Page 1

Tuscaloosa’s feel-good news

Volume 1, Issue 4 Summer Camps: Check

out DCL’s 2014 guide to the best of the best for kids!

Northport hosts “The Way We Worked” Smithsonian exhibit By Brandie Rickett Bowden

Each year, thousands of people visit Washington, D.C., taking in as much of the nation’s capital as possible in the span of a week. Anyone who has stepped foot in the Smithsonian immediately recognizes the immensity of this task. This institute includes 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities, earning it the classification of the largest museum and research complex in the world. From African American to Natural History, from Air and Space to Arts and Industries, the Institute has some of everything. Now, through May 17, the Smithsonian is sharing some of its resources with Northport. Thanks to a collaborative effort among the Smithsonian’s Museum (L to R): Tuscaloosa County Commissioner Reginald Mur- on Main Street, Alabama Humanities Foundation, Friends of Historic Northport, ray, Friends of Historic Northport Community Relations and many other volunteers, the Northport Heritage Museum was chosen as a Coordinator Frances R. Pool, Tuscaloosa County Com- location for the traveling exhibit “The Way We Worked.” In addition to seeing Photo: Boy Scouts of America missioner Stan Acker, Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon, a piece of the Smithsonian, the exhibit also offers an opportunity for locals to Black Warrior Council FHN President Amy Materson, and Northport City Council contribute material to the Smithsonian, to remain in its permanent collection. President Jay Logan. Photo: Amy Materson See Page 14-15 “The Way We Worked” is a photo exhibit created by the Smithsonian that is traveling to rural areas in the U.S. Originally, the exhibit had six locations in Relay for Life: Tuscaloosa Alabama, of which Northport was number five. “This has been a big process, and people seem to be finding out about it,” said Chuck Gerdau, treasurer for Friends of Historic Northport board of directors, and local project director for the exhibit. The exhibit has already County residents prepare to seen turnouts greater than expected. “The project has had so much success that we’ve added six more locations in Alabama,” said walk and remember. Dr. John Kvach, assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. “People want to see this.” The exhibit includes old-fashioned, big-format expression photos of people working. They have been copied onto large display boards with captions and explanations of the subjects in the photos. “Each display has a different theme,” said Gerdau. “For example, one display features ‘How We Worked,’ and another is ‘Why We Worked,’ and so on.” The exhibit also includes artifacts from different jobs which give it a hands-on element. Many of the photos and artifacts of the exhibit come from the early 1900s. The Alabama Humanities Foundation contacted Kvach to orchestrate an oral history component of the exhibit. Kvach started the first public history program in Alabama at UAH. The program teaches people to work in history outside the classroom. Kvach facilitated a training program for local volunteers for “The Way We Worked.” The Northport Museum brought Northport teachers together for an oral history workshop, led by Kvach. He trained the teachers how to be oral historians. For months, these participants have collected histories specific to their communities. The oral and visual histories collected through this endeavor will make up the local component of the exhibit. During the six-week period the exhibit is in Northport, a booth will be available for visitors to the exhibit to record their own histories. According to Gerdau, the participant will be asked specific questions to answer based on personal experiences. These histories will remain in the permanent collection at the Continued on Page 12

Photo: American Cancer Society

See Page 10

Inside This Issue About Us City News Opinion Community Marketplace Celebrations Schools Sports Calendar Food

2 4 6 10 18 20 21 24 26 28 DruidCityLiving

Presorted Standard US Postage Paid Tuscaloosa, AL Permit No. 116


The Alabama Blues Project: Helping kids discover their link to the blues By Allison Adams

During after-school hours on Monday and Tuesday afternoons you can hear the pounding of drums, the rhythm of a guitar, magical vocals and the occasional harmonica trailing down the halls of Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. Each week during the program, The Alabama Blues Project shares the rhythm and wonder of music with students who participate in the After-School Blues Camp, conducted in the school by Program Director Anna Jenks, headed by Executive Director Paula Demonbreun, and made possible with the help of many local musicians. “We are lucky to have talented local musicians with unique teaching styles. We can always use more help though, as we would love to see this expand,” Jenks explained. The 10-week afterschool program is administered in the spring and again in the fall. It begins with a class where the kids learn blues history, with an emphasis on Alabama blues. Music theory is introduced before the students begin playing instruments. Not only do the children learn about the history of blues music and its relationship to current popular music genres like rap, rock and hip-hop, but they also implement math concepts through beats and measure. The blues camp has also featured visiting blues greats such as Willie King, Little Jimmy Reed, Eddie Kirkland and Carroline Shines to teach the kids more about the blues and to perform for them. In addition to after-school camps, students can also attend summer camp, for which the Alabama Blues Project is currently registering students. This is an intensive program similar to the afterschool camp and will be held at the University Photo: Allison Adams Church of Christ. The camp is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with art activities in the morning and music lessons in the afternoon. Students can choose to attend half-day or full-day sessions. Financial assistance is available for the afterschool and summer camps. The kids in the After-School Blues Camp program bond through common interests, and their confidence grows as they learn to perform. There is emphasis on stage presence, which helps the students build a lasting confidence that they will carry throughout their lives. When the students complete the first section of the course, they select which instrument they would like to focus on learning in the camp. “We allow them to change instruments during the middle of camp if they request it. Better to keep their interest in the musical arts than to lose interest and a valuable musical skill,” Jenks explained. “The biggest value the kids walk away from blues camp having is a love for, and better appreciation of, blues music.” As volunteer B.J. Reed tells the kids, “The blues are the roots!” Watching the students in action is a pleasure. In the drumming area, the kids use drumsticks on white paint Continued on Page 12

About Us

Photo of the Month

Page 2 . Issue 4

Daniel Dancer, Art For The Sky On March 20, students at Maxwell Elementary School in Duncanville had a truly unique opportunity: They became living works of art, thanks to the efforts of Oregon-based aerial artist Daniel Dancer and his “Art For the Sky” program. This carefully planned exhibit involved hundreds of students at Maxwell, and as you can see, the result is stunningly beautiful!

Meet the Editors

traveling and the beach.

Christina Jesson is the executive editor of Druid City Living, and lived in Tuscaloosa from 2004 to 2010. She grew up in Northwest Florida, and received her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama in 2008. She was previously in public relations and marketing at the corporate level with Caterpillar, and at the agency level with Bobcat Company. She also held editorial positions at both Randall-Reilly Publishing and The Tuscaloosa News. She loves college football, cooking, running marathons,

Laurie Mundy Perrigin is the Tuscaloosa editor of Druid City Living. She has lived in Tuscaloosa since 1978. She received her bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication and Film from the University of Alabama in 1992. She spent 25 years working as a broadcast news director, anchor, producer and reporter in radio and television before moving on to the world of print and online media in 2008. In her free time, Laurie enjoys football (Alabama and the New Orleans Saints), travel, reading and hanging out with her husband, Jeff, and their dog, Chico Seymour Hoffman.

Publisher’s Note

Thank you again to all of our advertisers and readers for allowing us to publish another issue of Druid City Living! We hope you’ll enjoy this issue, which is packed with all sorts of great happenings in our area for everyone in your family. We continue to improve the content of Druid City Living, as well as the quality of the paper itself, in an effort to better serve this community. If you would like to contribute, please contact myself or Laurie Mundy Perrigin, our local editor. This paper is about you, the residents of this wonderful community of ours, and we want to feature your organization, schools and businesses. Great things are happening here, and that is what this paper is all about. If you are interested in advertising, please contact myself or Britney McComb. Druid City Living is one of the largest monthly newspapers in the southeast, reaching almost all of Tuscaloosa County!

Druid City Living Directory Publisher: Heath Hendrix Executive Editor: Christina Jesson Editor: Laurie Mundy Perrigin Director of Sales: Tom Sommerville Sales: Britney McComb Contact Information: Druid City Living 1902 Hackberry Lane Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: For advertising, contact: Contributors: Allison Adams, Brandie Rickett Bowden, Shane Dorrill, Mike Green, Sheena Gregg, Stan J. Griffin, Robin Jenkins, Casey Johnson, Walter Maddox, Laurie Mitchell, Derek Osborn, Amy Poore, Marlena Rice

Announcing ... Only 300 Members Accepted!! Not 301... Chuck Before

Kevin Before

Luan Before

Chuck After

Luan After

Kevin After

Give Me Just 120 Days, and You’ll Earn the Best Body You’ve Ever Had ... Just Like Chuck, Luan, Kevin and Thousands of Others Have ... Guaranteed ... or I’ll Refund 100% of Your Investment! My name is Clint Bryan and I have something urgent to share with you. This secret literally has the power to change your life forever. In fact, it’s the key to getting you in the best shape of your life. My goal is to help people look and feel better than they ever have before. And Iron Tribe Fitness is by far the most effective system for helping people do just that. Just take a look at the picture above...those results are typical! In those pictures, you’ll see just a few of the shocking transformations from our members of Iron Tribe in Birmingham, AL. Take, for example, Chuck Andrews who transformed his body from Pillsbury Dough Boy to Tarzan in only a few short months. Chuck is not alone.  It’s because of these kinds of results that Iron Tribe -- which started as hobby with 12 friends in a 400 square foot garage -- has exploded into a national franchise. However, if you want these kind of results, you need to act right now before this opportunity passes by. Why the urgency? Because Iron Tribe Fitness only accepts 300 members per location. Not 301. This cap on our membership develops a tight and exclusive community of friends. Indeed, a Tribe. We pride ourselves on being much more than a gym. We are a Tribe of athletes.

Clint Bryan Manager

To show you I'm serious, here's an offer you simply can't refuse: If you’ll give me just 120 days, you’ll get in the best shape of your life, or I’ll refund 100% of your investment. Not only that, I’ll also buy you the latest release of P90X for wasting your time. That’s how confident I am you’ll love being a part of the Tribe! But just like all other Iron Tribe locations ... these 300 membership slots will sell out! Don't get put on a waiting list. ACT NOW!

2500 7th Street

Need more information? We’ve made that easy for you! Request real stories from actual Iron Tribe Athletes at


City News Dear friends and neighbors,

Page 4 . Issue 4



This is a beautiful time in our city. Flowers are blooming, trees are sprouting new leaves and the grass is turning green. Nature’s renaissance during this month is very fitting. Tuscaloosa is having its own rebirth as we look to the third anniversary of the April 27, 2011 tornado. We are building our City back stronger, safer and smarter. Infrastructure and road projects are improving traffic flow and city services in all major recovery areas from Alberta to 10th Avenue. Many city facilities including the East Police Precinct, Fire Station 4, Public Safety Logistics building and Richard A. Curry Environmental Services Facility are serving citizens in a greater capacity than ever before. As we look to the future, technology improvements and resources will increase services to the residential and business community, and improved walkability provided by the City Walk and park projects will link us together. Events, both public and private, surrounding the third anniversary showcase many of these projects and highlight the impact they will and have had on the City as a whole. May is filled with many opportunities to get involved and learn more about Tuscaloosa. I hope everyone can take time to give back to our amazing community. With all that is happening this month, I hope you find something to take part in and support our community and to reflect and celebrate where we are. I look forward to seeing everyone around Tuscaloosa and, as always, if there is ever a need you may have regarding city services call Tuscaloosa 311 at (205) 248-5311 or visit Walter Maddox Mayor


Page 6 . Issue 4

The Mommy Chronicles: A Lesson in Spring Cleaning by Marlena Rice

When the Alabama winter finally disappears and the warm weather we all anxiously anticipate arrives, my husband knows that the spring cleaning fairy (me) is peeping around the corner, or in our case, the closet door. Meaning, he and I will both take more time in one day than we have all year long to scrutinize the worth of the clothing on our respective sides of our bedroom closet. Once I take the plunge and toss that first item of clothing onto the bed, in a matter of hours, there are four mounds I am itching to get out of our house: *Items that have not been worn within one year; *Items that no longer fit or are hardly worn; *Items in decent shape that we have fallen out of love with; and, *Those pieces too worn to do anything with but keep for wear during home cleaning.

During this year’s Closet Mayhem event, I discovered a whole new pile of fun: baby clothing. To be exact, infant socks, teeny-tiny hats that only fit for a few short weeks, seasonal onesies worn only once, and misfit outfits, (including a miniature sailor suit my mom got for my son because it seemed “fun”). Many of these outfits were purchased during pregnancy, and while adorable, the sizes just didn’t line up with the seasons. Although I am not opposed to consigning my clothing or having a yard sale, in the past it has proven easier for the procrastinator deep within me to donate clothing, rather than plan ahead and create a shoppable space in my driveway, or wait weeks (or months) for someone to purchase items I have taken to a consignment shop. Although I decided that donating Beaux William’s clothing is a good decision for me, I became curious Marlena Rice and son, Beaux William. as to what other Tuscaloosa area moms do with their hand-me-downs. Here’s what I found after a few Facebook chats, conversations with co-workers, friends, family, and moms in the community: During my chats with other local moms, I learned that the destination for their used baby clothes generally fit into four categories: Selling outright, consigning, donating and packing away for future siblings. Sabrina Thomason, mother to infant son Cameron, has tried two of the four scenarios mentioned above. “I try to sell them on the yard sale pages, but that’s a hassle,” she says in regard to her infant’s clothing. “I’ve consigned once, but now I’ve resorted to sorting them out and saving them until I figure out what works best.” According to the local moms I polled, a majority think that donating is the best route for gaining space in their children’s closets. However, a few, like Angel Norris, mother of two small sons, Remington and Westin, decided to prepare for the future. Norris tapped into social media for sales guidance after her second son was born. “I saved my eldest son’s clothing for my second son, but once those were outgrown I put an ad on Facebook. I’ve had pretty good luck with selling online.” Facebook groups like Tuscaloosa Garage and Yard Sale, Northport Garage Sale!, and Tuscaloosa, Brookwood, Coaling and surrounding area garage sales are just a few online groups that give individuals the opportunity to sell everything from shoes to vehicles, and, most importantly to us moms, baby toys, baby clothing and nursery furniture. For more ideas for gently used baby clothes and accessories, read more at

Page 7 . Issue 4

Lake Living: Sharing the Fountain of Life By Allison Adams


The lake outside my window has taken on a whole new life. Mother Nature has dumped buckets of water across the Southeast, making us all take notice of the power of water. Here on Lake Tuscaloosa, the focus is not only on the beauty, the million-dollar homes, the leisurely lifestyles and the fishermen who flock here, but it is also on the quality of the water and the need to keep it clean. Water brings with it the gift of life. The stored treasure just beyond my yard fuels our children, quenches Tuscaloosa athletes, and bathes us as we prepare for each day. It flows freely from the lake, to filtering systems, to our faucets. But for millions of people across the world, the need for clean water is desperate. As we gathered over burgers on the back porch for a small church group meeting recently, the value of that water we take for granted took on new meaning. Bart Smelley, just home from a trip to Haiti, spoke to us about the global water crisis, and what his organization, Filter of Hope, is doing about it. Smelley and groups from all over the world venture to Haiti and the Dominican Republic several times yearly, distributing water filters they developed to families who have no access to safe, clean drinking water.

According to World Health Organization, 3.4 million people die each year from water-related illnesses, and 90 percent of them are children under 5 years old. That’s one child every 30 seconds. The organization Smelley founded distributed 10,000 water filters worldwide just last year. It costs only $40 for one filter that supplies a family with clean drinking water for up to 10 years. That’s less than the cost of one night out for you and me.

Bart Smelley and Jessica, a

On his recent trip, Smelley led groups from Ireland, Canada, as well as Church of the Highlands, distributing over 600 filters in the moun- Haitian girl whose family bentains of Haiti, including several Voodoo communities. They not only shared clean water with these families, but also shared the message efits from having clean drinking water, thanks to Filter of that God loves them. Hope.

“Each day is heartbreaking. We encounter so much need,” Smelley explained. “But the people are so loving and thankful. You can see hope in their eyes when they see us demonstrate the filter and watch the dirty contaminated water turned into clean water safe to drink. Our water filters represent hope for a better life.” On this trip, a family with five children became an added part of their outreach. The mother had recently passed after giving birth. The newborn died during their time there. Four other children remained with a father who is terminally ill. Smelley took him to the hospital for treatment and has arranged for the children to be taken care of if anything happens to him. “The needs are so great,” he said. “But it is like the starfish principle. We can’t change the global water crisis overnight but we can dramatically change the lives of those who we are able to work with and give filters to.” Smelley and his organization are also striving to make an impact in all areas of the lives of those living in abject poverty. They are also The Filter of Hope group desponsoring children for school. “Education,” Smelley said, “is another vital key to breaking the cycle of poverty.” As they stand on the hillside and look out across the Caribbean beauty, it is hard to express what hides among the hills with the best views: families in dire need of clean water. It is Smelley’s goal to find each one of those families, and bring them the fountain of life that we here in America are fortunate enough to have in abundance.

livers much-needed water filters to a Haitian family. Photos: Bart Smelley


Page 8 . Issue 4

Parenting challenges: Setting and enforcing boundaries By Mike Green “The hardest job in the world.” That was how one of my first employers described my duties as a bag boy at the local grocery store. He was kidding, of course. Although I was often perplexed as a high school kid as to why adults were frustrated when I put their ham on top of their loaf of bread. Fast forward about 20 years, and those words about the hardest job echoed through my mind. I was now facing a real challenge. Something that would take every ounce of energy, creativity, and prayer I could muster. My job now was to parent a teenager. As my daughter, Brittany, and later my son, Ross, maneuvered through the obstacle course called Tuscaloosa Middle School, my wife and I often felt like we were running the course with them. When my kids began their teenage years, I had already spent 15 years of my adult life working with teenagers. And guess what? It’s so much easier working with someone else’s kids. But now, with even more years of experience working with other teenagers, and parenting my own teens, I believe I have learned a few things. I want to share a few of those insights with you to hopefully bring life to the current chaos you may be experiencing. The challenges of parenting a teen are more difficult than ever before. So here we go… Give your teenager boundaries. Kids don’t need another friend. They need a parent. Yes, you may have heard that one before. One of our struggles as parents is that we tend to forget what worked when our kids were just kids. Most parents do a decent job preventing little Timmy from touching those things that may hurt him and telling little Timmy when he should return home from playing in the neighborhood. As children grow into pre-teens, and then teenagers, the boundaries move. They move - but they aren’t just torn down. No, I can’t tell you where many of those boundaries should be set. Should Timmy, I mean Tim, be home at 10:00 p.m., 11:30 p.m., or 3:00 a.m.? I don’t know. Okay, let’s scratch out 3:00 am. As a parent, you have some decisions to make. But once made, those decisions need to be held to, and communicated clearly. You need to be consistent, and kids need to know the consequences. And let me add to this: The less emotion you employ, and the more firmness you show when you have to deliver the consequences, the better. Don’t complain that they are late. Complaining says, “Here is how I feel. How do you feel? Let’s discuss your excuses for being late.” It sends the message that there is something to be negotiated, because the issue is about how you “feel” as a parent. Now, I’m not saying you aren’t feeling something, especially at 3:00 am. My point is, kids need to know that boundaries are not based upon how you feel. They are based upon what you believe is best for them and the rest of the family. Feel free to quote me to your teen. Yes, I blew this one more times than I can count. Too often, I handed out unreasonable punishments – “You are grounded for…life” — only to soften the next day and not hold my kids accountable at all. Learn from my mistakes. Curfew is just one of dozens of boundaries you will set for your teenage child. But the principles are the same.

Mike Green has served as Executive Director of Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ for the past 19 years. He and his wife, Laura, have two adult children, Brittany and Ross. You can reach him at


Page 9 . Issue 4

The Tuscaloosa Truth: Compromise and Comparison By Derek Osborn

The land of


Tuscaloosa is a magical locale. Okay, that admittedly may be taking the description a bit too far. It’s not Disneyworld. But in all fairness, what city is?

When I was invited to contribute a piece or two for the all-new Druid City Living, I was told that DCL liked to focus on the positives. After all, it is a community, family based, good-news type of publication. And let’s be honest, we could all use more positive vibes in our lives. It’s easy to be negative. It’s popular to complain. It’s also not a very healthy attribute. Nevertheless, I commonly overhear grumblings about Tuscaloosa. Some of it is warranted, while much of it could be considered trivial.

Throughout my blankety-blank number of eventful years on Earth, I have been fortunate enough to travel to many exotic and not-so-exotic locations. However, only three such places have been qualified as being referred to as “home,” meaning I actually moved furniture, set up shop, put some toothpaste in the drawer, and hung some pictures: Tuscaloosa, Chattanooga, and the vast metropolis of Demopolis. Wait a minute…does Peterson count? I’ll be completely honest here and tell you that I absolutely loved living in Chattanooga. The scenery. The buildings. The mountains: What’s not to love? The population is a good mixture of good ol’ country folk combined with friendly tree huggers, most of which are dripping with southern hospitality. The city is full of touristy things to do, and there is always a festival or a carnival or a free outdoor concert to attend. You could literally go to an event every night of the year. But with every alternative comes counterbalance. With good there is bad. With positive there is negative. Here is where this op-ed could go a number of different directions on explanations as to why I would happily pick Tuscaloosa. So let’s roll with a popular topic: traffic. Hamilton County, Tennessee, (home of “Chattavegas”) is a major intersection for travelers in the Southeast. Not only are you battling the point where I-24 meets I-75 (not to mention Highways 27 and 151), but you are also fending off mountaintops, ridge cuts and seemingly never-ending road construction. Adding insult is the spread: Chattanooga is divided into multiple living areas that are vastly spread out over several counties and at least two states. If you live in the downtown Chattanooga area (or slightly further south), and you want to make a quick trip to the local mall (Hamilton Place), you would be wise to set aside a half day. There is no quick way to get there. By comparison, if you live in Tuscaloosa and you can make it to the Galleria in about 45 minutes, you’ve most likely got that trip beat. The point is that while Tuscaloosa may have a few shortfalls on choices, the positives far outweigh the negatives. But be careful what you wish for: With progress and options come congestion and frustration. While traffic can be maddening at times (looking at you, intersection of 15th Street and McFarland, and of course 69 South), it could be much worse. And in comparison, it’s not all that bad… at least, not yet. Stay tuned, because I’ll pick up our conversation again next month, and it’ll be a positive experience, I promise.

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with wife Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica. Follow him on twitter @ozborn34.


Page 10 . Issue 4

Tuscaloosa County Relay for Life set for May 9 By Laurie Mundy Perrigin Residents of Tuscaloosa County are preparing to walk around the clock to fight back against cancer. The American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life for Tuscaloosa County is planned for Friday, May 9. The event gives everyone in the community a chance to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember friends and loved ones lost, and help to raise awareness and much-needed funds to find cures. Relay for Life is a celebration of life, and a chance for everyone to unify in the fight against the disease. “Relay is a great way for our community to gather together and rally around those who are battling cancer in Tuscaloosa County,” Anna Lisa Weigel, Specialist with Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society, said. “It is such an encouraging sight to see over 700 people from Tuscaloosa come out to support these survivors and their caregivers. Everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another. It is up to us as a community to make these survivors feel loved and celebrated during this entire event.” Relay for Life is an all-night event. Teams of walkers will gather at Government Plaza in downtown Tuscaloosa, with the first lap beginning at 6 p.m. Weigel says anyone is welcome to parThe Tuscaloosa County Relay for Life will be held on May 9 at Government ticipate. “You can walk as an Plaza in downtown Tuscaloosa. individual, you can join an existing team or you can start your own team,” she said. “Teams can be made up of friends, family, co-workers, churches, schools or social clubs.” Pre-registration is encouraged. Volunteers who join Relay for Life are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event, and they’re making a strong commitment to join the fight against cancer. One of the (many) highlights of the Relay for Life evening is the luminaria “Remember Ceremony,” which is held just after dark. Luminaria bags are sold for $5 before and on the night of the Relay. Names are written on the bags as a memorial to the person individuals are walking for. The luminaria are lit, and the names on all of the bags are read out loud, followed by a moment of silence. Hundreds of luminaria line the walking track. They burn throughout the night, to honor cancer survivors and those who have lost the cancer fight. The luminaria also serve as a reminder to the Relay for Life participants of the importance of their contributions. “It is this moment at Relay that means the most to me and to my family,” Weigel said. “I lost my Uncle Ricky to stage 4 melanoma on January 1, 2013. He was 56 years old, by one day. He fought long and hard to overcome his battle, but in the end, the cancer was just too much.” Weigel added that her family loves that Relay is a way to honor and celebrate her uncle’s life. “Our hope is that in future times, cancer will be eliminated so that no other family has to lose a loved one to this horrible disease. Until that time, we will fundraise and we will walk for my uncle and all of the other survivors battling cancer in hopes that they will beat this disease.” To register for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Tuscaloosa County, or for more information, contact Anna Lisa Weigel, 205-342-2009, email or visit

Anna Lisa Weigel says the Relay for Life event is a way to honor her late uncle Ricky’s life, and the lives of everyone affected by cancer. Photos courtesy of the American Cancer Society

Tuscaloosa Amphitheater kicks off 2014 season

The 2014 season for the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is officially underway. On Friday, April 11, country music star Brantley Gilbert performed to an excited, sold out crowd. Gilbert’s “Let It Ride” Tour also featured special guests Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay. This year’s lineup at the Amphitheater offers something for nearly everyone, with a wide representation of different kinds of music, including classic rock, Christian rock, R&B and soul. The Amphitheater’s 2014 season continued on Thursday, April 24, with a performance by Texas Christian rockers Mercy Me with special guests Jamie Grace and Citizen Way. The next show is May 29, when rockers Styx, Foreigner, and former Eagles’ lead guitarist Don Felder will hit the Amphitheater stage as part of the “Soundtrack of Summer Tour.” On May 29, Styx, Foreigner, and former Eagles’ lead guitarist Don Felder will hit the Amphitheater stage as part of the “Soundtrack of Summer Tour.” On Friday, June 13, American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino will perform at the Amphitheater with fellow R&B singer and collaborator Joe Thomas and soul singer Lyfe Photo credit: Jeff Perrigin Jennings. Miranda Lambert is slated to return to Tuscaloosa for a show on Friday, July 11, and on Friday, July 18, Peter Frampton and The Doobie Brothers will visit the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater as part of the Coca-Cola Concert Series. Two other major country acts will hit the Amphitheater stage this season: Jake Owen (with special guests Parmalee and The Cadillac Three) on August 21, and Darius Rucker (with special guests Chase Rice and Sam Hunt) on September 18. Tickets for all events at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater can be purchased at or at the Amphitheater Box Office. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling (800) 745-3000.

Big honors for PARA

The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority received two prestigious awards in February, and both were announced during a special ceremony at the Faucett Brothers Activity Center in Northport on February 13. PARA’s Faucett Brothers Activity Center (FBAC), which opened in March of 2013, won the Facility of the Year award from the Alabama Recreation and Park Association. The award recognizes park and recreation agencies within the state for outstanding and unique achievements in the design and development of park and recreation facilities. Secondly, a medallion indicating LEED Silver Certification for the Faucett Brothers Activity Center was revealed by Jim Ward, principal of Ward Scott Architecture. According to officials, the Center is the first New Construction, Silver LEED Certified public building in Tuscaloosa County and West Alabama. “We are thankful for the vision of the PARA Board of Directors who pursued LEED certification, Ward Scott Architects who designed the facility and Watkins Construction for the implementation of construction plans,” said Gary Minor, executive director of Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority. “The PARA board of directors worked closely with the Tuscaloosa County Commission and the City of Northport to formulate a plan for facilities that would fit into the landscape and desires of folks in our community. The success of this facility was immediately evident from the day we opened. FBAC has more users and memberships than all other facilities combined,” he added.

L to R: Jerry Tingle, Stan Acker, Bobby Herndon, Gary Minor, Jim Ward and Hardy McCollum. Photo courtesy of the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority


Page 12 . Issue 4

Continued from Front Page, Northport Smithsonian:

Northport Heritage Museum as well as the Smithsonian in Washington. Museum on Main Street is a program of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The Smithsonian uses this service to take information preserved and collected by the Institution to rural communities throughout the country. Museum on Main Street partners with state humanities councils to establish tour locations and dates for the exhibits. This makes the sixth exhibit to tour through Alabama. “The Way We Worked” is the first exhibit to visit Northport. The exhibit will remain at the Northport Heritage Museum through May 17. Admission is free, and the exhibit is open Tuesday through Saturday. On weekdays, the exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, every Saturday, Friends of Historic Northport will offer special events related to the exhibit. For more information, visit FOHN’s Facebook page.

Photo credit: Brandie Bowden Rickett

Continued from Front Page, Blues Camp:

drums to practice rhythm. Percussion Instructor Dave Crenshaw turns over 10-gallon buckets and the students use these makeshift drums to uniformly pound out beats. The students learn early to count complex rhythms as well as to improvise in Crenshaw’s sessions. “One of the children, Makyian Sealy, who is 10, has really taken to the drums. He is a natural,” Jenks said. Sealy beams as he practices on Crenshaw’s full set of drums. He is the drummer in the Advanced Band, and also plays the quads in another community band. His dedication and passion is evident, and he hopes to one day become a professional drummer. Through the Blues Project, Sealy has the opportunity to learn about stage presence through regular community performances at places like the Kentuck Arts Festival, The Bama Theatre and the Druid City Arts Festival, just to name a few. The Alabama Blues Project provides all of the instruments for the students at its After-School Blues Camp program. Visit or like Alabama Blues Project to find out about upcoming events, see how you can get involved or donate to this incredible cause with local roots. You may call (205) 752-6263 or email for more information. Photos: Allison Adams

Page 13 . Issue 4


Emergency pet care: Some valuable information from Emergi-pet

by Dr. Christie Wendt

In September of 2006, the first emergency pet care clinic in this area opened its doors. Emergi-pet, located in Northport, handles all sorts of after-hours veterinary emergencies. Dr. Christie Wendt purchased Emergi-pet in October of 2008. Since then, she and the other staff members at Emergi-pet have worked tirelessly to care for injured, sick animals in Tuscaloosa County. Wendt says the emergency clinic was much needed. “Prior to the opening of Emergi-pet, each veterinary clinic in town was responsible for taking their own after-hours calls, or they would refer cases to Mississippi State, or one of the emergency clinics in Birmingham.” It was a strain on the local veterinarians as well – many of whom were called to their clinics at all hours of the night, even after a day full of appointments and surgeries. “These were less than ideal circumstances for both the veterinarian and the patients,” Wendt explained. What are the most common emergency issues seen at Emergi-Pet? Wendt says the clinic sees a variety of different problems, including upset stomach, tick-bourne diseases, parasites and heart and kidney failure. Some of the most serious issues include cases where animals have been hit by cars or have been poisoned by anything from antifreeze and rat poison to Xylitol and human medications, like Tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxen. Another issue Wendt sees all too often: parvovirus cases. “These cases are extremely sad, as this virus can almost be completely prevented by vaccinating the dogs as recommended by your veterinarian,” she says. “Treatment for parvo can be extremely expensive, and the animal still might not make it, even if we do everything we can.” And Wendt cautions of the use of certain over-the-counter treatments, particularly those for fleas. “We see several cats each year that have over the counter flea products or canine flea and tick products applied that develop severe muscle tremors.” What should pet owners do if their pet is injured or gravely ill, and they need to get them to Emergi-pet for urgent care? “Calm down, first. Do NOT get bitten, second,” says Wendt. She recommends that pet owners call their regular veterinarian or Emergi-pet to seek additional advice. “Depending on the case, we will make different recommendations.” To read more great advice from Dr. Christie Wendt, DVM, including several tips on how you can best prevent pet injuries and trips to the emergency veterinary clinic, visit

Crimson Village Brings Independent Living Facility To Tuscaloosa Dr. Ramesh Peramsetty and Golden Construction of Birmingham are building a 91-unit senior living center designed by Simonton Swaika Black architects. The $15 million project, known as Crimson Village, is being built on a 2.5-acre site at 1718 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Tuscaloosa. When completed the facility will have assisted-living apartments as well as eight independent-living units. Crimson Village is expected to be completed in 2014 and is being built next to Dr. Paramsetty’s existing primary and urgent care clinic.


Page 14 . Issue 4

Druid City Living’s Guide to Summer Camps 2014 by Allison Adams Summer camp: Ah, the memories! Every child should experience summer camp. We all remember the uncertainty that initially hit us as our parents drove away, leaving us for what they assumed would be a rite of passage, a part of growing up. Those moments of anxiety melted away quickly, as we immersed ourselves fully into the summer camp environment. At pickup, we didn’t want to leave what would perhaps become one of the most incredible experiences of our lives! These days, summer camps are as varied as the children who attend them. There really is something for everyone. Listed are a number of great options, from local Tuscaloosa camps to regional camps and even some summer camps out of state that Tuscaloosa-area kids regularly attend. Local Specialty Day Camps: Dance Academy of Ballet and Jazz: Open all summer. Instructor Susu Hale Prout. Ages 18 month to adult, Mommy and Me, Pre-school, and intensives. For more information, call (205) 752-5124 or visit The Dance Centre: One-week workshops beginning on June 2. Ages 3 to 5. MondayFriday, 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Little Princess Camp, June 16-20; Broadway Babies, July 14-18; Ages 6-8 (M-F, 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.); “Angelina Ballerina,” June 2-6; “Pop Diva,” July 7-11; Ages 7-10: “Tutus and Tilts,” June 23-27 (M-F 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.); “Camp Radio Disney,” July 21-25 (M-F: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.). TDC Summer Intensive Workshop with Guest Faculty: Week 1 - June 9-13; Week II - July 28Aug.1 (M-T, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). For more information, call (205) 752-5354 or visit MJ’s Academy of Dance: Mary Jo Thompson, Summer Session: June 9-July 17. All styles and levels of dancing at affordable prices. Weekly classes (all ages) $60 for 6-week session (meet once a week), $50 for each additional weekly class per session. Sibling discounts are available. Dance Camps $136. “Tights and Tiaras” (ages 3-6) June 2-6, 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., July 21-25, 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. “Pop Idols” (ages 7-11) June 2-6 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., July 21-25, 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Dance Intensives: (ages 11 and up) TBA. For more information or to pre-register, call (205) 343-7757, email or visit

(205) 393-2800 or visit:

Theater The ACT Summer Theatre Production Camp: July 21-26 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All ages. Cost: $235. Geared for fun! T’shirt, script, lunches, and snack included. Performing at the Historic Bama Theatre. Workshops include songs, choreography, blocking and lines. For more information, call

Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre and Theatre Tuscaloosa’s Theatre Camp 2014: June 16-27. Grades K-11. Acting, improv, music, movement, audition techniques, and technical theatre will be taught. Visit to download the registration form. Class descriptions, instructor bios, and class schedules are also available. Or call the ticket office at (205) 391-2277 for more information. Gymnastics Bama Bounders Gymnastic Camps and Classes: Weekly camps beginning June 2. Ages 5 and up (special camp for potty trained to age 4). Open to all ability levels. Skills taught in vault, bars, beam and floor for girls as well as rings, parallel bars, high bar, pommel horse, vault and floor for boys. For more information, including specific camp dates and activities, call (205) 722-2436 or visit Fitness Northridge Fitness Kid’s Strength Camp: Three days per week. Ages 11-15. Principles of proper body mechanics, developing core strength, and weight lifting safety. For more information, call (205) 752-1201 or visit Martial Arts Tiger Rock Martial Arts: Six days per week for Martial Arts classes and four locations. Limited Number of spots for a “Train All Summer” program. For more information, call (205) 759-4711 (Tuscaloosa), (205) 339-7071 (Northport) or (205) 343-6449 (Hillcrest). Sports University of Alabama Sports Camps: UA offers a number of different camps and clinics for sports enthusiasts. Baseball camp Crimson Tide Experience Elite 40: June 30-July 2. Cost: $775. Summer youth baseball camps range from $140 to $225. For more information, visit Other sports camps include Cheer/Dance Camp, Nick Saban Football Camp, Gymnastics Camp, Soccer Camp, Softball Camp, Swimming and Diving Camps, Volleyball Camp, and more. For more information on UA’s many summer sports camps for kids, visit www. University of Alabama Nike Tennis Camp: UA Varsity Stadium. Directed by UA’s

head tennis coaches and assistants. Ages: 9-18 (all levels). June 1-5 and June 8-12, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fundamentals of tennis to enhance skills. Evening activities and games on the quad, swimming, movies and other activities. Indoor courts available in case of rain. Parents are invited. For more information, call (800) 645-3226 or visit Art Brushstrokes Summer Art Camp: Sessions in June and July. Ages 6 and up. June 2-12 (12:30-2:30 p.m. or 3:00-5:00 p.m.), June 16-26 (12:30-2:30 p.m.), July 7-17 (12:30-2:30 p.m. or 3:00-5:00 p.m.), July 21-31,(12:30-2:30 p.m.) Teen Camp: June 5, 12, 19, 26 and July 19 and 17 (Thurs. 9:30-11:30 a.m.) Cost: $185.00 per student ($20 deposit required). For more information, call (205) 657-0199 or visit www. Cooking Young Chef’s Cooking Camp: On A Roll@ Fifth and Main, Northport. Ages 9 and up. July 7-11 and July 21-25, M-F, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Cost: $200, includes supplies, ingredients and fun-loving instruction in a safe, controlled environment. For more information, call (205) 247-7773 or email Peterbrooke Chocolatier, “Be a Chocolatier for a Day”: All ages. These chocolate camps will teach participants how to temper chocolate. Kids (and adults) can make and design their own chocolate baskets. Lunch/dessert is included. For more information, call Heather Reier at (205) 7520211. Equestrian Snider Stables Summer Horse Camp: Snider Stables, Northport. Two sessions: June 16-20 and July 14-18 (8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.). Ages 6-16. Beginner to intermediate levels; no previous riding experience is necessary. This camp features a combination of riding instruction and fun, horse-related crafts and games, to provide an overall environment of hands-on learning. $50 per day or $200 weekly. For more information, call Austen Waldron at (205) 317-4816 or email All-Around Camp Fun Summer Explorations 2014: The Capitol School, downtown Tuscaloosa. Two-week sessions are planned on various educational topics from June 2-Aug. 8. Ages 2.5 to 18 years. Morning classes: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and afternoon sessions 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Tuition: $200 for 40 hours. For more information, including specific activities and session dates and schedules, call (205) 758-2828 or enroll online at www. Crazy Daze of Summer: Children’s Hands-On Museum (C.H.O.M.), downtown Tuscaloosa. Nine weeks of fun, including kid karaoke, dueling basketballs, skee ball, air hockey and more. For more information on activities and schedules, call (205) 349-4235 or visit Forest Lake United Methodist Church Weekday Kids Program Summer Camp: Grades 1-7. Camp features arts and crafts, daily devotions, bowling and movie field trips, swimming, water days at Shelby Park, sports, skating, and more. Open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during summer school vacation. Cost: $50 registration, $25 daily attendance fee and $95 weekly attendance fee. Includes two snacks per day, supplies. Wee Camp for pre-K-4 also available. For more information, call (205) 758-6623, visit or email PARA Kids Summer Day Camp: Grades K-8. Belk, Faucett, Miller and Phelps Centers. M-F, 7:30 a.m. to -5:45 p.m. Single day or weekly. Registration: $30. $25 daily fee or $81 per week. Activities include exercise programs, swimming, archery, skating, bowling, softball, kickball, inflatables, arts and crafts, Riverworks Discovery and butterfly studies, and field trips to Lake Lurleen and the Alabama Adventure Park. For more information, call Melinda Wiggins at (205) 562-3230, email or visit page/35/day_camp_youth_events.html. Tuscaloosa Academy Summer Knights Program: Programs available for children ages 3 to rising 8th graders, and ages 3 to Kindergarten. Taught by certified staff, with special activities to help a child’s development. Summer Adventure: Grades 1-8. Enrichment and sports camp activities for the budding chef or sports enthusiast, with camps teaching sports skills and creative expression. Half-day and full days from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call (205) 758-4462 ext. 513, email or visit Tuscaloosa Barnyard Summer Day Camp: All ages. Learn about life on the farm away from TV and video games. Activities include taking care of animals, boat rides, fishing, games, farm movies, hay rides, pony rides, horse training, arts and crafts, games, and learning about nature. Slow paced environment. For more information, call Kami Combs at (205) 248-0773 or visit

Page 15 . Issue 4 Music The Community Music School (CMS): The University of Alabama School of Music. All ages and all levels of musical ability. Classes taught by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as community professionals. Private and group instruction available for a wide variety of instruments. Kindermusic program for children ages birth – 7 years. For more information, including rates and dates, call (205) 348-6741. Tuscaloosa Piano Studio: Beginners, ages 5-11. July 14-18, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily. Children are grouped according to age. Cost: $120 (includes book). For more information, call (205) 454-7463. Crimson Music Camps, Jazz Improvisation and Marching Percussion Camp: June 1215. Band, Piano and Vocal/Choral/Opera Camp: June 15-20. For more information, call (205) 348-6068, visit, or email Heath Nails at Alabama Blues Project 2014 Summer Blues Camp: Registration is now open for this year’s summer camp, which runs July 21-25 at the University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa. Children will participate in art activities, learn about blues history and receive blues music instruction. Campers can choose between morning, afternoon or allday sessions. For more information, or to register, contact Paula Demonbreun at (205) 752-6263 or email Learning The Long Weekend – Summer Multimedia Journalism: June 13-15. Grades 6-12. Teaches creative and effective ways to communicate through writing, exploring magazines, yearbooks, literary magazines and broadcast programs. Deadline to register: June 6. Cost: $125. For more information, call (205) 348-ASPA, visit or email Meredith Cummings at Moundville Archaeological Park- Indian Day Camp: Session 1: June 2-6, Session 2: July 28-August 1. Ages 9-13. For kids interested in Native American arts and way of life. Focus on weaving, pottery, gourd crafts, hiking, gathering wild foods, touring museum and park, storytelling and sampling authentic Native American cuisine. From Tuscaloosa, a bus meets at Smith Hall at the University of Alabama at 8:30 a.m., returning at 4:30 p.m. Cost: $200 per child, per week. For more information, call (205) 371-8732, email or visit


Camp Cash: UA College of Environmental Sciences. Ages 11-14. Management skills, experiencing college life, enhancing confidence and self-esteem, investing, insurance, wealth accumulation, and credit. For more information, visit, email Jan Brakefield at jbrakefi@ches. or call (205) 348-8722. Scouting Camp Horne, Boy Scouts of America (Black Warrior Council): Cottondale. Three weeks of Boy Scout residence camp in June, followed by two sessions of Cub Scout residence camp. For more information, visit www.bwc-bsa. org or call (205) 861-4496. Camp Cottaquilla (near Anniston) and the Kanawahala Program Center (Chelsea), Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama: June 1-July 25. Grades 2-12. Resident camp and day camp programs available. Prices vary, depending on type of camp. For more information, call (800) 734-4541 or visit State and Regional Camps Lake Forest Ranch Interdenominational Christian Co-Ed Camp: Shadow Lake, East Central Mississippi (less than two hours from Tuscaloosa). All ages. Activities include horseback riding, wild ride water tube, low and high ropes course, basketball, gym games, tennis, beach volleyball, swimming, fishing, canoeing, boating, archery, frisbee golf, game room/ arcade, paint ball course for teens, and Bible studies. For more information, call Rick Malone at (662) 726-5052 or visit McWane Center Summer Camps: McWane Science Center, Birmingham. All ages. Various topics weekly; some overnight options. Morning sessions: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; afternoon sessions: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (205) 714-8414 or visit Nike Golf Camp: Samford University, Birmingham (Golf instruction at the Hoover Country Club). July 20-24. Ages: 10-18 (co-ed). Overnight and day camp options available. Daily small-group instruction, course play, competitions, skills challenges, scrambles and more. Cost: Overnight - $935; Day camp - $595. For more information, call (800) NIKE-CAMP.

Sylvan Learning Center: Writing, mathematics, study skills, and specialty classes for state exams available. For more information, call (205) 345-7676.

Camp McDowell: Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Nauvoo. Camps for primary, elementary, junior high and high school-aged students. Sessions run from May 23-August 3. In addition to nurturing spiritual, social, and creative growth, Camp McDowell offers hiking, canoeing, arts & crafts, swimming, a ropes & group action course, soccer, softball, soccer, capture the flag, and many other group games and creative activities. For more information, visit, or contact Susanna Whitsett, Summer Camp Coordinator, at (205) 281-1903 or by email at susanna@campmcdowell. com.

Tuscaloosa Library Summer Reading Programs: All ages. All activities are free. Activities include juggling, summer safety programs, magic, storytelling, animal programs, movies, and more. For specific dates and times, visit www.tuscaloosa-library. org or call (205) 345-5820.

Riverview Camp for Girls: Mentone (located on the former Saddle Rock Camp for Girls campus). Ages 6-16. Sessions run from June 8-Aug. 1. This Christian camp features cabins with bathrooms and showers. Photos are downloaded each day of campers. Mother-daughter weekend in August. For more information, including session dates, call (800) 882-0722, visit or email Tuscaloosa’s Riverview representative, Jennifer Fisher, at

Alabama Museum of Natural History, History Expedition 36: Middle School Week (grades 6-8), June 9-14; High School Week (grades 9-12), June 16-24; Public Camp Week (all ages), June 23-28. For more information, email

Camp Laney: Mentone. Boys, ages 7-14. Sessions run from June 8-Aug. 1. One and two-week sessions available. Cost: $1550 (one week); $2800 (two weeks). Tuition includes chartered bus trips, cabin photos, arts & crafts, canteen snack store, golf trips, rock climbing trips and more. For more information, including session dates, call (256) 634-4066, email or visit

Summer Camps at AMNH: Art Day Camp, June 2-6 (grades 3-5). Art Day Camp, June 2-6; Science Day Camp, July 21-25. Space is limited. For more information, call (205) 348-7550 or email Alabama Summer Computer Camps: UA Department of Computer Science. High school: July 21-25, July 28-Aug. 1; Middle school: August 4-8. For more information, visit email Dr. Jeff Gray at or call (205) 348-2847.

Camp Skyline Ranch for Girls: Mentone. Ages 6-16. Sessions run from June 8-Aug. 1. Cost: Two-week sessions, $3217; one-week “mini camp,” $1725. Arts and crafts, horseback riding, swimming, archery, dance, and other activities. For more information, including session dates, call (800) 448-9279 or visit For more summer camps see the extended article on

Photos: Boy Scouts of America Black Warrior Council, Alabama Blues Project, Tuscaloosa Park & Recreation Authority, Porfirio Solorzano and Snider Stables.

Druid City Living Marketplace


off any item* *good thru April 2111 University Blvd. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401


Page 19 . Issue 4

Service with a smile: TES plans 10th annual Celebrity Waiter fundraising event Some of Tuscaloosa’s most well-known celebrities will be on hand at the Cypress Inn Pavilion, serving as waiters for the annual Temporary Emergency Services Celebrity Waiter Dinner on Friday, May 9. This is the 10th year for the event, which brings together the area’s biggest community leaders with guests who give the celebrity waiters “tips” to help raise money for TES. A silent auction is also planned, with a large collection of items donated by area businesses and residents. In past years, the Celebrity Waiter event has raised over $25,000. This year’s goal is even higher: $30,000. Temporary Emergency Services is a local non-profit organization that helps to provide food, clothing, household items and other basic necessities for those in dire need, so that they can survive and get back on their feet. This is TES’ biggest annual fundraising event, and this year, more than ever, support is urgently needed. “TES is doing all it can to provide help to this community. But there has been a tremendous increase in the number of individuals and families who are suffering and desperately need our help,” Karen Thompson, executive director of Temporary Emergency Services, said. “This community is relying on TES for urgent help. Unfortunately, resources are limited and TES is now in need of urgent help, just like the many families it serves.” This year’s celebrity waiters for the TES event are: Holly Beck, Nancy Boyd, Martin Colvin, Amanda Entrekin, John Fisher, Bab Davis, Paul Jackson, Stacy Jones, Jay Logan, Vanessa Rush, Big Al, and Chris Spencer.

Photo credit: McDonald’s Photography

Sponsors are needed, and opportunities abound. Sponsorship packages for the fundraising event include Gold and Silver packages, a table sponsorship, and more. Tickets for this year’s Serving with a Smile Celebrity Waiter Dinner fundraising event are $50. For more information, including sponsorship packages and tickets, call Temporary Emergency Services, Inc. of Tuscaloosa County at (205) 758-5535.


Page 20 . Issue 4

Tuscaloosa junior crowned Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen

16-year-old Morgan Green, a junior at Hillcrest High School, was crowned the 2014 Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen during the pageant in March. Green, the daughter of Gail Stringfellow and Keith Green, will compete in the national Miss America’s Teen competition in Orlando, Florida, July 29 through August 2.”. As the 2014 Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen, Green was awarded a four-year renewable full tuition scholarship to Auburn University, the University of Alabama and Troy University. She also received a 12-hour scholarship to Jacksonville State University, along with other cash scholarships and prizes. Morgan Green’s platform is “Literacy: Pathway to Prosperity,” a cause that is close to her heart. “I am doing my best as Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen to encourage everyone to read, children in particular, as well as encourage adults who struggle with literacy to seek help,” Green said. Photo credit: Miss Alabama Scholarship Organization

UA Phi Mu initiates alumnae members

The Alpha Zeta chapter of Phi Mu Fraternity at the University of Alabama welcomed three new alumnae members into their sisterhood on March 17th: Dana Duckworth, Becky Arnold and Krissy Bunn. Alumnae initiation is a special privilege offered to outstanding women in the community that are sponsored by a current alumna in good standing. They will become active members of the Tuscaloosa Phi Mu Alumnae chapter. Founded in 1852, Phi Mu is a women’s organization which provides personal and academic development, service to others, commitment to excellence and lifelong friendship through a shared tradition. Phi Mu promotes vibrant living, encouraging members to achieve their personal best.

Photo credit: Lori Colburn L to R: Mary Young, Dana Duckworth, Becky Arnold, Lucy Arnold Sikes, Krissy Bunn, and Lee Jaudon Schwartzenburg.

Page 21 . Issue 4

Let the games begin!


Bryant students connect with author

The eighth grade of Holy Spirit Catholic Middle School enhanced Students at Paul W. Bryant High School recently used technology to their study of ancient Greece by holding their version of the Greek connect with a New York Times best-selling author. Olympics. Students were divided into city states, earned points Freshman English students from Ginger Rutherford’s class joined in by competing in academic games, and completed projects about a live webcast with more than 7,000 high school students across the nation as author Jay Asher discussed his book, Thirteen Reasons ancient Greece. Why, a suspenseful novel dealing with a high school student’s decision to commit suicide.

Students from Mary Burke and Joselynn Nelson’s classes dress in costume for the Greek Olympic activities held at school on March 19. Photo credit: Laurie Mitchell, Holy Spirit Photo credit: Shelley Dorrill School

Third-graders at RQES enjoy art volunteer’s efforts

One step closer to graduation

The junior class of Holy Spirit Catholic School in Tuscaloosa received their class rings at Holy Spirit Catholic Church during Mass on March The third-graders at Rock Quarry Elementary School are lucky. Every 18 to celebrate their major milestone. Following the ceremony and year, local artist Carolyn Bowen volunteers her time to teach the stureception, the junior class spent time on their junior retreat. dents art. In March, Bowen spent time with the students, helping them perfect their technique. Thanks, Carolyn Bowen, for being a wonderful volunteer in our area schools!

Photo credit: Allison Adams

L to R: Holy Spirit High School juniors Katie Connell, Caitlin Shortall, and Brooke Kosloff show off their new class rings. Photo credit: Laurie Mitchell, Holy Spirit School


Page 22 . Issue 4

Area students participate in the All-American Cities Honor Under the Sea! Students in Erica Johnson’s Band Festival

Zoology class at Paul W. Bryant High School turned the science hallway into an ocean while studying sea Fourteen 8th grade band students from Southview Middle School and Rock Quaranimals last month. Students researched the habitats, ways of locory Middle School participated in the 12th Annual All-American Cities Honor Band motion and reproduction, feeding habits, and other interesting facts Festival, held on March 14 and 15 at Northridge High School. The students are about the animals. directed by Dr. Joseph T. Spann. This is the largest representation of students that have participated in this event in the history of the schools’ existence. The Festival is open to all middle school students in West Alabama. All total, 132 students were in the band. Three of the first chair players were from Southview and Rock Quarry Middle Schools.

Photo credit: Shelley Dorrill, Paul W. Bryant High School

Westwood Elementary wins big in Tuscaloosa L to R: Jerome Monroe, Erin Davis, Jer’Howard Paige, Kiandre Ev- HalfMarathon ans, Kevon Clifton and Charles Hawthorne

Congratulations to everyone at Westwood Elementary School in Coker. Over 120 Westwood Gator students, staff, families and friends of the school participated in the 2014 HalfMarathon Fun Run on March 8.

Front row, L to R: Hannah Urban, Natalie Jacks, Grace Dotson and Anna Cain Back row, L to R: Rafay Bajwa, Raza Bajwa, Sani GhuPhoto courtesy of Westwood Elementary School lamani and Patrick McNeil


Hillcrest football begins new era with Adams By Stan J. Griffin

Page 24 . Issue 4

Sam Adams, a 34-year-old native of Corner, can proudly say that he is well-versed in the mission of winning, and winning big as a football coach. After all, his coaching journey has included learning on the collegiate level at schools such as Auburn and Louisville, and at legendary high school juggernauts such as Trinity High School in Louisville and Hoover High School. As an offensive-minded coach, Adams, who attended college at Bevill State Community College in Sumiton (where he also played baseball for two years), Auburn, and Louisville (where he received his Master’s degree), has been able to gain insight from innovative minds such as Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, Jacksonville State University football coach John Grass, and Hoover High football coach Josh Niblett. During his two seasons as an assistant to Niblett, mainly coaching receivers, the Bucs went 30-0 and captured two Class 6A state titles. Adams is hoping to bring that same level of success to Hillcrest High School. As the new head football coach for the Patriots, he is taking over a program which finished 5-6 in 2013, and fell in the first round of the state playoffs to Clay-Chalkville. Adams, who married his wife, Kimberly, last June, said he is looking forward to his new role of leading the Hillcrest program. “It is a very exciting opportunity,” said Adams. “Hillcrest has all of those parts (to be successful) here. The challenge for me is to get them all streamlined and get everybody pointed in the right direction. We have a good administration and Hillcrest has always had very tough kids.” He said the transition period into the new job as the Patriot’s coach has gone well. Photo credit: Sam Adams “We’ve had a great reception,” said Adams. “(March 17) was my first official day here, and we had a big player and parent meeting that night, just trying to get everybody on the same page and set expectations. There were several hundred people there, and it was pretty much packed. So far, everything has been great. Anything that we have needed, the administration has just jumped right on it. It has been nothing but positive so far.” In terms of what he hopes to bring to the Hillcrest program, Adams said it is too early to begin focusing on wins and losses. “You have to take care of the kids that are already here and help them to become good people,” he said. “That is not an overnight job, and there are lots of great kids now, but we have to set a good example as a coaching staff, and me as the head coach, in just being a positive role model for these kids.” Adams adds that he also wants players held accountable for their academics, along with giving them the tools they need to be the best athlete they can be. “We have good kids here, but we just have to keep them walking the straight and narrow and let them know what we expect. Our expectations are very high. “ As far as his demeanor on the sidelines and in the locker room, Adams said there is a time and place both for showing emotion and for exercising control. “There is a time to be emotional leading up to the game because the kids can kind of feed off of the coach’s energy,” said Adams. “If you are not playing with emotion, then you’re not doing it right, because I think football is a game that should be played off emotion. Once the game starts, it’s about making correction. When the kids are out on the field, it’s a high-pressure situation, and no kid ever means to drop a ball or miss a block. If you ramp up the emotion (as a coach) at that point, it tends to go the wrong way on you.” Asked to discuss immediate goals for his first Hillcrest High team, Adams said it simply begins with daily improvement. “We are really not going to talk in terms of goals as far as a certain number of wins,” said Adams. “Obviously, we want championships and all that, but we’re really not going to talk in terms of that at all. We are just going to talk more about daily improvement. That is really our main focus.” Adams said the Hillcrest Patriots have a good corps of players returning from last season’s team. For more on Hillcrest’s new head football coach, Sam Adams, read the full article on

Joshua M. Watkins, esq.


Druid City Living

Page 26 . Issue 4

Calendar of Events Kentuck Art Night in downtown Northport: May 1, 5-8 p.m. This event is free to the public. For more information, visit artnight.

First Friday in downtown Tuscaloosa: Friday, May 2, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This event is free to the public. Local galleries, businesses and restaurants are open as a way for the community to see what Downtown Tuscaloosa has to offer. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama at (205) 758-7588. Alabama Choir School Spring Concerts: May 2-3, 7 p.m. Moody Music Hall, UA Campus. Tickets: $12, The Alabama Choir School is celebrating 29 years of teaching students in West Alabama appreciation for the choral arts. For more information, visit www. The 16th Annual DCH SportsMedicine Fund Run: May 3, 8-11 a.m., Tuscaloosa County High School. Funds raised from this 5K race and one-mile walk/run benefit the DCH SportsMedicine Fund, which purchases medical equipment and supplies for athletic programs in the area. Registration: $20, $25 on race day. For more information, call (205) 759-7349 or visit Flapjacks for Foster Children: May 3, 7-11 a.m. Southland Restaurant, Cottondale. This pancake breakfast, hosted by Defend the Orphans ministry, Coaling Baptist Church and Southland Restaurant, is a fundraiser to benefit area foster children. $8 for adult plates; $5 for child’s plate (12 years and under). For tickets or more information, call (205) 792-3515.

Sips N’ Stogies: May 3, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Southern Ale House, Tuscaloosa. The Junior League of Tuscaloosa (JLT) presents this annual fundraising event, allowing everyone in the community to enjoy great spirits for a great cause. Tickets: $20 (covers five beer/wine tastings). This event is sponsored by Southern Ale House and R&R Cigars. For more information, and to purchase tickets online, visit www.jltuscaloosa. org. Kid’s Derby Day: May 3, 10 a.m.4p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa (C.H.O.M.), downtown Tuscaloosa. All activities included in admission. For more information: (205) 349-4235 and 5th Street Vintage Market: May 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 4150 5th Street, Northport. The Vintage Market is a great place to find unusual and unique treasures, from vintage books, clothes, and jewelry to handmade items, vinyl records, and more. For more information, visit Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre Dessert Theatre & Silent Auction: May 8, 5:30-8:30 p.m., University Church of Christ, Tuscaloosa. Enjoy desserts and coffee from local bakeries, and be entertained by the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre’s current and past actors taking you “Through the Years with TCT.” Tickets: $10. For more information, call (205) 344-3775 or visit West Alabama Food & Wine Festival: May 8, 7 p.m., Cypress Inn Pavilion, Tuscaloosa. This event features exquisite cuisine and spirits for a great cause. All proceeds benefit the American Red Cross West Alabama

Chapter. Tickets: $55 (individual) and $100 (couple). For more information, visit www.westalabamafoodandwine. com

American Cancer Society Relay for Life: Friday, May 9, 6 p.m. Government Plaza in downtown Tuscaloosa. To register, or for more information, contact Anna Lisa Weigel at (205) 342-2009, email annalisa@weigel@ or visit Tuscaloosaal. The Tenth Annual Serving with a Smile Celebrity Waiter Dinner Fundraiser Event: May 9, 6 p.m., Cypress Inn Pavilion, Tuscaloosa. This event benefits Temporary Emergency Services of Tuscaloosa County. Cost: $50 per person. For more information, call (205) 758-5535. Will May 5K: May 10, 10 a.m., Moe’s Original Bar B Que., Tuscaloosa. This fun-filled day of running, BBQ and music will help raise money for Tuscaloosa area charities. To register online, visit running/distance-running-races/willmay-5k-2014 and follow @WillMay5K on Twitter for updates. Humane Society of West Alabama’s “Hush Puppy” Silent Auction: May 10, 5-8 p.m. Green Bar, downtown Tuscaloosa. This exciting event, a major fundraiser for the Humane Society of West Alabama, will feature a “Yappy Hour” cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and a silent auction. For more information, call (205) 554-0011 or visit Super Saturday “Puppet Playhouse”: May 10, 10 a.m.-4p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa (C.H.O.M.), downtown Tuscaloosa. All activities included in admission. For

more information: (205) 349-4235 and Youth For Christ Golf Challenge: May 15, NorthRiver Yacht Club, Tuscaloosa. Play golf. Change lives. Entry donation is $1,000 per foursome and includes lunch, a round of tournament golf, a YFC golf shirt and the opportunity to win great prizes. Proceeds benefit the YFC’s Campus Life and Teen Moms ministries in area high schools. For more information or to register, call (205) 752-3361 or email 17th Annual BBQ & Blues: May 17, 6-10 p.m., The L&N Station, downtown Tuscaloosa. Proceeds from this event benefit the DCH Help & Hope Patient Assistance Fund. Guests will enjoy McAbee Pigfitters BBQ, a silent auction, a Hudson-Poole Fine Jewelers giveaway event and music by Mississippi blues legend Tommie “T-Bone” Pruitt. Tickets and corporate sponsorships are available. For more information, call (205) 759-7349 or visit 1st Annual Bark in the Park: May 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sokol Park, Tuscaloosa. The Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors invite everyone in the community to this event, to benefit PARA and the Will May Dog Park. Local agencies will have dogs available for adoption. Events will include a blessing of the dogs, a parade, demonstrations on dog-related topics, live music, exhibitors, and even a dog wedding! Donations: $10 per pet ($5 for second/third). People: Free. Prizes will be awarded. For more information or to get involved, call Allison Adams at (205) 914-2400 or email

Tuscaloosa Chamber of Commerce Happenings the store makes a great addition to downtown Tuscaloosa!

May Chamber Connects Mixer at Jim N Nick’s BBQ: Join us for our May mixer at Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ located at 305A 21st Ave. in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, May 13 from 5-7 p.m. Enjoy great food, drinks, and networking in a fun atmosphere. Prospective members are always welcome. Lucca Relocates: The Chamber celebrated the grand opening of Lucca at 2111 University Blvd., near Moe’s BBQ, on Friday, March 7, with a ribbon cutting. Lucca relocated from Midtown Village, and

Dee’s Cut & Style Opens South of Town: Congrats to Daney Devoti and crew on the recent ribbon cutting for Dee’s Cut & Style! The salon is located at 9730 Hwy 69 South, Ste. F, in Tuscaloosa. Arts ‘n Autism Gets New Home: It’s official! Arts ‘n Autism has a new home at 2625 8th St. in Tuscaloosa. It’s functional, beautiful and in a great location. So happy for this wonderful group. Avis/Budget Car Rentals Opens in Northport: Avis/Budget Car Rentals just opened at 1104 McFarland Blvd., in Northport. This concept allows you to choose between two great brands under one roof.

Save the Date for Next Chamber in Session: Our annual State of the Schools event is set for Tuesday, June 17, at Hotel Capstone from 11:30 a.m. -1 p.m. Expect presentations from Dr. Tommy Bice, Dr. Elizabeth Swinford and Dr. Paul McKendrick. Also, a special program is being prepared for this same morning. Stay tuned for more info. Save the Date for Washington Fly-In: The annual Washington Fly-In is set for Sept. 24-26. As always, our schedule while in the nation’s capital will allow time for interaction with our members of Congress as well as engagements with other elected officials. It’s also an opportunity, unlike any other, to network with fellow Chamber members. This year, the agenda will include some fun time at a Washington Nationals

baseball game. Make plans to join us. More info coming soon. Spring Training Series: We’re proud to once again, along with our Chamber member partners, offer you and your employees professional development training at a price that’s budget-friendly. For more, review the schedule of offerings at www.tuscaloosachamber. com.

Food Epiphany Café

Page 28 . Issue 4

Taste of the Town

By Sheena Gregg

Since its establishment in 2003, Epiphany Café has led the pack when it comes to local and sustainable ingredients. As a “New American Farm-to-Fork Cuisine” restaurant, Executive Chef and owner Tres Jackson strives to support small farms and local producers. With a 90 to almost 100 percent local and Alabama ingredient menu, patrons will notice a frequent change in menu items to reflect the most seasonally fresh foods. “Sometimes I have to change the menu as much as four or five times a week to give people the best quality dishes,” said Jackson. Additionally, Jackson believes that the perceived obstacles of keeping everything local challenge him to be more creative in the dishes that he serves. Local farms such as Snow’s Bend Farm, Katie Farms, and Stone Hollow are just a few of the local vendors featured at Epiphany. From small plates to desserts, every menu item has local roots, which made it difficult for our chef to pick just one favorite item. For dinner, I was served delicious wild mushrooms with edible flowers, a refreshing marinated beet salad with goat cheese, coffee tones, and apricots, finished off with a gorgeous Bristol Bay sockeye salmon masterpiece with prawns and local bacon, potatoes, and collards. For anyone that is seeking fresh flavors created from local, sustainable goods, Epiphany is the place for you.

519 Greensboro Ave Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 (205) 344-5583

Mary’s Cakes & Pastries

Tucked away in historic downtown Northport is one of my favorite places and another champion of local ingredients. Whether it’s grains from Druid City Brewery or delicious produce from Snow Bend’s Farm in Coker, Mary’s has perfected the term “local eats” in her sweet and savory foods. “Going to the farmer’s market is like going to the thrift store. You can’t go in with preconceived ideas; you have to let your finds at the market inspire your dishes,” said Mary Cesar, baker and owner of Mary’s Cakes & Pastries. Though Mary has been purchasing goods from Snow’s Bend Farm for the past five years, more frequent use of goods is attributed to the bakery’s participation in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. “If I had to pick my current favorite dish using local ingredients, I’d definitely have to say our kale and feta pizza,” said Cesar. Packed with kale from the farmers market, feta cheese from AA Farm Creamy in Millbrook, and grains used in the crust from Druid City Brewery, this pizza epitomizes the concept of local food. I had the opportunity to try Mary’s kale pizza, which is currently available in the lineup of her $5 daily lunch specials. The crust had the perfect texture of crunch and softness to hold in the contrasting salty tones of the kale and feta cheese. As part of the lunch special, patrons are also able to pick a dessert from the case, and a beverage. Greek salads, Asian slaws, gumbos, pies and gelatos are some of Mary’s favorite ways to use her local produce finds. With a welcoming atmosphere and delicious local items, Mary’s Cakes and Pastries should be on everyone’s radar for lunch or just dessert! 412 22nd Ave Northport, AL 35476 (205) 345-8610


Page 29 . Issue 4

17th Annual BBQ & Blues set for May 17 By Casey Johnson Can you think of a better way to spend a spring Saturday night than enjoying great BBQ, lively entertainment, a fantastic silent auction, and a chance to unlock three pieces of fine jewelry? Join The DCH Foundation on May 17 at 6 p.m. for the 17th annual BBQ & Blues event. Under the leadership of Gene “Poodgie” Poole, Wilson Moore and Lee Henderson, this community favorite is sure to be fabulous! Mouthwatering McAbee Pigfitters BBQ will be served with all the trimmings. Donors far and wide have been gracious, filling our silent auction with items you will want to win. Music will be provided by Mississippi Blues Legend Tommie “T-Bone” Pruitt. And a magic key could unlock a stunning new piece of jewelry from Hudson-Poole Fine Jewelers. This event continues to be a casual good time for everyone in our community. The proceeds still benefit The DCH Foundation’s Help & Hope Patient Assistance Fund for patients struggling to make financial ends meet during their personal battles with cancer. With this help, our patients can work towards the road to recovery without financial worry. Tables for 10, 8, and 4 are still available – but going fast. Call Natalie Abbott or Casey Johnson at The DCH Foundation at (205) 759-7349 to reserve yours today. Visit for sponsorship details. Tickets are also on sale for $40 each or two for $70. Please make plans to join us for this fun night on May 17!

Photos: Casey Johnson


Page 30 . Issue 4

Spring recipes with a purpose

By Amy Poore

Ahhh, spring. Spring means almost summer, which means the beach, which means fresh seafood! Yay! It also means almost swimsuit season – not so much “yay.” And spring also means pollen, which means allergies, which means spring colds. Bleh. But guess what? This month, I have recipes to address all of these issues: A yummy Baked Shrimp Scampi recipe using fresh seafood, a savory Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup recipe that can help make those awful seasonal colds just a little more bearable, and a nutritious (and delicious) Citrus Banana Oat Smoothie to help with the never-ending battle to slim down. You can find the Oat Smoothie on Baked Shrimp Scampi • 1 cup butter • 2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I used dry because it’s what I had) • 1.5 – 2 pounds raw shrimp, shelled and deveined 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. When the butter melts completely, remove from heat. 3. Arrange shrimp in a shallow baking dish. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp. Stir to coat. 4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque. 5. Serve over angel hair pasta. Top with parsley and squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Photos: Amy Poore

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup • 1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast • 2 ribs of celery, chopped • 1 ½ cups chopped or sliced carrots • 1 medium onion, chopped • 3 sticks of fresh rosemary • 2 slices of fresh ginger (¼ inch thick) • 1 box chicken broth • 1 cup white wine • 1 tablespoon Crazy Jane Seasoning Salt • 1 tablespoon Zoe’s seasoning (you could use an Italian or Greek blend seasoning) • 2-3 cups egg noodles 1. Place celery, carrots, onions, rosemary and ginger in bottom of crockpot. Top with seasoning. Pour in broth and wine and stir to mix. 2. Place chicken on top and cook on low for 7-8 hours. 3. Remove Chicken, shred and return to crock pot. 4. Add in noodles and cook for another 30 minutes. 5. Serve with hot cornbread.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy’s delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at

Druid City Living 2014 Issue #4 online