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‘It’s An Honor to Serve’ Vestavia Native Soaring into Tuscaloosa This Month on the Wings of the Blue Angels STORY BY RUBIN E. GRANT | PHOTOS BY LEE WALLS JR. DAVE STEPPE’S YOUNG SON, WYATT, doesn’t understand what his dad does for a living.

But whenever 1-year-old Wyatt sees his dad in uniform, he gets excited. So do a lot of other folks who attend one of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ air shows. Steppe is from Vestavia Hills and is a lieutenant with the Blue Angels, having joined the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron in 2016. He was named the squadron’s events

See STEPPE, page 16 INSIDE

EASTER TRADITIONS Homewood churches come together for Way of the Cross ceremony PAGE 2

RAISING THE ROOF Vestavia students and VHUMC members team up to build Habitat for Humanity home PAGE 12

OPEN HOUSE Popular home tours kick off this month PAGE 24

THE GUMBO GAMES Cooks will roux the day at Episcopal Place’s annual competition PAGE 33

2 • Thursday, April 5, 2018



Journal photo by Jordan Wald


I In Formation

Homewood Churches Process in 24th Annual Way of the Cross

Organized by local churches, Homewood’s annual Way of the Cross ceremony took place on Good Friday, March 30. The hour-long religious procession is a 24-year tradition for the local church community, with representation from area churches including Homewood Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Edgewood Presbyterian Church, Trinity United Methodist Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and the Dawson Family of Faith, among others.  Church representatives and community members met at Central Park in the afternoon and processed down Oxmoor Road, led by bagpiper Kathleen Ryan and cross bearers who took turns carrying an eight-foot cross. Along the way, they stopped at eight stations to take part in prayers, scripture readings, moments of silence and songs in recognition of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.  The procession concluded at Edgewood Presbyterian Church with prayer and Good Friday worship.




There’s so much happening in the Over the Mountain area, we can’t fit it all in the paper! Visit for more stories and photos.


April 5, 2018 JOU RNAL Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Sarah Kuper, Emily Williams Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Blake Ells, Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, Jordan Wald, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch, Sam Prickett Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Vol. 27, No. 17

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 2018 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.

Snakes on a Brain

’m not afraid to go in my the stuff is still either beautiful or useful, just not to me, things that once attic. Sure, spiders and misguided were perfect someplace in my house insects occasionally have to be and now are not. There’s a big bluish rerouted, but my attic wouldn’t be vase that once sat on the hearth filled considered a good setting for “Psycho with branches that became a liability 6: Grandma Rises.” The room is pretty when the grandchildren arrived. tidy, if I do say so myself. Still, there There’s a ceramic Italian villa cookie are things lurking in the shadows that jar that is cute as it can be but no lonI’d rather not deal with. Nothing tawger works in my kitchen. There are dry or embarrassing (I’m not that pottery jars and baskets that once had interesting.), just flotsam and jetsam secure positions around the house but that needs to be jetted (or flotted) somewhere else. were ousted in a redecorating run.  I’m having a hard time with that. It An adjunct closet holds my motherreminds me of a scene from “Pee Wee of-the-bride dresses. Will I wear them Herman’s Great Adventure” where our again? Probably not. My mother-inSue Murphy bow-tied hero rushes in to save anilaw bought a fur stole at a garage sale (It has someone else’s initials sewed mals in a burning pet shop. He res The rest of the in the lining.) that hangs under a cues the puppies. He goes back in pillowcase cover. She was very and rescues the bunnies. He brings stuff is still either proud of it and happy for me to out armloads of kittens and gerbils beautiful or useful, have it, but I am a dyed-in-the-wool and fish (in a tank), but each time he goes back in the building, he just not to me, things animal person and would never (never) wear it. Why do I keep these passes a terrarium filled with that once were things, and yet, how can I let them snakes. He knows that eventually he will have to save them, too, but he perfect someplace in go? My grandmother’s crocheted tablecloth, my Fairy Godmother puts it off until the very last pass. my house and now cape, Harold’s old tuxedo…who am There are snakes in my attic, my I kidding? I’m never getting rid of friends, things I keep passing by, are not. those. knowing full well that I’ll have to Still, they’re all snakes. Unlike deal with them sooner or later.  the gnats I talked about a few weeks One side of the attic holds tubs ago, the path of these objects is not clear. It’s not just a of seasonal decorations, neatly labeled and in their place. The shelves store my girls’ old china tea sets and matter of going someplace or gluing something or making a directed phone call. These things are weighed boxes of memorabilia from their childhoods. Just under down with memories. I have to decide where they the eaves is a lineup of my daughter’s old karate tourbelong in my life, if indeed they do, and if they don’t… nament trophies, some that were bigger than she was at well, I will just have to let them go. the time. All this can stay.   I’ll deal with everything one day, I promise, but it The attic middle ground, however, is filled with won’t be today. Today is meant for puppies and kittens snakes. There’s a highchair I need to get rid of, but that’s just a matter of putting it in the back of the car and gerbils. Tomorrow? We’ll see. Maybe snakes. and taking it to the Salvation Army drop off. The rest of Maybe not. ❖   


What steps do you think should be taken to make schools safer? “Having behavior interventionist counselors at the schools to talk with children who are flagged as at risk for committing a crime.” Mary Wyers Hoover

“More School Resource Officers at schools.” Tanya Camp Oak Mountain “I would not object to carrying a gun myself if that was what it took to protect the students.” Margaret Anne Logan (schoolteacher) with Millie Homewood “I think the solution is for schools to have more School Resource Officers on campus.” Zoe Duncan Homewood


Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 3












FRIDAY, APRIL 13 • 9-7 P.M. SATURDAY, APRIL 14 • 9-5 P.M. FRIDAY, 13••11-3 9-7 P.M. P.M. SUNDAY, APRIL APRIL 15



SATURDAY, APRIL 14 • 9-5 P.M. bb g a rdens .or g/s pr ingpl a n t s a l e SUNDAY, APRIL 15 • 11-3 P.M.

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4 • Thursday, April 5, 2018


ABOUT TOWN include free pet caricatures, food trucks and live music by Sean Heninger + Baily Ingle. When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: The Summit parking lot area near Swoozie’s and Orvis Website:

APRIL 5 - 19 Thurs., April 5

One Starry Night Gala

What: The Assistance League hosts its second annual gala featuring silent and live auctions, dinner and dancing. Funds raised will benefit the league’s philanthropic programs for school children - Operation School Bell and Operation Literacy - and financial opportunities for seniors through Prime Time Treasures. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: The Club Website:

Walk MS

Sat., April 7

What: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society presents a walk to end MS. Money raised helps fund groundbreaking research and supports programs and services helping those touched by MS. When: 7 a.m., walk begins at 8 a.m. Where: Homewood Central Park Website:

High Country 5K & Fun Run

What: Shades Crest Baptist Church presents the 17th annual 5k and onemile free kids fun run, including a postrace pancake breakfast. Register online at or print a form at shades When: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Where: Shades Crest Baptist Church Website:

Run for a Reason

What: The seventh annual Sozo Children 5k and after party will feature food trucks, vendors and a special performance by the Sozo Children’s Choir. All proceeds will be used to support the mission of Sozo Children in Uganda, East Africa. When: 8 a.m. with a 9 a.m. 5K start Where: Sozo Trading Co. Website:

Funky Fun Run

What: A new spin to the past Walk for Autism event encourages participants to dress funky. Think retro wear - bright colors, tie dye and bell bottoms. Proceeds benefit Autism Society of Alabama. When: 8 a.m. 5k start, 9:30 a.m. walk Where: Veterans Park Website:

Mutt Strut

What: Hand in Paw’s dog-friendly 5K and one-mile fun run, presented by Vet Eye Care in memory of Christopher

Girls Inc. Cajun Cook-off

At last year’s Rascal Day are Holly Harkins and Drew Worley with Johnny Cash and Cooper, from left.

What: Enjoy tasting your Cajun food favorites at Girls Inc.’s annual cooking competition and fundraiser, featuring kids activities, face painting, games and more. When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Railroad Park Website: “8th Annual Girls Inc. Cajun Cook-off” Facebook page

CahabaQue BBQ Cook-off

Thurs., April 5 Rascal Day Parade

What: Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law will host its annual Rascal Day parade, memorial service and lunch. This annual event memorializes Rascal, a mongrel pup that faithfully attended classes at Cumberland’s former home in Lebanon, Tennessee, beginning in 1933. In 1937, he was presented the rare degree of Doctor of Canine Jurisprudence. To honor Rascal, every year during Law Week, students, faculty, friends and their pets process behind a New Orleans-style jazz band, from the foot of Samford’s Centennial Walk to Blackacre Patio. After a eulogy by Professor Walthall, mourners and pets enjoy a hotdog lunch served by Cumberland faculty, plus awards and favors are given to the students for their dogs. When: 11 a.m. Where: Centennial walk on Samford’s campus. Website: Nelms, features vendor booths and an after party at Trim Tab Brewing. When: 9-11 a.m. Where: Sloss Furnaces Website: “Mutt Strut” Facebook page

Fido Fest

What: The Summit hosts this third annual event benefiting the Greater Birmingham Humane Society and Hand in Paw. Adoptable pets will be on parade, as well as informational tents by Hand in Paw, Adopt-A-Golden, Cavalier Rescue and more. Festivities

Mt Laurel Spring Festival

What: The town of Mt Laurel hosts its 18th annual festival featuring live music, food trucks, Jim N’ Nicks BBQ, inflatables, rides, face painting, and vendor booths with local produce, handcrafted goods, artwork and more. When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Mt Laurel Town Center Website:

What: Cahaba Brewing Co. hosts its sixth annual BBQ cook-off supporting breast cancer research in Alabama. Enjoy samples from each team’s BBQ offerings and cast your vote, while enjoying craft beer and live music. When: 1-5 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing Co. Website:

Paul Meyers Memorial Golf Tournament

What: The sixth annual golf tournament and glow-in-the-dark golf game will feature teams of four, including a barbecue dinner, silent auction and live music for non-golfers. Proceeds benefit the Paul Meyers Medical Mission Trip to Haiti. When: 3-10 p.m. Where: Highland Park Golf Website:

Sun., April 8 2018 Walk to End Lupus Now What: The Lupus Foundation of America presents a one-mile walk to

Shades Creek Fest

What: The cities of Mountain Brook and Homewood - along with the Friends of Jemison Park, Friends of Shades Creek, Freshwater Land Trust, Birmingham Audobon and others - present this inaugural festival, featuring fly fishing lessons, an Arbor Day tree giveaway, hawk, owl and reptile exhibits, a live Bluegrass band and more. When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: Jemison Park Website:

Alabama Asian Cultures & Food Festival What: The Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation presents a festival of Asian arts and culture, featuring foods from Asian countries, an Asian bazaar, performances by Asian artist, children’s activities and a meet and greet with the Consul General for Indonesia. When: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Zamora Shriners, Irondale Website:

The Canterbury Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys What: Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church presents the Canterbury Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys from England’s Spring 2018 North American Tour. They will perform a range of traditional and contemporary music, comparing and contrasting ancient to modern styles. Limited seating available. When: 5 p.m. Where: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Website:

Tues., April 10 School of Medicine Art Show

What: UAB’s School of Medicine will host an art show featuring food, drinks and art by the school’s students, residents, fellows and faculty. Entries will be offered in a silent auction with proceeds benefitting the Hope and Cope Psychosocial Program in the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, Children’s of Alabama. When: 4:30-7:30 p.m. Where: Edge of Chaos, located on the 4th floor of Lister Library. Website:

Thurs., April 12 Spring Extravaganza

What: The Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary luncheon theme will be “Purses and Auction,” featuring guest emcee Janet Hall of WBRC Fox 6 and music by the Birmingham Harmony Belles. When: 9:30 a.m., with lunch served at 11:30 a.m. Where: A private club in Vestavia Website: BirminghamSalvationArmy. org.

“Fueled by Passion” Charity Gala

What: The Alabama Auto Show charity gala includes dinner, an auction and entertainment. Proceeds benefit Kings Home, Children’s Harbor and McWane Science Center. When: Call 980-0540 or email info@ Where: A private club in Vestavia Website:

Homewood Grown File photo

What: The Vestavia Hils Beautification Board hosts its annual luncheon, including a silent auction and door prizes. Featured speaker Rosemarie Reinhard Musso, holocaust survivor and author, will present her book, “FATHER Forgive Them - The Four Laws of Forgiveness.” When: 11:30 a.m. Where: A private club in Vestavia Website:

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

Vestavia Hills Dogwood Luncheon

raise money for research, increase awareness of lupus and rally public support for the estimated 27,000 people who suffer from its impact in Alabama. When: 1 p.m. check in, 2:45 p.m. ceremony and 3 p.m. walk Where: Veterans Park Website:

April 12-15 BBG Spring Plant Sale

What: The Birmingham Botanical Gardens will host its annual spring plant sale free and open to the public featuring 100,000 plants. There will be a preview party April 12 from 5-6:30 p.m. General admission is $45. When: Fri., April 13, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat., April 14, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., April15, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Upper Macy’s Parking Lot at Brookwood Village Website:

What: The Homewood City Schools Foundation hosts a seated dinner and live music, featuring the 2018 Teacher Impact Awards presentation.Proceeds will help underwrite the Foundation’s fall grant program, providing classroom enhancements and technology for all Homewood schools. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: On the terrace of SoHo Square Website:

Rivals for Wishes

What: Make-A-Wish Alabama hosts its


Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 5

ABOUT TOWN date: April 21. When: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: Scout Square, Montgomery Hwy. and Canyon Rd. Website:

Sat., April 14 Cornhole Classic

What: Buffalo Rock-Pepsi presents the sixth annual round-robin tournament benefitting The Bell Center for Early Intervention. The the event will include an afternoon of corn hole, food, beer, music and more. When: Registration 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Tournament begins at 1 p.m. Where: Good People Brewing Co. Website:

Kitty Kat Haven & Rescue 5k Meow-A-Thon

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

What: This 5K race and one-mile fun run/walk - benefitting Kitty Kat Haven & Rescue, a no-kill, cage-free shelter for cats and kittens - features food trucks and entertainment. Where: Veterans Park Website:


Farm Day at the Zoo

annual Alabama vs. Auburn themed event. Festivities include a Southern tailgatie spread, photos with collegiate and pro athletes and silent and live auctions. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: The Haven Website: “2018 Rivals for Wishes” Facebook page

Fri., April 13 Healthy Hearts for Horizons

What: Horizons School is partnering with the Alabama Auto Show in this tailgate-themed reception. View cars from the Alabama Auto Show, sample

and judge student-made appetizers, and taste tailgate-style food by Taziki’s Mediterranean Café owner Keith Richards. When: 5-9 p.m. Where: Jefferson State Community College - Valleydale Road/Shelby Campus. Website:

Sat., April 14 Vestavia Hills Garden Club Yard Sale

What: Find furniture, home and holiday décor, art, books and more, with proceeds benefitting Sibyl Temple. Rain

Celebrating 20 Years

What: The Birmingham Zoo hosts a variety of activities and booths to educate the public about Alabama’s rural and agricultural heritage. Watch sheep shearing, goat hoof trimming, horse shoe making demonstrations, presentations from the Birmingham Fiber Guild and 4-H youth group, and more. When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Birmingham Zoo, Junior League of Birmingham-Hugh Kaul Children’s Zoo Website:



PInk Palace Casino Night

ENJOY 111/2 WELL-ORGANIZED WELL-ORGANIZED ACRES ACRES OF OF SHRUBS, SHRUBS, eENJOY n j o y 11 /1/2 2 well-organized acres of shrubs, PERENNIALS, ANNUALS, HERBS EDIBLES t r ePERENNIALS, e s , g r o u nANNUALS, d c o v e r sHERBS , v i n& e&sEDIBLES , herbs, AS WELL AS KNOWLEDGEABLE, STAFF vAS e gWELL g i e sAS , AA p KNOWLEDGEABLE, e r e n n i a l s , a HELPFUL nHELPFUL d a n nSTAFF uals

What: Join the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama for the tenth annual casino night and enter to win a stunning piece of jewelry from Diamonds Direct. When: 7-11 p.m. Where: The Haven Website:

To: From: Date:


as well as a knowledgeable, helpful staff

822 . 3133 M ON – S AT 9 - 5:30 . S UN 1 - 5 . 2904 O LD R OCKY R IDGE R D .

Collier's Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 March This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the March April 6, 22,2017 2018issue. issue.Please Pleasefax faxapproval approvalororchanges changestoto824-1246. 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.

Lunch & Learn Seminar

Juan M. Bernal, M.D., FACC Board-Certified Cardiologist

Friday, April 13 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Grandview Medical Center 3690 Grandview Pkwy. Conference room seating is limited. Register at 205-971-7474.

Have you been experiencing shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, or a feeling that you may pass out? Have these symptoms progressively worsened over the past few months? Join Cardiologist Juan M. Bernal, M.D., FACC, to learn more about the subtle warning signs of heart valve disease, the importance of early detection, and treatment options. Recognized by the American Heart Association for participation in Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Achievement measure. Accredited Chest Pain Center by the American College of Cardiology. Accredited Facility for Cardiac Electrophysiology by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. Member of the Medical Staff at Grandview Medical Center

101294_GRAN_L&L13Apr_10_375x6_25c.indd 1

Look Forward. 3/15/18 5:30 PM

6 • Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sun., April 15 Darter Festival

What: The Southern Environmental Center presents an afternoon of music, food trucks and craft beer, including this year’s Darter Beer from Cahaba Brewing Company. Proceeds support the center’s conservation and education programs at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. When: noon-4 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing Co. Website:

Jessie’s Place 20th Anniversary Party What: Jimmie Hale Mission Ministries hosts a free open house celebration in honor of the anniversary of its women and children’s shelter Jessie’s Place, which offers educational programs, counseling, children’s play therapy and more to those who are homeless or at-risk. When: 2-4 p.m. Where: Jessie’s Place Website: “Jessie’s Place 20th Anniversary” Facebook page

Good ol’ Fashion Potluck




The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 24-1246, fax h 2018 th the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the s is your AD PROOF from AM PM April 5, 2018 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

April 7

10 –1




Fly Fishing Lessons for Children Daysure Tree Giveaway Please Arbor make all information is correct, Hawk, Owl & Reptile including address Exhibits and phone number! Live Bluegrass Band

What: The Homewood Farmers Market, held every Tuesday from June to the first Tuesday of August, will host a community potluck fundraiser. Guests are encouraged to bring a dish of their favorite comfort food to the free dinner. When: 5:30 p.m. Where: Shades Valley Community Church Website:

Thurs., April 19 Wine, Women and Shoes

What: The Baptist Health Foundation hosts a fundraiser featuring wine tasting, designer shopping, a fashion show, auctions and more. Funds raised will help BHF provide resources for financially vulnerable patients and wellness resources in our community. When: 5:30 p.m. Where: The Club Website:

Taste for a Cure

What: The Ernest G. DeBakey Charitable Foundation presents a fundraiser featuring an evening of unique food, beer and wine pairings conceived and prepared by an all-star team of local chefs, as well as live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit medical research towards a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. When: 6 p.m. Where: Haven Website:

Mom’s Night Out Book Signing

What: Author, speaker, entrepreneur and radio host Bethany Meadows will present a framework for building your own custom parenting plan, creating and implementing an effective discipline system and more. Books will be available for purchase, and a signing will take place after the program. When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Where: Homewood Public Library, Round Auditorium Website:

SAVE THE DATE April 19-21 English Village Tent Sales and More

What: The biggest weekend of the year for English Village features tent sales and trunk shows; Jazz with Civitaz, featuring music in the street; and the Spring-a-ling-a-ding-dong event, including larger-than-life puppets, cake, kids games and more. When: Jazz with Civitas, Thurs. from 5-8 p.m.; and Spring-a-ling-a-dingdong, Sat. from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: English Village Website:

Sat., April 21 PurpleStride Birmingham

What: UAB Medicine will host a 5K run and walk to raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer

research and patient support. Included will be children’s activities, music, refreshments, a ShopPurple store and more. When: 8:30 a.m. with a 9 a.m. 5K start Where: Veteran’s Park Website:

ASYO Beat Beethoven 5k

What: The second annual Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra 5k and one-mile fun run benefits the students of the ASYO in the form of scholarships for the 2018-19 season. Hear live performances form ASYO musicians while you run. When: 9 a.m. 5K, 9:15 a.m. fun run Where: Red Mountain Park Website:

Japanese Maple Walk and Talk with David Doggett What: Join David Doggett for a walk through the Gardens to see and learn about the various Japanese maples on the grounds. In addition a few Japaneses maples will be available for sale. When: 9-10:30 a.m. Where: Aldridge Gardens Website:

Earth Day the Gardens

What: Join the Birmingham Botanical Gardens as they celebrate our local Green Spaces and learn how to protect them. This free event will include free popcorn, exhibitors, vendors and activities for the whole family. When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Blount Plaza Website:

Third Annual Spring Fling

What: The Support Committee for the Alabama National Cemetery hosts a fundraiser, featuring music by Streetkar, a silent auction and more. Proceeds benefit the Overlook Project at the National Cemetery. When: 6-10 p.m. Where: Southern Museum of Flight Website: “3rd Annual Spring Fling” Facebook page ❖

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, Freeyour parking provided ad will run as is. Weat print the paper Monday.

National Bank of Commerce Thank you for your prompt attention. 813 Shades Creek Parkway


Sponsored by

Additional Sponsors Friends of Jemison Park • Friends of Shades Creek • Freshwater Land Trust Birmingham Audubon • Cahaba Environmental Center • Cahaba Riverkeeper The Nature Conservancy in Alabama • Homewood Environmental Commission

Donate $13 to honor the 13 children who died in Alabama in a single year due to child abuse. TOGETHER we can break the cycle.



Steeple to Steeple Run to Benefit New Program

Photos courtesy United Methodist Children’s Home

effort. The Steeple to Steeple race starts and ends at Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood. In addition to the 5K and 10K course, there is a Fun Run option, a “sleep in” option, and a way to run a virtual race from anywhere in the country. Also new this year are team competition categories such as largest overall church team and largest

Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 7

youth group team. Registration is open now at Racers can pick up their race day packets in advance at Little Donkey on Central Avenue in Homewood or at Trinity United Methodist on race day. To ease parking congestion, organizers encourage participants to carpool. ❖

New this year are team competition categories such as largest overall church team and largest youth group team. For more details on the race or to sign up, visit

By Sarah Kuper The annual Steeple to Steeple 5K and 10K supporting the United Methodist Children’s Home is April 21. Now in its fourth year, the event has a few changes, including a new route. Proceeds also will benefit a

Now in its fourth year, the event has a few changes, including a new route. Proceeds also will benefit a new program for the UMCH, a group home for autistic teenagers. new program for the UMCH, a group home for autistic teenagers. The new Overton Home is a collaboration between UMCH and Glenwood Inc. The home serves teenagers who are on the autism spectrum and who are unable to live

at home because of a lack of access to specialized therapy or because of behavioral challenges. According to Rebecca Morris, vice president of external affairs for UMCH, the residents at Overton Home come from many socio-economic, cultural and religious backgrounds, and many have had difficult childhoods. The Overton Home will provide more than a residence for these teens. The long-term housing will be a supervised, structured and supportive environment made custom to meet individual needs. Qualified professionals will work with teens to grow life skills such as self-reliance, emotional stability and spiritual growth. The UMCH makes it a priority to connect all children in their care with local churches and youth activities. Organizers are hopeful runners and walkers will understand the need for a place like Overton Home and will come out to support this new

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Photo courtesy Junior League of Birmingham


Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series









Children of

EDEN April 26-28, 7:30 p.m. April 29, 2:30 p.m. Wright Center

Starring David Phelps

Whose performance is underwritten by John and Marsha Floyd 205-726-2853 Convo Credit

Book by John Caird Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz Concept by Charles Lisanby Orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin and Martin Erskine Children of Eden is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Come join the celebration! Jessie’s Place 20th Anniversary Party

Sunday, April 15th • 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 20th anniversary • Jessie’s Place 2305 5th Avenue N., Birmingham

Members of the Junior League of Birmingham are preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year, an annual communitywide “garage sale” offering just about anything a buyer could want for modest prices.

Bash Kicks Off Sale JLB Gears Up for Annual Bargain Carousel

By Emily Williams Members of the Junior League of Birmingham are preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year, an annual communitywide “garage sale” offering just about anything a buyer could want for modest prices. The Bargain Carousel will feature more than 100,000 items ranging from art, appliances and furniture to clothing, home decor and sporting goods. The event will be April 28 and 29 in Hoover, just off of exit 10 from Interstate 459 in the old PrincetonHoover location. The main portion of the sale will be inside the former Winn-Dixie grocery store on the property. “Bargain Carousel’s purpose is two-fold,” said Marianne Gilchrist, JLB volunteer and Bargain Carousel chair. “The sale raises money for the league’s 32 projects serving women and children in the metro area, and it allows us to sell items at deeply discounted prices to individuals who can benefit from them.” The weekend sale will kick-off on the evening of April 26 with the annual Bargain Bash. The preview party will include a first-chance shopping

opportunity with items sold at twice their ticketed price, as well as a silent auction featuring more than 150 items. The fiesta-themed party will be

‘The sale raises money for the league’s 32 projects serving women and children in the metro area, and it allows us to sell items at deeply discounted prices to individuals who can benefit from them.’ MARIANNE GILCHRIST, JLB VOLUNTEER AND BARGAIN CAROUSEL CHAIR

catered by Taco Mama and will include a tequila toss, pinatas filled with prizes and music by Har Megiddo. Tickets for the event are $40 for 6 p.m. early-bird shopping entry and $30 for 7 p.m. entry. “Many people return to the event

year after year,” said JLB member Kristen Osborne. “We have our Bargain Bash faithful who come in and buy antique pieces at double our retail price and we have hundreds of people who line up overnight for the general sale because they know they can get gently-used necessities at a price they can afford.” The general sale will be April 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will be $10 until noon and $5 after noon. All tickets will be numbered, with guests entering in order. A pre-sale for tickets to the main event will be held April 27 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Guests can buy up to four tickets for the Saturday morning portion of the sale. Guests should expect a wait for the pre-sale. League officials said more than 500 tickets were sold last year, with some guests lining up the night before to pre-purchase tickets. On April 29, the sale will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission and all remaining items sold at half price. For information about Bargain Carousel 2018, call 879-9861, visit or visit Bargain Carousel on Facebook. ❖


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Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 9


No Excuse for Child Abuse

Organization Spreads Awareness During Child Abuse Prevention Month By Sarah Kuper The Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center has launched a month-long campaign to spread awareness and raise money for its cause. The theme of the campaign is the “Power of 13 – there is no excuse for child abuse.” The number 13 is at the center of the campaign as a way to honor the 13 Alabama children who died as a result of child abuse in 2017. The organization’s executive director, Stacy Hopkins, said one goal of the campaign is to see the whole city pay attention. “We want to saturate the city with awareness and ways they can help. It is a taboo topic and people are in denial. We work with families to try to educate before it happens.” The Exchange Club is using pinwheels as a way to draw attention to the cause. Thirteen partner organizations and businesses are planting what are being called pinwheel gardens for passers-by to take notice. Community members including Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin have pledged to wear blue every Monday in April, and Birmingham City Hall will be lighted in blue throughout the month. Supporters are also able to download a virtual pinwheel. Users can obtain a shareable Facebook or

In addition to spreading the word on area billboards and through social media, the Exchange Club is hosting the annual Pinwheel for Prevention benefit ride at Barber Motorsports on April 14. Twitter pinwheel image after filling out a form on the CAP website. In addition to spreading the word on area billboards and through social media, the Exchange Club is hosting the annual Pinwheel for Prevention benefit ride at Barber Motorsports on April 14. Motorcyclists will ride two laps around the track, followed by a barbecue picnic at the Bass Pro Shops nature pavilion. Hopkins said she is eager for the community to learn more about child

abuse prevention and the programs at the Exchange Club’s CAP Center. “We are on the prevention side,” she said, “It all starts at home with strong families, children need parents to be strong.” The CAP Center offers in-home parenting classes plus Positive Parenting Groups that meet around the city. The center has trained educators and speakers who can go into schools or churches and talk with children about everything from peer pressure to speaking up about abuse. Hopkins said people often ask her how she is able to work in a field involving child abuse. She said she focuses on keeping tragedy from happening in the first place. “Child abuse comes in many different forms. It isn’t always the worst of the worst. There are also those parents that are so wrapped up in whatever life has thrown at them that they aren’t communicating with their children or filling other needs. Our programs can break the cycle.” With the money raised this month and throughout the year, Hopkins said the organization plans to expand programming. “We want to serve more families, more kids, hire more safe-kid coordinators and parent educators.” To learn more about the CAP Center, to make a donation or to download a virtual pinwheel, visit ❖

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Students Protest for Safer Schools During Railroad Park March ‘The access to guns is just too readily available. I know people say people will just obtain guns illegally if you make them illegal. But we’ve got to curb the access to guns in our environment for no other reason than mental health’ and to protect the mentally ill. ‘I think most people are for reasonable gun control once you talk to them about it.’

Several Over the Mountain residents assembled along with thousands of others who attended the March for Our Lives at Railroad Park in Birmingham. Some attended simply to witness student activism firsthand as many students called for common-sense gun control and encouraged their generation to exercise the right to vote. Nearly 5,000 attended the March 24 rally – one of several held across the nation and in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York. More students are becoming mobilized to political action following the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. They’re looking to adults and politicians for direction and to lead the fight to make their schools – and their world – a safer place. Stephen Ingram, a minister and Homewood resident with three children in city schools, took his family – which includes his wife and three school-age children – to the march. Ingram said the event was well-organized and well-executed. “The student speakers had very powerful and compelling messages,” he said. “The atmosphere was really upbeat and positive.” Ingram said he attended the rally because he supports “common-sense gun reform,” which he believes should include banning common use of military-grade weapons and ammunition, developing a universal background check system and closing loopholes that make easy purchase of firearms at gun shows possible. “I think there’s a middle ground most Americans really are OK with if we can get out of the polarization,” he said. “There are some common-sense laws we can enact that will help with this situation and that won’t

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

By William C. Singleton III


From left, Mary Liz, Nora, Patrick, Mary Clare and Stephen Ingram at the March for Our Lives at Railroad Park in Birmingham on March 24..

impede hunting or doing good, legal activities with guns.” Ingram said it’s unfortunate educators and parents must consider the possibility of active shooter situations at their schools. “Every time I hear police sirens going in the direction of my kids’ school, I think ‘Oh, God, what if something has happened at the school,’” he said. “A 5-year-old should not know what an active shooter is, much less have to be drilled in how to be safe if one shows up. That’s not the kind of country I want to raise my children in, and I know there are ways that we can make that better.” Mountain Brook resident LaVone Warren

said she attended the rally to support students “who want adults to take some action – beyond thoughts and prayers – to stop further school shootings and other mass shootings.” Like Ingram, she said she’s dismayed that students have to practice active shooter drills as part of their educational training. “I realize this is a complex issue, and there are no simple solutions to the problems of gun violence, but we have to start somewhere,” Warren said. “I think restricting sales of weapons capable of killing so many people in a relatively short period of time is a start.” Sherri Friday, Jefferson County probate judge and Mountain Brook resident, attended

the rally because, “These young people have such passion, and I feel like we need to be there to support them.” Friday said she has seen the impact firearms have had on the mentally ill. As probate judge, she handles involuntary mental health commitments to the state hospital. She recalled a recent incident involving a patient on outpatient commitment who got access to a gun and killed himself. “The access to guns is just too readily available,” she said. “I know people say people will just obtain guns illegally if you make them illegal. But we’ve got to curb the access to guns in our environment for no other reason than mental health” and to protect the mentally ill. “I think most people are for reasonable gun control once you talk to them about it,” she said. ❖

Kiwanis Centennial Project Connects Birmingham’s Past and Future Gray skies couldn’t cloud spirits as members of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham cut the ribbon on their centennial project March 20. Positioned on the north side of Vulcan Park and Museum, the Kiwanis Centennial Park and its accompanying Kiwanis Vulcan Trail have helped mark the club’s 100th anniversary. “Ninety years later, we have finally realized Olmstead’s vision to create a linear park from Vulcan across Red Mountain to George Ward Park,” Tom Thagard, Kiwanis Centennial Park chair said, referring to landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted’s original plans for the city. “We’ve preserved the north face of Red Mountain for both our children and grandchildren forever.” Thagard added that the project was centered on Vulcan because the statue symbolizes the community’s past as well as its future. Ground was broken in May, and Vulcan Park has since been trans-

formed to include a plaza with a fountain and steps that lead up to Vulcan. To further connect Vulcan to the surrounding communities, a 2-mile trail for biking extends to Green Springs Highway, serving as a portion

of Birmingham’s planned Red Rock Trail system. Mayor Randall Woodfin noted that the project is a symbol of the connectivity that the city is working toward – not just physical connections, but

connections between the past and present. “We have to be in a place where we talk about improving our quality of life,” Woodfin said. “And what is a better way than parks, greenspaces

Photo courtesy Vulcan Park and Museum

By Emily Williams

and trails where people can walk, can bike, can run and do anything they want as an individual or family.” In addition to the more than 550-member Kiwanis club, the $5.8 million project was coordinated with the museum and the Freshwater Land Trust. “When I look at Vulcan, everywhere Vulcan can see, this trail will be,” said Fresh Water Land Trust Executive Director Libba Vaughan. She added that the project is a symbol for the way greenspace can be used to spur economic development and attract more residents by enhancing the health and quality of life of locals. “Just as the Statue of Liberty stands for our country, Vulcan serves us as the unifying symbol of our city for generations past and those to come,” said Lawrence Whatley, Vulcan Park and Museum Foundation board chair. As the year progresses, the club has also planned to create a multi-colored light show that will be projected against Vulcan at night. ❖


Local Lawyer Elected President of International Academy of Trial Lawyers

Birmingham attorney J. Mark White of Mountain Brook was elected president of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers at the organization’s annual meeting March 24 in Austin. The International Academy of J. Mark White Trial Lawyers is an organization of elite lawyers who are nominated and selected based on their skill and ability in jury trials and other court proceedings. Membership in the United States is limited to 500 lawyers. “I am deeply honored and humbled for this opportunity to serve an organization that has done so much to promote excellence in the legal profession,” White said. “It is a highlight of my career.” White, a partner at White Arnold & Dowd, has more than 40 years of experience as a trial litigator in civil and criminal cases, including white-collar crime, environmental, personal injury, antitrust and securities law. He has been lead counsel in a number of high-profile trials, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. White was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers in 2005 and has served as a member

Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 11

NEWS of the organization’s board of directors, chairman of the admissions committee, dean, vice president and presidentelect.

Grandview Medical Group Adds Donohue to Its Staff

Dr. Colleen Tobe-Donohue has joined the medical staff of Grandview Medical Center. A doctor of osteopathic medicine, she is board certified in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine, according to a release from Grandview. Donohue will open the Grandview Medical Group’s newest location, in Vestavia City Center, Suite 113, at 1919 Kentucky Avenue this month. Donohue received her undergraduate degree from Samford

University and her doctor of osteopathic medicine from Pikeville University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville, Kentucky. She completed her Dr. Colleen Toberesidency with Donohue St. Vincent’s East Family Residency Program and has been in private practice in the Birmingham area since 2012. Donohue is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association. ❖


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Vestavia Students and VHUMC Members Team up to Build Their 13th Habitat for Humanity Home By Emily Williams

‘Owning my own home will give my family a secure place to live that will show my girls that they can have peace, protection and comfort.’ SCHADELL LEWIS Photo special to the Journal

In the words of author Sol Hurok, “The sky’s the limit if you have a roof over your head.” Volunteers, locally and from other states, recently came together under the auspices of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham to help build that roof for one Birmingham family. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make my kids’ dreams come true,” wrote Schadell Lewis. “Owning my own home will give my family a secure place to live that will show my girls that they can have peace, protection and comfort.” For the past 13 years, Vestavia Hills High School’s Habitat for Humanity club has teamed up with Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church to fund and help build a home for someone in the community. A Habitat home in Birmingham costs $44,000 to sponsor and building one normally takes about six weeks. Therefore, club members and volunteers spend a good amount of time raising money for their projects. In order to raise their $22,000 in sponsorship dollars, VHHS Habitat club members hosted fundraiser events throughout the school year while VHUMC raised their half of the funds. In January, the group was introduced to the woman for whom they were building a house. Lewis is a Birmingham native who serves as a personal care attendant with the Collat Jewish Family Services, As part of her job, she daily assists the elderly who benefit from CJFS’ support servic-

Schwartz. “It was a powerful, meaningful experience for me and our whole staff.” Along with the volunteers directly connected to the project, college students participating in Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge helped out while working on two other builds

With the help of the surrounding community and collegiate volunteers, the Vestavia Hills High School’s Habitat for Humanity club and the Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church team presented the house keys to Schadell Lewis, in front between her children Maria and LenDashia, on March 17.

es. When she isn’t at work, Lewis is busy raising her two daughters, LenDashia, who is in kindergarten, and Maria, age 2. When Lewis’s colleagues were told she would be working on her Habitat home they wanted to help. The staff used their staff retreat as an opportunity to help Schadell at the build-

ing site for a day. “CJFS’ mission is to help families strengthen their independence and enrich their quality of life. Working on the Habitat house for Shadell and her girls allowed us to focus this mission inward for a day and help one of our own,” said CJFS Executive Director Lauren

in the area. Students ages 16 and up can participate in the program and sign up to spend their spring break working on builds in an area of their choosing. This year, students from the University of New Hampshire and Connecticut College were among the collegiate teams who helped build Lewis’ home. With the help of the surrounding community and collegiate volunteers, the VHHS and VHUMC team presented the house keys to Lewis on March 17, along with a Bible and a hammer mounted on a plaque. “This was a moment to remember. ... I’ve prayed and prayed for a job that was caring with people with pure hearts who value their staff - I have been given everything I asked for,” Schadell said. ❖

Representatives of the Tum Tum Tree Foundation and other local charities gathered at Children’s of Alabama on March 21 for the foundation’s annual distribution of donations. As a result of the organization’s annual wine auction weekend, held in early November, TumTum was able to distribute a record-breaking amount of money this year. A total of $680,000 was presented to charities, each of which focus on enriching the lives of children in the state who face life-threatening or life-altering illnesses.   Recipients included Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, Angel Pillowcases, Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center, Kid One Transport, Magic Moments, Mitchell’s Place, The Red Barn, UAB’s Center for Arts in Medicine and UAB’s Department of Neurology. In addition, 5 percent of the proceeds previously were donated to wildlife relief efforts in northern California, which is home to many of the winemakers the organization features during its signature event.  “The 28th Annual Auction truly

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

TumTum Presents Record-Breaking $680,000 to Children’s Charities

blew us all away,” said Libby Sibley, executive director of the foundation. “We are deeply grateful for both the support from donors and bidders who

have remained longtime attendees and those who are new or returning to the auction. With a solid foundation from years of good work and strong rela-

tionships and the momentum from the success of the 2017 auction, we have high hopes for the future of the foundation and its beneficiaries.” ❖

Representatives of the Tum Tum Tree Foundation and other local charities gathered at Children’s of Alabama on March 21 for the foundation’s annual distribution of donations.


Samford Professor Chosen for National Seminar on Teaching Interfaith Understanding

Samford University religion professor Lisa Battaglia is one of 25 faculty nationwide chosen to participate in a seminar on Teaching Interfaith Understanding to be held at DePaul University in June. The seminar, offered by the Council of Independent Colleges and Interfaith Youth Core, Lisa Battaglia will examine theoretical questions regarding teaching interfaith understanding and the ways to translate such ideas into new courses and resources. Before receiving the honor, Battaglia was awarded a grant in January from Samford’s William E. and Wylodine F. Hull Fund for Christian Scholarship, to be used to support the development of a Samford course in interfaith dialogue. “My goal is to create a space for students to explore the realities of a religiously plural world, to engage with the challenges of religious plurality, and to cultivate a platform for sustained and personal relationships with faith communities in the area, all the while enriching students’ own faith journeys,” Battaglia said..

Hoover’s Davis Honored by State DAR

Hoover resident Mark Davis recently was recognized as Alabama’s Outstanding Veteran Volunteer by the Alabama Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The Hoover-based Lily of the Cahaba chapter sponsored Davis for the award based on his work in support of veterans through Vettes-4-Vets, the Alabama Fallen Warrior Project, Veterans Memorial Arbor and other activities.  In addition to Davis’ recognition, the Lily of the Cahaba chapter was recognized with first place awards in the state for Mark Davis Outstanding Literacy Promotion, Constitution Week events and Veteran Support. ASDAR State Regent Nancy Folk of Hoover presented the award at the recent 120th ASDAR State Conference in Auburn, which included special guests President General Ann Dillon of the National Society and Gov. Kay Ivey. In addition, the ASDAR officers were elected at the conference for 20182021, including Over the Mountain chapter members Patrice Donnelly of Birmingham, first vice regent; and Tad Douglas of Hoover, chaplain.

Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 13

LIFE Birmingham Women’s Committee of 100 Visits Unless U

Since its inception in 1964, the Women’s Committee of 100 of Birmingham has used a variety of initiatives to promote the leadership abilities of its members. Unless U was the most recent destination for the members’ Lunch and Learn program. The organization offers programs in academics, fine arts, life skills and social skills for adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Members on Feb. 27 visited classrooms, staff and enrollees of the facility, at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Vestavia. Lindy Cleveland is the founder and executive director of Unless U and said she made it her mission to make a difference in the lives of enrollees through continuing education in a “university-like” environment. Among committee members visiting Unless U were Nan Teninbaum, president of the Women’s Committee of 100, and Jane Ellis, Lunch and Learn Committee chairwoman. Other members making the trip included Sandra Holley, Carolyn Satterfield, Becky Keyes, Carol Hines, Irene Collins, Marjorie Forney, Gail Pugh, Jean Liles, Audrey Lindquist, Rebekah Taylor, Rhetta Wright and Barbara Shepherd. The Women’s Committee will host its annual awards luncheon April 17 at the Country Club of Birmingham, presenting awards to individuals and groups, including Citizen of the Year, Small Business Award, Community Arts Volunteer and Brother Bryan-Prayer Award. On May 8, the organization’s guest day will be held at the home of Becky Keyes. ❖


From left: Birmingham Women’s Committee of 100 Chairwoman Jane Ellis, Unless U Development Director Patrice Fitzgerald, committee President Nan Teninbaum, Unless Executive Director Lindy Cleveland and committee member Sandra Holley.

20th Annual Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival 20th Annual Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival Friday and Saturday, April 13 & 14 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 13 &and 14 Cultural 10 a.m. toFestival 9 p.m. 20th Annual Lebanese Food

and Saturday, 13 & 14 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. St.Friday Elias Maronite CatholicApril Church St.836 Elias Church 8thMaronite Street So.,Catholic Birmingham (Between University Blvd. and 10th Ave. So) 8thMaronite Street So., Birmingham St.836 Elias Catholic Church (Between University Blvd. and 10th Ave. So)

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14 • Thursday, April 5, 2018

Above, Alex and Michell Russo. Left, Jeremy Hatley, Aaron Sherrill, Jamie Hammond and M’Kayl Lewis.


Exceptional Foundation Recognizes the Best of the Best at Chili Cook-Off



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Competition bubbled and boiled over at Brookwood Village on March 3 at the Exceptional Foundation’s 14th annual Chili Cook-Off, which raised more than $385,000. The foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year drew 146 teams to the mall’s Macy’s parking lot, with more than 15,000 attendees tasting chili and voting for their favorite while enjoying live music, a kid’s zone and more. 

“Those who participated and attended the Chili Cook-Off woke up not realizing that they would be changing the lives of people with special needs,” said Tricia Kirk, president and CEO of The Exceptional Foundation. This year’s winners included, IberiaBank, grand prize; “Red Hot Chili Mutuals” of Northwestern Mutual, first runner-up; PRE/ Tailgate Guys, second runner-up; and “Super Power Chili” of

Above, Adam and Jose Mestre. Left, Tumpy Bethea, Ellen Walker, Jim Walker, William Morris and Ginny Willings.

Southern Power, third runnerup. CBRE was awarded the People’s Choice Award.  The Spirit Award was given to “Riding the Market Bull” of Warren Averett, with Markstein taking second place and the Bellhops third place. Blackjack Farms was presented with the Participant Choice Award.  Chili Birds finished the day with the Sportsmanship Award.  Serving as judges for this year’s

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Clockwise from above, Alex Russell, Caitlin and Oliver Chrane with Laura Agricola; Pippin and Sarah Kathryn Tarter and Louise Anderson; and Scott Goranti, Laura Hulsey, Stephanie Zepponi, Brandon Pennington and Austin Overton.

event were Dr. Dicky Barlow, Nelson Bean, JJ Bischoff, Billy Blair, John Michael Bodnar, Steve Bostock, George Bradford, Vince Bruno, Tom Butler, Terry Chapman, Stewart Dansby, John Day, Paul DeMarco, Houston Gillespy, Jim Gorrie, Milton Harsh, Will Haver, Greg King, John Krontiras, David Loper, Tom Luckie, Rachel Lundberg, MJ Lyons, Danny Markstein, Don Marzella and Betsy McAtee. Also judging were Roy Morton, Morgan Murphy, Scott Myers, Craft O’Neal, Patrick O’Sullivan, Hunter Payne, Jay Pounds, Bill Pradat, Steve Preston, Kay Reed, Lauren Roberts, Brooke Smith, Jeff Stone, Donald Sweeney, Benard Tamburello, Lance Taylor, Michael Turnbough, John Turner, Andy Virciglio, Stewart Welch, Mitch Wolfe, Dave Wood, Matt Wright and Peter Wright. Proceeds from the event are a significant source of funds for the foundation’s programs, which provide recreational and social activities and opportunities for individuals of all ages who are mentally challenged. —Emily Williams

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

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16 • Thursday, April 5, 2018



STEPPE, From page 1

coordinator for the 2018 air show season. Steppe, 32, will be making a homecoming, of sorts, when the Blue Angels perform during the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show April 14-15. “I’ll be happy to see folks from home,” Steppe said. “My family will come over, including my mom (Ann) and dad (Mike), who still live in the same house in Vestavia I grew up in. My sister (Mary Ann Oxford) will come down from Chattanooga with her kids.” Of course, Wyatt will be there along with Steppe’s wife of nine years, Alana, who’s from Dothan. Some of the Blue Angels can’t wait to land in Tuscaloosa. “We have a few guys who are big Alabama football fans, so they’re super excited,” Steppe said. Steppe himself is an Auburn University alumnus. He attended Vestavia Hills High School and

‘What people are going to see is an awesome demonstration of the teamwork of our pilots.’ played football for legendary Rebels coach Buddy Anderson. “I learned so much playing for coach Anderson, how to become a leader and a better person,” Steppe said. Steppe played wide receiver and was a kicker for the Rebels. He had a few scholarship offers from minor schools, but a knee injury prevented him from playing college football. “It didn’t work out, but I do not regret it,” Steppe said. “I got to have a normal college life.” After graduating from Vestavia Hills in 2004, Steppe went to Auburn. He graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s in logistics through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps and was commissioned an ensign in the Navy. He eventually reported for officers’ flight training school and received his wings of gold in 2010. He applied for the Blue Angels in 2016 and joined the squadron in September that year.

Showcasing the Power

The Blue Angels consists of 130 active-duty sailors and Marines and is in its 72nd year of showcasing the power of naval aviation. During the air show season, the team is stationed at Forrest Sherman Field, Naval Air Station Pensacola, in Florida. The squadron spends January through March training at the Naval Air Facility El Centro, in California. When not traveling with the Blue Angels, Steppe is stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington. Steppe is a back-seater on the Number 7 jet during shows. He has accumulated more than 1,400 flight

Dave Steppe, a lieutenant with the Blue Angels, is a back-seater on the Number 7 jet during shows. He’s shown above with members of his squadron at the Wings Over South Texas Air Show – NAS Kingsville, TX on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Steppe, 32, will be making a homecoming, of sorts, when the Blue Angels perform during the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show April 14-15. Journal photos by Lee Walls Jr.

hours and has more than 300 carrierarrested landings. His decorations include a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal as well as personal and unit awards. He served in Iraq and on an aircraft carrier in Japan, which traveled the Pacific, doing exercises in Korea, China and Australia. “I’ve been in the Navy for 10 years and it’s an honor to serve our country, and I’ve gotten to see the world,” Steppe said. “Being part of the Blue Angels has allowed me to see the best of the United States, such as Fargo, North Dakota, and

Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I never thought I’d see those sites.” Steppe visited Tuscaloosa in November with another Blue Angels lieutenant, arriving at a private hangar at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport in the Blue Angels’ signature blue and yellow McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. It is the fighter jet that the squadron’s pilots fly in their demonstrations across the nation. “We just made a pre-site visit, informing them what we need from the community and what the Federal Aviation Administration requires, so everything will be safe,” Steppe said.

The Blue Angels will perform at more than 30 locations in 2018. Their show this month will mark the fifth time the Blue Angels have performed over Tuscaloosa since 2009. According to Steppe, the Blue Angels perform for two basic reasons: to showcase the pride and professionalism of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and as a recruitment tool to attract young men and women to the Navy and Marines. Since its inception in 1946, the team has flown for more than 450 million spectators worldwide. Steppe said the Tuscaloosa show

will feature 60 pilots. Among the demonstrations that will be performed is the diamond, with jets flying in a tight formation and displaying precision. There also will be the max performance, which demonstrates the power of the Delta jets. “What people are going to see is an awesome demonstration of the teamwork of our pilots,” Steppe said. For more information or to buy tickets for the 2018 Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show, visit Tickets also will be available the day of the event. ❖



Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 17

EGG-TRAORDINARY FUN! Annual Easter Celebrations Draw Egg Enthusiasts of All Ages

The Samford Family Easter Egg Hunt on Sat., Mar. 24 included four egg hunts divided by age. Left and below. Journal photos by Maury Wald

The City of Homewood’s Easter Egg Hunt was held on Sat., March 24 at West Homewood Park. Clockwise from above: Kenya and Karley Parker; Mark, Philip and Alexis Cain with the Easter Bunny; Memphis and Erica Gray; Kate and Jason Dees with son; and Megan and Micah Hastings and Katie and Harp Reed. Journal photos by Jordan Wald

The City of Mountain Brook Easter Egg Roll and Hunt was held on the grassy field by Emmet O’Neal Library on Sat., Mar. 31. Clockwise from above left: Smith and Kathryn Gentle; Fletcher and Ada Bennett; Randi and Ella Jane Rhone; Hunters examine their haul. Journal photos by Jordan Wald


18 • Thursday, April 5, 2018

AN EVENING IN VERONA Opera Gala Features Performances by the Cast of Romeo and Juliet

he Florentine was filled with the sound of music March 9 as guests gathered to celebrate Opera Birmingham’s annual Opera Gala. Festivities began with a silent auction during a cocktail hour, with attendees sampling hors d’oeuvres and enjoying cocktails. A seated dinner catered by Corretti Catering followed, featuring performances from members of the cast of “Romeo and Juliet,” including Alex DeSocio and Melinda Whittington. Big ticket items in the auction, led by Dr. Andrew S. Duxbury, included a Frank Fleming sculpture, a Lebanese catered dinner for 12 and an iconic, Swarovski crystal-beaded Judith Leiber handbag. The evening was held in honor of Mrs. Betty Healey and was presented by Scott and Carmen Vowell. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the organization’s efforts to provide world-class operatic productions and concerts to the Birmingham area and provide scholarships to students who study opera. ❖

Journal photos by Jordan Wald



Deidre Gunn and Abbott Jones.

From left, Cleve Kinney, Terri Steele and Dan Dahl.

Carey Beth Rivers and Michelle Barnell.

Leslie and Jance Voytanovsky.

Andy and Murry Hard.

Encouraging Young Artists Six Student Musicians Score Pickard Scholarships prize and “Most Promising Talent” in the Future Stars International Piano Competition,

and she was invited to play at the Chopin International Festival in Poland and perform in

Photo special to the Journal

Twenty-six students competed for six Lois Pickard Scholarships on Jan. 20 at Birmingham-Southern College. The students, aged 12 to 18, competed in three categories, strings, brass-woodwinds and piano/percussion. First place winners earned scholarships of $1,500 and second-place finishers were awarded scholarships of $750. The top two winners also performed Feb. 22 at the annual Lois Pickard luncheon and silent auction. Judges for the event were Dr. Black Richardson, music director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra; Peter Garrett of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra; Dr. Osiris Molina of the University of Alabama; and Dr. Laurie Meddaugh of the University of Montevallo. In the piano/percussion category, Savannah Howard took first place and Eleanor Lee took second. Howard is 16 years old and studies with Dr. Ronald Shinn, a Samford University professor. She has won top prizes in the Alabama Music Teachers Association solo and concerto competition. She recently won first

Savannah Howard, Eleanor Lee, Francis Tsai, Lydia Newton, Kaylee Orr and K’myra Burrell.

a master class. In the strings category, Francis Tsai took first place and Lydia Newton earned second. Tsai is 12 years old and began studying violin at the age of 5 under the tutelage of professor Jeffery Flaniken of Samford University. As a first-prize winner of the Samuel Fordis Young Artist Concerto Competition, he has performed with the Georgia Philharmonic. In the brass-woodwind category, Kaylee Orr won first place and K’myra Burrell took second. Both attend the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Orr, a senior at ASFA, has been playing flute since fourth grade and has studied under Kimberly Strickland for the past six years. She is principal flutist at the school and for the Alabama Youth Symphony Orchestra. She participated in the All-District Band from 20132016 and attended the Flute Academy hosted by Oberlin Conservatory in 2015. In addition to the Packard scholarships, the Symphony Volunteer Council supports summer music camp scholarships, last summer giving $7,850, to qualified candidates attending the Alabama School of Fine Arts, student member of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra or competitors in the Pickard contest. Candidates must have already been accepted to a nationally recognized summer music festival. ❖


Over the Rainbow

Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 19


Luck was in the air the evening of March 16 as guests dressed in their favorite shades of green attended the Arc of Central Alabama junior board’s 6th annual Shamrock Shindig. Held at Iron City, the evening was filled with party games and prizes that raised more than $29,000 to benefit the organization’s mission to provide support and advocacy programs, education and awareness for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Guests were treated to local craft beers, Irish cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and music by The Divines. The festivities culminated in a grand prize drawing of $1,000 and a balloon drop that gave guests the opportunity to snag a variety of prizes ranging from vacation rentals to swag bags. Junior board members charged with organizing the event were Laurie Smith, chair; Rachel Young, past chair; Ashley Newton, administrative chair; Cameron Bice; John Canfield; Kelly Hochstetter; India Moore; Chris Martin; Liana Kingston; Michael Jordan; Torie Cunningham; Ashton Sartin; Dr. Justin Schwartz; Emily Sottilare; Sean Vibert; Kelsey Pope; Madelaine Julbert; and Sherri Radney. ❖

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Arc of Central Alabama Hosts St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser

Mike, Elizabeth Anne, Alli and David Jordan.

Beautiful Vintage Linens

From left, Chris Stewart, Suzette Pflaum and Brian Pflaum.



Anna Baglan and Garrett Somers.

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GREAT SKIN. To: From: Date:

Update your skin care routine to start the spring season glowing and rejuvenated. At Total Skin & Beauty Dermatology Center, our mission is to provide you with the most comprehensive skin care services available. We work with people of all ages, who have various skin conditions or concerns about their appearance that can be helped Hanna Antique through modern dermatologic techniques. Over The Call Mountain PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 us to Journal, schedule an appointment today! April

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL f April 5th 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. MAIN OFFICE

If we 2100 have not heard by 202 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, 16th Ave. from Southyou • Ste. your ad will run as We print the paper Monday. Ash Place • Birmingham, ALis. 35205 205.933.0987 Thank you for your prompt attention.





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20 • Thursday, April 5, 2018


Photo by Liesa Cole, Studio GoodLight


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One of the favorite returning portions of the event was guest portraits by photographer Liesa Cole of Studio Goodlight.


Art Connection Hosts Winter Fundraiser for Annual Art Festival

An evening of art was on the menu Feb. 24 for guests at the annual Magic City Art Connection’s Art Bash. This year’s theme was Wigs and Wallpaper, organized by event staff Alex Kunzman, Jess Marie Walker, Lucy Allen, Ryan Hittie, Ashley Wingo and Shannon Ellis. Jennifer Mancuso Lighting designs for the event were coordinated by Owner Christophe Nicolet. As they entered, guests were invited to participate in door prize drawings for Corks and Chefs tickets, festival 4 Office Park Circle, Suite 109, Birmingham, AL 35223 passes, bottles of wine and limited edition MCAC festival Locations independently owned and operated throughout the United States and Canada. T-shirts. Festivities included dancing to music by DJ Johnny and video projections by Katie and John Gaiser. In addition, attendees were treated to culinary bites provided by Birmingham Breadworks, Carrigan’s Public House, Glory Bound Gyros, Naughty But Nice Kettlecorn, Pazzo’s Big Slice, Rojo, The J. Clyde and Y Cater. To: Jennifer One of the favorite returning portions of the event was From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 guest portraits by photographer Liesa FAX: 205-824-1246 Cole of Studio Goodlight, with a set Date: March inspired by art installations by Yayoi Kusama. Guests could dress in cosis yourOver-the-Mountain AD PROOF from the resident OVER THE MOUNTAIN forpose the for professional porAs aThis life-long and a third JOURNAL tumes and April 5, 2018 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. traits to commemorate the evening or generation working at Guin, I feel great pride and they could take advantage of a “selfie space.” Please make sure all information is correct, responsibility in carrying on the In addition, a 100-foot Art Salon Including address and phone number! Wall was full of works created by the legacy of honesty and hard work organization’s festival artists and other that my grandfather began 60and fax back within 24 hours. local creatives, some loaned from priPlease initial If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the pressvate date,collections. years ago. Family is very important your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Art Bash proceeds will help fund an art trip for Birmingham third- and to us, and we treat our customers Thank you for your prompt attention. fourth-graders and the organization’s with the same care and respect annual Magic City Art Connection three-day Festival, which will take as members of our own family. It place April 27-29. ❖

Pride and responsibility drive us to be the best in everything we do.

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Journal photos by Jordan Wald

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Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 21

Photos special to the Journal


Bill Gray and Candis Hacker.

Sara and Jamie Collins.

A Winter’s Night

Martha Fuller and Sharon Vines.

Silhouettes Hosts Formal Dance to Celebrate the Season

Guests entered a seasonal wonderland Jan. 27 as they arrived at the Country Club of Birmingham for a formal dance hosted by the Silhouettes Dance Club. The “Walk in a Winter Wonderland” theme featured white cloths on each table, accented with circles of white flowers surrounded by lit votives and white snowflakes. Large, white balloons floated from each chair.  After a social hour, guests enjoyed a delicious dinner before dancing to music of the classics.  Sara Collins was in charge of the evening’s festivities, assisted by Tricia Preston, Edie McRee and Nancy Stroup.  Rose Ann Kendrick handled the reservations for the evening and Club President Candis Hacker welcomed guests to the winter wonderland.  Attending the event were Candis

Don and Nancy Stroup.

Hacker and Bill Gray, Kathy Gray and Mike Wheless, Martha and Bill Fuller, June and John Eagan, Bede and Sam Donnell, Charlotte Donald, Nita and Coy Collinsworth, Sara Collins, Jan Collins, Eleanor

Cheatham, Laurie and Charles Binion, Martha and Jack Bartlett, Jay Hall, Ann and Fletcher Harvey, Sandra with Elam Holley, Karen with Fred Kapp, Rose Ann and Fred Kendrick, Barbara and Robert Klyce, Sue and Ernie Moore, Margaret Langston, Villeta Layton, Karen with Keith Lloyd, Jackie and Bruce MacClary, Edie McRee and Kay Merrill. Also attending were Martha Miklie, Jerry and Pat Miller, Mariellan and William Morris, Susan Morris, Helen and Walter Gay Pittman, Tricia and Charles Preston, Deborah and John Sellers, Ginger Sharbel, Libby Spain, Glenda and Jim Sparacio, Anneliese and Fred Stroup, Nancy and Don Stroup, Peggy Sykes, Suzanne and Henry Taliaferro, Sharon Vines, and Margaret and Bill Whitaker. ❖

It’s time to love your legs again. Make an appointment for a free vein seminar and consultation. Don’t let spider veins, varicose veins, or other unsightly vein conditions make you feel like hiding any longer. Make an appointment today to join our vein specialists for a free seminar and consultation, and let us help you learn to love your legs again. Wednesday, April 18th, 1–4 pm Brookwood Baptist Health Vein Center 5295 Preserve Parkway, Hoover, AL 35244 To make an appointment for our free April 18th seminar, visit and book your spot online, or call 833-277-1911 to schedule your appointment today.

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22 • Thursday, April 5, 2018



From left, Anastasia Allmon, Jenna Zoghby and Meredith Maitrejean.

Southview Medical Group welcomes Dermatologist Timothy A. McGraw! Dr. McGraw is a board-certified Dermatologist originally from Huntsville, AL and graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College with a degree in chemistry. He earned in commission in the United States Air Force through the ROTC program at Samford University and obtained his medical degree at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. His medical internship was at Malcolm Grow Medical Center at nearby Andrews AFB, MD where he also completed a Family Medicine residency and became board-certified in this specialty.

After his Dermatology residency, Dr. McGraw served as the Chief of Dermatology Services at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO and then completed a Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology fellowship in Salt Lake City, UT. He joined Southview Medical Group in December 2017. Dr. McGraw has published multiple articles in prestigious dermatology journals, has authored a textbook chapter, and has presented at local and international medical meetings. Dr. McGraw performs a wide range of Dermatology services for patients of all ages including skin cancer screenings, evaluation and treatment for rashes, acne, skin cancer, eczema, and psoriasis. He also offers cosmetic services such as fillers and Botox® injections as well as laser treatments for multiple skin conditions."

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Dr. McGraw served in the U.S. Air Force for several years as a family physician and flight surgeon including deployments to the Pacific Theater and Afghanistan, as well as a tour at the Pentagon before pursuing his Dermatology residency at the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium. He was presented both first and second-place research awards by the Association of Military Dermatologists during his residency and also shared responsibilities as chief resident.

Dancing in the Moonlight Rotaract Foundation Hosts Fundraising Ball

Dr. McGraw lives in Birmingham with his wife and son where they enjoy the Alabama outdoors as much as possible (with a hat and lots of sunscreen of course). "I am pleased to be part of the Southview team and I strive to provide top-notch professional care to my patients. I look forward to seeing you!"

Young professionals decked out in their black-tie best gathered at B&A Warehouse on March 17 for the 2018 Foundation Ball. The annual Rotaract Club of Please call (205) 918-1475 for your appointment today. Birmingham fundraiser celebrated the Same-day appointments are often available. organization’s community service efforts through its signature service Southview Medical Group Dermatology projects Ready 2 Read, Ready 2 St. Vincent's Professional Office Building 3, Suite 401 Succeed and Achieve Alabama. 833 St. Vincent's Drive Birmingham, AL 35205 Providing the tunes for a packed dance floor was the eight-piece Motown band Groove Factor. Guests taking a break from dancing sampled a selection of hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and a signature Dr. McGraw cocktail sponsored by Avani Rupa Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., Fine Jewelers, Grayton Beer 205-824-1246, fax Above, Caroline Company and Supreme Beverage Beitel, John March 2017 Company. Miller and Nicole This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL The for the party was designed by Ollie Carpenter. Right, April 5, 2018 issue. Please email approval. Dee Design Co. and Wild Things. David and Katie Gibert. Below right, The evening’s festivities were Josh and Leslie Ray. organized by board members Martha Please make sure all information is correct, Miller, president; Cameron Shevlin, including address and phone number!vice president; Jeris Gaston, chair; Drew Fravert, communications; Aaron Fons, treasurer; Erica Murphy, membership development; Henry Joe, membership Please initial and fax back within 24 hours. recruitment; Lorenzo Johnson, signature service; Michael Stone, If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, programs; Allison Sidbury, social; and Ashley Rhea, service. your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. The foundation board includes Courtney Russ, Jonathan Thank you for your prompt attention. Ratliff, Aaron Fons, Barbara Mulligan, Jeris Gaston, Lora Terry, Martha Miller, Niki Harris and Emily Ruzic. Event proceeds benefit the club’s initiatives to help empower Birmingham students with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed as future leaders. ❖





Margaret Cartner, Emily Poole and Kashika Narang.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald


Glisson-Bruhn From left, Shirley Palmes, Nelle Freeman and Joy Wilkes.

Ringing in Spring

Coronets Luncheon Celebrates the Spring Season Members of the Coronets Dance Club gathered at Vestavia Country Club on Feb. 23 for a luncheon to celebrate the new season. The event was planned and coordinated by Nelle Freeman and Joy Wilkes. Lunch was served on tables decorated with floral centerpieces. President Shirley Palmes presided over the business meeting and announced plans for the club’s April 20 dance.  Members at the luncheon included Edna Alderman, Linda Sue Belcher and Nancy Becker. Bachus, Nancy Becker, Sue Belcher, Nancy Boone, Redonda Broom, Marty Buck, Cheree Carlton, Patricia Clay, Bettie Davenport, Phyllis Davis, Carolyn Delk, Carolyn Edge, Cynthia Edmonds, Glenda Etheredge, Nelle Freeman, Patricia Garlikov, Cheryl Hardwick, Faye Hart, Margaret Hayes, Jean Hendrickson, Marsha Hire, Dianne Horn, Gloria Hudson, Glenda Jones, Nell Larson, Cookie Logan, Cecelia Miller, Shirley Palmes, Dorothy Renneker, Susan Stofel, Cynthia Tilghman, Joy Wilkes, Rebecca Wingett, Linda Wood and Janis Zeanah. ❖

Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 23


Mr. and Mrs. Charles Maher Glisson of Vestavia Hills announce the engagement of their daughter, Anwhitney Snowden, to Sidney Hargett Bruhn, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Richard Bruhn Jr. of Vestavia Hills. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Gregory Snowden of Abingdon, Virginia, and

Mrs. John Lawrence Glisson of Richmond, Virginia, and the late Mr. John Lawrence Glisson. Miss Glisson is a 2011 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School and a 2015 magna cum laude graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority and was presented at the 2013 Poinsettia Debutante Ball. Miss Glisson attends Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Clyde Hargett of Gulf Shores and Dr. John Richard Bruhn of Panama City, Florida, and the late Mrs. Kathleen Peacock Bruhn. Mr. Bruhn is a 2010 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School and a 2015 cum laude graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in building science. He was a member of Farmhouse fraternity. Mr. Bruhn is employed with Holland Homes in Auburn. The wedding is planned for June 16 at Canterbury United Methodist Church.

To have our wedding & engagement forms sent to you, call 823-9646 or email:

Margaret Hayes, Celelia Miller and Carolyn Delk.

5299 Valleydale Road, Suite 111 980-9030 (1/4 mile off 280)

Rehab Reality... By Judy and Julie Butler

Went on Vacation, Came Home on Probation

Every year students look forward to letting it all hang out during their much-anticipated Spring Break at the beach. Unfortunately all too often it ends in tragedy or at best legal problems. What happened to the day that the worse thing that happened was a broken bone or broken heart? Times are different now. There’s too much glamour in drinking and/or chilling out. There’s confusion about the legality of marijuana. There’s too much communication with texting and too little with honest exchanges of conversations. Peer pressure and the need to fit in are more powerful than ever. In just the first three weeks of March there have been 220 drinking related arrest in Panama City. The tragedy of all this are the legal costs and stain on the records for these young people that may follow them for life. More tragic can be the loss of life. For instance, after drinking alcohol all day one young man fell to his death from a parking deck in Panama City Beach. How does a parent prevent this from happening to his or her child? It begins with talking to them. Don’t assume that your child is exempt from this because he or she doesn’t behave this way at home. It may be innocent fun at first, but it can quickly turn to a situation out of control. If you or someone you know falls into the trap of addiction or legal issues resulting from drug and/or alcohol use know that there is a better place to get help. Bayshore Retreat is court approved and licensed by the state of Florida. Call us today.


24 • Thursday, April 5, 2018



Shiny and New


‘First, Make It Look Pretty’

2018 Parade of Homes Showcases New Houses in Area Communities

2018 GBAHB Ideal Home Displays Builder Huey’s Inspiration

By Emily Williams

Journal photo by Emily Williams

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or moving on to a larger or smaller home, the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builder’s 2018 Parade of Homes will have something to pique your interest. The annual event will be held over two weekends, April 27-29 and May 4-6, offering tours of more than 90 newly built houses throughout the greater Birmingham area. The homes range in size from 1,000 to 4,500 square feet and will be presented by more than 30 builders. The guiding light of the tour’s offerings is the 2018 Ideal Home, built by AGH Homes Inc., located at 871 Southbend Circle in the newly developed Southbend community at the corner of Rocky Ridge Road and Wisteria Drive in Vestavia Hills. According to AGH’s Alicia Huey, the home exemplifies the “ideal” of functionality and family-living. It has enough bedrooms to suit a five-member family and keeps daily life centered on the main floor in the large open living space. Homes featured on the parade route are throughout the Over the Mountain area and in other suburban communities. In addition to showcasing builders and their homes, GBAHB will highlight twenty villages and neighborhoods on the tour, with Over the Mountain communities including: Alicia Huey of AGH Homes Inc. is building the 2018 Ideal Home at 871 Southbend Circle in the developing community Southbend, in Vestavia Hills.


By Emily Williams

or the past few years, downsizing has been the big trend in home building in the Over the Mountain area. Builders who have been lucky enough to secure the smaller pockets of undeveloped property nestled in the Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills areas organize their space wisely, fitting in homes that are on the smaller side. Though the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders has found one of those few open areas of Vestavia Hills, the 2018 Ideal Home, located at 871 Southbend Circle, is showcasing something different. “I would almost call it the Idea Home rather than the Ideal Home,” said the builder, Alicia Huey of AGH Homes Inc. The five bedroom, 4 1/2 bath home boasts just less than 3,500 square feet and is nestled in the developing community Southbend, located on the corner of Wisteria Drive and Rocky Ridge Road. With multiple builders working on houses in the comSee IDEAL HOME, page 28


This North Shelby County community, managed by Eddleman Residential, consists of more than 1,000 homes and includes 700 acres off U.S. 280 East. The tour will showcase the community’s Club Place neighborhood. HIGHLAND LAKES

The more than 1,700-acre community in North Shelby County on the ridge of Oak Mountain includes four lakes stocked with fish and a variety of home designs. Homes on the tour are shown by Eddleman Residential LLC. LAKE WILBORN


Liberty Park Final Phase

New Residences and Businesses Create Hometown, Village Feel PAGE 26

This Signature Homes community is located in Hoover, adjacent to Cahaba River surrounds Wilborn Lake. The neighborhood embraces its access to nature with walking


Popular Hollywood Home Tour and Deocrators’ ShowHouse Return this Month PAGE 30

Mt Laurel Builder Invited Into Exclusive Southern Living Program PAGE 31

See PARADE, page 32



Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 25

26 • Thursday, April 5, 2018



By Sarah Kuper

Liberty Park Final Phase PARADE PROFILE

New Residences and Businesses Create Hometown, Village Feel

Featuring Carole Griffin of Chez Lulu & Continental Bakery (not-pictured);Will Haver of Taco Mama & Otey's Tavern; Tom Sheffer of Avo, Dram, Jackson's, & Icehouse; and Jennifer Yarbrough of Crestline Bagel & Crestline Catering. Moderated by Paul DeMarco.

Mountain Brook Chamber Luncheon

FEATURING: LOCAL RESTAURANT PANEL Birmingham Botanical Gardens 11am - 1pm on April 26

Residential development at Liberty Park in Vestavia Hills is just one stop on this year’s Parade of Homes. But Liberty Park Joint Venture officials plan to show off more than existing houses. Planners are releasing more information about Liberty Park’s final stage of development, a mixed-use addition to the “live, work, play” community called Town Village. “Everyone is familiar with “live, work, play,” and this is the convenience that our town village will bring to all who call Liberty Park home,” ‘Everyone is familiar said Liberty Park Joint Venture Marketing and Communications with “live, work, Manager Carlyle Thornton, play,” and this is the “Whether you are a resident, employee, service provider or visiconvenience that our tor, this will bring the true meaning town village will bring to of hometown home again.” Thornton said planners are in all who call Liberty Park the process of branding the new home.’ phase of Liberty Park, but she said the architecture and theme will LIBERTY PARK JOINT reflect the rich tradition of VENTURE MARKETING AND Birmingham. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER The village will include 18 fourCARLYLE THORNTON, story townhomes with elevators plus businesses to serve residents and visitors. Town Village planners hope to provide residents with all they need right outside their doorsteps – restaurants, gym, grocery and gas station. A specialized convenience store called Moore Oil is under development and is anticipated to open in the fall. On Tap Sports Café is expected to open about the same time. The 6,000-square-foot, two-story, Tudor-style restaurant will have outdoor seating with a fireplace and live music. Anytime Fitness will be moving to Town Village from its current location on Overton Road. This larger facility will offer advanced physical training and classes. While planners are not ready to disclose the name, grocery store development is also in the works. “A 48,300-square-foot grocer has committed to Liberty Park and they are in their due diligence period,” Thornton said, “There will be more announcements regarding this grocer in the coming months. The anticipated opening is fall of 2019.” In addition to residential and commercial construction, planners have made greenspace a priority. A park the length of three football fields will provide recreational opportunities. At this spring’s Parade of Homes, Liberty Park planners will offer a preliminary preview of plans for Town Village and showcase new floorplans of their existing residences. “Our hopes and goals are to demonstrate our diversified product offerings with new plans like the Jones and the Logan,” Thornton said, “The Logan is not new but we took the home plan off the market for several years due to popularity.” She said the Logan is popular because of its open floorplan with one-floor living. Thornton said she expects visitors to be particularly excited about the new Clayton layout because of the optional elevator feature. The spring Parade of Homes runs April 27-29 and May 4-6. For more information, visit ❖

View up main square, Town Village in Liberty Park. Images courteys Liberty Park Joint Venture

Town Village commercial green area looking south.

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In addition to residential and commercial construction, planners have made greenspace a priority. A park the length of three football fields will provide recreational opportunities.



Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 27


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All information and depictions herein believed accurate but not warranted or guaranteed and subject to change without notice. All information should be independently verified. Liberty Park Joint Venture, LLP, Liberty Park Properties, LifeScape Builders, LLC, Drummond Built Homes, LLC and their respective builders, employees and agents are not responsible for errors or omissions. All rights reserved.

664-806 April OTMJ Parade of Homes.indd 1

3/23/18 5:20 PM

28 • Thursday, April 5, 2018

From page 24

munity, the houses will, for the most part, be starkly different from each other. Huey said Southbend’s Lot 2 house has been a work in progress since the beginning, with Huey allowing the space to guide her creativity. “Whenever one of my workers asks me what I want, my answer is usually, ‘First, make it look pretty,’” Huey said. “The homes I make are custom homes, so there aren’t any stock plans. “Some people might be intimidated by that process. But once you get started, it’s really an easy process,” she said. “It gives you a chance to

really put personal touches in. Even after the framing of the house is done, I still want to make changes and it’s easy to do that when you don’t have a set plan.” Though the home is still under construction, it’s well on its way to accommodating guests for the Parade of Homes tour beginning April 27. Many of Huey’s details already are present. Guests enter the house in a small foyer with brick walls, which leads to an open living space that incorporates living, dining and kitchen space. To the left of the foyer is the first bedroom. With nothing built above that room, the bedroom/study has high vaulted ceilings. The bathroom, which still is being tiled, features taupe and muted light Journal photo by Emily Williams




With the right and left sides of the backyard flanked by outer walls of the home, a large, custom-built, brick outdoor fireplace makes a statement against the back edge of the yard. Huey and a member of her crew discuss finishing touches to the area last week. The home is located in Southbend development of Vestavia Hills

blue tiles in the shower area. Back in the living space, a linear wood-burning fireplace made of brick makes a statement against the right wall. Huey said the floors will be hardwood throughout, and the furnishings her interior designer will bring in are planned to create a look that emulates “a comfortable feel with a modern edge.” The kitchen will feature white cabinetry, neutral countertops and a central island for plenty of prep space and seating. Embracing the trend of having pops of color, and using the trendiest color of the year – blue – the commanding piece in the kitchen will be a cobalt blue Viking stove and 48-inch gas range. “Everything can be easily changed to suit different tastes,” Huey said. “Viking is making different colored

panels for these ranges now. So, if someone doesn’t like the cobalt blue, they can just change out the panels instead of having to replace the whole thing.” All of the kitchen appliances will be Viking, including a refrigerator as well as an ice maker and wine refrigerator in a wet bar on the kitchen’s right-hand wall, next to a walk-in pantry. At the back of the home is a sliding glass door that covers nearly the entire wall and leads out to a covered porch. The patio will be covered in a slate-colored reclaimed tile that is long and horizontal with grooves that mimic hardwood flooring. With the right and left sides of the backyard flanked by outer walls of the home, a large, custom-built, brick outdoor fireplace makes a statement against the back edge of the yard. “We’re going to drop in some pav-

ers as a path to the fireplace, and off to the left we’ll have a little area where the owner can string up lights,” Huey said. To create the feeling of a private courtyard, Huey is planning to install iron fencing around the back of the property with landscaping to fill in the gaps, creating a natural barrier from Wisteria Drive.

Master of the House

Approaching the first-level master bedroom at the back left portion of the house, guests will pass a powder room with a toilet and sink. To give the small space a bit of an edge, Huey’s team installed bricks against the back wall in a herringbone pattern. Then comes the laundry room, which is filled with natural light from two windows. The floor tile is one of


Huey’s favorite finds. It’s sizeable square tiles with a muted blue damask pattern imprinted on them. “My thought was, if you have to be in here anyways, might as well make it pretty,” Huey said. To keep the space as functional as possible, the galley-style set up along the right wall includes the washer/dryer units at the back and a

According to Huey, what makes the home “ideal” is that it has enough living space for a family but is small enough to bring the family together. large counter top with deep sink and large drawers that Huey had custom-made to fit laundry baskets. Secluded down a short hallway, the master bedroom immediately makes a statement. The ceilings, which Huey has dubbed a “barreled, vaulted ceiling,” are the focal point. A central square juts upward and has been lined with richly colored reclaimed wood, with the pattern resembling that of a wooden barrel. With a set of small French doors, the master bathroom feels like an open space. To the left is a large master closet with vaulted ceilings and two large pendant light fixtures that have a central bulb encased by a globe of vertical strands of oversized taupe beads. The master bath also feels like an enormous open space, with nearly half of the back section of the room sectioned off by a glass wall and a slightly raised and tiled shower space. To the right of the door is a vanity and sink, with a section of the glass wall becoming a mirror for the section of vanity that faces it. Bathroom fixtures in the master bath, as well as all of the other bathrooms are Kohler. The large bathing area offers three ways to bathe. On the right side of the area, a large white porcelain tub is positioned on the back wall. A standard shower head is fixed on the right side toward the front. The left section of the shower features Kohler’s new Real Rain shower head fixed to the ceiling, with an accompanying hand-held sprayer on the back wall. “Originally, the shower didn’t take up half of the room,” Huey said. “But as we were working, there was all of this wasted space. So, I thought, why not make it bigger.” After seeing TV commercials for the Real Rain shower head a number of times, Huey said she fell in love with the feature and felt it was the perfect way to fill in the extra shower space and maintain the clean lines that had been created in the room. “If you look around, you don’t see any knobs for the fixtures,” Huey said. “We’ve got two touch keypads on either wall and you can use those to turn on any of the fixtures and set the temperature that

Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 29

HOME you want.”

Upstairs, Downstairs

The second floor of the home, which includes three bedrooms, is where Huey has included some of her favorite creative touches. Stairs to the second floor are positioned on the right side of the home in a small hallway between the living area and a three-car garage. Iron handrails crafted by Red Mountain Ironworks grace the stairwell. The first bedroom is what Huey has named the “Little Girl’s Room.” On the wall beside the door, a wooden ladder leads to a small loft with a picket-fence safety rail and two teal metal sconces. “We’re going to use chalkboard paint on the walls, so you’ll be able to draw on them,” Huey said. A Jack-n-Jill bathroom with separate sink and counter spaces and a shared toilet and shower leads to Huey’s “Little Boy’s Room.” The back wall and vaulted ceiling in the room are paneled with tongueand-groove wood and will feature a basketball goal. “We named it the little boy’s room, but it’s really for anyone. I call it the basketball room,” Huey said. “It’s over the garage, so they can dribble and shoot hoops all they want and they won’t bother anyone below,” Huey said. On the opposite wall, Huey built two square niches of shelving into the wall, imagining that they could be used to display medals and trophies. When decorated, the space will be devoted to the UAB Blazers, Huey’s favorite team. The third bedroom will be set up as a guest bedroom. To add character to what could have been a plain white box, Huey vaulted a portion of the ceiling, taking over a small section of attic space. She then paneled it in tongue-and groove wood and installed a couple of small windows, creating a flood of light from the ceiling and the windowed wall of the room. “Our decorator said she has this big painting she wants to put on this back wall of the room, so all of this natural light from these windows will really draw attention to that,” she said. The room has its own bathroom, which could be in the running for the room with the most character. The floor is outfitted with hexagonal white tiles with black patterns in a variety of designs, which complement the stark white oversized tiles that flank the shower. To top it off, the countertop is a neutral color with sparkling flecks throughout. The variety of tile in the home is something Huey attributes to supply

and demand. “Tile has come a long way,” she said. “It’s not just for the bathroom anymore and there are so many styles.” With tile being on trend, the market is flushed with every style imaginable. “I tend to just fall in love with something and then I’ll find a place for it,” Huey said. “With the tiles, I’ll usually go to the brick company and ask them what is most popular and get suggestions. I find it better to see what is happening and what is available, then I’ll find a place for it.”

“Being female in this industry – which there aren’t very many of us – it’s natural for me to envision and keep in mind how this family will use the space every day. They’ll be cooking breakfast, doing homework at the table and the business of the day, dropping things off and grabbing things as you run in and out of the door.” Apart from character, the house incorporates modern features that many homeowners have come to expect. It’s outfitted with the increasingly popular tankless water heater and both a Bluetooth-compatible Carrier air-conditioning system and security system. According to Huey, what makes the home “ideal” is that it has enough living space for a family but is small enough to bring the family together. “Floor plans changed a lot after 9/11. Floor plans started to trend more towards bringing the family together rather than room to spread out,” she said. The only open living space is on

Keeping it Unique

Those details and pops of character throughout the home are Huey’s way of adding a little extra to the home to make it stand out, rather than settling for anything stark or cookie cutter. “My goal when I build is functionality of family,” Huey said.

the main floor. As it combines all of the communal living spaces in one room, Huey noted that it draws the family out of their bedrooms to one central space. “There are enough bedrooms for a family of five and you have one space to be together and eat dinner, watch TV, cook s’mores outside in the fireplace. And that space is big and open enough to entertain others,” she said. Huey shares ownership of the Ideal Home with her suppliers and crew, being born not only of her creativity, but those she works with. Because Huey likes to leave the plans for custom builds such as this loose, allowing for changes and sparks of inspiration to work their way into the home, she relies on her suppliers to lend their own ideas and expertise to create a better product. “It has been such a pleasure to work with all of my suppliers,” she said. “I think that is because they take ownership of it as well, because they know their work is being showcased.” ❖


New Estate Pieces

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30 • Thursday, April 5, 2018


Open House(s)

Journal photos by Jordan Wald


The Beasley home at 239 La Prado Place

The Nix Home at 306 English Circle

The Pearson Home at 9 Bonita Drive

The Davis home at 116 Bonita Drive



Dan Flemming 205.369.0595 | 5601 Old Leeds Rd

To: From: Date:

Cindi and Dan Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 March

2018 Hollywood Home Tour to Feature Four Homewood Houses

The Hollywood Garden Club will host the 2018 Historic Hollywood Tour of Homes on April 22, highlighting four residences in the historic Homewood neighborhood. The biennial event is the club’s primary fundraiser. It helps the group maintain the neighborhood’s 12 green spaces and lend support to nearby Shades Cahaba Elementary school. The area is known for its Spanish- and Tudorstyle homes, originally developed in 1924 by Clyde Nelson along with landscape architect Rubee J. Pearse and architect George P. Turner. Houses on this year’s tour are the Beasley home at 239 La Prado Place, the Nix Home at 306

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the March 8, 2018 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

English Circle, the Pearson Home at 9 Bonita Drive and the Davis home at 116 Bonita Drive. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the event. They are available online or at various locations, including Aloft, Sweet Peas, Chickadee, JJ Eyes, Homewood Antiques and Marketplace, Smith’s Variety, Hunter’s Cleaners and fab’rik. For more information, visit

Look for a profile of the Pearson home and more on the tour in the April 19 issue of the Over the Mountain Journal. ❖

Decorators’ ShowHouse Set to Begin April 28

The 2018 Decorators’ ShowHouse, which benefits the Alabama Symphony, will be April 28 Please make sure all information is correct, through May 13. A Decorators’ Preview Party is Including address and phone number! set for April 26. This year’s ShowHouse, located in Mountain Brook, is dedicated to the memory of Mike Please initial and fax back within 24 hours. Griggs, longtime volunteer and a past president If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, of the Symphony Volunteer Council. your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Participating in this year’s ShowHouse are Thank you for your prompt attention. Blackjack Gardens, Birmingham Wholesale Furniture, Christopher Architecture & Interiors, Lynn Coker Interiors, Four Corners, Lila Pryor Frank, Lynn Frazier Interior Design, Griffith Art Gallery, Pottery Barn, Scandinavian Design

Gallery, Holly Shirley Interiors, Southern Style, Umphrey Interiors and the University of Alabama. Molly Bee Bloetscher and Perry Umphrey are co-chairs for the ShowHouse. Char Bonsack is president of the council, which puts on the yearly project.  For more information and to buy tickets, visit and look under the events tab. Look for features and more details on this year’s ShowHouse in the April 19 issue of the Over the Mountain Journal. ❖

Photos courtesy Alabama Symphony Orchestra

Cindi Marshall 205.492.0336

Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 31



Mt Laurel Builder Invited Into Exclusive Southern Living Program

‘This program is about connecting people who want their homes to have a distinctly Southern feel to builders who can provide them.’ KRISTEN BRYAN, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING FOR SOUTHERN LIVING

Additionally, home buyers can work with Town Builders to customize their houses. The result is that no

two houses in Mt Laurel are just alike. —Virginia Martin

Photos courtesy Town of Mt Laurel

them is a ‘no brainer.’ Having close ties with industry leading building material sponsors and designers will better inform us of innovative products and designs, which in the end will be a great benefit to both our customers and our team.” Town Builders constructs craftsman style houses in Mt Laurel, which offers a portfolio of floor plans to prospective homeowners.

Town Builders constructs craftsman style houses in Mt Laurel, which offers a portfolio of floor plans to prospective homeowners. The North Shelby County community will be featured in the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builder’s 2018 Parade of Homes.

Town Builders, Inc., the exclusive builder for the Town of Mt Laurel, has been selected for membership in Southern Living’s Custom Builder Program. Southern Living chooses members for the program, now in its 24th year, based on their community reputation; strength of presence in their markets; superior quality and attention to detail; and innovative style, along with other criteria, according to a press release. Membership in the program gives Town Builders access to more than 1,000 exclusive house plans through the Southern Living House Plans Service Collection, created by architects and designers throughout the

nation. They also participate in a conference and workshops where they learn the latest trends and technologies in their trade. “This program is about connecting people who want their homes to have a distinctly Southern feel to builders who can provide them,” said Kristen Bryan, director of marketing for Southern Living. “Our team is excited about joining the Southern Living Customer Builder program and all the opportunities it will provide us and our customers,” said Bryan Phillips, vice president of Town Builders. “Southern Living is all about the Southern charm and quality we pride ourselves in, so pairing up with




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PARADE, From page 24

trails by the river and includes a clubhouse with a fitness center and a swimming pool. This gated community, in Hoover next to Deer Valley Elementary School, prides itself on its professionally designed landscapes surrounding a variety of homes that range from 2,300 to 4,500 square feet. MT LAUREL

This North Shelby County community features walkable neighborhoods, a fishing lake and greenspaces. Its traditional community atmosphere has earned it recognition as a Southern Living Inspired Community. It incorporates a town center with restaurants and shops, a public library, Mt. Laurel Elementary School and Hilltop Montessori School. ROSS BRIDGE


The Hoover community will highlight its Reynold’s Landing (pictured above right) community, designed by Signature Homes in partnership with Alabama Power. The smart neighborhood will feature 62 homes that featuring emerging energy-efficient technology, material and appliances, including a community-scale micro grid of solar panels, backup generators and battery storage. SOUTHBEND

One of Vestavia Hills’ newest developing neighborhoods, the com-

munity is on the corner of Rocky Ridge Road and Wisteria Drive and offers 45 custom-built homes. In addition to homes built by Taylor Burton Company, AGH Homes Inc. will showcase the 2018 Ideal Home. THE PRESERVE

A Hoover community known for its festivals and art shows, the 300acre neighborhood backs up to Moss Rock Preserve and features houses built in classic American architectural styles. Amenities include a town center with restaurants and shops, walking trails and a town hall. THE VILLAGE

Located just across the road from Mt Laurel, the North Shelby County community features walkable streets, parks, trails, a pool, cabanas and access to Mt. Laurel Elementary School. Eddleman Residential LLC

will be featuring a variety of its homes on the tour. The 2018 Parade of Homes will begin with a kick-off party April 24 from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Ideal Home. It will include music, food, cocktails and a presentation of the Parade of Home award winners. In addition, the annual Chefs on Parade will be held on the evenings of April 26 and May 3 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tastings prepared by local chefs will be hosted at select homes on the tour. Tickets to Chefs on Parade are $25 per night or $40 for both evenings. The 2018 Parade of Homes is free and open to the public. Homes will be available to tour each Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and each Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit ❖



New custom-designed homes available in the community of Shoal Creek.

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TAKE OUT – OR EAT IN Crestline’s Dinner Will Start Opening for Breakfast and Lunch PAGE 34

The Gumbo Games

Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 33


Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

Cooks Will Roux the Day at Episcopal Place’s Annual Competition

Enjoying the festivities at last year’s Funky Fish Fry were,Sara Rogan, Anna DeBell and Katie Vickery.

Photos courtesy Episcopal Place


The cook-off has several different categories. The Best Gumbo competition has divisions for backyard chefs, professionals and students. There’s also recognition for the team with the most spirit and best cook site décor and theme. Episcopal teams vie for the title of Most Divine Gumbo.

By Donna Cornelius Home cooks and professional chefs will stir the pots at a heated competition April 21. More than 40 cooking teams will compete at Gumbo Gala, Episcopal Place’s annual fundraiser. The 13th annual edition of the event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham. Those who attend can gobble up gumbo samples, listen to music from Margaux and the Cat’s Meow, and take part in a traditional New Orleans-style Second Line parade, complete with flowered umbrellas. The cook-off has several different categories. The Best Gumbo competition has divisions for backyard chefs, professionals and students. Guests at the event vote for the People’s Choice awards. Judges choose the winners in the Chef’s Choice awards for best seafood gumbo, best chicken and sausage gumbo, and best specialty gumbo. There’s also recognition for the team with the most spirit and best cook site décor and theme. Episcopal teams vie for the title of Most Divine Gumbo. Some winners get cash prizes, others receive trophies – and all earn gumbo-making bragging

rights. Among the professionals who will compete this year is Monty Todd. He’s the executive chef at Spoon & Ladle, a Birmingham company that sells small-batch craft soups and other foods to restaurants and grocery stores. “Being in the soup business, I try to be involved in any kind of competition,” Todd said. He said he especially likes participating in Gumbo Gala because it supports Episcopal Place, a nonprofit organization in Birmingham’s Highland Park that provides affordable independent living to low-income seniors and to adults with disabilities. When he first started





Spoon & Ladle, he delivered his soups to homes and offices, and Episcopal Place residents were among his customers. “The first time I competed in Gumbo Gala was in 2015,” Todd said. “We won the entire pro division with our chicken and sausage gumbo.” He said he was so proud of the win that he put stickers on his containers of chicken and sausage gumbo touting it as an award winner. He wanted his shrimp and crab gumbo to earn a label, too, so that’s what he made for Gumbo Gala in 2016. “We won the Chef’s Choice award that year,” he said. For this year’s event, he’s considering another flavor: his duck and chicken gumbo, which was a winner at the Greater Birmingham LSU Alumni Association’s 2017 Taste of Louisiana cook-off. “We don’t sell this gumbo retail, but I want to do something different,” Todd said. He said most of his cooking will be done at the gala. “We like cooking the gumbo there,” he said. “Folks get to see the stages involved in making See GUMBO GALA, page 34

April is Autism Awareness Month. That means it’s time again for the Funky Fish Fry, which will be held this year in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. Both family-friendly fundraisers will have catfish and sides, beverages, children’s activities, entertainment – and really cool T-shirts for sale. The Birmingham event is from noon to 6 p.m. April 14 at Avondale Brewing Co., 201 41st St. S. It’s hosted by the Autism Society of Alabama and Mitchell’s Place junior board. Visit for tickets and information. The inaugural Tuscaloosa event is from noon to 4 p.m. April 28 at Innisfree Irish Pub, 1925 University Blvd. Visit for tickets and information.


Saint Elias Maronite Catholic Church will host its 20th annual Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival April 13 and 14. Lebanese food to be offered at the two-day event includes baked kibbee, rolled grape leaves, spinach pies, grilled lemon chicken, loobia (green beans), and desserts such as Lebanese sugar cookies and ice cream. The event also includes guided church tours, traditional dancing by church youth, nightly performances by the Amin Sultan Lebanese Band, a 5K run and a silent auction. Delivery options are available, too. The festival is from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days. St. Elias is at 836 Eighth St. S. Shuttle buses will run from UAB Express 1 parking lot at 608 Eighth St. S and from UAB Lot 15R on 10th Avenue South next to Epic School. Parking is free at both lots. For more information, visit

See FOODIE NEWS, page 35

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TAKE OUT – OR EAT IN Crestline’s Dinner Will Start Opening for Breakfast and Lunch

By Donna Cornelius

Marriage to Dan brought her to Birmingham in January 2005. She worked for about six

GUMBO GALA, From page 33

it, and it’s more fun to do it at the event. If people want to ask me a question, I’m happy to talk to them.”

A Little Amateur Flair

Kimberly Kirklin, an Episcopal Place board member, will be part of a backyard team called Disco Gumbo. Her teammates are her husband, Stephen Mangina, and their friends Lilla Hood Smith and Chris Smith. All are residents of Vestavia Hills. “We’ll prepare what we can ahead of time,” Kirklin said. “We make

Clockwise from above: Carey Thomasson (pictured) and her husband, Dan Thomasson, opened their food-to-go eatery in May 2016; Dinner’s new breakfast menu will include dishes such as cheddar biscuits with ham, frittatas, blueberry muffins and avocado toast; A complete meal option from DINNER: grilled flank steak, roasted Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots with cranberries and roasted new potatoes with rosemary.

months at Chez Fon Fon and Highlands Bar and Grill but stopped when she was expecting her first child. The couple’s son, Flynn, is now 11. Their daughter, Hollis, is 10. Both are students at Mountain Brook Elementary School. “Cooking pulled me back in,” Carey said about the decision to open Dinner. She and Dan found the perfect space at 73

about 10 gallons. The husbands are the head chefs.” Kirklin is director of programming for the UAB Institute of Arts in Medicine, a program that encourages healing through the arts. She competed last year with a team that included young people from the program. “That first time, we had to have a few test runs,” she said. “We’d get together and try out variations in order to prepare for the day of the event.” Kirklin said she got involved with Episcopal Place through her “day job.” “We started in 2011 working with Episcopal Place to bring in various art classes to their residents,” she said.

Church St. Dan said it’s the former home of Gia’s Cakes, which moved to a larger location. The Thomassons pretty much gutted the space, making it bright and open. The concrete floor was stenciled to look like an Oriental rug. Shelves hold bottles of wine, which customers can buy to complement their meals. Baskets hold treats like Carey’s homemade cookies and Rice Krispies treats, and big glass jars are filled with pasta, dried beans and other ingredients. “I wanted this to feel like you’re in my kitchen,” Carey said. Customers can buy entrees that include panko parmesan chicken, salmon and grilled

“I’ve been on their board a little over a year.” She said her team’s recipe likely will start with a basic gumbo – but with a little flair mixed in. “I think most people do this,” she said. “They go with a traditional gumbo but then add their own spin.” The fundraiser also will have a kids’ zone, an Art and Artisans vendors show, and cold beverages for sale. And if you want more gumbo, you can get some to go. “We’ll be set up in a tent near the exit so that people can buy our gumbo,” Monty Todd said. “It won’t be the gumbo we make at the event but what we usually sell. People can

Although she expected most of her customers would be working parents, her business has been a hit with another group. “About 30 percent of our customers are empty nesters,” she said. You can check the menu by visiting the Dinner website and then stop by the eatery to buy what you want or call ahead to place orders. You also can get delivery service if you order before 2 p.m. Another aspect of the business is hosting dinner parties for events like birthdays, bridal festivities and book clubs. “We start with cocktails in the kitchen and then serve dinner,” Carey sad. “Dan’s grandmother had beautiful antique china. I bring in that with sterling silver, pretty glasses – it’s fun.” Dinner’s slogan is “We made it for you,” and Carey hopes to make even more good food in the future. “At some point, I want to expand,” she said. “But right now, I enjoy having time to be with my kids.” Carey said she thinks Dinner gives customers the opportunity to have tasty, well-cooked meals at home. “People have lots of options to go out to great restaurants here in Birmingham, but you can’t do that every night,” she said. “It’s a great thing to sit down to dinner together.” Dinner is at 73 Church St. in Crestline Village. It’s now open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Once the new eat-in area opens, the eatery will open at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast MondayFriday and at 7 a.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 637-3007, visit dinnerperiod. com, or follow the business on Facebook and Instagram @dinnerperiod. ❖

grab a quart to take home.” Kirklin recommended arriving early at the event “so you can get as many samples as you want.” “It’s fun volunteering and cooking at the event,” she said. “Episcopal Place is a wonderful organization, and this is a fun way to get the community involved.” The Gumbo Gala is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 21 at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, 20 32nd St. N., Birmingham. Early bird tickets are $15. To buy tickets or for more information, visit Tickets will be $20 at the gate. Children’s tickets are $5. ❖

Photo courtesy Episcopal Place

“Cooking Pulled Me Back In”

‘I’ve always been cooking. My parents traveled a lot, and I was exposed to a lot of good food at a young age.’ CAREY THOMASSON Journal file photos by Jordan Wald

Carey Thomasson thinks there’s no reason to stress out about dinner. And maybe that’s the reason the name of her popular Crestline Village business ends with a period and not an exclamation mark. “It’s just dinner – don’t freak out,” said Thomasson, chef and co-owner of Dinner. She and her husband, Dan Thomasson, opened their food-to-go eatery in May 2016. Main dishes, sides and desserts are cooked fresh every day and packaged to serve two to three people. Starting this month, Dinner customers will be able to eat in as well as take out. “People kept asking for this,” Carey said. “We’ll have about 10 seats. We’re really excited about it.” Those who dine in will be able to order breakfast and lunch. Carey said she’s especially looking forward to making and serving breakfast dishes like cheddar biscuits with ham, avocado toast and frittatas. “We’ll have healthy options like organic farm eggs and muffins,” she said. “We source locally whenever possible.” Dan, who manages the business, is a Mountain Brook native who grew up just down the street from Dinner. Carey was living in New York when she and Dan met at a wedding. “She’s been a chef for over 30 years,” he said. “She’s been getting paid to cook since she was in high school.” Even before that, Carey’s favorite place was the kitchen. “I’ve always been cooking,” she said. “My parents traveled a lot, and I was exposed to a lot of good food at a young age. I’d read my mom’s ‘Joy of Cooking.’ I’ve had dinner parties and cooked since the second grade. That’s what I love to do.” Carey’s career in cooking has taken her from one side of the country to the other. “I moved to Los Angeles to be a movie star, but that didn’t work out,” she said with a smile. Instead of becoming a movie star, Carey made a name for herself as a private chef whose clients included celebrities. “Most movie stars wanted healthy food,” she said. “They’re very calorie conscious. I also dealt with a few people in New York who wanted to control every recipe.”

flank steak plus sides, desserts, soup and extras like deviled eggs and pimento cheese. “We have cozy dishes like lasagna Bolognese in the winter,” Carey said. “During warm weather, we’ll have more grilled meats and lighter food. All the things we make are huge sellers, but we’re famous for our tomato pie. And women who are about 35 to 45 will come in and get roasted cauliflower or Brussels sprouts for an afternoon snack.”


Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti said in a press release. “We’re eager to join Birmingham’s flourishing culinary scene and offer the community a great place to grab a burger and gather with family and friends.”

FOODIE NEWS, The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce’s April 26 meeting will feature a panel of restaurant experts from the city. Sharing their experiences and knowledge will be Carole Griffin (pictured at right) of Chez Lulu & Continental Bakery; Will Haver of Otey’s Tavern & Taco Mama; Tom Sheffer of Avo, Dram, Icehouse & Jackson’s Bar & Bistro; and Jennifer Yarbrough of Crestline Bagel and Crestline Catering Co. The event is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. For more information, visit


Taste for the Cure, benefiting the Parkinson Association of Alabama, is set for 6 p.m. April 19 at Haven, 2515 Sixth Ave. S in Birmingham. The event features food, wine and beer pairings from an all-star team of Birmingham-area chefs. Guests can bid on a variety of items at live and silent auctions. Tickets are $75. For tickets and more information, visit parkinsonalabama. com.


The first-ever Heights Hangout, featuring food tents from area restaurants, is set for 2:30-7:30 p.m. April 28 in Cahaba Heights. Martin’s BBQ Joint, which soon will open its first Alabama restaurant, will be cooking up its famous whole hog for the

Journal file photo by Lee Walls Jr.

From page 33


Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 35



The ninth annual Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival, on April 28, combines food and music at DeBardeleben Park, at 1623 Second Ave. N in Bessemer. Gates open at 11 a.m. with activities

starting at noon and lasting until 8 p.m. In addition to barbecue and entertainment, the festival includes a children’s area, arts and crafts, and exhibits. The event this year will benefit the Latch and Live Foundation, which helps impoverished families in Bessemer and surrounding cities. Tickets are $15 and available at or at Bob Sykes Bar B Q, 1724 Ninth Ave. N in Bessemer. Children under 12 will be admitted free if they’re with an adult who has a ticket. ❖

event. Other participating restaurants include Doodles, Fresco, Mudtown, The Fig Tree and Higher Ground Coffee. The event also will have a free kids’ zone with inflatables, cookie decorating and arts and crafts. Music groups Riverbend and Mason will perform from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $5; there’s no charge for children ages 12 and younger. Sponsored by the Cahaba Heights Merchants Association, the event is on Pipeline Road. All proceeds will be used for a Cahaba Heights landscaping project.


The first Alabama Shake Shack is set to open late this summer at The Summit at 200 Summit Blvd. Known as a modern-day “roadside” burger stand, the restaurant is known for its all-natural Angus beef burgers and chicken sandwiches, griddled hot dogs, frozen custard and crinkle-cut fries. Craft beer and wine also are on the menu. The restaurant will have an outdoor patio as well as plenty of indoor seats. “We’re proud to bring our first Alabama Shack to Birmingham, a city with such distinct culture and charm,”

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36 • Thursday, April 5, 2018

Funding the Fight



By Emily Williams As the end of the school year fast approaches, springtime in many Alabama schools is not only devoted to fitting in those last-minute lessons and preparing for final tests and exams. It also is a final chance for students to band together and give back to the community. According to the American Cancer Society of Alabama, approximately 80 schools, organizations and community groups throughout the state are preparing for and hosting Relay for Life events. The events raise funds for the organization’s mission to find a cure for cancer by funding research and to provide patient support locally and across the country. Money raised supports the organization’s efforts on a national scale, funding more than 690 resource programs and services that provide patient support and help manage cancer treatment and recovery, as well as provide a network of information and funding for local cancer research. In the Over the Mountain area, Homewood, Hoover and Vestavia Hills will be among the groups hosting Relay for Life events this spring.

Relaying Around

Organized through the efforts of community members as well as Homewood High School’s Relay for Life club, Relay for Life of Homewood will be held April 27 in Homewood’s Central Park from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. The organizers have set a goal to raise $100,000 and are well on their way, having hosted events throughout the school year to fund the event as well as recruit people to start their own relay fundraising teams. Individual teams also are adding to the count, already having raised more than $10,500. Community volunteers coordinate with the high school’s club members, taking the lead in organizing community-wide fundraising events throughout the year. This year, the club hosted the Relay for Life Block Party on Jan. 23 at Red Hills Brewing

Company to celebrate the crucial fundraising months leading up to the big event. Relay for life of Homewood event co-chair Kristen Francisco, now a community volunteer, has taken part in the local event since her freshman year of college at Samford University, which coincided with her aunt’s breast cancer diagnosis. “I’d known other people who had battled cancer, but I don’t think it was until my aunt’s diagnosis that I realized just how important Relay for Life and the work of the American Cancer Society is,” she said. Though her aunt won her battle with breast cancer in the same year, she recently received a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “I Relay because nobody should have to hear the words, ‘You have cancer’ even once in their life, much less more than once,” Francisco said. “I Relay because I dream of a day where cancer doesn’t exist. I Relay because, while I’m not a doctor, this is something I can do to help end this terrible disease.” In addition to Homewood, Relay for Life of Hoover will be hosting its annual event April 27. With the school system’s two high school’s taking turns hosting the annual event, Hoover High School beginning at 6 p.m. As with each of the Relay for Life main events, the evening will begin with an opening ceremony and survivor/caregiver walk, recognizing those who have and are surviving cancer and the people who have stood by their side throughout the process. In addition to live music, games, food and more, the evening’s festivities will include the Luminaria Ceremony, in which candles are lit in honor of individuals who have lost their battle with cancer. Last year, the Spain Park High School event raised approximately $20,000. Organizers from both high schools hope to beat that number, setting a goal to raise $25,000 Known for busting through its fundraising goals for the past few years, Relay for Life of Vestavia Hills is set for April 14, from 2 p.m. until midnight at Vestavia Hills High School.

Photo courtesy of Relay for Life of Homewood

OTM Schools Host Community Events for Cancer Research

Homewood, Hoover and Vestavia Hills high schools and local community members will be hosting their annual Relay for Life events this month, featuring an opening ceremony and survivor/caregiver walk, recognizing those who have and are surviving cancer.

The school’s Relay for Life club has set a goal this year for $250,000, kicking off fundraising in the winter with a relay night at one of the school’s basketball games. Last year, the club raised more than $280,000 through the main event, as well as various fundraisers leading up to the night’s festivities. Having already raised over $105,400, the club is inches away from being half-way towards their set goal. The school’s fundraising began with schoolwide events including a Curechella kick-off, a music festival held at the high school on Jan. 20, followed by a fundraising night at the Vestavia vs Hoover basketball game on Jan. 26 and a Sadie Hawkins Dance on Feb. 16. In addition, the club’s annual communitywide Princess and Superhero Breakfast was held on Feb. 24, with club members dressing up as popular princesses and action heroes and meeting with local children to share breakfast and take pictures. Most recently, the club hosted a Rebel Run. Formerly named the Purple People Run, the March 17 5K was organized by VHHS student chairs Kendall Carter and Breck Cuddy and cochair Elizabeth Ledbetter 5K and proved a success despite the rain.

OTM Students Help Relief Efforts in Jacksonville

Following the tornadoes that hit Jacksonville and Jacksonville State University on March 20, local Over the Mountain students took part in efforts to help community members. Kids from various local schools travelled to the city to help clean up debris from the two tornados. Participating students represented Vestavia Hills High School, Pizitz Middle School, Vestavia Hills Elementary Central, Homewood High School, Homewood Middle School, Spain Park Middle School and various local private schools.

For the Kids

At Mountain Brook High School, schoolwide charitable fundraising efforts this year have shifted with the introduction of the new Raise MB Club to focus on pediatric cancer this year. Restructuring its Relay for Life Club, students conceptualized a new student club, Raise MB, during their summer vacation and implemented the organization at the beginning of this school year. In its inaugural year, the club chose the Sid Strong Foundation, a pediatric cancer awareness and research foundation that was formed in honor of the late Sid Ortis of Mountain Brook. A local foundation, the organization’s funds are donated to pediatric cancer research labs at Children’s Hospital. So far this year, the club has hosted numerous events beginning with a football fundraiser at the Mountain Brook vs Thompson High School football game in October that raised $2,340, an online auction in December and a pool tournament in March. The club will be one that hosts fundraisers throughout the year and all proceeds combined will be donated to a chosen beneficiary, a local non-profit organization chosen each year. ❖

Mountain Brook High and Carver High Put on “Hairspray” Together

Mountain Brook High School and Birmingham’s George Washington Carver High School have joined to produce the Tony award-winning musical “Hairspray.” Gaybrielle Jones-Mason, instructional support in the arts education department of Birmingham schools, and Jesse Tilton, theater teacher at Mountain Brook, co-direct the show, according to a press release issued by the Mountain Brook school. On the surface, “Hairspray,” set in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement, tells the story of a teenage girl with a dream to dance on a local television show. But the audience quickly discovers the musical really is about the way she and her friends take down the prevalent racism in their hometown, “Addressing racism is just as important today as it was in the ‘60s,” said Gary Weatherly, head of Mountain Brook High School’s Fine Arts Program. “This partnership is a wonderful opportunity for the students at both schools, as well as the public, to see how cooperation and collaboration can build a better community.” Jones-Mason has directed major theatrical productions before at Carver. “But never have we collaborated with another school system to do something of this magnitude,” she said. “This is going to be a monumental event for everyone to come out and witness.” The production will debut at Carver before shifting to Mountain Brook. The production opens April 12 with a performance at Carver and two weeks later moves to Mountain Brook. Carver shows will be April 12 at 6 p.m. and April 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5. For more information, call 492-5940 or 231-4655. Performances at Mountain Brook High School will be April 27-28 at 7 p.m. and April 29 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 414-3842.


Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 37


Two teams from Brookwood Forest Elementary have earned their places in the upcoming Vex IQ World Robotics Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

Photos courtesy Altamont School

BWF Students Qualify for World Robotics Competition

The typical cost of buying an AR sandbox runs between $6,000 and $8,000. Dominguez and his team built one for less than $300, below. Team members above, from left, front: Henry Chang, David Niederweis and Hampton Walker. Back: Rob Dominguez and Ryan James.

Virtual Tools Bring Science Lessons to Life at Altamont

For Rob Dominguez, Altamont School’s director of education technology and seventh-grade geography teacher, an augmented reality sandbox is the perfect amalgam of his work with students. An AR sandbox is a 3-D visualization tool that teaches geographic, geologic and hydrologic concepts by allowing users to shape real sand and create topography models. A literal sandbox is augmented with an elevation color map, topographic contour lines and simulated water using a 3-D camera, powerful simulation and visualization software, and a data projector. “I saw an AR rig about two years ago and thought it would be a pretty lofty goal to have one at our school,” said Dominguez. An upper school Fall Project Week trip to the Silicon Valley that he co-led last fall changed his mind. “After seeing how engaged our students have become since our trip to Silicon Valley, I thought it would be not only possible, but fun to enlist some of them to help build our own AR sandbox,” he said. “And the students were ready and eager.” The typical cost of buying an AR sandbox runs between $6,000 and $8,000. Dominguez and his team built one for less than $300. Most of that cost was in the sand. “Our director of technology donated a projector, the history department paid for the wood, the director of finance chipped in for the sand, the software is opensource, and the camera was purchased by an anonymous donor,” he said. Altamont also took advantage of on-campus brain power, borrowing engineering, construction and software know-how from facilities director Jon Vann, physics teacher Katrina Dahlgren and computer science teacher Ryan James. Altamont 11th graders Henry Chang, David Niederweis and Hampton Walker helped physically construct the rig. They also played a lead role in setting up the software and calibrating the equipment. “The sandbox is a great example of the Altamont experience coming full-circle – students, who once were in my class as seventh-graders now helping to enrich the education of younger students while simultaneously gaining knowledge in computer science,” Dominguez said. ❖

Two teams from Mountain Brook’s Brookwood Forest Elementary qualified for the Vex IQ Alabama State Competition. Vex IQ is a snap-together robotics system designed to incorporate science, technology, engineering and math. Once the team creates a robot, they submit it in various competitions across the community. At the recent competition, Team B from BWF earned first place in the teamwork championship, while Team A earned the STEM Award for Elementary students. Both wins earned the teams spots at the Vex IQ World Robotics Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, which will take place this month. The students will prepare for and travel to the competition under the direction of Jennifer Jinnette and Sharon Mumm at BWF and James Savant at Mountain Brook Junior High.

Annual Denim and Diamond Fundraiser Helps HCSF Give to Hoover Schools

The Hoover City Schools Foundation will host its annual Denim and Dining fundraiser from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., April 7 at the Hoover Met. Last year, the organization gave more than $50,000 in grants to Hoover schools. The money was given to projects aimed at improving each school’s educational offerings and giving teachers more professional development opportunities and the tools to create new and innovative teaching methods. One of the foundation’s programs is SeedLab, an initiative that gives teams of educators from each school the opportunity to present an innovative solution to a major education problem in their classrooms. One of the five winning teams – Berry Middle School seventh-grade science teachers Lincoln Clark, Brooke Wingard and Katie Hardekopf – have been perfecting their project this year. It addresses the question, “How might we interest more students in STEM careers?” According to the teachers, their mission is to emphasize ways that their students can use science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the real world by introducing them to

careers in STEM. This year, the team’s students have had the opportunity to hear more about careers in meteorology, with James Spann of ABC 33/40; chemistry, with Dr. Thomas Tice of Evonik Corp.; genetics through the Birmingham Zoo’s Species Survival Plan; and engineering with a field trip to the Mercedes-Benz plant. Most recently, students were treated to a field trip to a biomedical engineering lab at UAB.

The foundation is in the early stages of selecting next year’s SeedLab grantees. Teams submit letters of intent before representatives from the foundation and the school system choose winners through a Shark Tankstyle interview. Proceeds from the Denim and Dining event will help fund the foundation’s various grants and projects in the school system. The evening’s festivities will include a barbecue dinner, a silent auction, craft drinks and the musical stylings of one of the school system’s very own, Simmons Middle School teacher Robert Abernathy. Tickets are currently $65. For more information, visit hoovercsf. org. ❖

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Myers Making Most of His Opportunity as Homewood’s Varsity Goalkeeper Although Ian Myers is a senior, he had to wait until this spring to take over as Homewood’s goalkeeper on the varsity soccer team. Myers started in goal on the Patriots’ junior varsity in 2017 and was called up to the varsity when the postseason arrived, but he didn’t get to play in a game. He knew why. “The goalkeeper we had last year, Chandler Harris, was very good,” Myers said, “so I understood why I was on the JV.” Harris recorded nine shutouts and was named honorable mention All-State as Homewood reached the Class 6A quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Pelham. Harris is now a freshman at Tulane. Harris’ backup last season was Myers’ older brother Evan, who’s now a freshman at Furman. With the departures of Harris and his older brother, Ian Myers gladly stepped into goal for the Patriots this season. “I was ready to play,” he said. “It’s exciting to finally get the opportunity. Even though this is my first year on the varsity, I’ve played with all the guys before.” Myers is making the most of his opportunity. He has allowed only five goals in 14 games and recorded 11 shutouts, helping Homewood post a 12-0-2 record before taking off for spring break last week. “He’s a great kid,” Homewood coach Scott McBride said. “Goalkeeper is such a specialized position and I don’t give him a lot of training. I

Photo by Scott Butler

By Rubin E. Grant

In addition to being a standout goalkeeper, Myers excels in the classroom. He has a 4.4 gradepoint average and made 34 on the ACT. He is headed to Northwestern to study engineering on an academic scholarship.

just put him in net and tell him to try to stop the ball. “He fits the position like a glove. He’s 6-foot-3 and he’s got a lot of natural ability.”

Sticking With the Position

Myers has been a goalkeeper since he began playing soccer, “whatever age that was,” he

Taylor Korn, is one of six seniors from last year’s squad that made it to the finals before falling to McGill-Toolen.

VESTAVIA, From previous page 40

RUDOLPH, From previous page 40

he gets to the ground quick to make saves.”

Physical Player

things that I’d like to say and now I don’t have to say them because they’re saying it.” The group knows the team’s path requires maintaining the same effort when they are playing against themselves that they expect to have when they face opponents. “It’s good to have them there to show the younger players what kind of level of intensity we expect at practice and in games. And that we expect practice to be just as competitive as a game,” Littleton said. This team’s lineup has rotated a lot – about 15 girls rotate in the starting lineup. Everyone is fighting for playing time, and most everyone is getting a shot at it. It’s a blessing and a curse; the Rebels have plenty of depth, but they have talented athletes who don’t get as much playing time as they would like. But that depth sets them up for their ultimate goal of redemption.

Journal file photo by Marvin Gentry

the Year as a senior. The big shoes she left behind are being filled by freshman Kaylee Dressback. Six seniors returned, however, and all of them remember the triumphant 2016 run and the disappointment of a year ago. Faith Hauberg, Mary Hogewood, Taylor Korn, Sara McCurry, Sophia Sabri and Katherine Savage understand what it takes to be champions. “That was their goal – to make it back to state, to win state,” said Littleton. “They work hard every day in practice and they worked hard in the off-season.” This year, they are learning what it takes to be leaders. “Having that many seniors that can mentor their younger teammates plays a huge role in our program,” said Littleton. “Teaching them what it means to be a part of a team, not just an individual. It’s priceless having that kind of leadership on the field; saying the

said. “My first season I was the goalkeeper and I enjoyed it, so I’ve stuck with it since.” The experience he has gained from playing the same position for several years has been invaluable. “Since I’ve been playing goalkeeper so long, there are not a lot of situations I haven’t seen,” Myers said. “I know how to react and make the play I need to make.”

Myers’ knowledge enables him to set up the Patriots’ defensive strategy, barking out instructions to his teammates. “He’s such a good communicator,” McBride said. “He’s always talking to players in the back on defense. I think that’s why we haven’t conceded many goals.” Myers agrees with his coach. “I think I have played well and I think I have made some pretty good saves, too,” Myers said. “But we have a strong defense. All of our defenders are good on the ball and that makes it easier for me.” In addition to being a standout goalkeeper, Myers excels in the classroom. He has a 4.4 grade-point average and made 34 on the ACT. He is headed to Northwestern to study engineering on an academic scholarship. “I don’t think I’ll play (NCAA) Division I soccer,” Myers said. “I’ll probably play club or intramural because it’s still one of my favorite things to do.” Meanwhile, Myers is trying to help Homewood end its four-year drought without a state championship. The Patriots haven’t won a title since capturing the 2014 Class 5A crown, the year before the Alabama High School Athletic Association expanded to seven classifications. “I think we are one the favorites without a doubt,” Myers said. “We’ve already played a lot of the better 6A teams, so that’s a good thing since we know what kind of challenge they present. I think we have a good chance to win state.” ❖

Rudolph has been playing goalkeeper since he began playing the sport. He started out playing baseball and basketball, but he switched to soccer because his younger brother Igor was playing soccer. Igor Rudolph is a freshman at Hoover, playing for the freshman and junior varsity teams.

Once on the soccer field, Max Rudolph’s aggressiveness led to him becoming a goalkeeper. He was known for taking down an opponent when he came into the penalty area. “When I was younger, I liked to tackle people, so they put me in goal,” Rudolph said. “I’ve always played physical. Even now, if somebody runs in to me, I’ll get physical. I feel that’s the best way I play. It gets my adrenalin going.” Keplinger appreciates Rudolph’s toughness. “Max is as tough as any player I’ve ever coached,” Keplinger said. “He’s a throwback and his work ethic is tremendous. He practices harder than he plays in games.” Directing on-field strategy is another one of

Rudolph’s strengths and so is making sure his head is always in the game.

Laser Focused

“I think my focus is what makes me so successful,” he said. “In a game you might not get very many shots, but you have to stay focused because when you get a shot, if your mind is elsewhere and you miss that one shot, that’s the one that might get your team beat.” When he’s not playing soccer, Rudolph enjoys scuba diving. He needs two more training dives to earn his diving certification. He was scheduled to do that on the weekend of the

“I think that loss to McGill (this season) was a good wakeup call,” said Littleton. If the Rebels have a successful postseason run, it’ll be because they improved on finishing. “We generate a lot of opportunities, but we don’t capitalize enough,” said

‘They want McGill to get to the finals, because they want to play McGill again. They want their redemption. They want to beat them in a fair game.’ BRIGID LITTLETON VESTAVIA HILLS COACH

Littleton. They’ll try to remain unblemished in conference play as they host Hoover April 6. They’ll host two more conference games before trying to make a postseason run: Tuscaloosa County on April 10 and Thompson on April 17. ❖

Metro Tournament, but the team came first after the Bucs reached the finals. “My dad got certified and that’s something me and my brother decided we would like to do,” Rudolph said. Rudolph eventually will get his diving certification, but right now he’s concentrating on helping the Bucs contend for a state championship. “I want to try to keep my goals allowed to a minimum and win state,” Rudolph said. “Last year we had a team that we thought could win state and we lost in the first round. We want to go further this time.” ❖



Thursday, April 5, 2018 • 39

For 15 years, Briarwood Christian School has had a mission program that has allowed its students from all walks of life to visit and serve Central American countries. The two oldest trips led students to Nicaragua and Guatemala. A trip to Haiti was added a year ago, and this year, for the first time, a group spent its spring break in Panama. “There’s been so much interest in the program,” said high school principal and boys soccer coach Dr. Shawn Brower. “We’ve had more kids that want to go than space for them. So in the past year, we added a trip to Haiti, thinking that three trips would be enough. And there were still more students that signed up wanting to go on a mission trip over their spring break. So we added the trip to Panama.” A fifth trip will be added soon, with the baseball team visiting Cuba. Over the course of the week in Panama, Brower and his students traveled to the village of Gamboa by taking a boat up the Panama Canal. They visited an inner city Christian school in Curundu, leading children’s programs and feeding students at lunch. The boys among the group did manual labor at a site where a church was being erected. And they visited a rural public school in the mountains at Nuevo Pareso, where children as young as elementaryaged walk up to two hours to school each day and families live without electricity. “The first few days, (the children) were very excited to see us and they were very engaged,” said senior boys soccer player Jacob Badalato. “When we visited the village in the mountains, we spent time with a group of kids that doesn’t really see a lot of outsiders, so they were a bit more shy and timid; a bit hesitant.” While the boys on the trip did more of the heavy lifting, the girls interacted with children through music and crafts. They showed students how to make headbands out of old T-shirts and led singalongs. “(In Curundu) they loved making the headbands, and they love to sing,” said junior girls soccer player Sydney Grace Edge. “They love to dance and play games.” Among the students on this trip were four players from Brower’s own boys soccer team

Several members of the Briarwood boys soccer team with Briarwood student Graham King, center, at a construction site in Central America. From left, Briggs Latta, Braxton Tubbs, King, Noah Nall and Jacob Badolato.

Spring Break Workout

Briarwood Sends Students to Mission Trips in Central America and the girls team, two tennis players, a girls golfer and representatives from Briarwood’s show choir and cheerleading squad. Just Edge had previously participated in the mission program, visiting Guatemala.

Plan B

The new destination came together a bit accidentally, as the original plan was for Brower to lead students to an orphanage in Mexico. But a level 4 security warning rerouted the mission, and on short notice. “That was in January, which is kind of late to come up with another plan,” said Brower. “But before I announced that we were not going to Mexico, I started doing some research. I have a good friend at Score International, which is a sports ministry that travels to a variety of countries. He suggested

While the boys on the trip did more of the heavy lifting, the girls interacted with children through music and crafts. Holly Hancock, above, and Callie Ware, above right.

Panama for a group as diverse as ours, and every day has been a different day.” While many of the students that the group from Briarwood Christian interacted with don’t have the same advantages and opportunities, they found that they had much more in


Oak Mountain Baseball Nabs No. 3 Spot as it Heads Into the Last Leg of the Season

By Blake Ells

Oak Mountain’s baseball team leapt to third in the latest 7A ASWA poll, behind topranked Auburn and McGill-Toolen, despite losing two games at the Gulf Coast Classic over spring break. “A big reason we try to go down there is to see some good teams,” said Oak Mountain coach Derek Irons. “It’s a good opportunity to see some good pitchers and try to come back better than we were. We’d love to win them all, but with area play starting next week, the focus is really on becoming the best team that we can in preparation for those games.” At this year’s tournament, the Eagles fell to Russell County, the top-ranked team in 6A, and Foley. They notched a 2-0 win over Hendersonville, of Tennessee. The match set up a pitcher’s duel as Hendersonville started Auburn commitment Hayden Mullins on the mound and the Eagles went with Ole Miss commitment Jackson Kimbrell, who struck out 15 batters. The Eagles also topped Corner 17-6. Corner started Mississippi State commitment Sam Knowlton. Kimbrell was 3-for-4 at the

plate with two doubles and three RBIs. The Eagles’ pitching rotation is deep, and it’ll be what they rely on as they try to make a postseason run. Behind junior Kimbrell is Samford commitment Gene Hurst, a senior who is the all-time career wins leader at Oak Mountain, and Wallace State commitment Wesley Dennis, also a senior. Hurst threw a complete game in the loss to Russell County over spring break, giving up just six hits and striking out six, and Dennis defeated Hoover earlier this season when the Bucs were holding on to the top spot in 7A. Area play begins this week with a homeand-home against Mountain Brook. “They’ve got a really good team,” Irons said of the Spartans. “I think they’ve got most everybody back from last year, and they’ve been playing well lately. We know we’ll have our hands full with them. There are so many good teams in the Birmingham area that you just know there aren’t going to be many easy games, many easy area series or any easy path to the playoffs.”

The Home Stretch

It’s a nine-week season that Irons says

conveniently divides into three three-week seasons: three weeks to get to know the team, three weeks with a midseason spring break tournament and three weeks of area play. “That last three weeks is really what your season comes down to,” Irons said. “All the work and all the preparation really comes down to that. Whether the first six weeks have gone well or gone poorly, you’re usually judged by those last three weeks.” Mountain Brook, Spain Park and Huffman will challenge the Eagles for these next three weeks. Irons said his team will take lessons learned at the Gulf Coast Classic with them as the season heats up.  “I feel like we learned a lot about our own effort and our ability to overcome adversity,” Irons said. “The Russell County game was a tough one against a really good pitcher. We battled and battled, and we just weren’t able to come out on top. That was at 4:30 on Monday, and we had to turn around and play at 9 a.m. on Tuesday against a really good team (Hendersonville.) So I was very encouraged that we brought good effort, good energy, good focus and were able to bounce back and win.” ❖

common than they could have imagined. “It’s been really cool to see other people and see that they’re just like us,” said Badalato. “They’re all very similar to us. They do the same things we do, and they enjoy the same things we do. We’re really not all that different.” The language barrier proved much easier to cross than the group, which is not fluent in Spanish, expected. “The experience has been great,” said junior girls tennis player Holly Hancock. “They’re really no different than us. They speak a different language, and I don’t speak Spanish – hardly at all – so communicating through laughter and having fun without words was impactful for me and for them.” At the end of each day, after the group had dinner, they sat down for an hour and shared with each other what they learned. Brower offered words of encouragement, and the group bonded over their shared experiences. “We’ve made tons of memories,” said sophomore boys soccer player Braxton Tubbs. “It’s brought all of us closer together. It’s a group of people that I have never really spent much time around, and we’re coming home with tons of memories and pictures to talk about.” To learn more about the mission programs at Briarwood Christian School, visit ❖

Hoover’s Abercrombie to be Honored During Sigma Nu Charity Bowl

Ben Abercrombie, former Hoover High football player who was paralyzed during the first game he played for Harvard University, has been chosen to receive a sizeable donation during this year’s Charity Bowl. The Ole Miss Chapter of Sigma Nu Epsilon Xi created the Charity Bowl as a way to honor the memory of Chucky Mullins. Mullins was paralyzed during the 1989 Ole Miss Homecoming game against the Vanderbilt Commodores, according to a statement from the fraternity. The fraternity raises money to help victims of paralysis and their families pay steep medical costs associated with their injuries. Additionally, the fraternity has established a college fund in the hope Abercrombie will be able to continue his education. Since its establishment 27 years ago, the Charity Bowl has raised more than $2 million to help people who have suffered injuries similar to Mullins’. The 2018 Charity Bowl will take place at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi, on April 12. Kickoff for the game, which pits Sigma Nus from Ole Miss against members of another of the fraternity’s chapters, is at 7 p.m. ❖

Photos courtesy Briarwood Christian School

By Blake Ells



Vestavia Girls Seeking Redemption on the Soccer Field


Myers Making Most of His Opportunity as Homewood’s Varsity Goalkeeper PAGE 38


By Blake Ells

Hoover Goalkeeper Rudolph Relishes Pressure of Being a Hero or a Zero

Journal file photo by Mark Almond

The Vestavia Hills girls soccer team just missed repeating as state champions last season, falling to Mobile’s McGill-Toolen in the finals 2-0. They had another shot at the Yellow Jackets in March at the McGill-Toolen Classic, but again they fell 2-0. The budding rivalry has become motivation for the Rebels. “They want McGill to get to the finals, because they want to play McGill again,” said Vestavia Hills coach Brigid Littleton. “They want their redemption. They want to beat them in a fair game.” The Rebels are trying to earn a shot at that redemption without a major part of the squad that went to the state finals a year ago. Anna Hogewood was the Birmingham Metro Player of See VESTAVIA, page 38

So far this season, Max Rudolph has thrived under pressure as the Bucs have gotten off to a 13-1-3 start, heading into their 7 p.m. game Thursday at Vestavia Hills.

Journal file photo by Marvin Gentry

By Rubin E. Grant

Faith Hauberg

Annoyed, peeved, angered, irritated, ruffled or vexed. Any of those adjectives is an apt description of Hoover junior soccer goalkeeper Max Rudolph’s reaction when an opponent scores a goal. “He’s pretty tenacious about not letting the ball get to the back of the net,” Hoover soccer coach Kris Keplinger said. “If it does, it bothers him. He’s a fierce competitor.” Rudolph has a reason for it vexing him. “Every time you’re in goal, whether it’s at the end of a game or even at the beginning, you can be a hero or a zero,” Rudolph said. “If you make a save, even if the game is scoreless, then you’re a hero. But if you don’t, folks say, ‘Ahh, you lost the game.’” The tension of being a hero or a zero is what drives Rudolph. “I like having that kind of pressure,” he said.

So far this season, Rudolph has thrived under the pressure as the Bucs have gotten off to a 13-1-3 start, heading into their 7 p.m. game Thursday at Vestavia Hills. He has recorded seven shutouts while allowing only 0.75 goals

‘Max is as tough as any player I’ve ever coached. He’s a throwback and his work ethic is tremendous. He practices harder than he plays in games.’ KRIS KEPLINGER HOOVER SOCCER COACH

per game and averaging three saves per game. In the championship game of the Metro Tournament last month against Oak Mountain,

Rudolph was at his best. He made three saves in regulation that ended in a scoreless tie and saved two penalty kicks as Hoover prevailed 1-0 on kicks. “When the game went into penalty kicks, I didn’t have a care in the world because Max was in goal,” Keplinger said. “He’s got great instincts on where the ball is going to go and he’s an unbelievable shot stopper.” Rudolph demonstrated his impressive shot stopping ability while playing for the Alabama FC club team in the Elite Clubs National League event on New Year’s Eve in Sanford, Florida. He recorded 14 saves while preserving a 1-1 tie against 2017 National League champion BRYC Elite Academy from Fairfax, Virginia. Keplinger said the 5-foot-10-inch Rudolph is perfectly suited to play goalkeeper. “He’s extremely quick, kind of cat-like, and he has good hands,” Keplinger said. “And he’s the right size. He can get to balls in the air and See RUDOLPH, page 38