Page 1

The Homewood Star | April 2011 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood

Volume 1 | Issue 1 | April 2011

Name the catepillar pg 7

Children’s Dance Foundation pg 6

Lovoy’s pg 8

Standing strong: Siblings battle rare disease By Rick Watson Matt Suther of Homewood had lost his job with a local maintenance company last July when he and his wife, Chelsea, discovered that their 6-year-old son Gage had contracted an upper respiratory infection. When doctors drew blood, Gage’s platelets came back at 50. Normal readings fall between 144 and 400. The physician said the low readings could be the result of the infection, but when Gage returned a few weeks later, the readings were still at 50. This resulted in a trip to the hematology clinic at Children’s Hospital of Alabama and within a few weeks the diagnosis was in — Gage had Fanconi anemia, a rare and dangerous disease. Shortly after Gage was diagnosed, they learned that their other child, Stella, who is 5, also has the disorder. Often abbreviated to FA, Fanconi anemia is an inherited genetic recessive disorder that leads to bone marrow failure, making it extremely likely that children will contract leukemia and cancer. “We were devastated,” Chelsea said. “Some people say they feel like they were punched in the stomach when they hear news like this, but it felt more like I’d been stabbed in my soul. All I ever wanted was

April Features • Editor’s note


• Mayor’s Minute


• Children’s Dance Foundation 6 8 • Restaurant Spotlight • Homewood Star Fashion

Building underway on The Hill


• Homewood Shining Star


• Spring Home Tips


• Homewood Sports


• Lauren Denton


• School House


• Calendar of Events


Visit us online. Like us on facebook.

See Siblings, PAGE 11

Plan to improve West Oxmoor Intersection By Rick Watson


• Entrepreneur Spotlight

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

Gage Suther, 5, and his sister, Stella, 6, have been diagnosed with Fanconi anemia. Their family, Homewood residents, needs support to afford travel for treatment. Photo by Shay Allen.

to have children, and to have both of them affected by FA, I can’t think of anything more devastating.” Although Stella is not yet in bone marrow failure, Gage is, and the family is preparing for Gage to undergo a bone marrow transplant. According to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, the average life expectancy for a patient with FA is 24.7 years, although there are now patients living into their thirties and beyond. Patients who have had a successful bone marrow transplant and been cured of the blood problem associated with FA still must have regular examinations to detect cancer, the foundation said. During a recent interview, Chelsea quickly wiped away the tears when Gage came into the room. Her blue eyes sparkled and her face lit up as she said, “Hey Buddy, what have you got there?” Gage offered up his Mario game with which he was playing. “He’s all about Mario and music,” Chelsea said with a smile. She won’t discuss the painful topics as long as the children are within earshot. Regardless of what the data on FA patients show, Chelsea and Matt refuse to let go of the belief that their

Rendering of The Hill, a new apartment community planned for downtown Homewood.

By Anna Cate Little Ground is breaking on phase two of the Hallman Hill project, which will introduce an upscale apartment community — known as “The Hill” — to Homewood. “The Hill will be appealing to postcollege individuals that want a nice place to live in a great location that’s fun with a lot of activities but who aren’t quite ready to buy a house,” said Jim Dixon, president of Arlington Properties. The Homewood Gardens apartments on Oxmoor Road are being torn down to make way for the 122-apartment development. Work is estimated to take about 15 months. Dixon said the complex will feature “high-quality, modern homes with high-end kitchens and open floor plans.” Also included in the residents’

c i r b a F e f i L f o

amenity package will be a large clubhouse that holds a fitness center with modern equipment and classes; a cyber café with full kitchen, TVs and Wi-Fi throughout; and an outdoor area with pool, kitchen, television and comfortable seating to host events and parties. The apartments will mostly be one and two bedrooms with only nine threebedroom homes offered. Most of the tenant parking will be gated to set it apart from surrounding retail traffic. The aim is to target a younger crowd who will not only enjoy a luxury living community but also the multitude of shopping, food and entertainment establishments within walking distance. When addressing the concern that

The mixing bowl where Interstates 65, 20 and 59 merge has long been called “malfunction junction,” but Homewood has a challenging intersection of its own: West Oxmoor Road at I-65 is often known as “the turkey’s foot” — and a few other choice names we can’t print in a family newspaper. The problem is that when travelers exit from I-65 south onto Oxmoor Road and head west, the road becomes confusing and sometimes dangerous. The intersection has been on the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) list for improvement for years, but a lack of funding kept the project on the back burner. Recently the city obtained a commitment from the federal government to match funds to pay 80 percent of the tab for the project, leaving the city to come up with the remaining 20 percent. The total price tag will depend on the total scope of the project, but the last estimate available to the city was for $5 million — making

See The Hill, PAGE 16

See Intersection, PAGE 19

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| April 2011 | The Homewood Star

Hello Homewood Welcome to The Homewood Star – your Homewood community newspaper. The Homewood Star is a monthly publication intended to strengthen your sense of community and help enhance your life here by bringing you stories about events taking place, the issues that challenge us, and the amazing people and their stories that make Homewood the special and unique place that it is. We want to celebrate the achievements of our

Editor’s note

Ashley Berkery, Dan Starnes, Anna Cate Little, Blake Rhodes, Lauren Denton, Susan Sutton, Keith McCoy and Madoline Markham

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers Anna Cate Little | Susan Sutton | Lauren Denton Rick Watson | Blake Rhodes | Will Hightower Alison Grizzle | Merrick Wilson | Madoline Markham

Contributing Photographers Shay Allen | Je Vois Photography Rick Watson

Publisher Dan Starnes

Editor Ashley Berkery

Creative Director Keith McCoy

Published by Homewood Star LLC

Sales and Distribution Dan Starnes Angela Morris Catherine Cooper Loveman

Contact Information: The Homewood Star #4 Office Park Circle, Suite 206 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.

Putting together our inaugural issue of The Homewood Star has meant so much more to me than writing articles, selling advertisements, and organizing content. It has meant rediscovering why Homewood is so unique and why I have chosen to raise my family in the same neighborhood where I was born and raised. It has meant reconnecting my past to my present, reminiscing with old childhood friends, and even realizing that some girls I danced with at Homewood High School actually live right down the street from me. Over the past few months, I have had several interesting conversations about this paper with people in our community, and whether by phone, email, or out and about with my son, everyone is excited that we now have our own Homewood newspaper. We have so much to be proud of: our outstanding public school system, strong government, our commitment to green space, excellent parks, a wide variety of youth sports programs, fabulous dining, and quaint shopping districts. Homewood is home to seven nonprofit organizations, and this month we showcase Children’s Dance Foundation, an organization that is impacting lives

citizens, the successes of our school system, and cover subjects that interest you. Since most of our staff lives here, and even a few of us grew up here, we have a real interest in our city and a love of its history. We want this newspaper to be your vehicle, your voice, and your bragging spot. Please contact us and let us know what you like about The Homewood Star, and any stories that you think we should know about.

city-wide. We are blessed to have special neighbors who make a difference in our community. I hope you enjoy reading our “Shining Star” article this month on Ben Wayne Gibson, Junior. I also hope we will come together as a community to support The Suther family, our neighbors who are living daily by faith for the health of their two children. We are excited to have our own local writer, Lauren Denton, offer a fresh perspective each month in her column “Ordinary Days” on what actually makes all things Homewood so special. We look forward to bringing you top news stories related specifically to our community, and to highlighting area restaurants, businesses and Homewood events. I welcome your comments or story ideas - anything that you think would make our newspaper better. You may email me at with your thoughts. It is an honor to be your editor and I look forward to working for you in the days ahead.

About Our Staff Dan Starnes, Publisher Dan Starnes is originally from Cedartown, Georgia. Now a Homewood resident, he moved to Birmingham in 2004 to work in the golf business. The realization that his golf game was too poor to make a profession of it and extraordinary luck landed him in publishing. Dan attended the University of Georgia and is a big Bulldog fan. He also publishes 280 Living, a community newspaper serving the 280 corridor from Liberty Park to Chelsea and Village Living in Mountain Brook. He can be reached at Ashley Berkery, Editor Ashley grew up in Homewood and graduated from Homewood High School in 1993 where she was a member of the Homewood Patriot Marching Band as a Star Spangled Girl. She majored in communications and French at Auburn University and worked at a public relations firm in Atlanta for two years after college. In 1999, she returned home where she received her Master’s in French education at UAB and taught high school French for eight years in the Birmingham City Schools district. She now owns her own wedding and event planning agency, ashleycopelandinc. She and her husband, Jon, live in Homewood with their son, Noah. She can be reached at Keith McCoy, Creative Director Keith McCoy grew up in Starkville Miss., and graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in graphic design. He and his wife, Erin, moved to Birmingham so she could attend grad school at UAB. Keith is also the Creative Director for 280 Living and Village Living. Keith can be reached at Keith@280

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The Homewood Star | April 2011 |

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| April 2011 | The Homewood Star

Mayor’s Minute HOMEWOOD



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Homewood Central Park to host citywide Easter Egg Hunt Bring your kids and your Easter baskets to Homewood Central Park on Saturday, April 16 at 11 a.m. for the annual citywide Easter Egg Hunt. Children ages 1 to 12 will be divided appropriately into age groups, including a special needs group.

There will be 10 prize eggs awarded to each age group. The Easter Bunny himself will be on site to take pictures with the kids. For additional information, please contact Rosie Kelly at 332-6182 or 871-7304.

Annual We Love Homewood Day scheduled for May 7 Homewood residents all know what the first Saturday of the month means – it’s We Love Homewood Day! This year the event falls on May 7. Sponsored by Buffalo Rock, CW 21 and My 68 WABM, We Love Homewood Day offers many family friendly activities throughout the day beginning at 10 a.m. at Homewood Central Park. Kids will enjoy rides, games, and inflatables, while adults will enjoy bidding on a variety of silent auction items that will be on display in the community center. Of course, thanks to the West Homewood Lions Club, who can forget about the slow- cooked barbecue that is cooked over an open pit with hickory wood all night prior to being served? This 25-year-oldfundraiser will take place from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. with a large portion of the

proceeds invested back into the Homewood community. Come turn back the clock and experience medieval culture with demonstrations of armored combat sponsored by The Society of Creative Anachronism. Mayor Scott McBrayer will present the Quality of Life Award to a deserving Homewood citizen, and a treasure hunt will have cool prizes up for grabs, including a year free membership to the community center and pool. The We Love Homewood Day Parade will begin at 6 p.m. at the Homewood Library, traveling west to the Edgewood Business District, where awards will be presented followed by live entertainment and a street dance. Merchants will be open serving food and beverages. The fun lasts until 9 p.m.

Dear Homewood Friends, Serving as your Mayor over the past two years has been such a wonderful experience for me. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to represent you moving the City of Homewood in a positive and forward direction. I look forward to many updated letters in this new and exciting forum called The Homewood Star. I really appreciate Dan Starnes for allowing me the space to share with you ideas and plans that are exciting for our City. For the past two years our City has completed the fiscal year with a budget surplus. I am very proud of the fact that the idea of operating a City as if it were a business is catching on. My department heads have taken on the responsibility of running their departments as if they are a private business, and I expect them to be profitable. We have proven to the

City Council we will not ask for more than is needed and they have been very supportive of me and my efforts. For that, I am truly thankful. I remind the council from time to time that if we can forget our titles while we are at City Hall and come together as a group of neighbors elected by our neighbors, the results will be much better for our city as a whole. We all try to work together towards common goals that will benefit each resident, each business, and ultimately our City of Homewood. There are several exciting capital improvement projects already being discussed and some have even started. New sidewalks are being constructed now from Green Springs Highway down Broadway to join existing sidewalks. This project should be completed in 90 days. Other sidewalks such as the ones on Devon Drive have been completed and the residents have been very happy with the outcome. Plans are also being discussed to enhance the West Oxmoor Road intersection and I have already appropriated up to $35,000 for new striping along West Oxmoor. Other items being discussed are the expansion of the Green Way, new facilities for our Police Department, construction of a new recreational center at Central Park, and improvements to Patriot Park. Again, it is an honor to serve you and we ask that you pray we make wise decisions that will benefit our city and promote a quality of life unique to Homewood. With kindest regards I remain, Sincerely,

Scott McBrayer Mayor City of Homewood

Public hearing set for Capital Projects Fund On April 25 there will be a public hearing to receive input and feedback regarding the Homewood City Council’s Capital Improvement Program for the Capital Projects Fund for the 2011 to 2016 fiscal years. The hearing will be part of

the city council meeting at on the second floor of Homewood City Hall, 1903 29th Avenue South. The hearing time will be set after the March 28 city council meeting; check for updates on the hearing.

Wellness and Spirit Run scheduled for first weekend in May Homewood High School will kick off Wellness Weekend with a fitness fair, pasta party, race registration, and packet pickup on Friday, May 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. in anticipation of the Homewood City School Spirit Run the following Saturday morning. Local businesses in the fitness industry will be participating in wellness expositions, and students in Homewood City School Physical Education programs will demonstrate various fitness activities such as Zumba, Dance Trance and Spinning. Local colleges also will present topics relative to health and fitness. The HHS Cross Country Team will host a pre-race pasta party in the high school lunchroom, with all proceeds benefitting the cross country program. At 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, the Homewood City School Spirit Run (5K, 10K and 1 mile fun run) will begin at the entrance to the HHS main office and continue through Shades Creek Greenway and HHS campus. The course will be fun and flat with entertainment on the actual course provided by the HHS Marching Patriot Band. A rock band will be playing at the finish line. Awards ceremony will take place at We Love Homewood Day after the parade in the Edgewood district.

Runners at the starting line of a previous Wellness and Spirit Run at Homewood High School.

The Homewood Star

| April 2011 |


City Council swears in newest member Peter Wright is the newest member of the Homewood City Council following the resignation of Coucil Member Allan Trippe. The Homewood Star editor Ashley Berkery interviewed councilman Wright to find out how he sees the future of our city.

best interests of Homewood. Lastly, we have a vibrant downtown shopping district that we want to keep happy, and I hope we can give some attention to improved parking down there. Q: What do you anticipate being one of your biggest challenges as council member?

Q: Peter, tell us a little bit about yourself. What brought you to Homewood and how long have you and your family lived here? Well, I’m from Tuscaloosa originally. I attended college at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and worked in Roanoke, Va., in television news for two years following graduation. I loved it there, but Alabama is home. In fact, after two years in television news in Virginia, I returned to Alabama and worked at WSFATV for four years primarily covering state politics in Montgomery. After that experience, I ventured to law school at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where I grew up and my parents still reside. It was after graduation from law school that I finally made my way to Birmingham to work as an attorney (currently with the firm of Sirote & Permutt, P.C.) and came upon Homewood as a place my wife and I wanted to live. We’ve been here for 16 years now, and it is a perfect fit for us. We have a 7-year-old daughter, McKeever, who is in second grade at Shades Cahaba Elementary, and a 3-year-old son, Oliver, who will soon be following suit. I couldn’t ask for a better place for my family. Q: Congratulations Peter on your new position with the Homewood City Council. What inspired you to get involved with the council, and what is first on your agenda to tackle? I’ve always had an interest in trying to perform some type of public service, and I should add that it’s an easy thing to do

The biggest challenge I have right now is just learning the ropes. The other council members have been pretty gracious with helping me, but I have been a bit surprised with the variety of items that come before the council and the work to be done to stay on top of the issues to make sure you make the right decision. I’ve been appointed to the Finance Committee and find the tasks of checking expenditures and safeguarding the tax dollars a bit daunting as well. Q: Do you have past history with governmental affairs, and if so, explain how you feel your experience will help you in moving forward with your new position on the Homewood City Council.

New council member Peter Wright.

when you have a deep affection for the community. However, since I’ve been here, my area of Homewood has always been well served and represented by former councilmembers, so there was never a burning desire for me to seek a council position. Then, former council member Allan Trippe stepped down to focus more on his work, and the opportunity presented itself. One thing led to another and to my surprise, here we are. I think my daughter is still the one who is most excited. As for work to do, I want to make sure we as a community stay on the forefront of the Highway 280 expansion and do what we can to protect Homewood’s interests with that project. That is a big deal for Ward 5 that I represent. On a smaller scale, I’m already getting notes and emails about


keeping those streets paved and requests for more sidewalks that have been so well received in my neighborhood. Q: What are some positive changes on the horizon for our community? One exciting project on the horizon may be a revamping of the Homewood Recreation Center. That building has been around for many years and is in need of some TLC, if not a complete overhaul. Also, the council is currently looking at prospects of extending the popular greenway trail into portions of West Homewood near the Wildwood Shopping Center. There is a lot of enthusiasm connected with greenway projects these days, and we want to make sure that any such extension will be in the

I don’t really have a past history with governmental affairs other than as a former news reporter that regularly covered state government and city council matters. I have found that experience pretty helpful though, as I feel comfortable in this environment because I have at least been exposed to it before. That is not to say that I’m used to being on the government side of the decision process, however, because I’m not. This is my first opportunity to serve the public in such a manner. So, with that, I’m just planning to put in a little extra time and work hard to make sure I fully understand the issues that come before the council and be extra diligent to try and make good decisions for Ward 5 and the City of Homewood as a whole.

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| April 2011 | The Homewood Star

A community of dance Children’s Dance Foundation impacts many

By Susan Sutton At first glance, the Children’s Dance Foundation seems like a regular dance studio offering ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap, student ensemble, drama and musical theatre for all ages and abilities. But beyond the brisk movement of ballet shoes and the sound of live musical accompanists lies an artistic spirit at the 36-year-old dance foundation that inspires and connects many local children and families. Take for example the excitement of one 6-year-old resident of Grace House Ministry, a Christian home for girls from crisis backgrounds, who regularly attends classes at the Children’s Dance Foundation. “Even when class is over, she still dances around the classroom by herself,” said Arlene Godwin, education coordinator at Grace House. The 6 year old and other girls from the Grace House visit the Children’s Dance Foundation each week to blend in with kids from traditional homes and to CDF students Grace Elliott, Abby Logue, Emily Kachelhofer, Alex Ferguson and Kendall Ferguson. learn to dance and act and to have opportunities like other kids their before,” Godwin said. otherwise have the opportunity to learn age. “We like this partnership because it’s Special funding enables the nonprofit dance or drama. There are other partners an opportunity for us to expose our kids to Children’s Dance Foundation to provide like Grace House, and as long as funding cultural activities that many have not had scholarships for kids who might not is available, Diane Litsey, the foundation’s executive director, said the program will continue to support and grow this outreach effort. “Community is who we are and what we do everyday,” Litsey said. The Children’s Dance Foundation was founded in 1975 by Jennie Robertson to teach ballet to young children. She quickly learned that a traditional style of teaching was not the best approach for younger kids – it was too structured and didn’t allow for wiggling and silliness. So, Robertson began to teach using stories, books and more creative movements to harness who these kids were as children and to lay the foundation for a lifetime love of dance. Robertson’s new style of teaching was a success, and the benefit for students today is the variety of art being taught and enjoyed. Ballet is still core to what they teach, but ballet naturally begets jazz and modern dancing, which lend themselves to acting, which in turn opens the door for musical theatre, making for a wide range of courses. “The core mission of the Children’s Dance Foundation is to get people moving, being joyful and being creative. Everything comes from that,” Litsey said. The foundation employs a staff of teachers who have a depth of experience or degrees in dance, music and theatre. To elevate the quality of the classroom experience, the foundation provides a live pianist to accompany the teacher whenever possible. “There is a wonderful collaborative flow and a whole different energy to the room with a live musician,” Litsey said. There are many reasons kids and adults enjoy the Children’s Dance Foundation. Kendall and Cate Fowler have taken multiple classes at the foundation. Kendall is a seventh-grader at Homewood Middle School and is currently taking an acting class that was preceded by two years of musical theater. “I like that I know all of the kids in my class and our teacher is really tolerant of all of our talking,” Kendall said. Kendall’s younger sister, Cate, a fourth-grader at Edgewood Elementary, takes jazz and has two years of ballet already behind her. She said she has made many new friends and says that her teacher

Ms. Alisa makes dancing more fun. The Children’s Dance Foundation also travels around the city to take dance to prekindergarten kids or children who have special needs or disadvantages. They stop at organizations such as the Bell Center for Early Intervention and the Samford Children’s Learning Center. “This type of outreach is the heart and soul of what we do,” Litsey said. Math in Motion, a school touring program, travels all over the state and beyond to teach kindergarteners through sixth graders about math using music, movement and everyday objects and to ultimately share their love of dance. The math program has been such a success; they’ve added a new program called Magic Circle which uses hoops, loops, narrative and of course movement to teach. This program is appropriate for young kids up to eighth grade. The foundation also offers classes for 3- and 4-year-old boys and is a popular spot for birthday parties. Throughout the year, they host and sponsor special events such as the Alabama Dance Festival, a Mad Hatter fundraising party and Two to Tango, where folks can learn the tango while supporting community programs offered at the foundation. The foundation also allows community artists to use their workspace. Partnership curriculums include Irish Step Dancing, Flamenco, Community Drum Circles and much more. The foundation is gearing up for summer. This time of year, they keep kids learning and moving through weeklong themed camps. Their StageDoor Youth Theatre Company is currently working on a production of “John Lennon and Me;” performances will take place in late June. They’re almost ready to register for fall. Saturday classes and classes for young children fill up fast, so watch the web site closely for signups to open. The Children’s Dance Foundation is located at 1715 27th Court South in downtown Homewood, just north and west of the main street shops. For more information, visit www.

The Homewood Star | April 2011 |

Name the caterpillar 30 years. “We really see this as a fun community event,” said Fran Jones of, which is holding the contest along with NeighborGoods and Homewood Parks and Recreation. “We hope that everyone will get a kick out of having a part in naming the Homewood Caterpillar,” she said. Individuals can make name suggestions at www.inhomewood. com until April 9. A panel of local dignitaries will narrow the suggestions to the top five, and beginning April 12 Homewood citizens can again visit the site to vote for their favorite name. The winning name will be revealed on We Love Homewood Day on May 7. “The caterpillar is such a fixture in Homewood,” said Alison Brown, a Homewood resident and mother of two young girls. “So many times we have been headed to the park for a play date, and I’ll tell the other moms to meet us at the caterpillar. It will be so much more fun to be able to call him by a name! My daughter can’t wait to submit a suggestion.” Kathleen Camp of NeighborGoods sees this as an opportunity for Homewood Anna Brooke Harris climbs her way to the top of the merchants to get into the spirit of Homewood Central Park caterpillar. the occasion. “By all means, if area For years he’s been an upstanding merchants have caterpillar merchandise, member of our community. In fact, some this is the time to prominently display it might even call him the unofficial head to show your support and enthusiasm for of Homewood Parks and Recreation. naming our beloved caterpillar,” Camp But nobody knows his name. It’s time to said. Every child who has climbed to the change that. Citizens of Homewood now have the top of the caterpillar’s head is bound to opportunity to name the iconic bright red be excited for a chance to name it. It’s not caterpillar at Homewood Central Park. every day you and your children have the The statue has been the central figure of opportunity to name a landmark in your the children’s playground for more than city.

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| April 2011 |

Homewood Flavor



By Alison Grizzle

Restaurant Showcase

1830 29th Avenue South 870.9811 Some of my earliest childhood memories of Lovoy’s restaurant entail “Aunt Anne” sitting at the cash register and the red-and-white checkered table cloths with the paper placemats that made for great coloring tablets. My family often reminds me of the night there when I drew a picture for the president – a sketch of the White House with a picture of grits on the dining room table. For years, I ordered the baked manicotti. Once the plate hit the table, it was only minutes before it was clean. The plate was not only clean of the manicotti but also all of the sauce, which I would sop up with the basket of garlic bread that was delivered with every meal. One of the great things about Lovoy’s is that the meal was never a surprise. I always knew that it would be exactly what I expected and would never be a disappointment. As I grew older and learned that variety added a bit of spice to the restaurant experience, I started to explore other dishes and have found just as much pleasure from the Italian sausage and green peppers, ravioli, and baked lasagna. I also learned to slow down and not hoard all of the garlic bread. Regardless of my order or my eating strategy, Lovoy’s has never left me dissatisfied. Lovoy’s has a long, rich history in Homewood and is truly part of the city’s tradition. The restaurant recently moved to SOHO, and their recent facelift has given the restaurant a fresh, classy look while maintaining the high-quality, delicious food that we have all grown to expect. I must be honest: I was a bit nervous that the move would take away some of the enjoyment that surrounded my usual visits to the restaurant of my childhood. Over the years, my friends and I have shared much fellowship and many laughs at the tables of Lovoy’s. Well, I have made a few visits since the move, and the few changes that have been made don’t distract from the family tradition but, instead, help to bring the restaurant into the current decade. They have replaced the plastic red and white tablecloths with nice red and black linen tablecloths; the salad bowls have been replaced with nice small square plates; and the new bathrooms are exquisite. I was also concerned that they would double all of the prices to match the high-class of the new location, but to my surprise, the meals are still extremely affordable. In addition, the changes have not affected the food; I still found the same comfort in the food and the same familiarity. The location is new, but the joy and the feeling is the same. When Dan Starnes, the publisher of “The Homewood Star,” told me that his third paper would be for Homewood, I

Veal Parmigiana at Lovoy’s. knew that I would have to cover Lovoy’s as a restaurant spotlight because to me, Lovoy’s is “Absolutely Homewood.” We all agreed and decided to make a night of it. We requested that owner, Zac Lovoy, join us for dinner and enlighten us with the history of his family’s restaurant. Lovoy’s originally opened in 1954 downtown on 4th Avenue and moved to its longtime 420 Greensprings Highway location in 1964. Zac discussed at length the emotional struggles that accompanied the decision to move from Greensprings Highway. After hours of contemplation, he heard his grandfather’s voice telling him to look to the future and make the move. To my dismay, I found out that he scouted locations all around the city, including places down Highway 280 and near Patton Creek. But Zac knew that his roots and his heart were in Homewood. He believed that the location in SOHO would be his future. Listening to the story, I lost my breath because I could not imagine Lovoy’s with a home anywhere outside of the Homewood limits. I guess that many people felt the same as I; the new location served 60,000 customers in the first ninety days of business. Many customers appreciate the distinctive flavors of Lovoy’s food. Zac said that regulars can tell if a special cheese mixture has been changed. At one point,

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one of his distributors disbanded, and he could not secure a special ingredient. When he finally tracked this ingredient down, customers commented that the cheese had returned to perfection. The recipes used at Lovoy’s are old family recipes that came over from Sicily with his great-grandmother in 1870. In addition, Kim Cook and Nadine Walker have been in the kitchen for 37 years. The meatballs are always the same size because they are determined by the size of Kim’s hand. When Zac’s father, a former co-owner with his uncle, became ill, he told Zac to go to the fireproof box in the garage and retrieve some wooden bowls and to keep them in a safe place. Zac had no idea what they were, and his father would not tell him. When he grew older, he became interested in some of the old family recipes. As he began to experiment with the family tradition, he found places in the recipe that would call for “a small bowl of” or “a large bowl of” – then he understood that the bowls were the key to truly understanding the longtime family recipes. Amidst all of the intriguing conversations, we had an amazing dining experience. We began our meal with fried zucchini and baked oysters. I have had the famous oysters numerous times over the years, but I did not know what I was

missing by not ordering the fried zucchini. We then had Italian sausage with peppers and onions, stuffed shells with an alfredo sauce, and veal parmigiana. All of it was superb. To be honest, we didn’t do a very good job of sharing because everybody was immersed in his or her own selections. Then it was time for dessert. We had strawberry cheesecake, spumoni and tiramisu. The cheesecake and the tiramisu both came in a wonderful dessert glass and melted in your mouth. I found out that Zac has these two desserts shipped in on dry ice from an Italian restaurant in New Orleans. This restaurant experienced major problems during Katrina, and he was not able to get his desserts. He sampled many distributors but could not find anyone that offered the same quality of homemade desserts, so he took the items off the menu. A couple of years later, the family called him and told him that they were reopening and would only be wholesaling to two restaurants, one of which was Lovoy’s. He happily accepted because it was part of the Lovoy’s tradition. For Homewood residents, Lovoy’s is a tradition that embodies the spirit of Homewood. We are fortunate that Lovoy’s is as much a part of Homewood as Homewood is a part of Lovoy’s.

The Homewood Chamber of Commerce welcomes The Homewood Star, our new hometown, community publication.

Homewood Fashions | April 2011 |


Homewood Star Fashions By: Blake Rhodes

Bye Bye Boots! It’s time for your feet to come out of hibernation. Say goodbye to the snow, go get a pedicure and begin your spring shoe shopping spree! I discovered some amazing shoes while shopping at Shoe Fly. For a daytime look, I found these adorable woven wedges in gold (also available in black). Also, I spotted these animal print platform wedges that made me swoon followed by Carrie Bradshaw’s voice in my head, “Hello Lover.” The perfect pair for a Saturday of running errands would be a pair of ultra cool gladiators. And for a night time look, I found these sexy black and silver heels with a side buckle – great price too at $49! There are so many options for spring shoes. But if your budget doesn’t allow you to buy them all, you need to decide what your closet is missing most. My suggestion would be to invest in a pair of nude peep toe pumps and a pair of black or brown gladiators— they go with just about everything. If you are not the type to wear a lot of color in your wardrobe, your feet are the perfect place to incorporate a pop of color. I am a huge fan of yellow shoes. Most people think that you are limited with what you

multi-chain necklace accented with coral stones and a bracelet. Or put on a big, bold ring as your statement piece. If you tend to err on the edgy side, pick up one of Soca’s leather studded cuffs to add to your outfit. As model Nikki Picha shows, you can have on a simple white tee, skinny jeans and flats and add these trendy pieces of jewelry to pull your look all together. Soca is one of my favorite places for accessories! An alternative accessory for your new spring look could be a bright or pastel scarf. Understated and classy. Find an array of scarves at a.k.a Girl Stuff. A scarf is my goto accessory! Prints like florals and stripes will make a solid colored top pop. I love the way a printed scarf looks with a lightweight trench coat for a spring daytime look. I have heard many women say, “I want to look more polished!” Footwear and accessories are what pull an outfit together and give it a polished look. And don’t forget your most important accessory —your smile!

Soca Clothing’s Nikki Picha models a gold multi-chain necklace on a simple white tee.

Animal print platform wedges at Shoefly.

can wear with them. Nonsense! You can put yellow shoes with anything. In fact, if your closet is full of basics—blacks, whites, and neutrals—all you need is a colorful pair of shoes to kick it up a notch. It could be any color. One of my favorite red carpet looks last year was worn by actress Anna Kendrick (“Twilight” and “Up in the Air”). She looked oh-so-stunning in a strapless navy print dress with a pair of adorable yellow ruffle heels.

Update last year’s wardrobe with some fresh accessories. This year’s trend is boho-chic which means 70s style but sophisticated. Think modern day Mary Tyler Moore! Soft-hue colors of camel, coral, mint green, blue, pink are what to look for. For example, you probably already have a pair of trouser jeans and white button-up blouse in your closet. So add a camel belt and pair of wedges to complete the outfit. Complement this look with a long gold

Boho-chic accessories at Soca Clothing.


Welcome Spring at

Phoebe Couture

2724 Cahaba Rd. in the Center of the Village ph. 871-9696

Elene Cassis


| April 2011 | The Homewood Star


30th Annual

Art Show April 9th

Entrepreneur Spotlight Homewood T-shirts “HomeTees” celebrate one-year anniversary They’ve got spirit, yes they do. They’ve got spirit, how about you? Homewood residents and relatives Kelly Dorough and Paula Smalley teamed up in April 2010 to showcase their hometown spirit and love for Homewood by designing HomeTees, a T-shirt line reflecting Homewood as a classic community and a great place to live. With Kelly’s business background (a former real estate agent and pharmaceutical sales representative) and Paula’s creativity (Paula is currently a pre-school teacher at All Saints Episcopal), the family members launched their line at We Love Homewood Day festivities last year. “The response over this past year has been overwhelming,” said Kelly, whose original thoughts about launching the designs were simply, “Why not? What do we have to lose?” The product speaks for itself. This past Christmas, Kelly and Paula were invited

Saturday, 9AM - 4PM

to showcase HomeTees at a Holly Days event at the home of Jennifer Lee, owner of Jennifer’s Kitchen. The T-shirts, along with sets of Homewood cups, had tremendous success, practically selling out on the spot. HomeTees were also sold at MerryMakers Market at Edgewood’s Short ‘n Sweet Consignment Shop and at the Holiday Open House in downtown Homewood. Kelly explains their marketing efforts are mainly word of mouth for now and laughs at the fact they wear Homewood shirts almost daily. HomeTees are available in navy and white with prices ranging from $15 to $22. Sizes are available in youth and adult. Homewood cups are also available in sets of four for $10. HomeTees makes it easy to purchase their goods; simply email to place your order. Gift wrap and delivery are also an added convenience for customers. New designs Kelly Dorough and Paula Smalley.

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are updated via Facebook on the HomeTees page, and local retailer Edgewood Creamery also carries the Homewood merchandise. Kelly says the best way to buy a shirt is at the creamery “where you can leave with a shirt and a yummy ice cream cone!” Kelly says true Homewood spirit will certainly be evident May 7 at We Love Homewood Day. What better way to show your spirit than arriving in a HomeTee? After all, as the back of the shirt says, Homewood is a great place to call home.

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The Homewood Star

| April 2011 |


Homewood Shining Star Ben Wayne Gibson Jr. By Ashley Berkery If you shop in the Publix in The Edgemont Center on Greensprings Highway in Homewood, you have mostly likely heard, “Hey Wayne,” a time or two. That’s because Ben Wayne Gibson Jr. works there. An encourager with his words and actions, he is a true light to those who are blessed to know him and cross paths with him. He has worked there since the store opened in 2003. His smile is contagious and he greets everyone who enters and leaves the store with a friendly, “Hello.” To those he knows personally, Wayne always asks about their family and is quick to reach out for a hug. He is quick to keep customers updated on his sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew, who live in Germany. “Wayne is a people person,” said his mom, Dawn Gibson. “Don’t be surprised if he asks to come to your party if your grocery cart has yummy items in it.” Wayne, 37, finished Homewood High School in 1994 after attending Homewood Middle School and Shades Cahaba Elementary School. When he walked across the stage at his high school graduation, his mother says he received the loudest applause of any other member of his class. In the fall months, Wayne is eager to tell customers the score of the Friday night Homewood High School football games. He enthusiastically directs the band in the stands after they have performed the halftime show on the field. His mother says that Wayne is very musical. “He steadily directs with the tempo and he knows when the cut off is coming to all of the songs,” she said. Wayne’s first official job after high school was bagging groceries at the former

Siblings, cover story children can beat the odds. Chelsea said she keeps on a good face most of the time, but sometimes it’s not easy. “I honestly wouldn’t want to be here without them,” she said. The fact that there is no known cure makes it worse for the Suthers. “I never thought I would say, I wish it were something as simple as leukemia, because if it were just leukemia, it would be better,” she said. When this ordeal started out, leukemia was their worst fear, because they’d never heard of FA. When they were waiting for a diagnosis, FA was one of the possibilities that came up during their research. “It scared me so badly that I couldn’t even read about it,” she said. Currently the Suthers are in a watch and wait stage. “It’s like there’s this huge countdown and you don’t know where the clock is,” Chelsea said. Doctors are waiting on Gage’s blood count to get low enough to perform the bone marrow transplant, but not low enough for him to rely on blood transfusions for survival. The more transfusions he has, the more complicated the transplant becomes. So far, Gage has not had to have any transfusions, but he’s come close a few times. Once Gage’s body gets to a point where the bone marrow transplant can be performed, the family will take him to one of the centers specializing in FA bone marrow transplants in New York, Boston, Cincinnati, or Minnesota. The couple is trying to decide between New York and Minnesota where the results appear to be more promising. The Suther children both have insurance that covers most of the medical procedures, but it will not cover the expenses incurred by the family during the procedure. The Ronald McDonald house offers affordable lodging and local transportation to and from the hospital for family members during the child’s stay, but

Ben Wayne Gibson Jr.

Winn-Dixie in the Palisades. Ben Wayne Gibson Sr. said that Wayne started out simply greeting customers in the front of the store while his mom shopped, and eventually he began to help them to the car with their groceries. “Anyone who shopped at Winn-Dixie knew Wayne and knew his friendly attitude,” his dad said. When Wayne’s dad approached the store manager to inquire about Wayne applying for a paying position, the manager surprisingly looked at Mr. Gibson and said with a smile and a chuckle, “Wayne has already asked me for a job, and I have already hired him.” In his spare time, Wayne loves to watch the new big screen television he received for Christmas. He also enjoys eating out, and frequents the Homewood Diner in West Homewood. Since he loves all things Italian, he enjoys going to New York Pizza in Edgewood with his dad. Homewood is a special place because of special people like Wayne Gibson. I am honored to know him, to have grown up with him, and to call him my friend. Wayne is a star shining brightly in our community. To nominate someone for the Homewood Shining Star, email ashley@thehomewoodstar. com. the air travel, food, and other expenses the family incurs will be considerable. Once Gage’s blood values get low enough, doctors will give him chemo and radiation to stop his immune system. This normally takes about seven days. During this delicate procedure, he will be in a sterile environment. Then they will administer the new bone marrow intravenously. The new bone marrow finds its way to the bones and his body adopts the new marrow as his own. But for now, it is wait and see for the Suthers. To look at the children, it’s difficult to believe they have any health issues. “They eat well, and they play well,” Chelsea said. “They are not sick as one might imagine.” Chelsea, who is 36, graduated from Berry High School and Matt, who is 33, graduated from Homewood High. While they didn’t know each other in high school, they shared the same circle of friends. In 2003 she was working at a local convenience store where Matt bought gas and snacks. He was too shy to talk to Chelsea at first, so she decided to ask him out. They later were married and started a family. After being out of work several months, Matt returned to his job with Residential Maintenance Incorporated before Christmas. Chelsea home schools the children and works nights at Sephora. She said she and Matt are holding strong for each other. “That’s a real blessing,” she said, “but there’s an elephant looming in the room and you can’t forget about it, even for a second.” If you would like to donate to help with the travel expenses and other costs incurred by the family, you may go to any local Branch of Regions bank and make a donation to the Gage and Stella Suther charitable account or mail a check to: The Gage and Stella Suther Charitable Account C/O The Homewood Star PO Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253.

2925 18th Street South • Homewood 205-871-0585 •


| April 2011 | Homewood Spotlight

HOMEWOOD ANTIQUES & marketplace |

Business Spotlight

930 Oxmoor Road (205) 414-9945 For more than four years, Edgewood’s old Village Furniture building lay vacant and lonely while rumors of what was coming swirled: Will it be a Trader Joes? A taco joint? Instead, last September Chris Collins and her family brought to life Homewood Antiques & Marketplace, a shopping destination that perfectly complements the charm and personality of Homewood.

Treasures galore fill the 10,000-squarefoot space, from funky pots, benches and artwork scattered along the sidewalk to handmade gifts and stately antiques inside. Sixty vendors (and counting) inhabit the marketplace, and items are priced at exceptionally reasonable rates. Customers can simply browse the everchanging selection of rare furniture and décor or seek out a custom-made item from the array of artisans that offer their talents. Custom services include monogramming, engraving, upholstery, baby bedding, fineart printing and framing, and furniture restoration, to name a few. “We wanted a one-stop shop, something for everyone… new gift items that start at a dollar or rare antiques that cost $1,000,” said owner Chris Collins. “You name it, we sell it.” With all the home renovations taking place in Homewood and beyond, this is truly the place to come and outfit your abode with flair and originality. Soon, an in-house decorator will be available to tie together all the marketplace offerings into one convenient package. Delivery service is also available. Collins said the store is off to a roaring start. Already at Christmas, the “regulars” came in with their Christmas lists. “That was really fun,” Collins said. “We’ve come a long way in a short period of time.” The ribbon of retail and dining at the corner of Broadway and Oxmoor has seen a boost in popularity in the past year with quite a few new businesses. As for the building, which has been two groceries


Article and photos by Anna Cate Little

Homewood Antiques & Marketplace owner Chris Collins and her mom, Jane Kiker.

and two furniture stores in the past, Collins knew it was just the place for her business. “I’ve been coming here since I was a teenager, so I already knew this space had the ambiance and character that we wanted,” she said. Open seven days a week, patrons include everyone from after-schoolers counting out their change to moms with

strollers perusing the kid’s corner to upscale decorators searching for gems. But the common theme here is Edgewood’s family-friendly atmosphere. “This is a family effort, which is also true to Homewood’s feel,” said Collins, who works alongside her husband, mother, sister and son. “It has a neighborhood feel. That’s what we wanted and it is working!”

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The Homewood Star

| April 2011 |

Tips to freshen up your home

By Blakely McGarity Harmony Landing Interiors

A bistro table, oversized pillows and a lamp freshen up this porch seating area.

You don’t have to complete a decorating overhaul to update your home. Work with what you have and add in a few new things to give your home a fresh, updated look without busting the budget. Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction: Use a versatile palette. Go neutral, but infuse some life by combining a variety of textures. Neutrals make it easier to change your look more often and keep your home up to date. Open floor plans are all the rage, but sometimes they make it difficult to define a space. By adding a rug or floating a piece of furniture you can visually divide the space. Don’t overlook your outdoor space.

You can easily extend your living area by decorating a porch or patio. There are so many great outdoor fabrics that can make outdoor living just as comfortable as your living room. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. So many sofas and bedding come with coordinating pillow fabrics. The “matchy matchy” look can be a bit obvious sometimes, so try mixing patterns. Don’t be afraid to mix in a funky floral with a small scale stripe or a bold geometric print with a smaller scale geometric print. Try to use one element to give a room some impact. A great rug, a piece of art, or a cool architectural piece. These things not only give a room impact but they help anchor a room and tie everything together.

Assistance League of Birmingham opens new store, Encore

Ribbon cutting ceremony at Encore.

The Assistance League of Birmingham, offering more than 30 years of philanthropic services to our community, has recently added a new addition to their program. Encore, a new thrift shop run by the allmember volunteers of Assistance League of Birmingham, funds three philanthropic programs: PrimeTime Treasures, a unique craft shop with hundreds of gift items, jewelry, crafts, art, furniture, children’s clothes and toys all handcrafted by Alabama seniors; Operation School Bell, which provides new clothing, personal care products and new books to children in need; and Operation Literacy, which provides one-on-one tutoring to children who are reading below grade level. “Business has been great with our new thrift store,” said Barbara Kelly of the Assistance League of Birmingham. “Customers are so pleased with our low prices and the quality of our merchandise at Encore, and it is wonderful that Encore and PrimeTime Treasures are driving each other’s sales.” Encore receives donations of

consignment items on Mondays between 10 a.m. and noon. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For more information on donations or how to become a member of Assistance League of Birmingham, please call 205870-5555 or visit the website at www.

Operation School Bell recipients.

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| April 2011 | Homewood Sports

Homewood Sports

Homewood’s Hubbard pitching in the pros By Will Hightower When the community of Homewood last saw Austin Hubbard, the athlete was headed to Auburn after an illustrious multisport career at Homewood High School. These days, the 23 year old is starting his

second season in minor league baseball with the Tampa Bay Rays. Hubbard is a relief pitcher, a specialist called upon in the last few innings of games. In the 19 games he pitched for the

Austin Hubbard pitched for the Hudson Valley Renegades in 2010. Photo courtesy Hudson Valley Renegades.

Hudson Valley Renegades in Upstate New York, he allowed a mere two runs, making his ERA an unheard of 0.39 on the season. These tremendous results on the mound earned Hubbard, only one year out of Auburn, a spot on the Class-A Short Season All-Star Team. One of the most prolific athletes in Homewood High School history, Hubbard led the football team to back-to-back 5A state championships. He passed for 5,347 yards and 52 touchdowns in his career at Homewood, and was 5A Player of the Year as a senior. Even though he broke multiple football records and had some of the best seasons of anyone in Alabama state history, it was not his top priority. “I always thought of myself as a baseball player who played football,” Hubbard said. “Football was just something I played for fun. When colleges were recruiting me to play football, it was easy for me to say no because baseball was what I had always loved most. Baseball was truly my first love.” Playing under the tutelage of Doug Gann and Keith Brown at Homewood, Hubbard pitched a school-record 99 strikeouts and was named All-State as a senior. “Austin was an outstanding athlete who really learned what it meant to compete at a high level as he matured throughout his career,” Brown said. “He knew what he was capable of and where he wanted to go, as far as getting to the next level, and he worked his tail off to get there.” His senior season earned him a spot in the ALBCA Super 100, a showcase for college baseball prospects. Auburn scouts were watching and offered the athlete a scholarship at the even. Two days later, Hubbard was touring the Auburn baseball facilities with the coaches and his parents. As they were leaving, the

coaches told him they wanted a decision as soon as possible. As he was heading past Momma Goldberg’s Deli on the way out of Auburn, however, Hubbard made his decision. “I told my parents we needed to turn around the car,” he said. “I went back into the coaches’ office and committed right there on the spot. It was really cool because I was just a kid playing baseball in high school, and suddenly I was committing to the highest level of baseball.” He started slowly but ended his career at Auburn strong. He broke the Tigers’ record for saves in a season with 12, attracting the attention of pro scouts. Hubbard was drafted in the 14th round of the senior draft. Now, after having finished his first season of pro ball with the Renegades, Hubbard reflects on the season and how he got there. “It’s a grind,” he said. “You play 79 games in 82 days, and the All-Star events are two of the off days. So I only had one off day in the entire season.” Apparently, the long bus rides aren’t as miserable as the movies portray. “We are on buses four times a week,” he said. “But it really isn’t bad when you have a bunch of guys to talk to about baseball, girls… whatever dude talk is. All of us are interested in similar stuff. The Latin kids try to teach us Spanish, and we try to teach them English. It’s not that bad.” When asked if he ever wonders how he made it into professional baseball, Hubbard answers confidently and without hesitation: “I’m just trying to be the person Coach Gann and Coach Brown always wanted me to be. You give back what is given to you, and they gave me so much.” Homewood to the big leagues is a road less traveled. But Austin Hubbard is forging his own path right towards his hopes and dreams of making it in Major League Baseball.

HOMEWOOD PARKS & RECREATION Senior Center Activities

Games Bridge: Tuesdays, 8:00am-Noon & Wednesdays, 10:00-Noon Dominoes: Tuesdays, 8:00am-Noon Poker: Tuesdays, 1:00-5:00pm & Fridays, 1:00-5:00pm- bid with nickels/dimes Bingo*: Thursdays, 8:00-11:00am & Fridays, 9:00-11:00am *Cost for Bingo is $0.25 plus $0.05 per card Creative Arts Drumming for Fun: Cultivating Community Spirit, Stress Relief, Self-Expression and Physical/Mental Stimulation. Join internationally recognized clinician/teaching artist John Scalici or one of his protégés for this energizing, interactive Get Rhythm! program. All equipment provided. Wednesdays at 10:45am. Pottery: Practice pottery techniques with guidance from Center member Christy Wood on Wednesdays at 10:00am. At this time, there is no materials fee. Check the website’s Senior Center page periodically for this. Painting: Sharon Espenlaub will provide materials for acrylic painting projects. When working with a group, she will offer instruction for a particular subject/themed

project. If the class consists of just one or two participants, more individualized projects may be selected. Wednesdays, 12:30-2:00pm plus an occasional Saturday. $10 materials fee.

& 2nd grades cheer together, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades have individual squads. Please visit our website for more information:

Social Activities Saturday Dances: 1st Saturday, 6:00pm, sponsored by Birmingham Ballroom Dance Association. $10. 2nd & 4th Saturdays, 6:00pm, are sponsored by Shirts & Skirts Square Dancers. Dance Lessons: Line Dance $5, Ballroom Dance $5, and Tango classes $10. Call the Senior Center for more details.

Men’s Summer Adult Basketball League An organizational meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00 p.m. at the Homewood Community Center in room 100. All participants must be 19 years or older. All games will be played at the Homewood Community Center gym and Lee Center gym on Wednesdays or Thursdays beginning in early June. The minimum number of teams is 7, maximum number is 10. Fee includes officials, scorekeepers, trophies and tournaments. The fee per team is $400. Contact Linda Sellers at 332-6706 for more information.

Movies: 1st & 3rd Thursdays at 12:45pm. If you have movies to loan on DVD, please call Activities Assistant Kristen Peek at 3326501. Ladies’ Day Out: monthly lunch trip to a different restaurant each time. Bring your pocketbook!

Athletics Homewood Youth Cheerleading HYC are a dynamic group of girls who are excited to cheer for the Homewood Youth Football League. HYC is a community cheerleading program for girls in grades 1st through 6th who live in Homewood and/or attend Homewood Schools. The girls are organized into 5 squads by grade level – 1st

Tennis with Dave Luesse Programs & Events Offered Private and Group Lessons Kids USTA Team Tennis Kids Group Clinic and Rally Ball Adult Singles Park League Adult Mixed Doubles Park League Adult Tournaments (Singles, Doubles & Mixed) Novice Future Stars Tennis Circuit 2011 For more information on any of these programs or events, please contact Dave Luesse 967-5875 or 901-9243

Homewood Tennis with Jenny Robb

Homewood Tennis is a progressive plan of junior development designed to meet the needs of every child interested in learning to play tennis and to reach individual goals ranging from recreational play to college scholarship. The PLAY Program Ages 4 – 10. The PLAY Program is designed to teach children the basic fundamental techniques and tactics of tennis in a fun and positive environment. The emphasis is on simplifying the game so kids can enjoy tennis from the very beginning. Classes utilize concepts of the QuickStart format, which features modified courts and equipment to maximize the learning process. The PERFORMANCE Program Ages 11 – 18. The Performance Program is designed to advance fundamental techniques and tactics of players actively competing in USTA tournaments, local leagues, and school tennis. The emphasis is on developing proficiency in competitive situations. For more information, please contact Jenny Robb at or 205-902-1188. For detailed information on all programs, please visit www.

Homewood Sports

| April 2011 |


Fitness at Homewood Community Center

Summer Camp & AfterCare

Firm Body Bootcamps

Returning 2010 Summer Campers: Return registration form and payment to Homewood Community Center Main Office from April 11th – April 21st, 2011. 8 am-5:30pm; Monday thru Friday.

Firm Body Bootcamps is an intense fitness program designed to help you lose body fat and tone. Every time you come it’s a different workout so you never get bored. To try your free week visit Class time available are MWF 5:30 am-6:30am and 6 pm

Personal Training - Royce Head

Royce Head, ACE certified trainer and former owner of Homewood Personal Fitness since 1999, now offering small group weight training sessions at the Community Center weight room for only $10 per session. This is a very affordable alternative to one on one personal training. Call Royce for appointment- 945-1665

Belly Dancing with Aziza

Homewood Community Center Auditorium The class fee is $60 cash only. For more information contact Aziza at 879-0701 New classes begin: Beginner: May 10 Intermediate: May 11 Advanced: May 12

Show-N-Prove Bootcamp Small Group Personal Training/BootCamp Sessions Trainers: Sho, NASM CPT -N-Prove, NASM CPT; YogaFit Email: Phone: 205.413.1327 Mon., Wed., Fri. @ 12noon Tue., Thurs. @ 5:45AM-6:45AM

Jazzercise Burn up to 600 calories in one fun and powerfully effective 60-minute total body workout. Go to jazzercise. com for class information or call 1 800-FIT-IS-IT. Call your Homewood class owner, Leisa Crossley at 205 481-0895 for class days and times. The original dance fitness program, Jazzercise! 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! Homewood Community

Center now has two instructors offering classes: Homewood Community Center Zumba Classes Instructor: Camille Scruggs Contact Info: 256-452-2500 or email Days & Times: •Tuesday 5:30-6:30pm - Zumba Calorie Burn Session! • Thursday 5:30-6:30pm - Zumba Toning! • Saturday 9:00-10:00am - Zumba in the AM! Instructor: Marshea Contact Info: 205-643-0034 or Days & Times: • Tuesday 10:00-11:00am • Thursday 10:00-11:00am

Camp Dates: June 6th – July 29th, Ages: 4-12

Registration Procedure

Homewood Residents not enlisted in Summer Camp 2010*: Registration forms must be mailed in with payment. Cannot be postmarked before April 25, 2011 Non-Homewood Residents*: Registration forms must be mailed in with payment. Cannot be postmarked before May 2, 2011

Lee Center Activities

* Mail in registration forms MAY NOT be brought into Park Office in a stamped envelope. They must be received via mail carrier and postmarked with the appropriate date. * Mail in registrations must contain payment in full for Summer Camp and AfterCare (if applicable) should be included via check or money order to HOMEWOOD PARK. Should payment not be included, registration will be deemed incomplete and not accepted for consideration.

Site: Lee Center Date: Saturday April 16, 2011 Time: 9:00am – 10:30am Please come and join us for a morning of enjoyment, excitement, food and fellowship at no charge.

Camp Fee (9:00am – 2:00pm) $250 for Homewood Residents; $25 discount per additional child $500 for Non-Homewood Residents; no additional child discount


AfterCare Fee (2:00pm – 5:30pm) Must be enrolled in Summer Camp to attend AfterCare $200 for Homewood Residents; no additional child discount $400 for Non-Homewood Residents; no additional child discount

Lee Center Easter Breakfast

Site: Lee Community Center Dates: Tuesday Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm Fee: None Instructor: Jackie Tally This class is sponsored by St. Vincent’s Hospital the Good Health School. A chair exercise class designed to stretch and strengthen the body for improvement in physical and mental health. For additional information call 332-6182.

Hula Hoop Fitness Class

Site: Lee Community Center Dates: Tuesday ongoing Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm Fee: $50.00 / 6 weeks or $10.00 a class This class includes instruction on stretching, dance & fitness moves while hoping in a relaxed atmosphere to burn up to 600 calories in one hour. Our handmade adult size hoops make all the difference and provided in class. Email us for more information:

Registration forms can be picked up at the Community Center Main Office beginning April 1st.

Other Activities Howlynn Obedience Training We Train you to train your dog Director: Irene Lynn, 205-879-5966 or UAB444@ Puppy Instructor: Phillip Whitlow Classes Offered: Puppy Class & Basic Class Cost is $125.00 for 6 weeks; meet Monday at the Homewood Community Center from 7 – 8 pm depending on size of class

Children’s Activities at Homewood Community Center 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! Dates: 3rd session: March 10 – May 7 (no class Mar 14-18) Day: Thursdays Times: 3:30 – 4:15 pm for Ages 3-5 4:15 - 5:00 pm for Ages 6 & up Fee: $80 for Homewood residents, $85 for non-residents

Young Rembrandts

Draw amazing things with Young Rembrandts! We believe that drawing is a skill that can, and should be learned by all children. Our weekly classes are for boys and girls 5 to 12 years of age. Class will be held in Room 100 at the Homewood Community Center. Enroll anytime—all new lessons each session and each year. Please contact Chris Roberson at 943-1923 for more information or to register.

Kindermusik with Kelly Alligood

Kindermusik is the best choice in programs for you and your child. 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 are held January through May and August through December. Enroll now! Call me at 205-552-6129 or email me at for more information. You may also visit my website at http://kellyalligood. for more information or to enroll

Birmingham School of Dance

Classes Offered: Jazz/Tap/Ballet Combo Class Ballet and Fairy Tales™ and Tap Combo For the young dancer with little to no dance training. Students will improve coordination, posture, flexibility and concentration by practicing the fundamental concepts of ballet and tap. Many props are used in this exciting class! Each class will also investigate character development through the study of traditional fairy tales and imagination Dancenastics ™ This is cheernastics redone! This class will be a combo class of cheerleading, tumbling and dancing. Students will learn short routines to fun music like High School Musical and Hannah Montana. Students will improve coordination, concentration, balance, and rhythm through dance and

cheerleading. For more information on Birmingham School of Dance: Call: 945-3094, Email:

Swim Lessons

Swim Lessons are offered through the Homewood Recreation Swim Program. The instruction is provided by the Certified Lifeguard staff. The main objective of the class is to teach kids to be “water safe.” Each class is two weeks long, meeting every day (Monday – Friday) of the two week period. The first session begins on June 6th and the last class begins on July 18th. The classes are limited to only 24 children per session, per location. Please do not ask for adjustments to the controlled number of participants. Registration begins Wednesday, April 13th at the Homewood Community Center. The fee is $25/Homewood residents and $50/Non-residents, per child. For more information please contact Linda Sellers at 332-6705


Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Homewood Community Center from 4:00 pm – 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


16 |

April 2011 | The Homewood Star

Church offers food price relief At about six o’clock in the morning on a recent Saturday, a semi-truck pulled in front of Edgewood Presbyterian Church on Oxmoor Road and dropped off more than 100 boxes of food. A few hours later cars began pulling up, and volunteers delivered the boxes out to the cars. “This box cost $31, and it will feed my family for about a week,” a local Angel Food customer said. “I would probably pay close to $60 for the same food in the grocery store.” The recipients had ordered and paid for the food, priced significantly below retail, earlier in the month from Angel Food Ministries (AFM) in Atlanta. AFM is a nonprofit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief to communities throughout the United States. It uses bulk buying power and volunteer distribution to keep costs low and help cash-strapped or price-conscious consumers get more for their food dollars. AFM food is available to anyone, regardless of income, with no application required. In addition to the mixed boxes in

various sizes, Angel Food offers special meat, poultry, seafood, gluten-free foods, fresh fruit and vegetables and after-school snack boxes. “We’re excited about a new $24 box Angel Food made especially for children,” Church Coordinator Melissa Tate said. “Nothing in it requires refrigeration, so it is good for families without refrigeration or for anyone to keep on hand to use later or to give to others. And it has food kids can actually prepare for themselves if need be.” Edgewood Pastor Sid Burgess said the church has been the host site for Angel Food for almost three years. “We distribute around 75 - 150 boxes monthly here, and three other host site churches pick up their food from the truck here,” he said. April boxes will be delivered on Saturday, April 23. Menus and ordering details also are available at Edgewood Presbyterian or on the Angel Food or Edgewood Church websites. For more information contact Tate at 871-4320 or visit www. or www.

The Hill, cover story an apartment community in downtown Homewood may face opposition, Dixon said, “this is a high-end place to live where people will spend their money in Homewood as opposed to driving to other communities. They’re going to fall in love with Homewood and want to buy a home here.” Homewood should see an increase in sales tax revenue as well as an eventual property tax increase, and schools will have a net benefit as well. While The Hill will mirror and complement its sister development, Hallman Hill, in terms of material and design, they are two completely separate entities in terms of ownership and lifestyle. Hallman Hill’s condominiums are for purchase only (more than 60 percent have

The Homewood Gardens apartments will be torn down for the new development.

sold) while The Hill’s apartments will be for lease only until the economy justifies a sales environment. “The current residents of Hallman Hill are our biggest cheerleaders for Homewood and for this location,” said Dixon. “They have done a wonderful job of reinvesting in downtown Homewood with this project.”

Chili Cook-off

The Maids Customer Service team is proud to be the Grand Prize winner in the Exceptional Foundation’s 2011 Chili Cook-off! In addition to supporting the

Exceptional Foundation, The Maids team cooked 30 gallons of chili, eight gallons of which were left over and donated to First Light women’s shelter.

Homewood Resident Russell Cunningham along with Bridget Barber and Omar Nazi

Ordinary Days: Simple Pleasures By Lauren Denton Many people would probably say their earliest memories center around family, home or food – or maybe all three. Mine certainly do. One of my earliest memories is of my great-grandmother Nana’s apartment. I was only two years old when she died, but I distinctly remember three things about those visits – Nana would make me macaroni and cheese and show me how to play cards, and she had a cabinet where she displayed glass and ceramic figurines. It’s a small memory, but somehow the feelings of coziness and love have remained with me through the years. Another very early memory involves feeding ducks at the municipal park in Mobile, where I grew up. My mom would stick what was probably stale bread in the freezer to have on hand when my brother, Jake, and I wanted to go feed the ducks. Knowing what I know now and how I look for interesting things to do with Kate during the day, it makes me wish we had a lake with ducks in Homewood! What a fun way to spend a morning. There was always great anticipation as we unloaded out of the car and run for the lake. The ducks, used to being around people, wouldn’t stray too far when they saw us running toward them, as they must have known a snack was forthcoming. Some of my fondest early memories are from times spent at my grandparents’ house in the country just outside Mobile. Jake and I spent countless hours there, spending the night, playing in their vast backyard, tromping around in the woods behind their house, and building things in Papa’s “shop” in the garage. We’d watch as Papa set up his ice cream maker on a sheet of cardboard and filled the canister with rock salt, and we listened to the old thing crank away, churning out creamy yumminess to squelch the summertime heat. We often celebrated Easter at Mema

and Papa’s house. One particular Easter, we kids decided to hide our eggs in the house rather than outside. Maybe it was raining, or maybe we had just exhausted all the hiding places in the yard (which seems unimaginable, as they lived on about seven acres). We hid the eggs over and over inside, always finding a new spot in a rocking chair or piano bench to hide a brightly colored, hard-boiled egg. Mema didn’t mind as long as we remembered where we hid them. Well, as you can expect, one of us forgot where we hid an egg and Mema was the one to locate it several days later just by following her nose. As I think about these early memories, I wonder what will make up my daughter Kate’s earliest memories. As she’s only 16 months old, surely nothing that’s happened so far will take root in her brain, but it won’t be long before thoughts, feelings, and memories of day-to-day life will glue themselves into her little soul, memories that she’ll look back on in the years to come. I pray that those memories will be full of love, laughter, and joy and not a stressedout mama! As many of my early memories are of such simple times, it makes me realize that it doesn’t take much to make a child, or an adult for that matter, happy. We tend to scurry around making sure things are perfect for every gathering, outing, and birthday party when what really sticks with us are people and feelings—the way we felt at a particular time, not necessarily what happened or how perfectly orchestrated it was. As you celebrate with your own families and friends this month, be it for Passover, Easter, or any reason to come together, remember that the memories that stay with us for a lifetime aren’t always those that take a lot of effort, planning, or money. The simplest and least expensive pleasures often fill our hearts the most, whether we’re 17 months old or 70.

Taste of Homewood

daxko was the title sponsor of Taste of Homewood.

Josh Watkins presented the door prizes.

School House

Homewood City Schools is proud to announce the 2010 teachers who have received National Board Certification:

| April 2011 |



Jody Brant

Pam Smith

Joel Brant

Office: 205-942-9696 Cell: 205-305-4348

Office: 800-240-5626 Cell: 256-572-2530

Office: 256-891-0681 Cell: 205-613-7848

NMLS 189545

NMLS 189538

NMLS 189546

• CONVENTIONAL LOANS UP TO $417,000 Elizabeth Stewart - Homewood Middle Leslie Tanner - Homewood Middle Mary Paris - Homewood Middle Pam Yau - Edgewood DeShaundra Johnson - Hall-Kent Delisa Brooks - Shades Cahaba

Amy Hacker - Homewood Middle Rhonda Rush - Homewood High Elizabeth Allison - Edgewood Melissa Dameron-Vines - Homewood High Betsey Peterson - Edgewood

Homewood Middle Skypes other schools

This program allows up to 95% LTV for qualified borrowers

• FHA (HUD) 96.5/LOANS UP TO $271,050

This program allows all funds to close to come in the form of a gift or secured loan. Most flexible program on credit and debt ratios.

• VA 100% LOANS TO $417,000

This program is designed for qualified veterans/national guard.

• JUMBO LOANS From $417,000 to $1,000,000

This program will allow up to 90% loan to value.


100% Loans for Moderate Income.



Elizabeth Stewart’s class Skypes to learn about vocabulary words.

Homewood Middle School special needs teacher Elizabeth Stewart is using technology in her classroom to teach her students and to connect them to other classes in the school system. Stewart’s class used Skype, a software application that allows video conferencing, with Lindsey Martin’s fifth grade class from

Edgewood Elementary School. Martin’s students performed a Reader’s Theater on the Constitution, and Stewart’s were able to ask questions about specific vocabulary words from their performance. Both classes enjoyed meeting each other and learning from each other.

Talent Show on Tap for Hall-Kent Elementary

Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser

Hall-Kent fifth-graders prepare to perform their dance number at the annual Talent Show.

For Homewood High School Baseball and Softball fundraiser at Hamburger Heaven. 1st Row: Emily Grant, Kenny Thompson, Stephanie Roberts; 2nd Row: Ethan Lee, Eric Shatz, Bailey Sutton, Hunter Hornady, Heath Reid, Kirk Roberts (owner); 3rd Row: Ms. Aisha, Ralph Trinidad, Burke Smith, Philip Flach, Stephen Baggett, Grant Smith

Hall-Kent Elementary will host its annual Talent Show at 6:30 p.m. April 8 at Homewood High School. Approximately 245 students will be performing their talents this year. In a continuing tradition, the fifth graders will open the show with a thrilling dance number to “It’s On” by

Camp Rock. New to the show this year will be comedy presentations in between the student performances and a special secretive gravity/black light presentation. Come out to support the students and enjoy a night of family fun.


| April 2011 |

Homewood Events

Homewood Star Calendar

4/3- 7:30 a.m. Talladega Half Marathon with Trak Shak participants. Benefitting Prostate Cancer education and research at UAB’s Division of Urology. For more information call 205-870-7771, The Trak Shak at 205-870-5644, or www.

4/7- 6 p.m. Homewood Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Pelham (Home) 4/8- 6:30 p.m. Hall Kent Elementary Talent Show at HHS auditorium. 4/9- 7 a.m. Assistance League of Birmingham Yard Sale. Basement of PrimeTime

Treasures, 1755 Oxmoor Road in Homewood. 870-5555. Benefits programs of Assistance League of Birmingham.

4/11- 7 p.m. Homewood Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Vestavia (Home) 4/12- 5 p.m. Homewood Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Gardendale (Home)

4/13- Peeps Cuisine at Homewood Library. Grades 6-12. Large Auditorium. All supplies will be provided.

4/15- 7:30 p.m. Homewood Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Oak Mountain (Home) 4/16 -11 a.m. City Wide Easter Egg Hunt at Homewood Central Park. Ages 11-12. For more information contact Rosie Kelly at 332.6182 or 871-7304.

4/16- 7 p.m. Homewood High School Junior/Senior Prom at Rosewood Hall, Soho. 4/16- 9 a.m. Trinity United Methodist Palm Cross Workshop – Fellowship Hall

4/17-8:45 a.m. & 11 a.m. Trinity United Methodist Palm Processional for Children 4/18 – 4/20 -Trinity United Methodist Holy Week Noon Services 4/19- 5 p.m. Homewood Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Altamont (Home) 4/19- 11:30 a.m. Homewood High School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting in school media center. Do not have to be a member to attend.

4/20- 5:30 p.m. Homewood Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Jackson-Olin (Home) 4/21- 5 p.m. Homewood Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Indian Springs (Home) 4/21- 6 p.m. HHS Annual JROTC Awards Banquet and Dance at Homewood Senior Center

Family Fun

4/1-4/30- Southern Museum of Flight Colorful Kite Tales Exhibit and Programs.

Colorful Kite Tales Exhibition chronicles the colorful history and science of kites. Special tours available $7 per person. Group reservations required. Southern Museum of Flight. Call 205-833-8226 or visit www.southernmuseumofflight. org for more information.

4/1-4/30- Every day, 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. Baby Season at the Alabama Wildlife Center. Observe the care of Alabama native wild bird patients. Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park. Free after state park admission- Adults $3/ Children & senior citizens $1. Call 205-663-7930 or visit for more information.

4/2- Program starts at 1pm and lasts 20-60 minutes. Alabama Wildlife Center Get

Wild. Free, monthly family-oriented program promoting bird conservation and stewardship. Each program is hosted by wild bird educators and will feature a different topic. Alabama Wildlife Center. Free after paid admission to Oak Mountain State Park. $3 adult/$1 child. 205-663-7930. Visit www.awrc. org for more information.

4/23 -Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at The Birmingham Zoo. 8:15 am, 9 am, and 10:30 am. Call 879.0409 to make your reservation.

4/30- The Birmingham Zoo Butterfly Encounter opens.

Gardening/Nature 4/14- Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Spring Plant Sale kicks-off with the

Preview Party from 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 in advance (or $50 at the door). Partygoers will also take home a free signature plant, Angelonia, of their choice. The Members-Only Sale, a complimentary perk for Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens members, follows the Preview Party from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

4/15-4/17- Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ 42nd annual Spring Plant Sale. Located

in the Vestavia Hills Shopping Center beside Red Lobster on Highway 31 in Vestavia Hills. One of the South’s largest plant sales, Spring Plant Sale will have more than 85,000 plants available, many starting at just $2. A recordbreaking 7,400 shoppers attended the 2010 Spring Plant Sale, raising more than $260,000 to benefit The Gardens’ educational programs.

4/22- 2 p.m. Homewood Community “Way of the Cross” Processional. 7 p.m. “A Service of Darkness” Trinity United Methodist Sanctuary.

4/23- 8- 10 a.m. Edgewood Presbyterian Angel Food Drive 4/27- Game On at Homewood Library. Grades 6-12 only. Large Auditorium. Join us after school to play Wii, hang out with your friends and eat snacks.

4/30- 2 – 6 p.m.. Edgewood Elementary Spring Festival Wednesday Night Run 5:30 p.m. The Trak Shak every Wednesday rain or shine. Every pace welcome. Call 870.6544 for more information.

Friday Night Wine Tastings 4-6 p.m. The Piggly Wiggly, 3000 Montgomery Highway. Free to the public. Call 879.5238 for more information.

Music & Arts

4/1- 8p.m.. Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents Red Diamond Pop Series.

Michael Cavanaugh. Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Concert Hall. $24- $72. Call 205-251-7727 or visit for more information.

4/7- 5:30- 7 p.m. Birmingham Revealed! 2011 Winter Series Bobby Horton: The Stories of Alabama Folk Art. Vulcan Park. $15. Cash bar available. Call 205933-1409 or visit for more information

4/13-4/16- Southern Conference on Cast Iron Art. Hosted by Sloss Furnaces National

Historic Landmark. For more information contact Sloss Furnaces Metal Arts Curator Paige Wainwright at 205-324-1911 or visit cic.

4/15-16- Widespread Panic with Charlie Daniels Band (15th) and Big Gigantic (16th) .Verizon Wireless Music Center. Admission. Visit http://www. for more information.

4/19- 7 p.m.. Southern Circuit at the Alys Stephens Center. Tour of Independent

Filmmakers & Their Movies. Alys Stephens Center. Admission. Call 205-9752787 or visit for more information.

4/23- 8 p.m.. Jonny Lang in Concert Alys Stephens Center. Admission. Call 205975-2787 or visit for more information.

4/28-4/30- Amadeus. Dane Peterson Theatre Series. Virginia Samford Theatre.

$25/ $15 students. Call 205-251-1206 or visit

4/28-4/30- Alabama Ballet presents American Masterpieces: Lilac Garden, The Other and Three Virgins and a Devil. Also, an original piece by Alabama Ballet’s own Roger Van Fleteren. Alys Stephens Center. Admission. Call 205322-4300 or visit for more information.

4/29- 8 p.m.. One Night of Queen. Alys Stephens Center. Admission. Call 205-9752787 or visit for more information.

Theatre 4/8-4/10– Broadway in Birmingham presents A Chorus Line at the BJCC Concert Hall.

Ticket reservations please call 1.800.982.2787 or online at

4/13-4/17- 7:30 p.m. (2 p.m. Sunday). UAB Theatre presents “Three Sisters.” Regarded by many critics as the best drama of the 20th century. UAB’s Alys Stephens Center Sirote Theatre. $15 and $18. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www. for more information.

Special Events 4/2- 2011 Race Without Limits. Railroad Park. This is a charity event that benefits

United Cerebral Palsy and is an 8K race and 1 mile fun run. Visit www. for more information.

4/9- Birmingham Walk MS. One mile or three mile route option. Check-in opens at 7:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 9a.m.. Celebration at Homewood Central Park afterward. The event is free but we do have teams that raise donations. Call 205-879-8881 or visit Walk/ALCWalkEvents?pg=entry&fr_id=15772 for more information.

4/9- 11 a.m.-2 p.m.. Cajun Cook-off Fundraiser for Girls Inc.Girls Inc. Board of

Directors and Committee of 25 are hosting a Cajun Cook-off to raise awareness and funds for Girls Inc. at Railroad Park. Beer, wine, additional food, music and kids activities available. Admission charged. Call (205) 599-5683 for more information.

4/15- 8 p.m.. David Sedaris. Alys Stephens Center. Admission. Call 205-975-2787 or visit for more information.

4/16- 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.. Vulcan Park and Museum’s 2011 Spring Walking Tour

Series: Highland Avenue – Led by Pam King and Linda Nelson. E $12; $10 Vulcan Members. Space is limited. Pre-registration strongly suggested. Call 205.933.1409 or visit for more information.

4/30- 2nd Annual Bob Syke’s BBQ and Blues Festival. Noon to 11 p.m.. On 19th

Street North between 3rd and 2nd Avenue North which is located across the street from the Bright Star Restaurant. Call 205-243-9492 or visit www. for more information.

Sports 4/8-4/10- Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Come see all your favorite open

wheel racing superstars. Experience the fan zone, car corral, jumbo-trons, autograph sessions, and merchandise. Barber Motorsports Park. Admission. Call 800-240-2300 or visit for more information.

4/15-4/17- Aaron’s Dream Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Part of NASCAR

Nationwide Series. The Aaron’s Dream Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway is the first of two weekends that the legendary track hosts the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Talladega Superspeedway. Admission. Call 1-877-Go2DEGA or visit for more information.

Save the Date 5/1- 1 – 4 p.m. - The 2011 Historic Hollywood Tour of Homes sponsored by Holly Oak Garden Club. Tickets: $15 in advance, $17 at the door. You can purchase tickets at Sweet Peas Garden Shop, Hunter’s Cleaners, Harmony Landing, Urban Cookhouse and from members of Holly Oak Garden Club. Contact Stephanie Kennedy at for more information. Visit for details on the homes.

5/7- 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. We Love Homewood Day at Homewood Central Park. Parade begins at 6 p.m. at Homewood Library.

5/7- 6th Annual Gumbo Gala. Gumbo lovers, do you have the best gumbo in

Do you know of events in our community? We would love to include them. Please email by the 15th of each month for the publication in the next month’s issue.

Birmingham? Gather a team and compete at the 6th Annual Gumbo Gala on May 7, 2011 at Caldwell Park. Benefitting the mission of Episcopal Place. For more information, please go to or call 939-0085.

The Homewood Star | April 2011 |

Wiedrich-Wilson Merrick Nicole Wiedrich and Wesley Gant Wilson were married November 20, 2010, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood. Pastor Andrew Wolfe officiated. A reception followed at Ross Bridge Resort. The bride is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Roger Clifford Clapp Jr. of Starkville, Miss., and Mr. and Mrs. Kim Lowell Wiedrich of Huntsville. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Albert Bardo of Tucson, Ariz.,, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Clifford Clapp Sr. of Florence, Miss., and Mr. and Mrs. Roland William Wiedrich of Bismark, N.D.

Meadows - Harris Mr. and Mrs. William Douglas Meadows of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Ashley Claire Meadows, to Mr. Jack Allen Harris II. Mr. Harris is the son of Mr. Jack Allen Harris and Mrs. Donna Patton Davis, both

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lee Wilson Jr. of Montgomery. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Arlie Genoma Smith of Centre, and Mrs. Carolyn Kelly Wilson and the late Rev. Robert Lee Wilson Sr. of Montgomery. The bride was given in marriage by her fathers. She wore a ruched gown with a crossover sweetheart bodice closed in the back with covered buttons extending into a molded contoured body that fell into a flared skirt and chapel-length train by Augusta Jones. The maid of honor was the bride’s sister, Shelby Wiedrich. Matron of honor was Dejha Weathers. Bridesmaids were Emily Fill, Sarah Garrett, Jordan Mathison, Amy O’Brien, Brooke Thackerson, Teri Varnado, and junior bridesmaid Makenna Mathison. The groom’s father served as best man. Groomsmen were Andrew Cyganiewicz, Jason Fill, Mitchel Frank, Nathan Kennedy, Tim Tucker, Jason Young, Wade Wilson, and junior groomsmen Carson Wilson. Music was provided by organist Jamie McLemore, trumpeter Dr. Leonard Candelaria, the Trinity String Quartet, and Soloist Jennifer Shirley. A scripture reading was given by Jennifer Gillentine. After a honeymoon trip to Bora Bora, the couple is at home in Birmingham. of Birmingham. Miss Meadows is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Leon Meadows of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Mr. and Mrs. Doyle Edward McConnell of Manchester, Tenn. She received a bachelor of science degree in biomedical science from Auburn University in May 2008, where she was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. She is employed as a pharmaceutical representative in Birmingham. Mr. Harris is the grandson of the late Mr. Jack Daniel Harris of Birmingham and Ms. Mary Lanett Harris of Atlanta, and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Barry Patton of Birmingham. He received a bachelor of science degree in architecture from Auburn University in May 2010. He is employed as an architect while working towards licensure in Birmingham. The wedding will take place in June 2011 at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga.

Please email engagement or wedding announcements to

Young Professionals to gather in SOHO The Homewood Chamber Young Professionals (HCYP) is a relatively new organization working to engage, connect and empower young professionals to actively shape the future of Homewood. The goal of HCYP is to connect young professionals to diverse opportunities for networking, professional development and community involvement. A partnership between the Homewood Chamber of Commerce and young professional organizations, HCYP is a place for young professionals who want to get involved and make a difference in their companies and our community. HCYP’s goals work within the Homewood

Chamber of Commerce’s overall vision of becoming a vital resource to maximize the potential of commerce and community. Monthly meetings are hosted in the lobby of the Aloft Birmingham SOHO Square hotel at 1903 29th Avenue South. On Tuesday, April 19 HCYP will host a membership drive to recruit new professionals to join their organization. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. at the lobby bar, and the meeting begins promptly at 6 p.m. For additional information on the HCYP and how to join, please contact David Watts at 251-1267 or dwatts@

Intersection, cover story Homewood’s estimated portion $1 million. The City Council authorized Mayor Scott McBrayer to notify ALDOT of the city’s intention to fund the West Oxmoor Road improvement project. “I hand delivered the letter to ALDOT, so we’re moving forward with the project,” McBrayer said. The next step is to enter into a contract with engineers to do traffic studies, evaluate the intersection, as well as the ingress and egress on I-65. “The engineers will do a full evaluation of this strip of road all the way from the corner of Green Springs Highway to Barber Court,” said City Councilman Vance Moody who represents West Homewood. “The engineers will rationalize patterns to keep traffic on the roads designed to handle the traffic and keep unnecessary traffic out of neighborhoods.” The city has held public meetings to

gather feedback from the community. A few businesses expressed some concern about the project, but according to Moody, most people in the area are excited to rework this section of road. “This initial phase will be a holistic look, with community input, at traffic passing through that corridor,” Moody said. The studies should begin within the next 60 days. The research and design work are expected to take from a year to eighteen months to complete, Moody said. In the interim, the mayor asked the council to approve $35,000 of emergency funding to re-stripe the intersection to make it safer for travelers. “I’m excited about the West Oxmoor project,” McBrayer said. “It’s long over due.”


| April 2011 |




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Homewood, Alabama news, sports, and entertainment

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