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




ursd ay, Jan uar y 9, 2014

V ol . 23 #1


Author shares great-uncle’s experience of surviving the Titanic

about town page 4

Homewood native uses running to build international bonds

health page 8

Robert MacArthur, 26

Niki Harris, 32

Organization: Chair and past president of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham

‘If you’re helping the community around you, it’s a circle, and all that good will come back to you.’


of Change

Organization: Birmingham Botanical Gardens junior board member ‘There are so many organizations and so many people who are just waiting for someone to step in and say they are willing to help.’

15 young women presented at Redstone Club annual Christmas Ball

social page 16

Young Volunteers Work for Better Communities see page 12

A Snow Ball Effect: Children’s Harbor fundraiser honors longtime supporter

social page 17

Tommy Mayfield, 32

Organization: Cornerstone Schools junior board president

‘I want more people to take pride and ownership in our city so that we can work together to make it better for everyone.’

Jennifer White, 35

Organization: The Horizons School junior board member. ‘All it takes is one person standing up and saying they are willing to help, and that motivates other people to want to do the same thing.’

Journal photos by Marsha Perry

Southern-style Celebration: Wedding includes history, family traditions—and cookies, too

Weddings page 22

sue murphy on the name game p. 2 • health calendar p. 8 • cities moving forward with building projects p. 10 • pets and people party p. 19

2 • Thursday, January 9, 2014


Stage Presence

murphy’s law

Who’s in a Name?

I Students at Mountain Brook Junior High School spent the week before winter break preparing to take the stage at one of the world’s largest musical theater festivals for young people. Members of the Mountain Brook Junior High Choir have been accepted to the 2014 Junior Theater Festival Jan. 17-19 at the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta. See the story on page 27. Correction: In our last issue, we printed the wrong school information for Becky Boykin. Boykin is a coach at Pizitz Middle School. We regret the error.

On Look for more stories and photos and get the latest news and events on our website.

Coming Jan. 23

We’ll talk to more young philanthropists working to make a difference in our community.

in this issue About Town 3 People 7 Health 8 news 10 life 12

Social 16 weddings Special Section 22 Schools 29 Sports 32



January 9, 2014

Publisher: Maury Wald Editor: Keysha Drexel Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Office Manager: Christy Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Lee Davis Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Interns: Taylor Burgess, Ginny Cooper Vol. 23, No. 1

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 2014 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.


names simply involves a lot of social was so embarrassed. When we ran into each other in the grosecurity/driver’s license paperwork, but cery store one afternoon, I if you want to change your first name, started to introduce her to my husyou have to go to court. You have to band Harold, but I couldn’t come stand in front of a judge and say, “I no up with the woman’s name. longer feel like a Rhonda. I feel like a Actually, I’m not sure that I ever Glenda.” People do it all the time. Still, knew it. That happens to me a lot. It you can have yourself legally labeled may be that when I’m first introduced “Ochocinco” or “7 of 9” or “Big Bad to people, my mind is busy taking in Leroy Brown,” but you can be sure their smile, their voice, the cute way that’s not what your mama is going to they’ve configured their hair, and call you. To her, you will always be somehow, the name shoots right on past Billy or Betty or Bobby, her precious me, and after we’ve been talking for little butterbean. five or six hours it seems rude to stop I know how that goes. Depending and say, “Excuse me, what was your on who you talk to, my name is Sue Sue Murphy name again?” or Susie or Susan. At my college I need to do better. Names are graduation, they congratulated me Both of my daugh- as Sharon Murphy, but the dean just important. Both of my daughters had babies this past year and choosing misread my index card. At one of ters had babies a name for them was critical. My Harold’s business cocktail parties, a this past year and guy repeatedly called me Vickie, but only suggestion was that they try the name with the title “senator.” Senator was just because he wasn’t paychoosing a name for that Bambi June Bug Wasserman doesn’t ing attention. them was critical. work. The other senators would gigThe funny thing is I didn’t corgle at congressional roll call. Still, the rect him. I figured I’d probably My only suggestion baby’s name was their choice. I had never see him again, and I was right. my turn when I named them. was that they try the Other people aren’t that lucky. My Both of my daughters took their whose name is John name with the title brother-in-law husband’s last name when they got has picked up a cup of coffee in the married even though it’s no longer “senator.” Senator same gas station every morning for socially required. It is kind of a weird 25 years, and every morning the guy Bambi June Bug custom, changing names like you’re behind the counter says, “How’s it being traded to another team, but Wasserman doesn’t going today, Scott?” My brother-insharing a name does simplify things law doesn’t correct him because it work. on the kids’ school entrance forms. would just be embarrassing for them There are couples out there who both. choose to operate under both last You’ve heard the old adage, “I names in a hyphenated fashion, which always sounds don’t care what you call me, just don’t call me late for like they have somehow become part of the British arisdinner,” and that may be true, but this year I’m detertocracy even if the combination is Lopez-Brogoyavich, mined to do a better job of remembering the names of which has a nice ring to it, but it would mean an addithose I meet. Maybe I could use some mnemonic device, tional $5 upgrade on monogrammed bath towels. like “Harold…Har Har…Funny old guy.” Don’t tell poor No matter how many times you do it, changing last Harold I said that. He’s my precious little butterbean. ❖

over the Mountain Views

What’s something you want to do better this year?

“I want to be better at showing my family and friends how much they mean to me every day.” Katie Sides Vestavia Hills

“Drawing. I like to draw designs.” Rian Mitchell Vestavia Hills

“Do better at law school.” Pat Stoddarn Homewood

“I’m not one to write resolutions, actually, so who knows?” Laura Russo Inverness


Rebelette reunion

Vestavia Hills

State of the City Address Jan. 9, 11 a.m. Hoover Country Club Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey will give the State of the City Address on Jan. 9 at the Hoover Country Club. The event begins at 11 a.m. The cost for lunch is $18. For Mayor Gary Ivey reservations or more information, email

Current members of the Vestavia Hills High School Rebelettes will welcome alumni to a reunion on Jan. 24.


Rebelette Reunion Jan. 24, 6:45 p.m. Photo special to the Journal Vestavia Hills High School The Vestavia Hills High School Rebelette Reunion will be Jan. 24 at the Vestavia Hills High School gym. All Vestavia Hills High School Rebelette alumni are invited to celebrate the group’s 40th year. Alumni will meet at 6:45 p.m. in the gym lobby and will be recognized during halftime of the varsity basketball game, which begins at 7:15 p.m. A reception will follow the halftime presentation. Rebelette alumni receive free admission to the game. To add your name to the email list, RSVP for the reunion, send photos from your Rebelette days or purchase reunion photo CDs and T-shirts, email For more information, visit Vestavia Hills

Charlie Lucas Exhibit Jan. 9-31 Artists Incorporated Gallery Artists Incorporated Gallery in Vestavia Hills will exhibit the works of Charlie Lucas throughout January.

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 3

About Town


Lucas is known as the “Alabama Tin Man” and is a contemporary self-taught artist of national and international acclaim. Artists Incorporated Gallery is at 3365 Morgan Drive. For more information, visit www. or call 979-8990.

Resolving Clutter Program Jan. 9, 6:30 p.m. Homewood Library The Homewood Library will present a program on resolving clutter called Feng Shui for Life Improvement with Katie Rogers at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 9. Rogers will offer easy-to-implement tips and inspiration for living a simplified, uncluttered life with less stuff. For more information, visit homewoodpubliclibrary. org or call 332-6600. Mountain Brook

Low-maintenance Gardening Jan. 11, 10-11:30 a.m. Emmet O’Neal Library Garden designer June Mays will present a program on low-maintenance gardening at the Emmet O’Neal Library in Mountain Brook on Jan. 11. The free program will run from 10-11:30 a.m. For

more information, visit or call 445-1118. Birmingham

Poetry Reading and Book Launch Jan. 11, 2-5 p.m. Historic Cahaba Pumping Station Museum To celebrate the release of “The Sky Between Us” by Irene Latham, a poetry reading and book launch will be held Jan. 11 from 2-5 p.m. at the Historic Cahaba Pumping Station Museum, 4012 Sicard Hollow Road. Books will be available for purchase, and an open mic session will follow. Admission is free. For more information, call 999-8167. Hoover

“Downton Abbey” Viewing Party Jan. 11-12 Hoover Library The Hoover Library will host a free “Downton Abbey” Season 3 viewing party Jan. 11-12. On Jan. 11, episodes 1-7 will be shown starting at 10:30 a.m. with a break for lunch at 12:30 p.m. On Jan. 12, episodes 8-9 will be shown starting at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit or call 444-7820. Birmingham

BrickFair Lego Convention Jan. 11-12 BJCC East Hall Adult fans of Lego from across the country will show off their projects and share their passion for the toy building bricks at BrickFair on Jan. 11-12 at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. The event will be held in East Hall. Vendors will be on hand selling

their Lego-related wares. The event runs from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. Tickets are $8 at the door. For more information, visit Homewood

Birmingham Boys Choir Concert Jan. 12, 4-5:30 p.m. Brock Recital Hall The Birmingham Boys Choir will perform on Jan. 12 with soprano Susan Patterson as special guest. The concert will be from 4-5:30 p.m. at Brock Recital Hall on Susan Patterson the campus of Samford University. Patterson is a celebrated artist who has sung with the City Opera of New York and the San Francisco Opera. Admission is $10. For more information, visit or call 7679219. North Shelby

Day Hike Jan. 12, 1 p.m. Oak Mountain State Park Southeastern Outings will host the Second Sunday day hike at 1 p.m. on Jan. 12 at Oak Mountain State Park. The moderate four-mile walk in the woodlands of North Shelby will depart from the park’s office parking lot. Park admission is $3 or $1 for seniors. For more information, call Bonnie Black at 764-2989.

As the new year arrives, I would like to thank the following friends and clients, who helped me finish in the top 1% of RealtySouth during 2013. A special thanks to Elizabeth Harwell, my broker, and Bobbie Tohill and Priscilla Pitts, my office managers. Most of all, thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I continue to receive positive reports from my doctors. This is in no small way due to intercessory prayer, which Kim and I cherish. May God bless you and your family during 2014 and beyond! - James A. Harwell, U.S. Navy Veteran; President Elect, Birmingham Board of Realtors

Ryan Lee Arthur Debbie Bartoletti Bobby Beachum Chris Beachum Linda Beck Robert and Leslie Black Jeff Clowdus Charles Cranford Glenda Curtis Tom Douglass

Robbie and Stacey Egan R.G. and Lynn Evans Thomas and Leah Gibbs Bob Hastings Mark Hearn Susie Helton Tara Hontzas Jeff Hudson Sue Jones Paul and Jill Kelly Christa Ketchum

Brian and Clella Lee Patrick and Taylor Lewis Beverly Malloch Rod and Leslie Marshall Alex and Karyn McRee Beth and Bill Meadows Aris and Gohar Merijanian Scott and Jennifer Peace Jay Powell Bob and Celia Rainey Emily Schuler

Ashley Sellers Jennifer Shaw Keith Shaw Katie Troncale Margeurite Wilson Mike Wood Bill Woodall Amber Walters David and Glenda Watson •

RealtySouth, Over the Mountain Office • 1220 Alford Avenue • 205.281.4731

4 • Thursday, January 9, 2014

About Town

An Unsinkable Story

Author Shares Great-Uncle’s Experience of Surviving the Titanic By Keysha Drexel


Journal editor

ulie Williams grew up sitting at her great-uncle’s knee completely mesmerized by his account of surviving the most famous shipwreck in history. But it wasn’t until she was doing research for her book “A Rare Titanic Family” that the Samford University professor of journalism learned the whole story of how Albert Caldwell ended up on the Titanic. “I knew Albert well--he lived to be 91 and told me the story of the Titanic dozens of times,” Williams, a native of Ohio and North Carolina, said. “It was a true story as he told it to me, an accurate story. However, as I researched this book, I slowly came to realize that I had hardly known the story at all.” Williams will share what she learned while researching the book when she gives a dramatic presentation based on the book to the Hoover Historical Society on Jan. 21. The presentation will be at 2:30 p.m. at Artists on the Bluff. “I appear in costume--I dress like my great-uncle’s wife, Sylvia, who also survived the Titanic,” Williams said. “In Hoover, I’ll be performing my one-woman show where I appear as Sylvia, who will tell the story as though it’s a few months after the Titanic. As far as Sylvia knows, it’s still 1912.” In April 1912, Sylvia Caldwell boarded the Titanic with her 26-yearold husband, Albert, and their 10-month-old son, Alden. “They were Presbyterian missionaries in Siam, what we now know as Thailand, and my uncle always told me that they had to leave their mission work because Sylvia had health problems and the doctor told her she needed to go to Naples, Italy, to rest and recover,” Williams said.

But as Williams researched her family’s history, she learned that there were rumors at the time that Sylvia was faking her illness and just wanted to come back home to the U.S. “After being asked if I knew if Sylvia was faking her sickness by several people during my research,

actually sick and planned to have her examined by one of their doctors. “If they discovered Sylvia was healthy, then she and Albert would either have to pay the Board back for their trip home or return to Siam to make up the cost of the trip,” she said.

Williams’ “A Rare Titanic Family” tells the story of how her great-uncle Albert Caldwell, his wife Sylvia and their infant son, Alden, survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

Williams said she also learned another dimension to the story her uncle had told her until she was a senior in high school. “I had long heard how Samford University professor and author Julie they toured Europe on Hedgepeth Williams will dress as Sylvia, her their way home to the great-uncle’s wife who was a survivor of the United States, but I didn’t Titanic, for her presentation to the Hoover Historical Society on Jan. 21. Photo special to the Journal know that it became a cat and mouse chase around the globe where they were the mice,” I decided that I had to find out why she said. this rumor even existed. So I went After leaving their mission work to the Presbyterian archives and was in Thailand and following orders to shocked to discover that my aunt get rest in Italy, the Caldwells arrived and uncle were fleeing their jobs,” in Naples but left almost as soon as Williams said. they arrived because of a cholera In her research, Williams said, she outbreak. discovered that the Board of Foreign But instead of taking the ship Missions didn’t believe Sylvia was docked at Naples back home to the U.S., the Caldwells made the fateful decision to travel instead to England to board the Titanic. “It was the Carpathia that was docked in Naples, and Sylvia took one look at it and said she didn’t want to be on another small ship. They’d traveled from Siam to Naples on a small ship, and she said she was tired of being seasick,” Williams said. The young family saw a placard for the new luxury ship, the Titanic, and decided it would provide a smoother trip back home for Sylvia. “Their whole motivation was that the Titanic was a lot bigger than the Carpathia,” Williams said. Williams said based on the accounts she heard from her uncle, the Titanic was truly a spectacular sight to behold. “My uncle said it was as opulent 4851 Cahaba River Road, as they say it was. He said there was Vestavia Hills, AL 35243 beautiful music everywhere and tables piled high with every delicacy you could want,” she said. On April 10, 1912, the Caldwells

boarded the Titanic in Southampton, England. There, Williams said, her aunt provoked one of the most famous quotes associated with the Titanic and one that is attributed to several different people in movies and books about its sinking. “As someone is carrying their trunk in for them, she says, ‘Is this ship really unsinkable?’” Williams said “He answers, ‘Yes, lady. God himself cannot sink this ship,’ and my research shows that it was Sylvia that said that and everyone else has been stealing her line for 100 years.” On the Sunday the ship sank, Williams said, the Caldwells attended a worship service in the dining room and that her uncle would always remark when he retold the story that the people at the service had no idea how soon they would meet their maker. Sylvia was in bed with baby Alden and Albert was asleep in a bunk in their room when they felt the ship hit the iceberg, Williams said. They gathered some of their things but left behind a trunk filled with $100 in gold coins that they couldn’t find the key for at the time. “The trunk didn’t make it and is probably resting at the bottom of the Atlantic,” Williams said. “Albert always promised I could have the American gold pieces he and Sylvia left on the Titanic, should anyone ever find the ship at the bottom of the Atlantic. I doubt I will ever see a nickel of the gold, but I surely have a treasure in my great-uncle’s story.” Another part of the story of the Titanic that Williams said she hopes her book sets straight is the myth that men weren’t allowed to board the lifeboats. “Oh, I hear that all the time, and people think that no men at all survived the sinking, but that’s just not true,” she said. Williams said early in their voyage, the Caldwells had taken a tour of the Titanic’s engine room, and her uncle, a photography enthusiast, had taken a photo of one of the coal stokers. That photo, Williams said, may have saved her uncle’s life. Just after the Titanic hit an iceberg, Williams’ uncle was on deck trying to get Sylvia and his infant son into a lifeboat. “By all accounts, Sylvia was very ill, very weak and couldn’t hold the baby,” Williams said. “That’s when one of the officers they encountered on the engine room tour where they took the picture noticed they were having trouble and had been up and down the decks looking for a lifeboat for Sylvia and the baby. That’s when the officer told my uncle to get in the boat with his wife and hold the baby.” The Caldwells boarded Life Boat No. 13 and were taken to safety. Williams said her great-uncle often talked about watching the boat sink. “He said the lights were still burning underneath the water and that the stern rose higher and higher until they


heard a gentle swish, and the ship was gone,” she said. More than 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912 in the middle of the north Atlantic. Later, the Caldwells would end up on the same ship they had avoided taking in Italy--the Carpathia. The Carpathia was the ship sent to pluck the Titanic survivors from the icy waters after the shipwreck and take them to safety. “I wryly say now that they were destined for the Carpathia,” she said. “That irony is probably my favorite part of the story because if they had taken the Carpathia in the first place, they wouldn’t have been on the Titanic at all.” Williams said she thinks hearing her great-uncle’s wonderful retelling of his survivor story inspired her to pursue a career in writing. Williams has written several academic books and also authored a book on the time the Wright brothers spent running a flight school in Montgomery called “Wings of Opportunity.” But the idea to set her greatuncle’s epic tale of surviving the Titanic down in a book didn’t occur to Wright until after she had completed the book on the Wright brothers. “I had been telling the story to people forever and even wrote a play about it when I was in the fifth grade, but I didn’t think about turning it into a book until someone who contributed to my first book said, ‘Too bad you didn’t write about the Titanic,’ and the light bulb just went off and I contacted my publisher.” The publishing company told Williams they were all behind the idea for the book on her family surviving the Titanic--if she could get it to them in eight months. Williams completed the book and needed only one deadline extension. “On the day it was due to the publisher, the grandson of the Caldwells discovered the descendant of one of the missionaries Albert and Sylvia worked with, and we were able to get a week’s extension on the deadline,” she said. The book was published in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the disaster. Williams said her great-uncle Albert and Sylvia divorced in the 1930s, and Albert married Williams’ great-aunt in 1936. He continued to tell the story of surviving the sinking of the Titanic until his death in 1977. All of his Titanic memorabilia, including a postcard he purchased just minutes after getting off the Carpathia after being rescued, went to Williams when he passed away. Among the treasures left to her by her great-uncle was a photo of the Caldwells on the deck of the Titanic. The photo is on the cover of Williams’ book. “I’ve learned a lot about the Titanic and about my family researching this book, and I’ve learned a lot by presenting it through Sylvia’s eyes,” she said. “It’s a story I’ve loved for many years, now made richer by so many long-held secrets coming into view.” For more information on the book, visit titanic. ❖

Save the Date Cont. Birmingham

Greater Birmingham Republican Women Meeting Jan. 13, noon The Gardens Cafe Frances Taylor, president of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women will be the guest speaker at the Jan. 13 meeting of the Greater Birmingham Republican Women. The event will be held at noon at The Gardens Cafe at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The cost is $20. To make reservations, email greaterbhamrepublicanwomen@ For more information, visit Homewood

Resolutions to Revolutions Jan. 13, 6:45 p.m. Homewood Library Dr. Krystal Drwencke will present a program on turning New Year’s resolutions into revolutions that change your life for the better on Jan. 13 at the Homewood Library. Drwencke will discuss ways to manage time, improve and maintain peaceful relationships with others, get more physically fit and create and live the life you want at the free 6:45 p.m. program in the library’s large auditorium. For more information, visit or call 332-6600. Birmingham

MLK Unity Walk Jan. 14, 10-11 a.m. Railroad Park The Birmingham Metro Diversity Coalition’s MLK Unity Walk will be held from 10-11 a.m. on Jan. 14 at Railroad Park in Birmingham. The theme of this year’s walk is FOOD365 and aimed to solidify this generation’s commitment to healthy living. The Birmingham Metro Diversity Coalition is partnering with the Birmingham Peace Project and Greater Birmingham Ministries to provide food to families in need in January and February. Those participating in the MLK Unity Walk are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to Greater Birmingham Ministries. The free, family-friendly event will also include activities, entertainment and a white dove release in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Registration begins at 10 a.m. The opening ceremony starts at 11 a.m. The walk will begin at noon. For more information, visit www. Vestavia Hills

Vestavia Hills Chamber Awards Jan. 14, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Vestavia Country Club The Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce will make its annual awards presentation at the Jan. 14 luncheon at the Vestavia Country Club. The event runs from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and will also include the installation of the new Chamber officers. Tickets are $18 before 4 p.m. on Jan. 10 and $25 after that. For more information or to make reservations, visit

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 5

About Town


will host its monthly luncheon on Jan. 16. The event will be held at the Hoover Country Club. Networking begins at 11:15 a.m. Tickets are $20 with reservations. Reservations are due by Jan. 13. For more information or to make reservations, visit www. Homewood

Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Awards Luncheon Jan. 16, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Club The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce will host its annual awards luncheon on Jan. 16 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Club. Richard C. Kessler will be the keynote speaker. Awards will be presented by the City of Mountain Brook, the chamber and the Emmet O’Neal Library. Doors open at 11 a.m. There is limited reserved seating for the event. For more information, visit www. or call 871-3779. Birmingham

Tribute Concert for MLK Jr. Jan. 19, 3 p.m. Alys Stephens Center The Alabama Symphony Orchestra will present Reflect & Rejoice: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 3 p.m. on Jan. 19 at the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham. ASO Assistant Conductor Roderick Cox leads the orchestra and the Aeolians of Oakwood University in this annual tribute to King’s work and legacy. The performance is presented in a partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Tickets are $9-$24. For more information, visit or call 975-2787. Homewoood

State of the City Address Jan. 21, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Club Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer will give the annual State of the City Address at The Club on Jan. 21. McBrayer will give the address at the January membership Mayor Scott luncheon of McBrayer the Homewood Chamber of Commerce. The event will be held in the Grand Ballroom from

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The city Employee, Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year Awards will also be presented. Tickets are $20 per person. Reservations are due by Jan. 16. To make reservations, visit Birmingham

Good Hearts @ Good People Brewery Jan. 23, 6-9 p.m. Good People Brewery Good People Brewery will host a fundraiser to support the Church of the Reconciler’s ministry with the homeless population of downtown Birmingham on Jan. 23. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. and will include beer, performances by blues guitarist Gip Gipson and a silent auction. Donations will be taken at the door. Good People Brewery is at 114 14th St. South, Birmingham. For more information, call 324-6402. Homewood

March 15th, 2014

Come and join us to mingle with other teen girls! Meet the outstanding female speakers who will give you the scoop on college, money matters, and volunteering in your community, plus so much more!

Andrea Mathews Book Signing Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m. Homewood Library Who is invited? - Extraordinary young women ages Author Andrea Mathews will sign copies of her 14-19 in and around Birmingham who are looking to book “The Law connect with other teen girls, explore different of Attraction: The Soul’s possibilities and get excited about their future! Answer to As a fierce and fabulous teen woman, you hold the key to your own Why It Isn’t Working and success! And there’s no better feeling than to know that How it Can” at YOU ARE EMPOWERED!! the Homewood Library on Jan. Bradley Lecture Center 23. Mathews Children’s Hospital, Downtown Birmingham will talk about For more information and to apply, go to Andrea Mathews understanding the Law of Attraction entirely. Books will be available for purchase. The event is at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s large auditorium. For more information, visit 332To: or callIslara 6600. From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE:  205-823-9646 Homewood

FAX:  205-824-1246

Date: Jan. 2014 “Rigoletto” Jan. 24 and 26 This is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journal for the Wright Fine Arts Center Jan. 9th 2014 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. Todd Thomas, who performed the role of Sharpless in last season’s “Butterfly,” returns to Opera Birmingham to sing the title role in “Rigoletto” on Jan. 24 and 26. Maestro Steven White will conduct this tale of court intrigue, revenge and betrayal. Show times are please initial and fax back within 24 hours. at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 and 2:30 p.m. If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, on Jan. 26. For more information, visit your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. or call 322Thank you for your prompt attention. 6737.

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

Authorized CeCe Caldwell's Paint Retailer

Fine and

Funky Junk

1923 Hoover Court Hoover Al 35226 205-822-7273


Hoover Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Jan. 16, 11:15 a.m. Hoover Country Club The Hoover Chamber of Commerce

Apply Now for the 6th Annual

For information on our CeCe painting classes, please visit our Facebook page.

6 • Thursday, January 9, 2014

About Town

Rock n’ Roll Fundraiser


Colleen Adams and Melinda Thornbury are dressed for the musical fundraiser for Assistance League of Birmingham on Jan. 25.

Buddy Holly Fundraiser Photo special to the Journal Jan. 25, 6 p.m. Virginia Samford Theatre The Assistance League of Birmingham will host a musical fundraiser on Jan. 25. The event will feature the musical “Buddy--The Buddy Holly Story” and a silent auction, dinner, drinks and 1950s-themed fun. The fundraiser will benefit the Assistance League’s PrimeTime Treasures, Operation School Bell and Operation Literacy programs. Guests are encouraged to get out their poodle skirts, leather jackets and bobby socks for a night of fun to support the Assistance League. The event will be held at Virginia Samford Theatre at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100-$125 and can be purchased by calling 870-5555. For more information, visit ❖

Bridge Lessons

Learn how to play the game, or refresh your skills with the latest techniques

Morning classes start Mon. Jan. 27th at 9:30aM evening classes start tues. Jan. 28th at 6:30pM

The first two weeks are FREE! Call now to reserve your place


BIRMINGHAM DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB 144 Business center Drive Birmingham, al 35244

It’s time for YOU to discover the world of Bridge!


Redstone Church To Open in Vestavia Hills on Jan. 12

Team members from Redstone Church are preparing for the grand opening of a new location in Vestavia Hills on Jan. 12. From left: Michael Abrams, Blake Benge and Betsy Lee.

After serving the Birmingham area for more than six years, Redstone Church is striving to reach people who are uninterested in church with a different kind of Sunday morning experience in a new location. On Jan. 12, Redstone will celebrate the grand opening of its new location in the Vestavia Hills City Center. The church is located above Newk’s with parking off Laurel Road. A North Point Ministries church plant, Redstone has held services in locations around Birmingham over the past several years, including Workplay, Carmike Cinemas at The Summit and most recently, Rosewood Hall in Homewood’s SoHo Square. “This 24/7 location lets us focus on what we do best, building relationships and making great Sunday morn-

ing experiences for children,” said Blake Benge, lead pastor. “We look forward to offering Birmingham a church people love to attend, because we are convinced church should not

be just for church people but should be for everyone.” For more information on Redstone Church service times, visit ❖


Vestavia Hills

Vestavia Hills Country Club from 6:3010:30 p.m. on Feb. 1. The cocktail-hour dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature “Bubbles for Baubles” where guests can donate $25 for a glass of champagne and a chance to win prizes. The event will also include dancing, a performance by jazz flutist Kim Scott and a live auction by Grainger and Thagard Auctioneers. Tickets are $75 per person or $150 per couple. For tickets, contact Beth Adams at or Martha Black at

Frugalistics Coupon Swap Jan. 28, 10:30 a.m. Hoover Library The Hoover Public Library will present the Frugalistics Coupon Swap at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 28. Bring coupons you don’t need and swap them for the ones you do. Those attending are asked to clip their coupons before the event, which is free. For more information, visit or call 444-7840. Homewood

Small Business Seminar Jan. 28, 11:30 a.m. Homewood Library The Homewood Public Library will present a small business seminar on building a marketing plan at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 28 in the large auditorium. The program is hosted by First Partners Bank in partnership with the Homewood Chamber of Commerce and the Homewood Public Library. The workshop is free but reservations must be made by Jan. 17 for the complimentary lunch. Email reservations to Leslie West at or call 332-6620.

Photo special to the Journal

Painting with PALS Fundraiser Jan. 30 Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest Patrons can sip their favorite wines and create a piece of art at the Painting with PALS (People Affecting Library Success) fundraiser for the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest on Jan. 30. Vestavia Hills High School art teacher Laura Daly will help participants create a painting to take home. Guests can bring their favorite wine or beverage to the event, which will be held in the library’s community room. The cost is $25 per person and proceeds benefit the library’s Laura Daly children’s department. The deadline to register is Jan. 24. To register, send an email message to Birmingham

Mid-Day Musical Menu Jan. 31, 12:30 p.m. Cathedral Church of the Advent The Cathedral Church of the Advent will present the Mid-Day Musical Menu at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 31. The concert is free. For more information, visit http:// Vestavia Hills

Rhythm & Muse Gala Feb. 1, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Vestavia Hills Country Club The Birmingham Music Club will host the Rhythm & Muse Gala at the

To: Jeanne From: Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 Date: Jan 2014 This is your aD prOOF for the OTMJ for the Jan. 9th, 2014 issue. Contact your sales rep as soon as possible to approve your ad or make changes. may fax please approval or mike changes to 824-1246. for more You information Call wedgworth: 205.365.4344

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Vestavia Hills

Legacy League Scholarship Luncheon Feb. 6, 11:30 a.m. Vestavia Country Club The Legacy League, an auxiliary of Samford University will present Jennifer Rothschild as the speaker at its annual Scholarship Luncheon on Feb. 6. Rothschild is a best-selling author and an accomplished songwriter. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Vestavia Country Club. Tickets are $50 per person. The public is invited to the Jennifer Rothschild luncheon but reservations are required. Reservations can be made online through Jan. 31 at For more information, call 726-2247. ❖

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Simmons Earns Boy Scouts’ Highest Rank A resident of Vestavia Hills has earned the Eagle Scout Rank. Daniel Evans Simmons of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church Boy Scout Troop 83 earned the highest rank in Boy Scouts earlier this year. In September, he was presented with a Certificate of Daniel Simmons Commendation by Vestavia Hills Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza. Simmons was also recognized at a Court of Honor ceremony at the Charles T. Clayton Scout Service Center Liberty Park. Simmons began scouting in the first grade as a Tiger Cub in Pack 352 at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. He earned the Arrow of Light Award and crossed over to Boy Scout Troop 83 in 2007. He began his journey to earning the Eagle Scout Rank under Scoutmaster Jim Henry and attended summer camps. Simmons served as patrol leader, program manager-service, instructor, historian and senior patrol leader for Troop 83. He participated in adventure camps at Philmont, Northern Tier and Sea Base and earned the Triple Crown Award. Simmons also cycled the Chief Ladiga Trail, backpacked in the Smoky Mountains and went whitewater rafting in the Nantahala and Ocoee rivers. For his Eagle Scout project, Simmons led a community service project to build and install two kiosks at the trail heads

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 7



between Vestavia Hills Elementary Central and Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. The kiosks include updated maps of the trails leading to and from the library and the soccer fields at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central and Boulder Canyon Trails. The project was funded by more than $1,000 in donations from neighborhood friends and family members and completed with more than 230 volunteer hours. A senior at Vestavia Hills High School, Simmons has been a member of the marching band and track and field team and played lacrosse.He is active in the Appalachian Service Mission Project at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Simmons of Vestavia Hills and the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Don O. Simmons of Anniston, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Kendrick of Gadsden and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Rice of Wetumpka. Simmons has been accepted at the University of Alabama for the fall 2014 semester and plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

Berryhill Earns Eagle Rank A Mountain Brook resident has earned the Boy Scouts’ highest award. Robert Sterling Berryhill, a member of Boy Scout Troop 320 at Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church, earned his Eagle Scout rank in September. Robert Berryhill For his Eagle Scout service project, Berryhill built a pergola at the missionary house

at Mountain Brook Baptist Church. The pergola has comfortable benches, latticed sides and jasmine plantings. It was designed to provide missionaries and other guests a place for meditation and relaxation. To complete his Eagle Scout requirements, Berryhill earned 21 merit badges and served as assistant patrol leader and den chief for the Cub Scouts. He was a participant in all three Boy Scout High Adventure Camps and went to Sea Base in the Bahamas and Philmont. In 2012, Berryhill and members of his troop traveled to Minnesota, where they canoed the boundary lakes between Minnesota and Canada. For attending the trips, Berryhill was honored with the Triple Crown Award. Berryhill is a senior at Mountain Brook High School and a member of Mountain Brook Baptist Church. He is the son of Bob and Sally Berryhill of Mountain Brook and the grandson of Milton and Carlene Berryhill of Mountain Brook and Jo Speer of Hoover.

Randolph Is Eagle Scout A Mountain Brook resident was recently awarded the Boy Scouts’ highest rank. Richard R. Randolph, a member of Boy Scout Troop 53, completed all the requirements for the top scouting honor, including completing service Richie Randolph projects. He will be recognized at a Court of Honor ceremony at St. Peter’s Anglican

Church. For his Eagle Scout project, Randolph reclaimed land that was mined years ago by building a wetlands habitat. He also set up an interactive educational display at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center in Birmingham. As part of his requirements to reach Eagle Rank, Randolph earned 21 merit badges, 11 of which were required. Randolph has served in several scouting leadership roles, including senior patrol leader, patrol leader and

assistant patrol leader. He was also awarded the Order of the Arrow. Randolph joined the Boy Scouts in the spring of his fifth-grade year and is now a junior at Mountain Brook High School. He is the son of Patti Ann and Rich Randolph of Mountain Brook.

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8 • Thursday, January 9, 2014


Cultural Connection Homewood Native Uses Running to Build International Bonds By Keysha Drexel


Journal editor

racey Abbott says she learned a lot about herself and about setting and reaching goals as a runner. And now almost 21 years after she graduated from Homewood High School, Abbott is coming home to launch a nonprofit aimed at connecting girls from around the world through a shared passion for running. Abbott, who currently lives in New York City, returned to Alabama in late December for a cocktail reception at Slice Brew & Pizza in Birmingham to introduce Culture Relay. Culture Relay seeks to connect high school girls from distinctly different backgrounds and instill in them the love of running as a way to promote cultural awareness and build leadership skills to prepare them for the job market, Abbott said. “My mission is to create a global exchange to teach girls life skills through running,” Abbott said. The pilot program for Culture Relay will include 10-30 girls from Homewood High School and 10-30 girls from a school in Amman, Jordan. The names of those selected for the pilot program will be announced on Jan. 17, and the two groups will start training in February for a relay race that will be held simultaneously in Homewood and in Amman, Abbott said. “We’ll have coaches in both places, and the girls will get to train together and talk to each other using webcams. The girls will be training for a relay and on race day, we’ll have the team in Amman start and then virtually hand off the baton to the team in Homewood,” she said. And it is not just the relay baton the girls will be passing to each other during training and on race day, Abbott said. “We want it to be a transfer of culture, learning and knowledge at the same time it’s a physical relay race,” she said. Abbott said she hopes by training with the same goal in mind, the girls in Homewood and the girls in Amman will learn that they are not all that different. “I hope that they can see each other as individuals and we can break down stereotypes,” she said. “Once you’ve established a relationship with someone that you initially thought was very dif-

Homewood native Tracey Abbott pauses for a photo with Hanan Almoghrabi, a human resources director in Amman, Jordan who will help with the Culture Relay pilot program. Photo special to the Journal

ferent than you, it makes it impossible to see the world--or people--in big, sweeping statements.” Abbott said she got her first lesson in not generalizing people when she was a fourth-grader in Homewood. “I remember at that time everyone was afraid of the Soviet Union, and it was America against Russia during the Cold War,” she said. “I will never forget Mrs. (Linda) Maxwell throwing away our history curriculum that year and teaching us about Russian art and history and culture. It was then that it clicked in my head and I saw people as individuals. I didn’t fully understand Mrs. Maxwell’s brilliance until I was an adult.” Abbott, who has lived everywhere from Paris to Dubai, said she’s seen firsthand how running has the potential to break down stereotypes and connect people from all walks of life from all around the world. “I’ve traveled all over the world, and everywhere I have been, people run. You don’t need any special, expensive equipment. There’s a community of runners that spans the globe,” she said. “Sports can separate people, but what I’ve seen running do is connect people in much the same way music does because they are both very universal ideas.” Abbott said her passion for running began when she was a student and track team member at Homewood High School. “I’ve just always loved to run and through running, I’ve developed skills that I use every day to be successful,” she said. After graduating from high school in 1993, Abbott earned a business degree from Wake Forest University in North Carolina. After college, she took a job with Eastman Kodak in Atlanta and was transferred to the company’s Paris office in 2000. It was while working toward an MBA at a French business school in Paris that Abbott discovered her passion for long-distance running. “I had always been a short-distance runner,


and I quickly learned that long-distance running is a lot different,” she said. “Before, I just ran, but when I was training for my first marathon, I realized I had to have a plan and a strategy.” Abbott said Culture Relay will help teach girls to translate the skills they need to be good runners into the skills they will need to succeed in their careers. “We want to teach them that whether you’re talking about training for a race or preparing for a job, you have to set goals and follow a process,” she said. By following that process of setting goals and defining strategies to reach them, Abbott said she’s also found success in the corporate world and fulfilled a dream to see the world. The 38-year-old has lived and worked in Germany, Amsterdam, South Africa, Moscow and the Middle East and has worked for PepsiCo, Bain & Company and Adidas. Abbott is currently the vice president of strategic planning for Footlocker, Inc. in New York City. “I’ve always wanted to live in New York City. That dream started when I was 14 years old and was a Star Spangled Girl marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with the (Homewood High School) band,” she said. Abbott is launching Culture Relay as part of her leadership project as a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. The Aspen Institute is aimed at fostering leadership based on enduring values and providing a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Henry Crown Fellows are chosen from a wide pool of accomplished entrepreneurial leaders who are looking toward the broader roles they might take on in their communities or globally. “The fellowship program takes leaders at a critical time in their careers with the idea to create leadership that is infused with a love of service,” Abbott said. “As part of the program, we are expected to create an impactful program that will live well past the two-year time frame of the fellowship, and that’s my goal with Culture Relay. I am starting it with girls from Homewood and from Amman, but the vision is to have a global program that involves many cities around the world.” Abbott said she hopes Culture Relay will also instill a love of service in the girls who participate in the program in Homewood and in Amman. “I hope they are inspired to use their skills to try and make a difference in their communities and realize that they have the power to make things better,” she said. Culture Relay is now looking for volunteers and for donations to pay for running coaches to train the girls in the program for the relay, Abbott said. She said the race is tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in April to coincide with the Dead Sea marathon in Jordan. For more information on Culture Relay, visit ❖

Training Tips from Tracey Whether you’re training for your 10th marathon or your first, Tracey Abbott of Culture Relay offers some tips for getting started, staying motivated and reaching your running goals: Once you’ve set a goal to run a marathon or half-marathon, Abbott said, the secret to getting started on a training program is simple. “You just put one foot in front of the other to start,” she said. “You just keep going and keep your eyes on that goal.” Abbott suggests firsttime runners try Tracey Abbott is moving a 5K before they home soon to launch a try to tackle a full nonprofit organization marathon. aimed at connecting girls “The distance from around the world through a shared passion doesn’t really for running. matter, but for

most people, starting with a shorter race is good advice,” she said. Abbott said runners need to break out their calendars and write their goals in plain sight so they are reminded of them every day. “Put it on the calendar. Make it a priority. Try to train for at least 30 minutes a day and work your way up from there,” she said. Proper nutrition is a key component of the strategy runners need to successfully complete long-distance races, Abbott said. “I can’t say enough about giving your body the proper fuel and plenty of water while you’re training,” she said. “I’ve used training for a marathon as an excuse to eat extra French fries, but you really should watch your diet carefully when you’re training as a runner.” Remembering to have fun while working towards your fitness goals is important, Abbott said. “Setting a goal and sticking to your training can feel like a slog if you forget to just try to have a great time doing it. Have fun, put on your favorite music and think about how good you are going to feel when you cross that finish line,” she said. And if the path gets rocky or motivation wanes, Abbott advises runners-in-training to hold themselves accountable for the goals they have set. “You have to remember that the only person holding you back from succeeding and reaching your goals is you,” she said. ❖

Good for You Opportunities Mountain Brook

Organizers are getting ready for the annual Village 2 Village run in Mountain Brook on Jan. 25. From left: John McGill, Beth Nigri, Christopher Groom and Sam Dean. Photo special to

the Journal

Village 2 Village Run Jan. 25, 8 a.m. Lane Park Road The 2014 Village to Village 10K Run presented by Mountain High Outfitters is set for Jan. 25. The USATF-certified race course winds through some of Mountain Brook’s most beautiful neighborhoods. The race starts at 8 a.m. at Lane Park Road at Park Lane Court South near the Mountain Brook Shopping Center. Race day registration begins at 6 a.m. There will be an awards ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and an after-party until 11 a.m. on Canterbury Road in Mountain Brook Village. The

after-party will feature food, fun and prizes. Registration packets can be picked up Jan. 24 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Birmingham Zoo. Race day packet pickup and registration will be in the Western Supermarket parking lot at 2717 Culver Road. Entry fees are $35 or $20 for students 18 and younger through Jan. 24. The entry fee on race day is $40. Race day parking will be available at the Birmingham Zoo with limited parking at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. For more information, visit www. or call 871-3779.


Seeing into 2014 with Dr. Sara Mullins Jan. 10, noon-1 p.m. Homewood Public Library Dr. Sara Mullins will kick off a five-part series on eye health at the Homewood Public Library at noon on Jan. 10. The first presentation will be on cataract symptoms and treatment. The free event will be held in the library’s large Dr. Sara Mullins auditorium.

Mullins will speak on eye health each Friday at the library through Feb. 7. For more information, visit or call 3326600. Homewood

Red Shoe Run Jan. 11, 7-10:30 a.m. SoHo Square Participants can lace up their running shoes for a good cause at the Red Shoe Run in Homewood on Jan. 11. The 10th annual event, formerly known as the Red Nose Run, will be from 7-10 a.m. at SoHo Square. Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. The event includes a onemile fun run with Ronald McDonald on hand, a 5K and a 10K race. The 10K begins at 7 a.m., the 5K begins at 7:15 a.m. and the fun run starts at 8:30 a.m. The 10K fee is $55, the 5K fee is $40 and the fun run fee is $20. The 10K and 5K fee for those 21 and younger is $25. For more information, visit http:// or call 638-7261.

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 9


OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal North Shelby

Scale Back Alabama Jan. 18-24 St. Vincent’s One Nineteen St. Vincent’s One Nineteen will be a weigh-in/weigh-out site for Scale Back Alabama Jan. 18-24. The statewide weight loss contest is designed to encourage Alabamians to get healthy by working in teams of four and using online modules. Teams that lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks are eligible to win $1,000, and team members who lose 10 pounds are eligible for a $250 prize. Since the first contest in 2007, Alabamians have lost more than one million pounds. The weigh-out dates are April 5-11. For more information, visit Birmingham

Biggest Loser Jan. 20-March 14 Levite Jewish Community Center The Levite Jewish Community Center will kick off an eight-week fitness program called Biggest Loser on Jan.

The Ronald McDonald House will host the Red Shoe Run in Homewood on Jan. 11. Photo special to the Journal

20. People of all fitness levels are encouraged to participate. Participants will have an initial meeting with the LJCC nutrition coach followed by weekly one-hour team workouts. Personalized instruction and support will be provided throughout the program. The cost is $175 for LJCC members and $225 for non-members. For more information, email Kreston Collins at kcollins@ or visit North Shelby

LifeSouth Blood Drive Jan. 21, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen LifeSouth will hold a blood drive from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. on Jan. 21 at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. The event will be held in the parking lot at 7191 Cahaba Valley Road. No registration is necessary. For more information, visit www. or call 408-6600. Homewood

PurpleStride Birmingham Feb. 22, 8 a.m. Homewood Central Park PurpleStride Birmingham 2014 will be on Feb. 22 in Homewood. The 5K timed run and family-friendly walk will be held at Homewood Central Park. All donations will go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s efforts to fund research for a cure for pancreatic cancer. Mailed registration must be received by Feb. 14. Online registration is available through Feb. 19. Event day registration starts at 6:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the run/walk begins at 8 a.m. For more information, visit ❖

Cool Runnings

Weather Doesn’t Slow Montclair Run Participants

From left: Clara Lapidus, Billy Lapidus, Abe Schuster, Gail Schuster, Sue Lapidus and Jae Hawkins. Photo special to the Journal

Hundreds of people braved the cold weather on Thanksgiving morning to participate in an annual event to help children with cancer and blood disorders. More than 800 people hit the road on Nov. 28 in the 37th annual Sam Lapidus Montclair Run at the Levite Jewish Community Center on Montclair Road in Birmingham. The T-shirts for the event featured a turkey “dressed” for Chanukah with a menorah and dreidels to mark the first day of Chanukah coinciding with Thanksgiving Day. Race organizers said that happens only about once every 75,000 years. The race celebrated the life of Sam Lapidus and his love of family, friends, fitness and the Levite Jewish Community Center. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama and the LJCC Fitness Program. Donations made to the center at Children’s help enhance services, build new programs and recruit new physicians and researchers. The 10K race was followed by a one-mile Family Fun Run. This year’s overall winner completed the 10K in under 33 minutes. ❖ JOIN For the Y in your community, call

801-YMCA A citywide membership provides more locations, more classes, more choices.



10 • Thursday, January 9, 2014


u Over the Mountain

Cities Moving Forward with Building Projects By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

“Under Construction” or “Construction Coming Soon” signs will be hanging in Over the Mountain cities in 2014. Fresh off an economic downturn which dried tax revenues and reduced spending, municipal governments are moving forward with much-needed capital projects designed to spur economic development or enhance the lives of residents. Some of those projects began in 2013 and should be completed in 2014; others will start this year. VESTAVIA HILLS

Vestavia Hills Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza said his city’s focus this new year is to begin construction of a new city hall. Vestavia Hills officials plan to build a new municipal complex on the old Food World building property in the Vestavia Plaza Shopping Center at 1052 Montgomery Highway and at the abandoned Joe’s Ranch House at 1105 Mayland Lane. The current city hall was built in the 1950s and doesn’t meet the needs of the police or fire administration, city officials say. The current building is about 35,000 square feet, and the city needs at least between 40,000 and 50,000 square feet. Zaragoza said groundbreaking on the new city hall should begin by mid-May with a completion date set for August 2015. The city has hired BL Harbert International Inc. to build the new facility. But the project is more than just building a new municipal complex, the mayor said. It will help shape the economic direction of the U.S. 31

corridor that runs through Vestavia Hills. Two years ago, an Atlanta-based consulting firm the city commissioned unveiled a Vision Plan for Vestavia Hills, which includes recommendations on how to improve economic development throughout the city. A portion of the plan focuses on developing U.S. 31 aesthetically and economically. “We’ve been told by different people if we could put a municipal building in an area we’re looking at redeveloping, that would help out,” Zaragoza said. “We really feel like that’s going to be a kickoff point for us in redoing Highway 31.” MOUNTAIN BROOK

Mountain Brook Mayor Terry Oden said the first phase of the apartment complexes connected with the Parke Lane project should be available in April or May of 2014. “The Parke Lane project is proceeding pretty much on schedule,” Oden said. The city tore down the abandoned 274-unit Park Lane apartment complex to create space for the new Parke Lane at Mountain Brook Village development. The planned development will include about 166,000 square feet of retail space, 30,000 square feet of office space, a 100-room hotel and apartment units. The project should cost between $130 and $140 million. The new development will replace the much older 71,000-square-foot Mountain Brook Shopping Center and Park Lane Apartments in Mountain Brook Village, built in 1955 and 1948 respectively. Mountain Brook officials say the development will be built in three

Oxmoor Road. “We’ve got the money to do it, and they’re projects that need to be done,” McBrayer said. “For some reason a lot of our projects seem to revolve around traffic, and that’s a good thing because that means a lot of people are coming to Homewood, so it’s something we really need to get addressed.” Hoover

This rendering shows what the new Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook will look like once construction is complete. The 100-room luxury hotel is being developed by the Kessler Group. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the Parke Lane site on Jan. 16. Rendering special to the Journal by Reese Vanderbilt &


phases and take three years to complete. Oden said the Kessler Group has selected the Parke Lane development to build one of its super-upscale Grand Bohemian Hotels. “Kessler has the reputation of designing, building and operating the absolute finest hotels in the United States,” Oden said. “This one will have 100 rooms, banquet rooms and several meeting rooms and a surprise area.” Homewood

Homewood hopes its projects to get people moving recreationally and through its city more easily either get started this year or come to completion in 2014. The city’s new $16.2 million recreation center should be completed by May 2014. The nearly 52,000-squarefoot recreation center will replace the former 40-year-old facility at Oxmoor Road and Central Avenue and will include more gyms, fitness and meet-

u Hoover

School Board Reverses Bus Service Decision By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

The fight to restore school bus service at Hoover schools has moved from “Save the Hoover Bus System” to “Free the Hoover Bus System.” The Hoover school board last month reversed its July decision to eliminate bus service in the 20142015 school year, prompting cheers from dozens of residents who packed the school board meeting. Instead, the school board will run buses but require parents needing transportation for their children to pay for the service. School Superintendent Andy Craig said initially he didn’t believe the school system could run buses and charge students to ride. But after researching the matter, it appears the school system may be able to legally

pursue this option. “One of the main contributing factors was getting our legal footing to be able to charge a user fee or enact user charges,” Craig said.

The school board will charge students a fee to ride the buses. The school system is still trying to investigate how it plans to roll out the new pay-to-ride program. However, school officials discussed the possibility of receiving state funding and having parents who need bus service for their children pay for the service. Some at the meeting encouraged parents to lobby state legislators to make sure they provide adequate

funding for school transportation in the upcoming legislative session this spring. The board’s decision was welcomed by many residents who mounted an aggressive campaign to get the school board to reverse its decision to eliminate school bus service. That campaign included a “Save the Hoover Bus System” Facebook page and T-shirts, packing school and city council meetings protesting the school board’s original decision to cut bus service to all except special needs students and generating negative publicity with the local and national media. “We’re very pleased by the decision of the board to rescind its July vote to end bus service,” said Pamela MacDougall, a Hoover parent active in the fight to get school officials to change their decision to eliminate bus service. “Children need to get to

ing rooms, a banquet hall, a large indoor running track and a pool with competition lanes. Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer said the city hopes to get started on various projects to alleviate traffic congestion and improve the flow of vehicles through Homewood. Those projects include a redesign of the Interstate 65/Lakeshore Parkway exit, the expansion of the Shades Creek Greenway Trail beyond Lakeshore Drive and Green Springs Highway to the former Wynnsong Theater west of I-65 and improvements to West Oxmoor Road. The city has allocated $4.28 million in its 2013-2014 capital budget for these and other projects. All three projects involve state-city partnerships requiring an 80/20 funding split. Homewood’s 20 percent match would amount to about $300,000 for the Greenway Trail expansion, $600,000 for improvements to the I-65/Lakeshore Parkway exit and $1 million for the redesign of West school in order to get an education.” MacDougall said many parents have moved to Hoover so their children can receive a better education and escape a life of poverty that could await them without a good education. Buses provide the avenue for many children to escape a cycle of poverty, she said.  “So it is for the safety, welfare and health of every child in the city of Hoover that public school buses must remain at no charge to them,” MacDougall said. MacDougall said supporters for free bus service plan to change their Facebook page from “Save the Hoover Bus System” to “Free the Hoover Bus System.” She said supporters plan to continue attending school board meetings and continue their campaign until the school system votes to continue free bus service.  School officials, however, said they still have to deal with a financial deficit which has them borrowing nearly $17 million from other funds to balance the 2013-2014 school

Traffic projects are also in the works this year for Hoover, Mayor Gary Ivey said during his annual State of the City address in December. In April, work should begin on the project to widen U.S. 31 from Interstate 459 to Data Drive. Ivey said the widened road should be completed by the time Christmas shoppers hit the roads in Hoover. Also on the horizon in Hoover for the new year is the state’s first freestanding emergency room. Brookwood Medical Center plans to open the facility near the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119 by the end of the year. The city will get a second freestanding emergency room when Medical West opens a facility off John Hawkins Parkway near Interstate 459 by the summer of 2015. Ivey said 2014 promises to be a busy year at the Hoover Met, with several new events slated to come to the venue this year. The USA Football Bowl with bring more than 130 college allstar football players and their fans to Hoover in January, and the city will host the National Pro Fastpitch Softball Championship Series in 2014 and 2015. There are also plans for a Christmas light show during the holi-

See PROJECTS, next page

budget. Eliminating bus service would have saved the school system about $2.5 million annually, school officials said. However, that decision sparked uproar within the Hoover community, with many residents charging the school board and Craig with trying to run minorities out of the city, a charge school officials categorically deny. The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights division had requested transportation data from the Hoover school system in light of charges regarding the decision impacting minority residents. Craig said despite the board’s most recent decision, those discussions with the Justice Department are still ongoing. Mayor Gary Ivey said the bus issue is just symptomatic of an overall problem the school system has to get under control. “The school board is going to have to find a way to fix a $17 million deficit,” he said. “How they do it, that’s going to be their call. But that’s the problem.” ❖

u Vestavia Hills

City May Have Buyer for Old Library Site The city of Vestavia Hills has identified another potential buyer for the old city library site. The City Council recently approved an agreement with Commercial Realty Partners LLC to explore the purchase of 1.6 acres at 1112 Montgomery Highway and the 22,000 square-foot building on the property. Commercial Realty Partners has offered to buy the property for $750,000. The city has given Commercial Realty Partners 90 days due diligence to determine if it wants to buy the property. Commercial Realty Partners hopes to purchase the property and bring a retail development to the site, City Manager Jeff Downes said. “This is consistent with our economic development strategy to bring retail opportunities to this site,” he said. City officials have been trying to find a buyer for the property since December 2010 when the library moved to its new location at 1221 Montgomery Highway, less than a mile away. The city has had other real estate companies interested in the property, but those efforts failed to bring a retail developer to the site. The city had been asking $1.5 million for the property and building, but city officials conceded that that amount was out of line with current market rates for that land. William C. Singleton III

u Mountain Brook

Line Clearing Project Continues until February Alabama Power Company has resumed its line-clearing project in portions of Mountain Brook. The project is expected to last until the end of February. The company will be trimming and removing trees and shrubs along its utility easements. The trimming is part of Alabama Power Company’s vegetation management program.


From previous page

day season at the Hoover RV Park. Residents and visitors to Hoover this year will have plenty of new places to shop and eat, Ivey said. Two Steak ’n Shake restaurants are slated to open in Hoover this year-one at the former location of Brother Zeke’s Heavenly Barbecue in the shopping center near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Lorna Road and the second in the Inverness Plaza shopping center at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Valleydale Road. At the intersection of U.S. 31

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 11



u North shelby

Oak Mountain Park Has New Overlook, Trail There’s a new place to take in the views at Oak Mountain State Park in North Shelby. A new overlook and long-awaited improvement to the back entrance gate of the park on John Findley Drive is now open. Located atop the mountain, the new Peavine Recreation Area Overlook platform is approximately one-quarter mile from the Peavine Falls parking lot. “This spot offers a panoramic view of Birmingham. On a clear day, you can see from the Galleria to Vulcan and beyond,” said Adam Sample, the park’s acting superintendent. A new trail has been built in conjunction with the overlook. The Fire Pit Trail begins near the overlook and is about a half-mile long. Both facilities are Americans with Disabilities compliant and offer people with physical disabilities access to the trail and the overlook. Prior to its renovation, the spillway bridge on John Findley Drive that leads into the back entrance of the park was submerged under about a foot of water. The road has been elevated and leveled to better accommodate RV and pedestrian traffic to the Upper Lake section of the park, which includes the main campground. “Both the spillway and overlook projects were accomplished in part thanks to the various partnerships that Oak Mountain has been fortunate enough to foster over the years,” said Greg Lein, director of Alabama State Parks. The spillway bridge project is a partnership between Oak Mountain State Park and Shelby County. The Peavine Recreation Area Overlook and Fire Pit Trail project is a partnership between Oak Mountain State Park, Shelby County, the Birmingham Urban Mountain Peddlers and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs through a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant from the

and John Hawkins Parkway, a new Walgreens is set to open in the former location of a gas station and the longvacant Omelet Shop building. More retail businesses are coming to the U.S. 31 corridor, Ivey said, including a Bojangles restaurant. Work is also underway on the Green Valley Health and Rehab nursing home at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Interstate 65. Ivey said a temporary fire station should be operational by February in the Ross Bridge neighborhood. The temporary station will serve the community while a permanent station is being designed and built. ❖

National Park Service.

u Over the mountain

Williams Appointed Financial Committee VP State Rep. Jack Williams, R-Vestavia Hills, was recently appointed vice chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The House Financial Services Committee handles legislation that addresses issues affecting banking, lending and Jack Williams other financerelated industries. “I deeply appreciate the confidence that the Speaker has placed in me, and I’ll work hard to ensure it is justified,” Williams said. “Financial services is an important industry not only in Jefferson County but in the entire state, and I’m eager to serve the people of Alabama in this new capacity.”

Williams is currently serving his fourth term in the House. The appointment will take effect for

the 2014 regular legislative session, which is scheduled to convene on Jan. 14. ❖

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12 • Thursday, January 9, 2014

Agents of Change

Young Volunteers Work for Better Communities Stories by Keysha Drexel • Photos by Marsha Perry


With the start of the new year, many resolve to take better care of themselves by eating right and exercising more (see pages 8 and 9 for events to get started). But for a new generation of volunteers and philanthropists, the new year offers new opportunities to give back to others. Below are stories of how four young philanthropists are using their time and talents to make a difference. In our Jan. 23 issue, look for the second part of this series. And in the meantime, if you know someone who represents “The Giving Generation,” share their stories with us at

Niki Harris, 32

Robert MacArthur, 26

Tommy Mayfield, 32

Jennifer White, 35

u Residence: Crestwood

u Residence: Birmingham

u Residence: Mountain Brook

u Residence: Vestavia Hills

u Occupation: Accounting manager for Southern Nuclear, a division of Southern Company in Birmingham.

u Occupation: Hedge fund manager for Forager Capital Management in Crestline.

u Occupation: Attorney at Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham.

u Occupation: Manager at Energen/Alagasco in Birmingham.

u Education: Graduate of Magruder High School in Maryland and Amherst College in Massachusetts.

u Education: Graduate of Mountain Brook High School, Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia School of Law

u Education: Graduate of Vestavia Hills High School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

u Education: Graduate of Opp

High School and BirminghamSouthern College.

u Organization: Chair and past president of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham. For more information, visit

u Organization: Birmingham Botanical Gardens junior board member. For more information, visit

‘Find Something You Really Believe In’

‘Really Commit to Our Community’

‘A Good Education Is a Gift’

‘I Can’t Imagine Not Being Involved’

It wasn’t long after she got her first job out of college that Niki Harris, the chair and past president of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, got the feeling that something was missing in her life. Harris was busy working to build her career in accounting and spent a lot of time traveling, which left her little time to do something that has always been important to her--community service. “My first job after college was public accounting, and because I traveled so much, it wasn’t feasible for me to do community service work, and I kind of felt lost without it and felt like I should be doing more to give back,” said the 32-year-old accounting manager for Southern Nuclear, a division of Southern Company in Birmingham. As a student at Opp High School and then at Birmingham-Southern College, Harris was involved in several different leadership clubs and did

Before he moved from Boston to Birmingham almost three years ago, Robert MacArthur saw firsthand the difference one person can make in the life of a struggling child. And now that he is on the junior board at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the 26-year-old said he’s using that firsthand experience to try to give back to students in his new community. A native of Maryland, MacArthur got involved with a group called Minds Matter in Boston that pairs up high-achieving, low-income students with young professionals who guide them through the process of getting into and paying for college. “Whether it was the program I volunteered with in Boston or the work the junior board does here with The Gardens, the goal is the same,” MacArthur said. “It’s about people who have had opportunities giving those kind of opportunities to others.” The Gardens has given more than

When he first started volunteering at Cornerstone Schools of Alabama in 2009, Tommy Mayfield was a little uneasy about going out into the community and asking for money to help the school, he said. But the 32-year-old Mountain Brook resident said when he thought about the Cornerstone students he had met, any reluctance to do whatever he could to help them disappeared. Mayfield is the junior board president at Cornerstone Schools of Alabama, a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school. “When I got to know the kids, I was more determined than ever to make sure they had every opportunity in the world to succeed,” Mayfield said. The nonprofit Christian school in Woodlawn serves primarily innercity children in Birmingham. In June 2013, it became the first elementary school in Birmingham to gain status as an International Baccalaureate

In the last year she has served on the junior board of Horizons School, Jennifer White said she’s learned that there’s more to real philanthropy that writing a check. The 35-year-old Vestavia Hills woman said by volunteering at the school in Birmingham that aims to help young people with intellectual disabilities learn how to live independently, she has seen the true value of giving her time. “I think that it’s a more valuable contribution to give your time than it is to give your money,” she said. “If you give your time, you’re investing yourself in something you believe in instead of writing a check and forgetting about it.” White found out about Horizons School through Energen/Alagasco in Birmingham, where she works as a manager. She’s been with the company since she was 19. White said there’s a strong culture of community service at her office,

See, Harris, page 14

See, macarthur, page 14

u Organization: Cornerstone

Schools junior board president. For more information, visit

See, mayfield, page 14

u Organization: The Horizons School junior board member. For more information, visit

See, white, page 15



Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 13

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a lot of community service work, she said. “When I changed careers, the first thing I started to do was look for ways that I could give back to the community,” she said. “Doing things for other people makes me feel good, and I’ve always thought that if you can use your skills to help other people, you should.” Harris has been involved in Rotaract of Birmingham since 2009 and has served the organization as its treasurer, vice president and president. She said her friend Anthony Oni was the club’s past president and encouraged her to apply for the junior board when she was looking for ways to volunteer. “Rotaract is about developing young leaders in our community and at the same time contributing to the community, and so I think it has been a good fit for me,” she said. The Birmingham chapter of Rotaract, which is aligned with the Rotary Club of Birmingham, is the largest in the world and has been operating since 2003. Its members are primarily young professionals, 22 to 30 years of age, who have proven records of leadership in college or their community, are regarded as rising stars at their place of employment and are interested in helping the Birmingham community. Rotaract members come from more than 80 employers from across the Birmingham area and have participated in a number of service projects, including the donation of $100,000 to the Rotary International Foundation to assist in eradicating polio. The chapter has also partnered with the Rotary Club of Birmingham to aid with an international service project in Sri Lanka. In August 2013, the Rotaract Club of Birmingham presented a check to Better Basics, a nonprofit literacy organization, to support the club’s service project, Ready 2 Read. The Ready 2 Read program places a full reading library and reading buddy in every second grade classroom in Birmingham city schools, with the goal of inspiring more than 3,000 children each year to establish a daily habit of reading. Rotaract volunteers help improve the literacy of these students and also act as role models to the children by being in the classroom twice a month. Since the program started in October 2007, Ready 2 Read has touched more than 18,000 students and added an estimated 9,800 collaborative reading hours. This project, along with Rotaract’s School Supply Giveaway, helps fulfill Rotaract’s mission and dedication to literacy and education initiatives throughout the community, Harris said. “I believe in everything that the club does, and I love being able to help make it a better organization,” she said. Harris said being involved in Rotaract not only gives her the satisfaction of knowing she is helping others but has also been an educational experience for her. “I tell people that I’ve gotten a free MBA because I’ve learned to do everything from run a board to plan budgets. It’s a unique experience in leadership because you’re running a club with 250-plus members,” she said. Organizations like Rotaract are the keys to making the Birmingham area a great place to live and work for everyone, Harris said. “For Birmingham to be able to continue to attract young professionals, we need to have these organizations, because community service is important to our generation. If young people are going to move here and we want them to stay here, we have to have ways to get them involved,” Harris said. “We have to sustain that momentum of everyone working together to make sure that Birmingham continues to become a better place.” For those new to the Birmingham area or those looking for ways to use their skills to help others, Harris said she has some simple advice. “Just raise your hand and say you’ll help. There are so many organizations in our area that need volunteers, and there are a million ways to get involved in making our city better,” she said. Harris said for young professionals who are juggling careers and perhaps families, finding an organization or cause that they are passionate about is key. “Talk to the leaders in your workplace or your friends and find something you really believe in and give it all you can,” she said. “If you’re helping the community around you, it’s a circle, and all that good will come back to you.” ❖

10,000 schoolchildren opportunities to learn through free, science curriculum-based field trips each year, MacArthur said. “An enormous portion of The Gardens’ operating budget goes toward educating the same kind of kids that I was working with in Boston,” MacArthur said. “The Gardens gives a learning opportunity to urban kids who may have never really had the chance to just walk around in nature.” The Gardens’ education programs are important, MacArthur said, because they provide hands-on, up-close encounters with the more than 12,000 different kinds of plants living in the collection in more than 25 different garden areas. School children visiting The Gardens on field trips also have a chance to see more than 30 original outdoor sculptures and explore miles of serene paths, MacArthur said. “They learn about biology and botany and other scientific concepts, and it’s the kind of learning that might stick with them more,” he said. MacArthur said the field trips allow a segment of the population to enjoy what others might take for granted. “I think the whole mission is not just to have a pretty place for people to dink around on Sundays. It’s not just a place for the rich people who can drive there anytime they want. The Gardens are for everyone,” he said. MacArthur, who works at Forager Capital Management in Crestline, said he got involved with The Gardens’ junior board at the suggestion of Henry Ray of Ray & Poynor Properties in Mountain Brook. “When I first moved down here from Boston, I was looking for a way to meet people and get involved in the community, and I was introduced to Henry Ray,” MacArthur said. “He was involved in the big board at The Gardens, and he suggested I look into joining the junior board.” MacArthur said he’s enjoying serving on The Gardens’ junior board and meeting like-minded people who want to give back to the community. “You meet people you’d otherwise never meet, and what most people don’t really factor in about volunteering their time to help out is that it is fun,” he said. “The most mundane thing I’ve done on the junior board at The Gardens was spending an evening making goodie bags for an event, and even that was great fun because I was in there with 10 other people joking and laughing. Plus, I knew we were doing something worthwhile.” And while MacArthur is enjoying helping out in his new community, he hasn’t forgotten the student he worked with in Boston in the Minds Matter program. “I met with her every week for three years when she was in high school and helped her decide what classes to take and guided her through applying to college,” MacArthur said. “Now, she’s an accounting major at a private school on a full scholarship, and she’s going to have a great life.” MacArthur said he still advises his former charge from the Minds Matter program. “I still keep in touch with her and talk to her every semester about what classes to take now that she’s in college,” he said. “It’s the kind of support and guidance that the people in my social circle growing up, and a lot of people, take for granted. For a lot of kids, they are the first ones in their families to even try to go to college, and they don’t really understand the process.” MacArthur said he advises other young people who would like to get involved in community service not to be put off by junior board cycles and other formalities. “I joined (The Gardens’ junior board) in March, which was nine months away from the next membership cycle. I couldn’t be a full member until the new membership cycle started, but that didn’t stop me from being able to jump in and lend a hand,” he said. But no matter what organization young people decide to lend their time and talents to, MacArthur said he can’t stress enough the importance of volunteering. “As young professionals, we need to really commit to our community and do something besides focus on our careers,” he said. “There are so many organizations and so many people who are just waiting for someone to step in and say they are willing to help.” ❖

World School primary school. Mayfield became involved with the school through his lifelong friend, Hindley Brigham, who was a teacher at Cornerstone. “They had a boys’ and girls’ basketball team with fourth, fifth and sixth-graders and needed some help coaching, so I jumped in and tried to coach them,” Mayfield said. “I think we lost every single game, but I had so much fun with the kids and learned a lot about what they are trying to do at Cornerstone.” Cornerstone was founded in 1993 by the late C. Molton Williams along with area business and community leaders “seeking to intervene in the cycle of poverty, which is perpetuated by a lack of access to quality education,” according to the school’s website. Mayfield, an attorney at Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham, said he often wonders about how his life’s path might have been different if he hadn’t had access to a quality education. “I grew up in Mountain Brook and was very fortunate to go to school there. A good education is a gift, one that has a profound impact, and that’s something I’ve really thought about as I’ve gotten older,” he said. “I don’t think it should matter where you were born or where you live when it comes to having the opportunity to get a good education.” With that philosophy in mind, Mayfield has spent the last four years working behind the scenes to make sure Cornerstone Schools has the resources it needs for its students. Mayfield has headed up the school’s annual Schoolhouse Rock fundraiser for the past few years. The event has brought in about $340,000 for Cornerstone during that time. “We really feel blessed to have a junior board that is so dedicated and hard working. Truly each one of them is a stand-out member to us,” said India Bailey, the school’s development associate. “However, our junior board president, Tommy Mayfield, is the driving force behind our junior board. He consistently goes ‘You really begin to above and beyond for the junior board understand that we and our school.” are all the same and Mayfield downwant the same things plays the time and for our children, and energy he has devoted to the school and it motivates you to said volunteering make those opporand helping others is tunities available to just part of his pereveryone’s children.’ sonal faith. “My faith as a Christian is certainly a motivating factor, and I just believe that we’re given a gift with the opportunity to serve others,” he said. Mayfield said he learned the importance of service to others from his father, Tom Mayfield, who is involved with The Foundry, a Christ-centered rescue mission and recovery center in Bessemer. “My father and my friend Hindley Brigham’s father, Tommy Brigham, have always been involved in helping different organizations, and that kind of service is something that I saw growing up,” he said. Mayfield has been married for seven years and has a 3-year-old-daughter and a 10-month-old daughter. He said being a father has strengthened his desire to give back to the community and to make sure all children have access to good schools. “You really begin to understand that we are all the same and want the same things for our children, and it motivates you to make those opportunities available to everyone’s children,” he said. Mayfield said he encourages other young professionals in the Birmingham metro area to take time to give back to the community. “It’s an exciting time to be in Birmingham, and there are a lot of positive things starting to happen,” he said. “I want more people to take pride and ownership in our city so that we can work together to make it better for everyone.” ❖

From page 12

From page 12

From page 12


From page 12

and she has served as chairman of the company’s service committee. She volunteered at Horizons School for a few years before being asked to join the junior board by Anita Bosley, the school’s development and public relations manager. Bosley said White is someone who goes above and beyond her duties to the junior board, works hard for the school and is always recruiting new volunteers to help Horizons. “She is the whole package--fundraiser, advocate, volunteer,” Bosley said. Horizons School is one of the few schools in the country that offers a college-like experience for 18- to 26-year-olds with intellectual and learning disabilities. First opened in the early 1990s as a part of the UAB School of Education, it became a private, nonprofit school in 2000. The school opened a new 10,000-squarefoot building on 15th Avenue South in Southside in 2006. Students come from across the nation to attend Horizons School, which offers a two-year core program and an optional third year program where students learn career independence, personal independence, social independence and self-determination. During the first two years of the program, students are required to live in the campus apartments with roommates. They learn to manage their finances, use public transportation, cook healthy meals and look after their living space. “One of my favorite ways to volunteer at Horizons is to help the kids move into the dorms. We help them move their stuff in and set up their kitchens,” White said. “It’s such an exciting day for them, just like going away to college is exciting for every other kid. To be a part of their special day is really rewarding.” White graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in 1996 and then earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “I think back on my college experience and how fun that was, and I think a lot of people can take that for granted,” she said. “For these kids, after high school, they are not guaranteed that kind of experience. That’s why what they do at Horizons is so important.” White said what the students get at Horizons School is more than just a college-like experience. The school’s mission is to have its graduates be motivated and determined young adults who become active participants in their community and live productive, independent lives as adults. “We also help them get jobs when they finish at the school. We’ll do mock interviews with them so they can practice and help them with their resumes,” she said. A survey conducted in 2006 showed that 91 percent of the school’s graduates have jobs and 63 percent of the graduates live away from home. Additionally, the school website says approximately 25-30 percent of its graduates remain in the Birmingham area and are involved in community

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 15



service at homeless shelters, food kitchens, animal shelters and other agencies. By helping the students learn how to live independently and attain and be successful at jobs, Horizons School is strengthening the entire community, White said. “Horizons doesn’t let them fall through the cracks. It gives them the tools they need to be on their own so that one day, they, too, can give back and help others,” she said. Now that she’s been involved with the school for a few years, White said she’s had the pleasure of watch-

Horizons School is one of the few schools in the country that offers a college-like experience for 18- to 26-year-olds with intellectual and learning disabilities. ing students grow in their skills and confidence and graduate from the program. “I went to the graduation ceremony last year, and I think it was one of the most touching things I’ve ever seen,” she said. White and her husband, Jonathan, have been married for five years and have a dog named Lola.

“I don’t have kids yet, so right now, I have the time to give to the kids at Horizons School,” she said. “But even after I have kids, I can’t imagine not being involved and helping out in some way. I can definitely see myself continuing to volunteer in some way for a very long time.” White’s next major volunteering project for the school is the Hearts for Horizons fundraiser in February. Supporters of the school can participate in the 5K, half marathon, full marathon or relay of the Mercedes Marathon Feb. 15-16 and have the proceeds from their registration fees go directly to the school. “The junior board is always looking for events and coming up with ways to raise money to support the school. I’m already recruiting volunteers for Hearts for Horizons,” she said. White said she advises those new to Birmingham or looking for volunteer opportunities to check with their employers first. “We have a lot of companies in our city that are very generous, and most of them have community service programs already in place,” she said. But if a company isn’t already involved in philanthropic causes, White said she suggests those looking to give back take charge of the situation. “If your company doesn’t have a service committee or another kind of group like that, start one yourself. All it takes is one person standing up and saying they are willing to help, and that motivates other people to want to do the same thing,” she said. ❖

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15 Young Women Presented Redstone Club Hosts Annual Christmas Ball

From left: Margaret Alexandra Pitts, Elizabeth Ann Williams, Elizabeth Emory Pitts, Taylor Gore Hiden and Caroline Harris Hinds. Photos special to the Journal

Marianne Coston Williams, Margaret Richardson King, Jane Comer Crockard, Lenora Ireland Brown and Elizabeth Patricia Koepsel.

Margaret Livingston Hindman, Sydney Morrow Wicks, Whitley Seymour Yeates, Mamie Collier Marbury and Elizabeth Adair Abbot.


ore than 700 members of the Redstone Club and their guests attended the group’s annual Christmas Ball last month. The Redstone Club’s 106th annual Christmas Ball was held Dec. 21 at the Country Club of Birmingham. President of this year’s ball was R. Holman Head, who attended with his wife, Margaret. Ball chairman was J. Arthur Smith IV, whose wife Ashley oversaw the event invitations. The floor committee chairman and emcee for the procession was James M. Dixon, at the ball with his wife, Marilyn. Sybil Brooke Sylvester of Wildflower Designs provided lovely flowers and decorations for the event, held in the country club’s East Room. This year’s presentation class included 15 young women, all college seniors, from a wide range of schools around the South, East Coast and Northeast. The presentees wore traditional long white dresses and gloves, a complement to their chosen escorts in black tuxedo tails. Overseeing the class were Ladies Committee members Mrs. William B. Walheim Jr. (Cary), Mrs. James M. Dixon (Marilyn) and Mrs. John Parker Evans II (Jennifer). Those presented at the 2013 ball were: Jane Comer Crockard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Hearne Crockard III; Taylor Gore Hiden, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. William Mudd Hiden; Margaret Richardson King, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Steven King; Mamie Collier Marbury, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Collier Marbury; Margaret Alexandra Pitts, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Pitts II; Elizabeth Ann Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Turner Butler Williams; Marianne Coston Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John White Williams; Whitley Seymour Yeates, daughter of the late Rutherford Nance Yeates Jr. and Mrs. Rutherford Nance Yeates Jr., sponsored by Charles Willis Yeates; Elizabeth Adair Abbot, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George

Club President R. Holman Head and wife Margaret with Ball Chairman J. Arthur Smith IV and wife Ashley.

Edwin Newton II, sponsored by Joseph Mcconnell Farley Jr.; Lenora Ireland Brown, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Tom Tartt Brown Jr., sponsored by Charles Pratt Brown II; Margaret Livingston Hindman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Ward Hindman, sponsored by James Archibald Livingston Jr.; Caroline Harris Hinds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Martin Hinds, sponsored by William Lyle Hinds Jr.; Elizabeth Patricia Koepsel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Thomas Koepsel, sponsored by William Burr Weatherly; Elizabeth Emory Pitts, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Carpenter Pitts; and Sydney Morrow Wicks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Kenneth Wicks, sponsored by John Harris Morrow. At the Ball luncheon, held at the Mountain Brook Club on Dec. 20, the presentees were introduced to the club membership and received some historical background on the event and the club. One of the highlights of the luncheon was the reintroduction of the presentee class from 1963, of which 23 of 30 women were in attendance to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The returning “golden girls” regaled the group with recollections of their own big night five decades ago. Mrs. Frederick Whittlesey Murray Jr. (Allison), a member of that class, was the 1963 presentee chairman. The presentees of 1963 were Lyndall Barnes (Mrs. Joseph Byrns Hutchison Jr.), Penelope Bond (Penelope Bond Gentry), Grace Brady (Mrs. Toliver Robert Bentley III), Amanda Brengelman (Mrs. Charles Lewis), Douglass Burnett (Mrs. Thomas Chambers Joyce), Frances Caldwell (Mrs. Claude Bennett), Jane Casey (Mrs. Clarke Houston Gillespy), Sally Cleage (Sally Cleage Turner), Elizabeth Coulbourn (Mrs. James P. Hanigan), Eunie Currie (Mrs. Peter Healey), Jane Earle (Jane Earle Kimball), Bess Edmundson (Mrs. William E. Coleman), Josephine England (Mrs. Uhland O. Redd III), Jane Forsyth (Mrs. William

Costenbader), Bertie Foster (Mrs. Don Albert Shriver), Harriet Gibson (Mrs. Robert Larry Hawkins), Katherine Grubb (Mrs. Thomas Oliver Coleman), Leslie Ireland (deceased), Katherine Johnston (Mrs. Mark LeGrand Myatt), Julia Matthews (deceased), Ann McMorries (Mrs. Frederick Bogar Smith), Allison Comer (Mrs. Frederick Whittlesey Murray Jr.), Virginia Neal (Mrs. Bond Almond), Bingham Oliver, Margaret Pate (Mrs. James Paul Barnhart), Dorothy Rosamond (Mrs. Thomas William Christian), Anne Sexton (Mrs. Charles Holley), Sara Smith (Mrs. Rogers Haydon), Emily Dixon Taylor and Kirke White (Mrs. Howard Williams Cater Jr.). The ball followed a members-only cocktail party and dinner, spread between Birmingham Country Club’s East Room and dining rooms. Music chairman John R. Simpson arranged the evening’s accompaniment. For the cocktail party and the presentation, the Sonny Harris Trio Band set the musical atmosphere. Following the presentation, the Atlanta Party Band entertained the crowd and attracted more than just the debutantes and their young contemporaries to the dance floor. The only group working harder than the band at the end of the night was the parking staff, whose members ran laps in the 70 degree weather for more than six hours. The 2013 Redstone Club officers and board of governors members are R. Holman Head (wife, Margaret), president; George C. Thompson (wife, Nancy), vice-president; Richard Murray IV (wife, Norita), secretary-treasurer; W. Spencer South (wife, Cari), traditions chairman; Nelson Straub Bean (wife, Kimberly), Francis H. Crockard III (wife, Winn), James H. Emack Jr. (wife, Kaye), C. Duncan Hulsey II (wife, Kelly); J. Bailey Knight III (wife, Margaret); William Lee Thuston (wife, Gray); J. Reese Murray III (wife Marilyn), finance chairman and William O. Byars (wife, Mary Elizabeth “Betsy”), camp chairman. ❖

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 17



A Snow Ball Effect

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Children’s Harbor Fundraiser Honors Longtime Supporter

From left: DG Pantazis, Dennis Pantazis, Brenna McKee and Evan Pantazis. Journal photos by Emil Wald

Jack Schaeffer and Susan and Andy Rotenstreich.

John Lauriello, Carol Pizitz and Mike Pizitz.

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Shades Mountain Christian School Now enrolling for Fall 2014 For more information contact Lora Vifquain, 978-6001 or 978-9311





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The money raised at the 2013 Snow Ball will be used to build a 19th hole gazebo and observation deck so that even more people can enjoy the miniature golf course, Ray said. “We’ll also use some of the funds from the Snow Ball for signage honoring Sperry,” Ray said. Ray said sponsorship opportunities are available for those who would like to name a hole on the miniature golf course in honor or in memory of a loved one. Ray said none of the proceeds from the Snow Ball had to be used to pay for expenses and that 100 percent of the proceeds went toward the gazebo and signage project at the miniature golf course. An estimated 200 people attended the Dec. 14 event and danced to music by Total Assets. The 2013 Snow Ball was hosted by Elene and Kenny Baker, Julie and Scott Bryant, Amy and Richard Cashio, Billy Harbert, Steve Kontos, John Lauriello, Bart McCorquodale, Steve Mote, Alison Nichols and Bill Mudd, Libby and Dennis Pantazis and David Shelby. ❖

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The second annual Snow Ball on Dec. 14 in Birmingham raised thousands of dollars to help children who are seriously ill or disabled. The event raised $27,000 to benefit Children’s Harbor, a nonprofit organization that provides camping and adventure services at Lake Martin to children with long-term serious illnesses and their families. The inaugural event was held in 2012 as a way to honor the memory and legacy of service of Sperry Snow, said Jim Ray, chief executive officer of Children’s Harbor. Sperry served on the Children’s Harbor board for six years and was a longtime friend of the organization, Ray said. “He tragically passed away with heart disease and as his friends, we wanted to do something to remember him and honor all the ways he helped the community,” he said. The first Snow Ball raised close to $40,000 to build a miniature golf course for disabled children at the Children’s Harbor campus at Lake Martin, Ray said. The golf course opened in the summer of 2013.

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Katherine Baker and Abby Basinger.


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18 • Thursday, January 9, 2014


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The Literacy Council hosted its final Signatures Series of the 2013 season in November. Author and Alabama native Joshilyn Jackson was the honored author as fans and Literacy Council patrons gathered to celebrate the release of her new book, “Someone Mon-Fri 10am-5pm • Sat 10am-4pm Else’s Love Story.” Held at the home of Liz and Greg Hodges, the event featured food, drink and conversation, hallmarks of Real Help with Drug & Alcohol Addiction every Signature Series.  True to the adventurous spirit of the book, George Sarris’s Yellow Bicycle Catering developed a graffiti bar of culinary delights, allowing guests to decorate their plates with a colorful array of colorful and flavorful sauces. Those attending included Cathy and Tom Adams, Emily Amberson, Max Berueffy, Rima Deep, Susie Fawal, Albert Folcher and Shawn To: Gray. From: Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 Others turning out to support Date: Jan 2014 the Literacy Council were Kathryn Psychology Today lists Bayshore Retreat Harbert, Patti Callahan-Henry, BEST rehabs in for thethe USJan. for 9th, 2014. Thisas is one your of aDthe prOOF the OTMJ 2014 issue.Bobby and Elaine Hughes, Cissy Small . for Private . Personal Contact your sales rep as soon as possible to approve your ad or make changes. and Steve Jackson, Polly Ohlson (Only 6 clients at a time) You may fax approval or changes to 824-1246. Virginia Patterson. Call 850-687-6831 andAlso spotted were Kate Somner, Call anytime... All contact and consultations are confidential. please make sure all information is correct,Kimberly and Bruce Rogers, Richard Tubb, Danny Weaver, Ben including address and phone number! and Melissa Turnage, Lanier Isom, Mary Jean Archer and Christie C Harper, MD please initial and fax back within Dr. 24Julie hours. Rierson. Rebecca Edwards, CRNP The Signature Series is the Thank you for your prompt attention. Jennifer Hewitt, PA Literacy Council’s longest-running fundraiser. Money raised from the event helps fund the council’s adult basic literacy and ESOL programs in Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties. The Literacy Council is a United Way of Central Alabama agency. For more information, visit ❖

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School pride and fond memories were the topics of conversation at a recent party for alumni of Vanderbilt University. The Birmingham Chapter of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association held “Dinner for Eight” in mid-November. The party was hosted by Dr. Chandler Smith and Jane Paris Smith at their home in Vestavia Hills. Guests entered the foyer of the Smith home which was decorated with banners, flags, mugs, a football helmet and a miniature statue of the Commodore himself. The Smiths greeted guests with glasses of wine from a winery near Clarksville, Tenn.,

From left: Cissy Jackson, Liz Hodges, Joshilyn Jackson and Greg Hodges. Photos special to the Journal

Patti Henry, Lanier Isom, Kate Somner and Joshilyn Jackson.

Melissa Turnage, Cathy Adams, Susie Fawal and Rima Deep.

which is near Nashville. During dinner, the conversation centered on college memories and the Vanderbilt bowl-eligible football team. A gold and black tablecloth and black dinnerware were featured. The eight dinner guests from

Mountain Brook were Winfield and Barbara Baird, Leland and Marty Keller, Gordon and Tracy Sproule and Charlie and Betty Northen. As the couples left, they were given Vandy can huggers and gold shakers. ❖

Front, from left: Charlie Northen, Jane Paris Smith and Chandler Smith. Middle: Betty Northen, Winfield Baird and Leland Keller. Back: Tracy Sproule, Barbara Baird and Marty Keller. Gordon Sproule is at the top of the staircase. Photo special to the Journal

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 19



Is it time to make a change?

From left: Bart Starr, Cherry Starr and Karen Peterlin.

Pets and People Party Humane Society Hands Out Awards

More than 100 people recently attended an event in Homewood to honor those who have made a difference in the welfare of animals in the past year. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society held its annual Awards Luncheon on Dec. 6 at The Club. Officials said it was the largest crowd ever at the annual event. This year’s honorees included a search and rescue dog, a veterinarian and a state representative. The Olivia Bearden Award went to Rudy, a search and rescue dog. His handlers, Terri and Len Slizewski, were on hand when Rudy was presented with the award. Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Jefferson County, was the 2013 winner of the Marion Broadnax Award. Todd introduced a bill for low-cost spay/neuter clinics in early 2013. The Abe Krawcheck Award, given to recognize acts that demonstrate

Photos special to the Journal

kindness to all living creatures, was presented to Dr. Bill Lamb. Lamb is a veterinarian at Vulcan Park Animal Care on Valley Avenue in Homewood. This year, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society honored two people with the John Herbert Phillips Award. The award is given annually to those who promote and teach kindness and compassion to animals. The 2013 recipients of the John Herbert Phillips Award were Phil Doster and Bonnie Miller. The Mayor George G. Siebels Award for outstanding service in 2013 went to Bob Alden. Those attending the event enjoyed lunch while the awards were presented. Karen Peterlin is the executive director of the Greater Birmingham

Rudy, a search and rescue dog, was the winner of the 2013 Olivia Bearden Award.

Humane Society. Tricia Preston is the organization’s president. The chairmen of the annual awards luncheon were Martha George and Donna Hightower. Those attending the event included Bart and Cherry Starr, Natalie Crow, Jennifer Alden, Tim Hightower, Lucy Thompson Marsh, J.J. Bischoff, George Pierce, Jay Reed, Keith Foster, Karen Wood, Vestavia Hills Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza and Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood. For more information on the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, visit ❖

To: From: Date:

Shades Mountain Christian School Now enrolling for Fall 2014 For more information contact Lora Vifquain, 978-6001 or 978-9311

Jonathan W. Gathings SMCS & Associates, LLC Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Jan 2014

Attorneys at Law

This is your AD PrOOF from the OvEr THE MOuNTAiN JOurNAl for th Jan. 9 2014 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

Experience • Passion • Results

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! Tricia Preston, Martha George and Donna Hightower.

Thank you for your prompt attention.

Gardens Party

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens held its annual Fall Donor event Nov. 21. The event was held at the home of Bill and Emily Bowron in Mountain Brook. More than 60 supporters of Birmingham Botanical Gardens enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Those attending included Craig and Cindy Fravert, Jane Hinds, Harold Bissel, Mena Brock, John Brock, Holly and Bob DeBuys, Michael and Peggy Balliet, Tricia and Jim Holbrook. Others attending included Coquette and Bill Barnes, Peggy Bonfield and Orrin Ford, Elna Brendel, Mary Carolyn Cleveland, Rebecca and Jeff Cohn, Dot and Walter Fletcher, Leah Hazzard, Sue Ellen and Mike Lucas and Mary and Lex Williamson. ❖

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Friends of BBG Has Fall Donor Event

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20 • Thursday, January 9, 2014



From left: Doris Kenny, treasurer; Diane Adams, secretary; Noel Tidwell, parliamentarian; Jane Crouch, vice president and Vicki Barnes, president.

Fall-themed Fun Photo special to the Journal

Cheramis Host Annual Dinner Dance

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More than 100 people attended the Fall Dinner Dance hosted by the Cheramis Dance Club in late November. The event was held at the Vestavia Country Club on Nov. 29 with 120 members and guests attending, along with four new club members. Decorations included a tall orange and yellow floral arrangement on the entry table and a pumpkin filled with colorful flowers on the sideboard. The 12 tables in the dining room were centered with grapevine wreaths covered with fall flowers and leaves. A pumpkin topped with flowers was placed in the center of each wreath for a harvest vignette. The decorations were the work

of the club’s vice president, Jane Crouch, and her committee, which included the club’s president, Vicki Barnes. Before dinner, those attending gathered in the ballroom for cocktails and conversation. Tradewinds provided music for the event. Other club officers attending the dinner dance were Diane Adams, secretary; Doris Kenny, treasurer; and Noel Tidwell, parliamentarian. Other members and guests spotted at the event included Colleen Adams and Mitch Mitchell, Dianne and George Adams, Edna and Ken Alderman, Nell and Don Baird, Jerry Lynn and Jerome Barker, Vicki and Bob Barnes, Betty and

Ron Bassinger, Judith and Neill Beavers and Virginia and Allen Blackwell. Also attending were Lynn Bragon, Sharon and Dan Bittner, Jean and Terry Chase, Nancy and Thomas Coggin, Jane Crouch and Frank Jones, Joyce and Frank Dill, Barbara and Jim Dobbyn, Alice Ellison and Meredith Harris, Margie and Tom George, Margarita and Arthur Gracianette, Barbara and Hugh Harbin, Janet Harden and Sally and Jim Rilly. Others at the dinner dance were Sherry Hartman and John Boisshart, Brenda and Ray Harris, Nita and Scott Hestevold, Ruby Huffman, Jessica Ireland and Rod Shirley, Beverly and George Jackson, Marilyn Kelly, Doris Kenny and Carl Jones, Mary and Elmer Klemenc, Debra and Steve Latta, Zella Listerman and Milton Wright, Anne Martin and Jim Hawk, Lynda Maton, Sissy and Charlie Matthews, Joan Meeks and Howard Clowdus, Mollie and Bill Midlik, Pearl Montalbano and Robert Rube, Jean Morton and Gene Atkins, Yvonne and John Norton, Joy Patterson and Robin Skipper, Marti Perry, Barbara Pilato and Dave Woods, Lisa and Bob Powers and Shirley and Duby Rierson. Also spotted were Howell Scott and Paul Chapman, Debra and John Sellers, Tere and Bill Shepherd, Regina Smith and Lewis Cheney, Bess and Alan Speegle, Ginnie Stewart, Susan and Jerry Stofel, Ann and Stewart Swindle, Noel and J.P. Tidwell, Martha and Bob Vick, Wendy and Gene Wahnefried, Helen and Bill Warren, Betty and Lowell Womack and Peggy and Chandler Yarnall. ❖

State Regent Honored DAR Chapter Hosts Luncheon Meeting

978-4546 Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Dec. 2012 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the December 13 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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The Birmingham Territory Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, honored State Regent Connie Grund of Mountain Brook at its Nov. 12 luncheon meeting at The Club in Homewood. Chapter Regent Patrice Donnelly presided. Chapter First Vice Regent Emily Volavka introduced Grund, who spoke on the patriotic organization’s activities and accomplishments. Grund praised the leadership, strength, and achievements of the Birmingham Territory Chapter, noting that its members had logged a record 3,072 volunteer hours in the community. Each place setting at the luncheon was marked with a silver angel, and white chocolate angels prepared by the Chapter Regent were served with coffee as members and guests arrived. Luncheon table centerpieces were fall arrangements of decorative pumpkins and gourds. At the business meeting, Renee Shelfer, a veteran, gave a tribute to

From left: Elizabeth Gillian, Nancy Folk, Connie Grund, Patrice Donnelly and Jean Vaughan. Photo special to the Journal

the country’s military. Among DAR members attending were Marie Agee, Rebecca Bradley, April Guin, Ann Carlton, Sandy Carter, Sara Craft, Sally Cox, Margie Denton, Patrice Donnelley, Nancy Folk, Elizabeth Gillian, Connie Grund, Ann Halpern, Judi Harris, Dottie Haynes, Tiffaney Hicks, Jan Jones, Jean Keenan, Sarah Klein, Ellen Knollenberg, Frances Logan, Amy Lee, Fran Quarles, Debra Robinson, Lanell Saeger, Colleen Sanders, Renee Shelfer, Jean Vaughan, Emily Volavka, Edwina Williams and Janis Zeanah.

Guests were Deborah Bailey, a prospective member, and Eve Burroughs, chaplain chairman, Montana State DAR, and niece of Emily Volavka. The Birmingham Territory Chapter was organized in 1959. The chapter’s current theme is “Celebrating Our Community.” The National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, is a lineage organization enabling women to serve their God, family, and nation through the preservation of American heritage, promotion of educational opportunities and encouragement of active citizenship. ❖

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 21



Make a lifetime change today!

Members of the Heart Guild of Alabama gathered at the 16th annual Holiday Luncheon and Fashion Show on Dec. 3. Photo special to the Journal

Fashionable Fundraiser Heart Guild Has Annual Holiday Luncheon

Those attending a recent fundraiser had a chance to check out the season’s hottest fashions while raising money to help fight heart disease. The Birmingham Heart Guild’s 16th annual Holiday Luncheon and Fashion Show, presented by Belk, was held Dec. 3 in Mountain Brook. Chairmen for the 2013 event were Sue Nuby and Kim Paduch. Leland Whaley, host of “Leland Live” on WYDE 101.1 FM, was the event’s emcee. At the luncheon, Vickie Fuller and her daughter, Lura Fuller Denson, shared their story of the struggles and victories they have experienced over the years that Lura has battled heart disease. Belk hosted a fashion show at the luncheon featuring the latest in men’s and women’s styles. Other vendors presented holiday-related gifts at the annual silent auction and market. The vendors included CW, Inc., Shelayne’s Botanicals & Holiday Décor, Greystone Antiques & Marketplace, Birmingham Bake and Cook, Fancy Fur, Swoozies, Cahaba Design Group, Mary Ussery 31 Gifts, Silpada Jewelry, Cuckoo’s Nest in Westover, Vintage Coastal Frameworks and Kathy’s Accessories. Several volunteers lent their talents to the fundraiser to help the Birmingham Heart Guild. Jennifer King was the event’s graphic designer. Christopher Joseph Designs created the floral layout for the event, and Nik Layman took photos. ❖

Shades Mountain Christian School Now enrolling for Fall 2014 For more information contact Lora Vifquain, 978-6001 or 978-9311

Above left, Chairmen for the 2013 event were Kim Paduch and Sue Nuby. Above, The Heart Guild luncheon also featured a fashion show where models To: wore the season’s hottest styles from Belk.

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SMCS Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Jan 2014

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weddings & engagements

22 • Thursday, January 9, 2014


Southern-style Celebration Wedding Includes History, Family Traditions—and Cookies, Too

Clockwise from above: Clay and Arrington Collie with the Mooneys’ English pointer, Sweet Pea; wedding guests could eat caterer Lee Epting’s homemade pralines on the spot or take them home as favors; Arrington and her father, Arnold Mooney II; Clay and his mom, Sally Campbell, rock out on the dance floor. Auburn University-themed items reminded reception guests of both families’ passion for the Tigers. Photos special to the Journal

By Donna Cornelius

Journal features writer

At most wedding receptions, it’s the cake that has the starring role among all the edible treats. That was true when Arrington Mooney and Clay Collie got married. But cookies came in a close second. That’s because cookies helped kick-start the couple’s relationship. Clay, who’s from Guntersville, had been working in Dallas before moving to Birmingham in 2011 “to be closer to home,” he said. “A friend asked me to come over and watch the NCAA championship game,” Clay said. “He was a friend of Arrington’s. When I found out she would be the only girl there, I asked, ‘Do you think she’ll bring cookies?’” Arrington, who teaches fourth grade and coaches girls’ soccer at Briarwood Christian School, had had a busy day before the game-watching get-together, she said, and didn’t have time to whip something up beforehand. “I brought all the stuff to make cookies,” she said.

“When she walked in with it, we just erupted in laughter,” Clay said. The Great Cookie Encounter led to a relationship between the two. “We became good friends,” Arrington said. “It took me asking her a few times for her to agree to go out with me,” Clay said. They got engaged March 10, 2012 and were married a few months later on Sept. 15 at Meadow Brook Baptist Church. At the end of their wedding reception, guests were served milk and Half Moon cookies from Full Moon Bar-B-Que. Carrying the cookie connection over from their first meeting to their special day is just one of the ways Arrington and Clay made their wedding a one-of-a-kind event. “I’d been in a lot of weddings, so I saw what I did and didn’t like,” Arrington said. “When I started thinking about what I wanted, I came up with a combination of antiques, classic, rustic and elegant.” The couple chose to have their reception at American Village in Montevallo.

“We liked the historical aspect and the beautiful ballroom there,” Arrington said. “Also, you can bring in your own food, unlike many venues.” To add personal touches, Arrington and her parents, Arnold and Kelley Mooney, transported pieces, including some knife boxes and Staffordshire dog figurines, from the family’s home in Meadow Brook to the reception. The food, too, had family ties. Doris Patterson of Cullman made the groom’s Double Chocolate Chip cake using Clay’s mom’s recipe. Patterson also made the wedding cake, which was based on one of Arrington’s favorites-- a sweet potato cake with cream cheese icing. Arrington first tasted the cake at Brick Street Café in Greenville, S.C., when she was a student at Furman University. Caterer Lee Epting of Epting Events in Athens, Ga., used a family recipe to concoct biscuits. Epting, who created food stations inside and outside at the reception, also came up with a crowd-pleasing creation. “He brought a lady in to make homemade pralines in a copper pot,” Clay said. “Guests could eat them or take them home as favors.” Pralines are Kelly Mooney’s favorite candy, Arrington said, “so we had to have them.” The venue inspired the couple’s weddings invitations, which were printed with a colonial-themed map of American Village on the outside and then tied with brown ribbons. Calligrapher Holly Hollon designed the letterpress invitations. Carol Burns, the wedding day coordinator, had a large cast to oversee. Arrington and Clay each had 15 attendants for a real Southern-style wedding. But they didn’t choose bridesmaids and groomsmen on a numbers-only basis, they said. “Each person we chose was a very conscious decision,” Arrington said. Because the wedding party was so large, Arrington didn’t want a rainbow of colors in the attendants’ dresses or bouquets, she said. She chose acorn-colored bridesmaids’ gowns, and Susan Huff of The King’s Creation made bouquets using coral and white flowers. Arrington’s bouquet was wrapped in her maternal grandmother’s handkerchief monogrammed in Carolina blue—Kelly Mooney is a University of North Carolina graduate—with Psalm 34:3. The bride’s “something borrowed” was a pair of diamond and pearl drop earrings that four of her bridesmaids had worn in their own weddings, she said. In the bride’s shoe was a sixpence brought home from England by

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 23

weddings & engagements


‘Several years ago, I went on a mission trip to Vietnam and bought a strand of pearls for my wife, although I didn’t know who she would be at the time.’ her father when he was an Oxford University student. Arrington wore her mother’s veil, but her dress was one she selected herself at the White Room in Cahaba Heights. “I found just what I was looking for,” Arrington said. “It was ivory overlay over latte silk. I didn’t want the typical floral lace. This one had almost an Art Deco look.” Another link to family heritage was the wedding’s Scottish accent. Arnold Mooney is a past president of the St. Andrew’s Society of the Middle South. The organization for those of Scottish ancestry promotes Scottish culture. With that connection in mind, bagpiper Ryan Morrison of Birmingham played as Arrington came down the aisle on her father’s arm and again during the recessional. The couple also incorporated thistles, Scotland’s national symbol, into some of the printed materials used for the wedding. Two pastors officiated at the ceremony. Rusty Hutson was the pastor of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Auburn when Clay was a student at Auburn University and worked with the church’s youth. Jason Ellerbee, whom Arrington said she’d known for a long time, also conducted the couple’s marriage counseling. One of the bridesmaids, Chrissy Pursell, provided music. “She sang and worshipped on

the piano before the ceremony,” Arrington said. Arrington’s sisters-in-law, Ashley Page Mooney and Leigh Garner Mooney, and Clay’s sister, Austin Elizabeth Collie, were also among the bridesmaids. Clay’s best man was his brother, Paul Cavin Collie, and Arrington’s two older brothers, Arnold Gaston Mooney III and John Hartwell Houston Mooney, were groomsmen. Clay’s parents are Sally Campbell of Guntersville and Phillip Collie of Albertville. Guests found plenty of hospitality at the reception. They visited several sumptuous food stations and could play croquet and corn hole outside. Guests also liked visiting the photo area, where a bicycle built for two— the same bike used on the couple’s “save the date” announcements—was set up. There was no trouble getting people dancing once the band, 4 Barrel Funk, started playing, the couple said. “I got to choose the band,” Clay said. The bride’s father approved of the choice. “They’re a Motown-ish band from Mobile and New Orleans, and they were happy to be part of a covenant wedding,” Arnold Mooney said. A covenant wedding emphasizes and asks for God’s blessing on the wedding and puts it in the context of a promise and not a contract. Arrington and Clay also wanted to express their faith by taking communion during the ceremony. They used a small family communion set—a tiny wine bottle and four cups encased in a blue glass

egg-shaped vessel--that had belonged to Kelly Mooney’s great-aunt. Arrington and Clay and their dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback called Gamba, live in Birmingham. Arrington said she loves teaching and coaching at her alma mater, Briarwood Christian. Clay works for Boosterthon, a school funding program that provides an alternative to traditional school fundraisers. In addition to her mother’s veil and her friends’ earrings, Arrington’s bridal ensemble included another spe-

cial piece. “Several years ago, I went on a mission trip to Vietnam and bought a strand of pearls for my wife, although I didn’t know who she would be at the time,” Clay said. “I’d kept it for five years.” Arrington wore the pearls, along with two other strands that were gifts from her parents, at the couple’s wedding. The sets of pearls blended perfectly—just like all the other elements of Arrington and Clay’s distinctive day. ❖

A Silver Sixpence for the Bride’s Shoe mountain brook village

Recently engaged or married? Let us help you spread the word of your good news! Send your announcement to or visit and fill out the form under “Forms, Issue and Info.”

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Dinah 871-4985 Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 June 2011 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the June 16, 2011 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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24 • Thursday, January 9, 2014


Mary Allison Crawford and William Benjamin Callaway were married June 1 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Birmingham. A reception followed at the Great Hall. The Very Rev. Kevin M. Bazzel officiated the cer-


Chelsea Mathews Standifer and Arthur Page Sloss Crenshaw were married Sept. 7 at Vulcan Park. Jasper Elliot Wolfe officiated the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Dr. Wayne and Mrs. Carol Standifer of Birmingham. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Kathleen Standifer and the late Dr. William Allen Standifer of Birmingham and Mr. Jesse


Mr. and Mrs. Frank Holmes of Hoover announce the engagement of their daughter, Lauren Ashley Holmes, to

Weddings & Engagements emony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Blanton Crawford of Birmingham. The groom is the son of Mrs. Vickers Allen Callaway and the late Mr. Callaway of Selma. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a cream silk shantung and champagne French Alencon lace gown by Toronto designer Paloma Blanca. The sleeveless lace bodice was beaded with pearls and Swarovski crystals and had a bateau neckline with a low back. A ruched cummerbund encircled her waist. The full A-line skirt had a flat front and a pleated back which swept to a cathedral-length train. Completing

her ensemble was a cathedrallength ivory veil of illusion. The bride was attended by her sister, Emily Frances Crawford, as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Kelly Anne Browne; Lauren Elizabeth Buonaiuto; Caroline Allen Callaway, sister of the groom; Sara Beth Goodman; Margaret Lyon McAllister; Jessica Lauren Maupin, and Melissa Smith Starling. Hatten Hollis Hess, cousin of the bride, was the flower girl. Vickers Allen Callaway Jr., brother of the groom, was best man. Groomsmen were Reid Derrick Fisher, Quinton James Pugh, Chris Jackson Searcy Jr., Blake Robert South, Anderson Milton Starling, Cody Allen Warrington and William Haig Wright III. After a honeymoon trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, the couple live in Atlanta.

Mathews and the late Mrs. Julianne Mathews of Montgomery. The groom is the son of Mr. Larry Crenshaw, Mrs. Cathy Sloss Jones and Mr. David Paul Jones Jr. of Birmingham. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Page Sloss of Birmingham and Mrs. Betty Crenshaw and the late Rev. William Bryan Crenshaw of North Carolina. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a stunning silk-chiffon Jenny Packham gown with a delicate waistband of opals and Swarovski crystals. The scalloped satin corded veil gently covered the cross-over open back with a chapel sweep train. She wore a beautiful Swarovski headpiece by Paris, all from Carriage House Weddings in Homewood. She was attended by Emily Claire Alvey as maid of honor

and Kathleen Deitsch Love as matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Rebecca Elizabeth Baggott, Ashley Bricken Cleek, Virginia Duncan Elliot, Kathryn Leigh McClung, Katy Alvey Nieto, Mollie Virginia Pittman and Sarah Elizabeth Wilcox. Emma Grace Holt and Martha Olivia Holt were flower girls. William Robertson II was best man. Groomsmen were George Edgar Corra, Winston Ellis Bradley III, Zachary Scott Frentz, William Thomas Ratliff III, Michael Gordon Rediker, Walter James Sears IV, Braxton Beauregarde Whatley and David Powers Whiteside III. The couple enjoyed a honeymoon in Italy beginning with four days at the Monestero Santa Rosa Resort, a 17th century monastery converted to a resort on the Amalfi Coast, followed by a few days in Rome. The couple live in the Loft District of Birmingham.

John Webb Hunter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Hunter of Vestavia Hills. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Louise Supple of Hurtsboro and the late Mr. Jimmy Supple and the late Mrs. Mildred Supple of Hurtsboro as well as the late Mr. Frank Holmes Sr. and Ms. Marilyn Holmes of Cusseta, Ga. Miss Holmes is a 2003 graduate of Hoover High School and a 2007 graduate of Auburn University, where she was a member of Phi Mu sorority. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2013 and is

an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s of Alabama. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mrs. John W. Proffitt of Maryville, Tenn., the late Ms. Martha Sherer Proffitt and the late Mr. John W. Proffitt of Maryville as well as the late Mr. Hugh Hunter Sr. of Mountain Brook and the late Mr. and Mrs. David Hamilton of Mountain Brook. Mr. Hunter is a 2000 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School. He attended Auburn University and is a 2006 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. He is senior editor/ DP at Luckie & Company. The wedding is planned for March 22.


Bromberg’s For high quality and luxury jewelry, Birmingham residents can come to Bromberg’s, one of America’s oldest family owned businesses for fine jewelry, watches, custom jewelry design, premier bridal registry and giftware. “We are Alabama’s oldest business,” says Ricky Bromberg. “We have been retailers since 1836. One could say we have more experience in the wedding registry business than anyone else around today. “We offer the largest and finest selection of china, crystal and silver in the Southeast, and so much more! We also offer brides many incentives such as our gift card system and completion program, discounts on wedding bands and attendants’ gifts and a free gift when you register. And that’s not all--when a bride receives or purchases seven place settings they get the eighth one free!” Bromberg’s is located at 2800 Cahaba Road in Mountain Brook, 871-3276, and 131 Summit Blvd. at The Summit, 969-1776.

“We have been retailers since 1836. One could say we have more experience in the wedding registry business than anyone else around today.” ricky bromberg, Bromberg’s

Weddings & Engagements


Levy’s Fine Jewelry “Levy’s Fine Jewelry is the largest estate and antique jewelry dealer in the Southeast. We specialize in estate, antique and modern jewelry,” said Jared Nadler, above left, with his mother Rhoda Link and cousin Todd Denaburg, members of the family that has owned the business since 1922. “Our bridal selection is extensive. We have rings dating back to the Victorian era. The older rings are so beautifully made with such intricate detailing done by hand. Made with filigree detailing or engraving, each is a one-of-a-kind piece. The rings from the Art Deco era are edgy and bold, have sharp lines and use different color combinations such as onyx, sapphire or emerald. We also have gorgeous estate wedding bands with beautiful engraving. Some of these still have wedding dates or names of the couple engraved on the inside, which makes them so special. With these pieces you get to imagine what the women who had them before were like and make up your own story,” Nadler said.

“We also have a large modern bridal area. There are so many different styles such as classic Tiffany settings, halo settings, vintage reproductions and many others. We have rings set with a diamond already or you can choose from one of the many semi mountings that allows you to choose the size diamond you want for the center. If we don’t have exactly what you are looking for or you would like to alter one of the designs you have seen, one of our four award- winning jewelers can help you design whatever may be the perfect ring for you. We guarantee that you will leave feeling ecstatic in your choice and that once you propose, she will be the envy of all her friends,” Denaburg said. “Our motto has always been ‘It’s Like Having a Relative in the Jewelry Business’ and the reason is, because we like to think all of our customers are an extension of our family. Our trained GIA staff works to give you the information you need to find what works best for her lifestyle and your wallet.” Levy’s Fine Jewelry is located at 2116 Second Ave N., Birmingham, 251-3381.

For over 90 years, Levy’s has been Birmingham's Specialist in Antique and Estate Jewelry as well as Fine Diamonds, Art and Antiques.

Sloss Furnaces Sloss Furnaces has been in the wedding business for five years and offers a place where couples can have any wedding that they desire. If they want a themed wedding, Sloss provides the space for that. If they want a fairy tale wedding, Sloss provides for that as well,” said event coordinator Joy Hullet, above. “We allow couples to use any caterer, florist etcetera, of their choice. We do not have a certain time limit that they have to follow. When our couples book Sloss, they have the site for the entire day of their wedding. “Sloss Furnaces is unique because it stands as the only 20th century blast furnace plant in the nation being preserved and interpreted as a museum of industry. Sloss is a place where the past meets the present and allows each bride to create her most special day. From the most rustic to the most glamorous brides, Sloss Furnaces has a number of dramatic and breathtaking areas to arrange for

Something old. Something new. Something borrowed. Brides today wear and carr y on their special day something old, new and borrowed. Just like this tradition, the Historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham Alabama has endured the test of time. Now, it stands waiting to be your token of old. To learn more visit or via email,

2116 2nd Avenue North • (205) 251-3381

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 25

ceremonies and receptions. The towering blast furnace, water tower and smokestacks offer a

‘Sloss Furnaces is unique because it stands as the only 20th century blast furnace plant in the nation being preserved and interpreted as a museum of industry.’ Joy Hullett, Sloss Furnaces

certain magical ambiance that cannot be found anywhere else.” Sloss Furnaces is located at 20 32nd Street, Birmingham, 324-1911.

26 • Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Birmingham Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo has six event facilities that can accommodate 10 to 1,000 guests for bridal teas, luncheons, rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies and receptions. “With accommodations ranging from the Zoo Lodge, a rustic stone house nestled in the woods to our Trails of Africa Safari Peak which overlooks our exhibit of African bull elephants, the Birmingham Zoo offers a truly unique experience for your guests,” said Courtney Terry, special events manager, above. “The zoo also offers extra events including animal demonstrations, greetings and walkabouts that will leave your guests talking about your wedding for months,” Terry said. “With catering options ranging from African safari to formal elegance, we can help make your event a success.” The Birmingham Zoo is Alabama’s must-see attraction. About 800 animals of 200 species call the 122-acre zoo home. “By choosing the Birmingham Zoo as your venue, you help spread the zoo’s mission of inspiring passion for the natural world,” Terry said. For details, visit The Birmingham Zoo is located at 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham, 397-3859,

Weddings & Engagements

The Donnelly House

The historic Donnelly House was built in 1905 as a private residence. The 12,000 squarefoot magnificent Georgian colonial home serves as a full service event venue for weddings, luncheons, teas, class reunions and corporate events. Owners, Carl and Karen Schoettlin purchased and renovated the home in 2011. “The Donnelly House is simple perfection. The history of the home, the timeless interior and exterior grounds are stunning and a wedding here is surprisingly affordable,” said Karen Schoettlin, above. “We offer preferred catering list but allow outside vendors for all other services.” “Our goal is to make the wedding day as stress-free as possible for the bride and her family. We want the bride to show up, say ‘I do,’ enjoy herself and have a wonderful best day of her life. “Please join us at our 2014 Wedding Open House on Sunday, Feb. 23, from 2-4 p.m. and visit us on Facebook or www.thedonnellyhouse. com.” The Donnelly House is located at 2838 Highland Avenue South, Birmingham, 3695772.

Go Wild!



WorkPlay is a full service venue capable of providing you with catering, valet, bar service, decor and entertainment giving you the freedom to enjoy your special day. Rebekah Clements, above, is events coordinator for WorkPlay. WorkPlay has been in business for more than 12 years,” Clements said. “While WorkPlay offers the aforementioned services for your convenience, it also allows you the flexibility to bring in your own service and vendors if so desired,” she said. In addition to offering a great wedding venue, WorkPlay also has a recording studio and offers music lessons, Clements said. Located at 500 23rd Street South, WorkPlay is open every day at 4 p.m. for Happy Hour, Clements said. “Thanks again for a great 2013,” Clements said. “We are looking forward to 2014.” For more information on WorkPlay’s wedding services and other information, visit WorkPlay is located at 500 23rd Street South, Birmingham, 879-4773, ext. 4001.

Have your next event at the Birmingham Zoo

Looking for a truly unique space for your next event? Why not book your wedding, rehearsal dinner, reunion, graduation party, company picnic, meeting or luncheon at the Birmingham Zoo? With catering options ranging from African safari to formal elegance, we can help make your event a success. The Zoo also offers event extras including animal demonstrations and much more. Call 205.397.3859 or send an email to for more information or to book your event today! Hurry, bookings are filling up!

Donnelly House A Perfect Palette

Birmingham’s Premier Wedding & Event Place 2838 Highland Ave. south 35205 367-5772 •

In our January 23 issue meet a couple who chose the Birmingham Museum of Art for a creative wedding backdrop!

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 27



By Keysha Drexel

panel of leaders in theater and education. The panel evaluates each group’s music, acting, dance and overall performance. Each cast receives valuable feedback tudents at Mountain Brook about its creativity, engagement in the Junior High School spent the performance, understanding of the mateweek before winter break prerial and connection to the lyrics and paring to take the stage at one of the movement. world’s largest musical theater festiAnd while the students will be judged vals for young people. on their performance at the festival, Members of the Mountain Brook Loden said the judges always offer posiJunior High Choir have been accepted tive feedback to the students. to the 2014 Junior Theater Festival Jan. “They are never, ever negative and 17-19 at the Cobb Galleria Center in always have positive things to say to the Atlanta. kids,” she said. Amy Loden, the school’s choir teachLoden said in preparing for the feser, and the 20 students who will repretival, she made sure that the students’ sent the school at the festival have been creative ideas were heard. rehearsing to present a 15-minute selec“We are student-driven. They do the tion from “Disney’s The Little Mermaid choreography, and we have a student Jr.” before a panel of distinguished thedirector come over from Mountain ater professionals. Brook High School to help out. We want “The challenging part is taking the Members of the honor choir at Mountain Brook Junior High, above, along with other choir members, will travel to the students to take real ownership of musical and getting it down to a 15-min- Atlanta Jan. 17-19 to perform at the 2014 Junior Theater Festival. Journal photo by Keysha Drexel their performance,” Loden said. ute performance. We have 60 kids in the At this year’s festival, the students choir and are taking 20 to the festival, will sing the Oscar-winning “Under the Sea,” so a lot of them are swapping up parts. We also “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the Girl” and other have to work on choreography,” Loden said. favorites from “Disney’s The Little Mermaid The Mountain Brook Junior High choir Jr.,” Loden said. students will join 94 other student choir groups “The audience will hear all their favorite representing 28 states at the 2014 festival, which songs from the musical, and it’ll be a great perwill bring together more than 4,500 students, formance,” Loden said. Liscomb was one of 80 students who made it to “Oh, Bless the Lord” from “Godspell Jr.” at the teachers and Broadway professionals. Loden said the students will also get a chance the final call-back for future Broadway Junior 2013 closing ceremonies. Loden said the school has participated in the to meet musical theater stars at the event. shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for “I love taking the students to the festival festival three times before and that it is always Past festival attendees have included Zac soon-to-be released Broadway Junior musicals. because it gives them a chance to meet other an honor to be selected to perform at the event. Efron, Oscar and Tony award-winning composer students and teachers and professionals from At the 2011 Junior Theater Festival, the group She was ultimately cast and traveled to New Alan Menken, Broadway director Jeff Calhoun this past summer to take part in tapings. York all over the country who share their passion for presented “Meredith Willson’s The Music Man and Grammy award-winning musician, producer musical theater,” Loden said. “It is all about Jr.” Students Gracie Fridy and Megan Bemowski Additionally, Mountain Brook Junior High stuand songwriter Bryan-Michael Cox, among othdents Kayla Carr and Adam Thomas were named what they love, and it’s a great opportunity.” earned the Freddie G. Outstanding Student ers. to the Broadway Jr. All-Stars, made up of two In the spirit of celebration rather than compeDirection and Choreography award. The students and Loden will also attend outstanding students from each group at the festition, theater groups perform 15-minute selecThe group performed selections from “Guys workshops while in Atlanta for the 2014 Junior and Dolls Jr.” at the 2013 festival. Katy Grace tival. The All-Star students performed the song tions from their Broadway Jr. productions for a Theater Festival. ❖

Journal editor


Stage Presence

MBJH Choir Chosen for Musical Theatre Festival

School Notes Hoover honored military veterans with the school’s annual Veterans Day program in November. For the event, the fourth-grade choir performed patriotic music. Donations were made to Wreaths Across America and presented to the family of U.S. Marine Pfc. Ryan G. Winslow, a former Bluff Park Elementary student who died serving his country. The Winslow family now works with Gold Star Families and assists Wreaths Across America in placing wreaths on the graves of U.S. military veterans. Saint Francis Xavier School students salute veterans during a special program in November. From left: Kimberly Campos, Sophia Isbell, Anna Kate Driver, Cecilia Wright, Ann Marie Cannova, Jax Hendrick and Elliot Fletcher. Photo special to the Journal

Saint Francis Xavier Students Honor Veterans Saint Francis Xavier School welcomed veterans and active members of the armed forces to the school’s annual Veterans Day program on Nov. 8. Each year, students in grades K-8 present songs and performances that express thanks to veterans and show the students’ patriotism. This year’s program began with a color guard presented by Cub Scout Pack #357 and Girl Scout Cadette Troop #520 under the direction of Richard Goff, U.S. National Guard and member of Bugles Across America. Fifth-grader Mary Morgan Elder sang the national anthem. Each grade took turns entertaining

and inspiring veterans and parents in attendance. As a surprise, Anthony Martinez, parent of a kindergarten and fifth-grade student at the school, was able to send a video greeting from the Middle East. Also attending this year were Dr. Frances Carter and Dr. John Carter. They have attended the program for several years. John Carter dressed in World War II military uniform, and Frances Carter dressed like Rosie the Riveter. The program ended with a blessing of veterans by Father Bob Sullivan, a military chaplain in the U.S. Navy for 13 years.

Bluff Park Honors Vets Bluff Park Elementary School in

Homewood Fifth-grader Wins GoDaddy Contest A fifth-grade student at Edgewood Elementary School in Homewood recently won $5,000 for his reading and writing accomplishments. Tre’ Roberson won the HOAR Program Management/GoDaddy Bowl Reading and Writing Contest. He was presented with the award and $5,000 prize during the 13th annual HOAR Program Management/ GoDaddy Bowl Reading Tre’ Roberson and Writing Program Ceremony Dec. 4 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater.

The Student Government Association at Vestavia Hills High School collected 22,000 food items to donate to two local food pantries. Photo special to the Journal He is the son of Jay and Niva Roberson. The contest was open to all fifthgraders in Alabama and the Gulf Coast regions of Florida and Mississippi. Ten students were selected as finalists. Each had to submit a book report about Gennifer Choldenko’s book “Al Capone Does My Shirts: A Tale from Alcatraz.” Over the past 12 years, the HOAR Program Management/GoDaddy Bowl Reading and Writing Program has donated more than $234,500 in scholarship money. More than 2,000 fourth-grade students attended this year’s awards ceremony.

Vestavia Students Donate to Local Food Pantries Students at Vestavia Hills High School recently donated more than 20,000 items to two local food pantries. The school’s Student Government Association holds a campaign every year to encourage students to bring in canned food items to donate to local food pantries. This year, more than 22,000 items were donated. The donated food was loaded into two large moving trucks by the students. Clubs, homerooms and individual students teamed up to make the 2013 campaign successful.

28 • Thursday, January 9, 2014



Homewood Middle Hosts Thanksgiving Feast Students at Homewood Middle School recently got busy in the kitchen to prepare a special holiday meal. Seventh-grade students in Briana Morton’s Teen Discoveries class prepared a Thanksgiving feast for their families, teachers and other guests invited to the school for the event. The students independently researched recipes, planned a menu and prepared all of the food.

College Board Honors Vestavia Schools The Vestavia Hills City Schools system was recently honored by the College Board, a mission-driven notfor-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Vestavia is one of 477 school districts in the U.S. and Canada named to the College Board’s fourth annual AP District Honor Roll. The award is given for increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. Since 2011, Vestavia Hills City Schools has increased the number of students participating in AP while improving the number of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. “We applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in this district who are offering more students the opportunity to engage in rigorous college-level coursework,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “These outcomes are a powerful testament to educators’ belief that a more diverse population of students is ready for the sort of rigor that will prepare them for success in college.” Inclusion on the AP District Honor Roll is based on three years of AP data.

Highlands Second-graders Visit Rickwood Caverns During Halloween week, secondgraders at Highlands School enjoyed a special treat with a trip to Rickwood Caverns. The students have been studying rocks and minerals in their geology unit in science, so visiting the caves was like being in geological paradise, their

Seventh-graders at Homewood Middle School prepared a Thanksgiving feast for their families and teachers. Photo special to the Journal

Three members of the Mountain Brook High School Debate Team made it to the quarterfinal rounds at a recent competition. From left: Ethan Foshee, Angela Fu and Jack Fitzpatrick. Photo special to the Journal

Mountain Brook Debaters Win Honors The Mountain Brook High School Debate Team competed with success at a recent Over the Mountain tournament. The Mountain Brook students participated in the annual Buc Classic Debate Tournament Nov. 9 at Hoover High School. Spartan debaters Ethan Fooshee, Angela Fu and Jack Fitzpatrick broke into the quarterfinal rounds. Fu led the Spartans by going undefeated in five rounds, while Fitzpatrick— in his first competition of the season—made his debut with a 4-1 record. In his first debate of the season, Fitzpatrick took third place in overall speaker points. ❖ teachers said. Students viewed fossils and examined “living formations” that are 260 million years old. After a guided tour of Rickwood’s “miracle mile” of underground caverns, students enjoyed a picnic lunch followed by a hike in the state park. Those making the trip included Shayna Jotani, Julia McCracken, Sariah Honeycutt, Aubrey Turner, Anika Ramesh, Julian Harrison, Jayden

Fennell, Eli Mrug, Henry Allsup, Aeryn Crowley, Frances Overton, Matthew Thomson, Edward French, Elyse White, Lawson Katz, Gates Garrett, Katelyn Elrod, Kate Nichols, Ryan Vance, Mason Coleman, William Giattina, Bryce Pasternack, Julia Grace King, Caileigh Moose, James Stephens, Gordon Pavy, Will Lisenby, Beth Lang, Tatum Garrett, Gracey Pelt and Wendy Cramer.

Highlands second-graders recently visited Rickwood Caverns. Front, from left: Shayna Jotani, Julia McCracken, Sariah Honeycutt, Aubrey Turner, Anika Ramesh, Julian Harrison, Jayden Fennell, Eli Mrug, Henry Allsup, Aeryn Crowley, Frances Overton, Matthew Thomson and Edward French. Back: Elyse White, Lawson Katz, Gates Garrett, Katelyn Elrod, Kate Nichols, Ryan Vance, Mason Coleman, William Giattina, Bryce Pasternack, Julia Grace King, Caileigh Moose, James Stephens, Gordon Pavy, Will Lisenby, Beth Lang, Tatum Garrett, Gracey Pelt and Wendy Cramer. Photo special to the Journal

VHEC Students Help School in Boosterthon Students at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central recently raised more than $50,000 for their school. The students raised $50,121.80 through the annual Boosterthon Fun Run, a nine-day program that raises money for schools while inspiring students to live healthy lives and have good character.

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 29



This school year, Boosterthon’s character theme, Camp High Five, will challenge 700,000 students in 22 states to make new friends with a summer camp theme all about friendship. “Our team motivates students across the country to get excited about fitness, leadership and character,” said Chris Carneal, Boosterthon founder and president. “We love watching schools exceed their financial goals with our program, but what really fires us up is

developing leaders at the elementaryschool level.” The Camp High Five theme includes daily character lessons that teach the value of respecting others, not bullying, and showing sportsmanship. Each lesson is paired with a daily hand gesture that helps make it memorable. The message is also reinforced through a curriculum that includes interactive character videos, catchy songs and a brand-new children’s book.

Horizons Students Carve Pumpkins for Trail

Fifth-graders from Cherokee Bend Elementary School recently spent five days at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. From left: Hannah Kelley, Olivia Hunt, Grayson Scott, Noah Wyatt, Gardner Lee, Riley Brown, Braxton Wetzler, Anne Neal Moore, Pearson Bedingfield and Cody Hirsberg. Photo special to the Journal

Cherokee Bend Fifth-graders Travel to Tremont Fifth graders from Cherokee Bend Elementary School spent five days in October at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. They learned about life in the forest, looked for stream critters, used nature as inspiration for writing and hiked Cades Cove and an eight-mile trail.  Each night, students participated in different activities, including listening to storytellers, learning folk dancing and a visit from the Knoxville Zoo’s Birds of Prey exhibit. The students each participated in their own solo hikes. ❖

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More than 40 Horizons School students who are members of Aktion Club, a leadership and service organization sponsored by the Homewood-Mountain Brook Kiwanis Club, worked to create faces and carve pumpkins for a special event for Ruffner Mountain. Members of the Kiwanis Club and the Horizons School Junior Board of Directors helped the students draw faces on the pumpkins, cut off the tops, and scoop out the seeds. The students and board members carved more than 35 pumpkins into funny and scary jacko’-lanterns. Kiwanis Club members delivered the pumkins to Ruffner Mountain to help light some of the trails there for a Halloween event. ❖

Shades Cahaba Celebrates Rivalry Week with Survey Students at Shades Cahaba Elementary School recently showed their team spirit and at the same time learned about predictions and presenting data. Third-graders in DeLaine Ragland’s class decided to celebrate Rivalry Week before the Alabama-Auburn football game by surveying the entire student body, faculty and board of education to get predictions for the 2013 Iron Bowl. Two students from Ragland’s class visited each classroom and office to gather the predictions. Then all the students in the class tallied and verified the votes, created graphs to represent the data and revealed the final results during afternoon announcements. After all the votes were counted, checked and double-checked, the winner was Alabama with 352 votes. Auburn garnered 242 votes, and 22 people surveyed said they had no opinion. On the last day before Thanksgiving break, the students and faculty at Shades Cahaba Elementary wore their team colors. ❖

Mike A. Keller, DDS, PC Pediatric / Adolescent Dentistry

William Acker Heather Adams Patrick Adams Noah Adams Hannah Adams Duha Aishah Ruaa Aishah Obada Aishah Hamzah Alzyat Saifaldeen Alzyat Izaldeen Alzyat Sydney Ammons Alex Anderton Ellen Anderton Liam Anderton Maddy Andrews Walt Andrews Eliza Angelo Tony Aviles Alyssa Bailey Michael Baker Catherine Bamford Sarah Bamford Colin Bamford Allie Banks Aaliyah Barber Jamison Barnes Madeline Barron Xander Barton Caroline Bass Nathaniel Bass Kathleen Bass Christian Baylon Blair Beam Bradley Beam Pierce Becker Finley Becker Joshua Bennett Lucy Benton Max Benton Marquis Birchfield Quandre Birchfield Mary Hollins Black Wills Black Aiden Black Bear Black Trent Boehme Lydia Bonner Grant Bonner Keefer Boone Katherine Boone Nathan Bowman Austin Bowman Sara Katherine Bowman Graves Bowman Ann Massey Bowman Isabella Boyd Philip Boyd CeCe Boyd Logan Bradford Frank Bradford Bill Bradford John William Bradford Tom Bradford Spencer Bringman Weller Bringman Natalie Brooks Georgia Brooks Caroline Brooks Tristan Brown Tacoma Brown Mary Gaston Brown Kate Brown Murray Brown AJ Brown Leslie Brown Josh Brown Becton Brown Emily Brundage Hadley Bryant Michael Bunn Ben Byron Clara Cagle Sofia Cagle Madeline Cagle Reed Campbell Mason Campbell Allison Campbell Mary Caroline Campbell Drew Campbell Elizabeth Campbell Alex Canterbury

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Dr. Mike Keller, friends & staff are happy to recognize December members of the NO SUGAR BUG CLUB

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30 • Thursday, January 9, 2014



Oak Mountain Youth Football and Cheerleading teams celebrate the league’s recently-completed season. Photo special to the Journal by Rowlen Photography Members of the Hoover Soccer Club Lady Phantoms 98 are, from left, front: Yana Vickery, Payton Bisso, Lauren Laney, Brianna Morris, Eva Byrum, Lilie Rogers and Treasure Adams. Back: Trainer Kenny Davis, Ashlyn Wright, Camille Shepherd, Hunter Tilashalski, Makenzie Lloyd, Grace Roesle, Georgia Hontzas, Elena Register, Hanna Amidon and Coach Mateo Peral. Not pictured, Jasmine Green. Photo special to the Journal

Hoover Lady Phantoms 98 Win State Title

Over the weekends of Nov. 1-3 and Nov. 9-10, Hoover Soccer Club’s Lady Phantoms 98 competed in the Alabama Youth Soccer Associations State Cup. The team completed their round robin weekend undefeated against Mobile Bay Blast 98, Vestavia Hills Soccer Club Attack 98 Black II and Huntsville Soccer Club 98 Blue.  

The Lady Phantoms 98 defeated Vestavia Hills Soccer Club Attack 98 Black I in the semi finals 3-1 and went on to defeat Auburn Lady Thunder 98 in the finals 3-0 to claim the ASA State Cup U16G Division I Championship and will be representing the State of Alabama at the 2014 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships in Baton Rouge, La., in June.

Members of the Berry Middle School table tennis team pictured with coach Shane Shelnutt are: Riley Heirs, Sam Johnson, Luke Blackmon, Stone Shelnutt, Dylan Best and Seth Shelnutt.

Oak Mountain Youth Teams Complete Season

Oak Mountain Youth Football and Cheerleading teams recently ended their season on high notes. The Oak Mountain Eagles, which played in the fifth-grade 120-pound division, won the Jefferson Shelby Youth Football League championship this season. The Eagles beat a previously undefeated Thompson team 15-14 in overtime in semifinal play of the league’s playoffs. The Oak Mountain team then won the championship game 6-0 over Hoover, which also was unbeaten before facing the Eagles. Mike Evers is the Eagles’ head coach. The Oak Mountain fourth-grade 105-pound team, coached by Curtis May, had an undefeated regular season and reached the playoff semifinals. Coach Mark Johnson’s third-grade 90-pound

team posted a 7-1 regular season record. Coach Jim Jordan’s sixth-grade 130-pound team made it to the playoff semifinals. In cheerleading, Mary Steadman’s fourthgrade squad won first place in cheer completion for the second year in a row. Coach Alex Morton’s fifth-grade Packers OTM Recreation League team made it to the Over the Mountain championship game and won second place. Coach Andy Stidfole’s fourth-grade Panthers OTM Recreation League team also reached the playoffs. Registration for Oak Mountain Youth Football and Cheerleading’s 2014 football and cheer seasons will be open from late April through mid-May. For more information about OMYFC’s programs visit or call 305-5019.

Photo special to the Journal

OTM Schools Play in Table Tennis Event

Teams from two Over the Mountain schools played in the second BumperNets Middle/ High School Invitational Table Tennis Team Championships Nov. 15. Mountain Brook High School and Berry Middle School competed in the event against Hewitt-Trussville, McAdory and Pinson. Each school fielded an A team, made up of its top three players, and a B team. Mountain Brook’s Seth Cohen, Jacob Weinaker and Sam Harmon won first place in the event’s A division. Another Mountain Brook team, which included Alec Lewis, Griffin Osbourne and

Packey Toomey, won first place in the B division. Teams from Berry Middle placed second in both divisions. Competing in the A division for Berry were Riley Heirs, Sam Johnson and Luke Blackmon. Playing in the B division were Berry students Stone Shelnutt, Dylan Best and Seth Shelnutt. Divisions were played in a round-robin format. The tournament was at BumperNets in the Riverchase Galleria. Shane Shelnutt, coach at Berry Middle, was the director/coordinator of the tournament.

Gandler Earns All-American Status

Austin Gandler, a junior at Mountain Brook High School, coached by Kevin Malloy placed second at the Dixie National Wrestling Tournament held in Atlanta on Dec. 29. The tournament included wrestlers from across the country. Gandler’s second place in the national tournament earned him an All-American Status. Photo special to the Journal

Sixth Grade Rebels Win Title

The sixth-grade 130-pound Vestavia Rebels won the Jefferson-Shelby Youth Football League Championship on Nov. 23. The Raging Rebels completed a perfect 11-0 season by defeating Hoover 35-0 in the championship game. Vestavia’s defensive coach, Martin Maners, right, was named Coach of the Year. Photos special to the Journal

Mountain Brook Jets Win Jingle Bell Jam

The third-grade Mountain Brook Jets won the 2013 Jingle Bell Jam. The team is coached by Jack Kubiszyn, Scott Kubsizyn and John David Kubiszyn.

Members of the Mountain Brook Jets are, from left, front: Trent Wright, Jackson Beatty, Carter Brooks and Daniel Kubiszyn. Back: Carter Kelley, Thomas Sargent, John Colvin, Heath Griffin and Ford Moffatt. Photo special to the Journal

Homewood Joy League Begins 57th Season

Paulson Wright

Wright Is Showcase Tourney MVP

Paulson Wright, a 10-year-old Mountain Brook baseball player, participated in the Alabama State Championship Showcase Tournament in July 2013. He won the tournament’s Offensive MVP award at the first annual USSSA Hall of Fame Banquet in Orange Beach on Dec. 14. Strother Gibbs and Braxton Wetzler from the 10 and under Mountain Brook Spartans also participated in the tournament.


From page 32

siveness both on offense and defense,” the coach said. One big plus for Mountain Brook is the return of Ogilvie–a four-time All Over the Mountain selection–to her earlier form after injury-plagued sophomore and junior seasons. “They used to call Collier ‘The Train’ because of her aggressive play and the way she would go to the basket,” Cornelius said. “She’s starting to get that back now, really going fullthrottle again.” A good example of Ogilvie’s resurgence came in the Lady Spartans’ 52-39 rout of defending Class 6A champion Hoover on Dec. 13, as she scored 18 points and bagged nine rebounds. Pinson followed with 17 points and five steals. “Mary Katherine has really been solid on the perimeter for us, and that helps open up our inside game,” Cornelius said. The coach said he also likes the toughness of junior forward Abby Garrett. As promising as the start has been, Mountain Brook has plenty of regular season challenges ahead. The Lady Spartans compete in Class 6A’s Area 11, which includes powerful Shades Valley and always dangerous Woodlawn and Vestavia Hills. They also face Wenonah in a non-area matchup at Birmingham-Southern College on Jan. 27. Whether Mountain Brook will be playing at the BJCC in late February and early March is still an open question. But one thing is certain: The Lady Spartans believe they can get there.

Thursday, January 9, 2014 • 31



Homewood Joy League Baseball will begin registering boys and girls for its 57th consecutive season of daytime baseball Feb. 1. Registration will continue each Saturday in February from 9 a.m.noon at Edgewood Elementary School, 901 College Ave. Boys and girls ages 4-12 are eligible to play. The cost per player is $30. League games are played on Saturday mornings. Games begin on March 29 and end on June 28. Each team practices one hour a week. Now serving its third generation of players, the Joy League began in 1958 when it was founded by the late John J. Smith Sr. Smith, an attorney, was serving as the league’s commissioner-emeritus when he died in 2008 at age 96. “We have always lived by the motto, ‘There are no bench warmers in the Joy League,’” Commissioner Perry Akins said. “Every player gets to play in every game. We want the players to have fun and learn the great game of baseball.” More than 200 children played in the league last year. For more information, call Akins at 823-4929 or Commissioner Ted Hagler at 985-9608.

spartans, From page 32

the game. Hoover’s Quamauri Hardy led all scorers with 26 points, and teammate Austin Cherry scored 17. The teams seemed to swap baskets in the first two quarters, as Hoover moved to a 30-29 halftime advantage. The Bucs opened the third quarter with six consecutive points before Mountain Brook went on a 20-9 run to move ahead 49-46 early in the final period. “It said a lot that we were able to rally after getting behind at Hoover’s place,” Keim said. “We could have given up, but we kept battling. I couldn’t be any prouder to be a part of this team.” Thanks largely to Ben Shearer’s efforts, the Spartans successfully fought off Hoover’s late rally. Keim injured the back of his head while going for a rebound and soon after-


From page 32

Mountain Brook’s defense held Bob Jones to a 32 percent shooting percentage from the field. Patrick Keim contributed 13

Stars from Outside….

Contrary to what some people in our state believe, there is college football outside the confines of the Southeastern Conference. And there are at least two local alumni who excelled at other levels. Former Vestavia Rebel quarterback Ryan Howard earned National Offensive Player of the Week honors as he led Central Arkansas to a 49-31 win over Sam Houston State in November. Howard tossed four touchdown passes in the first half as UCA rolled to a 42-10 halftime advantage. He completed 24 of 36 passes for 349 yards and no interceptions. Howard took over as quarterback after regular starter Wynrick Smothers JoyLeague57 ad square_Layout 1 12/3/13 3:35 PM Page 1

ward found himself in the unusual position of holding an icepack on his head while posing for the team picture with the tournament trophy.

“That’s never happened before,” Keim deadpanned. Hoover coach Charles Burkett said he thought the Spartans’ impressive record in big games was a key to their victory. “Experience was the difference tonight,” he said. “We just haven’t learned how to execute against a really good team when it comes down to the stretch run.” Mountain Brook’s victories in the Big Orange Classic ran its record to 16-3 overall. Hoover fell to 14-5. The Spartans earned their way to the tournament final with a 65-47 rout of Smiths Station. Shearer led Mountain Brook with 17 points–with 15 coming from the three-point line– and Keim followed with 12 points. Spencer Einhorn and Alex Peters scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. Patrick Keim may have had an icepack on his head after his team defeated Hoover, but Mountain Brook is going give a lot of opponents migraines before this season ends.

points, six rebounds and six assists. The Spain Park girls’ team split with two teams from Georgia over the weekend. On Friday, the eighth-ranked Lady Jags fell to North Forsyth 64-44. Claire Holt led Spain Park with 16 points, and Victoria Baldwin had 14

points. The following night, Spain Park slipped past Alpharetta 39-38. Baldwin scored 18 points as the alert Lady Jaguar defense forced 18 turnovers. Spain Park overcame a twopoint halftime deficit to take the win and raised its record to 15-6.

interceptions. His completion percentage was an impressive 61.5 percent. Former Spain Park star Zac Olinger had a standout season at the Ivy

League’s Columbia University in New York City. Olinger was the leading tackler in the conference and earned a spot on the All-Ivy League team.

TaWarren Grant chipped in 10 points in the Spartans’ 68-61 victory over the Bucs in the Big Orange Classic finals on Dec. 28. Journal file photo by Marvin Gentry

Ryan Howard


was injured in the seventh game of the season. For the year, Howard completed 144 of 234 passes for 1,848 yards. He threw 18 touchdowns with just four

Fun Baseball Since 1958


Founded by John J. Smith, Sr.

1911 – 2008

Homewood 2014 Games are played on Saturday mornings at Edgewood Elementary School, 901 College Avenue • Every player gets to play in every game • • There is a one-hour practice each week • FIRST GAME - March 29, 2014 – LAST GAME - June 28, 2014

REGISTRATION Each Saturday in February – 9am til Noon WHERE: Edgewood Elementary School LY




QUESTIONS? Call: Perry Akins 823-4929 or Ted Hagler 985-9608

Surprise Your Sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with a tin of our Scratch-Made Half Moon Cookies! For a limited time.


Thursday, january 9, 2014


Riding the Metro

Vestavia Hills’ Samuel Wiggins (12) shoots over Briarwood’s Thomas Collier and Will Roden. The Lions beat the Rebels 48-46 victory in the consolation round.

Patriots Whip Hillcrest, Win Home Tournament

By Lee Davis

Journal Sports Writer

The Homewood Patriots have built a tradition of hosting the annual Metro Tournament in their spacious gymnasium off Lakeshore Drive. And while the food in the hospitality room was top-flight and the locker rooms were spotless, the Patriots may be remembered as less than perfect hosts in 2014. That’s because Homewood–playing some of its best basketball of the year–claimed the first-place prize for itself. The Patriots upset Hillcrest of Tuscaloosa, the state’s thirdranked team in Class 6A, to claim the tournament title Saturday night. Homewood took a 43-37 victory despite being shut out in the second period. Malik Cook led the Patriot Malik Cook offense with 14 points to led the Patriot help host Homewood win offense with 14 the Metro Tournament. Journal file photo points, and Owen Ferguson added 12. Stan Mizerany bagged 10 points for the winning cause. Homewood’s record improved to 11-7. The Patriots earned their way to the finals with a 74-42 rout of Bessemer City on Friday. Mizerany paced Homewood with 16 points, and

Sean Eaton scored 11. The hosts broke open a close game by outscoring Bessemer 21-2 in the third period. Coach Chris Laatsch’s Briarwood Lions capped an impressive run in the tournament with a 76-64 win over Hewitt-Trussville in a consolation round. Justin Brown, aided by a trio of threepoint baskets, led the Lions with 30 points. Josh Laatsch, who also nailed three treys, contributed 25 points. Briarwood appeared to be on the way to a rout by rolling to a 25-10 first quarter lead, but Hewitt rallied to tie the game 36-36 at halftime. The Lions dominated the second half. Hillcrest opened the tournament with an easy 75-48 win over Briarwood, despite 15 points from the Lions’ Sawyer McKenzie. Thomas Collier added 10. The Lions rebounded the next night to take a 48-46 victory over Vestavia Hills in the consolation round. Brown topped the Briarwood scoring with 17 points, and McKenzie chipped in 13. Michael Morton was the leading Rebel scorer with 16 points. Vestavia rebounded from the loss to Briarwood to take a 64-53 win over Thompson to earn seventh place in the tournament. Michael Kithcart had 13 points for the Rebels, and Sam Wiggins scored 12. The win gave Vestavia a 7-13 mark for the season. Pelham defeated the Rebels in the tournament’s first round with a 46-42 victory. Morton was Vestavia’s top scorer with 12 points. In a key boys’ game outside the tournament, fifth-ranked Mountain Brook defeated ninth-

Hoover Lady Phantoms 98 Win Alabama Youth Soccer State Cup Championship See Page 30

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

Lee Davis

Lady Spartans Sprint Through Early Schedule


ranked Bob Jones 61-41. The Spartans outscored the Patriots 25-9 in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Ben Shearer scored 14 points and snagged five rebounds. Twelve of Shearer’s points came from three-point shots. See metro, page 31

Spartan Express Mountain Brook Trims Hoover To Claim Orange Classic

The Spartans earned their way to the tournament final with a 65-47 rout of Smiths Station. Senior Ben Shearer led Mountain Brook with 17 points in the win over the Panthers. Journal file photo by Marvin Gentry

By Lee Davis

Journal Sports writer

A lot of people considered the Mountain Brook boys’ basketball team’s stunning run to the state 6A championship last year to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Those people might be wrong. The Spartans’ fast start in the new season is offering new evidence that a trend might be developing–and Mountain Brook just might have a shot at two crowns in a row. Coach Bucky McMillan’s team had sprinted to a 13-4 record coming into the Big Orange Classic immediately after Christmas. The Spartans had handled Hoover, the tournament’s host, by a 74-54 count earlier in the month. Taking the top trophy in one of the holiday

season’s most prestigious classics seemed to be a more difficult task– particularly if they had to defeat Hoover again to do it. But once more, Mountain Brook was up for the challenge. The Spartans won the Classic with a hard-fought 68-61 victory over the Bucs on Dec. 28. Patrick Keim led the winners with 17 points and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. “Patrick’s a warrior,” McMillan said. “He’s the best leader I’ve ever been around in athletics. The team always knows that he always has their best interests at heart.” Jack Kline scored 13 for Mountain Brook, and TaWarren Grant chipped in 10. Ben Shearer added nine points, seven of which came in the final three minutes of See spartans, page 31

lmost everyone was expecting the Mountain Brook girls’ basketball team to be strong in 2013-14. Maybe they just didn’t realize how strong. The Lady Spartans were a serious force in 2012-13, going all the way to the Class 6A Northeast Regional finals before losing. With stars Collier Ogilvie and Mary Katherine Pinson returning for their senior seasons, Mountain Brook had high hopes for the following winter. So far, things have worked out pretty well. The Lady Spartans entered the week with a 15-3 record and had earned most of their victories by comfortable margins. The losses had come at the hands of elite powers from the northern part of Alabama, including Sparkman and, most recently, Bob Jones, but Mountain Brook coach Mark Cornelius thinks his team can crack the proverbial glass ceiling and make a run to the Final Four. “The problems we have are fixable,” Cornelius said. “Against Bob Jones, we shot only eight percent from the three-point line, had 18 turnovers but still only trailed by two with 30 seconds to go. If we play the full four quarters and avoid turnovers, we can get to that next level.” The Lady Spartans have been bolstered by the play of sophomore forwards Sara Carr and Nicole Strahl and junior guard Neely Francis. “We have maybe the best team chemistry that we’ve had here,” Cornelius said. “Collier and Mary Katherine have embraced the younger girls, and they have embraced our seniors. We may have a more resilient team because nobody thinks they have to do it alone. They have a genuine trust in each other and believe that we are going in the right direction.” One result is a balanced scoring attack. “We’ve had five different girls be the leading scorer in games so far this year,” Cornelius pointed out. Another unconventional statistic that Cornelius likes is the fact that nine Lady Spartans have taken charging fouls in 2013-14. “We’re showing a lot of aggres-

See Davis, page 31

January 9, 2014  
January 9, 2014