Abbie DeLoach Foundation to host annual scholarship luncheon while raising awareness about distracted driving

Updated April 14, 2023 at 8:51 a.m.

Most in this region remember the tragedy that occurred on April 22, 2015, when five Georgia Southern University nursing students were killed in a collision caused by a distracted driver. One of the students who lost her life that day was Savannah native Abbie DeLoach. A year following the accident, Abbie’s father, Jimmy DeLoach Jr., founded the Abbie DeLoach Foundation (ADF). 

A charitable nonprofit, ADF's mission is to reward academic excellence, exemplary service-work and athletic commitment, all of which were officials with the organization say were very important to Abbie. ADF aims to continue her legacy of selfless service and compassion for all. 

To that end, ADF has provided $1.25 million in scholarships and is gearing up to host their seventh annual scholarship class luncheon during which the ADF Class of 2023 scholarship recipients will be awarded . 

“This luncheon is about celebrating each recipient and their accomplishments, and sharing our mission of doing good work,” said Jimmy DeLoach, Jr. 

This year, Dr. Sherry Danello, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at St. Joseph/Candler Health System will be the guest speaker. 

“The Abbie DeLoach Foundation has become an incredible organization in our community, just as its namesake was an incredible person and student nurse,” said Danello. “I’m grateful to be part of this event and see the wonderful and talented students ADF has supported. They indeed encourage all to live inspired.”

April is also National Distracted Driving Month. To raise awareness and prevent distracted driving disasters, ADF encourages drivers to commit to phone-free driving with their #HandsFreeForAbbie Pledge

In 2022, the Georgia Department of Driver Services reported more than 50,000 distracted driver convictions, which indicates that too many Georgia drivers are failing to focus on the road. Through the hands-free pledge and their many efforts, ADF works toward the prevention of distracted driving to save lives. ADF organizers ask that drivers commit to the pledge and spread awareness about distracted driving by using the #HandsFreeForAbbie hashtag. They also welcome the public to attend this year’s scholarship luncheon to contribute to the good work that ADF is doing.

The ADF 2023 annual luncheon will take place on Friday, April 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Savannah Golf Club. For tickets and more information, visit

Published April 11, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.


Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton is a compelling storyteller with an ever-growing curiosity. She's built a rewarding writing career for herself in addition to serving five years as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She's an NPR nerd with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and adventure. She...
Comments (0)
Add a Comment

  • or

Right Now On

By Film...

By Theater...