Rich's Consumer Brands Fund celebrated its second year of grantmaking to local community non-proifits through their charitable fund at the Community Foundation.  Last year the total amount granted was significant at $50,000.  This year they doubled that!

Recipients were...

Morningstar Children and Family Services - $50,000

YMCA - $25,000

Fellowship of Christian Athletes $25,000

Congratulations to all!  Just one of the many ways Rich's is giving back to the community!

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L-R: Jim Motos, Rich Products; Wells Kilgore and Katie Morse, Morningstar; Tim Hardin, Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Jay Mullins, YMCA; Donna Ratliff and Jayne Mathews, Rich Products.

Recently the Summer Interns for the Gathering Place came by with their advisor for a visit......

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We always enjoy meeting these amazing young people who spend the summer in the Golden Isles to learn leadership skills and most of all continue to develop a servant heart!

The Correll Scholars Program at the Communities of Coastal Foundation recently recognized its 2017-2018 awardees. The scholarship program assists high school graduates who are members of the Elizabeth F. Correll Teen Center in pursuing a two-year or four-year post-secondary degree through one of Georgia’s public academic or technical colleges. These scholarships are renewable on a semester-by-semester basis for up to four (4) years, assuming continued good academic standing and annual progress.

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Pictured L-R at the Elizabeth F. Correll Teen Center with Paul White Community Foundation President and CEO are new scholarship recipients: Nalani Burch, Cekayla King, Jaylon Cooper, and Bria McGirth.

The Brunswick News  June 16, 2017 (excerpts) - (funded by a grant from the Community Foundation)

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The “Annie Jr.,” a production of Golden Isles Arts & Humanities in partnership with the national Penguin Project, was presented in Brunswick for the first time this summer.  This unique performance featured a cast of 21 young actors, each with special needs ranging from Downs Syndrome to autism. An additional 21 volunteers from groups like 4-H, church groups and boy and girl scouts act as artist mentors and help the cast members navigate the complex production.

The idea to make performance art accessible to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities was spearheaded by Allyson Jackson, a Brunswick mother of a special-needs son. A co-owner told her about the Peoria, Illinois based Penguin Project, which helps communities across the country craft stage plays adapted for young people with developmental disabilities.Penguin projectsm
“It’s been incredible to watch,” Heath said. “Not just the artists, but the mentors, how they’ve all worked together. Socialization is a big part of the Penguin Project and this particular production of “Annie Jr.,” said Tray Higgs, a Brunswick mother of a 10-year-old actor and a 14-year-old mentor in the show. “It affects my son a lot when he’s not in school,” she said. “It can feel lonely — isolating — and when he’s been away from crowds, it takes some time to relearn social skills.”

Working together on “Annie Jr.” is a chance for cast members to make new buddies and foster old friendships, but it’s also a time for them to finally shine, Jackson said.  “Most special needs kids are invisible unless there is a disciplinary problem,” Jackson said. “They can be on a team, in a choir, taking dance lessons — but you find them in the back on a bench. They’re put into a game when they’re losing or winning by dozens of points. They are not front and center, and with Penguin Project, they are front and center. They are the one to have everything focusing on them and truly be in the spotlight.” For many of the actors’ parents, this may be the first time they’ve ever seen their child as the star of a play, or in a major role, Jackson said.

Great testimonials from CIS, one of the Foundations grantees....

"Thank you for helping us serve over 300 students this year in Glynn County.

We invite you to click and review our "2015-2016 School Year Report Card" as a reminder of how you've helped hundreds of students stay in school and achieve in life.

You can also view our incredible student, staff and volunteer videos by clicking "Watch Student Videos"

We're looking forward to continued success in 2017. Thank you!"


2015 Community Impact Grant comes to Fruition......


January 4, 2017 - Florida Times Union - By Terry Dickson

Sculptures of coastal wildlife filled with litter intended to educate public

Lea King-Badyna, director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, is inviting volunteers to come to North Glynn Sport Complex Jan. 30 and pick up litter that will be used to fill the mesh body of a great blue heron sculpture that will be placed on permanent display at the park to demonstrate the effect litter has on the environment. (Terry Dickson/Florida Times-Union)



The sparks fly as Chet Floyd of Glynn County Public Works spot welds a fin back onto a mesh right whale sculpture that will be filled with litter Feb. 3 and put on display at the former Coast Guard station at East Beach on St. Simons Island. Lea King-Badyna, director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, said the whale and four other sculptures will be placed on display at parks in Brunswick and Glynn County to demonstrate the effect litter has on the environment. (Terry Dickson/Florida Times-Union)

It won’t be the first time anyone has referred to art as trash, but this time there’s no arguing the point.

Starting in about three weeks, volunteers will be asked to pick up litter that will be placed in mesh sculptures of coastal wildlife at five city and county parks to demonstrate the effect refuse has on the environment, said Lea King-Badyna, director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful.

The sculptures, once their bodies are filled with hard plastic and aluminum litter, will remain on display at the parks with an educational component, King-Badyna said.

“It talks about litter,” she said of the interpretive signs that will be placed with each sculpture. “It talks about coastal critters and the effects litter has on the critters.”

The sculptures will be installed over a five-day period beginning with a great blue heron Jan. 30 at the North Glynn Sports Complex off Harry Driggers Boulevard, King-Badyna said.

The installations will be followed in order by a manatee at Overlook Park in Brunswick, a pelican at Mary Ross Park, a shrimp at Blythe Island Regional Park and a right whale at the former U.S. Coast Guard station at East Beach on St. Simons island.

There’s already a sculpture of a right whale and its calf at Neptune Park on the southern tip of St. Simons where children routinely climb on the big, concrete art. That won’t be possible with recycled litter sculptures, she said.

“Everything will go up in the air to prevent kids from climbing on them,” King-Badyna said. The sculptures combine public art access to litter recovery and prevention, she said in a prepared statement.

The community art and environmental education project is intended to provide cultural destination points for locals and tourists, she said.

“We hope the custom sculptures will spark dialogue and encourage stewardship regarding litter and our valuable coastal resources,” King-Badyna said.

The project is running a little late. The sculptures were to have been installed last summer, but the artist contracted to make the five mesh creatures didn’t deliver. A new provider was found in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., King-Badyna has said.

Keep Golden Isles Beautiful doesn’t have figures yet on the amount of refuse its volunteers cleared from roadways, waterways, marshes and public places in 2016, but in 2015, volunteers recovered 65.6 tons of litter and 60.7 tons of recyclables.

The project was paid for by two grants. One from the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation and the other from the Office of Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

For more information or to register as a volunteer for the project call (912) 279-1490 or send an email to .

In 2015 the Foundation made a grant to "Keep Golden Isles Beautiful" for three art sculptures made entirely of litter.  Next month, these sculptures will be placed in three locations around Glynn county to encourage people to be conscious of their environment and put litter where it belongs-- in the trash.

Read more: Make Art Not Litter

Elegant Island Living, April, 2016 Photo: By Harlan Hambright


The theme of the current fundraising campaign of the Golden Isles Youth Orchestra is "Soaring to new heights," which is celebrating ten years of making classical music available to youngsters in Southeast Georgia. - Read More

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