effingham

Lea Thornton-Allen : One Life, One Heart, One Soul

story by Katrice Williams    photos by Tonya Perry
Lea Thornton-Allen is determined to reflect the heart and soul of a champion. Perhaps that wasn’t always the case, but it sure is the way she lives her life today.
Lea has faced much adversity in her life. Although, if you didn’t know her, you would never be able to tell.  But, this determined young lady took all things ‘wrong’ in her life and turned them into something right. For that reason alone, her journey to entrepreneurship is nothing short of amazing.
At one point in her life, Lea weighed over 300 pounds. She decided to take a weight-loss journey, one that would take her down many roads and open many doors. Although it was a challenging adventure, this young lady embraced it all. Through blood, sweat and tears, she conquered that demon, losing over 130 pounds.
After making the decision to work towards her fitness goals and to surround herself with several caring, encouraging and motivating people, over time, Lea realized that losing weight would help her gain a healthy, long life. She wanted to inspire others to do the same.
Through her fitness journey, Lea knew the importance of a personal trainer.  She aspired to one day acquire her personal training certification and help others as she had been helped along the way. And, that she did. She is now the owner of One Life Personal Training.
The inspiration behind the business’ name is near and dear to Lea’s heart, as it serves as a memorial to her brother, Joshua Jackson Allen, who passed away as the result of a traffic accident. His signature line for quite some time was “Helping people: One Life, One Heart, One Soul at a Time.” Lea is proud that Joshua’s legacy lives on through her business.
“My brother is a very big part of my life today. I wanted him to be a part of the business. I wanted to celebrate him by honoring him in that way,” she said. Lea understands how precious life truly is, and she believes that no one should ever take their health for granted.
“People’s health is so serious; I can instill a little fire within them to enjoy working out for their health…for their well-being. We only have one life; together we can make it a healthy one,” Lea stated.
Lea opened her business over two years ago with the desire to help people accomplish their health-related goals, including those ‘who may be a bit intimidated to go to the gym.’ Lea offers one-on-one personal training in a relaxed setting. She uses an array of different fitness equipment that challenges her client’s potential.
“People think personal trainers are buff, cut and chiseled. I’m a real person; I still have work to do on myself. What I really enjoy is giving them the hope that where they are now is not where they have to stay. I don’t promote weight loss, because it’s all about being healthy,” she said.
Lea understands that positive change and transformation takes time. It is a process that requires patience and endurance; there is no microwave effect. She remembers a client who did not have the strength to walk very far and little hope that things could change.  Lea showed her that just by adding a few additional steps each day to her work out, her life would change. Lea remembers telling her, “Yes, you can do it, even if I have to hold your hand.”
Some clients feel that they cannot do a squat or push-up. Lea starts them on modified versions of those exercises. Over time, they realize that they not only gain strength, but also courage as they begin to do the regular forms of the exercises. “We strengthen those parts of the body where they can progress. What sets my soul on fire is showing someone, who thinks that they can’t do it, that ‘yes, you can do it,”’ Lea said.
A client, who suffered from balance issues and repetitive falls, decided to train with Lea. Lea used a step-up device every session in addition to her regular workout. “She got stronger and stronger and stronger. That’s the transformation I like to see,” she said, “You have to coach a client to trust their body.”
Another client had not sat on a floor for years after knee surgery.  She was afraid she would be unable to get up. Using some of her equipment for assistance, Lea devised a workout plan that allowed the client to continuously practice sitting on the floor and getting back up again. The client, who never thought she could do that, was absolutely elated.
Lea maintains an undeniable drive and determination. She is motivated to help others reach their health-related goals, and she is happy to share her own story and talents with other people who may benefit. She knows that clients appreciate a ‘real person’ to draw strength from; helping people is her passion.
“Some people out there know way more about working out than I do, but they don’t have that personal connection with people. God gives us gifts, and I think He gave me the gift to help other people, not just in this way, but in life. At 300 pounds and a prisoner in my own body, someone told me, ‘you have so much to offer people.’ Throughout my whole weight loss process, working out was the daily thing that helped me become healthier,” Lea commented.
One Life Personal Training welcomes a diverse array of clients, whether young children or senior citizens. Lea feels that the path to fitness is not established by a cookie-cutter philosophy, as she has no ‘typical client.’
Lea has grown quite fond of one of her clients, an eleven-year-old boy, who desired to work on his fitness needs to prepare for recreational football. “He is now playing middle school football. I recently got to see him play…what a thrill. He reminds me a lot of myself as a kid; that is one of our special connections,” she said.
Lea establishes a workout plan that works for the individual’s fitness goals, one specifically developed with their needs in mind. “I just tailor my workouts based on what the client’s needs are to meet their goals; some want to tone; some want weight loss,” she said. Some clients may even choose to come in small groups to work out together, which is completely acceptable.
Lea is very thankful for how her business has grown. As a true entrepreneur, she also has great aspirations for the future. Lea plans to welcome a new trainer on board soon. And, a long-term goal is to get a new studio. Though her current studio has ‘everything that’s needed, Lea wants to make sure she can accommodate the expected growth.
Lea has a somewhat new and improved personal perspective on life. As she loves what she does, she also found that she needs to take time to reflect on what she diligently strives to help her clients with—overall health. Lea had begun to over-commit to her endeavors; she lost some balance. She found that she needed to take a step back and re-evaluate things. She is very aware of scheduling demands and is driven to do what works best for her clients; however, she also regards what is realistic for her as well.
“I wasn’t balancing things well. Now I’m refocusing and trying to devote time to things that add value to life.  It’s one step at a time,” she said. She understands that there are certain challenges and responsibilities that come with being a business owner, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lea is presently the office manager for Independence Day Publishing (Effingham Magazine). She has held this position for nearly eight years, under the mentorship of Julie Hales. Julie has provided advice and support to Lea on this journey, always there to help with ‘the business side of things.’ Lea is also very thankful for Julie’s flexibility with her hours and overall assistance as she has worked towards ‘her balance.’
In her spare time, Lea enjoys being active, whether walking or biking in her neighborhood. She loves gardening and takes pride in her yard. She appreciates all that nature has to offer.  And, she is a huge Clemson football fan.
“I like the simple things that God created, the sun…the wind. My spiritual connection with God is in the beauty of His creations…that is how I ‘feel’ God,” states Lea.
Lea Thornton-Allen certainly plans to make the most of her life while helping countless others do the same. After all, we are all only given one life, one heart and one soul.
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Gnann’s Fix-It

Serving Effingham County For Over 50 Years
Although this small, family-oriented business has grown considerably from its humble roots, the core values of sales and service has not shifted in the least.   Gnann’s Fix-It Shop was originally founded by Bowers Gnann, Jr in 1964. In those days, it was a small-town repair shop intended to fix small appliances such as lamps, toasters, electric irons, etc. Today, over 50 years later, Gnann’s is still running strong; now specializing in sales and service of power machinery and lawn equipment such as lawn mowers, chain saws, tillers, and much more.
Gnann’s Fix-It is now owned and operated by Clarence and Charlie Gnann, two of the sons of founder. Both Clarence and Charlie grew up working in the store with their father, and both know the business from the ground up.
Gnann’s Fix-It Shop is more than simply a repair shop. They are certified dealers of well-known and reliable brand names such as Snapper, Stihl, Exmark, Billy Goat, Briggs and Stratton, Kohler, Tecumseh and more.
They stand behind all of their equipment 100% and are always available to answer any power equipment questions you may have, even if you did not purchase it from them. Gnann’s offers full service on most equipment and they have a well-trained staff of friendly and knowledgeable mechanics and sales personnel.
If you prefer to repair your equipment yourself, Gnann’s can also help with that. Their parts department is stocked with a wide variety of various parts for all types of lawn equipment, and if they don’t have it in stock, chances are they can get it within a short amount of time.
If friendly, reliable, and honest service is what you are looking for, Gnann’s Fix-It Shop is the way to go. Whether you need new equipment, need old equipment repaired, or are just seeking the expertise of qualified and responsible mechanics.
Gnann’s Fix-It can help satisfy all of your lawn and garden needs. Gnann’s Fix-It Shop is located at 1015 South Laurel Street and is open Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 5:30 pm and on Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm. Their telephone number is (912) 754-3745.

Presnell Partners

Your Family in Real Estate
Jim and Cindy relocated to Effingham County in 1998. Jim’s family lived and worked on a cattle farm so the draw to Effingham County is clear and has become home.
Jim’s mother owned her own real estate business, teaching Jim the values of commitment and entrepreneurship at an early age. Jim knew early on that he was not geared towards a desk job and added, “I am a people person and real estate is a
people business.”
Cindy left the corporate world in 2007 and together they started Presnell Partners. They are now a team of independent licensed REALTORS boasting over 50 years of experience at Coldwell Banker Intercoastal Realty. Our team confers multiple certifications and designations which provide a wide-range of specialties acknowledging experience and expertise in Real Estate. “Cindy and I take extreme pleasure in helping clients transition into the next chapter of their lives,” says Jim.
Jim and Cindy work with integrity and honesty, never shying away from talking about the good and bad sides of real estate with their clients. “This ‘job’ is not just a career, but a passion,” explains Jim. As a husband-wife team, they work hand-in-hand, supporting one another.
Jim and Cindy are spirited about giving back to their community. Building and repairing homes for many families through Habitat for Humanity, Effingham, is one of Jim’s passions and has been for many years. “The biggest reward is that children in Habitat homes have higher graduation rates than the national rate, giving them a better chance to succeed,” explains Jim.
Searching for a home or interested in selling your home? Give Presnell Partners a call or visit them online. They would love the opportunity to guide you through the buying process or selling process, helping you find a home you’ll love!

Hospice Savannah

HOSPICE SAVANNAH – MUCH MORE THAN END OF LIFE CARE!
When you think about Hospice Savannah you probably think about dying. That’s natural. But it’s also kind of sad. Because Hospice Savannah’s programs provide care to Effingham families long before they ever need to think about the end of life.
The Edel Caregiver Institute is a free community resource if you are caring for a family member with a serious illness or disability, whether it’s a slow progression of dementia, a sudden cancer diagnosis, or a gradual decline in health because of something like cardiac or pulmonary disease. Institute Coordinator and Effingham resident Tonya Hillis offers family caregiving classes to address and individualize everything from long-term care/financial planning, to hands-on practical patient skills and wellness services. Perhaps the most difficult and frightening diagnosis to deal with is dementia. Tonya helps caregivers explore its probable progression, treatment and prognosis and offers practical coaching and volunteer help. Reach her at 912.629.1331.
The Steward Center for Palliative Care helps patients dealing with serious illnesses – again, long before end-of-life hospice care needs to be considered. Dr. Laura Farless and her nurse practitioners work with your personal doctor to help both you and your family cope with making treatment decisions, and to provide pain and symptom management. Palliative Care is paid for by Meidcare and private insurance.      You can see Dr. Farless in her outpatient clinic at Candler by calling 912.354.8014.
Full Circle Grief and Loss bereavement counselors help any child, teen or adult in our community at no charge. If you’d like some help on your grief journey, you can meet privately with Barbara Moss in her office in Rincon’s United Way building by calling 912.303.9442.
For more information on these programs or on our community’s original and only Joint Commission accredited hospice, please visit www.HospiceSavannah.org
L to R: Hospice Savannah Medical Directors Dr. Cynthia Carter & Dr. Julia Johnson; Steward Center for Palliative Care Medical Director, Dr. Laura Farless.

Cheyenne Miller SEHS Senior With Softball In Her Soul

story by Cindy Burbage
photos by Shelia Scott
Cheyenne began the journey in her softball career at an early age and demonstrated a hint of her natural talent. “I started playing t-ball when I was three years old,” the athlete recalled.  “I think I stayed busier filling my pockets with rocks than playing; although, I do remember taking the ball from players on my own team to try to make the play.  I continued with rec ball until I turned eight and we decided to try travel ball.  I started playing with the Sharks and my dad was my coach.  It was so much fun and staying in hotels all the time with my teammates was a blast.  We played in Atlanta and Jacksonville a lot back then.  As I got older, most of my teammates stayed together, but, we did change our team name a few times.  We were the Sharks, Extreme Combat, USSSA Pride and Southern Force.  Each change in name was to try to get our players to the elite level of play.  When I was 14, my dad decided to step down from being head coach and moved me to an elite organization out of Atlanta called Georgia Impact.  I have been with them for the past three years and, playing at that level with such amazing girls and coaches, has been life changing.  It took us all over the country and opened a lot of doors for me and all my teammates for colleges.” Cheyenne continued with a proudful smile, “Of course, my dad couldn’t totally give it up and he is still an assistant coach.”
In her last year of high school, Cheyenne will make her ultimate move in travel ball to Georgia Power Academy, a competitive girls fast pitch travel softball organization.  This prestigious group is based in metro Atlanta and produces a hefty number of players that go on to play at college level.  “I am very excited about this move because I will still get to play with some of my current teammates and best friends and I will also get to play with three of my future college teammates.  I think it will be great to get to spend this time with them before we go to college,” she thrillingly shared.
Hard work and perseverance have certainly paid off for this talented athlete. After graduation, Cheyenne will be trading her Mustang mascot for a panther! She has earned a scholarship to Georgia State University via her athletic abilities.
Cheyenne explained how this incredible opportunity presented,” After playing a few years, my parents asked me if I had any desire to play college softball.  I said, absolutely!  So, they did a lot of sacrificing to get me to tournaments, camps, showcases and everything they could to help me play at the highest level and to be seen by college coaches.  I was lucky that several colleges were interested in making me offers and I thought I had my mind made up until I went to a camp at Georgia State University.  I didn’t really realize it but both coaches were watching me and following me around a little.  When we had a break, they asked to talk to my parents.  I was shocked!  A few days later they contacted my head travel ball coach, Jack Barfield, and said they wanted me to come and meet with them.  I was shocked again!  The next week we went to Atlanta and spent the whole day with Coach Roger Kincaid and Coach Todd Downes.  They were so amazing and welcoming!  They showed me all over the city and the campus along with their facilities.  I loved their energy and everything they had to say.  I had no idea that they were going to make me an offer that day, but they did!  Again, total shock!  I was just 14 years old and a freshman and was being offered a D1 scholarship.  We left and drove home discussing it all the way and once home we discussed even more.  I told them that I wanted to go there.  My parents asked if I needed more time to think and talk about my other options, but my mind was made up.  My parents handed me the phone and I made the call to Coach Roger that I wanted to verbally commit to them and Georgia State University.  He was so awesome, and it has been a great journey to finally get to my senior year with college just around the corner.  I have had time to meet and become friends with some of my future teammates and I couldn’t be more excited.”
At just seventeen years old, this gifted young lady has racked up quite an impressive collection of accomplishments: Academic Award (9th-12th grade), Varsity Letter (9th-12th grade), 2nd Team All Region (10th grade), Savannah Morning News Best of Preps Honorable Mention (10th grade), 1st Team All Region  (11th grade), 1st Team All State  (11th grade), 2017 Region Co-Player of the Year (11th grade), SEHS Offensive Player of the Year, Savannah Morning News Best of Preps 1st Team and Player of the Week (11th grade), and Effingham Herald Player of the Week (11th grade)
Cheyenne Miller’s athletic life may be on cloud nine, but this meek teen keeps her feet rooted- her biggest wind in her sail is her family.  She humbly shared, “Wow, I feel so blessed to have so many supporters, but I would have to definitely say my parents; I just feel I have the best parents.  They have raised me to be a strong person, not just a softball player.  They have just always tried to teach me how to be successful and how to treat people.  They have been my biggest supporters in my accomplishments, have disciplined me when I needed it and have been my shoulder to cry on when times were tough.  I want to thank my grandparents for always supporting me.  My Mema that is nearby is proud for me and tries to come to my games but if she can’t, she meets me at the car to give me a hug.  My grandparents that live in Kansas and Illinois keep up with me on social media and are always so proud and supportive; they try to come to games when we travel out west too.  I have an amazing family! Fortunately, I have had a very blessed life and I owe that to them and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I thank my parents for giving me a strong Christian foundation.”
This SEHS senior would like to close with this, “I would love to thank everyone who has helped me along this softball journey and just my journey as a person.  Coach Marie Zettler has always been a great support for me.  She was not only a great hitting coach and worked our tails off in agilities, but she has become a supportive friend and mentor.  Coach Donald Pinnett for naming me Cheytown and being an amazing coach who is still always willing to give up his time for all of us girls. Coach Jona Downs for being tough which helped me to be tough and responsible.  Coach Jack Barfield for being an amazing coach and for opening so many doors for me.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without his help and support and love, Coach Victor Belogorska for always keeping everything fun.  Coach Mike Wilson for all of your help and softball advice. Coach Chuck Smith for 4 amazing years at SEHS; you are a great coach with lots of volume and energy.  Coach Randi Cox, for all of the support and the fist bumps on first.  Thank you for your spiritual leadership for our team and helping us to bond with each other and in Christ.  Coach Brandy Heinzen for being my bucket buddy with all the talks and encouragement and our inside jokes. Thank you to Coach Makayla Peny, Kristen Seckinger and Bud Smith for joining our team and making everything fun.  Coach Jose Tunon for inviting me to be a part of your team and familia.   Thank you to my future Georgia State University coaches, Coach Roger and Coach Todd for believing in me and giving me a chance to fulfill my dreams. Go Pathers. Thank you to all of my teammates. You are my sisters and lifelong friends and I will never forget you and our times together.  I look forward to many more memories to come. And last but not least, my dad for being the greatest coach ever. I will never forget all of our times on and off the field.  Thank you for always being there for me. I love you mom and dad. And, thank you to my Lord and Savior for all my many blessings!”

Sundi Williamson

Second-Generation State Farm Insurance Agent
Sundi Williamson is a second-generation State Farm Insurance Agent. Her father was also a State Farm Agent and was her first introduction to the world of insurance, State Farm, and customer service. “It is the life I have known,” says Sundi. After earning her BBA degree with a major in Accounting, she began her own career with State Farm in 1993 as an auto claims representative. She went on to be an Agency Field Specialist and Trainer before opening her own agency in 2001.
The success of Sundi’s business evolves from building meaningful relationships with her clients.  “State Farm agents really care. We are you. We live in your town, and our kids go to the same schools,” says Sundi.
She explained that, in many cases, people don’t fully understand what is included in their coverage. People often shop for the cheapest plans that offer “full coverage,” but do not understand what “25/50/25” means. “If you are in an accident and are liable, the most your policy will pay is: $25,000 per person for their injury, $50,000 for all injured people, and $25,000 for property damage,” she explained. “The normal family has a home, a 401k account, cars, etc.  If the other person’s injury is $100,000 or vehicle was worth $70,000, your own personal assets may now be in jeopardy.”
Another reason Sundi and her team believe in having real conversations to truly understand each client’s needs. It can be the difference between keeping and losing everything you have worked so hard for in life.
Sundi and her team are here to be not only your insurance agent, but to also be a caring and concerned friend in those important moments in life. “I look at my customers like my personal family members and I hurt when they hurt and celebrate for them when they have great life moments,” explains Sundi. She carries this belief when recruiting new team members, looking for a particular quality in each. “When I look to hire, I look for caring individuals because you can train anyone on various systems, but you cannot teach anyone how to truly care,” she says.
Sundi is very proud of her team, saying, “they truly care about the people of Effingham County and our clients. They work so hard to make sure they are doing their best to take care of our friends.”
Taking care of friends and neighbors is something Sundi carries even beyond insurance. Even being a single-mom who owns her own business, she is always giving back to her community. She is a member of the Exchange Club of Effingham, participating in many programs like the empty stocking fund, and is a member of the Chamber.
Sundi is an avid supporter of organizations working to find a cure for and helping to support children with cancer. Having lost her husband to cancer, it is a cause that is dear to her and her children.
One hat Sundi wears that is one of her favorites is being a coach for her daughter’s local recreation teams. She loves hearing “Coach Sundi” called out in public from her current and previous players. It is something that truly warms her heart and gives her great pride.
You can learn more about Sundi Williamson and her team by visiting them online at www.SundiWilliamson.com. You can also reach them by calling 912-826-1900, or stopping by their office located at 6014 Hwy 21 S, Suite C, Rincon, GA. Let Sundi and her team of experts guide you through your insurance needs and questions today!

Ricky Eilerman Ricky Sells Georgia

Ricky Eilerman is a true man of service, first serving his country and the people of Effingham County as a soldier in the United States Army for 5 years as an MP and Sergeant. He is extremely proud of his military career and is a huge supporter of his brothers and sisters still serving in the military today, as well as those who have served in years past. Ricky continues to serve his community today as both a full-time firefighter in Savannah and as a licensed REALTOR® in Effingham County.
Ricky found real estate through the guiding hand of his lovely wife, Ivy Eilerman, who is the Area Manager for On Q Financial in Savannah, GA. Through encouragement from Ivy and a fellow firefighting real estate agent in Florida, Ricky decided to take the leap of faith and begin his career in real estate. He attended Real Estate School through the Georgia Real Estate Commission and passed on his first attempt. Shortly thereafter, Ricky earned the Rookie of the Year Coldwell Banker Award in 2017. “I love helping people pick out their homes,” says Ricky. “Real estate has been the perfect fit for me.”
When Ricky and Ivy started their family, they relocated from Florida back to Ivy’s hometown in Effingham County. “There’s no place I would rather raise a family than right here in Effingham County. I absolutely love the connection and the small-town family feel of Effingham,” explains Ricky.
Ricky is a man of service to his community and country as a firefighter and Army Veteran, but it is obvious his family is what he finds the most pride in each and every day. “I love my wife,” said Ricky passionately. “I love singing and playing guitar with her, and it is something we love to do together quite often.”
The value Ricky places on family is also evident in his approach to real estate. Being a family guy, Ricky knows what is most important to young families looking to buy and sell in Effingham County. “I know what it’s like to have to make those big decisions as a parent while worrying about how they will affect your family. I know because I have been there! I want people to rest at ease, knowing I understand, being a Dad myself,” explains Ricky.
Working with Ricky is stress-free, as he is not focused on rushing the deals to make a commission. He is able to support his family through his full-time job in service allowing the process of buying a home take direction from his client’s timeline and not his own. “I don’t care if we close in 30 days or 100 days. I want what is best for YOU,” explains Ricky.
Ricky is honored to have the opportunity to work with the people of Effingham County. “I love serving Effingham County and bringing people into Effingham County. If I get to help pick out our future neighbors, what a true blessing that is,” explains Ricky. “I am proud of what I do, and I am proud to continue to serve.”
Ricky Eilerman is a licensed REALTOR® through Coldwell Banker Intercoastal Realty, located at 5805 Hwy 21, South, RINCON, GA. Learn more about Ricky and his team by visiting them online at www.RickySellsGeorgia.com or follow them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RickySellsGA. Contact Ricky today at 912-657-2957 or at RickySellsGA@gmail.com.

Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Homes

Trust Family Owned and Operated
Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Homes
Funerals are for the living. It is through funeral arrangements and services that the emotional needs of the living are met by acknowledging the life and accomplishments of the deceased and allowing grief to be shared by family and
friends.
Ceremonies mark important events in our lives-baptisms, graduations and weddings. The funeral ceremony is no less important and deserves personal. attention to details and arrangements. It is important to choose a funeral director who will respect your personal and religious preferences as well as providing advice and counseling. Family owned and operated Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Home in Springfield has been serving Effingham, Chatham and surrounding counties since 1971. Owners Thomas C. Strickland, Jr., (Tommy), his wife Terri and their sons, Trey and Ryan are trusted for their history of helping families through difficult times. Tommy is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer and Terri is a Licensed Funeral Director.
Sons Thomas C., III (Trey) and Ryan are both Licensed Funeral Directors and Embalmers and have worked at the funeral home since their early teens. Trey, his wife Amy and their three children Joshua, Emma, and Jonah reside in Rincon. Ryan and his wife Kelly and their five children Samuel, Simon, Silas, Abigail, and Abraham also reside in Rincon. All are members of the Springfield United Methodist Church. Daughter Kim McDonald lives in Guyton with her husband Wade, daughter Logan and son Noah. They are members of New Providence Baptist Church.
Dwayne A. Duff, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer has worked with Tommy at the funeral home since 1980. He and his wife Sherry have two children, Jonathan and Mary Lauren. They live in Springfield and are members of Rincon Baptist Temple. “Having been a family owned and operated funeral home for almost five decades, we have learned that families are best served when they are able to make informed decisions,” said Tommy. The Strickland family offers information on all services including pre-arranging funeral services, funeral services for every budget, arrangements for funeral services in other cities, assistance with insurance and V.A. benefits, cremation, custom designed headstones and monuments. The Stricklands also operate a perpetual care cemetery, Effingham Memorial Gardens located on Highway 119 between Springfield and Guyton. They also own and operate their own crematory, located at the Effingham chapel location. Strickland’s Funeral Home can provide information, counseling and service. You will be assisted by the same trusted associates from the first call through funeral services and even in aftercare. Pre-planning of a funeral may be a thoughtful expression of caring for your family. By preparing for the part of life we most like to avoid-death-you could spare your family unnecessary decision-making and complications at the time of your death. Strickland Funeral Home can help you plan the service you want and can afford. Call and set up an appointment at a convenient time for you to discuss all the options with the Strickland family. The spacious, beautifully appointed Effingham Chapel is located at 2460 Highway 21 South, halfway between Springfield and Rincon. The facility, completed in April of 1995, replaced the original 100-year old home in Springfield. Leslie A. and Virginia Thompson originally owned the funeral home since 1944, beginning a tradition of caring funeral service for Effingham County.
The West Chatham Chapel, completed in August of 1999, was a culmination of Tommy’s dream to serve friends and family on the westside. The son of the late Clyde and Birdie Heidt Strickland, Tommy grew up in Pooler and worked in his family’s business, Strickland Oil Company as a teenager. His commitment to funeral service had long included the wish for a facility on the westside. The funeral home at 901 West Highway 80 in Pooler gives West Chatham residents a more convenient location.
Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Homes, Effingham Chapel and West Chatham Chapel, are both members of Selected Independent Funeral Homes (SIFH). This is a self-regulating organization of locally-owned funeral service firms in the United States. Unlike other professional organizations, membership in SIFH is by invitation onlyoffered exclusively to those firms that are dedicated to the highest ethical standards. It displays a commitment to providing the best in personal service-a symbol of outstanding, reliable and ethical funeral service. For more information about any of Thomas C. Strickland & Sons services, please call the Effingham Chapel at 7546421 or the West Chatham Chapel at 748-2444.

Mobile Stick

We Bring The Lab To YOU!
In today’s society, we all tend to live a little faster than we did 10 years ago, or 20 years ago.  Times have changed, and the majority of people just don’t seem to have as much free time as before. So, we are always looking for ways to save time…even when it comes to our health.
Well, thankfully there are resources available now that can help us with that, without losing any quality in service.
LeTarsha Mack-Brown has done her homework, and this new business owner has an excellent service to offer our community. Mobile Stick, a mobile phlebotomy concierge, is under full swing. “I researched it and built Mobile Stick from scratch. I wanted to offer Savannah and surrounding communities something useful, while at the same time doing something I love,” stated LeTarsha.
LeTarsha has over 20 years of experience as a Phlebotomist, collecting blood samples from all age groups. She also has over 20 years of experience as a Certified Patient Care Technician.
Patrick Whitledge is a partner in the business. He brings over 10 years of medical experience to the team. He has a past history as a Registered Nurse and currently holds a Masters In Physician Assistant Studies. “Patrick and I have worked together for a little over five years. We have a close bond and work well together…it’s been a good fit,” shares LeTarsha.
Mobile Stick offers the convenience of bringing the lab to you. “We have customers who have to be to work before lab opens. We have customers who need blood work, but when they get off work, the lab is closed. We have customers who have transportation issues. We have customers who have elderly parents and it’s hard to get them dressed and to the lab. We have customers who, just plain and simple, don’t want to go sit in a lab and wait. That’s where we come in. We bring the lab to them, wherever they want me to come.”
It’s a pretty simple process. If you have lab orders from your doctor, you call Mobile Stick. They will come and draw your blood, process it, and send the results to your physician.
Mobile Stick also offers blood work to those who have no insurance. No doctors order needed!  They also offer wellness kits to be drawn for a in-depth health screen of your blood. Medicaid pays 100% for these kits!  Medicare pays a big portion and so does all other insurances. You can call them at (912)417-9568 for more information.
Call them and save some time. “One Stick…That’s It”

CM Insurance & Investment Group, Inc

Ask Melissa Waller what she’d like to offer area seniors, and she would say SOLUTIONS.  “I’ve been in the health insurance industry for over thirty years and in healthcare for the past seven.  In that time I’ve met a lot of people who assumed that their long term care needs would be taken care of by somebody else.”
The major point of confusion for seniors is the cost of long term care.  It’s a common misconception that Medicare pays for nursing home care.  “Medicare, or the commercial equivalent, will pay up to 100 days of rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility, but only after a 3 day qualifying stay in a hospital.  Even so, only 20 of those days will be paid in full by Medicare, and many families have no way to pay the daily amount that kicks in at day 21.  You will also have to satisfy progress or therapy goals to get the full 100 day benefit, and chances are, the payer, meaning Medicare or the insurance company, won’t agree with the family’s perception of what’s needed to restore their loved one to good health and independence.  Also, many short term nursing home stays turn into a long term need.  What then?  Once that temporary Medicare benefit is exhausted, the family is on their own.”
Long Term Care insurance is the best solution, but that takes foresight, planning and an ability to pay the premiums in advance of the need.  This is a best case scenario that allows maximum choice and minimum stress.  “For seniors who have waited too long to purchase LTC insurance, I would offer the following suggestion.  Life insurance policies can be sold to provide lump sum settlement payments.  If you have a policy with a face amount of $100,000 or more, and you’re in declining health, there may b an opportunity to fund your long term healthcare needs without borrowing or burdening your family.  The sale of a life policy is called a Life Settlement, and it offers a real solution!”
Melissa Waller owns and operates CM Insurance & Investment Group, Inc, in Springfield, Georgia, and has been a life and health insurance professional since 1983.   “While my focus is Long Term Care insurance and helping clients explore and identify appropriate life settlement opportunities, I partner with Thomas Allen Financial Group to assist clients with other insurance or financial products.  We bring 60 years of experience to the table with our alliance, and we’re eager to find solutions for you.”