Skidaway Abigails  l  December 2022

Abby says...

To help celebrate the tenth anniversary of Skidaway Abigails, we’re offering monthly quotes and fun facts from the original Abigail. 

“If particular attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams was an early advocate of female empowerment in the 18th-century, when women were denied formal education and voting rights.  In one letter, Abigail asked John to "remember the ladies."  This became a motto for the future women's rights movement. 

Submitted by Patty Koch

President's Message

Looking ahead to the end of the year, I am pleased to announce our speaker on December 8, Lizann Roberts, the Executive Director of the Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition (see below). 

What would the holiday season be without a celebration of food and drinks among kindred spirits? Please join us for a holiday social gathering on Saturday, December 10 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Thrive on Skidaway. Details on registering for this free event will follow soon.

On November 2, Abigails members were treated to an exceptional tour of residential neighborhoods undergoing re-vitalization in Savannah. Anita Smith-Dixon, Executive Director of the Community Housing Services Agency, gave us an eye-opening introduction to the many initiatives intended to address the affordable housing crisis in the city (See below).

Despite the divisive political debates and high stakes elections on the horizon, we can be very thankful for the fellowship and support of our growing community of progressive women here on Skidaway Island. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank the talented and hard-working members of the Abigails board who ensure that our programs, memberships, activities, social events, and website run smoothly. It really does take a village.

Whether you are welcoming family and friends to the Landings or traveling to celebrate the holidays outside of Savannah, I wish you a safe and wonderful season.

With all good wishes,


President of the Skidaway Abigails

 Upcoming Events

Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition

December 8   3:30 PM

Messiah Lutheran Church

Skidaway Island

Co-ordinated by Shanti Stone and Carolyn DeFrancesco 

Lizann Youmans Roberts

Executive Director, Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition

Featured speaker will be Lizann Roberts from Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition. Lizann will be speaking on The Power of Partnerships. She says, “Collaboration is challenging at best because it demands labor at its core. Collaboration compels us to listen intently to our entire community, especially to those who may be disproportionately impacted, that we are purposeful to include all residents in our decision-making and to park our individuality.”

The purpose of Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition (CGIC) is to improve community well-being by engaging and leading the community to work collectively in its development of strategic priorities that guide policy, programs, and resource allocation.  CGIC serves as the responsible organization for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Chatham Community Blueprint.  The Blueprint includes timelines for short, mid, and long-term work, to move Chatham County toward the accomplishment of specified goals within the four priority areas:  Economy, Education, Health and Quality of Life.

Lizann Roberts has focused her career on developing public-private endeavors to improve the overall community well-being.  She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in public health, with leadership certifications from Georgetown University and The Center for Creative Leadership.  As a public health professional with over thirty-five years of experience, she is a seasoned leader, facilitator, and coalition geek.

December Program Registration

Skidaway Abigails Holiday Party! 

December 10th

5 pm - 7 pm

The Social Sphere Room 

Thrive on Skidaway

5 Lake Street

Co-ordinated by Sue Kantor and Nikki Burdy

Social Co-Chairs

We welcome all Abigails members to join us at the Skidaway Abigails Holiday Party on Saturday, December 10th, from 5 pm - 7 pm.  It will be held in The Social Sphere Room at Thrive - 5 Lake Street in The Village on Skidaway Island.  There will be light hors d'oeuvres, wine, and soft drinks served.  Please RSVP if you plan on attending and we hope to see you there!

Program Re-Cap

Trolley Tour Community Housing 

November 2 

Anita Smith-Dixon,

Executive Director of the Community Housing Services Agency in Savannah

Twenty-nine Abigails signed up to learn about the many initiatives implemented by Mayor Van Johnson’s administration to address the urgent housing crisis in Savannah.  Anita Smith-Dixon, Executive Director of the Community Housing Services Agency, organized a trolley tour through different residential neighborhoods in West Savannah, the historic district, and Savannah Gardens in the Eastern part of the city.  We saw first-hand the numerous redevelopment partnerships implemented to improve existing housing stock and to provide new residences for low-income renters and home buyers.  Using a mix of public and private funds, the city is assisting seniors, low income, and minority households to secure affordable properties in revitalized neighborhoods. 

Save The Date to Celebrate 10 Years!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Palmetto Ballroom
6:00 pm
Women only
Look for your invitation in the January Newsletter

Member Spotlight

Margaret Cook Levy 

As a teenager living in England, Margaret had a great desire to travel but realized she was never going to earn enough money working in a boys boarding school to go anywhere.  She searched overseas opportunities and found a job as a nanny in New York City.  She soon met an off-Broadway director who asked if she could help actors with their English accents.  

Not only did Margaret meet fabulous, diverse people, she met her future husband in the cast, got married back in England, and returned to the states where they lived in New Jersey and had three sons.  The marriage did not survive, and Margaret found herself alone with her young boys.

The church has always been a big part of Margaret’s life, including instituting a program she’d heard of in England called Meals on Wheels.  Her work with this program in Bergen County led to Margaret being honored by Meals on Wheels on their 50th Anniversary.

Margaret is also a founding member of Westwood Senior Housing.  Under her leadership as Vice President, Westwood built 182 housing units.  Eventually, Margaret became the tenant services director and started a senior center.  She spent five amazing years there.  

Bergen County then asked her to take over the door-to-door transportation for the elderly and disabled. Margaret grew a small system into the largest one in New Jersey with 90 employees at its peak.

In 1982, she became involved in Habitat for Humanity.  While there, Margaret was a leader in founding three affiliates and has seen many homes built for families in need.  Margaret attracted the attention of Habitat for Humanity International and was voted onto the International Board of Directors, ultimately serving two terms.  Margaret calls that time “the most amazing experience of my life”.

Margaret moved to Savannah in 2002.  In addition to Abigails, Margaret attends Asbury Memorial and is the Mission/Outreach Chair.  Her duties there have included developing a construction team to fix up homes near the church.  Due to a stroke, Margaret has stepped down from that role but remains active in church affairs.

Thank you, Margaret, for your years of devoted service!



Please join us in giving a very warm welcome to Dana Robinson as latest new member of the Abigails community. We look forward to introducing her at an upcoming event.

On November 16, we welcomed 21 new members to our second New Members gathering, hosted at the homes of Susan Terrio, our Board President, and Shanti Stone, our Programs Co-Chair.  The cocktail event was designed to get everyone acquainted and learn about the wide variety of activities available to get involved in. There was a rich sharing of interests and great excitement about becoming part of the Abigails community.

We hope you will join other members of the Abigails community in wearing one of our new logo name tags! The magnetic name tags are $10.00 each (including tax and shipping) and you can get more information and place an order online by clicking HERE.  

If you know other progressive, liberal women who might be interested in joining Abigails, please refer them to our website for information or have them contact us directly to learn more.  We welcome anyone from the Savannah area with like-minded interests. You can also introduce your friends to Abigails by bringing them as a guest to one of our monthly events for only $10. 

Wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season!

Elizabeth Cowell and Sue Stephenson, Membership Co-Chairs


Abigails Video Chat

December 6, 13, 20, 27

3 PM  Zoom Meetings

Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

The holidays are upon us, so it is a good time to check in with other Abigails! Please consider joining our Video Chat members as we discuss everything that is going on in our crazy world. This fun and interesting group of women connects via Zoom on an almost weekly basis.


Dining Out!

How would you like to join a few other Abigails for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner - without shopping, cooking, or cleaning?  There are rumors afloat that a good many Abigails are interested in this kind of small group, stress free, social event.  Now we just need someone to organize a group to go out to eat! 

If you are willing to coordinate an Abigails Dining Out activity, please email:

Pat Wallace

Activities Chair


Coordinated by Sue Kantor

    Our Friday group continues to be active.  Since the group is quite large, it makes sense to start a new group.  Anyone from the Friday group is welcome to join this new group which Diane Hartley will be organizing.  She has already gotten a few responses but not enough to form a core group.  If you are interested in playing, please email:  

    Diane Hartley

    Sue  Kantor

    8 Bluff Oak Retreat

    Savannah, GA 31411

    917 822 2443

    Mah-Jongg Anyone?

    If you would like to be part of forming an Abigails Mah-Jongg group, please let me know.  Everything is up for grabs—time to play, how to organize and where to host.  Those of us who play Abigails Canasta have formed many new relationships and look forward to Fridays when we gather to play, laugh and talk about the state of the world.  I am looking forward to playing with you!

    Sue Kantor

    Book Clubs

    The AM Book Group meets at 10 AM on the third Wednesday of each month. It currently is full but I would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to join the wait list.  Please contact Sheila Jannino at

    The PM Book Group will combine the November and December meetings on Wednesday November 30 at 4:00 PM.   If you would like to join this group, please contact Phyllis Aaron at 610-203-4393 or  

    Message From Your Board of Directors

    Your 2022-2023 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!


    Susan Terrio


    Susan Kurtain


    Diane Hartley


    Betsey Andersen

    Programming Co-Chairs

    Shanti Stone

    Carolyn DeFrancesco

    Social Co-Chairs

    Nikki Berdy

    Sue Kantor

    Membership Co-Chairs

    Elizabeth Cowell

    Sue Stephenson

    Activities Chair

    Pat Wallace

    Communications Co-Chairs

    Shari Panitch

    Sheila Stallings

    IT Co-Chairs

    Sheila Grossman

    Susan Kurtain

    Advocacy Chair

    Sandi Parshall


    Betsy Beekman

    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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