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Richmond Hill Reflections

Volume 8, Number 4

NEW Faces | MORE Spaces Our Expansion is Complete!

May The World Be Your

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76 The Oyster House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Oyster House at The Ford Plantation has been a place for celebrating and connecting for countless weekends since its construction. Built in the 1930s by Henry Ford, this endearing little shack has had little tampering to its original build or its reason for existence: friendly get-togethers on the Ogeechee River! Great lengths have been taken to protect this little treasure and all that it stands for.

Sandra Elliott’s Changing the Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64


Seeking a small town in the South as her dream home, Sandra Elliott and her family found Richmond Hill. Physical therapist by trade, this encouraging teacher/woman has found a way to turn an exciting time in her own life into a successful business helping others learn to run.

Breakfast with Hercules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 John Fornier is a professional bodybuilder whose outward appearance is a by-product of what lies within. His imposing stature houses the extreme dedication of a very compassionate man. While passion may determine his path, hard work will continue to determine his success.



Cooking Up a New Adventure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Connecting to our coast is something many have attributed their happiness to, and some even find their livelihood from. Brent Highsmith has spent his life thus far enjoying the barrier islands of Coastal Georgia in little boats with no motors. Once a master chef, Brent has cooked up a new kind of adventure to help you connect to the coast, too!


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departments 10

From the Publishers Legacies & Lore

12 19

The Oyster House The Saga Continues

Around Town 27 35 38

Be Strong Spread the News Fall Fashion

People & Places 46



A "Tail" of Dog Rescue

Home & Garden Stylish Southern Homes: For the Birds

Pursuits 64 70 76

Sandra Elliott's Changing the Game A Great Escape Breakfast with Hercules

Food & Entertaining


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83 89 94 99

Spooky Spread Home at the Coast and Dreams Cooking Up a New Adventure More Than Just Roasting

Events 106

In the Crowd

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At Richmond Hill Vision Center

Volume 8, Number 4

Founding Publisher Johnny Murphy Publisher/Editorial Director Paige Glazer Publisher/Advertising Director Art Director/Graphic Designer Red Bird Design, Samantha Howard Assistant Editor Penny Gregory

Family Eye Care Contact Lenses Treatment of Ocular Disease Most Insurance Accepted

Business Manager Suzanne Chumley Contributing Writers Sarah Volker, Michelle L. Morris, Lesley Francis, Bob Izzo, Penny Gregory, Leslie Ann Berg, Melissa Hurd, C.N. Fleshman, Brent Highsmith Staff Photographers Cobblestone Photography, Beth Smithburger Patti Todd Photography Contributing Photographers Michelle L. Morris, Dana Swanson, Courtni Gibson Jennifer Jarrell, Rick Paduszynski

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Our favorite season of the year is fall. It might be because we are both married to football junkies, and the look on their faces when their favorite game-time dip is placed on the coffee table is priceless. Or maybe it’s because oysters are back in season, or because fun times await around a fire in the crisp fall air... or perhaps because the chill in the air allows a shift in wardrobe from flip flops to the perfect riding boots, and this year, the bolder you are with color (jeans), the better. Do we have to declare just one reason? We tried to fill this issue with everything you need for the season. Halloween is just a little over a month away.... Melissa Hurd shares her secrets for making a “Spooky Spread” that your friends will ooooh and aaaah over and talk about all year. And get creative with those left over oysters from last night’s oyster roast with Brent Highsmith’s recipes – you’ll be glad you did!

The anonymous quote, “May the world be your oyster,” really inspired us while creating this issue. Such a versatile little creature with the ability to create something timeless and classic…. After all, who doesn’t love a pearl? A few other people who live, work and play in Richmond Hill must feel the same way, as they are taking their visions and turning them in to their own life game changer. One example, Sandra Elliot, appropriately named her company Georgia Game Changers and her quest in life is full of changing your world for the better; read more in the story, Sandra Elliot’s Changing the Game. Take this issue and use it for inspiration to enjoy this beautiful time of year. Be inspired to do what you want with your talents, wear what you like, eat what you love and give it your all. Q May the World Be Your Oyster,

Paige Glazer

1 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Jami Pflibsen

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legacies&lore ✴ beauty abounds

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Oyster House Stor y and Photos Michelle L. Morris

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legacies&lore ✴ beauty abounds


There’s something so endearing about an old historical site that still has most or all of the original materials and structure. When visiting places like this, I find myself getting lost in thoughts of what has occurred or what has been seen, felt and experienced right in that exact spot. It’s an unexplainable, nostalgic connection to things of the past. For the same reason, many historical sites are wildly busy tourist destinations all over the world. I’m here to tell you, the nostalgia of the Oyster House at The Ford Plantation is simply no different, and you feel it the moment you step foot on the bridge and make your way to the island where it sits. When I visited recently, I was able to chat with the gentleman who has called the Oyster House his office for the last 8½ years. Mike Womble is a naturalist and works full-time for the members of the Plantation. He says, “I’m not a historian...” although he possesses great knowledge of the building and all that surrounds it. We stood inside the Oyster House and I did my best to listen intently to all Mike had to say, while forcing myself not to be distracted by the myriad of items surrounding me. There were cages of venomous snakes, a stuffed wild boar, fishing poles galore, a bow and arrow bigger than me, a stuffed duck, live snapping turtles, fish, a dried piranha and most certainly enough animal bones, teeth and skulls to fill up the backseat of a small car. Amidst all that adorned the walls, I noticed a small, framed black and white grainy picture of two well-dressed middle-aged men chatting it up. I asked about the image on the wall, and Mike began to fill me in on Henry Ford, and much of Henry’s story that was written right where I was standing. Ford, like many successful people, was a bit impulsive (or rather decisive) and knew just what he wanted and when he wanted it. The Oyster House was built in the 1930s and was completed, from start to finish, in just three short days. The urgency was in place only because Ford wanted to use the building for a party that was to be held during the upcoming weekend – an oyster roast, to be exact. His friends had often teased him about buying such extensive property in “backwards Georgia,” and in an effort to shrug off the good-hearted mockery, he placed a sign on top of the entry doorway reading, “AIG-ROEG.” 1 4 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Try reading that one again, and if it’s still not clear, read it backwards. Clever man! Evidence of the untampered originality and age of the house was clear to me from the settling cracks and several uneven lines in the construction of the planks. In more than one spot, there was just enough space between the cypress wood planks that sunshine was spilling through. The original ventilation holes were visible at the bottom of the entry door, making it clear that there’s no central cooling or heating inside, indicative of that time period. Inside, seeing the two brick ovens filled my imagination with all that must have been prepared in them over the decades. The Oyster House has become a place of celebrations and connections for countless weekends since the original construction. The members of The Ford Plantation (there are about 300 total), along with Mike Womble, place a high priority on preservation of history and nature. “We still use it for its original purpose – oyster roasts,” says Mike. “Homecoming of the members is in October. This year, instead of the oyster roast being at The Main House, it will be here at the Oyster House. We also do wild game dinners in the fall and winter. We’ve dug a pit and roasted a hog in the ground under the ashes. The chef comes over and cranks up the two ovens inside the Oyster House and we’ll do pot pies, quail breasts and roasted snapper.” Mike is very passionate about his job and his service to the members of the Plantation. As the naturalist on the property, he manages everything from alligators to kids’ summer camps and maintaining bluebird boxes around the property. There are so many elements that set The Ford Plantation apart from other similar historical sites and developments, but certainly having a full-time naturalist on staff, serving a group of members who have dedicated half of their property to preservation, is quite incredible! I left feeling more connected to the past and more drawn to the undeniable beauty of such a dedicated community of people. It is a peaceful and awe-inspiring place to visit, rich with history and great promise of countless more memories to be made. Q

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legacies&lore ✴ another piece of history


SAGA CONTINUES By Sarah Volker, President of Richmond Hill Historical Society Photos Courtesy of the Richmond Hill Historical Society


History is a funny thing – often thought of as absolute, when it is actually rather fluid. Kind of like the English proverb, “to the victor goes the spoils,” the winner writes the history books, and often the real story is never told. My history isn’t necessarily your history. How you and I look at the world is molded by our families, our experiences and our willingness to try to understand what brought us to this point in time in our politics, our wars and the written or spoken word. Even artwork can illustrate a moment in time from hundreds or thousands of years ago and give us a view into the past. Imagine you are British. How would you view the American Revolution? For our founding fathers, breaking away from the mother country was a momentous occasion – argued and fought over, separating family and friends in order to birth a brand new nation. The British history books might define the American colonists as an ungrateful lot who used them and then abandoned them when the Colonies believed they no longer needed Britain for protection. If my philosophy concerning history is true, then how do we, as a society, know which facts are really true? The closest thing to an unbiased history I have seen, concerning Bryan County’s history, is the book by Buddy Sullivan, From Beautiful Zion to Red Bird Creek. As the series of vignettes from Ben Green Cooper’s 1936 The History of Bryan County, Georgia, unfolds, we will try to give the reader more information about a subject or a location in italics. Commissioned by Henry Ford, this manuscript was written over 76 years ago. We hope you enjoy the following condensed version of the unpublished manuscript by Cooper. It is my suspicion that Ford was as awed by the history of Coastal Georgia as we all are!

Ben Green Co oper H I S T O RY O F B RYA N C O U N T Y C I RCA 1 93 6

Vignettes from Chapter 4 Ogeechee Neck (Bryan Neck) has had a number of names, as a political sub-division, in the more than 200 years of its civilization. The English came in the 1700s to our area. The Spanish were here for 200 years prior to English settlements. Native Americans lived in the area before any Europeans set foot on our soil. At first, it was part of Savannah County, which included settlements on the Savannah River and on both banks of the Ogeechee River. Next, it was part of Midway District, and then it became York district of the Great Ogeechee District. When Georgia became a province, Ogeechee Neck was named St. Phillip’s Parish. This parish was described as follows: “Town of Hardwick and district of Ogeechee on south side of Great Ogeechee, extending Northwest up said river as far as the lower Indian trading path leading from Mount Pleasant, and Southward from the town of Hardwick as far as the swamp of James Dunham, including settlements on the north side of the north branches of the River Midway with the Island of Ossabaw, and from the head of said Dunham’s swamp in the northwest line.” In the organization of the new state of Georgia during the Revolution, the Ogeechee Neck section was part of Liberty County. On December 19, 1793, Bryan County was created from Liberty and Effingham Counties by the Georgia legislature. It was named in honor R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 9

legacies&lore ✴ another piece of history of Jonathan Bryan, patriot of the Revolution. Bryan, born in 1708, came to Georgia from South Carolina, in 1752. Author George White, in his “Statistics of the State of Georgia” circa 1849 states “As long as the Crown (England) respected the rights of the province, Mr. Bryan was disposed to recognize its authority, but when those rights were violated his independence would not suffer him to submit.” In the early part of the Revolutionary War, Bryan was very active. He was captured by the British and taken to New York as a prisoner of war and placed on a prison ship in Long Island Sound. “He was finally exchanged, returned to Georgia, and continued to the end of the war an active and determined patriot.… He closed his mortal career March 12, 1788, at the age of 80.”

It once was reckoned by William Gerard de Brahm, surveyor of the colony, as one of the five principal seaport towns of Georgia. The idea of building a large town on the Ogeechee began in 1742 when the Georgia trustees read a memorial [a request] of Joseph Avery, who had been employed to survey the Northern part of Georgia. In September and October, 1741, Avery reported, he discovered and sounded a large river called the Great Ogeechee. He expressed belief “it would be of great service to the province and the British nation to have a dockyard and settlements on the river; which is capacious enough to contain some hundred sail of ships from seventy guns downwards, and the entrance of said river being very safe there being three fathom and a half upon the bar at low water. A fathom measures

Chapter 5 Hardwick, a town once intended for the capital of Georgia, now lies neglected and forgotten, with not even a ruin to mark its once busy waterfront. A historical marker on Spur 144 now marks the general location of where the town stood.

Left to Right: 1754 survey of Hardwicke; Historical marker at Hardwicke.

depth. A fathom equates to three feet, so the bar had a depth of 21 feet even at low tide. That the land by the said river is very rich, and the country about it abounds with timber fit for the building of ships.” A memorial by inhabitants on the Ogeechee was presented to the Royal Council of the Province asking to have the land reserved at the Elbow of the Great Ogeechee [Seven Mile Bend] to be used to build a town. They felt the “Barr of Ossebaw” a safe harbor and the ships would be safe from wood worms since the river is fresh at the Elbow and trading vessels of 400 tons or greater could traverse the river from the Elbow to the ocean. The presentation to the Royal Council stressed the convenience for marketing of a town at said site. Those who signed the memorial [request] were: Captain James 2 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Mackay, Elisha Butler, Samuel New, Joseph Butler, Richard Cox, Will Butler, Richard Cooper, John Harn, John Mearn, Charles Marian, Benjamin Wilson, Joseph Summers, William Wilson, John Wilson, Seth Place, John Deveaux, James Miller, John Mckay, James Kixse, Alexander Sutherland, Phillips Delegal, George Delegal, John Farmur, Henry Bourquin, Thomas Wilson, Martin Fenton, Peter Young, Maurice Dullea, Charles West, Willoughby West, Thomas Butler, Alexander Rose, Robert Houston, David Black, Stephen Williams, Lewis Motteair, David Dicks, John Mathis, Alexander Wylly, Matthew Roche, John Graham, William Elliott, James Edward Powell, George Cuthbert, and Joseph Phillips. Even in 2012, some of the names listed are still recognizable to anyone who lives in Bryan County. Their descendants continue to help mold and build the county we call home. The Board, having “maturely considered the address” believed it was “justly founded” and directed Henry Yonge, the surveyor, to lay a plan of the land. Yonge’s original plans seem to have disappeared in the course of time, but the outline of Hardwick and the positions of the lots are still preserved in a plat made in 1795 by County Surveyor Thomas Collier. This plan had been misplaced but turned up in the sorting of papers in the State Department of History and Archives. The Richmond Hill Museum has a copy of the plat layout of the town of Hardwick. It was reported there were within the township 500 acres of land, of which 335 acres were laid out in 610 lots, including the church and other public lots, the burying grounds, five public squares, 27 streets, 15 lanes, and the bay from the river to the front lots. The remaining acres were reserved for a common.

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In 1755 the town was named Hardwick, in honor of Lord Hardwicke, Lord High Chancellor of England. It was proposed that Hardwick be named the capital of the Colony of Georgia. However, the necessary funds and support needed to transfer the seat of government from Savannah to Hardwick never materialized and the fate of Hardwick was sealed. The importance of Hardwick in the eyes of the public surveyor of the province was illustrated by the surveyor’s plans for a fort at the eastern end of the town. It was to be built in the form of a triangle. It did not receive sanction from the Board of Trade and the defenses of Hardwick and other points in Georgia remained in poor condition. Public business was transacted at Hardwick and the cross-roads until 1814, when the legislature adopted a county site more central to the residents of Bryan County. The maximum population of Hardwick was 100. In 1824, Alexander Netherclift was the only resident. In 1829 it was noted Hardwick was but a cluster of houses. In 1866, an unsuccessful attempt to revive the town was made. Q

S OU RC E S : · Ben Greene Cooper’s History of Bryan County, circa 1936 · From Beautiful Zion to Red Bird Creek author: Buddy Sullivan · Bryan Family Biography

Formation of Planter Elite-Jonathan Bryan and the Colonial Frontier: Allan Gallay · Hardwicke on the Great Ogeechee River A Richmond Hill Historical Society Publication, prepared by Jerry R. Rutland

© From Beautiful Zion to Red Bird Creek

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Bryan County was named for Jonathan Bryan Jonathan Bryan was originally from the area near Port Royal, South Carolina. His forbearers settled into the Colony of South Carolina during the latter part of the 17th century. They prospered and became owners of numerous plantations in the area. Bryan, born in 1708, left South Carolina in 1733 to work alongside James Edward Oglethorpe while he was establishing a site for the city of Savannah. In 1736, he took part in the “expedition against the Spaniards” in Florida. From 1754 to 1774 he served as a member of the King's Council. Early into the resistance of the Colonies against England, Bryan resigned his post, or he was expelled for being rather vocal in his denunciation of “the invasion of the rights of the people.” An example of

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who's telling the story: if you are English, he was expelled, if you were a Colonist, he resigned. He was very active throughout the Revolutionary War. By 1777, he rose to become the Acting VicePresident and Commander and Chief of Georgia. He died in 1788.

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aroundtown ✴ where are they now



Oftentimes, we plead with our children, “Lay still baby! Take a nap!” Kids can be so busy. We constantly look at what they’re doing wrong, taking for granted the blessing of their ability to perform these “annoying” actions. To most, eating and breathing are simple bodily functions we don’t give much thought to, except when we have the sniffles or are feeling a little hungry. When a child comes into this world with the ability to lift his head, swallow his food and use all of the muscles in his busy little body, we don’t have to think about what we are saying or asking him to do. Like all new babies, when Richmond Hill residents Dana and David Swanson’s beautiful, identical twin girls were born, they slept, ate,

wiggled and cooed as expected, naturally stealing the hearts of all who held them. But just five short months later, “normal” progression of movement and strengthening of muscles began to slow down. Every day, two children are born or diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). That August, David and Dana’s two girls Cassidy and Skylar were diagnosed with this debilitating disease. Dana’s mother, Anne Meguiar, remembers that day sadly, “The girls were given just two years to live.” “Our friends came to our aid immediately, asking what they could do to help,” recalls Anne. Inspired by her granddaughters, a community of long-time friends formed SMA Angels Charity, Inc. Determined

By Paige Glazer

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aroundtown ✴ where are they now

2 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Clockwise: Skylar with her family and friends on a "cruise," planned by Mrs. Becky West; SMA Angels, Inc. committee and friends celebrating the kick-off of their 15th annual fundraiser, "Be Strong"; Skylar enjoying the sunset with little brother Jonah, her mom and her Uncle Heath; Having fun at the circus; Beautiful Skylar Swanson

© Patti Todd Photography

that no parent should ever again hear, "Your child will never sit, stand or walk, and they will die before the age of two," the charity began its fight against SMA. The charity is led by a local board of directors, but its efforts are felt nationally and internationally through research, education and outreach. With its longstanding board of directors and committee members, this year SMA Angels Charity, Inc. (created in 1997) will celebrate 15 years of service and support of children and families affected by SMA. The Swanson and Meguiar families, along with members of SMA Angels Charity, Inc. and residents of Richmond Hill and Savannah, have rallied together to ensure that children affected by this disease will be well taken care of, will have a voice on Capitol Hill and that medical advances towards the cure will be made in their honor and memory. While Cassidy received her angel wings 6 years ago, Skylar celebrated her 15th birthday this year. Her mother says, “Her body may be weak but her spirit is so incredibly strong!” “There is a lot of pain and heartache, but so much joy. The joy in knowing that the community supports you in this effort is a force to be reckoned with,” adds Anne. This disease has not only affected the Swanson family, it has touched the lives of many in our community. A beautiful little girl named Kalie Miller recently died of Type 1 SMA. She was dearly loved and cared for by her family in Screven, Georgia. Over the past 15 years there have been many local families who have lost their children to this deadly disease. Chase Harrison and Xander Booth are two wonderful little boys who live in Savannah who both have Type 2 SMA. Unless a cure is found, they will never walk, run or enjoy a normal life. Over the last 15 years, the charity has contributed over $600,000 to research at institutions searching for the cure. They help local families by paying for diapers, medical equip-

ment and family-stay near the hospitals where SMA children are being treated. At Christmas, they give gifts to families: “iPads are great for SMA kids,” says Anne. She and the board of directors travel frequently to conferences and to meetings with high-powered individuals – seeking their support, sharing knowledge and learning new information for themselves. “We have seen advocacy for SMA legislation propelled forward because of the strong voice of our community – both family and friends. It is impossible to overstate the impact of a parent or friend of our cause in outreach to a [Congressional] representative or senator. We know that when a constituent speaks from their heart and that request is echoed by others in our community, Washington listens. Anne Meguiar and SMA Angels are strong examples of the power of personal and persistent appeal to Congress,” says Martha Slay, a “fighter mom” and the founder

of the international 501c3, Fight SMA. Dana credits her girls living longer than expected to the aggressive respiratory care and special nutrition she has learned over the years. Skylar has a very special diet that Dana prepares each day ensuring she receives all the essential proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals calculated by her age and weight. A slight change, such as adding too much fat, can alter what kind of day Skylar will have. Some children with the most severe form of SMA are living longer, not because of special drugs, but due to good respiratory and nutritional management. Realizing the critical role quality of care plays in children with SMA and that there was very little investigation of this, SMA Angels Charity began to focus its efforts in this area. They partnered with doctors and dieticians at the University of Utah, Cincinnati Children's Hospital and the University of Wisconsin American Family Children's Hos-

pital to form a nutritional task force to address nutritional management in children with SMA. The results of these efforts have included recent publications on nutrition and SMA and an increased awareness in the healthcare community about the importance of optimal nutritional management for those with SMA.

They are also currently working with doctors and researchers on designing a clinical study on nutritional management in SMA. The Swanson family believes in the saying that “God doesn’t give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people

aroundtown ✴ where are they now “This time last year Skylar was very ill and in the hospital for the first time in years and she was really struggling. Things looked very bleak for her and we were worried that maybe she had just fought this disease too long and she was getting too tired. Despite everything she was going through, her response was, “Do whatever it takes to make me better!” Her sheer will to live validated everything we have worked so hard for all these years. All the struggles and the relentless pursuits to help these kids live a longer and better quality of life were so worth it. Sky loves her life and we are blessed to be given more time with her. Even though the reality of this disease could take her at any moment, at least I feel we have done everything for her.

The lives of these children, no matter how long or how short, are such a gift and so worth celebrating.”

and then gives them strength.” Families affected by SMA spend their days consumed by concerns. Napping according to schedule is nonexistent on their radars. They have more intense worries like when their precious newborn will lose the ability to eat or smile or give them a hug. Their children will never have the opportunity to sit up, walk, run or be involved in athletics. But, they are strong! This year, SMA Angel’s campaign is called “Be Strong.” These words epitomize what these families and children have no choice but to be. “From the looks they receive in public to the loss of friendship and socialization . . . to the loss of physical abilities and the possibility that each breath may be their last. . . yes, these children and families must be strong,” says Becky West, longtime member of SMA Angels Charity, Inc. and owner of West Rehab. “Despite the physical limitations these children face, they are completely mentally intact. They understand all too well their dependency on a machine to help them breathe. They experience the total lack of ability to turn over or scratch an itch on their heads. They face fear of the common cold, which could easily lead to their death. They are the STRONGEST, weakest children I know. Skylar has all this to deal with, yet she is always concerned for others. She wants to make sure a friend has a safe flight back home, she inquires how someone's surgery went and if they are going to be okay. She has the sweetest spirit and loves life. We made brownies last week when I went to see her. She helped prepare and mix the batter. Her eyes light up and her eyebrows raise when she is excited about something as simple as that. We need to BE STRONG,” adds Becky. “This campaign is certainly true for Spinal Muscular Atrophy families, but is suits everyone else as well. Sometimes, we ourselves must be physically strong, or mentally strong, or spiritually strong . . . and sometimes we have to be strong for someone else.” On the 15th anniversary of the birth of SMA Angels Charity, Inc., 3 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

the theme for this year’s ball will be “A Night of Celebration.” There is much to celebrate. There is now a published Consensus Statement establishing a standard of care and practice guideline for the clinical care of SMA patients. Advances are being made in research about this debilitating disease that in its severest form is the number one genetic killer of children under two. A promising new gene replacement therapy is being perfected by Dr. Kasper at Ohio State University, and this revolutionary research has the potential to treat or cure Spinal Muscular Atrophy, as well as various other neurological diseases. Also to be celebrated is the strength of the affected families, and especially their children. “Anne and Dana are amazing and it is in large part because of their spirit that Skylar fights on, especially after the loss of her sister,” says Dr. John Bach, Professor of Neurosciences and Vice Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New Jersey. Dr. Bach is internationally recognized for his ground-breaking work in noninvasive mechanical ventilation. Dana credits him and his staff for teaching her everything she knows about respiratory care. Without those critical trips to New Jersey the first few years of their lives, Cassie and Skylar would have never lived past that milestone two-year mark. Six hundred tickets will be sold to this year’s celebration ball at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront. SMA Angels Charity encourages the community to participate and take this opportunity to share our strengths with those who need it; the day may come when we may need others to share their strengths with us. Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor's Note: To purchase tickets vist See page 35 for more details on this year’s charity ball!



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Richmond Hill Garden Club Pumpkin Patch

Matthew Freeman 5K Run for Peace Where: J. F. Gregory Park When: November 12 at 8:30am A 5K Run/Walk and a 1K Fun Run (kids/seniors) on Veterans Day benefiting THE FREEMAN PROJECT. 5K is open to all participants. 1K fun run is open to kids and seniors only. Sponsorships are available,

Where: J.F. Gregory Park Pavilion When: October 6th at 9am – 1pm Pumpkins of all sizes, beautiful mums, bales of straw, corn stalks and other fall decor.

Advanced Registration - $25 (5K) and $15 (1K). Race Day Registration - $30 (5K) and $20 (1K). Local dog lovers and owners in Bryan County are launching a campaign to develop a dog park in South Bryan County.


2012 FALL FESTIVAL 13 and Rubber Duck Races ber Where: Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens Adopt your ducks today: 912.921.5460


Where: J. F. Gregory Park When: October 21 at 1:00pm $25 Regular Registration until September 30, 2012 $30 Late Registration October 1st-11th Registration includes entrance to the Seafood Festival, over all and age group awards, race packet items and shirt.




14th Annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival

Where: J.F. Gregory Park When: October 19th-21st A three-day festival offering live entertainment, amusement rides, arts and crafts, fireworks and the best fresh seafood in Coastal Georgia!

Where: Savannah Marriott Riverfront Silent & Live Auction, Dinner and Dance to The Swingin’ Medallions Band Tickets $80 912.727.4SMA

Cornhole Tournament Where: Belle Island Club House When: September 29th from 2pm-until $30 per team To register, call: 912.441.4872

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aroundtown ✴ wear it right

Trends to Re-Invent Your Wardrobe


Styled by Stella Rose Photos by Cobblestone Photography

As you anxiously anticipate the first cool snap of fall to arrive, think FASHION! With so many new trends, transitioning into the season will be a blast. It’s exciting to go through the closet to assess what can be worn again and paired with this season’s new styles and colors. It’s also fun to shop for the new pieces that will make an old outfit complete or up-to-date. We asked Stella Rose to show us a sneak peak of several of this fall's fahsion trends. Consider layers – a great concept for our climate of chilly mornings and warm afternoons – and they are totally in style this fall. Trade in your flip flops for great boots and your bright accessories to those with warm, rich hues. Use bold patterns, stripes or solids, and mix them with the right accessories to dress them up or tone them down. Look trendy at Wildcat football games, be the put-together one at work or enjoy dinner with the girls in style! Q

3 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S


Fashion Sexy, Classy‌


Features to look for this fall/winter


aroundtown ✴ wear it right

Rich Colored Denim Enjoying Sunday brunch at Ailsa'a wearing... Top: Michael Stars, rose-colored wide-neck top with keyhole back. Bottom: Ultra skinny Paige Jeans in emerald! Shoes: Seychelles strappy “Time Will Tell” heels.

Frye Seychelles "Harlow Campus" "Time Will Tell" Heels Boots

Large-faced watches or anything with animal print


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Be street chic Special thanks to our models: Ashley Rahn, Christy Balbo, Lauren Francis, Mandy Hudspeth R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 4 1







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people&places ✴ live, laugh, love


A “ T A I L” O F DOG RESC U E By Lesley Francis

Photos by Cobblestone Photography

Research shows that dogs were domesticated about 30,000 years ago. Many studies have shown the importance of the human and canine relationship, and I like both the biophilia hypothesis and the social support theory. The first says that there is an instinctive bond that exists between human beings and other living systems; it explains why ordinary people care for and sometimes risk their lives to save domestic and wild animals. The second theory says that our relationship with animals demonstrates how humans love life and want to support and sustain it. Dogs have always been incredibly important to me – from my childhood “fur sibling” Kim (a beautiful collie dog) to my group of three, soon to be four, “fur children.” I know that not everyone feels the same. Intellectually – if not emotionally – I understand that for these people, dogs may just be part of their environment or other people’s pets, and they appear to be lots of additional responsibility, work, mess and expense. It’s okay if you don’t love dogs. In fact, it’s much better to be honest with yourself than to make a half-hearted commitment to a furry family member that you’re not prepared to love and care for. You see, to me, our dogs are a priority, and they’re worth every cent to ensure that their lives (and especially their old age) are as happy as can be. And I speak as someone who went to a lot of effort to safely transport her three dogs from the UK to the USA, and we now have two elderly Labradors who require quite a bit of expensive health care. I don’t mind. After all, they’ve always been there for me when I needed love and company, or a cuddle and a soft coat to wipe away my tears. So when I met Deborah Foster, her 11-year-old son Jackson and their two rescue English Springer Spaniels at their home in Richmond 4 6 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Hill, I was entranced to see the love between these humans and canines. Both dogs are about 8 years old. Lincoln (the black and white male) and Eleanor (the liver and white female) exude love and loyalty; you would never guess that they’ve not always been part of this family. When I heard the family’s unusual story, I was even more impressed. Like most kids at some point, Jackson begged his mom for a dog. “I knew that I didn’t want a puppy,” says Deborah. “I’ve always loved English Springer Spaniels, so I got in touch with ESRA (English Spaniel Rescue America). I knew about rescue organizations because of a pug I saved many years ago when I lived in Detroit; he was a wonderful dog,” continues Deborah. “ESRA was very thorough – they did phone interviews and spoke to our vet about our cat Indy-Ana, and they did a home visit to assess our lifestyle and family. Sue Schroer and her team of volunteers at ESRA worked really hard to match us with Lincoln two years ago.” If someone has to give up their dog to a rescue organization or if a match does not work out between a placed dog and their new family, then ESRA focuses on a solution. “They do not make people feel bad. They aim to ensure every dog’s future is that of happiness,” she adds. Lincoln is named after Abraham Lincoln. He was ignored for the first six years of his life – left in a backyard with no love, toys or training. He needed a lot of work from his foster family before he was ready for a forever family. “I work mainly from home as a real estate appraiser, so I can give quite a bit of attention to our dogs. I did a lot of training work with Lincoln – he needed a family, a feeling of safety and a mom,” says Deborah. “Now Lincoln never leaves my side and loves his life, food, toys, swimming and golf cart rides. Springers are fantastic family dogs. They want to please, are loyal, very smart and

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people&places ✴ live, laugh, love

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easy to train. We adopted Lincoln, paid the tax deductible $300 and he became ours.” “Forever!” adds Jackson. Eleanor has a different, very heartwrenching story. She is a permanent foster dog for Deborah and Jackson. Only a few days after Eleanor’s arrival, Deborah told ESRA volunteers Martha and Dick Long (who rescued the neglected pooch from a home in Darien, Georgia) that she “stinks at fostering.” “I told them that I would not let this one go,” recalls Deborah. With an obvious bond between the dog and her owners, it’s hard to believe that Eleanor has only been with her family since this past Easter, and even harder to believe that she has terminal cancer. “Eleanor was heartworm positive, filthy, hungry, scared, covered in fleas and other parasites, needed to be fixed, and had tumors on her stomach and back which turned out to be cancer,” says Deborah of Eleanor’s condition upon her arrival at their home. This was particularly distressing because Deborah’s father had recently passed away after fighting lung cancer for six years. The resilience and love shown by Deborah and Jackson is stunning. “I talked to Jackson about what a gift we were for Eleanor and what a gift she was to us,” says Deborah. “It is an important life lesson that we lose people and pets from our family, but that we can fill their lives with love while they are still here.” Sue Schroer from ESRA in the coastal Georgia region, who placed Lincoln and Eleanor with Deborah and Jackson, says, “I have a wonderful team of volunteers who coordinate rescues, fostering and matching the right dog with the right family. I adopted two springers myself nine years ago and just wanted to do more for this breed. 5 1 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Springers are so smart, trainable, playful, energetic and loving with their people. I always ask people to consider a rescue dog and look at ESRA in particular.” Eleanor does not know that she is sick; she has recovered so quickly from her past. It is as if she has decided that she is not going to look back. “Why should we?” says Deborah. Eleanor will stay with Deborah and Jackson for the rest of her life as a permanent foster, and ESRA will pay all of her vet bills. Jackson is a truly impressive young man. He tells me that Eleanor is named after Eleanor Roosevelt, and they even have a turtle called George Washington! Within just a few short minutes of being in their home, it is clear to me that Eleanor and Jackson have an amazing relationship. “Eleanor loves me best. I can’t wait to see her when I get home from school or from staying with my Dad!” says Jackson. “We walk Lincoln and Eleanor together before school. When Eleanor hears Jackson’s school bus in the afternoon, she is so excited to see him. She knows it’s time for them to play, cuddle and go for our second walk of the day together. It’s magical to see,” adds Deborah, as she grins from ear to ear. For me, the time spent with this remarkable family – human and canine – just reinforced my belief in the amazing and ancient bond that exists between humans and our dogs. Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor’s Note: Visit for more information R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 5 1

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Richmond Hill


THANK YOU We are making deals to reduce inventory in stock.




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home&garden ✴ this... or a shoe?

StylishSouthern HOMES FOR TH E BIRDS

By Bob Izzo Photos by Cobblestone Photography R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 5 7

home&garden ✴


I woke early on a beautiful day this past March. After looking at the weather report, I decided to pull the boat out of the backyard boat shed and do a little spring cleanup. Much to my surprise, when I tilted the motor and lifted off the cowling, there was a fully formed bird nest with empty eggshells sitting inside the housing. I have come to the conclusion that the birds in my yard have no sense of style. When we bought our five-acre property back in 2004, we decided to create an environment that would fit the criteria to be classified a Certified Wildlife Habitat. The requirements are pretty simple for certification: provide food, water and cover, and provide a place for wildlife to raise their young. Being a retired industrial arts teacher, I still enjoy dabbling in wood, so the fourth requirement became one of my many hobbies. My wife Marianne and I placed some of our old – and, quite frankly, ugly – birdfeeders from our home in Atlanta all about our property while I researched the proper type of house for the various birds in our yard. The Internet was very helpful in providing a wealth of information about the size the entrance hole should be, the appropriate height and width of the nesting box, the height at which the birdhouse should sit from the ground, etc.

Bob Izzo

5 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

For information on creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat, go to the National Wildlife Federation website and start the certification process; it is easy and a great way to involve the whole family.

Some of the new birdhouses were immediately occupied by our feathered friends, and others still have been completely ignored. Not one of the specifically designed bluebird boxes have been occupied; the bluebirds have nested in some of the ugly old birdhouses that we moved from our Atlanta yard. I have found nests in a hiking boot that sits on the shelf in our garage, in our picnic basket that hangs out on the shed overhang, under the cover of my small boat, in the ferns that hang along the front porch, and (my favorite) in the mouth of a mounted stripped bass that I caught years ago on Lake Lanier. Needless to say, I no longer worry about the size or shape of the birdhouses. The ones I build now are unique in design and artistically pleasing. If the birds have any sense of style, they will nest in the many beautiful birdhouses in the yard. Otherwise, they can find someone else’s old boots! Q

Keep your bird feeders stocked with black oil sunflower seed all year round, and white millet to attract painted buntings in the summer. Keep your hummingbird feeders filled to keep the many nesting pairs fat for their migration in October. Beautyberries are one of our bountiful native plants that produce an abundance of red berries in the late fall; once established, you never need to water, prune or fertilize them. Wild muscadine, crossvine and trumpet vine are beautiful as they ramble up the trees and over fallen limbs, all producing food. Birdbaths or a courtyard pond provide water and a place to splash for the birds, and I often see squirrels sitting on the side of the pond and leaning over for a cool drink in the early evening. Coastal Georgia is rich with an abundance of dense cover for birds and other wild animals. Native plants including wax myrtles, Yaupon holly, saw palmettos and cabbage palms are found throughout our area. We selectively left standing some dead oaks, black gum and pine for the cavity nesting birds. We spotted a pair of red shouldered hawks nesting somewhere in the tree canopy, and all day long they provide us with a quick glance and song as they hunt and call for each other. R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 5 9

Richmond Hill


194 McGregor Circle

Beautiful executive home on a professionally landscaped lot in Buckhead North. This home includes 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and an updated interior with tons of upgrades and a new sunroom. This home has it all and is priced to sell. Definitely a must-see. $311,000.

Teresa Cowart


RE/MAX Accent

Desired paradise, 2.5-acre deep water acreage located in Fancy Hall Creek. Beautiful acreage overlooks St. Catherine’s Island and Sound. At low tide, acreage has 11 feet of water with direct access to Atlantic Ocean. On land, large majestic oak trees provide lots of privacy. This acreage can be subdivided as well as zoned for commercial restaurant or marina site. Acreage is a beautiful peninsula with Angus McLeod deep water and joins wildlife-management land, owned by the State of Georgia.

$450,000. 6 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

RE/MAX Accent

91 Moonlight Drive — Jerico Lakes

Enjoy 1.6 acres with well-planned, mature landscaping and a grand brick home. This home is wonderfully laid out with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Wood and tile flooring with many fine appointments. Wonderful room arrangement and space including huge dining room and kitchen, separate office and bonus/ recreation room. Master bedroom is on the first floor. Great room has a 20-ft. ceiling, a masonry Alice Steyaart, ABR, CRS, CRB, GRI fireplace and builtBroker/Co-Owner in bookshelves. The backyard is partially fenced. You will have peace and privacy. $454,000.

RE/MAX Accent

40 Flanders Drive

This all brick, 3350 square foot, beautiful and immaculate home is complete with all the trimmings. Featuring 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths plus an office; there is plenty of room for any family. Other upgrades include screened porch plus patio, sprinkler system, gourmet kitchen, Cathy Butler acre lot with privacy fence, security Gregory system and complete "Selling Richmond RV hook-up. This Hill Since 1979" home is definitely a steal. RE/MAX Accent $375,000.

Richmond Hill


173 Demeries Lake Lane

A beautiful custom-built all brick home has plenty of space sitting at 5400 square feet. Featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, Jack and Jill half bath and a bonus that is 1100 square feet and also able to double as a 4th bedroom. Add acreage, lakefront, covered porches, a gourmet kitchen with designer island and Maureen Bryant commercial cook-top Associate Broker stove. This home will suit anyone’s fancy. RE/MAX Accent $679,900.

765 Warnell Drive – Cape Hardwicke

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pursuits ✴ encourager, teacher, connector

Sandra Elliott’s

Changing the Game By Penny Gregory

Photos by Cobblestone Photography

“I can sleep at night if I can help just one person get a shoe that will make it easy for them to run or get fit.”


It was the first day of school after a summer that was much too short. I dragged myself out of bed before dawn, waved my middle-school son off on the bus and endured the car rider line at the elementary complex. Grabbing a notebook and pen, I hurried off to interview Sandra Elliott, owner of the new store Georgia Game Changers located in Richmond Place Village. What I really needed was a shot of caffeine. What I got was a jolt of inspiration and positive energy better than any cup of coffee. “Are you a runner?” Sandra asks, leading me into a store lined with bright running shoes and accessories. “Oh, no. I hate to run,” I confess without thinking. Sandra’s warmth and kind face just puts you at ease and makes you want to confide in her. As we started talking about what led her to open a running shoe store in Richmond Hill, she teases, “We’ll get you started slowly. The shoes are for walking, too!” But I was skeptical. A new resident of Richmond Hill, Sandra – along with her husband Ron and triplets Amanda, Alexa and Josh – moved here in July 2011. Prior to moving, Sandra was working as a civilian physical therapist at the Army Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany, and her husband was a contractor with Raytheon. Both Sandra and Ron are retired majors from the U.S. Army Reserve. As their triplets were finishing their freshman year in high school, the couple knew that they wanted to return to the United States for greater opportunities as their children approached college-age. Knowing they needed to make a move but unsure where to settle, 6 4 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Sandra begin researching the area and discovered Richmond Hill. She was impressed by everything the community had to offer, including safe neighborhoods and a good school system. “My husband and I prayed about it, and when we both found jobs in the area we knew this was the right move. I always wanted to live in a small town in the South,” says Sandra, a native of Michigan. Sandra found work as a physical therapist at Fort Stewart, and Ron received a position as the Public Affairs director for both Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. “Now I live here, and I love it!” smiles Sandra. “Living in Coastal Georgia is everything I thought it would be. I love our neighborhood and the oak trees, and I’m mesmerized by the Spanish moss. I love living by the water and knowing I can easily drive to the beach.” But, as it turned out, moving to Richmond Hill was only the beginning for Sandra in fulfilling her dreams. In 2004, Sandra had back surgery for a herniated disk, and her neurosurgeon told her that her running days were over. “I started crying in his office,” she recalls. “He looked at me like I was nuts. I said, ‘You don’t understand – I have triplets! Running is my stress release!’” Despite this devastating blow, Sandra’s positive attitude enabled her to get back on her feet and she “became the fastest walker I could be.” In her role as a physical therapist for the Army, Sandra spent her days helping soldiers recover from injuries. One patient, who had fallen down a German mountainside, was also an avid runner and couldn’t wait to return to the sport. He began singing the praises of the Vibram

Sandra Elliott

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 6 5

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✴ people&places Fivefingers running shoes, a natural-fitting shoe unlike any on the market. Inspired, Sandra began researching minimalist shoes. She discovered the concept of natural running, which was just beginning to grow in popularity. The natural running philosophy teaches the value of shoes that allow your foot to move in a more natural motion, facilitating good form and avoiding heel strike. It touts minimalist shoes as allowing your foot a greater range of motion, thus strengthening your anatomy and helping you run better and longer, prevent injury and enjoy running. Sandra tried the shoes herself and found that despite her surgery, she could run again. Impassioned by her success, she began teaching her patients about minimalist shoes and educating them on natural running. Sandra’s face glowed as she recalled this exciting time in her life. “I loved helping those soldiers. My patients were so emotional – natural running was helping eliminate their pain. I told my husband that I wanted to do that full-time. That’s what gave me the idea for Georgia Game Changers. I knew the impact I was having on my patients, and I wanted to do it on a larger scale.” While Sandra and Ron’s civilian Army jobs are what initially led them to the area, Sandra soon realized that she wanted to pursue her dream of a natural running shoe store full-time. A self-proclaimed shy child, Sandra knew she had to step out of her comfort zone. “It was a huge leap of faith,” she says. “But this is bigger than a project for me; it’s a mission. I get energy from the people that come in here,” she says of her comfortable, well-lit store, which just opened in August 2012. “I feel like God has allowed me to live my dreams. I had hesitation, but I feel that God opened the doors.” Her enthusiasm and energy are contagious. As we’re talking, Sandra keeps excusing herself to help the steady stream of customers. “I’m super-excited this store is here!” enthuses customer Melissa Everett, a realtor with Keller Williams who’s out shopping with her friend Dr. Kathryn Freido. “We drove by and saw it and I said, ‘Yay! Finally!’” Sandra spends time talking with the women, determining their needs and educating them on the unique lines of natural running shoes that she carries. With Georgia Game Changers, Sandra’s seeking to fill a niche market previously underserved in this area. Her focus is on natural running and she carries lines such as Altra, Merrell, Inov-8 and Vibram Fivefingers, rather than all of the brands of a typical running shoe store. By providing a natural running shoe option, she hopes to help her clients prevent many of the injuries that she saw as a physical therapist. “I’m less of a business person than a teacher,” says Sandra, who also has a Masters degree in Elementary Education. “I can sleep at night if I can help just one person get a shoe that will make it easy for them to run or get fit. I want to help people achieve what I know is possible through natural running.” Sarah Volker, president of the Richmond Hill Historical Society and a long-time runner, came in the store with her husband Jay. Having recently purchased shoes from Sandra, Sarah had convinced her husband to buy a pair, too, to help eliminate his calf pain. “Sandra’s a physical therapist. Who better to lead us in the right direction?” says Sarah. “When I ran in the pair I bought, it was almost like being barefoot. I kept thinking, ‘This is really good.’ Sandra also gave me a bunch of stretches to do.” As I watched Sandra’s face glow as she helped her clients, I found myself drawn to her energy. I was struck with the realization that she is doing much more than selling shoes. She’s building and serving a community and inspiring people to be active. Her quiet enthusiasm made me – a dyed-in-the-wool non-runner – start thinking that maybe running isn’t so bad after all! I didn’t get a chance to ask Sandra why she chose the name “Georgia Game Changers” for her store, but in my mind, it’s a perfect fit. Not only does it describe the shoes she sells, but it

fits Sandra herself. When you think of a “game changer,” Sandra Elliott is not what first comes to mind. She’s not larger-than-life, or bold and assertive. Instead, she’s very humble and has a quiet passion that lights up her face. Although unassuming, Sandra hopes to be a game changer for our community. Even before moving to Richmond Hill, Sandra had written the mayor, and had joined the Garden Club, the Historical Society and the Holiday Tour of Homes. She has already advised her daughter Amanda’s Richmond Hill High School cross-country team, teaching them about how to minimize running injuries. She also has plans to conduct regular Natural Running Form Clinics for the community where she can teach running form drills and the natural running philosophy. Sandra is determined to be an active, integral part of the community and fulfill her dream of living in a small Southern town and her hopes for Georgia Game Changers. “I want to be three things: an encourager, a teacher and a connector,” says Sandra. “I feel like this business allows me to do everything I want to do with my life.” Before I left, Sandra had me in a pair of running shoes, walking in her “rock box” – literally, a low box full of rocks – so that I could feel the uniqueness and comfort of a natural running shoe. Instead of wishing for caffeine, I was thinking, “Maybe I should try running. Or, at least, walking faster.” Sandra had inspired me, just as she hopes to do for our community. Q

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A Great Escape By Paige Glazer ✴ Photos by Cobblestone Photography

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pursuits ✴ an art of her own


“I work off of photographs,” Margaret says while thumbing through a book on the shelf. I am eyeing a painting in-progress of a bright-eyed, whimsical pooch. “Here it is.” She hands me a picture of a Havanese named Marshall from New York whose owners have commissioned Margaret to paint their dog – as she sees him. In the photo, the Havanese is the color of a Silky Terrier, gray like a cloudy sky over the ocean with highlights and lowlights of blond and black defining his face. In the painting, Marshall has escaped reality, looking nothing like his picture except for his expression. “No gray,” Margaret says. Last year, after returning home from a potential relocation to Atlanta – which did not happen – Margaret Jackson Killorin was inspired by the steps and side rails that had been added to her children’s 24-year-old tree house, two measures deemed necessary by their appraiser to sell their family home in Richmond Hill. With her youngest daughter now in college, the tree house built by her brothers had been abandoned for years. “This is where I create. It’s my great escape,” she says with profound excitement as she leads me R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 1

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pursuits ✴ an art of her own up the steps. “I named it in honor of my father, who was a prisoner of war during WWII for over two years in the real prison camp about which The Great Escape movie was created. I used to paint all over every square inch of my house. There’s paint on my floors, on my nice furniture, on the bed spreads. . . . When it hits me, I slap paint everywhere.” The tree house sits under the branches of a majestic oak; the roof is made of tin and the newly added stairs provide an excellent landing to work in plein air, offering a view of the Ogeechee River. Here, paint is welcomed on the floor, the windowsill and the ceiling, but particularly acceptable on the remnant portrait made from the leftover color of the day. As the mother of three grown children, Lee (30), Tricia (27) and Megan (21), Margaret has decided to turn a hobby she loves into her job. She has been painting her entire life, understandably, as she is the daughter of Ann Jackson, renowned artist and founder of the Ann Jackson Gallery in Roswell, Georgia. “Mother painted all day,” Margaret recalls fondly. “She had eight kids all around her, so she’d throw flour on the kitchen floor and we would make designs in that, or play with clay, and be at her feet while she would be painting away. She always painted [her canvases] from top to bottom – we would often paint the bottom while she was working the top. Once we were sent to bed, she would finish her paintings off. ‘Look how good you kids were,’ she would say as we admired her piece in the morning. She’d say our work was the ‘heart of her painting.’” Her children’s work was still there, beneath her beautiful work. After years of Margaret’s father, Basil Jackson, framing her mother’s work to be sold from their home, they decided to open their own gallery. For 41 years, the Ann Jackson Gallery has sold the works of local, national and international artists such as Tarkay, Picasso, Pino, Pollock, Margaret’s mother Ann, her sister Victoria Jackson and Margaret herself. It is the exclusive dealer for Dr. Seuss’ art in the state of Georgia. Undoubtedly, the gallery has been an influential part of Margaret’s artwork. It is interesting to see the work of her favorite artists hanging on the walls in her home amongst her own work. “Artwork conveys a unique view of the world through the eyes of the artist and is colored by their individual beliefs and experiences,” Margaret says. By seeing her work, we can derive that Margaret’s view of this world is rich with color and loaded with personality! Margaret’s painting method is self-described as “a bit unorthodox.” In one hand, she holds a tube of acrylic paint, in the other, a pallet knife or a brush. She throws the paint on the canvas one color at a time and works on more than one piece at a time. When she feels like yellow, it will be applied to each of the canvases in progress. Carefully pulling a canvas from where it was stowed behind a utility table, she tells me of the time her sister encouraged her to use a pallet of paint

“the correct way.” When her piece ended as a hot mess – and when she shows me the canvas, I agree this is not her best – her mother dismissed her sister’s corrective measure, saying, “Stick with what you are doing, it is working!” “It’s what I do. . . . Just because it isn’t right doesn’t mean it’s wrong!” says Margaret. That pallet her sister encouraged is stuck to the roof of the tree house above the easel, a reminder to Margaret to follow her own creative urges. Margaret paints many things, but her specialty is pet portraits. Her love for animals has given her a way to capture their spirit and personality with vivid colors and bold brush strokes. She has a way of bringing an animal’s inner thoughts and activities to life. In the portrait of Marshall from New York, Margaret is portraying her belief that the pooch doesn’t feel gray on the inside. Indeed, Marshall is beaming with lime green, orange, purple and yellow. “These are colors of happiness,” says Margaret. “Doesn’t he look inquisitive? To me, he is saying, ‘Mom, let’s go outside and play!’” The energy expressed in Margaret’s artwork is what you expect from her once you know her story. Nothing you see from Margaret will ever be subdued. Maybe this is why, for many years, she designed the whimsical play lands for Christmas and Easter at the Savannah Mall. The castles and trains were imaginative and fun, just as her pet portraits are less about realism than interpretation and personality. Leave it to Margaret to escape to a tree house where she can find the fun in a simple martini glass, a palm tree swaying in the wind, a group of ladies lounging on the beach or your beloved pet. Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor’s Note: Margaret Jackson Killorin’s work can be found locally at Ella’s. For more information on her Children’s Art Classes, contact Margaret via email: R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 3











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pursuits ✴ sculpted passion

By Leslie Ann Berg


Photos by Patti Todd Photography

Leslie-Ann has a Masters in Public Health & Nutrition from Johns Hopkins Univ ersity. She cur rentl y works as a personal trainer, nutrition educator, and health coach in Richmond Hill, GA. On location at T he Functional Training Center

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M “My order may be a little complicated. Can I get ten eggs sunny side up, with a double order of hash browns, two pieces of toast and an orange juice?” says John. Suddenly ashamed of my wimpy meal, I looked up at the waitress, “I’ll have the fruit bowl and a coffee, black.” When John suggested breakfast at What’s the Scoop, he wasn’t kidding. As my nutrition-trained mind races, I realize he ordered 1000 calories of a protein, fat and carbohydrate packed meal. To John, this breakfast is a means to an end, one step closer to his goal of getting his pro card – a card that is an invitation to join a professional bodybuilding organization and is the standard qualification for becoming a professional bodybuilder. Depending on the federation, pro cards are granted to those bodybuilders who either win their weight class or win overall at the National Championship competition. Standing 6’1’’, 291 pounds, Richmond Hill’s John Fournier is a serious bodybuilder. With only three years of bodybuilding experience and four competitions under his belt, John has made incredible gains. At 27, he holds the 2012 Mr. Georgia Super Heavyweight title and, his proudest accomplishment yet, a fifth place finish at Southern States in the Super Heavy Weight division. If the next three years are as productive as his last three, a pro card just might be in his future. As a young adult, John admits he struggled. “I was your typical young and dumb 20-something who [thinks he’s] invincible. I partied a lot . . . had no plans for my life. I was just kinda going day-to-day and didn’t really think about my future.” On May 11, 2007, John’s future was determined for him. He was in a motorcycle accident and almost lost his left leg from the knee down. Wheelchair ridden for six months and unable to function without the help of friends and family, John was at the lowest point in his life. “I tried to stay positive, but there were some very long days.” Two plates, nine screws and months of therapy later, John learned to walk again and made a full recovery. During his recovery, he became fascinated with the body. Once he was able, he immediately returned to the gym. “I still remember going my first day on crutches and barely being able to bench press the bar by itself. When I started to see my body change and my strength come

back I was hooked – I just loved the gym and seeing what I could do with my own hands and hard work.” You may be wondering how someone could make the leap from rehab to spray tan, parading around in a “mankini” (as John calls it). John too was against the idea, until he did his first show. “After a year of lifting, my buddies said I should do a bodybuilding show. At first I thought, ‘There is no way I’m putting on a little mankini and getting on stage in front of hundreds of people.’ Well, in 2009 I did my first show here in Savannah . . . . As soon as I walked on stage I fell in love with it. After that show, my life was 100% bodybuilding and I have not looked back.” Preparing for competition season, which runs February through August, is a 16-week process for John, while most bodybuilders take six to 12 weeks. “I’m not one of those guys who can instantly get on my diet the next day. I prep for my prep and ease into it.” At 4:45 am, John walks his Richmond Hill neighborhood for his first cardio session of the day. Breakfast consists of two cups of egg whites, two cups of oats, a piece of fruit, a protein shake, a multivitamin and a fish oil supplement. Following breakfast, he heads to work (where he is a trainer at 24-7), rolling cooler in tow, and eats every two hours on the dot. When his head hits his pillow at 11 pm, he has consumed nine meals and two shakes for a total of 800 grams of carbohydrates, 540 grams of protein and 6000 to 7000 calories. Three weeks out from a show, John focuses on depleting his body of carbohydrates. For John’s 2012 competitive season, this meant decreasing his daily carbohydrate intake from 800 grams to 50 grams, introducing a vegetable (to his dismay because of his hate for anything green), and consuming tilapia eight meals a day. “I don’t even want to hear the word tilapia!” he moans. With a $250 weekly Kroger bill, tilapia became John’s go-to protein because of its affordability. After a big show, John takes one week to eat what he wants, or as he describes it, “I eat just garbage! Food never tastes so good once you’re on the other side. . . . I just want to fill up a tub of goldfish and lay in it. Oh man, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 7

pursuits ✴ sculpted passion

about it!” To illustrate just how lean his body is before a show, John weighed 236 pounds the night of the Southern States competition in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. On the seven-hour drive home, he gained 31 pounds! After his week-long taste of freedom, John buckles down and begins fueling his body for the “off season.” During this phase, he will focus on gaining mass, weighing in at around 310 pounds by December. He will then restrict his diet to lean down before the show. “It’s like pottery. During the off season, you put clay on – more muscle than fat, hopefully. Getting ready for a show you sculpt it out and [fine-tune] everything.” John spends five to six days a week in the gym, with an hour to an hour and a half lifting sessions and two 45-minute cardio sessions. He splits his workouts into body parts, but his schedule isn’t set in stone. “I listen to my body. I’m not a typical chest Monday, back Tuesday. I don’t think your body works that way. If something hurts, take time off.” While he’s made substantial progress training legs with a close friend, most of his workouts are on his own. “I like to zone out 7 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

and be alone. [Me], the weights, and that’s it. I’m not one of those guys who screams, grunts or throws [weights] around. I just enjoy the mind muscle connection.” I figured John, alone in the gym, would consist of heavy weights and loud music. I was mistaken. John lifts to motivational bodybuilding videos on You Tube that will bring tears to your eyes. They chronicle men who have worked their entire lives to get their pro cards, and when they finally do they are brought to their knees. Although his workouts are intense, they are the easiest aspect of bodybuilding for John. The mental aspect is the most challenging. “To get to the top, it’s all mental. There are times when I’ve cried in the shower. . . the dieting and rigorous schedule is just brutal. The gym is the easy part. The other 22 hours you have to weigh your food, cook your food, get enough rest, make sure everything is exact to a T. It’s every rep, every meal, every set, all for this one moment [on stage].” This one moment is what makes it all worth it for John, especially when his family is there to support him. Growing up in Richmond Hill, John was raised by his mother, a CFO for a medical practice

“What lies behind us and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

in Savannah, and his father, an Army soldier who was often posted abroad during John’s childhood. Although he is close to his father and is deeply grateful for the sacrifices he made for his family and country, John credits his mother for the man he is today. “I’m a mama’s boy. She’s the reason [I am] where I am today. She really stayed on me and straightened me up. Everybody says they have the best mom, but she really is.” John’s family is his biggest support system. From his sister (Kelly, 22), making t-shirts with a chubby baby picture of John and a tagline that reads "Team Fournier," to his father flying to his shows from Denver, Colorado, John says, “They make it worth it. When I get on stage, I hear them screamin’. . . it’s the biggest rush you can get.” John also recognizes that without his family and friends, it would be impossible for him to be where he is today. “It’s like a Nascar team. You can be the driver but you have to have a pit crew to change the tires and get you goin’ when you’re down.” Besides family, passion is John’s motivating force. “My goal is to be a pro, but that’s not my driving motivation,” says John. “I do it because

I love it. Success is only a by-product of my passion.” I asked John to explain his passion for bodybuilding in a way that the outside world could understand, especially the skeptics: “It’s hard to relate because a lot of people never experience that [passion]. No matter what you do, whether you’re a writer, a doctor . . . whatever your passion or goal is that you put 100%, everything you have into it – blood, sweat, tears, literally everything – and you finally reach that goal or accomplishment, and [you get] that feeling of ‘I did it’! Like a football player in peewee finally running through the Georgia tunnel. . . . That’s it. That’s the feeling I get when I walk on stage.” While passion may determine John’s path, hard work determines his success. As a boy, his mother constantly reminded him of two things, “Without sacrifice there is no success” and “If you are ever scared of failure, you will never succeed.” John explains the impact of his mother’s words, “To me it doesn’t matter whether I get first or last, as long as I know it’s the best I could do. I may not be the biggest, I may not be the best, but I know in my mind that nobody on that stage outworked me. I always tell myself that in the gym. Someone may R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 9

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✴ pursuits have better genetics, but being outworked, there’s no excuse for that . . . . That may be what sets me apart. I will never be outworked.” Currently, John works as a personal trainer at 24-7 gym in Richmond Hill. He trains eight to 16 clients a day and has been known to demand that late clients push their cars in the parking lot before entering the gym. I had the privilege to train with John (and push my car), and I can speak honestly when I say he’s worth every penny. In addition to his bodybuilding and personal training, John attends South University, where he is pursuing a degree in Business Administration. He plans to open a personal training studio in Richmond Hill called “Fournier Fitness,” which will cater to those interested in a quiet, clean and personalized fitness space. “Clients don’t want to deal with meatheads and grunting. They want to feel comfortable in the gym,” says John of his plans. For a bodybuilder who can push some serious weight, John is in touch with his clients, their wants and their needs, no matter their fitness levels. As John signs the check for our breakfast, I ask him to describe himself using three words. He responds with charming humility, “I don’t really like talking about myself, but I can say when people meet me for the first time, I always hear ‘you’re way different than I thought you were.’ Most people think I’m a meathead.” John is reserved and sincere. He describes himself as having “a bunch of friends, but very select good friends.” Upon first meeting him, it is his physical strength and imposing stature that make the biggest impression, but John Fournier is no meathead. Once you know him, it is his passion, his loyalty to those closest to him and his sheer mental strength that impress; his physical strength and outward appearance are only by-products of what lies within. Getting to know John reminds me of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What lies behind us and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Q

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food&entertaining ✴ halloween

Spooky Spread By Melissa Hurd ✴ Photos by Patti Todd Photography


alloween is my favorite holiday. This year, convey a delightfully eerie feel at your bash using creative presentation and everyday food. When planning, choose foods that evoke the excitement of the night. Give party foods Halloween-inspired names – for example, chicken wings become "Charred Bat Wings." Transform your common fruit tray into one filled with hues of black using black plums, blackberries, black grapes and dried mission figs. Here’s a sample of some of the dishes I’ve enjoyed making and seeing reactions to. I dare you to try them. Happy Haunting! Q

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food&entertaining ✴ halloween





2 1. Baked Brain

A chocolate ganache filled cupcake can easily be disguised as a brain with the right tools. To decorate, use a medium round tip (such as Wilton #12). Pipe a mound of frosting in the center of the cake, outline the cake and pipe two lines over the mound. Pipe a brain design over each side to finish. If time is not on your side, a simple box mix will work. (via

2. Cured Epidermis

“Off with his head!” I love the use of a skeleton head, thinly sliced prosciutto and pimento stuffed olives for eyes. Place this clever skeleton head in the middle of a platter loaded down with cold cuts for a serious Halloween conversation piece. Add some jewelry display hands holding oversized knives and loaves of bread to finish out the look. (via Hostess with the Mostess,

3. Adam’s Ribs

5. Charred Bat Wings

To make these old-fashioned chicken wings look more like bat wings, leave the tips in place and roast until the wings are slightly charred and crisp. Take it up a notch by adding a small amount of black food coloring or paste to your basting sauce. Serve them in a pile or side by side for a more “bat-like” appearance.

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Here, it’s all about presentation. Whether you prefer Baby Back Ribs or Pork Spare Ribs, either will cast the perfect touch to your sinister spread. Stab a carving knife through a red pepper “heart” to complete the look. (via

4. Dead Man’s Dip

Purchase a small plastic skeleton to lie in this brilliant bread coffin. Fill and serve with any of your favorite delicious dips. I used spinachartichoke, a classic crowd favorite. Dips can be hot or cold and your coffin can be made ahead of time. Use an assortment of vegetables, crackers or even bread pieces for dipping. Remember, whatever you don’t finish, the scavengers will! (via

6. Mummified Dip

Use any favorite cream cheese based dip. The trick to the mummy’s appearance is to shape the dip into a mummy shape with your hands, and pipe on a top layer of softened cream cheese. Use a pastry bag fitted with a leaf tip to achieve the look of cloth bandages. (via Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate Halloween)



7. Rodents

These pests are none other than chocolate covered cherries with a jumbo chocolate chip snout and sliced almond ears. Creepy but delicious! Scatter these little critters all over your Halloween table and food displays for an added touch. (via

10. Screwed Up Screwdriver 2 ounces black vodka, very cold

3 ounces pulp-free orange juice Jazz up this drink with a piece of black licorice that doubles as a straw.

8. Monster Mash

1 ounce gold rum 1 ounce lemon schnapps 2 ounces vodka 1 can Monster energy drink

9. Black Widow

2 ounces black vodka, very cold 3 ounces cranberry juice The key to getting that layered look is to make sure the vodka is very cold, then gently poured over a spoon.


Dare your guests to grab a glass. Using a vodka that’s as black as night – such as Blavod – can create the perfect Halloween mood. Making a drink glow in the dark is also fun. The secret is tonic water (diet tonic water works, too). It contains quinine, and when exposed to black light, it glows! Check out for tons of creepy looking drink ideas.


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pursuits ✴ fullfillment


at the COAST and DREAMS By C.N. Fleshman ✴ Photos by Patti Todd Photography

The Coastal Empire Beer Company, Inc.

It was Thomas Wolfe who coined the phrase “you can’t go home again,” with his novel of the same title. But that doesn’t stop people from trying to recapture a little bit of those magical carefree days of their youth. ONE MAN’S PURSUIT TO DO JUST THAT – NOT FOR HIMSELF, BUT FOR HIS CHILDREN – BROUGHT WITH IT AN OPPORTUNITY TO FULFILL A DREAM. R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 8 9

© Jennifer Jarrell

Clockwise: Exploring tidal inlets: Chris, George and Kevin Haborak; Savannah Brown Ale; Haborak family; Jackson, Kevin, Nate, Chris


Kevin Haborak grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, with his older brother Chris and younger sister Dana. Their home was located on a small tidal creek with a postcard-picture view of downtown Charleston. To him, playing in the salt marshes and tidal creeks was the best playground a kid could have. Kevin’s childhood was spent catching fiddler crabs, boating and fishing in the creek just outside his back door. His parents would often find him out in the salt marsh, waist high in the mud and muck amongst the creatures that called it home, trying to catch a redfish he had spotted tailing from the bank. By the time he was 13, Kevin was taking the family boat out and exploring the maze of tidal inlets. Those carefree days and long hours spent out in the marsh and water would have come to an end after high school had it not been for the unconventional decision Kevin made. Like his brother Chris before him, he opted to stay on the coast and attend the College of Charleston. The decision made by both brothers to stay in the same town as their parents is not a typical decision made by most teens, especially since their father was, at that time, the Dean of Student Affairs for the College of Charleston. If the brothers should get into any kind of trouble while enrolled, their father would be immediately notified – a fear that seemed to haunt their father more than the boys – until they both succeeded in graduating without having any of their college indiscretions cross his desk. Kevin completed college with honors and received a Bachelor of Science degree in both Geology and Mathemat9 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

ics. It would take getting his Master of Science in Geology at the University of Georgia to ultimately separate the boy from the coast. Kevin accepted a position as a hydrogeologist for an international engineering firm, and his wife found her ideal job working for the State of Georgia with the Environmental Protection Division Brownfield Program, thus moving them inland to Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin’s professional career was on the fast track. In the eight years that followed, he became a highly respected hydrologist and his family grew to include two young sons born just two years apart, similar to him and his brother. By most standards, Kevin’s life was ideal, but for him something was missing – something Atlanta, work and even his family could not give him. He missed the smell of the salt air, the red fish tailing and most of all the fact that he wasn’t giving his kids the same childhood memories and experiences of growing up on the coast. His wife Nikki, having grown up in West Virginia, missed the comfort, closeness and security that can only be found in a small town. They didn’t have to look very far to find the ideal place to relocate. Kevin’s brother Chris, along with his wife Amy and their son, had relocated to Richmond Hill five years earlier and had fallen in love with the town. With its close-knit community and small town southern charm, Richmond Hill was the ideal place to call home for both brothers and their families. It would give their children a place to make their own magical coastal memories, and having family close by only added to the draw back to the coast. Moving to Richmond Hill was a life game changer in more ways than just an address. Kevin and Nikki found out they were going to have baby number three, and this time they were having a girl. In an act of divine intervention, fate, destiny, dumb luck or even a coincidence, the two brothers found themselves living in the same neighborhood and only a door away from each other. They had not lived in the

pursuits ✴ fullfillment same town since their college days and, once again, they had a backyard playground of tidal inlets and waterways to enjoy and share with their kids. One evening while the two brothers were sitting outside enjoying the salt air, a beer and catching up on life, Kevin shared with his brother his dream of starting his own microbrewery. This dream began with a beer making kit, a college graduation gift in 1995. That gift set in motion 17 years of Kevin creating his own beer recipes and perfecting them. That particular evening at their new home on the coast, the brothers were enjoying one of Kevin’s latest microbrew creations, and after listening to his lofty dream of starting his own microbrewery, Chris simply said to him, “Then just do it!” With complete faith and confidence, Chris provided the business knowledge and support that was needed to turn the dream into reality. That evening the Coastal Empire Beer Company, Inc. was born. On August 28, 2011, Coastal Empire Beer Company launched their first beer at Savannah’s premier craft beer bar and restaurant, The Distillery. Their inaugural brew, named Savannah Brown Ale, was selected because of its malty rich flavor. The brown ale was served in a kick-off toast for the 2011 Savannah Craft Brew Week. This week-long celebration is devoted to the art of craft brewers and beer enthusiasts. Various craft brew tasting events occur throughout the week, and it ends with the annual Savannah Craft Brew Fest on Labor Day weekend. The brothers, along with their wives, presented Coastal Empire Beer Company, Inc. and the Savannah Brown Ale at the 2011 Craft Brew Fest. It was there that all the work, long hours and balancing full-time jobs and family duties was validated. The Savannah Brown Ale took home the 2011 People’s Choice Award over beers from well-known breweries like Sam Adams, Dog Fish Head, Sweetwater and Terrapin. It was a very joyous moment for the entire family! Their latest beer has been met with overwhelming excitement and accolades. A Kolsch ale recipe was added this past May and named Tybee Island Blonde. The beer was introduced at a launch party at the Tybee Island Social Club. This fall, the brothers are planning to add a pale ale to the beer line-up named Coastal Empire Pale Ale. Coastal Empire Beer Company, Inc. contracts with a brewery that already has the necessary costly equipment needed to brew beer in large quantities. The beer is kegged for distribution at a brewery in Alabama. Kevin doesn’t leave the brewing of his recipes solely in the hands of a third party: In order to maintain high standards of flavor and quality, he participates in the brewing process, by traveling to their site and overseeing production. Coastal Empire Beer is currently working to increase their brewing capacity in order to expand distribution and make their beer available in cans by late October. If past growth is any indication, they will soon have Coastal Empire Beer Company’s beer available on shelves, and a brick and mortar brewery that will be built with the support of family, craft brew lovers and the community. Even though the carefree days of childhood may be long gone for both Kevin and Chris you can still find them trying to recapture some of the magic with their kids on the waterways and marshes around Richmond Hill. All you have to do is look where the redfish are tailing. Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor’s Note: Coastal Empire Beer can be found in restaurants and bars in the Savannah area and locally in Richmond Hill at 69 East Tapas located in the Ford Plaza. For a complete list of the most up-todate locations, check them out on Facebook and


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pursuits ✴ taste the coast

Cooking Up

a New Adventure By Paige Glazer Photos by Michelle L. Morris

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Some people find themselves living on the coast with what they think is an appreciation for its beauty. More often than not, they truly have no idea what lies beyond the horizon. Make a note of our surroundings – we are literally at the end of the earth, where land meets ocean. With his new mother ship charter company, Kayak.Fish.StCatherines, Brent Highsmith hopes to share his love for the Georgia Coast as well as his culinary talents. Growing up on St. Simons Island, Brent found out just how much adventure was to be had on and between the barrier islands of the Georgia Coast. Young Brent put his canoe into his Jon boat and rode up into the creeks until he could go no further. There, in the thick of the islands, he would tie up his boat or set the anchor and launch his canoe, paddling into areas that would be unsafe on foot. “The rattlesnakes were abundant; I went to places you wouldn’t want to run through,” says Brent about his childhood adventures. “I’d take pictures and throw the cast net.” He did this often, until someone found that canoe and removed it from his secret spot. His family had boats with motors, too, and they fished both on and off shore, and Brent further deepened his passion for the outdoors and the coast. Fast forward 15 years and picture a college boy floating down the Chattahoochee River – fly fishing from a kayak with his buddies, recounting stories of the days when he mother shipped his canoe to places few have access to. This is what he dreamt of doing again some day. Add five more years and you would find Brent a Culinary graduate of the Art Institute in Atlanta, and the executive chef in the kitchens of several different high-end restaurants. That same boy who caught redfish for dinner as a child also earned spending money in the kitchens of several well-known and never forgotten restaurants on St.

Simons Island. “My grandfather was an awesome cook. He was the one who got me interested. When he was sick, his nurse let me watch her prepare Southern food at its best – and then she would put me to work . . . but I liked it,” says Brent, remembering what led him to eventually become a master chef and open his own catering company, Blue Culinary. “If there were 20 great restaurants on the island [St. Simons], I worked in 15 of them, as a dishwasher, a line cook or a kitchen manager. Each of them had that special lady, the one raised on the coast with the real know-how . . . I would always get in with her and try to learn. Sometimes she was nice, sometimes mean – but I was always interested in how she cooked at home,” he adds. “I would get with these ladies and pick apart how they did it – the coastal stuff like fresh seafood, fried chicken, collards and red rice. This was what propelled me into my career.” Brent met his wife Courtney before culinary school. She was in dental school at the time and was a friend of a friend who visited St. Simons often. “Whenever the dental students would come in town, we’d throw down ’Geechee style, barefoot in the front yard, just two steps from the beach. I’d make the best low country boil or we’d fry fish,” he recalls of the beginning of his future. Brent and Courtney married and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she would practice as a dentist while he would finish school and establish his career as a successful chef. There are many parallels in Brent’s life when it comes to his timeline of events and strategies for success. As he bounced around Atlanta, he found himself cooking for swanky restaurants, huge events at the Georgia World Congress Center and in the kitchen of celebrities like Jane Fonda and Hank Aaron. “I got lucky; I worked really hard, R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 9 5

pursuits ✴ taste the coast

16-hour days. I was not used to that level, but it was exciting. I like to say that I 'Forrest Gumped' my way into a lot of good situations. It wasn’t like I got to cook, I was the executive chef and they asked for me! There was something I did along the line that they liked!” When it was time to think about having children, Brent and Courtney wanted to move back to the coast. “I’d done all I wanted to do in Atlanta, [I was] fortunate to learn and meet great chefs [and] cook for celebrities, but then the education was over. We loved Atlanta, but we didn’t want to live there,” he says. All of his focus shifted to helping get Courtney’s dental practice, Courtney Camp-Highsmith Dentistry, established in Richmond Hill – their new home. Brent’s culinary skills would soon satisfy the palates of his two little boys, Campbell (6) and Henry (4). Tonight’s menu consists of kingfish tacos (caught by Brent this past weekend) with fresh cilantro from the container garden in their backyard, with chipotle sauce and grilled onions! Master chef, check. . . . Wife’s successful dental practice, check. . . . Idea to help others connect to his first love, the coast, most recently checked! This past spring, Brent established Kayak.Fish.StCatherines, a mother ship charter company, and a new way to see our beautiful barrier islands. “Courtney made me realize that I should chase my dreams, supporting me and inspiring me through everything I’ve ever wanted to do,” Brent says. “If I woke up tomorrow and said, I wanted to be an astronaut, she would say, ‘do it!’” Bringing with him his love for adventure, fishing and sightseeing, this captain takes you beyond the horizon to areas that are untouchable for most kayak anglers. You need not be a skilled kayaker to hit the water line with Captain Brent – anyone with the desire is welcome aboard Sweet Courtney III, his Welcraft V20 Steplift. “I grew up with a motor attached to everything I had, except when I would mother ship my canoe. The more you do something, you get better and better and bigger and bigger,” Brent says about why he came back to this dream. “It can be any sport, but for me it’s fishing. You get used to everything and you get bored. Let’s throw it into reverse and get back into the little piece of plastic [the kayak]. After you’ve seen it all, this is like restarting. As far as you paddle, you have to get back!” Like cooking reverted back to little beginnings (his sons), fishing is back to its beginning – where Brent Highsmith fell in love with the coast and all of its beauty, along the water’s line with no motor to propel his speed, just his quest for another really cool adventure. Aboard the vessel Brent captains are kayaks and paddle boards. You can customize your trip, pick where you want to go and what you hope to see. “At its most basic, I’m a captain for hire. I want to fish and I want to take you!” And the perk of it all, his trips come with lunch! Yes, a lunch that he will prepare for you, using his fine-tuned culinary skills! Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor’s Note: Visit to plan your trip.

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food&entertaining ✴ recipes

By Brent Highsmith


THAN JUST ROASTING Photos by Cobblestone Photography

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 9 9

food&entertaining ✴ recipes


Fried Oysters with Curry Cream and Sherry


his is a great tapas item that I enjoyed in Atlanta and have found to be easily duplicated in the kitchen at home. I prefer big, nasty Gulf oysters for this fried dish, and don’t be scared of the curry! The combinations may not make sense until the first bite, then you’ll be hooked. Fry the big oysters at a little higher temperature than you normally would. This will allow the outside to become good and crispy while the oyster remains intact and full, not overcooked.

Ingredients: 1 dozen big oysters in the shell, shucked with shells reserved 2 shallots, finely diced 1 clove garlic, finely diced 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder 1 egg 1 pint heavy whipping cream 1/3 cup sherry butter peanut oil all-purpose flour corn flour

Method: Bread oysters using a 3-step breading method (roll in flour, roll in egg, then roll in corn flour). Start cream by sautéing shallots and garlic in butter. Quickly add curry powder and stir. Deglaze the pan with sherry and reduce slightly. Add cream and stir well, taste and salt. Reduce by half and strain the sauce (keep warm). Fry oysters, then place them back into a clean shell to serve. Spoon the cream sauce over the oysters just before eating. 1 0 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Red Oyster Butter


or a short period of time, I worked for a chef from Arkansas who had family

throughout the Mississippi Delta. His grandmother made this Creole-inspired meal for him and his friends when they would get home from duck hunting. Oysters are blended with butter and Creole sauce, then spread on crusty French bread and broiled.... Sounds different, but you'll love it! He said his grandmother made it REALLY hot and spicy, but this version of mine won’t bring you to tears – it will, however, make a beer taste perfect!

Ingredients: 1 pint shucked oysters 1 onion, finely diced 1 stalk celery, finely diced 1 bell pepper, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cans tomatoes, diced and drained 1 can tomato paste ½ cup white wine or beer ½ cup chicken stock 1 tablespoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 pinch of cayenne pepper 3 sticks of salted butter (softened) 1 dash worcestershire 1 loaf French bread or baguette 1 tablespoon olive oil salt and pepper

Method: Drain the oysters and set aside. Combine the finely diced veggies and garlic in saucepan with olive oil, tossing frequently until caramelized. Add thyme, paprika, cayenne, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Lower heat and add tomato paste and stir, toasting the tomato paste and dried spices. Deglaze the pan with wine, stock and diced tomatoes. Stir well and bring to a hard simmer. Lower the heat and cook... the longer the better! Add the oysters at the end and turn sauce off. Ladle five to seven oysters with sauce into food processor, add butter and blend. Spread thick over bread and broil it until toasted. Serve the Oyster Creole over rice or grits with the bread.

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Grilled Corn Oyster Dressing Muffins with Sage


’m a dressing junkie. There, I’ve said it. I love dressing any way I can get it, at any time of the year. I don’t care how it comes or what’s in it, hot or cold, gravy or not – I just need a spoon and my cell phone set to voicemail. This oyster dressing, done in silicone muffin tins, is great because it solves the problem of leftover oysters from last night’s roast (not that that happens often). Local oysters dug in the Medway River are perfect for this and it makes an awesome brunch item. If you have out-of-town guests, feed this to them in the morning with their eggs and bacon. Few other dishes say “you have arrived in the Low Country” so well!


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1 pint shucked local oysters, reserving liquor 2 ears white corn, grilled 1 pat butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon Old Savannah crab boil ½ cup onion, diced ½ cup celery, diced 1 cup Panko bread crumbs 1 cup cornbread 1 pint chicken stock 1 can cream of celery 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Method: Shuck and drain the oysters, saving the liquor. Grill the corn and shave off of the cob. Add corn, onions and celery to olive oil and butter in a sauté pan, cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with Old Savannah, dried thyme and salt to taste. When veggies are soft, add oysters and toss. Quickly remove them from heat and allow them to cool. Crumble cornbread and Panko together, adding cream of celery, sauté mix and chopped sage. Add chicken stock to moisten, then fill muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

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HAPPY DOG RECIPE t Start w/ 1 caring family t Add:

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Richmond Hill’s Leading Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center.

Christi Gibson, PA-C

Georgia Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center Skin Exams, Skin Cancer Surgery, MOHS Surgery, Mole Removal, Acne, Psoriasis, Rashes, Warts 1 1 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Michael Sharkey, MD Richmond Hill 10230 Ford Ave.

912.727.SKIN (7546) Hinesville


510 E. Oglethorpe Hwy.

17 Professional Dr. #101

912.369.SKIN (7546)

912.265.5344 Serving Georgia since 1969



• $"   ! ! #  •  # •    ! • # #!      $ Tuesday-Friday 7a.m. - 6p.m. Saturday 9a.m. - 3p.m.

912.445.5163 100 Timber Trail Road, Suite 104 Richmond Hill, Ga. 31324

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 1 1

RICHMOND HILL REFLECTIONS ADVERTISER DIRECTORY A ilsa ' s Restaurant & Bar.......... inside back cover

L a Na pol er a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

S o u th C o a s t M ed i ca l : D r. H o f f man. . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

A ll T h ings Chocol ate & M or e.................... 21

L a u r el Hom e Fu r n i s h i n g s & A cces s o r i es. . . . 43

S o u th ea s ter n L u n g A s s o ci a tes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

A llure Laser Center. . . . . . . . ........................... 44

L ea hy A r t G a l l e r y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

S o u th er n I m a g e Res ta u r a n t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

A n o th er Debut. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................... 44

L l oyd D. M u r r ay, S r. , A tto r n ey a t L aw, PC. . 43

S ta te Fa r m : Jay K i g h t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

ATA Mar ti al A r ts. . . . . . . . . . . ............................ 49

L ove' s S ea f o o d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

S ta te Fa r n : Jo h n S m i th . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Augie' s Pub & Gri l l . . . . . . . ............................ 86

L ow Cou ntr y E ye C a r e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

S tel l a Ro s e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Ba dco ck Home Fur ni shi ngs........................ 36

M cDona l d 's. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . insertion

S ter l i n g L i n k s G o l f C o u r s e. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Ba lb o & Greg g, Attor neys a t L aw, PC........ 17

M emor i a l M ed i ca l C en te r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

S u p er i o r Fi n i s h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Ba rker & Associ ates I nsu r a nce A g ency....... 54

M i chel l e L. M o r r i s Ph o to g r a p hy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

T h e Fo r d A ca d emy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

BARKS... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...........................104

M ol l y M a cPh er s o n ' s S co tti s h Pu b & G r i l l . . 32

T h e Fun cti o n a l Tr a i n i n g C en ter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Bla n ken shi p S por ti ng Good s...................... 34

M u ng o Hom es. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

T h e M a g n o l i a G r i l l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Bro n z e Tanni ng Sal on. . . . . ........................... 24

M y Gr a nd fa th er ' s Pl a ce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

T h e Pi n k C l o set. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Br ya n Bank & Tr ust. . . . . . . ............................ 52

New Coven a n t Pr es byter i a n C h u r ch . . . . . . . . . . . 98

T h e S a l o n o n Fo r d Avenue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

C a p ita l Car pet Cl eani ng. . ........................... 24

Notes Pi a n o S tu d i o. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

The Urgent Care Center of Richmond Hill.. back cover

C a r p et S tore Pl us. . . . . . . . . . . ............................ 23

O g eechee M a r i n e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Va u g h t O r th o d o n ti cs. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

C h a th a m Or thopaedi cs. . . . .......................... 86

Pa dg ett Insur a n ce A g en cy.......................... 48

Wa ter ' s Tr ee S er v i ce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Christy Car roll Balbo, Attor ney at Law, PC..111

Pa dg ett T i l e & Wo o d ................................. 33

Wa ter ways Town s h i p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . inside front cover

C o a sta l B ath & Ki tchen. . ........................... 11

Pa tti Todd Ph o to g r a p hy............................. 81

W i l l ow S a l o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

C o a sta l Canvas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... 21

Paw pa r a zzi‌ A D o g Bo uti que.................... 52

Ya tes A s tr o. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

C o a sta l Empi re Peri odonti cs...................... 67

Pl a n ta ti o n Lumb er & H a r dwa r e................... 3

C o a sta l Endodonti cs. . . . . . ............................ 67

Pr es i d en ti a l Ren ova ti o n s............................ 32

C o a sta l Georgi a Veteri nar y Ca r e............... 111

Pr ov i d en t O B/GY N................................... 18

C o b b lestone Photog raphy.......................... 56

R E / M A X A c cen t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

C o p e n h aver Dental . . . . . . . . . ............................ 5

R E / M A X A c cen t: A l i ce S teya a r t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

C o ur tn ey Camp-Hi ghsmi th Denti s tr y......... 62

R E / M A X A c cen t: A n g u s M cL eo d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

D evelo p ment Authori ty o f B r ya n Cou nty... 34

R E / M A X A c cen t: C a thy G r eg o r y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

E . Ja c o b Jewel ers on Ford Avenu e.............. 23

R E / M A X A c cen t: L yn n e B aye n s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

E xp ress Auto. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................... 17

R E / M A X A c cen t: M a u r een B r ya n t. . . . . . . . . 16, 61

Fi a Rua Irish Pub............ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

R E / M A X A c cen t: Ter es a C owa r t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Fi s h Ta l es....................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

R E / M A X A c cen t: T i n a H a r r i n g to n . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

For t McAl l i ster Marina... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

R E / M A X S ava n n a h : L i n d a B a r ker. . . . . . . . . . 61, 68

G & L Resi denti al Desi gn .......................... 37

Red B ir d D esi g n ........................................ 25

G. Ben jamin Massey, DMD, PC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

R i chmond H i l l A n i m a l H o s p i ta l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

G a lb rea th & Sons. . . . . . . . . . . ....................... 26, 63

R i chmond H i l l B ever a g e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

G E O V ista Credi t Uni on. .......................... 26

R i chmond H i l l C i ty C en ter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

Georgia Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center... 42, 110

R i chmond H i l l Fa m i l y D en ta l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

G eo rgia Game Chang ers. . .......................... 31

R i chmond H i l l Fu n er a l H o m e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Gibson/Lovell HVAC..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

R i chmond H i l l M ed i ca l H o m e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

H & L Auto Re pai r. . . . . . . ............................. 2

R i chmond H i l l M o n tes s o r i Pr es ch o o l . . . . . . . . . 93

H a ir o n the Hi l l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... 31

R i chmond H i l l Ph a r m a cy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

H a r vey & Hendri x, Attor neys a t L aw, PC... 98

R i chmond H i l l S en i o r C en ter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

H en derson Law Fi r m. . . . . ............................ 87

Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber of Commerce.. 81

H o m es of I nteg ri ty. . . . . . . . . ........................... 87

Rober t's Sho o ti n g Pr eser ve........................ 74

H o o f N Woof. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................... 88

S a l on 17.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Ja co b s Builders............... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

S ava nna h Pl a s ti c S u r g er y & A s s o ci a tes. . . . . . . 72

JC H C o astal Li festyl e Homes..................... 92

S hor el i ne L a n d s ca p e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Jeff' s B everag e................ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66, 91, 102

S ou thCoa s t M ed i ca l : D r. Fi s ch er. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

1 1 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

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Vision of the Future

Richmond Hill Reflections

Volume 8, Number 4

NEW Faces | MORE Spaces Our Expansion is Complete!

May The World Be Your

Now we’re offering you even MORE of the Urgent Care services you’ve come to trust PLUS the opportunity to see trusted Savannah physicians right here in Richmond Hill.


Wellness Checks • Preventive Care • Advanced Diagnostics Occupational Health Services • Orthopedics Pulmonary • Sleep Medicine • And More!

Ryan Moody, MD Anthony Costrini, MD

Mark Kamaleson, MD

Jennifer Henson, PA-C

Cheri Johnson, PA-C

Lori Gaylor, PA-C

Walk-Ins Welcome • No Appointment Necessary • In-Network with Most Major Insurance 912.756.CARE | | 60 Exchange Street, Suite B-7 (next to Kroger on Hwy 144) NEW HOURS! OPEN EARLY! M-F 8 am – 7 pm | Saturday 8 am – 4 pm | Sunday 8 am – 2 pm

Locally Owned and Operated

The Urgent Care Center of Richmond Hill

Volume 8, Number 4

Robert Mazur, MD Catherine Grant, PA-C