Over $10,000 Donated to Greater Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine from Peacock Subaru Hilton Head’s Share the Love Campaign

Standard

Over $10,000 Donated to Greater Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine from Peacock Subaru Hilton Head’s Share the Love Campaign 

(JASPER COUNTY, S.C.) Peacock Subaru Hilton Head presented $10,125 to Greater Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine (BJVIM) at the conclusion of its annual Subaru Share the Love campaign. This total more than doubles the amount raised the prior year.  

Peacock Subaru General Manager Ken Kirby, left, presents a check for $10,125 to Dennis Toney, Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine Director of Development
Peacock Subaru General Manager Ken Kirby, left, presents a check for $10,125 to Dennis Toney, Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine Director of Development

The Share the Love event was held at the end of 2019 when the dealership invited each Subaru buyer to designate a portion of their purchase price to benefit either a national nonprofit organization or Peacock Subaru’s hometown charity.

“It’s truly a testament to our community’s belief in the vital mission of Volunteers in Medicine that our dealership continually selects these heroes to be our hometown charity and that our customers keep choosing to give back locally—and even more so this year when the need is much greater,” said Ken Kirby, general manager of Peacock Subaru.Through the dedicated service of approximately 75 volunteer physicians, nurses and allied health professionals, BJVIM provides free medical care to the residents of Bluffton and Jasper County who are uninsured.”We have outstanding nurses and physicians who donate their time and expertise to our community, but it’s imperative that we have financial assistance in order to make a difference,” said Dennis Toney, development director of BJVIM. “We rely on donations like these and the support from Peacock Subaru could not have come at a better time.”

Nationally, the Share the Love event has enabled Subaru of America and its participating retailers to donate more than $176 million to charity over the last 12 years. Customers have the option of choosing between four national and one of over 1,220 dealership-specific hometown charities. For more information on the Subaru of America Share the Love event, visit https://www.subaru.com/share-the-love.htmlBJVIM is one of more than 90 independent clinics under the guidance of the National Volunteers in Medicine Alliance. For more information about BJVIM, please visit https://bjvim.org/about-us/overview/

ABOUT PEACOCK AUTOMOTIVE
Peacock Automotive owns and operates 17 automotive dealerships representing 14 brands in Ga., S.C. and Fla., employing more than 700 individuals. The company’s headquarters are located at Peacock Auto Mall on U.S. 278, five miles east of I-95 at Exit 8 near Bluffton, S.C. The dealerships at the Auto Mall include Peacock Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat, Peacock Subaru, Porsche of Hilton Head, Audi Hilton Head, Jaguar Land Rover Hilton Head, Peacock Hyundai Hilton Head, Genesis of Hilton Head, and Hilton Head Volkswagen. Additionally, the company owns Peacock Hyundai Savannah, Genesis of Savannah and Savannah Volkswagen in Savannah, Ga. Other holdings include Jaguar Land Rover Columbia, Peacock Hyundai Columbia and Hyundai Genesis of Columbia. Its subsidiary, Peacock-Griffey Automotive, owns Peacock Ford in the Orlando area of Fla. Peacock Automotive also owns and operates the Peacock Collision Center in Bluffton, S.C., and Peacock Insurance in Ga., S.C. and Fla. For more information about Peacock Automotive, call (843) 208-1258 or visit https://www.peacockautomotive.com/

CONTACT
Jill Jauch
Peacock Automotive
265 Drivers Way
Hardeeville, SC 29927
Office: (843)-208-1217
jj@peacockautomotive.com

Mint Car Wash Begins Building Third Savannah Location

Standard

Mint Car Wash Begins Building Third Savannah Location

The Dewitt Tilton Group Selected as Commercial Construction Company to Complete Project 

(SAVANNAH, GA) Mint Car Wash, a Savannah-based exterior express car wash company, has announced plans to build a third location in the greater Savannah area. Earlier this year, Mint hosted a grand opening event for its second location (4747 E. U.S. Hwy. 80) benefiting Coastal Pet Rescue. The original Mint Car Wash opened at 10000 Abercorn Street in July 2018.

Chris Tilton, co-principal of Dewitt Tilton Group (left), stands with R. Daniel Blanton, Jr., co-owner of Mint Car Wash (right) on the construction site of the new Mint Car Wash building. Not pictured: Robert Wilson, co-owner of Mint Car Wash.
Chris Tilton, co-principal of Dewitt Tilton Group (left), stands with R. Daniel Blanton, Jr., co-owner of Mint Car Wash (right) on the construction site of the new Mint Car Wash building. Not pictured: Robert Wilson, co-owner of Mint Car Wash.
Chris Tilton, co-principal of Dewitt Tilton Group (left), stands with R. Daniel Blanton, Jr., co-owner of Mint Car Wash (right) on the construction site of the new Mint Car Wash building. Not pictured: Robert Wilson, co-owner of Mint Car Wash.

Mint‘s newest car wash will be an impressive 4,500 square ft. building and 23 vacuum parking spaces on a 1.2-acre lot located at 302 Commercial Dr. The owners have chosen local commercial construction firm the Dewitt Tilton Group for the project, and the group expects to complete the car wash in the fall.

“As we approach our two-year anniversary since opening our business in Savannah, we are still seeking new ways to grow, serve the city, and expand the membership value of Mint’s Unlimited Wash Club,” said Mint Car Wash co-owner R. Daniel Blanton, Jr. “There’s major shopping around Hodgson Memorial Drive, making it a high-traffic area ideally suited for the unique service and value we deliver at Mint Car Wash.”

Mint Car Wash is a drive-through experience offering exciting features like its state-of-the-art car wash tunnel and fully outfitted self-service vacuum area complete with various cleaners and air detailing tools.   For those who enjoy a clean car, Mint offers its exclusive Unlimited Wash Club that allows members to wash their vehicle every day for one monthly price.  Memberships work at all Savannah Mint Car Wash locations.  Mint’s top wash package, the Full Minty, includes 21 separate cleaners, sealers and waxes designed to clean, shine and protect vehicle finishes.

“Mint Car Wash is the perfect company to occupy this space,” says Chris Tilton, co-principal of The Dewitt Tilton Group. “Based on the layout of the existing lot, only certain types of buildings could utilize the space effectively. So it has been really rewarding to work with Mint Car Wash on creating a structure that is pleasing to the eye that also makes the most of the square footage available to us.”

One unique characteristic of the build is the foundational slab. Given the unique needs of the car wash, the slab will be thicker than that of a retail space or restaurant. And as is standard for car wash foundations, trenches and drains must also be built into the slab to accommodate the hoses and water run-off.

Priding themselves on providing outstanding commercial construction services in Coastal Georgia and the Lowcountry, Tilton affirms that his team at the Dewitt Tilton Group are always finding innovative solutions for the most complex commercial construction challenges.

“This is an exciting project for us,” said Tilton. “It isn’t simply one structure with your typical entrances and exits: there are so many intricate parts involved with making a car wash not only functional, but also seamlessly convenient for Mint’s customers, and we are thrilled to be able to put the great minds on our team and our industry resources to this build.”

ABOUT MINT CAR WASH

Mint Car Wash is an exterior express car wash featuring its signature Full Minty wash package. In addition to vacuums, microfiber towels and interior cleaners included with every wash, Mint offers monthly Unlimited Wash Club membership options at $19.99 and $29.99/month. For more information, visit www.mintcarwash.biz or download its app in the Apple App and Google Play stores. Both Mint locations are open Monday-Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

ABOUT DEWITT TILTON GROUP

The Dewitt Tilton Group, a premier construction firm located in Coastal Georgia and the Lowcountry, specializes in commercial 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 commercial 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 located 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

CONTACT

Kim Thomas

Dewitt Tilton Group

912-777-3404

kim@dewitttiltongroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT

Cynthia Cradduck

Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC

cynthia@crussomarketing.com

912-856-9075

17 South Rod and Gun Club Youth Enters Into SCTP State Championships for the First Time

Standard

17 South Rod and Gun Club Youth Enters Into SCTP State Championships for the First Time

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) State Championships were held on Friday, June 5, at 1 p.m., and continued through Sunday, June 7, until 4:30 p.m. with the awards ceremony for all events immediately following. This was the first year that 17 South Rod and Gun Club participated after launching a new SCTP league earlier this year.  

17 South Rod and Gun Club Youth Enters Into SCTP State Championships for the First Time.
17 South Rod and Gun Club Youth Enters Into SCTP State Championships for the First Time.
Holden Saxon, 17 South Rod and Gun Club Youth Enters Into SCTP State Championships for the First Time.
Holden Saxon, 17 South Rod and Gun Club Youth Enters Into SCTP State Championships for the First Time.

Comprised of girls and boys from middle school to high school and even college, the 17 South team has a total of 31 athletes who were shooting for targets and competing against youth from all over the state of Georgia in the hopes of winning the state championship. This event was free to attend and open to the public.

Shooting sports are growing in popularity, which is evidenced by the fact that 153 youth shooters participated in last year’s championship, which has more than doubled in 2020 with roughly 450 shooters. Only two local clubs participated: 17 South Rod and Gun Club and Forest City Gun Club.The mission of the SCTP is to provide kids from elementary grades through high school and college with the opportunity to participate in the fun and challenging sports of Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays, as well as the Olympic disciplines of Bunker Trap, Trap Doubles and International Skeet.These disciplines are led by trained and dedicated adult coaches in a supportive environment, with a focus on the safe handling and use of firearms.Coaches from the 17 South team mentioned that they were pleased to be able to offer this new program to their members’ families because they are a fairly young club, established only five years ago.

“It’s so exciting to be teaching the art of shooting to these young athletes,” said Ronnie Chambers, a 17 South coach. “This is a sport where the outcome of the competition depends on your skill level and hard work. Your height, size and gender won’t hinder your success. Every single team member was able to participate and scored individually, so you’re always working to improve your personal score. But then that score is combined with the teams for a collective total. So, you’re also supporting each other and building one another up.”

17 South shot Trap together at 1 p.m. on Friday. Throughout the rest of the weekend, the team members shot sporting clays individually. Then on Sunday at 3 p.m., the team came together once again to shoot Skeet.For more information about SCTP, including active teams in Georgia, visit www.sssfonline.org/scholastic-clay-target-program/.   

ABOUT 17 SOUTH ROD AND GUN CLUB
17 South Rod and Gun Club, located at 5899 N Coastal Hwy, Fleming, GA, is a family-friendly, members-only shooting club covering 300 acres. Members have access to multiple outdoor ranges to include a .22 only kids range, 500-yard range, multiple 100-yard ranges, 50-yard pistol range, 25-yard pistol range, and multiple tactical bays, and a 10 station 3-D archery course. There are 2 Skeet fields as well as Trap, and a world-class sporting clay course with 10 stations. Inside the Clubhouse members can purchase equipment and ammunition in the pro-shop, or get a cold beverage at the bar. The Clubhouse can also be rented out to members for events or meetings. The pond out front is stocked with Panfish, Catfish and Bass for catch and release. For more information, visit https://www.17southrngclub.com/

24e Design Company and F3EA Donate 28 Sets of Bunk Beds to Tybee Island’s Fresh Air Home

Standard

24e Design Company and F3EA Donate 28 Sets of Bunk Beds to Tybee Island’s Fresh Air Home

(TYBEE ISLAND, GA) After announcing the cancellation of their summer camp program due to COVID-19 concerns, the Fresh Air Home was relieved to receive some good news from 24e Design Company and F3EA, when these organizations presented the Fresh Air Home with 28 sets of classic, high-quality bunk beds.

Fresh Air Home, Tybee Island, Georgia
Fresh Air Home, Tybee Island, Georgia

The donation came as a perfect answer to the camp’s decision to use this uncertain time to upgrade their facility and focus on strengthening their programs for when they return.

Spanning three generations, 24e Design Company has been a local staple on Broughton Street in Savannah, Ga. The owner and operator, Ruel Joyner, designs and curates original furnishings and objects from all over the globe. When he and Geoff McIsaac, a representative of F3EA, a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, learned that the Fresh Air Home had to cancel their summer camp, they jumped at the chance to help the organization.

“We’ve all heard ‘we’re in this together’ repeatedly right now, and while that’s true, it still seems like there is a lot of work we can do to help each other out,” said Joyner. “Since the Home is closed this summer, it’s a fantastic opportunity to help them upgrade their furniture. We had these really cool metal and wooden bunk beds and thought – hey, these would be perfect for their home.”

The Fresh Air Home serves an average of 380 children each summer in four two-week sessions. During the summer months, campers normally enjoy daily programing such as playing on the beach, supervised games on the campgrounds, crafts, music activities, Bible stories and field trips. Over 120 years since it first opened, the Home still holds its mission “to increase the health and happiness of underprivileged children.”

For more information on the Fresh Air Home, visit https://www.thefreshairhome-tybee.com/

Diane Wesley, volunteer with Fresh Air Home, stands in front of the new bunk beds.
Diane Wesley, volunteer with Fresh Air Home, stands in front of the new bunk beds.
Ruel Joyner, owner of 24e Design Company, and Geoff McIsaac, a representative of F3EA.
Ruel Joyner, owner of 24e Design Company, and Geoff McIsaac, a representative of F3EA.

ABOUT 24E DESIGN COMPANY
24e Design Company is Savannah’s premiere modern furniture store, specializing in contemporary furniture design, interior design and home decor. The company prides itself on being more than just a modern furniture store by offering options and flexibility while maintaining a high standard of quality. Whatever design mission engages you, 24e is here to help you accomplish your design goals with a worldly eye and Southern charm. For more information, visit http://24estyle.com

ABOUT F3EA
F3EA, Inc. is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), established in 2013, and dedicated to delivering high-quality training and management service solutions to U.S. Government customers primarily within the Special Operations and Intelligence communities. As a provider of mission support, security, and training services; F3EA’s core competency resides in providing full-spectrum support, development, and execution of interagency Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercises (EDREs) and Joint Full Mission Profile (FMP) exercises to enhance performance and improve operational capabilities both domestically and overseas.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing912-856-9075

United Way of the Coastal Empire Distributes Over $300,000 to Provide Relief

Standard

UNITED WAY OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE DISTRIBUTES OVER $300,000 TO PROVIDE RELIEF

SAVANNAH, GA (May 15, 2020) – Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, United Way of the Coastal Empire has distributed $318,050 of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, helping 787 friends and neighbors in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties to date. The greatest needs have been for food and housing. With partner agencies most directly addressing food insecurity, housing then accounts for 84 percent of the fund distribution to date.

United Way of the Coastal Empire
United Way of the Coastal Empire

So far, United Way has received more than $550,000 in donations since the pandemic began. “We asked for our community’s support, and you responded, demonstrating great generosity and sincere concern for our neighbors experiencing the most severe impacts. For that, we thank you!” said United Way Board Chair Larry Silbermann, Vice President and General Manager of WTOC-TV.

Every dollar of this fund is being distributed to help individuals and families retain stable housing by assisting with rent, mortgage, and utility payments when grace periods are not offered and to provide financial assistance for additional critical needs such as medical expenses and child care. Additionally, we are providing emergency funding to United Way’s partner agencies with a demonstrated increase in demand for services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We realize there is more to be done,” added Brynn Grant, President and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “In our four-county region, nearly 120,000 individuals and families were living paycheck to paycheck with no reserves even before the pandemic. Many of these hard-working individuals had two or three jobs to make ends meet. They make more than the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to cover a bare-bones household budget. The cost of living outpaces their earning ability. And now, many have lost some or all of their income. Our goal is to help prevent those most at risk from falling into homelessness so they are healthier, safer, and more likely to be able to step back into employment and thrive again when this crisis passes.”

 Additional fund distributions have included:

  • $26,000 grant to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System to purchase 115 Chromebooks for students in schools with the highest levels of poverty to help bridge the technology gap that limits access to learning, and
  • $12,500 in awards to United Way partner agencies in support of increased emergency food and shelter costs, case management and translation services, technology to provide remote crisis counseling, and increased health and safety personnel for a youth summer program.

 Any funds remaining after the pandemic will be allocated to the United Way’s general emergency relief fund.  The emergency relief fund allows the organization to respond immediately to critical, emerging needs like those surrounding a hurricane or natural disaster.

Through the United Way 211 helpline and its community service center in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty Counties, United Way has been connecting residents with resources that can help them through struggles related to COVID-19. Since March 24, the organization has received more than 24,500 calls – 20 times the amount of calls from the prior month.  

To assist as many callers as possible, United Way expanded its 211 call center hours, cross-trained its staff, and partnered with nearly 20 volunteers from United Way funded agencies to help process requests for assistance. The call center is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5 pm.  

 To give, visit uwce.org or text UWCOVID19 to 41444. 

 For more information, visit www.uwce.org.

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 communities.  

United Way conducts an annual fundraising campaign and invests donor contributions in programs and services within three impact areas: Education, Financial Stability, and Health. United Way serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties.

United Way is a volunteer-driven organization 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 donors’ donations are truly making a difference.

Thanks to the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund and other income, which covers almost all administrative and fundraising costs, donor contributions go to help people in need.  

For more information, please visit uwce.org.

Leopold’s Ice Cream Donates Ice Cream Cups to Chatham Emergency Services Station 1 During National EMS Week

Standard

Leopold’s Ice Cream Donates Ice Cream Cups to Chatham Emergency Services Station 1 During National EMS Week

(SAVANNAH, GA) Leopold’s Ice Cream delivered 200 cups of individually packed, handmade ice cream cups to the Chatham Emergency Services (EMS) Station 1 crew in recognition of National EMS Week.

Stratton Leopold of Leopold’s Ice Cream hands an ice cream to Chuck Kearns, Chief Executive Officer of Chatham Emergency Services.
Stratton Leopold of Leopold’s Ice Cream hands an ice cream to Chuck Kearns, Chief Executive Officer of Chatham Emergency Services.

Leopold’s delivered the ice cream during a shift change to ensure that both daytime and nighttime volunteers received a delicious ice cream treat. This marks the third consecutive year that Leopold’s Ice Cream has made this donation.

“These men and women make incredible personal sacrifices day in and day out to support our communities,” said Stratton Leopold, owner of Leopold’s Ice Cream. “Delivering ice cream is our way of saying ‘thank you for all that you do,’ this year and every year.”

Station 1 serves Vernonburg; the Chatham County section of East Montgomery Crossroads; the area east of the Casey Canal, including Halcyon Bluff, Crest Hill, Mayfair II and Heatherwood Subdivisions; as well as the areas east of Skidaway Road, including Norwood Ave., Nottingham Woods, Majestic Oaks and Laroche Ave. that are encompassed within the city limits.

“We love and look forward to getting these delicious treats from Leopold’s every year,” said EMS Chief Bengie Cowart, FF/P GCEMSD. “They really brighten our day, and this year it is especially heartening to see local businesses like Leopold’s Ice Cream continuing to support our team.”

Chatham EMS Station 1 is located at 10703 White Bluff Rd. For more information, visit https://chathames.org/

Leopolod's Ice Cream cups waiting to be given out
Leopolod’s Ice Cream cups waiting to be given out
Stratton Leopold and Kathy Grove of Leopold's Ice Cream await the first responders.
Stratton Leopold and Kathy Grove of Leopold’s Ice Cream await the first responders.
Stratton Leopold enjoys giving out ice cream
Stratton Leopold enjoys giving out ice cream
Stratton Leopold of Leopold’s Ice Cream poses with Jessica Putney, Paramedic
Stratton Leopold of Leopold’s Ice Cream poses with Jessica Putney, Paramedic
Stratton Leopold hands off an ice cream cup.
Stratton Leopold hands off an ice cream cup.

ABOUT LEOPOLD’S ICE CREAM
Leopold’s Ice Cream was founded in Savannah, Georgia in 1919 by three immigrant brothers from Greece. George, Peter and Basil passed their tradition of making super-premium, handmade ice cream in the shop, one batch at a time, down to Peter’s youngest son, Stratton. Stratton and his wife Mary own and operate Leopold’s today. Their commitment to arts and education in the community is second only to their dedication to unparalleled customer service and creating the highest quality ice cream possible in a fun, family environment. Some of Leopold’s signature, vintage flavors include Tutti Frutti, Rum Bisque and Savannah Socialite, and they since have expanded their staple and seasonal offerings to include vegan ice cream flavors and the pet-friendly Doggie Sundae. In addition to its Creamery location and stores located in the heart of downtown Savannah and in the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Leopold’s Ice Cream offers catering and nationwide shipping. For more information, visit https://www.leopoldsicecream.com/ or call 912-777-5340.

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

WTOC DAY OF GIVING RAISED $209,000 BENEFITING UNITED WAY COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE FUND

Standard

WTOC DAY OF GIVING RAISED $209,000 BENEFITING UNITED WAY COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE FUND

SAVANNAH, GA (April 30, 2020)WTOC-TV put out a call to action, and the Coastal Empire responded in a big way. Thanks to the generosity of more than 350 individuals and companies, WTOC Day of Giving virtual telethon raised $209,000 for United Way of the Coastal Empire’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. While phone lines are now closed, donations can still be made by visiting uwce.org.

United Way of the Coastal Empire, Day of Giving
United Way of the Coastal Empire, Day of Giving

 United Way COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund will be used to:

  1. Help families and individuals retain stable housing by assisting with rent, mortgage, and utility payments when grace periods are not offered and to provide financial assistance for additional critical needs such as medical expenses and child care. 
  2. Provide emergency funding to United Way’s partner agencies with a demonstrated increase in demand for services due to COVID-19 pandemic.

 “On any given day, United Way is about helping people in need and investing in high-performing non-profit organizations,” said Vice President and General Manager of WTOC-TV and United Way Chairman of the Board, Larry Silbermann. “WTOC is proud to be able to lend a hand and provide resources to support our community in such a critical time. We are also grateful for every single person who made a donation during this virtual telethon and extended their hands to help others in need.” 

 Through the 211 call center and community service centers in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty Counties, United Way has been connecting citizens with resources that can help them through struggles related to COVID-19. Since March 24, the organization has received more than 13,000 calls – 8 times the amount of calls from the prior month.  The greatest needs of the community primarily are housing, food, and utilities related. 

“No one knows how long this pandemic will last, nor how long the economic recovery will take. We do know that every dollar we raise through this fund is going out to support people who have lost their jobs and need help until they can work again. This is the biggest crisis we have ever seen, and Chatham County is getting hit a bit harder than others,” said United Way President and CEO Brynn Grant. “Unemployment has soared to historic levels — with 91 % of the accommodations and foodservice industry workforce laid off in our metropolitan statistical area.”

The Rapid Response Fund began collecting donations on March 24 and has raised nearly $500,000 to date. These donations have come through the WTOC Day of Giving telethon, online donations, and generous contributions from individuals and organizations including CareSource, Chatham Foundation, Colonial Group, JE Dunn Construction, Gulfstream Aerospace, The Savannah Community Foundation, South State Bank, Sterling Seacrest Partners, Truist Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church.

United Way of the Coastal Empire will distribute 100% of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to families to retain stable housing and provide emergency funding to its partner agencies. Any funds remaining after the pandemic will be allocated to the United Way’s general emergency relief fund.  The emergency relief fund allows the organization to respond immediately to critical, emerging needs like those surrounding a hurricane or natural disaster.

United Way of the Coastal Empire sincerely thanks WTOC-TV and its dedicated team for giving their time and resources to raise this much-needed funds for our neighbors who need it most during this global crisis.  You may continue giving to United Way COVID-19 by visiting uwce.org or text UWCOVID19 to 41444.  

 For more information, visit www.uwce.org.

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 communities.  

United Way conducts an annual fundraising campaign and invests donor contributions in programs and services within three impact areas: Education, Financial Stability, and Health. United Way serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties.

United Way is a volunteer-driven organization 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 donors’ donations are truly making a difference.

Thanks to the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund and other income, which covers almost all administrative and fundraising costs, donor contributions go to help people in need.  

For more information, please visit uwce.org.

Call for Support of Horizons Savannah: Giving Day, May 20th

Standard

Call for Support of Horizons Savannah: Giving Day, May 20th

(SAVANNAH, GA) Horizons Savannah, which has seen proven success for over 18 years in closing the “opportunity gap” for under-resourced students over the summer break, will ask the entire community to continue supporting Savannah’s youth during these uncertain times of the coronavirus by participating in its annual Horizons Giving Day on Wednesday, May 20. 

Horizons Savannah, Giving Day
Horizons Savannah, Giving Day

Amidst concerns posed by COVID-19, this year the program is adapting from its typical close-group learning model. It will provide a virtual program so that it can continue its mission of keeping kids’ minds and bodies active during the summer months, thereby setting them up for success in the coming school year. 

Horizons, which serves students from kindergarten through high school, has a goal of raising $100,000 in one day. However, just as the summer program’s agenda is adapting, so is Giving Day

Locally, Savannah businesses have partnered with Horizons Savannah to offer give-back specials throughout the entire month of May to encourage support for the local program, while also encouraging the community to support local shops and restaurants during the global pandemic. 

These give-back opportunities include: 

  • Papa Murphy’s: 25% will be donated from every carry-out customer who says they are supporting Horizons on Wednesday, May 13.
  • Kendra Scott: 20% will be donated from every jewelry purchase with the use of online code: GIVEBACK7301 from May 19 – 20. 
  • Jason’s Deli: 15% will be donated from every carry-out order on Wednesday, May 20. 

Funds raised during Giving Day 2020 will be used to ensure the students enrolled in the Horizons Savannah summer program have access to the technology and tools necessary to participate in the program virtually. The events planned for this summer are designed to foster connectivity by providing resources that keep kids engaged, playing and learning. 

“Even before students faced the challenge of finishing their school year virtually, there was an academic regression over the summer, which is even greater among students from under-resourced families,” said Christy Edwards, executive director of Horizons Savannah. “Not only can we prevent that slide, but we can also help students make dramatic gains over the summer break each year. Because of the drastic changes we’ve adapted to in response to COVID-19, this mission is more important than ever this year.”

Horizons Savannah provides an intensive enrichment program that helps prevent the well-documented loss of academic ground over the summer vacation. Horizons students typically advance six to eight weeks in reading and math skills each summer, with national statistics showing 97 percent of Horizons high school students graduating on time and 91 percent going on to college.

Horizons Savannah had a 92 percent attendance rate last summer and has had an 89 percent student retention rate from summer to summer.

In Chatham County, the program serves over 300 students from local public schools each summer on the campuses of partner host institutions Bethesda Academy, St. Andrews School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School and The Savannah Country Day School.

For more information, or to make a gift please visit https://www.horizonsgivingday.org/organizations/horizons-savannah

https://www.horizonssavannah.org, or follow @horizonsav on social media.

ABOUT HORIZONS SAVANNAH
Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannah at Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School serves over 300 under-resourced students each summer. Since 2003, Horizons has been a transformative experience for young people in kindergarten through the 12th grade focused on helping 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 cedwards@savcds.org. You can also visit our website at http://horizonssavannah.org/, check out our Facebook page.

ABOUT HORIZONS NATIONAL
Horizons National is a growing, community-centered network of more than 60 affiliate sites nationwide that provides high-quality academic enrichment programs to children in need, from Pre-K through high school. Located on the campuses of independent schools, charter schools, colleges, and universities, Horizons programs offer a project-based curriculum, focused on reading, STEM, the arts, fitness, nutrition, and field trips.

CONTACT
Christy Edwards
Executive Director
912-961-8854
cedwards@savcds.org

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

Adjusting Your Business’ Marketing and Public Relations Strategy After the Initial Shock of Coronavirus: 4 Principles to Put Into Practice

Standard

Adjusting Your Business’ Marketing and Public Relations Strategy After the Initial Shock of Coronavirus: 4 Principles to Put Into Practice
By Cynthia Cradduck

We have all been operating in a time of uncertainty due to the coronavirus, and businesses and brands are already feeling the ripple effects of the shelter-in-place orders and shutdowns. 

During a time of crisis, it’s important to button down the hatches and weather the storm, but it’s also important to keep your communications clear and consistent.

Now, with our state’s reopening right around the corner, you may be ready to restart your public relations efforts, but questions probably remain: Should I showcase how my brand can help in these trying times or will it come across the wrong way? Should I share my story that’s not about COVID-19 or is that insensitive? 

Some folks have continued marketing as if nothing has happened. Their posts are completely tone deaf. If they did not pause scheduled or pre-written content for campaigns and continued to market as if business was going on as usual, negative comments and public backlash ensued.

With crisis communications, it’s always better to face a challenge head on than to pretend nothing has happened.  Especially now, people’s lives are being drastically changed and you as a company must show you are as loyal to your customers as they are loyal to your brand. 

Other businesses have been extremely aggressive with their marketing, which runs the risk of being perceived as opportunistic in a crisis. Brands launching campaigns in response to COVID-19 must tread carefully. 

Even social media platforms, such as Twitter, publicly made statements to advise that companies and marketers avoid capitalizing on the outbreak in an effort to promote themselves or their brand on the platform during this time. 

So how do you balance between being relevant and being respectful? It’s important to remember all of your communication strategies are fluid and we all must continue to shift appropriately with marketing efforts. Here are four overarching guidelines to keep in mind: 

  1. Proceed with positivity: 

How are you helping people with the current situation? Could you make a donation to charity? Can you help with the distance learning movement? Offer a discount for first responders or people who were personally impacted. Start something you’ve never done before, like a 14-day free trial. Launch a giveaway on social media.   

If your brand has a positive story to share, it will be more in-demand now than ever before. There are many journalists looking for ethical, encouraging stories to add variety to their news coverage. We all want to hear how we as a community are supporting each other and coming together during this time. Just be mindful of remaining empathetic with the current situation, which brings me to my next point.

     2. Continue with caution: 

On the flip side of the coin is that old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. It is important to consider how your actions will be perceived by everyone involved because the last thing you want to do is to come across as taking advantage of this situation.  

For instance, a popular home goods brand has gotten backlash for email advertising “the perfect WFH (work-from-home) desks.” Although they were marketing relevant products for people stuck inside, they also offended those followers who were recently laid-off.  

Another example is a popular Tik-Tok influencer with more than 8 million fans who started selling COVID-19 branded face masks for $25. He claimed that the campaign was to create awareness of the seriousness of the virus, but his efforts were viewed poorly. After a lot of pressure, he decided to donate all of the proceeds from the sales to Meals on Wheels. It was a smart decision in the end, but the time it took to get him to that decision may have been detrimental to his brand. 

Go ahead and prepare statements for all of the possible scenarios that may result from actions you plan to take. If you are reopening, draft statements for employee safety measures. Create a Q&A for customer concerns on hygiene and new procedures. Try to answer all possible questions before they are even asked and this will help you avoid a sticky situation. 

    3. Transparency and tone: 

A company’s overall messaging and tone should be one of safety, sensitivity and humanity. When creating content to share, be sure to soften the language, remove corporate jargon, and show that there are human beings behind the brand. We are #allinthistogether – so show us! Give a behind the scenes look at your home or backyard or take us along on your afternoon bike ride around your neighborhood. 

Customers are also looking for absolute transparency right now, so communicating in an honest, open manner is a safe bet. Tell us what you are doing to reopen, the extra steps to keep your customers and staff safe. Or maybe you have decided not to reopen for a few weeks – tell us why! Share what thoughts you have right now, and let us connect over these feelings. 

     4. Plan for Post-Pandemic:

In the long term, how you are and continuing to respond to this will affect the reputation of your company, but even more importantly, your operations may change permanently. If you haven’t already, create a crisis media plan for a protocol detailing what you (or brands you identify with) did correctly this time around. Creating this roadmap now will help you be more prepared in the future. 

Also, continue to monitor trends you currently see developing. What do you notice in your niche market? Is this something the media would want to know about? In a few months from now, this may be a story worth sharing. 

This COVID-19 chaos created a whole new rulebook for public relations and marketing professionals, and I’m sure that within a year, what happened will be studied in universities around the world. 

The bottom line is that now is the time to focus on high-level strategic PR and marketing. Strategy matters and your response is going to be crucial for your brand’s public image. 

Cynthia Cradduck is a Partner at Cecilia Russo Marketing, where she oversees business development and coordinates reputation management strategies for clients, media relations and online SEO-PR.

Cynthia Cradduck, Partner at Cecilia Russo Marketing
Cynthia Cradduck, Partner at Cecilia Russo Marketing

United Way of the Coastal Empire Announces New Board Leadership

Standard

UNITED WAY OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD LEADERSHIP

SAVANNAH, GA (April 23, 2020) – Moving forward with the business of the organization since canceling the Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon due to the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way of the Coastal Empire announced the officers and directors who will serve on the 2020-2021 board. Comprised of business and community leaders, board members help further United Way’s mission through their decision-making, governance and counsel, as well as maintaining the highest levels of stewardship, while improving the lives of people in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties. Vice President and General Manager of WTOC-TV, Larry Silbermann, will serve as the Chairman to the Board of Directors, replacing Toby Moreau. 

Chairman to the Board of Directors, Larry Silbermann
Chairman to the Board of Directors, Larry Silbermann

“I am excited by this opportunity to serve our community through United Way. I’d like to thank Toby and our retiring board members for their mentorship, support, and tireless efforts that have set us on the path to continued success,” stated Larry Silbermann. “These volunteer leaders set the bar high with their clear vision and goal-oriented leadership, and I look forward to following their legacy as we lead United Way into a new chapter.  As the organization continues to grow at a record pace, I am excited to work with the dedicated team at United Way as we continue the excellent work already in progress to help our friends and neighbors who are facing an unprecedented challenge.”

Serving as members of the executive committee are:

AT LARGE MEMBERS:

Joining the executive committee as new members of the board are:

Board members being nominated to complete another one-year term are:

For a complete list of 2020-2021 United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Board of Directors, visit www.uwce.org/board.

United Way thanked seven members whose terms have expired and will step off the board: Carol Bell, Community Volunteer; Jenny Gentry, Chase; Trey Glendye, Colonial Group; Drew Hunt, Community Volunteer; Pat Monahan, City of Savannah; Steve Pound, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System; and Judge Greg Sapp, Chatham County.

The Board of Directors and the staff of United Way would also like to thank outgoing board chair Toby Moreau, for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the organization during the past year. 

“I am sincerely grateful for Toby’s dedicated leadership over the past year, and most especially since I started with the organization in early February. I am glad he will continue his service on the board as immediate past chair,” said Brynn Grant, President and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “Toby has given far more of his time and expertise than many could or would have and our team, our organization and our community are indebted to him.”

For more information, visit www.uwce.org.

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 communities.  

United Way conducts an annual fundraising campaign and invests donor contributions in programs and services within three impact areas: Education, Financial Stability, and Health. United Way serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties.

United Way is a volunteer-driven organization 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 donors’ donations are truly making a difference.

Thanks to the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund and other income, which covers almost all administrative and fundraising costs, donor contributions go to help people in need.  

For more information, please visit uwce.org.