Connect Savannah News & Notes

Updated April 18, 2023 at 12:49 p.m.

There’s always something happening in the Hostess City. Stay in the know about upcoming events and the latest information with our News & Notes. 

Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum receives major grant

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force’s Maximum Effort capital campaign recently received a boost with the award of a major $750,000 grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The Woodruff Foundation grant moves the campaign close to $9 million in gifts and pledges. The goal is $12 million.

Improving the visitor experience is one of the campaign’s goals. This includes a 25,000-square-foot addition to the existing museum for new galleries; dedicated space for classrooms for history and STEM education; new and upgraded exhibitions; a visible collections gallery; and expanded areas for enhanced care of the museum’s permanent collection of materials associated with Eighth Air Force history.

“The Woodruff Foundation grant lends true credibility to the museum’s fundraising efforts. It will attract additional support, propelling the Maximum Effort initiative to successful completion,” said Mighty Eighth Museum CEO Scott Loehr.

Construction on the museum addition will begin this summer. The project will be completed in 2025. Please contact the museum at (912) 988-1831 for more information on Maximum Effort: The Campaign for the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.

United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Women Who Rule event and campaign raises record amount

United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Women Who Rule campaign and event, held on March 14 at the Savannah Convention Center, set a new fundraising record this year, bringing in a net total of $63,652 for the Women United’s Transportation Fund.

Donations continued after the sold-out event, as people and groups took advantage of the ongoing opportunity to recognize women who rule in their own worlds by making contributions of $100 or more. Those honorees were recognized on United Way’s collection of active social media accounts throughout the month of March.

“We proudly celebrated our 10th Women Who Rule event this year. Thanks to this community, the event and the funds raised grow each year,” said Brynn Grant, president & CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “The urgency of helping people get where they need to go – to work, to the doctor, to buy food – resonates with our generous community.”

This popular annual event raises funds for residents across our region who need dependable transportation. Each year an average of 2,000 individuals/families in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties receive support in the form of gas cards, bus passes, and even minor car repairs thanks to this effort. These funds are distributed through United Way’s 211 Information & Referral Service, county service centers in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty counties, and nonprofit partners.

Visit for more information. 

Music and Artistic Director Keitaro Harada renews contract with Savannah Philharmonic

The Savannah Philharmonic announced recently that Conductor Keitaro Harada’s contract was renewed as Music and Artistic Director through the 2026-27 Season.

Having joined the Philharmonic during the 2020-21 Season, he has conducted concerts throughout the region, from downtown Savannah to Richmond Hill, to Statesboro. Harada also serves as the Associate Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

“We are so fortunate to have Kei with us for four more years. He inspires us all with his ideas and energy, and we lead together with the goal of bringing the joy of music to as many people as possible,” states Dr. Williams. “This partnership led to us launching our Phil the Neighborhoods series last season, and then welcoming 20,000 people to Phil the Park in Forsyth, and also expanding our music education programs and putting instruments in the hands of kids across Savannah.”

To learn more, please visit

Savannah Classical Academy receives $26,000 from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation to fund STEAM programs

On Friday, April 14, Mark Bennett, Public Affairs Executive at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, presented Barry Lollis, CEO of Savannah Classical Academy (SCA), with a check for $26,000 to support the continuation and growth of the charter school’s science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) programs.

“This generous grant will strengthen our efforts to further initiatives in STEAM education and will be used to expand our Middle and High School Computer Science programs. We appreciate this support which will help us provide every student with the tools they need to achieve and excel,” said Barry Lollis. “Gulfstream is a major contributor to our community’s quality of life, and we are grateful for the commitment they have made to SCA students enabling us to enhance and expand our STEAM programs.”

Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) was founded in Chatham County in 2013 as a lottery enrollment public charter school. SCA’s mission is to “provide every child with a classical and academically rigorous education while instilling a commitment to civic virtue and moral character.”

“Gulfstream is dedicated to the communities where our employees live and work,” said Ira Berman, senior vice president, administration and general counsel, Gulfstream. “We appreciate SCA’s efforts to provide enriching educational experiences that inspire young scholars in the area. By partnering together we are able to support more future leaders.”

Published April 18, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

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