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 Classics: Die Hard

Who: SCAD
When: Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.
Where: Lucas Theatre for the Arts
What: Bruce Willis stars as NYPD cop John McClane, whose plans to spend Christmas in Los Angeles with his estranged wife are disrupted when a band of terrorists (led by ultimate villain Alan Rickman) take over his wife's office holiday party. While the film's status as a Christmas movie continues to be a source of great debate, 'Die Hard' indisputably reigns as a stone cold action classic. Presented with drink specials and an air duct ornament giveaway. Yippee ki-yay! Tickets for the film are free for SCAD Card holders, $5 for students, military, and seniors, and $8 for the general public.

Holiday Classics: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Who: SCAD
When: Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.
Where: Lucas Theatre for the Arts
What: As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold's big plans for a family Christmas — in true Griswold fashion — turn into an even bigger disaster. Written by John Hughes and starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas by taking solace in the fact that despite whatever relatives may be headed your way, it could always be worse. Tickets for the film are free for SCAD Card holders, $5 for students, military, and seniors, and $8 for the general public.

Holiday Classics: It's a Wonderful Life

Who: SCAD
When: Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.
Where: Lucas Theatre for the Arts
What: Ring your bell when an angel gets his wings and enjoy this quintessential holiday classic with your family, friends, and neighbors. Frank Capra directs this enduring ode to small-town life that is not only one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time, but also one of the greatest. After facing financial ruin, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) meets his bumbling guardian angel, who shows him what his town would have been like if he had never been born. Tickets for the film are free for SCAD Card holders, $5 for students, military, and seniors, and $8 for the general public.

Local Updates

Islands YMCA gymnasts soar to victories at Georgia State Championship

The Islands YMCA Gymnastics Team recently showcased their skills and brought home accolades (along with a championship banner) at the USA Gymnastics Georgia State Championship in Roswell. The competition, held from Dec. 9-10, drew 266 gymnasts from across the state, competing in Levels 1, 4, and Xcel Bronze.


Guided by coaches Lauren Olsen, Charlotte Boatright, Carol Tanrath, and Rylie Tanrath, the gymnasts competed at the state level in a competition that demanded nothing short of excellence.

Coach Olsen expressed pride in the team's performance, stating, "Our athletes displayed a level of dedication and passion that truly set them apart. Not only is this group hard-working, but they also demonstrate many of the characteristics we encourage in the gym. This victory is a testament to their hard work and the unwavering support of their families and the YMCA community in Savannah and Coastal Georgia."

The athletes, having qualified in prior USA Gymnastics competitions, included seven gymnasts from Islands YMCA representing Level 1: Hayden Attia, Willow Christenberry, Makenzie Jones, Donna Jones, Catherine Roble, Leah Hoffman, and Kennedy Lipski. Hazel Hanno competed in level 4 competition.


In total, the team secured 26 medals across different levels, culminating in the ultimate accolade – the first-place Georgia State Championship banner. This triumph not only solidifies the Islands YMCA Team’s standing as a powerhouse in gymnastics but also underscores the resilience, skill, and camaraderie that define this exceptional group of athletes.


Among the standout performances, four gymnasts clinched State Champion titles in various events:


Hayden Attia won in vault, floor, and all-around categories. Makenzie Jones secured a title in vault. Willow Christenberry won on uneven parallel bars. And Donna Jones won on balance beam.

Family night celebration arrives in Savannah, offering fun, games, and vital healthcare support

Amerigroup Georgia, in partnership with the Savannah Ghost Pirates, recently hosted a “Family Night” offering games, prizes and vital healthcare support to the local community.

This special event was hosted by both organizations in order to provide the community with essential care items, health screenings and fun entertainment, while ensuring attendees maintain crucial healthcare coverage.

“A Medicaid “unwinding” process is underway in Georgia, jeopardizing healthcare coverage for nearly 2 million Medicaid recipients across the state,” said Maria Henriquez, Director of Medicaid Plan Marketing for Amerigroup Georgia. “As of October 2023, 389,726 enrollees were disenrolled, with 56,068 deemed ineligible and 333,658 terminated for procedural reasons across the state of Georgia.”

To tackle this pressing challenge, Amerigroup Georgia is proactively supporting members to navigate the Medicaid redetermination process and determine eligibility by collaborating with local agencies and community partners statewide.

“The COVID pandemic helped us realize how critical health insurance coverage is for physical, mental and financial wellness, and affordable coverage can be accessed by Georgians of all ages and most circumstances, but action must be taken to secure this coverage,” said Mel Lindsay, Amerigroup Georgia Plan President.

“Understanding eligibility and coverage options can be confusing, but tools and resources are available to help people identify options and enroll in a health plan that can make a life-changing difference.”

Amerigroup Georgia is working to distribute renewal kits, assist provider offices and host community events such as this one in Savannah where representatives can help community members find coverage directly.

“We are so grateful that we can host amazing events in the community with local organizations, all while providing fun, entertainment and essential items that will improve our attendee's quality of life and well-being,” Henriquez said.

You can visit Georgia Gateway (gateway.ga.gov/access/) for easy-to-understand instructions for renewing Medicaid coverage, shopping for individual coverage and accessing support. For those facing coverage loss, explore the new Georgia Pathways to Coverage program and how to apply at dch.georgia.gov/georgiapathways.

Kaiser Permanente Community Health Fund Awards Forsyth Farmers' Market $50,000 in Grant Funding to Support Food Truck 912, Food Farmacy Programs

The Forsyth Farmers’ Market, South Georgia’s largest farmers market, recently received $50,000 in grant funding from the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Fund to support community outreach programs designed to expand access to healthy food throughout the Savannah area.

A $25,000 grant to support the Forsyth Farmers’ Market’s 912 Food Farmacy program will be allocated to support the purchase of nutrient-rich, healthy foods, ensuring access for food-insecure families and fostering improved nutrition and wellness in the community. The 912 Food Farmacy program, which serves more than 1,000 community members, offers participants a free monthly nutrition class as well as free produce vouchers that can be used at the Forsyth Farmers’ Market or on the mobile Farm Truck 912.


Forsyth Farmers’ Market will use a second $25,000 grant to support the Farm Truck 912 program, which is focused on increasing access to nutrient-dense produce within local low-income communities. With this support, Farm Truck 912 will subsidize the cost of high-quality, fresh produce, ensuring that individuals in low-income communities have access to essential, healthy foods. This initiative aims to bridge the food access gap by fostering healthier lifestyles and promoting food equity within underserved neighborhoods, connecting residents with local farmers to support and enhance their access to fresh, nutritious produce. The 912 Farm Truck currently serves more than 400 people in 28 neighborhoods weekly, bringing more than 65 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to area residents every week.


“We’re incredibly grateful for this generous grant funding from Kaiser Permanente, which supports two of our signature programs focused on expanding access to fresh, healthy produce in communities throughout the Savannah area while ensuring that our farmers are financially secure,” explains Forsyth Farmers’ Market Executive Director Dr. Deidre Grim. “The Forsyth Farmers’ Market is ‘sow’ much more than a market. We believe that everyone in Savannah has the right to healthy food and are committed to farmer support, food justice and reducing food insecurity through our community outreach programs.”

To learn more about the Forsyth Farmers’ Market, please visit forsythfarmersmarket.com.

Kendall Graham joins Historic Savannah Foundation as education & research associate

Historic Savannah Foundation is pleased to announce that Kendall Graham has joined the organization as its new education & research associate.


Graham will be responsible for helping fulfill HSF’s mission to preserve and

click to enlarge Connect Savannah News & Notes
Courtesy of Historic Savannah Foundation

 protect Savannah’s heritage through education by implementing outreach programs and communication to HSF members, community organizations and the general public. She will work directly under the guidance of CEO Sue Adler to coordinate lectures and workshops, develop educational activities and programs, manage HSF’s preservation and easement programs and summer interns, and assist with outreach to local schools, among other duties.

“We are delighted to bring Kendall to our team,” said Sue Adler, President and CEO of HSF. “She has extensive experience working in museums and non-profits, in addition to being well-versed in educational programming and historic house museums.”

“I am thrilled to put my passion to work at Historic Savannah Foundation," said Graham. ”I truly love conducting research to bring the soul of historic buildings to life and look forward to the contributions I can make to protect Savannah’s historic districts.”

Graham came to Savannah from the Asheville, North Carolina, area and has called Savannah home for nearly five years. She holds a Master’s degree in Preservation Studies from Tulane University and double majored in History and English Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She most recently served as Communications and Development Coordinator at Coastal Heritage Society, and, prior to that, in Membership and Special Events roles with CHS. She was also previously employed as a Historical Interpreter at Telfair Museums’ Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. When she is not in the archives, Kendall can be found swimming in the ocean or camping in the mountains, rescuing cats, practicing yoga and reading Victorian novels.

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society gives reminder about deadline for Georgia savings plan for people with disabilities

The Georgia STABLE/Path2College Matching Scholarship’s deadline to apply is fast approaching with less than two months to apply.

The Georgia STABLE/Path2College Matching Scholarship initiative is designed to assist families in saving for their child’s future education expenses. If your child is 18 or under, you can apply for this program and receive matching funds of up to $2,500 when you make net contributions to the child’s Georgia STABLE account from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2023.


Every dollar saved in the child’s Georgia STABLE account can be matched and deposited into the child’s Path2College 529 savings plan, effectively doubling their savings. Matching Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis for new or existing Georgia STABLE account owners who apply by entering the scholarship promotion code “MATCH2023” through their Georgia STABLE account.

Applying for the program is simple and can be done in a few easy steps: Sign in or open the child’s Georgia STABLE account at georgiastable.com/gateway .Enter the scholarship promotion code “MATCH2023” through the child’s Georgia STABLE account. Make contributions to the child’s Georgia STABLE account. We will match net contributions less any withdrawals made from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2023.

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) urges you not to miss out on this chance to invest in your child’s education. If you have any questions, please contact Georgia STABLE at [email protected] or 404-656-2168 ext. 6. Additional information can be found on the Office of the State Treasurer’s website at GA STABLE/P2C Matching Scholarship | Office of the State Treasurer (georgia.gov).

     

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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