Monthly Archives

October 2008

(SAVANNAH) November is National Runaway Prevention Month

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Park Place Outreach Inc. along with the National Runaway Switchboard are trying to increase awareness about the benefits of this special month:  to raise awareness of the issues facing runaway youth; and to educate the public about solutions and the role they can play in preventing youth from running away.
According to the National Runaway Switchboard, when a youth runs away, the impact is felt throughout the entire community.   That’s why Park Place is encouraging everyone to participate in National Runaway Prevention Month. 
The theme for NRPM 2008 is Let’s Talk.  This year’s theme was chosen in support of the National Runaway Switchboard’s second year of implementing its new program, Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum, which provides easy to use lessons on various topics as well as interactive, youth approved activities.
Let’s Talk is a 14-module curriculum intended to build life skills; increase knowledge about runaway resources and prevention; and educate about alternatives to running away.  Included in this e-mail you will find a link to a catalogue and order form for free promotional materials ( available from the National Runaway Switchboard, as well as a the downloadable Home Free Poster( and the Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum. (
Park Place provides emergency shelter and street outreach for adolescents ages 11 through 17 and their families. It is the only agency located within Chatham County that serves youth at no charge who are accepted without a referral to receive help.  Park Place opened in 1984. There are approximately 15-30 youth residents served each month.

For more information on Park Place, call (912) 234-4048.

(ATLANTA, GA) Stage Front Presentation Systems Expands to Serve the Atlanta Area

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Stage Front Presentation Systems (Stage Front)-one of the most respected and successful performance and presentation contractors in the Southeast-has recently expanded, opening an Atlanta office to serve the metro area and north Georgia. 
Stage Front has serviced the Atlanta area from their Savannah location for a number of years.  Now operating out of their new Atlanta branch they will be able to better meet the high demand for their technical systems services in the northern part of the state.  Mark Folks has been hired as Director of Operations and will manage the Stage Front -Atlanta office.
"Mark Folks has extensive experience in the AV industry and the Atlanta market," said Steve Stephens, President of Stage Front.  "We’re very glad to have him lead our effort to provide full systems design and installation for our clients in the upper part of the state."
According to Stephens, eighty-five percent of Stage Front’s business is from repeat and referral work.  "Our clients have high expectations for systems that meet their needs for presentation, education and entertainment while meeting tight budgets and schedules," he said. "Quick support is essential and Mark and our team in Atlanta provide that support."
Stage Front’s growth has been steady since its inception in 1978.  In addition to the recent expansion into the Atlanta market, they will be opening a Charleston office this year.  With 60 employees and a national network of 44 affiliated USAV dealer locations, Stage Front supports installations across the United States and beyond.
Stage Front Presentation Systems is a leader among performance and presentation contractors in the Southeast.  In 2007 they were awarded the AIA Savannah Artisan Award by the Savannah chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).  As a full line design-build audiovisual integrator and contractor they have the ability to support projects from conception to completion, designing and installing technical systems such as audio, video, lighting and curtains that help people to better educate, communicate and entertain. 
Stage Front Presentation Systems is located at 6 Southern Oaks Drive in Savannah.  For more information, call (912) 236-1345 or log on to

(Richmond Hill, GA) “The Art of Sending a Card” Renaissance Lecture Series

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Lisa Cree will be the next speaker for Magnolia Manor on the Coast’s Renaissance Lecture Series.  The event, titled “The Art of Sending a Card” is scheduled for Thursday, November 13th 2008 from 5:30-6:30pm.
According to Cree’s website, her business “Send Out Cards” is “a concept and service that is changing people’s lives.”  The company allows customers to send a printed greeting card with a custom message in less than 60 seconds. Then, “Send Out Cards” prints it, stuffs it and mails it, all for less than a greeting card at the store.

During her lecture, Cree will unveil some of the most popular messages and why her business is better than using a traditional store bought card.  For more information, go to or call (912) 927-2838.

Each month, Magnolia Manor hosts the Renaissance Lecture Series at its Richmond Hill campus. The event begins at 5:30 and includes a light supper. After the guest concludes his/her speech, a question and answer session follows. The event is free and open to the public, but guests are asked to RSVP by calling Julie Gartside at (912) 756-4300.

Magnolia Manor on the Coast, located in Richmond Hill, is a non-profit, active, rental retirement community for seniors age 62 and older. It offers 120 one and two-bedroom apartment homes with full kitchens and patios. Located on 40 wooded acres, Magnolia Manor offers stimulating social and cultural activities and has amenities such as a wellness center with indoor exercise pool, barber and beauty salon, library and media center, game and activity rooms, three full-service dining rooms, as well as a formal parlor and chapel.

For more information or to request a brochure, please call (912) 756-4300.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Light The Night Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International

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(SAVANNAH, GA) – Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty associates and friends along with members of Bouhan, Williams & Levy law firm raised funds for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Nita Williams during Savannah Light The Night, the society’s annual fundraising walk.
Those on the Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty team included Larry and Celia Dunn, walking with their dog Jasper; Karen and Felton Jenkins, walking with their dogs Lucy and Hooch; Jean Stacy and Chris Tolleson; Lamar and Frances Walter; Fran and Bryan Connerat; Celia H. Dunn; Dr. Keith Seibert and Eve Seibert, walking with their poodles, Springer and Charles; and members of Bouhan Williams & Levy law firm.
The event celebrates and commemorates those whose lives have been touched by cancer. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s mission is to find a cure for blood cancers and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
Known for its tradition of integrity, Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty specializes in residential and commercial properties in Savannah and the Low Country of Georgia and South Carolina. Founded in 1981, Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty is noted for outstanding service to its clients, thorough knowledge of Savannah and the South Carolina Low Country, and excellent staff, in addition to having one of the region’s top property management departments. The owners are natives of Savannah who have more than 60 years’ combined experience in real estate. The offices are locate d at 9, 13, and 17 West Charlton Street on Madison Square in Savannah and 6 Bruin Street in Bluffton, S.C.
For more information, call Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty at (912) 234-3323 or visit To contact the Bluffton office, call (843) 836-3900.

(Savannah, GA) Announces Top Ranking In Google, Yahoo and MSN

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(Savannah, GA)’s goal is to advertise job openings for employers in the area. These keyword rankings insure that job seekers will find has measurable evidence of that greatness, as they announce their ranking for job searches among the largest internet search engines.
"According to Google, Yahoo and MSN," explains Rob Jones, president of, " ranks #1 as the most searched sites for jobs in Savannah, GA."
Rob Jones doesn’t take all the credit for the sites success, with the help from River Horse Internet Marketing, has seen remarkable growth from following the strategic marketing plan developed with the marketing  powerhouse.
"Joe Ippolito at River Horse Internet Marketing has a plethora of knowledge and we were fortunate enough to learn from him and implement a number of things that has increased our success tenfold," says Jones.  "We learned a lot about online search from River Horse Internet Marketing with the hope of helping our clients find more job seekers". was launched in 2000 and is currently one of the most visited job search boards in the Savannah area.  Their family of sites include,,,, and

(SAVANNAH, GA) “The Great Day of Thanksgiving,” Old Savannah City Mission & Wiley’s BBQ

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Join Wiley’s Championship BBQ and friends for owner, Wiley’s birthday, at Whitemarsh Plaza on October 22 from 5:30 pm to 7:30pm.
Wiley’s BBQ has played a key role in Old Savannah City Mission’s annual signature event “The Great Day of Thanksgiving,” scheduled this year for November 22nd in Forsyth Park.  Wiley is requesting no gifts; simply donations being made to OSCM.
He asks that a cash or check donation small or large, be made out to the Old Savannah City Mission or OSCM Great Day.
Over the last three years, Wiley and his wife Janet, have led more than 500 volunteers in feeding more that 3,500 people for OSCM Great Day of Thanksgiving.  This year, they will organize and coordinate the participation of many of Savannah’s finest restaurants and caterers, including Savannah Technical College, The Mansion on Forsyth Park, The Lady & Sons, Savor Savannah Catering, The Chatham Club, Blowing Smoke BBQ and Paul Kennedy Catering.
In November 2007, Georgia and South Carolina BBQ champions Wiley and Janet McCrary placed first in both pork ribs and beef brisket in the by-invitation-only National Barbecue Festival.  Their restaurant theme: “World-class BBQ in your own back yard.
Wiley’s Championship BBQ is located on Whitemarsh Island, 6 miles from Savannah’s downtown Historic District — 4700 U.S. Highway 80 East, Suite N, Whitemarsh Island (at Hwy 80 & Islands Expressway).  For more information, call 912) 201-3259.  The website, is in the works.
Old Savannah City Mission aspires to be “Savannah’s Five Star Gospel Rescue Mission" with high standards, strong boundaries and clear direction.  Its mission is to change lives through proclaiming the Gospel, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, rehabilitating the addict, and restoring the ex-offender.  In 2007 the mission provided 122,074 meals and more than 27,000 shelter beds without one dime of tax payer funds. 

The Mission is a Savannah based non-profit organization, works with a staff of just seven employees; however, there are hundreds of volunteers who deliver services to the community’s most vulnerable and needy citizens in a highly cost effective way.  To learn more, log on to or call Jim Lewis or Connell Stiles at 912-232-1979.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Sustainable Fellwood receives Low Income Housing Tax Credits

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The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has awarded State and Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits for Sustainable Fellwood’s second phase of development, which will include 110 multi-family units. Groundbreaking for Phase II is planned for Fall 2009.
"I take satisfaction in knowing Sustainable Fellwood will continue to move toward accomplishing the goals of the City and community," said Sylvester Formey, president of Vanguard Developers LLC. "The project is the Mayor’s, City Council’s and Housing Authority of Savannah’s catalyst not only for Westside affordable housing but also for what we expect to be commercial/business development." Most of the workers at this stage are from the community and were trained by the Construction Apprentice Program, (part of the mayor’s Step Up Savannah program), he added.

Sustainable Fellwood is envisioned as a $50 million mixed-use development which will include public, affordable and market-rate multi-family housing, senior housing, single family homes, retail and commercial space, organic community gardens, and significant green space.

Sustainable Fellwood has been accepted into the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® for Neighborhood Development pilot program, is also part of Southface Energy Institute’s EarthCraft Communities on the Coast and will be guided by the Smart Growth Network’s principles for diverse, walkable, distinctive, attractive communities. These programs ensure that residents of this environmentally friendly community will also have energy efficient homes.

Construction has already begun on the first phase of Sustainable Fellwood, which includes 110 public/affordable housing units, infrastructure providing recreation and green space, and five single family homes.

Sustainable Fellwood, which serves as a principal component of the City of Savannah’s Westside Development Revitalization Plan, is widely considered a national showcase for environmentally-responsible community planning.

Sustainable Fellwood is a mixed use, mixed income Housing Authority of Savannah redevelopment. Master Developer: Melaver, Inc., in partnership with Parallel Housing, Progressive Redevelopment, and Vanguard Developers. In collaboration with: Lott Barber, Architecture and Planning, Catamount Constructors, Inc., City of Savannah, and CHSA Development of Savannah.

(Savannah, GA) Mortgage Funds Available But the Public May Not Realize It

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(SAVANNAH) – Everyone’s paying more attention to economic news these days because of the recent financial meltdown. As a result, mortgage professionals say, many people are assuming money’s not available for mortgage loans. But the funds are readily available.
Lin Walsh, owner of AccuMortgage, was surprised recently to learn that people are assuming they can’t get a mortgage now.
 “Until last week I didn’t know the public perception is that there’s no money to lend – that is such as misnomer,” Walsh said. “We still have all the money we had to lend. We’ve got plenty of money to lend.”
“It just appalled me – someone called me and said, ‘I didn’t think there was any money to lend,’ – and I said, ‘Yes! There is!’” AccuMortgage has in-house underwriters (the people who approve loans) who also do work in 48 states. “They’re so busy they can’t keep up,” she said.
Jeff Grossman, vice president with First Bank Mortgage, just had a client who thought he wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage, based on what family and friends were saying.
 “You know how it is – everyone’s got an opinion,” Grossman said. He was able to pre-qualify the client for his mortgage within an hour of his call. Whether buying or refinancing, if the borrowers have good credit and can afford the payments they can receive approval in a few hours and have the loan in a week to 10 days, he said. The FHA loan limits have been increased and VA, Rural Development, Conventional as well as Jumbo mortgage loans are still very much available, he said.
“The only programs that have been affected are the ones that probably shouldn’t have been made available in the first place,” Grossman said. It may also be a little harder for people wanting to buy investment properties, he said.
“I think the public has been convinced by the media more than anything else” to think mortgage funds aren’t available, Grossman said.
Denise Denison, senior loan officer of Darby Bank & Trust, agrees.
“People are scared to even get pre-qualified,” Denison said. “They’re afraid they’re not going to qualify. People are just afraid to even ask. Oftentimes they’re surprised they can even get financing – because of all the media attention they think it’s not attainable.”
“The mortgage money is still available,” Denison said. “I’m still making loans. The majority are FHA.” For someone trying to buy a primary home, as opposed to investment properties, it’s not hard to get a loan, she said.
“It is absolutely a great time to buy a home with mortgage rates still historically low,” Denison said. “Now more then ever the home buyers can rest assured they are not being taken advantage of by the mortgage lender. No more steering the borrower into an exotic loan because the industry is back to common sense mortgage lending.”
Bill Stuebe, an associate broker with Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty, agrees that the real estate market offers an opportunity now.
“The message the media is putting across is that there’s a total credit freeze and that there’s no money,” Stuebe said. “But for those who have good credit, now is a good time because house prices are down and lenders do have money available. It’s a great time for a deal and Savannah is a terrific place to take advantage of the current opportunities.  Savannah is unique– there’s no place like it in the world and real estate values will reflect Savannah’s unique qualities as economic conditions stabilize.  It’s a great tim e to take advantage of low prices and purchase a home.”
People should talk with a mortgage professional before they sell their house and certainly before they start looking at houses to buy, said Walsh of AccuMortgage. Lenders and borrowers need to think about what borrowers are realistically able to do and should do. “People have to be realistic about what they can sell their house for and what loan they qualify for.”
“It’s about knowing the industry and knowing your customer, putting them in the right position to pay for their home,” Walsh said.
“You don’t have to have top of the line credit,” said Walsh, who’s been in the mortgage field for 25 years. “I think people are frightened because they don’t think there is money readily available, so they’re too hesitant to get with a mortgage professional and ask. All of the sub-prime money that was out there is gone and people are under the impression since that’s gone that there is no money, and that’s wrong. The money is there. … We even have 100 percent loans.”
“The approval process is just like it always has been for a normal loan,” Walsh said, with lenders looking at debt-to-income ratio, assets and liabilities, and needing documentation about bank accounts and income for someone to qualify for a mortgage. 
“We’re just going back to what was normal,” Walsh said. “We’ve got to get in control of the money we’re lending. These guidelines were in place even when money was flying around.”
 “If more mortgage brokers had been more conscious of the borrowers’ wants, needs and abilities, that would have helped curb this crisis,” Walsh said. “There was a big lack of ethics. It’s caused a very incorrect market. There was too much money loaned under the wrong guidelines.”
“There were a lot of unethical people who made a lot of money and got us in this mess,” Walsh said. “The wrong people were selling the wrong money to people who didn’t know the difference.”
“Just because you’re breathing they’re not giving you money any more,” Walsh said. “That went on for a while.”
People need adequate credit scores, a tax return and the ability to repay the loan, Denison said. For people who might not be in position to buy a house immediately, she coaches them on what they need to do, such as improving their credit score, so they’re ready in six months or a year.
“The lending industry has gone back to common-sense lending,” Denison said. “The lending industry, Fannie and Freddie, got away from common sense.” Darby did not participate in sub-prime lending, Denison said.
“It’s not my goal to put them in a house that they can’t even afford to go out to dinner with their family,” Denison said. In 2007, people with excellent credit scores could get loans exceeding 50 percent of their gross income from other institutions. But as gas, groceries and other expenses go up, that size loan becomes more impossible to handle.
“I feel like someone who gets a loan here to buy a house is my neighbor,” Denison said. “I want to feel good about it. I don’t want them lying in bed thinking about how they’re going to pay their mortgage.”
Kay Ford, president of SunTrust Savannah, has been in banking for 35 years. SunTrust Bank is still in the business of lending money as well as many other financial products and services. 
 “There is money available for residential and commercial mortgages,” Ford said, as well as consumer loans.
“The media is full of negative financial news,” Ford said. “It’s con
stantly in the forefront of everyone’s mind. People are waiting – is this the bottom of the market? And who knows.”
Nancy Krembs, a sales associate with Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty, said Savannah has some advantages over other areas of the country in terms of its economy and its real estate market.
“We’ve got things that are going to help cushion us” such as the port, new and solid industries and companies, and being a destination, Krembs said. “Our economy is much better in many ways.”
“All real estate markets are local – our local market is in much better condition” than some other areas of the country, Krembs said. But it does offer great opportunities for buyers.
“This is really the time to buy a house,” Krembs said. “Interest rates are low. There are lots of good buys out there. People need to be aware … if you’ve got good credit, you don’t even have to have perfect credit, you can still buy a house for five percent down.”
Known for its tradition of integrity, Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty specializes in residential and commercial properties in Savannah and the Low Country of Georgia and South Carolina. Founded in 1981, Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty is noted for outstanding service to its clients, thorough knowledge of Savannah and the South Carolina Low Country, and excellent staff, in addition to having one of the region’s top property management departments. The owners are natives of Savannah who have more than 60 years’ combined experience in real estate. The offices are locate d at 9, 13, and 17 West Charlton Street on Madison Square in Savannah and 6 Bruin Street in Bluffton, S.C.
For more information, call Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty at (912) 234-3323 or visit To contact the Bluffton office, call (843) 836-3900.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Creative Minds “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877”

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Creative Minds brings leaders, experts and pioneers in a wide
range of fields to share their wisdom in open, community-wide forums in

This annual speaker series, which runs throughout the 2008-2009 school year, is
designed to stimulate dialogue and spark debate about important issues that
affect us all. This year’s series showcases the largest and most diverse line-up
to date, featuring leading experts in areas including brain science, American
history, jazz and literature. Please mark your calendar to attend these exciting
discussions, which are open to the public.

The 2008 Ray and Nellie Schmidt Lecture will feature Eric Foner, Ph. D. with his
lecture, "The Significance of Emancipation and Reconstruction" on Thursday,
October 30, 2008 at 6:30 pm. One of the nation’s most prominent historians, Eric
Foner serves as the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University
and is widely considered to be a leading authority on post-Civil War
Reconstruction. In his presentation, he will discuss his book, "Reconstruction:
America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877", which boldly redefines how
Reconstruction has conventionally been understood, and will offer insight into
this unique period of American history.

"A masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history." New Republic

All Creative Minds events will be held in Jelks Auditorium at Savannah Country
Day School, located at 824 Stillwood Drive 31419, in Savannah, Georgia.

Individual ticket prices are $10 for advance purchase, $12 at the door, (based
on availability).

Due to the possibility of sell out events, seats not occupied by 6:25 p.m. will
be resold to a waiting list.

For additional information about the Creative Minds series, please call

Tickets for all events are available at the SCDS Administrative Office located
in Triol Hall. For additional information about the Creative Minds series,
please call (912) 961-8828.

Savannah Country Day School is a pre-k through twelve independent school that
seeks to prepare students of academic and personal promise to meet with
confidence, imagination, and integrity the challenges of college and of life. In
partnership with supportive families, we strive to cultivate in each student the
desire and the discipline to grow wise, to lead lives of personal honor, to
appreciate beauty, to pursue physical well being, and to serve others with a
generous and compassionate spirit.

For more information about Savannah Country Day School, its mission, and its
programs, please visit

(Savannah, GA) “The Next Big Thing in Coastal Development,” an Urban Land Institute Panel Discussion

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"The Next Big Thing in Coastal Development", an Urban Land Institute moderated panel discussion, will be held on Thursday, November 13th in Bryson Hall on Chippewa Square, beginning at 5:00 pm.
Because the Georgia and South Carolina coasts are among the fastest growing areas in the United States, this special ULI program will focus on the next big ideas in regional coastal development." What are leading developers doing to differentiate their projects and help make them a success?" This program will examine environmentally sensitive development, sustainability, nautical connectivity, consumer preferences and buyer demographics. Learn how these trends influence how developers predict market direction and future development.
The panelists will present an overview of regional projects, followed by a question and answer period.  Christian Sottile of Sottile & Sottile,  a SCAD Professor, Architect, and Urban Designer, will address "Lessons Learned in Savannah".  James Langford, Project Executive of Linger Longer Communities, will feature the Jekyll Island Revitalization. Tommy Linstroth of Melaver, Inc. will speak on "Sustainable Fellwood – Redefining Green Affordable Housing".  Chip Drury, Principle of Tidewater Plantations Development Company, LLC will talk about the Laurel Island Project.  Seth Weissman, Esq., of Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, PC will moderate the panel.
Networking begins at 5:00 p.m. with appetizers and beverages. The program begins at 6:00 pm. Reservations are required for this event. The book, Ten Principles of Coastal Development, is included with registration.  ULI members and non-members are welcome. For more information and to register for the "Next Big Thing in Coastal Development" visit or
Urban Land Institute Presents "The Next Big Thing in Coastal Development"
Thursday, November 13, 2008 – 5:00 p.m.
Bryson Hall, Savannah, Georgia (next to Gallery Espresso on Chippewa Square)
Panelists & Speakers: 
Christian Sottile of Sottile & Sottile,  "Lessons Learned in Savannah"
James Langford of Linger Longer Communities, "The Jekyll Island Revitalization"
Tommy Linstroth of Melaver, Inc., "Sustainable Fellwood – Redefining Green Affordable Housing". 
Chip Drury, Principle of Tidewater Plantations Development Company, LLC, The Laurel Island Project. 
Moderator:  Seth Weissman, Esq., of Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, P.C.