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

Upcoming Events

Holiday Spectacular with the SCAD Bee Sharps

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Courtesy of SCAD

Who: SCAD Bee Sharps
When: Thursday, Dec.14 at 7 p.m.
Where: Lucas Theatre for the Arts
What: SCAD is excited to announce that Broadway star Michael James Scott (Aladdin, The Book of Mormon) will make a dazzling special guest appearance at SCAD's Holiday Spectacular. Scott has played the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin internationally including Broadway in New York, London, the North American Tour, and Australia.

Join Scott and the SCAD Bee Sharps, the university's elite performance ensemble, for an evening of carols and good cheer at the all-new Holiday Spectacular concert. The Bee Sharps will be accompanied by alumni guest stars, including American Idol winner Candice Glover (B.F.A., dramatic writing, 2022), and Showtime at the Apollo winner George Lovett (B.F.A., performing arts, 2011) as SCAD celebrates the holiday season. Guests will step into a winter wonderland to enjoy old and new holiday favorites at this festive new tradition directed by Tony Award-nominated producer, actor, and SCAD artistic director of executive ensembles Mike Evariste. More information is available online.

Holiday Happenings: 'The Polar Express' Pajama Party

Who: SCAD
When: Saturday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m.
Where: Trustees Theater
What: Don your most festive pajamas for a wondrous morning watching the animated adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's 'The Polar Express.' In Robert Zemeckis' groundbreaking CGI film, Tom Hanks stars as the conductor of a magical train that whisks children off to the North Pole. All attendees, young and old, are encouraged to wear pajamas and will receive a special sleigh bell to ring. Includes free cookies and concessions! This event is free and open to SCAD Card holders and the general public with the donation of a non-perishable food item benefiting America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. Reserve free tickets online.

Holiday Happenings: The Santa Clause

Who: SCAD
When: Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.
Where: Trustees Theater
What: Take a trip to the North Pole with Tim Allen's jaded toy company executive who accidentally finds himself contractually obligated to become the new Santa after putting on Santa's suit. Will he rise to the occasion and take the reins of the sleigh, or will count himself among the growing amount of nonbelievers. Brimming with old-fashioned holiday spirit and clever charm, this magical comedy is a family favorite. Includes free cookies and concessions! This event is free and open to SCAD Card holders and the general public with the donation of a non-perishable food item benefiting America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. Reserve free tickets online.

Holiday Happenings: White Christmas

Who: SCAD
When: Saturday, Dec.16 at 7 p.m.
Where: Trustees Theater
What: A white Christmas may not be in the cards for Savannah, but you can still make your days merry and bright with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen at this treasured Christmas classic. Shot in glorious VistaVision, this Technicolor dream of a Christmas extravaganza is a joyous and heartwarming holiday treat, thanks in no small part to its iconic selection of top-drawer songs from legendary composer Irving Berlin. Includes free cookies and concessions! This event is free and open to SCAD Card holders and the general public with the donation of a non-perishable item benefiting America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. Reserve free tickets online.

Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision announces 2024 Dining in the Dark

Who: The Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision
When: Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024
Where: Enmarket Arena, 620 Stiles Avenue
What: Tickets are on sale now for the annual sell-out signature event, Dining in the Dark.

“This one-of-a-kind unique gala dinner was designed to raise awareness about vision loss. Experiencing a wonderfully prepared three course meal served in complete darkness by Savannah’s very own SWAT team using special night vision technology, we hope our attendees get a glimpse of the challenges our clients encounter. Sometimes the lights don’t come on for many people and this is our way of literally shedding light on their darkness” shares SCBLV Executive Director Lois Modell.

“As a board member, I am very excited to be associated with the Center and their entire team, Lois, Leslie, and others, as they are truly making a difference in people’s lives. On behalf of the entire staff at Enmarket Arena, we are looking forward to again, welcoming their annual fundraiser to our facility. It is going to be something special, and we are proud to be a part of it!” said Derek Goldfarb, Enmarket Arena’s Regional Director of Partnerships.

The event offers guests a peek into an unfamiliar world of total blindness and helps them to discover a new, deeper understanding of vision loss. Dining in the Dark would not be possible without the support of the Savannah SWAT Team. This volunteer team helps escort the guest and serves dinner in complete darkness, offering a one-of-a-kind experience. Tickets can be purchased online.

Local Updates

Memorial Health CEO Brad Talbert elected to Georgia Hospital Association Board of Trustees

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Courtesy of Memorial Health

Memorial Health CEO Bradley (Brad) S. Talbert, FACHE, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA). Talbert will serve as an at-large trustee, where his duties will include working with the Board to develop strategies for GHA hospital members, advocating for the highest quality care for patients, and supporting adequate reimbursement for hospitals.

“Brad Talbert is a knowledgeable leader whose proficiency in health care management has resulted in improved care for many communities,” said GHA President and CEO Caylee Noggle. “The GHA Board will greatly benefit from his experience, and we look forward to his service.”

Talbert has served as CEO of Memorial Health, a 711-bed teaching hospital and healthcare system, since March 2023. Under his leadership, Memorial Health has earned verification as a Level 1 trauma center by the American College of Surgeons as well as two consecutive “A” Hospital Safety Grades from The Leapfrog Group. Talbert previously served as CEO of the 454-bed HCA Florida Memorial Hospital (HFMH) in Jacksonville, Fla. During his tenure, the hospital achieved its highest physician engagement in more than a decade, earned five consecutive Leapfrog A quality ratings, was named a Healthgrades Top 250 Hospital and earned Level II Trauma accreditation. Talbert was responsible for more than $100M in capital expansions and investments at HFMH. Prior to joining HCA Healthcare, Talbert was CEO at two Tenet Health hospitals in SC.

Healthy Savannah Says There’s Still Time to Get a Flu V

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Courtesy of Ad Council

accine; National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 4 – 8.

Seniors, children, Black and Hispanic people are at greatest risk of hospitalization.

Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia are reminding everyone 6 months and older that there’s still time to get a flu vaccine. As administrators of a five-year, $5.1 million Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September 2023, the organizations are observing National Influenza Vaccination Week from Dec. 4-8, 2023, with an important public message about the availability and accessibility of the flu vaccine.

“As colder weather settles in, holiday travel is taking place and families are gathering, it is important to be aware of flu season,” said Dr. Elsie Smalls, operations manager. “Flu viruses usually spread more rapidly in fall and winter, with peak activity from December through February. National Influenza Vaccination Week is a great opportunity to get your flu vaccine, and this is especially important for pregnant women and their developing babies, children from 6 months through 5 years of age and for certain racial and ethnic groups.

According to the CDC, Black and Hispanic people have had consistently higher rates of severe flu outcomes, including hospitalization and ICU admission. Compared with white people, flu hospitalization rates from 2009-2019 were nearly two times higher among Black persons and 1.2 times higher among Hispanic or Latino persons.

“Most of us know the flu can make you sick, but it can also cause life-threatening complications for people who are older than 65; people with conditions like diabetes, lung or heart disease; and those with liver, blood, metabolic, and immune system disorders," said Nichele Hoskins, communication manager. “Getting the flu vaccine, along with handwashing, avoiding others when sick, and masking, are important steps to protect against the flu.”

Flu viruses are constantly changing and since protection from vaccination decreases over time, Healthy Savannah and the “Y” want to remind residents of Savannah’s low-income communities, in particular, to get a flu vaccine every year.

“Flu vaccines are the only vaccines that protect against flu and are proven to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death,” said Smalls. “More good news is that you may be able to get the flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines at the same time.”

“Together, we can use National Influenza Vaccination Week as a call to action to encourage everyone 6 months and older to get all of their recommended vaccines, especially people at higher risk,” said Hoskins.

Hoskins says free COVID-19 vaccines are now available to the uninsured and underinsured through the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Local providers offering the no-cost vaccines include the Coastal Health District’s Eisenhower Clinic, J. C. Lewis Primary Health Care and select CVS and Walgreens branches.

The Department of Health is also offering free test kits – one for COVID, and one for influenza – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at testing kiosks throughout the Coastal Health District. Pre-registration is not required but is available online. Find a flu vaccine near you at vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/. For more information about REACH grant-funded adult immunization initiatives in Savannah and Chatham County, visit healthysavannah.org/adult-immunization/.

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...


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