; Past Secretary, The Society of Cincinnati of Georgia; Delegate, General Society of Cincinnati; Past Board Member, Civitan Club.

The nonprofit American Traditional Vocal Competition, established as a world-renowned arts institution based in Savannah, celebrates standard, classic American music. The vocal contest evolved from Savannah Onstage, which was established in 1992 and was the predecessor of the Savannah Music Festival. The legendary competition provides a forum for showcasing and supporting tomorrow’s vocal talents and superstars. The competition runs for one week during the last week of February at various locations, including Skidaway Island and the Savannah Theatre.

For more information about the American Traditions Vocal Competition, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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SUCCESSFUL INAUGURAL ‘CITY NIGHTS’ FUNDRAISER AS LOVE & LEGACY PROJECT IS UNVEILED

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL’S PREGNANCY CARE CENTER HOSTS SUCCESSFUL INAUGURAL ‘CITY NIGHTS’ FUNDRAISER AS  LOVE & LEGACY PROJECT IS UNVEILED

RICHMOND HILL, GA – May 16, 2017 – On Saturday evening of Mother’s Day weekend the Pregnancy Care Center of Richmond Hill hosted its inaugural fundraiser, “City Nights at the City Center,” where local, international award-winning photographer, Megan Myrick, unveiled The Love & Legacy Project.

Around 80 people gathered at the Richmond Hill City Center to help support the Pregnancy Care Center’s mission while enjoying live music by award-winning musician John Russell, delicious city-themed food, and free photo booth fun. Megan Myrick treated guests to an exclusive unveiling of The Love & Legacy Project, a new non-profit initiative which will work in tandem with The Pregnancy Care Center to support mothers and children.

The Pregnancy Care Center’s mission is to provide help and hope to those who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. All services offered by the organization, including accurate and complete information about prenatal development, parenting, and adoption, are free and confidential.

“As we enjoy Mother’s Day weekend it is important to remember our organization is here to care for mothers and their children by providing them with the necessary information, support, and guidance needed during what can be an overwhelming time in a woman’s life,” said Pregnancy Care Center Executive Director Monica Easter. “Our organization would not be able to remain and develop as a place of comfort and aid without the support of our community and we are grateful to have the support of faithful individuals, churches, and organizations here in Richmond Hill and beyond that allow us to meet the needs of those we serve.”

Megan Myrick, a supporter of the Pregnancy Care Center, developed the idea of The Love & Legacy Project after God called to her one ordinary January day. The Love & Legacy Project offers complimentary maternity or newborn sessions to new mothers facing medical or socioeconomic hardship. The organization’s mission is to empower mothers, celebrate the unmistakable bond of motherhood, and to preserve not only a mother’s legacy, but also the legacy of her children. These sessions include the use of a studio’s exclusive wardrobe and props and participants will receive ten fine art heirloom quality prints to preserve the beginning of their child’s story for generations.

“I believe we are not born merely to exist; we are here to celebrate and glorify God, the gifts He has bestowed upon us, and to leave this place a little better than we found it,” said Myrick. “I found a love for photography and followed my passion and now God has chosen me to share this passion through The Love & Legacy Project. My hope is that this organization will not only strengthen the work and mission of our community’s Pregnancy Care Center, but also those of our neighbors in Georgia and eventually across the U.S.”

Throughout the evening exciting raffle prizes, including many gift certificates to great local businesses, were available with all proceeds benefitting the Pregnancy Care Center. The evening’s live auction included a “Weekend at The Westin” package, a “Downtown Getaway” package, $500 in print credit for any full Megan Myrick Photography session, a “Southern Steamer” donated by the Randy Bocook Team, dinner for four at the City Center, a Royal Oak car detail, a Savannah Bananas basket including five tickets to their sold-out season opener, and a Kendra Scott jewelry set.

The Pregnancy Care Center is grateful to the following sponsors:

  • The Richmond Hill City Center
  • Megan Myrick Photography
  • Lesley Francis Public Relations
  • Amy Nolan – Auctioneer
  • Kimberly McHugh Photography
  • The D. Russett Company
  • New Life Church
  • Matthew Poore Leadership Group
  • Abiding Love Adoptions
  • Two Chicks & a Trunk
  • Mack & Sandra Hagin
  • Don Durrant

For more information about the Pregnancy Care Center, please visit www.pregnancycarerh.org. To learn more about The Love & Legacy Project, please visit www.loveandlegacyproject.com.

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GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER APPOINTS 2017-2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS & OFFICERS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNH, GA – May 15, 2017 – Greenbriar Children’s Center recently announced the appointment of their new Board of Directors officers for 2017-2018.

 

President Elaine Campbell will lead the 11-member board with Juanita Adams and Melissa Emery serving as the 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents. Dr. Clemontine F. Washington will act as secretary, and Dr. Alfred Young will fill the treasurer role.

 

Campbell is a Certified Public Accountant who brings more than 35 years of experience in financial management, accounting, and internal auditing to her role as President of Greenbriar’s board. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting from Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University. She has a Master of Business Administration Degree from Savannah State University and a Master of Accounting Degree from Georgia Southern University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants. Her professional memberships include the Institute of Internal Auditors, Government Finance Officers Association, Association of College and University Auditors, and the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. Campbell is a Senior Leader at Savannah State University where she currently serves as the Chief Audit Officer. She is a member of Saint Paul C.M.E Church, where she serves on the Christian Youth Fellowship Ministry as well as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, serving as the Regional Risk Management Coordinator for the Southern region. Campbell’s additional community work includes serving as the Treasurer for the Economic Opportunity Authority of Savannah Chatham County, the Treasurer for the newly chartered Clark Atlanta University Alumni Association – Savannah Chapter and the Treasurer for the Savannah Delta Foundation.

 

Adams is known throughout the Savannah area and Lowcountry as a motivational and inspirational speaker. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree with honors in English from Savannah State College (now Savannah State University), and later completed graduate studies at Clark Atlanta University. Adams served 36 years as an assistant professor and Coordinator of Freshman Year Experience at Savannah State University, where she currently remains as a part-time instructor. In addition to serving as the 1st Vice President of Greenbriar’s board, she presently sits on the Board of Directors of King-Tisdell Foundation, Inc., serves as Vice President of the Savannah Delta Foundation Inc., Board of Directors, President of the Mandingo Socio-Civil Club, member and past president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Youth Talent Coordinator of the Black Heritage Festival Steering Committee, member of the Sol C. Johnson National Alumni Association, and member of the Savannah branch of the NAACP.

 

Emery earned her Bachelor of Science from Purdue University, and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern. She began her career in marketing at Procter & Gamble and Chesebrough Pond’s. Emery and her husband, Jim, started a marketing research company called Viewfinder. She is now retired and a full-time volunteer in Savannah. Emery was the first chairman and founding member of the Savannah Choral Society, as well as founding member and chairman of the board for Savannah Friends of Music, and the Savannah Philharmonic. She is currently chairman of the Media Research Center Board of Trustees in Reston, VA. Emery is a member of Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church, where she recently retired from the choir after many years.

 

Dr. Washington earned her Bachelor of Science from Savannah State College, now Savannah State University, her Education Specialist degree from Georgia Southern University, and her Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University. She currently is the Mayor of the City of Midway and previously served as the 12th District President of the Georgia Municipal Association, Chairman of the Savannah State University National Alumni Association Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Senior Warden of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Vice President of the Dorchester Improvement Association as well as a member of the United Way of the Coastal Empire Advisory Board and the Gamma Sigma Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority  as the Financial Secretary. In 2011 Dr. Washington won the Hands On Savannah Volunteer of the Year Award.

 

Dr. Young is an Emeritus Professor of History at Georgia Southern University. He earned his Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. Dr. Young has published a monograph, journal articles, encyclopedia entries, essays and most recently co-authored, “Africana Studies: Past, Present and Future.” His long and active career epitomizes the motto of NCBS Promoting Academic Excellence and Social Responsibility. During his tenure at GSU, he has created and served as Director of the African and African American Studies Program, and introduced the Model Organization of African Unity (now African Union) to Georgia Southern University. To facilitate the development of Africana/Black Studies at GSU, he has successfully won numerous grants and awards, including a $126,374 grant from the US Department of Education, International Studies and Foreign Language Program. From 2007 to 2010 he co-authored a NCBS Ford grant for $237,000. During the 2010 NCBS conference, Young was instrumental in instituting, along with the Community Engagement Committee, a number of community engagement projects. Young’s tenure as treasurer of NCBS, the NCBS’ budget has grown steadily and consistently due to his fiscal discipline and oversight.

 

“Greenbriar’s Board of Directors includes some of the most successful, selfless, and hard-working individuals from our community and I am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside these inspirational leaders,” said Executive Director Gena Taylor. “Our organization would not be able to function as a place of comfort and stability for those in need without the tireless effort of our board.”

 

In addition to the officers, the Greenbriar Board of Directors includes Elizabeth Costner, Connie Hall, Richard de Wilde, Ann Levett, Randy Houston, Keith Fletcher and Phoenicia Miracle.

 

The mission of Greenbriar Children’s Center is to promote the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families by providing services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education & care, as well as Project Safe Place.

 

For more information about Greenbriar Children’s Center, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org.

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RED, WHITE AND BLUE NIGHT WITH THE SAVANNAH BANANAS AND THE TWO HUNDRED CLUB

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – May 15, 2017 – The Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire is teaming up with the Savannah Bananas for a second year to host Red, White and Blue Night beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, June 2 at Grayson Stadium, 1401 E. Victory Dr.

The Two Hundred Club developed the “Red, White and Blue” fundraising campaign because those colors represent the three services – fire, EMS and law enforcement –  that the non-profit organization supports with significant financial assistance when a family loses a loved one in the line of duty. That support includes a fully paid-for college education for surviving family members.

The day of baseball will begin with a game between Coastal Empire law enforcement officers vs. fire department and EMS personnel at 5 p.m. prior to the Savannah Bananas game against the Lexington County Blowfish at 7 p.m. There will be fun games and activities, plus the first pitch will be thrown by a 200 Club family member. A 200 Club memorial of fallen first responders and first responder equipment will be on display. The evening will conclude with a firework display.

Tickets are priced at $15 per person and include game admission, unlimited chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, hotdogs, popcorn, dessert, water and soda. Tickets must be purchased through the 200 Club.

The Savannah Bananas organization is hosting a series of fundraising events this summer to support local non-profits. The June 2nd Red, White and Blue Night was planned as an opportunity for the 200 Club to raise awareness and funds from ticket sales and a Family Beach Package raffle.

“We are so honored and excited to be selected by the Savannah Bananas again this season as one of their chosen charities,” 200 Club President Mark Dana said. “Not only will the funds raised from this event help our organization in assisting those who protect us but this will also be an evening of great family fun for everyone in attendance.”

To purchase tickets, please visit www.twohundredclub.org/red-white-blue-baseball-evening/. For more information, please contact Karen Sawers by emailing karen.sawers@savannahlodging.com or calling 912-721-4418.

 

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OBSERVE NATIONAL MARITIME DAY WITH THE MARITIME BETHEL

Categories: Public Relations.

OBSERVE NATIONAL MARITIME DAY WITH THE MARITIME BETHEL AT SAVANNAH AND THE ROTARY CLUB OF SAVANNAH WEST

 

SAVANNAH, GA – May 11, 2017 – Join the Maritime Bethel at Savannah (M.B.S.) and The Rotary Club of Savannah West in observing National Maritime Day with a luncheon program from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Monday, May 22, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel’s Harborside Room, 2 West Bay St. in downtown Savannah.

 

Each year National Maritime Day is observed on May 22. On this day Americans remember those lost at sea, honor those who serve at sea, and remind the maritime industry that ships carry more than just cargo.

 

The M.B.S. is a nonprofit faith-based organization that advocates for the safety, security, and well-being of the people of the sea. For over 35 years the M.B.S has continued to meet the needs of over 78,000 seafarers who arrive at the Port of Savannah, far away from their home, each year.

 

“We are grateful to the Rotary Club for teaming up with us again this year to host this important event,” said Andy Krey, Chaplain and Executive Director of the M.B.S. “Recognizing seafarers’ sacrifices is crucial considering 90% of everything Americans use arrives by ship. We hope the community will join us in observing these sacrifices on May 22.”

 

Luncheon registration costs $24 per person. To reserve your spot please mail your check payable to M.B.S including your name, number of guests, and contact information to M.B.S. at PO Box 884, Rincon, GA 31326.

 

The M.B.S. invites the crews of ships in port to this luncheon and funds the meals for the Harbor Police, musicians, keynote speaker, and key volunteers. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help the M.B.S cover the costs of these guests please mail a check payable to the M.B.S. to the address above.

 

To learn more about the Maritime Bethel at Savannah, please visit www.maritimebethelatsavannah.org.

 

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ‘FUNNY@FIVE’ FIFTH SEASON LINEUP

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – – Tonight the Savannah VOICE Festival unveiled the lineup for its 2017 season, which boasts an impressive array of over 25 concerts, classes, operas. outreaches and other events slated to unfold this August – the fifth anniversary of the Savannah VOICE Festival.

The fifth annual festival, which will be staged Aug. 5-27 in and around Savannah, offers music from opera, musical theatre and popular song. To mark a half-decade of vocal excellence and success in the Hostess City, the previously two-week festival is expanding to a third week this year, treating attendees to several extra days of delightful musical offerings, laughter and excitement.

Once again, the Savannah VOICE Festival is partnering with the Westin Savannah Harbor for the fifth year. The four-star resort and spa, conveniently situated atop Hutchinson Island on Savannah’s historic riverfront, plans to transform an area of the hotel into a vocal conservatory for the duration of the festival and will host events, including the return of “Death, by Aria I and II.”

Through his VOICE Programs, legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes will take attendees on a lighthearted journey through memorable concerts featuring hundreds of artists, operatic stories from the past, and modern songs, sure to elicit a giggle or two. The Savannah VOICE Festival joins with its program partner, VOICExperience, to provide a sneak peek pre-launch on Friday, Aug. 4 with an exclusive preview of “Anna Hunter,” the Ghost who Saved Savannah, composed by Michael Ching. There are two performances of the shows – at 6:30 p.m. and 8:00p.m. at the Davenport House Museum.

Before the opera’s world premiere in November and before the festival launches, attendees can travel through time and get the early “scoop” on the women who changed Savannah’s future by preserving its past. Saving the historic Davenport House, at 324 E. State St., was one of Anna’s first triumphs — and VOICE Society members may sign up to see a workshop run of this comedic work in the very house she saved. These are VOICE Society members only events.

To officially launch the 2017 “Funny at Five” themed festival, SVF Co-founder and Director Maria Zouves has built a show to introduce this season’s gems, “The Barber of Seville” and “The Marriage of Figaro,” two classical comedies based on the Beaumarchais plays. “Shave and a Haircut,” a Prelude to the Barber, runs from 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at Asbury Memorial Theatre Company, 1008 Henry St. in downtown Savannah.

During the 90-minute program, sponsored by Mrs. Toby Hollenberg, guests can meet the 2017 festival artists and watch as a story about romantic conquests and battles unfold between the classes. Told through music from Rossini and Mozart as well as modern musical theatre and song (mixed in with a bit of Bugs Bunny), Rossini himself falls asleep in the Barber’s chair only to be transported into the world of the clever Figaro. The show offers a delightful way to learn more about opera and fun for all ages at Savannah’s newest performance venue.

From 1-3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, legendary baritone and artistic leader of the VOICE Programs Milnes shares his wisdom and experiences with audiences while working with the 2017 studio artists at the Westin Savannah Harbor Ballroom. This free master class and other educational and outreach events are sponsored in part by The Savannah Friends of Music, The Savannah Harbor Foundation, The Kole Family Foundation and VOICE Society Membership.

On Aug. 7, “Death, by Aria, Parts I and II” will provide an up-close and personal introduction to festival artists. Part I, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Westin’s ballroom. New to the Festival, there will be a break in the action from 7-8 p.m. when patrons are offered a delicious buffet dinner in the Westin’s foyer. The meal costs $50 per person and includes soft drinks, coffee and tea, with a cash bar for cocktails.

This night of arias and songs continues with Death by Aria, Part II from 8-9:30 p.m. The segments, sponsored by Jan and Sam Durham, cost $35 each. However, patrons may take advantage of a special “Death by Aria” dinner package, which costs $100 and includes both concerts and the buffet dinner.

The Salon Series begins with “Saints & Sinners” – The Opera Roles of Jennifer Johnson Cano from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8 at the Green Meldrim House, 1 Macon St. Festival alum, Jennifer Johnson Cano is a mezzo-soprano who made her The Metropolitan Opera debut during the 2009-10 season after winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2008, and made her Met debut during the 2009-2010 season. As First Prize winner of the 2009 Young Concert Artist International Auditions, she has given stunning recital debuts with husband and pianist Christopher Cano in New York at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, in Washington, DC, at the Kennedy Center and in Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Among her honors is a 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant, 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant and 2014 George London Award.  She will share her experiences and give insights into her characters as Festival Artists perform some of Johnson Cano’s most memorable music. This event, which will also feature a champagne reception during which guests can meet the artists, is hosted and sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church. It is a VOICE Society Members only affair.

Johnson Cano, a member of the 2017 guest artist faculty, will then teach a master class at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Christ Church, 28 Bull St. Singers from the Milnes VOICE Programs will benefit from Johnson Cano’s guidance in this public class, sponsored by Middy Larson.

Milnes will teach a second free master class at The Westin from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10.

The Camp VOICE Showcase: “Opera Lite” opens at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, focusing on the lighter side of opera and sprinkling it with a bit of musical theatre and song. This concert, presented by the pre-college Camp VOICE Program, will highlight the weeklong intensive’s work. The performance, which is at The Westin Savannah Harbor, is sponsored by Marianne and T. Mills Fleming.

Soprano Meechot Marrero will perform a recital Saturday, Aug. 12, offering a night of sumptuous singing and dramatic interpretation at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1 Macon St. Before she takes the stage later in the festival as Rosina in “The Barber of Seville,” fans can enjoy this VOICExperience alumna’s talents in a special concert, sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Wesley Krulic, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

A favorite of the Festival, Broadway VOICES: “Make ‘em Laugh” is slated for 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13 and will include “Singin’ in the Rain” and other fun favorites. The Savannah VOICE Festival will celebrate New York’s Great White Way with festival artists and pianist Dan Gettinger at the helm. The event is sponsored by The Salt Table and will be held at Asbury Memorial Theatre, 1008 Henry St.

Milnes will teach a third free master class at The Westin from 1-3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14.

Later that day, Savannah’s “foodie” traditions will take center stage during Cafe VOICE: “Cha Bella Voce.” The Italian food, wine and song experience starts at 6:30 p.m. at Cha Bella, 102 E. Broad St. This signature dinner event will marry music, food and wine with Italian flair, thanks in great part to SVF’s own rising star, Santiago Ballerini. The renowned tenor will perform with his colleagues as diners enjoy the cuisine at one of the Hostess City’s most treasured farm to table restaurants.

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, SVF’s most beloved mezzo-soprano, Jessica Ann Best, will celebrate her 10th anniversary with the VOICE Programs. Best and Velvet Caravan present “Funny Girl with a Gyspy Swing” from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St. Combining a sublime singer who handles all genres beautifully with an equally versatile band of eclectic musicians and instruments will surely result in a night of laughter, merriment and dancing! This lively concert, sponsored by Lynne and Charles Davis, is suited for all ages.

Milnes will teach a fourth free master class at The Westin from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17.

Giving back to the Savannah community is a mission for the Festival as it welcomes back for a fifth season, Savannah’s own Timothy Hall and this season’s artists present VOICES in Sacred Song at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 at Savannah’s First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington St. The collaboration, sponsored by Katie and Les Anderson, will feature music from oratorio, liturgical music and inspirational song. As the festival’s community goodwill concert, this event is free.

The VOICE Studio artists will appear Friday, Aug. 18 in the second annual studio production – Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” (The Marriage of Figaro). This masterpiece about a day in the life of the famous “factotum” starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Charles H. Morris Center, 10 E. Broad St. Before patrons see “The Barber of Seville,” SVF will skip to the second part of the story as Count Almaviva, Rosina and the Barber fast-forward to Figaro and Susanna’s wedding. The opera runs for two hours and fifteen minutes, and will be sung in Italian with English translations above the stage. It is sponsored by Arlene and Allan Ratner.

The festival opera, Rossini’s “il Barbiere di Siviglia” (The Barber of Seville) will be staged at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, also at the Morris Center. SVF reunites some of its favorite cast members of past productions for a delightful journey into playwright Pierre Beaumarchais’ first comedic installation of the Barber Trilogy, sprinkled with a bit of romance. Written 74 years after Mozart’s telling of part two, this prequel to “The Marriage of Figaro” goes back in time to where it all began. The opera runs for two hours, and will be sung in Italian with English translations above the stage. It is sponsored by Helen Downing.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, guests are invited to enjoy an evening of music as the Milnes VOICE Studio artists present an Opera Scenes and Songs Showcase at the Morris Center. After two weeks of intense study and hard work, these musical prodigies will present their artistry to audiences who have followed their progress throughout the festival. Their final festival performance is sponsored by Carolyn Donovan.

Competing for prizes and opportunities, singers will work with Milnes and Zouves during “Opera Idol” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21. The event, portrayed in a master class setting, gives audience members the chance to vote for their favorite artists and allows opera company directors to hear Savannah VOICE Festival’s emerging artists. This competitive event, sponsored by Barbara Wilson, will be held at the Morris Center.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, SVF fans who missed the first performance of Rossini’s “il Barbieri di Siviglia” (The Barber of Seville) will be thrilled with a second opportunity to catch the comedic opera. The humorous tale will again unfold within the Morris Center and is sponsored by Helen Downing.

VOICES Around the World, a longtime festival favorite, showcases artists from around the world as they enjoy sharing songs from their own countries. At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, guests can travel around the globe – from Germany, to Spain and more, then back again –through a songful journey starting at Christ Church, 28 Bull St. The performance is sponsored by the Teutonic Council of Savannah.

Milnes will teach a fifth master class from 1-3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, this time in partnership with Armstrong State University. This is a special free presentation for the general public with Armstrong University students and the Milnes VOICE Studio singers. It will be held at ASU’s Fine Arts Auditorium, 11935 Abercorn St.

The Salon Series concludes with a more serious nod to music in “CAMELOT – Songs of King Arthur’s Court” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 at the Green Meldrim House. As the festival closes, patrons will delve into the romance of King Arthur with an evening of excerpts from the Lerner and Lowe classic and other Arthurian themed music. The VOICE Society members-only event, which also features a meet-the-artists champagne reception, is hosted and sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Focusing on the comedic aspects of opera, musical theatre and song, the 2017 Festival Finale, “Funny@Five” will blend beautiful voices, a few laughs and some glorious music at First Presbyterian Church on Washington Avenue.The finale, slated for 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, is sponsored by Naomi and Barry R. Cohen.

After three weeks of great music, the festival will bid guests farewell for a fifth year with a special dinner at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27 on Skidaway Island. At the Festival Gala Dinner, the 2018 season operas will be announced as patrons enjoy delightful cuisine, music and friends. This special evening, to close out SVF’s fifth anniversary season, will be at the Plantation Club at the Landings.

With VOICE Society members enjoying more opportunities to be part of the music, the Savannah VOICE Festival encourages its audience to become part of the family. To enroll as a member or learn more about the program’s benefits, visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org, email patronservices@savannahvoicefestival.org or call 855-76-OPERA (67372).

Some festival events will be free with other individual events offering tickets from $35-$125. Tickets are now on sale to the general public and special packages for the 2017 season are available. For dedicated festival lovers, these packages offer diverse and exciting options:

  • Festival Five Package: $225

This includes five ticketed, non-member, non-dining events of the purchaser’s choice.

  • Festival Ticket Pass: $550 (a $630 value)

Purchasers may enjoy all 14 ticketed non-member, non-dining events, including one “Barber of Seville” performance (date of ticketholder’s choice).

  • Festival Ticket and Dining Pass: $750 (a $880 value)

This package includes all non-member tickets and non-member dining events — 16 in total — including one “Barber of Seville” performance (date of ticketholder’s choice) in addition to a special pass member reception before the Festival Gala Dinner.

  • Voice Society Festival Pass: $950 (an $1,100 value)

This package includes tickets for all non-member and VOICE Society events, all dining events — 19 in total — including one “Barber of Seville” performance (date of ticketholder’s choice) in addition to a special pass member reception before Festival Gala Dinner.

  • Friend of the Festival ALL ACCESS PASS: $1,250

This full-access package gets patrons up close and personal with the making of an artist. It includes a special all-access badge, early and premium seating, tickets for all non-member and VOICE Society events, all dining events, special pass member reception before Festival Gala Dinner and one “Barber of Seville” performance (ticketholder’s date of choice), plus Milnes VOICE Studio auditing and observation in the Westin rehearsal spaces, which will be at pre-arranged intervals in the festival schedule.

Other than seating preferences given to package purchasers, all tickets are general admission. Tickets will be at Will Call at the door of each event unless otherwise requested. At each event, the doors open 30 minutes prior to show time for the general public and 40 minutes prior for all VOICE Society members and all-access badge holders with proper ID. Access passes are non-transferrable.

The show times, venues and concerts are subject to change. All pricing is per person and includes 7 percent sales tax. Children 16 and under, students and military members with proper ID can purchase tickets for $15 at the door 30 minutes prior to showtime.

To join the VOICE Society, buy tickets for the 2017 Savannah VOICE Festival or for more information about the Savannah VOICE Festival, visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org, email patronservices@savannahvoicefestival.org or call 855-76-OPERA (67372).

 

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ST. ELIZABETH’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH UNVEILS ELECTRONIC MESSAGE BOARD SIGN

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – May 2, 2017 – During Holy Week, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church unveiled its updated electronic message board sign, which now welcomes parishioners and guests from the front of the church’s property on Highway 144.

 

This updated sign, created by Doug Bean Signs, Inc., features a 24”x48” message viewing area, allowing the church to share information and scripture with the community. Along with the digital signage, St. Elizabeth’s is now equipped with the technology to update information quickly and efficiently, keeping community members in the know regarding the church’s missions, events, services and programs.

 

In addition to the electronic message board, the refurbished sign also features the church’s updated logo and shield.

 

“This new electronic signage provides St. Elizabeth’s with a unique opportunity to connect and communicate with our congregation as well as the community,” said St. Elizabeth’s Pastor Clark Hubbard. “In today’s ever-changing world of emerging technologies, it is important to keep up – even for churches – and this sign is a step forward.”

 

St. Elizabeth’s is a Bible-believing church, where Jesus is Lord and Savior and all are welcomed and loved. The church operates an acclaimed pre-school for children aged 2-4 years and an on-site thrift store, dubbed St. Elizabeth’s Attic, which is open Tuesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The church is committed to offering bible study and Christian education programs for children, youth, and adults and is committed to building a church community. The church is located on 6.6 acres at 16491 Highway 144 in Richmond Hill.

 

For more information about St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, please visit www.stelizabethsrichmondhill.com.

 

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TWO HUNDRED CLUB OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO HOLD SAVANNAH MILE RACE ON MAY 27, 2017

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – May 2, 2017 – For the 12th consecutive year, The 200 Club of the Coastal Empire is adding a special element to Savannah’s 2017 Memorial Day celebration. During a weekend traditionally affiliated with barbecues, beach trips and three-day getaways, local residents will once again have the chance to sneak in a little more fun and fitness in the name of charity to care for those who care for us.

The Two Hundred Club, a Savannah-based nonprofit organization, has scheduled the Savannah Mile for 8 a.m. Saturday, May 27 in the historic downtown district. The course, which begins at the south end of Forsyth Park, will take participants down Drayton Street and finish up on Broughton Street. The Savannah Mile is a sanctioned race in the USA.

Registration is $20 through May 25th, and $25 on May 26th and race day. All proceeds will go to assist The 200 Club fulfill its mission to assist families of first responders who die or suffer critical injuries in the line of duty. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Savannah donors, registration is free to all first responders and military participants. To register, please visit http://twohundredclub.org/11th-annual-savannah-mile-registration/.

Runners and walkers of all fitness levels are invited to participate in the unique event, which will feature heats for all ages and abilities, including a family division, age group divisions, the “Heroes Heat” to be run by first responders and military in full gear or not, and the Memory Walk for the families of our fallen heroes to walk the mile in memory of their loved one. The races will once again conclude with an awards party in Johnson Square, where attendees will enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers, from Savannah Lodging, Coca-Cola beverages, Leopold’s Ice Cream and N’Laws refreshing watermelon and bananas. There will be a memorial display of fallen first responders and the opportunity to join The Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire to support their mission of helping the families of those who care for us by putting their lives and safety on the line every day.

“In past years, this has always been an enjoyable event for community members and families. The Savannah Mile allows all ability levels to participate – from the family fun run, which has runners, walkers, babies in stroller, toddlers walking, dogs, and even wheelchair participants to the heroes heat. Everyone is there to help raise money for a very worthy cause,” said Mark Dana, President of The 200 Club. “All of the money raised goes to assist the families of fallen and critically injured first responders.”

The independent 501(c)(3), which was founded 15 years ago, relies solely on fundraisers and its members’ annual dues to provide donations to fallen first responders’ children and spouses within a 20-county support area. To date, the club has given $1.2 million in financial assistance.

To learn more about The 200 Club or the Savannah Mile, please visit www.twohundredclub.org, call 912-721-4418 or email info@twohundredclub.org.

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC ANNOUNCES THEME AND PLANS FOR 2017 VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – April 28, 2017 – Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church has announced plans for its annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) set for 6-9 p.m. Sunday through Friday, June 4-9, 2017 at the church, 1008 E. Henry St. in downtown Savannah.

 

This year’s theme, VBS Hero Central, will take kids on awesome quests alongside some of their favorite Bible heroes as they discover the qualities that make them truly heroic in God’s eyes. This adventure will use music, science, crafts, heroic recreation activities, and Bible stories to help kids (and leaders) discover their strength in God.

 

At VBS, students enjoy interactive, Bible-based fun as they discover their strength in God and explore how to serve Him and his mission. Throughout the week, following an opening assembly, the heroes (students) will make their way to the “Bible Story Headquarters” to study God’s word before they expand on their lessons by participating in arts, crafts and singing activities. They’ll also enjoy some physical activity and share a dinner prepared by volunteers every evening.

 

Participants will have the opportunity to share their VBS experience with the Asbury Memorial UMC congregation at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, June 11 during a special VBS worship service.

 

Cheri Hester, wife of Asbury Memorial UMC Pastor Billy Hester, has coordinated VBS for 20 years.

 

“Seeing the children in our congregation connecting with community members outside of the church through studying God’s word is always extremely heartwarming and satisfying for myself and the VBS volunteer leaders. It’s hard to determine who enjoys VBS more – the students or the leaders,” Hester said. “We truly want all community members to feel welcome and be able to attend so we have worked hard each year to keep registration costs low to make this possible.”

 

Asbury Memorial UMC VBS is open to all children in kindergarten through sixth grade and costs $15 per child. However, there is a 60-person limit to ensure a personalized experience for each participant, so please register soon.

 

Asbury Memorial UMC is a place where all people can develop their spirituality, use their talents, and grow in faith as they seek to love, serve, and celebrate God, each other, and the community.

 

To learn more about VBS Hero Central or to register, please contact Cheri Hester at cbhester@gmail.com or 912-695-1170. For more information about Asbury Memorial Church, please visit www.asburymemorial.org.

 

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@francis.com at 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER ANNOUNCES MAY PADDLE TRIP

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – April 28, 2017- Ogeechee Riverkeeper is slated to hold its May paddle trip Saturday, May 27. This trip will begin at 9 a.m. at the George L. Smith State Park at 371 George L. Smith State Park Road, just outside Twin City, GA.

 

This paddle trip will allow the whole family to wander through an enchanting, submerged forest created by an impoundment of 15-mile Creek – a Canoochee tributary. This is one of Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s easiest paddles at a beginner difficulty level, so stand up paddlers and children are invited to join.

 

Luke Roberson, Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s outreach and water quality specialist, will lead this trip. Participants should bring lunch/snacks, water bottle(s), sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water shoes or old tennis shoes (flip-flops and sandals are not recommended), and a dry bag or way to store your personal items.

 

“It is rewarding to see paddlers enjoying the water that our organization works so hard to preserve, protect and improve,” said Roberson. “It never gets old leading these trips and witnessing the delight and awe that guests experience.”

 

Registration for non-members costs $35 per person while Ogeechee Riverkeeper members are invited to join these paddles at no cost. Ogeechee Riverkeeper memberships begin at the individual level of $35. To learn more or to become a member, please visit our website.

 

Registration for this guided paddle trip closes at 4 p.m. Friday, May 26. To register for this trip or for more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

 

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@francis.com at 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER PARTNERS WITH BELK FOR CHARITY SALE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – April 17, 2017 – Savannah area residents are invited to attend the Belk Charity Sale from 6-10 a.m. Saturday, April 29, to benefit Greenbriar Children’s Center.    

 

Tickets to this private event cost $5 and are available in advance through Greenbriar. The exclusive sale will feature deals on rarely discounted brands such as Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, Coach, Free People, Lucky Brand, Steve Madden, Trina Turk and more. Customers who present a ticket will be admitted, and a free gift card will be given to the first 100 attendees. All shoppers will receive $5 off their first purchase as a thank-you from Belk for supporting the community.

 

One ticket may be redeemed per customer, and Greenbriar will keep 100 percent of the

proceeds from every ticket it sells. Belk is located in the Oglethorpe Mall, 7804 Abercorn St.

 

Greenbriar supporters and Belk patrons who would like to attend the sale but have a scheduling conflict on April 29 can still support the fundraiser by shopping the week of the event and pre-paying for their items, which will receive the discounted sale prices. Those who take advantage of this option can pick up their merchandise on or after April 29. The Belk team will hold paid-for items in a secure location until customers arrive to claim them.

 

Greenbriar Children’s Center is a nonprofit organization that promotes the healthy development of children and young adults, as well as the strengthening of families through services provided. These services include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless support, residential care, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and care, and Project Safe Place.

 

“Greenbriar is extremely grateful for the support we receive from the community and we could not be more thankful to Belk for hosting this charity sale and letting us be a part of it,” Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “Shopping to support local charities is an enjoyable way to spend a morning, and I think participants will be pleased with the wide array of great deals.”

 

For more information about Greenbriar or to purchase a ticket to the sale, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912-234-3431. For more information about this event, please visit www.belk.com/charitysale.

 

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MEGAN MYRICK PHOTOGRAPHY TO HOST FOURTH ANNUAL ‘MOMMY & ME’ SESSIONS

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – April 17, 2017 – Megan Myrick Photography is set to host her fourth annual “Mommy & Me” sessions, which will benefit the Pregnancy Care Center of Richmond Hill. These popular photo shoots will be held from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, May 7, 2017 at Myrick’s studio, 128 Frances Meeks Way, Suite 3 in Richmond Hill.

 

Myrick will donate 10 percent from each of these sessions to aid in the Pregnancy Care Center’s mission to bring help and hope to those who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The Pregnancy Care Center exists as a place of comfort and aid in our community providing free, confidential services and information about prenatal development, parenting, and adoption.

 

Each 20-minute session may feature up to three people ($15 per additional person) and includes use of the studio’s exclusive props and beautiful set design, which is updated annually. This year’s elegant floral theme boasts a delicate Anthropologie-inspired paper flower backdrop and puff garland in shades of blush and white.

 

“I am so excited to share my fourth year of these ‘Mommy & Me’ sessions with the community and to be partnering with the Pregnancy Care Center,” Myrick said. “This faith-based organization is a vital, important resource in our community and I am honored to donate proceeds from these sessions to their mission.”

 

Megan Myrick Photography specializes in newborn, maternity, baby, child and family photography around the Coastal Georgia area. She strives to provide her clients with a custom portrait experience resulting in timeless, heirloom-quality art for families to cherish for years to come.

 

These “Mommy & Me” sessions are an investment of $99 to secure your booking, which will be applied toward a photo collection of your choice ranging from $99-$399.

 

Please visit www.goo.gl/oDn9DK to reserve your “Mommy & Me” session. For more information about these sessions or Megan Myrick Photography, please visit www.meganmyrickphotography.com, call (912)200-5284, or email megan@meganmyrickphotography.com.

 

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PREPARE TO LAUGH – SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL’S PRELUDE CONCERTS CELEBRATE FUNNY@FIVE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – April 17, 2017 – The unveiling of the fifth annual Savannah VOICE Festival – themed Funny@Five – will take place as a weeklong Prelude to the Festival with a series of dining events in and around Savannah during the first week of May. Fans of the Festival can choose between a salon evening of musical theater at Savannah’s Tangerine Fusion, a concert with four course dinner at Pooler’s Savannah Quarters or an elegant waterside dinner concert at Skidaway Island.

 

Prelude Week kicks off in style with Cabaret Tangerine – Intimate Dinner and Song at Tangerine Fusion and Sushi Bar, 11215 Abercorn St, Savannah on May 1 at 6:30pm. The three-course meal including a glass of wine or beer costs $65 per person and this cabaret night offers musical theater favorites sung by Festival Artists and a preview of the fifth annual Savannah VOICE Festival which returns from August 5-27. Reservations (by April 28) are available at www.savannahvoicefestival.org or by calling 855.76.OPERA.

 

The week continues with Arias and Entrees at Savannah Quarters Country Club on Thursday May 4,

with a reception at 6.15pm followed by dinner and performance 6:45pm This dinner event presents an evening of opera, musical theatre and song, which compliments a delicious four-course meal with elegantly paired wine. This very special evening is sponsored by The Salt Table and costs $85 for tickets purchased by April 24 and $100 for tickets purchased after April 25. For tickets, please contact Savannah Quarters at 912.450.2280 ext. 230 Savannah Quarters Country Club | 8 Palladian Way, Pooler.

 

The week culminates in Spring Soirée – A Waterside Supper Concert at Skidaway Island on Saturday, May 6 at 6:30pm at the Home of Suzan Kiepper & Ron Krannich at The Landings. This exclusive party and concert by the water includes a buffet dinner and an open bar for $75 per person. The VOICE Festival Artists will offer musical selections to match the setting. Reservations (by April 28) are available at www.savannahvoicefestival.org or by calling 855.76.OPERA. Tables of six are available for this and the Cabaret Tangerine event to include a personal serenade for each party by a Festival Artist, and a personal gift for each guest from the Savannah VOICE Festival.

 

Opera fans will be thrilled to learn which comedic operas will be featured during this August’s annual Festival which has been extended over three weeks and a joyful season of light-hearted fun is promised throughout the Funny@Five fifth anniversary season. Festival favorite artists will perform during Prelude week and include Emily Righter, Carlton Moe, and Jeffrey Martin with Michael Ching – the Festival’s composer in residence – as pianist. Maria Zouves directs this celebration of the fifth anniversary season just as tickets for the Savannah VOICE Festival season go on sale to VOICE Society members on May 1st and to the general public on Monday, May 15.

 

Savannah VOICE Festival co-founder Maria Zouves comments, “Fine dining and fine music are a natural pairing and we are excited to be unveiling the season at a series of elegant and delicious events.” For more information on the Savannah VOICE Festival or to become a VOICE Society member, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org, call 855-766-7372 or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO BRING SEASON TO A CLOSE WITH TRIUMPHANT FINALE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – April 17, 2017 – Join the Savannah Philharmonic as they conclude the 2016/2017 season in resounding fashion with the spectacular Season Finale: Rachmaninoff & Dvořák, an evening of fantastically gorgeous music, Saturday, April 29, 7:30 pm at the Johnny Mercer Theater, 301 W Oglethorpe Avenue in downtown Savannah. Dazzling pianist Fanya Lin returns to perform Rachmaninoff’s daunting and astoundingly beautiful Third Piano Concerto, and the evening concludes with Dvořák’s lusciously melodic and magical Symphony No. 8.

 

Fanya Lin, born in Taiwan, began formal piano study at age four. She has been selected as a top prize-winner in piano competitions such as Seattle International Piano Competition, New York International Piano Competition, and Beethoven Club International Piano Competition. In addition to the Savannah Philharmonic, her orchestral appearances in the U.S. include the Utah Symphony, Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, and Aurora Symphony Orchestra. Lin graduated from the Julliard School with a master’s degree and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota.

 

“Though ‘The New World’ is clearly Dvořák’s best known symphony, both 7 and 8 are my personal favorites,” says Savannah Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Shannon. “The 8th, which we will play in this concert, has one of the most moving slow movements of any symphony. The drama and thrill of the outer movements will see the Philharmonic in flying form. I’m excited to be a part of this. Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano concerto is nothing short of epic. Pianist Fan Ya Lin had me speechless when I first heard her play; and it’s hard to silence an Irishman! She is music personified and I am amazed at her talent and energy. I can guarantee you this: she will have the audience on their feet with shouts of ‘bravo’ the second she stops playing. I can’t think of a better way to end the season!”

 

The day before the concert, on Friday April 28th, over 600 students from Savannah area schools will attend a presentation and a Savannah Philharmonic rehearsal, as Peter Shannon and the Philharmonic’s musicians prepare for the Season Finale. The students have received study materials in advance, and Philharmonic musicians have visited many of these students in their schools, in our Orchestra Lab Masterclass program. The Savannah Philharmonic’s Orchestra Lab programs are supported by major funding from the City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs, and we are deeply grateful for their support.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.

 

Tickets for the Savannah Philharmonic’s Finale concert cost $16-75 and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com. For more information about the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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VOICEXPERIENCE’S 11th ANNUAL OPERA IDOL SET FOR APRIL 27 AT NEW CHICAGO VENUE

Categories: Public Relations.

CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 7, 2017 – For the 11th consecutive year, acclaimed operatic Baritone Sherrill Milnes along with his wife, soprano Maria Zouves, will return to the Midwest for the annual “Opera Idol” vocal competition in Chicago, Illinois.

Formerly at the Merion in Evanston, this year marks the first time the highly-anticipated event – which draws aspiring, young opera singers from around the country – will be held at Westminster Place, a premier independent living community on Chicago’s North Shore. The rising stars take center stage to showcase their talents at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27 in the Elliot Chapel.

Opera Idol was conceived by Milnes and Zouves as part of their non-profit vocal training organization, VOICExperience Foundation, when the two served as faculty at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. The contest aims to showcase and encourage budding opera stars in a format that emulates popular television shows featuring talent searches. This event is free and open to the public.

The competition winner will be awarded a full scholarship plus airfare to Savannah, Georgia, to attend the nationally recognized two-week VOICExperience training program entitled the “Milnes VOICE Studio” in August. It is hosted by Zouves and Milnes, who will conduct the competition in a Master Class format. Mary Burkhardt Lysaught is donating the grand prize, which has been deemed as The Tom Lysaught Scholarship Fund, in honor of Mary’s late husband.

“My husband used to love hearing young opera singers, and so the scholarship is being awarded in his name. Maria and Sherrill have been close to me for many years, so I’m more than happy to support this initiative,” Lysaught said. She plans to fly from her home in Texas to attend Opera Idol in Chicago, and will later travel to Savannah in August for the fifth annual three-week Savannah VOICE Festival, in which VOICExperience takes part.

A panel of three judges will select the winner. In addition, audience members will be given a chance to vote and select a “People’s Choice” award. That singer will receive a $1,000 scholarship toward the cost of participation in VOICExperience.

Milnes, who is a John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus, and Zouves, who taught the opera workshop as adjunct, joined Northwestern’s faculty after Milnes concluded a long career on all the major stages of the operatic world, including the Metropolitan Opera, where he was the leading baritone for over three decades. “I hold music education degrees and my plan back then as a young singer in the Midwest was to teach. I guess I just took a few decades out to sing, only to end up doing what I sought out to do 40 years ago.” Milnes quips. It was during this time frame that they founded VOICExperience and, subsequently, Opera Idol. They were sought after and brought to the university by faculty member and at that time, former Dean of the Bienen School of Music and co-sponsor of Opera Idol, Dr. Bernard Dobroski. Dr. Dobroski and his wife, Sally, are sponsoring the “People’s Choice” award.

Dobroski helped fund the initial VOICExperience workshops in Florida and is on the foundation’s founding board. He said Opera Idol presents an outstanding opportunity for young singers who stand to benefit from attending VOICExperience.

“Our goal is to support young people whose passion and desire to move their careers forward would be enhanced by participating in this kind of event. We’re able to meet and identify some of the future musical leaders in the national and international scenes. I’ve met, at the beginning of their careers, people who came with great potential but not the polish and style that they develop after working with Sherrill and Maria, and the number of master teachers that we bring to Savannah for VOICExperience,” Dobroski said. “It’s the idea of watching people’s career trajectory. A number of people who come to VOICExperience are very talented, but we counsel and offer advice about different ways they can approach their careers. To help point them, not only toward their goal of becoming a major opera singer, but toward other opportunities. Because there are literally hundreds of other opportunities in voice and opera that don’t involve being on stage.”

Milnes, who grew up in the western suburb of Chicago, Downers Grove, is pleased he and his wife are able to offer aspiring young singers the chance to hone their craft while learning more about the performing arts.

“Being able to actually work with the singers in a competition format is not only unique to ‘Opera Idol’, but it helps us access what their needs are once they come into the summer program, if they should attend.” Milnes said. “Plus, Maria is able to interview them as part of the format, so the audience really begins to understand the total dimensions of that talent. It’s very rewarding for us, the audience and for those chosen to participate.”

Westminster Place, the venue sponsor for Opera Idol 2017, is a Presbyterian Homes community centrally located in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois. Jill Greenman, Westminster’s activities specialist for residential programming, is a classical singer and music teacher. She’s thrilled that Opera Idol has chosen to relocate to Westminster Place.

“It’s a pretty highly-educated, sophisticated clientele here, and our residents are opera, symphony and theater lovers. When I host programs, I raise the bar pretty high because they expect it. So, this would be right up their alley in terms of their interests and tastes,” Greenman said. “It’s also great to bring this kind of high quality program to our residents who don’t get out as readily as they used to.”

Opera Idol’s move to Westminster Place came about thanks, in part, to the facility’s director of music for pastoral care, Maggie Kemper. She, like Greenman, is a musician who knows Dobroski and sometimes recruits and hosts programs at Westminster Place. Kemper sent the Opera Idol information to Greenman, who saw an opening in the center’s activities calendar and jumped at the chance to schedule the competition.

“This is a really great opportunity for us and I think the residents will really be thrilled,” Greenman said.

For more information on Opera Idol or VOICExperience, please call 855-76-OPERA or visit www.voicexperiencefoundation.org.

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RAPE CRISIS CENTER & EMPIRE CONSTRUCTION CO-HOST FREE STUDENT SAFETY NIGHT

Categories: Public Relations.

 

SAVANNAH, GA – April 5, 2017 – Empire Construction is proud to sponsor Savannah’s local “Student Safety Night” to benefit the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire. The free, drop in-style event will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 13 at 309 W 36th St. in downtown Savannah.  The venue has been renovated by Empire Construction and is designed as student housing.

 

Students, parents and area residents concerned with youth safety are invited to this free community event, which will focus on student protection and avoiding potentially vulnerable situations. This evening will feature free appetizers, beer and wine while supplies last (guests requesting alcohol will be asked for ID), safety tips from a Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Officer, proper weapons handling and guidelines from a former federal law enforcement officer/NRA instructor, as well as information and hand-outs from a Rape Crisis Center representative. Moon River Brewing Company is donating the beer for the fundraiser.

 

Raffle tickets will be available for $5 each or five tickets for $20 with all proceeds benefitting the Rape Crisis Center. Raffle prizes include many items donated by local businesses and organizations, such as Milan Day Spa gift certificate, two tickets to a Savannah Philharmonic concert and various restaurant gift cards. Donations for the Rape Crisis Center will be accepted a. the event.

 

“We are really looking forward to hosting this event with Empire Construction and increasing awareness of such an important topic as student safety,” said Rape Crisis Center Executive Director Kesha Gibson-Carter. “Empire Construction has partnered with our organization this April which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Savannah is home to many students and it is vital that students are equipped with safety tips, self-defense techniques and other information they will learn at this event, providing their parents and guardians with the peace of mind that if a dangerous situation were to arise, their child will be prepared.”

 

The Rape Crisis Center was established in August 1975 when the first group of volunteers opened a telephone crisis line. Decades later, the center has evolved into a comprehensive agency serving Savannah and the surrounding area. The Rape Crisis Center provides resources and advocacy to victims of rape and sexual assault, and prevention education to youth and adults. The center’s services and programs include a 24-hour crisis line, hospital accompaniment, survivor groups, help going to court and reporting to the police, and bullying prevention education, as well as elementary, middle and high school programs.

 

Empire Construction provides honest and reliable service ensuring that each project is completed on time and within budget by utilizing state of the art equipment and the latest techniques combined with the use of the highest quality materials. As a general contracting firm, Empire Construction’s services include bathroom remodels, cabinet installation, commercial construction, commercial remodel, drywall installation, flooring installation, green building contruction, historic restoration, home additions, kitchen remodels, trim installation and new construction.

 

This event is free and open to the public. Donations to benefit the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire will be accepted on site. To learn more about the Rape Crisis Center, please visit www.rccsav.org. For more information about Empire Construction, please visit www.empire-builds.com

 

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BROADWAY PERFORMER TO HOST ‘JOHNNY MERCER ON TYBEE’

Categories: Public Relations.

BROADWAY PERFORMER TO HOST ‘JOHNNY MERCER ON TYBEE’ SHOW

AT HISTORIC POST THEATER 7.30 P.M. – FRIDAY APRIL 21


TYBEE ISLAND, GA – April 4, 2017 –
Johnny Mercer is expected to ‘return’ to Tybee Island for one evening only next month as the beloved musician’s spirit, stories and recollections come to life once more thanks to Tybee resident Jim Wann. The Broadway actor/writer/producer will host “Johnny Mercer on Tybee,” an evening of music, storytelling and images of Mercer, emphasizing his connections to Tybee Island and his fondness for “outdoor” songs.

The popular and successful songwriter, who was known to draw upon his Georgia heritage for inspiration and ideas, was born in Savannah but had well-established ties to Tybee. Legend has it that as a youth, Mercer could be found sneaking bootlegged liquor with his older brothers and cousins at Tybrisa, and attending dances on the beach.

The original show is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Tybee Post Theater, which just received a new roof after Hurricane Matthew badly damaged the historic structure only a year after its extensive renovations and grand reopening.

Featured singers in this special program include Savannah’s own Claire Frazier and Patti Kelly, with various approaches to Mercer classics. Tybee’s American Songbook keyboard ace Steven Bryan will lead the onstage ensemble, which includes Ryan Kelly on bass, Matt Fallin on drums, Larry Golden on sax, Bobby Hanson on harmonica, and Wann on guitar. In addition to the music and storytelling from sources who knew Mercer years ago, archival footage of Mercer on talk shows, variety shows and interviews will be shown.

Wann, who lives on Tybee for part of each year, is a renowned composer, lyricist and performer who supports and participates in a number of Savannah musical organizations, including the American Traditions Competition and the Savannah Philharmonic. He has served as a judge and board member for the ATC, and in 2015, the Philharmonic performed one of Wann’s songs, “Christmas in Savannah” at the annual Holiday Pops concert. In New York, Wann’s professional feats include composing and performing Broadway and off-Broadway hits, such as “Pump Boys and Dinettes”; “Diamond Studs: The Life of Jesse James, A Saloon Musical”; “The People Vs. Mona”; and “King Mackerel & The Blues are Running.” “Pump Boys” was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical, 1982, and has since played across the country and around the world.

A self-described Mercer fan for many years, Wann said he’s honored to present Georgia’s favorite son onstage, before many longtime Coastal Empire residents who personally knew and loved the famed songwriter. He’ll read excerpts from books by Mercer friends and historians Julius “Boo” Hornstein (“Sites and Sounds of Savannah Jazz”) and Polly Wylly Cooper (“Tybee Days”). Archival video of Mercer’s TV appearances will be shown, courtesy of Friends Of Johnny Mercer.

“I was very excited to be asked to develop a Mercer show by the Tybee Post Theatre and I think the audience will really appreciate the mix of Johnny Mercer tales, music, pictures and other memories we’ve put together to pay homage to one of the best songwriters of the 20th century,” Wann said. “It’s highly entertaining, thoughtful, lighthearted and personal. I’m eager to treat Mercer fans to this glimpse back to the time he spent on Tybee, and I hope those who love Mercer will tell all their huckleberry friends!”

Reserved seating tickets to “Johnny Mercer on Tybee” cost $20 for adults. Premium seats cost $25 for adults, and children’s tickets are $10 each. In addition, special $10 student tickets will be available to attract young audience members. For more information on the show or to purchase tickets, please visit https://tybeeposttheater.showare.com/.

For more information on musician and composer Jim Wann, please visit http://jimwann.com/.

 

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37th@ABERCORN ANTIQUES CLOSING UP SHOP AFTER OVER 20 YEARS IN BUSINESS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – April 4, 2017 – 37th@Abercorn Antiques, a landmark retail shop in Savannah’s historic Thomas Square Streetcar District, has announced plans to close its doors on June 30, 2017. For more than 20 years, the recognizable yellow mansion at the intersection of Abercorn and 37th streets has served as an anchor for the neighborhood, appealing to area treasure hunters, tourists and architectural enthusiasts.

The store, which opened in March 1996, sells estate jewelry, art, silver, linens, collectibles and antiques. Property and business owner Terri O’Neil said that during the 15 years she managed the shop, she built life-long friendships with local patrons and out-of-town visitors.

“We have participated in many home design projects, countless movie productions and internship initiatives with students from SCAD’s interior design department. We have so many loyal visitors who often stop in just to say hi and to see our pet de jour. It’s like we have an extended 37th@A family,” said O’Neil, whose daughter, Stephanie Stroud, now manages the shop.

Thanks to the years of rave reviews, local recommendations and the historic setting, the shop attracted newcomers and converted them into fans.

“Visitors to Savannah are beginning to explore more than just the beautiful Landmark District.  Neighborhoods like the Starland, Victorian and Thomas Square Streetcar historic districts are growing in popularity as more shops, restaurants and tours develop in those areas. Each neighborhood continues to maintain Savannah’s unique authenticity and offer visitors more reasons to extend their stay,” Visit Savannah President Joseph Marinelli said.

37th@Abercorn gained a mascot when O’Neil rescued a homeless kitten eight years ago. Ollie mingles with guests daily and lounges in the wide window sills, basking in the affection that comes his way. O’Neil said she hopes to find a loving new family to adopt Ollie.

As a pet lover and advocate, O’Neil and her staff have rescued more than 10 animals over a 20-year span. She continues to donate retail space and staff support to the Humane Society for Greater Savannah. All of the profits from the humane society’s space are returned to the organization’s spay/neuter clinic.

A passion for architecture and preservation drew O’Neil to the historic site at 37th and Abercorn streets. After acquiring and renovating the property, O’Neil decided an antique and home décor center was well-suited for the Thomas Square Streetcar District.

According to Gilbert & Ezelle Real Estate Services Managing Partner Harvey Gilbert, who has worked extensively in the district, the area hit a turning point when the Savannah College of Art and Design bought and renovated the former Richard Arnold High School property in 2006, opening it for educational use in 2008.

“Then the district really began to bloom about three years ago with the establishment of restaurants like The Florence, The Atlantic, The Vault and Cotton and Rye. The neighborhood also benefits from a variety of institutional anchors, such as other SCAD buildings, established churches, retail and design centers as well as the public library,” said Gilbert, who along with his son, John, are the listing agents for the property.

The historic site features the main house, two-story carriage house and a guest cottage – all totaling 7,802 square feet – on a property parcel comprised of six city lots. The entire package is now for sale, presenting area entrepreneurs, investors and capitalists with a prime opportunity. Its versatile TC-1 zoning specification opens the property up to a wide variety of uses. In fact, according to Gilbert, there are no other properties of the same scale in the Thomas Square Streetcar District that could be used for development and other growth options.

The decision to close 37th@Abercorn Antiques was not an easy one, according to O’Neil. She said it’s time for the legendary historic site to embark on a new adventure, but she’ll be forever grateful for the friends and memories she’s made.

“My role in this special journey has changed, but my contributions to this neighborhood have been rewarding,” O’Neil said, “I’m excited to see how the property will continue to serve Savannah’s residents and visitors for years to come.”

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RAPE CRISIS CENTER AND EMPIRE CONSTRUCTION TEAM UP

Categories: Public Relations.

RAPE CRISIS CENTER AND EMPIRE CONSTRUCTION
TEAM UP FOR ‘JEANS FOR JUSTICE’ &
SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH KICK OFF

MONDAY, APRIL 3, 2017 – SAVANNAH, GA – Today, the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire and Empire Construction kicked off Sexual Assault Awareness Month and their annual “Jeans for Justice” initiative at 309 W 36th St. in downtown Savannah.

 

Wearing their best jeans for the occasion, Rape Crisis Center representatives, the Empire Construction crew, and other community members gathered to kick off Sexual Assault Awareness Month with a “Jeans for Justice”-themed observance and photo opportunity. The kick-off venue, 309 W 36th St., will also serve as the site of a planned “Student Safety Night” fundraiser to benefit the Rape Crisis Center. The drop-in, open house-style event from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 13 is sponsored by Empire Construction.

 

The “Jeans for Justice” campaign came about in 1999, when a judge in Italy overturned the rape conviction of a 45-year-old driving instructor named Carmine Cristiano. He had been serving a two-years and eight-month prison sentence for raping an 18-year-old student. The appeals court said the girl must have consented because it would have been “impossible” to remove tight pants such as jeans “without the cooperation of the person wearing them.”

 

To protest the ruling, a group of women lawmakers wore jeans to Parliament the following day and displayed signs that read, “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape.” Protesting lawmakers encouraged Italian women to go on a “skirt strike” and wear jeans to work to show solidarity in opposition to the court. As news of this ruling spread across the world, protests went global and “Jeans for Justice” was established to bring awareness to victim-blaming and sexual assault.

 

“We are grateful to Empire Construction for getting involved with the ‘Jeans for Justice’ campaign,” said Rape Crisis Center Executive Director Kesha Gibson-Carter. “Empire Construction’s involvement with the Rape Crisis Center is special because the construction field is predominately male and unfortunately, men commit the majority of violent sexual acts. This is an opportunity for us to acknowledge that men are our likely partners in our effort to prevent rape and that all men are not rapists. Men can help stop rape! We are looking forward to opening the line of communication between men and the topic of sexual violence with this event and throughout the month of April and beyond.”

 

The Rape Crisis Center is asking for the community’s participation in the “Jeans for Justice” campaign in protest of sexual violence against women in our community. Contact the Rape Crisis Center to learn how individuals as well as local businesses can get involved with this important movement. For more information about the Rape Crisis Center, please visit www.rccsav.org.

 

The mission of the Rape Crisis Center is to provide resources and advocacy to victims of rape and sexual assault, and prevention education to youth and adults. The organization is a well-established comprehensive agency serving Savannah and the surrounding areas reaching approximately 700 victims including adults, child victims, and family members of victims. An additional 10,000 people are reached each year with various prevention programs for all ages, such as Good Touch/Bad Touch, Bullying Prevention, Rape Awareness, and self-defense classes.

 

Empire Construction provides honest, reliable service that exceeds expectations by ensuring that each project is completed on time and within budget. By utilizing state of the art equipment and the latest techniques combined with the use of the highest quality materials, Empire Construction is able to ensure exceptional workmanship that is highly durable and cost effective. Empire Construction’s services include residential and commercial remodels, additions and new construction.

 

To learn more about Empire Construction, please visit www.empire-builds.com.

 

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“THE LAST SUPPER” MUSICAL PRODUCTION RETURNS TO SAVANNAH

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – March 29, 2017 – The Rotary Club of Savannah West and The Maritime Ministry Players are proud to present “The Last Supper” at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 9 through Tuesday, April 11 at White Bluff United Methodist Church, 11911 White Bluff Road in Savannah.

 

This 80-minute musical theatre production is a musical interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s most challenging creation, the painting of “The Last Supper,” and is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. SCAD’s Kevin Wallace will serve as musical director and the Averitt’s Eileen Bayens from Statesboro will direct this contemporary musical with music by Gary William Friedman and book and lyrics by Thomas Mitz.

 

The evening will begin with dinner at 6 p.m. and curtain at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the Monday, April 10 event will benefit the Georgia Rotary Student Program and guests will enjoy seeing Rotary District 6920 Assistant Governor Todd Freesemann appear on stage as a special guest actor. Proceeds from the April 9 and 11 performances will benefit the Maritime Bethel at Savannah.

 

The Maritime Ministry Players are a talented group of performers who are affiliated with the nonprofit organization, the Maritime Bethel at Savannah. The Maritime Bethel at Savannah provides personal and practical support to seafarers who come into our port on ships from all over the world. This nonprofit is a faith-based organization providing advocacy, spiritual, physical, and emotional support.

 

Tickets for the Sunday and Tuesday shows cost $15 each for the show only, and $30 each for the dinner and the show. On Monday evening, as the Rotary Club raises much-need funds for their international student, tickets are $20 for the show only and $40 for the dinner and the show.

 

“This will be our 18th year presenting ‘The Last Supper’ all over the U.S. and we are excited to return to the Savannah community,” said Andy Krey, chaplain and executive director of the Maritime Bethel at Savannah. “This is a beautiful depiction of Jesus’ last days on earth as well as a stunning piece of art – you don’t want to miss it.”

 

Tickets can be purchased by emailing chaplainkrey@gmail.com or saustinwright@yahoo.com, or by calling/texting 912-441-4640 or 912-704-2067. Tickets are also available by calling Carolyn Anderson, church secretary at White Bluff United Methodist Church, at 912-925-5924. To learn more about the Maritime Bethel at Savannah, please visit www.maritimebethelatsavannah.org.

 

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GEORGIA PROPERTY RIGHTS UNDER ATTACK AS PROMISED EMINENT DOMAIN BILL STALLS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – March 24, 2017 – Atlanta, GA – Georgia’s Senate Bill 191, addressing concerns regarding the construction of petroleum pipelines, on Thursday passed out of the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee after having passed the Senate. It now awaits a floor vote by the full House. SB 191 puts in place additional permitting measures and more closely regulates private companies’ use of eminent domain for the construction of petroleum pipelines in Georgia.

 

Many stakeholders, including Georgia-based companies, legislators, and conservationists, worked diligently on the bill based on recommendations by a study committee convened by the legislature last session, only to have Chairman Don Parsons of the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee amend it in favor of Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based company who tried to construct the Palmetto Pipeline through Southeast Georgia two years ago.

 

In 2015, the proposed Palmetto Pipeline seriously jeopardized private property rights and threatened several major watersheds along the Georgia coast. Kinder Morgan, a private for-profit company, attempted to use eminent domain to construct 360 miles of petroleum pipeline beginning in Belton, South Carolina down the entire Georgia coast to Jacksonville, Florida. Fortunately, the Georgia Department of Transportation, with Gov. Nathan Deal’s support, denied Kinder Morgan a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to use eminent domain, and in 2016 construction of the Palmetto Pipeline was suspended indefinitely.

 

That controversy highlighted the need to examine the use of eminent domain by pipeline companies in addition to any impacts caused by pipeline siting, construction, and operation. During the 2016 legislative session, a State Commission on petroleum pipelines was formed and a temporary moratorium on the use of eminent domain by petroleum pipeline companies was instituted through June 30, 2017.

 

Despite repeated invitations, Kinder Morgan declined to appear at any of the Commission meetings.

 

Senator Rick Jeffares introduced Senate Bill 191 this session to address recommendations by the Commission. The bill in its amended form has issues that conservationists say must be corrected in order to fully protect Georgians and their property from the threats posed by petroleum pipelines. If the legislature does not pass legislation by March 30, the moratorium on the use of eminent domain by petroleum pipelines will be lifted on June 30, 2017. Ogeechee Riverkeeper supports the passage of strong legislation to protect property rights and water supplies.

 

Ogeechee Riverkeeper Emily Kurilla is deeply disappointed in Chairman Parsons and anyone who voted for the amended version of SB 191.

 

“Their constituents and citizens around the state should question why they chose to promote the interests of a powerful Texas company over the bipartisan, compromise bill which was endorsed by several local businesses here in our state,” Kurilla said. “The bill was intended to protect the citizens of Georgia from eminent domain abuse, and any attempt to weaken it is a purposeful disregard for citizens’ property rights.”

 

SB 191 includes much-needed improvements, but now House representatives must pass a strong bill to protect water resources and private property rights. Otherwise, Kurilla believes, the moratorium on petroleum pipeline construction should be extended for at least two more years.

 

Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect, preserve and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin. To accomplish this goal, Ogeechee Riverkeeper strives to amplify the voices of concerned citizens and strengthen their efforts to protect their rivers and their communities. For more information on Ogeechee Riverkeeper please call (866) 942-6222 or email info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC HAS NEARLY SOLD OUT BOTH ‘AMERICAN SPIRIT’ CONCERTS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – March 23, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic is proud to present its annual “The American Spirit” concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 20-21, at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10 W. 31st St. in downtown Savannah.

 

Join the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus as their collective voice praises the brilliance of America in this star-spangled performance. This concert will feature a dazzling evening of American music including everything from national treasures like George and Ira Gershwin and Aaron Copland to some of the finest Broadway, film and patriotic music ever written.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic Chorus, led by Chorusmaster Dr. Monica Dekle and accompanied by pianist Keith Baxter, will treat audiences to unforgettable performances each evening.

 

“America’s history is rich with music that reflects the struggles and triumphs of our people,” Dekle said. “We have all immensely enjoyed and been inspired by singing this American music, some of which is surprisingly as difficult to sing as the European oratorios we often perform.”

 

Anyone interested in attending the show should act quickly, as Friday evening’s performance is sold out, and only a few seats remain for Thursday night. Tickets cost $25 each and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra is a professional orchestra presenting a full range of concerts each season, from classics to pops. The Savannah Philharmonic Chorus is a community-based auditioned ensemble that performs regularly with the orchestra in an oratorio and opera setting, as well as performing a wide range of music in its own concerts. Both of these 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations aim to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community with the mission to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists.

 

To learn more about this concert or the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC HOLDING WEEKLY TAIZE SERVICES

Categories: Public Relations.

ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC HOLDING WEEKLY TAIZE SERVICES, PREPARING FOR HOLY WEEK EVENTS

 

SAVANNAH, GA – March 21, 2017 – Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (UMC) is set to bring a series of services in observance of Holy Week.

 

On Palm Sunday attendees are invited to commemorate the Lord’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, where he was greeted by devoted followers who laid palm leaves before him. The Palm Sunday service will be held at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, April 9 and includes a palm processional.

 

Commemorate the Last Supper with Asbury’s Maundy Thursday service with Holy Communion at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 13. This service serves as a commemoration of the Last Supper.

 

Asbury will have a Good Friday service at 8 p.m. Friday, April 14. During the service, a 20-minute film called, “Parable” will be shown. The powerful, award-winning film was first screened at the 1964 World’s Fair.

 

The faithful of Savannah and surrounding communities are encourages to participate in this special season by attending Asbury Memorial UMC services in anticipation of the joy of Easter.  This joyful week will conclude with Asbury’s traditional Easter service which will be held at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, April 16.

 

In addition to Holy Week service, Asbury holds Taize Services at 7 p.m. every Wednesday throughout Lent. The weekly observances, which serve as a time of meditation and contemplation, are in the sanctuary. The format consists of sung and chanted prayers, meditation, a period of silence, liturgical readings, and icons.

 

“These very special and spiritual services provide worshippers with the opportunity to peacefully meditate on the incredible love of Christ,” said Reverend Billy Hester. “We are looking forward to celebrating the joy of Easter with our community and church family.”

 

For more information about services or Asbury Memorial Church, please visit www.asburymemorial.org.

 

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REVEREND BILLY HESTER PRESENTS TO ROTARY CLUB OF RICHMOND HILL MEMBERS

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – March 20, 2017 – Members of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill enjoyed a presentation by Reverend Billy Hester at noon Thursday, March 16 at the Richmond Hill City Center.

 

Rev. Hester is a senior minister of Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (UMC) in Savannah and recently published his first book, “WOW! Moments: Stories of Grace, Wonder, and Synchronicity.” This book is based on Hester’s own experiences and recounts incidences from his own life, which built his appreciation for the mysterious workings of the universe and God. In a world filled with personal apprehension, anxiety, and event tragedy, Hester’s book celebrates moments of grace, wonder, and synchronicity. Hester shared some of these “wow! moments” with Rotary Club members and gently urged guests to start their own journals to capture these fleeting “wow! moments” in their own lives.

 

Rev. Hester received a BFA in Theatre from Valdosta State College and enjoyed a theatrical career in New York before attending seminary at Princeton Theological Seminary and earning a Masters of Divinity. Hester and his wife Cheri returned to the Savannah community in 1991 and Hester was appointed as minister of Asbury Memorial UMC in 1993 where he worked to rebuild the church and launch the Asbury Theatre.

 

The Asbury Memorial Theatre is a thriving community theater that has delighted audiences since 1994 with plays, musicals, revues, and light opera productions, which have earned several “Best of Savannah” awards. Each October the church presents their God on Broadway series – an innovative worship series led by Hester which combines Broadway musical themes featuring songs from musicals in celebration of God’s Word.

 

“It was an honor to speak to the members of this Rotary Club about ‘Wow! Moments’,” said Hester. “Everyone was so warm and welcoming and it’s always encouraging to have support from the community.”

 

To learn more about the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill, please visit www.rotaryclubofrichmondhillga.com. To learn more about Asbury Memorial UMC and its Theatre, please visit www.asburymemorial.org. For more information about Rev. Hester and “Wow! Moments,” or to purchase a copy of the book, please visit www.billyhesterbooks.com.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO PRESENT VIRTUOSITY AT ITS FINEST

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO PRESENT VIRTUOSITY AT ITS FINEST

FROM THE CHAMBER CONCERT SERIES AT NEW LOCATION

 

SAVANNAH, GA – March 16, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic is set to present their next Chamber Concert Series performance at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 8 at a new location. ‘Virtuosity at its Finest,’ an evening of show-stoppers, will be held at Trinity Church on Telfair Square in downtown Savannah. Trinity Church is a favorite chamber music venue, and the Philharmonic is fortunate that it is able to host this concert, which had to be moved. The Lutheran Church of the Ascension, where the concert was originally scheduled, is currently undergoing renovations.

 

The Savannah Philharmonic’s Concertmaster Sinisa Ciric, Chorusmaster and pianist Monica Dekle, principal flautist Jeana Melilli, and principal oboist Andrew Ripley will dazzle the audience with an evening of flashy and exciting showpieces. Selections will include Jules Demersseman’s Duo Brilliant for Flute and Oboe from Rossini’s William Tell, F. Borne’s Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen, and “Sempre libera” from Verdi’s La Traviata. The musicians will stretch the boundaries of their instruments in these clever transcriptions of opera scenes and melodies.

 

Sinisa Ciric has performed in countless concerts as soloist and in chamber ensembles and orchestras. As a member of the Symphonic Orchestra of Serbian Radio Television and Belgrade Philharmonic, he cooperated with many international conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Christian Mandeal, Christian Badea and others. Ciric is a founding member of the Balkan Quartet, with whom he has performed in many concerts promoting the rich musical heritage of his native Serbia and the Balkans.

 

Monica Dekle is a prize-winning, nationally recognized musician. She is Director of Music and Organist at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church and Chorusmaster for the Savannah Philharmonic. Dekle earned a Doctor of Music degree at the world-renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, with double majors in Organ and Church Music and double minors in Choral and Instrumental Conducting and Music Education. She also holds a Master’s degree in Organ and Church Music from Baylor University, and the Artium Baccalaureus degree in Organ, Piano, and Accounting from Wesleyan College. Dekle has concertized across the United States and has led choral festivals and clinics on various topics for local musicians.

 

In addition to serving as the Education and Community Outreach Coordinator, Jeana Melilli has been the Savannah Philharmonic’s Principal Flute since the organization began. She is a native of Stockbridge, Georgia, and has earned a bachelor’s degree in Flute Performance from The Catholic University of America and a master’s degree from Northwestern University. Melilli is the piccolo/third flute for the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and the South Carolina Philharmonic, as well as an extra musician for the Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Opera, Charleston Symphony, and other orchestras throughout the Southeast. She is a historical performance advocate and a founding member of the Savannah Baroque and the Vista Ensemble.

 

Andrew Ripley began playing the bagpipe at 14 years of age before being inspired by Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and switching to the oboe in high school. Ripley received a Pennsylvania Governor’s Scholarship to attend the Interlochen Arts Camp, and later earned his undergraduate and master’s degree from Julliard in New York. He also studied oboe at Indiana University, and returned to Savannah to join the Savannah Philharmonic in 2010. In addition to serving as principal oboist, Ripley aids in arranging chamber music shows and with the Savannah Philharmonic’s outreach program.

 

“Some of my favorite performances have been in the intimate setting of the Savannah Philharmonic’s Chamber Series. This April’s ‘Virtuosity at its Finest’ is no exception. Nineteenth century European audiences loved small, virtuosic pieces performed in their salons, so this concert’s program is perfect,” Melilli said. “I look forward to hearing my colleagues Sinisa Ciric, Andy Ripley, and Monica Dekle perform with flair. My own piece, Francis Borne’s Carmen Fantasy is full of familiar themes from Bizet’s Carmen, set in fun, technically challenging snippets that audiences have loved for over a century. These pieces are an excellent, flashy way to end our chamber series for the year.”

 

The Savannah Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.

 

Tickets for ‘Virtuosity at its Finest’ cost $25 each and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com. For more information about this performance or the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL PRESENTS ‘GREATEST HITS’ AT THIRD ANNUAL CO-PRODUCTION

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL PRESENTS ‘GREATEST HITS’ AT THIRD ANNUAL CO-PRODUCTION

AT KICK-OFF OF THE SAVANNAH MUSIC FESTIVAL – MARCH 23 and 26 2017

SAVANNAH, GA – MARCH 13, 2017 – For the third consecutive year, two of Savannah’s leading performing arts organizations, The Savannah VOICE Festival and Savannah Music Festival, are collaborating to create “Arias & Encores” – a two-night run of “greatest hits,” which will include selections from opera, musical theatre and other song genres.

As a highlight of the Savannah Music Festival, which runs March 23-April 8, two outstanding performances featuring some of America’s most talented young vocal artists will unfold on a downtown Savannah stage. “Arias & Encores” will kick-off the festival at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23 at the Charles H. Morris Center, 10 E. Broad St. Music (originally scheduled for 8pm, the March 23rd performance of Arias & Encores is now at 6pm).  “Arias & Encores” will feature a carefully chosen mix of fan favorites from a variety of musical styles and vocal arts enthusiasts who can’t make the concert will have another opportunity to catch it at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26, also at the Morris Center.

The co-production, masterfully curated by VOICE Festival co-founders Maria Zouves and renowned baritone Sherrill Milnes, will put some of the most highly acclaimed rising musical stars in the spotlight. Audiences at both shows will enjoy the talents of sopranos Shana Grossman and Kristin Schwecke, mezzo soprano Emily Righter, tenor Carlton Moe, and baritone James Wright. They’ll be accompanied  by pianist Dan Gettinger, who works with Zouves and Milnes to musically direct the event. Gettinger is beloved throughout the Coastal Empire thanks to his extensive work with various music festivals and events.

Grossman, winner of the Anita Cerquetti International Opera competition, made her New York City debut last summer singing Adele in Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance program of “Die Fledermaus” and is one of the Savannah VOICE Festival artists.

Schwecke, has performed with Piedmont Opera as Kate Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly” and with the Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre as Countess in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” among many other esteemed roles. In summer 2013, she was an apprentice artist with Chautauqua Opera, where she performed in Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes” and was a featured soloist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Schwecke is a former young artist with the Crested Butte Music Festival where she sang Mimi (La Bohème) in concert under the baton of Covent Garden’s David Syrus.

Righter has performed on stages in Austria, Italy and the United States, most recently with Opera Tampa as Angelina in La Cenerentola. In addition to performing in “Arias & Encores” at the Savannah Music Festival, Righer will also join the cast of Michael Ching’s “Anna Hunter” this summer during the Savannah VOICE Festival.

Moe debuted at Carnegie Hall with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as the Brother in Kurt Weill’s “The Seven Deadly Sins” and has performed as soloist in major works such as Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, and Handel’s “The Messiah” with such orchestras as the Oregon Symphony, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Walla Walla Symphony and the Charlottesville Symphony Society.

Wright’s recent operatic roles include the Sacristan in “Tosca,” Rev. Gruffydd in Roger Ames’ “How Green was My Valley” with El Paso Opera, Angelotti in “Tosca” with Nickel City Opera and Papageno in “The Magic Flute” with Undercroft Opera of Pittsburgh. He sang the role of Count Almaviva in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” Bob in “The Old Maid and the Thief” with Nickel City Opera, and Richard White in Michael Ching’s “Alice Ryley” with The Savannah VOICE Festival. Wright joins the Savannah VOICE Festival this summer in the title role of Rossini’s Barber of Seville (il barbiere di Siviglia)

Gettinger has participated in as a music director, vocal coach, and pianist at VOICExperience in New York, Orlando, and Tampa; the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Illinois; Lidal North International Opera Workshop in Oslo, Norway; the Manhattan School Of Music Summer Voice Festival in New York; the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Montreal, Canada; and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy.

SVF’s Zouves, who will curate and co-direct the shows with Gettinger and her husband, Milnes, said, “Working in partnership with the Savannah Music Festival on co-productions has become an annual highlight for our organization, and audiences are in for an especially exciting treat this month. We are so pleased to have shared missions with SMF to provide world class programming to the Southeast and we love being an going partner with the SMF.  It will be fulfilling to offer a program of treasured songs and gems from the repertoire. There truly will be something for everyone.”

Tickets to both performances cost $52 each and are available for purchase online at www.savannahmusicfestival.org/events, by phone at 912.525.5050 and in person at the Savannah Box Office               (216 E. Broughton St.). 

. For more information on the Savannah VOICE Festival or to become a VOICE Society member, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org, call 855-766-7372 or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org.

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MEGAN MYRICK PHOTOGRAPHY TO HOST PETITE SPRING SESSIONS

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – March 13, 2017 – Megan Myrick Photography is set to host her annual petite spring sessions from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1, 2017 at her new studio, 128 Frances Meeks Way, Suite 3 in Richmond Hill.

 

With school pictures taken at the beginning of the academic year in the rearview mirror and the busy summer months quickly approaching, spring is the perfect time to update your child’s portrait. The adorable theme for this year’s spring sessions will be a fresh yellow polka-dot backdrop with props including flowers, Easter eggs, and nests.

 

These 20-minute sessions cost $125 plus tax and include use of the studio’s exclusive props, a digital Easter card for social media sharing, and five digital images with print release. Additional products will be available for purchase. The price includes two siblings; additional siblings are $10 each.

 

“These sessions are always so much fun to photograph during a time of beautiful weather, bright colors and excitement in anticipation of the Easter Bunny’s visit,” said Megan Myrick. “Make sure to book your sessions before they fill-up so you can wish your friends and family a ‘Happy Easter’ with an image of your little bunnies and chick-a-dees!”

 

Megan Myrick Photography specializes in newborn, maternity, baby, child and family photography around the Coastal Georgia area. She strives to provide her clients with a custom portrait experience resulting in timeless, heirloom-quality art for families to cherish for years to come.

 

Spaces will fill up quickly so reserve your session today by visiting www.meganmyrickphotography.com/petite-spring-sessions-megan-myrick-photography/. To learn more about Megan Myrick Photography, please visit www.meganmyrickphotography.com.

 

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OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER AND LAVENDER HILL TEAM-UP TO CELEBRATE AVEDA EARTH MONTH

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – March 13, 2017- Join Ogeechee Riverkeeper and Richmond Hill’s own Aveda concept salon and spa – Lavender Hill – in celebrating Earth Month with Aveda during the month of April.

 

Starting Saturday April 1 and throughout Earth Month, Lavender Hill, 2709 US-17 in Richmond Hill, will give individuals the opportunity to add their name to a water drop with a donation to Ogeechee Riverkeeper and help to fill the salon and spa’s wall by the end of Earth Month.

 

Raffle tickets for a gift basket including Ogeechee Riverkeeper branded items, Lavender Hill services, and Aveda products will also be available for purchase. Tickets will be available on Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s website and at Lavender Hill priced at $5 per ticket or $20 for five tickets. The raffle drawing will be held at the conclusion of Earth Month on Saturday, April 29. Ticket buyers do not have to be present to win.

 

In addition, on Saturday, April 22 Lavender Hill will kindly donate 10 percent of all services purchased on this day at their salon to Ogeechee Riverkeeper.  This local non-profit organization has been chosen as one of only 75 organizations in the United States to benefit from Aveda’s annual partnerships for 2017 Earth Month. Aveda Salons and Spas are founded on the common mission of caring for you and caring for our world around us and every April Aveda undertakes a clean water fundraising and awareness initiative during Earth Month. Aveda has been protecting water through partnerships with supporters raising over $44 million for environmental causes since 1999.

 

“We are honored to have been chosen as an Aveda partner and are looking forward to the opportunities this presents to get involved with the wonderful Aveda salons in our community like Lavender Hill,” Ogeechee Riverkeeper Executive Director Emily Markesteyn Kurilla said. “Community involvement is key in accomplishing our mission and we will be able to make such an impact with these partnerships throughout this year’s Earth Month as well as in the future.”

 

Karen Guither, Owner of Lavender Hill said “We fully embrace Aveda’s philosophy and everyone at the Lavender Hill is very excited about supporting Ogeechee Riverkeeper this year.  Our Salon Spa is based at the heart of the Ogeechee River basin and our customers enjoy the beauty and benefits of living so close to this amazing River and appreciate all the work undertaken by Ogeechee Riverkeeper to preserve, protect, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee Riverkeeper basin.”

 

To learn more about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org To learn more about Lavender Hill and Aveda please visit www.lavenderhillspasalon.com

 

 

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EMPIRE CONSTRUCTION UNVEILS NEW LOOK AND ADDS A MEMBER TO THE TEAM

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – March 13, 2017 – Savannah based Empire Construction continues to broaden its client base and expand its capabilities as demand for the company’s services increases. After completing several successful, projects, Empire responded to its growing popularity by focusing on identification friendly branding, introducing a new logo, and unveiling a fresh website. As more clients entrusted Empire Construction with their home renovation projects, the company hired a new project manager to ensure quality remains top priority.

 

In February of 2017, Empire Construction hired Matt Evans as project manager. Evans, originally from Conroe, Texas, found his interest in the construction trade in high school while helping remodel his family home. While completing this project, he learned about drywall, plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry and welding. At 20 years old, Evans joined the Army, focusing on structural airframe repair. In his nine and half years of service, he completed training in level one combatives, Enlisted Green Platoon, Airborne School, SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape), and seven deployments, including several to Iraq and Afghanistan. He served as a sergeant and held titles of team leader, TMDE NCOIC (Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Non-commissioned Officer in Charge), building manager and technical inspector. Upon retiring, Evans reached out to Empire Construction and is now enjoying a civilian career as the company’s project manager.

 

“We are excited about the future of Empire Construction and are delighted with our new imagery and happy to welcome Matt Evans as project manager as I know he will be a great addition to our team,” said Empire Construction President/CEO Matt Follis.

 

Empire Construction provides honest, reliable service that exceeds expectations by ensuring that each project is completed on time and within budget. By utilizing state of the art equipment and the latest techniques combined with the use of the highest quality materials, Empire Construction is able to ensure exceptional workmanship that is highly durable and cost effective. Empire Construction’s services include residential and commercial remodels, additions and new construction.

 

To learn more about Empire Construction please visit www.empire-builds.com.

 

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GREENBRIAR CHILDREN’S CENTER RECOGNIZES NATIONAL SAFE PLACE WEEK

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNH, GA – March 13, 2017 – Greenbriar Children’s Center is observing National Safe Place Week, which is March 19-25, this month. Safe Place is a national program that is implemented and rolled out at the community level in participating cities across the nation.

 

In 1996, Greenbriar established Project Safe Place, which focuses on the prevention of child abuse and neglect by partnering with local businesses to provided safe havens for children in need. Current Safe Place sites include convenience stores, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, fire and police stations, Chatham Area Transit, the public and private school systems, and recreational facilities. When a child seeks help at one of these sites, a trained volunteer or staff member responds immediately and offers services that may include emergency shelter, individual or family counseling, or other referrals as needed. Designated sanctuaries display a recognizable black and yellow “Safe Place” sign. The Safe Place Program also includes presentations at schools and community centers to educate children about child-abuse prevention and available assistance. For a full list of Greenbriar’s established Safe Places in Savannah, go to http://www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org/index.php/project-safe-place.html

 

To commemorate this special week, Greenbriar is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Berean Missionary Baptist Association of Savannah. Nine of the association’s 52 network churches have agreed to become certified Safe Places and complete the training necessary for the designation.

 

Berean Association Moderator Rev. Dr. Clarence Williams Jr. sees the commitment as beneficial for the community.

 

“It’s good because everywhere in our community, there are churches. They help make up a community. One of our main emphases is to bring about public awareness and, in doing so, we already do a lot of training. So, moving into this initiative with Greenbriar and our churches across the community just correlates well,” Williams said. “We’re going to do a great job. It’s time for our churches to become an voice instead of an echo, so we’ve been forging partnerships and trying to have a positive impact on the community.”

 

The nine churches poised to join Greenbriar’s Safe Place network are Zion Hill Baptist, Mt. Moriah Baptist, Historical First African Baptist, First Evergreen Baptist, Connor’s Temple Baptist, Second Ebenezer Missionary Baptist, First Tabernacle Missionary Baptist, Mount Zion Baptist, and First African Baptist Church of East Savannah.

 

If a juvenile who is in trouble or needs help cannot reach a Safe Place, they can also text the word SAFE and their current location (address, city, state) to 69866 for immediate help. To learn more, visit http://nationalsafeplace.org/find-a-safe-place/?state=Georgia

 

“Project Safe Place tackles the extremely important issue of providing safe havens for children in need,” Greenbriar Children’s Center Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “We could not make the impact we do in our community without the help of these local businesses and emergency stations. It’s been over 20 years since we rolled out Project Safe Place locally, and throughout March, we’re celebrating the numerous children who have been saved or helped in some way thanks to this initiative.”

 

To learn more about Greenbriar Children’s Center, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org.

 

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ST. ELIZABETH’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH TO PARTICIPATE IN WEEKLY RICHMOND HILL FARMERS MARKET

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – March 13, 2017 – St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church is gearing up to participate in the Richmond Hill Farmers Market from 2-7 p.m. every Tuesday at J.F. Gregory Park, 521 Cedar St. in Richmond Hill.

The Farmers Market runs each year from April to October and boasts a variety of vendors each week. St. Elizabeth’s encourages attendees to visit their booth to learn about the history and mission of the church as well as wider community-based programs and involvement opportunities. The church volunteers and Pastor Dr. C. Clark Hubbard also offer a prayer ministry at the market, pausing to reflect and pray with any market attendees who come by the booth and express interest.

The City of Richmond Hill’s Park and Tree Department oversees the Farmers Market. Organizers say the market aims to support the development of the local agricultural economy, which will foster stewardship of land and goodwill in the community by providing a place for vendors to sell products. Shoppers can expect to find fresh produce, eggs, dairy products, baked goods, crafts and other specialty items.

“The Farmers Market is a great opportunity for fellowship between the community and church members,” said St. Elizabeth’s Rector Dr. C. Clark Hubbard. “Supporting the community as well as our local economy is important to St. Elizabeth’s and our congregation, and we are looking forward to doing this each week at the Farmers Market.”

St. Elizabeth’s is a Bible-believing church, where Jesus is Lord and Savior and all are welcomed and loved. The church operates an acclaimed pre-school for children aged 2-4 years and an on-site thrift store, dubbed St. Elizabeth’s Attic, which is open Tuesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The church is committed to offering bible study and Christian education programs for children, youth, and adults and is committed to building a church community. The church is located on 6.6 acres at 16491 Highway 144 in Richmond Hill.

 

The market is located under the covered pavilion at J.F. Gregory Park and is held rain or shine. For more information about the Farmers Market, please visit www.visitrichmondhill.com/richmond-hill-farmers-market/. For more information about St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, please visit www.stelizabethsrichmondhill.com.

 

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A WINNING FORMULA: REVIEWING THE 2017 AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – March 13, 2017 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) wrapped up its exciting 2017 season at the Historic Savannah Theatre on the evening of Feb. 24 after announcing Julie Benko as the winner of the coveted Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation Gold Medal.

Benko dazzled audiences with her rendition of nine songs from nine different genres throughout the competition, ranging from Johnny Mercer’s “Wonderful, Wonderful Day” – which won her the Johnny Mercer Award – to John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” In addition to the Gold Medal, Benko was awarded $12,000 and a contract to perform with the Savannah Philharmonic. The Johnny Mercer Award is sponsored by the Friends of Johnny Mercer, Inc. and Armstrong State University. This award, along with $750, is presented to a contestant each year for the best performance of a Johnny Mercer song.

Benko is an actress, singer and songwriter based in New York City. She has worked on Broadway, national tours, and in regional theaters across the country. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she is constantly involved in developmental readings and workshops of new works at venues throughout New York City.

In addition to being the 2017 ATC Gold Medal winner, Benko’s career highlights include creating the leading role of Rebeca Frankel in Barrington Stage Company’s world premiere musical “The Golem of Havana” (2015 IRNE Best New Play nominee) and singing alongside the stars at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony. Most recently, she performed on Broadway in the acclaimed 2015 revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Along with her career, Benko also gives back to the community by regularly volunteering her vocal talents with Sing For Your Senior and VocalEase, organizations that provide senior centers and nursing homes with Broadway-level entertainment at zero cost. She also provides educational services to members of Footsteps, the only organization in North America that assists people who wish to leave the ultra-Orthodox community.

The Patricia and Heyward Gignilliat Silver Medal Award and $6,000 was awarded to Dara Tucker. Tucker also received the Ben Tucker Jazz Award and $500, sponsored by the David A. and Margaret L. Cohen Foundation, for the best performance of a jazz song. Third place, the Enmarket Stations, Inc. Bronze Medal Award, and $3,000 was awarded to Kisma Jordan. Jordan also received the Sherrill Milnes American Opera Award – a new award this year – of $500 sponsored by Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves on behalf of the Savannah VOICE Festival

Dara Tucker made her national U.S. television debut on “The Travis Smiley Show” in 2015, opened for Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter in 2016, and was named Best Jazz Vocalist at the 2016 Nashville Industry Music Awards. In addition, she has released 3 studio projects and is slated to release her 4th album this spring.

Kisma Jordan most recently shared her fusion project “OperaSoul” with audiences at TEDxDetroit 2016 and has enjoyed performing across the U.S. including features with Michigan Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Annapolis Opera, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and Omaha Symphony Orchestra. Among her honors are the Jensen Vocal Competition and The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Other awards presented included:

  • The fourth-place prize of $1,200, sponsored by Kay and Don Gardner, was awarded to Aundi Marie Moore.
  • Fifth-place and $1,200, sponsored by the Savannah Friends of Music, was awarded to Sarah Mesko.
  • The Richard Chambless’ People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Swann Seiler, was awarded to Stephen Dobson, a native of Savannah, from the quarterfinals, and Rachel Sparrow from the semifinals. They each receive $500 along with this award.

“I can’t even begin to sing the praises warranted for everyone involved in making the 2017 ATC one for the books. We had an incredible line-up of talent between the contestants, judges, and pianists and an amazing support system of volunteers and sponsors,” said ATC Board President Danny Cohen. “Thank you to the Savannah community for supporting us and celebrating classic American music with us year after year – we can’t wait to see you for the last week of February 2018 for our 25th competition season!”

 

To learn more about the ATC, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR FIRST ORK PADDLE TRIP OF THE 2017 SEASON

Categories: Public Relations.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR FIRST OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER

PADDLE TRIP OF THE 2017 SEASON

SAVANNAH, GA – March 8, 2017 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper is slated to kick off its 2017 paddle trip season with a six-mile paddle on the beautiful Canoochee River on Saturday, March 25, 2017 with the tour group meeting at 9 a.m. The put-in location is on Daisy Nevils Highway, two miles north of the intersection with U.S. Highway 280 in Claxton. The trip is anticipated to last until mid-afternoon with a break for lunch.

 

Paddlers will enjoy a tour down the Canoochee whose winding blackwater creates both a serene and challenging course for paddlers. Luke Roberson, Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s outreach and water quality specialist, will lead this trip. Participants should bring lunch/snacks, water bottle(s), sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water shoes or old tennis shoes (flip-flops and sandals are not recommended), and a dry bag or way to store your personal items.

 

This course’s difficulty ranking is beginner to intermediate. Children 12 years and younger should be accompanied by an experienced paddler. Please contact the Ogeechee Riverkeeper office if you are unsure if you should bring your child.

 

“Ogeechee Riverkeeper is thrilled to begin our third annual Paddle Trip season with this scenic course,” said Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Emily Markesteyn Kurilla. “These trips are such an incredible way to get the community interested and involved with our organization. There is no better way to truly connect with the river than spending a day paddling down it and seeing the wildlife and beauty it has to offer.”

 

Registration for non-members costs $35 per person while Ogeechee Riverkeeper members are invited to join these paddles at no cost. Ogeechee Riverkeeper memberships begin at the individual level of $35. To learn more or to become a member, please visit our website.

 

Registration for this guided paddle trip closes at 4 p.m. Friday, March 24. To register for this trip or for more information about Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or call 866-942-6222.

 

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2017 AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION CONCLUDES AS LUCKY WINNERS ARE NAMED

Categories: Public Relations.

2017 AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION CONCLUDES AS  LUCKY WINNERS ARE NAMED, JULIE BENKO TOOK FIRST PLACE

 

SAVANNAH, GA – February 25, 2017 – Last night, the American Traditions Competition (ATC) ended an exciting week in celebration of American music and showcasing tomorrow’s vocal stars with a full house at the Historic Savannah Theatre on Bull Street.

The winners were announced following an intermission during which the judges retired to make their final selections from among the talented pool of artists who had progressed through nine songs each from different genres through the quarter and semifinal rounds earlier this week.

The Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation Gold Medal, worth $12,000 and a contract with the Savannah Philharmonic, was awarded to Julie Benko.

Other awards presented included:

  • The Patricia and Heyward Gignilliat Silver Medal Award and $6,000 was awarded to Dara Tucker.
  • The Enmark Stations, Inc. Bronze Medal Award and $3,000 was awarded to Kisma Jordan.
  • The fourth-place prize of $1,200, sponsored by Kay and Don Gardner, was awarded to Aundi Marie Moore.
  • Fifth-place and $1,200, sponsored by the Savannah Friends of Music, was awarded to Sarah Mesko.
  • The Johnny Mercer Award along with $750, given by Friends of Johnny Mercer, Inc. and Armstrong State University, was presented to Julie Benko for the best performance of a Johnny Mercer song.
  • A new award this year – the Sherrill Milnes American Opera Award – of $500 sponsored by Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves on behalf of the Savannah VOICE Festival, was awarded to Kisma Jordan for the best performance of an American opera aria.
  • The Ben Tucker Jazz Award and $500, sponsored by the David A. and Margaret L. Cohen Foundation, was awarded to Dara Tucker for the best performance of a jazz song.
  • The Richard Chambless’ People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Swann Seiler, was awarded to Stephen Dobson from the quarterfinals, and Rachel Sparrow from the semifinals. The each received $500 along with this award.

“This year’s competition has surpassed all expectations with high-energy, amazing talent and love for American music demonstrated by contestants, judges and audience members alike,” said ATC Board President Danny Cohen. “It has been an honor and privilege to work with everyone who had a hand in making the 2017 ATC one that will never be forgotten.”

To learn more about the ATC – a world renowned nonprofit organization which was established to provide a forum for showcasing tomorrow’s vocal talents and to celebrate the diverse repertoire of standard, classic American music – please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION, FINALS TONIGHT

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 24, 2017 – On Thursday night, the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) announced the talented artists selected by the judges to advance to the exciting final round of the competition, which is tonight.

The semifinalists each performed three songs from nine different music styles – such as blues, jazz, modern cabaret, opera, art song, folk, gospel, and country and western – dazzling the audience and judges alike with their talent. The remaining contestants who will perform in the final round are (in alphabetical order):

Julie Benko

Kisma Jordan

Sarah Mesko

Aundi Marie Moore

Dara Tucker

The finals will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 at the Historic Savannah Theatre, 222 Bull St. in downtown Savannah following a free Master Class, also at the Savannah Theatre, at 3 p.m. General seating tickets to the Finals cost $35 each while premium seating tickets cost $50 and can be purchased by visiting www.americantraditionscompetition.com or www.hostsouthes.com/atc. Online ticket sales close four hours prior to the start of each event. For last-minute ticket purchases, please call the box office at The Savannah Theatre at 912-233-7764.

“The judges really have their work cut out for them choosing a winner from this incredibly talented line-up of finalists,” said ATC Board President Danny Cohen. “We hope the audience is as excited as we are to hear these artists continue to demonstrate their vocal talents not only during this competition but for the rest of their careers as well.”

To learn more about the ATC – a world renowned nonprofit organization which was established to provide a forum for showcasing tomorrow’s vocal talents and to celebrate the diverse repertoire of standard, classic American music – please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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TWO HUNDRED CLUB OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE HONORS 10 FIRST RESPONDERS AT VALOR AWARDS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 22, 2017 – Thursday night at the Charles H. Morris Center in downtown Savannah, a crowd of over 200 joined the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire in honoring 10 first responders at the 2017 Valor Awards.

 

The first responders recognized were as follows: Tactical Medic Frank Pilcher, Southside Fire Department; DUSM Robert Charles Doherty, U.S. Marshals Service; Deputy Sheriff Walter John Kent with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Special Deputy U.S. Marshal; Special Agent Peter Alan Morris with the Georgia Department of Corrections, Special Deputy U.S. Marshal; Criminal Investigator John Geoffrey Rohrs with the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Special Deputy U.S. Marshal; Deputy Sheriff Franklin Roosevelt Rollins Jr. with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Special Deputy U.S. Marshal; Criminal Investigator Shane Derek Sasser with the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Special Deputy U.S. Marshal; SDUSM Ramiro Suarez, U.S. Marshals Service; DUSM James Fitzhugh Turner, U.S. Marshals Service; and Special Agent Daniel Lyle Wilkes with the Georgia Department of Corrections, Special Deputy U.S. Marshal.

 

Each year, the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire honors first responders from the 20 counties they serve within Georgia and South Carolina who have exhibited valor during the performance of their duties. The Valor Awards are presented to law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel who acted with abundant strength of mind and spirit when confronted with extreme danger, knowing their personal health and well-being were in jeopardy.

 

Pilcher’s award stems from his involvement in an incident on Feb. 10. Deputies from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department attempted to serve a criminal warrant for stalking a domestic violence victim at a residence on Leah Drive. The suspect engaged the deputies with a high-powered long rifle at close range, injuring one of the deputies then barricading himself inside his home. Several other officers from various agencies were also pinned down by gunfire from the suspect, who had multiple guns in his barricaded home.

 

Shortly after the standoff began, Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department SWAT and negotiators were called to assist with the situation. After a rapid response, an Officer Rescue Operation was conducted. SWAT operators and Southside Fire Department Tactical Medic Frank Pilcher drove directly into the line of fire to rescue two pinned-down deputies. Smoke grenades were deployed to conceal the movement and the deputies were successfully rescued. The suspect surrendered peacefully to police after four hours of negotiations. Pilcher demonstrated bravery and devotion to public safety in this tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situation, according to Southside Fire Department CEO Conrad T. Kearns, who nominated Pilcher.

 

The remaining honorees were recognized for their involvement in an incident that unfolded Nov. 18, 2016 in Allenhurst, Georgia. Members of the United States Marshals Services Southern District of Georgia and members of the United States Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force were working to locate and arrest Dontrell Montese Carter. Carter was wanted by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office for multiple counts of attempted murder of a police officer. The warrants were related to a vehicle pursuit that occurred Sept. 18, 2016.  During that incident, Carter sprayed at officers with an assault rifle.

 

Early that morning, members of the task force traveled to Allenhust, GA to attempt to locate and arrest Carter. The team, was composed of Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force Chief Inspector Patrick Thomas Carothers, Suarez, Doherty, Turner, Morris, Rohrs, Wilkes, Sasser, Rollins, and Kent.

 

Morris talked to a confidential source who lived near the trailer the suspect was thought to be staying in. The source identified the renter from a photograph and told Morris that the car parked outside the home belonged to the renter; however she didn’t recognize a second vehicle outside the residence. The warrant was based on the fact that the suspect, Carter, had been identified through the investigation as being physically located at the target address.

 

Around 8 a.m. that morning, the renter of the trailer returned, was interviewed by Morris, and gave consent to search his rented trailer. The renter, who said he hadn’t been home for two days, wasn’t certain whether anyone was in his trailer but thought perhaps his brother was inside.

 

The task force team utilized two ballistic shields, divided into two teams and entered the trailer. After one team cleared the rear of the home, and the other team took position to clear the front. After a man, later identified as the renter’s brother, and a female friend came out of a front bedroom, Carothers and Doherty asked whether anyone else was in the trailer. The woman said she didn’t know, and the man remained silent. Authorities took the pair outside.

 

As Carothers and Doherty proceeded down the hall to clear the rest of the trailer, Carter opened fire on Carothers, striking him several times. Doherty, Carothers and Rollins immediately returned fire, striking Carter multiple times. Kent, the team’s tactical medic, retrieved Carothers, who had two wounds above his vest line. He’d been struck in the arm and in his body armor, near his spleen. Carothers was transported to Liberty Regional Medical Center in Hinesville, where he passed away.

 

Carter died on the way to a Savannah hospital.

 

“Tonight was very special not only to the first responders who were honored but also to everyone present,” Two Hundred Club Board President Mark Dana said. “The Valor Awards aim to recognize the extreme bravery and selflessness these first responders have demonstrated while serving our community. It was obvious tonight by the crowd how grateful the Savannah community is for these first responders.”

 

To learn more about this event or the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, please visit www.twohundredclub.org.

 

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“OPERA WITH SOUTHERN CHARM” RAISES VITAL FUNDS

Categories: Public Relations.

“OPERA WITH SOUTHERN CHARM” RAISES VITAL FUNDS FOR MILNES VOICE PROGRAMS SCHOLARSHIPS

NEW YORK, NY – Feb. 23, 2017 – Savannah was well represented in a snowy New York City earlier this month as the hostess city’s southern charm warmed the hearts of northern opera lovers at the fourth annual VOICE Gala held at New York’s exclusive Harmonie Club.  This star studded red carpet event was well attended by New York and Savannah supporters alike, who left balmy temperatures to enjoy “Opera with a Southern Flair” hosted by opera legend and VOICExperience co-founder Sherrill Milnes and Georgia born and raised based opera star, Jamie Barton who is the winner of the 2017 prestigious Beverly Sill Award, 2015 Richard Tucker Award, both the Main and the Song Prizes at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a Grammy nominee.  Attendees were given a copy of Barton’s new CD All Who Wander on the Delos label.

In a moving presentation renowned tenor Neil Shicoff was honored with the 2017 Milnes VOICE Award presented by former VOICE Award winner Diana Soviero and SVF’s 2016 Romeo and Juliet stage director, Fabrizio Melano. Soprano Dawn Kotoski Shicoff, Neil’s wife, surprised her husband with a performance of Romberg’s One Kiss.  Special messages were sent to Neil by Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli and Maestro James Levine. There was also a special memorial tribute to Fritz Weaver, Tony Award winning actor and emeritus faculty of the VOICE programs, who passed away last November at the age of 90. His children and wife were present at the event.

Over 120 attendees enjoyed performances by Michael Fabiano (2014 Richard Tucker Awardee) and VOICExperience’s own rising stars Amy Shoremount-Obra, Santiago Ballerini, Carlton Moe and Carolina Gomez joined by the 2017 young artists of the Milnes VOICE Programs, led by Maria Zouves, Jorge Parodi and Howard Watkins.  Several of the singers of the evening will now join the Savannah Music Festival and Savannah VOICE Festival co-production of “Arias and Encores” in March. Savannah sponsors included The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa, The River Street Inn, Savannah Lodging, Visit Savannah, The Salt Table Chef Damon Fowler and Byrds Cookies.

Maria Zouves, Executive Director of VOICExperience and The Savannah VOICE Festival said, “We could not be happier about our 2017 gala. It solidifies the national scope that is being created with the Savannah VOICE Festival and the unique relationship music lovers of Savannah and New York have with each other. This fundraising dinner has enabled the Milnes VOICE Programs to fund vital scholarships and education and outreach programs in Savannah and across the nation.”

A New York supporter and gala attendee commented “After this gala I fell so comforted to know that organizations like VOICExperience exist to support the arts and education.”

The Savannah VOICE Festival returns to Georgia with co-productions at the Savannah Music Festival on March 23 and 25 and for the fifth annual VOICE Festival from August 5 – 27.

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SEMIFINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 23, 2017 – On Wednesday night, the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) announced the talented artists selected by the judges to advance to the Semifinals, which begin today.

There have been many awe-inspiring performances throughout the competition week, including performances by ATC judges Andrew Lippa, Sylvia McNair and Kurt Ollmann. Contestants have dazzled audiences and judges with a range of music from nine different genres, including blues, jazz, modern cabaret, opera, art song, folk, gospel, and country and western.

The semifinalists will compete for spots in the finals by singing their next sets of three songs each at 4 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 at Skidaway Island United Methodist Church, 54 Diamond Causeway in Savannah. The remaining contestants are (in alphabetical order):

Julie Benko

Brian Giebler

Gillian Hassert

Katherine Henly

Kisma Jordan

Sarah Mesko

Aundi Marie Moore

Christia Nastasi

Brittany Proia

Rachel Sparrow

Nikki Switzer

Dara Tucker

All-day passes to the semifinals cost $30 each and can be purchased by visiting www.americantraditionscompetition.com or www.hostsouthes.com/atc. Online ticket sales close four hours prior to the start of each event. For last-minute ticket purchases, please call the box office at The Savannah Theatre at 912-233-7764. The 2017 ATC will move to the Historic Savannah Theatre on Friday, Feb. 24 with a free master class at 3 p.m. and the finals at 8 p.m.

“This year’s competition has been splendid so far with stunning performances not only by our amazingly talented artists, but also our impressive line-up of judges,” ATC Board President Danny Cohen said. “You don’t want to miss seeing tomorrow’s vocal superstars perform here in our beautiful Savannah community.”

To learn more about the ATC – a world renowned nonprofit organization which was established to provide a forum for showcasing tomorrow’s vocal talents and to celebrate the diverse repertoire of standard, classic American music – please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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GREENBRIAR CELEBRATES VOLUNTEERS AND PARTNERS AT ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNH, GA – February 22, 2017 – Greenbriar Children’s Center held its Annual Meeting and Volunteers of the Year Awards Luncheon today at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Savannah.

Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch and fellowship as they celebrated the nonprofit organizations tremendous accomplishments over the past year. Greenbriar presented awards to their volunteers of the year, and the community partner and media partner of the year. Those recognized included:

2016 Media Partner of the Year – WTOC TV

2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year – Chief Warrant Officer 2 Martavia Jones

2016 Community Partner of the Year – The Junior League of Savannah

2016 Servant Leadership Award – Berean Missionary Baptist Association

2016 Corporate Volunteer of the Year – Red River
“Greenbriar’s mission could not be accomplished without the support we receive from our donors and volunteers,” said Executive Director Gena Taylor. “It is truly a privilege to honor and recognize these individuals and organizations each year.”

The mission of Greenbriar Children’s Center is to provide childcare, residential and family counselling services which lead to the healthy development of children and young adults and to the strengthening of families. The nonprofit organization’s services include emergency shelter, residential care, runaway/homeless programs, independent living, family preservation, early childhood development programs, and Project Safe Place. Greenbriar has been serving the Savannah community since 1944.

To learn more about Greenbriar Children’s Center, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org.

 

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EMPIRE CONSTRUCTION COMPLETES RESTORATION

Categories: Public Relations.

EMPIRE CONSTRUCTION COMPLETES RESTORATION OF HISTORIC DOWNTOWN SAVANNAH CONDOMINIUM

SAVANNAH, GA – February 20, 2017 – Empire Construction is a Savannah-based construction company specializing in residential, commercial and restoration projects. Empire recently completed a remodel of the top floor unit in the Solomon Cohen Townhouse, located at 116 W. Liberty St. in downtown Savannah.

 

Nestled among Savannah’s beautiful squares, the residence was originally built by prominent Savannah lawyer Solomon Cohen as a wedding present for his daughter in 1875, the same year as his death. The 1,300 square foot, two-bedroom, one-bath condominium fully occupies the building’s top floor and features beautiful hardwood floors with an abundance of natural lighting. The owners plan to utilize it initially as a vacation rental.

 

Following Empire Construction’s work, the condominium’s kitchen and bathroom now boast attractive new tile work as well as updated fixtures and appliances. The kitchen has been enhanced with new backsplashes and modern lighting. Empire Construction was referred by Realtor Danni Evans Powers at Cora Bett Thomas Realty. She worked at length to find the perfect property for current homeowners Jennifer Fischer and Reggie Crawford. Fischer and Crawford are pleased with the results, noting the updates really make the condominium shine.

 

“The Empire Construction team was incredibly professional and we love the end result,” Fischer said. “The work was competed with care and you can see the quality of the work throughout our home. We were kept informed of the progress along the way and they treated our home like their own. It was clear that the quality of work and attention to detail were held to a very high standard that was more than we expected.”

 

Empire Construction provides honest and reliable service that exceeds expectations by ensuring that each project is completed on time and within budget. By utilizing state of the art equipment and the latest techniques combined with the use of the highest quality materials, Empire Construction is able to ensure exceptional workmanship that is highly durable and cost-effective. As a general contracting firm, Empire Construction’s services include bathroom remodels, cabinet installation, commercial construction, commercial remodel, drywall installation, flooring installation, green building construction, historic restoration, home additions, kitchen remodels, trim installation and new construction.

 

For more information about Empire Construction or to view galleries of completed projects, please visit www.empire-builds.com.

 

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ST. ELIZABETH’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH TO LAUNCH ONE THOUSAND GIFTS BIBLE STUDY

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – February 20, 2017 – Join St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church for their next Bible study series, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are” by Ann Voskamp.

 

“One Thousand Gifts” will kick-off on Wednesday, March 29 following the widely-enjoyed bible study “War Room” which concludes March 15. This five-week study will allow participants to “…come to know and feel the impossible right down to our bones: we are wildly loved – by God.” The book guide for this study costs $7.

 

St. Elizabeth’s weekly Bible studies are held on Wednesday mornings from 9:45 a.m. to noon. All are welcome to attend these studies and childcare is provided. St. Elizabeth’s most recent Bible study, “The Reason for God: Conversations on Faith & Life” will conclude on Feb. 15.

 

“These bible studies provide a fun environment to study God’s word with others therefore creating a larger platform to spread God’s love within our community,” said congregation member Susan Hall.

 

St. Elizabeth’s is a Bible-believing church, where Jesus is Lord and Savior and all are welcomed and loved. The Rev. Dr. C. Clark Hubbard, pastor, and his team have worked to build a church community for the community, where area residents can live within the Spirit, today and tomorrow, to build the Kingdom of God. In addition to providing Christian education programs for children, youth, and adults, St. Elizabeth’s also operates an acclaimed pre-school and an on-site thrift store, dubbed St. Elizabeth’s Attic. St. Elizabeth’s strives to educate children to know Jesus and to develop their potential, intellectually, individually, and corporately in order to prepare them to use their God-given talents for personal satisfaction and for contribution to their community.

 

To learn more about St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church or these Bible Studies, please visit www.stelizabethsrichmondhill.com. To register for a study, please call 912-727-3703.

 

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MOON RIVER BREWING COMPANY & OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER PARTNER FOR MARDI GRAS PARTY

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 20, 2017 – Join Moon River Brewing Company for a Fat Tuesday celebration to benefit Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Throughout the month of February, Moon River is focused on raising money to support the regional nonprofit’s work. This fundraising initiative will culminate with a Mardi Gras party at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Moon River Brewing Company, 21 W. Bay St. in downtown Savannah.

During February, Moon River will sell paper alligators for $1 each to patrons, and all proceeds will be donated to Ogeechee Riverkeeper. These paper alligators, which purchasers can sign or write other well wishes on, will fill the restaurant during the Mardi Gras celebration, giving the event an especially festive flair. During the party, guests can purchase dinner and drinks from Moon River while enjoying T-shirt giveaways, beads and pint glasses, courtesy of Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Interested revelers are encouraged to arrive early because party supplies are expected to go fast.

“Ogeechee Riverkeeper is greatly looking forward to not only celebrating, but also to spreading the word about our organization’s mission,” Ogeechee Riverkeeper Executive Director Emily Markesteyn Kurilla said. “We are grateful to Moon River for this opportunity and we can’t wait to share great beer and good times with our supporters.”

Bring friends to this exciting event to enjoy delicious Moon River craft beer, gourmet menu items, and learn about the Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin.

To learn more about Moon River Brewing Company, please visit www.wordpress.moonriverbrewing.com. For more information about this event or Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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COOL BODY CONTOURING APPOINTS LESLEY FRANCIS PUBLIC RELATIONS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 13, 2017 – Cool Body Contouring announces the appointment of Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR) as marketing partners. LFPR will take responsibility for the company’s branding, online and social media presence, community outreach initiatives, media relations and copywriting.

 

Cool Body Contouring is one of the few clinics in the United States exclusively specializing in CoolSculpting®. CoolSculpting’s® unique technology uses controlled cooling to freeze and eliminate unwanted fat cells without surgery or downtime. The procedure is FDA cleared, safe and effective. More than five million CoolSculpting® treatments have been performed worldwide. Dr. Martin E. Everhard, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S brings this unique treatment to Savannah though the Cool Body Contouring clinic he founded and operates on White Bluff Road, along with his nurse, Michelle Sell.

 

British-born Lesley Francis is a graduate of the University of Bristol (England) and has extensive marketing experience. In 1998, Lesley founded hsdcommunications, an award-winning, London-based agency that she grew from one person to a UK top 25 PR firm. She sold her business in 2007 to Gyro International, a global group with offices in 11 countries, and ran their worldwide PR division before relocating to the USA, where she became a naturalized American citizen and founded LFPR. Her boutique public relations agency specializes in local businesses as well as non-profit organizations.

 

“We are really looking forward to working with Lesley Francis and her team and seeing Cool Body Contouring’s profile raised via this partnership,” Everhard said. “CoolSculpting® has become a very popular procedure and having LFPR’s marketing and public relations expertise communicate our clinic’s expertise and experience will help set Cool Body Contouring apart from the others.”

 

For more information about Cool Body Contouring, please visit www.coolbodycontouring.com. To learn more about Lesley Francis PR, please visit www.lesleyfrancispr.com.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION TO PRESENT UNIQUE MASTER CLASS

Categories: Public Relations.

AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION TO PRESENT UNIQUE MASTER CLASS AHEAD OF FINAL ROUND PLUS NEW STUDENT DISCOUNT FOR FINALS

 

SAVANNAH, GA – February 9, 2017 – The highly anticipated American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) will wrap-up its exciting 2017 season with a free master class and the final competition round on Friday, Feb. 24 in historic downtown Savannah.  For the first time students with valid ID on the day of the final performance will be able to purchase tickets at the door of the Savannah Theatre for the finals for only $10.

For the first time in ATC history, all three judges will join the master class, which will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 at the historic Savannah Theatre, 222 Bull St. in downtown Savannah. This year, newcomer judges Sylvia McNair, an opera and musical theater star who is considered to be one of the leading interpreters of the Great American Songbook, and Andrew Lippa, an American composer, lyricist, book writer, performer and producer, will join distinguished baritone Kurt Ollmann, who returns to the panel for a second year.

 

This master class will provide a unique outreach opportunity, which will allow the public to watch as each judge chooses one non-finalist to sing. The contestant will sing one or two pieces and the judge will work with the individual on technique, musical interpretation and general musicality issues. This event is free and open to the public.

 

“This year’s free master class will be highly enjoyable to all who participate and is an important part of our outreach to the Savannah community.  By watching and listening, the audience can witness the change first-hand in how each vocalist uses the information in interpreting the piece,” ATC Board President Danny Cohen said. “The joy is that the audience can experience three different judges with three different teaching styles working with a range of singers.”

 

At 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, also at the Savannah Theatre, the final ATC contestants will compete for the top honors and prizes with the hope of winning the highly-coveted Gold Medal. The first-place winner will receive $12,000 sponsored by the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation. The runner-up is awarded the Patricia and Heyward Gignilliat Silver Medal Award and receives $6,000. The third-place Bronze Medal Award of $3,000 is sponsored by EnMark Stations, Inc. Fourth-place sponsored by Kay and Don Gardner and fifth-place sponsored by the Savannah Friends of Music.  Every one of the 28 quarter finalists has the opportunity to win one of four special awards worth $500-$750 each including the Johnny Mercer, Sherrill Milnes American Opera. Ben Tucker Jazz and two Richard Chambless’ People’s Choice awards.

 

The nonprofit ATC, established as a world-renowned vocal competition, based in Savannah, celebrates standard, classic American music. The vocal contest evolved from Savannah Onstage, which was established in 1992 and was the predecessor of the Savannah Music Festival. It attracts internationally acclaimed artists, judges and accompanists by offering significant prizes to the winning singers. The ATC is also committed to a program of community outreach throughout the year including school and senior center programs as well as the free master class which is part of every February’s competition week.

 

General seating tickets for the final round cost $35 each and premium seating tickets cost $50 each with student tickets for $10 with presentation of valid ID at the door.  Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting the ATC website or www.hostsouthes.com/atc/. Online ticket sales close four hours prior to the start of the event. For last-minute ticket purchases, please call the box office at The Savannah Theatre at 912-233-7764.

 

To learn more about the American Traditions Vocal Competition, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST FOR SPRING PRODUCTION: STEEL MAGNOLIAS

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 8, 2017 – Asbury Memorial Theatre has announced the cast for their 2017 spring production of “Steel Magnolias,” which will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 3, 4, 10, and 11, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 5 and 12 at the church, 1008 E Henry St., Savannah.

Asbury Memorial Theatre is a thriving community theater. Since 1994, Savannah audiences have delighted in the Theatre’s plays, musicals, revues and light opera productions, which have earned several Best of Savannah awards.

The show, which is being directed by Carmel Garvin Hearn, is set in a small town in Louisiana where 6 women gather to have their hair done and share a bit of gossip at Truvy’s Beauty Salon. The New York Daily News acclaimed “Steel Magnolias” as a “superb, funny, deeply moving play.” The characters are true steel magnolias: southern belles who are flowery on the outside, but tough as steel inside. The play is alternately amusing and touching with sharp dialogue as well as interesting and challenging roles.

Amie Schulz is thrilled to portray the role of Shelby Eatenton Latcherie. She graduated from Armstrong State University with a bachelor’s degree in theatre performance. She has performed in many regional theaters, most recently finishing a musical theater contract with Dollywood Entertainment. Some of her favorite roles include Frenchy in “Grease,” Marianna in “Sherlock’s Secret Life,” Drowsy from “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing,” and Gollum from “The Hobbit.”

Ginger Miles is pleased to join Asbury Theatre as Ouiser Boudreaux in “Steel Magnolias,” having performed with theater groups at Georgia Southern University, in Columbia, SC, and Savannah. She played Lady Catherine de Bourgh as her most recent role in The Collective Face’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Miles learned how the mind of a woman with longevity works while playing the lead role in “The Madwoman of Chaillot” at GSU.

Frannie Williams, who will take on the role of Truvy, is a graduate performing arts student at Savannah College of Art and Design, where she is working to obtain her master’s in fine arts. She recently appeared in the production, “Extremities,” as Marjorie. She was an original member of the performance improv troupe, Mom’s Adhesive, based in Charlotte, NC, where she appeared as Lucy in the production “Sweet Jenn.” Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in media studies and has worked in media productions for companies such as Subway and IBM.

Ellen McGraw, who will play Clairee Belcher, loves to travel and spend time with her family. She has lived in Savannah for most of her life and has played a variety of roles from being a part of an ensemble in “My Wonderful Coma,” supporting character in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” to a lead role in “FBI Girl.” McGraw has also acted in short films and “The Journey” with Compassion Christian Church. She enjoyed a career in television and radio as she was previously an on-air personality on Z102, talent on numerous TV commercials and worked in the sales department with WSAV and FOX before retiring. McGraw feels blessed to have been given this opportunity to work with the cast and crew of “Steel Magnolias.”

Cheri Hester is anticipating her return to the Asbury Theatre stage as M’Lynn Eatenton. Some of her favorite roles include Anita in “West Side Story,” Arlene in “Baby,” Mame in “Mame,” Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods,” Peter in “Peter Pan,” Sally in “Cabaret,” Merideth in “Batboy,” and Agnes in “I Do, I Do.” Along with acting she also is a private acting coach and dance instructor at Gretchen Greene School of Dance, and a distributor of Young Living Essential Oils.

Toye Hickman’s first performance was as Truvy Jones in “Steel Magnolias” with Coastal Stage Productions and she is excited once again to perform in this production, this time playing Annelle Dupuy-Desoto. Toye proudly served in the Marine Corps for nearly 26 years and plans to retire this summer. She is new to theater and is eager to work with the “Steel Magnolias” cast and crew.

Pat Prokop will serve as the show’s radio DJ – a role that utilizes Prokop’s vocal talents, although he never makes a stage appearance. Prokop is an active member at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church and is vice chair of the theatre board. He is a retired broadcast meteorologist, having served 35 years at WTOC TV. Prokop has performed in several AMTC productions, mainly as an ensemble member, and also was cast as Simon Stimson in “Our Town” in 2013. He has been involved with the church’s God on Broadway productions since 2005. Prokop and his wife, Mary, have been married since 1974, and they both love living in Savannah.

Carmel Garvin Hearn has appeared in community theatre productions in Savannah and Atlanta, most recently in Savannah Community Theatre’s 2016 production of “Johnny Mercer and Me” at the Lucas Theatre and in that company’s 2014 production of “The Savannah Disputation.” She has also written a school tour show, “Who Wants to Be the Most Important Georgian?” which was produced in Athens and Savannah, and a Christmas drama, “Treasures of the Heart,” which she directed in the Atlanta area. Carmel earned a BA in English, concentration speech and drama, from Armstrong State University and her career has taken her from being a news and weather anchor at WSAV to serving as the City of Savannah’s original Cable Access Coordinator, then to Atlanta, where she wrote for the Emmy-nominated Jim Fowler’s “Life in the Wild” television series, and where she continues to work in marketing.

Alex Hearn Swanger, stage manager, has managed numerous productions in high school and college, most notably “How to Eat Like a Child” at Etowah High School in 2006, which won a regional competition and placed third at a state competition. She went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre degree, with a focus in management, from Armstrong State University. She also appeared as Mother in Armstrong’s “Crazy for You” and in “A Christmas Carol” in the Atlanta area. She is a member of the congregation and choir at Asbury Memorial UMC and is a proud employee of Blessed Sacrament School. Alex is thrilled to have this opportunity to work alongside her mother, Carmel.

Rachel Veazey, assistant stage manager, has appeared in theatre productions in Charlotte, NC and most recently as Antonia in Weddington High School’s “Man of La Mancha.” Other favorite roles have included Maud in “The Music Man” and Jennie Mae in “The Diviners.” Rachel has also worked tech in numerous shows, holding roles including props mistress, hair and costumes, and assistant stage manager. She earned a BS in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and works as a prenatal genetic counselor.

“I could not be more excited for the opportunity to direct this remarkable play with such a talented cast and crew,” Hearn said. “’Steel Magnolias’ is sure to resonate with Savannah audiences, thanks to its Southern charm and memorable characters. We’re all looking forward to bringing this classic to life.”

Tickets for this production cost $15 each ($10 each for groups of 10 or more) and can be ordered by calling 912-233-3595 or visiting Asbury Memorial Theatre’s website.

To learn more about the Asbury Memorial Theatre, please visit www.asburymemorial.org/theatre. To learn more about this production of Steel Magnolias, please visit www.savannahsteelmagnolias.wordpress.com.

 

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SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO PRESENT EUROPEAN ENIGMA MARCH 4 AT THE LUCAS THEATRE

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 8, 2017 – Join the Savannah Philharmonic as it presents European Enigma at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, 32 Abercorn St., Savannah.

 

One of Mozart’s most fascinating and delightful works, the Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra is the centerpiece of this concert, which begins with the lush melodies of Smetana’s Moldau and concludes with Elgar’s spectacularly gorgeous Enigma Variations. Featuring Concertmaster Sinisa Ciric and Principal Viola LiZhou Liu, this performance should not be missed.

 

Savannah Philharmonic Concertmaster Sinisa Ciric has performed in countless concerts as soloist and in chamber ensembles and orchestras. As a member of the Symphonic Orchestra of Serbian Radio Television and Belgrade Philharmonic, he cooperated with many international conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Christian Mandeal, Christian Badea and others. Ciric is a founding member of Balkan Quartet, with whom he has performed in many concerts promoting the rich musical heritage of his native Serbia and the Balkans.

 

Violist LiZhou’s awards include first place in the SUNY Concerto Competition and the Menuhin Prize at the Portsmouth International Quartet Competition. He was Assistant Professor of Viola at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, and served as Principal Viola with the Beijing Chamber Orchestra and Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra in New York.

 

“Elgar’s Enigma Variations has one of the most beautiful themes in orchestral music,” said Savannah Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Shannon. “I find the English have a wonderful way with melody, perhaps from their strong church music tradition and great hymn tunes. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve conducted this piece, and I’m looking forward to hearing this old friend again here in the USA. Smetana’s Moldau charts the flow of the river from a small streamlet to a gushing powerful force, stopping on the way to witness a peasant wedding and other sights. Mozart’s masterpiece Sinfonia Concertante, with our Concertmaster Sinisa Ciric and Principal Violist LiZhou Liu, will be one of the night’s highlights. I love it when we feature soloists from within our orchestra because the energy is almost palpable! The intimate setting of the Lucas theatre will only magnify this unique feeling of connecting with these brilliant musicians.”

 

The Savannah Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.

 

Tickets for this concert cost $16-$75 each. Tickets can be purchased from the Savannah Box Office by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com. To learn more about the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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PHOTOGRAPHER MEGAN MYRICK HONORED IN TEXAS

Categories: Public Relations.

PHOTOGRAPHER MEGAN MYRICK HONORED IN TEXAS AS INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST WINNER

RICHMOND HILL, GA – February 3, 2017 – Richmond Hill-based photographer Megan Myrick recently visited San Antonio, Texas, where she was honored by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Four of Myrick’s images were chosen for the PPA’s 2016 International Photographic Competition’s General Collection.

Myrick’s photos – titled “A Mother’s Love,” “Big Boy Indeed,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Puppy Princess” – are images she chose from various shoots with her local clients. Myrick was presented onstage as a winner, and these images were on display at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center during the exhibition in San Antonio. This exhibition event is held each year in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers.

“It was surreal to see my winning images, larger than life, on display in the Convention Hall,” Myrick said. “Walking the stage later that evening as a recipient of the Bronze Star Photographer award was the culmination of five years of hard work and determination. I’m proof that dreams do come true.”

A panel of 46 judges from across the United States selected the contest’s top photographs at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. About 2,000 images were selected for the general collection, and 1,007 were selected for the loan collection. Myrick has also been awarded the Bronze Photographer Distinction for 2016 by the PPA.

The PPA considers 12 separate elements when judging an image – impact, technical excellence, creativity, style, composition, presentation, color balance, center of interest, lighting, subject matter, technique, and storytelling. The nonprofit group, founded in 1869, is the largest photography association organized for and by professional photographers, with more than 29,000 members in over 50 countries.

Megan Myrick Photography specializes in newborn, maternity, baby, child and family photography around the Coastal Georgia area. She strives to provide her clients with a custom portrait experience resulting in timeless, heirloom-quality art for families to cherish for years to come.

To learn more about Megan Myrick Photography, please visit www.meganmyrickphotography.com.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION TO PERFORM COMMUNITY OUTREACH DURING 2017 SEASON

Categories: Public Relations.

 

SAVANNAH, GA – February 2, 2017 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) is gearing up for its 2017 season, and along with the week-long competition on Feb. 20-24, various community outreach events have been scheduled.

 

Gold winners Mikki Sodergren, Michael Maliakel and Vale Rideout, along with ATC accompanist Justin Addington from Skidaway Island United Methodist Church, will visit different locations in and around the Savannah community throughout the week of the competition, to educate others on the mission of the ATC and to continue the celebration of classic American music.

 

Sodergren, Maliakel and Addington will present at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21 at St. Andrews School and at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Marshes at the Landings. Maliakel and Addington will visit Bethesda Academy at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. Rideout will sing at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at The Oaks at The Marshes of Skidaway Island.

 

Maliakel, the 2016 ATC Gold Medal winner, is a New York-based singer/actor who enjoys a diverse career in musical theater, opera, and sacred music. He received early vocal training as a treble in the American Boychoir and completed his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and the Peabody Institute of Music. He enjoys teaching voice privately and performing regularly with some of New York City’s top vocal ensembles.

 

Sodergren, the 2014 ATC Gold Medal winner, received her B.A in vocal performance from Luther College and continued her education at Interlochen Arts Academy. She has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony, New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Savannah Philharmonic, Opera America, and the Savannah VOICE Festival and is currently a member of three professional choral ensembles.

 

Rideout, the 2006 ATC Gold Medalist, is an American tenor who has garnered critical acclaim for his musical artistry and superb stagecraft throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to many credits in musical Theater and opera, including 2 years as Raoul in the Hamburg, Germany production of The Phantom of the Opera, He has sung with opera companies such as San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Minnesota opera, Nashville Opera, Central City Opera and Boston Lyric Opera championing roles by Mozart, Britten, Gounod, Donizetti and many living American composers. He is featured on the upcoming first recording of Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights with Florentine Opera and his first solo CD recording of Benjamin Britten and Gerald Finzi’s song cycles.

 

Addington, vice president of the ATC board, currently serves as the Director of Music and Worship for Skidaway Island United Methodist Church. He conducts the Chancel Choir, two adult handbell ensembles, and a Children’s Choir. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Limestone College and was honored as their 2012 Young Alumnus of the Year. He completed a Master’s of Church Music degree in choral conducting from Concordia University Wisconsin and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Worship Studies from the Robert Webber Institute.

 

Each year this independent, nonprofit 501c3 organization brings the celebration of timeless American music to Savannah while showcasing tomorrow’s vocal talents and superstars. The ATC also provides young singers with support to pursue their dreams they might not have otherwise. Educational and community outreach are an important facet to the organization’s mission.

 

“This competition season is bound to be the most entertaining yet and that includes onstage at the competition and off-stage during our outreach initiatives,” said ATC board President Daniel Cohen. “It’s incredibly rewarding to have the opportunity to connect with the public through outreach because the community is our strongest supporters and it is important for the ATC to give back.”

 

To learn more about the American Traditions Vocal Competition, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com. Tickets for this season are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting the ATC website or www.hostsouthes.com/atc/.

 

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SHERRILL MILNES TO PRESENT AMERICAN OPERA AWARD DURING 2017 ATC COMPETITION

Categories: Public Relations.

SHERRILL MILNES TO PRESENT AMERICAN OPERA AWARD DURING 2017 AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION

 

SAVANNAH, GA – February 2, 2017 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) is excited to confirm that opera legend, Sherrill Milnes, will present the competition’s new award for the best aria – the Sherrill Milnes American Opera Award on stage and in person at the finals of the 24th ATC during the evening of Friday Feb. 24th at the historic Savannah Theatre on Bull Street.

 

This award, given by Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves, founders of the Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF), will be presented for the best performance of an American opera aria by one of the 28 ATC finalists during either the quarter or semi-finals along with a prize of $500. This collaboration between the SVF and ATC is a further cementing of the relationship between the two musical non-profit organizations which celebrate and honor the human voice.  Milnes first came to Savannah as a judge for the American Traditions Vocal Competition and in 2013 launched The Savannah VOICE Festival which will return to Savannah this August for its fifth season of presenting operas, concerts, other events, and educational programs.  Many SVF alumnae have competed in the ATC in recent years including Jessica Ann Best in 2015 and who will also return this February; Ashley Dannewitz in 2016 and Mikki Sodergren – Gold Medal winner in 2014.

 

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to present this award to a deserving contestant and thankful for this collaboration with the American Traditions Vocal Competition” Milnes said. “This relationship between the Savannah VOICE Festival and the ATC is bound to bring even more attention to Savannah as a growing center of vocal excellence.”

 

Sherrill Milnes has given over 650 performances at the Metropolitan Opera House, where he was honored with 16 new productions, seven opening nights, and ten national telecasts. As a leading artist in all of the world’s great opera houses, Milnes performed and recorded with the likes of Domingo, Pavarotti, Caballé, Sutherland, Sills, Horne, Price and Tebaldi. He is the winner of three Grammy Awards and is the most-recorded American singer of his time. In 2008 he received the Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement. Milnes is driven by his dedication to make the vocal arts vibrant, vital and entertaining in today’s world and continues to give masterclasses, judge competitions, and mentor new generations of singers.

 

Danny Cohen, President of the ATC, commented “We are honored that Sherrill Milnes is taking the time and will be appearing on stage to present the first annual American Opera Award in his name this year.  This is an exciting new addition to the competition and is another reason for music lovers not to miss Savannah’s annual February tradition.”

 

To learn more about the American Traditions Vocal Competition which runs from Feb. 20-24, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com. Tickets for this season are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting the ATC website or www.hostsouthes.com/atc/. To learn more about Sherrill Milnes of the Savannah VOICE Festival, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts throughs the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

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THE SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC TO PRESENT COUTURE IN CONCERT WITH JAMES HOGAN

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 2, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic is proud to present Couture in Concert with James Hogan at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 6, 2017 at the Hilton Desoto, 15 E Liberty, Savannah.

 

This New York style runway show – “Nod to the Past” and a “Look to the Future” – will feature a classic collection of James Hogan’s tailored clothes for both men and women. The evening will include a buffet and open bar from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Savannah Philharmonic.

 

James Hogan began his design career after attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. His label has appeared in Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as top retailers and fine boutiques throughout the United States. His lines have appeared in Women’s Wear Daily, W, Vogue, Town & Country and many other leading fashion publications. Hogan has stores located in Worcester, MA, and Savannah at 412 Whitaker St.

 

“The Savannah Philharmonic is looking forward to this exciting and elegant evening featuring stylish clothing by James Hogan,” said Terri O’Neil, Savannah Philharmonic Director of Development. “This will be a night that men, women, fashion and music lovers alike will thoroughly enjoy.”

 

The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community while providing the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. This nonprofit organization serves the community throughout the year with education initiatives and community outreach programs.

 

Tickets for Couture in Concert can be purchased for $125 each by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com.

 

Patron opportunities are available beginning at $250. Corporate sponsor packages begin at $1,000 level.

 

To learn more about this event, please contact Terri O’Neil by calling 912-232-6002. To learn more about the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.

 

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ST. ELIZABETH’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH TO KICK-OFF THEIR NEXT BIBLE STUDY SERIES

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – January 30, 2017 – Join St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church for their next Bible study series, “War Room,” by director, actor and Pastor Alex Kendrick. This series will begin Wednesday, March 1 at the church, 16491 Highway 144, Richmond Hill.

This three-week study will focus on connecting with and seeking God before we deal with the daily struggles of life.  Kendrick says, “We should seek God for the right strategy before going into combat. By combat, I mean daily issues we face in our culture.” The book guide for this study costs $7.50.

“War Room” is a popular American Christian drama from the creators of “Fireproof” and “Courageous.” This faith-based drama examines the power prayer can have in every aspect of life. The film won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award and was recognized as “Most Inspiring Movie” by the MovieGuide Faith & Values Awards.

St. Elizabeth’s weekly Bible studies are held on Wednesday mornings from 9:45 a.m. to noon. All are welcome to attend these studies and childcare is provided. St. Elizabeth’s most recent Bible study, “The Reason for God: Conversations on Faith & Life” will conclude on Feb. 15.

“I have participated in each Bible study St. Elizabeth’s has offered this year and I’m looking forward to taking part in the upcoming ‘War Room’ study as well,” said congregation member Emily Hubbard. “This Bible study series provides the community with a great forum to connect with God while studying and learning his word.”

St. Elizabeth’s is a Bible-believing church, where Jesus is Lord and Savior and all are welcomed and loved. The Rev. Dr. C. Clark Hubbard, pastor, and his team have worked to build a church community for the community, where area residents can live within the Spirit, today and tomorrow, to build the Kingdom of God. In addition to providing Christian education programs for children, youth, and adults, St. Elizabeth’s also operates an acclaimed pre-school and an on-site thrift store, dubbed St. Elizabeth’s Attic. St. Elizabeth’s strives to educate children to know Jesus and to develop their potential, intellectually, individually, and corporately in order to prepare them to use their God-given talents for personal satisfaction and for contribution to their community.

To learn more about St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church or these Bible Studies, please visit www.stelizabethsrichmondhill.com. To register for a study, please call 912-727-3703.

 

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MEGAN MYRICK PHOTOGRAPHY TO HOST PET PHOTO SESSIONS, PROCEEDS TO AID ONE LOVE

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – January 30, 2017 – Local international award-winning photographer Megan Myrick is preparing to hold her second annual One Love Animal Rescue Fundraiser. These pet photo sessions will be held from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at Megan Myrick’s new studio, 128 Frances Meeks Way, Suite 3, Richmond Hill.

All session fees and 10% of each photographic collection purchased from this fundraiser will be donated to One Love. The nonprofit helps abandoned, neglected, abused and unwanted pets in the Savannah area by partnering with shelters, rescue groups, and the community to facilitate adoption of these animals into permanent and loving homes.

Every booking on Feb. 25 will include a 15-20 minute session, an online gallery, and a treat for every furry, four-legged participant. The session fee is $25, plus an additional $10 for each pet. Portraits may be purchased separately and collections begin at $25. For the safety of all involved, all dogs must be on a leash, pets must be up-to-date on all vaccinations and friendly around other people and animals.

“My family first became involved with One Love when we adopted our family dog Farrah and we are so grateful that this wonderful organization exists and provides support for these poor, defenseless animals,” Myrick said. “Last year we were able to raise $500 for One Love with these sessions and we hope to exceed that amount this year.”

A native of Washington state, Myrick and her family moved to Richmond Hill over three years ago due to her husband’s military service. He has since retired from the Army, but the family chose to make Richmond Hill their permanent home. Since laying down roots in Coastal Georgia, Myrick has made it a priority to give back to her community, and she regularly teams up with local charities to raise donations for people in need.

Myrick specializes in newborn, maternity, baby, child, family and pet photography around the Coastal Georgia area. Myrick strives to provide her clients with a custom portrait experience resulting in timeless, heirloom-quality art for families to cherish for years to come.

For more information about Megan Myrick Photography or these sessions, please visit www.meganmyrickphotography.com. Also, please book your sessions in advance on Myrick’s website.

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MEGAN MYRICK PHOTOGRAHY TO MARK VALENTINE’S DAY BABY BOOM BY DONATING TO MOMS IN NEED

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – January 27, 2017 – Valentine’s Day is coming up and while everyone knows that this signifies romance, it may surprise many that this is also a day of maternal love due to a significant increase in the number of births throughout the world. According to data from the U.S National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Social Security Administration, and Yale University researchers, there is an uplift in registered births every Feb, 14 with nearly 12,000 babies expected in this country alone, contributing to the 1.6 million total births worldwide on Valentine’s Day. Although Feb. 14 is the most popular birth date during the first four months of each year, researchers do not speculate whether this is because this date is nine months after Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of summer!

To celebrate the month of love, Megan Myrick Photography in Richmond Hill is observing the occasion with a special deal. From now through the end of February, when clients book a newborn session with Myrick, the photographer plans to donate a newborn session to an expectant or new mother who is experiencing economic hardship. Myrick is working with Richmond Hill’s Pregnancy Care Center to identify women who would most benefit from the gift of a donated session.

An international award-winning photographer, Myrick specializes in newborn, maternity, baby, child and family photography in Savannah and the surrounding areas. Megan Myrick Photography provides a custom portrait experience with timeless heirloom quality art for you and your family to cherish for years to come.

“I wanted to find a way to celebrate welcoming thousands of precious babies to our world after learning about the prevalence of Valentine’s Day births,” Myrick – a mother of two boys – said. “Newborn and maternity sessions are so precious – not only to the families I photograph, but also to me – so I was eager to seize this opportunity and ‘spread the love’ on this special day.”

For more information about Megan Myrick Photography, please visit www.meganmyrickphotography.com.

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ST. ELIZABETH’S CHURCH PRESENTS COMMUNITY PROGRAMS TO ROTARY CLUB OF RICHMOND HILL

Categories: Public Relations.

RICHMOND HILL, GA – January 26, 2017 – Dr. C. Clark Hubbard will present to members of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill at noon Thursday, Feb. 2 at the Richmond Hill City Center, 520 Cedar St., Richmond Hill.

 

Rev. Hubbard, who is the Rector of St. Elizabeth’s – a Bible-believing church, where Jesus is Lord and Savior and all are welcomed and loved – will focus on the history and mission of St. Elizabeth’s as well as wider community programs and activities.

 

St. Elizabeth’s operates an acclaimed pre-school for children aged 2-4 years and an on-site thrift store, dubbed St. Elizabeth’s Attic which is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  The church is committed to offering bible study and Christian education programs for children, youth, and adults and is committed to building a church community for the community.  The church is located on 6.6 acres at 16491 Highway 144 in Richmond Hill.

 

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. The Richmond Hill chapter was founded in 1995 and has continued to serve the community year after year including supporting local businesses and charities. The Rotary Club meets every Thursday from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. at the City Center.

 

To learn more about the Rotary Club of Richmond hill, please visit www.rotaryclubofrichmondhillga.com. To learn more about St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church or Rev. Hubbard, please visit www.stelizabethsrichmondhill.com or call 912-727-2650.

 

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ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC, HOSTS RECONCILING MINISTRIES WEEKEND

Categories: Public Relations.

ASBURY MEMORIAL UMC, HOSTS RECONCILING MINISTRIES WEEKEND

TO FOCUS ON CIVIL AND LGBT RIGHTS
– FEBRUARY 4-5 2017

SAVANNAH, GA – JANUARY 25, 2017 – Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church has a longstanding history of being open to all for worship and facilitating missions and programs designed to foster spiritual growth. The weekend of Feb. 4-5 will see a two day Reconciling Ministries workshop featuring Civil Rights Activist Bishop Melvin Talbert with Reconciling Ministries Network Director Matt Berryman and Rev. Kim Sorrells.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, Asbury will host a community conversation with Bishop Melvin Talbert and staff from the Reconciling Ministries network, an organization that advocates for full inclusion of LGBT people in the church. This two hour workshop Cultivating a Spirit of Resilience: the Spiritual Practice of Intersectional Justice Work will explore Christians doing justice with attention to the many identities each hold as people with different racial backgrounds, sexualities, gender identities, classes, and other aspects of self.
The weekend continues on Sunday, Feb 5 11:15 a.m. with worship and a dialogue sermon featuring Bishop Melvin Talbert and Matt Berryman during Asbury Memorial UMC’s regular weekly worship. Civil rights leader and UMC Bishop Melvin Talbert and RMN director Matt Berryman share their stories of doing justice work and how their faith has led them to be involved in the work of Reconciling Ministries Network. Bishop Talbert is a trustee and Chair of the Board at Gammon, and at various times served as trustee at University of Puget Sound, Claremont School of Theology, and Pacific School of Religion. His civil rights protest experiences impacted his life profoundly, and he takes pride in having spent three days and nights in jail with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Members of the community are invited to participate this weekend.

“We’re really looking forward being a part of this important community event and hosting such eminent speakers. Now more than ever, our country is in need of understanding, inclusion and love for all people. At Asbury, we’re happy to advocate for everyone,” Asbury’s Pastor Rev. Billy Hester said.
Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Sorrells at kim@rmnetwork.org. Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church is located at 1008 Henry St. in downtown Savannah. For more information, please visit www.asburymemorial.org or call 912-233-4351.

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION TO KICK-OFF 2017 SEASON WITH JUDGES CONCERT FEB. 20

Categories: Public Relations.

SAVANNAH, GA – January 20, 2017 – Join the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) as they kick-off their 2017 season with the ATC Judges Concert at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 at Skidaway Island UMC, 54 Diamond Causeway, Savannah, GA. For the first time audiences will enjoy performances by all three judges during a dazzling evening celebrating classic American music. The talented judges include Tony-nominated composer Andrew Lippa, Grammy award-winner Sylvia McNair, and returning judge Kurt Ollmann.

McNair’s three-decade career has spanned the musical realms of opera, oratorio, cabaret, and musical theater while taking her from the Metropolitan Opera to the Salzburg Festival, from the New York Philharmonic to the Rainbow Room, from the pages of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to the London Times and the cover of Cabaret Scenes. She has been a soloist multiple times with nearly every major opera company and symphony orchestra in the world. In 2000 McNair sang the Bach B-minor Mass with the Vienna Philharmonic for Pope John Paul II at The Vatican. She has earned the Ohio Governor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment, and the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award. McNair is honored to judge this year’s competition.

Lippa wrote the Tony-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical “The Addams Family” as well as the music and lyrics for numerous other productions including “The Social Network, A Few Good Men,” “Big Fish,” “The Farnsworth Invention,” and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning “The Wild Party.” Lippa has also won the Drama Desk Award for best musical in addition to the Outer Critics Circle Award for best Off-Broadway musical. The accomplished singer is proud to have been the music director for Kristin Chenoweth for many of her concerts since 1999 and has conducted the San Francisco, Chicago, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras, among others, for Chenoweth. His recordings include “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” which earned him a Grammy Award nomination among many others. Lippa, who serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild, is thrilled to participate as a judge for the 2017 ATC.

Ollmann, a baritone, has established a wide-ranging international career in recital, concert and opera. A distinguished orchestral soloist, he has sung across the world with the London Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre de Paris, Rome’s Accademia de Santa Cecilia, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and with the orchestras of Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco, among many others. Among Ollmann’s many recordings are Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette,” Gershwin’s “Oh, Kay!,” a Grammy award-winning version of Bernstein’s “Candide” as well as “On the Town,” and Ravel’s “L’Heure Espagnole.” Ollmann is excited to return to the competition this year.

“The ATC is fortunate to have judges of such a high caliber each year and this year all three judges will be participating in the Judges Concert which will be a real treat for everyone,” said ATC Board of Directors President Daniel Cohen. “This evening will start the 2017 competition season with a bang and set the tone for this exciting week.”

The legendary ATC was established as a world renowned 501(c)3 nonprofit arts institution to highlight classic American music while providing a forum for showcasing and supporting tomorrow’s vocal talents and superstars.

Tickets for this evening cost $25 each for the concert only or $50, to include a ‘meet the judges’ reception following the concert at the church. To learn more about the ATC, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com. To purchase tickets, please visit the ATC website or www.hostsouthes.com/atc.

 

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AMERICAN TRADITIONS VOCAL COMPETITION GEARING UP FOR 2017 SEASON

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