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Sun Neighborly news & entertainment for Hoover

Trace Crossings

Volume 5 | Issue 6 | March 2017



Proposed changes for development plan on hold as negotiations between U.S. Steel, Signature Homes, the city of Hoover and Trace Crossings residents continue.

Aldridge Gardens quickly capitalizing as local venue for outdoor weddings

See page A6

The Next Level



asmine Sanders never imagined having an outdoor wedding, but when she saw the view of the lake at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, her mindset started to change. “It was breathtaking,” the 26-year-old Daphne woman said as she recalled her first visit to Aldridge in January 2016. “It was just so grand.” Sanders, who originally is from Leeds but now lives in south Alabama, initially had fallen in love with another wedding venue in the Birmingham area, but she felt a stronger connection with the staff at Aldridge, and that’s where she and Blake Sanders ended up getting married in June. They are among a growing number of brides and grooms choosing Aldridge for their nuptials. The 30-acre garden property nestled in the heart of Hoover off Lorna Road is becoming a highly sought-after wedding venue, according to Aldridge officials.

Who’s moving on to the next level of athletics? More than 50 seniors from Hoover and Spain Park have made their collegiate decisions.

See page B1

INSIDE Sponsors ......... A4 News ................. A6 Chamber ......... A9 Business .........A10 Events ..............A12 Community .....A15

School House..A21 Real Estate.....A24 Sports ................ B1 Camp Guide ....B14 Calendar ........ B22 Medical Guide... C1

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See WEDDINGS | page A26 Jasmine and Blake Sanders share their first dance as husband and wife to Adele’s “Remedy” after their June wedding at Aldridge Gardens. Photo courtesy of Logan Ingle.

No veteran left alone Center: Relocation means reaching more in need By SYDNEY CROMWELL The U.S. military is sometimes referred to as a “band of brothers.” The staff at the Vet Center off Stadium Trace Parkway keeps that brotherhood and sisterhood alive after veterans return to civilian life. The Vet Center is a federal government-run service providing individual,

couple, family and group counseling for combat veterans and their families. Center Director Tia Martin said they work with veterans on readjusting to home life after deployment, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and other issues. The Vet

See VETERANS | page A25

A 40-foot RV called the Mobile Vet Center serves the north and central Alabama region and is based out of the Vet Center’s Hoover office off Stadium Trace Parkway. Photo courtesy of Marty Job.

A2 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

March 2017 • A3

A4 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

About Us Editor’s Note By Sydney Cromwell At this paper, we get the privilege of telling some amazing stories about the people we meet in Hoover. When I first started as an intern, I recall wondering how the other reporters never ran out of stories to write in such a relatively small city. Now as the editor, I’m pretty confident we’re never going to have a shortage of stories worth sharing. Inside every home and business in Hoover, somewhere there’s a story to tell. This month, those stories include a group of military veterans making sure their fellow service men and women get the support they need when they return to civilian life, as well as the high school athletes who have committed to taking their sports to the college level.

Our March issue also includes previews of several events around the city and guides to some of the medical experts and summer camps in the community. It may seem like winter’s barely over, but registration for summer camps is already underway. There’s a lot more inside this issue that I hope you’ll enjoy. If you want to share a story you think we should tell, email me at sydney@

We also interviewed just a few of the Hoover residents who witnessed history in January with the inauguration of a new president.


Blake Humphrey of Helena works on a bouldering problem while Chase Milstead of Vestavia spots him at Moss Rock Preserve. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

Sun Publisher: Managing Editor: Design Editor: Director of Photography: Sports Editor: Digital Editor: Page Designer:

Dan Starnes Sydney Cromwell Kristin Williams Sarah Finnegan Kyle Parmley Alyx Chandler Cameron Tipton

Community Editor: Erica Techo Community Reporters: Jon Anderson Jesse Chambers Lexi Coon Staff Writers: Emily Featherston Sam Chandler Copy Editor: Louisa Jeffries

Advertising Manager: Matthew Allen Sales and Distribution: Warren Caldwell Don Harris Michelle Salem Haynes Rhonda Smith James Plunkett Gail King Eric Clements

For advertising contact: Contact Information: Hoover Sun PO Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780

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

Published by: Hoover Sun LLC Legals: The Hoover Sun is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. The Hoover Sun is designed to inform the Hoover community of area school, family and community events. Information in The Hoover Sun is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of The Hoover Sun. 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.

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March 2017 • A5

A6 • March 2017

Hoover Sun


Trace Crossings negotiations continue Proposed changes to development plan put amendment on hold

About 125 people showed up for a Feb. 9 community meeting at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium to discuss proposed changes to the Trace Crossings development plan. Photo by Jon Anderson.

By JON ANDERSON Major changes proposed for the Trace Crossings development plan have been put on hold as negotiations continue between U.S. Steel, Signature Homes, the city of Hoover and Trace Crossings residents. An amendment to the community’s development plan had been scheduled for consideration at the February meeting of the Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission but was tabled until March 13 to allow for more talks. Trace Crossings residents at a Feb. 9 community meeting praised many aspects of the zoning amendment but said they still had serious concerns about commercial development, traffic and the impact of new houses on schools. About 125 people showed up at the community meeting at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium to hear details about the plan that includes 421 additional houses for Trace Crossings, 45 acres of commercial development along Stadium Trace Parkway across from the Hoover Met, changes to the Hoover Met sports fields layout, new access roads for schools and new park land along the Cahaba River. Numerous residents thanked Signature Homes President Jonathan Belcher for working to develop a compromise plan they say is much improved from a proposal presented by U.S. Steel last year. But they still have significant concerns about U.S. Steel’s desire to change the zoning on land

across from the Hoover Met from industrial zoning to a “planned commercial” use. Last year, U.S. Steel wanted to rezone 110 acres from industrial zoning to a commercial zone that would allow things such as hotels and offices. The new plan would take the 65 acres closest to the Chestnut Ridge neighborhood and rezone it for residential use, with no more than 80 houses there. That would leave only the 45 acres along Stadium Trace Parkway being rezoned for commercial use, Belcher said. But residents who spoke up at the meeting said they still are opposed to general

commercial development that deep into Trace Crossings. “The turkey is still on the table,” Trace Crossings resident Molly McGregor said. “Bad commercial will hurt the neighborhood.” Greg Williams, president of the Chestnut Ridge Homeowners Association, said residents are particularly concerned about the possibility of a hotel locating across from the Hoover Met. McGregor said that kind of development belongs on John Hawkins Parkway and not in the midst of the 1,500 homes and three schools already in Trace Crossings.

She recommended city officials move ahead with other aspects of the rezoning plan but table the commercial zoning until U.S. Steel has a potential buyer for the property and can share their plans for it. But if the city moves forward with commercial development, some restrictions need to be put in place to make sure it’s friendly to the neighborhood, McGregor and other residents said. U.S. Steel also last year was seeking to rezone 82 acres at the intersection of South Shades Crest Road and Brock’s Gap Parkway

March 2017 • A7

U.S. Steel, Signature Homes and the city of Hoover have proposed an 11th amendment to the Trace Crossings development plan that would involve annexing 235 acres into Trace Crossings and rezoning some land. Areas shown in yellow would be for single-family residential use, while the pink area is proposed for commercial use. Green areas 5 and 13 are proposed common areas, while 120 acres in green along the Cahaba River would be donated to the city for a passive park and 38 acres would be donated for use with the sports park. The map also shows a proposed road between Hoover High School and Bumpus Middle School and proposed third exit for Hoover High on the south side of Trace Crossings Elementary School. Map courtesy of Signature Homes.

from industrial to commercial use. However, the city of Hoover has agreed to buy 31.3 of those acres with the idea of using some of it for a new Interstate 459 interchange. The new zoning plan would take the other 51 acres and rezone it for residential use, with the understanding that it only be used as a common area (woods and perhaps trails) and not developed for houses, commercial or industrial use, Belcher said. Some residents said they liked that idea, but one man said he didn’t like that it would be deeded to the Trace Crossings Residential Association, with residents having to pick up the property taxes. Signature Homes also proposed to deed another 67 acres along Stadium Trace Parkway (across from the Lake Wilborn community) over to the Trace Crossings Residential Association for use as a common area as well. Another large part of the rezoning plan would involve the city annexing 235 acres and adding it to the Trace Crossings development. The annexed land would serve several purposes. First, it would allow Signature Homes to build another 341 houses, primarily on land between the city’s planned $80 million sports park and the Cahaba River. Combined with the 80 new houses to be built between Chestnut Ridge and the Hoover Met, that would be a total of 421 new houses for Trace Crossings. Belcher and Hoover’s city administrator, Allan Rice, emphasized that those houses already have been approved in the master plan for U.S. Steel land holdings. Two hundred and eighty of the houses would be reallocated from U.S. Steel property south of Shelby County 52, and 141 of them would come from houses already approved for the Blackridge development, which is just south of Trace Crossings. The newly annexed land also would allow for a new layout for the sports fields to be built next to the Hoover Met. This will prevent the city from having to relocate a petroleum pipeline, thereby saving

several million dollars, Rice said. Construction of a new road between Hoover High School and Bumpus Middle School, providing a second way to access both schools, could also be completed on the annexed land. A third access road to Stadium Trace Parkway is planned to be built between Trace Crossings and the sports complex. Finally, another part of the rezoning proposal calls for Signature Homes to donate about 120 acres to the city for a passive park along the Cahaba River and about 38 acres for use with the sports park. Bill Moulton, a resident of Chestnut Ridge, said he and his neighbors are very pleased with most of the rezoning plan. “I think they’ve made a major effort to create something the neighborhood can be pleased with,” he said. But many residents said traffic on Stadium Trace Parkway and Brock’s Gap Parkway already is a problem and they can’t imagine what it will be like with nearly 2,000 more houses being built in Trace Crossings and the adjacent Blackridge community further south on Stadium Trace. “We’re not ready for this,” Chestnut Ridge resident Gene Hertzog said. Rice said city officials realize a problem already exists. They recently received some information from a traffic engineer that they hope will help them find some solutions, he said. The March 13 meeting of the Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to take place at the Hoover Municipal Center at 100 Municipal Lane. The commission typically holds a work session at 5 p.m. in the conference room behind the William J. Billingsley Council Chambers and an action meeting at 5:30 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public, but space is very limited in the conference room. The commission also sometimes holds an additional work session at 5 p.m. on the Thursday before its action meeting, which in this case would be March 9.

A8 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

Mayor’s Minute

By Frank V. Brocato

The city of Hoover recently appointed Martin Weinberg to the board of directors for the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA). Photo by Jon Anderson.

New BJCTA board member appointed By ALYX CHANDLER The city of Hoover appointed Martin Weinberg to the board of directors for the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA). Mayor Frank V. Brocato introduced him at the Hoover City Council meeting Monday night. “I appreciate his strong interest in serving. Martin Weinberg has a good amount of experience and knowledge dealing with transit and will definitely be an asset,” said Brocato. Weinberg is a graduate of the University of Georgia and the University of Alabama School of Law. After graduating law school, Weinberg worked on the United States House of Representatives’ transportation and infrastructure committee. Weinberg has more than 14 years of experience in social security, personal injury and civil rights. “I can already tell that Martin Weinberg is passionate about transit issues. I look forward to working

with him,” said Barbara Murdock, BJCTA executive director. Weinberg was voted top Birmingham attorney for civil rights in 2013 and was listed as one of the Super Lawyers rising stars for 2016. Weinberg and his wife, Angel, are known to volunteer and show support for community issues, one of them being transportation. “These are exciting times for transit in our regional area. We have a number of exciting projects such as the intermodal facility as well as getting ready for the World Games,” Weinberg said. He replaces Reginald L. Jeter, who is now a Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge (Place 25). "I will strive to communicate with the citizens of Hoover and the City Council on a regular basis about their needs and thoughts as it pertains to transit. Every world class city has a world class transit system that gives its citizens and visitors options and opportunities,” Weinberg said.

Springtime is here, and we have many exciting things planned for you. We hope you will take some time to drop by the Hoover Art Gallery in the lobby of the Hoover Municipal Complex. The Hoover Arts Alliance has made this one of their many projects to select quality art to be displayed in our gallery. Each artist chosen displays their art for two months, giving residents plenty of time to view and enjoy it. If you are like Frances and me, we like to do spring cleaning each year, so it’s a great time to clean out your Frank V. Brocato garage and get rid of old paint, chemicals or anything else you don’t want hanging around your house. Our annual Household Hazardous Waste Day will be from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22, at the Hoover Met. You will have to prove that you are a Hoover resident, so be sure and have your driver’s license ready to show when you get there. We will also be collecting fireworks, prescription medications and computers, as well as properly disposing of flags. Please visit our website for a complete list of items. One of our biggest events of the year, Celebrate Hoover Day, will be Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so be sure and save the date. This year will be extra special because the city of Hoover will be celebrating its 50th year, so we have lots of special events and things planned for Hoover’s birthday! This family fun day is held at Veterans Park on Valleydale Road with plenty of parking. The best part of all? It’s free! More details about the event will be in the April issue of the Mayor’s Minute or you can visit our website. We are all very fortunate to live in a progressive and safe city with such outstanding police and fire departments. Our 911 call center handles about 190,000 calls per year, so please don’t hesitate to call day or night. We are here to serve and protect you and your family. Please feel free to call my office if we can be of assistance to you. Best,

March 2017 • A9


Preview of

Top 2016 public safety workers honored



By JON ANDERSON Giving birth is a task, but imagine doing so in a moving vehicle on roads covered in snow and ice. Then think about it doing it twice. That’s exactly what Suzanne Jones had to do when a winter storm hit Hoover in early January as she was expecting twins. But thanks to the work of three Hoover paramedics, she was able to deliver both babies safely, even though the second boy was born breech. Paramedics Robert Smith and Geoff Moore attended to Jones in the back of their rescue vehicle while paramedic Justin McKenzie slowly navigated the safest route he could find from Bluff Park to a hospital, under difficult road conditions on the morning of Jan. 7. For their outstanding service and skill, Smith, Moore and McKenzie were honored at the Feb. 16 Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon as the 2016 Paramedics of the Years for the Hoover Fire Department. They were among 12 Hoover public safety workers recognized for outstanding work in the past year. Smith, Moore and McKenzie took Jones and her husband, Greg, to Shelby Medical Center in Alabaster because routes to closer emergency rooms were not as safe, Hoover Fire Executive Officer Rusty Lowe told the chamber crowd. Baby Noah was born not too long into the trip, and his brother, Ethan, came 18 minutes later in Pelham, Lowe said. Mother and babies were stable upon arrival at the hospital, and the paramedics survived, too, Lowe joked. Other public safety workers honored were: ► Firefighters of the Year Lt. Chris

The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce honored the city’s public safety workers of the year at the chamber’s Feb. 16 luncheon. Back row, from left: Mayor Frank Brocato; fire Chief Chuck Wingate; Firefighter of the Year Austin Smith; Paramedic of the Year Robert Smith; Firefighters of the Year Tony Conville and Dan Fulmer; Paramedic of the Year Geoff Moore; Firefighter of the Year Lt. Chris Fulmer and police Chief Nick Derzis. Front row, from left: Police Officer of the Year finalist Detective Daniel Lowe; Police Officer of the Year Lakendrick Edwards; Police Officer of the Year finalist Sgt. Rocky Renno; Corrections Officer of the Year Cpl. Maria Robinson; and Telecommunicator of the Year Brittany Hayes. Photo by Jon Anderson.

Fulmer, Tony Conville, Dan Jackson and Austin Smith, for rescuing three adults, two of them elderly, from a fire at Waterford Townhomes on Nov. 1. ► Telecommunicator of the Year Brittany Hayes, for helping apprehend a rape and robbery suspect in September by empathetically obtaining information about the incident during a phone call from a woman who spoke very little English. Hayes obtained most of the information by talking to the woman’s 8-year-old son, who served as a translator.

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The suspect was linked to two other robberies in the same area. ► Corrections Officer of the Year Cpl. Maria Robinson, for intercepting four bags of a contraband substance inside a bottle of body wash dropped off for an inmate in August and for showing good leadership skills. ► Police Officer of the Year Lakendrick Edwards, for helping capture a November gas station robbery suspect by linking the robbery to a harassment report at another store hours earlier, and for catching a

Former NFL and Alabama standout running back Bobby Humphrey is scheduled to speak at the March 16 Hoover chamber luncheon. Humphrey later coached the Birmingham Steeldogs Arena Football 2 team and was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He now is vice Humphrey president of business development for Bryant Bank. The luncheon is set for noon at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham — The Wynfrey Hotel. The cost is $20 for members with reservations and $25 for non-members or those without reservations. To make a reservation, go to hooverchamber. org, call 988-5672 or email lisa@ The reservation deadline is March 13. burglary suspect Oct. 25. ► Police Officer of the Year finalists Detective Daniel Lowe, for making extra efforts to help a woman get off drugs after being prostituted by her ex-boyfriend, and Sgt. Rocky Renno, for capturing a suspect who fled the scene of an accident on Interstate 65 that killed one person and severely injured two others in August.

A10 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

Hoover Happenings

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March 2017 • A11

Now Open Momma Goldberg’s Deli has opened a new restaurant in the Village at Lee Branch, 210 Doug Baker Blvd., Suite 230-600. 769-6042,


Timothy J. Dolan has opened an Edward Jones office at 5336 Stadium Trace Parkway, Suite 114. He offers a wide range of financial services, with focus areas including investors saving for retirement, retirees, college savers, individuals with insurance needs and individuals with estate needs. 988-4435,


Ross Bridge Animal Hospital opened Feb. 13 at 2001 Greenside Way. The hospital, owned by Dr. Robert Stewart, offers general medicine for animals, elective and emergency surgery, wellness plans, boarding, grooming and daycare. 208-0301,


O’Reilly Auto Parts is now open at 1559 Montgomery Highway, next to Hoover Tactical Firearms. 216-6087,


Hirings and Promotions

Anniversaries The Whole Scoop Ice Cream Shop, 3421 S. Shades Crest Road, Suite 121, celebrated its sixth anniversary Feb. 14. 444-8000,


Vision Gymnastics, 3314 Old Columbiana Road, celebrated its fifth anniversary Feb. 1. 979-7969,



Pure Barre 280, 610 Inverness Corners, celebrated its sixth anniversary Feb. 28. 991-5224,

The Pink Tulip, 180 Main St., Suite 212, celebrated its third anniversary in February. 560-0355,


Fi Plan Partners, 5825 Feldspar Way, celebrated its 12th anniversary in February. 989-3498,


Simply Infused, 5361 Highway 280, Suite 107A, celebrates its second anniversary in March. 408-4231,


Rachel Garrett has joined Keller Williams Hoover, 1 Chase Corporate Drive, Suite 150, as a Realtor. 960-7220,


Courtney Gordon has joined Re/MAX Over the Mountain, 2870 Old Rocky Ridge Road, Suite 100, as a Realtor. 970-1080,


Southlake Orthopaedics, 4517 Southlake Parkway, has hired Dr. Donald A. Deinlein, an orthopaedic spine surgeon, to join their practice. 985-4111,


Formosa Chinese Restaurant, 2109 Lornaridge Lane, is celebrating its first anniversary March 22. 979-6684,


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A12 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

Events Taste of Teal to recognize 2017 Legacy of Laura honorees By ERICA TECHO The Taste of Teal Gala, hosted by the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation, is back again this March to celebrate individuals who have volunteered and helped share information about gynecological cancers. This year’s gala is March 11 at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel at Riverchase Galleria. The night includes dinner, drinks, a silent and live auction and casino games, in addition to a program recognizing this year’s “Legacy of Laura honorees.” VIVA Health, which has sponsored LCBF and provided volunteers, will be recognized as this year’s corporate honoree. LCBF also will recognize Ann George, a nurse practitioner in the division of GYN oncology at UAB, as this year’s Healthcare Hero. George was one of the first nurse practitioners in GYN oncology in the state, according to LCBF, and has been helping patients for

more than 40 years. Birmingham resident Shea Bourland, a husband and father who has “stepped up to every task with great determination and a gentle spirit” while his wife Ginny Bourland battled cancer, will receive caregiver of the year. Cheryl Bourn, an 11-year survivor of ovarian cancer and a former LCBF board member, also will be recognized. “Cheryl’s contributions of time, energy and compassion for others is extraordinary,” said a description on the LCBF website. “Time and time again, patients say how much she helped them through their battle with cancer or helped their family when they needed support.” Tickets to the gala are $125 per person or $1,000 for a Taste of Teal patron table, which includes a table of eight, additional casino play money for each guest and a listing in the event program. For more information, go to thinkoflaura. org.

This year’s Taste of Teal Gala will include a live auction and casino games. Photo by Lloyd Beard, courtesy of Taste of Teal.

Seigel to give organ concert at Bluff Park United Methodist By JON ANDERSON

Lester Seigel will be the featured organist at Bluff Park United Methodist Church’s 2017 organ recital. Photo courtesy of Birmingham-Southern College.

Bluff Park United Methodist Church’s annual organ concert will feature Canterbury United Methodist Church organist and choirmaster Lester Seigel. The concert is scheduled for 4 p.m. March 5. Seigel started as the organist at Canterbury United Methodist in Mountain Brook in 1989 and became choirmaster in 1995. He is a conductor, teacher and recitalist in chamber and organ music. Seigel is the Joseph Hugh Thomas Professor of Music at Birmingham-Southern College and leads the college’s Hilltop Singers concert

choir. He also is the conductor for Sursum Corda, an ensemble of 19 professional vocalists now in its 10th season. He has taken the Hilltop Singers for performances in Europe and gone on national tours with both the Hilltop Singers and Sursum Corda. He led the Birmingham-Southern Choirs in a performance at Carnegie Hall last year and has taken his groups to perform at many other national and regional venues, including the Washington National Cathedral at Lincoln Center, St. James’ Cathedral in Chicago and the American Choral Directors Association’s national conference in Chicago.

Seigel is a published arranger with Oxford University Press and, on his latest sabbatical, conducted research on Jewish music as a Jacob Rader Marcus Fellow at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati. Seigel’s March 5 recital was specifically selected for the Moller organ at Bluff Park and features selections from the 19th-century Romantic era by John Stainer, Johannes Brahms, Caesar Franck, Camille Saint-Saens, Clarence Dickinson and Julius Reubke. Bluff Park United Methodist Church is at 733 Valley St. For more information, call the church at 822-0910.

March 2017 • A13

Riverchase Day School’s spring consignment sale set for March 3-4 By SYDNEY CROMWELL

Arbor Day will be celebrated March 4 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Aldridge Gardens. Photo courtesy of the city of Hoover.

Aldridge Gardens promotes greenery with Arbor Day By SYDNEY CROMWELL Add some leaves to your life at the annual Arbor Day celebration at Aldridge Gardens. This year’s celebration will be March 4 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the gardens. The event will include a tree giveaway, recognition of the Hoover City Schools’ Fourth Grade Arbor Day Essay and a ceremonial tree planting. Attendees can also enjoy food and other items from sponsors and access to the entire gardens and Roots Gift Shop, said Hoover forester Colin Conner. Conner said this year’s giveaway trees include American fringetree, American hazelnut, bald cypress, blueberry, bur oak, common persimmon, dwarf chinkapin oak, longleaf pine, red cedar, red mulberry and white oak seedlings. The trees will be about 2 to 3 years old and between two and five feet in height. Conner said the city also anticipates

recognizing its 18th consecutive year as a Tree City USA honoree. “Through the planting of giveaway seedlings, Arbor Day adds native trees back to Hoover’s urban forest. Over the years, I’ve met numerous residents who have ‘treed’ or ‘re-treed’ their yards with Arbor Day seedlings alone,” Conner said. The Arbor Day celebration is a chance for education, as different Hoover City Schools host their own events and the Aldridge Gardens event will include an on-site arborist to help residents select a tree and plant it correctly. Conner said he expects to see several hundred people at this year’s event. “We recognize not only the aesthetic value in trees but also the significant economic and environmental values trees add to our city,” Conner said. Go to for more information.

Find a good deal and support the Riverchase Day School at this month’s Tried ’n’ True (TNT) consignment sale. This spring’s sale is March 3-4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The TNT sale includes gently used seasonal children’s clothing, shoes, books, toys, accessories, bedding, furniture, baby swings, bikes and sports equipment. There will be about 300 sellers offering merchandise. There is also a Thursday night preview sale for consignors and sale volunteers only. The sale benefits Riverchase Day School and local children’s charities such as Hope Community Center, the Noah Crowe Foundation, Isaiahsixeight and children and youth ministries at Riverchase United Methodist Church. Sale organizers recommend shoppers bring a laundry basket or other large container to

The TNT consignment sale, scheduled this year March 3-4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday offers deals on children’s items. Photo courtesy of Riverchase Day School.

hold their goods while shopping. Certain items will be discounted on Saturday. The TNT sale accepts cash, check, credit card (with a transaction fee) and PayPal. For more information, go to riverchase-tnt. com.

Bluff Park Boy Scout Troop 21 to host 5th annual yard sale By SYDNEY CROMWELL Members of Bluff Park’s Boy Scout Troop 21 will host their fifth annual yard sale this month. The sale is in the Bluff Park United Methodist Church parking lot March 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Laura Lewis, who helps organize the sale, said items will include clothing, toys, household items and more. The sale has even included boats in the past. “We have had everything,” Lewis said. Sellers can purchase a booth for $25, and in return Lewis said the troop will provide

advertising and post-sale pickup for unsold items. Lewis said there are usually about 15 seller booths, plus the Boy Scouts will also be selling donated items. The sale is a chance for members of Troop 21 to work on their salesmanship merit badge. Lewis said the sale typically brings in about $5,000 for the troop to use on various projects. Last year, Troop 21 bought a new bus to use for trips. This year, Lewis said the plan is to put a new roof on the Boy Scout hut in Bluff Park. For more information, call Lewis at 492-2930.

A14 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

Color Me Rad 5K fades away, citing attendance By JON ANDERSON Hoover may not be quite as colorful in 2017. For the past four years, a company called Sack Lunch Productions has put on the Color Me Rad 5K at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, but declining attendance over the years means the race won’t be coming back this year. “We just didn’t make any money last year,” said John Malfatto of Sack Lunch Productions. “I am sorry, but we can’t justify putting this event on anymore.” At the Color Me Rad 5K, runners get the exercise of a 5K (3.1-mile) run or walk, but as they go along the course, volunteers spray or throw colored cornstarch at them. Runners and walkers start out with a plain white T-shirt and run through color stations, each with a different color. By the time they’re through, they’re covered with a rainbow of colors. About 5,000 people participated in the first Color Me Rad 5K in Hoover in 2013, but attendance has dropped since. The race was a for-profit event, but 10 percent of the entry fees went to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama when registrants used “Ronald” as their code word, and the charity also received money for each volunteer it supplied. “It’s a great event. We love it. The walkers love it, and the runners love it … and it’s so much fun,” said Stephanie Langford, the marketing and communications director for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. “I’m sad that they’re not coming back, but I’m really not surprised.” The company running it obviously wasn’t pleased with attendance, she said. While attendance numbers were not available for each year, contributions to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama

Dogs and their owners visit the Paws in the Gardens event at Aldridge Gardens. Photo courtesy of Aldridge Gardens.

Aldridge Gardens ends annual Paws in the Gardens Courtesy photo.

declined from $13,800 in 2013 to $10,700 in 2014, $9,400 in 2015 and $6,200 in 2016, Langford said. Organizers tried moving the race around to different months but never could find the right fit, she said. One year, they conflicted with another big race in the Birmingham area, and another year it was on a weekend connected to spring break, she said. Then last year, it rained. The Color Run, put on by another company, also is held each year in the Birmingham area, and another similar run called the Color Vibe 5K is planned for this year.

By JON ANDERSON Aldridge Gardens has decided to stop having its annual Paws in the Gardens event, which allowed people to bring their dogs together for a community social. Only Aldridge members are usually allowed to bring their dogs into the gardens, but once a year, the gates were opened to everyone, for a $10 fee per dog. A portion of the proceeds, usually 20 to 25 percent, was donated to the Shelby Humane Society, Aldridge CEO Tynette Lynch said. The event in past years has included animal adoption opportunities, a dog-costume contest, arts and crafts, food

vendors, dog groomers, dog trainers, pet photographers, an invisible fence vendor and dog-food sellers. Aldridge has had the event since about 2010, but it was rained out one year. Attendance was never that high and seemed to be declining, Lynch said. The event typically brought in about $5,000 in revenue, and after expenses, the Shelby Humane Society would get only $500 to $1,000, she said. Organizers decided it was no longer worth the time investment and to focus their efforts on something that might draw more people and raise more money, she said. Ideas being considered include a food-truck festival or farmers market, Lynch said.

March 2017 • A15

Community Davis Vickery graduates from US Merchant Marine Academy Davis Edward Vickery of Hoover successfully completed four years of challenging academic, physical and military training, including a year at sea, graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in June 2016. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in logistics and intermodal transportation and a commission as a U.S. Navy ensign, Reserves as well as a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer License as an unlimited tonnage third mate. Former U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus nominated Vickery for the academy. During his course of study at the academy, Vickery was elected treasurer of his class and president of the Maritime Law and Business Society. He also participated on the school’s rugby football team and completed Air Assault and Airborne training with the Army. Part of his in-service training included voyages to the Far East, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, where he was awarded the U.S. Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal for his contributions to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Photo courtesy of Donna Vickery.

Vickery graduated from Hoover High School in 2012, where he was active in sports, the Student Government Association and Law Academy. Founded in 1943, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, also called “Kings Point,” is a prestigious and highly competitive four-year federal service academy that prepares midshipmen to be licensed merchant mariners and leaders of exemplary character who will serve America’s marine transportation in defense needs in peace and war. Graduates are required to complete a Service Obligation in either a reserve or active-duty capacity post-graduation. More than 750 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Regiment of Midshipmen. – Submitted by Donna Vickery.

Distinguished Young Women accepting program applications for 2018 Jefferson County seniors The Distinguished Young Women program of Jefferson County is accepting applications from high school girls graduating in 2018 and residing in Jefferson County. The deadline for receiving applications is March 5. The program (formerly Jefferson County’s Junior Miss) will take place July Wu 21-22 at Vestavia Hills High School. Interested girls may visit and click on the icon “Apply Now” to receive an application, or they may contact Chairman Eddie Macksoud at or 907-0210. There is no entry fee. Participants compete in the categories of fitness, self expression, interview, scholastics and talent. Last year more than $10,000 in cash-tuition scholarships was awarded and more than $489,000 in college-granted scholarships. The Jefferson County representative will advance to the Distinguished Young Women Program of Alabama in Montgomery, where she will compete for more than $40,000 in cash-tuition scholarships and

more than $1,000,000 in college-granted scholarships. The current Distinguished Young Woman of Jefferson County is Sherry Wu, a senior at Vestavia Hills High School. Founded in 1958 in Mobile, America’s Junior Miss, now Distinguished Young Women, is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. During its 60 years of operation, the program has provided life-changing experiences for more than 700,000 young women and has awarded more than $93 million in cash scholarships to young women across the nation. Distinguished Young Women is a scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments. National sponsors include the city of Mobile, Mobile County, Encore Rehabilitation, Alabama Power Foundation, Regions Financial Corporation, Master Boat Builders, Sirote & Permutt, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation and Wintzell’s Oyster House. – Submitted by Distinguished Young Women.

Miss Hoover’s Outstanding Teen 2017 preps for state pageant By JON ANDERSON Miss Hoover’s Outstanding Teen 2017 Reagan Handley is preparing for the Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen Pageant to be held March 4-5 at B.B. Comer Memorial High School in Sylacauga. Handley, a 16-year-old junior at Gardendale High School, won Miss Hoover’s Outstanding Teen title in July. She is one of 45 contestants scheduled to be in the statewide pageant. She plans to perform an acro jazz dance to the song “Sing!” by Pentatonix as her talent at the state pageant.

Miss Hoover’s Outstanding Teen 2017 Reagan Handley is preparing for the Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen Pageant to be held March 4-5. Photo courtesy of Frank Carnaggio.

A16 • March 2017 Hoover resident and oil painter Pat Dicas’ award-winning painting, “Brenna – The Selkie,” was published on the cover of “The Pen Woman” magazine. Photo courtesy of Pat Dicas.

Hoover Sun

Hoover artist honored by National League of American Pen Women Hoover resident Pat Dicas was recently recognized by the National League of American Pen Women. Her award-winning painting, “Brenna – The Selkie,” was published on the cover of “The Pen Woman” magazine. Dicas is an oil painter and member of the Birmingham chapter of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as Artists Incorporated in Vestavia Hills. Dicas is a portrait artist and has work in private, public and corporate collections. Among

her numerous awards are two National League of American Pen Women national awards for painting. While she’s a traditional painter, Dicas’ scientific family in California is part of the reason she has a secret love for science fiction. She and her husband have three grown daughters and now live happily in Hoover. Her work can be seen at Artists Incorporated Gallery in Vestavia Hills, where she serves as chairman of the board of directors. – Submitted by Winnie Cooper and Pat Dicas.

OLLI chapters aim to offer seniors opportunity to learn Several days each week, a group of local Birmingham area seniors can be found in a classroom enjoying the opportunity to learn new skills or gain knowledge on a particular topic. The teacher is knowledgeable and, typically, enthusiastic and entertaining. The “students” are attentive, actively engaged and having fun. They are members of the The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) of Greater Birmingham, which was started more than three years ago. It is one of about 120 OLLI chapters that span all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Each of the chapters is affiliated with a university. OLLI of Greater Birmingham, with approximately 200 members, is under the College of Continuing Studies at the University of Alabama. The university supports chapters in Tuscaloosa and Gadsden, as well as Greensboro and Pickens County, with approximately 1,300 total members. In addition, Auburn University also supports an OLLI chapter in the state. Nationally, OLLI was started in 2001 through an educational grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation with the goal of supporting lifelong learning for mature adults. Numerous

studies have demonstrated benefits to seniors who continue to be adult learners and stay mentally active and socially engaged. “Osher Institutes fulfill the promise of education in its best sense: To develop the mind and spirit for a lifetime of purpose and human flourishing,” according to the Osher National Resource Center, based at Northwestern University. With this in mind, the OLLI chapters strive to provide members the opportunity to learn, travel and embrace life in a fun and engaging manner. No tests, no grades, no stress ― just learning for the joy of learning. Just like college, each semester brings the opportunity for members to enroll in new courses that each individual is interested in. The choices of topics are wide ranging. Some courses from the Birmingham chapter include: What Archaeology Teaches Us About Our Religions and Ourselves; American Policies on Economics, Tax, Budget and Social Welfare; Chefs and Foods From Other Nations; Hands-on Training in Smartphone and Tablet Use; and The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. These are just some examples of the 15

courses offered in the spring semester. Although there is individual course variability, the courses typically meet once a week for four sessions, each lasting an hour and a half or two hours. OLLI members choose whatever course or courses they want to attend. In addition to courses, each semester offers new opportunities for single session “bonus” programs. There are 14 of these programs offered in Birmingham for the spring. Some of the topics are “Tuskegee Airmen,” “Ask a Vet About Your Pet,” “Go Wild for Native Plants” and “Liver Eating Jeremiah Johnson.” Courses and bonus programs help develop new talents, such a flower arranging or learning a new skill such as chess. Field trip opportunities are also part of the OLLI offerings for members. These can be half-day trips (“Backstage Tour of the Alabama Theatre”) or overnight (“Birds, Beach and Bellingrath”), with more than 20 trips available in the spring semester. The OLLI educational courses and bonus programs are taught by individuals highly knowledgeable on the topic, and many OLLI members end up volunteering to teach based

on their work experience or personal interests. OLLI is a member-driven program, led by volunteer members, and provides opportunities for learning and rich collaboration with other adults. OLLI members often choose to serve on committees to arrange social events, establish curriculum and promote awareness of OLLI to the community. Because of the financial support from the Bernard Osher Foundation, annual OLLI membership is only $25, which includes participation in any or all of the bonus programs and socials offered throughout the year. For OLLI chapters of UA, the single semester fee also allows a member to register for courses at the other chapters, including Tuscaloosa, where there are 80 courses offered in the spring semester. OLLI of GB cordially invites and welcomes any interested senior adult in the area to come and participate in a bonus program or a class session. Please take a look at our website,, for a complete list of bonus programs and classes, including locations and times. – Submitted by Glenn Morgan, OLLI.

March 2017 • A17


YWCA honors Hoover resident

Hoover Girl Scouts Troop 30117 performed the Flag Ceremony at the Hoover City Leaders Breakfast on Thursday, Jan. 26. From left: Jane Bae, Avery DeBerry, Ariel Johnson, Jamese Melton and Allie Stafford. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Stafford.

YWCA Central Alabama named Hoover resident Dot Mueller as its 2016 Jeana P. Hosch Woman of Valor during the agency’s recent annual meeting. The award is presented each year to a YW woman who is an inspirational leader. Mueller, who was on either the YW’s Board of Directors or staff since 1989 before retiring in December, has dedicated her Mueller life to serving others. “Dot truly has a servant’s heart and has brought countless volunteers and supporters to the YW,” said Yolanda Sullivan, CEO of the YWCA. “She believes in our mission and has played a significant role in the impact we make on women, children and families in crisis. Dot is a leader by example, a champion for those in need, and a friend to all.” Mueller worked at UAB for 36 years, most of that time in the Office of the Provost. She

helped establish the UAB Benevolent Fund, an on-campus campaign that raises money for area nonprofits. A former president of The Women’s Network and president and district service chair of the Zonta Club of Birmingham, Mueller served as a member of United Way of Central Alabama’s Visiting Allocation Team for 20 years. She got her first taste of community service when she was a student at West End High School in the 1950s and was a member of Y-Teens, a service organization for girls that was sponsored by the YWCA. “I do not consider myself to be a person of wealth, power or influence in the community, but I have learned that one person can do a lot of good to help a lot of people by just donating your time, your talents and your resources as you are able,” Mueller said. – Submitted by the YWCA of Central Alabama.

Bluff Park church starts community garden By JON ANDERSON Bluff Park United Methodist Church is starting a new community garden and is inviting people to rent garden spaces for $20 per year. The garden is next to the church at 733 Valley St., and each bed will be 4 feet by 8 feet, said Tom Duley, the minister of missions and pastoral care at the church. Church members have been developing the site next to the church for use as a community garden for three years, Duley said. It now has seven garden beds, but there is enough space for 49 beds, he said. The church is planning a workday dedicated to building the beds on March 11 from 8 a.m. to noon. People who want to rent a garden bed will be able to assemble their beds that day and prepare them for planting later in

the spring, Duley said. The church will have materials to assemble the garden beds on site, and experienced gardeners will be there to assist as necessary, he said. The site has compost bins, water and educational space, Duley said. The community garden is open to gardeners of all skill levels, from beginners to master gardeners, he said. Both individuals and families are welcome. However, children must be supervised by an adult, he said. The church plans to offer educational programs about gardening, such as bed design, composting and pest control, Duley said. Anyone interested in reserving a garden bed or learning more about the community garden can call Duley at 822-0910, Ext. 112, or email him at Bed reservations should be made by March 3 to allow time to procure necessary materials.

Kids have been using a garden site at Bluff Park United Methodist Church as a learning experience. Now, the church is preparing to open the garden up to the whole community. Photo courtesy of Julie Adams.

A18 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

‘Words cannot … accurately portray this experience’ Hoover residents make trek to Capitol to witness presidential inauguration By SYDNEY CROMWELL

Kim Hinds of Hoover at the presidential inauguration. Photo courtesy of Kim Hinds.

Seeing a new president being sworn in, Hoover resident Kim Hinds said, is a feeling that’s hard to describe. “Words cannot … accurately portray this experience,” Hinds, a teacher at Deer Valley Elementary, said. Along with her husband, Bryan, Kim Hinds was one of several Hoover residents who traveled to Washington, D.C., for President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. Mayor Frank Brocato and his grandson, as well as resident and pastor Scott Dawson and his family, were also among the crowds. “It’s historical, monumental. It does allow us to understand the process of turning over powers without wars and without entire countries being torn to shreds. It’s such a unique aspect of the true United States of America,” Dawson said. Their reasons for attending the inauguration were different. The Hinds were escorting a group of Hewitt-Trussville High School seniors for the weekend’s ceremonies, as

Bryan Hinds is a social science teacher at HTHS. Dawson had been invited to pray with several delegations in D.C. And Brocato had promised his mother, a Trump supporter until she passed away in November, that he would attend the inauguration if Trump won the election. While the official swearing-in ceremony happened at 11:30 a.m., the day started much earlier for inauguration attendees. Kim Hinds said they left their hotel at about 3:30 a.m. that Friday to get through security and find a good spot. The protests that occurred on Friday and Saturday changed the atmosphere of the area, but Kim Hinds said the crowd attending the inauguration was upbeat. “It was a very positive vibe. Everybody was glad to be there. There wasn’t negativity inside the walls of the inauguration,” Kim Hinds said. When the speeches and prayers began, Kim Hinds said she was impressed by how silent the crowd was out of respect for the moment. After an especially contentious election cycle, Brocato said the “pomp and

March 2017 • A19 Scott Dawson with his wife, Tarra, and children, Hunter and Hope, at the inauguration. As a pastor, Dawson said he also was delighted to pray with delegations before the inauguration and witness several prayers during the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Scott Dawson.

Mayor Frank V. Brocato Jr. and his grandson, Frank Brocato IV, with their inauguration invitation from Rep. Gary Palmer. Photo courtesy of Frank Brocato.

circumstance of the event itself” is impressive “no matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on.” “Peaceful transition of power from one president to another was pretty exciting,” Brocato said. Hinds added: “It was really moving to watch this man that’s going to be the leader of the place that I live, and watch him become that leader.” Each had moments that stood out to them in the weekend. Kim Hinds recalled seeing the monuments before sunrise as they walked across the National Mall, as well as meeting a couple from Cullman by chance in the security line. Brocato said he enjoyed seeing a group of Birmingham police officers representing their home city as they worked security for the event.

Dawson had one scary moment that turned out to be humorous. Immediately after Trump’s swearing-in, Dawson heard heavy artillery fire and thought there was an attack for one brief moment, before remembering that a new president is traditionally greeted with a 21-gun salute. As a pastor, Dawson said he also was delighted to pray with delegations before the inauguration and witness several prayers during the ceremony. “We’re not pure secularists; we do believe that we’re endowed by our Creator,” Dawson said. “We’re not wise enough or strong enough to get through this without knowing we need the hand of God.” Kim Hinds said attending the inauguration also encouraged her to learn more about its history in

the days leading up to the trip, and she now has a unique experience she can share with students in her Deer Valley classroom. She said she would like to attend an inauguration again “just because it was that wonderful.” Dawson agreed, and had advice for future inauguration attendees. “Make your plans early. Be wise, use the mass transit … you don’t want to have your own car,” Dawson said. “Have a plan before you go. Talk to your representative early.” Kim Hinds said the chance to see this moment and be part of history was a bucket list item for her. “For any American to be able to witness that history, it’s something to see,” Dawson said.

It was really moving to watch this man [Donald Trump] that’s going to be the leader of the place that I live, and watch him become that leader.


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A20 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

State Rep. Jack Williams decides against running for new term in ’18 By EMILY FEATHERSTON On the eve of the 2017 regular legislative session for the Alabama state Legislature, Rep. Jack Williams (R-47) announced he would not be seeking another term in 2018. Williams was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2004 to serve District 47, which encompasses portions of Vestavia Hills as well as parts of Hoover. Williams is well known for being the co-sponsor of the Williams-Coleman Human Trafficking Act, which outlawed human trafficking at a state level and increased the state’s role in stopping the crimes and enforcing punishment of those guilty. Williams said he first had an idea that this would be his last term during the 2014 election, but said he wanted to give things adequate time to settle down before he made a final decision. He said that after giving the issue ample thought, he feels comfortable saying there are other opportunities he wants to pursue, and he doesn't think those are in Montgomery. He will, however, finish out his current term, and said he will be

focusing on the structural issues the state is facing. He said he will continue to battle the state’s recent budget troubles, something he thinks his eventual successor will also have to deal with. “Whoever succeeds me is going to have that issue,” he said. Another thing he said he wants to focus on, and wants whoever follows him to focus on, is the stagnant population growth he said the state, and in particular, Jefferson County, continues to see. With the greater Birmingham area comprising a large amount of the state’s overall GDP and contributions tax revenue, Williams said he along with other legislators are trying to focus on efforts to “come back” to Birmingham and the over-the-mountain areas. “There’s opportunity here,” he said, “and we need to build all those opportunities.” Otherwise, he said, Alabama could face losing a congressional representative in Washington in the next 15 years, something he said he thinks would not be in the state’s best interest.

Williams said he also expects legislation later in the session that will address the growing opiate-addiction problems he said the state is seeing. “The cost of doing nothing is too great,” he said, addressing the growing number of drug overdoses in the state and the strain it puts on both families and the healthcare system. Even though he thinks his time in Montgomery is coming to an end, Williams said that he is keeping an open mind with regard to public service elsewhere, and that he is aware of potential opportunities in politics outside of the state capitol. He said he will also continue to pursue his connections and interests in the private sector as marketing director at Hatch Safety. Ultimately, Williams said he plans to make a decision in the next six months about what his life will look like after 2018. In the meantime, he said he just wanted to focus on serving his constituents and thanking them for their support over the last 12 years. “I’m really grateful for just the honor to serve in this capacity,” he said.

Rep. Jack Williams (R-47) has announced he will not seek another term in the Alabama Legislature in 2018. Photo courtesy of Jack Williams.

March 2017 • A21

School House

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato recognizes the Hoover school board for its work during a Hoover City Council meeting on Feb. 6. Brocato, facing right, hands a framed proclamation to school board President Stephen Presley. Photo by Jon Anderson.

City Council seeks school board applicants By JON ANDERSON The Hoover City Council is accepting applications for appointment to the Hoover school board. The council is seeking to appoint someone to fill the school board seat now held by Stephen Presley, whose five-year term ends May 31. Presley said he is not seeking reappointment. The Hoover school board has five members, each of whom serve five-year staggered terms. The position is unpaid, except for reimbursement of expenses incurred. Applications will be due by March 10, and the first round of interviews is scheduled for March 17. A second round of interviews with finalists, if needed, will be April 3, and the council plans to vote on the appointment April 17. Applicants must be residents of Hoover and

must have at least a high school education. Seven people applied for the job last year, and the council chose Deanna Bamman, a former two-time president of the Hoover Parent Teacher Council who serves as property manager for the Park Trace Swim and Tennis Club. The newly elected City Council is changing the school board application a bit this year, requiring two letters of recommendation to be sent separately by the recommending parties. The council also is requiring applicants to write a background statement about themselves and why they wish to serve on the school board, not to exceed 750 words, and to answer five questions about school board duties and education issues. Application forms are available on the city of Hoover’s website or can be picked up at the Hoover city clerk’s office at the Hoover Municipal Center at 100 Municipal Lane.

Former plumber for Hoover schools charged with theft By JON ANDERSON

2016. Huddleston resigned from his job with Hoover City Schools Authorities have charged a effective March 7, 2016, citing former plumber for the Hoover personal reasons, school system school system with theft, saying records show. he used school system accounts Hoover schools Superintento buy more than $37,000 worth dent Kathy Murphy, in a news of copper pipe that was never release, said the school district used for any school projects. takes allegations and suspicion Hoover police arrested of wrongdoing seriously. 45-year-old Stephen Todd Hud- Huddleston “The school district fairly and dleston of Calera on Feb. 2 at a impartially investigates allegabusiness in Pelham and took him tions of wrongdoing and refers to the Hoover Jail, according to a news release matters, as would be appropriate, to our local from police. law enforcement,” Murphy said. “We appreciHe was transferred to the Shelby County ate the work of the Hoover Police Department Jail and released the same day on a $30,000 as it relates to this matter. We will continue to bond, jail records show. cooperate with authorities as this case works Police said the copper pipe purchases were its way through the appropriate legal and judimade between November 2014 and March cial channels.”

Simmons teacher honored by Finley Committee Amanda Sutter, a speech language pathologist at Simmons Middle School, was recently honored by the Finley Committee. Sutter was nominated and selected to receive the Teachers in the Trenches Award for 2017. This award honors individuals whose kindness and dedication reach far beyond the classroom. The Finley Committee selected three individuals — one from elementary, middle, and high school — to receive this award. Sutter was chosen as a teacher who truly impacts the lives of students and builds strong relationships with students, parents, colleagues and community members. – Submitted by Michelle Berg.


A22 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

Hoover High cheerleaders place 7th at national competition By JON ANDERSON The Hoover High School competition cheerleading squad placed seventh in the super varsity division of the Universal Cheerleading Association’s national competition in Orlando on Feb. 12. The 36-member squad was one of eight teams to make the finals. Most of the teams that made the finals have had competition teams for 15 to 20 years, and several had won national championships in previous years. "Our entire trip was such a wonderful and successful experience,” Hoover coach MeriGlenn Freeman said in a press release. “To place among the nation's elite is something I am incredibly proud of, especially with our program still being new to the competitive world. These student athletes have worked extremely hard to represent Hoover High and our community on the big stage, and I am so glad their hard work was recognized." Hoover High Athletic Director Andy Urban said he was very thankful for the hard work put

The Hoover High School 2016-17 competitive cheerleading squad celebrates their seventh-place finish in the super varsity division of the Universal Cheerleading Association national competition in Orlando on Feb. 12. Photo courtesy of Kevin Brooks.

in by the cheerleaders and coaches. “These ladies put in countless hours,” he said. “To be seventh in the nation is outstanding.” Sydney Eads, one of the senior captains, said her experience at the national competition was amazing.

Local faith leaders discuss heritage Three local faith leaders ― Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim ― discussed their common heritage as children of Abraham at a recent public forum held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Hoover. A standing-room-only crowd of more than 550 from the Birmingham area filled the church’s Deasy Hall to hear Father Ray Dunmyer (St. Thomas Catholic Church), Rabbi Jonathan Miller (Temple Emanu-El) and Dr. Sameh Asal (Birmingham Islamic Society) present “An Interfaith Trialogue Celebrating Mutual Respect and Kindness” on Jan. 26. All three of the panelists, as well as forum moderator Sister Mary McGehee, are active in interfaith outreach. POP Pastor John Fallon and Associate Pastor Gerald Holloway

welcomed forum guests and offered Prince of Peace’s trademark “all are welcome” hospitality throughout the evening. Guests enjoyed a variety of hors d’oeuvres, desserts and soft drinks provided by the church before and after the forum. The program centered around the 1965 Vatican II document, Nostra Aetate, in which the Catholic Church declared its relation to non-Christian religions, stressing ecumenism. Each panelist gave a brief presentation. They also encouraged everyone to see others as brothers and sisters created by God, regardless of appearance or faith. A question and answer session followed the presentations. – Submitted by Prince of Peace Catholic School.

“Since it's only our third year competing, we are still laying a foundation for our program,” Eads said. “We set the bar high this weekend by not only accomplishing our goal of making finals but also leaving it all on the mat with no regrets."

Anna Mardis, another captain, said nothing can take away the feeling of performing well at nationals after they worked so hard. She can’t wait to see how the program improves in the future, she said. The complete team was comprised of senior captains Amber Ajlouny, Sydney Eads and Anna Mardis, seniors Kara Brooks, Emily Couch, Sydney Garlington, Hannah Henley, Ashley Lawson, Katelyn Richard and Hayden Woods, juniors Olivia Bishop, Lexi Conner, Mia Gage, Grace Heglas, Ashley Hopping, Senna House, Maddie Lee and Amelia Snider, sophomores Hanna Cate Armstrong, Skylar Bennett, Harrison Bevis, Grace Bonner, Katie Beth Brooks, Catherine Calvano, Elizabeth Knerr, Presley Lankford, Mackenzie Massey, Noel Rengering, Lauren Thompson, Morgan Vanlandingham and Brooke Weilder, and freshmen Emma Cunningham, Lauren Halcomb, Mallory Mardis, Holly Prince and Anna Snider. The team was coached by Meri-Glenn Freeman, Rebecca Grier and Tammi Elsea.

From left, Father Ray Dunmyer, Rabbi Jonathan Miller and Dr. Sameh Asal represented their three faiths at an “Interfaith Trialogue Celebrating Mutual Respect and Kindness” at Prince of Peace Catholic Church. Photo courtesy of Prince of Peace Catholic School.

March 2017 • A23

SMS math team performs well at recent tournament

Photo courtesy of Richard DeFilippo.

Cub Scout Pack 326 sleeps overnight aboard USS Alabama Cub Scouts and dads of Cub Pack 326 ― chartered with Prince of Peace ― recently stepped back 70 years in time while spending a night aboard the USS Alabama. The park closed at 5 p.m. to all visitors except the Scouts. From then until 8 a.m. the next day, the Scouts had exclusive access to the battleship: listening to 1940s music and World Series games, walking the decks and climbing up and down ladders, eating in the galley and sleeping in the racks of sailors who fought throughout World War II. Led by Cub Master Rick DeFilippo, who is a retired active duty naval officer, Scouts gained an appreciation of a sailor’s life by exploring and living the 1940s battleship life and listening to sea stories. Interested in Scouting? Contact 1bsa. org for more information. – Submitted by Richard DeFilippo.

The Simmons Middle School math team recently competed in the Alabama School of Fine Arts Math Tournament. Overall, the sixth-graders won third place, and the seventh-graders won second place. Individual awards were earned by sixth-graders Midhun Sadanand, who won first place, and Matthew Shen, who won third place. Jeffrey Yuan, a seventh-grader, was fourth place and Christopher Cheng, also a seventh-grader, placed 10th. In third place for eighth-graders was Peter Shen. Rebecca Elliott is the math team sponsor. – Submitted by Michelle Berg. Simmons Middle School students participating in the ASFA Math Tournament include, front row from left: Matthew Shen, Kevin Kong, Midhun Sadanand, Yasmine Saad and Jari Chen; back row Jeffrey Yuan, in red. Photo courtesy of Michelle Berg.

Prince of Peace students win Knights of Columbus contest

Front row: Suemin Lee, Anna Fisher and Coryn Gonzalez. Back row: Lulu Bateh and Abby Guillory. Photo courtesy of Prince of Peace Catholic School.

The Prince of Peace Knights of Columbus sponsored a “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contest at Prince of Peace Catholic School this past December, and the three winning posters as well as the two honorable mentions have been sent to district-level competition. There, the posters will be judged and, if selected, will move on to the state/ regional level before reaching the national competition. Coryn Gonzalez won first place in the ages 5-7 category, with Suemin Lee and Anna Fisher receiving honorable mention. First place the for ages 8-10 category was awarded to Elizabeth “Lulu” Bateh and

second place to Abby Guillory. All entries had to include a slogan reflecting the topic and an original visual image. The students completed their posters under the direction of music and art teacher Joanne Settine as part of the school’s comprehensive art education program at the Hoover pre-K-8 Catholic school. The purpose of the competition was to allow young people to engage their creative talents and imaginations while understanding the true, spiritual meaning of Christmas. – Submitted by Prince of Peace Catholic School.

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336 Stone Brook Place

Real Estate Listings MLS #







336 Stone Brook Place





5596 Colony Lane





4585 McGill Terrace





1509 Shades Crest Road





4336 Village Green Way





1117 Ashbury Square





1597 James Hill Cove





2360 Chapel Road





2145 Greenside Way





3651 Chalybe Cove





3754 James Hill Circle





363 Park Ave.





1344 Shades Crest Road





5320 Whisperwood Drive





764 Chestnut Park Lane





1908 Buttercup Drive





1116 Camellia Circle





3204 Teakwood Road





3316 Burning Tree Drive





332 Stone Brook Place



Real estate listings provided by the Birmingham Association of Realtors on Feb. 13. Visit

764 Chestnut Park Lane

March 2017 • A25


CONTINUED from page A1 Center also provides counseling for all veterans, regardless of combat history, which includes sexual trauma experienced in the military. “There are a lot of issues that come up as far as readjusting from a military life to a civilian life,” Martin said. “When a veteran returns, they can wonder what their role and function is in the home.” And neither the veterans nor their families have to pay for any of it. “They paid with their combat experience,” Martin said. The Vet Center relocated from its downtown Birmingham location to Hoover, at 400 Emery Drive, in January 2016. Martin said the move was prompted by the finding that many Birmingham-area veterans were relocating to the suburbs, particularly in Hoover and Shelby County. Their new location is not only closer but also has more parking and accessibility, which Martin said makes veterans more likely to seek their services. The center sees about 1,200 veterans a year, which Martin said is an increase since they moved from downtown. These include veterans of Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Returning from a lengthy deployment — especially in dangerous combat situations — means veterans have different issues and needs from an average civilian seeking counseling. “It’s not only the veteran that has issues and concerns coming back and readjusting, it’s the whole family,” Martin said. Except Martin, everyone on the Vet Center staff is a combat veteran themselves, so they understand their clients’ needs better than most.

The Vet Center staff, from left: Jimmy Dickey, Rena Haupt and Tia Martin. Back row: Marty Job and Joseph Harding. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

“A lot of guys come back and are dealing with issues. They’re going to talk to another veteran more openly, more so than they would even their own family,” said veteran outreach specialist Jimmy Dickey, a retired Army medic. “The fact that I’m a veteran helps me relate to these guys a lot easier,” agreed fellow veteran outreach specialist and Air Force veteran Marty Job. “Every veteran has what we call war stories. It’s just funny, amusing things that happen during a service, and you get a room full of guys talking war stories, and you can do that all day. And at the end of it, everyone feels good; everyone feels great. It doesn’t matter if I’m Air Force or they’re Army. We’ve all trod the same ground.”

The Vet Center doesn’t just offer traditional counseling. They have a free “Guitars for Vets” program, where veterans can take home their own guitar and accessories after 12 lessons, as well as a map room where veterans of different conflicts can talk about their experiences with the help of maps to point out their deployment areas. Martin said some veterans simply come to sit in the lobby and drink a cup of coffee when they need a quiet place to go. Other Vet Center services include a “telehealth” system to connect veterans with other support services anywhere in the country, and a 40-foot RV that serves as the Mobile Vet Center. Job said the RV enables their staff to reach veterans anywhere in

north and central Alabama, as well as four Mississippi counties, if they can’t make the trip to Hoover. It’s also equipped to serve as a mobile medical or command center unit in emergency situations. “It’s just like a brick-and-mortar Vet Center, except we can go to the veteran in their hometown,” Job said. Job is on the road in the Mobile Vet Center at least three days a week. Dickey said they often bring the MVC to public events to spread awareness, because people are more likely to notice the RV and come up to ask questions. “I have the most comfortable seat in the office; my view changes every day, and I meet the best people in the country,” Job said. Both Job and Dickey said they

meet veterans every week with amazing — and sometimes heartbreaking — stories about their military service or coming home after deployment. Some of those vets can also point out the Vet Center staff member who, in their own words, saved their lives. Martin said the center has a continual challenge to make sure the veterans who need their services know they exist. For veterans battling severe issues such as depression and suicidal thoughts, a lifeline can make all the difference. “Our goal is to make sure every veteran knows that we’re here, that we will accommodate whatever their work schedule is, that it’s free,” Martin said. “We don’t want anyone struggling in silence.” Martin added sexual trauma is unfortunately common in the military, particularly among men. Breaking the stigma to speak to someone about a traumatic experience is difficult, Martin said, but the Vet Center’s confidential help can be a lifesaver. “When you talk about people that are struggling silently, that’s a big population that is really struggling silently. Particularly for men, a lot of times it speaks to issues of power, being emasculated or humiliated, so a lot of times men don’t want to seek services because of shame, so we make sure this is a safe place for that to happen,” Martin said. Staff at the Vet Center is available not only during the daytime, but also evenings and weekends and accommodates walk-ins. The Department of Veterans Affairs also provides an after-hours hotline for veterans who need immediate help outside the center’s hours, at 877-927-8387. Call 212-3122 or go to for more information on Vet Center services. “There will always be someone to assist a combat veteran. Always,” Martin said.

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Wedding rentals have increased to the point where “we’re booked every weekend going all the way into 2018,” Aldridge CEO Tynette Lynch said. “Fortunately for us, outdoor weddings are really popular.” Gardens officials don’t track wedding numbers, but revenue from weddings has increased about 3 percent each of the past three years, Lynch said. She declined to give financial numbers specific to weddings, but 990 forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service show overall facility rental revenue at Aldridge (which includes weddings, corporate meetings, parties and other rentals) has increased from $113,708 in fiscal 2011 to $227,522 in fiscal 2015. Rental revenues now make up about a third of the total budget, which is nearly $1 million, Lynch said. That revenue is what helps keep the gardens open, she said. Most of the donations and grants to the gardens are for specific programs or capital projects and can’t be used for operations, such as payroll, utility expenses or upkeep of the grounds, she said. The city provides $300,000, but event and rental income are needed to keep operations going, so any increases are poured back into operations, she said. Lynch doesn’t expect increases in rental income to affect the city’s contribution, she said. Aldridge Gardens opened in 2002, but leaders there didn’t really start marketing it strongly for weddings until Lynch was hired as CEO about three years ago, she said. Lynch hired Amanda Baker, who has 16 years experience in the wedding and event business, as director of sales and catering. Baker, after graduating from Samford University in 2001, opened a bridal boutique. She also spent time as a caterer and later an event planner in New York before coming back to the Birmingham area. While some wedding trends come and go, the outdoor wedding is a classic experience that never goes out of style, Baker said. People still appreciate it years down the road, she said. For the past two years, Aldridge has been named the most intimate venue for weddings in the Birmingham area by the Borrowed & Blue website. That award is given out based on votes by wedding vendors. Most couples pick weekends to get married, but due to high demand for weekends and lower prices on weekdays, Aldridge is getting more requests for weddings in the middle of the week, particularly Thursdays and Tuesdays, Baker said. During peak wedding season (March 16-Oct. 31), a wedding package at Aldridge costs $3,500 on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays and $1,500 for Monday through Thursday. Off-season (Nov. 1-March 15) packages cost $2,300 on weekends and $1,200 for Monday through Thursday. Those prices include an eight-hour timeframe, 400 white folding chairs, reception tables, security for the first 150 guests, an Aldridge staff member, use of the bridal room in the Aldridge House and a one-hour rehearsal time the day before the wedding. During the off-season, the package also includes use of the house, a tented patio with a heater during the winter months and propane tower heaters. Lynch said she has been shocked how many people want outdoor weddings in the winter. One couple even got married the day after snow fell in early January, when some roads in Hoover were still barely passable due to ice on the ground. The disc jockey got stuck in a ditch on his way there, and the groomsmen had to retrieve the wedding cake because the caterer couldn’t navigate the roads, Aldridge officials said. It was an intense day, but Aldridge officials passed out hand warmers, and the snow and ice actually made for a beautiful setting for the 80 or so guests who made it, Lynch said. “In the end, they got married, and that was really all that mattered,” Baker said.


Becky Baker, the owner of Becky’s Brides wedding planner business based in Cahaba Heights (no relation to Amanda Baker), said she has coordinated about 15 weddings at

Jasmine and Blake Sanders make their exit from their wedding ceremony in front of the lake at Aldridge Gardens in June. Aldridge Gardens officials don’t track wedding numbers, but revenue from weddings has increased about 3 percent each of the past three years, CEO Tynette Lynch said. Photo courtesy of Logan Ingle Images.

Rental revenue rising Aldridge Gardens’ reported overall facility rental revenue (includes weddings, corporate meetings, parties and other rentals): $250,000






FY ’11

FY ’12

FY ’13

FY ’14

FY ’15

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 documents

Aldridge and “all of our brides have had a really good experience there.” The customer service that Amanda Baker and the staff at Aldridge provide is top-notch, and the venue has a lot of hotels and restaurants close by for wedding guests, Becky Baker said. Her clients also like that Aldridge lets them choose their own photographers, florists and caterers, she said. While Aldridge has a list of approved caterers, couples can use a different caterer as long as the caterer provides proof of proper liability insurance, Lynch said. Aldridge has multiple sites within the gardens for ceremonies that fit brides’ different styles, and the facility has a good backup plan for rain, Becky Baker said. When it rains, weddings or receptions can be moved under the pavilion or inside the house if they are available. There are nine options for ceremony sites at Aldridge, with the most popular ones being next to the lake, Lynch said. Other sites include the pavilion, a shade garden lawn, a woodland stream, an arbor, the ginkgo tree in front of the house, the patio behind the house and the camellia garden with a pergola. While couples reserve a particular wedding venue, reception space and the bride’s room in the house, the rest of the gardens remain open to the public during regular hours in most cases, Lynch said. However, people can inquire about rates to close the entire gardens from noon to midnight. Taylor Grater, a wedding photographer

Zak and Taylor Grater and their wedding party pose for a photo at Aldridge Gardens at their December wedding. Photo courtesy of Sweet Julep Photography.

from Alabaster who now lives in Birmingham, has seen most of the wedding venues in Alabama. So when it came time to pick a location for her own wedding, she was knowledgeable about her options. She knew she wanted an outdoor wedding, and she had a tight budget, so the 23-year-old narrowed her list down to three local finalists before choosing Aldridge. Grater said she loved the variety. She originally chose one ceremony site at Aldridge and then changed her mind about a month before the December wedding and picked a different one she thought had better lighting. However, it ended up raining, so she and her husband, Zak, moved the wedding under the pavilion and the reception into the house. “I don’t know what we’d have done if they hadn’t been willing to work with us,” Grater said. “It was great. It was perfect.” Grater also liked that Aldridge didn’t have a lot of hidden fees, she said. “We didn’t really want to have to pay extra for tables, chairs and cleanup on top of the rental fee.”


Sanders said she didn’t consider outdoor venues at first, but her husband’s aunt recommended they look at Aldridge. When they visited the first time, it was January, but it was still beautiful even though the trees were barren and there weren’t many flowers, she said. She still wasn’t convinced until she met

with Amanda Baker, she said. “She really cared about our day, making it special and beautiful for us, despite not having the largest budget,” Sanders said. Sanders also didn’t have to do much in the way of flowers and decorations, she said. “It’s so charming on its own, with the wildlife and scenery.” The day before their wedding, at the rehearsal, Sanders said she got worried because the temperature was more than 100 degrees and everybody was sweating. Then on the wedding day, a torrential downpour fell from the sky. She almost moved the ceremony inside, but it stopped raining, and they were able to have the ceremony by the lake as planned. “It was beautiful,” Sanders said. “I think it [the rain] made our pictures even better. It was perfect … I wouldn’t change anything about that day or that location.” Baker said the weddings at Aldridge range anywhere from 20 people to 250. The largest one she has seen had about 300 people, she said. In addition to the eight-hour rental packages, Aldridge also offers a two-hour rental for a garden ceremony only for $700 on Friday through Sunday or $500 on Monday through Thursday. For rehearsal dinners or receptions only, the cost is $1,300 for the Aldridge House or $1,400 for the pavilion for four hours on Friday through Sunday. For more information, go to

March 2017 • A27


Camp Guide B14 Calendar B22


MARCH 2017


BEN ABERCROMBIE ▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Harvard University ▶ LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts ▶ MASCOT: Crimson





ational Signing Day was the celebration of another strong year of high school athletics in Hoover. Hoover and Spain Park high schools combined to recognize more than 50 student-athletes as they signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic pursuits at the college level. Here’s a profile of each student-athlete, sorted by high school:



▶ SPORT: Softball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Wallace State CC ▶ LOCATION: Hanceville, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Lions

LUKE BALLARD ▶ SPORT: Golf ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Southern Mississippi ▶ LOCATION: Hattiesburg, Mississippi ▶ MASCOT: Golden Eagles


▶ SPORT: Track and field ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of South Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Mobile, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Jaguars


▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Cumberland University ▶ LOCATION: Lebanon, Tennessee ▶ MASCOT: Bulldogs

Photos by Sarah Finnegan and Kyle Parmley.

▶ SPORT: Track and field ▶ UNIVERSITY: Harding University ▶ LOCATION: Searcy, Arkansas ▶ MASCOT: Bisons

See LEVEL | page B4

B2 • March 2017

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March 2017 • B3

B4 • March 2017 LEVEL

CONTINUED from page B1

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▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Bowling Green State University ▶ LOCATION: Bowling Green, Ohio ▶ MASCOT: Falcons



▶ SPORT: Soccer ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Alabama in Huntsville ▶ LOCATION: Huntsville, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Chargers

COREY FERGUSON ▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Faulkner University ▶ LOCATION: Montgomery, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Eagles



▶ SPORT: Lacrosse ▶ UNIVERSITY: Columbia College ▶ LOCATION: Columbia, South Carolina ▶ MASCOT: Koalas

CORTEZ HALL ▶ SPORT: Baseball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Snead State CC ▶ LOCATION: Boaz, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Parsons


KYRA HUNTER ▶ SPORT: Cross-country ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Mobile ▶ LOCATION: Mobile, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Rams

▶ SPORT: Softball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Spring Hill College ▶ LOCATION: Mobile, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Badgers

DECARLOS HURT ▶ SPORT: Volleyball ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of New Orleans ▶ LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana ▶ MASCOT: Privateers


▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of North Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Florence, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Lions

JACOB KOPKIN ▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Sacred Heart University ▶ LOCATION: Fairfield, Connecticut ▶ MASCOT: Pioneers

CAITLYN LITTLE ▶ SPORT: Baseball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Nicholls State University ▶ LOCATION: Thibodaux, Louisiana ▶ MASCOT: Colonels

▶ SPORT: Track and field ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of South Carolina ▶ LOCATION: Columbia, South Carolina ▶ MASCOT: Gamecocks



▶ SPORT: Golf ▶ UNIVERSITY: Auburn University ▶ LOCATION: Auburn, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Tigers

▶ SPORT: Softball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Millsaps College ▶ LOCATION: Jackson, Mississippi ▶ MASCOT: Majors

▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Western Carolina University ▶ LOCATION: Cullowhee, North Carolina ▶ MASCOT: Catamounts



▶ SPORT: Baseball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Wallace State CC ▶ LOCATION: Hanceville, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Lions

▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of North Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Florence, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Lions



▶ SPORT: Baseball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Shelton State CC ▶ LOCATION: Tuscaloosa, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Buccaneers

C.J. STURDIVANT ▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of North Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Florence, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Lions

▶ SPORT: Baseball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Denison University ▶ LOCATION: Granville, Ohio ▶ MASCOT: Big Red


▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of North Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Florence, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Lions

CHRISTON TAYLOR ▶ SPORT: Golf ▶ UNIVERSITY: Millsaps College ▶ LOCATION: Jackson, Mississippi ▶ MASCOT: Majors

▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of North Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Florence, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Lions

See LEVEL | page B6

March 2017 • B5

B6 • March 2017 LEVEL

CONTINUED from page B4

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ABBY TISSIER ▶ SPORT: Softball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Auburn University ▶ LOCATION: Auburn, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Tigers



JARED WALKER ▶ SPORT: Golf ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of North Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Florence, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Lions

TYLER WILLIAMS ▶ SPORT: Baseball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Huntingdon College ▶ LOCATION: Montgomery, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Hawks

DYLAN BRADLEY ▶ SPORT: Baseball ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Alabama at Birmingham ▶ LOCATION: Birmingham ▶ MASCOT: Blazers

MADISON COBB ▶ SPORT: Cross-country/ track and field ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Tuscaloosa ▶ MASCOT: Crimson Tide

▶ SPORT: Soccer ▶ UNIVERSITY: U.S. Coast Guard Academy ▶ LOCATION: New London, Connecticut ▶ MASCOT: Bears

▶ SPORT: Soccer ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of West Alabama ▶ LOCATION: Livingston, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Tigers



▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Tulane University ▶ LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana ▶ MASCOT: Green Wave

▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Cumberland University ▶ LOCATION: Lebanon, Tennessee ▶ MASCOT: Bulldogs

▶ SPORT: Soccer ▶ UNIVERSITY: High Point University ▶ LOCATION: High Point, North Carolina ▶ MASCOT: Panthers

RACHEL CUNNINGHAM ▶ SPORT: Soccer ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of West Georgia ▶ LOCATION: Carrollton, Georgia ▶ MASCOT: Wolves

▶ SPORT: Swimming ▶ UNIVERSITY: San Diego State University ▶ LOCATION: San Diego, California ▶ MASCOT: Aztecs

March 2017 • B7


DOUGLAS HENZE ▶ SPORT: Tennis ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Chicago ▶ LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois ▶ MASCOT: Maroons

MARY KATHERINE HORTON ▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Harvard University ▶ LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts ▶ MASCOT: Crimson



▶ SPORT: Tennis ▶ UNIVERSITY: Davidson College ▶ LOCATION: Davidson, North Carolina ▶ MASCOT: Wildcats

▶ SPORT: Softball ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Texas ▶ LOCATION: Austin, Texas ▶ MASCOT: Longhorns

▶ SPORT: Softball ▶ UNIVERSITY: Auburn University ▶ LOCATION: Auburn, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Tigers





▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of the Cumberlands ▶ LOCATION: Williamsburg, Kentucky ▶ MASCOT: Patriots

▶ SPORT: Basketball ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Memphis ▶ LOCATION: Memphis, Tennessee ▶ MASCOT: Tigers


▶ SPORT: Golf ▶ UNIVERSITY: Samford University ▶ LOCATION: Birmingham ▶ MASCOT: Bulldogs

▶ SPORT: Softball ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Alabama in Huntsville ▶ LOCATION: Huntsville, Alabama ▶ MASCOT: Chargers

▶ SPORT: Golf ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of Louisville ▶ LOCATION: Louisville, Kentucky ▶ MASCOT: Cardinals


LARRY WOODEN ▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: University of the Cumberlands ▶ LOCATION: Williamsburg, Kentucky ▶ MASCOT: Patriots

▶ SPORT: Football ▶ UNIVERSITY: Arkansas State University ▶ LOCATION: Jonesboro, Arkansas ▶ MASCOT: Red Wolves

B8 • March 2017

Hoover Sun

Allan finishes Spain Park career on high note Manny Allan was unable to wrestle much in his sophomore and junior seasons, due to multiple knee injuries. Given the advice to give up wrestling after the knee injuries, Allan came back and put together a phenomenal senior season. Photo courtesy of Jim Pressler.

By KYLE PARMLEY When Manny Allan first saw the sign, he had a totally different picture in his head. “There was a sign at my football practice, saying there were tryouts for wrestling,” Allan said. “Back then, I was really into the WWE, so I was thinking ropes and everything.” His dad allowed him to sign up, but when he walked into the wrestling room for the first time as a fifth-grader, he was surprised. “I thought, ‘This is not what I pictured,’” Allan said. But he stuck with it and quickly became one of the top wrestlers in his class. He won the Metro championship as an eighth-grader at Oak Mountain Middle School, where he wrestled for two years. He moved to Spain Park High School prior to his freshman year, and advanced to the state tournament as a ninth-grader. He was well on his way to putting together an illustrious high school career, one full of eye-popping records and multiple accomplishments. Then adversity struck. A knee injury wiped out nearly all his sophomore season. Allan rehabbed and made it back for the final stretch of the year, but he was unable to qualify for the state tournament. But instead of using that as a propelling force into his junior year, pain struck again. He sustained another knee injury, one that would knock him out for the entire season. “I wanted to quit, because it was my second knee injury,” Allan said. After the initial depression of suffering that injury, he vowed to not let that moment define him, despite the advice others gave him. “Everyone told me I shouldn’t wrestle again, but I said, ‘I’m going to,’” he said. Through the regular season portion of the schedule, Allan lost just one match, to an opponent outside of Alabama. While his coaches were not surprised, Allan certainly was. “I was getting my butt kicked over the summer by kids I used to beat,” Allan said.

“I just kept going to practice every day, and I started getting better. It wasn’t until my first match that I didn’t get taken down once.” Despite being limited for the majority of the last two years, Allan has learned what it takes to be a high-quality wrestler. He cited mental toughness as one of the primary keys to winning or losing a match. He also is a firm believer in the power of a healthy diet.

He learned that lesson the hard way. In middle school, he was forced to cut a significant amount of weight in just a few weeks, and he said he went most days just eating a single orange. “It’s really hard to wrestle with just an orange [in your stomach],” he said. But after doing some research, he found the balance that worked for him. Now, he eats every

I was getting my butt kicked over the summer by kids I used to beat. I just kept going to practice every day, and I started getting better. It wasn’t until my first match that I didn’t get taken down once.


two hours, usually a protein-packed snack. He tries to consume 220 grams of protein per day and 130 grams of healthy fats. That confidence in his diet gives him an edge on the mat over counterparts who attempt to make weight by eating less. “If I go in every single match knowing that I’m going to make weight, I just have the energy,” Allan said. “Hard work helps.” Because Allan’s time on the mat has been limited the last few years, it has taken some time for college programs to take notice of his ability. His strong senior season took care of that quickly. “I thought I wasn’t going to get a scholarship, but colleges started contacting me. I do want to wrestle in college,” Allan said. “He has the ability to excel as a wrestler on the college level,” said his coach at Spain Park, Ryan Thompson. “To be good in college, you have to be good on your feet in the neutral position, and you have to hand-fight and be physical and aggressive, and that’s his strong suit.” As for his goals beyond college? Well, Allan still has “ropes and everything” in mind. “I’d love to go into the WWE. That would be cool,” he said.

March 2017 • B9

Teammates once again Jenna Olszewski and Abby Tissier to continue long-running relationship on the diamond as Tigers By KYLE PARMLEY Abby Tissier and Jenna Olszewski are near social opposites. Tissier is talkative by nature and attacks new situations with fervor. Olszewski is much more guarded and quiet and approaches inevitable change cautiously. The first time the two met brought out both of their personalities. Olszewski moved to Hoover from Michigan following her sixth-grade year and joined the Birmingham Bolts travel softball program. She was introduced to the team at a summer practice, a group of girls she had never met before. Tissier took Olszewski’s introduction in stride, but when the two saw each other at Bumpus Middle School, an instant bond formed. “I saw her at my school, and I said, ‘Jenna, what’s up?’” Tissier recalled excitedly. “We’ve just kind of grown really close over the years, and I love her.” Olszewski remembers Tissier’s constant energy that first practice and was taken aback. But she came around. “I never thought I would get along with someone like that because I’m so quiet and reserved and not very outgoing unless you know me,” Olszewski said. The two were inseparable as middle-schoolers and as freshmen at Hoover High School. Even though

Olszewski transferred to Spain Park High School before her sophomore year, they still played together with the Bolts through last summer. Their days as teammates are far from over, however. Olszewski committed to play at Auburn University during her freshman year of high school. One of her visits to the Plain made that decision easy. “I went for my visit during the Iron Bowl, when Auburn won the Kick Six game, and we all went crazy, and I knew right then that was where I wanted to be,” Olszewski said. Auburn was always Tissier’s top choice, and she committed a few months after Olszewski. There was never a doubt that the two would make plans to room together. They are convinced they will coexist successfully. “We were so close in middle school and even though she left, we’re still so close,” Tissier said. “I don’t feel like there’s going to be any difficulty with it. We’re going to help each other through hard times.” “We’re both very organized, and she’s very smart,” Olszewski said. “I think we’ll both hold each other accountable and help each other.” The two exceptional talents — Tissier is a catcher, while Olszewski can play several positions on the diamond — are not simply playing for the in-state school that will be happy to compete occasionally. Auburn’s

program has transformed into one with national championship aspirations each season, something that inspires and motivates both. “It’s like the opportunity of a lifetime,” Tissier said, “just to be coached by those coaches and just to be in that atmosphere.” Olszewski sees it as even more of an opportunity after Auburn fell one game short of its first Women’s College World Series victory in 2016, falling in game three to Oklahoma. “It’s very motivating,” she said. “It’s serious business. I wouldn’t go there expecting anything else. It makes you want to work harder, because you know people have unfinished business, after losing last year.” But before the two run off to college, there is one season of high school ball left, and their outlooks on the final season exacerbate their personalities. Tissier shows over-the-top excitement about what lies ahead. “I don’t want [my senior year] to end, but I do want it to end, because I really do want to go to Auburn,” she said. “Everyone is telling me it’s going to be the best four years of my life, and I so believe it. It’s just a really good opportunity.” For Olszewski, playing for Auburn in future years is a “dream come true,” but admitted the conclusion of her high school career will be emotional, especially considering the fact

Jenna Olszewski and Abby Tissier are set to play college softball together at Auburn. Photo courtesy of Jenna Olszewski.

Spain Park finished runner-up at the state tournament last season, and the Lady Jags have aspirations of getting back to that mark. “It’s every person’s dream (to win state). You want to be able to

say you’re the best. It gets you very excited,” Olszewski said. They may be two different people, but they will be joined at the hip for at least four more years beyond this spring.

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Above: Andrew Harris has been one of the anchors for Spain Park’s bowling team in each of the past two seasons, as the Jags have claimed back-to-back state titles. Left: Ryan Caraway at the AHSAA State Bowling Tournament. Photos by Sarah Finnegan.

Jags bring home 2nd straight bowling title By KYLE PARMLEY The Spain Park High School boys bowling team was in a hole, in danger of being denied the final leap in its quest for a repeat as Class 1A-7A state champions. Then a strike. Then another strike. Then another. Seven strikes later, the Jags looked up to find themselves with a 63-pin lead over Vestavia Hills with one game remaining, a lead they would hold onto to take home a second consecutive blue map, by defeating the Rebels 1,036899 in the finals on Jan. 27 at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham. “That just got everybody up. As long as we bowl loose, we bowl well. We were able to

bowl loose,” said Spain Park coach Stephen Hobbs. After an impressive 237 in the first of five games, the Jags held a 32-pin lead over the Rebels, one that was quickly erased in the second game. Vestavia bowled a 186 compared to just 133 for Spain Park, propelling the Rebels into the lead. Spain Park made up some of the gap in the third game, but still trailed by seven pins. Then, the 258 came in the fourth game, catapulting the Jags ahead for good and giving them the triumphant feeling once again. “There’s something about being there already,” Hobbs said. “They’ve already done it, and they have that feeling that they are supposed to win. What I was most proud of is

that they never caved. There was a point in the match where Vestavia was just throwing strike after strike, and we were struggling, but they came back and kept competing and won.” In the final, the Jags put out a lineup including Ryan Caraway, Tucker Contormo, Brady Cooper, Devin Dowdle, Andrew Harris, Jalen Johnson, Matthew Plexico and Wyatt Lumsden. Spain Park earned the second seed following the first day of the state tournament, with the Rebels claiming the top seed. The first day was used to determine seeding, setting up a bracket for the final day of action. The Jags began the day with a 1,002-755 win over Indian Springs. In the quarterfinals, the Jags pulled away in the final game of a tight match, beating Grissom 889-820. Spain

Park eclipsed the 1,000-pin barrier for the second time of the day as the Jags defeated Hewitt-Trussville, 1,022-927, setting up the final against Vestavia Hills. To advance to the state tournament, Spain Park finished in the top four of the South regional the previous weekend. The Lady Jags also advanced to the state tournament, and advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to Thompson in a heartbreaker, 712-711, the second time during the season the Spain Park girls team lost by a single pin. Caroline Parker, Julianna Cross, Mary Katherine Tedder, Ashley Tessman, Taylor Harrington, Alexis Anderson, Lindsay Parker and Josie Bonamy all competed for the Lady Jags at state.

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Above: Willa Green is putting extra emphasis on her last high school softball season, since she has no plans to play in college. Left: Third baseman Caroline Hart is one of five seniors for the Bucs. Photos by Kyle Parmley.

Team bonding an offseason emphasis for Bucs By KYLE PARMLEY The on-field talent is undoubtedly present, and now the Hoover High School softball team is counting on off-the-field growth to elevate the program’s status during the 2017 season. Conversation with the team’s five seniors reveals little to no talk about happenings inside the white chalk. Only two players graduated from last year’s squad that reached the North Central Regional, meaning there is plenty of familiarity amongst the current roster. Second baseman Shelby Lowery signed with the University of Montevallo, and pitcher Abby Grace Praytor is now at Spring Hill College. The rest of the infield has remained intact, with seniors rounding it out. Caroline Hart is back to man third base; Kaley Anthony returns at shortstop, Willa Green is

at first base, and Abby Tissier is back behind the plate. “We have a lot of leadership and experience in the infield,” Green said. They seem to have learned a great deal about themselves after last season and are looking to make their final season at Hoover a memorable one. “The main thing was we did encounter some hard stuff last year, but that allowed us to get closer,” said outfielder Leslie Norris, the other senior for the Bucs. “Not everyone is perfect all the time. Having that time to figure what each other’s weaknesses are and build off of that makes you become better when you’re at your high points.” In an effort to get closer as a team, the team looked outside of softball. During the offseason, the team hosted a pumpkin carving contest and enjoyed its annual Christmas party. The

girls have a Bible study once a week and also make the occasional bowling excursion. “We just worked to get our family stronger so that we can be able to rely on each other when we need each other,” Green said. That enhanced closeness allows the group of girls to push each other harder once on the field, having earned the trust of teammates and the credibility that comes with respect. “As a team, we need to be the team that everyone knows that we work hard,” Tissier said. “Everyone knows that we’re going to come out here and do what needs to be done, and we’re also going to do that outside the park, outside the ballfield.” That work will not stop now that the season has begun. “Our focus is to get better every day and grow stronger,” Hart said. Hart also spoke to the team making more

pointed goals this season, moving past the clichés of a normal set of objectives that everyone holds. “For everyone in the state, [the goal] is to go to state, obviously,” she said. “So for us, we talked about making smaller goals that are day by day.” The five seniors hope to lead the Bucs back to the state tournament in their senior season, something that has eluded them since 2014. Four of the five are moving on to play college softball next season, with the exception of Green. “It hits me harder than it hits them,” Green said. “I’ve been playing for 14 years and to just not have it one day is kind of sad, because of the relationships and because of the friends I’ve made.” All the more reason to make the most of the 2017 season.

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Bucs sweep state track and field titles Girls take 4th straight championship; boys win 1st since 2014 By SAM CHANDLER The Hoover High School boys and girls track and field teams followed their coach’s blueprint for success. They did what they could do. It was more than enough. The Buccaneer boys and girls ran away with the Class 7A titles at the AHSAA State Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 3-4 at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The Hoover girls defeated runner-up Mountain Brook, 123-78.5, to clinch their fourth straight state indoor title. The Hoover boys bested second-place Hewitt-Trussville, 11158, to capture their first state indoor title since 2014. “They did it better than they usually do,” head coach Devon Hind said. “They just stepped up.” While the points streamed in from almost every event, a handful of Hoover athletes made special splashes. Trent Hamner was one of them. The Hoover senior notched first-place finishes in the 400- and 800-meter runs, and he anchored two All-State relay teams. Entering the weekend, Hamner had never placed higher than sixth at the state level as an individual. “A lightbulb went off about three weeks ago, and he’ll probably never be the same again,” Hind said. “He’s believing in himself, and it’s unbelievable what he did this weekend.” Hamner picked up his first victory on Friday afternoon in the 800. His time of 1 minute,

The Hoover High School girls track and field team captured its fourth straight state indoor title at the 2017 AHSAA State Indoor Track and Field Championships, held Feb. 3-4 at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Photos by Sam Chandler.

54.69 seconds broke the 7A state-meet record set by Spain Park alumnus Daniel Nixon last February. Hamner said he toed the starting line with confidence. Never before, he said, had he experienced such coolness prior to a race. He led from start to finish. “I wanted to run my own race out front the

whole time, so I didn’t have to worry about juggling through people,” Hamner said. “I think just being able to run in lane one — smooth — and think about my own race really helped me do that.” Hamner doubled back on Saturday and pulled out a come-from-behind victory in the final steps of the 400. He sat at the back of the

pack for most of the race before tearing down the final straight. “Anybody who knows anything about track is shocked,” Hind said of Hamner’s mid-distance sweep. Hamner wrapped up his memorable meet by anchoring the Bucs’ first-place 4x800-meter relay team and second-place 4x400-meter relay

2017 Nominations open through March 8 | Voting begins March 10 |

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The Hoover High School boys track and field team won its first state indoor title since 2014 at the 2017 AHSAA State Indoor Track and Field Championships, held Feb. 3-4 at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

team. Hoover’s 4x800 relay was the state’s only boys team to break 8 minutes in the event. It finished in 7:59.97. Tommy McDonough, another Buccaneer standout, contributed to that sub-8 effort. He did it on tired legs. McDonough, the reigning 7A state cross-country champion, had taken first-place finishes in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs earlier in the meet. He unleashed a furious kick in the final lap of each race to best his nearest competitor, Hewitt-Trussville’s John Ngaruiya. McDonough edged Ngaruiya 4:25.41 to

4:25.84 in the 1,600 and 9:26.88 to 9:28.39 in the 3,200. His 3,200 time broke the 7A statemeet record. “I’m just thrilled for him. A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t sure he still had that in him,” Hind said. “Our distance [group], we seemed kind of dead-legged, and we hadn’t been performing like we thought we could, then he showed up this week when it mattered.” McDonough’s 3,200 victory marked his first individual state track title. Previously, he had finished second four times. “It felt good,” said McDonough, a senior. “I had some disappointments in the

past in races I feel like I should have won. I guess experience has just helped me out with that.” Shining performances from senior Caitlyn Little highlighted an all-around polished showing from the Hoover girls. Three days after signing her letter of intent to compete collegiately at the University of South Carolina, she flashed her Southeastern Conference-caliber talent. On Saturday, she won the 60-meter hurdles, took second in the 60-meter dash and finished fourth in the 400. The evening before she anchored the Bucs’ state champion 4x200-meter

relay team. Reflecting on the weekend after her final event, she rated her performance a nine and a half out of 10. “It feels awesome just being able to help the team out and get points,” Little said. Genesis Jones, a junior, provided the Bucs a boost in the field. She tied the 7A state-meet record in the high jump with a clearance of 5 feet, 4 inches, which resulted in a first-place finish. She also placed second in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump. “It feels really good,” Jones said. “At the end of the day, it’s just about having fun, and I have a really great time out here competing. I just try to PR and do better every meet.” Hoover pole vaulters Jacob Doak and James Courson appeared to adopt that same mentality. Doak placed second in the pole vault with a personal-best clearance of 15-6; Courson placed third at 14 feet. The crowd applauded as Doak strode down the runway toward the pit for his last few attempts. When he sailed over his personal-best bar, the bleachers erupted in cheers. He pumped his arms in celebration during his descent to the mat. His hard work had paid off at the perfect moment. “That’s how the whole team was,” Hind said. “They do it for each other, and it’s awesome.” It was a good weekend to have a good weekend. The Bucs, in prime form, delivered when it counted. “That,” Hind said, “is how you win championships.”


The Spain Park boys track and field team finished seventh in Class 7A with 38 points. The Jags were led by senior Thomas Jordan, who scored points in three individual events. He placed third in the 60 hurdles, fourth in the long jump and seventh in the 60 dash. His teammate, Christian Strong, won the 60 hurdles in 8.42 seconds. The Jags’ 4x200-meter relay team recorded a third-place finish. Douglas Henze finished fifth in the shot put. The Spain Park girls placed 14th with two points.

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s days turn warmer, it’s time to start thinking about summertime at last, and no summer is complete without a camp experience. Peruse our guide to learn more about which programs best fit your child’s personality, interest, age and availability. No matter which you choose, it’s time to jump in for fun and adventure this summer.

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Grow theater skills in BCT summer camps For children with a flair for the dramatic, they can shine in the Birmingham Children’s Theatre summer camps. BCT offers camps for children pre-K through eighth grade, with activities including theater basics, dance, stage combat, music and fairy tales. The summer camps aren’t just about theater, though. BCT Director of Advancement and Sales LeNa McDonald said they keep an eye on education standards throughout the year to incorporate into their programs. “BCT allows children to gain foundations in all aspects of theater while also giving them the opportunity to perform. In addition, all of our camps are routed in academic programs that support continued learning throughout the summer even when school is not in session,” McDonald said. “We monitor reading, literature, theater and STEM learning objectives and standards throughout the school year to also implement those standards into our summer offerings.” The Young Actor’s Theatre at BCT is designed to inspire creativity, confidence and a sense of community through the exploration and practice of theater skills. This includes not only summer camps, but private instruction and programs year round. BCT has offered summer camps at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) for more than 10 years. This year’s camps include: Summer Theatre Camp #1 ► June 5-6, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ► Pre-K-second grade ► Explores theater fundamentals with

music, storytelling, dance and crafts ► Registration: $200 before April 1; $250 after April 1 Summer Theatre Camp #2 ► June 12-16, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ► Third-eighth grade ► Students will take classes in acting, dance, music and stage combat. The last day of this camp will feature a showcase. ► Registration: $300 before April 1; $350 after April 1 Summer Theatre Camp #3: Fairy Tale Tellers ► June 19-23, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ► Pre-K-second grade ► Students will play games and create short stories to make fairy tales come to life by the end of camp. Parents will be invited to open house on Friday to see how the students tell their tales. ► Registration: $200 before April 1; $250 after April 1 Summer Theatre Camp #4: Behind the Mask ► June 26-30, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ► Third-eighth grade ► Students will use different activities to create and tell a story through movement and dance while masked. Every child has a “mask” they hide behind, and these activities will allow the students to discover their own truths. The performance at the end of the week will be created from their own stories and a poem about being true to oneself. ► Registration: $300 before April 1; $350 after April 1 Visit for more information.

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Huntington offers summer tutoring sessions Huntington Learning Center is offering summer tutoring sessions so your student can catch up or get ahead for the coming year. “We give personalized attention and tailor make the program for the student,” said Marty Lively, owner of Huntington Learning Center in Vestavia. “We focus on more than homework help. We figure out where their struggle is and work from there at the student’s pace, not ours.” Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, algebra through calculus, chemistry and other sciences. It preps for the ACT and SAT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of state standards. For most students, study skills are not inherent. These aptitudes take time to learn and consistent practice to be most effective. Whether your child is a successful student or struggling with one or more subjects, there are certain essential skills that will build a foundation for his or her success in school and life. Huntington Learning Center focuses on something called executive functions. Executive functions are neurologically based skills that require self-regulation or mental processing. Put simply, they help children focus, prioritize tasks, set goals and work toward them, and stay attentive when studying. These functions include organization, time management, planning and retention. Organization will help the student to keep workspaces tidy and put supplies in places where they can be found easily combined with the ability to stay on top of homework and supplies needed in class and at home. Time management will teach students to organize one’s time with the aid of a planner/calendar in order to maximize work time and deter procrastination. Planning teaches

the ability to manage short-term and long-term to-dos. Retention will teach the ability to retain information and retrieve it later when completing a task. Students will also learn note-taking skills at the summer sessions. “Students need to develop a reliable method of taking notes and make sure their notes record key points covered both in textbook and in the class,” said Lively. The learning center focuses on test-taking skills, as well. “A solid study plan is the core of a good test-taking strategy,” said Lively. “Children who embrace reliable

learning methods and stick to a study schedule are best equipped to perform well on exams, but most need guidance to fine tune their test-taking skills.” Huntington also offers tutoring geared toward standardized testing and college entrance exams. “We also have ACT prep,” said Lively. “This is one on one instruction dynamic because the focus is usually scholarship dollars or entrance into a college or university.” Huntington Learning Center is located at 790 Montgomery Highway, Suite 112, Vestavia Hills, AL. We are in the Vestavia Hills City Center, next to Publix.

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Come to camp at McWane Science Center

What will your child do over summer vacation? McWane Science Center Summer Camps make learning an unforgettable adventure you just can’t experience anywhere else. In one week of camp, your budding scientist can discover a dinosaur, travel into outer space, design and build a skyscraper, or explore the ocean floor. Various themes and activities allow children to experience something new each day. Blast off in Cosmo Camp, investigate with CSI McWane, or get creative in Smarty Arty Pants Camp. Robotics, cool chemistry,

dive into marine biology or dig paleontology. The flexible programs allow you to choose programs you want for your child for a full week of fun and learning! Summer Camps will be offered for seven weeks beginning June 5 and ending July 28. Each session is a week in length. We will offer morning camps for Pre K and K children from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Camps for grades 1 through 7 are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Before and aftercare will also be available each day. Don’t miss out on a great program of science and

wonder here at McWane Science Center this summer! We will show your kids how fun science can be for them. Summer Camps: ► June 5 – July 28 ► Each session lasts one week (M-F) ► Grades Pre K and K – 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. ► Grades 1 through 7 – 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. ► Before and aftercare available ► Includes lunch and snack each day

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Enjoy summer with different camp themes each week Campers can have fun and grow spiritually all summer long at Shades Mountain Independent Church’s summer day and overnight camps. Camp Straight Street day camp is from June 5 to Aug. 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an overnight camp at YMCA Hargis Retreat during the last week for thirdthrough eighth-grade kids. Families have the option to sign up by the day or by the week to fit their individual schedules, and they can also arrange for early dropoff or late pick-up between 7:15 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. for working parents. “Each week is themed to make the weeks different. Though the structure of camp stays the same, the different activities change making each week feel new and exciting,” said Children’s Pastor Jonathan Owen. Activities at Camp Straight Street include waterslides, game shows and game-room activities. “We’ve got a giant Lego pit, state-ofthe-art Anki Overdrive remote controlled racetrack, every game console you can imagine. Not to mention air hockey, foosball and just about every board game known to man. Needless to say, there’s a lot of fun each week,” Owen said. Plus, each week features special activities related to the week’s theme, such as competing in an “Iron Chef” or “American Idol” contest in TV Camp and filming a movie to premiere at the Straight Street Film Festival for Studio Camp. Some of this summer’s themes include Carnival Camp, Jedi Camp, Cowboy Camp, Adventure Camp and more. Counselors at the camp not only

provide children with safe, fun activities but also with spiritual lessons each day. Owen said hearing these lessons – and seeing counselors live them out – are as beneficial to the kids as all the great memories they’ll take with them. “More than the fun-filled days of camp, the thing that kids enjoy the most at Camp Straight Street is the great staff

that we have each summer. Our counselors go out of their way to make each kid feel important and loved. We work hard to make sure that each camper feels that when they are there, they are part of family,” Owen said. Shades Mountain Independent Church’s Camp Straight Street is open to children ages 5 through eighth grade.

Weekly rates are $135, or $40 per day of camp, with a one-time $30 registration fee. There are additional fees for sixth-eighth grade field trips, early and late programs and lunch or snack plans. Overnight camp is $265. For more information about camp themes, participation, fees and more, go to

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YMCA summer day camp focuses on youth development Youth development is the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical processes that all youth uniquely experience from birth to career. A successful developmental process fulfills children and teens’ innate need to be loved, spiritually grounded, educated, competent and healthy. Trading stories and sharing a favorite book or song with a new friend. Being greeted with smiles and high-fives from staff and teammates after scoring the winning point. Always fitting in, just for being you. This is what Summer Day Camp at the YMCA of Greater Birmingham is all about — ensuring kids get more out of their summer break: more friendships, more achievement, and more belonging. The Y is a place where kids feel safe, welcomed and can express their individuality in an environment that provides positive relationships, encourages parent engagement, and helps children realize their passions and talents. It’s also loads of fun! To learn more or to register, go online to Other YMCA summer opportunities: ► YMCA Camp Cosby The YMCA of Greater Birmingham’s sleepaway camp, Camp Cosby, offers a one-week, co-ed, safe and structured experience for children ages 6 to 16 on the shores of Logan Martin Lake. YMCA Camp Cosby gives children a chance to play hard, make new friends, and have the adventure of a lifetime in a safe, fun and structured environment. Your camper will develop new skills, gain confidence, make friends and have an amazing experience.

► YMCA Hargis Retreat Unlike other day camp programs, Summer Day Camp at Hargis is really camp! Located on 200+ wooded acres complete with swimming pool, hiking trails, fields for games, rock face for climbing, and our own private lake, it is the perfect backdrop for the traditional camp activities that we offer. Activities include: • Hiking • Fishing • Canoeing • Lake swimming • Archery • Rock climbing ► Summer Adventures In Learning (S.A.I.L.) The Summer Adventures In Learning program works with struggling students in grades 3-5 who need extra help. Summer Adventures In Learning is designed to help prevent learning loss, offer chances to explore new interests and skills and close the achievement gap for children from lower income communities. ► THINGAMAJIG® Invention Convention July 2017 THINGAMAJIG® is a daylong event that combines STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), active fitness and play, creative eco-art and team challenges into one child-focused festival. Learn more online at thingamajig.

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Register for one of many creative camps

Keep learning in a variety of classes

From electrical circuits and American Girl dolls to art and nature observation, Aldridge Gardens’ summer camps are all about stimulating children’s creativity. The weeklong summer camps are held in June from 9 a.m.noon, with three different camps each week. This year’s camps include: American Girls ► 5K-third grade ► Runs all four weeks ► Bring your doll to camp. You and your doll will explore the magic of the Gardens; you’ll make all kinds of accessories and crafts for you and your dolls, and even have a tea party. Paper Circuitry ► June 5-9 (fourth-fifth grade) ► Learn to make simple or complex electrical circuits on a piece of paper. Copper tape and surface-mount LEDs allow you to turn a fully functional circuit into a light-up greeting card, origami animals or three-dimensional pop-up paper sculptures with working lights. Cool Art in the Garden ► June 5-9 (fourth-fifth frade), June 19-23 (second-fourth grade), June 2630 (5K-second grade) ► Look at the world differently. Each day, explore nature using a new medium, looking at a new model. One day watercolors of the lake, another charcoals of trees. Observing your Observation ► 5K-second grade ► June 12-16 ► Using all of your senses mindfully, get to know the Gardens. Discover

Summer is the perfect time to try something new, dive deeper into a current interest, fine tune math and English skills or fulfill required courses in a more relaxed environment. Altamont offers a wide array of quality classes, taught by our outstanding faculty, that are both educational and fun. Altamont’s six-week program is open to rising 1st through 12th graders. It includes three separate sections of two-week classes: June 5-16, June 19-30 and July 5-14. Early and after hour care is available. Registration opens February 1 at Credit courses: High school credit courses for rising 9th-12th graders include Altamont-required half-credit courses in Speech, Laboratory Technology and Health. Full-credit courses are offered in Honors Geometry and ninth grade Honors Ancient and Medieval Civilizations. Elective classes for rising 3rd-8th grade students include photography, theater, cooking, astronomy and gaming, as well as enrichment classes in math and English. One of our exciting

the visual differences in trees, camouflage and colors, then magnify them. Feel your way around, catch a whiff of various items in nature, do some taste testing. Listen. The more you can connect, the more you can enjoy. Engineering FUNdamentals ► 5K-second grade ► June 12-16 ► Want to be an engineer? Do you like to design and build things? This camp is perfect for kids who like to know how and why things work. We will create and construct fun, educational projects. Construction in Nature ► June 19-23 (5K-second grade), June 26-30 (second-fourth grade) ► Do you just love being outdoors? Join us for a week of building and adventure. We will use a variety of materials to make structures while enjoying adventures in the natural world of the Gardens. Camp registration begins in February for Aldridge Gardens members and March for non-members, continuing until classes are full. Registration is $115 per week for members and $135 for non-members, with a $35 cancellation fee. Register at

new offerings this summer is a creative writing/gaming course with Lou Anders, award-winning author of the Thrones & Bones books and game. Sports and music camps: Our popular basketball and soccer day camps are open to players of all skill levels in rising 1st-12th grades. Music offerings include rock band camp, band camp and string camp. Whether it’s enrichment, enlightenment or entertainment, Altamont has what your child needs most this summer — something constructive to do. Enroll today. Registration and course information at Contact Dr. Josh Barnard, Summer Program Director, at

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Spend the summer on stage From singing and improv to stage combat and makeup, the Virginia Samford Theatre’s summer camp introduces children to the wide world of theater before the final curtain closes. Summer camp at VST is meant for beginning and intermediate theater students ages 7 to 17. Education coordinator Jennifer Spiegelman said the camp staff enjoys introducing children to their craft and tailors the lessons to their students’ abilities. “Our main goals of Camp VST are helping students to build confidence, learning to work together effectively and efficiently as a group, and developing and exploring their creativity. These three goals filter into all of the activities we do, whether games, scene study or improvisation,” Spiegelman said. All camps include lessons in acting, dancing, singing, improvisation, stage combat, Shakespeare and stage makeup taught by Birmingham drama

teachers, actors and directors. The twoweek summer session explores these topics in more depth and closes with a showcase for campers’ parents. “Theater is such an expansive art, but most students are only introduced to the acting or singing part of it,” Spiegelman said. “Every single student can benefit from an education in theater, even if they don’t want to become a Broadway star. Arts education is not only a wonderful tool to instill arts appreciation, but a way to enrich, enhance and cultivate a better understanding of self and community.” The one-week sessions are June 5-9 and June 12-16, while the two-week session runs June 19-30. All sessions are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration fees are $295 for one-week sessions and $550 for the two-week session, with full payment due by May 22. For more information go to

Summer-sault into a good time at Vision Gymnastics Summer camp at Vision Gymnastics is all about getting kids moving, even if they’ve never tried a somersault or a handspring. Gym manager, Jodie Juneac, said Vision’s high energy full day and half day summer camps include not only gymnastics, but also arts and crafts, trampoline time, foam pit play, outdoor play and plenty of games at their Hoover facility. “The kids are moving the entire time and get the opportunity to meet lots of new friends,” Juneac said. “The kids have so much fun that they don’t want to leave when parents come to get them.” Camps run Monday through Friday from June 5 to August 4, except the

week of July 3-7. Full day camps last 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and half day camps can run either 8-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-4 p.m. Juneac said the camps are open to all children ages 3 and older who are interested in being active, having fun and making new friends. Registration begins February 15. Registration requires a $50 non-refundable deposit with a total fee of $275 per week for full day camps and $175 per week for half day camps. The Vision Gymnastics website has a parent portal for registration at Vision Gymnastics is at 3314 Old Columbiana Road in Hoover. Call 9797969 for more information.

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Calendar Hoover Events Tuesday nights: Kids eat free at Vecchia Pizzeria & Mercato. 610 Preserve Parkway. (One child per adult). Visit March 2: Economic Development Committee Meeting. 8:30 a.m. Hoover Chamber of Commerce. Visit March 4: Annual Judy M. Merritt 5K and Fun Walk. 8 a.m. Veterans Park, Valleydale Road. $30 for race, $20 for walk. Visit March 4: City of Hoover’s 19th Annual Arbor Day Celebration. 9:30 a.m. Aldridge Gardens. Visit March 7: Minority Business Council Meeting. 8:30 a.m. Hoover Chamber of Commerce. Visit March 9: Hoover Chamber Coffee & Contacts. 7:30-9 a.m. Golds Gym, Pelham. Visit March 9: Hoover Service Club Meeting- Easter Basket Community Service. 11 a.m. Hoover Country

Club. Annual preparation of Easter basket for children served by the United Way Food Bank at the Green Valley Baptist Church. Lunch (optional) $18. Call 979-5699 for lunch reservations. March 15: Chamber Ambassador Meeting. 4:30 p.m. Hoover Chamber Office. Visitors welcome. Visit March 16: Hoover Chamber Luncheon. Hyatt Regency-The Wynfrey Hotel. 11:15 a.m. Networking, Noon Luncheon. Call 205-988-5672 or email for reservations. Visit March 19: Second Chance Greyhounds Meet & Greet. 1 p.m. PetSmart, Riverchase Village. Adoptive families and hounds interact and promote the program to encourage adoption. March 21: Hoover Historical Society Meeting. 1:30 p.m. Hoover Library. Author and Oak Hill Cemetery historian, Jim Langley, will speak on sayings unique to Alabama in a humorous presentation showing the history and reasons behind lyrical words and phrases we use and misuse.

March 21: Special Education Community Alliance Hoover March Meeting. 6 p.m. Hoover City Hall Council Chambers. Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer will be discussing the ABLE Act. Visit March 22: How to Send Your Child to College Without Going Bankrupt. 6 p.m. Riverchase Baptist Church. Presented by Philip Wilson of Wilson Financial Group. RSVP to 745-3947 or visit churchrsvp. com. March 23: Business After Hours. 5:30-7 p.m. Painting With a Twist, Lee Branch Shopping Center. Visit March 24: Health Care Starts with Healthy Eating. 12:15 p.m. Hoover Senior Center. Presented by OLLI of Greater Birmingham. Visit March 25: Hoover XtremeAIR 5K Obstacle Race Series. 8 a.m. Veterans Park, Valleydale Road. Visit March 30: Open House at the Cajun Cleaver. 5:30 p.m.

Stardome Comedy Club March 1-2: The Tennessee Tramp. 7:30 p.m. $9.75.

Saturday. 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $20. Ages 17 and up.

March 2: Positively Funny Improv. 7 p.m. $9.

March 7: Chingo Bling. 7:30 p.m. $23-$38.

March 3: Open Mic Night. 7:30 p.m. $8.

March 10: Open Mic Night. 7:30 p.m. $8.

March 3-5: Tony Roberts. 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday, 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

March 14: Jake Johannsen. 7:30 p.m. $20. Ages 17 and up.

March 15-19: Dale Jones. 7:30 p.m. WedFri, 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $9.75-$16.50. March 17: Open Mic Night. 7:30 p.m. $8. March 24: Open Mic Night. 7:30 p.m. $8. March 31: Open Mic Night. 7:30 p.m. $8.

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Hoover Public Library Kids Mondays: Together with Twos. 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Mondays: Story Lab. 4 p.m. Ages 3-8. Tuesdays: Mother Goose. 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays: Early Birds. 10 a.m. Wednesdays: Rockin’ Tots. 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Thursdays: ExploraStory. 10:30 a.m. Thursdays: PJ Storytime. 6:30 p.m. March 3 & 24: Movers & Shakers. 11 a.m. March 4: Crafty Characters Presents- Mr. Potato Head. 10:30 a.m. All ages. March 6: Reader’s Cafe: Upper Elementary Book Club. 6:30 p.m. Realistic fiction. March 7: Raging Readers: Middle School Book Club. 6:30 p.m. March 11: Beast’s Enchanted Castle. 10:30 a.m. Join Beast and Belle for crafts and games. All ages. March 14: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead- Pi Day. 4 p.m. March 15: Homeschool Hub. 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. Alabama Symphony Petting Zoo. March 17: Tween Scene- Junk Food Smorgasboard. 4 p.m. Ages 10-14. March 18: Spin-A-Story. 10:30 a.m. Silly stories. March 20: Reading Sidekicks. 6:30 p.m. Eye to Eye with Steve Jenkins. March 28: The Secret Life of Pets. 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Library Theatre. Free refreshments. March 29: Party Animals.10:30 a.m. Games and crafts.

6:30 p.m. The Library Theatre. Film with free admission and refreshments.

March 30: Dogs v. Cats storytime showdown. 10:30 a.m. Stories, rhymes and snack.

March 9: Second Thursday Fiction Book Group. 10 a.m. Fitzgerald Room. Arrowood by Laura McHugh.

March 30: Pet Craft Palooza. 2 p.m.

March 11: How to Find Grants. 10:30 a.m. Training Center. Learn how to use the Foundation Center Cooperative database to find grants for nonprofits and individuals. Reservations required.

Teens March 28: Teen Movie Night Out. 4 p.m. Showing of Power Rangers at Patton Creek Carmike. Admission provide, registration required. Ages 14-18. Adults Tuesdays, March 7-28: Adult English Classes. 6:30 p.m. Basic or Intermediate English Classes. No registration required. Thursdays, March 2-30: English Conversation Club. 6:30 p.m. Informal English practice for speakers of other languages. March: 2: First Thursday Fiction Book Group. 10 a.m. Fitzgerald Room. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. March 2: George Griffin & the Firebirds. 6:30 p.m. Library Plaza. Blues and Southern rock band featuring a mixture of classic covers and original material. March 3: Psych Friday. 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Theatre Level Meeting Rooms. Sessions and activities will explore what psychologists have discovered about brain, mind and behavior. March 4: D-I-Y Credit Repair in Five Parts. Session 1: Wise Use of Credit. 10:30 a.m. Fitzgerald and Shakespeare Rooms. March 5: Sunday NovelTea Fiction Book Group. 3 p.m. Plaza Reading Room. Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart. March 6: Friends of the Hoover Library. Cool Inside: A Brief History of the Alabama Theatre. 10 a.m. Theatre Level Meeting Rooms. Refreshments at 9:45 a.m. March 6: Slavery by Another Name. 2 p.m. &

March 11: Purl @ the Plaza. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Library Plaza. Plan some beautiful projects to match the beautiful weather. March 13: Helping Hands. 3p.m.-8:30 p.m. Nonfiction Department. Drop in to make newspaper rolls for a local humane society. Teens and adults. March 14: The A, B, C & Ds of Medicare. 1:00 p.m. Theatre Conference Room. Get simple and straightforward answers at this workshop. March 14: No Reading Required: Teamwork and The Walking Dead. 6:30 p.m. Theatre Conference Room. Read, watch or listen, then join the group. March 14: Spanish Conversation Club. 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Library Plaza. Practice your Spanish and celebrate the culture. Adults 17 and up. March 16: Movie Trivia Night. 6:30 p.m. Library Plaza. You love the silver screen, but does your team know the most about movies? Compete for prizes in our monthly trivia. March 16-17: The Celtic Tenors. 7:30 p.m. The Library Theatre. Tickets $25.

folk songs with guitarist and singer Blaine Goodwin. March 20: Neuroscience Cafe: Coping with Macular Degeneration. 6:30 p.m. Theatre Level Meeting Rooms. Presented by the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. Free. March 21: Glue Gun Gang: Super Pretty Switch Plates. 6:30 p.m. Theatre Conference Room. A quick way to beautify our homes! Adults only. Reservations required. Free. March 21: Write Club Flash Fiction Night. 7 p.m. The Library Theatre. Come enjoy a night of poetry, fiction and other readings from the members of Write Club. March 21: French Conversation Club. 7 p.m. Library Plaza. Practice your French and celebrate the culture. March 23: Glue Gun Gang: Super Pretty Switch Plates. 10:30 a.m. Shakespeare Room. March 23: Nighttime Nonfiction Book Group. 7:00 p.m. Theatre Conference Room. Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright. March 24: OLLI Bonus Course “Healthy Eating.” 12:15 p.m. Hoover Senior Center. Visit March 24: After Hours @ the Plaza: Game Nite. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Library Plaza. Put your game face on and team up with your fellow gamers.

March 18: Insatiable Readers: Strong Women. 10:30 a.m. Plaza Reading Room. Feed your need for nonfiction titles and bookish conversations while you enjoy a cup of coffee.

March 25: Muscle Shoals. 2:30 p.m. The Library Theatre. An all-star cast pays tribute to the Alabama town that has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. Free admission and refreshments.

March 18: D-I-Y Credit Repair in Five Parts. 10:30 a.m. Fitzgerald and Shakespeare Rooms. Session Two: One-on-one sessions to plan your credit cleanup strategy.

March 26: Glue Gun Gang: Super Pretty Switch Plates. 3 p.m. Shakespeare Room.

March 19: Blaine Goodwin. 2:30 p.m. Library Plaza. Join us for an afternoon of Celtic and British

March 27: Monday at the Movies. 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The Library Theatre. Free admission and refreshments.


MARCH 2017


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SCHAEFFER EYE CENTER Schaeffer Eye Center Q: What is the Schaeffer EyeCare experience? A: Schaeffer Eye Center is a family-owned and operated optometry practice founded over 35 years ago with the mission of providing the very best in cutting edge vision care and style in the region. The Schaeffer EyeCare Experience is based on three core values: science, style and service, which enables us to take care of you and your entire family. Our doctors, clinicians, patient advocates and eyewear consultants are dedicated to providing you comprehensive eyecare, fashion-forward eyewear and exemplary service. Q: What makes Schaeffer Eye Center unique? A: There are many attributes that make Schaeffer Eye Center a unique company. Patient care is at the root of everything we do, which is why Schaeffer Eye Center has a wide spectrum of services, convenient locations and office hours. What makes us really stand out is our team. The Schaeffer team builds and sustains relationships with every patient from check-in to check-out. We know insurance is confusing, and Schaeffer Eye Center patient advocates understand your insurance and billing process to eliminate confusion


and stress. Schaeffer Eye Center doctors and clinicians provide a thorough and efficient eye exam to ensure your eyes are healthy and seeing well, and Schaeffer Eye Center eyewear consultants personally help you through the selection processes of frames and sunglasses for your medical needs, facial features, lifestyle and budget. Q: What eyecare services does Schaeffer Eye Center provide? A: Schaeffer Eye Center has a highly trained staff of doctors and clinicians to provide comprehensive eye exams that include advanced medical testing for the entire family. The integration and use of advanced technology is an important part of what separates us from other optometry practices. We are able to detect and provide treatment options for glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration. Investing in advanced treatment options such as LipiFlow allows us to improve the quality of life for patients living with chronic dry eye conditions. Schaeffer Eye Center’s Pediatric Department offers vision therapy, myopia control, concussion management and sports and reading acceleration.



Schaeffer LaserVision provides the latest in LASIK surgery with one of the most experienced surgeons in the world conducting surgery on more than 80,000 patients, including 300 eye doctors. Schaeffer Eye Center also provides the largest selection

of contact lenses including toric, multifocal and specialty lenses, and the best selection of eyewear including exclusive brands such as SAMA, SALT. Optics, Robert Marc, Barton Perreira and l.a. Eyeworks. Q: What does Schaeffer

Eye Center support in the community? A: As a local business, Schaeffer Eye Center truly embraces the communitycentric philosophy by supporting many organizations, nonprofits and events. Schaeffer Eye Center is a proud partner of the Birmingham Zoo, supporting the Schaeffer Eye Center Lorikeet Aviary and Wildlife Show. Schaeffer Eye Center commissioned the first piece of art at Red Mountain Park with the addition of Schaeffer Specs to accompany the Schaeffer Eye Center Segway Tours. It is vital for the growth and betterment of our communities to support what is important to our staff and patients. We contribute to numerous nonprofits and organizations including the Arthritis Foundation, Lupus Foundation and American Cancer Society, Camp SAM, Children’s Harbor, Junior League of Birmingham, school athletic programs and Alabama Symphony Orchestra to name a few. Schaeffer Eye Center is also the title sponsor for the Village 2 Village 10K in Mountain Brook on March 11th, where we will also donate eyecare services to economically disadvantaged children in the community on behalf of registrants.


ENCORE REHABILITATION 2801 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite 141


Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Q: Encore modifies treatments based on the needs of each patient. How important is that to your patient’s recovery? A: We know everyone has a choice in their therapy provider. We strive to make sure every patient gets their individualized therapy program performed with the greatest care possible. Our patients receive the highest quality care because they will see a licensed therapist every visit. We try to make it the most positive experience that you can have while still doing the work it takes to get you back to doing all the things you love to do. Q: How does your staff coordinate treatment with a patient’s physicians? A: When our patients have a doctor’s appointment, we make sure they have a progress note. Sometimes, we even talk directly to the doctor to make sure our program stays focused on the goals of the entire rehab team. Our Hoover clinic is quite unique in that the therapists have over 75 years of sports medicine experience. Steve Milliron PT/ATC (24 years), Mark Wilson PT (27 years), Kristine Milliron OT/CHT (23 years), and Cori Waters PTA/ATC (4 years) are the therapists that make Encore great!

STEVE MILLIRON Q: Encore Rehabilitation now offers dry needling at your facilities. How has that helped treat your patients? A: Dry needling is a fairly new technique being offered in PT. Encore therapists are trained in dry needling for our patients. We recently had a patient who was involved in a motor vehicle accident, and he had many trigger point problems in his shoulder and neck area. After therapy and some dry needling, he felt tremendously better and was able to get back to doing what he loved. Q: Could you tell us about Encore’s relationship with Hoover High School? A: Encore in Hoover is a proud sponsor of the sports medicine and athletic training programs at Hoover High School. Our relationship is now over 10 years old and it has been a great partnership. Encore’s therapists and athletic trainers work closely with the high school athletic trainers and junior high athletes to ensure that Hoover has one of the highest quality and strongest sports medicine programs in the country.

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Q: What is an allergist? A: Many people don’t know when to see an allergist or what conditions they specifically treat. A board-certified allergist/ immunologist is a doctor who specializes in allergy, asthma and immunology. Allergists treat both pediatric and adult patients and specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies — environmental, food, drug, insect — asthma, chronic cough, hay fever, skin disorders — eczema and hives — chronic infections and immunologic disorders. Q: Why should I see an allergist instead of my primary physician or another specialist? A: There can be confusion about when to see an allergist versus a primary care physician, ENT, pulmonologist, dermatologist or gastroenterologist. An allergist offers nonsurgical treatment options. Their goal is to identify the underlying cause of your symptoms or abnormal immune response. All of our allergists/ immunologists are certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) and have completed at least nine years of medical training, including their fellowship

in allergy and immunology. Allergists are the only type of providers who receive the specialized training to perform and interpret allergy testing, treat complex allergic diseases, asthma and prescribe allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots). Always talk to your primary care physician about your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or persist after initial

treatment, you may be referred to a specialist. Q: When should I see an allergist? A: Many times we deal with our symptoms without seeking medical attention because they aren’t severe; however, allergies, asthma and immune disorders can be serious, and should be treated seriously.

Many people with different allergic diseases simply don’t realize how severe their condition may be, how much better they could feel with treatment or how their overall quality of life could be improved. Consult an allergist/ immunologist: ► If you have an allergic reaction to a food, insect bite

or sting; ► If you need accurate testing and need to find out what you are, and are not, allergic to ► If your asthma causes frequent symptoms, affects school/work/sleep/exercise, or leads to frequent doctor or emergency room visits, or if an asthma attack has led to hospitalization ► If you have allergy symptoms that affect your lifestyle or lead to recurrent sinus infections ► If your medications (overthe-counter or prescribed) are not helpful in treating allergic rhinitis, asthma or cause unwanted side effects ► If you have hives (urticaria) or swelling (angioedema) ► If you have moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (especially if an infant or child) ► If you desire to reduce your medications or wish to improve, and possibly cure, your allergic rhinitis or asthma through allergy shots ► If you need antibiotics at least once a year or you have sinus infections, recurrent colds or chronic bronchitis ► If you want the most up-to-date and individualized treatment options for your immunological condition. Q: How do I make an appointment? A: Call us at 205-871-9661 or visit us at


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AMERICA’S BEST CONTACTS & EYEGLASSES 2798 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite 112


Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Q: Why should I choose America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses? A: No matter what products you choose, you’ll still inevitably spend less at America’s Best than you would at other optical stores. You can get two pairs of glasses with single-vision uncoated plastic lenses for only $69.95, including a FREE eye exam. Two pairs of lined bifocals are just $99.95 and also include a FREE eye exam. Q: Can I upgrade my frames and lenses? A: Single-vision uncoated plastic lenses are included in our two for $69.95 offer, but we realize that some customers may choose optional upgrades to their frames and/or lenses. Lens upgrades include thinner lenses, Transitions, tints and anti-reflective coating. America’s Best has more than 300 frame choices available in the two for $69.95 category that offer customers a variety of styles to choose from — but we also carry designer frame options. If you select a frame outside the two for $69.95 offer, your total price will increase. You can also choose designer frames or frames from different price categories as part of our Mix and Match pricing. You can visit your local store for more information about our Mix and Match pricing to save money on any two pair purchase! Q: What options does America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses have for contact lens wearers? A: Most contact lens wearers know their eye exam is more expensive than an exam for eyeglasses. At America’s

Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, contact lens exams are just $79! We also offer additional savings for our Eyecare Club members. For just $20 more than the cost of one contact lens exam, you can

join our Eyecare Club®. As a contact lens wearer, this earns you a contact lens eye exam and three years of free eye exams — plus additional savings on contact lenses and eyeglasses!

Q: Can I use my vision insurance? A: America’s Best accepts many vision plans. You can call your local store for more information on if your vision insurance is accepted.

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ANGLIN & NELSON DENTAL 3825 Lorna Road, Suite 206


Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Q: What is the full list of services you offer? A: Preventative care, cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening, bonding, sleep apnea appliances, Lumineers, night guards, sports mouth guards, nitrous oxide, infant dental care and traumatic injury care. Q: What sets your office apart from other area dentists? A: We are both a pediatric and a general dental office. Q: How does providing both children’s and adult services create a better experience for patients? A: We service the needs of the whole family. Once they graduate from pediatric care, they can transition right on over to the adult side. Q: How does your office staff and technology contribute to patient care? A: We now have the CEREC machine for dental restoration, and we can make our own crowns and Lumineers in one day. Q: What should patients know before they come in for an appointment? A: Know what you want to achieve or maintain, so that you can discuss it with your dentist. Dental health is vital to overall health and a clear, goal-oriented game plan is always a good idea. It is always helpful to the dental office if the patient knows about their dental coverage. There are hundreds of dental plans.

The more educated you are on your plan, the better. Q: What is the most frequent question you get from patients, and

Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

what is your answer? A: ”At what age do we bring our child in for their first dental appointment?” We usually start seeing children at the age of 2, unless they are having a

problem before then. If your child does fall or have a problem, bring them in and let us take a look. Better to be safe than sorry!

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CAMELLIA WOMEN’S IMAGING 2068 Valleydale Road, Hoover


Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Q: How does your staff contribute to a great patient experience? A: The entire experience at Camellia is designed to minimize the anxiety associated with breast imaging and make the process as easy as possible. Everyone is friendly and willing to help. They will assist you in scheduling your appointment, getting your old studies, scheduling and arranging for any followup and communicating with your medical team. Q: How is Camellia Imaging different from other imaging centers? A: First, Camellia is one of the only places in Alabama that provides same-day results to all women getting mammograms. Dr. Monika Tataria will look at your mammogram while you are waiting. If anything additional is needed, such as extra mammogram views or an ultrasound, it will be done the same day. At Camellia, you don’t have to wait for a letter or phone call to get your results. Dr. Tataria speaks to every woman after her mammogram, discusses the results and answers any questions. Second, the physician reading your mammogram at Camellia is a fellowshiptrained specialist in breast imaging and breast biopsies. This means that the doctor has had additional training in woman’s imaging to ensure the latest, highest quality and proven techniques are used. Third, we have the latest Hologic 3-D technology that has been shown to increase breast cancer detection and decrease “call-backs.” We are also one of the few places in Alabama to have the capability to do 3-D guided biopsies.

Finally, we accept insurance but offer a concierge-type service. For example, we pick up and drop off films to your doctor’s office to save you the hassle. All follow-up care is coordinated by us.

is treatable. This is the biggest way we change lives. We also help better women’s lives in smaller ways on a daily basis by decreasing their anxiety so they can focus on other things in their busy lives.

Q: How do your services help change patients’ lives? A: Finding breast cancer early can change a woman’s life because early detection can turn what may have been a life-threatening disease into one that

Q: Dr. Tataria, what do you take pride in about your business? A: I take pride in the fact that as a woman, I understand women and have created place that treats them the way they deserve to be treated during a

stressful process. At Camellia, a woman’s feelings are always put first, and she is always treated with consideration and respect. Q: What would you like patients to know before coming into your office for an appointment? A: They should know that we really care and are going to do everything with the highest quality care in a setting that minimizes their stress.

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CARDIOVASCULAR ASSOCIATES 5295 Preserve Parkway, Suite 250

510-5000 Q: What is my risk for heart disease? A: Traditionally there are five major risk factors for heart disease: smoking, family history, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension. Any of these risk factors puts you at risk for heart disease and the more you have the higher the likelihood of developing heart disease. We cannot change our family history, but we can directly impact our risk by quitting smoking, losing weight to help with blood pressure and eating right to lower our cholesterol. Q: What is a heart healthy eating plan for me? A: The traditional American diet is not heart healthy, although fast food restaurants are offering additional food items that are more supportive of a healthy diet. Most Americans have an idea of what is heart healthy but don’t always make the right choices. Diets that are generally good to follow are the Mediterranean diet and the American Heart Association diet.


Q: Would losing weight help me? A: Losing weight, if you are overweight, helps with blood pressure control. For every 10 pounds of weight loss there is a significant impact on reducing blood pressure. In

addition, losing weight often gives you more energy to exercise, thus leading to a more healthy and happy lifestyle. Q: What is BMI (Body Mass Index)? A: The Body Mass Index takes into account the mass or weight of an individual and the height of an individual. The BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height. This allows you to determine obesity by taking into account the height of an individual. A healthy BMI is 18-25, underweight is <18, overweight is 25-29 and obese is >30. Q: What are my cholesterol numbers? A: Total cholesterol is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both low-density lipoprotein — or LDL cholesterol — and high-density lipoprotein — or HDL. LDL cholesterol carries fats around the body and puts you at increased risk for atherosclerosis or clogged arteries. This is the bad cholesterol. Statins, one of the types of cholesterol medications are mostly targeted against the LDL or bad lipoproteins. HDL, known as the good cholesterol, helps remove cholesterol from your arteries.


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NEURALIFE NEUROPATHY & PAIN CENTER 1849 Data Drive, Suite 1, Hoover Q: What do you treat? A: The NeuraLife treatment effectively treats neuropathy and chronic nerve conditions. It is effective regardless of the origin of the neuropathy. We successfully treat symptoms resulting from disease and illness as well as from accidents and injury. Common symptoms include: ► Numbness/burning pain; ► Leg cramping; ► Sharp, electrical-like pain; ► Pain when you walk; ► Difficulty sleeping due to leg and foot discomfort; ► Prickling or tingling feeling in the hands and feet Bottom line: If you have pain because of nerve issues, we can help. Q: Will I have more medications? A: No, we are nonpharmaceutical. Q: Is surgery involved? A: No. Q: Is therapy involved? A: No, we are a non-light therapy, non-physical therapy, non-chiropractic and non-laser practice. Q: Is it safe? A: NeuraLife treatment involves physical science and not chemistry. Therefore, it is considerably more natural and


Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon exercise, with no reported negative side effects.

physiological to the human body. This technology is extremely safe, noninvasive, effective and virtually free of undesired side effects. Q: Is a medical doctor involved? A: Yes, NeuraLife offices are staffed by medically degreed personnel, and each office has a medical doctor (MD) as its medical director. Q: Could you elaborate on the history behind your practice? A: The use of electrical signals for various medical treatments has been mentioned since ancient times, with the

earliest man-made records (2750 B.C.) discussing the electrical properties and treatment potential of the Nile catfish, while other compilers describe medical treatment with electric fish by Hippocrates (420 B.C.). In the 1700s, European physicians documented the use of controlled electrical currents from electrostatic generators for numerous medical problems involving pain and circulatory dysfunction. During that period, Benjamin Franklin also documented pain relief by using electrical currents for a number of ailments including frozen shoulder.

Q: What kind of results have you seen? A: Proven studies show objectively measured outcomes in more than 87 percent of patients. The patients had resolved or significantly reduced neuropathy symptoms. One year after treatment, all reporting patients were still pain and symptom free. Positive results from treatment have included: ► Improved balance and stability; ► Improved and pain-free sleeping; ► Reduced swelling and increased blood flow to legs and feet; ► Improved walking and

Q: What are some longterm advantages to these treatments? A: NeuraLife offers safe and effective medically-directed nerve pain treatments to reduce the hyper-irritated state of the nerves. The long-term advantages of this treatment regimen include: ► Avoiding surgery; ► Avoiding the probability of chronic pain; ► Dramatic cost savings in both treatment and subsequent (lifelong) medication costs; ► Potentially returning a disabled patient to daily living; ► Patients able to perform activities of daily living with minimal pain. Q: How will I know I am getting better? A: Patients typically feel improvement as sensation and coordination return, plus a reduction in pain. It’s important to note that in the initial stages — as damaged nerves begins to heal — the return of sensation can sometimes be experienced as pain of varying degrees. This is a normal part of the restorative process and is usually limited in duration, disappearing as treatment progresses and sensation more fully recovers.

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PURE DERMATOLOGY & AESTHETICS 5346 Stadium Trace Parkway


Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 8-11 a.m.

Q: Why should someone choose to be a patient at Pure Dermatology? A: Our practice’s philosophy is to provide our patients with their very best experience in dermatologic care. We specialize in medical, surgical, pediatric and cosmetic dermatology, providing our patients with superb comprehensive dermatologic care in a comfortable and professional environment. We care for patients of all ages and enjoy taking the time to focus on each of our patient’s individual needs, treating our patients with the respect and concern that each deserves. Q: What types of conditions do you treat in your office? A: We enjoy treating all kinds of skin diseases and conditions, including common ones such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, but we also enjoy taking care of patients with more challenging and unusual diagnoses. We are able to perform many surgical procedures right in our office, removing both benign and cancerous skin lesions. We also offer many cosmetic dermatology procedures such as Botox and filler injections, laser treatments and CoolSculpting fat reduction procedures. Q: Could you tell me about

your providers? A: Dr. Elizabeth Martin and Dr. Danette Bentley are boardcertified dermatologists. Dr. Martin has been practicing dermatology since 2001, and Dr. Bentley has been practicing since 2010. Both trained in dermatology at UAB, where they both served as chief residents in dermatology during their residencies. They continue their involvement at UAB School of Medicine even today, both serving as Volunteer Clinical Faculty, teaching medical students who rotate through

their practice. Both doctors are nationally recognized leaders and speakers, having given numerous national lectures and leading various committees for the American Academy of Dermatology. Stacey Olivier, PA-C, a physician assistant with 10 years of dermatology experience, joined our practice in 2016. Olivier obtained her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Central Michigan University. She is certified by the NCCPA and is state certified in Alabama and Georgia.

Q: Could you describe the cosmetic services you offer? A: We enjoy offering a variety of cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic services. One of our most popular procedures is CoolSculpting, which is a revolutionary, completely noninvasive fat reduction procedure that permanently reduces unwanted fat in many areas of the body including the abdomen, flanks, thighs, arms and under the chin. Our physicians offer Botox and filler injections to improve fine lines and wrinkles. We also offer a variety of laser and

light-based procedures that can treat anything from redness or prominent blood vessels in the skin, to unwanted hair, to sunspots, to fine lines and wrinkles. Our board-certified aesthetician, Tracy Humphryes, offers a variety of facials, and many of our patients describe her facials as the best they have ever had! Tracy also offers various chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning and many other aesthetic services. We were very excited to expand the practice in 2016 and open Pure Apothecary. Located in Suite 108, right beside our main practice entrance, Pure Apothecary is a retail setting offering an extensive selection of medical grade cosmeceutical products that will enhance results after professional treatments, and will help improve the appearance and health of the skin. The Apothecary is open to anyone, not just our current patients. Our staff members are expertly trained in all of our product lines and would love to assist you in designing the precise skin care regimen to achieve the results you desire! You can be confident in the skin care you choose in our apothecary as we only offer medical grade products backed by science.


March 2017 • C11

THERAPYSOUTH 3421 S. Shades Crest Road, Suite 107


Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Q: What do physical therapists do, and how can they help with an injury? A: Physical therapists are experts at treating movement disorders, including problems with your muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and/or tendons. After a thorough evaluation, your therapist will decide which exercises and handson techniques are needed to maximize your ability to function normally. Q: What are some common misconceptions about physical therapy? A: Many patients think they can only access their physical therapist by referral from a physician. Based on a state law passed in 2012, patients no longer need a referral to see their physical therapist. Many patients also think therapy only consists of exercises that are difficult and painful. Specific exercises that address your individual needs are important to your recovery, but good therapy also consists of handson techniques including manipulation, mobilization, myofascial release, massage, manual stretching, dry needling, instrument assisted soft tissue massage, therapeutic taping and other skilled techniques. Throughout the course of your care, we will appropriately

advance your exercises as your pain levels allow. We also use modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation, spinal decompression/traction, ultrasound and iontophoresis. Q: How successful is physical therapy in pain management? A: Most of our patients come to us with pain. Unfortunately, many of the dysfunctions we treat start long before the pain shows up. You can even have pain in an area that is removed from the dysfunction (called referred pain). We are experts in helping you manage and overcome pain so you can return to your normal activities. In some cases, pain is a sign of injury or a normal part of the healing process. Following your evaluation,

your therapist will help explain your pain and show you ways to minimize or eliminate it. Q: Can physical therapy eliminate the need for surgery? A: In some instances, physical therapy can prevent surgery. For example, if a patient has a shoulder that subluxes or has too much movement in the joint, therapy can help by strengthening the rotator cuff and other surrounding muscles to tighten the shoulder joint, preventing the excessive movement. In many cases, therapy prior to surgery or “pre-hab” is also helpful. This allows time for your body to prepare for the surgery and usually results in better outcomes following surgery.

Q: What are some of the main reasons people need physical therapy? A: ► Back pain/bulging discs ► Arthritis ► Balance problems and/or falls ► Tendonitis ► Sports injuries ► Headaches ► Plantar fasciitis ► Muscle strains/ligament sprains ► Bursitis ► Car accidents ► Post-surgical rehab ► Work-related injuries ► Work-place injury prevention and testing ► Ergonomic assessment ► Education and knowledge about body structure and performance ► Injury prevention ► Dizziness

► Proper exercises and technique ► Pelvic pain ► Breast cancer rehab ► Parkinson’s disease Q: What sets TherapySouth apart from other physical therapy clinics? A: TherapySouth was founded on a set of core values that guide the way we do business: faith, family, integrity, service, compassion, fitness, perseverance and giving. Our therapists strive to provide a warm, friendly and professional environment to facilitate your recovery. Our 24 convenient clinic locations with more than 60 physical therapists provide you with hands-on care close to home and work.

C12 • March 2017

Hoover Sun


WEIGH TO WELLNESS 4704 Cahaba River Road


Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Q: What is Weigh to Wellness? A: A medically supervised weight loss clinic offering a customized approach with various options including nutritional guidance, protein supplements/meal replacements, prescription medications and injections among many other tools. Our program is uniquely individualized based on your health characteristics, lifestyle and weight loss goals. Whether a patient is looking to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, we have a plan for you!

prescription medication (if applicable) or injections that may enhance weight loss. Everything is a la carte! There are NO CONTRACTS and NO SIGN UP FEES.

Q: Who is on the Weigh to Wellness staff? A: Owner Leslie Ellison has acquired a wealth of knowledge with over 21 years of experience in the industry. Dr. Timothy H. Real is the medical director and is board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. We also have fulltime Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists. Our staff is able to recognize many psychological and genetic factors that cause obesity and design processes specific to each of our patients for the best results.

Q: Do I have to follow a specific meal plan or keep a food diary? A: There are many options offered, but the patient picks and chooses the aspects of the program that best fits their lifestyle. Benefits to keeping a food diary are detecting food intolerance, controlling portion sizes, keeping you mindful of nutrition and often identifying triggers to unhealthy eating. Patients who keep a food journal typically lose twice the amount of weight of those that don’t.

Q: What results do patients typically have? A: Patients typically lose an average of 2-5 pounds weekly. It is inspiring to see how excited our patients get when they see great

Q: Does the program have one-on-one counseling that will help develop healthier habits? A: Yes. Patients are typically seen on a weekly or biweekly basis for one-on-one counseling and behavior modification. Accountability and structure is key to every patient’s success.

results. It keeps them motivated and focused! Since opening in June of 2014 we have celebrated over 15,000 pounds lost! Q: How much does the program cost? A: A medical evaluation which includes an EKG, lab tests, body

composition analysis and a physical with Dr. Real is required to start any program — the fee for the medical evaluation is $130. Programs can range from $13-$100 weekly. Costs vary depending on if the patient chooses to use any meal replacements, protein snacks,

Q: Do I have to buy special meals or supplements? A: No, but Weigh to Wellness does offer convenient meal replacements and protein snacks. Most patients love these healthy options because they

are great for grab and go! Q: Does the program provide ways to deal with such issues as social or holiday eating, changes to work schedules, lack of motivation, and injury or illness? A: Yes. There is no perfect time to diet. Our experienced staff is used to working around any of these issues. We encourage each of our patients to think of it as a lifestyle change, not necessarily a diet! Q: Will Dr. Real work with my health care provider if needed (for example, if I lose weight and my blood pressure medications need to be adjusted)? A: Absolutely. We are happy to follow up with your primary care doctor or specialist at any time with your consent. Q: Does the program include a plan to help me keep the weight off once I’ve lost weight? A: “I can’t think of one thing I love that I don’t have to maintain — the oil in my car, the grass on my lawn, the paint on my home,” Ellison said. Yes, we offer a FREE lifetime maintenance program and it is the most important part of the program. Patients can continue to come weekly, biweekly or monthly for maintenance and there is no charge!

HOME CARE ASSISTANCE OF BIRMINGHAM 5291 Valleydale Road 438-6925

March 2017 • C13


Q: What is home care? A: Home care is rooted in the principle that older adults should be free to age at home with the level of care they need to be safe and comfortable. In its simplest terms, home care means assistance with activities of daily living and household tasks. Ideally, home care also provides meaningful companionship for older adults and peace of mind for their families. Q: What are my options? A: Home care services can be provided by a non-medical home care agency, a Medicare-certified home health agency, a placement/referral agency, a privately hired caregiver or a family member. These options and what differentiates them may be the most confusing aspect of navigating the waters of home care. For example, though a family caregiver can sometimes be the most costeffective decision when caring for an elderly relative, there are a number of downsides including high rates of depression symptoms among family caregivers (40 to 70 percent) and lack of necessary training to ensure the safety and comfort of the loved one. Q: How does home care compare to assisted living facilities? A: Until a few years ago, assisted living facilities (ALFs) were seen as the primary care solution for

aging adults. These facilities were created as an alternative to nursing homes and are typically made up of individual condominiums within a larger community that provides meals, housekeeping, occasional nursing visits and other services. Home care providers, called caregivers, provide the same basic services as facilities, such as light housekeeping, meal preparation and social activities, but also provide a much more customized plan of care tailored to the status, conditions, preferences, hobbies and lifestyle of the individual. Q: Is home care covered by medicare or insurance? A: Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover non-medical home care needs. It will only cover home health care from a certified home health agency; to be approved, an individual must be homebound and have a demonstrable medical need. Traditional health insurance does not cover home care but long-term care insurance does.

HOOVER HOMETOWN PHARMACY 2801 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite 101A 650-1960

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon

Q: Could you tell us about your business? A: Hoover Hometown Pharmacy is owned and operated by Whitney Culpepper, PharmD. Whitney is a 2012 graduate of Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy, and she currently resides in Hoover with her husband Ben. Q: What makes you unique? A: We strive to offer a warm, family type atmosphere to all of our patients. We know every patient by name and desire to get to know them and their families. We think of our patients as friends. Q: What services do you offer that set you apart? A: We offer free delivery service to anyone in the 35244 zip code. We offer a variety of flavors that can be added to children's liquid medications. We also have a drive-thru for convenient dropoff and pick-up. We offer all types of vaccines such as flu, pneumonia, shingles and also travel vaccinations. We also offer medication synchronization to help patients never miss filling their medications on time. Q: What gift items do you offer? A: We love supporting local

businesses just like us! We offer a variety of gifts from local businesses including picture frames, T-shirts, hats, candles, honey, salsa, coffee and more! Also, we love to support the local church so if you bring in your church bulletin on Mondays, we will donate 10 percent of your over-the-counter purchases back to your church! Q: What types of insurances do you accept, and are your prices the same? A: We accept all types of insurance plans including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CVS Caremark and Tricare. Copays are generally the same wherever you fill your prescriptions. As far as patients paying with cash: We try to always be competitive with other pharmacies. We would love the opportunity to meet you and your family and take care of your health care needs. We have no greater joy that taking care of our patients, and we work hard to do that every single day.

C14 • March 2017

MICHELSON LASER VISION, INC. 1201 11th Ave. S., Suite 501 969-8100

Hoover Sun



Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon

Q: What is your range of services? A: We specialize in laser vision correction including LASIK and Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). We also specialize in Refractive Lens Surgery; cataract surgery with intraocular implantation; premium refractive cataract surgery to treat astigmatism and presbyopia; and corneal inlays to eliminate reading glasses. We offer comprehensive surgical solutions to correct vision problems for young, middle age and older adults. Refractive surgery no longer includes just LASIK, but also Refractive Lens Surgery where a premium intraocular lens is implanted into the eye providing extended-depth of focus to eliminate the need for reading glasses. Premium intraocular lenses can also simultaneously correct astigmatism. New corneal inlays are now available to eliminate the need for reading glasses. Q: How does your staff contribute to the overall patient experience? A: Our staff is highly trained to provide a concierge experience for all of our patients. Q: What is your approach to incorporating new technology into your practice? A: We utilize the most advanced diagnostic instrumentation to determine the best procedure available to meet the needs of each patient. All LASIK procedures are performed on the newest generation of lasers. Over the past 25 years, I have utilized over 6 generations of laser technology to

NOVA ESSENCE MEDISPA 160 Main St., Suite 200


Monday, by appointment; Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ensure the highest quality outcomes. For cataract surgery, we offer the most advanced intraocular lens options including Extended-Depth-Of-Focus premium lens implants during lens replacement and cataract surgery. Our newest technology is the new Raindrop corneal inlay for treatment of Presbyopia to eliminate reading glasses. Q: What sets you apart from other Birmingham eye care practices? A: In 2016, I was named one of the Top 300 innovators in Refractive Cataract Surgery by Ocular Surgery News, an honor that distinguishes me for my accomplishments and contributions to the fields of cataract and laser vision correction surgery. However what truly distinguishes me from my peers is the level of expertise, innovation, and comprehensive care I give my patients and their level of satisfaction when they leave my office.

Q: Could you tell us about the scope of services of Nova Essence Medispa? A: Nova Essence’s day spa services include facials, hair and make-up, threading, manicures, pedicures, massage, waxing, Vichy Shower exfoliation treatments and more. Males are welcome to enjoy the services as well, and we have two barbers on duty to service them. Our Medispa services include non-invasive body contouring, PRP facials, Microlaser peels, chemical peels, bio-identical hormones, IV nutrition, weight loss programs and so much more. Q: What are some of the newest services Nova Essence is offering? A: Fat Freeze to help flatten stomach and sides; ear candling, cellulite treatment on buttocks and thighs; Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with hair growth, facial rejuvenation, erectile dysfunction and treatment of Peyronie’s disease. We

also have a new treatment for ED and Peyronie’s disease that has a 80-90 percent success rate with no needles. We can also treat acute and chronic body pain with no needles and medications. Q: What sets Nova Essence apart from other medispas? A: We have great hours that appeal to the working clientele. We also deliver excellent results that do not require multiple visits. Q: How does your staff contribute to a great patient experience? A: Our staff is very energetic, friendly and knowledgeable about the different services and products we provide. We strive to give exemplary service and exceed expectations. We show a lot of love toward our patients and always work to make them feel like family.

OXMOOR VALLEY ORTHODONTICS 5251 Pocahontas Road and 415 W. Oxmoor Road 942-2270

March 2017 • C15


Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Q: Could you tell us about yourself and your practice? A: My practice is limited to orthodontics. Our specialty focus is aligning crowded teeth, correcting bites and helping create beautiful smiles. We get the opportunity to help change our patients’ lives, one smile at a time! We get to do all this in a historic train depot, which makes it even more fun. I have been practicing orthodontics for nearly 20 years. I graduated from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry in 1998, having completed both my general dental degree and master’s in orthodontics there. Q: What is most important to you in your practice? DR. DEBBIE SEMA A: Quality care and connections. I am a lifelong learner in the latest advances in orthodontics, and I have taken us to support our schools, too, whether the extra step of achieving national it’s participating in yearly fundraising board certification. So I always strive festivals, speaking to students or for the best results we can get for our supporting the sports programs and patients. PTOs. We are a smaller practice with a solo practitioner. Seeing more patients Q: Do you only do braces for isn’t what motivates us; being able certain ages? to really connect with our patients A: Having 20 years of experience and their families, giving them each in helping create beautiful smiles has quality orthodontic care with personal given me the opportunity to have attention, is what we love. worked with thousands of patients from And we love connecting with our ages 7 to 80. I and my team use many patients outside of the practice, too. I different means to create beautiful and my team enjoy being involved with smiles: traditional/clear braces, Damon community events. And it’s important to braces and Invisalign.

VISITING ANGELS 400 Vestavia Parkway, Suite 120, Vestavia Hills 979-7400

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Q: What sets you apart from other home care services? A: If somebody wants a caregiver with a higher skill level, they’ll get it. If somebody just wants a companion, they’ll get it, too. We have a broad base of caregivers we can select from, and they are welltrained in senior care, dementia and mobility issues. We want to accommodate what the client wants because we want them to be as independent as possible within their own environment, and we want to support not only the client, but the client’s family. Q: How do you match clients with their perfect caregiver? A: We do an in-home assessment before assigning the caregiver, then an orientation with the caregiver, client and family on the first visit. These two visits help ensure we match the caregiver — with the right skill set and personality — to the client. Additionally, we have regular visits and communication with the client and the family asking if the caregiver is a good fit or what things we can do to improve. Q: Are you planning to offer new services?

A: We plan to offer to our client families the same type of in-service training in dementia and Alzheimer’s care that we provide to our employees. Being able to have an in-service with the daughter or the son who’s worried about Mama helps them know how to interact and keep their family members engaged throughout this illness, because they have no clue what they’re faced with it. Q: What are you proud of at Visiting Angels? A: We’re most proud of the fact that we provide excellent quality care, and we go to great lengths to place the employees with clients where they can form close relationships. That’s when you know you’ve succeeded, when your caregiver has so much of a relationship with the client that they want to do the absolute best they can for the client.

Hoover Sun March 2017  
Hoover Sun March 2017