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





ursd ay, oct ober 3, 2013

V ol . 23 #19 Celebrating Jewish life: LJCC’s CultureFest offers two months of activities

about town page 3

Sibyl Temple lights up to promote traffic safety

news page 14

Sally Johnson of Vestavia Hills is a charter member of the Bluff Park Art Association and helped organize the first Bluff Park Art Show 50 years ago. The photo behind Johnson is called “Circumference” and was taken outside of her art studio.

Fifty Years of Fine Art Nationally-recognized Bluff Park Show Began as School Fundraiser Story by Keysha Drexel • Photo by Lee Walls Jr.

Sally Johnson said it seems like just yesterday that she and other parents with children at Bluff Park Elementary School in Hoover banded together to raise money to build the school’s first library. But it has actually been half a century since the idea of the Bluff Park Art Show was born out of the desire to give back to the community through the love of art.

Johnson, who now lives in Vestavia Hills, is a founding member of the Bluff Park Art Association, which will host the 50th annual Bluff Park Art Show on Oct. 5.

“How did 50 years go by? It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since we started all this,” she said. “And it doesn’t seem like I should have turned 80 this year.” Named one of the state’s top events for 2013 by the Alabama Department of Tourism, the Bluff Park Art Show has grown from a way to pay for a school library to a nationally recog-

Hoover family discovers a whole new world on mission trip to Africa

life page 16

See Bluff Park Art, page 8

Women’s Health t

Strength in Numbers

Young Breast Cancer Survivors Find Support Through Network P. 10

Circling the Wagons u

Family, Friends and Faith Help Vestavia Woman Battle Breast Cancer P. 10

Fashion show raises money for Mountain Brook schools

social page 20

boo at the zoo P. 4 • Homewood Rotary Names New Leaders p. 10 • Mountain Brook approves budget p. 15 • enchanted evening p. 18

2 • Thursday, October 3, 2013


Pink Power

murphy’s law

Walkers, runners and shoppers will have a chance to show the power or pink during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A survivor parade at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 12 will kick off the 2013 Komen North Central Alabama Race for the Cure at Linn Park in Birmingham.

The event includes a 5K run/fitness walk and a one-mile fun run/walk. The entry fee is $35 for adults and $20 for children 14 and younger. The race course is USA Track and Field certified. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds from the event go to fund community projects related to breast health and breast cancer screening and treatment. The remaining 25 percent of the proceeds funds breast cancer research. To register and for more information, visit Through Oct. 31, Brighton Collectibles at The Summit will sell Pink Power bracelets to support breast cancer charities. Brighton Collectibles will donate $10 from the sale of each $60 bracelet to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama and Steel Magnolias, a breast cancer support group. For more events related to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit ❖

On Browse through more stories and photos online and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook for all the latest OTM news and events.

Coming Oct. 17

We’ll take you inside the home of the owner of Nabeel’s Cafe in Homewood, talk about the latest fall fashions and preview local Halloween events and fall festivals.

in this issue About Town 3 People 12 News 14 Life 16



A Deal with Some Teeth in It

ever (Mr. Techno Anything at All) made have a cavity. Just one, mind the switch to a jazzy electric toothbrush you, but it means I’ll have to that gyrates the bristles while he stares make a return trip to the deninto the bathroom mirror. He started out tist. with a lower end model, but I’m sure I’ve never been afraid of the dentist. in time he will move onto one of those I chalk it up to the stealthy Novocaine high velocity numbers that the stores fix administration of my first dentist, Dr. with an alarm sensor like they’re braceMiles. His office overlooked the founlets at Cartier. Less Inca, more E.T. tain in the Paris, Texas, town square, Same goal, though. No cavities. and I just sat there happily watching I was kind of surprised that I had a the spitting dolphins as he snuck in the cavity. I haven’t had one in years. I usugum-numbing syringe. ally garner high praise from my dental When it was all over, I got to pick hygienist, just reward for six months’ out a sparkly plastic ring from the treaworth of dedicated tooth maintenance. sure box and went home a happy girl. I’m not OCB (Obsessive Compulsive My current dentist doesn’t give out Sue Murphy Brusher), but tooth-brushing is the first rings, but I do get a new toothbrush, thing I do each morning, the last thing which these days is just as good. As I do at night, the only thing I can my last appointment got close, my I confine myself to think about at the end of an eight-hour old toothbrush was getting a little manual toothbrush plane ride. (Yes, yes, I want to see shaggy. Occasionally, I am forced to pur- choices, meaning ones the Eiffel Tower, but first I have to brush my teeth.) Several times a day, chase toothbrushes between visits, that I push over and I brush, I floss (at least since 1997), but I find the process overwhelming. I’ve made my way through around my own teeth, I swish mouthwash around my gums for the suggested 30 seconds. On my the toothpaste maze (Whitening or mainly because I don’t bad girl rebellious days, I might only cavity protection? I’ll take both.), do 15, but I feel appropriately guilty but toothbrush manufacturers make need anything else the rest of the day. a big deal out of their particular that can break down And what did that 15 second lapse design, the handle, the angle, the get A cavity. Crime never pays. way the bristles poke out here on a Monday morning. But,me? I still got a new toothbrush. and there. When a new version is It’s green, by the way. I would have released, they make it sound like preferred blue (I liked the blue sparkly rings, too) but I they’ve unlocked the dental hygiene secrets of the Incas. didn’t want to make a big deal out of it in the dentist’s The bristles are sometimes color-coded, too, which I office. I’d already done the cavity walk of shame to the don’t think makes a difference inside your mouth but, appointment desk. like the light inside the refrigerator, when my jaws snap Besides, I can always use the package coupon to buy closed, there’s really no way of knowing. I confine myself to manual toothbrush choices, mean- another one, maybe even the Toothmaster 2000 that has bristles going in every direction at the same time...which ing ones that I push over and around my own teeth, looks curiously like the one I just threw in the trash. mainly because I don’t need anything else that can break Incas. What did they know? ❖ down on a Monday morning. My husband Harold, how-

Social 18 Weddings 25 Schools 26 Sports 32



October 3, 2013

Publisher: Maury Wald Editor: Keysha Drexel Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Office Manager: Christy Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Lee Davis Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Intern: Jessica Jones Vol. 23, No. 19

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at E-mail our advertising department at Find us on the Web at Copyright 2013 Over The Mountain Journal, Inc. All rights reserved. The Journal is not responsible for return of photos, copy and other unsolicited materials submitted. To have materials returned, please specify when submitting and provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All materials submitted are subject to editorial review and may be edited or declined without notification.

over the Mountain Views

What’s your biggest health challenge?

“My biggest health challenge is making myself eat right.” Shannon Hayslip Mountain Brook

“My biggest challenge is getting the proper amount of exercise. I exercise twice a week and I know you’re supposed to do more, but it’s difficult to find the time.” Susan Fitzgibbon Mountain Brook

“My biggest challenge is making myself eat lunch. I’ll get busy and look up, and it’s 2 p.m. and I still haven’t had lunch. Then I start snacking, and that’s never good.” Donna Powell Vestavia Hills

“For me, the biggest challenge is finding time to eat balanced meals.” Caroline Goldasich Mountain Brook

4 • Thursday, October 3, 2013

About Town


Save the Date Birmingham

Antiques in The Gardens Oct. 3-6 Birmingham Botanical Gardens The Birmingham Botanical Gardens will host the eighth annual Antiques in The Gardens Oct. 3-6. The event will provide shopping opportunities from antique and furniture dealers from across the country and will include presentations by tastemakers on architecture, Bobby McAlpine interior design, landscape design and more. Bobby McAlpine will headline the Red Diamond Series Lecture at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 3. Lecture tickets are $30 and include show admission. Show hours are 1-5 p.m.. on Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m on Oct. 4 and 5 and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Oct. 6. Admission is free for Birmingham Botanical Gardens members and $10 for non-members. For more information, visit or call 414-3950. Birmingham

Barktoberfest Oct. 3, 5 p.m. Avondale Brewery Hand in Paw’s Barktoberfest fundraiser will be held Oct. 3 from 3-5 p.m. at Avondale Brewery. The $20 admission includes four beer tastings, bratwursts and kraut. There will be costume contests, live music and door prices. Dogs are welcome at the event, which supports Hand in Paw’s

mission to serve children and adults with physical, emotional, educational and psychological needs. For more information, call 322-5144 or visit www. Birmingham

“Bill W. and Dr. Bob” Oct. 3-6 Virginia Samford Theatre City Equity Theatre will present “Bill W. and Dr. Bob,” a play about the genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, Oct. 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 6 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Virginia Samford Theatre. The play stars Jonathan Fuller, Alan Gardner and Jan Hunter and is directed by Sandra Taylor. Tickets are $25-$30 or $22 for groups of 10 or more in advance. Student tickets are $10 with identification. For more information, visit or call 2511206. BIrmingham

The Summit Club’s Annual Charity Classic Oct. 3, 6-9 p.m. The Summit Club The Summit Club’s annual Charity Classic will be from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 3 at The Summit Club. Those attending can taste offerings from local beer and wine vendors, visit the chefs’ tables, listen to live music and participate in the wine silent auction. The event benefits MDA’s Augie’s Quest, the Employee Partners Care Foundation and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door. For more information, visit www.clubcorp. com/Clubs/The-Summit-Club. Homewood

Skip Turner Book Signing Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m. Homewood Public Library

CHriStopHer Glenn, inC. Antiques, Gardens, & Giving

Alabama author Skip Turner will sign copies of his new novel, “Pale Blue Light,” at the Homewood Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 3. Turner will also talk about his new book, which takes readers Skip Turner through Civil War history. The free event will be held in the library’s large auditorium. Books will be available for purchase. For more information, visit homewoodpubliclibrary. org or call 332-6000. Birmingham

“Grease” Oct. 3-Oct. 20 Red Mountain Theatre Company The Red Mountain Theatre Company will present “Grease” Sept. 26-Oct. 20 at the Red Mountain Cabaret Theatre. The musical will feature the hits “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightning” and more. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Season tickets start at $192. For more information, visit www. or call 324-2424. Birmingham

Boo at the Zoo Oct. 4-31 Birmingham Zoo The Birmingham Zoo is inviting guests to wear their favorite family-friendly costumes and watch as the zoo transforms into a destination of spooky attraction, trickor-treating, themed rides and games for 15 nights at the Wells Fargo Boo at the Zoo. Guests can see their favorite Marvel characters for a special meet and greet, autograph signing and personal photo opportunity. The event will also feature the Creepy Carnival Tent with a candy village and more. Animal exhibits will be closed during the event and will close each day at 4 p.m. The Junior League of Alabama Children’s Zoo Barn will remain open in the evening for up-close and personal animal encounters. Tickets are $8 for non-members and $6 for members. Some attractions require ride tickets, which cost $3.50 each. An unlimited attraction wristband costs $12. For more information, visit www.

The Alabama Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraiser will be from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham. The event will benefit the Autism Speaks foundation and its mission to improve the lives of those affected by autism. Proceeds will help fund research, awareness, advocacy and family services. The event will also include children’s activities. For more information, visit or call 770-451-0507. Mountain Brook

Diabetes Education Program Oct. 5, 2:30-4 p.m. Emmet O’Neal Library The Emmet O’Neal Library in Mountain Brook is partnering with the UAB Nutrition Sciences Department and the Cities for Life Initiative to present a diabetes education program on Oct. 5. From 2:30-4 p.m., patrons can learn about ways to create healthy habits with Dr. Douglas Moellering, assistant professor of nutrition at UAB. This is a free event. For more information, visit or call 445-1121. Hoover

Whispers from the Past Oct. 6, 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Aldridge Gardens The Whispers of the Past Native American Festival will be held from 11:30 a.m. through 7:30 p.m. at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover on Oct. 6. The event will feature a look a Native American life through demonstrations such as flintknapping, cooking and making hunting weapons and through activities such as leaf pounding, beading, corn grinding, gourd painting and pottery. Native American musicians will also perform and dance with a black light performance at sunset. Admissions is $5 for adults and children can receive a $3 ticket to participate in

take-home crafts. Aldridge Gardens is located at 3530 Lorna Road. For more information, call 682-8019 or visit Hoover

Library 30th Anniversary Oct. 6, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Hoover Public Library The Hoover Public Library will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Oct. 6 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. The event will feature guest speakers, special displays, a film about the library’s history and refreshments. The celebration will be held on the Library’s Plaza. An artist reception for Darrell Ezekiel will follow the anniversary celebration from 3:305:30 p.m. in the Friends Gallery. For more information, call 444-7840 or visit Birmingham

New York Polyphony Concert Oct. 6, 3 p.m. Cathedral Church of the Advent New York Polyphony will perform in concert at Cathedral Church of the Advent on Oct. 6. Regarded as one of the finest vocal chamber ensembles in the world, the group will present its concert at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 for reserved seating, $15 for general admission and $10 for students. Cathedral Church of the Advent is at 2017 Sixth Ave. North in Birmingham. For more information, visit http:// To reserve tickets, call 443-8533. Homewood

Alabama Humanities Foundation Awards Oct. 7, noon The Club The Alabama Humanities Foundation Annual Awards Luncheon will feature an all-star cast on Oct. 7 at noon at The Club in Birmingham. Bestselling

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Art Gallery Reception Oct. 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Artists Incorporated A reception will be held for October’s featured artists at Artists Incorporated in Vestavia Hills on Oct. 4 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The featured artists will be Anne Reiser, Cynthia Cox, Paula Reynolds, Virginia Mellor Martin, Marissa Apolinsky and Amy Peterson. The gallery is at 365 Morgan Drive. For more information, visit or call 979-8990. Birmingham

Alabama Walk Now Oct. 5, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Railroad Park


Organizers are gearing up for the annual Gridiron Gala to benefit the Autism Society of America. From left: Laure Reid, Jonathan Nelson, Rod Harbin, Melanie Jones and Joey Longoria. Photo special to the Journal

Gridiron Gala Oct. 10, 6-10 p.m. Regions Field The Autism Society of Alabama will hold its Gridiron Gala from 6-10 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Regions Park in Birmingham. The annual fundraiser will have a football theme and raise money for a good cause. It is being held in honor of the one in 88 people affected by autism spectrum disorders. The Carver High School drum line will perform and Oak Mountain cheerleaders will welcome guests. Those attending will enjoy a tailgate buffet, silent and live auctions and dancing in the end zone to tunes by Hit Me with Music. Lance Taylor of WJOX will emcee and Jack Granger will call the auction. A $10,000 football toss challenge will offer some friendly competition. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 951-1364.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 3

About Town


Celebrating Jewish Life

10 a.m. Registration for the 10K is $30 through Nov. 22 and $36 after that. The one-mile run fee is $18. Proceeds from the Montclair Run will benefit the LJCC Sports and Fitness Department and the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama.

LJCC’s CultureFest Offers Two Months of Activities

By Keysha Drexel


Journal editor

his fall, the Levite Jewish Community Center is inviting the entire community to a two-month celebration of culture, wellness and Jewish life. The LJCC CultureFest 2013 will include documentary screenings, an art reception, a mahjongg tournament, a cookbook demonstration and the 11th annual Jewish Food Festival, among other activities. The festival kicks off on Oct. 13 with the screening of “Israel Inside,” a new feature-length documentary that explores the positive characteristics of Israeli society from a humanistic, psychological and emotional perspective. The free screening of the 55-minute film will be hosted by Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, one of Harvard University’s most popular lecturers who left his post at the university to return to his native Israel. On Oct. 20-23, the LJCC will host an Israeli art and jewelry show featuring the work of Moshe Monzon. An opening reception for the show will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 to give a sneak peek at Monzon’s art, which includes mezuzahs, tapestries, jewelry and other Judaica items. The LJCC’s fifth annual mahjongg tournament will be the next event of the CultureFest and will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Oct. 30. It costs $30 to play in the tournament, which will include a kosher lunch, door prizes and gifts for the winners. Tournament proceeds will benefit the Circle of Life Knitting Society, which knits scarves and shrugs for cancer patients. Reservations to play in the tournament are due by Oct. 18. On Oct. 28, the LJCC will host the 11th annual Friedman Family Foundation Jewish Food Festival. The festival will run from 11 a.m.2 p.m. and feature traditional Jewish food cooked in-house. The food will be available in a fun family atmosphere, organizers said, and the menu will include brisket, kugel, stuffed cabbage rolls, Israeli couscous, corned beef sandwiches, falafel pita pockets, matzah ball soup, smoked whitefish and more. The food festival will also include the annual LJCC bake sale. Adding to the festivities, the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School on the campus of the LJCC will hold its Go Green! Family Fair with lots of crafts and activities for all ages. The LJCC CultureFest continues into November with Hebrewski Night at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2. You Belong in Birmingham participants, Babies and Bagels parents and all young Jewish adults are invited to a social night out at LJCC during the event, which will include a hot dog bar, Hebrew beer and live music. Football games will be shown on televisions at Hebrewski Night. The cost is $10 per person and includes

The LJCC CultureFest will wrap up on Nov. 30 with the Festival of Lights. The Hanukkah celebration will include a latke throw-down between all the Jewish organizations in the Birmingham area and the World Series of Driedel. For more information, visit www. ❖

Organizers are busy preparing dishes for the upcoming 11th annual Friedman Family Foundation Jewish Food Festival at the Levite Jewish Community Center. The food festival is part of a two-month celebration of culture, wellness and Jewish life at the center. Front, from left: Abby Durham, Debbie Tuck, Toby Mendler and Melissa Altmann. Back: Melba Epsman, Sheryl Smith and Zena Schulman. Photo special to the Journal

two beers, a hot dog bar, slaw, chips, dessert and soda. On Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m., author Tina Wasserman will walk those attending through a recipe from her latest books during a cooking demonstration. Wassermann will lead participants through the recipes and techniques featured in “Entree to Judaism: Kitchen Conversations between Adults and Children” and talk about meaningful ways for families to spend time together. A book will be the focus of the next CultureFest event when the LJCC Book Club meets at 1 p.m. on Nov. 6 to discuss “Jerusalem Maiden”

by Talia Carter. Theatre LJCC will continue the festival fun with the presentation of “Funny Girl” on Nov. 7-17. Audiences will have several opportunities to catch the story of Fanny Brice, one of the most celebrated entertainers of her time. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, 9, 14 and 16 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 17. On Nov. 28, the LJCC will host the 37th annual Sam Lapidus Montclair Run. The annual Thanksgiving Day event will start at 8:30 a.m. with the 10K run. A one-mile run will begin at

To: From: Date:

Happy 50th Anniversary Bluff Park Art Show

James Harwell 2011 Sales Associate of the Year Over the Mountain Office 1220 Alford Avenue • 205.281.4731

987-3516 Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax Sept 2013

This is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journal for the oct 3, 2013 issue. Please contact your sales representative as soon as possible to approve your ad or make changes. You may fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

About Town


author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Winston Groom will be the keynote speaker. Multiinstrumentalist Bobby Horton will be presented with the 2013 Alabama Winston Groom Humanities Award. Emmy-nominated literary talk show host Don Noble will be honored with the Wayne Greenhaw Service Award. Books-A-Million Inc. earned the Charitable Organization in the Humanities Award. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at www. or by calling AHF at 558-3980. Tables and patron level sponsorships also are available. Mountain Brook

Emergency Preparation Program Oct. 9, noon Emmet O’Neal Library Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood. and Susan DeBrecht, director of the Emmet O’Neal Library in Mountain Brook, will hold a brown bag lunch program on preparing for an emergency at the library at noon on Oct. 9. Art Faulker, director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, and former Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier, who is now Secretary of Law Enforcement, will be the guest speakers. The event is free; drinks and dessert will be provided. Those attending are encouraged to bring sack

lunches. For more information, contact Kate Moellering at kmoellering@bham. or 445-1118 or visit www. Homewood

Founder’s Day/Angel Network Luncheon Oct. 10, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Club The Children’s Village fifth annual Founder’s Day/Angel Network Luncheon will be Oct. 10 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Club. The keynote speaker will be Jeremiah Castille, founder of the Jeremiah Castille Foundation. Tickets are $100; sponsorships are available. For more information, email village7@ or call 925-0074. Hoover

Hoover Service Club Luncheon Oct. 10, 11 a.m. Hoover Country Club Will Pearson, founder and editor of Mental Floss Magazine and a Hoover resident, will give a behind-the-scenes look at the quirky magazine during his presentation at the Hoover Service Club luncheon on Oct. 10. The luncheon begins at 11 a.m. at Will Pearson the Hoover Country Club. Tickets are $18. For reservations or more information, email

Vestavia Hills

Legacy League Scholarship Luncheon Oct. 10, 11:30 a.m. Vestavia Country Club The Legacy League, an auxiliary of Samford University, will hold its annual Fall Scholarship Luncheon on Oct. 10 at the Vestavia Country Club. Amanda LeBlanc of the professional organizing firm The Amandas will be the guest speaker. Ballroom seating opens at 11 a.m. The luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $25, and reservations are required. Reservations are available online through Oct. 4 at www.samford. edu/legacyleague. For more information, call 726-2247. North Shelby

Shelby County Women’s Connection Vendor Fair Oct. 10, 5-7:30 p.m. Pelham Civic Complex The Shelby County Women’s Connection, a part of Stonecraft Ministries in Birmingham, will hold a vendor fair on Oct. 10 at the Pelham Civic Complex. The event will benefit Stonecraft Ministries. Doors open at 5 p.m., and guests can shop until 6 p.m. After shopping, a light boxed supper will be served and a program will be presented. Shopping will resume and continue until about 7:30 p.m. For more information, call Sallie Waldron at 988-4534 or Connie Rhodebeck at 552-5227. Vestavia Hills

Library Beer School Oct. 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 5

6 • Thursday, October 3, 2013

Community document Shred days 3rd Friday of Every Month Nominal Fee secure • confidential aaa naid certified Serving commercial businesses in Central and North Alabama Contact us: 205.943.5252 / To: From: Date:

About Town Taught by the experts from Hop City Craft Beer & Wine, the Library Beer School: Home Brewing 101 class is for everyone from beer enthusiasts to budding home brewers. The class will be at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest on Oct. 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Participants must be 21 or older to attend; identification is required. For more information, visit www. or call 978-0158.

finish the fight


“Snow Queen” by Ballet Magnificat! Oct. 12-13 Wright Center Ballet Magnificat! will come to the Wright Center at Samford University on Oct. 12-13 to present its newest ballet, “Snow Queen,” featuring Hoover native and former Briarwood Ballet student Katie Carter. Several Briarwood Ballet students will also perform in the ballet. Show times are 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 13. Featuring Kathy Thibodeaux as the Snow Queen, the ballet was inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen classic story. Tickets are $10-$30. For more information, visit

Jennifer Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., Hoover 205-824-1246, fax Birmingham Walk for PKD Oct. 12, 9 a.m.-noon Oct.. 2012 Heardmont Park and This is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journal for Senior the Center The third annual Walk for PKD will nov.1 , 2012 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

be held from 9 a.m. through noon at the Heardmont Park and Senior Center on Oct. 12. The event will raise money for research and treatment of polycystic kidney disease. There will be face painting and a bounce house please initial and fax back within 24for hours. children and free health screenings If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday beforefrom the Samford press date, University and Auburn your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. University pharmacy school students. Winn-Dixie will offer flu shots for $12 Thank you for your prompt attention. at the event. Registration for the free event begins at 9 a.m. and the one-mile walk starts at 10 a.m. Heardmont Park is located at 5452 Cahaba Valley Road. For more information, visit walkforpkd. or call 256-318-3868.

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


5K VisionWalk Oct. 12, 11 a.m. Homewood Central Park

Antique Dealers & Designers



Organizers are finalizing plans for the second annual Finish the Fight Beer, BBQ & Bingo Party on Oct. 17. Front, from left: Liza Holman, Mignon Lunsford and Callen Blair. Back: Neillie Butler, Hayes Arendall and Lauren Silverstein. Photo special to the Journal

Beer, BBQ & Bingo Party Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. Avondale Brewery Organizers are finalizing plans for the second annual Finish the Fight Beer, BBQ & Bingo Party on Oct. 17. The Junior Board of the Robert E. Reed Foundation will present the fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. at Avondale Brewery. The event will include barbecue from Golden Rule BBQ, micro brews, bingo prizes and live music by Two Studs with Guitars. Tickets are $25 per person or $45 per couple at the door or online at All proceeds will support GI cancer research at UAB under the direction of Dr. Martin J. Heslin. The fifth annual Birmingham VisionWalk benefiting the Foundation for Fighting Blindness will be held Oct. 12 at Homewood Central Park. Registration begins at 10 a.m. The walk starts at 11 a.m. People are invited to form teams or walk independently at the free, family-friendly event, which will include activities for children, a bounce house, refreshments, entertainment and more. Homewood Central Park is at 1632 Oxmoor Road. To participate or for more information, visit www.FightBlindness. org/BirminghamVisionWalk. Homewood

Kick’n Chick’n Wing Fest

Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Downtown Homewood The 2013 Magic Moments Kick’n Chick’n Wing Fest will be held in downtown Homewood on Oct. 12. The outdoor wing cook-off will run from 11 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. at 1850 29th Avenue. The event will feature a wing eating contest, local celebrity judges, games for kids and live football games on big screen TVs. Tickets are $10 and include admission and five wing tickets. Tickets can be purchased online at or from any Magic Moments Junior Board member. To buy tickets from the office, contact Courtney

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The SMART Party 2.0 committee members are making plans for the event to honor local women on Oct. 10. Front, from left: Karen Carroll, Marcia Hart, Catie Ferrell, Kim Hager ad Katherine Berdy. Middle: Ricki Kline, Karla Wiles, Meredith Calhoun and Jeanne Jackson. Back: Dina Jordan, Theresa Long, Wright Rouse, Gaines Grelier, Mary Goodrich, Katrina Watson and Mimi Bittick. Photo special to the Journal

SMART Party 2.0 Oct. 10, 5:30-8 p.m. Iron City Birmingham The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham will hold its fundraiser, SMART Party 2.0, from 5:30-8 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Iron City Birmingham. By using the latest in social media technology, donors can take part in an online reinvention of the telethon, raising pledges via Twitter, text and Facebook. They can also compete for the top prize: a behind-the-scenes tour of Facebook’s California headquarters and two tickets to San Francisco. Tickets are $50 and are available in advance at Iron City Birmingham is at 513 22nd St. South.

Carson at courtney.carson@childrensal. org or call 638-9372.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 7

About Town


samford sunset run

North Shelby

Oak Mountain Day Hike Oct. 13, 1 p.m. Oak Mountain State Park Head out to Oak Mountain State Park at 1 p.m. on Oct. 13 for a moderate four-mile walk in the woodlands in North Shelby. The hike will be partially off the color-coded trails. Well-behaved supervised children 8 and older who are able to walk about four miles are welcome. Hikers will depart from the park office parking lot. The hike is free with the price of park admission, which ranges from $1-$3. For more information, call Kerry Cooper at 5415233. Birmingham

Hoover Parks and Recreation Golf Tournament Fundraiser Oct. 15, 8 a.m. Pine Tree Country Club The Hoover Parks and Recreation Department will hold a golf tournament on Oct. 15 to raise money to build a playgournd for children with disabilities at Hoover Park East. The tournament will be held at Pine Tree Country Club off Grants Mill Road. The cost is $135 per golfer and includes breakfast and lunch. Holes can be sponsored for $150 or a business can pay $600 to pay for four players and sponsor a hole. There will be a $10,000 prize for a hole in one. The shotgun start is at 8 a.m. To register or for more information, contact Dee Nance at 444-7765 or by email at❖


Penny Kimrey runs with Jeanna Westmoreland and Samford President Andy Westmoreland in the 2012 Sunset 5K while event chairman Beth Steed looks on. The 2013 Sunset 5K will be on Oct. 19. Photo special to the Journal

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Sunset 5K for Scholarships Oct. 19, 5 p.m. Samford Track and Soccer Stadium The second annual Sunset 5K for Scholarships is set for Oct. 19 at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium. The Legacy League, an auxiliary of Samford University, will host the event. The 5K begins at 5 p.m. and will proceed along the Lakeshore Trail. The one-mile fun run will take place on the Samford track starting at 5:45 p.m. Proceeds will help provide scholarships for deserving students with financial need at Samford. The entry fee for the 5K is $25 through Oct. 11 and goes up to $35 on Oct. 12. The entry fee for the fun run is $10. T-shirts are guaranteed for the first 400 registrants. An after-race dinner will be provided for all 5K participants. Register online at through 5 p.m. on Oct. 17. After that, participants may register in person starting at 4 p.m. on the day of the race. Those who wish to register by mail can pick up a form at the Trak Shak in downtown Homewood or download one from the Legacy League website at The deadline for mail-in registration is Oct. 11. A detailed schedule and map are also available on the Legacy League website.

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8 • Thursday, October 3, 2013

cover story

Bluff Park Art, From page 1

nized and acclaimed art show. “At that time, the school library was nothing more than a coat closet,” Johnson said. “We knew the children and the community needed a real library and so we were trying to come up with ways to raise money. We all had children in the school, and we cared about the community.” Henry and Liz Kimbrell, who lived across the street from Johnson and her husband, Jim, in 1963, came up with the idea to hold a dance to raise money for the cause, Johnson said. “Henry was a musician and artist, a very creative person, and he came up with the idea to throw a (fundraising) party where everyone came dressed as their favorite book,” Johnson said. Kimbrell was a musician in a band and performed at the dance, Johnson said. “The dance raised about $600, and we needed about $26,000 for the library. That was a lot of money back then, so we kept on looking for ways to raise more money,” she said. The idea of an art show came after artist Betty Brown offered to donate one of her oil paintings to be sold for the library fund, Johnson said. “It was Betty Brown’s generous offer to help any way she could that led more artists to donate their work, and we raised about $850 from that first, funny little show,” she said. The success of the first show not only highlighted the community’s generosity and willingness to support

the library and the arts, Johnson said, it also showed that there were a lot of talented artists in the Birmingham metro area. “There were so many talented people involved, like Henry Kimbrell. He won the first purchase award (best in show) in 1965,” she said. “We had so many young mothers who would put their children to bed and then gather in someone’s basement or garage and paint all night to get ready for the show, and they were all so unique and talented.” Johnson herself was one of those young mothers who took up a paintbrush after tucking her children into bed at night. Johnson was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father’s job brought the family south to Montgomery, where she started school at Capital Heights Elementary. “I was 6, but because I could read, they started me out in the third grade. I always loved information, so I read everything I could get my hands on back then,” she said. As a teenager, Johnson had a friend who took art lessons, and even though she itched to take up the paintbrush, she said she was afraid of being overshadowed by her friend. “I just felt like that was her arena and I dare not step into it, but the desire to create was definitely there when I was in high school,” she said. But Johnson also had to fulfill her desire to find out how things worked, which is why she fell in love with science, she said. “A lot of what we were learning in physics was brand-new science at that


time, and it fascinated me, and I wanted to learn how everything worked and how everything fit together. I loved the periodic table and later, after I started painting seriously, I did a series of paintings on the periodic table,” she said.


ably wouldn’t be able to use. I planned on doing cancer research after I graduated from college,” she said. But before she graduated, the young science scholar met and fell in love with a medical student named Jim Johnson.

From left: Helen Stephens, Henry Kimbrell and Dorothy Copeland

An accomplished student, Johnson graduated from high school at 16 and went to Birmingham-Southern College. “At one point, I wanted to be a missionary, so at first, my major was religion. Then I changed it to physical education, and then I took a botany class. It just blew me away,” she said. Johnson said she reveled in the field trips to the woods during her botany classes at Birmingham-Southern because they taught her how to look at the world in a new way. “It really helped me to understand how things are connected, and I really just thrived on the whole experience at Birmingham-Southern. It was a good school for me,” she said. It was while studying towards her biology degree that Johnson got her first hint that perhaps art would be a part of her future. “I did a lot of biological and botanical drawing at that time and loved it, but I didn’t take any art classes because at that time, I didn’t see the practicality in taking a course I prob-


“I graduated from college in 1953, and we were married in 1954,” she said. “I actually received a fellowship to Tulane in cancer research, but I didn’t take it because we didn’t want to be apart. Jim was a flight surgeon in the Air Force at that time, and although we had all these grand dreams of traveling all over the world, he got orders to go to Texas, and that’s where we spent the early part of our marriage.” It was in the Lone Star State that Johnson discovered her passion for art. “Art lessons were being offered for the officers’ wives on base, and so I decided to take a few lessons, just out of curiosity,” she said. “My first paintings were just horrible, but Jim said he loved them. He was supportive from the very beginning.” In 1955, the couple welcomed the first of their four children. The young family moved back to Alabama where Johnson would get together and paint and draw with the other young mothers in her Bluff Park neighborhood.

One of the women she used to paint and draw with was Lois Albright, whose daughter Beth Johns, the current Bluff Park Art Association president, was born around the same time as Johnson’s daughter, Susan. “Susan was born right around the time we were doing the first art show and so was Beth,” she said. “There are so many children who grew up around the show, and that’s still happening today.” As Johnson’s young family grew, the art association and art show she helped to found also continued to expand. In 1965, the Bluff Park Art Association was granted nonprofit status, and Betty Jones Whitfield created the organization’s logo. That same year, the association’s Permanent Collection was formed to include the purchase award-winning, or Best in Show, pieces from each year’s show, Johnson said. “The purchase awards from the first four years were given to the school library, and now the permanent collection has grown to include 105 works,” she said. This year, the Alabama Arts Council invited the Bluff Park Art Association to display pieces by Alabama artists at the Georgine Clarke Gallery in Montgomery. The 44 pieces will be on display at the Montgomery gallery through the end of October. A smaller version of the exhibit will be on display at the art gallery at Hoover City Hall on Municipal Drive in November and December. Johnson said the community support for the art show and the art association has always been what she considers part of “the magic of the show.” “We had people like Helen Kumli Stephens, who was the principal at Bluff Park Elementary, who just loved the art show and loved the association and was always willing to help us out in any way she could,” she said. Johnson said people like Liz Kimbrell and Geneva Myers, who chaired the art show for 20 years, and Sara Perry, who for the last 36 years has volunteered and served as secretary, vice president and show co-chair-


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man, are what makes the Bluff Park Art Show so special. “It’s all because of the people who are devoted to the show, to the artists, to the schools and to each other--that’s what makes this art show special,� she said. “We have a common, central connection and goal.� Jeff Pierson, the chairman of this year’s show, was recruited to join the association by Perry. “As it has evolved, residents of the area have come to regard the show as something lasting that they have had a part in creating over the course of their lifetime,� Pierson said. “We have patrons that were brought to the show each year by their parents, who then brought their children and are now attending with their grandchildren in tow.� Pierson said the goal is to make the annual event a part of the life stories of even more people. “We want any patron to immediately feel like they’ve been attending the show for as long as they can remember and to feel that they have made friends when they leave.� The art association’s fingerprint is also evident throughout the Birmingham metro area, Pierson said. “In the past 50 years, the association has donated more than $150,000 to different art and civic organizations,� he said. “We’ve commissioned and funded four public sculptures. Two are located at Aldridge Gardens, one is inside the Hoover Public Library and the other is behind Hoover City Hall.� While the art association continues to embrace and celebrate its past, organizers of the art show say that visitors

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 9

cover story


to the 2013 can expect some new elements, as well. This year, there will be 143 artists exhibiting, 45 of whom are new and have never exhibited at the Bluff Park Art Show, Pierson said. “Even though this is our 50th year, patrons will notice a huge difference in the show because of the new artists involved this year,� he said. “We focus on bringing the best art to Bluff Park that we can, and that overrides other considerations.� Patrons will see art in all mediums, including clay, fiber, glass, graphite and pastels, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, woodworking and jewelry, Pierson said. The show at the Bluff Park Community Center at 517 Cloudland Drive will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and will include refreshments, food and hands-on art activities. Admission is free. Free parking and shuttle buses will be available at Bluff Park United Methodist Church, Shades Mountain Independent, Church, Shades Mountain Plaza, Bluff

Park Village Shopping Center and Shades Crest Baptist Church. The show’s rain date is Oct. 7. Aldridge Gardens is saluting the Bluff Park Art Association with a look back through time with the “What I Got at the Show: 50 Years of Collecting Art at the Annual Bluff Park Art Showâ€? exhibit. The exhibit can be viewed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. As organizers look forward to the 51st Bluff Park Art Show and beyond, they are hoping to continue the tradition of promoting the arts for many years to come, Pierson said. “I would hope that in 50 years, one could look back and rightly regard our founders as visionaries, and our progress as determined, ethical and productive,â€? Pierson said. “I would hope that the baby in arms at the show on Oct. 5 will still be a patron of the show and will be telling grandchildren that ‘I remember when‌’â€? For more information, visit www. â?–

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10 • Thursday, October 3, 2013


Strength in Numbers


Circling the Wagons

Young Breast Cancer Survivors Find Support Through Network

Family, Friends and Faith Help Vestavia Woman Battle Breast Cancer

By Keysha Drexel

By Keysha Drexel



Journal editor

ithin a few short weeks in 2009, Suzanne Moore went from driving her kids to school and cooking dinner for her family to being driven to doctors’ appointments and having friends cook dinner for her. The Vestavia Hills mother of two was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer when she was just 36 years old. She said she quickly realized that a one-size-fits-all approach to battling the disease would not work for her. “I was a mother and a wife and had just started a part-time job, and then my life changed dramatically, almost overnight,” she said. The McCalla native is the mother of 13-year-old Abby and 10-year-old Luke and has been married to Jeff for 12 years. She found a lump in her breast during a selfexamination but said she never imagined that she had breast cancer. “Although my mother had breast cancer when she was in her 40s, when I first found the lump, I thought it was nothing, but I went to the doctor, just in case,” she said. Mammograms and other tests revealed that the lump was cancerous. One week after her diagnosis in 2009, Moore had a double mastectomy. Three weeks later, she started chemotherapy treatments and, in total, had to undergo five different surgeries. “I remember going to my first appointments after the diagnosis and looking around the waiting room and seeing that I was the youngest one there,” she said. That realization, Moore said, made her feel anxious and isolated at times because she couldn’t compare notes with someone her age. “It was hard on me and it was hard on my family, and I never knew if what I was experiencing was normal or not,” she said. Moore said the chemotherapy treatments made her so sick, she retreated to her parents’ house on her treatment days so her mother could take care of her. “You hear of a lot of people who don’t have a problem with chemo, but I was that person who was sick from it every single day. I was basically in bed for four months, and that was tough because I’m a spitfire,” she said. During her treatments, Moore said, there were many times when she felt overwhelmed. “I was very much still in that super-caregiver role that I had always been in where I wanted to put everyone’s needs before my own, and I just couldn’t because I was literally fighting for my life,” she said. Moore said she realized just how much she had conditioned herself to think of others first after the chemotherapy treatments caused her to lose her hair. “When I went bald, I think it bothered me more than losing my breasts and at first, I thought I was just being vain,” she said. “Then I realized that it bothered me so much because every time I looked in the mirror, it was a reminder of how sick I was. Even then, I worried about making other people uncomfortable because I was bald and obviously sick.” Moore said she relied on her faith in God and the support of her family and friends and learned to restructure her life.

Journal editor

Suzanne Moore and Silvia Camata, both of Vestavia Hills, are breast cancer survivors who are trying to help other young women battling the disease through the Young Breast Cancer Survivors Network. Journal photo by Keysha Drexel

“I had to learn to put myself back on the calendar,” she said. “Most women, especially women who are trying to balance family and work responsibilities, are not very good at nurturing themselves. Fighting breast cancer forced me to learn to do that.” While her battle was a tough one, Moore said she feels she’s emerged four years later a stronger--and better--person. “You learn so much when you’re faced with your own mortality. I learned that the perfect house and all that is really not that important. I had to learn to receive help, and I had to learn my own strength and that it came from God,” she said. Now that she is on the other side of her cancer battle, Moore said she is able for the first time to really think about everything she went through and what it all means. “It’s only really starting to sink in. I look back at things I wrote during the treatment and I think, ‘Was that really me?’ because I was talking about going to chemotherapy like I was going to get my nails done. I think God protects you from the enormity of what you’re dealing with sometimes when you’re in the thick of it. It’s like being in survival mode,” she said. That reflection on how breast cancer changed her life and her friendship with another young cancer survivor have led Moore to become involved with the Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network. An initiative of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, the Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network is supported by the Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. The network aims to address the unique needs and challenges of young breast cancer survivors. Moore became involved with the network through her friendship with another breast cancer survivor, Silvia Camata. The women met at Shades Mountain Baptist, where they both attend church. Camata, who also lives in Vestavia Hills, is the program manager of the Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network, which launched last year. The network’s partners include Oasis Counseling, the American Cancer Society, Baptist Health System, Brookwood See Survivors Network, next page

hen she was 46 years old, Martha Welch of Vestavia Hills was like a lot of other busy working mothers. She put others first, pouring her energy into her job as a nurse and her role as a wife and mother of two. “I was due for my yearly mammogram, and I put it off for a little while that year,” Welch said. “My father had just died of Alzheimer’s, my daughter was getting ready to go to college and my son was in the 11th grade in high school. Like so many other women, I put myself and my needs on the back burner.” Welch had no family history of breast cancer, but as a health professional, she knew the importance of regular checkups and monthly self-exams. That’s why she was stunned when in 2006, she finally went to the mammogram appointment she had been putting off and was told that an abnormality had been detected in one of her breasts. “This lump that showed up on the mammogram hadn’t been felt by me or my doctor, and so when I was told I had cancer, I almost couldn’t believe it,” she said. Welch said as the word “cancer” came out of her doctor’s mouth, her first thought was about her children. “For a moment, I wondered if I was going to die and that my children would not know their mother. I have amazing children, and the thought of not being with them scared me so much,” she said. But as her mind processed the diagnosis, Welch said she was overcome with a strange sense of peace. “I have a strong sense of faith, and I just had a sense that I was going to be okay, no matter what,” she said. “I knew I had a fighting chance and I knew that God would take care of me, and if I didn’t make it, my father would be waiting on me in heaven.” A biopsy revealed that Welch’s cancer was caught in the very early stages. Just to be sure, she sought a second opinion. “I tried to get as much information as I could on ductal carcinoma in situ, and my sister drove me around to two or three doctors before I ended up with Dr. Susan Winchester and Dr.

Michael Beckenstein,” she said. Welch said her training as a nurse kicked in soon after her diagnosis as she researched her treatment options. “You have a lot of choices at that stage of a diagnosis. I could have had a lumpectomy in my left breast, or I could have had a single mastectomy,” she said. “But I knew that if you just take off one breast, the chances of cancer occurring in the other breast go up every year, so I made the decision to have a double mastectomy.” While the choice to have a double mastectomy might have seemed like a radical one to some, Welch said the decision made perfect sense to her. “I didn’t want to have to worry about the cancer coming back or spreading. I didn’t want that hanging over my children’s heads or for it to worry my family,” she said. Before her surgery, Welch said, she got a glimpse of how lucky she is to have a strong support network of family and friends. “There were 10 girls that I went to Homewood High School with who put the call out and circled the wagons. They threw me a going-away party for my boobs and cooked and brought food to us in the weeks after my surgery. They were just amazing,” she said. During the surgery to remove Welch’s breasts, doctors discovered that the cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes and that she would not need to take radiation or chemotherapy treatments. “I was one of the really lucky ones in that it was caught early and it hadn’t spread,” she said. “Sometimes, I feel guilty about that, because I see women who are battling aggressive cancers and trying to get treatments and work and raise their families. Those are the real warriors to me.” While she was prepared for the medical aspects of having a double mastectomy, Welch said it took about a week for her to really process what she had just endured. “That first time I saw myself without my breasts was, well, odd. It took me over a week to get over the shock. I wasn’t prepared for how it would affect my body image,” she said. But Welch said she got help in the body image department from Michael, her husband of 14 years. “He was so supportive and amazing and made me feel better about the whole thing,” she said. And while she had her hard days as she adjusted to life after a breast cancer diagnosis, Welch said she had learned firsthand that attiSee Welch, page 12

Martha Welch, center, said her mother, Louise Blackshear, left, and her sister, Elizabeth Eaton, right, helped her win her battle against breast cancer. Martha is holding the number she wore in the Komen Race for a Cure she participated in shortly after her diagnosis. Journal photo by Keysha Drexel



Survivor Network, From previous page

Medical Center, UAB Palliative and Survivorship Clinic, the Oncology Nursing Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure North Central Alabama, Hope Scarves, the Courage Network, St. Vincent’s Health System, Breast Cancer Survivorship Network and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. “Women who are 45 or younger when they are diagnosed with breast cancer face very different challenges than older women battling the disease,” Camata said. Camata can speak to that issue from personal experience. About 10 years ago when she was just 38, the mother of two was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I know how devastating a breast cancer diagnosis can be to a young woman. At that time, I was juggling a career and family, and then my life changed forever as I began to fight the cancer,” she said. It was around Christmastime when Camata discovered an unusual lump in her armpit. “I had no family history and I thought I was just too young for it to be cancer, so I was very shocked with the diagnosis,” she said. “It was very frightening, and I didn’t know how I could face it.” Camata’s breast cancer was an aggressive form, and she began chemotherapy treatments shortly after her diagnosis. “In January 2003, I started the new year in a very different way that I ever imagined,” she said. With no family nearby and one child in kindergarten and the other in second grade, Camata said she and her husband relied on their friends and neighbors to help them during the year of treatments she had to endure. Neighbors and friends helped get the kids to and from school and extracurricular activities and frequently cooked meals for the family, she said. “We got a lot of support from the parents of our children’s friends

and our neighbors and our friends at church. We didn’t have family here, but our community became our extended family, and they were there for us when we needed them and I’ll never forget that,” she said. While Camata said she’ll always be grateful for the support she received while she was undergoing cancer treatments, she came to a realization that she said a lot of other young breast cancer survivors face after treatment. “During treatment, you have all this support and encouragement, and then after that, you’re thrown into society again and you have to function again, but the challenge is that your life has changed forever,” she said. After her cancer went into remission, Camata said she attended conferences for breast cancer survivors and found that resources for young women were scarce. “I wanted to focus on living beyond breast cancer and thought that I couldn’t be the only one dealing with this,” she said. Young breast cancer patients and survivors often face very different challenges than their older counterparts, Camata said, including everything from how to set goals and move forward to how to deal with body image concerns after a mastectomy. “They have to deal with the possibility of losing professional opportunities because they are sick, of missing work because of treatments, of getting their children to and from school and health issues like early menopause and cognitive issues like ‘chemo brain.’ It’s a whole different picture when you are young,” she said. The percentage of women under 45 diagnosed with breast cancer is relatively small, Camata said, which is why there are not a lot of support services available for young breast cancer survivors. “But there’s a national trend now to offer more services specifically for young survivors because that need is finally being recognized,” Camata said.

Moore said being a part of the Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network is helping her learn to deal with some of the lingering effects of her battle with cancer. “It helps so much to have that group of women who are all in the same season of their lives and can really understand each other’s experience. Just because you’re in remission doesn’t mean you are the same as you were before the diagnosis,” Moore said. And it doesn’t mean that you stop worrying about cancer, Camata said. “It’s very common for young breast cancer survivors to worry that their cancer will come back, and it’s something that is kind of always in the back of your mind,” she said. “But through the network, we are trying to show women how to move forward, how to set goals and how to redefine their lives after all they’ve been through.” Moore said battling breast cancer has certainly helped her redefine her life. As a member of the network, she hopes her story will encourage other young women, no matter where they are on their journey to wellness. “When you are stripped down to nothing, God rebuilds you, and I’m still in the rebuilding process now,” Private & Semi Private Pilates she said. “There’s not a book that by appointment tells you how your battle against cancer is going to go, but if you can talk to other people who are going 4851 Cahaba River Road Suite #137 through the same thing or who have Vestavia, Alabama 35243 gone through the same thing, it really helps and it gives you hope.” Among the services it offers, the Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network coordinates meetings on the second Wednesday of each month to give women a chance to network and talk and to hear a guest speaker, Camata said. Next up will be a presentation To: cancer Mona on nutrition for young breast survivors by Dr. WendyFrom: Demark-Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE:  205-823-9646 Wahnefried on Oct. 9. FAX:  205-824-1246 For more information on the September 2013 Date: Young Breast Cancer Survivorship his surgical internship Dr. Moody comes to Network, visit www.youngsurvi- This is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journal for the and ENT residency at us from the University ❖ oct. 3, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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Homewood Native Leaves Army Post The first woman in the country to hold the office of U.S. Army program executive director transitioned from that post on Sept. 4. Homewood native Major Gen. N. Lee S. Price was honored during a Change of Charter ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where she officially relinquished leadership of the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T. Price is succeeded by Brig. Gen. Daniel P. Hughes. The Shades Valley High School graduate climbed the ranks from private first class in the Alabama National Guard, entered Army active duty in 1981 and rose to the ranks of a two-star general. Along the way, she broke barriers for women in leadership and left a lasting legacy of delivering lifesaving technologies to U.S. forces. Price was the first woman in the Army Acquisition Corps to be nomi-

Price began her military career in 1975 as a private first class in the Alabama National Guard. nated to the rank of Brigadier General and the first woman selected to be a general officer while serving in a special operations unit. Price said her belief in integrity, sound judgment and shared vision motivated her throughout her career. “Credibility is about leading by example and always raising the bar,” she said. “My experience has taught


From page 10

tude is everything. “As a nurse, I had seen that all the time. I’ve seen how a patient’s attitude toward their diagnosis can really affect their treatment and recovery. Doctors will tell you that 90 percent of a treatment’s success is based on the patient’s attitude,” she said. So to make herself and her family and friends feel better, Welch said she tried to smile as much as she could. “I tried to look at how lucky I was to have caught the cancer early, to not have to have endured radiation and chemo and to have a chance to go on with my life,” she said. That chance to go on with her life was what motivated Welch the most during those first months after her diagnosis and mastectomy, she said. “I just wanted to get down the road, to get past it and get back to watching my daughter play basketball and my son play football,” she said. Welch was diagnosed in May 2006, had the double mastectomy in July and was lacing up her sneakers for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Birmingham by that October. “I had always supported breast cancer awareness and research, but I was really determined to do the walk

Major Gen. N. Lee S. Price, a native of Homewood, was the first woman in the country to hold the office of U.S. Army program director. Photo special to the Journal

me that the best leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves as well as their teammates.” Price is the daughter of Homewood resident Phyllis Sherk and the late Maurice D. Sherk. Her affinity for teamwork first surfaced while playing team sports as a child and has remained part of her lifelong philosophy. “It has always been about the team,” Price said. “I can tell you that every general officer has this in common: It’s not about us, it’s about what we can do in our current position, the lives we can touch and how we enrich soldiers’ lives so they can go on to greater service.” Price began her military career in 1975 as a private first class in the Alabama National Guard. After being commissioned through Officer Candidate School, she was transferred to the Signal Corps. She entered active duty in October 1981. that year,” she said. Welch said she remembers being struck by the sheer number and variety of women who were participating in the walk that year. “I looked around and I saw old women, young women, women with hair, bald women and people from every walk of life, and it really hit me how breast cancer affects so many lives,” she said. As a nurse in Trinity’s women’s and children’s unit, Welch said she tries to use what she learned during her own battle with breast cancer to help other women. “I see everything from newborns to women who are coming in for breast biopsies or reconstructive surgery, and you have a sense when a patient might be able to benefit from you sharing your story, so that’s what I try to do,” she said. Welch said she has a lot of lessons to pass on to those patients and other women who are trying to juggle the demands of daily life and often don’t make their own health a priority. “I learned a lot about myself and a lot about not putting things off-and I’m not just talking about yearly physicals and mammograms,” she said. “As women, we are natural caregivers, but I learned that I had to take care of myself first so that I could take care of everyone else. I learned

Price deployed early in the first Gulf War and worked as part of a team that installed email servers across Saudi Arabia. She also led an effort to build a $300 million commercial communications network in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Her team designed, procured and installed commercial communications that connected the Green Zone to all of the major forward operating bases in Iraq. This technology was later used to help restore logistics communications to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For her efforts, she received the 2004 Army Acquisition Excellence Project Manager of the Year Award, the first woman to earn that recognition. Price’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit awards, the Bronze Star, numerous meritorious and achievement medals and a Combat Action Badge.  Price has a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees. In 2009, she was inducted into the Alabama Business and Professional Women’s Foundation Academy of Honor. ❖

Vestavia Hills Resident Recognized at UA A Vestavia Hills resident was recently recognized by a leadership and honors organization at the University of Alabama. Dylan Kabase has been selected as a member of the Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors organization at UA.

not to postpone the things that I want to do until it’s right for everyone else.” A lover of the outdoors, Welch said she now makes it a priority to get out in nature and do the things she loves to do with her family and friends. “I love to hunt and fish, but before my diagnosis, I would always put off those kind of trips,” she said. “For the last five years, I’ve made it a point to get together and go hunting and fishing with my children.” In fact, the family has turned its annual turkey hunting trip into a way to honor breast cancer survivors and those who have lost their battle with the disease, Welch said. “We have a big turkey hunt on some friends’ property down near Selma on opening day of turkey season every year. Everybody wears pink--even the guys--and we dedicate the hunt to someone who’s fighting breast cancer and to all of those who lost that fight.” The 2012 turkey hunt was dedicated to Welch’s former nursing colleague at Trinity, Tammy Calvert, who died of breast cancer. “There are so many women--and even men--who are fighting this disease, and I want to do anything I can to draw awareness and honor those people,” she said. ❖

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 13



Homewood Rotary Announces New Leaders The Homewood Rotary Club announced new officers for 201314 and made donations to three Homewood-based nonprofit organizations at a recent meeting Joshua A. Carnes was installed as the club’s new president. He succeeds Paul Scholl at the helm of the 48-member club. Carnes is an advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors. Debbie Roberson was named president-elect, Carol Chesnutt was selected as secretary and Janice Scholl was named treasurer.

The new directors are Darwin Metcalf, Al Murray, Mike O’Kelley and Paul Scholl. The July meeting also included the presentation of $1,500 in donations to the Assistance League, the Bell Center and the Exceptional Foundation. Each organization received a $500 award from O’Kelley, who is chairman of the club’s Education Foundation. The donations were made possible by several fundraisers during the last

Last year’s Homewood Rotary Club president, Paul Scholl, left, hands the gavel to the new president, Joshua A. Carnes.

club year, including a Southeastern Conference football championship game ticket drawing sponsored by Buffalo Rock Co. Annual benefit projects also include the Chalk Art Festival and bake sale during I Love Homewood Day each May. The Homewood Rotary Club meets each Thursday at noon at the Homewood Public Library on Oxmoor Road. For more information, visit ❖

Photo special to the Journal

Attorney Selected for Advocates Forum Birmingham attorney Jonathan W. Gathings has been certified as a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in Jonthan Gathings the country. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won $1 million or multimillion-dollar verdicts, awards and settlements. The organization was founded in 1993 and has about 4,000 members throughout the U.S. Fewer than 1 percent of all lawyers are members. A graduate of Cumberland Law School at Samford University, Gathings specializes in medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury, tractor trailer accidents, automobile accidents, products liability and divorce.

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u Homewood

u Vestavia Hills

By William C. Singleton III

Promote Safety

West Homewood Plans Move Forward Temple Lights Up to Journal contributor

The city of Homewood has moved a step closer to revamping its West Homewood community. The Homewood City Council recently voted to add the West Homewood Neighborhood Plan into the city’s Master Plan and at the same meeting adopted zoning changes to facilitate the types of developments needed to revitalize West Homewood. The focus of the West Homewood Neighborhood Plan is to create a walkable community with neighborhood-friendly shops, restaurants and businesses. As outlined by the West Homewood Neighborhood Plan, the city plans to upgrade its sidewalks, outdoor benches, roads and overall landscape, making West Homewood an attractive place for residents to hang out and move about. The city also hopes to lure businesses that attract residents. The concept of mixing walkable communities with neighborhood-friendly businesses has worked well for Homewood’s Edgewood community. Any given day or night, Edgewood has its share of residents walking or jogging through the community or enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants that offer patio dining, city officials said. The city of Homewood last year paid the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham $20,000 to conduct a study and develop a neighborhood plan for West Homewood. The state picked up the rest of the tab for the study, about $80,000. The city and commission held meetings with residents who told officials what they desired for their community. “They said they wanted something like Edgewood, but something intrinsi-

By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

Top: Homewood is making plans to revamp its West Homewood community to create a walkable community with neighborhood shops. Above: A rendering shows what the area will look like after the reviatlization project is complete. Photo special to the Journal

cally different,” said Mikhail Alert, community planner for the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. The city of Homewood has already begun investing in West Homewood. Last year, it renovated Patriot Park by building a walking track, a playground, pavilions and restrooms. “We consider the anchor to this development Patriot Park because we needed something that could be built around,” said Mayor Scott McBrayer. The city has set aside $1 million in matching funds for road improvements on Oxmoor Boulevard/Oxmoor Road from Green Springs Highway to Barber Court. The project, which will cost about $5 million and will be funded mostly by the Alabama Department of Transportation, ultimately will shape

traffic flow into West Homewood. That will allow the city to develop West Homewood according to the neighborhood plan, McBrayer said. The city also has purchased for about $135,000 property near Patriot Park. The property was the former home of a gas station. City officials hope the property can be used for the type of business it wants for West Homewood. “This is a huge opportunity for us, and there’s a ton of potential over there,” the mayor said. “I’m extremely happy that we’ve got a council on board that supports what West Homewood can look like in the next few years.” To read all of the West Homewood Neighborhood Plan, visit www. ❖

u Hoover

No ‘Lights at the Met’ This Christmas By William C. Singleton III Journal contributor

There will not be any Christmas lights at the Hoover Met this year--at least not a display by OneEightySix Lightworks LLC. Art Roper, owner of the OneEightySix Lightworks, said he was not able to come up with enough sponsors for the “Lights at the Met” program this year. But he’s working on corporate sponsorship for next year. “We started a little later than what we had wanted,” Roper said. “We had some corporate sponsors who voiced that they wanted to be a part of this program this year. But we had others who had spent their sponsor-

ship funds for this year. Right now, we’re approaching those sponsors for next year.” In August, the Hoover City Council authorized the mayor

City officials were looking forward to the event because it would provide another attraction for the Met. to enter into a contract with OneEightySix Lightworks to sponsor “Lights at the Met” this Christmas holiday season from Nov. 29-Jan. 5, 2014. The event was scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and

would have cost between $5-8 for adults and $3-5 for children under 13. The display would have been held in the RV parking area at the Met and would have been similar to Zoolight Safari at the Birmingham Zoo. OneEightySix had billed the display as a five-acre light show with tens of thousands of lights. City officials were looking forward to the event because it would provide another attraction for the Met, which lost a major client when the Birmingham Barons moved in September 2012 to a new stadium in downtown Birmingham. However, city officials say they hope to continue a relationship with OneEightySix, even if it’s a year down the road. ❖

Motorists traveling U.S. 31 into Vestavia Hills from Homewood were greeted by blue lights illuminating the night sky recently. From Sept. 24-Oct. 1, the city illuminated Sibyl Temple, a popular Vestavia Hills landmark, with blue lights to promote safety on public roadways. The promotion was part of the city’s National Night Out observance, which was held Oct. 1 at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. National Night Out is an annual community event sponsored by police departments nationwide to raise awareness about police and fire department programs and public safety issues such as drug and crime prevention and traffic safety. This year, Vestavia police launched an initiative called “Operation Blue Shield” to bring attention to traffic safety and to pay respect to those who have lost their lives on public roadways. “The message we’re sending is that when you’re on the road, you can prevent blue lights (police lights),” said Vestavia Hills Police Sgt. Brian Gilham. “By obeying traffic laws and driving defensively, you can prevent citations and accidents.” The police department worked with city officials and the Sibyl Temple Foundation to display the blue lights. Usually, the Temple is illuminated at night with standard white lights. However, to create the blue light effect, the lights set at the base of the

Vestavia Hills put blue lights on Sibyl Temple to promote traffic safety as part of its National Night Out observance. Photo special to the Journal

Temple and shining upward were covered with blue sheets of Mylar. “It didn’t cost us a lot to do it. It’s easily replaceable, and it’s easy to install,” Gilham said. Though the blue lights were scheduled to be removed after National Night Out, Gilham said he hopes the blue lights can become a regular tribute. “In the future, we hope to utilize it for days of remembrance and reflection,” he said. “Hopefully, we can partner with the Sibyl Temple Foundation and utilize it to bring awareness to any traffic fatality that may occur on the roadways.” Vestavia Hills Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza said the blue light tribute was a good way to highlight public safety and the city’s popular landmark.  “I really think it makes the Temple stand out,” he said. ❖

u Vestavia Hills

Fire Department Plans Prevention Activities

The Vestavia Hills Fire Department is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association to remind residents to help prevent kitchen fires. The fire safety campaign is part of the department’s annual observation of Fire Prevention Week, which takes place this year Oct. 6-12. During the campaign, the Vestavia Hills Fire Department is aiming to spread the word about the dangers of kitchen fires--most of which result from unattended cooking--and teach local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place, said Lt. Ryan Farrell, the department’s public information officer. According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five

home fires begin in the kitchen, and cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries. “Often when we are called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes,” Battalion Chief Greg Gilchrist said. “Sadly, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they’ve suffered a damaging lesson.” During October, members of the Vestavia Hills Fire Department will visit every kindergarten class in the city to educate children on the importance of fire safety. Students will tour the fire safety smoke house and learn how to evacuate a home or building in the event of a fire. ❖

About Town


u Mountain Brook

Council Approves New Budget By Keysha Drexel Journal editor

The Mountain Brook City Council last week approved a fiscal 2014 budget that reflects a surplus. On Sept. 23, the city council approved the new budget that projects $32.9 million in general revenue and $32.4 million in spending. The revenue budget is up 1.9 percent from last year’s budget and expenses have increased by 2.5 percent over the previous budget, according to city documents. City Manager Sam Gaston said the city was conservative in its revenue projections for the new fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1. The city expects to bring in about $1.1 million from automobile taxes and about $13.5 million from property tax revenue, which is about the same as in last year’s budget. In preparing the 2014 budget, city officials said they took into account the planned closing of the Crestline Piggly Wiggly. Months after it was announced that the store might lose its lease and be replaced by another business, Mountain Brook residents are still rallying to keep the grocery store open. Crestline Piggly Wiggly supporters filled the city council chambers on Sept. 23 and asked city officials what they could do to save

the store. The store is scheduled to close at the end of November, according to owner Andy Virciglio. With that closing in mind, the city projected a slight decrease in sales tax revenue of $9.45 million com-

The city expects to bring in about $13.5 million in property tax revenue in fiscal 2014. pared to $9.55 million in fiscal year 2013. The new budget also includes a 1 percent across-the-board pay increase for city employees with a price tag of $170,000 and a 5 percent increase in medical insurance premiums. The fiscal year 2014 budget also projects a 5.2 percent increase in construction permits. Major capital projects funded in the new budget include $450,000 for the development of Cahaba River Park and $984,000 in street paving projects. The budget also includes money to pay $212,000 to install a Verizon distributed antenna system for Mountain Brook Junior High School and Cherokee Bend Elementary School to improve phone communication and school safety at those

sites. The city will spend $145,000 to buy three marked patrol vehicles and $492,771 for mobile data units and related software for the police department. The police department also received money for a $32,000 motorcycle for the patrol unit and $131,150 for weapons and accessories. The city also plans on spending $49,000 to hire an additional patrol officer to replace the officer who has been moved to School Resource Officer duty. The fire department received $47,000 in the budget to pay for renovations at Fire Stations 2 and 3. The budget also included $124,000 for firefighter turnout gear and helmets and $39,000 for four thermal imaging cameras. The public works department received $192,074 for five vehicles, $83,056 for an excavator and $11,000 for a vehicle lift and tire machine. The parks and recreation department was approved for $61,000 to purchase trucks and mowers. The Emmet O’Neal Library received $54,000 for new carpet and furniture, $30,000 for a telephone system and $17,000 for a security system in the new budget. The city plans to spend $150,000 on a pedestrian bridge along U.S. 280 and $64,000 on drainage improvements. ❖

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 15

16 • Thursday, October 3, 2013



or most, summer is a time to relax. But one Hoover family chose to spend their vacation helping children in Africa. Alicia and Wes Wilbanks took their children, twins Katie and Ashley, 14, and son Wyatt, 10, on a mission trip to Uganda for two months. The trip was organized through the African Children’s Mission, a nonprofit organization founded by members of Hoover’s Hunter Street Baptist Church, where the Wilbanks family are members. The organization, founded by Mary and Wayne Daniel, feeds, clothes and ministers to children in Africa. Wes is no stranger to mission work. He had visited Uganda with his father to install solar utility systems in missionary staff houses and facilities seven times before he decided to share the experience with his family. While Wes was familiar with the African Children’s Mission and the work being done in Uganda, his wife was not. So before they decided to embark on the trip with their children, Wes and Alicia took a short trip to Uganda by themselves. By the time she returned home from her first trip to Uganda, Alicia said, she had changed her mind about the trip she and Wes had planned with the children. Alicia said she fell in love with Uganda and its people and decided that the twoweek trip she and Wes had planned with their children wouldn’t give them enough time there. “We wanted to show the place and the people we had fallen in love with,” she said. The family then decided to embark on a summer-long trip. They worked to raise money for the trip and said they were overwhelmed with the support they received from their church family at Hunter Street Baptist. Their fundraising efforts started with a garage sale, and church members helped raise the rest of the money needed with other fundraisers and by selling T-shirts. The family took its fundraising efforts online, and an anonymous YouTube viewer made and sold 200 T-shirts to help the cause. “To this day, I’ve never met the guy, and I still don’t know who it is,” Wes said. For Wes, the numerous contributions, particularly the one from a total stranger, provided confirmation that he was on the right path. “God stepped in and provided the money through all of our friends and family, and that was probably the coolest thing we’ve ever seen,” he said. When Wes and Alicia told their children about their plan, Ashley and Wyatt were thrilled and ready to pack their bags immediately, their parents said. Katie Mae, on the other hand, wasn’t as enthusiastic. “They told me, and I was like ‘I’m not going. I Story by Jessica Jones don’t want to go to Africa. I don’t want to give up my summer and miss my friends,’” she said. But when it was time to return home to Hoover, the family member who was the most reluctant to go to Africa was the most reluctant to leave. “There were a lot of missionaries that we know that were there while we were there, and I got close with a lot of them, and they’re going back and I’m like, ‘Take me with you,’” Katie Mae said. For the family’s youngest member, Wyatt, the trip turned out a bit differently than he expected. “It was really fun, but overall I would say it was different from what I expected it to be,” he said. “I didn’t know that they really had houses. And so what I was really expecting was for us to be living in a mud hut sitting around all day until the other missionaries came over and until we got into the projects. That’s honestly what I was overall expecting.” There wasn’t much time for sitting around, the family discovered. There was work to be done, and the family had to learn to adjust their daily plans when they hit a road block--which they invariably did, starting from the moment their plane touched down at the airport.  From top: Wyatt Wilbanks hangs out When the family arrived in Uganda, they had no luggage aside with the new friends he made during his from what they packed in their carry-on bags because it was lost. Luckily, they’d family’s mission trip to Uganda. During each packed a change of clothes. But that wasn’t the end of their problems. their two-month stay in Uganda, the When they arrived at their house, it was still under construction, so the family Wilbanks family helped villagers repair a moved into Wayne and Mary Daniel’s vacant house until their own was ready. The well. The family got to know several children in the village during their stay. Alicia house flooded twice, and there was no hot water for showers. The family finally works on the walls of what will be a new moved into its home but found out it wasn’t quite ready for them. “We get over to our house, and the house is finished but there’s no wiring,” Wes school in the African village. Ashley, Wes,

A Whole New World Hoover Family Takes Two-month Mission Trip to Uganda

Wyatt, Alicia and Katie Mae pose for a family photo. Photos special to the Journal


said. “The water tank for the house was broken when the pipes were installed. So we didn’t have running water and couldn’t drink the water in the tanks.” They went three weeks without hot showers, one week with no running water and two weeks without their luggage. But Alicia said problems like the ones they experienced were to be expected. “All of that was really hard, but we were so like ‘This is Africa,’” she said.” I don’t think we reacted the way we would have reacted if we were here.” In the small village 70 miles from the nation’s capital, where there is no electricity and everything is solar powered, things took longer, Alicia said. Their days began around 7 a.m. when they would start preparing breakfast with the help of a local woman named Susan.  “We would all eat breakfast together and then go out to one of the projects,” Ashley said. “When the team was there, we’d go fix wells or mud huts or go fix the playground at the primary school, but when it was just us we’d go lead some English classes.” At the local primary school, the family helped students when the children came across words they couldn’t understand while reading. The class would act out chapters they’d read for comprehension. The family planned to stay in Uganda for three months but had to leave early when their son’s epilepsy

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 17



became uncontrollable. Doctors had written 90-day prescriptions for Wyatt’s medication, and the family took large amounts of medicines on the trip. Suddenly, however, the medicines weren’t working. “We didn’t know it at the time, but his medication had stopped working before we even left,” Alicia said. That, they believed, combined with the stress of being in a new environment caused Wyatt to have seizures, up to 20 a day by the time they left Uganda. “We were on the phone with doctors and trying to figure out the time difference,” Alicia said. “Driving five hours a day, two and a half each way, to see the doctor to try to get some answers, that was the most discouraging part for me. And just having to leave early--that was really, really hard because we felt like we didn’t accomplish our goal. Our goal was be there for three months, and we weren’t able to do that.” Despite having to leave sooner than they expected, the family formed relationships with villagers and with other missionaries. Wes’ goal to “broaden their world view” by taking them to Africa to experience another culture had the desired effect when Wyatt, instead of sitting in a mud hut all day, soon became friends with the other children. “On Saturdays, we would have 20-plus kids at our house,” said Ashley. While the family went there to help others, they said they came to

realize that the experience helped them, too. “You realize that people, no matter where they live, no matter where you’re from, their background, your race, people are all generally the same. “We all struggle with the same things. When that part of it starts sinking in, that’s pretty neat.” The Wilbanks children said living for two months in Uganda made them appreciate the privilege of middle

class American life. “It makes me feel selfish because we just take all the things we have here for granted,” Wyatt said. Without social media, the Internet, television and technological devices, the Wilbanks family members said their experience in Uganda has brought them closer as a family because their daily lives demanded that they work as a unit. “For whatever reason, I don’t know if it’s getting to the most basic

way of living or the distractions here that are stripped away or if it’s just the place and the people, but I feel like we were all the best versions of ourselves,” Alicia said. “I was my most real self when I was over there.” They said they might return for another mission trip in the future but have no definite plans. “Who knows? If God opens the door for us to be able to go again, we would very much like to do that,” Wes said. ❖

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To: From: Date:

Jeremy Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax Sept. 2013 This is your aD prOOF from the Over The MOunTain JOurnal for the Oct. 3, 2013 issue. please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

18 • Thursday, October 3, 2013



Enchanted Evening All Ages Dress Up for Fairy Tale Ball


recent fundraiser for Childcare Resources had a fairy tale ending. The 2013 Fairy Tale Ball on Aug. 24 at the Sheraton Birmingham raised close to $90,000 for Childcare Resources, a nonprofit partner agency of United Way of Central Alabama. The magical evening featured fun activities for the whole family. During the seventh annual event, the ballroom was transformed into an enchanted wonderland with guests dressed as their favorite characters. The honorary chair family for this year’s gala was the Sewell family. Parents Steve and Linda Sewell and their daughters, Ana and Abby, were on hand for the festivities. “For the past five years, our family has been enchanted by fairy tale characters at the Fairy Tale Ball. It is wonderful that Childcare Resources has created an evening where the whole family can dress up and enjoy good food, dancing and magical moments. Our girls look forward to it each year,” Linda Sewell said. The event included a silent auction with donated items, services, sports tickmore photos ets and vacation packages. Presented by the Junior Board of Childcare Resources, the evening gala included dancing to the music of Nationwide Coverage, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, adult and children’s beverages, a candy “bar” and interactive entertainment by fairy tale characters and whimsical performers. Established in 1984, the mission of Childcare Resources is to promote quality care and education of children by providing information, education and assistance to families, employers, childcare providers and the community. ❖

Emma Grace DeMarco and Rachel Hall get autographs from Cinderella and Prince Charming at the event. Photos special to the Journal



From left: Reagan Dobbs, Montana Highley, JD Hughes, Kaitlin Moore, Anna Dunbar, Anna Stroud and Olivia McClure.

Young guests at the 2013 Fairy Tale Ball clown around with balloons.

A People-Pooch Party Guests Preview ‘Hottest Hounds’ Book

Clockwise from above: From left: Cindy Beatty and Donna and Bill McFeeters; Cassie Moore; Tracy Dairo and Sandra Varallo with Bianci. Photos special to the Journal

The four-legged stars of a new book braved the “pup-a-razzi” to walk down the red carpet at a recent event benefiting the Animal League of Birmingham. The premiere party for “Hottest Hounds 2,” a collection of photos of the Birmingham metro area’s most stylish pets, was held Aug. 23 at Zydeco in Southside. People and their pooches enjoyed an evening of star treatment at the fundraiser while flipping through the pages of the new book, sipping specialty drinks like the “Fluffy Puppy” and eating appetizers provided by the Zydeco staff. Canines attending the event enjoyed a dog treat bar filled with homemade treats. Sean Heninger provided live music for the festivities. Raffle prizes came from Hollywood Feed, Manhattan South, Dog Days of

Birmingham and Regina and Gus Mayer. Those attending included Cassie Moore, Cindy Beatty, Donna and Bill McFeeters and Joey and Veronica Kennedy. Also enjoying the premiere party were Jami Davis with Bama Dawg, Sheree Acheson, Natalie Cisneros and Bart and Danielle Yancy with Sweet Pea and Willie. Others spotted at the event included Inga Clum with Chloe, Kevin Dobbins with Biscuit, Tommy Owens with Big Girl, Tracy Dairo and Sandra Varallo with Bianci and Kehley and Christopher Miller. Thirty percent of the sale of each book will benefit the Animal League of Birmingham. For information on how to purchase a copy, send an email to or visit ❖

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 19



Far left: Celebrated musician Demondrae Thurman joined Samford’s faculty this fall. left: Professor Christina Villaverde, accompanied here by professor Don Sanders, maintains an active opera career. Photos special to the Journal

A Psychological Thriller from local author Kristina StreetmanDiGiovanni

Staging a Showcase

Samford Faculty Perform at Annual Gala

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Music and theater faculty members at Samford University recently put on a show of their own. Samford University’s School of Arts presented its annual Faculty Gala on Sept. 10 in Brock Recital Hall. The free public event, sponsored by Patty McDonald, featured a variety of live performances from the university’s music and theatre faculty, featuring musical selections from Vivaldi, Lerner and Loewe, Handel, Vaughan Williams, Höhne, Schickele, Donnizetti and others. Among those performing at the gala were Don Sanders, Jeff Flaniken, Brian Viliunas, Kristin Kenning and Mark Sanders. Other music and theatre faculty members performing included Laura Doss, Sharon Lawhon, Dan Lawhon, Sarah Nordland Dennis, Moya Dennis, Demondrae Thurman and Kathryn Fouse. The Faculty Gala paralleled a free, month-long exhibition of recent artwork by visual arts faculty members. The works, in various media, were on display at the Samford Art Gallery through Sept. 30. ❖

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Styles for Schools

Fashion Show Raises Funds for Mountain Brook Foundation Students, parents, teachers, administrators and school supporters took a turn on the catwalk recently to help the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation. The Schaeffer Eye Center Fashions for the Foundation, sponsored by the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, was held Sept. 10 at The Club in Homewood. Wendy Gardner, co-host of “Daytime Alabama” on Alabama’s 13, was the emcee for the event. Along with Jack Schaeffer and his daughter, Brooke Kaplan, the models took to the runway to present the latest styles from several Mountain Brook retailers.

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20 • Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bobby Plummer

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Anne Raines Doidge

Prints Gigi and Lula Byars

Participating retailers included Harrison Limited, Laura Kathryn, Mary Glen Lingerie Shoppe, Macy’s, Marella, en haPHONE:  n c i n g l i f e w i t h  p2l a05-823-9646 nts Over The Mountain Journal, Mobley & Sons, Monkee’s of FAX:  205-824-1246 Mountain Brook, Mountain Brook Sept. 2013 Sporting Goods, Mountain High Outfitters, Pants Store, Snap Kids, This is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journal theTulip, Town and Country Thefor Pink oct. 3, 2013 R a i n issue. o r S h iPlease n e • Frfax ee approval A d m i s s i oorn changes to 824-1246. and Village Sportswear. The show was produced by Haute • Fa l l i s a n I d ea l T i m e to Pl a n t Tr ees & S h r u b s please make sure all information is correct, Pink and presented by Schaeffer Eye Village Dermatology was the including address and phone number!Center. gold sponsor. Silver sponsors were Liberty Animal Hospital, Alabama’s 13 and St. Vincent’s Bruno Cancer please initial and fax back within 24 hours. If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date,Center/Dr. Susan Salter. your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Tickets for the event ranged from Scan the tag $50 for individuals to $800 for tables for moreThank you for your prompt attention. of eight with all the proceeds going to information about the benefit the foundation and schools in event. http:/ / Mountain Brook. Familiar faces posing for the camera at the fashion show fundraiser included Mountain Brook City Schools Superintendent Dickey Barlow, Mountain Brook High School Principal Amanda Hood and Mountain Brook City Councilman Billy Pritchard. Others modeling in the fashion show included Bobby Plummer, a coach at Mountain Brook Junior High School, Cherokee Bend Elementary Tr e e s & S h r u b s• H e r b s• Pe r e n n i a l s• C a m e l l i a s• Fa l l L e ttu c e s Principal Betsy Bell and Brookwood • Fe r n s• B i a n nu a l s• N a tive s• Wi n te r A n nu a l s• I r i se s• H o sta s Forest Elementary Principal Nathan • B e d d i n g P l a n ts • H o sta s• D a y l i l i e s Turner. Also participating in the fashion 205.414.3950 show were Crestline Elementary School Principal Laurie King and Christy Christian, assistant princi-

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The 2013 Fashions for the Foundation event raised $13,500 for the foundation. From left: Suzan Doidge, Anne Womack, Jack Schaeffer, Susan Salter, Barbra Monaghan, Brooke Kaplan, Lloyd Shelton and Kaye Emack. Photos special to the Journal

pal at Brookwood Forest Elementary School. Students from Mountain Brook schools also joined in to help raise money for the foundation. The student models included Anna Raines Doidge, Gigi Byars, Lily Kate Sobera, Lula Byars, Jack Royer and Tillman Drew.

The 2013 Fashions for the Foundation event raised $13,500 for the foundation. The Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation was founded in 1995 to help ensure the schools stay current on technology-based learning and that the students have access to all the materials they need. ❖

Former Miss Alabama Speaks to Hoover Belles Beth Stomps Feller, Miss Alabama 1997, was the speaker at the Hoover Belles’ annual Back to School ice cream social. Feller shared the story of her journey to become Miss Alabama. She encouraged the Belles to consider their years of community service as a commitment that will continue beyond high school. Feller also entertained the group by singing “Love Changes Everything” from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, “Aspects of Love.” The Hoover Belles are high school juniors and seniors selected to serve as hostesses for the city of Hoover. They are residents of Hoover and attend Hoover High School, Spain Park High School, Briarwood Christian School, John Carroll High School and Shades Mountain Independent Home School Program. Seniors enjoying the event were Hannah Shultz, Catherine Milling, Meredith Barker, Reed Williams, Madison Minyard, Laura Blake, Peyton White, Elizabeth Pate, Lauren Burks, Emily Taylor, Jamie Burleson, Caroline Steele and Sarah Patrick. Other seniors attending included Bailey Gray, Frances Clarke, Caroline Conrad, Anna Shepherd,

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 21



Paduch. Also enjoying the annual afternoon gathering were Hoover Belle Committee Chairman Laura Boyd

and committee members Jennie Alley, Sandra Barnett, Pam Harris, Cathy Head, Jan Pruitt and Kay Witt. ❖


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Those attending a recent gathering of the Hoover Belles included, from left: Rebekah Odle, Caroline Conrad, Rebecca Leach, Anna Shepherd and Bailey Gray. Photo special to the Journal

Morgan Rogers, Haley Haggard, Maddy Powell, Katie Hatch, Bailey Pereira, Sarah Hill, Taylor Korson, Jenna Huerkamp and Shannon Hurst. Juniors at the event were Sydney James, Lindsey Allred, Haley West, Claire Johnson, Caroline Bearden, Rachel Washington, DeJaNeal Brown, Lesley Turner, Rebecca

To: Leech, Meagan Burgess, Rebecca Townsend, Rebekah Odle and Leah From: Byerly. Other juniors attending included Date: Catherine Saab, Cassidy Sims, MyChale Cooper, Kate Dease, Stevie Presley, Julianna Dinsmore, Sarah Pratt, Rachel Ousley, Abbey Greer, Layne Hoover, Paige Pichel, Morgan Pate and McKenzie

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Symphony Update

Long Is Guest Speaker at NSAL Meeting The Birmingham Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters hosted the executive director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for its first meeting of the season. Curt Long was the guest speaker at the NSAL’s Sept. 18 luncheon meeting at the Birmingham Country Club. Mildred Allen-Taub, chapter president, presided. Cindy Free, the chapter’s program vice president, introduced Long, who gave a chronological history of the ASO as it has evolved over the last 90 years. Long highlighted the national recognition given the orchestra during the tenure of Maestro Justin Brown as music director, now director emeritus. Long said the search for a new conductor is ongoing and stressed the need for consistently generous support for the orchestra. The chapter will host NSAL National President Catriona Erler at its meeting on Oct. 16. Erler

will speak on “Garden Design in America–A Whirlwind Tour of America’s Regional Garden Styles.” At the Dec. 18 meeting, WilliamMichael Cooper, director of ArtPlay Dance Ensemble, will present a performance for the chapter. Members attending the September meeting included Edie Barnes, Edith and Robert Bauman, Zelda Covey, Lynn Russell-Davis, Margie Denton, Fay Hart, Jane Hinds and Ruth Jensen. Others attending the first meeting of the season were Melva Jones, Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw, Patti Manning, Miriam McClung, Jeannine McElroy, Nancy Morrow, Herb Patterson, Mary Frances Reed, Catherine Rogers, Barbara Shepherd, Sue Watkins, Nancy Whitt, Martha Willetts, Maxine Williams and Janis Zeanah. Marie Lewis and Curt Long were guests at the meeting. ❖

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Starry Night

Big Brothers Big Sisters Event Spotlights Talented Kids

Hines, Blake and While the event was Erin McGarrah, called A Night of Big Andy and Monica Stars, a gala fundraisSchroeder, Mark er for Big Brothers and Kimberly Big Sisters of Greater Boackle, Wes and Birmingham was Amy Legg, Joe all about the “little” Brady, Cathryn stars. Weaver, Dan and The second annual Carey Thomasson, A Night of Big Stars Ryan and Keri was held at the Alys Austin, Bryant Stephens Performing and Melanie Arts Center on Aug. Cross, John and 17. Kaylie Franklin, In partnership Murray Meadow, with ArtPlay and Darlene Tysinger, led by the efforts of Robert and Linda honorary co-chairmen Joiner, Robert and Robert Buchalter Barbara Alexander, and Jack Darnall, Mike and Tammy A Night of Big Stars From left: Sue Johnson, Ensley and Jack Darnall. Photos special to the Journal Dunn, Corinda was a gala and talent Harris, Leola exhibition featuring Gipson, Don and many of Big Brothers Bobbi Siegal, Jack Big Sisters’ most taland Suzanne Payne, ented children. Sid and Leigh Anne The event was Phillips. also a fundraiser to Others spotted support the agency’s at the Big Brothers mentoring proBig Sisters fundgrams. BBBS serves raiser were Mike approximately 1,000 and Holly Waller, children in Jefferson, Anthony and Kath Shelby, Blount, St. Patterson, Steve and Clair and Walker Kelly Sheils, Ben counties every year. and Barbara Nevins, The evening Pam Blalock, Jeff began with a cocktail and Leigh Anne hour with jazz music Hodge, Georgia provided by the John Sullivan and Jimmy Williams Quintet of Haggerty, Chris Birmingham. A live and Victoria Hicks, show immediately Wray and Joan followed in the Sirote Helena and Robert Buchalter, Ron and Glynnis Levitt. Pearce, Charles Theater and included Leesburg, Marcia Berck, Doug and Gill, Darrell Tucker, Laura Tucker, numbers such as “Stand by Me” and Becky Uhler, Laura Leigh Latta, Keith and Laura Covington, “Man in the Mirror.” The production Russell Rotherford, Felicia and Stewart and Missy Cox, Mike and included spoken word pieces written Scott Lee, Caroline Boone, Kelly Allison Brown, Jack and Ensley by the “Littles” in the program about Ray, Christy Whitcomb, Patricia Darnall, Jansen and Katie Voss, what inspires them and what their Houston, Krishun Lyons, Michelle Brad and Makenzi Tew, Steve “Bigs” mean to them. Yellow Bicycle Catering Company Hoyt, Natasha Wood, Derrick Sims, McHugh, John Peterson, Stephanie Bell, Arlene Ashford, Christalyn Rose Clinton, Elbert Youngblood, catered a seated dinner after the perGaitrice and Stanley Benson, Sheila Bolling-Cooper, Ursula Kimbrough, formance. Emmy Neal, Bill and Renee and Alexander Mitchell, Shane During dinner, Big Brother of the Clements, Jackie Nails, Shondra and Monica Spray, Andrew and Year Phillip Howard, and his Little Tucker, Claire Theibert Gail Smith, Wilson and Brother, Cordae, spoke about being Rachel Bayerle. Jennifer Holifield. a Big and the importance of the promore photos at andAlso attending on Others enjoying the gram.  Aug. 17 were Jill and gala and talent exhibiBig Brothers Big Sisters Chief Daniel Hightower, Rob tion were Brent and Executive Officer Sue Johnson and Casie Walker, Alan Charla Balough, Robert er The Mountain Journal, PHONE:  205-823-9646 and Board President Mike Waller and Janice Lott, Steve and Cay Buchalter, Helena presented the children with medals X:  205-824-1246 Alby, David and Catherine Fowler, Buchalter, Blake Buchalter, Eric for their performances and recogptember 2013 Allen and Katie Dunn, Rick and Buchalter, Hugo and Lanier Isom, nized Buchalter and Darnall for their Leigh Haley, Ronald and Glynnis Carter and Donna Cooper, John his is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journal for the efforts. Levitt, Tony Smith, Jim Marron, and Chere Wood, Michael and At the end of the evening, the oct. 3, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. Jerald Labovitz, John and Deborah children went out into the audience to Teresa Tillman, Jim Sims, Amy Sellers, Bill and Judy Lewis, Mark honor female guests with yellow roses Sims, Jimmy Sims, Meg Sims, please make sure all information is correct, and Ann Davis, Donate Parker, Les Kerri and Marshall Summey, and to sign autographs.  and Miriam Reed, Hugh Smith, Jimmy and Sue Johnson, Tim A Night of Big Stars 2013 raised including address and phone number! Michael Reynolds, Kimberly and Donna Hightower, Chad and more than $150,000 for Big Brothers Reynolds, Beth and Ben Moody, Jennifer Reagin, Jay Reed, Steve Big Sisters’ mentoring programs. please initial and fax back within 24 hours. Callie and Darryl Jones, Alesia Anderson, Jacque Meyer, Brandon Those attending included Tom If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, Jones, Harlan and Lynn Sands, Pettagrue, Tanya Pettagrue and and Patty Francis, Katherine your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. Richard Stanford, Linda Lucas, Marsh, Anna Sparks, Ashley Baker, Phillip Howard. Brent Gage and Andrea Gage. Also attending the second annual Joan Sheppard Randilee, Mary Thank you for your prompt attention. For more information on Big event were Cordae Kimbrough, Laura Day, Sonjanika Henderson, Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chip Bivins, Pam Bivins, Jason Lynn Hood, Steve Wadley, Mark Birmingham, visit www.bbbsbhm. Bivins, Genessa Lang, Dave and Griffin, Christy Tubbs, Alesha org. ❖ Mary Mason, Jerrold and Tikki Mitchell, Lovely Browder, Chara

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Swings at Sunset

Golf Tournament Benefits Alzheimer’s Research Golf enthusiasts teed off for a good cause recently at Highland Park Golf Course. More than 70 players participated in Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama’s Glow for the Cure night golf tournament on Sept. 12. This was the second year of the Glow for the Cure tournament. About 50 players participated last year. The event benefits Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama research programs. The tournament teed off at 4 p.m., with the first nine holes of golf played during the day. A barbecue dinner was served at sunset. At about 7 p.m., golfers were called to their carts and given instructions for the nighttime portion of the tournament.

Chez Dyas, James and Jarrod Wall, Beau Green and Taylor Clark. Event volunteers included board members Stephanie Sansing, Nicole Crawford and Lanette Cook. Bob From left: Jim Martin, Penny Witcher, James Martin and Straka, who Chez Dyas. Photo special to the Journal has volunteered his auctioneering skills at ACA events The cart paths were marked with for many years, was seen clearing glow sticks, and players used lighted tables and serving banana pudding pregolf balls. pared by the club. Among those attending the fundAlzheimer’s of Central Alabama is raiser were Dan Pahos, Ross Silas, a local organization helping local famiMason Morris, Coby Lake, David lies. For 22 years, ACA has offered Kimerling, Rick Roth, Grant York, scholarships for patients to attend adult Lee Wellingham, Brent Dierking, day care or to receive continence prodand Dane and Crystal Yarborough. ucts, offered support groups and other Others attending Glow for a educational services to caregivers and Cure 2013 were Terry Rogers, Sam assists professionals in 21 central Lorino, Doug DeMedicis, Penny Witcher, James Martin, Jim Martin, Alabama counties. ❖

PrimeTime Treasures Hosts Appreciation Luncheon Craftspeople who create the unique gift items at PrimeTime Treasures in Homewood were recently honored by the Assistance League of Birmingham. An appreciation luncheon was held on Aug. 27 at the Assistance League’s headquarters on Oxmoor Road. Those honored at the event included Kim Lucas of Vestavia Hills, Norm Sorenson of Homewood, Susan Lanier of Vestavia Hills, Barbarann BeckettGaines of Cahaba Heights and Donna Parker of Vestavia Hills. Mary Ann Wade, PrimeTime Treasures chairman, and Jan Service, president of the Assistance League, welcomed the crafters and guests to the event. PrimeTime Treasures is a nonprofit shop administered and staffed

WO BIG SEPTEMBER EVENTS PrimeTime Treasures honored its craftspeople at an appreciation luncheon in late August. From left: Kim Lucas, Norm Sorenson, Susan Lanier, Barbarann Beckett-Gaines and Donna Parker. Photo special to the Journal

by Assistance League members. The shop offers handmade products from senior citizens in Alabama.



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Vestavia Belles Event Honors Seniors, Introduces New Members Senior Vestavia Belles were recently honored and the new Belles were presented at a recent event. The Vestavia Belles program, sponsored by the city of Vestavia Hills and the Vestavia Hills Beautification Board, began in the spring of 1979 when Betty Davidson selected the first group of high school girls to serve as Vestavia’s junior hostesses at civic and cultural events. The Vestavia Belles made their first appearance at the 1979 Dogwood Festival. The senior Vestavia Belles honored were Elizabeth Benton, Ashleigh Bonovitch, Caroline Bottcher, Molly Brannan, Alex Brown, Ryan Brown, Margaret Byars, Hannah Capps, Rachel Caskey, Leah Dennis, Lizzie Dunn, Layton Dyess (vice president), Haley

Lamplighter Club Ends Summer with Dance

The Lamplighter Club wrapped up the summer season with a special dance in Birmingham. This is your ad proof from the over the mountain Journal for the The club’s summer dance was oct. 3, 2013 issue. Please fax approval or changes toheld 824-1246. Aug. 6 at Concordia Club at Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 the invitation of the Birmingham please make sure all information isFraternal correct, Council of Dance. 3 Club members brought along including address prOOF from the Over The MOunTAin JOurnAl for theand Augustphone 8, 2013 number! ssue. please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.


SUMMER MAY BE OVER, BUT THE LOVIN’ ake sure all information is correct, including address JUST BEGINNING. andIS phone number! Thank you for your prompt attention.

Evans, Marilyn Gray, Hannah Harris, Neely Henry, Kayla Hunter, Sarah Elizabeth Hyde, Maria Inman, Melissa Junkins, Mandi Kelley, Chandler Kitchens, Lucy Anne Link (historian), Saralynn Lowry, Joan Leslie McGill, Mary Katherine Mize, Caroline Morrison, Hannah Moss (president), Allison Pounds, Jane Anne Roddam, Caroline Smith and Mary Frances Yeilding. The Vestavia Belles presented were Emma Ayers, Elizabeth Bennett, Gianna Blaudeau, Rachel Brooks, Katie Brown, Maria Christine, Bradley Copeland, Claire Corcoran, Haley Dellaccio, Hannah Echols, Catherine Fought, Claire Hand, Lucy Hart, Madison Harvey, Amelia Haston, Bailey Holston, Emily Kaiser, Kathryn Kennedy

(historian), Rebekah Kennedy (historian), Claire Kidd, Mary Katherine Leos, Paris Malensek, Elizabeth Mize, Anna Cate Parker, Lowrey Patterson, Isabel Sandoval, Lillie Stephens, Margaret Ann Vice (secretary), Hannah Yarmowich, Madeline Zaragoza, Grace Baker, Emilee Benos, Caroline Christie, Hannah Dean, Abigail DeBardeleben, Emma Henry, Annie Hamm (treasurer), Lily Hardwick, Olivia Kempworth, Sara Frances Lawson, Cailyn Levant (vice president), Laura Livingston, Kara McCord, Caroline Parrish, Grace Pike, Addie Prewitt, Haley Roth, Abby Slupe, Rachel Snow, Jane Thornton, Candler Yeilding and Mary Jane Young (president). Rita Greene is the Belles chairman. Anne Boston is co-chairman. ❖

their spouses and escorts for an evening of music and dancing. The Second Chance Band provided music. Joan Meeks, the club’s president, attended the summer dance with Howard Clowdus. Sheila Taylor, first vice president, was there with her husband, Larry. Ruby Romano, the club’s second vice president and treasurer,

attended the event with her husband, Ben. Other Lamplighter Club members attending included Colleen Adams with Virgil Mitchell; Barbara Harbin with her husband, Hugh; Pearl Montalbano with Robert Rube; Betty Underwood with her husband, Earl; Jean Morton; Mary Nappi and Margie Wasley. ❖

please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

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

please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

d from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday.

Thank you for your prompt attention.

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Slick your hair back and bust out your leather as “Grease” races into town. Don’t miss out as high-school romance mixes with 50s nostalgia, fast cars, and questionable morals at Red Mountain Theatre Company Sept. 26-Oct. 13. Get your tickets today at or by calling 205-324-2424. If you’re wondering where to go for a night on the town, we’re the one that you want!

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Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Edward Kersh and Mr. Marion Wayne Lowe, all of Birmingham, announce the engagement of their daughter, Deborah Ruth Lowe, to Joseph Alan Weber, son of Dr. Ellen Stammer Weber and Mr. Terence Alan Weber of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Ruth Bryant and the late Mr. Harold Beckman Bryant and the


Mr. and Mrs. Steve Ray Buchanan Jr. of Brierfield, previously of Alabaster, announce the engagement of their daughter, Summer McCall Buchanan, to Matthew Edward Bravo, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Emilo Bravo and the late Mrs. Linda Dachisen Bravo of Fairfax, Va. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Robert Overton and the late Mr. Robert Overton of Jackson and the late Mr. and Mrs. Steve Buchanan of Meridian, Miss.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 25

Weddings & Engagements


late Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Lowe, all of Birmingham. Miss Lowe is a 2006 graduate of Hoover High School and a 2010 graduate of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she received a bachelor’s degree in nursing and was a member of Chi Omega Fraternity. She is employed with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital as a registered nurse. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mrs. Jean Stammer of Birmingham and the late Mr. Joseph Stammer and Mrs. Mary Davenport of Tempe, Ariz., and the late Mr. John Weber. Mr. Weber is a 2004 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School and a 2008 graduate of Auburn University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in information systems. He received his master’s degree in computer forensics and security management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mr. Weber is employed at Regions Bank in the Information Technology Department. The wedding will be Oct. 12. Miss Buchanan is a graduate of Thompson High School in Alabaster and of Auburn University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science and was a member of Delta Zeta sorority. She was a vice chairwoman of recruitment for the Junior League of Washington, D.C. She served as a Heritage Foundation Congressional Fellow in Washington, D.C., and is legislative assistant for Congressman Spencer Bachus, U.S. House of Representatives. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Peter Dachisen of Denville, N.J., and the late Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bravo of Massapequa Park, N.Y. Mr. Bravo is a graduate of Wilbert Tucker Woodson High School in Fairfax and Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va., with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He served as a floor assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, for six years. He is employed with the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington, D.C. The wedding is planned for Oct. 19.


Mr. and Mrs. Brian Donald Balser of Tallahassee, Fla., announce the engagement of their daughter, Brittany Lynn Balser, to Tyler Laird Carman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Laird Carman III of Birmingham. The bride-elect is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and is employed in Atlanta. The prospective groom is a graduate of Berry College in Rome, Ga. He is employed in Chattanooga, Tenn. The wedding is planned for Oct. 26.

To have our wedding & engagement forms sent to you, call 823-9646.


Sarah Kristen Peters and Joseph Ellis Watson III were married June 29 at First Baptist Church in WinstonSalem, N.C. Dr. David Hughes officiated the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Randy Alan Peters of Winston-Salem. The groom is the son of Mrs. Joseph Ellis Watson Jr. and the late Mr. Joseph Ellis Watson Jr. of Birmingham. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a Monique Lhuillier modified trumpet gown with double layered lace of Alencon and

Chantilly. She was attended by Kathryn Elizabeth Gerding as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Elizabeth Todd Watson and Catherine Jane Watson, sisters of the groom; Lindsay Ellen Beach; Sarah Amis Bruch Greene and Meagan McSwain Yeatts.  Roy Darrell Lamb Jr. was the best man. Groomsmen were Stephen Christopher Peters, brother of the bride; Milton Oliver Booth III; William Carter Manuel; Alexander Worthy Newton II and Jackson Bentley Owens.  After a honeymoon trip to Bora Bora, the couple live in Birmingham. 



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26 • Thursday, October 3, 2013

Team Player



New MBJH Principal Says School is Built on Relationships By Jessica Jones


Journal intern

he new principal at Mountain Brook Junior High School for the 2013-14 school year is a familiar face on cam-

pus. Donald Clayton, who most recently served as the assistant principal at the school, was promoted to principal by the Mountain Brook Board of Education in August. He replaces Amanda Hood, who is now the principal of Mountain Brook High School. Clayton has 10 years of educational experience and said he is enthusiastic about his new position as principal. “I am very excited about it,” Clayton said. “I think this is an incredible place, and what makes it incredible is the individuals here--that being the students and the teachers--and just the support from the community. It has a ‘we’ feel rather than an ‘I’ feel, and it is exciting to be a part of something that is big and successful and is built on relationships.” Before he came to Mountain Brook, Clayton was assistant principal at Oak Mountain High School where he held various other positions, including athletic director, boys’ soccer coach, girls’ basketball coach and history teacher. His wide range of experiences in the classroom and on the playing fields prepared him well for his new role as a principal, Clayton said. “I think what it did for me was allow me to see all types of angles and perspectives that a kid can go through in a school build-

ing,” Clayton said. “I was able to see them as students. I was able to see them as student athletes. I was able to see them from an administrative perspective, so I got a lot of perspectives that I think helps in understanding where the students are going. “When you get to see all angles of a school and all angles of a student’s day, I think it helps in setting something up that will help them be successful.” Clayton said his job as principal is slightly different and more involved than his previous position as assistant principal. While the job is more demanding in some ways, Clayton said, he has yet to feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities his position requires of him. Clayton says the team structure in place among the school’s staff works well to handle any issues or problems that might arise. Running an entire school and helping students to be successful is no small job, but with the support that he receives from the staff, Clayton said, he feels he isn’t in it alone. “The whole process of running a school is much bigger than any one person,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that you can’t do what’s expected for students unless it is a team process, and I think there are teams every day that develop. Working together to me is the only way you can do what’s right for the students.” It’s that sense of community and relationships that appealed to Clayton and drew him to teaching at MBJH, he said. “If anyone’s been in Birmingham for any amount of time, they know Mountain Brook as

a great place for students to be,” Clayton said. “They know it’s a great community, and they know it’s a great place for students to learn. That draws me to it.” While he has previously taught high school students, Clayton said there’s a certain charm to junior high students that he attributes to the fact that they are just beginning to mature. “I like this age, and it was new to me because I’d always (worked with) high school,” he said. “I like this age because they’re really starting to figure out who they are, and you can be impactful in that. I think they are finding their voice, and it’s exciting to help them find that voice and to help them start gaining ownership over their learning and their life because it really does start becoming theirs more than it ever has been here, and seeing that transition over a three-year period is a pretty neat thing.” Clayton said he hasn’t been able to assess the school’s reaction to how effective he’s been in his new position, but he’s hopeful the reaction has been positive. “I hope it’s been good,” he said. “It’s been

a good start to the year. We had some changes in our schedule, but it’s been a good start.” With 1,100 students in the building, Clayton said the possibility for challenges always exists but that putting the Donald Clayton is students as the the new principal top priority never at Mountain Brook changes. Junior High School. “Our goal Journal photo by Keysha Drexel for this year is for everybody to grow within our new system and continue to ask ourselves what’s best for our students,” he said. Teachers and staff members at Mountain Brook Junior High do a lot of planning to reach that goal, Clayton said. “We went through a strategic planning process last year to develop what kind of direction we wanted to go through as a school,” he said. “Now we’re in the implementation phase of doing those things and growing within that and asking ourselves how do we make this better for students and staying ahead of the curve to keep making sure we’re asking that question.” Clayton said he hopes he can extend the school’s legacy as one that fosters the growth of the students’ individuality as well as the expansion of their knowledge. “I am most hopeful that this place will continue to be a great experience for a student to come through,” he said. “It’s been that, and I want the kids to come here and have the opportunity to learn and understand themselves and own what they are doing and grow.” ❖

School Notes

Shades Mountain Christian School held its annual Back to School Bash in August. Front, from left: Rick Gardner, Alexa Gardner, Hannah Vandiver and Bess Horton. Middle: Ruth Weaver, Karissa Annis and Daniel Weaver. Back: Alex Killough, Finley Cutts, Nellie Revel and Brock Belcher. Photo special to the Journal

SMCS Hosts Back to School Bash Students at one Over the Mountain school kicked the new school year off with a party. Shades Mountain Christian School held its second annual Back to School Bash for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade on Aug. 18. The bash features a cookout which allowed students, parents and faculty members to socialize and gave faculty members the chance to welcome new

students and teachers to the school. The school’s Student Government Association sponsored the event. Rick Gardner is the school’s executive director.

Liberty Park Middle Hosts Parent Lunch Meeting Stephanie Holcomb, Liberty Park Middle School’s counselor, hosted a Parent Brown Bag Lunch recently to discuss with parents the purpose and importance of parent involvement.

The guest speaker for the event was Vestavia Hills City Schools Assistant Superintendent Sheila Phillips, who explained the connection between parent involvement and students’ success. Phillips said the parent is the first and most influential teacher that a child has. She encouraged parents to become more present in their student’s academics for a number of reasons, including higher grades, better attendance, increased academic motivation and a decrease in drug and alcohol use. She also provided tips for parents that will keep them involved in their children’s academic achievements, such as showing an interest in the student’s schoolwork, setting high yet reasonable expectations, volunteering at school and teaching their students to be selfadvocates. The Parent Brown Bag Lunch is held once a month.

Oak Mountain Elementary to Host Fall Fest Oct. 19 The annual Fall Fun Fest fundraiser hosted by the Oak Mountain Elementary School PTO will be held Oct. 19 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the school’s campus. The family-friendly festival, the school’s largest yearly fundraiser, will have activities for all ages. The festival will include fall-related activities such as pumpkin patches and hayrides. Families will be invited to adopt pets through the Shelby County

From left: CES 101 chairmen Catherine Loveman, Pam Maldia and Lucy Spann. Photo special to the Journal Humane Society, which will be on hand for the event. The festival also will have a dunking booth; a cake, candy and soda walk; inflatables; crafts and games and food and snack vendors. College football games will be shown on a big screen, and there will be plenty of seating. Wristbands, available in the school office Oct. 9-16, will include a Chick-fil-A lunch. The advance wristbands are $12 for ages 4 and older and $8 for ages 3 and younger. Wristbands purchased at the door will be $10 for ages 4 and older and $5 for ages 3 and younger. Lunch will be an additional $5. All profits will be used for educational improvements for the school. Past festivals have helped raise money for classroom materials, classroom Nooks and playground equipment.

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Crestline 101 Educates Parents New to School Students at Crestline Elementary School in Mountain Brook aren’t the only ones back in class this year. The school has started Crestline 101, an effort to help parents new to the school. The committee was formed to answer the question, “What do I wish I had known when we started Crestline?” The objective is to help parents sort through the overwhelming amount of information that comes with a new school, to help them feel welcome in a new environment and to encourage them to become involved in the school, school officials said.

A Crestline 101 manual was created as a guide for parents on topics such as carpool procedures and also includes an alphabetical glossary of school terms and a school map. Crestline hosted its first Crestline 101 brown bag lunch Sep. 6, giving parents the chance to ask and get answers to any questions they have about the school.

Highlands School Elects New Student Council Middle school students at Highlands School recently elected Student Council representatives for the 2013-14 school year. The student council officers and grade level representatives were installed in a student community meeting on Sep. 6. Robert McGehee, director of student services and Student Council advisor,

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 27



conducted the meeting. The ceremony’s theme of teamwork was reflected in the installation. Carabiners and mountain climbing rope were used to symbolize each member’s commitment to working as a team. As each student was installed, he or she attached his or her carabiner to the rope. New officers are Carolyn CalvertGrimes, president; Tate Shuttlesworth, vice president; Megan Seidel, secretary, and Logan McFadden, treasurer. Class representatives are Cecilia Reisner and Livia Wilson, eighth grade; Gordon Brookshaw, James Dixon and Maggie Shuttlesworth, seventh grade; and Alex McFadden, Noah Maloy and Thomas Sims, sixth grade.

Homewood Schools Add LEAD Program Elementary schools in Homewood

From left: Homewood students Brooke Walden, Harper Hinton and Andrew Laird get creative in the classroom with LEAD program. Photo special to the Journal have added a new program to their curriculum. The schools have added the LEAD, or Learning Enhancement through Academic Design program. LEAD allow students to enhance their educational experiences through exploration and creativity. Jennifer Cassity, a LEAD teacher at Shades Cahaba Elementary, said the lessons are designed “to prepare children for a world that we have no idea what it will look like.” “We do know that careers in the future will require employees to be skilled in team work, technology and problem solving. Our LEAD program is designed to help our children be ready,” Cassity said.

The lessons include math, science and engineering problems and allow students to uncover their strengths and weaknesses. Students then use that information to form groups, assigning positions to each other based on individual strengths.

She also was selected for Girls State at the University of Alabama and was elected state treasurer in Girls State mock elections. Hanby was chosen to participate in the YMCA Conference of National Affairs in North Carolina. She also was a member of the Spain Park High School law team that competed in the YMCA National Judicial Competition. Hanby is a varsity cheerleader at Spain Park High School and a member of Key Club, National Honor Society and TNT, an organization that promotes a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. She is an active member of Riverchase United Methodist Church and hopes to study legislative law in college.

Spain Park Student Travels to Capital Allison Hanby, a senior at Spain Park High School, was selected to travel to Washington, D.C., as a teen advocate for combating cystic fibrosis over the summer. As an advocate, Hanby met with elected officials and discussed their support for the disease.

Allison Hanby, left, met with Rep. Spencer Bachus during a trip to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis. Photo special to the Journal

Mike A. Keller, DDS, PC Pediatric / Adolescent Dentistry Dr. Mike Keller, friends & staff are happy to recognize September members of the NO SUGAR BUG CLUB

Highlands School recently elected new Student Council officers and representatives. Front, from left: Logan McFadden, Carolyn Calvert-Grime, Tate Shuttlesworth and Megan Seidel. Second row: Maggie Shuttlesworth, Thomas Sims, Alex McFadden and Cecilia Reisner. Third row: Gordon Brookshaw, James Dixon, Livia Wilson and Noah Maloy. Back: Robert McGehee. Photo special to the Journal

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received a large chocolate bar if they read more than 5,000 pages. The students who received awards in the K-5 class were Ezekiel Jones, Brayden Asher, Jack Beason, Charles Cooper, Anna Monroe, Sophia Gullung, Anne Louise Miller and Sarah Thomas.

School Notes Our Lady of Sorrows Welcomes Grandparents Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in Homewood welcomed grandparents and other visitors to Grandpals Day on Sept. 5. Grandparents were honored with Mass followed by a breakfast reception. Visitors were then invited to tour their students’ classroom.

Homewood Students Excel on AP Exams

Ten members of the Altamont School senior class have been honored by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. for their academic achievement. Front, from left: Alok Deshane, Jonathan Hurowitz, Ginny Gresham, Alice Bradford, Shannon Hickey, Emily Polhill and Isabella Trierweiler. Back: Andy Vahle, Sam Monroe, Shadi Awad, John Denton, Laure Bender, Simon Tomlinson, Elizabeth Anne Brown and James Ozment. Eric Johns is not pictured. Photo special to the Journal

Altamont Students Honored by National Merit Scholarship Corp.

In honor of Grandpals Day, grandparents and special guests attended a Mass followed by a breakfast reception at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School. Pictured here with fourth-grader Kennedy Tyson are her mother Andreia Griggs, left, and her grandmother Janice Griggs, center. Photo special to the Journal

“This annual event is exciting for the students as well as their grandparents and special visitors,” Mary Jane Dorn, OLS principal, said. “It is really a great way for the students to show them how proud they are of their school. The turnout is phenomenal.” Peer Helpers helped seat visitors for Mass. The fourth-grade class assisted Associate Pastor Father Jaya Reddy in the celebration of the liturgy.

Brookwood Forest Kids Get into Character Kindergarten students at Brookwood Forest Elementary School in Mountain Brook recently got into character to wrap up their studies on nursery rhymes. The students came to school dressed as their favorite nursery rhyme characters as a way to end their nursery rhyme unit. The students walked around the school to show those in other classes their outfits.

Almost half of the students in the Altamont School class of 2014 have been honored by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The senior class had 10 students, about 47 percent of the class named semifinalists in this year’s National Merit Scholarship Program. Those students are Laure Binder, Alice Bradford, Elizabeth Anne Brown, John Denton, Ginny Gresham, Johnathan Hurowitz, James Ozment, Emily Polhill, Simon Tomlinson and Isabella Trierweiler. Each semifinalist will compete

Vestavia Hills Elementary East to Host Carnival Students, parents, teachers and community friends are invited to follow the yellow brick road to Vestavia Hills Elementary East on Oct. 24. That’s the date of the school’s The Wizard of the East Carnival. Organizers say the event won’t give those attending a fright but will provide thrills for all ages. The carnival, which runs from 5-8 p.m., will include games, food, a haunted house, a cake walk, bounce houses, face painting and more. The event is at the school, 2109 Tyson Drive in Vestavia Hills. New to the carnival this year will be Souvenir City, a “general store” where all items are $1. Souvenir City is sponsored by Fancy Goods Variety. Admission to the haunted house is $5, and it costs $2 to participate in the cake walk. Armbands are available for $35 for unlimited games and activities. Punch cards with 10 punches are $5 each and can be used for games, activities, snacks and souvenirs. An Emerald Package for $150 includes three armbands, five meals, six punch cards and three lanyards to hold punch cards. The Ruby Package includes two armbands, four meals, four punch cards and two lanyards and costs $100. The Yellow Package costs $85 and includes two armbands, meals, Brookwood Forest Elementary School kindergarten students dressed as their favorite nursery rhyme characters. From left: Lexi Cohn, Lilly Witcher and Ellie Halpern. Photo special to the Journal

for an $8,000 scholarship that will be offered in the spring. About 1.5 million high school juniors entered the competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Semifinalists must have an exceptional academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, complete an essay and complete the SAT to confirm previous test scores. Of the 16,000 semifinalists, 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. Those who advance punch cards and lanyards. Barbecue sandwiches, pizza and chicken quesadillas will be served for $5 each, including chips and a drink. T-shirts for children and adults will be available for $12. To prepare for the carnival, the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest will have a free screening of “The Wizard of Oz” at 2 p.m. on Oct. 6. Popcorn and lemonade will be served. Students 8 and older can be dropped off for the screening. For more information, visit www.

will be notified in February. Six Altamont students have been named Commended Students in the competition. Those students are Shadi Awad, Alok Deshane, Shannon Hickey, Erick Johns, Sam Monroe and Andy Vahle.  About 34,000 students have been named Commended students. While they will not advance in the 2014 Merit Scholarship competition, they become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by businesses and corporations. ❖

As a new year gets underway, officials have received word about last year’s testing period at Homewood High School. During the 2012-13 school year, the school administered 523 Advanced Placement exams with 393 exam takers scoring 3 or better. The school tested more students than ever and still met the highest average score. In the past decade, the number of students who take AP tests has increased by nearly 100 and the number of exams has risen by almost 200, school officials said. The school also had four students named National AP Scholars: Edward DeMetz, Will Palmisano, Rebecca Riley and Grant Smith. The test fees are covered by the Homewood Board of Education, which allows more students to take AP courses.

Briarwood Students Win Reading Awards Several Briarwood Christian Elementary School students were recently recognized for hitting the books over the summer. The school honored students who completed the Summer Reading Race during an awards ceremony on Sept. 13. The students received engraved medals if they read at least three books in each category and read one page on Bible/devotional reading. Students

Young students at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Hoover get ready for their school day. From left: Lucas Rankin, Davis Stone and Nathan Johnson. Photo special to the Journal

Prince of Peace Welcomes Young Students Just as their older counterparts begin a new school year, 3 and 4-year-old students at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Hoover are also learning the ropes in their new classrooms. The school’s 3 and 4-year-old classes are now filled to capacity with about 764 students. The school’s overall enrollment is at a record high of 420 students, school officials said. Prince of Peace Catholic School’s goal is to offer a mentally stimulating curriculum in an optimal learning environment that allows for spiritual, intellectual, athletic and social growth, according to school officials. The school accepts applications throughout the school year. Parents are invited to schedule tours of the school by calling the office at 8247886. ❖

Briarwood Christian Elementary School students are honored for completing the school’s Summer Reading Race. Front, from left: Ezekiel Jones, Brayden Asher, Jack Beason and Charles Cooper. Back: Anna Monroe, Sophia Gullung, Anne Louise Miller and Sarah Thomas. Photo special to the Journal

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Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 29

Hoover Drummer Headed to Macy’s Parade

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Sept. 5 for a new Upper School at the Westminster School at Oak Mountain. From left: Robbie Hinton, Gordon Thompson, Gary York, John Pickering, Bob Flayhart and Pete Clemens. Photo special to the Journal

Westminster School at Oak Mountain Expanding

The Westminster School at Oak Mountain is expanding its Upper School to better accommodate students in the seventh through 12th grades. A groundbreaking ceremony on a new 24,000-square-foot Upper School was held at the school on Sept. 5. The property where the new school building will be constructed was donated to Oak Mountain Church by Mr. and Mrs. Pete Clemens six years ago. The property is at the corner of Alabama 119 and Shelby County 14 and was donated to the school by the church. The new school facility will provide new math and language classrooms, science laboratories and Harkness tables, which allow for more Socratic discussion, and for community gathering spaces and more, school officials said. When space at the school in North Shelby started to become limited, parents, teachers and supporters sprang into action. More than 200 families gathered $2 million in donations to go toward the expansion of the Upper School. The remaining $6 million for the expansion project was financed through BBVA Compass with the help of Laura Clarke, school officials said. Formerly known as Oak Mountain Classical School, the Westminster School at Oak Mountain started with a few families in 1999 because of an offer from Oak Mountain Church

to host the school. Since 2006, Westminster has graduated 66 students, four of which were National Merit Finalists and one who was named a National Merit Scholar. The average composite ACT score for the school is 29. The class of 2013 was awarded more than $1 million in academic, athletic and special achievement scholarships and grants. The school was the state champion in girls’ outdoor track and field and a state runner-up in both boys’ soccer and boys’ indoor track. The school currently has more than 500 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grades. At the dedication ceremony, Bob Flayhart, senior pastor of Oak Mountain Church, gave the prayer of dedication after John Pickering thanked God for the mission of the school. Joel Blackstock, Bill Segrist and Ashley Handley with Williams Blackstock Architects, Bill Kreis and David Densmore with Kreis Construction, Walter Schoel and James Parsons of Schoel Consulting Engineers, Dave Eyrich and Duane Pritchett with Environmental Design Studio, Lee Moffett and Gary York are the expansion project participants. School officials said the expansion should be complete in time for classes to start in August for the 2014-15 school year. ❖

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Jacob Fondren, a junior at Hoover High School, auditioned for and was chosen to participate in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band Drumline, which will march in Herald Square on Thanksgiving Day. Fondren will march with more than 245 students representing every state from high schools across the nation. Students are chosen to participate in the parade on the basis of their musical ability and their past musical achievements. Since the band’s inception in 2006, more than 1,700 students have participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. On the day of the parade, 2.5 million spectators will watch as the band makes its way to Macy’s Herald Square for the live performance that is expected to be viewed by 50 million people on NBC. The musicians will be accompanied by 40 flags and dancers. The group will be led by Richard Good, director of bands at Auburn University. ❖

Jacob Fondren, a junior at Hoover High School, was selected to perform with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band Drumline on Thanksgiving Day. Photo special to the Journal

30 • Thursday, October 3, 2013



Country Club of Birmingham Set to Host Tournament

Vestavia Youth Football League players and cheerleaders wore teal at home games last month to support ovarian cancer awareness. From left: Michael Belcher, 105-pound team; Christiana Belcher, 90-pound team cheerleader, and Chace Belcher, 70-pound team.

Country Club of Birmingham will host the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Golf Championships on Oct. 5-10. Admission is free. The first round of stroke-play qualifying will be Oct. 5. The first round of match play will be Oct. 7. The championship match will be Oct. 10. Defending champion Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh, Pa. will tee off against a starting field of 264 golfers, including players from the Over the Mountain area. For more information, visit www.

Photo special to the Journal

Vestavia Youth Football Boosts Ovarian Cancer Awareness

With support from the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation, the Vestavia Hills Youth Football League helped promote awareness of the disease.

Players from several teams wore teal socks while cheerleaders sported teal bows during the league’s September home games. Teal is the color used to support ovarian cancer awareness. A public service announcement made at the start of games let the crowd know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Spartans Win 20-team Tournament

The 8-year-old Mountain Brook Spartans defeated Shades Mountain 16-9 to win Pell City’s Baseball on the Lake Tournament this summer. Twenty teams from the metro Birmingham area competed in the tournament. The Mountain Brook team includes, from left, front: Trent Wright, Quinn Denson, Graham Hodges, Logan Blomeyer, Carter Brooks and Jackson Beatty. Second row: Sam Hunt, John Colvin, Thomas Sargent, Carter Kelley, Ford Moffatt and Charlie Berryman. Back: Coaches Jim Beatty, Seth Sargent, Brad Moffatt, Trent Wright and Michael Brooks. Photo special to the Journal

Week 5 Results Mountain Brook 15, Buckhorn 14

Journal file photo by Lee Walls Jr

The Spartans scored 15 unanswered points after falling behind to the Bucks 14-0 to improve to 2-3 on the season. Mountain Brook quarterback Jacob Carroll had a big night throwing for 246 yards and two touchdowns. A favorite target was Hunter Branch who caught seven passes on the night for 115 yards. Region opponent Carver visits Spartan Stadium this week.

Briarwood 24, Gardendale 22 The Lions improved to 3-2 with an exciting win over the Rockets on the road. Briarwood converted on three

jaguars, From back cover

yards and earned a scholarship to Southern Mississippi while leading the Jaguars to a 10-3 record. Rainey, in a change in philosophy geared to his personnel, has opted for a more balanced attack. In the season’s first four games, Spain Park was passing for about 158 yards a game and rushing for 112. “We’ve been very pleased with the way the kids have bought into what we are trying to do,” Raney said. “They’ve given some great leadership and worked hard.” The offense found its identity very quickly in the team’s 23-14 opening win over Austin. Senior running back Otis Harris gained 137 yards on 17 carries against the Bears, including runs of 42 and 45 yards. The 45-yard dash went for a touchdown. Things got even better the next week, when the Jaguars scored a stunning 19-16 upset of Prattville in overtime.

two-point conversions which proved the difference as Gardendale, with time running out, scored but couldn’t

“Winning at Prattville did so much for our confidence,” Raney said. “At first, we couldn’t make a big play to save our lives, but we just kept plugging away. Finally, we started making plays and turned the game in our direction.” Going into the Lee game, Harris led the team in rushing with 314 yards. Sophomore Wade Streeter is the team’s second leading ground gainer. Replacing Mullens has not been the daunting task some expected. Senior Mickey Forrest, who transferred from Oak Mountain two seasons ago, has stepped in admirably. Forrest hasn’t put up prolific numbers yet has been perfectly effective, completing 55 percent of his passes. Forrest proved his toughness in the spring game, playing with a broken collarbone that wasn’t discovered by the coaches until after the contest. You can’t put a number on Forrest’s leadership skills. “He’s got a great attitude,” Raney said. “Our kids follow him.” Forrest was particularly outstanding in the win over Lee. The quarterback

convert on its two-point attempt. The Lions travel to Talledega this Friday.

The Cavs travel around the corner to take on region opponent Homewood this week.

Homewood 28, Wetumpka 0

Oak Mountain 22, Pell City 15

Hoomewood improved to 4-1 on the season as the Pats cruised to a big lead in the first half and shut out 6A Wetumpka. Sophomore quarterback Carson Griffis (left) was the catalyst completing 13-18 passes including two for touchdowns and 185 yards. Homewood entertains neighbor and region opponent John Carroll this Friday.

The Eagles, down 15-7 at the half scored 15 points to improve to 2-3 on the season. Oak Mountain was lead by sophomore quarterback Warren Shader who rushed for 139 yards on 27 attempts. Shader’s brother Harold pitched in with 73 yards on 11 carries in the win. The Eagles return to region play traveling to Chelsea Friday night.

Mortimer Jordan 32, John Carroll Catholic 14

Ragland 47, Shades Mountain Christian 0

John Carroll dropped to 1-4 after leading 14-12 at halftime. Jelani Bender lead the Cavs attack, rushing for 106 yards on 23 carries.

The Eagles lose on the road to a tough Purple Devil squad. Shades Mountain is home this week against Southeastern.

completed 12 of 31 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns. Forrest hasn’t lacked quality targets as no fewer than nine Spain Park receivers had caught passes entering the fifth game of the season. Harris, coming out of the backfield, has 19 catches for 212 yards. Derek Williams has 10 receptions for 90 yards, Dalton Brown has eight receptions for 168 yards and Phillip Brown has seven catches for 83 yards. All are seniors. Harris also leads the team in allpurpose yardage, totaling 135 yards per game. The play of the offensive line has been a plus for the Jaguars in the first half of the season. Bunchy Stallings, Caleb Plaisted, Nikolas Kassouf, Zach Williams and Harrison Dickson have been consistent forces. Senior Thomas Taylor has been solid as a kicker and punter. Taylor’s two field goals were a key in the win over Prattville. Raney’s defensive coaching background has surely given him a special pride in the play of Spain Park’s stop unit. The Jaguars have surrendered less

than 11 points a game, including a shutout of a potent Chelsea attack. Sophomore linebacker Perry Young leads the team with 31 total tackles, including 18 solo stops, and junior linebacker E.J. Marino has 26 total tackles, including 14 solos. Defensive back Austin Haight has 15 individual tackles. Senior Isaac Ephraim has two quarterback sacks, and senior Drew Moore has one sack. Devin Pughsley anchors the interior line with 19 tackles. Michael Jackson is a leader in the Jag secondary. He has two interceptions for the season. The journey hasn’t been all roses for Raney and his team. “During the spring we had a (practice) game with Enterprise, and we just didn’t play well,” the coach said. “But we worked hard in the summer and had a successful jamboree against Homewood. From that point on, we have been moving in the right direction.” Jaguar fans will learn much about their team in the next four weeks. Spain Park hosts Thompson before visiting longtime rival Oak Mountain. Another

Mercedes Marathon Training Meeting The Birmingham Track Club and the Trak Shak will hold an informational meeting on the kickoff to Mercedes Marathon and Half Marathon training on Oct. 10. The meeting will be held at the Trak Shak in downtown Homewood at 6 p.m. Those attending will be able to Natalie Ferguson meet training coaches Natalie Ferguson and Al DiMicco and pick up training schedules. First-time marathoners are welcome. The official marathon training starts Oct. 19 and half marathon training starts Nov. 16 at 6 a.m. at the Trak Shak. For more information, email NatalieZL@ or

“Inside the Helmet” Lecture at Wright Center Samford University’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences will host noted neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee for the 2013 J. Roderick Davis Lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 in the Wright Center Concert Hall. McKee specializes in the study of traumatic brain injury and its long-term consequence, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. McKee’s lecture, “Inside the Helmet: Repeated Head Trauma and Degenerative Brain Disease,” comes amidst growing concerns about the effects of head trauma in sports at all levels of play as well as in military combat. McKee is Professor of Neurology and Pathology at VA Boston HealthCare System and Boston University School of Medicine. For more information, visit www.

home battle with Stanhope Elmore will be followed by a short road trip to Pelham. A visit to non-region opponent Oxford will close the regular season on Nov. 1. “We constantly tell our kids to focus only on the game that’s in front of us,” Raney said. “Each week we’ve got to get better. Nobody is going to hand us anything just because we’ve been successful so far.” Obstacles are clearly ahead, but Spain Park’s quiet quest for greatness will likely be making some noise soon.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 • 31




Vestavia Hills’ Nicholas Hilburn knocks the ball away from Hoover’s Alex Elam near the goal line. More photos at

From back cover

ning. The Buc defenders were particularly stingy in the first half, holding the Rebels to a mere 28 yards of total offense. Vestavia punted 12 times in the game. On the other hand, the Rebels’ defensive unit didn’t exactly embarrass itself. Hoover started four drives in Vestavia territory in the first half, and the hosts came away with only three points. Hunter Schmith’s 21-yard field goal gave the Bucs a 3-0 lead with 1:46 remaining in the opening quarter. The game’s most controversial– and arguably biggest–play took place in the second quarter. Hoover quarterback Jack Hutcheson launched a 37-yard bomb to ace receiver Justin Johnson in the end zone. Johnson and Vestavia defender William Hillburn appeared to have caught the ball simultaneously in the end zone. The official ruled the catch was a touchdown. Replays broadcast by local television stations were inconclusive. “I guess all the work in the weight room paid off,” Johnson said later. “I wasn’t going to let him take it away from me.” Hillburn’s version of the play was understandably different. “I came over the top on him and jumped up and had the ball in my stomach. Then I came to the ground, and all of the sudden he (Johnson) is on top of me,” the senior defensive back said. “He’s trying to get to the ball. I look up, and the referees are talking about the tie going to the receiver and signaling touchdown.” For the record, the high school

Journal photos by Marvin Gentry

Vestavia Hills’ Josh Wall attempts to bring down Hoover’s Kristopher Parker.

rulebook does say that if a forward pass is caught simultaneously by two opponents, “the ball becomes dead and belongs to the passing team.” Also for the record, high school officials, unlike those in major college and professional football, do not have the luxury of looking at instant replays. Schmith’s extra point kick gave Hoover a 10-0 advantage that lasted until halftime. Vestavia got a big opportunity in the third quarter after recovering a fumbled punt return by Marlon Humphrey on the Buc 28-yard line. Two plays later, Jordan Johnson scored on a 13-yard dash. Jack Hatchett’s conversion sliced Hoover’s advantage to 10-7 with nearly 10 minutes to play in the period. The Bucs responded offensively by going to their running game. Junior speedster Bradrick Shaw shouldered


From back cover

is–much like the effect of the controversial call– merely speculative. The unfortunate thing is that a controversial call overshadowed a classic defensive confrontation of two great teams. In many ways, the game was Bear Bryant/Shug Jordan-style football at its very best. I’d love to see the two teams meet again in the postseason–this time without controversy. How to Beat Hoover…

Although Hoover has now beaten Vestavia five consecutive times, there is nobody in Alabama who has a better read on how to defeat the Bucs than Rebel coach Buddy Anderson. Even in Friday’s 10-point loss, Vestavia showed glimpses of how it can be done: Don’t give up the big play. The controversial Hutcheson-to-Johnson touchdown notwithstanding, the Rebels allowed the Bucs to pick up few long-gainers. Of course, not many teams are strong enough defensively to make that happen. Neutralize Marlon Humphrey. The Hoover senior is one of the most explosive players in Alabama–but only if he gets his hands on the football. Vestavia did a good job of keeping the ball away from Humphrey. The success, however, came at a price. The Rebels tried to angle punts away from the ace kick-returner, and the balls often traveled perilously short distances, giving Hoover good field position. On the flip side, Humphrey’s fumble of a Vestavia punt led to the Rebels’ only touchdown. Have a balanced attack. One of the oldest bromides is football is that the surest way to win

much of the burden, producing runs of 28 and 14 yards. The 14-yarder reached the end zone, giving Hoover a 10-point margin with five minutes remaining in the frame. Shaw finished with 111 yards on 15 rushing attempts. The rest of the game was an intense defensive battle, with neither team making any serious offensive headway. The Rebels didn’t complete a pass until late in the game. Hoover’s normally potent air game wasn’t spectacular either, with only eight of 19 passes completed. One of those completions, of course, was the Bucs’ controversial touchdown. Did Johnson’s touchdown catch make a difference in the game? Probably. Would Vestavia have won if the pass had been ruled intercepted? Possibly. Will fans of both schools be talking about the play for years?

is to be able to run the ball effectively and stop the other team from running the ball with success. Against Hoover, that’s far easier said than done. The Bucs gained 345 total yards against Vestavia but scored only 17 points. The Rebels did little offensively the entire night but might have been able to do better had they thrown the ball with more precision. As it was, Vestavia didn’t complete a pass until late in the game. Keep the game close entering the fourth quarter. Hoover has had so much success that many of its opponents are half-beaten psychologically before they take the field. Vestavia is clearly not intimidated by the Bucs and had at

Certainly. Vestavia coach Buddy Anderson, who was foiled in his first attempt to earn his 301st career victory, spoke with characteristic class after the game. “Hoover has a great team,” Anderson said. “I’m really proud of our kids. They battled hard and came up a little short. We’ll learn from this and go on and get better.” Jordan Johnson led the Rebel ground attack with 61 yards on 19

least a theoretical shot at victory well into the fourth quarter. To defeat Hoover, a team must believe in itself and reflect that confidence by the way it plays. Again, that’s easier said than done. But in many ways, Vestavia came close. Coaches of future Hoover opponents would do well to review the tape of the Vestavia game carefully. Midterm Exams…

Incredibly, the football regular season is half over, and already some trends have developed. Hoover and Vestavia have lived up to pre-

Hoover’s Justin Johnson and Vestavia’s William Hillburn appeared to have caught the ball simultaneously in the end zone on this play. The official ruled the catch was a touchdown. Replays broadcast by local television stations were inconclusive. Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

carries. The best news of the night may be that Hoover and Vestavia are likely to meet again in the post-season. A look at both schedules shows that the Bucs and Rebels are likely to be favorites in all of their remaining games. A late round playoff rematch is a distinct possibility–and would be good for high school football in Alabama. As baseball legend Ernie Banks might have said, Hoover-Vestavia is a beautiful rivalry; let’s play two.

season hype, and their epic clash Friday night didn’t do anything to dent the reputation of either program. Spain Park’s 5-0 start may rank as a mild surprise, and there is a possibility that the Jaguars could run the table for the rest of the regular season. Homewood lost its opener to Vestavia but has looked as dominant as ever against Class 5A rivals. The Patriots have to be on the short list of teams with a legitimate shot at the 5A championship. After a disappointing 0-3 beginning, Mountain Brook has rallied for two consecutive wins. The Spartans’ next three games are winnable as well. Vestavia’s visit to Bethune Drive on Oct. 25 will be a good barometer of Mountain Brook’s potential as a playoff team. Briarwood got off to a slow start as well but has been looking like the Lions of old in recent weeks, including a 24-22 upset of Class 6A’s Gardendale. Don’t be surprised to see Briarwood finish the season as strongly as it did in 2012. Oak Mountain reached mid-season with a 2-3 mark, but the record could easily be much better. A brutal October-November schedule makes the second half of the season a question mark. John Carroll Catholic is 1-4, as coach Tim Sanders tries to find winning combinations despite problems with depth. It would be a mistake, however, to count the Cavaliers out of any game. Shades Mountain Christian has a big-time coach in Dickey Wright, who is trying to bring the Eagles to respectability.


Thursday, october 3, 2012


Spartans Win 20-team Tournament P. 30 Vestavia Youth Football Boosts Ovarian Cancer Awareness P. 30

Lee Davis


Close Calls, How-to Manuals And Midterms

A Hoover’s Cole Chiselko, #14 tackles Vestavia Hills’ Jordan Johnson, #31 in the 6A showdown at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium Friday night. The Bucs won the contest 17-7. The Bucs’ Bradrick Shaw, below, finished with 111 yards on 15 rushing attempts. More photos at Journal photos by Marvin Gentry

Defensive Posture Bucs Hang on to Win Classic Battle over Rebels

By Lee Davis

Journal Sports Writer

Anyone who has followed the HooverVestavia Hills football rivalry over the years knows that when the two get together on the field, anything can happen. But what made the 2013 renewal of the series unique was that everything seemed to happen in 48 minutes of gridiron war before a large crowd at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. There were big plays, drama, a controversial call and most of all, a lot of defense. And when

the smoke finally cleared, the Bucs had earned a hard-fought 17-7 win over the team that has given them the most trouble over the years. Hoover improved its record to 5-0 while Vestavia fell to 4-1 as the Bucs earned their fifth consecutive triumph over the Rebels. For all of its hype, the game did not have any impact on any region race, as the two compete in different circuits. Perhaps the biggest story of the night was the play of Hoover’s defense. Vestavia’s potent attack was held to only 100 yards for the eveSee classic, page 31

Quiet Roar With Little Fanfare, Jags Roll in Early Season By Lee Davis

Journal Sports Writer

There was a big game between two undefeated Over the Mountain football powerhouses last Friday. You may have heard about it. The winner– and perhaps even the loser–of that epic clash may have a good shot at winning the Class 6A championship. But there’s another team that’s quietly working its way up the ladder as a contender. And while Spain Park

may not be getting the acclaim—yet-of Hoover or Vestavia Hills, the Jaguars are winning with equal regularity. Spain Park’s 20-14 win over Robert E. Lee of Montgomery last week brought the Jags’ record to 5-0, with the stretch drive against the meat of their Class 6A Region 4 schedule straight ahead. The Jaguars are likely to be favored in each game. The undefeated start is an auspicious beginning for first-year coach

Shawn Raney, who spent the previous two seasons as defensive coordinator at Hoover. Raney replaced Chip Lindsey, who moved on to take an off-thefield position at Auburn University. Lindsey, a pass-minded disciple of former Hoover coach Rush Propst, brought a sophisticated passing attack to Valleydale Road, from which quarterback Nick Mullens prospered. Mullens passed for well over 3,000 See jaguars, page 30

Senior quarterback Mickey Forrest has completed 55 percent of his passes on the season for the undefeated Jaguars.

ny guess what the water cooler and carpool talk was among Hoover and Vestavia Hills fans following the Buccaneers’ epic 17-7 win over the Rebels Friday night? You have three guesses, and the first two don’t count. Of course, the talk has been about what will forever be called “The Catch” by Hoover boosters or “The Interception” by Vestavia backers. In case you’ve been out of the country, the play in question took place midway through the second quarter of Friday night’s Hoover-Vestavia game with the Bucs holding a narrow 3-0 lead. Hoover quarterback Jack Hutcheson fired a 37-yard pass to receiver Justin Johnson in the end zone. Johnson and Vestavia defensive back William Hillburn appeared to have caught the ball virtually simultaneously past the Rebel goal line. The officials, apparently citing the rule that says a forward pass caught by opposing players is ruled in favor of the offense, signaled a touchdown. And unlike college and professional football, there is no official instant replay judge at the high school level. A local television station posted a great shot of the play, which has undoubtedly been viewed hundreds of times by fans of both schools. Some have argued that the play was not a simultaneous catch and that Hillburn had, in fact, caught the ball before Johnson tugged it away. Others insist that the catch was simultaneous and that the touchdown call was a comparative no-brainer. It doesn’t matter. I’ve looked at the clip probably two dozen times, and I’m not sure. What is certain, however, is that an official had only seconds to make a call, with no instant replay on which to fall back. Hoover got the touchdown and went on to win the game. End of story. Could Vestavia have won the game if Hillburn had been credited with the interception? Possibly. But the Rebels generated only 100 yards of offense in the entire game. So the assumption that they would have generated enough points to upset Hoover See Davis, page 31

October 3 full issue  
October 3 full issue