Category: Family

14th Annual Buddy Walk Returns to Forsyth Park on Oct. 5

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society will hold its 14th annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, Oct. 5, in Savannah’s Forsyth Park.




The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society hosts the event each year to draw attention to the strength and needs of individuals with Down Syndrome and to offer families a fun and inclusive outdoor activity. This year’s event has a fundraising goal of $50,000.


Expect lots of feet on the ground, along with wheelchairs, carriages and strollers. The event has drawn thousands of attendees each year. This year Sheriff Wilcher will be the Grand Marshall for the event.


This marks the second year that healthy lifestyles will be a particular focus of the Buddy Walk, and the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society has once again partnered with Healthy Savannah. Children with Down syndrome face an increased risk for obesity due in part to the syndrome but also to common environmental factors. With that in mind, nutritious lunch options and additional health education will be provided during the event.


A festival will follow the walk, complete with face painting, pumpkin painting, bouncy houses, games, music, refreshments and other entertainment.


Individual registration is $15, and alternative pricing is offered for families of different sizes. One new feature this year is encouraging families to form teams using the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s website,


“Families from throughout the region look forward to the Buddy Walk each October,” said Whitney Lowery, executive director of LDSS. “Coming together in October, which is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, allows us to not only enjoy fellowship but helps us in our primary goal of promoting changes in local and national policies regarding Down syndrome.”


For more information visit or email


The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) supports 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


Whitney Lowery
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society


Park Place Outreach hires Terence Brewton as Transitional Living Program Resident Assistant

Park Place Outreach hires Terence Brewton as Transitional Living Program Resident Assistant

(SAVANNAH, GA) Terence Brewton has been named as a resident assistant for the Park Place Outreach transitional living program (TLP) team.  

Park Place Outreach in Savannah, Terence Brewton

Park Place Outreach in Savannah, Terence Brewton

Brewton will be responsible for ensuring the safety of TLP residents while he works with them to facilitate various activities.

“The best part of the job is being able to interact with the boys,” he said.

Brewton has worked with at-risk kids and teens who were dealing with homelessness in communities in Illinois. At 360 Youth Services Cornerstone Shelter for Boys, he served as the behavioral aid for at-risk males ages 13-18 where he tried to help them finish their education and/or be reunited with their families.

Brewton has an associate degree in business administration and is studying to further his degree with a focus on human resource management.


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 or find us on Facebook.

Horizons Savannah Announces Fifth Annual Louise Lauretti Hoops for Horizons to be Held March 30

Horizons Savannah Announces Fifth Annual Louise Lauretti Hoops for Horizons to be Held March 30

(SAVANNAH, GA) The fifth annual Louise Lauretti Hoops for Horizons“three vs three” charity basketball tournament will be held on Saturday, March 30, at Savannah Country Day School, 824 Stillwood Drive.

Horizons Savannah

The tournament is named for former Horizonsteacher Louise Lauretti, who died of melanoma in 2014. It’s designed to bring together players of all ages and abilities along with Savannah basketball legends and Horizonssupporters to celebrate Lauretti’s love of learning and her legacy at Horizons.

“This annual tournament is a great way for us to raise funds and awareness for a program that serves more than 280 students each summer,” said executive director Christy Edwards.

The event begins at 9 a.m. and is open to teams of boys and girls from grade five through adults. Teams of as many as five players may register to play. The tournament will be “three vs three” with refereed games. Teams will play in age divisions for trophies. Local basketball legends Larry “Gator” Rivers and Dale Parker will be honorary co-chairs of this year’s event.

At the halftime break at noon, there will be a free throw and basketball skills challenge open to all players. For youth teams, which includes fifth through 12th graders, registration is $50. It’s $100 for teams with members 18 and over.

For more information, to register a team, sponsor a youth team or sponsor the event visit www.horizonssavannah.orgor call 912-961-8854. All proceeds benefit Horizons Savannah.

Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannah at Savannah Country Day School, Bethesda Academyand St. Andrew’s Schoolserves over 200 low-income students each summer. Horizonsis 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 SavannahExecutive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854or You can also visit our website at, check out our Facebook page.

Christy Edwards
Executive Director

Creating Good Dental Habits at an Early Age by Angela C. Canfield, DDS

Creating Good Dental Habits at an Early Age
by Angela C. Canfield, DDS

It’s always a good time to think about the health of your children’s teeth. The routines you set in stone now will carry your children into adulthood and set the stage for healthy teeth.

When it comes to those teeth, a tried-and-true parental friend comes in handy: routine. Brushing and flossing should be a part of your child’s daily routine in the morning and before bed.

But additional routines are needed too. I’m talking about a twice-a-year dental checkup. You don’t want a dental visit to become a time of trauma and dread because of a dental emergency. A positive, cheerful visit with a dentist who understands children’s needs and is experienced in dealing with them should be as much a part of a child’s life as checkups with a pediatrician, back-to-school supply shopping or a photo with Santa.

For parents who want to build dental care into their children’s lifelong habits, the American Dental Association’s consumer website,, can be a useful tool. It isn’t a preachy site full of boring demands to brush, brush, brush. It has helpful, real-world advice that parents can put to good use. The section with suggestions on tooth fairy visits almost reminds me of a sort of Pinterestfor teeth.

Someday, your child will be a senior, not just a high school senior, but much, much later, a senior as in “senior citizen.” Whether that future senior citizen is eating with his or her own teeth 75 years from now has a lot to do with what you are teaching your child right now.

You wouldn’t take any aspect of your child’s health for granted, but some parents overlook the fact that dental health is health. Sometimes, a special promotion like National Children’s Dental Health Month is a good reminder to make sure your children have a healthy dental routine.

Angela Canfield DDS

Angela Canfield DDS

Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentist. She owns and practices at two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs ( in Rincon, GA, and Sandfly Family Dental ( in Savannah, GA. Contact Dr. Canfield at molar799@yahoo.comor 912-826-4037

Local Rotary Calls for Volunteers for Second Annual Savannah Rotary Read-In

Local Rotary Calls for Volunteers for Second Annual Savannah Rotary Read-In

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Rotary Club of Savannahis searching for volunteers to serve as community readers for the second annual Savannah Rotary Read-Inon Wednesday, March 13, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Last year’s inaugural event drew 526 volunteer readers who read to students in 566 classrooms. This year, Savannah-Chatham public schools plans to add pre-kindergarten to the list, which means Rotarians and volunteers will read to students in 600 pre-k through third-grade classrooms in 32 schools.

“We hope to promote literacy with nearly 15,000 local students at this event,” said Lowell Kronowitz, president of the Rotary Club of Savannah. “Our goal is to have around 600 volunteers join our Rotarians in giving back by reading for one hour on this special day to spark young imaginations and encourage the desire to read more.”

A report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation indicates children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school.

Debra Larson, president & CEO of Hospice Savannah, and retired trucking company owner Frank Moore, Jr., who serves as a substitute teacher in the school system, are co-chairing the event. Moore introduced the idea when he moved to Savannah from California where his club there had run the program for 26 years.

“We are looking for volunteers to help just one day for one hour with just one book. The impact for the students is tremendous,” said Moore.

The club also is seeking 32 volunteers to serve as liaisons to handle communication with the schools’ personnel, confirm classrooms and identify books for the read-in.

E Shavers Booksellers is offering a discount to anyone who buys a children’s book to read during the event.

To register to read at the Savannah Rotary Read-In, please sign up here by March 7:

The Rotary Club of Savannahincludes 225 community leaders and volunteers. Over the past 103 years, the club has championed local and regional developments that include completing the road to Tybee Island, improving the Savannah River for commercial traffic, enhancing the Dixie Highway system in southeast Georgia and building bridges over the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers. Most recently in recognition of the 100th anniversary, the club raised funds and constructed an all-accessible playground in Forsyth Park. Meetings are held each Monday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DeSoto Hotel, 15 E. Liberty Street. For more information, visit

Frank Moore, Jr.

The Greatest Legacy of President George H.W. Bush

The Greatest Legacy of President George H.W. Bush
By Kayla Johnson

Over the past several days, Americans have paused to remember our 41st U.S. president, George H.W. Bush.

Kayla Johnson, Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

Following his death on November 30, the news was filled with reminders of his dedication as a public servant. As vice president and president, he helped guide our country out of the cold war. During World War II, he was an aviator in the Pacific theater and survived being shot down by Japanese gunners.

Plus, all of us have seen the many photos portraying his humanity as a devoted husband, father and grandfather to a large and loving family.

While I honor and remember him for all of these things, it was the union of the two great loves of his life – service to his country and love of family – that became his greatest legacy. That occurred when he signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26, 1990. He had supported the monumental legislation as it made its way through Congress and is credited with ensuring its eventual passage.

Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation designed to prohibit discrimination and guarantee that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life. It opened doors to employment opportunities, requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.

This legislation changed everything, not just for those with disabilities, but for all of us.

When President Bush signed the ADA into law on that third week after Independence Day nearly 30 years ago, he did so with a great sense of enthusiasm and ceremony. While I’m sure he was confident it would be an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities, I also believe his passion was genuine as he shared these words at the bill’s signing:

“I now lift my pen to sign this Americans with Disabilities Act and say: Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”

President Bush went on to champion, and then sign the IDEA Act in October 1990, which provides children with disabilities the same opportunities for education as those students who do not have a disability. His actions directly influenced the passage of the ABLE Act in 2014, which created tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities; and H.R. 188, also known as the TIME Act, which was introduced in 2015. This legislation proposes phasing out a section of the Fair Labor Standards Act which allows “sub-minimum wage” compensation for work by people with different abilities.

While our work is ongoing, the lawful beginnings are notably attributed to President George H. W. Bush and for him, we are thankful.

Certainly, the ADA declared new opportunities for the differently-abled to be independent, but could we have imagined how it would benefit everyone? From that day forward, the word “inclusion” would become part of our vocabulary, our building codes, our hiring practices and our general thoughts.

The often unspoken rift that had long kept those with disabilities from sharing spaces, workplaces and experiences that everyone else takes for granted was dissolving. It would not be an immediate transition or an easy one for some, but little by little the ADA changed our culture and our mindsets. People who had been considered invisible or hindered by convention and physical obstacles were now recognized as the productive, enthusiastic, capable individuals that they are and were finally given the full rights of citizenship afforded to every other American.

As executive director of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society, I see the fruits of the ADA each day in the eyes and on the faces of those whose lives have been changed for the better because of President George H.W. Bush’s act love.

With the deepest appreciation now and always,

Kayla Johnson
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
10701 Abercorn St., #60786
Savannah, GA 31420

Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire Recognizes Cecilia Russo Turner with Community Impact Awards

Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire Recognizes Cecilia Russo Turner with Community Impact Awards

(SAVANNAH, GA) Cecilia Russo Turner of Cecilia Russo Marketing has been recognized as a recipient of the 2018 Community Impact Award by Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire.

Cecilia Russo Turner Receives Award from Ronald McDonald House

Cecilia Russo Turner Receives Award from Ronald McDonald House

The community impact awards program began in 2014 to recognize long-time contributors, businesses and volunteers for outstanding achievement in serving local Ronald McDonald House children and families.

Turner, who has served as a board member for seven years, has supported the Ronald McDonald House through marketing and fundraising support of various events, including the Chef of the House Challenge, Wine and Fries, The Red Shoe Run and Wine, Women and Shoes.

“It is a great honor to assist the families and staff at the Ronald McDonald House,” said Turner. “I’m so pleased that several of my family members and close friends are also involved with the organization, often serving at special events and seeing first-hand the impact that the house makes in our community.”

Bill Sorochak, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House, praised Turner for her efforts as a volunteer.

“Volunteers are the heartbeat of our House, and Cecilia has been invaluable in providing comfort for the families who find refuge and support here while their children receive medical treatment at our nearby hospitals,” Sorochak said. “Because of outstanding volunteers, we can keep our focus on helping children heal faster, cope better and stay healthy.”

The Ronald McDonald House helps families of seriously ill, hospitalized children cope with the stress and expense of daily living while trying to be close and emotionally strong for their children.

This marks the second time Turner has received the award. For more information, visit

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire is a registered 501©3, non-profit that operates solely on donations. The cornerstone program is the Savannah Ronald McDonald House that provides more than 4,170 family night stays each year with a “Home away from home.” Other core programs include the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital and Children’s Hospital at Memorial Hospital Medical Center and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a mobile dental clinic providing free dental cleanings and examinations, care to under served, school-aged children in Beaufort County, S.C.

Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC was founded by Cecilia Russo Turner in 2008. The firm puts the power of publicity to work, helping organizations, businesses and individuals move the needle and achieve their specific communications objectives through key reputation management strategies. For more information, call 912.665.0005 or visit

Bill Sorochak
Executive Director
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) of the Coastal Empire
t. (912) 350-7641 ext. 304
f. (912) 350-2309
c. (864) 906-8496 
4710 Waters Avenue
Savannah, Georgia, 31404

Cecilia Russo Turner
Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC