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Issue ✲ “GARRETTG”-





24 Departments 6 9


Features 24 Garrett Gordon (GarrettG) Rocket League Teen Champion

28 7 Telltale Signs of Bulimia


Teen Spirit


ON THE COVER: From left to right: High School Seniors Grace McLeod, Erin McDowell, William Morris, James Garnett and Will Dorn.


Photo by Chris Thelen Farmhaus Burger, Downtown

Issue ✲



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


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

Snack-Nation —Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Doctor Dad Choose Wisely

—J. Ron Eaker, M.D.


Also, check out our contests and giveaways!

Mom to Mom

For Malcolm & Chris —Karen Gordon


—Christina Katz

—Meredith Flory

Editor’s Page

Smart Mom’s Guide

Noise Induced Hearing Loss —Cammie Jones


Raising Readers


Family Favorites


Inspiration Station Steve Simpson-

Teen Readers —Meridith Flory

—Naimah Shaw




Go Girl! Leslie Gibson —Renee Williams


Augusta Family | September 2017 • 5

Editor’s Notes


b y Renee Williams

PUBLISHER Ashlee Griggs Duren

EDITOR Renee Williams





Their Finest Hour


his month’s issue is all about raising teenagers. Some of us have lived to

tell the tale, some of us are forging ahead while others are barely hanging on. Both of my boys started out so sweet and loving and were so ridiculously ador-

Maidi McMurtrie Thompson

able. I remember thinking I was going

Mary Porter Vann

to be the perfect mom to these perfect


babies. Fast forward to the teenage years

Carter Koenig Photography John Harpring


and I found out I was so wrong. Everything I thought I knew about parenting became null and void once my kids

Kim Beavers, MS, RD, CDE

turned into teenagers. Suddenly, I realized I knew nothing and these teenagers of mine

J. Ron Eaker, M.D.

were quick to point out the fact that I knew nothing.

Meredith Flory Karen Gordon

And you know what? Some days, I think they may be right. I don’t know anything and

Cammie Jones

I have no idea what I’m doing. I should probably wave the white flag, surrender or call a

Mary Ashton Mills Paige Tucker Naimah Shaw Augusta Family Magazine is published 10 times per year and distributed throughout the Au-

truce before it’s too late. The ongoing battles, futile threats, yelling (always a “foolish and pernicious process”), the tears and power struggles leaves me feeling defeated until I look closer and see the struggle of the teen who is trapped between the whimsy of childhood and the yearning

gusta and Aiken area. Send press releases, story

for freedom and adulthood. So, I put up a heroic resistance against the heavy odds in

ideas or comments to the editor at renee.wil-

this battle against the teenager and remind myself I am fighting the good fight. or mail to 725 Broad Street, Augusta, Ga., 30901. For advertising information, telephone (706) 823-3702. For circulation/distribution, call (706) 823-3722.

Like the ultimate tough guy, Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep on going.” (Ok, even if Churchill didn’t say it, he should have) because sometimes during a battle, it is the finest hour. A time for untiring vigilance, a time for vigorous mind-searching for those answers that require the utmost ingenuity and imagination so that all will be well in the end.

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

6 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Renee Williams

Mom to Mom b y Ka ren G o rd o n

MalcoM & chris Last week, I posted a question to my Facebook…just because. It read, ”If you could sit at the feet of anyone you admire or look up to either dead or alive, what three questions would you ask them?” A handful of responses trickled in, but one floored me. It was from my 25 year old son Malcolm (the subject of the question would have been his father, who passed away three years ago). Malcolm commented, “Why didn’t you come to any of my graduations? What really happened? Why weren’t you there when I was born or whenever I really needed you?” I’m still processing it, so all I can share here is my response. Why even share that? Maybe it’ll help put things into perspective. I don’t know. I became a mom at 21 and though I feel I have a second chance to get a few things together with Clarence and Scoot, I still feel guilty that I couldn’t give my other boys the same kind of life. I won’t attempt to speak for Malcom’s father because he’s no longer here, but if you were asking me those questions then the short answer is this: Malcolm, I was selfish and immature. I was too proud to ask or demand help with you and Chris, but not above taking advantage of my mother and siblings. But once you were teens, he wanted you two to come and live with him. I wanted that too, but ultimately I refused. I didn’t know what I’d do without you. I had no identity other than being your mother…regardless as to how much of a struggle that was. But I also wanted him to suffer. I wanted him to pay for all of that anguish, anxiety, uncertainty that I’d felt for 12 to 13 years. Right! Selfish! The job-hopping, eviction notices, maxed out credit cards, overdrawn bank accounts and the need to construct our social and personal lives around church (because after all my work schedule was a convenient reason as to why I couldn’t let you play sports). But truthfully, we didn’t have health insurance until I got married. I simply couldn’t afford for you to get hurt. I couldn’t afford for ANY of us to get hurt. However, in a weird twist of fate, we were all damaged. There’s more…a lot more. On the surface, (in Facebooklandia & Instaville) it appears that we are having the time of our lives here, but we miss you and Chris. Not just because you’re not around, but also because I don’t know how to fix what’s broken. I accept responsibility for that. Let’s get together soon. I love you. Oh and by the way, call your Grandma. Heck, call me too! Miles before we sleep... -Mommy

Karen Gordon is a singer, songwriter and the founder of Garden City Jazz. She works with the City of Augusta to present the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series each year and has partnered with RCBOE to develop interactive courses such as Taking Notes: Jazz & The American Story and Jazz4Kids.

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 9

10 • Augusta Family | September 2017

news&notes September 2017


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– -Life Quotes

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 11

news&notes Are we there yet? ATHENS, GEORGIA By Mary Ashton Mills


estled at the base of the Georgia foothills, Athens is the epitome of a college town with a cool vibe. It is hard to experience Athens and not pay a visit to the campus of the University of Georgia so plan accordingly when you make your trip. With football in the air in the fall, it is an ideal time to make an overnight or day trip. Arrive on a Friday and stop at the Bear Hollow Zoo where you can see rescued animals that are a sampling of Georgia’s native wildlife. Next hit downtown Athens and watch out because someone let the dogs out. Larger than life bulldog statues are a public art display on the streets of downtown and add a fun element to any visit. Enjoy lunch and a stop at Rook and Pawn, a game café that feels like the coolest living room in town. Sample a craft beer, coffee or delicious food while you play a variety of unique board games. If beer is your thing, wet your whistle at one of Athens local breweries (Creature Comforts, Southern Brewing, Terrapin) some of which are child and pet friendly. Next, head over to campus for a guided tour at the visitors center. Tours are available Monday – Friday at 8:30 am, noon, and 3:30 pm. Make sure to pay a visit to the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall for a first hand look at historical athletic memorabilia, touch screen displays, Heisman trophies and more. While you are there you can sneak a peek at the adjacent newly built state of the art indoor football practice facility. It isn’t open to the public but you can get an impressive glimpse from the Butts-Mehre building. As evening falls, prepare to gather picnic fare and enjoy some leisure time at the intramural sports field where the University of Georgia Redcoat Band practices on

12 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Athens, GA Friday evenings. If you are lucky enough to score tickets to a home football game the next day, hit up the dawg walk before the game and bring your vocal chords because this place doesn’t lack in school spirit! It’s like a red carpet for the players, cheerleaders, band and Hairy Dawg (Glory Glory to Old Georgia). After your 24 hours in Athens, it’s safe to say you might be bleeding red and black! DISTANCE: 1 hour 54 minutes, 105 miles. BUDGET: Shoestring, easy day trip with so much to see WHAT TO SEE: Sanford Stadium, University of Georgia bookstore, Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, Dog walk, Rook and Pawn, Bear Hollow Zoo, band practice on the Intramural fields, local breweries. IF YOU GO: Fall is a popular time of year so make your plans well in advance if you plan to spend the night.


FAST FACTS Correctly using car seats can reduce the dangers for child passengers by as much as 71 percent, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. “The best way to protect your children in the car is to put them in the right seat at the right age and use it the right way,” said Renee´ McCabe, injury prevention and safety coordinator with Safe Kids Greater Augusta. “September is officially Child Passenger Safety Month, but every single day is the day to practice car seat safety with your children. There should be no shortcuts where our kids are concerned. Always follow the rules.” You can call Safe Kids Greater Augusta to schedule an appointment for a car seat check with a trained technician at 706-721-7606. You can also stop by and “ask the experts” with Safe Kids your questions about child seat safety as representatives will be onsite from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Babies ‘R’ Us at 4225 Washington Road, in Evans. 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 19. 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


LET’S COUNT TO 16, BOYS AND GIRLS! 1, 2, 3…16. That’s right – 16 is the number of Emmy awards Sesame Street’s Sonia Manzano earned for her role as Maria during her time on the beloved and educational PBS children’s television series. The award-winning actress and screenwriter will serve as the keynote speaker for Augusta University’s seventh annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. In her talk, she will share how perseverance and courage helped her to not only advance her career but overcome life’s obstacles. To register, visit or call 706-721-6890.

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 13

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

Chicken Quesadillas with Apple This is a yummy meal or a snack for just about any palate. Any apple will work, but tart apples (the green ones!) are my favorite in this recipe. Vegetable oil cooking spray 1 cup summer squash, diced ½ cup onion, chopped


4 whole wheat tortillas (8”) 1 cup low fat Cheddar cheese; divided, shredded 1 cup chicken breast, cooked and diced 1 medium apple; chopped, divided 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

WE ARE A SNACKING NATION. This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. If you are a soda or snack-food company, it is good. If you are a parent, it can present nutritional challenges. When you hear the word “snack,” what do you think of? Do you think of chips, cookies and sweet drinks or do you think of apples, almonds and avocados? If you think of snacks as more of the junk type foods - you are not alone. Junk foods and candy bars (think Snickers) are marked as snacks and even come in “snack-size” packages. As parents, it is our job to market healthier foods as snacks. The purpose of snacks is to hold us over from one meal to another which is particularly useful for children with smaller stomachs or for teens with busy schedules. Snacks should also provide much needed nutrients. The simplest way to verify that you are presenting a nutrient rich snack is to make sure it includes two to three of the five food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein).

carrots” or Taylor Farms® “healthy harvest.”

There are several multi-food prepackaged “snack packs” available in the grocery stores, making convenience and health easier than ever. However, it is still important to have a discerning eye as many of these “snack packs” and trays include high fat meat, cheese and chocolate. The best of the bunch are those that feature fruits and veggies. Typically they are the snack trays found in the produce section of the grocery store such as Fresh Selections® “ fruit tray with

Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes

14 • Augusta Family | September 2017

4 tablespoon reduced fat sour cream

Additional healthy prepackaged snack options include: • unsweetened applesauce • squeeze yogurts (look for the lowest sugar— Chobani® and Siggi’s® are good options) • trail mix (look for those without chocolate— you can add a bit of your own if needed) • Kind® bars (they have low sugar varieties now), • almond or other nut packs • individual reduced fat cheese • guacamole and salsa packs • edamame (found in the freezer section) • popcorn • hummus • good ole fruit and veggies are prefect for snacking as well • smaller portions of meals also make great snacks (less portable of course but good snacks just the same).

Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and sauté squash and onion over medium heat until tender (3-4 minutes). Once done, remove from pan and set aside. Re-coat the pan with cooking spray and add one tortilla (leave half of the tortilla up the side of the pan -- once you layer ingredients you will fold over the top half). Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on tortilla, then top with ¼ cup chicken, ¼ of the apple (about ¼ cup), ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ of the squash and onion mixture (about 1/3 cup). Fold the top of the tortilla over the filling and flip over to brown the other side. Once the second side of the tortilla is golden brown remove it from the pan and keep warm in the oven. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients. To serve: cut each tortilla in half and top with one tablespoon of sour cream. Yield: 4 servings

Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be

Nutrient Breakdown: Calories 280, Fat 9g

notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page

(5g sat. fat), Cholesterol 60 mg, Sodium

at To search

440mg, Carbohydrate 37g, Fiber 4g, Pro-

for specific recipes go to

tein 22g

ewwk. You can also watch the segments at www.

Dr. Dad

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

Choose Wisely

CHOOSE WISELY I love to classify things. It helps me understand the world when I can put things into categories that make sense. Unfortunately these categories may not make any sense to the rest of the world, so often I am a bit hesitant to share. For example, I find it helpful to classify time as pre-Lucy and post-Lucy. By this I don’t mean Lucy the 3.2 million year old Australopithecus hominid rumored to be our ancestor, I mean the red headed zany comedian Lucille Ball.

One useful classification tool is in characterizing diseases. Virtually every malady can be placed into one of two categories, either they are acute or chronic. Acute illnesses are things like colds and the flu, while chronic problems typically are represented by illnesses such as hypertension and arthritis. This designation is important on several levels, but the most important utility of this division relates to prevention. Acute illnesses, such as traumas, bird flu, and worms, are largely random events that don’t generally respond well to preventative techniques. If you get an acute illness you are more interested in treatment rather than prevention, because prevention of these types of problems is notoriously ineffective. Sure, you can wear a mask on a plane when you are traveling internationally to cut down on bird flu susceptibility, but is it really worth the stares and questions from your fellow passengers? And certainly you can cook your pork sausage thoroughly to rid it of any worms that have set up shop (there is an image that sausage makers don’t want you to share), but in general, preventing acute illnesses is about as fruitful as getting a politician to give you an honest answer. On the other hand, chronic illnesses are not only often preventable but possibly thwarted by relatively simple changes. Yes, there are those things that we can’t control such as genetic disorders (although with epigenetic research that is changing), chronic exposure to toxic substances, and Donald Trump’s tweets, but for the most part chronic illnesses are amenable to prevention at a much greater degree than acute diseases. The reason is the law of accumulation. This law states that most chronic illnesses are an accumulation of insults over time that eventually leads to disease symptoms. For example, when a person suffers an obstructive stroke there is not usually any precipitating event that creates the blockage (of course there are exceptions). The blockage is the result of years, probably decades, of inflammatory changes that gradually narrow the blood vessel lumen which, at some critical moment, limits the blood supply to an area of the brain. We perceive the loss of

16 • Augusta Family | September 2017

function as an acute event, but unfortunately Grandpa’s 30 years of smoking and 40 pounds of excess fat are the real culprits. It is this accumulation of little insults along the way that produces the bad outcome. That is why most chronic illnesses manifest as we age. The more insults over a longer time period, the more likely permanent damage. The good news is that for many of these chronic problems, the reverse is true. Smart decisions made early in life can have a massive effect in reducing long term risks. It is sort of like compounded interest in that if we begin early in our biological life filling our coffers with health dollars, they magnify exponentially once we are in the greying decades. Our ancestors died at early ages largely due to acute illnesses or trauma. When Og ventured out of the cave to snag a brontosaurus burger for dinner, his chance of becoming something else’s dinner was fairly substantial. The Black Death, Yersinia Pestis for you Latin aficionados, is estimated to have killed 55% of the European population in the 14th century. Today most deaths are due to chronic illnesses and not some hungry dinosaur or bacteria laden rat bite. While we have effectively eliminated The Plague with good hygiene and rat poison, the new plagues are lifestyle illnesses like hypertension and diabetes that actually kill as many people, just more slowly. The solution is alarmingly simple, but devastatingly difficult to implement. Folks have to make better lifestyle choices, and begin them early in life. This was one of the premises in my book Healthy Habits For a Fit Family (shameless plug) in that the greatest health impact on culture and future generations begins within the family. The choices we make now for ourselves and our children will affect the incidence of chronic illness worldwide for generations to come. Choose wisely! Dr. Eaker is an Augusta Ob/GYN and author. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters in college.

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

guIde To

Decreasing noise

Induced-HearIng Loss In Your Teenager

Do you remember going to a concert

28 million Americans have lost some or all of

as a teen, and after leaving the show how your

their hearing. This statistic includes 17 in 1,000

ears would be ringing and you couldn’t hear

children under age 18 who have experienced

Loud sound levels can permanently damage

normal voices? This hearing loss was only

hearing loss.

the tiny nerve endings (hair cells) in the inner

and the main reason is the use of ear buds.

ear. One of the warning signs of noise damage

temporary as by the next day, your hearing was I contacted Amanda Battey, AuD at Augusta

to the nerve endings is a ringing in the ears,

ing would have any lingering effects later in life

Hearing and Balance, and she had some infor-

called tinnitus, especially after hearing a loud

(When I got “old” — which I was never going to

mation to share about this topic as well as a few

noise or loud music. Usually, you can recover

do, by the way). Now that I have teenagers, I do

tips to help prevent hearing loss. “Most people

from this type of hearing loss but if the ear is

worry about their ability to hear with the con-

think that hearing loss is just something that

exposed over longer periods of time, the hair

stant use of electronic devices and ear buds.

happens in old age. This just isn’t true. Hearing

cells can be further damaged causing perma-

loss is becoming more common in teenagers,”

nent hearing issues. “Using ear buds properly

The National Institute on Deafness and Other

says Battey. She says she has seen many teen-

and in moderation can help prevent hearing

Communication Disorders reports that around

agers in her office recently with hearing loss,

loss,” Battey adds.

restored. I always wondered if this loss of hear-

18 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Smart Mom’s Guide

Here are a few tips to aid in reducing the possibility of hearing loss: 1. The 60/60 Rule. Prevention is the key to stopping hearing loss in teens. “One way to prevent hearing loss while wearing ear buds is to use the 60/60 rule: Listen to music or play video games at 60 percent of the maximum volume for only 60 minutes at a time,” Battey advises. If the maximum safe volume is at 85 decibals, then 60 percent of this would be a 51 decibal level. Set a timer when your child begins listening and when the hour is up, it’s time to take a break from the earbuds. Of course, it will be harder to implement in teenagers but explaining the reasons for these rules early on will hopefully allow them to understand and adhere to the rules set foth. 2. limiT The Volume. Battey says that anything louder than an 85 decibal level is considered too loud and can cause hearing loss. The maxi-

Loud Activities thAt cAn cAuse heAring Loss (dB = deciBAL): Concerts (110dB-125dB) Stock car races (96dB-104dB) Shotgun (160dB) Fire cracker (150dB) Motor cycles (95dB) Lawnmowers (90dB)

mum output level on ear buds is about 100 decibals. Volume limits can be set on your child’s electronic devices usually under the “Settings” app. There are also parental restrictions you can set to limit the maximum volume on your child’s device that he cannot change on his own. Again, explaining to your

Loudness of everydAy sounds (dB = deciBAL): Whispering (30dB) Normal Conversations (60dB) Cars to a close observer (60-80dB)

teenager the reason behind these rules will help. 3. eaR Plugs. Wearing hearing protection such as foam ear plugs can also help prevent hearing loss. You can purchase these at your

local drug store or superstore. If you are worried about your teen not being comfortable in them, Battey has a solution for that. “Custom or personalized ear plugs can be made by an audiologist to fit in your ear perfectly,” says Battey. It will be interesting to see how the use of earbuds and electronic devices affects the overall hearing in the future for our children. Using the information we do know today and with a few preventative actions, we can help ensure that our kids will be enjoying their favorite tunes for a long time. Cammie Jones is an Augusta freelance writer and mother of three. Augusta Family | September 2017 • 19

Raising Readers by Mere d i th Fl o r y

Raising Teen Readers In 2016, the Pew Research Center revealed that 26% of Ameri-

help encourage them to continue reading for fun by facilitating

can adults admitted to not reading any part of a book in the last

constructive “brain breaks” over weekends, holidays, or even on

year, and this included audio and electronic book formats. While

a weeknight they seem particularly stressed. Several educators I

this doesn’t necessarily take into account those that read fre-

have spoken with have suggested board games as a way for families

quently in other forms, such as magazines or news articles, it does

to bond and relax, while still encouraging word play and critical

include readers that may not have finished a complete book or do

thinking. If your child has a younger sibling, allowing them to par-

not read frequently. If I want to encourage you to “raise readers,”

ticipate in reading bedtime stories to the younger child, or having

this means raising adults that still use reading as a way to learn,

the whole family read a book that is easy enough for everyone, can

empathize, better themselves, and to simply relax and escape, not

encourage both children to have confidence in their skills.

just raising children who enjoy reading. So, what do you do if your high schooler is behind on reading,

Reading for school can become more and more frustrating for a struggling reader that continues to fall behind. Instead of ask-

or is an efficient reader, but doesn’t enjoy it anymore? What are

ing these teens to read for long amounts of time, help your teen

some of the unique challenges to raising a teenage reader? To

manage their study time and take breaks so they don’t become

answer this question, I looked through my interview and research

overwhelmed. Karen Cliett, an educator in Richmond County, ad-

notes of the past year– what had parents, educators, and research-

vises having struggling readers tackle “fewer sentences at a time,”

ers shared with me that was specific to encouraging teens in read-

rather than being expected to work on large pieces of reading.

ing and writing?

Helping your teenager break down one paragraph of a difficult reading assignment can help build their confidence as they work

Modeling Reading foR PleasuRe

to understand just one piece of the information. She also suggested the website – a website that has infor-

Teens beginning to take AP or honors classes will be asked to

mational texts that allow you to change the lexile score while the

read more difficult literature that may not be appealing to them.

content and accompanying picture stays the same. Teens read

There may be a historical or cultural barrier to understanding the

at a level that is comfortable to them, then read the same news

text, they may have to read more in shorter amounts of time, and

article at a more challenging score context – this can help them

they may be asked to analyze texts in ways that requires more

practice using context clues to determine the meaning of a word,

difficult thinking. This may cause some teens to associate reading

and work on understanding longer, more complex sentences.

only with work, and not something that is pleasurable. You can is another site that will take pieces of text

20 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Raising Readers and reword them into an easier to understand language.

Building VocaBulary in creatiVe Ways Many teens are preparing to take college entrance exams, such as the SAT or ACT, and Trina Finlay, an educator in Columbia County, says apps are particularly helpful for building vocabulary. Finlay recommends the College Board app, Kahn Academy, and Ready4SAT. Word game apps or websites can also be a fun way to continually work on increasing a teen’s use of more descriptive and difficult words. Cliett acknowledges that understanding root words can help build vocabulary at a faster rate, as students can use this as a tool to determine the possible meaning of an unfamiliar word. Older students do not have the luxury of time to build their vocabulary one word at a time like younger children do so instead of learning lists of words as younger children do, teens who are still struggling to build their vocabulary need help understanding prefixes, suffixes, and how words are put together. Understanding the root of a word, will allow teens to learn how to determine the word meaning as they go. Feeling comfortable with looking up definitions or synonyms can help too, so allow your teen to see you looking up a word on an app, or talking about other words you could use that sound better can also show that part of lifelong learning is not feeling shame in asking about what you do not know.

encouraging emerging talent and skills Older teens are beginning to think about what their adult plans will be. Reading can be a great way for a teen to explore their options, and you can model how reading or writing is important in your own chosen field. If you have to bring work home, think about how you might be able to share some of that work with your teen. Can you show them a newsletter or email you are writing? How important are communication skills in talking to your clients? Perhaps you have a friend that works in a field your teen is interested in – would they suggest reading material or let your teen visit their office to see the skills required? As a teacher, I would often show my high school and college students professional letters, my resume, or other material I had to write on the job in order to demonstrate how the skills they were learning in my class might apply to a job they want. And in doing so, it also helped build connections with my students. You can also subscribe to age appropriate magazines on a hobby, possible career field, or any other topic of interest to help introduce your teen to reading and new vocabulary. As an educator, Finaly suggests checking in with a media specialist or English teacher at your child’s school to see what extracurricular activities related to reading are available. Finaly often hosts reading bowls, book clubs, and poetry events to encourage writing and reading. While the students that participate are often those that already enjoy reading, it is important to encourage your child if they are a strong reader and help them find social outlets for their interests. 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.

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 21


Look for our

Needs Directory 2017Special Physicians’ Directory Coming in October!

Available Free for iPhone® and AndroidTM. August 2015 BACK-TO-SCHOOL FASHION




August 2013

m a g a z i n e



Download the Physicians’ Directory app for free and have contact information at m a Family your fingertips for Augusta and Aiken area physicians and dentists. Database is Anniversary! searchable by both specialty and by name. Brought to you by Augusta Magazine. HANDLING STUDENT-TEACHER CONFLICT SAYING NO TO VOLUNTEERING


August 2012

Fall Fashion for Kids and Teens Dealing with “Frenemies” Better Budgeting Handling Backtalk and Cursing

Back to the Dakota Neal, 6, is the daughter of Derek and April Neal of Augusta.






m a g a z i n e




g a z i n e August 2011






2013 GoldHOMESCHOOL HOW-TO Award Winner Editorial and Design Awards Competition


m a g a z i n e


back to


Bella French, 9, is the daughter of Aimee French of Martinez.

Charlsie Linder, 4, is the daughter of Wes and Denise Linder of Augusta. She was photographed in the Children’s Room at the new Salvation Army of Augusta Kroc Center in downtown Augusta.


Olivia Coleman, 15, is daughter of the late Henry Coleman and Brad and Julianne Hartman of Evans.

To advertise call 706.823.3702 22 • Augusta Family | September 2017



Augusta Family | September 2017 • 23

By Meredith Flory

If you find Chris and Ryan Gordon in their home in Evans, Georgia, in front of a television cheering on their son’s competition loudly, wearing team jerseys and posting updates on social media, you might assume that their son is a star athlete in a sport like soccer, basketball, track, or football. But would you have guessed all this cheering is to support a video game competition? While tournaments have existed throughout the history of video gaming, E-sports have recently developed a much larger following.

24 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Garrett Gordon, only 16, is a rising star and since competing in his first event a little over a year ago he’s travelled internationally, competed in multiple competitions with his team while being covered by ESPN, and developed an extensive following on Twitter and Twitch. Garrett, under the handle “GarretG,” plays Rocket League where players compete in a soccer-like competition, on a team comprised of vehicles with rocket boosters that can do aerial

stunts, adding another layer of strategy. The game has won multiple awards and players can play alone or online, on the computer or various gaming consoles. This past year the X-Games chose Rocket League as one of its E-sport competitions in Minneapolis. Just like athletes in other sports, players competed in person on teams for cheering fans with opportunities for prize winnings and sponsorships. When Garrett decided to join an open tournament with his

former team, he never imagined it would lead to a professional career on a more prestigious team. After doing well in online competitions, he had his first opportunity to compete in an inperson competition in Hollywood but as a minor, he needed to seek permission from his parents. His mother, Ryan Gordon, shared that because of their good relationship he had communicated with her about competing, but nevertheless, it was a surprise when the company called and she learned just how big of a deal it would be. In addition to travel there would be significant monetary prizes

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 25

and sponsorship opportunities for players. Now sponsored, Garrett has traveled to competitions around the United States and to Amsterdam as a player for NRG E-sports, and has content viewable on Twitch, a video platform for gaming. His competitions come with a time commitment and income that truly make this a serious professional pursuit, and impressive for someone so young. Ryan says that “a lot of parents don’t realize how huge” the world of gaming is becoming, and because there is often parental concern about screen time, parents do not always realize the opportunities an interest in video games can lead to – competing, game development and design, or a myriad of other professional game related fields. Gordon explains that in addition to the travel opportunities she has had while supporting her son, it’s been wonderful to meet and create a community

26 • Augusta Family | September 2017

with other parents who have teenagers competing that also “had the same questions.” While success like Garrett’s is rare, she encourages other parents whose teens are interested in gaming to talk with them about it and work to understand why it’s their passion, rather than trying to push their interest elsewhere. She advises, “for some kids, this is their thing” and like any other hobby, “it’s about balance.” She shares that she had to learn to understand how serious a pursuit this could be and to not worry so much about screen time as Garrett’s requirements for practice increased. Both mother and son stressed how important communication in their family has been as Garrett thas taken on the responsibility of competing on a professional team, and shared that one of the decisions they made was to allow Garrett to finish high school in an online program so that he could continue to do well in academics, but with a more flexible schedule.

Garrett says that with signing sponsorship contracts, earning prize money, and navigating the time commitment of practice and competitions, he’s learned to treat it “like it’s a business.” He and his mom agree that he’s learned many skills that translate to other areas. He shares that just playing the game requires “strategy and critical thinking” but he’s also learned how the importance of developing business relationships and how “everything is about connections” as he navigates contract negotiations, working with a team and marketing himself. While their experience has been a successful and positive one, it’s not without challenges. What started out as a hobby and something fun to do is now something that takes up the bulk of his time and can be stressful because he’s competing at a professional level of game play. He shared that unlike some sports that require access to certain equipment to practice, or are stopped by time of day or weather, he knows that his competitors can practice whenever they like, and there’s a constant need to practice and learn new strategies. Ryan says that it is “surreal” to watch the number of followers and fans that Garrett has developed online, and recalled the first time she saw someone ask Garrett for his autograph at a competition

as an example. However, because of the growing audience of E-sports, they also have to deal with people critical of his game play. Garrett shared that dealing with online bullying has been difficult because even as a teenager, he had to learn “you can’t respond because you are representing the company” when you have a sponsorship, adding maturity and restraint to the lessons he’s learning through this pursuit. Like other sports, however, there’s a fun, energizing atmosphere at competitions and the Gordons are proud parents. Ryan laughs that she’s “like any other soccer mom” and that the family cheers him on like it’s “no different from being on the sideline of a soccer game.” The family even has team jerseys to wear to show their support. Garret shares that he has the “greatest memories” of learning to play video games with his dad when he was younger, and now his dad has cheered him on competitively on television and in person. Their family’s experiences demonstrate how for new generations of parents, there are more activities that can fill the role of a game of catch in the backyard with dad – supporting your child’s passion may simply lead to an activity you can do together, or may even inspire them to a career.

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 27



Jennifer noticed a recent change in her daughter Kylie once she turned 13. Kylie was once a rambunctious child who loved rough and tumble games with her two big brothers, and who was seldom afraid to speak her mind. But lately, Kylie had become more withdrawn and touchy. Jenifer noticed that she was less and less interested in interacting with her brothers and she did not bounce back from their little sister taunts and teases as easily as she once had.

28 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Kylie was reading a lot of articles online about dieting and fasting and Jennifer had even found a package insert for over-thecounter diet pills in Kylie’s bedroom trashcan. Kylie was also spending less time with her childhood friends and more time staying home watching sitcom reruns on TV. Jennifer was concerned, but she felt that Kylie was pushing her away. Should Jennifer follow conventional wisdom that advises parents to give teens space and respect their desire for more independence or should Jennifer pay closer attention to Kylie’s day-to-day behaviors, especially related to eating and dieting? If you know the facts about an eating disorder called Bulimia Nervosa then you know that Jennifer should calmly and quietly pay closer attention to Kylie’s behavior around eating and dieting. Studies indicate that by their first year of college, 4.5 to 18 percent of women and 0.4 percent of men have a history of Bulimia. In the United States, five to 10 million adolescent girls and women struggle with eating disorders and borderline eating conditions. According to The Center For Mental Health Services, 90 percent of those who have eating disorders are women between the ages of 12 and 25. Boys and young men are also at risk for eating disorders and eating disorders in boys and men, even if less frequent, may be on the rise. Especially at risk, studies say, are boys on competitive sports teams, where members are under pressure to meet specific weights or stay physically fit, and also boys who are hypersensitive about physical appearance. Bulimic behavior means binge eating and then attempting to rid the body of the food by purging (forcing yourself to throw up),

by taking laxatives or diuretics, by fasting, or by compulsively exercising. Children who are overly concerned about their weight may take diet pills, smoke cigarettes, drink excessive amounts of diet soda, take stimulants, or try anything else that promises appetite suppression or rapid weight loss. If you are wondering if your child is overly focused on body image and weight, and might be at risk for Bulimia Nervosa, watch for these seven signals: 1. Large amounts of foods consumed in short amounts of time. Food disappears suddenly from your kitchen or pantry. Packaging and wrappers appear in indoor or outdoor trash and recycling containers without your awareness that food was eaten. You find food packaging or wrappers in funny places, such as in bedroom closets or hidden under or behind furniture after you’ve noticed food missing. 2. Purging behaviors. Your child retreats to a remote bathroom right after meals. You discover diet pills in your daughter’s purse or diuretics in your son’s sports bag. You find evidence of vomiting in the bathroom although no one in the house is sick. You notice bloodshot eyes or broken blood vessels in your child’s face shortly after mealtime. 3. A fascination with fasting. You notice your child not eating for a day or even days at a time, possibly engaging in extreme behaviors like drinking large amounts of water or diet soda to suppress appetite. Your child exhibits dizziness or light-headedness from not eating. 4. Compulsive exercising. Your child often exercises right after eating, perhaps even

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 29

early in the morning or late at night. You notice that periods of intense exercise come in fits and spurts rather than maintained sensibly over time. You notice a connection between the reward of food and the punishment of exercise afterwards. 5. Secretiveness around eating and food. You may find multiple candy bar wrappers in an outdoor trash container. You might hear your daughter awake at night rooting around in the kitchen cabinets. You notice that an ice cream container that was almost full yesterday is now almost empty. 6. Overeating. You suspect your child is eating emotionally or anxiously. He has a group of buddies who like to all “pig out” together after intense sports competitions. You wonder how your child seems to be eating so much without gaining weight. You notice a pattern of bursts of overeating that did not exist before. 7. Mood changes and addictive behaviors. Does your child seem anxious, depressed or excessively moody lately? Sometimes eating disorders and mood disorders go hand-and-hand, and those who suffer from eating disorders may also be at higher risk for addictions. If a typically cheery child suddenly turns sour and becomes distant and depressed along with several of these other signs, get ready to offer help. There is often nothing visible on the surface that will tip you off to an eating disorder, so you may need to become a detective to determine whether or not your child is suffering from one. A bulimic child may work hard to keep up appearances. She may fall into a normal category of weight for her age, take

care with her appearance, and put a smile on her face to cover up behaviors she does not want you to notice. But pay attention, because by the time you notice concrete physical signs, like discolored teeth or calluses on fingers, the disorder will already be in advanced stages. The best thing that can happen for a child with an eating disorder is early intervention and treatment, which is why it’s important to try and catch patterns of bulimic behavior as soon as possible. Remember that eating disorders are painful and cause the sufferer to feel acute shame and selfdisgust. If your child needs help, you want to be ready to provide it calmly and supportively without making a big fuss or taking the situation personally. Do not try to treat eating disorders at home. Seek professional help. Do some homework and set up professional resources before you approach your child, so you can be ready to offer a course of helpful action. Contact your family doctor ahead of time and get the name of specialists in your area. Keep in mind that the best choice for a child feeling vulnerable and ashamed may be to seek out a treatment professional of the same gender with a gentle manner. Think of an eating disorder as a cry for help rather than a permanent condition. With early intervention and treatment, and love and support from family and friends, Kylie has a good chance of making a full recovery. Then she and Jennifer and the whole family can feel close once again. Author and freelance journalist Christina Katz would like to live in a world without eating disorders, so she wrote this article to help parents notice signals they might otherwise miss.

Online resOurces that can help: Helpguide: National Eating Disorders Association: Office On Women’s Health: National Institutes Of Health:

30 • Augusta Family | September 2017


by Renee Williams


We polled readers, tallied the votes and have come up with a list of favorite restaurants, medical professionals, retailers and more. So, without further adieu, here are our 2017 winners…

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 31

Desserts 1. The Boll Weevil Café and Sweetery 2. Two Moms’ Cookies 3. French Market Grille Date Night Restaurant 1. Frog Hollow Tavern 2. Edgar’s Grille 3. Sheehan’s Irish Pub Restaurant – Chain 1. Chick-fil-a 2. Zaxby’s 3. Longhorn Steakhouse Restaurant – Locally Owned 1. Sheehan’s Irish Pub 2. French Market Grille 3. Wifesaver Fries 1. Chick-fil-a 2. Zaxby’s 3. Arby’s Pizza 1. The Pizza Joint 2. Mellow Mushroom 3. Marco’s

BURGERS Farmhaus Burgers take first place as the area’s Favorite Burger and with seven “Haus” burgers or an option to build your own burger, we can see why!

Jazz/Hip Hop Dance Lessons 1. Cutno 2. Pulse Dance Center 3. Kane & Co Ballet Lessons 1. Colton Ballet School (formerly Augusta Ballet) 2. Columbia County Ballet 3. Kane & Co Music Lessons 1. Portman’s 2. Rock Bottom Music 3. Laurie Orth Performing Arts Group 1. Augusta Players 2. Musical Theatre Workshops 3. Colton Ballet Company Annual Family Event 1. Arts in the Heart 2. Goodboats 3. Thunder Over Evans Day Trip 1. Riverbanks Zoo 2. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park 3. Georgia Aquarium Family Photographer 1. Katy Sullivan

32 • Augusta Family September 2017

Chicken Fingers 1. Wifesaver 2. Zaxby’s 3. Chick-fil-a Mac & Cheese 1. Wifesaver 2. Frog Hollow Tavern 3. Cracker Barrel

2. GAW Photography 3. Barry Koenig

Healthy Menu 1. DiChicko’s 2. Humanitree House 3. Subway

Indoor Playground 1. Airstrike 2. The Playhouse 3. Augusta Mall

Place for Ice Cream 1. Bruster’s 2. Dairy Queen 3. Coldstone Creamery

Outdoor Playground 1. Evans Towne Center Park 2. Augusta Riverwalk 3. Riverview Park

Kids Menu 1. McDonald’s 2. Chick-fil-a 3. Zaxby’s

Museum 1. Morris Museum of Art 2. Augusta Museum of History 3. Imagination Station Children’s Museum

Auto Service 1. Jiffy Lube 2. C&C Automotive 3. Smitty’s Auto Repair

Rainy Day Outing 1. Riverwatch Cinemas 2. The Playhouse 3. Augusta Museum of History

Bank or Credit Union 1. Queensborough National Bank 2. SRP Federal Credit Union 3. South State Bank

Breakfast Spot 1. Sunrise Grill 2. That Flippin Egg 3. Bodega Ultima

Computer Repair Service 1. Computer Exchange 2. Best Buy 3. Computer One

Burgers 1. Farmhaus 2. Village Deli 3. Gary’s Hamburgers

Veterinarian 1. Acute Care Veterinarian 2. St. Francis Animal Hospital 3. 3-way tie: Dr. Wilkes, Westside Animal Hospital, Na-

FAMILY FITNESS Get your fitness and fun for the whole family at The Family Y.

tional Hills Animal Hospital and Hilltop Animal Hospital

3. News & Notes

3. Goodwill

Dog Groomer 1. Broad Street Barkery 2. Animal House Inc 3. D’Tails Pet Grooming

Birthday Cakes 1. Publix 2. A Piece of Cake 3. Boll Weevil

Boy’s Clothes 1. Gap 2. Posh Tots 3. Dillard’s

Kennel 1. Suggs Kennel Inc 2. Paradise Kennels 3. Animal House Inc

Toddler Party Place 1. The Playhouse 2. Gymnastics Gold 3. Chuck E. Cheese

Girl’s Clothes 1. Justice 2. Posh Tots 3. Swank Company

Pediatrician 1. Pediatric Partners 2. Dr. Tracy Middlebrooks 3. Dr. Doug Nesbit

Elementary Age Party Place 1. Airstrike 2. The Playhouse 3. Putt Putt

Consignment Shop 1. Kid to Kid 2. Uptown Cheapskate 3. Designed for Change

Pediatric Dentist 1. Pediatric Dental Specialists 2. Dr. Lee Baker 3. Southern Smiles

Boy’s Parties 1. The Playhouse 2. Airstrike 3. Putt Putt

Grocery Store 1. Publix 2. Kroger 3. Fresh Market

OB/GYN 1. Obgyn Partners of Augusta 2. Women’s Health of Augusta 3. Dr. William Lavigne

Girl’s Parties 1. Singing Princesses and Pirate Parties 2. Tiara and Pearls 3. Gymnastics Gold

Children/Teen Sports Program 1. Bulls Soccer 2. Family Y 3. Augusta Parks and Recreation

Orthodontist 1. Trotter Orthodontics 2. Rogers and Andrews Orthodontics 3. Dr. Robert Crawford

Daycare 1. Cornerstone Academy 2. St. Mary’s on the Hill 3. Big Blue Marble Academy

Family Sporting Event 1. Augusta Greenjackets 2. Goodboats 3. Ironman

After-Hours Medical Care 1. Urgent MD 2. University Hospital Prompt Care 3. Perfect Health Urgent Care & Medical Weight Loss

Elementary School 1. St. Mary’s on the Hill 2. Westminster 3. Episcopal Day School

Gymnastics/Cheer Instruction 1. Gymnastics Gold 2. Augusta Cheer 3. Hayden’s

Middle School 1. St. Mary’s on the Hill 2. Westminster 3. Episcopal Day School tie with Augusta Christian

Martial Arts Program 1. Premier Martial Arts 2. Seigler’s Karate 3. Greubel’s Mixed Martial Arts

Radio Station 1. WAFJ 88.3 2. HD 98.3 3. WBBQ 104.3

High School 1. Aquinas High School 2. Westminster 3. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School tie with Lakeside High School

Swimming Lessons 1. Dolphin Academy 2. Family Y 3. Augusta Aquatics Center

Television Station 1. WJBF News Channel 6 2. WRDW 3. HBO

Tutoring Service 1. Mathnasium 2. Sylvan Learning 3. Neely Wyatt

Local Website 1. 2. 3. CSRA Kids

Car Dealer 1. Gerald Jones Auto Group 2. Milton Reuben Toyota 3. Taylor Hyundai

Favorite Part of Augusta Family 1. Summer Camp Guide 2. Calendar

Baby Clothes 1. Posh Tots Boutique 2. Kid to Kid

Family Vision Care 1. Casella Eye Center 2. Eye Care One 3. Broome Family Eyecare

Tennis Program 1. Newman Tennis Center 2. Petersburg Racquet Club 3. Family Y Family Fitness Center 1. Family Y 2. Kroc Center 3. Evans Fitness Center

BIRTHDAY CAKES Publix takes the cake as the favorite for birthday cakes.


23 rd

Season of Dance MAKE DANCE THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR WEEK 23rd Season | Children 2yrs - Adults Ballet | Modern | Hip-Hop | Tap | Afro Mix Ballroom | Zumba & Mix Fit Open registration while space is available Online or in person 706.364.3442 | 2803 Wrightsboro Rd Augusta,Ga.

2803 Wrightsboro Rd, Suite 51, Augusta, Ga. • • 706.364.3442 34 • Augusta Family | September 2017


Augusta Family | September 2017 • 35

Inspiration Station b y Nai m ah S h aw

STEVE SIMPSON’S Tale of Tragedy To Truimph 36 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Growing up in a modest suburban neighborhood in the Big Apple sounds like the epitome of the American dream for some, but for Steve Simpson it was a façade of a landscape that hid the intense physical, emotional and verbal abuse he suffered at the hands of his violently abusive alcoholic father. Being called a “failure,” a “moron,” and a “stupid kid” are only some of the destructive words that Simpson internalized as a child and he can still here those words today. Simpson recalls his early childhood, in which he was subjected to so much abuse at home that school became his only outlet. He struggled immensely and often referred to himself as a “Z” student-every teacher’s worst nightmare. Simpson recalls that he, like so many other victims of abuse, felt responsible for his father’s behavior and believed he was indeed a failure so rather than studying, he spent more time figuring out how to cheat and disrupt other students. Simpson ran away from home numerous times and was eventually placed in foster care. Simpson says, “I was 11 years old and I was suicidal. I knew I didn’t want to die but I didn’t want to live.” Foster care was the crossroad in Simpson’s life that provided him with the unparalleled opportunity to turn his life around. A new school, new teachers and a new family provided him with a new outlook on life. Joining a self help group was eye opening for Simpson who realized that there were students in that group who had come from a broken place just like he had, but they were still able to excel in school and life. That revelation helped unlock the hidden potential Simpson had and he unleashed his creativity in writing, poetry and prose. He went on to become track MVP, earned medals in wrestling and ended up in honor roll and junior honor society. Simpson ultimately became a model student and garnered much recognition for his success which propelled him into the role of public speaker at the tender age of 13.

Inspiration Station

Simpson recalls the moment he had an epiphany in which he realized that his opinion of himself was not reliant upon the angry, miserable incomprehensible words of an alcoholic. In that moment, he decided that he would not be paralyzed by a broken individual any longer. Today, Simpson is a renowned author (which comes as no surprise since he once ditched school to retreat to the library and write). Some of his books include The World Is Wrong, Runaway, Child’s Island and Who Am I? While the exciting fictional stories entertain readers, there is a Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook discreetly placed inside each book. The handbooks deals with tough issues that some teenagers and young adults face such as suicide, alcoholic parents, child abuse, self esteem, bullying, as well as surviving back to school and the holidays in a dysfunctional home. The books and survival guides serve as a powerful, non- aggressive means for teachers, counselors and adults to connect with students, especially those they believe might be struggling with abuse. Simpson’s books are available at www. Here are the top 5 tips Simpson offers to those who may find themselves caught up in the ugly cycle of abuse: 1) Find a support group- This is a powerful mechanism that allows you to laugh and cry with others who share the same unfortunate journey that you are. Form associations and do not isolate yourself. 2) Speak to your school’s social worker. Having a trusted person on your side will boost confidence and self-esteem. 3) Find a local church, self-help group or community center. Get involved with and volunteer with something much bigger than yourself, there is an intense adrenaline that comes from this service.

4) Call the suicide prevention line 1-800-273- TALK if you have even the slightest thought of suicide. 5) Do not runaway and put yourself in danger. Call the national runaway line: 1-800-RUNAWAY. Simpson is very adamant at proclaiming how much his faith helped him to overcome his battles as he recalls that holidays were always a harsh reminder of just how dysfunctional his home really was. However, instead of focusing on the commercialized aspect of holidays, Simpson learned to focus on the reason behind season and found that even in a dysfunctional home, God was still functional and reliable. Simpson urges children to rely on their faith and use that belief system to serve something bigger than themselves. Finding a higher power is this underlying message that Simpson shares with the self help groups he runs. Other gems of wisdom and affirmations he imparts include the ideology that things will always get better, it’s not your fault when you are the victim of abuse and you should never accept it. Along with being an author of 4 books, Simpson has been recognized by President Barack Obama and Nassau County, N.Y., for his efforts on behalf of abused children. 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 | September 2017 • 37

calendar SEPTEMBER

SPECIAL EVENTS: “Ambitious and innovative, Westobou is an ever-evolving multi-arts festival dedicated to enriching the cultural fabric, economic sustainability and social vitality of the region. Over the course of five fantastic days every autumn, the festival transforms downtown Augusta into a vibrant, creative playground where friends, family, neighbors and visitors connect and celebrate infinite creative possibilities.” Westobou Events: Sept. 1-30. Recon: by Tom Hubbard, Augusta Richmond County Library

38 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Sept. 1. Ben Folds: Paper Airplane Tour,


Jessye Norman Amphitheatre

Sept. 23. Barry Fleming Book Festival. An-

Sept. 1-3. Labor Day Jazz. Music Festival

nual Event to celebrate the Writing Arts.

at the Augusta Common

Sept. 24. Half Iron Man. 70.3 Race Fea-

Sept. 8. A Sense of Place. 37th Annual

tures a down-current swim.

Juried Competition at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art.

Sept 1, 2, 8, 9 & 15 at 7:30 p.m. ACP

Sept. 8-9. Aiken’s Makin. 2 Day Arts &

Presents ‘Peter Pan’ Aiken Community

Crafts Show in Historic Aiken.

Playhouse, 126 Newberry St. SW, Aiken.

Sept. 15-17. Arts in the Heart. Celebration

Based on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale and featur-

of Food and Art. Downtown Augusta.

ing an unforgettable score by Morris “Moose”

Sept. 17. Music at the Morris. Travis Shaw

Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn

and Monet Robinson. Morris Museum.

Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green,

Sept. 22. Shovels and Ropes. An evening

Peter Pan has delighted audiences for 60

with Shovels and Ropes. Jessye Norman

years. www.


September 16-18.

fund new and ongoing research grants, a respite

Kroc Center, Augusta. 6:00 p.m.

Arts in the Heart of Augusta is a two and a half

program for caregivers, educational materials and

Parents - enjoy a Friday night alone while the kids

day celebration of food, arts, diversity and culture.

events, and exercise and aquatics classes. For

have fun at the Kroc Center of Augusta! Repeats

With over 80,000 visitors annually, the celebration

more information, to form a team, or to make a

every First Friday of the month! Ages 2-12

features a juried Fine Arts and Fine Crafts Mar-

donation, go online to, email us at

6:00PM-10:00 PM $15 members / $20 nonmem-

ket, a Global Village with food from more than 20, or call (706) 364-1662.

bers (dinner is included.) Activities may include

countries, five stages stacked with live entertain-

Donations can also be mailed and made payable

gym play, inflatables, and swimming. Proper swim

ment and much more. This award winning festival

to CSRA Parkinson’s Walk, 6100 Northside Drive,

attire and towel required. Children 4 & under do

is produced each year by the Greater Augusta Arts

North Augusta, SC 29841.

not swim. Children must be potty trained.


PSA For 2017 (18th) POP Walk.



Sept. 1 at 7:00 p.m. 19th Annual Labor Day PSA For 2017 (18th) POP Walk

Weekend Triple Feature Extravaganza at the Big Mo. Monetta Drive-In Theatre. U.S. Hwy. 1,

Sept. 1-4, Augusta GreenJackets-Home Game

Monetta, SC. The top six movies of the summer

The CSRA Parkinson Support Group will host its

Schedule, Lake Olmstead Stadium, 706-922-9467.

will play on the Main Field and Screen #2. A retro

18th annual POP Walk for the People of Parkin-

triple feature will play on Screen #3.www.

son’s fundraiser on Saturday October 7, 2017 at First Baptist Church, 3500 Walton Way Ext. Au-

Sept 1, 2 & 5 at 12:00 p.m. Exhibit: Illumination

gusta, GA. Registration opens and activities begin

of Jewish Life in the CSRA. Thomson McDuffie

September 1. Music Cruise- Bethany Davis &

at 9:00am, the walk starts at 10:00am and ends

Museum. Exhibit tells the story of how the Jews

the Southside Boys. Original tunes and hits from

by noon. The festivities will include interactive

settled in the CSRA, the traditions of Judaism

yesterday to today. www.augustacanal. Call ahead

exercises, entertainment, refreshments, children’s

and it holidays, remembrances of the Holocaust

for reservations! 706-823-0440 ext. 4. Bring re-

activities and a raffle. The Walk is free but dona-

and ties to Israel; (706) 595-9923, or email info@

freshments and picnic to enjoy an evening out on

tions are greatly appreciated. Those registering to

the Augusta Canal!

Sept. 1. Kids Night Out, Parents Night In!

Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30. Saturday Morning

walk who donate a minimum of $25 will receive a free t-shirt. Proceeds from the event are used to

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 39


ARTS IN THE HEART September 15-17. Augusta Common and Broad Street. 706-826-4702. For a full schedule of events, visit

Swing: Music at The Augusta Market. Eighth Street

plant life & importance of urban wetland ecology.

who are interested in becoming therapeutic foster

Plaza, 8th & RiverwalkAugusta. A partnership with

Please wear comfortable closed toe shoes. Phinizy

parents within the CSRA.

The Augusta Market since 2010, Saturday Morning

Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Rd.

Swing brings local jazz musicians and performing

Augusta, GA. Register online at

Sept 5, 12, 19 & 26. Story Time in the Gardens.

arts groups to the Riverwalk for early afternoon

events or by calling 706-396-1426.

Hopeland Gardens, Aiken. Instill a love of reading in your child that will last a lifetime. Hopelands Gar-

shows each weekend. The Market features local produce, artisans, music, all in a family- (and pet-)

Sept 2 at 5:00 p.m. Aiken Music Fest. Highfields

dens offers the perfect atmosphere for an afternoon

friendly space.Info:

Event Center. 118 Gaston Road, Aiken, SC.

story and fun with friends.

(706) 627-0128.

Gates open at 5pm and live music will be playing until 11pm. Beer and food trucks will be available.

Sept 5, 12, 19 & 26 at 5:45 p.m. Ballet for Adults. The City of Aiken’s Department of Parks and

Sept. 2. at 9:30 a.m. Walk your Pet Hike. Enjoy a guided, leisurely hike through approximately 2.5

Sept 5, 12, 19 & 26. Prospective Foster Par-

Recreation is offering Ballet classes for Adults. Bal-

miles of nature park trails with your 4 legged best

ent Orientation at 10:00 a.m. Benchmark Family

let is said to improve balance, posture, and muscle

friend. Pets & their humans will enjoy viewing the

Services, 4389 W. Maysfield Drive Augusta. Weekly

coordination.Adult Ballet classes will begin Tuesday,

variety of wildlife and learning about the diverse

information sessions for individuals and couples

September 5th, 5:45pm- 6:45pm and continue

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 41


weekly through November 21st. Odell Weeks Activ-

Aiken’s Makin’. Downtown Aiken, SC. Crafts.

chairs and come share an evening of music. Musical

ity Center Aiken.

Plan now to attend one of the finest arts and crafts

acts on the stage include I AM SPARTACUS, Brooke

events in the Southeast! Fine Arts, Glass Works,

McBride, and Trust in Traitors. Money raised at

Sept. 5 at 10:00 a.m. at Westobou Gallery. Sym-

Wood, Ceramics, Fabric! Many mediums are used

this event will help provide support to the Augusta

bols and Allegories: Artwork by Jay Jacobs. Westo-

by the artisans at the Aiken’s Makin’ Craft Show! A

Christian Volleyball team. Columbia County Amphi-

bou Gallery presents Symbols and Allegories featur-

Beautiful September day is the perfect day to start

theater, 7022 Faircloth Dr., Evans.

ing works by Augusta-native Jay Jacobs. Westobou

on your fall and holiday shopping for everyone on

selects Jay Jacobs for his excellent work, dedication

your list! All ages.

Sept. 13. Children’s Play: Three Little Pigs. 10:00 a.m. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre. When

to his craft and commitment to our creative community. In collaboration with Augusta University’s

Sept 8 at 5:30 p.m. Bridles & Birdies. The Aiken

Stanley (the cool pig on the block) is encouraged

Pamplin College. All ages. Cost: Free. Exhibit open

community will come together at the Aiken Horse

to invite Ralphie (the new sheep on the block) over

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday through Sept. 20.

Park to raise funds for The First Tee of Aiken youth

for a camp out, Stanley is less than thrilled. Will a

development programs through the Bridles & Birdies

campfire story of The Three Little Pigs send Ralphie

Sept 6 at 6:00 p.m. Yappy Hour. Ages: 21 & Up!

event. This event combines two of Aiken’s biggest

running into the night, or will Ralphie turn the tables

C’mon get Yappy at the SPCA! Open dog park

passions, horses and golf, in a unique team relay

on his “high on the hog” host? This funny, fast paced

(BYOD), live music, food on the grill and cash bar.

competition. Aiken Horse Park Foundation

performance highlights lessons about breaking down

Bring your friends and your dog for a howling good

931 Powderhouse Rd SE, Aiken.

barriers and building friendships. Free admission. Pre-register by calling 706-737-1625 or email litera-

time on the patio! Free admission and plenty of parking. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare

Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Southern Soul and Song,

199 Willow Run Rd. Aiken.

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. Imperial Theater, 749 Broad St., Augusta. Sept. 14 at 6:00 p.m. Evans Towne Center. Clint Black in Concert. Columbia County, Ga., the

Sept. 7. Cool Coloring for Grownups. Aiken County Library. Bring your own coloring pens and

Sept. 9 at 8:46 a.m. Greater Augusta Tunnel 2

Bull 105.7 and Bull Icons 106.3 are proud to pres-

pencils to enjoy a relaxing afternoon of creativity.

Towers Run/Walk. Fire Station #2, 5555 Harlem

ent “An Evening with Clint Black” Thursday, Sept.

Coloring sheets and refreshments will be provided.

Grovetown Rd., Grovetown. The Tunnel to Towers

14, at Evans Towne Center Park. Clint Black, one of

Make your reservation in person or call 803-642-

5K Run & Walk Series was created to honor the

America’s all-time favorite country music legends

2020, ext. 1131. 314 Chesterfield St. SW.

heroic life and death of Stephen Siller, a New York

has sold.

City firefighter (FDNY) who lost his life on SeptemSept. 7-27 at 9:00 a.m. Sacred Heart Art Exhibi-

ber 11, 2001 after strapping on his gear and running

September 14. Opening Reception, Art Exhibi-

tion, Randy Akers. All ages. Randy Akers is a visual

through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin

tion Randy Akers from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

artist working on Skidaway Island, Georgia. He has


Randy Akers is a visual artist working on Skidaway Island, Georgia. He has shown at the Los Angeles

shown at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, University of New Mexico’s Harwood Founda-

Sept. 9 at 9:30 a.m. Swamp Bike Saturday.

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of New

tion, the Philadelphia Art Museum in addition to

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Rd.

Mexico’s Harwood Foundation, the Philadelphia Art

numerous additional exhibitions. www.sacredheart.

Augusta. Enjoy a guided, gentle bike ride through

Museum among others. Exhibit through Ocotber 27.


approximately 7 miles of wetlands trails. Children &

adults will enjoy viewing the variety of wildlife and Sept. 7-10, 14-17 Aiken Fall Festival. USEF Na-

learning about the diverse plant life & importance of

September 15. Music Cruise-Keith Gregory.

tional Rated. The Aiken Horse Park @ “Bruce’s Field.”

urban wetland ecology. Please bring your own bike,

Classic Rock, Pop, R&B, originals. Alternative Fusion Bruce’s Field. Audubon

wear comfortable closed-toed shoes & bring water

& Jazz. Call ahead for res-

Drive SE, Aiken.

to drink. Helmets are required. Website:

ervations! 706-823-0440 ext. 4. Bring refreshments


and picnic to enjoy an evening out on the Augusta

September 8. 7 Bridges: The Ultimate EAGLES


Experience at 7:30 p.m. Jabez Sanford Hardin

Sept. 9. Diggin’ It Music Festival.

Performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center.

Diggin’ It” is an evening music festival with nation-

September 16. Aiken Symphony Orchestra at the

Tickets available at

ally recognized artists along with a local band, food

Etherredge Center for the Fine & Performing Arts.

and vendors. Come enjoy the amazing food and

Their mission is to promote and inspire cultural and

entertainment for all ages. So bring your blanket or

intellectual opportunities for the benefit and enjoy-

Sept. 8-9 at 9:00 a.m.

Augusta Family | September 2016 • 43


ment of individuals in the CSRA. Tickets and more

“Ms. Kathy” presents toddlers and preschoolers with

Riverwalk. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),

information at www.

a fun-filled story time! Movement, songs, and stories

commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” cur-

combine to keep little ones entertained while they

rently affects as many as 30,000 Americans, with an

Sept. 16. Heroes on the Water. Ft. Gordon, GA.

are introduced to the world of reading! $10 per fam-

average of 15 people newly diagnosed daily. This

The mission of Fort Gordon Chapter Heroes on the


year, the ALS Clinic at Augusta University Neuroscience Center is hosting the BEAT FEET for ALS event

Water is to help veterans, active-duty military, firstresponders and wounded warriors relax, rehabilitate

Sept. 21. CPR, First AId and Fire Safety Training.

at the Augusta Riverwalk. The walk is up to 3 miles

and reintegrate into society through kayak fishing

Caring Together, 119 Davis Rd, Ste 2B, Augusta.

and will include music, snacks, and fun activities for

and the outdoors. Attendance is by free registration

CPR and First Aid Training for the Community -

the whole family. All ages. www.

only at

Course includes adult, child and infant CPR and


basic first aid. Designed to meet the needs of a diSept. 16 at 9:00 a.m. 4H Family Yoga in the Park.

verse audience, training covers a range of topics for

Sept. 23. Fort Gordon Kid’s Fishing Derby and

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

children through seniors.

Shooting Day 2017. Clay Pit Lakes at Ft. Gordon.

1858 Lock and Dam Rd. Augusta.

or call/text 770.945.6837 for more information.

Register for the Kids Fishing Derby begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Claypit Lakes, fishing will begin at 8 a.m..

4H is offering a program at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park for youth and their parents: 4-H Family Yoga!

Sept. 21-22. Disney on Ice: Dream Big. 7:00 p.m.

1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded in each age

Join in for a low pressure, fun, and relaxing yoga

Audiences are invited to join eight Disney Princesses

group. The first 300 kids will receive FREE t-shirts!

class for all experience levels. The class will meet at

– Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine,

Free hot dogs and sodas will be available to each

the Visitor Center.

Aurora and Snow White – as they embark on incred-

participant. Kids need to bring their own fishing

ible adventures, determined to make their dreams

pole. For more information, call (706) 791-5078.

Sept 16. Swamp Treks. 10:00 a.m. Phinizy Swamp

come true. James Brown Arena

Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Rd. Augusta.

601 Seventh St. (877) 428-4849,


Swamp Treks will bring nature to life for 3rd – 8th

or at the arena box office. Sept. 23. Berry Fleming Book Festival. Augusta

grade children. Focused on making the outdoors exciting, Swamp Treks makes it fun to gain respect

September 22. Silent Movie Night, The Merry

University Summerville Campus, 2500 Walton Way,

for the environment and to enjoy wildlife. Spaces are

Widow (1925) starring Mae Murray, John Gilbert

Augusta. More than 50 authors, representing a wide


& Roy D’Arcy with theatre organist, Ron Carter and

variety of genres will discuss their works via readings

Melanie Wade Larsen Soprano. Film Presentation.

and panels. There will be writing workshops, school

Sept 16. Family Lego Day (Free Play) Diamond

The Merry Widow is a 1925 American silent roman-

outreach, a literary marketplace, food trucks and a

Lakes Library, 101 Diamond Lakes Way, Hephzibah,

tic drama/black comedy film directed and written

children’s area. The festival is free and open to the

GA. Come one come all. We are calling all ages to

by Erich von Stroheim. This is his 15th season with

public. For more information, visit www. berryflem-

participate in our monthly Family Lego Day, the

Sacred Heart. It’s an evening not to be missed! www.

theme this month is animals. All ages. Free. Pre- Sept. 23. Kid’s Carnival & Flu Clinic. Medical

register at 706-772-2432. Sept. 22. Shovels & Rope in Concert. Shovels &

Associates Plus and WellCare, Amerigroup, Care-

Sept. 16. Changin Lanez 2nd Annual Stuntin N

Rope are an American folk duo (the husband/wife

Source and Peach State Health Plan will be hosting

September Car Show. Augusta Regional Airport

team of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent) who

a Children’s Carnival Saturday, September 23rd

1501 Aviation Way, Augusta. DO NOT MISS THIS!!

create a sound blending traditional folk, rock & roll,

from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at Medical Associates

Y’all know it’s about to go down! The BIGGEST car

and country rock. Jessye Norman Amphitheater

Plus (MAP) on 2467 Golden Camp Road, Augusta,

show Augusta has seen is coming!!✈️Changin’ Lanez

1 Ninth St., Augusta.

Georgia. The day will include Magician Magic Marc, therapy dogs from Jae-Mar-S Academy, 7-D cinema,

will be hosting the 2nd Annual Stuntin N September at the Augusta Regional Airport ... Mark your calen-

September 22. Music Cruise-Gray Mayfield.

raffle prizes, carnival foods and music. Free flu shots

dars for Saturday, September 16th!! www.facebook.

NEW. Jazz, Soul, & Blues. www.augustacanal.

will be given to 100 people 13 years old and older.


com. Call ahead for reservations! 706-823-0440

Sept. 19. Third Tuesday Tales Story Time. Imagi-

ext. 4. Bring refreshments and picnic to enjoy an

Sept. 23. Soiree: Jazz+Wine.

evening out on the Augusta Canal!

Description: Enjoy classic and contemporary jazz

nation Station Children’s Museum 965 Hickman Rd., Augusta. Join us as the wonderful

44 • Augusta Family | September 2017

music, wines selected by the host, and a platform Sept 23 at 8:00 a.m. Beat Feet for ALS. Augusta

for up & coming musical voices. All presented with


state-of-the-art sound and lighting in a beautiful, historic building. Live Jazz. Lovely People. Dress like you mean it.Info: (762) 233-5299 Sept. 24. Soiree Sunday Augusta. Expect an evening of live music with an infusion of creativity and collaboration - from dance, performance art, film, to the spoken word; enjoy live jazz and lovely people indeed. Humanitree House Juice Joint and Gallery, 230 Eighth St. www.jazzsoiree. com. Sept. 27. Kroc Book Club. 6:30 p.m. Kroc Center, Broad St., Augusta. Join a diverse group of people who love to read and converse about literature. The group comes together each month to discuss

Georgia 4-H Events

their feelings and interpretations of the current

September 2017 Georgia 4-H Events


Sep 02 - UGA Football vs Appalachian State Mountaineers

Free. www.

Sanford Stadium Sep 05 - NW Area Forestry Field Day Camp Westmin-

September 28. Trunk Show: Bespoke Rocks by


Maryalice Haest, meet jewelry designer and shop

Sep 07 - SSE Area Forestry Field Day Gordonia-Alatamaha

her distinctive, one-of-a kind leather necklaces,

State Park

cuff bracelets and statement pieces from the fall

Sep 09 - 7:30 p.m. UGA Football vs. Notre Dame Fighting

2017 collection.

Irish Notre Dame Stadium Sep 09 - Georgia 4-H Food Showcase ( Food Challenge,

September 29. Music Cruise-Roger Enevold-

Turkey Barbecue, Egg Preparation Demonstration, Chicken

sen. Fun Oldies- 50s & 60s acoustic guitar &


harmonica. Call ahead for

Rock Eagle 4-H Center

reservations! 706-823-0440 ext. 4. Bring refresh-

Sep 12 - SW Area Forestry Field Day SuperTree Nurs-

ments and picnic to enjoy an evening out on the


Augusta Canal!

Sep 14 - NE Area Forestry Contest Don Carter State Park

Sept. 30. 8:00 a.m. 2nd Annual Augusta Uni-

Sep 16 - UGA Football vs. Samford Bulldogs (Athens)

versity Stomp Out Sickle Cell 5k Run/Walk.

Sanford Stadium

Children’s Hospital of Georgia 1446 Harper St.,

Sep 19 - SW showCAES 2017

Augusta. September is Sickle Cell Disease Aware-

UGA Tifton Campus Conf Center

ness Month! At Augusta University we have a

Sep 21 SE showCAES 2017

Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Program and


we represent the Sickle Cell Transition Program

Sep 22 - Sep 24 SAFE Certified Coaches Training

in Augusta, GA. In honor of this occasion and on

Eagle 4-H Center

behalf of our patients, we are organizing our 2nd

Sep 23 - UGA Football vs Mississippi State Bulldogs (Ath-

Annual AU Stomp Out Sickle Cell 5k Run/Walk


on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 8 a.m. in the lobby of the

Sep 30 - Forestry Field Day, Sate Contest

Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

Thompson Mills Forest & State Arboretum

Toombs County Ag CenRock

Sanford Stadium

Sep 30 - UGA Football at Tennessee Volunteers


land Stadium

Augusta Family | September 2017 • 45

Girl Go


b y Ren ee William s

Leslie Gibson LESLIE, affectionately known as “Elle,” is a Field Services Consultant for Jan-Pro Augusta-Aiken. She has two daughters, Kelsey, 19 and Amelia, 13. Kelsey volunteers at Camp Cocoon, a camp for children who have recently lost a parent, and Amelia is a professional actress and singer so the family travels a lot for auditions, performances, and filming. The family has two dogs, Cosette, an 11 year old Malit-Poo, and Bijou, a 10 year old toy poodle. Leslie enjoys immersive travel, kayaking, live music, sporting events, the theatre and festivals.

One word to describe yourself: Free-spirited. What quality do you admire the most? Kindness. If you could do any job, what would you choose? My dream job would be a Travel Blogger. What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a News Anchor. What’s your favorite food? Homemade macaroni and cheese! Dream vacation? That’s tough... Can I say a trip around the world? Favorite place to take the kids? Anywhere that offers culture and exploration. My daughters and I travel a lot and we love discovering something new to us. What would surprise people about you? That I’m a very sentimental person. I’m glad that movie theaters are dark because if we’re watching a sad movie, I’m always the one crying. Is there an important life lesson that you have learned? An important lesson that I’ve learned is that I can be completely independent. I can be mom, businesswoman, homemaker, and manage my daughter’s growing career all on my own. It’s a great feeling to know that I don’t need a spouse to accomplish my goals

46 • Augusta Family | September 2017

Best thing about being a mom? Parenthood offers new rewards every day. Again, I’m sentimental so I find many “bests.” My girls bring me the most joy. The happiness I get from them is like nothing else. Hardest part about being a mom? Letting your kids make their own mistakes. Having an adult child is so much more difficult than having a minor child because, at that point, all you can do is advise and hope they listen. It’s tough to watch your kids make decisions that you know aren’t in their best interests and not being able to do anything about it. Favorite indulgence? Donuts and Hallmark Christmas movies. Who do you admire the most? My cousin, Travis. He is in desperate need of a double lung transplant and he will live less than a year without it. His attitude and bravery are exemplary. He’s the most positive person I know and he’s always the guy who’s helping other people. He’s a wonderful example of a father, husband, and friend. No matter what life throws at him, he handles it with humor and grace and I admire that. If you need to be lifted up, he’s your guy! Favorite TV Show: This Is Us. It’s the best thing on television. Are you a dreamer or a doer? I’m a paradox of a dreamer and a doer. I’ve always had my head in the clouds but my feet on the ground. I encourage my girls to dream big and to actively chase their dreams.

Augusta Family Magazine September 2017  

Teen Issue GarrettG - Rocket League Champion Augusta Family Favorites 2017

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