Category: chatham county

Adoption Bill Endangers Georgia’s Economy and Reputation

Adoption Bill Endangers Georgia’s Economy and Reputation

By: Charles Bowen, Esq.

In a clear effort to legalize discrimination against the gay community, the Georgia Senate recently passed a bill authorizing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse to provide any service that violates their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

This bill was thankfully rejected.

The entertainment industry is thriving in Georgia, generating $9.5 billion in 2017. History has shown that legalizing discrimination can instantly destroy this progress.

In 2016, North Carolina passed the infamous “bathroom bill.” The fallout was immediate. The state lost $4 billion in revenue as major businesses pulled out of the state, film and television shows relocated, musical artists canceled concerts, and the NBA and NCAA withdrew sporting events.

In Georgia, numerous businesses and individuals have already publicly stated that they would stop doing business in Georgia passed any similar law legalizing discrimination.

Writer and producer Ben Wexler, the showrunner on “The Grinder” and “Arrested Development,” made his feelings about the adoption bill clear on Twitter: “To my fellow showrunners: if this dumb bill becomes law, let’s be done filming television shows in Georgia.”

Alyssa Milano, who is filming the Netflix series “Insatiable” in Atlanta, agreed. “If it does pass the House of Representatives and if the Governor signs the bill, I think the film and entertainment industry will take a strong stand and will pack up and leave the state of Georgia,” Milano said. “There is just no tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”

Such discriminatory laws are also flagrantly unconstitutional. We are all constitutionally entitled to equal protection under the law. And while we also enjoy freedom of religion, personal religious beliefs may not be used to justify actions that are illegal or harmful to others. If you refuse to pay your taxes, stating that you did not pay because of your religion is not going to help.

If Georgia were to allow public adoption agencies to refuse adoptions based on religious beliefs, for example, nothing would require them to stop with gay couples. The same law could be used to discriminate against single parents, divorced men and women, unwed couples or individuals of different races or faiths, including Christianity.

Regardless of the rhetoric emanating from a few clock stoppers in the legislature who were pandering for votes, denying even one single child a parent who wants to love and support that child unconditionally is indefensible and immortal. We must remain vigilant that Georgia remains a state that is welcoming to all.

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SOUTHERN GATEWAY PRODUCTION SERVICES
Entertainment attorney Charles Bowen founded Southern Gateway Production Services with the mission to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers by providing connections with local crew, vendors and service providers. Southern Gateway Production Services is a signatory to all IATSE National Term Agreements. Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015. As the founder of The Bowen Law Group, he has also developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law. Southern Gateway Production Services is located at 7 East Congress St, Suite 1001. For more information, contact Charles Bowen at cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.comor 912-544-2050.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen
Southern Gateway Production Services
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

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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

New Members Named to Park Place Outreach’s Street Outreach Team

New Members Named to Park Place Outreach’s Street Outreach Team

(SAVANNAH, GA) Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter has added two team members to its Street Outreach Program, Jamal Choice and Pamela Franklin.

The Street Outreach Program (SOP) finds and offers assistance to Chatham Country’s runaways, homeless and street youth. Choice and Franklin will coordinate with local agencies and programs to meet the needs of these teens and young adults, as well as advocate for them in the surrounding community.

The SOP has received funding intermittently since 1997, but Park Place Outreach recently received a three-year annual grant of $121,654 to re-fund the program, which serves teens and young adults up to age 21 through counseling and a drop-in center.

Choice, who is working toward a master’s degree in epidemiology from Georgia Southern University, is also involved with Collegiate 100 Men of America, Habitat For Humanity, NAACP, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the National Pan-Hellenic Council in addition to running his own barbecue business “The Firepit.”

“I have mentored youth for the past seven years and am really excited to continue pursuing my passion for working with kids through Park Place Outreach,” said Choice.

Franklin, who is pursuing a major in child and family development from Georgia Southern, will serve as the promoting safe and stable family case manager for Park Place.

“I am thrilled that Park Place Outreach has given me the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of young at-risk youth,” Franklin said.

Jamal Choice, New Hire to Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter's Street Team

Jamal Choice, New Hire to Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter’s Street Team

 

Pamela Franklin, New Hire to Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter's Street Team

Pamela Franklin, New Hire to Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter’s Street Team

ABOUT PARK PLACE OUTREACH SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter is an equal opportunity provider and employer. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, the Park Place Outreach Shelter has helped more than 6,000 individuals. For more information, please visit http://parkplaceyes.org or find Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter on Facebook.

CONTACT
Jamal Choice
jamal@parkplaceyes.org
912-234-4048

Pamela Franklin
pamelaf@parkplaceyes.org
912-234-4048

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
912-844-9990

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

Savannah’s Next Steps: Get More Kids Walking to School

Savannah’s Next Steps: Get More Kids Walking to School
Active Living Research Conference Presents Benefits of Sidewalk Infrastructure
By Paula Kreissler

Imagine trying to get a large number of people to head into the Canadian Rockies in sub-zero temperatures. Not easy, but that’s exactly what happened at the 15th Annual Active Living Research Conference held in Banff, Alberta.

The conference hosted over 400 academics, private think-tank fellows and public health professionals from over 30 disciplines, focused on sharing ideas about how to create and sustain active living environments with one shared goal: Building a culture of health. I was honored to represent Healthy Savannah.

The 2018 theme was ‘Future-Proofing Activity: Application Across Sectors.’ Delegates were challenged to consider the future of activity across all sectors and to reflect on applications that will minimize the detrimental effects of technology while finding ways to maximize its benefits.

From all of the information presented at the conference, I would like to propose a specific call to action for Savannah and Chatham County: Support investment in safe walking environments near our schools. This will result in healthier kids and direct cost savings for our school system.
As an example: In Auburn, WA, improved pedestrian infrastructure near the community’s public schools has saved $240,000 a year in busing costs.

The sessions at the conference also impressed me with the amount of local, national and international academic research available, providing evidence that specific interventions work well to increase a community’s opportunity to have access to physical activity. This healthy culture touches all generations.

While I was at the conference, one thing I realized early on was that younger generations are engaged in building a culture of health. I’m a baby boomer who was happy to spend time every day with these engaged millennials.

So I extend this challenge; no matter your age, gender, race or religion, let’s do something to promote active living within our communities.

Paula Kreissler urges Savannah to support investment in safe walking environments near our schools.

Paula Kreissler is the Director of Healthy Living and Community Development at Healthy Savannah, a public-private initiative committed to supporting healthy lifestyles and making Savannah a healthier place to live. Healthy Savannah is a leading sponsor of enmarket’s Encourage Health Education Series of wellness lectures by respected experts sharing insights on nutrition, fitness and general tips for healthy living.

Angela Grant Joins Board for Authority for the Homeless

Angela Grant Joins Board for Authority for the Homeless

(SAVANNAH, GA) Angela M. Grant has recently joined the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless Board of Directors. The authority works in partnership with nonprofit service providers, government officials, the faith community and the business community to reduce and eliminate homelessness.

Grant is a case manager team leader for St. Joseph’s/Candler Georgia Infirmary. This long-established program is designed to help avoid or delay nursing facility placement, decrease hospitalizations and emphasize preventive health care. In addition to helping the elderly, The Georgia Infirmary provides safe and affordable housing for vulnerable populations.

Grant received a master’s degree in public administration and is a part-time house parent for Park Place Outreach, which provides services to at-risk kids and teenagers and their families.

“Angela brings a wealth of knowledge, compassion and understanding to the homeless authority’s board,” said Julie Wade, director of Park Place Outreach. “She’s a beloved house parent for Park Place, and I am thrilled to know she is part of the conversation for ending homelessness in the Savannah area.”

Grant is a St. Joseph’s/Candler Mercy Volunteer who also gives her time to Second Harvest Food Bank, Girls Scouts of America and The Martin de Porres Society of Savannah.

Grant, who is married and has three children, enjoys traveling around the globe, reading and, of course, volunteering.

Angela M. Grant joins the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless (CSAH) Board of Directors.

Angela M. Grant joins the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless (CSAH) Board of Directors.

MORE INFORMATION ON PARK PLACE OUTREACH YOUTH EMERGENCY SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter is an equal opportunity provider and employer. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, the Park Place Outreach Shelter has helped more than 6,000 individuals. For more information, please visit http://parkplaceyes.org or find us on Facebook.

CONTACT
Julie Wade
Park Place Outreach
Youth Emergency Shelter
514 E. Henry Street
Savannah, GA. 31401
912-234-4048 Fax 912-651-3621
www.parkplaceyes.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
912.844.9990