350-Mile Bike Ride to Raise Funds and Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Paul Anderson Youth Home

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The 17th annual five-day ride in Florida symbolizes the commitment these young men have to their physical, mental, and spiritual growth

(SOUTHEAST GEORGIA/CENTRAL FLORIDA) PAYH, a fully accredited and licensed program offering a second chance to young men in crisis, continues its 60th-anniversary celebration with the 17th Annual Bike Ride. Over the course of five days, July 18-22, five young men from the Home will travel over 350 miles by bicycle on routes along the eastern coastline of central Florida, with a home base in Flagler Beach.

The event commemorates a foundational moment in the history of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. At its founding in 1961, the former Olympic gold-medal winner Paul Anderson hopped on a bicycle and rode from Vidalia, Ga., 1,200 miles to Omaha, Neb. He did this for the same reasons the five boys do it today, to raise funds and awareness of the mission to give troubled young men a second chance through Christ. Now 60 years later, the Paul Anderson Youth Home celebrates more than 1,400 lives changed through a process of recovery, restoration, and redemption.

“This bike ride continues to be one of the Home’s greatest traditions,” said Glenda Anderson Leonard, Co-Founder & President of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. “It is so inspiring to see these young men train, set goals, and then have the satisfaction of reaching them.”

Each rider strives to overcome emotional problems, bad decisions and spiritual challenges. This is symbolized in the physical fortitude to travel such distances. Anderson, a world-class athlete, stressed physical fitness as one component of honoring God. (The endurance needed to achieve these feats honors his lessons of how keeping your body physically fit is as important as exercising the mind, filling it with positivity and prayer.)

“Paul was extremely focused on Jesus Christ, physical fitness, and prioritized it in his life. These young men are honoring his legacy by taking on such a challenging week of cycling long distances,” said Anderson Leonard. “Our hope is that this ride instills self-confidence and Christian character into their everyday lives.”

This year’s goal is to raise $145,500, which will allow PAYH to effectively carry out its mission of helping troubled youth effectively. Supporters can learn more about each rider’s story, how to contribute, or become a part of the PAYH family at payhbikeride.com.

To learn more about the Paul Anderson Youth Home and family resources, visit payh.org.

ABOUT PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOME
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program, with an on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling in the areas of behavioral problems, and issues of discipline, anger, and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, GA. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

In Recognition of its 125th Anniversary, Oliver Maner Donates $12,500 to Eugene Gadsden Scholarship Fund 

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Esteemed Savannah law firm makes a substantial gift to scholarship fund for local students

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Oliver Maner, one of Savannah’s oldest and most prominent law firms, presented $12,500 to the Savannah Bar Association to be allocated toward the Judge Eugene H. Gadsden Scholarship fund.

The Judge Eugene H. Gadsden Memorial Scholarship was established by the Savannah Bar Association to honor the memory and legacy of Judge Gadsden, the first African-American judge in Savannah. Judge Gadsden was well known for his character, integrity and compassion.

Victoria Nease, Wiliam P. Franklin, Jr., Amelia C. Stevens, Paul H. Threlkeld, John Neely, Andrew M. Wilkes, Matthew E. Mills,Joy Nelson, Patrick T. O'Connor
Representatives of Oliver Maner were happy to make a donation to the Judge Eugene H. Gadsden Scholarship fund in honor of their 125th Anniversary. This year’s winner of the scholarship is Savannah Country Day School graduate John Neely. From left, Oliver Maner Associate Victoria Nease, Of Counsel William P. Franklin, Jr., Associate Amelia C. Stevens, Partner Paul H. Threlkeld, scholarship recipient John Neely, Partner Andrew M. Wilkes, Savannah Bar Association Scholarship Committee Chair Matthew E. Mills, Associate Joy Bonner, and Managing Partner Patrick T. O’Connor.

This year marks Oliver Maner‘s 125th anniversary and the donation to the Gadsden Scholarship Fund is intended to celebrate the occasion by investing in the education of law students in the local community.

“Judge Gadsden was and still is an inspiration to the legal community in Savannah and as we celebrate the past 125 years of providing legal services in Savannah and around the Southeast, Oliver Maner is proud to support future leaders in the legal profession as they work toward achieving their educational goals,” said Patrick T. O’Connor, Managing Partner of Oliver Maner. “We hope to continue this legacy onward.”

The scholarship provides funds to a graduating senior from a high school in Savannah to attend an accredited college or university. The award may be used for tuition and fees, books, and other academic expenses. This year’s recipient is John Neely.

Oliver Maner was organized as a firm in 1897 when seasoned military and legal veteran Judge Hansford Dade Duncan Twiggs joined in partnership with recent Vanderbilt University graduate Francis McDonald Oliver in Savannah for the general practice of law. Through the years, various partners have joined the firm, with the current iteration of “Oliver Maner LLP” being established in 2009.

In the past decade, the firm’s partners have tackled some of the most significant cases in the State of Georgia and the Southeast, ranging from one of the only death penalty defense cases the federal courts in Savannah have seen in the past 30 years to defending and prosecuting civil cases involving precedent-setting legal issues and tens of millions of dollars. The firm prides itself on its ongoing involvement in the community, supporting a wide array of nonprofit organizations through sponsorships, donations and service on boards.

ABOUT OLIVER MANER

With a history of 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner, LLP, is a full-service law firm capable of handling a broad range of civil litigation and business law expertise. With a team of 27 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical and legal malpractice, product liability, civil rights litigation, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

Leadership Southeast Georgia 2022 Programming Concludes with Graduation Ceremony

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The professional development and leadership program focuses on regional health and infrastructure in Chatham County and its surrounding areas.

(CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga.) Leadership Southeast Georgia, a professional development and leadership program held throughout 10 coastal counties, concluded its 2022 programming with a focus on regional health and infrastructure. The participant group consists of regional leaders from business, professional and civic organizations selected to participate in a five-month course of ongoing personal and professional growth to build connections and learn collaboration skills that empower them to improve the region.

Day one of the fifth and final session began in Savannah with a welcome from Savannah Mayor Van Johnson and Chairman of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners Chester Ellis. The group then toured the Waters College of Health Professions building at Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus before a panel presentation by local stakeholders in public health. The afternoon session included a private tour of Enmarket Arena, and a dinner was held at Trustees Garden with a discussion with Charles Morris about cooking healthy.

A morning presentation from a panel of experts at Georgia Ports Authority opened the second day’s session, as infrastructure took center stage. The class members also toured the port and presented their group capstone projects. After lunch, a boat tour with speakers from local industry, development, and tourism sectors closed out the day.

On Friday morning, the participants completed a final collaboration exercise before the graduation ceremony at Thomas & Hutton. Ellen Bolch, President and CEO of THA Group, delivered a keynote speech to the graduates, who received their plaques and certificates immediately following.

This year’s graduates include Chris Barr, Darrell Boazman, Karen Bogans, Cherise Cartright, Dialo Cartright, Sharri Edenfield, Mandy Edwards, Alisha Erves, Kristin Fulford, Peyton Fuller, Ronnie Hall, Nick Harty, Col. Manuel Ramirez, Jen Roberts, John Robertson, Jason Smith, DJ Spisso, Travis Stegall, Julie Streit, Joe Tallent, Gena Taylor, Jessica Thomas, Sam Tostensen, Nick Westbrook, and Tre Wilkins.

A unique aspect of this year’s program was that some class members from the 2020-2021 program, which was interrupted by the pandemic, joined the Class of 2022 to graduate as well. Members of the Class of 2020-2021 who graduated include Matthew Coleman, Patrick Connell, Kristen Crawley, Hunter Hall, Stephanie Johnson, Maria Whitfield, Petula Gomillion, Ryan Moore, Christopher Smith and Melanie Wilson.

“This is an outstanding group of LSEGA graduates,” said Jared Downs, LSEGA Board Chair. “The relationships we’ve seen develop between participants both professionally and personally over the five months of the program and the knowledge shared from guests will serve these leaders and our community well.”

Other speakers during the final session included Dr. Laurie Adams of GSU Waters College of Health Professionals, Dr. Fran Witt of Effingham County Health System, Dr. Stephen Thacker of Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willet Children’s Hospital, Armand Turner of Healthy Savannah, Greg Kelly of Savannah Airport Commission, Ryan Chandler of Colonial Oil, Jeb Bush with Forsyth Farmers’ Market, Robert Grant of GSU Parker College of Business, Bryan Buchanan of Ft. Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, Cristina Pasa Gibson with Coastal Health District, Randy Weitman of Georgia Ports Authority, Carmen Foskey Bergman of Dulany Industries, Jason LaVecchia of US Army Corps of Engineers, Brandt Modlin of Wood., Beth Vantosh with Vantosh Realty and Michael Owens of Tourism Leadership Council.

LSEGA 2022 program sponsors include Evans General ContractorsMorgan Corp.Georgia Southern UniversitySavannah/Hilton Head International AirportM.E. Sack EngineeringGeorgia PowerSack Construction and Maintenance, and Gulfstream Aerospace.The session’s sponsors include Cecilia Russo MarketingColony BankConnell Thaw & RubertiEffingham Health SystemGeorgia CEOGeorgia Ports AuthorityHunterMaclean AttorneysHussey Gay BellSavannah Area ChamberSavannah Economic Development AuthorityThomas & HuttonTQ Constructors Inc.Wood and World Trade Center Savannah.

To learn more about the LSEGA program, visit lsega.com.

ABOUT LEADERSHIP SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

Leadership Southeast Georgia is a five-month, region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to most effectively advance positive growth and improve the quality of life in the southeast Georgia region. The executive board and program participants represent a variety of industries across Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven counties. From February through June, the class spends two to three days a month traveling to surrounding counties exploring regional issues such as healthcare, education, natural resources, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit lsega.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck, Managing Partner of Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

Regional Economic Development Examined in Bryan and Effingham Counties During the Fourth Session of Leadership Southeast Georgia 2022 

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The professional development and leadership program participants focused on the effects of infrastructure, nonprofit organizations and poverty.

(BRYAN COUNTY, Ga.) Leadership Southeast Georgia, a professional development and leadership program throughout 10 coastal counties, continued its 2022 programming in Bryan and Effingham counties. LSEGA is a five-month course of ongoing personal and professional growth to build connections and learn collaboration skills that empower the participants to improve the region. The session four agenda focused on how infrastructure lures organizations to Southeast Georgia, the nonprofit perspective of economic development, and the realities of poverty statistics. Program Managers, Jessica Hood, Vice President, Effingham County Industrial Development Authority and Justin Farquhar, Vice President, Development Authority of Bryan County, developed and lead the session.

“A modern and highly-functional infrastructure is essential to bring businesses to the region,” said LSEGA Board Chair Jared Downs. “Understanding how to achieve and maintain that is vitally important for growth in Southeast Georgia. We learned a lot about how to continue to expand economic opportunity here.”

Class members also reviewed how non-profit organizations see and promote economic development, as well as the effects of poverty in the area. In all LSEGA sessions, participants examine leadership styles and best practices in the organizations they meet with and visit. During this session, there was a specific emphasis on tips and strategies to improve business writing.

The first day began with a trip to Effingham College & Career Academy. Craig Lesser, managing partner at The Pendleton Group, presented an “Overview of Economic Development,” explaining how various authorities work together for the betterment of the region. The LSEGA class then participated in an immersive exercise, examining the site selection factors that impact a company’s decision to locate in the region.

Next, the group briefly toured the Georgia International Trade Center in Rincon before stopping at QuickStart Advanced Manufacturing Center in Pooler. A lunchtime labor panel, “Regional Workforce Outlook and Initiatives,” was held, followed by a tour of QuickStart. Next, a visit to Caesarstone in Midway included a tour and remarks from General Manager Yossi Binyamin on why the business chose to relocate to the region.

Day two began early with a discussion of the I-16 Joint Development Authority and other infrastructure projects of regional significance. This was followed by a business writing workshop and a presentation on non-traditional economic development. Before adjourning, participants received an update on the recent Bryan County tornado from Freddy Howell of Bryan County Emergency Services.

Other speakers during the two-day session included Chance Raehn of Chesterfield, Maria Whitfield of DRT-Pinova, Stacy Watson of Georgia Ports Authority, Brent Stubbs of Savannah Technical College, Susan Williams of Georgia Quick Start, Brian Wiederhold of Pacific Cycle, Justin Farquhar of Development Authority of Bryan County, Brandt Herndon of Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, Ben Taylor of Bryan County, Ralph Forbes of Thomas & Hutton, Amy Condon of The Refinery Writing Studio, Suzanne Kirk of Employee Development Strategies, Erin Phillips of City of Springfield, Kathryn Johnson of Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, Christy Sherman of the Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau and Glenn Newsome of Georgia Hi-Lo Trail.

“It was our pleasure to host Leadership Southeast Georgia in Effingham County,” says Brandt Herndon, CEO of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority.  “We were happy to work with our partners in Bryan County to showcase the economic opportunities that we have in our communities, and to give a first-hand account on how economic development works at the community level.”

Sponsors for the overall 2022 program include Evans General ContractorsMorgan Corp.Georgia Southern UniversitySavannah/Hilton Head International AirportM.E. Sack EngineeringGeorgia PowerSack Construction and Maintenance, and Gulfstream Aerospace.

Sponsors of this fourth session include Effingham County Industrial Development AuthorityEffingham College & Career AcademyGray Pannell & WoodwardDevelopment Authority of Bryan CountyEffingham County Chamber of CommercePlanters Broadband CooperativeBryan County Board of CommissionersChesterfieldCoastal Electric CooperativeThe Fortune ImageEffingham County Board of CommissionersBroe Real Estate GroupCarlson & Co.C&H Precision Weapons and Carellas Murphy Law.

To learn more about the LSEGA program, visit lsega.com.

ABOUT LEADERSHIP SOUTHEAST GEORGIA
Leadership Southeast Georgia is a five-month, region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to most effectively advance positive growth and improve the quality of life in the southeast Georgia region. The executive board and program participants represent a variety of industries across Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven counties. From February through June, the class spends two to three days a month traveling to surrounding counties exploring regional issues such as healthcare, education, natural resources, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit lsega.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck, Managing Partner of Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

UNITED WAY OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE CELEBRATES THE SUCCESSES OF THE 2021-2022 CAMPAIGN DURING THIS YEAR’S ANNUAL MEETING.

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UNITED WAY OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE CELEBRATES THE SUCCESSES OF THE 2021-2022 CAMPAIGN DURING THIS YEAR’S ANNUAL MEETING.

SAVANNAH, GA (May 17, 2022) – United Way of the Coastal Empire announced today a record-breaking $13.1 million of total funds in and through the organization supporting the community in Fiscal Year 2021-2022 — a figure at the heart of today’s celebratory Annual Meeting. This final number, reported differently than in previous years, fully reflects the work of the organization including the impact of COVID-19 response efforts and legacy giving.

The breakdown reveals strong support from the public and private sectors. Coordinated Government Programs include $3.1 million of Emergency Rental Assistance funds processed through United Way in partnership with Chatham County. These dollars, paid directly to property owners and utility companies, helped keep those most severely impacted by the pandemic safely housed.

The Herschel V. Jenkins Trust, which contributes a percentage annually to the operations of the organization, along with revenue from rental income, in-kind gifts, and administration fees earned through the management of designated funds, totals $1.8 million in sustaining support.

The Community Campaign, a direct result of workplace and individual giving, events, and grants, totaled $8,182,173!

Cecilia Russo Turner (left) Jeff O’Conner (center) Brynne Grant (right)

Cecilia Russo Turner of Cecilia Russo Marketing chaired the year-long fundraising effort. “Donations of nearly $8.2 million are simply amazing, especially as we faced another challenging year due to COVID-19,” Russo Turner said. “I’m so proud of our volunteers, donors, and everyone who helped make this amazing result happen. The resiliency of this community gave life to our theme of ‘No Grit, No Pearl,’ and the generosity of the community has been inspiring.”

In a festive and jam-packed program at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort, the organization saluted the generosity of the community, the scope of assistance United Way provides, the value of volunteers and donors who make it all possible, and the dedication of the board members and campaign leaders who keep moving the organization forward.

“The breadth of work accomplished by the United Way staff and community volunteers over this past year is staggering. In addition to the historic core of United Way’s work, including partnering with the most effective and efficient nonprofits in our four counties and direct services like 211, our team processed millions in federal aid, which our local governments entrusted to our oversight,” said Jeff O’Connor, the outgoing UWCE chairman. “And yet, for size and complexity of the organization, our United Way is nimble, too. Six weeks ago, a deadly tornado hit Bryan County, and we were able to immediately mobilize resources to financially support our friends and neighbors.”

CRAIG HARNEY SPIRIT OF PHILANTHROPY AWARDS

The meeting also featured the presentation of the Craig Harney Spirit of Philanthropy Awards, a series of three awards that salute Giving, Advocating, and Volunteering.

The Giving Award went to Michael Solomon, who has a long track record with United Way and most recently created the Business Champions program, in which volunteers, hand-picked by their company’s leadership, significantly increased total giving from assigned accounts.

Stepping forward to receive the Advocacy Award for Chatham County and the City of Savannah were County Commission Chairman Chester Ellis and City of Savannah Mayor Van Johnson. The two organizations have long been great supporters of the organization, running two of the top campaigns every year. But during the pandemic, both have stepped up in heroic ways. In particular, they strengthened their partnerships with United Way to help our community and our neighbors.

The Volunteer Award went to Austin Sullivan, who retired after a long career with General Mills and has since volunteered his considerable talents to UWCE.

CHANGING LEADERSHIP

Taking the gavel as United Way Board Chair in 2022-23 will be Mark Bennett, a long-time volunteer for the organization and Senior Manager of Governmental Relations and Community Investments for Gulfstream Aerospace. He and other nominated Board officers were elected unanimously at the meeting. He introduced Cindy Robinett, Partner, and Client Advisor at Sterling Seacrest Pritchard as the campaign chair for the next year-long campaign.

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE

The mission of United Way of the Coastal Empire is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. United Way is a volunteer-driven organization serving Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties that involves hundreds of community leaders, professionals, and other volunteers in every aspect of our business including fundraising, marketing, and funding decisions, to ensure that donations are truly making a difference. Thanks to the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund and other income, most of the operating expenses of the organization are covered, allowing more donor contributions to go where they’re most needed in service to the community.  For more information, please visit www.uwce.org.

Contact:
Jaime Dailey-Vergara
Vice President of Marketing
United Way of the Coastal Empire
912.651.7706 (office) | 843.473.9829 (mobile)
Jdailey-vergara@uwce.org

Union Mission Hosts Annual Raising Hope Event to Benefit Emergency Housing Programs

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Union Mission Hosts Annual Raising Hope Event to Benefit Emergency Housing Programs

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Union Mission hosted its 7th Annual Raising Hope at the Savannah Convention Center. The event was presented by Oliver Maner LLP and Nine Line Apparel and emceed by Rabbi Robert Haas, Leader of Congregation Mickve Israel. Special honorary sponsors included The Sarah Mills Hodge Foundation and Parker’s. The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring Jeremy Davis & the Equinox Jazz Trio and travel silent auction items, followed by dinner.“The funds raised from Raising Hope are vital to assisting those who are ready to leave homelessness behind for good,” said William Hunter, Presenting Sponsor and Partner at Oliver Maner. “Raising Hope will help Union Mission continue to provide comprehensive supportive services to give people the tools they need to rebuild their lives.”

Bill Hunter and Mike Traynor
Bill Hunter and Mike Traynor

The program featured Keynote Speaker Douglas Brinkley, an American Historian and Best-Selling Author. He is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Brinkley works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards, museums, colleges and historical societies. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master”. The New-York Historical Society has chosen Brinkley as their official U.S. Presidential Historian. His recent book Cronkite won the Sperber Prize while The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He has received a Grammy Award for Presidential Suite and seven honorary doctorates in American Studies. His two-volume annotated The Nixon Tapes recently won the Arthur S. Link – Warren F. Kuehl Prize. He is a member of the Century Association, Council of Foreign Relations and the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. He lives in Austin, TX, with his wife and three children.

For more information, contact Mark Toth, Union Mission’s Director of Major Gifts & Organizational Strategy at (248) 770-3933 or mtoth@unionmission.org or visit www.unionmission.org/RaisingHope.

About Union Mission: Union Mission has cared for Savannah’s homeless community for more than 80 years offering emergency, transitional and permanent housing solutions to those in need. Union Mission also collaborates with the community’s network of service providers to make comprehensive, wrap-around supportive services, such as mental health counseling and culinary arts job training available to all homeless persons in the community. The mission of Union Mission is: to partner with people to end their homelessness through housing and supportive services. For more information on how to support Union Mission, contact Michael Traynor, President & CEO, at mtraynor@unionmission.org or (912) 238-2777 or visit www.unionmission.org.

Contact: Michael C. Traynor, President & CEO
mtraynor@unionmission.org
Mobile: (706) 877-4542

Bethesda Academy’s Class of 2022 Celebrates Graduation with Scholarship Gala and Outdoor Commencement Ceremony 

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(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Bethesda Academy held its annual Scholarship Gala at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 20, on the grounds of the historic school. “Under the Oaks” was the theme of the event, and all proceeds benefitted scholarship programs for students who would otherwise not be able to afford tuition. The festivities continued with the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2022 at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 21.

“This class is very special to the school. They had to overcome so much over the last two years with the pandemic and countless disruptions,” said Bethesda Academy President Dr. Michael Hughes. “They showed their tenacity and I am so proud of what they achieved. We are confident they’re going to do great things in the future.”

Quentin Marlin, Chair of the Board of Governors of Bethesda Academy, was the keynote speaker at the Scholarship Gala. Marlin is an attorney and partner with Ellis Painter Attorneys at Law. A native of Savannah, he graduated from Mercer University School of Law and served in the Georgia Air National Guard, deploying overseas for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 and within the U.S. for Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005.

On graduation day, the twelve students of the Class of 2022 took the ceremonial Reflection Walk with the faculty and staff. The group strolled across the campus, stopping at various buildings and outdoor locations to reflect on their time at Bethesda Academy. The students shared stories of lessons learned, friends they met, and memorable moments during their experience at the school. At the conclusion of the Reflection Walk, the graduation ceremony was held.

The Class of 2022 Valedictorian is Adrian  O’Kee, who has received a scholarship to attend Savannah College of Art & Design to pursue graphic design. The Salutatorian is Charles “Chad” Grefski Jr. and he will attend Georgia Southern University.

ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private 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 cattle program and a college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC
912-856-9075
cynthia@crussomarketing.com

Veteran Loan Officers Michael Caputo and Adam Hart Launch First Coast Mortgage in Savannah

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Firm offers an easy mortgage experience utilizing the personal touch of local lenders, speed in loan processing and prioritization of client education. 

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) First Coast Mortgage, a residential mortgage company, has launched in Savannah under the leadership of co-founders and mortgage advisors Michael Caputo and Adam Hart.

The pair will concentrate on using technology to educate customers while also reducing the red tape and time from loan application to funding. They cite changes in capital markets and technology as their motivation for the new endeavor.

Caputo and Hart possess over 48 years of combined banking experience and boast that First Coast Mortgage will prioritize client relationships, online accessibility, speed and promoting home buying education. The First Coast Mortgage application process will provide access to dozens of loan programs with the goal of a faster turnaround time.

“In the current environment, time is of the essence for mortgage lenders and their customers,” said Hart. “A lender facing a competing cash buyer must move quickly to put their buyer in a strong position. With low overhead costs and more investors to choose from, we will be able to offer our clients more options that suit their specific needs.”

A dedicated local operations team will help buyers worry less with a personal, proactive approach and attention to every detail.

“As a lifelong Savannah resident, I’m excited to serve the community in this capacity. Buying a home is the foundation of the ‘American Dream’ and often the most important financial transaction a person will experience. At First Coast Mortgage, we’re making it faster and easier, and raising consumer confidence levels through education,” said Caputo. “We are here to simplify the mortgage process and help our clients love where they live.”

Caputo, a Benedictine Military School and University of Georgia graduate, has been a Senior Loan Officer and Market Production Manager for Countrywide Home Loans, Bank of America, WR Starkey Mortgage and BankSouth Mortgage. Hart, an alumnus of Maryville College, has held the titles of Branch Manager, Vice President of Sales, and Vice President for Market Production at DHI Mortgage, Wells Fargo, United Community Bank, Certainty Home Loans and BankSouth Mortgage.

ABOUT FIRST COAST MORTGAGE
With 48 years of combined experience, Michael Caputo and Adam Hart founded First Coast Mortgage in 2022. Their goal is to make the mortgage experience faster, smarter, and less expensive while maintaining the customer service and relationships of a small firm while providing access to thousands of lenders. Relying on technology to educate their clients in addition to simplifying and accelerating the application process, First Coast Mortgage aims to be the most customer-centric Savannah mortgage broker with a reputation built on service. Being from Savannah, both Caputo and Hart assert that the loan process is personal and treat customers with the same consideration they would give their family and friends. The First Coast Mortgage office is located at 532 Stephenson Ave., Suite 101, Savannah, GA 31405. For more information, call 912-224-7076 or visit www.firstcoastmortgage.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

Wine Women & Shoes Charity Event Raises Funds for Ronald McDonald House

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The Dewitt Tilton Group and Woofgang Bakery & Grooming Were Title Sponsors of Sold-Out Event

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire held the 8th Annual Wine Women & Shoes events at the Kehoe Iron Works in downtown Savannah.

The Signature Luncheon & Fashion Show began with champagne and shopping at the exclusive Marketplace, followed by a luncheon, fashion show and appearances by the Shoe Guys. The main event was an evening of sip-sational wines, more fabulous shopping, culinary delights, raffles, an auction and charming Shoe Guys.

Aaron Cradduck, superintendent of The Dewitt Tilton Group, was crowned the coveted title of “King of Sole,” raising a record-setting $15,834.

“There are few combinations that evoke glamour and fun as much as the perfect fit of Wine, Women & Shoes,” said Bill Sorochak,executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire. “Savannah’s wine-savvy, shoe-loving women kicked up their heels and sipped fine wines, enjoyed signature dishes and gourmet bites, and shopped the latest shoes and accessories from fabulous fashion vendors, all while supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire.”

This year’s title event sponsor for Wine, Women & Shoes was The Dewitt Tilton Group, an award-winning commercial and industrial construction company in Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry. The title sponsor of the Signature Luncheon & Fashion Show was Woofgang Bakery & Grooming.

Ronald McDonald House helps so many families who are in need of crucial support while their children are receiving medical treatment. The Dewitt Tilton Group was honored to support this mission,” said Chris Tilton, president of The Dewitt Tilton Group. “The work of the Ronald McDonald House Charities directly complements our mission to make life better in the communities we serve.”

Proceeds from both events help fund the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire, whose mission is to create, find and support programs that directly enhance the health and well-being of children and families. Its flagship Ronald McDonald House provides a warm, home-like atmosphere where families whose children are receiving medical treatment in area hospitals can sleep, eat, watch TV or just relax and most importantly spend time with each other and with other families in similar situations. Their other core programs include the Ronald McDonald House Family Rooms and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

“Our services are needed now more than ever as we’re still feeling the repercussions of the pandemic,” said Sorochak. “We rely on this event to raise much-needed funds to continue our mission. We’ve enjoyed coming together with the fabulous women of Savannah to support our critical work.”

More information about the event can be found at https://www.winewomenandshoes.com/event/savannah/.

ABOUT THE DEWITT TILTON GROUP
The Dewitt Tilton Group, an award-winning construction company in Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry, specializes in commercial and industrial construction. The principals, Andrew DeWitt and Chris Tilton have over 50 years of combined experience in the local construction industry. The firm manages every aspect of a project from pre-construction to the final walkthrough. Known for using only highly reputable contractors, The Dewitt Tilton Group brings to the table design, engineering and construction capabilities, which guarantees a smooth construction process for each client. The firm is headquartered at 119 Canal St. Suite 106 Pooler, GA 31322. For more information or to contact The Dewitt Tilton Group, please call 912.777.3404 or visit www.dewitttiltongroup.com.

ABOUT THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES© OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE
One of 365 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide, each House is an independent non-profit, 501©3 community organization. The Savannah House is governed by a 19-member board of directors and managed by a full-time staff of five. The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities© of the Coastal Empire is to create, find and support programs that directly enhance the health and well-being of children and families. The House has thirteen bedrooms and operates on a waiting list most of the year. The local Ronald McDonald House provides a “home away from home” for critically ill and injured children and their families who are receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital at Memorial, Candler Hospital, or where needed in the Coastal Empire. Since the House first opened its doors 34 years ago in 1987, over 12,200 families have been served. The house currently serves approximately 320 families each year. Although the average length of stay runs 16 days, some families stay much longer with their longest stay being 203 days!

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck, Managing Partner of Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

2022 Paul Anderson Golf Classic Commemorates the 60th Anniversary and Raises Funds for Boys Youth Home

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(VIDALIA, Ga.) Paul Anderson Youth Home, a fully accredited and licensed home offering a second chance to young men in crisis, continued its 60th-anniversary celebration with the Paul Anderson Golf Classic. This was the 29th year for the tournament, held at The River Golf Club nestled in the “golf capital of the world.”

“We are so grateful and blessed for all of our partners and sponsors who make the Paul Anderson Golf Classic such a wonderful event, year after year,” said Glenda Anderson Leonard, president and co-founder of Paul Anderson Youth Home. “This year’s event is even more meaningful as we celebrate our 60th anniversary.”

Paul Anderson Youth Home is a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression. The Paul Anderson Golf Classic is one of the Home’s largest annual fundraisers.

Named a Top 5 New Course by Golf Digest, The River Golf Club has established itself as one of the best course designs in the Southeast since it opened in 1998. Designed by internationally acclaimed golf course architect Jim Fazio, the venue in North Augusta is set on the banks of the Savannah River, across from downtown Augusta.

“We rely on the generosity of our supporters and our community; the Golf Classic is one of our largest fundraisers,” said Anderson Leonard. “Events such as this tournament help our Home bridge the gap between tuition and our ever-increasing operational costs.”

The Paul Anderson Golf Classic is grateful for the generous support of The River Golf Club, the participants, and corporate sponsor Publix Super Markets Charities, which supports a variety of nonprofit organizations engaged in life-changing work throughout the Southeast.

The winners of the tournament are as follows:
First Place: Nathan Perkins, Adam Reardone, Dustin Harris and Nick Metzler

Second Place: Hal Chesser, Mark Chesser, Doug Chesser and Chris Wright

Third Place: Barry Coleman, Ken Mosley, Jared Ingley and Rusty Mosley

Closest to Pin: Tom Johnson

Longest Drive: Nick Mezler

Sponsors include the following: Publix Super Markets CharitiesSoutheast Produce CouncilNickey Gregory Co.Shuman FarmsThe River Golf ClubChick-fil-A Local Area Owner/Operators, Papa Buck’sWoody Folsom Auto Group, Vince & Anita Byrd, Handy Andy Home WarehouseThe Augusta ChronicleAltamaha Bank and TrustKennedy BroadbandAugusta Coca-ColaSmith’s FurnitureThe Honey Foundation, PAYH Alumni and Rutledge Wings.

ABOUT PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOME
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, GA. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.