Greenbriar Children’s Center kicked off its 70th anniversary celebration commemorating the organization’s special milestone. The 70th Anniversary Kickoff Reception was held Sunday, June 23 at the Greenbriar campus, 3709 Hopkins St. On Saturday, July 13, at 7:00 a.m., the organization will commemorate its 70th anniversary with a 5K “Walk to Greenbriar”, which will begin at the First African Baptist Church, 23 Montgomery St., and end at the Greenbriar campus.
Upon her death, Adaline Graham, a wellknown Savannah woman, left property and funds to whomever may start a movement to establish an orphanage for African- American children. In 1943, five young women of the Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., met and decided to utilize the funds left by Graham to establish a center for African- American children. This meeting, and subsequent planning assemblies which included the Rev. Ralph Mark Gilbert and 46 delegates from 20 local churches, took place at the First African Baptist Church on January 10, 1944.
On July 15, 1949 the first cottage opened on Greenbriar Children’s Center its current site.
“Greenbriar is proud to celebrate our 70th anniversary by commemorating the founders who established this wonderful organization,” said Greenbriar Executive Director Gena Taylor. “It’s humbling to take a step back and recognize how long the organization has been serving Savannah’s children and families.”
The 70th Anniversary Reception included light refreshments, guided walking tours of Greenbriar’s campus, and a brief program presented by Dr. Clementine Washington, featuring remarks from former Greenbriar residents, Carl Brandon Orr and Jermaine Crosson, about the organization’s impact on their lives.
Beginning at First African Baptist Church, the very church that hosted the original planning meetings in 1944, the 5K Walk will honor the individuals who launched the movement which led to the opening of Greenbriar Children’s Center in 1949. The route will take participants past other founding churches including Connors Temple, Tremont Temple, St. Matthews, and Pilgrim Baptist Church, before ending at Greenbriar’s campus.
To register for the commemorative walk, please visit runsignup.com/Race/GA/Savannah/ WalktoGreenbriar. Online registration ends July 12; however, interested individuals will still be able to register in person on the day of the event. Packet pick-up will be on Friday, July 12 at Fleet Feet Savannah, 3405 Waters Ave.
To learn more about Greenbriar Children’s Center and its history, please visit www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org or call 912- 234-3431.