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Hele H elena Ciitttyy Ne elen Newwwss Serving the City of Helena and surrounding area

Winter 2017


Pancakes Cooked with Love!


Bak, much loved K9 Officer dies, students help in efforts to fund his replacement


Helena High School Gym, Tuesday, Feb 21, 7pm, See inside for ticket information

Two this month to benefit Helena Middle School Choir and Band. Join the fun!



Greetings! Let me start by saying congratulations to all the student athletes at Helena High who have recently signed scholarships to participate in men’s and women’s sports at the college level. I am so pleased to see these opportunities for these young athletes begin to arise quickly and steadily. These young men and women not only represent Helena High School but will also be great ambassadors for the City of Helena as well. I am so proud for each of them and their families. I am happy to report that progress on several projects continues to move ahead. We were able to repave several streets this year, including the Old Town area where much needed repairs were made. We will continue to make other street repairs as funds come

available. I have met with Park Director Bill Miller over the last few months to put a plan in place to pursue building a new youth soccer field at the Sports Complex and add additional parking as well. We will present a plan to the council in the coming months to address these needs. I, along with other local officials, began meeting with ALDOT’ Director John Cooper over the last several months to request the State 261 widening project be put back on the priority list for ALDOT projects. We are making great progress and are working toward a funding formula with ALDOT and other municipalities who would benefit from this much needed and long overdue project. We will continue to push for this project as it absolutely needs to happen for gridlock traffic relief and is the first step needed before the long planned Bypass project can proceed. Business is great in our city as a couple of new restaurants and


Go Huskies!

Leigh Hulsey Pres. Pro-Tem, Place 1 Mike Jones, Place 2 Alice Lobell, Place 3 Elect Laura Joseph, Place 4 Elect Hal Woodman, Place 5 2 Winter 2017 /

Mark Mark

City Hall: 205-663-2161


Expo on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Helena Sports Complex. You can meet Helena business owners and learn more about many local Helena businesses, both store-front and home-based, that serve our local economy. The Helena High School jazz band will headline the entertainment line-up plus your favorite food trucks will be available for dining options. Secure document destruction will be available through Shred-It. Any business serving Helena is welcome, and we invite our entire community to come out for the event. I would like to close by saying “thank you,” to each and every resident and business owner for working everyday to help our community remain safe and secure, making this the best place to live in our state so we can be proud to say, “Helena, it’s where you want to be!” Kindest regards,


Mark R. Hall Amanda Traywick

shops have opened as vacancies came available at established locations. As much as many hated to see two favorite restaurants leave Old Town, it was great to see them replaced quickly with new ventures. Senor Chef is now open in place of the Coal Yard, and I am very excited to learn that Beef O’Brady’s will be opening in the building previously occupied by Papa Saia’s. Please remember that a percentage of the sales tax collected when you shop in Helena insures that city services and improvements continue to be funded as a result of this income. The creation of new jobs as a result of these new retail establishments also contributes greatly to the local economic vitality. We hope to see more progress in this area as we continue to look for retail and business opportunities that will support and provide new opportunities in our community. Finally, I am pleased to share with you that the Helena Business Association, in conjunction with the City of Helena will host the first annual Hometown Business

Fire Dept.: 205-663-5809 Police Dept.: 205-663-6499 Utilities: 205-663-1670 Sports Complex: 205-620-2877 Library: 205-664-8308


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Christy Cordrey named Teacher of the Year for HIS “We surprised Christy Cordrey in her classroom with a vase of flowers and announced it in front of her class. We celebrated with the school on our next teacher workday with cake and coffee,” said Kathy Paiml on the Helena Intermediate School Teacher of the Year. Ms. Cordrey said she was overwhelmed and speechless. “I even shed a tear or two. I was in the general education classroom working with one of my students. I could not think of a better place to be. It is truly the greatest professional reward that I have experienced in my teaching career. I have been truly humbled by the kind words, notes of congratulations, and shared thoughts from my colleagues, friends, students, and parents. I teach with a group of educators that make me better every day and each one of them is just as deserving. It is a true blessing to be a teacher at Helena Intermediate School.” Ms. Cordrey has been teaching 26 years with all of that being in the special education classroom. She first began her teaching career in Rome, Georgia, where she taught for four years. She also taught for nine years at McAdory Elementary in Jefferson County and 10 years at Valley Elementary. “I love teaching and living in Helena, and I can think of no better place to be.” “I chose teaching because of my strong love for children. I felt

4 Winter 2017 /

a calling to do what I could to make a difference in the lives of all children, but especially those who may need a little something more or a little something different than the typical student to be successful. I grew up with a family member who had a disability, so I knew from a very young age that this is what I wanted to do with my life,” she commented. Christy says the best part of teaching is the children. She loves being a part of their lives and works to make them life-long learners. When she gets to see the expressions on their faces when they face and conquer a challenge, she is filled with gratifaction and excitement. Working with students with disabilities and believing they can learn is a large part of her excitement. She believes that their confidence in the idea that they can learn is instrumental in their success. Her job is to help them overcome their feelings that they can’t be successful and help them face this challenge. When working on the nominations, Principal Paiml asked the faculty to make nominations and then explain some things about the teacher they were nominating. Some of the comments from fellow teachers about Christy might say it best… • Christy works very hard to meet the specific needs of each of her special education students. While not only helping the students

assigned to her caseload, she also helps all the other students in the classroom. She is diligent, thorough, and efficient. Her students love her! • She is amazing with her kids! She pushes them to grow and mature in a positive way! She is a very hard worker and I love her being in my room! • Christy is dedicated to her students which is evident when you observe her working with them. For students with a modified curriculum, she thoughtfully prepares their notebook with work that is close to the curriculum and not just busy work. • Christy goes above and beyond teaching students not only academics but life skills and manners. • Mrs. Cordrey teaches students with special needs using a wide variety of techniques and reaching them on a wide variety of grade levels according to their abilities. She is always quick to help out a coworker, no matter how busy she is. • Christy always goes above and beyond what she is asked to do. She is a positive role model for teachers and students. • Christy is dedicated to her students and always has a smile for anyone she comes in contact with. • Christy always goes above and beyond with students in the classroom who aren’t even on her roll. She is an amazing asset in the classroom to the general ed teacher.

• She has the best interest of each child at the forefront of what she does daily. She’s involved in the community and in-school programs, showing her love and support of children.

• Christy does so much for the life of our school. She is always here early, helping students, and she truly cares about every one of them. She is also a great friend to everyone in the building and has a positive outlook on life. • She possesses a beautiful gift of balancing tough love with encouragement, patience and compassion. I love watching how hard she gently pushes her kids to develop and refine their individual skill sets. I love to see that she has great expectations and at the same time a respect for their individual challenges. I have learned so much from just observing her in her environment. I believe HIS is truly blessed to have her as a special ed teacher. If I had a child with special needs, she would be the ideal teacher for me because she is shaping these kids into fine, respectable young people while teaching them their basic educational needs. “I can’t find the words to express my true gratitude to my fellow teachers for selecting me as Teacher of the Year. People will never truly know how much this means to me. It has made me realize that what I do on a daily basis is appreciated and acknowledged,” said Christy.

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Helena High School “Band-Its” Celebrity All-Stars Tuesday, February 21 7:00 p.m. Helena High School Gym



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End of Watch for K9 Officer Bak Helena Police Department is saddened by the loss of a warrior, friend, but most of all a member of the HPD family. The HPD K-9, 10-year-old German Sheppard Bak, lost his battle to cancer according to a statement made by the department November 29. Officer Phillip Richards and Bak have worked side by side the past 10 years serving the citizens of Helena and surrounding agencies. Bak was known and loved by all, especially by the children at Helena Schools. Bak was a one of a kind trained, skilled service

dog with multiple roles, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with his handler, Officer Phillip Richards, and the entire department as they grieve the loss of this loyal hero. Bak’s legacy will be carried on and his honor will be continued. Thank you for your service Bak, your blue family will take it from here. Officer Richards daughter set up an account if you would like to donate for future Helena K9’s:

#BeTheDifference #BeTheDifference is Helena Intermediate School’s Motto. students and faculty came together and practiced that motto when they lost one of their own recently. To the community Bak was a K-9 officer, but to the students and faculty at HIS he was part of their family. When Officer Richards and Bak were at HIS, they were always working, but they would also take the time to visit with students. The students and faculty were deeply saddened by Bak’s passing, so everyone participated in a hat day/jean day to raise money for the Police Dept.

to help purchase another K-9 officer. While they know that Bak can never be replaced, his job was of great importance, and the city of Helena needs another K-9 officer. By raising a total of $1035, the students and faculty were able to practice their motto and help the Helena Police Department during their #BeTheDifference Day for January. Pictured above: Officer Richards, Marlee Parsons, and Avery Parton Pictured at left: Assistant Principals: Haley Franks and Holly Laney with K-9 Officer Bak

Helena Elementary pitches in Faculty, students and parents at HES also wanted to help out and raised about $1500 for the Helena Police Deptartment’s K9 fund and presented that money to the police. Principal Mary Cooper said, “We decided to make our scheduled PTO Spirit Day a fundraiser to help the police department purchase a new dog for their K9 division. As a result, our student body raised $1,511 that we donated to this worthy cause.” Police Chief Pete Folmar said, “We are so appreciative of the support of the faculty, students and teachers at both HES and HIS and everyone who has helped in our effort to puchase a new K9 officer. We are all blessed to serve a city and a community that is made up of giving people. Helena residents are and always have been the most community minded people I have ever seen. TO ADVERTISE, CALL the Publisher at 746.1188 / / Winter 2017



MONDAYS Police Explorers, Explorer Training Facility, 4:00-7:00PM Fire Explorers, Station 2, 5:00PM TUESDAYS Kiwanis, Helena Senior Center, 7:00AM; 3rd Tues. 5:30PM Story Time, Jane B. Holmes Public Library, 11:00AM Helena Lions Club meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, Helena Senior Center 7:00, Visit Helena Lions Club Facebook page for more info THURSDAYS Story Time, Jane B. Holmes Public Library, 11:00AM

february 7th - Helena Business Association Meeting, 8:00 am, for meeting site visit or their Facebook page 8th - Helena High Late Start, 9:10am 9th - Author Charles Ghinga, Father Goose, visits HIS 11th - Miss HHS Pageant, 7:00pm 13th - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm - HES PTO Spring T-shirt Sale Feb. 13-27 16th - Helena Planning & Zoning, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm - Friends of the Jane B. Holmes Library Meeting, Library, 6:00pm 18th - 13th Annual Kiwanis HES PTO Pancake Sale*, HES, 7:00am12:00pm *All profits benefit HES PTO - Respite Care-special needs 0-21, free of charge but must reserve aaronsstaffrespite.or 20th - City Hall, Library & Local Schools Closed in Observance of Presidents’ Day 21st - HBA presents Harlem Wizards-HHS Band-Its, HHS Gym, 6:00pm Courtside Seat & Meet and Greet with the Wizards: $25 General Admission: $15 Adults, $10 Students 23rd - HMS Dessert Cabaret & Silent Auction (Choral Dept. Fundraiser) Tickets: $10 Adults, $8 Children 12 & Under, Doors open at 6:00pm, Event begins at 6:30pm 24th - Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday Feb. 24-26 27th - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm 28th - HIS Book Fair Family Night 8 Winter 2017 /

march 1st - Emergency Siren Test, 10:00am

2nd - HES Read Across America Day 4th - Helena Business Expo presented by the HBA, Helena Community Center, 9:00am-2:00pm 7th - Helena Business Association Meeting, 8:00 am, for meeting site visit or their Facebook page 10th - All Helena Schools Teacher Workday—No Students 13th - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm 16th - Helena Planning & Zoning, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm - Friends of the Jane B. Holmes Library Meeting, Library, 6:00pm 18th - HHS March Stacheness 5K/Fun Run/Walk (Soccer Fundraiser) Register online, Helena High, Registration begins at 6:45am, Race begins at 8:00am - Respite Care-special needs 0-21, free of charge but must reserve 27th - Local Schools-Spring Break March 27-31 - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm


4th - HES Kindergarten Pre-Registration, 7:00am-11:00am - Helena Business Association Meeting, 8:00am, for meeting site visit or their Facebook page 5th - Emergency Siren Test, 10:00am - HES Kindergarten Pre-Registration, 12:00pm-6:00pm 10th - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm 12th - HHS late day start 9:10am 14th - City Offices/Library Closed in Observance of Good Friday 15th - HHS Open Hands Overflowing Hearts 10K/5K/1M Fun Run 20th - HES PTO Art Show - HIS Helena Harmonies, 6:30pm - Helena Planning and Zoning, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm - Friends of the Jane B. Holmes Library Meeting, Library, 6:00pm 15th - Respite Care-special needs 0-21, free but must reserve 24th - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00pm - HES Teacher/Volunteer Appreciation Week Apr. 24-28

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The late Gerald Waldrop had a special place in his heart for the Kiwanis’ Annual Pancake Breakfast. Pictured here with Councilman Hal Woodman and Robert Cairns.


The Kiwanis Club of Helena and the Helena Elementary School PTO are sponsoring an All-You-Can-Eat pancake breakfast Saturday, February 18, from 7 am until 12 noon at the Helena Elementary Cafeteria, 187 3rd Street. For a small donation of $5 you get unlimited steamy pancakes, your choice of crisp bacon or savory sausage and beverage. This fundraiser supports Boy Scout Troup 2, Helena Elementary PTO and local Key Clubs. Tickets can be purchased from any member of the Kiwanis Club of Helena, Helena Elementary PTO member or the Helena Elementary School office. Guests can also pay at the door. For more information call Luther Jarmon, Jr. at (205) 960-6529.


Pancakes anyone?

Saturday, February 18, 7am til Noon! Helena Elementary Cafeteria $5 Donation All You Can Eat Pancakes!

The Key To Successful Weight Loss… Healthy Choices Chase Pounds Away

On July 4th this past summer, Lea Ann Lyon, a hospital Pharmacy Tech, drank her last can of diet soda. The following day she began a weight-loss program with Dr. Saritha Uppsala. Lea Ann has been a member at SNAP for several years but she says,“I was casual about it until I took a serious look at my family history and realized I was headed down a path of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.” Lea Ann’s father had his first heart attack at the age of 42 which eventually lead to a heart transplant at age 56. Her father, mother and sister, all, are diabetic and there is a strong family history of high blood pressure. Also, Lea Ann’s grandmother died from a stroke. Looking at the family history, Lea Ann knew it was time to get serious about her health. There are many tools out there to help with your fitness goals; Lea Ann finds wearing her FitBit HR and using the MyFitnessPal app very beneficial in tracking her activity and daily food intake. Her Fitbit evens tracks her sleep patterns. Sleep, she has learned is very important to losing weight and keeping it off.

“To be out in the real world means there is always Food!” “In our culture, events always involve food in some way,” Lea Ann notes. “At the hospital where I work, the temptation of donuts and bagels is always on hand.” To be successful, Lea Ann knew she had to learn some new skills such as reading food labels and portion control. She points out,“We have to learn to understand what the numbers on food labels tell us before we can make better food choices.” Lea Ann is also learning to use a scale to help in portion control. For example, she has learned to measure out 4 oz. of hamburger which she will eat on low carb, low calorie pita bread instead of a bun. Her family enjoys the healthy choices of turkey and veggie mini meatloaf, shrimp tacos with garlic cilantro lime sauce and pizza on flat bread with fat-free mozzarella, topped with ingredients that add extra protein such as turkey pepperoni and ready cooked bacon. This past October, encouraged by her progress, Lea Ann and her husband, Dean, vacationed at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. “At

the end of the day, my FitBit clocked that we had walked the equivalent of 81 flights of stairs!” At SNAP, her weekly regime now includes 4 to 6 visits weekly -- using the treadmill, weight machines 2-3 times a week and 3-lb hand weights to help sculpt biceps and triceps. “With my work schedule, SNAP allows me to visit when it is convenient,” Lea Ann says. “I have been at SNAP late in the evening and early in the morning, since the gym is open 24-hours a day.” “In the morning, I always appreciate Jackie’s (SNAP’s personal trainer) big smile and warm hello!” To date, Lea Ann has lost over 65 pound and is about 15 pounds from her goal weight. She has lost 10.5 inches in her waist and 12 inches in her hips. Her cholesterol has been lowered by 42 points and she feels more energetic. That’s not all; she no BEFORE longer needs blood pressure medicine.









Mandie Gibbs Named Teacher of the Year for Helena Elementary School

Congratulations to the new Teacher of the Year at Helena Elementary School! Principal Mary Cooper proudly announced Mandie Gibbs as the honoree with flowers from the PTO and her name on the school marquee. Ms. Cooper had this to say about Ms. Gibbs: “Mandie is an exceptional educator who is committed to her students’ success and is always willing to assist other teachers and students when needed whether they are on her case load or not. She serves as our Special Education Lead Teacher, assuming a variety of other responsibilities within the school.  Her exceptional organizational skills are an asset for this role.  She is positive and professional regardless of how challenging any situation is.” Mandie was completely shocked When Ms. Cooper came to her classroom to inform her that she was the HES teacher of the year. “I am so grateful and

humbled that my co-workers feel my work is worthy of this honor. I have the great privilege of working among amazing people.  The teachers and staff I work with are committed to helping students with special needs. It is hard for me to consider myself an outstanding teacher, rather a team member in an outstanding group of professionals. I have the unique position of working among amazing general education teachers, special education teachers, administrators, paraeducators and different types of specialized therapists each day. I cannot do my job without these people, and any success that I have is due to their expertise, collaboration and support. My colleagues and students drive me to become a better teacher each day,” she said. This is Mandie’s 12th year at HES. She didn’t decide to be a teacher until her freshman year in college. “Adjusting to the demands of college, I started read-

ing about learning styles to help improve my own study skills. As I developed my own system for learning, I realized that I enjoyed it and could see myself teaching others. I eventually decided to focus on early childhood special education with the hope that I could help young students with disabilities. I find it funny that teaching was not my first field of study because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” said Gibbs. She feels there are many ups and downs to being a teacher. She loves working with students with special needs because it is so rewarding. She sees in her students the same desire to “achieve greatness,” but they don’t always know the steps required to achieve that. “It is my privilege and duty to help these students develop a system of learning that meets their specific needs. The best part of teaching is seeing students achieve the goals that they have been

working on. The hardest part of teaching sometimes is seeing these students transition to a new grade. We work hard together and I get so invested in them, it makes me sad to see them go. Fortunately, I get a new group of fantastic students the next year,” added Ms. Gibbs. According to Cooper, Gibbs is very student centered. She said that Gibbs always works hard to know the needs and interests of her students. She is exceptional at taking cues from the students to know how to adjust instruction and help the students in the best way possible for each individual. “She is steady, true, and always looks for the positive in a situation,” said Cooper.   Congratulations to an amazing teacher and advocate for students. Helena is fortunate to have Mandie Gibbs aboard

TO ADVERTISE, CALL the Publisher at 746.1188 / / Winter 2017


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If you’re into silent auctions, we have you covered in February! Helena Middle School Choir Dessert Cabaret and Silent Auction HMS Cafeteria on Febuary 25th, 6:30pm Tickets are just $10 for adults and $7 for children ages 12 and under. Tickets include your choice of dessert, beverage and our awesome show. All proceeds will benefit the HMS choral department and will help in purchasing more technology, new microphones, a new keyboard and additional sheet music. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., so come early to preview the terrific silent auction items! See a choir member to purchase advanced seating. Tickets will also available at the door. This year, the show choir will be performing a Wizard of Oz themed show, with a modern twist. The show will include songs such as Stitches by Shawn Mendes, Wild Things by Alessia Cara, Mean by Taylor Swift, and Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, just to name a few. In additon to the performance by the show choir, several middle school students will showcase their talents in individual performances. It’s going to be a great show and we hope you can join us!

HMS Band Silent Auction and Dinner February 4 The Helena Middle School Band would like to invite you to come out for a night of fun at their annual Helena Middle School Band Silent Auction and Dinner. The date is February 4th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the Helena Middle School Cafeteria.  There will be a catered dinner from C.A.K.E.S. by Cordero including Ham, Lemon Pepper Chicken, Rosemary Rice and a Strawberry Salad.

The HMS Jazz Band will be performing, and you are welcome to bid on the silent auction items as well as some live auction items. Tickets are just $15 at the door; they accept both cash and checks. Some of the items this year are: Disney Tickets, a Diamond Ring, Restaurant Gift Cards, a Drum Set and much, much more! Contact Jennifer Killion at (205) 657-1573 if you have any questions.

We invite the entire community to come out and enjoy a night on the town. Please support our students who are going all out to ensure you have a great time! Open Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm Emergency Svc. Avail.

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BARRETT Demetria Billings celebrates recovery from colorectal cancer Friends and family joined Demetria Billings for a celebratory balloon release at Buck Creek island January 13. Demetria, a paraprofessional at Spain Park High School, thanked those who were essential helpers during her journey since her diagnosis in April 2015. “I thank my Prayer Warriors, my friend Montray Smith who brought food to us. I thank my children, Alysha, Whitney and Montez and his wife, Ashley, and their beautiful children, Mekhi and Roya Rose, and my son, M. DeWon Billings, (now a Special Education teacher at Belle Forest Elementary and boy’s basketball coach at White Haven High School in Memphis, Tennessee.) “I’m here today to tell you all how good God is,” Demetria proclaimed. “I just give God all the grace and mercy for getting me out of the situation I was in.” Demetria went for her 50-yearold colonoscopy, as required by her job, in April 2015. “The doctor said, ‘you’ve got a cyst, but if it’s not bothering you, don’t bother it.’” In November 2015, Demetria began having vivid dreams. “The Lord was giving me an inclination that something was going on with my body that He’s not pleased with. I called my aunt, Mary Jean Nunn, a retired nurse, and she told me to get a second opinion. At Brookwood, the doctor told me, ‘You have a cyst that is 5.2 centimeters that is pre-cancerous.’” Demetria waited until December 15 during Christmas break to have the surgery. The surgery cut through her small and large intes-


tine and removed her appendix. “I am here today to let y’all know how good God is!” she said, showering all in attendance with her beatific and infectious smile. “I rested in Him. When the doctor came in, he said it was cancerous. I still had a smile on my face. He said, ‘do you understand? I’m referring you to an oncologist.’” “When I went for my oncology appointment,” Demetria shared emotionally, “I finally broke down in tears seeing that waiting room full of people there to receive radiation and chemo.” “The oncologist said, ‘no need to cry, you are cancer free.’” “I had rested in God and Jesus had already gone to the cross with my illness.” “As I share this here today and you join me to worship here in fellowship, just know that whatever you are going through—be it depression, anxiety, mental or physical—God has already gone to the cross with all that.” “We need to rest in his Word and walk by faith and not by sight. I am a witness and this is my testimony, I’m healed, I’m forever healed. By the release of these balloons, I am just letting go. Father, I am putting everything I’ve gone though and letting it go— in the name of Jesus. As we watch it go up, it has all has been released in the name of Jesus.” Billings will be participating with her team, MeMe’s Rumpers, on March 25 at Regions Field in the Rumpshakers Run. ( She invites anyone interested to join her!


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Try Helena’s new homemade “After Midnight Salsa” From Chef Jimmy Brogden Birmingham’s Best two years in a row now and a Helena resident, Jimmy Brogden is taking Helena by a sweet and spicy storm. Brogdens gourmet, fat free, gluten free salsa will make a terrific addition to any meal or snack. It’s made with all fresh ingredients, so it only has a 7-10 day shelf life giving you the perfect reason to go back for seconds. (Hey, salsa is good for you!) Jimmy just finished his fourth

Cold or Flu? The fall and winter months are cold and flu season. Many children develop sore throats, a cough and sometimes a fever. So how can parents determine if that illness is just a cold or the flu? Both the cold and the flu can present similar symptoms, including cough, congestion and runny nose. Dr. Lisa Venable, a pediatrician at Midtown Pediatrics, offers these tips. “In general, the flu hits a lot harder than a cold does, and a lot quicker,” she says. “You can have a high fever, fatigue and body aches and feel very, very tired.” SIGNS OF THE FLU • Comes on faster and harder • High fever • Fatigue • Body Aches Dr. Venable says to consider a flu shot if you haven’t already had one. The American Academy 20 Winter 2017 /

season at Pepper Place Market on Birmingham’s Southside. Brogden stated that he started his Christian-based business, After Midnight Salsa, four years ago after bringing a jar of his famous fresh salsa to a pot luck lunch at his office where it was a mouthwatering hit. Jimmy made a deal to repurpose the kitchen in the back of the Coosa Mart Exxon on CR 58 & Hwy 17 in Helena, and of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the flu shot for everyone over 6 months old. Flu shots can still be administered all the way through the end of the flu season in March. In the event a child does get sick, there are things parents can do to help mitigate symptoms. “Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids,” Dr. Venable says. “You can give Tylenol or Motrin if they have a fever. And make sure they are getting plenty of rest.” TREATMENT • Fluids • Rest • Tylenol or Motrin for fever

that’s where he now makes all of his After Midnight salsas himself. With only 160 calories a jar, you are sure to enjoy one of his flavors: Fire in the Hole, Sissy, Lava Joe or Pineapple Honey and Blackbean Corn. This fresh, raw treat can currently only be purchased in seven locations. The Exxon on CR 58 in Helena, Cowboys on Hwy 280 and five local Piggly Wiggly stores. I picked up a container of the Sissy, because well, I’m a sissy when it

Dr. Venable advises parents to bring their child to the doctor if they’re concerned, however, she says it’s not necessary to see the pediatrician for a cold. Most of

comes to spicy foods, but it was some of the most delicious salsa I’d ever eaten. A friend let me try the Blackbean Corn, and it was outstanding as well. For those counting calories, on most diets, salsa is a free food. So no guilt from eating lots of this! Next time you’re grocery shopping or in the neighborhood, stop into the Coosa Mart Exxon, pick up a container and try it out for yourself.

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Gifford Davis Usher grew up In Helena and graduated from Pelham High in 2010, where he was President of the National Honor Society, Captain of the soccer team and voted Most Likely to Succeed. He was also featured that year in the Birmingham magazine Portico in the article “20 Seniors Who Will Change the World.” Gifford graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors Program at The University of Alabama in May 2014. Pictured here are some photos Gifford sent us from his mission trips to Uganda and Thailand. From the look on his face and the words from his pen, I’d say the youmg man is well on the way to finding his calling. 22 Winter 2017 /

In their own words

Helena native in service and mission work Gifford Davis Usher

After I graduated from college, I felt God calling me to mission work and discovered an organization called Sozo Children through my sister Caroline. Immediately after meeting with them, I knew that Sozo was the right one for me to begin my journey. Sozo is a Christian organization based out of Birmingham, but their work concentrates on helping at-risk youth in Uganda. I loved their focus and decided to embark on two separate mission trips with them totaling nine months. My trips to Uganda opened my eyes to the world as I was thrust into a completely new culture that expanded my formerly narrow view of the world. I soaked up their way of life as I lived and served alongside the local Ugandans who help run Sozo in Africa. I assisted with chores, led Bible studies, played sports and more with the Sozo kids. On my second trip, I began to work in a local village about 30 miles south of Kampala helping to lead a kids’ club. A couple of times a week we would meet with them to hold Bible lessons, sing, dance, read and play and through this I learned one of the greatest lessons of my life. I learned about the all-encompassing power of love. This love was shown to me through the pure joy and excitement of the children as they would sprint after our van as soon as we arrived in the village. Once we stopped and opened the door, we would be flooded with hugs and smiles that could brighten even the gloomiest of days. One little girl named Sara just stole my heart — she was always so bright and joyful. It was tough to say goodbye to Sara and so many others when it was time for me to

leave Uganda. After my second Uganda trip working with kids, I knew that this was the life I was meant for and there was no turning back. I decided that the next step in my journey should be one continuing in the area of my strongest passion — working with youth in developing areas of the world. As I searched again for the right organization, I returned to one I had considered before, the Peace Corps. I had always admired their mission and purpose as an organization and found that they had the perfect opportunity for me as a Youth in Development Volunteer in Thailand. While still in Uganda, I applied for the position and the day I returned, I had my interview and accepted the offer to join. A few months later I left for Thailand in January 2016. After three months of training here, I was placed in a rural community called Ban Tak by myself to begin my work. From the language barriers to the cultural differences, it has been challenging, but I have grown so much from this experience. I have learned how to build relationships despite it being a struggle to have in-depth conversations with the Thai people. I have found that one of the best ways for me to do this is through sports, and more specifically soccer. I have always loved how sports can bring people together and have seen in the last couple of years how universal it is and how it can break down the walls that separate us. In fact, soccer was crucial to my initial assimilation into my Thai community, as it allowed me to join a group of men who play soccer every day. Through this, I did not have to have complex

conversations with them to build relationships, yet the common love of the game bonded us together. I have also learned to navigate the cultural barriers and still accomplish my goals here of teaching important life skills in schools as well as organizing several camps and projects for upcoming months that focus on the main areas of need that my Thai counterparts and I have jointly identified. One of the areas that I am most passionate about is gender equality. Several other volunteers and I are in the process of designing a project aimed at promoting this ideal. The project will begin with a camp where we will all bring a few girls from each of our sites to attend. We will then use soccer as a way to teach various lessons tied to our theme of gender equality. We hope to bring the project back to each of our sites and have the girls who attended become the leaders for continuing the project. Ultimately, I would like to start a girls’ soccer club at my site that becomes sustainable and continues to empower local girls even after my service in Thailand has concluded. Some of my other main areas of focus include life skills such as leadership, teamwork and creative thinking. I have worked on teaching these in various schools every week by leading activities that center on these life skills. I have been especially pleased with the progress I’ve seen with my oldest group of students. I have a weekly session with a group of 17-18 year old kids, and I have to admit I was quite apprehensive about working with this group at first, as I had never taught kids

who were that old before and had no idea how they would respond. It has been one of the most rewarding parts of my service so far, as they continue to blow me away with their enthusiasm and passion for learning, allowing me to continue to push them further and further with even more complex activities. I hoped all of the goals I had set would happen when I pictured my life here before I came to Thailand, but I had no idea the ways that it would change me. A fellow volunteer wrote something that has stuck with me ever since when he said that we all had imagined ways that this experience would change us, but we don’t get to decide that. So instead of trying to force our change into what we anticipated, we should accept the growth that will result from it. Embrace it rather than trying to control it. And I have been amazed at the unanticipated and beautiful ways that this experience has changed me. As for my plan after my service here has finished in late March 2018, I know that I want to continue working with groups that help youth. I’ve thought about an overall plan, but more than anything I will just try to find my next step in the journey. It almost seems futile to plan further than that, as my goals and plans for the future evolve with the growth that occurs in each step. So while I may not know exactly what organization I will work with next or where in the world I may end up, I know what my passion is and I trust that I will continue to grow and find the path to following that passion along the way.

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All the Ways To Your Library

New Batriocioa Ckorsn:well

Chaos – P acci d – David Bald No Man’s Lan John Grisham nn Krentz The Whistler – Gone – Jane A e av H ls ir G e When All th on – James Patters Cross the Line anielle Steel loway The Award – D ses – Noah Gal u xc E o n h it w Living Fisher iarist – Carrie D ss ce n ri P e Th k Bittman rything – Mar ve E e ak B to How ten ffrey – Ina Gar Je r fo g n ki oo C


230 Tucker Road, Helena AL 35080 205-664-8308 Visit us @

Hello from the Jane B. Holmes Public Library:

We hope this letter finds you well, and that you visit the library soon.

News and Notes:

2016 Best of Shelby County – Great news! The Jane B. Holmes Public Library was named 2016 Best Library in Shelby County by Shelby Living Magazine. This award is truly an honor, and it says a lot about the City of Helena for providing great resources, and the staff at the library for their dedication to serving our patrons. That’s you!

Best of 2016: Look for displays in early January featuring Best of 2016! We find all the best books, movies, and music from 2016 and display them around the library. This makes it easy to see what you may have missed, and to check it out! It may sound cliché, but winter is THE time to visit the Public Library! As seasons change, it is always a fun time to try new things. New authors, new subjects, musicians, movies, it’s all available for free (if returned on time.) Did you know that the public library has a great selection of new and classic movies? Browse below to find Titles that interest you.

• Check out 10 books, get a prize on Wednesday, January 18. (All Day!) • The Friends of the Library meeting on Thursday, January 19 at 6:00 PM. • Special Evening Story Time on Thursday, January 26 at 6:00 PM. • Check out 10 books, get a prize! Wednesday, February 15 (All Day!) • Library closed for President’s Day : February 20 LIBRARY BOOK SALE! Thursday, February 23 - Begins at 10:00 a.m. Find some fun treasures at great prices! Check out the library website at (click on library) for our full calendar and other neat programs and events.


The library has some great programs. In the past year, the library has made a commitment to provide entertaining and educational programs. From great displays to Lego Fun to Cookies and Coloring, cultural programs, Trivia Night, and beyond, the library provides fun, free programs for the entire family. Including: • A display for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 12

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Tuesday & Thursday Story Time

NewtionMRaduiosi–cG:reen Day

Kidz Bop 33 Usher Hard II Love Revolu es n Jo GaGa orah Joanne – Lady Day Breaks – N Usher Hard 2 Love – Gambino ove – Childish Awaken, My L ings coustic Record is Presley Jack White - A gle Room - Elv n Ju e th in n Way Dow Leon Walls - Kings of

Christmas Parade Fl oat: worked on and supp Thanks to everyone who orted the Library Ch ristm Float this year! SPEC IAL thanks to staff m as Do not forget Story Time! It is every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00 AM, and Ms. em Julie Lawson and he r whole family for pla ber nning and getting our floa Jennie is here to read to you and sing some FUN songs. Also, this is a great time to t on the road Photo Credit: Julie La in 2016! introduce younger children to the library and to be aroundTOother kids. Stop by soon! on 2017 25 Winter ADVERTISE, CALL the Publisher at 746.1188 / / ws

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sponsored by the Helena Business Association (HBA) The Helena Business Association is sponsoring a Business Expo Saturday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Helena Sports Complex. Local Helena businesses will be available to share about their business and ways in which you can help support the local economy. The event will also feature the Helena High School jazz band and other entertainment. Delicious area food trucks and other food vendors will be available for dining options. For information about the Helena Business Association, visit


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Drum circles benefit students at HMS “The best part for me is being with these students and seeing them light up and seeing how much fun they have, and the creativity that they are developing. And then, when I see them in the hall and they call my name and give me a fist bump or high five, it makes my day,” said Helena Middle School Band Director Lance Pruitt as he talks about the new drum circles program that he has implemented at HMS. Mr. Pruitt based his ideas on a similar program set up for Homewood Middle School. He compiled his ideas and realized that he would need funding for this extensive program. He consulted with Michelle Hall at the Shelby County Board of Education, and together they created a grant proposal. “We received a grant from the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation for $1,000 and another grant from the Helena Middle School PTO for $1500.” The purpose of writing the grant was to get some financial help to offset the initial costs including purchasing the drums and hiring John Scalici to instruct the teachers and students in how the drum circles work and teach them exercises to use in two different sessions. Michelle Hall, Shelby County Music Supervisor, says “Where words fail, music speaks” is one of my favorite quotes. For many children with special needs, words fail them daily. Either they struggle to get the words out or are unable to process the words coming in. Playing an instrument like the drums 28 Winter 2017 /

can be a way to express emotions non-verbally and to “listen” to another person’s non-verbal communication.” Pruitt wanted to do something for the students with special needs at HMS, and he felt after talking to several people, that this would be something that would benefit them and also his own band members. Through his research, he learned that programs like this would fill needs such as cognitive, emotional, fine and gross motor skills, and also aid in communication and social skills. He partnered with special education teacher Nikki Lockhart. They met every Wednesday in the HMS band room during Pruitt’s planning time. “Mr. Pruitt and I discussed the possibility of a drum circle last school year. From our first conversation, I was ecstatic and overjoyed that he wanted to showcase my students and their abilities. I teach some of the most talented and dedicated students in Helena. I was excited and ready to do whatever I could to make the drum circle a reality!” said Ms. Lockhart. “The most important thing in the beginning was simply creating a performing organization that was just for the special needs students. I saw a group of students that we just weren’t reaching with all the great organizations we have here at HMS. Between band, choir, sports and clubs, I knew we had to have something for these kids where they could be the superstars,” commented Pruitt. When this year started, he contacted John Scalici, who specializes

in drum circles and teaching it to groups to incorporate into the classroom. Pruitt scheduled two meetings with him to help get the program started. The first meeting was Wednesday, October 12, and the students have been meeting together each Wednesday ever since. Scalici was able to come back to be with the students again in November.Pruitt hopes that with additional fundraising, he might be able to bring Scalici back to work with the students more. The drum circles are done within the classroom, but it extends to other classes, too. Lockhart has used some of the things in class that have been done in the drum circle such as when they will start a specific activity. One student will be in charge and give visual instructions to the rest of the group as to when to get louder, softer, and when to stop, and then they use another visual to pass the leadership to another student along with calling the next student’s name. “We try to take a couple of minutes in each session/rehearsal to share with each other like back during Thanksgiving, the students shared what they are thankful for. We have talked about their favorite foods and turned those into rhythms we play on the drums together.  We are also working on individual performances – I will play a rhythm on my drum and once established will get softer and call one of the students, and they begin playing their own solo over my rhythm. Once they are through, they will pass it off to another student using the hand

gesture and calling the student’s name,” said Pruitt. Lockhart adds, “The drum circle gives my students a sense of inclusion and acceptance within our school. The students have taken ownership of the drum circle. They are learning skills that can be generalized to their homes as well as the community. My students are expanding their vocabulary, social skills, communication, and so much more.” Both Michelle Hall and Lance Pruitt say that they are still in the early stages of the program, but ultimately hope the drum circle experience will allow all of the students involved to not only value and appreciate music, but to value and appreciate each other’s talents and gifts. Hall added, “Just the joyful spirit of the children involved.  Mr. Pruitt and Mr. Scalisi make every kid feel like a rock star!”  They said over and over, “whether it is your real voice or your drum voice, your voice matters!”  As the students left the band room, the next class was waiting in the hall.  They had formed two lines and were cheering and high fiving the drum students as they went back to class. Seeing that celebration was priceless.” Lockhart sees far reaching benefits of the drum circles. “I hope that we can continue the drum circle year after year. It would be great if the group could perform for all the schools in Helena. I want this to be a memory that my students will have for the rest of their lives! This is truly a great experience for them.”

We work, rest and play in Helena And we are here to help keep you and your family healthy and enjoying our community, too!

Hands Hand so on nC Care, are, C Close lose to to H Home. ome me.. TherapySouth has served communities all over Birmingham for more than 10 years, and now Nolan Williams is bringing that commitment to Helena! We love working here to provide physical therapy for friends in our community. TherapySouth is an outpatient physical therapy practice with a fun, family-oriented environment. Our experienced physical therapists know our patients by name and strive to help them achieve their physical goals. We know you have a choice for your healthcare, and we’d love to be your physical therapists.

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PHS graduate makes Auburn’s Tiger Eyes Dance Team This past thanksgiving, Helena native Alex Crowe traveled to London to dance in their New Year’s Day Parade. Alex went as a member of the Universal Dance Association’s All-American Team. “My favorite part was seeing everyone’s face light up when they watched our dance. I hope these opportunities continue to fall before me,” said Alex. Alex is a 2016 graduate of Pelham High School, and plans

to attend Auburn University this fall. Recently, Alex was selected to be part of Auburn’s 2016-2017 Tiger Eyes Dance Team. Out of 50 girls, only 14 made the team. “Alex is looking forward to dancing in her school colors this fall and making friends who will last a lifetime,” said Alex’s mother. “We can’t wait to see where she will go next.” Congratulations, Alex!


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Winter Blues got you down? Chin up! Baseball/Softball opening day Ceremonies are right around the corner. The 2017 season opens March 18th in Helena. Home games are played at Helena Sports Complex and Penhale Park. Helena’s youth baseball league is part of the Dizzy Dean Baseball organization and plays an interlocking schedule with Pelham, Alabaster, Calera and Montevallo.

Also… The Helena Youth Basketball season playoffs begin February 8. We have 12 teams who will be participating this year.

Helena Parks would like to thank our sponsors! Buffalo Rock Dicks Sporting Goods Its All About Fun Mark Hall Hewy Woodman Primrose School If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact the Helena Park office. Bill Miller City of Helena Director of Parks and Recreation (205) 620-2877

The annual Helena Easter Egg Hunt is set for April 15th Ages: 0-8 Time: 9am - 12 Noon Place: Helena Amphitheater in Old Town

30 Winter 2017 /

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Ovation Media and Helena’s Police Department Organize


Ovation Media’s Rick Wash organized a Toy Drive in conjunction with the Helena Police Department and others to raise sorely needed funds and toys for about 22 local families who were having a tough go of things this year. “The response was overwhelming,” he said. “We raised about $700 cash in addition to all the toys you see on our stage,” he said, pointing to a huge collection of them. Conceived only a couple of weeks prior, on the morning I went by Ovation’s facility on Hwy 52 West in Helena, the sound stage was packed full and looked like Christmas morning had come early. Chief Pete Folmar, Officer Brad Flynn and others had gathered there to divide up the gifts according to children’s ages and sex, while Officer Amanda Davis kept the list, being careful to check it twice, just as Santa recommends. As the eager Christmas Elves in Blue were about to start

2222 Co Rd. 52, Helena

dividing up the goodies though, it was discovered that nobody had brought any plastic bags with which to pack up the loot. A quick call to True Value Hardware’s Daniel Barron saved the day however, as he cheerfully emptied his shelves of thick contractor’s bags that were just about perfect stand ins for Santa’s toy bags. Rick said that their group usually participates with Toys for Tots, but the contributions given to them go to Birmingham and other parts of Alabama so this year, it was decided to have a more local effort. They all go to needy kids and families, so I know Santa is proud just the same. “Helena folks are some of the most generous you’ll find anywhere,” said Rick. “We got a ton of this (pointing to the stage) last Saturday morning when we set up outside Walmart Neighborhood Market. Folks just sent inside, bought gifts and dropped them off with us on the way out. It was like something out of one of the old Christmas movies.” Thanks to Rick, the crew at Ovation Media, the Police Department and all involved with this year’s effort.

Hope everybody had a great holiday! 205-664-0038 • Visit us at

Ask Your Local Real Estate Expert…

PURCHASING A HOME Q. My high school student is considering a student loan for college. How can this loan affect their ability to purchase a home once they graduate and are employed? A. It is always a great idea to check with a mortgage lender before taking out a student loan as these loans can delay qualifying for a mortgage. A recent graduate who has been employed for thirty days can qualify for a loan based on their credit score, and a mortgage payment is usually much less than renting. Please contact me if I can be of any assistance to you.

Tips for beating those depressing winter blues The last few days have been hard to get out of bed. I’m glad we got some rain, but there is something strange about how cold rainy weather effects your mood and motivation. I know a lot of people struggle with this, and if I could, I would personally call and give you an old school “coach” pep talk.  I don’t have all the answers for the what’s known as “winter depression,” but here are three things that will make it worse: 1. Procrastination – don’t overwhelm yourself, but don’t put stuff off. Make a list of the main three things that need to get done each day and knock them out. 2. Thinking about what you don’t have or comparing yourself to others – if you catch yourself in a bad mood, start thinking of what you are grateful for, count your blessings.  3. Eating your feelings  Three things that you can do to

battle your winter sadness: 1. Take a vitamin pack – FYI I recommend taking vitamins with dinner rather than the morning. 2. Workout – this is an absolute must! Even if it’s just a few minutes, it makes a huge difference in your physiology and health. Make it one of your main things to do each day, and make it happen no matter what. Indoor workouts are just as effective, even if it’s just walking around your house! 3. Make it a point to get around other fun people! Here is a four minute, no excuses workout that’s simple, and you can do it anytime, anywhere to help you beat those winter blues. watch?v=vqVpjYMeayM  Let me know if I can help you at Squad Fitness to battle your winter depression.  Stay After it,  Romen McDonald

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Helena bids a sad farewell to

Dr. Gerald Waldrop

Fans attribute The University of Alabama’s recent loss to Clemson in the 2016 National Championship game to a variety of things: the excellent coaching and recruiting of Pelham native Dabo Swinney, the superior quarterback skills of Deshaun Watson, or any of a number of other variables. But many in Helena might say the cause was that one of the Tide’s biggest fans, Gerald Waldrop, was in his final resting place in Evergreen Cemetery, across Paul Bryant Drive from Bryant-Denny Stadium rather than in his seat at the game pulling on his beloved Crimson Tide. The University of Alabama lost one of its biggest fans in October after he contracted Histoplasmotic pneumonia while he and wife Callie traveled to Dallas in their RV to watch the Crimson Tide defeat Southern California. Coming home from their trip a day early due lung issues he seemed to be having, Gerald was hospitalized Sept 18 and succumbed to the illness Oct 4. Gerald may have been small in stature, but he was a giant among men. He was born Sept 7, 1942 and was a native of Gadsden, Alabama. He met the love of his life, Callie, when both were students at Jacksonville State University. He attended church at the First United Methodist Church there with a casual date, who happened to be a friend of Callie’s. Callie says she knew who Gerald was, as he had been president of the SGA at school. “So even though I knew him already, that’s when he remembered meeting me,” she said. The two started dating a short time later, and were married a few months after that, setting upon a life journey that would take them all over

the world. Along the way, the couple had two daughters: Leigh and Natasha. Callie says that Gerald had worked at the steel plant in Gadsden during summers while he was in college. He had learned to butcher meats while in high school there. After he graduated from Jacksonville State and married Callie, Gerald decided to get his masters from the University of Alabama. While there, he worked on campus as a butcher to support the two of them. (He would go on to earn his doctorate there, too, and later attended the Universities of Mississippi and Minnesota.) Gerald always loved to travel, and Callie remembers his tale of going to Washington DC while a student at Jax State to attend JFK’s funeral after he was assassinated. Seven students piled into Gerald’s car, and Callie remembers that the group had a flat on the way there, completing the trip with no spare tire. (Who’s not invincible at that age?) If he was anything during his illustrious life, Gerald would claim the title of educator first. Gerald was awarded an LLD in 1985 from Troy University for his contributions to the furtherance of public education in Alabama. He started his teaching career at Jefferson State Community College and retired from Gadsden State Community College in 1996 after which he and Callie moved to Helena. He was a professor of History and Political Science for 30 years. During those years, he taught adjunct for Jacksonville State and the University of Alabama in Gadsden. Gerald served as the President of the Alabama Education Association from 1984-85. He was a proud member of the National Education Association, Alabama Education Association, and the Shelby County Education Retirees Association. Gerald tried his hand at politics back in the 70s, when he was elected to the last At-Large class of the Alabama House of Representatives (from 1970-74) representing Etowah County, District 11, Place 1. In 1974, he was elected to the first Single Member District class of the State Senate, District 10, representing Cherokee and Etowah Counties. Waldrop was one of the youngest to serve in either legislative chamber. Left Photo: Senator Gerald Waldrop looks on as Gov. George Wallace signs Waldrop’s legislation. Waldrop served 1970-1978. Lower Photo: Gerald was dedicated to the Kairos Prison Ministry for many years, ministering in St. Clair, West Jefferson and Elmore Prisons.

Gerald was the 2001 charter president of the Kiwanis Club of Helena. He spearheaded the building of the Kiwanis “All Kids” Boundless Playground, serving children of all abilities. He served as Governor of the Alabama District of Kiwanis from 2006-07. Gerald and Callie were members of Friendship Force of Birmingham for over 20 years and traveled to many countries together as ambassadors, making numerous international friends along the way. Gerald was a member of American Legion, Post 44, in Gulf Shores. (He served in the US Air Force Reserve during Vietnam.) Gerald was involved in Kairos, a Christian ministry that seeks to help prisoners become successful at life. Gerald Waldrop will be missed by all who knew him. A friend to everyone, Gerald leaves some big shoes to be filled. RIP, my friend. Top Right Photo: In RV before traveling to Rose Bowl for ’09 National Championship game between the Crimson Tide and the Texas Longhorns. Top Left Photo: Waldrop met many luminaries in his political career. Shown here with Senators Hubert Humphrey, MN, and James B. Allen, AL, in early 1970s. Bottom Left Photo: Waldrop as a young instructor at Golden State, where he was not only popular with students, but served as the Kiwanis advisor Circle K.

Right Bottom Photo: Traveling with Friendship Force Left Bottom Photo: Dr. Joab Thomas, wife Marley, Gerald and Callie Waldrop at AEA Conference in Tuscaloosa, Gerald was President of the AEA.

Another Wonderful Helena Christmas Parade in the record book! Thanks to all the parade volunteers and participants who joined together to make this year’s event so much fun for everyone involved. As kids lined up with bags to collect candy and watch for Santa atop his firetruck, parade entrants, some of whom had worked for weeks and months on their floats, lined up in an orderly fashion to the delight of onlookers along the parade route as the parade meandered through the heart of the city. Enjoy this look back on the day’s festivities!


christmas parade

Laura Brookhart

Celebrating a Rich & Loving Life

Ms Tina K at the century mark Ms. Tina Kilpatrick, a resident of Maplewood Ridge, recently celebrated her 100th birthday. A celebratory mass with Father Ray Dunmeyer at Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Montevallo was attended by friends and family members from four generations. “Being her son,” Hugh III shared, “we had a special relationship that only sons have with their mothers. I confided in her on personal things more so than I did with my father. She was always there for me; cooked my favorite meals; played host to my friends; was interested in whom I dated; and sat on the steps outside my bedroom at night when I was scared as a child.” “A loving and loyal wife and 38 Winter 2017 /

mother, she and my father provided me with a home that was safe and secure. As I have aged, I have come to understand that I am fortunate and blessed to have had that upbringing.” Hugh Kilpatrick helped her blow out the candles on her cake as her two daughters, Camille Owens and Rosalie Oetting stood alongside. Many of her eight grandchildren and nine greatgrandchildren were also present. “Is there is there one particular incident in your life that stands out above all the others?” she was asked. “Getting married to my husband (Hugh Worthington Kilpatrick, who passed in 2002) —he was a flight instructor in the US Army Air Corp and we were mar-

ried on the Wichita Falls, Texas base on February 27, 1943.” Ms. Tina has two beautiful wedding announcements hanging in her room. One is a small handpainted, hand-lettered original on parchment paper—a special wedding gift. The other is a larger official Roman Catholic Certificate of Marriage. One older photograph in her many-paged album shows a young and very glamourous tap-dancing beauty. “In my teens, I tap-danced during intermission at the country club every weekend. My mother sewed all my costumes,” she recalled. Ms. Tina grew up in Bessemer with two older sisters. She attended high school in Bessemer,

but added, “I didn’t go to college because it was the Depression and my daddy said maybe he could afford to send me later.” Ms. Tina was very active in her 60s—she played a lot of golf and today she still enjoys some exercise workouts and is up daily and active with her walker. Daughter Rosalie Oetting celebrates her mother saying, “She has lived her life to the fullest with a wonderful wit—always active, loving and gracious.” “She had a passion for entertaining, golf, bridge and her service organizations. She has been an inspiration, not only to me but to my children and grandchildren.” “She has taught us all that age is merely a number.”

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New council members attend conference On November 10, Alice Lobell and Laura Joseph of Helena attended a “crash course” in Birmingham on the complexities of administering municipal government. The Orientation Conference for Elected Officials and Municipal Personnel is presented every four years in various locations throughout the state by the Alabama League of Municipalities. Approximately 30 percent of the mayors and councilmembers who began four-year terms on November 7 have never held public office; therefore, the quadrennial orientation conferences are extremely important. Speakers at the one-day session represented the top legal and administrative authorities on mu-

nicipal government in Alabama and covered topics such as: the statutory and administrative requirements during the municipal year ahead; the legal status and powers of municipalities; the office of the mayor; council meeting procedure; the organizational duties of the council; conflicts of interest and ethics; appropriation powers of municipalities; borrowing powers; and budgeting, auditing and fiscal reporting. The role of the Alabama League of Municipalities in local government and League special programs were also discussed. Mayors and councilmembers were encouraged to enroll in the League’s Certified Municipal Official (CMO) Program, which consists of a series of continuing

education programs designed specifically for elected municipal officials who voluntarily wish to receive formal training in municipal government. Officials who complete 40 credit hours of training are awarded the professional designation of Certified Municipal Official. With an additional 40 credit hours, participants earn the Advanced Certified Municipal Official designation. The highest designation, Emeritus, can be achieved through a combination of continuing credit hours and points. Training opportunities are available throughout the year, and the Basic certification can be completed in as few as two calendar years. The Alabama League of

Municipalities was organized in 1935 and has served since that time as the recognized voice of the cities and towns in Alabama. Representing nearly 450 member municipalities, the League works to secure enactment of legislation enabling all cities and towns to perform their functions more efficiently and effectively; offers specialized training for both municipal officials and employees; holds conferences and meetings at which views and experiences of officials may be exchanged; and conducts continuing studies of the legislative, administrative and operational needs, problems and functions of Alabama’s municipal governments. For more information, visit

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H E L E N A’ S C O M M U N I T Y O F FA I T H A.M.E. New Bethel A.M.E. Church Highway 261 • 201-5531 Rev. Wilma Merriweather Sunday School 10:00 AM Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 AM

BAPTIST CrossBridge Community Church Starkey Street (off 261) • 621-2695 Pastors Harris Cook & Bruce Squires Sunday Worship 10:00 AM Wednesday Prayer Service 6:30 PM

First Baptist Church Helena

815 Highway 52 E • 663-7879 Sr Pastor Greg Walker • Sunday Bible Study 9:30 AM Sunday Worship 10:30 AM & 6:00 PM

Gospel Light Baptist Church

5781 Roy Drive • 685-0772 Pastor Steve Kilpatrick • Sunday Bible Study 10:00 AM Sunday Worship 11:00 AM

Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church

Highway 261 • 663-5257 Rev. Edwin D. Dinkins • Sunday School 10:00 AM Morning Worship 11:00 AM

New Elam Baptist Church Cunningham Drive • 663-2230 Rev. Lester Sunday School 10:00 AM Morning Worship 11:00 AM

Riverside Baptist Church

1919 Highway 52 W • 426-1910 Pastor Chris Wilson • Sunday Worship 9:00 AM Sunday Bible Study 10:30 AM

Shiloh Baptist Church

6700 County Road 13 • 424-4539 Rev. Pete Hubhins, Jr. Pastor Sunday School 10:00 AM Sunday Worship 11:00 AM

CHRISTIAN—DISCIPLES OF CHRIST Grace Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 869 Highway 52 • 426-1233 Rev. Tommy Morgan Sunday School 9:00 AM Sunday Worship 10:00 AM


Church of Christ at Helena 2499 Highway 58 • 620-4575 Evgs Curtis Flatt & Bryan Moody Sunday School 9:30 AM Morning Worship 10:30 AM

EPISCOPAL Lamb of God Charismatic Episcopal

New Vision Christian Church

2383 Highway 95 • 664-4333 Pastor Van C. Houser, Sr. • 5140 County Road 17 • 378-8022 Sunday Corporate Prayer 9:00 AM Rev. Glenn E. Davis • Sunday Worship 10:15 AM Children’s Church 10:00 AM Sunday Worship 10:00 AM

Voice of Faith Int’l Ministries

METHODIST Helena United Methodist Church 2035 County Road 58 • 663-0111 Dr. Mary Henley • Worship 9AM Traditional, 11AM Contemporary

The Church at Cahaba Bend

1560 Cunningham Drive • 663-7396 Rev. Franklin L. Kirksey Sunday Worship 7:00 & 10:00 AM Thursday Bible Teaching 10:00 AM

PRESBYTERIAN Christ Community Church

3721 Highway 52 W • 621-8060 Rev. Lori Carden • Sunday School 9:15 AM Contemporary Worship 10:30 AM

Meets at Helena Intermediate • 621-6248 Pastor Phil Chambers • Sunday Worship 10:00 AM

NAZARENE Trinity Church of the Nazarene

3396 Helena Road • 663-2174 Pastor Mike Ensminger Sunday School 9:00 AM Morning Worship 10:00 AM

Laurel Woods Dr. & Hwy 58 • 664-4659 Rev. David Shirer • Sunday School 9:00 AM Morning Worship 10:00 AM

NON-DENOMINATIONAL Cornerstone Church 2694 Highway 58 • 663-9332 Rev. Tim Trimble Sunday School 9:30 AM Morning Worship 10:30 AM

Helena Cumberland Presbyterian

Our community of faith offers many services and programs year-round. Please visit the church’s website for additional information about upcoming events and programs.

Attend the Church of Your Choice This Sunday!

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PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL… We’re the Home of the Free Because of the Brave!

SGT Jon M. Aaron 4/14 K CO (DET B), UNIT 43671, FPO AP 96426-3671; Al Anbar, Iraq; Karen Dickinson’s son

SGT Brooks Gray USA; Ranger; Scofield BKS, HI; John Gray’s son, Lauren & Ryan Gray’s brother

SGT Peter J. “Pete” Reese ARNG; 152nd MP Co.; Lauren’s husband; Kai, Sam, Dalton, Brook & Kaiti’s father

SGT Steven M. Bennett USA; Paratrooper/Rigger; Fort Benning, GA; Clara & Ken Lorino’s son

SRA Brad Hubbard USAF Fort Gordon - Augusta, GA Rod & Susan Hubbard’s son

SFC Eric Bond USA; 82nd ABD, 1-504 PIR; Baghdad, Iraq; Paul Zimmerman’s cousin

SPC Michael Hubbard USA; Camp Liberty, Iraq; Ruth Meadows grandson, Kimberly’s husband, Bonnie Hubbard’s brother

LCPL Casey B. Reitz USMC, MCSF Battalion, Naval Submarine Base, King’s Bay, GA; Tom and Suzi’s son, brother of Tommy, Joey, and Emily.

Captain Joshua Bowen USA; 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division; Fort Carson, CO; Tom and Susan Bowen’s son, Fallon’s husband

SPC Eric Hunley ARNG; 1/167 Inf. Bn Co. B, Operation Enduring Freedom; Afghanistan; Mike & Barbara Hunley’s son; late Chris Hunley’s brother

Captain Fallon Bowen USA; Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division; Fort Carson, CO; Tom and Susan Bowen’s daughter-in-law, Joshua’s wife LT Sarah Bowen USN; USS John Stennis Aircraft Carrier; Bremerton, WA; Tom and Susan Bowen’s daughter LT Jordan Bowen USA; 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood, TX; Tom and Susan Bowen’s son SRA Mitch Braswell USAF; 16th EMS, 16th Special Op. Wing; Afghanistan; Mike & Judi Braswell’s son PVT Vincent Brown USMC; Chesapeake, VA; Leonetta Prevo’s son SGT Dallas C Caviness USA; 172 Inf. Brigade; Germany; Rebecca’s husband, Norah’s father, Rhonda’s son & Devin’s brother 1st LT William B. Cofer USA; Fort Campbell, KY; Dorothy & Jim Cofer’s son, Deborah’s brother CPO Austin C. Daniel USN; Norfolk, VA; Mike & Claudia Daniel’s son, Justin, Tatum & Autumn’s brother 2nd LT Eric C Darrenkamp USA; Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI; Carol Darrenkamp’s son, Jon & Stephen’s brother AEAN Benjamin Lee Doaks USN; NAS Jacksonville, FL; Joe & Tammy Williams’ son, Rev. Clifton & Mattie Taylor’s grandson LCPL Jared M. Fitzgerald USMC; 9th Communication Battalion; Camp Pendleton; CA; Rosemarie Butler’s son and Jeff’s stepson, Justin and Tyler’s brother Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin D. Gilbert USCG, Machinery Technician; Key West, FL; Leslie’s husband, Annette & Dan Duffy’s son-in-law SSG Jay Gortney ARNG; 20th Special Forces; Iraq; April’s husband

CPL Michael Jeffries ARNG; 1/167 Infantry Battalion Company B, Operation Enduring Freedom; Afghanistan; Amy’s husband, Colin & Gavin’s father MC1 Andrew “AJ” Johnson US Navy; Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU); Dam Neck Annex, NAS Oceana; Virginia Beach, VA. LT Commander David Kang USN; White House, Washinton, DC; Stanley & Sue Kang’s son, Sunny Kang’s brother CW3 Corey Lefebvre USA; Fort Rucker, AL.; Tom Lefebvre’s son SGT Jacob S. Lenoir USA; Sniper Unit of 1-64 Inf; Fort Stewart, GA; Beth Eades’ son, Caitlyn’s husband SRA Tanner McGinnis U.S. Air Force; 90th SFS Tactical Response Force; FE Warren AFB; Cheyenne, Wyoming Ken & Jo McGinnis’ son Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik B. McKenzie USN; USS Curtis Wilber, Yokosuka, Japan; Bond & Lisa McKenzie’s son, Brooke’s brother, Megan’s husband 2nd LT Jacob Allen Meins USAF, Special Operations Command; Kathy Meins Martin’s son MSG Jacqueline M. Moore USA, 387th; Wichita, KS; Leroy E. Lucas’ wife, Cameshia, Shaun, Chibukia & Chris’ mom SSGT Christopher S. Murphy USMC; MWHS 3, San Diego, CA; Jack & Karen Murphy’s son, Alyssa’s husband

Personnel SPC Second Class William T. Rice USA, USS Ronald Reagan, San Diego, CA. Son of Ginger Hamilton SPC Dwight A Rosse Jr. USA; 1-32 Cav 1st Bct, Fort Campbell, KY; Dwight & Michelle Rosse’s son, Britney & Carlton’s brother SPC Patrick D. Sharp USA; 82nd ABD; Al Asad, Iraq; Shawn Sharp’s son SPC Ashley Bruce Squires USA; 3rd Inf. Div., 1-30 Inf.; Ft. Stewart, GA; Jesi Mason Squires’s father, Bruce & Tammy son, Aubrey & Austin’s brother Cpl Rodney Stephens ARNG; 152nd Military Police Task Force 382nd, Iraq; Andrea & AnnaBelle’s father 2LT John M Traylor, Jr USAF; 552nd TRS; Tinker AFB, OK; Mark & Karole Traylor’s son PFC Zachary S Traylor USMC; 3-23 Inf; Baton Rouge, LA; Mark & Karole Traylor’s son SGT John Christian Vansant USMC; VMMT 204 Flightline, MCAS; New River, NC; Keith & Sherill Vansant’s son Major Maxwell B. Ward USAR; Afghanistan; Kathie’s husband, Maggie’s dad, Bette Ward’s son, Michelle (Lin) Saville’s brother PFC Zachary Walton USA; 3-1 Cav. Regt. Delta Troop; Ft Benning, GA; Becky Click’s son, Alex Walton & Sydney Mollica’s brother, Amber’s husband FC3 William J. Welch USN; USS Lake Erie, Pearl Harbor, HI; Devinne Brooks’ husband E4 Spencer R. Wood USN Corpsman; Balboa Hospital; Camp Pendleton, CA Rish & Christa Wood’s son, Whitney Brown’s stepbrother

LT Commander Kimberly A. Oelschlager USN; US Navy Hospital (Balboa)-Physician’s Asst., San Diego, CA; Ted & the late Sara Oelschlager’s daughter Chief Petty Officer Termaine J. Pruitt USN; NAS Pensacola, FL; Termaine Jr, Trevorn, Chelicia & Tristin’s father, Janice & Austin Pruitt’s son

E-mail Helena active duty military personnel’s name, address and where they’re stationed to If your loved one has returned, PLEASE let us know so that we can keep our prayer list current. Thank you!

Cahaba Dental Arts invests in its patients—ON DEMAND CROWNS Having to get a dental crown is not at the top of anyone’s list. Much less having to wear a temporary crown that doesn’t quite fit right for several weeks while the permanent one is being made. This is the reason Cahaba Dental Arts invested in a CEREC mill and furnace to give patients the best experience possible. The traditional process for a crown is as follows: at the first appointment you have the tooth prepared for the crown, have an impression made, and have a temporary crown placed. Then you wait 2-4 weeks while the permanent crown is being made. When the crown comes in, you are scheduled for a second appointment to take the temporary off and place the permanent crown. This investment in a state-ofthe-art CEREC mill and furnce

allows Cahaba Dental Arts to take a 3D image of your tooth and have the crown made while you wait. No more temporary crown, no more impression, no more second visit. In addition, since the crown is made for you while you are still in the office, Dr. Jayme can make sure the crown matches your adjacent teeth so you get a great result. Zirconia is the strongest material used for dental crowns. Prior to 2016, Zirconia crowns took hours to make and were just not feasible for same day dentistry. However, with the newest CEREC mill and furnace, Cahaba Dental Arts can provide you with the strongest crown available with the best experience possible. Truly a win-win. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your dental needs.

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Meet the Helena Husky graduating senior hoops players The hardwoods and hoops are in full swing for both the boys and girls basketball teams at Helena High School. Representing the high school are nine seniors who are role models for the underclassmen and for the school. Let’s meet these incredible students.

Jon Brown Jon plans on attending the University of North Alabama and major in sports management. He will be playing with the UNA lions next year on its basketball team. His favorite part about basketball is the atmosphere of the fans and students and the relationships he has made over the years with his teammates. His personal goal for this season is to score 1000 points in his high school career, and he feels he will make that goal. His New Year’s Resolution would be to Beat Pelham! Get buckets! and win State!

Andrew Bush Andrew plans on attending Samford University. Right now he is undecided on his major but considering the ministry or business. Andrew’s favorite part of playing basketball is his relationship with his teammates, opponents and coaches through the years. He also said that he liked the pre-game meals. His goal for this season for himself is to dunk on Jon Brown at practice. He said if he had to state a New Year’s Resolution it would probably be to work hard at every practice and to Beat Pelham!

Cirrahn McFarland Cirrahn plans on attending a four year university but hasn’t made up his mind 44 Winter 2017 /

which one he will attend yet. He said that he and his mother are still touring campuses to see where he fits in the best. He plans on majoring in communications in college. His favorite part about playing basketball is the bonding with his teammates, the atmosphere of the student section, and just being on the court. He said his New Year’s Resolution would be to Beat Pelham! Become a better leader on and off the court and to win State!

Mary Elizabeth Laatsch Mary Elizabeth plans on attending the University of Montevallow and major in Art Education. She would love to assist high school varsity basketball, and eventually become a head coach for women’s basketball. She thinks she would like to play in college, but she hasn’t decided yet or not if she will play. She said she has grown up playing basketball and has “enjoyed every second of it. Mary Elizabth said, “I love being a part of a team and shooting three pointers!” Her goal for this season is to be aggressive and not say she is sorry 24/7. Her New Year’s Resolution would be to make a difference.

Morgan Watkins Morgan plans on attending Jacksonville State University to study nursing. Her favorite part about playing is getting to pay with her friends on last season. She has been playing with these girls for over five years,

so having one more opportunity this year is a blessing for her. She hopes to become a stronger offensive and defensive player. Her New Year’s Resolution is to start college off strong this coming fall, and she is hoping to make memories to last a lifetime

Hallie McAbe Hallie Mcabe plans on attending college but still hasn’t decided where she will be attending. Her favorite part about playing basketball was playing with her friends. She said that some of them have been playing ball together for over five years. Hallie said she will be sad when the season is over and they are not playing ball together any more. Her goals for this season include always being positive and encouraging to her teammates. She wants to be a better offensive and defensive player. Her New Year’s Resolution is to go a whole year without drinking a soda.

Jennifer Brown Jennifer wants to attend college next fall and major in elementary education, but she hasn’t decided on which school she will attend yet. Her favorite memory from playing basketball was being able to play with her best friends and to work hard together with them. Her goal for this season is to be a 60% free throw shooter. Her New Year’s Resolution would be that she wants to make a new friend every day.

Shakira Yuret Shakira plans on attending college, but she is undecided on where she would like to attend. She wants to major in criminal justice or public services. Her favorite part about playing basketball is bonding with her teammates. For this year, she hopes that she can be more aggressive and stronger with the ball. Her New Year’s Resolution would be to become more confident and take more chances.

Mekhi Mayfield Mekhi plans on attending Samford University and major in sports management. She will be playing softball for the bulldogs. Her favorite parts were playing the game she loves while making lofe long friends. She also enjoyed seeing her friends and teammates every day. Her goal for this season is to be a leader on and off the floor, and to do whatever it takes in order for the team to be successful. Her New Year’s Resolution is to get better every day.

Go Huskies!

The Scozzaro family is happy to call Helena home— both for the family and Emmanuel’s law practice “We love the community, and we are thrilled and happy to be in Helena.” This is the response that one gets if asking Kristi and Emmanuel Scozzaro their thoughts on living and working in Helena. Emmanuel Scozzaro has been practicing law for many years, but opened his practice in Old Town Helena three years ago. After moving to Helena in 2008, both he and Kristi knew that this was where they wanted to live and raise their children. They wanted the home town feel, and they felt that the minute they moved to Helena. They just fell in love with the community and what it had to offer their family. Emmanuel received his law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He had a practice in Bessemer, served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama assigned to the Department of Human Resources, and now has relocated his practice to Helena. Emmanuel was a 2016 graduate of Leadership Shelby County, and Scozzaro Law was a 2016 nominee for the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce’s small business of the year award. His practice is a family affair,

which he feels makes it a better practice for his clients. His wife, Kristi works there when she can by helping out around the office, but his mother-in-law, Gail Mitchell, is the office manager. She contributes a lot to the practice because she has picked up so much through the years, and she can often help the clients. Emmanuel’s is a general law practice, but he likes to focus on things that touch families’ lives, such as planning for families with elder law, estate law, wills and trusts, those types of things. He has a desire to help with elder care and making sure things are medicaid compliant to help out in difficult times. “You might go your whole life and not need a lawyer, but someday, you are going to die and then you need a lawyer. I want to help with the planning so it is not so difficult on your family,” said Emmanuel. Elder law helps protect the family and their assets. He says each day is very different for him in what he deals with from his clients. The Scozzaros are raising three children who are all attending Helena schools. Josie and Trinity attend the high school, and their son Kolt attends the elementary

school. The family is very active in the community. In 2014, Emmanuel attended an interest meeting for the Helena Lions Club and was elected as one of its charter presidents. He is also active in the Helena Athletic Association as well as being involved in youth sports in Helena. He loves baseball and coaching his son, who has never had another coach while playing ball. The family loves to go to Atlanta for the weekend and take in a Braves baseball game. Emmanuel and Kolt also enjoy going fishing together. Kristi is very active in the PTO programs at the schools along with directing the First Friday program in Old Town Helena and is the vice president of the Helena Business Association. They feel like the Lord put them here in Helena by opening doors to allow this opportunity. The story is an interesting one of how the pieces all fell into place. Emmanuel was working in Bessemer, and he really felt a draw to Helena. They found the building in Old Town that they liked, and it was available to rent. They weren’t sure they were ready for the change, but after seeing

a sign on a church marquee that said “The time for change is now!” and hearing a serman at Emmanuel’s father’s church on the subject of change, they really felt they were being led to move the practice to Helena. The draw towards a home town practice was very strong, and they felt this was the time to make the move. There were so many signs that made them really feel that God was leading them to be in Helena to help families in this area. Emmanuel says that lawyers are known for where they are from, and he is proud to say that he is from Helena. At the Helena Christmas parade, he was riding in a truck with his kids. He said people kept hollering his name or his kids’ names, and he knew again that he was where he was supposed to be. He wants to represent the families in this community and feels really good to fit in and call Helena home. The Scozzaros would love for everyone to stop by the office and say hello if you are ever out and about in Old Town Helena. You’ll learn like we have that these are just genuinely good people.

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Helena Husky Wrestlers getting ready for Sectionals and State competition Singlet, headgear, mat, pin, take down, default, escape. If one doesn’t see a connection, then he or she might not be familiar with wrestling. Helena High School has a wrestling team that consists of approximately 30 wrestlers and two coaches: Keith Maple and Dale Massey. Wrestling is a sport that everyone can enjoy and come out and support. According to Coach Dale Massey, “The objective is to either score more points than your opponent or to pin him. There are three 2 minute periods. You get points for takedowns, reversals, escapes, and putting your opponent’s back on the mat. A pin ends the match immediately.” The athletes have to learn all the terms, techniques, skills, etc. to be prepared for any opponent they might face. To be prepared for those opponents, the wrestlers must be in excellent shape and ready for a grueling competition. These athletes must have a great deal of endurance. In order to build up their endurance, they do a lot of running. At each practice they also perform all the different moves, types of pins and moves to escape their opponent. Although wrestling is an individual sport to some degree, most matches are set up as team events. Helena High School students compete as individuals but also earn points for their team. The wrestlers “get a certain number of points for every bout that they win, and they get a certain amount of points for how they win. Pins earn the most points and then the number of points you win by determines the other points,” added Coach Massey. These individual matches prepare the athlete for sectionals and state competitions which are tournament style events. Wrestlers from each school start in the 46 Winter 2017 /

winners bracket. After competing in that bracket, if a wrestler loses, he then competes in the consolation bracket. If there is a loss in the consolation bracket, then the wrestler is finished competing at that tournament. It is a team sport because “each wrestler can earn points for his team by winning matches, and those points go towards the team points total,” stated Coach Massey. When the wrestlers qualify for the state tournament, they can compete and win their own weight class and then qualify for an individual state championship title. If the team wins the most points, then the entire team could earn the team championship. In order to qualify for the sectional competitions, the wrestlers must be the top in each weight class from their own school. The state is divided into two sections: North and South. From each of those sectionals, the top eight from each class then move on to compete at the state level. Wrestlers are divided into weight classes for the competitions. They wrestle against opponents that are in their same weight class. There are only three seniors on the Helena wrestling team. They are: William Cummings, Norri Tinker and Cole Gardner. According to Cole, “I had not wrestled since 8th grade and then just decided to get back on the mat for my senior year. I wanted to get back out on the mat with some of my best friends and finish out strong.” He enjoys being around wonderful teammates who “love to work hard for the sport but also have a lot of fun as a team both on and off the mats.” Cole also adds that “Maintaining weight in wrestling is key because if you miss your weight, then you cannot wrestle. It is

important that I run on a regular basis and sweat off water weight while also eating healthy foods.” In order to prepare for matches, Cole says he has to know who his opponent might be and watch film from their previous matches to learn about his opponent’s wrestling style and skills. He says it is great, and all the hard work pays off when the referee raises your arm to show that you won the match. William Cummings has been wrestling for five years. He began wrestling because all his friends were doing it, and it was a chance to participate in a sport and spend time with his friends. He loves wrestling at the big tournaments with the large crowds. He also adds that a wrestler must do a great deal of conditioning and practicing the different moves and pins. His goal for this year would be to win the state tournament. He is proud of his accomplishments so far such as winning the Oak Grove Invitational twice in the last two years. Norri Tinker has been wrestling for three years. He began wrestling based on advice from Coach Maple because he was very strong and physical in football, and the coach thought he should give it a try. He said his favorite part about wrestling was getting to pick people up and slam them and just dominate the match. To prepare for a match, Norri runs a lot of drills to make sure his technique is better than his opponent’s. His goal for this year is to make it past sectionals and qualify for state. He is proud to say that all of his pins this season were in the first round of the competitions. He is proud of that because he doesn’t think his opponents tend to think of him as a very good wrestler, so he wants to show them how good he can be

on the mat! As this goes to press, all home matches are past, but if you get the chance, come support this group of young men as they compete to reach the state tournament at a nearby venue.

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Helena City News  

Feature magazine from Helena, Alabama, with calendar of events, upcoming things to do and city business.

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