Skidaway Abigails  l  September 2023

Abigail Adams says...

"if particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation."

President's Message

It is my pleasure to welcome you back after this long and hot summer. Whether you stayed in Savannah or traveled to other places, I hope that you will return refreshed and eager to participate in the many activities we have to offer. 

Although our monthly programs ended in May, the Abigails board has been hard at work to promote our mission throughout the summer. June was a very busy month. Our thanks go to Sue Stephenson for organizing 20 Abigails to volunteer as Mystery Readers to Kindergarten and 1st students in the Horizons Savannah summer enrichment program. Serving low-income students from Savannah’s public schools, Horizons builds social, physical and emotional well-being as a powerful tool for social change. The Mystery Reader program was a highly rewarding experience for both the students and our volunteers.

In late June Abigails members had the opportunity to tour Tharros Place, the newly completed residential facility for the teenage survivors of human trafficking. Our thanks go to the Executive Director of Tharros Place, Julie Wade, and to Co-Chair for Abigails Programs, Shanti Stone, for organizing this inspiring visit. To learn about volunteer opportunities at Tharros Place, please visit their website:

Also in late June, Migrant Equity Southeast, an immigrant-lead organization, saw their long-term efforts to benefit migrant children and families pay off handsomely. The Savannah-Chatham County School Board announced a nearly $1 million investment in a variety of much needed services for English language learners. These include additional teachers, aides, and interpreters in public schools as well as cultural sensitivity training for nearly one thousand educators. Congratulations to the founders of Migrant Equity Southeast, Daniela Rodriguez and Christina Magaña. 

Over the summer the nine-member Abigails Advocacy committee, under the leadership of Kiki Kornhauser, has been hard at work planning new volunteer opportunities and direct-action initiatives for the 2023-24 year. See below.

We look ahead to another year of exciting programs and social activities, beginning with our second annual Kick Off Social on Wednesday, September 6 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Delegal Marina. In addition to socializing with new and returning members, the Abigails board will showcase our brand new Abigails T-shirts. This has been a team effort from start to finish. We went from a brilliant idea and a beautiful design to the T-shirt message. We have the Communications Co-Chairs, the V-P, the IT chairs, and our design guru, Carolyn Zalesne, to thank for making it happen. This is another first for the Skidaway Abigails.

Our September program on the 14th at 3:30 in the fellowship hall of Messiah Lutheran will feature Anne Allen Westbrook, the Democratic representative of the Georgia House District 163. Ms. Westbrook is a dynamic, young legislator whose priority issues for the upcoming session include the hot button subjects that concern us all: voting rights, health care, reproductive rights, criminal justice reform and gun safety.

Following our very successful May meeting led by Diane Hartley, the board will meet on the 19th of September to study the feedback that we gathered from the membership and use it to plan a way forward for our organization. Stay tuned.

Finally, Sue Adler, the dynamic CEO and President of the Historic Savannah Foundation has shared a volunteer opportunity with our members. The Davenport House Museum will be conducting docent training in September. If you are interested in helping to tell the story of Savannah’s rich cultural heritage and to get the dates and times of training sessions, please contact The Davenport House Museum tour coordinator, Sheena Fulkerson, by calling (912) 236-8097 or by sending an email to

I look forward to seeing you all in just a few weeks.

Very Best,


President, Skidaway Abigails

Upcoming Events

We invite new and returning Abigails Members to gather and welcome in a new year of impactful programs and activities at our opening meeting, a Kick Off Social Event.

Date: September 6

Where: Sunset Pavilion, Delegal Marina

Time: 5-7:00 p.m.

Tickets are $20 per member. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Fall Kick Off Event

Welcome Back Abigail Members!

Kick-off Registration

Anne Allen Westbrook represents Georgia House District 163, which includes areas outside of Savannah. 

Topics will include her perspective as a first year legislative, education, healthcare, voting rights, gun safety, and the environment. 

September Program Registration

September Program

Representative Anne Allen Westbrook

Date: September 14

Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Messiah Lutheran Church

1 Westridge Road

Anne earned her B.A. in Political Science from Hollins College, and went on to earn her Juris Doctor from University of Georgia School of Law.  Anne has been a practicing attorney since 2001, focusing primarily on divorce, custody, and other issues facing families.  

Anne became a volunteer for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America in 2013.  As a volunteer leader, she worked on defeating dangerous gun bills in the Georgia General Assembly, educating gun owners about the importance of safe firearm storage, and, in September 2019, worked with the City of Savannah to unanimously pass a gun violence prevention resolution, the first of its kind to pass in Georgia.

Anne is a longtime member of Asbury Memorial Church, and has helped form Asbury’s “Ribbons for a Reason” ministry, which remembers the lives of Savannahians lost to gun violence. 

Prior to her 2022 election to the Georgia House, she served as a Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the City of Savannah, and as a legislative aide to Representative Edna Branch Jackson.  

Anne serves on the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, the State Planning and Community Affairs Committee, and the Code Revision Committee, as well as serving the Georgia House Democratic Caucus as a Deputy Whip.

Anne and her husband Todd Baiad, also a lawyer, live in midtown Savannah with their three boys.

Co-ordinated by Carolyn DeFrancesco and Shanti Stone

Summer Program Recap

Abigails and Kiwanis Visit Tharros Place

15 Abigails visited Tharros Place this summer. 

Julie Wade explains the planning behind the design and development of Tharros Place. 

Tharros Place partnered with SCAD

Serve to bring the ideas to life. 

Connect with Tharros Place:

What is Human Trafficking?

On June 20th, 15 Abigails joined members of the Kiwanis to meet with the program’s executive director, Julie Wade, at the new site of Tharros Place. Tharros Place is designed to fill a gap to provide support and residential shelter to survivors of human trafficking in Chatham County. 

Human Trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, is when a person under 18 years old is manipulated, controlled, or forced to perform sexual acts to receive money, goods, protection, or any form of compensation. 

Chatham Country ranks 4th in the state for the number of sex trafficking cases. In 2021, 772 minors (average age 14) in Georgia were identified as trafficking victims. Tharros Place will begin to house 12 female survivors ranging in ages from 11-17 years of age. The facility will be open 24/7 in September, staffed by trained and licensed professionals providing trauma-informed, client-centered care. 

Tharros Place partnered with SCAD Serve to provide the research and design of the facility to best meet the needs of the survivors. 

How can Abigails help?

Tharros Place is looking for volunteers to assist with furniture assembly. Donations are welcomed for additional materials and ongoing support of the facility. 

Tharros means courage in Greek, and Tharros Place is creating a culture of courage in all the girls they serve. The Abigails and Kiwanis members are happy to be involved with this impressive facility and its direction under the Executive Director, Julie Wade.

Co-ordinated by Carolyn DeFrancesco and Shanti Stone

Horizons Savannah and Mystery Readers

Horizons Savannah

Horizons transforms the way students see themselves and the future. With a network of support, Horizons students embrace a more expansive view of what's possible.  

This summer, the Abigails were invited to observe the Horizons Savannah program in action. The six week Summer Enrichment program directed by Christie Edwards teaches, mentors and prepares 275 students from close to 36 different Savannah Public Schools, K to 12th grade.

Horizon’s focus is to build the student’s social, physical and emotional well-being. The program offers a wide range of academic activities, cultural enrichment programs and creative recreational activities, including swimming lessons.

Students are accepted at no cost to those who meet a household poverty level requirement to qualify, with attendance and transportation thresholds to participate. 

Abigail Mystery Readers 

Horizons invited ‘Mystery Readers’ to the classrooms, and over 20 Abigails participated. The Horizons Summer Program has proven to increase standardized test scores in math and reading.

Horizons Savannah continues throughout the year as well, with volunteer opportunities after school and Saturdays. For how you can participate, contact Sue Stephenson, Abigails Advocacy Committee member

Toby Hollenberg, Christie Edwards and Kiki Kornhauser discuss further ways that Abigails can be involved. 

Heidi Lieberman shares her enthusiasm of reading as a Mystery Reader during the Horizons Savannah program. 

Rebecca Reynolds shares her love of science by reading "Ada Twist, Scientist".

This summer, 20 Abigails volunteered as Mystery Readers. 



Click to Join or Renew Your Membership

Please join us in welcoming Erin Wallace, Kate Black, Pam Orient, Stacey Schlafstein and Marcia Staimer as our newest members. They are looking forward to meeting other members and becoming an active part of our Abigail 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

Member Spotlight

Nina Cook

Our first Spotlight of the season features Nina Cook, our new Board Treasurer.

I was born in Delaware and spent my first 16 years there. I then moved across the state line to Pennsylvania where I spent the next 25 years. I have been in The Landings 14 months. I love it! I love outdoor activities like kayaking, boating, hiking or walking with my dogs, even just sitting by the pool. Once I’m no longer working, I’ll give golf a try, and I can’t wait to learn Pickleball!

Why did you join the Abigails?

When I knew we were moving south from the Washington DC metro area, I immediately looked for a group like the Abigail’s where I knew I could get together with like-minded women who I could feel comfortable discussing issues with. Unfortunately, while I’m still working full-time, I can’t make it to see speakers but hope to soon!

What have been the highlights of your adult life?

Looking back now, I can see how my life was balancing on a knife’s edge and without either divine intervention or incredible luck, I may have ended up a familiar statistic - an undereducated, unskilled, unemployed young mother with multiple children who falls into homelessness and poverty. At the time, I was just 33 years old, escaping an abusive marriage with three boys (10, 7 and 5), no college degree, and I had not been employed in 10 years.

The biggest highlight of my life was not to become that statistic but to have the confidence in myself to figure it out. With some luck, I would hopefully become a successful professional who could support myself and my three boys.

Another highlight is that those three boys are now successful, healthy and wonderful young men (34, 31 and 29) who make me proud every day. To bring everything full circle, my third highlight is to have met and married my husband, Steve. Our healthy, loving, balanced relationship is a long way from that first abusive marriage. It could have all ended very differently for me, and I hope to be able to help young women who are in similar circumstances so they can also avoid being that statistic.

Thank you, Nina, for your commitment and service to Skidaway Abigails.

Abigail T-shirts 

We are excited to offer our new Abigail T-shirts to our members. Sizes are S-XXL, at $20, which includes taxes. These T-shirts will be available for sale on-line this Fall. Watch for information in an upcoming email in September.


The Skidaway Abigails Advocacy Committee has spent the summer getting organized to be ready to take meaningful action on the issues we all care about.

Based on the feedback from the May meeting, we are developing an Action Plan that will define the focus areas we want to monitor for potential involvement, either in advocacy or community involvement/service.

Our next steps will be for Advocacy Chair, Kiki Kornhauser, to present the plan to the Abigails Board for approval in September. Once approved, we will present the action plans to the full Abigails membership at an evening session in October. We will also use that meeting to discuss November’s elections.

A confirmed date for the October evening presentation of the Action Plan will be forthcoming.

If you have any questions, please contact Kiki at


Potluck Dinners 


October 15th


Details coming in September 

Coordinated by Pat Wallace

Dining Out

September Cocktail Hour!

Colleagues & Lovers

4523 Habersham Street

September 20th

5-6:30 p.m.

Coordinated by Diane Hartley

Abigails Cocktail Registration

Colleagues & Lovers is a Habersham Village neighborhood restaurant and cocktail bar. They offer crafted drinks and an unusual yet reasonable food menu. Join other Abigails for a drink and bite. We'll have a table toward the back. 

Diane is offering to be a designated driver. If you want to carpool or are willing to drive others, please meet at 4:30 p.m. at the Skidaway Methodist Church. 


Contact Diane Hartley,, 312-391-3375.


*Note: No Canasta on Sept. 6th

    Friday Abigails Canasta Fridays 1-3 p.m.  Coordinated by Sue  Kantor. (

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

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

    Book Clubs 

    AM Book Group meets at 10:00 a.m., third Wednesday each month. There are now three openings. 

    Contact Sheila Jannino at

    PM Book Group will meet on Wednesday, September 27th at 3:30 p.m. The book is "Dearest Friend", the life of Abigail Adams, by Lynne Withey. If you would like to join this group, please contact Phyllis Aaron at 610-203-4393 or  

    America We Need 

    The America We Need

    What is working in America and what is not, will be the topic for the year. 

    Our first discussion will center on some of the most vulnerable members of our society, our kids. Since 1941 when the Fair Standard Act was enacted, child labor laws have protected our youth by limiting the amount of time, and the kinds of work they can do. Now there are shocking instances of abuse and attempts to rewrite the laws regarding what is acceptable for children to do in the workplace.

    Please read the following articles from the New York Times:

    The Absurd Republican Argument for Rolling Back Child Labor Laws, August 9, 2023, Opinion Piece by Jessica Grose

    Alone and Exploited, Migrant children work brutal jobs across the U.S.

    Death of 16 year old at Mississippi Poultry Plant

    As migrant children were put to work, U.S ignored warnings

    Labor Department denounces surge in exploited Migrant children

    We will meet for discussion on Friday 9:30 a.m., September 22, at 16 Robert Reid Court.

    If you wish to participate but don’t have access to New York Times, please contact Annette,

    Coordinated by Annette Carnow

    Abigails Video Chat 

    Abigails Video Chat

    As we start a new Abigails season, please come and join our first Video Chat. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with other Abigails and talk about what’s ahead for the fall. Election season is right around the corner and there has been a lot of crazy stuff going on that warrants our examination and discussion. All from the comfort (and coolness) of your own home. We hope to see you there!

    Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

    Reel Time 

    Reel Time

    In 1977 Studs Terkel’s groundbreaking book Working was published. It was a compendium of hundreds of interviews with Americans from all classes, races, and occupations reflecting on their jobs and lives.

    At that time I had my first full-time professional job as a public service librarian in an affluent Chicago suburb and Studs’s book was an eye-opening revelatory read. Apparently, this book had a similar impact on former President Barack Obama, who read it when he was a young neighborhood organizer. Recognizing that the nature of work has changed dramatically for many people in the first quarter of the 21st century, Obama has produced a series for Netflix, following Studs’ model of interviewing ordinary people asking them what they think about their lives.

    Reel Time will meet on two Monday afternoons in September at 3:30 p.m. at the home of Annette Carnow, 16 Robert Reid Court, to view and discuss the first episodes of the series, Working.

    Episode 1 - September 11

    Episode 2 - September 18

    Hope you will join us in this examination of what work means today. 

    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

    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 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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