South's Greatest Dads 2017 Winners

Just in time for father’s day, the south’s greatest dads share with us their challenges and why they love parenting so much. Plus tips on how to be a great father!

David Pence

"Let your love be an example"

Unfortunately, being a great dad comes from opportunities of learning from past mistakes. Children don’t come with instruction manuals, so becoming a great dad comes from being willing to learn from other fathers who have paved the way before you.

What tips would I offer? First, be a leader they can count on and be consistent in everything you do. Live the life you profess. I think there is nothing worse than, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say.” We should live a life where we want our children to do as we do.

Second, love them with everything you have but always be willing to be a father first and a friend second. Sometimes this places you in an unpopular role, but the dividends definitely pay off in the long run.

I have the incredible joy of having raised three amazing children. Two serve our country in the military and the other works with me everyday. Times weren’t always easy but I am grateful to have the had such a great opportunity.

Hamilton Kinard

​"Being a great dad also means being a great husband"

Raising a child with autism, while at the same time nurturing my relationship with my wife, requires that I make time to communicate with my wife every day. What I need to communicate most is my love. In our situation, I went off to war and came home with injuries that require me to depend on my wife as much as our children. When I and one of our two children have special needs, you can be certain that my wife’s daily responsibilities are always full and very challenging. Recognizing that fact was the first step toward realizing that no matter what kind of day I think I’ve had, my wife has “had a day 2x that,” too!

Some Tips From Hamilton:

1. Spend Time With Your Children. Kids grow up so quickly. Missed opportunities are lost forever.

2. Listen First, Talk Second. Take time and listen to your children’s ideas and problems. Listening helps them feel respected and understood.

3. Discipline with Love. Fathers who discipline in a calm and fair manner show love to their children.

4. Show Affection. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them.

5. Realize A Father’s Job In Never Done. Fathers continue to play an essential part in the lives of their children as they grow and, perhaps, marry and build their own families.

Tersh Blissett

​"Be willing to learn, teach and live as an example for your kids. They watch everything you do."

Being a great dad is a daily challenge in self control, selflessness and teaching. Each of my children are different in their own way, and while I strive to push them to excel far past anything I have accomplished, I often must remind myself that they are still so young and sometimes just want to wrestle!

We are all very active in soccer, music lessons and education, and I feel that being involved in their day-to-day lives is one of the most important things I can do to help show them that I will always support them.

Sometimes, a song may be played using the wrong notes, or a soccer ball may have been kicked into their own goal, but when they look over toward the crowd, this dad is cheering them on with a smile and two thumbs up!

We all make mistakes, and if the worst thing they do is hit the wrong key on a piano or slip up and kick the ball into the wrong goal, then I can proudly say that I have successfully raised the best children ever!

There is no greater feeling than seeing that look in my children’s eyes when we have practiced something over and over again and it finally clicks! They have a sense of accomplishment like nothing they have ever experienced, and in THAT exact moment I become the greatest dad ever!

Solomon Smith

"Remember: Give love, love and more love"

Being a dad to two daughters is the greatest job in the world. I love exposing them to new experiences and having great adventures. It’s amazing and sometimes shocking to watch their behaviors and see myself in them. I honestly don’t know what my life would be like if I weren’t a parent. My kids have been such an incredible addition to my life. In the future, we may consider adopting or fostering children in addition to our own.

Tips from Solomon:

1. Be flexible

2. Give lots of hugs and snuggles. you can never give them too much love

3. Laugh a lot

Harry Jue

"Teching your child the path they should take requires sacrifice"

You worry that your children won’t have all they need to succeed and grow up to be mature, honorable adults. You pray for their happiness and safety. Sometimes we need to sacrifice things we want now in order to plan for future needs. Ultimately, you hope they will find the perfect mate, and that they in turn will raise their own children like they were raised.

Tips from Harry:

1.Teach them to thrive and be responsible.

2. Involve them in family functions and have family dinners.

3. Communicate.

4. Stay active with your kids.

5. Teach them things that you enjoy but also let them try new things.

6. Support them in their endeavors.

Larry Guthrie

"Help build memories that will lead them through the years"

Being a dad has not always been the easiest thing I’ve done, but it is by far the biggest blessing. I have two wonderful children, Brittany (31) and Rick (34). As I hope I taught the kids valuable lessons to help them as they grew into adulthood, they also taught me valuable lessons.

Both Rick and Brittany were involved in sports, which kept us very busy. Even though at times we fussed about running here and there with them, I miss those days.

We always had so much fun on our vacation trips to the beach. We went to Saint Simons several times a year. One of the main things we loved was taking the boat out into the Hampton River to fish. We also loved riding our bikes and relaxing at the beach. So many great memories. Now we are loving being a part of their families. I told them to always remember their roots and where they came from. As I watch them now, this is one lesson they did take with them. I could not be prouder of these two! I truly am the lucky one!

One of the main lessons I taught them was to put God first in everything they do. Next I told them to put Mom second, because if Mom is happy we are all happy! We told them to always tell the truth – your word means everything. You have to earn trust and respect. Try to be a leader, not a follower. We also stressed to them as they were getting closer to either college or a career, to take money out of the equation; to find a career they are passionate about and to be the very best at whatever they do. Not that it always worked, but I would tell them to think about when they have kids, to think about whether you want your kids doing what you are doing.

 

To read more stories from South's Greatest Dads, subscribe now or pick up the June/July issue of South magazine. 

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South's Greatest Moms Contest 2019

We're looking for the greatest, most authentic and sincere, southern moms. Taking nominations through February 4th!

South's 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

  • "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...

  • "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...

  • SBF Children's Tent

    Feb 17, 2019
    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM @ Reynolds Square

    Join Live Oak Public Libraries and Savannah Book Festival for the SBF Children’s Tent on Sunday, February 17 from 1-4 PM in Reynolds Square....

  • Hospice Savannah Oyster Roast

    Feb 17, 2019
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Isle of Hope Marina

    Join us for our 2nd annual oyster roast in memory of Isle of Hope's beloved Sammy Moore. As many of you know, Sammy died under our care in...

  • Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo Style)

    Jan 16, 2019
    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Fit912savannah

    Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo Style)    Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo style) is for beginners and advanced beginners  of this type of...

  • 23rd Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ Hilton Head Island

    The Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration showcases the rich cultural heritage of theGullah people and their history on Hilton Head Island. Hilton...

  • Savannah Book Festival

    Feb 14, 2019
    All Day @ Downtown Savannah

    The 12th Annual Savannah Book Festival will continue to celebrate nationally-recognized and local authors through their contributions to literacy,...

  • License to Chill Snow Island

    Nov 16, 2018
    All Day @ Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

    Margaritaville at Lanier Islands is preparing for a winter wonderland makeover that will surprise and delight local residents and travelers...

  • Balletomane: Paintings by Spain’s Antonio Torres

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ R. Alexander Fine Art

    The show will be on display at R. Alexander from February 1- March 2, 2019. In conjunction with Atlanta Ballet, a special opening reception will be...

  • Savannah Black Heritage Festival

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ Savannah

    The Savannah Black Heritage Festival (SBHF) is a professionally produced, multi-disciplinary festival, and it is one of the many ethnic cultural...

  • 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition

    Feb 18, 2019
    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Skidaway Island UMC & The Trustees Theater

    The 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) will be held Feb. 18-22, 2019. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit...

  • Fashion Show & Luncheon

    Feb 20, 2019
    11:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ The Plantation Club, The Landings

    Vendor Fair Fun Runway Fashion Show with local celebrities including former Mayor Edna Jackson, Tina Tyus-Shaw, Dawn Baker, Cynthia DeLoach,...

  • 2019 Groundhog Day 2.2 Mile Virtual Race

    Feb 20, 2019
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ YOUR CHOICE

    February 20th is Love Your Pet Day! We want to celebrate all of the animals we love so much with a Love Your Pet Day 5K & 10K! We will be...

  • "A Star is Born"

    Feb 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    The last feature in our run up to the Academy Awards Feb. 24 is, of course, “A Star is Born!!”In this new take on the tragic love story,...

  • Fundamentals of Bachata

    Jan 16, 2019
    8:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ fit912savannah

    Fundamentals of Bachata    Come learn the sensual dance of Bachata with us. We're a small Savannah group and  would love to expand it with dance...

  • Opioid Alternatives & Resources Seminar

    Feb 21, 2019
    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Richmond Hill City Center

    The Bryan County Opioid Prevention Project (BCOPP) is hosting an Opioid Alternatives & Resources Seminar for healthcare professionals Thursday,...

  • Brews for a Cause

    Feb 21, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM @ Jazz'd Tapas Bar

    South Magazine and Southern Eagle presents BREWS FOR A CAUSE, Thursday February 21st, 2019.  Once a month, join a collection of like-minded...

  • Piano in the Arts-Music of the Americas

    Feb 21, 2019
    7:30 PM @ Armstrong Fine Arts Auditorium

  • World of Illusion at Savannah Theatre

    Feb 21, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah Theatre

    The Savannah Theatre is presenting this incredible blend of comedy, close-up magic, and grand illusion featuring two dynamic, world-class acts for...

  • Cinema Circle: The Kid

    Feb 21, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Trustees Theater

    Journey through the era of silent film with "The Kid" (1921), Charlie Chaplin's first full-length feature masterpiece, where he served as director,...


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Scenes of the South

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!

The Cure Gala

Sisters on a journey sold out to a crowd of over 600 mainly female partygoers as they celebrated a night dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.This special dinner featured unique, individually-themed table decorations, a silent auction, live auction, and a room full of big generous hearts. The event was held at the beautiful trustees garden, Charlie Morris's masterpiece of a venue.

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.

A Chefs Collaborative

This five course dinner held at Pacci Italian Kitchen and Bar allowed guests to taste exceptional flavors steeped in tradition. Included were the culinary skills of Chef Adam Barnett of The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, Winston-Salem, NC, Chef Robert Hoffman of Angeline’s Charlotte, NC, Chef Daniel Gorman of The Henley Nashville, TN, Chef Sebastien Rondier of Brabo, Alexandria, VA, and Chef Lauren Teague of PACCI Italian Kitchen + Bar.

East and West BBQ

A whole hog BBQ showcase, from two of the south’s most legendary Pitmasters, Pat Martin and Sam Jones. Hosted by Alida Hotel this event was a fabulous juxtaposition between Eastern North Carolina style BBQ and Western Tennessee style. Made possible by the Savannah Food and Wine Festival.

Savannah Food & Wine Fest

Hundreds came to experience Southern charm and hospitality, Savannah Style. The South's best culinary happenings - one exceptional week in Savannah. Iconic and historic coastal venues provided the perfect backdrop for gourmet and fun. South magazine captured the experience at the VIP tent.

Big Wig Boat Bash

Savannah's Riverboat, The Georgia Queen set sail to host the final fundraiser for the 2018 class of Big Wigs, together raising over $100,000 for the Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia Foundation. This evening included heavy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, a silent auction, music and dancing and a contest to crown the Biggest BigWig! Contest categories included: The Biggest Wig, The Pink Ribbon Award and Best Pink Personality.