Breaking Good News: Nonprofit Highlights

Spreading good news about nonprofits, charity and goodwill in our community.

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society announces 15th annual Camp Buddy in Chatham Country, July 8–12

click to enlarge Breaking Good News: Nonprofit Highlights
Courtesy of Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will be hosting its 15th annual Camp Buddy summer camp for Chatham County on July 8 – 12 at St. Andrews School, located at 601 Penn Waller Road, on Wilmington Island.

Camp Buddy is for children of all ages with Down syndrome and is designed to help students prepare for the upcoming school year with a specially designed curriculum.

Activities that take place during Camp Buddy include, but are not limited to, cooking, art, crafts, life skill lessons, physical and occupational therapy, money and time management-related activities. These activities are created and designed to grow the students' knowledge base and hands-on experience with real-life scenarios. Money and time management will help the students with real-life purchasing processes and understand the importance of a daily routine. Cooking activities present real-life situations that focus on safety and following instructions and steps to create the dish and achieve the goal. Arts and crafts will help develop hand strength and muscle development with physical therapy activities such as scooter board riding that helps develop core strength that in turn helps with small muscle development.

For more than 15 years, the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society has been helping students with Down syndrome enjoy summer fun at Camp Buddy with a customized curriculum designed by special education, occupational, physical, and speech therapists that helps the students retain the information they learned during the previous school year and preparing for the upcoming school year.

Throughout the camp session, occupational, physical, and speech therapy are cleverly disguised as games, and campers participate in activities that promote health and wellness as well as the importance of giving back to the community.

Camp Buddy is sponsored by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and is made possible through the generosity of the community, friends and families of LDSS and events such as the Buddy Walk and Night of Champions. Camp Buddy for Effingham County was held in June. For more information about LDSS, visit

Historic Savannah Foundation to host lecture about “The Revitalization of Waters Avenue” on Thursday, August 15

click to enlarge Breaking Good News: Nonprofit Highlights
Photo Credit: Ann Sosbe, One Horse Photography
Local preservationist and award-winning small-scale developer Briana Paxton’s will discuss “The Revitalization of Waters Avenue” on August 15 as part of Historic Savannah Foundation’s 2024 HSF Lecture Series.

Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) will host a special discussion about “The Revitalization of Waters Avenue” on Thursday, August 15 at the HSF headquarters, located at 321 E. York St., as part of the 2024 Historic Savannah Foundation Lecture Series, “The People, Places and Stories That Define Savannah.” Attendees are invited to a wine reception at 5:30 p.m. The discussion will start at 6 p.m.

This event will feature local preservationist and award-winning small-scale developer Briana Paxton, who will discuss her role in redeveloping a neglected historic building on Waters Avenue and helping to restore this blighted corridor as a hub of local commerce. Through this locally-focused renovation project rooted in preservation best practices, Paxton has provided space for three small businesses, given new life to a historic structure and contributed to the revitalization of Savannah’s historic Waters Avenue corridor.

“People often think that preservation requires the backing of a large company, but Briana is proof that a small-scale, local developer can make a big difference,” said Historic Savannah Foundation CEO and President Sue Adler. “Briana offers tremendous insight into the local preservation movement and will share her first-hand experiences as a developer, volunteer and community activist. We hope her lecture will inspire more Savannahians to get involved in preserving our city’s treasured history.”

The revitalization of Waters Avenue officially began in 2015 when the City of Savannah launched a multi-million-dollar Streetscape Plan along Waters Avenue from Victory Drive to Wheaton Street. Improvements included the addition of brick sidewalks, stamped brick crosswalks, landscaping, neighborhood gateways and ornamental lighting.

In 2022, Paxton and fellow Savannah local Brad Baugh purchased a corner building located at 2409 Waters Ave. The c.1930 building was originally constructed as part of the new Chatham Crescent neighborhood. Over time, numerous businesses occupied the building’s storefronts. In the 1970s, the building served as the Carousel Lounge, an African American disco and jazz bar known for hosting performances by prominent jazz musicians. The building was largely vacant from 1994 to 2002 and later served as a church.

After a meticulous restoration, the building reopened in 2023 with three small businesses, including Cast & Grey Botanical, The Stacks Bookstore and the soon-to-open Good Fortune Market. This renovation project, led by Paxton and her team of local professionals, was honored at the 2024 Historic Savannah Foundation Preservation Awards for demonstrating the highest level of excellence for preservation in Savannah and Chatham County.

Paxton, a long-time volunteer with HSF, was named the nonprofit organization’s Volunteer of the Year in 2022 for her efforts to support HSF’s affordable housing initiatives. Recently, Paxton examined the widespread impact of historic housing practices and shared her findings at TEDxSavannah 2024, where she was a featured speaker and delivered an inspiring talk entitled “Converging Lines: Redlining and Zoning in Savannah, Georgia.” In addition to her local contributions, Paxton brings the preservationist voice to Congress as the Chairwoman of Preservation Action, a grassroots lobbying group dedicated to historic preservation.

The next speaker in HSF’s 2024 Lecture Series will be HSF Director of Preservation & Historic Properties Ellie Isaacs discussing “Evolving the Revolving Fund” on September 19. For more information about the HSF Lecture Series, please visit

Historic Savannah Foundation’s 2024 Lecture Series is open to the public. Reservations are recommended, as space is limited. Attendance is free for Historic Savannah Foundation members and $15 for non-members. Members and non-members may RSVP by emailing Kendall Graham at [email protected] or calling 912-233-7787, ext. 109.

Historic Savannah Foundation hires Kristin Mikles as Senior Program Manager at the Davenport House Museum

click to enlarge Breaking Good News: Nonprofit Highlights
Courtesy of Historic Savannah Foundation
Kristin Mikles, Senior Program Manager, Davenport House Museum

Historic Savannah Foundation—the leading nonprofit cultural institution dedicated to saving the buildings, places and stories that define Savannah’s past, present and future—recently hired Kristin Mikles as the Davenport House Museum’s Senior Program Manager. In her new position, Mikles helps organize and execute a wide range of community-based programs at the Davenport House Museum, the 1820 Federal-style home and iconic Historic Savannah Foundation property that launched Savannah’s modern-day preservation movement.

Prior to joining the Davenport House Museum, Mikles worked as a Gallery Host at the Telfair Museums in Savannah. She started her museum career at the Delaware Historical Society in Wilmington, Delaware, where she researched and curated a first-of-its-kind exhibition on queer history in Delaware.

Born and raised in Newark, Delaware, Mikles spent her middle and high school years at Cab Calloway School of the Arts studying Theatre and Technical Theatre. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a major in American History and a minor in Ancient Greek. She has studied six languages, written three self-published novels, and enjoys living in Savannah.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Kristin to the Davenport House and appreciate her passion for history, languages and programming,” said Danielle Hodes, Executive Director of the Davenport House Museum. “She brings a creative eye to her new position and will help us expand our year-round programming to welcome even more local residents and visitors to the Davenport House in the future.”


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...