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 Kids 2019

Nominate your kid this year and tell us why he or she has to be the winner of our South's Greatest Kids contest. Don't be shy — this could be your year!

Greatest Chefs 2019

Behind every good meal is a great chef; they are the invisible artists, working behind the scenes. Nominate your favorite chef for South magazine’s Greatest Chefs contest!
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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,...

  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

    2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's groundbreaking trans-Atlantic crossing.  In recognition of this monumental achievement,...

  • "Portrait of the Artist" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Aug 03, 2019
    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    This exhibition brings together several photographic portraits of recognizable creative individuals from Telfair’s permanent collection....

  • The Original Star Wars Trilogy Marathon

    Aug 17, 2019
    12:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Lucas Theatre

    It's been 42 years since audiences were first introduced to the Force, Jedi, lightsabers, X-wings and the Death Star. Relive the most epic...

  • Jax Taco Fest 2019

    Aug 17, 2019
    1:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Hemming Park

    Get ready for an action-packed day filled with a variety of tacos, margaritas, delicious indulgences, live entertainment on the Main Stage, and...

  • Cruise In “On The Square”

    May 18, 2019
    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Downtown on the Square

    Join the Blairsville Cruisers every 3rd Saturday of each month to enjoy cruiser contests like the best interior, best engine, best custom and more!...

  • MAGNUM OPUS - 2019 ARTS ON THE COAST ANNUAL EXHIBIT

    Jun 27, 2019
    5:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Deep South Photopoint

    The Arts on the Coast (AOC) is proud to present its 2019 Annual Exhibit hosted by the Photopoint Gallery and Elmgren's Garden Center in...

  • Charleston Summer Wine Festival

    Aug 17, 2019
    6:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Memminger Auditorium

      Charleston Wine Festivals hosts the 1st Charleston Summer Wine Festival at Memminger Auditorium Saturday, August 17,...

  • Tribute to Legendary Songwriters

    Aug 17, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    It all starts with a song, and four Savannah songwriters will honor the legends that gave us some of our favorites. This exclusive concert...

  • French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950

    Jun 15, 2019
    All Day @ Consumer Museum of Art and Garden

    The biggest names in French art such as, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir will be showcased...

  • Georgia Bridal Show

    Aug 18, 2019
    12:30 PM - 5:00 PM @ Savannah Civic Center

    You’ve been online searching wedding ideas and trends. Now it’s time to see all of this come to life at the Georgia Bridal Show at...

  • Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince

    Aug 18, 2019
    2:00 PM - 3:30 PM @ Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts

    The Little Prince: A Magical Opera is in two acts based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. After being forced to land his plane in the...

  • Oak Island Farmers and Artisans' Market

    Jul 15, 2019
    8:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Middleton Park, Oak Island

    At the Oak Island Farmers and Artisans’ Market,  discover fresh local produce, homemade jams, cakes and diverse homemade goods ranging...

  • ENCORE: Santiago Ballerini in Concert

    Aug 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM @ Charles H. Morris Center

    Beloved VOICE alum and celebrated international tenor, Santiago Ballerini, is returning to the Festival to sing a special benefit concert...

  • Yappy Hour Event

    Aug 22, 2019
    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Peacock Subaru

    WHO: Peacock Subaru and Renegade Paws Rescue WHAT: Yappy Hour Event WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 22, from 5-7 p.m. WHERE: Peacock Subaru at...

  • Brews for a Cause

    Aug 22, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM @ Husk Savannah

    Don't miss this month's Brews for a Cause at Husk, August 22nd! South magazine and Southern Eagle team up to raise money for the Royce...

  • Forgotten Victims Support Group

    Aug 22, 2019
    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Demere Center for the Living

    A joint project of The ELLA Foundation and Hospice Savannah's Full Circle Grief and Loss Center, the Forgotten Victims Support Group is a new...

  • Girls' Night Out: "Poms"

    Aug 22, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Ok, ladies, this is the feel-good movie of the summer! You’ll walk out of the Theater exhilarated and ready to take on the world. And it is...

  • Chuck Courtenay at Coach's Corner

    Aug 23, 2019
    6:30 PM - 9:30 PM @ Coach's Corner

    A regional star with a top-notch Nashville backing band, singer and guitarist Chuck Courtenay finds inspriation in the work of iconic honky-tonk...

  • Friday Concert Series

    May 03, 2019
    7:00 PM - 12:00 AM @ Historic Courthouse, Downtown Blairsville on the S

    Come enjoy live music every Friday Night from the first Friday of May through the end of October. The Historic Union County Court House will host...


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Scenes of the South

Savannah Downtown Business Association Luncheon

The Savannah Downtown Business Association held its monthly luncheon on Aug. 14

Brews for a Cause in July at Churchill's

This Thursday, Churchill's was packed as we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause ! We joined Southern Eagle and The Ronald McDonald House of The Coastal Empire. Southern Eagle provided great craft beer and the silent auction was a huge success. All the proceeds from the silent auction benefited The Ronald McDonald House of The Coastal Empire.

Bohemian Hotel 10th Anniversary

The Bohemian Hotel celebrated their 10th year in business with an incredible night of cocktails and appetizers. Guests ventured up to the stunning rooftop deck overlooking the Savannah River to celebrate the hotel's decennial anniversary — reveling in the scenery with a glass of champagne.

Stonewall50 - A Legendary Block Party

The Stonewall 50 block party, held on June 28th outside the LGBTQ Center on Bull Street, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Protest — one of the most important moments in LGBTQ history and the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Pelindaba Lavender Savannah Grand Opening

Pelindaba Lavender Grand Opening was this past Thursday, June 28th! This fun night included ribbon cutting, product sampling, lavender refreshments and special prizes! During this festive evening 10% of sales benefitted the good work of Coastal Pet Rescue. Stop by the store at 112 E Broughton St, Savannah, Ga to see the many products they offer!

Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Exhibit

The Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Event in Hilton Head displayed several paintings featuring the culture and heritage of the African-American Lowcountry. Sonja Griffin Evans paints with bright vibrant colors — while also incorporating materials such as tin and wood — to emphasize the traditional Gullah style, evoking an emotional response by bringing to life historical and cultural events.

JCB MudRun 2019

Participants hit the ground running at this year's JCB Mud Fest, climbing through tough obstacles in either the 5k or the 5 mile run. At the end of the race was a long slide where, upon finishing, contestants found themselves in the Party Pit. Winners from various age groups were presented with trophies, and all the proceeds from the JCB Mud Fest benefited the Lady Bamford Center for Early Childhood Development.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum's 200th Anniversary!

This past Wednesday, May 22, we celebrated with Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum for for the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's historic trans-Atlantic crossing — the WORLD'S FIRST oceanic voyage under steam! On this year's Maritime Day, Ships of the Sea celebrated the Savannah's 200th anniversary with a commemorative ceremony provided by the PROPELLER CLUB, where Robert Morris unveiled two eight-foot paintings. The evening also included an amazing performance by the Parris Island MARINE BAND, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and celebratory beverages!

Brews For A Cause at Top Deck

This past Tuesday, May 21 we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Top Deck Bar! We joined up with Southern Eagle and a great group of like minded people to benefit Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire in their efforts to provide financial assistance to the surviving families of local law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty. It was another memorable night in the South filled with great people and even greater crafted beer! This month's Featured Craft Beer: Island Coastal Lager Sponsors: Island Coastal Lager, Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, Southern Eagle, South Magazine

Brews for a Cause at Churchill's

This Thursday, Churchill's was pack as we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Churchill's! We joined Southern Eagle and The Coastal Heritage Society. Southern Eagle provided great craft beer, Sista Rae Rae performed live, and the silent auction was a huge success. All the proceeds from the silent auction — including a diamond necklace from International Diamond — benefitted the Coastal Heritage Society.