LAUNCH OF NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION BUDDYWATCH, INC. TO PROVIDE VETERAN HOUSING

MIDWAY, GA – NOVEMBER 9, 2022 – Today, a new nonprofit organization, BuddyWatch, Inc., has been launched to provide housing for veterans in Coastal Georgia in time for Veteran’s Day. Small (800 ft2) cottages will be built on five acres of land, which has been donated by BuddyWatch, Inc.’s founder Jo Coleman-Williams, and designated as the “Polaris” community which will provide housing to homeless veterans in our region. The future site of “Polaris” is located at 862 South Coastal Hwy, Midway, GA. A ribbon cutting will take place at the site later this year.  

“We are excited to announce our housing plan just in time for Veteran’s Day,” said Coleman-Williams. “Affordable housing in this region is already a problem for everyone, and it’s increasingly difficult for veterans who have come back from deployment with no home and limited resources.”

Coleman-Williams is a licensed therapist and plans to help veterans in need, physically and mentally. One acre of land will be used for a new therapy office space and the other four acres will remain available for tiny houses to be built. Each house will be handicap accessible and available to a veteran in need. To raise much needed funds to support the new “Polaris” community, BuddyWatch, Inc. has produced and is selling unique bird feeders, which can be purchased for $79 plus shipping and handling.

The goal of BuddyWatch is to act as a safe haven community for soldiers who have returned home and are struggling to acclimate to civilian life. It will act as a gateway between military and civilian life. Veterans may stay as long as they need to develop their civilian skills and acclimate to civilian life.

BuddyWatch, Inc. is a nonprofit, free resource to help any former military member, no matter of their discharge status. For more information on BuddyWatch or to make a donation, please visit https://buddywatchinc.org/.

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For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, Kristyn Beasley at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH BALLET THEATRE ANNOUNCES RETURN OF THE NUTCRACKER AT THE LUCAS THEATER – DEC. 10

SAVANNAH, GA. – Nov. 7, 2022– The Savannah Ballet Theatre (SBT) is slated to celebrate the holiday season with a live production of The Nutcracker at 5 p.m. on December 10 at the Lucas Theater, located on 32 Abercorn Street in Savannah. In addition to these performances and thanks to some generous sponsors, SBT will perform on December 9 for local Chatham County school students.

The legendary score by Tchaikovsky will fuel the performance of this classic holiday ballet, which demonstrates the story of a young girl’s dream of a Christmas gift come-to-life to become her beloved prince. There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than by joining SBT as they guide members of the audience through a magical holiday dream.

“The Nutcracker is an incredible way to kick-off the holiday season, we are so excited to showcase our incredible dancers and the Savannah Ballet Theatre,” said SBT artistic director Suzanne Braddy. “The local dancers at our professional company are filled with excitement for this year’s performance as it features guest artists, exciting projections and beautiful costumes to create the magical experience that the audience looks forward to each year. We could not have put this production on without the generous support of our sponsors and our SBT patrons.”

To purchase tickets for the Dec. 10 performance, which start at $30 per person, visit the Lucas Theater’s website, www.lucastheatre.com/tickets, or call 912-525-5050.

SBT is Savannah and southeast Georgia’s only professional dance company. Their mission is to develop and showcase the talent of dedicated Savannah dancers alongside top professional dancers who train in the studio and engage in educational outreach and promotion of the art of dance within the community.

For more information about The Nutcracker or the Savannah Ballet Theatre & School of Dance, please visit www.savannahballettheatre.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Beasley at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

200 CLUB’S BOSTON BUTT FUNDRAISER SUPPORTS
FALLEN HEROES’ FAMILIES AHEAD OF THANKSGIVING

SAVANNAH, GA. – Nov. 4, 2022 – The 200 Club of the Coastal Empire is holding its Thanksgiving Boston Butt fundraiser sale to benefit the families of fallen first responders. These delicious, fully cooked 5-pound Boston Butts are only $40 each and are expertly smoked by the best pit masters in the area. Orders of 20 or more can be delivered upon request. All the proceeds from this event go to support the work of the Two Hundred Club, which has given over $3.8 million to support local families of fallen and critically injured first responders. 

Placed orders will be available for pick-up at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Complex, at 1050 Carl Griffin Dr. in Savannah, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21 and Tuesday, Nov. 22. Pickup in Statesboro is also available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, November 22 at the Statesboro Fire Department located at 24 West Grady Street.

“This Thanksgiving, we really do have a lot to be thankful for. We are especially grateful to those who fight for and protect our nation and the families of our fallen heroes, who’ve sacrificed and endured so much. We want to thank the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office for cooking and preparing all of the Boston Butts we serve,” 200 Club President and CEO Mark Dana said. “This sale is an event that our supporters look forward to. It’s an easy and delicious way to support the 200 Club, so please join us and purchase a Boston Butt to enjoy over the Thanksgiving holiday.”  

To order a Boston Butt, please visit www.our200club.com/bostonbutts/.  For additional assistance please contact Frances Dana at 912-721-4418 or info@our200club.com.

The 200 Club is a 501(c) (3) organization who “cares for those who care for us” by providing for the surviving spouses and dependents of first responders who have lost their lives or sustain critical injuries in the line of duty. The organization serves a 20-county area within Georgia and South Carolina. All proceeds from this event will directly support the families of fallen heroes. The 200 Club provides a significant financial assistance to the surviving family members and provides a fully paid college education – including tuition, room and board, textbooks, and a computer – to a fallen first responder’s children and spouse. For more information, go to www.our200club.com, call 912-721-4418 or email info@our200club.com.  All contributions are tax deductible.

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For media inquiries, please contact Allie Robinson at allie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-547-3100 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

FAMILY PROMISE OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE RECEIVES $300,000 DONATION FROM KIA AMERICA

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – November 3, 2022 – Kia America announced a $300,000 donation to Family Promise of the Coastal Empire as part of the recent groundbreaking celebrations for the new Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant.  

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung, along with Governor Brian Kemp, company officials, and state and local leaders, officially broke ground at the Bryan County Mega site on Oct. 25, 2022. The celebration included a morning groundbreaking on site, followed by a future technology expo at Enmarket Arena in Savannah. During this exhibit, Family Promise of the Coastal Empire CEO Katrina Bostick and Board Chair Jason Crosby were honored to accept the $300,000 donation from Kia America Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Steve Center.

Family Promise will soon have a physical presence in Bryan County, thanks to this generous donation from Kia America. Kia’s contribution will help Family Promise purchase a new house in Pembroke that will be used as a “home base” for helping homeless families with children find employment and other assistance.

“We are in the early stages of this project, so there is currently not a timeline for when the home will open, but we have started scouting locations,” said Bostick. “It’s important to us that we take some time to get input from community members in the Pembroke and Ellabell areas on what their specific needs are before allocating these valuable funds.”

Hyundai Motor Group will open its first fully dedicated electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in Bryan County. Hyundai Motor Group will invest $5.45 billion in opening its first state-of-the-art U.S. smart factory. This donation is the latest extension of Kia’s “Accelerate The Good” charitable initiative, which has provided more than $14 million to those in need across the U.S. since 2019.

“Kia has been a proud and active member of the Georgia community for nearly 15 years, and we are dedicated to supporting communities in need through our ‘Accelerate The Good’ program,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia North America and Kia America.  

Family Promise of the Coastal Empire serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. The organization’s mission is to offer help, hope, and hospitality to homeless families with children in our communities. For more information about the organization, please visit www.familypromisece.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Beasley at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-3993-6457, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the LFPR team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

GEORGIA TECH SAVANNAH TO HOST HYBRID LEARNERS & LEADERS SEMINAR ON RECRUITING AND RETAINING EMPLOYEES

SAVANNAH, GA – November 1, 2022 – Georgia Tech Savannah is slated to host the next event in its Learners & Leaders series from 8 – 9:30 a.m., with breakfast and networking commencing at 7:30 a.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. The seminar, Becoming an Employer of Choice – Recruiting and Retaining Employees, is a hybrid event. Participants can attend in-person at the Georgia Tech Savannah campus, 210 Technology Circle, or join virtually.

The workforce landscape has evolved and shifted significantly in the last couple of years. Following the Great Resignation and subsequent hiring crisis, job hopping seems to have swelled even further. In a February 2022, LinkedIn study of more than 20,000 US workers, 25% of Gen Zers and 23% of millennials said they hoped or planned to leave their current employers within the next six months.

HR departments and employers are charged with the task of becoming an in-demand employer and executing sophisticated recruitment and retention strategies to get employees in the door and keep them there. An expert panel will discuss the need for a detailed HR infrastructure that any size organization should have and next on to how best to recruit employees and what strategies have worked to retain them, including valuing individual performance.

The expert lineup of panelists includes:

  • Jeff Grant, Human Resources Director, City of Savannah
  • Suzanne Kirk, President & Executive HR Consultant, Employee Development Strategies, Inc.
  • Elliot Price, Augusta Regional Manager, Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Georgia Tech

For more information or to register for this event, please visit https://EMPLOY.eventbrite.com.

To learn more about the Georgia Tech Savannah campus, please visit https://pe.gatech.edu/savannah.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH SAVANNAH:

Georgia Tech-Savannah provides educational experiences for learners of all ages. Our multitude of learning platforms are tailored to meet the needs of a diverse population, from working professionals pursuing career development and those seeking specific certifications to children eager to explore and discover. Georgia Tech-Savannah’s professional education, training and military programs encourages participants to challenge themselves and meet goals by sharpening existing skills and picking up valuable new ones. We’re proud to bring cutting-edge technology, applied research capabilities and innovation to the Coastal Empire, where our campus also serves as a home for various Georgia Tech affiliates, institutes, and centers. To learn more, visit us at pe.gatech.edu/savannah.

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BLOG – NOVEMBER 2022 – FOCUSING ON SUCCESSFUL EVENTS

BLOG – NOVEMBER 2022 – FOCUSING ON SUCCESSFUL EVENTS

By Allie Robinson, Account Director

blog-nov2022

At the time of writing, LFPR is in the middle of helping our clients with “event season”. Form galas to ribbon cuttings and grand openings, we partner with our clients to ensure their events are successful and reinforce brand messages and are synergistic with other marketing initiatives. Events need to deliver a Return on Investment (ROI) and exceed expectations. Although events are coming back strong after the pandemic, many people are more selective abut what they will attend, slower to RSVP and still value their downtime at home. So, what does this mean for event organization and promotion? 

First, set objectives and a budget. Access if your organization really needs to have a big gala or is something casual and low key more appropriate? Will the event be held in person, virtually, or both? What are you looking to achieve? Community awareness? New clients or supporters? Fundraising? Sharing knowledge with attendees? Extensive media coverage? Often events are multifaceted with a range of goals so prioritize these and be vigilant about ensuring these are met; be prepared to discard confusing or superfluous details. 

Next, do your research – make sure that you have costed for every aspect, check community calendars to maker sure you are not competing with similar events in the wider region, such as a fun run of a fundraising gala as people only have a limited amount of time and disposable income. Plan for and budget for the unexpected – such as severe weather causing plans to be moved inside, canceled, or postponed. 

Have a clear and concise plan. Everyone who has a hand in the event needs to be on the same page and know exactly what is going to happen when. It is helpful to create shared documents that everyone on the team can update when event details are confirmed. Examples of different organizational documents could include an expense spreadsheet, an itinerary of the event, or a shared folder with all event designs in it for promotion. This will help your team understand what is accomplished, what still needs to be done, and what the plans are for the event. It is also important that each event team member has a clear and distinct role in the planning process. Different roles include planning vendors, fingering out logistics, a media promotion team, and someone who can develop design concepts to promote the event. Having members understand that they have a clear role int he process avoids one member of the team getting overwhelmed and covers all your bases. When starting to plan an event, it is good to have roles spelled out and assigned, creating documents to keep the team organized, and keeping open communication between all parties. 

Media promotion is vital to having a successful event, and I’m not just saying that because I work in public relations. Media coverage helps make people become aware of the event and creates genuine interest. LFPR not only has the expertise to help with all this detailed planning and keep our clients on track, but we are very focused on how to make the news. What is the point of a ribbon cutting or launch if nobody hears about it before and after it has take place? You may choose to spend a lot of money on advertising the event, but it is perceived more positively when the media coverage is editorial – meaning that the editor, broadcaster or online influence is writing independently because they are convinced that it is of genuine interest to their audiences. It is important that your event gets genuine coverage that generates a positive buzz about the event. 

Always have a Backup Plan! In this region, you never know what the weather will do until it happens. That’s why it is crucial to have a back up plan and a backup tot he backup place. If you know your event is outside, consider renting a tent or having a secondary location that is ready to go int he event of bad weather. If for any reason you need to postpone or cancel the event, make sure you communicate with all the attendees and the media that the event has been canceled so they know not to show up or know where they are supposed to go. 

After the event is complete, the work is not over. Meet with your team to evaluate the event; discuss the strengths and weaknesses in your process and the event itself. Then, take what you discussed and remember those things when planning your next event. 

Planning an event can be a great way to shed a positive light on your business or organization and meet marketing objectives at the same time. It is crucial to assemble a great team, establish clear roles, have a clear plan, keep open communication, and promote your event in the best ways possible.

Source: Richmond Hill Neighbors magazine | Issue November 2022 | Page 26

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LFPR is a full-service marketing agency offering a full range of event management and promotion as well as graphic design, website development and digital promotion, social media services, advertising and ruble relations.