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The Homewood Star | October 2012 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood

Volume 2 | Issue 7 | October 2012

Shop Save & Share Cards- pg 9

HMS’s Coach Sills - pg 19

Kids’ plans for Halloween - pg 13

A Construction new, old home in Homewood managers’ perspectives on remodels and new builds By RICK WATSoN & MADoLINE MARKHAM David O’Brien and his family always reminisced on how much they loved the pocket of neighbors around their first home in Edgewood. So, after spending a few years in a house across town, they made plans to move back, buying the house next door to the one they remember so fondly. When they made plans to remodel however, they discovered the foundation— two bricks side-by-side—would not allow for the additions they needed for their young family. They decided to start from scratch. Although it jumped from 1,300 square feet to 3,300, the O’Briens’ new home has almost the same footprint as the old one. They upgraded the structure a story-and-ahalf, keeping the roofline lower to make the massing of the house feel smaller. O’Brien, an apartment developer by profession, actually reused several components from the old house like the mail slot, doorbell, beams, floor joists and foundation brick. The old house had

See NEW BUILDS | page 21

October Features 5

City news Upcoming events Shades Valley YMCA

7, 9 8

Easter Seals


Lauren Denton


Homewood Happenings


Business Spotlight


Restaurant Showcase


Samford organ player




School House


Calendar of Events


Like us

Pre-Sort Standard U.S. Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #656

Amy and David O’Brien, pictured with their children Josephine and Banks, built a new home in Edgewood that incorporated many elements of the lot’s original house. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Pink and proud

Local woman beats breast cancer By KATEY CouRTNEY Mary Hawkins has known breast cancer for most her life. Her mother battled it when Hawkins was a child, and she received her own diagnosis at age 47. She said after watching the savagery of the disease unfold when she was young, she was truly surprised to face it again as an adult. Hawkins, a 30-year resident of the Edgewood community, said when she was diagnosed in 1994 she wondered if breast cancer was genetic, but there was no genetic test at the time. For four years after her diagnosis, she went to the UAB Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center to have regular mammograms, and when genetic testing became available, both Hawkins and her sister were tested. Both tested positive for the breast cancer gene, and both elected after research to

her when she needed to make decisions about reconstructive surgery. “I was really against having breast implants and researched a fat relocation surgery that could be used to reconstruct breasts,” Hawkins said. “Never stop educating yourself and asking questions. Don’t be afraid to follow your instincts or get tested.” Research led Hawkins to more life-saving information in the following years. According to, traits for both breast and ovarian cancer can be passed down genetically. So when a test was released that could Breast cancer survivor Mary Hawkins prepares for last year’s Susan G. determine a woman’s genetic Komen Race for the Cure with her grandchildren, Virginia and Patrick. predisposition to ovarian cancer, Hawkins had the procedure and Photo courtesy of the Hawkins family. learned she was definitely at risk. have double mastectomies. and everything regarding She had her ovaries removed, but Throughout her journey, breast cancer, and she urges her sister didn’t. Hawkins’ sister Hawkins remained dedicated to others fighting the disease to educating herself on anything do the same. Research helped See PINK | page 27

A Father and Sons Operation Mon-Thur: 7-7 Fri: 7-6:30, Sat: 9-4 1915 Oxmoor Rd. • 871.6131

We Love Homewood Hunter Payne and sons Winston and Collier


| October 2012 | The Homewood Star


REASONS TO HAVE 1. I don’t love my love handles 2. Two words: Holiday Parties 3. Make my time at the gym look like I’ve been at the gym 4. Show up at the reunion in the same jeans I wore then 5. Move on to resolution #2 and #3 6. Put my bag in overhead without hesitation 7. It might be a while before high-waisted jeans make a come-back 8. I eat right, so I want to look right 9. Make my birthday suit my favorite outfit 10. Love handles and muffin tops are just . . . SPOOKY CoolSculpting® is the new non-surgical, affordable way to remove stubborn body fat with no cutting, no needles, and no downtime. Call us at 877-9773 to schedule your Consultation

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The Homewood Star

| October 2012 |


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| October 2012 | The Homewood Star

Editor’s Note

Staff & Friends

The HHS Patriot Band performs during the halftime show at the fi rst football game of the season  against Vestavia. Photo courtesy of Dee Tipps.

Publisher: Dan Starnes Creative Director : Keith McCoy Editor : Ashley Berkery Managing Editor : Madoline Markham Contributing Editor : Jeff Thompson Sales and Distribution: Rhonda Smith | Warren Caldwell | Matthew Allen Published by : Homewood Star LLC Contributing Writers : Lauren Denton| Rick Watson | Craig Lawrence Jr. | Madison Miller | Merrick Wilson | Katie Stewart | Katey Courtney Interns : Kaitlin Bitz | Dannelly Farrow

Contact Information: The Homewood Star #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

Legals: The Homewood Star is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. The Homewood Star is designed to inform the Homewood community of area school, family and community events. Information in The Homewood Star is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of The Homewood Star. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 313-1780 or by email. Please recycle this paper

My roommate at Auburn University – and my best friend still to this day – celebrates her birthday on Halloween. She lives out of town, so for years I would join her for some sort of birthday celebration but not really give much thought to a personal costume. That all changed in 2010 when my first child, Noah, was five months old. The traveling ceased, and I had to brainstorm a costume for him at the last minute since I forgot all about trick-ortreating and local festivals we had to attend. Lucky for him, we had cowboy clothes and a hat on hand! Then last year in September I swore I would be more prepared, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon an Aubie outfit at a garage sale that I realized Halloween was right around the corner and I didn’t have a costume yet (my parents called it a tiger costume – but it was really Aubie). This month, we have some really cute Homewood kids who knew several weeks ago what they wanted to be for Halloween, and you can check out their costume decisions on page 13. And don’t forget to trick-or-treat on Halloween Street (Roseland and West Glenwood), where you can see spooky yard decorations and meet just about

everyone in Homewood. Our business spotlight this month on page 15 features Seasons to Celebrate in downtown Homewood. If you are looking to decorate your home or office for Halloween this is the perfect shop for you. The Shades Valley YMCA has been under renovation and is nearing completion. Their additions include a new outdoor family fun pool and splash aquatic center, as well as an outdoor “airnasium.” The story on other renovations and cool additions are on page 8. And lastly, as school is back in full force, get a glimpse of what is going on with our students in our School House section. Our sports section highlights one very special coach at the middle school, so we hope you also enjoy his inspiring story on page 19. Thanks as always for reading, and feel free to email me at ashley@thehomewoodstar. com if you have any questions or comments. Happy Halloween!

Meet our intern Kaitlin Bitz is a senior at Samford University. She is majoring in journalism with a concentration in print and minoring in sociology. She is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and enjoys spending time with her three dogs.

Meet our staff

Jeff Thompson is a journalism graduate of Auburn University. For the past four years he served as managing editor of The Tuskegee News, where he focused on bringing public awareness to causes including education, historical preservation, local arts and dedicated non-profit organizations. He has been awarded eight Alabama Press Association awards for coverage, photography and design. He has a wife, a dog and a cat; is bad at cooking; is worse at guitar; and can’t seem to get enough of Saw’s barbecue.

Please Support Our Sponsors A Touch of Whimsy (12) Alabama Allergy & Asthma (5) Aqua Chem / 4 Seasons (9) Birmingham Speech & Hearing (14) Birmingham Botanical Gardens (24) Briarcliff Shop (5) Brookdale Place (6) Brookwood Primary Care (26) Byrom Building Corp. (21) Classic Events (15) D1 Sports (7) David Faulkner Dominique V. Backus, DDS (14) Escape Day Spa (13) First Lenders Mortgage Corp. (25) Four Corners Gallery (11) Full Moon Barbecue (12) Gloria Bahakel (9) Harmony Landing (7) Homewood Antiques (22) Homewood Chamber of Commerce (23) Homewood Dentistry (3) Homewood Music (8) Homewood Parks & Rec (20) Hunter’s Cleaners (1) iJump 280 (24)

Iron Tribe (28) Jacqueline DeMarco (8) Jo Jo’s Diner (10) Junior League of Birmingham (3) LAH (2) Little Hardware (10) MedHelp (8) New York Pizza (18) Oxmoor Orthodontics (18) Piggly Wiggly (6) Plastic Surgery Specialists (10) Rachel King (17) Regency Retirement Village (27) Red Mountain Expresso (19) Respiratory Sleep Associates (25) Salem’s Diner (17) Salsarita’s (16) Sharp Remodeling Specialty (10) Skin Wellness Center of Alabama (22( Southern Fireplaces (21) The Altamont School (11) The Wade Team (19) Traci Vella (17) United Way (16) Village Dermatology (2) Watkins Cleaners (23)

The Homewood Star

On October 11, the Homewood Chamber of Commerce will host the largest field of golfers in the tournament’s eleven year history at the Robert Trent Jones Oxmoor Valley golf course. There will be a 12 p.m. shotgun start with registration beginning at 10:30 a.m. Lunch is sponsored by Alabama Allergy and Asthma, and the awards dinner is sponsored by Urban Cookhouse. Limbaugh Toyota is sponsoring the “Hole in One” contest for

a new automobile. Brookwood Medical Center and Verizon Wireless are the title sponsors of the tournament. This is the chamber’s largest fundraising effort with all proceeds going back to the Homewood community in the form of college scholarships and programs promoting the chamber members and the community. For more information, call the Homewood Chamber Office at 871-5631 or register at

Public meeting to discuss future West Homewood commercial development A public meeting concerning a new commercial development classification for West Homewood will be held October 11 from 4-7 p.m. at Homewood Senior Center. The public is invited to drop in at any time to share thoughts on what kind of commercial development they want to see in their community. Input will be taken into consideration for a study being conducted by the


Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. Specifics of the new zoning classification will later be discussed at the Planning Commission and Homewood City Council level. For more information, contact Vanessa McGrath, senior planner for the city of Homewood, at 332-6829. Homewood Senior Center is located at 816 Oak Grove Road in West Homewood.


Prints Frames


Scott McBrayer Mayor City of Homewood

Homewood Chamber annual Golf Classic




please contact City Clerk Linda Cook in person at 2850 19th Street South, by phone at 332-6107 or by e-mail at linda.cook@ The last day to turn in the completed absentee application is October 4. Voter registration questions may be referred to the Board of Registrar’s Office of Jefferson County at 325-5550 or



In recent mayor’s minutes I have written to thank you for shopping in Homewood because of how much it helps our revenues in the city. After taking several calls regarding a traffic light not working properly at the Palisades a while back, I realized most people believe this is Homewood. However, when you reach the tunnel at the Palisades traveling west on Oxmoor Road, you are in Birmingham. Callers frequently inquire as to when a light in the tunnel will be corrected or when a pothole along Palisades will be repaired. All the businesses (Taco Bell, Popeyes, Walmart Neighborhood Store) along Palisades Boulevard are in Birmingham until you re-enter Homewood city limits again just past Zaxby’s. Homewood extends down Greensprings, and the last business in Homewood is Pizza Hut. Some of you may find it interesting to know that Greensprings Highway and Lakeshore Drive are considered state highways, and Homewood has no authority to repair on these roads. Our police department patrols 118 miles of streets and roads in Homewood not counting Lakeshore Drive, Greensprings Highway and Highway 31. We have started our paving projects for this year, and you may have seen the equipment already in Homewood. The streets slated for paving this year include Gemini Circle, South Crest Drive, Woodcrest Place, Bonita Drive, Windsor Drive, Avalon Road, Waverly Drive, Melrose (off Broadway), Stuart Street and Columbiana Road behind Publix. The total

amount of paving for this year will be just more than $374,000. Please continue to purchase gas in Homewood as it directly affects the amount of money we have to use toward paving. We are also planning to repave the parking lots beside Homewood Antiques in Edgewood. The city council authorized me to enter into a lease agreement allowing for free public parking in both lots. The lease has been executed, and the Street and Sanitation Department has been working to clean the area and prepare for improvements there. I appreciate everyone’s patience as we work diligently to make more capital improvements within our neighborhoods and city. Once completed, I believe everyone will enjoy the new sidewalks and newly paved streets. I am also putting together a list of residents who would like to be more informed on issues concerning our city. Please send your name, address and email directly to me at Scott.McBrayer@ for periodic updates. It’s been another great fiscal year for the City of Homewood, and I will be announcing the amount of our surplus in the near future once final auditing has been completed.

On Tuesday, October 9, residents in Ward 1 will vote in a run-off election between city council candidates Danielle Benfield and Britt Thames at the Homewood Park Recreation Center, 1632 Oxmoor Road. This is the same location for voting as the general municipal election held August 28. For information or to acquire an application regarding absentee voting,



Dear friends and neighbors,

City Council run-off election for Ward 1

1829 29th Ave. South • Homewood • 870-8110





Mayor’s Minute


| October 2012 |



| October 2012 | The Homewood Star

HFD promotions

John Praytor

Gene Branham

Alexander Glover

The Homewood Fire Department recently promoted three employees. Gene Branham was promoted to Lieutenant. John Praytor and Alexander Glover were both promoted to Apparatus Operator.

Le wins film festival award

Hollywood Neighborhood Watch Program By ASHLEY BERKERY suspicious persons. Sanfratel said she felt strongly about forming a neighborhood watch program after her neighbor’s home was broken into. “Had I had the educational information we received after meeting with the HPD, I would have called 911 when I heard the suspicious sound that evening,” she said. “Later that night when the police knocked on our door to tell us about the break in, I was so upset. I heard it, and maybe could have stopped it.” Detective Juan Rodriquez heads up the watch programs in Homewood and said he has found them very successful. He believes no call is a waste. Any suspicious noise or occurrence is reason to call the HPD, he said. If you would like to be a part of Hollywood Neighborhood Watch, email or contact Detective Juan Rodriguez at 332-6204 or Beth Sanfratel at or 678-463-0520.

After numerous robberies were recently reported in the Hollywood area, neighbors have organized to take action. With help from the Homewood Police Department, Hollywood is now the newest community to boast an active neighborhood watch. Not only will the watch program unite neighbors to protect members of their community, but it will also allow residents to become familiar with one another. The Mathews family held the first Hollywood watch meeting at their home in August with Police Chief Jim Roberson present, and inquiries have come in since then. “It’s not about being nosey, but caring whether a certain car in your neighbor’s driveway is there for a good reason,” said Hollywood resident Beth Sanfratel. The new watch program is currently recruiting residents on every main thoroughfare to serve as captains and keep a look out for strange activity, odd cars and

Fire escape routes save lives By JASoN HALLMAN, HFD

Homewood resident Tam Le won the Kathryn Tucker Windham Award for Storytelling 2012 for his short film, “Julie On Her Way,” at the Sidewalk Film Festival in August. The film aired during the comedy shorts presentation at the Alabama Theatre. Last year Le’s “Annie and Her Anger” won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film at the Sidewalk Film Festival. To learn more about his films, visit

October 7-13 is Fire Prevention week, and the HFD wants to educate families on effective fire escape plans. It is vital to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds, which means preparing a home fire escape plan will save lives. Fire can spread rapidly, leaving as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Always be aware that a first choice for an escape route can be blocked by smoke or flames, so it’s important to have two ways out. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Have 2 Ways Out” focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

Film maker Tam Le

Make a home escape plan:

ff Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows.

ff Know at least two ways out of each room. ff Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.

ff Have a designated outside landmark in

front of your home for all family members to meet. ff Discuss the plan with all family members. ff Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them. ff Once outside of the home, do not go back inside. ff Get out and stay out. ff Practice the home escape plan twice a year.

Pets Welcome. Masters, too!

Happy Anniversary Celebrating 35 Years

“My first impression of Brookdale Place University Park was a lasting one. As I drove through the gates and saw the beautifully landscaped grounds, I knew this was the place for me! I’ve lived here for more than three years now and, just like my fellow residents, I’m able to enjoy my time doing the things I want to do. There are so many activities ~ movies, card parties, bingo, fitness classes, entertainment ~ that there is literally something for everyone. They even provide transportation to the best shopping and attractions in town. Best of all, ‘Bennie’ loves living here, too!” Bernie L. and “Bennie” ~Residents, Brookdale Place University Park

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Piggly Wiggly has a rich heritage, built over several decades by stores that are locally owned and operated. For 35 years Piggly Wiggly stores have been a part of Birmingham and its neighboring cities. We are actively involved in our communities, which allows us to stay connected with you, the customer. At Piggly Wiggly, we all take pride in being a part of this great city and all our neighboring communities we call home. Piggly Wiggly strives to provide the highest quality products with exceptional customer service. We take pride in providing a friendly and welcoming environment. And the Piggly Wiggly reputation is built on quality products and outstanding customer service, while still maintaining low prices.

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The Homewood Star | October 2012 |

Homewood Night Out at Central Park

Kids play on inflatables at last year’s Homewood Night Out.

The Homewood Police Foundation will hold Homewood Night Out on October 11 from 5:30-9 p.m. in Central Park. The event was rescheduled from this summer due to extreme heat. The night out offers residents the opportunity to meet local police and neighbors, as

well as K9 officers, motor scouts, home and safety vendors, alarm vendors and financial representatives from the area to discuss security. There will be door prizes and giveaways. The event is free. For more information, visit or call Sgt. Andrew Didcoct at 332-6204.

2012 Fall Festival comes to Homewood Homewood Parks and Recreations will host the 2012 Fall Festival on Thursday, October 25 at the Homewood Community Center from 6-8:30 p.m. The event will feature games, prizes, concession stands, inflatables and a

costume contest. Tickets for attractions will be available for sale at 25 cents each. Proceeds will benefit the Community Activity Fund. For more information, contact Rosie Kelly at 871-7304 or rosie.

Birmingham Vision Walk The Foundation Fighting Blindness will hold the Birmingham Vision Walk on Saturday, October 13 in Homewood Central Park. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the walk will begin at 10 a.m. The event is free. All donations will benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness,

an organization that raises funds to fight retinal degenerative diseases. For more information, contact FBF’s Events Manager Jessica Robinson at 919-7198014 or jrobinson@fightingblindness. org. To register, visit

Jumpin’ Jambalaya comes to Homewood Canvas Church will hold the first annual Jumpin’ Jambalaya in Homewood Central Park on October 27 from 1-5 p.m. Lead Pastors Jon and Lisa Potter wish to introduce the newly founded church to the community

at the free event. There will be live music, inflatables, face painting and Cajun food for up to 500 guests. For more information, email Pastor John at or call 5476188.

Exceptional Foundation hosts Dance Marathon By KAITLIN BITZ The ninth annual ballroom dance marathon will take place November 2-4 at The Exceptional Foundation of Homewood. This event offers seasoned dancers a chance to share their skills and more inexperienced dancers a chance to learn some new footwork. Friday and Saturday night will feature dances with live music from The Classics and Lady & the Tramps. Saturday will feature six hours of workshops with 18 different dance classes to choose from. The marathon will conclude Sunday with a new event where both amateur and experienced dancers will have the chance to face off against one another. Food will be offered at both dances, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill will cater lunch

during Saturday’s workshops. The event will also offer dance vendors as well as a consignment shop for dancewear that has been popular in the past. Tickets for the entire weekend are $85, with each dance being $15 admission. Saturday’s workshops will cost $65. The dance-off on Sunday is free for spectators and $10 each for those hoping to compete. Proceeds will go to The Exceptional Foundation of Homewood, an organization dedicated to providing a community to physically and mentally disabled individuals, as well as offering them various life-enhancing activities through a recreational facility. For more information, contact Wendy Johnson at

Velvet Pumpkins as seen in the current issue of Southern Lady 2925 18th Street South • Homewood 205-871-0585 • Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The Power to Perform




Geoffrey Connor, MD 205.803.3700

78th Hall-Kent Fall Festival and Fun Run The 78th annual Hall-Kent Elementary School Fall Festival will take place Saturday, October 20 from 4-8 p.m. The Fall Festival will offer a wide variety of activities including donut walks, pizza walks, inflatables for children, rides for all ages and a group bake sale. There will also be a silent auction that will feature a themed basket created by each grade. Raffle tickets will also be available for sale, as well as a costume contest with a $5 entry fee. The festival caters to all age groups

and budget ranges. It is Hall-Kent’s only annual fundraiser and usually raises $50,000-$60,000 for the school. This year, the Fall Festival will separate from the Fun Run, which usually takes place the same day. However, the Fun Run will now take place on Sunday, October 14 at 2 p.m. Pre-registration for the run is $10 a person. Registration includes the one-mile run and a T-shirt. For more information on either event, contact the school at 423-2430.

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| October 2012 |

The Homewood Star

Shades Valley YMCA renovations By MADISoN MILLER Shades Valley YMCA is in the midst of renovations on its location off of Highway 31 in Homewood. “This renovation will touch every member from the very youngest in the new child watch area to the young at heart, as they will all benefit from easier access to group exercise classes,” said Membership Director and Spin Instructor Dawn Pilleteri. “I cannot wait to see them working out in the new areas.” One of the biggest renovations will be a new outdoor family fun pool and splash aquatic center. “The old pool was over 50 years old and had major structural and mechanical issues,” District Vice President Cham Norman said. Other renovations include re-building the interior of the building, including locker rooms, a family changing locker room, a childwatch/nursery center, a group exercise area, a spinning room, free weight and strength area, a teen center and 4,500 square feet of construction that will be home to a new cardio fitness area. The YMCA will re-roof the entire facility, replace all the HVAC systems and build an outdoor “airnasium,” a covered playground for youth. YMCA officials are confident these changes by Williams Blackstock Architects and Robins & Morton General Contractors will significantly impact their members for the better. “The facility itself was in desperate need of updating and renovations,” Norman said. “We believe through this project we will be able to serve our members and the community far better than what we had been able to do previously.” The renovations are scheduled to be completed by December. For more information, visit or call 8709622.

YMCA renovations are slated to complete in December. Images courtesy of Williams Blackstock Architects.

The new pool area at the Shades Valley YMCA will include a family fun pool and splash aquatic center.


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The Homewood Star | October 2012 |

Shop Save & Share

cards offers discounts to area retailers for a cause The Junior League of Birmingham, local retailers and restaurants have partnered to bring back the annual Shop Save & Share (SSS) card fundraiser. Cardholders receive a 20 percent discount at more than 500 retailers and restaurants throughout the Birmingham area, including retailers in Homewood. The $40 purchase of a SSS card is a donation to the Junior League of Birmingham that offers cardholders smart savings from October 24 to November 4 while supporting their community. Funds raised support JLB’s community projects that address some of Birmingham’s most critical issues, including literacy, domestic violence prevention, health education and life skills for families in transition. Participating retailers include Alabama Outdoors, Belk, centuries, Festivity, Homewood Toy and Hobby, Macys, Mommy and Me Time Fitness, Shoefly Shoe Boutique and Z Gallerie. The Junior League credits its sponsors, including The Outlet Shops of Grand River and LOFT, for contributing to the success of the event. “This fundraiser is really a win-win for everyone,” said Valerie Ramsbacher, president of the Junior League of Birmingham. “The League raises money to support over 35 community projects. Cardholders receive

Elect a Judge who believes in the strong enforcement of our criminal laws.

12+ Years Judicial experience: • 12+ Years Judicial Experience as a Criminal Court Trial Judge • Handled thousands of criminal cases, including Death Penalty Cases Katy Kelly of Festivity and Matthew Smith of Centuries are among the many Homewood merchants participating in the Junior League of Birmingham’s Shop Save & Share fundraiser.

discounts from their favorite retailers and restaurants, who in turn benefit from sales related to the Shop Save & Share card.” Visit or to purchase your Shop Save & Share card and to review a complete listing of participating merchants and sponsors.

that grants wishes to children with lifethreatening or life-changing health conditions. The festival will feature a football and tailgate theme. The Alabama vs. Missouri game as well as the Auburn vs. Ole Miss game will be playing, and children’s activities such as face painting and games will be offered. Tickets for adults are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Children under 10 may enter free of charge. Tickets grant admission as well as five wing-tasting tickets. Additional food, beverages and shopping will also be on site. For more information, visit

comes right in time for Halloween. The ballet will feature choreography by August Bournonville and music by Herman Severin Lovenskiold. It will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night as well as at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $30-$55. Children and students tickets are $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit buytickets.shtml.

Local churches to host fall festivals Homewood churches are preparing to host fall festivals. On Friday, October 26, Dawson Memorial Baptist Church will host a fall festival from 6-9 p.m. The event is open to the public and will feature food, games for all ages, inflatables and more. Visit for more information. Oakmont United Methodist Church will host its fall festival on Sunday, October 28


"Criminals belong behind bars"

Alabama Ballet presents La Sylphide at Wright Center Samford University’s Leslie S. Wright Center will host Alabama Ballet October 26-28. The company will present La Sylphide: A Witch’s Revenge for the first time. La Sylphide is one of the oldest Roman ballets still in existence. It tells the story of a Scottish man who leaves his soon-tobe bride for a forest fairy. However, their romance is threatened when an evil witch begins cooking up potions to turn the two away from each other. This eerie tale


DISTRICT JUDGE, Place 6 (Criminal Court)

Kick’n Chick’n Wing Fest The fourth annual Kick’n Chick’n Wing Fest will be held Saturday, October 13 at 29th Avenue and SoHo square in downtown Homewood. The event will feature wings from more than two dozen local restaurants competing to be deemed “The Thighsman” and the title of Birmingham’s Best Wings. Previous winners include Baumhowers, Billy’s Bar & Grill, Mellow Mushroom, Michael’s Steaks/ Seafood, Sweet Bones Alabama and Pizza Hut. Money raised from the event will benefit Magic Moments, an Alabama organization



from 5-7 p.m. There will be a silent auction, bingo, a cakewalk featuring snacks and candy, a free hotdog supper, children’s games and more. Visit to learn more. Homewood Church of Christ will also host its fall festival October 28 at 5 p.m. Inflatables, clowns, crafts and a hotdog dinner are among the many attractions. For more information, call 942-5683.

Sensitive to Victims' Rights: • I will continue to ensure that the rights of crime victims are protected • Sensitive to the rights of Abused and Neglected animals

Endorsed and Supported by Law Enforcement: • Endorsed by our Police Chiefs and Law Enforcement Community.

Jefferson County District Judge, Place 6/Republican County-wide Election- November 6 / Back of the Ballot Paid for by the Gloria Bahakel Judicial Campaign, 2131-12th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35234


| October 2012 | The Homewood Star

Babysitting inspires business venture

By CRAIG LAWRENCE JR. Maggie Worthington, 24, has been babysitting since she was 12 years old. In college, she was too busy to take on all the babysitting offers she had as she tried to stay ahead in Samford University coursework and sorority life. Eventually, Homewood moms began contacting Worthington just to see whether she could recommend someone to sit for their family. Being an informal babysitting broker was a time consuming process. She would text babysitters who might be interested, relay the message back to parents and field questions about the sitter from the parent. To streamline the process, she created a babysitting list, but it would become outdated and sitters – Samford students – were being contacted years after graduation. This time-consuming process became more problematic as Worthington began pursuing a master’s degree in occupational therapy at UAB. Eventually, Worthington created a Facebook group called Birmingham Babysitting Club. The page simply facilitated the connection between moms and sitters through social networks. Moms posted on the group’s wall when they needed a sitter, and sitters commented saying that they could babysit at a certain time. Because of the integration with Facebook, all sitters were alerted when a

mom wrote on the wall. The group grew to more than 100 members in a few short weeks. “Facebook could not be any more convenient,” Worthington said. “Whoever is a member can instantly see the alerts, so there’s no lag time waiting for a phone call.” Soon after, Worthington transformed the idea into a working business. She formed a business plan for iConnectivity LLC and the Birmingham Babysitting Club became “iBabysit Birmingham.” After launching, it quickly earned recognition in the Samford/Regions Business Competition and received attention from an Angel Investing group. iConnectivity is looking for investors to fund technological advancements, growth in other markets and explore the need for connections in tutoring. “I never expected to turn this into a business,” Worthington said. “It just kind of happened that way. I enjoy helping the families when I can’t be there myself.” The service, which caters to Homewood moms and Samford and UAB students, compares to competitors like the popular Using her background in occupational therapy, Worthington has built connections with babysitters who can be trusted to work with children with

Maggie Worthington, founder of iBabysit Birmingham, with two-year-old Ellie Morrow. Photo courtesy of Maggie Worthington.

special needs. Before a family or sitter is accepted into the group, they must submit an application, references and agree to have a background check to ensure safety. Only members can see the activity online, so there is no worry of a loss of privacy. iBabysit Birmingham is actively

seeking more Homewood moms and sitters to join the more than 40 members in the group. For more information on the service, search for “iBabysit Birmingham” on Facebook or visit ibabysitbirmingham. to sign up.

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The Homewood Star | October 2012 |


Easter Seals adult programs provide a way for new life By MADISoN MILLER Allison Nichols, Marketing Manager for Easter Seals, recalls once talking to the mother of a man with autism about what was going to happen to her son when she wasn’t around anymore. Thankfully, Nichols knew just how to comfort her. Easter Seals’ adult facility focuses on teaching capable disabled adults how to be ready to go into a workplace. The organization teaches computer skills, resume writing, interview skills, work readiness and more. When disabled persons reach the age of 21 and no longer have a place in their school, they sometimes find it difficult to find somewhere to feel comfortable. Easter Seals provides a place where they can feel accepted as well as learn how to be prepared for life on their own. “Having services later on gave her some kind of peace,” Nichols said of her discussion. In March, Easter Seals will hold its annual “Walk with Me” event, in which participants and organizations can walk side by side with Easter Seals’ ambassadors, children and adults who are picked to represent the organization throughout the year. Ambassadors are assigned before the walk so the teams gain a personal connection to the cause. “If you’re learning someone’s story, you’re more likely to try harder to raise money,” Nichols said. The national non-profit organization has run an adult care facility in Homewood and a pediatric facility in Shelby County since the 1960s. Nichols said the organization will soon be moving from its Beacon Parkway West site in Homewood to a location closer to downtown. They hope to get more involved before and after they move. “One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been here is that there’s a real disconnect in the community,” Nichols said, “We’d love to get more involved.” One reason is that the money Easter Seals raises at

Technology Instructor Dana Chang and students in her computer class, which prepares them for jobs. Photo by Madoline Markham..

events and fundraisers stays local to benefit participants. Its fundraising makes it possible for the organization to accept patients who cannot afford to pay for themselves. And those students, when helped by dedicated employees and volunteers at Easter Seals, can achieve great things. “They are extra hard workers,” said Homewood resident Dana Change, who teaches individually paced classes in Easter Seals’ Computer Technology Lab five days a week. “They push themselves in class.” Change said within four to six weeks some students increase their typing speed from six words per minute to 35 or 40 and move on to learn accuracy and Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. “Some of them have never been on a computer, but some come in with an email address,” she said. “What they achieve is amazing.” Working with the people whom Easter Seals serves is

close to the hearts of their staff and volunteers. “This is my ministry,” said Kandis Harris, a pediatric speech-language pathologist and outpatient rehab program manager. “I feel that giving the gift of communication to a child who is frustrated is the most rewarding opportunity in the world.” Birmingham Junior Board Member John Ellis also spoke of the importance of the each person they serve. “I love having the opportunity to tell more people about this organization,” he said. “Seeing the smiles on their faces, it’s really about them.” To learn more about Easter Seals, visit If you would like to volunteer with Easter Seals, contact Allison Nichols at The public is also welcome to stop by either location for more information. Their adult facility is located at 200 Beacon Parkway West, and the pediatric facility is located at 2685 Pelham Parkway.

Explore Your Creative Potential


| October 2012 | The Homewood Star

Ordinary Days Callens takes Weak and weary Miss Patriot title By Lauren Denton

A few nights ago after Matt and I struggled for close to two hours to get baby Sela to sleep, we woke not much later to a crying and distressed toddler. Kate pulled every trick in the book before going back to sleep—I need lotion, I need food, I need water, I need two books. When I finally left her room, I heard Sela crying to nurse. I leaned against her crib and thought, “Lord, I’m so tired. I can’t do this.” Then I remembered a quote I’d heard recently: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” In that dark hour of the night, I thought surely I couldn’t make it through the night that was shaping up to be a long one. So I told myself, “I can do this. I’m a mama—it’s my job.” I’m not so self-absorbed to think that I have it bad. I know when compared to others’ struggles, sleepless nights are a piece of cake. I have friends and family members who’ve dealt with cancer and other diseases, infertility, the death of a parent or child. Maybe they thought, “Lord, I cannot do this”—but they did. Or the thing you think you cannot do may be simpler and less life-altering. Maybe it’s a fear that keeps you from taking steps toward some big dream you have. You say, “That dream just isn’t for me—it won’t happen.” But maybe pushing yourself to do the thing that scares you will instead send you in a new direction where you can thrive and even benefit other people. But pushing yourself on your own is hard. Doing the thing you think you can’t do using your own strength and power may even be almost impossible—such as when staring down a scary disease or losing someone you love. The only way to

walk those roads and do those hard things when you’re at your lowest is if someone else provides the means. Isaiah says, “God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” At 3 a.m. with little sleep in me and two kids awake, I am weary and weak. If I’m faced with the prospect of speaking in front of a group of people, even a small one, my knees quake and my palms sweat—a definite weakness. People dealing with issues like multiple sclerosis or infertility feel weak and weary at times might say, “Lord, I just can’t do it anymore.” But Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So when I feel most weak, most unable to do what I need to do, somehow that’s when God’s power is most manifest in my life. Somehow, I am able to do what I think I can’t do. I need to remind myself of these truths often—when Matt has a late night at work and I have a crying baby and a toddler in the bath who wants water balloons. When I have what seems like 800 things to do in about a half hour before naptime ends. When God presents me with an opportunity to serve Him, but it’s in a way that terrifies me. If He’s strongest and most powerful when we’re at our weakest, then feeling weak and weary is okay—as long as we call on Him to provide the strength and power we need to get through one more long night, one more doctor visit, one more “No” spoken when we really want to hear a “Yes.” God promises to not only show up, but to come pouring out power and strength when we need it most. Lauren can be reached at

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Mi’a Callens, an 18-year-old Birmingham native and freshmen at Auburn University, was crowned Miss Patriot 2013 during the annual scholarship pageant at Homewood High School on July 29. Callens, along with 26 other contestants, competed for the title in talent, swimsuit, evening gown and private interview categories. Callens, who previously held the Outstanding Teen 2011 title, also won the overall talent award for her vocal piece, “Hiding Under Water,” and her piano performance. She was also honored with the Abigail Hardin award for the highest score in a private interview. First alternate was awarded to Kelsey Richter of Birmingham, followed by second alternate Elisabeth Chramer of Trussville, Carly Evans of Prattville as third alternate and Elizabeth Anne Beasley of Prattville as fourth alternate. Lauren Hunt of Dothan was also awarded the overall swimsuit award. Shelby Andrews, 15, of Dothan was crowned Outstanding Teen 2013. She competed with eleven other contestants in the Outstanding Teen Division. Andrews also tied as the winner of the overall talent award with Mikaylah Duggans of Springville. The fitness award was presented to Janna Meeks, who was also awarded first alternate followed by Anna Thigpen of Hoover as second alternate, Duggans as third alternate and Emily O’Rear of Oneonta as fourth alternate. The pageant, which is an official preliminary event to the Miss Alabama

Miss Patriot 2013 Mi’a Callens and Miss Patriot’s Outstanding Teen 2013 Shelby Andrews. Photo courtesy of Anna Malone .

Pageant, was hosted by 2011 Miss Alabama Courtney Porter. The event was coordinated by executive directors Bragg Scroggins and Keith Brashier and awarded more than $12,500 in scholarships, services, gifts and products to winning contestants and alternates. For more information or to arrange an appearance, contact Scroggins at or 901-0534.

The Homewood Star | October 2012 |

Schuble brings home medals from London Paralympics Homewood resident Jennifer Schuble holds her silver medal from the Paralympic games in London. Photo courtesy of Peggy Turner/ Lakeshore Foundation .

Homewood resident and cyclist Jennifer Scuble, the subject of The Homewood Star’s July cover story, won silver in the 500-meter indoor and bronze in the mixed team event in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. She set two American records and was the first female in history to win a Paralympic medal in the mixed team sprint. Schuble entered the Paralympic cycling scene in 2006 and has since earned an impressive collection of hardware. At

the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing she won a gold medal and two silver medals. She was a double medalist at the 2011 World Championships and is competing for a spot on Team USA during the World Championships. Before Beijing she grabbed a gold and two bronze medals at the U.S. Paralympics National Road Cycling Championships and then went on to win two gold medals and one silver medal at the UCI Paracycling World Championships.

Kids Halloween costumes

“I want to be an ice cream truck for Halloween this year!” - Luke Gillis

“I am going to be Super Mario Brothers.” - Cooper Gillis

“I am going to be the Super Mario Princess because I love that game on the Wii, and she is so pretty!” – Celia Roitman “I am going to be a red Power Ranger because they are so cool!” - Nicholas Roitman

“I want to be a shark for Halloween. My cousin was one last year, and I love my cousin!” – Bennett Smith

“I am going to be a doctor for Halloween because I want to be able to give shots to people to help them!” – Fletch Smith



| October 2012 |

The Homewood Star

Homewood Happenings New food truck to sell doughnuts New Cureture Boutique Starting this month, A Hole in One Donut Truck will be traveling around to parks and public places to sell doughnuts, coffee, juices and soft drinks. The truck will offer a variety of doughnuts and doughnut holes made by YoYo Donuts, located off Highway 31. Flavors will include glazed and chocolate, as well as a variety of others that will be determined by demand.

Todd Becker, who is partnering with Golden Rule’s Charles Matsos to start the truck, said the truck will make stops at Homewood Park and other locations to be determined. The truck will also make late night stops and be available for private parties. For more information on The Donut Hole, call 868-4704 or find it on Facebook or Twitter.

Escape Day Spa coming to Edgewood Escape Day Spa is scheduled to open in the former Blonde Salon location in Edgewood at the first of October. The spa offers therapeutic massages, facials and skin care services, body treatments and wraps, foot relaxation, private yoga, spray tan, airbrush makeup and hair removal and waxing. New to this location is its Thai massage, a floor

message where the client is fully clothed. All of Escape’s product lines are organic, and the business space is available to host private parties and events. Escape, previously located in Crestline Village, will be located at 100 Broadway Street and can be reached at 414-6062. For more information on services, visit

Poinsettia sale at The Bell Center The Bell Center will host its annual Poinsettia Sale this year from October 1-31. Flowers, which will come just in time for the holidays, will be offered in red, white or pink. Also, this year the flowers will come with a new green wrap on the pot, making the plants immediately ready for display. Plants are $17 a piece and will be delivered December 3 at 7:30 p.m. They will be ready for pickup immediately afterward. Proceeds from the event will go

to support The Bell Center’s bottom line budget. The center, which offers early intervention services to children at risk for delay, only receives 10 percent of its budget from tuition and relies on fundraisers like this to make sure no child is ever turned away due to lack of money. For more information on how to order a poinsettia, visit or contact Denise Williams at 879-3417.

New boutique Cureture is now open between 28:20 Boutique and Once Upon a Time on 18th Street. The store, whose name is a play on the French word couture, sells unique gifts, furnishings and home décor items. Owner Victoria Owens, a 2008 Homewood High School graduate, has an interior design background and selected her merchandise at market earlier this year. The store will make a donation to a local charity based on a percentage on store

sales each month. Owens lost her mom to multiple sclerosis, so the first month of business, September, Cureture made a donation to the MS Society. Owens credits her mom for her flair for design and her desire to help others through her store. Cureture is located at 2900 18th Street South, Suite 105 and can be reached at 800-405-1625. Store hours are MondaySaturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. To learn more about the store, visit or find them on Facebook.

New location for Sharp Carpet After 19 years on Cobb Street, Sharp Carpet is moving to a larger location east of I-65. The new showroom will feature hardwood, tile and carpet samples.

Their new location will be 320 Oxmoor Road next to Payless Shoes and Los Compadres. For more information, call 942-1110 or visit

Arts & crafts sale at Our Lady of Sorrows An arts and crafts sale will take place at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church on October 28. The sale, which has become an annual tradition at the church, features the many different talents of members of the parish. Art on sale includes homemade honey, pottery, photography, oil paintings, needlework and wood carvings. There will also be many Christmas gifts for sale such as handmade ornaments, scarves, children’s clothing, jellies and jams. The Altar Sodality Ladies will also host a bake sale that will include cookies,

cakes and homemade frozen casseroles just in time for the holidays. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the church’s general fund, which will go to help the poor and needy this holiday season. The event will take place from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the church’s Family Life Center, which is most easily accessed using Central Avenue. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Fran Robertson at 529-3336.

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The Homewood Star | October 2012 |

Business Spotlight By KAITLIN BITZ

Seasons to Celebrate


Read all the past Business Spotlights at

2801 18th Street South, Suite 105 870-9265 Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Seasons to Celebrate “dresses” for every season, including summer and football.

Allen Bailey and Daryl Ussery manage Seasons to Celebrate, which currently has fall decor and football merchandise, as well as items for any season. Photo by Madoline Markham.

ohn and Mary Matthews, like many families, collect Fontanini nativity pieces each year at Christmas. So, when they discovered that the only store in Birmingham that sold the pieces was rumored to be closing, they quickly figured out a way to open their own seasonal gift shop in Homewood. Friends Daryl Ussery and Allen Bailey were happy to help. “We told (Mary Matthews) that she should open her own seasonal shop and have the two of us manage it,” said Bailey, who manages the story with Ussery. “So, her husband called and set

up a meeting for two days later. We met up, and an hour and half later, the shop was born.” Bailey said that within two months they had designed the shop, bought fixtures and installed lighting. The store opened May 2010. Seasons to Celebrate is completely rejuvenated four times a year with décor and gifts for each season. Customers can always tell what sort of products are in stock through the seasonal panels put up in the outside windows. Seasons to Celebrate is the only location in the Birmingham

area to carry collectable Christmas décor such as Fontanini, Christopher Radko Ornaments and Department 56 merchandise year-round, but they are more than a Christmas store. They offer a wide variety of decorations for every holiday from Halloween to July 4, as well as many different types of gift options. “Allen creates custom-made wreaths,“ Ussery said. “We also always offer a full line of gifts for newborns, including hospital door hangers. If you have a reason to celebrate, no matter the season, we are the place to shop.” Bailey and Ussery treat their

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Local ArArtists and craftsmen The Area’s Hottest Bands Food, Kid’s Activities

customers as personal friends and attribute a lot of the shop’s success to the personal relationship they have with their clients and the hometown feel of their store. “Our favorite part is meeting new folks,” Ussery said. “The cool thing about this business is that people walk in the store and are surprised because there aren’t gift shops on every corner anymore.” Bailey also feels that customers connect with the store’s ties to the past. “The unique thing about the business is that it reminds you of the days gone by when there were nice [seasonal] gift shops

around,” Bailey said. “This will bring you back into that era.” The biggest challenge Seasons to Celebrate is currently facing is storage. Ussery and Bailey are having a difficult time cramming merchandise in as their list of vendors and customers continue to grow. But both said they feel the store’s location in Homewood’s downtown shopping district is ideal. “The stores are not cookie cutter stores, they’re all unique and different,” Bailey said. “You could go in every shop here and you will not come upon two shops that are alike.”

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| October 2012 | The Homewood Star

Me want cookie! By KATEY CouRTNEY

Nabeel’s owner publishes cookbook

In honor of October being National Cookie Month, Homewood bakery owners talk about why cookies deserve a month of celebration and what cookies are hot right now.

Icing on the Cookie owner Shelby Adams Why make cookies and not cake? One, cookies are less expensive and customers can afford them. Two, it takes less manpower to make cookies. Three, cakes take more work to bake.

Nabeel’s owner John Krontiras, pictured with his wife, Ottavia, released his Beloved Family Recipes cookbook last month. Photo courtesy of Karim ShamsiBasha.

What is your top-selling cookie? Our ginger, chocolate chip, sugar and monster cookies are our top-selling un-iced cookies. Our baby cookies are our top selling iced cookie. What makes a good cookie? Butter. Lots of butter. What is the best cookie for fall parties? Ginger. It’s the best cookie we have, period. What trends are you seeing in cookies? I’ve had several requests for mustache cookies. One for a birthday party, another for a wedding and one for a baby shower. Sites like Pinterest have inspired customers to request unique and exciting cookie ideas. Icing on the Cookie is located at 2907 Central Avenue, Suite 101, and can be reached at 871-9852.

Savage’s Bakery owner Van Scott Why make cookies and not cake? It’s fast, and you can put a lot of them out quickly. Also, customers can buy one, they make a pretty presentation and kids love them! What is your top selling cookie? Our iced cookies are our top sellers. They have a liquid fondant icing on them, and they go fast. What makes a good cookie? Real butter. It doesn’t keep as long, but it turns out the best product.

Shelby Adams displays his favorites from the case at Icing on the Cookie. Photo by Katey Courtney.

What is the best cookie for fall parties? Our iced cookies. We shape them into pumpkins and turkeys for Halloween and Thanksgiving. What trends are you seeing in cookies? We’ve had requests for unique shapes and customization for parties. We’ve had requests for company logos. Also, for the summer, we made fish cookies and watermelons. We have nearly 200 cookie cutters, so we like to change things up. Savages Bakery is located at 2916 18th Street South and can be reached at 871-4901.

When you give to United Way, you’re not just doing a good deed — you’re creating opportunities for a better life for all. Your donations go directly to our partners and initiatives in our community to help those who need it most. The truth is undeniable: doing good feels good. And nothing feels better than making good things happen with a partner like United Way.

In his new cookbook, Nabeel’s owner John Krontiras shares a collection of recipes from the restaurant kitchen as well as foods that his Greek family and his wife Ottavia’s Italian family eat at home. The recipe collection, released last month, provides not only a manual for everyday Mediterranean cooking but also a lens into Krontiras’ travels all over the world, his Greek heritage and how these influence his cooking. Family photos and images of Nabeel’s are among pictures of dishes, including Nabeel’s favorites like Tzatziki, Moussaka and Lamb Souvlaki. A collection of Krontiras’ memories of travels, family and cooking, as well as information about Greek culture, history and food, accompany recipes. The book is 128 full-color, glossy pages. According to Alabama Booksmith’s review: “Besides being

an advocate of Greek history and the Classics, Krontiras shows throughout this book how the details of expert cooking can open the door of cultural life greatly needed in America, thus contributing to the quality of life we love and respect.” Ted Haddin, who plays the violin at Nabeel’s, wrote the preface for the book, and regular customer Karim Shamshi-Basha was the photographer. Krontiras will hold book signings at Alabama Booksmith on October 3 from 4-6 p.m. and at Nabeel’s on October 21, 4-6 p.m. The cookbook is available for purchase for $29.95 at Nabeel’s, The Fish Market downtown, Shaia’s in downtown Homewood, Alabama Booksmith, Little Professor and Birmingham locations of Western Supermarket. For more information on the cookbook, visit

Restaurant Showcase


Restaurant Showcase By MADOLINE MARKHAM

2902 18th Street South 802-2711

| October 2012 |


Read all the past Restaurant Showcases at Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Chef Timothy Hontzas’s pedigree speaks volumes on the influences of Johnny’s, the restaurant he opened in September. His papou (Greek for grandfather), Johnny Hontzopolous, emigrated from Greece in 1921 and ran Johnny’s Restaurant in Jackson, Miss. His cousin, Gus Hontzas, owned Niki’s West, a meat and three tradition in downtown Birmingham, after working at Johnny’s in Jackson. Another cousin owned John’s City Diner in Birmingham. Hontaz learned a passion for food from his mentor, Chef John Currence, whom he worked under at City Grocery in Oxford, Miss. for 11 cumulative years. Hontzas’s sounding board for all his restaurant ideas, his wife, Beth, is a former Southern Living food photographer. A first glance at the chalkboard menu shows a typical Southern meat and three, but a closer look (and taste) reveals Hontzas’ Greek heritage and fine dining background. All ingredients are fresh, and many are local. The purple hull peas come from Blount County, the squash and tomatoes and collards are local. Johnny’s breads its own whole okra and green tomatoes. Daily vegetables will change in and out with seasons. The daily menu serves baklava and a Greek salad with citrus marinated olives, sumac, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, salonika peppers and a vinaigrette made with olive oil from Tsitalia, the region of Greece where Hontzas’ family is from. The Friday special is Pastitio, a Greek lasagna, and the Sunday special is a Pork Souvlaki (meat grilled on a skewer) with House Tzatziki, a yogurt-cucumber sauce. Hontzas is planning Spanikopita, spinach and cheese hand pies; Dolmades, beef and rice; and Fasolakia, Greek green beans, for future daily specials. From the daily menu, Hontzas recommends trying the Greek Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie and Parmesan Grit Cake. His fine dining background comes out in the Thursday special, Grilled Salmon with Jalapeno-Lime Glaze, and will

In addition to its meat and three selections, Johnny’s menu features fresh items like a Greek Salad. Photos courtesy of Beth Hontzas.

continue to shine as the menu evolves. Whatever he adds to his chalkboards must meet one test though: his papou’s philosophy, “We prepare food for the body, but good food to feed the soul.” Hontzas is quick to speak of how his love for Homewood drew him to the former DiGiorgio’s Out Takes location. He had seen a void left in the area after Anchorage, a meat and three restaurant on 18th Street, closed in 2008 after 67 years of business. Hontzas worked with Courtney Pigford and Wilcox construction on the interior of the building to make it reflect the Southern yet “hip” feel he wanted for the space. They opened up the kitchen and outfitted the dining room with chopping block tables, red pennant lighting and some bench seating.

Timothy Hontzas, right, has opened a restaurant on 18th Street that follows his grandfather Johnny’s philosophy to prepare “good food to feed the soul.”

On the walls hang black and white photos of Hontzas’s grandfather as well as type set prints made graphic designer Micah Whitson, an Athens, Ala. native, with southern phrases like “I heart bacon,” “Honeysuckle lighting bugs,” “Gosh almighty” (from the Ole Miss cheer; Hontzas is an Ole Mis grad) and “Yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir, please, thank you.” “I am Greek, but I am still a Mississippi boy,” Hontzas said.



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| October 2012 | The Homewood Star

Music from on high

Homewood City Schools to host drug awareness program

By KATIE STEWART Almost every day, Stephen Brooks Knight climbs a number of tumultuous staircases up into the bell tower that sits atop Samford University’s library. The staircases wind so tightly that there is barely room to move. The trek to the top of the building is difficult even for an able-bodied 20-year-old, let alone a man who is legally blind. Once to the top of the bell tower, Knight changes into his proper bell-playing shoes. He sits on a bench and gently strokes the keys of the carillon, an organ-like instrument. The sight is such a beautiful one, it’s easy to forget that he’s in a dusty and dark attic of sorts. Knight has been Samford’s carillonneur since 1974. Almost every day at 4:30 p.m., the bells at Samford can be heard all over campus and even on the Lakeshore Greenway across the street. People from all over the community can hear the enchanting sounds provided by Knight. “There is nothing I love more than playing as often as I can,” Knight said. “The music from a carillon is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful things a person can hear.” Knight has a total of six degrees, four of them being at the post-graduate level. He has studied under 13 renowned musicians and has been requested to travel all over Europe to play on multiple occasions. He even was a student at Perkins School for the Blind, where Helen Keller also graduated. While his resume is extremely impressive, what is even more astounding is how he plays the carillon. He sways to the music as his hands move quickly over the keys like a blur. He plays a beautiful classical piece so diligently, he forgets anyone is even observing. Knight is so absorbed in his creation of music that nothing can interrupt him.


Stephen Brooks Knight is Samford University’s carillonneur. Photo by Katie Stewart.

Homewood City Schools will host the fourth annual Taking it to the Streets program on October 23 from 6:30-8 p.m. This year ’s topic is, “Will my child smoke pot?” Taking it to the Streets encourages parents and school personnel to come together and discuss important issues children are facing today. Parents have the opportunity to talk to one another while gaining helpful resources from knowledgeable speakers and school employees. These meetings are located in three different Homewood homes so parents can grab their neighbors and join in a casual and comfortable living room discussion. Host home locations will be posted on Homewood City Schools’ website, Speakers for the program are returning by popular demand. They will be: clinical psychologist Chebon Porter PhD.; psychiatrist Steven Taylor, MD, MPH, who specializes in child/ adolescent and addiction areas; and psychologist Dale Wisely, Director of Student Services at Mountain Brook Schools. This event is held during Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention campaign, undertaken annually during the last week of October. By wearing red ribbons, a symbol of support to stay off drugs, and participating in community anti-drug events, young people can pledge to live a drug-free life. Parents as well as all Homewood community members are encouraged to wear red ribbons, display them on their cars, businesses and homes.




Braces for All Ages

The Homewood Star

| October 2012 |


Beyond the classroom HMS’s Coach Sills influences young men By KATEY COURTNEY Five years ago, Coach Steve Sills founded a new club at Homewood Middle School named Men Striving for Success. That year, the Christian-based organization educated 40 young men on how to better serve their communities. But since then, success has extended well beyond individual students. Last year Sills and other volunteers worked with more than 130 students. Men Striving for Success is dedicated to developing and preparing young men to become leaders and pursue success in all walks of life. The club not only focuses on community service, but also teaches boys to live with integrity and character. Students in the club have assisted a community kitchen, raised money for the Lupus Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, founded a Haiti Supply Drive, cheered at the Exceptional Foundation for special needs athletes and developed fellowship within families and the community as a whole. “This club is a very diverse club filled with athletes, MATH-letes, guys from single parent homes, two-parent homes, guys that attend church regularly and guys that go only on special occasions,” said Sills, a computer applications teacher for

grades 6-8. As Sills plans for the future, he hopes to see the club expand to the high school, continue to grow at the middle school and eventually spread across the metro area. Outside of the club, Sills takes pride in coaching the HMS football and track team and inspires athletes to commit 110 percent to whatever they do. “In coaching, I have the opportunity to meet kids of many different backgrounds and athletic abilities,” Sills said. “I get to see their passion for the sport and rediscover my love for sports and kids every day.” Sills and his family live in Trussville and are members of More Than Conquerors Faith Church in Birmingham, where he has been the youth director for two years. With the support of his wife, Lori, and children, Makiyah, a sixth grader at HMS and Kaylee, a kindergartener at Shades Cahaba, Sills continues to act as a positive role model for his kids, students and peers. “Homewood is a special place for me and my family,” said Sills. “I believe God wants us to put more in the world than we take out, and we try to accomplish that through ministry.” For more information, follow Homewood Men Striving for Success on Facebook.

Two D




Homewood Middle School Coach Steve Sills. Photo by Katey Courtney.

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| October 2012 | The Homewood Star


City Wide Special Event

Homewood Parks Fall Festival

Homewood Community Center Activities Zumba

ZUMBA is the new craze sweeping America! It is Latin inspired aerobic dance and every class feels like a party. ZUMBA is for all ages, and both sexes! You can burn 500 to 1000 calories in one fun hour! Instructor: Camille Scruggs Contact Info: 256-452-2500 or Days & Times: Homewood Community Center Auditorium Tuesday 5:30-6:30pm Thursday 5:30-6:30pm Saturday 9:00-10:00am


Classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Homewood Community Center from 4:00-5:00 pm in the Auditorium. Monthly tuition is $55 - $65. Classes are for children and teenagers ages 4 and up. For more information please contact Master Joe at 966-4244

Belly Dancing with Aziza

Homewood Community Center Auditorium Class fee: $60 cash only For more information contact Aziza at 879-0701 or Learn the ancient art of Middle Eastern belly dance (classic Egyptian style) with Aziza, award winning dancer, with 36 years of experience in performance and instruction. Women only, ages 13 and up are welcome; with no dance experience necessary to enroll. Each session is 5-weeks long on: Tuesday night for beginners, Wednesday night for intermediates and Thursday night for advanced. Times are 7:00-8:30pm for beginners and 7:00-8:45pm for intermediates and advanced. Beginners start with the basic steps, isolations and shimmies and progress to the intermediate class where you will learn to put the dance together with more advanced steps and combinations plus dancing with the veil; advanced classes include performing with zills, cane, veil with more advanced and longer performances. The classes are for anyone who wants to dance for fun and fitness, as well as those who wish to perform. Aziza has trained dancers to perform for many events in the Southeastern area in addition to dancers who perform regularly at Ali Baba Persian Restaurant in Hoover.


As the world’s recognized leader in early childhood music and movement, Kindermusik offers a musical learning adventure that will impact your child now and for years to come! This is accomplished through our extraordinary classroom experience and unsurpassed At Home materials. There’s simply no better way to foster your child’s love of music and love of learning. Classes are available for ages 0 to 5 years. Classes Offered & Schedule: Wednesdays 10:30am - Our Time (18 months to 3 years) 11:30am - Village (infant to 18 months) 1:30pm – Family Time (0-7 years multi-age class) Thursdays 9:30am - Our Time (18 months to 3 years) 10:30am - Our Time (18 months to 3 years) 11:30am - Village (infant to 18 months) 1:30pm – Imagine That (3-5 years of age) Classes are held August through December; Homewood Community Center Room 100. You can enroll for classes at anytime! For more information call or email Kelly at: (205) 552-6129 (or) Please visit for more information or to enroll

Homewood Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is a great way to get in shape, build selfesteem, learn a great self-defense, and earn your stripes… Literally! Tae Kwon Do is great discipline for any age and any fitness level. New Class starting in September at Homewood Community Center; offering fusion Tae Kwon Do/Hapkido training. Instructor: Bradley Wells Contact Info: 334-714-1021 or Days & Times: Monday & Wednesday: 6:30pm - 7:30pm (Homewood Community Center – Room 100) Thursday: 6:30pm – 7:30pm (Homewood Central Park)

Children’s Ballet with Claire Goodhew

Your child can be a fairy, a princess or a butterfly while keeping ballet traditions alive and having fun with classical music. The beginning ballet moves taught are the important foundation for many types of dance. The French names for steps will be introduced. Students will work on coordination, balance, rhythm and flexibility while developing listening skills and strengthening muscles. The environment provided is a happy and age appropriate one. Claire has been teaching ballet since starting as a teenager in Montgomery. Then, after moving to Birmingham, she started teaching with Birmingham Ballet. She has taught preschoolers in Mother’s Day Out and Day Care as well. Girls may wear any color leotard and tights for class, with pink ballet shoes. Classes meet once a week on Mondays at The Homewood Community Center. Times & Location: Monday 3:45pm-4:30pm / Homewood Community Center Room 100. Please contact Claire to enroll or for additional Information: (205) 879-8780

Head Over Heels Gymnastics!

Gymnastics promotes coordination, flexibility and balance. We teach gymnastics at your child’s individual level in a fun, creative and positive environment, therefore developing self-confidence, a love for fitness and a sense of achievement. Skills are taught on the Swing Bar, Balance Beam, Trampoline, Springboard, Tumbling apparatus, and other fun props! Location: Homewood Community Center Auditorium Day: Thursdays Times:3:30 – 4:15 pm for Ages 3-5 (Preschool) 4:15 - 5:00 pm for Ages 6 & up (Elementary) Fee:$80.00 for Homewood residents, $85 for non-residents For More Information: (205) 981-2720

Head Over Heels: Ready – Set – Cheer! New Class to Homewood Community Center Info: Ready - Set - Cheer! Our first class for Cheerleaders! Class includes instruction on cheer motions, jumps and basic tumbling. Flexibility and cheer conditioning will also be covered. Tumbling skills: handstands, cartwheels, backbends, splits, backbend-kickovers, power hurdles, and drills for round-offs. Location: Homewood Community Center Auditorium Day: Tuesdays Times: 4:15 - 5:00 pm For More Information about Ready, Set, Cheer! (205) 981-2720

Young Rembrandts

Draw amazing things with Young Rembrandts! We believe that drawing is a skill that can, and should be learned by all children. Young Rembrandts classes are both fun and educational, and our step-by-step curriculum is developed to teach fundamental art skills in a nurturing environment that gives children an academic advantage. Our weekly classes are for boys and girls 5 to 12 years of age. Class will be held in Room 100 off the basketball court at the Homewood Community Center. If construction on a new Community Center begins, we will provide an alternate location until construction is complete. All new lessons monthly and each year! Please contact Chris Roberson at (205) 943-1923 for more information and to register or visit www.youngrembrandts. com to enroll anytime. WEDNESDAYS, 3:30 – 4:30 PM September 5th - May 15th Enroll anytime! $40 monthly


Thursday, October 25, 2012 – 6:00pm – 8:30pm Homewood Community Center Our long time fall event provides a variety of games, goodies, a concession stand, inflatables and a costume contest that begins at 7pm. For more information contact Rosie Kelly at 332-6182 / 871-7304 (or)

Homewood Senior Center

Homewood Senior Center 10th Anniversary

Several events to take place the week of October 15th – 19th. Call Center Director, Aimee Thornton (332-6502), or stop by the Senior Center to pick up an October Programs Calendar.

Free Legal Assistance

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 Free assistance is limited to: Wills, Advanced Directives for Health Care and Power of Attorney. Appointment Location: Homewood Senior Center Registration Deadline: Friday, October 12, 2012 To Register: Call Cumberland School of Law – 726-4342 Sponsored By: Samford Cumberland School of Law, Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Task Force and Birmingham Bar Pro Bono Committee

Medicare Enrollment Assistance

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Sponsored by Jefferson County Office of Senior Citizens Services. Staff from the County office will be available to explain benefits & assist with filling out forms. Call Homewood Senior Center for exact times.

Senior Rx Prescription Drug Assistance

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Sponsored by Jefferson County Office of Senior Citizens Services. Staff from the County office will be available to explain benefits & assist with filling out forms. This free service is especially helpful for seniors who have reached the Medicare ‘donut hole’ and those who know that they are approaching it. Call Homewood Senior Center for exact times.

Senior Nutrition Program for Citizens age 60+

In-house congregate lunch, Mon-Fri; Meals-on-Wheels* lunch, Mon-Fri. *must meet certain government-specified criteria for meal delivery Homewood Senior Center is a host site for the program. Lunch is served at Noon. Must be registered to participate Eligible participants are asked to make a voluntary donation of $1.50 per meal. For registration form & information, call Eloise Smith at 332-6503 or stop by the Senior Center before 3:00pm. Administered through the Jefferson County Office of Senior Citizen Services


Youth Wrestling

Registration: Homewood Community Center Main Office (Monday – Friday / 8:00am-5:30pm) Practice Information: Mondays and Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 6th grade team will practice just after school on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday till 5:30. Ages: 6-13 Program Fees: Homewood Resident Fee: $100 Non-Resident: $150 Fee includes 5 tournaments including the STATE tournament. For additional information contact: Jakob Stephens at 332-6709 (or) Jakob.stephens@ Linda Sellers at 332-6706 (or) Linda.sellers@

Youth Basketball

Registration Begins: Monday, October 1, 2012 Ends: Friday, October 26, 2012 – Will not accept late registrations Monday - Friday 8:00am – 5:30pm Homewood Community Center Main Office Program Fee: $60 Homewood Residents / $50 per additional children (Homewood Residents Only) $100 Non-residents for each child Age Groups: Coed: 5 – 6 year olds Boys: 8 & Under / 10 & Under / 12 & Under Girls: 8 & Under / 10 & Under / 12 & Under Age groups are determined by the player’s age on or before September 1st of the current school year. Jakob Stephens at 332-6709 (or) jakob.stephens@

The Homewood Star

| October 2012 |



CONTINUED from page 1 siding, exposed rafters, brick accents and pine floors, as does the new house. The beams and joists were used as accent beams inside the new house, and the bricks from the old foundation were used in the front and back patios. “The old stuff makes a great conversation piece,” he said. “We feel like our house still fits into Homewood.” They even selected an exterior color that they felt complemented the houses on their street. O’Brien pointed out that some people who rebuild don’t try to match their new homes to the neighborhood, but it seems that many people are taking the community into consideration to preserve that same feel. “We tried to keep that bungalow, craftsman style,” he said. Because Homewood has no more land to develop, homeowners looking for newer updates in a house generally turn to remodeling, according to area builders. Lately though, Colt Byrom, vice president of Byrom Building Corp., has seen that more people prefer new construction to a remodel. However, they generally have to be able to justify the price of the construction with its end appraisal value to make it worthwhile. Still, Twin Construction Vice President William Seigel said about 90 percent of Twin’s work in Homewood is renovations, and 10 percent is new builds. To him, the change in recent years is more in the quality of work he sees in the area. “The trend has been toward less concentration on square footage and more concentration on quality,” Siegel said. “Since the market became more competitive on the construction side, homeowners have become more educated on the finishes they want in their home. Eight years ago the market was so good that people were just doing anything to their homes, and now people are focusing more on the quality of what they do.” Seigel also noted that business in Homewood has been up every year since he began working in the area 10 years ago. Builders said they feel it’s important to consider the style, color and architecture of existing homes when making decisions about remodeling or building. “Our goal is to meet the clients’ needs with a layout but create a style of house that feels consistent with the neighborhood,” Seigel said. He has found it is important to team up with a good


Homeowner tips for starting a construction project Tips from David O’Brien

Tips from William Seigel

can and cannot do on your lot. Zoning changes frequently, even within a year, and can affect your plans. After this, go to see an architect. ff If you are trying to decide whether to remodel or build new, consider setback regulations. If your home is past its regulated setback, it is grandfathered in to stay at that distance. But, if you build new, you must follow the setback regulations. ff If you can afford it, get a contractor to alleviate headaches. (O’Brien self-contracted his three home projects and now recommends this to others.) ff Keep in mind the integrity of the neighborhood. Always take your neighbors into consideration and talk over your plans with them.

consideration. No matter what someone wants Twin to do to their house, we cannot change their location and their neighbors. ff Then, look at the return on investment, both financially and personally. You have to consider if you will get your money back out of your house but also if this is where you want to live long-term and if it will it meet your family’s needs now and in the future. Sometimes people weigh heavily on one side or the other. ff Consider creative ways to match the existing look of your house with things like trims and finishes and make it blend into the neighborhood.

ff First, talk to the city to get an idea of what you

architect who will ensure the scale and style keep with the surroundings. “Even in the new construction, people want to have reclaimed materials and the charm as if it was built 60-70 years ago,” Byrom said. “They pick out reclaimed wood, reclaimed flooring and cabinet and trim styles or trim that are period-specific from the 1930s and 40s.” But what about size? How do they make a more spacious structure fit into a neighborhood of smaller homes? “You get creative with rooflines as well as the footprint to make it look like it was built that way and that it was not an addition that sticks out,” Byrom said. “You can use similar architecture and materials. You can take advantage of attic spaces and existing rooms in the house that aren’t very functional. Outdoor living is also a way to add space to the home without adding on.” Even with some architectural limitations, Homewood’s blend of Spanish, craftsman, Tudor and traditional styles gives homeowners and builders freedom to create something unique while still staying true to the character of the neighborhood. “The good thing about Homewood is each home is different and unique, so it’s hard to do something that doesn’t

ff First, take your existing location into

fit in,” Byrom said. Seigel and Byrom seem to have the same construction bug as O’Brien. Seigel and business partner and twin brother, David, have both renovated and built new homes in Homewood for their own families. Byrom’s newly remodeled Homewood home just sold, and he has purchased an outdated, single level block home on Whitehall Road— what he calls a “teardown on a good street.” He plans to build a new 2.5 story brick home with stone accents, five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, playroom, outdoor living room and kitchen open to family room for him, his wife and their two boys, ages 1 and 3. No matter what construction projects residents take on, it’s the community’s mix of people and quality schools that motivate them to stay. “People outside of Homewood may find it hard to imagine living so close to their neighbor,” Siegel said. “However, this is what makes Homewood so special. It’s a front porch community that is also convenient to downtown and the airport.” “Everyone’s friendly, and when you go out to eat, you often see people you know. It has such a sense of community,” Byrom said.


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| October 2012 |

Homewood Sports

Homewood Sports

HHS 2 Annual Lift-A-Thon nd

Homewood Athletics will host its second annual Lift-A-Thon October 22-26. Each participant will seek sponsors for their participation in the weight-lifting contest. LiftA-Thon was a huge success last year, and this year its organizers hope to expand the event to include more teams and female athletes. Last year football, wrestling, baseball and golf teams participated. “One goal of Lift-A-Thon is to allow all athletes to see the benefits of training harder and how this program can also provide funds for their team accounts,” Coach Eddie Crocker said. Athletes can raise money to help their particular sport and can also earn school Nike attire for themselves. Crocker said he feels each athlete will want to train more intensely to develop maximum strength, not just for personal and team performance but because the amount of donations athletes raise is based on the total of their lifts. “This is a win-win for the teams involved. Individuals have additional motivation to be their best,” Crocker said. To make a donation to the Lift-A-Thon or sponsor a particular athlete, contact Coach Eddie Crocker at Homewood High School at ecrcoker@

Homewood 90-pound team defeats Hoover

Noah Sanders, Dominique Linson, JC Wyatt, Noah Crocker, Shedrick Kynard, Mo Almansoob, Hap Williams. Photo courtesy of Eddie Crocker.

2011 Lift-A-Thon Results Varsity

Ninth Grade

Bench Hap Williams Squat Cade Fowler Power Clean Will Hunt Lift Totals Cade Fowler Top Fund Raiser Noah Sanders

Red Balloon Sale

Saturday October 20 ! th

Bench Squat Power Clean Lift Totals

Homewood’s 90-pound team, part of The 2012 Jefferson-Shelby Youth Football League, recently defeated Hoover 12-6. Pictured, Logan Hall (24) and Henry Watson (66) celebrate their win. Photo courtesy of Matt Hall.

Zach Sims Aaron Rowel Aaron Rowel Zach Sims


The event you have been waiting for is here! Join the glamorous at this star-studded event

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Hollywood Glam Gift Box for the first 100 attendees Fabulous specials and discounts on all products and services including: Botox Cosmetic, Fillers, Exilis Treatments, Laser Hair Removal, Laser Tattoo Removal, Laser Resurfacing, Chemical Peels, Colorescience Makeup, Skinmedica and Obagi Products $3000 Liquid Face Lift package raffles and other amazing prizes! Complimentary Chemical Peels, Free Makeovers, Laser Resurfacing and Tattoo Removal Demonstrations Hor’derves will be served. Cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m.

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SWCA_OpenHouse_HomewoodStar.indd 1

8/23/12 2:58 PM

School House

Pop art prodigies at Shades Cahaba

SRS 205-369-1836

| October 2012 |



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We have packaged our kitchens together for your convenience. View our new website at • SRS Custom Advantage Starting @$3,695 • SRS Custom Built Starting @$8,495 • SRS Custom Complete Starting @$13,995 Visit our website to find out what’s included in each package for your remodeling needs and on your budget.

Fourth graders Jared Davis, Mitchell Prewitt, Reilly Durkin, James Spencer, Madhav Praveen, Jake Dransfield, Carter Dollins and Katie Garvin.

known as pop art. Students created their own pop art and shared it with the classroom.

eCO Teacher of the Month award

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Shades Cahaba Elementary School students in Mary Jane Coker’s art class enjoy learning about Andy Warhol, a leading figure in the visual art movement

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Principal Patricia Simpson, Laura Kapp and her second grade class.

Edgewood Elementary School second grade teacher Laura Kapp was named eCO Credit Union’s August Teacher of the Month. eCO Chief Operations Officer Kenny Minton and eCO Marketing Manager Melissa Reeves presented Kapp and her class with a $250 classroom scholarship. At the end of the year, she will compete with the

other 11 monthly winners for the 2012 Teacher of the Year, who will receive a $1,000 classroom scholarship. “Laura wants every child to have the best education possible. She is so creative and dedicated, and her students (and their parents) love her,” Scottie Vickery wrote in Kapp’s nomination letter.


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| October 2012 | School House

HHS hands-on learning

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Homewood High School 11th and 12th grade students in Mindy McBride’s anatomy and physiology class used

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modeling clay to demonstrate their understanding of body planes and anatomical landmarks.

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Hall-Kent Elementary School students in Linda Klopack’s class used technology while working in centers to enhance their classroom instruction.

Nicholas Sanders, Gerardo Coronado Rubio and Erianna Brown

enhanc ing l if e with pl ants

Fall Plant Sale

HMS, HHS start school year

R ai n or S hi ne • Free A d mission • Fa ll is an I dea l T i me t o Pl ant Tr ees & Shr ubs

Saturday, October 20 | 9 - 5 p.m. Sunday, October 21 | Noon - 4 p.m.

Scan the tag for more information about the Get the free mobile app at event. http:/ / Photograph courtesy of Cathy Adams

Homewood Middle School students line up on their first day of school.

Tr ees & Shr ubs•Herbs•Per ennials•Camellias•Fall Lettuces •Fer ns•Biannuals•Natives•Winter Annuals•Irises•Hostas •Bedding Plants•Hostas•Daylilies



Homewood High School freshmen students met with Principal Dr. Zack Barnes and Assistant Principal Amanda Esslinger on the first day of school to kick off the school year and discuss the expectations of HHS.

School House

Homewood’s community garden

BB&T and Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC recently volunteered to assist in improving the Homewood City Schools’ new Community Garden located at the old Homewood Middle School site. BB&T selected the Community Garden as one of its BB&T Lighthouse Projects, a company-wide community service effort

held in May and June every year. With this project, BB&T purchased materials and assembled 10 community beds and a compost bin for the garden. Brasfield & Gorrie’s co-ops and interns built the footing for the future pavilion and constructed the base for the garden’s welcome sign.

Eight Homewood students named National Merit Semifinalists



Jody Brant

Brasfield & Gorrie co-ops volunteer their time to assist with improving the Community Garden.

| October 2012 |

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Front row: Allise Fortinberry, Maggie Williams, Rebecca Riley. Back row:  Christopher Atchison, Jacob Helf, Grant Smith, Zachary Blomeley, Edward DeMetz.

Eight Homewood High School students were among 16,000 semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship program, representing fewer than one

percent of high school seniors. Due to their achievements on the PSAT, these students will compete for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships to be awarded in the spring.

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Respiratory Sleep Associates 2900 Central Avenue Suite 130 205-871-1977 Third grader Abigail Pugh with her grandmothers, Mildred Stephens (left) and Ethel Pugh (right), during GrandPals Day.


| October 2012 |

Homewood events 10/1-31– The Bell Center’s Annual Poinsettia Sale. Poinsettias are $17 a piece. Visit Call Denise Williams, 879-3417. 10/1-11/17– Red Dot Student Show. 5– 9 p.m. Red Dot Gallery. Ceramics, paintings and drawings done by Red Dot students will be available for viewing. Visit 10/3– Homewood High School Golf Tournament. Fees include $125 for individual players, $500 team sponsorship, $250 hole sponsorship and $1,000 eagle sponsorship. Proceeds benefit HHS baseball and softball team. Call HHS Athletic Department, 871-9663. 10/3– John Krontiras Book Signing. 4 p.m. Alabama Booksmith. Signing copies of Beloved Family Recipes. Call 870-4242. 10/4– Homewood High School at John Carroll Catholic High School. 7 p.m. 10/5– Chonda Pierce Live. Love. Laugh. Comedy Tour. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center at Samford University. General admission is $22 or $19 with a group of ten people or less. 10/6– Samford University vs. Citadel University. 3 p.m. at Seibert Stadium. 10/8– Hall-Kent Elementary School PTO Meeting. 5:30 p.m. Call 423-2430. 10/8, 22– Homewood Praying Moms Prayer Express. 8 a.m. Hart and Soul. Email prayingmomsofhomewood@ Visit prayingmomsofhomewood. 10/8- UAB Faculty Brass Quintet. 7 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church. Concert will feature music of Calbert, Bernstein and Ewazen. Free. Call 871-1416. 10/9– City Council Runoff Election for Ward I. Homewood Park Recreation Center. Runoff will be between Danielle Benfield and Britt Thames. Call Board of

Calendar of Events Registrar’s Office of Jefferson County, 3255550. 10/9– Alabama Symphony Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall. Concert Master Daniel Szasz will present Contemporary Visions, which will feature world premieres from University of Montevallo’s Joseph Landers and Samford University’s Sarana Chou. Student tickets are $12 at the door. Call 975-2787. Email 10/11– Homewood Chamber 11th Annual Golf Tournament. Noon. RTJ Oxmoor Valley Course. Proceeds go to the Homewood community to create scholarships and programs promoting the chamber and the community. Call Homewood Chamber Office, 871-5631. 10/11– Samford University Legacy League Fall Luncheon. 11:30 a.m. Vestavia Hills Country Club. Call 726-2247. 10/12– Homewood High School Sylacauga High School. 7 p.m.


10/13– Samford University vs. Appalachian State University. 3 p.m. Seibert Stadium. 10/14– Hall-Kent Elementary School Fun Run. 2 p.m. Registration is $10 and includes a t-shirt. Call 423-2430. 10/16- Homewood Chamber of Commerce Legislative Round Table Luncheon. Panel moderated by State Representative Paul DeMarco. Samford University Pete Hanna Center. 11 a.m. Visit homewoodchamber. com. 10/18- Third Thursday Wine Down. Downtown Homewood shops stay open past 5 p.m. Held by Homewood Chamber of Commerce. 10/18- West Homewood Night Market. 5- 8 p.m. Shades Valley Community Church, 160 Oxmoor Road. Produce, arts and crafts, live music and dinner. Visit

10/19-20– Laura. 8 p.m. Homewood Library. South City Theatre will present a spooky play. Tickets are $25. Visit southcitytheatre. com/reservations.html. 10/20– Hall-Kent Elementary School Fall Festival and Auction. 4 p.m. Events will include rides for adults and children, inflatables, a silent auction and more. Call 423-2430. 10/20– Homewood Middle School Breakfast in the Gym. HMS will be hosting a choir fundraiser in the cafeteria. 10/22 – Homewood Primetimers Halloween Party. Homewood Senior Center. Seasoned Performers will host Halloween Party with live music, dancing and more. Register Friday before event. Call 332-6500. 10/26-28– Alabama Ballet’s La Sylphide: A Witch’s Revenge. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center at Samford University. Tickets range from $30-$55 and are $20 for students and children. Visit 10/26– Fall Festival. 6 p.m. Dawson Memorial Baptist Church. Food, inflatables and games for all ages. More information: 10/26– Bray Wilkins, Catch a Rising Star. 7:30 p.m. Brock Recital Hall at Samford University. Call 322-6737. 10/26– Homewood High School Talladega High School. 7 p.m.


10/28– Art Sale. 9 a.m. Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. Needlework, oil paintings, woodcarvings, and more will be available. Call Fran Robertson, 529-3336. 10/28– Fall Festival. 5 p.m. Oakmont United Methodist Church. Silent auction, bingo, cakewalks, free hotdog supper and children’s games. Visit 11/1– Lakeshore Pioneer Golf Tournament. 9 a.m. Highland Golf Course. Benefits the

26th Annual Pioneer Classic, a prestigious wheelchair basketball invitational. $75 per golfer. Call Jennifer Chandler, 313-7436. Email

Special events 10/1-31– Old Baker’s Farm Fall Harvest. 3 p.m.- dark, Monday through Friday. 9 a.m.- dark Saturday. 1 p.m.- dark Sunday. Admission: $10 per person. Old Baker’s Farm is located in Harpersville. Visit . 10/4-7– Southern Women’s Show. 10 a.m. BJCC. Jewelry, handbags, cooking classes and more. Visit 10/4-7– Antiques in the Garden. Botanical Gardens. Arts, jewelry and antiques will be presented by nationally renowned dealers. Visit 10/6– Hikes for Tykes at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Noon. Children will engage with nature through hands-on biology, storytelling and movement. Call 414-3900. 10/6– Bark in the Park. Veteran’s Park. Alabaster. Live entertainment, children’s activities, vendors and the Mutt Strut. Free admission. Benefits Shelby County Humane Society. Email 10/6– Pink at Pepper Place Breast Cancer Awareness Event. 7 a.m. Pepper Place Market. Cooking demonstrations, fresh produce, artisan cheese and bread and special products and vendors catered to breast cancer survivors. Visit cancer. 10/7– 3rd Annual Cahaba River Society FryDown. 11- 4 p.m. Alabama amateur catfish fryers will square off for the in a festival to celebrate the beauty and significance of the Cahaba River and to raise money for the Cahaba River Society in Trussville Springs. Visit 10/8– 25th Anniversary Celebration. 6 p.m. Hot and Hot Fish Club. Cooking Light’s 25th anniversary celebration will feature a

| October 2012 | 12-course walkabout menu of Southern specialties done “light,” signature cocktails and Back Forty beer. Proceeds will benefit FoodCorps. Visit Hot25Event. 10/11– American Red Cross Blood Services and Shelby Humane Society Partnership. Caldwell Trace Donor Center. All blood donors will be able to adopt a fully neutered, spayed and micro-chipped pet for free. Call DeNita Young, 577-3477. 10/11– “Brown Baggin’ it at the Bell.” 12- 1 p.m. Lunch and Learn. Email Denise Williams, 10/12-14– Barber Vintage Festival presented by Triumph Dealers of North America. Events will include an air show, road racing, motocross and stunt shows. Tickets start at $20 and children under 12 are admitted free. Call 967-4745. 10/13– Heights Village Halloween Hustle 5K. Awards will be given for best adult and children’s costumes. Proceeds will benefit Autism Society of Alabama. 3126 Heights Village, Cahaba Heights. Visit or visit 10/13– Old Baker’s Farm Western Cowboy Day. 9 a.m.- dark. Visit

10/20-21– Fall Plant Sale Botanical Gardens. 9- 5 p.m. on Saturday. Noon- 4 p.m. on Sunday. Visit 10/26– Living History Day. Old Baker’s Farm. Civil War Demonstrations including artillery firing and old-fashioned soap making. Tickets are $7. Lunch is not included. Visit 10/27– 71st State Farm Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola. Legion Field. Tickets starting as low as $20. Call 9674745. 10/27-28– Old Baker’s Farm Cotton Pickin’ Celebration. 9-5 p.m. Visit www. 10/28– Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show. 1-5 p.m. BJCC. Tickets are $10 a piece. Email Visit 11/1– Episcopal Place Bishop’s Dinner. The Club. Episcopal community outreach to low-income seniors and disabled adults. Tickets are $75 a person. Visit

Music and Art 10/4-6– 39 Steps. 8 p.m. Terrific New Theatre. Visit 10/4-7, 11-14– The Color Purple. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday. Red Mountain Theater Company. Tickets: $30 to $35. Visit

10/13– Heritage Festival. Jefferson Christian Academy. Call Wendy Burrows, 956-9111. Email wburrows@ 10/13– Fiesta 10 Anniversary Celebration. 12– 7 p.m. Linn Park. All Hispanic cultures will be celebrated and all patrons will leave with a rich appreciation of Latino neighbors. $5 for adults. Free for kids 12 and under. Visit th

10/5-6– Alabama Symphony Orchestra. 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall. Stefan Sanderling will be leading in Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. More information:

10/14– Break ‘n Bread Food and Wine Festival. 1 p.m. Railroad Park. Tickets: $35. Children twelve and under get in free. Visit

10/6– Mike Epps. 7 p.m. BJCC. Tickets: start at $37.50. Visit php#. 10/11-14, 10/18-21 – Driving Miss Daisy. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Virginia Samford Theatre. Tickets: $30 for center, $25 for right and left. Call 2511206. 10/12– Fred Thompson, Book Signing. 4 p.m. Alabama Booksmith. Fred Thompson’s Southern Sides: 250 Dishes That Really Make the Plate. 10/12-14, 19-21 – Ramona Quimby. ACTA Theater. Call 655-3925. 10/13– The Trumpet of the Swan. 6 p.m. BJCC. Presented by the Birmingham Children’s Theater. Call 458-8181. Email 10/13– The Gingerbread Man. BJCC. Presented by the Birmingham Children’s Theater. Call 458-8181. Visit 10/15– Bill Finch, Beth Maynor Young, Rhett Johnson, and John C. Hall Book Signing. 4 p.m. Alabama Booksmith. Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See. 10/20– Eric Church. 7:30 p.m. BJCC. Tickets starting at $37.50. Visit php?cn=420. 10/26– Battle of the Bands. 6- 10 p.m. BJCC. Featuring Alabama A&M University versus Alabama State University, along with nine fraternity and sorority shows. Tickets: $20 preordered, $25 at door. Call 458-8400. 10/26-27– Alabama Symphony Orchestra. 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall. Ingrid Filter will play Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto Number 1. Call 975-2787. 10/31– Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove. BJCC. Featuring Disney princesses such as Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and more. Call 800-745-3000.

10/7– Bonnie Raitt. 7:30 p.m. BJCC. Tickets range from $40 to $70. More Visit



CONTINUED from page 1 later contracted ovarian cancer and was put through grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments. “It truly has been a family battle,” she said. Since her reconstruction surgery, Hawkins has been cancer free and celebrates life every year at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She organized a Komen team at UAB where she is getting ready to retire from her position as a technician in the immunology lab. “It’s nice to have an organization like the Komen Foundation to help breast cancer patients through the disease,” Hawkins said. “When my mother was diagnosed, there were no support groups or outlets available. Support is one of the main reasons I made it through sane!” With more support from her husband, Billy Shannon, and her sons Sean and Brian, Mary is looking forward to spending her retirement continuing to volunteer at her church, Our Lady of Sorrows, and spending time with her grandchildren. “The main advice that I would give to women (battling breast cancer) is the three things I remembered during my experience, Hawkins said. “One, find support. It makes the experience easier. Two, educate yourself. Know all possible treatment plans and what your comfortable with. And three, follow your instincts and continue to get yourself tested.” Looking back on her life, Hawkins takes a positive outlook on her experiences and encourages others to do the same. “Breast cancer changes your life to a certain extent as you feel your mortality every day,” she said. “It takes a lot less to make you happy after you’ve survived it then before you had it.”

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8:56 PM

| October 2012 |








































































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An Open Letter From A Stage 3 Cancer Survivor To Anyone Else Who Craves ... Life.Conquered. My name is Erin King, and this is my “Life Conquered” story. It was November 1st, 2010, when I faced the stark reality of how short life really is. I was only 27 years-old when the doctor diagnosed me with stage 3 breast cancer. The lump measured 9 centimeters, and had spread to 8 of my lymph nodes. As you can probably imagine, the following surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments robbed me of my hair, took a beating on my body, and stripped me of my self confidence. It was during this challenging time I knew I would have to choose which attitude I would adopt. I chose to conquer cancer and live my life! I still had one radiation treatment to go when I joined Iron Tribe Fitness. I decided to start classes anyway, because I need more energy. And did they ever deliver! I have never attended a workout class (of any kind) where the coaches motivate you as much as Iron Tribe. Even my teammates constantly push me. I remember the day I saw people doing pull ups, and I said to myself, “That’s impossible. I could never that.” Today, I’m thrilled to announce, “I do the impossible!” Iron Tribe has given me back the confidence cancer’s toll took on my body. Cancer put me on my back; Iron Tribe put me back on my feet. Now, I’m in nursing school because I want to help other cancer patients. Iron Tribe is much more than just fitness. Iron Tribe is ... LIFE. CONQUERED. .

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The Homewood Star October 2012  

News, sports, and entertainment from Homewood, Alabama

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