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





ursd ay, Jul y 25, 2013

V ol . 22 #14

Healthy Foods, Healthy Relationships

Boiling N’ Bragging benefits Children’s of Alabama

about town page 4

Ball of Roses has unique family connection

social page 14

By Keysha Drexel Journal editor


Volunteers from Mountain Brook Community Church tend to the Grace Village Community Garden in Fairfield on a recent Saturday. Clockwise from above: Ruby Busenitz and Bonnie Kate Busentiz help spruce up a building on the garden property; Lesley Reynolds, left, of Vestavia Hills and Lindsey Hicks of Crestline check out some of the vegetables; Ann Lee, left, of Crestline and Ki-Ki Griffin of Pratt City share a laugh. Journal photos by Keysha Drexel

Community Garden Offers Nourishment for Body, Spirit

ith the growing season in full bloom, a community garden in Fairfield is providing fresh, healthy food to those in need at the same time it is helping cultivate relationships between Fairfield and Over the Mountain residents. Along with the tomatoes and squash and cucumbers being harvested from the Grace Village Community Garden, members of Mountain Brook Community Church and neighborhood volunteers from Fairfield said they are also reaping the benefits of bringing people together to work toward a common goal.

The Grace Village Community Garden in Fairfield was constructed by Mountain Brook Community Church in 2011 through the efforts of the Young Professionals group with help from other groups, said Marcus Busenitz, assistant pastor. Earlier this year, the community garden was relocated a couple of blocks down Farrell Avenue to property owned by Grace House Ministries, a group home for girls ages 6-16 who have been victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment. The community garden was designed to provide physical and spiritual nourishment for the Fairfield community by raising nutritious food. See healthy, page 10

Awesome 80s gala a thriller for OLS

social page 18 Good Move

Vestavia native’s Campus Bellhops business goes nationwide

business page 24

Big League Effort

Hoover, Miracle League Are Building Baseball Field for Special Needs Players By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

During a baseball tournament three years ago, Shay Hammonds noticed Cullman had a baseball field for special needs children and believed Hoover should have one too.

“As large as Hoover is and as many schools as we have and as many special needs kids as we have, I wondered why we didn’t have one,” she said. That led Hammonds to advocate for a similar field in Hoover. See miracle, page 13

From left: Matt Bearden, Shay Hammonds and Kim Harwell attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Miracle Field in Hoover. Photo special to The Journal

New leaders at several OTM schools this year

schools page 26

teen shares cancer story p. 8 • Hoover to End school bus service P. 12 • funky monkey fun p. 15 • otmj Athletes of the year p. 32

2 • Thursday, July 25, 2013


Coffee Talk in Homewood

murphy’s law

There Goes the Sun

W Homewood police joined residents for coffee and conversation last week. From left: Josh Carnes, Sommer Carnes and Chief Jim Roberson. See story page 12.

CorrectionS: In our June 27 issue, the organizer of the S’mores and Pours event was misidentified. Allison Wise was the event organizer. In our story on Samford’s Brock School of Business, Vicki Briggs was misidentified in photo. The photo published was of Sara Helms.

On See more photos from the season’s best and brightest parties and check out what’s up next at Also look for updates on our Facebook page!

Coming Aug. 8

It’s time for our annual Back to School issue and we’ll have all the latest on what’s ahead for OTM schools this year.

in this issue About Town 4 People 8 News 12 Social 14


long-sleeved shirt and sigh. So what if ell, summer is almost my summer skin tone is so startlingly over and once again I did pale that moths gather around me like not get a tan. Not that I a porch light? My dermatologist will really tried. thank me. At least she’d better. I’m not When I was young and invincible, I doing this for nothing, sister. slathered on tanning oil with the rest of We still have several more weeks my misguided friends, and I have the of summer, and our southern exposure permanent forehead furrows to prove it. grants us even more, but it’s time to I have to be sun-sensible now, send the kids back to school, so in our another grownup concession. I hate minds, summer is over. Everyone’s that, because I dearly love being out out there now scrambling to get in in the sun. All those dreary days this one more swim meet, one more trip to past year when we were held inside by Gatlinburg, while they’re stocking up wind and rain made me frowny, like on scissors and paper and glue. a cloud was sitting on my psyche. As I wish I could stock up on sunshine, the days stretched into weeks, I felt Sue Murphy gather up happy little sun-filled rays like if I didn’t go outside soon, really like the squirrels gather sunflower seeds soon, I would wither and die, or worse, from my birdfeeder. Wouldn’t that be be sucked into watching a “Duck Come November, when Dynasty” marathon. As the days stretched wonderful? the leaves had been thrashed from When the sun finally broke through, I burst forth like an inmate into weeks, I felt like the trees and rain was pelting the driveway, I could open up a jar of on parole…for a while. Then, like if I didn’t go outside sunlight (June would be my favorite the good girl that I am (drat), I flavor), pour a glass of iced tea and retreated to the screened-in porch. soon, really soon, I read a chapter of some beach book It’s been brought to light (by the would wither and die, I’d saved for that proverbial rainy sun’s ad men) that you need 15 minutes of solar exposure each day in or worse, be sucked day. It should be possible. I have solar order to get your vitamin D up and into watching a “Duck lamps that fill my backyard with running, which in turn beefs up your calcium intake which then works to Dynasty” marathon. light they gather up during the day. What if I wrapped the lamps in alustrengthen your bones. Sunshine + minum foil just as the sun was going chocolate milk = fewer hip fractures. down and stuck them in a dark closet until they were Actually, it doesn’t have to be chocolate milk, but the needed? chocolate part makes me less frowny. I don’t know. I’ll have to work on the particulars, Our relationship with the sun is complicated. On one so for now I’m encouraging you to get out there while hand, we need its warming rays to sustain life on earth. you can and soak up some sunshine…just a little, of On the other hand, the sun has the power to peel your course…during off hours. You may not be able to store skin and melt your retinas. Go figure. it up physically (yet), but the memory of it can help you We all need sunshine, we do, but I have to content through those inevitable rainy, windswept days ahead. myself with mini-doses during off-peak hours. The Maybe if I used duct tape… ❖ rest of the day, I slather on SPF 500, put on a hat and a

Weddings 22 Business 24 Schools 26 Sports 32



July 25, 2013

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 Intern: Jessica Jones Vol. 22, No. 14

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at E-mail our advertising department at Find us on the Web at Copyright 2013 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.

over the Mountain Views

What’s your favorite thing about summer?

“Fresh things from the garden--especially tomatoes, squash and cucumber.” Lauren Veal Vestavia Hills

“I love waterskiing with my wife. I love to do adaptive waterskiing at Lakeshore Foundation.” Cliff Cook Homewood

“I love all the opportunities to stay outside longer. I like running, biking and enjoying time with family and friends.” Laura Womble Hoover

“My favorite thing about summer is the heat. When it’s hot, you can go swimming and have cookouts.” Reginald Atkins Vestavia Hills

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 3

About Town












Hayden Wald Mike Wald

919-5535 541-0940



4 • Thursday, July 25, 2013

About Town


Save the Date Hoover

Rotary District 6860 will host the fifth annual Boiling N’ Bragging event to benefit the Critical Care Transport program at Children’s of Alabama on Aug. 17 in Mountain Brook. From left: Phillip Williams, Kristen Woods, Mary Jean Sanspree, Theresa Gehrett, Dan Gehrett and Jason Peterson. Journal photo by Keysha Drexel

Fan-friendly Fundraiser

Boiling N’ Bragging Offers Seafood in Game Day Atmosphere By Keysha Drexel


Journal editor

s the beginning of a new football season shimmers on the horizon like a mirage in the desert, football fans will soon find a cool oasis to quench their gridiron thirst, all the while helping children across the state get access to lifesaving healthcare. Football fans and seafood lovers have the opportunity to attend the ultimate football season kickoff party at Boiling N’ Bragging on Aug. 17. The event will benefit the Critical Care Transport program at Children’s of Alabama. The fundraiser will be from 6-9 p.m. at Otey’s Tavern in Crestline Village behind the Piggly Wiggly. This is the fifth year the Rotary District 6860 is hosting the preseason football party and low country boil to help the efforts of the Critical Care Transport team, which is available 24 hours a day to provide special-

Boiling N' Bragging

When: Aug. 17, 6-9 p.m. Where: Otey’s Tavern Details: The seasfood and football event benefits the Critical Care Transport program at Children’s of Alabama. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. To register or for more info: or 638-9008. ized, state-of-the-art care to newborns, infants and children. The team is called to rural hospitals throughout the region to transport patients to Children’s of

BBG Cancels ‘Cocktails in The Gardens’ Series The Birmingham Botanical Gardens has canceled its Cocktails in The Gardens series after six years. The Gardens’ Junior Board has decided to retire what’s been described as the “most beautiful happy hour” in order to focus on a new program series that will launch next year, according to Blake Ellis, public relations coordinator.

Alabama, where they can get the care they need. Ambulances, a jet and helicopters staffed with a registered nurse and respiratory therapists are used to transport the patients. The team transports about 1,000 patients a year, said Jason Peterson, director of the Critical Care Transport program. And for Peterson, who has been with the team since its inception in 1983, each one of the thousands of young patients he’s transported reminds him of the importance of the Critical Care Transport team. “It’s an honor and a blessing to be able to take what they do at Children’s of Alabama to children in other parts of the state who might not, by no fault of their own, have access to that level of care,” he said. While insurance covers the cost of transporting sick children, Peterson said it usually doesn’t cover the full costs of specialized medical care. “That’s why events like Boiling N’ Bragging are so important,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for people in the community to not only come together to celebrate the start of football season but also make a great impact on our program and the children we serve.” Peterson grew up working in his father’s ambulance service business in Dora before becoming a registered nurse at Children’s of Alabama. “This job really married those two worlds, and I can’t imagine a more rewarding job,” he said. Mary Jean Sanspree, a member of the Boiling N’ Bragging committee and past district Rotarian governor, said the Rotarians got involved with helping the transport team in 2009. “The Inverness club wanted to do

something to support the hospital, so we started a district-wide effort to help out the Critical Care Transport team,” she said. “We held pancake breakfasts and all kinds of fundraisers working toward a $1 million goal.” Sanspree said when she used to work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she would hear the team’s helicopters fly overhead and would always stop and say a prayer for the occupants. “It doesn’t matter where you live or who you are, you know someone or you have been affected by the crucial work the transport team does every day,” she said. Sanspree said the Boiling N’ Braggin’ event gives people a chance to show their team spirit while they raise money that will help children across the state. “Everybody’s itching for football season to start. We had nine or 10 different team tents out there last year, and we hope to have even more this year,” she said. Those attending are encouraged to wear their team colors and gather with other fans in the team tents at the event. Boiling N’ Bragging includes an allyou-can-eat cookout and low country boil. There will be $1 beer specials as well as sports trivia, kids’ activities and a special appearance by WJOX’s Lance Taylor. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Children 10 or younger enter free. Otey’s Tavern is at 224 Country Club Park. Street parking will be available. To register online, visit Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Kelly Burgess at or by calling 638-9008. ❖

For six years, thousands of visitors have come out to the Hill Garden for live music and cocktails and have helped The Gardens successfully achieve its educational mission, including its flagship Discovery Field Trips, Ellis said. The seventh season of Cocktails in The Gardens was supposed to begin on Aug. 9. Andrew Krebbs, director of marketing and membership, said he thanked those who have supported Cocktails in The

Gardens over the years. “We look forward to new opportunities in 2014,” he said. Plans are still being made for the programs that will be launched after Cocktails in The Gardens, and Krebbs urged those who would like to get involved in the next phase to contact him at or at 414-3959. For more information, visit www. ❖

Summer Reading Finale July 25, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Hoover Library Theatre Roger Day will perform a musical concert that encourages kids to sing loud, jump high and dream big on July 25 as part of the Hoover Public Library’s Summer Reading Finale. Shows are Roger Day from 10:3011:30 a.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Library Theatre. The event is free. There will be limited seating at this event, so patrons are advised to arrive early. For more information, visit or call 444-7830. Hoover

Lou Rawls Review Concert July 25, 6-8 p.m. Aldridge Gardens The summer concert series at Aldridge Gardens heats up July 25 with the Lou Rawls Review concert with Bo Barry, Tommy Stewart and JJ Patterson. The event is from 6-8 p.m. at 3520 Lorna Road in Hoover. Tickets are $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers. For more information, visit or call 682-8019. Birmingham

“Cinderella” July 25- Aug. 3 Birmingham Children’s Theatre The BCT will present “Cinderella” in a show recommended for ages 2-6 July 25- Aug. 3. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. Show times are 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day. For more information, visit or call 458-8181.

Vestavia Hills

Marionette Puppet Show July 25, 11-11:45 a.m. Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest One of the oldest puppet touring companies in the country will make a stop at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest from 11-11:45 a.m. on July 25. The Stevens Marionette Puppets ensemble will perform “Rumplestiltskin” with its handmade wooden marionettes. The free show will also be performed at Vestavia Hills Elementary Liberty Park at 3 p.m. For more information, visit or call 978-0158. Homewood

Alabama Marketplace at Brookwood Village July 26, 4-7 p.m. Colonial Brookwood Village Alabama Marketplace is back this summer at Brookwood Village. The farmers market is held every Friday from 4-7 p.m. Vendors will be set up on the sidewalks along Village Lane. For more information, visit www. or call 8710406. Jefferson County

Habitat for Humanity Dedication July 27, 9 a.m. Clay/Chalkville Community A dedication ceremony for a Habitat for Humanity House recently built by Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood in partnership with Habitat for Humanity is set for 9 a.m. on July 27. The new house is located in the Clay/ Chalkville community and was built in memory of Ken Johnson of Homewood, a longtime church member who recently died. For more information, call 8704550 or 879-1737. Hoover

Glow in the Park 5K July 26, 8:20-11:20 p.m. Hoover Metropolitan Stadium The Glow in the Park 5K will be at the Hoover Met on July 26. Described as

land lovers

The Freshwater Land Trust Junior Board is getting ready to present the fifth annual Land Aid fundraiser on July 27. From left: Rebekah P. Parker, Justin Bearden, Brandon Glover and Caroline Yielding. Photo special to The Journal Birmingham

Land Aid July 26, 7 p.m. Avondale Brewing Company The Freshwater Land Trust Junior Board will present the fifth annual Land Aid fundraiser on July 27. The 7 p.m. event will be held at Avondale Brewing Company, 201 41st St. South. The event will feature live music with all proceeds benefiting the Freshwater Land Trust. For tickets or more information, email or call 417-2777.

About Town


Shuffle off to 42nd street

Red Mountain Theatre Company is presenting the Broadway classic “42nd Street” through Aug. 4 at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre. Photo special to The Journal the ultimate party fun run, the event will kick off at 8:20 p.m. and end at 11:20 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Foundation. Registration is $35-$50. After the run, there will be a dance party. The Hoover Met is at 100 Ben Chapman Drive. For more information, visit www.glowintheparkrun. com/locations/hoover.htm. Birmingham

“E.T.” at the Alabama Theatre July 27, 2 p.m. Alabama Theatre The Alabama Theatre will show “E.T.” at 2 p.m. on July 27. Head out to hear the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ and see this family classic. Tickets are $8 and are available at the door or through Ticketmaster. The Alabama Theatre is at 1817 Third Ave. North, Birmingham. For more information, visit www. or call 2522262. Mountain Brook

Otey’s Fest July 27, 5 p.m. Otey’s Tavern Rain or shine, head out to the 2013 Otey’s Fest benefiting Camp Bridges and tha National MS Society on July 27. The event starts at 5 p.m. at Otey’s Tavern in Crestline Village and will feature music by The Negotiators, Rollin’ in the Hay, Electric Monkey Wrench and The Hurlers. There will also be hotdogs, hamburgers, beer, a dunking booth and moonwalk and Otey’s cocktails. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Kids 12 and younger get in free. For tickets or more information, visit Birmingham

Community and Culture Day July 27, 2-6 p.m. McWane Science Center The McWane Science Center will celebrate the Birmingham area’s diverse cultures and communities with the July 27 Community and Culture Day. From 2-6 p.m., those attending can enjoy performances by local artists, dancers, storytellers, musicians and more. Admission is free for members. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for ages 2-12 and $9 for those older than 65. There are additional charges for the IMAX film. 200 19th St. North, Birmingham. For more information, visit or call 714-8300.


Ghost Hunters Event July 27-28 Sloss Furnaces Go ghost hunting July 27-28 at Sloss Furnaces with Adam Berry from the Syfy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters,” Joe Chin from “Ghost Hunters International” and the Ghost Hunt Weekends crew. The event starts at 5 p.m. on July 27 and wraps up at 2 a.m. on July 28. The event will include photo opportunities, autographs, meeting the stars and a live ghost hunt. The Adam Berry cost is $159. Sloss Furnaces is at 20 32nd St. North, Birmingham. For more information, visit or call 800-604-9101.

Birmingham Summer Timetable

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 5

(Present - Sept. 5, 2013)


RMTC Presents “42nd Street” July 26-Aug. 4 Red Mountain Theatre Company Red Mountain Theatre Company’s Professional Series will present the Broadway classic “42nd Street” through Aug. 4 at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theater at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. The tap-dancing musical, set in 1933, is a familyfriendly production appropriate for all ages. Show times are Thursday-Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $30-$40 and can be purchased at www. or by calling 324-2424. Birmingham

Bart’s Art Cart July 27, 11 a.m.-noon Birmingham Museum of Art Make your own pinwheels at the Bart’s Art Cart program at the Birmingham Museum of Art on July 27. The free drop-in art program for kids and families features a different theme from the museum’s galleries and an art activity each month. The program runs from 11 a.m.-noon. The museum is at 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. For more information, visit or call 254-2565. Hoover

Instrumentalists at the Plaza July 28, 2:30 p.m. Hoover Public Library Guitarist Allen Stone will perform at the Plaza at the Hoover Public Library at 2:30 p.m. on July 28. Stone plays in several local bands, including the Chad Fisher Group, FisherGreen and the Hunter Lawley Band. His musical styles



Sundays 11:35 A.M. Mondays 1:20 P.M. Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Fridays 10:00 A.M.

Sundays 4:40 P.M. Mondays 11:20 A.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M.

Birmingham Summer Timetable Birmingham Birmingham Birmingham Summer Timetable Birmingham Birmingham Summer Timetable Summer Timetable (Present - Sept. 5, 2013) Various departures to/from Panama (Present - Sept. 5, 2013)City Beach Summer Timetable Summer Timetable Birmingham throughout the summer Birmingham Birmingham (Present 2013) 4:40 P.M. Sundays 11:35 A.M. - Sept. 5, Sundays Birmingham Summer Timetable Mondays 1:20 P.M. Mondays 11:20 A.M. Summer Timetable Summer Timetable Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. TICKETS STARTING AT $129 Summer Timetable Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. P.M. Sundays 11:35A.M. A.M. Sundays Sundays 11:35 Sundays4:40 4:40 P.M. DEPARTING TO DESTIN


Sundays 9:35 A.M. Sundays 6:40 P.M. Fridays 6:30 P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays 7:25 P.M. Saturdays 8:35 P.M. - Sept. 5, 2013) (Present

(Present - Sept. 5, 2013)



(Present - Sept. 5, 2013)


Mondays 1:20 P.M. Mondays 11:20 A.M. RETURNING FROM DESTIN DEPARTING TO DESTIN Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. Mondays 1:20 P.M. Mondays 11:20 A.M. Sundays 11:35 A.M. Sundays 4:40 P.M. Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. Sundays 11:35 A.M. Sundays 4:40 P.M. DEPARTING TO GULF SHORES RETURNING FROM GULF SHORES Departing from Atlantic Aviationʼs East Ramp Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. Mondays 1:20 P.M. Mondays 11:20 A.M. DEPARTING TO GULF SHORES RETURNING FROM GULF SHORES Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Sundays 9:35 A.M. Sundays 6:40 P.M. Mondays 1:20 P.M. Mondays 11:20 A.M. DEPARTING TO GULF SHORES RETURNING RETURNING FROM GULF SHORES DEPARTING TO GULF SHORES FROM GULF SHORES Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. behind the Southern Museum of 6:30 Flight Fridays P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. SundaysTO11:35 A.M. Sundays 4:40 P.M. Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. DEPARTING GULF SHORES RETURNING FROM GULF SHORES RETURNING FROM DESTIN DEPARTING TO DESTIN Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20P.M. P.M. Sundays 11:35 A.M. Sundays 4:40 P.M. Sundays 11:35 A.M. Sundays 11:20 4:40 P.M. Sundays 11:35 A.M. Sundays 4:40 Saturdays 1:20 Fridays 7:25 P.M. RETURNING FROM DESTIN Mondays 1:20 P.M. Mondays Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20A.M. P.M. DEPARTING TO DESTIN Mondays 1:20 P.M. Mondays 11:20 A.M. RETURNING FROM DESTIN DEPARTING TO DESTIN Mondays1:20 1:20 P.M. Mondays 11:20 A.M. Mondays P.M. Mondays A.M. Sundays A.M. Sundays 11:20 4:40 P.M. Saturdays 8:35 Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. Sundays 9:35 A.M. Sundays 11:35 6:40 P.M. RETURNING FROM DESTIN Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. DEPARTING TO DESTIN Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. Tuesdays 6:50 P.M. Wednesdays 7:45 A.M. Mondays 1:20 P.M. Mondays 11:20 Sundays 9:35A.M. A.M. Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Sundays 6:40 P.M. RETURNING FROM DESTIN DEPARTING TO DESTIN Fridays 6:30 FEATURING Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Sundays 9:35P.M. A.M.

Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Sundays 6:40 P.M. Fridays10:00 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays Saturdays 1:20 Tuesdays 6:50A.M. P.M. Wednesdays 7:45P.M. A.M. Fridays9:35 6:30 P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays 7:25 P.M. Sundays A.M. Sundays 6:40 P.M. Fridays 6:30 P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Fridays 10:00 A.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. RETURNING FROM DESTIN DEPARTING TO DESTIN Sundays 9:35 A.M. Sundays 6:40 P.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays 7:25 P.M. Saturdays 8:35 P.M. Fridays 6:30 P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. to/fromRETURNING RETURNING FROM DESTIN DEPARTING TO DESTIN Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays 7:25 Various departures Panama City Beach RETURNING FROM DESTIN FROM DESTIN DEPARTING TOP.M. DESTIN DEPARTING TO DESTIN Fridays 6:30 P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Saturdays P.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays8:35 7:25 P.M. Saturdays 8:35 P.M. travelthe Sundays 9:35 A.M. throughout summer Sundays 6:40 RETURNING FROM DESTIN DEPARTING TOP.M. DESTIN Executive-style • No bag fees • Free Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays 7:25 Sundays 9:35 A.M. Saturdays 8:35 P.M. Sundays 6:40 P.M. Sundays 9:35A.M. A.M. Sundays 9:35 Sundays 6:40 6:40 P.M. Sundays P.M. Fridays 6:30 P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. parking • No TSA security hassles Saturdays 8:35 P.M. Fridays 6:30 P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Fridays6:30 6:30 P.M. Fridays P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Sundays 9:35 A.M. Sundays 6:40 P.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays 7:25 P.M. Various departures to/from Panama City Beach Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Fridays 7:25 P.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Saturdays 1:20P.M. P.M. Fridays7:25 7:25 P.M. Fridays P.M. Fridays 6:30 Wednesdays 2:00 P.M. Saturdays 8:35 P.M. throughout the summer Saturdays 8:35 P.M. Various departures to/from Panama City Beach Saturdays 8:35P.M. P.M. to/from Panama Saturdays 8:35 P.M. Saturdays 1:20 P.M. Various City Beach Fridays departures 7:25 Various departures to/from Panama City Beach throughout the summer Saturdays 8:35 P.M. throughout the Various departures to/from Panama City Beach throughout the summer Book tickets online at throughout the summer Various departures to/from Panama City Beach (Present - Sept. 5, 2013)City Departing from Atlantic Aviationʼs East Ramp Various departures to/from Panama Beach Variousdepartures departures to/from PanamaCity CityBeach Beach Various to/from throughout the Panama summer behind the Southern Museum of Flight (Present Sept. 5, 2013) throughout the summer Various departures to/from Panama throughout thesummer summer City Beach throughout the throughout the summer 1-800-329-0485


Birmingham Summer Timetable TICKETS STARTING AT $129 Summer Timetable TICKETS STARTING AT $129 TICKETS STARTING AT$129 $129 TICKETS STARTING AT TICKETS STARTING AT $129 Departing from Atlantic Aviationʼs East Ramp DEPARTING TO GULF SHORES RETURNING FROM GULF SHORES TICKETS STARTING AT $129 behind theSTARTING Southern Museum ofAT Flight$129 TICKETS TICKETS STARTING AT $129 FEATURING DEPARTING TO GULF SHORES FROM GULF SHORES Departing from Atlantic Aviationʼs East Ramp Departing from Atlantic RETURNING Aviationʼs Sundays 11:35 A.M. SundaysEast 4:40Ramp P.M. Departing from Atlantic Aviationʼs East Ramp TICKETS STARTING AT $129 Mondays Mondays A.M. behind the Southern Museum of11:20 Flight behind1:20 theP.M. Southern Museum of Flight Southern Airways Express flights are public charters, sold under 14 CFR Part 380, and operated by Southern Airways Charter as the direct air carrier. DOT. PC-13-095


Sale through July

2817 2nd Ave. So. • 323-2817 Mon. - Fri. 10:00 - 4:00 • Sat. 10:00 - 2:00

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6 • Thursday, July 25, 2013

About Town

Oh Those Summer Nights

Members of the Junior Board of Hands On Birmingham include, from left: Terra Garmon, Staci Wilson, Alex Lawley and Aldrich Callins. Photo special to The Journal


Southern Summer Night Aug. 2, 6-11 p.m. Regions Field The Junior Board of Hands On Birmingham will host its annual Southern Summer Night fundraiser on Aug. 2 from 6-11 p.m. at Regions Field. The event will include food, drinks, music and a chance to win the Junior Board’s “Cabinet of Cheer.” To buy tickets, visit For more information, email Karla Fields at include jazz, rock, funk, country and reggae. The event is free. The library is at 200 Municipal Drive. For more information, visit or call 444-7821. Birmingham

Slow Art Sundays: The Wounded Bunkie July 28, 2-3 p.m. Birmingham Museum of Art Unlock the secrets of works in the Birmingham Museum of Art’s collection by cultivating the art of looking slowly with Slow Art Sundays. At the July 28 event, Marlene Wallace, master docent, will lead a discussion on Frederic Remington’s “The Wounded Bunkie.” The free event is from 2-3 p.m. For more information, visit or call 254-2565. Homewood

Teen Movie Madness July 30, 3 p.m. Homewood Public Library As the Homewood Public Library’s summer reading program draws to a close, head over to the library’s large auditorium at 3 p.m. on July 30 to see a new release movie from director Tim Burton. The movie is rated PG. This is a free event, but reservations are required to ensure there’s plenty of pizza for everyone. For more information, contact Leslie West at or 332-6620. Mountain Brook

Brown Bag Lunch Program: Alabama’s National Forests July 31, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Emmet O’Neal Library As part of its Brown Bag Lunch Program, the Emmet O’Neal Library will show a film on Alabama’s national forests from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on July 31. The film was produced by the Alabama Museum of Natural History and Alabama Public Television. Doors open at noon. Participants should bring a sack lunch. Drinks and desserts will be provided. For more information, contact Katie at 445-1118 or kmoellering@ or visit


Workforce Investment Act Program Aug. 1, 11 a.m. Hoover Public Library The Hoover Public Library will present a program on the Workforce Investment Act at 11 a.m. on Aug. 1. The program will include information on funding for education and career training. The program is free but reservations are required. To make reservations, call 444-7816. For more information, visit North Shelby

Cooking Class for Kids with Diabetes Aug. 1, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen St. Vincent’s One Nineteen is holding a cooking class for children with diabetes to help them learn to make healthy eating decisions. Donna Sibley, a registered dietitian, will prepare a diabetic-friendly meal and snack-to-go with class participants. Tips for healthy eating will be discussed during the class. The cost is $25 for one parent and one child and $5 extra for additional family members. For reservations, call 408-6550. Homewood

Taste of Birmingham Aug. 1, 6 p.m. The Club The third annual Taste of Birmingham benefiting the Birmingham Boys Choir will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 1 at The Club in Homewood. The event will feature food from Birmingham’s top restaurants and drinks accompanied by jazz and award-winning entertainment provided by the choir. The evening will be capped off by a fireworks show. Tickets are $75 in advance or $80 at the door. To buy tickets, email susansimon@ or call 7679219. For more information, visit www. Homewood

Birds of a Feather Art Exhibit Aug. 1, 5-8 p.m. Four Seasons Gallery Let your mind fly away this summer

during the Birds of a Feather art exhibit at Four Seasons Art Gallery in Homewood on Aug. 1. Many of the Birmingham area’s finest artists will showcase their paintings of birds, eggs and nests. The Homewood Piggly Wiggly will host a wine tasting event, and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. The free event is Sally Powell from 5-8 p.m. Participating artists include Sally Powell, Melanie Blackerby, Lorie Lane and more. For more information, visit Birmingham

Rally for Reading Aug. 1, 6-9 p.m. B&A Warehouse Get off the sidelines and join the Junior Board of the Literacy Council as its kicks off the college football season with the third annual Rally for Reading. The event will be from 6-9 p.m. on Aug. 1 at B&A Warehouse, 1531 First Ave. South, Birmingham. Proceeds support the Literacy Council’s efforts to change lives through literacy programs. The event will include live music, food, drinks and live and silent auctions. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit the Give/Events section at or call 326-1925. Birmingham

Fun Days at the Zoo Aug. 2-4 Birmingham Zoo Visit the Birmingham Zoo Aug. 2-4 for $5 Fun Days. On these days, admission is $5. The event is sponsored by Wells Fargo. Get up close with the elephants, experience the Predator Zone and be surrounded by butterflies in Granny’s Butterfly Garden. Visitors can also see animal demonstrations and feedings, chat with zookeepers and more. For more information, visit www. or call 879-0409.


Fascinating World of Moths program at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Aug. 3. The classroom portion of the class will be from 5-7 p.m. After an hour dinner break and after dark, the class will go into The Gardens to get a closer look at moths. The class is $40 for members and $45 for non-members. For more information, visit www. or call 414-3950. North Shelby

Lake Stomp Aug. 3, 10 a.m. Oak Mountain State Park Get your feet wet and see what you can find at the lake at Oak Mountain State Park. The Lake Stomp event will begin at 10 a.m. on Aug. 3. Meet at the park office on Terrace Drive. Be prepared to get wet. The event is free after park admission, which ranges from $1-$3. The park is at 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham. For more information, call 6202520.


Born to Love Fashion Show Aug. 3, 6 p.m. a.k.a Girl Stuff Check out the hottest styles while raising money for the Girls Big Oak Ranch at the Born to Love Fashion Show in Homewood on Aug. 3. The event is free and donations will be accepted for the Girls Big Oak Ranch. Girls and house moms will model the latest trends at a.k.a. Girl Stuff, located at 2906 18th Street South in downtown Homewood. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the fashion show starts at 7 p.m. Those attending can register to win door prizes.


Oak Hill Cemetery Guided Tour Aug. 3, 10 a.m.-noon Oak Hill Cemetery Teri Hicks will lead a tour of Oak Hill Cemetery starting at 10 a.m. on Aug. 3. The guided tour will focus on past disasters in Birmingham. The event is part of a regular series of tours held at Oak Hill Cemetery on the first Saturday of each month. All tours are familyfriendly and accessible with strollers or wheelchairs. The tour will begin from the front of the Pioneer Memorial Building in the center of the cemetery. There is a suggested donation of $5. Oak Hill Cemetery is at 1120 North 19th St. For more information, visit www.

Junior Board Chair John Ellis III, left, and his wife, Mindy Ellis get ready for the second annual Fenders and Fireflies fundraiser for Easter Seals of Birmingham on Aug. 8. Photo special to The Journal


Fenders and Fireflies Aug. 8, 6-10 p.m. Old Car Heaven Easter Seals of Birmingham will host the second annual Fenders and Fireflies fundraiser on Aug. 8. The event will be from 6-10 p.m. at Old Car Heaven, 115 South 35th St. The event will feature catering by Cocina Superior and music

roll the dice


Bards & Brews Poetry Performance Aug. 2, 6:30-9 p.m. Avondale Regional Library The Aug. 2 edition of the Birmingham Public Library’s Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series will be at the Avondale Regional Library. Festivities start at 6:30 p.m. with live music, and poetry performances begin at 7 p.m. Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins will be the emcee. In the open mic contest, the first-place winner will get $200, and the second-place winner will receive $100. Craft beer will be available for sampling. Light refreshments will be served. Attendees must be 18 to be admitted and 21 to drink. Admission is free. For more information, visit www. or call 226-3670. Birmingham

The Fascinating World of Moths Aug. 3, 5-10 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens Butterflies might get more attention, but the number of moth species outnumbers that of butterflies 15 to 1. Hear more intriguing facts at the

AIDS Alabama will once again bring the glamour of the Roaring Twenties to Birmingham for the Red Hot for the Cause Casino Night on Aug. 10. From left: Dan Cumbie, Amanda Shipp, Jenny Roberts and John Basco. Photo special to The Journal


Red Hot for the Cause Casino Night Aug. 10, 7-11 p.m. WorkPlay AIDS Alabama will recreate the glamour of the Roaring Twenties for its premiere Casino Night event on Aug. 10 at WorkPlay. The evening will include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and jazz along with a silent auction and an exclusive poker tournament. Guests can try their luck at blackjack, craps, roulette and Texas Hold’em. Guests are invited to attend wearing either Roaring Twenties glitz and glamour styles or cocktail attire. General admission tickets are $50 and include hors d’oeuvres, two beer or wine tickets and $1,000 in play money to be used in the casino area. VIP tickets are $75 and include hors d’oeuvres, four beer or wine tickets, VIP access at the door and cash bars, an exclusive prize drawing and $1,500 in play money to be used in the casino area. Workplay is at 500 23rd St. South. For more information, visit or call 918-8182.

let’s dance

by Act of Congress. Tickets, $35 each or $60 per couple, include dinner, drinks and specialty cocktails. For more information, visit www.eastersealsbham. org or call 314-2187. Birmingham

Children’s Dance Foundation will host the annual Community Fest with activities for the whole family on Aug. 11. Photo special to The Journal


CDF Community Fest Aug. 11, 2-7 p.m. Children’s Dance Foundation Bust out your best dance moves for the Children’s Dance Foundation’s Community Fest from 2-7 p.m. on Aug. 11 in Homewood. The free event will feature creative activities and performances, including interactive drum circles, a kids’ craft zone, outdoor moonwalk, food, drinks and a silent auction. Children’s Dance Foundation is at 1715 27th Court South, Homewood. For more information, visit www. or call 870-0073.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 7

About Town


Beth Hallel Membership Classes Aug. 6, 13 and 20, 7 p.m. Solomon’s Hall The Beth Hallel membership classes will be at 7 p.m. on Aug. 6, 13 and 20. Childcare will be provided. The classes will be held in Solomon’s Hall at 2230 Sumpter St., Birmingham. For more information or to sign up for the event, email or call 822-2510.

Round Auditorium. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder. The Myasthenia Gravis Society will receive 20 percent of the proceeds from book sales to use for patient support and education. Books will be available for purchase. The library is at 1721 Oxmoor Road. For more information, visit or call 332-6600.

17 at the Alys Stephens Center. The fundraiser will include a cocktail hour starting at 6 p.m., live entertainment and a seated dinner. BBBS has partnered with ArtPlay, the arts education and outreach program of the Alys Stephens Center, to co-direct an onstage

production showcasing BBBS’s best talent. For more information, contact Rebecca Hunter at rhunter@bbbsbhm. org or 939-5590.❖

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OLS Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Aug. 10, 5 p.m. Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church The 21st anniversary of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church will be celebrated on Aug. 10. An appreciation dinner for committed adorers and their families will follow the 5 p.m. Mass at the church, 1728 Oxmoor Road in Homewood. For more information, visit or call 8718121. Homewood

Book Talk and Book Signing Aug. 15, 6 p.m. Homewood Public Library Author Avery Yearby will discuss his memoir about his life with myasthenia gravis at the Homewood Public Library on Aug. 15. The book talk and book signing will be held at 6 p.m. in the

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full Brick home in the heart of hoover! incredible new screened in porch!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham CEO Sue Johnson, right, and Jaeden Henderson are getting ready for the second annual A Night of Big Stars on Aug. 17.

For more information go to

James Harwell

Photo special to The Journal

2011 Sales Associate of the Year


A Night of Big Stars Aug. 17, 6 p.m. Alys Stephens Center Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham will present the second annual A Night of Big Stars on Aug.

Over the Mountain Office 1220 Alford Avenue • 205.281.4731




Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax A concussion is an injury caused by a blow to the Date: July 2013

head in which the brain moves rapidly and may collide withThis theisinside ofproof the skull. your ad from the over the mountain Journal for the

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8 • Thursday, July 25, 2013


Sharing Her Story

Briarwood Flea Market Friday, July 26, Noon to 6pm Saturday, July 27, 8am to 2pm Indoor/Outdoor Sale

80+ Vendors, including furniture, household items, tools, toys, baby gear, sports equipment, clothing, jewelry, art, antiques and more! Cash only, please.


Hoover Teenager Who Battled Cancer Now Encouraging Others By Jessica Jones


Journal intern

Support during Naomi’s illness also came from her mother’s friends. Christina calls them her “prayer warriors.” “We began to pray daily, you know, calling and texting, making sure that everybody remembered. I knew that we had a really hard road ahead of us,” Christina said. That long road included weekly chemotherapy treatments that had to be injected in Naomi’s spine. She had to be sedated for the treatments at the

lready a champion of her yearlong struggle with cancer, 14-year-old Naomi Proceeds benefit: Maranathan Academy in Kingston Neighborhood Pitts of Hoover has been named Briarwood Church Acton Rd and I-459 All Welcome!!! the 2013 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Alabama champion. As an ambassador for fundraising and awareness, the rising high school To: Julie Elmer freshman is sharing her story in an From: Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., effort to show the importance of 205-824-1246, fax medical research. Date: July 2013 Naomi’s story started when she began to notice physical changes This is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journal for the HaleigH stidHam Blackwell, dmd such as fatigue and sharp pains in July 25, 2013 issue. Please contact your sales representative as soon as possible to approve your ad or make changes. You may fax approval or changes to 824-1246. her side. “I realized something was wrong Please make sure all information is correct, when I just wasn’t feeling the same Ask about our lifetime teeth whitening including address and phone number! way I was,” Naomi said. “I was 12 years old and I wasn’t having the energy that I used to. I had a sharp please initial and fax back within 24 hours. If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, pain in my side.” your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Naomi’s mother, Christina Pitts, noticed that her daughter wasn’t feelThank you for your prompt attention. ing like her normal self when she would come home exhausted from volleyball practice. “She didn’t have the energy that she used to. She kept saying she Call for an appointment was tired all the time. She was truly wiped out,” Christina said. The pain in Naomi’s spleen Naomi Pitts of Hoover has been named 3145 Green Valley Road • Cahaba Heights • the 2013 Children’s Miracle Network would be, after many visits to the Hospitals’ Alabama Champion. doctor’s office, diagnosed as anaPhoto special to The Journal plastic large cell lymphoma. However, that wasn’t the first hospital and had to take about 40 pills diagnosis Naomi received. a day at home. At first, doctors thought Naomi With such an intense regimen might have a bacterial infection, but came some not-so-good days, but the teenager said she felt the diagknowing that the payoff would be nosis was incorrect. She asked her well worth it, Naomi persevered. mother to take her back to the doctor. “There were definitely days when “Finally she said, ‘Mom, I want to I did not want to get up and I did not go and talk to the doctor by myself,’” want to go,” she said. “I knew that Christina said. ultimately if I wanted to get better, I After a full blood panel test, To: Ashley was going to have to do it and push the doctors told Naomi she had From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 through it even if I didn’t want to and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has a FAX: 205-824-1246 no matter how bad it made me feel.” survival rate of only 35 percent. Date: July 2013 Christina said the staff at But about a week after that diagof Alabama showed genuChildren’s nosis, the doctors is your PrOOF fromseeing the OvEr THE MOuNTAiN JOurNAl for therealized that Naomi ine care and concern for her daughter Dr.This William R. AD Harrison is now patients at the didn’t have Hodgkin’s lymphoma. July 25, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes toBecause 824-1246. ²‘‘†É‘‘Y(²€Š8²Ë 8²b‘noOb€ ²bµ½‡€b(8²†¢ the hospital had never treated as Naomi battled cancer and that she’ll always be grateful for the way someone Naomi’s age for large cell they treated Naomi. Please make surespecializes all information is correct, Dr. Harrison in general anaplastic lymphoma, the doctors “I often say that going to cardiology, arrhythmia and advanced didn’t expect that she had the nonincluding address and phone number! is like having your family Children’s Hodgkin’s form of cancer, Christina diagnostic procedures. He is accepting take care of you, because the nurses said. new patients. and doctors are so comforting with Please initial and fax back within 24 hours. The new diagnosis took Naomi’s their words, with the way they treated if we have notFor heard from you by 5 call pm of the Friday before the press date, an appointment, 205.510.5000. survival rate from 35 to 75 percent. her,” Christina said. “I knew that we your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Christina said hearing that her were in the right place.” child had cancer sent her into a state WILLIAM R. HARRISON, MD, FACC,prompt CARDIOLOGIST attention. Thank you for your Some nights, Naomi wasn’t able to of denial where she kept telling hersleep because of the pain, her mother self that the doctors were wrong again said.  and that Naomi was only suffering “It was difficult watching my child from a virus or infection. in pain, especially when her spleen But once she accepted the diagnowas swollen and she was in constant sis, Christina said, she relied on her pain,” Christina said. faith. Throughout her treatment and When Christina learned that her recovery, Naomi’s family, including daughter had cancer, she said she her two older brothers, remained supwent out into the hall and asked God, Conveniently located in the Shops on Montevallo portive and “treated I was not why her daughter had cancer, but still the same person,” she said. how He would deliver her from it. 4500 Montevallo Road, Suite E101 205.510.5000 Naomi said she would sometimes Christina said God revealed that he Birmingham, AL 35210 receive words of encouragement from would heal Naomi completely, but it people she didn’t even know.  would be a process that she had to go “People who I didn’t really talk through.

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to, they would come up to me and say, ‘Hi, Naomi. My Bible group was praying for you,’” she said. “People I didn’t even know, that I didn’t even talk to, were coming up to me and telling me they were praying for me.” Although she’s been in remission for almost a year and her health has greatly improved, Naomi said she still doesn’t quite feel back to her old self again.  “It’s taken me a while,” she said. “I still am trying to get back in shape like I used to be, because having cancer, it’s kind of like taking a year away from your normal life and doing the things that you used to be doing. I wasn’t outside. I didn’t go to school. I wasn’t able to see my friends if they didn’t come and visit so I wouldn’t get sick. It’s been kind of hard getting back to normal, but I’m still getting there.”  Naomi said her ordeal has taught her to appreciate the little things in life. “I feel like it’s made me realize more the things I need to be grateful for,” she said. “Because before you say, ‘I want that video game, that shirt, those shoes,’ you need to realize that you should be grateful for being able to go out with your friends.”  The knowledge that others are still struggling with cancer makes her appreciate her health, Naomi said. “I still have to go to the hospital for just my regular checkups,” she said. “And I see children there who are still sick and still going through things, and I know that I should be happy right now and pray for the others to get better.” Naomi said she worried that her cancer might return but is continuing to put her faith in God. “Knowing that you’re not invincible really changed my perspective on things, and my faith in God has been strengthened greatly knowing that He can heal me,” she said. For her courage and strength during her battle with cancer, Naomi has been named the 2013 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Alabama champion. As a champion, Naomi will travel to Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C., as well as give speeches on the need for research funding. Naomi remembers being proud of herself when she found out she’d been chosen as this year’s champion. “It’s really neat to be on the inside of this and be able to help and spread the word about what’s going on,” she said. Naomi said she hopes her position gives her the opportunity to encourage donations and provide an uplifting message for those who are struggling with cancer. She recently made the Spain Park High School volleyball team and will begin her freshman year in August. She said she knows that she can overcome any obstacle in her path. “Once you’ve overcome cancer, you feel like you can pretty much do anything,” Naomi said. ❖

Boy Scouts in Homewood recently collected and donated more than 500 books to Cornerstone Elementary School. Parker Allen, a member of Boy Scout Troop 97, based at Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood, enlisted the help of his fellow scouts and collected and delivered 533 books to the school. The book donation was part of Allen’s Life Leadership project for the Boy Scouts. When he delivered the books to the school, Allen talked to the students and answered their questions about the Boy Scouts. The school’s librarian and media specialist said the donated books will allow more students at the school to enjoy good books. “This is a huge deal for us,” Jennice Richardson said. “Our entire collection has 7,500 books. We have many gaps in our library and few resources to fill these gaps. The books Parker brought today are exactly what we need for our elementary students to practice and build up their reading skills.” John Hornsby, a longtime Cornerstone board member and father of an Eagle Scout, traveled across town to show his gratitude to Allen for the donation. “Parker is a living example of what leadership and Scouting are about-service to others,” Hornsby said.

Sisson Achieves Eagle Rank in Troop 63 John Edward Sisson earned the Eagle Scout rank from the Vulcan District Eagle Board on March 14. A Court of Honor ceremony was also held in April to acknowledge him. Sisson is a member of Boy Scout Troop 63 at Canterbury UMC, led by Harold Wells Jr. Sisson has earned 22 merit badges with John Edward Sisson Troop 63. He

attended the Sewanee Scout Leadership School and served as a patrol leader, quartermaster and senior patrol leader. The Eagle service project Sisson completed to earn the ranking consisted

of building a garden shed for the East Lake United Methodist Church community garden, which serves the surrounding neighborhood. Sisson is a sophomore at Mountain Brook High School, where he plays for the baseball team and runs cross country track. He is a member of the Key Club service organization, the Sword and Shield newspaper staff and the Canterbury United Methodist Church youth group, where he serves on the LEAD team. His parents are Leigh Ann and Tommy Sisson. His grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. James L. Caldwell, the late Mr. Joe Alexander, Mrs. Laura B. Sisson, the late Dr. Jerry E. Sisson and Mrs. Martha Sisson.

Homewood Grad Honored for Presentation at Vandy Ellen Dahl, a graduate of Homewood High School and a junior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., was recently honored for a presentation she gave at the Southeast Regional Society of Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University. Typically, the SDB honors only the best talk given by a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow at the meeting. However, Dahl did so well that she received the Outstanding Presentation Award. Her presentation focused on the regulatory interactions of proteins in seed development. A biochemistry and molecular biology major, Dahl is a student volunteer for Baptist Hospital-Memphis and is a member of the Rhodes chapter of Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society and Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society. She plans to pursue a doctorate degree or medical doctorate degree after college.

Hoover Resident Awarded Medical Scholarship Hoover resident Anna Edmiston is one of only 85 doctoral students across the country to be selected for a $15,000 scholarship award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Edmiston was sponsored by Chapter P of Birmingham. She is an M.D. candidate at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. She graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University in 2010 and received the Auburn University Academic Scholarship and the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics Scholarship.

She is the daughter of Bruce and Crystal Edmiston. The P.E.O. Scholar Awards offer merit-based awards for American and Canadian women pursuing doctoral level degrees at accredited colleges or universities. The P.E.O. Sisterhood was founded in 1869 at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The philanthropic educational organization focuses on bringing more opportunities for higher education to women. With about 6,000 local chapters nationwide and in Canada, the Sisterhood has nearly 25 million active members.

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Parker Allen, far left, and his younger brother, Henry, deliver books they collected with other members of Boy Scout Troop 97 for Cornerstone Elementary School. Photo special to The Journal

Homewood Scouts Donate Books to School

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 9



Mountain Brook Resident Honored at Clemson A Mountain Brook resident was recently honored by Clemson University. Kelly DeGuenther was recognized at the Honors and Awards Ceremony of the Clemson University College of Health, Education and Human Development. A senior majoring in parks, recreation and tourism management, DeGuenther received the Certificate of Recognition for Excellence and the Dr. Judi Voelki Award. The April ceremony also included honors for faculty and staff members in the college. ❖

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10 • Thursday, July 25, 2013

cover story


Healthy, From page one

It also serves to feed the hungry as the surplus food produced is donated to Fairfield and Birmingham communities, Busenitz said. “I think it’s one of those things that gives us a good picture of God’s love. It allows us to experience God’s love and share that with other people and to enjoy God’s creation by working in the garden,” he said. The community garden is divided into a sharing garden where volunteers and local residents work together to grow fruits and vegetables. The food from the sharing garden goes to Grace House or anyone who helps work there, he said. “If you help, you harvest. That’s our motto,” Busenitz said. In the center of the property are 30 small family gardens that anyone can reserve for six months at a time for $20. The $20 fee includes the seeds, plants and water for the plot, Busenitz said. “We have a waiting list for those plots,” he said. Every Saturday during the summer, volunteers from Mountain Brook Community Church, Cahaba Park Church, and others join volunteers from Repairers of the Breach Church in Fairfield and other Birmingham metro neighborhoods to tend the sharing garden. “The garden is set up not only to feed people but to unite people,” Busenitz said. “The project has led to many great partnerships and relationships in the area. We hope it will be a place God uses to build gospel connections in the community.” The community garden has led to partnerships between the Mountain Brook church and Grace House Ministries, the Hope Health Center and Restoration Academy, Busenitz said. “There are a couple of key ingredients that have contributed to the success of the garden,” he said. “We have really dedicated people working out here and organizations and individuals within the community who are committed to the project.”

Members of Mountain Brook Community Church gather with neighborhood volunteers for a work day at the Grace Village Community Garden in Fairfield. From left: Kight Jones, Ann Lee, Ki-Ki Griffin, Towanna Pitts, Marcus Busenitz, Sharon Jones, Barbara Sullivan, Wade Cornelius, Charlotte Gray and Will Koepsel. Journal photo by Keysha Drexel

Last year, Hope Health Center used the community garden for nutrition and wellness classes on Saturday mornings, Busenitz said. Hope Health Center is a faithbased nonprofit community medical center in Fairfield that aims to provide health care to the underserved. “There are so many great stories out of our partnership with the Hope Health Center and other organizations that show how the garden is making a positive difference in people’s lives,” Busenitz said. “One lady was in bad health and said she couldn’t walk 10 feet without getting out of breath before she starting helping in the garden. Now, she’s feeling better and walking all over the place. It has been a healing experience on so many levels.” Food from the sharing garden also goes to Restoration Academy, a Christian school in Fairfield founded in 1988 and aimed at making private Christian education affordable to those in the community. Busenitz said there are several ways to get involved in the Grace Village Community Garden. During the summer months, work days are held on Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. At least six to 12 volunteers are needed

on each day. “It’s a great opportunity for the whole family and is good for community groups and other small groups, too,” he said. Donations of tools or money to purchase gardening tools and supplies are always welcome, Busenitz said. Volunteers gathered to work in the garden on a recent Saturday said they find it rewarding to get their hands dirty for a good cause. Will Koepsel of Crestline said he found out about the community garden shortly after joining Mountain Brook Community Church about five months ago. “I like helping people and doing things outside, so this was a natural fit,” he said. But soon after he started working in the community garden, Koepsel said he realized that he and the other volunteers were not only providing fresh food to those in need through their service. “It’s important for people from different communities to come together to bridge the gaps between us, and I think there’s probably no better way to do that than to plant a garden and spread the Gospel,” he said. For Lindsey Hicks of Crestline, volunteering through the church in the community garden is also a way to help beautify the Fairfield neighborhood. “I have ties to this community. My mom is from this area, and I think it’s important to keep it nice,” she said. Hicks said she hopes community gardens sprout up in other neighborhoods across the Birmingham metro area. “These gardens keep the neighborhoods beautiful, and that can spread to other areas,” she said. “If you get involved with watching something grow and taking care of it, you value it more. The bonus is that at the end of the season, you have all this wonderful, healthy food.” That sense of ownership and community pride is also something Busenitz said organizers hope the community garden will help to flourish and thrive. “The idea is to give people a chance to have their own gardens and raise their own food. It gives them ownership over those things, and that’s important,” he said.

Ann Lee of Crestline, another Mountain Brook Community Church volunteer, said working in the community garden has been a blessing to her on many levels. “Our church wanted to have a real impact on the community and we

‘I think it’s one of those things that gives us a good picture of God’s love. It allows us to experience God’s love and share that with other people and to enjoy God’s creation by working in the garden.’ Marcus Busenitz, Mountain Brook Community Church

wanted to meet new people, and that’s exactly what we’re able to do through this project. We’re out here working in God’s creation, growing healthy food and making new friends,” she said. Two of the new friends Lee has met through her work at the community garden are Ki-Ki Griffin and her godmother, Charlotte Gray, both of Pratt City. Griffin said volunteering in the garden is a way she can give back to the community and build relationships with people from different areas. “It’s good to share this together, to be out here working together to help people who need help, and at the same time, you’re bringing different people together and building a larger community of people helping each other,” she said. Gray, who has kept a garden at her home for years, said she enjoys sharing her green thumb skills and know-

ing that she’s helping others. “So many people are hungry in this world and can’t afford good food,” she said. “I’m out here because I love gardening and I’m out here because that’s what God said we should do--help each other.” Lesley Reynolds, who lives in Vestavia Hills and is a member of Mountain Brook Community Church, said she started volunteering in the community garden because she wanted to use her professional background to help others. “I’m a dietician and wanted to use my background to get people, especially kids, interested in gardening. We started out by doing a planting activity with the girls from Grace House where we harvested food and then did a cooking activity. Now, the girls are out here working in the garden all the time, and they are learning so much about the importance of healthy, fresh food,” she said. Not only does the community garden teach the girls at Grace House about nutrition and agriculture, but it also teaches them about their own potential, said Ericka Frye, the Grace House housemother. “In the garden, they can see the process of something going from a small, tiny seed to what it is meant to be,” she said. “It changed their outlook and helps them realize God’s intentions and designs in everything. They get to see the power in themselves if they can learn to look at themselves as those tiny seeds with so much potential.” The girls also learn what to do if something in the garden isn’t growing the way it should, Frye said, which offers a parallel lesson on how to approach challenges and problems that will inevitably sprout up in their lives. “They learn that if they see something in the garden that’s not growing right, they have to find a solution to fix it. If the plant is withering, they learn they have to water it or it will die. It’s the same thing spiritually. They learn that if something is not right with their relationship with God, they have to fix it,” she said. The girls at Grace House also learn the value of giving back and being productive members of the community by working in the garden, Frye said. “They get to understand the joy of giving back when they share the food they’ve grown here. They also learn that they are not just consumers and that they have the power to produce something of value,” she said. “The garden really is like a living Sunday School class.” Busenitz said the church volunteers hope they can bring that “living Sunday School class” experience to others throughout the Birmingham metro area. “We are happy to help coach anyone through the process of starting a community garden and show them all that we have learned through this incredible experience,” he said. For more information on volunteering at the Grace Village Community Garden, send an email message to or visit ❖

Wood Earns Eagle Scout Rank with Troop 63 Carlton “Ford” Wood of Mountain Brook has achieved the highest rank in Boy Scouts. A member of Troop 63 at Canterbury United Methodist Church, Wood was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout recently. Wood has served as troop chaplain and patrol leader and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. He also attended Boy Scout High Adventure camps, including backpacking at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and canoeing the boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada at Northern Tier. For his Eagle Scout project, Wood built and installed two information kiosks at Birmingham’s Red Mountain Park--one at the park entrance and one at the No. 13 mine. He is a Carlton Ford Wood member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Key Club and is on the Mountain Brook High School varsity tennis team. He is the son of Mary Beth and Carlton Wood of Mountain Brook. He is the grandson of Glenda Alexander Parker Dendy of Tuscaloosa and the late David O. Parker Jr. and Carlton E. Wood Jr. of Huntley, Ill., and the late Patricia Waite Wood.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 11



A recent graduate of Vestavia Hills High School has been awarded a scholarship for helping victims of the April 2011 tornadoes. Amanda Kelley, who graduated in May, was awarded the AXA Achievement Community Scholarship from AXA Amanda Kelley Advisors LLC. Kelley raised money for the tornado victims by selling shirts at her school and around her community. Kelley will attend Auburn University this fall and plans to be a pharmacist. This is the 11th year the AXA Achievement Community Scholarship has been awarded to an outstanding student.

about the state’s graduated driver’s license laws and how the laws are designed to keep teen drivers safe. As part of the project, young drivers and their parents attended a presentation where Nichols talked about Elizabeth Nichols the laws and local professionals gave advice on safe driving. Also at the presentation, a mother talked about losing her child to unsafe driving. Nichols also created a curriculum for drivers’ education teachers at Hoover High. Teachers at the school said they will continue to use the curriculum she devised and update it as state laws change. “I think that the most successful part of my project was relaying to teenagers that they are not invincible and that driving is a serious task,” Nichols said.

Nichols Earns Girl Scout’s Highest Award

Birmingham Boys Choir Performs in Costa Rica

Vestavia Grad Wins Scholarship for Helping Tornado Victims

A Hoover High school graduate has earned one of the highest awards in Girl Scouting. Elizabeth Nichols, who plans to attend Auburn University this fall, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award recently. She was presented with the award for her project on teen driving safety awareness. The project focused on educating teens at Hoover High School

The Birmingham Boys Choir recently returned from a concert tour of Costa Rica. The BBC is currently taking auditions for the 2013-14 concert season. For more information, contact Ken Berg at or call 767-9219. ❖ Send people news to:

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12 • Thursday, July 25, 2013


Schools to Halt Bus Service u hoover

By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

The Hoover school board voted this month to eliminate bus service to its schools for the 2014-2015 school year. The board said the move was necessary to free up about $2.5 million annually that can go to the classroom. However, the move has angered many parents and will likely mean 140 to 150 school drivers and other employees connected to the system’s transportation department may lose their jobs. Board members and Superintendent Andy Craig defended the decision, saying school revenue has declined over the years as student enrollment has increased. Since 2008, the system’s revenue on a per-student basis has declined from $13,715 to $11,356 for the year ending Sept. 30, 2012, according to a statement on the system’s website at “Despite increased enrollment, expenditures for instructional and instructional support services have been reduced 6 percent and 10 percent respectively the past four years, leaving Hoover City Schools employing 110 fewer teachers in 2013 than it did in 2008 on a per student basis,” a statement on the site reads. The system has had to cut expenses in other areas to offset loss of operating revenue, which has totaled a

decline of $96.8 million from 2008-2012. But Trisha Crain, an education activist and blogger, said she doesn’t agree with those numbers. “That $96 million reduction is inflated because of the money Hoover received from the 1-cent sales tax that year,” she said. “If you look at the 2008 fiscal year and what is expected this year, it’s only a $20 million decline.” Crain said she thinks Hoover parents and residents were surprised to hear the school system needed to make such deep cuts to save money. “The Hoover school community is looking forward to seeing more details of this dire financial picture Mr. Craig paints,” she said. Crain said she has many friends who are bus drivers and while they are naturally concerned about their jobs, they are also thinking of the students. “These bus drivers feel responsible for the kids that ride their buses,” she said. “They see the kids that are going to be left at the curb.” Even though the plan is to eliminate bus service overall, transportation will continue for children with special needs who rely on bus service to get them to and from school, Hoover education officials say. School officials said they made the announcement now to give parents time to plan for the eventual elimination of bus service to and from school. ❖

The Homewood Police Department invited residents to join them for coffee and conversation at the Coffee with a Cop event at Demetri’s BBQ last week. Cpl. Shawn Rankin, left, talks with Barbara Evans. Journal photos by Keysha Drexel

u HoMewood

Police Department Invites Neighbors for Coffee, Talk By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

People who live and work in Homewood got together with the city’s police officers last week at an event aimed at building relationships between those in the community and those on the police force. The Homewood Police Department hosted Coffee with a Cop at Demetri’s BBQ on July 17, inviting neighbors to join them for coffee and conversation. “This is a way for us to introduce ourselves to the people we serve and for them to get to know us and to see another side of our officers,” said Police Chief Jim Roberson. The event is just one of the ways the department tries to get to know

people in the Homewood community, said Officer Steve Hensley, the department’s training officer. The Homewood Police Department offers a Citizens Police Academy twice a year and also offers a pistol class for Homewood residents, he said. “This is just another way for us to meet people in the community, to reach out to them and for them to find out who we are. We want them to know what we do and to know that we enjoy protecting and serving them,” Hensley said. Too many times, Hensley said, the public has a negative image of police officers. Events like Coffee with a Cop can go a long way in changing that.

“People see a lot of negatives about law enforcement. You see them coming in with lights and sirens on, wearing tactical vests and all of that, but they never really get to see the other side of what we do and who we are,” he said. Roberson said he thinks it is particularly important for young Homewood residents to meet and talk to police officers. “When I was growing up, my parents always told me that if I got lost or needed help, to find a police officer,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of kids are being brought up to fear police officers, and we want to do everything we can to show these young people that we are their friends and that we’re here to help them, not hurt them.” The event was also aimed at giving Homewood residents a chance to voice their concerns and ask questions, Roberson said. Much of the talk at the Coffee with a Cop event centered around a rash of recent auto burglaries, Sgt. Andrew Didcoct said. “We are just trying to spread the word that people need to lock their cars, take their valuables out of their cars and by all means, do not leave their keys in their cars,” he said. Didcoct said the recent auto burglaries reinforce the public’s role in community policing as well. “I tell people to be a good neighbor and if they see something suspicious going on at their neighbor’s house, call us and we’ll come and check it out,” he said. Didcoct said he thinks some residents might be hesitant to call the police department or approach officers to voice concerns or ask questions. “But they shouldn’t be afraid to do that at all. That’s what we’re here to do. It’s our job,” he said. ❖

Students from Hoover and Spain Park high schools teamed up with the Hoover Fire Fighters Association to paint 12 Radio Flyer wagons to donate to Children’s of Alabama. Photo special to The Journal

u Hoover

Firefighters, Students Team Up to Help Hospital By Jessica Jones Journal intern

The Hoover Fire Fighters Association, Hoover High School and Spain Park High School recently made a colorful contribution to Children’s of Alabama. With the help of students in Hoover, the association made a donation of 12 hand-painted Radio Flyer wagons to help the young patients at the hospital. “It’s been wonderful how our community has come together to donate the wagons the way that they have,” said Bonnie Bivins, volunteer coordinator for Children’s of Alabama. Lee Kilgore, a medic with the Hoover Fire Department, said the donation is traditionally a collaborative effort with participants from the Hoover Fire Fighters Association. However, this year, students from Hoover and Spain Park high schools were enlisted to help paint the wagons, he said. The Hoover Fire Fighters Association’s involvement with the project started a few years ago when the Hoover Arts Alliance needed a way to fund its donation, Kilgore said. “The Hoover Arts Alliance called us about three years ago and asked if we could assist them by purchasing wagons that they were going to paint and donate to Children’s Hospital,” Kilgore said. “They needed the money and they didn’t have any way of raising money.” Although the Hoover Arts Alliance participated in painting the wagons in the past, they were unable to assist this year. That’s when the Hoover students stepped up and answered the call to help. “We decided to call Spain Park and Hoover High to see if their art departments would like to paint the wagons that we purchased this year,”

Kilgore said. “They both jumped on board.” Six of the wagons were purchased by the hospital’s Radio Flyer supplier in Northport, and the other six were purchased by the Fire Fighters Association.  The wagons are used to transport children too small for wheelchairs around the hospital. Bivins said the wagons are immensely important for hospital use and the transportation of children because the wagons allow them to be transported comfortably and also allow for IV transport. “The wagons are just unbelievably important to the families and to the children as well,” Bivins said. “They just get to get out and get away from the room and also they use it as a means of transport sometimes when they go to the performance center and there’s an event going on there.” Wagons are also used during discharge for hauling luggage and gifts the patients receive during their stays, Bivins said.  The practicality of the wagons is important, but the paint jobs give them a little something extra, she said. “They do different themes. That’s what’s so awesome about this donation, because they came up with so many themes and they were decorated absolutely beautifully,” she said. With themes ranging from Winnie the Pooh to the Wizard of Oz and colorful images of cupcakes and ice cream cones, the children’s reactions to the different designs and colors are just as important as the function of the wagons, Bivins said. “It’s so cool to see a little boy come up and pick out one that’s got a rocket ship and he can pretend he’s going to space in that little wagon,” she said. “That means a lot, because they’re excited to get in a wagon, and when it’s all decorated up, it just makes them feel so special,” Bivins said. ❖

u Vestavia Hills

u Mountain Brook

The old Vestavia Hills library property is back on the market–again. The city recently announced that HES Investments LLC has backed out of its attempts to buy the 1.6 acre property at 1112 Montgomery Highway. The property includes a 22,000 square-foot, three-story building which used to house the old library. The library has since moved to a new building at 1221 Montgomery Highway. HES Investments had been trying to lure a retail establishment to the site. The city had given the investment company 90 days due diligence to determine if it could secure a client for the property. The company could not, said Vestavia Hills Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza. “They were going for a certain company, but they couldn’t work it out,” he said. HES Investments was asking for $750,000 for the property, down from its original price of $1.5 million.  But city officials acknowledge the property likely isn’t worth that much. Vestavia officials have been selective about who could buy the property. Officials want to direct the types of businesses located along U.S. 31, which has been the subject of a major redevelopment study.   City officials say they’re still looking for a buyer for the property. --William C. Singleton III

The Mountain Brook City Council held a public hearing July 8 to determine future land development of the Vine Street transitional zoning district. City Manager Sam Gaston said the purpose of the zoning ordinance amendment is to improve the Vine Street area and encourage redevelopment. “We’re trying to encourage the area


to the Over the Mountain Miracle League’s website. Currently, more than 225 Miracle League Fields have been built nationwide and in Puerto Rico. Those fields serve about 100,000 children and young adults. The city of Hoover contributed $300,000 toward the construction of the Miracle Field to get the project started, Mayor Gary Ivey said. The city also cleared land at Hoover East for the field. “It’s something that’s going to be a great asset to the city and make it possible for all kids to play baseball in the city,” Ivey said. “We think it’s a great addition to the city.” The Over the Mountain Miracle League is also raising money to maintain the field and keep the league going, Hammonds said. She anticipates the group will need about $15,000 annually to run the program. “Our goal is to keep fundraising so the players can play for free,” she said. “We will provide them with shirts. All they do is show up with a glove and a desire to play baseball.” For more information about the project and ways to donate, visit ❖

Old Library Property Back on the Market

From page one

Her efforts paid off as the city’s first Miracle Field is being constructed at Hoover East and is scheduled to be completed by the start of the fall baseball season. “The field should be finished by the end of August,” Hammonds said. “We plan to have a fall session with the Hoover East Baseball Program, then we’ll resume play in the spring.” The Over the Mountain Miracle League and the city of Hoover have joined together to build the baseball field for special needs children. The field’s surface, when completed, will be made of rubber with flat bases. “It’s very accessible for walkers, crutches and wheelchairs,” Hammonds said. The fields follow the design of other Miracle Fields supported by the Miracle League, a national organization committed to expanding the dream of playing baseball to special needs children. The Miracle League has a goal to build 500 fields to service 1.3 million children with disabilities, according

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 13



Public Hearing Addresses Vine Street Zoning

‘We’re trying to encourage the area to be redeveloped but at the same time not intrude into the residential sections, so there’s kind of a mix of office, professional and residential ...’

The property on the east side of Vine Street would be eligible for rezoning to the Vine Street transitional district, Hazen said. “But it would not force anyone to rezone,” Hazen said. If the ordinance is adopted, those who choose to rezone would first need permission to do so, officials said. “People would actually have to request rezoning in the area first,” Gaston said. “Most of the area now is zoned to a mixture of local businesses, professional and residential-D. So there are some zoning classifications over there, but this will give people the opportunity if they wanted to rezone

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to be redeveloped but at the same time not intrude into the residential sections, so there’s kind of a mix of office, professional and residential or some limited retail in that location,” he said. The amendment is the result of lots that, because of their size, have no use, said Dana Hazen, city planner. “There are some lots that are along the west side of Vine Street and between the commercial use and single family houses on the east side of Vine,” Hazen said. “With their current zoning, nothing can be done with these lots.”


their property, then they would be subject to the new regulation as far as setbacks and parking,” he said. Some have expressed concern about the development, but Gaston said these concerns have been taken into consideration. “One property owner has made a lot of suggestions. Most of those suggestions have been incorporated into the zoning amendment,” he said. “A few people had some questions about the clarity about some of the language, but that’s being worked on by our attorney.” The public hearing continued on July 22. --Jessica Jones

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14 • Thursday, July 25, 2013


Chairmen’s Connection Daughter Heads Ball of Roses 30 Years after Her Mother


llen McCulley Faust chaired the 2013 Ball of Roses exactly 30 years after her mother, Sheard Mason McCulley, chaired the event in 1983. The 53rd annual Ball of Roses was held June 1 at the Country Club of Birmingham. Guests entered under a canopy of white lights through columns of white hydrangeas and pale pink and pink roses. The East Room was decorated with 16 columns encircled with greenery and white, peach and pale flowers. more photos at pinkThe evening began with the invitation-only Men’s Committee dinner around Tuscan-style round tables decorated with cascading hydrangeas and flowers in shades of peach, white, pink and sage green. Mrs. Bradley Hosch Anderson was the


2013 Ball of Roses co-chairman. Sarah Norville Peinhardt was the Men’s Committee Dinner chairman, and Mary Cox Brown was the decorations chairman. Lindsey Tomlinson Druhan is the Ballet Guild president. The Alabama Ballet ballerinas performed “Swan Lake” at the event. Those attending included Frank S. and Mary Bradley Anderson, Jonathan D. and Grace Kipp, Catherine Taylor Cooper, Graham and Melody Read, John Hamilton and Bonnie Pounds, Sheard Mason and Thomas M. McCulley, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hilton-Green Tomlinson Sr., Jeffery Parker and Mary Margaret Hendry, Mr. and Mrs. Grisham, Lathrop and Garland Smith, Steven and Ashley Jackson, Colin Alexander and Liz Read, Jay and Caroline Ezell, Tucker and Kitty Brown and Mary Cox Brown. ❖


The 1983 Ball of Roses Chairman Sheard Mason McCulley and her daughter Ellen McCulley Faust, co-chairman of the 2013 Ball of Roses. Photos special to The Journal

Billy Hiden Jr., Pat Hiden, Taylor Hiden and Billy Hiden Sr.

Hannah Bromberg was presented by her father, Eugene Brooks Bromberg.

Margaret Day Lacey was presented by her father, John Lacey.

Lindsey Tomlinson Druhan, Ellen McCulley Faust, Mary Bradley Hosch Anderson and Sarah Norville Peinhardt.

Ballet Guild Honors Officers The Ballet Guild of Birmingham recently honored its 2012-13 officers. Officers were thanked for their work on the Ball of Roses, which enabled the organization’s continued support of the Alabama Ballet. Pictured are front, from left: Grace Kipp, Lindsay Druhan, Ellen Faust and Mary Bradley Anderson. Back: Rebecca Wise, Shelton Kitchen, Jessica Thuston and Caroline Woods. ❖

Photo special to The Journal

The Alabama Ballet ballerinas perform “Swan Lake” at The Ball of Roses.



From left: Stephanie Fleming Heller, Abby Tull Langham and Jennifer Nolen Bridwell. Photos special to The Journal

Camp SAM Supporters Get Funky at Fundraiser Supporters of Camp Smile-A-Mile got funky at a recent fundraiser at B&A Warehouse. More than 400 attendees from the Birmingham area joined Camp SAM’s Junior Board of Directors for the seventh annual Funky Monkey fundraiser. Proceeds support Camp SAM’s year-round programs for children in Alabama who have cancer or who have overcome the disease. Guest browsed through more than 100 silent auction events while listening to the music of the Dadevillebased band Blackberry Breeze. The highlight of the evening was the live auction, where one lucky couple won a seafood boil for 20 on the patio at Veranda on Highland. Another couple added a beautiful golden retriever puppy to their family. Those attending this year’s Funky Monkey event included Lindsey and Kellie Reece and Savannah Lanier.

Adrian Lovell and Lauren Silverstein.

Butch Roebuck, Ashley and James Gustin, Jordan and Justin Truelove

and Suzanne Mayfield. Others turning out to support Camp SAM were Hillary and Ryan Weiss, Beth and Bruce Hooper, Carlton and Will Fountain, Brittany Henderson, Abby and Judd Langham, Sumner and John Rives, Emily and Sam Heide, Carol McCoy, Kate and Milton Johnson, Lauren Silverstein and Adrian Lovell and Michelle and David Surber. ❖

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Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 15

16 • Thursday, July 25, 2013



From left: Libby O’Donnell, Garland Smith, Laura Susan Roberts, Chase Silsbee, MaryRuth Caldwell, Leslie Mcleod, Nancy McCollum and Sally Legg. Photos special to The Journal

KD Honors Members for Community Service at Spring Luncheon Those attending the spring Shearer is publicity/editor, and Katie The Mountain Brook Alumnae luncheon included Cindy Bagby, Patrick is secretary. Jordon Holt is Chapter of Kappa Delta recently Sara Beth Blair, Dot Boyd, Jane heading up membership while Lori honored two of its members for their Brakefield, Julianne Buckley, Barber and Susan Yarbro are in community service. Mary Ruth Caldwell, Anna charge of philanthropy. The group’s annual spring lunCarson, Kaci Chesebro, Brooke Brooke Coleman and Elizabeth cheon and awards program was held Coleman, Francie Deaton, Jennifer Outland are leading the Shamrock May 8 at the home of Kitty White. Debruge, Martha Debuys, Lane committee. Leigh Bromberg is the Each year, two members of the DeWine, Julie Goyer, Katherine Alabama liaison, and Marye Beasley chapter are honored for their service. Hawkins, Lucie Haynes, This year, the recipient Betsy Henley and Anne of The Elizabeth Nesbitt Heppenstall. Simpson Service Award was Also spotted at the event Murray Tutwiler Priester. were Amy Hudson, Melissa Garland Cook Smith was Kenan, Amy Knight, the 2013 recipient of the Mary Beasley Kohn, Ann Garnett McAdams Deramus Lee, DeVeaux Littleton, Community Service Award. Kitty Lovelady, Nancy Francie Deaton, chapter McCollum, Leslie McLeod, president, presented silver Libby O’Donnell, Elizabeth platters to both honorees. Outland, Katie Patrick, Also during the spring Mary Scott Pizzatole, luncheon, Priester disMargaret Priester, Murray played a rendering of the Priester, Hallie Rawls, future design for the Kappa Emory Richardson and Delta chapter house at the Laura Susan Roberts. University of Alabama. She Others at the annual luntold members that construccheon were Melissa Seton, tion on the house should Chase Silsbee, Laura Sink, begin in May 2014. Cynthia Shearer, Garland Deaton, who will conBetsy Henley, Kitty White and Mary Scott Pizzitola. Smith, Mary Frances tinue as chapter president, Thetford, Lynn Tutwiler, announced the installation of Adelaide Vandevelde, Diana Kohn and Emory Richardson are the new officers. First vice presidents the Auburn liaisons. Megan LaRussa Walker, Ellen Walker, Harriet are Amy Knight, Anna Carson and Westbrook, Kitty White, Rebecca Lucie Haynes. Betsy Harmon is sec- is the Birmingham-Southern College Wise, Julie Wright, Julia Willcox liaison, and Michele Knowles is the ond vice president. and Libba Williams. ❖ Hallie Rawls is treasurer, Cynthia University of Mississippi liaison.





Libba Williams, Sally Legg and Anne Heppenstall.

Melissa Kenan and Francie Deaton.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 17



Literacy Council Goes Wild with Girlfriend Gala

The Literacy Council’s second annual Girlfriend Gala brought out the wild side of women in Birmingham. This year’s theme was “Where the Wild Things Are: What Are You Wild About?” The theme gave those attending the event a chance to develop elaborate tablescapes for the gala. Table themes spanned the globe from Birmingham to Paris. Participants’ tablescapes showed they were wild about the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, all things Southern, “bling,” superheroes, the beach and Hollywood. Some guests wore costumes to reflect their table decor. Hosted by Protective Life in the ballroom at its corporate headquarters in Mountain Brook, the gala offered door prizes, including a signed first edition of “The Help” complete with Miss Minnie’s pie, art, spa packages and a big green bike from Regions Bank. The highlight of the evening was a diamond drop sponsored by Levy’s Fine Jewelry. During the diamond drop, 50 women watched as their stones were examined. One lucky attendee walked away with a diamond. Janice Rogers and Mike Dubberly were the mistress and master of ceremonies for the gala. Proceeds will support the Literacy Council’s adult literacy and other programs. Those attending included Emily Boles, Alisa Summerville, Lisa Brumfield, Kim Williams, Rashada LeRoy, Audrey Vaughn, Melanie Kern, Jaclyn Kern, Sue Register, Winn Crockard, Wendy Simmons, Leslie Naff, Caroline Bailey, Sissy Bice, Lynn Ritchie, Beth Norris, Amy Scofield, Amy Roberts, Kathy Skinner, Susan Dulin, Robin Donahue, Anna Howell, Julie Foster, Cindy Thigpen, Krislin Smith, Jackie Wuska, Diedre Perry, Sonya King, Leah Kilgore, Jennifer Hunter, Brandi Barnes, Todd Denaburg, Hillary Chinigo, Virginia Harkins, Lindsay Whitworth, Taylor Price, Virginia McKibbens, Evelyn McKinney, Tyler Novak, Laura Catherine Ashburner, Margi Ingram, Judy Sipple, Linda Massey, Tammy Cohen and Sally Tuttle. Also spotted were Lisa Terry, Stephanie Underwood, Sharon Stark, Sharon Stuart, LaBella Alvis, Lynn Darty, Abbott Jones, Courtney Saad, Katherine Hawkins, Anita Turner, Kelly Todd, Lindsay Gill, Caitlin Glass, Sarah Malcom, Lisa Sharp, Lacey Bacchus, Lou Kirchen, Barbara Nichols, Theresa Cottrell, Shannon Maze, Jennifer Stone, Brenda Bagley, Sharon Tinsley, Christy Gravitt, Tonisha Echiverri, Ashley Casper and Patty Cobb. Others enjoying the event included Kelli Jetmundsen, Barbara Jones, Carol Maxwell, Rachel Anderson, Amber Long, Leah Walker, Glenda


Antique Mall From left: LaBella S. Alvis, Katherine Hawkins and Kelli Jetmundsen. Photos special to The Journal

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Erica Prewitt, Harriet Williams, Wilma Moore, Maureen Cowan, Kate Cotton, Ellen Michael, Eva Robertson, Nancy Kane, Laura Bagby, Tracy Hutson, Emily Amberson, Julie Harris, Ann Forney, Leslie Doyle, Joy Parker, Suzanne Bruner, Heather Barton, Lindsay Carroll, Carla Gale, Jamie Dobbins, Carole Smitherman, Katrina Ross, Agnes Chappell, Shantae Owens, Patricia Stephens, Virginia Vinson, Carnella NormanGreene, Sherri Friday, Marsha Moon-Williams, Donna Gardner, Ginger Baker, Lysa Carter and Karen Cole. Others at the event were Keri Lane Hontzas, Holly Hollon, Gabriele Cook, Tondee Blalock, Erin Krauss, Kathleen Greer Rossmann, Nika McCool, Holly Blalock, Penny Harris Johnson, Cay Alby, Susan Swagler, Valerie McLean, Tammy Johnson, Audrey McClinton, Martha Marticelli, Kathleen Lawrence, Cathy Sharp, Rita Sims Toney, Alison Chapman, Susan Doss, Rusha Smith, Laura Washburn, Laura Maxwell, Jenny Dixon, Ann Carothers, Martha Roberson, Virginia Patterson, Brenda Sandifer, Patrice Adams, Colleen Carder, Jamie Covington, Beth Epperson, Sabrina Hancock, Tracy Hand, Terrica Richardson and Sandi Walton. The theme for the 2014 Girlfriend Gala will be “Broadway Babes.” An official date for the spring event will be announced early next year. ❖

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18 • Thursday, July 25, 2013



Awesome 80s Gala a Thriller for OLS

The “Awesome 80s” was the theme of the Parent Teacher Organization’s annual fundraiser recently held for Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in Homewood. Parents, teachers, and friends danced the night away and also participated in silent and live auctions to help the school raise more than $30,000. The money raised at the event will provide additional technology, install additional security measures for the school building and help upgrade some areas of the playgrounds. Many of those who attended the school’s largest fundraiser came dressed in ’80s attire. The OLS Family Life Center gym was decorated with movie posters from the era. Other decorations included Pac-Man auction paddles and a balloon-shaped arch made of colorful balloons and splashed with neon paint. The evening also included a disc jockey spinning songs from the 1980s and a special dance appearance from dancers with the Backstage Dance Centre under the direction of Kelly Holt.  Auction items included a Disney World trip, jewelry, vacation homes in the U.S. and abroad, religious items and a whirlwind helicopter ride. Contributing to the fundraiser were the Little Donkey Restaurant in Homewood; Candy West, owner of the Wine Cellar; Darling Webber,

From left: Beth and Eddie Matthews, Kara and Joel Barlow and Jen and Matthew Dent. Photos special to The Journal Kim Douglas, Jennifer Willis, Mary Jane Dorn, Stacy Mitchell and Karla Thomas. Left: Clay Newsome, Anthony Turkweicz, Bryant Mize and Matt Jordan. Below: Kristine and Brett Williams.

John and Liesa Burke and Danielle and David and Sparacio.

baker; Matt Jordan and Matthew Dent with Buffalo Rock; Mike Lorino with Contri Brothers; Leah Karol with Leah Karol Photography; Scott Gardner, graphic designer; Kelly Holt, owner and artistic director of Backstage Dance Centre; Mary Jane Dorn, OLS principal; Kara


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volunteer; Lori Dent, room mother captain and the room mother staff; and Bruce Bright, auctioneer. ❖


more photos at


Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 19



NSAL Hosts Rose Garden Picnic The National Society of Arts and Letters celebrated a productive year of meetings and programs with its annual picnic on June 1 at the Mountain Brook home of Jane and Bob Hinds. The terrace of the Hinds’ rose garden was the setting for picnic tables, fun and fellowship. Tables were centered with colorful arrangements of roses and seasonal flowers. Birmingham Chapter President Mildred Allen-Taub reported on the national conference held in Pittsburgh in May. University of Alabama at Birmingham student Tracey Resler of Guntersville, first-place winner of the chapter’s printmaking competition, told the group that she sold her winning print when it was exhibited at Pittsburgh’s Warhol Museum along with others from chapters across the country. Resler announced that all the contestants are submitting one of their prints for a portfolio to present to each of the 16 chapters that participated in the national competition. Among members and guests attending were Edith and Bob Bauman, Peggy and Michael Carlisle, Margie and Robert Denton, Cindy and Phil Free, Tallulah Hargrove, Gail Ledbetter and Riley Hill, Ruth and Virgil Jensen and Nancy and Ed Jones. Also spotted at the rose garden party were Melva and Ray Jones, Patti Manning, Miriam McClung, Jeannine McElroy, Lu and Charles


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Above: From left: Margie and Robert Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Denton and TallulahFrom: Hargrove. Left: University of Alabama at Birmingham Date: July 2013 student Tracey Resler of Guntersville, first-place winner of the chapter’s This is your AD PrOOF from the OvEr THE MOuNTAiN JOurNAl for the printmaking competition, told the July 25, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. group that she sold her winning print when it was exhibited at Pittsburgh’s Warhol Museum along with others from chapters across the country.

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phoneTO number! CRUISES DESIGNED

Photos special to The Journal

Moss, Mary Frances and Bob Reed, Mel Robinson, Catherine and Brown Rogers, Barbara Shepherd,


Joe Johns, Pat and Kermit Southern, Ed Taub, Sue Watkins, and Martha Willetts. NSAL encourages young people in all the arts by giving scholarships and sponsoring competitions, among other opportunities. The Birmingham chapter holds luncheon-meetings on the third Wednesday of each month, September through June. ❖

Committee of 100 Hosts Guest Day for New Members cate and ribbon and told those attending about the new members’ backgrounds and accomplishments. Anne Kidd and Katherine McTyeire, former Women’s Committee of 100 presidents, were honored with member emeritae status at the event. Anne Green’s Guest Day Committee provided refreshments for the event. Committee members were Bet Wright, Sara Sistrunk, Anna Keith, Nan Teninbaum, Jean Liles, Dorothy Hodges, Lyndra Daniel, Mary Wyatt and Nelda Pugh. Dorothy McDaniel created colorful floral centerpieces for the occasion. Others attending the spring meeting were Kirke Cater, Angela and Gera Comfort, Ira Day, Carolyn Drennen, Pauline Fugazzotto, Anne Gibbons, Louise Gillespy, Mary Margaret Hendry, Mary Louise Hodges, Lena Knight, Harriet Maloof, Rebecca From left: Sandra Holley, Gail Pugh, Jeanie Box, Gayle Byrne and Sandi Gornati. Photo special to The Journal Mason, Kathy

The Women’s Committee of 100 welcomed spring--and new members--at its most recent meeting. The event was held at the home of Carolyn Feathergill. Elouise Williams introduced seven new members at the Guest Day event. New members are Jean Ann Box, Gayle Byrne, Amy Murphy and Gail Pugh, all of Mountain Brook; Sandi Gornati of Hoover, Sandra Bonds Holley of Vestavia Hills and Jodi Newton of Homewood. President Carolyn Satterfield presented each new member with a certifi-

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Myatt, Carolyn Ratliff and Doris Weyman. The goals of the Women’s Committee of 100 are to utilize the knowledge, abilities and skills of its members to increase knowledge and help improve the Birmingham area and the state. ❖


Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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From left: Maggie Reddick, Kelsey Patrick, April Shumake and Amelia Hinton.

Photos special to The Journal

Music for Make-A-Wish Concert Helps Fulfill Dreams for Sick Children

More than 200 guests enjoyed the sounds of the band Within Reason as they helped raise money to grant ALIZING I wishes to sick children in Alabama. C IN PE The Concert for a Cause benefitS ing Make-A-Wish Alabama was held June 20 at Iron City in Birmingham. Convertible Tops ia Six months after releasing its first er The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 Sunroofs demo, Within Reason was chosen in a 2013 Leather Interiors worldwide fan vote to perform on the This is your aD prOOF from the Over The MOunTain JOurnal for the popular television show “One Tree July 25, 2013 issue. please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. Hill.” Earlier this year, the band got enough fan votes to win a showcase please make sure all information is correct, at the Clive Davis Theatre and experi1201 3RD AVENUE SOUTH . BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233 ence the red carpet on Grammy night. . PHONE: 205-251-0684 WWW.ALABAMAAUTOTOP.COM including address and phone number! Concert for a Cause guests could bid on several items at a live auction. The auction items included please initial and fax back within 24 hours. if we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, personal training workouts at Iron your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Tribe Fitness, a Ginnard Archibald Birmingham skyline photo package, Thank you for your prompt attention. passes to Disney World, a five-piece drum set autographed by Lenny Kravitz and lessons donated by Gary Asher’s Drum School. Those attending include Laurie Burton, Nora Banks, Maggie Reddick, Kelsey Patrick, April Shumake and Amelia Hinton. Also spotted at the Concert for a Cause were Melissa Fierstine, Sarah Hall and Nicole and Jeremiah Arsenault. Others attending the fundraiser were Shelley Russell, Stephen Ballard, Stephanie Gandy, Ashley Miller, Tim Holmes and Alex Thrasher.

All “Text to Give” donations made to Make-A-Wish Alabama were matched on the night of the concert. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is the largest wish-granting organization in the world. The organization grants wishes to children ages 2 ½-18 diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. Seventy-five percent of every dollar raised in Alabama goes directly toward granting wishes of children in Alabama. For more information, visit ❖

Shelly Russell and Stephen Ballard.

Laurie Burton and Nora Banks.

Nicole and Jeremiah Arsenault.

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Tim Holmes and Alex Thrasher.


New officers of the Cheramis Dance Club are, from left: Doris Kenney, treasurer; Nancy Coggin, secretary; Vicki Barnes, vice president; and Noel Tidwell, president. Photo special to The Journal

Cheramis Dance Club Welcomes New Members, Officers The Cheramis Dance Club recently welcomed new members and honored new officers at its annual spring dinner and dance. The event was held at the Vestavia Country Club. Tables in the ballroom were decorated with fresh yellow short-stemmed roses arranged around green crystal pebbles and fresh greenery. Each floral arrangement sat on a large mirror surrounded by four votive candles. Members and guest enjoyed dancing to the music of The Classics.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 21



New members, each presented with rose bouquets by Noel Tidwell, president, were Debra Sellers, Sherre Hartman, Virginia Bernitz, Jayne Moody, Lynn Braggan and Susan Stofel. Members and guests attending the annual spring dinner and dance included Colleen Adams and Mitch Mitchell, Dianne and George Adams, Edna and Ken Alderman, Wanda and Tom Arnold, Vickie and Bob Barnes, Betty and Ron Bassinger, Judith and Neill Beaver and Lynn

Braggan and Jeff Spears. Others enjoying the Cheramis event were Nancy and Tom Coggin, Jane Crouch and Frank Jones, Joyce and Frank Dill, Barbara and Jim Dobbyn, Alice and Tony Ellison, Sharon Franks and Wesley Ross, Penny and Don Gebbs, Margie and Tom George, Margarita and Arthur Gracinette, Hugh and Barbara Harbin, Janet Hardin and Tommy Findley, Brenda and Ray Harris and Beverly and George Jackson. Also spotted at the party were Marilyn Kelly and Willie Larson, Mary and Elmer Kelmenc, Doris Kenney and Carl Jones, Jerrie Kitchens and Carl Harris, Zella Listerman and Robert Adlar, Sissy and Charlie Matthews, Linda Matson and Bob Franklin, Mollie and Bill Midlik, Jayne Moody and Ed Krys, Jean Morton, Joy Patterson and Robin Skipper, Barbara Pilato, Lisa and Bob Powers, Shirley and Duby Rierson and Howell Scott. Other club members and guests attending included Fairfax and Ed Segner, Debra and John Sellers, Terre and Bill Sheperd, Regina Smith and Jim King, Bess and Alan Speegle, Susan and Jerry Stofel, Ann and Stewart Swindle, J.P. and Noel Tidwell, Martha and Bob Vick, Helen and Bill Warren, Robin and Steve Yester and Peggy and Chandler Yarnall. ❖


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From left: Tina Douglass, Carole D. Marks, Alicia Cuevas, Mechelle Sippial Wilder, Kathy Early Frey, Carolyn Kitchens Haynes and Renea Breen. Photo special to The Journal

Greystone Ladies Club Elects New Officers The Greystone Ladies Club met recently to elect and install the new officers for the 2013-14 club year. Mechelle Wilder is the new president. Carole Marks

is vice president of communications, and Tina Douglass is vice president of membership. The vice president of programs is Kathy Frey, and Carolyn Haynes is vice president of social. Renea Breen is secretary and Barbara Brickner is treasurer. LaRue Carter, Therese Haselden and Shirl Ward served on the nominating committee. ❖

To: From: Date:

Ken Rosenberger Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax May 2013 This is your aD pROOF from the OveR The MOunTain JOuRnal for the May 2, 2013 issue. please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

22 • Thursday, July 25, 2013


Mr. and Mrs. Daniel L. Lyles of Hoover announce the engagement of their daughter, Jennifer Leigh Lyles, to Jonathan Tims Dowdle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Tims Dowdle of Ethelsville. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Odis Leon Lyles and the late Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Charles Nailen, all of Birmingham.


Dr. and Mrs. James Michael Robertson of Tupelo, Miss., announce the engagement of their daughter, Caroline Reed Robertson, to Peter Benjamin Ward, son of Dr. and Mrs. John Arthur Ward of Birmingham.


Sarah Morgan Pope and John Andrew Milstead were married July 28, 2012 at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church. Rev. Dr. Robert Benjamin Hatfield officiated the ceremony.


Weddings & Engagements Miss Lyles is a graduate of Hewitt-Trussville High School and the University of Alabama Culverhouse School of Business, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and was a member of Delta Zeta sorority. She is public relations director for the Junior League of Birmingham. Miss Lyles is employed with CTS, Inc., where she specializes in marketing, public relations, event planning and community relations. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Reason Boykin of Anniston and the late Mr. and Mrs. John Tillman Dowdle of Ethelsville. Mr. Dowdle is a graduate of Lamar County High School in Vernon. He graduated from Columbia Southern University with a degree in occupational health and safety and is pursuing a master’s degree in occupational health and safety. He is employed as an environmental health and safety contractor. The wedding is planned for July 27 at Cathedral Church of the Advent.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Grady Raybon Robertson of Kosciusko, Miss., and Mrs. Charles Ward Reed and the late Mr. Charles Reed of Tupelo. Miss Robertson is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing and was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Gillliam Stelling Harris of Columbus, Miss., and the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lanier Ward of Birmingham, formerly of Columbus. Mr. Ward is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He is employed with Security Holdings LLC. The wedding will be Aug. 3.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Lawrence Pope of Birmingham. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Everett Milstead of Columbus, Miss. Given in marriage by her father, the bride was attended by Mallory Ganes Pope, sister of the bride, as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Stephanie Dianne Gay and Autumn Marie Acton, cousins of the bride; Kristen Allyn Kovarik; Katlyn Rodriguez Wardman and Jana Dawn Morrow Clark. The father of the groom was best man. Groomsmen were John Richard Milstead, cousin of the groom; Shawn Lee Dyson; Mark Eugene Peterson; Steven Robert Fields and Coleman Bradley Pope, brother of the bride. After a honeymoon trip to Port St. Joe, Fla., the couple live in Columbus, Miss.



Jennifer Marie Antonio and James Ward Fite II were married June 29 at Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Birmingham. Rev. John McDonald officiated the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jake Joseph Antonio III of Birmingham. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jake Joseph Antonio Jr. of Birmingham and Mrs. Joseph Peter Sherman of Greenville,


Paige Elizabeth Phelps of Helena and Clark Russell Osborne of Vestavia Hills were married May 4 at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club in Birmingham. The 5 p.m. ceremony was officiated by the bride’s uncle, Dr. James Robert Chatham. A reception followed in the Clubhouse. The bride’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Scott Phelps of Helena. The groom’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Brad Allen Osborne of Vestavia Hills.

Mr. and Mrs. Lance Gregory Rushing of Hoover announce the engagement of their daughter, Brittany Lauren Rushing, to Nathaniel Joel Goodall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy James Goodall of Albany, Western Australia. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Jack Lee Miller of Hoover and the late Mr. Jack Lee Miller and Mrs. Eugene Wesley Rushing and the late Mr. Eugene Wesley Rushing of Cooper City, Fla., formerly of Miami. Miss Rushing is a 2009 graduate of Hoover High School and will graduate in December from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., with a bachelor’s degree in secondary math-

ematics education. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mrs. Veronica Madeleine Linley of Australind, Western Australia, and Mr. David Leonard Astridge of Midland, Western Australia, and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth George Goodall of Albany, Western Australia. Mr. Goodall is a 2007 graduate of North Albany High School in Albany, Western Australia, and a 2012 graduate of Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy. He is employed with Results Physiotherapy. The wedding was July 20.

Miss., and the late Mr. Joseph Peter Sherman. The groom is the son of Dr. and Mrs. James Ward Fite of Grenada, Miss. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ward Gordon Fite of Gore Springs, Miss., and the late Mr. and Mrs. William Rhodes Gilmore of Jackson, Miss. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a classic Lazaro silhouette in ivory with a modern graceful skirt of romantic ruffles in organza with Alencon lace and a traditional strapless sweetheart bodice of handcrafted Alencon lace. She wore a raw edge chapel-length veil of butterscotch illusion by Toni Federica. She carried a fragrant hand-tied bouquet full of beautiful romantic garden blooms. Designed with an ombre color scheme, the grouped color sections began with David Austin “Juliet” Garden roses, continuing into Peach Campanella roses and then rounding out with luscious, open bloom Coral Charm and Sarah Bernhardt peonies. The stems were wrapped in ivory bridal satin with a sentiment of something old, her

mother’s lace veil. Meagan Grant Yeilding served as maid of honor, and Brooke McNamee Hoekstra served as matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Caroline Huber Antonio, sister-in-law of the bride; Mindy Dekle Bennett; Julie Head Groves; Elizabeth Fite McAdory, sister of the groom; Anna Cather McClendon; Kristy Marie Smith; Katherine Anne Sullivan and Rana Brock Walley, sister of the groom. The father of the groom was best man. Groomsmen were Jake Joseph Antonio IV and Jonathan Sherman Antonio, brothers of the bride; Adam Wolf Lambert; Jonathan Emmett Philley; Roderick Carl Smith; Brett Thomas Snyder; Matthew Jason Sumrall and Donald Drennen Williams Jr. Ushers were Marcus Alan Walley and Matthew Davis McAdory, brothers-in-law of the groom. Program attendants were Emily Elizabeth Walley and Lelia Camille Walley, nieces of the groom. After a honeymoon trip to St. Lucia, the couple live in Birmingham.

The bride is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Robert Chatham of McKenzie, Tenn., and Mr. and Mrs. Finis Jackson Phelps of Gleason, Tenn. The groom is the grandson of the late Dr. and Mrs. Barnie Langford McDonald of Knoxville, Tenn., and the late Mr. and Mrs. Russell Coolidge Osborne of Nashville, Tenn. The bride is a 2010 cum laude graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders. She was a member of Phi Mu sorority and director of publicity for the Auburn Student Government Association. She is attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she will receive a master’s degree in occupational therapy in December. The groom is a 2011 graduate of Auburn University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. He is employed with KLMK as a civil engineer. Matron of honor was Courtney Phelps Amacher, sister of the bride. Bridesmaids were Lauren Michelle Baggett; Julie Amanda Johnson;

Emily Diane Logan; Casey Lauren Lucas; Lauren Lett Motley; Mary Anne Osborne, sister of the groom; Ashley Fridovich Porter; Nicole Alexandra Thomason and Catherine Ray Wright. Avery Elizabeth Phelps, niece of the bride, was the flower girl. The groom chose his father as best man. Groomsmen were Matthew John Alemany; Charles Ervin Bottcher III; Maxwell Fielding Lee; Jimmy Louis Musso; Jonathan Tyler Phelps, brother of the bride; Matthew Scott Phelps, brother of the bride; William Scott Wade and William Grant Yeilding. Logan Scott Phelps, nephew of the bride, was the ring bearer. The bride carried a bouquet of cascading white roses with variegated pink and white hydrangeas and light pink peonies. Her dress was a signature embroidery and Swarovski crystal gown with a fitted bodice featuring a sweetheart neckline with organza fabric.  The couple honeymooned in Key Largo, Fla., after the wedding and will also be visiting St. Lucia Island in November to celebrate their nuptials. They live in Springfield, Mo.



Mr. and Mrs. Tim Christopher Bailey announce the engagement of their daughter, Courtney Blythe Bailey, to Erik Michael Maas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Michael Maas of Pittsburgh, Pa. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Capt. Max Powell Bailey Jr., USN Retired of Birmingham and the late Mrs. Norine Skidmore Bailey


Mr. and Mrs. Schuyler Allen Bradley Baker Jr. of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Sara Elizabeth Baker, “Sally,” to Patrick Thomas Woods, son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Michael Woods of Aberdeen, N.C.


Ms. Cheryl Hanson of Mobile and Mr. Doug Hanson of Pensacola, Fla., announce the engagement of their daughter, Sarah Marie Hanson, to Brett Allen Drummond, son of Dr.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 23

Weddings & Engagements and the late Mrs. Louise Lambert Harrison and the late Mr. Andrew Eli Harrison Jr. of Monroe County. Miss Bailey is a graduate of Frisco City High School, BirminghamSouthern College and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. She is employed at Princeton Baptist Medical Center as a CICU charge nurse and the Alabama Vascular and Vein Center in Vestavia Hills. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Snyder of Luckey, Ohio, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Urban Maas of Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Maas is a graduate of Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio, and Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., where he was a member of the baseball team. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Alabama, where he is employed as associate head baseball coach. The wedding is planned for Aug. 10.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Schuyler Allen Baker and the late Mr. and Mrs. Walter Scott Wilson, all of Birmingham. Miss Baker is a cum laude graduate of Rhodes College, where she was president of Delta Delta Delta social sorority and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society. She is employed in Washington, D.C. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Aloysius Downes Jr. of New City, N.Y., and the late Mr. Michael Woods and Mrs. Mary Fogarty Woods of Lake Park, Fla. Mr. Woods is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he received a master’s degree in business administration. He is employed in San Francisco. The wedding will be Aug. 10.

and Mrs. Michael Allen Drummond of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Dovie Rombakas of Guntersville and the late Mrs. Betty LaGrave of Indianapolis, Ind. Miss Hanson is a graduate of McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile and Auburn University. She is a pharmaceutical sales representative with Strativa in Huntsville. The prospective groom is the grandson of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Amason of Tuscaloosa and Mr. Garry Drummond and Mrs. Barry Hoehn, both of Birmingham. Mr. Drummond is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and the University of Mississippi. He is employed as a project manager for LIV Development in Birmingham. The wedding is planned for Sept. 7 at the groom’s family farm in Orrville.


Adrienne Minor Coley and Jeffrey David Klein were married April 6 at Oak Island Mansion in Wilsonville. The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Rod C. Minor, uncle of the bride. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Doss Coley of


Virginia Anne Harkins and John Milner McCary Jr. were married May 4 at Shades Valley Presbyterian Church. Dr. A. Taylor Todd officiated the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Craft McElroy of


Rebecca Jo Elizabeth Moore and Ryan Lewis Swann were married May 25 at Ross Bridge Resort. The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Mark Correll. A reception at Ross Bridge Resort followed the ceremony.

Hoover. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Donald Klein of Johns Creek, Ga. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a Victor Harper fit and flared mermaid style gown with a sweetheart neckline of caviar beading and a cathedral-length veil with a single blusher. She was attended by Kimberly Celest Roberts of Birmingham as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Erin Lindsay Sharpe and Chandler Sims Hines of Montgomery; Brittany Klein McDonald, Sarah Josephine McDonald and Gillian Joyce McDonald, all of Duluth, Ga.; Elizabeth Jennings Hawkins of Atlanta and Heather Gordon Kinder of Orange Beach. Christopher Ryan Lentz of Atlanta was the man of honor. Avery Elizabeth Kesler of Canton, Ga., was the flower girl. Michael Graves Brownlee Jr. of Edwards, Colo., was best man.

Groomsmen were Christopher James Klein of Phoenix, Reid Minor Coley of Panama City Beach, Fla., Gregory Michael Smith of Santa Monica, Calif., and Wesley Scott Middleton and William Stephen Taylor, both of Atlanta. Hostesses were Audrey Elizabeth Warren of Panama City Beach, Madeleine Nicole Harris of Round Rock, Texas, and Taylor Boddy Brownlee of Edwards. Ushers were Brennan Vincent Klein, Aidan James Klein and Evan Christopher Klein of Phoenix, Ariz., and Coleman Joseph McDonald and Michael James McDonald of Duluth, Ga. Coltan William Klein of Phoenix was the ring bearer. Musicians were Matthew James Ryczek and Wesley Scott Middleton, both of Atlanta. After a honeymoon trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica the couple live in Decatur, Ga.

Birmingham and the late Mr. Walter Stewart Harkins of Birmingham. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Roberta Harkins and the late Mr. Samuel Walter Harkins as well as the late Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Brasher Nelson Jr. and the late Mrs. Mary Porter Shook Nelson, all of Birmingham. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Milner McCary of Birmingham. He is the grandson of Mrs. Lynette McCary and the late Mr. James Henry McCary III of Birmingham as well as Mrs. Abbie Taylor and the late Mr. James Marion Taylor II of Andalusia. Given in marriage by John Craft McElroy, the bride wore a full lace gown. She was attended by Patricia Shook Harkins, sister of the bride, as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Lucy McDonald Bamman; Barbara Blount Blackburn; Courtney Patton DeShazo; Ashley Oliff Folmar; Julia Sims Garcia;

Caroline Morgan Harris; Avery Lauren Henry; Abbie Chapman McCary, sister of the groom; Courtney Ann McDaniel; Smith McMillian Taishoff Sinrod; Haley Sprague Thompson and Margaret Frances Watson. Elle Preston Newton, cousin of the bride, was the flower girl. The father of the groom was best man. Groomsmen were Jeffrie Braden Berline II; Andrew Ross Chapman; Richard Reid DeShazo; James Taylor McCary, brother of the groom; James Brooks McClendon; Jack Parker Morris; Henry Scott Morrow; Kevin Cornelius Partlow and Peter Owens Thompson. Benjamin Drew Merder, cousin of the bride, was the ring bearer, and Jacob Kendrick Merder, cousin of the bride was the crucifer. After a honeymoon trip to Anguilla, the couple live in Birmingham.

The bride is the daughter of Mrs. Teresa Dodd Moore and Mr. Ronald Joe Moore Jr., both of Birmingham. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Mary Dodd and the late Robert Batson Dodd and Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Joe Moore Sr., all of Center Point. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewie Franklin Swann Jr. of Birmingham. He is the grandson of Mrs. Dorothy Swann of Birmingham and the late Mr. Lewie Franklin Swann and Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Francis Dolan of Marlboro, Mass. Escorted by her father, the bride wore an Amsale silk taffeta gown with a sweetheart neckline and dropped waistline. She wore a semicathedral veil made of silk tulle. Her bouquet was made of white peonies and wrapped with a ribbon that held two separate lockets with pictures of the couple’s late grandfathers. The maid of honor was Carley

Beth Earnest, first cousin of the bride, of Birmingham. Bridesmaids were Kathryn Cameron Dunston, Heather Elaine Foster, Ashlyn Shea Neal, Lauren Michelle Seal, all of Birmingham, and Jessica Gardino Edwards of Sylacauga. The flower girl was Carter Ellis Waldrep, cousin of the bride. The father of the groom was best man. Groomsmen were Jacob Hunter Cleveland, Daniel Thomas Cox, Robert Rex Harrison, Robert Justin Neal and Robert James Stephens, all of Birmingham. Sunnie Leigh Graydon and Patricia Dianne Walker served as program attendants. At the reception, guests danced the night away with music and entertainment by Azz-Izz. The couple made a fashionable exit in a 1935 V-12 Packard Sport Phaeton.  Following a honeymoon trip to Bora Bora, the couple live in Birmingham.

Send your Wedding and Engagement announcement to: or visit for forms and info.

24 • Thursday, July 25, 2013



Local Auto Dealer Wins Chrysler Group Award

The Campus Bellhops a Chattanooga-based company was cofounded by a Vestavia Hills High School graduate Stephen Vlahos, far left with co-founder Cameron Doody and Matt Patterson.

By Keysha Drexel


Journal editor

illions of college students across the country will head back to campus next month, and a company co-founded by a Vestavia Hills High School graduate is hoping to help the students and their parents with the heavy lifting involved in the backto-school routine. Campus Bellhops, co-founded by Stephen Vlahos in 2010, provides the moving muscle for college students and their parents. The company recently expanded to offer its services in 50 college towns across the country. Vlahos and fellow Auburn University graduate Cameron Doody started the company after being called on several times to help move friends in and out of college dorms, apartments and fraternity and sorority houses. “We were those guys that everyone always called begging for help to move,” he said. “We were brainstorming about how to start our own company and came up with the concept of a moving company for college students.” Vlahos, who has a bachelor’s degree in marketing, got his wife, a web designer, to create a website for the start-up business. He asked his younger brother, who was still a student at Auburn at the time, to recruit about 80 of his friends to be “Campus Bellhops.” Vlahos and Doody said they set an initial goal to have 25 customers that first year. But they were pleasantly surprised when they ended up helping about 250 students move in over a three-day period in 2010. “We were blown away by the response,” Vlahos said. “At that point, we knew we had a good idea and had to The company expand it.” The next year, the has more than company expanded to 2,000 bellhops other southern universiready to help ties in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, students move Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida. to and from The company now offers its services as far campus. west as Iowa, north to Pennsylvania and south to Orlando, Fla., Vlahos said. Campus Bellhops recently received funding from the Chattanooga-based venture capital firm Lamp Post Group, Vlahos said. “We realized that in order to handle all these reservations that we would need some pretty sophisticated software to help coordinate everything,” he said. “One of the

The Right Moves

Photo special to The Journal

manage its bellhops. “If there’s a job at 8 a.m., we don’t tell them to show up at 8 a.m., but instead, we let them jump on those jobs when they become available and really give them the reins of the job,” Doody said. “We put the ball in their court so that the harder they work, the more successful they are.” Doody said that style of management fits the company well and is something that he thinks more companies will adopt in the future. “It’s a new way of doing things in that you are trusting people to give their best and to do their jobs well,” he said. Giving college students a chance to prove themselves is something Doody said he feels is important now that he’s a successful business owner. “People took a chance on us when we first started this business, and it feels good to be able to give young college guys a chance and empower them,” he said. During the company’s first two years, Vlahos lived in Cahaba Heights and Doody lived in Birmingham. But with the recent expansion and partnering with Lamp Post Group, the 27-year-old entrepreneurs have relocated to Chattanooga. Vlahos and his wife moved there in October, and Doody lives, there, too. His wife, an interior designer, splits her time between Birmingham and Chattanooga. “It’s a really exciting time for the company, and we feel really lucky to be able to do something we really enjoy,” Vlahos said. Vlahos said he looks forward to getting up and going to work every day and really enjoys being his own boss. “We’re a very simple service. I mean, we’re not curing cancer or anything, but I know we’re fulfilling a true need that is out there, and that’s pretty fulfilling,” he said. The company books 90 percent of its appointments in July and August as college students gear up for another school year, Vlahos said. “We haven’t even hit our peak season, but we already have double the number of jobs lined up than we did last year,” he said. With its network of bellhops and fully integrated online system, the company is capable of executing hundreds of moves each day in the cities it serves. That is particularly important, Vlahos

Vestavia Alum Takes Campus Bellhops Business Nationwide or CampusBellhops

founders of Lamp Post is also from Vestavia and fell in love with our business and said he wanted to help us grow. Lamp Post is a great partner for us.” Now, the company has more than 2,000 bellhops ready to help students move to and from campus, Vlahos said. The company charges between $90 and $135 to move one student’s belongings, depending on the number of items that need to be moved. On the company’s website, parents and students can get tips on how to avoid moving day hassles and view profiles and photos of the two bellhops assigned to their move. Clients also receive this information through email. “We try to find hard-working, self-motivated students. We get wonderful feedback from moms on how polite, courteous and helpful our bellhops are, and that is what we love to hear,” Vlahos said. Doody said each bellhop goes through an extensive interview process “so our customers can feel secure they are getting the best of the best.” Finding the right bellhops and helping them live up to their full potential is another aspect of the business, Vlahos said. “That’s another thing that is very important to us. We want to be able to give these guys some solid work experience while they’re still in college that will help them down the road,” he said. The ultimate goal, Vlahos said, is to make sure the bellhops in each college town are providing the same high level of quality service to every customer. “What we want to create is a brand of student labor across the country where we have the same service in every college town,” he said. Doody said the company does not micro-

See, BelLhops, facing page

A Birmingham automotive dealer has earned the highest award of recognition for overall sales and motor parts sales performance presented by Chrysler Group LLC. Birmingham’s Benchmark Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram was one of 41 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram truck dealerships across the country to qualify for the Walter P. Chrysler Club Award. The award was established by the Chrysler Group last year as a way to nationally recognize its leading dealerships and thank them for their hard work, dedication and overall performance in sales, service and parts. Benchmark Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has been a Chrysler Group dealer since June 1992 when Terry Spitzer (above) opened a formerly closed location as Roebuck Chrysler Jeep. In May 2002, he moved the dealership to its current location at 1313 Grants Mill Way, just off Interstate 459, and it became known as Benchmark Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. “This special group of Chrysler Group dealers and their employees deserve our highest recognition for their consistently strong sales performance and unwavering support during 2012, a year in which Chrysler Group recorded its strongest annual sales since 2007,” said Reid Bigland, president and chief executive officer for Ram Truck Brand and head of U.S. sales.

Dance Center Moves to New Homewood Location Backstage Dance Centre has relocated to a different building in Homewood this month. Kelly Mann Holt, (below) owner and artistic director, said the studio opened in July in a 2,250-square-foot facility at 1911 Oxmoor Road. “It truly is the perfect location. We are within a few blocks of three schools, and the Shades Cahaba Elementary School tunnel literally empties into our parking lot,” Holt said. “I love that we can offer assistance to working parents because their children can walk to our studio after school, giving the parents time to pick them up after their work day is complete.” The studio will host classes for all genders and age groups across all disciplines of dance, including tap, jazz, classical ballet, pointe, hip-hop and musical theater. Holt, a Bessemer native, has a degree in dance from the University of Alabama and also auditioned and was accepted by the Julliard School. She trained with a ballet company for more than 15 years and spent time

performing in New York City. She teaches all classes at the studio. For more information, visit www.

Gluten-Free Bakery Now Open on U.S. 280 A new bakery off U.S. 280 is proving that a gluten-free diet doesn’t have to be a “diet” at all. The Funky Muffin bakery opened behind Full Moon Bar-B-Que and next to Schaeffer Eye Center and Chuck E. Cheese on U.S. 280 earlier this month. In 2003, Carol Key, (below) the bakery’s owner, was diagnosed with celiac disease, a condition where the inability to properly digest gluten leads to chronic gastrointestinal problems. A decade ago, Key said, the gluten-free food market was almost nonexistent. After her diagnosis, Key said she went home and removed about 14 bags of groceries that she could no longer eat from her refrigerator and pantry. That’s when the real work began, Key said. For the next six months, she spent a lot of time in grocery stores reading labels. After months of educating herself about the foods that did and did not contain gluten, Key began the process of learning to take her favorite recipes and convert them into gluten-free recipes. In the last few years, Key began thinking about opening a dedicated gluten-free bakery. “I wanted a place where those that needed or elected to eat gluten-free food could come, walk in and know they


from previous page

said, because about 90 percent of all college students move during the same four-week period prior to the start of the fall semester. “All in four weeks, student apartment leases expire and thousands of incoming freshmen move to town.” Vlahos said. “What makes us different is that we have the firepower to handle the demand. That, and the fact that everybody loves to work with students.”

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 25



could have it all,” she said. The bakery offers sandwich breads, pies, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, cookies and more. Key also offers information on celiac disease and gluten-free recipes. The Funky Muffin is open Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit www. or call 4089825.

Italian Restaurant Marks 25th Anniversary In June an Italian restaurant in Mountain Brook marked a quarter of a century of providing diners with an authentic taste of Sicilian cuisine. Bongiorno Family Italian Restaurant celebrated 25 years in Crestline Village with a bruschetta reception and other events last month. Giuseppe “Joe” Magnolia (above) came to the U.S. from his hometown of Palermo, Sicily. His first stint in the restaurant business was Joe’s Restaurant and Pizza in New York City. In 1977, in search of a warmer climate, Magnolia moved to Alabama. In June of 1988, he opened Bongiorno in Crestline Village. Magnolia said he takes his commitment to bringing the best and freshest ingredients to his customers seriously and hand-selects the menu’s ingredients by making twice-weekly trips to the farmers market to choose the best produce and seafood. For more information, visit www. or call 879-5947. ❖

Vlahos and Doody said their plan is to continue to grow the company and expand its service areas. By 2014, the company would like to triple its footprint and offer services in 150 college cities across the nation, they said. Campus Bellhops offers its services to anyone within a 15-minute radius of the 50 college communities it operates out of, including those who are not students. For more information, visit or ❖

gorgeous home in longleaf

OTM Chambers Team Up for Speed Networking Five chambers of commerce in the Over the Mountain area are teaming up for a speed networking event on July 30. The Homewood Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and Greater Shelby organizations to host the event, which will be from 8:30-10 a.m. at Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel. Homewood Chamber officials said that by combining their efforts and resources, the five chambers hope to attract more than 250 participants to the speed networking event. For more information, visit www. or call 871-5631.

Move in this summer!

2205 Longleaf Boulevard

Over the Mountain area chambers of commerce are offering other networking opportunities and events.

For more information please contact:


Kent Stewart will be the featured speaker at the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon in August. Stewart will speak at the Aug. 13 event at the Vestavia Country Club, 400 Beaumont Drive. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m., and the program starts at noon. Tickets are $18 with reservations or $25 at the door. Reservations must be made by 4 p.m. on Aug. 9. For more information, visit www.vestaviahills. org or call 823-5011. HOOVER

The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce will have a luncheon on Aug. 15 at Hoover Country Club. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. with the program starting at noon. Reserved tickets are $18. Tickets at the door are $20. For more information or to make reservations, visit www., or call 9885672. NORTH SHELBY

The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s next luncheon is July 31 at 11 a.m. in Pelham. For more information, visit ❖

To: From: Date:

Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax July 2013 This is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journa July 25, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1

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


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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

MusicbyHarryWarren,LyricsbyAlDubin BookbyMichaelStewartandMarkBramble BasedontheNovelbyBradfordRopes

See an unknown become a star in 42nd Street at Red Mountain Theatre Company (RMTC). The tapdancing musical of the Broadway underdog comes totheRMTCstageJuly11-August4,2013.Getyour tickets today at or by calling205-324-2424.

26 • Thursday, July 25, 2013



Back to school

Change at the Top

Some OTM Schools Will Start New Year with New Principals By William C. Singleton III


Journal contributor

here will be some new faces in the principals’ offices at several Over the Mountain schools when the new school year begins next month. Some of the schools will have principals who have served in other capacities in the same school system while other schools will be headed up by educators new to the Over the Mountain area. Kara Scholl, the new principal at Hoover’s South Shades Crest Elementary, said her new role is merely an extension of her previous one as teacher. “It’s just a classroom on a different level,” she said. “Now, I’ll be working more with teachers than directly with students. But I’ll have to build those relationships with students, with parents, with all families just as I had to build those relationships with students inside the classroom.” Scholl said knowing how to teach curriculum in the classroom will help her as an administrator. “Having seen it work in the classroom, I take that with me into leadership,” she said. Scholl, 37, will be among a handful of new principals leading schools in various Over the Mountain education districts when students return to school in August.  South Shades Crest Elementary marks Scholl’s first job as a principal, though she served five years as an assistant principal at Bluff Park Elementary and has more than 15 years of experience as an educator with the Hoover School System. Other schools are being led by new principals and veteran educational leaders serving in new locations. The selection of a principal is an important one in determining whether a school accomplishes its goals, Vestavia Hills School Superintendent Jamie Blair said.  “It all starts with the principal,” he said. “The principal is the instructional leader. The principal is also the manager of personnel, student discipline, etc. It all starts with the principal. And anything happens that’s good or bad ends with the principal. The principal is the key person in that building.” Vestavia Hills has new principals at its high

school and at an elementary school. Wes Gordon takes over for the retired Cas McWaters at Vestavia Hills High School. Gordon’s last assignment was as K-12 director of curriculum and instruction with Vestavia Hills and as a former AP Calculus teacher at the high school. Kim Hauser, an assistant principal at Vestavia Hills Elementary West for eight years, takes over as principal for Becky Patton, who retired at the end of the school year. Hauser said learning under Patton for eight years should make for a smoother transition into her new role. “I would like to think there will not be any tremendously huge difference because I worked very closely with the principal who was here before,” she said. “She mentored me eight years, so I hope to maintain the quality of leadership that has been in place.” Homewood has named three new principals since the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Jimmie Pearson will be the new principal at Homewood Middle School. Pearson comes to Homewood from Jefferson County, where he served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, area director and area superintendent. Pearson replaces Martin Nalls, who now serves as Homewood’s director of support services. “I am glad and grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to serving the Homewood community,” Pearson said. Two other former assistant principals move up a notch on the educational career ladder at Hall-Kent Elementary (Abbie Freeman) and Shades Cahaba Elementary (John Lowry).  Freeman was elevated from assistant principal to principal and also served as assistant principal at Winterboro High School in Alpine for three years. Lowry was assistant principal at Shades Cahaba for three years. Two private schools in the Over the Mountain area are also getting new leadership at the top. At Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy near Indian Springs Village in North Shelby, Jeff Beedy has been named Interim Head of School for the K-9 private school. Beedy was educated at Harvard University and has focused his work on understanding how children think, reason and develop, according to a press release from the school. “I have a deep respect for Maria Montessori’s approach to educating young peo-

John Lowry, Shades Cahaba Elementary School, Homewood.

Jimmie Pearson, Homewood Middle School, Homewood.

Kara Scholl, South Shades Crest Elementary School, Hoover.

Kathleen Wheaton, Greystone Elementary School, Hoover.

J. Mark Akerman, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School, North Shelby.

Jeff Beedy, Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy, North Shelby.

Abbie Freeman, Hall-Kent Elementary School, Homewood.

Kim Hauser, Vestavia Hills Elementary West, Vestavia Hills.

ple and have employed her work in the schools I have led around the world,” he said. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator who lived from 1870-1952 and developed a method of learning that emphasized independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child’s natural psychological development. Her method of education is practiced in both public and private schools worldwide. J. Mark Akerman will lead Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School in North Shelby as its new principal. “Mr. Akerman has devoted his career to Catholic education and brings to OLV extensive experience in Catholic schools, including 17 years in administration,” said Msgr. Paul Rohling, V.G. Pastor of Our Lady of the Valley. Akerman was a former principal for five years at Epiphany Catholic School in Florida and served nine years as principal at St. Pius X School in North Carolina.  Akerman succeeds Sandra Roden, who retired after 19 years as principal and a combined 38 years in education in the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham, school officials said.

In a letter last week to Mountain Brook City Schools parents, Superintendent Dicky Barlow said the board of education had approved his recommendation that Amanda Hood be appointed the new principal of Mountain Brook High School. The school’s former principal, Vic Wilson, took a job in July as Hartselle city schools superintendent. Hood was appointed principal at Mountain Brook Junior High in June 2012. Donald Clayton will serve as the interim principal at the junior high school. Along with Scholl, Hoover will have a new face at its top administrative level at Greystone Elementary. Kathleen Wheaton takes over for Maurine Black, whose contract was not renewed after eight years as principal. Wheaton is a native of Virginia who was recruited to Alabama by Hoover City Schools’ first superintendent, Bob Mitchell. Wheaton has held numerous positions with the Hoover school system, including a stint as principal of Berry Middle School. ❖

BACK TO SCHOOL Important Dates to Remember In just a few short weeks, Over the Mountain students and their teachers will head back to the classroom to start a new school year. Here are some important dates to remember from area school systems’ 2013-2014 calendars: Homewood City Schools

First Day for Students: Aug. 19 Labor Day: Sept. 2 Parent Teacher Conference Day/No students: Oct. 18 Veterans Day: Nov. 11 Thanksgiving: Nov. 27-29 Winter Holidays: Dec. 23-Jan. 1 Students Return: Jan. 6 MLK Jr. Holiday: Jan. 20 Spring Break: March 24-28

Last Day for Students: May 22. Website: Hoover City Schools

First Day for Students: Aug. 19 Labor Day: Sept. 2 Veterans Day: Nov. 11 Thanksgiving: Nov. 27 (half day)-Nov. 29 Winter Holidays: Dec. 23-Jan. 3 Students Return: Jan. 6 MLK Jr. Holiday: Jan. 20 E-learning Day/No students: Feb. 17 Spring Break: March 24-28 Last Day for Students: May 23 Website:

Mountain Brook City Schools

First Day for Students: Aug. 19

Labor Day: Sept. 2 eSchool Day/No students: Oct. 14 Veterans Day: Nov. 11 Thanksgiving: Nov. 27-29 Winter Holidays: Dec. 23-Jan. 2 Students Return: Jan. 3 MLK Jr. Holiday: Jan. 20 Spring Break: March 24-28 Last Day for Students: May 23 Website: Vestavia Hills City Schools

First Day for Students: Aug. 19 Labor Day: Sept. 2 Parent Teacher Conference Day/Half-day for Students: Oct. 14 Veterans Day: Nov. 11 Thanksgiving: Nov. 28-29

Look for more Back to School news in our Aug. 8 issue

Winter Holidays: Dec. 23-Jan. 3 Students Return: Jan. 6 MLK Jr. Holiday: Jan. 20 Spring Break: March 24-28 Last Day for Students: May 23 Website: Shelby County Schools

First Day for Students: Aug. 19 Labor Day: Sept. 2 Veterans Day: Nov. 11 Thanksgiving: Nov. 27-29 Winter Holidays: Dec. 23-Jan. 3 Students Return: Jan. 6 MLK Jr. Holiday: Jan. 20 Spring Break: March 24-28 Last Day for Students: May 23 Website:

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 27



topics of violent video games and capital punishment. The Bumpus Middle debate team held a fourth-place ranking throughout the season. The Bumpus Middle School debate team recently completed its first season.Front, from left: Noelle Falls, Hana Park and Christian Hatcher. Back: Whitney Thomas, Nour Moughnyeh, Sydney Thomas, Jason Lee and Colton Steinbeck. Photo special to The Journal

Altamont School teacher Maha Awad, center, won the MIT Inspirational Award. From left: Matthew Hamilton, Awad and Sarah Whiteside. Photo special

Mike A. Keller, DDS, PC

to The Journal

Altamont Teacher Recognized by MIT

Bumpus Middle Debate Team Finishes Strong

Maha Awad, a teacher at the Altamont School, was one of only 29 teachers worldwide who received the MIT Inspirational Teacher Award this year. Awad was nominated by Haley Hurowitz, a student at MIT and a 2012 graduate of Altamont. She described Awad as “a superb teacher who encourages students to reach their potential (and) who is caring, honest and will go above and beyond for her students and colleagues.”  The Inspirational Teacher Award gives MIT students the opportunity to show their gratitude to teachers who inspired excellence in them and might even be the reason they were inspired to pursue a higher education.  Awad was honored at a school assembly.

The Bumpus Middle School debate team recently completed its first season of competition in the Birmingham Area Debate League. On April 30, the league named Christian Hatcher of Bumpus Middle as its first-place debater of the season. Hatcher and teammate Jason Lee worked together to cultivate the newlyformed debate team at Bumpus. They successfully requested from Head Principal Dr. Tamala Maddox that the organization and sponsorship of the team go into effect at the end of the 2011-12 school year.  The BADL held four tournaments with more than 15 schools. More than 100 students from the Birmingham area participated in two debate rounds.  The students researched, drafted and presented their speeches on the


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28 • Thursday, July 25, 2013


The Cherokee Bend Elementary School PTO hosted a luncheon for mothers whose youngest child was graduating from the school. Front, from left: Julie Edwards, Tracy Bragg, Sally Bussman and Suzy Brown. Middle: Rhonda Chamoun, Julie McClean, Julie Smith, Bebe Burkette, Kim Tew and Kelley Walters. Back: Stephanie Steinmetz, Stephanie Carothers, Suzan Doidge, Angle Garrett, Kelly Rollow, Melinda Curtis, Kristy Harrison, Judy Habeeb, Randa Hall and Robyn Gaut. Photo special to The Journal

Cherokee Bend PTO Honors Mothers Cherokee Bend PTO committee members Susan Logan and Natalie Samson hosted a luncheon for a special group of moms May 10 at the home of Katherine Cox. The event honored mothers whose youngest child was graduating from Cherokee Bend Elementary School. Each of the mothers received an award, and the first-ever Sally Bussman award was given to Sally Bussman herself. Cherokee Bend Elementary Principal Betsy Beall and Vice Principal Jennifer Galloway attended the luncheon. PTO committee members include Dena Berte, Elizabeth Edwards, Joanna Hufham, Kate Johnson, Amy Littleton, Lori Smith and Jane Walker.

Isley Named District Teacher of the Year Jerome Isley, a teacher at Hall-Kent Elementary School, was chosen as an Alabama 2013-14 Elementary District

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Teacher of the Year. Isley was selected as a Sweet 16 finalist from a group of elementary and secondary school teachers nominated by their school districts as a candidate for the honor. Isley was the 2013 Hall-Kent Elementary Jerome Isley School Teacher of the Year and Homewood City Schools’ Elementary Teacher of the Year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He became a special education aide at Edgewood Elementary School and returned to Hall-Kent the next fall.  He is the Hall-Kent Parent Teacher Organization faculty representative and a member of the budget committee. He is the second grade chairman and mentors new teachers at Hall-Kent.

Hoover Students Skype with Bestselling Author Betsy Crowley’s fourth-grade class at South Shades Crest Elementary had a personal Skype session with New York Times bestselling author Brandon Mull on May 21. To get ready for the video chat

session, the class read some of Mull’s works. Two students wrote a screenplay for the class to perform for Mull, creating their own backdrops, costumes and blocking for the play. Mull is the author of the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal’s bestselling Beyonders and Fablehaven series. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile, where he learned to speak Spanish and to juggle. “The Skype session was an exciting reward to get to speak with and ask Mr. Mull questions about his writing process and gave the students recommendations on becoming an award-winning author. It was truly the highlight of the year and one the fourth-grade students will never forget,” Crowley said.

Mountain Brook Debate Team Wins at Tourney Several members of the Mountain Brook High School debate team along with their coach, Kristen French, traveled to Montgomery’s Loveless Academy Magnet Program High School for the 2013 Alabama Speech and Debate Tournament. George Perrine, a junior, and Marc Straus, a freshman, won the state championship in policy debate. Junior Amelia Putnam won the state championship in varsity Lincoln Douglas, a debate that focuses heavily on logic, ethical values and philosophy.  Ben Jones, a sophomore, was a semifinal qualifier in novice Lincoln Douglas. Juniors Caroline Goolsby and


Hope Reamer won third place in policy debate. Jeff Rogers, a senior, won fourth place in congressional debate.  Wyatt Moorer, also a senior, earned third place in congressional debate. Caroline Milligan, a junior, won second place in congressional debate.  Mountain Brook is one of only five schools that have won the tournament. Other winners include Vestavia Hills High, Montgomery Academy, Saint James School in Montgomery and Prattville High, this year’s winning team.  The Alabama Speech and Debate Tournament has been presented annually by the Alabama Forensics Education Association since 1985.

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School recognized students during an awards ceremony at the end of the school year, including the winners of the school’s Outstanding Christian Service Award. From left: Isabela Restrepo, OLS Principal Mary Jane Dorn and John Michael Mizerany. Photo special to The Journal

OLS Students Earn Christian Service Award

Briarwood Student Named National Scholar

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School’s Outstanding Christian Service Award was recently presented to Isabela Restrepo and John Michael Mizerany, both in eighth grade. This award is given annually to an eighth-grade boy and girl who have each displayed a Christ-like spirit in their everyday lives. The award is based on consistent service to others as well as an exceptional Christian attitude and display of behavior.

William D. Byers of Greystone, a student at Briarwood Christian School, has been awarded membership to the National Society of High School Scholars. The society invites members based on top scholarship and academic excellence. The announcement of Byers’s membership came from Claes Nobel, NSHSS founder and senior family member of the Nobel Prizes founders. “On behalf of NSHSS, I am honored to Willliam D. Byers recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that William has demonstrated to achieve this level of academic excellence,” Nobel said. “William is now a member of a unique community of scholars, a community that represents our very best hope for the future.” As a member of NSHSS, Byers will have benefits such as scholarship opportunities, academic competitions, free events, members-only resources, publications, participation in programs offered by educational partners, online forums, personalized recognition items and publicity honors. The National Society of High School Scholars was founded in 2002 to award high school academic excellence and encourage organization members to use their unique talents, vision and potential for the improvement of themselves and the world.

Hope Christian Student Wins Chess Tourney A Hope Christian School sophomore won the 2013 Alabama Scholastic Chess Championship Open Division. Stephen Adams, a Brook Highland resident, won the tournament earlier this year at James Clemens High School in

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Fourth-graders at South Shades Crest Elementary School recently talked with bestselling author Brandon Mull via Skype. Photo special to The Journal

7/18/2011 1:26:22 PM

Madison. As the champion, Adams will represent the state in the 2013 Denker Tournament of High School Champions.  “The Denker” is held annually in addition to the U.S. Chess Open. The Stephen Adams tournament is by invitation only for the best high school chess player in each state.




from back cover

Mountain Brook Junior High School has chosen the members of the dance team for the 2013-2014 school year. Front, from left: Reagan Clark, Lucie Christian, Kate Siebels, Emilyn Hamn, Mary Robins Miller, Kate Hinson, Adele Bloodworth and Caroline Kohn. Middle: Brantley Goodman, Olivia Keating, Caroline Cross, Katie Foy, Delia Vandevelde, Maitland Null, Murray Brown and Lee Knight. Back: Hannah Reeder, Charlotte Farrar, Fredda Cardwell, Carolyn Walheim, Lindsay Kahn, Mary Inzer Higgins and Kate Childs. Photo special to The Journal

New Mountain Brook Dance Team Named for 2013-14 The new Mountain Brook Junior High School Spartanettes dance team members have been selected for the 2013-2014 school year. They include Reagan Clark, Lucie Christian,

Kate Siebels, Emilyn Hamn, Mary Robins Miller, Kate Hinson, Adele Bloodworth, Caroline Kohn, Brantley Goodman, Olivia Keating, Caroline Cross, Katie Foy, Delia Vandevelde, Maitland Null, Murray Brown, Lee Knight, Hannah Reeder, Charlotte Farrar, Fredda Cardwell, Carolyn Walheim, Lindsay Kahn, Mary Inzer Higgins and Kate Childs.

win over Blount in the state title game. Just days after that MVP performance, she was named the 2013 Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year in Alabama. Webb was the first Hoover player to claim that honor since the legendary Sidney Spencer won it in 2003. “Marqu’es is an incredible high school athlete,” Frederick said. “She put us on her back and carried us to the state championship. Marqu’es has mastered the ability to be an intense competitor while maintaining a professionalism and maturity well beyond her years. That’s not a combination you find all the time.” Webb is well-versed in the art of winning. She helped Brewbaker Tech win the Class 4A state championship in 2011 before transferring to Hoover and leading the Lady Bucs to backto-back blue trophies. Her competitive nature didn’t take a break during the post-season. Webb scored 17 points and snatched 17 rebounds to spark Alabama to a 64-54 win over Mississippi in the AlabamaMississippi Girls All-Star game at Montgomery in late March. Any guesses on who won the MVP Award? “The all-star game told a lot about Marqu’es,” Frederick said. “By her standards she didn’t play a good game in the first half and scored only three points. Then she came back to dominate the second half and lead Alabama to victory. That says so much about her.” Webb is a winner off the court as well. Having achieved a 3.48 GPA at Hoover, she will be playing at Vanderbilt University next season. With credentials like this, it’s no surprise that Webb has been chosen by the Over the Mountain Journal as the 2012-13 Over the Mountain Girl Athlete of the Year. Oak Mountain soccer star Toni Payne claimed the honor in 2011-12. The Mountain Brook boys’ basketball team was collectively named the 2012-13 Over the Mountain Boy Athlete of the Year. “It’s so exciting for Marqu’es to add this award to the many she has already received,” Frederick said. “It’s special because everyone

Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 29

knows that the best high school athletes in Alabama come from our part of the state.” Webb admitted she didn’t expect to win the Athlete of the Year Award. “This wasn’t something I thought would come my way, so it means a lot to me to be honored like this,” she said. “It’s particularly meaningful when you think about all the great athletes that are out there. But like any individual award, this is more about the team than anything else.” A defeat early in her basketball career provided the determination to excel the rest of the way, according to Webb. “When I was a freshman at Brewbaker, we lost in the regionals. It felt horrible. I never wanted to experience that feeling again. The bad memory of losing made me want to win those championships that would come later on,” she said. Webb credited her dedication and work ethic to her mother, who raised her as a single parent. And some ‘My mother told of it may have been in me if I wanted Webb’s persomething, I was sonal DNA. “My moth- going to have er told me if I to work for it. I wanted somealways bought into thing, I was that idea and tried going to have to work for to convey it to my it,” she said. teammates.’ “I always Marqu’es Webb bought into that idea and tried to convey it to my teammates.” Instead of taking an extended vacation, Webb is characteristically spending her summer at Vanderbilt, taking classes and working out in anticipation of her first year as a Commodore. She plans to major in communications. “It might be cool to work for ESPN one day,” Webb said, laughing. You don’t need a degree in communications to express this message: Marqu’es Webb is the 2012-13 Over the Mountain Girl Athlete of the Year.

Students in Julia Shirley’s K-4 class at Briarwood Christian Elementary School get in character for Cowboy Day. Photo special to The Journal

Students Celebrate Cowboy Day at Briarwood Christian School Julia Shirley’s 4-year-old kindergarten class at Briarwood Christian Elementary School finished their studies for the year by going to school

dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. The students learned how to gallop and lasso in their physical education class. After working up an appetite, they returned to the “ranch” for popcorn, pigs-in-a-blanket, cornbread and barbecue baked beans.

Students at Shades Cahaba Elementary School won awards for the creative works of art they made out of yams as a part of the school’s annual Youth Art Month, or YAM celebration. Photo special

to The Journal

Shades Cahaba Students Celebrate Yamapalooza 2013 Shades Cahaba Elementary School students, parents and teachers joined together to celebrate Youth Art Month 2013. They decorated, painted and named yams to resemble artists, musicians, actors, literary

characters and trophies. The entries were displayed in the school lobby to be judged by teachers, students, parents and guests. Each winner was awarded art supplies. The 2013 student winners were Owen Barkley, Abby and Jane Wilson, Sunny Taylor, Dobbs Durkin, Drew Giardina and Sara Bateman. ❖ Send school news to

spartans, from back cover

As McMillan noted, Mountain Brook’s saga in 2012-13 was as much about a community as it was a basketball team. Spartan gold–some people call it neon yellow–became the unofficial color of the state’s wealthiest city. Bright neon banners were on mailboxes and storefronts in Crestline, Mountain Brook Village and English Village during the Spartans’ run for glory. “When I think back on that championship four months later, the first thing I think of is the community,” the coach said. “It was an honor to represent this town. We owe so much of what was accomplished to the support we received.” In an unprecedented move, the Over the Mountain Journal has chosen the entire Spartan basketball team for its 2012-13 Over the Mountain Boy Athlete of the Year award. Hoover center/forward Marqu’es Webb is the choice for Girl Athlete of the Year. Spain Park baseball star Mikey White was Boy Athlete of the Year in 2011-12. “This is another great honor for our team,” McMillan said. “And it’s also a big deal for our school and the city. I couldn’t be any prouder of our guys.” Of course, as is the case with any championship team, Mountain Brook had its share of stars. Senior forward Malek Grant, a transfer from Midfield, averaged nearly 14 points and six

rebounds during the Spartans’ title run. Grant’s best game may have come in the championship final, when he blitzed Sparkman with 22 points and 12 rebounds. His younger brother Tawarren, also a Midfield transfer, averaged seven points and three rebounds per contest in his sophomore campaign. Senior Jeremy Berman averaged nine points and four rebounds, and junior Patrick Keim averaged eight points and three rebounds per contest. All four earned a spot on the 2012-13 AllOver the Mountain team. “We were able to win the state championship,” Malek Grant said, “because we played as a team. This was never about any individuals.” McMillan said Grant’s attitude was typical of the entire team. “Our guys were so unselfish,” McMillan said. “From the very beginning, everyone bought into the concept that if we worked together, we could go a long way.” The remainder of the roster included seniors Stuart Harmon, Eric Raszeja, Will Deer, Joshua Bluestein, Hunter Williams, Reagan Alexander, and Griff Cooper, juniors Ben Shearer, Alex Boozer, Will Brewster and Alex Peters and freshman Jack Kline. Together, they took Mountain Brook on an improbable ride to the state 6A basketball championship. And collectively, they became the 2012-13 Boy Athletes of the Year.

30 • Thursday, July 25, 2013



Team members, from left, include Warren Fitzpatrick and Will Wetzler of Mountain Brook; Shy Cunningham of Birmingham; Zach Dutton of Sumiton; Bruce Bright of Birmingham; Keithan Parker of Clay-Chalkville; Conner Rohling and Brandon Houston of Vestavia Hills and coach Jeff Baker. Photo special to The Journal Team members from left, front: Audria Wood, Jordan Henderson and Anna Hogewood. Middle: Carolyn Cleary, Kathryn Brakefield, Aarthi Namasivayam and Nicole Bernal. Back: Shamayne Cooper, Hailey Joseph, Ally Hall, head coach Luke Whittle, Haleigh Kimble, Jennah Moore, Alyssa Vess, Julia Freeman, Angelica Justice and assistant coach Amy Disko. Photo special to The Journal

Soccer Team Advances to Regional Championship Quarterfinals

The Vestavia Hills Soccer Club Attack 99 Black girls’ soccer team traveled to Edmond, Okla., June 19-24 to participate in the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III Championship. The team qualified for regionals by winning the Region III Premier League Central this past fall and by winning the Alabama state championship in May. The team opened the Oklahoma tournament by tying Baton Rouge Soccer Club, the Louisiana state champions, 2-2. Next up was FC Dallas, the Texas state finalists, which the Vestavia team tied by a score of 1-1.

Birmingham Goes Undefeated to Win State Title

In the Youth Basketball of America (YBOA) - Alabama State Tournament for Boys 14U8th Grade Division II, the Birmingham Storm Red went undefeated in pool play then won the State Champions title in their division in the Final Championship Game.

Vestavia played its third and final game in pool play against the North Carolina state champions. Attack 99 Black won 2-1. With a win and two ties, Attack 99 Black won its group and advanced in the tournament. The Vestavia team lost to the Sunrise Sting from Florida in its quarterfinal match. The team was one of seven from the Vestavia Hills Soccer Club qualifying for the regionals. Attack 99 Black team members raised money for Oklahoma tornado victims and donated it in person during the tournament. Luke Whittle is the team’s head coach. Assistant coach is Amy Disko.

Hoover 8U Hot Shots Dominate to Win USSSA Alabama Pre-Area No.1 The Hoover Hot Shots 8U All Star softball team went an undefeated 7-0 to win the USSSA Alabama Pre-Area No. 1 tournament this past weekend. There were 19 teams in the tournament. The Hot Shots went 3-0 in pool play and outscored their opponents an amazing 53-4 in those three games. In elimination play, these young ladies went 4-0 and outscored their opponents 55-25. The 8U Hot Shots played a total of 35 innings in the tournament with 31 of those on Saturday. The

Hot Shots is one of the six teams currently representing the Hoover Softball Association in USSSA All Stars from ages 6U-12U. Players for the 8U Hoover Hot Shots are Heaven Bibbs, Adair Byars, Sadie Cope, McKenzie Dabney, Carolyne Hecklinski, Claire Manering, Abby Pate, Jaddin Simpson, Emily Sims, Gia Wade and Blakley Watts. Coaches for the 8U Hot Shots are Dustin Dabney, Robbie Glenn, Bryan Pate and Chad Watts.

Twins Finish Season Undefeated

Team members are: from left, front: Austin Wilbanks, Brooks Grant, Ian Johnigan, Charlie Wilks, Carson McFadden and Brady Sheppard. Middle: Weston Dow, Aden Malpass and Luke Ballintine.  Coaches: head coach Jim Ballintine, Shad Wilks and Scott McFadden. Photo special to The Journal

Mountain Brook Freshman Win June Jam Championship

The Mountain Brook 15-U freshman baseball team, winners of the Alabama June Jam, are, from left front: Huston West, Hayden Dickens, Graham Hart, Fuller Neil and Tanner Williams. Back: Matt McDonald, Parker Bethea, coach Todd Neil, William Garcia, coach John Carney, Joe Donald,  Lawton Sparks, coach Hal West and Burt Bellande. Not pictured  Owen Conzelman, McKinnon Cox, Rix Curtis and Thorton Hydinger. Photo special to The Journal

Oak Mountain 9U American Win Metro

The 9U Oak Mountain American 1 All Stars team went undefeated to win the American Metro All Stars Tournament. They clinched the title when they beat the Oak Mountain American 2 team 12 - 2 at Shades Mountain Park. Members of the championship team include, from left, front: McCollum Mansfield, Cole Gangle, Grant Rakers, Colby Camps, Jake Baker, Brendin Simich and Wilson Rowlen. Middle: Avery Chitwood, Walker Hughes, Jake Derecki, Maddox Macrory and

Jake Majors. Back: Matt Macrory, head coach John Chitwood, Greg Majors and Pat Rakers (not shown). Photo special to The Journal

The undefeated 7-year old Twins finished their season with a 12-0 record and went on to clinch the Shades Mountain Park regular season championship with a 21-10 win over the Red Sox. 

Spartans’ Hubbard Signs with Southern

from back cover

status. Homewood and John Carroll Catholic’s Gerald Gann, Homewood and Vestavia Hills’ Alvin Bresler, Mountain Brook’s Gene Ellison and Joey Jones and Spain Park’s John Grass were all top-flight coaches and first- class individuals. But something–often a short tenure in high school coaching–keeps them just a little short of the final list. But if you want to make the case for any of them, there’s plenty of ammunition there. So here, for the purposes of friendly debate and discussion, is one writer’s choice of the Magnificent Seven Over the Mountain coaches, ending with the choice of No. 1. 7. Robert Higginbotham, Mountain Brook/Shades Valley. The former University of Alabama defensive back was one of the state’s most consistent winners for decades, and it all started with his work at two Over the Mountain schools. Higginbotham achieved what many considered impossible when he led the Spartans to the Class 4A crown in his third year at the helm in 1975. After a controversial dismissal at Mountain Brook, he moved on to Shades Valley, where his Mountie teams were consistent playoff participants and came within a hair of another state title in 1994. Higginbotham finished his career with a long run at Tuscaloosa County, but his record at Over the Mountain schools raised the overall bar for quality football in the area. 6. Fred Yancey, Briarwood. The Lions were perennial doormats when Yancey took the reins of the struggling private school program in the early 1990s. Since then, he has built Briarwood into a Class 5A titan. Yancey actually directed the Lions to two consecutive Class 3A titles in 1998 and 1999, before a vindictive Alabama High School Athletic Association rule pushed all private schools up two classes higher than their student enrollments dictated.

Instead of faltering, Briarwood under Yancey flourished and added a Class 5A crown to its trophy case in 2003. Yancey’s teams have also been competitive with Class 6A schools. The popular coach is 67 but looks 10 years younger, and he has no plans to step down. That’s bad news for the Lions’ upcoming opponents and good news for football in general. 5. Bob Newton, Homewood. Newton was a longtime assistant at Homewood who was promoted to head coach when Gerald Gann moved to Hoover in 1995. At the time, many Patriot fans weren’t happy with the choice, but none of them would admit it now. Newton took a very good program and made it great. Homewood won the Class 5A title in his very first season. Newton would win four more championships in the first decade of the 21st century before his retirement due to health reasons after 2005. In many ways, Newton was the classic old-school coach: He was tough, relentless and demanding on the field but cared about his players as if they were his own sons. In turn, his players would run through the proverbial brick wall for him. Over the Mountain football is much better because he was a part of it. 4. Josh Niblett, Hoover. This choice may surprise some people who think he’s ranked too high; it will surprise others who think he’s ranked too low. Niblett came to Hoover in 2008 after a highly productive run at Oxford. His mission was to replace the ultra-successful Rush Propst, who brought the Bucs five state championships, national prominence and a boatload of off-the-field scandals. Niblett took a great program and made it better. Hoover has made the Class 6A finals every year since he took over the program, winning championships in 2009 and 2012. Just as importantly, Hoover has been winning without the fanfare and soap opera-style drama so characteristic of the Propst years. Niblett’s back-to-the-basics approach to football at Hoover is

Hoover Hosting National 7on7 Championships The 11th annual National Select 7on7 Championships are underway now through July 26 in Hoover. Thirty-two teams and more than 95 NCAA Division I football recruits are participating. Teams are traveling to the event from 13 different states for a chance to play for the national title. Teams arrived in Birmingham Wednesday for a pre-tournament launch party and press conference at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel. Pool play starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday, with the double-elimination tournament starting Friday morning. Each game will run 21 minutes. Games are at Hoover High School. Alabama teams competing in the tournament are Hoover, Spain Park, Foley, McGill-Toolen, Opelika and

Spanish Fort. National Select added three more qualifying tournaments this year to the 10 it held last year. Winners from each qualifying tournament along with several 2012 state champions and runners-up were invited to participate in the event. All games will be broadcast live by PlayOn! Sports on Select7on7. com. “We are excited to see all of the teams in action,” said Brandon Sheppard, National Select 7on7 executive director. “Thanks to our sponsors and the commitment of our community, this event has grown exponentially over the past 11 years, and we feel the competition is the best it has ever been. This event and all the qualifying tournaments leading up to this point are a great way for players, coaches and fans to build on their program’s future and keep teams engaged over the summer.” For more about the tournament, visit More information is on Facebook and Twitter @select7on7.

hot for Propst, who later admitted he was often bored during his final years at Hoover. His personal life began to unravel in full public view, which led to his resignation and move to Georgia. Propst had a human side that far too few people saw, but even his severest critics can’t argue that his influence and success on the field will impact the area–and all of Alabama high school football–for decades. 2. Buddy Anderson, Vestavia Hills. For sustained excellence over a Don’t miss the 2013 period of time High School Football preview long (try four decades), nobody in Alabama Special section Aug. 22 top Anderson. over the mountain journal can Vestavia’s program– in many ways–is a throwback to another era. And that’s thrive there. Josh Niblett is that man. a good thing. Anderson insists on 3. Rush Propst, Hoover. No dedication from his players but also coach ever stirred more controversy than Propst. But no coach ever had so understands that time away from football for a family vacation or a church much on-the-field glory. mission trip is important in a young It’s easy to forget that Hoover man’s life, too. was a mediocre program when Propst The coach’s dislike for the digital moved north from Alma Bryant age is almost legendary. He rarely in 1999. Under his tenure, Hoover sends emails and uses his cell phone posted a 114-9 record (discounting strictly for talking, and woe be upon forfeits) and played for seven Class the Rebel player caught texting in a 6A state championships in nine years, team meeting. winning five of them. Under Anderson’s tenure, Vestavia Propst saw himself as far more has won two state championships than a coach–he felt tasked to be a (1980 and 1998), a slew of region tireless promoter of the Hoover program in particular and Alabama high titles and most importantly has done it school football in general. Nobody all the right way. In Anderson World, except Propst himself can truly know national publicity for your program the purity of his motives, but he cerisn’t a bad thing, but it’s not nearly tainly succeeded in bringing the glare as important as playing neighborof publicity to his program. Hoover’s hood rivals such as Homewood and game against high profile out-ofHoover. state opponent Nease of Florida (led On the field, Anderson’s conservaby Tim Tebow) was carried live by tive approach to the game is simple. ESPN. The popular reality series He says, “Here is what we are going “Two-A-Days,” produced and aired to do. See if you can stop us.” Most by MTV, focused on the daily lives of the time, the opponent can’t. of the Hoover team members and If you really want to know what coaches and turned some of the Bucs Vestavia football is all about, look at the staff. Many of the coaches into minor celebrities. have been with Anderson since the At the end, the spotlight got too

1970s. One coach, defensive coordinator Peter Braasch, has been by Anderson’s side for every game he has ever coached. That speaks to the power of loyalty and continuity. With 296 wins to his credit, Anderson will almost certainly earn his 300th victory this fall. At a youngish 63, the coach may well be around long enough to clinch victory number 400 one day. 1. Bob Finley, Berry. Other coaches may win more games or championships than Finley, but none will be remembered any more fondly than the man called the Father of Over the Mountain Football. From his first season at Berry in 1968, Finley set a standard for winning and class by which all other area coaches will rightfully be measured. The University of Tennessee graduate won state championships for the Bucs in 1977 and 1982 and produced an endless procession of winning teams. Finley’s development of Berry as a statewide power coincided with the overall growth of the Over the Mountain area and led to the development of strong rivalries that often drew standing room-only crowds to cramped high school stadiums. Berry’s early battles with Shades Valley, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and Homewood in the 1970s planted seeds that have grown to sequoia-size proportions today. As high school football in this area continued to develop exponentially in size and importance, Finley’s influence was a reminder that while winning was very important, how winning was achieved was even more important. Sadly, Finley never lived to see high school football come to the lofty plateau it’s achieved today. In 1994, the coach died on the Berry campus, working on the football field that bears his name, just a short time before he was to move to the sparkling new Hoover High School. Bob Finley literally gave his life to Berry/Hoover athletics, and his level of commitment lifted so many others. That’s why Bob Finley will always be No. 1.

Homewood Joy League Wraps Up 56th Season

In a recent ceremony at Mountain Brook High School, MBHS right-handed pitcher Douglass Hubbard (right) signed his intent to enroll and committed to play baseball this fall for Birmingham-Southern College.  Hubbard was a two-year starter on the mound for coach Lee Gann’s Spartans.  He led the team in wins (5), innings pitched (37) and strikeouts (36) in 2013.  He finished the season with a 2.97 ERA.  Douglass was the hard-luck loser in their 1-0 loss to Hewitt Trussville in game 1 of the first round playoffs this year.  Hubbard gave up three hits and one unearned run in the loss while striking out five against the state 6A runner up.  Hubbard’s only other losses were to Brandon High, Miss. and Vestavia High School.   In January, Hubbard was selected as a Pre-Season All American by Under Armour and competed in their Pre Season All America Tournament in Tucson, Arizona.  Douglass was recently selected to the All Over the Mountain Team as well.  Hubbard will compete this fall for a starting spot on Coach Jan Weisberg’s Panther squad.  The Panther’s finished the season with a 29-15 overall record and a conference record of 16-5.


Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 31



The Homewood Joy League recently completed its 56th consecutive season of daytime baseball. Commissioners Perry Akins and Ted Hagler awarded championship trophies to the teams that won the league’s divisions. The 2013 champions are: A – The Sox; AA – The Bucs, and AAA – The Yanks. To end the season, each division champ played a game against an AllStar team composed of 12 players from its division. Following those games, the coaches, players and their families enjoyed a traditional watermelon picnic. Each year, Joy League games are played on Saturday mornings on the two diamonds at Edgewood Elementary School. A total of 219 boys and girls played in league games this year. Established in 1958 by the late John J. Smith, Sr., the Joy League provides its third generation of players a fun place to learn the game of baseball. likely to keep the Bucs at or near the top for years to come. Hoover has so much talent pouring in that some people think their grandmother could coach the Bucs to 10 wins a year. They are wrong. It takes a special coach to understand Hoover and



Thursday, July 25, 2013

The VHSC Attack 99 Black advances to quarterfinals at US Youth Soccer Regional Championships P. 30

2012-2013 otmj athletes of the year

Lee Davis

Final Argument

Who Was This Area’s Greatest Football Coach?

Members of the 2012-13 Class 6A State Champion Mountain Brook boys’ basketball team are, from left, first row: Tyler Davis, assistant coach; Stephen Yin, manager; Eric Raszeja; Stuart Harmon; Will Deer; Joshua Bluestein; Ben Shearer; Patrick Keim; Will Brewster; Hunter Williams; Benny Eaves, assistant coach; and Gil Berman, statistician. Second row: Michael Montana, statistician; Christian Schweers, assistant coach; Bucky McMillan, head coach; Malek Grant; Alex Peters; Jack Kline; Reagan Alexander; Griff Cooper; Jeremy Berman; Tawarren Grant; Alex Boozer; E.J. Lewis; trainer; Jake Jordan; head trainer, and Skip Wellborn, statistician. Photo special to The Journal

By Lee Davis

Journal Sports Writer

Four months after the Mountain Brook boys’ basketball team stunned the state by winning the Class 6A championship, Spartan coach Bucky McMillan is still being congratulated by enthusiastic well-wishers. “It’s amazing,” McMillan said. “I’ll be somewhere in Mountain Brook and a 75-year old grandmother–whose children probably went to the high school back in the 1980s–will recognize me and speak. I can’t say enough about how the entire community, not just the parents and people directly connected with the team, supported us this season. It was truly a badge of

Team Concept Miracle Spartans Take Athlete of Year Award

honor.” If Mountain Brook’s fan support was amazing in 2012-13, so were the Spartans. The team went 30-6 and routed Sparkman 74-53 in the 6A finals to claim the school’s firstever basketball crown. It was easy for sportswriters to compare Mountain Brook’s stunning championship run to other famous sports anomalies, such as the 1969 New York Mets, but the analogy breaks down at one point.

The Mets were perennial losers before their epic World Series title. The Spartans, under McMillan, were consistent 20-game winners before catching lightning in a bottle last season. What made this Mountain Brook team so special wasn’t just that it won a championship. The real story was how it did, and how it affected others. The Spartans dominated with defense and an unwavering

belief that they could overcome any obstacle in their path. When the offense wasn’t clicking, the Spartans played defense. If the rebounds weren’t coming their way, the Spartans played more defense. If a top scorer was having an offnight, somebody always picked up the slack. At the end of the day, Mountain Brook may not have had the best players, but it had– literally–the best team. The shiny blue hardware that came to the school’s already crowded trophy case in March was tangible evidence of what McMillan preached the entire season: It didn’t matter who got the job done, as long as he was wearing green and gold. See Spartans, page 29

Webb of Honor

Hoover Basketball Star Named Top Girl Athlete By Lee Davis

Journal Sports Writer

Marqu’es Webb led Hoover High to a 6A state championship in 2013. Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

When Hoover girls’ basketball coach Tiffany Frederick thinks of Marqu’es Webb, one word instantly comes to mind. “The word is ‘relentless,’” Frederick said. “Marqu’es simply doesn’t stop or slow down unless she has achieved her goal. She does not accept defeat or ever believe that something can’t be done. She will do whatever it takes to be successful. That’s the way Marqu’es has always been, and she will always be that way.” Perhaps, but even a driven perfectionist such as Webb has to feel good about what she and her Lady Buc teammates achieved in 2012-13. Webb, a 6-1 power forward, averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds while earning first team all-state honors and leading Hoover to its second consecutive state 6A crown. And just like many championship players, she saved her best for last. Webb bagged 29 points and a head-turning 22 rebounds in the Lady Bucs’ 66-55 See webb, page 29


lthough the actual kickoff of the 2013 high school football season is about a month away, the weeks that precede it are still some of my favorite times of year. In July, every team is undefeated. Every player is a major college prospect and serious candidate for all-state honors. And every coach is perceived as the prep version of Bear Bryant/Nick Saban/Shug Jordan/Knute Rockne (take your pick). Since there is so much agreement this time of year, that means you have to look elsewhere if you want to start a friendly football debate at the barbecue pit, the men’s grill at the club or the church fellowship hall. And here is a great question with which to do it: Who is the greatest Over the Mountain high school football coach of all time? Pick your choice and make your case, but please follow these short ground rules. First, remember there is really no right or wrong answer. Greatness can be subjective or in the eye of the beholder. Our area has been so blessed by the quality of men who have directed our high school programs for the last 40 years that it’s truly difficult to make a bad pick. So if somebody has a different pick than you, don’t let it ruin the friendship. Second, let’s establish parameters for the period we are discussing. For practical purposes, let’s begin the Over the Mountain era as circa 1974, where by that time Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and Homewood all had independent school systems, with high schools that fielded varsity football teams. Plus Shades Valley, Berry and John Carroll Catholic had wellestablished athletic programs. So the fall of 1974–nearly 40 years ago--is as good a place to start as anywhere else. Third, a coach must have led a team to at least one state championship in a classification during his tenure. But winning a title does not guarantee a spot on the list of candidates. Before we get to the final list, let’s point out some very deserving coaches for honorable mention

See Davis, page 31

July 25, 2013  

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