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FAMILY MEDICINE Effingham Family Medicine offers three convenient locations with a team of experienced and professional providers. s Adult Acute Care: Injury Evaluation & Referrals s Annual Employment Physicals s#ANCER3Creenings s#HILDren & Pediatrics s$Ermatology & Lesion Biopsies Effingham s'Eriatric Care Family Medicine 100 Goshen Road s-ANagement of Acute Rincon & ChrONIC$ISEASE 912-826-6000 s3POrTS3chool Physicals 800 Towne Park Dr., Suite 100 s Women’s Health Rincon


7306 Highway 21, Suite 105 Port Wentworth 912-966-2575



GROWING WITH YOU Always Committed to Caring If you are in need of financial assistance for medical care, you may be eligible for free or discounted care through our Helping Hands Assistance program. Visit our website for information.

Š2010 Heidt Burns Real Estate. All Rights Reserved.

St. Joseph/Candler Medical Group

423 S Columbia Ave., Rincon

(912) 920-5614

Join Dr. Shanklin And His Staff:

At The Salon @ McCall Plaza Tuesday, January 11, 5:30-7:30p.m. Call Margie at (912) 920-5614 To Reserve Your Spot Savannah - 900 Mohawk St., Savannah, GA Jesup - 928 S. First Street, Jesup, GA Visit us online at Follow Us On Facebook

We Appreciate Your Support Throughout The Year!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year From Your Friends and FamilY at Coldwell Banker

The Leader In The Effingham Market More Choices For Buyers & Sellers!

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5805 Hwy 21 S, Rincon, GA 31326 912-826-0927 • 877-826-0926 INTERCOASTAL REALTY

D ecember/Januar y 2 0 1 0




35 Hunting Freaks

Hunting show based out of Texas films in Effingham.


Senior Spotlight


Elves For Catie


Santa’s Workshop

She’s 98 years old, and she’s still selling Avon. Leona Jones has been blessed with good health. Jenny and Tre’ Wilkins’ loss inspires hope and happiness for children with cancer. G.L.O.W., a non-profit children’s ministry, is helping needy children.


09 Publisher’s Thoughts 11 Editor’s Letter 42 Dining Guide 51 Effingham Weddings 12 United Way Exceeds Goal

The United Way Effingham Campaign exceeded their goal by over $40,000.

18 The Process of Giving

Van and Donna Horton are not only running a business, they are helping feed the hungry.

24 Norman Blackwell

His name bares resemblance to famed artist Norman Rockwell, and so does his artistic talent.

06 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine












Visit Us At

R EADER’S Res p o n s e a positive impact. Wishing you much success in the coming years-Have a blessed day!

-Kim Riggs   Hello Julie, Your October/November magazine is great!!! I have read it from cover to cover, it is just “gooood.” I have watched several of these people grow into the people they are today. They are very talented and have the determination to go forward. You have had four good years, keep it up, I’ll be looking forward to the next years as long as I can keep up with you and your associates. There is always lots here in our county, thanks for putting Effingham County and its people in the spotlight. Thanks again! -Julia Exley Rahn Dear Julie and Staff: Just recently our family had the opportunity to “reflect” on some past occurrences in our lives. Never in a million years would I have thought that the Effingham Magazine would become topic of conversation--but it did. It was our children that brought up the subject. We sat and thumbed through many copies of earlier issues that you have published. In a society where NEGATIVE is the money maker (and unfortunately--the norm), it is so exuberating and refreshing to sit down and from start to finish of a piece of work not to have one negative word. You also bring to light many folks who have assisted in making Effingham County a great place to live. The progression of your magazine has certainly been enhanced with each new edition. When the first issue of Effingham Magazine was introduced to Effingham County, I thought it was PERFECT---but you and your staff have perfected PERFECTION. THANK YOU for contributing to our community a source of history and acknowledgement to many making

Julie, Great magazine this time and as ALWAYS. BUT I really love this one! Gets BETTER and BETTER with age! Keep it going, girl! -Bonnie Campbell Deloach  

Julie I have seen this issue of Effingham Magazine and it is the best one yet! I am sure all of you are so proud and you should be. -Marianne Martin Great edition!! We are already out at the shop. They have never moved so fast--I didn’t even get one. -Stephanie B. Long Fantastic! Way to go guys.

-Cindy Reid

Thanks for including me in the magazine. It’s wonderful! Y’all do an amazing job and I am truly honored to have an article in the 4th Anniversary edition. Congratulations on another year! -Josh Sanders Jules....I’ll always be your biggest fan! You and your staff do a wonderful job. -Elaine Cail Spencer

THE MUSICIANS n a s h v i l l e

‘Let’s Go’ And Here We Are


*For more information, you can find Josh Sanders on Facebook.

No one will ever be able to accuse Faulkville’s Josh Sanders of lacking any “country” credentials. • Story by RAY STEELE Photos by KRISTIN PATE •


aised in a rural area, avid hunter, and self-taught guitar picker with a biscuits and gravy-accented baritone voice – Sanders is the real thing. Now, he wants to see if there is room for one more country boy in the Mecca for such folks, Music City, USA. “No matter how hard I tried to suppress this dream to sing or to write songs, it just kept bubbling to the top,” says Sanders, 27, after a long day of working his ‘real job’ as a service truck and machinery mechanic. Many who are close to Josh tried to help him dream of something else. Josh was practically set for life, they told him. He had married Sheree, his South Effingham High school sweetheart and had a good job at Georgia Power’s Plant McIntosh. For their first trip together as husband and wife, Sheree even suggested going to Nashville, thinking it would rid Josh of his musical desires. “As you can see,” Sanders says with a chuckle from their new home in the Nashville suburbs, “it kind of had the opposite effect.” The seed was planted half of Sanders’ life ago. “When I was 13 or 14, I really started paying attention to music, and that’s also around the time I got my first guitar. My momma loved The Judds, so I learned all of their songs,

along with songs from other good country singers like George Strait, and sang along with the radio.” With the radio as the closest thing to a music teacher he would have, Sanders had barely learned all the major guitar chords when he was baptized by fire into the world of performing. “I was 15 and was at an F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America) state convention in Covington. They have a talent show there every year, and one of the teachers found out that I played guitar and sang.”

Foreshadowing the future, though he didn’t know that at the time, Sanders performed for one-thousand of his fellow students as a solo act, just Josh and his guitar, and would sing one of his own songs. “It was called ‘The Lonely Road’, and it was the first song I ever wrote to completion.” As for first time stage fright, Josh laughs, “I was shaking so much, I couldn’t talk! I tried to introduce myself and the song and nothing would come out of my mouth.” But everything was okay once

Sanders started singing, and the positive reaction of his peers lit a spark. “I think that was when I first realized I wanted to pursue a life in music.” Sanders kept writing songs and kept practicing, encouraged by his buddies at the Skinner Bay Hunting Club. He joined the club when he was 16, and it seems the hunters liked his singing almost as much as their shooting. “They were always telling me, ‘don’t forget to bring your guitar.’

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COMM E N T S : Faye Morris Sanders Effingham Magazine, As for us, We’re Josh Sanders’ parents and we want to say THANK YOU so much for doing this article about our son, Josh Sanders. Boy! What proud parents we are!! Ya’ll did a wonderful job & we want to congratulate ya’ll on another year! Keep up the good work! God Bless!! Faye & Ronnie Sanders (Faulkville, Ga.). Effingham Magazine You’re welcome Faye and Ronnie! I know you are proud of Josh. He has a great story to tell and we are glad he shared with us!

08 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

P U B L I S H E R ’ S Thoughts

On the Cover

Proud of our community!













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Als cess g Pro •Givin t Profile •Artis g Freaks •Huntin from •Elvestie Ca

Effingham County United Way Director, Bonnie Dixon, and Campaign Chair, Julie Hales, celebrate this year’s record breaking fundraising campaign.

Cover Photo by Todd Wood

Connect with us on Facebook. Be the first to know what is going on with Effingham Magazine and what new and exciting things we are working on. Become a fan today.

ere we are, the end of another year. The holidays are upon us again….they seem to approach more rapidly as the years pass by. I am not real sure why, some tell me it is because I am getting older. Hmmm….what do they

know? Older…of course! Wiser….maybe! Content….absolutely! How fortunate am I? To live and work in a community that I love is such a blessing. I am proud to be a lifelong resident of Effingham County. I am passionate about the growth and development of our community and the well being of its people. I always try to give back more than I take, and recently, I took advantage of an opportunity to do just that. I had the honor and privilege of being the 2010 Campaign Chair for the United Way of Effingham County. When I was first asked to do this, my only reservation was a time element. Did I have, or could I find the time to do it justice? My answer came very quickly, it was an exuberant “YES.” Time can certainly be an issue for us all, but making the time for such an important cause was a decision that just felt right to me. I took advantage of each opportunity to visit our schools and speak to educators and visit many of the businesses and industries that have chosen our community to call home and those who contribute to the success of our local economy. To say that we live in a tough economy is an understatement. Our needs are greater now than they have been for many years. Asking for a donation to support a cause to aid and assist someone you may not personally know is almost unheard of. None-the-less, our Julie Hales, Publisher group of volunteers did just that. Our community, YOU, answered the call! This experience has been one of the most amazing in my life. I met a lot of wonderful people along the way. I educated many people on the importance of an agency like the United Way, and I was educated by many whose lives have been enriched after receiving assistance from this worthwhile organization. What a rewarding adventure this has been for me….so rewarding that I wish the same for each and everyone of you reading this. The 2010 Effingham County United Way campaign ended in November. Congratulate yourselves and join me in celebrating A RECORD YEAR! With your help, we raised more money than EVER before in Effingham County! It gets better…..These monies will stay in OUR community to help OUR people! We will be able to provide more assistance and touch more lives than ever before! So, my Christmas wish this year is very simple and requires no cash or fighting crowds at the stores. Give a little bit of yourself this year….just a few hours of your time can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. And, trust me, the reward will be amazing!

Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 09


Ray Steele

Ray Steele thought he wanted to be Howard Cosell when he grew up. Instead, he played radio for 15 years as a newscaster and talk show host before becoming a writer. Ray is also a commercial voice artist and is the host of “The Johnny Mercer Hit Parade” on WSEG-AM (Star 1400). A lifelong baseball nut, Ray has spent the last two seasons as P.A. Announcer for the Savannah Sand Gnats. He is usually surrounded by women, his wife Jen, two daughters, and two female cats, at their home in Guyton.

Kristin Pate

Kristin has always loved taking pictures. Being the mother of three beautiful daughters, she understands the value of a good family portrait. Her love for photography grew with every picture she took of her own children. Compelled to learn more, she researched and studied every aspect of photography which led her to join the Georgia Professional Photographers of America. Attending numerous conventions, classes, and state sponsored photography schools has allowed her the privilege of studying under some of the country’s most famous master photographers. Whether she’s photographing a bride’s wedding, or a new born baby, her approach and philosophy is the same...create the best situation for getting the perfect shot.

Leslie Chavez

Leslie Chavez is a wife and mother of two amazing kiddos. She is married to husband, Jorge, who has made a wonderful impact on her life. Her daughter, Alexia, is 10 and is in the 5th grade. Her son, Caden, is almost 6, and in 1st grade. She homeschools both of them and she loves every minute of it, even the trying ones, she says with a chuckle. In her spare time, she loves to exercise, water-ski, and participate in family activities. She also enjoys writing, baking and making wedding and specialty cakes as a hobby. Writing is a passion for Leslie, and she hopes to continue on this path.

10 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

Perspective of Norman Blackwell’s art.

Katie Turner

Barbara Russell

Denise Gonsales


Katie is a freelance writer and Effingham County native who enjoys meeting new and interesting people. She earned her English degree at Georgia Southern University, and caught the travel bug while studying abroad in Costa Rica, where she received a minor in Spanish. After college, she worked briefly in Yellowstone National Park, where she enjoyed hiking and photographing the scenery and the wildlife. She is always up for visiting new places, but she loves the south and is proud to call Effingham her home.

Barbara Russell is a freelance writer and photographer, and in the past she was a high school English teacher and a flight attendant. Always an avid horse person and riding instructor, she enjoys writing for equine publications and she is writing a young adult novel about horses. For several years she wrote feature stories and a history column for Effingham CloseUp, and she has been published in a variety of magazines. Currently she enjoys writing for Independence Day Publishing. Interviewing local people and having the opportunity to retell their unique stories is her passion. Denise began her professional photography career five years ago after freelancing for several photographers. She was drawn to wedding photography and soon Denise Gonsales Photography was born. She stresses the importance of communication between her company and their clients. What really makes her feel good is being able to look her clients in the eyes knowing that she gave her heart and soul to them, with each and every event. Denise takes only a limited number of weddings per year so that she is able to maintain that personal touch, thus giving each couple the attention that they deserve on their special day.

E D I TOR’S Letter


“Yes” is a Key Step in Growth









December/January 2010-2011 Julie Hales owner/publisher Todd Wood managing editor Lynnette Tuck sales manager Allison Arnsdorff account executive Lane Gallegos graphic design Penny Redmond distribution

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe to Effingham Magazine by submitting a check and subscription information form found in every issue. You may also subscribe by calling (912)826-2760. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Write to us and tell us what you think. Effingham Magazine welcomes all letters to the editor. Please send all letters via email to Todd Wood at Letters to the editor must have a phone number and name of contact. Phone numbers will not be published. ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS Effingham Magazine welcomes story ideas from our readers. If you have a story idea, or photo essay you would like to share, please submit ideas and material by emailing Todd Wood at All articles and photos will be reviewed by the editor, and if the articles and accompanying photos meet the criteria of Independence Day Publishing, Inc., the person submitting the material will be contacted. Stories or ideas for stories must be submitted by email. Only feature stories and photo essays about people, places or things in Effingham County will be considered. CALENDAR SECTION We’re looking for your information about clubs, organizations, events and meetings. For events in February/March 2011, copy must be submitted by January 19, 2011. Please email all copy to Effingham Magazine is published bimonthly by Independence Day Publishing, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part in any manner without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Effingham Magazine 108 International Drive Rincon, GA 31326 (912) 826-2760

s we approach the end of 2010, many of us will begin to reflect on what we accomplished in 2010. We will also begin thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2011. We’ve set our goals pretty high for 2011, and that means we will be trying a lot of new things. Speaking of new things, I believe we are on the verge of a new era. New businesses continue to open their doors here, and there has been some progressive action in planning entertaining events for Effingham County. I believe this to be a very important key to success, not only in business, but also in the success of a community. I still hear a lot of grumbling in the community about bringing corporate chain restaurants to Effingham. Yes, we all would like a wider variety of places to eat, however, we must first support the restaurants that are here now. I get out to eat three to four times per week (in Effingham) and I can tell you that these restaurants do not have enough cars in their parking lots. The time has come, we must all make the effort to network. We hear the words all the time, now is the time to actually get out there and do -Todd Wood, Editor it. Use your Facebook and Twitter to get the word out. Visit other businesses. What will you do different today? There are new adventures, I assure you, through every business door in this county. And speaking of new adventures... There’s a new art out there that I believe is going to be a game changer. It’s called social art, and though I cannot eloquently give it the definition it deserves, I can tell you it is about sharing creative ideas. But, there must also be an audience participating. I see some of the groundwork for this being laid out right now. Chase Jarvis is quoted as saying, “Right now is the most exciting time to be a photographer in the history of the world. For the first time in the history of the world, content creators are also distributors, and can do so on a large scale.” I’ve looked at this beyond being a photographer and the business of photography. I believe it can be applied to any business or community. I truly believe the cliche phrase, “Image is Everything”. I also believe vision and creativity is everything, however it must be cultivated. That will mean taking the time to participate. Saying “yes” more than you say “no” will get the participation started. Saying yes does mean taking action. Also remember, yes doesn’t necessarily mean success, but “no” is a sure way to never know what could have been. Newsweek actually had a cover story article on how there is a creativity crisis in America. They say our creativity has been plummeting since 1990. The author of the article, Simone Hine, said that the current economic crisis is in part due to the lack of creativity. So lets get creative. Say yes. Network with fellow business owners and your neighbors. Everybody has something to offer somebody. It all starts with “yes” and participation. In short, I could have summed up this entire article by saying that I have some great ideas for the magazine in 2011. Hopefully your answer will be “yes” when we start these projects. I will be saying yes to a lot more in 2011. Will you?

Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 11

feature story Effingham United Way

12 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

feature Effingham United Way story

A Record Haul for Hope Hard work is one reason for the record amount raised by the Effingham County office of the United Way. But the stories of those who benefit from the fruits of the campaign also helped. Story by RAY STEELE


ive Paul Mongin ten minutes to tell his United Way story and you will probably make the choice to give to the United Way campaign. “I have been on both sides of the fence,” Mongin says of the United Way. “I have been a volunteer, and I have also been a recipient of some of their services because of my son with special needs.” Mongin and Natalie Wiser, loaned out from Georgia Pacific to work on the fund raising campaign, are two of the catalysts that helped the Effingham County office of the United Way of the Coastal Empire raise $310,000 this year, demolishing last year’s record total by more than $16,000. “We all have worked really hard,” says Bonnie Dixon, area director of the Effingham United Way office when asked if there was a particular reason why so much money was pledged, especially when economic common sense should have dictated otherwise. “We set a goal of $270,000,” Dixon says, “because that was $10,000 more than last year’s goal . Given the state of the economy, we thought that was realistic.” Julie Hales, owner and publisher of Effingham Magazine and chair of this year’s United Way campaign, thought otherwise. “Once we got going, I told Bonnie that we would hit $300,000. Once we started making our numbers, we just kept pushing. This campaign has proven to me once again what a wonderful community we live in.” The Effingham money campaign is part of the $8.1 million raised by the United Way of the Coastal Empire, which serves Effingham, Chatham, Bryan, and Liberty counties. “It’s a privilege,” Mongin says of his time as a United Way Loaned Associate; Mongin and Wiser were allowed to leave their regular jobs with Georgia Pacific to work Paul Mongin, Julie Hales, Natalie Wiser and Bonnie Dixon sit below a printed out sign with the $270,000 goal for Effingham County. Mongin and Hales add the final campaign numbers as Effingham exceeds its goal by over $40,000.

Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 13

At Effingham Magazine’s Four-Year Anniversary Party, the Effingham United Way announced that they were at almost 80 percent of their goal on October 12. Opposite page - WTOC 11 interviews Julie Hales and Bonnie Dixon. Accompanying Hales and Dixon are campaign loaned associates Natalie Wiser and Paul Mongin.

full-time for United Way during the three-month campaign. “I’ve had people pull me off to the side and ask me if this was for real.” Based on the help he got from United Way member agencies for his son, who has autism and will graduate from high school next year, that was an easy question for Mongin to answer. “From being here and being able to see the work of some of the agencies up close and in person, and especially seeing when people come here to the United Way Service Center in Rincon with needs - you see their vulnerability laid aside when they say ‘I have a need,’ it just reinforces my conviction that yes, United Way is for real.” “We’ve heard lots of excuses over the years on why people choose not to give to United Way,” Dixon says, as business owners, members of the clergy, and others sometimes refuse to allow her or others a chance to share with them the work that United Way is doing in the community and to solicit donations. “They’ll say they heard we refuse to help fund the Boy Scouts or that we’ve funded this or that controversial program and it’s just not true.” In fact, each United Way is autonomous, free to give money however its board sees fit, and both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts receive funds from the United Way of Coastal Empire. Unlike the majority of many charities, all donations made to the U.W.C.E. go directly to programs and services thanks to the generosity 50 years ago of Herschel V. Jenkins. The native of Guyton, former United Way board chairman and longtime Savannah Morning News publisher left an endowment when he died in 1960. After Jenkins’s last surviving daughter died in 1997, the endowment was donated to United Way to help cover its overhead. “How many charities do you know that have zero administrative costs,” asks Dixon, rhetorically. The Jenkins endowment is among the reasons the U.W. C.E. has earned two consecutive four-star ratings for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator, the highest rating available from the company that tracks the work of more than 5,500 charities across the country. The campaign chair says the messengers were as important as the stories they told. “Paul and Natalie are two incredibly giving and wonderful people,” said Hales. “Their hard work

14 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

and determination is a huge reason for our success.” Loaned associates work for United Way for two campaigns with one of them rotating out each year. Mongin will be back for next year’s campaign while Wiser will be replaced with another Georgia Pacific employee. United Way staff devotes a great amount of time to the campaign for three months out of the year, however, the United Way staff works as health and human service providers delivering a variety of essential programs and services to Effingham residents throughout the year. “It says a lot about Georgia Pacific’s commitment to United Way that they will allow us to utilize two of their employees,” Dixon says of one of United Way’s largest contributors in Effingham County. “United Way in Effingham is extremely honored to be a community partner with Georgia Pacific. While I believe that United Way and the community reap mega benefits from Georgia Pacific via their two “loaned” employees, I also feel that in turn Georgia Pacific receives back, after 3 months of being “on the job” with United Way, two employees who have absorbed an incredible amount of information on the major health and human service needs of our community. In addition, these Loaned Associates have strengthened their skill or perhaps discovered new talents and skills that will help them to be a sound member of this county, a helpful co-worker, and a more dedicated Georgia Pacific employee. We truly could not run such a successful and complete fundraising campaign without Georgia Pacific. The Loaned Associates and the Georgia Pacific employees raised almost one-half of Effingham’s final campaign total. Effingham’s United Way is a satellite operation of UWCE, thus all campaign donations collected in Effingham are processed and distributed to the funded programs from the United Way office in Savannah. While we are fundraising in the 4-county UWCE area, simultaneously, there is another team of dedicated UW volunteers (referred to as the Allocations Panel) that is busy critiquing the funding request applications from nearly 150 health and human service programs in the 4-county area. The campaign concluded in November about the same time that the Allocations Panel completed their findings. At that time, a report or funding recommendations will be presented

to the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Board of Directors at the December and January Board meetings. Voting on these recommendations generally takes place in February with awards being announced to the community in March. “There are four areas of need which have been identified by United Way and those are the areas by which funding is concentrated,” says Dixon, “health and wellness, education and youth, basic needs, and economic independence. As good stewards of the communities donations, United Way follows up with the funded programs by tracking their outcomes and reviewing the required quarterly reports. Effingham County will also get back much more than it gives. “People might ask ‘well, you raised $40,000 over your goal, where is that extra money going’,” Dixon says. “In truth, it takes a lot more than $310,000 to run all of the programs in Effingham who benefit from United Way. In addition to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, literally dozens of agencies receive United Way funding, among them the Food OutReach Co-op of Effingham (F.O.R.C.E.), the Rape Crisis Center, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Effingham Victim-Witness Assistance Program, Even Start, the Farmer’s Garden , Medbank, LIFE, Inc., HospiceSavannah, Parent and Child of Union Mission, Community Cardiovascular Council, Savannah Speech and Hearing, and the Treutlen House at New Ebenezer, which helps abused and neglected children. Yes, Effingham continues to raise impressive funds for United Way.” Dixon adds, “but we get more than our fair share back.” Hales says, “I can’t thank the community enough for all the support shown in this year’s campaign. Bonnie runs a smooth ship at our service center. She is truly a remarkable individual and her staff is unbelievable.” The loaned associates feel blessed to have played a part. “No matter what happens, no matter where I live,” Wiser says, “I will forever be bound to the

Effingham United Way because I know that it works and that it helps people.” You may not always hear them, but rest assured that the people helped by a United Way funded program also say thank you to everyone who gave for helping to give them a hand up. United Way Funded Programs Providing Services On-Site in Effingham County • 2-1-1 Information and Referrals • Alzheimer’s Association •American Red Cross •America’s Second Harvest Food Bank • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Coastal Empire • Boy Scouts of America • Coastal Children’s Advocacy Center • Community Cardiovascular Council • Consumer Credit Counseling • Effingham YMCA • Even Start - Effingham Board of Education • Effingham Victim - Witness Assistance Program • Food Outreach Co-op of Effingham F.O.R.C.E. • Georgia Legal Services • Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia • Goodwill Industries • Hammers, Hearts and Hands - GAP Ministry • Hands on Savannah - Volunteers • Hospice, Savannah • L.I.F.E., Inc • Medbank • Parent & Child of Union Mission • Rape Crisis Center • Savannah Speech and Hearing • The Farmer’s Garden • Treutlen House at New Ebenezer • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program • W.I.N.S. - Willing Intervention Now for Students • Effingham Family Connection/Communities in Schools

Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 15

16 December/January 2010-2011 |Effingham Magazine

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826-4261 • Hwy 21 • Rincon Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 17

Food for the Hungry Story by LESLIE CHAVEZ Photos by TODD WOOD

Generous Process A recreational sport that is enjoyed by many is what inspired Van’s passion to help feed hungry people here in Effingham County.


unting is a very popular sport this time of year, and deer season is underway. When the freezer is full and the hunters still want to hunt, where does the extra meat go? Van Horton’s Deer Processing is the perfect place. All of the meat donated goes to help feed the hungry in Effingham County through the Hunters for Hungry Program, run by F.O.R.C.E. (Food Outreach Coop of Effingham). “What started out as a family business has turned into a mission. We are just happy that what we do helps people in our community,” states Donna, Van’s wife. Van’s passion also earned him a nomination for “Volunteer of the Year” last year by the Rotary Club. “I have always enjoyed deer hunting and the outdoors, and I have also found out through the years that to get the quality of deer meat I desire, it was best to do the processing myself,” Van states. Out of this desire, Horton’s Deer Processing was born. Business began three years ago, because “we wanted to provide Effingham County and the surrounding area with quality deer meat at a reasonable price.” The Horton’s feel very strongly about quality, ensuring that everything is done correctly. “We do things the right way. All of the deer meat is hand cut and cleaned to make it taste good. How a deer is cut makes a big difference in the taste; the meat will taste wild if the tendons and silver skin is left and processed with the red meat. We do not grind anything except clean red meat. Deer is much healthier than most other meats, and if the deer is processed right, you can barely taste a difference between deer and beef. We don’t want to do it quicker; we want to do it right. It takes longer, but it is worth it. Our jalapeno and cheese sausage is a favorite of our customers, some keep coming back just for more sausage!” “It is only five weeks into deer season, and we have Donna and Van Horton at their deer processing faciltiy.

18 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

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“We like to keep this a family oriented place. We want it to be safe and welcoming for the entire family. People like to hang around when they bring their deer. They like to see what deer is coming in and talk hunting with each other.” already processed a few hundred deer, more than 20 of these have been donated for the Hunter’s for Hungry Program, but we still need many more.” Deer season keeps Van working 7 days a week, starting at about 8:00 in the morning and finishing up around 10:00 at night, sometimes he keeps working even later. Donna still works full-time outside of Horton’s Deer Processing, and helps with the family business on nights and weekends. This is Van’s first year processing deer full-time; the first 2 years he also worked outside of the home. Van and Donna’s daughter and son-in-law also help almost every weekend. A lot of friends volunteer and help out during deer season. “We all help each other, it’s what we do. Whenever someone has a project, we all get together to help get it done.” “We like to keep this a family oriented place. We want it to be safe and welcoming for the entire family. People like to hang around when they bring their deer. They like to see what deer is coming in and talk hunting with each other. We do a lot out here. Good clean fun. Sometimes we will have a fire going, and we just sit around, talk and share hunting stories with each other.” In Georgia, deer season begins with bow season on September 15. Gun season begins on October 16, and ends on January 15, giving hunters a full 13 weeks of gun season. “This keeps us very busy. In Georgia you can kill up to 12 deer, but some of the hunters travel to other areas to hunt, and bring their

20 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

deer to us for processing. There are some surprising differences! For example, the average doe in Georgia is about 80-90 pounds, but a hunter brought in a 175-pound deer from Ohio the other day.” Deer coming in from other areas has become a little more normal for the Horton’s, but deer this big is still somewhat surprising. A lot of deer come to Horton’s for processing. “After Thanksgiving, the hunters will start bringing more deer for Hunter’s for the Hungry, because most hunters will already have their freezers full, but want to keep hunting for sport. This year we will have around 1200-1500 pounds of meat. Hopefully we will get more, because there are so many families that need it.” So what is Hunters for the Hungry? Hunters for the Hungry is a program ran through F.O.R.C.E., which according to HandsOn Savannah, is “a community collaborative which provides support and services to participating Effingham food pantries.” Hunters donate meat they don’t need, the Horton’s process it and it is then delivered to the 5 local food banks in Effingham County. The program ensures that all of the donated meat stays in Effingham County, which is encouraging to the community. Ground meat is packaged in one-pound bags, ready for the food banks to hand out. The Horton’s worked with the United Way to get the program going in Effingham County. “Last year we donated between 800-1000 pounds of deer meat from Thanksgiving to the end of the season, we hope for much more this year.” All of this is at

Opposite Page - Van and Donna processing meat in ground form for the Hunter’s for the Hungry program. The meat is then distributed through the Food Outreach Co-op of Effingham County.

no cost to the hunter, “the hunters drop it off, and we process it. We donate the time and the supplies. The main out-of-pocket expense is paying the cutters. The rest is mostly time.” “Van has taught me to be more giving. His heart is getting too big for his chest,” Donna chuckles. “He is generous to a fault. He makes me want to be a better person.” Hunters for the Hungry is a large project the Horton’s have taken on, but this isn’t the extent of their generosity. The Horton’s owned a restaurant for 3 years, and they were able to do a lot for the community. “Our first year, at Thanksgiving we would open up the restaurant for anyone who wanted to eat for free. DFACS (Department of Family and Children Services) helped by passing out tickets to needy families.” The Horton Family also used to feed all of the football teams in the county before games every Friday night when the restaurant was running. The Horton’s donated all of the food to help support the local high schools. Fundraising is another avenue for the Horton Family to help people in the county. Usually, this includes helping those with cancer or families in need. “One time we stayed up for around 3 days cooking 1500 Boston butts for a fundraiser.” “There is never a dull moment around here. We always have a full house or a project going, and we like it that way.” The next project for Van is taxidermy. He is going to taxidermy school in Wisconsin in April. Horton’s Deer Processing will be a one-stop shop for processing and taxidermy. What does it take to process a deer? “It takes about 10 minutes to clean the dear, it hangs for at least 4 or 5 days before taking it out to cut up, which takes about an hour and a half, and then it takes about another 45 minutes to process it. Then the meat is vacuum packed into one-pound bags for pick-up. The longest part of processing is hanging the deer, which cures (drains) the deer. We try to turn around the deer within 7 days from the time the hunter drops it off.” Writer’s Comments: I have never really eaten deer meat before, so the Horton’s sent me home with a very large bag of meat for my family. I am amazed at this family’s generosity and willingness to give and help those around them. As soon as I got home, I held up the bag and said, you will never guess how wonderful the Horton’s are! My husband was thrilled – being a city boy, who has had very little wild game. We dove into trying the hamburger right away, and the sausage wasn’t far behind. I am thoroughly impressed with the quality and taste of the meat the Horton’s blessed us with. Our ten year old said it was the best hamburger she had ever tasted! Being with the Horton family, even for a short time, has given me a desire to help more in our community. Their giving hearts are infectious and just being around them lifts your spirits.

They pour out a desire for community well-being and family togetherness. Hundreds of families will be fed this year because of the kindness and generosity of the Horton family. The Horton family wants you to “help us help others this year. We need all the deer we can get for the project.” I encourage anyone who has the heart to serve or is even thinking about what they can do to help those less fortunate this season to give the Horton’s a call, or even better, a deer! To contact Horton’s Deer Processing: (912) 754-9791 620 Chester Thomas Rd Springfield, GA 31329

Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 21


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(912) 826-5246 Effingham Magazine |

December/January 2010-2011 23

Story by RAY STEELE Photography by TODD WOOD


He’s still a country boy from Clyo, but Norman Blackwell’s paintings are also the toast of big cities here and abroad

This particular painting of Norman Blackwell’s isn’t for sale. He isn’t sure anyone would want it anyway. It hangs six feet from the door of the home off a dirt road in Clyo that has been in his family for generations – he half-jokingly says “I’ve got the land grant from King George back here somewhere.” The stilllife depicts an ordinary, solid lavender vase on a table next to a multi-colored floral arrangement. Blackwell was 12 when he painted it. “I couldn’t do that again,” he says. Considering that you are completely surrounded by Blackwell’s other paintings when sitting inside his living room, the statement makes as much sense as Beethoven in his prime claiming he couldn’t write another note. When asked to explain, Blackwell’s reasoning is rooted in youth. “I was young when I painted it, and I love young people and teaching young people. They do so many great things because they aren’t old enough

to know they can’t do those things yet.” If that’s the case, Norman Blackwell must be the youngest 77-year-old on the planet.

Board Game The square is mostly yellow, with bits of black and red in a variety of geometric patterns. It is part acrylic paint, part fabric. Blackwell calls it “Board Game” because, well, it looks like a board game, something he might have played in his youth which, despite his family’s Effingham County heritage, did not begin here. “I was born in Greensboro, North Carolina because my father was a salesman for International Correspondence Schools at the time,” says Blackwell, the youngest of Roy and Ruby Blackwell’s three children. That was December 9, 1933, the middle of the Depression that would soon send the family back to Georgia. “We moved back down here when I was two after my father lost his job.” Norman Blackwell in front of an old rustic barn located on his property in Clyo. Blackwell uses the old barn to hang his works to be photographed.

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Effingham Magazine |

December/January 2010-2011 25

Norman’s mother soon moved to Savannah when she began working for a florist, coming back to the former plantation on weekends in those pre-commuting days. Norman and the rest of the family would follow when the U.S. entered World War II and Norman’s father went to work for Savannah’s shipyard.

Pinball Universe “I love the old movies, all the movies I used to go see two or three times a week when I was young,” Blackwell says. He liked them so much he started creating costumes for his favorite actresses, “painting them in water color and tempura,” he says. When he lost interest in costume creation, he decided to cut up the old paintings and turn them into a collage, and that collage reminded Blackwell of another part of his youth. According to his website,, “When I finished it, I noticed it resembled the pinball machines that were popular when I was a boy.” Something else that was popular with the young Blackwell was art class at Savannah High School. Art became Norman’s life calling when he first encountered Savannah High’s art teacher, Margaret Murphy – to this day one of the school’s most popular instructors. “Miss Murphy was special,” Blackwell says. “I had her for three years, and she encouraged me so much. Her encouragement gave me the confidence to want to be an artist.” That confidence led to his graduating high school two years early in 1950 and enrolling at Armstrong Junior College. Blackwell then headed west to UCLA, but while there, he was told that he would find a better art department at a well known school much closer to home.

Red and Black It’s a relatively simple collage; watercolor on strips of paper in vertical patterns of varying width. The dominant colors are familiar to most folks around here – some white, but mostly the color of the beloved Dawgs of Athens. Hence the name “Red and Black.” Blackwell arrived at the University of Georgia in 1952, and pragmatism overcame his desire to do nothing but paint. “I majored in advertising design because I knew I would need to do something to make money when I got out of school,” though Blackwell quickly adds that he still took every course in painting that was available. He became a fan and student of one of Georgia’s foremost artists, Lamar Dodd, who at the time happened to be head of the university’s art department (UGA’s art school is now named for Dodd). During his senior year, Norman was art editor of The Pandora, the university’s yearbook, and his original drawings


December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

for that yearbook are still on display at the UGA museum. He received his degree in 1956, and Norman was soon off to the capitol city to find work.

Rising Sun Norman says his inspiration was a blood-red sunset surrounded by golden clouds that he saw as he was walking his dog late one afternoon. But it’s the canvas of “Rising Sun” that is the color of blood, with pieces of gold lame, all uniquely shaped, surrounding a faint outline of the circular sun. When the sun rose on Blackwell after he left college, he was not painting as much as he wanted to. Much of his time was spent at one of the largest department stores in the state. “I was an assistant buyer for Macy’s in Atlanta,” a job Blackwell says initially paid him $75 a week. Not bad money certainly – that’s almost $600 a week in today’s dollars - but Norman says his eyes were opened when a Revlon Cosmetics salesman took him to lunch one day. “Our lunch bill was $85, which was chump change to this guy. That’s when I knew I needed to get into sales if I wanted to make some real money and give myself more time to paint.”

Icon The yellow canvas is resplendent with beads of paint, a technique called Pointillist Dots which Norman uses frequently. There are simple lines of straight beads, but the beaded border is comprised of patterns common to the clothing of Native Americans. Something resembling a Celtic cross lies inside a purple circle just above the center, other multicolored symbols splattered beside and below the cross. Long before “Icon” was a gleam in Norman’s eye, he made his move to sales inside one of America’s iconic companies. But devotion to his true love would later spawn a prodigal journey to a new institution that would approach iconic status long after Norman left. The year was 1960, and Blackwell would join the advertising and sales department at Proctor and Gamble’s headquarters in Cincinnati. It was also the year he would help his new boss begin marketing its new liquid fabric softener; Downy. “The next year, it was Pampers, which was the first successful disposable diaper. Then I worked with Tide, with its box design,” Blackwell says. As Blackwell neared his 20th anniversary with Proctor and Gamble, work began to dry up. “The company began to farm out more and more of its creative advertising work to agencies in New York,” he says. He loved P-and-G, but he wanted out. As luck would have it, a tiny art school would bring Blackwell home and closer to his muse. Savannah College of Art and Design had seven faculty

Science & Nature in Harmony

members teaching 71 students when it opened its doors in 1979. The school wasn’t much bigger when it made Blackwell its first gallery director the following year. He was home, working with his beloved artists, and had a dynamic boss in Paula Wallace, SCAD’s co-founder and its president since 2000. She was the school’s Provost, technically SCAD’s second-in command to her then-husband when she interviewed Norman for the job. “But you could tell, at least I thought I could, that she was the one in charge from the beginning. She is the driving force for the success of that school.” The honeymoon didn’t last. “They wanted to make recruiting part of my job,” Blackwell says of the reason he left SCAD in 1983. “I didn’t want to recruit; I wanted to be involved in the art.” He continued to paint as much as he could while becoming a travelling school supplies salesman for the next dozen years when all of it, his work, his painting, his life, almost ended. “I had to retire from selling school supplies because I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” Blackwell says, stunning considering he shows virtually no symptoms to the casual observer. “Oh, it was pretty bad for a time, and I wasn’t sure I would ever get to paint again.” But Blackwell says he prayed his way through it, and says his prayers brought him an excellent doctor who has helped control the disease. Blackwell has quite a bit of commissioned portrait work ahead of him; millionaires in New York and one of the deans at Notre Dame University among others. Lately, he has also broken away from the patterns and geometrics that define much of his nonportrait work, opting instead for barns and other scenery. “My newest fascination is New York storefronts, and I want to do a series of those in addition to a series of barns,” Blackwell says, “but to be honest, I’ve got so many ideas, I ‘d have to live to be 150 to do them all. I’ll be busy until I just can’t do it anymore.” Whether it is something for his simple country home, something for an opening in New York or the famous Saatchi Gallery in Europe, for the private collection of a local family or that of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Blackwell says he will live by the advice of his high school art teacher until he lives no more. “Miss Murphy told me ‘Norman, if you are a good artist, don’t hesitate to say so when you are asked about it. If you do not feel you are a good artist, change the subject, and keep studying and painting until you become one’.” He is still studying and paining, but judging by the demand for his work, there is no doubt that Norman Blackwell is a very good artist.

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December/January 2010-2011 29

senior spotlight Leona Jones Leona Jones, of Clyo is 98 years old. She’s enjoyed a long and productive life, but she’s not one to sit back and relax, not yet anyway.


She lives at home, and she stays busy selling Avon. “I love people,” she said, “and I’ve been so blessed to be 98, and my health is pretty good.” “What do you contribute your good health to?” I asked, and she did not hesitate with her reply, “Geritol! - I take one tablet every night of my life.” We laughed at the simplicity of her answer, to think that one could contribute good health to taking one over-the-counter pill every day, but she was serious. “It’s just a vitamin. Everybody should take it,” she said. “My blood was so low, and it stayed low, and I went to that doctor every two weeks, and he took a blood test. I came home and went to the drug store and got me some Geritol. When I went back, he said, ‘Ms Leona, what happened to you? Your blood’s built up.’ I said, ‘I’m taking Geritol!’ He said, ‘That’s good,’

98 Years Strong and still Selling

Photos by TODD WOOD

and I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you tell me that in the beginning!’ “I’ve been taking it for 10 years or more,” she said. “I’ve been taking it a long time.” It’s funny that she refers to 10 years as being a long time when she’s been on this earth for 98 years – 98 years – now that’s a long time, but Ms. Leona has not forgotten what life was like in Clyo almost 100 years ago. Just about a mile down the road from where she lives, there’s a farm. There used to be a small house on the farm, and that’s where she was born, the fourth of 10 children. She had 6 sisters and 3 brothers. Farming was their living, and Leona and her sisters worked in the fields alongside their father. What about her brothers? “They were younger,” said Leona, “We sisters did all the work.” “The work” included the same things you’d expect a man to do. “I pitched hay,” she said, “picked cotton, picked beans, anything that come to hand. My sister plowed all the time with the horse. My father plowed all the time too. You know, with a big family, you had to make a lot of food for them.” “We had a lot of fruit trees, a lot of fruit trees. Peaches, apples, pears, grapes, scuppernongs. We had a banana tree, and every year it had a big bunch

30 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

Leona Jones at her home in Clyo takes a break from reading her magazines to be photographed.

Effingham Magazine |

December/January 2010-2011 31

of bananas on it. We had pecans and walnuts, and we went in the woods and got berries. We had plenty of them: blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries.” “My older sister didn’t work in the fields, she stayed home and cooked. She cooked potato pies, and apple pies, and peach pies. She made a lot of pies, and on the weekends, she’d make a big ole’ jelly cake. You know, you make about 5 or 6 layers, and you’d put it together with jelly, and that was jelly cake. “We had a smoke house, and we put sausage and liver pudding in there. We’d scrape the guts, you know, and wash them off good, and then you filled them with the meat and smoked them.” Killing and butchering a hog was usually a man’s work, but when Leona’s father died in 1936, her mother had to step up to the task. “She’d go out there in that hog pen and take a hatchet and knock that hog in the head,” said Leona. “Then she’d get over in that pen and ‘stick it’ and make it bleed, and pull it out. Then my mother and oldest brother would scald it, pull the hairs out, and they’d hang it up, and she’d take that knife and open that hog up, and the entrails would fall out, and then she put it on the table and cut it up.” Her mother was tough, and Leona admits that she was a tough girl too. “Hard work made me live this old,” she said. “We had a good time. We had plenty to eat and some clothes to wear. We didn’t have a lot of clothes. When Mama said, ‘Go get ready,’ we knew what to wear. We didn’t have to go in there and ‘pick what to wear’ cause we didn’t have a lot of clothes. Mama made most of the clothes; she was a good seamstress. Mama worked in the fields too; she worked whatever come to hand.” “We didn’t have a TV, and there were no lights in the house until 1946, but we were the first in the neighborhood with a telephone. It was one of those that you had on the wall, and our number was two shorts, a long and a short. It went: Ting, ting, ringgggggggg, ting. Ting, ting, ringgggggggg, ting! It was party line, you know, and when our telephone rang, everybody else picked it up and listened. And there was a woman who had an old rooster that always crowed, and when we heard that, we knew who it was that was listening.” A one room school house was where she received her education. The school didn’t have any heat except for a fireplace. The school didn’t have a clock either, but the children knew how to keep track of the time. It was easy on a sunny day – they could tell from the shadows. But if it was a cloudy day, they relied on other ways. “When the mailman went by the school house, we knew what time that was - it was 11:00 o’clock,” she said, “and the children always knew when it was time to go home.” Some things never change. A red horse named Beauty pulled a buggy that took Leona and her 4 sisters to school. But when transportation began to modernize, the horse and buggy were replaced by a school bus, although it was a far cry from the big yellow buses of today. “They put an old body on it,” she said, “and it had oil cloths rolled up on the sides, and it was ‘rickety, rickety, rickety’. The the old bus would go ‘Squeak, squeak. Squeak, squeak.’” She laughs. “I can hear it right now. And when it rained, we’d untie them things up there (the oil cloths) and let them fall down, and they’d go ‘flip flop, flip flop, flip flop.’” She laughs some more, enjoying her memories of a rickety ride. In Clyo, one could buy almost anything at the Mallory Store,” said Leona. “One side of the store was for the cloth and dry goods, and the other side was the groceries, and upstairs they had furniture and stuff. And they had a long walk-way to four buildings where they sold buggies, hay rakes, corn machines and any kind of farm equipment.”

32 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

As a child, she didn’t get to go shopping in Clyo very often because the buggy wasn’t large enough for all the children. But every time her father went, he’d buy a big stick of peppermint candy for the children. “He’d bring it home and he’d take a chopping knife, and he’d chop it, and each one of us would get a big piece of candy.” The years passed. The work was hard. Leona married her husband, George, and they raised three children not far from where she grew up. She did her shopping in Clyo, but she drove a car instead of a horse and buggy. “I’d get my children all dressed up, and get in the car, and go to Clyo. It was like going to the city. Every week I’d get that big bucket of eggs, about 5 dozen of them, and I’d trade my eggs for gasoline for my car, kerosene for the lamp, and food. Those eggs got me everything I needed.” She started her Avon business after her three children were grown, but not until after she realized a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. She took some courses and became a nurse’s aide at Effingham Hospital. She worked part-time on three different shifts, but although she liked the work, the shifts presented some problems. She’s not a morning person, so the morning shift was not easy for her, and when she worked the night shift, she worried about coming home alone. A friend tried to help her out and said, “You should sell Avon.” “I don’t want to sell Avon! I’ve never sold anything in my life!” Leona still remembers her adamant response, but somehow her friend convinced her to give it a try. She bought a starter kit and was told someone would help her get started, but she didn’t wait for help. “That afternoon the sun was up high, and I got my little bag, and I called a neighbor, and I said, ‘You going to be home?’ and she said, ‘Yes.’ So I went over there and I knocked at the back door, and I said, ‘Ding, dong. Avon calling!’ She said, ‘Come in crazy woman!’ “So I went in and gave her a book, and she ordered some stuff. Then I went to Clyo, and before the sun went down, I’d done sold over $200 worth, and that set me on fire! So then I got out rain or shine. If it was a rainy day I’d call them and say, ‘It’s raining. I know you’re home, and I’ll be over there in a few minutes.” Leona loves selling Avon, but for her it’s more than just a way to make money. She said that she enjoys talking with the people so much, but there was also an added benefit: “Everywhere I went, I got something to eat. They’d say, ‘Come on in. Want a piece of pie?’ and I’d say, ‘Oh yeah!’ I enjoyed the people’s food! “There was one store that around dinner time I’d get me a cold drink and a pack of crackers and I’d sit there in the store, and people would come in and out, and I’d say, ‘How about buying some Avon?’” In 1986, just three years after she started with Avon, she was recognized for her efforts by becoming part of Avon’s President’s Club. This recognition is awarded only to those who sell at least $10,000 a year. Leona has kept up her hard work, and she has been part of The President’s Club every year since, and although she’s 98 years old, this year should be no different, although her methods of selling the products have changed. Several years ago a local paper wrote an article about her Avon accomplishments. Somehow the information got to Jay Leno, and his staff called her and asked her to be on the show. Did she accept the offer? “No!” she said. “Not to California. I’d have to fly, and I ain’t flying nowhere!” At 98, she’s content. As we said “Good-bye,” I reached for Leona’s hand. Her grasp was strong- very strong for a 98 year old woman - but I shouldn’t be surprised.

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metal (including washers, dryers, grills, bicycles, aluminum, steel, etc.) METAL MUST BE CLEAN OF DEBRIS SUCH AS WOOD OR CONCRETE!! Metal with debris will be charged .04 cent/lb. paper, phone books, magazines, cardboard, newspaper cell phones and rechargeable batteries, automobile batteries inkjet/toner cartridges

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For more information, please contact the Effingham County Sanitation Department at # 754-4668, option 6

34 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine


State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL

Hunting Freak

More Than A Way Of Life


ast month, a few freaks paid a visit to Effingham County... Hunting Freaks that is. Steve Richey and Craig Davis, armed with their hunting gear and a camera man, came to Effingham to hunt and film what they hoped would be great footage for their new hunting program Hunting Freak. “You always here about Georgia deer, and how it is a great place to hunt,” says Richey. “The deer population in Georgia is large, so we figured we’d come hang out, hunt and spend time with family.” Richey has a brother Mark, who resides in Effingham County, so Richey brought a small crew to spend a week hunting and filming at various locations around Effingham. They had figured since they were here during the rut that they would have some pretty good hunting. However, hunting was a little slow while they were here, but what they found was a truly welcoming experience. “Everyone we came in contact with was extremely nice and welcoming,” says Richey. “Many people invited us to come hunt their land, and sometimes come have dinner with them afterwards.” The boys even enjoyed the local restaurants in Effingham. “It was so nice not to have to eat at a Chilis, or you know the larger chain restaurants,” said Craig Davis. “It was nice to eat at locally owned family restaurants, and the food was good.” The Hunting Freak crew consists of four guys, all who are

friends who hunt together. “Three of the four of us owned our own businesses and we were looking for a way to make our hunting a tax write off,” says Richie. “We started throwing around some ideas, and the next thing you know Hunting Freak was born.” He continued, “We’re trying to bring the cool factor back to hunting. It’s a next generation hunting show geared to the younger generation.” The Hunting Freak crew travels all over the country to do hunts with sports athletes and even celebrities. Among those notables is rockstar and avid hunter Ted Nugent. “We know Ted pretty well. we’ve been hunting with him on several occasions,” says Richey. Like Nugent, the boys of Hunting Freak consider themselves conservationists of the land, and they also take part in the nationwide Hunters for the Hungry program which last year donated some 800,000 pounds of meat to hungry families across the U.S. Armed with hours of footage from their hunting exploits, Richey and Davis will begin the editing process and maybe Effingham will be featured on their program which is scheduled to run in the third and fourth quarters of 2011 on the Sportsman’s Channel. “I tell you, Effingham has a marketable thing here. The people are very welcoming, and there are some great places to hunt. I believe it is a place hunter’s from other states would want to come hunt and enjoy,” Richey concluded.

Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 35

Small Town, Bright Future

The goal of the Springfield Merchants Association encompasses growth in Springfield, including, but not limited to, making the city an attractive location for all varieties of new businesses. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Springfield Merchants Association, please contact Jamey Stancell at 912-247-7785 or any member listed below.

Old Effingham Days Car anD CustOm mOtOrCyClE shOw april 16th, 2011 Questions/ Information Contact: Jamey Stancell 912-247-7785 Email Springfield Merchants Association Members Get2It Ever After Bridal TeeZers Team Sports Old Time Bookstore and Antiques Kelly’s Tavern Blocker’s Snack Barrel One Of A Kind Motiques Antiques Poppy’s Barbeque Riggs Funeral Home Butch’s Bait, Bullets & Bull Effingham Magazine

912-754-6160 912-754-1696 912-754-9071 912-754-0094 912-754-3641 912-754-6210 912-754-6687 912-754-0042 912-407-0088 912-254-0886 912-772-7047 912-754-6446 912-826-2760

36 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

Passion! That is exactly what you will feel if you have an opportunity to meet Jamey Stancell, founder and president of the new Springfield Merchants Association. Jamey is passionate about the revitalization of downtown Springfield. Springfield is a quaint, small southern town, full of charm and character. It is the home of the “county seat” of Effingham County. Once a thriving business district in the community, Springfield lost many of its downtown merchants, leaving what some would recognize as an “undesirable” location to open a new business. However, work is well underway to spark a change. The new Springfield Merchants Association, under the guidance and expertise of Stancell, has big plans to put Springfield back on the map. The goals of the Association are ambitious, but highly attainable. The mission of the Springfield Merchant Association speaks volumes. It reads as follows: “Our Mission…Is to partner with local governments and other agencies to help existing businesses increase their revenue and promote new business ventures in the downtown district.” Stancell stands strong on this “mission.” He stated, “We feel we have a bright future. We are proud of being a small town. There is a large effort underway to make Springfield a very attractive location for any business.” The Springfield Merchants Association is working extensively with the City of Springfield to achieve success. Brett Bennett, City Manager, stated, “We are very pleased to have this association working so hard to revitalize our downtown area. We are working very closely with Jamey as he and the other merchants demonstrate their desire to be a strong presence in our community.” Growth in Springfield is foremost in the goals of this determined group. Their collaboration and hard work will prove that strength is greater in numbers. To learn more about how you can play a part in the restoration of downtown Springfield or to join the Springfield Merchants Association, please call Jamey Stancell (912-754-0094) or visit

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Effingham Magazine |

December/January 2010-2011 37

Elves From


• Story by KATIE TURNER • Photography by KRISTIN PATE

Elves From Catie has already helped hundreds of families create happy memories that will last forever, and the Wilkins are overjoyed that their daughter’s fun and mischievous spirit will live forever through this program.


his winter, families will gather together to celebrate the holiday season in a variety of ways. Whether it’s trimming the tree, carving the turkey, or gathering around a bonfire for New Years Eve, upholding traditions is a great way to make memories with family and friends. And for Jenny and Tré Wilkins, nothing could be better than creating special memories for children with cancer. They are the creators of Elves From Catie, a program named for their daughter, Catie Marie Wilkins. The charity gives toy elves to children with cancer during the holidays, and five dollars from each elf sold goes to Cure Childhood Cancer. As the spokesperson for Elves From Catie, Jenny Wilkins loves to share her daughter’s story and bring Catie’s favorite tradition to other children battling cancer. When she was just a year old, Catie was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. “It was actually on her first birthday,” Wilkins recalls. “She had a tumor the size of a lime in her cerebellum.” From the moment she was diagnosed, the Wilkins’ sought the best treatment for their daughter. Catie was treated primarily at Scottish Rite in Atlanta, where she was followed by a highly qualified team of doctors specializing in pediatric neuro-oncology. One Christmas, when Catie was two, she received a toy elf from the Ronald MacDonald House that quickly became her favorite toy. That elf and the story behind it quickly grew from one family’s tradition into a campaign that would bring joy into the lives of sick children throughout the country. As the story goes, little elves come to visit children when they are finished helping Santa at the North Pole. These elves befriend their child owners, but they also tend to get into mischief while the children are asleep. They have even been known to toilet paper fans and make little messes in their wakes. There is a memorable picture of Catie with her

elf that shows how much happiness it brought her. “She’s actually standing there holding it with this big grin, and you can see her IV and her feeding tube coming out from the side of her shirt,” Wilkins explains. “And her elf is covered in flour because he had just completely covered the kitchen in flour.” Wilkins remembers when her daughter would enthusiastically wake up wondering what her mischievous elf had been up to while she was asleep. “She would wake up every morning and she would roll out of bed and go, ‘mama, what did that silly elf do last night?’” says Wilkins. Despite the pain and the procedures she had to endure, Catie’s elf made her light up. And for a family who is struggling to find happiness in a hospital ward,

Above - Catie Wilkins with her Elf. Next Page -“Catie had the greatest, deep from the belly, laugh you ever heard, I’ll never forget it,” says photographer Kristin Pate.


December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

Effingham Magazine |

December/January 2010-2011 39

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December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

The Wilkins family photographed one month ago - Jenny, Chip, Izzy and Tre’ Wilkins.

those small moments of joy are truly priceless. Throughout her brave battle with cancer, Catie endured eleven surgeries, thirty-six months of chemotherapy, and thirty radiation treatments. Unfortunately, it was not enough. Despite the grueling and aggressive treatment, she died of an infection in 2007. She was four years old. After Catie died, Jenny and Tré Wilkins knew that their first Christmas without Catie would be difficult, but they didn’t want to spend their holidays lost in their grief. “We were trying to come up with something to get through that Christmas, because it was just going to be impossible,” Wilkins says. And that’s when her husband, Tré, came up with a great idea. Since Catie’s elf gave her so much joy while she was going through treatment, Tré had an idea to buy some toy elves to send to their friends who were still in the hospital. Jenny then called the company that manufactured the elves to see if she could get a discounted bulk rate. A few hours later, Jenny would get a call that would change their lives forever. Not only had the company agreed to give them the elves for free, but they also offered to start a program in honor of Catie that would donate toy elves to other sick children and have a portion of the proceeds go to the charity of her choice. And that is how Elves From Catie was born. Wilkins remembers that day vividly. “I just cried,” she recalls. “What more could I want? It’s sharing this tradition with families who need it, and it’s funding research.” They ended up setting up a fund with Cure Childhood Cancer. For every toy elf donated or purchased, five dollars goes toward funding pediatric cancer research. So far, Elves From Catie has donated over a thousand elves and raised more than ten thousand dollars for Cure Childhood Cancer. Wilkins is extremely happy with the program’s success, but now she wants to keep the tradition going and to eventually see the program in every state. And for those who may think that tiny toy elves couldn’t possibly make that big of a difference

to a child, Wilkins knows it is much more than a silly holiday tradition for the families of a sick child. “It gives them a chance to build those memories when they don’t have enough time to make the memories that they deserve to make,” she says. To see a child escape from the world of feeding tubes and IV’s- even if it’s just for a moment of pretending- is priceless. The hardest thing now, Wilkins says, is keeping up the fundraising in this tough economic climate. She says an easy way that local schools have been contributing to the cause is by having dress-down days for the teachers, where the faculty can choose to pay a few dollars to wear jeans instead of their regular uniform. All of the money goes to charity, and the faculty is happy because they get to wear jeans! Wilkins is confident that every little bit will help. “The research tells us that, with proper funding, in our lifetime, we will see a cure for childhood cancer,” she says. “They are saying that they are that close, so every dollar counts.” Sadly, childhood cancer is hugely underfunded, and so programs like Elves From Catie are a great way to donate money for cancer research while giving a child a special toy for the holidays. Elves From Catie has already helped hundreds of families create happy memories that will last forever, and the Wilkins are overjoyed that their daughter’s fun and mischievous spirit will live forever through this program. “Catie was really mischievous and so this tradition is so her,” she says. “It’s such her gift.” The program has raised thousands of dollars for pediatric cancer research and given smiles to deserving children throughout the country. What started out as a child’s favorite holiday tradition has turned into an amazing fundraising effort to fund childhood cancer research. And with continued support, Elves From Catie will continue to make a difference in children’s lives forever. To donate or purchase an elf, visit, or to make a donation, visit

Effingham Magazine |

December/January 2010-2011 41

Try Sweetwater Grill today. Sit down, and unwind from a long day. Bartender Thresa will be there to serve you.

Foo d

& Drinks


{Sweetwater Grill}

hether you’re looking for a perfect place to grab a drink after work or a restaurant that the whole family can enjoy, Sweetwater Grill is the best of both worlds. Located off of Highway 21 in Rincon at McCall Plaza, Sweetwater Grill has both the bar atmosphere and a family vibe that is sure to please everyone. In addition to the bar area and separate dining room, there are also two game rooms, two dart boards, a chalkboard wall, hunting games, a racing game and a toy chest. Every day from 4pm to 6pm, hot wings are only 35 cents- and all day on Saturdays and game days! Sweetwater Grill always has additional specials on game days, and the servers will always let you know what the specials are for any given day. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11am to Midnight and on Sunday from 11am to 8pm. If you’re looking for a quick lunch, Sweetwater Grill’s lunch specials are easy and delicious. Whether you want a center-cut pork chop, a classic Angus cheeseburger, or the Sweetwater Fish, you won’t leave disappointed. And for dinner, they offer a wide variety of hand-cut Angus beef steaks, scallops, shrimp, fish and other combination platters as well. Everything is cooked to order, and Sweetwater Grill is proud to offer only the best Angus beef for all of their steaks and burgers. Sweetwater Grill also does catering and hosts private parties. Whether you want to order off of the menu or create your very own, Sweetwater Grill can cater to your specific party or function. The sky’s the limit.

42 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

For entertainment, Sweetwater has everything from rock to country on Friday or Saturday nights with live music by local artists. And if your band wants to take a chance on the microphone, they are always welcome to play at Sweetwater Grill. And stay tuned for Trivia and Corn hole games at a later date. If you want a fun and flirty atmosphere or a place to take the kids for dinner, Sweetwater Grill is one of the best places in Rincon to relax and have a good time. Bon Appétit! Join Sweetwater Grill on Facebook to see their newest entertainment, specials, and seasonal activities.

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The best foods in Effingham, Dine Local!

Dakota’s Grille & Spirits 336 S. Columbia Ave. Rincon, GA 31326 (912)295-5590

Rincon, GA 31326 (Next to Rincon Transmission) (912)826-1057

Domino’s Pizza 591 S. Columbia Ave. Rincon, GA 31326 (912)826-5383

Simply Southern 986 Long Bridge Road Springfield, GA 31329 (912)754-1162

El Potro Mexican Restaurant 173 Commercial Drive Rincon, GA 31326 (912)826-0103 Frankie’s Smokehouse Grill 319 S. Columbia Ave.

Sweet Water Grill McCall Plaza Rincon, GA 31326 (912)826-0808 The Loft Cafe’ 109 Waterford Court Rincon, GA 31326

To Advertise in the dining guide, or to find out how to get your restaurant, pub or bar listed please call Lynnette at (912)547-3684, or Julie at (912)657-4120 or Allison at (912)675-5462

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Effingham Magazine |

December/January 2010-2011 43


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44 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

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Local Nursing students make ready to travel the remote villages of Western Africa to help the indigenous Paige Mincey and Matt Mercer are both lifelong residents of Effingham County who attended all the same schools and were even elementary school sweethearts, but lost touch with each other as they both went on to pursue college careers. Paige, a three sport athlete in high school was recruited to play basketball by Wingate University in North Carolina. She graduated from Wingate with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communications. Matt pursued an electrical engineering degree from Georgia Tech but decided nursing was his true passion. It was this common desire to help people which they both shared, that eventually pulled them both toward a nursing career and together again as friends. They are both pursuing Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Nursing at present, Paige at College of Coastal Georgia and Matt at Armstrong Atlantic University. Paige and Matt have also rekindled their old elementary school romance and have been dating for a year and a half. Paige and Matt were both looking for a Christian organization they could get involved with that would allow them the opportunity to help others in the community and abroad. They learned of “Nurses for the Nations,” a 501 ( C) 3 Christian organization presently working in Liberia, West Africa in remote villages to create malaria-free zones and help African villagers transform their own communities in matters of health, social and environmental issues related to the disease of malaria. Paige and Matt saw this as a great opportunity to spread the word

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of God and help people, the poor and under-served transform their communities. They see it as a prime location to implement their knowledge and skills learned in nursing school. Paige and Matt feel that this will be a life changing experience Paige Mincey and Matt Mercer and also an opportunity to gain knowledge about impoverished communities in the world and bring back this experience to their own home towns. Would you be willing in this season of giving to help this worthy cause? Your donation is tax-deductible and will provide the financial support for the project expenses which include malaria test kits, supplies for building a latrine, educational material for the chieftains and villagers, OTC medications, and expenses of the team. You can donate on line by going to: http:// and clicking on DONATE NOW or by Mailing your donation to: Nurses for the Nations Headquarters PO Box 577 Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324

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donating spotlight G.L.O.W. Ministries

Santa’s Workshop



very year children dream about the joys of Christmas and the toys they hope to receive. Unfortunately, too often those dreams don’t become a reality because of family financial situations that make gift giving difficult or impossible. But thanks to the efforts of a local organization named G.L.O.W. many of Effingham’s children will receive some of the gifts and toys they have dreamed about. G.L.O.W., which stands for God Loves Orphans and Widows, was founded by Wendy Turner. “It’s a non-profit ministry for any children in need,” said Turner. “We’re a local home mission.” “We just got a brand new building on the campus of Grace Community Church on Goshen Road. Although it’s located at Grace Community Church, it is not a ministry of that church. We have many, many churches involved. “We’re involved in ministry all year round, and Christmas is a big event. We use donations from individuals and local businesses to buy toys to be given to children in Effingham County,” she said. Turner emphasized that all donations for toys will go to children who live in Effingham County. “Last year we bought 2,000 toys, and our goal this year is to help 600 Effingham families,” she said. “There will be hundreds of applicants, but we can only do so much, but 600 Effingham County children will be invited and will be blessed!” How are children selected? Some are referred by United Way, DEFACS and school counselors. And in November and December any people in Effingham County who are in need can put in an application to G.L.O.W.. “ I try to get as many kids in

46 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

as I can,” Turner said. “The children get a personal invitation to come (to Santa’s Workshop) with a time, and their mom’s bring them. When our kids come in they’re given (token) money, and they can shop for what they want. They can buy presents for their mothers or a teacher, or themselves. It’s all about giving. That’s where our blessings come from, and they feel so good about doing that. They get so excited about doing that. “Our whole education building is transformed into a winter wonderland for the children, and when they come in there, it’s like, ‘Ohhhhhh!’! The lights are dimmed…. and the Christmas tree lights are beautiful! We pull out all the stops!” “They come to the social hall where they’ll meet Santa Claus, and have cookies and punch. They can have their picture taken with him, and the family can be in the picture too. Then they go into Toy Land – it looks like a big store. Some rooms have toy gifts, another has parent gifts. They get something for themselves, and then they always want to get something for someone else-mostly it’s Mama. Mama’s the most popular, or a teacher. We encourage them to give to others. It makes them feel good.’

donating G.L.O.W. Ministries spotlight “The whole premise is to evangelize, to teach them about the Lord. That’s the whole point. It’s not about food. It’s not about Santa’s workshop, but they are important. They are tools. When someone’s hurting and hungry, you’ve got to give them food, and you’ve got to give them love, but it does take both. I need to make God a priority.” Although G.L.O.W.’s current focus is its Christmas ministry, they are a ministry that is involved all year round. “We have a food bank as well,” said Turner, “and Thanksgiving is another big event. We just fed 150 families with a huge Thanksgiving Village.” It was held at Grace Community Church, outside, at their campus. G.L.O.W. children and G.L.O.W. members are ministered to all year. We have a book program and a Bible study for them. Our focus is the children, but when the children go to the book club, the parents have a class to go to as well, and they meet twice a month. “We want them to learn to earn things. ‘Entitlement’ attitude is our problem, so we try to undo that thinking. If they don’t attend the book club, they don’t earn the extras. The extras are ‘privileges’ we like to say. We teach our kids: you come, you learn, you earn, and then you’re rewarded. They work and they’re given ‘Glow Dough’. My husband made it. It’s got James 1:27 on it: ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world,’ – it’s our scripture.” urner’s desire to start a local ministry was inspired by her husband. “I watched my husband start GAP, which means God’s Apostles Providing. They build wheelchair ramps in the county. I saw what they were doing and making a difference in people’s lives,” she said. Although Turner was motivated to begin a ministry of her own, she said that she had not thought of having a ministry for children, but she said that she now knows that God was working to direct her. “We had started an adoption five years ago of a little boy in Guatemala,” she said, “and it took me going over there to open my eyes to the needs over here. Sometimes we don’t see the needs right in front of us. “Everyone says we don’t know what hungry is,” she said, “but the Lord really touched me, because I saw children two and


three years old laying on the sidewalk begging for food. Over there, they’re starving to death. The mothers are selling their children so they (the mothers) can eat and to try to survive. “Adoptions shut down in Guatemala two years ago, and they leave their children at dumpsters now,” said Turner. “There’s a big dump in Guatemala now, and the mothers take them (their children), and leave them to die out there. They’d rather do that than watch their children starve to death because they have no milk to give them. Their milk dries up because they’re so malnourished.” fter five years of trying to adopt an infant she had named Ethan, a child she loved as her own son, the adoption process came to an abrupt halt, and any communication with him became impossible. She described the years she was trying to adopt Ethan as ‘years of suffering,’ as she struggled to overcome obstacles to complete the adoption process. She visited with him and watched him grow. “I wanted to love just that one child,” she said. “I had a room for him, and a crib, and when he grew I bought him shoes, then larger shoes, and a closet full of clothes. I fell more in love with him. I wanted to love just that one child.” But the adoption process ended. Further communication with Ethan was impossible. “The Lord’s completely taken him out of my life,” Turner said. “It’s a matter of complete trust now (that Ethan will be cared for and fed), and God opened my eyes to His bigger purpose. God just let me know: a child’s hungry in America, and a child’s hungry in Guatemala, and they’re no different in His eyes. They’re all our children; they’re all our responsibility, and that’s why I started G.L.O.W. – to make a difference in children’s lives here. “I used to watch those infomercials all the time about the children that are hungry, and I’d flip right through that channel. I didn’t want to hear about ‘Feed the Children,’ and all that. Now I don’t have that luxury, because hunger has a face to me. “Without Ethan, there would be no GLOW.”


If you would like to find out more information about Santa’s Workshop , or G.L.O.W., contact Wendy Turner at: 663-5806

Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 47

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48 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

Edenfield Financial Services, Inc. is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by ING Financial Partners.

The Last Word: Are you Work Ready? By JOHN HENRY, IDA Chief Executive Officer

You’ve probably noticed the signs at some county lines recently indicating that the county is a “Georgia Work Ready Community”. We have been giving it thought for some time now. We have been seeking Work Ready Community status for over a year now. Savannah Tech and the Effingham Work Ready Team headed by Georgia Power’s Dinah King has been working to get the word out to members of the community and meeting monthly to discuss goals along the way. Effingham is nearing completion of our requirements and hopefully we will soon be able to place a sign at our county lines telling the world that we too are work ready. Briefly, the Georgia Work Ready program is a workforce development program established by Governor Sonny Perdue to demonstrate to the world that many of Georgia’s communities have what it takes to provide industries with a skilled workforce. This workforce is capable of meeting the long-term, qualified labor requirements that industries necessitate to locate to an area. It also provides companies with a qualitative measure to help determine a suitable pool of applicants by establishing a job profile for their available positions. For job seekers, you can take a four hour computerized skills test and qualify at either a bronze, silver, gold or platinum skill level. The skills tests are based on a nationally accredited system of standardized tests of core skills. There are three skill tests; applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. There is also a work habits test that assesses work-related attitudes and behaviors in areas that are trainable and coachable such as carefulness, cooperation, discipline and drive. For employers, you can work with an authorized job profiler to identify the required job tasks and skill levels for each position. This allows a quick comparison of job profiles to potential applicant’s Work Ready Certificate levels for a reliable decision to be made about hiring, training and program development. For our community, this program provides a means of demonstrating that strict criteria have been met in assessing our workforce. It is a definite selling point to new industries. The ACT WorkKeys® assessment system that is utilized for the testing provides an apples to apples means of gauging an areas workforce. Effingham County can easily demonstrate to the world that we have a solid workforce possessing a great skill set that is, well, work ready. I know that this program sounds like there may be a lot of hoops to jump through, and there are at the community level. However, for the job seeker or average individual that wants to brush up on the ol’ resume it is a surprisingly simple process. You simply set up an appointment with the testing representative at Savannah Tech, take the four hours of testing (can be done at the Effingham Campus) and you get your

certificate and pocket card mailed to you. Your scores will be immediately available following testing. You then start looking for jobs with any of the many employers that have adopted the system and match your skill level to the job profile. This is all free of charge! When you take the test it counts towards Effingham County’s goals to be met in order for us to be certified as a Work Ready Community. We still need many private sector, government employed and unemployed people who reside in Effingham County to take the test. We have already met many of the testing goals, but we still need to focus on several areas to attain our designation. I encourage everyone, whether you are looking for a job or not to be assessed. It is a free program and will take four or less hours out of your life. My staff and I have been tested and the fear of taking a test quickly subsided once I sat down in front of the computer. The tests are not designed to fail anyone. They are designed to assess typical job skills in a workplace. I also encourage our businesses and industries to find out how to incorporate the program into their work force training and hiring programs. It is an easy process and can provide some real time saving and money saving opportunities. To find out more about the program please visit, contact me at or call a representative at Savannah Tech at (912) 443-3014.

Santas & Angels Celebrating 40 Years!

Curiosity Shoppe Jewelers 210 N. Columbia Ave. (Hwy 21) Rincon, Ga 31326 Monday-Saturday 9-6 (912)826-5885

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House District 159 West chatham and South Effingham

108 International Drive • P.O. Box 1742 Rincon, Georgia 31326

(912) 826-2760 Effingham Magazine is a publication of Independence Day Publishing, Inc.

State House of Representatives 18 capitol Square Suite 504, coverdell legislative Building Atlanta, Ga 30334 Office: 404-656-0188 Email:

R 912-826-5465

Effingham Magazine

December/January 2010-2011 49

SHOWCASE of homes • South Effingham School District • Prices Start at $144,900 • Free Completely Furnished Stainless Steel Kitchen • Decorated Models Open Daily • $6000 Toward closing Costs • 8000 Square Foot Amenities Center

This is a terrific buy! 3 bedroom, one bath home with a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment. Huge, well maintained lot, hardwood floors, separate dining, fireplace in greatroom. Live in one and rent the other! Only 129,900. Call me today for a showing. Julie Hales 912.657.4120 Heidt Burns Real Estate Consultants 912.826.2800

• Established Community Over 170 Happy Homeowners!


Judy Quinney Ann Cade 912-657-6195 912-657-6351





3BR, 21/2 Bath, Open Plan with expansive 18ft. ceiling creates a loft feeling that lives large. Large master BR with sitting area & fabulous master bath with free standing tub and separate travertine & semi frameless glass shower. Metal roof, spray foam insulation, maple custom kitchen cabinets with up hinged glass doors. Stained wood stairs with metal accents. Kids rooms have custom painted murals. Must see this truly special home with a Mountain Lodge feeling. $239,900 DM Jones Construction 912-826-2069 Dennis Jones 912-429-1939

THIS PROPERTY HAS IT ALL! 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, living room, den, spacious eat in kitchen, triple carport, inground pool, poolhpouse, pole barn and shop. Fruit trees and blueblerry bushes! All this and only minutes to I-95! $215,000 Julie Hales 912.657.4120 Heidt Burns Real Estate Consultants 912.826.2800

SeLLing A


Home? What A Great Buy! This singlewide mobile home has 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths. New flooring, paint and a brand new stove. Refrigerator, microwave and washer/dryer remain. Property includes 2 garages and a 2 car carport. Great screened in front porch with huge deck on back. Great for entertaining! Plenty of room for cars and storage/shop area. All this sits on .8 acres with mature oaks and a beautiful yard, all completely fenced in! Priced To Sell At $79,400! Julie Hales 912.657.4120 Heidt Burns Real Estate Consultants 912.826.2800

50 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

Feature Your Listing Here And Reach Over 30,000 Readers! Call Julie at 657-4120 or Lynnette at 547-3684 Today!












Jennifer & Joe

Alford Photography by Denise Gonsales

A 52 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine


BRIDE: Jennifer Young GROOM: Joe Alford Wedding Date: June 26, 2010 Photographer: Denise Gonsales Photography Ceremony Site: Bloomingdale Alliance Church Reception Site: Embassy Suites Pooler

Hair & Makeup: Laura Watson w/ Studio 21 Officiate: Rick Rosali Music: The Music Maker – Sinclair Ray Catering: Embassy Suites – Pooler Flowers: Family Cake: Family Joe’s parents – Mickey & Billy Alford Jennifer’s parents – Roger Young


A A Effingham Magazine | December/January 2010-2011 53

EFFINGHAM WEDDINGS Creating an Eco-friendly Wedding

Interest in the environment is at an all-time high, and many

engaged couples are fusing their passion for the environment with their weddings by choosing eco-chic nuptials and Earthconscious registries. Here are tips for couples that want to start their married life on a celebratory and sustainable note: Environmentally friendly wedding ideas • Use responsibly sourced paper. Many wedding invitation designers and printers offer better- for-the-planet papers made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled content or from wood sources certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. • Keep the environment in mind when creating a menu or choosing a caterer and opt for seasonal, locally sourced and organic edibles. Use reusable or compostable foodservice items to lessen the reception’s impact on the planet. • Importing flowers can rack up your celebration’s carbon footprint. Challenge your florist to think locally and seasonally. • Send wedding party members home with ecological gifts. Offer bridesmaids USDA-certified organic skin care products from brands such as Dr. Bronner’s. A watch is a traditional groomsmen gift, so opt for a planet-friendly version such as a solar-powered fitness watch. Saying “I do” to an eco-friendly registry • Wedding registries should be both practical and highly personalized. From household staples like bedroom linens and

BLANDFORD HOUSE Dedicated To Making Your Event Extraordinary Garden Lunches, Weddings, Receptions Customized To Individual Taste Accommodating Small Groups or Large Events 436 Blandford Road • Rincon

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54 December/January 2010-2011 | Effingham Magazine

towels to decorative accessories, there’s no shortage of ecofriendly items to choose from. • When compiling sustainable choices for your registry, focus on one room at a time. Culinary gear is a crucial part of any registry. It’s a good idea to focus on basics such as Preserve cutting boards made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled plastic and bamboo spoons and kitchen accessories. • Next stop: the bedroom. Keep the romance factor high and your environmental impact low by registering for items that comfort both you and the planet. Consider organic cotton fiber sheet sets. Cotton grown organically reduces the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Accessorize with Smith & Hawken Poured Candles made from soy wax, which produce less soot than paraffin candles. • Add energy-efficient appliances to your list. Appliances account for 17 percent of the average household’s energy consumption, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Remember, not all energy-efficient appliances are big-ticket ones. Create a registry with affordable ENERGY STAR approved small appliances such as Black & Decker’s Cyclonic Dustbuster. • Don’t forget the yard. Consider registering for a solar-powered fountain to decorate a patio or an outdoor compost bin that will generate nutrient-rich soil for a garden and divert compostable waste from landfills. • Create and manage your registry online or via your mobile device. You’ll save paper and time by managing your registry list on the go.

Dec 2010/Jan 2011 Effingham Magazine  

Living, Entertainment, and Culture for Effingham County, Geo...