Monthly Archives: January 2023

Broiled Garlic Butter Oysters

Appetizers and Snacks
  • Recipe and pairing by Hailey Etzel
    Photography by Kaitlyn Marie Photography

    2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced

  • 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 oysters on the half shell
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a bowl, combine minced garlic, parsley, lemon juice, butter and black pepper. Preheat oven on high broiler setting. Place oysters on a sheet pan, evenly spaced apart. Dot garlic butter mixture evenly onto oysters and top each with a sprinkle of Parmesan. Broil oysters until butter is bubbly and cheese has crisped over, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with hot, crusty French bread. Makes 2-3 servings.

Pair with: French Chardonnay

Because: The citrus notes and acidity of the wine lighten the creamy texture of the oysters on the palate, while the minerality of the wine and briny flavors in the oysters go hand-in-hand.

Some of my favorite wines to look for:

Louis Jadot Macon Villages ($15 range)

Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse ($20 range)

Chablis 1er Cru or Petit Chablis ($35 and up)

Form and Function

In The Home
Magnolia Ridge home of Evans residents Kelley and David Pope

Photography by Sally Kolar
Before photos courtesy of Birdsong Design Co.

A family’s unfinished basement – a longtime group gathering spot – is transformed into a complete living space with a bedroom, bath and full kitchen.

At the Magnolia Ridge home of Evans residents Kelley and David Pope, their basement has long been a place for them to get together with their five children, their friends, their children’s friends, church groups and neighbors.

A year ago, however, they decided to turn the basement into a stylish, comfortable space to share with friends and family, so they turned to Amanda Pierce of Birdsong Design Co. for her expertise.

“It needed to be a place where we could gather and have food,” says David. “We use it every week for community events.”

Based on her clients’ needs, style and budget, Amanda, an expert in eDesign, puts together a detailed room plan that includes tips for placement and paint colors as well as shopping links to materials and furnishings to complete a custom project. She put together a design board for the Popes with their desire for a community space in mind.

“I knew that lots of different types of people would use the space. It needed to have more designated spaces for people to sit together,” says Amanda. “We wanted to bring in some elegance, some cozy and also some functional textures that could handle a lot of people.”

form and functionSitting Pretty

The basement, which also was used as a play area and workout room, had become a place where a hodgepodge of furniture and exercise equipment had collected. With the three-month renovation, however, the room has become a cohesive space that is made for group get-togethers and serves as a place for overnight guests to call home.

Along with a sitting area with a fireplace and additional tables and chairs, the renovated basement includes a full kitchen, bedroom and bath.

“We wanted to make it a more functioning space for our groups and our parties,” Kelley says. “We wanted lots of seating, but we didn’t want it to be cluttered.”

The main sitting area features a sectional couch, two leather stools, two chairs with metal legs and a round metal table. David, Kelley and her father installed the fireplace, which has a plaster fireplace surround and a wood mantel that’s painted white, themselves.

Before the renovation, this area consisted of three large couches and no fireplace.

Additional sitting areas include two live-edge, handmade poplar tables with black X-shaped iron legs in the center of the room. The tables are positioned into poles in the basement as if they belong together. Black metal and leather chairs provide seating for the tables.

Inspired by an authentic Italian farmhouse, a wood table sits beneath a natural rope and patinaed brass tapered string pendant light. More black metal chairs surround the oval table.

“The chairs are light and easy to move, and black metal doesn’t fight with the floor,” says Kelley.

However, that is not the only benefit of the seats. The destruction-proof metal chairs are perfect for the group of 27 high school seniors that gathers in the basement every week to talk about their faith, their lives and their relationships.

The basement already included a bar. However, oak and metal stools, along with antique gray and blue concrete pendant lights above the countertop, updated the look. In addition, a pass-through window to the outdoor kitchen was added above the bar to bring in more natural light.

Before the renovation, the basement also had a concrete floor and a drop ceiling with a grid. Now, however, the room features durable LVP flooring and a vinyl plank ceiling with a wood look.

The kitchen features a Riad tile backsplash, sea pearl quartzite countertops, brass sconces above the black quartz undermount farmhouse sink and a brass faucet and hardware.

A mud bench, which is a catchall for pool-related paraphernalia such as towels, floats, goggles and water toys, acts as a bridge between the outdoor pool area and the inside.

Magnolia Ridge home of Evans residents Kelley and David PopeDespite the multiple sitting areas, the basement still has plenty of floor space to set up cornhole boards or extra tables for game nights

The Test of Time

The bedroom and bath not only offer a place for overnight guests to relax and unwind. The living quarters also were designed with the idea that Kelley or David’s parents could one day move into the space if necessary.

Although the bedroom and bath previously were open spaces that held exercise bikes and a treadmill, the spaces now are cozy retreats. The bedroom features a wool rug, linen headboard, brass floor lamp and a night stand with a reclaimed wood look. A double pocket door leads to the room, and doorways to the bedroom and bath are wide enough to be handicap-accessible.

Magnolia Ridge home of Evans residents Kelley and David PopeThe bath features a vanity with a marble countertop; matte black fixtures, plumbing and hardware; and black matte wall sconces with shades. In the shower, a glass front half-wall showcases the white subway tile. The classic black-and-white penny and square tile flooring ties the room together.

David’s favorite spot in the basement is the kitchen island. “It’s the perfect place for people to connect with others, and it has a clear view to the pool and the woods outside,” he says.

After all, the kitchen always seems to be the gathering spot in any home. And, the Popes are quick to point out, even their young guests – including the teenage boys who meet there every Sunday night – take care of the space.

The couple appreciates that the space is beautiful as well as functional, and they plan to enjoy it for years to come.

“From the lock for the double door to the pulls for the bathroom door, every little detail is so fun,” Kelley says. “We did not want to be surprised. Everything in the basement was on our design board, and everything will withstand the test of time.”

By Betsy Gilliland

That’s the Spirit!


Photos courtesy of, Stephens Limousine Service, Creature Comforts, Bryan Redding and Geoff L. Johnson

Cheers to the new Athens Beer Trail Trolley Tours.

From chasing down delivery trucks to opening a taproom across the country, some people have gone to extremes to get their hands on an Athens-brewed craft beer.

Fortunately, however, the new Athens Beer Trail Trolley Tours gives craft beer connoisseurs much easier access to their favorite brews.

After the six-brewery Athens Beer Trail opened in October 2021, the Trolley Tours recently launched to celebrate the trail’s one-year anniversary. The tours, which run Thursdays and Fridays, visit three stops each day.

The Outer Loop Tour on Thursday includes Southern Brewing Company, Akademia Brewing Company and Terrapin Beer Co. The Inner Loop Tour on Friday stops at Athentic Brewing Co., Normaltown Brewing Co. and Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

“The goal from the beginning was for the Athens Beer Trail to have a trolley tour component,” says Hannah Smith, director of marketing and communications for the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Each of these breweries has a distinct vibe and a different point of view in terms of what they’re brewing.”

No wonder the Classic City has become one of America’s best places to drink craft beer.

Tap Into the Fun

A trolley holds 28 people, and the tour is for those 21 and older. Reservations are required, and tickets, which cost $28 per person and cover only transportation fees, are available online at

Passengers need to bring a photo ID and a copy of their reservation booking number. To tap into the fun, good walking shoes and a positive attitude are recommended as well.

From 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on tour days, trolley buses leave the Classic Center downtown every hour and return there for the final time at 9 p.m. Boarding passes are good throughout the day, and passengers can hop on and off the trolley to linger at each taproom as long as they wish.

“It’s a fun way to travel. The trolleys are a great activity for groups of friends or siblings,” Smith says. “The transportation between the breweries is part of the fun.”

When people board the trolley, they can pick up a Beer Trail Field Guild from the driver or get one at their first stop. Bartenders at each brewery will stamp the guide.

beerOnce beer enthusiasts have gotten a stamp at all six breweries, they can redeem their guide for an Athens Beer Trail prize at the Historic Athens Welcome Center. (Spoiler alert: It’s a souvenir pilsner glass sporting the Athens Beer Trail logo.)

“Most of the breweries serve flights. Some have half-pours, and people can buy beer by the pint as well,” Smith says. “All of the breweries have their favorites that are available any time during the year, and they also have seasonal and experimental brews.”

The Outer Loop

The Thursday Outer Loop begins at Southern Brewing Company, which opened in 2015 as the first purpose-built brewery in Georgia.

Using a variety of local botanical ingredients, the brewery makes authentically Athens beers. Its Red and Black Fruited Berliner Weisse is one of its most popular sours, and the Cherokee Rose is made with a wild yeast collected from Georgia’s state flower.

Visitors can take a free tour of the brewery or enjoy live music outdoors on its 15 acres of land.

The next stop is Akademia, a brewpub that opened in 2017 with a full lunch and dinner menu. As the only brewpub in Athens, Akademia lets foodies and craft beer aficionados find the perfect food pairing to go with their brew. In a place with rustic and industrial charm, visitors can enjoy gourmet food and drinks such as the IQ IPA.

Terrapin, the final destination of the day, is the oldest craft brewery in Athens. Founded in 2002, the brewery put Athens on the map when it won a gold medal the same year at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver for its Rye Pale Ale.

Continuously brewing from its current location since 2007, Terrapin sells its Hopsecutioner IPA and other brews across the country.

“Terrapin also has a large yard that is ideal for nice weather, a cool taproom and a large gift shop that includes outdoor gear,” Smith says.

As part of its “Terraprint” initiative to minimize environmental impact and maximize community impact, Terrapin became the state’s first craft brewery to produce solar-brewed beer with its rooftop solar panel array.

The Inner Loop

Friday’s first two stops – Athentic and Normaltown – opened in 2020. The Inner Loop breweries have garnered serious attention for their spins on beer classics, like Athentic’s Rapid Recovery Blonde Ale and Normaltown’s Summon the Fog NEIPA.

Like other Athens breweries, Athentic has a rich homebrewing tradition. Blending art with science and passion with creativity, these brewers concoct an impressive lineup of lagers, IPAs and pale ales, sours and tart beers, seltzers, slushies and more.

The brewery also has become a melting pot and meeting point for all Athenians. From drag and dog meetups to hip hop shows and fly fish lure tying, Athentic has something for everyone indoors and outside on the patio.

Normaltown is known for its fresh take on small-batch IPAs, and the only way to taste its brews is to visit the brewery and taproom.

“It was started by guys who loved brewing their own beer and got really good at it,” says Smith. “They decided to make a business out of it. It’s a great hangout place with a living room feel.”

The final stop, Creature Comforts, is the sole brewery in downtown Athens. Founded in 2014, Creature Comforts quickly established itself as a major player in the craft beer industry. The brewery offers a range of styles including IPAs, pilsners and its award-winning Berliner Weisse, Athena.

“Creature Comforts started specializing in sours before sours got as trendy as they are now,” Smith says. “They’re most known for their IPA called Tropicália.”

That would be the brew that incited people to chase down its delivery trucks and spurred a movie producer to open a Creature Comforts taproom in Los Angeles.

“There was a Tropicália shortage in Atlanta before covid,” Smith says, “and folks would be on the lookout for Tropicália trucks and follow them to stores.”

When Avengers: Endgame was filming in Georgia, the cast and crew were so smitten with Tropicália that they included it in the movie. Check out what Thor is drinking next time you watch the film.

With its rise to the head of many best-beer lists, Tropicália prompted the opening of that L.A. taproom for good reason.

Different Vibes

While the beer trail trolley tour promises barrels of fun, the home of the University of Georgia offers epicureans other pleasures as well.

“Athens has a wonderful food scene. Folks that come here for the trolley tour would also enjoy the dining experience in Athens,” says Smith. “Some people have only come to Athens for a football game, or they have never been here before. It’s different from Asheville and Nashville, and people can sample different brews and vibes.”

Overnight visitors can stay at one of several downtown hotels including Hyatt Place, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Hotel Indigo and Graduate Athens.

By Morgan Davis

Hunker Down!


Shrimp, Mussel and Clam Chowder

  • 1 bag mussels (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 32 manila or countneck clams
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound chopped clams
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Place mussels in large pot with fish stock, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and bring to a simmer, simmering about 5 minutes or until shells open. Discard any mussels that do not open. Carefully remove mussels and set aside to cool.

Repeat with clams (in same water) until they open, about 5-7 minutes (discard any that don’t open). Remove clams and allow to cool. Strain liquid and reserve (reserved liquid may have shell pieces or sand, so let settle and then ladle off the top, leaving silt and shells at bottom to discard). Once cool, remove mussels from shells; set aside. Leave clams in their shells.

Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic; sauté until soft, stirring often. Stir in flour until well mixed. Add reserved stock, cream and potatoes, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer to thicken, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to medium low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until potatoes are tender.

Add shucked mussels, in-shell clams, chopped clams, shrimp, crumbled bacon and parsley. Cook another 2 minutes until chopped clams are just firm and shrimp turn pink. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 6-8 servings.

And the Winners Are…

Garden Scene

Photos courtesy of All-America Selections

Meet five new plants and two new peppers named champions for the 2023 garden season by All-America Selections.

Echinacea Artisan Yellow Ombre
This winner, with intense golden yellow flowers and graduated shades of yellow, is a great plant for anyone wanting vibrant color all season long in their perennial garden. A lover of full sun, it produces a prolific number of blooms and works well in containers and as cut flowers. Pollinators will flock to this echinacea, and gardeners will love this long-blooming beauty for its low maintenance as well as its spectacular color.

Coleus Premium Sun Coral Candy
The first seed coleus to ever win, Coral Candy features unique, multicolored foliage on a uniformly compact plant. The narrow, serrated leaves gracefully drape down the mounded plants, making it a perfect annual for containers and small space gardens. The leaves are vibrant on a tight, densely leaved plant, and the appealing foliage holds its color well, even in full sun. Just three seeds will produce enough substance to fill a 14”-16” container.

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian Waikiki
This fantastic new elephant ear brings a touch of the tropics to your garden. Easily tolerating drought and heat, it wowed judges with its sturdy, large, glossy leaves that unfurl with a bold leaf coloration of pink veins and creamy white centers. The foliage is simply stunning, and the color on this new annual holds up well even in full sun. Exotically lush and compact, Waikiki adds drama to a garden and also grows great in 14”-20” containers.

Pepper Jalapeno San Joaquin
This new jalapeno pepper will make gardening so much easier. It sets most of its fruit in a short window, so there is a generous number – about 50 per plant – ready at the same time. With just a hint of heat at 2500-6000 Scoville units, it’s perfect for canning, pickling and making roasted stuffed jalapenos for a crowd. If they aren’t used right away, they will hold their firmness and taste until you’re ready to harvest. Leave them on the plant longer for a beautiful red, and still delicious, jalapeno.

Salvia Blue by You
Add a brilliant touch of blue to your garden all season long with this new perennial that blooms from late spring into fall. With bright blue flowers, Blue by You loves full sun (it has excellent heat tolerance), and is a stunning addition to pollinator, cutting and container gardens. As a bonus for gardeners, this new salvia is adored by hummingbirds and butterflies but not favored by deer or rabbits.

Pepper Cayenne Wildcat
Pepper Wildcat is a high-yielding annual cayenne pepper that produces about 20-25 extra-large fruits per plant. These 8-inch fruits are straighter than traditional cayenne fruits and provide a smoky flavor, peppery sweetness and mild pungency of 500-1500 Scoville units. Their sheer size is astonishing, and their flavor and moderate heat level make these plants a multi-purpose pepper for the garden. Pepper Wildcat enjoys full sun and also works well in containers.

Snapdragon DoubleShot Orange Bicolor
Hit me with your best shot…of double flowers. With open-faced double flowers in beautiful shades of orange and orange-red, this new snapdragon makes a spectacular statement in gardens, in containers and as cut flowers. The strong stems produce more branches, resulting in more flowers that bloom all summer long, even through high temperatures. For maximum flowering, plant in as much sun as possible.

By Diane Blazek

Line of Work

Artist Line of Work

Photos courtesy of Jason Chambers

Talent, destiny and perseverance led artist Jason Chambers to the best job in the world.

Local abstract artist Jason Chambers, who sells to collectors across the world, has artwork on six continents. This month, however, he will travel with some of his pieces for a 10-day exhibition at The Holy Art Gallery in London.

Not bad for a self-taught artist who used to get in trouble for drawing during school.

“My teachers would send home my artwork with a note that said, ‘This is what he did instead of classwork,’” Jason recalls. “As ‘punishment,’ my mom would make me draw for two hours. It was the best punishment I could have ever had.”

After all, Jason, whose father was an editorial cartoonist for the Augusta Herald and Augusta Chronicle, was raised around cartoons and art. His grandmother and great-grandfather were painters as well.

“As soon as I could pick up a pencil, I started drawing,” Jason says.

A Style is Born

He got interested in different kinds of art when he was in high school, and he started doing portraits and landscapes.

He loved cartoons as well, and his childhood dream was to become a comic strip artist or to work for Disney or Pixar. Instead, he pursued more conventional employment at DSM Chemicals for 10 years and the Starbucks roasting plant for four years to provide for his wife, Nicole, and their two children.

However, art always helped Jason make sense of the world, and after he had a severe panic attack in 2016, he started drawing again with pen and ink.

“My anxiety starts to abate when I transfer my focus from the cause of the anxiety to paper,” says Jason. “I’m not thinking about the artwork. I’m thinking about what happened in my day and my week.”

He always carried a 3-inch-by-5-inch pocket sketchbook, where he would draw a coffee cup or his co-workers, and in 2018 he accidentally stumbled upon his style – a mix of abstract expressionism, cubism and surrealism – with a drawing he did at work.

“One day I did this continuous random line, and it made an abstract image,” Jason says. “I didn’t think too much of it, but my co-workers liked it.”

When Jason starts drawing on paper, he has no plan or preliminary sketches. In fact, he still begins with a random continuous line. He paints the same way, starting on a small scale and then transferring it to canvas. At the beginning of the process, he typically sees an eye or nose in his creations that are “usually about faces.”

“With abstract art, you try to convey an emotion or a feeling. There’s no stress or expectations involved,” says Jason. “I just create it and see what unfolds. It keeps me guessing throughout the process. Sometimes I don’t even know what I was thinking until after it’s done. I’m just drawing.”

While all of his artwork is “fairly busy,” he can tell how he felt when he created a piece by looking at it.

“If a piece is busy, I was in a stressed frame of mind,” Jason says. “If it’s not as busy, I was feeling happy-go-lucky and stress-free.”

He started with pen and ink drawings in black and white, and monochromatic art allowed him to focus on shape and imagery.

“Pen and ink has always been my first love,” says Jason. “It’s simple. It’s portable. It’s affordable.”

Now, however, he paints almost exclusively with acrylics or oils, and he uses more color in his work. “I’m a planner with the color palette, but not the design itself,” he says.

Influences on his work range from Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali to American artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and Jason likes to acknowledge them in his paintings. For instance, in homage to Basquiat, many of his characters wear crowns.

Jason also says he’ll “work a piece to death.”

“It’s never finished,” he says. “It’s abandoned.”

The Business of Art

He certainly hasn’t deserted his talent, however, and 16 months ago, Jason took a leap of faith when he became a fulltime artist.

“I was always destined to be an artist,” he says. “All artists have self-doubt, but it’s still the best job in the world.”

Through the years he has changed as an artist, transitioning from portraits and landscapes to abstract art. The size and scale of his pieces have grown from medium-size to mural-size paintings as well.

“It’s definitely important as an artist to try to evolve,” Jason says.

In 2021 he developed another skill set by creating digital art on an iPad. “It’s a mobile studio at my fingertips with no mess and no cleanup,” he says.

He also got into NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in early 2021, and he dropped a 300-piece collection of NFTs the first week in December.

Jason sells his work by more traditional means as well. His artwork is available at and through social media, and he sets up a tent at the Augusta Market every Saturday from March through November.

“I don’t care if people like my artwork,” he says. “If they stop to look at it and try to figure out what it is, then I feel like my job is done.”

He also has published an adult coloring book, Calming the Noise, and a coffee table book, The Art of Jason Chambers Volume I, which are sold on Amazon and his website.

“The book is a way for people to collect art,” Jason says. “Not everyone has wall space for artwork.”

He is working on another coloring book, and he’s writing a book about selling artwork – a book for artists by an artist. “It’s information that I wish I had available to me when I was starting,” he says.

He learned the business of art by reading and by contacting other artists. “There are so many artists out there,” Jason says. “All you have to do is send them a message. We’re not competing with each other. It’s a community.”

To further diversify, he has started painting designs on 8-inch wood or clay sculptures that he creates. He also wants to get into lithographs, and Jason, who has multiple pricing tiers, does commissions twice a year.

“Unless you’re selling your work and have an audience, you’re a hobbyist,” he says. “Collectors give me artistic viability.”

He even ships his artwork to Saint Tropez, France to a dealer who exhibits it for him. He plans to conduct a workshop in Saint Tropez later this year as well.

“I work 16 hours a day seven days a week,” Jason says. “I still don’t have enough hours in the day. I don’t get inspired and then start working. I start working and then get inspired. I go to my studio at the same time every day, whether I feel like it or not. I clock in, and I clock out.”

Jason says creating art brings him “pure joy,” and he wants other people to feel that same joy.

“I want them to add something to their home, and I want it to be a conversation piece,” he says.

A self-described “slow, meticulous artist,” Jason likes “clean, precise artwork.” He has many repeat customers, and his attention to detail extends to the presentation when he ships his artwork to collectors.

He double wraps his pieces in glassine and brown kraft paper before putting them in a protective bag for shipment. He always attaches a certificate of authenticity to his artwork and includes a handwritten thank you note in the package.

“Your name is everything,” he says.

By Betsy Gilliland

Happy Trails

happy trials

Photos courtesy of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Newly available all-terrain wheelchairs in state parks are a game changer for physically challenged outdoor enthusiasts.

Enjoying the great outdoors recently became easier for many people, thanks to All Terrain Georgia, a partnership between the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Aimee Copeland Foundation.

Through this program, high-mobility all-terrain wheelchairs now are available for use free of charge at 11 state parks, historic sites and a wildlife center.

Users safely can travel rough terrain to explore trails, go fishing, participate in adaptive hunting and enjoy other outdoor education and recreational activities.

“All Terrain Georgia is the pride and joy of Aimee Copeland Foundation,” says Copeland, a Georgia native who created the organization. “It’s been a long time coming, and we’re honored to offer this life-changing program to the community.”

After being diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection from a 2012 zip-lining accident at age 24, the outdoor adventurist lost both hands, her right foot and her entire left leg to amputation.

However, reconnecting with nature was a central part of recovery for Copeland, and she started the foundation to provide greater access to those with physical challenges.

Currently the all-terrain wheelchairs are available at the following state parks and historical sites:

• Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield

• Cloudland Canyon State Park, Trenton

• Don Carter State Park, Lake Lanier

• Red Top Mountain State Park, Lake Allatoona

• Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, Cartersville

• Fort Yargo State Park, Winder

• Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge

• Panola Mountain State Park, Stockbridge

• Picketts Mill Battlefield Historic Site, Dallas

• Smithgall Woods State Park, Helen

• Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs

Advance reservations are required and can be made at Users also must be certified and accompanied by a “buddy” who is at least 18 years old, in good physical condition and carrying a charged mobile device in case of emergency.

To qualify for user certification through the program, eligible disabilities include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries and lower limb amputations.

Anyone with another type of disability can contact the Aimee Copeland Foundation at for consideration.

By Todd Beck

Brrrrr-ing It On


annual Ice Bowl and Chili Cook-Off at the International Disc Golf Center annual Ice Bowl and Chili Cook-Off at the International Disc Golf Center help battle hunger.

Whether temperatures are unseasonably warm or dip below freezing, fun will be in the forecast on Saturday, January 28 for the 15th annual Ice Bowl at the International Disc Golf Center in Appling.

The mission of the event is to showcase disc golf in an effort to combat hunger, and the tournament will benefit Columbia County Cares and Golden Harvest Food Bank. The goal this year is to raise $4,000 in monetary contributions and to collect 1,200 pounds of food.

People who bring food donations to the IDGC at Wildwood Park any time from January 23 – 28 will receive one ticket for raffle prizes for every three food items donated. The drawing will be held during the awards ceremony.

Anyone who wants to participate in the raffle without donating food can purchase tickets in the IDGC pro shop during the event. A silent auction also will be held in the IDGC lobby the day of the Ice Bowl.

“I want people to get a sense of giving back to the community,” says Samuel Northrop, the IDGC assistant tournament director. “We have the resources to do some good while we play.”

The event will include amateur and professional divisions, and there is a $35 entry fee. An additional $10 fee will be charged to players without current PDGA memberships.

“The vast majority of people who play one round of disc golf will play another time and get the bug,” says Northrop. “It’s probably more challenging, but also more fun, than it looks.”

All competitors will receive a pro shop voucher, lunch and the satisfaction of supporting a worthy cause. Each division winner will earn a trophy.

Round 1 begins with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m., and Round 2 gets underway with a shotgun start about 1:45 p.m.

A lunch break will feature the annual Chili Cook-Off, held in partnership with the Augusta Disc Golf Association. All contestants should coordinate with the ADGA board of directors in advance. The IDGC staff will judge the ranked-choice voting competition, and the winner of the Chili Cook-Off will receive a trophy as well.

This event is one of 72 Ice Bowls scheduled nationwide to fight food insecurity. “It’s one tournament in a big network that does a lot of good,” Northrop says.

As always, three cardinal rules apply to the Ice Bowls – no event will be canceled or postponed due to weather under any circumstances; no wimps or whiners allowed; and no excuses for not attending. Brrrrr-ing it on!

For more information, visit or