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I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

As many of you know, Savannah, Georgia is my favorite city in the world. It’s hard to describe it without resorting to cliches but it is something like “magic.” From its beautifully restored buildings in the Landmark Historic District to the Spanish-moss draped trees, to the charming squares, to the beautifully spooky cemeteries, and the river front Factor’s walk it is one picture postcard after another, all imbued with a Southern Gothic air of mystery. The people are unfailingly delightful with their honeyed deep south accents and their gracious nature toward interlopers like myself. And the food… if all I ever got to eat was good, old-fashioned, southern/low country cuisine for the rest of my life I’d die a happy man. I’d probably die earlier than I would from all the butter, fat, calories, and cholesterol but I’d die with a greasy smile on my face.

So this 50x50x50 is going to the Historic Savannah Foundation, an organization that has been working to preserve the beauty and architecture of the city since 1955, when a group of seven women, outraged by the demolition of a historic house, banded together to stop it from happening again. Since that auspicious beginning, HSF started a Revolving Fund to buy and sell endangered historic properties, which has now saved over 350 buildings and counting. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country, emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. Instead of being a reactive crisis-oriented organization, HSF became a credible civic-minded organization that puts its money where its mouth is and works proactively to save the city’s heritage.

To learn more about the Historic Savannah foundation, visit their website at