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280 Living

neighborly news & entertainment

Volume 5 | Issue 2012 | May 20129 | May |

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Love enough for all

May Features

Adoptions, foster children change a Mt Laurel mom’s life

Farmers markets- Page 7 Editor’s note


Local runs and festivals


Tour de Cure


Hands Free Mama


Sumners retires


Senior healthcare center


School House


HS correspondents




Restaurant Showcase


280 Business Happenings


Business Spotlight


Kari Kampakis


Paul Johnson


Library Happenings


Rick Watson


Calendar of Events


Live music schedule


Kathryn, Chris, Ty, Amy, Jennifer, Shawn, Anna (Mom) , Alan (Dad), McKayla, Sam, Tqira at their Mt Laurel home. Photo by Keith McCoy.

By KATHRYN ACREE In 1971, a representative from Catholic Social Services spoke to Anna Lee’s fifth grade class at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School about welcoming foster children into their homes. For Lee, those words would lay a path for years to come. “I just had this feeling like something big was going to happen, but I didn’t know what it was,” Lee said.

Inspired by a flier sent home with Lee that day, her parents came to foster 19 children as she grew up. “We grieved when the children left because we knew we wouldn’t see them again,” Lee said of the way the process was closed while she was growing up. “But, each child that entered our lives was not a loss but a gain. We didn’t feel jealous. That



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A stretch of green through Dunnavant Valley Regions Tradition returns June 6-10

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child was part of our family.” Today, she and her husband, Alan, have 19 children ages one to 30, both biological and adopted. The number expands to 52 when counting the foster children they’ve welcomed over the years. But before starting a family of her own,

Friends of Dunnavant Valley Greenway members Ward Tishler and Virginia Randolph walk along the trail they helped create behind Soccer Blast on Highway 280. Photo by Madoline Markham.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM A scenic trail twists and turns 1.8 miles along Yellow Leaf Creek through Dunnavant Valley. Part of the public trail is an old road built in the early 1900s and later replaced

by the current County Road 41. Other segments wind along the curves of the flowing creek over rock gardens and bridges built by Eagle Scouts.

See DUNNAVANT | page 12

When a golf course is designed, it is intended to be innovative. It is a work of art conceived by men to embolden the human spirit to knock a ball some 300 yards off a tee and into a hole—not with anger or aggression but with a certain calm that allays any non-peaceful human emotions. A course should embrace yet intrigue the cerebral abilities of a golfer, either by the physical challenges or the beauty of the landscape. In 1977 Hall Thompson and Jack Nicklaus created such a course: Shoal Creek. Designed to draw major golf outings, Shoal Creek is no stranger to hosting golfing events. In 1984 and 1990, the course hosted PGA Championships. Bringing the Regions Tradition, which started in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1989, to Birmingham has validated the legitimacy of the golf course. For the second year in a row, Shoal



| May 2012


280 Living


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280 Living

| May 2012




| May 2012


Welcome Friends

280 Living neighborly news & entertainment

Editor’s Note

The green of this season is screaming at me at every turn. The hills that crest over Highway 280 are vibrant with color. Trees and flowers jump out of the background as I capture pictures for our stories. Kids are bursting with energy ready for summer break. I am hearing about ten announcements of babies and marriages a day (okay, maybe an exaggeration, but that’s how it seems in your 20s). When I first thought of doing a story on the Dunnavant Valley Greenway, I was hesitant. The creek-side trail is so peaceful and quiet that, honestly, I didn’t want to let out the news about it. Meeting the people who dreamed up the trail (see cover story) changed my mind though; I hope your dog, and your family, enjoy walking it as much as mine does. Another secret worth letting out is that of Food Studio B’s new Chelsea location (page 23). Talking about food (and baked goods!) made strictly from scratch that are both healthy and tasty gets me seriously excited. I ate at Food Studio B the day I interviewed Sean Butler; took my parents back the next week; and the following week

discussed their food with my hair dresser, who gets lunches delivered by Food Studio B every weekday. Also this month we want to pay tribute to those who gave each of us life and nurtured us in our paths, our mothers— to Anna Lee, mother of 19 (cover story); to Rachel Stafford as she shares her “Hands Free” journey (page 11); to Laura Clark, whose touching story of love and loss Kari Kampakis tells (page 26); to Mt Laurel area resident Beth Zaiontz (page 29), who is headed to a national mom’s congress; and to all the moms behind the stories we tell each and every month. Finally, I’d like to give a special shout out to our high school correspondents who have shared news from their schools each month. We wish you the best as you head into summer (woohoo!) and college, for those graduating. As days grow longer, I hope yours are all the more filled with sunshine and time embracing your community!

Call for VBS & church event listings

North Shelby Library’s Katie Guerin worked at the Friends of Mt Laurel Public Library booth at the Mt Laurel Spring Festival with fellow supporters Anne Sturm, Jay Price, Ann Price and Stacia Gaines. The Mt Laurel Public Library is preparing to host the “Build a Library” 5K, Fun Run and Walk on May 5 and also compiling a cookbook. Proceeds will benefit the new library’s construction fund. For more information, go to www. Photo by Kathryn Acree.

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers

Paul Johnson | Patrick Thomas Rick Watson | Kari Kampakis

High School Correspondents

Adam Dunkerly | Collier Kauffman Tabitha Fulton | Becky Brinkerhoff

Contributing Photographers Cari Dean | Barry Clemons

Interns Allie Klaubert | Brittney Harrison | Craig Kleimeyer


Editor at Large

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Joe Samuel Starnes

Creative Director

Copy Editors

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Anna Cate Little | Erica Midkiff

Community Editor Kathryn Acree

Managing Editor Madoline Markham

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Contact Information: 280 Living P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205)-370-0732

280 Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. 280 Living is designed to inform the communities along Highway 280 of area school, faith, family and community events. Information in 280 Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/ photos submitted become the property of 280 Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/ photos as deemed necessary. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 370-0732 or by email. Please recycle this paper

What Vacation Bible Schools and other events open to the community does your church have planned for this summer? We want to include your church events, both for the summer and any time of the year, in our event listings.

Fan Giveaway Congratulations to the winner of the April Facebook fan giveaway:

Karen Stephenson Ingram

Please email event names, dates, times, contact information and other details to by May 15 for inclusion in our June issue. You can always submit future events to this email address as well.

Remember only Fans who “like” our Facebook page are eligible for the monthly giveaway. This month’s winner will receive:

$25 to Birmingham Bake & Cook Thanks for reading and being fans of 280 Living.

You must email to claim your prize.

Please Support Our Sponsors Annalyce’s Bake Shop (23) 280 Medical Supply (29) Azia (9) Backyard Adventures (6) Beaumont Pharmacy (2) Bellini’s (8) Betz Tree Service (31) Birmingham Bake and Cook (11) Brookwood Medical Center (25) Capelli Salon (8) Chic Boutique (9) Chiropractic Today (22) Clean Sweep (10) Comfort Keepers (14) Cutting Edge Salon (24) Diana Holladay (12) Dill Services (12) Dugald McMillan (22) Encore Rehabilitation (2) English Ivy (10) Fancy Fur (17) Forever Young (11) Four Corners (7) Ge Ge’s Salon (17) Gingerbread Lady (21) Greystone Antiques (5) Iron Tribe (3) Isbell Jewelers (12) Issis & Sons (27) Johnny Ray’s (31)

La Tavolo (14) Leaf n Petal (7) Medhelp (27) Monkey Toes (14) Mughal Indian (29) Oak Mountain Lodge (15) Outdoor Living Areas (5) Pak Mail (20) Pastry Art (20) Plain Jane (29) Plastic Surgery Specialists (24) RealtySouth (20) Renaissance Consignment (10) Richard Joseph Salon (1) Sew Sheri (16) Skin Wellness Center of Alabama (16) Southeastern Jewelers (18) Spa Moksha (19) St. Vincent’s One Nineteen (21, 32) The Maids (1) The UPS Store (6) Total Care (13) Tutoring Club (23) Varsity Sports (18) Vulcan (19) Walton and Tower (21) Wan’s Chinese (18) Wee Peat (17) Wild Bird Centers (28)

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| May 2012


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Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis at Veterans Park The Alabama chapter of Great Strides, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest and most successful fundraising event, will host a run at Veterans Park in Hoover on May 19. The Trak Shak will assist with the Great Strides Timed Run, which will raise

money for research for cystic fibrosis. The race starts at 9 a.m. and runners should check in at the Main Pavilion. Visit RegistrationType.cfm for more information and to register.

Veterans Park hosts Orphan Run Veterans Park will host the first-annual Orphan Run on Saturday, May 26. The 5K race will start at 8 a.m., and the 1 mile Fun Run will start at 9 a.m. The race has been designed to support orphans around the world. Many families in Birmingham have been adopting internationally, and through

this race you can help support them, as well as many non-profit organizations that support orphans. The cost is $30 for the 5K race and $15 for the 1-mile Fun Run. For more information or to register, visit www.

Greater Shelby Chamber Golf Classic The Greater Shelby Chamber’s 23rd Annual Golf Classic will be held on May 22 at Eagle Point Golf Club. The premiere golf tournament offers friendly competition, lots of prizes and fun for all. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the driving range will be open. Shotgun start is scheduled for 1 p.m. Registration includes a round of golf, course and cart fee, two meals, drink tickets

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per person, one mulligan per person, and all contests. The four-person scramble format offers chances to win flighted divisions, along with longest drive, closest to the pin, putting contest and many other prizes. If you are interested in being a sponsor, volunteer, or playing in the tournament, call the Chamber office at 663-4542.

Art on display at Chelsea Library

Mother’s Day is May 13th

We promise.

Potter and jewelry maker Stephanie Dikis’ work can be found at the Chelsea Pubic Library’s new exhibit. Photo courtesy of the Shelby County Arts Council.

A new installment of local artwork in conjunction with the Shelby County Arts Council is on display at the Chelsea Public Library now through July. Featured artist and Columbiana resident Stephanie Dikis is a potter and teaches pottery classes at the Shelby

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County Arts Council. Other work on exhibit includes photography by Brenda Miller, Broken Beauty mosaics by Andrea Hunter and paintings by Lynn Dodson. The Chelsea Public Library is located at 41 Weldon Drive and can be reached at 678-8455.

On Saturday, May 5, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church will host a unique style yard sale with a Cinco de Mayo theme. The sale will offer great music, refreshments and activities for kids of all ages—even a Cake Walk. If you are interested in renting a 16-by-9-foot booth for $20, contact Jennifer Ganesh at 685-5393 or register online at You can also donate items that you find in your closet, attics, garage

or just around the house. Proceeds from the items donated to Shepherd of the Hills will be donated to local charities, and vendors keep the proceeds of their sales. The sale will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the church’s upper parking lot. Call 995-9673 for more information. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church is located at 4887 Valleydale Road.

Primrose offers summer camps Primrose School at Liberty Park is offering Camp Primrose the Adventure this summer. Summer Camp for children who have complewted kindergarten through fifth grade runs May 29 through August 9. You

can choose one week or all 11 weeks. Weekly themes include The Great Outdoors, Space Travel, Movies, and Film-Making. Primrose School’s hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 969-8202 for more information.

280 Living

| May 2012


Lady Antebellum, KISS and more summer concerts at Oak Mountain Amphitheater The Oak Mountain Amphitheatre has an exciting concert and event line-up for the summer! Go to to purchase tickets for these events: 5/17- Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan. 7:30 p.m. 6/21- Lady Antebellum: Own the Night

2012 World Tour. 7 p.m. 7/1- Big Time Summer Tour with Big Time Rush, Cody Simpson and Rachel Crow. 7 p.m. 7/21- The Tour 2012: KISS and Motley Crue. 7 p.m.

Stock up on fruits and veggies at farmer’s markets Our area farmer’s markets will open for business this month. Venture out on a Saturday morning to see what locally grown food, and even handmade crafts, await you. Valleydale Farmer’s Market Located in the parking lot of Faith Presbyterian Church across from Jeff State on Valleydale Road, the Valleydale Farmer’s Market opens for the 2012 season on Saturday, May 12. Jed Park helps coordinate the market each year with Matt Churnock and tells us a bounty of good things will be available. “Check us out online to see what special entertainment we’ll have each week,” Park said. “We plan musical entertainment plus cooking demonstrations.” Vendors returning this year include: Wise Farms and Barnett Farms for Chilton County harvest peaches; Taylor Hatcher will have heirloom tomatoes, berries, squash, peas and more; Sterling Farms will have grass-fed beef and pork plus free-range chicken and eggs; and local favorite honey man extraordinaire, Jimmy Carmack, plans some visits. After opening on May 12, the market runs Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon until the first weekend of September. For more information, visit www. Mt Laurel Farmer’s Market The Mt Laurel Farmer’s Market, on the square in the Town of Mt Laurel, will once again beckon a visit starting the first Saturday in May from 8 a.m. to noon. “Not only do we have plenty of local growers, but we also include vendors selling handmade crafts,” organizer Kelly Burley said.

Locally grown delights abound at our local farmer’s markets. Photo courtesy of Matt Churnock, Valleydale Farmer’s Market.

The market will be open on Saturdays until October. Mt Laurel offers local growers and crafters a chance to have a booth at the market for a reasonable rate; only $10 is charged each Saturday to sell items. “We have between 40 and 50 vendors here on market days,” said Burley. “It’s really something to see.” If you would like to be a vendor at the Mt Laurel Farmer’s Market, contact Kelly Burley at Main Street Florist, 408-2717.

Alabama Phoenix Festival reaches creative minds

The 2012 Alabama Phoenix Festival will take place at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. The festival will run from 1 p.m. on May 25 to 5 p.m. on May 27. Tim Stacks and Steve Charleson will host this new festival for creative minds. The festival includes gaming and anime tracks that will take place at the Perimeter Park Hilton. All other tracks will take place at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. Film and television stars, comic book artists, authors, theatrical artists and

other stars will appear. Other events include a gala, “The War of the Worlds” re-enactment and a charity auction. A membership of $50 includes passes to all activities. After April 27, memberships are available at the door. Children 10 and under are free with an adult membership purchase. For more information, visit or call Maree Jones at 563-0283.

Exclusively Ballet and Dance hosts anniversary recital event On May 12 and 13, Exclusively Ballet and Dance will honor owner and artistic director Monica Barnett Smith’s 20th year in conjunction with the spring ballet and jazz recitals. Recitals will be held at Oak Mountain High School Performing Arts

Theatre. The older girls will perform a ballet recital on May 12 at 2:30 p.m. and a jazz recital at 6:30 p.m. Then, on May 13, the preschool recital will take place at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 995-9220.

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8 | May 2012 | 280 Living St. Vincent’s One Nineteen spin team prepares for Tour de Cure 2012 Donna Sibley’s brother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13. The diagnosis would inspire Sibley to become a dietician and later to captain a team for the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen, where she works as a wellness dietician. Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 40 states nationwide to benefit diabetes research, education and advocacy in local communities. The Tour is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. Participants register and recruit co-workers, friends and family members to ride and raise money. As team captain, Sibley focuses on recruiting new cyclists to join the team, as well as leading the team to reach fundraising goals. The St. Vincent’s One Nineteen spin team goal is to raise $2,500, and they are well on their way with $725 already raised. “Diabetes is a manageable disease, and I am passionate about educating and improving quality of life for those suffering from the disease. The Tour gives us an opportunity to do that,” Sibley said. Everyone can join the movement to

stop diabetes and support the riders of the St. Vincent’s team as they pedal toward a cure. The team is recruiting members and others to support them. Sibley completed the 25K route in the 2011 Tour de Cure as part of the One Nineteen team and organized the family ride. She is coordinating the spin ride for the Tour de Cure on Saturday, May 12 at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen located on Highway 119 just off Highway 280 near Greystone. “This spin ride allows those who may not own a bike an opportunity to participate in the Tour de Cure by cycling on a stationary bike,” Sibley said. Spin bikes are provided on-site at the St. Vincent’s One Nineteen facility. Interested participants can register and reserve their spin bikes online at diabetes. org/touralabama. The goal of the Alabama Tour de Cure is to raise $150,500 for the American Diabetes Association. The event will also serve as a platform to raise awareness of diabetes and honor those living with the disease, said Annah Grace Morgan, event manager. “Diabetes is growing at an alarming

The St. Vincent’s One Nineteen Team completes the 2011 Tour de Cure to raise money for diabetes research. Photo courtesy of St. Vincent’s One Nineteen.

rate as Alabama is ranked as the state with the highest incidence of diabetes,” Morgan said. “But everyone can join the movement and make a difference in the lives of those battling this disease on a daily basis.” Funds raised by this event go directly to the American Diabetes Association as a method to enhance advocacy, education and research efforts, as well as support the approximately 470,000 people in Alabama

living with diabetes. Those interested in cycling in the Tour de Cure can still sign up and start fundraising, as registration is available through the day of the event. For more information on the Alabama Tour de Cure or the St. Vincent’s One Nineteen team, please visit

Oak Mountain hosts world triathlon

Community Health Fair planned in Meadow Brook

On May 19 and 20, Oak Mountain State Park will be filled with thousands of visitors as it hosts the Second Annual International Triathlon Union (ITU) Cross Triathlon World Championships and the Seventh-Annual XTERRA Southeast Championship. The inaugural event was held last year in Extremadura, Spain, so this is the first time the event will be held in the United States. ITU will be partnering with XTERRA for the event, and the ITR World Championships will be held in conjunction with the 70th annual XTERRA Southeast

The Senior Adult Ministry of Meadow Brook Baptist Church is sponsoring a Community Heath Fair on May 15. The following screening services will be offered by the MEDCREST Wellness Screening Team: blood pressure check, blood sugar testing, BMI/body fat percentage determination, and three types of ultrasound testing for: carotid artery disease (stroke), peripheral artery disease (PAD) and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). A MEDCREST representative will be in the church fellowship hall at 5:30 p.m.

Championship race, with local support from Shelby County, City of Pelham, City of Hoover, Oak Mountain State Park and the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP). The ITU Championships will take place on Saturday, May 19, followed by the XTERRA Southeast Championships on Sunday, May 20. For more information, call 1-877-XTERRA-1 or visit www. to register for the marathon, 19K, 10K or 5K runs.

on May 2 to discuss the benefits of Wellness Screening. Further, MEDCREST representatives will be available before and after MBBC’s 10:30 a.m. morning worship service on May 6 and 13 to discuss the screening process and to register those who desire to take advantage of this important Wellness Screening opportunity. You can register for the health fair by phone, 870-1140, or through www. Meadow Brook Baptist Church is located at 4984 Meadow Brook Road.

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Kimberly Cook said. Cook attributes the den’s progress to a rich pack program and strong leadership from Webelos Den Leaders Mike Swinson, Danny Brooks, Greg Cook and Chris Miller. The scouts crossed over to Troop 76 on March 5 to officially become Boy Scouts. Pack 776 is chartered by Liberty Park Baptist Church.  

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Sixteen fifth grade students from Liberty Park Elementary received their Arrow of Light, the highest rank attainable by a Cub Scout, in a special ceremony at the pack’s annual Blue and Gold banquet in February. “It is rare for such a large number of Webelos scouts to attain this distinctive honor all in the same year,” Cubmaster

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Oak Mountain High School senior Anna Nabors will play the role of a high school student in the upcoming film “The Bling Ring.” Photo courtesy of Jennifer Nabors.

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Oak Mountain High School senior Anna Nabors left for Los Angeles on April 10 for her first appointment onset of the feature film, “The Bling Ring,” in which she will play the part of a high school student. Popular stars Emma Watson and Kirsten Dunst also join the cast for the movie. Directed by Sofia Coppola and scheduled to release in 2013, “The Bling Ring” tells the story of a group of fameobsessed teenagers who use the internet to track celebrities’ whereabouts, find them and then rob their homes. At OMHS, Anna was a part of the chorus in Cinderella and High School Musical. She has also played numerous roles and participated in theatre competitions outside of school. Anna is scheduled to film again the first week in May for “The Bling Ring.” As of now, Anna has been hired as an extra and does not have scheduled speaking parts, but she is prepared to perform.

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Golfers play in last year’s Lorie Johnson Golf Tournament to raise money to provide financial assitance to women with cancer. Photos courtesy of Ed Leathers.


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The Fourth Annual Lorie Johnson Foundation Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Monday, May 21 at Riverchase Country Club. The foundation, founded in honor of a Chelsea woman who later passed away from breast cancer at age 34, provides financial assistance to low-income women and girls with cancer of any kind; many of the women they help have breast cancer. Gary Christian, a Chelsea resident who will play on the PGA Tour, will participate in the Beat the Pro part of the event. Registration begins at 10 a.m., lunch is served at 11 a.m. and the shotgun start is at 12 p.m. A $130 registration fee includes range balls, a golf cart and a barbecue buffet lunch. The fee for a four-man team is $500. There will door prizes, goodie bags and prizes for top teams as well. To register, visit www. or call Jay Mullaly at 587-9902 or Steve Bishop at 365-4911. Registration forms can also be picked up at Riverchase Country Club or Edwin Watts Golf on Highway 280. The registration deadline is May 9. Tournament and hole sponsorships are also available.


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May is National Foster Care Month, and the eve of Mother’s Day this year will mark a special event for all children in our area who deserve a mother’s love. The first annual Greater Birmingham 5K Walk for Foster Care will be held May 12 at Veteran’s Park on Valleydale Road. “The need for foster care is growing very rapidly right now,” said Frank Burder, a foster parent and public relations director for the Shelby County Foster and Adoptive Parents Association Board of Directors. “We are finding ourselves with a shortage of foster parents and homes. This event seeks to educate people, recruit foster parents and raise funds for foster parents and children.” Burder said there are more than 500 children in foster care now in Jefferson County alone. He is encouraging everyone to come to the walk and to consider foster parenting or even offering occasional respite care to watch a child for a few

nights. “We need feet and faces,” Burder said. “We want to make some noise in the community.” Each walker will receive a Walk Me Home T-shirt and blue rubber bracelet and will be given a blue ribbon to hang from the trees in the park; blue is the color of awareness for foster care. Live music will be performed by Reverence and local Christian rapper Short-Tee. Andrea Lindenberg of NBC 13 will be the emcee of the event. DHR for Birmingham and Shelby County will be at the event with recruitment information. Registration on May 12 starts at 8 a.m., and the walk begins at 9:30. Registration is $30 per walker. For more information, visit firstgiving. com/walkmehome/Shelby or contact Burder at or 296-5015.


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Lee had left Birmingham to attend college at the University of North Carolina and then law school in Michigan. During her career as an attorney, she met and married Alan, a CPA, when she was 26 and he was 37. After a whirlwind courtship, the two eloped after six months and welcomed the births of three children in the next three years. Even as a mom to her own small children, Lee hoped to take in children who needed a home. Because she was still practicing law, her interest at the time was with older children. “I wanted to help the ones that got left in the system,” she said. “I was different from many adoptive parents, in that I wasn’t seeking a baby; we had three small children already. My motivation was to be part of a solution and help.” She felt a calling on her heart to foster more children but didn’t push Alan about it. On a trip to Cheaha State Park for their fifth wedding anniversary, the Lees met a group of pre-teen girls who lived in a group home, the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega. One of them said she knew Alan even though they had never met. Later, Alan asked if these were the kind of kids his wife was talking about taking in. Lee said yes. “Oh, I could do this,” he said. Within six weeks the Lees became a respite sponsor to 12-year-old Gail from the group home, who visited on some weekends and holidays. She became closer to the family and soon visited every weekend. It would take five years, but they eventually adopted Gail. One Christmas, Alan began talking about a strong feeling he had that another child would soon join the family. In mid-January, Lee got a call from an agency saying they had child in Missouri in immediate need of a home, and she knew this was the child Alan had envisioned. Six-year-old Heather came to live with the family within a week. She’d been in seven different homes and diagnosed with an attachment disorder, an extremely challenging condition in which children simply don’t learn to trust. The Lees adopted her within six months. Sadly, Heather died in a single-car accident driving to Texas in January of last year. She was 18. “The loss of Heather was a struggle not only for us, but also her biological family that we’d kept in touch with through the years,” Lee said. The Lees have made the choice to keep biological family members in their adopted children’s lives, when and if it is a good situation for the child. As the family continued to grow, they needed a bigger home than what they had in Homewood.

Alan and Anna Lee on the front porch of their Mt Laurel home. Photo by Kathryn Acree.

“It’s funny, but I said I would never live out on 280,” Lee laughed. “When Alan convinced me we needed to look at Mt Laurel, I loved it as soon as I saw it.” The EBSCO team convinced them they could build a home that met their needs— with eight bedrooms— in Mt Laurel. Their home has a fenced backyard at the end of a street, close to the shops and stores of Mt Laurel. “A lot of people know we have 19 children and sometimes [the home] looks like we have 19 children, but we work to blend in seamlessly with the community,” Lee said. So what is daily life like with such a full house? Ten loads of laundry run each day. The family goes through six gallons of milk in about a day and a half. A food-service company delivers frozen food and stocks the kitchen basics. A 15-passenger van takes the family wherever they need to go. “We go everywhere together,” Lee said. The teenagers are generally homeschooled, and elementary age kids go to school. “The teenagers who came to be with us needed to see the stability of a family,” Lee said. Early on, the Lees established a covenant with all their kids. “Once we say you’re staying, you can’t ‘act’ your way out of our home,” Lee said. “We don’t put limitations on our caring for them.” That means no limits to loving through emotional trauma, acting out and even raising additional children when their adopted children have become pregnant. “Our caring for them doesn’t just end when drama happens. This is part of what we see as helping these kids have a new life,” she said. What does she say when people tell her they could never do what she does? “Do whatever it is you feel led to do,“ she tells them. “Whether it’s helping older people, taking care of your family, working at a mission, whatever. Whatever it is you’re supposed to do, do something. Don’t sit around and just listen to yourself. Your life is so much better when you’re not just living for yourself, but living to help others.”








When Rachel Stafford visits area schools, she tells students she is writing a book about parents putting down the cell phones. Immediately, their hands shoot up in the air to share their thoughts with her. Stafford’s blog post on their responses, “The children have spoken,” got 20,000 hits in two days. “Children notice when they are being ignored,” said the Liberty Park mom of two. “We forget that life is going on around us. Many people tell me that they didn’t realize how they were being distracted.” Her blog, Hands Free Mama, is all about letting go of daily distractions, perfections and control to focus on someone or something meaningful. In August 2010, Stafford was married to her college love, had two small children and was super busy. But she asked herself, “Am I really happy?” “I found I was always saying, ‘Not now. Mommy’s busy,’” she said. “People would ask me ‘how I did it all.’ I found that I was missing out on life, the praying, memory making, the laughing.” It was in that “break through” moment that she made the decision to become what she calls “hands free.” She started implementing “let go” tactics to devote time to be fully present with her children and spouse. Each was small but had a profound impact. Three months into her hands free journey, she started blogging at www. As a former special education teacher, lifelong writer and gifted encourager, she wanted to share the concept she was living. “I want the community to come and be inspired and share their own hands free stories and how their small changes are making a big difference in life,” she said.

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Liberty Park mom Rachel Stafford, pictured with daughters Avery and Natalie, blogs about devoting time to be fully present with her children and spouse. Photo courtesy of Rachel Stafford.

“There is a movement of people who want to live hands free.” Hands Free Mama has attracted 100,000 visitors in the past year and nearly 2,000 Facebook fans. “I write as a narrative so people can see themselves doing it,” Stafford said. “It’s not hard, you don’t need education; it’s for everyone. Everyone can have a chance to grasp life with both hands.” She hears feedback on living hands free not just from moms but also dads, grandparents, and even single women who someday want to have a family. “It resonates with people in all walks

of life,” Stafford said. “We all suffer the damage of distraction.” She speaks to women’s groups and Bible studies on internal distraction as well. “There is this pressure on women to do it all perfectly,” she said. “It’s okay to be able to say, ‘I can’t do it all.’” For her, life is about its focus. “My life mission statement is to be present in my children’s lives and to use my gifts to help others,” she said. “When I am asked to volunteer for something, I ask how it compares to my life mission

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Sumners announces retirement from Meadow Brook Baptist Church When Dr. Ron Sumners became pastor of Meadow Brook Baptist 19 years ago, church membership was approximately 400. Currently, membership is approximately 1,000 in a sanctuary the church completed in February 2002. “You have been our family and friends and we will not be able to replace what we have received here,” Sumners told the congregation when announcing his retirement. “There is a time to come, and God directed me here. There is also a time to go, and I know that God still has some plans to use me in ministry in the future.” Sumners came to Meadow Brook Baptist as pastor in May 1993. His last day in his current role was April 22. A special reception was planned in his honor. A native of Vincent, Ala. and a graduate of Vincent High School, Sumners graduated from Samford University with an undergraduate degree in 1971. Sumners received his Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1974 and his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1996. He married Vincent native Karen “Prissy” Elliott, in 1971 and they have two children, Katie and Sam.


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The Dunnavant Valley Greenway is about a 40-minute walk in one direction. Native plants like the sycamore, yellow pine, mountain laurel, wild ginger, ferns, yellow woods violet and Japanese privet line the creek, which runs through the Narrows and eventually down to the Coosa River. The area is ripe for exploration, a family hike or a trail run. The trail parallels County Road 41 from Highway 280 headed north toward Mt Laurel, but once you’re on it, it’s easy to forget that you’re anywhere near cars and anything but nature. “We wanted to make it so people could enjoy the scenery around them,” said Ward Tishler, president of the citizens group The Friends of the Dunnavant Valley Greenway. “That was the driving force behind it.” The Friends first envisioned the trail and worked closely with Shelby County, who adopted the plan in 2004 and constructed it in 2009 and 2010. The parking lot with trail access opened in 2011, and the very next day there were cars in the parking lot. “We were really amazed how many people started using it and were enthusiastic about it,” Tishler said. Tishler, the visionary of the group, dreams of the trail going under 280 and eventually connecting to Oak Mountain State Park and Chelsea. For now, though they are just working to expand the trail in smaller segments along County Road 41 past its current stretch from Soccer Blast to a parking lot 1.3 miles north on County Road 41 toward Mt Laurel. Virginia Randolph, secretary of the Friends and longtime Dunnavant Valley resident, was impressed how the county did not disturb the vegetation along the trail that highlights the botanical life of the valley. “The geological formation on this valley is different from the other side of Oak Mountain, so the plant life is so different,” Randolph said. “That’s probably why you see plants like ginger here.” Randolph recalled how a Birmingham Botanical Gardens curator once found plants they did not have at the gardens in the valley. She sees a bald eagle who she believes lives in or at least frequents the valley. It is these things that she hopes people experience on the trail. “We are so rich if we look around us,” Randolph said. “Alabama is the fifth most diverse state in vegetation in the country. It’s important to preserve the things that make Alabama what it is.” The Friends hope to start an environmental education program on the trail to educate the public on plants and

Dr. Ron Sumners, pastor of Meadow Brook Baptist Church.

Sumners served as the Baptist campus minister at Auburn University and as pastor of churches in Montgomery, Ala., Landrum, S.C., and Whiteville, N.C., before returning to the Birmingham area. Meadow Brook Baptist Church will begin the process of a pastor search in the coming months. Other ministerial staff will step in to lead worship until an interim pastor has been determined. animals in the area. “People moved out here for the beauty and rural atmosphere,” Tishler said. “We want to keep that character.” 280 Living met with Randolph and Tishler for lunch at Stones Throw to learn more about the trail and The Friends of Dunnavant Valley. How did the greenway get started? Mt Laurel resident Elton B. Stephens, Jr. first organized The Friends of Dunnavant Valley Greenway, Inc. in 2001 to improve quality of life and traffic safety on County Road 41. The group adopted a vision in cooperation with Shelby County for a greenway to connect Highway 280 to Highway 25 from ridge to ridge in Dunnavant Valley. In 2004 the County agreed to build and maintain the project, and in 2009 construction began. The original plan was for it to run in the right of way off Highway 41, but it ended up working best to run alongside the road in the woods. Today the trail is on a combination of county property and easements from landowners. What is next for the greenway? The next phase will connect the parking lot to the farm in Mt Laurel; after that they plan to connect to Mt Laurel Elementary School and hence with the town of Mt Laurel. Their hope is for students to be able to walk to the farm from the school for cooperative education. What else do The Friends of Dunnavant Valley Greenway do? The organization, which is open to all residents and business owners in the area, supports efforts to conserve the natural character and beauty of the county and responsible sustainable development. They advocate traditional neighborhoods, smart growth and respect for rural character. “When the greenway becomes a topic of conversation in the community, it fuels more community change,” Tishler said. “It encourages cooperation between people and government when the people are more interested.” The organization also encourages people to voice their opinions and make suggestions for community improvements. “We need to take things step-bystep predicated by what the citizens of Dunnavant Valley want,” Randolp said. The Dunnavant Valley Greenway is accessible behind Field #1 at Soccer Blast or at a gravel parking lot located on Highway 41, 1.3 miles from Highway 280 or 1.8 miles from Mt Laurel. For more information on the greenway, visit The Friends of Dunnavant Valley Greenway welcome additional members and input from area residents.

280 Living

| May 2012



New senior healthcare center coming to 280

A new “post-acute continuum of care” campus for senior adults will be built on Cahaba River Road behind The Colonnade. Illustration courtesy of Brookwood Medical Center.

A “post-acute continuum of care” campus for senior adults will soon be built on 14 acres near the Colonnade. Patchwork Farms will combine a new 120bed nursing facility, a 30-bed rehabilitation hospital, and a 16-bed geriatric psychiatric unit in an innovative approach to treating senior adults requiring professional care following hospitalization. Brookwood Medical Center and Northport Holding, LLC are collaborating on the campus; each is constructing a new building on its respective 7-acre parcel. Northport will build and operate the nursing facility. Brookwood will build and operate the facility containing the postacute rehabilitation unit and the geriatric psychiatric unit. The center will be located on Cahaba River Road between the Colonnade and Highway 280. The new post-acute model seeks to optimize patient recovery and minimize patient inconvenience following major hospital visits and procedures among an increasingly aging population. “The service area for Patchwork Farms, which is essentially the Highway 280 corridor to Shelby County, has a large and increasing population of people aged 65 and older,,” said John Burchfield, vice president of Northport Holding, LLC. “We expect the 65 and older population to increase more than 17 percent by 2016, and that means the demand for skilled nursing and rehabilitation care will only increase.”

The development will result in a total economic impact of more than $66 million for the metro region during year one of the construction period and year two of operation, according to University of Montevallo business professor Dr. Stephen Craft. During year one alone, the economic impact of the construction of the facilities will generate $48,038,545 in total new economic output in the metro region, $15,102,232 in new earnings, and 456 new jobs. Northport Holding will relocate 120 of the beds it has purchased from Jefferson County’s Ketona nursing home. Ketona is slated for closing once Patchwork Farms is operational. “We see Patchwork Farms as an ideal component in what we call the ‘post-acute continuum of care’ for senior adults,” said Brookwood Medical Center President and CEO Garry Gause. “Patchwork Farms is another huge move in Brookwood’s commitment to patient care along the Highway 280 corridor. We believe it fully complements our new Cardiovascular Associates of the Southeast facility, which is very close to Patchwork Farms, as well as our plans for the state’s first-ever Free Standing Emergency Department at the intersection of Highway 280 and Highway 119.” Gause said that construction on Patchwork Farms should be complete within a year of receiving regulatory approvals.


goes to different charities, with Children’s Hospital being the main beneficiary. Unbeknownst to many people, each Nationwide, PGA, and Champions Tour event contributes to charitable beneficiaries in America and around the world. “Community and people take pride in the event,” said Champions Tour Director of Communications Mark Williams. “A smaller city like Birmingham realizes their benefits to their smaller intimate feel. It makes the Regions event huge.” The event is a family attraction. The class of golfers is littered with Hall of Fame talent. “A father can impart his knowledge of a Hall of Fame golfer such as Tom Kite or Ben Crenshaw to his children, which reiterates that same intimacy,” said Williams. Designated Majors on the Champions Tour are significant since golfers are not allowed to use carts. Four rounds of golfing are required instead of the typical three at other Champions Tour events. This adds a further degree of difficulty. Another key aspect to note is that a top ten finish will accrue golfers’ double points in the Charles Schwab Cup. The Charles Schwab Cup is the formula for determining final rankings of each individual golfer on the tour at the end of the season. That all leads to the Charles Schwab Championship in November held in San Francisco. So what can that do for a golfer’s reputation? “As a golfer, if you win the Regions Tradition, it justifies your career,” Williams said. The Regions Tradition is a marquee golfing affair for the family that dually serves as an altruistic act for society. It entails great competition from storied golfers and even greater benevolence involving many people, proving golf and good acts go hand-in-hand. For more information and tickets for the Regions Tradition, visit www.regionstradition. com.

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Creek will host the 2012 Regions Tradition as a Champions Tour event June 6-10. “Originally known as the Senior PGA Tour, the Champions Tour wanted to move the event to a historic location— Pebble Beach or Augusta. Having it back in Birmingham makes it special for us, our members, and the rest of the city,” said Director of Golf at Shoal Creek Eric Williamson. Formally known as the Regions Charity Classic, the Regions Tradition still embraces that charitable aim. Only now it gains coverage for both its local charitable contributions and its elite field of golf players. “The field of players we get encompasses a much more elite field. It’s big time golfers versus big name celebrities,“ said Williamson, who is in his fifth year at Shoal Creek. This year’s field includes golf greats such as Hale Irwin, Kenny Perry, Fred Funk, Fred Couples and returning 2011 champion Tom Lehman. Shoal Creek works in arms with the Bruno event team to help run the event as smoothly as possible. The Regions Tradition is unique since it not only receives charitable donations from several businesses in the Birmingham area, but also because the members of Shoal Creek volunteer to help the event run smoothly. “[The tournament] benefits our membership,” said Williamson. “They loved volunteering. It is really appeasing to see members get excited about helping with the event.” Birmingham is small enough that corporations and businesses can develop strong networking for charitable events. No professional teams to compete with means those businesses can give specifically to this event. All money raised

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| May 2012


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LPMS students enjoyed breakfast from Waffle House as part of reading books that won Newbery awards.

Students at Liberty Park Middle School celebrated the announcement of the Newbery Medal with a breakfast furnished by Waffle House. Representatives from Waffle House Ray Galyean and Richie Gordon brought waffle irons as well as strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate chips for the students to enjoy. To be eligible to attend the breakfast, students had to read a book that previously won the Newbery Medal or Newbery Honor award and then create a project based on the book. Project options were to make an iMovie, write a book report or

create a poster. Students who participated included sixth graders Chad Bryan, Beth Cook, Gage Elam, Jackson Elliott, Michelle Escobar, Rachel Forman, Ella Guven, Bruce Pettway, Rebecca Robinson, Kate Strange and Jonathan Wyatt; seventh graders Daniel Cotton, Emma Fox, Jack Hart, Olivia Medley, Audrey Meloun, Ashley Orkus, Egypt Pettway, Caleb Roberson, Liz Sekyra, Barrett Striplin, Olivia Westfall, Sam Wilke, Greta Wistruk and Katie Woods; and eighth graders Priscilla Gutierrez, Michelle Newman, Channing Prescott and Grace Sessions.

Fences on Parade winners The Shelby County Arts Council has announced the winners of their annual Fences on Parade contest. Chelsea Park Elementary School took the grand prize for Best in Show. Additionally, Oak Mountain Elementary won second place in the elementary division. High School winners were Oak Mountain High in second place and Chelsea High in third place. Chelsea Park Elementary took the grand prize for Best in Show for this piece at the Shelby County Arts Council’s Fences on Parade contest. Image courtesy of Shelby County Schools.

Greystone Elementary celebrates Girl Scouts

Troop Members from Greystone Elementary celebrated the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting.

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Junior, Brownie and Daisy troops from Greystone Elementary celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouting in March. They appeared on the school news

broadcast to sing “Happy Birthday” after the raising and lowering (due to the forecast) of the flag.

CHS talent show winners

In March the Drama Department at Chelsea High School held their spring talent show. The winners were: third place- Laura Thomas, who sang “Taylor the Latte Boy”, and Katelyn Bailey, who choreographed an

original dance; second place- Mara Roberts and Trey Wood with an original guitar and vocal duet; first place - Madison Wilson, who sang and played guitar to Miranda Lambert’s “Same Old You.”

School House

Westminster School congratulates three National Merit Finalists

| May 2012



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Westminster’s Anna Parsons, Joseph Wilson and Scott McClure were named National Merit Finalists. This is the first time in the school’s history that they have had multiple National Merit Finalists in a single class. The Westminster School at Oak Mountain is in its 12th year and has had five National Merit Scholars in school history.


OMHS DECA winners Two Oak Mountain High School marketing students won second place at the Alabama DECA State Conference in Montgomery. Amanda Boutwell and Peyton Hill were named as winners in the Hospitality Services Management Team Event from a field of 11 teams. These students are eligible to compete at the International DECA Career Development Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Oak Mountain’s marketing teacher and DECA advisor is Sandra Gallups. OMHS DECA winners Amanda Boutwell and Peyton Hill. Photo courtesy of Sandra Gallups.

Mt Laurel kindergarten hosts patriotic program

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Karen Vann’s kindergarten class at Mt Laurel Elementary celebrated their social studies unit on historic symbols and patriotism by singing patriotic songs for their parents and special military guests. Pictured are Karen Vann and her class with Specialist Phillip Ludtke, Jeremy Edwards and Ret. Colonel Harold Baker.

LPMS sixth grader makes a difference through collecting jeans In a class assignment at Liberty Park Middle School, students were asked to plan, create and present an individual project on a topic of their choice. Sixth grader Lillie Ben Harris decided not to focus on her own interests but rather find a way that she could help others. She turned to the website Dosomething. org. “Since third grade I wanted to do a project where I could make a difference in the world, “ said Lillie Ben. “That was the year I discovered the Internet and the year I found the website” Through the website, Lillie Ben found out about Aeropostale’s Teens for Jeans program that encourages pre-teens and teenagers to collect gently used jeans. The students were asked to drop these jeans off at any Aeropostale store. Then, the jeans are donated to homeless shelters across the United States. Through her efforts and the efforts of her LPMS classmates, Lillie Ben collected 96 pairs of jeans.  As part of this project, Lillie Ben wrote a speech and presented it to her peers about the importance of helping others and making a difference. She also made an

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Riverchase/Pelham 1902 Highway 31 South, 35244 LPMS sixth grader Lillie Ben Harris collected 96 pairs of jeans to donate to Aeropostale’s Teens for Jeans program.


iMovie commercial that was played on the school announcements.


| May 2012


280 Living

Spain Park High School

Chelsea High School



A farewell to Spain Park When I walked in Spain Park’s doors my freshman year, I had no clue who I would be walking out the end of my senior year. Now I am here with my feet finally within reach of the finish line. I can honestly declare that I am proud of who I am and what I have accomplished over these last four years. Spain Park High School, though kept at an absolutely freezing temperature most of the time, has been crucial in shaping me. Not everyday was perfect, not every test was studied for, and not every class was simple. However, each day was worthwhile. Soon my effervescent days here will fade to nothing but memories. I may be leaving come next fall, but I bestow my memories to those who helped create them. I remember working with the amazing cast of The Crucible and seeing every corner of the school covered with my creepy, overly made-up face as Abigail Williams. I remember Mrs. Parnell kindly asking me to pay attention to my French translations after seeing that I was busy crushing on the senior sitting behind me. I also remember switching out of French III and telling my counselor, “I was sitting in class one day and realized—I don’t speak French.” I remember Mr. Stamper letting me spend part of class in the bathroom wiping off mascara after my first breakup, and then letting my best friends follow, tissues in hand. I remember Mrs. Love telling me it was stupid for me not to take creative

writing; that class became my sanctuary. I remember Mr. Mathews telling me to never stop writing. I remember Mr. Thompson teaching me that I was worth more than I knew (even if I didn’t want to hear it). I remember the princess balloon that my lunch table accidentally set free in the cafeteria—and how it spent half the year staring down at us. I remember our theatre director, Mr. St. John, telling us we would have to learn how to juggle by the end of the year or face failure (I still have yet to master the art). I remember spending four years with my best friend Lauren from walking in the doors to our last English class. I’m trading in my red Mustang for a subway card and the Alabama heat for a down parka. I’m taking New York with a southern smile and a slight drawl, but most importantly, the lessons that my loved ones taught me throughout high school. I love Spain Park. And, as much as I might have fought and kicked my way through my math courses and asked myself why in the world I took so many AP classes during senior year, it was worth it. All of it. I will walk across the stage come graduation with the feeling that I can accomplish anything I dare to fight for and that who I am is nothing compared to who I can be. Editor’s note: Becky plans to attend NYC’s Pace University next fall as a theatre major. We will miss her and wish her well as she starts the next phase of her life in the Big Apple!

Miss Chelsea High pageant spotlights beauty and poise The annual Miss Chelsea High School Pageant was held at Chelsea High School on April 14. At the beginning of the night, the ladies participated in a choreographed opening number where they walked in circles then stood two by two in different poses. Participants then introduced themselves to the audience. The girls chose categories to enter including Miss Interview. This optional category allowed each girl to speak in an interview with several people. Miss Interview had to carry herself with great poise, have a great personality, and seem comfortable with the people interviewing her. The winner of Miss Interview was Savannah Coker, a freshman. For Miss Photogenic, judges chose the most photogenic from photo submissions. This year’s Miss Photogenic was senior Courtney Boyd. Miss Congeniality is voted upon by pageant participants as someone who they think is very friendly and supporting throughout the practices leading up to the pageant and during the pageant. Senior Stephanie Fant was chosen as Miss Congeniality. The opening number was not judged but gave the judges a chance to see the girl’s personalities. In each girl’s individual walk, the judges rated contestants on poise, confidence, dress, hair and overall appearance. The freshman winners were second runner up Mackenzie Goodworth, first

Senior class winners of the Miss Chelsea High School pageant included Stephanie Fant and Courtney Boyd. Tabitha Fulton, center, was crowned Miss Chelsea High School.

runner up Savannah Coker and freshman elite Raven Whitfield. The sophomore winners were second runner up Haley Berryhill, first runner up Heather Wade, and sophomore elite Emma Franklin. The junior winners were second runner up Rebecca Johnson, first runner up Laurel Tolbert, and junior elite Kylie Dutton. The senior winners were second runner up Stephanie Fant, first runner up Courtney Boyd, and the new Miss CHS was Tabitha Fulton. “I enjoyed being with my friends in the pageant and getting to dress up and have fun for a night!” said senior Brianna Niven, who was participating in the pageant for the first time. All of the girls looked stunning. Congratulations to all of the winners! Editor’s note: 280 Living is proud of our high school correspondent, Tabitha Fulton, being crowned Miss CHS. We wish her the best as she graduates from Chelsea this month.


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280 Living | May 2012

The Westminster School at Oak Mountain By ADAM DUNKERLEY

Grand Tour completes Westminister’s classical culture study Every year at Westminster, the senior class takes a 12-day trip to Greece and Italy, called the “Grand Tour.” Since Westminster emphasizes classical culture and philosophy, this trip rounds off our curriculum nicely. Rather than only reading about ancient places and events, with the Grand Tour we get to see the places and imagine the significant events that once occurred there. While we visited many historic locations in Greece and Italy, like the Athenian Acropolis, the Oracle at Delphi, and the Coliseum in Rome, our experience in Florence topped the list. Florence was the center of the Italian Renaissance. Artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael all lived and worked in Florence. The city of Florence itself is well preserved and abounds in original Renaissance art and architecture. By staying in a family owned hotel within the old city and walking wherever we went, we experienced all Florence had to offer firsthand. The streets in Florence are narrow and the old buildings tower over you on both sides, making it impossible to

see very far most of the time. This, however, has a unique effect when you wander the city: amazing sculptures and architecture often take you by surprise. On the first night after we arrived, a small group of us strolled down the street with intentions no greater than finding some gelato. We rounded a corner and found ourselves face to face with the largest and most famous structure in Florence, the massive cathedral called the Duomo, illuminated by spotlights. It stopped us in our tracks, and we spent the next half hour walking around and staring at it. It seemed so heavy, and it was hard to believe even the ground rested on could hold it up. Seeing it was unlike anything we had experienced before, and for many of us it was the highlight of the trip. Overall, the trip was something we will never forget. It made for a great end to our years at Westminster. Adam Dunkerley is a senior at The Westminster School at Oak Mountain. He was recently honored as 280 Living’s athlete of the month as a member of the school’s cross country and track teams.



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Briarwood Christian High School

We have a boutique, new spring collars, life jackets, home décor and much more!


5291 Valleydale Rd • 408-1693 •

“The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” comes to life at BCS Every spring, the Briarwood Christian High School drama department puts on a performance that is both family-friendly and entertaining. In April, the elite drama team of BCS performed “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” The students, with the help of drama director Lee Eady, created everything from sets to scripts to costumes. Costume designer Hannah Gulledge brought the production to life with the White Witch’s silver dress and pale white makeup and the children’s thick furry coats they take with them into Narnia. Rob Palmer constructed the sets such as the lamppost scene, the beaver’s home, the white witch’s castle and the stone table. The cast included Matthew Drennen as Peter, Katherine Godwin as Susan, Margan White as Edmund, Carrie Orteza as Lucy, Charlotte Clare Wickersham as the White Witch, Chris Bailey as Aslan, Sam Whorton

as Mr. Beaver, and Katherine Youngblood as Mrs. Beaver. The drama department has had a wonderful year of productions, including their fall performance of “The Wizard of Oz.” The drama team also did a series of one act plays and a Broadway musical review. The students did a magnificent job of creating the production, and drama director Lee Eady has done a great job this year of teaching the students drama skills and allowing them to show off their abilities in performances. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” has been their best performance of the year. The efforts of the drama team of BCS really made the production great. Everyone did a spectacular job at their part, and some might even have a future in drama.

Get Blown Away

Rice speaks at Spain Park By KATHRYN ACREE With an opening exclamation of “Go Jags!”, former U.S. Secretary of State and Birmingham native Dr. Condoleezza Rice spoke on April 18 to the student body of Spain Park High School. Rice made the appearance as part of the school’s Big Read Project. Spain Park students have been reading Rice’s book, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, over the last year. The Daniel Foundation of Alabama donated a copy of the book to every student and faculty member at SPHS. Rice encouraged students to find and pursue their passion. “Find what you love to do,” Rice said. “Once you’ve found your passion, life has a way of working out just fine.”

1/2 pri color M ce ondays & 1/2 pric e col Saturda or ys from 26 Dr. Condoleezza Rice at Spain Park High School. Photo by Kathryn Acree.

Rice challenged students to try something they considered hard to do. “There are a lot of people who are just as smart as you are, who are just as good as you are, who will never have the opportunities that you [as students] have,” she said. “Never take those opportunities for granted, never feel entitled.”

Redken New Chromatics Color No Ammonia, No Smell Call today to Get Blown Away!! 5426 Hwy 280 East • 980-7444


| May 2012



157 Resource Center Parkway, Suite 102 Behind Logan’s Roadhouse on 280 Your source for teams sports


Leah Reeve

Oak Mountain High School Senior Softball Oak Mountain High School Athletic Director David Hogue told us Leah Reeve is both an outstanding softball player and an outstanding student. We asked this Eagle what she loves about the game and what her future plans are. How long have you played softball? I have played softball for 14 years. What is the best thing about being part of Oak Mountain’s team? The best part is the friendships that

Oak Mountain’s Leah Reeve. Photo courtesy of the Reeve family.

I have made over the years. I have been playing with some of these girls for six years now, and I love each one of them.

Leah Reeve connects at the plate during a recent Eagle softball game. Photo courtesy of the Reeve family.

Junior Classical League (Latin Club). I am also in the National Honor Society, Latin Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.

Give us your overall thoughts on this year’s softball season. We have great potential this year and are working very hard to achieve our goals. We started off strong this season and hope to continue making progress.

What are your future college/career aspirations? I plan on attending Auburn University this fall and majoring in biomedical sciences. I wish to become a pharmacist and attend Auburn’s Harrison School of Pharmacy after getting an undergraduate degree.

What other activities are you involved in at OMHS? I am second vice president of the

Tell us about your family. Do you have siblings involved with sports?

I grew up playing all the same sports as my older brother, Nathan. We both played basketball and baseball/softball and ran cross country. Our greatest passion has been the game of baseball/ softball. What do you like to do in your spare time? I love reading. I’m a huge nerd. I have played the piano since first grade. I love going to the lake, riding on the jet ski and wakeboarding. I also sing in Meadow Brook Baptist’s Youth Praise Band and volunteer in the church nursery.

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995-5859 330 Inverness Corners, Inverness AL 35242

Khols Shopping Center, next to old Bruno’s and License Office

5299 Valleydale Road Suite 111 Birmingham, AL 35242 (two blocks from 280) • 980-9030

280 Living

On the boat with the CHS Anglers

| May 2012



Spa Moksha Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Available in any amount. Call to order – 980-9393

60-minute Swedish Massage Classic Manicure and Pedicure $140

60-minute Swedish Massage Classic Manicure and Pedicure Solus Per Aqua Facial $220

Chelsea High School fishing team: Randy Joiner, Greg Joiner, Tyler Boyle, Kaleb Appling, Arlin Appling, Quintin Dorough, Hunter Preisendorfer, Tray Davis, Tanner Lee, Greg Loveday, Zane Loveday, Alex Boroughs, Lex Boroughs and Landon Lowery. Photo courtesy of John Noles.

By PATRICK THOMAS Some fish for leisure. Some do it to spend time with friends. Others, like the Chelsea High School Anglers, compete because they love it. The Anglers, composed of ten fishers/ players ranging from eighth grade to seniors, are a part of the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association. Each individual member of the team is judged based on the weight of each fish caught. “A lot of [fishing] depends on the temperature, time of year, where to fish in the water; these guys get technical about it,” said John Noles, the manager of the Anglers. “We have professional speakers come into the school and lecture to these guys. It is much more than just throwing a rod and reel in the water. Much of it comes from their raising“ Noles said he is more of an overseer

than anything. “I watch the money coming in and out from sponsors. These guys already know how to fish,“ said Noles with a smile. Sponsors like Mark’s Outdoors are labeled on the Anglers’ uniform. Indeed, the Anglers do know how to fish. In all five regional fishing tournaments, the Anglers have placed in the top five. Each club can have up to five boats with two fishers in each boat against a competition of 10 to more than 100 boats. The first tournament of the season was at Lake Martin on February 25. Although no boats or individuals placed in the top ten, as a club the Anglers were awarded second place overall. At the next tournament at Lake Eufala, two boats placed in the top ten of 120 boats, and the Anglers won first place overall out of 38 schools. Eighth-grader

Berry student to play in national lacrosse tournament Bobby Hanley, Jr, an eighth grader at Berry Middle School, has been named as a 2012 Brine National All-Star and has been selected to represent the Southeast Region in the 2012 Brine National All-Star Lacrosse Academy and National Lacrosse Classic to be held in Boyds, Md. June 30-July 3. Bobby is the son of Bobby and Susan Hanley. The Brine National All-Star Lacrosse Academy brings the top 400 middle school lacrosse players in the country to one venue, where 16 regional teams will compete to become the 2012 National Champion.

Oak Mountain High School baseball coach Brian Breeze with seniors Josh Floyd and David Dahl. Photo courtesy of Shannon Floyd.

500 Cahaba Park Circle Birmingham, AL 35242 (205) 980 - 9393 •



Berry Middle School’s Bobby Hanley

Oak Mountain High School seniors sign baseball scholarships Oak Mountain High School’s Josh Floyd and David Dahl were recently part of signing ceremonies at the school. Josh Floyd signed to play baseball for the University of Montevallo. David Dahl signed to play baseball for Auburn University. Dahl’s signing to play baseball for Auburn will not affect his intention to enter the Major League Baseball draft in June. He will have the option to choose to play for Auburn when and if he receives an offer from a professional team this summer.

Kaleb Appling was awarded seventh place with 9.97 pounds. Eighth-graders Zane Loveday and Tanner Lee won eighth place with 9.69 pounds. At the Demopolis Lake tournament, one boat captained by senior Landon Lowery and junior Alex Boroughs led with 11.72 pounds. The last and fourth regional tournament took place April 21 at Pickwick Lake near McFarland Landing. With the Anglers’ success this season, they have already qualified for state at Miller’s Ferry in Roland Cooper State Park on May 5. Primed and poised for success, the Anglers should continue to prosper in their third year of participation. Who knew fishing could have such an effect on a high school?

Kids 4 and under and Vulcan Members



SUNDAY, JUNE 3 12-4 PM at Vulcan Park and Museum ®



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FOR MORE PARTY DETAILS LOG ON TO 1701 Valley View Drive | Birmingham, Alabama 35209


| May 2012







at Lee Branch


UK 2012

by Brent Watson

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The Southeastern Conference claimed another championship by way of the Kentucky Wildcats as they won another national title, but the way they’re winning is almost boring. Hold on “Blue Nation” before you look for my email. Hear me out, and I welcome your opinions as I hope you can appreciate mine. The Kentucky Wildcat program is the elite basketball program in the nation in my opinion. Their fans are the most knowledgeable, and you’ll see lots of blue no matter where the Cats play. They began winning championships years before I was born and have won several since. My issue with the way they’re winning them now is not what college basketball is all about. That’s not really UK’s fault, however; it’s the NCAA. There are no more direct routes from high school to the NBA anymore. Kids are required to play at least one year in college. John Calipari is capitalizing on the fact that he can get the very best to come play for him by letting them know that he’ll show them what they need to work on to be the best. He and the kids he recruits are about business and making money. There is not one thing wrong with that. I just want college basketball back because this year’s NCAA tournament was too predictable. Yeah, we got to enjoy Ohio University’s run and Cincinnati along with a couple other that filled the Cinderella Story appetite. Calipari had what he’d been looking for in this year’s team: talent and team play. These

guys could have beaten some pro teams on a good night. Their losses to Indiana and Vanderbilt were games they weren’t ready to play, in my opinion. No disrespect to the Hoosiers or the Commodores because both earned the victories, but the Cats played those and some of their other games in spurts. Kentucky was going to win the National Championship. Louisville made it interesting until Calipari got his young professionals to understand that it was time to play hard and finish. I think this idea of playing one year in college and then bolting for the NBA is bad for college basketball. How do you fix it? I say let the guys who are good enough go ahead and go pro. It worked out for LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and others. Don’t get me wrong; I think college life is good for young adults. I think it is very important to get an idea of responsibility before entering the “real world.” However, I’ve been around college players who were stars and knew they were millionaires to be, and they had to learn a lot the hard way when it came to “real life.” The reason was they didn’t dedicate themselves to class and making the grade. It was all about their respective sports. These kids that won the championship last month are talented players who are going to make millions of dollars, but how much do you think they really benefitted from the University of Kentucky’s academic program? I say very, very little.

Oak Mountain softball has perfect season

Been Baby Bitten?

Oak Mountain Middle School’s seventh and eighth grade softball team. Photo courtesy of Ryan Greenwood.

The Oak Mountain Middle School seventh and eighth grade softball team had no losses this season starting with a 6-0 win in the Thompson Softball Tournament. Members include Allie Golson, Mackenzie Brown, Chloe Yeager, Ashlee

Sanders, Jordie McWilliams, Carmyn Greenwood, Catherine Clark, Anna Galloway, O’Neil Roberson, Kayla Adams, Mary Kathryn Green, Clair Kicklighter, Abby Jones and Harleigh Lantrip.

Register for OM Youth Football and Cheer If you’ve never been “baby bitten”, then drop by Pastry Art Bake Shoppe today to experience the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of one of our original Baby Bites. Once “bitten”, we know you’ll be back to try all 20 flavors. NEW LOCATION! 940 Inverness Corners

205.995.5855 1927 29th Ave S | Homewood



Online registration for Oak Mountain Youth Football and Cheerleading continues through May 12. Two football leagues are available this year: Jefferson Shelby Youth Football League (JSYFL) for first grade through sixth grade, and the Oak Mountain - Over the Mountain Football League (OTMFL) for third grade through sixth grade. Registration fee for football is $275 for 105 lb., 120 lb. and 130 lb. for fourth, fifth and sixth grade for both JSYFL or OTMFL. Registration fee is $200 for 90 lb. (third Grade) for JSYFL or OTMFL, $175 for 70 lb and 80 lb. (first and second grade) for JSYFL only. The league supplies football helmet and shoulder pads to be returned to the league and every player receives two

jerseys to keep (home and away). On-site fitting sessions will be May 5 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heardmont Senior Center. Cheerleading is open to girls entering first grade through sixth grade this fall. Registration fee for cheerleading is $150uniforms and additional optional items are extra. For the 2012 season, cheerleading will field squads for JSYFL teams only. A required Cheer Clinic will be held August 1 – 4 with no additional costs. There are no late registrations. On-site fitting for uniforms will be May 5 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heardmont Senior Center. To register and for additional information, go to

| May 2012

280 Living

Smith wins Bradley Johnson Tournament



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205-538-0462 2409 Acton Rd., Ste. 137

Medalist winner Connor Smith, a sophomore at Spain Park High School, with Hugh, Shari and Michael Johnson at this year’s Bradley Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament at Greystone Golf and Country Club. Michael is a former Spain Park golf team member and now plays for Auburn University. The tournament honors Bradley Johnson, who died in a car accident in 2006. The Bradley Johnson Memorial Foundation seeks to provide scholarships to deserving young men and women and financial resources for junior golfers to participate in golf tournaments. Photo courtesy of Christine Martin.

First time ever!

Spain Park Dazzlers make their mark

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Plates, serving plates, bowls, mugs and more! Spain Park High School’s Dazzlers performed at Walt Disney World. Back row, standing: Elizabeth Pate, Susanna Bagwell, Perri Lyles, Giulia Mugnaini, Katherine Sharpton. Center row, standing: Alexandra Denning, Robin Lindgren, Hannah Floyd, Maddy Powell. Center row, kneeling: Jasmine Reed, Megan Lindsey, Amelia Juneau. Front row, kneeling: Sammi Lapinski, Caroline Reiner

Spain Park High School’s dance team, the Dazzlers, enjoyed a great year of performances. Along with performing at football games and band competitions, the Dazzlers marched in the Fresh from Florida Parade in Orlando and in Disney World’s Electric Light Parade. At the UDA state competition, they won first place in jazz and third place in hip-hop in the small varsity division. At UDA nationals they were named tenth

place winner in hip hop and were named overall sweepstakes winner. Three seniors, Sammi Lapinski, Caroline Reiner and Megan Lindsey, were invited to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The dance team recently held tryouts and will have their largest group ever, 20 members, performing at the varsity level next year. In June the group will travel to Memphis for UDA camp.

Chelsea Softball wins conference

Chelsea Middle School Softball Team. Photo courtesy of Jill Tolbert.

The Chelsea Middle School Softball team defeated Columbiana 7-6 in a tight game Friday, April 6 to enter into the Shelby County Southern Conference Championship. Columbiana started off with a six-run lead in the second inning, but the Lady Hornets quickly regained their ground with three runs in the third. An over-the-fence homerun by Hillary Headly in the fourth inning brought the game to its dramatic conclusion with Columbiana still leading 6-5. It was the Chelsea defense’s time to rock the stands with back to back strike outs by Alexis Eisenberg, a diving centerfield catch by Bailey Coyne and a pick-off at second by the catcher Alex Smithson. With Columbiana still leading

in the bottom of the seventh, it was Sarah Warren’s triple that tied the score and eventually she scored the winning run. The following day the Chelsea Hornets defeated Helena Middle School 12-2 after five innings to win the championship. Alexis Eisenberg had zero walks and three strike-outs, Alex Smithson picked off another runner at second base, and the infield had a team-work double-play. The Lady Hornet’s bats were all on fire and, Mallory Heisler and Bailey Coyne each scored twice to help the team secure the 2012 Southern Conference first place trophy. The team is coached by Jill Tolbert, David Cordes and Amy Eubanks.

LSU • UAB • Ole Miss • Florida Gators and more! Mother’s Day gift baskets and other gifts

970-2683 • 995-9280 3431 Colonnade Shopping Center

Breakfast with the Esthetician Have Healthy Skin Friday, May 18 8:00-9:00 a.m. Good skin care habits are for all ages, young and old alike. Learn the basics to achieving healthy skin with Connie Johnson, Master Esthetician and Laser Technician at Spa One Nineteen. The skin is our largest organ, and yet the one we neglect the most. Gain valuable insights to daily care, antiaging, acne, and treating/preventing sun damage.

Please call 408-6550 to register for this free seminar.

7191 Cahaba Valley Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35242

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| May 2012


280 Living

Your Health Today By Dr. Irma Palmer

You may recall that last month I played the role of “mythbuster,” challenging many common misconceptions about chiropractic care, including myths such as chiropractic is only effective for back pain and chiropractors aren’t real doctors, among others. This month, I’d like to focus on some chiropractic truths, and separate fact from fiction for you. Wellness chiropractic care (like what I provide in my office) is designed to protect the health you have, and to help you recover a significant portion of your health that you’ve lost. It’s very possible to do this! Want proof? Way back in 1921, Henry Winsor, a medical doctor in Pennsylvania, questioned how adjusting vertebrae in the back could relieve and resolve various health issues (including stomach troubles, heart diseases and more). He carried out autopsies on cadavers to determine whether any connection existed between curvatures of the spine and distressed organs, or whether the two were entirely independent of each other. The bottom line of his findings? There was nearly a 100% correlation between minor curvatures of the spine and diseases of the internal organs! It’s just one more way of substantiating that when the nerves that exit the spine to various organs are compromised

in any way, disease will result. Chiropractic works because humans are self-healing and regulated by our nervous system. Impulses flow from your brain and down your spinal cord. Pairs of nerve roots branch off from between each spinal joint. These nerves link your brain with every cell and tissue of your body. Because of their close proximity to the moving bones of the spine, improper motion or position of spinal bones can irritate and compromise nerve function. Chiropractic care locates these areas and helps reduce their effect with spinal adjustments. If you knew you could prevent or relieve disease by simply eliminating any problems with the flow of your nerves, wouldn’t you give it a try? It just makes sense! If a lack of correct flow is reaching a body part, would you expect it to function better or worse? Just as a hose with a kink in it can’t water your garden well, nerves that are compromised can’t help you function at your best. Unfortunately, there have been some in the chiropractic profession who have given us a bad reputation. But the majority of those in our profession have the same goal – restoring you to a state of normal function and giving you the tools to successfully

Let’s Separate Fact from Fiction

adapt to most of the stresses you face each day. Here’s what I do to make that happen. When you first come into my office, we do a free consultation to assess your current state of health. You’ll complete a questionnaire about your current health and watch a short video that explains the basics of chiropractic. Then we will sit and talk about the myriad of ways chiropractic care can help improve your quality of life. If you decide to proceed with care, we then take full spinal x-rays and use those to identify areas of subluxation (misalignment or malfunction of the spine) and determine a course of action to correct them. In addition to full spinal x-rays, we also use additional high-tech diagnostic testing. The same part of your nervous system that controls your heart, stomach and other organs, regulates your skin (your largest organ). By measuring skin temperatures along your spine, we can find nervous system disturbances that may affect other vital organs. We do a thermographic and SEMG assessment at the beginning of your care, and again after 12 visits to monitor your progress. And there you have another chiropractic fact – we can show you definitively how you are improving.

Wellness-oriented chiropractic care is about more than finding and correcting vertebral subluxations. We are focused on helping you achieve optimal health – a state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. That is, your body working the way it was designed to work! To that end, we offer much more than chiropractic adjustments in our office. We have a Director of Wellness Education on staff who will work with you to assess your current diet and exercise regimens and make recommendations for improving them. We also carry Garden of Life products, whole food vitamins and supplements to aid digestion and detoxification, and to provide immune system support. If you’re ready to discover what many already know – that wellness-oriented chiropractic care can truly transform your life by helping you live it wide open – give my office a call at 991-3511 and come in for a no-obligation consultation. Or RSVP to attend one of our free monthly Wellness Workshops (this month on Monday, May 21 from 6:15-7p.m.) to learn more and once and for all let me help YOU separate fact from fiction.

Family & C�metic Dentistry Gentle Care is Our Specialty!

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FREE WHITENING After New Patient Exam, Cleaning & X-Rays (Value $400)

Digital X-rays, Intra-oral cameras, Nitrous, HDTV’s in each room

Dr. Dugald McMillan IV

5291 Valleydale Road • 995-3989 (Located In Inverness Village)

We accept the following insurances: Southland • Humana • United Concordia • Aetna Cigna • BCBS • MetLife • Delta • Guardian


Restaurant Showcase

Food Studio B

Restaurant Showcase

| May 2012





16688 Highway 280 East Chelsea 678-7292 Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sean Butler is carving meat amidst shelves of dried fruit, nuts and labels for his snack food lines when I walk into Food Studio B to interview him. Butler speaks fast, rattling off the farmers he knows and how they fit into his vision for the new space. A man from Rora Farms in Coosa County walks in to deliver eggs. Butler points out his one and only shelf of dried goods. His focus is obvious: Make food from scratch and foster community. “We want to sit down with our customers and get to know them,” said Butler, who has lived in Chelsea since 2006. The café, located in the former Chelsea Café location behind the BP on Highway 280, had a soft opening in March and is now serving salads, sandwiches, soups and specials daily—as well as homemade desserts—on weekdays. Lunch and breakfast are only the start of Butler’s vision for the storefront to be a market, bakery and café. “We want to be a one stop shop for all things food,” he said. The word all is not an understatement for his plans. There will be steaks and seafood, prepared meals, fresh frozen yogurt and ice cream made from local dairies’ milk and yogurt, cooking classes for kids and adults, and more. Their hours will extend, and Butler will start to work more with schools and churches in the area. The reclaimed pine wood walls of the interior will open up to an outdoor kitchen and picnic tables. A Friday Night Supper Club started in April with a four to five course meal each

Sandwiches like the Cubano Monday special at Food Studio B in Chelsea are served on housemade bread with a salad of seasonal vegetables and your choice of house-made dressings. Photos by Madoline Markham.

week ($55). The menu is released online on a Sunday, and reservations close on Wednesday. The events for 36-40 people allow guests to bring their own beer or wine and center on fostering community and conversation. Part of the profits will be shared with a specific nonprofit, the first of which was the American Stroke Association, an organization close to Butler’s heart. It was Butler’s father’s heart attack a decade ago that inspired Butler to first change his diet from the classical European culinary styles in which he was trained. He traveled on weekends to learn flavor profiles and spent weekdays recreating the flavor of fatty meats with ingredients that kept it healthy. He learned to make macaroni and cheese and squash casserole healthier, and taste good, while feeding 3500 people each day at Blue Cross Blue Shield as their chef. In 2008 Butler left Blue Cross to open Food Studio B, named for his son Braden,

now a kindergartener at Chelsea Park Elementary, in a retail space in Greystone. Around that time, Butler began to create fresh packaged meals for people on the Paleo Diet, which consists of meats, vegetables and seeds with no dairy and no grains; Food Studio B now delivers 800-1500 of these meals, some of which are packaged for IronTribe’s brands, throughout Birmingham each week. Butler himself follows an 85-95 percent Paleo Diet; he eats legumes but not dairy. Food Studio B also creates a snack line of granolas, protein bars, raw bars and trail mix named for Butler’s grandmother, Maria. Butler believes that the Paleo Diet works and makes sense, but his café does serve freshly baked breads, cakes, cookies, and whoopee pies created by baker Ginny Bryant. They serve gluten-free baked goods as well. Regular customers have already learned about their daily specials. On Monday they serve sandwiches like a

Food Studio B owner and chef Sean Butler carves a teres major cut of beef for a paleo meal from their new Chelsea location.

Cubano and a Corquette Monsieur (ham and cheese). Tuesdays are for tacos; three to five varieties like a braised short rib and a tilapia and catfish are $2.59 each. Wednesday brings crispy, baked wings from Springer Mountain Farm in Georgia; flavors vary from pineapple jerk to a Cajun dry rub to “The Screamer” with sriracha, roasted jalapeños and chipotle peppers. On Fridays they will soon serve chicken and waffles, with the choice of a classic malted waffle or a multigrain waffle. “We are just trying to be ourselves,” Butler said. “We listen to our customers and adapt what they want to our scratchbased style.” For the latest updates on Food Studio B, follow them on Twitter @food_studiob and on Facebook. Butler said their newsfeed will start to explode as in-season produce comes in this summer.

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| May 2012


Business Happenings

280 Business Happenings

Urban Cookhouse opens Cahaba Beach Dog Park market at The Summit coming soon The Urban Cookhouse location at The Summit will be hosting a farmers market on Thursday evenings this summer. The market will run 3-7 p.m. from May 24 to July 26. Vendors at the market include heirloom vegetables from Harvest Farm, Chilton County peaches, hydroponic produce from Owl’s Hollow, Bare Naked Noodles, Finer Ground Coffee, breads and cheeses from Chef Corey Hinkel of MIX Bakery, Monroe Sausages, exotic peppers from Hamm Farm in Cullman County, salsas and jellies from Pepper’s Garden and Rosedale Youth Garden. Urban Cookhouse is located at 214 Summit Boulevard, Suite 102 next to Pottery Barn. The restaurant also hosts a farmer’s market in downtown Homewood with similar vendors on Saturday mornings. For more information and updates, visit www. or their Facebook page.

May Events for the 280 Area

Cahaba Beach Dog Park is scheduled to open at the end of June. A three-acre park on the property will offer a park, a half mile groomed trails, water features and an amphitheatre. The park will be open to members who pay a monthly fee. The 1500-square-foot canine facility will feature full-service grooming, doggie day care, boarding suites, kennels, an indoor play area with artificial turf, and video monitoring accessible from mobile device. Dogs who visit can enjoy treadmills and lap pool; a “canine fat camp” will later offer wading pools. “It’s like a Disney Land for dogs,” Project Manager Mark Thompson said. Cahaba Beach Dog Park is located at 3553 Cahaba Beach Road behind Home Depot. To keep up with their progress, visit their Facebook page.

5/3- Business After Hours. 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Jefferson State Community College ACT Testing Center, 4600 Valleydale Road. No RSVP required. No cost. 5/10- Grow & Go “Microsoft 365” presented by Cahaba Valley Computer Services, LLC. 8:30-10 a.m. Chamber, 1301 County Services Dr., Pelham. Cost $10. RSVP required by noon, Tuesday, May. 5/22- 23rd Annual Golf Classic. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Eagle Point Golf Club, 4500 Eagle Point Dr. Sponsors, teams, and volunteer opportunities available. Contact the Chamber for more details - 663-4542. 5/24- Social 280. 5-7 p.m. National Bank of Commerce, 5 Inverness Center Pkwy. No RSVP required. No cost.

Studio Red organic salon New boutique at Lee Branch opening second location

DAZZ Boutique is now open in the Village at Lee Branch. They sell custom-designed clothing by Hayven Carter and now have T-shirt tops, dressy tops, dresses, jeans, hand bags, jewelry and accessories for summer in stock. “We have everything you can think of that a woman would need from head to toe,” Carter said. DAZZ Boutique is located at 300 Doug Baker Boulevard, Suite 200 and can be reached at 995-1200. Their hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 12-6 p.m. For more information, find them on Facebook and Twitter.

5/30- Monthly Membership Luncheon. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Randy Fuller, Shelby County Schools Superintendent. Showcase Feature: Chelsea, Columbiana, and Wilsonville. Pelham Civic Complex, 500 Amphitheater Dr., Pelham. RSVP required by noon, Monday, May 25th due to Memorial Day Holiday. Investment: Members $17, non-members $25.

On May 12, organic salon Studio Red is opening a second location in the Walgreens shopping center at the corner of Caldwell Mill Road and Valleydale Road. The opening will be in conjunction with a Health Fair held by The Eye Place in the same shopping center. The salon offers massages, facials, skin care, hair care, makeup artistry and bronzing—all with organic products that do not cause cancer. The new Studio Red will be located at 4500 Valleydale Road and can be reached at 995-4444. For more information, visit They will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and late by appointment.


280 Living neighborly news & entertainment

For information about Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce events, go online to: or call 663-4542.


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Business Spotlight

Business Spotlight

| May 2012

Rogers Trading Company |




140 Resource Center Parkway 408-9378 Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 12-6 p.m.

Rogers Trading Company has a storied past. It began as the Army/Navy store in the camouflaged building downtown, transformed into a hunting and fishing store and ten years ago moved out Highway 280 as an outdoors store. Today, located in their own building behind Logan’s Roadhouse, Roger’s is focused on not Army/Navy, not hard goods like tents, but lifestyle clothing featuring authentic outdoor brands—with strictly the people who live along Highway 280 in mind. “We have learned who our customer is,” said owner Lee Rogoff, whose father Rogers’ buyer Monica Sbrissa shows off the store’s women’s fashion for spring. Photo by Madoline Markham.

started the business in 1945. “We want to emphasize that function plus fashion equals lifestyle.” Starting this spring, you can find fashion-forward brands in amongst Rogers’ outdoors brands. They still have North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, Guy Harvey, Keen, Life is Good, Kavu and all the shorts, shirts, shoes and bags that have made it a destination store for decades. But now in the right side of the store behind shoes is a boutique of affordable, high quality pieces for teen girls and their moms. Greystone Legacy resident Monica Sbrissa is bringing a fresh perspective to the selection at Rogers by buying new women’s lines for the store. A mom of a 13, 17 and 19-year-old who attend Berry Middle, Spain Park High and the University of Berry Middle School students Katherine Alabama, she knows what teens and moms Barton and Julia Sbrissa and Briarwood like and has always had an eye for fashion. Christian School student Brennen Cook model Racks are lined with this spring’s top dresses from Rogers. Photo courtesy of Rogers BMC_WOMENS_Ad-mainƒ-10x7.5.pdf 1 4/13/12 1:55 PM shoulder, high/low cuts and trends: open Trading Company.

color block. Sbrissa has brought in three lines from LA. Ya los angeles dresses run up to $39.95; their knit tops are only $14.95. Tresics tops (up to $24.95) all feature more than one fabric and other elements like asymmetrical lines that make them stand out in a wardrobe. Glam also offers dresses and tops for a slightly higher price point. “It’s fun,” Sbrissa said. “We are hoping to see more and more mother-daughter shoppers come in. We want to be the goto store on 280. You don’t have to go to the Summit to find this stuff.” Also among the new brands are iT! jeans and Wish Collection (thewishcollection. com), a line designed by Greystone Legacy resident Daniel Reeder. Sbrissa posts their new items on Facebook as they come in. Along with their clothing collection, you’ll find fashionable spring and summer sandals and flip flops alongside Rogers’ Keens, Tevas and Chacos. New shoe lines include Rocket Dog, Sbicca, Big Buddha,

Off the Beaten Track, and a line of sandals from Italy. Rogers also plans to start selling more men’s lines and hosting fashion shows and trunk shows in the near future. The addition of these new lines is all a part of Rogoff’s focus on serving the people who live on 280 and only them: not necessarily all of Birmingham or where he might open a store in the future. He plans to have only this one store and to serve its clientele well. “You can’t do that when you have 14 different stores,” Rogoff said. Rogoff takes pride in being one of the largest lifestyle outdoors single-location stores in the area. North Face has put them in their top five in a nine-state region. But he is also excited to bring in new brands to write the newest chapter of the Rogers story. “Stay tuned,” Rogoff said. “We are just getting our feet wet.”


| May 2012


280 Living

Life Actually By Kari Kampakis

Only God All babies are miracles, but sometimes…sometimes a child enters this world in a way so rare and remarkable we want to shout from a mountaintop and glorify the work of God. That’s how I feel in sharing the story of Laura and Colby Clark, a Birmingham couple with two beautiful daughters, Madison, 12, and Abigail, 9. I met the Clarks several years ago when my oldest daughter became friends with Abigail. Immediately I liked their family and admired how Laura and Colby were raising their children. The more time I spent around them, the more evident their faith and love for others became. But not until February 27 did I realize why their relationship with God runs so deep. Not until February 27 did Abigail’s personality—a burst of sunshine—make perfect sense. Not until February 27 did I realize that this family once experienced an unthinkable tragedy and then, one year later, on the exact same day, at the exact same minute, a miracle only God could arrange. February 27, 2012, was Abigail’s ninth birthday. It’s also the day I learned that Laura and Colby had a story about God’s grace they’d never publicized. They wanted to wait until Abigail was old enough to understand the significance of her birth, and only now did the time seem right. Ten years ago, Laura and Colby had a son, Wesley, who died of SIDS. He died at 1:06 p.m. on February 27, 2002. One year later, on February 27, 2003, also at 1:06 p.m., Abigail was born. It was a miracle no one saw coming, and Laura’s pediatrician and OB/Gyn were so intrigued they did some checking. They couldn’t find another occurrence of this recorded anywhere. Laura and I agreed this would make a wonderful Mother’s Day story, and for days my heart ached for them. Again and again, I replayed the facts. Laura and Colby had a son. Madison and Abigail had a brother they’d meet in heaven. Wesley’s death and Abigail’s birth were timed one year apart, down to the minute on their death certificate and birth certificate. What were the odds? (According to their doctors, who also ran stats, the Clarks had a ten times better chance of winning the lottery.) I had so many questions for Laura. What happens when a parent’s worst nightmare manifests? How do you cope?

Laura and Colby Clark treasure moments with their son Wesley just after his birth. Photo courtesy of Frank Gaines.

How does this change you as parents—and more importantly, as Christians? Once Laura and I sat down to talk, I started understanding the presence of God’s grace in our darkest times. Normally when I hear a story, I put myself in the person’s shoes, imagine it happening to me. But with Laura, my mind wouldn’t go there. I couldn’t imagine putting my healthy two-month-old down for a nap at 9 a.m., and getting a call at the office at 11:30 a.m. from my nanny, a pediatric nurse, who’d just checked the crib and realized he wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t imagine racing down the longest hall ever, feeling like I was trapped in a tunnel, and talking on the phone to paramedics, who were at my house working on my baby, resuscitating him four times. I couldn’t imagine waiting in a hospital room with family and friends, praying that a team of doctors could save him. Most of all, I couldn’t imagine seeing my pediatrician walk into the room, shake his head, and break down and cry. They asked Laura if she wanted to hold Wesley. She held him until 9 o’clock that night, until she had to let go. Giving up Wesley was the hardest thing she ever did. It felt like she was handing over her life. “I cried every day for a year,” Laura says, “and I was angry, but I never took it

Spring Break photos

as punishment. After Wesley died, that’s the closest I’ve ever felt to God. Grace is like daily bread, and I’ve learned that the Bible is more than a book. Before I used to read, ‘God gave up His son,’ but now I understand He willingly did that. I never could have willingly done that.” Three months after Wesley died, Laura had a dream that she needed to take a pregnancy test. It was so compelling she woke Colby up at 3 a.m. and asked him to go buy one. It made no sense because they’d done years of fertility to conceive Madison and Wesley and knew they couldn’t get pregnant on their own. Nevertheless, Laura felt sure. Together they awaited test results in the bathroom. When nothing showed up, they hugged each other and went back to bed. Then all of a sudden, they stopped and looked at each other. They both had an inexplicable feeling that they should check the test again. Indeed, they were pregnant. Abigail was due March 22, and when Laura’s dad predicted she’d come on February 27 because “that’s God’s grace,” Laura said there was no way. Her babies never came early—Madison arrived on her due date, and Wesley was a week late—so it seemed impossible. But on the morning of February 27, the impossible happened when Laura’s water broke. It was an

emotional day. And while everyone realized that Abigail’s arrival was closely timed with Wesley’s departure, it wasn’t until that night, when a family member checked their certificates, that the epiphany came. “My twin sister Linda came in my hospital room shaking,” Laura says. “She was like, ‘I don’t even know what to do with this information!’ For me it sealed the deal on God. We felt so blessed to have another baby when we didn’t think we could. That’s when I threw my hands up and said, ‘God is good.” He’s in control, not me.” I know this story isn’t a traditional Mother’s Day message, all syrupy and light, but to me it illustrates the underlying truth of motherhood. Our children are God’s children first, and while we like to believe they are ours, all ours, we’re really just anointed caretakers. We may have 50 years with them on earth or five minutes, because God can bring them home anytime. “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away” we learn in Job 1:21, and while we moms like how that verse begins, the second line breaks us into a cold sweat. It makes us anxious and willing to barter. Take anything, we plead with God, but don’t take my babies. The Clarks’ story has blessed me by making me less fearful of a worst-case scenario. It reminds me that earth is a means to heaven, and I better keep my focus there, for that’s where eternity lies. “My ultimate goal is to get myself and my family to heaven,” Laura says. “Now that I’ve already got one in heaven, it’s like part of me is there. Losing Wesley took the sting out of death and made me realize that in the blink of an eye, it could all be gone, so we better appreciate every moment. He died on a Wednesday, and I always say, ‘Thank God for ordinary Wednesdays.’” Thank God for ordinary Wednesdays, thank God for extraordinary miracles, and thank God for families like the Clarks, whose courage to share their testimony will inspire so many. This may be the story’s first time in print, but I’m certain it won’t be the last. I hope readers of 280 Living will continue sharing it from here, via word-ofmouth, printed copies, or online links, so others may know of God’s goodness. Only God loves our children more than we do. Only God knows the hairs on their head and numbers of their days. Through Him we are made mothers, and in Him we stay strong. God’s grace is like daily bread, feeding our heart and soul enough to get us by. Let us cherish our time on earth but remember eternity lies in heaven. Only God can help us get our families there. Happy Mother’s Day to all. To contact Laura and Colby Clark, email To contact Kari Kampakis, email, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

See ONLY GOD | page 27

Thanks to everyone who sent us your Spring Break photos. Watch our June issue,, and our Facebook page to submit pictures for our Summer Fun Photo Contest.

Chelsea student Taylor Duffy and Oak Mountain students Kirsten, Skylar and Griffin Etheridge went crabbing in Gulf Shores.

Ann Everett (5) and Sarah (8) Simon hike in Gatlinburg.

Ann Carter Carlson offers a hug to her new friend. Photo by Juli Carlson.

Kaylee Kennemur (4) feeds a bird at the Birmingham Zoo on her family’s staycation.

280 Living

| May 2012



Send the flowers

In mid-March, I was in Amarillo, Texas, meeting with a group of executive directors of other Samaritan Counseling Centers from around the nation. After a full day of consultation with one another, and a nice dinner together where we tried not to “talk shop,” a smaller group of us were going back to our inn to call it a night. We turned out of the restaurant parking lot, made a turn and were approaching the intersection to the on-ramp of the interstate when the driver commented, “Hey, there’s an accident, and I think it just happened.” The driver had recently been involved in a severe auto collision and was quick to pull the car over in order to see what kind of assistance was needed. The collision was pretty bad—not quite head-on, but not too far off. Two people were already out of one car and calling for help; the driver of the second could not get out of his car and did not look to be doing well at all. I was handed a phone and began relaying to 911 what I was observing, then passing on instructions to people who also had stopped to help. The driver of the second car was bleeding pretty badly from the top of his head, and he was slipping in and out of consciousness. The people assisting worked as quickly and as calmly as possible, and professional help soon arrived. Once we realized we were no longer helpful and were more in the way than not, and that we had no information on what and how the crash happened, we departed. One of the executive directors in the group lived and worked in Amarillo, and we asked her to let us know what happened to the people in the accident, especially the gentleman who seemed to be severely injured. At some point while I was on the phone with 911 before the emergency workers arrived, the thought flashed across my mind: “Ten minutes ago, this was the farthest thing from this man’s mind. And now I wonder who he is, whom he loves, and who loves him. Will he be okay? And

who else in his life will be directly affected by this?” I prayed for him in between descriptions of what was happening and instructions from the 911 personnel. I learned two days later that the man died. I wondered who was affected. And how. Many, many years ago, I had a friend who had a family member pass away. I do not remember the details of the type of relationship they had, but I remember that in talking about sending flowers to the funeral, there was regret that the flowers were just now being sent. Out of that discussion came a family mantra, “Send the flowers now.” Send the flowers now. In other words, we do not know what might happen in the span of the next ten minutes, ten hours, ten days, ten weeks or ten months, but it is possible that we might miss an opportunity for the recipient of the flowers to be the actual recipient of the flowers. And if the relationship is important to you, then go ahead and send the flowers. Now I am not trying to guilt anyone here; that is short-lived motivation. But if something, or someone, is important to you, being intentional sooner than later only works in favor of you both. Perhaps that gentleman was “making a flower run.” Perhaps not. Perhaps he was on his way home, and those there were wondering why he was late. Perhaps not. I do not know his story or from where he was coming or to where he was going. But from the brief moments when our lives intersected, I was reminded that I have some people I care about that need to hear from me. And I from them. Now. Paul Johnson is the executive director as well as a professionally licensed marriage and family therapist and an associate licensed counselor at the Samaritan Counseling Center, which is located at 100 Missionary Ridge. You may reach him at 967-3660 or visit www.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Salsa Senorita’s zesty gazpacho

Zesty gazpacho made with Salsa Senorita salsa will spice up a Cinco de Mayo meal.

When Cinco de Mayo rolls around each May, the lure of a delicious Mexican meal has many of us standing in line for a table at a local restaurant for some south of the border flavor.

Birmingham’s Lori Sours and her brother Mark Coffman, expert salsa makers and co-founders of Salsa Señorita, encourage you to skip the restaurant wait and create something flavorful at home with their all-natural, unique and uncompromisingly fresh salsa. Sours and Coffman grew up in New Mexico and were immersed in Hispanic culture. Coffman took the reins for finetuning their favorite family salsa recipe, which is available locally at Birmingham Bake and Cook, Whole Foods and Piggly Wiggly stores. They shared their delicious zesty gazpacho with 280 Living and we invite you to give it a try. Olé!

Salsa Senorita’s Zesty Gazpacho ¼ cup red onion, large dice ½ each red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, large dice ½ cup cucumber, seeded large dice 14 ½ oz. canned tomatoes, drained or seeded, fresh tomatoes 1 T. olive oil 1 T. sherry vinegar ¾ cup Salsa Senorita’s salsa salt and freshly cracked black pepper, as needed

Cilantro, chopped, garnish Sour cream, garnish Process onion, pepper, cucumber and celery until the vegetables are to your desired chunkiness using a blender or food processor. Do not fully puree. Add the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and salsa; process just to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled with desired garnish.

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| May 2012


280 Living

Unique Mother's Day Gifts

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Freedom only summer brings Neighborhood celebrates end of school with popsicle party

Last year’s popsicle party showed how “grown up” the neighborhood kids are now. Photo courtesy of Teresa Whittle.

By KATHRYN ACREE Ask any student what their favorite day of school is and it’s a good bet the answer is, “the LAST day!” Moms and kids in The Cedars off Highway 119 have celebrated the last day of school for over ten years with an annual popsicle party at Karen Register’s home. When the Register’s moved to Birmingham from Texas in 2000, their oldest son, Will, was in second grade. “On the last day of school, we invited lots of friends and neighbors to help celebrate the end of the school year and the tradition began,” said Register. Register continued the yearly event, walking paper invites around her cul-desac. Technology- texting and Facebook- has brought additional ways to make sure the neighborhood knows the party is on for another year. “Every year, cars of moms and kids pull up right after school,” Register said. “It has always been hosted on the last day of school with only one exception, last year when Will graduated from Oak Mountain,

Library Happenings

we threw the party the day prior because of graduation.” The party has continued to grow each year on the Register’s driveway and front porch. “Some families stay for a few minutes, some stay for hours. Kids of all ages celebrate the freedom that only summer can bring,” Register said. With the loads of popsicles and ice cream sandwiches beckoning, Register admits that one of her favorite joys are the college students who call home and ask, “Is there going to be a popsicle party this year?” Next year, the Register’s youngest son, Dusty, graduates from Oak Mountain and some neighborhood moms are a bit worried about the future of their neighborhood tradition. “Maybe I’ll be passing on the baton to one of them in a few years,” Register added. “I just can’t seem to go there yet... I love the excitement we all feel when school schedules are over and the freedom of summer begins!”

May 21 – May 31 Summer Reading Early Registration All kinds of great programs and activities are scheduled for this year’s Summer Reading program, “Dream Big: Read.” Some of these include: jugglers, magicians, movies, crafts, and more. Also, new for 2012, the Summer Reading Program is going online. Come by the Children’s Department or go online to preregister for the Summer Reading Program. Children will receive a special prize for registering during this time. You can register online, log your books online, and keep up with current information about the program. If you are interested in the online program, ask the children’s librarian for more information. If you register online, stop by the Children’s Department to pick up your Summer Reading bag. No phone registration, please. Special Programming Saturday, May 5, 10 - 11:30 a.m., Lego Club- The library will provide the Legos and snacks, the kids will provide the imagination and creativity. Saturday, May 12, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Family Movie Day – Mary Poppins- Join Mary Poppins, Super-nanny, who flies in with her umbrella in response to the request of the Banks children and proceeds to put things right with the aid of her rather extraordinary magical powers. Wednesday, May 16, 1 p.m. , Homeschool Hangout: End of Year Party- Games, Food, Fun! Ages 8-12. Registration required. Tuesday, May 22, 4 p.m., May FlowersJoin us to make some super cute May flowers. Thursday, May 24, 4 p.m., B’Tween the Pages Book Club- Join us to discuss books and authors from other countries and create book reviews. Teen Happenings Gaming Fridays, May 4, 11, 18 & 25 – 3:30-5:45 p.m. Teen Advisory Council Monday, May 7 at 6 p.m. Interested in helping the Teen Department be even better than it is now? The Teen Advisory Council is the place for you! In May, the Council will be helping us get ready for Summer Reading. Anime Night Thursday, May 10, 6 p.m. Teen Book Club Monday, May 14, 6 p.m. Teen Summer Reading: Own the NightThe North Shelby Library Teen Department has all kinds of programs and activities scheduled for this year’s summer reading program — music, comics, movies, crafts, and more. Craft Thursday, May 24, 6 p.m. Book Review by a North Shelby Library staffer: Jean Kwok’s Girl in Translation Reviewed by Michelyn F. Reid, reference librarian I recently read Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok for our Bluestockings Book Club. It was one of the few books we all enjoyed. The story is set in the 1980s and is about Kimberly Chang, a Chinese immigrant who, along with her mother,


Lots of young faces at Karen Register’s popsicle party in 2005. Photo courtesy of Teresa Whittle.

statement. So, for instance, I now focus on community events that directly involve my children.” She spends about eight hours a day—while her children are at school or sleeping—writing and blogging and filling notebooks with ideas. The rest of her time, she is living and modeling for her kids how to reach outside themselves to extend grace to other people and put others before

the help of Aunt Paula, who paid for their move and their papers, they obtain a place to live, a job for Kimberly’s mother, and a good public school for Kimberly to attend. However, Aunt Paula’s “generosity” comes at a price. Their apartment is in the slums of Brooklyn, in an essentially condemned building with no air or heat, and the job is in a sweatshop where Kimberly is also forced to work after school. We are first introduced to a young Kimberly who is starting sixth grade in a new school, in a new country, where she barely speaks the language. She struggles academically in the beginning, mainly from the language barrier, but she excels in math which eventually boosts her academic confidence. Kimberly’s success in education becomes the key to a better life for her and her mother and a way out of their dependency on Aunt Paula. Girl in Translation also explores the topics of friendship, love and the choices we make for love. The circumstances of the book brought up the hot topic of the Alabama Immigration law and the consequences it has brought to our community. I won’t describe all the opinions that surfaced, but it was a lively conversation.

Mt Laurel Public Library

Call or email the Mt Laurel Library at 9911660 or for more information or to register for any of these events: Toddler Tales Wednesdays, May 2 and 16 – 10 a.m. Stories, songs, fingerplays, and more make up a lively 30 minute program designed especially for short attention spans and their caregiver. Storytime with Ms Kristy Wednesdays, May 2 and 16 – 11 a.m. Stories, music, and more for every member of the family. All ages. No registration required. Mt Laurel Book Club Thursday, May 3, 7 p.m. All are invited to join us to discuss The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht. Please contact Dee at 439-5500 or for location and more information. Build a Library 5K and Fun Run Saturday, May 5, 8 a.m. The Build a Library 5K will take participants through the lovely streets of the Town of Mt Laurel, followed by a family Fun Run at 9 am. The event will have a construction theme, complete with T-shirts for early registrants and hard hats for the first 50 kids who register for the Fun Run. For more information visit www.mtlaurellibraryrun. com. Crafty Saturday Saturday, May 12, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Stop by to make a spring bird ornament. All ages with parent help. Summer Reading As part of the North Shelby Library’s Summer Reading Program, the Mt Laurel Library will have all kinds of great programs and activities in June and Julymagicians, crafts, science, and more! The full calendar will be out mid-May. Early registration begins Monday, May 21 and ends Sunday, May 27. Regular registration begins May 28 and continues through July 11. Reading logs will be stamped June 1 through July 18. themselves. One of her most popular posts is about making Valentines treats with her daughters for the trashmen. An author in California is currently mentoring Stafford through the book proposal process and connecting her with publishing contacts. Through this and all of her writing, Stafford notes how supportive her family is. Her children fuel her ideas. “They know Mom loves to write and has a gift to share,” she said. “They love the hands free version of me.”

280 Living

| May 2012




Time moves on

When you’re young, you think you’ll live forever, and age is such a foreign and distant concept. I can remember when I was 20 how I tried to imagine myself at 60, and I simply could not conjure up an image. Never would I have believed that my hair would have gone south, and to be frank, I’m still a little peeved about that. But all in all, life has been good to Jilda and me. We busied ourselves with our daily routines—working, studying, writing songs, and playing music; and time moved on. Things weren’t always easy and money was often tight in the early years, but we managed. We both worked two jobs at times and found a way to make ends meet. Later we went to night school and got some degrees. Gradually, our job situations began to improve. We built a new house and moved out of our cozy little mobile home—actually, snug might be a better way of describing the trailer. We planted flowers and fruit trees and turned the new house into a home; and time moved on. I think Jilda and I got along better than most. That’s not to say there weren’t times she got so angry with me that she could have carved me up with a butcher knife and left me twitching in the laundry hamper with the wet towels and dirty socks. There were times I fantasized about a similar fate for her, but those times were few. We learned to say, “I’m sorry,” and time moved on. We were fortunate because my job with MaBell gave us an opportunity to travel all over the country on business. Jilda often traveled with me to San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Mobile,

New Orleans and Arizona, as well as other places. We continued doing the things we loved. We made new friends, played music and grew up together. I’m not sure we expressed enough gratitude, but time moved on. Then a few weeks ago, a doctor’s visit fired a shot across our bow. Jilda was sick with all kinds of bugs and infections for the last several months. She’d gone in for treatment for another lung infection, and the pulmonary doctor found something abnormal in her blood work that hadn’t shown up before. He was a little vague about what it meant, and instead he referred her to another doctor. When we looked up the new doc, it turns out she was an oncologist/ hematology specialist. WHAT? You would not believe the kinds of things your mind can conjure up when it’s not sure what you’re up against. It took a few long days to get an appointment. I went in for the visit too, and as we sat in the examining room, there were those medical posters hanging around that explained about lung cancer and its implications. When the doctor came in and began talking about her findings, I blurted out, “Does she have cancer?” I breathed a sigh of relief when she said no, but there is a problem with Jilda’s immune system that is treatable. Jilda has gone in for a few infusions, and she is feeling much better. The lesson that we’ve both learned is that it’s too easy to let days, weeks, months and years slip by unnoticed, uncelebrated. Time moves on like a leaf on a slow moving river, and it’s our intention to never forget this fact.

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Parenting magazine chooses Mt Laurel mom for national conference By CRAIG KLEIMEYER

Beth Zaiontz had been selected to represent the state of Alabama at the thirdannual Mom Congress on Education and Learning conference in Washington, D.C. from April 29 to May 1. Beth, her husband Henry, and her daughters Emma and Maddie live on Highway 41 near Mt Laurel. A few months ago, Zaiontz applied, presented references, and wrote an essay about her platform on what she believes needs to be changed in education. She will now attend the all-expense-paid trip to D.C. for the event and have the opportunity to connect with national leaders in education, Parenting editors and past Mom Congress delegates. “It’s going to be a great experience,” Zaiontz said. “It helps you to make connections with people in the same area of interest you have. I also will get to meet the U.S. Secretary of Education.” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will address the delegates at the conference, along with NBC News’ Education Nation, Save the Children, Teach for America and more. A total of 51 delegates, representing each state and the District of Columbia, have been selected to attend. In her work as an education advocate, Zaiontz has dedicated her efforts to help special education and inclusion. She educates parents in her special needs child’s classroom, volunteers with doctors in the area and educates parents on inclusion as much as she can. Zaiontz’s daughters attend Mt. Laurel Elementary and Chelsea Intermediate School. Zaiontz also works at Protective Life. She said she hopes that by attending

Happy Mother's Day! Beth and Henry Zaiontz with their daughters, Emma and Maddie. Beth will represent Alabama at the Mom Congress on Education and Learning in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of the Zaiontz family.

the conference, she can gain knowledge and bring it back to Alabama to help educate everyone on what needs to be changed. “It’s going to be very interesting to me to meet moms from around the country with ideas that I haven’t thought about,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to sharing things I’ve been doing that have been effective, and learning to be a better advocate.” Zaiontz said she is excited to see what is going on around the nation in education as well. “I’m always up for a challenge,” she said. “Our voice can make a difference.” For more information, visit Parenting. com/momcongress.

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| May 2012


May Calendar of Events email your events to

280 area 5/4- Act of Congress concert at Briarwood Christian High School, 7:30 p.m., benefitting Restoration Academy, event to be held on the Briarwood High campus in the Barbara B. Barker Auditorium, admission is $10, children 8 and under are free, more 5/5- Celebrate Hoover Day. 1:30-5:30 p.m. Veterans Park. More information: www. or 444-7500. 5/5- First annual Taste of the South cooking competition and food tasting, North Shelby Baptist Church, 4100 Belcher Drive off Highway 280, event starts at 10:30 a.m., tasting at 11 a.m. Admission is free, demonstrations include a Dutch oven cooking and a turkey-frying, as well as a backyard grill giveaway. More information: 995-9056 or go to 5/5– Mayfair 2012. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 4887 Valleydale Road. 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.More information: call 9959673. If you are interested in renting a booth, a 16’ by 9’ space, for $20, contact Jennifer Ganesh at 685-5393 or register online at

Food 5/3 – Salmon Essentials with Susan Green. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $45. More information: and call 980-3661 to register. 5/8 – Grillin’ and Chillin’ with National Hamburger Month and Susan Green. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $40. More information: and call 9803661 to register. 5/10 – French Bistro Classics with Susan Green. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $40. More information: and call 980-3661 to register. 5/15 – Donut Making at Home, Melanie Thorn & Susan Green. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $40. More information: http:// and call 980-3661 to register. 5/17 – Vinaigrettes, Dressings and Marinades with Susan Green. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $40. More information: http:// and call 980-3661 to register.

required. Admission: $15; Members, $10. More information: register at http://www. or call 833-8264. 5/10- Adaptive Aquatics to host 3 Hour Tour Fundraiser Event. B & A Warehouse. 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Tickets: $60 per individual or $100 per couple. The event will benefit disabled children, disabled adults and wounded warrior veterans. More information: contact Joe Ray at 8077519 or visit 5/10- Susan Haltom Lecture. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Susan Haltom, author of “One Writer’s Garden: Eudora Welty’s Home Place,” will discuss her book. A book signing will follow. Books are available for purchase at Leaf n Petal at the Gardens. Admission: $5. More information: 5/11- Central Alabama’s 25th Annual YWCA Flower Sale. Regions Plaza (intersection of 5th Avenue North and 20th Street North), the Ray & Poynor in Mountain Brook Village and Children’s of Alabama. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The sale is held by the YWCA’s Junior Board to benefit KIDS (Kids in Distress) Korner. Members of the YWCA sell various plants and flowers to the public. More information: for those interested in purchasing flowers and other gift items prior to the sale visit www.

5/5– Build a Library 5k in Mt Laurel. Mt Laurel Library, 33 Olmstead Street. Build a Library 5K and Fun Run, events begin at 8 a.m. Benefits the Mt Laurel Library Fund. Register at Online continues until May 4, 5k is $20, fun run is $10. The day will have a construction theme, complete with t-shirts for early registration and hard hats for the kids. More information: email mtlaurellibraryfriends@

5/22 – Spring Fling! Girls’ Night Out with Chef Rosemary Rutland. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $40. More information: http:// and call 980-3661 to register.

5/6- Community-wide Mighty Warriors of Prayer service, Meadow Brook Baptist Church, 6 p.m., special guest speaker and praise music, admission is free, 4984 Meadow Brook Road, more information:

Special Events

5/12– First annual Greater Birmingham 5K Walk for Foster Care. Veteran’s Park. 9:30 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Cost: $30. More information: visit walkmehome/Shelby or contact Burder at 296-5015.

5/4- Birmingham Music Club Presents Second Annual Bravo!Birmingham. Samford University Wright Center. 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. More information: 726-2853 or visit or

5/15– Community Health Fair Events. Meadow Brook Baptist Church, 4984 Meadow Brook Road. More information: registration can also be done by phone, 870-1140, or through www.medcrestusa. com.

5/5- Alabama Ballet Junior Board presents “Ballet, Bourbon and Bowties.” Alabama Ballet studio, 2726 1st Avenue South. 2 p.m.6 p.m. Join the Alabama Ballet Junior Board for the premier Derby event in Birmingham supporting TTickets: $30 for individuals, $50 for couples. Children under 12 are free. More information: Purchase tickets at; email katyolsen@ for questions.

5/12- Motherwalk for Ovarian Cancer. Crestline Village across from the Emmett O’Neal Library. 9 a.m. The Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation will hold their 9th Annual Motherwalk and 5K. The event includes door prizes, music, food catered by Moe’s and entertainment for kids. There will be a 1 mile fun run for ages 6-12 led by Birmingham’s Roller Derby Team. More information: visit

5/5– Embrace Space Day. McWane Science Center. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Join us for Planetarium presentations, space crafts, solar observations, learn how telescopes work, and learn how to become an amateur astronomer. Admission: included in cost; free, members. More information: www.

5/12- Birmingham International Street Fair. 3rd Avenue North between 19th and 21st Streets, Birmingham, AL 35203. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Presented by Birmingham Multicultural Association , this fair celebrates world cultures through food, music and art. Admission: Free, but a $5 donation is encouraged for everyone 10 and older.

5/5 – Grits Festival at Childersburg grist mill. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Kymulga Grist Mill and Park, 7346 Grist Mill Road. The festival will include an arts and crafts area, music by the creek, a grits and cornbread contest, shrimp and grits, a grits bar, boiled peanuts, hamburgers, hot dogs and bratwurst, buttered corn on the cob, pinto beans and cornbread, ribbon fries and more. Activities for the kids include a cricket catching event, a catfish rodeo, pony rides, wagon rides and a petting farm. Admission: Free, campground is available. More information:

5/12- Birds of a Feather. Oak Mountain State Park. 10 a.m. Learn about migratory birds. Meet at the Campground Pavilion. Admission: Free after admission to Oak Mountain State Park. More information:

5/19– Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis at Veterans Park. 4800 Valleydale Road. 9 a.m. The Alabama chapter of Great Strides and the Trak Shak host the Great Strides Timed Run, which will raise money for research for cystic fibrosis. More information: visit great_strides/dsp_RegistrationType.cfm for more information and to register. 5/19-20Second Annual Cross Triathlon World Championships. Oak Mountain State Park. More information: call 1-877-XTERRA-1 or visit www. to register for the marathon and the 19K, 10K or 5K runs. 5/14-7/26– Urban Cookhouse Summit Market. 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Every Thursday in the Summit Shopping Center. More information: http://urbancookhouse. com/. 5/25-27– Alabama Phoenix Festival. Cahaba Grand Conference Center. 5/25 at 1 p.m.-5/27 at 5 p.m. Birmingham attracts this new festival for creative minds Tickets: $50 for membership, and includes passes to all activities. After April 27, memberships are available at the door; 10 and under, free with adult membership purchase. More information: visit www. or call Maree Jones at 563-0283. 5/26- Veterans Park hosts Orphan Run. 4800 Valleydale Road. 8 a.m. Help support families adopting orphans around the world as well as non-profit organizations that support orphans. Cost is $30 for the 5K race and $15 for the 1 mile Fun Run. More information: to register, visit http://www.

5/24 – ‘Dinner and a Movie’ featuring Waitress hosted by Susan Green & Melanie Thorn. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $40. More information: http://bakeandcookco. com/ and call 980-3661 to register.

5/3– Jazz on the Porch. Rucker Place, 1804 12th Ave S. 5 p.m. Look forward to the new and different Jazz this year. No reservations will be taken. More information: 558-2485.

5/5- Earth Day at The Gardens. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Over 40 earth friendly exhibitors at booths will display family friendly activities and information. More information: www. 5/5- Wine and Cheese Hike. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, 1214 81st Street South. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Join us for an evening of fun, camaraderie, and good food and wine. Cheese donated by Cabot Creamery. Moderate hike. 3 miles total. Please be ready to show identification. Reservations

5/12- The Food Truck Roundup. Behind the Mountain Brook Mall, 2816 Culver Road, in the back parking lot of Leaf ‘N Petal. 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Benefits PreSchool Partners. The family-friendly event will also feature live music by The Drennen Brothers, kiddie entertainment by Whistler the Clown and drawings for prizes throughout the day. Tickets: $20. More information: tickets are available at Additional tickets will be available for purchase; kids 10 and under get in free. Contact Allene Neighbors, Director of Development, at 936-3754.

5/12-5/13- 60th Annual Birmingham Rose Show. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 5/12, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; 5/13, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Presented by the Birmingham Rose Society. Admission: Free. More information: 5/17– Tails in the Trails. Birmingham Zoo. 5:30 p.m.-9 pm. Guests can enjoy live music, food, coctails and animal encounters while viewing the elephants on exhibit. More information: www. 5/19– 7th Annual Zoo Run. Birmingham Zoo. More information: register at www. 5/23– Patriotic Memorial Day dinner. Briarwood Presbyterian Church. 6 p.m. Governor Robert Bentley has been invited to be the keynote speaker. Sponsored by Support our Soldiers of Alabama. This

event honors Marine Lance Corpl. Thomas Rivers, Jr. More information: visit www. 5/26– Dora & Diego: Let’s Explore Exhibit Opens. McWane Science Center. 10 a.m.6 p.m. Admission: included in cost; free, members. More information: www. 5/28- Memorial Day Bug Races. Oak Mountain State Park. 10 a.m. Come race some bugs at the 2nd Annual Memorial Day Bug Race. Come to Treetop Nature Trail on Terrace Drive. Admission: Free after admission to Oak Mountain State Park. More information: http://www.

Music and Arts 5/4-5/5- Schaeffer Eye Center Crawfish Boil. BJCC. Outdoors at the BJCC. 4 p.m., 2 p.m. $30 per day or $49.50 for both days. More information: or http:// 5/5- Birmingham Ballet’s The Awakening. BJCC Theatre. 7:30 p.m. A production led by Birmingham Ballet’s Director Emeritus and internationally recognized choreographer, Alfonso Figueroa, dedicated to Virginia Simpson. Admission: $25. More information: 979-9492. 5/11-5/12- Band Geeks. Virginia Samford Theatre. 5/11, 7:30 p.m.; 5/12, 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Admission: Adults, $20. Students, $10. More information: http://www. 5/15- Concert Series 5 (Singin’ in the Rain). RMTC Cabaret Theatre. The Red Mountain Theatre Company features cast members of Singin’ in the Rain performing special numbers for one night only. Admission: Center section, $35; Left and right sections, $30. More information: 324-2424. 5/15- Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents “Schubert’s Trout Quintet .” Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall. 7:30 p.m. Will feature Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” and Meyer’s “Trout Variations.” Admission: $32; Students with ID, $12. More information: 975-2787. 5/17- Live Nation presents Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. 7:30 p.m. Admission: $44.50 -$78.50. More information: 745-3000. 5/18- Joel Osteen: A Night of Hope. BJCC Arena. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $17. More information: 5/18-5/19- Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents “Brown Plays Mozart.” Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. 8 p.m. Admission: Tickets are $79, $54, $39; Students with ID, $10. More information: 975-2787. 5/19-5/20- Great Southern Gun & Knife Show. BJCC Arena. 5/19, 9 a.m.-5p.m.; 5/20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More information: 458-0051.

Save the Date 6/2– 3rd Annual Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival. DeBardeleben Park. 1623 2nd Avenue North, Bessemer, Alabama. 1 p.m.9 p.m. T Admission: $10 at the gate and $8 for pre-sell tickets. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hands On Birmingham and The Bessemer Education Enhancement Foundation. More information: www. or visit Bob Sykes Bbq and Blues Festival Facebook Page for updates. 6/2-6/3– Glorious Gardens. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 6/2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 6/3, 12 p.m.-5 p.mTickets: $25. More information: purchase tickets at www. and at retailers throughout the metro Birmingham area including: Leaf & Petal at The Gardens, Leaf & Petal at the Summit, Leaf & Petal at Mountain Brook Village, Oak Street Garden Shop, Colliers Nursery, Sweet Peas, Myers Plants and Pottery and Plant Odyssey. Contact Shelly McCarty at 205.414.3965 or

280 Living

280 Live Music Listings HOGANS Irish City Vineyard Courtyard Oyster

Pub & Grill

507 Cahaba Park Circle 995-0533 Every Wednesday / Thursday 8 p.m. Live Music by Razz Ma Tazz Every Friday / Saturday 9 p.m. - Until Live Music by Razz Ma Tazz

CAFE FIRENZE 110 Inverness Plaza 980-1315

Call for this month’s music listings.

Arbor Place 5479 Highway 280, Suite 102 437-3360 Every Friday Night live music, 7-10 p.m. on the patio. Inside, they have a wine tasting, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

The Fish Market Restaurant GREYSTONE 5407 Highway 280 980-8600

Every Thursday night live music with Jeff Taylor. All Parrotheads are invited.


Restaurant and Cantina 3439 Colonnade Parkway 969-1411

Live music Wednesday and Thursday, 6 – 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 – 10:30 p.m.

Village Tavern The Summit, Lower Level 970-1640

Every Wednesday and Thursday, 6:30 - 9 p.m. Artist Jeff Tyler performs. Fridays, 9 -11:30 p.m., Various live music.

BILLY’S BAR & GRILL 4520 Overton Road, Suite 104 Liberty Park 956-2323 5/2 - Goodfellas 5/4 - Steve Wingo Trio 5/9 - Goodfellas 5/10 - Patio Party 5/11 - Carnaggio Trio 5/16 - Goodfellas 5/17 - Patio Party 5/18 - Sidecar/ Skeptics 5/23 - Goodfellas 5/24 - Patio Party 5/30 - Goodfellas 5/31 - Patio Party

bar & grill 280 band and dj schedule

Mondays - DJ Kop 5/1-Dj Quack 5/2-Matt Hill & Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes & David Koonce 5/3-Huck & Boss / Heath Shoemaker 5/4-Redemption / SK5 5/5 - Matt Hill band / Reagan / Heath Shoemaker 5/6-Spoonful / Heath Shoemaker 5/8-Dj Kop 5/9-Matt Hill & Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes & David Koonce 5/10-Bobby Legg / Heath Shoemaker 5/11-Erica’s Playhouse / Matt Hill band 5/12-Todd Simpson & the Mojo Child / Heath Shoemaker 5/13-Huck & Boss / Heath Shoemaker 5/15-DJ Quack 5/16-Matt Hill & Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes & David Koonce 5/17 Thursday-Bobby Legg / Heath Shoemaker 5/18-the Crash / SK5 5/19-Mother Pandora / Heath Shoemaker 5/20-Jager Muffin / Heath Shoemaker 5/22-Dj Kop 5/23-Matt Hill & Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes & David Koonce 5/24-Erica & Eric / Heath Shoemaker 5/25-Broken Rail / Matt Hill band 5/26-Matt Ritchie band / Heath Shoemaker 5/27-Calling Station / Heath Shoemaker 5/29-Dj Quack 5/30-Matt Hill & Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes & David Koonce 5/31-Huck & Boss / Heath Shoemaker

| May 2012



Classifieds HELP WANTED

FULL OR PART TIME SALES ASSOCIATE. HOURS AVAIL: 12-6: SUN-SAT Apply Rogers Trading Company, Hwy. 280, resource center parkway: send resume or application to lrrtc@aol. com No phone inquiries accepted

Help Wanted

Counter person for retail business. Must enjoy contact with people. Point-of-sale experience preferred. 20-25 hours per week. Fax resume/job history to: 205.980.8436

Physiotherapy Associates

Greystone will no longer participate in the Medicare Program (Title XVIII of the Social Security Act) as a CORF provider effective December 7, 2011. Physiotherapy Associates – Greystone and the Secretary of Health and Human Services will be terminated on December 7, 2011 in accordance with the provisions of the Social Security Act as a CORF provider. Therefore, the Medicare Program will not make payment for CORF services furnished to Beneficiaries on or after December 7, 2011. Physiotherapy Associates – Greystone will continue to participate as an OPT Provider in the Medicare Program effective December 7, 2011. Trent Nessler, Area Vice President/ Administrator Physiotherapy Associates, Inc.

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| May 2012


School House

23 Events 4-8 p.m. The Rock Candy Band An incredible demonstration from the Flyball Dogs Free Zumba, hula hoop, and Spin classes Moonwalk, games, and face painting for the kids LifeSouth Blood Mobile Free chair massages Food vendors Healthy information booths Meet local physicians and take advantage of t hese

Free Health Screenings: • Cholesterol • Blood Sugar • Blood Pressure • Skin Cancer Evaluations • Colorectal Take-Home Kits • Foot Screening/Analysis • Vision/Hearing • Prescription Consultations

We would like to thank the community for supporting us these past seven years with a party and free health screenings. Please join us for this fun, family-friendly festival.

Flyball Dogs

280 Living May 2012  

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