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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Photo by Ginny Worthington

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022

48 NEW PATHS: A horse sanctuary off Highway 82 in Brunswick offers a comfortable home for a number of animals, as well as an opportunity for those looking to give back.

57 SWEET CAROLINE: A dedicated volunteer, Caroline Blackshear has spent countless hours working to rescue dogs and

feat fe atures ures 48 cats through No Kill Glynn County.

64 LINKED IN LOVE: The Brunswick Chapter of the Links Inc. is an organization of professional African American women focused on improving the community through a number of outreach programs.

72 FRESH START: Alan Ramirez, owner of Sea Salt Healthy Kitchen on St. Simons Island, offers some tips for revamping one’s diet in the new year.

80 THE WANDERER: Writer and filmmaker Tyler Bagwell shares the story of the last slave ship to dock on American soil and the push by historians to keep the memory of those men and women alive.

G O L D E N I S LES

Photo by Tamara Gibson


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COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY

COLUMNS & DEPARTMENTS 12

EDITOR’S NOTE

14

WORD ON THE STREET

16

COASTAL QUEUE

34

DUE SOUTH

37

BY DESIGN

38

LIVING WELL

40

NATURE CONNECTION

42

MONEY TALKS

44

GAME CHANGERS

46

THE DISH

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Publisher Buff Leavy Editor Lindsey Adkison Director of Advertising Jenn Agnew and Marketing Assistant Editor Proofer

Lauren McDonald Heather Murray

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Contributing Writers

Tyler Bagwell Sissy Blanchard Al Brown Matt Dart Becky Derrick Raleigh Kitchens Donna Johnson Ronda Rich Lydia Thompson

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Contributing Photographers

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Contributing Designers

Stacey Nichols Donte Nunnally Terry Wilson

Golden Isles Magazine is published six times per year by Brunswick News Publishing Company To subscribe online to Golden Isles Magazine, go to goldenislesmagazine.com/subscribe

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About the Cover: Volunteer extraordinaire Caroline Blackshear cradles her rescue dog, Scootie, on East Beach on St. Simons Island. Blackshear devotes countless hours to rescuing local dogs and cats through No Kill Glynn County. The two were photographed by Tamara Gibson.


W E H I DE . YOU SE E K . Gather your friends and family for a Jekyll Island tradition! Each day, clear globes are “hidden” for guests to find and exchange for dazzling handcrafted glass floats. Join the hunt through February 28!

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Submissions Golden Isles Magazine is in need of talented contributors. Unsolicited queries and submissions of art and stories are welcome. Please include an email address and telephone number. Submit by email to the editor, Lindsey Adkison: ladkison@goldenislesmagazine.com or by mail to 3011 Altama Ave, Brunswick. Only work accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope will be returned. Advertising

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Information regarding advertising and rates is available by contacting Jenn Agnew at 912-265-8320, ext. 356 or by email at jagnew@thebrunswicknews.com; Enzo Centofanti at 912265-8320 ext. 333 or at ecentofanti@ thebrunswicknews.com; or Kasey Rowell at 912-265-8320 ext. 334 or krowell@thebrunswicknews.com.

All content is copyright of Golden Isles Magazine, a publication of Brunswick News Publishing Company. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission from the publisher. We have sought to ensure accuracy and completeness of the content herein, but neither Golden Isles Magazine nor the publisher assumes responsibility for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or other inconsistencies, including those related to quotations. We reserve the right to refuse advertising. All advertisements appearing herein are accepted and published on the representation that the advertiser is properly authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. All ads are paid advertisements and/or gifts given as part of a contractual agreement regarding Brunswick News Publishing Company. Neither Golden Isles Magazine nor the publisher is responsible for any statements, claims, or representations made by contributing writers, columnists, or photographers. Golden Isles Magazine and the publisher are also not responsible for anyone’s reliance on the content included in the publication. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. No right for commercial use or exploitation is given or implied.


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Editor’s Note

Exploring a path of service Here we are once again — on the precipice of a new year and a new beginning. We have 365 fresh days on the calendar before us. All that’s left to decide is what we’re going to do with them.

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Of course, most of us tend to focus on ways we can improve ourselves over the next 12 months. That might be hitting the gym three times a week or drinking more water. It could be cutting back on sweets or alcohol. All of those are valid and worthy goals, but in keeping with the theme of this first issue of 2022, Love + Service, I’m suggesting a different route. I suggest we explore a path of service. Now, I know that there are only so many hours in a day — far too few for the majority of us, and the idea of cramming one more item into an already overpacked schedule seems completely impossible and maybe a little self-detrimental. Don’t misunderstand me, I truly believe in stepping away from the chaos of the world on a regular basis. In fact, I occasionally designate a full day where I do nothing but lie in bed — all day long. I’m entirely healthy and feel fine, but these “rest days” offer the sweetest reset you can imagine — 10 out of 10, would recommend. So this isn’t a push to overextend, but I hope you’ll be moved to take a moment to ask yourself — what cause matters most to me? There are few things in life that hold as much value as finding a purpose and dedicating yourself to it. It doesn’t mean you have to log in 20 extra hours every week to support it. It can be something small, a couple of hours a week or even a couple of hours a month. Tapping into a personal passion can really change one’s life for the better, and that’s the primary focus of this edition of Golden Isles Magazine. We sought out several individuals and groups to feature, focusing on how they discovered enriching and meaningful ways of giving back. We visited Darlene DeMayo, who established New Paths Horse Sanctuary after purchasing a horse

who was unridable. Rather than sell her, Darlene built a nonprofit that provides a space for horses, as well as other animals in need of a safe place to spend their golden years. We spoke with Caroline Blackshear, a dedicated volunteer for No Kill Glynn County who devotes countless hours helping the organization arrange rescues for homeless dogs and cats. We beeped by Sea Salt Healthy Kitchen to hear about how owner and Chef Alan Ramirez used his gift for cooking to help customers craft healthier lifestyles. We sat down with the formidable ladies of The Brunswick Links, who live and breathe service, to talk about their founding 55 years ago and their mission today. Finally, writer and film maker Tyler Bagwell shares the story he created surrounding The Wanderer, the last slave ship to dock in the United States — on Jekyll Island. We wanted to include this piece as a bit of service on our part and commitment to continuing to share the stories of those who for so long remained voiceless. We hope you enjoy reading these truly inspirational stories. May we all find our own new paths toward supporting those things we love in life. With heartfelt wishes for all good things — Lindsey


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Word On The Street Cover

@me.b.jj: Wow! And all that in one issue!??!!! @gacoastrealty: The cover makes me hungry! Trina Campbell: I would love to be your taste-tester.

Your reactions sent to us by emails, posts, & tweets

Noisemakers: Doink Karen Bass: I recognize a Silva guy! Louann and Denny can’t deny this one! I know you are proud.

TIME TO GET SOCIAL facebook.com/goldenislesmag instagram.com/goldenislesmag

Maggie Dutton: A big shout out to Tanya Sergey and A Moveable Feast.

twitter.com/goldenislesmag

If you prefer to send us your comments by email, contact Editor Lindsey Adkison at ladkison@goldenislesmagazine.com. Anything posted to our social media accounts or emailed directly to the editor will be considered for publication. Comments may be edited for clarity or grammar.

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Q AN INFORMATIVE LINEUP OF THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GOLDEN ISLES

Big Read

a

RETURNS TO ISLES

WORDS BY LAUREN MCDONALD | PHOTOS BY NANCY REYNOLDS

A powerful story beautifully told will do more than captivate its readers. These stories open minds, encourage empathy, and shake entrenched beliefs. The book chosen for this year’s Big Read in the Golden Isles has the power to do much more than entertain readers. Beloved, by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, will also fuel important conversations about the history

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of slavery, the importance of love, family, and the ongoing need to learn about the experiences of others. The Big Read will kick off Feb. 4 and is organized by Golden Isles Arts and Humanities in partnership with Marshes of Glynn Libraries, Three Rivers Regional Libraries, College of Coastal Georgia, and numerous other local supporters.


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The purpose of the Big Read is to engage participants in a variety of events throughout the month, all centered on a community-wide reading of Beloved. “‘Beloved is a book about African Americans, about slavery, about family, about ghosts,” says Heather Heath, executive director of Golden Isles Arts and Humanities. “… It’s not a book for kids, but it’s such a powerful and beautiful story, and she’s such an amazing writer.”

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Local schools will also be involved through two books chosen for younger readers. The Middle Read book, for middle school students, will be Day of Tears, by Julius Lester, and the Little Read for younger students will be Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky, a beautifully illustrated book by Faith Ringgold. The keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Carolyn Denard, the founder and board chair of The Toni Morrison Society. “She is going to give a talk on Beloved and its continuing significance,” Heath says. “We’re really excited that she’ll be here.”

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Several performances will also continue throughout the month, including a captivating one-woman show titled “Shame the Devil: An Audience with Fanny Kemble,” about the 19th century actress who spoke out against slavery after spending time in Coastal Georgia. Storyteller Sheila Arnold will also perform at the Brunswick and St. Simons libraries. Numerous films will be shown during February, including a screening of the films Beloved and Do The Right Thing. “We’ll also have book discussions — as many as we can sneak in — and story times,” Heath says. Resource materials will be made available to local teachers, and copies of the Middle and Little Read books are given to schools in Glynn, Camden and McIntosh counties ahead of the Big Read events. This year’s Big Read selection will hopefully spark continued conversations about race relations and the area’s history of slavery, Heath says.

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“It’s a part of our history, and we shouldn’t be ignoring it,” she says. “But how do we talk about it now? What kind of things are not still being said or addressed that should be? Literature, and all great art, is about making you think and making you see others’ perspectives too.” The Big Read is funded through a grant provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, which also provides a list of book options for each community to choose. Heath, with feedback from local Big Read committee members, chose Beloved this year for its connection to this area’s history and the ways programming around this book could spark important and timely discussions. It’s also beneficial to bring young learners into these conversations, Heath says, and to make sure they understand their community’s history.

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“Our history is whatever is put into the books and shown to us when we’re kids,” she says. “That’s what we learn. And if we don’t read or find out outside of that, we’re not going to learn anything else.” Copies of Beloved will be available at the local libraries and at the Ritz Theatre in downtown Brunswick. The full schedule of Big Read events can be found online at https://goldenislesarts.org/ programs/nea-big-read.


g

Q

Golden Isles Magazine had a notable year in terms of recognition. The publication received both state and national honors for editorial and design content, earning awards from The Georgia Press Association and the FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards contest. First up, the Georgia Press Awards. Held each year on Jekyll Island, the convention brings together newspapers from across the state to honor the best of the best when it comes to journalism in Georgia. The Brunswick News Publishing Company, which owns and produces Golden Isles Magazine, received an impressive list of accolades, across all categories, including the highly-coveted General Excellence Award, reserved for the best newspaper in the state. On the magazine side, GIM received multiple awards, including two first-place accolades. The top finishes were for Best Magazine Cover Design for July/August 2020. The Photographer was Parker Alexander who shared his stunning image of Village Creek Landing; it was designed by Terry Wilson. Editor Lindsey Adkison also won a firstplace award for Best Magazine Commentary. GIM received a second-place finish for Best Magazine In-House Photography, and Editor Lindsey Adkison received a third place award for Best Magazine Original Writing. In the fall, the publication was recognized at the FOLIO Awards held in New York City. Golden Isles Magazine won an Ozzie (design) honorable mention for the cover of its September/October 2020 issue, “Portraits of the Artists,” designed by Terry Wilson and photographed by Bobby Haven. The model was Yvonne Grovner, a basket weaver from Sapelo Island.

showered Golden Isles Magazine

with honors i n

2 0 2 0

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It also received an Ozzie honorable mention for the January/February’s “Past, Present and Future” issue for cover design. Terry Wilson was the designer and Tamara Gibson was the photographer. Reiki master Iman Ali was the model. The publication received an Eddie (editorial) honorable mention for a full issue — January/ February 2021 — in the city and regional category. While the magazine has received its fair share of GPA and FOLIO Awards in the past, this year’s winnings proved even more meaningful considering that all of this content was generated during the oppressive crush of the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the stories were created and images captured during the early lockdowns, creating an unprecedented set of challenges when it came to both photographing and reporting. But, says Editor Lindsey Adkison, the entire team stepped up to overcome those obstacles. re t | futu presen past |

“To say that producing a magazine in 2020 was a challenge is a vast understatement. Not only were we facing the logistical issues of closures during the first lockdown, but we were also deeply concerned for the health of our of staff, freelancers, and sources,” Adkison says. “It was a truly monumental task, one that makes this recognition all the more rewarding. We treasure our responsibility to share the stories of this community. We are so incredibly grateful to everyone, especially our readers, who have supported us along the way. You are the reason we do what we do.” Publisher Buff Leavy agrees. After such a difficult period, Leavy feels the honors are all the more precious. “Receiving this recognition for 2020 is outstanding. We are grateful to the community and our advertisers for the essential and strong support that was necessary to pull off publishing incredible editions one after the other in such a challenging year,” he says. “Lindsey continues to amaze with her incredible talent and direction in capturing the essence of the Golden Isles through storytelling and photography.”

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Q

The Art of Story:

b

St. Simons Festival celebrates time-honored tradition WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | PHOTOS BY SAM PAYNE

Bil Lepp has always known how to spin a good yarn. The West Virginia native hails from five generations of storytellers and that lineage has helped Lepp create a career of his own, sharing tall tales and fanciful fables that spring from his imagination. Lepp has published 25 collections of stories — both books and albums. He also serves as host of The History Channel’s Man vs. History. But in addition to appearing on television, he’s also become a “regular” right here in the Golden Isles. For the last seven years, Lepp has been a key part of the annual Storytelling Festival, held at Epworth By the Sea on St. Simons Island. For his part, Lepp enjoys gathering with other storytellers from around the country in an intimate setting on St. Simons Island. “I’ve been there since the beginning, from the first or second festival. My favorite part about it is that, unlike a lot of artists, we get to watch people enjoy our art. You know, as an author, if you see someone reading your book, you can’t go read it over people’s shoulders ... that would be weird,” he says with a laugh. “But it’s all original material, and we work hard on it writing these stories and seeing how the

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audience reacts. Hopefully, it’s positive ... it usually is. That’s the best thing, just seeing someone have an emotional reaction to some joke you came up with.” It’s not an easy process. Crafting stories centered on humor is tough. Lepp says that it typically takes him a full year to bring a story from concept to fruition and ready for oral transmission. From the process, he’s learned a lot about what makes a good story. Those lessons can be helpful for anyone who enjoys sharing tales with others — and he’s got a couple of tips to share. “I think that you really have to believe in the material. All of mine is made up, so you have to believe in it and trust that it’s good. You have to have that self-confidence and understand why it works. You have to be fully committed,” he says. “Also, you can never be the hero of your own story. You know how it is when someone is telling you all about how great they are ... we stop listening.” Once again, Lepp will be sharing his award-winning technique during the upcoming Storytelling Festival February 18 to 22 at Epworth By the Sea on St. Simons Island. Other performers to appear include Josh Goforth, Ed Stivender, and Carmen Agra Deedy.


“One thing I really like about this festival is that it’s usually warm ... that’s always nice. The crowd has grown a bunch over the years and there are people who come from a large portion of the Southeastern United States. It’s a beautiful venue and you get a great interaction with the audience and you get great feedback,” he says. “A lot of people stay right there on site so you eat in the cafeteria. You see these folks a lot, so you get to know what is working and what’s not working.” It’s also valuable for the audience, many of whom don’t have frequent opportunities to partake in live storytelling events.

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Tiffany Flavell at Epworth By the Sea says this is precisely why they enjoy hosting the event each year. “The St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival provides an opportunity for those who haven’t experienced it to learn that storytelling is not just for children,” she says. “The St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival presents the craft of storytelling through performances of the spoken word, musical performance, singing, joke telling, and life sharing across social and cultural experiences. Storytelling is great entertainment, but also carries greater meaning in the preservation of culture, values, and continuing education.”

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Tickets for the weekend are available for both “commuters,” as well as those who are staying on site. For full details or to purchase tickets, visit stsimonsislandstorytellingfestival.com.

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Pancakes

Q

at the

Pier:

Event marks beginning of Lent

t

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | PHOTO BY NANCY REYNOLDS

The Revs. Tom Purdy and Tommy Townsend sat together at a cozy table in Palmer’s Village Cafe on St. Simons Island, piping hot coffee before them. Chef John Belechak appeared, two heaping plates of pancakes in hand. “These are our oats and nuts pancake. They’re very popular, but of course, Buddy’s Banana Pudding Pancakes are our most popular. They have vanilla and banana infusion with crusted ‘Nilla Wafers,” Belechak says. There are a plethora of options on the menu at Palmer’s, but for Purdy and Townsend it was a dry run of sorts. Purdy, the priest at Christ Church Frederica, and Townsend, priest at Holy Nativity, have teamed up to join their congregations for a cele-

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bration of Shrove Tuesday. It’s a festive day, ahead of the more solemn observance of Ash Wednesday, which heralds the beginning of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. “Shrove Tuesday gets its name from an English word that means ‘absolution,’ because Christians would often confess their sins in the week before Lent began as a way to begin this season appropriately. For some people, it now means you have ‘absolution’ to eat and celebrate on this day before Lent begins,” Purdy says. Enter the pancakes. “Our tradition is to eat pancakes and sausage on Shrove Tuesday. ‘Pancake Day’ is actually what


it’s called in England, although it has other names and other places. In Germany, it’s known as ‘Fastnacht Day,’ which replaces pancakes for lard enriched sugary donuts,” Purdy says. In previous times, the churches have held their own celebrations ahead of the Lenten season. But a couple of years ago, Christ Church and Holy Nativity decided to host a joint breakfast at the Casino on St. Simons. Of course, they were sidelined last year due to the pandemic. “Here at Holy Nativity, the men in the church would take charge of the kitchen and prepare a traditional meal of pancakes, bacon, and sausage. The parish hall would be decorated in all of the beautiful things one might expect to see at Mardi Gras, on the Fat Tuesday Celebration in New Orleans. It was just a time to celebrate our life together as a parish, but also to mark the beginning of Lent that would take place the next day on Ash Wednesday,” Townsend says. “A few years ago, we decided to break tradition and join our brothers and sisters from Christ Church in a more public celebration, inviting our neighbors here on the island to join in. We did not know it, but it would be our last public event together before COVID came and the world changed.”

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This year, after so much difficulty and heartbreak, they are looking to bring it back. The churches are inviting their congregations, as well as the community, to their Pancakes at the Pier program, which will return from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 1 at the St. Simons Casino. There is no cost, but donations are certainly appreciated. As they move into the Lenten season, both Purdy and Townsend encourage the faithful to use the time for reflection. That can be done through giving up vices, prayer, or fasting, as well as meditation. “It’s important to Christians because it does signify the start of a time of penitence, prayer, and fasting. It is part of a healthy spiritual life to be able to recognize the places where we fall short, make amends, and seek reconciliation,

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Palmer’s Pancake Recipe Yields: 10 servings, two cakes each DRY MIX 5 cups All Purpose Flour ¾ tsp baking soda 1 Tbsp iodized salt 1 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar DIRECTIONS Mix the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

which makes Lent an important time for so many of us. Shrove Tuesday is like the trumpet blast that reminds us that the season is upon us,” Purdy says. Townsend agrees. And he urges individuals to spend the time taking inventory of one’s life as a step toward repentance and giving up practices that keep one separate from God. “We must take an honest look at the things in our lives that keep us from being the reflection of Christ in the world — personal habits, relationships, attachments, that hold us back. Once we identify them and clearly seeing our part in that brokenness, we can then turn our hearts back to God and lay them at the foot of the cross,” he says.

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WET MIX 5 eggs, separated (reserve whites in a small mixing bowl and yolks in a large mixing bowl) 5 cups buttermilk (add to egg yolks, mix and whip) ¼ cup whole butter, in a separate container and melted in the microwave DIRECTIONS Whip the melted butter into the wet mix. Incorporate the finished wet mix into the dry mix, being careful not to overmix — some lumps are good. Beat the egg whites to a stiff peak and fold into batter, a little at a time. Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake. Allow the batter to cook until it starts to solidify. Then, flip it over. Cook until both sides are golden brown and serve with your favorite maple syrup.


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Q Breast Cancer Fashion Show

&

Luncheon moves to February

WORDS BY LAUREN MCDONALD | PROVIDED PHOTOS

e

Everyone around the table had their own difficult story to share. One woman was a 14-year survivor of breast cancer. Another shared that she lost her sister to breast cancer. Others had lost family members to other kinds of cancer. Despite the challenges being shared though, the mood in the room remained joyous. Everyone cheered when a woman shared that she’s been cancer free for almost three decades. Another introduced herself as a “breast cancer survivor and fighter.” “I am now in my fourth diagnosis since 2002, when I was first diagnosed, and then I went into remission for several years and then have been re-diagnosed three times in the same breast in my ribs and on my spleen,” says Pamela Rotunda, who lives in Brunswick. “So I’m currently once again under treatment.” Rotunda will be among the models featured in the 22nd Annual Breast Cancer Fashion Show & Luncheon, which will take place Feb. 5 at Sea Palms Resort on St. Simons. She shared her story during a meet-and-greet for the models in this year’s show. The event was postponed from its 28

G O L D E N I S LES

traditional October 2021 date because of a local surge in COVID-19 cases. But its important purpose hasn’t changed, says Joy Cook, chair of the event. “We just couldn’t take a chance, so we decided every month should be Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” Cook says. Models in the show are breast cancer survivors or are currently going through their own battle with the disease. Judy Sutton will model for the first time this year. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 has has been in the clear for five years. Sutton sees the fashion show as an opportunity to increase support for women battling breast cancer and for survivors. “Anything that I can do to help raise money to support breast cancer awareness, I’ll do,” she says. Ruby Jackson will also be modeling in the show for the first time. She was diagnosed last summer with aggressive breast cancer that doctors said was between stage two and three. “They had to treat me aggressively because the


cancer was going fast,” Jackson says. She has since undergone weekly chemotherapy treatments. These treatments leave her feeling exhausted, and she says she often returns from appointments and has to lie down to get a couple hours of sleep right after. Jackson, 64, has lived on St. Simons her entire life and has driven a school bus for Glynn County Schools for 35 years. She’s also worked with the Relay for Life team for many years and has long been a fan of the fashion show, often attending as an audience member. She says it’s a privilege to be a model this year. “I don’t care if people know I’ve got cancer,” she says. “I’m going to do it. There’s nothing to be ashamed about ... for anybody to get cancer. It’s just a hurdle I’ve got to go through. God puts things there, and you’ve got to rise to the occasion. I have faith that I’m going to beat this, baby. I’m going to beat this.”

This year’s event will include a live and silent auction, as well as the sale of the “pink box,” a mystery give away. “People buy the box, and they don’t know what they’re buying,” Cook says. “They pay $20, and we guarantee it’s at least a $25 (prize) if not more.” Cook has chaired the fashion show for more than 10 years, and she also volunteers at the hospital’s cancer center. “I would like to see an end to cancer in my lifetime,” she says.

GENUINO

“That tells you a lot about this committee and how much they care,” Cook says. And the fashion show, for Cook, is all about supporting the women who serve as models.

“We should take care of ourselves, because if we don’t take care of ourselves no one else will,” Jackson says.

“I’ll be honest with you. I do it for the models,” she says. “And we of course hope to make lots of money so research can continue, but seeing how it affects the models is everything. I think that’s why the community supports us, because everybody knows somebody that’s had breast cancer.”

Other sponsors this year include Ameris Bank, Dr. and Mrs. A.W. Strickland, Mark and Emelia Stambaugh, Coastal Community Health Service, BHHS Hodnett

All Natural Ingredients Imported from Italy.

The fashion show’s planning committee has 13 members, eight of whom are breast cancer survivor and former models in the show.

Breast exams are important, she says, and she delayed hers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tickets for the fashion show cost $50 and go on sale Jan. 7. All proceeds raised will support the American Cancer Society. This year’s event is presented by Dr. Vincent Arlauskas, Dr. Stephen Barrett, and Dr. Bradley Easterlin.

Cooper Real Estate, Green Key Hyperformance Driving Team, Southeast Georgia Health System, and Wommack Dentistry.

Tickets can be purchased at Cunningham Jewelers, Gentlemen’s and Lady Outfitters, and Saint Simons Drug Company. Online purchases can be made at relayforlife.org/glynncounty.

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Q

galleries, and restaurants will be open. For details, visit discoverbrunswick.com. January 16 Taste of Glynn, a benefit for Glynn Community Crisis Center, will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the King & Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St. Simons Island. Area restaurants will share samplings of their menus. Tickets are $45 in advance or $60 at the door. For more information, visit atasteofglynn.com. No Kill Glynn County is hosting a celebration in honor of television star and animal activist Betty White’s 100th birthday. It will be from 5 to 8 p.m. at Bennie’s Red Barn on St. Simons Island. Tickets are $65 per person. Local band Squirt Gun will perform. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com and search for No Kill Glynn County. January 22 The St. Simons Land Trust Oyster Roast will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gascoigne Bluff on St. Simons Island. Tickets are $85 per person for non-members and $60 for members. For details, visit sslt.org. January 24 The Coastal Symphony of Georgia will host its concert “Melody, Harmony and Grace” at 8 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church on St. Simons Island. Adult tickets are $50. Children will be admitted for $15. For more information, visit coastalsymphonyofgeorgia.org.

Around the Town January Editor’s note: At the time of the printing, these events were slated to be held. However, as has been seen with the coronavirus, cancelations are always a possibility. Please check with individual organizations to ensure activities are progressing as planned. January 7 First Friday will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. along Newcastle and surrounding streets in downtown Brunswick. Shops, 30

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January 29 The Brunswick Rockin Stewbilee will begin at 9 a.m. at Mary Ross Waterfront Park in downtown Brunswick. The event will include a stew cooking contest, entertainment, and more. For details, visit brunswickstewbilee.com.


February February 3 to 6 Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife will return to the Jekyll Island

Drugs, and Gentlemen & Lady Outfitters. For more informa-

green for multiple days of beverage tastings and inspired

tion, visit acssarfl.ejoinme.org/GlynnCounty.

cuisine from some of the South’s best chefs. Visit whiskeywineandwildlife.com for details and ticket packages.

February 14 The Coastal Symphony of Georgia will host its concert “Love

February 4

and Loss” at 8 p.m. at Brunswick High School in Brunswick.

First Friday will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. along Newcastle

Adult tickets are $50. Children will be admitted for $15. For

and surrounding streets in downtown Brunswick. Shops,

details, visit coastalsymphonyofgeorgia.org.

galleries, and restaurants will be open and offer specials. For details, visit discoverbrunswick.com.

February 18 and 19 The Southeast Georgia Foundation’s Bridge Run will return

February 5

in-person with multiple races. On Feb. 18, a pre-run Pasta

The American Cancer Society will host its 22nd annual

Party and Vendors Expo will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the

Breast Cancer Fashion Show and Luncheon, which was

foot of the bridge. There will be a 10K Double Pump at 7

postponed in October, at noon at Sea Palms on St. Simons

a.m.; 8:30 a.m. First Responders Challenge; 5K runners begin

Island. Doors will open at 11:15 a.m. for the silent auction

at 9:30 a.m.; and the 5K walkers start at 10:30 a.m. Prices

and pink poxes. Tickets are $50 and go on sale January

vary depending on the race and which competition one

5 at Cunningham Jewelers in Brunswick and St. Simons

enters. For more information or to register, visit ACTIVE.com.

JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2022

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Facts P

J U ST T H E

2,000

2,000 feet of energy-saving lights are strung in the trees at Gascoigne Bluff

icture this: Tables of freshly steamed oysters ready for shucking, booth after booth of delicious coastal cuisine waiting to be enjoyed, and live music under twinkling lights. These are a few of the sights and sounds you’ll experience as you enter the St. Simons Land Trust’s Oyster Roast on January 22.

Held at Gascoigne Bluff Park on St. Simons Island, this annual fundraiser has been considered one of the most popular community events in the Golden Isles for more than 20 years. Restaurants and partners of the nonprofit join together to support the important cause of conservation. And because this much-anticipated event is right around the corner, we have gathered some fun facts from the 2020 event to showcase just how great the Land Trust’s Oyster Roast really is … read on to learn more and make sure to visit sslt.org for tickets.

3,000 2

WORDS BY RALEIGH KITCHENS PHOTOS BY CHRIS MONCUS

1,300

The 2020 event boasted more than 1,300 attendees

3,000 pounds of oysters are served

2 tons of waste are kept from landfill

1,100 1,100-plus acres of maritime forest, habitat, and green space are protected

70

More than 70 restaurants and other local vendors participated in 2020 in January, just prior to the pandemic

130

Volunteers are the backbone of any fundraiser, and more than 130 turn out to support the Land Trust

2,700

2,700 pounds of recycled oyster shells are collected JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2022

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DUE SOUTH If my playing lasted too long into the dusky evenings, I’d jump up, reach high, and pull the light on. Someone, who was friends with a worker we’d hired, stole that light a few years ago. Fortunately, I still had another that matched it, which we hung at the barn. Back then, though, for hours on end, I made mud pies and decorated them with either fresh blackberries from a nearby bush or green or red holly berries from another bush.

The allure of the Island

W

WORDS BY RONDA RICH | PHOTO BY TERESA JONES

When I was a child growing up on Rural Route One, my favorite games requiring imagination and a peek into adulthood was to play “house.” Countless hours were spent with my green Suzy Homemaker “working” oven (it baked cakes with a hot lightbulb) and refrigerator. Santa brought a small, off-white buffet with Queen Anne legs, functioning doors and drawers trimmed in gold and replete with silver (plastic) serving pieces and candlesticks. One Friday night, while watching television’s Gomer Pyle, I burned my

34

G O L D E N I S LES

chocolate layer cake. Just as distractions get the best of us as grown cooks, when a long phone call causes us to burn the biscuits, I was caught up in an argument between Gomer and his girlfriend, LuAnn. Even though they were plastic and not real, the pieces were still fancier, to a five-year-old child, than the mountain plainness of our kitchen. We had no buffet — we dipped our plates up from the stove or passed bowls at the kitchen table — and our range was plain with electric eyes. The fridge was so awful that it was often an embarrassment to me because it was old, small, and stout. It’s now called vintage and I’m crazy about it. Not then, though. If I was outside, playing house, I plopped down in the sand box that Daddy built for me. There was no box. Only a truck bed of sand dumped under two Georgia pines — one tree had a vintage 1940 hooded light with a string long enough for me to reach.

Making a home has been important to me since I was old enough to run and trip among the twigs and leaves of my childhood. We have the Rondarosa, which includes my childhood home and the few grains of sand that are left of that sandbox. But sometimes, our hearts yearn for a second home that will take us away from the worry or chaos of the first home or, in both mine and Tink’s case, that offers us a quiet respite to write and create — our chosen vocations in life. It will not surprise you that it was the Georgia islands, specifically St. Simons, that called to me. A lovely, calming place that, for over two decades, has danced around me alluringly and whispered like a siren from a Homer epic, “Come to me. I am home, too.” This is true. St. Simons is, to me, what writers and artists call “my muse.” She inspires me. Once, I spent seven days, split between Sea Island and St. Simons, and I wrote nine columns in that week. I usually take a month to write that many. That is how powerful the Golden Isles are. Tink and I talk often of buying a second place there or renting one, but the right one — IT — had never presented itself. A few weeks ago at midnight, IT appeared on a real estate listing. A charming 1945 cottage that had been


restored and situated herself in a beautiful green spot that teasingly welcomed us and our two dogs. I wasted no time. By eight the next morning, the call was made. By noon, the offer was made. By 1 p.m., we were told that we had lost it by minutes. I cried.

St. Simons, though, is a siren like no other to me. I had asked God to close the door if it wasn’t right and, believing my earnestness, He did. Still, it was hard to accept. I liken it to the time that Daddy was trying to die. He had spent two years trying to get to Jesus but our doctors and my family interfered. Finally, we saw the light and prayed for his sake, not ours, that he would earn his glorified body and leave behind his worn-out one.

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God answered those prayers by the full moon of a November night. I cried. Shed tears are often cried as much over answered prayers as unanswered ones. Perhaps 2022 will be different and the good Lord will bring us the right spot on St. Simons. And if He doesn’t, here’s full disclosure: I may cry again.

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BY DESIGN

Mild weather buoys early outdoor entertainment

I

WORDS BY MATT DART

It’s awesome to live in a place that starts to see warm weather in late February and early March. And in our community, we have lots of great spaces designed for outdoor living. Porches, patios, decks, and pools are a key design element of new construction. As you start to spend more time outdoors, take note of some design trends in outdoor furnishings. First, we are continuing to see outdoor furnishings follow the trends of indoor interior design. For instance, at Pierce & Parker we are seeing vendors really stretching to produce interesting tables that emphasize design every bit as functionality. From a navy blue rattan and teak console table to a precision cast

concrete whitewashed cocktail table, manufacturers are pushing to make furniture that adds visual interest while not compromising on the durability needed to stand up to the elements. Ceramic garden seats, which are popular to use as drink tables, are becoming more and more intricate and colorful, almost works of art in their own right. We’re also seeing vendors becoming more bold in mixing of materials in outdoor furniture. Instead of only teak or rattan or aluminum, we have lounge chairs with teak frames with woven rope or fabric slings as support, or aluminum tables with stone tops. There recently has been a lot of design focus on outdoor lighting and rugs, two areas where bland but functional was previously the norm. Woven pendants and chandeliers in high-grade vinyl rattan or marine-grade rope are popular choices now. We’re even beginning to see decorative outdoor table and floor lamps with durable shades and waterproof electronics. In rugs, technology in weaving and materials produce options that feel like natural fibers, like wool or cotton, but are impervious to

staining or weather. In fact, at Pierce & Parker, we often sell outdoor rugs for indoor use because the design choices have caught up with interior rugs. It’s a similar story with outdoor pillows — we often have customers that are confused as to which pillows are indoor or outdoor, because the quality and breadth of selection mirrors what is available indoors. All of this adds up to a more curated and tailored look to your outside living areas, which really allows you to express your personal style. For instance, your outdoor dining area can have the same kind of attention to detail as your indoor dining room — custom seat cushions in “sunbrella” fabrics with contrast welts, coordinating rug with some subtle highlights of your cushion color, fabulous outdoor chandelier, maybe host chairs in a coordinating style as your side chairs with lumbar pillows pull in another fabric that utilizes your colors. The idea is to layer on things that you love in a coordinated way to express your specific sense of style while still producing an overall design that is harmonious. JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2022

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LIVING WELL

Pictured are Hospice of the Golden Isles’ Auxiliary Members Sube Lawrence, from left, Melissa Stroud, Lori Fiveash, Ali Coleman, Melinda Dickinson, Lynn Lewis, Glenn Ferrell, Denisha Summers, Donna Johnson, Joan Hearn, Elain Goodwin, and Barbara Bruce

director, who is a board-certified doctor in hospice and palliative medicine. • It offers community bereavement services to residents dealing with grief and loss, even if their loved one was not in their care. The care Hospice of the Golden Isles provides differs from other types of healthcare because the focus of the non-profit organization is on honoring patients’ lives and offering comfort and support to their loved ones when curing an illness is no longer possible. This specialized care allows patients to have pain and symptoms expertly treated, with the goal of retaining clarity to enjoy time with family and friends. Hospice care is about helping people do the things they love for as long as they are able.

Hospice Auxiliary steps up to give back

O

WORDS BY SISSY BLANCHARD, BECKY DERRICK, AND DONNA JOHNSON

Over the past two years, so many of us have faced new challenges and have been often reminded just how important it is to take care of each other. While it hasn’t always been easy, it’s been beautiful to see how people in our community and worldwide rose to the occasion and helped those in need. Locally, Hospice of the Golden Isles is one non-profit agency that continues to take on that mission. A community fixture for more than 40 years — now even more vital than before — Hospice of the Golden Isles, despite all the challenges that the pandemic brought with it, continues to

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provide care for patients and their families in need, wherever they are and regardless of ability to pay.

A few key facts about Hospice of the Golden Isles (HGI): • HGI is the only community-founded non-profit hospice serving Southeast Coastal Georgia since 1980 (serving families in Glynn, Camden, McIntosh, Brantley, and Charlton counties). • It cares for hospice-eligible patients facing life-limiting illnesses. • It’s the only area hospice with a free-standing inpatient facility, the Robinson Center, which provides acute/symptom management and respite care. • It is the only area hospice providing a residential patient facility, the Jolley House, for patients without a suitable home situation or caregiver. • HGI is the only area hospice that employs a full-time physician medical

The mission of the organization is to walk families through the end-of-life process with care and dignity. Many don’t know that Hospice of the Golden Isles also guides the bereaved families toward a path of healing from grief and loss. Providing care at this level is expensive and, while some of the costs are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, the gap is still substantial. Hospice of the Golden Isles relies heavily on community fundraisers and donations to cover uncompensated patient costs, and much of that comes to fruition from the hard work of a seemingly tireless group of volunteers — the Auxiliary of Hospice of the Golden Isles, a membership-driven organization dedicated to supporting the mission of Hospice of the Golden Isles through community awareness, fundraising, and patient projects. In 2008, the Auxiliary of Hospice of the Golden Isles was established to help support fundraising and community education initiatives. Janice Lamattina served as the Auxiliary’s first board president. She and her inaugural Board of Directors were instrumental in helping to grow Hospice of the Golden Isles into the vibrant organization it is today. Since its inception, the Auxiliary has raised over $800,000 in unrestricted funds for Hospice of the Golden Isles to meet the agency’s areas of greatest need. The Auxiliary has recently helped the organization make capital improvements to their Hospice House, including a new roof and the


purchase of commercial generators. It has also covered a significant portion of Hospice of the Golden Isles charity care for patients without insurance coverage or the ability to pay for residential hospice services.

Designing around you!

With the Auxiliary’s focus on fundraising and community awareness, they host several events each year — Wine, Women & Shoes, Open Homes Open Hearts and the Bridge Luncheon. The Auxiliary is excited to bring those events back in 2022, beginning with Wine Women & Shoes.

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M

D G N SI

The 9th Annual Wine Women & Shoes event will be held at the new event venue, Frederica Golf Club on St. Simons Island, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 5. As always, the event will be a combination of all things fabulous: wine tastings from national-award winning vintners, shopping with exclusive marketplace vendors, trip raffles, wine raffles, a dream closet raffle, live auction, silent auction, jewelry pull, fashion show, superb swag bags, charming Shoe Guys and a delectable, seated lunch. This event truly is the most fun “girls’ day out” experience in the area, offering something to be enjoyed by everyone.

M O O R E

E

Wine Women & Shoes is a highly anticipated event by ladies of all ages around the area. It is always an early sell-out and the approximately 400 attendees are key influencers, tastemakers and connectors in their homes and communities. Over the past eight years, Wine Women & Shoes attendees have had a spectacular time while raising nearly $300,000 for the cause. The 9th year promises all the same fun — and more! — with a little change in scenery.

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New Year, Healthier You

Beauty Inside & Out

Donna Johnson, 2021 President of the Auxiliary, is excited to bring back the in-person Wine Women & Shoes event, “It’s an enjoyable and worthwhile event —one of the most popular and talked-about events in our area. We encourage our attendees to be ‘fabulous’ for a great cause and partner with the patients and families of Hospice of the Golden Isles.”

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Tickets go on sale soon, so be sure to follow Wine Women & Shoes Golden Isles on Facebook and Instagram to get yours before they’re gone! For more information, please visit our website www.winewomenandshoes.com/event/ goldenisles or email us at auxhospicegi@ gmail.com.

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N AT U R E C O N N E CT I O N

Making Birds Count WORDS BY LYDIA THOMPSON which circle has the most birds or the rarest ones. In the mid-1990s, when the internet was becoming more user-friendly, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology decided to try out this new technology to see if they could map where the different species of birds were wintering. In addition, they were looking at how weather trends affected where the birds winter. Thus, the Cornell Lab created the Great Backyard Bird Count around Valentine’s weekend. At first, the lab was getting folks who feed the birds to log onto the Great Backyard Bird Count website and record the birds. The maps show in real-time where the birds were around the country. But over the years, it has grown and expanded beyond the backyard.

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Chickadees, titmice, cardinals, and sparrows — winter is the time to count birds. Why? Birds settle in the winter. They are not nesting. In summer, one day you will have a noisy pair of birds, and the next thing you know, you have baby birds all over the place. It is hard to keep up with the comings and goings of all those bird families. In the fall and spring, the types of birds are con-

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stantly changing. One day, there may be a group of warblers … the next day, there are a bunch of thrushes. Migration is fun for trying to see unusual birds. But, in the winter, we have our resident cardinals, chickadees, and titmice just hanging out. Our winter birds are sitting in their area, so it is easy to get an idea of the number of birds. Starting in December and continuing through January 1, the National Audubon Society conducts the annual Christmas Bird Count. Local Audubon groups create a 15-mile diameter circle, which is divided among groups of birders. Each group would come together in the evening and compile the number of birds each group saw. There are several bird-count circles along our Georgia Coast. At the end of the bird count period, we have a good picture of our winter birds. It is exciting to see

It is my life focus to encourage new birders. These two bird counts are perfect. They both pair experienced birders with beginners and grow their knowledge of birds. Our Glynn County bird count is January 1. The Great Backyard Bird Count is February 18-21. Look at the Coastal Georgia Audubon website for details. www.coastalgeorgiaaudubon.org Last year, I joined Art Trends Gallery. Our January-February show is called “For The Love of Birds.” I will be giving two talks. On January 13, I will be giving a talk titled “Making Birds Count.” The subject is on the Christmas Bird Count and some exciting birds we found along our coast. On February 10, the talk is titled, “The Great Backyard Bird Count,” and the program will be a tutorial on the count and birds we might see at our bird feeders. All this counting of birds shows us how we connect to our coast and the world through the birds. It is a Nature Connection we can count on.


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M O N E Y TA L K S hood and the logistics of owning an income-producing property. They are knowledgeable, have experience in short-term vacation rentals, and are valuable resources when conducting your research. When focusing on a specific property, don’t hesitate to ask for two to three years of rental history and inquire about any problems or complaints renters have experienced.

Consider the Market

Pursuing Residential Real Estate as Income-Producing Assets

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WORDS BY AL BROWN

As a real estate broker who primarily handles residential properties, it is anathema to me to present a residential transaction as an investment. In my 47-plus year career, I’ve thought of it as selling memories, not real estate. With that said, the shortterm rental property market is hot in the Golden Isles, and it’s only natural for this to be a consideration for clients seeking a second home that produces income. We are a premier destination with premier amenities. There are a few guidelines and caveats to consider if you are in the market for an income-producing property.

Know Your Objective Are you buying the home purely as a rental? Or do you want to use it part of the year for your own family as well? Is cash flow the primary objective? Or is it simply value appreciation?

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Every decision you make in the purchase of an income-producing property will impact your bottom line. When comparing properties, consider the capitalization rate (cap rate) derived by dividing the net operating income by the purchase price. Leveraging the purchase with a mortgage will enhance your return on investment, but there are costs and risks involved. When rates are good and lending is easy like they are currently, borrowing could be a more viable option than when rates rise. Either way, having a clear objective for what you want from the income-producing property is a must.

Do Your Homework Every neighborhood is distinct. Some are ripe for short-term vacation rentals and others simply don’t allow them. Research things like covenants, zoning, and restrictions when you find the property you like. It’s also a good idea to gauge the attitude of the neighbors. There may not be any restrictions on vacation rentals in the neighborhood, but if local attitudes are hesitant about them, your property may be less attractive to renters and therefore not as lucrative. Be considerate of your neighbors. Talk to property management companies in the Golden Isles about the neighbor-

I can’t promise my prospective income-producing buyers they will make money. There are always risks when purchasing a property, especially an income producer. I talk to buyers about trends and the market. We are currently in a sellers’ market. Prices are high and inventory is low, which continues to push prices up. I don’t see that changing soon. For income-producing properties, knowing the rental market is just as important. Again, property management companies are an invaluable resource. Understanding the dynamics of location versus rental rates will give you a clearer picture of the money you stand to make and of how you and your family can use the property as well. Most of all, be realistic. Keep your expectations in check and know that embarking on an income-producing property journey will have its speed bumps and unforeseen expenses. If handled properly, you and your family can enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come. — Al Brown is the owner of Al Brown Company Real Estate , 60 Cinema Lane, Ste. 120, St. Simons Island. For more information or to arrange an appointment, call 912.268.2671 or email albrown@ albrowncompany.com.


2022 OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7 | 10 AM - 12 PM Campus Tours Available

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8 | 10 AM Early Childhood Parent Information Session (PK-K) + Campus Tours

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 | 10 AM Lower School Parent Information Session (Grades 1-4) + Campus Tours

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10 | 10 AM Middle School Parent Information Session (Grades 5-8) + Campus Tours

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11 | 10 AM Upper School Parent Information Session (Grades 9-11) + Campus Tours

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To schedule a campus tour or to RSVP for an Open House Parent Session, please contact Helen Rentz at (912) 638-9981, ext. 106, or helenrentz@fredericaacademy.org.

Our integrated curriculum promotes seamless transitions for students from year to year in an educational environment that values and celebrates intellectual curiosity, engagement, and honorable behavior. The Frederica Academy family invites your family to see the difference at one of Georgia’s premier college preparatory schools. Open House will provide an opportunity to meet and interact with teachers, administrators, and students, as well as tour our beautiful campus located on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Reservations are requested. We hope to see you there!

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GAME CHANGERS

Soccer program helps kids reach goals WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

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It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when Shawn Williams didn’t even know what a soccer ball looked like. At least, that’s what he claims. “I knew nothing about it,” he says with a laugh. “Since I was 18 years old, I have coached football and basketball, but

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I was actually introduced to the sport by my oldest son, Sean Williams Jr., who started playing. That was my first introduction to the game.” But he quickly learned about the sport through his son. And Williams discovered that soccer provided both physical skills, as well as life lessons that are valuable and unique. “It combines a lot of things from other sports that I enjoy ... the running from basketball and football, but soccer is really the sport that’s most like life. The coach is not calling the plays for you to run. The coach doesn’t call the timeouts when there’s a problem. It’s really the children, the players, who are doing that. So in that sense, it’s truly an athletes’ game,” Williams says. “The coaches are really there to just observe and make subtle changes, but the game is the really in the hands of players. They have to step up when things are not

going right or there’s some adversity.” Those are powerful lessons that offer so much value off the field. And it’s why he wanted to help bring soccer to more children. So in 2004, Williams and his supporters founded Coastal Outreach Soccer in Brunswick. “At the time, the City of Brunswick didn’t have a soccer program. We wanted to be able to reach the children that live primarily in the city limits of Brunswick and also focus on helping to increase the high school graduation rate while serving these kids,” he said. Today, Coastal Outreach Soccer works with the Glynn County School System and the Brunswick Recreation Department. It offers an Academy Program for youngsters ages 4 to 10. This group meets at different locations, many of those being public housing complexes and public parks, to stage Saturday morning scrimmage games.


“With this program, we bring all of those kids together and we don’t tell anyone who they’re playing. We just hand out the vests and have those scrimmage games. It reduces the anxiety of playing, so there’s no stress that you have to beat a certain team,” he says. “We’re not focused on winning, we focus on learning and developing relationships and friendships with everyone.”

Taking Reservations for the 2022 Season

In addition to the Academy Program, Williams says they also provide a travel program for older students. This allows children in sixth through 12th grades to further blossom as soccer players. “This is an affiliate of the Grass Field Georgia Soccer Association. It’s a part of the U.S. Soccer Federation, which is the national governing body. So we have a set schedule and the games take us as far away as Northern Atlanta or Athens. But even though it’s a competitive team, we don’t focus on winning. We have some 9th and 10th grade students who’ve never played the game before,” he says. The program continues to expand and Williams is thrilled that Coastal Outreach Soccer will open its own futsal court early this year at Howard Coffin Park. The court will support a form of indoor soccer played on a hard surface between two teams of five players each. The project, Williams adds, is a huge boost for area soccer.

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“We are extremely excited. The GA 100 campaign, which is led by the Atlanta United Foundation, provided the matching funds along with corporations and individuals. We will have one of the first futsal courts in the South,” he says. And while the game continues to grow, Williams adds that the other side of the coin remains equally important. Not only does Coastal Outreach Soccer offer children a start at the sport, it also provides academic support for future success. The students enrolled receive tutoring and mentoring, as well as incentives in the form of COS gear for maintaining honor roll status and keeping their grades up. For Williams, it all fits together to help produce grounded and well-rounded adults, as well as proficient student athletes. In many cases, the program inspires participants to continue their education through college, quite literally changing the trajectory of their lives.

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“You see these children who come into the sport, most often as first-generation soccer players. And they accept it as their thing. We get to watch them grow and develop as individuals over a period of 10 years,” he says. “We’re able to be there, assisting them and helping them reach their goals, whether that’s on the field or going to college.” For more information on Coastal Soccer Outreach, visit coastaloutreachsoccer.com.

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THE DISH where he and his family have been making these ovens for hundreds of years,” Stewart said. These incredible devices reach 900 degrees  Fahrenheit and can bake a fresh pizza in mere minutes. V Pizza incorporated this traditional method into its restaurant design. Stewart and his wife, Michelle, also traveled to Italy themselves to draw inspiration for the space. When they returned, they enlisted the help of local artist Clint Hobby, who painted a large-scale mural on V Pizza’s back wall from a photograph the couple took during their trip. The open floor plan allows for patrons to watch as the skilled chefs freshly prepare each dish. And that, of course, includes creating the dough each morning. “Our dough is made fresh every day exclusively from flour that’s imported directly from Italy,” Stewart says.

More than just a pizza WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

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The smell of freshly baked bread and bubbling cheese is intoxicating. Step-

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ping into V Pizza, next to Harris Teeter on St. Simons Island, diners are offered the rare opportunity to escape the beachy shores of the Golden Isles and visit a rustic Italian eatery, all without purchasing a plane ticket. V Pizza, which opened in 2019, is devoted to offering its diners an authentic culinary experience, which was cultivated after a trip to Italy. Owner George Stewart says the founders of V Pizza traveled to the Old World to discover the best possible method for preparing classic dishes. “Their search for the best of the best led to Stefano Ferrera in Naples,

“The ingredients are simple: flour, sea salt, distilled water, fresh yeast, and nothing else.” While the dough is key to any good Italian dish, the cheese is equally important. V Pizza utilizes Mozzarella Di Bufala, a drawn-curd cheese made exclusively from whole buffalo’s milk. It has a springy texture and a faint mossy smell, reminiscent of the humid grazing fields of Campania in Southern Italy. Stewart says that this authentic cheese takes a meal to the next level. “If you’ve never had the real mozzarella before, it’s definitely time you tasted this delicacy,” he says. As with the dough and cheese, the sauce is key. V Pizza’s sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes, widely considered the world’s best and most flavorful tomatoes, which are shipped directly from Italy. “We then add our house-made basil


pesto (no nuts). That’s it,” Stewart says. Authenticity plays into other elements of the menu as well. Its prosciutto, for instance, is the gold standard. It is produced in the province of Parma, using only four ingredients: specially prepared Italian ham, sea salt, air, and the most important ingredient — time. That’s another player in V Pizza’s prized bacon too. The restaurant serves traditional Pancetta, which is often called “Italian bacon.” Unlike its American cousin, which is most often smoked or chemically cured, pancetta is unsmoked pork belly that is cured in salt and spices, and then dried for several months. While the Pancetta is divine, no Italian menu would be complete without meatballs. V Pizza utilizes 100 percent all-natural meats to create this time-honored favorite. “Our meatballs are 100 percent natural without breading, making them a celebrated appetizer without guilt or gluten. Whether they are listed here or not, all of our ingredients have this in common: No artificial preservatives, all natural ingredients, no GMOs,” Stewart says.

In addition to the world-class menu, which also includes unique sandwiches, woodfired wings, salads, and desserts, V Pizza offers a complete wine list with a full service bar. There are also special events taking place weekly. For starters, the V Bar offers Happy Hour — all day, every day from 11 a.m. until close, with $3 well drinks and domestic beers. From 7 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday, local star Jeff Lane hosts Trivia Night with prizes and specials. At 6 p.m. Thursday, there’s a Paint and Sip Party, hosted by Hobby. V also has live music on the porch including local favorites and rising stars. Sundays feature $12 bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All of these elements — from the authentic, all-natural menu to the fabulous libations and exciting events — provide the perfect escape for locals and tourists alike. “We hope that you enjoy your experience at V Pizza and appreciate the taste of Old World Italy right here in the Golden Isles,” Stewart says.

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WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON PHOTOS BY TAMARA GIBSON

New

Paths Local sanctuary offers hope for animals

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he milky white horse stamped her hoof in the dirt. With a hearty snort, she tousles her thick mane. Darlene DeMayo watches nearby, as a grin spreads across her face. “This is Lacey,” she says, reaching a gentle hand to stroke her head. “She was being used as a broodmare. She had a foal before she was even mature herself.” When DeMayo first came across Lacey, the little horse was in rough shape. After being used to produce more mini horses, she had a significant (and understandable) distrust of humans and had an oversized sagging belly from the forced procreation. DeMayo felt Lacey belonged with her and her pack of recovering animals, so she brought Lacey home to the sanctuary she created — New Paths.

“It makes you feel great. And the animals, you can tell they appreciate it, they know they’re loved and are finally living the lives they deserve and it’s helping our community as well.” 50

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Situated off Highway 82 in western Glynn County, the non-profit boasts acres of open space for mini horses, like Lacey, full-sized horses, goats, and a pack of good-natured donkeys. Forming a 501c3 was not something that DeMayo had ever envisioned. In fact, it all began as a quest to help heal herself rather than assembling an army of hooves. “I was a dancer and I had a dance school up North, in Philadelphia. I taught dancing for a long time. I originally started dancing when I was little because my feet turned in,” she says, pointing her toes toward one another. “They thought it would help. So I danced for a long time and wouldn’t you know it ... then I had to have hip replacements.” This led her to first explore the world of horses. DeMayo had heard that riding might help her condition and was eager to get started. “The first one I rode, Doc, did a lot of little bunny hops and it almost felt like he was trying to throw me off,”


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Come have lunch, brunch, or dinner at Burnside’s & Co. she says with a giggle. “I told my husband ... I don’t know about this.” But he encouraged her to try again. Eventually, she ended up buying a horse named Kitty (and later a second horse for her husband). DeMayo figured it might be easier to ride with one horse bonded to her exclusively. During the training program, however, she started to notice that Kitty wasn’t excited about the process. “I would watch her and I would feel really bad. It all seemed so intrusive for her. I just didn’t like it. I remember asking the trainer ... ‘how do you know that they want us to ride them?,’” she says. “Then, I remember watching her one day after (training) and she urinated blood ... and I thought OK, no, this is not right.” It turned out that Kitty suffered from a urinary condition that,

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while treatable, made riding her an impossibility. But that left DeMayo with a dilemma — what to do with the unrideable horse. “There was really nowhere for her to go. I kept going to visit her at the place she was being boarded. And I got to know her really well. I got to know the other horses too,” she says. As she developed a better understanding of the issue of unwanted horses and other farm animals, DeMayo decided that she would step up to offer them a home without demands or expectations. “It started out with Kitty and then another horse, Bebe, who had a hard life too. We decided to form the 501c3 and to give them a home where they can just be themselves. They won’t be ridden ... they can just enjoy it,” DeMayo says.

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Knee Pain? Imagine Life Without the Debilitating Pain of Knee Osteoarthritis.

• Swelling and tenderness • Buckling or locking of the knee joint • Cracking or popping sounds

She and her husband purchased property for the sanctuary in 2016 and started the long process toward being certified as a non-profit.

• Decreased range of motion • Weakness • Pain in the morning or after inactivity

Over time, the four-legged family continued to grow. DeMayo is frequently contacted by people who come across various animals in need of rescue. Today, New Paths is home to eight horses; two mini horses; one donkey-horse mix; six donkeys; and six goats.

• Pain when walking • Discomfort when climbing stairs, rising from a seated position or kneeling

Many of the New Path residents were understandably skittish at first, but after being met with kindness, patience, and a lot of love, most of the animals are eager to welcome volunteers and guests. “Most of them love people. They’re very friendly. We have children come out on the weekends and they just have the best time,” DeMayo says. Of course, the mission is always in need of animal lovers willing to lend a hand. Taking care of the menagerie is hard, but incredibly rewarding work.

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“I don’t think it would have been something we would have done if our hand wasn’t forced a bit. But it’s wonderful to spend time with them. They’re really like service animals,” she says. And DeMayo is hopeful that the new year will bring more volunteers and donations to their doorstep. They are in the process of securing grants to keep the mission going. “It makes you feel great. And the animals, you can tell they appreciate it,” she says. “They know they’re loved and are finally living the lives they deserve, and it’s helping our community as well.”

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Sweet Caroline:

Volunteer Shares Story, Offers Tips on Finding a Passion Project in 2022

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON PHOTOS BY TAMARA GIBSON + RAVEN ALLEN

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aroline Blackshear’s long brown locks blew in the gentle breeze. The little dog on the leash stops, eyes wide, taking in his surroundings — the bright sun, the cream sand, the rolling waves.

Recognizing this familiar locale as one that harkens good times, the dog began to prance and dash along the beach. “Scootie!,” Blackshear squeals with a laugh. “He loves the beach.” He wasn’t alone, though his canine companion was a bit more reserved.

“Bliss is an angel,” she notes, lovingly glancing at her large, grey pit bull mix. Blackshear is a natural dog mom. She adopted Bliss while she was a student at the University of Georgia in Athens, assuming full — and often incognito — responsibility — for the puppy. “I saw a newspaper ad that she needed a home. My parents were like, ‘no way.’ I went and got her from Carrollton County anyway,” she says giggling. “I was a freshman then and was still living in the dorm, so I remember hiding her in my backpack or pocket book when I took her outside. She’s a doll. She’s such a great example of how great pit mixes can be.”

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Scootie, on the other hand, appeared a bit more ... unpredictable. “I had a friend from high school call me and say that she had the cutest puppy who just showed up at her back door. It was Scootie,” she recalls. “I took him to Animal Control to check to see if he had a microchip, then waited to see if anyone claimed him. No one did, so he’s mine now. I always say, ‘bless this mess’ when I talk about him because he is a mess.” Of course, the now 29-year-old Glynn County native grew up loving all animals. In fact, it was once her ambition to become a veterinarian. “I always had cats, dogs, and I rode horses growing up. We always had a lot of animals and I’ve always loved meeting other people’s animals,” she says with a laugh. “When I went off to college, I wanted to go to vet school, but chemistry wasn’t my strong suit. I did try for two years but then decided to do something different, so I ended up with a sociology degree.”

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Degree in hand, Blackshear decided to come back to her hometown where she started working in the marketing department for a company based in Tifton. As fate would have it, helping animals would still become a major focus in her life. While not doing it professionally, Blackshear found her way into the challenging, yet incredibly rewarding world of animal rescue. “It’s so funny because even though I lived in Glynn County my entire life, I had no idea that we had both a humane society and animal control. I thought they were the same thing. A few years ago when a storm was coming through, everyone had to evacuate. I saw a Facebook post where animal control was asking for hard chews and toys for the evacuation. So I ordered a bunch of stuff ... not realizing it wouldn’t arrive in time,” she says. “I took them over after we all got back in town. That was my first time going to animal control.” While she was unfamiliar with the facility, Blackshear knew herself well enough to try to avoid meeting any dogs in need of homes. “I didn’t want to go back to the kennels because I knew if I did, I would come back with 10 dogs,” she says. After a volunteer offered some gentle coaxing, she relented. But she didn’t leave with another pooch. Instead, she left with fresh determination to help the dogs she saw. “They’re trying to do the best they can for these dogs and keep them safe. But it was crowded and I never knew that we had such a problem with overpopulation. It broke my heart, so I signed up to be a volunteer. I would go out to animal control to walk the dogs and help promote them through a Facebook page,” Blackshear says. “I also started trying to reach out to different rescue groups to help find the dogs homes. There was one time when the shelter was so packed that two dogs were put in each kennel. Two of them got into a fight ... and one was hurt pretty badly, so much so that I was worried that she was going to die in my arms. I started frantically reaching out to rescues, and that’s how I had my first interaction with No Kill Glynn County.” The local nonprofit, founded by Shelly Bydlinski, formed in 2013. Since that time, it has run entirely off donations, volunteers, and occasional grants.

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The group has been credited with spaying and neutering more than 3,500 cats, which was its primary focal point in the early days. Now, they’ve also been instrumental in saving 150 dogs from euthanasia. No Kill Glynn County (NKGC) has also stepped in to help families who are facing financial strain due to a pet’s medical condition or vaccination costs. When Blackshear first reached out to them, they helped her find care for the injured dog and eventually the pup found a home in Camden County. “They really took me under their wing. The dog, named Tammy, did recover and found an amazing home with the sweetest lady. It was just a great experience,” she says. Since that first brush with NKGC, Blackshear has jumped in with both feet. She became a dedicated volunteer and board member, working in multiple areas of the mission. It’s become her life’s work, but one with many highs and lows along the way. “It’s hard to even describe ... every piece of animal rescue is emotional. It’s not just about helping the

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“That’s probably one of the most challenging parts. You’re so invested in saving and rescuing these animals. I’ve had to learn how to say no or to at least suggest other outlets. But you have to be careful because you can get really burned out and some days you just don’t know how you’re going to make it through ... you do, you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get through it,” she says. “I had to learn how to take time for myself and for my own animals. If you let yourself get to the point where you’re burned out, you’re not going to be of help to other people or the animals.” That’s a resolution she advises others embrace with the arrival of the new year. It will prove invaluable if one is looking to find their own passion project in 2022. Blackshear notes that there are dozens of causes one can pursue. And certainly, the NKGC team is eager to welcome any new volunteers with open arms. “We’re always looking for new people to add to our team. We have a lot of different opportunities to help ... either by volunteering, coming to events, helping create events, or through becoming a foster. Our founder, Shelly, has dedicated almost eight years of her life to the betterment of the animals in Glynn County,” she says. “She’s always open to talking with anyone and teaching them about what we do and why it’s important. If someone is interested, they can find us at No Kill Glynn County on Facebook and other social media or at nokillglynncounty.org.”

Blackshear’s tips for finding your passion project in 2022:

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animal, but it’s also about helping the people. That adds another layer of emotion to it,” she says. “Because there’s so much emotion in it, you have to take even the smallest win as a big win. Whether that’s getting a dog seen by a vet or getting them to a foster ... you have to celebrate it. That is the best feeling.”

• Do some self-reflection first, then make a list of the things you love.

With the drive and passion that accompanies it, Blackshear concedes that the effort can become all-consuming. That, she cautions, can prove detrimental for those working in rescue efforts, and ultimately, for the animals as well.

• Get creative to discover ways to offer service to others.

G O L D E N I S LES

• Brainstorm alone, as well as with family and friends, to see how you can turn your passion into something tangible to give back to the community.

• Commit to giving at least one hour a month toward this cause.


Betty White’s

100th Birthday Celebration

No Kill Glynn County is hosting a celebration in honor of television star and animal activist Betty White’s 100th birthday. It will be from 5 to 8 p.m. January 16 at Bennie’s Red Barn on St. Simons Island. Tickets are $65 per person. Local band Squirt Gun will perform. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com and search for No Kill Glynn County.

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The ladies of The Links were photographed at the historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel where they hold annual teas.

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Loyalty + Service:

The ladies of Links Incorporated mark 56 years in brunswick WORDS BY LINDSEY A DKISON | PHOTOS BY JOHN KRIVEC + PROVIDED

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The road of life has never been the proverbial crystal stair for women. They’ve been subjugated and repressed, viewed as inferior to their male counterparts. And while it has certainly been a cross-culture, societal issue, women of color have been forced to weather even greater hardships. The standard by which the world judges them and their accomplishments has long been unfair. But rather than give up or give in, they chose to rise. Nowhere is this example clearer than in the formation of the service organization The Links Incorporated. Established on the heels of World War II in 1946, two women, Margaret Rosell Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott,

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met in Philadelphia to lay the foundation of what would become an international not-for-profit organization. They recruited several other professional African American women who helped to further shape The Links. From those humble beginnings, the group would go on to spread worldwide, eventually encompassing more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 292 chapters, located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations committed to “enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.” In Brunswick, the local Links chapter was born in the 1960s, in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. These ladies gathered together in parlors and living rooms, dressed in their Sunday best, to share their visions and ideas. The Brunswick Chapter was officially chartered on Jekyll Island in December of 1966, and members got to work on making the tangible change that’s been the hallmark of their organization for the last 55 years.

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The current president of the Brunswick Chapter of The Links Inc. Jacqueline Bryant says that the group was formed by the late Leo Harris, a former schoolteacher, who worked for nearly two years to bring a chapter to the area. “She and 11 other women in the community formed a group that was sponsored by the Savannah Chapter of The Links Incorporated. The Brunswick Georgia Chapter of the Links was duly chartered, and officers installed by the Area Director Link Maude Reid of Miami, Florida, on December 10, 1966, at the Carriage Inn on Jekyll Island,” she says. Bryant first got involved when she was employed as the Regional Manager for the State of Georgia, where she served multiple counties including Glynn, Camden, and McIntosh. Being familiar with these locations helped her to make the connections that secured her invitation to join The Links in 2009.

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“I had previously attended and supported The Links’ events and I viewed joining as an extension of continuing to give back to the communities while meeting new people and hopefully making a difference in the lives of others,” she says. That included hands-on initiatives aimed at assisting the community. But the professional women of The Links, who range from doctors to lawyers to engineers, also provide mentorship and inspiration for younger women. “Within the African American community, it is so important to show younger generations that there are professional


women working in these various fields, education to government to philanthropy … business to the arts,” Bryant says. “It’s important for women who look like us to know that they too could be uplifted by this rich ancestry.” Inspiring future generations of women has always been important to member Shirley Douglass. She joined the organization 33 years ago after being introduced through a dear friend, Ethel Griffin. “She really took me under her wing when we came to town. In fact, she was my son’s godmother. The Links are a group about service, but also a group of women bonded in friendship,” Douglass says. “But I feel like this is more important than ever, because the young people of today somehow seem misguided. I don’t know if it’s from the media or through their peers, but I feel like they need guidance. They need to know that they can lift themselves up and that there are people out there who really care about them.” To put those points into action, Douglass, who worked for Georgia Power, served as a mentor to local elementary school children. She’s also been able to extend that work through multiple programs hosted by The Links. “We help young mothers in the community. We support the food pantries and distribute food. That’s what originally sparked my interest and made me want to get involved in The Links,” she says. “It really is about unselfishly giving to the community. It’s just a win-win.”

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Of course, while facing a pandemic, continuing that work has been a challenge. But the ladies of The Links, never ones to be deterred, forged ahead. Sayori Morris received her invitation and joined just prior to COVID taking hold in early 2020. Despite having to shift to virtual programming, she feels the group has moved forward flawlessly. “We did have some initial face-to-face meetings before COVID, but honestly I would say that we haven’t missed a beat. We, like a lot of organizations, had to be a bit innovative in the ways we delivered the service and the programming to the community, but we continued to do that,” Morris says. “And I honestly think that we’ve been able to use our skills, knowledge, and abilities in new ways to do even more. We may have reached people we would not have been able to were it not in a virtual format.” 70

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Going forward, into its 56th year, Bryant says that the Brunswick Links will continue to build on its foundation of service, while forging connections and inspiring future generations. “As president, I hope that The Links continue to be a vital and relevant organization within our communities. Leadership is not about the title but it’s about how we impact and influence and inspire the people that we meet and connect with,” Bryant says. “With the partnerships that we have developed throughout the communities, I hope that we will continue to collaborate, be focus-driven, recognize the contributions of others, and celebrate our accomplishments. We will continue to develop strong relationships and be a sustainable presence and resource in the community. I believe the best is yet to come for the communities in which we serve.”


A sampling of The Links many projects from each of their facets: • They award a total of eight scholarships each year, two to each of the four high schools in their service area and through the L.I.F.E (Links International Business, Foreign Affairs and Empowerment) Program and partnership with the College of Coastal Georgia. A senior from Glynn County high schools will also receive an all expense paid trip to travel with the Links Mission team to Ghana. • In partnership with Southeast Georgia Health System, The Links has sponsored the Red Dress Luncheons for the last eight years to bring awareness on the importance of women and heart disease. • The group supports Historically Black Colleges and Universities and hosts annual forums to highlight the universities in the area. They also partner with the National Society of Black Engineers in connection with STEM to encourage youths to participate in science, technology, engineering, and math in middle school. • The Links facilitated a virtual Women’s Empowerment workshop for the last seven years, focusing on health and financial issues. They’ve joined with Junior League of Golden Isles for the past two years. • They partnered with Savannah State University in facilitating three virtual Marion Anderson Young Artist Master Voice Lessons.

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Fresh A

Start:

Setting Sights on Improving Diets in 2022

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lan Ramirez has always loved beautiful dishes. The kaleidoscope of fruits and vegetables that adorn the plates of his restaurant, Sea Salt Healthy Kitchen, are reminiscent of the tropical palette of his Mexican homeland. “I was born and raised in Sonora, Mexico. I attended the Universidad Del Valle de Mexico in Puebla, Mexico, to study International Business Administration,” Ramirez says. “It was near Mexico City. But from there, I pretty much started working in the resort business right away.”

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | PHOTOS BY TAMARA GIBSON


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He spent his career in various kitchens, exploring flavors, and refining his craft. That work brought him to the shores of Coastal Georgia, where he signed on with Sea Island. But when Ramirez was 22, he started to develop a multitude of allergies. “I went to the doctor and found out that I was allergic to almost everything in the world,” he says with a laugh. “I was sick most of the time with digestion and my respiratory system. So I started to think about the food I was consuming and how a lot of it wasn’t good for me.” Ramirez started seeking ways to improve his health. While he had always exercised, he knew that his diet would be the key to lasting change. But finding health-centric options in the South was quite the challenge. “It was a struggle to find food that’s not fried or barbecue,” he says. Ramirez started doing his own research and experimenting with meals, which were rooted in earthy vegetables rather than heavy meats or dairy. He also gravitated toward all organic, unprocessed ingredients. He saw results quickly, as his allergies and overall health improved. It was also about this time when he started to contemplate opening a restaurant based in offering a menu filled with nutritious dishes. “My wife and I talked about opening a healthy restaurant on St. Simons Island when I was working for Sea Island. But then we moved to Arizona for a while … there were a lot of health-conscious restaurants popping up there,” he says. “We eventually moved back here and decided it was the right time to open a restaurant.” When the couple came back to the Golden Isles, they started scouting for locations to make the dream a reality. They connected with Mayte Cruz, chef and owner of Chile Peppers Island Cantina, who helped direct them to an open space near her own 74

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island restaurant in Retreat Plaza. Sea Salt Healthy Kitchen officially opened its doors on Mother’s Day weekend in 2019. “It was really the perfect timing,” he recalls. “It’s been really well-received. There are a lot of clientele that are regulars who eat here twice a day, six days a week. We also have a lot of customers who come from out of town and are looking for a place that’s more health-conscious. I think, in general, people care more about what they’re eating these days.” And no time of year is more perfect for reframing one’s mindset than the start of a new year. While fads and trendy diets come and go, Ramirez feels that truly laying the right foundation can produce lasting results. But that, he notes, depends on one’s ability to change the way they view food. “We really should be thinking of food as fuel for our bodies. The over-processed food with additives goes against what our bodies need,” he says. “Our menu is basically 90 percent vegetarian with options to add in some meat but meat and dairy are not the main character in our dishes. 76

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I’m not saying that you have to be vegetarian, but people need to think about the portion of meat they are consuming.” They should also be thinking about the sources of the ingredients that wind up on their tables. The highly-processed items, things that sit on shelves for months on end, become devoid of nutrients. Instead, Ramirez says that supporting local farmers or markets can prove a win-win. “We have four farms that we buy ingredients from in our area, from Waycross and Brunswick, and we’re always on the lookout for new popups. That’s the best way to get seasonal products that are locally-sourced,” he says. “They’re organic, too, which is important because pesticides kill the nutrients in the soil, with the repercussions being that it kills the nutrients in the food. It can be a challenge to get (all the produce) you need because it changes seasonally and you can’t get some things 365 days a year, but supporting these farmers really helps everyone. It’s healthier for us and for the economy.”

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Alan Ramirez’s tips for healthier eating in 2022: • Banish Barcodes — this is a solid mantra, even if it’s not always 100 percent accurate, as even produce items have those little stickers, but generally, avoiding boxed foods like mac and cheese is a smart move. • Freshness First — Ramirez stresses the value of frequenting farmer’s markets to purchase produce and all organic items. Nutrients tend to dissolve over time, so for the healthiest options always reach for the most recently produced or harvested ingredients. • Label Lookout — It’s always a good idea to know what is contained in the food we’re consuming. Ramirez suggests not buying things that contain more than five or six ingredients. If the first ingredients are sugar, wheat, or flour, it might be wise to rethink the purchase. • The Smaller, the Better — mom and pop farming operations offer a quality that is hard to beat, he says. That’s true whether you are buying eggs or eggplants. For the best, support those who harvest and sell small batches of products. • Water, Water, Water — this should be no surprise. Health gurus have preached the hydration gospel for quite some time. And that’s because it’s true. The more water in our systems, the better we function. We’re 60 percent water after all. • Hit the Gym — it’s a no-brainer. To be our best selves, we’ve got to move a bit. Ramirez suggests a good, round number — three times per week. • Moderate the Meat — one of the best ways to make the body happy is to fill it with fresh green things, while easing up on the meat and dairy to aid digestion.

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Remembering the Wanderer: The last slave ship to dock in the U.S. WORDS BY TYLER E. BAGWELL | PHOTOS BY TOM SWEENEY, THE JEKYLL ISLAND MOSAIC MUSEUM, THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, AND BAGWELL’S COLLECTION

T

This narrative details the story of the Wanderer, the last known slave ship to disembark on the Georgia coast. Bagwell directed and produced the award-winning documentary, “The Wanderer: A Story of Slavery, Survival, and the Strength to Prevail,” available on amazon.com. “The Wanderer set sail for Jekyll Island with more than 400 enslaved Africans in 1858, 50 years after the importation of enslaved people into the U.S. had become illegal. It had become a crime punishable by death in 1820,” explains Smithsonian Institution historian Dr. Felicia Bell.

supported the legalization of the African slave trade and in 1858, at the age of 34, instigated a scheme to secretly transport enslaved Africans to Georgia.

In the 1850s, Southern pro-slavery advocates fueled talks of secession from the United States and included numerous plantation owners and affluent leaders sympathetic to this extremist position. Savannah slave owner Charles Lamar

Writer and historian Jim Jordan discovered a package of letters in a New Jersey home’s attic around 2009 and the contents included numerous letters written by Charles Lamar to his father.

Lamar inherited wealth and businesses from his father, Gazaway Lamar, a prominent citizen of Savannah and New York City. Charles Lamar lived at 44 Broughton Street in Savannah and referred to himself as a cotton merchant. He owned a plantation in Meriwether, South Carolina, as well as a cotton press, warehouses, and wharves in Savannah

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“So the Wanderer was an ugly thing that happened, slavery was an ugly thing that happened, but these ugly things all make the history of America what it is… warts and all. There’s a lesson there that in the most adverse situation and most challenging situation, you have an entire group of people who managed to survive it and not only survive it but survived and thrived.” — Dr. felicia bell

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Members of the Ward family, descendants of captives on the Wanderer, are pictured in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, D.C.

“By the time he got involved in the slave trade in the 1850s, he was complaining to his father and others that he was broke and needed money … I believe that was as big a motivation. Of course, he believed in Southern rights and the slave trade, but he was also broke,” Jordan says. Lamar teamed up with several men, including Charleston resident William Corrie, and purchased a sailing vessel from a prominent New York Yacht Club member. The yacht, called the Wanderer, was recognized as the fastest sailing ship of the time. Corrie joined the New York Yacht Club and the ship, a 106-foot-long schooner, was covertly outfitted with water tanks in Long Island. The Wanderer sailed to Charleston with a crew of Greek and Portuguese sailors for additional supplies, as well as wood planking to create a second deck for holding captives. The ship sailed to Africa under the guise of a New York Yacht Club pleasure cruise. Captives were purchased for about $50 each from traders on the Congo River. They were tightly confined in the hull and were only allowed on deck once a day, 50 at a time, to eat and stretch their legs. Several soon died from lack of air below deck.

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“The captain of the Wanderer and the crew decided to use a very cruel way of packing the Africans called ‘tight packing,’ where individuals are tightly packed in spoon fashion on the planks below deck …,” Dr. Bell describes. On the morning of November 29, 1858, after about 43 days at sea, the Wanderer anchored off the south end of Jekyll Island. The island owners, Henry Charles DuBignon and John Couper DuBignon, were friends of Charles Lamar and supervised the family’s cotton plantation on the island. Doctors examined the health of the captives and found some had diarrhea, scurvy, and skin diseases. A DuBignon slave, an elderly man, served as translator. The captives were primarily young boys and many had tattoos, filed teeth, and tribal scars on their faces. Of the nearly 500 taken, 409 survived. One person died upon landing on Jekyll.

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Charles Lamar sent a steam paddle boat from Savannah to Jekyll to carry most of the captives to plantations on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River. Quite a few of them traveled via another boat up the Satilla River. Some remained on Jekyll. Wanderer Africans were soon dispersed to other areas of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. The majority were forced to labor on plantations until the end of the Civil


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“The Wanderer set sail for Jekyll Island with more than 400 enslaved Africans in 1858, 50 years after the importation of enslaved people into the U.S. had become illegal. It became a crime punishable by death in 1820.” — Dr. Felicia Bell

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War. The DuBignons obtained about 40 of the captives as payment for using Jekyll as the landing location. It appears some of the enslaved used the surname DuBignon after gaining freedom. Clementine, born on the Wanderer, was known as Clementine “Steamboat” DuBignon as an adult living in Glynn County.

federate officer to die in the Civil War. A Jekyll Island Club member named Charles Stewart Maurice authored a privately published book in 1926 entitled Jekyl Island Club Reminisces, which references a cooking kettle used on the Wanderer. The Jekyll Island Club eventually acquired the kettle. It may be viewed in the Jekyll Island Mosaic Museum along with a painting of the ship.

The Wanderer was confiscated shortly after its return from Africa. While moored in Savannah, it was stolen briefly by pirates and later served as a Union blockade Signature Agent Page New EIL_Layout 1 3/15/21 10:39 AM Page 1 “So the Wanderer was an ugly thing that happened, vessel. Trials surrounding the Wanderer were held in slavery was an ugly thing that happened, but these Savannah and a Supreme Court justice presided over ugly things all make the history of America what it is… the case. But Lamar used his influence to buy or bully warts and all. There’s a lesson there that in the most anyone testifying against them. The conspirators were adverse situation and most challenging situation, you indicted, but none were convicted. The courtroom have an entire group of people who managed to surstill exists in the U.S. Customs House on River Street in Agent Signature AgentPage PageNew NewEIL_Layout EIL_Layout1113/15/21 3/15/2110:39 10:39AM AMPage Page111 Agent Page New EIL_Layout 3/15/21 10:39 AM Page Signature Signature Agent Agent Page Page New New EIL_Layout EIL_Layout 11113/15/21 10:39 10:39 AM AM Page Page 11Signature Signature Agent Page New EIL_Layout 3/15/21 10:39 AM Page 1 Signature Agent Page New EIL_Layout 10:39 AM Page 1Signature Signature Signature Agent Agent Page Page New New EIL_Layout EIL_Layout 13/15/21 13/15/21 3/15/21 3/15/21 10:39 10:39 AM AM Page Page 11 Signature Signature Signature Signature Agent Agent Agent Agent Page Page Page Page New New New New EIL_Layout EIL_Layout EIL_Layout EIL_Layout 13/15/21 3/15/21 3/15/21 3/15/21 10:39 10:39 10:39 10:39 AM AM AM AM Page Page Page Page Signature Agent Page New EIL_Layout 1Page 3/15/21 Signature Agent Page New EIL_Layout 11113/15/21 10:39 AM 1111110:39 AM Page 1 vive it and not only survive it but survived and thrived,” Savannah. PROPERTIES GROUP, Dr. BellINC. reflects. The Wanderer ultimately became a transport deliver In the 1880s, Clementine “Steamboat” Dubignon lived ing bananas from the West Indies to Philadelphia. In in Brunswick and her brother Ndzinga Tom Floyd, another 1871, the schooner was caught in a storm and sank off former Wanderer captive, resided on St. Simons Island. Cuba. In 1864, Charles Lamar was killed in battle while 3/15/21 10:39 AM Page 1Signature 3/15/21 10:39Agent AM Page 1New Signature Agent Page NewEIL_Layout EIL_Layout 3/15/21 10:39AM AM Page Signature Page AgentPage Page 1113/15/21 NewEIL_Layout EIL_Layout 10:39 3/15/21 111 10:39 10:39AM AM Page Page11 Signature Agent Page New 3/15/21 10:39 AM Page Signature Agent New 11Page 3/15/21 NFL Hall of Famer and award-winning actor Jim Brown is inEIL_Layout Columbus, Georgia, and is reputedly the last Con-

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Zaida Clay Harris

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the great-great-grandson of Floyd. Another former Wanderer captive, Cilucangy Ward Lee, lived out his life in Trenton, South Carolina. Following the death of his wife in 1904 Lee wrote, “Please help me. In 1859, I was brought to this country when I was a child. One year ago, it was revealed to me to go home back to Africa and I have been praying to know if it was God’s will and the more I pray the more it presses on me to go…” He never returned to Africa and died in 1914. Descendants of his four children still hold family reunions, including at times on Jekyll. Lee’s great-great-granddaughters became the first black Double-Mint Gum Twins and were seen on advertising across the nation. Another great-great-granddaughter became the first African-American to serve as a New York Supreme Court justice. Wanderer descendants are found across America, and locally on St. Simons Island, Brunswick and Darien. On St. Simons Island, a home built by Ndzinga Tom Floyd is owned by Jim Brown. In 2018, the Jekyll Island Authority established the Wanderer Memory Trail, a series of outdoor exhibits honoring the captives. Sojourners may explore the displays at St. Andrews Beach Park on the island’s south end. Stories about African American heritage in the community may be discovered by visiting the Harrington School House on St. Simons, where you might have an opportunity to meet island resident Amy Lotson-Roberts, a Wanderer descendent.

Survivors of the slave yacht “Wanderer”

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MISSING TEETH? You owe it to yourself to learn about your options to replace missing teeth. At Coastal Oral Surgery, Dr. Jeffrey O. Capes and Dr. Dexter W. Mattox take the time to really listen and explain dental implant choices. Both doctors are dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and physicians. Ask us about our Teeth4Life philosophy. Our success rate with dental implants is over 98%! Coastal Oral Surgery is ready to meet all your needs regarding dental implants and other oral surgery procedures such as removing wisdom teeth. New patients welcome. Serving SE Georgia and NE Florida with convenient, modern locations in St. Simons Island, GA and St. Marys, GA.

87 Lindsey Lane, Unit B St Marys, GA 31558 Phone: (912) 439-3841 Fax: (912) 439-3781

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Nestled beneath the ancient live Oaks of St. Simons Island, Village Inn & Pub offers something for everyone. Located in the heart of the historic Village and Lighthouse District, the best of St. Simons Island is at your doorstep.

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NOISEMAKERS

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Austin and Holton Huffaker are in sync in ways most bandmates aren’t. Not only are they brothers, who both attend the University of Georgia in Athens, they’re also majoring in the same field — mechanical engineering. That’s pretty in-step, for sure. But factor in the fact that these Brunswick natives are identical twins, and their connection moves to the next level. It’s likely not lost on audiences who’ve seen them play. Their rustic harmonies and mirrored movements — the synchronicity of it all — is a bit mind blowing. Of course, it’s simply been a part of their lives, even before they were serenading crowds. Music was something that they ventured into together, when they were just 10 years old.

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THE HUFFAKER BROTHERS WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

“I started with drum lessons and Holton started with guitar at City Music in Brunswick,” Austin says. “I really wasn’t enjoying music back then ... and the drums really weren’t my passion, so I quit for a few years. But Holton taught me a few guitar chords when we got into high school.” That re-lit the dormant spark. Austin started focusing on the guitar and added in some vocal work. It was also around this time that the two started to gravitate toward country music. “I really wanted to learn how to sing and write songs,” Austin recalls. Unsurprisingly, Holton followed a similar path — a waning interest followed by a return to full focus. “I didn’t play as often until we got into

high school. Austin started singing and I started probably a year after him, working on harmonies and blending the sound,” Holton says. The two focused first on covering some of their favorite songs, sharing them with small groups of family and friends. Over time, their skills and confidence grew. They started billing themselves as the Huffaker Brothers, a moniker both simple and true, just like their South Georgia roots. “All our friends and parents have been really supportive. We put our first song out our sophomore year, ‘What I Am,’” Austin said. “That was more Southern rock, I’d say.” The songwriting angle became a major part of their vision. The brothers focused


on creating their own voice, rather than re-sharing the thoughts and words of others. Of course, that presents its own share of challenges. “We started doing more and more songs. We started recording a few,” Austin says. “And now, we have a lot more that we’re waiting to record.”

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The process is a concerted one, they say. Sometimes one brother will offer up an idea or a guitar riff. They work together to breathe life into the phrases and notes, making it distinctly their own. “It depends,” Holton says. “Sometimes he’ll have something or I may have a good guitar intro. Sometimes it’s just a lyric. Then, there are other times we write the whole thing together.” Putting pen to paper isn’t easy — as writers of any variety know. And offering one’s heartfelt, carefully crafted words for popular consumption can be terrifying. But for the Huffakers, the chance of success is well worth the risk of criticism. “It’s intimidating. At first, we did a lot of covers. But the originals are really what differentiates you from somebody else. A lot of people can play somebody else’s song,” Austin says. The songwriting element is actually the ticket the Huffakers are hoping to ride to musical stardom. And they’ve already had a taste of it.

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The ISC is a proud partner of the beautiful Golden Isles Community in Glynn County since 1982.

“We opened for Jake Hoot in Tennessee. He was the season 17 winner of ‘The Voice.’ It was really exciting ... we played for about 2,000 people there,” Austin said. “It was kind of nerve-wracking but also really a lot of fun.” There’s talk of them being invited back to the venue to perform again. That’s certainly something the brothers are up for. In fact, they’re always open minded about what will come next. “We graduate next year from UGA with engineering degrees, but we definitely want to explore music. We want to pitch what we’ve written to some important people in Nashville,” Holton says. “That’s where we want to be ... so we might try to get jobs there then get into music in Nashville at the same time.” “Mainly, we just want to live in Nashville and try out the music scene. If it doesn’t work, we having engineering to fall back on,” Austin adds with a laugh. “But we’re going to give it a shot for sure.”

Austin and Holton Huffaker, known as the Huffaker Brothers, can be found online at huffakerbrothers.com or on their YouTube Channel, The Huffaker Brothers. They also have accounts on Facebook and Instagram. The duo also performs at venues like Village Creek Landing and Captain Stan’s when home from college.

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COASTAL SEEN

Kevin Pullen

Betty Oliver, left, and Bettina Dickson Rusher

Leigh Kirkland

GLYNN VISUAL ARTS’ RECEPTION Glynn Visual Arts recently hosted an opening for its exhibition titled, “The Human Form.” It featured 21 members and 40 works of sculpture, acrylic, pastels, mixed media, lino prints, watercolor, and more. Submissions were juried by artist Ralph Gilbert, a narrative painter and muralist.

Susan and Don Myers, from left, and Woody Hunter

Ella Cart, left, and Cheryl Keefer

Suzanne Clements, left, and Ella Cart

Guy and Linda Rutland

Jean Smith, left, and Suzanne Scaglione

Ute Sportschuetz

Linda Bobinger, left, and Dottie Clark

ST. SIMONS’ ART CRAWL Several local galleries joined together to host an Art Crawl along Frederica Road on St. Simons Island. Participating locations included ArtTrends Gallery, Anderson Fine Art Gallery, the Artists’ Annex, and the Wallin Gallery. The collective offers quarterly events for area art enthusiasts.

Rita Noel, left, and Darryn Osbourne

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Ryan Pierce, from left, Kay Cantrell, Andrew Kramer, and Jessie Deal

Sue Clements, from left, Lydia Thompson, and Susan Anderson

Trish Rugaber, left, and Joan Hillard


COASTAL SEEN

Anna Hall, left, and Mike Johnston

April, Ella, and Sam McPherson

Cameron Claire, from left, Allie, Leo, and Coleman McDonald

Claire Taylor, left, and Beth Haven

Travis Young, left, and Jason Mattox

BRUNSWICK’S PORCHFEST Brunswick recently hosted its annual PorchFest in the historic district. Homeowners welcomed more than 40 bands, who played on porches as attendees milled through the streets. Food and drink vendors were also on hand. Next year’s event has been set for November 13, 2022.

Emily Thompson, from left, Taylor Baldwin, and Dave Stevenson

Gary Moore, left, and Stacy Bass-Wellman

Rich Nazzaro, left, and Audrey Monks

Summer Lohner, from left, Christian Purcell, Caroline Golightly, and DJ Lettieri

Our goal is to inspire and enable youth from all backgrounds, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, caring adults. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Georgia help over 6,000 kids and teens develop essential skills, make lasting connections, and have fun each and every year. DONATE AND SUPPORT TODAY BY VISITING:

WWW.BGCSEGA.COM

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COASTAL SEEN

John Carrillo, left, and John Weaver

Adrian Cate, from left, Sandra Brunson, and Laurie Watson

Laura Cooper, from left, and Margaret Anne Proctor, Amber Gastwirth

Galin Hall, from left, Tami Hall Stogner, and Craig Hall

Debbie and Peter Murphy, from left, and Bentley and Michael Kaufman

Shannon Gilreath, left, and Caroline Dorminy

Vassa Cate, from left, and Dan and Robby Speight

Photo assistance by Jan Bone

THE FUR BALL The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia recently hosted a fundraising event, the Fur Ball. The soiree was held at Village Creek Landing on St. Simons Island. The Kinchafoonee Cowboys performed, while attendees enjoyed local food and auctions.

John and Audra Gegg

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Jeff and Brooke Carter, from left, Kyle and Amy Tomlin

Reese Carroll, left, and Chuck Moulton


COASTAL SEEN

Anna K. Mansfield, left, and Merdeith Mansfield Durrett

Jim and Michelle Clifton, from left, and Jim Kielt

Linda Henderson, Jim Henderson, Amy Ruth, Betty Ruth Griffin

Meredith Mansfield Durrett, from left, Carol and Duane Harris, Margie Dorsey, and Bud Dorsey

MEET THE PROS

Joe Savino, from left, Kathy Savino, Debbie Britt, and Pamela Hamilton

Doug Sharp, Ann Sharp, Kevin Manson, Steph Manson

Photo assistance by Derrick Davis

The 10th annual Meet the Pros was hosted by the St. Simons Island Rotary in the Mizner Ballroom, at the Cloister on Sea Island. The evening included a cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres accompanied by silent and live auctions, as well as interviews with RSM Classic Pros. All proceeds from the event benefited more than a dozen children’s charities in the Golden Isles.

Frank and Laurie Gavel, from left, Teri Grant, and Buzz Grant

Hiroshi Yamada, Mieko Yamada

Deborah and David Wright, from left, Susan Myers, and Don Myers

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COASTAL SEEN

Alan and Heather Tucker

Cathrine Wood, left, and Gail Butler

Ben and Tashaina Sterling

Bob Cummings, left, and Larry Bouts

Sallie Jones, from left, Elizabeth Powell, and Marti Tolleson

THE HUNT BALL

Wes Schlosser, left, and Mary Margaret Artman

Nancy Gandersman, left, and Reg Bridges

Photo assistance by Laura Angela Photography

The Hunt Ball, a benefit for Habitat for Humanity, was recently held at the Frederica Golf Club on St. Simons Island. Attendees donned their best outdoor attire while enjoying auctions, dinner, and a variety of vendors. The event raised more than $200,000, which will allow two new homes to be built in Century Place.

Cherise and Dialo Cartwright

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Carol and Jim Trueblood

Tashawnta Wells Abel and Craig Abel


College is better by the beach!

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R I S E

T O

T H E

CHALLENGE

SATURDAY, FEB. 19, 2022 The Southeast Georgia Health System Foundation Bridge Run across the scenic Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick, Georgia, has been certif ied by the U.S. Track and Field Association as “the toughest 5K in Georgia.” The Bridge Run also includes a walk and a family-f riendly festival, featuring vendors, food and drinks, entertainment and children’s activities. Proceeds benef it the Health System’s cancer and cardiac care programs.

THE-BRIDGE-RUN.ORG 10K DOUBLE PUMP |

5K RUN

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5 K WA L K

FIRST RESPONDER’S CHALLENGE

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