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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Greatest Professional Photographers 2020

Calling South’s Greatest Photographers! Are you a professional photographer with beautiful work? Enter South’s Greatest Photographers 2020!

Greatest Amateur Photographers 2020

Calling South’s Greatest Photographers! Are you passionate about capturing life through a lens? Enter South’s Greatest Photographers 2020!
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Events Calendar

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

    The Forsyth Farmers’ Market vendors offer a variety of local goods including seasonal produce, eggs, honey, pastured meat, bread, cheese,...

  • “Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick” Exhibition

    Oct 11, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick examines the work of six contemporary artists—Corey Arnold, Guy Ben-Ner, Patty Chang, Tristin...

  • Blowing Rock WinterFest

    Jan 23, 2020
    10:00 AM - 9:00 PM @ Downtown Blowing Rock

    Don’t hibernate-celebrate! Join us for the fun side of winter with events like the Polar Bear Plunge, WinterFeast, WinterPaws Dog Show,...

  • Savannah Jewish Film Festival

    Jan 22, 2020
    6:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Jewish Educational Alliance of Savannah

    This year’s festival has been capsulated into five days in which movie-goers are encouraged to attend the films, enjoy meals and interact in...

  • Mountainfilm on Tour - Savannah

    Jan 23, 2020
    7:00 PM - 10:30 PM @ Trustees Theater

    Mountainfilm on Tour - Savannah returns for its 11th annual film festival on January 23-25, 2020.  Please plan to join us for a weekend of...

  • Beatles By Request

    Jan 25, 2020
    8:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ Savannah Theatre

    The Savannah Theatre cast and band recreate the timeless sound of the most influential band of the 20th century. Not an impersonation, but a...

  • Cocoa 5k Fun Run & Walk

    Feb 01, 2020
    8:00 AM - 11:00 AM @ Crystal Coast Civic Center

    Come be a part of the Cocoa Fun Run / Walk on February 1, 2020!  The 5K Race Course is flat and begins and ends at the Crystal Coast Civic Center,...

  • Carolina Chocolate Festival

    Feb 01, 2020
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM @ Crystal Coast Civic Center

    Chocolate lovers indulge! The annual Carolina Chocolate Festival takes place at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City and is packed with...

  • First Fridays in Starland

    Jun 07, 2019
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Starland District

    First Fridays in Starland celebrates local business, art, and food in Savannah’s coolest neighborhood! Join us every First Friday of the...

  • AURA Fest: Underground Weekend

    Feb 21, 2020
    7:30 PM - 11:45 PM @ The Jinx

    AURA Fest: Underground Weekend at The Jinx February 22, 2020 Torche, Bask, Oakskin, SHEHEHE, Knightsquatch February 21, 2020 Inter Arma, CLOAK,...

  • Savannah Antiques & Architecture Weekend

    Mar 05, 2020
    6:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Various Locations, Downtown Savannah, Georgia

    The Annual Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend is a three-day series of presentations, tours, appraisals, a glittering gala, and a cocktail...


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Scenes of the South

Dining in the Dark 2020

The Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision held its annual Dining in the Dark event on Saturday, January 18th at the Embassy Suites Downtown Savannah. Guests were served a four-course meal in complete darkness by the Savannah Metro's SWAT team. Dining in the Dark serves to raise awareness about vision loss.

January Brews for a Cause

South magazine in collaboration with Southern Eagle Distributing hosted their monthly Brews for a Cause on Thursday, January 16th at the Savannah Taphouse in a successful effort to raise money and awareness for the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision. The night featured delicious appetizers by Savannah Taphouse and a range of flavored Bud Light Seltzers provided by Southern Eagle. These events provide good food, fun entertainment, refreshing drinks and most importantly – raise money for a great cause! Be sure to be on the lookout for our next Brews in February!

Ford Plantation's Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting for Silk Hope

The Ford Plantation celebrated the completion of its two new Silk Hope model homes on January 10, 2020. The Silk Hope project is limited to 53 homes, on beautiful lots of buyers’ choosing amongst old oaks and a Lowcountry marsh setting. This member-backed project is the first new for sale residential development at The Ford Plantation in more than fifteen years and represents the final phase of home development to be offered. The Silk Hope community is the product of a collaboration of some of the world’s top residential architects and landscape designers and has been modeled to capture tranquil European village and Lowcountry architecture.

Mat Best Signs his New Best-seller at Nine Line

Veteran, entrepreneur and author Mat Best met fans and signed copies of his new book “Thank you for my Service” Thursday Dec. 12 at Nine Line Apparel. Best’s best-selling authorial debut chronicles his service as a U.S. Army Ranger. Best's Black Rifle Coffee co., partnered with Nine Line Apparel, has shops on River st. and off route 95 on Ft. Argyle rd.

Victory Antiques and Engel & Völkers' Holiday Party

Dickey Mopper and his team at Engel and Völkers celebrated the season at their annual holiday party on Wednesday Dec. 11, with a special appearance from the jolly fellow himself, Santa Claus. Mopper and company, celebrating alongside the crew of Victory Antiques, showed off the newest Engel and Völkers office at 1650 East Victory Dr. in Savannah.

Good Times Jazz Bar & Restaurant's 2nd Anniversary Celebration feat. Lady Leah

Jazz lovers celebrated Good Times Jazz bar's second anniversary on Nov. 8 and 9 featuring jazz vocalist Lady Leah and the culinary stylings of Good Times' chef Joe Randall, the dean of southern cuisine. In 2017 Randall teamed with Danielle and Stephen T. Moore to create one of the city's smoothest spots, a confluence of culture and taste fit for the soul of Savannah.

14th Annual Pearls to Pluff Mud Fundraiser

The 14th Annual Pearls to Pluff Mud Fundraiser was held on Friday, November 1st at the Swamp Fox Farms. Guests enjoyed listening to the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra while tasting New Orleans themed dishes. There was a silent and live auction held to raise money for the Focus Fund Campaign for the Cross Schools in Bluffton, SC.

Brews for a Cause November at Savannah Octane Bar

South magazine in collaboration with Southern Eagle Distributing hosted the last Brews for a Cause of 2019 at the Savannah Octane Bar on Thursday, November 21 in a successful effort to raise money and awareness for Georgia Police K9 Foundation. The night featured tasty chicken appetizers catered by Himalayan Curry Kitchen, and special brews from Wicked Weed and Monday Night Brewing provided by Southern Eagle. These events provide good food, fun entertainment, refreshing drinks and most importantly – raise money for a great cause! Be sure to be on the lookout for our next Brews in January!

6th Annual First Responders Luncheon

Harris Lowry Manton LLC hosted its 6th Annual First Responder Appreciation Luncheon on Monday, Oct. 28 at Daffin Park. Free lunch was offered as a “thank you” to local paramedics, firefights, police officers and emergency medical responders.

DineSouth's VIP Icebox

DineSouth 2019 VIP room sponsored by IceBound was a hit at this year’s event! With a special performance by Ken Roy, guests enjoyed exclusive vendors such as sushi from Rue de Jean and popsicles from Savannah Square Pops. Made complete with a full-serve bar, the VIP room was chillingly spectacular!