Skidaway Abigails  l  June 2023

Abby says...

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

"If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?"

President's Message

I write this message for the last newsletter of a very successful year. Over the 2022-23 year we have offered the timely programs that are the hallmark of the Abigails.

We covered the November midterm elections, mass incarceration, news deserts, Georgia state politics, and the challenges involving access to abortion and reproductive services. As a program first, we traveled downtown for a tour of the affordable housing initiatives planned by the city government.

We end the year with an innovative program inviting our members to share ideas on how to build on our past successes as we begin our second decade.

We continued our in-depth discussions in the America We Need and Reel Time meetings. In addition to our educational programs, we have had great fun participating in new social events: a Kick Off Social in September, a December holiday party, new member cocktails, and dining out excursions.

Our ongoing monthly activities continue to be popular. The social pièce de resistance was our 10th anniversary gala at Palmetto with 120 Abigails attending. They reminisced, reconnected with the founders, and celebrated our many accomplishments.

Our Abigails advocacy committee has grown and embarked on a variety of new initiatives. We worked with Housing Savannah, a new NGO whose mission is to address the affordable housing crisis in the city.

We monitored state legislation and sent alerts on important issues to our members, collaborated with Migrant Equity Southeast to improve the lives of immigrant families, and provided many volunteer opportunities, including, most recently, the summer enrichment program offered by Horizons Savannah.

As we look ahead, our membership stands at a post-pandemic high of 273. We have an outstanding board that includes seven new Abigails and we are all committed to making 2023-24 the best year yet.

I wish you all a safe and relaxing summer whether you stay here on Skidaway or travel.

Very best wishes,

Susan Terrio

President, Skidaway Abigails

Upcoming Events

Look for upcoming events in September's Newsletter. 

Program Recap

Looking Forward!

What matters to you?

May 18, 2023

Coordinated and facilitated by Diane Hartley 

On May 18th the Abigails met for an innovative, forward looking program entitled “What Matters to You?”  A large group of members attended the event which featured a fully participatory format. We were able to offer our ideas, thoughts, and concerns in a fun and social atmosphere. 

Many thanks to Abigails board member Diane Hartley who created a very engaging program for our May meeting. The room was set up with tables with leaders at each table assigned to facilitate conversation. Each table had a theme: Education, Advocacy, Social Connection, Communications, Value Most, High Point, Hopes, and Presenters/Programs. Participants changed tables after 10 minutes of discussion and then were able to choose another table and topic. 

We worked in groups to brainstorm and share experiences about what matters to us, what we value about Abigails, and what we hope for Abigails in the future. Discussions were energetic and wide-ranging and importantly, will provide a framework for what our members want Abigails to be moving forward.

Rally Recap

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense Rally

Eight Abigails attended the Moms Demand Action Rally at Hull Park on May 20.

Attendees at the rally called Representative Buddy Carter to urge him to reinstate the bipartisan Assault Weapons Ban of 1994.

Anne Allen Westbrook, Democratic Representative of District 163, was one of the featured speakers. She reminded us that Georgia ranks 47th out of 50 states for gun safety. None of the 16 gun safety bills introduced in the 2023 session made it to the floor of the Georgia State Assembly for a vote. Consider volunteering for this NGO.

Gala Recap

Our own Sheila Grossman was presented with a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award for her many years of leadership and service to the Abigails. 

Everybody is still talking about how special the Abigails 10th Anniversary Gala was. We celebrated our organization from its beginnings to its place as a force within our community.

If you were at the event and would like to experience it again, or if you couldn’t make it but want to share in the celebration, please enjoy the video of the entire evening by clicking HERE

To view pictures from the evening, please click HERE.

To view the "Celebrating 10 Years of Abigails" video that was created for this event, please click HERE.

Member Spotlight

Trudy Sack

Trudy lived her professional adult life in Boston, Ma. After receiving her master’s degree, she instructed children with visual and/or hearing impairments for many years, ultimately becoming a Director of Special Education. Once her children were in college, she accepted a scholarship at Boston College where she earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Administration and Special Education.

After graduation, she became an Assistant Superintendent and adjunct Boston College professor. Trudy authored federal grants, creating partnerships between universities and public schools where students, interns, professors, and teachers collaborated to create and research innovative, inclusionary, special education public school programs.

Eventually, Trudy and her husband retired to Florida to care for her elderly mother. In Florida, she was a board member for multiple nonprofit organizations and a successful grant writer. She realized that this period of her life gave her a unique opportunity to investigate what made her personally happy and discover fresh pathways. She thought about her childhood to unearth happy “Zen” moments. This reflective process took a year; random thoughts finally solidified into three simple and workable phrases: outdoors, movement and color/ line/ form.

Trudy has always loved art (color, line, form). Additionally, she vowed to follow a different trajectory than her former professional life. She decided not to plan or stress regarding tangible art projects or create linear, disciplined, improvement campaigns. Her art became personal, creative, and delightful as she followed mistakes and intuition. She takes workshops with respected artists from all over the world.

She switches media, technique, and genre to keep her art fluid and spontaneous. Trudy discovered how to trust her creativity, perceptions, and feelings. In addition to her art, she also plays tennis, gardens, and hikes internationally.

“My greatest challenge is my severe to profound hearing loss. I always had a mild genetic loss, but in the last three years my hearing has steeply declined. Communication in large groups is impossible. I lament my lack of communication skills, participation, and the misunderstandings due to hearing, but I am finding my way.”

Thank you, Trudy, for your commitment to Abigails and to our community.



Please join us in welcoming Elizabeth Arkin, Gerry Bilik, Elizabeth Eggert, Anne Lyon, Leah Shimer and Lakshmi Subramaniam as new members. They are looking forward to meeting other members and becoming an active part of our community.

Are your friends interested in learning more about the Abigails? We would love to meet them! Encourage them to check out our website for information or contact us directly to learn more about membership. You can also introduce your friends to Abigails by bringing them as a guest to one of our monthly events for only $10. 

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.  

Jacki Mahler and Sue Stephenson, Membership Co-Chairs


Cocktail Hour!

Perry Lane Hotel

June 14

5:30-7:00 pm

Coordinated by Diane Hartley

It might get quieter at the Landings in the Summer but not in downtown Savannah. The Perry Lane Hotel’s rooftop bar was voted best in the city.

Join us June 14, 5:30 - 7:00 pm for cocktails and conversation. Contact Diane Hartley with any questions - 312-391-3375. 

Perry Land Hotel, 256 E. Perry St.  

If you want to carpool, meet at the Skidaway Methodist Church at 5pm. 

Movie Night!

Savannah Cultural Arts Center

201 Montgomery Street

June 8th

7:00 pm

Coordinated by Diane Hartley

June 8 at 7:00 pm, Cinema Savannah is showing Joylandwinner of the Cannes Jury Prize and Independent Spirit Award. This Saim Sadiq feature debut is an unforgettable exploration of love, gender, and sexuality, a mysterious  and tender drama demonstrating the difficulties of reconciling the “right way to feel love with the right away to  feel part of a family” (The Guardian).

Following a long spell of unemployment, Haider, the youngest son of a happy patriarchal family, lands a job at a Bollywood-style burlesque, telling his family he is a theater manager. In actuality, he is a backup dancer and becomes infatuated with a strong-willed trans woman, Biba. Their impossible love story slowly illuminates his entire family's desire for sexual rebellion. In Urdu and English, with English subtitles. 128 minutes.

If you want to carpool, meet at the Skidaway Methodist Church at 6pm

Cinema Savannah

Savannah Cultural Arts Center

201 Montgomery Street

Box office opens at 6:00 pm. Tix are $10, cash preferred

Canasta Group

    Our Friday Abigails Canasta group continues to be active and meets on Fridays from 1:00 - 3:00 pm.  This group is coordinated by Sue  Kantor. (

    We have a new Monday Abigails Canasta group.  We play the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. If you are interested in playing please contact Diane Hartley. ( 

    Subs needed:  We are often looking for subs at our regular Abigails Canasta. If you're interested in being a sub or learning how to play contact Diane Hartley at

    Regular Groups:  

    Fridays 1:00 - 3:00 pm

    1st and 3rd Mondays 2:00 - 4:00 pm

    Book Clubs

    The AM Book Group meets at 10:00 am on the third Wednesday of each month. There are now three openings.  If you'd like to join this group please contact Sheila Jannino at The AM Book Group will not be meeting over the summer.

    The PM Book Group will not meet in June. 

    If you would like to join this group, please contact Phyllis Aaron at

    610-203-4393 or  

    The America We Need

    will resume in September. 

    Coordinated by Annette Carnow

    Abigails Video Chat

    Zoom Meetings will resume in September.

    Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

    Reel Time

    will resume in September. 

    Coordinated by Annette Carnow

    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

    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 Chair

    Kiki Kornhauser


    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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