Skidaway Abigails  l  April 2021

In This Issue

President's Message

Upcoming Events

March Program Recap

Member Spotlight



Board of Directors

Mission Statement

Elected Officials

n This Issue

President's Message

Upcoming Events

Member Spotlight

Communications Update


Announcements: The Glorias

A Message from your Board of Directors


Mission Statement

Contact Information


President's Message

Happy Spring Everyone,

It has been a year now that we have been living under the threat that this pandemic brings. Hopefully, many of you have been vaccinated and the rest of you will be soon. I look forward to the time when we can once again meet in person, although many of us have found a great deal of convenience in meeting via zoom for various programs and activities.

I have recently read two quotes about friendship that feel important to share. One is from Mary Pipher’s book Women Rowing North where she says, “Our culture doesn’t teach us that our friendships are high priorities and that, especially as we age, they are what hold our lives in place.” The other quote is from Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before where she writes, “The convenience of group membership makes it easier to become friends.” I share these because they are both pertinent to why The Skidaway Abigails is so important. At our monthly meetings we get to meet new members who become close friends with similar values, and in our smaller group activities, we get to engage in reading, cards games, advocacy and conversation with friends who do help us hold our lives in place. I hope you all are enjoying the terrific programs our program chairs have been organizing, and that you take advantage too, of our activities, including our book, film and discussion groups and the weekly video chats.

I wish us all a rapid return to a more fluid and flexible life filled with friends, new and old.

Warmest best wishes,

Betsy Beekman

 Upcoming Events

Reforming Juvenile Justice

Judge Lisa Colbert

Judge Thomas Cole

Judge Roxanne Formey

Judge Lindrette Kramer

Thursday, April 8

7 PM Zoom meeting

Sponsored by

The Honorable Lisa Colbert

The Honorable Lindrette Kramer

The Honorable Thomas Cole

The Honorable Roxanne Formey

Have you ever wondered what actually happens when kids get in trouble with the law? We are honored to have the four judges who live at the center of this issue to answer that for us. Judges Colbert, Cole, Kramer, and Former will take us through the recent history of juvenile justice in Georgia, juxtaposing the court and system before and after the implementation of juvenile justice reform in 2014. Bringing their combined experience on the bench of the Superior Court, Juvenile Court, and Magistrate Court, as well as prosecuting for the Special Victims Unit of the District Attorney’s office, our judges will teach us about the jurisdiction, programs, and services of the Chatham County Juvenile Court. 

Recap of March Events

The Lasting Challenges for Savannah after the Pandemic

Mayor Van Johnson

Coordinated by Pat Wallace and Betsey Andersen

We were so fortunate to be able to host a Zoom program with the Honorable Van Johnson on March 8th.  He spent over an hour with us, sharing news about Savannah and answering lots of questions.  What a delightful afternoon we all had!

Mayor Johnson gave a lively talk about how things have looked in Savannah over the past year and some new initiatives he has implemented. In his view, Savannah was spared from the worst of COVID-19.  There have been 300 deaths which saddened him, but said that there was an intentional plan to try to limit residents from gathering.  One of the ways gatherings were curbed was by a mutually agreed upon decision by over 100 Faith leaders to close until the worst of the virus had passed.  Many small businesses did close down but the city of Savannah was able to help many stay afloat with $2,000,000 from an assistance fund. Even though there has been less tax revenue coming into the city, taxes have not been raised.  Mayor Johnson said that Savannah has been successful in “doing more with less.”

Mayor Johnson is a charismatic man who believes that the most important asset we have in Savannah are the people.  He believes this is what makes Savannah so special. During the past year he has addressed many problems found in Savannah by creating task forces which are tasked with coming up with solutions.  Some of the task forces are; READ Savannah, Housing Affordability, Citizen Advocates for Restorative Savannah, Working Savannah, Racial Equity, Outreach Hispanic, Savannability, PROUD Savannah, and Faith Savannah. These task forces are comprised of mainly citizens plus leaders and specialists.

Mayor Johnson looks forward to an opportunity to speak with the Abigails again hopefully in person. In his thank you email he mentioned how impressed he was with our thoughtful and insightful questions.

Member Spotlight

Betsy McCullar

Betsy McCullar and her husband Bud moved to The Landings in 2013 from New Jersey. They have lived here longer than anywhere else together – after New York City, Texas and New Jersey.

Betsy graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism. She works as a management consultant in the fashion industry, and pre-pandemic traveled extensively internationally. She spends her free time running, practicing hot yoga, and cooking.

Betsy recalls that discovering the Abigails felt like finding her long lost tribe and says, “living in the state of Georgia made me an activist!” Betsy’s first known activism was circulating a petition in the fourth grade protesting Title IX violations in gym class, and Betsy’s mom made them recycle when only hippies” did it.

She was an early member of WAG and on the Steering Committee heading up the Watchdogs in early days. “We were so thrilled to have a big turnout for Planned Parenthood after our very first ‘Advocacy Alert’ went out to the membership”.

When Meg Heap spoke at an Abigails meeting, Betsy was inspired to become a Founding member of the Board of Directors for the Chatham County Family Justice Center. She is proud to have helped establish the organization in 2019.

Betsy is President-Elect for the Telfair Academy Guild and invites Abigails members to learn more about this member engagement group.

Thank you, Betsy, for your commitment and service to Skidaway Abigails and your activism with WAG.


Spring has sprung!! April is a busy month – two holidays, Passover and Easter. Hopefully as many as possible have received vaccines and will be meeting with their loved ones.

People are continuing to renew and join.  We have 33 new members!! Won’t it be wonderful to meet these new members in person someday soon? Now, I know some of you haven’t renewed yet.  You are still able to see what activities are happening, but you cannot participate in some of our ZOOM programs and other exciting and engaging activities. Think of what you’re missing! So, in order for me to keep receiving those email notices along with new member notices, think of renewing or encouraging some of your friends to join. 

Be sure to check our website for all upcoming programs.  Not only will you be able to join in with the programs offered by the Abigails, but the Hamiltons also invite us to participate in their ZOOM programs. There’s always something for everyone.  So, JOIN and/or RENEW.

I’ll be waiting for those renewal/new email notices! Keep them coming!!

Until next month. . .

Adele Packert

Membership Chair


Click to Join or Renew

Skidaway Abigails Gift Membership

Looking for a gift for that special friend?  Skidaway Abigails Gift Membership is a great way to welcome new members to our organization.  A Skidaway Abigails coffee mug filled with chocolates will also include a card that tells your friend about our organization, our mission and the many opportunities to engage with fellow members (on Zoom for now, but hopefully in person later in 2021).

There are two ways to purchase a gift membership:

1)  Send the name of your friend(s) and email address(es) with a check for $25/person made out to Skidaway Abigails and your email or phone number to:

Adele Packert  16 Tanaquay Court  Savannah, GA 31411

Adele will contact you to arrange a time for you to pick up your gift.  OR

2) Make arrangements with Adele to drop off you check with the recipient(s) information and pick up your gift.

If you have questions call Adele's phone at 702-445-5790 or email her (button below).

Adele's email


Abigails Video Chat

April 6, 13, 20, 27

3 PM  Zoom Meetings

Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

Are you missing being able to connect with other like-minded women? Please consider joining us for our next Abigails Video Chat. With everything that is going on locally and in the world, from the pandemonium in DC and the Georgia legislatures, to the pandemic that is slowly resolving as many of us have been vaccinated, our lives have been vastly altered. It's great to be able to talk freely about what we are learning and how we are feeling. The group continues to explore how we are dealing with the unique and stressful time in which we are living. 

"Slaves in the City"

The America We Need Discussion Group

Friday, April 16

10:30 am Underground Tours of Savannah Walking Tour 

"Slaves in the City"

Led by Susan Terrio

Instead of our regular monthly discussion on zoom, The American We Need Discussion Group is meeting downtown for a Slaves in the City walking tour.  Their most popular and main attraction, "Slaves In The City" is a walking tour showcasing the sacred places where enslaved Africans dwelled circa 1748 - Dec. 1864.  This tour has evolved into a homage tour of prayers, thanksgiving and forgiveness for man's inhumanity to the enslaved African children, women and men that toiled in plantations and urban mansions throughout Savannah and the Georgia coast.  Sign-ups and payment are made directly with Underground Tours of Savannah. Because of the limited size, the tour is only open to those who have participated in this group. If you have questions, please contact Susan Terrio at

Stay tuned - the film for April will be announced soon!

Reel Time

Wednesday, April 28

4 PM Zoom Meeting

Coordinated by Annette Carnow

At this time a film is yet to be selected for April's Reel Time meeting but we will let you know the title soon.

It is our goal to find films that are interesting as well as entertaining that deal with social issues, history or science. We hope that these films will be of a timely nature and will provoke thought and discussion. At this time since we are restricted to viewing films in our own homes, we are limiting our selections to streaming venues which most people have - Amazon Prime or Netflix. We welcome your suggestions. Please contact: if you have any recommendations. 


Coordinated by Sue Kantor

Over the last year or two we have gathered a great group of women for Abigails Canasta. Our lives are different now. Five of us have formed a group and we have been playing online for the last few months.  

If forming a group sounds good, gather your own group of Abigails and/or send me your names, and as soon as there are 4 or 5 women, I will form the group and you are off and running.  Each new group will function autonomously.  Choose your own day and time; no shopping for snacks or wondering if you have the cards, the shuffler, the tray or the extra table!

If any of you are interested in playing virtually please feel free to contact me and I will be glad to help with the process and share what we have learned from using Canasta Junction.

Book Clubs

While the AM Book Group is still meeting via Zoom, the PM Book Group is meeting in person now.  Their April meeting is on April 21 at 3:30 with a 30 minute social hour and then discussion of the book "Old Filth” by Jane Gardam.

The Abigails book clubs are currently full but we would be happy to start a new one if there is member interest. If you would like to participate in a book club, please email us at  

Message From Your Board of Directors

Your 2020-2021 Board of Directors, like you, are proud Abigails members.  We are committed to serving the mission, and the members, of Skidaway Abigails.  We look forward to a great year with our Abigail friends and sisters in action!


Betsy Beekman


Susan Terrio


Susan Kurtain


Iris Dayoub


Programming Co-Chairs

Pat Wallace

Betsey Andersen

Social Co-Chairs

Nikki Berdy

Sue Kantor


Adele Packert

Activities Chair

Bonnie Kelly

Communications Co-Chairs

Anne Boynton

Sheila Stallings

IT Chair

Sheila Grossman

Advocacy Chair

Cubby Plonchak


Sheila Grossman

Mission Statement

The Skidaway Abigails is a nonpartisan organization of progressive, liberal women whose purpose is to provide engagement opportunities for social, educational and advocacy activities to its members. We welcome women who support our values to join us, regardless of residence, race, ethnicity, age, religion or gender identification.

What We Value

A strong commitment to women's health and safety including family planning; health education, screening and research; and protection from domestic abuse and the full range of offenses against women, from harassment in the workplace to sex trafficking.

A society that provides services for its poor and its children including basic shelter, food, physical and mental healthcare, quality fact-based education, childcare, pre-K development and college opportunity.

Fair and equitable treatment for the working class including a livable minimum wage; pay equity for women; reducing the gap between the average employee's compensation and corporate executives'; affordable health care; a future in our country for working immigrants; and equitable treatment under the criminal justice system.

Fair and equitable treatment for our Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/ Transgender population in all aspects of our society. We support their right to marry and create a family,

Regulation that respects individual freedom while protecting the community including the licensing and control of firearms; and eliminating unwarranted surveillance, personal data collection and criminal profiling.

Protecting our planet from mankind's impact on earth's climate and precious natural resources ranging from fresh water to the honey bee. We want to better understand opportunities to enhance sustainability.

Being informed and represented on political issues related to our values including voter registration and the right of citizens to vote; the stated positions of local, state and federal candidates; and access to articles and subject-matter-experts on value-related issues.

Current Elected Officials Contact Information

Governor Brian Kemp
206 Washington St, 111 State Capitol. Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-1776

US Rep. (Dist. 1) Earl "Buddy" Carter

6602 Abercorn St, Ste 105B, Savannah, GA 31405

(202) 225-5831

US Senator Jon Ossoff

Hart Senate Office Building, Suite 825 B&C

Washington, DC 20510

202-224-3521 (DC)

US Senator Raphael Warnock

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Suite B40D

Washington, DC 20510

(202) 224-3643 (DC)

State Senator Ben Watson

320-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg, Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-7880

State Senator Lester Jackson

110-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 463-5261

State Representative Jesse Petrea

408-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg, Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 657-1803

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