Skidaway Abigails  l  December 2023

Abigail Adams says...

Abigail Adams was one of the first advocates of women's equal education and women's property rights. Adams had strong feelings about marriage and believed women should take more part in decisions rather than simply serve their husbands. 


President's Message

Despite the many attempts to undermine the progressive values that our organization supports, we can be very thankful that November 7 was, in the words of Heather Cox Richardson, "a bad day for extremism in the United States of America."

We can be grateful that electoral results nationwide showed some reason for hope. The right to abortion was enshrined in the Ohio state constitution and extreme political positions on banning books, censuring educators, gerrymandering voting districts, and rejecting climate science may be beginning to lose support among voters.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming LEAP into Action event scheduled on November 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the Messiah Lutheran Church. Our advocacy committee will present many opportunities for you to get involved in the issues that are most important to you.

As we gather to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends this year, we can be thankful for the committed and caring group of women who are members of the Abigails.


Whether you traveled or stayed home for Thanksgiving this year, I wish you all the best over this holiday occasion.

Very best wishes,

Susan Terrio

President, Skidaway Abigails

 Upcoming Events

Abigails December Program will welcome Roger Moss, President of the Savannah Chatham County School Board.

Thurs., Dec.14, 2023 

Check-in: 3:15-3:30 p.m. 

Program: 3:30-4:30 p.m. 

Messiah Lutheran Church

1 W. Ridge Road

Roger Moss, who became president of the Savannah Chatham County School Board on January 5, 2023, brought charter school and leadership experience to his new position.

He is the first Black school board president for Chatham County. With the goal of success for every student, Mr. Moss approached his work with the belief that each student has untapped potential. He also believes education is everyone’s

business and all members of the public should care and be involved. He will speak about the challenges of his first year, including the need to improve literacy in elementary schools, and also the successes, including the selection of Dr. Denise Watts as the new superintendent of Savannah and Chatham County schools.

Roger Moss is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and holds a B.A. degree in interpersonal communications from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

The discussion Roger Moss will share with us on December 14th will be Lessons Learned. 

Co-ordinated by Carolyn DeFrancesco and Shanti Stone
December Program Registration

Abigails Pop-Up December Social

Holiday Toy Donation

for the children of refugee and migrant families in Chatham County.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2023

Time: 5:00 p.m. 

Home of Susan Terrio,

10 Gossamer Lane, Palmetto 

Join us for a casual social gathering to support the important advocacy work of Migrant Equity Southeast (MESE). Please bring an unwrapped toy for a child. We want to bring joy to these children at holiday time. 

Toy donations will be distributed to the families by the staff of Migrant Equity Southeast (MESE). Daniela Rodriguez, the Executive Director of Migrant Equity Southeast, will join us for the party. She will describe MESE's work in the community.

No cash donations can be accepted.

Registration required. Attendance is limited. If you cannot attend, please drop off a toy in advance at 10 Gossamer. 

Wine, soft drinks and appetizers will be served. 

Organized by Sandi Parshall, Molly Leamon, and Dana Robinson

Pop-Up Social Registration


November Program Recap

Julie Wade, Executive Director, Tharros Place.

On November 9th the Abigails hosted Julie Wade, the Executive Director of Tharros Place.  Tharros Place, which opens this month, will provide support and shelter for survivors of human trafficking by providing residential services for girls between the ages of 12-17.  

Tharros Place, a beautifully renovated property, will have 12 beds, a staff of 30 and services for the girls while they are there, including classes, counseling and appropriate security.  Referrals of the girls will be made by the Chatham County Department of Family and Children's Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Julie spent over two years obtaining grants, funding and donations to prepare the property and hire experienced staff.  IKEA, Wayfair, SCAD and many other local community partners have helped to launch this incredible refuge. Going forward, Tharros Place will continue to need community support including education and recreation mentors, gift cards and items on an Amazon Wish List.  

Julie explained to us that Georgia has the 6th most amount of sex trafficking in the country and that Chatham County is 4th in Georgia for the number of minors caught up in sex trafficking.  Julie also told us most of the minors caught in Chatham County live here. There are several indicators leading girls into sex trafficking including poverty, children in vulnerable situations, runaways, and incidents of force such as coercion, drugs, and threats against the girls' families. 

Julie and the stellar staff she has hired are well positioned to address the terrible threat sex trafficking of minor girls poses to the youth in Chatham County.

Horizons Advocacy Recap

Last summer, Horizons invited ‘Mystery Readers’ to the classrooms, and over 20 Abigails participated. Recently, four Abigails led Horizons Book Clubs at A.B. Williams Elementary School. Horizons has just received approval to start Book Clubs in four new schools starting January - so there will be lots of volunteer opportunities for members that might be interested. More info will be forthcoming. 

Below is a letter from Christy Edwards, Horizons Executive Director, expressing their gratitude for Abigails advocacy.  

Dear Members of the Skidaway Abigails:

I am writing to thank you once again for your commitment to supporting the work of Horizons to partner with youth, their families and the community to enrich the lives of students with the joy of learning, the skills for success and the inspiration to realize their dreams.

You may know that several of your members, Sue Stephenson, Heidi Lieberman, Lakshmi Subramaniam and Kiki Kornhauser, just completed 8 weeks of service working with our 1st Grade Book Club program at A.B. Williams Elementary School. I had the pleasure of working alongside these volunteers and I’d like to share my observations with the group:

1. Abigail volunteers are the best. Ever!

2. Kids absolutely love, and teachers desperately need, volunteers in their


3. Jellybeans make the world go ‘round (right, Sue?)

As we enter into the season of giving, I encourage you to look at your calendars and see if you can give the gift of time – we are making huge gains in reading by working with students just once a week for one hour. We will be needing volunteers starting in January. Sue Stephenson will be sharing details of these volunteer opportunities with you. I hope you will consider joining us.

In the meantime, Happy Holidays and best wishes from the Horizons Family!

Christy Edwards

Executive Director



Abigails fosters a welcoming environment for friendship, provides learning opportunities, and advances social justice. As a result, we are now 273 members strong! Please join us in giving a very warm welcome to our seven newest members — Elizabeth Forster, Denise Larson, Amber McCaw, Judy Meuleman, Jean Smith, Anne Schafer and Carolyn Szlasa.

Do you have a friend who wants to be a part of our vibrant, growing Abigails community? We are now inviting guests to see us in action at one of our monthly meetings — with no guest fee! Simply register your guest when you register yourself for the monthly program.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Jacki Mahler and Sue Stephenson, Membership Co-Chairs

We know you’re thinking “How do I get one of those very cool Abigails logoed metal name badges?”. You can order one for $10.00 (including shipping) by clicking HERE

Member Spotlight

This month's spotlight features our Vice-President, Sue Stephenson

I was born in Liverpool, a historic maritime city (and childhood home of The Beatles) located in North West England. I’ve been a proud US citizen for over 20 years — but will always be a Brit at heart.

My husband Bob and I moved here from Atlanta three years ago. We love living on this beautiful island and being so close to our grandchildren who live in Ardsley Park.

Why did you join the Abigails?

When we moved to The Landings, I was unsure about the "political landscape”, so was delighted to learn about the Abigails and “find my people”.

What have been the highlights of your adult life?

I inherited wanderlust from my father Frank, who had been a merchant seaman as a young man. From my early childhood, he inspired me with stories of his travels around the world. My 25-year career with The Ritz-Carlton provided the opportunity to follow in his adventurous footsteps. I relocated to the US in 1991 in a human resources role supporting the company’s international hotels and resorts.

Later, I led company's human resources division and established its corporate social impact function, giving me the opportunity to explore many more new countries and cultures. 

On the personal side, the highlights have definitely been marrying my husband Bob, gaining two stepdaughters (and close friends) and watching our four wonderful grandchildren grow and flourish. They are the joys of my life!

What activities do you enjoy in your leisure time? 

I'm enjoying mentoring through my collaboration with the Knowledge Impact Network and volunteering locally with nonprofits, including Housing Savannah and Horizons. In my free time, I’m an avid gardener, enjoy getting out and about on Skidaway Island with my walking buddies, and my husband Bob and I are starting to build a large-scale model railway in our attic.

Thank you Sue, for your commitment and service to Skidaway Abigails


LEAP Into Advocacy

Members of the Skidaway Abigails are invited to Learn, Engage, Act and Participate in the new Abigails Advocacy initiative - LEAP into Advocacy.

Join us for this special evening event, November 30th, 7 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church, to hear more about the direction and scope of our new Advocacy efforts. Whether you want to focus on voting rights, reproductive and maternal health, gun safety, education, environmental protection, or other areas of interest, we are ready to help you achieve your goals of bringing justice, equality, health and safety to our community and our planet. While at the meeting, we will highlight our areas of focus citing examples of activities related to each area as we join with local and national collaborators and partners. 

The Advocacy Committee needs member support to increase our effectiveness as we try to make a significant difference in Savannah and beyond. If you have any questions, please contact Kiki at  

Date: Thursday, November 30th

Check-in: 6:45-7:00 p.m. 

Program: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Messiah Lutheran Church

Desserts from Fresh Market and Starbucks coffee will be served. 

To register, please click on the link below.

Advocacy Evening Registration


Dining Out 

Join us for lunch or an early high tea at Gryphon Tea Room. We are limited to the first 12 people who sign up, but please register as we often have late dropouts. Afterward, if you haven't already seen it, I encourage you to take 20 minutes to see the SCAD Experience across the street from the Gryphon. 

If you want to carpool or are willing to drive others, meet at the Methodist Church a few minutes before 10:30 a.m. 


Contact Diane Hartley,, 312-391-3375.

Date: Thursday, December 14th

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Gryphon Tea Room

337 Bull St. 

Limited to 12 Abigails

Gryphon Tea Room Dining Out Registration

Potluck Dinners 

Coordinated by Pat Wallace

Abigails Video Chat 

Abigails Video Chat is scheduled for December 12th at 3:00 p.m. With so much going on in the news, we have lots to discuss. Come join us!

Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

December Video Chat Registration

Reel Time 

Reel Time will resume in the new year.


    Friday 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Coordinated by Sue Kantor.

    Monday, 1st and 3rd, 2-4:00 p.m. Contact Diane Hartley 

    Subs needed: If you're interested in being a sub or learning how to play contact: Diane Hartley

    Book Clubs 

    A.M. Book Club meets at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month, apart from the summer months.  We are now expanding our book club to include two new members.  Please contact our new facilitator Mary Kovats.

    P.M. Book Group meets on the last Wednesday of the month at 3:30 p.m. Note: We will not meet in December. Our January book is The Confidante by Christopher Gorham. We would love to have you join us. Please contact Phyllis Aaron at 610-203-4393 or

    Mah Jongg - **NEW**

    Are you interested in playing Mah Jongg with likeminded women? The group will meet on Tuesdays 2-4 p.m. in Abigails members homes.

    Contact Carla Blumenthal if you're interested 

    America We Need 

    America We Need will resume in the new year. 

    Message From Your Board of Directors

    Your 2023-2024 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


    Sue Stephenson


    Diane Hartley


    Nina Cook

    Programming Co-Chairs

    Shanti Stone

    Carolyn DeFrancesco

    Social Co-Chairs

    Molly Leamon

    Sandi Parshall

    Dana Robinson

    Membership Co-Chairs

    Jackie Mahler

    Sue Stephenson

    Activities Chair

    Diane Hartley

    Communications Co-Chairs

    Cristine Danielson

    Shari Panitch

    IT Co-Chairs

    Susan Kurtain

    Susan Tauster

    Advocacy Chairs

    Kiki Kornhauser

    Joan Salvati


    Betsy Beekman

    Mission Statement

    The Skidaway Abigails is a group of progressive, liberal women engaging in social, educational, and advocacy activities as a non-partisan organization. We foster a welcoming environment for friendship, provide an array of learning opportunities, and advance social justice impacting the broader community.

    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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