Skidaway Abigails  l  January 2023

Abby says...

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

“Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands.  Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.” 

Despite this statement, Abigail Adams was deeply in love with her husband John and believed in his power to accomplish great things as a leader.  She constantly offered him an unvarnished woman's perspective on issues of the day.

Submitted by Patty Koch

President's Message

As we begin the many celebrations that mark this special time of year, I am thankful for the generous contributions of our members-both old and new-as well as the spirit of friendship and the progressive values that bind us.

We have experienced a number of firsts in the year that began last May: a board retreat that has moved us forward in new ways, new member gatherings, social events like the September Kick-off and the Holiday party, and more high-profile speakers at our monthly meetings.

Speaking of the holiday party, approximately 60 Abigails came out on December 10 to enjoy wonderful food and fellowship. Thanks to Sue Kantor, Nikki Berdy, and a host of other members who helped to make the evening a success. We would also like to thank the staff at Thrive for allowing the Abigails to use their beautiful Social Sphere room and for their help in setting up for the holiday party.

On December 8, Lizann Roberts, the Executive Director of the Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition, provided a wonderful introduction to the comprehensive data that her team tracks and makes available to Southeast counties. The public policy decisions that improve our lives rely on having the up-to-date facts and figures that her coalition provides. Thank you to Lizann Roberts and her team.

In 2023, we look ahead to programs on the challenges facing local news coverage, the political landscape in Georgia after the fall elections, and the ongoing assault on reproductive rights.

I wish you all a safe and peaceful holiday season and look forward to working with you all in 2023.

Very Best,

Susan Terrio

President, Skidaway Abigails


 Upcoming Events

The Growth and Spread of Local "News Deserts"

January 12, 2023, 3:30 p.m.

Fellowship Hall

Messiah Lutheran Church

Co-ordinated by Susan Terrio

Susan Catron

Managing Editor, The Current

We'll look at rural (and some city) local "news deserts", where they are, how they manifest, and why the voids matter if you don't live in one.

News deserts exist on several planes -- the absence of an established media, the lack of action on the part of existing media, and the nationalization of local media.

In news deserts, research has found very real consequences: Citizens lose touch with local government, they don't know how it works and do not engage with it, bond ratings for cities go down because of lack of oversight, and voter turnout drops.  New business models address the new needs, and we'll talk about a few of them.

Susan Catron is the managing editor of The Current, a nonprofit news site for in-depth journalism in Coastal Georgia.  Also she is the managing partner for Catron Content Services LLC, a media and content consulting and coordination firm. 

Previously she was the executive editor of the Savannah Morning News and its award-winning web site, from 2005 to 2020.  She was also responsible for the staff and news content over time for two weeklies in Georgia, and three semi-weeklies in South Carolina plus business and Spanish-language monthlies.

Program Re-Cap

Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition

December 8   

Co-ordinated by Shanti Stone and Carolyn DeFrancesco 

Lizann Youmans Roberts

Executive Director, Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition

On December 8, Lizann Roberts, the Executive Director of the Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition, presented the important work of her organization.  The Coalition provides comprehensive data on the economy, education, health, and quality of life in four Georgia counties including Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty.  With just a team of three, the Coalition convenes every year to update data, share resources, and promote strategic partnerships among non-profits and county institutions.  Using a variety of examples, Roberts demonstrated the importance of identifying and understanding contemporary trends such as youth unemployment, severe learning loss during the pandemic, the shortage of early childhood programs, the increase in deaths from opioid overdoses, and the impact of traumatic incidents in the lives of school-age children.  This data provides an essential blueprint for counties to intervene in the areas of greatest need. 

Here is the link to recording of the program for those of you who were not able to attend.

Help Us Celebrate Abigails 10th Anniversary

As part of the 10th Anniversary celebration (Wednesday, April 26th, mark it on your calendar), we are asking for your participation in a video montage entitled “What The Abigails Means to Me.” Don’t miss your chance to see yourself on the big screen!

We need a video from you of no more than 30 seconds where you answer ONE of the following questions:

  • why is it important that our community have the Skidaway Abigails?
  • what one program or speaker affected you the most?
  • what is your favorite memory of being an Abigails member?
  • how would you best describe your experience being an Abigails member?
  • what one word would you use to describe the Abigails?
  • what would be your message to women who have not yet joined Abigails about why they should join?

Please send your video to Sheila Grossman at or, if you prefer, we’ll record it for you. Our first recording session will be at Sheila's home (30 Delegal Rd) on January 18 from 3-5 PM. Additional dates for recording your videos will be added as we go along. Please let us know if you plan to come by on January 18th by emailing Sheila.

If you submit a video, we ask that it be shot in a horizontal format. We will use whatever has been submitted although we may need to edit it for time and continuity. 

Member Spotlight


Diane Hartley 

After growing up in Sioux City, Iowa and Memphis, Tennessee, Diane’s parents dropped her off at Florida State University and moved to The Landings in 1984. Two years later, Diane joined them for the summer but ended up graduating from Armstrong State College in 1988. While in Savannah during that time, she met her future husband, Will Artley, a native of Isle of Hope, nearby to Savannah. 

Diane went on to a doctoral program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at The University of Tennessee Knoxville.  She then began a 30-year career in various Human Resources roles that took the couple to Memphis, Paris, Chicago, central Pennsylvania, and the New Orleans area. 

Diane and Will moved to The Landings in 2020, and she retired in 2021.  The Abigails introduced Diane to Chatham County’s CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program.  She became a CASA volunteer in March 2022 and is the December 2022 CASA of the Month.  Diane also volunteers with Mary’s Place as a hospital response advocate for victims of sexual assault. 

As an aspiring new artist, Diane is exploring various mediums and painting styles.  You can see her work at Diane Hartley (  In her free time, she enjoys playing cards, reading, watching birds at her feeders, and taking advantage of the Landings Club Wellness Center.

Diane is currently Secretary on the Abigails Board and is working on creating a second Abigails Canasta group.

Thank you Diane for your service to the Abigails and to our larger community!



Please join us in giving a very warm welcome to Karen Haase,  Kathleen Sawtelle,  Suzanne Weston, and Amy Zabin as the most recent new members of our Skidaway Abigails community.  They are looking forward to getting involved and meeting other members at our upcoming events.

How do you get one of our new logoed name tags?  The metal name tags are $10.00 each (including tax and shipping) and you can get details 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 happy and healthy 2023!

Elizabeth Cowell and Sue Stephenson, Membership Co-Chairs


Abigails Video Chat

January 3, 10, 24, 31

3 PM  Zoom Meetings

Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

As we begin our journey into 2023, 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.

The America We Need

January 27  at 9:30 AM

16 Robert Reid Court

Coordinated by Annette Carnow

Since the dawn of time humans have sought ways to survive and make life easier.  We can all point to inventions that have catapulted civilization forward and caused massive dislocations in the process.  The most recent tectonic shift has been the meteoric growth of artificial intelligence. 

"AI" is not just progressing from answering basic questions, beating the masters at chess, driving cars and trucks, and automating the trading of stocks.  Now AI is raising questions about the basics of our educational system.  For the next America We Need, read Daniel Herman’s provocative essay in the The Atlantic “The End of High School English”.

Then, if you wanted to be really alarmed, read the essay in by KelseyPiper, AI experts are increasingly afraid of what they’re creating”.   "AI" gets smarter, more capable, and more world-transforming every day.  Here’s why that might not be a good thing.

Read in Vox:

Join us for a lively discussion January 27, at 9:30 at the home of AnnetteCarnow, 16 Robert Reid Court. Seating is limited, so please register.  

Reel Time

January 23  at 3 PM

16 Robert Reid Court

Coordinated by Annette Carnow

The next Reel Time film, Descendant, was recommended  by Abigails who were fortunate to see it this past year at  the Savannah Film Festival. It has been described as “ a fantastically compelling example of how history can be reclaimed” and “a stirring tribute to the resilient community” who kept the story alive through its oral history.  It is about the last known slave ship to come to the United States many decades after the prohibition ending the importation of slaves in 1808. 

This important film examines how our national history has been “white-washed”  and how it is important for us all to be mindful of the fact that the history we learned in school may not be truthful or the full story.

Please join us to view the film and to discuss the issues it raises, on January 12, at 3pm at the home of Annette Carnow, 16 Robert Reid Court. Seating is limited, so please register to attend.

Winter Potluck Dinner

February 5, 2023

Happy New Year, Abigails!

Coordinated by Pat Wallace

The first round of Potluck Dinners of 2023 is set for Sunday, February 5. These are fun, small group gatherings (fully vaccinated only, please!) in which we get to enjoy delicious dinners and convivial conversations with fellow Abigails.  We will have a host and 6 or 7 diners in each home.  (No big crowds!)  The host will prepare the entree, and the other Abigails will bring an appetizer, salad, or dessert, as requested by the host.  These are events to which, “Plus Ones” are encouraged - but not required!  (Last October, 46 compatible people enjoyed food and fellowship in 5 homes - 27 Abigails, plus 19 husbands.) 

If this sounds like fun to you (it is!), please register by Friday, January 27, to let us know that you will be coming to the February 5 Potluck Dinner, if you are willing to host, and if you are bringing a “Plus One.”  When we get the names of willing hosts, the chair will match the Abigails and their “Plus Ones” to each home.  The host will then contact them with inquiries about food allergies, as well as information about the start time, menu contribution requests, and the host’s address. As we say in the South, “Ya’ll come!”


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

New Canasta Group

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.  Diane Hartley is starting up a new Canasta group that will meet on the 1st ad 3rd Mondays of each month at members' homes. Anyone from the Friday group is welcome to join this new group. If you are interested in playing please email Diane Hartley at

    Coordinated by

    Sue  Kantor

    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 be reviewing the book The Rent Collector by Camron Wright at Virginia Marcotullio’s home.  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

    If you no longer wish to receive Skidaway Abigails emails please click here.