TV show visits Southern Sisters
Thomasville welcomed a TV personality that is going to bring the Chair City into millions of homes.
Edie Hand, a renowned author, speaker and television personality, spent two days earlier this week in Thomasville hosting her show, "RX for Healthy Lifestyles," at Southern Sisters Restaurant. Hand and Southern Sisters co-owner Joy Thompson taped a series of episodes featuring southern-style living and a community still riding high after being named a 2013 All-America city.
"When we drove in [Sunday] night, I just fell in love with this community," Hand said. "I think it's a quaint city with much character. There is a lot of beauty here and this is great for me to come to a city like this."
Hand's Chair City visit came about following a series of fortunate circumstances that began when Clifton Lambreth stopped into Southern Sisters for dinner and a business meeting. Lambreth and his two siblings grew up at the Baptist Children's Home Mills campus, and he still considers Thomasville home. Lambreth, CEO of the management consulting firm Daniel Bradley Matthews, met the Thompson's during dinner and found out Joy wanted to one day have her own cooking show.
Lambreth took it from there.
"I told her I might know someone who could help," said Lambreth. "I made a few calls and had a mutual friend set up a meeting with Edie. It turned out to be really cool with Thomasville just winning the All-America City. I love Thomasville and I wanted to try and bring something back. I figured the best I could help them would be to try to get people to look into the city."
Before the Thompsons knew it, they were in Nashville, Tenn., with Joy appearing on Hand's show. The relationship went so well that Joy Thompson invited Hand to visit Southern Sisters.
"It was crazy," Thompson said. "She's a fantastic lady and I was thrilled to be a part of her show. She's amazing and I just asked her to come out here."
Hand accepted the invitation and initially had plans to do a short segment for her show at the restaurant. She ended up doing a lot more than that. Over a two-day period, Hand taped enough material for more than half a dozen episodes with features on Kisses4Kate, a local nonprofit that supports children with cancer, Baptist Children's Home and a city in the middle of a community-inspired revival.
"To me this was a very special place to come and I'm glad Clifton invited us to his hometown," said Hand. "I felt [Joy] had such a knack to make a difference that I wanted to showcase that. I wanted to put the limelight on your city. There's a lot we can showcase about people's hometowns and their stories."
Guests on the show included Mayor Joe Bennett and Dr. Michael Blackwell, who recently celebrated 30 years as BCH president. Segments of the show featured southern-style cooking with a focus on a healthy lifestyle.
"A prescription for healthy life is finding things that help you make better choices, give you confidence to do the things you want to do and helps give you the courage to develop one's character," hand said. "All of that together is a lifestyle."
While a schedule for the show has yet to be finalized, Hand's trip to the Chair City will not be her last. Plans are in the works for a return visit in October, and Thompson said Hand is helping her put together her first cookbook, "Sweet potatoes, stiletos and southern Joy."
Joy Thompson said she is thrilled so many people outside Thomasville will get a chance to see what she already knows.
"There are amazing, genuine people in this community," said Thompson. "There is just something about this area and the southern hospitality that goes with it that is so inviting to anyone who wants to start a business here. It's gratifying beyond belief. We feel very blessed. It's not just for us, it's for the whole community."
"RX for Healthy Lifestyles" appears on the RFD-TV network and averages approximately 22 million viewers. Hand, a cousin of Elvis Presley and a three-time cancer survivor, is the author of 10 books and has appeared on more than a dozen radio and TV shows throughout her 40-year career in broadcasting.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.