President's Message

As I was drafting this letter I got the sad news about the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It feels more urgent now than ever, that those of us who share the liberal and progress values she championed for her whole career, step up and do what we can to ensure that these values continue to have an impact in our community, our state and the country.

I am so grateful to our WAGs who presented a thoughtful and informative program on the state and local candidates running in November. Being educated and informed voters, and then actually voting, is perhaps the most important action each one of us can take.

I hope to see you somewhere soon on Zoom, whether at our monthly meeting where we will learn how to read between the lines of all the information bombarding us – what is real news and what is fake news – or at one of the other activities being offered this month. Connecting with each other, having a comfortable place to talk and share, feels vitally important right now. Our Zoom chats and discussion groups provide a space for us to connect, and, that connection, and the support we offer each other can be a port in the storm for all of us.

With gratitude,

Betsy Beekman

Save the Date!

We Got Through It!

Election Night Zoom Meeting

Tuesday, November 3

9 PM to 10 PM

Coordinated by Social Chairs:

Nikki Berdy and Sue Kantor

Before we know it, the November 2020 Presidential Election will be upon us. We know that not only is there a lot riding on the outcome of this election, but it also might take longer than normal to have certifiable results in many of our states due to the extraordinary number of mail-in ballots.  

While we may not have a final outcome that night, we would like to offer our members, and the Hamiltons, the chance to get together via Zoom that evening from 9pm -10pm, to share reactions to the election and to celebrate that WE GOT THROUGH IT!

Please let us know if you want to be a part of this and we will send you the link and necessary information to join us for this virtual gathering.  We hope to see you then, and please ... REMEMBER TO VOTE!

Upcoming Events

Fake News: Fact, Fiction, and (Real) Fakery

Paul Lieberman

Thursday, October 8

3:30 PM   Zoom meeting

Program Chairs:

Pat Wallace and Betsey Andersen

Paul Lieberman spent 24 years as an editor and writer for the Los Angeles Times, and before that served as Projects Editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where his investigative series won dozens of honors. At the LA Times, he was part of two teams that earned Pulitzer Prizes. He has written ethics guidelines and conducted workshops for journalists at Columbia, Harvard, the Mob Museum, and SCAD. A graduate of Williams College, and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, he is also the author of Gangster Squad, and was executive producer of the film starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone. 

The focus of this program will be on the tactic of attacking the press, balanced against the real problems of fiction and propaganda in reporting. This meeting is open to Abigails members and their guests, and Hamiltons members (they will receive a separate invitation from their leadership).

Skidaway Hamiltons Invitation

COVID-19 Vaccine Testing

B. “Willow” Chanthavong

Wednesday, Sept. 30

4:00 PM  Zoom Meeting

Skidaway Hamiltons is pleased to announce that Willow Chanthavong of Meridian Clinical Research in Savannah will present an In-Depth Review of Vaccine Testing. She is currently involved in Phase 3 COVID-19 trials for Moderna and Phase 2 COVID-19 trials for Pfizer and Novavax. Ms. Chanthavong will address the history of vaccinations, including seminal events that have generated distrust. She’ll explain how trials are conducted and the issues that shape their success. 

Ms. Chanthavong is Director of Clinical Operations for the Neurology Division of Meridian, is research coordinator for vaccination programs, and has worked on 15 different vaccine trials in the past five years.

Register for Hamiltons Program

Member Spotlight

Annette Carnow

The Abigails Communications Team is pleased to feature Annette Carnow in our October Member Spotlight. Annette is a self-professed city girl and has lived in Chicago most of her life.  She received her B.A. in English Literature and M.A. in Library Science at the University of Michigan.  As a former public librarian, Annette is committed to lifetime learning and providing information and programming for adults.

Annette and her husband Barry moved to the Landings in December 2004. In recent years they have traveled throughout Asia, South America and Central America.  Her most meaningful and interesting experiences have been talking with ordinary people, learning about their daily lives, and seeing how they live.

Annette began coordinating the Abigails Reel Time Film Group in 2014.  She has also created opportunities for Abigails to join in group discussions on a variety of topics, The 1619 Project and The America We Need Discussion Groups, both focused on a series of editorials in the New York Times.  Annette curates challenging content for Abigails to take an in-depth look into the issues of our time. (You can see more about these activities in this newsletter.) 

The Abigails so appreciate Annette for sharing her skills, knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion with us!  Thank you Annette!


Abigails Video Chat

October 6 at 3:30 PM

October 13 & 27 at 3:00 PM

Zoom Meetings

Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

September 29 will be a special Abigails Video Chat. We have invited Abigails member Dr. Alicia Shillington, who has extensive experience in epidemiology, pharmacoeconomic and outcomes research, to join our group as we discuss what is happening in our community regarding COVID-19.

To register for the Sept. 29 Video Chat, click on the button below. You can register for subsequent sessions through our Weekly Activities Guide. If you have specific ideas of topics you would like to discuss, please send them to

Register for Video Chat

Coordinated by Annette Carnow

The America We Need Discussion Group

Friday, October 23

9:30 am Zoom Meeting

"The Long Fix: Solving America’s Healthcare Crisis with Strategies that Work for Everyone" with Dr. Vivian Lee

The American healthcare system, with its fee-for-service model, has serious defects. Not only do we pay more with worse results than any other industrialized nation, but the costs have contributed to our stagnant wages.

Dr. Vivian Lee, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, has written a new highly accessible book called The Long Fix: Solving America’s Healthcare crisis with Strategies that work for Everyone.

For this meeting please listen to an informative, provocative, recent interview with her. Click on the title from the NPR podcast Hidden Brain:

Slaying The 'Fee-for-Service Monster' Of American Healthcare 

as Dr. Lee discusses the psychological and  economic incentives embedded in the American model of medicine, and makes the case for a different way forward.

Reel Time Film Group

Wednesday, October 28

4:00 pm Zoom Meeting

Coordinated by Annette Carnow

There is no shortage of companies that make cash advances or payday loans in Savannah. We will discuss this predatory financial industry and how it operates. In preparation, please watch the Episode “Payday” from season one of the Netflix series Dirty Money.

You may also find it interesting to hear a more sympathetic portrayal of these lending institutions on the podcast Freakonomics Radio: Are payday loans really as evil as people say?

Hope you will join us for this important discussion that affects so many poor people in the Savannah community and across our nation.

Register for Reel Time

The Glorias 

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

September 30 

This film traces Gloria Steinem’s life and the Women’s Movement in the U.S. It was directed by Julie Taymor and stars Alicia Vikander and Julianne Moore as Gloria Steinem, and Bette Midler as Bella Abzug.  It was filmed at the Savannah Civic Center. Look closely and you might see some of our lovely ladies cast as convention  attendees at the re-creation of the National Women’s Convention in Houston.  Abigail “extras” were put through hair, clothing changes, and makeup, and cellphones were banned from the set.  Plan A of the ending of the film was that we would have the election of the first woman President, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Guess we will have to watch and see what the new ending became.  

WAG would like to THANK all the volunteers who participated in the joint Abigail /WAG/LWVCGA postcard initiative!

Cubby Plonchak


Coordinated by Sue Kantor

Over the last year or two we have gathered a great group of women for Abigails Canasta. Our lives are different now. Five of us have formed a group and we have been playing online for the last few months.  

If forming a group sounds good--—gather your own group of Abigails and/or send me your names, and as soon as there are 4 or 5 women, I will form the group and you are off and running.  Each new group will function autonomously.  Choose your own day and time; no shopping for snacks or wondering if you have the cards, the shuffler, the tray or the extra table!

If any of you are interested in playing virtually please feel free to contact me and I will be glad to help with the process and share what we have learned from using Canasta Junction.

Book Clubs

The Abigails book clubs are currently full but we would be happy to start a new one if there is member interest. If you would like to participate in a book club, please email us at


Hello to everyone.  I’d like to welcome our new members and thank all of you who have renewed.  Although we have not had the opportunity to meet in person, that has not deterred the Abigails from participating in the various events offered via ZOOM!

I’m excited to report that as of now, we have added 9 new members and 193 have renewed.  Hopefully those of you who have not renewed, will consider doing so.  During these “unusual” times, it’s important to keep connected and share our experiences.  Our book clubs, discussion groups, and weekly chats offer that comradery.

Please spread the word about Abigails.  It is vital that we progressive women find a place to relate, communicate, and stay in touch.

If you know of anyone interested in joining, they can always give me a call or email me to find out more information. 

Adele Packert

Membership Chair


Message From Your Board of Directors

Hurray!  All of our Board positions are now filled!  Thanks to Bonnie Kelly for volunteering to be your Activities Chair and to Susan Kurtain for volunteering to be your Secretary!  Your 2020-2021 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!


Betsy Beekman


Susan Terrio


Susan Kurtain


Iris Dayoub


Programming Co-Chairs

Pat Wallace

Betsey Anderson

Social Co-Chairs

Nikki Berdy

Sue Kantor


Adele Packert

Activities Chair

Bonnie Kelly

Communications Co-Chairs

Anne Boynton

Sheila Stallings

IT Chair

Sheila Grossman

Advocacy Chair

Cubby Plonchak


Sheila Grossman

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 Capital. 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 David Perdue

(404) 865-0087 (ATL)

(202) 224-3521 (DC)

US Senator Kelly Loeffler

(770) 661-0999 (ATL)

(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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