Category: children

LDSS Announces Camp Buddy 2018 in Chatham, Effingham

LDSS Announces Camp Buddy 2018 in Chatham, Effingham

(CHATHAM AND EFFINGHAM COUNTIES) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will host its tenth annual Camp Buddy summer camps in Chatham and Effingham Counties later this month and in July.

Camp Buddy offers programs to prepare children for the upcoming school year with the goal of promoting information retention from the previous year. Special education teachers along with occupational, physical and speech therapists have worked to design a customized curriculum that meets this goal most effectively.

“Camp Buddy has helped many children to excel in new areas and become stronger students as they approach the upcoming year,” said Pam Hussey, Chatham Camp Buddy director. “We look forward to continuing and even bolstering that legacy with our tenth year.”

This year’s Chatham Camp Buddy, July 9 – 20, will have a Dr. Seuss theme designed to bring a whimsical twist to camp activities such as music, dance, arts and crafts as well as bike, trike and scooter-board riding.

Chatham County campers in high school will cook lunch for their parents, embark on a river trip with Bull River Cruises and have visits from special guests who will include a soccer coach, a karate teacher and a yoga instructor. They also will participate in community service projects such as food donations and will visit Harvesters, a community food network, to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Effingham Camp Buddy, June 18-22, will feature special guests such as Chef Nick Mueller, who will do a cooking segment, local artists such as Morgan Webb, who will do art projects, and karate master instructor Carson Fortner, who will do a training session with the kids. Other activities will include a special field trip, crafts, music, dancing, pet therapy and operating the camp store.

Information on CHATHAM Camp Buddy:
Dates: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Monday, July 9 through Friday, July 20.
Times: Middle and high school camps will be 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and elementary school camp will be 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Preschoolers will attend from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Location: Coastal Middle School in Savannah, Ga.

For more information about Chatham Camp Buddy, contact Pam Hussey at (912) 220-6429 or

Information on EFFINGHAM Camp Buddy:
Dates: Every day from Monday, June 18 through Friday, June 22.
Times: Camp for ages 3-9 will be 8:30-11:30 a.m., and camp for ages 10 and up will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: Blandford Elementary School in Rincon, Ga.

To learn more about Effingham Camp Buddy, contact Molly Marchese at (912) 213-9127 or

Camp Buddy is sponsored by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and is made possible through the generosity of the community, friends and families of LDSS and events such as the Buddy Walk and Night of Champions. For more information about LDSS, visit

Chatham Camp Buddy Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society 2017

Campers enjoy Chatham Camp Buddy 2017

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

Tom Kenkel
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations


Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter Opens Little Free Library

Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter Opens Little Free Library

(SAVANNAH, GA) The dedication of Little Free Library was held at Park Place Outreach, located at 514 E. Henry Street in Savannah, Ga. The new Little Free Library, painted by local artist Kimberly Dawn Crowder, is part of the Flannery O’Connor Book Trail, which runs from Savannah, Ga. to Milledgeville, Ga. Little Free Libraries encourage anyone to take a book and leave a book. The concept originated in Wisconsin in 2010 and has since blossomed into a network of more than 20,000 miniature libraries around the world.

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

Little Free Library Painted by Kimberly Dawn Crowder

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

Park Place Outreach Opens Little Free Library

The dedication ceremony at Park Place Outreachincluded a special tribute to the late Francis Allen, the co-owner of Savannah’s Roots Up Gallery who started the Flannery O’Connor Book Trailin 2014 along with his wife, Leslie Lovell. The installation of the new Little Free Library and the continuation of the Flannery O’Connor Book Trailwas made possible by contributions donated in honor of Francis Allen upon his passing August 30, 2017. In addition, the Downtown Garden Club of Savannah has donated time and effort to restore the garden at Park Place Outreachwhere the Little Free Library was installed.

Park Place Outreachis a 12-bed temporary residential shelter for runaway, homeless and at-risk youth ages 11-17, centrally located on Henry Street in Savannah. Opened in 1984, the shelter offers youth a safe and loving environment, with 24/7/365 care by a staff of house parents and case managers. Park Place Outreachis the only facility in Savannah where homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit without an agency or parent referral. The organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelteris an equal opportunity provider and employer. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, the Park Place Outreach Shelterhas helped more than 6,500 individuals. For more information, please visit parkplaceyes.orgor Park Place Outreach– Youth Emergency Shelter on Facebook.

The Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home, located at 207 E. Charlton Street in the heart of Savannah, Georgia, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of one of the South’s greatest writers. An established 501©(3) nonprofit organization, the Flannery O’Connor Home Foundation, Inc. has meticulously restored the author’s childhood home to reflect the authentic period furnishings of a Depression-era Savannah row house and to offer insight into the years that O’Connor lived in Savannah, from 1925 to 1938. The Home proudly presents a series of free lectures as well as other events throughout the year. For more information, please visit flanneryoconnorhome.orgor call 912.233.6014.

Flannery O’Connorwas born in Savannah, Georgia on March 25, 1925 and is the author of the acclaimed novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, as well as 32 short stories and numerous essays. Best known as a pioneering Southern gothic author who often wrote about morally flawed characters, O’Connor remains an important voice in American literature. She lived in Savannah until 1938 and drew inspiration from her childhood experiences in Georgia’s First City until her death from lupus in Milledgeville, Georgia on August 3, 1964. She received the National Book Award for Fiction posthumously in 1972 for The Collected Stories of Flannery O’Connor.

Cody Shelley, Foundation Manager
Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home

Applications Sought for Free Mouth-Guard Program for Local Sports Teams

Applications Sought for Free Mouth-Guard Program for Local Sports Teams

(SAVANNAH, GA) Any high school or group that offers team sports in the Savannah area is invited to apply for free custom-fit mouth guards for their upcoming season courtesy of Angela Canfield, a local dentist who operates Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon.

Angela Canfield Sandfly Family Dental Donates Mouth Guards to Bethesda Academy - 2017 Canfield Mouth Shield

Canfield fitting Bethesda Academy football player for custom-made mouth guard

Canfield is accepting applications until Monday, July 2 for the 2018 Canfield Mouth Shield Program that will provide mouth guards in team colors, valued at up to $10,000, for the team chosen for the program.

“Giving back to the community and protecting young mouths is a priority for me and my team,” Canfield said. “I choose to donate the gear because these children deserve to have healthy smiles and research shows that wearing custom-fit mouth guards while playing sports reduces the risk of severe injuries to the teeth and jaw.”

Canfield developed and implemented the mouth-guard program in 2014 as a way to help kids in the greater Savannah area maintain a healthy smile. The first recipient was the Benedictine Military School football team. Since then, she has provided mouth guards to organizations that include Groves High School, Hancock Day School and Bethesda Academy.

The program is open to teams in numerous sports, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and wrestling.

“Nearly 50 percent of kids will experience some type of damage to a tooth, often in conjunction with a sports injury,” Canfield said. “While these injuries are not usually life-threatening, serious complications could occur and restorations can be costly. Injuries can also have long-lasting effects on a child’s appearance and self-confidence.”

She said injuries may result from anything from direct contact to a misplaced step while running. The custom-made mouth guards provide stability to the players’ jaws and cushion blows that can cause severe dental injuries such as broken teeth, fractured jaws, gum lacerations and injuries to the lips or tongue.

Canfield will donate the mouth guards, valued at $85 each, to every player on the selected team. Each appliance includes a one-year warranty that covers any dental expenses incurred by players while wearing the mouth guards. The warranty pays $1,093.75 per injured or replaced tooth up to a maximum of $35,000 per incident. Since the program started, Canfield has donated over $40,000 worth of protective gear to local student-athletes.

Applications must be received by Monday, July 2. For more information or to apply, visit

Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentists. She practices at and owns two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs located in Rincon, GA, 5871 HWY 21 South, and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah, GA. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit or

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Horizons Savannah Giving Day Passes Goal

Horizons Savannah Giving Day Passes Goal

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Horizons Savannah Giving Day, held Wednesday, May 16, raised more than $77,000 to benefit the Horizons Savannah program resulting in their largest Giving Day ever. This one-day event was a national day of giving with the goal of raising more than one million dollars to bring Horizons to more communities and families nationwide. Horizons Savannah’s raised funds will go to directly to help close the opportunity gap for low-income Kindergarten through 12th-grade students in Chatham County and the greater Savannah area.

Christy Edwards, Executive Director of Horizons Savannah is thrilled with the level of participation and enthusiasm from the business community, “We are so thankful for the support of our community. It took everyone coming together to make Horizons Giving Day such a success. We can’t wait to get started on next year and look forward to this being an annual event to benefit Horizons Savannah,” Edwards said.

Horizons Savannah offers a special thank you to the sponsors of this year’s event, including: Cutters Point Coffee, Kendra Scott Jewelry and El Coyote Restaurant.

The Horizons Savannah program includes six weeks of academics, project-based learning and swimming lessons each summer through partnerships with independent schools, colleges and universities. Horizons Savannah serves over 200 students each summer at Savannah Country Day School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School. This summer, the program will be expanding to the campus of Savannah Christian Preparatory School.

Horizons students typically gain 8-12 weeks of reading and math skills each summer. 97 percent of Horizons high school students graduate on time, and 91 percent go on to attend college.

Horizons Savannah Giving Day 2018

Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannah at Savannah Country Day School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School serves over 200 low-income students each summer. Horizons is a transformative experience for youth in Kindergarten through the 12th grade focused on helping low-income students close the achievement gap through academic support and confidence building. For more information, please contact Horizons Savannah Executive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or You can also visit our website at, check out our Facebook page.

Christy Edwards
Executive Director

Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Bethesda Academy Scholarship Gala Announced on May 18

Bethesda Academy Scholarship Gala Announced on May 18
Keynote Address from Bob Jepson Jr.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Bethesda Academy will host its Fifth Annual Scholarship Gala on Friday, May 18, to support the Gateway Scholarship Fund and celebrate the graduating class of 2018.

The gala will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Plantation Club at The Landings. The gala is open to the public, and tickets are $150.00. All proceeds from the gala provide assistance through scholarship funds for Bethesda students who would otherwise be unable to afford tuition.

Bob Jepson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Jepson Associates Inc., will be the keynote speaker. Jepson Jr. founded the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond and is the current chair of the Georgia Ports Authority. He is the chair and chief executive officer of Jepson Associates Inc., a private-equity firm (SBIC) and was the founding chair and CEO of The Jepson Corporation. Jepson Jr. currently serves as chairman of the Board of Curators for the Georgia Historical Society.

There are 14 students participating in the graduation ceremony, 6 of whom were dual enrolled and will be graduating with college credits.

Overall, 95 percent of Bethesda’s students graduate on time and 85 percent attend college.

“We are so proud to have witnessed these 14 young men grow so much in friendship and in character,” said Mike Hughes, president of Bethesda Academy. “It will be exciting to see the impact each will have on their communities as they leave Bethesda.”

Sponsors supporting this year’s Scholarship Gala include Mr. & Mrs. R. Kevin Jackson, Mr. & Mrs. James Trolinger, Dr. & Mrs. Jeff Bolch, Mr. & Mrs. Angus Littlejohn, South State Bank, Sterling Seacrest Partners, THA Group, Enmarket, MacAljon, Dr. & Mrs. Ted Moore, Gavilon Fertilizer, West Construction, Georgia Power, Dr. Linda Bleicken, Holland, Bromley, Barnhill & Brett LLP, Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah Airport Commission, Rubnitz Thompson Ziblut, Visit Savannah and Blue Force Gear.

The gala calls for business formal attire. To buy tickets, visit

Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private boarding and day school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and STEM curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit or call 912.644.4376.

John Reddan
Director of Institutional Advancement

Enmarket and Healthy Savannah Present $1,000 Encourage Health Grant to Loop It Up Savannah

Enmarket and Healthy Savannah Present $1,000 Encourage Health Grant to Loop It Up Savannah

(SAVANNAH, GA) At the first of four presentations during the 2018 Encourage Health Education Series, Loop It Up Savannahwas presented with a $1,000 grant to be used for art supplies and food for after-school programs.

Loop It Up Savannahis a community non-profit that each year brings creative art workshops to more than 5,000 kids. They serve a healthy snack and dinner to 30-40 children with after-school programs at the Yamacraw Community Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Enmarket and Healthy Savannah presents check to Loop It Up Savannah

Enmarket and Healthy Savannah presents check to Loop It Up Savannah

At the luncheon, Dr. Luke Curtsinger discussed The Blue Zone and how its nine life-guiding principles can promote longevity, well-being and overall happiness.

Curtsinger, a plastic surgeon who practices with Savannah Plastic Surgery, has performed more than 20,000 operations and is president-elect of the Georgia Medical Society.

The 2018 Encourage Health Education Serieswill feature four lunchtime presentations from respected experts who will share insights on nutrition and fitness, plus general tips for healthy living. A healthy lunch is provided. Attendance is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required on Healthy Savannah’s website.

During each presentation, a local nonprofit organization will receive a $1,000 Encourage Health grant to support their programs promoting healthy living, active lifestyles or nutritional education.

This marks the fifth year for the Enmarket Encourage Health Education Series, conducted in partnership with Healthy Savannah, Sandfly Family Dental, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Clover Health, Hoist Water, Savannah Morning Newsand Savannah Magazine.

To RSVP for the lectures, visit For more information, visit

Enmarket, founded as Interstate Stations by Robert Demere in 1963, is part of Savannah-based Colonial Group, Inc. The retailer operates convenience stores in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The company is committed to giving back to the community through many charitable contributions and volunteer efforts, offering fresh food, healthy snacks, and competitively priced quality fuel as part of its mission to enrich life. Enmarketcurrently employs more than 1,200 people and operates 122 stores as the 54th largest convenience store operator in the country.

Matt Clements
Director of Marketing

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.

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 call 912-651-5300or 800-733-6767.

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.

Cecilia Russo Turner
Cecilia Russo Marketing