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 Chefs 2020

Our 14th annual contest is back! Nominate your favorite chef (or yourself) for South magazine’s Greatest Chefs contest!

South's Greatest Pets 2020

South magazine is seeking the greatest pets of the South! Nominate your pet NOW through June 17th at midnight!
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Events Calendar

  • A Savannah Scavenger Hunt: Historic Savannah Adventure

    Feb 19, 2020
    8:00 AM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah

    Explore beautiful Savannah. Steeped in Civil War history, you will be sure to find some new-to-you spots. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a...

  • #iSPYtogether Summer Challenge

    Jun 01, 2020
    12:00 AM - 11:45 PM @ Savannah Power Yoga

    We’re in this together! We’re experiencing a shift in the world together, and together we can keep each other healthy and connected in the...

  • Prohibition Cocktail Classes

    Jun 22, 2020
    6:00 PM @ American Prohibition Museum

    Monday & Tuesday evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Prohibition Cocktail Classes at Congress Street Up inside the American Prohibition Museum....

  • The Society of Bluffton Artists(SOBA) 2020 Summer Art Camp

    Jun 22, 2020
    All Day @ Society of Bluffton Artists

    The Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA)’s 2020 Summer Art Camp for kids is now taking registrations. The art camp runs from 9-11 a.m....

  • Free Fort Pulaski Days

    Jan 20, 2020
    All Day @ Fort Pulaski National Monhument

    Fort Pulaski National Monument will have six entrance fee-free days in 2020. The dates for 2020 are: ● Monday, January 20 – Martin...

  • Libertea High Tea

    Jun 24, 2020
    10:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ Savannah Coffee Roasters

    Wednesdays and Saturdays: Sit back and relax around the open fire and enjoy delicious pastries, cakes, chocolates and savory delights from our...

  • Savannah African Art Museum to Reopen

    Jul 08, 2020
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Savannah African Art Museum

    The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) is excited to begin welcoming back visitors on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The museum will open for its normal...

  • Afternoons at the Aquarium

    Jun 25, 2020
    All Day @ UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium

    Every Thursday in June and July, marine educators at the UGA Aquarium will host virtual programs designed to inspire wonder and curiosity about the...

  • On the Spot Murder Mystery Show

    Jun 26, 2020
    6:30 PM - 9:30 PM @ Savannah Coffee Roasters

    On The Spot Murder Mystery Dinner Show hosted by The Odd Lot Improv Team at Savannah Coffee Roasters, 6:30 p.m. An entirely improvised...

  • Puppy Yoga Time

    Jul 18, 2020
    All Day @ Ghost Coast Distillery

    Join Coastal Pet Rescue and Christine Graeber at Ghost Coast Distillery for another round of fun! Seriously though, cute...

  • Girl Scout QuestFest

    Jul 18, 2020
    All Day @ Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia

    This year's QuestFest will be a virtual scavenger hunt! Both competitive and noncompetitive teams are searching for experiences, not items....

  • Walk with the Turtles: Ossabaw Island

    Jul 20, 2020
    8:00 AM - 2:00 AM @ Delegal Creek Marina Skidaway Island

    Depart 8:00 am from Delegal Creek Marina on Skidaway Island, just outside of Savannah. After a 30-minute boat ride across Ossabaw Sound, arrive on...

  • Meet Our Fleet: Virtual Tour of UGA Aquarium

    Jul 21, 2020
    All Day

    All aboard! Join us for a virtual tour of the UGA aquarium’s fleet of educational and research vessels with boat captains Todd Recicar...

  • Savannah Carnaval

    Jul 25, 2020
    All Day @ Savannah Carnaval

      Our Savannah Carnaval event is back for its second annual Brazil-inspired event! Jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics, dance beats from,...

  • Savannah Chamber Business on the Move

    Jul 28, 2020
    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM @ The Broughton Hotel

    Join the Chamber for Business on the Move this month at The Drayton Hotel! Bring your business cards to this after-work networking gathering...

  • Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In

    Jul 30, 2020
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

    Enjoy three fun-filled days of good ole mountain hillbilly fun. See a Pioneer village, real moonshine still in the works, mountain crafts, and...

  • First Fridays in Starland

    Jun 26, 2020
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Starland District

     Monthly arts event in Savannah’s Starland District, with street fair, art market or gallery shows. Starland doesn’t like to...

  • Umphrey's McGee Summer Tour 2020

    Aug 07, 2020
    All Day @ Johnny Mercer Theatre

    Umphrey’s McGee Summer Tour will be making at stop at the Johnny Mercer Theatre on Friday, August 7th at 8:00pm. The music of...

  • Meet the Author: In the Cauldron

    Aug 08, 2020
    All Day @ Museum of the Might Eighth Air Force

    This is not just another book about Pearl Harbor. It is the story of Joseph Grew, America’s ambassador to Japan, and his frantic effort in...

  • Georgia Mountain Fair

    Aug 14, 2020
    10:00 AM - 10:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

    Look forward to the 70th annual Georgia Mountain Fair, held at the historic Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds this summer! Thousands of visitors from...


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Scenes of the South

Danny Merritt 2020 Election Watch Party

Danny Merritt held his election watch party at Coach's Corner in Savannah, Georgia on Tuesday, June 9th. Merritt ran for Congress for District 1 against incumbent Buddy Carter.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 5

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 4

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 2

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 3

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 1

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

February Brews for a Cause

February's Brews for a Cause was held at the Drayton Hotel on Thursday, February 27th. South Magazine and Southern Eagle teamed up to raise money through a large silent auction for the Savannah Ambucs organization. Craft Beer samplings from Wild Leap Brewing, alongside appetizers from the Drayton Hotel were offered to guests.

2020 Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association held its annual Southern Coast Heart Ball on Saturday, February 8th at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with a silent auction, dinner and program, and dancing to end the evening. All proceeds went to the Open Your Heart campaign.

4th Annual Hearts for Healing Gala

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center held its Fourth Annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, February 7th at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Guests enjoyed gourmet dining, dancing, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center's program for individuals with disabilities.

IDC Benefits the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

The LeClerc Family owners of IDC (International Diamond Center) in Savannah 349 Mall Blvd held a benefit to support the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Guests enjoyed light food and drinks, while bidding on several silent auction items, including autographed footballs and helmets donated by Anthony Lanier II.