Savannah Ballet Theatre

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Currently celebrating its 21st season, Savannah Ballet Theatre (SBT) was established in 1998 under the artistic direction of Suzanne Braddy. Recognized as the premiere dance company in Southeast Georgia, SBT is best known locally for its annual production of the perennial holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. Using WWII-era Savannah as the backdrop, it is an event that has become a tradition for the community and one that honors the history and unique character of the region. SBT presents a full season of classical and contemporary dance and has staged productions of Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Peter Pan, an original adaptation based on C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Little Mermaid, Sleepy Hollow, and The Wizard of Oz

First African Baptist Church

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First African Baptist Church (FABC) was organized in 1773 under the leadership of Reverend George Leile. The 1773 organization date for the church makes it clear that FABC is older than the United States (1776).  In May of 1775 Rev. Leile was ordained as the pastor and December of 1777 the church was officially constituted as a body of organized believers.  Four converts Rev. Andrew Bryan, his wife, Hannah Bryan, Kate Hogg, and Hagar Simpson would form a part of the nucleus of First African Baptist Church’s early membership.

In 1782, rather than risk reenslavement, Pastor Leile left with the British when Savannah was evacuated and migrated to Jamaica.  He became the first American missionary, 30 years before Adoniram Judson left for Burma. He was also the first Baptist missionary in Jamaica.

Under the leadership of the 3rd Pastor Reverend Andrew C. Marshall, the congregation obtained the property where the present sanctuary stands. Reverend Marshall also organized the first black Sunday School in North America and changed the name of the church from “First Colored Baptist” to “First African Baptist“. The sanctuary was completed in 1859 under the direction of the 4th Pastor, Reverend William J. Campbell.

Family Promise of Bryan County

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We recognize that poverty is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted response. We respond by integrating educational outreach, smart programming, effective policies, and the hands-on work of thousands of volunteers. We provide food, shelter, and support services for homeless families. We provide advice and advocacy for at-risk families to prevent their becoming homeless. And we educate people about poverty and the means to combat it.

Family Promise

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Family Promise of Greater Savannah utilizes a network of Host Congregations where the families spend each evening, having dinner and activities with volunteers.  After dinner each family then retires to a private room on the congregation’s property. In the morning, breakfast is provided, bag lunches are packed, and the Family Promise van returns the families to the Day Center.  The day center serves as a home-base for the families–giving them an address and access to a phone. Families enjoy the comfort of a day room and playroom designated for their use. They also avail themselves to shower & laundry facilities, and attend to small children. The day center provides an opportunity for them to prepare resumes, apply for jobs, and seek housing.  Family Promise offers families the opportunity to remain together; to build up savings, and to make connections with volunteers from Host Congregations who are motivated to help them succeed.  The one-family-per-room accommodations allow the families the dignity and privacy not always available through other organizations.

In addition to Host Congregations, the Network also consists of Support Congregations, which contribute volunteers, in-kind donations, and financial donations to the Network.


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 SAVANNAH, GA – November 16, 2015 The health and welfare of Georgia’s coastline will be decided next year as Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams considers the appeal by energy giant Kinder Morgan.  On Friday November 13 Judge Adams granted orally the intervention motion by the coalition of Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK), Savannah Riverkeeper, Altamaha Riverkeeper, Satilla Riverkeeper and the Center for a Sustainable Coast, represented by GreenLaw and advised that she would make her ruling in 2016.

The legal crux of the matter for Judge Adams to decide is whether Commissioner Russell McMurry from the Georgia Department of Transportation followed procedures and had evidence for his decision which halted their Palmetto Pipeline project on May 18 2015 by denying the company the right of eminent domain.

Ogeechee Riverkeeper Emily Markesteyn said “Commissioner McMurry was right when he refused to let Kinder Morgan expose some of our state’s most beautiful, prized natural resources to pollution and Kinder Morgan’s response to the DOT’s denial of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity has been disappointing but not surprising”.  She continued “the fact that the company is spending so freely on trying to purchase land and making generous grants to the communities which will be affected by the Palmetto Pipeline does not make their proposed desecration of a wide swathe of the state’s beloved natural resources the right thing to do.  The Palmetto Pipeline would endanger the coast by risking the safety of citizens and wildlife, as well as the health of the ecosystem now and for future generations.”

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RICHMOND HILL, GA – November 16, 2015 – The hours of planning logged by Ogeechee Riverkeeper ahead of November’s Georgia Water Coalition Partner Meeting paid off in dividends. The fall event, held this year in Richmond Hill and co-hosted by ORK, served as a prime opportunity for hundreds of coalition members from around the state to enjoy coastal Georgia’s natural resources and appreciate the region’s offerings.

Attendees were encouraged to take advantage of their two days in the scenic Coastal Empire by exploring the area’s sites and attractions. The overnight guests even had the option of reserving a cabin or campsite at historic Fort McAllister, a 1,725-acre state park located on the south bank of the Ogeechee River.

Guests arrived just after lunch on Thursday, Nov. 12. The group enjoyed a variety of activities and networking opportunities that allowed them to take in the beautiful waterways, diverse wildlife and breathtaking sights the region is known for. They could choose from several excursions including a paddle trip sponsored by Ogeechee Riverkeeper, a birding expedition at Harris Neck, a wetlands walk with renowned naturalist Cathy Sakas or a private tour of Fort McAllister. After a fun-filled afternoon soaking up the South Georgia sunshine, attendees socialized over a freshly prepared seafood dinner courtesy of Love’s Seafood.

Water Coalition Meeting Paddle Trip 2 [240058]

On Friday, Nov. 13, guests gathered for a daylong Georgia Water Coalition meeting at the Richmond Hill City Center in J.F. Gregory Park, a 335-acre multi-use recreational area that once encompassed a thriving rice plantation and was subsequently acquired by Henry Ford. The meeting included a catered lunch.

During the gathering, staffers and members of more than 200 organizations representing over a quarter of a million Georgians discussed statewide water management and associated issues.

“We thoroughly enjoyed having the Georgia Water Coalition partners in Richmond Hill for the annual meeting,” Ogeechee Riverkeeper Emily Markesteyn said. “We worked efficiently and addressed several important matters, but business proceedings were balanced with a few social outings and visits to local attractions. I think the attendees were impressed by all that Coastal Georgia has to offer. The planned activities left the representatives feeling reinvigorated so they could focus on ensuring Georgia’s surface and ground waters continue to be well-managed public resources.”

For more information on the Georgia Water Coalition, please visit, call Gina Rogers at 770-787-7887 or email For more information on the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, please visit

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 SD Gunner Logo



RICHMOND HILL, GA – November 16, 2015 Members of the community gathered on Veterans Day at the Richmond Hill City Center for the Inaugural SD Gunner Fund Veteran’s Day Fundraiser. Robert Mock, President of the Richmond Hill Exchange Club was the emcee and guests were able to hear directly from founder, Britnee Kinard, as she shared her personal family experiences of dealing with her husband’s PTSD and son’s autism.

Britnee Kinard speaking to a full room during the SD Gunner Fund Fall Fundraiser


The S.D. Gunner Fund is a non-profit organization created by the Kinard family to assist veterans and disabled children with the financial expense of owning much needed service animals.  At this Veteran’s Day event, over 60 attendees were clearly moved by the heart felt presentation and powerful videos which clearly demonstrated the invaluable benefits of service animals to handicapped veterans and children with special needs.

SD Gunner Fund Fall Fundraiser with Mayor FowlerKinard was delighted with the over $1,300 raised for the S.D. Gunner Fund and said, “If it wasn’t for faithful supporters we wouldn’t exist. Thank you to everyone who attended or supported today for helping us make a difference in the lives of our Veterans, our children and their families who struggle with physical and mental disabilities right here in our own community. A special thank you to our sponsors; Early Autism Project, Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy, and NeSmith Chevrolet.”


Donations are tax deductible. For more information on SD Gunner fund visit