Spotlight On Service: Jessica Belfry: Savannah Carnaval

Spotlight on Service is a regular series highlighting those who spend their time giving back. I am drawn to people who operate in the spirit of service and think it’s important to take the time to acknowledge those who are doing wonderful things for our communities. There are so many positive things taking place in our world that often get overlooked. If you are interested in supporting great causes, or just want to read an inspiring story to make you smile, keep reading!

Fast Friends

The day I met Jessica Belfry for coffee to chat about the amazing projects she’s been involved with in and around Savannah, we became fast friends. She has an energy about her that is warm and also full of anticipation. She has so many irons in the fire, and so many things going on, I half expected her to be frenetic and rushed. But she’s quite the opposite. We sat and relaxed and shared stories and it was like sitting and catching up with an old friend, except we had just met. I have the suspicion that she is this endearing to everybody that she comes across. And that’s why it’s so wonderful that she’s at the helm of an amazing event coming up at the end of the month.

 In the face of the calamity that has been 2020, she isn’t going to let anything rain on her parade. She and the awesome team of people working on this year’s Savannah Carnaval Fundraiser, have meticulously planned and prepared for a safe and thrilling family event on October 30th that will be a fantastic kickoff to a holiday season that is sure to be anything but conventional.

Savannah Carnaval Supports SD Gunner Fund

Savannah Carnaval had its premiere in July of 2019. This award-winning event was the largest of fundraisers that Jess had headed up in support of SD Gunner Fund, a Coastal Empire non-profit that assists Veterans and children with disabilities with the cost of owning a service dog. These service dogs are trained to support individuals with mobility, hearing, psychiatric, and brain/neurological disabilities. Sd Gunner Fund also offers other financial assistance to help Veterans transition back into daily life once they come back home from serving our country.  Britnee Kinard is the president and founder of SD Gunner Fund, and as the wife of a Veteran, her family knows first hand the challenges our veterans face. She has done amazing things in our community, and with your support, can keep expanding the services she provides. Find out more about SD Gunner Fund Here.

( Side note- as a parent of a child with disabilities, a strong supporter of our Veterans, and animal lover and advocate, I can’t think of a better organization to support!)

What to Expect this Year

 Just like last year, this year’s Savannah Carnaval will feature breathtaking aerial acrobatics and jugglers, live music, flamenco dancers, flamboyant costumes (to include a costume contest if you want to get in on the fun), and competitive games. The Rock Paper Scissors event was a fan favorite last year and will be returning. This year will feature both an indoor and outdoor event space at The Clyde to promote social distancing. Jessica and her team have expanded the events from last year, but keeping safety and regulations in mind during Covid19, they have limited the number of tickets sold this year. 

Click here for more information on this event and to order tickets. Temperature checks and contact tracing will be available. Masks are mandatory to enter the event.


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