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





VOL. 22 #5

Judge Debra Goldstein earns lifetime achievement award


Annie Bloomston

Cayla Sexton

OTM girls learn service and compassion on mission trips


Suzanne Noble

Odelia Huang

Jooyoung Yang

James Bond Gala raises money for cancer research


Olivia Kampwerth

Sarah Anne Pfitzer

Savannah Smith

New OTM residents settle into suburban life


Cecily Anderson

Emily Butler

Brandon Billingsley

FASHION WEEKʼS RISING STARS Young Designers Use Recyclables to Take the Runway - See story page 33 JOURNAL PHOTOS BY LEE WALLS JR.




2 • Thursday, March 7, 2013


NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK A team of real estate veterans have joined up to form a new company called ARC Realty Group. The founders are, from left: Tommy Brigham, Dale McIntyre, Mechelle Wilder and Beau Bevis. In our Home section beginning on page 25, learn more about ARC plus get info on 2012 home sales, tips from OTM real estate pros on what’s selling now and meet a young couple who recently relocated from New York. Clarification: Information provided to the Over the Mountain Journal for a story in the Feb. 21 issue was incomplete. Rosalind Brady O’Connor, who was presented at the Blue and Gray Colonels Ball in Montgomery in December, is the daughter of Michael Brady O’Connor of Mountain Brook and Donna Levine O’Connor of Montgomery.

ON OTMJ.COM Look online for more photos, to submit your news, to browse our events calendar and more!


We’ll have information on OTM Easter events, plus a look at fun things to do if you’re in town for Spring Break.


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March 7, 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, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch, Margaret Frymire Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Intern: Ivanna Ellis Vol. 22, No. 5

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.




Tiki Hut

If we were farther away, we’d have n days when things get parto get in the car. We’d have to find a ticularly crazy, my husband gas station. Eventually, we’d have to Harold will look at me and have the oil changed. say, “That’s it. We’re moving to I guess we could ride bicycles, but the Tiki hut.” that would mean helmets and a tire We don’t really have a Tiki hut, pump and besides, neither of us has but we cling to the image as a getaway ridden in years, which would mean we dream. No worries, no cares, no scare would spin out on a stretch of gravel tactic robo-calls from political cranks. and need to walk our bikes to the docLive someplace sunny and warm, tor’s office which would be … where? someplace where there are tropical See what I mean? breezes and people wear flowers in The list goes on and on. I don’t want their hair? Sounds perfect. to scrub my laundry on a rock, so I’d Sadly, you can’t just book pasneed to get a washing machine (blown sage to Bora Bora, gather up a bunch out hoses and agitator agitation) or go of palm fronds and set up camp on a Sue Murphy to a Laundromat. Hours staring at our stretch of secluded beach. These days, Bermuda shorts going round and round if the beach is secluded, it’s the proas I sat on a folding chair. Not my tected home of sea turtles or was idea of paradise. previously used for A-bomb target Since Harold is not a But let’s say we got the laundry practice. Still, Tiki hut ownership is possi- spear-fisherman and I done, gathered up our coconuts and were now ready to stare out at the ble. People do it on “House Hunters can’t shimmy up trees blue-green water. Aaah … We’d International” all the time. No matter how farfetched the location, there to fetch coconuts, we stare … and stare … and somewhere around the third stare, we’d look at is a realtor there to help the giddy couple realize their getaway dream. would have to go to the each other and say, “Now, what do want to do?” As much as we try, The show always gives them store, which would be you Harold and I are not starers. Maybe three choices: One is the right size … where? we have an attention deficit, maybe but is perched next to a landfill, one we’re just quick studies, but there’s is in the perfect location but needs only so long we can gaze at anything, minor upgrades (indoor plumbing) including each other. and the third is turnkey ready and $1 million over budSooner or later, we’d be back on our bicycles (with get. kneepads this time) pedaling to a sand-art gallery openSo, let’s say Harold and I actually purchased a Tiki hut (I’d go for the perfect location and get the plumber in ing. We’d meet some lovely Tiki friends, we’d invite them over for dinner, they’d ask us to join some worthy stat). We fly in, set our suitcase down on our king-sized charity organization, I’d end up on a committee and my tatami mat and then … well, we’d have to find somecalendar would be just as full as it is here. thing to eat. Since Harold is not a spear-fisherman and I A Tiki hut is not the answer. Serenity is something can’t shimmy up trees to fetch coconuts, we would have you carry with you, and no matter where I go I’m sure I to go to the store, which would be … where? would have left mine back home on the kitchen counter. If we were within walking distance, we’d be downMaybe I just need staring lessons. ❖ town Tiki, not my perfect location at all.


What’s the best thing about living Over the Mountain?

“The Hoover Library. It’s great. My husband and I come here a lot. We also love that there are little places like Panera Bread over in Patton Creek to go and meet friends for coffee.” Jean Bandy Hoover

“I love that Vestavia is homey, that it’s a safe place to live with low crime. I like that it’s convenient to shopping and it doesn’t take me very long to get to work. ” B.J. Dailey Vestavia Hills

“The main thing I like about living here is the schools. I have three children in Hoover schools, and I know they are getting an A-rated education here.” Wiley Spivey Hoover

“I think the best parts are the safety of the neighborhoods and the schools. I went to Vestavia Hills schools, and the education I received really prepared me for the future.” Ashley Morgan Vestavia Hills

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About Town



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4 • Thursday, March 7, 2013

About Town


‘It doesn’t matter what you do or become if you haven’t done what you can to help others.’

Scout’s Honor

By Keysha Drexel


Journal editor

hen she was a Brownie and Girl Scout growing up in New Jersey and Michigan, Judge Debra Goldstein of Hoover said she never imagined she would receive one of the organization’s highest honors. Debra will be honored with the 2013 Mildred Bell Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award at the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Women of Distinction Luncheon on March 8. Mildred Bell Johnson founded the first Girl Scout troop for African-American girls in Alabama and was a district adviser in Birmingham. Johnson was a civil rights activist and the first African-American to be elected assistant moderator of the United Church of Christ. She was the mother of Alma Johnson Powell, wife of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. The Mildred Bell Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award is the Girl Scouts Council’s highest adult recognition for a lifetime of leadership and service to Girl Scouts in the Central Alabama area. Honorees are recognized for distinguishing themselves in their work, in community service and in humanitarian efforts. “I was not only very touched to learn I would receive the award but I was also very surprised,” Debra said. “I’ve known many women who have received this award, and they are a class of women that I deeply respect, and I’m not sure if I fit into such a class of women.” But a quick look at her body of professional and community work quickly proves that the administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration in Birmingham does, indeed, belong in the class of the other Girl Scouts Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Debra was one of the youngest women appointed as a U.S. administrative law judge and has served the community as a board member of the YWCA, the Alys Stephens Center for Performing Arts, the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Community Leadership Council, the American Heart Association’s Birmingham “Go Red” Passion Committee, The Governor’s Commission on Quality Teaching, United Way of Central Alabama and Girl Scouts of NorthCentral Alabama. And she’s a published author whose first full-length book, “Maze in Blue,” was a 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award winner. “I do a lot of work in the community and try to make a difference with my job,” Debra said. “It is something that I learned from growing up in Girl Scouts and something I’ve always tried to teach the girls in my troops.”

Judge Debra Goldstein Earns Lifetime Achievement Award ing away with $100 and an Debra credits her mother encyclopedia, her publishing for introducing her to Girl career didn’t take off the Scouts and launching her way she had hoped it would, lifelong affiliation with the so she threw her energies group. She said her mother, into law school. a Holocaust survivor, was Her law career brought always her biggest supporter. Debra to Birmingham and “My mother was a troop what she thought would be a leader and so I just contintemporary stay. ued that. My mother recog“I came south to nized and showed me what a Alabama in 1978 to do labor wonderful organization it is litigation for the Department for young women,” she said. of Labor with the idea that I Not only does Girl would be here for about two Scouts teach girls skills they years or so,” she said. will use for the rest of their But Debra met her huslives, Debra said, it also band, Joel, and soon she was teaches them the importance married and the mother and of giving back to the comstepmother of four children. munity. “I met and fell in love “If we’re not willing to Judge Debra Goldstein with a Birmingham boy, put ourselves on the line to and this is where we settled make a difference, no one to raise our family. At that else will either,” she said. “I Girl Scouts Women of point, I wasn’t writing tell my own children this, Distinction Luncheon creatively. I spent my days too. It doesn’t matter what When: March 8, 11:30 a.m. writing legal briefs and legal you do or become if you 1:30 p.m. articles,” she said. haven’t done what you can Where: Harbert Center But Debra’s creativity to help others.” never waned--she just had to Debra remained active in Details: The Girl Scouts of find a different outlet for it. Girl Scouts until she started North-Central Alabama will “I was always the one college at the University honor outstanding women at who wrote the skits for parof Michigan, where she the annual luncheon. Tickets ties or things like that. I was originally planned to study are $60 for general admission a member of Leadership journalism. and $45 for Girl Scouts. Birmingham, and our group “I always liked to write For more information: Visit had to do a skit on our projcreatively and I had a high or call ect. Well, we really hadn’t school counselor tell me that 800-734-4541, extension 1020. come to terms with our straight journalism was not project, so I wrote a take-off for me. I started out in colon that to kind of poke fun at the situation,” she lege with a journalism major, but that quickly said. changed,” she said. Debra’s skit for the Leadership Birmingham Debra changed her major a few times while at the University of Michigan but graduated with group was a hit, and an otherwise casual comment from the husband of one of the group degrees in English and history. members sparked Debra’s return to her dream of Debra said she graduated from college early getting published. with two goals--to get into publishing and to get “We were doing a practice reading of our onto “Jeopardy.” skit, and somebody’s husband told me that I “By night, I was typing up law school applicould really write,” she said. “Every now and cations and during the day, I was writing and then, a person will tell you something that makes trying to break into publishing,” she said. you really think, and that was one of those While Debra made it onto “Jeopardy,” walk-

moments.” Shortly after that, Debra said she told her family and friends her goals and was amazed at the outpouring of support she received. “A friend of mine had a condo at the beach, and she told me to just go down there and write. She took the kids for the weekend, and I secluded myself in the condo and wrote about 85 pages,” she said. Those 85 pages were the beginning of “Maze in Blue,” which is set on the campus of the University of Michigan in the 1970s. “Maybe because I was at the beach when I started it, but I wanted this book to be a great beach read, a murder mystery that was a fun read,” she said. But finishing the book while juggling a demanding career and a family was no walk on the beach, Debra said. “It took me a decade of writing, on and off, to finish it. I would write a little and put it down for a while and then come back to it,” she said. At the same time she was working on “Maze in Blue,” Debra completed shorter pieces and stepped into the competitive writing arena in 2008-2009. “I went to the Alabama Writers Conclave and entered competitions with my nonfiction pieces, including one that was published by an online magazine. It was a piece about slowly turning into your mother once you turn 50,” she said. Debra finished “Maze in Blue,” and it was published in March 2011. While she is thrilled with her success as a published author, Debra said she has worked to keep her writing life separate from her work as a judge. “I have signed autographs between hearings,” she said. “And I did have a pretty funny incident on a Social Security case after the book first came out. This claimant had some credibility issues, and during the hearing he raised his hand and asked to speak. His lawyer was just giving him this ‘Shut up’ look, but I let the guy speak,” she said. The claimant went on to tell Debra that no matter if she ruled in his favor or not, he was a fan of her book and her writing. “But I doubt he ever read anything else I wrote because I ruled against him in that case,” she said. Debra is working on another murder mystery book and looking forward to “Maze in Blue” being featured in a worldwide Harlequin Mysteries catalog. “I have had this magical time since the book came out, and it reinforces what I’ve always told my children and what I’ve always told my girls in my troops--that you can do anything you want to do if you work hard to achieve it,” she said. ❖

Save the Date Birmingham

Love-Love Tennis Ball March 8 OTM Club The first annual Love-Love Magic City Finish the Fight Tennis Challenge will conclude with the Love-Love Tennis Ball on March 8, with dinner and dancing to honor and celebrate the champions and an Over the Mountain Club. Special guest for the tournament and ball will be International Tennis Hall of Fame star Stan Smith. For more information, visit Homewood

Wheelchair Basketball Championship March 7-9 Lakeshore Foundation The National Intercollegiate

Wheelchair Basketball Championship will be held March 7-9 at the Lakeshore Foundation, 4000 Ridgeway Drive in Homewood. Eight men’s teams and four women’s teams will compete for the national championship, including men’s and women’s teams from the University of Alabama and men’s teams from Auburn University. For a schedule and more information, visit http://nationals. Birmingham

March 7, noon American Values Luncheon BJCC The Greater Alabama Council of Boy Scouts of America will host the American Values Luncheon at the BJCC on March 7 as a fundraiser for Friends

of Scouting. The keynote speaker will be Bo Jackson. Paul Finebaum is emcee. This year’s honorees will be Raymond Harbert, James C. Lee III and Pat Sullivan. Tickets for a table of eight are $250. For more information, visit Vestavia Hills

March 7, 6 p.m. Citizens of the Year Banquet Vestavia Country Club The 24th annual Leadership Vestavia Hills Citizens of the Year banquet will be March 7 at 6 p.m. at Vestavia Country Club. Sharon Lovell, a longtime community contributor, will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Betty Bell of the Bell Center

will be honored with the Distinguished Citizen Award. The All-Star Baseball League team will be recognized as Citizens of the Year. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased from the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce or online at The banquet is open to the public. For information on sponsorships, email Carol Buchanan at cbuch54@bellsouth. net. Birmingham

Spencer Lecture Series March 7, 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens The 2013 Spencer Lecture Series at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens kicks off at 10:30 a.m. with author Andrea Wulf in the Linn-Henley Lecture

Hall. Renowned architect Ben Page will lead the evening talk on the same stage. A light reception will be held at 10 a.m. and the evening reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. Both talks are free but registration is required. To register online, visit spencerlecture. Homewood

HomeFront Exhibit March 7-April 28 Red Dot Gallery For more than 30 years, Dori DeCamillis and Scott Bennett, owners of Red Dot Gallery in Birmingham, have acquired paintings, sculpture and photography for their private collection. For the first time, Red Dot Gallery will host a selection of the collection,

Heart Gallery Art Show March 7, 6-9 p.m. Rojo Allison Adams, Kristin Drew Vickers and others will participate in an art show on March 7 at Rojo restaurant to benefit The Heart Gallery of Alabama and children waiting to be adopted. The event will include live music by Brent and Shelton McCollough. There will

Hitting the runway Birmingham

Red Stiletto Party March 7, 6-9 p.m. Saks Fifth Avenue The Young Leadership Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama will present the fifth annual Red Stiletto Party at Saks Fifth Avenue on March 7. The event will feature New York fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff and her latest lines. The event will include a fashion show, food and drinks, a silent auction, raffle and entertainment by Gentleman Zero Band. On the night of the event, 10 percent of all in-store purchases will benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Tickets are $30 each or Models walk in the runway show at last $50 per couple. For more year’s Red Stiletto Party to benefit the Ronald information or to purchase tickets, visit McDonald House Charities. Photo special to The Journal

N.E. Miles Jewish Day School Look for the red balloons outside N.E. Miles Jewish Day School next to the Levite Jewish Community Center to

also be door prizes and prints available. For more information, visit www. Homewood

Rey of Hope Dinner and Auction March 7, 5:30 p.m. The Club The Rey of Hope Dinner and Auction to benefit Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School will be March 7 at The Club. The event includes dinner, drinks, a live band and silent and live auctions. Auction items include a trip to Ireland, a weekend in Nashville and an in-house Vietnamese dinner and wine for 10 by Our Lady of the Valley’s Father Doug Vu. For ticket and sponsorship information, visit or call 263-0137. Birmingham

Schoolhouse Rock March 8, 7-11 p.m. B&A Warehouse Cornerstone Schools of Alabama will have its Schoolhouse Rock annual fundraiser at B&A Warehouse on March 8 from 7-11 p.m. The event is hosted by Cornerstone’s Junior Board. Eventgoers can look forward to a night of live music by Teenage Daddy and the John Williams Jazz Trio, live and silent auctions, beverages, hors d’oeuvres and event giveaways. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the door or online at For more information, contact India Bailey at 7690035 or


statuary • furniture • urns • planters


Community Garage Sale March 8 and 10

chandelier and sconces


Antiques, Gardens & Giving bronzes • lamps • terra cotta


Christopher Glenn, Inc.

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To: From: Date:

find a huge community garage sale on March 8. The sale will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Items will be half

furniture • urns • planters • fountains

titled “HomeFront,” opening March 1 and continuing through April 28. HomeFront will include local artists such as Bethanne Hill, Chris Lawson and Merrilee Chaliss as well as national artists such as Deborah May Broad, Michael Kemper, Les Slesnick and Ken Ferguson. For more information, call 870-7608 or email dori@reddotgallery. com.

Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 5

About Town


Hours: 10:00 - 5:00 • Tue. - Sat. UPS/Gift Wrap

870-1260, Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 March 2013

This is your AD PrOOF from the OvEr THE MOuNTAiN JOurNAl for March 7, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.


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5k to fight childhood obesity Birmingham

Junior League 5K for Kids March 9, 8-11 a.m. Legion Field The Junior League of Birmingham’s third annual 5K for Kids and Nobesity Expo will be at Legion Field on March 9. Registration for the 5K is at the ticket window from 8-8:30 a.m. with the race and kids’ run beginning at 9 a.m. There will be a one-mile fun run and walk inside Legion Field at 10:15 a.m. and an awards ceremony at 11 a.m. The Nobesity Expo, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., will feature health screenings and demonstrations on healthy food. There will also be a Fun Zone for children with games and inflatables. For more information, visit www.jlbonline. com.

Junior League members prepare for the third annual 5K for Kids and Nobesity Expo. Front, from left: Tiffany Hill, Laurel Angell, Sara Hawkins Nichols and Felecia Fish. Back: Meredith Evans, Meredith Haughton, Anne Wallace, Chrissy Aubin and Jamie Holme. Photo special to The Journal

price starting at noon on Sunday. The gym will be full of furniture, household items, decor items, accessories, clothes, shoes, toys, electronics and more. Cash only. The school is located at 4000 Montclair Road. For more information, call 879-1068.

To: Donna, 979-5691 From: Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., North Shelby 205-824-1246, fax Brenda Ladun Conquer Cancer Run March 9, 8 a.m. Date: Feb. 2013 Vincent’s This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL forSt. the MarchOne Nineteen 7, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. The ninth annual Brenda Ladun

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Flip Out for Pancakes March 9, 7 a.m.-noon Homewood High School The Kiwanis Club of Homewood/ Mountain Brook will host Flip Out for Pancakes in the Homewood High School cafeteria. The event includes a pancake breakfast, children’s activities and a silent auction. The 29th annual event will support local youth organizations such as Children’s of Alabama, YMCA camp, the Exceptional Foundation, Horizons School, Reading Is Fundamental at Center Street Headstart, the Homewood High School Key Club and the Homewood Middle School Builders Club. Tickets are $5. For more information, email Mary Browning at

Robert 988-3131 Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 March 2013

Thank you for your prompt attention.



Table Tennis Tournament and Dance Party March 9, 6:30 p.m.-midnight Rosewood Hall in Soho Square She Dances, an organization helping exploited young girls in Honduras, will hold Backspin 2013, a charity table tennis tournament and dance party at Rosewood Hall March 9 in Soho Square in Homewood. There will be a $1,000 cash prize for the table tennis tournament champion. The event will include tapas, a cash bar, music by DJ CoCo, a photo booth and more. It costs

To: From:

181 Main Street, Suite 225 Hoover•733.4893•

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

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

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the 3/7/13 otmj issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

Conquer Cancer Run will be March 9 at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. The race route will include the Greystone community. Ladun, a two-time breast cancer survivor, will host the event again this year. For more information Please initial and fax back within 24 hours. or to sponsor the event, contact Mary If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, your ad will Frances run as is. We at the American Cancer Colley print the paper Monday. Society, 930-8893.

$25 to play in the tournament and $15 to enter the event. For more information, call 542-3345 or visit www.shedances. org. Birmingham

Dyeing Eggs with Plants March 9, 2-4 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens Students ages 4 and older can learn how to use plants to dye eggs. Using the winter vegetable harvest such as onions, beets and cabbage, children will learn how to naturally create brightlycolored eggs. The cost is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. To register online, visit www.bbggardens. org/classes. Vestavia Hills

Miss Dogwood Pageant March 9

Pizitz Middle School The Miss Dogwood Pageant will be March 9 at Pizitz Middle School. The pageant is for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Applications are available at or by contacting Gracie Collins at 822-3268 or vestaviahillsdogwoodpageant@gmail. com. Birmingham

Tennis Tournament March 10, 2-5 p.m. LJCC The Levite Jewish Community Center will host the Australian Open Round Robin Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament March 10. The social event is for players of all levels. Partners are not necessary to register. Play begins at 2 p.m. and will last about three hours. Registration fee is $15 for members

Thank you for your prompt attention.

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About Town

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.

6 • Thursday, March 7, 2013

Organizers get ready for the 10th annual Weim and Cheese event on March 9 to raise money for the Weimaraner Rescue of the South. From left, with dogs Mousse and Tigerlily: Alison Pritchett, Brad Pritchett, Morgan Pritchett and Katie McDowell. Photo special to The Journal Birmingham

Weim and Cheese March 9, 6:30-10 p.m. WorkPlay Weimaraner Rescue of the South will hosts its 10th annual Weim and Cheese event on March 9 from 6:30-10 p.m. at WorkPlay, 500 23rd St. South in Birmingham. This event will feature silent and live auctions; heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by Jackson’s, Avo and Dram; beer by the Avondale Brewing Company; live music by The Hearts; and wine. Emcee Scott Register of Reg’s Coffee House will be joined by Katie McDowell of Weim Rescue. All proceeds will go directly to care for rescued Weimaraners. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. For more information, call 567-3432.


betting on a good time

The Magic Flute March 15 and 17 Wright Center at Samford University Opera Birmingham returns to the stage with Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. and March

Vestavia Hills

Casino Night March 9 Private Club Assistance League of Birmingham is hosting Casino Night to benefit its three philanthropic programs—PrimeTime Treasures, Operation School Bell and Operation Literacy. The annual event will be March 9 at a local country club. The event will include a buffet dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions. Attendees also can play blackjack, craps and other casino games. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www. or call 870-5555. and $20 for non-members. For more information, contact Dale Clark, LJCC tennis pro, at 879-0411, ext. 226 or Birmingham

Greater Birmingham Republican Women Lunch March 11, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. B&A Warehouse The Greater Birmingham Republican Women will host guest speaker K. Carl Smith at the group’s March 11 lunch meeting at B&A Warehouse, 1531 First Ave. South, Birmingham. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. with the program from noon1 p.m. Tickets are $18 with reservations and $25 without reservations. For more information call 422-7080 or email

Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 7

About Town


17 at 2:30 p.m. at Samford’s Wright Center. Tickets are $12 for students 25 and younger with a valid full-time student ID. Adult tickets are $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 322-6737.

Members of the Assistance League of Birmingham get ready to let the chips fly at the March 9 Casino Night fundraiser. From left: Molly Bee Bloetscher, Mary Ann Wade and Barbara Kelley. Photo special to The Journal Birmingham

BCT Auditions March 11, 4:30 p.m. BJCC Birmingham Children’s Theatre will hold auditions for all roles in its summer and fall 2013 productions on March 11. The auditions will be held at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre at the BJCC. Those who plan to audition should use the 19th Street entrance and come to Stage Door #2. Sign-in begins at 4:30 p.m. with auditions starting at 5:15 p.m. For audition requirements or more information, visit http://bct123. or/auditions.html or call Leah Luker at 458-8193. Homewood

Oasis of Hope Luncheon

March 12, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Club The seventh annual Oasis of Hope Luncheon will honor the Junior League of Birmingham on March 12 at The Club. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at or by calling 933-0338. Birmingham

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Birmingham Boys Choir Concert March 12, 7 p.m. Covenant Presbyterian Church The Senior Choristers of the Birmingham Boys Choir and the University Singers from Florida State University will present an evening of music on March 12 with The Andrew Robert Hare Concert Series. The free concert will be held at Covenant

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Firehouse Shelter Luncheon March 13, noon-1 p.m. Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church Bobby Humphrey, former University of Alabama and NFL football star, will be the keynote speaker at a barbecue luncheon benefiting the Firehouse Shelter. The shelter has helped homeless men in Birmingham for almost 30 years. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at Salem’s Diner in Homewood, at www.firehouseshelter. com or by calling 826-1009. NORTH SHELBY

Maggie’s Glen Hike March 16, 10 a.m. Oak Mountain State Park Meet at the north trailhead for a hike to Maggie’s Glen at Oak Mountain State Park at 10 a.m. on March 16. This will be a three and half mile walk over easy to moderate terrain. Dress for the weather and bring water. Well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome on the hike. The cost is the price of admission to the park, $1-$3. For more information, call 620-2520. BIRMINGHAM

Homewood Rotary Benefit Concert March 16, 8 p.m. ASFA Dorothy Jemison Day Theater The Davis Piano Quartet will perform its unique “Music for Two Pianos, Eight Hands” in a benefit gala to support Homewood Rotary Club’s Education Foundation March 16. The 8 p.m. concert at Alabama School of Fine Arts’ Dorothy Jemison Day Theater will feature a mix of musical styles, including works by composers Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Bernstein. The ensemble will perform on two Steinway concert grand pianos. Tickets are $35 general admission or $75 patron admission. Patron tickets include reserved parking and a 6:30 reception with food, beverages and a meet-andgreet with the pianists. Tickets are available online at www.localwineevents. com and will be sold at the door. For information, call Sandra Nelson at 8716314. BIRMINGHAM

Swine and Wine March 17, 5-8 p.m. Old Car Heaven

Organizers get ready for the Arc of Jefferson Countyʼs Shamrock Shindig on March 15. From left: Amanda Marcrum, Andrew Curtis, Jonathan Handey and Jeremy Viers. Photo special to The Journal BIRMINGHAM

Shamrock Shindig March 15, 6-10 p.m. Avondale Brewery The Arc of Jefferson County will host the Shamrock Shindig at Avondale Brewery, 201 41st St. South, Birmingham. The Arc helps adults and children with developmental disabilities, including helping with housing and daycare. The event will include a raffle; first prize will be a 2012 Nissan Versa or $10,000. Tickets are $30 each or $50 per couple. To enter the raffle, the cost is $100, which also includes the admission charge. To purchase tickets, visit The Druid City Garden project, a nonprofit school garden education program, and Little Savannah Restaurant will host Swine and Wine on March 17 at Old Car Heaven. The whole pig roast celebrates local food, wine and beer for a good cause on St. Patrick’s Day. The event will include food, wine and beer tastings, live music by The Yahoos String Band, a kids’ area and face painting. Tickets are $55 and are available at the door or with a $5 discount at www.druidcitygardenproject. org. VIP tickets are $80. Tickets for ages 13-20 are $25 with kids under 12 admitted free. Discounts are available for ticket sales of 10 or more. HOOVER

Flash Fiction Night March 19, 7 p.m. The Library Theatre The Hoover Public Library is hosting Flash Fiction Night in the Library Theatre to showcase the work of Write Club members. Club members will share their original works beginning at 7 p.m. This free event is open to the public. For more information, call 4447820.❖ BIRMINGHAM

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Dino Discovery Exhibit March 16, noon Birmingham Zoo The Birmingham Zoo’s newest exhibit, Dino Discovery, presented by Wells Fargo, will open to the public at noon on March 16 and run through July 21. This exhibit in the Alabama Wilds, a three-acre area which showcases animals native to the state, will give visitors the opportunity to hear dinosaurs roar, see them move and take in a prehistoric experience. The exhibit features 15 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. Visitors can also search for fossils in the Dino Dig and get their photos taken with a giant T-Rex. Admission is $3 for members and $5 for non-members, in addition to admission to the zoo. For more information, visit


Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 9


Model Citizens

Hoover Grad Earns Gold Award from Girl Scouts

City Employees, Community Leaders Honored for Service by Chambers Over the Mountain city employees and community leaders have recently been recognized by area chambers of commerce for their service and dedication. Homewood

Homewood city employees were honored during the annual meeting of the Homewood Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 15. Fire Chief John Bresnan presented the Firefighter of the Year Award to Greg Garrett. Garrett has been with the department since January 1995. He is a firefighter and paramedic with the department and is also an apparatus operator, a post he was promoted to in 2006. Bresnan said Garrett also maintains the fire department’s self-contained breathing apparatus equipment. “That is absolutely necessary equipment, and he maintains those flawlessly for us,” Bresnan said. Garrett said he was deeply honored by the award. “It never crossed my mind that there would be an occasion where I was getting an award for working among such amazing people,” Garrett said. Police Chief Jim Roberson presented the Police Officer of the Year Award to Eric Marquard. Marquard has been a police officer for 19 years and came to Homewood from the Vestavia Hills Police Department. In 2012, Marquard led the patrol division with more than 35 felony arrests and 137 misdemeanor arrests. He had 443 traffic stops and issued more than 170 citations, Roberson said. Additionally, Marquard is a member of the department’s tactical team and one of its firearm instructors. “And somehow he manages to find the time to be a field training officer for new officers coming out of the police academy to the department,” Roberson said. Roberson said Marquard was selected for the award because he inspires his fellow officers on a daily basis with his quiet confidence. “Eric is what you want every officer to be. He truly has a servant’s heart, which you have to have in this business,” Roberson said. Marquard said he accepted it on behalf of all the other officers in the Homewood Police Department. “There’s a lot of other officers who deserve this award. We work as a team and always try to help each other,” he said. “I’m also accepting this on behalf on my wife and my family. I have about the worst job in the world for a wife to have to deal with, and this award is just as much hers as it is mine.” Homewood Public Library Director Deborah Fout presented the Employee of the Year Award

to Oanh Nyguyen. Nyguyen has been an accountant with the library since 1999 and is invaluable to the library, Fout said. “Homewood has one of the busiest libraries in the state, and as our in-house accountant and personnel person, her attention to detail is unmatched and she is just vital to us,” Fout said. McBrayer said not only does Nyguyen go above and beyond in her role at the library but always makes herself available to help other city departments. “When we’re swamped in accounting in the city, she comes in and saves us. Very rarely do you see people of quality with such dedication,” she said. Fout said Nyguyen, who was born in Vietnam and came to the U.S. at age 13, was selected for the Employee of the Year Award because of her hard work and positive attitude. Nyguyen thanked Fout, the mayor and the city for the award and said she felt lucky just to be nominated. “I am so glad to be a part of the City of Homewood,” she said.

Greg Garrett

Brandon Massey


Eric Marquard

Ryan Smith

Oanh Nyguyen

Tyrone McCall

Mountain Brook

The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce held its 2013 annual luncheon Feb. 5 at The Club. Chamber awards were made during the luncheon, including the William Tynes Award. Tynes presented the award to Lee Gewin. Gewin is a board member at the Emmet O’Neal Library. “She’s a delight to work with and has always been dedicated to the success of the library,” Tynes said. “Nothing illustrates that more than when she worked in 1998 to help raise a staggering $10 million for the library.” Gewin said she is proud of how the library has stayed focused on changing with the times to serve the growing needs of its patrons. “When we first started planning the building in the 1990s, we had never even heard of e-books,” she said. “The population of Mountain Brook hasn’t really increased, but circulation has increased 40 percent since we moved into the new building.” Gewin said Tynes and others involved with the Emmet O’Neal Library have always had a grand vision for the facility. “Mr. Tynes wanted to it to be the crown jewel of Mountain Brook, and now we have that with this library,” Gewin said. Mountain Brook City Manager Sam Gaston presented the City Employee of the Year Award to Ronnie Vaughan. Vaughan is the city’s director of public works. “In 2011, the city hired a new public works director and in his short tenure, he has initiated greater productivity and better communica-

tion,” Gaston said. Vaughan thanked Gaston and other city officials for their support. “This is a very humbling award. I feel very blessed to have such a good group of employees and to get the support from good managers,” Vaughan said. The Robert Jemison Visionary Award was presented to Rele Evans and his son, John Evans, of Evson, Inc., the company behind the Lane Parke development. “Mountain Brook Village is undergoing some changes for the better, and we couldn’t be better served by Rele Evans and the Evans family,” said Mayor Terry Oden. “We are all going to benefit from it tremendously.”

Lee Gewin

Jamie Sauvage

Rele Evans

Rodger Cofer

Ronnie Vaughan

Clint Moore

The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce honored members of the Hoover police and fire departments Feb. 21 at the group’s monthly luncheon. The awards ceremony was held at the Hoover Country Club. Brandon Massey and Ryan Smith were named the Hoover Police Officers of the Year for their role in arresting three men in connection with armed robberies on Lorna Road. Smith and Massey have both been with the Hoover Police Department for about three years. Smith is assigned to the motor scout unit, and Massey is a detective. Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis presented the awards for the police department employees. Tyrone McCall was named the Hoover Detention Officer of the Year. McCall has been with the Hoover Police Department for eight years and also serves as a field training officer, training other jail employees. Jamie Sauvage was honored as the Hoover Telecommunicator of the Year for helping catch those responsible for robbing and injuring a 16-year-old in January 2012. Sauvage is a backup dispatcher and has worked with the Hoover Police Department for seven years. Lt. Rodger Cofer was selected as the Hoover Firefighter of the Year for his involvement with Children’s of Alabama’s Camp Conquest. Cofer has been with the Hoover Fire Department since 1997 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2010. The Hoover Paramedic of the Year Award went to Clint Moore for his role in saving a woman who was choking on food. Moore has been with Hoover since 2008. ❖

A Hoover High School graduate has been recognized with the Girl Scouts Gold Award. Rebecca Guy earned the award for her project aimed at combating obesity. The project, Fun Run to Fight Obesity, focused on getting people to be more active. Guy organized a one-mile run for her church. As participants ran around the church’s playground, they read signs she created with helpful tips on how to stay active and have a healthy lifestyle. The project was also aimed at getting people to interact with each other as they get and stay fit. Guy said she thought the prevalence of social media is discouraging face-to-face interaction and that events like the Fun Run to Fight Obesity can give people an opportunity to encourage each other to meet health goals. “I think that the most successful aspect of my project was that I established an activity at my church that will have a long-term impact on both the church members and the community outside of my church that will hopefully keep them active and in touch with each other,” Guy said. Trish Coghlan, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, congratulated Guy on earning the Gold Award. “By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, Rebecca has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart,” Coghlan said. Coghlan said the girl who goes for the Gold Award embraces challenges, achieves excellence and works diligently to make the world a better place in her own unique way. Each girl earning the Gold Award demonstrates excellence through a leadership project totaling more than 65 hours. Winners are recognized by the President, Congress, state legislatures and the American Legion.

YWCA New 2013 Board Officers, Members Tapped YWCA Central Alabama announced its new board of directors members and officers at its annual meeting on Jan. 29. New board members are Liz Edwards, director of development, Sight Savers of America; Gillian Goodrich, Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation; Elizabeth Hutchins, attorney, Sirote & Permutt; Barrett Brock MacKay, community volunteer; Maria Claudia Norena, director of strategy and innovation, University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Preventative Medicine; Deidra Perry, sales manager, Birmingham Magazine; Carol Ratcliffe, faculty, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, Samford University; Amber Scanlan, vice president, director of client and community relations, PNC Bank; and Chanda Temple, director of public relations, Birmingham Public Library. New board officers are Kathryn Harbert, president; Carla S. Roberson, vice president of development; Brenda M. Hackney, vice president of finance; Lajuana T. Bradford, vice president of planning; Barbara Blair, vice president of programs; Lisa Q. Miller, corresponding secretary; and DeValerie Harry Williams, recording secretary.

10 • Thursday, March 7, 2013


Members of Girl Scouts Troop 316 have earned the Bronze Award. Photo special to The Journal

Hoover Troop Members Earn Girl Scouts Award Several members of Girl Scout Troop 516 in Hoover have been awarded the highest award for Girl Scout Juniors. Jenna Richardson, a student at South Shades Crest Elementary School, and Brock’s Gap Intermediate School students Grace Richardson, Katherine Cohen, Madison Walker, Annaliese Chambers, Mykayla Mitchell, Sarah Niles Simmons, Emily Hagood and D’Anne Woodard are Bronze Award winners. The girls organized a book swap between two schools where children could exchange their used books for new ones. Leftover books were donated to charity. The award is for girls in grades 4-5 and recognizes that a Girl Scout Junior has gained the leadership and planning skills required to follow through with a project that makes a positive difference in the community.

Pelham UDC Honors Veterans at Luncheon The Pelham Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy honored veterans at its November luncheon at the Birmingham Country Club. Dr. Charles Baker presented the program on Matthew Fontaine Maury. Members brought items to be taken to the local veterans’ hospital for the chapter’s Thanksgiving project aimed at

being of service to veterans. Membership certificates were presented to Harriet Heacock and Johnie Gieger at the event. Other attending included Judy Anderson, Shila Bowron, Warren Cain, Eleanor Cheatham, Dottie Drake, Eleanor Hassinger, Cookie Kidd, Ann King, Nancy Lawrence, Jane Morris, Virginia Mylius, Murray Phillips, LaVerne Ramsey, Joyce Ratliff, Betty Bostwick Stockham, Virginia Tucker, Cordette Wall, Delores Wilkinson and Jennifer Zimmerman.

Mountain Brook Troop Has New Eagle Scout Robert Ezell, a member of Boy Scout Troop 63 in Mountain Brook, was presented with the Eagle Scout badge at a ceremony at Canterbury United Methodist Church in the fall. For his Eagle Scout Leadership Robert Ezell Project, Ezell made improvements to the playground at his church, South Highland Presbyterian. He designed and led the construction of a raised, covered sandbox, an herb garden and a wooden game. The

playground is used daily by the SHPC Child Development Center. As a member of Troop 63, Ezell has earned 24 merit badges and served as patrol leader, assistant patrol leader and scribe. He was also inducted into the Order of the Arrow. Ezell earned the Triple Crown of Scouting by backpacking at Philmont Ranch in New Mexico, canoeing at Northern Tier in the boundary waters between the U.S. and Canada, and sailing at Sea Base high adventure camp in the Bahamas. He also participated twice in Troop 63’s Leadership Training weekend at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. At Mountain Brook High School, Ezell is president of Future Business Leaders of America and is a member of the Ping Pong Club and Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society. He is also a reading tutor in the STAIR Literacy program and is active in his church. He is the son of Elizabeth and Mark Ezell. He is the grandson of Bess Owen Yeilding and the late Henry Yeilding of Birmingham and Mary and Carl Ezell of Bowling Green, Ky.

Pageant Contestants Reach Out to Others Contestants in the Miss Alabama and Miss Outstanding Teen pageants spent the holiday season helping others. On Dec. 21, the Miss Outstanding Teen contestants visited Children’s of Alabama to perform for patients at the hospital. They also delivered cards they had made to the sick children. The Miss Alabama and Miss Outstanding Teen contestants helped wrap gifts at Macy’s to benefit Grace’s House on Dec. 22. The outreach event was sponsored by Myrah Taylor, Miss Point Mallard Outstanding Teen 2013. At the Dec. 21 event, North Shelby’s Mi’a Callens and Kyra Callens encouraged shoppers to drop off letters to Santa at Macy’s to help the Make-AWish Foundation. Mi’a is Miss Patriot 2013, and Kyra is Miss Wiregrass Area’s Outstanding Teen 2013. Both are students in Oak Mountain schools.


Boy Scouts Council Selects New Finance Committee The Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America Vulcan District has announced its new finance committee members. The committee is made up of Birmingham-area professionals and community leaders. As its first act, the committee will help host the American Values Luncheon on March 7 at the BJCC. The new district David Dowd chairman of the finance committee is David Dowd, a partner at Burr Forman LLP. Others serving on the committee are Dean Burgess, senior vice president with Regions Financial Group, as finance chairman; Mike Turner, CEO of Freedom Court Reporting, Friends of Scouting chairman; Keith Sides, senior vice president with Regions Bank, chairman of the Family Campaign; Dave Goode, senior vice president for Iberia Bank, chairman of the American Values Luncheon; Richard Davis, director of

investments at Harbert Management Corporation, corporate tables chairman for the American Values Luncheon; and Phillip Corley, a partner at Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff and Brandt, LLC, chairman for individual table hosts for the American Values Luncheon. The Vulcan District is represented by its district committee and through Michael Wells, district executive.

Winners Crowned in Library Chess Tournament Winners were recently crowned in the Emmet O’Neal Library’s chess tournament in Mountain Brook. Balagee Govindan, the coach for the library’s Monday evening chess club, directed the tournament with the help of library staff member Marie Carlisle and parent volunteers. Five rounds of play produced a firstplace winner in each of four divisions. The kindergarten through third grade division winner was Sarvagna Velidandla. The K-6th grade division winner was Patrick Moulton. The K-8th grade division winner was Caesar Juaraz. Stephen Graveling won in the K-12th grade division. The chess club meets at the library on Mondays at 6 p.m. The next tournament will be in July.

The winners of the chess tournament at the Emmet O’Neal Library in Mountain Brook are, from left, front: Aniteja Ponna, Maxwell Wainwright, Harshil Mehta, Benjamin Kennedy and Annya Evans. Second row: Esther Graveling, Sarvagna Velidandla, Manasa Mantha, Labdhi Mehta, Riley Smith. Patrick Moulton and Kapil Nathan. Third row: Caesar Juaraz. Joseph Jun, Gregory Murray and David Fox. Back: Stephen Graveling and James Diaz. Photo special to The Journal

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Vestavia Rotarians Give to AMBUCS Bike Program Members of the Vestavia Hills Rotary Club raised money at a recent meeting to help children with disabilities. Dave Upton of Greater Birmingham AMBUCS was the featured speaker at a February meeting of the club. AMBUCS is a Christian nonprofit group founded in 1922 by William L. White as a service organization for young business and professional men. AMBUCS reaches out to children and others with disabilities by providing wheelchair

ramps and therapeutic tricycles called AmTrykes. After Upton’s presentation, club member George Gammill challenged his fellow Rotarians to purchase a tricycle for AMBUCS. Each tricycle costs about $350. In a matter of minutes, the club had raised more than $1,000 to purchase three tricycles to be used in the AMBUCS program. For more information on the program of Greater Birmingham AMBUCS, visit ❖

Sharp Named Eagle Scout

lectern for the area. The extra money he raised for the project was donated to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home. Sharp joined scouting in the first grade. As a member of Troop 320, he has earned 21 merit badges and served as patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, chaplain and den chief. He was inducted into the Order of the Arrow and also spent two weeks at Philmont Scout Ranch.  Sharp is a sophomore at Mountain Brook High School where plays lacrosse. He is the son of Amanda and Victor Sharp of Mountain Brook. He is the grandson of Carl and Marybeth Smith of Birmingham and Shelby Sharp of Montevallo.

Carl Clayton Sharp, a member of Boy Scout Troop 320 at Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church, has been awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. A Court of Honor ceremony was held Jan. 13 to recognize his achievement. For his Eagle Scout Leadership Project, Sharp rebuilt Clayton Sharp an outdoor worship area at Brookwood Baptist Church. He built eight benches and a




Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 11


From left: Josh Watkins, club president; Dave Upton of AMBUCS; Georgia Medori, club member and former district governor; and George Gammill, club member. Journal photo by Maury Wald



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12 • Thursday, March 7, 2013


Police Take Steps to Deal with Rise in Burglaries u over the mountain

By William C. Singleton III


Journal contributor

esidential burglaries in Over the Mountain cities have spiked compared to this time last year, police departments

report. But area police say the spike shouldn’t be viewed as a progressively upward trend. “With burglaries, you have a trend where they’ll spike and then you’ll make some arrests and neighboring jurisdictions will make some arrests and it will ease off a while,” said Vestavia Hills Lt. Brian Gilham. Gilham said the police department has witnessed a spike in residential burglaries with nearly 17 by the end of February. That puts the city on pace with last year’s total of about 120 residential burglaries. He said there’s really no rhyme or reason to increases in residential burglaries, but some months see more of these kinds of crime reports than others. “Typically our highest months for burglaries are normally October and November,” he said. Gilham said the department has taken notice and has put more police patrol units on the street as well as called officers in to work overtime to monitor neighborhoods. The department may have put a dent in a burglary spree with the recent arrest of a suspect,

who may be connected to a string of burglaries in the area. “Progress is being made but there’s still more work to be done,” he said. Mountain Brook also has experienced a slight increase in residential burglaries since the start of the year, said Mountain Brook Lt. Michael Herren. Without giving specific figures, he said residential burglaries have doubled from January to February.  “Even then, it was not a huge increase,” Herren said. “And I do attribute (those burglaries) to a very select few individuals who are in custody right now. We, along with other agencies, are actively investigating that now. I think the recent slight increase was due to these suspects who are in custody.” Herren said that when news of crime is reported, it appears as if it’s more random and widespread than it really is. Many times, it involves the same suspects who are either committing crimes in a particular neighborhood or move from community to community. Homewood Police Chief Jim Roberson said the city has experienced “a slight uptick in residential burglaries” but a larger decrease in business burglaries. “It’s a mixed bag,” he said. Roberson said he hasn’t been able to break down the statistics and is still sorting through the

numbers. He estimated residential burglaries have increased between 8 and 10 percent from 20112012. Business burglaries may have dropped as much as 20 percent, Roberson said. Police officials say they really don’t have an explanation for the rise in residential burglaries, though they do recognize some of the factors that contribute to such crimes in general.  “I don’t really know to be honest with you,” Roberson said. “The burglary arrests that we’ve made generally have been people with drug habits. Is that impacted by the economy? I don’t know. I would think if you’re addicted to drugs, you’re addicted in a good economy as well as a bad economy. So I really can’t say if it’s the economy.”  Roberson said if society could ever break the addiction cycle connected to drug use, it could put a major dent in burglary and other crimes. The Homewood police chief said in terms of the reduction in business crimes, the department has taken steps to increase patrols in the business community.  “We’re placing more emphasis on our street crimes,” he said. “We’ve concentrated on looking at traffic stops, cars that don’t belong in business areas at certain times of the evening and early morning hours.” Hoover Police Capt. Jim Coker said instead of an increase in burglaries in Hoover, the city is

seeing just the opposite. Comparing 2012 to 2011, burglaries decreased by 4.6 percent and vehicle burglaries dropped 17.7 percent. However, thefts rose by 5.1 percent. “I’d liked to ‘Progress is attribute that to a couple of things. being made but One would be good work by the there’s still more citizens who live work to be done.’ here who if they see something, Lt. Brian Gilham, they call us right Vestavia police away because our citizens are our best partners,” Coker said. “The other side of that is good work by our law enforcement. Our patrol officers are highly visible and our detectives are very skilled in investigating these types of crimes.” Coker said criminals tend to move from one suburban city to another committing burglaries. “We had one group that was hitting us that was caught in Vestavia,” he said. “So, it’s the same group of criminals but they’re targeting several different cities.” Area police say residents can take steps to prevent themselves from being crime victims, including locking their doors, using alarm systems and keeping valuables out of plain sight.❖

u Hoover

Mayor Reports More Retailers Coming to City By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

The holiday shopping season was a bright one for Hoover and the city is moving ahead with plans to welcome more retailers, Mayor Gary Ivey said. Ivey gave his State of the City address to a group of senior citizens at the Hoover Senior Center in January. It was the third time Ivey has given the address, which the Hoover mayor traditionally makes to several groups in the city each year.

“People say you shouldn’t be too dependent on retail, but we’re happy to have all the retail stores in our city, and those businesses continue to grow and make our city stronger,” he said. Ivey referenced the recent opening of Jared’s jewelry store in front of the Riverchase Galleria and talked about ongoing improvements at the mall. “About $60 million will have been spent on improvements there by March, and work is being done to

bring Von Maur to the Galleria, which will be the first in the state,” he said. If all goes according to schedule, the Von Maur department store should open at the Riverchase Galleria in the fall, Ivey said. Hoover shoppers will also see a new Wal-Mart Marketplace in 2013, Ivey said. The city recently closed a deal, he said, for developers to bring the store to Lorna Road, across from what was the Food World shopping center. Ivey said he thinks the new Wal-Mart Marketplace will spur further development near Lorna Road. “Our buildings are filling up where other cities are dealing with empty buildings. Financially, we’re strong,” he said. Ivey said the city has about $31 million in reserves. “Unlike the U.S. Senate, we have a very balanced budget,” Ivey quipped. Ivey said in addition to strong finances, the city also has great schools. “Our Hoover Bucs won the (football) championship, and it is not just our sports teams that do well here in Hoover. We have so many versatile programs, big debate teams and other (academic) teams, so our schools are in great shape,” he said. The mayor also mentioned that on Jan. 1, the name of Regions Park was changed back to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and said there has been

strong interest in the facility. “We have been covered up with calls about renting it and using that facility. We’ll have the Hot Rod Tour there this year and SEC baseball is

coming back, so we’ll really be able to hand-pick good events for the city,” he said. Ivey said work is continuing on several roads and sidewalks projects

u over the mountain

Cities Get Federal Money For Road Projects By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

Vestavia Hills and Hoover were big winners among Over the Mountain cities to receive federal funds for much needed road improvements. Gov. Robert Bentley recently announced that the federal government would fund more than 300 road projects for a total of $397 million through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvements Program, also called ATRIP. The Alabama Department of Transportation will administer the federal aid highway program. Jefferson County stands to receive $15.7 million in ATRIP funds, which will require a match of about $3.9 million from local governments. Hoover and Vestavia Hills each have two projects on the list. Hoover’s Galleria Boulevard is scheduled for resurfacing and realignment under ATRIP. Federal funds will cover $531,083 with the city of Hoover picking up $162,400 for the project. Hoover’s other road improvement project includes intersection upgrades on South Shades Crest Road and Edge Ridge Drive/Shades Run Circle. That project will

in Hoover this year. Sidewalks are being installed on Patton Chapel Road near Simmons Middle School and the extension of Chapel Lane is still on schedule, he said. “We’re trying to exceed everyone’s expectations. We want to do everything right and do it better than everyone else,” he said.❖

cost $873,000 with $698,400 coming from federal funds and $174,600 from the city of Hoover. Vestavia Hills will see resurfacing of Rocky Ridge Road from Lorna Road to U.S. 280. That project will cost $2.67 million with federal funds covering $2.1 million and Vestavia Hills funding about $535,460. Resurfacing is also scheduled for Columbiana, Tyler and Overton roads in Vestavia Hills, a project that will cost about $1 million with about $846,000 being paid for through ATRIP funds and $211,500 from Vestavia Hills. Vestavia Hills City Manager Randy Robertson said there could be partnering opportunities with other cities to reduce the local matching costs. Because parts of the roads wind through Birmingham, Jefferson County and Hoover, those respective governments could pitch in to fund sections of the local match, Robertson said. “We believe those are two of the most challenged streets in the city in terms of the conditions of them,” Robertson said of Columbiana and Rocky Ridge roads. “The cost of those would have been prohibitive for the city to take on other than continued patching. So we–the council, the staff, the citizens–believe this is a huge victory. This just wasn’t going to be done without this money.” ALDOT will control the process, bidding the project, awarding construction contracts and determining the timetable for completion, Robertson said. “It won’t be tomorrow but we’re going to pursue this as aggressively as we can,” he said.❖

Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 13




New $18 Million City Hall Set to Open in April offices at 3928 Montclair Road. The police and fire administration moved to Office Park Circle off U.S. 280. The new complex will have about 52,000 square feet of space compared to 28,000 square feet in the previous municipal complex. It will also have a second story and will have attaching sections for the police and fire departments. The new building will also con-

Finishing touches are being made on the new Mountain Brook City Hall. Officials say it could be move-in ready by the end of next month. Journal photo by Maury Wald


The new $18 million Mountain Brook City Hall is scheduled to open next month. “We’re proposing to move back in the last part of April,” said City

Manager Sam Gaston. Finishing touches are being applied to the interior of the new building, and painting and roofing work is being done, Gaston said. City governmental functions have been split between two locations since December 2010 when

city, police and fire officials moved from Crestline Village to make way for construction for the new municipal complex. The city’s administrative offices as well as the offices of the city planner, building inspector and finance department relocated to


Former Library Site Sold After Two Years


The city of Vestavia Hills has found a buyer for its old library building. The City Council recently agreed to sell the old library site at 1112 Montgomery Highway to HES Investments LLC for $750,000. The 1.6 acre property contains a 22,000 square-foot, three-story building. The site has been for sale since December 2010 when the library moved to its new location at 1221 Montgomery Highway less than a mile away. The city had asked for $1.5 million for the property, but City Manager Randy Robertson said that amount was based on earlier appraisals and the property likely was not worth that much now. Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza said HES Investment is trying to lure a retail establishment to the site. “They’re negotiating with some firms to bring some retail business there,” he said. Vestavia officials have been particularly picky about a buyer for the property. Officials have wanted to direct the type of businesses that locate along U.S. 31, which has been the subject of a major redevelopment study.

The city last year released the U.S. 31 Corridor Redevelopment Plan, a comprehensive guideline to transform U.S. 31 through boulevards, green spaces and retail, office and residential developments. City officials have been mindful

how to use its property along U.S. 31 in conjunction with that study, Robertson said. The city has held several public involvement meetings on the plan and hopes to work on various aspects of the plan through the coming years.❖

tain a parking deck below city hall to accommodate about 60 vehicles, Gaston said. “We’ll be looking forward to moving back to Crestline because we miss being in Crestline,” Gaston said. “It will be good having the police, fire and city hall employees back together again.” Construction of the new city hall was done by Brasfield and Gorrie.❖


14 • Thursday, March 7, 2013


Serving Hands and Hearts Donna Greene Teaches OTM Girls Service and Compassion

By Margaret Frymire

friends. Now, four decades later, that “club” has developed into a ministry program bringing in more than 200 o r t y years ago, Donna high school girls a week from the Greene of Mountain OTM area. Brook had just left her Donna teaches ninth, 10th, 11th job as a flight attendant and 12th grade girls of all different and found herself in a denominations about the Bible and state of disillusionment, how to make their Christian faith not knowing where to go next. active in the world. She had little idea that by 2013, “I want these girls to put feet on she would have led more than 4,000 their Christianity. I want them to Over the Mountain girls in a serviceserve. I want it to go from their head based Bible study, teaching them to to their heart,” have compasDonna said. sionate hearts To help and service-ori‘I want these girls the girls to ented minds. apply their Donna’s to put feet on their faith, Donna Community Christianity. I want has encourMinistry for the high Girls started them to serve. I want aged school students when Frank in Community it to go from their Barker, pastor Ministry for of Briarwood head to their heart.’ Girls to get Presbyterian involved in Church, asked Donna Greene service opporDonna to let the tunities in church pay her Birmingham and for the summer. around the country. “For what?” Donna asked. Donna said her ministry has “Whatever you dream up. You have a remarkable gift with children,” ranged all over the OTM area but now mostly includes girls from Frank replied. Mountain Brook High School. Frank’s daughter, Anita, 11 years All the girls have the opporold at the time, then begged Donna tunity to invest in Hope Lodge in to start a girls’ club for Anita and her Journal staff writer


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Donna Greene and a group of girls from Mountain Brook High School departed from Birmingham on Feb. 14 for a mission trip to San Diego, Calif. Front, from left: Mary Shelton Hornsby, Allie Lejeune, Anne Baxley Winn, Virginia Jordan, Maggie Green, Elizabeth Letzer and Adele Smith. Middle: Virginia Wilson, Madelyn Beatty, Elizabeth Hymer, Sudie Canada, Anna Kathryn Healey, Katie Harrison, Hallie West and Emily Bedell. Back: Grace Morrissette, Walker Sewell, Maggie Miller, Donna Greene, Boo Baugh, Coleman Upchurch, Mimi Fullan and Katherine Frances.

Birmingham, a home away from home for cancer patients who are receiving treatment far from where they live. Donna said when the lodge opened more than 10 years ago, her ninthgrade girls became some of the first volunteers. They stocked the library for the patients and collected VHS tapes for their movie collection. Since then, Donna, a 15-year cancer survivor, has taken her girls to serve in the Hope Lodge in Birmingham and regularly takes her 10th-grade girls to Nashville to assist at the Hope Lodge there. For the past two years, Donna and her 11th-grade girls have gone to San Diego to work with Harbor Mid-City Church. Donna said that one of the girls she mentored from the fifth through the 12th grade, Bradford Greene Phelan, 36, lives in San Diego now. Bradford has passed Donna’s teachings on to young girls in San Diego, starting Bible studies with grade school girls. Donna and Bradford remained in touch and last year, Donna’s girls and Bradford’s girls became pen pals. Then the idea of the two women partnering in service started to become a reality. On Feb. 14, Donna and 20 girls from Mountain Brook High School set out for San Diego. That weekend, the group partnered with Harbor MidCity to serve the people of San Diego. On that Friday night, the girls worked with the church’s Hispanic

ministry. They held a cookout, spent time with the children and participated in a Hispanic worship service. That Saturday, Donna and the MBHS girls held a mini-retreat on Coronado Island for the girls mentored by Bradford. Donna and the girls from MBHS also helped with Harbor MidCity’s field day for refugees. Donna From left: Maggie Miller, Hallie West and Walker Sewell of Mountain Brook High School minister to children in San said there are Diego in partnership with Harbor Mid-City Church. 70 languages spoken just in Photos special to the Journal day, she said. Bradford’s zip The trip “is one of the best things code in San Diego.  we’ve done. My girls were so fired The ministry opportunity to reach up about it. They are so excited about so many people was incredible, she sharing their faith,” she said. said.  Donna plans to continue to take The church and Donna’s team her junior girls to San Diego, reaching were able to provide a kids’ dream out to others through the large refugee feast of pizza, cake and ice cream for population there.  the field day. “I want the girls to develop a deep, Donna said children “from every abiding relationship with the Lord, tribe and nation” attended the festivities. Her girls had the ability to impart and I want them to have hearts of compassion,” Donna said. ❖ a little love to these refugees for the



The 2013 board officers for Camp Smile-A-Mile. From left: Denny Hughes, Matt Lyons, Todd Jordan, Meredith McLaughlin, David Warren and Anne Amick. Photo special to The Journal

Camp SAM Board of Directors Take Office Camp Smile-A-Mile, Alabama’s Program for Children with Cancer, recently announced its 2013 board of directors. Meredith McLaughlin will serve her first term as president. Todd Jordan and Matt Lyons will join her as vice presidents. David Warren is secretary, with Anne Amick serving her final year on the board as treasurer. Denny Hughes, 2012 president, will serve as immediate past president.  Joining Camp SAM’s board this year are Blaine Campbell, Fred Elliott, Sam Heide, Rebecca King, John Rives, Justin Truelove, Linda Ward and Ryan Weiss.  Completing Camp SAM’s 2013 board of directors are Bryan Balogh, Amanda Bentley, Richard Brown, Michael Clark,

Quint Cook, Stuart Cramer, Justin Kaplan, Mick Knerr, David Lawley, Tony Nichols, Frank Park, Jeff Rabren, John Redmond, John Rucker and David Surber. Camp SAM was established in 1985 to serve the children of Alabama battling cancer as well as their families. Starting with a single, weeklong camp that welcomed patients of all ages, Camp SAM has grown to include year-round programming and seven camp sessions each summer.  Camp SAM is the only pediatric oncology camp in the state to offer such extensive programming for the entire family.

Zoo Announces New Board Members, Officers The Birmingham Zoo has announced its new board of directors and board officers for 2013.

Board officers are Jesse Vogtle Jr., chairman; Wally Nall III, vice chairman; Jerry Kimbrough, treasurer; Cissy Jackson, secretary; and Robin Sparks Davis, immediate past chairman. Directors are Robert Aland, Minda Riley Campbell, Leigh Collier, Gaynell H. Hendricks, Anna B. James, Randall Jordan, Sandy Logan, David Loper, Raymond Perez, Laura Pitts, James Priester, Oliver L. Robinson, Jr., Dalton Smith, Steven R. Spencer, newly-elected Jesse Vogtle Jr. Robert Aland, and Stacey Morales, the new Junior Board president.  The new members have backgrounds ranging from banking to photography to real estate. Officers serving with Morales are Julie Herring, vice president; Emily Jordan, treasurer; Bryan Coleman, secretary; and Joseph Welden, immediate past president.  Members are Ambre Amari, Jay Anderson, Kris Anderson, Stephen Armstrong, Shawn Arnold, Ellen Blalock, Leslie Crawford, Austin Davis, Katharine Davis, Lauren DeMoss, Erin Donohoo, Joey DuMontier, Becca Green, Amy Hood, Bobbi Jones, Madison Merrill, Laura Montgomery, Javan Patton, Lauren Northcutt Thomason and Blakely Taylor. ❖

Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 15

16 • Thursday, March 7, 2013





James Bond Gala Raises Money for Cancer Research

ore than 500 guests gathered at The Club on Feb. 9 to help support cancer research when ROAR/ Southeast Cancer Foundation hosted the third annual James Bond Gala, “GoldenCure.” Alabama Sports Hall of Famer Jerry Duncan was the gala’s honoree. A member of two back-toback national championship teams, Jerry was known by Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant as the player who most liked to practice football. Having recently survived cancer, Jerry is now known as the man who most likes to beat cancer. Dr. John Fiveash, chairman of the Southeast Cancer Foundation, presented Jerry with a proclamation from Gov. Robert Bentley for the “Jerry Duncan I Like to Beat Cancer Day”. Joining Jerry were family members Karen, Melissa and Mike Gibbons, Evans and Lessie Duncan, Luke From left: Sara Moseley, Yvonne Pope and Kelly Kassouf. Duncan and Maggie Rumbley. Serving on the host committee team to beat cancer were Steve Arnold, Leon Ashford, John Blackwell, Shane Boatright, Frank Brown, Rob Burton, Jeff Claunch, Hartwell Davis, Jr., Garry Neil Drummond, Boots Gale, Miller Gorrie, Ike Gulas, Grayson Hall, Raymond Harbert, Steve Heninger, Jim Holbrook, Liz Huntley, Glenn Ireland, Johnny Johns, Randy Jones, Terry Kellogg, Benny LaRussa, Buddy Lockhart, Don Logan, Fred McCallum, Charles McCrary, John McMahon, James McManus, Phillip McWane, Charlie Miller, Larry Morris, Mickey Newsome, Tom Patterson, John Plott, Jim Pratt, Dudley Reynolds, Van Richey, Dowd Ritter, Robbie Robertson, Alan Rogers, Tony Smith, Steve Spencer, Lee Styslinger III, Coach Pat Sullivan, Mike Thompson, Marc Tyson, Stanley Martha and Richard Thompson. Virciglio, Mike Warren, Edgar Welden and Mark White. Co-chairmen for the event were Yvonne Pope and Sarah Moseley. Committee chairmen were ROAR members Charlie Waldrep, Julie Kim, Terry Crutchfield, Pat Starr, Sue Nuby, Kelly Kassouf, Anne Bishop, Rita Wood, Bonnie Goetz, Barbara Brickner, Barbie Arnold, Honey Miller, Denise Nichols, Alicia Pangman, Fresia Vega, Lynn Stevens, Michelle Scholtz, Melody McGuire and Heather Strauss. Other ROAR members attending were Yvonne Albaugh, Jennifer Alden, Patrice Bonner, Libby Bontly, Breanna Brickner, Dona Bullock, Becky Cammack, Peggy Devane, Anna Dewees, Kristie Dobelbower, John Falkenberry, Carolyn Higginbotham, Hiltrud Hollibaugh, Barbara Huffman, Barbara Klyce, Chantal Kottmeyer, Angela Lewis, Audrey Lindquist, Jackie more photos at McAtee, Debbie McCune, Cele Montgomery, Julie Narz, Laurel Patrick, Mary Rankin, Sue Selby, Margaret Stewart, Sherry Tatom, Martha Thompson, Jane Van Eaton, Gloria Walker, Tabitha Walker and Lynn Yeager. Robert Logan of Backstage crafted the elegant James Bond “GoldenCure” design. Lynn Sampson Stevens produced the video, and Total Assets provided music for dancing.


See Roar, page 17

Charlie Waldrep, Jerry Duncan and Charles McCrary.

Suzanne Wald, Bryan Ratliff, Mike Wald and Dorothy Ratliff.

Laura and Greg Chapman.

Photos special to The Journal by Frank Carnaggio



Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 17 FAR LEFT: From left: Hannon Doody, Melissa Kenan, Tricia Kirk, Francie Deaton, Susan Mathews, Kirk, Margaret Klocke and Lelie Macleod. LEFT: Nan Crow Photos special to The Journal


KD Alums Lend a Hand at Art Show

he Mountain Brook Kappa Delta Alumnae Association gathered in September to raise money for a Homewood organization that serves mentally and physically challenged individuals in the Birmingham area. Several members of the association helped at the Exceptional Foundation’s art show. The show included work by local artists and pieces created by students at the Exceptional Foundation. Money raised at the event helps support the foun-


from page 16

Granger Thagard and Associates hosted a live auction featuring trips to Ireland, Scotland, Costa Rica, Cape Cod, the Gulf Coast, the College Football Hall of Fame, Nick Saban’s induction to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the SEC championship game. Also auctioned were James Bond and Bond Girl packages and exclusive dining experiences, including Frank Stitt’s 30th anniversary celebration, Fleming’s, Ocean, Bellini’s, the Bright Star and in-home dinners. Winning bidders included Dr. Greg and Laura Chapman, Mike and Suzanne Wald, Bryan and Dorothy Ratliff, Bob and Jackie McAtee, Greg and Joni Wheeler, Mark White and Carol Ann Hobby, Steve and Karen Heninger, David and Madeline Busby, Mark and Cate Sommer, Daniel and Linsey Rangel, B. J. and Susan Blanchard, Dr. Bruce and Carla Irwin, Dowd and Susan Ritter, Drs. Conrad and Jennifer De Los Santos, Harlan and Lynn Sands, Judge Brad and Dr. Anne Bishop, Charlie Waldrep, Randy and Debra Jones, Joseph and Susie Fawal and Burnie and Carolyn Higginbotham. Spotted among the other 540 guests were James Bond 007 Dr. George French and his Bond Girl, Joyce. Also there were board members Colleen Adams and Laurens Pierce, Richard and Martha Thompson, Fletcher and Martha Yielding, Robert Ajam, Taylor and Katie Adams, Charles Leesburg, Hugo Marx III, Sherry Kidd, Pam Ausley, Ronnie and Nancy Norris, Dr. Jack and Beth Schaeffer, Dr. Ivan Brezovich, Sammy and Carol Campbell, Todd Neil, Steve and

dation’s programs. Kappa Delta alumni helping out at the art show included Tricia Kirk, executive director of the Exceptional Foundation, and Margaret Klocke, the foundation’s event coordinator. Other KD members volunteering at the event were Chapter President Francie Deaton, Nan Crow, Cindy Crowther, Betsy Harmon, Melissa Kenan, Lelie Macleod, Susan Mathews and Cynthia Shearer. ❖

Barbie Arnold, Connie and Ann Haydock, Robert Brewer, Jeff Nathasingh and Jennifer Wilson, David and Denise Nichols, Mayor Earl and Mrs. Johnson, Dale and Alicia Pangman, Lucile Colee, Doug and Niki Hovanec, Tom and Cathy Stewart, Mavis Hays, Bob and Andrea Burton, Angela Lewis, Todd and Stacy Miner, Dr. James and Patrice Bonner, John and Dr. Nan Brinkerhoff, Dr. Laura Fiveash, Dr. Robert and Julie Kim, Drs. Eddy and Sarah Yang, Dr. and Mrs. Chris Willey, Dr. Sharon Spencer, Dr. Richard and Nancy Popple, Dr. Ruby Meredith and Mike Pfaff, Dr. Christopher and Kristy Dobelbower, Jim and

Marsha Folsom, Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Bruno, Ronnie and Lee Ann Bruno, Dr. Rex Cardan, Dr. Doug and Connie Clark, Julie Troha, Jimmy Koikos, Mike and Nancy Kolen, Billy and Marcia Strickland, Dr. and Mrs. Walter Pittman, Les and Janice Herring, Chip and Shannon Moore, Major and Jayne Ogilvie, J. L. and Sharon Shaia, Frank Carnaggio, Jack Porterfield, Marjorie Forney, Barbara Shepherd and Sen. Slade Blackwell and Dr. Sally Salter. For more information about ROAR/Southeast Cancer Foundation and next year’s gala, “Diamonds and Cures Are Forever,” visit ❖

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18 • Thursday, March 7, 2013



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From left: Laura Cunningham and Allison DeVaughn.

OTMJ.COM Photos special to The Journal

Riverchase Art Show Benefits Alzheimer’s Group

Anne Waldrop and Kim Hale.


he Riverchase Women’s Club hosted the seventh annual Riverchase Loves Artists art show at the Riverchase Country Club on Feb. 2. Proceeds were donated to Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, the Amelia Center and the Exceptional Foundation. Patrons saw a wide variety of media, including the work of several local artists. Those exhibiting their

Susan Sheedy, Barbara Traywick and Lynne Cooper.

work at the show included Casey Adams, Gloria Adams, Steve Adams, Sondi Barton, Svetlana Belotserkovskaya, Brian Bohanen, Allison Bohorfoush, Laurel Browning, Cecily Chaney, Sam Collins and Betsy Covington. Other artists participating in the event included Troy Criswell, Becky Criswell, Laura Cunningham, Michael Davis, Bart Ehmann, George Elliott, Jerrie Elliot, Steven


Febres-Cordero, David Greene, Barclay Gresham, Kim Hale, Nancy Hammond, Ricki Higgins, Jerianne Huffstutler, Mike Hulsey, Connie Hulsey, Leigh Ann Hurst, Eric Johnson, Cecily Lowe, Kay Moates, Anne Moore, Marilyn Moncus, Emily Neel, Paige Nicholson, Bill Palmer, Toni Palmer, Corinne Phillips, Chi Roach, Shelley Stewart, Tyson Stewart, Hank Siegel and Anne Waldrop. The event was headed by Lynn Cooper and Peggy Roberts aided by many volunteers from Riverchase Women’s Club. ❖


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undreds of volunteers from Shades Mountain Baptist Church gathered Jan. 30- Feb. 2 to work to feed thousands of starving children in the developing world. Through a partnership between the church and Twin Cities-based Feed My Starving Children, volunteers prepared 500,000 life-saving meals at an FMSC MobilePack event. Feed My Starving Children is a nonprofit Christian organization committed to feeding children hungry in body and spirit. Children and adults hand-pack meals designed specifically for starving children, and FMSC ships the meals to nearly 70 countries around the world. Each meal costs only 22 cents to produce. For more information, visit MobilePack events enable children and adults across the country to pack FMSC’s MannaPack meals. Churches, businesses, community groups and schools in more than 30 states have hosted these food-packing events. FMSC provides guidance and logistics. Local donors and volunteers provide funds and labor to produce the meals. ❖






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ACA Preps for Garden Art Party

lzheimer’s of Central Alabama held a Kick Off Luncheon for the 17th annual Garden Art Party at the home of Scott and Julie Bryant on Feb. 7. The Garden Art Party will be April 20 at Ted’s Garage. Miller Piggott, Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama executive director, shared the history of the organization. Board President Nicole Crawford, co-chairman of the event, discussed details of the auction, and Christy Baynes, vice president and co-chairman, discussed the goals of the event. The party will feature a live and silent auction. Each year artwork created by Alzheimer’s patients from assisted living facilities and adult day care centers is featured at the party.  This year’s party theme will be “Butterfly Garden,” which was inspired by artwork created at a local adult day care center. Bob Straka will serve as auctioneer of the live auction, which will include the artwork that inspired the event’s theme. Other items in the auction include trips, entertainment and dining packages, artwork, gardening items and jewelry. There will be also several opportunities to bid on beach condos and homes from Gulf Shores to Seacrest Beach, Fla. Attending the luncheon were board members Susan Bremer, Nancy Manzella, Jennifer Green, Lindy Harrell, Julie Bryant, Chris Blackerby, Sarah Curatella, Judith Jones, Lanette Cook, Stephanie Sansing and Mel York. Other supporters attending the luncheon were Cathy Saviski, Jeannie Duke, Terri Platt, Starla Marbury and Sheila DeMedicis. More than 93,000 Alabamians have Alzheimer’s disease. For each patient, an entire family is affected. ACA assists families looking for answers and trying to provide care. Money raised at the Garden Art Party will fund services, programs and research. ACA is providing respite care,

To: From: Date:

Anna/Linda Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax March 2013

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL fo March 7, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! Above: From left: Sarah Curatella, Chris Blackerby and Susan Bremer. Below: Miller Piggott, Christy Baynes, Sarah Curatella and Judith Jones. Photos special to The Journal

Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

scholarships for patients to attend adult day care centers and scholarships for continence supplies to more than 400 patients and families this year. Tickets for the Garden Art Party are $95. For more information, call 871-7970 or visit to purchase tickets online. ❖

20 • Thursday, March 7, 2013







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Gala Raises Money for Music Scholarships


early 200 members and guests filled the Vestavia Country Club ballroom for the annual Lois Pickard Music Scholarship luncheon hosted on Feb. 14 by the Symphony Volunteer Council. The event is a fundraiser to provide music scholarships for high school students. Highlighting the luncheon were performances by firstand second-place winners of the scholarship competition in the categories of strings, brass/woodwinds/percussion From left: Pamela DiPiazza and Judy Leesburg. and piano. There were 33 young musicians from around the region in the competition. The winners included Aleksandra Kasman, a student at Vestavia Hills High School, who won first place in the piano category. Leona Crasi, a student at the Alabama School of Fine Arts won second place in the piano competition. Coreisa Lee, another Alabama School of Fine Arts student, won first place in the flute category with ASFA classmate Liam Herb winning second place in the French horn division. Olivia Palazzolo, a home-schooled student from Athens, won second place Barbara Eisenhart and Connie Bishop. in the viola competition. Photos special to The Journal The Grand Award and first place Competition coordinators were SVC winner in the violin category was 1829 29th Ave. So. • Homewood • 870-8110 members Debbie Reid and Joanne Melody Sims, a student at Baldwin Weston. Arts and Academics Magnet School in After bidding on donated gift cards Montgomery. As Grand Award winner, and other silent auction items, members Melody will be invited to appear with and guests gathered at round luncheon the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. We Chose Quality vs. Quantity for a Reason. tables to enjoy the performances and Competition judges and their luncheon. Table centerpieces were categories were Roderick Cox, assisBayshore Retreat was created by Judy metal baskets holding blooming plants tant conductor, Alabama Symphony Butler and her son, Jeff (Bonzo) and greenery. Pink napkins accented Orchestra, and principal conducJenks. After failed attempts at typical Mary Glen white cloths sprinkled with Valentine tor/music director of the Alabama rehab.205-823-9646 “We finally found the answers”. Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: chocolates. Symphony Youth Orchestra, who Bayshore Retreat is small because this FAX: 205-824-1246 Judy Leesburg, Joanna Fuller judged all three competition categories; is a key to individualized treatment. FEb. 2013 and Lavonne Williamson designed the Edward Merritt, ASO principal bass, Every person is different and until table décor. strings category; Jason Robins, ASO each personthe is treated as such theJournal for the This is your ad proof from the over mountain SVC President Kathie Ramsey trombone, brass/woodwinds/percussion cyclefax of addiction continue. to 824-1246. march 7, 2013 issue. Please approvalwill or changes welcomed guests, and ASO Executive category; and Dr. Lynn Faulkner of Next is health, physically and Director Curt Long made opening the University of Montevallo, piano We know that when the remarks. Terry Standridge and Diane category. please make surementally. all information is correct, body, mind and spirit are all addressed including address andwillphone number! the addiction have less chance of reocurring. Counseling in many forms, activities and coaching with please initial and fax back withinalong 24 hours. healthy eating and routine are the the press date, If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before betterthe lifestyle. These are all your ad will run basis as is. of Wea print paper Monday. Jeff and Judy at Bayshore which overlook a part of Bayshore Retreat’s drug and Thank you for your prompt attention. beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay in Destin. alcohol treatment program.



Rossmeisl chaired the event. The finale was a brief business meeting. Nominating Committee Chairman Linda Griggs announced nominees to hold SVC offices for the coming year. Winners in the drawing for Franco Pianegonda jewelry were Ashley Grimsley, Karen Nielsen, and Naomi Blackwell. Those attending the annual luncheon included Jane and Bob Hinds, Mike Griggs, Mimi Jackson, Connie Bishop, Jack Standridge, Herb Rossmeisl, Dixie Ayers, Pat Scofield, Barbara Barnard, Betty Healey, Nancy Morrow, Judy Deegan, Jane Williams, Sue Watkins, Tallulah Hargrove, Gerry Dunham, Roma Bounds and Margaret Ann Peterson. Others spotted at the event were Corinne Greer, Fay Hart, Fay Hall, Peggy Heaps, Dot Crook, Margie Denton, Ann Hillhouse, Tora Johnson, Melva Jones, Nancy Lawrence, Virginia Cobb Golightly, Rosemarie Ippolito, Sylvia Patrick and Michael Huebner.  Also attending were Shirley Brown, Martha Black, Roberta Atkinson, Liz Warren, Diane Ray, Jeanette Humes, Olivia Weingarten, Charlotte and Steve Clarkson, Toni Bone, Pamela DiPiazza, Kay Clark, Elaine Clark, Edith and Robert Bauman, Catherine Rogers, Gail Hill, Gail Wood, Sue Newton, Janis Abernathy, Lavonne and Joe Sanders, Nancy Van Wanderham, Martha Yeilding, Janis Zeanah, Fay and Buddy Black, Janine Goode, Beth Hamer, Debby and Bob Kristofco, Harriet Maloof, Joan Parker, Anita Ranelli, Donna Spencer, John Stone, Liz Hartin and Nan Teninbaum. ❖

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From left: Abbey Macklin, Mary Rose Kitchens, Claire Killian and Kathryn-Taylor Sisk.


Desserts and Dancers Featured at Youth Ballet Fundraiser

allet families brought their favorite desserts to share when friends of the Alabama Youth Ballet Company and the Alabama Youth Ballet Guild attended the fifth annual Dessertissements fundraiser on Feb. 17. The event was hosted by Grebel Center for Dance. The event helps the AYBC promote the art of dance in the Birmingham area. It is presented each year by the Alabama Youth Ballet Guild. Organizing the event were AYB Guild President Sabrina Murray, Vice President Paula Macklin, Treasurer Eden Roy and Secretary Lizzie Hudson. Karen Brown and Lizzie Hudson decorated for the event. Along with the array of desserts, the event included a wine tasting for adults and lemonade punch for the children. Each guest was given a ball mask

Jordan Mercer and Deborah Grebel. Photos special to The Journal

and T-shirt to commemorate the event. The children attending enjoyed decorating masks while their parents previewed and bid on auction items. Those attending the fundraising

event included Laura Brookhart, John Hollingsworth, Maurice Mercer, Steven Grebel with Deborah and Mykell, John Johnsey with Gracie, Douglas and Taylor, Rick Goff with Henry and Alice, Jan Harkey, Ralph and Janet Rooney, Porter Rooney with Thomas, Pam Kinnerew, Patty Lovelady, Lynda Gilbet, Craig and Sabrina Murray with Ashley, Emily and Matthew, Dr. Elizabeth Korcz with Nikolas, Alivia Abbot, Karen Brown and Bella, Thomas To: Andrew, Randy and Shawne Sisk, From: Lila Killian, John Klosterman, Flip and Catherine Findley with Ellie, Kellye Self with Amelia and Olivia, Date: Nicoline Weiler with Becca, Quentin Dunn and Chris Kitchens with Mary Rose, Tim and Paula Macklin with Abigail and Jackson, Shane and Anna Morris with McKinley, Beth Rooney with Frances and Ken and Suzy Spencer with Anna. ❖


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PurpleStride Event Surpasses Fundraising Goal

From left, front: Corey Gros, Paula Radmard and Rachel Baker. Back: Frank Flow, Cheri Flow, Stacey Balaam, Nicky Preuitt, Camila DeVeau-Biter, Julie Gurak, Susan Schuessler, Candice Flow, Jill Burt and Audra Strickland.

Record Turnout in Homewood


Feb. 23 event in Homewood to raise awareness and money for pancreatic cancer research attracted a record number of participants and surpassed organizers’ fundraising goals. MISS ALABAMA More than 900 walkers and runners ANNA LAURA participated in the Pancreatic Cancer Action BRYAN Network’s 5K and walk at Homewood Central Park. 822.1902 So far, the event has raised $94,000, 2880 OLD ROCKY RIDGE ROAD, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35243 said Lou Ellen Williams, PanCAN’s media representative. The goal was to raise $70,000. “There are two more months left to donate. We might make it to $100,000. This is unbelievably huge for us, and we couldn’t be happier,” Williams said. To: Deborah ESTAVIA S Ronda Robinson of Fox 6 was the From: Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246event’s emcee. Friends and family gathered at the park Date: March. EWEST were entertained This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the by music, had their pictures taken in a photo booth, had their faces March 7, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. LOTHING painted, shot hoops at a giant inflatable basketball goal and enjoyed food and felPlease make sure all information is correct, lowship. ESTINATION Including address and phone number!A Zumba warm-up before the 5K and walk was led by 77-year-old Zumba Please initial and fax back within 24 hours. instructor Suanne Ferguson. For information on future PurpleStride If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, events, visit ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Thank you for your prompt attention. ham. ❖


Marsha and Dutchie Gurak and their daughter Marianne, Musʼ Dash for Dutchie team captain.


mono pluse2 x 6.25"

Billy Gurak, Alan Klinner, Lexi Kwak, Curt Phillips and Lacey Phillips. Journal photos by Maury Wald

Monogramming on back

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Supporters joining the fight against pancreatic cancer came in all shapes and sizes.

Chris Ickes was the first place finisher in the 5K run.

Christina Jagielski, left, congratulates Sue Clements on being one of the eventʼs top fundraisers. Photo special to The Journal



Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 23

Left: Lauren and Bill Edmundson. Above: Justin Gaffrey, artist in residence.


Sweet Celebration in SoHo Raises Money for Wildlife Center

he Alabama Wildlife Center held its ninth annual Wild About Chocolate fundraiser on Feb. 9 at Rosewood Hall in SoHo Square. Guests enjoyed appetizers, chocolate desserts and complimentary wine, beer, soft drinks and coffee donated by local restaurants, caterers, bakeries and beverage distributors including Avo, Dram, Jackson’s Bar & Bistro, Ashley Mac’s Café and Catering, Royal Cup Coffee, Cabot Cheese, Ocean and 26, Catering by LaNetta, Nino’s Italian Restaurant, Rusty’s Bar-B-Q, Good People Brewing Company, Savoie Catering, Louise’s Cakes-N-Things, Yellow Bicycle Catering Company, Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Edgar’s Bakery. Kaitlin McCulley, a reporter for CBS42, was emcee. Local veterinarians who have volunteered their services and donated medical supplies and equipment to the Alabama Wildlife Center were recognized and honored. They included Dr. David Friddle and Dr. Haley Burke from Alford Avenue Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Ed Murray from Coosa Valley Equine and Dr. Arthur Serwitz, Dr. Alvin Atlas and Dr. Christopher Campbell from Riverview Animal Hospital. Veterinarians also honored but not in attendance were Dr. E. F. Buchanan from Airport Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Susan R. Nelms and Dr. Jana Korsch-Dismukes from Alabama Veterinary. A “buy it now” silent auction, chaired by Gina Hinson with help from Katherine Klyce, offered a wide variety of items, including jewelry, original artwork, vacation packages, gift certificates to restaurants and shops and spa packages. Ken Jackson led the live auction, which featured the “Nest with Roses” acrylic sculpture by Justin Gaffrey. Gaffrey served as artist in residence for the evening, displaying an array

Ken and D.J. Boyd.

of artwork and demonstrating his technique of creating deeply textured, multidimensional paint sculpture. Funds raised at the event will support the Alabama Wildlife Center’s efforts to rescue and rehabilitate

orphaned and injured native birds. With baby bird season beginning in just a few weeks, proceeds will be used to provide for the intensive care and feedings of baby songbirds and raptors. ❖

Please join us for the Cordani Spring 2013 Trunk Show Wednesday, March 13th and Thursday, March 14th featuring shoes for immediate purchase. Register to win a free pair of Cordani shoes. Registration begins Wednesday, March 13th *Rules apply only at...

24 • Thursday, March 7, 2013


Mr. and Mrs. Jim Calvert Murray of Wichita, Kan., announce the engagement of their daughter, Julianne Ashley, to Scott Joseph Bernstein, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Randy David Bernstein of


Mr. and Mrs. Donald Allen Brown of Catlettsburg, Ky., announce the engagement of their daughter, Jennifer Lynn Brown, to James Morris Allen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Smith Allen of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the grand-


Mr. Eric Henry and Mrs. Debra Emert-Caudel Lipp announce the engagement of their daughter, Jessica Marie Lipp, to James Ross Zorn, son of Mr. James Ray and Mrs. Lee White Zorn of Eufaula. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. DeeAnn Caudel

Weddings & Engagements Mountain Brook. Miss Murray is a 2004 graduate of Wichita Southeast High School and a 2008 graduate of the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in finance and international business. She was a member of Kappa Delta sorority and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She is employed with Shoals Technologies Group as director of business development. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mrs. Anita Danneman and the late Mr. David Danneman and Mr. and Mrs. Sidney L. Bernstein, all of Mountain Brook. Mr. Bernstein is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a 2008 graduate of the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and business. He is co-owner of Standard Iron & Metal Company.  The wedding is planned for Sept. 21. daughter of Mrs. Carl Franklin Davis of Catlettsburg and the late Mr. Davis, Mrs. Phyllis Ann Brown of Southpoint, Ohio, and Mr. and Mrs. James Evert Brown of Chesapeake, Ohio. Ms. Brown is a graduate of Boyd County High School in Ashland, Ky. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Southern Institute School of Interior Design at Virginia College in Birmingham. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Fayette Gleason Shepard and the late Mr. and Mrs. James Bentley Allen, all of Birmingham. Mr. Allen is a graduate of the Rectory School in Pomfret, Conn., and the University of Montevallo. He is pursuing a juris doctor degree at Birmingham School of Law.  The wedding is planned for April 20 in Birmingham at Saint Mary’s-onthe-Highlands Episcopal Church. of Birmingham, Dr. George H. and Mrs. Billie M. Emert of Bellingham, Wash., formerly of Auburn, and Mrs. Florence Jenks and the late Mr. Earl H. and Mrs. Patricia L. Lipp of Lansing, Mich. Miss Lipp is a 2013 honor graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics. She will attend the University of Alabama School of Law in the fall. She is employed as a client associate at Fritze Financial in Mountain Brook. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. Willie Ray and Mrs. Dimple Zorn of Clayton and Mrs. Vivian and the late Mr. Benjamin H. White of Sylacauga. Mr. Zorn is a graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in biomechanics. He is employed as a physical therapy assistant at Restore Therapy Services in Tuscaloosa. The wedding is planned for April 13.

To have our wedding and engagement forms sent to you, call 823-9646 or get the forms online at


Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Middleton Payne of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Sarah Suzanne, to Dr. Colby Vinton Thomson, son of Dr. and Mrs. Tracey


Elizabeth Thompson McCrary and Ben Samuel Godwin were married on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church. The Rev. William Luther Boyd and the Rev. Steven Alex Killough officiated the ceremony. A reception followed at Vestavia Country Club. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hardy McCrary of Birmingham. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Connie Neville Wise and the late Dr. Robert Harold Wise of Dothan and Mr. John Furniss


Anne Earle Kettig and Blake William Lary were married on Dec. 28, 2012 at St. Mary’s-on-theHighlands Episcopal Church. The Rev. Harry Huey Gardner officiated the 6 p.m. ceremony. A reception followed at the Country Club of Birmingham.


Vinton Thomson of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mrs. Barbara Mason Trimm of Birmingham, the late Mr. Comer Alfred Trimm of Houston, Texas, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Richard Walden Payne of Birmingham. Miss Payne is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and Wofford College of Spartanburg, S.C. She was the department chair of Wofford STARTS Community Outreach Program, a member of the Twin Towers Community Service Program and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity. She was presented at the Ball of Roses. Miss Payne received her juris doctorate from Cumberland School of Law, is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association and practices locally. The prospective groom is the

grandson of Mrs. Peggy Coleman Cochran of Birmingham, the late Mrs. Guy Reagan Green and the late Lt. Col. Vinton Thomson, U.S. Army, both of Jackson, Miss. Dr. Thomson attended Briarwood Christian High School and graduated from Oak Mountain High School. He attended the University of Alabama, where he was a member of Alabama Triangle Association, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Theta Chi fraternity. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama in Birmingham and obtained his doctor of dental medicine degree at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry. Dr. Thomson practices locally. The wedding is planned for April 27 at Canterbury United Methodist Church.

McCrary and the late Mrs. Martha Hardy McCrary of Birmingham. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Albert Godwin of Birmingham. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Samuel Shelley Jr. of Headland and Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Franklin Godwin and the late Ms. Margaret Britt Godwin of Raleigh, N.C. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an ivory French Alencon lace gown. The sleeveless dress was fitted through the bodice with a sheer lace back with tiny covered buttons from the neckline to the end of the train. The fit and flared gown, encircled at the waist with a silk satin ivory ribbon, swept to a chapel-length train. Completing the ensemble was a chapel-length veil of ivory illusion edged with an Alencon lace scallop, which was also worn by her sisters. The bride carried a bouquet of ivory and white freesia, roses, hydrangea and lisianthus with accents of seeded eucalyptus, hand-tied with ivory ribbon and pearl pins. The bride’s sisters, Mary Lauren McCrary Neel and Caroline McCrary Renfroe, were her matrons of honor. Bridesmaids were Shelley

Britt Godwin, the groom’s sister; Elizabeth Hard Stone of Newnan, Ga.; and Katherine Bradshaw Ballard, Martha Elizabeth Manley, Caylen Lane Nevins, Sarah Campbell Novara, Lauren Beno Russo and Emily Eddleman Saunders, all of Birmingham. The groom’s father was his best man. Groomsmen were Adam Kirkland Godwin, the groom’s brother; John Harrison McCrary, the bride’s brother; Michael James Fowler of Brandon, Miss.; John Thomas Gibson of Birmingham; John Wilbur Henderson of Alexandria, La.; Andrew Shaun Leonard of Enterprise; Randall Henry Liu of New York City; Jay Daniel Sanders of Madison; and Jeffery Douglas Shackelford of Helena. Michael Alan Neel Jr. of Washington, D.C. and James Alan Renfroe II of Birmingham served as ushers. The flower girl was Paige Chanel Parker of Birmingham. Na’kharia Amethyst Clark, Aniyah LaChaun Parker and Julia Marguerite Salem, all of Birmingham, were program attendants. The vocalist was Alonza Jones. Following a honeymoon trip, the bride and groom live in Birmingham.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Morgan Kettig of Birmingham. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Strong Lary Jr. of Kimberly. The bride was given in marriage by her father. She wore a one-of-akind Augusta Jones couture gown from Carriage House Weddings. The asymmetrical bodice of her silk taffeta gown ruched into a twist at the dropped waist with a full pleated skirt. The soft V-back was accented with covered buttons and a full chapel-length train. The bride wore her mother’s veil. Attending the bride as matron of honor was her sister, Laura Kettig Beasley. Her maid of honor was her sister, Katherine Barrow Kettig. Bridesmaids were Catherine Taylor Cooper, Margaret McClure Hammond, Taylor Gore Hiden, Rachel McCulley Lary, Jennifer Elaine Parker, Jessica Ann Sullivan and Amanda Freind Nims. Flower girl

was Anna Barton Lary, niece of the groom. Serving the groom as best men were Frank Strong Lary Jr., father of the groom, and Barton Frank Lary, brother of the groom. Groomsmen were Andrew Wilson Manuel, William Carter Manuel II, Curtis York Thompson Jr., Kenneth Taylor Beasley, Matthew Scott McKenzie, John Talmadge Ray Jr. and Adam Raker Thomas. Ring bearers were the bride’s nephews, John Kettig Beasley and William Taylor Beasley. Lay readers were Catherine Taylor Cooper and Caroline Elizabeth Manuel. Acolytes were Emily Jeanne Hooker and William Patrick Hooker. Program attendants were Rachel Ann Dresher and Krista DeWitt Wood. The soloist was Stefanie Long Starnes. After a honeymoon to Jamaica, the couple lives in Birmingham.



Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 25



ven though they are minutes away from great restaurants, plenty of shopping spots, a multitude of arts and recreation venues and the hustle and bustle of downtown Birmingham, Jenny and Will Sneed said being new Over the Mountain residents feels thousands of miles away from their previous existence as Manhattanites. Next month the Sneeds will mark their one-year anniversary as the proud owners of a 1950s rancher on Wickford Road in Vestavia Hills. The Sneeds moved to the area from New York City, where they lived for two years in a cramped apartment alongside about eight million other New Yorkers. “We were dreaming of green grass and a place to have a dog and raise a family. We were ready to nest,” Jenny said. The couple was also ready to have more room and more affordable living expenses, Will said. “In Manhattan, it was like we were living in a place the size of a cardboard box, and the cost of living there was astronomical. We were definitely ready for a change,” he said. Jenny’s job as an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers brought the couple to the Birmingham area. They initially settled into a one-bedroom apartment in the U.S. 280 area for about a year and a half. While it was good to be back in the South, Jenny said she and her husband longed for a home of their own and were ready to give up apartment life. “When we first moved here from New York, the traffic on (U.S.) 280 was no big deal to us, but the longer we lived there, the more it got to us,” she said. “We knew that the next step was to look for something long-term, somewhere we could put down roots.” Jenny and Will said they decided to settle in the Over the Mountain area after doing some research to see which neighborhood would be a good fit for them now and in the future.

Will and Jenny Sneed and their chocolate Lab, Riggins are enjoying their suburban lifestyle after having lived in cramped and costly Manhattan.

The homeʼs open floor plan and move-in ready finishes were a selling point for Jenny and Will who were looking for a classic house with updates.

See SNEEDS, page 28


The housing market in the Over the Mountain area is showing signs of a rebound heading into the busy spring home buying and selling season. The Birmingham Association of Realtors in mid-February reported that home sales and prices were 15 percent higher in January

than in the same month in 2012 and that the southern metro area has the strongest market. Annual total residential sales in the Birmingham area were up 10 percent over the 2011 numbers, with Hoover showing the strongest gains in residential sales between 2011 and 2012, according to Ginny Willis, president-elect of the Birmingham Association of Realtors.

Realtors Say Home Sales, Prices Are Up in Over the Mountain Area In the Hoover/Riverchase/Bluff Park (Jefferson County) area, 918 homes were sold in 2012, up from 787 in 2011. In the Hoover/Riverchase (Shelby County) area, home sales jumped from 787 to 1,000. During that same time frame, the number of homes sold in Vestavia Hills increased from 421 to 542. Homewood saw its 2011 home sales numbers go up from 288 to 347 in 2012.

Mountain Brook was the only Over the Mountain area that saw a decrease in home sales between 2011 James Harwell and 2012. In 2011, 289 homes were sold in Mountain Brook and 288 were sold in 2012. The median prices of homes also rose,

See GOOD NEWS, page 29

26 • Thursday, March 7, 2013



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Birmingham Real estate pros have teamed up to form a new company. From left: Tommy Brigham, Dale McIntyre, Mechelle Wilder and Beau Bevis.

A group of real estate veterans has launched a new company to help homebuyers and sellers in the Over the Mountain area. Tommy Brigham, Beau Bevis, Mechelle Wilder and Dale McIntyre formed ARC Realty Group LLC late last year. As of March 1, the company has 50 agents with 297 active listings totaling more than $60 million. The company has offices in Cahaba Heights and North Shelby County. As chairman, Brigham brings more than 30 years of experience in the Birmingham area real estate mar- er The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 rch 2013

This is your aD prOOF from the Over The MOunTain JOurnal for the March 7, 2013 issue. please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

Real Estate Veterans Form New Company ‘Homebuyers have new ways to shop for a home. We’re excited to apply these strategies in the launch of ARC Realty.’ Tommy Brigham

ket to the company. He is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Brigham-Williams Realtors and RealtySouth and is the current CEO

of ARK Real Estate Strategies. “While our industry has faced challenging economic conditions over the past five years, it’s also been a time for creativity and innovation,” Brigham said. “Homebuyers have new ways to shop for a home. We’re excited to apply these strategies in the launch of ARC Realty.” Beau Bevis, president and qualifying broker, has been in the business for 15 years and was the youngest managing broker for the area’s largest agency. “We have a uniquely qualified group of agents with experience in

all types of transactions,” Bevis said. “This is a relationship business, and I’m eager to work with such a professional team.” Partner and associate broker Mechelle Wilder has 12 years of real estate experience. “We’re all about the Birmingham community,” Wilder said. “By being involved in our neighborhoods and churches, our schools and civic organizations, we’re familiar with the special qualities that make our city unique. That gives us a distinct

Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 27



advantage matching buyers with homes, sellers and agents.” Dale McIntyre merged with ARC Realty, bringing 25 years of real estate experience to his role as partner and associate broker. “I’ve had a number of opportunities to either merge or start a new company,” McIntyre said. “Nothing ever felt right, until ARC Realty. It’s exciting to be a part of this leadership team’s vision for Birmingham.” For more information, visit www. or call 969-8910. ❖

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Tommy, Thanks for getting this up so quick. Here are the corrections: 1. no slogan under the logo 2. logo looks pasted, can we make that entire bottom row black background? Either that or I’m working on getting a copy of my logo with black font on white background. 3. blue circle should read “color sealer is guaranteed against stains!” 4. Get rid of the whole 5 step process and replace with “transform the look of your tile!” (running center under first picture) and “ ” (running center under second picture) 5. Under the pictures put 4 bullets reading: - No Mess - Easy to Care or - Permanent and Stain Free - Licensed and Insured

Hank and Debbie Bowman From:with Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 5. Get rid of gray background rectangle for the FAX: 205-824-1246 daughters Sophie and Paige. above section or make it uniform and consistent Date: Feb. along the entire top section (including around This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL March 7,pictures). 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-12 To: From: Date:

Ivan Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Jan. 2013 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the Jan. 10, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

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

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

28 • Thursday, March 7, 2013


from page 25

home “We both grew up in Starkville, Mississippi, and we didn’t know a lot about the Birmingham area. One of my friends connected us with (real

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estate agent) Shelley Watkins, and we started working with her to try and find a house,” Jenny said. At first, Jenny said, the couple was “all over the map” when it came at looking at homes to buy. “But with Shelley’s help, we set a price range and started doing research,” she said. Jenny said she recommends other homebuyers get a real estate agent to help them determine what area and what house will suit their needs best. “If you’re buying a house, especially if you’re new to the area, you definitely need an agent. Shelley told us where the nearest grocery stores were, where the schools were and all about the area. She was really helpful,” Jenny said. The couple told Shelley they were interested in a house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open floor plan. “When we were in the apartment, we couldn’t really have our people from our church group over, and having space for that was really important to us when we started looking at houses,” Will said. While the couple wasn’t in the market for a new home, they didn’t want an older home that needed a lot of work, he said. “It was important that the house be move-in ready. We’re at a stage in our lives where we are both very busy with work and we don’t have time to

anet Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 AX: 205-824-1246 March 2013 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the March 7, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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


take on a lot of home improvement projects,” Will said. While they have no children right now, Jenny said the couple plans to start a family and that in her research, she heard a lot about the quality of schools in the Over the Mountain area. “That was important to me. We want to be in a good school system and everything we read, everyone we talked to told us about how good Vestavia schools are,” she said. Proximity to downtown Birmingham was also an important factor the Sneeds considered when investigating where to buy their home, Jenny said. “I work downtown, so the location went into our decision to buy in Vestavia. We wanted to not only be close to work but we also wanted to be close to the schools, so that helped us narrow where in Vestavia we were interested in buying,” she said. Another important factor in their home search was potential resale value, Will said. “While we want to put down roots, we also had to think about the fact that we might one day outgrow the house, and we wanted to make sure that if we had to sell it because we outgrew it or had to move for our jobs that the house would hold its value,” Will said. Jenny said she and Will took their time in looking at houses and deciding which one was just the right fit for their lifestyle. They started their home search in November 2011 and fell in love with the house on Wickford Road the first time they saw it in January of last year. “We felt at home in this house as soon as we walked in the door,” Will said. The couple bought the house in April 2012. “This house spoke to us because it’s just a great house, and it has these beautiful cherry blossom trees in the backyard. There’s a bridge that runs over a creek out back, and you can always hear the trickling of the water. It gives you a peaceful feeling,” she said. The property also gives the couple’s chocolate Lab, Riggins, a place

to play. “Adding Riggins to the family is one of the first things we did when we moved here from New York, and it’s great to have a backyard for him to enjoy,” Jenny said. The couple also spends a lot of time in the backyard where they feel like they can truly escape the daily grind, they said. “My parents gave us a pair of rocking chairs, and now that we have a place to use them, we’re out there all the time. When we’re sitting out there, we definitely don’t feel like we’re as close to everything as we really are,” Jenny said. The couple said their neighborhood is a good mix of older residents, young families and professionals. “It’s a very friendly neighborhood. Our neighbors brought us water bottles when we were moving in and were so welcoming to us,” she said. Jenny said she knew she was back home in the South when, on the day the couple moved in, they found a gift from the home’s former owner waiting on them. “The previous owner had left a bottle of wine and some Gatorade and water with a nice note wishing us many happy memories in the house. It was a great gesture of Southern hospitality,” she said. That hospitality inspired Jenny and Will to hit the street to learn about their new community. “We really wanted to spread our wings and went out into the community to meet as many people as we could. We are active in our church and have gotten to know so many people through church and through our neighbors. It has been an easy place to get to know people,” she said. Jenny said she and her husband are taking to the suburban life and enjoying being Over the Mountain residents. “My husband grew up in the country and I’m a little bit of a country girl, but we knew we wanted to be in more of a city environment to raise a family. Here, we get the best of both worlds. We love where we are,” she said. ❖

Please initial and fax back within 24(205)969-8910 hours.

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

A good sign for Birmingham’s housing market. ARC Realty is making an impact in Birmingham. Find out why 50 of our area’s top agents have chosen to hang their shingle here at

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30 • Thursday, March 7, 2013

Letter Perfect



Vestavia Hills Fifth-grader Wins Spot In State Spelling Bee By Ivanna Ellis


Journal Intern

onnor Stec, a fifth-grader at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central, has fought his way through another challenging round of words to become eligible for the state spelling bee. The 2013 Alabama Spelling Bee will be held at Oak Mountain High School on March 9.  Connor said that he has always been good at spelling because he enjoys constantly learning new words. He has been participating in spelling bees since he was in the second grade.  With the help of his teacher, Keighlee McCaslin, Connor will have the chance to win $30,000 at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May. “I found out at the beginning of the school year that Connor was interested in spelling words and (being involved in) spelling bees. I have loved getting to support him in his competitions and am thrilled for this

opportunity for Connor,” McCaslin said. To perfect his craft, Connor said, he’s picked up many study tricks and habits. “I study the spelling bee lists, then my mom asks me words on those lists. I write the words I get wrong five times each to remember them,” he said. It’s a long process just to qualify for the state spelling competition. Connor first had to win the spelling bees for his class and school, then the Vestavia Hills District bee and finally the Jefferson County bee in order to earn a spot at the state-level spelling bee.  With so much pressure at each competition, it would be easy to imagine that Connor gets quite nervous, but he said it gets easier after competing several times. Connor said he has been preparing for the state competition by “studying the lists (of words) again and studying tips to know what is common in cer-

tain languages.” The Alabama Spelling Bee champion will win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to represent the state in the national spelling bee. Alabama hasn’t had a Scripps national champion since 1974, when Julie Ann Junkin of Gordo won the competition with the word “hydrophyte.” Connor said he’s ready for the pressure of the spotlight on stage at the state spelling bee. “I like the pressure and the adrenaline rush of spelling in competitions because you don’t want to get it wrong,” he said. The national winner will receive a $30,000 cash prize, a $2,500 U.S. saving bond and complete reference library from Merriam-Webster, a $5,000 scholarship from Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, $2,600 in reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica, and several other prizes. ❖

Vestavia Hills Elementary Central student Connor Stec, center, is congratulated on winning the Jefferson County Spelling Bee by Principal Marian Humphries, left, and Assistant Principal Kellie Wigley. Connor won the VHEC school spelling bee before being crowned district and county bee champion. He will compete in the Alabama Spelling Bee on March 9 at Oak Mountain High School. Photo special to The Journal

School Notes communicating, the school’s teachers said. During the Expo, students talk with a judge about their projects and answer questions about their research.

ASFA Student Wins Summer Scholarships

The Mountain Brook Junior High School Choir earned national recognition at the 2013 Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta. Photo special to The Journal

Junior High Choir Shines at National Festival Students in the Mountain Brook Junior High Choir earned national recognition at the 2013 Junior Theater Festival, one of the world’s largest musical theater festivals, Jan. 18-20 in Atlanta. The 32 students representing the school’s choir presented selections from “Guys and Dolls Jr.” at the event. The presentations were entirely student-driven, with Jennifer Lauriello and Katie Grace Liscomb creating the choreography and Sloan Geiss directing the show. Cast members are Griselle Aguiar, Daniel Azrin, Sabrina Balmer, Will Beasley, Anne Catherine Bonatz, Eden Brittain, Kayla Carr, Louisa Collins, Lily Dale, Kate Edmonds, Addie Glover, Piper Gray, Emilie Harwell, Katie Klasing, Jennifer Lauriello, Annie Leonelli, Katie Grace Liscomb, Kelsey Potter, Grace Reeder, Hannah Reeder, Emma Rollins, Rachel Rysedorph, Caroline Saia, William Scott, Josiah Sonich, Adam Thomas, Anna Tucker, Elizabeth Turner, Mary Christine Watts and Hannah Waudby.

Katie Grace Liscomb was one of 80 students who made it to the final call-back for future Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-tobe released Broadway Junior musicals. The shoots will be taped in New York City this summer and used in schools across the country and around the world. Mountain Brook Junior High students Kayla Carr and Adam Thomas were named to the Broadway Junior All-Stars, made up of two outstanding students from each group competing at the festival. The young thespians will stage the full production of “Guys and Dolls Jr.” on April 19 and 30 at the school. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children ages 6 and younger are admitted free. For more information on the show, call the school office at 871-3516.

Kindergarten Enrollment Underway at VHCH Kindergarten enrollment for Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights for the 2013-14 school year started on Feb. 4. The school will enroll new kindergarten

students Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. A child must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2013 to enroll in kindergarten in the next school year. Enrollment packets are available for pick-up in the school office. For more information on enrollment documentation requirements, visit www. For more information, call the school office at 402-5480.

Annie Morgan, a Homewood resident and junior dance major at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, has been awarded two full scholarships to study ballet this summer. Morgan auditioned at the Alabama Dance Festival in January. She was awarded Annie Morgan the Artistic Scholarship to the International Ballet Intensive at Brenau University, Gainesville, Ga., and a full scholarship to the Andalusia Ballet Summer Intensive. Morgan started dancing when she was 4 years old. She received her early training from Kelly Mann Holt of Backstage

Dance Centre in Homewood and began her concentrated dance study at ASFA beginning in the seventh grade. She plans to continue studying dance in college and beyond. She is the daughter of Vince and Mary Morgan of Homewood.

OTM Dancers Join Forces to Fight Diabetes During American Diabetes Month in November, Miss Hoover 2012 Briana Kinsey invited local teens to join in the fight to stop diabetes through the second annual Dance Away Diabetes event. On Nov. 18, more than 70 teens representing Hoover High School, Pelham High School, McAdory High School, Bumpus Middle School and McAdory Middle School participated in an exhibition of their dance routines at the Riverchase Galleria. Those attending could vote for their favorite dance team at the exhibition. The Bumpus Middle and Hoover High teams won the most fan support. Also participating in the event were members of the Sigma Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority of Samford University and Shawnise Gregory, who

Expo Highlights Shades Cahaba Students’ Work The work of Shades Cahaba Elementary School students was showcased at the school’s 12th semiannual Academic Expo Jan. 30-31. Projects submitted by students in kindergarten through fifth grade were on display at the event. The projects were submitted in social studies, math, art, science, language arts, technology and performing arts. Preparing for the Expo helps students become more proficient in researching and

Miss Hoover joined the junior varsity dance team from Hoover High School and other OTM dance teams at the Dance Away Diabetes event at the Riverchase Galleria. Photo special to The Journal

estate agent for more than 20 years and has been in the top one percent from page 25 of agents in Birmingham every year since 2004, said competition over going up 12 percent from $130,000 to those hard-to-find listings is strong $144,950, according to the report. among potential homebuyers in the And real estate agents in the Over Over the Mountain area. the Mountain area say one of the “We’re also seeing multiple offers brightest spots in the report on the on some houses. That indicates to me home market are in the figures on that the market is picking up tremeninventory. dously,” she said. The home inventory has Watkins said Mountain decreased in the last year, Brook is a good example indicating an increase in of an area where homes are demand. In January, there getting multiple offers and were 6,962 homes on the selling quickly. market, down 8 percent “We’re seeing houses go from January 2012. on the market in Mountain “The inventory has Brook and almost immedropped, especially in the diately get as many as five last three or four months, offers,” she said. and that’s pretty nice The reason for those Shelley Watkins multiple offers on wellbecause it’s a good sign for the market,” said Mike priced homes in Mountain Brook Wald, an agent with RealtySouth on comes down to the fact that more Acton Road. and more, homebuyers are looking Wald, who has been in the real not just to purchase a house but to estate business for more than 20 years move into a lifestyle, said Stephanie and is consistently ranked one of the Robinson, an agent with RealtySouth top five RealtySouth agents in the on Cahaba Road. state, said the decrease in inventory “People are realizing that they means the Over the Mountain real are not just buying a house, they are estate market is becoming more balbuying into a lifestyle. That lifestyle anced. is what makes the Over the Mountain “The balance between the buyers area so desirable for homebuyers,” and the sellers has moved she said. back more toward the midRobinson, who has dle,” he said. “This is really been in the real estate busia unique time when it can ness for 22 years and was be a good situation for both named in 2012 by the Wall homebuyers and sellers.” Street Journal as the 82nd James Harwell, an agent top producing agent in the with RealtySouth on Alford country, said homebuyers Avenue, said he thinks the want good schools, safe, decrease in homes availwalkable neighborhoods and able for sale in the Over the easy access to downtown Mountain area is a good Birmingham. Mike Wald indication the market is “Mountain Brook rebounding. remains highly desirable because of “We’ve been so saturated for so its schools. Mountain Brook is also long, and it’s been all supply and attractive to people who move here no demand. We’re getting back to a to work at UAB. Homewood also more healthy market,” he said. “Our continues to be desirable because it’s inventory is down significantly. We a charming area with a lot of curb had 100 homes this time last year, appeal and is also close to downand now we have closer to 40. That’s town,” she said. huge.” Buyers are also looking for homes Harwell, who has been in the busi- that are move-in ready, Wald said. ness for 23 years and is the vice presi“They want to be able to move in dent of the Birmingham Association with the least amount of trouble,” he of Realtors, said he’s seen a decrease said. in inventory in both the new That need to “move in and existing home markets. and hang up their clothes” “In Hoover, Bluff Park is something Robinson said is still a popular established she is also seeing from her neighborhood with the clients. charm and the sidewalks “At one point, people everyone wants. Ross wanted to buy a house that Bridge is selling well, and needed renovating and make Chapel Creek is already it their own. We’re really not sold out. A new subdiviseeing that now,” she said. sion out in Bluff Park called Harwell said he’s now Highland Meadows is also seeing fixer-upper houses Stephanie Robinson starting to pick up,” he said. languish on the market lonThe decrease in inventory is also ger than he did in previous years. causing the market to heat up in “Five or six years ago, you could Vestavia Hills, said Shelley Watkins, sell a fixer-upper, there were homean agent with LAH Real Estate on buyers out there specifically looking Cahaba Road. for that, but not now. That’s a pretty “There’s a huge demand in big shift,” he said. Vestavia in the close-in areas for What homebuyers want now, homes in the $200,000 to $400,000 Watkins said, are homes that have range,” she said. “We’re actually getalready been renovated. ting calls from other agents because “The homes in the older neighborthere’s so little inventory there right hoods that have been updated are now.” selling well. I tell sellers that buyers Watkins, who has been a real are looking for places that will require


Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 29

HOME none to very little work, and that’s why they should take the time to paint, to redo the floors and that kind of thing before they put it on the market,” she said.

‘The trend is quality over quantity. People are trying to make smart decisions and buy homes that really fit how they live.’ STEPHANIE ROBINSON

Watkins, Wald, Harwell and Robinson all said that homes with updated kitchens and bathrooms and open floor plans remain popular with homebuyers looking to move to the Over the Mountain area. “Everybody wants a nice kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. They want a nice master bathroom, and even if it’s small, it needs to be updated,” Robinson said. The days of everyone wanting to buy a huge “McMansion” are over, said Harwell. “The days of humungous houses with seven bedrooms for two people is over. People want efficiency now,” he said. Robinson said she thinks people are looking for homes that are more manageable and are not focusing on square footage as much anymore. “The trend is quality over quantity. People are trying to make smart deciTo: sions and buy homes that really fit From: how they live,” she said.


Walkability and convenience are also key features homebuyers are looking for these days, Harwell said. “Sidewalks are huge. People want to be able to walk to school and church,” he said. Robinson said she calls that convenience factor the “Walk to Coffee” trend. “For a while, people were moving farther out, but now, everyone wants to be able to walk to the village and get coffee. Homebuyers are saying that their free time is precious, and they want to be able to get to work, to go shopping, to get the kids from school as conveniently as possible,”

she said. For both homebuyers and those looking to sell their homes in the current Over the Mountain real estate market, the real estate agents had the same advice. “Do your homework. If you’re selling your home, make sure it is updated and listed at the right price. If it’s not listed at a good price, it will sit on the market for months. If you’re looking to buy a house, research the area you’re interested in and then get an agent to help you get a good feel for what is out there so when you see the house that suits you, you’ll be ready,” Wald said. ❖


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Briarwood students named national merit finalists

Seven seniors at Briarwood Christian High School have been named National Merit Finalists. The designation means the students are in the running for a $2,500 scholarship, which is awarded to approximately 8,300 students across the country based on their academic abilities, skills and accomplishments. The scholarship program recognizes the brightest high school seniors through the use of the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. From left: Melanie Siddle, Chris Walz, Jacob Swords, Roman Travis, Adeline Reiser and Grant Janich. Finalist Samantha Swords is not pictured.

Homewood High Celebrates Black History Month

Birmingham City Councilor Jay Roberson spoke to students at Homewood High School during the school’s Black History program. Roberson is a 1991 graduate of Homewood High. Front, from left: Carolyn Rayford, Keonna Wicks and Maggie Williams. Back: John Dedrick, Anthony Broach, Genesis Barco, Roberson, Madison Collins and Phelecia Knight. Photo special to The Journal

Photo special to The Journal

serves as Briana Kinsey’s Rising Star. As part of the November events, students could also participate in a poster contest about stopping diabetes.

Goddard Raises Money for Ronald McDonald House The Goddard School in Hoover recently kicked off its 25th anniversary festivities with a fundraising campaign to help Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Goddard School is hoping to raise $577 toward a national goal of $250,000. The school will be raising money for the charity through Feb. 15. The majority of the money raised locally will stay in the community, school officials said. The nearly 400 Goddard Schools

nationwide will also be fundraising to support their local Ronald McDonald House chapters. Students at the school in Hoover also are creating birthday cards for children served at the local Ronald McDonald House chapter. “At The Goddard School, even the youngest children learn about compassion and cooperation. This partnership with RMHC provides a fantastic opportunity for children to learn about good deeds and what it means to support those in need,” said Rick Hamby, owner of The Goddard School.

Club at Brock’s Gap Intermediate School in Hoover participated in the Planet Project contest at this year’s Moss Rock Festival. The students presented projects for the nature and art festival in November. Jana Maynard, a sixth-grade science teacher at the school, is the club’s sponsor. Students participating included Taylor Black, Danah Dib, Lauren

Science Club Makes Projects for Festival Students in the Earthsavers/Science

Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey presents a plaque to Brock’s Gap students for their projects at Moss Rock. From left: Jonathan Dinkel, Tyler Kaiser with Sara the beagle, Abby Richardson, Lauren Hines and Emma Hines. Photo special to The Journal

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OTMJ James Spencer Troy Morris Jaila Kelly ReevesFrom: Gachet Peter Spencer Jadan Moss Fisher Kennedy Nathaniel Gale Date: Feb. 2013 Kate Spurlock Jada Moss Tate Kennedy Mitchell Garner Mary Kyle Spurlock Dominque Moss Emily Knerr Tyler Garner Hannah Stamper Nation the mountain Casey Knerr Kyara Gates This is your ad proof for William the over Journal for the Dalton Steadman Norris Anna Knerr Kyara Gates march 7, 2013 issue. PleaseCharlie approve, initial and Cody fax Stewart to 824-1246 or contact Jack Norris Evan Knight Hannah Gibson your asNorris soon as possible make changes. Ryanto Stewart Claire Millersales Knott representative Lanni Gilliland Hugh Stokes Sumner Parris D Knott Micah Gooch Tempie Stokes Meade Parris Lily Knott Abby Graham Meredith Stringfellow Grayson Parris Sophie Jane Knott Riley Graham Holly Struthers Jaylan Patrick Isabella Knudsen Molly Graham Will Struthers Luke Patrick Kaj Knudsen Ella Green Jack Sullivan Lily Pearson Aston Lamar Dylan Gresham If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the friday Gabe Taylor Mary Cabell Pearson Thomas Lambert Clark Griffin before the press date, your ad must run asThagard is. Christopher Aria Pearson Reynolds Lambert Trent Griffin Alexis Thomas Anne Pell Betsy Lambert Heath Griffin Reagan Thomas Buddy Pell Campbell Lamberth Grant Griffin Kaylyn Thomas Luke Pilato Seth Lash Parker Guyton Madison Thomas Mary Douglas Ray Sawyer Lash Chandler Harris Fletcher Thomas Walker Ray Eliana Lawrence Patrick Harris Jordan Thomas Walker Reich Alek Ledvina Alexis Harris Ashley Thompson Kaleb Reid Joshua Legg Hannah Hartman Heather Thompson Camryn Richardson Sam Legg Bailey Hatchett Andrew Thompson Audrey Richey Chase Levine Braxton Hawkins Andrew Thurston Amelia Richey Ellie Lipp Christian Hawkins Addison Tierney Savannah Rose Brianna Lipp Madison Hawkins Breese Tierney Bess Rosenthal Rosalind Litsey Kristin Hawthorne Molly Tilt Ella Rosenthal Logan Lockridge Sarah Grace Hayes Conrad VanOrder Ford Rotenberry Alice Loveman Mary Allison Hayes Noah Wade Janiah Rutledge Hunter Lucas Maggie Hayes John Robert Wallace Jaleah Rutledge Matthew Lucas Peggy Haynes Madeline Wallace Grayson Saar Andrew Lucas Mary Caroline Heath Parker Wallace Margaret Saar Champ Lyons Jon Tylor Helms Arden Warner Tyler Sach Kerry Lyons Ella Henderson Carolyn Watson Henry Salinas Carlos Maldonado Claire Hendrickson John Wayon Webb Sam Searcy Randy Maldonado Faulkner Hereford Kathleen Webb Natalie Self Abigail Manasco Abby Hester Kennedy Weismore Jack Sellers Damein Maqouyrk Ben Hoff Kloe Weismore Will Shannon Abigail Mashburn Sam Hoff Lily Wiehl Donchelle Shepard Presley Mathews Louis Hoff Madelyn Wiehl Paulix Sheppard Ethan Maxwell Zoe Honeycutt Nicholas Wiehl Rodney Shiflett Jack McCormack Georgia Hontzas Benjamin Wiehl Anna Elizabeth McCormack Jeffrey Shine Sam Housman Julia Wilkins Jason Shirley Hayden McCrary Henry Housman Grace Wilkins Ethan Simmons Andrew McCrary Davis Housman Peyton Wilkins Ian Simmons Jeb McCrary Rett Hughen Taylor Williams Sam Simpson Sarah McNair Peyton Hurst Tamia Williams Bryson Slane Helen McPherson Garrett Hurst CJ Williams Kaelyn Slane Henry McPherson Vann Inscoe Ellison Wilson Tanner Slane Maggie McPherson Samantha James Virginia Wilson Kendall Smith Sarah Scott McPherson Kennedy Jenkins Callie Wilson Davidson Smith Sam McPherson Coleton Jenkins Anne Hardy Wilson Adeline Smith Jim McPherson Sarah Jenkins Audrey Wilson Marissa Smitherman Summer Meadows Amelia Johnston Donivan Wilson Mary Snyder Serj Mee Emma Claire Jones Jack Wolfe Elizabeth Snyder James Mee Samuel Jones Drew Womelsdorf Bennett Solomon Alex Metty Fabien Jones Tyler Womelsdorf Noah Solomon Piper Metty Asia Jones Caitlan Womelsdorf Kenzie Speakman Maru Robins Miller Fisher Jones Addison Wood Elizabeth Spears Laila Miller Colin Jones Grayson Spears Janie Lee Moncus Duncan Jones Anna Spencer Trip Morgan Mariyah Kelly

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schools sporting matching bandanas and others wearing hats and shirts in their class’ color. The event also helped raise money for the school. The students asked for donations and sponsorships for the Owlmazing Race and raised more than $22,000.

Womack is Elementary Teacher of the Year Sara Womack, a music teacher at Greystone Elementary School, is the 2013 Hoover City Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. Womack was surprised with the award on Jan. 8 when Hoover City Schools Superintendent Andy Craig and other administrators visited her classroom. Womack has been a teacher for 13 years and has taught at Greystone Elementary since 2006. She holds degrees and certifications from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Georgia, Samford University, University of Memphis, Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester. She is president of the Alabama Music Educators Association. Hines, Jewels Baker, Madison Tyler, Arzoo Qamaruddin, Taylor Falls, Aiyan Lakhani, Ali Mithani, Harrison Bevis, Allie Couch, Emily Hagood, Lauren Barksdale, Tyler Kaiser. Will Couch, Rhema Ware, Jonathan Dinkel, Emma Hines, Jonathan Dinkel, Abby Richardson and Lauren Hines.

Holocaust Survivor Speaks at Cherokee Bend

Sara Womack, second from the left, is the Hoover City Schools Elementary School Teacher of the Year. She is congratulated by, from left: Principal Maurine Black, Assistant Principal Roger Torbert and Superintendent Andy Craig. Photo special to The Journal As the elementary district nominee for Hoover, Womack is a candidate for the district Teacher of the Year Award. performed two contrasting monologues. Madeline Chandler, a senior, earned a superior and second place award in Solo Musical Theatre Female category. Senior Drew Romano won the same awards in the Solo Musical Theatre Male category. In the Solo Acting Male competition, The majorettes from Liberty Park Middle School in Vestavia Hills won first place in a competition against other squads from across the Southeast. Photo special to The Journal

Liberty Park Majorettes Win First Place Award The Liberty Park Middle School majorettes competed against five other majorette squads and won first place at the Nov. 2 Twirltacular. The twirling and dance competition started in 1990. Twirlers from all over the Southeast competed at the 2012 event.  The competition is open to recreation groups, marching groups, high school squads and universities.

John Carroll Thespians Bring Home Awards Student actors from John Carroll Catholic High School won several awards at the Alabama State Thespian Festival in January. Students faced off against other theater students from around the state in theatrical events. They also participated in workshops on acting, directing, dancing, set design and stage combat. Jenn Nichols, a senior, won the only scholarship given at the festival, earning a superior and first place award in the scenic design category. Senior Julia Foley earned a superior and second place award in the Solo Acting Female category, where she


sophomore Marcus McKinnley won third place for his two contrasting monologues. Seniors Gage Thomas and Jared Healey received a superior ranking for their performance in the Dramatic Scene category. Seniors Jared Haley, Drew Romano, Madeline Chandler, Shelby Harris, Michael Kerper and junior Steven Martin all received an excellent rating in their other events at the festival.

Altamont Writers Get Work Published Several Altamont School students are now published authors. Afra Ashraf, Mae Baird, Fion Chang, Isabel Coleman, Elizabeth Harvey, James Lasseter, Mary Frances Lembke, Sophie Sabri, Lincoln Sorscher, Zoe Zahariadis and Yunchao Zhang had their essays accepted to be published in Creative Communication. A regionally-based publication, Creative Communication judges students against their peers in both age and location. Creative Communication accepts less than 50 percent of the poems and essays that are entered in each contest. All of the young writers are students in Cameron Gaede’s seventh and eighthgrade creative writing class at Altamont.

Sixth-graders at Cherokee Bend Elementary School heard a first-person account of a time period they have been studying in their history classes. Max Steinmetz, a Holocaust survivor, spoke to the students on Feb. 1 about his experiences and memories of the Holocaust. He is the grandfather of

part of Circle of Friends Week. The school’s Circle of Friends Week is dedicated to fun, educational activities designed to promote understanding, encouragement and inclusion of special needs students. Lakeshore Foundation staff members presented a Live Fit program that introduces students to adapted sports and recreation. During the presentation, all 123 fourth-graders at Crestline Elementary were able to participate in hands-on activities like the wheelchair orientation. In this exercise, students learned how to push and maneuver sports wheelchairs. The exercise was aimed at helping the students see the wheelchairs as cool pieces of sports equipment rather than intimidating mobility devices.

District winners compete for the state title, which will be announced in May in Montgomery.

ISS Stands Up for Human Rights at Writing Event Indian Springs School students joined other college and high school students in the fight for human rights as the school’s Amnesty International Club hosted the Alabama Write 4 Rights event in December. During the event, students wrote letters on behalf of those who have been unjustly imprisoned, abused, silenced, discriminated against and denied their rights, including people who are working for political freedom and the right to practice religious beliefs. The purpose of the event was to gather people at one place and stand up for human rights, according to Min Gu Kim, a sophomore at the school and president of the school’s Amnesty International chapter.

Shades Cahaba Holds Owlmazing Race Students at Shades Cahaba Elementary School in Homewood tested their mental and physical skills during the first Owlmazing Race at the school on Feb. 15. The school’s physical education teachers, along with PTO parents, planned a day of obstacle races that included not only physical exercises but academic trivia as well. The students participated in the race during their P.E. classes. Each class chose a name and a “look” for the competition, with some students

Sixth-graders at Cherokee Bend Elementary School visit with Holocaust survivor Max Steinmetz after his presentation at the school. From left: Mary Frances Torbert, Addie Moss, Jack Steinmetz, Max Steinmetz, Caroline Chamoun and Anna Rose Alexander. Photo special to The Journal Cherokee Bend student Jack Steinmetz. “The Holocaust, as part of the educational program covering World War II, is a difficult period in history for sixth-grade children to comprehend,” said teacher Carol Edgar. “A child at this age has difficulty understanding the magnitude of the numbers of people the Holocaust affected.” The students not only got a new perspective on what they are studying in history, the teachers said, but were also inspired by Steinmetz’s story and how he did not let his negative experiences in the Holocaust define who he is today.

The students were led through an entire physical education class by athletes from the Lakeshore Foundation. The students played games and sports utilizing adaptive equipment for physical special needs. Also during Circle of Friends Week, fifth and sixth-grade students attended an assembly program where they learned how service dogs can help those with special needs. Tracy Martin, a Crestline mom, introduced the kids to Samson, a talented service dog who helps a student at the school.

Fourth-graders Visited by Lakeshore Foundation

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School recently held its annual spelling bee with fifth-grader Jay Leonard winning the top honor. Seventh-grader Nathaniel Gale was runner-up.  The competition included students in grades 4-8. Leonard represented Our Lady of Sorrows School in the Homewood district spelling bee. He placed second in last year’s school contest.

Fourth-graders at Crestline Elementary School in Mountain Brook got a visit from staff members at the Lakeshore Foundation on Jan. 23 as

Fifth-grader Wins OLS Bee

Highlands Spelling Bee Champs Crowned

Students at Shades Cahaba Elementary School in Homewood are all smiles during the school’s Owlmazing Race on Feb. 15. Photo special to The Journal

Highlands School’s top spellers squared off against each other at the school-wide spelling bee Dec. 20. This year’s contest lasted 32 rounds. Fifth-graders Ahad Bashir and Shawn Goyal competed against one another in rounds 24-31. Ahad correctly spelled “nonchalant” to win the title of school champion. Shawn was the second-place winner. ❖



Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 33

Spring Fling Yes it snowed last weekend but spring is on the way and it’s time to think about what to wear. Once again we’ve asked some of our favorite boutiques to model the latest styles for the season.

❋ spring fashion 2013

Annie Bloomston of Mountain Brook won the 2013 Rising Design Star competition. Journal photo by Lee Walls Jr.

Rising Designers Use Recyclables To Rule the Runway Annie Bloomston Wins with Warhol Influenced Pop Theme BY MARGARET FRYMIRE



ver the weekend, Annie Bloomston got her birthday wish. The Mountain Brook High School student was named the Rising Design Star during the finale of the 2013 Birmingham Fashion Week on Saturday and celebrated her dream come true on her birthday on Sunday. “All I wanted for my birthday was to win this contest. It was the best present,” Annie said. Annie was one of several OTM students to be named finalists in the second year of the Rising Design Star competition, which challenges young designers to use cardboard, bubble wrap, aluminum and other recycled materials to create one-of-a-kind fashion designs. The Rising Design Star competition show-

cased the unique designs of middle and high school students. From 80 applicants around the state, 40 were chosen to display their creations at the Birmingham Museum of Art Jan. 13 – Feb. 10. For her winning design, Annie drew her inspiration not from a famous designer but from pop artist Andy Warhol. Annie Bloomston made a “pop” themed dress in every sense of the word. Annie crafted the skirt of her Peter Pan collared dress out of Campbell’s Soup labels and made the top out of pop tabs. She constructed the belt out of old-fashioned Coke bottle caps–pop tops. Rounding out her “pop” theme, Annie paid tribute to Warhol by including his picture in the locket she made as an accessory. It took Annie two to three weeks to construct her dress. She said the hardest part of the contest was getting her design from paper

to actualization on the mannequin. “It was so cool finally making my design come to life from paper,” Annie said. “It made this seem like more of a career option.” Annie won a $500 gift card to The Summit and said the best part of the competition was seeing her design showcased on the Birmingham Fashion Week runway. “Seeing it from the beginning as a drawing on paper to seeing it in real life on the runway was incredible,” she said. Annie said the first place win has boosted her confidence. “Winning has given me the confidence to keep going, to continue pushing toward what I want to do in fashion,” she said. One of the youngest and most eager designers to compete was Pizitz Middle School sixth-grader Bradford Billingsley. Bradford won third place in this year’s comSee RISING DESIGNERS, page 35

Spencer Smith looks smart sporting these 9-inch Club shorts in hammock green, $69.50, and Saddle V-neck sweater in lobster reef, $98.50. A Whale Free Town checked button shirt, $98.50, and Kentucky Derby mint julep tie in yellow, $85.00, add polish to the look. Malley Bailey is ready for warmer weather in a Kentucky Derby halter dress, $198, a Casey cardigan in sunset Pink, $88, and a Kentucky Derby Tiny Bits hat, $80. Vineyard Vines, 970-9758

34 • Thursday, March 7, 2013




2 1


5 2. Looking ready for spring and warmer weather are Tess Patton, wearing a Mayoral white denim jacket, $54, Desigual top, $49, Joe’s colored jeggings, $49, and a Mayoral fedora/tulle flower headband, $20; Sadie Patton, wearing a Little Mass neon tunic top, $26, Joe’s white jeggings, $49, glass beaded bracelets, $12, and a neon flower headband, $20. Ivy Patton is precious in this Cakewalk floral puffer jacket, $84, Cakewalk printed tee, $38, Cakewalk yellow jeans, $56, and fabric headband, $12. Snap Kids, 834-8038

4 1. Sloan Bashinsky, left is ready for spring in this Renuar oasis blouse, $78, JAG white slim leg pull-on jeans, $92, Madeline natural wedges, $58, Laurel Bassett necklace, $138, cuff, $108 and earrings, $26. Katherine van Elkan looks great in this Barbara Lesser morning glory knit dress, $128, and VanEli cork wedges, $134. She has finished her look with a Laurel Bassett necklace, $118, cuff bracelet, $108, and earrings, $38. S Town and Country Clothes, 8717909

3. Carmen Smith, left, looks smart and ready for warmer weather in this Judith March one shoulder dress with bright coral flowers $104. Paired with strappy black sandals on a cork wedge, $116, she is ready for any occasion. Camryn Lyster is ready for a night out with friends in this navy 3/4-sleeve top with mint ruffles, $84, and coral jean leggings, $94. Her sunny yellow flats with cut-outs, $52, add just the right pop of color. Chic Boutique, 980-2272 4. Madeline Patterson transitions into warmer days in this black top from Blu Pepper, $31.99 and Just Jeans in cantaloupe, $59.99. Her necklace, $29.99, earrings, $14.99 and assorted bangle bracelets, $5.99-$8.99, finish off the look. Monograms Plus, 822-3353 5. Looking sassy and sweet are Anna Frances Gardner, wearing a Truluv chevron striped dress, $62, Vintage Havana white blazer, $56, and a silk bow headband, $20; and Lizzie Cooper in a Laundry by Shelli Segal belted dress, $76, and an embellished bow headband,$20. Snap Kids, 834-8038

6 6. For a fresh spring look, Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan has paired a neon pink blouse by Drew, $202, a jade bandeau, $18, and a black, laser-cut leather skirt by Nicole Miller, $330. This outfit works for a night out or for lunch with friends. The Clothes Tree by Deborah, 822-1902

Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 35






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Rising Designers, from page 33

petition. Bradford hand-painted hummingbirds on his light blue dress, which he constructed out of roof tarp, sheetrock tape and hot glue. “I was inspired to compete in the Rising Design Star contest after attending last year’s Birmingham Fashion Week events,” Bradford said. “I want to be a famous fashion designer, and I knew the contest would give me experience and help me grow as a designer.” Bradford said he drew inspiration from his favorite designer, Alexander McQueen. He said he fashioned his dress in an avant-garde style in just 15 days.  Rather than taffeta, silk, muslin and thread, the young designers had to use alternative materials such as paper lunch bags and plastic tablecloths, which were the main materials in Odelia Huang’s design. Odelia, 14, is a second-year competitor from Pizitz Middle School.  Having competed previously, Odelia said she knew that most of the young designers would opt for dresses. To make a standout creation, she said she chose to look into men’s fashion instead.  “I looked for trends on this year’s runway and made a collage of men’s fashion photos,” Odelia said. “I saw the trend of dress suits and bowties, so I drew my inspiration from that.” Odelia made her suit shirt out of colored plastic tablecloths and the vest and pants out of paper lunch bags. Students like Odelia from Vestavia schools have a larger participation

and interest in the contest thanks to the encouragement of Pizitz Middle School’s art teacher, Larry Gibson. Gibson, who has taught art at Pizitz for nearly 29 years, encouraged several of his students to enter the contest last year. After their success, he created a video showcasing the process to the student body, generating interest among many students at Pizitz.  Gibson had entry forms available in his classroom and allowed his art students to use his classroom as workspace for their creations. “This contest is incredible because it brings authentic, real-world skills to the students,” he said. “It is also the optimal creative project as it involves using recycled, unordinary, discarded objects in the dress design.” Gibson has spent many years encouraging his students to explore options in art. After involvement in the contest, several of his students decided to look into Savannah College of Art and Design’s programs. The Rising Design Star contest makes the students feel like they are real superstars, Gibson said. For his success with his students in the Rising Design Star contest, Gibson will receive the Alabama Art Educator of the Year Award from the National Art Education Association in March. One of Gibson’s former students, Sarah Anne Pfitzer, 14, was another second-year competitor who entered the contest. She said it took two weeks to construct her design.  The Vestavia Hills High School student said the book “Kisses from Katie” inspired her design. The book tells Katie’s story of giving up college dreams and relocating herself from

Nashville, Tenn., to Uganda to share Christ with the Ugandan children through her ministry, Amazima. The ministry helps feed children and send them to school. Sarah Anne made her dress out of paper, burlap and pottery. She said the neutral color of the burlap represents the earthen colors of Uganda and that the broken pottery represents the wastefulness of America. The experience from her first competition allowed her to put more thought and detail into her design for 2013, Sarah Anne said. Olivia Kampwerth, 17, of Vestavia said she wanted to make an elegant and sophisticated design. Ironically, she chose trash bags, duct tape and bent Slinkys to accomplish her goal. She made roses to collar the top out of feathered trash bags and used duct tape to hold her design together. It took Olivia about a month to construct her piece.  Savannah Smith, 18, created her unique dress out of aluminum screen, washers, trash bags, wire and door hinges. Students who competed drew inspiration from something in their backgrounds--a love of a certain fashion designer, artist, era or article of clothing. Emily Butler, 17, of Vestavia Hills High made a Victorian era-inspired dress out of used coffee filters and gauze. Cayla Sexton, 12, Pizitz Middle, made a dress out of melted crayons. Cecily Anderson, 13, Pizitz Middle, used an umbrella, plastic and a Christmas tree stand to fashion her piece.  Laney Moers, 12, Pizitz Middle, inspired by a pair of her ducky pajama pants, created a dress out of bubble wrap, trash bags and rubber


ducks. Jooyoung Yang, 17, Briarwood Christian School, used her background in origami to create a dress


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Hoover High Busy on National Signing Day A total of 21 students signed letters of intent on National Signing Day Feb. 6. In baseball: Geoffrey Bramblett, Alabama; Josh Campbell, Shelton State;

Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 37



Michael Powers, Shelton State; Connor Short, Auburn and Hunter White, Berry College. In basketball: Olivia Adamson, Faulkner University; Courtney Hunter,

Alabama; Kara Rawls, Alabama; Marqu’es Webb, Vanderbilt and Breigha Wilder- Cochran, South Alabama. In cross country: Emalee Butler, Montevallo.

In football: Devon Earl, South Alabama; Jack Morgan, Berry College; Landry Tullo, Delta State and Hunter White, Berry College. In golf: Tanner Dixon, Birmingham Southern and Taylor McCullum, UAB. In softball: Darien Brown, Talladega College.

In soccer: Kourtnee Hayward, Montevallo. In tennis: Courtney Schrock, Mississippi College. In track: Victoria Johnson, Montevallo. In volleyball: Avery Hoven, Mercer.

Patriots’ Browning Signs with Northwest Florida

From left, front: Jay Williams, Zach Sims and Justin Hardy. Back: Coaches Doug Gann, Carter Doyle, Doug Goodwin (head coach), Dustin Goodwin, Randy Lowery and Freddy Lawrence.

Homewood High School pitcher Brian Browning signed a scholarship to play baseball at Northwest Florida State College on Feb. 6. Brian is coached by Doug Gann and Keith Brown. A packed Patriot Room included Brian’s parents, family members, teammates, youth and travel team coaches, faculty and friends, there to witness his signing. Brian said he’s looking forward to becoming a Raider, but says he’s even more excited about his upcoming senior season and a run at the 5A State Championship in May.

Photo special to The Journal

Big Signing Day for Pats in Football National Signing Day was a big event at Homewood High School on February 6, as three Patriots signed their Letter of Intent to play college

Homewood’s Lauren Collins to Play Soccer for the Crimson Tide

A packed Patriot Room witnessed Homewood High School soccer standout Lauren Collins signing a scholarship to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide on February 6. Lauren is the daughter of Diana and Scott Collins of Homewood, and coached at HHS by Nathan Carlson. In addition to her parents and coach, the signing was attended by her brother Nathan, club coach Andrew Brower, and many of her teammates, faculty and friends. Lauren will bring enthusiasm, leadership and a strong work ethic to the Tide next year. Lauren and her teammates at HHS are geared up and ready for a great senior season for the Patriots.

football. A packed Patriot room filled with family, friends, teammates, faculty and coaches enthusiastically cheered as the players signed. All three are excited to be playing at the next level in the state of Alabama. Patriots center Zach Sims signed to play for the UAB Blazers. Zach is the son of Scott and Andi Sims of Homewood. In addition to his parents, the signing was attended by Zach’s sister Caroline, and brothers William and Harrison. Also attending were many friends and teammates. Zach was honored this season as an ASWA Honorable Mention All State selection, as well as a participant in the Alabama-Mississippi All Star football game in December. Punter Jay Williams signed to play for the Birmingham-Southern

Panthers in the fall. Jay is the grandson of Michael and Marie Williams of Homewood. In addition to his grandparents, several family members, teammates and friends were in attendance at the signing. Jay was honored this season as an ASWA First Team All State selection. Running back Justin Hardy signed to play for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks this fall. Justin is the son of Reginald and Cassandra Hardy of Homewood. In addition to his parents, many friends and teammates attended the signing. The Patriots are lead by head coach Doug Goodwin. Also attending the signings were coaches Doug Gann, Carter Doyle, Dustin Goodwin, Randy Lowery and Freddy Lawrence as well as HHS Athletic Director Kevin Tubbs and Ginger Collins.

Brian Browning celebrates his scholarship signing with his parents and HHS coaches Keith Brown and Doug Gann. Photo special to The Journal


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38 • Thursday, March 7, 2013


By Lee Davis

Journal Sports Writer


arqu’es Webb knows a little about winning. Only two years ago, Webb was named MVP as she led Brewbaker Tech to the Class 4A championship. After transferring to Hoover after 2011, Webb worked similar magic, helping the Lady Bucs to yet another state title last season. Fortunately for Hoover, she saved the best for last on Saturday. Webb was an unstoppable force in her final high school game, scoring 29 points and snatching 21 rebounds with three assists to lead the Lady Bucs to a 66-55 win over Blount and secure her school’s third straight Class 6A crown. “I like stepping up in the moment and doing the best I can,” said Webb, who will play at Vanderbilt University next season. “My performance tonight shows that I can take over a game, but I don’t mean that in a selfish way. Helping my team is the most important thing to me.” No fan on either side of the court could dispute Webb’s comment. In fact, had Webb not been at the top of her game, Blount could have well been the team claiming the big blue championship trophy. The Leopards led 27-23 at halftime and had multiple opportunities to put the Lady Bucs away. But every time they came close, Webb came up with the big basket or rebound. Hoover crept up to a 41-40 lead at the end of the third quarter and dominated the fourth period 25-15


Vandy-bound Center Leads Bucs to Title


to seal the win. “Marqu’es turned in an unbelievable performance,” said Hoover coach Tiffany Frederick. “She really carried the team on her back. Later, we started knocking down some shots. But it all started with Marqu’es’ efforts.” Webb earned her 29 points despite dealing with a tough Panther zone defense, which was determined to stop her on the inside. Of course, Webb didn’t whip Blount alone. Breigha Wilder-Cochran scored 14 for Hoover, while Kara Rawls chipped in 11 points and six rebounds. The Lady Bucs helped their cause by sinking 15 of 21 free throws in the last quarter. They did not successfully convert a three-point attempt in the entire game. Hoover’s title run was vindication for Frederick, a first-year coach who followed Donnie Quinn after Quinn took a job on the University of Alabama staff last season. Frederick came to Hoover after a successful run at Fairfield, her alma mater. “The players may change, but the formula doesn’t,” Frederick said. “It’s always about the same thing: hard work, dedication and showing your girls that you care about them as people as well as basketball players. If you have the right girls, it works everywhere.” And it’s been working at Hoover for years, whether the coach was Frederick, Quinn or Lori Elgin, who led the Lady Bucs to their first title in 2001. The record is impressive, but Webb understandably wanted to stay in the moment as the awards ceremony concluded Saturday night. “I just wanted to embrace what we had done,” she said. “I wanted to soak it in good for one last time.” It was a moment that Marqu’es Webb and her teammates richly deserved.

From left: Courtney Hunter drives to the basket. Tournament MVP Marqu’es Webb scored 29 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in leading the Lady Bucs to a 66-55 win over Blount. Hoover celebrates with the school’s fourth 6A basketball championhip trophy. More photos at Journal photos by Marvin Gentry


from Back Cover

lished themselves categorically as the No. 1 power in Alabama. Actually, the Lady Bucs had probably already reached that plateau under former coach Donnie Quinn. Under first-year coach Tiffany Frederick, Hoover simply ratified that status. The Lady Bucs, led by the spectacular Marqu’es Webb, were a showcase of big-time, college-bound talent. Frederick, much like Quinn, merely has to reload from the pipeline of athletes who are coming to play for Hoover. Of course, the most talented teams don’t always win championships. But by melding her band of athletes into a championship unit, Frederick

has shown she has the right touch of coaching moxie to keep the Lady Bucs winning big for years. Maybe the biggest casualty of Mountain Brook and Hoover’s success on the court is the perception of the Over the Mountain area as primarily a football/baseball/softball/ track domain where basketball is the stepchild. That misconception should be gone for good. Within the past decade, John Carroll Catholic, Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook have won boys’ basketball championships in Class 6A or 5A, and Homewood and Hoover have come close. In girls’ play, Vestavia was a perennial power before Hoover took off in the late 1990s. Anybody who saw the incredible crowd Mountain Brook brought to the BJCC on a freezing Saturday night

knows that basketball isn’t a secondfiddle sport on Bethune Drive or at any other Over the Mountain venue. The happiest person of the weekend had to be McMillan, who has been affiliated with the Mountain Brook basketball program one way or another since the eighth grade. The Spartan coach, who starred for the Spartans a decade ago, may be the personification of the growth of Mountain Brook basketball in recent years. He’s a hot property now, but don’t expect him to leave for greener pastures. Right now, the coach is happy to be wearing Mountain Brook green. New Coach at Shades Mountain…

A parade of coaches have come in and out of Shades Mountain Christian since the school first picked up

Late Defensive Effort Sends Hoover to Title Game Again By Lee Davis

Journal Sports Writer

The Lady Bucs earned their way to the finals with a 37-35 squeaker over Carver of Montgomery in Thursday’s semifinal. Despite the fact that the two teams entered the Final Four with 52 total victories, each struggled with turnovers, bad shots from the floor and missed free throws. The win sent Hoover to Saturday’s championship round for the fifth consecutive Sara Mitchell plays season. defense against Carver Problems at the of Montgomery in semicharity stripe may final action. well have been the Journal photo by Lee Walls Jr. Lady Wolverines’ undoing as they connected on only eight of 23 free throw attempts. Hoover moved to an 11-9 lead late in the first quarter and would never trail, but the game ended in a wild frenzy. Tatyana Calhoun’s basket tied the game at 35-35 with just 32 seconds remaining to play. On Hoover’s ensuing possession, Courtney Hunter was fouled and calmly sank both free throws. “If we miss free throws while practicing, we have to run,” Hunter said. “So I concentrated as if we were in practice.” Carver still had a chance. On its next possession, Keyuanna Thompson had the ball stripped from her by Hoover’s Breigha Wilder-Cochran. Wilder-Cochran’s alert move gave the Lady Bucs the ball underneath their basket with .04 seconds remaining to play. All Marqu’es Webb had to do was complete the inbound pass, and Hoover’s victory was secure. Webb, however, was called for moving from her spot, and the Lady Wolverines had one last chance. But Carver never got a shot off. Despite her last-second mistake, Webb paced the Lady Bucs to victory. She scored 19 points and bagged 20 rebounds. “We didn’t play our best game, but we played hard and that’s all you can ask,” Webb said. “We showed a lot of heart.” And that heart was enough to get Hoover in the 6A finals yet again.

football nearly a decade ago, but the newest Eagle coach may have more staying power. Dickey Wright, former head coach at Homewood, announced late last week that he was accepting a similar job at the school on Tyler Road. Few coaches have a more impressive resume than Wright. He was the head Dickey Wright football coach and athletic director at Homewood Middle School for many years before coming to the high school in 1993. Wright served as defensive coordinator for the Patriots

as they dominated Class 5A under Coach Bob Newton. When Newton retired, Wright accepted the difficult challenge of following him at the same time that Homewood was forced into Class 6A with larger schools. Wright retired from Homewood after the 2010 season. He was also an outstanding wrestling coach, directing the Patriots to five Class 5A state wrestling crowns. “This is a unique opportunity to come to Shades Mountain,” Wright said. “I still have the passion to teach and train young men to grow as athletes and in Christian character.” There’s no question that Shades Mountain football has a long way to go before it is competitive. But with Dickey Wright at the helm, SMC couldn’t have a better leader.




Clockwise from far left: Patrick Keim drives by a Sparkman defender. Tournament MVP Malek Grant led Mountain Brook with 22 points. Eric Raszeja plays tight defense.

from Back Cover

But it wasn’t really a miracle. It was much greater than that. This championship was about a team that never stopped believing in itself and always found a way to win. If the shots weren’t falling, the Spartans played defense. If the rebounds weren’t coming, the Spartans played more defense. And when all was said and done, Mountain Brook finished with 30 victories and a state championship. The Spartans nailed down the blue trophy with an easy 74-53 rout of Sparkman Saturday night at the BJCC. The Senators had whipped Mountain Brook 61-51 in December but never seriously challenged the Spartans in the game that mattered most. After moving to a 19-16 lead after the opening period, Mountain Brook established permanent domination in the second quarter. The Spartans outscored Sparkman 20-4 and didn’t allow a single field goal. Armed with a 19-point halftime lead, the Spartans were home free. “Defense has been the ongoing theme of our season,” said Mountain Brook coach Bucky McMillan, a Spartan basketball star a decade ago. “I think we’re the best defensive team in Alabama. I think we are underrated. Some folks didn’t even think we could win the (Northeast) regional.” McMillan said his team didn’t do anything different for its second game with Sparkman. “We had one of our best nights

Spartans Edge Blount on Way to Championship By Lee Davis

Journal Sports Writer

There was just something about Thursday’s semifinal at the BJCC that gave the feel it would be Mountain Brook’s day. Maybe it was the 5,000-plus Spartan fans who jammed the arena wearing the neon yellow that has become Mountain Brook’s unofficial trademark. Or maybe it was the goofy fan who wandered onto the court, briefly disrupting play in the fourth quarter. Or perhaps it was something more tangible–like the play of the Spartans’ defense. Whatever magic Mountain Brook had that day, it worked, as the Spartans stunned Blount 49-46 to reach the Class 6A final for the first time in school history. A historian has to go all the way back to 1968 to find a year when Mountain Brook made such an impression in boys’ basketball. That season, the Charlie Christmas-led Spartans reached the state semifinals before falling to Gadsden. The 2012-2013 Mountain Brook team made history of its own by holding the Leopards to a mere 30 percent shooting percentage from the field. “If you like defense, you’d like that game” said Spartan coach Bucky

Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 39

Journal photos by Marvin Gentry

shooting,” he said. “We hit free throws and the three-point shot when we needed it.” Mountain Brook shot 47 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Senators 42-33. The most telling number may have been that the Spartans rattled Sparkman into shooting a mere 30 percent from the field. Malek Grant was named tournament MVP and keyed Mountain Brook with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Jeremy Berman contributed 16 points and five rebounds. Lamonte Turner led Sparkman with 16 points. But the tale of Mountain Brook in 2013 can’t be told without mentioning its collective sixth man, otherwise known as the legion of fans–8,000 strong showed up for the final–that cheered every basket. Most of them wore some form of the neon yellow that became the Spartans’ unofficial team color. They came in all ages and sizes, from parents and grandparents to elementary school age-kids. Their passion was Mountain Brook basketball. “I guess you can only draw a crowd like this if you’re a basketball coach,” said McMillan, grinning. The young coach had plenty of reasons to grin. Another sport was adding a new contribution to Spartan athletic glory. McMillan. “Our players should be commended for finding a way to win even when our skills weren’t as good as they had been during the season.” McMillan had a point. Mountain Brook led 16-13 at halftime despite shooting only 26 percent from the floor. The Spartans would raise that percentage to only 36 percent by the end of the game. But somehow, Mountain Brook found a way. The Spartans pushed their lead to 36-26 by the end of the third period before turning back a fierce Leopard comeback to secure the victory. Aided by Mountain Brook’s prob-

Reagan Alexander drives past a Blount defender. Journal photo by Lee Walls Jr.

lems at the free throw line, Blount tied the game at 46-46 with only 53 seconds to play. Moments later, Jamarcus King missed a pair of free throws that would have given the Leopards their first lead since the second period. Patrick Keim, the Spartans’ cool operator, bagged three of six free throws to give his team a three-point cushion with just under 15 seconds remaining in the game. Blount wasn’t quite finished yet. After grabbing a rebound after a missed free throw by Keim, the Leopards quickly got into position to score. Antonio Chapman’s shot was blocked by Jeremy Berman with less than 10 seconds to play. A wild scramble followed, and Chapman’s desperation three-point attempt at the buzzer missed the mark. “My stomach almost hit the floor when he took that shot,” said Mountain Brook forward Malek Grant. “I was just hoping it didn’t go in.” Eric Raszeja led the Spartans with 11 points. Malek Grant and his brother Tawarren each scored 10. McMillian couldn’t disguise his pride in his team. “We’re a story for everyone,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how big, small or talented you are. You play as hard as you can and get what you deserve. Just keep playing hard. “Does it matter that we only scored six or eight points in an entire quarter? If the other guys can’t score, they can’t win.” Mountain Brook’s pride and that special something it showed against Blount had its fans partying well past 1968.

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Hoover Girls Claim Fourth State Title Page 34

Lee Davis

Wild Weekend

Spartans and Lady Bucs Take Home Titles

Mountain Brook players, coaches and fans celebrate in the final seconds of the teamĘźs 6A state championship game win over Sparkman Saturday night at the BJCC. Enjoying the moment are, from left: Malek Grant, Griff Cooper, Jeremy Berman, Reagan Alexander, Alex Boozer, coaches: Christian Schweers, Bucky McMillan and Tyler Davis. More photos at Journal photo by Lee Walls Jr.

SPARTAN NATION CELEBRATION Mountain Brook Crushes Sparkman to Win First Basketball Title




ll sorts of sports are represented in the jampacked trophy cases at Mountain Brook High School. Many of them are related to track and field or the so-called country club sports of golf and tennis. Two football trophies from the 1970s also stand out among the hardware. But the old trophies are going to have to be

Will Deer and his Spartan teammates rattled Sparkman into shooting a mere 30 percent from the field. Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

rearranged, because a new one is on the way. And this one is coming from a sport that only the most fanatical Spartan fan would have predicted in December–boys’ basketball. That’s right, the Mountain Brook Spartans are the new kings of Class 6A basketball in Alabama. If you insist, call it a miracle, just like the 1969 New York Mets winning the World Series or the 1980 U.S. hockey team winning the Olympic gold medal.

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See SPARTANS, page 39

Maybe the biggest problem in the wake of Mountain Brook and Hoover’s sweep of the boys’ and girls’ Class 6A state championships respectively last Saturday is determining which of the two accomplishments was the most impressive. Let’s start with the Spartan boys. While Mountain Brook was a respected team and spent most of the season ranked in 6A’s top 10, who outside the school’s inner circle truly believed the Spartans would be the last team standing in March? Coach Bucky McMillan’s team dominated with defense and an uncanny knack for making the crucial shot at the right time. Without a doubt, the acquisition of brothers Malek and Tawarren Grant from Midfield put the final piece in Mountain Brook’s puzzle. But it seemed as if every night a different Spartan came up with the decisive play or a big game to make the difference. One night the man might be Patrick Keim. Or maybe Eric Raszeja. Or someone else. The most important thing was that whoever it was wore a Mountain Brook jersey. Everybody talks about the importance of team play and defense. McMillan and his Spartans lived it, every game. By winning their third straight championship, the Hoover girls estabSee TITLES, page 38

NEW March 21, 2013  

Updated March 21, 2013 issue

NEW March 21, 2013  

Updated March 21, 2013 issue