Category: awards banquet

American Red Cross Honors Cecilia Russo Turner at Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

American Red Cross Honors Cecilia Russo Turner at Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

Esther Sheppard, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia

(SAVANNAH, GA) The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiahosted its fifth Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. in downtown Savannah.

This event recognized local students who are giving back to their communities by volunteering at school and for religious organizations, various non-profits, camps and more. It also honored Cecilia Russo Turnerfor her volunteer work in the community, as well as her philanthropy and advocacy.

Honorees at the 2018 Red Cross Youth Heroes Award Breakfast

“We hold this event each year to recognize outstanding youth for their commitment to improving our communities through volunteer service and to help increase awareness of the difference a commitment to service and compassion makes in the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Esther Sheppard, the agency’s executive director. “We know their potential is boundless. Therefore, we also honor a community mentor of the year to inspire and encourage them in their work.”

Cecilia Russo Turner Honored at Red Cross Youth Heroes Award Breakfast

Cecilia Russo Turner Honored at Red Cross Youth Heroes Award Breakfast

Turner, this year’s community honoree, was CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing. During her 23-year career, she has managed and participated in philanthropic activities that have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit charities and civic improvements in Savannah and the Lowcountry. Turner also was one of the creators of the Youth Heroes event.

(Left to Right) Esther Sheppard, Cecilia Russo Turner, and Cliff McCurry

 

(Left to Right) Josh Hildebrandt from the Georgia Secretary of State and Esther Sheppard

“Five years ago, I could not have imagined this idea would take hold, take shape and grow to be embraced the way it has by both this organization and the community it serves,” said Turner. “Professionally, my mentor is Cliff McCurry, who was, incidentally, the first recipient of this award. He and the other recipients have mentored untold numbers of young people, and each knows the power of hard work and rising above doubt, adversity and rejection.”

In addition to McCurry, who is a managing trustee at the University of Georgia Foundation; previous honorees are Cathy Hill, who recently retired as a senior executive with Georgia Power; Celia Dunn, owner of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty; and former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.

Students in the sixth through twelfth grades who were recognized are enrolled public or private schools or are home-school students in the 2017-2018 school year. They each had at least 30 recorded and verified volunteer activities addressing community needs within southeast and coastal Georgia.

Youth Honorees at 2018 Red Cross Youth Heroes Award Breakfast

The public were invited to support the Youth Heroes Breakfast and contribute to the American Red Crossthrough tax-deductible gifts that ranged from purchasing individual tickets or corporate-level packages to making donations to recognize the honorees.

“Contributions make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need when a disaster affects their lives,” said Sheppard. “We hope that, like these volunteers, members of the community will answer the call to help by supporting this organization and this event.”

For additional information, to buy individual tickets or to sponsor a table, email esther.sheppard@redcross.orgor call 912-651-5349.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OF SOUTHEAST AND COASTAL GEORGIA
The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawas established on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1917, and has served the community for more than one hundred years, now providing services in 17 southeast Georgia counties. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the workforce, serving as members of the board, instructors teaching lifesaving skills, disaster action team members, office administrators and event organizers. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/southeastgeorgiaor call 912-651-5300or 800-733-6767.

ABOUT CECILIA RUSSO TURNER
Cecilia Russo, of Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC,is a marketing professional with a proven record among Savannah’s top-tier non-profit and for-profit organizations, businesses and corporations in the areas of fund development, marketing, public relations and event planning. As a native Savannahian, Cecilia’s knowledge and experience give her unique insights into channeling the efforts of volunteers and constituents into effective, mission-driven public relations activities that translate into measurable results. She was voted one of Savannah’s “40 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Savannah Business Report and Journal in 2005. For more information, visit online at https://ceciliarussomarketing.wordpress.comor call 912-665-0005.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Cecilia Russo Turner
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

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Cecilia Russo, Cecilia Russo Marketing

American Red Cross Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

American Red Cross Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

(SAVANNAH, GA) TheAmerican Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawill host its fifth Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 20, at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. in downtown Savannah.

This fundraising event will recognize local students who are giving back to their communities by volunteering at school and for religious organizations, various non-profits, camps and more. It will also honor Cecilia Russo Turnerfor her volunteer work in the community, as well as her philanthropy and advocacy.

“We hold this fundraiser each year to recognize outstanding youth for their commitment to improving our communities through volunteer service and to help increase awareness of the difference a commitment to service and compassion makes in the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Esther Sheppard, the agency’s executive director. “We know their potential is boundless. Therefore, we also honor a community mentor of the year to inspire and encourage them in their work.”

Cecilia Russo Turner of Cecilia Russo Marketing

Cecilia Russo Turner of Cecilia Russo Marketing

Turner, this year’s community honoree, is CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing. During her 23-year career, she has managed and participated in philanthropic activities that have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit charities and civic improvements in Savannah and the Lowcountry. Turner also was one of the creators of the Youth Heroes event.

“Five years ago, I could not have imagined this idea would take hold, take shape and grow to be embraced the way it has by both this organization and the community it serves,” said Turner. “Professionally, my mentor is Cliff McCurry, who was, incidentally, the first recipient of this award. He and the other recipients have mentored untold numbers of young people, and each knows the power of hard work and rising above doubt, adversity and rejection.”

In addition to McCurry, who is a managing trustee at the University of Georgia Foundation; previous honorees are Cathy Hill, who recently retired as a senior executive with Georgia Power; Celia Dunn, owner of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty; and former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.

Students in the sixth through twelfth grades who will be recognized are enrolled public or private schools or are home-school students in the 2017-2018 school year. They each have at least 30 recorded and verified volunteer activities addressing community needs within southeast and coastal Georgia.

The public is invited to support the Youth Heroes Breakfast and contribute to the American Red Crossthrough tax-deductible gifts that range from purchasing individual tickets or corporate-level packages to making donations to recognize the honorees.

“Contributions make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need when disaster affects their lives,” said Sheppard. “We hope that, like these volunteers, members of the community will answer the call to help by supporting this organization and this event.”

For additional information, to buy individual tickets or to sponsor a table, email esther.sheppard@redcross.orgor call 912-651-5349.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OF SOUTHEAST AND COASTAL GEORGIA
The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawas established on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1917, and has served the community for more than one hundred years, now providing services in 17 southeast Georgia counties. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the workforce, serving as members of the board, instructors teaching lifesaving skills, disaster action team members, office administrators and event organizers. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/southeastgeorgiaor call 912-651-5300or 800-733-6767.

ABOUT CECILIA RUSSO TURNER
Cecilia Russo, of Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC,is a marketing professional with a proven record among Savannah’s top-tier non-profit and for-profit organizations, businesses and corporations in the areas of fund development, marketing, public relations and event planning. As a native Savannahian, Cecilia’s knowledge and experience give her unique insights into channeling the efforts of volunteers and constituents into effective, mission-driven public relations activities that translate into measurable results. She was voted one of Savannah’s “40 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Savannah Business Report and Journal in 2005. For more information, visit online at https://ceciliarussomarketing.wordpress.com or call 912-665-0005.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Cecilia Russo Turner
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

Peacock Automotive Awarded Business of the Year at Bluffton Ball

Peacock Automotive Awarded Business of the Year at Bluffton Ball

(JASPER CO.) The Third Annual Bluffton Ball Presented by Covert Aire was Saturday, February 17, 2018, at Pinckney Hall in Sun City. The Bluffton Ball honored local businesses and individuals who have contributed to the Greater Bluffton Community by presenting them with the Bluffton Business Awards.

Bluffton Business of the Year Award 2017

Bluffton Business of the Year Award 2017

The event sponsors included: Junkluggers of the Coastal Empire, Mike Reichenbach Chevrolet, Peacock Collision Center, Liberty Tax, Bluffton Today, Bluffton Breeze, Island Packet, Lowcountry Radio Group, Accurate Lithograph, Triad Design Group, WTOC, Iron Hook Photography, and Lowcountry Floral and Design.

The finalists were selected because they have demonstrated business excellence and the highest standards of ethical conduct, integrity, and civics and social responsibility.

The Bluffton Chamber received over 400 community nominations and because of the high caliber of the nominated individuals and companies, the Bluffton Ball selection committee deliberated long hours and gave careful consideration to all the nominees. These businesses and individuals stood out as leaders who exemplify ethical standards and behaviors.

The Chamber was thrilled to partner with the wonderful members of Programs for Exceptional People to make the Bluffton Business Awards. Programs for Exceptional People is a Non-Profit Organization whose mission is to promote independence, social interaction, and employment opportunities for Adults who live with intellectual disabilities. Each one of the awards were created in the PEP Ceramic Store in Bluffton and are as unique as the Members who made them.

Congratulations to all of the Winners and Finalists:

Business of the Year
Peacock Auto Mall

bluffton business award 2017

Pictured from left: Mike Covert, owner of Covert Aire (presenting sponsor of the Ball); John Lyons, Peacock Automotive Lowcountry Platform Director; Shellie West, Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Martin Sauls

Young Professional of the Year
Daniella Squicquero – The Hilton Head Life

Entrepreneur of the Year
Ian Duncan, The Grind Roasters

Educator of the Year
Sharon McMahon, River Ridge Academy

Artist of the Year Julie Jones

Non-Profit of the Year
Bluffton Self Help

Community Person of the Year
Daniel Messmer, AFA Academy of the Lowcountry

First Responder of the Year
Lee Levesque, Bluffton Township Fire District

Small Business of the Year
Advanced Integrated Controls

For more information, please contact the Greater Bluffton Chamber (843)757-1010

LDSS Calls for Nominations for the 9th Annual Night of Champions

LDSS Calls for Nominations for the 9th Annual Night of Champions

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is requesting nominations for its 9th Annual Night of Champions to be held this May. The event seeks to recognize Savannah area employees who are differently-abled and excel in their workplace, with an additional acknowledgment of the employers who have given them the opportunity to work.

“Night of Champions celebrates employees and their employers whose dedication and leadership shines a light on the possibilities and benefits of inclusive communities and workspaces,” said Night of Champions Chairperson, Tom Kenkel.

Employee nominations can be submitted online at nightofchampions.org until Friday, April 13.

The selected employees and their employers will be invited as special guests to the Night of Champions dinner, which will take place at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Thursday, May 10, at 6 p.m.

In addition to dinner, the evening will include a recognition ceremony, a silent auction and a cash bar, with Jamie Deen and Allyson Harvin serving as the night’s emcees. Business professional attire is requested.

Individual tickets are $50, and tables of ten can be reserved for 
$500 at nightofchampions.org.

Jamie Deen will co-emcee Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society's 9th annual Night of Champions

Jamie Deen will co-emcee Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s 9th annual Night of Champions

ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, support, outreach, education and advocacy. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact. LDSS encourages the whole family to attend; children of all ages are welcome. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit ldssga.org

CONTACT
Tom Kenkel
tkenkel@ldssga.org
912-373-6377

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
912.856.9075
www.carriagetradepr.com
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com

LDSS Night of Champions 2017 Recipients

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Honors 2017 Champions at Annual Gala

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) recognized five outstanding individuals and their employers during the organization’s eighth Annual Night of Champions gala, held Thursday, May 11 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah.

The organization’s 2017 Champions are adult workers who demonstrate exemplary dedication and commitment as employees and are recognized as integral team members at their places of work.

The awards went to:

“By living to their fullest potentials, the LDSS Champions are advocates for themselves and others with Down syndrome or other cognitive or developmental challenges, proving themselves truly able,” said the 2017 Night of Champions chairwoman, Allyson Harvin. “Each year, we recognize those Champions who, through their paid or unpaid work, bring about a greater public awareness and understanding of people with Down syndrome and all differently-abled adults.”

The President of LDSS, Candy Bogardus presented the President’s Award to Bonnie Rachael, founder and CEO of Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center. Located in Guyton, Georgia, Faith Equestrian began back in 2006 with the mission of, “We exist to improve the lives of individuals with different abilities through the power of the horse.” The center now has 12 horses, a donkey, and offers two primary programs, the Therapeutic Riding program and the EFL Program. For more information on the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center, visit http://faithetc.org.

Over 600 Savannah area business leaders, employees and advocates attended the event. The National Down Syndrome Society’s Chief of Staff delivered welcoming remarks and Savannah’s own Jamie Deen, TV personality and best-selling cookbook author, served as master of ceremonies. Deen, who sits on the LDSS Board, is a strong advocate for hiring individuals with Down syndrome and other different abilities.

2017 Night of Champions Attendees

2017 Night of Champions Attendees

2017 CHAMPIONS

NICHOLAS BROWN came to the Savannah International Airport in 2014 and worked in the airport terminal before he was offered a job as a groundskeeper. His supervisor, George Miller, says Brown demonstrates commitment, dedication, personal care and pride in his work. He also has been recognized by WTOC as a Community Champion.

MACKENZIE HANCOCK has worked for Polka Dots Gifts & Accessories for the past year. Hancock has several tasks that she does regularly but is always willing to try something new. Her manager, Jackie Pickering, says Hancock comes to work happily, has an enthusiastic personality and does whatever she is asked to do. Her coworkers say she is incredibly funny, caring, kind and loving and is personable with staff and customers.

GEORGE GATES has worked as a custodian with Goodwill Southeast Georgia for 15 years. He greets his co-workers with a smile, a sincere “hello” and his signature hug. His supervisor, Runella Black, says Gates comes to work early and never hesitates to work late if the facility is short-staffed. He impresses others with his work ethic, compassion, friendly personality and ability to work well under pressure. He demonstrates superlative customer service and enjoys speaking (and taking pictures) with the various dignitaries who tour the building. He also loves sharing his success story of how Goodwill has impacted his life.

DENNIS PICKETT has been employed as a warehouse team member with Fulfillment.com for eight months. His employment specialist, Alina Rickards, says Dennis volunteered in the cafeteria while he still was in school and expressed a desire to become part of the Fulfillment.com workforce. After completing a job assessment, Pickett joined the Fulfillment.com warehouse team.

BRENTON SCOTT has been on the team at Coastal Pet Rescue for a year. His supervisor, Jennifer Taylor, and the facility’s director, Lisa Scarborough say Scott’s family had spent several years trying to find a place where the young man could work on developing his independence. He first was teamed with a senior volunteer to work one day a week in the kennels to provide proper diets, perform all sanitary cleaning and make sure the dogs got daily exercise. After about four months, he started joining coworkers on weekends to attend adoption events to promote the dogs he cared for and to help them find new homes.

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Night of Champions 2017

Jamie Deen, Jennifer Taylor, and Brenton Scott

MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/. Find LDSS on Twitter at @LowcountryDSS.

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
cbogardus@ldssga.org
912-663-8573

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Junior Partner
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912.856.9075
www.carriagetradepr.com
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com

NDSS Chief of Staff to Deliver Opening Remarks at LDSS Night of Champions

NDSS Chief of Staff to Deliver Opening Remarks at LDSS Night of Champions

Kandi Pickard Celebrates Savannah’s 2017 Champions, and TV personality Jamie Deen Returns as Master of Ceremonies at 8th Annual Gala.

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is pleased to announce the Chief of Staff of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) will provide opening remarks and welcome all of the honorees during the eighth annual Night of Champions gala on Thursday, May 11.

The event celebrates differently-abled adults who are employed, contributing members of our community.

Kandi Pickard, Chief of Staff of NDSS, the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome, explained how she got involved with the organization after one of her children was born with Down syndrome.

Kandi from NDSS speaks to Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society in Savannah

Pickard said, “I feel proud to be part of this passionate community as we fight for the rights of all individuals with Down syndrome. The Night of Champions event is a shining example of a local chapter at work to create positive change for inclusion in their community, and I’m so excited to be a part of it this year.”

“We’re so very honored to have Kandi Pickard represent the national organization this year at the gala,” said Candy Bogardus, president of the Lowcountry group. “I think it speaks volumes that she is able to come out to our signature event to support the work we are doing right here in the greater Savannah area.”

Savannah’s own Jamie Deen, TV personality and best-selling cookbook author, will return as emcee for this year’s Night of Champions. Deen, who sits on the local society’s board, is a strong advocate for hiring those with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

“It is my honor to be a champion of change by helping business leaders in our community recognize how much these wonderful, differently-abled folks are just like you and me,” Deen said. “They are upbeat, dedicated, excellent employees, and I’m pleased I can help highlight their successes as the Night of Champions emcee. I look forward to once again sharing an incredible evening with my LDSS friends and supporters.”

By recognizing the employees and their employers to a full room of 600-plus business leaders, professionals and advocates, the event encourages business owners to hire from a talent pool that is ready to contribute.

The eighth annual Night of Champions gala will get underway at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah. Tickets are available at https://nightofchampions.org/

MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/. Find LDSS on Twitter at @LowcountryDSS.

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
cbogardus@ldssga.org
912-663-8573

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Junior Partner
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912.856.9075
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com