Milestone Reached: Over 100 Scholarship Recipients to Date
SAVANNAH (April 20, 2023) – The Abbie DeLoach Foundation (ADF) awarded scholarships to 17 students and organizations at its 7th annual scholarship class luncheon held April 14 at the Savannah Golf Club. The event celebrated recipients’ academic excellence, exemplary service work or athletic commitment. To date, 106 recipients have received an ADF scholarship.
ADF was founded in memory of Abbie DeLoach, who died in April 2015 due to a tragic highway crash that also took the lives of four fellow Georgia Southern nursing students. Abbie was dedicated to serving others as a student athlete, a prospective nurse and a person of faith. The foundation’s mission is to continue her good works.
A sold-out audience of recipients, families, friends, coaches and community leaders heard from guest speaker Dr. Sherry Danello, MSN, NEA-BC, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at St. Joseph/Candler Health System, about the state of Georgia’s health care workforce. Also in attendance were Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher, Savannah Chatham-County Public School System (SCCPSS) Superintendent Dr. M. Ann Levett, Ed.D., and SCPSS Board President Roger Moss. ADF’s first luncheon sponsor was The Umbel Group at Morgan Stanley.
Jimmy DeLoach Jr., Abbie’s father and Abbie DeLoach Foundation president, addressed the scholarship recipients. He invited them to stand and be the focus in the room as he spoke about the award and leadership. “From this point on, in everything you do, you will be talked about because you are out in front,” said DeLoach. “You are the ones setting the pace, and the footprint that other people will follow.” He also spoke about the importance of education. “As I told my daughters, education is a ticket on the bus. No one will tell you what to do with life because you have this ticket that enables you to do what you want to do, but the ticket comes with responsibility.”
Anna DeLoach DeLany, Abbie’s younger sister and vice president of ADF, handed out the awards as WJCL’s “The Big Guy” Frank Sulkowski and Savannah Magazine Publisher Anita Hagin announced each scholarship recipient. Anna is currently a practicing physician assistant (PA) in Atlanta, and an alumna of Savannah Christian Preparatory School, the University of Georgia and Mercer University’s PA program. Frank and Anita served as co-emcees for the fifth year in a row.
Photo by Paul Camp.
The outstanding and dedicated persons and organizations named in the ADF Class of 2023 (by group and in alphabetical order) are:
Georgia Southern University
Athletics: Jarrett Brown (baseball) and Ansleigh Crenshaw (soccer)
Nursing: Maddie Black, Deja Gillans, Madilyn Moye, Alexis Reed
Savannah Christian Preparatory School
Academics: Blake Hall and Jadyn Singleton
Savannah State University
Athletics: Jaeda Austin (volleyball) and Jaden Saunders (golf)
Savannah Chatham-County Public School System
Athletics: Coach Tim Jordan of the Hoop School program at Savannah High School, and basketball player volunteers Carl Wright III and Leonard McCann
Medical: Tracy Richardson, Sol C. Johnson High School and Family Career and Community Leaders of America
Community: Teacher and National BETA Club advisor Victoria Vermillion with students Ka’Leah Parker and Marqus Bythewood on behalf of the BETA Club at Robert W. Groves High School. (Teachers Chiquita Polite and Robin Holmes, not pictured)
University of Georgia
Academics: Mackenzie Harden and Libby Upton
Quarterback Club of Savannah
Athletics: James Moore (football), Benedictine Military School
Proem Ministries in Poland (project in partnership with Compassion Christian Church, Savannah; John-Mark Romans, Global Engagement Pastor of Compassion Christian Church, accepted the award on behalf of Proem)
About the Abbie DeLoach Foundation
The Abbie DeLoach Foundation (ADF) is named for Savannah, Georgia, native Abbie DeLoach, who was one of five Georgia Southern University nursing students tragically killed in a tractor-trailer collision on April 22, 2015. ADF was founded by Abbie’s father, Jimmy DeLoach Jr., in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. ADF has proudly presented $1.25 million in scholarships to 106 recipients reflecting the qualities that exemplified her life — a love of nursing, education, athleticism and world missions. In addition, ADF has built an international home for women in Abbie’s name, with $90,000 invested to stop the exploitation of women. The mission of the foundation is to continue Abbie’s legacy of selfless service to others, generosity, academic and athletic achievement, and compassion for all. It is headquartered in Savannah. For more information, visit www.abbiedeloachfoundation.com.