Winners of the 2017 Readers' Choice Raise a Glass to New Beer Laws FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 1
2 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 1
Cl assic People , Cl assic St yle , Cl assic C u lt u r e , i n G e o r g i a’ s C l a s s i c C i t y !
MAGAZINE PUBLISHER Scot Morrissey editor Ashlee Duren c re at i v e d ire c t o r Olivia Rushbrook v i c e presi d e n t o f s a les Kevin Clark ACCO U NT E X E C U T I V E S Tom Bennewitz Sherry Clark Hayley DeBell Clinton Ervin Alicia Goss Laura Jackson Joshua Lyon A dv er t isi n g S upp o r t Ashley Thompson Allyssa Berrong Kelsey Foster d ire c t o r o f m a r k e t i n g & e n g ag e m e n t Tina Laseter P h o t o g r a ph y Richard Hamm Fiona Hicks Joshua L. Jones Blaine Marable e d i t o ri a l Hilary Butschek Red Denty Chris Starrs
Have a Story to Share? If you’ve got a great idea for a story, let us know about it! Submit your story to email@example.com. For writers, submissions should include samples of previously published work and a brief description of the idea.
2 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 3
L INEATHE ON NS
R-HER A LD NE N
FAL L 2017
fe at u re s 14 210 Games Down In the world of Georgia Bulldog fandom, there are fans, super-fans and mega-super-fans.
ATHEN SB M • O .C 2017
22 Raise a Glass to New Beer Laws Athens, a city known for great music and great food is making a name for itself in another category: great beer.
57 Athens Area Expanding The Athens Area Community Foundation is beginning a
season of growth with its new president and CEO.
READERS' C HO I C E Thank you to our readers for participating in the 2017 Readers' Choice.
43 Nearly 40,000 votes were cast. We’ve tallied the results. The wait is over. 28
42 ENTERTAINMENT 44 SHOPPING 49 PEOPLE 4 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Winners of the 2017 Readers' Choice Raise a Glass to New Beer Laws
On the Cover Front of Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia. Photography by Richard Hamm
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 5
6 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 7
8 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
summer lingers By Hil ar y Butsche k
While it may not feel like the hot and humid days will ever end, summer is winding down. Itâ€™s time to celebrate the staples of the warm season with outings to local establishments perfect for eating and drinking in warm weather. First up, letâ€™s have something to eat off the grill.
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 9
Grindhouse Killer Burgers makes a mean hamburger and also offers a myriad of toppings for the adventurous eater. Alex Brounstein, owner of the restaurant, which has locations in Atlanta, Decatur and Athens, said its fare is the perfect summer food. “Pretty much everything on the menu is good,” Brounstein said. Expect to find three types of patties, 20 beers on tap along with sides such as sweet potato fries, cole slaw or onion rings. The typical American burger is cranked up a notch at Grindhouse. Add pimento cheese, pico de gallo, chili or barbeque sauce to your burger to create an inventive meal. One menu item Brounstein recommended for the summer is the Dixie Style burger, which is a pattie
“Pretty much everything on the menu is good.” topped with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese, Carolina cole slaw and chipotle ranch. “You could pair that with the Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen. That’s a nice summer beer,” Brounstein said. The Athens Grindhouse Killer Burgers features a rooftop bar and seating area where there is always a game on TV and visitors can play cornhole while they wait for their food.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers is located at 1553 S. Lumpkin Street, is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday thru Thursday and stays open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
1 0 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Sip At Highwire Lounge there’s always a signature cocktail waiting for you. Special summer cocktails are available at the bar on Hull Street in downtown Athens. If you’re feeling tropical, try the Painkiller. It’s a mixture of pineapple infused rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, orange juice and lime. Or, try a black mule, a mixture of fresh blackberries and lime with Blenheim’s ginger beer and citrusinfused vodka. Other drinks on Highwire’s menu perfect for the summer weather include the Pineapple Cilantro Margarita, the Strawberry Lemon Mojito and the Creamsicle. Look for live jazz music nights, trivia nights and silent disco events at Highwire throughout the week.
Highwire is located at 269 N. Hull Street and is open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday thru Saturday.
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 11
Artisan One of the most refreshing drinks of the summer is iced coffee, and Jittery Joe’s serves it up all day long. Athens’ local coffee roaster is constantly pumping out new blends for every occasion. One recent example is the Widespread Panic-inspired “Up All Night” blend. Jittery Joe’s even has a summer blend, which used Guatemalan and Ethiopian coffees and renders a “sweet and smooth cup.” While you’ll spot Jittery Joe’s shops all over the Athens and Atlanta areas, the roaster is still committed to keeping the quality high by roasting the beans in small batches.
1 2 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Head roaster Charlie Mustard overseas every roast himself. While you may be familiar with bright orange logo around town, you may not have heard about some of these interesting facts about the company. Originally opened next to the 40 Watt Club, the coffee shop’s name is included in Rolling Stone’s No. 5 underground album pick, Jeff Mangum’s “Live at Jittery Joe’s.” The magazine also gave Jittery Joe’s a spot on its list of top 24-hour coffee houses in America. To taste the Jittery Joe’s blends, stop by one of the nine Jittery Joe’s locations in Athens.
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 13
210 Games Down
By Chris Star rs | Photography By Joshua L. Jones
1 4 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
In the world of Georgia Bulldog fandom, there are fans, super-fans and mega-super-fans. And then there are folks like Frank Pittman. The 42-year-old Watkinsville resident has attended 210 consecutive UGA football games, comprising the entire tenure of both Mark Richt and Kirby Smart (so far). Maintaining such a streak is a modern-day feat of passion and logistics, and Pittman admits he didn’t think much of any kind of streak until he was a few seasons into his run. “I didn’t have any idea,” says Pittman, who graduated from UGA in 1998 with an engineering degree. “I’d always tried to go to as many games as I could, but I never thought there would be a
If you’re a college football fan, that’s one of those trips you dream your whole life about taking. And most people don’t get to go and play there. That’s a huge trip for us.
streak like that. I was a few years out of college and could afford to travel a little bit and just started going. After four or five years, I realized it had been a while and I just kept it up.” The last Bulldogs game Pittman missed was the 2000 O’ahu Bowl, the final game of Jim Donnan’s five-year coaching tenure (Georgia defeated Virginia 37-14). His streak began on Sept. 1, 2001, when the Richt-coached Bulldogs bested Arkansas State 45-17.
Long Way to Go Of course, Pittman – the chief operating officer of Athens-based Williams & Associates – has a long way to go to catch up to at least two considerably longer streaks. Griffin resident Dwayne Gilbert saw his 500th consecutive game on Nov. 14, 2015 at Auburn and just last season ended his run. And the late Herschel Scott of Monroe – who was good friends with Gilbert -- attended 471 straight games, a 41-year run. The 90-year-old Gilbert says that after attending the Bulldogs’ game at Ole Miss last fall, he decided to bring his 45-year streak to an end. “Going to Mississippi last year was hard on me,” says Gilbert. “I went to see my doctor the next week and he told me (the streak) was getting the best of me so it would be wise for me to pick and choose games. Two weeks later was the game at South Carolina and I didn’t go, bringing my steak to an end at 208 games.” Upon seeing his first Georgia game in 1948 (the Bulldogs defeated Georgia Tech 41-13 to win the SEC title), Gilbert says he “was hooked forever.” He’s been recognized by the NCAA and ESPN for his devotion and after years of parking his RV under the bridge near the stadium, he’s now got a spot at Bulldog Park and plans to attend every home game in 2017, with a solitary road trip to Vanderbilt on Oct. 7.
“Hopefully that won’t be too strenuous,” he quips. Pittman expresses his admiration for the longer streaks and what those diehard fans went through – which in some cases meant leaving hospital beds or coming to games in less-than-hale health – to keep their respective stretches alive. “It’s just amazing. It’s been 16 years since I missed one, but it takes a lot of work,” he says. “It’s hard to say if I’d leave the hospital for a game – I guess it depends on what you’re in the hospital for. I’d like to say I would. I’ve been to so many games now that I don’t know how I would react if I knew a game was going on and I wasn’t there. That’s the mentality about it. I don’t remember not being there.” There’s only been one occasion when it appeared as if Pittman would miss a game. In November 2012, he had reconstructive knee surgery on a Monday but five days later was still able to attend the Bulldogs’ 38-0 thrashing of Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium. “That’s the closest I’ve come to missing a game in the last 16 years,” he says. The Wilkes County native has visited every Southeastern Conference stadium, with the exception of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (because Georgia has only played there once in the last 66 years) and Texas A&M’s Kyle Field (the Bulldogs and Aggies have yet to meet in conference play).
On the Road With the exception of bowl games and occasional trips to Clemson, Pittman assents Georgia’s non-SEC road games over the past 16 years have been somewhat underwhelming. In the last 16 years, the Bulldogs have ventured to regularseason contests in Tempe, Arizona (2008), Stillwater, Oklahoma (2009) and Boulder, Colorado (2010), but otherwise have limited their travels to league schools. “A lot of SEC schools don’t play big-time out-of-
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 15
conference games either,” he says. “We lost in Boulder, but it was a lot of fun. Otherwise, it’s a lot of the same places.” Of course, that changes Sept. 9 when the Bulldogs make the trek to South Bend, Indiana, and a showdown with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, just the second time these two college-football powerhouses have met (and nobody on either side needs to be reminded of the first time). “I’m excited about going there,” says Pittman. “If you’re a college football fan, that’s one of those trips you dream your whole life about taking. And most people don’t get to go and play there. That’s a huge trip for us.” Pittman and his wife Kimberly plan to travel to Chicago, where they’ll take in a Cubs game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on Friday, go to Notre Dame on Saturday and then return home Sunday. There could be a change in plans, however, as the Atlanta Falcons are scheduled to play the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday. “I had booked the airfare before the NFL schedule came out and we’re leaving earlier in the morning on Sunday,” he says. “If I can get my airfare changed without being robbed blind, we might stick around for the Falcons.” South Bend aside, there are but two cities Pittman is focused on this season – Jacksonville and Atlanta. The Bulldogs will play Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Nov. 25 but the Bulldog Nation hopes to be back in town the next weekend for the SEC Championship game. It’s safe to say that what
1 6 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
happens on Oct. 28 in Jacksonville will no doubt play a role in Georgia’s travel plans.
Showdown In Jacksonville And no matter the time of year, the Bulldogs’ fortunes on Florida’s First Coast are always a topic rife for discussion. After years of basically having their way at the Gator Bowl (now known as EverBank Field), the last 27 years have not been kind as the Bulldogs have won but six times there. Pittman is among those amendable to a home-and-home situation with the Gators, but he also thinks the time may not yet be right. “My first year in Jacksonville was 1997 and we went down there and whooped them and I thought, ‘This is awesome,” says Pittman. “But it hasn’t been that great since… I’m not a huge fan of going there…I’m not one of those folks that screams about going home and home, although I think it would be better for Georgia if they did. “But the competitor in me doesn’t want to complain about it while we’re losing. Maybe they can get a little streak and then change it up, although you’ve got to be careful what you wish for, because then you have to go to Gainesville every other year.” And in the heat of summer, before any college team has played a single down, optimism is abounding when
I’ve got a lot of passion for my school and I love football,” says Pittman. “To me, there’s nothing like being in the stadium with the crowd and the energy. It’s something you can’t get anywhere else. That’s why I’m in it – I enjoy watching, but it’s the energy that special to me and is the biggest asset at a Georgia game.
it comes to the upcoming season. Pittman admits he’s no different and adds that if a few things fall into place, it could be a special season for Georgia. He happily assents that in the first season of his streak, Richt’s club went 8-4 but bounced back the next year to go 13-1 (losing to guess who in Jacksonville) and win the SEC title. Perhaps a similar season is set to unfold? “Honestly, I think the sky’s the limit this season,” he says. “There are still some holes that need to be filled and questions that need to be answered. We’ll have a young offensive line that’s obviously is a big key and we’ve still got a young quarterback, but the talent level is up and they could easily finish the year 10-2.” “They should be in Atlanta at the end of the year and if they don’t get there, it will be a little disappointing, but injuries come into play and you lose games sometimes by freak plays… It takes time for guys to turn things around. If Kirby doesn’t succeed, it won’t be for lack of effort, that’s for sure.” Regardless of the forecasts and prognostications, however, the Pittmans will be happily ensconced in their Sanford Stadium seats come September, ready to urge their favorite team on to victory.” “I’ve got a lot of passion for my school and I love football,” says Pittman. “To me, there’s nothing like being in the stadium with the crowd and the energy. It’s something you can’t get anywhere else. That’s why I’m in it – I enjoy watching, but it’s the energy that special to me and is the biggest asset at a Georgia game.”
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 17
1 8 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 19
2 0 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 21
E E b nEW 2 2 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
S w A l ER
Jos hua L. Jon es By Red Den tys | Pho tog rap hy By
Athens is an awesome city with a beer scene that is on the rise,
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 23
Photo by Leigh Germy / Terrapin Beer Co.
Above, a brewer at the Terrapin Beer Co. inspects a can of the companies Recreational Ale. Breweries across Georgia will now be able to sell directly to customers up to 24 12-ounce cans of craft beer.
thens, a city known for great music and great food is making a name for itself in another category: great beer. Home to breweries like the Terrapin Beer Co. (Georgia’s second largest brewery) and Creature Comforts Brewing Co., the Classic City is quickly becoming a beer-lover’s mecca. “Athens is an awesome city with a beer scene that is on the rise,” said Russell Stalvey, Terrapin’s business manager. The blossoming craft-beer industry in Athens and across Georgia has long been hampered by the state’s beer laws preventing breweries from selling directly to consumers and requiring
2 4 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
them to go through a three-tiered system of distributors and retailers before reaching the customer. That all changes in September 2017, however. A recently passed law will allow Georgia breweries to sell 3,000 barrels of beer directly to consumers, a move that brewers in the state say will lead to increased profits, a wider selection of beers and an improved brewery experience for consumers. “This is a nice step forward for Georgia. We are dead last in the country when it comes to getting this accomplished,” said Chris Herron, cofounder and CEO of Creature Comforts. “It’s not a crazy system. We’re not being super progressive. We’re just trying to
catch up with the rest of the country.” Herron is not exaggerating. After Mississippi passed a 2016 law that allowed breweries to sell direct to consumers, Georgia became the only state in the Union that prevented craft breweries from selling their beer directly. “Everyone agrees that you should be able to go to a brewery and taste its beer, but then we created this really weird system to go about allowing that to happen,” Herron said. The system he is describing prohibited breweries from selling directly to consumers, instead it required them to sell brewery tours where they would then give away up to 36 ounces of beer. “It’s not the way it should operate,” Herron said. “It’s not the best for the state, not for the consumer and definitely not for the breweries. It wasn’t benefitting anyone.” The new law, brewers say, will benefit everyone. Customers benefit from an increased beer selection. In the past, using the tour system, every beer cost the same to the consumer, and brewing small, unique batches of beer was an expensive risk that many breweries decided to avoid. “We didn’t have nearly as many small batches of beer being brewed,” Herron said, adding that beer needed to be brewed on a large scale to keep from losing money. “Now, we can make one or two kegs of a beer and put it all in the tasting room, and charge appropriately for it. It’s going to let us match the
Photo by Fiona Hicks / Terrapin Beer Co.
experience the customer has with what the customer pays.” Herron predicts that because of the new law, Georgia tasting rooms will go from eight or nine beer varieties to more than 20, something that is common at breweries in other states. The new law is also positive for the breweries. Under the tour system, Georgia beer companies make 2.5 times less profit than out of state breweries. “We’re less able to compete out of state because of this system, we literally just make less money,” Herron said. “The new system will boost business, boost jobs and boost investment in the market.” Both Terrapin and Creature Comforts have big plans for the new law, one they expect to grow their businesses exponentially. Creature Comforts is spending $50,000 to update its tasting room to be better suited for the new law. Terrapin is planning to increase its hours of operations, in addition to hosting a variety of new events. One event, called Friday Night Pints, will feature food trucks and live music, and customers will be able to purchase up to 24 12-ounce cans to take home, just in time for Saturday football games in Athens. “We’re very excited for the change. It’s an opportunity for brewers to interact with the customer on a new level. It’s new territory for us,” Stalvey said. “So, come out and buy a beer, or three, or twelve -- you can do that now.”
The Terrapin Beer Co. has big plans for the new craft beer laws. In addition to staying open later, the brewery has plans to be a tailgater’s onestop-shop, with beer and food from local food trucks.
THE nEW sYsTEM WILL boosT bUsInEss, boosT jobs And boosT InVEsTMEnT In THE MARKET FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 25
2 6 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Nearly 40,000 votes were cast.
Weâ€™ve tallied the results.
The wait is over. FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 27
SERVICES Air Conditioning/ Heating Service When Athenians need help with their air conditioning or heat, they turn to the experts at Complete Comfort Services. For eight consecutive years, the team at Complete has been servicing area HVAC systems with superior customer service. Runner-up: Stanfield Heating and Air Auto Repair Shop If you own a car, you are sure to need the services of an auto repair shop at some point. Readers have chosen the folks at Georgia Square Collision as the top auto repair shop. Runner-up: Heyward Allen Collision Center
Bank When it comes to handling money, the readers have chosen Athens First Bank and Trust as the number one place to bank. Runner-up: Oconee State Bank Best Kept Secret (Service) Georgia Skin Cancer & Aesthetic Dermatology takes the top spot for Best Kept Secret (Service). Runner-up: Clean & Handy Car Wash For most mothers a clean car is but a dream. The staff at Bulldog Car Wash is ready to tackle any of your detailing needs. Runner-up: Swifty Car Wash
2 8 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 29
BEST DAYCARE/PRESCHOOL The Preschool Academy
Carpet Cleaning Need to have those floors cleaned before the holidays? Certified Clean Care provides a variety of cleaning services guaranteed to be the most thorough cleaning ever! Runner-up: The Lewis Co. Floors Construction Company Since 2005, John Newland has been helping the residents of the Classic City with their dream homes. JOMA Construction specializes in residential remodeling and custom homes. With more than 300 residential and commercial projects, the crew at JOMA can help with any project, big or small. Runner-up: Hodge Design & Remodel Credit Union First Reliance Federal Credit Union takes the honors for the area’s best credit union. Offering a full range of financial services, First Reliance stands behind their personal trustworthy service. Runner-up: Georgia United Credit Union Dance Studio Having studied with some of the world’s most prestigious ballet schools, it’s no wonder readers voted the Alice DePass Studio of Dance as the area’s best dance studio. Runner-up: Oconee Youth School of Performance Day Spa When you need an escape, look no further than Urban Sanctuary. Offering 3 0 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
a complete menu of spa services, the staff at Urban Sanctuary invites you to be kind and unwind. Runner-up: Foot Palace Daycare/Preschool Locally owned and operated since 1978, The Preschool Academy has been caring for children. From 6 weeks to 12 years, the staff at The Preschool Academy is well-trained to care for your child when you’re away. Runner-up: Primrose School of Athens
Dry Cleaner With two convenient locations, Athens West Cleaners has been serving the Athens area for more than 25 years. Specializing in formal wear and bridal gowns, Athens West can handle all your dry cleaning needs. Runner-up: Professional Cleaners Employment Agency When Athens area businesses need help with finding qualified employees they turn to BOS Staffing. This family-
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 31
owned staffing company offers a wide range of services from tempto-hire and professional recruiting to payroll services and safety training. Runner-up: Randstad Fencing Precision Fenceworks guarantees your satisfaction on all installed fences or repairs. Using the finest products available, the experts at Precision are committed to completing each job professionally, efficiently and on schedule. Runner-up: Athens Fence Flooring Store Offering one of the area’s largest selections of flooring, it’s easy to see what readers voted Dalton Carpet One as number one in the flooring store category. Whether you’re looking for carpet, tile, hardwood, vinyl or laminate. Runner-up: Lewis Co. Floors Funeral Home When the time comes to say goodbye to a loved one, the highly qualified professionals at Lord & Stephens Funeral Home will be there to assist. Whether the need is immediate or planning for the future, Lord & Stephens is there in your time of need. Runner-up: Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Services Gym Hate working out in a big gym? Then CoreBlend Training and Wellness is the place for you! They specialize in one-on-one and group fitness. If you’re looking to get in shape, CoreBlend can help. Runner-up: Crunch Fitness Hair Salon Someone once said, “Life isn’t perfect but your hair can be.” The experts at Republic Salon can help you achieve your desired look!
3 2 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 33
Located in downtown on the top floor of the historic Frigidaire building, the awardwinning staff at Republic are expertly trained in hair salon services including cuts, treatments and of course, color! Runner-up: Rizo’s Kennel Since 1995, the staff at Four Seasons Pet Resort have been caring for our fourlegged loved ones. Truly a resort, pets can enjoy their own private sleeping area and their own exterior runs. They even have a 10,000 gallon in-ground bone-shaped pool, three playgrounds on five acres of property. Runner-up: Pawtropolis Landscape/Lawn Maintenance Co.
3 4 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, Athens residents can trust Four Seasons Lawn Maintenance to provide quality care for their lawns year-round. Runner-up: Precision Landscape Limousine Service When you need to ride in style, for business or pleasure, Bulldog Limousine should be your first call. With more than 20 years of service, the folks at Bulldog will provide reliable transportation with prompt and courteous service. Runner-up: Groome Transportation Locksmith With the slogan “One Call Unlocks Them All” how can you not turn to Jerry’s Lock
& Key when you find yourself needing the services of a locksmith? The readers agree! Jerry’s is the company to call. Runner-up: Clarke County Lock and Key Lube, Oil & Filter Shop Need an oil change? Then head on over to Georgia Square Collision and let their friendly, courteous staff service your vehicle. They were also voted number one for Auto Repair Shop! Runner-up: Tires Plus Mower Repair Formerly known as Riverside Mower, Howard Brothers purchased the Athens location in 2016. With several stores in the Atlanta area, the Athens store supplies only power equipment to serve a specific need in the area. Count on Howard Brothers to supply, service and maintain your equipment. Runner-up: Watkinsville Power Shop Pest Control Unwanted houseguests becoming a problem? Contact American Pest Control to rid your home of these unwanted pests. Serving Northeast Georgia since 1971 aims to provide the best pest, wildlife and termite control in the area. Runner-up: Lavender Pest Control
Tanning Salon Want that sun-kissed glow without spending hours in the sun? With several locations in the Athens and Watkinsville areas, Silver Sun Tan can help you achieve the tan you want. Runner-up: Palm Beach Tan Towing Company No offense to the great people at Barrett’s Towing, but no one likes to call a tow truck. But when you have to, trust Barrett’s to get the job done! Runner-up: Nixon’s Towing Plumbing Better service equals better plumbing at Plumber Pro. Providing free estimates, it won’t cost you anything to give them a try! Runner-up: Armour Plumbing Waste Services Curbside Services Inc. wins for the area’s best waste services company.
The full-scale sanitation facility is anything but boring! Runner-up: AAA Sanitation Weight Loss Program With the holidays just around the corner, if you’re looking to shed a few pounds, let InShape MD help. At InShape MD, their goal is the assist you in your weight loss journey with a safe, medically supervised program. Runner-up: Core Blend Training & Wellness Pet Sitting Need someone to look after Fido when you’re away? Fetch the Leash is the top pick for in-home pet sitting services. Runner-up: Pawtropolis Irrigation Supplier In need of irrigation supplies, Shoemaker Irrigation ranks number one as the area’s irrigation supplier. Runner-up: Hester Irrigation
Real Estate Company With more than 120 full-time residential agents, 10 commercial agents and 10 staff members, Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty is ready to help you find your dream home. Runner-up: Five Market Realty Retirement Community Located in the heart of everything you love about Athens, Talmage Terrace/ Lanier Gardens was voted the number one senior living community. Offering both independent residential and personal care apartments in a convenient location, it’s easy to see why seniors would want to call this place home! Runner-up: Iris Place
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 35
dining Bagel Consistently voted as an Athens favorite, the Athens Bagel Company is the only New York-style bagel bakery in downtown. The ABC bagels are kettle-boiled and baked fresh daily. When you’re craving a great bagel, ABC has you covered! Runner-up: Ideal Bagel Barbeque Open daily, Pulaski Heights BBQ serves until the meat runs out. Runner-up: Saucehouse BBQ Best Kept Secret Created out of a love of great Southern food (just with a twist), Mama Jewel’s Kitchen celebrates recipes passed down from generation to generation. The menu features chicken and waffles, biscuits
and gravy, fried chicken, meatloaf and more. When you’re craving your grandmother’s dishes, head on over to Mama Jewel’s. Runner-up: Traveling Hobo Café Breakfast It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If that is true then head to Mama’s Boy to fill up. Runner-up: Mama Jewel's Kitchen Brunch Mama’s Boy was also voted best place for Brunch by readers of the Athens Banner Herald. Runner-up: Porterhouse Grill and Heirloom Café (tied)
3 6 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Buffet Rich in Chinese tradition, Peking Restaurant offers a wide variety of Chinese Mandarin cuisine. From the spicy specialties of the Szechuan and Hunan provinces to the milder Mandarin dishes, Peking is sure to have something for everyone. Runner-up: Hibachi Grill Burger Famous for their “out-ofthis-world, unique and tasty hamburgers,” Clocked has become a downtown staple. Using only organic, local and natural ingredients, it’s easy to see why Clocked has been chosen as the Classic City’s number one burger restaurant! Runner-up: Grindhouse Killer Burgers
Burritos The best burrito in town goes to Barberitos. Made with the freshest ingredients, Barberitos is a crowd pleaser. Runner-up: Cali N Tito’s Business Lunch An Athens favorite, the Last Resort Grill has taken the top spot in several of the dining categories. In this instance, LRG was voted as the favorite place for a business lunch. Runner-up: Depalma’s Italian Café
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 37
Caterer Epting Events is known for throwing parties infused with the flavors of the South. A family owned business, the Eptings and their staff create culinary magic. When looking for someone to cater your next party or function, give Epting Events a call. Runner-up: Trump’s Catering Chinese Food Have a craving for authentic Chinese cuisine? Once again Peking Restaurant takes the top honors. Serving a variety of Asian inspired, Peking is sure to have something to suit your taste buds. Runner-up: Golden Dragon
Cocktails Since 2009, Highwire Lounge has been voted Athens best place for cocktails. Highwire’s signature cocktails are made from fresh ingredients and premium liquors. Not in the mood for a cocktail, they also offer an extensive wine list. Happy hour weekdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Runner-up: Five Bar Coffee Shop Founded in 1994 next to the famous 40 Watt Club, Jittery Joe’s has been serving their own brand of “joe” for more than two decades. According to their website, at one time Jittery Joe’s was the official coffee of Antarctica and
Rolling Stone Magazine name them one of the top 24 hour coffee houses in America. It’s easy to see why Athenians name them top coffee shop! Runner-up: Two Story Coffee Deli Sandwich Schlotzsky’s takes top honors for a deli sandwich. Founded in Austin, Texas (home to the University of Texas) in 1971, the concept was simple – create a mouthwatering sandwich using premium meat and toppings on sourdough bread. Still a winning concept today! Runner-up: Larry’s Giant Subs
Dessert When it’s dessert you want, look no farther than the Last Resort Grill. With an entire case of delectable cakes, they have something for every sweet tooth! Runner-up: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt Downtown Restaurant Once again, the Last Resort Grill claims the top spot for favorite downtown restaurant. Their southwest inspired Southern cuisine makes for a unique dining experience. If you’re looking for a great restaurant for date night, the Last Resort will not disappoint. Runner-up: The National Family Restaurant Looking for a fun place to take the family? CaliN-Tito’s takes home first place as the favorite family restaurant. The eclectic atmosphere with a Latin inspired menu creates a one of a kind place to entertain the family. Runner-up: Brett’s Casual American Fried Chicken In the South, no list of favorite foods would be complete without fried chicken. If you’re craving fried chicken in Athens, Champy’s World Famous Fried Chicken is the place to go. Made from scratch, Champy’s chicken is juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. To top it off, all plates are served with cole slaw and baked beans. YUM! Runner-up: Weaver D’s
3 8 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 39
Ice Cream/Yogurt Shop Nothing hits the spot on a hot summer day like ice cream (or frozen yogurt)! Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Beechwood takes top honors in this category. Founded in 2007 in a suburb of Los Angeles, the Menchie’s mission is simple – to make you smile! Runner-up: Ben & Jerry’s Italian Food What began in 1988 as the quest of three college students to find truly great pizza, became DePalma’s Italian Café. With a full Italian menu, including pizza, and four locations in Georgia, DePalma’s brings a tasty of Italy to the Classic City! Runner-up: Carrabba’s Japanese Food Want a little entertainment while you dine? The chefs at Inoko Japanese Steak House put on quite the
show and the food is great too! Runner-up: Inoko Sushi Express Mexican Food For Taco Tuesday head over to Taqueria La Parrilla, or LaPa for short. Family owned and operated, LaPa has been committed to quality food and service for more than 13 years. Readers obviously agree, voted best Mexican food for eight straight years! Runner-up: Tlaloc MilkShake With a nostalgic 50s diner feel, The Grill is an Athens institution! Open 24 hours a day seven days a week, The Grill has the best milkshake in town – hands down! If you’re hungry, they also have hamburgers, sandwiches and salads. Runner-up: Chick-Fil-A
New Restaurant New restaurants are always popping up in our city. This year, readers have chosen Bone Island Grillhouse as the best new restaurant. With a casual atmosphere and great food, the staff at Bone Island Grillhouse strives to make your visit a true dining experience. Runner-up: Mama Jewel’s Kitchen Outside Dining Located in an old tire storage garage, Ted’s Most Best has the best outside dining in the city. The spacious patio boasts a bocce ball court. Admittedly the atmosphere is great, but so if the food! From salads and sandwiches to pasta and of course, pizza, Ted’s has something for everyone! Runner-up: Hilltop Grille
Pizza Founded in 2008 by Athens resident Drew French, Your Pie wins for best pizza. Your Pie is not just ANY pizza joint. What makes this place so special is that patrons are allowed to build their pizza. Runner-up: Peppino’s Restaurant We head back to the Last Resort Grill for best restaurant. It’s obvious Athenians LOVE the LRG. If you’re new to Athens, give Last Resort a try. We’re sure it will become one of your favorites too! Runner-up: Five & Ten Seafood Looking for fresh seafood? Readers have chosen Bone Island Grillhouse as the city’s top seafood restaurant. Tuna, Shrimp, Calamari, Gumbo and more are on the menu. If you need a seafood fix, Bone Island has you covered! Runner-up: Mark Seven Coastal Grill Sushi Readers say you won’t get a raw deal – unless you order one – at Shokitini Sushi – Grill – Lounge. With an extensive sushi menu, patrons are sure to find their favorite! Runner-up: Utage
BEST family restaurant Cali-N-Tito’s
4 0 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Thai Food Siri Thai Cuisine takes top honors for Thai food. Their chef specializes in creating traditional Thai dishes sure to transport your palate to the Far East. Runner-up: Thai Spoon
Wings No football tailgate is complete without wings. Readers voted the Blind Pig Tavern as the number restaurant for wings. If you’re not in the mood for wings, the menu has a variety of other menu options sure to satisfy. Runner-up: Amici-Athens Mediterranean Celebrating the Mediterranean lifestyle, Taziki’s Café is number one for Mediterranean food. The menu is rich with interesting flavors. Runner-up: Mediterranean Grill Indian Food Taking the number one spot for Indian food is Taste of India. Since 2005, Taste of India has been serving traditional Indian dishes to Athens residents. Runner-up: Koyla Sizzling Grill & Hookah Lounge
BEST milkshake The Grill
Best Restaurant Service Service is a must when dining out. According to readers, Bone Island Grillhouse takes the gold for service. Besides their food, BIG’s mission is to provide excellent service to their guests. Runner-up: Last Resort Grill
Takeout Rather order in? Readers have chosen Rafferty’s of Athens for takeout. With an extensive menu of American favorites, swing by Rafferty’s on the way home and pick up dinner tonight! Runner-up: Choo Choo
Asian Food Inoko Sushi Express has been voted as best Asian food in our fair city. Runner-up: Iron Factory
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 41
bear hollow zoo
entertainment Best Kept Secret Did you know that Athens has a zoo? Bear Hollow Zoo takes top honors as the Best Kept Secret in the entertainment category. The zoo is home to a variety of non-releasable animals. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm; Bear Hollow is the perfect place to take the kids. The best part admission is free! Runner-up: The Rook & Pawn Brewery With the love of craft beers on the rise, Creature Comforts wins first place for best brewery. Housed in an old 1940s Chevy dealership building, Creature Comforts Runner-up: Terrapin Beer Co.
Event It’s no secret that Athenians love music. So it makes sense that AthFest takes top billing for best event! The three-day music festival brings the best local and regional musicians together in downtown Athens. Proceeds from the festival support music and arts education in the area. Runner-up: Athens Wine Weekend Fundraising Event Extra Special People’s Big Hearts event came in first for best fundraising event. The annual event showcases the talents of ESP participants going beyond their mental and physical capabilities. Runner-up: Dancing With The Stars
4 2 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Trivia Not only is the Blind Pig Tavern known for great food, but they also take top honors for best trivia. On Wednesday nights, at the downtown location, stop by to test your knowledge on a variety of topics – you might just win! Runner-up: Hi-Lo Lounge
Golf Course Jennings Mill Country Club, in Oconee County, has been voted as the area’s top golf course. The 18-hole championship golf course has a wide range of tee boxes designed to challenge everyone from the scratch golfer to a beginner. Runner-up: UGA Golf Course
Happy Hour Before testing your knowledge at trivia night, arrive a few hours early to enjoy happy hour. Readers have voted the Blind Pig Tavern the best place to grab a cocktail for happy hour. Runner-up: Sea Bear
Hobby Class Looking for something fun to do with your friends? ARTini’s Art Lounge is the answer. Voted best hobby class by Athens Banner Herald readers, guests learn to paint with stepby-step instruction…best part, you can have a beer or glass of wine while you paint. What could be more fun than that! Runner-up: Good Dirt
Nature Spot The State Botanical Garden of Georgia has been voted as the top nature spot in the area. The University of Georgia set the 313-acre preserve aside in 1968 for the study of plants and nature. Admission and parking are free. Runner-up: Sandy Creek Nature Center
Wine Selection No sour grapes at Five Points Bottle Shop, just an impressive selection of wines ready to take home. For more than 25 years, the exceptional staff at Five Points Bottle has been assisting patrons find the perfect bottle of wine to compliment any occasion. Runner-up: Shiraz
Local Band Besides the University of Georgia, Athens is known for its’ music scene. Readers named the Darnell Boys as the top local band. Self-described as a mixture of blues, country, soul and a lot of heart, this homegrown group is on the rise. Runner-up: The Baccups
Event Venue It should come as no surprise that the iconic Georgia Theatre has been named best event venue. Originally home of the Athens YMCA, the Theatre is an Athens landmark. The stage at the Georgia Theatre has featured many of the city’s famous musicians and bands. Runner-up: The Classic Center
Beer Selection When it comes to the best beer selection, Trappeze Pub wins! With a wide variety of beers from all over the world on tap, you are sure to find something to quench your thirst! Runner-up: Five Points Bottle Shop
Local Musician (Individual) The Rev. Connor Tribble has been voted best individual local musician. Runner-up: Darnell Boys
Movie Theatre When Athens area residents want to go to the movies, University 16 is their top pick. A Georgia Theater Company facility, University 16 allows you to enjoy your movie in style. Runner-up: AMC Ovations
Local Attraction The State Botanical Garden of Georgia wins! The State Botanical Gardens is home to a lovely Day Chapel. Runner-up: Sanford Stadium
Live Music Venue It should come as no surprise that the legendary 40 Watt Club ranks as the top spot to hear live music. In the 1980s, the 40 Watt has served as a major stop for “underground independent” bands. Runner-up: Georgia Theatre
Family Fun Spot Dubbed as the fastest, most intense, unbelievably fun hour you’ll experience, Urban Enigmas takes top honors for family fun spot. Escape rooms encourage you and your friends/family to work together to find clues, solve the puzzles to complete the mission and escape the room…all in under 60 minutes. Runner-up: Rush Athens Place to Watch a Game The Blind Pig Tavern has taken the top spot in several categories. They have been voted the best spot in the city to watch a game. With multiple TV’s throughout, you can catch the game while having a bit to eat. Runner-up: Saucehouse BBQ
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 43
BEST Happy hour Blind Pig Tavern
Local Festival It’s no secret that Athenians love music. So it makes sense that AthFest takes top billing for best event! The three-day music festival brings the best local and regional musicians together in downtown Athens. Proceeds from the festival support music and arts education in the area. Runner-up: Twilight Place To Watch People The streets of downtown Athens are filled with some colorful characters which is why readers voted downtown as the best place to watch people. If you don’t believe your peers, take a seat on a bench one afternoon, sit back and watch! Runner-up: The Whole Town of Athens
4 4 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Local Place to Bring Your Pet Athenians love their pets. Memorial Park, located in Five Points, has been voted as the best place to take your pet. With walking trails and a 1.5-acre dog park, we agree. Memorial Park is the perfect place to hang with your four-legged friends. Runner-up: Creature Comforts
Local Late Night Spot After a night out on the town, The Grill is the perfect spot to grab a bite before heading home. Open 24 hours seven days a week, readers say the Athens mainstay is the favorite local late night spot. Runner-up: Insomnia Cookies
Local Date Night Spot Once again, the Last Resort Grill takes the top spot for local date night. Between the atmosphere and the fantastic food, it’s no wonder people chose LRG as the winner for this category. Runner-up: The National
Best Place for a Group Outing Looking for the perfect spot for a group outing, then head over to Terrapin Beer Co. The local brewery has a great space for entertaining large groups. Runner-up: Creature Comforts
shopping Best Kept Secret (Shop) Every town has its secrets, especially when it comes to shopping. Amelia’s Apparel reigns supreme as Athens’ Best Kept Secret”. With a unique selection of ladies apparel and shoes, you are sure to find the perfect outfit for game day, or any day. Runner-up: Tailgate Clothing Bicycle Shop A staple in downtown Athens, Sunshine Cycles offers a large selection of bicycles when you’re ready to hit the trail. If you want to get the entire family active, stop in for a test ride. Runner-up: The Hub Bicycles Car Dealership The Heyward Allen name has been synonymous with the auto business in Athens since 1942. Seventy-five years
later, Heyward Allen Cadillac Buick GMC Toyota is still providing exceptional service, with a reputation for honesty, and integrity. For the 16th time, they have been named “Best Dealership” in the Classic City. Runner-up: Athens Ford Clothing Boutique Not only is Amelia’s Apparel Athens “Best Kept Secret” when it comes to shopping, it is the best all-around. Runner-up: Rusted Arrow Boutique Consignment Shop If you’re looking for a great deal on children’s clothing, A Child’s Closet is the place. With a wide selection of gently used items, you won’t need to break the bank to keep your kids in style. Runner-up: St. Mary’s Thrift St
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 45
Convenience Store If you need to grab a quick snack or forgot a needed item at a large grocery store, Golden Pantry will have you in and out in the blink of an eye. Since 1965 they have provided the residents and students of Athens with easy access to everyday items. Runner-up: RaceTrac Downtown Shop Since 1994 Native America Gallery has delighted Athenians with an assortment of the finest silver jewelry. The locally-owned gallery also offers custom jewelry designed by a well trained staff to suite your style. Runner-up: Aurum Studios Five Points Shop A landmark in Five Points, Five Points Bottle Shop remains “The Best of Athens”. Inside you will find every kind of wine, liquor or beer you can think of. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, they will be happy to order it! Runner-up: Earthfare Furniture/Mattress Store Adcock Furniture has been a part of the family since 1968. The store provides a wonderful selection of home furnishings for every room. Runner-up: Ashley Furniture Gift Shop The best place to get a gift is Native America Gallery. Well-trained designers are available to customize that special piece of jewelry that you are looking for. Runner-up: Frontier Jeweler If you’re looking for something to capture the heart, JWR Jewelers is the place. Not only do they carry a large selection of engagement rings and bridal sets, JWR has the perfect piece for every occasion. Runner-up: Tena’s Fine Diamond & Jewelry 4 6 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 47
Best Kept Secret (Shop) Amelia’s Apparel
Menswear Who doesn’t love a sharp dressed man? Since 1934, Dick Ferguson’s has been offering impeccable personal service in men’s fashion. Stop in and see why they have been chosen “Best of Athens” Runner-up: Men’s Warehouse Musical Instrument Store Seventy-three years after its doors first opened, Chick Music is still providing music to our ears. Whether you want to purchase a grand piano for your foyer, or rent a band instrument, Chick Music is the place. Runner-up: Musician’s Warehouse Nursery/Garden Store Not everyone has a green thumb but, Cofer’s Nursery can help with that. Serving the community for more than 90 years, the family owned business offer friendly service, an extensive catalog of products, and expert advice for all of your gardening needs. 4 8 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Runner-up: Goodness Grows Pawn Shop Since 1985 Gateway Pawn has been providing Athens with the best pawn experience available. Whether you’re buying or selling, gateway Pawn will provide you with fast and easy service, along with a wide variety of items to choose from. Runner-up: Thornton’s Watkinsville Shop If you’re looking for some tasty meat, Stripling's General Store is the place to go. A family tradition for more than 45 years, Stripling’s Original Sausage Recipe is still being used. The store also offers a variety of cheeses, jellies, syrup and much more. Stop in to see what all the fuss is about. Runner-up: Empire South Best Georgia Square Mall Shop When it comes to shopping, Belk has it all. It is the perfect place to shop for the entire family. Runner-up: American Eagle
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 49
ALWAYS ALWAYS FLOWERS
people Car Salesperson When shopping for a car, readers say Joe Davis at Heyward Allen Toyota is the man to see! His friendly personality makes the car buying process much easier! Runner-up: Tim Jump (Heyward Allen Toyota) Chiropractor Readers turn to Dr. Mark Anthony when needing the services of a chiropractor. For the past four years, Athens Banner Herald readers have voted Dr. Anthony best chiropractor. Runner-up: Joel Groft (Athens Chiropractic Healthcare) Dentist There’s no need to be scared to go to Oconee Dental. With a friendly staff and experienced dentists, they make any visit pleasant. Runner-up: Dr. Brian Hall
5 0 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Dermatologist Wishing you could always maintain that healthy glow? Georgia Skin Cancer & Aesthetic Dermatology can help you achieve that youthful glow and much more. Specializing in general dermatology, skin cancer treatment and cosmetic services, it’s easy to see why readers choose them as the best! Runner-up: Athens Dermatology Dog Walker Heading out of town, but don’t want to board your pets? Give the professional pet-sitters at Fetch the Leash a call. Voted as the best pet-sitter/dog walker, the team from Fetch will come into your home and follow your routine with your pets. Runner-up: Cari Heinz
Electrician In need of a qualified, licensed electrician? Readers top choice - Blue Moon Electric. The folks at Blue Moon are professional, experienced and trustworthy and can assist with all your electrical needs. Runner-up: Oconee Electrical Eye Care Specialist Five Points Eye Care Center gets your vote for best eye care specialist. Committed to helping you maintain the best vision possible and healthy eyes, the staff at Five Points Eye Care strive to make every visit comfortable. Runner-up: Thomas Eye Care Florist Always, Always Flowers takes the top spot for best florist. Their friendly staff is ready to assist you with the perfect arrangement for any occasion. Runner-up: Flower & Gift Basket Hair Stylist With more than 25 years experience, it’s easy to see why readers voted Lyric Bellotte of Republic Salon as the top hair stylist. With numerous accolades in the industry, including styling hair at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and most recently featured in the InStyle Hair Spring 2013 issue, Lyric can help you decide what style works best for you! Runner-up: Erin Gibson, Fringe Salon Hearing Aid Professional When it comes to your hearing, readers voted Athens Oconee Audiology as the best in the area. Runner-up: Georgia Hearing Center Massage Therapist In need of a massage? According to Athens Banner Herald readers, Joanna Ashley at St. Mary’s Wellness Center ranks as the area’s best massage therapist. Specializing in prenatal, sports therapy and rehabilitation massage, Joanna can help you alleviate your everyday stress. Runner-up: GA Medical Massage
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 51
5 2 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Mechanic The mechanics at Georgia Square Collision are the best in the area. They will repair your vehicle at a fair price and in a timely manner. Runner-up: University Tire Orthodontist Want the perfect smile? Then Newell Orthodontics is the place to go! The staff at Newell strive to make you comfortable and confident throughout the entire experience. They are committed to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Runner-up: Classic City Orthodontics Orthopedist Athens Orthopedic Clinic wins for best orthopedist. Serving Athens and the surrounding areas since 1966, their physicians specialize in orthopedic surgery as well as diagnosing and treating a variety of orthopedic issues. Runner-up: Athens Bone & Joint Pediatrician Treating kids and adolescents for more than 30 years, Dr. Alan Glassman ranks first as the area’s best pediatrician. Runner-up: Drs.Garrard & Aldridge (Athens Children’s Clinic) Personal Injury Attorney Joshua W. Branch takes top honors as the area’s best personal injury attorney. When you’re injured and in need of the services of an attorney, call Joshua Branch. He will serve as your advocate to aggressively protect your rights. Runner-up: Sam Thomas (The Law Office of Samuel E. Thomas) Physical Therapist When you need the services of a physical therapist, readers picked Bret Joiner at Therapy South. Joiner has been helping his patients regain movement and motion since 2008. Runner-up: Sophia Waters (Oconee Physical Therapy) FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 53
5 4 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 55
BEST mechanic Georgia Square Collison
Physician Looking for a general practioner/family medicine doctor? Dr. Lee Chisolm takes top honors in this category. Runner-up: Dr. Mark Earhart (Oconee Family Medicine) Plastic Surgeon Art and aesthetics merge at Pittman Plastic Surgery. Offering a full range of cosmetic surgery and beauty enhancements, Pittman Plastic Surgery is voted the best in the area in their field and will help you recapture your inner beauty. Runner-up: Parker Plastic Surgery
5 6 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Podiatrist Are your feet in need of some extra care? With more than 19 years of serving the Athens area at Athens Podiatry, Dr. Mauro Rossi is the go to guy. Offering diabetic foot care, laser treatments, custom orthotics, Dr. Rossi has been voted “Best of Athens” for the 10th time. Runner-up: Dr. Jennifer Jacobs (Oconee Foot and Ankle) Real Estate Agent One of the biggest events in life is purchasing a new home. Alissa Carrier, with Chastain Jenkins & Leathers will make sure you find the perfect place for your family to make wonderful memories. Runner-up: Holly Purcell (Purcell Group)
Veterinarian Our pets are like members of the family and deserve attention too. Hope Animal Medical Center is there to provide exceptional service in grooming, boarding and medical care. Just what your pet needs. Runner-up: Goof Hands Veternary Hospital Therapist With more than 50 years combined experience in working with children and families, Athens Center for Counseling and Play Therapy is here to help you work through difficult times. Don’t hesitate in giving them a call when you’re in need. Runner-up: Holly Johnson (Pathways, Inc.)
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 57
Athens Area Community Foundation working to expand By Hil ar y Butsche k
The Athens Area Community Foundation is beginning a season of growth with its new president and CEO. Sarah McKinney was welcomed to her new position as the leader of the philanthropic community organization in February. She intends to grow the Athens Area Community Foundation, which manages assets for individuals and families, investing them back into the local community. "What I would like to bring to the table is to define what strategic philanthropy looks like," McKinney said. She will work with the United Way, which has recently publicized its plans to use data and research to determine where money is needed in the Athens community. The reasoning behind strategic philanthropy is to move away from continually funding the same programs and instead research where the money is needed most and which programs are most successful. However, McKinney will work to balance that with another of her obligations: following through on the wishes of her clients.
5 8 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
"We will never encourage a donor to do anything but what they want to do," McKinney said. An individual, a family or a nonprofit organization can come to Athens Area Community Foundation to invest money. As a public grant-making community foundation, the organization partners with donors, nonprofits, and community institutions to build, distribute and preserve philanthropic assets that will enhance quality of life in the area for generations to come. The organization serves Clarke, Barrow, Jackson, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties. "Essentially we help donors leave legacies that have an impact on the community," McKinney said. A majority of the assets the foundation manages are donor-advised funds. Through the various funds the organization manages, it has given more than $2.8 million to the community since its inception in 2009. "We invest your money and we help you make charitable donations to nonprofits, religious organizations, anywhere you want," McKinney said.
Among the organizations helped by the foundation are the Briscoe Family Foundation Fund and the Athens Stepup Scholarship. Matt Dixon created the Briscoe fund with the foundation in honor of her younger brother, Charles Briscoe, who passed away from Multiple Myeloma. The Briscoe foundation contributed to The Cancer Foundation’s March to a Million Endowment Campaign, which helps alleviated the financial burden of cancer treatment. With help from the College Factory and the Athens Area Community Foundation, Athens StepUp annually awards academic scholarships to Athens area high school graduates. In particular, it awards scholarships to students who overcome obstacles to their academic achievement. McKinney, who graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s in social work and later earned a Certificate of Gerontology from Kennesaw State University, a Certificate of Leadership from the University of Dayton, and Certificates of Basic and Advanced Nonprofit Financial Management from Duquesne University’s Nonprofit Leadership Institute. McKinney said she sees the organization expanding to help more people and organizations invest their money back into their community in the future. If you don’t know about the foundation, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing more of it in the future. One of McKinney’s goals in the future is to expand the Athens Area Community Foundation to the five counties surrounding Clarke. "I want people who are not sure where to leave their family legacies to come to us,” McKinney said.
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 59
6 0 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
FALL 2017 I Athens magazine I 3
4 I Athens magazine I fall 2017
Athens Magazine is a quarterly magazine published by The Athens Banner-Herald in Athens, Ga.