Skidaway Abigails  l  May 2022

In This Issue

President's Message

Upcoming Events

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

As I write this message, the temps on our island have warmed and we are seeing signs of spring everywhere.  Happy Spring to all.

We are celebrating the fifth month of offering hybrid in-person and Zoom access programs for our membership.  In April we were pleased to welcome Chatham County Sheriff Roy Minter who described the innovative programs that the country offers to at risk youth.

Please check our monthly newsletter for program details and plan to join us for our final program on May 12 offered by Anne Robinson, the Executive Director of The Front Porch.  This organization offers life-affirming alternatives to juvenile incarceration in county jails for our youth.

Recently you may have experienced difficulties in accessing our website address.  We are immensely grateful to our IT team, Sheila Grossman, Susan Kurtain, Carolyn Zalesne, and Sheila’s wonderful husband Marty, who have devoted countless hours to resolving the access issues.  Please note that until further notice the Abigails website address will be We have also had to temporarily change our email address to

As we look forward to primary and mid term elections in the coming months, we are reminded of how important it is stay informed and engaged in our local and national politics.  Share your thoughts in our weekly Abigails Video Chat and our discussion groups, The America We Need, and Reel Time.  We also enjoy wonderful social time with our potluck dinners, book clubs, and Canasta groups.

Wishing you all the best,

Susan Terrio

 Upcoming Events

The Front Porch in Savannah

Ann Robinson, Executive Director of the Front Porch

May 12 

3:30 PM

Hybrid meeting: 

Messiah Lutheran Church and by Zoom

We welcome all vaccinated members and guests to the in-person meeting.                      

Ann Robinson

Executive Director of The Front Porch

Continuing our focus this year on the challenges facing at-risk youth in school, at home, and in the community, this program features the Executive Director of The Front Porch.  The mission of The Front Porch is to divert young people from serving time in juvenile jails when they are adjudicated for delinquency in the Chatham County Juvenile Court.  This program will be an excellent follow up to the 2021 program that featured four Judges with the Chatham County Juvenile Court and we will all benefit greatly from learning about the services this organization provides to the young people in the county.

Program Recaps

Challenges and Law Enforcement Responses to At-Risk Youth in Savannah

Roy Minter

Savannah Chief of Police

April  21

On April 21, Chief Roy Minter gave a comprehensive overview of the challenges and changes in the Savannah Police Department that he has headed since his arrival in 2019.  He noted the decrease in violent crime in the city and an 88% clearance rate for homicides.  He described the 2020 creation of a Behavioral Mental Health Unit with specially trained officers to intervene in crisis situations and connect citizens with needed services.  He has relaunched a program to monitor those on probation or parole and re-instituted a popular community policing program.  With a short fall of 92 officers, the major challenge remains recruitment and retention of quality candidates for the police force.

Member Spotlight

Betsy Beekman

Betsy was born in New Jersey and at 10 began moving with her family for her father’s career - Buenos Aires, Argentina; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Toronto, Canada. They returned to the States in time for her to graduate from high school in New Jersey. She attended Mt.Holyoke College for a year and a half and then transferred to Northwestern University graduating with a degree in English and Oral Interpretation of Literature.

"I have two children (from my first marriage) and my life as a gypsy continued with time spent living in San Antonio, Texas; New York, NY where I was one of the first residents of Roosevelt Island; back to NJ; on to Weston, MA; and Bryn Mawr, PA; where I was actively involved in my children’s schools as a Picture Lady, Great Books organizer and facilitator, and PTO newsletter editor.”

Betsy moved to Providence, RI in 1995 with her daughter, when her son left for college. It was there that she met and married her husband, Jim Shirley. While living in Rhode Island she returned to school and got her Master’s degree in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University. Betsy proceeded to work in multiple mental health fields, including substance abuse and eating disorders. She finished her career as Clinical Director within a non-profit that provided community-based care to people with chronic and persistent mental health challenges.  Betsy and Jim also ran a small B&B that catered exclusively to visiting professors to Brown University.

Betsy expresses best her experience of Skidaway Abigails, “I moved to The Landings in 2016, and thought I had made a terrible mistake, given my progressive, liberal orientation. Finding the Abigails changed that and gave me a ‘home’.  As an Abigails member, I have been on the board since 2017 serving in multiple roles - as Activities Chair, PR person, newsletter editor, treasurer, VP and finally as president. As I step down from the board, I am looking forward to attending the programs and enjoying the activities as a member for many years to come.”

Thank you, Betsy.  We are grateful for your generous service to Skidaway Abigails.  


This month I would like to welcome two new members: Cynthia Spillane and Holly Kenreich. I look forward to meeting you both in person soon.

I would also like to introduce you to Sue Stephenson, our new Membership Co-Chair. She is already proving to be a great addition to our team.

If you know of anyone interested in joining, please refer them to our website or have them contact me to learn more.  We welcome anyone from the Savannah area with like-minded interests. You can also bring a guest to any event for only $10. 

Whether you are wanting to join or just renewing your membership, this can all be done easily online at If you encounter any difficulties, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Elizabeth Cowell

Membership Co-Chair


Abigails Video Chat

April 26, May 3, 10, 24, 31

3 PM  Zoom Meetings

Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

As 2022 progresses, wouldn't you like to talk with like-minded women who can be a vital lifeline to keep us sane in these tumultuous and crazy days? Our conversations tend to be free-wheeling and profound and we learn from each other about what is going on in our community, locally, and nationally. Please consider joining us for our next Abigails Video Chat. It's great to be able to talk openly about what we are learning and how we are feeling. 


The America We Need Discussion Group

More than Money:  Solutions for Reigning In Power

Friday, May 20

9:30 AM Zoom Meeting

Led by Annette Carnow

Our Democracy is in grave danger. Not only has our society become more polarized and strident but economic power has increasingly become concentrated.  As Lina Khan, the head of the Federal Trade Commission, has expressed, “Monopolies are bad.  Not simply because they threaten to lead to higher consumer prices or undermine productivity and growth, but they are bad because they’re bad for democracy.”

Our next discussion will be based on a podcast from the program On Point, Nation Public Radio(NPR) dated 2/18/2023 titled, More than Money: Solutions for Reigning in Monopoly Power. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript at:

Please join us for this important discussion about the role of government oversight and regulation of the business world, May 20, 9:30am. We will meet via Zoom or in person depending on the wishes of the group. If you are willing to host this group at your home, please contact:

Register for America We Need

Reel Time

May 25, 4:00 PM 

PBS  Documentary Series: 

Reconstruction: America after the Civil War.

Coordinated by Annette Carnow

So many of the problems our Nation is mired in today are based on our original sin of being a slave holding society.  For a brief period after the Civil War, it looked like real progress would be made in addressing this injustice.  But it was not to be, and facts of this age have, and continue to be, effectively erased by the educational curriculum in our nation.

The next two meetings of Reel Time will focus on the PBS  Documentary Series, Reconstruction: America after the Civil WarWatch the series in the comfort of your home  by downloading the PBS app.  On Wednesday, May 25 at 4 pm, Reel Time participants will discuss the first and second episodes of this 4 part series.  Whether we will meet in person or via Zoom will be determined.  We hope you will join this informative discussion. If you are willing to host this meeting, please email

Register for Reel Time


Coordinated by Sue Kantor

We are happy that Abigails Canasta is thriving. Our group has become quite large and is now closed.  

We would like to thank Sue Storer, in partnership with her very tech savvy husband Jeff, for creating an interactive google doc for Abigails Canasta. Jeff has left no stone unturned. He has provided a way for us to sign in to play by the month, volunteer to host, keep track of who is playing, the need for subs, and included all of our contact information. Sue has added the final touch by sending out an automatic weekly reminder with the date and who is playing!  We are truly grateful to them for this wonderful tool!!

If you would like to play or help organize this group please email

Book Clubs

The AM Book Group currently has 8 members and is looking to add two more.  The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 10 am. Each month one member chooses a book they have read and would like to share with the group.  The recommending member then facilitates the discussion of the book.  The book choice rotates among all the members and is usually announced 2-3 months in advance to give everyone time to read the book. If you would like to join this group please contact Sheila Jannino at

The PM Book Group will be meeting on May 25. 

They will be reading "On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist" by Clarissa Ward.  The reviewer will be Suzan Kiepper  If you would like to join us please email

Message From Your Board of Directors

Your 2021-2022 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

Susan Terrio

Social Co-Chairs

Nikki Berdy

Sue Kantor


Membership Co-Chairs

Elizabeth Cowell

Sue Stephenson

Activities Chair

Pat Wallace

Communications Co-Chairs

Anne Boynton

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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