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The Suburban Newspaper for Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County





VOL. 21 #14 Literacy Council Junior Board Rally for Reading event



DREAMS Teen travels to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to discuss CF. PEOPLE 9

Friends remember volunteer with fundraiser for new track


Trey Hardee competes in the menʼs 100 meter dash of the decathlon during day one of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images on June 22 in Eugene, Ore. The Vestavia Hills High graduate will go for the gold Aug. 8-9 in London.

Vestavia Hills Graduate Could Become ‘World’s Greatest Athlete’ BY LAURA MCALISTER



hen Trey Hardee was just a few months old, a fellow church member told his mother Jan DiCesare she’d had a dream about her son. In it, she saw the baby who had been dedicated in church a few days before as an adult holding a big stick. Jan didn’t know what to think of it at the time, but now it all makes perfect sense. Trey will compete in the 2012 Olympics decathlon Aug. 8-9 with Team USA. This will be his second time to compete in the Olympics, and many suspect the 2002 Vestavia Hills High School graduate will take home the gold this year, which would officially make him the World’s Greatest Athlete. “Who would of thunk it?” said Trey, laughing, during a recent phone interview from his home in Texas before heading to

Celebrate the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics at Lakeshore Foundation’s Night of Champions, page 4. Germany for some grueling practices leading up to the London Olympics. “It’s interesting. It’s just the title that comes along with winning (the decathlon gold medal). I don’t really consider myself ... I wouldn’t say I was the best in the world.” The decathlon gold medalist is given the title of World’s Greatest Athlete because of the grueling two-day contest these athletes endure. It’s a combined contest with 10 track

and field events. In addition to the long and high jump, shot put, discus throw and runs, the decathlon also includes pole vaulting, which Jan said has to explain the dream her fellow church member had so many years ago. “She said God gave her a vision of Trey holding a giant stick,” she said. “At the time, I was like, maybe a golf club?” A series of events that started Trey’s junior year at Vestavia Hills High School would eventually lead Jan to recognize the “huge stick” in the woman’s dream as the pole used in pole vaulting. At 16 feet, it’s one of the longest pieces of sporting equipment, if not the longest, used in Olympic contests. The circumstances that led Trey to pole vaulting his junior year in high school and then eventually to the decathlon seemed devastating at the time.

Art sale for Oasis Counseling for Women and Children draws a crowd



A look at some OTM Shinning Stars PAGE 20

See HARDEE, page 8


2 • Thursday, July 26, 2012





A Somebody Loves me Sandwich ... On Rye


Meet the 2012 Over the Mountain Journal High School Athletes of the Year. Oak Mountain High School’s Toni Payne and Spain Park’s Mikey White. See page 28


Browse through more pictures from the area’s biggest and best parties. Join the conversation. Comment on stories and events, or send us your own. Follow us on Facebook for frequent updates on happenings at the Journal.


Get ideas on home renovation projects that will make the most of your money while increasing the value of your home.


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19 20 28

July 26, 2012

Publisher: Maury Wald Editor: Laura McAlister Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Office Manager: Christy Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Lee Davis Contributors: Susan Murphy, Bones Long, Cary Estes, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Vol. 21, No. 14

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 2012 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.

would do well to just hand over the our time off is over. Now it’s knife, but they don’t, brave souls. They time to be off to work, off to march right on to the central fixings. school, to toddle off to the Ham or turkey, salami or tuna? kitchen and fill the long line of lunchWould you like some cheese? Yes? boxes. I remember those days, leanAmerican or Swiss, extra sharp cheddar ing over the counter in the predawn or one of those stinkier varieties from hours, slapping together bologna and the deli? American cheese. No more. When my Will you be adding something daughters and their families come to from the vegetable group, like lettuce visit, I open the refrigerator and say, or tomato, or maybe something more “Help yourself.” adventurous, like garlic pickles or I did my sandwich tour of duty. jalapeno peppers? There are an infinite There were only three daily mouths to number of meat/cheese/veggie combiconsider back then. My husband Harold nations, which is why I resigned from was always off on his sales rounds, the sandwich committee completely. stopping at lunchtime for a piping Sue Murphy My children are grown now, I no longer hot plate of barbecued goodness. Not worry about them handling sharp utenme. I was counting out bread slices, You can pack a sils and I probably wasn’t going to make desperately trying to sort out who liked mustard and who would open a mustard- couple of cookies, their sandwich right anyway. I haven’t made a sandwich for laced sandwich and break into tears, toss in a generic Harold in 15 years, mostly because figuring that her mother did not love her next to me as I spread his enough to remember. (My crowd has a bag of chips, but standing Skippy Super Chunk makes him posiflair for the dramatic.) You can pack a couple of cooksandwiches are tively twitchy. He wants a solid layer of crunch monstrosity (I’m a smooth ies, toss in a generic bag of chips, but the main event this fanatic) on whole wheat bread with great sandwiches are the main event in the lunchbox meal. If you don’t get them in the lunchbox globs of grape jelly, and he absolutely, positively does not want his sandwich right, they’ll end up in the trash with all meal. cut, to which I say, “Here’s the knife, of those little packages of raisins moms buddy. Be my guest.” throw in with hopeful naiveté. A sandSee what I mean? You may get the wich is like your signature, the thing that makes you different from your pesky little sister. C’mon, sandwich basics right for another person, but you’ll never master the nuances, how they like things spread, Mom. how thick, how close to the edges. Crusts on, crusts off. Which is why I think those assembly line sandwich Better to let them decide. Even better, let them do it establishments are a stroke of genius. They don’t even themselves. pick up the bread until directed. White or wheat, hard If your family members are still sharp implement roll or rye? (My sister doesn’t want bread at all, preferring to roll up the fixings like a meat and cheese roulage. deficient, your sandwich emancipation may be a few years off. That’s okay. Just be observant. Be patient. Buy To each her own.) some plastic knives to speed up the process, but rememBread selected, you move on to the critical slathering ber that after a hard morning of irregular verb tenses layer. Mayonnaise people loathe mustard. Butter devoand multiplication errors, it means a lot to open your tees cringe at the thought of some “tastes like” spread. lunchbox and find a sandwich that is just right. Gee ... Some want a lot, some want a little, and everyone’s somebody loves me. ❖ “little” is different, and that’s where the sandwich shop


What Olympic sport would you like to compete in most?

“I’d want to do gymnastics in the Olympics.”

“Gymnastics because it’s fun.”

Liv Maple Homewood

Elizabeth Cleland Homewood

“I guess cycling.”

“Probably the long jump.”

Ramzi Badra Homewood

Rami Badra Homewood








Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 3







7/10/12 6:13 PM

4 • Thursday, July 26, 2012



Save the Date HOMEWOOD

A Night of Champions July 27, 6:30 p.m. Lakeshore Foundation Celebrate the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games with the Lakeshore Foundation. The ceremonies will be broadcast on high-definition screens. Enjoy a British-themed evening with dinner and drinks while meeting current and future Olympic and Paralympic champions. Doors open at 6 p.m. Contact Jennifer Chandler for tickets and more information at 313-7436 or BIRMINGHAM

Planning Shades Valley High School’s Class of 1962 reunion are, from left, front: Brenda Ford Propst, Kay Roper Woodard, Vicki Brock Nutter. Back: Bruce Sokol, Lynn Morton Bland, Marsha Farrell Meadows, Jean Cox, Marvin Thornton, Dorothy Smith Hodges, Celia Abernethy Griffin, Mackey Photo special to the Journal McDanal and Jim Collins. BIRMINGHAM

Shades Valley High Class of 1962 Reunion July 27-29 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame; The Club The Shades Valley High School Class of 1962 is having its 50th high school reunion July 27-29. A Friday night reception at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame will honor Bill Legg, Hall of Fame executive director emeritus and former Shades Valley teacher and coach. The main reunion dinner will be July 28 in the ballroom of The Club with other informal activities planned throughout the weekend. To help the reunion committee find classmates or for more information, contact Marvin Thornton at 591-3190 or jmt2143@aol. com. ❖

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Southern Summer Nights July 28, 8 p.m. Hill Event Center at the Alabama Theatre This Hands On Birmingham’s Junior Board fundraising event will include food, music and drinks. Guests will have chances to win a donation from Diamonds Direct, SEC championship tickets, backyard grill, the Cabinet of Cheers and more. Tickets are $40 each or $65 a couple. Proceeds will go to further HOB’s mission to connect people to volunteer opportunities that improve their community. Visit www. for more information.


An Intimate Evening with Lindsey Buckingham July 26, 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center is adding a new superstar to its summer/fall lineup of world-class performers: acclaimed guitarist, singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Lindsey Buckingham. The former Fleetwood Mac band member and solo artist has a new album, “Seeds We Sow.” Tickets are $69.50, $60.50 and $49.50. Call 975-2787 or visit for tickets or more information.


Dream Showcase July 28, 6 p.m. Workplay This event with more than 40 artists will showcase the talents and culture of young local artists. Visual and performing art will be on display. Admission is $7. For more information or tickets, contact Aimara Rodriguez at 370-2856 or HOOVER

YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program July 30, 5:30 p.m. Hoover YMCA The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program will begin hosting classes at the Hoover YMCA July 30. Call Debby LaCruz at 801-7224 or email NoDiabetes@ymcabham. org for program fees and details. All participants receive 16-week complimentary citywide family access to the YMCA. Financial assistance may be available. BIRMINGHAM


Grief Support Group Every Sunday-Sept. 9, 4:30 p.m. First Baptist Church of Birmingham This peer-led grief support group hosted by First Baptist Church of Birmingham meets each Sunday now-Sept. 9 except for Labor Day weekend. The group is for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. For more information, call the church office, 870-3888.

series presented by the ASC, Good People Brewing Co. and Birmingham Mountain Radio. Come early for cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. with a cash bar featuring Good People’s craft brews and food and snacks from Birmingham eateries.


Eric Essix CD Release Party July 28, 7:30 p.m. Alys Stephens Center Birmingham’s own Eric Essix will debut his new, self-titled CD with a celebratory concert. Tickets are $37 and include a copy of the CD. Call 975-2787 or visit www. The show is part of the “Good Songs, Good People”

Legally Blonde Now-Aug. 5, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Virginia Samford Theatre Bailey Hanks, MTV’s “Search for Elle” winner and Broadway leading lady, stars in this Red Mountain Theatre Company production. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tickets are $30$35; call 324-2424 or visit www. Group, senior and student rates are available.


Home Sweet Home Playhouse Project Aug.1-31 The Summit CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, will host the annual Playhouse Project through August. A playhouse built by local volunteers will be displayed at The Summit. CASA staff and volunteers will be onsite every weekend in August providing entertainment for children and selling raffle tickets for $5 for a chance to win a playhouse. The final drawing for the playhouses will be Aug. 26. All money raised from the raffle will go to CASA Alabama to help abused and neglected children find a home. For more information, visit

Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 5




Join us in welcoming

Angela C. Blount, M.D. To

Brookwood ENT Associates


Bama Champs Fighting for Brielle Aug. 4, 4 p.m. Lightning Strikes Bowling Center Prince Wimbley Productions will host a charity event and autograph signing benefiting Brielle Warren, daughter of Derrick Warren, a University of Alabama tight end from 1989-91. More than 45 former Alabama players have agreed to sign autographs in an effort to raise money for Brielle’s fight for her life as she battles Alexander disease. Entertainment includes the Wayne Mills band, a DJ, comedian Steve Brown and silent and live auctions. Tony Kurre from WJOX will be the emcee. Tickets are $10 at the door for adults and $5 for ages 12 and under. Doors open at 4 p.m.; the

Helping organize Hot Diamonds in the Summer, a fundraiser for Alzheimerʼs of Central Alabama, are David Hezlep of Wallace-Burke Fine Photo special to the Journal Jewelry and Christy Baynes, ACA board president. HOMEWOOD

Hot Diamonds in the Summer Aug. 2, 5:30 p.m. Wallace-Burke Fine Jewelry and Collectibles This event, presented by Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, offers a chance to win “diamonds” during a wine and cheese reception at Wallace-Burke Fine Jewelry and Collectibles at SoHo Square in downtown Homewood. A diamond tennis bracelet featured in the benefit is valued at $5,000 and presented compliments of Wallace-Burke owners David Hezlep and Preston Foy. Chances are $25 each or $100 for five. Tickets may be purchased at the reception or before the event at Wallace-Burke and Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama. Tickets also are available at or by calling 871-7970. This event benefits ACA services, including respite care, scholarships for patients to attend adult day care centers and continence supplies. ❖

Elevate your sense of alive.

To: From:

The 2012 Infiniti G Line


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Dr. Blount treats a variety of ear, nose & throat disorders in all patients from newborn to geriatric.


Please call for an appointment Brookwood ENT Associates, P.C. 2018 Brookwood Medical Center Dr. #205 Birmingham, Al 35209

(205) 877-2827

Alane Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax July 2012 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL July 26, 2012 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-124

2012 Infiniti G37 Convertible

Please make sure all information is correc including address and phone number! Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

Crown Infiniti 1800 Montgomery Highway, Hoover, AL 35244 (205) 985-4200

6 • Thursday, July 26, 2012

Briarwood Flea Market Friday, July 27, Noon to 6pm Saturday, July 28, 8am to 2pm Indoor/Outdoor Sale

80+ Vendors, including furniture, household items, tools, toys, baby gear, sports equipment, clothing, jewelry, art, antiques and more! Cash only, please. Proceeds benefit: The Aspire Mentoring Movement in Fairfield Briarwood Church Acton Rd and I-459 All Welcome!!!

The Perfect Gift.

About Town

Rally Ready Birmingham

Rally for Reading Aug. 9, 6 p.m. B&A Warehouse This Literacy Council Junior Board event will include food and drinks, silent and live auctions and music from On the Real Side. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Visit www. for more information or to purchase tickets. ❖

To: Julie Elmer it The personal... a custom From:Make Over Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., portrait or painting 205-824-1246, fax Butler Date:by Judy July 2012 Hand drawn and/or painted from photographs signing will be from 6-8 p.m. Food in your media,charcoal, pastels, This choice is yourofad proof frompencil, the over the mountain Journal for the and adult beverages will be sold. July 26, 2012 issue. Please contact your sales representative as soon as possible to approve watercolor or oil/acrylic. For more information, visit www. your ad or make changes. You may fax approval or changes to 824-1246. Please make sure all information is correct, or call 205-907-0700

including address and phone number! e-mail

pleaseVirginia initial and fax back within 24 hours. College is hiring!

If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, Virginia College, Online continues to Monday. grow and your ad will runPrograms as is. We print the paper

change students’ lives. Our mission is, in part, to provide high Thank you for your prompt attention. quality, career focused educational services to a diverse student population in a dynamic, growth oriented setting. If you have a passion for helping college students change their lives and if you would like to be a part of an expanding college with its face to the future, please contact us, now. Please send your letter of interest and resume to: Hoover

Shear Kindness Aug. 4, all day Various locations Join Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama’s Young Leadership Board for this third annual hair cut-a-thon. Participating salons – Paul Mitchell XCell Academy and Sports Clips in Wildwood, Pelham, Trussville, Lee Branch, Patton Creek, Alabaster and Fultondale – will donate a portion of their proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama and accept additional donations. For more information, contact Mallory Gudzan at 529-7369 or Birmingham

Wake up with the Animals Aug. 11, 7:45 a.m. Birmingham Zoo If you’ve ever wondered what This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the it’s like to be at the zoo when the December 17, 2009 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. animals arise in the morning, come to Wake Up with the Animals. The event begins with a special wildlife show and personal animal interaction at the Wildlife Stage. Next, watch an elephant feeding and hear a

Allyn Holladay Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 Dec 2009


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

Showing off some of the items that will be auctioned off during the Rally for Reading are from left: Virginia Beale, Muhammad Abdullah and Stacey McElrath. Journal photo by Laura McAlister

Save the Date Continued keeper chat in the Boma Yard. Afterwards, have breakfast at the Safari Café and then explore the zoo. Registration is from 7:45-8 a.m. Tickets are $9 for adult members, $17 for nonmembers, $6.50 for children who are members and $14 for children who are nonmembers. All tickets include breakfast and admission for the day. Make reservations by Aug. 3 by calling 879-0409. Hoover

Babypalooza Aug. 11, 10 a.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen Central Alabama’s only baby and maternity expo and market will again feature more than 100 exhibits, health seminar areas, baby goods and services, shopping areas, childcare, birthday party area and more. The expo is designed for new, expectant and hopeful parents. There is no charge to attend. For more information, visit www.  Birmingham

Greater Birmingham Republican Women Aug. 13, Noon B&A Warehouse The Greater Birmingham Republican Women will host Alabama Secretary of State

Beth Chapman from noon-1 p.m. For more information, contact Mary Saggus at Hoover

Greystone 5K and Lori Johnson 1 Mile Fun Run Aug. 18, 8 a.m. Greystone Golf and Country Club This eighth annual event will raise funds for ovarian cancer research. Overall winners receive cash and prizes. All children participating in the fun run will receive medallions as they cross the finish line. The event also includes a silent auction, food, pool games, entertainment and fun for the entire family. Pets are welcome. Register for both runs at or on the day of the event starting at 7 a.m. The 5K starts at 8 a.m. followed by the fun run at 9 a.m. For more information, visit Hoover

Banks High School Class of 1962 Reunion Aug. 25, 6 p.m. Altadena Country Club Members of the Banks High School Class of 1962 are invited to the class’ 50th reunion celebration. For more information, to sign up or to help find fellow classmates, contact Kaye Walker Davis at 8220902 or

Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

Garden Party

T.U.B. (The UnKnamed Band) will headline Cocktails in the Garden’s opening Photo special to the Journal event.


Cocktails in the Gardens Aug. 9, 4:30 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens The rejuvenated sixth season of Cocktails in the Gardens begins Aug. 9 in the Hill Garden. This season, The Gardens Café by Kathy G. will remain open until 8:30 p.m., offering a full cash bar and tasting menu. Tickets are $5 for BBG non-members and free to members. Admission includes entrance to the event and live entertainment. Drinks and food will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit BBG educational programs. The Aug. 9 event features T.U.B. (The UnKnamed Band) with covers of the Grateful Dead, Phish and Widespread Panic. The cafe will offer white pear rosemary sangria and a Latin tapas menu available for purchase. Other events in the series will be Sept. 13 and Oct. 11. Visit www.bbgardens. org/cocktails for more information. ❖


Harvest of Hope Luncheon Sept. 18, 10 a.m. Cahaba Grand Conference Center This sixth annual luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m.; a silent auction begins at 10 a.m. Bobby Humphrey, former University of Alabama running back and NFL star, is the keynote speaker. Janet Hall of Fox 6 News will be the mistress of ceremonies. The Rev. Al Lewis and Passion Lewis will provide musical entertainment.

Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 7




Doesn’t mom deserve a back to school treat too?


Community Fest Aug. 12, 2 p.m. CDF’s Community Arts Center The Children’s Dance Foundation (CDF) will host the second annual Community Fest from 2-5 p.m. at CDF’s Community Arts Center in Downtown Homewood. The event is free and mostly indoors. Activities include: drumming with Get Rhythm’s John Scalici, kids’ crafts, face painting by Magic City Face Art, inflatables, food and drinks provided in part by Zoe’s Kitchen, dancing, live music by Iron Giant Percussion Steel Band, contests and prizes, silent auction and dance performances by Devyani Dance Co., Nathifa Dance Co., Mad Skillz and other local dance troupes. CDF is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide comprehensive dance education for all, enriching the spirit, enlivening the imagination and celebrating community. CDF Community Fest is presented by Homewood Friends and Family Chiropractic. To learn more about the event or CDF, visit www. ❖

Ryan Steeley is one of the honorary co-chairman of this yearʼs Art Photo special to the Journal Partners Live Auction and Showcase. BIRMINGHAM

ArtPartners Live Auction and Showcase Aug. 19, 5:30 p.m. B&A Warehouse This VSA Alabama event features a live and silent auction of collaborative works of art created by community artists and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. This year’s theme, “The Creative Power of 10,” celebrates the decade-long ArtPartners program. Patty McDonald, a longtime VSA supporter, is the 2012 Community ArtPartner honoree. Honorary co-chairmen are Grace Davis, Lindsay Davis, Allie Simmons and Ryan Steeley. The showcase includes a live auction by Guin Robinson with some 25 pieces of collaborative art from ArtPartners studio time. The silent auction will have an additional 150 pieces of art. Live music, wine and food are included. Tickets, $100 each or $150 for a pair, may be purchased at the door, by phone at 307-6300 or by visiting ArtPartners2012.eventbrite. com. For sponsorship or ticket information, contact Meagan Vucovich, development and communications coordinator, at 307-6300, ext. 12 or or visit ❖

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To: Laurel From: Over the Mountain Journal 823-9646 ph, 824-1246 fax Date: July 2012

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6/26/12 4:53 PM

8 • Thursday, July 26, 2012

cover story




Convertible Tops Sunroofs Leather Interiors


Trey Hardee celebrates after competing in the Olympic Trials. The 2012 Olympics will be the second time the Vestavia Hills High School grad has competed in the Olympics. This year, he hopes to bring home the gold. Photo special to the Journal

Trey couldn’t agree more. Since becoming a decathlete, he won the gold in the from cover 2009 World Athletics Championship in Berlin. That same year he was awarded the Jim Thorpe All-Around Award Though he’d always participated in sports, basketball by the United States Sports Academy. He also won a silver was Trey’s true passion when he was younger. However, medal in the 2011 World Indoor Championship. he was cut from the team during his junior year. The 2012 Olympics will mark his second time to par“I was on the team through Pizitz to my junior year,” ticipate in the worldwide sporting event. He placed fourth he said. “Then I was just randomly cut. It was really tragic overall in the decathlon in the 2008 Olympics. at the time. I didn’t understand, but it definitely served as Trey said he’s loved the opportunity the decathlon has motivation. given him. He’s been all over the world and is doing what “Now when I think about it, it’s laughable. I wouldn’t he truly loves, he said. change anything for the world.” “I really do love the decathlon as a whole,” he said. Instead of basketball, Trey joined the track team along “I used to have favorites. Pole vaulting is my first love. I with his sister, Eden. He put his all into it, especially pole really enjoy it as one thing, but there are 10 events. vaulting. “I think you’re more successful if you look at it in its Trey impressed Vestavia’s entirety and not just 10 difnow-retired track coach ferent chances. There is no Randy Faust so much that worst part. I enjoy the whole “Your chest sticks out a little more Faust encouraged Trey’s parthing.” when you have the USA across ents to let their son train with When it comes to competfamous Olympic coach Earl ing in the Olympics, he said it. It’s not boastful. It just ups the Bell in Arkansas. not so much nervous level of confidence when you know he’s “We hauled him all the as excited. With the trials way out there in the middle you’re representing the greatest behind him, the countdown of nowhere, and he started has begun. Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646 country on earth.” pole vaulting,” Jan said. “It’s one of those situafax 205-824-1246 After graduation, Trey tions where London can’t get April 2012 – Trey Hardee went to Mississippi State here fast enough. It’s kind This is your AD prOOF from the Over The MOunTAin JOurnAl for the University, where his coach of like getting excited about encouraged him to try the May 3rd, 2012 issue. please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. your birthday,” he said. decathlon. While competing is a rush for Trey, it’s not so easy on “He didn’t want to do it,” Jan said. “We told him, we his mom. Jan said their family would attend this year’s please make sure all information is correct, think you ought to try it, and right off he was fifth in the Olympics, just as it does most of Trey’s major contests. nation.” including address and phone number! She said she worries for Trey and the other athletes, but In 2004, the Mississippi State sophomore finished secin the end she’s just extremely proud. please initial and fax back within 24 hours. ond in the NCAA decathlon. However, what seemed like “We feel like we’ve competed after watching him,” Jan if we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the presstragedy date, would strike again: Mississippi State dropped its said. “It’s really intense. It’s hard and exciting. I just sit in indoor track program. your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. the stands and pray for all those kids. Some of the things made the 2004 Olympic Trials, Trey decided to they do can be very challenging.” Thank you for your prompt attention. giveHaving the school one more year. Trey spent the weeks leading up to the Olympics in “The week Trey goes to the trials, the coach called him Germany where, he said, he would be having some very and said he’d quit,” Jan said. “Mississippi State wasn’t “high quality training sessions.” replacing him, so Trey went to the trials by himself.” Whatever happens in London, he said he’s just humIn one way, it was a complete disaster. The school bled and proud to be able to represent Team USA again in didn’t send him any equipment. He didn’t have his poles the Olympics. or javelin. “He was really torn up,” Jan said. “It’s terribly hard to describe and hard to put into But during the trials, they found out the University of words,” he said of representing the U.S. “It’s more of a Texas was interested in having Trey. As soon as he got feeling, like when you hear a really good song that gives his release from Mississippi State, he headed there, which you goose bumps. It just makes you so proud, so confiallowed him another year of training. dent. Your chest sticks out a little more when you have the “If Mississippi State hadn’t dropped their program, he USA across it. wouldn’t have had that whole year to train,” Jan said. “All “It’s not boastful. It just ups the level of confidence these things seemed so devastating at the time, but they when you know you’re representing the greatest country on earth.” ❖ were really perfect.”


To: From: Date:





Teen Asks Congress for CF Support

Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 9


annah Gagnon, 15, of Meadowbrook joined 50 teens from across the U.S. to meet June 28 with elected officials in Washington, D.C., to increase awareness of the issues people with cystic fibrosis face daily. The group also asked officials to support cystic fibrosis drug research and development. Gagnon participated in Teen Advocacy Day on behalf of her little brother and sister, who both have cystic fibrosis. They couldn’t make the trip to Washington themselves because people with CF cannot be in close proximity to each other without risking life-threatening germ transmission. During the event, Gagnon met one-on-one with senators and representatives from Alabama. “I was honored to be part of Teen Advocacy Day and go to Washington, D.C., to fight for my siblings and other people with this terrible disease,” she said. “It was exciting to meet elected officials and help them understand CF better. “I know firsthand why we need to hurry up and get new medicines that treat CF, and I want people in Washington to understand that, too.” Teens met with their members of Congress to discuss advancing cystic fibrosis research and share their personal experiences with the disease. They also discussed ways to enhance the review process at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and spoke

Hannah Gagnon of Meadowbrook met with Sen. Richard Shelby while she was in Washington, D.C., to ask officials to support cystic fibrosis research and awareness. The Meadowbrook teen’s brother and sister have CF. Photo special to the Journal

about the importance of increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health and the FDA. Working to improve the lives of her siblings is nothing new to Gagnon. She has been active in fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides walk ever since she can remember. Her family does a letter-writing campaign each spring in

preparation for the walk. Gagnon also gave a presentation to 500 students last year at Bumpus Middle School’s Community Service Awareness Day. She is a rising sophomore at John Carroll Catholic High School. Her five brothers and sisters all attend Oak Mountain schools. Teen Advocacy Day is sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. ❖




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10 • Thursday, July 26, 2012



Displaying a rendering of the new track at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central are from left: Ansley Kirkpatrick, Maggie Ball, Hunter Smyth, Mary Katherine Smyth, Coleman Petway and Connor Petway. The new track will be named after the late Shawntel Dixon Jones, right, who was an avid volunteer in Vestavia Hills schools. Photos special to the Journal

Something for Shawntel


By Laura McAlister • Journal Editor

Friends Remember Vestavia Hills Volunteer with Fundraiser for New Track

After some praying and research, Ball learned about a group of women at Central riends of Shawntel Dixon Jones describe the mother of three who were trying to raise funds for a track. She knew her friend Shawntel would have as someone who was always ready to lend a helping hand in spite of her busy schedule, which included her boys’ ball and wanted to help in some way, and now she will be. Next month, the community will come together to celebrate the life of Shawntel swim practices and volunteer work with Vestavia Hills city while also raising funds for the new track at Central, which will be named after schools. Shawntel. “She was always the person you called if you wanted To raise the $50,000 it will cost to build the track, the community is hosting the anything,” said friend and Vestavia parent Janet Ball. “If inaugural Shawntel Dixon Jones 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run Aug. 25 at 8 a.m. starting at you needed a sitter, she’d say, ‘Bring the kids over, no probVestavia Hills High School. The fun run will lem.’” be at the high school track. The 5K route is Shawntel The Shawntel Dixon Jones 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run will be still being determined. unexpectedly Aug. 25 at Vestavia Hills High School. For more information Ball and Janet Olsen, another of passed away in or to register visit and search Shawntel’s friends and a Vestavia parent, August 2011 at “Shawntel Dixon Jones.” said they felt that even though the Jones age 40. At her children aren’t enrolled in Central this comfuneral service ing year, Shawntel would have wanted to at Covenant help in the efforts to build the track. It’s been needed at the school for years, they said. Presbyterian Church, a lattice board was set up showing the many community and “She was so involved in hands-on community work,” Olsen said. “This is really just a school-related activities with which Shawntel was involved. call to honor that.” She and husband Walter were very active in youth sports through their three Five laps around the track will equal one mile, and there will be three fields in the children, Dixon, Nathan and Mims. Shawntel also served on the Parent Teacher middle of it. The track will be open to the community. Organizations of Pizitz Middle School, Vestavia Hills Elementary Central School and So far, the community has been quick to respond to help build the track and honor Vestavia Hills Elementary East, where she was PTO president. Shawntel. Some $42,000 has been raised through corporate and family race sponsorships. It was in looking back at the lasting impact Shawntel had on her community and For information on sponsorships, email For information on family that her friends decided they had to do something to memorialize her. registration, visit“I truly prayed about it,” Ball said. “I felt for a long time I wanted to do something 5k-and-fun-run-2012. ❖ in her memory.”

Phillips Earns Eagle Rank Daniel Scott Phillips, 13, recently achieved scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout. He is a member of Boy Scout Troop 555, chartered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was recognized at a Court of Honor May 18. Bob Thomas, longtime Shelby Eaglemaster, presented the award. As an eighth grader at Simmons Middle School, Phillips helped give the school’s courtyard and outdoor classroom a makeover for his Eagle Daniel Scott Phillips Scout project. With a crew of more than 20 other scouts and leaders, he cleared out and weeded overgrown planters, stained and painted benches, pressure-washed the concrete and repaired and stained the outdoor stage. Since the improvements, the space has been used many times for school activities and instruction. Phillips has been active in scouting since he was 8 years old. He was a Cub Scout with Pack 208 in Lexington, Ky., and Pack 555 in Hoover. He has earned his Arrow of Light award and 31 merit badges, including music, fly fishing, rowing, public speaking, sailing, archery and woodcarving. He attended summer

Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 11



People Notes

scout camp at Camp Sequoyah for three years and Camp Yocona for one year. Phillips is a rising ninth grader at Hoover High School. He was Simmons Middle School eighth grade class president and captain of the Scholars Bowl Team. He is on the math team and plays the violin, French horn and saxophone. He is the son of Scott and Kristi Phillips.

Spencer Bachus nominated Gambill for attendance at the academy. During his course of study at USMMA, Gambill participated in crew and attended Air Assault School. Part of his in-service training involved voyages to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Belgium and England.

Gambill Graduates from Marine Academy

Scarlett Walker, a graduate of Oak Mountain High School, was first runnerup in the Distinguished Young Women National Finals competition, formerly America’s Junior Miss, and won a $15,000 cash scholarship. Walker earned preliminary competition awards in the fitness and interview categories, winning $2,000 in Scarlett Walker additional cash scholarships. After a selection process that began in Alabama, Walker traveled to Mobile to prepare for the 55th annual national competition. Walker won a total of $33,200 in cash scholarships through her participation in the Distinguished Young Women program at the local, state and national levels. She is the daughter of Angela and Michael Walker. ❖

Thomas Greyson Gambill of Vestavia Hills graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, June 18. He received a cum laude bachelor’s degree in marine systems engineering with a concentration in offshore engineering. In Thomas Greyson conjunction Gambill with his graduation, Gambill was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve. He has accepted a position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Gambill graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in 2008 and was president of his senior class. Rep.

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To: Kim From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Date:rapidly July and may collide with moves

A concussion is an injury caused by a blow to the head in which the brain the inside of the skull. Some mechanisms may include getting hit with an object such as a baseball or colliding This is your AD PrOOF from the OvEr THE MOuNTAiN JOurN July 26, 2012 issue. fax approval or changes to 824 concern with objects such as a goal post or other players. Even minor “dings” or getting your “bell rung” may be of Please as serious injury may result. Concussion should be suspected in the presence of ANY ONE OR MORE of the following: n n n n

Symptoms (such as headache) Physical Signs (such as unsteadiness) Impaired Brain Function (confusion) Abnormal Behavior

Any athlete with a suspected concussion: n n n n

Should Should Should Should

be IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM PLAY be urgently assessed medically not be left alone not drive a motor vehicle

Please make sure all information is corr 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 d your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday.

Thank you forC your prompt attention. C onCuSSIon lInIC 205.934.1041 www.Childrens /concussion I n CASE oF mEdICAl EmErgEnCy, C All 911 or go dIrECtly to your loCAl Er

12 • Thursday, July 26, 2012



Porch Party with a Purpose

Above, from left: Alice Lucas, Janet Lucas Beck and Benny LaRussa Jr. Right: Duncan Holditch, Sandra Gillis and Amy Holditch. Photos special to the Journal

First-Time Oasis Art Sale Draws a Crowd, Raises $14,000


rtCard, a first-time fundraiser for Oasis Counseling for Women and Children, was hosted by the nonprofit’s inaugural junior board June 21. More than 200 attended the porch party and blind art sale, which raised nearly $14,000. Oasis helps women and children by providing affordable mental health counseling and innovative education programs. Oasis must raise about $65 per session to subsidize the cost of counseling for clients who could not otherwise afford these services. The junior board organized the event, which featured 139 cards created by fashion more photos at designers, chefs, artists, children, community leaders, photographers and authors. To create an element of surprise, artists’ names remained hidden until guests purchased the art, which was all sold for the same price: $50. Before opening the gallery for shopping, the first five spots in line were auctioned off for the highest bidder, raising about $600. Oasis’s two Victorian Southside buildings were transformed into an art gallery and outdoor cocktail party. Café Iz catered the Southern-style “porch party” while Gabriel Tajeu and Allen Barlow played acoustic tunes. Guests included Cindy Speake, Mrs. Alabama Ashley Bentley, Jim Sisson, Oasis founder Anne LaRussa, Vicki Denaburg, Janet Lucas Beck, Benny LaRussa Jr., Charles and Nancy Haines, Beth Bradley, Alan Perlis, Elliotte Sisk, Jeff Morrison, Sandra Gillis, Sara Ann Polhemus, Thomas Andrew Findlay, Beth Rooney, Mary Johnson Butterworth, Charles Butterworth and Oasis board president Joseph Sandner IV with wife Julie. Members of the Oasis Junior Board are Ashley Bentley, Julia Bevill, Barnett Chenoweth, Marianne Combs, Michael Hansen, Jane Johnson, Megan Kyle, Chelsey LaRussa, Megan LaRussa, Celina Miller, Anna Catherine Roberson, Mary Elizabeth Roberson, Meredith Robinson and Alden Speake. ❖


Sara Ann Polhemus, Celeste David and Dorothy Holloway

Anne LaRussa and Vicki Denaburg


Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 13


If You Haven't Been In, You've Missed Out From left: Emily Bowron, Katharine Patton, Kathy Miller, Alison Gorrie, Margaret Little, Gretchen Williams, Irene Gardner and Sue Ellen Lucas Photo special to the Journal

Linly Heflin Unit Welcomes New Members


Alabama. Through the years more he Linly Heflin Unit welthan 3,500 four-year scholarships comed its newest members during its May meeting at the totaling more than $2 million have been awarded to deserving recipiCountry Club of Birmingham. ents. Scholarship Committee Chairs Emily Bowron, Irene Gardner, Susan Jackson and Suzanne Alison Gorrie, Margaret Little, Chenoweth announced 24 scholarSue Ellen Lucas, Kathy Miller, ships and grants that were awarded Katharine Patton, and Gretchen for fall admissions this year. These Williams will add to the talent pool young women will be attending of the service organization founded nine different institutions of higher in 1919. The eight new members learning in Alabama. A total of 88 will start work immediately on the women are receiving Linly Heflin annual Scholarship Luncheon and Scholarships. Fashion Show. The annual Linly Heflin Since 1923 the major focus of Scholarship Luncheon and Fashion the group is to further the higher Show continues to7/19/12 be the prieducation of young women in BMCPrimary-WELCOME-Vestavia-10_25x6_25.pdf 1 12:14 PM

mary fundraiser for its scholarship program. This year the event is set for Sept. 27 at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel Civic Center Ballroom. Co-Chairs Fran Goodrich and Libba Williams announced one of California’s hottest fashion designers, Lourdes Chavez, will be the featured designer. Birmingham clothier, Gus Mayer will again partner with the Linly Heflin Unit and provide additional fashions. Last year’s luncheon and fashion show was attended by more than 1,000 guests. The Linly Heflin motto is “Educate a woman and you educate a family.” ❖

To: From: Date:

3157 Cahaba Heights Rd Vestavia Hills 874.6430

Stephanie Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 July This is your AD PROOF from OTMJ for the July 26, 2011 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-124

Please make sure all information is correct including address and phone number! Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

14 • Thursday, July 26, 2012




• Wood window restoration and repair • Sash replacement, rot repair • Replace broken and fogged glass • Wood insulated, putty glazed, and composite vinyl replacement sashes • Locally owned and operated

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To: From: Date:

e l Sa

James Gettys

Jamie Brooks

‘Hot’ Birmingham Fashion

Jim Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 ore than 100 attended Oct. 2010 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for theHeights Village’s Summer Fun, Food and Fashions Nov. 4 2010 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.


June 21, where they met contestants in the annual Young Hot Birmingham contest sponsored by the Young Professionals of Birmingham. Candidates promoted their charity of choice and modeled summer fashPlease initial and fax back within 24 hours. ions and accessories from Serendipity, If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, Manhattan South and Cummings your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Jewelry Design and Repair. Each candidate selected a “Rising Thank you for your prompt attention. Star” between the ages of 7-11 to appear in the fashion show with them. The young models wore clothing from Heights Village shops Gigi’s, Little Soles Shoes and the Lili Pad. 2817 2nd Ave. So. • 323-2817 Products from Learning Express Toys and Flowerbuds were also featured. Mon. - Fri. 10:00 - 4:00 • Sat. 10:00 - 2:00 Guests enjoyed complimentary food and beverage tastings from Heights Village eateries, including O’Carr’s Restaurant, Sexton’s Seafood and New York Butcher Shoppe. The 10 candidates compet323-2103 ing to raise the most money for Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 their selected charities are: Jamie

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

To: From: Date: July

From left: Nina Diamantis, Wesley McGugin, Audrey Pannell and Lacey Photos special to the Journal Bacchus

Brooks, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Chianti Cleggett, Young Women’s Empowerment Conference; Cassie Moore, Hand in Paw; Madeline Reeves, American Cancer Society; Jenny Wilson, Mitchell’s Place; James Gettys, Gateway

Foundation; Brandon Hill, Christ Health Center and Birmingham Dream Center; Justin Kelly, Girls, Inc.; Wilson Long, Rotaract Club of Birmingham Foundation; and Rhett McReight, American Diabetes Association. ❖

This is your aD prOOF from the Over The MOunTain JOurnal for the July 26 2011 issue. please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.


Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 15






Books Chandeliers Tables

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Everything at least


The team of Starnes Davis Florie took first place in the Back Yard Cooks Division. From left: Robin Jones, Christian Hines, Jay Ezelle and Will Axon.


The cook team from St. Mary’s-On-the-Highlands won the award for “Most Divine Gumbo” at the 2012 Episcopal Place Gumbo Gala. From left: Claire King, Thomas Goldsmith, Ragan Cain, Geoff Evans, all of the team, John Pelham, event co-chair, Brad Cain of the team, Tim Blanton of Episcopal Place and Merrimon Epps, event co-chair.    Photos special to the Journal


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outhside restaurant Garage Café captured the top professional award for Birmingham’s Best Gumbo at Episcopal Place’s seventh annual Gumbo Gala June 23. It was the second big win in seven years for Garage Café, which also won the Professional Award in 2008. Other winners were the law firm of Starnes Davis Florie, which won the top award in the Backyard Cooks division, and St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands, which won the Most Divine Gumbo Award among Episcopalian entities. More than 1,500 people gathered at the event’s new venue, Sloss Furnaces, and helped raise $35,000 to provide support services for 148 residents at Episcopal Place. John Pelham and Merrimon Epps, members of St. Mary’s-onthe-Highlands, chaired the planning committee. The Legendary Pineapple Skinners provided live music, while Rob Conrad and Jeannine Jersey of Magic 96.5 FM’s morning show were emcees. Also winning awards were St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church, second place, Backyard Chefs; St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Creole Crusaders, third place, Backyard Chefs; Bryant’s Seafood, Chef’s Choice Seafood; Butt Patrol, Chef’s Choice Specialty; Payscape Advisors, Chef’s Choice Chicken/Sausage; St. Martin’s in the Pines RouxStirs, People’s Choice Award; and Church of the Ascension, Spirit Award. Proceeds will help pay for vital support services at Episcopal Place, an affordable housing community for seniors and disabled adults who live on restricted incomes. Cookoff teams were: Professional teams: Jubilee Joe’s Cajun Seafood Restaurant, Muddbug’s Gourmet Foods, Garage Café, Bayou Steamer, Baumhower’s, Mugshots Grill and Bar, Jason’s Deli, Whole Foods, St. Martin’s in the Pines and Bryant’s Seafood. Backyard Cook teams: Birmingham Fire Department, Butt Patrol, All Saint’s Episcopal Church, Far Frum Kajun, Starnes Davis Florie, Snap Fitness, WearTek, Payscape Advisors, 55th Place Thrift Store, Proventix, Driver’s Way, SPM, LLC, Johnston Barton, Team Team, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Church of the Ascension and St. Mary’s-on-theHighlands. Judges were chef Antony Osborne, the Culinard; chef Clif Holt, Little Savannah; chef Austin Davis, the Bright Star; chef Jeffrey Hansell, The Veranda on Highland; Jim Smith, Governor’s Mansion executive chef; Jason Horne, food blogger and writer; Molly Folse, food blogger and writer; Jan Walsh, food writer and; Gene Guatro,; Bob and Skip Wadhams; Lynn Campisi; Alec Harvey, The Birmingham News; Cathy Gilmore, the Virginia Samford Theatre and Ms. Senior Alabama. ❖



Gumbo Gala Raises $35,000 for Episcopal Place

1829 29th Ave. So. • Homewood • 870-8110




This exhibition was created by The Field Museum, Chicago. Illustration by Velizar Simeonovski © The Field Museum

To: From: Date:

Mary Glen Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 July 2012 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for July 26, 2012 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

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16 • Thursday, July 26, 2012



Aldridge Gardens Gala Marks 10th Year


ABC 33/40’s Dave Baird was the ore than 250 people turned emcee, and Jack Granger led the out for Aldridge Gardens’ live auction, which included paint11th annual Hydrangeas ings by Martha Fulghum, Janet Under the Stars June 16. They were Lucas, David Nichols and Libby greeted by Hoover Belles and then Wright, artists who participated in took the elevator to a new venue for the recent second annual Plein Air the fundraiser and 10th year anniversary: the Michael Jordan Room at Art Show, Sale and Quick Draw. Sculptures by Frank Fleming and Regions Park in Hoover. Robert Taylor, a David Yurman Rip Weaver, the gardens’ execubracelet, beach vacations, golf gettive director, created a full-blown away package garden featuring and a collection hydrangeas on of wines were the patio. Guests From left: Bill and Paulette Pearson and Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey also auctioned, were treated to Photos special to the Journal as were weekRush wines as long accommothey listened to dations in both music by the LaManga, Spain, Alabama School and Kinsale, of Fine Arts Ireland. jazz combo and Gardens looked over aucfounders Kay tion items. and Eddie After Weaver Aldridge, and board Weaver, Sellers president John and wife Sellers introDebbie, board duced special Hoover’s Largest Jimmy Rocket and Kay Aldridge members J. guests, a $1,000 Mark Davis and scholarship was 80-Plus Vendors! wife Ann, Charlie Diggs and wife presented to Brett Brewer of the 822-9500 Patsy, Willie Edmiston and wife Culinary and Hospitality Institute of Judy, Dan Mikos and wife Kathy, Jefferson State Community College. 3411 Old Columbiana Rd. Paulette Pearson and husband Bill, The institute prepared and served (Hwy 31 @ Patton Chapel Rd.) Billy Pennington and wife Barb, a gourmet dinner of poached pear Across from Crest Cadillac Greg Powell and wife Peggy, Vickie salad, grilled filet mignon and Saxon and husband William, lops with fresh asparagus, summer Linda Sewell and husband Steve, peas and corn relish, scalloped potaFrank Skinner and wife Mary, Bill toes and summer berry semifreddo. Dave Baird, Rip Weaver and Jack Granger Stoeffhaas and wife Cindy welThe bowls for the table centercomed guests to the event. pieces were created by Hoover High In addition to Hoover Mayor School students Elliot Milligan Gary Ivey, other city, county and and Zach Boswell under the direcmore photos at To: state officials attending were Mari tion of art instructor Nelson Grice. From: Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 LaVerne Martin arranged flowers in Morrison, Allen Pate and wife Date: April 5 Mary, Jefferson County manager the bowls. Tony Petelos and wife Judge Teresa This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the April 5 2012 issue. Petelos and Sen. Jabo Waggoner Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. and wife Marilyn. Other friends of the gardens Please make sure all information is correct, including address at the event included Brandi and and phone number! Jonathan Belcher, Becky and Mickey Harbin, Ken Jackson, Please initial and fax back within 24 hours. Lori and Jim Schommer, Lois If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. and William Taylor, Miriam and Les Reed, David Funk, Charlotte Thank you for your prompt attention. and Gene Estill, Fran and Walter McMahon, Nadine and Jim Hamilton, Connie and Fred McCallum, Laura Ann Walley, Ella and Coy Ogle, Lynda and Don Wasden, Dana and Jimmy Rockett, Beverly and Mickey Salter, Carol Beall and daughter Jenny Beall, Barbara and Ed Randle, Hettie and Bill Johnson, Mark Boardman, Phil and Kathy Hutcheson, UAB basketball coach Jerod Haase and wife Mindy, Beverly and Dwight Meadors, Dianne and John Salter, Fred for all you birds Spicer and Kim McBride, Allison and David Bradley and Elaine and “The early bird gets the worm” shop our Marty Conners. 2489 Rocky Ridge Road • Vestavia Committee members who planned new shipment of tables from England Hwy 150 • Hoover the event were chairman Paulette and check out our new entrance! Mon-Sat 8am-6pm Pearson, co-chairman Miriam Kirklin Reed, Willie Edmiston, 2720 19th place south • homewood, al. 35209 Beverly Meadors and staff members tue- fri 10- 5 • sat 10- 4 Debbie Bartoletti, Beverly Bates phone 870-1264 and Weaver. ❖

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 17

Event Previews Heart of the House Gala


onald McDonald House board members gathered June 13 at the home of Jason and Connie Stein to kick off the upcoming Heart of the House Gala. At the event were Randy and Darby Nichols, Andy and Ruth Ann Peters, Bob and Heidi Wason, Kit and Rick Roth, Alan Lott, Tim and Eva Robertson, Corey Hobbs, Paul and Marianne Sharbel, Stephanie Alexander, Keri Till and Ross Massey, Trevor and Ashley Kaple, Max Cooper, Ben and Allison Weil, Branson and Velinda Block, Katherine Billmeier, Wendy Filler, Charlie and Chris Ellis, Collier and Patricia Craft, Erin Billmayer, April Dickerson and Jason and Connie Stein. The gala, set for Aug. 23 at the Wynfrey Hotel, will include a silent auction, dinner and live auction. Guests can bid on trips to St. Andrew’s, Las Vegas and Oregon vineyards; a fishing trip out of Miami; Auburn and Alabama football tickets; a backstage pre-game tour at Bryant-Denny stadium; a Robert Trent Jones golf tour with hotels; art by Mary Mellen and Vikki Denaburg; items from area jewelers, including the Diamond’s Direct Sparkling Sweepstakes; a Harley Davidson and more. Sirote & Permutt PC will be honored at the event for its support of Birmingham’s Ronald McDonald house and other community charities. Gala proceeds will go to the

From left: Connie Stein, Tim and Eva Robertson and Rick Roth

Stephanie Alexander, Marianne Sharbel, Max Cooper, Eva Robertson and Corey Hobbs Photos special to the Journal

RMH and also provide funding for the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at DCH Regional Medical Center.

For ticket or sponsorship information, contact Kathy Robson at or 2127258. ❖

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18 • Thursday, July 26, 2012



Barnes Receives NSAL Service Award


he Birmingham Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters annual Career Awards Banquet was April 21 at the Country Club of Birmingham. President Margie Denton welcomed members and guests and thanked Janis Zeanah, Dannette Ledbetter, Catherine Rogers, Barbara Shepherd and Ruth and Virgil Jensen for their assistance with the banquet.

A Selection of Unique Original and Limited Edition Art Affordably Priced

After dinner, the president introduced Dr. Benjamin Middaugh, chairman of the chapter’s musical theatre competition, and Dr. Laurie Middaugh, accompanist for the competition. Benjamin Middaugh discussed the competition and explained that Kathy Hinson, second place winner, and Caitlyn Oenbrink, third place winner, could not attend the banquet because both were performing in musical theatre events. He introduced Kyra Wharton, first place winner of $1,000 awarded by the Birmingham chapter, and told guests about her performances at A Selection of Unique Original Hoover High School and Red Mountain and Limited Edition Art Theatre. Affordably Priced Kyra is a freshman majoring in musical theatre at the University of Oklahoma. Accompanied by Dr. Laurie Middaugh, she sang two numbers she planned to perform at A Selection Unique Original the NSAL national of competition at El Paso, Texas,and in Limited May – “Change” Edition Art from the musical “New Brains” and “One Affordably Priced in Love” from “King David.” She then sang “Hear my Song” from “Songs For A New World,” “It’s Been A Long Time” andA“ISelection NeverofHave Snow” UniqueSeen Original from “Houseand of Flowers.” Limited Edition Art President Margie Denton Affordably Priced presented Edith Bauman with a certificate recognizing her as the chapter’s first nominee for the NSAL’s first National Arts Advocate Award. The award was estabA Selection of Unique Original lished this and yearLimited to recognize an NSAL Edition Art member who has made extraordinary Affordably Priced contributions to the arts in his or her community.

Edith then presented the Birmingham Chapter’s 2012 Rosamon Henderson Service Award to Edith Davis Barnes, who chaired the NSAL national dance competition last year. The award, named for the founder of the Birmingham Chapter, goes to a member who has given outstanding service to the chapter through involvement, commitment, financial support and activities that carry out the purposes of NSAL. Edith Barnes is professor emerita of theatre and dance and former director of the dance program at the University of Alabama. Her choreography has been presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, CNN and NBC’s Today Show as well as in France, Austria, the Netherlands and Sadler’s Wells in England. She has been a member of the Birmingham Chapter since 2006. At the banquet were Mildred AllenTaub and Edward Taub, Edith and Ronald Barnes, Edith and Robert Bauman, Regina and William Colvin, Margie and Robert Denton, Cindy Free, Tallulah Hargrove, Gail and Riley Hill, Ruth and Virgil Jensen, Melva and Rayburn Jones, Nancy and Edward Jones, Jeannine McElroy, Benjamin and Laurie Middaugh, Mary Frances and Robert Reed, Flora Richardson, Mel Robinson, Catherine and Brown Rogers, Barbara Shepherd, Pat and Kermit Southern, Emalyn and John Spencer, Rhea Speights, Sue Watkins, Martha Willetts, Jessie Williams, Maxine and Keith Williams, Janis Zeanah, Lucia Williamson, Mary

From left: Benjamin Middaugh, Kyra Wharton and Laurie Middaugh Photo special to the Journal

Edie Barnes and Rhea Speights

Drew, Steve Humphreys, Joseph John, Ank N Do, Lo-An and San Lee,

Here we GROW again!

Luncheon Marks House of Hope’s First Year

Henderson & Walton Women’s Center is excited to announce our new satellite office in Chelsea! The physicians you know and trust at our main office in Birmingham will now be coming to YOU in Chelsea. They bring with Robertthem 988-3131 the excellence you have come to expect—healthcare Over The Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 thatMountain is delivered in a personal, considerate, sensitive and FAX: 205-824-1246 knowledgeable manner. Henderson & Walton’s physicians July 2012 are Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and with St. Vincent’s Birmingham. Thisaffiliated is your AD PROOF from the OvER THE MOuNTAiN JOuRNAl for the TBD issue. Please fax approval changeshealthcare, to 824-1246. So, if you’ve been looking for quality or women’s


you’ve found it—right here in your neighborhood! Give us Please make sure all information is correct, a call today at (205) 678-8093 to set up an appointment in From left: Jessica Hall, Debbie Dresher, Pat Booth and Ruth Jones including address phone number! our Chelsea office and meet ourand physicians. Photo special to the Journal

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

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Kyra Wharton’s family, Ashanti, George and Thomas Slone. ❖


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ouse of Hope held a luncheon May 15 at the Abingdon home of Dr. and Mrs. Mel Wilcox. Some 45 women gathered to celebrate House of Hope’s success during its first year and to learn more about its goals for the future. House of Hope is a Christian ministry for women. It provides a safe, confidential place to go to be encouraged through prayer and fellowship. More than 150 women have come to House of Hope for help since it opened. Three of them gave their testimonies at the luncheon. At the event were Martha Bohorfoush, Charla Brown, Kim Wilcox, Justin and Lizzie Bohorfoush, Suzanne Graham, Paula Cox, Debbie Dresher, Jessica Hall, Pat Booth, Ruth Jones, Cindy Speake, Dot Heine, Melanie Gross, Barbara Cushman, Tammy Walker, Barbara Langston, Anne-Moore Baldwin, Virginia Lavallet, Jane Hall, Claire Downey, Debbie Cooney, Peggy Monroe, Cindy Bates, Barbara Wheeler and Peggy Goodwin. ❖


Emily McIntosh Douglass and William Bailey Murdock were married July 7 at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn. The Rev. William Stacey Croft officiated the 6:30 p.m. ceremony. Dinner and dancing followed at The Hermitage Hotel. The bride is the daughter of


Jenny Emma Meriwether Harris and Matthew Edward Mizzell were

McCrary-Renfroe Homewood

Ms. Ruth Van Auken Douglass of Sisters, Ore., and Mr. Sam Preston Douglass Jr. of Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the granddaughter of the late Rev. Dr. and Mrs. William Lansing Van Auken Sr. of Austin, Texas, and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Preston Douglass and Ms. Marylyn Ballinger Douglass of Houston. The groom is the son of the Hon. and Mrs. Glenn Murdock of Birmingham. He is the grandson of Mr. Billy Alford Murdock of Enterprise and the late Mrs. Marguerita Huey Murdock and the late Mr. and Mrs. James Robert Gilchrist of Hartselle. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an ivory ball gown of silk taffeta with a sweetheart neckline and chapel length train, accented by a ruffled bodice, silk buttons down the center back and strands of pearls encircling her waist. Her ivory chapel-length veil featured re-embroidered lace from her mother’s wedding gown. Both the gown and veil were designed

and created for the bride by Laura Gonzalez of Austin. The bride carried a bouquet of white roses and peonies tied with a handkerchief belonging to her late maternal grandmother, Mrs. Jane McIntosh Van Auken, for whom the bride is named. Maid of honor was Sarah Park Douglass, sister of the bride; matron of honor was Emily Murdock Menendez, sister of the groom. The groom’s father was best men. Groomsmen were John Taylor Murdock, brother of the groom; Matthew Becker Menendez, brotherin-law of the groom; and Sam Preston Douglass III, brother of the bride. Matthew Becker Menendez II was the ring bearer. The bride and groom are both graduates of Vanderbilt University. After a honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands, the couple will move to Charlottesville, Va., where the groom will begin law school at the University of Virginia.

married June 9 at Church in the Pines, Lake Martin. A reception followed at Willow Point Country Club. Rev. Andrew Clayton officiated the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Randy Harris of Auburn. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Edward Mizzell of Birmingham. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a Vera Wang mermaid gown with full length multi-layered tiers. The gown was made of laser cut tulle, English netting and satin-faced organza that graduated down the dress. The bride wore a silk tulle veil, and her waist was accented with a lace and rhinestone belt. Maid of honor was Amber Elizabeth Harris, sister of the bride.

Bridesmaids were Katherine Lynn Cosby, Caroline Megan Driscoll, Laura Beth Freeman, Amanda Lee Golden, Samantha Brittany Harrell and Courtney Paige Krehbiel. Junior bridesmaids were Carson Riley Clift, Hayden Dawn Clift, Ella Grace Weaver and Macy Kate Weaver. Flower girl was Avery Jolene Harris, niece of the bride. The father of the groom served as best man. Groomsmen were William Scott Ballard, Grant Evans McGuffey, Michael Scott Ramsey, Taylor Walker Ritchie, Jeffrey Walton Stone and Charles Victor Welden IV. Ring bearer was Micah Jack Mann, cousin of the groom. Following a honeymoon to St. Lucia, the couple will live in Houston.

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hardy McCrary of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Melissa Caroline, to James Alan Renfroe II, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Alan Renfroe. Miss McCrary is the granddaughter of Mrs. Robert Harold Wise of Dothan and the late Dr. Wise and Mr. John Furniss McCrary of Birmingham and the late Mrs. McCrary. She is a 2007 graduate of Mountain Brook High School. She graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University in 2012 and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. She is an alumna of Kappa Delta sorority and was presented at the Ball of Roses.

Miss McCrary is employed as a registered nurse at UAB Hospital. Mr. Renfroe is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Birks Davis of Birmingham and Mr. James Melvin Renfroe and Mrs. Lou Jean Morris of Huntsville. He is a 2007 graduate of Spain Park High School. He graduated from Auburn University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management. Mr. Renfroe is an alumna of Alpha Tau Omega and was involved in the Auburn Housing Authority. He is employed at McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc. in Birmingham. The wedding is planned for Sept. 8 at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Save the Date

SoHo Bridal Show Aug. 5, 1 p.m. Rosewood Hall at SoHo Square Engaged Wedding Library and Perfect Wedding Guide will host its fifth annual SoHo Bridal Show Aug. 5 from 1-4 p.m. The show focuses on the needs of the “Over the Mountain“ bride. More than 50 of Birmingham’s elite wedding professionals will be on location offering cake and food tastings, wedding gowns and trends in invitations, floral design and gift registry. Brides are

Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 19

Weddings & Engagements


given the opportunity to win giveaways. One lucky bride will win a getaway trip, and Diamonds Direct is giving away $500 towards the purchase of wedding bands. The first 100 brides to pre-register online at SoHoBridalShow. com will receive a wedding day swag bag filled with goodies and coupons. Discounted tickets are also available through pre-purchase online. For details on booth reservations or tickets contact Stephanie Whitaker at 637-0735 or or visit www. â?–

Recently engaged or married?

Share your good news with our readers. Submit announcements www. or email for more information.





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20 • Thursday, July 26, 2012



back2school  2012-13


It’s the people who make the Over the Mountain area schools some of the best in the state and also the nation. So this year, we’ve decided to highlight some of the individuals who make our schools so special. Whether it’s a teacher who goes the extra step or a standout student, together they make our schools what they are. Meet some of the OTM area's shining stars.





Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 21



A Great Debater

Mountain Brook Senior Won’t Rest on Last Year’s Laurels




eing named the state’s top Lincoln-Douglas debater was quite an honor for Wyatt Moorer. But he’s still got one more year of high school, and his plans are to top that. Last school year, Wyatt’s debating skills earned him the state’s top spot in Lincoln-Douglas debate, and he received the Most Outstanding State Competitor award. “I’d like to defend my title as Alabama State Champion in Lincoln-Douglas debate,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll qualify for Nationals like I did my sophomore year or the Tournament of Champions. That would be a first. That would be a very big deal.” Either one would be a big deal. Nationals and the Tournament of Champions, or TOC, as debaters call it, are the top competitions for high school debaters, with TOC being the most prestigious. Not only was Wyatt the state’s top Lincoln-Douglas debater, the Mountain Brook High team also was the overall state champion. “Last year, everyone as a whole did extraordinarily well,” Wyatt said. “One policy team went the farthest in the Tournament of Champions, and we won overall state champions. As a team we did very well.” The policy team of Philippa Straus and Evan McCarty was among the top teams in the nation, finishing second at the TOC. Evan graduated, but Philippa will return to the debate team for her senior year with a new partner. Wyatt hopes to see his team excel as a whole again during his senior year. In fact, like many of his teammates, he’s working on doing just that this summer. He spent two weeks in Colorado Springs, Colo., honing his debate skills at debate camp. He said in all this summer, he’ll spend about four weeks working on his LincolnDouglas debate skills. Unlike policy debate, an event in which teams of two advocate for and against a resolution, Lincoln-Douglas debate is a one-on-one debate usually focusing on ethics and values. Wyatt said that although debate can take up lots of his time, it’s worth it. It’s even helped him in other classes, and he suspects it will help in the future. Wyatt is taking all AP classes this year and will be president of the Key Club and a member of the Student Government Association. Debate meets frequently take him out of state – he’s traveled to Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles – but he’s learned to juggle school and debate. “I do miss a lot of school, but it really does help with schoolwork in general,” Wyatt said. “I would definitely recommend debate for others.” Wyatt started debating in the

I SHOP therefore


easy, one stop shopping Mountain Brook High Schoolʼs Wyatt Moorer was the stateʼs top LincolnDouglas debater last school year. This year he hopes to keep the title and Photo special to the Journal add to it.

ninth grade. He said it’s helped sharpen his critical thinking skills. While it may take him away from school, he said, it’s also made him a better student. One of his debate topics was even a question on the SAT. Although he’s still deciding where he’ll go to school after graduation, he suspects debate will be a part of his college education and maybe even his career. Wyatt is the son of Mac and Angela Moorer. His father is a lawyer; Wyatt said he’s far from deciding on a profession, but it’s always a possibility he’ll follow in his father’s footsteps. His years in debate have prepared him for the challenge.

“I don’t really know what I’m going to do when I graduate,” he said. “I’m really open to anything. I might use my skills to be a lawyer someday.” For now, he just wants to focus on his senior year and making the best of it. He also has some advice Crestline • 871-2662 for new students just coming to Mon. - Fri. 9-6 • Sat. 10-5 Mountain Brook High School. “Just don’t get bogged down or overwhelmed and enjoy it,” he said. “The best thing about Mountain Brook is the friendships and all the great people and quality teachers. The quality of education is unmatched by anybody in the To: George Jones, 933-2229 state.”❖

From: Over the Mountain Journal 823-9646 ph, 824-1246 fax Date: july 2012

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22 • Thursday, July 26, 2012



Stephanie Tunnell’s favorite dance is pointe ballet, but for the Flash Mob for the Foundation dance, she said she plans to keep it simple so more can participate. The spontaneous dance is planned for Aug. 18 and will Journal photo by Laura McAlister benefit the Vestavia Hills City School Foundation.

Flash Forward

Pizitz Student Plans Performance, Back-to-School Party for Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation

By Laura McAlister

ing. She is a very special young lady.” Stephanie’s Flash Mob for the Foundation and Back to School Bash will be at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Vestavia Hills hen school let out in May, Stephanie Tunnell didn’t City Center. Area merchants have joined in to donate a portion of their sales that evening to the foundation. Proceeds want to sit around and do nothing during her sumfrom the $20 fee to participate in the flash mob, which mer break. Instead, she opted to make a difference includes a T-shirt, dance lesson and snack, also will be donatin a big way. ed to the foundation. For the past several weeks, the incoming eighth grader at The actual flash mob will be geared toward kindergartenPizitz Middle School has been planning a flash mob, a group eighth grade students, though Stephanie said anyone is weldance in a public place, and back to school bash. It may come. sound like fun and games, but this event is for a good cause. Participants can learn the dance and pick up T-shirts Aug. It’s going to help Vestavia public schools by raising 15 or 16 from 10-noon in an empty room at the Vestavia Hills money for the Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation. City Center. “It just made sense,” said Stephanie’s mom Kristin. “She In addition to getting knows so many people in merchants to participate in Vestavia.” The Flash Mob for the the fundraiser, Stephanie Kristin helped connect Foundation and Back to has also spent her summer her daughter with Ashley School Bash is set for 5:30 working with Stephanie Thompson, the foundation’s executive director. p.m. Aug. 18 at the Vestavia Thompson at Vestavia Dance to choreograph the The foundation proHills City Center. Visit www. dance for the flash mob. vides financial support to for Pizitz’s Stephanie, who all Vestavia City public more information. has been taking dance schools. In addition to purlessons since she was 2, chasing technology for the said she wanted the dance schools, it’s also funded to be simple so people professional development of all abilities could participate. She picked Jason Derulo’s and educational programs. During the 2011-12 school year, “Undefeated” for the music. the foundation awarded the system more than $78,000. “One part of the song we’ll sing,” she said. “That will be “I spoke to the whole foundation board to tell them what my favorite part. There’s going to be a lot of repetition in the I wanted to do,” Stephanie said. “It was pretty cool, actually. dance and mostly hand movements.” I was a little nervous because I don’t like to talk as much as I The flash mob’s T-shirts will have a logo on the front do dance.” designed by Vestavia parent and graphic artist Ellen Due to a slow economy, the schools have suffered state Shuemaker and, on the back, a list of the many sponsors budget cuts in recent years, so raising money now for the Stephanie has persuaded to hop on board with the fundraiser. foundation is more important than ever, Ashley said. Stephanie said the experience of planning the Flash Mob “The Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation board of for the Foundation and Back to School Bash has taught her a directors has been blown away with Stephanie and her paslot, mainly about the Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation. sion for this project,” Ashley said. “As parents of children She said she hopes participants – she hopes to have about 200 in the system, we understand what proration has done to our – will leave the event with a better understanding of what the system and the importance of growing the education endowfoundation does for the school system. ment. This endowment provides professional development For more information or to register for the flash mob, training to the teachers in the system, along with technolemail or call 978-8808. For ogy and classroom enhancements. more information on the foundation, visit www.vestaviafoun“For a middle school student to grasp this concept and spend their summer pulling an event together to help is amaz- ❖


Journal Editor



The Play’s Her Thing

Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 23

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Homewood Junior Spends Her Summer Onstage

By Laura McAlister

Tuesday, July 31 “Sometimes it’s hard to balance everything,” the 9am to 11am 16-year-old said. “But it’s worth it. It’s really what I love Journal Editor to do.” Theresa said Racquel is really the only artistic one in hile many teenagers were spending their sumtheir family. She said she loves hearing her daughter sing mers lounging by the pool, Homewood’s and watching her perform, even though Theresa is more Racquel Williams spent hers on stage. comfortable being on the field than on the stage. To those who know her, this is no surprise. The “Me and her dad had to adjust because we have a love Homewood High School incoming junior has been perfor sports,” she said. “I’m a firefighter, and he loves socforming since she was 2. cer. We had to look at this as Racquel’s sport. At 2-3 years Be it at school or church or maybe just in her living of age, we decided this was her gift – her stage presence room among family and friends, Racquel has a love for and vocals.” singing, dancing and Once she graduacting. Though she ates, Racquel wants to hasn’t had any formal study performing arts training, Homewood in college in New York, city schools superintenLos Angeles or maybe dent Dr. Bill Cleveland, Connecticut, where at a recent performance there are several art of hers, said Racquel schools, she said. was a special talent. He Enroll today “We just know it Primrose School suspects he’ll be hearwill be out of state,” ing a lot about her well at Liberty Park for a brighter Theresa added. after her graduation 1800 Urban Center Parkway From there, it’s tomorrow. from Homewood High, Vestavia Hills, Alabama 35242 either Broadway or a he added. Curriculum and programs career in pop singing, 205.969.8202 Those who’ve heard developed in consultation Racquel said. her voice know just with experts “I kind of changed what he means. my mind from “She’s had random 5K program available Broadway to pop,” strangers come up to she said. “There were her and want to hug Educational Child Care for Infants through Integrated character some people from Los her,” said Theresa Private Kindergarten and After School development program Angeles at a (RMTC) De Leon, Racquel’s workshop last summer mother. “She’s touched who kind of moved Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools, Balanced Learning, them. We have people and The Leader in Educational Child Care are trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. me more toward pop. I come up and say her ©2012 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. want to do singing and singing has touched acting.” them.” Though she’s gotIn addition to being Singing • Playing Instruments 6/20/12 ten lots of experience70109_Prmrs_LocalAd_ID_2633.indd 1 one of the lead vocalbetween show choir ists in Homewood and RMTC, Racquel High’s show choir, said she still gets Racquel also is a nervous when she permember of the Red forms. Mountain Theatre “When I hear the Company. crowd, I get really She spent much of MUsiC EdUCAtion ClAssEs shaky and scared,” she Racquel Williams spent her summer performing in the Red her summer in rehearsMountain Theatre Company’s “Legally Blonde.“ The incoming said. Birth - 5 years als for and performancjunior says she wants to be an actor and a singer after graduaBut she has learned es of the company’s Journal photo by Laura McAlister tion. to control it. She just Broadway hit “Legally listens to some of her Blonde.” Racquel is favorite music, maybe a member of the ensemble in the play, which is showing Alicia Keys or Katy Perry, and it calms her nerves. When now-Aug. 5 at the Virginia Samford Wright Theatre. it comes to music, the two pop singers are among her Racquel said practice for the production of “Legally favorites. Blonde” has taken up much of her summer, and the When it comes to Broadway, she also has a favorite performances are on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and role she aspires to play. Sundays. The show will be over by the time school starts, “I went to Broadway for the first time this spring,” but Racquel hopes to be moving on to performing with Racquel said. “We saw three plays. One was ’Spiderman.’ the HHS Show Choir as well as rehearsing for the Red There was this queen spider. I really want to be her.” ❖ Mountain Theatre Company’s holiday show.

A group of Crestline Elementary girls supported the Greater Birmingham Humane Society by hosting a bake sale. They baked cupcakes, cookies, brownies and even homemade pet treats for the sale. Crestline Piggly Wiggly pitched in to help the girls in their efforts to raise $500 for the humane society. Photo special to the Journal

1:17 PM

• Musical Games •

School Notes

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Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church Conservatory of the Arts 205-822-2205 Come for the Fun, Stay for the Education

24 • Thursday, July 26, 2012



Changing with the Times

School Notes

Teacher of the Year Stays in Step with New Techniques BY LAURA MCALISTER

Before that, she worked in Homewood and Oak Mountain schools. Except for a short stint teaching middle school students, she’s always taught math to ninth and 10th graders. “I really love that age,” she said. “It’s just fun to watch ven after three decades, Suzanne Culbreth’s eyes them coming in as goofy freshmen and watching them light up and a big smile stretches across her face mature and grow. My very first freshmen at Spain Park when she talks about teaching math. A former boss once described the Spain Park High School graduated this year.” Suzanne said it’s the students who serve as her inspiration. geometry teacher as someone who was just “born to teach.” She believes learning can and should be fun – even math. Suzanne couldn’t agree more. She’s always loved the discov“Of course it’s fun,” she said, laughing. “We have fun in ery process with her students, and even though she believes here all the time. The fun part really is the learning.” it’s her life’s calling, she still has to work at it. Her teaching techniques have changed drastically since “I can’t stay the same,” Suzanne said of her teaching techniques. “I always say we can’t teach the way we were taught. her first teaching days. She recalls figuring up grades on calculators and pecking out test questions on a typewriter. Students are changing. Technology is changing. Change, though, is never something this teacher has “I evaluate what I do every day and ask if this is workresisted. Suzanne ing. I’m always likes to stay on looking for better the cutting edge. ways.” She’s When school embraced the starts this year, state’s new Suzanne will Alabama Math, begin her 30th Science and year of teaching. Technology It also will be Initiative and is her reigning year a trainer for the as Alabama’s program that Teacher of the aims to transYear. form the way After her these subjects teaching peers are taught in at Spain Park Alabama schools. named her the Suzanne’s not school’s teacher into Facebook, of the year for she said, but the last school she does have a year, she went on teaching blog. to win the state’s There, she posts top honor, which assignments for now puts her in the week every the running for Monday. On the National Teacher days before tests, of the Year. she even has Shortly after online study seslearning she’d Suzanne Culbreth, center, receives her certificate for her Presidential Awards sions. for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from U.S. Secretary of gotten the state Education Arne Duncan, left, and Deputy Director of the National Science “I got that award, Suzanne Photo special to the Journal Foundation Cora Marrett. idea from a received a calculus teacher Presidential “I always say we can’t teach the way in Canada,” she Award for said. “He had Excellence in we were taught. Students are changing. scribes, who Mathematics Technology is changing. I evaluate what I would post notes and Science every day online. do every day and ask if this is working. I’m Teaching. She I tweaked it for was one of about always looking for better ways.“ my students and 100 math and do online study science teachers – SUZANNE CULBRETH sessions. I post receiving the the test specificahonor this year. Even more important than the awards, Suzanne said, is the tions and will go online at 7:30 and 10 the night before the opportunity the titles will give her to collaborate with some of test to answer any questions.” When the school year starts, Suzanne gives her students a the nation’s top teachers. Google survey to better evaluate their learning styles. As a teacher of the year, she’ll meet with other teachers Suzanne said all students learn differently. She knows throughout the state, and in January 2013, she’ll travel to that firsthand. While in school, she struggled in math, which Washington, D.C., for a conference with fellow award winis one of the reasons she enjoys teaching it so much, she ners from each state. She’s already been to Washington this summer as part of the PAEMST, where she met with the U.S. said. “I was not the best math student,” she admitted. “I think secretary of education as well as Vice President Joe Biden that makes me have empathy for those who need to see it and wife Dr. Jill Biden. a different way. There are a lot of different ways to get the “The best part was getting to talk to other teachers and same formula. Sometimes students even come up with their meeting Joe Biden’s wife. She’s in education,” Suzanne said own that works.” of the PAEMST conference. “My goal this school year is Although she’s been teaching for almost 30 years now, really to have one foot in the classroom and one completing Suzanne said she never fails to get excited when she’s able my duties as teacher of the year. I didn’t want to turn away to see the moment of “discovery” on a student’s face. She from the classroom completely this year.” said it’s why she teaches. Suzanne said a mentor will help her in the classroom this There are always bad days in the classroom, she said, but year while she fulfills her teacher of the year responsibilities. she has a solution for that, too. She calls it her “happy file.” But receiving the state’s top teaching honor doesn’t mean she “Print all those emails from former students who are now has any thoughts of leaving the classroom for good anytime contributing members of society, and put them in your happy soon. file,” she said. “On days you get discouraged, read them.” ❖ Suzanne has been teaching at Spain Park for four years.



Linda Dobbins Dance students and teachers who will perform in Scotland include, from left, front: Brianna Gaither, Kate Dorsten, Breena Lackey, Hannah Nelson and Mackenzie Calvert. Back: Caroline Shea, Anna Leigh Sharp, teacher Jessica Barnthouse, teacher Anna Marie Dobbins, teacher Lori Maddox, Annie Davidson and Reese Webb. Not pictured: Sydney Fowler, Callie Aiken, Annie Rotenstreich, Gabby Weissman and Zoie McNeely. Photo special to the Journal

Dancers Will Perform in Scotland Company dancers from Linda Dobbins Dance in Mountain Brook have been invited to the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland, in August. The performing arts festival

is celebrating its 40th year and provides world class venues for young people to perform. AIYF has hosted more than 25,000 young people from around the globe, making it one of the biggest and most successful gatherings of youth talent in the world. ❖

Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 25



SMCS Names New Principal

New Administrators will Greet Students at Several OTM Schools


hades Mountain Christian School in Hoover recently named Brian Willett its new K3-12 principal. Willett was the headmaster of Trinity Presbyterian School, a private Christian school in Montgomery, for more than 25 years before retiring in 2006. He holds administrator certification for grades P-12 in Alabama. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and sociology from Cornell College and Brian Willett master’s degrees in Christian education from Reformed Seminary in Jackson, Miss., and school administration from Northern Illinois University. After retiring from Trinity in 2006, he has been director of admissions for Samford University for the past six years. Other new principals and assistant principals in the Over the Mountain area include: Homewood:  Zachary Barnes is the new principal at Homewood High School. He previously served as principal at Hewitt-Trussville High School.  Amanda Esslinger and Matt Kiser were named assistant principals at Homewood High

School. Amanda was a teacher at Homewood High School. Matt was assistant principal at HewittTrussville High School. Hoover:  Kimberly White is the new principal at Gwin Elementary School. She previously served as assistant principal at the school.  Larry Giangrosso was named assistant principal at Spain Park High School. He previously served at Pelham High School. Mountain Brook:  Dr. Catherine Waters was named assistant principal at Crestline Elementary. She previously served as assistant principal at Mountain Brook Junior High.  Ashley McCombs was named assistant principal at Mountain Brook Elementary. She previously served as a reading coach at the school.  Jennifer Galloway was named assistant principal at Cherokee Bend Elementary. She previously served as assistant principal at Oak Mountain Elementary.  Amanda Hood is the new principal at Mountain Brook Junior High. She previously served as assistant principal at the school.  Donald Clayton was named assistant principal at Mountain Brook Junior High. He previously served as assistant principal, athletic director and history teacher at Oak Mountain High School.  Derek Dearman was named assistant principal at Mountain Brook Junior High. He previously served as principal at Montevallo

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High School.  Dr. Lisa Walters was named assistant principal at Mountain Brook High School. She previously served as assistant principal at Mountain Brook Elementary.  Jeremy Crigger was named assistant principal at Mountain Brook High School. He previously served as principal of Walker High School. Vestavia Hills:  Ty Arendall is the new principal at Vestavia Hills Elementary Liberty Park. Previously he served as principal at Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights.  Dr. Kay Cooper is the new principal at Vestavia Hills

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Elementary Cahaba Heights. She previously served as assistant principal at Vestavia Hills Elementary East.  Kellie Wigley was named assistant principal at Vestavia Hills Elementary East. She previously served as a guidance counselor at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central.  Cindy Echols was named assistant principal at Vestavia Hills Elementary East. She previously served as a school administrator in Homewood City Schools.  Brad Hayn was named assistant principal at Vestavia Hills High School. He previously served as an assistant principal in Shelby County schools. ❖

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Shades Mountain Nationals Three-peat

The Shades Mountain 9U Nationals defeated Mountain Brook 4-3 to claim their third consecutive Metro championship. Team members are from left, front: Slade McCraw, Bradley Renfroe, Sam Tolbert, Carter Milliron, Ty Truett and David Jalbert.  Middle:  Evan Warren, Will Whisenhunt, Pierce Covin, Josh Lundy, Peyton Fox and Tyler Waugh.  Back: Coaches Danny Warren, Mike McCraw, Craig Tolbert and Joseph Lundy.

Pirates Win League Title in Mountain Brook

Shades Mountain Nationals Win Metro

The Mountain Brook 8U Pirates celebrate winning the league championship tournament. Team members are, from left, front: Caroline Simms, Olivia Robinson, Caroline Hellums and Maggie Reaves. Middle: Lucy Kerr, Ava Canterbury, Raegan Nichols, Lizzie Amberson, Callie Mann and Mary Dawson Gladney. Back: Coaches George Simms, William Canterbury, (head coach) Chris Nichols and Vann Gladney.

The 8U Nationals of Shades Mountain Park, celebrate their Metro championship. Team members are, from left, front: Lucas Steele, Roman Zimmerman, Ben Corley, Noah Small and Miles Mitchell. Back: Bridges George, Paul Thompson, Drew Gerstenberg, Evan Radford, Brady Waugh, Clayton Marshall and Brady Edwards. Back: Head coach Darrin Waugh and assistant coaches David Marshall, Matt Mitchell and Brett Steele.

Mountain Brook 8U Wins Area Softball Championship

Shades Mountain Bucs Finish Second in Metro

The Mountain Brook 8U All Star Green Team Won the Area Championship hosted by Vestavia Liberty Park. Mountain Brook defeated Trussville, Hoover Orange and Vestavia. Vestavia defeated Mountain Brook in 7 innings in the double elimination tournament.   “We had to turn around and play them again. We secured the win 15-10,” said head coach, Betsy Keller.  This is the second tournament in a row this team has won.

The 8U Bucs defeated Oak Mt. Blue 18-7 forcing a one game championship but came up short losing 20-9 to Oak Mt. Members of the Bucs are, from left, front: Jake Traffenstedt, Ryan Walker, Davison Dover, Andrew Batson, Sam Cunningham and Luke McNeill. Middle: Marshal Howell, Aaron Seewald, Marcos Blackstone, John David Shanlever, Will Everson and Conner Elrod. Back: Coaches Chet Walker, Patrick Cunningham, Bobby Morris and Jeff Shanlever.


from back cover

from back cover

Team members are, from left, front: Maggie Clanton, Betsy Lambert, Jane Ryland Elliott, Sarah Kate Sanders, Abby Maziarz and Caroline Savage. Middle: Ellie Hamilton, Maggie Reaves, Emily Hart, Riley Brown, Lucy Redden and Ann Carlton Keller. Coaches: John Hamilton, Carter Brown, Jim Maziarz, Lee Clanton and Betsy Keller, (head coach).

Athlete of the Year,” said Payne. “I’m proud to accept it on behalf of my school, my coaches, my teammates and my family.” Payne would be the first to admit that she wasn’t a one-girl show at Oak Mountain. Teammates such as Haley Gerken, Vicki Hill, Bailee Harnett, Emma Roberson and Sydney Jeter all played important roles in bringing home the Lady Eagles’ first title. “A lot of the success I’ve had is due to the great work of my teammates,” she said. “I am so grateful to them for everything.” Payne’s personal story is almost as unique as her tale of two championships. When young Toni began to play soccer at age 5, her first coach was her father Oyleke, a former Nigerian soccer star. By the time Payne reached middle school, she was already one of Alabama’s most highly-regarded youth soccer players. Upon reaching high school, she immediately became an impact player

for Oak Mountain. Perhaps Payne’s greatest accomplishment came last February when she was chosen for the U.S. Under-17 National Team. The team went to Spain, facing opponents from France, the Netherlands and Great Britain before heading to Guatemala City in May to claim the CONCACAF title. Payne qualified for the U.S. team without a slick publicity campaign urging the selection committee to choose her. Such a media-driven approach wouldn’t be consistent with the polite and low-key demeanor that is Payne’s trademark. “My parents taught me the importance of working hard,” she explained. “That’s what pays off more than anything.” Payne’s goals for her senior year at Oak Mountain are clear. After the Under-17 Women’s World Cup ends in October, she would like to help the


Lady Eagles to their second consecutive state crown. “It’s great to play internationally and play for a club team, but there’s nothing quite like winning a championship for your school,” she said. “I hope to be a part of that this coming season.” Payne is also a top player for her club team, the Concorde Fire. Her plans for college are set. Payne has verbally committed to play soccer at the University of Notre Dame, where she will enroll in the fall of 2013. Another goal is to play in the Women’s World Cup in 2015. “Qualifying for the World Cup would be a dream coming true,” she said. Toni Payne has already achieved a lot of dreams. She’s won championships in two nations with the possibility of more ahead. And that’s also made her the Athlete of the Year.

and devotion to baseball have paid yet another dividend. He has been chosen as the 2011-12 Over the Mountain Boy Athlete of the Year by the Over the Mountain Journal. White is the first Spain Park athlete to earn the honor. Oak Mountain soccer star Toni Payne was named the 2011-12 Over the Mountain Girl Athlete of the Year. “It’s a real honor to be named Athlete of the Year,” said White. “This is an award I never thought I could receive. The fact that there are so many great athletes that come from this area makes it very special.” Spain Park coach Will Smith is probably White’s biggest fan. “Mikey is one of those once-ina-lifetime-type players for a coach,” said Smith. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the first week of practice or the semifinals of the playoffs, he plays the game at the highest level. Mikey simply makes each player around him better. He has been the energy guy for our program over the last four years. “It’s great that he’s capped off his high school career by being named Athlete of the Year.” If White provided energy for his Jaguar teammates, his Spain Park experiences altered him as well.

Although he had the chance to go directly from high school to professional baseball, White decided the camaraderie of the college game was important to him. “It was my senior year that swayed me,” he explained. “We had a great bunch of hard-working guys and produced a much better season than anyone expected. I wanted the experience of playing college ball. “Playing for a team was important to me. In the professional ranks, you’re working as an individual to make it to the big leagues. For me, that can wait.” White committed to the University of Alabama and has spent the summer in Tuscaloosa working out and attending classes. He said the Crimson Tide coaches expect him to make significant contributions in his freshman year. “I have to admit that it’s been an adjustment, taking college courses and getting ready for baseball season,” said White. “But I’m looking forward to the opportunity of competing in the Southeastern Conference.” Mikey White has taken advantage of nearly all the opportunities he’s had in his baseball career. His work habits earned him a college scholarship. They also earned him the Athlete of the Year award.

Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 27



Baynes Baseball’s Mountain Brook 15U Wins USSSA Title

Mountain Brook 15U head coach Allen Baynes said great pitching, timely hitting and solid defense were the keys to winning the USSSA AA 15U State Championship recently. “John Tully and Joseph Dillard’s great pitching efforts in the championship game helped lead our team to state championship victory,” he said. Parks Shoulders, Bailey Shelfer and Alan Hale all had complete game victories on the mound leading up to the championship game. “Along with the solid pitching, we had timely hitting and solid defense throughout the weekend by each and every member of the team,” said Baynes.

Members of the Baynes Baseball Mountain Brook 15U team are, from left: Andrew Autrey, Tucker Ellis, Charlie Boyd, Parks Shoulders, John Tully, Alan Hale, Joseph Dillard, Coach Allen Baynes, Mac Harris, Jack McPherson, Bailey Shelfer, Griffin Osborne, and TJ Beard. Not pictured, coach Robert Shoulders.

Alabama Heat Win State Baseball Tournament

Mountain Brook10U Win Grand Slam State Title

The Mountain Brook Spartan 10U baseball team won the Grand Slam state championship tournament held in June in Calera. The Spartans finished the championship with a 13-12 win over the Gadsden Astros. The team members, include, from left, front: David Stone, Emerson Ritchie, Davis White, Edward Reed, Beau Hubbard, Clark Griffin, William O’Leary, Porter Phelan, Curt Gann and Patrick Neil. Coaches are Lee Gann, Clay Malcomb and Steven Griffin, (head coach).

The Alabama Heat 13 year-old travel baseball team won the USSSA 13U Alabama Major Class State Tournament held in Hoover recently. Members of the Heat are, from left front: Andrew Carney, Mountain Brook; John Rollow, Mountain Brook; Sam Jeffcoat, Mountain Brook; Daniel Salchert, Oak Mountain; Brady Kies, Thompson and Levi Thomas, Cullman. Back: Noah Fondren, Cullman; Sam Strickland, Briarwood; Gene Hurst, Chelsea; Owen Lovell, Cullman; Mason Williamson, Oak Mountain; Ethan Holsombeck, Oak Mountain and Thomas Short, Oak Mountain.

Bases Loaded Rebels-12U Vestavia Wins State Title

Hoover 9U Win State Championship

The Hoover baseball 9U team won the USSSA 9U AA State Championship in June. Team members are, from left, front: Tyler Waugh, Ty Truett, Pierce Covin, Evan Warren, David Jalbert and Carter Milliron. Middle: Sam Tolbert, Peyton Fox, Tanner Plummer, Slade McCraw, Will Whisenhunt, Josh Lundy and Bradley Renfroe. Back: Coaches Danny Warren, Steve Milliron, Mike McCraw, Joseph Lundy, and Craig Tolbert.

The Bases Loaded Rebels 12U Vestavia traveled to Cullman in June and won the USSSA 12-year-old AA State tournament. Team members are, kneeling, from left: William Jemison, Evan Dixon and Colton Lewis. Standing: Colton Bellsnyder, Luke Whitaker, Britton Rembert, Josh Martin, Ryan Hernandez, Jack Mason, Chris Dugas, Wilson Enslen and Sims Ruffino. Coaches: Scott Kennedy, John DeRuelle, Alan Enslen, Jeff Dugas and Josh Bennefield.


from back cover

friends and so many great memories. “But it’s sad because we had such an amazing time at Spanish Fort, and the people there were so good to us.” Walker is following Dal Davis, who stepped down after eight solid seasons with the Rebels, during which time his teams always won at least 19 games and never experienced a losing record. But Walker knows Davis won’t be the coach to whom his own tenure at Vestavia will be compared. That shadow will belong to the late Sammy Dunn, who won 10 state championships and 647 games in 27 years at the Rebels’ helm. Walker insisted he wasn’t intimidated by Dunn’s powerful legacy. “I’m not in awe of Vestavia’s tradition – I’m excited to be a part of it,” he explained. “I feel honored to have the opportunity to add to the success

Homewood Joy League Crowns Champions

this program has achieved.” Walker and Dunn were friendly rivals on the field when Homewood and later Mountain Brook competed with Vestavia during Walker’s earlier tenures. Additionally, Walker and Dunn’s brother Mike were classmates at the University of Montevallo. “Sammy and I were close,” Walker said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity of putting my own unique mark on Vestavia Rebel baseball.” Walker admitted he hadn’t had a chance to evaluate the strength of Class 6A baseball in metro Birmingham since leaving the scene years ago but was confident it’s among the state’s best. “I could give you a stock answer, but it wouldn’t be accurate because I’ve been gone for a while,” he said. “But I do know this: This Over the Mountain area turns out a lot of (NCAA) Division I talent, and that tells me something.” Walker said that talent will dictate

his Vestavia team’s style of play -with a couple of caveats. “There are different ways to win,” he said. “I had a championship team at Spanish Fort that hit 44 home runs in a season and another championship team that hit only five homers. The things we will emphasize, though, are good pitching and good defense. Nobody wins in baseball without those disciplines.” Walker’s duties at Vestavia will also include coaching freshman football and teaching Algebra I and II. “God led me to be a baseball coach, but I want to help any way I can,” he said. “At Vestavia, all the coaches work together so well. You’ve got guys like George Hatchett, who’s coached varsity boys’ basketball for almost 30 years and still works with football, and Steve Gaydosh, a great wrestling coach, who also helps with football. “There’s a spirit of comradeship and cooperation at Vestavia that you

The Homewood Joy League recently wrapped up its 55th consecutive season of daytime baseball. Commissioners Perry Akins and Ted Hagler awarded championship trophies to the teams that won the league’s divisions. The 2012 champions are: A – The Bucs; AA – The Yanks, and AAA – The Bucs. To end the season, each division champ played a game against an All-Star team composed of 12 players from its division. All-Stars from the Bucs and the Cards played Alldon’t have everywhere. I probably wouldn’t have left Spanish Fort for too many other places other than Vestavia.” And while Walker is a baseball guy first and foremost, he understands that high school is a special time in a young man’s life. “I want my players to participate in as many sports as they want,” he said. “My goal is to help them be successful in everything they do.” Walker is busy with the necessary mechanics of any move – selling his present house, finding a new

Stars from the Sox and the Yanks in a T-Ball Rookie All-Star game. Following those games, the coaches, players and their families enjoyed a traditional watermelon picnic. Each year, Joy League games are played on Saturday mornings on the two diamonds at Edgewood Elementary School. A total of 216 boys and girls played in league games this year. Established in 1958 by the late John J. Smith, Sr., the Joy League provides its third generation of players a fun place to learn the game of baseball. one – but the coach is still hitting the ground running. There’s a meeting being planned soon for Rebel players and their parents and Vestavia’s baseball alumni. “It’s going to be a meet and greet,” said Walker. “I thought it would be a way to get to know my players and their families and get involved in this community again. I’m happy to be back at home.” For Tommy Walker, home is definitely where the heart is. And now the home – and the challenge – is at Vestavia.


Thursday, July 26, 2012


Area Travel Teams Bring Home State Titles P. 27 Shades Mountain Nationals Three-peat P. 26

otmj athletes of the year

Queen of Payne


By Lee Davis

By Lee Davis

Oak Mountain Soccer Star Wins Top Athlete Honor


Journal Sports Writer

oni Payne helped the Oak Mountain girls’ soccer team win its first ever Class 6A state championship in 2012. That’s nice to know, but a lot of outstanding young athletes help their teams win championships every year. But there’s something about Payne that made her contribution to the Lady Eagles’ title run so unique: Payne inspired her teammates while she was playing soccer — in another country. Payne was in Guatemala with the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National team May 12 while Oak Mountain Toni Payne is a rising senior at Oak Mountain was edging Auburn 1-0 Journal photo by Maury Wald High School. to win the program’s first ping 34 goals with 18 assists. The blue championship trophy. While the Lady Eagles were winning, diminutive 5-2 midfielder was also a standout defender and leader. Payne’s U.S. team was doing well, A typical Payne performance came too, slipping past Team Canada 1-0 to in March when she scored five goals capture the Under-17 Confederation in Oak Mountain’s 10-0 rout of tradiof North, Central American and tional power Daphne in the Southern Caribbean Association Football (socShootout in Mobile. cer) championship. “Toni is a natural leader and a Payne and her national team will great player,” said Lady Eagles coach advance to the Women’s U-17 World Pete Dakis. “She always works hard. Cup in Azerbaijan this fall. A coach can’t ask any more than “It was great to be a part of the that.” national team, but I was disappointed Payne’s ability to help lead teams I was unable to be a part of the chamto championships in different counpionship game for Oak Mountain,” tries is a story you don’t see every said Payne. “I hope I inspired my day. It is also enough to earn her the teammates, even though we were far honor of 2011-12 Over the Mountain apart. I know they inspired me.” Girl Athlete of the Year. Baseball Payne, a rising senior, turned in standout Mikey White of Spain Park stellar statistics despite the fact that was named the Over the Mountain she missed 13 Lady Eagles games Boy Athlete of the Year. – including all five playoff contests – “I am so honored to be named Girl because of international play. Starting in 18 games, Payne scored a whopSee payne, page 26

Spain Park Slugger Named Athlete of the Year


Journal Sports Writer

any kids have no idea what they want to be when they grow up – even after they have grown up. Mikey White never had that problem. In middle school, White knew exactly what he wanted to do as an adult: play major league baseball. “I was born in San Diego and started playing baseball at about age 4,” he said recently. “We moved here (to the Birmingham area) when I was 10. A couple of years later, I realized I was pretty good at baseball and decided that’s what I wanted to do.” Mikey White helped lead the Jaguars to the White’s focused work Class 6A Area 12 championship. Journal photo by Maury Wald ethic paid off. By his senior year at Spain Park, he had mound. White produced an 8-2 record become one of metro Birmingham’s with two saves. He struck out 61 batmost highly touted baseball talents. ters, walked only nine and compiled a But perhaps nobody expected the stellar ERA of 1.13. season White and his Jaguar teamFor his efforts, White earned mates would put together in 2012. all-state, all-metro and all-Over the Excelling at shortstop with both Mountain honors. his glove and his bat, White led Spain White’s best moment of the season Park to a surprising 35-17 record and may have come in the Jaguars’ 5-2 the Class 6A Area 12 championship. win in the third and deciding playoff The Jaguars’ real story, however, game against Pelham. As the starting began in the post-season. Spain Park pitcher, he surrendered just three hits shocked baseball observers across in six innings while striking out six. the state by beating highly-regarded White also had two hits to help spearPelham in the playoffs before losing head his team’s big upset victory. a close and intense series to Oxford, Even losing Pelham coach Jeff falling just short of reaching the Mauldin paid tribute to White. championship finals in Montgomery. “His intensity and composure is During the season, White batted a what separates him from the other hefty .388 against some of Alabama’s best guys in the state,” said Mauldin. best high school pitchers, with 37 “He wills the team to win.” RBIs and 46 runs. He also slammed White’s remarkable determination nine home runs. He was just as impressive on the See white, page 26

Lee Davis

A Walker To History

Former Homewood, Mtn. Brook Coach Takes Helm of Vestavia Hills


n addition to being a well-respected baseball coach, Tommy Walker has a reputation as a pretty good mathematics teacher. His academic specialty may be algebra, but he’ll be making history on the diamond next spring. Walker, who recently accepted the position of head baseball coach at Vestavia Hills, will be the first man to coach the national pastime at three different Over the Mountain high schools. He directed the Homewood program from 1985-87, coached at Samford University from 1989-97, led Mountain Brook from 1998-2001 and now will add Vestavia to that list. His experience also includes working as a graduate assistant for the iconic Ron Polk at Mississippi State. The 52-year old veteran coach comes to Vestavia after a highly successful stint at Spanish Fort High School in south Alabama, where he led the Toros to a 201-62 record and three consecutive state Class 5A baseball championships. Walker was the first and only baseball coach Spanish Fort has ever had. “It’s bittersweet,” said Walker when contacted recently. “I’m really excited to be coming back to where (wife) Helen and I have so many See davis, page 27

Over the Mountain Journal July 26, 2012  

Over the Mountain Journal is a community newspaper covering the Birmingham, Alabama suburbs of Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Homew...