What do the holidays mean to you?
For me, the holidays are about family. I have fond memories of Christmas Eve, watching “Meet Me in St. Louis” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” with my parents, brothers and sister, all home for the holidays where ever we lived in South Georgia. We’d beg Mama for a piece of coconut or red velvet cake being saved for the next day’s Christmas dinner. No presents on Christmas eve in my family. I don’t care how old we got, we had to wait on Santa to open our gifts on Christmas Day before dinner.
Those fond memories were stirred by our cover family, Statesboro entrepreneurs Paul and Lori Newman and their children, Stella, 11, Grant, 9 and Henry, 7, who we found at home getting ready for the holidays. The Newmans focus on family during the holidays as well, recreating memorable experiences from their own childhoods for their children. Read about all the Newmans have accomplished in the business world, and how much they enjoy being together for the holidays.
While holidays are about memories, they can also be about new beginnings. In this issue we meet Emma-Charles Townsend, a professional performer at the Celebrity Theater at Dollywood. EC, as her friends call her, is on the path to stardom at 11-years-old. She began performing professionally at age 9. She now performs two 2-hour shows a day, both singing and dancing from October to January, and again during the summer from May to August. Listen to her amazing voice on YouTube or hear her newest single, Never Go A Day Without A Rainbow, on her website at Emma-CharlesTownsend.com.
We also shine a spotlight on Georgia Southern professor emeritus, Doyice Cotten. Dr. Cotten served as professor in the department of Recreation and Sports Management at Georgia Southern starting in 1966. He is a nationally recognized expert on waivers in sports, and risk management. He and his wife, Mary, also a former GS instructor, have co-authored a book on sport waivers now in its 10th edition, Waivers and Releases of Liability. Dr. Cotten also co-authored a textbook used in over 150 colleges and universities on the subject of Law for Recreation and Sport Managers, for nine editions. His latest book, A Roadmap Across the Old Testament, leaves the world of Sports Law behind and takes the reader on an adventure through the Old Testament with charts and maps explaining kings and prophets, enemies and allies, in chronological order. Roadmap is well researched and meant to be a great study guide for readers of the Bible.
Here at Statesboro Magazine, our holiday edition is about giving back. That spirit is shared in our two special sections, The Gift Guide highlighting the best places to shop for the holidays in Statesboro. And The Giving Guide, a showcase of non-profit organizations that readers can choose for end-of-year contributions, that not only help those whom the agencies serve, but also the greater community at large. It is better to give.
And always, our prayers are for Peace on Earth and Good Will toward everyone.
Wishing you a very blessed holiday season,