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Sun! ✲ G.P.S.

GA STATE PARKS Dozens of state parks to visit all summer long




Aidan Williams, 6, is the son of Dwight & Lola Williams of Augusta.

4 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017




Departments 6

Editor’s Page


21 Go. Play See.

—Naimah Shaw

M AY/J U N E 2 0 1 7


34 Georgia State Parks



On the cOver: Aidan Williams, 6, is the son of Dwight & Lola Williams of Augusta. Photo by Carter Koenig Photography.

✲ G.P.S.

GA STATE PARKS Dozens of state parks to visit all summer long




Aidan Williams, 6, is the son of Dwight & Lola Williams of Augusta.

Is your child ready for their “close up?” If you think you’ve got a “cover kid,” submit their photo and information on our website and they may grace the cover of Augusta Family Magazine.


News & Notes


Eating Well With Kim

Also, check out our contests and giveaways!

{ } Go to —click on the contest page to find the current contests! augustafamilymagazine

Easy Slaw with Pecans —Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE


Doctor Dad


Smart Mom’s Guide

-Layla Khoury-Hanold

Get Ready for Summer


Mom to Mom

Hungry Hungry Toddler -Paige Tucker

The Fountain of Youth —J. Ron Eaker, M.D.

Vacation Planning —Cammie Jones


Raising Readers


Inspiration Station




Go Girl! Tara Najim —Renee Williams

Educational Outings —Meridith Flory Joseph Doyle —Naimah Shaw


Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 5


Editor’s Notes b y Renee Williams

PUBLISHER Ashlee Griggs Duren

EDITOR Renee Williams




raveling is fun! Although our family has some travel tales of woe to tell like Third Degree Sunburns, Four Flight Delays in Denver and the hilarious Grandma is a

Beach tale (Happy Mother’s Day, Mom), I’ll tell you some of my most precious memories have been traveling with my family, especially with my boys Zakk and Dylan. While I was growing up, we traveled the East

Lisa Dorn

coast frequently. A lot of these trips were made


in my mom’s 1978 Pontiac Firebird, complete with a CB radio, t-tops and no seat belts. My mom has always

Doressa Hawes Maidi McMurtrie Thompson

reminded me of a cross between Dolly Parton and Sally Field so hitting the open road with her felt liberating and like a whole lot of girl power to me. We were renegades. We were free. We got out of the doldrums, blew

Mary Porter Vann

away a few cobwebs and had fun.


mom in Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas, he would crank up the Winnebago at home and off we would go. We went

Carter Koenig Photography John Harpring

CONTRIBUTORS Kim Beavers, MS, RD, CDE J. Ron Eaker, M.D. Meredith Flory Karen Gordon Layla Khoury-Hanold Cammie Jones Mary Ashton Mills Paige Tucker Naimah Shaw

My dad was also passionate about traveling and living life to the fullest and if he wasn’t romancing my to football games in Athens, Ga., (Go Dawgs!) amusement parks in the Carolinas and to the beaches and sporting events in Daytona, Fla. So I guess you could say spending quality time with my family and traveling has always been my love language. Taking a vacation and exploring places together as a family allows me time to give my full, undivided attention to my children and feel a deeper connection with our shared experiences. I’m no Lewis or Clark, but I am a straight up pioneer of this great country and so far have been to 31 states since I became a mom. We have taken a 20 hour road trip to the Grand Canyon National Park and another 20 hour road trip to snow sled and ice fish in Fargo, North Dakota. We have taken a helicopter ride over the Atlantic Ocean, walked in Memphis on Beale Street, stayed at Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, explored the Caverns of Sonora in Texas, water tubed in the Concho River Valley and zip lined in the Appalachian mountains. We’ve listened to ghost stories around the campfire in the Blue Ridge mountains, watched fireworks in the soybean fields of Ohio, caught a small town parade in Iowa, visited Dealey Plaza where John F. Kennedy was assassinated, attended a Sunday school class taught by former President Jimmy Carter, visited sand dunes in Michigan and drove through a blizzard in Indiana.

Augusta Family Magazine is published 10 times per year and distributed throughout the Augusta and Aiken area. Send press releases, story ideas or comments to the editor at or mail to 725 Broad Street, Augusta, Ga., 30901. For advertising information, telephone (706) 823-3702. For circulation/distribution, call (706) 823-3722.

We’ve had “real Mexican food” in New Mexico, tried cheese curd in Wisconsin, rescued a puppy in Mississippi, visited a record store in Minnesota and picked up a refrigerator magnet off Route 66 in Arizona. As a family, we are over half way there and it seems we have nothing to do now but check those last few states off the list and become Kings and Queen of the Road. If I had my way, our family would become globe trotters. We would travel from London to Rome and see the wonders of the world because two types of journeys occur during travel. There is the outer journey that describes the physical experience of travel: where you went, what you saw and what you did and the inner journey that defines your interpretation of the experience: what you learned, how it changed your perspective on life and what you found out about yourself along the way. Travel is a chance to unwind, unload and change the scene. It’s the small silent call of your soul to become free, to throw open the windows and let in la vie en rose. Over the next few months, go, play, see and let your imagination be your inner guide. And, as Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.”

We look forward to hearing from you; visit our website and on facebook and twitter.

Until July, augustafamilymagazine @AUGFamilyMag

6 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

Renee Williams

2017 Physicians’ Directory Available Free for iPhone® and AndroidTM.

Download the Physicians’ Directory app for free and have contact information at your fingertips for Augusta and Aiken area physicians and dentists. Database is searchable by both specialty and by name. Brought to you by Augusta Magazine.

Mom to Mom b y Pa i g e T u c ker

Hungry Hungry Toddler


y little one, now two and a half, has long put just about anything and everything in her mouth. Pacifiers, her fingers, her whole hands (while teething), stickers and a marble. Yep, you read that right, a marble. And there was one bright red marble she did not spit back out. One day, we were playing over at the home of one of Julia Reynolds’ best buddies, Kip, when they spotted Hungry Hungry Hippos on the dining room table. Remember that game? What a classic! It wasn’t Julia Reynolds’ first time seeing it. She’d played with the hippos before at my parent’s house, still in tact from my childhood. But, I had hidden the marbles. Turns out, Kip does not put everything in his mouth so his marbles were right there with the hippos. I was helping them pull out the game board with the hippo heads, standing right by the table, leaning down over them and the game. I was cautiously eyeing the marbles when my little Houdini shoved what looked like three marbles in her mouth. My friend Stephanie and I panicked as I fished one marble, then two, out of my daughter’s mouth. Stephanie and I frantically started counting marbles. Nineteen. I scanned the box, desperately looking for the game contents knowing full well it wasn’t nineteen marbles. There it was in black and white right next to the choking hazard warning -- four hippos and twenty marbles. In our defense, we were planning to full-on helicopter mom while our under-three toddlers played. We counted the marbles several more times, always reaching nineteen. My first feeling was utter relief that the tiny marble had slid down her throat without choking her. Actually, I was desperately relieved and more in a state of shock over how quickly it had happened, as a far worse scenario flashed before my eyes. Anyone whose child has swallowed something that’s not food knows what comes next. We went into “Operation Red Marble” mode and alerted anyone who might change her diaper about the “foreign object” we needed to be on the lookout for. We did some investigating, if you will, over the next few days as we finally exhaled over the little marble mayhem. Boy, kids sure do keep things interesting, don’t they? I’m so thankful for the excitement, adventure and laughs that come with raising Julia Reynolds. Life would not be nearly as bright without her in it. And in this season of celebrating mothers, I’m beyond grateful to be hers and delighted to have friends on this same stretch of life’s highway to keep me entertained with texts like, “Any sign of the hippo food?” Let’s just say we still owe Kip a game piece. After twelve years in local news, most recently as evening anchor of NBC 26, Paige Tucker is now a work-at-home mom and freelance journalist. She produces two series for NBC 26 TV, First Responders and 26 Women Today, and you can see those stories on Tuesday nights. Paige and her husband have one daughter, Julia Reynolds, who is two and a half years old.

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 9

10 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

news&notes Ma y/J u n e 2 0 1 7

mommy minute

Creating your own Happiness projeCt

app-tastic! white noise Baby Having a newborn can be exHausting. If this is your first, you’ll soon learn that your infant’s sleep patterns are nothing like yours. Your baby will wake up easily, sleep for shorter periods (typically three to four hours) and you will be on call throughout the night to comfort and feed your new bundle of joy. Those all-nighters you pulled during college are child’s play compared to the crushing exhaustion you may feel as a new mom or dad. The effect of fragmented sleep goes way beyond a tired body -- it also affects how you think and cope. Too many nights of interrupted REM sleep can cause sleep deprivation and make you feel like the walking dead. Recommended by Katie Couric, White Noise Baby is a new parent’s best friend and has the ability to calm your baby to sleep while regularly monitoring sleep patterns. Even when your baby is asleep, the brain is constantly scanning and listening for sound. If it’s too quiet, unwanted noise such as a parent walking into the room or another child playing may interrupt your baby’s sleep. White Noise Baby generates sounds over a wide range of frequencies and helps mask those noise interruptions so your infant can fall asleep and you can too. Try calming your fussy baby with an interactive high contrast baby rattle or try the pure white noise feature to help you and your little one catch some shut eye. White Noise Baby features perfectly looped ambient sounds and music, a baby monitor that will reactivate a timer and play sound if crying is detected and an event log of noise detection to help discover your baby’s sleep cycle. HD ambient sounds include a car ride, heartbeat and wind chimes. HD classical music tracks include Beethoven’s Fur Elise, Chopin’s Nocturne No 9 and Tchaikovsky’s Sugarplum Fairy. Download from Apple, Google Play or Amazon.

“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.” ~ Menachem Begin

Gretchen Rubin has a loving husband, two great kids and a blossoming writing career in New York City, but one day she had an epiphany on a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short...,” she thought. “Time is passing and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, Rubin decided to dedicate a year to what she likes to call her “happiness project.” Test-driving the wisdom of the ages, leaning on current scientific research and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier, Rubin found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness, that money can help buy happiness (when spent wisely), that outer order contributes to inner calm and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference. If you feel inspired to create more happiness in your life or want to encompass living a good life with a deeper sense of meaning and satisfaction then use the following questions as a road map to get started. Welcome to happiness and enjoy your stay! 1. What makes you feel good? What activities do you find fun, satisfying or energizing? 2. What makes you feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration or anxiety in your life? 3. Are you living up to your expectations for yourself? Does your life reflect your values? 4. Do you have an atmosphere of growth? In what areas of your life do you find progress, learning, challenge, improvement and increased mastery?

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 11

news&notes Are We There Yet? TYBEE ISLAND

Chances are you’ve seen Tybee’s idyllic setting in the movies a time or two recently. Tybee Island has been the background for hit movies such as, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, The Last Song starring Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth and The Conspirator with Kevin Kline. Many of the sights featured on the big screen are open to the public to satisfy those who are curious. Tybee boasts history that dates back to the 1700’s when General James Oglethorpe ordered a lighthouse to be built, marking the entrance to the Savannah River. Today visitors can get a glimpse of the area and its history from the top of the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia. The Tybee Lighthouse continues to be an active beacon of light. It shines bright for 18 miles, helping ships navigate the waterways of Savannah. Next door to the lighthouse, make sure to check out the museum where you can continue to explore over 400 years of Tybee history. Across the street, have lunch at the North Beach Bar and Grill, a colorful setting with good food. Enjoy your afternoon on the beach where you can surf, swim and soak up the rays. Don’t be surprised if you find Loggerhead turtle nest markers in the sand here. The Tybee Sea Turtle Project is a conservation program of the Tybee Marine Science Center that strives to protect hatchlings for optimal survival. Spend the late afternoon at the Pier and Pavilion on the South end of the island where you can take in a musical show, enjoy fishing or just relax before a casual dinner at Sting Ray’s Seafood. Tybee offers a wide variety of options for you to lay your head at night. The Rivers End Campground offers cabins and campsites for rent. This campsite steps it up a notch with its own pool, only minutes from the beach. Hotel


12 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

Historic Tybee Island (GA) Light Station Tybee offers oceanfront accommodations or visitors can contact Mermaid Cottages for a wide variety of homes for rent. DISTANCE: 2 hours 52 minutes 155 miles BUDGET: Campsites run $44 and up depending on the season, cabins at the campground start at $70 depending on the season and Hotel Tybee rates start at $179 per night. WHAT TO SEE: Tybee Lighthouse and Museum, North Beach Bar and Grill, Tybee Pier and Pavilion, Seaside Sweets, Sting Ray’s Seafood, Beach Bum Parade, Tybee Marine Science Center. IF YOU GO: Catch the 31st annual Beach Bum Parade on May 19. This highly anticipated parade brings people to the streets armed with water guns, super soakers and other water weapons, while bringing out the kid in everyone!


By Mary Ashton Mills



FAST FACTS According to the latest data posted by the U.S. Coast Guard, more than 4,000 recreational boating accidents in 2015 resulted in about 625 deaths and 2,600 injuries across the nation. The state of Georgia experienced 85 accidents, 51 injuries and 22 deaths. Thousands of people enjoy boating and other water fun annually, but with fun comes responsibility. Safe Kids Greater Augusta reminds you to always practice boat and water sports safety. The biggest lifesaver is your life vest. Most boating-related drownings can be prevented by wearing personal flotation devices. Recreational boats must carry one appropriately-sized life jacket approved by the Coast Guard for each person on board, and the jackets must be kept accessible and in good condition.

For more tips on boating safety, read the full article at

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids USA network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, call 706-721-7606, or visit

Reneé McCabe Reneé McCabe, a registered nurse with more than 30 years of experience, is the new coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Augusta. McCabe will work hand-in-hand with children’s safety experts and volunteers to carry out prevention efforts across the region. “Being a pediatric nurse, I know that one of the greatest tragedies in life is the serious injury or death of a child,” McCabe said. “As the mother of two teenagers, I also understand how difficult it can be to keep them safe. From practicing car seat safety when they’re babies to teaching high schoolers the dangers of texting and distracted driving or walking. Every stage of life has its own challenges. What a joy it is for me to be an advocate for child safety again.” McCabe received a B.S. in nursing, cum laude, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a legal nurse consultant diploma from Kaplan University in Boca Raton, Fla.

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 13

Moms, Dads & Grads

Eating well with Kim b y Ki m B e a ve rs , M S , R D, LD, C DE

Super Summer Slaw

Recently, a local farmer named Joseph Doyle

crunchy cool nature of cabbage. You don’t

gave me some cabbage and pecans and then

have to shy away from mayonnaise to make

as simple as that, a recipe was born. It was

healthy slaws, just don’t “overdress” the slaw.

kind of like the farmer version of the show

Less is more with dressing because you can

Chopped because that’s what I got in the

always add a bit more if needed. In addition,

basket and in turn it became a delightful new

you can use light mayonnaise or a mixture of

recipe. Cabbage is most certainly underuti-

half mayonnaise and half plain yogurt. Vin-

lized, yet such a healthy vegetable. In fact,

egar and citrus based dressings are also nice,

cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, a group

a bit brighter and a touch more acidic. For

of vegetables known for their role in cancer

my farmer inspired slaw, I wanted a creamy

prevention. When you are given cabbage by a

dressing to meld with the pecans. This recipe

farmer, it’s relatively inexpensive but it’s also

takes less time than a traditional Chopped

inexpensive at the store and farmers market

appetizer round to whip up and I hope you

too (averages about $0.15 a serving) --- so

enjoy making and eating it as much as I did.

pick some up today!

Until next time, eat well, live well.

Slaw is also super simple to make. Simply

Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and

chop or shred and toss with a dressing of

Diabetes Educator for University Health Care

choice, then add in some extras (green pep-

for an hour or until ready to use. Stir the pecans in right

System. She lives in North Augusta with her

pers, onions, raisins, fruit, jalapenos, herbs

before you serve the slaw because this will allow them to

husband and two children and she is the co-

or nuts). For a little color, you can add in a

hold their crunch just a bit longer.

host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating

carrot or a little red cabbage.

Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be

Next, let’s talk slaw dressing. There are two

notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook

main types of slaw dressings: vinegar or

fan page at

citrus based and mayonnaise based dress-

withkim. To search for specific recipes go to

ings. Mayonnaise based dressings are nice You can also

and creamy and a great compliment to the

watch the segments at

Easy Slaw with Pecans This slaw is simple, delicious and a perfect accompaniment to a backyard barbecue. 1 pound of chopped or shredded cabbage 1 larger carrot, shredded ¼ cup light or canola oil mayonnaise 1 teaspoon honey 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans Parsley (optional garnish) Place cabbage and carrot into a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper together. Toss dressing with veggies and refrigerate

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup) Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 90, Fat 7g (0g saturated fat), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 180mg, Carbohydrate 8g, Fiber 3g, Protein 2g, Potassium 252mg. Diabetes Exchanges: 1 Vegetable, 1Fat Fun family activity: Visit the farmers market and let the kids pick out 2-4 items to take home. Then create a family “chopped”-style recipe or meal using the ingredients.

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 15

Summer Camps

16 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

Dr. Dad

b y J. Ro n E a ke r, M . D.

i Bet you DiDn’t Know As the weather improves so should your desire to get outside and get moving. If I had a pill that would make you look better, feel better, reduce your incidence of breast cancer or prostate cancer, didn’t cost anything and had no side effects, then most of you would beat a path to the pharmacy to get one. That pill does exist. It’s called exercise and it takes about 30 minutes to swallow!

influence pain. In fact, some studies indicate that naturally produced and Exercise is truly the fountain of youth. There is no single activity that released endorphins can have as powerful a pain reducing ability as moryou can do that will have a more profound impact on your health than a phine. Many women complain that vigorous exercise (either before or dur30 minute sweat session. The benefits of exercise are legion and I won’t ing their period) is either difficult or undesirable. However, several studies bore you with the rationale for getting active. Okay, maybe I will bore you suggest that only 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise is needed to get but only because it bares repeating. You all know that exercise is essential a pain reducing effect. for weight management, cardiovascular health, improved circulation, betWomen have a greater chance of reducing the likelihood of surgery ter lung function and a more youthful appearance, but did you know it can for gallstones if they are regular exercisers. One particular mechanism is also be a treatment for depression, reduce the pain of menstrual periods, related to weight. Being overweight is a known risk factor for gallstones decrease the incidence of gallstones and boost brain function? so it follows that regular exercisers are less likely to have a weight isWhen you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. sue, thus reducing their risks for gallbladder disease. In 1999, a study in Endorphins are neurotransmitter hormones (somewhat like serotonin) The New England Journal of Medicine concluded, “Women who exercised that are secreted from the pituitary gland as a result of vigorous exerthe most were 31% less likely to have gallstone surgery cise. Endorphins, like other neurohormones, can trigger a than the least active women.” Even a moderate amount of positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. Women in particular exercise was linked to a significant decline in the risk of A Harvard review of studies stretching back to 1981 conhave a greater gallbladder surgery. Two to three hours of recreational excluded that regular exercise can improve mood in people chance of reducing ercise per week appeared to reduce the risk of surgery by with mild to moderate depression. Regular exercise also the likelihood of approximately 20%. Sedentary women who spent less than may play a supporting role in treating severe depression. six hours per week sitting at work, driving and women who Another study showed that the benefits of exercise lasted surgery for gall spent 41 to 60 hours a week sitting were 42% more likely longer than the effect of an antidepressant. In other words, stones if they are to undergo gallbladder surgery. Several mechanisms for those who suffered from depression felt better six months regular exercisers this benefit were proposed including increased gut motilafter initiating a regular exercise program, whereas fewer ity and decreased blood triglycerides in exercisers as comon antidepressants felt better in that same time frame. pared to sedentary folks. There is also evidence that regular exercise can reduce chronic anxiety Dr. John Ratey, in his ground breaking book Spark: The Revolutionary issues as well as some compulsive behaviors. Most of the studies vary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, states that, “Exercise also stimulates as far as how much and how vigorous the exercise needs to be to exert brain regions that are involved in memory function to release a chemical a positive mood benefit, yet they all agree that even a small amount of called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF rewires memory regular exercise can be helpful. circuits so they work better...When you exercise and move around, you are As a practicing gynecologist, I see women struggling with painful, often using more brain cells.” debilitating menstrual cycles. There are a variety of mechanisms I employ The take home message is clear: It’s good to move so dust off those to thwart these miserable occurrences but virtually all treatments have bikes, lace up the Nikes, find the swim goggles or simply get out the walkside effects… except exercise. Numerous studies have proven that exering socks. Your gallbladder will appreciate it! cise before and during the cycle can reduce not only the pain associated with menses but even the heaviness of the flow. It all goes back to our friends the endorphins becaue they act centrally to block the pain recepDr. Eaker is an Augusta Ob/GYN and author. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters in college. tors and reduce the production of prostaglandins, other hormones that can Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 17

Smart Mom’s Guide b y C a m m i e Jo n es

Busy Mom’s Guide to

Summer vacation Planning

While juggling day-to-day activities, it is often difficult to know what you are cooking for dinner much less know how to plan a weekend or week long family vacation. Where do you start? How do you plan the perfect vacation when you are barely getting through the day? Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling and remember, there are no “perfect vacations” so just roll with it (no pun intended), keep it real and you will successfully plan and execute an epic adventure for you and your family.

1. Pick Your Destination Are you planning a road trip or something more exotic? Will you travel by plane, train or automobile? Decide what area of the country or world you are aiming for and go from there. Everything else stems from this initial decision. Needless to say, you don’t have to make this complicated. A week at the beach or lake can make as many wonderful memories as a trip to an exotic locale. 2. set a BuDget Setting a budget goes hand in hand with picking a destination since your budget may help in determining the location of your vacation. If price is not a concern then go for the cruise or plane ride overseas. However, if you do have a set amount of earmarked money for a vacation in mind, use this budgetary amount to make all your decisions. By googling your destination choices, you can see how much airfare

18 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

may cost as well as hotels or condos in that area. Don’t forget to take into account activities, eating out, grocery shopping for food and other necessary items to survive the week. This can add up quickly so make sure that you take the extras into account besides just getting there and having a place to lay your head. 3. Determine the Dates/time Duration This may be the hardest part of the entire planning session. Since we are calling this the Busy Mom’s Guide to Summer Family Vacation Planning, I think we can assume that your family is BUSY. Trying to carve out a few days or more to get away may be a challenge with your kid’s sports, camps, work schedules, etc. For a super committed family, it is never too early to get out your calendar, have a family meeting and decide on dates. If this is not the case and your summer is wide open, the sky is the limit. Search for the best rates, find the

cheapest time to fly, rent a place or book hotel rooms and then plan around those dates. 4. search airfares This will not apply to a road trip but once you decide on place, dates and location then start investigating flight prices. I have used everything from Travelocity to Fare Compare to going directly through the airline’s website. Do your homework to make sure you get the best deals. Use frequent flyer miles and companion fares if they are offered to you. Get creative with flights to and from different airports to see what works best for you and your family. Flying from your hometown airport is worth the extra dough if you have young kids or are under a tight time schedule. Flying out of a larger hub may save you a lot of money but remember you may have to do a little driving to get that lower fare and pay for long term parking as well. Weigh your options

Smart Mom’s Guide and decide what works best for you. 5. Find AccommodAtions Booking a hotel room, condo or house is always fun, but it is a time consuming pursuit. Use an online booking service such as or to find the perfect place for you to settle for a few days. Make sure to read the comments and look at the map to ensure you are picking the most convenient place that fits your family’s needs. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give the company a call to learn a little more. 6. Book PlAnned Activities Although vacations are meant to be leisurely, it is a good idea to look into a couple of planned activities to break up those relaxing days. Depending on your children’s ages and where you are heading, find some family oriented ventures that you think you would enjoy. For example, if you are heading to the mountains then find a family friendly hike or campfire dinner. If you are beach bound then look into parasailing or going on a sunset cruise.

Knowing what your family likes to do will help you to choose activities that everyone will enjoy. 7. tAke cAre oF the homesteAd Before you head out of town, there are some housekeeping issues to deal with before you go. Decide if you are going to have someone come to your house to feed and take care of pets and plants. Do you want to stop the mail or have a neighbor grab it for you? Make sure you turn in your requested time off to your boss if you work outside the home. Those are all those little details that need to be checked off the list so that you can enjoy your time away and not worry about what is going on at home. 8. hAve Fun Remember the reason you are doing all this leg work is to get away with your family and take it easy. The purpose is to have fun so don’t sweat the small stuff or try to stay too much on schedule. Go with an open mind and let your family enjoy each other and make memories that will last forever.

9. one more tiP to mAke vAcAtion PlAnning A cinch - hire A trAvel Agent! If planning a vacation is not your thing or you truly do not have time to figure out all the details, hire someone who will be willing and able to do all the planning for you. A reputable travel agent is usually well versed in all the travel “ins and outs” and is more than happy to help. A travel agent will find the best deals for you and help you decide where to stay, what activities are worthwhile to do and more. Also, it’s free. If planning a vacation for your family gives you a slight headache or creates heart palpitations, never fear, there is a way out! Some of my favorite childhood memories are riding in the wood paneled station wagon 15 hours to visit my mom’s family in Wisconsin. Getting there is half the fun and time spent with family is priceless. You don’t have to break the bank or travel far to make your own epic family vacation — just hit the road and enjoy the scenery! Cammie Jones is an Augusta freelance writer and mother of three.

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 19

Raising Readers by Mere d i th Fl o r y

Educational Outings for Families As a military family, we try to explore each region we live in to learn more about the food, nature and culture of the area. When we explore with our children, those day trips are usually focused on child-friendly fun. With a little creativity, it’s possible to find affordable activities for the whole family that can encourage your children to keep reading during the summer months. Pairing activities with age appropriate books can not only help your children avoid a summer slump in learning but also make reading more engaging too. Here are suggestions for educational day trips for families in and around the CSRA for all budgets and age levels. Summer Fun For Future ScientiStS Many families consider a trip to the zoo during the summer, but as Children’s Librar-

on the Prairie have accompanying cookbooks to teach young people more about the food and way of living presented in the book. Southern cookbooks provide another way

ian Natalie Pulley shared, “Our local libraries are a great resource to prepare for the trip.”

to learn about our area. Help children choose and prepare themed food for a picnic at

Zoo Atlanta offers a partnership with Georgia Public Libraries where after a DVD rental,

one of our state parks or river overlooks. Another option would be to take a teen out

families are eligible for zoo passes. The library also has options for books to read with

to a special restaurant, reading about the style of food, history of the area or etiquette

children and Pulley suggests Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, Zoo-ah-choooo by Peter Mandel


or Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally Walker. These books will help to get your little ones ready to learn about the animals at the zoo. A great pairing for engaging small children in learning about agriculture is Blueber-

Pulley informed me of the Georgia State Parks Library Loan program that allows families to check out park passes to historical sites and state parks, similar to checking out a library card. Quantities are limited, but this is a wonderful way for families on a tighter

ries for Sal and picking a container of berries with your little ones at a local farm. Secrets

budget to experience educational outings. For children that love comedy, puppets and

of the Vegetable Garden (Shine-A-Light Books), any of Beatrix Potter’s tales such as

animation, The Center for the Puppetry Arts in Atlanta also has a partnership with Georgia

Gardening with Peter Rabbit or Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

libraries and would pair well with watching a documentary on the Muppets, watching

are all perfect for a trip to the Hopeland Gardens in Aiken. You can also add an activity

Sesame Street or reading a biography on Jim Henson.

to the day by printing a nature scavenger hunt online. You can find scavenger hunts for certain colors, shapes, insects or plants at an appropriate difficulty level to work on

exPLoring regionaL HiStory

observation skills. Reed Creek Nature Park and Phinizy Swamp also host family events,

Georgia and South Carolina are rich in history and there are plenty of ways to make this

story times and opportunities for family nature walks – choose your own picture books

history come alive for children and teens. Congressman John Lewis wrote a series of graphic

on local wildlife or ask employees for their favorite suggestions at the visitor centers.

novels, called March on his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. The reviews have

For teens, novels that tell stories of people working in the agricultural business or

been wonderful and the three book series is on my “to-read” list for the summer. Paired with

recounting the history of farming may be appropriate. If you have a teen with a green

a trip to the Center for Civil and Human Rights Center in Atlanta, this is a summer activity

thumb, encourage reading a novel such as Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Vira-

that is sure to be engrossing and moving for parents, pre-teens and teens alike. Another

montes, about a young migrant worker or see if classics such as The Good Earth or The

option closer to home is the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of African American History in

Grapes of Wrath are options for summer reading. Make these challenging reads come

Augusta. Monaco greatly encouraged visiting Edgefield, SC as a place to visit to understand

alive with one of the outings suggested above or a trip to purchase items for planting

history in the region and wrote to me about Dave the Potter, a slave during the 1800s. Dave

their own garden in the backyard. Another option would be to inquire at Icebox Urban

the Potter could read and write and left autobiographical accounts sketched into jugs and

Farm in Augusta for volunteer opportunities. Tina Monaco, librarian for the Georgia

other pottery. Old Edgefield Pottery run by the Edgefield Historical Society can give a

Heritage Room at the Augusta-Richmond County Library, also suggests explorations

historic look at the art and history of the area. Paired with age appropriate books on slavery,

at Heggie’s Rock Preserve in Columbia County run by the Nature Conservancy. Plan

plantation life or pottery and this can make a fun outing for aspiring historians and artists.

ahead of time as most tours are open on a limited basis. For a budding engineer or physicist, pair a trip to an amusement park and check

Events at the Living History Park in North Augusta also provide a great opportunity to see history in action and my daughter always enjoys the town rat-catcher and toy maker

out the Amusement Park Physics Information sections on Anneberg Learner at www.

during their reenactment events. John, Paul, George, and Ben is a humorous take by Lane or visit the Physics Classroom at to learn about

Smith on the founding fathers you can read to your children beforehand to prepare for

the science behind the rides. For the young architect, have a librarian assist you in

listening to reenactors. Coloring books or paper dolls that show the clothing of the era are

finding age appropriate books on architectural styles or purchase a learning kit, such as

also fun for afterwards. Nancy Glasser of the Augusta History Museum also points to their

the T.S. Shure Introduction to Architecture Creativity Set and work together to identify

activities such as, The Hunt for History that can be found on their website or touch carts

different building styles in a historic district.

that are available upon request. Look through Augusta in Vintage Postcards with older children after a visit, and purchase postcards for them to practice their letter writing.

Learning about Heritage tHrougH PLay For creative children who love hands on experiences, reading can be a way to delve deeper into an activity that they love. Books such as Little Women, or The Little House 20 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

Meredith Flory is an Augusta-area freelance writer, military spouse and mother of two. She has a masters degree in children’s literature from Kansas State University and has taught high school and college English.


GO. PLAY. SEE. By Naimah Shaw





Page 30.



Go to for an exclusive online guide to communities throughout the CSRA.

by Naimah Shaw

photo by toDD bENNEtt

Explore the CSRA 1

Discover the entire universe at the DUPONT PLANETARIUm AND ObSERvATORY at the University of South Carolina at Aiken. Programs for ages four and older are held on Saturdays and focuses on astronomy and exploring the skies. Weather permitting, visitors can view the skies through the Bechtel Telescope in the observatory. www.rpsec.

22 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

photo by toDD bENNEtt

OvER THE LAST SEvERAL YEARS, DOWNTOWN AUGUSTA has transformed into a vibrant and happening little spot filled with a plethora of shops, ideas, styles and tastes. From the acclaimed Frog Hollow Tavern to Boll Weevil’s renowned desserts to the funky muisc scene at The Soul Bar, there’s plenty to feed the soul in downtown Augusta. Stroll through the many studios and galleries of Artists Row and then relax on the Riverwalk on the bank of the Savannah River. Be sure to bring the kids to join in the fun.

photo by MIChaEl holahaN

CLARK’S HILL LAKE (Officially, J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake) is one of the most popular lakes in the Southeast and one of the most visited U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes in the country. It is the largest man-made lake on this side of the Mississippi River and is home to many parks, campgrounds and marinas. Clark’s Hill Lake is known for championship fishing and excellent boating.



5 Take a step back in time while visiting one of the country’s largest urban forests, HITCHCOCK WOODS in Aiken. Walk, run or ride a horse through 70 miles of sandy pathways in this 2,100-acre habitat that has been preserved to maintain its natural character and historical legacy. While there, make your way to South Boundary, a street USA Today named one of the 10 Prettiest Streets for a Stroll. It is known as the “Avenue of Oaks” because of the canopy created by the live oaks planted along both sides.

photo by Sara CalDwEll


photo by aNNEttE M. DrowlEttE

Sports enthusiasts can cheer on the AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS, a minor league baseball team and a Class-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. There’s sure to be plenty of fun while everyone enjoys the game, food vendors, entertainment and photo sessions with Auggie, the team mascot.

Tucked away behind a serpentine brick wall, under a canopy of ancient trees along Whiskey Road and Dupree Place is one of the jewels of Aiken: Hopelands Gardens. This 14-acre garden was once an estate in the Winter Colony area of Aiken and is now open to the public. With its towering 100 year old oaks, meandering pathways, serene ponds and fountains, Hopelands Garden is perfect for relaxing, enjoying nature and playing.

savannaH rapids park is located at the headgates of the Savannah River in Columbia County. Walk, jog or bike along the Augusta Canal towpath. Kayak or canoe along the canal or take a leisurely Petersburg Boat Tour to the Augusta Canal Discovery Center in downtown Augusta. Go to the visitor’s center that is housed in the renovated Lockkeepers Cottage, dance in the restored pavilion and learn about the lock and dam system built in the 19th century. Bikes and boats are available for rent

photo by MIChAEL hoLAhAN


photo by EMILy roSE bENNEtt


photo by FLyboy AErIAL photogrAphy

reed creek nature park in Martinez is a local hidden jewel. It serves as both a recreational park and educational facility. Walk across the raised boardwalk to go through an active wetland environment or attend a variety of classes ideal for all children to see and learn about frogs, snakes and other wetlands wildlife. It’s also the perfect place for a peaceful stroll.

pHinizy swaMp & nature park was founded in 1996 when there was a critical need for independent water quality research to find solutions to balancing sustainable watersheds and economic interests. Over the years, a hands-on educational program has developed where the community can enjoy nature and learn more about wetlands and water systems. There are trails for walking, bike riding and even for fishing from the banks of the Mayor’s Fishin’ Hole.


7 Black History has long since been an integral part of Augusta’s past and future. Among the famous African-Americans born or raised in Augusta are: The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, Jessye Norman, Laurence Fishburne and many others. Much of this rich history is preserved at the lucy craft laney MuseuM of Black History. Laney started the first school for black children in Augusta in 1883. The museum is in her former home and promotes her legacy through arts and history. On Fridays, the museum sponsors a trolley tour visiting more than 25 significant historic sites related to Augusta’s black history.

photo by JACkIE rICCIArdI



photo by SIr MILdrEd pIErCE


savannaH lakes Marina- Located in McCormick SC, this is an easy drive from Augusta and suburban areas. You will arrive at a pristine lake with a fully serviced marina that provides boat and tube rentals. This is the perfect place to soak in the warmth of the sun and the rippled beauty of the water surrounding the city.www.

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 23

amateur and professional musicians who play several concerts a year through out the Augusta area. Dedicated to preserving Aiken County’s rich history.

Augusta Players/Augusta Junior Players 1301 Greene St. 706-826-4707. Theater group for ages 6-19.

Aiken Railroad Depot 406 Park Ave., Aiken. 803-293-7846. A rebuilt replica of the original depot in downtown Aiken featuring interactive displays evoking the history of the railroad

Greater Augusta Youth Theatre 600 Broad St., #2. 706-860-9729. This theater is operated entirely by local youth actors, directors, designers, artist and musicians and produces two major community productions each year. Garden City Chorus 803-215-0641. An all-male chorus that performs throughout the Augusta-Aiken area. Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society 706-790-9274 or 706-951-6877. World-class musicians are invited to participate in the Society’s six concerts each year. Imperial Theatre 749 Broad St. 706-722-8341. One of the area’s premier venues for a variety of performances and films. Storyland Theatre 706-736-3455. Quality theatrical productions, performed by adults, for children and families. Performances at the Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre at Augusta University. Symphony Orchestra Augusta 706-826-4705. Regional symphony performs a variety of concerts from classical to pops throughout the year. The Augusta Players 1301 Greene St. 706-826-4707. Local theater company that produces big Broadway-style musicals at Augusta’s Imperial Theatre. Westobou 1129 Broad St. 706-755-2878. A five-day festival in downtown Augusta each fall that features music, dance, film, spoken word and visual arts.

MuseuMs Aiken County Historical Museum 433 Newberry St., Aiken. 803-642-2015.

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum 135 Dupree Pl, Aiken. 803-642-7631. Celebrates the great tradition of racing and Aiken’s vital role in it. Augusta Museum of History 560 Reynolds St. 706-722-8454. Dedicated to preserving the history of Augusta. Augusta Canal Interpretive Center 1450 Greene St. 706-823-0440. Learn about the people who built the canal and explore its progress, problems and promise. Guided canal boat tours Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson 419 7th St. 706-722-9828. A house museum depicting the life of President Wilson. Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art 506 Telfair St. 706-722-5495. An art institute and exhibition galleries housed in a beautiful renovated former home in downtown Augusta. Grovetown Museum 106 West Robinson Ave., Grovetown. 706-863-1867. Explore Grovetown’s history and see the collection of military equipment. Imagination Station, A Neighborhood Children’s Museum 965 Hickman Road, at Hickman Park. 706-726-3506 or 706-834-5543. A community-run children’s museum featuring interactive educational exhibits as well as programming for both children and parents. Laurel & Hardy Museum 250 N. Louisville St., Harlem. 706-556-0401. Celebrate the legacy of Oliver Hardy, who was born in Harlem 1892. He and his com-

edy partner Stan Laurel entertained audiences for more than 25 years, starting in the era of silent fees. The museum is filled with memorabilia and visitors can even watch old films by the duo. Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History 1116 Phillips St. 706-724-2866. Dedicated to African American history and art in Augusta. McDuffie Museum 121 Main St., Thomson, Ga. 706-595-9923. Dedicated to preserving the history of McDuffie County. Morris Museum of Art 1 10th St. 706-724-7501. The first museum dedicated to the art and artists of the American South. The collection includes holdings of nearly 5,000 paintings, works on paper, photographs and sculptures dating from the late-eighteenth century to the present. Signal Corps Museum Fort Gordon. 706-791-2818. Exhibits trace the development of the Signal Corps from its beginning in 1860. Columbia Museum of Art 1515 Main St., Columbia, S.C. 803-799-2810. Eclectic and dynamic exhibits and collection, lectures, art classes and tours. Georgia Museum of Art 90 Carlton St., Athens, Ga. 706-542-4662. The official state museum of art. Greenville County Museum of Art 420 College St., Greenville, S.C. 864-271-7570. Home to the world’s largest public collection of watercolors by Andrew Wyeth. High Museum of Art 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-4400. Renowned collection of classic and contemporary art and award-winning architecture. South Carolina State Museum 301 Gervais St., Columbia, S.C. 803-898-4921. Features four floors of permanent and changing exhibits, a digital dome planetarium, 4D interactive theater and an observatory.

Artists Row Broad Street. Artists Row offers everything from original works by internationally renowned artists, to local fine art, pottery, hand crafted glass work, sculpture, unique regional crafts, photography, jewelry and specialty gifts. Augusta Market on the River Saturdays through Nov. 26, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. 8th Street Plaza at Riverwalk Farmer’s Market and vendors set up tables to sell items. Music, childrens activities.

History Confederate Powderworks Chimney 1717 Goodrich St. The chimney used to produce gunpowder for the Confederacy is accessible to the public anytime. Magnolia Cemetery Between 2nd and 3rd streets, Augusta. Gates open until 8 p.m. daily. Explore the resting place for hundreds of Civil War casualities, including seven Confederate generals. Saturday Historic Trolley Tour of Augusta 706-724-4067. Events/Trolley-Tour Starts at the Augusta Museum of History, 2 p.m. Driving tour of historic downtown Augusta. Reservations required. Meadow Garden 1320 Independence Drive. 706-724-4174. Tour the home of George Walton, one of Georgia’s three signers of the Declaration of Independence. Ezekiel Harris House 1822 Broad St. 706-722-8454. Tour this 18th Century house, considered to be an outstanding example of early Federal style architecture. Heggie’s Rock Old Louisville Rd., Appling. 706-873-6946. (search for Heggie’s Rock) One of the finest remaining examples of a Piedmont flat rock outcrop. A 130-acre rock outcrop rising about 70 feet supports many rare and unusual plants. The area is closed to the public, but tours are available. See the website for details. Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site 181 Redcliffe Road, Beech Island, S.C. 803-827-1473. Tour the restored home of former South Carolina Governor James Henry Hammond.

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 25

401 Martintown Road, Suite 111, North Augusta. Steiner Branch Family YMCA 706-922-6711 218 Partnership Drive,Grovetown. Wilson Family YMCA. 706-922-9623 3570 Wheeler Rd., Augusta. This facility includes indoor and outdoor pools, water park and splash pad along with the largest indoor public aquatic therapy pool in the CSRA. Gordon Lanes Bowling Center activities/gordon-lanes. 706-791-3446. Bldg. 33200, 3rd Ave., Fort Gordon. Gordon Lanes Bowling Center offers bowling for all ages. This center has 24 USBC-sanctioned bowling lanes, electronic video and amusement machines, a full service snack bar, a pro shop, pool tables, video games, volleyball court and more. Gordon Lanes is open seven days a week for both open and league bowling. Graystone Ranch and Wildlife Education Center 706-360-0808. 1017 McManus Rd., Hephzibah. Graystone Ranch is a non-profit organization dedicated to children and environmental/wildlife conservation. We are a state and federally licensed rehabilitation center, sanctuary,and preserve. The ranch is a rustic preserve of antiquary where we try to preserve a part of the past for our future. Yee-Haa ‘N Company and Twin Lakes Expeditions are subsidiary companies of Graystone Ranch, Inc. Gymnastics Gold 706-650-2111. 124 Cedar Ln., Augusta. Offering preschool and developmental gymnastics through a competitive program encompassing both the men’s and woman’s programs both of which have produced State and National Champions. Children’s birthday parties and summer camps offered. Haydens Gymnastics and Cheer Academy 706-868-0608. 4300 Evans to Lock Rd., Evans. Haydens coaches and staff help students develop an “I Can” attitude through lessons that teach not only physical, but also mental flexibility. All of our programs are developed with overall well-being in mind. Offering both recreational and competitive gymnastics for boys and girls as well as competitive and recreational cheer programs for ages 5-18. Parties, parents night out programs, Parkour, Physique Fit-

ness and other programs are also offered. Hidden Forrest Equestrian Center 706-825-6216. 1333 Jackson Rd., Augusta. With an 80’ vintage windmill, a 2 acre pond with swans, ducks, and a gazebo, to our soon to be completed water wheel, we are truly “A Touch Of Country In The City.” Offers riding lessons, pony rides, boarding and more. Hilltop Riding Stables 706-791-4864. N. Range Rd., Building 508, Fort Gordon. Hilltop Riding Stable offers more than 250 stunning acres of trails are available to horseback riders. Lessons are offered for beginners to advanced riders. Pony rides and organized trail rides for groups are also conducted. Hoppy Feet Fun Center 701 Devika Dr., Suite 8, Grovetown. 706-755-2619. Hoppy Feet Inflatables is a family owned and operated indoor fun center and inflatable rental company in Grovetown— licensed and fully insured to provide your children with a safe environment for play. Offering great party packages and inflatable rentals at a reasonable price. Call for details. Jump City or 706-262-4653. 4446 Washington Rd., Suite 7, Evans. Jump city delivers the party to your backyard. Rent inflatable slides, bounce houses, obstacle courses and water slides. Up the fun with an Sumo suits, a dunk tank, a rock wall, a popcorn machine, a sno-cone machine or a cotton candy machine. Tables and chairs, generators, inflatable movie screens and sound systems also are available. Jump’n Jitterbugs 803-571-9001. North Augusta. Rent inflatable bounce houses, water slides and combo units. Free delivery and set up. Level Up Game Center 706-305-3780. 3837 Martinez Blvd., Augusta. A place for avid gamers to meet up and compete. Most games are co-op or multiplayer, games that can be played with friends or in groups. It doesn’t matter if you prefer Atari or PS4, PC or Xbox 360, arcade or table top, as long as you enjoy the game you play we welcome you to

play. Tournaments, special events and parties available. Little Dippers and Sip & Dip Painting Parties 706-699-4449, Haley Tam. Book an art party for adults or kids. Classes are also offered on a regular basis. Monkey Joe’s 706-922-JUMP(5867). 368 Furys Ferry Rd., Suite 2, Martinez. Monkey Joe’s is a fun-filled inflatable play center. Wall-to-wall inflatable slides, jumps and obstacle courses will keep your kids active, happy and healthy. My Best Friend’s Sewing Room 706-993-8819. 3850 Washington Rd., Suite 4C. Sewing machine classes are for ages 9 & up. The “Sewing Seeds” club meets the third Saturday of the month from 10-noon. Birthday parties also offered. Premiere Martial Arts 803-640-8443. 401 West Martintown Rd., North Augusta. 706-432-6963. 701 Devika Dr., Grovetown. Email at Adult and children’s karate, kids birthday parties, Krav maga, self defense and more. Putt-Putt Fun Center 706-868-0083. 3763 Martinez Blvd., Martinez. Activities putt putt golf, laser tag, the game room, the Wet Zone and batting cages. Enjoy family fun or book a party. Red Wing Rollerway 706-860-1548. 3065 Washington Rd., Augusta. Enjoy an open skate session or book a party or fundraiser. The Salvation Army Kroc Center kids-family/birthday-parties 706-922-1533. 1833 Broad St., Augusta. Providing excellent programs, facilities and services to promote positive experiences for all people in the Greater Augusta Area. Facilities include a fitness center, gymnasium, sports and recreation programs, Aquatics Center and training, arts and education classes and more. Seigler’s Karate Center Martinez: 4471 Columbia Rd.

706-855-5685. West: 370 Furys Ferry Rd., Ste. 1 706-364-3535. Karate classes for students ages 3.5 and up. Birthday party packages also offered. Skateland of Augusta htm. 706-796-4048. 2451 Windsor Spring Rd., Augusta. Private parties, birthday parties, adult skate nights, skating lessons and more. Southern Tang Soo Do Martial Arts Studio 706-793-6603. 2007 Tobacco Rd., Augusta. Small classes led by experienced black belt instructors, with emphasis on Christian family values, make us your best choice for self-defense and martial arts training. Birthday party packages available. Steed’s Dairy 706-564-0220. 4635 Wrightsboro Rd., Grovetown. Steed’s Dairy is a real working dairy farm. Available activities include a petting zoo, jumping pillow, giant tube slide, rubber duckie races, preschool play area with swings and slides, corn kernel pit and more. During the fall Maize season enjoy hayrides, corn maze, pumpkin patch and real cow milking demonstrations. Available for children’s birthday parties. Tiaras & Pearls 706-922-7721. 3241 Washington Rd. New location coming soon. Tiaras and Pearls is a posh spot for all your tots and tweens pampering needs providing exhilarating, fun, relaxing spa experiences in an elegant, old-Hollywood setting fit for your princess. Van Gogh and Vino 706-284-6649. Home Rd., Suite 2-B. Le Pavilion Shopping Center. Caters to all ages and skill levels with painting classes and private parties for every occasion. You’ll paint and socialize in a relaxed setting in these artist-instructed classes. First-time painters welcome. XP Gaming Lounge or 706-524-2018 4534 Washington Road, Ste. 12, Evans. A cozy video gaming lounge located in Evans. Offers gaming on XBox Ones, highend dedicated gaming PCs & the Wii U, with no lag at an affordable rate. Offers a variety of events from Parents’ Night Out with pajama parties to watch parties.

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 27

Play system for ages 2-12, tennis and basketball courts, swing set and walking trail. Kennedy Colony Playground 1402 Redd Street SE, Aiken. 803-642-7636. Play system for ages 2-12, bike rack, benches, one and one-half basketball courts. Library Park 355 York Street SE, Aiken. 803-642-7636. Handicap accessible play system for ages 2-12, a gazebo, picnic table, benches, grill. Living History Park 299 W. Spring Grove Ave., North Augusta. A beautiful, natural setting which serves as a frequent community gathering spot for events such as Colonial Days in the Park. Maude Edgefield Park 400 E. Buena Vista Ave., Aiken. Tot lot, lighted tennis courts, picnic area and community center. Frequently hosts outdoor summer concerts. Osbon Park 346 Columbia Ave., Aiken. 803-642-7636. Picnic shelter and tables, benches, walking track and water fountain. Perry Memorial Park 720 Abbeville Ave. NE, Aiken. 803-642-7636. Picnic shelter, sand walking track, pond, nine holes of disc golf on 24 acres. Riverview Park 100 Riverview Park Drive, North Augusta. 803-441-4311 The Riverview Park Activities Center is the hub of North Augusta’s parks and recreation facilities. Built in 1994, the 94,000 square foot center anchors the city’s 149-acre Riverview Park. Park includes access to the Greenway, walking/ jogging track, baseball, softball and tennis, two playgrounds, picnic pavilion and disc golf course. Smith-Hazel Park 400 Kershaw Street NE, Aiken 803-642-7635. Basketball court, tennis courts, picnic tables, shelter with two grills, walking track and play system for ages 2-12. Summerfield Park 738 Old Edgefield Road, North Augusta.

Spray Ground, basketball courts, shelter and picnic tables, multi-purpose playing fields, drinking fountains and a walking/ jogging track. Virginia Acres Park 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken. 803-642-7631. Picnic shelter with picnic tables, walking track, play system for ages 2-12, soccer field, tennis, racquetball and basketball courts, 18 holes of disc golf and more. Wade Hampton Park 300 Georgia Ave., North Augusta Veterans park dedicated to the veterans of every war since the American Revolution. Walnut Lane Neighborhood Park Located in the Walnut Grove subdivision on St. Julian, North Augusta. Features a playground, a picnic area and a unique boardwalk trail.

AugustA-Richmond county Augusta Aquatic Center 3157 Damascus Road. 706-261-0424. The Augusta Aquatics Center is the premier aquatic facility in the CSRA. You can swim laps, practice rolling over in a kayak, join an adult or Senior Aqua Fitness program, compete on a swimming or diving team. You can also take a lifeguard training course, practice your flips and spins in the diving area, don a scuba tank and explore underwater life, or even celebrate your birthday with a splash with all of your friends and family. Augusta Canal and the Augusta Canal Discovery Center 1450 Greene Street. 706-823-0440, ext. 7. Explore the Augusta Canal. Whether you hike, bike, paddle or just float through Augusta Canal’s history on a guided boat tour, explore the recreation and outdoor experiences along miles of towpath, trail and canal waters. Explore the nation’s only industrial power canal still in use for its original purpose. Visit the Augusta Canal Discovery Center at Enterprise Mill to hear the stories of the people who built the canal in 1845 to harness the water and power of the Savannah River,and learn about the progress, problems and promise of its 170-year history. Augusta Riverwalk Downtown Augusta The Augusta Riverwalk spans between 6th and 10th Streets in Downtown Augusta along the Savannah River. The Riverwalk consists of two bricked levels and the Jessye Norman Amphitheatre.

The 9th Street and 10th Street Plazas host the two largest water features in downtown Bernie Ward Community Center 1941 Lumpkin Road. 706-790-0588. Includes a gymnasium, outdoor swimming pool, picnic area, playground and more. Brookfield Park 2740 Mayo Road. Please call Warren Road Community Center at (706) 860-2833 for availability and booking. Amenities include a comfort station, two picnic areas, two shelters (electricity not included), water feature, walking track and two playgrounds. Carrie J. Mays Family Life Center 1014 Eleventh Ave. 706-821-2827/2828 Offers a gymnasium, outdoor basketball courts, outdoor shelter, playground and picnic area. Charles H. Evans Center & Wood Park 1866 Highland Avenue. 706-733-9210 or 706-261-0424 (Augusta Aquatic Center—for Splash Pad information). Splash Pad hours: Monday-Friday, May 23-August 7: 2016, 10 a.m.-5p.m. Weekends, May 7-May 22, 2016 August 13-September 18, 2016: 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Includes a community building and rental facility, commercial kitchen, basketball courts, playground, open space and picnic areas, walking track and water play feature.

Dyess Park 902 James Brown Blvd. 706-821-2877 Community building, picnic area, walking track, comfort station, basketball courts, swimming pool and more. Eastview Community Center and Park 644 Aiken Street. 706-312-5524 Amenities include an athletic ball field, comfort station, community building, outdoor shelter, outdoor walking track, picnic area and playground. Eisenhower Athletic Complex and Park 1488 Eisenhower Drive. 706-821-2800/2801. Athletic fields, district athletic office, open space, outdoor walking track and rental facility. Flemming Athletic Complex & Office 1915 Daniel Ave. 706-796-5047/5048. Athletic fields, basketball courts, district athletic office, playground and rental facility. Flemming Tennis Center or call (706) 796-5046. Programs and services provided include: Tutoring/Academic Support, Science, MACH Academy, Inc., established in April of 1992, is a non- profit 501(c) 3 community organization that provides year round classes and camps at the Fleming Tennis Center in Augusta, Georgia and satellite locations throughout the Central Savannah River Area. Programs include technology, engineering and math (STEM) sessions, mentoring, social skills development, tennis/fitness instruction and more.

Diamond Lakes Regional Park 4335 Windsor Spring Road, Hephzibah. Community Center: 706-826-1370. Adult Athletics: 706-771-2980. Library: 706-772-2432. Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m.-dusk. A 286-acre park with two walking tracks, three wooded picnic areas with tables and grills, two playgrounds, four fully stocked fishing ponds, sand volleyball court, two horseshoe pits, a youth baseball/softball and adult complex, covered pavilion with 10 picnic tables and two grills.

Henry H. Brigham Community Center, Park & Swim Center 2463 A Golden Camp Road. 706-771-2654/2655. Community Center and rental facility, tennis courts, walking track, comfort station, gymnasium, picnic area and playground. The Swim Center houses an indoor heated six-lane pool with handicap ramp.

Doughty Park 1200 Nellieville Road. 706-724-2044. Includes a community center, playground, athletic fields, tennis and basketball courts.

Jamestown Community Center and Park 3647 Karleen Road, Hephzibah. 706-790-1805. Includes outdoor basketball courts, athletic fields, community building, open space,

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 29

rental facility, playground, picnic area, outdoor walking track and outdoor shelter. Lake Olmstead Park 2309 Tobacco Road. 706-796-5025. This lake/waterfront park includes an athletic field, comfort station, disc golf course, gazebo, outdoor walking track, picnic area, boat ramp and rental facilities. May Park Community Center 622 4th Street. 706-724-0504/0505. Location includes a gymnasium, picnic area, playground, comfort station, rental facility, outdoor walking track, outdoor shelter and fitness room. Offers youth athletics, adult fitness programs and more. McBean Community Center 1155 Hephzibah-McBean Road, Hephzibah. 706-560-1814/2628. Facilities include a community building, playground, comfort station, open space, rental facility, outdoor shelter, picnic area, outdoor walking track and senior services center. Activities include afterschool and parent’s night out programs and summer camps. McDuffie Woods Community Center 3431 Old McDuffie Road. 706-771-2656/2657. Amenities include a community center and rental facility, gymnasium, picnic area, tennis courts, comfort station, outdoor basketball courts, outdoor shelter and computer lab. Activities include youth basketball and fitness, dance and karate classes. Minnick Park 1850 Kissingbower Road. 706-796-5025. Indoor facility includes a kitchen with tables and chairs for inside use only. Outdoors you’ll enjoy a playground, outdoor shelters and comfort station. Newman Tennis Center 3103 Wrightsboro Road. 706-821-1600. Newman Tennis Center is a municipal tennis facility with 18 hard courts (14 lighted). Offers beginner tennis lessons for adults and children. Pendleton King Park 1600 Troupe Street. Park Rentals – 706 796-5025. Park Caretaker – 706 564-7462.

30 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017 Summer Hours 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (Sunday 6 p.m.) Winter Hours 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Pendleton King Park is a 64-acre bird sanctuary of great topographic diversity with pine forests, sand ridges and marshes. Includes an arboretum, the Bark Park, a children’s sculpture garden, disc golf course, two playgrounds, trails and wetlands. Phinizy Swamp & Nature Park 1858 Lock and Dam Road. 706-828-2109. (click on Kid’s Birthday Parties tab) Located on 1100 acres with 14 miles of biking and hiking trails, and just minutes from downtown Augusta, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park offers visitors the chance to see a variety of wildlife such as Blue Heron, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Otter, Alligator and the elusive Bobcat in their natural setting. Phinizy Swamp Nature park is free and open to the public 365 days a year from dawn until dusk. Special programs for all ages, such as guided hikes and bike rides, are scheduled throughout the year. Sand Hills Community Center & Park 2540 Wheeler Road. 706-842-1912 Facilities available include a community building, comfort station, picnic area, playground, rental facility and outdoor walking track. Activities include group exercise classes, arts & crafts classes and more. Warren Road Community Center 300 Warren Road. 706-860-2833/0986. Amenities include a community building and rental facility, gymnasium, playground, covered picnic areas, comfort station, outdoor shelter, outdoor walking track, tennis courts (lights on Monday-Thursday) and outdoor basketball courts (lights on Monday-Thursday). Activities include afterschool programs, aerobics, dance, open basketball and more. WT Johnson Community Center 1610 Hunter Street. 706-821-2865/2866. Includes athletic fields, picnic area, playground, basketball court, rental facility, community building and gymnasium.

stadium soccer field and a certified cross country course for high school and college competition. The facility has been designed to host state, regional and national competitions. Euchee Creek Trails Harlem-Grovetown Road, Grovetown. Parking, restrooms and walking trails with scenic views. It is one of a series of greenways that will eventually link up and form one long trail that will go from Grovetown to Patriots Park. Another greenway, Grovetown Trails at Euchee Creek, already exists and will be linked up with Euchee Creek Greenway in the future. Evans Towne Center Park 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans. 706-650-5005. Playground, splash pad, dog park, pavilions and walking track. B-cycle is a bike sharing system located in Evans Towne Center Park that allows patrons to rent bikes for recreational use around Evans. The park is home to the Lady Antebellum Amphitheatre, which regularly is host to family events and concert. Goodale Park 5200 Wrightsboro Road, Grovetown. Two ball fields, basketball court charcoal grills, parking, playground, picnic area, walking trail and tennis courts. Harlem Park 385 Church Street, Harlem. departments-l-r/parks-recreation-department/parks-facilities/harlem-park Amenities include a T-Ball field, youth baseball fields, a batting cage, tennis court, basketball courts, two playgrounds with picnic areas and a covered picnic pavilion. International Disc Golf Center International Disc Golf Association Wildwood Park, Appling. 706-261-6342 or The International Disc Golf Center opened at Wildwood Park on April 20, 2007. This 2,700 square facility is equipped with a full service pro shop, snack vending area, commons area, meeting rooms, and handicap accessible restrooms. Also located at the center is the “Steady” Ed Headrick Museum that showcases historical items from the early days of the sport.

Columbia County

Kiddie Park 105 Whiskey Road, Grovetown. Benches, parking, picnic areas, slides and toys.

Blanchard Woods Park Blanchard Woods Road, Evans. Four regulation soccer fields, an additional

Liberty Park 1040 Newmantown Road, Grovetown. All fields, community center, concession stand, multi-purpose fields and more. Community Center includes a basketball court, fitness center, gym, kitchen, meeting rooms and more.

Memorial Park 100 W. Robinson Ave., Grovetown. Benches, gazebo, memorial wall, military cannon, parking and swings. Mistletoe State Park 3725 Mistletoe Rd., Appling. 706-541-0321. Located on 71,100-acre Clarks Hill Lake near Augusta, this park is known as one of the finest bass fishing spots in the nation. Ninety-two campsites, picnic areas, group shelters, special family events throughout the year, canoe outings and more. Patriots Park 5445 Columbia Rd, Grovetown, 706-863-7523 departments-l-r/parks-recreation-department/parks-facilities/patriots-park Two playground areas, a walking track, 18-hole disc golf course, soccer fields, tennis courts, softball and baseball fields, batting cages, and a gymnasium with basketball and volleyball courts. A variety of facilities are available to rent from a multi-purpose room to gyms and pavilions. Reed Creek Park and Wetland Interpretive Center 3820 Park Lane, Martinez. 706-210-4027. Trails are open sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week. A map is posted on the front door of the education building. Special children’s programs are regularly scheduled and family movie nights and other fun family events are scheduled throughout the year. Riverside Park 4431 Hardy McManus Road, Evans. Park includes youth baseball/softball fields, tennis courts, two playgrounds, a boat ramp and fishing dock/pier, batting cages and two shelters. The Riverside Dog Park is located behind Riverside Park. Wildwood Park 3780 Dogwood Lane, Appling. 706-541-0586. Email: wildwoodpark@columbiacountyga. gov. Wildwood Park is located on Thurmond Lake (also known as Clarks Hill Lake). This 975 acre park offers access to the 72,000-acre lake which is excellent for fishing and boating activities. Park includes 61 campsites, six lane-mega boat ramps, large parking lot with 231 spaces, home of the International Disc Golf Center & Hall of Fame and three championship disc golf courses, beach area, picnic area, seven covered pavilions and clean restroom and shower facilities in each camping area.

Summer Camp

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 31


sponsored by

HealthyFamilyAugusta Congratulations to our 2017 Healthy Family Augusta contest winner, Jennifer Lavallee (her children are pictured above).

32 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

HealtHy Family aUgUsta Impressive appetizer wraps with hot-and-spicy shrimp in cool-and-crisp lettuce. Ingredients 1 tbsp. peanut oil 1 lb. shrimp 2 medium celery stalks Âź c. chopped water chestnuts 1 clove garlic

1 tsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce 1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce 1 tbsp. rice vinegar 8 large Boston lettuce leaves Several roasted peanuts

Directions In nonstick 12-inch skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes or just until opaque throughout, stirring constantly. With slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to medium bowl. To same skillet, add celery, water chestnuts, garlic, and ginger, and cook two minutes, until celery is tender-crisp, stirring. Return shrimp to skillet; stir in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar. Cook 1 minute or just until mixture is heated through. Remove skillet from heat. Evenly divide shrimp mixture among lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 33

GO. PLAY. SEE. Georgia State Parks


If you think your options for outdoor summer fun are limited to day camps or beach trips, think again—think Georgia State Parks. With dozens of state parks to visit, there’s loads of familyfun activities practically in your own back yard. You can hike and climb thousands of feet in elevation, mountain bike on more than 68 miles of terrain, paddle through 24 miles of scenic waterways or go glamping in a yurt (more on that later!). And with Georgia State Parks’ clubs program, you and your family will have a built-in adventure to look forward to all summer-long.

34 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

Photo courtesy of GA Dept of Natural Resources

by: Layla Khoury-Hanold

It works like this: visitors buy a membership

ately challenging 6.25-mile loop with stream

nated hikes. Not only do you get a t-shirt when

card ($10-$15) at the first park or online at

crossings, gullies and rocky terrain. At Magnolia

you complete all seven trails, but you’ll also re-, then bring

Springs State Park, you’ll cover the three-mile

ceive a matching bandana for your pup. A few of

the card with them to each of the parks in that

Trooper Trail, which starts near a freshwater

the hikes are even guided, like Paws on the Falls

club. After you complete each park’s quest—like

spring and passes a wetland overlook where

which takes place on June 3 at High Falls State

hiking a trail or searching for hidden trinkets—

Hatcher says you can spot wildlife like wading

Park (two hours and 15 minutes away). The mile

your card gets punched. Once you’ve success-

birds and alligators. In addition to their bik-

and a half trail covers a moderately challeng-

fully completed the tasks at each of the parks

ing trails, Mistletoe also boasts one of the best

ing trek through hilly forests and ends with a

in that club, you’ll get a “members only” t-shirt,

bass fishing spots in the country, and Magnolia

beautiful view of the High Falls’ waterfall. If you

not to mention bragging rights and priceless

Springs is lauded for its crystal-clear springs.

want to turn your trip into a sleepover, you can

family memories.

park paddlers

reserve a dog-friendly cottage at several of the parks—visit

Kim Hatcher, an outdoor enthusiast who has

Though Hatcher hesitates to play favorites

worked for Georgia State Parks and Historic

among the clubs, as an avid kayaker she’s

Sites for over 20 years, gives us the rundown

especially fond of the Park Paddlers club. She

more Fun aT The parks

on a few of the most popular clubs, shares her

also points out that being on the water offers

• Hit the Greens: You don’t have to give up your

pro hiking tips and tells us about glamping in

a different vantage point than hiking or bik-

rounds of weekend golf. Tee off in nature at

a yurt—trust us, it’ll earn you major cool points

ing—while you paddle, keep your eyes peeled

eight family-friendly Georgia State Park golf

with your kids.

for frogs, fish, birds and even alligators. You

courses. Check out Hard Labor Creek and

can bring your own boat (non-motorized) or

Victoria Bryant State Parks, both about a two

rent canoes, kayaks, aqua cycles and stand up

hour drive from Augusta.

Canyon Climbers

for more information.

Hatcher notes that this hiking club is one of

paddle boards at several locations. There are

the most popular due to its accessibility; there

six parks in this club, including one of Hatcher’s

are only four parks to visit and you don’t need

favorites, George L. Smith State Park (an hour

12 can have fun learning outdoor skills

specific gear. Challenges in this club include

and a half away), whose water trail is known for

while they work towards becoming a Junior

conquering the staircase at Cloudland Canyon,

its beautiful covered bridge, Spanish moss and

Ranger. Activities include observing wild-

scaling to the top of Amicalola Falls, hiking down

Cypress trees.

life, visiting museums and historic sites, as

Providence Canyon and braving the swinging

• Become a Junior Ranger: Kids ages six to

well as fishing, hiking, biking and camping.

bridge in Tallulah Gorge. If your little ones aren’t


walking yet, several parks have paved pathways

Think of geocaching as the coolest treasure

hours away, offers a Junior Ranger summer

perfect for pushing strollers.

hunt you’ve ever been on—using a GPS device,

camp that starts in June.

Indian Springs State Park, a little over two

you’ll look up coordinates online before setting Here, Hatcher shares her top tips for making the

out to find boxes, called caches. Inside each

most of your hiking experience:

hidden cache are trinkets for players to trade,

sites for rent, but for a truly unique experience

• Wear comfortable shoes and socks

like small plastic toys, pens and stickers. Since

try staying in a yurt. It’s the epitome of glamp-

• Check the weather forecast and dress in layers

2010, players have documented more than

ing, or glamorous camping, and is the perfect

• Bring water and snacks like trail mix, granola

35,000 “finds” in the log books tucked inside

compromise for family members who’d rather

the boxes. More than 40 parks participate in

stay in a hotel than pitch a tent. The canvas and

the Parks GeoTour, and more than a dozen

wood huts come equipped with ceiling fans,

bars and fruit • Know and respect your abilities and your chil-

• Go glamping: Most parks have cabins and camp-

historic sites are featured on the History Trail

heaters, and furniture inside, as well as a deck,

• Pause to take in the beautiful scenery

GeoTour. Caches at historic sites require play-

picnic table and fire pit outside. For the best

• Remember: If you hike down, you must hike

ers to answer questions about Georgia history

views, Hatcher advises checking out Fort Yargo

before they can unlock the box, making them

State Park near Athens, where all the yurts are

educational too. A.H. Stephens, Elijah Clark and

located on a peninsula. Visit www.gastateparks.

Magnolia Springs State Parks are all located an

org/Yurts for more information.

dren’s abilities

back up!

muddy spokes Whether you’re a novice biker or an experienced trail shredder, this mountain biking club of-

hour’s drive from Augusta.

fers something for everyone. There are 11 state

Tails on Trails

parks featured, including two parks less than

While pets are allowed on almost every trail

an hour’s drive from Augusta. At Mistletoe State

within the Georgia State Park system, Tails on

Park, you’ll ride the Rock Dam Trail, a moder-

Trails is a canine-friendly club with seven desig-

Layla Khoury-Hanold is a freelance food, travel and lifestyle writer. She has contributed to Saveur, Food Network, Refinery29, Mashable and Tastebook, among others. Follow her culinary adventures on her blog, and on Instragram @theglassofrose and Twitter @glassofrose. Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 35

Inspiration Station by Naimah Shaw

Joseph Doyle

Grief is an emotion that affects every fiber of our being. It seems the only positive facet of grief is the spirit’s remarkable emergence through the wallowed depths of despair when affected by this overwhelming, all-encompassing emotion. Local farmer, Joseph Doyle found himself afflicted by grief after the loss of his wife, Luella, and was unsure of how to cope and deal with the challenges he faced as a widower. Doyle learned to combat the range and rage of grief and sought refuge in mother nature and his first love: toiling the land and farming the soil.

36 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

Background Born and raised on a family farm in Waynesboro, GA, Doyle had the love of the land ingrained in him from as early as he can remember. Although he has been active on the farm and in business pursuits all of his life, he seriously entered the business arena when he was 24 years old. After entering a partnership to open a janitorial business, Doyle was left making his first important business decision when his partner up and quit their new endeavor. Doyle was at a crossroads and could either close that new business or quit his steady job as a plant worker at J&J Med South. Doyle chose to quit his job as a plant worker and pursued his janitorial business which he currently still owns and operates today. Doyle proudly says it’s a decision he doesn’t regret and although the choice was hard then, it has made him stronger.

Inspiration Station

After being born and raised on a farm, it seems fitting that after getting married to a woman he met after telling a friend he wanted “a good woman to raise a family with” that Doyle and his beloved would purchase land and pour their all into something they found boy joy and a career in. In 1994, the Doyle’s purchased six acres of land and started growing everything from sweet potatoes, corn, turnip greens, collard greens, squash, peas, cucumbers, pecans and rutabagas. Doyle supplied produce locally while also selling at his privately owned market, Ever Green Produce. However, in 2010, Doyle lost his wife and with that his passion and desire left as well. Doyle closed his market and took some time to grieve. Slowly with the help of his three children, Jermecca, Antrone and Joseph Doyle, Jr., the love of farming helped restore balance to the grieving family. While processing his grief, Doyle once again found many benefits to gardening, not least a calm acceptance of the life and death cycle that all living things experience. Gardening was no cure for the loss, it will always be with him, but gardening became a way of carrying on and experiencing the best of the world. Doyle was able to reclaim his life and passion and found delight in growing sweet potatoes. As an ode to the way farming helped shape and change his life, Doyle freeze dried his first sweet potato and now keeps it in his den as a decorative reminder of where he was then and where he is now.

Inspiration Out of grief, a local farmer’s love affair with the land was heightened as he poured himself into working long days and nights hoping to rid himself of what once was. Doyle melancholy reminisces that the loss of his wife, “affected him in every way possible.” Today, that loss is something he can cope with as he loves to watch his efforts grow bountifully and takes pride in producing crops, especially sweet potatoes. High in potassium and nutrient dense, Doyle emphasizes that everyone is impressed with his sweet potatoes, noting their unusual size and unique shapes. However, he is not keen on sharing his farming secrets. Doyle currently makes all natural molds out of the unique shapes of his sweet potatoes including kitchen canisters, piggy banks, teddy bears and Tupperware. Using the crops as a means of pulling himself out of grief, Doyle has become dutifully attached to his vegetables and refers to them affectionately as his “babies.” He chuckles when he remembers calling his godmother one morning at 5:00 a.m. to name three sweet potatoes. They lovingly coined the names Pooley who is 1 foot tall and weighs 6.5 pounds, Dooley who is 4.5 pounds and the baby of the bunch, Looley who is 3.5 pounds.

Activism Doyle uses surplus produce as a means of giving back to the community, offering seniors a means of fresh wholesome fruits and vegetables. He also gives his items to the Salvation Army and Golden Harvest Food Bank. Doyle’s facial expression lights up when he remembers these moments of giving, which he says makes his job worthwhile. Doyle’s dream is to mentor inner

city youth to provide them with the opportunity to meaningfully connect with nature and the benefits of both good food and hard work. He also plans to work alongside church members to donate to members of his faith and other local charities who have a need for the items he grows.

Advice Doyle reiterates the benefits of hard work and says “Don’t do something for the money, do it because you love it.” He explains that when he began farming he didn’t do it for the money, he did it because he loved it and due to his sincerity and pursuit of that passion, Doyle was able to cope with grief and make a sustainable business out of it as well. Some of his proudest moments have been a result of hard work. Doyle beams when he remembers buying his mother her first new home and says helping to support her has been one of his proudest moments.

Business In addition to selling his produce, Doyle also makes art out of his pictures by carefully arranging his produce to represent different scenes before photographing and framing them. A creative genius as well, Doyle has crafted an array of t-shirts which anyone who has a love of the land and sweet potatoes will appreciate wearing. Connect with Joseph Doyle at Naimah Shaw is a Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Blogger and homeschool mom of four who has lived in Evans for almost a decade. Prior to that, she graduated with a Masters of Science in Information Technology and taught computer programming for a few years at local colleges. Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 37

Summer Summer

38 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

rCamps Camp Augusta Family | May/June 2017 • 39

Beauty and the Beast


May 12, 13 & 14 at 8:00 p.m. An enchanting Broadway musical for all generations. Presented by The Augusta Players Disney’s Beauty And The Beast,the smash hit Broadway musical ran for over 13 years and was

M ay & J u n e

nominated for 9 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Based on the Academy Award®- winning animated feature film, this eye-popping spectacle has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including Be Our Guest and the beloved title song.,Tale As Old As Time. The show is filled with allure, magic and family entertainment at its best! Friday, May 12, at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, May 13, at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, May 13, at 8:00 p.m. & Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets available at www.

We’d love to hear from you. If you have an event you’d like to add to our next issue, send an email to karin.calloway@

Special Events May 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 at 7:00 p.m. Hopelands Gardens, Dupree Place, Aiken, The 43rd season of the City of aiken Parks, Recreation & Tourism presents the Hopelands Concert Series each Monday evening in May and June. Free admission. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, picnic dinners, but no alcoholic beverages are allowed. Well-behaved pets on leash are allowed. In the case of inclement weather, the concerts will be held at the Odell Weeks Center at 1700 Whiskey Rd. in Gym 2. For more information, call (803) 642-7631 or Call the rain-out hotline at 803-643-4661 in the event of inclement weather. Schedule is subject to change. May 1, 7:00PM – Karen Gordon and Garden

40 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

City Jazz will perform classic and contemporary jazz tunes. May 8, 7:00PM – Savannah River Winds. Formed in 2001, SRW is composed of music teachers, high school and college band directors, professionals, and college students. They will feature pop, broadway, big band, and marches. May 15, 7:00PM – East Aiken School of the Arts. Over 100 students who participate in the After School Arts Program will showcase their talents in orchestra, guitar, jazz, boys’ choir, tap and ballet. May 22, 7:00PM – The Aiken Concert Band has been in existence for 42 years and is presently composed of over 70 talented musicians from the Aiken area. The band is under the leadership of Music Director and Conductor Mr. Todd Jenkins. May 29, 7:00PM – The Aiken Civic Ballet Company, South Carolina’s longest continuously operating dance company. ACBC was created in 1971

by Mr. Carl Crosby with a vision of challenging young dancers to excel and share the spirit of dance with their community. It continues to thrive 45 years later under the leadership of Diane Toole Miller. ACBC produces original ballets and contemporary dance works. May 1 to May 20 at 10:00 a.m. at Westobou Gallery, 1129 Broad St. 5/Fifths is presented in conjunction with Augusta University’s Department of Art and features the works of five graduating seniors. The Pamplin College/ Westobou collaboration provides art students the opportunity to complete a body of work and to exhibit this work in a professional gallery space.Featured Artists: Quintavious Brown, Cezann Cawthon, Carey Mogianesi, Olivia Robinson and Leah Schaffer. All ages.

calendar May 2, 9, 16 and 23 at 2:20 p.m. Preschool Story Time Diamond Lakes Branch Library, 101 Diamond Lakes Way. Hephzibah. Stories, songs, games, short movies, and crafts. Best for ages 3-5. Required registration for groups of 6 or more. Pre-register at 706-772-2432.Website: May 2, 4, 8 & 11 at 7:30 p.m. Sixth Annual Augusta Jewish Film Festival. Jabez S. Hardin performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd. May 2 Fanny’s Journey; May 4 There Are Jews Here; May 8 A Grain of Truth; May 11 Moos. Cost: $10. May 3, Creative Arts at the Kroc at 4:30 p.m. A time for young people to worship, develop and use their gifts and talents through the art of dance, drama and music. Repeats Most Wednesdays. Cost: Free. Age Suitabilit: Teens and up. May 3, Kroc Kids at 5:30 p.m. Helps children to develop character and an understanding of God. Each night consists of snacks, games, singing, arts, crafts and other fun activities. Age: 3-12 years Cost: Free. Every Wednesday May 4 at 1:00 p.m., Coloring for Grownups, 1:00 p.m. Aiken County Library, 314 Chesterfield St. SW, Aiken, Bring your own coloring pens and pencils to enjoy a relaxing afternoon of creativity. Coloring sheets and refreshments will be provided. Make your reservation in person or call 803-642-2020, ext. 1131. Cost: Free. Website: www. May 4 at 7:00 p.m., Dixie Echoes Concert at Silvercreat Baptist Church, 3431 Peach Orchard Rd. Well known Southern Gospel singing group, The Dixie Echoes is an award winning Gospel group led by lead singer Randy Shelnut. The group has been continuously active since the 1950s, first led by his late father, the legendary Dale Shelnut. Cost: No admission fee. All Ages Website: May 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23 & 30 at 5:30 p.m., Kroc Taekwondo, Kroc Center of Augusta, 1833 Broad St., Learn Olympic Style Taekwondo with a class designed to challenge a wide range of ages.You will learn a variety of techniques including blocks, strikes, evasions and throws. We offer one free class for anyone to come and see if they enjoy learning the sport. Hi-YAH! Cost: $75 monthly. Family Rates Available. Uniform not included. May 6, 13, 20 & 27 at 8:00 a.m., Saturday Morning Swing: Music at The Augusta Market, Eighth Street Plaza, 8th & Riverwalk Augusta. Brings local jazz musicians and performing arts groups for early afternoon shows each weekend. The Market features local produce, artisans, music, all in a family- (and pet-) friendly (706) 627-0128 May 6 at 8:00 a.m. Chick-fil-A Augusta Exchange’s Mother’s Day Kid’s Craft. Join us to make a special Mother’s Day gift! Bring your children ages 12 and under to participate in a fun-filled morning creating complimentary crafts and gifts for mom. Valid only at Augusta Exchange location. May 6 at 9:00 a.m., GoodBoats for Goodwill: Paddling for a Purpose. Lake Olmstead. Celebrate Asian culture with a day of family fun features dragon boat races, food and various vendors, children’s activities and much more! Free admission! To sponsor, volunteer, paddle or be a vendor call

706-650-5760 or Proceeds benefit Helms College. For more information visit our website, May 6 at 9:00 a.m. 20th Annual Pendleton King Park, Plant Sale. Pendleton King Park, 1600 Troupe Street. Hardto-find sun & shade perennials, native plants, shrubs, succulents, bulbs, vines, herbs, direct from Master Gardeners. 3 gallon hydrangeas are back! Great prices. MGs on hand to answer gardening questions.Sid Mullis will sell and sign his new book “Sid Sez: How to grow it in Augusta”.Want to sell plants or garden related items? Vendors: preregister at 706-738-3991. May 6 at 10:00 a.m. STEP BY STEP Father’s Rights Conference, Smith Hazel Community Center, 400 Kershaw Street NE, Aiken. Presented by Ace Ambition and Sky Is The Limit Foundation. The purpose of this event is to help fathers understand their rights, use their rights, and establish strong relationships with their children. Hosted by DJ Big Gee of Hot 103.9/93.9. Featuring: Jennifer Mook. Attorney, Kimaka Nichols-Graham, Attorney, Kevin Millard Professor of Law, Contributing Editor to the New York Times. Cost: $10 Advanced, $15 general admission Age Suitability: 18 and up. Website: www.dominiqueBond. com & www. & May 6 at 11:00 a.m., Kitten Shower & Supply Drive, SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd., Aiken. It’s kitten season at the SPCA and we need your help to care for the many stray and abandoned kittens in need who make their way through our doors. Join us for warm & fuzzy kitten snuggles, shower snacks and fun! Admission is free, but please consider a donation.Foster applications are being accepted for anyone willing to care for newborn kittens: gifts are greatly appreciated. See needed donations on our Amazon Wish List at May 7 at 4:00 p.m., The Augusta Chorale Annual Spring Concert: “Unforgettable Songs and Singers.” Paine College Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, 1235 15th St. This event promises to be a special one and will present selections from the late Andrew Crouch, Moses Hogan and Dottie Rambo. Dr. Phyllis W. Anderson is the director of the Chorale and Ms. Angela Arrington is the accompanist. Internationally acclaimed soloist: Pamela Dillard, Mezzo Soprano; will be joined by Kira King Dittfurth, Soprano; Washington Isaac Holmes, Bass; and, the Aiken Civic Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Adam DePriest. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 5 years and older and students. Please call 706.830.0991 for tickets. www. May 8 at 11:00 a.m., 17th Annual Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic, Gordon Lakes Golf Course, 537 Range Rd., Ft. Gordon. Registration and the practice range will open at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Dinner and awards will begin at 5 p.m. Highlights include • Putting Contest by Hampton Inn & Suites • Silent Auction & Raffle Prizes, with a chance to place the winning bid on a Golf Cart by Textron Specialized Vehicles • Hole-In-One prize by Mercedes-Benz of Augusta • Lunch provided by Chick-fil-A, Augusta Exchange and dinner by Tin Lizzy’s Cantina. Early Bird prices available through April 14.

May 9, 16, 23, 30. June 6, 13, 20 & 27 at 11:00 a.m. Kroc Center of Augusta, 1833 Broad St. Community Outreach Program. Visit and minister with those in nursing homes and hospitals. Visits are followed by community outreach ministry.Age: 18+. Cost: Free. Most Tuesdays. May 10 at 10:00 a.m., Children’s Play: “Goldilocks,” Maxwell Theatre, 2500 Walton Way, Augusta. Ever wonder what happened to Goldilocks after she left the home of the three bears? We did! Meet Sandra Imogene Locks (Goldilocks for short) a little girl with a big attitude who keeps getting herself into trouble! Will her reign of terror continue or will she have to face the music when she finds herself at the mercy of her peers and the honorable Judge Trudy? Find out in this whimsical tale that teaches important lessons about respecting others as well as yourself! Admission is free. For more information and to reserve seating, please call the Literacy Center at (706_ 737-1625 or visit May 12 at 6:30 p.m., Mother & Son Ball, Rye Patch Reception Center, 100 Berrie Rd., Aiken. In celebration of Mother’s Day, the City of Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department presents its 1st Annual Mother & Son Ball. This event is for gentleman ages 4 to 14, a mother or guardian, grandmother, sister, or aunt. Cost is $25 per couple and $5 per additional son. There will be music, refreshments, and a photographer to capture your special moment. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the Odell Weeks or Smith-Hazel Recreation Center. Please call 803-642-7631 for more information. May 12 at 8:00 p.m., The O’Jays with The Temptations Review, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd. Featuring Dennis Edwards performing the music of Motown for the Ultimate Mother’s Day Concert. Tickets available at or www. $43-$123. All Ages May 13 at 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Columbia County Giant Community Yard Sale, The Columbia County Fairgrounds,5642 Columbia Rd., Grovetown. Opened to the public. Over 200 yard sales, a bargain hunter’s paradise. Admission is FREE, $2 donation for parking to benefit local youth charities; sponsored by Rotary Club of Columbia County. May 13 at 9:00 a.m., Rock & Run 5K Trail Run, Blanchard Woods Park, 4600 Blanchard Woods Rd., Evans. (When Help Can’t Wait) 5K trail run benefiting local nursing home residents. Nurses in nursing homes who have residents that need items we provide call us and we deliver the needed items. When Help Can’t Wait also has volunteers that go into nursing homes to visit with residents who would normally not have visitors. Provide events and activities also.Cost: $25. All Ages. May 13 at 9:00 a.m., Paddlefest, Savannah Riverkeeper ACA Sanctioned Kayak and Canoe Race. Recreational Paddle for Kayak, Canoe and Standup Paddleboards. Poker Fun Run for the Recreational Paddlers (must be over 21) extra $5. All Kayaks and Canoes will launch from the Savannah Rapids Pavilion - 3300 Evans to Lock Rd, Evans, GA 30908. Racers will launch at 9:00 am then Recreational Boaters Launch at 9:30 am. The Paddlefest Stand Up Paddleboard will start at 105

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calendar Riverfront Dr, Augusta, GA 30901 at 9:45 a.m. Registration site: For questions: info@ Cost: $35 Individual, includes T-Shirt and Lunch Age Suitabilility, 18 and up, May 13 at 9:30 a.m., Swamp Bike Saturday, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park., 1858 Lock and Dam Rd., Augusta, Enjoy a guided, gentle bike ride through approximately seven miles of wetlands trails. Children & adults will enjoy viewing the variety of wildlife and learning about the diverse plant life & importance of urban wetland ecology. Please bring your own bike, wear comfortable closed-toed shoes & bring water to drink. Helmets are required. We leave from the Swamp Shop & Visitor’s Center at 9:30 a.m. Register online at or by calling 706-396-1426. Cost: $2 per person (Free for Friends of Phinizy) All Ages. May 13 at 10:00 a.m., Cookies and Canvas , Aiken Center for the Arts, 122 Laurens St SW, Aiken. Christine Lawrence. Children ages 5 and up will complete their own mini masterpiece in this class based on the popular Bottles and Brushes classes. Skill level: All. $25. www. May 13 at 11:30 a.m. 12:30 & 1:30 p.m. Voices of the Past Museum Theater Series -The Other Tubmans, Augusta Museum of History. Voices of the Past is a series of character monologues that brings to life the stories of ordinary and extraordinary people which is performed in museum theater format by actors. The character in The Other Tubmans, tells a story that explains the connection between local Tubman slaves freed in the 1830’s and William Tubman, who served as Liberia, Africa’s longest running President from 1944-1971. FREE with Museum admission.Saturday. May 13 at 12:00 p.m., 3rd Annual Toyian R. Williams Legacy Hoops Game, Riverview Park Activities Center, 100 Riverview Park Dr., North Augusta. Mission is to turn a tragedy into a triumph. A goodwill exhibition basketball game featuring former North Augusta High School Yellow Jackets basketball players. $5.00 donation. All proceeds benefit the TRW Legacy Scholarship Fund. www.trwlegacy. com. May 13 at 1:00 p.m., Phinizy Family Camping, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, $39 ($29 Friends of Phinizy) Camp out under the stars and enjoy an evening of activities, camp fire eats and more. Activities include: Hot dog grill for dinner, Campfire with hot chocolate & s’mores Cabela’s games & activities, Survival and camp craft skills & demos by former U.S Navy Survival Instructor Mike Whitten, Outdoor Family-Friendly Movie, Campfire sing along, Morning nature hike Sunday morning non-denominational spiritual service will be available for those who wish to participate Camping begins Saturday afternoon at 1 PM and ends Sunday at noon.Register online at or by calling 706-396-1426.Cost: $39 per Group ($29 per Group for Friends of Phinizy) All Ages. www. May 13 at 6:00 p.m., Mother’s Night Out, Belair Church 599 South Old Belair Rd., Grovetown. All moms in the community are invited to drop off your children for a night

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of free childcare. The kids will have a blast! Infants to 11 years old. Please register by Calling 706-854-5669 or by May 5th. Free. www. May 13 at 8:00 p.m., Charlie Wilson Mother’s Day Weekend Celebration, Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St., Augusta. Celebrate Mother’s Day Weekend with nine-time Grammy nominee & showman extraordinaire, Charlie Wilson. Cofounder of iconic funk trio the Gap Band, Wilson was a founding member of the pivotal R&B/funk trio Gap Band, which hit the charts running in the late ‘70s and ‘80s with a string of hits including Outstanding, You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Yearning For Your Love, Early in the Morning and All of My Love. Cost: $102, $92, $77 & $57. May 16 at 10:30 a.m., Third Tuesday Tales Story Time, Station Children’s Museum, 965 Hickman Road Augusta. Join us as the wonderful “Ms. Kathy” presents toddlers and preschoolers with a fun-filled story time! Movement, songs, and stories combine to keep little ones entertained while they are introduced to the world of reading! Free with admission ($10 per family for visitors, free for members) May 16 & 17 at 7:00 p.m., Auditions will be held at Jessye Norman School of the Arts, 739 Greene Street Augusta for The Augusta Jr. Players production of Curtains, a musical comedy whodunnit. Callbacks will be held Saturday, May 20th at 3:00pm. Please prepare one musical theatre style song (an accompanist will be provided). A cold reading will be done during auditions. **Please bring clothes to move in for dance audition. Performance dates for this show are August 4th, 5th and May 18 at 10:00 a.m., Caring Together, 119 Davis Rd, Ste 2B. Augusta, CPR, First Aid and Fire Safety Training. CPR and First Aid Training for the Community - Course includes adult, child and infant CPR and basic first aid. Designed to meet the needs of a diverse audience, training covers a range of topics for children through seniors. Great training for teachers, parents, foster parents, baby sitters and senior caregivers. Meets the requirements established by Bright from the Start, NAEYC, DHR, and DSS. Cost is $25. www. or call/text 770.945.6837 for more information. May 19 at 5:00 p.m. & 20 at 10:00 a.m., Springboard by Westobou, Augusta Common, 836 Reynolds St., Augusta. The event will feature our Starlight Cinema Features, curated evenings of music, live art, cornhole tournaments, a pop-up skate park, yoga, a children’s tent with activities and more. Family-friendly experiences with attractions like cotton candy that glows, popcorn, life-size games, music, beer and food trucks! Don’t forget your blankets and chairs (and dancing shoes). Free, All Ages. www. May 19 at 5:30 p.m., Gathering of the People PowWow, Augusta Jewish Community Center, 898 Weinberger Way, Evans. Gathering of the People is a southern protocol Native American powwow. There will be Native American singing, dancing, crafts and food. Event begins with a camp feed Friday at 5:30 and Intertribal Dancing to begin at 7:00pm. After the Friday evening dancing there will be an auction to begin at 11:30 pm. Saturday events begin at 10:00 am with a craft competition, 1:00 pm Gourd

Dancing, 3:30 pm Intertribal Dancing, 5:30 pm Camp Feed and 7:00 pm Grand Entry. This is a family oriented event. No Drugs or Alcohol is allowed. Food and craft vendors are welcome. Please see the website or facebook page for contact information. Free, All Ages. May 20, 4H Family Yoga in the Park, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Rd., Augusta. Join in for a low pressure, fun, and relaxing yoga class for all experience levels. The class will meet at the Visitor Center.Our Certified Instructors will be teaching the class which will include stretching, concentration exercises, and yoga poses related to the HEAD, HEART, HEALTH, and HANDS. Be sure to dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat or towel. No Registration is required, and the class is free! So what are you waiting for? For more info call (706) 821-2349, All Ages, www. May 20 at 9:30 a.m., Spring Fling in Grovetown, Liberty Park, 1040 Newmantown Rd., Grovetown.Craft Event, Concession, Car show, Inflatables, games face painting and much more. Cost: Free. All Ages May 20 at 10:00 a.m., Swamp Treks, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Rd. Augusta. Swamp Treks will bring nature to life for 3rd – 8th grade children. Focused on making the outdoors exciting, Swamp Treks makes it fun to gain respect for the environment and to enjoy wildlife. Split into two age groups, 3rd – 5th, and 6th – 8th, children will explore a new topic each month. Each morning starts with a hike that leads into a hands-on nature based activity. Come learn about animals, camping and survival skills, nature printing, bees, and more! Register online at www. or by calling 706-396-1426. Spaces are limited. Cost: $10, $8 Friends of Phinizy. May 20 at 11:00 a.m., Family Lego Day (Free Play) 11:00 a.m., Diamond Lakes Branch Library, 101 Diamond Lakes Way, Hephzibah. Come one come all. We are calling all ages to participate in our monthly Family Lego Day, the theme this month is animals. Use your creativity to make anything out of Legos. Required registration begins Monday, March 6. Pre-register at 706-772-2432. or www. May 26 & 27, Memorial Day Weekend, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd. 8th Annual Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Music Festival. The 2017 lineup includes:headlining acts The Avett Brothers - Greensky Bluegrass, The Defibulators, Banditos, Natchez Tracers, Villain Family, Hog Slop String Band, Harvest Thieves, Kyshona Armstrong, Sailing to Denver, The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Cicada Rhythm West King String Band, Niles Foley, Laney Jones Porter Oaks, The High Divers, Royal Johnson, The Mason Jars, The Ramblin’ Fevers, and Delta Cane Features a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned barbecue competition. There will be plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy including a petting zoo, pig races, face painting and much more! All proceeds benefit the Joseph R. Pond Memorial Foundation, which benefits the CSRA Foundation. All Ages. www. May 30-June 30 at 9:00 a.m. Join The League of American Orchestras for the 36th annual 2017 Collage: Creative

calendar Arts Camp, “Symphony Camp.” May 30-June 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Church of the Good Shepherd at 2230 Walton Way, Augusta & June 19-23 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Vineyard Church of Augusta, 3126 Parrish Rd. & June 26-30 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Vineyard Church of Augusta, 3126 Parrish Rd. For children entering K to 5th grade. Sponsored by the Friends of the Symphony to benefit Symphony Orchestra Augusta. Brass, Woodwind, String & Percussion Instruments, Drama, Art, Weaving, Chrous, Movement, Puppetry, Storytelling & Creative Writing. Make & Take Instruments. No prior experience necessary. Hands on activities in all classes. Six different classes each week. For additional information, please contact Sue Alexanderson at 706-738-7527 or or contact SOA at 706-826-4705. June 1 to 30 at 6:30 a.m., Summer Enrichment Program, Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church, 703 Furys Ferry Rd., Augusta. For ages 4-14 or grades pre-K to eighth. Arts and crafts, music, drama, science, fun, games, field trips; breakfast, lunch and snacks provided; register your child early; (706) 855-9886, (706) 860-7091. June 1 at 6:30 p.m., Umphrey’s McGee and The Marcus King Band, Augusta Common, 845 Broad St., Augusta. Perennial favorites and Major Rager Alumni, Umphrey’s McGee are making a stop on their summer tour at Augusta Common with rising star The Marcus King Band as support. Cost: $35, $80 VIP. June 1 to 29, MACH Academy. Diamond Lakes Tennis Center, 102 Diamond Lakes Way, Hephzibah, Georgia Want to learn the game of tennis, then come play with us!! This program is Wednesday and Thursday 5pm-7pm and Saturday 11am - 1pm at Diamond Lakes Tennis Center. The program is suitable for ages 6-18. The cost is only $100 per month. Come prepared to have lots of fun, make new friends, and enjoy tennis instruction, games, and fitness activities. This program is funded in part through the USTA Southern Play it Forward Grant and MACH Academy, Inc. June 2 to 3 at 10:00 a.m., Columbia County Friends of the Library Book Sale, Columbia County Library, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.Evans, Books will be on display in the foyer of the library. There will be both fiction and nonfiction books for sale. All Ages. June 2 at 6:00 ap.m., Kids Night Out, Parents Night In! Kroc Center, Parents - enjoy a Friday night alone while the kids have fun at the Kroc Center of Augusta! Repeats every First Friday of the month! June 2, Kroc Center, Kroctaekwondo, Learn Olympic Style Taekwondo at the Kroc Center of Augusta! The class is designed to challenge a wide range of ages. Whether you have a youngster who is wanting to pick up a new sport or you are a 99 year old looking for a new hobby this class is perfect! You will learn a variety of techniques including blocks, strikes, evasions, and throws. Uniform is not included in the cost of the class. We offer one free class for anyone to come and see if they enjoy learning the sport. Hi-YAH! Age: All ages welcome. Cost: $75 monthly | Family Rates Available. June 3 at 8:00 a.m., 5k Run/Walk for the Hills, Saving Land One Footstep At A Time. Greystone Preserve 1340 W Martintown Rd., North Augusta. Come challenge

yourself with a 5k off-road run or walk on the Land Trust’s 262 acre nature preserve. All proceeds benefit land and wildlife habitat in the CSRA. Cost:$35. All Ages. www.csrlt. org. June 3 at 9:30 a.m.,Walk Your Pet Hike, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Rd. Augusta, Enjoy a guided, leisurely hike through approximately 2.5 miles of nature park trails with your 4 legged best friend. Please wear comfortable closed toe shoes & bring water to drink. Strollers are welcome. Dogs must be leashed. Register online at www.phinizycenter.orgor by calling 706-396-1426. June 3, 10, 17,& 24 at 10:00 a.m., Historic Aiken Trolley Tours Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum. The Historic Aiken Trolley Tour will be offering extra tours, with the regular Saturday 10 a.m. tours, plus an extra 2 p.m. tour on Saturday April 1st and April 8th, as well as two extra tours during the week on April 5th at 10 a.m. and April 7th at 2 p.m.Aiken’s Historic Tour takes riders on a two-hour trolley ride through Aiken, where they will see and hear about Aiken’s history. The tours are a way for people to get a better understanding of Aiken’s exciting history. The tour takes the riders through different sites where they will learn about equestrian locations, the Civil War’s Battle of Aiken, Hopelands Gardens, the Live Oak Canopy on South Boundary, the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, The Hope Diamond, Fred Astaire, and more.Advance tickets are sold through the Aiken Visitor Center and Train Museum at 406 Park Ave. To buy a ticket, please call 803-644-1907, reservations are strongly recommended. All Ages. June 5 at 9:30 a.m., Augusta Players’ Summer Camp Session 1, Crossbridge Baptist Church, 3130 Skinner Mill Rd. Join the fun at the Augusta Players Summer Musical Theatre Camp! Each camp is a two week program for children ages 6 to 18. Two sessions are available: Session 1, Monday June 5--Friday, June 16 and Session 2, Monday July 10-- Friday July 21. Session One is to be held at Crossbridge Baptist Church and Session Two will be held at Church of the Good Shepherd. There will be a showcase of learned skills at the end of each session. A camp t-shirt is included in the fee. Cost: $275-$325, June 10 at 9:30 a.m., Swamp Bike Saturday.Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Enjoy a guided, gentle bike ride through approximately seven miles of wetlands trails. Children & adults will enjoy viewing the variety of wildlife and learning about the diverse plant life & importance of urban wetland ecology. Please bring your own bike, wear comfortable closed-toed shoes & bring water to drink. Helmets are required. We leave from the Swamp Shop & Visitor’s Center at 9:30 AM. Register online at events or by calling 706-396-1426.

traumatic brain injuries or cerebral palsy. Offered at no charge to the families of the children accepted into the program, will have limited enrollment .Each day campers will explore both art and music programs led by instructor Carter Boucher inspiring camp experiContact Cathy Rumble at (803) 641-9094 or June 13 at 8:00 p.m., Tedeschi Trucks Band in Concert, Bell Auditorium. Tedeschi Trucks Band, a 12-piece tourde-force, has quickly become the vanguard of modern roots music. Tickets available online at www.georgialinatix. com, by phone at 877-428-4849 and at the James Brown Arena Box Office. Driven by Trucks, #16 of the top 100 Guitarists of All Time (Rolling Stone), and Tedeschi, blessed with a voice that passionately delivers a range of powerful R&B belters to gentle ballads, the group enlists dual drummers, two vocalists, a three-piece horn section, bass, and a multi-instrumentalist keyboard player for what is a greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts collective. June 15 at 8:00 p.m., Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers. Friends with Benefits presents Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers at the Columbia County Amphitheater in Evans Thursday, June 15. Tickets on sale now for $35 in advance, $45 day of show and $100 advance VIP seats. VIP tickets include preferred stage view, seated section, adult beverages and food catered by Southbound Smokehouse. Find tickets on sale now online at June 17 at 9:00 a.m., 4H Family Yoga in the Park, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. 4H is offering a program at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park for youth and their parents: 4-H Family Yoga! Join in for a low pressure, fun, and relaxing yoga class for all experience levels. Certified Instructors will be teaching the class which will include stretching, concentration exercises, and yoga poses related to the HEAD, HEART, HEALTH, and HANDS. Be sure to dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat or towel.No Registration is required, and the class is free! So what are you waiting for? For more info call (706) 821-2349. June 17 at 10:00 a.m., Swamp Treks. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Swamp Treks will bring nature to life for 3rd – 8th grade children. Focused on making the outdoors exciting, Swamp Treks makes it fun to gain respect for the environment and to enjoy wildlife. Split into two age groups, 3rd – 5th, and 6th – 8th, children will explore a new topic each month. Each morning starts with a hike that leads into a hands-on nature based activity. Regular participation is not required, but is welcome! Come learn about animals, camping and survival skills, nature printing, bees, and more!

June 10 at 10:00 a.m., SPCA Dog Wash, SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. Location:199 Willow Run Rd. Aiken. Bring your dirty dog(s) out to the SPCA to get cleaned up for a good cause!Volunteers will happily lather, rinse and towel dry until your pup is squeaky clean and smelling fresh.Ear cleaning and nail trims also available.

June 17 at 7:30 p.m., Candlelight Wine&Dine Concert Series, Columbia County Amphitheater, Evans, Candlelight Wine&Dine, a new addition to the Augusta River Region, is a celebration of music and community. Bring your own seating and picnic and enjoy jazz, soul, R&B, spoken word, rock, funk, and gospel music; and live art demos. Children ages 12 & under admitted free.Info: www.gardencityjazz. com (762) 233-5299.

June 12-16 at 10:00 a.m., T.B.I. and Cerebral Palsy Arts Camp, Aiken Center for the Arts, Laurens St. The Aiken Center for the Arts will offer a new camp this summer, I Spy Art and Music, for area children ages 5-13 years with

June 19 at 9:00 a.m., Eco-Adventures Summer Day: Hickory Hill, 502 Hickory Hill Dr, Thomson, Historic Home of Thomas E. Watson. This awesome day camp is for kids 4th grade and up. They will explore raised bed garden-

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ing (veggies included), the animals of Georgia, upcycling, and so much more. Lots of time is spent outside, but we also spend plenty of time playing games and making art projects. Cost: $60. June 21 at 4:30 p.m., Creative Arts at the Kroc Center. A time for young people to worship, develop and use their gifts and talents through the art of dance, drama and music.Age: 13+. Repeats Most Wednesdays. June 21 at 5:30 p.m.,Kroc Kids helps children to develop character and an understanding of God. Each night consists of snacks, games, singing, arts, crafts and other fun activities. Age: 3-12 years. Cost: FREE. Every Wednesday. June 23 at 8:00 p.m., Fourth Friday Dance, The Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Dr. Evans. Join the teachers and staff of The Ballroom Dance Center on the Fourth Friday of most months for general dancing, fellowship and a great selection of Ballroom, Rhythm, West Coast Swing and Contemporary dance music.With each of our teachers in attendance, our students will have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a social dance with the instructional staff, as well as other dancers in attendance. As always, the general public is welcome to attend! Cost: $10 a person, Age Suitability: 18 and up, June 23 at 9:00 p.m., Full Moon Hike, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. From the serenade of tree frogs to the soothing calls of Barred Owls, the sounds of the Swamp come alive at night! Join us as we celebrate a walk in the light of a full moon by taking you on a guided, leisurely hike through the Nature Park trails. Children & adults will enjoy the beauty of the evening. Please wear comfortable closed toe shoes & bring water to drink. Strollers are welcome. No dogs, please. Register online at www. or by calling 706396-1426.Cost: $10, $5 for Friends of Phinizy. All Ages June 24, Saturday Morning Swing: Music at The Augusta Market. A partnership with The Augusta Market since 2010, Saturday Morning Swing brings local jazz musicians and performing arts groups to the Riverwalk for early afternoon shows each weekend. The Market features local produce, artisans, music, all in a family- (and pet-) friendly space.Info: (706) 627-0128 June 24 at 8:00 a.m., Greatest American Superhero Run Calling all Superheroes! We need you for the Greatest American Superhero Run starting at the Courtyard Pavilion. Come dressed as your favorite Superhero and enjoy a fun filled family day.Find all the details and register on www. All Ages. Location: The Courtyard Pavilion, Brainard Ave. Augusta. June 24 at 10:00 a.m., Augusta Museum of History 560 Reynolds St. Augusta, WWI History Detective Primary Source Program and Tour, Augusta Museum of History, WWI History Detective -will be conducted by the Museum’s education manager, Amy Schaffman.This program will introduce children and adults to the Museum of History’s vast collections concerning World War I and this will include using reproductions and providing tours led by Mr. Tom Sutherland of the Museum’s permanent exhibition galleries focusing on Augusta’s military ties. Mr.

Sutherland is a retired Lt Colonel, served in Special Forces, 82d Airborne, Big Red One, Signal Brigade and had two tours in Vietnam.The Augusta Museum of History will also be creating and implementing an online exhibition of World War I memorabilia that will highlight the impact this war had on the River Region. It will include images of Camp Hancock, and individuals that served. The online exhibition is curated Lauren Boasso. Cost: free, All Ages June 24 at 7:30 p.m., Soiree: Jazz+Wine, Jessye Norman School of the Arts, Augusta. Enjoy classic and contemporary jazz music, wines selected by the host, and a platform for up & coming musical voices. All presented with stateof-the-art sound and lighting in a beautiful, historic building. Live Jazz. Lovely People. Dress like you mean it.Info: (762) 233-5299. June 24, at 8:30 p.m., Race for the Fallen Glow Run Grovetown, Liberty Park Community Center. The Race for the Fallen Glow Run is a family-fun night race that welcomes participants of all ages andspeeds. Race proceeds will benefit the Police Benevolent Foundation.Come run under our new LED glowing inflatable arch and between the inflatable columns! Each registration includes a neon race shirt, 21 pieces of glow gear, an LED glowing finishermedal and more. We encourage everyone to come out and take part in what is sure to be a great time for a wonderful cause. Bring the kids, bring the pets (on a leash, please!), and bring all yourfriends!S everal vendors will be on hand, including food, crafts and fun activities for the kids. Bring the whole family out and create GLOWing memories! Bring some pocket money with you enjoy everything the vendors have to offer!The Police Benevolent Foundation helps the law enforcement officers and their families restore normalcy after a tragedy. The Race for the Fallen was created to honor the brave men and women who risk their lives every day to protect our families, and it is a tribute to the officerswho gave their lives to protect our community.For more information and to register, visit Race for the Fallen Glow Run is managed by the Police Benevolent Foundation( www. June 26-29 at 8:30 a.m., CREATEng Summer Camp, North Augusta High School. 2000 Knobcone Ave North Augusta, CREATEng is GSSM’s one-of-a-kind engineering and design thinking day camp for rising 8th and 9th graders. Working through project-based, hands-on team challenges, students learn what engineering is and what engineers do. With a focus on manufacturing and biomedical engineering, student teams will be challenged to design blades and gears for a wind turbine, solder and build optical heart-rate monitors, and print 3-D prototypes of manufacturing or medical solutions for testing.CREATEng students will interact with guest speakers and go on a field trip to a local company to see engineering in action.Learn more and apply online at Application Deadline: May 15, 2017 – Apply early – camps fill quickly! June 27 at 6:30 p.m., Food, Faith & Fitness, Kroc Center. Participate in a FREE fitness class at the Kroc Center! Be stronger in the Lord with a variety of low-impact exercise classes, info on healthy eating and fun fellowship with others.Most Tuesdays. All Ages. June 28 at 6:30 p.m., Kroc Book Club, Kroc Center Join a diverse group of people who love to read and converse about literature. The group comes together each month to discuss their feelings and interpretations of the current book. Reading selections come from award lists, such as the National Book Award, the Pulitzer, or the Critics Circle Award. Call for current book selection. 4th Wednesday of Each Month. How to register: Drop In. Age restriction: 25+. Contact Kaila Judson @ 706.922.8338 or email at for more information.Cost: Free www. June 28 at 10:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. Paw Patrol Live, Bell Auditoriuml, 712 Telfair St. Augusta. PAW PATROL IS ON A ROLL WITH THE FIRST-EVER LIVE TOUR! It’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, but Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found. PAW Patrol to the rescue! Ryder summons Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma and Everest to rescue Mayor Goodway and to run the race in her place.Be a VIP – Very Important Pup! The VIP package includes a premium seat, special gift and exclusive access to a Meet & Greet with Chase, Ryder and Skye after the show. Each adult & child (age 1 & up) in a group must have a VIP ticket. Pick up your VIP Packet at the VIP Check in table prior to the show. showtime: 10:00AM & 6:00PM. Cost: $92 VIP, $42, $32, $24, $17 All Ages. June 29 at 7:00 p.m., each Thursday, Bible Study & Prayer. We love God and we love people. We don’t point at each other, we just point people to Jesus. We want people to know Him and grow in Him, so if you have questions come check us out. Answers is a great place to belong. All Ages. June 29 at 7:00 p.m., North Augusta’s Music in the Park Series, Maude Edenfield Park. The free hour-long outdoor concerts will be held in North Augusta’s Maude Edenfield Park each Thursday through July 13 at 7 p.m. The park, located at 495 Brookside Ave., is adjacent to the North Augusta Community Center. Sponsors are the North Augusta Cultural Arts Council, the City of North Augusta and the University Health Care System. The series is for all ages, and we invite everyone to bring a chair or blanket and enjoy music in this beautiful outdoor setting. Concerts are moved inside the Community Center in the event of inclement weather. This week: Philip Lee Band with food purchases available from the Riverside Smoke food truck. For more information and links to preview performers, visit Cost: free. Age Suitability : All Ages Website: June 30 at 6:00 p.m., Kroc Center, Family Movie Night, Enjoy a Family Movie Night in the Kroc Center’s state-ofthe-art theater! This event is FREE and open to everyone! Seating is limited and spots are filled on a first come, first served basis.Children must be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments available for purchase.Event repeats every last Friday of each month, unless otherwise stated. www.

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Girl Go


b y Ren ee William s

Tara Najim TARA NAJIM, 32, is an Arabic tutor, writer and gardener. She and her husband, Amjad, an anesthesia resident at Augusta University Health, have two children, Laith, 3 and Maitham, 1 as well as a six pound Papillon named Neva. Tara loves gardening and used to think she had a black thumb until she discovered that she could compost her family’s food scraps and put them in the soil. Now her plants are happy and thriving. Tara set a goal this year (as a family of four) to only produce four kitchen sized bags of trash throughout the year, and so far she is on track.

If you could have any job, what would you choose? My biggest dream is to design incredibly beautiful permaculture gardens that will improve health and healing, especially around hospitals, recovery centers and nursing homes. What’s your favorite food? Whatever dish gets my kids to each fresh vegetables! Dream vacation? One where I hike through nature, get along perfectly with my husband, where my children sleep through the night and are angels throughout the day (You did say dream, right?). Is there an important life lesson you’ve learned? The beauty of life is that we learn so many lessons, but here’s my most recent: About two years ago, I was feeling so isolated and insignificant that I honestly thought that if I died, almost no one would notice. I started reading Michael Pollan’s, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (about the American food system) and suddenly I saw the big picture, in that not just spiritually or theoretically, but in a very tangible way we are all connected: from the microbial life in the soil to plant life to our own physical health to the Earth’s climate. In that one beautiful moment of revelation, my entire life shifted. I saw my place in this interconnected web and the impact I had on everything around me. It was a huge impetus in my journey to live “green” – which is just to say that I am learning to care deeply about all my relationships to the world.

46 • Augusta Family | May/June 2017

Best thing about being a mom and the hardest thing about being a mom? The best part about being a mom is being filled to the brim with love. What a lovely feeling! The hardest part of being a mom is learning to see my children’s tantrums not as torture, but as opportunities to practice love and patience. Whom do you admire the most? I feel a very special connection to my maternal grandmother. She never raised her voice (or so my mother claims) and never wasted anything. My grandparents had a small farm in Finland, where they grew or handmade just about everything they had and any remainder was re-purposed, burned as fuel in the cook stove or returned to the soil. Only a small box served as the household garbage and once while visiting, we brought an empty soda can from the airplane that filled the entire “trash can.” Two generations later and many years after her death, my grandmother still inspires me every day just by having lived the way she lived. Are you a planner, a dreamer or a doer? I dream, plan and then do. I get so excited by my ideas that on average I spend 10-15 years on each one. (Overlapping, of course. Because what woman doesn’t multi-task?) For example, I spent many years studying refugee issues while living in the Middle East and working with refugees in the U.S. Then, I met a young Iraqi doctor whose stories of working in a Baghdad hospital during the Iraq war were so incredible that I said, “These have to be written down.” So I wrote my debut book, The Brothers of Baghdad. And, of course, I married him.

Augusta Family Magazine May/June 2017  

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