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

OVER THE MOUNTAIN

JOU RNAL otmj.com

th

ursd ay, Oct ober 2, 2014

V ol . 23 #18

A Bewitching Event

Mom’s Battle with Lung Cancer Inspires Daughter to Brew Up Spirited Fundraiser

inside

Fight against breast cancer is personal for Race for the Cure chairman

about town page 4

There’s no slowing down for realtor Margi Ingram

news page 14

By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

Photos special to the Journal by Beth Hontzas Photography

L

Daphne Dickinson and Janie Ford Mayer are co-chairs of the the second annual Homewood Witches Ride, which will raise money for the American Cancer Society and honor Paula Stringfellow Ford, who lost her life to lung cancer in 2013.

ater this month, Janie Ford Mayer will put on the most outlandish witch’s costume she can find, deck out her bike with streamers and signs, and ride through the streets of Homewood cackling as loud as she can. And she knows all of that would make her mother proud. Mayer is organizing the second annual Homewood Witches Ride Oct. 30 in an effort to celebrate the spirit of her late mother, Paula Stringfellow Ford, and to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. “My mother loved life and she loved helping people, and I know she would love this event,” Mayer said. “It was her idea in the first place, and now we’ve brought it to Homewood.” Ford was just 67 years old when she died of lung cancer in April 2013. Mayer said her mother combined her penchant for fun and her passion for helping people by joining the Witches of South Walton fundraising ride a few years ago after she and her husband, H.C. “Henry” Ford, moved to Seagrove, Fla. “My parents moved down there about 12 years ago, and Mom heard about women getting dressed up like witches to ride down to the elementary school on the morning of Halloween to hand out candy to the kids,” Mayer said. “That turned into a fundraiser for a children’s volunteer network, and it was something that everyone in that community looked forward to every year and that Mom looked forward to every year.” Last October, as she and her family faced their first Halloween without their mother, Mayer said her thoughts turned to how much fun her mother had with the Witches of South Walton event.

See Witches Ride, page 8

Exotic Evening: This year’s ZooGala has Moroccan theme

social page 16

Memory Maker: Hoover teen finds lasting way to remember fellow students

school page 24

Getting Down to Business: OTM retailers are among state award winners

business page 28

women’s Health checklist P. 11 • Autism fundraiser gets surprise visit from ‘Sir Charles’ p. 20 • ’Tis the Season at the Holiday Shop P. 28


2 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

Opinion/Contents

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

murphy’s law

Ill Will Intervention

I star-spangled salute Students from Oak Mountain Elementary School sing while the Oak Mountain High School Spirit of the Cahaba Marching Band plays during National Anthem Night at Heardmont Stadium on Sept. 19. Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

On otmj.com

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

Coming Oct. 16

Our next issue will be all about food, fashion and festivals as we preview the best treats, styles and events of fall.

in this issue About Town 3 life 8 people 12 news 14 social 16

weddings 23 schools 24 Business 28 Sports 32

OVER THE MOUNTAIN

JOU RNAL

October 2, 2014

Publisher: Maury Wald Editor: Keysha Drexel Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Office Manager: Christy Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Lee Davis Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Interns: Milan Ballard, Jacob Fuqua, Mary Varnell, Emily Williams Vol. 23, No. 18

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 editorial@otmj.com. E-mail our advertising department at ads@otmj.com. Find us on the Web at otmj.com. Copyright 2014 Over The Mountain Journal, Inc. All rights reserved. The Journal is not responsible for return of photos, copy and other unsolicited materials submitted. To have materials returned, please specify when submitting and provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All materials submitted are subject to editorial review and may be edited or declined without notification.

the waiting room where all the other ’ve been feeling a little ill lately. Not physically, really, just people are hoping, too, not just patients, sick at heart. Maybe you have, but the people who sit with them, the too. The world around just seems friends and family members that drove to be…off. Bombings, beheadings, them there, the ones who’ve been maksiege and subjugation–it’s been ing meals and lighting candles and cryrelentless. I have to brace myself ing in the bathroom so they don’t upset to watch the nightly news. their patient friend. Life is important to It’s like we’re experiencing a risthem, too. ing tide of…I was going to say anger I’d take the terrorists beyond the and cruelty, but I’m going to temper it cancer center, where there are prayer down and say “ill will.” It’s a sickness, chains, fervent hopes and wishes, a malady, and I’m not sure how to turn all aiming at the same thing: that the it around, but I may have a good place patients will survive to enjoy birthdays to start. Naïve little me, I always hold and Christmases and ballgames and out for the possibility that misguided dance recitals with the people they love. Sue Murphy people just aren’t seeing things clearly, That life will go on. that if someone would show them a If the ill will is still not eradiIt has to stop – the cated, better path, they would take it. I’m I’d drive the group to a rehab warning you, my plan is a bit harsh, center, where people are struggling fear, the anger, the but I’m feeling desperate right now. pain to recover, to a memory cowardice, the cruelty. through Whenever someone gets the idea care unit where sons and daughters to fire a rocket, to leave a backpack We’re all in this togeth- are spoon-feeding the parents who full of explosives under a bleacher, longer remember their names. I er. We always have no know, it seems like a heavy-handed to run off and commit genocide with a group of far-flung rebels despite been. Every day is a approach, but we’re facing serious serious times and somethe fact that they don’t even embrace gift, for every single problems, thing has to turn all that around. their ideology (details), I say we I have to believe that if the terstage an intervention. I would round person. rorists could see what people go up the lot of them and put them in through to hang onto life, they the backseat of my car, then drive wouldn’t be so casual about ending it. If they could them to a cancer clinic. Really. I’d sit them down in spend time with these families, there would be no gutthe waiting area next to a patient who has a chemo port wrenching YouTube videos, no sneering victory dances implanted in her chest. She’s 25, 30. Two small kids with guns upraised. at home. She’s lost her hair but not her voice, and she Here’s my underlying message: It has to stop – the smiles as we sit down. I’d send our would-be terrorfear, the anger, the cowardice, the cruelty. We’re all in ists back with our friend to the treatment room where this together. We always have been. Every day is a gift, she curls up under a blanket made by one of her church for every single person. friends and lets the toxic, sickening chemicals drip, drip, Look into your heart, my misguided friends. Please. drip into her for five hours. She hopes they work. Life is Don’t make me take you to Children’s Hospital. important to her. Because I will. ❖ Then I’d send our hopefully shaken terrorist back to

over the Mountain Views

Where is your go-to place to get a healthy meal?

“The salads at Olexa’s in Mountain Brook Village are always great.” Aleigh Thornton Vestavia Hills

“I go to The Pantry in Crestline and order the Farmstead Salad.” Lacey Ballard Mountain Brook

“Panera for their Fuji Apple Chicken Salad.” Glendinning Johnston Mountain Brook

“The Bottle Tree for their Garden Grill.” Jennifer Toole Crestline Park


Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 3

About Town

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

focus on children

Seminary and Peter Iver Kaufman of the University of Richmond will present keynote addresses. Kaufman also will speak at a university convocation program in Samford’s Reid Chapel at 10 a.m. Oct. 2. For more information, visit www.samford.edu. Vestavia Hills

Birmingham

Enjoying last year’s Through the Lens event, from left: Lauren Johnson, Meredith Cummings and Tracy Korson. This year’s event will be Oct. 2.

Through the Lens Event Photo special to the Journal Oct. 2, 6 p.m. Kress Building Rooftop The Alabama Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, will hold the fourth annual Through the Lens photography fundraiser on the rooftop of the Kress Building at 301 19th St. N. in Birmingham Oct. 2. The event is held annually to bring awareness to the plight of abused and neglected children in the state. Local photographers are given short stories about children and asked to interpret the stories in photo format. These photos, along with the stories, are showcased at the event. The event will also include a silent auction, food, beverages and live music. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at www.AlabamaCASA.org, at the door or from a member of the organization’s Junior Board of Directors. ❖ Homewood

Christian Conference Oct. 2-4 Samford’s Reid Chapel Samford University’s Core Texts and University Fellows honors programs will host a national conference on “Teaching

the Christian Intellectual Tradition” Oct. 2-4. The conference will explore ways to help students connect to Augustine of Hippo, the 4th-5th century bishop regarded as a key founder of the Christian church. Professors Kristen Deede Johnson of Western Theological

Fundraiser with Rosalind Wiseman Oct. 2, 11:30 a.m. Private club The Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation will host author Rosalind Wiseman at a fundraising luncheon at a private club in Vestavia Hills at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 2. The bestselling author will talk about parenting and bullying during her presentation and will share insights from her latest book. Reservations for event Rosalind Wiseman seating and VIP packages are now available. Tickets are $60$135. Seating is limited, so purchasing tickets early is strongly recommended. For more information, visit www. vestaviafoundaiton.org. Vestavia Hills

OLLI Program Oct. 2, 1:30-3 p.m. Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will present “Bicycling Across America”

Save the Date continues on page 5

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4 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

About Town

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

A Cause Close to Her Heart Fight Against Breast Cancer Is Personal for Race Chairman

By Keysha Drexel

T

Journal editor

he first time Veronica Wehby participated in the Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama Race for the Cure almost 10 years ago, she didn’t realize how many people across the Birmingham metro area have been touched by breast cancer until she saw the sea of pink at Linn Park, she said. The second time the Homewood resident took part in the Race for the Cure, that realization had hit even closer to home. “About two years after my first exposure to the race, my best friend, Rebecca DiPiazza, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24,” Wehby said. “We did the Race for the Cure together that year, and being there with someone I cared about so much who had just been diagnosed definitely made the race completely different for me.” Sadly, Wehby said, she has had that same personal and emotional experience at every Race for the Cure in Birmingham since. “Since that time, even more of my friends and family members have been diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said. “It really brings home the statistic showing that one in eight women will get breast cancer at some point. It has made me want to do everything I can to help find a cure.” To that end, Wehby has spent the last eight years volunteering with the Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama Race for a Cure in a variety of roles. She started out serving on the race committee the year her best

Veronica Wehby, right, with her best friend, Rebecca DiPiazza, at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure shortly after DiPiazza was diagnosed with breast cancer. Photo special to the Journal

friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Last year she was the Race for the Cure co-chairman. This year, she is on the board of directors and is the event chairman. “I got involved with the race for my best friend, but I’ve stayed involved for me,” Wehby said. “It is one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life.” When she’s not volunteering with Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama, Wehby works as a portfolio manager at Blue Canoe Properties. “That’s what I do to support my volunteering habit,” she said, laughing. Wehby said she recently got a touching reminder of the importance of the work being done by Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama while attending the annual Cahaba Village for a Cure event in Mountain Brook Sept. 18. “A young lady who works at Whole Foods came over to our tent at the Cahaba Village for a Cure event and told us she had been diagnosed

with breast cancer three days before. She’s just 37 years old and has two young children,” Wehby said. Wehby said the woman started talking about her diagnosis and wondered aloud how she was going to talk to her children about breast cancer and juggle the demands of work with receiving treatment. “I told her that I knew she probably had a lot of information coming at her but offered to help her with any information or resources she might need, and she stopped me and said that while she was getting a lot of medical information about her diagnosis, she was at a loss as to where to turn for advice on talking to her children and that kind of thing,” Wehby said. Wehby was able to tell the young woman about books Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama provides to women to help them talk about their diagnoses with young children and also told her about resources for women battling cancer, like yoga classes and support groups. “It was just one of those moments in life where you know you were supposed to be exactly where you were at exactly that time,” Wehby said. “And the truth of the matter is, if it wasn’t for the Race for the Cure, I wouldn’t have been able to be there when that woman needed information and I wouldn’t have been able to point her to these wonderful programs and resources.” Wehby said over the past few years, she’s heard of some backlash against the “tide of pink” that seems to envelope Birmingham and other cities across the nation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month when events like the Race for the Cure seek to raise money for cancer research and programs for cancer patients. “The amount of pink can be a bit overwhelming and you hear people talk about whether the money raised

 What: Race for the Cure  Where: Linn Park  When: Oct. 11, 7 a.m.  Details: Visit www.komenncalabama.org or call 263-1700. actually does any good, but having been involved with the race for so many years, I have been able to see firsthand how the money raised is saving lives every single day,” Wehby said. Wehby said 75 percent of the proceeds from the Birmingham race goes to help people in the central Alabama region through grants to community health groups that seek to educate women about their breast cancer risks. One of the organization’s largest grants goes to a program that provides cancer screenings for women in central Alabama who can’t afford the tests. “The other 25 percent (of the race proceeds) goes into a national grant pool to help fund major research projects, and in our region, that has equated to some very large grants to study breast cancer and breast cancer drugs,” Wehby said. “In 2009, Komen awarded a $6.4 million Komen Promise Grant to UAB for research into triple negative breast cancer, a really aggressive form of breast cancer, and just last year, Dr. (Shih-Hsin) Yang at UAB received a $450,000 grant to study a promising breast

cancer drug. And that’s just two that I can think of right off the top of my head. Our website has a grants page that shows how the money raised is being used to make a difference right here in our own backyards.” Wehby said as many as 15,00016,000 people have participated in the Race for the Cure in Birmingham in the past. She said she’s hoping for record numbers at this year’s event. “You always hope that it grows bigger, that we raise money to do even more good work,” she said. But just because the Race for the Cure will be over by Oct. 12 doesn’t mean Wehby will be resting on her laurels. “It takes all year to get ready for the next race,” she said. “Just like when you’re fighting breast cancer, the race is not the end. We fight breast cancer with our programs and services 365 days a year.” This year’s Race for a Cure will kick off with registration and packet pickup at 7 a.m. Oct. 11 at Linn Park on 20th Street North in Birmingham. The Survivor Parade participants will line up at the Survivor Cafe at 8:20 a.m. The 5K race starts at 9 a.m. There will be a one-mile walk/run at 10 a.m. and an awards ceremony at 11:10 a.m. There is a $10 charge for chip timing. Registration is open now. ❖

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Save the Date Cont. from 1:30-3 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. Janet Holloway, who at age 61 cycled more than 4,500 miles from Washington to Maine, will share details about her journey with photos and journal entries. For more information, call the library’s adult services department at 978-4678 or visit vestavialibrary.org. Birmingham

Antiques at The Gardens Oct. 2-5 Birmingham Botanical Gardens IberiaBank will present Antiques at the Gardens Oct. 2-5. The ninth annual event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens will offer chances to shop for antiques, furniture, porcelain, fine art, silver, garden accessories and jewelry. Those attending also can be inspired by and get advice from experts in architecture, interior design and landscape design as more than 14 tastemakers curate themed areas with goods selected from Birmingham and other regions. The event starts at 10 a.m. Oct. 2 with the Tastebuds: Define Your Style event and includes the blacktie Gala at The Gardens Oct. 2. This year’s Red Diamond Lecture Series will feature Shane Connolly and Maria Buatta. The show ends at 5 p.m. Oct. 5. For a full list of the weekend’s events and for more information, visit www. bbgardens.org. Birmingham

Charity Art Auction Oct. 2, 6:30-9 p.m. UAB National Alumni House The Research Civitan Club will host

Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 5

About Town

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

a silent art auction Oct. 2 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham National Alumni House. There will be refreshments, door prizes and the chance to bid on art. Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Students and seniors pay $5. For more information, call 224-659-1076 or visit www.rccartshow.com. Birmingham

Alabama Ballet at Home Oct. 3-5 Alabama Center for Dance The new 2014-2015 season of Alabama Ballet at Home is underway, with the next performances scheduled for Oct. 3-5. This season’s program will include “Raymonda Suite” by Marius Petipa, “White Couple Pas de Deux” from “Les Patineurs,” “Cinderella Ballroom Pas de Deux” by Roger Van Fleteren and “Rodeo,” choreographed by Agnes DeMille. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door. The performances will be at the Alabama Center for Dance, 2626 First Ave. S., Birmingham. For more information, visit alabamaballet.org. Birmingham

Boo at the Zoo Oct. 3-Nov. 1 Birmingham Zoo Guests can wear their favorite family-friendly costumes and see the Birmingham Zoo transform into a destination of spooky attractions, trickor-treating, themed rides and games for 16 nights at Wells Fargo Boo at the Zoo. Guests can experience the thrill of the all-new Monster Slide. The event will also include the Creepy Carnival and a hayride. The Junior League of Birmingham Hugh Kaul Children’s Zoo Barn will be open for up-close and

eewnt N m p i h S

personal animal interactions. The zoo will close at 4 p.m. on each day of the event. Boo at the Zoo will be from 5-9 p.m. Oct. 3-5, 10-12, 19, 26, 29-30 and Nov. 1 and from 5-10 p.m. Oct. 17-18, 24-25 and 31. Tickets are $8 plus tax. Some attractions will require ride tickets, which are $3.50 each. Unlimited attraction wristbands are available for $12. For more information, visit www. birminghamzoo.com.

Park Art Show started as a way to raise money to expand the library at Bluff Park Elementary School and has grown into a nationally recognized and acclaimed art show featuring artists from across the country and an eclectic mix of media. For more information, visit www.bluffparkartassociation.org or call 966-0246.

It's tIme to

Grill!

North Shelby

Arts and Crafts Fair Oct. 4, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Shades Crest Baptist Church Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover will host an arts and crafts fair Oct. 4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The free event benefiting local ministries will include handmade crafts, original art and food. The church is at 452 Park Ave. For more information, visit shadescrest.org.

Oak Mountain Fall Festival Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oak Mountain State Park The fourth annual Oak Mountain Fall Festival will take place Oct. 5 at 1:30 p.m. at the park’s Dogwood and Lakeside Pavilions. There will be hayrides, face painting, a cakewalk, bobbing for apples and more. Tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for kids and seniors. Call 620-2520 for more information.

Hoover

Vestavia Hills

Hoover

Bluff Park Art Show Oct. 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Bluff Park Community Center The 51st annual Bluff Park Art Show will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Bluff Park Community Center, 517 Cloudland Drive in Hoover. The Bluff

around the Southeast will enter their prize blooms in the annual competition. Dahlia Society of Alabama members will be on hand to welcome visitors,

It's tIme to

Grill!

Dahlia Show Oct. 4, noon-4 p.m. Vestavia Hills Baptist Church The Southern States Dahlia Show will bring a feast of color to Vestavia Hills Baptist Church, 2600 Vestavia Drive, Oct. 4. Dahlia growers from

Senior Adult  CThese onference   are 1 col by 4 inches

and asCmentioned Mountain Brook  $180 Baptist   hurch   before

I would be happy to run the 3631 Montevallo  Road,  South  !  Birmingham,   L  35213  next !  (205)   871-­‐0331   color Aversion week at that price.  

OCTOBER 9    

To: From: Date:

Open to   Community  

Mike Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 June 2014

This is yourB AD PrOOF from the OvEr THESMOuNTAiN JOurNAl for the 8:30 AM   Continental   reakfast   and   Health   creenings   June 12, 2014 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

9:00 AM   Choose  3  (45  minutes)  Conferences:   Please make sure all information is correct,  Debbie  Moss,  RN,  Minister  of  Health  and     • Caregiving  –including address phone number! Wellness,  Dawson  Memorial   Baptist  and Church   • Building  Your  Financial  House  –  Conrad  “Quint”  Cook,   Please initial andPfax back within 24 hours. Executive  Vice  President,   FI-­‐Plan   artners   if we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, • Estate  Planning,  Wyour ills,  adLwill iving   W ills    Glenn   Estess,   Jr.,   run as is. We–print the paper Monday. Partner  with  Jordan,   Ratliff   randt  prompt LLC;  Laura   Thank youand   forByour attention. Jackman,  Attorney   • Health  Choices  for  Aging  Well  –  Debra  W.  Morrison,  MS,   RDN,  LDN;  Assistant  Professor  and  Director  of  Dietetic   Internship,  Ida  V.  Moffett  School  of  Nursing   • Simple  Exercises  to  Stay  Fit  –Leigh  Karagas,  Certified   Personal  Trainer  and  owner  of  EveryGirlFitness   • A  Lifestyle  For  Spiritual  Wellness  – Debbie  Duke,  MSN,   RN;  Congregational  Health  Program  Director,  Ida  V.   Moffett  School  of  Nursing

12:00 PM   Lunch  and  Topic:    State  of  Healthcare     Keith Parrott, CEO Baptist Health Systems     http://www.mbbc.org/ministries/senior-­adults/  


6 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

About Town answer questions and provide advice on growing show-quality dahlias. The event will be open to the public from noon-4 p.m. For more information, visit www. dahliasocietyofalabama.org. Hoover

Whispers from the Past Oct. 5, 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Aldridge Gardens The Whispers from the Past Native American Experience event will be held at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover from 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Oct. 5. There will be demonstrations on flint knapping, beading, leaf pounding, cooking, hunting, corn grinding, painting and pottery. For more information, visit aldridgegardens.com or call 682-8019. Homewood

Cirque de la Symphonie Oct. 5, 3 p.m. Wright Fine Arts Center The Alabama Symphony Orchestra will host a cirque performance at the Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center on Samford University’s campus. The Oct. 5 event will showcase some of the best artists in the world and skilled musicians from the ASO. The show will start at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $10-$60. Call 975-2787 or visit www.alabamasymphony.org for more information. Birmingham

“The Wizard of Oz” Oct. 5 and 12, 3 p.m. Birmingham Children’s Theatre Birmingham Children’s Theatre will present “The Wizard of Oz” at two Family Day performances in October. The first show will be at 3 p.m. Oct. 5, and the second will be at 3 p.m. Oct. 12. Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for children ages 6-12. For more information, visit www.bct123.org or call 458-8181. Homewood

Book Signing Oct. 6, 4 p.m. Alabama Booksmith Hoover native Heather Jones Skaggs will sign copies of her book, “Hoover,” at the Alabama Booksmith in Homewood at 4 p.m. Oct. 6. For more information, visit www.arcadiapublishing.com. Vestavia Hills

Legacy League Fall Luncheon Oct. 9, 11:30 a.m. Private club The Samford University Legacy League will host its annual Fall Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 9 at a

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

private club in Vestavia Hills. This year’s featured speaker is Birmingham’s Sophie Hudson, author of “A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Sophie Hudson Faith, Family, and Fifty Pounds of Bacon” and BooMama blog. Reservations are $25. To make reservations or for more information, visit www.samford.edu/legacyleague. Mountain Brook

Senior Adult Conference Oct. 9, 11:30 a.m. Mountain Brook Baptist Church The Better Choices Conference at Mountain Brook Baptist Church on Oct. 9 will allow senior adults to attend three 45-minute sessions led by professionally qualified leaders. Sessions will include information on caregiving, finances, estate planning, health, exercise and spiritual wellness. The conference will begin at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served at noon. Free health screenings will be provided on a drop-by basis. More information is available at www.mbbc. org. Hoover

Hoover Service Club Meeting Oct. 9, 11 a.m. Hoover Country Club The Hoover Service Club will host Hoover City Schools Superintendent Andy Craig at its meeting at 11 a.m. Oct. 9 at the Hoover Country Club. For more information, email boydrhonda@ bellsouth.net. Homewood

Book Signing Oct. 9, 4-6 p.m. Little Professor Book Center Author Chelsea Berler, who lives in the Spain Park area, will sign copies of her new book, “The Curious One from Food Stamps to CEO: One Woman’s Journey through Struggle, Tragedy, Success & Love,” from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 9 at Little Professor Book Center in Homewood. For more information, visit www.TheCuriousBook.com Homewood

Pumpkin Festival Oct. 11, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Homewood Central Park Grace House Ministries will host the

Pumpkin Festival from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Oct. 11 at Homewood Central Park. The event will feature family-friendly actvities for all ages. Guests will have a chance to win tickets to this year’s Iron Bowl game and other prizes. Saw’s Street Kitchen and Steel City Pops will provide food for purchase. Tickets are $10 each. For details, visit www.gracehouse.org. Birmingham

Cask & Drum 2014 Oct. 11, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Lakeview Neighborhood The Cask & Drum festival benefitting Magic Moments will be on Oct. 11 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. in the Lakeview neighborhood near 27th Street and Second Avenue South in Birmingham. The event will include performances by bands ranging from Southern rockers the Drive-By Truckers to the electronica artist Girl Talk. The event will also include the Kick’n Chick’n Wing Festival and craft beer and wine tastings. Tickets range in price from $35-$250. For more information, visit www.caskanddrum. com. Hoover

Family Fun Run and 10K Ruck Challenge Oct. 11, 7:30-11:30 a.m. Veterans Park The second annual Family Fun Run and 10K Ruck Challenge will be held at Veterans Park on Valleydale Road in Hoover from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 11. Admission is $25. Each competitor will receive a goody bag and race T-shirt. The winning Ruck Challenge teams will be recognized at the end of the event and during the World Peace Luncheon Nov. 11 in Birmingham. Proceeds will be directed to veteran-oriented charities. For more information, visit www. nationalveteransday.org/events or call 942-5300. Hoover

Arts and Music on the Green Oct. 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Ross Bridge Welcome Center Arts and Music on the Green returns to Ross Bridge on Oct. 11. The event will feature a juried art show with cash prizes to support the Youth Arts with The Kid’s art project, a collaboration with local schools and the Hoover Arts Alliance. The event will run from 9 a.m.5 p.m. at the Ross Bridge Welcome Center, 2101 Grand Ave. There is no admission charge. For more information, visit artsandmusiconthegreen.com or call 951-0409.


Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 7

About Town

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

smart party

event to Patriot Park this year. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ handmadeshow. Vestavia Hills

Shades Mountain Air Concert Oct. 12, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest Shades Mountain Air will perform in concert at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 12. The acoustic band will perform its mix of modern, traditional and gospel bluegrass styles at the library’s outdoor amphitheater. The concert is free and open to all ages. For more information, call 978-4678 or visit vestavialibrary.org. Hoover Birmingham

Co-chairmen are making plans for the third annual Smart Party. From left: Ricki Kline, Emily Branum and Brantley Fry.

Smart Party 3.0 Oct. 16, 5:30-8 p.m. Photo special to the Journal Iron City Birmingham The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham will host its third annual Smart Party, dubbed “Smart Party 3.0,” and honor 10 local women involved in innovative work Oct. 16 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Iron City Birmingham. Presented by Regions, Smart Party 3.0 aims to raise funds and awareness for The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham. Guests from around the world will be able to attend the party virtually online. Tickets are $65 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Buy tickets at www.smartparty.org/birmingham.❖ Hoover

Forks and Corks Gala Oct. 11, 7-11 p.m. Aveda Institute The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce will host the first Forks and Corks Gala Oct. 11 at the Aveda Institute in Hoover. The black tie event will feature food and beverages from Birmingham area restaurants and vendors, a band, and silent and live auctions. Proceeds benefit the Chamber’s scholarship fund. Tickets are $100. To buy tickets or for more information, call Verona Petite at the Hoover Chamber of Commerce, 988-5672 or email her at verona@ hooverchamber.org.

will be on sale each Sunday after the church’s 8:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services or through Ticket Chairman Jenny Blair at 403-0991. Homewood

Handmade Art Show Oct. 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Patriot Park The 21st annual Handmade Art Show will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 11 at Homewood’s Patriot Park. The show will feature the work of 34 artists, including handcrafted jewelry, pottery, glass work, items built from repurposed wood, textiles, candles and food items. Show organizers have partnered with the Homewood Arts Council to bring the

College Seminar Oct. 14 and 21 Jeff State Community College Jefferson State Community College is offering free seminars from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 14 and 21 for adults interested in attending college. Topics include how to apply for admission, scheduling classes, financial aid, time management and study skills. The seminars will be held in Room 416 of the Health Sciences Building at the Shelby-Hoover Campus on Valleydale Road. For more information, call 856-7718. North Shelby

Haunted Shelby County Oct. 15, 1 p.m. North Shelby Library Kim Johnston, author of “Haunted Shelby County, Alabama,” will share stories and evidence her paranormal team has collected at historical sites in and around Shelby County at the North Shelby Library Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. This is a free event for ages 7-13. Registration is required. For more information, visit www.northshelbylibrary.org or call 4395512. ❖

Send about town news to kdrexel@otmj.com

Birmingham

Zombie Prom Oct. 11, 7 p.m. Das Haus: German Club Das Haus: German Club will host the Zombie Prom at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at 2318 Second Ave. N., Birmingham. Those attending can come dressed as zombies going to prom for a night of music, door prizes and prom pictures to benefit the Firehouse Shelter. Doors open at 7 p.m. Live music starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. For more information on “A Night to Dismember,” visit birminghamzombieprom.com or call 902-4035. Shelby County

Denim and Diamonds Oct. 11 Harley Davidson Event Room More than 200 items, including a Joe Namath No. 12 New York Jets jersey and a trip to Walt Disney World, will be part of the 11th annual Denim and Diamonds auction Oct. 11 at the Harley Davidson Event Room in Pelham. Proceeds from the event, which includes live and silent auctions and a raffle, will support outreach missions sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Holy Apostles in Hoover. Individual tickets are $30; a table for eight is $225. Tickets

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8 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

life

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Witches ride, From page one

“It was about two weeks before Halloween last year, and I was kind of down and having a funky day,” Mayer said. “I mentioned to my sister, Claudia and my girlfriends that it would be fun to get all dressed up like Mom used to and ride through Homewood handing out candy.” Word spread that Mayer was planning a memorial bike ride, and soon, the inaugural Homewood Witches Ride took on a life of its own, she said. “We were really thinking it might be about 10 people max in the ride last year, but before I knew it, people were calling, people I didn’t even know, wanting to ride with us. It was incredible. The whole thing grew overnight, and the next thing I know, we are collecting items for a silent auction to help raise money for cancer research.” About 80 people participated in last year’s ride, Mayer said. “My dad came up from Florida, and we all had a champagne toast to my mom at the end of the ride,” she said. “It was just a great feeling to be able to honor her like that and to see all the people who came out to remember her.” Mayer said almost as soon as she had finished the champagne toast to her mother last year, people started asking her about the next Homewood Witches Ride. “I called the American Cancer Society and asked them what we could do to make the ride an official ACS fundraiser for 2014, and they have been fantastic about helping us coordinate everything for this year’s ride,” Mayer said. Working with members of the Homewood Witches Ride planning committee––Dickinson, Elizabeth Hubbard, Michelle Sloan, Ronda Reynolds and Caroline Sain––Mayer has planned an event for this year that she said she hopes not only celebrates her mother and raises money for cancer research but also increases awareness about the prevalence of lung cancer in women. “Every year in October, we hear a lot about breast cancer, and that’s awesome because that means more women are getting the information they need to take care of themselves and money is being raised for breast cancer research,” she said. “But at the same time, we also need to raise awareness about lung cancer, because it kills more women every year than even breast cancer.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, while breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, lung cancer actually takes the lives of more American women every year than breast cancer. Statistics show that breast cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer are the three most common cancers among women while lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women, followed by breast cancer and colorectal cancer. “The statistics are something that I certainly never knew about, and I don’t think my mother ever thought she was at risk because she never

Something’s brewing in Homewood–plans for the second annual Homewood Witches Ride on Oct. 30. The event will benefit the American Cancer Society and celebrate the life of the late Paula Stringfellow Ford. From left: Ronda Reynolds, Michelle Sloan, Janie Ford Mayer (co-chair), Elizabeth Hubbard and Daphne Dickinson (co-chair). Below, Ford’s husband, H.C. “Henry” Ford, joined in the tribute event last year. Photos special to the Journal by Beth Hontzas Photography Homewood

Homewood Witches Ride Oct. 30, 5-7 p.m. Linden Avenue The second annual Homewood Witches Ride on Oct. 30 will raise money for the American Cancer Society and honor Paula Stringfellow Ford, who lost her life to lung cancer in 2013. There will be family-friendly activities and a silent auction. Food trucks will be on hand to sell food starting at 5 p.m. Participants can put on their witches’ costumes, deck out their bikes and meet at The Studio on Linden at 5:30 p.m. to start the ride. The $10 registration fee will go directly to ACS. For more information and updates, visit www.facebook. com/homewoodwitchesride.

smoked a day in her life,” Mayer said. “When you think of someone getting lung cancer, you think of someone who has smoked all their life or worked in a polluted place. My mother’s experience has changed my perspective on all that.” Ford’s battle with lung cancer began about four years ago when she was diagnosed with pneumonia, Mayer said. “Then she got pneumonia again, and even though they did x-rays, they thought the spots they were seeing were scar tissue from the pneumonia,” she said. “It was really weird that she had reoccurring pneumonia anyway because my mother was normally a very healthy person. She did Pure Barre four times a week, ate right and got check-ups.” When she got pneumonia again early last year, her mother’s doctors ordered a lung biopsy, Mayer said. “This was after going to four or five doctors over two or three years trying to figure out why she kept getting pneumonia,” Mayer said. Ford was admitted to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital for the lung biopsy. She hadn’t been in the operating room very long when a doctor came to the

waiting area to talk to Mayer and the other family members gathered there. “We knew immediately that something wasn’t right, because it’s never good when the doctors come out to talk to you in the middle of a procedure like that,” Mayer said. “The doctor told us he was shocked because they had just discovered that my mom’s lungs were covered with cancer, just covered.” The doctor told them that Ford had bronchioloalveolar carcinoma, or BAC, a disease that is sometimes called the “mystery lung cancer” and accounts for 2-14 percent of all lung cancers. BAC is more likely to affect nonsmokers, women and Asians than other forms of lung cancer, and according to lung cancer expert Dr. Lynne Eldridge, its incidence appears to be increasing, especially among younger nonsmoking women. BAC is also called the “masquerader,” according to Eldridge, because it is not uncommon for it to be mistaken for pneumonia or other lung diseases before it is properly diagnosed. Mayer said she and her family got a heartbreaking and tragic crash course in just how deadly BAC is. “My mother just never got bet-

ter. She went into the hospital for the biopsy, and 10 days later, she died,” Mayer said. “She fought for 10 days, but we just didn’t know about the cancer in time.” Mayer said her father never left her mother’s side during that last week and half. “They were married for 45 years, and he was right there with her up until the very end,” she said. Mayer’s maternal grandmother, 90-year-old Jane B. Hodges, a local designer, was also at the hospital every day. “My mother and grandmother were extremely close,” Mayer said. During her last few days, Mayer said, her mother exhibited her characteristic spunk and humor, even though she was very sick. “Even in the hospital, she was the life of the party. She was joking and laughing with all the nurses, and they just adored her,” Mayer said. “She was worrying about not being able to fix her hair or put on her makeup and was making plans to start cancer treatments.” But Ford never got a real chance to fight back against the lung cancer, her daughter said. “She had had a good day and had

two friends visit her. She had gotten out of the hospital bed and was sitting up in a chair when I left that night to go home,” Mayer said. “About 3 o’clock that next morning, we got a call that she had taken a turn for the worse and that we all needed to get down to the hospital to tell her goodbye.” But Mayer said she never got a chance to really tell her mother goodbye. “It all happened so fast, and she was already unconscious by the time we got back to the hospital,” she said. “We were all there with her when she passed, and it was amazing, as a family, to feel the Holy Spirit in that room.” Even though they were still reeling from her mother’s sudden death, Mayer said she and her family members knew Ford would not want them to have the typical funeral for her. “We knew that she would not want us hurting, and she would not want us to be sad,” Mayer said. “We had a celebration of her life on the beach instead of having a funeral, and I think she would have approved of that idea.” Mayer said she hopes this year’s Homewood Witches Ride is also a celebration of her mother’s life and of the lives of all those who have died of cancer. “This is for anyone who has been affected by cancer, any type of cancer, and that’s pretty much everyone, unfortunately,” Mayer said. “I want people to come out and ride in honor of their loved ones and as a way to celebrate those people.” The Oct. 30 event will kick off at 5 p.m. at The Studio on Linden, where Mayer, who is a jewelry designer, works. There will be a silent auction with items and packages from local retailers up for bid. Food trucks will be on hand to sell food for cyclists before the Homewood Witches Ride. The ride will start around dusk at approximately 5:30 p.m., starting from Linden Avenue. The ride route will take cyclists through Homewood’s neighborhoods and back to Linden Avenue, where there will be a toast to Ford and all those affected by cancer. The ride will last about 30 minutes. Mayer said riders can get tips on how to create the most creative witches’ costumes or how to decorate their bikes for the event on the Homewood Witches Ride Facebook page at www. facebook.com/homewoodwitchesride. “The Facebook page will also have a map of the ride’s route and information on how to register as we get closer to Oct. 30,” Mayer said. “People will be able to register online and also on the day of the event, starting at 5 p.m. We’ll also have T-shirts and car decals available.” Mayer said she was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support for the first Homewood Witches Ride last year and hopes this year’s event will be even bigger and raise money to help even more people. “This whole thing has my mother’s influence written all over it, because it’s all about having fun, living life to the fullest and helping others,” Mayer said. “I think she would be proud.” ❖


Life

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 9

unlocking a cure

Birmingham

The Key to the Cure Party will be Oct. 16. From left: Val Holman, Kimberly Crawford, Michelle McMullen, Suzanne Thorn. Photo special to the Journal

Key to the Cure Pink Party Oct. 16, 5-8 p.m. Saks Fifth Avenue Saks Fifth Avenue and the St. Vincent’s Birmingham Bruno Cancer Center will host the Key to the Cure Pink Party Oct. 16 from 5-8 p.m. The event aims to help raise awareness for women’s cancers and raise funds to help find new detection methods, treatments and cures. For more information, call 298-8550, extension 204 or email Elizabeth_Worrell@s5a.com. ❖ Birmingham

Light the Night Birmingham Walk Oct. 2, 6 p.m. Railroad Park The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will host the Light the Night Birmingham Walk at 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at Railroad Park in Birmingham. All ages are invited to participate to honor blood cancer survivors and those who have lost their lives to the disease. For more information, visit www. LLSLightTheNight.org. Homewood

Magic City Mile/The Bell Center Festival Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m. Downtown Homewood The fourth annual Magic City Mile one-mile fun run will take place Oct. 5 at 1:30 p.m. and will be followed by The Bell Center Festival. The race will begin at the top of 18th Street by LAH Realty and end at the O’ Carr’s parking lot into the post-race party. There will be rock climbing, face painting, music and pumpkin painting. For more information, call 879-3417. birmingham

Benefit Concert Oct. 5, 4:30 p.m. Avondale Brewing Company Rob Langford and The Beale Street Band will pay tribute to Elvis and raise money at a concert to benefit Down Syndrome Alabama Oct. 5 at Avondale Brewing Co. The benefit concert will begin at 4:30 p.m. A $10 donation is suggested. The event is a kickoff to sign up for the Buddy Walk, set for Oct. 19 at the Hoover Met. Shelby County

Golf Tournament Fundraiser Oct. 6, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Shoal Creek St. Vincent’s Health System will host the Golf Tournament FORE the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Vincent’s East at Shoal Creek Oct. 6. The event will run from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information on prices and sponsorships, call at 939-7825 or visit www.stvhs.com/philanthropy/. Mountain Brook

Aware Town Talk

Oct. 8, 5:30 p.m. Emmet O’Neal Library Aware Mountain Brook, a grassroots group that encourages residents to speak freely about a variety of topics, will host a Town Talk on eating disorders Oct. 8 at 5 p.m. at the Emmet O’Neal Library. The event will feature a presentation entitled “The Drive for Perfection” by Dr. Nicole Siegfried, clinical director for the Highlands Treatment for Eating Disorders in Birmingham. For more information, visit the Aware Facebook page. Birmingham

Autumn Celebration Benefit Oct. 9, 6-8 p.m. Trim Tab Brewing Co. Trinity Counseling’s Host Committee and Board will hold its second annual Autumn Celebration Benefit from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 9 at Trim Tab Brewing Co., 2721 Fifth Ave. S., Birmingham. The event will raise money to provide mental health services to the needy in the Birmingham metro area. Tickets are $50 each or $75 a pair and include food and drink tickets. There is discounted ticket pricing for ages 21-30. Tickets are available by calling Trinity at 822-2730. Hoover

Walk to Defeat ALS Oct. 11, 10 a.m. Hoover Met The Walk to Defeat ALS will take place at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium Oct. 11. This family-friendly event will have food, music, games and fun for all ages, with a walk open to the public. Registration for the walk starts at 10 a.m., and the ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. For more information, call 2137289 or e-mail bobbi@alsalabama.org.

Mammograms Can Save Lives. Breast cancer can affect any woman. Although risk factors may vary based on age, ethnicity, family history, and lifestyle, mammograms are an important part of early detection which can help save lives. During October, we are offering $99 screening mammograms. It’s just one of the many ways we help women stay healthy. Call to register for your mammogram today. Women under 40 or experiencing problems require a physician’s referral.

HEALTH SYSTEM

stvhs.com

Vestavia Hills

Fitness Workshop Oct. 15, 22 and 29 Vestavia Hills Civic Center Lisa Eaker will host a series of workshops on “Getting Out of Sedentary” beginning on Oct. 15 at Vestavia Hills Civic Center. The workshops will be held from 6-7 p.m. in the Recreation Room at the Civic Center. For more information and costs, visit www.somewherefitness.com or call 502-7219. ❖

St. Vincent’s Birmingham 939•7003 | St. Vincent’s Blount 274•3344 St. Vincent’s East 838•3134 | St. Vincent’s St. Clair 814•2124 St. Vincent’s One Nineteen 408•6450 #EarlyDetection


10 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

life

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

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Dr. Helen Krontiras, right, looks at scans with her colleagues Dr. Jennifer De Los Santos and Dr. Andres Forero. Photo special to the Journal

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The Personal Touch UAB Doctor Makes Women’s Health Her Mission

By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

Dr. Helen Krontiras doesn’t take lightly her role in helping women live through what can be the darkest times in their lives. And with the rapid advancements in breast cancer research and treatment, the co-director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Breast Health Center says she thinks a more personalized approach to women’s healthcare is more important than ever. “The goal is to do what’s best for the patients and to understand that one treatment doesn’t fit everybody,” Krontiras said. “I take what I do very personally because these women are just amazing. It gives me so much joy when everything goes well and I see them healthy again, year after year.” Krontiras, who grew up in Homewood and lives there now, is also a professor of surgery at UAB and is co-director of the Lynne Cohen Prevention Program for Women’s Cancers. When she was a very young girl, Krontiras said, she told people that she wanted to be a doctor. “I think all kids say that at one time or another, but for me, the idea stuck,” she said. Krontiras is the daughter of John and Ottavia Krontiras, who in 1993 bought Nabeel’s and expanded the Homewood specialty market by adding a thriving restaurant. She has a brother, Anthony Krontiras, and a sister, Madeline Krontiras Bader. Krontiras attended Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School and graduated from John Carroll High School. She credits her teachers at John Carroll for instilling in her a lifelong love of learning. “I had a really fantastic biology teacher in high school, and she was really encouraging and made us want to learn,” Krontiras said. “She taught us that science could be fun.” After graduating from John Carroll, Krontiras attended Birmingham-Southern College and

earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. She graduated from UAB School of Medicine in 1994 and completed her residency at UAB Hospital in 2000. Krontiras was in medical school when she visited her aunt, an operating room nurse in New Jersey, during a trip that cemented her desire to be a surgeon. “I went to work with her one day and had a chance to observe a surgery (from outside the operating room) and in the middle of it, my aunt looks over and sees that I’m eating a bagel,” she said. “She told me she knew in that moment that I would definitely be a surgeon.” Krontiras estimates she performs about 300 breast surgeries a year. She treats more than 500 new patients each year and has collaborated on research to combat the disease. Krontiras gives lectures on breast cancer throughout the Birmingham metro area and across the state to patient groups. She is a strong supporter of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and other breast cancer fundraising organizations. Krontiras said she tries to involve herself in every aspect of patient care and treatment. “These women are not just my patients–they are mothers and wives and sisters and daughters–and I have a responsibility to give them my best efforts,” she said. Krontiras said she also has a responsibility to give her patients the treatment that is right for them. “I think the biggest thing we’re seeing from the treatment side is a move toward more personalized medicine,” she said. “It’s about minimizing unnecessary treatments and finding the best plan of treatment for each patient.” Krontiras said while every breast cancer and every breast cancer patient are different, all women diagnosed with the disease will generally have surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. But there are a few things all women can do to minimize their

chances of ever having to decide on the best course of breast cancer treatment, Krontiras said. “There are a few main things that all women can do to minimize their risks,” she said. “Early detection is key. Women need to be familiar with their breasts and do regular monthly self-exams. They need to get an annual mammogram starting at age 40 and have an annual clinical breast exam.” And women need to talk to their relatives about family members’ history of breast cancer and other cancers, Krontiras said. “I think it’s important for people to ask questions about their family health history and then talk to a physician to determine if more screening is needed,” she said. While genetic risks for breast cancer have made headlines in recent years, Krontiras said she reminds women that only 10 percent of all breast cancer cases are attributed to inherited factors. “And about 90 percent is what we call sporadic,” she said. “I want to stress to women that they can go out and have genetic testing and get a negative result, but they should take it a step further and get the genetic counseling to go along with the testing so they really understand the results.” Some of the biggest reasons women are at risk for breast cancer have nothing to do with genetics, Krontiras said. “The major risks come with diet and lifestyle factors,” she said. “I find it startling that 30 percent of the cancer deaths are attributed to lifestyle factors. That means if people just ate better and exercised more, about 3,000 lives in Alabama could be saved this year.” Krontiras said she, like all women, sometimes finds it difficult to follow the sound advice to eat right and exercise. “Recently, I realized that I hadn’t been doing these things very well myself, and I struggle to take care of myself like all working moms do,” she said. “But I’ve put myself back on the list, so to speak, and have been to


life

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Women’s Health Checklist While she obviously encourages her patients to have clinical breast exams each year during their check-ups and mammograms every year beginning at age 40, Dr. Krontiras said there are many other screenings women also need to monitor their health. Here’s a women’s health checklist from Krontiras for women of all ages. Your doctor can help you develop a more specific screening plan if needed, Krontiras said.

Blood Pressure Screening Women should have their blood pressure checked every year beginning at age 20 because high blood pressure can often go undetected without frequent monitoring.

for all women, regardless of BMI.

Bone Mineral Density Women who have entered menopause need to have a bone mineral density test to screen for evidence of osteoporosis. This is especially important for women with a family history of osteoporosis.

Cholesterol Screening Regardless of their weight, women should have their cholesterol levels checked every five years beginning at age 20 and more frequently as they get older to make sure they are not at risk for heart disease, the number one killer of women over the age of 25.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 11

infection, damage to bone or nerve and tooth loss. Women should brush twice a day and floss at least once a day.

Eye Exam By age 40, women should have their eyes checked every one to two years to screen for cataracts, glaucoma and early signs of diabetes, even if they have normal vision. Pap Smear To check for early signs of cancer, all women need to have a liquid-based Pap test every one to three years. Women with risk factors for cervical cancer may need to have more frequent tests.

Body Mass Index Screening The Body Mass Index is based on a woman’s height and weight and can indicate if a woman is overweight. A BMI of 25 or above is considered overweight for women. A healthy diet and regular exercise are encouraged

Colonoscopy Women should have a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer and other problems every five to 10 years beginning at age 50. Women with risk factors or a family history of colon cancer may need more frequent tests. Dental Exam Regardless of their age, women need to have regular dental exams, as untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems such as

Skin Exam Women with a personal or family history of skin cancer and those with multiple atypical moles should be screened for skin cancer by a dermatologist. All women can lower their risk of getting skin cancer by avoiding sunburn, limiting sun exposure, avoiding tanning beds, wearing sunscreen and sunglasses and having any suspicious moles checked out by a doctor. ❖

the gym three times this week. I don’t know the secret of juggling it all, but like all women, I need to make my health a priority. If women don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of our families.” Krontiras’ family includes her husband of 11 years, Dr. Toren Anderson, a pediatrician, and their two children, 9-year-old Alina and 4-year-old Ian. The couple adopted the children from Russia when Krontiras learned

she was unable to have children. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. God always has a plan, even if we don’t see it at first,” she said. “I have the most amazing children. I treasure the time I get to spend with them, watching them grow and change.” And when she walks her daughter to school or plays with her son, Krontiras knows there’s a mother just like her who is fighting breast cancer with everything she has for a chance

to enjoy those kinds of moments with her own children. “Thinking about what my patients go through and going through it with them can be exhausting emotionally because you give a lot of yourself to do everything you can to help them get better,” she said. “But I don’t feel it’s a burden. I feel like you’re supposed to serve others. That’s what it’s all about.” ❖

Five wonderful OBs. One wonderful place to have your baby. Lewis Schulman, M.D.; Natalie Reddington, D.O.; Margaret Miklic, M.D.; Virginia Winston, M.D.; Andy Lemons, M.D. Members of the Medical Staff at Trinity Medical Center

Just like you, we want the best for you and your baby. And the OBs at Trinity OB/GYN have devoted their lives to providing attentive, individualized care. They’re supported by leading-edge technology and dedicated professionals who care for new moms and babies in our beautiful Women’s Center. We even have a Level III NICU for babies who need a little extra help. For an appointment with an experienced OB, call 205-592-5499. We have satellite offices in Chelsea, Liberty Park, Pell City, Pinson and Trussville. For directions, visit TrinityMedicalClinics.com.

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people Reformed University Fellowship as well as a member of Alpha Delta Pi, where she has served as the membership education vice president.

Seth Clark Joins Brothers as Eagle Scout

Mountain Brook native Emily Schreiber, left, interned for Sen. Richard Shelby over the summer. Photo special to the Journal

Schreiber Interns for Shelby in Washington A Mountain Brook native recently completed an internship in the nation’s capital. Emily Schreiber, the daughter of Allen and Stella Schreiber of Mountain Brook, was an intern in Sen. Richard Shelby’s Washington, D.C. office over the summer. While in Washington, Schreiber completed legislative research, conducted tours of the U.S. Capitol building and attended hearings on important issues. She is a senior at Furman University, where she is studying political science and history. Schreiber is the founder of the Laps for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and a co-founder of Dream a Little Dream. She is also a group leader for

While less than 4 percent of all Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts, one Hoover family now has five sons who have earned the achievement. A Court of Honor ceremony was held for Seth Clark, a Bluff Park native, Sept. 28 at Bluff Park United Methodist Church. He joins his older brothers Richard, Trevor, Paul and John in earning the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Seth Clark “To obtain Eagle is not an easy task for anybody, but to see these boys overcome the challenges they face and how Eagle Scout training has helped, I’m very proud,” said Rev. Dick Clark, father of the five. Richard, 33, is an attorney for a nonprofit in Nebraska. Trevor, 29, is an herbalist and published author conducting breast cancer research in Washington. Paul, 24, is a filmmaker in Texas. John, 19, and Seth, 18, are college students living in Auburn. Four of the five Scouts earned the Eagle rank with Troop 21 in Bluff Park.

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Richard Clark earned his Eagle Scout rank in Slidell, La. Jeff Brasher, director of support service for the Greater Alabama Council, said it is extremely rare to have so many siblings in one family earn the Eagle Scout rank. “While it isn’t uncommon for two or three brothers to earn their Eagle, it is almost unheard of to have four or more sons in the same family to do this,” Brasher said.

Keller Earns Eagle Scout Rank with Troop 320 A member of Boy Scout Troop 320 recently earned the highest rank in Boy Scouts. George Ernest Keller IV of Mountain Brook earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a member of Troop 320 at Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church. Keller earned 23 merit badges in the process of earning his Eagle award, served as patrol leader and scribe, and was inducted into George Keller IV the Order of the Arrow. For his Eagle project, Keller designed and built benches for the pool house at the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, a ministry of Independent Presbyterian Church. He is active in the youth group at Independent Presbyterian Church,

where he serves as youth elder, plays in the band for Sunday afternoon worship and tutors children through STAIR, Start the Adventure in Reading. He is the son of Cindy and George Keller and the grandson of Dr. and Mrs. George Keller of South Charleston, West Va., Mrs. Betty Welden of Birmingham and Mr. and Mrs. Billy Trotter of Dothan. In addition to receiving his Eagle rank this summer, Keller attended the Alabama Governor’s School and Auburn University’s Architecture Camp.

Nelson Honored by International Fraternity A Vestavia Hills resident has been honored by an international fraternity. Johnathan F. Nelson, a graduate of the University of Montevallo, was inducted into the Pi Kappa Alpha Order of West Range at the Johnathan Nelson organization’s 2014 international convention. Nelson is an alumnus of UM’s Theta Beta chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha. The Order of West Range was established in 1986 to recognize the fraternity’s most outstanding alumni for achievement in their careers, service to society and/or service to Pi Kappa Alpha. Alumni representing government, business, entertainment, sports and

many other fields have been selected for induction into the organization. Nelson has worked 21 of his 22 career seasons in professional baseball with the Birmingham Barons. He worked for the Detroit Tigers in 1997. He has been general manager of the Barons since 2005 and won the Southern League’s Jimmy Bragan Executive of the Year Award in 2009 and 2013.  Nelson received the Nathalie Molton Gibbons Young Achiever’s Award from the University of Montevallo in 2007.  He also serves on the Southern League’s board of directors and is the president of the board for the Autism Society of Alabama.

Hoover Belles Applications Are Online The search for the newest Hoover Belles is going online only this year. Young women interested in representing the city of Hoover as Hoover Belles can apply for membership online from Oct. 13-Nov. 14. Hoover Belles must be of exemplary character, have pleasant personalities, be continuously enrolled in school and maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5. They serve two-year terms spanning their junior and senior high school years and must perform a minimum of 30 community service hours during their terms. High school sophomore girls who are residents of Hoover can complete applications for the service organization at www.hooveral.org.

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Startling Revelations

Attorney Publishes First of Three Apocalyptic Adventure Books By Keysha Drexel

Medallion wanted to publish it,” he said. Medallion Press offered Duncan a three-book deal. He just turned in the second book and is working on the third in what is being called the Revelation Saga. When he’s not working as an

W

Journal editor

hen Stephen Duncan learned his first book was going to be published by Medallion Press as part of a three-book deal, the 38-yearold said he was euphoric. But the Crestline Park resident who is also an attorney working with the Southern Research Institute said that feeling pales in comparison to what he considers the truest sign of his success as a new author. “My 2 1/2-year-old son, Liam, recently walked into Barnes & Noble and found my book,” he said. “Nothing could have beat that moment.” In August, Medallion Press released Duncan’s first book, “The Revelation of Gabriel Adam,” as part of a three-book deal. The second book in the series will come out in August of next year, and the author who writes as S.L. Duncan said he’s hard at work on the third and final book in the Revelation Saga. Duncan, who graduated from Mountain Brook High School in 1994, describes “The Revelation of Gabriel Adam” as an apocalyptic adventure that delves deep into biblical lore without being dogmatically religious. “It’s based on apocalyptic tales I found in non-canonical texts, specifically the Nag Hammadi Library and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” he said. “I’m not a really religious guy, but I’m an armchair historian and just fascinated with this subject.” Some of the stories in the ancient texts were “more fantastical than others,” Duncan said, “specifically, the books that were apocalyptic in nature.” That led Duncan to believe that some of the stories were written for entertainment purposes. His research into the ancient texts planted an idea in Duncan’s mind, he said. “I wondered if the events in those texts were cyclical and destined to repeat themselves, and I wondered how that would play out in the modern world,” Duncan said. But it would be a few more years before that idea was turned into a book. After graduating from Mountain Brook High School, Duncan attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study film and broadcasting. But Duncan’s pursuit of a career as a storyteller took a detour when he received a bit of advice from one of his film professors at UAB, Jean Bodon. “I was doing directorial work and I was okay with that, but when I told him I wanted to be a storyteller by being a producer, he told me that I might as well go and be a lawyer because all producers have law degrees,” Duncan said. “In my naiveté, I took everything the man said to heart, and if he had said that

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people

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Stephen Duncan of Crestline Park recently had his first book published by Medallion Press. Duncan is also an attorney working with the Southern Research Institute in Birmingham. Photo special to the Journal

to be a producer I had to go and jump off a building, I probably would have done that.” Duncan took the Law School Admissions Test, scored well and went about pursuing a career in law. But while he was a student at Cumberland School of Law, the endless hours of poring over legal texts left him yearning for a creative outlet, Duncan said. “I had this creative energy that was being suppressed and fighting for escape,” he said. It was during his third year of law school that all the pieces came together for Duncan and he knew he had to pursue his dream of being a storyteller, he said. Duncan traveled to Durham, England, to study law. As he soaked in the sights of the town’s well-known Norman cathedral and 11th-century castle, inspiration struck. “Everything about being there was inspiring, even the weather, which wasn’t as bad as I was expecting,” he said. “Durham Cathedral was the inspiration for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books. There’s an energy in Durham that seeps into your pores and drives you to write about it.” While he was in Durham, Duncan’s thoughts turned back to his research into apocalyptic tales and how they might look in today’s world. “I think that inspiration–whatever it was–manifested in the settings,” he said. “I hoped if I could manage to make the places and people in the story feel like real places and real people, then what was fantastical about the story might require less of a suspension of disbelief.” When he returned home from England, Duncan started writing. Within a couple of months, he had a draft of “The Revelation of Gabriel Adam.” Duncan sent out letters and sample pages to literary agents and signed with an agent in New York. “Nobody realized how slow things work in the publishing world. I had been sitting on this book for two years before my agent told me that

attorney or writing, Duncan said he tries to spend as much time as he can with his wife, Kate, and their young son. He also plays soccer with a team from Urban Standard on Saturdays and said he tries to keep himself out of local bookstores as much as possible, lest he be tempted to buy another copy of his book. “I wanted to be able to walk into a bookstore and buy my own book, which I totally did at Barnes & Noble. The experience was a bit mixed,

though,” he said. “On one level, I was thrilled. I felt part of something bigger than me. Like, I was in the stream of commerce now–people could buy something I made. But it’s also kind of a jerk thing to do, right? Walking up to a counter and buying your own book? I would have died from embarrassment had the bookseller made the connection. Absolutely died.” “The Revelation of Gabriel Adam” is also available for purchase at Little Professor Book Center in Homewood and online. ❖


News

14 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

By Donna Cornelius

Journal features writer

An unexpected birthday present led Margi Ingram into a career she’d never even thought about. Ingram’s name is a familiar one in the Birmingham area real estate market. Her company, Ingram and Associates, is one of the largest new home marketing and sales companies in Alabama. She started Ingram and Associates in 1977 and hasn’t slowed down since. These days, she divides her time between Birmingham, Fairhope and Opelika. A new project, the Manning Condominiums in Mountain Brook, also demands her attention and time. But Ingram didn’t start her professional life selling houses. She was a teacher. “I taught at Wenonah High School for eight years,” the Mountain Brook resident said. “I taught history and German, and it was a great experience.” Ingram’s father was a Mercedes dealer, she said, and that association frequently brought German-speaking guests into their home. “That led to my interest in teaching German,” she said. The family moved from Montgomery to Birmingham in 1964. Ingram was working at Wenonah when her dad came up with a surprise gift. “My father called me one day and said he had a birthday present for me,” Ingram said. “That was highly unusual, because my mother was always the one who bought our birthday gifts.” The present itself was also out of the ordinary. “My father was very nervous when I got home and asked me why I was so late. Then he said, ‘I’ve bought you a real estate course,’” she said. Ingram wasn’t immediately on board with the idea. “I thought, ‘I don’t want to do that,’” she said. “But my father saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. He thought I’d be good at sales.” Despite her father’s confidence, Ingram hedged her bets before jumping into a new career. “I got my real estate license in 1972, but I didn’t stop teaching until 1978,” she said. Teaching wasn’t Ingram’s first job. When she was 11, she said, she worked in Montgomery at H.L. Green, a five and dime store. A special work permit allowed her to work on Friday afternoons and on Saturdays, she said. “I wanted to work because we had a lot of children in our family, and things were pretty tight. I made 50 cents an hour, which seemed like a lot of money at the time. And I’ve always loved to work,” she said. When Ingram left teaching, it took her a few years to find the best way to be successful in her new career, she said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do in real estate. I was floundering a little, selling land,” she said. Then, she said, an encounter with investors from Newport Beach, Calif.,

u mountain brook

‘I’ve Always Loved to Work’ There’s No Slowing Down for Realtor Margi Ingram

narrowed her focus. “They had bought two apartment buildings here, one in Homewood and the other on Southside, and wanted to reposition the properties, to convert them to condos,” Ingram said. “They needed someone to help them sell the condos.” That’s when Ingram had her first experience with onsite sales, which she said are “very much like retail sales.” That venture “threw us into the

market as specialists in repositioning properties,” she said. “We sold 150 condos from June to August of 1981, which resulted in other assignments.” Ingram still wanted to enlarge her company’s services. “I knew that to extend our brand, we had to get into single-family homes,” she said. Her company’s first single-family home community was off Valley Avenue, she said. Ingram said she likes working with

Margi Ingram’s New Venture: The Manning Patience pays off, Margi Ingram said, even in the often fast-paced real estate market. Her latest project, the Manning Condominiums, is a good example. The Manning is the result of a venture she and her brother, Ray Ingram, started some time ago. “The Manning will be built on parcels of property that my brother and I were buying over the last 20 years or so,” Ingram said. “The property is across from the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and behind it is the Birmingham Zoo. You can walk to English Village and Mountain Brook Village.” The Manning will be a two-story building with seven condos on each floor, she said, and prices will range from the $700,000s to a little over $1 million. Units will be 1,750 square feet to 2,850 square feet. “We’ve been taking reservations and now have 10 out of the 14 units reserved,” she said, adding that she expected to start writing contracts by the end of last month. She said the target date for the

project’s completion is late 2015. Ingram said she and her brother bought houses on the property with the intent of tearing them down so the Manning can be built. The first houses they bought cost about $80,000, she said. “The last few are more in the halfmillion dollar range,” she said. Ingram said some prospective buyers have other residences but want a connection to Mountain Brook. “Some have farms or other homes,” she said. BL Harbert International is the builder for the project, and Ron Durham of Durham and Associates is managing the development, Ingram said. The Lane Parke multifamily, retail and hotel development will bring additional energy to Mountain Brook Village, she said. “I think you’ll see even more activity once it’s complete,” Ingram said. For more information on the Manning Condominiums, visit www. ingramnewhomes.com. ❖

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

new home developments. “You can select your architectural style and even your neighbors,” she said. “You’re selling a community and a lifestyle.” Ingram and Associates grew, at one time employing about 100 agents, Ingram said. In 2003, she partnered with Birmingham-based Daniel Corp. to form a new company. She was looking for new ways to expand Ingram and Associates, she said, when Charlie Tickle, Daniel Corp.’s chairman and chief executive officer, approached her about merging with his company. “I’d worked with Daniel off and on in Greystone and other places, and we’d had an association for many years,” Ingram said. “We formed Daniel Homes. It was a perfect match.” She works closely under John Gunderson, president of Daniel Corp.’s Communities division, she said. Ingram said the heart of her business has always been “the achievements of the people who work with me.” “I try to hire people who are more strong-willed than I am,” she said, smiling. “And over the years we’ve probably worked with the best builders and developers in the city. We’ve also had great relationships with other Realtors. Everyone who has touched this company has made a contribution to it.” Ingram continues to stay busy, traveling to properties like the Colony at The Grand in Fairhope and National Village in Opelika. “Every other week, I go to Fairhope for two days, and then I spend one day in Opelika,” she said. Closer to home, she’s working with the new owners of Carrington Lakes in Trussville. “There are 400 lots on the ground now and 300 we can develop,” she said. “That neighborhood has every amenity—lakes, tennis, a pool and an amphitheater.” Ingram said her way of running her company may be a little unusual. “This is not a very popular philosophy today, but I’ve always tried to run my business with my heart and not just my head,” she said. In her spare time, Ingram likes to golf, she said. “I haven’t been playing that long. It’s a real mind-teaser,” she said. She finds time for reading, too. “I like fiction and nonfiction, and I love mysteries,” she said. She’s also a member of Cathedral Church of the Advent and enjoys attending the church’s 7:30 a.m. services, she said. Her job still demands much of her time. It’s a career she said she loves, even though it’s not the one she originally chose––until her father stepped in. “I hated to leave teaching because it was something I loved so much. I liked making a difference in people’s lives. But I feel like I’ve done that in real estate,” she said. ❖

u Hoover

Council Discusses Sales Tax Referendum By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

Hoover city officials said they are open to a referendum on a 1 cent sales tax increase for city schools. The issue came up at a recent Hoover City Council meeting. “I would think any sales tax increase would have to be approved by the citizens of Hoover,” said Council President Jack Wright. “We would consider supporting a referendum on it.” The Council has the authority to raise the city’s sales taxes without a referendum and without legislative approval. A few Hoover residents have raised the possibility of a 1 cent sales tax increase to support the financiallystrapped Hoover city school system. Dan Fulton, a Bluff Park resident and retired school teacher, asked the council to consider adding a cent to the city’s sales tax specifically for schools. Fulton said the school system desperately needs additional funds.  “To achieve and maintain the highest quality of schools in Hoover, an additional and significant revenue stream for the schools is needed and required,” Fulton said. “I propose and recommend that the city’s general sales tax…be adjusted by the city council of Hoover to the level that is most common to cities in Jefferson County, Alabama. And that is 4 percent.”  Hoover currently has a 3-cents sales tax, which is less than other Jefferson County cities such as Birmingham, Bessemer, Helena, Pelham and Trussville that have 4 cents sales taxes. An additional 1 cent would generate about $20 million for city schools, Wright said.  He noted that the school system’s deficit is about $7 million and wondered how school officials would use the other $13 million.  “I would think most people who would vote for a tax would like to know where the money was going,” Wright said. Mayor Gary Ivey said he would support whatever direction residents and school officials chose to go with a sales tax referendum but added he feels the city is overtaxed already. Wayne Walton, another Hoover resident, spoke against a sales tax increase for schools.  “We citizens are overtaxed now,” he said. “School boards and government entities, when they have a little problem, the first thing they want to do is solve it with taxes. They need to think about management.” ❖


u vestavia hills

National Night Out Is Oct. 7 By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

The city of Vestavia Hills is hosting its fourth annual National Night Out event next week. The Vestavia Hills police and fire departments are teaming up with the Help the Hills organization and inviting residents out to Shades Mountain Baptist Church on Oct. 7 for an evening of community networking, food and family-friendly activities. Now in its 31st year nationwide, the National Night Out event is aimed at providing residents with a chance to meet the first responders who serve in their communities. “The police officers and the firefighters are able to meet people in the community so folks will see that they are good people with good intentions,” City Councilman Steve Ammons said. “It gives citizens a chance to see all that is being done to protect them.” Many cities hold their National Night Out events in August, but Ammons said Vestavia Hills has for the last few years opted to hold the event after the weather cools down a bit. “The first year we did it, it was in August and it was 98 degrees with 98 percent humidity,” Ammons said. “But we still had a good turnout– about 300 people showed up that first year.” Last year’s event in October attracted about 1,200 people, Ammons said. “The fall has proven to be a better

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

vention, enforcement and support.” At the National Night Out event, the Vestavia Hills Police Department will also give residents a chance to turn in their unwanted prescription drugs. The city already collects unused and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at a drop-box at City Hall, Ammons said. “The Vestavia Hills Sunrise Rotary Club just got a grant through Rotary International, and we’re going to buy two more unwanted prescription drug drop-boxes with that,” Ammons said. “And with the help of the generous sponsors of National Night Out, we’re going to buy two more, and we’re

giving one to Hoover and one to Mountain Brook.” The city also each year partners with the Drug Enforcement Administration for National Prescription Drug Take-back Day. This year’s National Night Out event will kick off with the landing of the Children’s of Alabama CAREFlight Helicopter, Ammons said. “We’ll also have the hot air balloon out there again this year, and there will be inflatable bounce houses and obstacle courses for the kids, and students from the Samford (University) School of Pharmacy will be there to answer questions about

medications,” Ammons said. There will be a dedication wall at the event where people can post hopeful thoughts for those fighting drug addiction or a remembrance for someone who lost their lives to drugs, Ammons said. The event will include food from Moe’s Original BBQ, Mudtown and The Ridge along with hotdogs prepared by members of the Vestavia Hills Sunrise Rotary Club and cool treats from Bruster’s Real Ice Cream. The All for One National Night Out celebration kicks off at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Shades Mountain Baptist Church, 2017 Columbiana Road. ❖

Lt. Don Williamson of the Vestavia Hills Fire Department and Hero the dog will be on hand for the National Night Out event on Oct. 7. Photo special to the Journal

time to get more people to come out,” he said. Ammons said the theme of this year’s event, All for One, reflects the Vestavia Hills community’s approach to fighting a growing drug problem among teens and young adults. “We live in a community that is not normally seen as the kind of place that would have a drug problem,” Ammons said. “But we all know there’s a problem, and it’s something that we all have to work together to solve.” To that end, Ammons said, this year’s National Night Out will also focus on “a three-pronged approach to the drug problem that involves pre-

u homewood

City Budget Includes Employee Bonuses By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

POWER TO

John Regal

OUR RESPONSIBILITY © 2014 Alabama Power Company

The Homewood City Council recently passed a $55 million 20142015 fiscal budget that includes bonuses for city employees. The bonus totals about $350,000 and was from a surplus realized in the 2013-2014 budget that city officials rolled into this year’s budget. The city’s budget runs from Oct. 1-Sept. 30 of each year. “I believe in profit-sharing,” Mayor Scott McBrayer said. “When our city has a surplus, I like to thank our employees by giving back. They do work hard year to year. It’s an incentive for them to help us all year long to do well and not spend money on things we don’t need and not waste money.” Full-time city employees will be given a one-time bonus from between $300 and $2,000 depending on years of service. The city has about 360 full-time employees. Employees with one to three years of service will receive $350; four to six years of service will receive $500; seven to nine years, $750; 10-15 years, $1,000;

16-19 years, $1,500; and 20 or more years of service, $2,000. McBrayer couldn’t say how much surplus from last year’s budget the city realized because the city hasn’t gotten total figures from September. But he said it’s the sixth year the city has had a surplus at the end of the budget year. The $55 million budget anticipates about $52.3 million in revenue with the difference being made up from the previous year’s budget. The budget also includes $215,300 for merit raises. The new budget also includes $3 million for capital improvements. The city plans to buy two new garbage trucks and 15 new vehicles for the police department to supplement 15 vehicles it purchased in last year’s budget, McBrayer said. The 2014-2015 includes $600,000 to pave roads and $365,000 for sidewalk improvements.  The city also allocated $1.1 million for the expansion of the greenway along Lakeshore Parkway and $450,000 for the West Oxmoor improvement project. To read more about the budget, visit www.homewoodal.net. ❖

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16 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

social

From left: Jesse Vogtle, Nici Morrison, Scott McBrayer, Laura Vogtle, Terry Oden and Alann Johnson.

Photos special to the Journal

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Kendall King, Greg King, Bill Foster, Anna James and Don James.

Valerie Abbott, Martha Epsy, Paul DeMarco and Jacqueline DeMarco.

Bill Rodrigues, Marcie Rodrigues, Gaynell Hendricks and Elias Hendricks.

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Exotic Evening

he Birmingham Zoo hosted its largest fundraising event of the year, ZooGala 2014, Sept. 13 at its Trails of Africa exhibit. The event was sponsored by IberiaBank, a partner of the Birmingham Zoo for 10 years. All funds raised at ZooGala directly benefit the zoo’s operational efforts and help the zoo continue its mission of “Inspiring Passion for the Natural World.” More than 400 guests arrived at the Moroccan-themed event, which featured a Moroccan souk with belly dancers and elaborate displays of colorful tents and lanterns as the 14 Karat Gold Dance Band provided music. Honorary chairmen were Don and Anna James. To kick off the evening, guests were greeted by zoo animals, including a crowned pigeon, fennec fox, an American alligator and a barn owl. ZooGala also featured a jewelry showcase from Empire Diamond Corp. Guests mingled and enjoyed drinks throughout the event area and then visited the Moroccan market stations for dinner by Kathy G and Company. The menu included Moroccan inspired dishes such as Tandoori-style chicken breasts over grilled rosemary bruschetta with fava bean pesto and micro greens, grilled fresh Gulf prawn kebabs with red coconut curry, and lamb, Vidalia onions, dried dates and golden raisins. Guests enjoyed drinks, dancing and dessert at the Boogie with the Beasts after party presented by the Birmingham Zoo Junior Board. Organizers said this year’s silent auction was a huge success and included packages, parties, getaways and more. Guests were able to bid on Frank Fleming bronze sculptures, the “Ultimate” Family Zoo Membership, trips to South Carolina and Saint Lucia, private zoo events, a necklace from Empire Diamond Corp. and other items. Those spotted at the event included Greg and Kendall King, Jesse and Laura Vogtle, Dr. Bill Foster and Jean Cecil,

Birmingham City Councilor Valerie Abbott, Martha Espy, Birmingham City Council President Johnathan Austin, Laura Kate Lindsey, Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer and Nici Morrison, Rep. Paul DeMarco and Dr. Jacqueline DeMarco, Birmingham City Councilor Steven Hoyt and Daphne Hoyt, Birmingham City Councilor Kim Rafferty and Brad Hobbs, Rep. Alann Johnson, Mountain Brook Mayor Terry Oden, Birmingham City Councilor and President Pro Tempore Jay Roberson and Niva Roberson, Guy and Colin Mitchell and Ron and Valerie Ramsbacher. Also attending were Bill and Marcie Rodrigues, Dr. Cotton Shallcross and Melinda Shallcross, Bryson and Courtney Stephens, Tom and Sarah Warburton, Robert and Kelly Aland, Bryan and Rachel Coleman, Bobby and Leigh Collier, Jack and Ensley Darnall, David and Robin Davis, Austin and Amanda Davis, Pete and Erin Donohoo, Glenn and Nancy Goedecke, Brandon Garner and Amanda Hawkins, Elias and Gaynell Hendricks, Julie Herring, Matt and Caroline Hottle, Stephen and Cissy Jackson, Randy and Lauri Jordan, David Loper and Tom Barnett, Wally Nall III, Jim and Murray Priester and Drs. Mike and Amy Albert. Others enjoying the night at the zoo were Andrew and Angela Anderson, John Holmes and Paula Beck, Walt and Ruth Berry, Samuel and Kathleen Bowen II, Jeffrey and Jennifer Brewer, Stratton and Heather Brock, Hank and Cindy Brown, Robert and Helena Buchalter, Tommy and Pam Burleson, William and Kelley Caine, Phil and Karen Carroll, Dr. Lee Carter and Carolyn Carter, Ed and Lynn Cassady, John and Bronwyn Chapman, Chris and Donna Christie, George and Laura Clarke, Trey and Collins Clegg, Gisel Cooper, John and Kate Cotton, Jimmy and Julie Crocker, Phil and Amy Croft, William and Alison Crotwell, Marcel and Jennifer DeBruge, Preston and Lori Dixon, David Donaldson, Robert and Arianne Fowler, Chris and Sue Gargala, Stephen

This Year’s ZooGala Has Moroccan Theme and Caroline Gidiere, David and Anna Goode, Trippe and Jennifer Gray, Ryan and Leah Harry, Drs. Corey and Erika Hartman and Tom Hill. Other ZooGala 2014 guests included Dan and Ashley Hugunine, Clarence and Laura James, Pam Kilgore, Gary Burley and Bobbie Knight, John and Lindsey Lacey, Dr. Jim Lasker and Katie Lasker, Dr. Kevin Lauer and Brooke Lauer, Warren and Valerie Lightfoot, Will and Lizy Matthews, John and Sara McDonald, Leah McDonnell, Lesley McRae, Joe and Camille Medori, Michael and Amy Mills, Toby Voght and Samantha Nicolle, Mac Moorer and Kristie Nix, Delane and Kara Myers, Page and Jessica Naftel, Craft O’Neal and Lisa Oliver, Phil and Leslie Passifiume, Rev. Andrew Pearson and Lauren Pearson and Scott Price. Also spotted at the event were Mark and Catherine Pugh, Alan and Karen Register, Jim and Sheila Richardson, Andrew and Atisthan Roach, Charlie Burke and Betsy Rogers, John and Kelli Rucker, Joe and Jenny Saling, Dr. Wes Samford and Joy Samford, Steve and Barbie Sanak, Charlie and Whitney Saunders, Gina Savage, John and Amber Scanlan, Steve and Linda Sewell, Dr. Robert Slaughter and Tracy Slaughter, Lee and Natalie Smith, Perry and Lori Smith, Jodie and Dorothy Smith, Henley and Krislin Smith, Tony and Jacqueline Smoke, Stephen and Lucy Spann, Paul and Lacy Sparks, Jeff and Sumner Starling, George and Brittany Stegall, Barbara Stone, Mark and Betsy Stuermann, Josh and Susan Terrell, John and Clair Thomas, Mark and Ashlee Todd, John and Mary Turner, Rebecca Valverde, Al and Tish Vance, Foster and Linda Ware, Willis and Meredith Watkins, Donald and Chay Watkins, Terry and Jennifer Watson, Carl and Jennifer West, Lawrence and Callie Whatley, Phil Hill and DeeDee White, Penny and Sarah Whiteside, Mark and Tina Wilcoxen, Dr. Kevin Windsor and LynnAnn Windsor and Tom and Caroline Yeilding. ❖


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OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

A Toast to Life

Holocaust Center Honors Jeffrey Bayer The founder, president and chief executive officer of Bayer Properties was honored recently by the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. Jeffrey Bayer was honored at the center’s fourth annual L’Chaim fundraising event Aug. 24 at Temple Emanu-El. “L’Chaim means ‘to life’ in Hebrew, and it’s often used as a toast and at times of celebration,” said Deborah Layman, producer of the event and vice president of development at the center. “The event (was) a mix of entertainment, education and acknowledgement of the contribution of a member of the community.” Layman, who also served as the emcee, said about 500 people attended L’Chaim this year. The theme for this year’s event was “the prelude and the postlude to the Holocaust,” Layman said. “When I talked with Jeffrey in preparation for this program, I learned that his favorite music is jazz and that his favorite jazz musician is Eric Essix. Then I learned from Ann Mollengarden, our vice president of education, that jazz was the target of Nazi propaganda in the ’30s. It was

From left: Phyllis Weinstein, Jeffrey Bayer and Cathy Friedman. Photo special to the Journal

considered ‘degenerate’ music. Why? Well, it was American, black and Jewish,” Layman said. The Eric Essix Trio, consisting of Essix, Kelvin Wooten and James Spraggins, performed George Gershwin’s “Summertime” followed by a talk, “The Sad Aftermath,” by Lisa Byrd of Mortimer Jordan High School. Cantor Jessica Roskin performed “We Long for Home” in English and Yiddish with Paul Mosteller on the piano followed by a contemporary jazz medley from the Eric Essix Trio. Seasoned Performers members Martha Haarbauer, Ward Haarbauer, Dallas Nolen, Bob Penny and Hayley Procacci along with students from the Hoover High School Theatre Department staged

“The Slippery Slope,” a reading for five voices written by Layman. A performance by the Birmingham Community Mass Choir, directed by the Rev. Prince Yelder, was followed by remarks from L’Chaim co-chairmen Cathy Friedman and Edgar Marx Jr. Phyllis Weinstein, president of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, made a presentation to Bayer for his dedication to helping the mission of the center. A dessert reception followed in Abroms Hall. ❖

more photos at

OTMJ.COM

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18 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rehab Reality by Jeff (Bonzo)

social

Books, Bingo, Brews Friends of Vestavia Library Host Annual Fundraiser

Since starting Bayshore

Retreat over 3 years ago there are a lot of things that have proven true from my previous experience in working at other rehabs and dealing with addiction personally. It’s sometimes by chance and sometimes by choice that one becomes addicted to a particular substance. Of the over 200 clients that have been to Bayshore Retreat the one thing constant is that each has received the individual attention needed to help him or her deal with his or her own addiction. Chance or choice? Chance by medication prescribed for a particular pain or problem. Choice with whether they need the acceptance of others to “fit in”. Addiction isn’t selective, it can, and does happen to anyone. Circumstances usually dictate the reasons and finding those answers through our health and wellness program combined with master level counseling is the answer. With only six (6) clients at a time we are able to do this. The “big box” facilities with a cookie cutter program doesn’t. Before we place shame, guilt and fear... realize one thing. Sometimes it’s chance, sometimes choice, but know that no one really chooses addiction, it chooses them. Real help is a phone call away.

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Emcee Rick Journey and Bernard Tamburello of Bernie’s on Main and Vecchia Birmingham.Photo special to the Journal

Top Chefs

Culinary Event Benefits March of Dimes Top chefs showcased their culinary masterpieces at the Signature Chefs Auction fundraiser Sept. 11 at Iron City Birmingham. The event to benefit the March of Dimes featured 17 chefs and raised $137,000, organizers said. Chefs participating in the event included Phichaya more photos at Arimahong, Asian Rim Sushi Co.; Ashley McMakin, Ashley Mac’s; Matthew Lagace, Bellinis Ristorante and Bar; Benard Tamburello, Bernie’s on Main and Vecchia Birmingham; James Lewis, Bettola and Vittoria; Alex Castro, Cantina!; Oliver Robinson, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar; Giani Respinto, GianMarco’s; William Rodgers, Iron City Birmingham; George Reis, Ocean and 26; Patrick Horn, Satterfield’s; Monty Todd, Spoon & Ladle Soup Co.; and Jamie Pruitt, Todd English P.U.B. The event included wine sampling, entertainment and one-of-a-kind packages, organizers said, including fine dining opportunities, hotel and resort stays, weekend getaways, jewelry and more. Rick Journey was the emcee for the event.  Liz Pharo was the chairman of the 2014 event, and Tricia Wallwork was co-chairman. ❖

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The Friends of Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest hosted the annual Booklovers, Bingo & Brews fundraiser Aug. 22. The event was held from 7-8:30 p.m. at the library. Organizers said the fundraiser has become one of the most popular events for the Friends of the Library group, offering guests a chance to

hang out with friends, more photos at enjoy beer and wine tastings, play games and win prizes--and all for a good cause. The Booklovers, Bingo & Brews event will benefit the library.

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Clockwise from top left: From left: Carolyn Baumgartner and Bug Scott Greer. Terri Leslie and Olivia Wells. Courtney Jacobs. Jason Gardner. Photos special to the Journal

Those attending included Bill Paceley, Cheryl Paceley, Bug Greer, Lauren Daniel, Carol Lawson, Carolyn Bumgartner, Chandler Smith, Jane Smith, Cindy Bartlett, Jimmy Bartlett, Laura Atkins, Courtney Jacobs, Jason Gardner, Katie Cain, Michelle Carter, Terri Leslie, Mindy Bodenhamer, Dick Bodenhamer, Treva Lester and Olivia Wells. Vestavia Hills Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza was also on hand to support the library fundraiser. ❖


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new Selection

in the former curtAin exchAnge locAtion next door The new board members of the Ballet Women’s Committee met recently to make plans for the annual Fall Extravaganza Oct. 23. Photo special to the Journal

Three-in-one Fundraiser Ballet Committee Plans Fall Extravaganza

Members of the Ballet Women’s Committee recently met at the Historic Cahaba Pump Station Museum for their first meeting of the fall season. The group made plans for its annual Fall Extravaganza, an auction, shop and luncheon that benefits the Alabama Ballet. This year’s Fall Extravaganza will

Alpha Xi Delta Kickoff

Mitchell’s Place Director Speaks to Group Members of the Greater Birmingham Alumnae chapter of Alpha Xi Delta sorority recently gathered in Hoover for the opening meeting of the new club year. The event was held in September in the Theatre Conference Room of

the Hoover Public Library. Regan Grimm, the group’s new president, presided. Philanthropy chairman LuAnn Wall introduced Sandy Naramore, executive director of Mitchell’s Place, which offers programs and support

be Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. at a private club in Vestavia Hills. This year’s Ballet Women’s Committee board of directors includes Melissa Lassiter, president; Patti Pierce, vice president; Susie Helton, secretary; Beth Sasser, treasurer; Marian McCord, assistant treasurer; Nancy Kennedy, adviser; and Liz Guest, Poinsettia Ball president. ❖ services to children with autism spectrum disorders. Naramore gave members of the sorority an overview of the program and presented information on autism. Autism awareness has long been a service project of Alpha Xi Delta National Fraternity. Chapter members have purchased gifts from the “wish list” at Mitchell’s Place for several years. ❖

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20 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Surprise Visit from ‘Sir Charles’

more photos at

Barkley Attends Autism Society Fundraiser

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Dr. Bama Hager, ASA’s program director, with suprise guest, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. Right: Jonathan Nelson, Paul and Pam Bankston and Melanie Jones. Photos special to the Journal

A former Auburn University player and NBA great made a surprise appearance at a fundraiser hosted recently by the Autism Society of Alabama. Charles Barkley attended the 17th annual Autism Shines Gala, formerly known as the FROG Affair, at Ross Bridge Resort in Hoover Aug. 23. Barkley posed for photos with several of the more than 350 guests at the gala. Barkley wasn’t the only celebrity at the event. WJOX Roundtable personalities Lance Taylor, Jim Dunaway and Ryan Brown served as the gala’s emcees and called the auction, which featured prizes ranging from a deep sea fishing trip to a Disney package. A new feature of the event gave guests a chance to roll the dice to win a Mercedes C300 from Donohoo Auto. Donohoo Auto also donated $10 to the Autism Society of Alabama for every vehicle it sold leading up to the event as a way to bring awareness to autism and support the organization’s programs. More than 500 vehicles were sold during the initiative. The gala also included a seated dinner, music by a Box of Soul and a silent auction that included antiques, jewelry and sports memorabilia. Backstage Florist and Design staged the event with large multicolored puzzle piece arrangements for the tables accented with red table toppers and chair sashes. Puzzle pieces are associated with autism because of the complexity and mystery of the disorder, which now affects 1 in 68 people. A video paired with Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” was shown after dinner to honor individuals on the autism spectrum who work hard on therapies, interventions and social skills. Two individuals were honored with the President’s Award from ASA

president Jonathan Nelson. Peggy Stevens of Huntsville and the late David Bankston of Birmingham were honored for their outstanding service to the organization. Dr. Bama Hager, ASA’s program director, spoke to the audience about the Safety Net Campaign and ASA’s partnership with Project Lifesaver. She paid tribute to 4-year-old Holden Cottingham, who lost his life in a drowning accident. ASA is working with Project Lifesaver so that location bracelets are available to spectrum individuals who are prone to wander. Currently, the bracelets are offered in 55 of Alabama’s counties and are free to families with a spectrum child who may wander from safety. Members of the fundraising committee who oversaw the event with Nelson included Jenny Morris, chairman; Lauren Reid, fundraising manager; Rod Harbin; Nancy Barnes; Christy Boyles; Ben Carlisle; Fran Heisner; Matt Moore; and Donna Broome. “This event had the largest attendance of previous galas, and we are thrilled to have so many supporting our cause,” Reid said. Funds raised at the event will go directly to support the mission and

projects of the ASA. Some of ASA’s past and present initiatives include camps and conferences for families and network groups and an autism awareness car tag, available now at local DMVs. “The increase of supporters at this event indicates just how much the community is embracing autism. We couldn’t be happier for the great turnout,” Melanie Jones, executive director, said. Those attending included Pete and Erin Donohoo, John and Tina Brasher, Todd Tomerlin, Gretchen Travis, Blake Cooley, Roger Broome, Victoria and Ryan Thomas and Mike Tumlin and Natalie Tumlin. Others at the gala were James and Angie Barber, Beth Meadows, Nadine Hamilton, Bill Pearson, Dawn and Mike South, Paul and Pam Bankston, Shannon and Matt Dye, Katie Kimbrough, Jeff Bajalleh, Kaitlyn Weeks, Ian Reid, Rhonda and Cliff Weeks, Kim Rowland, Stacey Shamburger and Courtney Richard. For more information about the Autism Society of Alabama and autism spectrum disorders, call 877-4-AUTISM or visit www.autismalabama.org. ❖

for more information please Call mike wedgworth: 205.365.4344


DaughterDad Dinner Book Club Invites Fathers to Special Meeting

Members of a Homewood book club for mothers and daughters recently had a special night out with their fathers. The Story Sisters Mother/Daughter Book Club, which includes eighthgrade students and their mothers, enjoyed a special evening with the girls’ fathers–and one older brother–at the fourth annual Summer Father/ Daughter Meeting at the home of

Antique Drawing

Front, from left: Ella Dutton, Molly Kathryn Cooper, Anna Johnston, Audrey Nabors, Samantha Le, Julia Rouleau, Caroline Doyal, Cate Fowler, Mary Walton Blomeley and Kate Sims. Back: Nick Dutton, Chris Cooper, Latta Johnston, Burt Nabors, Michel Le, Rob Rouleau, Ashley Doyal and Jeff Fowler. Photos special to the Journal

Audrey and Burt Nabors. Anna Johnston’s father, Latta, an assistant principal at Homewood High School and former AP European History teacher, led a discussion about “Chasing Lincoln’s Killer.” Those attending the event also enjoyed a barbecue dinner together. Story Sisters Mother/Daughter Book Club members have read more than 40 books together since the club

was started five years ago. Those attending the summer event included Ella Dutton, Molly Kathryn Cooper, Anna Johnston, Audrey Nabors, Samantha Le, Julia Rouleau, Caroline Doyal, Cate Fowler, Mary Walton Blomeley, Kate Sims, Nick Dutton, Chris Cooper, Latta Johnston, Burt Nabors, Michel Le, Rob Rouleau, Ashley Doyal and Jeff Fowler. ❖

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22 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

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Dr. Diane Coleman. From left: Lawana Tyus, Shawn Saunders, Chauntella Ware, Nicolette Hayes and Nicole McKinney-Graham. Photos courtesy of Oscar Matthews Photography

SoHo Soiree

Lupus Fundraiser Has Mardi Gras Theme Tonda Thomas of Platinum Design & Eventz hosted the second annual Faces of Lupus Gala June 25 at Aloft at SoHo Square in downtown Homewood. More than 115 guests from Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa attended

the event to help raise money to fight lupus. The event, which also honored those living courageously with lupus, featured a Mardi Gras theme and included a cocktail reception, Cajun appetizers and desserts, live entertainment, a DJ and a contest

for the more photos at most elegant Mardi Gras mask. Sly King of Hot 107.7 was the emcee. The keynote speaker was Tracey Green-Young. Other guest speakers were those who are living with lupus, including Chauntella Brooks Ware, Lawana W. Tyus and Nicolette Hayes, who spoke on behalf of her mother, Nicole McKinney-Graham. Guests at the gala were enter-

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

tained by the music of The Ntune Band, which featured a variety of Birmingham artists and vocalists including Latrisha Redmon on drums; vocalists Sharron Collins, Deidre Gaddis and Sherry McMorris; Brian Hall on keyboards, Reginald Yarbrough, keyboard player and vocalist; Andrew Jones on bass and A.J. Evans on keyboards. DJ Hypnoteyez kept gala guests dancing. Desserts and appetizers were by Cakepop Girls, Alease’s Edibles and Bayles Catering. Red Bull representatives were at the gala to offer guests their drinks. Private Stock Bath and Body and Scent from Heaven provided lupus T-shirts, glassware and scented candles for the gala. Oscar Matthews Photography of Birmingham captured images of guests as they arrived. Guests attending the event included Shawn Saunders, Brittney Stallworth, Jean Bourassa, Cecelia Godwin, Adeshia Sims, Ramsey Bourassa, Latasha Sims, Shartwaina A. Lester, Antonio Boswell, Jennifer Mason, Abdul Alwahiid, Joe Lockett, Shelby Parker, Ferlando Parker and Dianne Coleman. ❖

New Members Added Association of University Women Hosts Coffee

The Birmingham chapter of the American Association of University Women held its first meeting of the year Sept. 13 at the Unitarian Church of Birmingham. The group also started its membership campaign that day and added five new members–Kelley Bradley, Ellise Mayor, Laura Stultz, Jeannie Thompson and Deborah Young. The event was coordinated by Barbara Patterson and included hors d’oeuvres, coffee, tea and punch. After an hour of chatting and snacking, Susan Barrow made announcements about upcoming meetings and other events. Ashleigh Staples and Miesha Williams, two students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, spoke to the group about their trip to Maryland to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. Chelsea Clinton, vice chairman of the Clinton Foundation, was the guest speaker at the event. Samantha Brown, who received a scholarship from the group, spoke about her plans at the University of Alabama. Paul Barrow assisted with setting up and cleaning up after the event. Flowers for the meeting were arranged by Jane Hinds. ❖


Brown-Ohmstede

Mr. and Mrs. Davis Mikiel Brown of Mountain Brook announce the engagement of their daughter, Elizabeth Sumner Brown, to Drew Thomas Ohmstede, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Thomas Ohmstede of Dothan. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. George Julian Brown and the late Mr. George Julian Brown of Mountain Brook and the late Mr. and Mrs. Emmit Joe Holbert of Birmingham.

Wright-King

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Wright III of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Rita Cecil Sandner Wright, to Hobart Amory King, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Steven King of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Joseph E. Sandner Jr. and the late Mr. Sandner of Birmingham and Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Wright Jr. of Aliceville. Miss Wright is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Montevallo, where she received a bachelor’s degree in mass

Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 23

Weddings & Engagements

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Miss Brown is a 2008 graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a 2012 cum laude graduate of Auburn University, where she receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing and was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She is a registered nurse at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital in the regional neonatal intensive care unit. Miss Brown is currently pursuing a graduate degree to become a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Hewitt Ohmstede of Tampa, Fla. and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Philip Zona of Lakeland, Fla. Mr. Ohmstede is a 2008 graduate of Providence Christian School in Dothan and a 2011 summa cum laude graduate of Auburn University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He received a master’s of accounting degree in 2013 from Auburn University. Mr. Ohmstede is a certified public accountant with Sellers, Richardson, Holman & West in Birmingham. The wedding will be Nov. 1. communications with a concentration in broadcasting and was a member and served as vice president of Alpha Gamma Delta social sorority. She is a member of Golden Key International honor society, Alpha Epsilon Rho honor society and past chapter president of the National Broadcasting Society. She was presented at the Beaux Arts Krewe Ball, Ball of Roses, Heritage Ball and Redstone Club Ball. Miss Wright is currently employed in Birmingham. The prospective groom is the grandson of Dr. and Mrs. Aubrey Wilson King Jr. of Birmingham and Mr. and Mrs. Hobart Amory McWhorter of Birmingham as well as the late Gordon Jackson Bell of Nashville. Mr. King is a graduate of Washington and Lee University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He is a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and served as rush chairman. He received a master’s degree in applied statistics from the University of Alabama, where he received the award for Most Outstanding Master’s Student in Applied Statistics. Mr. King is employed with J.P. Morgan Chase.  The wedding is Nov. 22.

To have our wedding, engagement and anniversary forms sent to you, call 823-9646 or email us at editorial@otmj.com or go to otmj.com.

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Howard-Crabb

Sarah Bentley Howard and William Brent Crabb were married July 26 at Canterbury United Methodist Church. The 6:30 p.m. ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Samuel Lee Williamson. A reception followed at the Country Club of Birmingham. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carey Elton Howard of

Nevins-Schlitz

Caylen Lane Nevins and Ryne Sample Schlitz were married Oct. 19. The wedding and reception took place at the bride’s family home on Ono Island. The Rev. Mark Yoder officiated the ceremony.

Birmingham. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Aubrey Elton Howard of Birmingham and the late Mr. Howard and the late Mr. and Mrs. David Boykin Patton of Eutaw. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Odell Crabb of Montgomery. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. William Odell Crabb and Mrs. Joseph Bailey Jordan Jr. of Montgomery and the late Mr. Jordan. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an ivory Alencon lace gown by Jim Hjelm. The strapless bodice had a sweetheart neckline and fitted waistline encircled with a jeweled belt. The fit and flared skirt swept to a chapel-length train. Her veil was a custom, chapel-length, ivory veil of illusion edged with coordinating Alencon lace. The bride was attended by her sisters, Elizabeth Patton Howard and Caroline Barnes Howard, as maids of honor. Bridesmaids were Sara Claire Ballard, Allison Casey Bates, Lauren Reynolds Malloch, Ann Evans Andrews Nix, Carolyn Brooking Pritchard, Margaret McKinney

Ratliff, Kirstin Elizabeth Teschner and Nancy Elizabeth Whatley, all of Birmingham; Jordan Ashley Crabb, sister of the groom, of Montgomery; and Kathleen Marlowe Galloway of Nashville, Tenn. Flower girls were Mary Katherine Malone, Sarah Elizabeth Malone and Ann Everett Pruet. The father of the groom was the best man. Groomsmen were Matthew Bailey Ballard, Garrett Douglas Bamman and Wesley Brumback Naramore, all of Birmingham; Taylor Alanson Anderson of Denver; William Dean Azar of Houston; Jeremy Wayne Crider of Montgomery; and Thomas Martin Tyson of Mobile. The crucifer was James David Lancaster, cousin of the bride. Readers were Marguerite Harbert Gray and Joyce Callahan Ratliff. Program attendants were Ellen Michele Dennis, Angela Kristina Link, Laura Adelaide Lupton and Kinley Christian Perno. After a honeymoon trip to St. Lucia, the couple live in Birmingham.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Holder Nevins of Birmingham. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Crawford Nevins and the late Mr. and Mrs. Harry Eugene French. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Randall Bruce Schlitz of Trussville. He is the grandson of Mrs. Henry Sam Holland, the late Mr. Henry Sam Holland and Mr. and Mrs. Rein Rudolph Schlitz. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a strapless lace gown with a chapel-length veil. She carried a bouquet of roses, freesias, dahlias and hydrangeas in shades of white and cream, hand-tied and finished with lace from her mother’s wedding dress. Matron of honor was Elizabeth McCrary Godwin of Orlando, Fla. Serving as maid of honor was Amy Floyd Corr of Birmingham. Bridesmaids were Abby Womack

Nevins, Emily Lane Schlitz, Callie Stone Nash, Lauren Beno Russo, Jessica Lauren Juliano, Sarah Campbell Novara and Martha Elizabeth Manley, all of Birmingham; Chaney Shafferman Widmer of Philadelphia, Pa.; Erin Beebe Hardie of Venice, Fla.; and Elizabeth Hard Stone of Auburn. The flower girl was Lacey Elizabeth Anderson of Colorado Springs, Colo. The father of the groom served as best man. Groomsmen were James Holder Nevins Jr., Jacob Alan Brown, Steven Brent Buzbee, Chase Daniel Evans, Garrett Justin Grover, Robert Rex Harrison, Casey Wade Holland, Samuel Tyler Holland, David Scott Jeffries and Nathaniel Robert McCullough, all of Birmingham, and Charles Anthony Cusimano of Mobile.  After a honeymoon trip to the Dominican Republic, the couple live in Birmingham.


24 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

Memory Maker

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Hoover Teen Finds Lasting Way to Remember Fellow Students By William C. Singleton III

W

Journal contributor

hat began as one Hoover teen’s efforts to keep the memory of her friend alive has become a memorial to other Hoover High students whose lives have been cut short. After three years of planning, 17-year-old Abbey Greer’s memorial to her friend, Dallas Golson, and two other students has become reality. During a Sept. 20 ceremony in the Hoover High courtyard, Greer, school officials and family and friends of the deceased dedicated a black marble obelisk bearing the names of the three fallen students. The obelisk will stand as a permanent memorial to Dallas, Natalie Hurst and Jerrell Thomas–each killed in separate car accidents. “Dallas was one of my very good friends so when she passed away, I wanted to do something to honor her memory,” Greer, a Hoover High senior, said. “I knew that Hoover had lost quite a few students so I knew I wasn’t the only one who probably felt this way.” Greer and Golson served in the Girl Scouts together. When Greer was ready to pursue the Girl Scouts Gold Award, she proposed creating a memorial for her friend and other students whose lives ended too soon. The Gold Award– the Girl Scouts’ highest honor–is given to scouts who create a project that serves a community purpose, is educational and is designed to make a lasting impact. Greer said she not only wanted to create a memorial to students who’ve

Above: Jon Hurst, Spencer Hurst and Barbara Hurst pay tribute to Natalie Hurst during the ceremony on Sept. 20. left: Suzie Greer, Abbey’s mom, comforts Barbara Wood, Dallas’ mom, during the dedication ceremony of the memorial at Hoover High.

Abbey Greer, 17, is a Hoover High School senior. Her Girl Scout project included creating a memorial for fallen students at the school. Journal photos by William C. Singleton III

lost their lives but also to help students process their grief. “I feel that when young people experience such a loss, we really don’t know how to grieve,” she said. “Yes, people lose grandparents, and that’s tragic. But it’s nothing near what I felt when I lost a peer.” Greer said she approached the principal of Hoover High and asked about ways she could honor fallen students. Hoover school officials informed her that they had a marble obelisk that was not being used. The school agreed to offer the obelisk for the memorial. “All we had to do was purchase plaques,” Greer said. Greer also created a pamphlet dealing with grief and loss and including resources students can access should they need them. 

“She’s going to make sure all those are distributed in the health classes,” Katie Smith, the school’s crisis counselor, said. Greer also enlisted the help of the school’s Student Ambassadors group, which will be responsible for maintaining the memorial after she graduates, and established procedures to be followed if another student’s name has to be added to the monument.  “Hopefully, that won’t happen,” Greer said. Although other students have died during their time at Hoover High and have plaques located on school grounds, their names won’t be added

at Highlands School, her cabbage grew to an enormous size. The giant cabbage is not Joy’s first foray into gardening. She said the first thing she ever grew was a golden beet. She attributes her interest in gardening to her studies at Highlands School, where she is able to participate in gardening activities in the school’s greenhouse, raised beds and butterfly garden. Joy tends a garden year-round where she grows corn, beans, tomatoes, cantaloupes and now cabbage. She said she and her family also have an orchard full of apples, plums and blueberries. Joy said the secret to her successful gardening endeavors is using compost dirt made from dry leaves and fruit peels. Laura Joy, a student at Highlands School, grew a huge cabbage over the summer. Photo special to the Journal

Highlands Student Laura Joy Digs Gardening

Grades 8-12 • Open House Nov. 11 • ExperienceSprings.org

just means everything to me to know there’ll be something permanent here for people to remember Dallas.” Jon Hurst, Natalie’s father, said he agreed. “As time goes on and generations go through the school, I think it’s great that when people come back for class reunions or they have kids and they come back to the facility, they’ll see my daughter’s name and they’ll remember my daughter,” he said. “This signifies the fact that she’ll be around forever now, as long as the school is here.” ❖

School Notes

ready for college, prepared for the world.

Indian Springs School

on the memorial. “When we started the project, we went five years back, and these were the students’ names we found,” Greer said. “We had to have a cut-off date so we started at 2006.” Barbara Wood, Dallas’ mother, said the memorial means her daughter’s memory will live on at the school.  “As a parent, you’re so afraid your child is going to be forgotten, that people are not going to remember what a wonderful person she was,” Wood said through tears. “So this

A Highlands School student spent the summer nurturing a project she started as a third-grader. Over the summer, Laura Joy continued tending to the cabbage she started growing in the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Growing Contest as a student in Michele Crawford’s class. As Joy prepared for the fourth grade

LPM Hosts Breakfast for New Students Liberty Park Middle School welcomed 28 new students in grades 6-8 with the seventh annual New Student Breakfast hosted by the LPMS Student Government Association. School counselors Stephanie Holcomb and Tre’ Munger coordinated the event along with SGA sponsors Anne Carter Finch and Courtney Burger. The event helped integrate the new students and SGA officers as they played “Get to Know You” games.

VHCS Awareness Team Fights Substance Abuse Vestavia Hills City Schools held the first meeting of its Drug Awareness Team on Sept. 16. The Drug Awareness Team, a new initiative in the fight against substance abuse among youth, consists of administrators from the district level, middle schools and high school; a representative from a local drug testing agency; a Drug Court judge; Parent Teacher Organization members; school counselors; and Brad Blount, a Vestavia Hills High School alumnus who speaks publicly about his recovery from drug addiction. Team members discussed programs that the city and school system are utilizing to raise awareness about substance abuse, including the school system’s new Voluntary Drug Testing Program and a recent “Help the Hills” town hall meeting. Attendees at the Sept. 16 meeting proposed several ideas, such as crosspromoting drug prevention events and providing parents with an online hub of resources to learn about drug prevention.  “The team will likely expand as new needs are identified,” said Vestavia Hills Board of Education President Kym Prewitt. Another town hall meeting is set for Jan. 5.


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As a part of his training, Holley spent the week with a team that flew a simulated Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station, where he completed an extra-vehicular activity, or spacewalk. 

Homewood Coalition Plans Drug Use Program

Vestavia Hills Elementary West students got the new school year started with the school’s annual West Way Week. Photo special to the Journal

Vestavia Hills Students Learn the West Way

Gwin Elementary Student Attends Space Camp

Vestavia Hills Elementary West students kicked off the school year by celebrating West Way Week Aug. 25-29. Courtesy, respect, and responsibility make up “The West Way,” school officials said. Every year, students learn about these character traits during West Way Week by spending a day on each trait, discussing in depth how children and teachers can demonstrate them. Students in each class signed the “West Way Pledge” and ended the week with Team Up at West Day, as students, faculty, and staff wore their favorite team shirts to remind everyone that together, they are a team.

Mickey Holley, a student at Gwin Elementary School in Hoover, recently attended Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. The Mickey Holley weeklong educational program is designed to promote science, technology, engineering and math. 

The Safe & Healthy Homewood Coalition, in conjunction with Bradford Health Services and the Addiction Prevention Coalition, will hold a program on drug use among teens Oct. 28. The Smart Approaches to Marijuana event will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Homewood High School. The event is free, but seating is limited. Parents and community members will have a chance to hear information from featured speaker Kevin A. Sabet at the Oct. 28 forum.

OLS Students Chosen as New Peer Helpers Thirteen eighth-graders at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School have been selected as Peer Helpers for the 20142015 school year.  The students were chosen based on their grade point averages, teacher recommendations, interviews and a special questionnaire. Their responsibilities include helping other students with art projects, writing skills, reading and math facts and assisting teachers with bulletin board projects at the school. The new Peer Helpers are Michael Hunt, Lauren Griffin, Jackson McCoy, Ferguson Smith, Kate Agena, Elise Harika, Christian Burkhalter, Jacob Pugh, Lexi Turner, Katie Foster, Anthony Marino, McGwin and Grace Turner.

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Discover the Difference! view d l r Wo ulty l c a a c F i Bibl fied i l gy a o l u o Q ly chn e T High n is o s a h tics p e l m h E At A 1 AA izes S AHS s las C l l Sma

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26 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

schools

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Students at Crestline Elementary School kicked off their annual Boosterthon fundraiser with a pep rally in the gym. Photo special to the Journal

Students at Rocky Ridge Elementary School have a new place to play that makes learning fun. From left: Dil Uswatte, Sonia Carrington, Nancy Halsell, Shelley Shaw, Maxine Retzer, Cindy Morris and Cleo Clency. Photo special to the Journal

A Cool Place at School

I

Rocky Ridge Playground Incorporates Fun, Learning

n early September, students at Rocky Ridge Elementary School learned geography, science, math, engineering and physical fitness. That’s not unusual for a school, until you consider where this took place–on the school’s new playground. Rocky Ridge Elementary Principal Dr. Dil Uswatte said students and classes converge on the new playground to study the origins of its parts (geography), conduct “geometry shape hunts” (math) and observe the effects of gravity and velocity via playground devices (science and engineering). “This playground incorporates so many facets of learning,” Uswatte said. “It’s going to be enjoyed by not only the students but the parents and teachers as well.” The new playground opened Aug. 8 with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. The school’s Parent Teacher Organization joined school leaders in opening the new playground, a project months in the making. Along the way, the PTO met with school leaders, maintenance and operations workers, parents, teachers and outside agencies to determine the best concepts for the new playground’s design. “The reason this is all such a great success is the incredible amount of planning, preparation and follow-up by our PTO and the various support people who helped to make this playground happen,” Uswatte said. Uswatte’s predecessor, Sonia Carrington, helped start the playground process, along with the PTO, during her tenure as principal. She said the previous playground was always well-maintained, but she and others knew it was time for an update. “Focusing on the playground needs over the past two years gained the PTO a positive reputation and characteristics of a unified group that included being child-centered,

persistent, involved and one that had vision and a systemic process to reach goals,” Carrington said. “Fundraising events were planned and implemented, playground cost projections made and information distributed to faculty and parents. I, as principal at the time, was always included in PTO board meetings and all playground committee discussion meetings.” Carrington said Shelley Shaw, PTO president from 2013-14, spearheaded the committee. “Among the committee members were Cleo Clency, Maxine Retzer, Cindy Morris, Nancy Halsell, Liz Carey, Dil Uswatte and me,” Carrington said. Carrington said it makes her happy to see the children’s faces light up when the playground is mentioned. “On Friday, Aug. 8, I was proud to sit among faculty and staff, students, parents, Central Office personnel, a state representative and other members of the PTO playground committee as the Rocky Ridge Principal Dr. Dil Uswatte led in the playground ribbon cutting. Joy–pure joy–was evident on each child’s face,” she said. Shelley Shaw said she was elated to help usher in the new playground and see the culmination of years of effort. “We had a labor of love with this playground. A lot of families contributed through various fundraising efforts,” Shaw said. “The PTO sat down and looked at catalogs and catalogs and catalogs to determine what makes a good playground, what makes a great playground.” Part of what makes the playground so great is its inclusiveness, Shaw said. From the width of its ramps to swings designed to accommodate wheelchair-bound kids, the playground welcomes students of all abilities. Teacher Ellen Anson, who teaches multi-handicapped students, said she couldn’t be more excited about the

new playground. She and her fellow teachers of multi-handicapped students “were very often on the outside looking in, thinking, ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get our kids all the way up to the top of the ramp?,’” Anson told the crowd at the ribboncutting ceremony. Anson joined the RRES administration in lauding the efforts of the PTO to gather input from so many people. She said she began a wish list early on for the new playground in hopes of delivering it to the PTO. PTO members, she said, “were in my room before I even had a chance to (contact them).” A lot of expertise and planning came from Cleo Clency, a Rocky Ridge parent who also works in the city of Birmingham’s parks and recreation department. His knowledge of playground development, safety and componentry proved invaluable through the process, school leaders said. Clency said he is most proud of the fact that the playground accommodates all students so well–and in a fun fashion. “It is a state-of-the-art playground that is geared toward the imagination of the child–their physical and emotional development as well as their socialization skills,” Clency said. “My spirit gets joy from watching these kids play and have fun. That’s why I’ve been in this business for so long.” From its maypole, which accommodates up to 68 riders, to its team swing that’s compliant with American Disabilities Act guidelines, the new playground will truly enrich the children’s lives, Uswatte said. “This is living proof that when people work together the right way, you can build dreams–and we did it, we built a dream,” Uswatte said. “You can see it, feel it, love it for many years to come.” ❖

Crestline Begins Annual Boosterthon Fundraiser Crestline Elementary School’s eighth annual Boosterthon kicked off with a pep rally in the school’s gymnasium Sept. 9. As part of the Boosterthon, students participated in a fun run on Sept. 18 as well as the “Rock’n Town Live” music festival.  The purpose of the music festival theme is to emphasize the importance of community, organizers said. At the event, students learned to “plug in to serve,” “play hard,” “amplify others,” “listen for feedback” and “thank your crowd.”  Principal Laurie King said the funds raised at this year’s Boosterthon will be used for the restoration of the school’s media center to provide whole class, small group and individual workspaces for the students.

Hoover High Wins Safe Sports School Award Hoover High School received the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award that champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment. “There has been an increase in competitive sports, which are, unfortunately, not without risk,” NATA President Jim Thornton said. “Brain injury/concussion, cardiac arrest, heat illness, exertional sickling, cervical spine fractures and other injuries and illnesses are potentially lifethreatening.” Hoover’s Athletic Director Andy Urban said it is the school’s goal to lead the athletics program to the highest safety standards for their players.

Vestavia Students Will Publish Children’s Book Seventh-grade students at Liberty Park Middle School in Vestavia Hills will be digitally publishing their own children’s book using the website HYPERLINK “http://storybird.com” storybird.com. Students in Lindsay Corley and Leigh Mathew’s language arts classes

started the process by analyzing children’s books such as “How I Became a Pirate” by Melinda Long, “Otis and the Tornado” by Loren Long and “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch.  Through this narrative writing project, students are studying theme, dialogue, speaker tags, elements of a story, and characterization, teachers said.

Homewood Middle Gets New Chromebooks The Homewood City Schools Foundation has provided Homewood Middle School with more than $36,000 for new technology, specifically 120 Chromebooks, which will be used by all students to access the new social studies “tech” book that the school system introduced this fall. “We are thankful for the Foundation’s generous grant of new Chromebooks,” said Jimmie Pearson, Homewood Middle School principal. “These devices will help ensure that all of our students have access to technology.” Students can use these new devices to access the books and applications, school officials said. “We are so fortunate to be able to support the middle school in this effort,” said Julie Keith, Foundation board president. “The Foundation has worked hard to be able to expand our funding of grants and other initiatives, and we are excited to see how the teachers and students will be able to use the new Chromebooks in the classroom.”

Highlands to Host Open House on Oct. 16 Highalnds School will open its doors to prospective students and their parents in its annual Open House event this month. The school’s Open House will begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 16 and end at 1 p.m. The independent school serves students in preschool through the eighth grade. The school is located at 4901 Old Leeds Road in Birmingham. For more information, visiit www. highlandsschool.org or call the school office at 956-9731. ❖ –Jacob Fuqua, Journal intern


By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

The first player from Shades Mountain Christian School set to receive a scholarship to play NCAA Division 1 soccer said he has had little time to relish his achievement. SMCS senior Brock Belcher learned last week that he has been offered the opportunity to play soccer at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., next year. “To be honest, I don’t think it’s quite sunken in yet,” the 18-year-old central midfielder said. “I think once signing day comes in the spring, it will really hit me and I’ll probably end up crying, because this is like a dream come true.” Belcher’s soccer dreams started when he was about 5 years old, he said. “I like to joke that I came out of the womb in soccer cleats, but really, I was playing as soon as I could and have just loved it ever since,” Belcher said. Belcher said he isn’t exactly sure how he ended up being such a fan of soccer in an area where high school football is king. He lives in Vestavia Hills with his parents, Alisa and David. His older brother, David Jr., is 21 years old and attends Samford University. “No one in my family played soccer, but they have always been supportive and encouraged me to keep playing,” Belcher said. That devotion to supporting him has even meant the diehard Auburn fans have missed a few games over the years, he said. “I couldn’t have done any of this without them,” he said. Belcher also gives credit to his coach at SMCS, Brian Willett Jr., for helping him reach his potential as a soccer player. “I cannot say enough good things about Coach Willett,” Belcher said. “The program has grown exponentially since my freshman year, and he has really helped us all improve. We’ve all developed in soccer in a big, big way under his leadership.” Belcher plays for his school soc-

cer team in the spring and spends the rest of the year playing for the Birmingham United Soccer Association, or BUSA. “I’ve been playing with BUSA since I was Brock Belcher, 13 years old. I a senior at Shades Mountain love that club, and Christian School, I’ve learned so has been playing much from those soccer since he guys,” he said. was 5. Belcher, who also plays on the SMCS basketball team, is a standout off the field, too. The Student Government Association president is a member of the National Honor Society and was class president in his freshman, sophomore and junior years at SMCS. He is also a member of the Future Physicians of America chapter at the school and said he is thinking about pursuing a career in the medical field. “Right now, I’m leaning toward pharmacy, and at one time I had planned on majoring in biology, but either way, I know I’ll be taking a lot of science classes at Wofford,” he said. Belcher has already been nominated for the Wofford College Scholars Program and said he’s excited about attending college in Spartanburg next fall. But before he takes off for the soccer fields of South Carolina, Belcher said he’s going to enjoy his last months as a student at SMCS. He joined other 10th, 11th and 12thgraders from the school last week for a trip to a Disney Education Workshop in Florida. “Learning I will get to play soccer in college has allowed me and my whole family to take a big, deep breath,” he said. “This is a blessing for all of us.” ❖

Spain Park Students Get Ready for BEST Contest Spain Park High School students will join students from other Over the Mountain schools to showcase their engineering skills in a competition sponsored by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Engineering. The Spain Park High BEST team, sponsored by Scottie Wilson, will participate in the 2014 Blazer BEST Robotics Competition at Bartow Arena Oct. 4. The competition serves as the localhub portion of a national competition supported by BEST Robotics, Inc., a nonprofit organization aimed at providing children with the opportunity to solve real-world engineering and scientific problems through their own cognitive skills. Spain Park High has had a team compete in each BEST competition since 2007. The team won first place in the contest in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and also won an award for the best robot at the 2012 competition. The Spain Park BEST robotics team is made up of students in the ninth through 12th grades who are students in the school’s Engineering Academy classes. The team’s head chief executive officer is senior Jeff Bannon. Nick Simmons is the team’s CEO overseeing the robot construction, and McKenzie Paduch is the CEO in charge of the table display and notebook and the team’s presentation. In the BEST competition, teams have a six-week period to design, build and market a robot that will perform specific tasks on a playing field in three minutes. Points are awarded on task completion. The winners of the Blazer BEST Competition will move on to the regional competition at Auburn University. The Spain Park BEST team participated in a preview day at the Riverchase Galleria on Sept. 21. ❖

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Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 27

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

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business

28 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Holiday Shop was the brainchild of Inez A. Jackson, the daughter of George W. Acton, shown here with her daughter, Joyce Ann Jackson, in a photo from the 1970s (inset). Jackson, above, opened the Holiday Shop on Oct. 1 for its 44th season. Journal photo by Keysha Drexel/Inset photo special to the Journal

’Tis the Season

Christmas Comes Early at the Holiday Shop By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

Christmas is still 83 days away, but when you walk into a little shop on Old Rocky Ridge Road, it might be difficult to remember it’s only October. And that’s exactly why the loyal customers at the Holiday Shop start calling Joyce Ann Jackson in September. “It seems like the calls about when we’re opening for the new season start earlier every year,” Jackson said. The Holiday Shop opened for the new season on Oct. 1. It’s open by appointment only January through September. Every nook and cranny of the former dairy barn sparkles with unique ornaments, dazzling lights, Old World-style decorations, nativity scenes of every imaginable size and several themed Christmas trees featuring ornaments for sports fans, teachers, nurses, musicians and even coffee lovers. The Holiday Shop is the brainchild of Jackson’s mother, Inez Acton Jackson, who passed away at the age of 91. “This will be the first time I’ve opened the shop for the new season without my mother, so it’s a bittersweet time for me,” Jackson said. “I miss her terribly, but I know she would want everything here to go on because she loved the customers so much and loved bringing them joy.” Inez, the only daughter of George W. Acton and Mattie Jones Acton, and her husband, Carlton K. Jackson, raised Joyce Ann, their only child, on the same property Inez’s grandfather bought in the 1930s. George W. Acton was one of nine Acton brothers and was quite the entrepreneur, his granddaughter said. “Pap–that’s what we called my grandfather–originally planned to build the Rocky Ridge Country Club here when he first bought these couple hundred acres,” Jackson said. “They had 13 holes of the golf course built and had plans to construct a swinging bridge across the Cahaba River to build the

rest of the holes when the Depression hit. The whole project was scrapped, and my grandfather decided to use the land to start a farm.” Jackson said her mother grew up working on Acton Dairy Farm and said she herself has many fond memories from being on the farm as a child. “My grandfather also had two large barns that were down where the baseball fields are now (at Hoover East Sports Park),” Jackson said. “He also had about 5,000 chickens, and my mother, father and I lived in a little house down there by the chicken houses. I had my own special cow on my grandfather’s farm when I was about 5 or 6. It was just a wonderful way to grow up.” Jackson said she and her mother were in business together for several years before the Holiday Shop opened in 1970. “We actually had an egg route, and we’d go and collect the eggs in the chicken houses and deliver them to our customers’ homes,”

‘In 1970, Mom had the idea to open a shop that would help preserve some of the Old World Christmas traditions.’ she said. “We also delivered eggs to several mom-and-pop stores in Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook.” Jackson’s mother worked as a florist and was a creative person who loved Christmas. “In 1970, Mom had the idea to open a shop that would help preserve some of the Old World Christmas traditions,” she said. “Her faith was very important to her, and she loved Christmas because without Christmas, we’d have no hope in this world.” Jackson’s mother opened the shop, and to promote its wares, she would invite garden clubs and other women’s clubs to hold their meetings at the Holiday Shop.

“She’d talk about different Christmas traditions and teach them how to make wreaths and bows,” she said. “She just loved it.” After Jackson graduated from the University of Montevallo, she worked side by side with her mother at the Holiday Shop. “We had a lot of fun working together, and we made a lot of friends over the years,” Jackson said. Most of those friends started out as customers, she said. “People came in year after year and they shared their lives with us, and we always felt humbled to be a part of their family’s Christmas traditions, even in some small way,” she said. In 1976, the shop started carrying Dept. 56 Christmas Village collectibles, which have become enormously popular over the years, Jackson said. “We started out with the Snow Village the first year it came out, and now there are villages of all kinds and all sizes. People love to collect those, and it’s wonderful to see them come in each year to add a new piece to their villages. It gives adults a chance to play again,” Jackson said. The shop also offers a wide variety of nutcrackers and nativity scenes, including Fontanini nativities. A special section called “Inez’s Corner” is stocked with holiday gifts Jackson said her mom loved. “People were always asking her advice on what to give this person or that person for Christmas, so we set up Inez’s Corner with those things my mother recommended. There was not a person who met my mother who didn’t adore her and trust her advice,” Jackson said. Jackson said one of her favorite themed trees in the shop this year is the Owl Tree, which features both cute and sophisticated owl ornaments. “My mother would always tell me, ‘I want you to be as wise as an owl,’ so that tree, I think, would make her smile,” Jackson said. “I had a lot of fun looking for all the different owl ornaments for it. It was a real hoot, pardon the pun.” Jackson said this year she has added a collection of handmade, etched glass ornaments from Egypt to the season’s offerings. “I like to find things that are handmade and unique, and I think our customers will appreciate all the new stuff we have this year,” she said. On Christmas Eve, the Holiday Shop will host its annual open house event. “We serve mulled cider and sing songs, and it’s just our way of saying thank you to our customers,” Jackson said. “It’s just the perfect way to wrap up the season.” The Holiday Shop at 2721 Old Rocky Ridge Road, in unincorporated Jefferson County between Hoover and Vestavia, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 9884810. ❖

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Ricky Bromberg and Carole Griffin accept their Retailer of the Year Awards at the 2014 Retail Day Luncheon in Vestavia Hills last week. Photos special to the Journal

Getting Down to Business OTM Retailers Are Among State Award Winners

By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

Several Over the Mountain retailers were among the 13 honored last week by the Alabama Retail Association and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business. The presentations were made Sept. 23 at the 2014 Retail Day Luncheon at the Vestavia Country Club. A panel of judges chose the Retailer of the Year finalists in four categories by Alabama annual sales volume: less than $1 million, $1 million to $5 million, $5 million to $20 million and more than $20 million. Bronze, silver and gold awards were presented in all categories. “This was an exciting day for us,” Rick Brown, Alabama Retail Association president, said. “It is an honor to be able to recognize such an outstanding group of retailers. Each retailer honored is a credit to the retail industry and its community.” For the third year, the judges also selected an Emerging Retailer of the Year. The award is given to an innovative and effective Alabama retailer who has been in business for at least two years but less than five years. The winners in the 15th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards were: Annual sales of less than $1 million

Gold award: Silvertron Café in Birmingham’s Forest Park community, owners Marco and Elan Morosini, nominated by Victor M. Brown, vice president of minority and small business developSee retailers, facing page

Publix Super Markets in Vestavia Hills was also honored at the event. From left: Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown; Dave Quinn, former manager, and Joe Blaszczak, current manager, Publix Super Markets–Vestavia Hills; and George Wilder, Alabama Retail Association chairman.

From left: Dwight Potter, Jan Jacks, Ben Moon and Katie Moon of Dreamcakes Bakery; Marco and Elan Morosini of Silvertron Café; and Carla Hamilton, Four Corners Gallery.


Inverness Corners Has New Gameday Boutique Sports fans in North Shelby—and throughout the Over the Mountain area—have a new place to find clothing, accessories and gifts to show their team spirit. Gameday in Style Boutique opened in Inverness Corners earlier this summer. The shop, owned by Sylvia Gonda,

retailers,

From previous page

ment for the Birmingham Business Alliance. Silver award: Dreamcakes Bakery in Homewood, owner Jan Jacks, also nominated by Brown. Bronze award: Four Corners Gallery on U.S. 280, Carla Hamilton, chief executive officer, nominated by Amanda Spencer, senior development officer for the Birmingham Museum of Art. Annual sales of $1 million to $5 million

Gold award: Continental Bakery in Mountain Brook and Birmingham, Carole Griffin, president and owner, nominated by Suzan Doidge, executive director, Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. Silver award: J.R.’s Lawnmower Shop in Opp. Bronze award: Fleet Feet Sports in Huntsville. Annual Sales of $5 million to $20 million

Gold award: Bromberg & Company in Birmingham and Mountain Brook, Frederick W. “Ricky” Bromberg, president, nominated by Bill Powell, executive director of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce, Doidge with the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce and

Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 29

business

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

offers boutiquestyle clothing, game daythemed clothing, gifts, accessories, shoes and its own line of T-shirts. Gameday in Style got its start in Gonda’s

Sylvia Gonda

Brown with the Birmingham Business Alliance. Silver award: Dreamland, with restaurants in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Northport , Tuscaloosa and Georgia, Betsy McAttee and management team, nominated by Brown with the Birmingham Business Alliance and Patricia Ford, executive director of the Homewood Chamber of Commerce. Bronze award: Darby’s Village Pharmacy in Andalusia. Annual sales of more than $20 million

Gold Award: Century Automotive Group in Huntsville. Silver Award: Publix Super Markets in Vestavia Hills, Dave Quinn and Joe Blaszczak, former and current managers, nominated by Karen Odle, president of the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce. Bronze Award: Express Oil Change and Tire Engineers, based in Birmingham with 216 locations in 13 states, Ricky Brooks, president, nominated by Josh Henderson, senior vice president of marketing for Express Oil Change and Tire Engineers.

home, where she started out sewing game day apparel for her daughter. Gonda said soon after she started making the custom clothing for her daughter, she got requests from others. “People loved (my) style, and business has just grown and grown,” Gonda said. Business grew so much, in fact, that Gonda said she knew it was time to open a brick and mortar store to showcase her game day fashions.

Gameday in Style is at 450 Inverness Corners, next door to Winn-Dixie. For more information, visit gamedayinstyle.com.

Antiquities Celebrates Fourth Anniversary An antiques shop in Mountain Brook is celebrating its fourth anniversary this month. Antiquities was opened at 2421 Canterbury Road in October 2011

by friends Nancy McClendon, Debby Shepherd and Pam Evans. The shop is filled with an everchanging, personally selected inventory of French, English and Italian furniture, mirrors, chandeliers and home accessories in a variety of price ranges. Customers visiting the store during the anniversary celebration the week of Oct. 10 will receive a small gift of appreciation from the owners. For more information, call 870-1030.

Mountain Brook

Chamber of Commerce OctOber LuncheOn

birmingham botanical Gardens - October 16th Doors open at 11:00, lunch starts at 11:30 regisTer AT welCOMeTOMOunTAinbrOOk.COM

GEE Emerging Retailer of the Year

The Orchard Apple Specialist in Gulf Shores, Mike LeCroix, owner, nominated by John Chamberlain, Retail and Business Service Council chairman for the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber. ❖

Guest speaker GreG canfieLD - secretary Of cOmmerce Governor Robert Bentley appointed Canfield as director of the Department of Commerce on July 18, 2011. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Canfield served in the Alabama House of Representatives as chairman of the Commerce & Small Business Committee. Luncheon sponsored by

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30 • Thursday, October 2, 2014

sports

Soccer Tourney Will Support Pediatric Cancer Research

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Week 6 scores Oct. 3 games

Photo special to the Journal

Birmingham United Soccer Association plans to use Alabama’s largest soccer tournament, the Birmingham Bash, to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer research. In conjunction with its fall soccer tournament, which will include a record 196 teams, BUSA will partner with Open Hands and Overflowing Hearts to help raise funds for and bring awareness to childhood cancer. The Birmingham Bash is set for Oct. 4 and 5. Open Hands and Overflowing Hearts is a foundation started by Kayla Perry, an Auburn University freshman from Hoover. Perry was diagnosed one month after her 18th birthday with highrisk stage IV neuroblastoma. After Perry had had 15 months of treatment, doctors told her and her family that the cancer had grown and chances of her ever being cured were very low. After that, the focus changed from curing to maintaining the disease. Birmingham United will help raise money for research for diseases like Perry’s and for other childhood cancers through donation tables set up at the three main venues of the tournament, Rathmell Sports Complex, Sports Blast 1996 soccer fields and Liberty Park soccer fields. Raffle tickets will also be sold at the tables for prizes that include a five-night Beaches Resort vacation, a 50-inch flat screen TV and a 16GB iPad. All funds and donations from the raffle will go directly to help fund childhood cancer research, BUSA officials said. “This is an awesome opportunity for our organization to partner with OHOH to help raise awareness for pediatric cancer research,” said BUSA Executive Director Andrew Brower. “Cancer has touched or affected so many families, and we are passionate about working to find a cure for the disease and support Kayla’s fight. We hope that our participants and guests will rally around this great cause.” For more information, visit www. birminghamunited.com or www. openhandsoverflowinghearts.org.

BUSA will partner with Open Hands and Overflowing Hearts to help raise funds for and bring awareness to childhood cancer. Open Hands and Overflowing Hearts is a foundation started by Kayla Perry, above, an Auburn University freshman from Hoover. Perry was diagnosed one month after her 18th birthday with high-risk stage IV neuroblastoma.

Oak Mountain 42 at Hewitt-Trussville Briarwood 12 at Walker Homewood (off) Hoover (off) Mortimer Jordan 45 John Carroll 13

Game of the week

Minor at Spain Park (Oct. 2) at Jackson Olin

James Clemens 29 Mountain Brook 26 Tuscaloosa County

Oak Mountain 42 Briarwood 12 Oak Mountain’s Harold Shader outruns Briarwood Christian’s Carter Bankston in the Eagles’ 42-12 win over the Lions Friday night. More photos at otmj.com. Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

Oak Mountain cruised to a 42-12 win over Briarwood Christian in a neighborhood battle Friday night at Eagle Stadium. Oak Mountain running backs Harold Shader and Daniel Salchert led the way, scoring five touchdowns between them,

as the eighth ranked Region 3 team racked up 488 yards of total offense against the 6A Lions. A bright spot for Briarwood was the play of quarterback Walker Lott who finished the night with 222 yards of total offense.

midterm,

bined margin of 103-6. Hoover showed an impressive defensive effort in a 12-0 shutout of Mountain Brook and dominated in wins over Oak Mountain and Thompson. Despite the unexpectedly slow start, the Bucs remain a favorite to win the Class 7A title. This Friday’s visit to archrival Spain Park will answer a lot of questions as to whether this Hoover team is on par with some of its illustrious predecessors. Spain Park: Some Jaguar fans may be disappointed in their team’s 3-2 start, but Spain Park has never been dull in 2014. Even the low scoring opener against Austin was filled with drama and excitement. And the onepoint heartbreaker to a suddenly-red hot Hewitt-Trussville team could easily have gone the other way. The only outlier was a hard-to-explain 26-7 loss to Tuscaloosa County. October will tell the tale for the Jags as they face region foes Hoover, Vestavia, Oak Mountain and Mountain Brook on consecutive Fridays. All of these games are winnable for Spain Park, but coming out of that foursome with a 3-1 mark would be a lot to celebrate as well. Vestavia Hills: The Rebels’ 14-3 win over Hewitt-Trussville on Sept. 12 made Anderson this state’s all-time winningest coach. His very first win came against the Huskies 36 years ago. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Vestavia has lost its last two games, falling to Mountain Brook 14-11 and to resurgent Class 6A power Oxford 35-14. It’s rare to see Vestavia at 2-3 at midseason, but there’s a reason why Anderson has won 310 games–his teams never give up. The Rebels will be favored at home against Thompson before facing Spain Park, Hoover and Tuscaloosa County in a row. That trio of games could well determine whether Vestavia moves on to the playoffs. The road looks tough, but Anderson has seen it all before. Mountain Brook: The Spartans may be the hard-luck team of the season’s first half. Their 2-3 record could almost as easily be 4-1. Huntsville started the frustration with a winning field goal in the final 31 seconds to

From back cover

bined? Spain Park’s roller coaster season would include a 5-3 win over Austin that looks like a baseball score and a 64-63 quadruple overtime loss to Hewitt-Trussville that resembles a basketball score? And that’s just the beginning. Since several area schools enjoyed the night off last Friday, let’s take an overview of each team at the approximate halfway point of the regular season. Oak Mountain: With the possible exception of Anderson’s record, the work of Coach Cris Bell and his Eagles might be the biggest story of 2014 so far. An opening win over Class 6A’s Hillcrest of Tuscaloosa didn’t draw much attention, but Oak Mountain showed it might be headed toward a special season with a 14-7 overtime upset of Vestavia the following week. One of the great ironies of that game was that Daniel Salchert, the son of former Rebel quarterback Danny Salchert, played a key role for the Eagles in the victory. Oak Mountain came back to earth in its third game, losing to Hoover 35-0, but has rallied nicely with impressive wins over Tuscaloosa County and Briarwood. Nothing will be easy for the Eagles the rest of the way as they play three of their final four region games on the road. For the moment however, Oak Mountain is climbing and Bell is the frontrunner for Over the Mountain Coach of the Year. Hoover: When the Bucs lost their opener to Miami Central on a lastminute field goal, few Hoover fans were concerned. After all, Central is one of the finest programs in talentrich South Florida, and the game was essentially a standoff. But when the Bucs were thrashed the following week by Colquitt County, guided by former Hoover coach Rush Propst, some Hoover boosters begin to get nervous. Since then, the Bucs have started to look like their old selves, winning three consecutive Region 3 games by a com-

Hoover (Oct. 2) Spain Park (off) Shades Mtn. Christian (off) Wadley oxford 35 vestavia 14 Thompson

Week 7 Showdown Andrew Hawkins and the Hoover Bucs will face Mason Duke and the Jaguars in a Class 7A, Region 3 matchup at Spain Park Stadium Thursday night. Journal file photos by Marvin Gentry

upset Mountain Brook 22-21 on opening night. Then James Clemens used a last-second field goal to upend the Spartans 29-26 last week. Sandwiched in between were three solid performances from Mountain Brook–a respectable loss to Hoover and wins over Thompson and Vestavia. Suffering last-second losses in close games can test a team’s character, for better or worse. Mountain Brook still has plenty of opportunities with important battles with Tuscaloosa County, Oak Mountain, Hewitt-Trussville and Spain Park over the next four games. The Spartans can will them all; their fans just hope the contests don’t come down to last-second field goals. Homewood: Ben Berguson’s debut as new coach of the Patriots got off to a slow start with a close loss to Decatur and a defeat at the hands of Class 7A rival Vestavia. In its last three games, Homewood has looked similar to the Patriots of old with wins over Pelham, Briarwood and John Carroll Catholic. The Patriots face three of their final four Class 6A, Region 5 opponents in the friendly confines of Waldrop Stadium and have a solid shot at the league title. But Homewood fans should be cautioned: In 2014 there is no such thing as a certainty. Briarwood: The Lions have struggled to a 2-3 beginning, but Coach Fred Yancey has overcome slow beginnings in the past to produce memorable seasons. Briarwood opened with a one-point loss to Chelsea and has produced quality wins over Jackson-

Olin and Hueytown. The Lions were soundly beaten by Homewood and Oak Mountain, but that’s no disgrace. As is the case with virtually every other team, Briarwood has four crucial region games (Class 6A, Region 5) in the next month. The Lions’ next three battles against Walker, Pelham and Minor could all be ranked as neartossups, with Briarwood likely a heavy favorite against John Carroll Catholic on Oct. 24. Expect the Lions to pass most of their tests and reach the postseason again. John Carroll: The Cavs were competitive in their opener, losing to St. Clair County 28-22. The bottom dropped out in a 64-14 loss to Walker in the second game. Since then John Carroll has fallen to Hueytown, Homewood and Mortimer Jordan, and things don’t look to get much easier down the road. The best chance for a win may come this Friday, as the Cavaliers go on the road to play Jackson-Olin. Coach Tim Sanders and his players have a lot of heart, but usually just not enough depth. If they keep working, good days will come. Shades Mountain Christian: The Eagles won their opener against Jacksonville Christian before losing four straight. And while Shades Mountain isn’t likely to reach the playoffs in 2014, Coach Dickey Wright knows how to set things in the right direction. The Eagles will make the playoffs in due time; the only question is how soon.


griffis,

From back cover

you with his feet. His main strength is he’s good out of the pocket.” Griffis started as a sophomore in 2013, leading the Patriots to a 9-3 record, including 7-0 in Class 5A, Region 4. He threw for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns with nine interceptions and rushed for 427 yards and four touchdowns. “He is very mature for his age and makes great decisions,” Berguson said. “The other kids look up to him. His actions on the field grab their attention. He’s going to end up being a three-year starter.”

The Patriots are competing in Class 6A, Region 5, which includes Pelham, Briarwood, John Carroll, Minor, Hueytown, Walker and Jackson-Olin. As a freshman, Griffis was the backup to senior Luke Porter. He learned a lot from Porter, he said. “I was really close to Luke, and he was great to me,” Griffis said. After Porter graduated and Griffis earned the starting job over Griffin River in 2013, older players again came to his aid. “The seniors made me feel comfortable,” Griffis said. “The first couple of weeks I was nervous, but the rest of the season it was just playing football.” Neither a coaching change nor

Thursday, October 2, 2014 • 31

sports

OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

a move up to Class 6A has slowed Griffis’ production this fall. Berguson replaced Doug Goodwin, who was dismissed by the Homewood administration at the end of last season. “I don’t think it’s been a big adjustment,” Griffis said. “Coach Berguson was on the staff, so we knew what he was like. And most of the guys on this team have been together a long time, so we just picked up where we left off.” The Patriots are competing in Class 6A, Region 5, which includes Pelham, Briarwood, John Carroll, Minor, Hueytown, Walker and Jackson-Olin. They are off to a 3-0 start in the region and will host Minor at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Waldrop Stadium. Homewood was off the last week of September. Berguson said the break was beneficial. “It came at a good time,” he said. “We have seven starters who have been hurt the last couple of weeks, so it’s a good time for them to heal up and get better.” Berguson said he doesn’t believe the off week will slow the Patriots’ momentum. “Our first two games were really emotional,” he said of the season-opening losses at Decatur and Vestavia Hills. “We were battle-tested, and I think that will help us down the stretch.” And so will Griffis’ continued strong play. He is completing almost 70 percent of passes (58 of 83) for 517 yards and three touchdowns with only two interceptions. He also has rushed for a team-leading 363 yards and three touchdowns on 78 carries. Berguson believes Griffis, with

Week 5: Mountain Brook 14, Vestavia Hils 11

Mountain Brook quarterback Jacob Carroll (pictured above with Spartan running back John Eagan) had a big night in the Spartans’ win over Vestavia. Journal file photo by Bryan Bunch Mountain Brook defeated Region 3 rival Vestavia Hills in a key Week 5 matchup at Thompson Reynolds Stadium on Sept. 19. The Spartan attack was led by senior quarterback Jacob Carroll. Mountain Brook struck early, scoring on its first two possessions. A 28-yard Carroll to Drew Odum touchdown pass capped a 68-yard opening drive. The Spartan defense forced a three-and-out and a miscue on the punt-snap exchange set the visitors up at the Vestavia 2. Carroll scored on the next play to put Mountain Brook up 14-0. Carroll accounted for 193 yards of offense with 71 yards on 18 carries and passing for 122 yards and a TD completing 14-or-21 attempts.

next issue, Week 7 Matchup: Hoover at Spain Park

his 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, could play slot receiver. “He’s fast and just a good athlete,” Berguson said. “He could play just about anywhere. I think he will be recruited as an athlete.” Griffis also plays baseball. And his versatility shows on the diamond as an outfielder, pitcher and catcher. Griffis didn’t laugh off the suggestion of playing slot receiver, although he’s been a quarterback since the fifth grade. “If the team needed me to play

slot receiver, I’d do it,” he said. “If the team needed me to, I’ll play anywhere.” But all the same, Griffis prefers quarterback. “I really like the mental side of it,” he said. “Plus, you’re in on all the plays. “I try to make plays to help my team, and I try to stay positive.” As he looks to the future and college, Griffis might have to choose between baseball and football–unless he goes somewhere that will let him

play both sports. “I have no idea which one I want to play in college,” he said. “I’ll make that decision down the road.” At the moment, football has Griffis’ full attention. With their fast start in the region, the Patriots are likely headed to the playoffs. Griffis believes they could make a deep run in the postseason. “We’ve got a lot of talent on this team,” he said. “We have to keep working hard, and I think we can go as far as we want to.”


OVER THE MOUNTAIN Journal

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sports

Week 6 Scores P. 30 Soccer Tourney Will Support Pediatric Cancer Research P. 30

Homewood, led by quarterback Carson Griffis, has averaged 34 points during a three-game winning streak. Journal file photo by Bryan Bunch

Lee Davis

Midterm Exams Area Teams Taking Surprising Turns as September Ends

On the Offensive QB Carson Griffis Has Homewood Humming

By Rubin E. Grant

Journal contributor

C

arson Griffis has found his groove, and now Homewood’s offense is humming. After scoring only 17 points while losing their first two games of the season on the road, the Patriots have averaged 34 points during a three-game winning streak. Griffis, Homewood’s 6-0, 175-pound dualthreat junior quarterback, has been the catalyst of the offensive outburst, beginning with a sensational performance at Pelham. He rushed for 271 yards and two touchdowns (3 and 82 yards) and completed 11 of 13 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in a 37-30 victory.

‘What’s so special about Carson is he not only can throw the ball well, but he can beat you with his feet. His main strength is he’s good out of the pocket.’ Ben Berguson, Homewood head coach

The next week, Griffis let his arm do the work. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown in a 28-6 rout of Briarwood Christian. Griffis didn’t put up big numbers the following week against John Carroll Catholic–

only 118 yards total offense–but he did account for two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing, in a 37-7 victory. “The first two weeks came up losses,” Griffis said. “We weren’t in rhythm, but the last three games the team has started coming together. We’ve stepped up on offense and the defense has made plays.” Ben Berguson, in his first season as Homewood’s head coach after spending the past three seasons as an assistant, likes the way Griffis is playing. “He’s having a great season,” Berguson said, “What’s so special about Carson is he not only can throw the ball well, but he can beat

See griffis, page 31

A

s the 2014 high school football season opened, almost all observers agreed it would be memorable in at least two ways. First, the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s reclassification offered up a four-region, 32-school “super division”–officially known as Class 7A. Second, 2014 would be the year Vestavia Hills coach Buddy Anderson earned his 310th career victory to become the winningest coach in the history of high school football in this state. As the calendar turns from September to October, the jury is still out on the final impact of Class 7A, and Anderson–as expected–has gained his 310th win. But for Over the Mountain football, these stories are nearly equaled by surprises, both good and not so good. Who would have dreamed, for example, that: Hoover, widely predicted to win its third straight state championship, would open with two consecutive losses, albeit both defeats came at the hands of out-of-state powers? Oak Mountain, generally expected to finish in the bottom half of Class 7A’s Region 3, would enter the new month with as many overall victories as Vestavia and Mountain Brook com-

See midterm, page 30

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