SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS, DOCENTS AND INTERNS TO ASSIST

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS, DOCENTS AND INTERNS TO ASSIST

SAVANNAH, GA – MAY 26, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum is looking for eager volunteers, docents, and interns with good communication skills to assist at the downtown gallery.

Docents will lead tours for diverse groups – from elementary school children to older adults. This is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers interested in learning and teaching about the history and art of West and Central Africa. General volunteers and interns are also needed to help with additional tasks, clerical duties, organizing, and other duties.

Those who volunteer their time and talents or intern with the museum will gain much from the experience. This includes knowledge, an opportunity to interact with people from all around the world, volunteer or community service hours and recommendation letters, internship opportunities, public speaking experience, and the chance to see how a museum operates behind the scenes.

Due to COVID-19, the Savannah African Art Museum is adhering to specific sanitary measures and guidelines to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. So, those who do volunteer can rest assured their health and wellbeing is a top priority and will be as protected as possible. As docents guide patrons through SAAM’s collection of African art and cultural artifacts, we are limiting tour groups to 5, and no more than 10 visitors are in the building at any given time. There are distinct entrances and exits so that there is no crowding of the tour groups. Masks are required by all patrons and staff. Surfaces are sanitized frequently, and hand sanitizer stations are available.

Even those with the busiest of schedules can find a shift or two to meet their availability, thanks to the museum’s varying hours. Shifts are available on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. The time commitment is flexible. Docents will go through training before giving tours of the museum’s collection, no prior experience as a docent or knowledge of African art and history is required. Additionally, docent talking points will be provided. Upon training completion, docents will be expected to give tours to guests visiting the museum. Tours are provided to visitors by walk-in and by appointment.

During volunteer training sessions, docents will learn about the museum and its collection through instruction from the learned museum staff as well as by shadowing current docents on a few tours to get a better understanding of the process. Docent talking points will be explained and reviewed, and volunteers will be provided with some light reading materials to supplement the tour talking points. Over time and with constructive feedback, volunteers will become effective teachers and public speakers, along with being informed about African arts and cultures.

​To apply or for more information, please email an updated resume to apply.saam@gmail.com, call the Savannah African Art Museum at 912-721-7724, or visit in person at 201 E. 37th St. Savannah, GA 31401.

Savannah African Art Museum is a nonprofit institution that introduces all audiences to African art and culture. Our mission is to provide engaging experiences that educate and start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African art. Learn more by visiting www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org or dropping by their location at 201 E. 37th St. for a free tour.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

RUN, OR WALK, INTO THIS YEARS RED HOT CHILI PEPPER 5K, SPONSORED BY CANADY’S, TO BENEFIT FAMILY PROMISE OF BRYAN COUNTY

RUN, OR WALK, INTO THIS YEARS RED HOT CHILI PEPPER 5K, SPONSORED BY CANADY’S, TO BENEFIT FAMILY PROMISE OF BRYAN COUNTY

RICHMOND HILL, GA – May 26, 2021 – Runners of all skill levels and ages are needed for this year’s Canady’s Red Hot Chili Pepper 5k, slated for 7:30 a.m. Saturday, July 17, 2021. The ninth annual race, hosted by Georgia Game Changers, will benefit Family Promise of Bryan County.

Runners ready to brave the early morning heat will gather at Jalapeños in Richmond Hill, a fitting places to start the course, which routes participants through a local neighborhood, Richmond Place. After working up a good sweat, runners can cool down and enjoy a post-race party featuring refreshments, raffles, vendors and an awards ceremony at Georgia Game Changers Health and Fitness Center, 8872 Ford Ave., Suite 207. We are thrilled to have Canady’s Heating, Air and Plumbing back as our title sponsor for the third year in a row!

All proceeds from the 5K, sponsored by Canady’s, will go to Family Promise of Bryan County to assist homeless children and their families. Registration is $30, and will be $40 on the day of the race. To register please visit https://runsignup.com/Race/GA/RichmondHill/Redhot2016. Packet pickup will be from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, July 16 at Georgia Game Changers.

“After this crazy COVID year, were all ready to have a little fun in the sun at this years Red Hot Chili Pepper 5K. Having an early morning race will help us beat the heat, sneak in a little exercise and support Family Promise in the process,” said executive director Katrina Bostick. “Every person who participates helps support the goal in eradicating homelessness in the community.”

While our Title sponsor position is filled, we still encourage businesses to participate in the ninth annual 5k race as a platinum ($500+), gold ($350+), silver ($250+), or bronze ($150+) Sponsor and have your business represented on the day of the race! Our event truly couldn’t happen without the support of our businesses.

Along with our title sponsor, Canady’s Heating, Air and Plumbing, we would also like to thank our platinum sponsors, R.B. Baker Construction and Fish Tales at Ft. McAllister Marina, and our silver sponsor, REMAX Coastal Accent. This event truly could not happen without the help of our sponsors.

Family promise of Bryan County works with host congregations to serve families with children who are facing homelessness. The organization recognizes that poverty is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted response. They respond by integrating educational outreach, effective policies, and the hands-on work of volunteers providing food, shelter, and support services.

To learn more about Family Promise of Bryan County, please visit www.familypromisebryancounty.org, call (912) 445-4021 or email info@familypromisebryancounty.org.

For Sponsorship Inquiries, please contact Jennifer Brookins by email at jdluck@hotmail.com or by calling (478)457-5202.

To learn more about Canady’s Red Hot Chili Pepper 5K, please visit georgiagamechangers.com.

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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 or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

GET INVOLVED IN PRESERVING OUR HISTORY

LFPR

Historic Beaufort Foundation

By Mary Thompson 

GET INVOLVED IN PRESERVING OUR HISTORY

At Historic Beaufort Foundation (HBF) we are extremely grateful to our many patrons and for the generous donations that support our mission to preserve and protect Beaufort’s historic and architectural legacy. Through both one-time and annual donations and gifts, we are able to ensure that Beaufort’s history will not be forgotten.

HBF is proud to be a beneficiary of the Francis and Anne Griswold Trust. This generous and unrestricted gift assists HBF annually in meeting our preservation objectives. Although Francis Hanmer Griswold was originally from New York, he travelled to the southeast to perform research. During those years, Griswold spent time in Beaufort. Of the two novels he authored, one was set in Beaufort and the Carolina Lowcountry, A Sea Island Lady, and chronicled life in Beaufort from 1865 to 1930. Although Griswold moved to California for the remainder of his life, he held a special place in his heart for Beaufort. The Francis and Anne Griswold Trust was established at his death in 2001. The Historic Beaufort Foundation is so thankful to be one of the five non-profits who benefit from this annual benevolent gift.

 

We are grateful for every donation we receive. If you’re interested in supporting Historic Beaufort Foundation, there are several ways you can be involved!

There are many ways to help preserve Beaufort’s important history. We hope you’ll join us in whatever way works best for your schedule and life. As we look at the important impact that the Francis and Anne Griswold Trust has on maintaining Beaufort’s past, we’re excited at the future potential of similar gifts that will ensure the character of Beaufort endures for generations to come. 

Join us today!

FAMILY PROMISE OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO HOST SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE: ‘NIGHT WITHOUT A BED’ TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT HOMELESSNESS

FAMILY PROMISE OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE TO HOST SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE: ‘NIGHT WITHOUT A BED’ TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT HOMELESSNESS

SAVANNAH, GA – May 25, 2021 – Family Promise of the Coastal Empire is urging the local community to join their social media “sleepout” challenge, ‘Night Without a Bed’ on Saturday, June 26 to raise awareness about and show support for children and families battling homelessness.

The local nonprofit asks participants to sleep anywhere without a bed: car, tent, or a living room floor and post it to social media using the hashtag #NightWithoutABed. In the past, involved families put up tents in their back yards, made forts in their living rooms, wrapped up in blankets on sofas or in sleeping bags on the floor. The organization is also seeking sponsors and donors to support their efforts to end homelessness amongst families in our region.

One in 16 children in the U.S. experiences homelessness by the first grade. They and their families can be found sleeping in motel rooms, with friends, or even in their cars. Kids who face homelessness suffer in other ways, as well – they are more likely to drop out of school, repeat a grade, suffer from depression, and attempt suicide. With this ‘Night Without a Bed’ challenge, the community can demonstrate their support for these children.

“For over 25 years, Family Promise has been helping families in the Coastal Empire who need to find stable housing and develop the skills and tools to succeed independently. We are always striving to ensure families prosper, but we can’t fulfill our mission without the community’s awareness and support,” said Family Promise of the Coastal Empire Executive Director Katrina Bostick. “We ask you and your family to give up your comfortable bed for one night so other children don’t have to. Get creative with it! There’s no way to truly understand what these families face unless we do it ourselves. Our goal with this challenge is to have local families experience what other underprivileged families endure in our very own community, and maybe they will be compelled to lend a helping hand.”

Family Promise envisions a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future. What began as a local initiative in Summit, NJ, has become a national movement that involves 200,000 volunteers in over 200 communities in 43 states. Family Promise delivers innovative solutions for family homelessness including prevention, shelter and stabilization services. The organization has served 1 million family members since its founding more than 30 years ago, and its leaders aspire to change the future for 1 million children by 2030 through our community-based programs.

For more information about Family Promise of the Coastal Empire, please visit www.familypromisece.org, email info@familypromisece.org or call 912-790-9446.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

VOICEXPERIENCE TO HOST 15th ANNUAL OPERA IDOL VIRTUALLY ON JUNE 1, 2021

VOICEXPERIENCE TO HOST 15th ANNUAL OPERA IDOL VIRTUALLY ON JUNE 1, 2021

SAVANNAH, GA – May 24, 2021 – For the 15th consecutive year, VOICExperience Foundation (VE) founded by acclaimed operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes and soprano Maria Zouves, will offer their annual ‘Opera Idol’ master class competition. Traditionally taking place in the Chicago area, this annual event will take place virtually on Tuesday, June 1 at 7 p.m. EST, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Four of the following aspiring classical singers will compete in front of an online audience for one full scholarship to attend the Milnes VOICE Studio.

  • Danielle Bavli, soprano, has performed in many operatic productions as well as in productions with Odyssey Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, and the College Light Opera Company. She was recently named a Semi-Finalist in the 2021 Orpheus Competition and in the 2020 Camille Coloratura Awards. In 2019, she was named a first place winner of the Music Worcester Young Artist Competition and is the recipient of an Emerging Talent Award from the 2017 Lotte Lenya Competition. Bavli recently earned a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and received a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Vanderbilt University.
  • Hope Metts is an up-and-coming soprano known for her flexible, silvery voice and her vivacious stage presence. Her most recent roles include Belinda from Purcell’s Dido and Aenaeas and La Fée in Viardot’s Cendrillon. She has been a soloist with the Des Moines Choral Society, a member of the Iowa State Singers, and has previously studied and appeared in concert with the world-renowned bass-baritone Simon Estes. Metts currently studies with Mary Creswell at Iowa State University, and will graduate with a BA in Music in the spring of 2022.
  • Courtney Sanders, soprano will be making her debut as Rose in a virtual production of Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus this season. Sanders has completed the following training programs: Classic Lyric Arts Italy, German Vocal Arts Institute, CoOPERAtive, and SongFest. While completing her Bachelor of Arts at Yale University, she was a soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Yale Symphony Orchestra, as well as a winner of the Sledge Performing Arts Prize. Sanders received her Master of Music from the Mannes School of Music. She currently studies with Beth Roberts and resides in New York City.
  • Benjamin Sokol, Jewish-American Bass-Baritone, is a Junior at Manhattan School of Music, studying in the studio of world-renowned Bass-Baritone, James Morris. During his studies, Sokol has worked with wonderful vocal coaches including Andrew King, Dura Jun, Shane Schag and Kenneth Merrill. He has won multiple awards, from his Encouragement Award in the Schmidt Competition to being a Semi-Finalist in the NATS Boston competition. In 2020, Benjamin was the recipient of the Manhattan School of Music Alexandra Hunt Endowed Vocal Scholarship. Additionally, in 2020, he was selected as a Young Artist at SongFest Online. Benjamin is also an experienced choral singer.

Mary Burkhardt Lysaught is donating the grand prize, via The Tom Lysaught Scholarship Fund, in honor of her late husband. The winner will be selected by the renowned group of carefully-selected judges – Juilliard’s Jorge Parodi, the Metropolitan Opera’s Howard Watkins, VOICE Composer in Residence Michael Ching, Northwestern Professor Emeritus Dr. Bernard J. Dobroski, as well as VOICExperience’s Executive Director Maria Zouves.

The Milnes VOICE Studio Online offers a variety of opportunities to develop the singer as a whole artist in preparation for their next step. Participants will come away with new recordings, head shots, career advice, and defined goals. During the week, singers also participate in career development workshops, with topics ranging from vocal health to personal branding.

“We are immensely pleased we are still able to host ‘Opera Idol’ this year, but in a different format, as it presents an outstanding opportunity for young singers who stand to benefit from attending our programs,” Zouves said. “Sherrill and I are so proud to be able to offer aspiring artists the chance to hone their craft while learning more about the performing arts. It’s very rewarding for us, the audience and for those chosen to participate.”

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.

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. It was during this time frame that they founded VOICExperience and, subsequently, Opera Idol.

Streaming “Idol” in this format also allows for more audiences to get to know and enjoy this continuing initiative in the programs. After going online in May 2020, the Milnes VOICE Programs, namely, Savannah VOICE Festival and VOICExperience, have reached over 22 countries with their programming, special concerts, and educational events.

To learn more about Opera Idol, VOICExperience or the Milnes VOICE Programs or to support young artists, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the Lesley Francis Public Relations team at 912-417-LFPR(5377). 

Editor’s Notes

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.

LESLEY FRANCIS PUBLIC RELATIONS APPOINTS NEW MARKETING ASSISTANT AND SUMMER INTERN

LESLEY FRANCIS PUBLIC RELATIONS APPOINTS NEW MARKETING ASSISTANT AND SUMMER INTERN

RICHMOND HILL, GA. – May 24, 2021 – Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR) has appointed Ashleigh Johnson as their new Marketing Assistant and Ivy Grace Smith as the new summer intern. The roles of the marketing assistant and summer intern are to support team members through writing and issuing news release, media coverage evaluation, content creation, social media management, and drafting materials for various clients.

Ashleigh is from Macon, Georgia and recently graduated from Georgia Southern University with her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. During her time at Georgia Southern, she served as the executive firm director for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), while also completing an internship with the Savannah Harbor Foundation and working as a barista at a local café in Statesboro. Through the courses at Georgia Southern, Ashleigh has worked with clients in Statesboro to develop hands on public relations experience.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with such a well-known and reputable organization like Lesley Francis PR,” Johnson said. “With their vast range of clients, I am excited to be able to learn more about the profession of public relations and build my skills through the guidance of the incredible ladies here at LFPR.”

Ivey Grace Smith was born and raised in Hazlehurst, Georgia and is an upcoming senior at Georgia Southern University majoring in Public Relations with a minor in communications and digital marketing. She is an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and was recently elected Vice President of the organization for the 2021-2022 school year.  

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to intern with such a well-known agency such as LFPR and aesthetic to work alongside with a lovely group of ladies who I know will help direct and guide my path into this field of work that I have grown to love,” Smith said. “I am super pumped to jump in with all hands on deck and gain knowledge about this ever-changing profession.”  

Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR) is an award-winning public relations agency established in 2011 in Richmond Hill, GA.

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, Allie Robinson at allie@lesleyfrancispr.com, or 912-547-3100 or the team at 912-417-LFP

SPIRIT OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH PARTNERS WITH ST. ELIZABETH’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH TO HOST IN-PERSON VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

SPIRIT OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH PARTNERS WITH ST. ELIZABETH’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH TO HOST IN-PERSON VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

RICHMOND HILL, GA – May 24, 2021 – Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church has partnered with St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church to host a collaborative Vacation Bible School (VBS) on June 22-24 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

This joint program is free to children from rising pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. Their VBS will turn its attention to the feelings of children through the lens of the parable in Holy Scripture about two brothers and a father who were lost and found (Luke 15:11-32).

Children will be invited to explore and honor their feelings in a safe environment through Bible drama, crafts, music, games, prayer and food. The goal is to make sure that the young participants know they are loved and there are adults who will help them work through feelings like fear and celebrate feelings like joy. Learning to explore emotions teaches children about how God has made everyone unique and in God’s own image and likeness.

“This summer program is a great way for the children in our community to get acquainted with their peers again in a setting that is spiritual, safe and fun,” said Spirit of Peace Pastor Devin Strong. “Spirit of Peace would like to thank St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church for agreeing to partner with our church to provide this vacation bible school to the community.”

In order to follow COVID-19 safety precautions and guidelines, space is limited. To reserve a spot for vacation bible school, visit www.spiritofpeacelutheran.org and download the registration form. Once filled out, it can be turned into either Spirit of Peace’s or St. Elizabeth’s office or emailed to tara@spiritofpeacelutheran.org or melissa.st.elizabeth@gmail.com. For more information, call Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church (912-727-5608) or St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church (912-727-2650).

Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church’s mission is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through ministry, promoting a lifestyle of worship and loving service through word and prayer so that all of God’s children will know Christ’s transforming joy. For more information about this event or Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church, please visit www.spiritofpeacelutheran.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH CLASSICAL ACADEMY IS FIRST SCHOOL IN DISTRICT TO PARTNER WITH JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF GEORGIA

SAVANNAH CLASSICAL ACADEMY IS FIRST SCHOOL IN DISTRICT TO PARTNER WITH JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF GEORGIA

SAVANNAH, GA – May 20, 2021 – Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) has become the first school in the district to partner with Junior Achievement of Georgia (JA of GA). This week, SCA Director, Barry Lollis, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The JA Colonial Group Discovery Center, slated to open on the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus. This new Discovery Center is designed to provide middle school students the opportunity to experience and explore their future possibilities through two innovative in-class and standards-correlated curriculums: JA BizTown and JA Finance Park.

“We are looking forward to bringing these experience-based programs to SCA’s middle school. This initiative is innovative and will help our students enhance their education and preparedness by building soft and practical skills for real life success” said SCA Director Barry Lollis. “The JA curriculum goes hand-in-hand with our philosophy that all students benefit from a rigorous, content-rich, educational program through defined academic and character development curricula, ensuring our students are prepared to become active, responsible members of their community.”

SCA students will participate in JA BizTown which creates an unmatched experience where sixth-grade students can interact within a simulated economy, and JA Finance Park focused on transforming seventh or eighth graders into an adult with a career, family and financial scenario that represents one of their future possibilities.

“JA of Georgia is incredibly excited to open the JA Colonial Group Discovery Center on the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus,” said Amy Ford, JA of Georgia Education Director. “The JA Colonial Group Discovery Center of Savannah will be the fifth center in the state and the first outside of the metro Atlanta/north Georgia area, and is a game-changer for the students in our region. This is a partnership between JA of GA, Georgia Southern University, local school districts, and our business partners to build a state-of-the-art immersive learning experience right here in Savannah.”

Looking ahead, students will lead businesses, advance communities, and discover breakthroughs. JA BizTown creates an unmatched experience where SCA’s sixth grade students can interact within a simulated economy and take on the challenge of fueling a business. Here, students not only discover the intricacies of being a professional and member of the community, but also discover the abundance of opportunities available within their city.

At JA Finance Park students have the rare opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. Here, seventh and eighth grade students will participate in an immersive simulation that enables them to develop skills to successfully navigate today’s complex economic environment and discover how decisions today can impact tomorrow.

JA of GA is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make educated academic and economic choices. The JA Discovery Centers are the embodiment of what this learning can look like.

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For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457.

Editor’s Notes

The Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) was founded in Chatham County in 2013 as a lottery enrollment public charter school. SCA’s mission is to provide every child with a classical and academically rigorous education while instilling a commitment to civic virtue and moral character. SCA is committed to developing literate and articulate students who will become active, responsible members of the community and will make a positive contribution to society. To learn more about SCA, please visit www.savannahclassicalacademy.org.

Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make educated academic and economic choices. JA learning solutions are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences to students from kindergarten through high school. JA of Georgia offers multiple programs, including in-class programs, 3DE by Junior Achievement, JA BizTown and JA Finance Park, all of which focus on entrepreneurship, personal financial literacy and workforce readiness. JA of Georgia serves more than 175,000 students annually statewide, including 16,000 in the Savannah area. JA of Georgia’s headquarters is in Atlanta with regional offices in Dalton, Gainesville, and Savannah. For more information, visit www.georgia.ja.org.

THE WORLD OF WESTIES – INTRODUCING DEXTER

My regular readers will know that I love dogs.  In fact, our whole family and everyone at my marketing agency is a “dog-person”. My husband and I have three dogs who we always treat equally, so since I told you about our Labradoodle earlier this year, I thought it is time to introduce you to our West Highland Terrier – aka ‘Westie’ – Dexter.  

A year after we moved to the USA, I began to really want a small dog.  When we emigrated in 2009, we had transported our three big British dogs – two Labradors and a Bearded Collie – across the pond to our new life in Coastal Georgia.  The problem was that the Labradors were getting on in years, and the collie sadly was diagnosed with Addison’s disease.  To paraphrase an English saying – they each had three paws in the grave and one on a banana skin!

I had grown up with large dogs and my husband and I had always chosen larger dogs for our “pack”.  So, I had some persuading to do when I heard about a litter of West Highland Terriers with puppies available from a family in Richmond Hill.   My husband’s main objection was that he liked what he calls “real” dogs – large, robust dogs that loved water, woods, and wrestling.  He did not want a “purse size dog” and didn’t want a fourth dog.  In fact, when I did close the deal on our new male Westie puppy, he wanted to name him “Extra”.  Dexter rhymes with extra, so this is how he got his name.  I didn’t realize at the time that it was the name of the serial killer in a popular TV show! 

While I was immediately besotted (a word popular in England which means infatuated) with my “dog in miniature”, it was quite the challenge to understand and train this 18-pound Westie.  West Highland Terriers are one of the short-legged terriers of Scotland which also include the Scottish, Skye, Cairn and Dandie Dinmont breeds.  At that time, after leaving the UK for good just a year earlier, the link with Scotland appealed.  History tells us that British farmers bred terriers (also known as earthdogs) to hunt the rats that raided their stores of grain. It is believed that the Scottish terriers all came from the same family tree in the 1700s. Legend has it that the Malcolm clan in Scotland bred Westies for their white coat when a red colored terrier was shot when mistaken for a fox. By 1907 the breed was officially recognized in England and then in America in 1909.

Dexter is pretty much the breed standard.  He is completely white, small but solid, exceedingly independent in nature, never gives up, never gives in, and never seem to get tired, despite taking four steps for every one of our bigger dogs. Only his ears are a bit out of whack to the breed standard.  He seems to have large white rabbit ears that fold back flat on his head when he runs to make him more aerodynamic.  In my opinion there is nothing cuter than when he races to see me when I get home from work.

When researching Westies, I read on the AKC website that “thanks to their faithfulness and keen intelligence, Westies will train nicely with time and patience”. With time and patience?  Wow, what an understatement!  To say Dexter was stubborn is putting it mildly.  He assumes he is a giant of a dog and did not see the need to do anything he didn’t want to do.  As a puppy, he also didn’t worry too much about where he went “potty” since he quickly figured out, I would clean up if it happened to be indoors. We got there in the end, but it was much harder than training a big dog.  Dexter is only 18 pounds fully grown but, in his mind, he is the size of a Great Dane and the grand leader of our three-dog pack.  Our large retriever and labradoodle girls just let him believe that and good naturedly ignore his ‘Napoleon’ tendencies. 

Having said that, he is so gentle with our grandchildren and loving towards us that having a small dog who will snuggle on my lap every evening is a great joy.   I really think that Dexter does not realize how comparatively small he is or accept that his age (nearly 11) should slow him down.  My husband says that these characteristics remind him of me.

Our three dogs – Dexter, Georgie Girl the Flat-Coat Retriever and Coco the crazy Australian Labradoodle – are a happy pack and make our family complete.   There is more information on these breeds at www.akc.org

I say goodbye this week with a quote which really resonates with me, from Pulitzer prize winner and 20th century author, Edith Wharton. “My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet”.

God Bless America and all the dogs we love!

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Lesley grew up in London, England and made Georgia her home in 2009.  She can be contacted at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com  or via her PR and marketing agency at www.lesleyfrancispr.com

THE SALVATION ARMY OF SAVANNAH HIRES NEW LEAD COOK FROM LE CORDON BLEU IN LONDON

THE SALVATION ARMY OF SAVANNAH HIRES NEW LEAD COOK FROM LE CORDON BLEU IN LONDON

SAVANNAH, GA – May 20, 2021 – The Salvation Army of Savannah (TSA) has announced the appointment of a new Lead Cook to manage the organization’s kitchen program, Stephanie Casterlin, a graduate from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in London, United Kingdom. Previously, she served 15 years as Food Services Director with Compassion Christian Church in Savannah.

Casterlin is responsible for the efficient and healthy operation of the kitchen and dining area to include creation of delicious weekly menu plans, reporting food and supply needs to the supervisor, preparation and serving of meals, and clean-up of kitchen and dining area. Casterlin will make a positive impact on the families and individuals struggling to stabilize after losing their own homes by providing friendly, competent service and warming, heart-filled meals.

Due to the expansion of the kitchen program as TSA is Savannah’s largest homeless shelter and serves upwards of 100 individuals a day, the local organization is in need of volunteers to help in the kitchen preparing meals at their Community Center, 3000 Bee Rd., Savannah. Help is needed and appreciated any day of the week, but weekends are the most vital. The following volunteer shifts are available:

  • Breakfast Shift: 6 – 8 a.m.
  • Lunch Shift: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Dinner Shift: 4 – 6 p.m.

COVID-19 safety regulations are in place and enforced for the safety of all staff, volunteers, and shelter residents. A volunteer application and background check will need to be completed prior to starting. For applications or questions, please email or call Samantha Greder, Special Events Coordinator: 912-200-3015;

Samantha.greder@uss.salvationarmy.org or Stacey Magoon, Human Resource Specialist: 912-200-3008; Stacey.magoon@uss.salvationarmy.org

“We are more than happy to have Stephanie join our Army of ‘Doing The Most Good!’ She truly has a heart for serving and brings her creativity and amazing culinary skills to our kitchen. We are so very blessed to have her on board and she is really looking forward to connecting with all of our faithful volunteers,” said The Salvation Army of Savannah’s Major Paul Egan. “Our organization is excited to come up with new ideas with her on how we can better serve our clients and the community. If you are able and willing, please consider volunteering in our kitchen – it would be such a help to Stephanie and the families in our shelter.”

The Salvation Army has served greater Savannah for the past 120 years and has always supported the most vulnerable in our community. To make a monetary donation directly now or for more information about The Salvation Army Savannah, please visit https://salvationarmygeorgia.org/savannah/ or call 912-200-3004 and follow the organization via social media.

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For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or.

 About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood