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wedding special section

Spontaneous Journal photo by Jordan Wald


The Rev. Cameron Nations, an associate rector at Saint Luke’s said the fundraiser helped to raise awareness of just how much of a catalyst medical debt in general can be for keeping someone trapped in poverty.

You Are Forgiven

St. Luke’s in Mountain Brook Buys $8.1 Million In Medical Debt Across Central Alabama


By Sam Prickett


ver the holidays, roughly 6,500 Alabama households received a notice in the mail that their medical debts had been purchased and forgiven by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.

Moving up the Date Almost Made the Planning of a Forest Park Wedding Easier Plus: Bride Makes Her Own Cake, Then Starts Making Them for Others SEE STORIES PAGE 21

Those letters were the culmination of a fundraising campaign undertaken by Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook, which commemorated its 70th anniversary by eliminating $8.1 million in medical debts throughout the Birmingham metro area and its surrounding counties. More than 137 million Americans struggled with medical debt in 2019, according to a CNBC report. Those costs, usually unexpected, are reportedly the top reason people take money out of their retirement accounts or file for bankruptcy. Many hospitals across the country sell their past-due bills to debt

See ST. LUKE’S, page 9

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2 • Thursday, January 9, 2020


Murphy’s Law

F LIGHT IT UP RMTC breaks ground on new campus PAGE 8

RUNNING AGAINST THE ODDS Leukemia survivor runs marathons to raise funds for LLS PAGE 10

HEART AND WORK ETHIC REQUIRED Athletes pivot to open new Walk-Ons Bistreaux & Bar in Hoover PAGE 27

WRAP FOR WARRIORS BWF students wrapped gifts for VA patients to open on Christmas day PAGE 28




WEDDINGS 21 FOOD 27 SCHOOLS 32 SPORTS 36 With everything that’s happening “Over the Mountain,” it can be difficult to keep up. That’s why we have launched the OTMJ newsletter. Published every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - we’ll give you a quick recap of the latest news, sports and social events as well as a heads up on upcoming events so you won’t miss any of the interesting and fun happenings in the Greater Birmingham metro area. To sign up for our newsletter, visit Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @overthemountainjournal, for daily updates on what’s going on around town, too.


January 9, 2020 JOU RNAL Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Emily Williams, Sam Prickett Photographer: Jordan Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls, Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald, Gail Kidd Vol. 29, No. 10

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at E-mail our advertising department at Find us on the Web at Copyright 2019 Over The Mountain Journal, Inc. All rights reserved. The Journal is not responsible for return of photos, copy and other unsolicited materials submitted. To have materials returned, please specify when submitting and provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All materials submitted are subject to editorial review and may be edited or declined without notification.

I Am Not A Robot

act: To become a friend of the grade. After that, I wore thick glasses library in the small New and then thicker contacts. Back then, England town where my parboth eyes had to process everything ents grew up, I had to prove that I (or try). Now, my contacts have each was not a robot. Fact #2: I didn’t been assigned a specific area of conmake it. cern. One eye handles things in the I had no idea that robot library distance and the other stays closer to patronage was such a problem. Are home and reads. there covert bands of robots plotting The system worked beautifully to take over the craft fair? Would the until I went to get my official Star ID. silent auction be reduced to complete Now there’s some security for you. silence? Is there a fear that rebel First of all, you have to show up in robot battalions will buy up all of the person so the examiners can see for Sue Murphy commemorative pavers for their themselves that you are not a robot. cohorts, “B Q 718” and “Mr. and You also have to bring along several Mrs. R2D2”? Actually, I have no forms of identification. Your U.S. idea whether robots are allowed to passport (that is interchangeable get married in Connecticut. They with the Star ID as far as the airIf the robot threat might have to hyperlink to New lines are concerned) is not enough. is real, I’m glad the I guess I understand that. I mean, York City or someplace more AI tolerant. passports are issued by the State library folks are If the robot threat is real, I’m Department and you can’t be sure rallying their defenses, who is the head of that group from glad the library folks are rallying their defenses, but are they doing one day to the next. No, to get a but are they doing enough? Right now, you just have Star ID, you will need the corroboenough? to identify street signs. You don’t ration of the gas company and other equally reliable sources. have to know what the signs say, Thankfully, I had everything I just be able to locate them – or not needed. I thought I was home free – in a series of landscape photographs. The aforementioned street signs are not neces- until the examiner said there was a required eye test, and not one of those “Read the lowest line you can sarily front and center in the pictures, however, and there were a number of gray areas. Literally, there was make out” wall numbers, either. I’d have to peer into a a lot of gray, and besides that, I could have used some visor where my eyes would be tested one at a time. I told the examiner that only one of my eyes was up for clarification. Is a motel sign that stands next to the street considered a street sign? I chose to think so, and the job, but the Star ID people have their rules. With I don’t know if that was what caused my library friend great trepidation, I peered into the visor, and with a lot of squinting and a couple of guesses, I passed.  access to be denied, but when I go back and try again So, here I am, an official Star ID recipient – but (and I will) I’ll mark my selection the other way. not a friend of the small town library. I will try again. The other problem is that my eyesight isn’t what it Trust me, people. I am not a robot. used to be, and by “used to be,” I mean back in fifth

Over the Mountain Views

What’s your New Year’s resolution? “My new year’s resolution is to live healthier.” Jimmy Harris Homewood

“Get into shape for skiing.” Jason King Homewood

“Try to get to church more and be more spiritual.” Scott Morales Homewood “Use my phone less and be more present with my kids.” Jessica George with Peyton and Hannah Kate George Crestline



Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 3

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JAN 9 - JAN 23 Thurs., Jan. 9 National Blue Blood Drive

What: Honor those who would lay down their lives for us as National C.O.P.S. (Concern of Police Survivors) partners with the American Red Cross and community blood centers to donate blood. When: 1-5 p.m. Where: Crestline Elementary Website:

Fri., Jan. 10

File photo

Birmingham’s Thomas Jefferson Tower Historic Ghost/Paranormal Investigation


What: The Junior Board of the Alabama and Lyric Theatres celebrate the Mardi Gras season with dancing, music by Matthew DeVine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, open bar and tastings hosted by Coopers’ Craft Bourbon and Redmont Distilling Co. Red River Distilling Co will host an after party. When: 7 p.m. Where: Lyric Theatre Website:

What: Dress in your flapper and gangster styles while you participate in an interactive ghost walk and paranormal investigation hosted by Southern Ghost Girls Tours. Spooky drink specials will be available to purchase at Roots and Revelry. When: 7-9 p.m. and 9:30-11:30 p.m. Where: Thomas Jefferson Tower Website: “Birmingham’s Thomas Jefferson Tower Historic Ghost/ Paranormal Investigatio” Facebook page

Jan. 10 and 11 Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto What: Pianist Joyce Yang returns to Birmingham to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday year with a rousing performance, as well as the music of Finland with Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony. When: 7 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens

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This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.

Center, Jemison Concert Hall Website:

Sat., Jan. 11 Celebrate the Family Expo

What: Birmingham Christian Family presents live entertainment, a kids’ zone, an exhibition area, food, product samples and more at the first annual event that brings together resources and entertainment for families. When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Hoover Met, Finley Center Website:

Huck Finn: A Trunk Show

What: At times dramatic then hilarious, three performers play a dozen charcters in this timeless tale, uniquely adapted from Mark Twain’s classic American novel. One Saturday only. When: 2:30 p.m. Where: Birmingham Children’s Theatre Website:

When: 11 a.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall Website:

Jan. 17 and 18 Symphonie Fantastique

What: Enjoy the debut of Izcaray’s second Sound Investment World Premiere, a cello concerto featuring Santiago Cañón Valencia. Concert Comments each night at 6:15 p.m., Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall When: 7 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall Website:

Jan. 17-19 Pioneer Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

What: Lakeshore Foundation presents some of the best wheelchair basketball in the country. The event features adult and youth teams from Lakeshore Foundation and across the nation. When: Jan. 17, 1 p.m.; Jan. 18 and 19, 9 a.m. Where: Lakeshore Foundation Website:

Sat., Jan. 18 MLK Day 5K Drum Run

Sun., Jan. 12 An Evening with Branford Marsalis Quartet

What: Three-time Grammy Award winner Branford Marsalis has continued to produce his own projects and those of the jazz world’s most promising new and established artists. When: 7-9 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall Website:

Jan. 16 and 17 The Isaacs

What: Frequent performers at the Grand Ole Opry, The Isaacs are a Nashville-based, multi award winning family group showcasing family harmony and blends of their multigenre musical influences. When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Hoover Library Theatre Website:

Jan. 16, 23, 26 and 30 The Holocaust in Film

What: Keeping the history and lessons of the Holocaust alive, the Emmet O’Neal Library will host its free annual Holocaust in Film series in partnership with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. When: Jan. 16, 23 and 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Jan. 26, 2-4 p.m. Where: Emmet O’Neal Library Website:

Fri., Jan. 17 Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet

What: Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents a coffee concert featuring this age-old romance as told by Tchaikovsky and Maestro Izcaray’s world premiere cello concerto, featuring Santiago Cañón Valencia.

What: Over 200 drummers from metro area schools and groups will line up along the race course to keep the beat as runners and walkers make their way. Enjoy music, booths by sponsors and a drumline competition. When: 8 a.m., 5K start Where: 1700 4th Ave. N. Website: mlkday5kbham. com

Pelham Polar Plunge

What: Pelham Police Department presents a Polar Plunge in support of the 15,000 athletes of the Special Olympics of Alabama. Dress in costume for a chance to win bragging rights and cool prizes. When: 9 a.m.noon Where: Oak Mountain State Park Website: “Pelham Polar Plunge” Facebook page

Black Jacket Symphony

What: Black Jacket Symphony returns to Birmingham with a tribute to Led Zeppelin. When: 8 p.m. Where: BJCC Website:

Jan. 18 and 19 BrickFair Lego Fan Expo

What: The ultimate experience for Lego fans includes amazing custom creations made from millions of Lego bricks, hands-on games and activities, vendors selling unique Lego related items and more. When: Jan. 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Jan. 19, 10 a.m.4 p.m. Where: The BJCC East Hall Website: “BrickFair Alabama LEGO Fan Expo” Facebook page

Tues., Jan. 21 2020 Homewood Chamber Annual Luncheon

What: Join the Chamber for its January Monthly Membership Luncheon and annual State of the City Address featuring Homewood Mayor


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What: The Friends of Shades Creek will host the 16th annual festival, featuring live salamanders, arts and crafts, blue grass music by “The Over the Hillbillies,” dancing with Edgewood Dance Studio and educational displays. A nature hike will take place before the event at 160 Oxmoor Rd. When: 2 p.m., hike; 3-5:30 p.m., festival Where: Shades Valley Community Church Website:

Scott McBrayer. When: 11:30 a.m.1 p.m. Where: The Club Ballroom Website:

Family Night-Snowtastic

What: The Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest presents dinner and a performance, followed by outside fun in a snowy wonderland. When: Dinner, 6 p.m.; show, 6:30 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills Library, Children’s Department Website:

Jan. 22 and 23 Shades of Harmony: A Celebration of Black History

What: Through music written by black composers and compositions inspired by the African American Spiritual, students will come to have a profound awareness of the struggles that have continued to inspire change. When: 10 a.m. Where: BJCC Concert Hall Website:

Established in 1871, Oak Hill is Birmingham’s Pioneer cemetery. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a Birmingham landmark and treasure. Nestled on 21.5 acres overlooking downtown Birmingham, Oak Hill is a place of beauty, serenity, and history. Generations of Birmingham families have made Oak Hill the final resting place for their loved ones. Love lives in this place. To inquire about available spaces, including our new columbarium to be completed in 2021, call 205-251-6532 or email

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Thurs., Jan. 23 Friends of Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest Fundraiser

What: The Vestavia Hills Library will kick of the new year with a fundraiser featuring celebrated storyteller Dolores Hydock. Tickets required. When: 10-11:30 a.m. Where: Vestavia Library, Community Room Website:

Robben Ford

What: This five-time Grammy nominee achieved worldwide fame for being a solo artist, and for his collaborations with a diverse musical who’s who that includes Miles Davis, George Harrison, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie and more. When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center, Sirote Theatre Website: alysstephens. org

Jan. 23-Feb. 9 Cabaret

What: With a score featuring songs that have become classics

of the American Musical Theater, “Cabaret” is a musical that pushes the boundaries of the form and literally holds “the mirror up to nature.” When: Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. Where: Virginia Samford Theatre, Mainstage Website:

SAVE THE DATE Fri., Jan. 24 Zelda’s Ball

What: Adults ages 21+ celebrate Alabama’s favorite wild child and the start of 2020 with a ‘20s themeparty. Find your way into a roaring speakeasy through a door hidden behind a bookcase. Adults, ages 21+. When: 7-9 p.m. Where: Emmet O’Neal Library, Community Room Website:

Jan. 24 and 26 Independence Eve

What: Opera Birmingham continues its successful chamber opera series with a new one-act opera exploring the troubled journey of race relations in America. A pre-show chat and post-show talk-back is available. When: Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 26, 2:30 p.m. Where: RMTC Cabaret Theatre Website:

Sat., Jan. 25 Frostbite 5k and Fun Run

What: YoungLife Birmingham presents its seventh annual 5k fundraiser in support of its mission of building friendships that point adolescents to Jesus Christ. When: 9 a.m. Where: Veterans Park Website:

ROAR James Bond Gala

What: ROAR the Cure (Radiation, Oncology Accelerated Research) will host its annual James Bond



gala, featuring dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and dancing. This year’s theme will be “License to Cure,” and honors the late Jimmy Koikos, co-owner of the Bright Star Restaurant who died last November. Funds raised benefit UAB’s Radiation Oncology department, and are matched dollar for dollar by UAB physicians. When: 6 p.m. Where: The Club Website:

Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 7

Artist Vicki Denaburg creates a work of art at last year’s ArtBlink Gala.

N e w Y e a r’s R e s o l u t i o n? Exercise your mind! Play Duplicate Bridge!

Jan. 25 and 26

What: Breeds from around the country will compete for titles. Included will be vendors with cat related items for sale, and local rescue and humane organizations will have cats and kittens available for adoption. When: Jan. 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Jan. 26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Zamora Temple Website:

Sun., Jan. 26 Magic Moments Magic Show

What: Enjoy a night of magic with Magician David Gerrard and several previous magic moments recipients. The evening includes a family pre-party from 2-3 p.m. with children’s activities, a photo booth, face painting and more. When: 2-5 p.m. Where: Lyric Theatre Website:

Photo courtesy UAB

Birmingham Feline Fanciers CFA Allbreed Cat Show

Learn Brid ge in a Day ? ® A fast, fun way to learn the basics of bridge


What: Alabama artists will work in a variety of mediums to create masterpieces in 90 minutes to benefit the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. Enjoy a silent auction, food, live music by the Schmohawks and dancing.When: 6:30-11 p.m. Where: The Kirklin Clinic at UAB Website:

Curious about duplicate bridge? Jump into basic bridge strategy! Learn from ACBL Grand Life Master Patty Tucker.

Register for either: Saturday or Sunday January 25 or 26 $35. Register at Check out for more classes The Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club is affiliated with


RMTC Breaks Ground on New Campus

By Ingrid Schnader

When planning the groundbreaking for Red Mountain Theatre Company’s new $25 million Arts Campus, Executive Director Keith Cromwell said he wanted to be theatrical. “We don’t want to have a shovel,” he said at the Dec. 11 groundbreaking ceremony. “We want to have a couple of tractors. We’re going to have a little demo of a demolition.” As two tractors started to demolish the existing building at 1600 Third Ave. S., RMTC students sang “Light it Up,” which was featured in the RMTC Holiday Spectacular show. “When I heard them singing this song, ‘Light it up, let love live in the world,’ I thought that’s what’s going to happen,” Cromwell said. “This shining beacon of Red Mountain

Donatos, Philadelphia Baptist Earn Vestavia Hills Business of the Year Awards

Donatos Pizza and Philadelphia Baptist Church were the recipients of the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Business of the Year Awards, it was announced last month. Donatos Pizza, owned by Robert Sullivan, was named Business of the Year–Retail, while Philadelphia Baptist was named Business of the year–Service. According to a release, chamber President Karen Odle, board Chairman Gary Jordan and Vice Chair of Business Development Jeff Florio surprised Sullivan with the award. Chamber representative Lisa Christopher noted that Donatos was recognized for multiple reasons, notably its sense of community and dedication to supporting the city of Vestavia Hills. “We have many incredible businesses that give so much to the community,” Odle said. “Robert Sullivan and his team from Donatos are a great example of the fantastic businesses that make such a difference in Vestavia Hills. They are, indeed, vested in the community and, in turn, the community supports them.” Sullivan said he was surprised to receive the award. Donatos has supported numerous youth sports teams over the years, maintains a partnership with the Vestavia Hills City Schools system and actively participates in community events. “We want to make everybody feel this is their hometown pizza place,” Sullivan said. “We think that everyone in Vestavia Hills would agree, Donatos Pizza has greatly surpassed that goal.” Chamber representatives also surprised officials at Philadelphia

Theatre Company becoming this arts campus is only going to continue to glow and burn bright as we continue to transform this city.” RMTC started as a Birminghambased nonprofit in 1979. In addition to theater productions, the organization creates educational programs for young people and growth opportunities for theater professionals. But for the past 40 years, the organization hasn’t had a permanent home. The new campus will have a more than 10,000-square-foot Education Center, which will have rehearsal and classroom spaces and a 100-seat Discovery Theatre. The main theater will have approximately 450 seats, and the Grand Lobby will include a full-service bar. “This is indeed a moment I’ve been waiting for, where this amazing, amazing cultural organization

becomes the cultural institution that this amazing city deserves,” Cromwell said. Now, more than 17,000 children in the Birmingham-Jefferson County area – from 72 ZIP codes in all – are reached by RMTC, Cromwell said. “What we do is more than the arts; we touch the community in a way that brings us together in a new way, looking through new eyes,” Cromwell said. “With this beautiful campus, we’re going to be able to touch even more lives.” RMTC is one of the top 10 arts organizations in Alabama, capital campaign chair Kathryn Harbert said at the groundbreaking event. “This amazing organization will continue to grow and flourish as it contributes to an ever-transforming and revitalized downtown here on this

Baptist Church with their award, presenting it to Cory Varden, pastor of preaching and vision. According to Odle, Varden and the church reach out to the community and open their doors for community groups. “We are so proud of the growth and the intentionality with which they serve their community,” Odle said. “They have been wonderful community partners.” Christopher added that the church strives to serve the entire Vestavia Hills community. In August, the church hosted the chamber’s annual Back 2 School in the Hills event, as the chamber’s usual event location was under construction. “It’s been said that the light that shines the farthest shines brightest nearest home,” Varden said. “We want to be a church that shines the love of Christ to the far reaches of the planet, which we believe compels us to shine brightly at home. This is recognition of the church’s faithfulness in that regard. PBC is grateful for God placing us where we are and we are exceedingly grateful for the ways He has allowed us to serve Vestavia Hills. Thank you so much for this honor.”

Alabama for the next 10 years and beyond. An accurate census count will help the state receive the funding it’s due for programs, including those that affect health care, education, housing assistance and infrastructure development, according to the Alabama Census website. Andress also has the above four cities involved in a recycling challenge that kicked off in November with a goal to reduce contamination rates in the OTM area. The winning city of the recycling challenge gets to choose a charity to which the losing cities will make a donation. Andress said only bragging rights are on the line for the Census Challenge. People in Alabama will receive a notice in the mail about the 2020 Census beginning in mid-March. Once a person receives a notice, he or she can respond to the census online. This year is the first time ever that the Census Bureau will accept responses online and by phone. People can still respond by mail if requested. For more information, visit census. —Ingrid Schnader

Homewood Councilor Challenging OTM Cities to Boost Census Participation

Census Day is April 1, and Homewood City Councilor Jennifer Andress is turning it into a friendly competition among four Over the Mountain cities. In 2010, the census response rates for OTM cities were 74% for Homewood, 78% for Hoover, 84% for Mountain Brook and 81% for Vestavia Hills. Andress wants to see those rates rise. The form takes only 10 minutes to complete, and participation will affect

Oliver Assumes President and CEO Position at Glenwood

Ken Oliver of Mountain Brook has assumed the role of president and chief executive officer of Glenwood Inc. The position previously was held by Deborah “Lee” Yount, who announced her retirement earlier this year after more than 38 years as the leader of the organization. Oliver’s appointment was announced Dec. 19. Oliver has more than 25 years of health care, social services and mental health experience and has served as Glenwood’s chief operating officer since 2013. In addition, he holds a master’s in public administration from the University of


As two tractors started to demolish the existing building at 1600 Third Ave. S., RMTC students sang “Light it Up.”

Journal photo by Ingrid Schnader

8 • Thursday, January 9, 2020

campus,” she said. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin also spoke at the event. He said he was exposed to the importance of RMTC on the young people in the community when his niece spent her middle school and high school years there. “We believe the arts connect enrichment opportunities for our

young people,” he said. “We believe the arts allows us to better educate our young people. And with that, the Red Mountain Theatre has been around for so long, doing so many amazing things for the arts in our city and in our community.” Construction on the new campus is expected to be complete by the summer of 2021.

Tennessee and a graduate degree in health care administration from UAB. Glenwood was started by a small group of community leaders with a commitment to providing treatment, education and research in the area of children’s mental health. It has grown into one of the largest nonprofit behavioral health centers in Alabama. “There is a tremendous need for the services Glenwood provides. While Ken Oliver we have grown tremendously, even over the past three years, there’s still so much to do,” said Glenwood board Chairman Philip Young. “With 20 percent of school children experiencing mental health disorders, and 1 in 59 children being diagnosed with the autism, Glenwood’s work is important to many families. The fact that Ken is stepping in, with the learning curve behind him and a strong leadership team in place, positions Glenwood well to continue helping many families.” – Emily Williams

is no exception,” said Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato. National recognition of the sport is on the rise, according to Jack Adams, vice president of venue planning for The Sports Facilities Management, which manages the Met. “Once just a niche community sport, pickleball is picking up steam and we are running numerous pickleball league and tournament events across the country,” Adams said. “SFM is thrilled to partner with USA Pickleball in bringing this extraordinary event to Hoover.” The Indoor Nationals will feature singles, doubles and mixed doubles events covering a variety of skill and age brackets. USA Pickleball officials expect to draw more than 1,000 competitors and associated visitors during the event. “There were several factors that brought us to Hoover, the beautiful facility and the surrounding area – especially the RV park right there at the venue,” said Karen Parrish, USA Pickleball managing director of competition. Where else can you walk from the front door and literally take about 100 steps and you are sitting in your RV with full hook up capabilities? “The spacious facility will allow us to have 32 courts and a championship court with stadium seating surrounding the court,” Parrish continued. “The advantage of having a walking track where you can watch any match from anywhere inside the venue is also extraordinary. In addition, the team of staff and volunteers there at Hoover Met Complex have been accommodating in providing an experience that makes the planning process run smoothly.” Registration will open Jan. 15 on – Emily Williams

Hoover Met to Host Inaugural National Pickleball Championship

Hoover Met Complex recently announced that it will be hosting the first annual USA Pickleball National Indoor Championships in June. The five-day event will take place June 9-13 in the Finley Center in Hoover. While the championship is an inaugural event, the Hoover Met previously has hosted pickleball events, including the Heritage Classic in August. “The Finley Center is a wonderful place for all kinds of events. Pickleball



Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 9

NEWS community pitched in as well, Nations said. Because hospitals sell off unpaid bills at discounted rates, the church and RIP Medical Debt were able to buy $8.1 million in debt for just $78,000. Recipients of the debt forgiveness were selected by RIP Medical Debt based on a series of criteria, which prioritized households rendered insolvent by medical debt, as well as households existing near or below the poverty line. The church also could purchase only debt still owned by hospitals; debts already sold to collection agencies were, unfortunately, offlimits, Nations said.

great” that Saint Luke’s could not afford to address it. But Nations said that a major priority of the fundraiser is to illustrate to other churches that they can make similar efforts. “We’ve been trying to encourage other congregations to get involved, and certainly other Episcopal churches in the diocese,” Nations said. “I think that’s probably what our next step will be, reaching out to Saint John’s in Montgomery, the Church of the Nativity in Huntsville or the Christ Episcopal Church in Tuscaloosa and saying, ‘If y’all are interested in looking for some way to make an impact in your part of the state, here’s how you can do it.’”

“We had been talking about wanting to do something special to celebrate Saint Luke’s 70th birthday, which was this past year,” he said. That the church’s namesake, Luke the Evangelist, is historically believed to have been a physician only made the fundraiser seem more appropriate.

Something Everyone Could Agree On

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collection agencies for pennies on the dollar. Those agencies often take a much more aggressive approach to pursuing payment. But collection agencies aren’t the only entities that can purchase medical debt. For its fundraiser, Saint Luke’s partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit organization founded by two former debt collection executives that works with donors to purchase and forgive medical debt “from the neediest cases up,” according to its website. The Rev. Cameron Nations, an associate rector at Saint Luke’s and organizer of fundraiser, said he found out about the organization through Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church in Champaign, Illinois, which last year partnered with RIP Medical Debt to forgive $4 million in medical debts. The story hit home, Nations said, because he knew that church well; he attended it while he was in college. The story also stuck with him because $4 million, frankly, seemed like a lot of money. “I was like, ‘How in the world did they do this?’” he laughed. “I was just astounded by that, because, I mean, they’re a healthy church, but it’s a very small parish — and I had seen their budget sheet. Unless they had some megadonor I didn’t know about, what was going on?” He reached out to that church’s rector, who told him about RIP Medical Debt, and Nations realized it would be possible for his church to do something similar in Alabama. “We had been talking about wanting to do something special to celebrate Saint Luke’s 70th birthday, which was this past year,” he said. That the church’s namesake, Luke the Evangelist, is historically believed to have been a physician only made the fundraiser seem more appropriate. “Saint Luke in the Christian tradition didn’t just write one of the four gospels,” Nations said. “There’s been this long association in the Christian faith of Saint Luke with doctors, nurses, any kind of health care and healing in general. So we thought, ‘What better way to celebrate our 70th birthday than doing this fundraiser?’” The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama quickly got on board, donating just more than $10,000 to kick off fundraising efforts. The church then raised $68,000 more, mostly from parishioners, though others in the

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Such fundraisers, Nations said, gives churches an opportunity to ameliorate a major issue in their communities without taking political sides. “I don’t think anybody would deny that health care needs to be reformed, but clearly people have very strong opinions about what that should and should not look like,” he said. “Saint Luke’s is a fairly decentsized church, so on any given Sunday, you’ve got people in the pews who represent all parts of the political spectrum,” he continued. “I think this is a really good way of saying, ‘Look, we may have very different approaches to or understandings of this issue, politically speaking, but as Christian people we can all see a need when there is one, right? “Health care reform is a huge topic and can sometimes feel intractable to someone who’s sitting in a pew,” Nations said. “But being able to do something like this made people feel like they were able to make a difference and move the needle in a positive direction. It’s been really inspiring for people in the parish. “But it’s also helped to raise awareness of just how much of a catalyst medical debt in general can be for keeping someone trapped in poverty. It can really be a domino that falls and leads to a lot of other problems: hunger, homelessness, housing insecurity. We’re hoping that in some way, this debt forgiveness can be one step to help get these families back in a good place.”

Please join us as weMike honor:Mouron William Tynes Award ary Award Winner Tom Carruthers William Tynes Award Mouron mison Visionary Award Winner Tom Carruthers City of Mountain Brook’s Mike Mouron ynes Award Employee of the PleaseYear join us as we honor: City of Mountain Brook’s arruthers William Tynes Award Jemison Visionary Award Winner Joshua Brown Mike Mouron Employee of the Year William Tynes Award Tom Carruthers untain Brook’s Tom Carruthers Joshua Brown City of11:00-1:00 Mountain Brook's Thursday, January 30th, e ofCity the of Year Employee of the Year Mountain Brook’s The fundraiser initially was focused on the Birmingham metro area; but when Saint Luke’s raised more money than it expected, it turned its focus to surrounding counties. “Originally, we didn’t know what the response would be from folks, and we were hesitant at first to set a goal because we didn’t know what would make sense,” Nations said. “We didn’t want to set a goal that was unrealistic … . As we raised more money, we reached back out to RIP and said, ‘What are some other counties that are nearby?’ In the end, we were able to target 14 counties across central Alabama, from Jefferson all the way up to Morgan, over to Talladega and back down.” In some counties, particularly Bibb and Talladega, “the need was just so

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10 • Thursday, January 9, 2020



By Emily Williams

biopsy. The doctor suspected he might have leukemia. “At that point, the only thought in my mind


Learning of His Condition by Accident

Wende was one of those “picture of health” people, having been involved in at least one sport since he was five. First it was soccer, then wrestling, until he settled into running. “As a person who studies obesity, diabetes, and heart failure at UAB I also believe I am responsible to practice what I preach, so regular exercise is very important to me and to my family.” With the help of hindsight, Wende can now see the clear signs that his health wasn’t always what it seemed. In 2013, he was beginning to feel tired on an almost constant basis. He attributed it to the mon-

‘Funds from LLS have helped contribute to research that found the cure for me and they continue to support research for other blood cancers that have proven more difficult.’ Photo courtesy Sandra Wende

ive years into his cancer treatment, 41-yearold Adam Wende of Vestavia Hills knows he is one of the lucky ones. After being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, Wende was able to receive treatment via daily medication without having to alter his or his family’s lifestyle too drastically. Wende is a scientist by trade, working for the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an associate professor in the department of pathology, and an endurance runner by nature, a hobby he has maintained since the late 1990s. “I will say the experience has taught me so much about what is important, and to never take something for granted,” he said. As he began to realize he would survive, Wende was looking for a new purpose in life. He took notice of others around him who have not been as fortunate in their battles with leukemia. Wende discovered that the LLS has a Team in Training program, in which runners raise money for the organization while training and participating in endurance sporting events around the world. He ran in his first TNT race in November, the New York City Marathon. The team raised about $1.2 million during that event, of which Wende contributed $4,404.64. His goal is to raise at least $20,000 for LLS in 2020, and he plans to celebrate his own survival by training for and participating in the 2020 London Marathon on April 26. “Funds from LLS have helped contribute to research that found the cure for me and they continue to support research for other blood cancers that have proven more difficult,” he said.

Adam Wende, above training with his wife, Sandra, and his two daughters, Kaitlyn and Kristen has a goal is to raise at least $20,000 for LLS in 2020, and he plans to celebrate his own survival by training for and participating in the 2020 London Marathon on April 26.

Running Against the Odds UAB Associate Professor, Leukemia Survivor Runs Marathons to Raise Funds for LLS

umental cross-country move he and his family – his wife, Sandra, and his two daughters, Kaitlyn and Kristen – had made from Utah to Birmingham, where they had no close friends or relatives nearby. “I was starting in a new position at the university, had a commute to work and in general was cutting back on running,” he said. “So, it was easy to make excuses of why I might have felt off or fatigued.” He found it easy to make friends and soon found a community in his new city. “But as a scientist, my group of friends can be very interesting and have interests/requests that are out of the ordinary,” he said. Wende was happy to donate blood to a study being run by one of his friends, a fellow scientist conducting a study measuring metabolic signatures to define disease status. The friend needed a

Stick With It!

By Ingrid Schnader When people make a New Year’s resolution to exercise more, it doesn’t take long before life gets in the way and they start coming up with excuses. But in Ashley Dawson’s fitness bootcamp, it’s hard to come up with an excuse. She meets her fitness group on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Heardmont Park at 8:30 a.m., just in

time for parents to drop their kids off at school and head her way. She also doesn’t have any monthly commitments or cancelation fees. “Life happens; kids get sick, you get sick,” she said. “Other programs charge you if you show or don’t show. But my people are so loyal, and they give me a heads up. So, I think that, too, helps them get out there, knowing that I’m depending on them to be there.” See DAWSON, page 11

Journal photo by Ingrid Schnader

Hoover Resident Finds Her Passion in Fitness

“healthy control” sample and thought the marathon-running Wende would be perfect. Both Wende and his friend were confused when test results showcased abnormalities in Wende’s sample. “I said it must be a mistake,” he said, “I just ran a marathon, and maybe the blood looks funny because I just got over a cold?” He glossed over the fact that he was a little slower than usual, running a full minute per mile slower in that marathon as opposed to one he ran just nine months prior. In February of 2014, when Wende was fully recovered, his friend came back for another sample and found it to be abnormal, again. It was the kick he needed in order to see his personal physician to have his blood drawn. Before he could even make it home from the appointment, he was called in for a bone marrow

was how my family would be supported when I was dead,” he said. Following the biopsy, Wende was diagnosed with CML. The disease causes white blood cell counts – cells meant to fight off infection – to increase rapidly. Normal white blood cell counts should be about 5,000 or up to 10,000 when sick. Wende’s count was close to 100,000, a sign of leukocytosis, a condition that can lead to organ failure. “I have been very fortunate,” Wende said. “My treatment has been a single pill each day since diagnosis.” He started his treatment on April 5, 2014, and was within normal white blood cell ranges just under a month later. Since Sept. 9, 2016, there has been zero evidence of cancer in his body.

Not Everyone’s So Lucky

Last year, Wende found out that Emily McCay, a friend from his time living in St. Louis, Missouri, was battling an incurable form of leukemia. She was posting videos on social media throughout her journey, videos that struck and inspired Wende. Though Wende was unable to get in touch with his friend before she died in November 2018, he did reach out to her husband. “Even though we hadn’t spoken in years, we had a great conversation and I told him what I was planning and that I really wanted to do something to have a new purpose in life,” he said. “Those thoughts fed into wanting to do something more,” he said. “This is why I am now putting my efforts into raising funds for LLS.” Wende has raised more than $11,000 so far, more than halfway to his goal of raising $20,000.

Ashley Dawson’s bootcamp can look intimidating from the outside, but she said all are welcome. It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is. She just makes sure everyone is doing their best.


DAWSON From page 10

Her bootcamp is an hour of cardio, core and weights. But until about 10 years ago, a workout like this was totally out of her comfort zone. “I was always at the gyms – muscle works, step aerobics, spin class,” she said. Then her friend invited her to an outdoor lunchtime bootcamp. Being a gym rat, she had always done her exercises inside, but she instantly loved being outdoors. “There’s no mirrors, there’s no heat or air conditioning,” she said. “You’re outside in nature. It sounds cliche, but it’s just a little bit more of an experience.” She started attending the bootcamp classes more and more, and she became a source of encouragement for the other people in the class. “It got to the point where people in the class were texting, calling, saying, ‘Are you going to be there tomorrow? When you’re there, you’re so encouraging,’” she said. She decided to pursue her teaching certification and started her own fitness bootcamp.

Motivation and Ministry

Even though it’s been about 10 years since she started Ashley Dawson Fitness, she said she never gets bored of her workouts. Her classes are never the same. She’s always trying new things and

Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 11

LIFE seeing how her clients respond to different workouts. People never know what to expect when they meet her at Heardmont Park; there’s an element of surprise. The bootcamp meets rain or shine, freezing or sweltering. Dawson said she’s surprised by how motivated and loyal her clients have been in all types of weather. If it’s raining, they’ll work out underneath the bleachers so that their mats and weights don’t get too wet. They only move inside if it’s pouring rain. “But if it’s freezing, they don’t care,” she said. “We’re out there when it’s 100 degrees. I try to say below 30 is my limit, because my hands are cold and freezing. And they’ll be like, ‘It’s 33 and sunny, we can do this!’” The level of motivation she sees in her fitness group helps her stay motivated, too, she said. “Having determined, dedicated people come out there totally gets me excited and more passionate for it,” she said. “There’s such camaraderie. Everyone is so kind and encouraging.” Dawson said she believes that God put each one of her teammates in her life for a reason. Every morning as she drives to class, she prays for each one of them. “This is like my ministry, if that makes sense,” she said. “I’ve had clients who lost their spouses. I have clients going through horrible marriages, divorces, battles with children. And a lot of people around them don’t know


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that. But as a group, even though it’s a hard workout, it’s such a comfort zone to be in and workout in.” She recently had a text from one of her clients that she had been suffering from postpartum depression, and Dawson hadn’t even realized it. “She talked about how she’d gone into a real dark place and then found my class and my friendship,” Dawson said. “She was like, ‘You and your class helped me get through some-

thing.’ I was like, ‘Oh, thank you, Lord.’” Her class can look intimidating from the outside, but Dawson said all are welcome. It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is. She just makes sure everyone is doing their best. “It’s a family, but it is one that welcomes,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to think, ‘I can’t go out there because I don’t know that group.’” For those who have fitness goals

in their New Year’s resolutions, Dawson has a simple piece of advice: stick with it. “Don’t set the goal too high so that you don’t let yourself down or disappoint yourself,” she said. “Whatever your goal is, get it on the calendar and check it off. Make sure you do it.” You can take a peek at some of Dawson’s workouts by following her at ad___fitness on Instagram.

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Andrews Selected for Membership in Horatio Alger Association Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. James Andrews has been selected for induction into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Horatio Alger Award is given each year to people who have succeeded despite facing adversities and remained committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their communities, according to the association. Andrews’ father served overseas during World War II and returned home with post traumatic stress disorder. Andrews was raised by his mother and grandparents in Homer, Louisiana, and he picked cotton and worked at a dry-cleaning shop to help support his family. He went on to study science at Louisiana State University, where he also was an SEC champion pole vaulter, and then to the university’s medical school. He completed his orthopedic residency at the Tulane School of Medicine and worked fellowships in sports medicine at the University of Virginia and University of Lyon in France.

Golf Association. After beginning his surgical career “In addition to being a skilled in Columbus, Georgia, Andrews surgeon, Dr. Andrews is an moved to Birmingham and co-founded extraordinarily generous philanthropist the HealthSouth Sports Medicine Council, the American Sports Medicine and lifelong teacher,” said Terrence Institute and the Andrews Sports J. Giroux, executive director of the Medicine & Orthopaedic Center. With association. Baptist Health Care, Andrews opened Andrews, along with 13 other the Andrews Institute honorees, will be inducted into the association during in Gulf Breeze, Florida, ceremonies to be held and he later opened the Andrews Institute at April 2-4 in Washington, Children’s Health in Dallas, D.C.  Texas. “It is truly an honor to be He now is medical selected for membership director of The Andrews in this prestigious Institute; chairman of the organization,” Andrews board of the Andrews said. “When I was first Research & Education introduced to the Horatio Foundation in Gulf Breeze Dr. James Andrews Alger Association by my friend Bill Doré, I was and the American Sports immediately drawn to its mission of Medicine Institute; and a professor at supporting promising young students multiple prestigious medical schools. as they seek to achieve their dreams. He is known for his work with I’ve dedicated much of my career to athletes, including performing building up the next generation, and surgery on Jack Nicklaus, Roger I look forward to doing the same for Clemens, Drew Breeze, Charles Horatio Alger Scholars.” Barkley and John Smoltz, among The association awards need-based others. He also has been affiliated with scholarships to high school students, several university and professional athletic programs and now works as a having provided more than $180 consultant or surgeon with Auburn and million to 27,000 students since the Alabama universities, the Washington scholarship program was established Redskins and the Ladies Professional in 1984.

Project to Educate People on Ocean Conservation Wins Girl Scout the Gold Award

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Richardson created works of art that portrayed ocean creatures and the current status of their habitat, then displayed them on a website.

Do you have high blood pressure? youwant have high blood pressure? Do Do you to start exercising Do you want to start exercising regularly this New Year? Do you have pressure? regularly thisblood New Year? Do you have high high blood pressure? Do you have high blood pressure?

Grace Richardson recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, for her “Project Aquarius.” The project focused on environmental consciousness. She saw that the root cause of many environmental issues, particularly e involving the oceans, is a lack of Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 knowledge about where trash ends up 824-1246 or energy comes from. Richardson, a graduate of Hoover High School, sought to raise awareness for PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the January 9, 2020 issue. ocean conservation and educate others on how they can reduce their environmental impact on the ocean.  She created works of art that THE ACES STUDY portrayed ocean creatures and the current status of their habitat, then The ACES Study is a randomized, controlled trial at UAB to

Do Do you you want want to to start start exercising exercising Do you want to start exercising regularly regularly this this New New Year? Year? regularly this New Year?

ake sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, determine if run blood medications combined with your ad will as is.pressure We print the paper Monday.


displayed them on a website. The website, project-aquarius, also shares tips on how people could help with ocean conversation, such as how to reduce plastic use and how to ensure the purchase of sustainably fished or farmed seafood.


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She will donate one of her artworks to Dauphin Island Sea Lab. She visited the lab in ninth grade, and that trip was a major inspiration for her project. “The ocean connects everyone on the planet, and it’s very important for everyone to respect it and try to reduce our personal effect on it,” Richardson said, “Big change can happen if we all do our best to be mindful stewards of our planet.” “By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award,” said Karen Peterlin, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, “Grace has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart.”  Richardson is now a freshman at the University of South Alabama majoring in animation. She said earning her Gold Award has taught her confidence and leadership. “I showed myself that I am capable of doing things that are difficult and out of my comfort zone,” Richardson said. “I’m glad I was encouraged to do this project and pushed myself to accomplish it.”

Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama

12 • Thursday, January 9, 2020



Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 13


14 • Thursday, January 9, 2020


Introducing the New Generation

Photos by Dee Moore

16 Young Women Presented at the Redstone Club’s Christmas Ball

Above, Alexandra Glenn Dunn, Virginia Elizabeth Poynor, Carson O’Neil Hull and Virginia Walker Thornton. Below, Carolyn Cason Crommelin, Margaret Owen Marshall, Mary Caroline Alford and Laney Fowlkes Smith.


he Redstone Club’s 112th year was celebrated at its annual Christmas Ball on Dec. 21 at the Country Club of Birmingham. More than 150 members of the Redstone Club and their guests attended the group’s holiday celebration. President of the club for this year’s ball was J. Arthur Smith II, who attended with his wife, Ashley. Ball chairman was Francis H. Crockard III, who attended with his wife, Winn. The floor committee chairman was Jon Bradley Powell, at the ball with his wife, Carrie.

New Year, New Decade, NEW WORKOUT! Functional Exercise combined with good infrared workouts is the perfect way to get in shape in 2020!

Above, Elizabeth Jarrell Lindsey, Grace Wyman Lockett, Ellen Coleman Edwards and Virginia Murray Farley. Below, Louisa Bradford Collins, Catherine Morris Greene, Grace Landon Wann and Lindsey Ann Brakefield.

Sybil Brooke Sylvester and her team at Wildflower Designs installed Christmas-themed decorations for both the seated dinner that preceded the ball as well as inside the East Room of the Country Club, where the presentation occurred. This year’s presentation class included 16 young women, all college seniors attending a range of schools around the country. The presentees wore traditional long white dresses and gloves and carried simple flower bouquets, a complement to their chosen escorts in black tuxe-



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Joseph McConnell Farley Jr.; Miss Carson O’Neil Hull, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hewes Turner Hull; Miss Laney Fowlkes Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Arthur Smith IV. Miss Mary Caroline Alford, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. David Wiley Alford, sponsored by Mr. Charles Kennedy Porter; Miss Lindsey Ann Brakefield, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Christopher Brakefield, sponsored by Mr. Hugh Anderson Neighbors IV; Miss Louisa Bradford Collins, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Bradford Collins, sponsored by Mr. Charles Trueheart Clayton Jr.; Miss Ellen Coleman Edwards, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Wyman Edwards Jr., sponsored by Mr. Leon Wyman Edwards. Miss Catherine Morris Greene, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Keller Greene, sponsored by Mr. Duncan Young Manley Jr.; Miss Elizabeth Jarrell Lindsey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Lindsey, sponsored by Mr. Richard Turner Scruggs Jr.; Miss Grace Wyman Lockett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Guinn Alexander Lockett Jr., sponsored by Mr. George Frederick Wheelock III; Miss Margaret Owen Marshall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Roye Marshall II, sponsored by Mr. Frank Mims Bainbridge. Miss Virginia Elizabeth Poynor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer Smith Poynor IV, spon-

Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 15


Music chairman John R. Mr. and Mrs. William Lowery Simpson arranged the evening’s Wann Jr., sponsored by Mr. accompaniment. For the cocktail Richard Murray IV. party, the debutante presentation and At the ball luncheon, held at the first dance, the Sonny Harris Trio Mountain Brook Club on Dec. 20, Band set the musical atmosphere. the presentees were introduced to Following the presentation, the club members and received some Atlanta Rhythm and Groove band background on the long history of took the stage, turning the formal the event and the club itself. Also represented were several of the orig- setting into a rocking dance hall that inal 16 members of the 1969 presen- kept members and presentees dancing late into the night. tee class, the 50th anniversary of The 2019 Redstone Club officers which was celebrated. The “golden girls” from that year and board of governors members are: J. Arthur Smith IV, president; were: the late Barbara Allen Blackwell, Elizabeth Lanier Nelson S. Bean, vice president; C. Brewer Caughman, Susan Lee Duncan Hulsey II, secretary-treaGiven Cochrane, Rena Keith surer; Thomas N. Carruthers III, Gearhart Diana, Virginia Long traditions chairman; J. Reese Magruder Dorlon, Mary Melissa Murray III, finance chairman; A. Houseal Gayle, Mary Alden Key Foster III, camp chairman; and Graham, Caroline Brooks McCall board of governors members Graves, Eugenia Gambrill Courtenay R. Bloodworth, Robert Watkins Greer, Dorothy Morrow M. Couch, Evans J. Dunn, James Harris, Anne Dearborn Hession, H. Hancock Jr., George C. Mary Margaret Livingston Thompson and William B. Hindman, Jane Hill Head Wahlheim Jr. ❖ Johnson, Maebelle Morgan Lester, Jane Marzoni, Lucy Durr Dunn McCain, Elizabeth Caskie Scott Nevin, Mary Lea Hoke Roselle, Mary Jeffray Ryding, Josephine Woodward Simpson, Mary Lee Antiques • Vintage White Sullivan, Elizabeth Behner Industrial Ball Chairman Francis H. Crockard III and wife Winn with Thurlow and Marlin Elizabeth Club President J. Arthur Smith IV and wife Ashley. Montgomery West. The ball followed a membersTue.-Sat. 10-4:30 only cocktail party and dinner, • In-Home Care, Including Bathing, Grooming, Housekeeping, 5620 Cahaba Valley Road spread among Birmingham Country sored by Mr. Charles Hatcher John Lee Thornton, sponsored by 991-6887 Meal Preparation, Incontinence Club’s East Room andCare, dining Medication Reminders Simpson; Miss Virginia Walker Mr. Richard Murray IV; Miss rooms. Thornton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Grace Landon daughter of andWann, Transportation

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Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler 53rd Annual Krewe Ball Celebrates Mardi Gras

Above, Hollon Skinner, Gracie Tortorici, Ellie Martin, Annie Phillips and Mary Elise Nolen. Below, Jane Perry Starling, Edith Amason, Frances Bromberg, Ann McQueen Whatley, Gunter Crommelin and Anne Coleman Bradford.

Linen Sale

20 - 50% off all bed linens Jan. 20 - Feb. 1

The Beaux Arts Krewe will celebrate the 53rd annual Beaux Arts Krewe Ball on Feb. 21, paying homage to Fat Tuesday with a Mardi Gras theme. Thirty-five young women will be presented as princesses, including several ladies in waiting and one queen to be announced at the ceremony in Boutwell Auditorium. Funds raised through the annual event support the Birmingham Museum of Art. 2020 Beaux Arts Krewe princesses are: Edith King Amason, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gilbert Amason III; Virginia Bowron Beasley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Martin Beasley Jr.; Mary Frances Bloodworth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lucian Ferris Bloodworth Jr.; Isabel Browning Boyd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Howard Boyd Jr.; Anne Coleman Bradford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Wade Bradford; and Mary Johnson Bradford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Wade Bradford. Jane Elisabeth Branch, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Charles Branch III; Frances Hardy Bromberg, daughter of Mr. Frank Hardy Bromberg III and Ms. Anne McMillian Bromberg; Margaret Anne Clark, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Michael Clark; Gunter Morén Crommelin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Claiborne Crommelin; Mary Margaret de la Torre, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jorge Ignacio de la Torre. Marion Shook Dukes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carter Hurd Dukes Sr.; Elizabeth Rose Gillespy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Palfery Gillespy; Meredith Lee Goings, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Wesley Goings III; Noelle Pratt Haas, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Gunter Haas; Patricia Mae Hammet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.

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Above, Mary Johnson Bradford, Cella Jones, Maitland Null, Forsyth Latham and Janie Branch. Below, Meredith Goings, Carter LaMotte, Isabel Boyd and Annie Norris.

Noelle Haas, Elizabeth Gillespy, Virginia Beasley, Mary Frances Bloodworth and Ann Chapman Haynes.

Lawrence Buford Hammet; Elizabeth Sperling Harvey, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jimmie Huling Harvey Jr. Ann Chapman Haynes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Wayne Haynes; Brooke Campbell Holloway, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Thomas Holloway; Mary Marcella Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Leroy Jones; Caroline Carter LaMotte, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Francis William LaMotte III; Virginia Forsyth Latham, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Carl Richard Latham; Nina Elizabeth Law, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Herschel Law Jr. Eleanor Claire Martin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Higgins Martin Jr.; Elizabeth Renneker McMillan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Murphy McMillan III; Mary Elise

Nolen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Arthur Nolen IV; Anne Frances Norris, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Byrd Norris V; Sarah Maitland Null, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Wayne Null; Carol Ann Sandner Phillips, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hardy Phillips. Katherine Hollon Skinner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Julian Skinner IV; Jane Perry Starling, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marion Jefferson Starling III; Emma Bolling Hall Taylor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Malcolm Taylor III; Barbara Grace Tortorici, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Michael Tortorici; Carolyn Dickinson Wahlheim, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Bernhart Wahlheim Jr.; and Ann McQueen Whatley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Forest Woods Whatley Jr. ❖


Holiday Cheers

Toronto, Glenda McPherson, Jennifer Segars and Heidi Hallman. Members of the executive board for 2019-2021 are Leah Rice, Amy Moore, Ann Watkins, Ashley Condon, Leigh Ann Smyth and

Photos courtesy Lindy Walker

Birmingham Area Chi Omega Alums Celebrate the Season The Birmingham Area Chi Omega Sorority alumnae rang in the holiday season with a Christmas Tea on Dec. 15. The event was held at the Mountain Brook home of Lois Bradford. Many active collegiate members were able to attend while home on break from school. Young ladies from Samford, the University of Alabama, Birmingham Southern, the University of South Alabama and Auburn University attended. Alumnae reconnected with old friends and welcomed the current active members home for the holidays. Several mothers, daughters and sisters attended together. Some of the more than 100 members in attendance included Anne Douglas Williams, Haley Smith, Burke Smith, Katherine Haley, Carlee Beth Yarbrough, Kim Barranco, Elise Walker, Hannah Crim, Stephanie Carothers, Mary Mack Colvin, Kasey Colvin, Carolyn Mize, Susan Gray and Paige Richey. Also attending were Leigh Belcher, Sandee McKinaw, Catherine Loveman, Melanie

Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 17


Lindy Walker. Social events are planned by Lani Graphos and Amy Young. The Birmingham alumnae are planning a local celebration in the Spring to commemorate the longstanding history of Chi Omega. ❖

Sale Ends Friday, January 31

Above, from left, front, Chandler Perrigo, Isabella DeGaris and Emily Roberts. Back, Elise Walker, Mary Katelyn Anthony, Carlee Beth Yarbrough, Emma Pimental and Katherine Dodson. Below, Nancy Faulkner, Leigh Belcher, Julie Smith Wade, Paige Ritchey and Stephanie Carothers.

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This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOU January 11, 2017 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 8

Please make sure all information is cor including address and phone numbe Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday.

Thank you for your prompt attention.

18 • Thursday, January 9, 2020


Winter Wonderland


Journal photos by Jordan Wald

BWC Hosts 52nd Annual Poinsettia Debutante Ball

Caroline Billingsley and Audrey Rîell.

A wintery setting filled with festive greenery welcomed guests of the Ballet Women’s Committee’s 52nd annual Poinsettia Debutante Ball, held Dec. 19 in the Ball Room at Vestavia Country Club. Liz Phillips Guest served as this year’s ball president. In keeping with tradition, each debutante was presented in a white gown, carrying a bouquet of red poinsettias. Before the presentation, the Poinsettia Men’s Club hosted a black tie cocktail party and benefactors dinner. Ricky Whitley arranged bouquets as well as florals for the stage and benefactors dinner. Following the presentation, presentees, family and friends danced the night away to music by Az Izz. Ballet Women’s Committee officers include Sharon Maddox, president; Melissa McMurray, vice president; Stacey Gregory, secretary; Tricia Burris, treasurer; Melanie Beasley, assistant treasurer; and Jayna Southerland, adviser. The Poinsettia Men’s Club committee includes Mike Stockard, president; Clint Beasley, past-president; Donnie Dobbins, treasurer; Jim Kennemer, secretary; and Mike Gregory, secretary. Founded in 1967, the Ballet Women’s Committee raises funds for the Alabama Ballet, with a mission to foster interest in and promote the development of ballet in Alabama through educational, charitable and cultural projects. The Poinsettia Men’s Club was formed in 1969 to support, promote and cultivate the goals and activities of the Alabama Ballet in cooperation with the Ballet Women’s Committee. ❖

Ashton Henderson, Caroline Grace Bagwell and Caroline Raine.

Jocelyn Jones, Olivia Brown, Caroline Parker and Jordan Henderson.

Kate Jessup, Sophia Losole, Madeline Lorino and Barrett Murphy.

Members of the Ballet Women’s Committee.

Hannah Claire Hamric, Jessie Stevens, Marley Barnett and Abbey Grace Moss.

Kendall Calamusa, Katie Genetti and Dylan Surber.

Kyle Nix and Devin Surber.

Frances Bromberg, Lily Rumbley and Alyssa Jones.

Chris and Anita Cusimano.

Allison Lipford and Logan Brooks.


Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 19

SOCIAL Williams, Roberta and Jim Atkinson, Ansley Frachiseur, Perry Umphrey, Rick Simen and Jean Bargerhuff, Pat Daughety, Louise Mango, Mary Wimberly, Bob and Carolyn Orchid, Mary Lynda Crokett, Barbarann Beckett-Gaines and Molly Bee Bloetscher. ❖ Left, from left, Bob and Martha Black with Bob and Shirley Brown. Right, Michael and Lynne Meeks, Kay Aldridge, and Susan and John Atwood.

Music of the Season

SVC Hosts Annual Holiday Party With Music and Eggnog Atwood, Roger and Linda James, Debbie McDonald, Jonni and Rich Venglik, Charlotte and Steve Clarkson, Liz and Tom Warren, Martha and Bob Black, Shirley and Bob Brown, Pam Wood, Char and Rick Bonsack, Sally and Alex Hood, Betsy and Joe Cooper, Mimi Jackson, Eric and Cheree Carlton, Cheryl Floyd, Phil and Beverly Stine and Janice Williams. Others attending were Jack and Terry Standridge, Lu Moss, Mary Jensen, Robert Raiford and Zane Rhoades, Gloria and Wally Womack, Debbie Reid, Nicole

Pride and responsibility drive us to be the best in everything we do. As a life-long Over-the-Mountain resident and a third generation working at Guin, I feel great pride and responsibility in carrying on the legacy of honesty and hard work that my grandfather began 62 years ago. Family is very important to us, and we treat our customers with the same care and respect as members of our own family. It


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Kay Aldridge hosted the annual Symphony Volunteer Council Christmas party at her home in Highland Lakes. Members and favorite club bartenders Bob Black and Bob Brown mixed and served cocktails. Martha Black had her famous Christmas eggnog, and many members brought hors d’oeuvres. Michael Meeks entertained the crowd with festive holiday music, and Mimi Jackson joined in for a few duets. Attending the event were Lynne and Michael Meeks, Susan and John

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Festive Flurry



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Gaities Dance Club’s and George Petznick, Jane Christmas Snow Ball took and Thomas Shelton, place Dec. 6 at The Country Barbara and Richard Club of Birmingham. Thompson, Margaret and Vice President and dance Tommy Ritchie with guests party chair Hettie Hall – Pat and Ehney Camp, Katherine and Jim along with committee memShepherd, Brownie and bers Margaret Ritchie, Barry Evans, Ann and John Jackie McClary, Helen Baker, Becky and David Pardue and Doris White – Bates, Glory and James created a simple but elegant Beall, Joy and Lee Cooper, sparkle and wonderland for Marlea and John Foster, guests. Maura and Will Goodwyn, Members feasted on a Kelly and Pete Gage, salad of mixed baby greens Katherine and John Kettig, with goat cheese and candied Judy and Bert Hill, Katy cashews followed by beef Gaities - Margaret Munger Marshall, Beth Adams, and Bobby Howard, Joyce tenderloin with Bearnaise Leslie Moore and Constance Moore. and Jim Lott, Leslie and sauce and wild mushroom Blevins Naff, Jackie and risotto. A baked Alaska Bruce McClary, Beverly and John Parade with Christmas sparklers introand Charles Dasher, Frances and McNeal, Betty and Bill Phillips, duced dessert. Hunter Faulconer, Barbara and Natasha and Richard Randolph, Seen at cocktail hour were Pam Bobby Klyce, Helen and Richard Mell and Lochrane Smith, Betty and Rick Kilgore, Barbara and Cris Pardue, Carolyn Reed, Mary and Boyd and Brian Sullivan, Donne and Stone, Lucy and Dan Allison, Lynn Terrell Spencer, Doris White and Joe Patrick Toomey, Virginia and and Steve Briggs, Jennifer and McCracken, Doris and Jim Wilson, Tommy Tucker, and Janie and Jimmy Ard, Patty Bromberg, and Kay and Jim Wooten. Walter Wilson. Virginia Wright, Shelly and Jerry Dancing the night away were Susan Dasher, club president, welClark, Cathy and Jack Echols, Hettie Jeannie and Lee Walthall, Barbara and Howard Hall, Ann and Leland and Winfield Baird, Kim and Corbin comed new members Margaret Hull, Gail Sharp, Sandra and Terry Day, Marie and Mike Cole, Marjorie Munger Marshall (Dave), Beth Adams (Scott), Leslie Moore (John), Oden, Margie Davis, Susie and Ed and Jay Johnston, Leah and Robbie Constance Moore (Tom), Rebecca Kissel, Helen and Walter Gay Hazzard with guests Nell and Todd Campagna (Douglas) and Kendall Pittman, Todd and Tempe Sharley, Fredella, Robin and Brad Kidd, Egan (Tom). ❖ Penny and Roger Hartline, Susan Martha and Tom Roberts, Kathleen

Join the Jubilee

Antiquarian Society Celebrates 75th Anniversary Fashion;” and Timothy Paul Banks, professor emeritus at Samford University’s School of Arts, on “Carol Singing Through the Ages.” Nineteen Presidents from the past three decades were present for recent meetings, including Mary Carol Smith, 1990; Helen Mills Pittman, 1993; Elouise Williams, 1997; Doris Wayman, 1998; Judy Haise, 2003; Carolyn Drennen, 2004; Carole Thomas, 2004; Anne Gibbons, 2005; Kathryn Porter, 2006; Jane Ellis, 2010; Judith Hand, 2011; Rebecca

Photo submitted

The Antiquarian Society of Birmingham is celebrating its 75th year. The society was organized Nov. 8, 1944, with the object of creating more interest in antiques and heirlooms by study and display. In 2019, Becky Keyes, vice president for programs, introduced speakers Luke Robinson, Robinson Iron, speaking on “America’s Victorian Cast Iron Fountains;” Kristen Zohn, executive director of the Costume Society of America, on “Everything Old is New Again: Historicism in 19th Century

Front, from left: Doris Wayman, Linda Stewart, Diana Turnipseed, Marjorie Forney and Kirke Cater. Back: Carolyn Satterfield, Rebekah Taylor, Anne Gibbons and Jane Ellis.

Mason, 2012; Rebekah Taylor, 2013; Nan Teninbaum, 2014; Carolyn Satterfield, 2015; Kirke Cater, 2016; Marjorie Forney, 2017; Linda Stewart, 2018; and Diana Turnipseed, 2019. New Members are Emily Blount and Mary Lynda Crockett. Current officers and members of the board are Kay Clark, Susan Dasher, Carolyn Delk, Cece Dillard, Jean Hendrickson, Dottie Hoover, Annalisa Jager, Nancy Jones, Barbara Klyce, Judy Long, Mary Jean Myers, Betty Northen, Margie Preston, Lucy Richardson, Carla Roberson, Donald Roth, Nan Skier, Nancy Skinner, Amy Tully, Elizabeth Wallace and Kay Wooten. During its first decade, the Antiquarian Society put on Birmingham’s first Antique Show at the Municipal (now Boutwell) Auditorium. A Gutenberg Bible owned by Mrs. Jack Warner was on display. Proceeds were given to Arlington House to restore the Kitchen House there. Throughout the years, the society has had a special relationship with and supported Arlington House and the Birmingham Museum of Art, where early membership teas were held. Membership was limited to100 and dues were $3 per member at one time. Efforts to establish other groups throughout the state devoted to the study of antiques led to the establishment of the Black Belt, Gadsden, Huntsville and Montgomery societies, still active today. ❖

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Gaities Shine at Snow Ball

Mary Sue Durant, Sally Helms, Phyllis Edwards, Brenda Weaver and Anita Yates.

Seasonal Sparkle

Garlandia Members Gather for Holiday Luncheon Members of the Garlandia Garden Club gathered Dec. 18 at Mountain Brook Club for a holiday luncheon hosted by members Patsy Hendley, social and hospitality chairman, and Sally Helms, first vice-president. Tables were decorated with individual red poinsettias, surrounded by exquisite Christmas greenery and a sprinkle of glitter. Hendley provided the entertainment with Christmas games. Winners walked away with door prizes, including centerpieces from each table. Members in attendance included Rhonda Cook, Dottie Craig, Sandra Dean, Mary Sue Durant, Phyllis Edwards, Sally Helms, Patsy Hendley, Margaret Howell, Marilyn Jackson, Shirley Palmes, Charlotte Shannon, Pat Sorrell, Brenda Weaver, Roula Wolff and Anita Yates. Garlandia Garden was organized in 1969 under the leadership of Betty Sue Jordon. Officers for 2020-2021 are Mary Sue Durant, president; Sally Helms; Phillis Edwards, second vice-president; Brenda Weaver, secretary; and Anita Yates, treasurer. Committee chairs include Margaret Howell, beautification; Glenda Inabinet. historian; Patsy Hendley; Shirley Palmes, publicity; Linda Marshall and Rhonda Cook, sunshine; and Pat Sorrell, telephone/communications. ❖

Above, Pat Sorrell, Patsy Hendley, Shirley Palmes and Margaret Howell. Below, Marilyn Jackson, Dottie Craig, Rhonda Cook, Charlotte Shannon and Roula Wolff.

WEDDINGS Spontaneous Wedding


Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 21

Moving up the Date Almost Made the Planning of a Forest Park Wedding Easier

By Ingrid Schnader


photo courtesy JoAnna Feldewerth

hen Awbrey Golden and Ross Saxon first got engaged, they thought they would have plenty of time to plan their wed-

ding. The date they originally had in mind was in March 2020. But two months before their engagement party, which they had been planning for Oct. 5 in the backyard of Awbrey’s parents’ house in Forest Park, the couple decided to make a spontaneous change of plans. They started planning for a wedding ceremony there, instead.

JoAnna Feldewerth cooks in the kitchen of her 600-square-foot apartment. She has to exile her husband from the kitchen when she’s at work.

‘He had this look on his face, I don’t know how to describe it, but he looked so happy. That’s what I loved about our ceremony; we were so focused on each other.’

Bride Makes Her Own Cake, Then Starts Making Them for Others


“I remember telling my parents, and my mom thought it was a joke,” Awbrey said. “She was like, ‘Ha ha, good one!’” She scrapped the engagement party invitations and ordered wedding invitations. She upgraded the entertainment she originally had in mind and added in a few more event rentals, but other than that, not many plans had to change from the engagement party to the wedding ceremony. “We really just wanted it to be simple and all about having fun with our friends and family,” she said. “I didn’t want to get too caught up in the little details.” They didn’t have to worry about any catering upgrades. She already had booked Shindigs to cater the engagement party before they made the switch; Awbrey said she and Ross are foodies and always “go all out.” But Awbrey had to find a wedding dress – and fast. “That was a little stressful, because obviously two months is not very much time to find a dress,” she said. “I knew I had to get it somewhere that would be able to get it to me as soon as possible.” She and her mom took a weekend trip to Atlanta to visit BHLDN, a wedding shop by Anthropologie. The fourth dress the consultant brought in for Awbrey to try was a dress she wouldn’t have chosen for herself. Awbrey tried on the dress then stepped out to show her mother, but her mom just smiled and asked Awbrey what she thought about it. “I thought, ‘Oh, she doesn’t like it,’” she said. “That was my first opinion, because she looked at it and had a grin on her face but didn’t say anything. Then I told her I really loved it, and then she started gushing about it, and we popped some champagne.” The accelerated timeline meant she also needed to quickly find a florist, but that went


By Ingrid Schnader

It was special to Awbrey that her mother’s cousin officiated the ceremony. Two months before an engagement party Awbrey and Ross were planning in the backyard of Awbrey’s parents’ house in Forest Park, below right, the couple decided to make a spontaneous change of plans. Throughout the arbor, bouquets and boutonnieres, the couple asked Wild Things to use white, in-season flowers, below left.

for us to go through every single little detail. We didn’t have to follow up or do much else.”

Day-of Details

smoothly, too. “Luckily we stumbled upon Wild Things,” she said. “When we sat down with Carolyn (Chen) from Wild Things, she was so organized with all the forms she had ready to go

Awbrey said she felt her wedding was unusual in that it focused on the purpose of the day. “I just feel like every single time we started to get stressed about something, we said, ‘No matter what happens, at the end of the day we’re going to be married, and that’s what matters,’” she said. They kept the guest list small, with only See THE SAXONS, page 25

For as long as she can remember, JoAnna Feldewerth has enjoyed cooking and baking. Her Nana moved in with JoAnna’s family when JoAnna was still in high school. JoAnna learned little cooking tricks from her Nana, who was always sitting in the kitchen with her. But JoAnna never made a wedding cake until the day of her own wedding. “I had never made one before, and all my friends and family were like, ‘This is crazy! We support you, but you’re crazy,’” she said. She and her husband, Andrew Feldewerth, wanted to have a hand in as many details of their wedding day as they could. So JoAnna started researching how she could DIY their wedding cakes. “I just did all the research I could,” she said. “For one of my showers, I made a small, twotier cake just to test … and it turned out great. At that point, I probably had too much confidence in myself, but it all seemed to work out.” During their wedding weekend, while other brides might be pampering themselves with massages and manicures, JoAnna was hard at work in the kitchen. Two days before her wedding, she spent the entire day baking the cakes at her parents’ house. “That was such a special moment,” she said. “We just spent the whole day in the kitchen, and it was fun. My nephew helped me; I gave him a stick of butter, and he helped me butter the pan and mix.

See WEDDING CAKE, page 26

22 • Thursday, January 9, 2020

Birmingham Museum of Art The Birmingham Museum of Art is an elegant and modern venue, suited to host any wedding event, such as engagement parties, bridal luncheons, teas and showers down to the ceremony and reception. “If you choose the Museum for your wedding, you can utilize all of our event spaces – Oscars Café, with the dramatic spiral staircase; the Eighth Ave. Lobby, which has the colorful, Dale Chihuly blown glass adorning the wall; and the multi-level Charles Ireland Sculpture Garden outside,” said Special Events Manager Jestina Howard, above. “All of the galleries in the Museum will also be open during your event, and we only book one event per evening,. So, you and your guests will have the entire Museum to yourselves,” Howard added.

planning your wedding stress free. Planners handle all of the details from beginning to end such as logistics, event design, contract negotiations, booking vendors and the day-of execution of your event. Coordinators handle some day-of logistics, but on a shorter timeline. They usually begin helping you prepare a week or month before the wedding and function as your day of point person.” “Two: What are the three most important aspects you want for your special day - food, drinks, dancing, entertainment, etc.? Prioritize the three things and stick to them.” “Three: What is your wedding style/theme classic/traditional, contemporary, rustic? Focus on this so you stay aligned with your complete event vision.”

“One: Do you want to hire a wedding planner or coordinator? They can make the process of

Birmingham Museum of Art is located at 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., 205-254- 2681.

Howard’s Wedding Planning Tips



Bromberg’s Having been in business in Alabama for 184 years, Bromberg’s has come to set the standard for fine jewelry and giftware for discerning people throughout the Southeast. The Registry at Bromberg’s is no exception. The experts at Bromberg’s locations in Mountain Brook (Janice Bowman and Vanissa Hargrove, above) and at The Summit are available to help set a table that will be the focal point of cherished memories now and for years to come. With an unmatched selection of fine china, casual dinnerware, crystal, silver and home decor, every couple that registers at Bromberg’s will find the perfect combination of gift choices for their wedding guests to select from. Bromberg’s offers the most distinctive lines of fine and casual dinnerware from

around the world and also locally crafted dinnerware such as Earthborn Pottery. Bromberg’s Gift Letter program keeps couples from having to deal with returns and duplicate items. For each gift purchased from a registry, a beautiful gift letter is sent to inform the couple. After the wedding, the couple can redeem the total value of the gift letters they have received for anything they want in the store allowing them to take advantage of special offers, including a free place setting with the purchase of seven place settings. Other benefits of registering at Bromberg’s include discounts for attendant and hostess gifts and 20 percent off on non-diamond wedding bands. Bromberg’s is located in Mountain Brook Village, The Summit and


Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 23


Whether it is a diamond engagement ring, anniversary earrings or a special piece for your day, JB & CO can help you collect your heirloom.

Yves Delorme PARIS

Christine’s on Canterbury Christine’s on Canterbury, nestled just behind Gilchrist on Canterbury Road, is filled with a JAN 10 broad selection of items spanning categories such as gifts, paper products, fragrances, frames and linens. “Linens are so much a part of our daily lives. From the sheets on our beds, to the towels in the bath, to table cloths, napkins and even kitchen

women are attracted to tablecloths that never need washing and linen napkins you never iron. Both -products have FEB 1 been well received for color, design, and quality. “Monograms have been of interest for centuries, but the question is always, ‘Whose?’ We try to guide the bride on this decision; however, for many years linens were considered part of the bride’s trousseau and bore her personal initials.” Christine’s offers linens for bed, bath and table. While white and ivory remain popular, color and design are experiencing a renewed interest. Christine’s offers a small, European-style shopping experience. Color is abundant with options for all price ranges and free specialty gift wrapping.

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towels, we use all or some of some of these items every day. To give them a longer life, we try to instruct customers in the care of all linens,” said Jean Clayton, owner of Christine’s on Canterbury, above. “Today’s lifestyle is so busy, we find many

JB & CO JB & CO is a jewelry boutique owned and operated by John Bromberg, above. His boutique honors a return to an old-world artisan approach to fine jewelry. In an industry that is increasingly focused on mass production, JB & CO chooses instead to focus on the unique with specialties that include bridal, custom and estate jewelry. Bromberg personally works with his clients to select or create just the right piece for the occasion, always adhering to their style and budget. Whether it is a diamond engagement ring, anniversary earrings or a special piece for your day, JB & CO can help you collect your heirloom. His selection of jewelry comes from destinations far and wide, from the finest houses such as Bulgari, Cartier, Hermes and Tiffany, as well as designers Elizabeth Locke, Raymond Yard, Lalaounis, Judith Ripka, Mikimoto, David Yurman, John Hardy, Rolex and more.   Bromberg, a sixth-generation jeweler with decades of extensive experience and longstanding relationships, offers the unique opportunity for his clients to purchase fine jewelry at an exceptional value. “Collect with us,” said Bromberg. JB & Co. is located at 1 Office Park Cir., Ste. 201, 205-478-0455.

on Canterbury is located at 2404 Yves DelormeChristine’s Linens Canterbury Rd., 205-871-8297.

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24 • Thursday, January 9, 2020

Old Overton Old Overton Club is a private country club in Vestavia Hills. Centered in prestigious Liberty Park, it is available to members and invited guests and offers many recreational opportunities, including private golf, tennis, and swimming. The Old Overton clubhouse is both relaxed and casual, the service is impeccable and the cuisine is both adventuresome and comfortable, showcasing the finest and freshest ingredients sourced locally. “Whether enjoying the views of our beautiful golf course from one of many patios or relaxing with a nightcap in front of our stone fireplaces, you and your friends will cherish the memorable times spent at Old Overton Club,” said Morgan Fields, event coordinator, pictured above. “We pride ourselves on the warmth and professionalism of our staff, our talented chef and our detailed catering team. We are dedicated to



Aldridge Gardens

excellence and will help coordinate every aspect of your event and exceed your every expectation. “Few occasions are celebrated as joyfully and elegantly as weddings here at Old Overton Club. We cater to each couple’s individual needs, working with you to create a seamless event for you and your guests. Our experienced staff is dedicated to an unparalleled level of service and attention to every detail.” Guests will enjoy the beauty and privacy of the 25,000 sq. ft. timber and stone clubhouse, which is designed in a style that reflects the charm of the North Alabama Mountains. It is a uniquely intimate setting with a backdrop of escarpments carved through rock ledges left by mining. Whether you are expecting a small group of 20 or a grand gala for 350, the facility makes a perfect wedding venue. “We have several private dining rooms and a covered outdoor space with stunning views of the golf course. With seating for up to 40 guests, the mixed grill is wrapped with gorgeous wine and bourbon displays. The two private dining rooms can be combined for seating up to 50 guests. Our covered patio has beautiful vista views, complete with a stone grill/fireplace and bar; and it can be enclosed with vinyl sidewalls. The patio comfortably will seat 90 guests. Our boardroom adequately holds another 30 guests and comes complete with big screen television. The Men’s Lounge features a beautiful stone fireplace, covered private patio and floor to ceiling picture windows overlooking the 18th Green. The Main Dining Room is our stunning banquet room with 40-foot high, cedar-lined ceilings, and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the 18th fairway. It can accommodate anywhere from 80-120 guests depending on seating arrangements.

Aldridge Gardens is a 30-acre public garden nestled in the heart of Hoover, featuring beautiful woods, gardens, walking trails and a serene five-acre lake. “As the director of sales, I am here to ensure that each couple’s day is special and expertly executed from start to finish,” said Amanda Baker, pictured. Ceremonies may be held at one of nine picturesque garden sites - including the Pavilion, a covered, open-air facility and small ampitheater - all of which accommodate up to 200 guests. The arbor, shade garden lawn and pavilion provide a beautiful backdrop of garden foliage. Lakeside, woodland stream and patio sites offer stunning water and garden views. The Pavilion and Kay and Eddie Aldridge Art and Historical Museum are perfect reception venues. The museum opens to a large brick patio, offering a spectacular view of the lake, while the gallery features works of noted local and national artists - including a large collection of Frank Fleming sculptures. “Weddings can be inherently stressful but they don’t have to be. Surround yourself with wonderful event professionals and consider hiring a wedding planner to aid in the process. Be yourself and make sure to include details that you specifically enjoy,” Baker said.

Old Overton is located at 7251 Old Overton Club Dr. in Vestavia Hills, 205-972-9013.

Aldridge Gardens is located at 3530 Lorna Rd., Hoover, 205-682-8019.




To have your wedding & engagement featured in OTMJ please call Stacie at 205-823-9646.



Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 25

THE SAXONS about 50 guests. While it was difficult for the couple to decide whom to cut, Awbrey said she and Ross always knew they would want a small wedding. “We wanted to keep it small because we wanted to keep it intimate and not feel like we had to spend two hours walking around to everyone,” she said. “And that was just a personal thing to us.”

‘Angelic Air’

Although many brides stress about the weather, especially brides who have an outdoor ceremony, Awbrey said she didn’t check the weather forecast at all that day. “I didn’t even know it was going to rain,” she said. “The whole day, I didn’t even look. I was just having fun and same with Ross.” She looked out the window as she was getting ready and saw that it was sprinkling outside, and then it shut off. But it started sprinkling again as she started walking down the aisle. “It made it really peaceful,” she said. “I don’t know why, but as I was walking down, you could hear the sprinkle on the canopy above us. But you couldn’t feel it because there were so many trees in that area.” As she walked down the aisle, Awbrey said she remembers looking only at Ross. “He had this look on his face, I don’t know how to describe it, but he looked so happy,” she said. “That’s what I loved about our ceremony; we were so focused on each other. I thought I was going to be so nervous and focused on how I look and how everything’s going and thinking about all the guests and what they’re thinking or whatever. But I was just staring at Ross the whole time. It was just so peaceful. It was perfect. Even through the rain, there was this weird, angelic air around us. It was nice.” Awbrey said her mother doesn’t have a large family, so it was special to Awbrey that her mother’s cousin officiated the ceremony. He used a ceremony that his father, who was an Old Testament expert and preacher, wrote years before. “The vows weren’t your typical vows,” Awbrey said. “It had a few different twists on it, which I really liked. And it seemed really perfect for Ross and I.” Throughout the arbor, bouquets


From page 21

Getting Married?

Awbrey and Ross kept the guest list small, with only about 50 guests. While it was difficult for the couple to decide whom to cut, Awbrey said she and Ross always knew they would want a small wedding.

and boutonnieres, the couple asked Wild Things to use white, in-season flowers. “I really just wanted the venue to speak for itself, because it’s already so green,” Awbrey said. “Carolyn nailed it. She just did a great job.” The couple did their first dances and were about to cut the cake when the rain really started coming down. “We went up to our cake and we realized there was someone holding an umbrella over it,” Awbrey said, laughing. “We cut the cake, and then it poured from then on. It was weird walking out of the house and looking at the tables that we had set up with beautiful flowers and linens and everything, and they’re just soaked. Totally soaked.” Awbrey said the wet weather was

a blessing and a burden at the same time. “It kept people on the dance floor, which was really fun,” she said. The couple left at 4 a.m. the next morning to start their Hawaii honeymoon. “We wanted to do Hawaii because we didn’t want to just sit around and we didn’t want to just adventure,” she said. “We wanted to do both. But then once we got there, we were exhausted. I think just the craziness of planning a wedding in two months caught up to us, and we were like ‘I don’t want to do anything.’” The couple now live downtown and have a purchase agreement for a condo that’s being built.

Inverness Country Club is the perfect venue for your engagement party, bridal shower, bridal luncheon, rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Contact Holly Kuck, Director of Events, at (205) 991-8608 (Ext. 2104) or for additional information.

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26 • Thursday, January 9, 2020





To: From: Date:


Jessica Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax May

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL or the June 13th issue. Please contact your sales representative as soon as possible to approve your ad or make changes.

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number!

Thank you for your prompt attention.

“It really set the tone for the weekend. It was almost like a pre-party.” Then the morning of her wedding day, July 21, 2018, she got to the venue early and spent two hours assembling and icing the cakes. “It did take like a day and a half of my time, but it really was a labor of love,” she said. “It was such a stress relief and was almost therapeutic in the midst of all these plans that were happening.” Their four-tier almond wedding cake with almond buttercream icing and her husband’s three-tier red velvet groom’s cake with Oreo buttercream icing together fed about 300 wedding guests. She posted about her DIY wedding cake online, and her wedding guests told her how delicious it was. From there, she started getting requests. “The first bride to reach out to me was not a wedding guest. She was just a friend that I had met after our wedding from our church,” JoAnna said. “She sat down with me and she was like, ‘What would it take for you to do mine?’” Instead of charging her friend money for the cake, JoAnna just asked for her to cover the cost of the ingredients. “As long as my ingredients are covered and I’m not out a certain amount of money, anything past that, I just accept as a gift,” she said. “I’m not really charging people, which again people are telling me is crazy. And it might be a little bit.” She cooks in the kitchen of her 600-square-foot apartment. She has to exile her husband from the kitchen when she’s at work. He offers to help, but there just isn’t enough space. She does recruit the help of their dog, Lenny, when she’s done. He’s the vacuum that licks up all the fallen icing from the floor. “I’m definitely not a professional baker,” she said. “This is really just a joy and a gift to my friends. But it’s also a gift to me because it gives me a reason to get in the kitchen and bake, which is fun.”

photo courtesy JoAnna Feldewerth

From page 21

Since her own wedding, JoAnna Feldewerth has done three other wedding cakes and a handful of smaller cakes for showers and parties.

Sharing Her Passion

Since her own wedding, she has done three other wedding cakes and a handful of smaller cakes for showers and parties. After completing a four-tier cake with multiple flavors last month, JoAnna was reminded of her Nana. “I know she would be so proud to see this,” she said. “The last one I did, it’s embarrassing, but I just started crying as I was making it. I told Andrew, ‘Nana would have been so proud and excited to see this.’” JoAnna said she thinks she has the potential to make this into a serious business. But that’s not something she’s pursuing just yet. “It’s been such a joy just the way it is,” she said. “I don’t think I want


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to have it be a real business yet. At least not next year (2020). But maybe the next.”

‘I’m definitely not a professional baker. This is really just a joy and a gift to my friends. But it’s also a gift to me because it gives me a reason to get in the kitchen and bake, which is fun.’ Her dream business goal is to open a coffee shop someday with her husband. They worked together in a coffee shop for a year when they first got married and loved it. “My dream is to have little seasonal things, so seasonal scones, tarts,” JoAnna said. “But in that, if people want to order a wedding cake, we can do it.” Seeing people smile about something they love is what makes JoAnna so passionate about cooking and baking, she said. She also enjoys the creative side of it. “Just getting to see people’s reaction is a joy in itself,” she said. “But then actually making and I think having my hands in something, doing something with my hands that’s creative. And you can’t go wrong with anything that has sugar in it.”



Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 27

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald


Journal photo by Ingrid Schnader

National MS Society Presents Annual Bourbon Tasting

Matt Roth’s team of franchisees and investors all come from a sports background, and Roth said they all have the heart of a walk-on. Roth walked on at the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

Heart and Work Ethic Required Athletes Pivot to Open New Walk-Ons Bistreaux & Bar in Hoover

For former Ragin’ Cajuns wide receiver Matt Roth, a sports-themed restaurant started by two LSU walk-ons was the perfect opportunity to make some extra money. He had been living in Lafayette, Louisiana, working at his environmental company that does oil and gas business. He was eating at Walk-Ons Bistreaux & Bar at least three or four times a week. “We were at Walk-On’s eating lunch, and

‘It’s such a great combination. You’ve got South Louisiana food, you’ve got sports, all of the stars lined up for us.’ MATT ROTH

Landry, the owner of Walk-On’s walked in and said, ‘First of all, you need to get out of the oil and gas business and buy a franchise,’” Roth said. He pulled together a group of other former football players, and now he co-owns the Birmingham area’s first Walk-Ons franchise in the Tattersall Park development in Hoover. “I probably wouldn’t have bought any other franchise in the world,” Roth said. “It’s such a great combination. You’ve got South Louisiana food, you’ve got sports, all of the stars lined up for us.”

sticks. Then there are Southern Louisiana favorites and heart healthy items. “You could come in here 20 days in a row and not eat the same thing twice,” Roth said. In the center of the restaurant is a bar with a board of televisions that makes customers feel like they’re looking at a jumbotron. Roth’s next project with Walk-Ons is in the works in the Stadium Trace development in Hoover. He’s also looking to open two more franchises in the Birmingham metro area. Visit for more information.

The Heart of a Walk-On

The Walk-On’s franchise started when founders Brandon Landry and Jack Warner were playing on the LSU basketball team. Both of them started out on the team as walkons, which are unrecruited athletes who have to work to earn their spots on the team. The first Walk-Ons opened near the LSU football stadium in 2003, and now more than 100 locations are in the works across 15 states in the Southeast. Roth’s team of franchisees and investors all come from a sports background, and Roth said they all have the heart of a walk-on. Roth walked on at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Former Hoover standout John Parker Wilson, an investor on Roth’s team, saw limited playing time during his first year in football at the University of Alabama. Wilson went on to become the starting quarterback for the Tide and played in the NFL. “Most of us have been walk-ons at one point or another in certain points of our lives,” Roth said. “When someone tells you you’re not quite good enough, and so that’s when you’ve really got to grind and work a little harder just to keep up. That’s what the heart of a walk on is.” Construction on the Hoover restaurant started in March, and Roth celebrated its grand opening in December. He said business has been off the charts since opening. The menu at Walk-Ons is broken up into three categories. There are classic Southern bar items such as burgers, wings and mozzarella

By Ingrid Howard

Bourbon and bar-b-que will be in high supply as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Alabama-Mississippi chapter hosts its annual BourbonHam fundraiser Jan. 19 at Haven. Bourbon tastings will be served alongside samples of award-winning bar-b-que, as the band LiveWire provides music. In addition, AFC and NFL playoff games will be televised for sports fans. Funds raised at the event will benefit the organization’s mission to enhance the quality of life of people affected by MS, while funding cutting-edge research. The event will begin at 2 p.m. and tickets begin at $60. For more information, visit

Automatic Seafood Hosts Winter Installment of Twilight Supper Series

Celebrating the power of food, the Jones Valley Teaching Farm will present another installment of its Twilight Supper series Feb. 25 at Automatic Seafood. The event series was inspired by the farm’s annual Twilight Super Fundraiser. Due to high demand, it was expanded into a series, featuring seasonal dinners created by award-winning chefs and hosted in unique locations around Birmingham. Chef Adam Evans, Festivities will begin Automatic Seafood with cocktails at 6 p.m., followed by a dining experience created by chef Adam Evans with music and a few surprises. A limited number of tickets are available. For more information, visit

Annual Taste of Homewood to Take Place March 19

More than 30 Homewood food and beverage vendors will come together March 19 at Rosewood Hall for the 18th annual Taste of Homewood. The Homewood Chamber of Commerce’s annual fundraiser benefits its economic development efforts and a variety of community support programs, including scholarships for local students. Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door,

See FOOD NEWS, page 28

28 • Thursday, January 9, 2020

Rehab Reality... by Judy Butler

Wrap for Warriors



BWF Students Wrapped Gifts for VA Patients to Open on Christmas Day

So the Holidays are over. Now what?

Every year we start fresh with new resolves to improve our lives. You know the ones: loose weight, stop smoking, join a gym or exercise more, be more responsible with spending, stop drinking and the list goes on. Addiction to alcohol isn’t just a matter of making the decision to quit. For many it’s become a physical need and simply quitting by one’s self isn’t possible and can be dangerous. The physical and emotional desires are still there. Bayshore Retreat addresses the physical with 30 days of sauna therapy to cleanse the body, thereby eliminating the craving. At the same time over 30 hours of peer and master counseling combined with Life Skills coaching weekly helps address the psychological reasons. Unlike the ‘big box’ facilities that provide a 3 to 4 day detox and 12 step program; the home like environment at Bayshore Retreat with only 6 clients at a time gives one a better chance of beating the addiction for good. It’s about getting physically healthy and to the discovery of how the addiction happened in the first place. When we say, “no one plans on becoming an addict” we mean it. Now is a great time to get help with addiction and a healthier lifestyle. It’s the beginning of a new year and we’re here to help clients make it a better year. Instead of making resolutions that you may or may not keep; make it a New Year’s commitment to fight the Addiction Dragon and each day can be a step to fulfilling that commitment. Bayshore Retreat is different and can make a difference.

Sisters Carla Dudley and Charmel Taylor Pines don’t often cross paths during their workday. Dudley teaches fifth grade social studies at Brookwood Forest Elementary School. Pines spends her days serving the Birmingham VA Medical Center as chief of voluntary services. This year marked the second annual Wrap for Warriors, which brings the sisters together as Dudley’s students wrap presents for patients who are staying at the VA on Christmas Day. “It’s called Wrap for Warriors, because we wrap for the ones who have already given to us,” Pines said. Groups of students came to the hospital over the course of two afternoons, Dec. 16 and Dec. 17, to wrap holiday gifts in the lobby of the clinic. The idea for the event came naturally, as both sisters were looking for ways to honor veterans. “We wanted to do something special,” Pines said. “If we say veterans really matter, then we need to show them that they matter. So, that’s how we collaborated and got this started last year.” Dudley spends a week in October teaching her kids about veterans in

Photo courtesy Carla Dudley

By Emily Williams

Groups of students from Brookwood Forest Elementary School came to the hospital over the course of two afternoons, Dec. 16 and Dec. 17, to wrap holiday gifts in the lobby of the clinic.

preparation for Veteran’s Day. “We talk about what we learn on Veteran’s Day, and then it just disappears until the next Veteran’s Day,” Dudley said. She was looking for a way to keep the importance of veterans on the minds of her students beyond fall. “My sister and I were sitting around during the holidays, and I was telling her that we get all of these gifts that come in,” Pines said. “It’s just a random assortment, and I didn’t just want to hand things to the patients.” The gifts are sent by community partners, veterans service organizations, local churches and the like. There might be a pair of socks donated by Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, she noted, with a book from the Veterans of Foreign

Wars organization and something donated by a local restaurant. “My sister said, ‘How about my students come wrap these gifts, and then you send them all of these individual gifts in one box,’” Pines said. “And let everyone know that these boxes were built with love.” Last year, the sisters hosted the first wrapping event, and it was such a success that this year’s group of fifth graders wanted to continue the new tradition. According to Pines, she is always ready to build on a theme. There were cookies and Coke served at last year’s event, so this year the theme became “Poppin’ the Trunk and Twistin’ the Tops.” The assortment of gifts were loaded into the trunk of a car, where students could pick out which gifts they wanted to place in the boxes

FOOD NEWS From page 27 and children under the age of 6 enter for free. For more information, visit business.

Hoover Location of Teriyaki Madness to Celebrate Grand Opening


Open Monday-Saturday 11am-2pm & 5pm-9pm 521 Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 • (205) 823-1505

Longtime friends Anil Patel of Hoover and Chinmay Patel of Huntsville are opening a new location of the Asian-inspired Teriyaki Madness in Hoover. The restaurant, at 4741 Chace Circle, Ste. 113, will host a grand opening event Jan. 10. This is the second Alabama location for the chain, which has a restaurant in Madison. The Teriyaki Madness menu focuses on Seattle-style teriyaki bowls, which feature the choice of all-natural marinated chicken, steak, salmon or tofu. The protein is then mixed with fresh, stir-fried vegetables and served on a base of either Yakisoba noodles

they would wrap. Each class chose their own theme – whether it be snow, animals or such – and bought rolls of paper that followed that theme. After the presents were wrapped, the students observed a moment of silence and twisted the tops of their Cokes before celebrating a job well done over refreshments. On Christmas Day, Pines passed out the gifts to hospital patients with help from co-workers and volunteers. “Most of these young children don’t know much about veterans unless their parents have served or their grandfathers served,” Pines said. “They don’t understand the significance of it or the importance of how much it means for them to always have a relationship with veterans.” or steamed white, brown or fried rice. Owners Anil and Chinmay Patel became friends in 2006 while attending the same university in India. Several years after Chinmay moved to Huntsville, Anil moved to Hoover and the two began exploring opportunities to open a business together. “We wanted to go into the restaurant industry because I have experience as a cashier and a manager, so I already understood important aspects of this business,” Anil said. “The food, though, was the biggest point of emphasis for us. As soon as we tried (Teriyaki Madness), we were sold on the quality of the menu.” The pair decided that the concept was a great fit for Hoover, according to Chinmay, due to its growth and diversity, as well as its small-town feel. To celebrate the restaurant’s new location, a grand opening celebration will be held Jan. 10 at 10:30 a.m. The first five customers who order an entree will win free bowls for a year, and the next 20 will win a month of free bowls. For more information, visit


Hoover Team Captures Southeast Regional Youth Flag Football Crown

The Hoover Panthers stepped up in class and then showed they were a step above. The Panthers were a perfect 6-0 as they won the championship of the 12U 2019 Southeast Regional Youth Flag Football Tournament held Nov. 23-24 at the Hoover Met.

“It was an honor for the kids to win it,” Hoover coach Steve Susce said. “They were all sixth graders and played in the seventh grade tournament, so we played up. “We were lucky enough to win, which is a tribute to the kids because they put in a lot of hard work.” The Panthers’ six-player roster included four boys from Hoover – Joe

“Toast” Cross, Sam “Gronk” Fox, Drew “Nix” Susce and Logan “Thor” Bradford – and two from Helena – Nate “Dimes” Ferguson and Tory “Stix” Ward. Another player, E.J. “Beast” Curry, was sidelined with an injury. The Panthers went 3-0 in pool play, defeating teams from Chattanooga, Georgia and Gardendale. Then, in the eight-team tournament play, Hoover again went 3-0, defeating the GVS Sports Colts from Memphis, Tennessee, 53-0 in the quarterfinals the Trussville Huskies 33-19 in the semifinals and the Music City Mustangs from Nashville 27-24 in the championship game. “They (Mustangs) won the 11-year-old national tournament last year, so to beat them was special,” Steve Susce said. “It was a great tournament.” Hoover’s Southeast title earned the Panthers an invitation to the national tournament in January in Orlando, Florida. “We hadn’t made up our minds about going because it’s right in the middle of basketball season and prebaseball,” Susce said.

Photo courtesy BUSA

Photo courtesy Steve Susce

From left, Tory Ward, Sam Fox, Joe Cross, Logan Bradford, Drew Susce and Nate Ferguson.

By Rubin E. Grant

Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 29


From left, coach Phil Black, Anna Claire Black, Evyn Williams, Erin Gilbert, Annie McBride, Libby Armstrong and Langston Lilly.

Soccer Team Takes 2nd in the Nation in 3v3 Live Tourney The Magic City Strikers girls soccer team finished second in the nation in their division recently, outplaying all but an Oklahoma City team in the 3v3 Live National Championship, held Nov. 30 - Dec.1 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Strikers is made up of six players from the Birmingham United Soccer Association who also are members of the Alabama FC Elite Clubs National League 06 Girls Team. The girls, coached by Phil Black, competed in the 3v3 Live Gold Division.

Photos by Susan Bruno Photography.

Photo courtesy Vestavia Hills Rotary Club


The JV squad earned first place in the Large Junior Varsity division.

VHHS Cheer Wins Big at AHSAA State Finals

Vestavia Hills High School’s varsity and junior varsity cheerleading squads earned top marks at the AHSAA’s State Finals on Dec. 14 at Wallace State Community College. The JV squad earned first place in the Large Junior Varsity division. The Varsity was named the state runner-up for 7A Large Varsity Traditional Cheer, right. Both teams will advance to the National Championship Competition, which will take place in February in Orlando.

The Vestavia Hills Rotary Club honored Vestavia Hills teachers last month with its annual Teacher of the Year awards. “Our desire is to recognize ‘unsung heroes’ among the system’s teacher corps, those who give of themselves day after day without seeking public recognition,” said club president Steve Marmurek, far left, with club member Ted Strong, far right. This year’s recipients are, from left: Gina Panaia, East Elementary; Sarah Coe, Cahaba Heights Elementary; Megan Humphries, West Elementary; Kelly Bagby, Dolly Ridge Elementary; Kim Conn, Liberty Park Elementary; Amanda Jordan, VHHS; Kathie Knickrehm, Pizitz Middle; and Alicia Johnson, Liberty Park Middle.

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30 • Thursday, January 9, 2020

Briarwood’s Forester Earns Coach of the Year Honor by Following Yancey’s Path




By Rubin E. Grant

BARKER From page 32

player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season. In Barker’s first varsity start for the Jaguars last fall, he set a school record. He completed 28 of 38 passes for a school-record 488 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 16 yards. He logged more than 500 yards total offense, leading the Jaguars to a 42-33 victory at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. It was the beginning of a Manzieltype season for Barker, the son of former Alabama national championship

GRIFFIN From page 32

including seven for losses, and had a fumble recovery. His standout performance earned him the Over The Mountain Journal’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year honor in a vote of Over the Mountain football coaches. “I think that’s a tremendous honor,” Griffin said. “I’m proud for myself and my teammates and what we had to overcome. It was a roller coaster year with a lot of ups and downs, but we were able to maintain a steady effort and overcome a lot of obstacles.” Griffin had surgery a week after


Jeptha Kilgore, Hoover Will Pfaffman, Oak Mountain Jake Levant, Vestavia Hills


Harrison Barker, Spain Park Eli Sawyer, Vestavia Hills

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

After taking over for Briarwood Christian football coaching legend Fred Yancey last year, Matthew Forester had one goal in mind: Maintain the standard Yancey had set. “It was a huge honor for me to follow Coach Yancey,” said Forester, who played for Yancey and spent several years as an assistant under him. “It was good for me to pay attention and learn from him all those years. “He did things the right way. His teams played with class, they played hard and they played physical. Those were the characteristics of his teams and I wanted to carry on that tradition.” Two weeks into the season, Forester had doubts about whether he was living up to those standards. The Lions lost their first two games of the season to Chelsea 17-14 and Pleasant Grove 26-14, although Chelsea later forfeited its victory. “We had to figure out what was going on after that second loss,” Forester said. Forester turned to players from another sport for a solution. “We’re fortunate at Briarwood that we have a lot of multi-sport athletes,” Forester said. “Our baseball team started out 0-11 (in 2019) and ended up in the state finals. We have a lot of baseball players on our team and I told them they had seen this before. We leaned on them and asked them what they did. They kept working and kept improving. We figured the same thing that worked in baseball would work in football.” The Lions turned things around and won 11 consecutive games to reach the Class 5A semifinals. But Briarwood hopes of a Super 7 appear-


Logan Brewer, Mountain Brook Kory Chapman, Hoover Isaiah Ambrose, John Carroll Sam Willoughby, Vestavia Hills Alastair Harris, Briarwood


Anthony Hayes, Hoover Michael Callens, Spain Park Defensive Player of the Year Clark Griffin, Mountain Brook, with Coach of the Year Matthew Forester, Briarwood.

ance ended with another loss to Pleasant Grove, 16-14. Even so, the Lions finished 12-2, earning Forester the Over The Mountain Journal 2019 Coach of the Year honor in a vote of Over the Mountain coaches. “It’s a huge honor,” Forester said. “Alabama is one of the top football states in the country and Birmingham is a great football area. Any time you win an award, it’s an incredible honor because there a lot of great coaches, legendary coaches, around here.” Forester downplayed his role in the Lions’ success in his debut season. “We have an administration that supports you and makes sure you have good coaches around you,” Forester said. “Then you have players who buy into what you’re doing. I just wanted to keep doing coach Yancey’s plan. It’s a good path and we just needed to get to work.”


Lucas Padgett, Homewood Trent Howard, Briarwood Andrew Fleming, Mountain Brook David Bodden, Hoover Jack Horton, John Carroll



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DeQarius Hill, Spain Park Braxton Wetzler, Mountain Brook Cole Garner, Briarwood Joseph Davis, Hoover Chris Ogahwu, John Carroll

Clark Griffin, Mountain Brook


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quarterback Jay Barker. Harrison Barker finished the season with 2,946 yards passing, completing 62.9% of his passes (232 of 369). He threw for 17 touchdowns, but on the downside he had 16 interceptions. He also ran for 226 yards and three touchdowns. For his performance, Barker was selected the Over The Mountain Journal’s 2019 Offensive Player of the Year in a vote of Over the Mountain coaches. “He had a really good year,” Spain Park coach Shawn Raney said. “I felt coming in he was that type of player. He’s an excellent leader and he had good people to throw to. He put in a

lot of work in the offseason. He reached all of our expectations.” The honor caught Barker off guard. “I’m very thankful,” Barker said. “I feel like it’s a great honor, but I am a little surprised because there are a lot of good players Over the Mountain.” Barker credited his teammates for his success. “We had some very good wide outs,” he said. “Our top four receivers were all very good receivers and blockers, and we had some good players who could catch the ball out of the backfield.” The one drawback for Barker was

Spain Park had a losing season, finishing 4-6 and missing the state playoffs. “I really wish we had won more games,” he said. “We could have won three or four of the games we lost.” The 5-foot-10-inch, 180-pound Barker hopes to get a shot at playing college football. “I don’t have many options where to play,” he said. “I’m hoping some schools will give me a chance. I don’t know if I can do what my brother (Braxton) did, walking on at Alabama. I want to play. I want to get on the field.” Barker heads up the All-OTMJ offense. He is one of four Spain Park

players voted to the offensive team, joining running back Michael Callens, receiver Jacob Jenkins and placekicker Drake Tabor. Hoover, Homewood and Mountain Brook landed two players each on the offense. The Bucs representatives were running back Anthony Hayes and lineman David Bodden. The Patriots’ were lineman Lucas Padgett and receiver Trae Ausmer. The Spartans’ were lineman Andrew Fleming and receiver Crawford Golden. Vestavia Hills quarterback Eli Sawyer, Briarwood Christian lineman Trent Howard and John Carroll Catholic lineman Jack Horton also were voted to the squad.

the Spartans lost in the first round of the playoffs to Florence 24-21, finishing the season with an 8-3 record. Griffin is hoping he will be recovered in time to play baseball for the Spartans this spring. He’s a third baseman. “We’re still talking about that,” he said. Mountain Brook coach Chris Yeager marveled at how Griffin was able to play through his injury during the football season. “He refused to let his injury disrupt his season,” Yeager said. “It’s amazing he had that many tackles without practicing during the week. He might have had 200 tackles if he had been healthy.” The 5-foot-9-inch, 190-pound Griffin relied on quickness, instincts

and smarts. He has totaled 335 tackles in three seasons on the Spartans’ varsity. “He’s a very cerebral player,” Yeager said. “He understands both sides of the ball, which could make him a good coach one day. He’s always ahead of the ball. He dissects plays and then runs to where the ball is.” Perhaps that’s because Griffin has been around football his entire life. His dad, Steven Griffin, uncle Chad Griffin and grandfather Ray Griffin all played college football at Harding University in Arkansas. His older brother, Grant Griffin, played defensive back for Mountain Brook, graduating in 2019. “It’s a football family,” Yeager

said. “His whole family is all about football. He’s got two younger brothers, Heath and Trent, who also play football.” Griffin’s love for the game is what fueled him. “What I’m going to miss most about not having him around next season is his passion for the game,” Yeager said. “I love the game too, so it gives me a unique feeling as a coach to feel what he feels.” Griffin is one of three Mountain Brook players on the 2019 All-OTMJ Team defense. Mountain Brook defensive lineman Braxton Wetzler and defensive back Logan Brewer also were voted to the squad. Briarwood Christian and Hoover also landed three players on the

defense. Briarwood’s players were defensive lineman Cole Garner, linebacker Cal Reebals and defensive back Alastair Harris, while Hoover’s were defensive end Joseph Davis, linebacker Jeptha Kilgore and safety Kory Chapman. Linebacker Jake Levant and defensive back Sam Willoughby made the team from Vestavia Hills, while defensive lineman Chris Ogahwu and defensive back Isaiah Ambrose made the team from John Carroll Catholic. Spain Park defensive lineman DeQarius Hill and Oak Mountain linebacker Will Pfaffman also were voted to the team. The punter is Oak Mountain’s Sam Johnson.

‘It Was Ugly’

Thursday, January 9, 2020 • 31



Weary Spartans Turn Back Bucs, Now Step Into Area Play By Rubin E. Grant

Mountain Brook’s Holt Bashinksy is guarded by Hoover’s D.J. Fairley in the No. 1 ranked Spartans 59-50 win over the No. 2 Bucs at home last week.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Mountain Brook senior swingman Colby Jones had to think for a moment while trying to remember when the Spartans last played a basketball game at Spartan Arena. “It’s been a minute,” Jones said before recalling the opponent, Sidney Lanier of Montgomery. Mountain Brook routed Sidney Lanier 73-46 on Dec. 14 at Spartan Arena, then spent the rest of December playing in two out-of-state tournaments. The Spartans traveled to Coral Springs, Florida, Dec. 18-21 and posted three victories to win the Kruel Classic. Then, Mountain Brook went to Bristol, Tennessee, Dec. 26-31 and recorded four double-digit victories against teams from Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina to claim the championship in the Arby’s Classic. After defeating North Mecklenburg, North Carolina, 77-66 in the championship game on New Year’s Eve, the Spartans didn’t get back home until 2:30 a.m. New Year’s Day. They didn’t have much time to rest because they had a home game against Hoover the next day at Spartan Arena. Despite the quick turnaround, the road-weary, Class 7A No. 1 Spartans managed to pull out a 59-50 victory against the No. 2 Bucs last Thursday in the only regular-season meeting of the season between the two schools. The game was closely contested throughout and the score was tied 44-44 entering the fourth quarter. Jones sank two 3-pointers in the first minute of the final period to help the Spartans edge ahead 51-46, and they managed to hold the Bucs at bay the rest of the way. Jones finished with 30 points, on 11 of 18 shots from the field and 7 of 11 from the free-throw line. He also had seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. The 6-foot-5-inch Xavier University signee could have scored even more points, but he misfired on a few shots from close range. “I didn’t have my legs,” Jones said. “I missed some shots that I usually make. But it was good for me to fight through the fatigue and show that when I’m not fresh, I can still have an impact getting rebounds and playing defense.” Senior guard Carter Sobera added 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Spartans. He made 7 of 10 field goal attempts, most coming on uncontested layups as he worked free in Mountain Brook’s motion weave half-court offense. Thanks to its half-court offense and a trapping half-court defense that produced 11 steals leading to fast-

Senior Spartan Colby Jones works to drive by Hoover’s Parker Williams. Jones finished with 30 points, on 11 of 18 shots from the field and 7 of 11 from the free-throw line. He also had seven rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Senior guard Carter Sobera scored 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists against Hoover.

break layups, Mountain Brook shot 58 percent from the field (22 of 38). Junior guard D.J. Fairley led Hoover (16-6) with 19 points and junior forward Chip Culpepper added10. Mountain Brook coach Bucky McMillan said the Spartans were fortunate to defeat the Bucs. “They did a good job,” McMillan said. “They put pressure on us and were a shot or two away from coming away with a victory. “We didn’t play well. It might have been the worst game we’ve played all year, but being tired and Hoover might have had something to do with that. It was ugly, but we got it done.” After playing five games in seven days, Mountain Brook canceled its scheduled home game against Hueytown last Friday to get some rest. The Spartans and Bucs open play in their respective areas this week. Mountain Brook visited Spain Park on

Tuesday and plays host to Vestavia Hills on Friday in Area 6 games. Hoover played host to Oak Mountain on Tuesday and entertains Thompson on Friday in Area 5 contests. The victory against Hoover left Mountain Brook with a 19-1 record. The Spartans’ only loss was to Grayson (Georgia) 71-60 in the Holiday Hoopsgiving tournament on Nov. 30 in Atlanta. The three-time defending Class 7A champion Spartans haven’t missed a beat this season without McDonald’s All-American and two-time Alabama Mr. Basketball Trendon Watford, who’s now at LSU. “It’s our culture,” McMillan said.

“Trendon is an unbelievably great player, but before he came here, we went to three straight state finals and won two of those. “Our players just expect to win.” Jones said McMillan deserves much of the credit. “That just shows the kind of program we have and the type of coach Bucky is,” Jones said. “He makes sure me and my teammates constantly work to improve our craft. “I don’t think we’re nowhere near our potential for this season. We showed we’re capable of beating anybody in those out-of-state tournaments, but we have to keep playing hard and getting better day-by-day.”


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Soccer Team Takes 2nd in the Nation in 3v3 Live Tourney. Page 29

SPORTS Thursday, January 9, 2020 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Weary Spartans Turn Back Bucs, Now Step Into Area Play. Page 31


Spartans’ Griffin Overcomes Toe Injury to Earn Top Defensive Honor

Clark Griffin’s senior football season almost was over before it began. A week before Mountain Brook’s 2019 season kicked off, Griffin was diagnosed with a turf toe, with tendon and ligament damage. The senior linebacker had three options. He could have surgery, which would have sidelined him for the entire season; be injected with blood plasma and miss the first three weeks of the season; or play in spite of the injury and have surgery when the season ended. Griffin chose the third option, which meant he would not practice during the week and just play in games. But Griffin didn’t just play, he excelled. He recorded 147 tackles,

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

By Rubin E. Grant

Members of the 2019 All-OTM defensive team are, front, from left: Sam Willoughby, Vestavia; Joseph Davis, Hoover; Kory Chapman, Hoover; Isaiah Ambrose, John Carroll; and Braxton Wetzler, Mountain Brook. Middle: Jeptha Kilgore, Hoover; Will Pfaffman, Oak Mountain; Chris Ogahwu, John Carroll; Logan Brewer, Mountain Brook; and Clark Griffin, Mountain Brook. Back: Sam Johnson, Oak Mountain; Jake Levant, Vestavia Hills; Alastair Harris, Briarwood; Cole Garner, Briarwood; and Cal Reebals, Briarwood.

See GRIFFIN, page 30

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

Barker Puts up Manziel-Like Numbers to Earn Offensive Player of the Year By Rubin E. Grant

See BARKER, page 30

Briarwood’s Forester earns Coach of the Year Honor by following Yancey’s path. PAGE 30

Members of the 2019 All-OTM offensive team are, front, from left: Eli Sawyer, Vestavia; Trae Ausmer, Homewood; Anthony Hayes, Hoover; and David Bodden, Hoover. Back: Lucas Padgett, Homewood; Jack Horton, John Carroll; Crawford Golden, Mountain Brook; Trent Howard, Briarwood; and 2019 OTM Coach of the Year, Matthew Forester, Briarwood. Not pictured, Andrew Fleming, Mountain Brook.

Journal photo by Ingrid Schnader

Before the start of the 2019 high school football season, Spain Park offensive coordinator Marty Rozell had a message for senior quarterback Harrison Barker and his teammates. “Our offensive coach told us it was going to be a Johnny Manziel type of season with us throwing a lot because we had a young offensive line,” Barker said. Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M. He broke several NCAA Division I FBS and SEC records, which included becoming the first freshman and fifth

All-OTM players from Spain Park are, from left, Jacob Jenkins, Michael Callens, DeQarius Hill, Harrison Barker and Drake Tabor.

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