From GA to L.A.


Television star Nikki DeLoach went from Blackshear, Georgia, to the Hollywood Hills and brought a little bit of her Southern roots with her.

It’s a Wednesday in Los Angeles and Nikki DeLoach is loading her kids William and Bennet into the car for a doctor’s appointment. It’s an almost quintessential mom moment, struggling with a car seat with a cell phone cocked under her ear. It’s also a far cry from her other life as an actress, strutting the red carpet at events ranging from Elton John’s Oscar Party to People StyleWatch’s Annual Denim Party

Depending on your viewing habits, you either know Nikki DeLoach as the endearingly self-centered Lacey Hamilton on MTV’s “Awkward,” or you know her from the slew of Hallmark movies she’s recently made her specialty, including “Truly, Madly, Sweetly,” “The Perfect Catch,” “A Dream of Christmas” and “Reunited at Christmas.”

It’s a resume that means you’ve most certainly seen her in something. And it’s almost worlds apart from the town of Blackshear, Georgia where she grew up.

“Growing up there, it was this idyllic small town, and by the way it still is,” she said. “It really was such an incredible place to be raised. I feel like in these small towns… I was raised by a community. Whether it was in church or school or sports, this whole community kind of kept their eyes on you and made sure you were taken care of. Everyone kind of came together to raise everyone’s children.”

Landing a modeling contract at a young age following a successful run on the pageant circuit, she left the one-stoplight town of Blackshear for the bright lights of Los Angeles and New York. It eventually landed her on the All-New Mickey Mouse Club, a show that launched the careers of stars like Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and NSYNC. Fueled by her newfound stardom, she moved to LA with her grandmother full-time in 1994.

“Because I started acting and had been there young, I had been introduced to big cities like New York and LA,” she said. “But when I moved here, I think the biggest shock to the system was the size, the traffic, and it was just looking around and thinking, ‘Where’s the community? Where are the people that genuinely care about you as a human and not for what you can do for them or how much money you can make them?’”

As she built her career, she also began building her community. Inspired by the hometown she left behind and the simple mantra, “If it doesn’t exist, create it,” she began cultivating a community of actors who support one another through the difficult life of being a working actor.

“We’re calling ourselves the New Hollywood,” she said with a laugh. “And it’s made all the difference in the world. I’m just so grateful… That’s something small towns do without thinking. In big cities, if you want that in your world you have to make it yourself. It’s been a gamechanger for me.”

She’s also built a community through her writing, launching a blog with fellow writer Jen Ded called “What We Are.” Billed as a community where women “of all walks of life to share unfiltered stories and experiences on various issues women face today,” What We Are has built a strong following of women who are ready to drop the Instagram filter and revel in their shared experiences.

“There are some really good (stories on the site),” she said. “I love Jamie Lynn Sigler’s piece on asking for help. I think that’s a really big one for women. We’ve been told by society, and we also tell ourselves, we can do anything: go to work, take care of kids; we can do all of it. The truth of the matter is, we can’t. It’s hard. You’re carrying the weight of the world around. And also, you have a full-time job. It’s really difficult.”

That theme of asking for help resonated with DeLoach, who found herself in that position when her son Bennett was born with a heart defect that required open-heart surgery when he was just five days old.

“I’d never had to ask for help in my life. I was one of those women who said, ‘I have this.’ … What I had was strength to move forward, everything else I needed help on.” She also found catharsis in writing about her father’s diagnosis of Pick’s disease, a form of dementia.

“I actually find out about my dad and Bennett about a week apart. The one thing I will say is I’m a huge person of faith. It’s my rock, it’s my foundation. I never could have gotten through what I’ve been through the last two years without my faith,” she said. “And I could have not gotten around it without the people around me. I’m writing an article right now about angels; these are the real-life angels.”

These angels, these communities DeLoach has cultivated around herself, are at heart extensions of the community in which she grew up. One where everyone made sure you were taken care of and who came together in times of need.

It’s this sense of community she remembers when she talks about Blackshear, a place she still returns to as much as possible, to recharge on the family farm where she and her husband Ryan Goodell were married, and where most of her family still lives.

“I just miss being on my family farm. I miss putting my feet in the grass. There’s something in that soil that feeds me… Just being able to be there with my family, that’s what I miss the most,” she said. “I want my kids connected to earth and this specific place in the world that has meant so much to me.”

You can catch Nikki DeLoach as the lead in the upcoming Hallmark movie “Love to the Rescue,” premiered March 23 on Hallmark Channel

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Greatest Bosses 2019

Featuring the greatest bosses with enthusiastic nominations from their own employees, those fine working folks who make the dreams possible.

Greatest Dads 2019

Show your dad some love and enter him in the South's Greatest Dads contest and get him some votes!
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Events Calendar

  • Free Oral Health Screenings

    Apr 11, 2019
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Sandfly Family Dental

     In recognition of April being Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon will offer free...

  • Beauty in Bloom at Bluemercury

    Apr 04, 2019
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM @ Bluemercury

    A change in season isn’t simply a change in weather. From Thursday, March 28th through April 20th, Bluemercury Beauty Experts will be standing by...

  • Southport Spring Festival

    Apr 19, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Franklin Square Park

    Bring your friends and family to welcome spring in style at the Southport Spring Festival, a tradition for more than 25 years! Enjoy a wide variety...

  • "The Prints of Dame Laura Knight" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Jan 19, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Telfair Museums' Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums exhibits nine prints by Dame Laura Knight (British, 1877-1970), together for the first time since they were acquired by the museum...

  • "Keita Takahashi: Zooming Out" Exhibition at Telfair Musuems

    Jan 24, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums hosts the first museum survey of the work of visionary videogame designer Keita Takahashi (Japanese, b. 1975). Takahashi is noted...

  • "Rembrandt and the Jewish Experience" at Telfair Museums

    Mar 15, 2019
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    This exhibition contains 21 etchings by Rembrandt and one drawing by Rembrandt’s teacher Pieter Lastman (Dutch, 1583-1633). These works highlight...

  • “Jaume Plensa Talking Continents” Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Mar 01, 2019
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Jaume Plensa (Spanish, b. 1955) is one of the world’s foremost living sculptors. He is widely known for large-scale public artworks and more...

  • Ray & Etta: Father of Soul & Matriarch of Blues

    Apr 19, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    If you enjoyed our "Frank & Ella" concert last year, you don't want to miss Laiken Love and Trae Gurley's "Ray & Etta: Father of Soul & Matriarch...

  • Spring Fling Unity in the Community Arts & Crafts Fair

    Apr 19, 2019
    All Day @ Rousakis Plaza, River Street

  • Rembrandt Exhibit

    Mar 15, 2019
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    Rembrandt lived and worked in Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. Although most residents of Amsterdam during...

  • Red Shoes Run

    Apr 20, 2019
    8:45 AM @ Ronald McDonald House

    For experienced and new runners/walkers, The Red Shoes Run is affectionately called the "Mini-Bridge Run," perfect for training for the...

  • Collin's Barefoot Comedy Club w/Andrew Sleighter

    Apr 20, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    National headline comedian Collin Moulton's monthly stand-up comedy show always features his own brand of hilarious and family-friendly comedy, a...

  • Earth Day Celebration

    Apr 20, 2019
    All Day @ Daffin Park

    Each year in the spring,  the Savannah Chatham Sustainability Coalition and our local community gather in a city park to become the nucleus of...

  • Restore Your Pelvic Floor

    Apr 21, 2019
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ Savannah Power Yoga

    Our pelvic floor is a rarely talked about group of muscles whose optimal function is essential to a good quality of life.   In this workshop, we...

  • Special Open Day at Savannah Children's Museum

    Apr 22, 2019
    All Day

  • Remembering the Chinese Railroad Workers

    Apr 23, 2019
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Islands Library

    Trace the footsteps of history through the journey of the Chinese railroad workers who constructed the First Transcontinental Railroad. Presented...

  • Badges and Brews

    Apr 23, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM @ Southbound Brewing Company

    The Giving Network & the SMC Partners invite you to Badges & Brews, a networking social and fundraiser for the 200 Club of the Coastal...

  • Make Savannah Spring Roundtable

    Apr 25, 2019
    5:30 AM - 7:00 PM @ Savannah Bee Company

    Make plans now to join us for our Spring roundtable hosted by Make Savannah members, Savannah Bee Company! You’ll learn how Savannah Bee...

  • Lean Ensemble Theater presents Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon

    Apr 25, 2019
    7:30 PM - 9:30 PM @ HHPS Main Street Theatre

    Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie's loopy mother and...

  • 10th Annual Bid for PAL Online Auction

    Apr 25, 2019
    All Day @

    Shop the Lowcountry and beyond from the comfort of your couch! With the "Bid for PAL" Online Auction you can splurge on a golf package, a spa...

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Scenes of the South

The Clyde

The Clyde Venue is Savannah’s newest, most modern, wedding venue located in the Historic Landmark District. The space has been completely renovated, and a work in progress for more than a year. The venue is 5,200 square feet and includes a grande room, large marble bar, catering prep area, and restrooms. It’s located at 223 Martin Luther King Boulevard.

The Fire Ball

IAFF Savannah Firefighters gathered together at Savannah Station March 15th to celebrate with friends and family. They welcomed their newest members, honored those that recently retired and acknowledged departments joining from around the world! The event was a blast. From 6pm-10pm guests danced to live music, sampled premium foods and even played with local puppies up for adoption.

Savannah's Newest Hot Spot Opens

SEED Eco Lounge, Barrelhouse South and Rogue Water welcomes a new addition to the family. Vice is located on Broughton at Saya's former location. Few pursuits tap into the pleasures of nightlife more than music. Giving yourself over to the rhythms, the lights, and the energy is a total release. Amazing DJs get the crowds moving, and other patrons ensure that there's plenty to see and socialize with. This sleek and sexy underground spot is sure to be one of the best spots for Savannah's night life.

The Royal Flush Casino Night Presented by Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah

Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah hosted “The Royal Flush Casino Night” on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Savannah Station, with all of the proceeds going to benefit families at the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire. The casino-themed party will feature heavy hors-d’oeuvres, an open bar, live music, dancing and complimentary casino.

The Telfair Ball

The 39th annual Telfair Ball celebrated the 200th anniversary of the remarkable architecture of Telfair Museums historic buildings and the pioneering legacy of Mary Telfair. This year the Ball was held in Forsyth Park among a myriad of carnival performers and fanciful nymphs. Hundreds of Savannah locals and many visitors came together to celebrate a love of art and South Eastern heritage. The ball supports the future of the Telfair Academy, the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, and the Jepson Center. Proceeds directly fund the museum's educational outreach, exhibitions, and release activities, bring the benefits of art to over 190,000 people each year.

Hearts for Healing Gala

The Faith Equestrian's Annual Hearts for Healing Gala at Tybee Wedding Chapel on Friday evening started out with a bang as the Free Spirit Orchestra' violin twins played their rendition of some of the greatest musical hits. The attendees were reminded what the event was all about as the founder Bonnie Rachael was recognized after story after story was shared to a room of teary eyed party-goers. Congrats to event director Bonnie Karr and her amazing team for a job well done!

Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association's 22nd Annual Southern Heart Ball took place on February 2, 2019 and celebrated all the life-saving advances made so far while raising funds to continue to further AHA's mission. The black-tie gala brought together more than 400 guests to enjoy a night of dining, dancing, live entertainment and both live and silent auctions. Those in attendance got to hear the story of Lily Cochran, who was born with several congenital heart defects. Her father, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, also had a heart disease and was honored at the event.

PUTTING Away Crime

On Saturday, January 12, 2019 Savannah helped McGruff the Crime Dog take a bite out of crime at the Crimestoppers Savannah's 3rd Annual Putt Putt Mini Golf Tournament held at Island Miniature Golf and Game on Wilmington Island. Proceeds went to helping fund rewards for the Crimestopper's anonymous crime tip line.

Dining in the Dark

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, the 3rd Annual Dining in the Dark event presented by The Charles C. Taylor and Samir Nikocevic Charitable Foundation benefitting the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, was held at the Embassy Suites/Downtown Savannah.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2018

Savannah's 39 Rue De Jean celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day, the official end of this year’s growing season. Harvest is complete and vintners—especially in France—are ready to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is annually released on the third Thursday in November. Nouveau wine undergoes a very short fermentation process, and yields an extremely fresh and fruity wine.