OTMJ 4.4.24

Page 1

Inspiration Starts Here

Parade of Homes Showcases the Latest Home Trends

Scott Underwood stands in the stair tower of the house in The Preserve that his company, Centennial Homes, is building for this year’s Parade of Homes.

Once complete, the twostory, statement-making tower will feature a rod iron railing and a chandelier hanging from its cedar tongue-and-groove ceiling.

Home section begins on page 18.

1 in 10,000 Homewood Resident Taking Part in 2024 Transplant Games of America

Karen Tishler Weinrib had heard about the Transplant Games of America for a quarter century, but she didn’t consider being a participant until this year.

That’s because the 2024 Transplant Games of America is coming to Birmingham July 5-10. The games is a national, festival-style, multi-sport event that brings together about

10,000 members of the transplant community.

Held every two years, the games is a celebration of life for transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, individuals on the waiting list, caregivers and transplant professionals. The games honors the legacy of donors, highlights the need for and importance of organ, eye and tissue donations, celebrates the success of transplantation and encourages others to register to be donors.

“I was extremely excited when I heard that the games were coming to Birmingham,” Weinrib said. “I had heard about them in the late Courtesy

See GAMES, page 9

Karen Tishler Weinrib received a heart transplant in December 1991 at UAB. Journal photo by Maury Wald

Historic Hollywood homes and legendary gardens to be featured in upcoming events


Expert makes sure food at the JCC’s Jewish Food and Culture Fest follows the laws PAGE 24

Tell people you are planning to build a house, and you’ll get all kinds of reactions. Some say, “Making 17,000 decisions sounds daunting.” Others say, “Picking everything out yourself will be so much fun.” Still others say, “Your marriage might not survive it.”

With dreams of a bigger house on a lot we didn’t want to leave, that’s just what my husband, Jeff, and I set out to do last summer as newlyweds.

Looking ahead at construction loans and blueprints felt overwhelming at first, but we quickly learned that hiring a good contractor who deeply understood all the details of the building process and how to do it well would save us who knows how many headaches.

We also can’t imagine heading into the project without our contractor’s professional design team to guide us through making more decisions than we ever thought we’d have to make about everything from exterior paint to grout color while helping us stay on budget. Walking into a store with millions of pieces of hardware is daunting, but it turns out it can indeed be “so much fun,” as the people say, with the right team.

To sign up for our newsletter, visit otmj.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @overthemountainjournal, for daily updates on what’s going on around town, too. otmj.com

With everything that’s happening “Over the Mountain,” it can be difficult to keep up. That’s why we have launched the OTMJ newsletter. Published every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - we’ll give you a quick recap of the latest news, sports and social events as well as a heads up on upcoming events so you won’t miss any of the interesting and fun happenings in the Greater Birmingham metro area.

The Joys of Home Building

Walking into a store with millions of pieces of hardware is daunting, but it turns out it can indeed be “so much fun,” as the people say, with the right team.

Even with talented professionals on our side, the building process did fill our heads with an endless litany of stress-inducing questions. If we can design a house any way you want, are we picking the most perfect way to do it? Is this space going to function like we think it will? Does it matter if the handles of our kitchen appliances match? Does anyone even look at the handles? Is the power company ever going to connect our power? Are we crazy to be doing this?

Along with the stress, though, came the magic. Each time we went by the construction site, it was like watching an infant learn to do new things as you see walls go up, countertops and tile be installed, and cabinets and walls be painted.

Over the Mountain Views Guest Column

Who knew we’d be so excited about our brass door knobs and how well cabinet drawers slide open?

And it’s not just any designs either –it’s the ones that brought to life our dreams of creating a home that was distinctly ours. For us, that meant planning for an abundance of built-in bookshelves to accommodate our ever-growing collection of good stories; a nook for a piano for my professional musician husband and amateur self; and an open floor plan for sharing meals, conversations and quality time with groups of friends and family.

Looking back on our decisions now, we realized while I was writing this column that much of what we designed were modern takes on 1920s and ‘30s homes. A spacious front porch harkens back to days when houses were built more deep than wide and architecturally encouraged more neighbor connection than individual privacy. Bookshelves on either side of the living room fireplace remind me of Craftsman bungalows where we’ve spent so much time with friends. Ten-foot ceilings make any space feel bigger and more grand, and we hope that tiles and light fixtures with a historic vibe stand the test of time instead of looking distinctly 2024.

As we get ready to move into our house this month –ahead of schedule, no less (thanks Ketcham and Co.!) – I’m happy to report that Jeff and I are not only still happily married but that we’re also grateful we built a home that we now get to share. And we’re also very grateful it’s all over.

Madoline Markham Koonce is a writer and editor who has worked for several Birmingham-based local and national publications. Most recently, she’s enjoyed freelance writing about local people and homes for the Over the Mountain Journal.

Hunt and Play in the Easter Way

Shades Mountain Baptist Holds Easter Egg Hunt and Offers Other Games

People with disabilities and their families participated in the Easter Egg Hunt at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Vestavia Hills on March 30. Eggs were hidden in ways that accommodated varying levels of ability.

Participants who attended the event the morning before Easter also could take part in games, crafts and door prize raffles, with options among treat bags with different types of candy or trinkets. Dessert trucks also were on hand to round out the day. Left, Lawson and Whitney Lugo enjoying the hunt.

2 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL OPINION/CONTENTS OVER THE MOUNTAIN JO U RNA L April 4, 2024 Vol. 34, No. 12 Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at editorial@otmj.com. E-mail our advertising department at mwald@otmj.com. Find us on the Web at otmj.com. Copyright 2024 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. Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: June Mathews, Anne Ruisi Photographer: Jordan Wald Sports Editor: Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Evelyn Byrne, Solomon Crenshaw Jr., Madoline Markham Koonce, Susan Swagler Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Gail Kidd ABOUT TOWN 4 LIFE 10 SOCIAL 12 HOME 18 FOOD 24 SCHOOLS 25 SPORTS 28
A TASTE OF LEBANON Birmingham church celebrates Lebanese food and culture
CHAMPION FOR THE CAUSE End Addiction Walk to raise awareness about substance use
MADOLINE MARKHAM KOONCE Journal photo by Jordan Wald

*Offers cannot be combined, some promotions may be limited to select sets. Not responsible for errors in ad copy. Quantities and selections may vary by location. Mattress images are for illustration purposes only Gifts with purchase (including gift cards and rebates) are not valid with any other promotions except special financing for 6 or 12 months.** Monthly payment is based on purchase price alone excluding tax and delivery charges. Credit purchases subject to credit approval. Other transactions may affect the monthly payment. *** 60 month financing is subject to approved credit *** The Nationwide Marketing Group credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. The monthly payment for this purchase will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the promotional (special terms) period. The APR for Purchases will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Purchases is 28.99%. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. This information is accurate as of 3/16/2024 and is subject to change. For current information, call us at 1-800-431-5921. Offer expires 4/2/2024.

**** Free base offer applies to Queen set purchase of $799 and above or King set purchase $999 and above. King base applies to either one horizontal King Base or one of two TXL bases.***** Free Delivery on mattresses $999 and up, Local area. $20 Mattress Disposal. Scan with your phone’s camera to go to our specials page. OPEN: MON - FRI: 10AM - 7PM SAT: 9AM - 6PM SUN: 1PM - 6PM bedzzzexpress.com Alabaster 621-7010 Gardendale 631-2322 Greystone 408-0280 Hoover 979-7274 Hoover 982-8006 Hueytown 744-4948 Inverness 739-2339 Leeds 699-7000 McCalla 426-1833 Mountain Brook 956-8033 Pelham 663-2337 Trussville 661-6200 Trussville 655-6906 Vestavia 978-3068 Bedzzz Express Outlet Greystone 408-1250 Bedzzz Express Outlet Pelham 664-0096 BRING THIS COUPON TO THE STORE AND TAKE AN ADDITIONAL Does not apply to previous sales. Does not apply to manufacturers MAP prices. Limited time only. Ends 4/15/24 10% OFF QUEEN FOR TWIN $599 REG. $1,398 KING FOR QUEEN SEALY ROSEWOOD HALL HYBRID MATTRESS $1,299 KING MATTRESS SAVE $1,000 BEAUTYREST PALM SPRINGS FREE 7 PIECE BUNDLE DAYDREAM $499 QUEEN Save $400 ON THE PURPLE PLUS® MATTRESS Save $400 UP TO 4/2 - 4/15 TAX REFUND TAX REFUND BIRMINGHAM OWNED AND LOCALLY OPERATED FOR OVER 30 YEARS Transform Your Tax Refund into a Night of Better Sleep SAVE UP TO $1,000 STOREWIDE

Spring into Fun!

The Vestavia Hills Dogwood Festival is a celebration all of the incredible things

Vestavia Hills has to offer!

There is something for everyone during the Dogwood Festival!


6: Dogwood Dink: Cahaba Heights

Vestavia Hills Civic Center, 8am

6: Dogwood Days: Cahaba Heights 10am-8pm

6: Battle of the Bands

Rocky Ridge Plaza, 5-9pm (Rain date: April 7)

7: Spring Yard Judging Concludes!

12: Spring Fling Family Day

Wald Park, 4pm


VHHS, 4-10pm

15: Historical Society Presentation:

Vestavia Hills Methodist Church

Vestavia Hills City Hall, 2pm

16: Dogwood Prayer Breakfast

Vestavia Country Club, 7-9am

18: Dogwood Days Farmer’s Market: Liberty Park 4-7pm

21: Library in the Forest Concert:

Miles College Golden Voices Choir

Vestavia Hills Civic Center, 3pm

27: Wing Ding

Vestavia Hills City Hall Lawn, 4-7pm

28: Heights Hangout

The Heights Village, 2-7pm

Connect on social!

Scan for detailed event info or visit

Thurs., April 4

Acts of Kindness Gala

The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind Foundation invites you to an elegant evening of Acts of Kindness, an event celebrating the limitless potential of Alabama’s children who are deaf, blind, deaf and blind, and multi-disabled. The fundraising event will feature dinner, a live auction and a performance of “Sister Act.” When: 5 p.m. Where: Red Mountain Theatre

Fri., April 5

Space Prom

Dress to impress in your shiny, spacey best and be sure to bring your dancing shoes to celebrate the last visible solar eclipse in the country for the next 20 years! Those attending will receive free eclipse glasses and enjoy games, food and drinks. This event is limited to adults 21 and older. Register at oneallibrary. org/evet/9881603. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: O’Neal Library

Heroes & Villains: After Hours

Immerse yourself in the magic of Heroes & Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume at the BMA. This evening event is ideal for families, filled with art-making, music, refreshments, and more. With special guests from Recycled Runway by Bib & Tucker Sew-Op, this special program will also feature a runway show of upcycled Disney-inspired fashion by local teens. When: 5 - 9 p.m. Where: Birmingham Museum of Art

April 5-6

Masters of the Silver Screen

Violinist Charles Yang and Alabama Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Ryan Beach are the featured performers when the ASO presents


The nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens will host its annual Spring Plant Sale. Hundreds of plants—many of which have been nurtured at the Gardens by the Friends’ dedicated volunteer growing groups— will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale will support the Friends’ mission: to protect, nurture, and share the wonders of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. When: 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Where: BBG Formal Lawn and Hill Garden

movie scores. When: April 5, 11 a.m., Coffee Concert, & 7 p.m. April 6, 7 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center

April 5-7

Alabama Ballet

An Evening of Twyla Tharp featuring the music of Frank Sinatra will include two iconic pieces by the legendary American choreographer that you won’t want to miss. When: Various times Where: Alabama School of Fine Arts, Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre

April 5-21

Sister Act

After witnessing a murder, disco diva Deloris Van Cartier must hide in a convent disguised as a nun in this feelgood musical comedy. When: Various times Where: Red Mountain Theatre

Sat., April 6

Walk MS 2024

Ending multiple sclerosis for good will take all of us. Walk MS helps us

co-workers to change the world for everyone affected by MS. Includes a 1 mile route and a 3 mile route.

When: Program starts at 8:45 a.m.

Where: Homewood Central Park

Dogwood Dink Pickleball Tournament

The Dogwood Dink brings pickleball enthusiasts together for a day of fun and enthusiastic game play. Sponsored by the Vestavia Hills Beautification Board. When: 8 a.m.

Where: Vestavia Hills Civic Center

Rocky Ridge Battle of the Bands

Don’t miss the 5th annual Rocky Ridge Battle of the Bands, where middle and high school musicians compete to see whose band or solo act is tops. The event, sponsored by Mason Music, features VIP guest judges who decide the winners in different categories. When: 5 p.m.

Where: Rocky Ridge Plaza

Bark and Wine

An evening of dining, cocktails, live music and dancing, along with a

https://bit.ly/Dogwood_Fest VHDogwoodFestival vh_dogwood_festival
OTMJ 2/5pg 04.04.2024.indd 1 3/22/24 1:41 PM
4 - APR 18

the Shelby County Humane Society. When: 6 p.m. Where: Windwood Equestrian

April 11 - 21

Schoolhouse Rock Live!

Adapted from the classic musical cartoon series, “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” Features top STARS students in VST’s mainstage Season for the first time! Directed by STARS Artistic Director Jenna Bellamy, this whimsical musical romp through America’s history will have you singing along to the simple joys of past Saturday mornings! When: Thurs. - Sat. 7:30 p.m. Sun. 2:30 p.m. Where: Virginia Samford Theatre

On Golden Pond

Heartwarming love story of a couple who have had many good years and, perhaps, another summer on Golden Pond still awaits. When: Showtimes vary Where: Homewood Theatre

Thurs., April 11

Alabama Symphony Orchestra

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra featuring Daniel Szasz on violin will perform Piazzolla’s “Libertango” and Grieg’s Holberg Suite among other pieces. When: 6:30 p.m. Where: Avon Theatre

Fri., April 12

Spring Fling Family Day

Bring a chair or blanket and celebrate


This free, family-family and communitywide festival celebrates the culmination of the high school’s RISE fundraising activities. Join us for food, games, live music by student bands and a luminary ceremony honoring those who have battled against cancer. When: 4-10 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills High School

food trucks, face painting, bounce houses, vendors and more! Wrap up the fun with an all-ages outdoor concert. When: 6-7:30 p.m. Where: Wald Park

Sat., April 13

2024 Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K

This Rockin’ 5K, presented by McDonald’s, is an annual celebration of family, fundraising and awareness for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. All money raised through the Red Shoe Run stays at the Ronald

Cancer survivor Sam Cunningham, center, with his parents Lisa and Patrick and brothers Zac and Luke at last year’s RISE Day luminary ceremony.

McDonald House in Birmingham to keep families together at a time when it’s needed most. When: 8 - 11 a.m. Where: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama1700 4th Ave. So.


Support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama at CahabaQue, an annual fundraiser for the nonprofit organization that invests in cutting-edge breast cancer research within the state. All-youcan-eat barbecue samples prepared by cook teams, live music and craft

beer will be on hand to enjoy. When: Noon-4 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing Company

Funky Fish Fry

Held every April to celebrate Autism Acceptance month this event is hosted by the junior boards of Mitchell’s Place and the Autism Support of Alabama in support of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Birmingham and beyond. The 14th annual event features delicious food and fun activities for all ages and live music from The Drennen Brothers, Murph and Automatic Slim. When: 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Where: Avondale Brewing Company

Magic Moments Golf Drawing

The Magic Moments Birmingham Junior Board is bringing more fun to Masters weekend this year! Join us for a drawing to benefit Magic Moments, the wish-granting organization for Alabama children with chronic life-threatening or acute lifealtering medical conditions. Tickets for a chance to win start at $5. When: Noon-6 p.m. Where: Otey’s Tavern, Mountain Brook

GBHS at Puppy Palooza

Prepare for an unforgettable day of tailwagging fun at Puppy Palooza! A pawsome event packed with excitement. Groove to live music, explore our fido marketplace, and engage in fun doggy activities. This family and pet-friendly extravaganza promises something for everyone! GBHS will be showcasing

adorable dogs ready for adoption, along with GBHS swag available for purchase. When: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Where: Lane Parke

Sun., April 14

Ballet in the Park

Ballet in the Park is the third annual production by Magic City Performing Arts, combining a free familyfriendly performance of ballet and contemporary dance. Excerpt from “The Sleeping Beauty” and original works will be performed. When: 3 p.m. Where: Railroad Park

Mon., April 15

Historical Society Presentation:

Vestavia Hills Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Bill Brunson, senior pastor of Vestavia Hills Methodist Church, will present a summary of the church’s history spanning 70-plus years, along with a description of what’s happening in the church today. Musical entertainment will be provided by Jim Frazier, pastor of Boomers & Beyond and Care & Support. When: 2 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills City Hall

Tues, April 16

Dogwood Prayer Breakfast

Anna Gualano will be this year’s guest speaker at the annual prayer breakfast that’s part of the Vestavia Hills Dogwood Festival. When: 7-9 a.m. Where: Vestavia Country Club

RMT SUMMER CAMPS ARE PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY! MAY 31-JUNE 30 NOW PLAYING APRIL 5-21 May 28-August 2 AGES 4-18 FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE ALL YOUR SUMMER FUN IS AT REDMOUNTAINTHEATRE.ORG! 20% OFF All Sister Act or Mary Poppins Tickets with discount code OTMJFRIEND Cannot be used after tickets have been purchased or used in combination with any other offer. Exp. 8/31/24.
Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

April 11–13


Our annual Spring Plant Sale is back at the Gardens. Get ready for spring planting by shopping hard-to-find plants specially selected for our region by expert volunteer growers. Check or card only. Bring your own cart or wagon!

Member Priority Shopping: Thursday, April 11

Open to the Public: Friday, April 12

Saturday, April 13



April 18- 20

Aldridge Gardens Plant Sale

Find the perfect plants for your container or garden spot! Volunteers and gardeners will be on hand to help with selections and to give advice about placement, care and maintenance. Customers can own “a little bit of Aldridge Gardens” when they buy a pass-along plant that lived there! We are going to have many plants with an Aldridge Gardens heritage. In addition, we’ll also have many more from members and friends of the gardens! When: Thurs. & Fri. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat. 8:30 a.m. - noon. Where: Aldridge Gardens

Fri., April 19

Denim and Dining

Enjoy the casual atmosphere, a catered barbecue dinner provided by Jim ‘n Nick’s, music by Jenna and Ben Kuykendall, and live and silent auctions at Denim and Dining, a fundraiser for the Hoover City Schools Foundation. Tickets are available at hoovercsf.org/events. When: 6-10 p.m. Where: Aldridge Gardens

April 19-21

Don Quixote

Magic City Performing Arts presents “Don Quixote,” a vibrant and colorful family-friendly ballet based on the classic story of Don Quixote and his faithful friend, Sancho Panza. When: Various showtimes Where: Lyric Theatre

20th Annual Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival

April 12 & 13, 10am to 9pm Free Admission

Sat., April 20

Friday and Saturday, April 13 & 14 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Glenwood 5K Trail Run

St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church

836 8th Street So., Birmingham (Between University Blvd. and 10th Ave. So)

FOOD: including Rolled Grape Leaves, Spinach Pies, Baked Kibbee and Falafel Sandwiches, Tabouleh (Lebanese Salad), Grilled Lebanese Lemon Chicken, Loobia (Green Beans), Rice, Homous and Pita Bread. Desserts include a variety of Baklawa, Kaak (Lebanese Sugar Cookie), Lebanese Ice Cream.

Glenwood will hold the 2nd annual 5K Trail Run to support Autism Acceptance Month. It will take place on Glenwood’s 363-acre main campus, with moderate terrain and When: 8:30 a.m.

Glenwood, off Sicard Hollow Road at 150 Glenwood Lane

Homewood Library Foundation

Established 1999


LEBANESE DELICACIES INCLUDING: Baked Kibbee, Lemon Grilled Chicken, Grape Leaves, Tabouleh, Homous, Spinach Pies and Desserts like Baklawa, Zlaybah and Ice Cream.

Backyard Bash

Fundraiser Set for Group for Couples

Struggling With Infertility, Child Loss

Tickets are on sale for the 4th Annual Backyard Bash on April 12 to benefit Carrywell, a nonprofit organization supporting couples struggling with infertility and child loss.

The family-friendly fundraiser will feature live music by Billy Gant and children’s activities, such as face painting, balloon twisting and yard games.

It also aims to raise awareness of infertility and the barriers couples face to expand their families.

Organizers said the event is being held in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week.

Backyard Bash will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at LadyBird Taco, 300

Rele Street in Mountain Brook’s Lane Parke.

Tickets are $15 for individuals and $40 for a Family Four Pack. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free. Dinner, provided by LadyBird Taco, is included in the price of a ticket.

Tickets can be purchased online at carrywell.org. More information about Carrywell is available on the website.

All ticket sales and event sponsorship proceeds will help fund services such as grief therapy for families who have experienced late-term, infant or child loss; along with grants for fertility treatments, embryo adoption and community support groups.

History and Jazz

Hoover Historical Society Hosts Open House at The Preserve Town Hall

The Hoover Historical Society is hosting an open house and membership drive April 14 during an afternoon of jazz and refreshments at the Preserve Town Hall.

The Bumpus Middle School jazz band will perform during the event, which runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. At 3 p.m., scholarship winners from the Hoover City School District will be announced.

The Hoover Historical Society, founded in 1989, is the official archivist for the city. It aims to increase knowledge of Hoover’s history as well as preserving historical objects and encouraging the study of history. The society works with national, state, regional and other local historical organizations. It also uses The Folklore Center to teach young students about pioneer life in 1840s Alabama.

The event is free and open to the public. Annual dues to join the society are $20 per person or $30 per couple. For more information, visit hooverhistoricalsociety.org

College’s Golden Voices Choir, which has performed nationwide and exudes the message of culture, class and civility through many genres of music. When: 3 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills Civic Center

Fri., April 26

Blue Door Gala

Come to support the Homewood Library, stay for all of the fun! The ninth annual block party is a bookthemed carnival for the whole family. Enjoy live music, cold beverages and samples of food and drink from local sponsors, plus fun activities and games for children. When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Where: Homewood Library

Magic City Mimosa Festival

5K RUN: Saint Elias Cedar 5K Run on April 14 at 8 a.m., followed by Cedar Shake Fun Run at 9 a.m. Benefits The Exceptional Foundation, an organization established to provide social and recreational activities for individuals with special needs. For route and registration, visit

catered Lebanese dinners, vacation packages, collector items, gift certificates to restaurants and events in the Birmingham area. Closes 8 p.m. on April 14.

St. Elias Cedar Run 5K and Cedar Shake Fun Run Silent Auction · Music & Dancing · Free Shuttle Parking 25% of all festival proceeds go to local and national charities. For more information visit www.stelias.org.

DANCING: Traditional dances by youth of the church on indoor stage starting 6 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday. New York-based Amin Sultan Lebanese Band performing under outdoor tent from 6 to

Guests 21 and older are welcome to enjoy an afternoon of bubbly mimosas and other refreshing beverages, delicious bites, music, items by artisan vendors and more at the Magic City Mimosa Festival. When: Noon-4 p.m. Where: Sloss Furnaces

Sun., April 21

Miles College Golden Voices Choir

This free concert features Miles

Celebrating 40 Years of Magic! Magic Moments was established in 1984 with the sole purpose of bringing joy and happiness to children in Alabama with chronic life-threatening or acute life-altering medical conditions. All past Magic Moments recipients and families are invited to this event, as well as anyone who has volunteered or been part of the Magic Moments family over the years! Please join us to honor and remember the children we have served as we celebrate 40 years of creating magic across Alabama! When: 2 - 4 p.m. Where: Veterans Park

April 20-21

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

See “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” across the big screen in highdefinition and experience the music of The Alabama Symphony Orchestra performing Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score. When: April 20, 7 p.m., April 21, 2:30 p.m. Where: BJCC Concert Hall

A night of music and champagne to support Prescott House Child Advocacy Center. A champagne reception in the garden will be followed by dinner and live music. When: 6 p.m. Where: Grand Bohemian Hotel Ballroom

April 26 & 28

Opera Unveiled

Enjoy a concert of greatest hits at “Opera Unveiled,” featuring some of opera’s most beloved music. The magic and glory of the operatic voice will be on full display, with the Opera Birmingham Chorus and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra joining forces for powerful ensembles. When: April 26, 7:30 p.m., April 28, 2:30 p.m . Where: DJDT at Alabama School of Fine Arts

9:30 p.m. nightly.
A facility of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the result of a public/private partnership between the City of Birmingham and the nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a mission-driven membership organization that seeks to protect, nurture, and share the wonders of the Gardens.

A Taste of Lebanon

Birmingham Church Celebrates Lebanese Food and Culture

Foodies and friends from Birmingham and beyond are invited to join St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church in celebrating its 26th Annual Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival.

Set for Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., the festival will feature an array of Lebanese fare, entertainment, church tours and other activities. Proceeds will benefit multiple organizations.

“Supporting us helps to support others as well,” said festival volunteer Michelle Adams. “Since its beginning in 1999, 25 percent of the festival’s proceeds have gone to charities other than St. Elias, and that tradition continues. To date, $709,000 has been donated to local and national charities.” Lebanese delicacies offered during the two-day event include baked kibbe, grilled lemon chicken, rolled grape leaves, spinach pies, meat pies and other treats. A variety of breads and sweets, including zlaybah –

which are Lebanese doughnuts –round out the menu.

A takeout option will be on the south side of the church. Free delivery to downtown Birmingham or Southside locations will be provided on orders of $150 or more on Friday.

“We suggest coordinating with your coworkers for an authentic Lebanese Friday lunch delivered to your office,” said Adams. “You can order ahead online at stelias.org starting the Monday before the festival and ending that Thursday at 5 p.m.”

‘We are excited to welcome back the New Yorkbased Amin Sultan Lebanese Band.’


Entertainment, said Adams, will include music and dance.

“We are excited to welcome back the New Yorkbased Amin Sultan Lebanese Band, which will play beginning at 6 p.m. both nights,” said Adams. “We’ll also have the church’s youth performing traditional Lebanese dances on an indoor stage beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday.”

For festivalgoers interested in seeing the historic St. Elias church building, guided and self-guided

King’s Home Shelby Auxiliary to Host Tablescapes Event

Ashley McMakin (right) of Ashley Mac’s Restaurants will be the guest speaker at the Tablescapes for King’s Home Luncheon on April 11.

The event, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church, is an annual fundraiser for King’s Home of Shelby County. It’s hosted by King’s Home Shelby Auxiliary in support of the home, which serves at-risk women, mothers and children.

McMakin will share her story and her commitment to a Christ-centered business. Attendees will have an opportunity to purchase her debut cookbook, “Ashley Mac’s Kitchen.”

About 23 decorated tables will be featured.

A silent auction will be held during the event, and bidders do not have to be present or buy a ticket to the luncheon to participate. Items will be previewed on April 7 and bids can be taken via GiveSmart from your phone. To learn how to bid, visit vimeo.com/322061296.

Organizers hope to raise more than

tours will begin at 11 a.m. on both days. The exception to tour hours will be during Saturday liturgy, Adams said.

The St. Elias Booth will offer T-shirts, cups, cookbooks and other items for sale throughout the festival. The silent auction room will be open until 8 p.m. Saturday.

In conjunction with the festival, the 11th Annual St. Elias Cedar Run 5K and Cedar Shake Fun Run will take place April 13. Proceeds from the runs will benefit Just Keep Smiling, an organization that assists families with children in medical crises. For information and online registration, visit steliascedarrun. org.

St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church is located at 836 8th Street South in Birmingham. Off-site parking is available Friday evening and Saturday at UAB Express 1 Parking at 608 8th Street South, with free shuttle service provided.

Admission to the festival is free. Only credit or debit cards will be accepted for purchases.

For more information on the St. Elias Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival, visit stelias.org. Follow the event on Facebook and Instagram by searching for @steliasfestival.

the $70,000 raised last year. They noted the women’s building at the King’s Home campus is always in need of upgrades, and last year, some of the money donated was used to purchase a much-needed new oven for the kitchen.

The mission of King’s Home Shelby Auxiliary is to provide support to the women and children of Kings Home Shelby who have been victims of domestic abuse, drug abuse or other violence.

The auxiliary provides support through fundraisers, projects and volunteer visits to the home.

Dorothy Jemison Day Theater at Alabama School of Fine Arts
ORDER TICKETS! OperaBirmingham.org | 205-322-6737 April 26 | 7:30 pm April 28 | 2:30 pm cook
Featuring the Opera Birmingham Chorus and Alabama Symphony Orchestra
file photo by Jordan Wald

Vocal Inspiration

Ensemble Cantus Will Perform During Samford’s Legacy League Scholarship Ensemble

For fans of acapella and chamber music, Cantus, a mesmerizing, lowvoice, eight-member male group, will be performing during the Samford Legacy League’s Scholarship Celebration April 18.

Proceeds from the event, which is open to the public, will provide scholarships for students who have faced challenges including homelessness, inner-city violence, abandonment and the death or disability of a parent.

The evening will begin with a sponsor reception at 6 p.m. and seated dinner at 6:30 p.m. before the concert begins at 8 p.m. The event is being held at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Cantus, from Minneapolis, performs music ranging from Renaissance to Motown and has recorded 17 albums and performed on prestigious stages around the world. The group has been widely applauded; The Washington Post has described the group’s timeless sound as having “exalting finesse” and “expressive power.”

The reception and dinner are presented by Samford Dining by Aramark. Vulcan Materials Company is the Presenting Sponsor for the concert. Dentons Sirote PC is the event’s Diamond Sponsor; Baptist Health

System is the Gold Sponsor. Silver Sponsors are Altec, Environmental Biological Services, Hoar Construction, John 3:16, Johnson Controls, Marathon Electrical Contractors and Ronnie Watkins Ford.

Reservations are required and cost $125 per person, $50 of which is tax deductible. For more information and to make online reservations, visit samford.edu/legacyleague.

Courtesy Members of the Scholarship Celebration Committee above are, front, Cheryl Landreth, Chair Jan Cobb, Julie Taylor, Rhonda Cantelow, Karon Bowdre, Karen Carlisle. Back, Nancy Golden, Shea Williams, Belinda Stroud, Sharon Smith, Amy Fenton Lee, Tricia Naro. Not pictured are Cindy Bembry, Lindsey Reed Curl, Kasey Fiscus and Maureen Hallman.


From Page One

1990s and early 2000s, but this will be my first time taking part in the competition.

“It is my honor and pleasure to finally participate in the Transplant Games with Team Alabama after all these years. I’m not only a member of Team Alabama but also on the executive committee, which does a lot of fundraising and outreach.”

Team Alabama consists of transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, transplant professionals and caregivers or supporters.

Weinrib, 53, is a Mountain Brook High School graduate and former teacher at the school. She has been living in Homewood with her husband, Dan, and their son, Jack, for the past 21 years.

She received a heart transplant in December 1991 at UAB when she was a senior at Emory University in Atlanta. She is one of only a handful of UAB heart transplant recipients who have survived more than three decades past the procedure.

“UAB is one of the best heart transplant centers in the world, and I feel so very fortunate that it is in my hometown,” Weinrib said. “There is cutting-edge research, innovative care and world-class medical professionals who enabled me to continue to lead a healthy, active life.”

Because she is one of UAB’s longest-lived heart recipients, Weinrib

refers to herself as a “dinosaur.” She also is a donor bone recipient and a cow valve recipient.

“I like to say that I’ve had a heart transplant and five other replacement parts,” Weinrib said. “I had the heart transplant at UAB unexpectedly during my senior year at Emory, then had three parts of my neck replaced because of a one-in-a-million benign tumor in 2010, followed seven months later by a tricuspid valve replacement. Most recently, I underwent a partial elbow replacement after I broke both elbows and had a “terrible triad” injury in my left elbow. Altogether, I feel like the Bionic Woman.”

one’s (driver’s) license or donor card and talk to one’s family about organ donation. Of the many causes I believe in, organ donation is the most important to me. I would not be here without the generosity of a 17-year-old African American and his family.”

Bill Ryan, president and CEO of the Transplant Games of America, also speaks to that need.

“In 2022, there were almost 44,000 organ transplants in the United States, setting a new record,” Ryan said. “This remarkable life-saving medical advancement is only possible through the selfless act of individuals who, in passing, gave others a chance to return to health.

Organ Donation Awareness

Weinrib speaks regularly about organ donation awareness for Legacy of Hope, formerly the Alabama Organ Center. April is National Donate Life Month.

“I was UAB heart transplant surgery No. 266,” Weinrib said. “That number is far above 1,000 now. When I started giving my transplant talk in the mid-1990s, around 60,000 people were on the UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) list. Now, 103,575 people are waiting in the U.S. for some kind of organ, and over 17 of them a day will die while waiting.

“It is so important that one signs

“Living donors also help bring new life to others in need, and the Transplant Games help remind us that over 100,000 patients are on the waiting list for an organ, and dozens die every day because an organ was not available for them.”

Ryan is pleased that the games will be in Birmingham with events scheduled throughout the metro area at different venues, including the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham CrossPlex, Hoover Met Complex, Vestavia Bowl, Highland Park Golf Course and Birmingham-Southern College.

“We are thrilled to bring this event to the Birmingham community and

can’t wait for our teams and their families to experience the warmth and friendship that visitors to Alabama enjoy,” he said.

Trivia Anyone?

The games include more than 20 competitions for recipients and living donors along with 60-plus special events throughout the week that provide opportunities to celebrate donors, attend lectures and workshops, and interact with friends and associates.

“What I am most looking forward to is the extra activities, such as the opening ceremony when all the teams come in,” Weinrib said. “I think Team Alabama will be the last one to come in, being the home team. I’m also looking forward to the Quarter Century Club dinner and being with the other dinosaurs.”

Although Weinrib does a variety of fitness activities daily, including walking, weightlifting, elliptical, recumbent bike, PT exercises and yoga, she’s going for a low-key event in the Transplant Games.

“I can’t throw and I can’t catch, so I am not going to do a lot of the physical events,” she said. “I will do the 5K Run/Walk. I thought about doing badminton, but my shoulder won’t let me. I’ll do Trivia Challenge instead. I used to do Scholars Bowl when I was in school and I also was a Scholars Bowl coach, so that suits me.”

For more information about the Transplant Games visit transplantgamesofamerica.org.

Basketball and Good Works

Auburn Head Coach to Speak During Salvation Army Fundraising Dinner

Bruce Pearl, head men’s basketball coach at Auburn University, is this year’s keynote speaker for the Salvation Army–Birmingham Area Commands’ Annual Dinner on May 2.

The dinner, the Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser of the year, will be at the Sheraton Hotel. It raises money for support programs and services for low-income citizens in the community.

Pearl joined Auburn for the 201415 basketball season and three times has been named SEC Coach of the Year. He led the Tigers to 173 wins in nine seasons, the program’s first No. 1 ranking in both national polls and a memorable run to the NCAA Final Four in 2019.

He and his wife through their family foundation support Children’s Harbor, and he has established a group to support cancer patients in the state.

A limited number of individual tickets are available, but mostly tables are being sold for sponsorship opportunities, ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

Those interested may contact Renae.Dismuke@uss.salvationarmy. org.

April 27 & 28, 2024

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

One tasting session each day / 12-3pm

Restaurants & Chefs

Wine, Cocktails & Spirits, Craft Beer

Seated Tasting Seminars & Demos, plus a Commemorative Stemless Wine Glass



TASTE. SIP. REPEAt. 27th YEAR @ the 41st Magic City Art Connection


Champion for the Cause

End Addiction Walk to Raise Awareness About Substance Use

Taylin McCarver isn’t shy about discussing substance use addiction, even though it has caused tremendous pain and grief for her and her family.

McCarver’s brother, T.J. McCarver, died in 2018 at the age of 27 after an eight-year struggle with substance use disorder. He was killed in a car accident while under the influence of numerous substances.

McCarver described her family’s experience with her brother’s battle with addiction as a roller coaster.

“We had people try to break into our house to get to (my brother’s) stash,” she said. “He wrecked numerous cars and I watched him get arrested. The list goes on.”

Since her brother’s death, McCarver has made it her mission to speak out and connect with families who have experienced similar struggles.

“We’ve always been pretty open about it,” McCarver said of her and her parents. “It’s something our family has gone through because we have a history of addiction on my dad’s side of the family. It can happen to anybody.”

The Addiction Prevention Coalition has chosen McCarver as its 2024 Champion for the Cause for its eighth annual End Addiction BHAM Walk, which will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Walk Amphitheater in Birmingham.

According to APC Executive Director Carie Wimberly, the event was organized to help raise awareness of the substance use epidemic taking place in communities across the state and nation.

Since its inception, APC has been on a mission to reduce the rate of death by overdose in Alabama and the stigma surrounding substance use disorder by educating the community about the dangers of all substance use.

From June 2022 to June 2023, the Centers for Disease Control reports that Alabama saw a 16.93% increase

in drug overdose deaths. With more than 109,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2022, the walk allows the community to remember those who have died and those who are in recovery.

You Are Not Alone

Wimberly said McCarver is a great representative for what APC does.

Posthumous Honor

Rotarian Stan Sims, Multiple Paul Harris Fellow Winner, Honored After His Death Dec. 1

Longtime Rotarian Stan Sims was honored posthumously as a four-time Paul Harris Fellow during a recent ceremony that also honored retired Rear Admiral Jack Natter, whom Sims before his death had arranged to receive the same award.

The fellow award is given to Rotarians who donate $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation. Sims, also a Navy veteran, earned his first fellow

“An important part of Taylin’s mission is to let others know that they do not have to struggle alone,” Wimberly said. “One way that she demonstrates this mission is through her leadership of Team TJ in efforts to raise money annually for community programming to not only raise awareness about SUD and grief but also to encourage hope for others. Taylin’s

award in 1990. Rotarians also can honor others by donating in their name, which Sims did in November to honor Natter.

The presentation ceremony had been set for Dec. 5 at the Vestavia Hills Rotary Club’s annual Christmas party but was delayed after Sims died Dec. 1, at the age of 93. Last month, the Rotary group held the ceremony.

Rotarian Joe Perez presented Sims’ pin to his son, Tom Sims, as well as presenting Natter with his award.

ability to use her own personal experience with SUD to help guide others is why she is our 2024 champion for the End Addiction Walk.”

McCarver, who lives in Alabaster, is a career coach for Shelby County Schools, after previously working as an academic adviser at UAB. She appreciates being tabbed as the Champion for the Cause.

“I’m superexcited to be recognized, but nothing’s changed for me,” McCarver said. “I do everything a champion does already, so this is another chance for me to speak on it and expand awareness. It’s not just me that is a champion, it’s everyone involved every day. APC and Carie do a good job of keeping people informed.

ple are impacted and to make it more relatable and comfortable speaking about it,” McCarver said. “The more it’s talked about, people realize there’s not as big a stigma and what they are going through others have experienced, too.”

‘The first year we were expecting about 100 and almost 1,000 came out, so we knew this was something the community wanted.’

A festival following the walk will feature a sober circle celebration, memory angel, photo booth, free Narcan training provided by the Jefferson County Department of Health, food trucks, free HIV testing and other activities.

“I want to let others know that addiction is bound to happen and we have a community and resources that have rehabilitative services for them.”

Each year, McCarver and her family walk as “Team TJ” to honor his memory during the End Addiction BHAM Walk. They also create a new Team TJ T-shirt before each walk to sell and raise money for APC. Proceeds from T-shirt sales go toward financial assistance to those battling addiction and those in recovery to attend rehab services.

The EAB Walk is APC’s biggest fundraising campaign, bringing thousands together each year to spread awareness about the drug epidemic in Alabama.

To participate in the free event, check-in for the EAB Walk will be at 10 a.m., followed by a short program at 11 a.m. and the walk beginning at noon.

“I think the main priority is to raise awareness about how many peo-

DJ Floyd will provide the music, and guests can participate in line dancing. Resource Row will include more than 40 organizations and services, offering interactions with a diverse range of prevention, treatment, recovery and health organizations.

“The EAB Walk has become a spring tradition for our community. It is an eclectic group of people who come together with a singular passion to do all they can to save lives and bring hope,” Wimberly said.

“The first year we were expecting about 100 and almost 1,000 came out, so we knew this was something the community wanted. In eight years due to our sponsors, we have increased our offerings and participation.

“This will be our second year at City Walk. We had it there last year and everybody loved it. We’re open for 3,000. We had 2,500 last year, so we’re hoping to get there. I hope all will come and join us for this fun and important event.”

To register or learn more about the End Addiction BHAM Walk, visit endaddictionbham.org.

10 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL
Courtesy The Addiction Prevention Coalition has chosen Taylin McCarver, above with her husband and son, as its 2024 Champion for the Cause for its eighth annual End Addiction BHAM Walk.
photo by Maury Wal;d From left: Tom Sims, son of Rotarian Stan Sims, Joe Perez, Rear Admiral Jack Natter, his wife Nancy Natter, Club President Dave Mason.

Coming Home

Steve Skipper Art Exhibit to Be on Display at Homewood City Hall

A six-week exhibition of awardwinning sports artist Steve Skipper’s paintings will be on display in the Homewood City Hall from April 19 through May 30.

The exhibit, sponsored by the Homewood Arts Council, will be on display and open to the public in the city hall’s firstfloor exhibition corridor from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays during that period.

Skipper, who grew up in the Rosedale neighborhood, said the exhibit being shown is called the Coming Home Collection. He said it “will be representative of my work over the decades that reflect my passionate interests in American sports, civil right commemoratives and Christian art.”

Academy among the 2023 Sports Artists of the Year. In 2011, he was selected to participate in an exhibition at the National Art Museum of Sports in Indianapolis, when he was named one of the Top 50 sports artists in the world. He also has a long list of commissions from sports figures, but that isn’t his only work.

Sample Baked Goods During Workshops Empowerment’s Annual Bake Off Event

The third annual Great Birmingham Bake Off will be held at Cahaba Brewing on April 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Patterned after The Great British Bake Off, the competition event is open to the public and is to include live music and a kids entertainment area. Guests can sample baked goods made by competing teams of local bakers.

There will be three awards given at the event. Local celebrity judges will determine the Grand Champion and

Team Spirit awards. Ticket holders will vote for the People’s Choice Awards.

The bake off is sponsored by Workshops Empowerment Inc. and helps fund its programs to provide jobs and job training to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

Bakers will begin their masterpieces using WE Made mixes, which include buttermilk biscuits, buttermilk cornbread, hummingbird cake and pound cake. The mixes are made at workshops through

a WE workforce development training program.

Birmingham-based WE has been offering employment opportunities for disabled individuals for more than 120 years, and in more recent years it has added training and workforce development programs. Tickets to the event are $20 per person, which covers samples of each of the competing baked goods and a drink ticket redeemable at Cahaba Brewery. Kids 10 and under get in free. For more information or to buy tickets, visit bakeoff. swell.gives.

Skipper, who grew up in the Rosedale neighborhood, said the exhibit being shown is called the Coming Home Collection.

He has been acclaimed for his commemorative civil rights paintings, including having been commissioned by the city of Birmingham to do commemorative artwork celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. He’s also painted a commemorative for the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Edmund Pettus Bridge, of which the first reproduction hangs in the LBJ Presidential Library.

Skipper is highly lauded for his work, most recently becoming the first Black artist to be formally commissioned by Buckingham Palace. He’ll be doing a painting of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Anne, according to a statement from the council.

“It’s been quite a ride with Christ doing all the driving and a man with miles yet to go,” Skipper said in response.

He also was the first Black artist to do sanctioned and officially licensed sports paintings for the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Dallas Cowboys, NASCAR, Professional Bull Riders, the PGA and Green Bay Packers, among others.

He was named by the U.S. Sports

A documentary about Skipper, “Colors of Character,” details his struggles as a young man in Homewood who later became a heralded artist.

Skipper credits his fourth grade teacher at Rosedale Elementary for first seeing his promise and encouraging him in art and so has dedicated the Coming Home Collection as a ‘Tribute to Vernell Saunders.’

“I believe Stever Skipper’s Coming Home Collection exhibition at City Hall will be one of the council’s most important, high-profile events ever,” Amber Allen-Parsons, Arts Council chair, said.

An opening reception during which residents can meet Skipper and view his work will be held April 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Allen-Parsons said.

We look forward to being your neighborhood bank and a part of the Homewood Community! www.southpoint.bank

Thursday, April 4, 2024 • 11 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL LIFE
28th Avenue South Homewood
One level house in Vestavia Hills, $700 per month. Includes all utlities, cable and internet. Call Elise at 205-305-0748

Son March 2 at The Country Club of Birmingham.

The theme of the 2024 party was “Boots and Bling!” and guests donned “Western bling” and blacktie attire.

Dinner was served and music was provided by “Smokey Jones and the 3 Dollar Pistols.”

Silhouettes is Birmingham’s oldest women’s social club. It was founded in 1955, and the winter dance has been held at The Country Club of Birmingham since the first event in 1956.

Serving on the 2024 Silhouettes Winter Dance Committee were Chairwoman Candis Birchfield, Sara Collins, Lauren Keet, Gina Pickering, Alexis Douglas, Natalie Rula and Krista Robinson. ❖


Silhouettes Club Celebrates Annual Dance With ‘Boots and Bling’ Theme

Photos courtesy ilhouettes members bootscooted their way through the club’s annual winter dance
12 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL
Front row: Ashley Norris, Shana Peagler, Krista Robinson, Bonnie Oakley, Marie Joseph, Charlotte Sizemore. Back: Alexis Douglas, Erin Elliott, Kayla Hiatt, Natalie Rula, Jeana Lee Upton, Lauren Adams. Judy Collins and Bill Pitts Gayle and Bill Dunnill Candy Hacker, Bill Gray Bobby Comer, Barbara and Robert Klyce, Jennifer Comer, Greg and Becky Keyes Edie Sullivan, Gina Pickering, Mary Francis Osborn, Taylor Cocherell, Lauren Keet Chris and Noelle Sheedy

Wobbly Rotations

Easter Eggs Roll at O’Neal Library

The Easter Bunny stopped by Mountain Brook on March 30 as children participated in an Easter Egg Roll.

Held on the grassy field by the O’Neal Library, the egg roll, presented by the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, is a well-loved annual event.

Children brought their own baskets as they collected eggs and posed for pictures with the celebrated bunny. ❖

Thursday, April 4, 2024 • 13 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL
Pearce and Caroline Borders Meredith Lusco, Sara Claire Ballard Hyland, Christie and Lila Taylor Adelaide Clarke, Emily Estes, Regan Baldwin

Annual Spring Rites

Vestavia Hills Dogwood Festival Luncheon Held, More Events Continue in April

Events for the annual Vestavia Hills Dogwood Festival continued this spring, including the always popular Dogwood Festival Luncheon held at the Vestavia Country Club on March 21.

Guests were treated to a silent auction and heard from Birmingham native Sophie Hudson, author of several books, including “A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet” and “Home Is Where My People Are.”

More events continue throughout the month, including the Dogwood Dink Pickleball Tournament, Dogwood Days: Cahaba Heights and Battle of the Bands in Rocky Ridge, all on April 6; Spring Fling Family Day, April 12; Dogwood Prayer Breakfast, April 16; Dogwood Days Farmer’s Market, April 18; Miles College Golden Voices Choir Concert, April 21; Wing Ding on the City Hall lawn, April 27; and Heights Hangout, April 28. For more information on these and other Dogwood Festival events, visit vhal.org and click on the Community tab. ❖

When people with extraordinary talent and passion are given the technology, the facilities, and the support, they achieve great things. The discoveries taking place today will help shape the future of treatments and lead to cures – benefitting not only our patients and families, but people across the country and around the world for years to come.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald
14 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL
Ginny Webb, Lauren Cater, Nicole Hardekopf, Katie Bushby
happens Amazing Childrens AL •org 1600 7TH AVENUE SOUTH • BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233 205-638-9100 Brand_AMAZING_OTMJ_10.375x6.25-PROD.indd 1 11/28/22 2:49 PM
Deni Murphy, Nancy Gregory Jolletta Dean, Nancy Corona Wendy Henry, Mary Esther Carpenter Mary T. Miller, Sophie Hudson, Kristen Collums

The Kiwanis Club of HomewoodMountain Brook hosted its annual Pancake Breakfast on March 9 and once again, according to club officials, the event was a “huge hit!”

Hoar Construction was the title sponsor with many other local businesses participating. Special thanks was given to sponsor emeritus Thomas Waters State Farm.

The primary beneficiary of the popular fundraiser is The Exceptional Foundation, which was the site of the event.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. ❖

Thursday, April 4, 2024 • 15 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL
now open! Birmingham Museum of Art Feb 17–Aug 18
Presented by PNC, with generous support from the Alabama Power Foundation, Vulcan Materials Company, the Warner Foundation and Protective Life Foundation. Heroes & Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume is curated by the Walt Disney Archives. ..the 2024 50% EVENT .entire month of APRIL. .by appointment 205.930.9394.
presented by
Order Up! Breakfast Benefits the Exceptional Foundation
Fox and Erica Lee Paul Beasley, Susie Ashworth Quinn and Kirsten McCorkle Leland Keller, Krista Young and Kent Watts

Hoover Service Club members presented a service award and elected officers at their luncheon meeting March 14 at the Hoover County Club.

Cindy Bond, college and career specialist at Hoover High School, received the 2024 Flora Mae Pike Hoover Community Service Award. It is presented annually to a Hoover resident to recognize outstanding volunteer service in the community. It also recognizes their commitment to serving selflessly and with enthusiasm, joy, passion and dedication in honor of Flora Mae Pike, founder of the Hoover Service Club.

Officers elected to serve in leadership positions for 2024-2025 are president, Debra Taylor; first vice

president, Rachel Trowbridge; second vice president, Bernadette Beavers-Forrest; third vice president, Lori Callahan; recording secretary, Elaine Thompson, corresponding secretary, Heather Pierce and treasurer, Kacy Wood.

The new officers will be officially announced at the Annual Scholarship Luncheon at the Hoover Country Club on May 9.

The club’s Hands-on Act of Service Project for March consisted of assembling 100 Easter baskets for the Oak Mountain and Green Valley Food Banks.

Lunch included a baby spinach salad, grilled bourbon brown sugar glazed salmon and cheesecake with a strawberry garnish for dessert. ❖

16 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL
Journal photos by Jordan Wald
More than 1 million hours of service provided over the past 10 years. 205-874-9730 | jmancuso@abc-seniors.com INFORMATION More than 1 million hours of service provided over the past 10 years. 205-874-9730 | jmancuso@abc-seniors.com SCAN FOR MORE INFORMATION Reliable in-home care for Over the Mountain seniors. “I have been extremely impressed with the quality of service that Always Best Care has provided. Always Best Care has lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. I highly recommend them.” —Jane Merrifield More than 1 million hours of service provided over the past 10 years. 205-874-9730 | jmancuso@abc-seniors.com SCAN FOR MORE INFORMATION
Debbie Rutehrford, Cindy Bond, Jean Ingram
Bernadette Beavers-Forrest, Rachel Trowbridge, Debra Taylor, Lori Callahan, Kacy Wood
Hearts for Service Hoover Service Club Names Service Award Winner, Elects Officers
Rita Dinkel, Gwen Grasso Marie Haggard, Winnie Cooper, Roberta Atkinson

St. Patrick’s Day Party Draws Friends to Hoover Home

Thursday, April 4, 2024 • 17 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL 2171 Parkway Lake Drive | Hoover, Alabama 35244 Independent Living | Assisted Living | Memory Care ALF #D5986 | SCALF #P5928 Immerse yourself in an engaging community infused with Southern hospitality and an appreciation for the City’s historic charm. At The Crossings at Riverchase, everyday life becomes exceptional with meaningful friendships, gourmet dining, wellnessfocused programming and much more. You’ll find bright, well-appointed spaces
every corner, including a fitness center, creative arts
pub and theater. Just a
to The
and Hwy 150 with nearby medical facilities,
attractions and eateries that provide abundant choices to your everyday routine, you’ll feel instantly connected, comfortable
The Crossings. Refreshingly Authentic Genuinely You. Imagine the possibilities. Call 205-773-2822 or visit TheCrossingsAtRiverchase.com. Every day is yours to live inspired. Plant Sale Aldridge Gardens 2024 MEMBERS RECEIVE 10% OFF PURCHASES Plant Sale Dates: Thursday, April 18 - 9 am to 5 pm Friday April 19 - 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, April 20, 8:30 am to Noon www.aldridgegardens.com ALDRIDGE GARDENS | 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover, AL 35216 | 205-739-6558 Hydrangeas for sun and shade, wildflowers and azaleas, pass-alongs, and some old favorites.
EJ and Diane Vetrano, Anne and Joe Pierce
studio, patio,
short drive
Drinking of the Green
Barbara Naccari, Pat Patrick
March 16.
Pat Patrick’s home in Hoover was the setting for the 27th annual St. Pat Patrick’s Day Party on
A crowd of Over the Mountain friends partook of green Irish beer on tap, soft drinks and chili, while various musicians provided the entertainment at the party. ❖
Traci Braton, Joanna V Fuller Donald and Marilyn Harwell Frances and Stephen Stricklin

Perfect Blend

Parade of Homes’ Ideal Home in Chelsea is a Serene Getaway

Inspiration Starts Here

Parade of Homes Showcases the Latest Home Trends

Wondering what the latest trends are in home design? You can see them for yourself at this year’s Parade of Homes April 26-28 and May 3-5.

The tour will feature more than 56 homes built by 22 builders in 15 communities across Birmingham and at Lake Martin.

“It’s an opportunity for the builders and suppliers and tradespeople to showcase not only new homes but also trends and new features,” said Scott Underwood, this year’s Parade of Homes chairman and See PARADE, page 23

Nestled below Double Oak Mountain on 2.5 wooded acres, you’ll find the star of this year’s Parade of Homes in its Ideal Home.

Located in The Highlands in Chelsea, its 5,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor finished spaces is a blend of modern and traditional design built by B&K Build.

The “Noah” house plan by Frusterio Design, a local architecture firm, starts with an exterior featuring natural stone and timber coated in an off-black paint color. Walking over the gray slate on the front porch into the foyer, you’ll see how the home brings the outdoors in, starting with its expansive windows that open to views of Double Oak Mountain and natural materials used throughout its six bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms.

One of the most notable spaces in the home is the master bathroom, with its dark glass tub that sits atop natural pebbles that add texture to the space and light up from underneath. Directly


Throughout the home, walls are painted light shades of cream atop light stained hardwoods, with black painted accents in spaces like the scullery. In the living room, a tongue and groove ceiling slants overhead with a Dekton fireplace climbing from the floor to ceiling that features gas-powered fireballs. Accordion doors lead to the covered deck. See

Scott Underwood, owner of Centennial Homes, is this year’s Parade of Homes chairman.

18 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL HOME
IDEAL, page
photo by Maury Wald
Thursday, April 4, 2024 • 19 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL HOME ChesterCourtMB.com MOUNTAIN BROOK VILLAGE, ALABAMA Call for your private appointment to learn more and to select your home site. SALES BY Select from 4 home plans or design your own, then choose your homesite from one of 10 lots available. Built by some of Alabama’s most prestigious homebuilders including Francis Bryant Construction, Frye Construction, Hufham Farris Construction, TCC General Contractors, and Thornton Construction. Design by Nequette Architecture. PRICED FROM $2 MILLION TO $3 MILLION NOW SELLING in Mountain Brook Village SUSAN JACKSON (205) 305-1989 DOROTHY TAYLOE (205) 266-6947 VILLAGE HOUSE #1 VILLAGE HOUSE #2 VILLAGE HOUSE #3 VILLAGE HOUSE #4 MANOR HOUSE #1


Cahaba Glass specializes in the installation of custom shower enclosures, mirrors, glass shelving, furniture top glass, cabinet door glass and specialty glass.

Cahaba Glass Company is a familyowned glass business with more than three decades of service in installation and repair works of most types of glass.

cahabaglassco.com | 205.621.7355!


Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646



From page 18

behind it is a luxurious full shower encapsulated by Dekton, a durable, new man-made product similar to quartz that comes in an array of colors and thicknesses. Outside the spacious bathroom’s windows is a 360-degree view of nature, but its windows become frosted when you enter it to provide full privacy. As an added touch, the vanity windows hang in front of the scenic window

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the Oct. 15, 2020 issue.

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! Thank you for your prompt attention.

views, and limestone floors complete the look.

Another showstopper in the home is the kitchen, set up perfectly for entertaining. Its clean modern design showcases a cooktop, refrigerator and wine tower, but all other appliances are hidden in a scullery area that allows you do prep work behind the scenes and features a double oven, sink, dishwasher and hidden pantry – all with high-end Thermador appliances.

Another showstopper in the home is the kitchen, set up perfectly for entertaining, above. One of the most notable spaces in the home is the master bathroom, with its dark glass tub that sits atop natural pebbles that add texture to the space and light up from underneath, below.

Throughout the home, walls are painted light shades of cream atop light stained hardwoods, with black painted accents in spaces like the scullery. In the living room, a tongue and groove ceiling slants overhead with a Dekton fireplace climbing from the floor to ceiling that features gas-powered fireballs. Accordion doors lead to the covered deck.

3920 Crosshaven Dr., Vestavia Hills, Alabama 35243 205.518.5010 • ryan-reeve.com

The home also has a finished basement with living space, a kitchenette and its own entrance that is great for multigenerational living as well as a FEMA-approved storm shelter.

Outside the house, a large landscaped lawn has a natural rock retaining wall made using rocks from the lot itself. It offers access to The Highlands community’s walking trails, stocked fished ponds, pool and playground area.

20 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL HOME

Southern Sanctuaries

Four Gardens, Including Louise Agee Wrinkle’s, to Be Open During Garden Conservancy Tour

The premier of the documentary “A Garden in Conversation: Louise Agee Wrinkle’s Southern Woodland Sanctuary,” will be a highlight of The Garden Conservancy Celebrates Birmingham Gardens weekend May 4-5.

The weekend also offers tours of four selected gardens in Birmingham for people who want to look for inspiration or just enjoy the day.

Wrinkle has championed native gardening across the country, and she and her garden are well known throughout the Birmingham area.

Her gardening philosophy focuses on “letting plants develop as they will and tend to them in a way that highlights the subtle beauties of texture, rhythm, pattern, repetition,” according to a statement from The Garden Conservancy, which is sponsoring the two-day event.

The 25-minute film will be screened May 5 at 3 p.m. at the Virginia Samford Theatre, followed by a panel discussion on Southern gardens led by Garden Conservancy President & CEO James Brayton Hall. A book signing for Wrinkle’s “Listen to the Land: Creating a Southern Woodland Garden,” will follow.

Wrinkle’s garden will be open for visitors the day before, on May 4, along with three other gardens that showcase garden rooms, water features and more displays.

The film premier is free but admission to the garden tours is $5 for Garden Conservancy members and $10 for non-members. Tickets are available at gardenconservancy.org/open-days.

Click on the Open Days Gardens link and


Alabama. See the Over The Mountain Journal’s April 18 issue for more on the garden tour.

Wrinkle’s garden, above, will be open for visitors along with three other gardens that showcase garden rooms, water features and more displays.

Visit the Roaring ‘20s

Three Houses in Homewood’s Historic Hollywood to Be Open for Tours

Three houses from the roaring ‘20s will be open for tours April 28 as the Historic Hollywood Tour of Homes returns to Homewood. The tour will include two English Tudors and a Spanish-style home in

the quaint subdivision. The houses on the tour are the Davidson House at 312 English Circle; the Nelson House at 205 Bonita Drive; and the A.V. Smith House at 220 La Prado Place. They each will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets for the tour are $40 and can be purchased online by following the links on hollywoodgardenclubbham. com, or they can be bought at the door of any of the houses. Parking is available at Shades Cabaha Elementary School.

Look in the Over The Mountain Journal’s April 18 edition for more on the tour.

by more families in Homewood, Hoover, Mountain Brook and Vestavia over the past 10 years. Experienced experts you can count on.

► 1,200+ CLIENTS!

Father-son team with three decades of experience. They’ve built their reputation for integrity, empathy and expertise by helping clients successfully navigate the home buying and selling process through good markets and bad.

► 104.7% OF LIST!

The Wald Group gets their clients superior results. Their innovative marketing strategies have helped their listings sell for well over asking price.

Thursday, April 4, 2024 • 21 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL HOME
The Wald Group MIKE WALD HAYDEN WALD STACY MITCHELL 205.541.0940 205.919.5535 205.994.5903 Hayden & Mike Wald Scan QR Code to see our Coming Soon Listings! MOST TRUSTED OVER-THE-MOUNTAIN REAL ESTATE EXPERTS: ► #1 OVER-THE-MOUNTAIN! Trusted
search under
SOLD! JUST LISTED! SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! 109 Hilltop Business Drive Pelham www.GriffithArtGallery.com
Acrylic on canvas by Maya Eventov Acrylic by Maya Eventov Journal photo by Maury Wald

Your home is not only where you hang your hat, but is both a sanctuary to rest from a weary day and an investment that can provide you with good returns over the lifetime.

That is why updating and maintaining a home is one of the most important things you can do.

Here’s a list of maintenance items that need to be done regularly:

• HVAC clean and replace coils and filters as needed

• Check fire alarms and replace batteries

• Inspect roof for missing shingles

• Inspect basement and attic for water leaks

• Check outdoor spaces for water damage and proper drainage

• Replace caulking as needed

• Clean gutters

• Replace exterior and interior lights

If selling your home, these items are also important to consider when looking to maximize asking price: Replace deteriorated caulk around sinks, toilets and tubs

Be sure toilets and water outlets are in good working condition

Touch up or repaint (a $5,000 fresh paint job can yield $10,000 or more upon sale)

Repair torn screens, door hinges and cabinet hinges

Repair wobbly rails, curled deckboards or fence posts that have deteriorated

If you’d like to learn more or have a home maintenance program set up contact Mur or Roxanne at 205-839-3818.

• Pressure wash or clean any outside mold that can bleed through to the inside

22 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL HOME Call for a free in home design consultation and estimate 205-551-9061 www.closetsbydesign.com Call for a free in home design consultation and estimate 1-888-500-9230 closetsbydesign.com Locally owned and operated! 2024 All Rights Reserved. Closets by Design, Inc. Closets byDesign® Imagine your home, totally organized! Custom Closets Garage Cabinets Home Offices Wall Beds Pantries Laundries Wall Units Hobby Rooms Garage Flooring Media Centers OTMJ 40% Off Plus Free Installation Terms and Conditions: 40% off any order of $1000 or more or 30% off any order of $700-$1000 on any complete unit order of custom closet, garage, or home office, and any other products. Take an additional 15% off on any complete unit order. Not valid with any other offer. Free installation with any unit order of $850 or more. With incoming order, at time of purchase only. Expires 3/10/24. Offer not valid in all regions. SPECIAL FINANCING FOR 18 MONTHS! With approved credit. Call or ask your Designer for details. Not available in all areas. Follow us AN EXTRA PLUS TAKE 15% Off Locally Owned and Operated. Licensed and Insured. Schedule or Get a Free Estimate 205-839-3818 Home Repairs & Maintenance Handyman Services for Homeowners Ask About A Quarterly Home Maintenance Subscription Lighting Replacement Painting Pressure Washing Deck, Fence, Door, Railing Repairs New Fixture Installations Sheetrock Repair Bathroom Updates Replace Door Handles & Cabinet Pulls SPRING SPECIALS $50 Off Senior Home Safety Repairs SPRING SPECIALS PARADE OF PROJECTS Updating and maintaining a home is one of the most important things you can do.

From page 18

owner of Centennial Homes.

In addition to new houses available for purchase, this year’s tour will also showcase at least one remodel and two new houses available for rent.

“Whether you are renting or buying or remodeling, this is an opportunity to get out there and check it out,” Underwood said.

Each home will have at least one innovative feature, be it trim work, an outdoor living space, or unusual kitchen or bathroom features.

As examples of what home building trends you will see on the Parade of Homes tour, Underwood described features of his company’s two houses, one in The Preserve in Hoover and one on Lake Martin.

style and painted a warmer white tone.

“I got to see it a few days ago and it’s beautiful,” Underwood said.

In Centennial’s lake house, the cabinets feature blues, greens, grays and dark grays in different spaces.

Stand-Out Showers

Showers in new builds are also about far more than functionality, although that’s certainly important, too. Both of Centennials’ master bathroom showers feature two showerheads, one a rain head and one a body sprayer, with hardware in a mix of metals and black.

‘We are so hectic and in a hurry all the time, so people are looking to have a place [outdoors] to go and relax.’

“Hardware on these showers is not just utility anymore, it’s beautiful hardware,” Underwood said.

Accent Paints and Wallpaper

Outdoor Living Areas

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, homeowners have been investing more in outdoor living spaces with not only porches but also outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and other amenities.

“We are so hectic and in a hurry all the time, so people are looking to have a place to go and relax,” Underwood said. “It’s great to be outside.”

Underwood said he’s also seeing a lot more swimming pools as a part of new builds post-COVID. Centennial’s Lake Martin build, for example, has a custom splash pool with an infinity edge and a waterfall, all with a sound system surrounding it. It has two outdoor fireplaces on its porches that extend the outdoor season into cooler weather.

High-End Appliances

In kitchens, gas ranges that look more like commercial kitchen appliances are popular, and both of Centennial’s homes feature Thermador appliances in their kitchen, with the one at Lake Martin featuring a range with six burners, a griddle and two ovens.

Underwood is also seeing more homes designed with full-size “column” freezers and refrigerators in kitchens.

“They look great and have a lot more space,” Underwood said.

Furniture-Like Cabinets

Both kitchen and bathroom cabinets are now designed for more than just storage functionality. They also look more like furniture to create more interest, with a mix of colors, textures and door styles. This is especially important in open-concept kitchen designs where the cabinets are such a prominent design feature.

In Centennial’s home at The Preserve, its lower kitchen cabinets, for example, are painted a shade of white with its upper cabinets a natural stained wood to add texture and interest to the design, and in the master bathroom, the cabinets are reeded

one is unique.”

Innovative Technology

A new build isn’t complete without the right wiring for 2024, and Underwood said Centennial is wiring homes for what residents want, whether it’s whole house sound or security cameras.

“We are hard wiring in wireless internet access points,” Underwood said. “It looks more like a smoke detector on the ceiling.”

From kitchen appliances to hard wiring in the walls to paint colors, you’re sure to find thoughtful home design elements in this year’s Parade of Homes to inspire your current or future home.

Darker, moodier paint colors are trending in home design and are often used on accent walls and other places to pop in the house.

For example, Centennial’s home at The Preserve has greenish gray paint on a feature wall with a window seat in an upstairs bedroom. Their Lake Martin home features dark-painted shiplap walls in its basement as well as a powder bathroom with dark paint below a chair wall and wallpaper above it.

Likewise, wallpaper is also trending as an accent in homes. Centennial’s home in The Preserve, for example, features wallpaper in the dining room and in parts of the kitchen.

Natural Stone Fireplaces

Underwood said that Centennial is using stone for fireplaces in both Parade of Homes houses. The lake house features a natural rock fireplace with a limestone hearth, and in The Preserve, the fireplace is a Texas limestone fireplace with an Indian limestone hearth and mantle.

“We are doing a lot of limestone now,” Underwood said. “Now you don’t have to pick a fireplace surround out of a magazine that looks like everyone else’s. You can custom design it and and have it cut so each

As experts in tile design and counter top products, we welcome you to visit our showrooms and discover our extensive collections while working with our dedicated designers.

Parade homes will be open April 26-28 and May 3-5. Fridays and Saturdays, they will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays they will be open noon-6 p.m. For more information, visit birminghamparadeofhomes.com. 4500

Thursday, April 4, 2024 • 23 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL HOME
1st Avenue North, Birmingham | (205) 592-8615
ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS Montgomery • Huntsville Tuscaloosa • Nashville Memphis • Baton Rouge • Pensacola
Antiques From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Date: March This
6, 2023
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. Tues.-Sat. 10-4:00 5620 Cahaba Valley Road 991-6887
Vintage Interiors Antiques & Vintage Wares for the Home & Garden 2838 PELHAM PKWY 205-620-1900 VINTAGEINTERIORSAL.COM
is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE
issue. Please
approval or changes to 824-1246. Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number!
Come See Our New Arrivals



Expert Makes Sure Food at the JCC’s Jewish Food and Culture Fest Follows the Laws

Festivalgoers can rely on the Persian chicken, brisket, falafels, mandelbrot and other foods served at the Levite Jewish Community Center’s Jewish Food and Culture Fest on April 14 being kosher. The center has an expert who ensures that it is.

“I am a rabbi. So, I know about kosher. And so, when the JCC needs help with kosher, I help,” said Rabbi Yossi Friedman, program director of Chabad of Alabama and an LJCC volunteer who supervises the center’s kosher kitchen.

There are many kosher foods, all biblically grounded in Jewish teaching or the Torah –which Christians know as the first five books of the Bible. These complicated dietary rules are the technical aspect of kosher, but the prohibition against pork is probably the most recognizable. Another is the kosher regulation against mixing meat and dairy.

“The Torah uses the phrase, ‘do not boil the kid in its mother’s milk,’” referring to a young goat, a traditional meat in Middle Eastern culture, Friedman said.

Among the acceptable land animals for kosher cooking are cow, sheep, deer, chicken, turkey and duck. Eggs are fine if they come from a kosher animal and do not have any blood spots, while cow’s milk and certified kosher cheeses are fine.

Regarding seafood, the water animal must have fins and scales to be kosher. Southern favorites like shrimp, oysters and catfish are out, but salmon, tuna, cod and mahi-mahi are in.

Among the non-kosher foods besides pork are rabbit, eel, caviar from nonkosher fish, bread products that include dairy, cheeseburgers and other foods mixing meat and cheese and amphibian-related food, such as frog legs.

Pickles are kosher, as are most fruits and vegetables, but how they are prepared can render them non-kosher. A baked potato can be fine, unless it’s served loaded with sour cream, cheese and bacon bits.

Food deemed as kosher isn’t defined only by the type of food. It refers to food that has been specifically prepared and cooked in certain ways.

“Our grandmothers went to the farm … and then went to the butcher and had it cleaned, and so on. And so we knew what we were eating,” he said. “Nowadays, we have no idea where this happens, so how do you know if it’s kosher? So … it’s a much more complicated process and therefore requires a kosher supervisor.”

Kosher also means you know what you’re getting. For meat to be kosher, the animal must be from a species that is kosher, then it must be slaughtered and processed in certain ways that render the meat kosher, the rabbi said.

Ingredient production and preparation aren’t the only concerns regarding whether food is kosher, Friedman said. Trucks, for example, that carry kosher food need to be approved and certified as kosher. For example, someone keeping kosher wouldn’t want to consume a cooking oil that’s been transported in a truck or tanker that

carried lard, which comes from pigs.

With so many regulations, how do you know if a food is kosher? Food certified as kosher through the Union of Orthodox Rabbis out of New York, for example, meet kosher requirements and are stamped with symbols on packaged food to let you know it’s acceptable.

There are hundreds of symbols for “kosher” found around the world on packaged food. In the United States, among the most recognizable is the letter U inside a circle.

“This is the most widespread, the biggest. But it’s not the only one and therefore part of my job is to know which symbols are reliable,” Friedman said.

Unlike cities with larger Jewish populations, there are no Jewish food stores in Alabama, so that’s why shoppers looking for kosher foods need to check food packages for a trusted kosher symbol. Boxes of Cheerios at the supermarket have a trusted kosher symbol, but marshmallows aren’t kosher because the gelatin used to make them comes from nonkosher animals.

Kosher regulations extend to the equipment used to cook and prepare food. In the LJCC’s kosher kitchen, for example, utensils used on the dairy side are washed and kept separately from the meat side, and vice versa.

If somehow a kosher kitchen is rendered nonkosher, there’s a process to render it kosher that “usually requires a lot of boiling water, and in some cases, a blowtorch,” Friedman said, adding this doesn’t happen often.

Another major aspect of kosher regulations is that, by design, it creates a social bond in the Jewish community, which needs to depend on itself for kosher food.

“Coffee is kosher, almost universally, but it’s not too easy to go for dinner,” if you are keeping kosher in areas without large Jewish communities, like New York City has, Friedman

Jewish Food and Culture Fest Set for April 14

Count on great kosher food and lively music at the Jewish Food and Culture Festival at the Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham on April 14.

Rabbi Yossi Friedman, an LJCC volunteer who ensures the festival’s food is properly prepared according to kosher regulations, said there usually is a good turnout for the festival.

“I think last year they had almost 3,000 people.”

The festival, which will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature a wide variety of tasty fare representing Jewish food traditions. Many of the recipes are family favorites passed down from generation to generation.

Beef brisket, Persian chicken, stuffed cabbage rolls, falafels, pickles, noodle kugel casserole, corned beef sandwiches, couscous, matzah ball soup and pickles are among the savory dishes on the menu. For your sweet tooth, try the rugelach pastry and mandelbrot, a twicebaked loaf that’s cut in slices resembling Italian biscotti.


The LJCC has the only kosher restaurant in Alabama, the rabbi said. Jews traveling through Birmingham rely on it to keep kosher.

Jews are not required to keep kosher and many in America don’t, Friedman said.

“It is strictly a question of how loyal you are to Jewish tradition,” he said, estimating that perhaps 1 million of the 5.5 million Jews in the U.S. follow kosher dietary laws.

And you don’t have to be Jewish to follow Jewish dietary laws. There are some Christians who will only eat kosher food, and other nonJews believe keeping kosher is better for their health, Friedman said.

“There’s actually many, many more than just traditional Jews who are looking for the kosher symbol,” the rabbi said.

Festivalgoers can enjoy Jewish music, Israeli dance performances and Israeli art and culture. Area synagogues will have presentations or booths on Jewish culture.

24 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL
LJCC staffers, from left, Robert Scott, Brooke Bowles, Nicole Kelley, Emma Herr and Dale Tadlock help prepare cabbage rolls for the Jewish Food and Culture Festival. Courtesy Journal file photo by Jordan Wald Martin Klinger and Jax Gordon at last year’s Jewish Food and Culture Fest.

4 Indian Springs Students Named National Merit Finalists

Among the dozens of Over the Mountain high school seniors who have attained finalist status in the competition for National Merit Scholarships are four students from Indian Springs School.

Misbah Meghani, Matthew Thomson, Duncan Earl and Mason Forman have qualified for finalist status.

About 15,000 finalists nationwide are in the running for 7,140 scholarships, according to the scholarship program’s website. Scholarships consist of $2,500 National Merit Scholarships and corporate-sponsored and college-sponsored scholarships.

The nonprofit National Merit Scholarship Corp. has conducted the prestigious scholarship program since 1955.


From page 28

Program and 52 in the Bryant-Jordan Student Achievement Program, have advanced from area nominations. All will be recognized at the 37th annual Bryant-Jordan Awards Banquet on April 15 at the Birmingham-Sheraton Hotel.

Each regional recipient will receive a $3,000 scholarship. From the regional recipients, the BryantJordan Selection Committee will select class winners and the overall recipients of the Larry D. Striplin Jr. Scholar-Athlete state award and the Ken & Betty Joy Blankenship Achievement state award.

The class award recipients will receive an additional $3,500 scholarship, and the two individuals named the state award recipients will receive an additional $4,000 in scholarship funds.

Pate is a multiple-time state pole vault champion, including earlier this year in the AHSAA Indoor Track & Field Championships when he cleared 16 feet, 2 inches to win the Class 7A title. Last spring, he cleared 16-09.00 to win the 2023 Class 7A title in the state outdoor meet. He also won the outdoor title in 2022.

Flipping Toddler

The Best of the Best in Vestavia Hills Schools

The Vestavia Hills Rotary Club recently honored Teachers of the Year selected from among educators in the Vestavia Hills City Schools. Two of them – Melissa McIntyre from Liberty Park Elementary and Kira Aaron from the Vestavia Hills High School Freshman Campus – were selected as teachers of the year from their schools but also have been nominated to the top award, Alabama

Once he got to Hoover, he soared to new heights. He credited the coaching he has received.

“My pole vault coach at Hoover, Billy Lamb, gives you a great foundation, not only the techniques, but the mental aspect,” Pate said. “You have to be mentally tough and mentally push through.”

Pate competed in the New Balance Indoor Nationals in Boston on March 10. He finished 22nd, clearing 14 feet, nine inches.

“I did all right,” he said. “My leg was hurting and I had to push through it. I strained it a little.”

Medical Interests

Pate excels in the classroom as well as he does on the track, taking classes in the Hoover City Schools International Baccalaureate Program. He has a 4.45 grade-point average and scored 32 on the ACT with a demanding class load. He’s taking AP physics and AP calculus BC this year.

‘My mom said when I was little I used to run around and do flips, acrobatic stuff.’

Pate has been competing in the pole vault since the seventh grade.

“My mom said when I was little I used to run around and do flips, acrobatic stuff,” he said. “So, when I got to middle school and they needed someone to do the pole vault, she said you would be good for that. I didn’t want to do it, but she said, ‘You’re doing that.’ And I fell in love with it.”

“I’m really interested in science and mathematics,” he said.

Pate plans on majoring in nursing in college with designs on becoming a certified nurse anesthetist.

“Since I was little I wanted to do something medical,” Pate said. “I don’t want to be a doctor because some doctors are not as involved with their patients. Nurses are more attentive to their patients’ needs. I want to help people.”

Pate has signed a track scholarship with Tennessee.

“The main reason I’m going to Tennessee is I love the pole vault coach, Kyle Ellis, and the head coach, Duane Ross,” Pate said. “They are really rebuilding the program and they want to build it in a certain direction, and they told me I would be a great fit.”

Journal photo by Maury Wald State Teacher of The Year. The additional winners were Kristen Kovarik from East Elementary, Jennifer Burns from West Elementary, Erika Ponder from Cahaba Heights Elementary, Debbie Bowman, Dolly Ridge Elementary, Becca Poe from Pizitz Middle School andHolly Robinson from VHHS Main Campus. Front row, from left: Erika Ponder, Kristen Kovarik, Jennifer Burns, Debbie Bowman, Melissa McIntyre Back: Vestavia Hills Rotary Club President, Dave Mason; Vestavia Hills Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Freeman; Holly Robinson, Becca Poe, Kira Aaron, Mary Wyers and Vestavia Hills Rotary Club member, Ted Strong. Misbah Meghani Matthew Thomson Duncan Earl Mason Forman

‘Tiny but Mighty’

Oak Mountain’s Hawkins Takes After Her Mom on Softball Field

Oak Mountain senior Emma Hawkins couldn’t help but become an athlete and, in particular, a softball player.

Her mother, C.J. Urse Hawkins, played softball at Ohio State and won more than 900 games as a high school coach at ClayChalkville and Spain Park.

But coach Hawkins didn’t insist that her daughter become a softball player. It just naturally happened.

“She’s got the Urse genes,” coach Hawkins cracked. “There are a lot of athletes in our family.”

“She’s always been at practices and shagging balls. She loves competing at everything.”

Emma Hawkins started competing almost from the time she could walk. Her competitive spirit comes from her mother.

“My mom has definitely been the biggest influence on me as an athlete,” Emma said. “When I was 5 years old, she would throw me a football and I’d dive and catch it on the couch.

‘Softball is a sport where you don’t have to be a certain size and weight. Maybe, if she was taller, she could have played something else, but at 5-3, you’re kind of limited.’


“Emma was catching the ball while she was still in the womb,” coach Hawkins said. “I was pregnant with her when I was at ClayChalkville and was coaching three months before she was born.

“I wanted to beat her in everything –pingpong, basketball, whatever. With my mom going to Ohio State and playing softball, I wanted to be like her one day.”

Emma’s small stature – she’s 5-foot-3, while her mom is 5-1 –played a role in her becoming a softball player.

“Softball is a sport where you

don’t have to be a certain size and weight,” coach Hawkins said. “Maybe, if she was taller, she could have played something else, but at 5-3, you’re kind of limited.”

Emma said, “I definitely got my height from my mom, but like she always says, ‘tiny but mighty.’”

Emma played varsity softball at Spain Park while her mother was still the coach there. After her mom was let go at Spain Park after the 2022 season, she transferred to Oak Mountain for her junior year.

“I had a great time at Spain Park,” Emma said. “We got to state there. When I came over to Oak Mountain, I got to play with some of my best friends since birth. Changing schools was a good help to get me ready for college.”

A Line in the Sand

Coach Hawkins has retired from teaching but is an assistant coach at Oak Mountain. Emma, an only child, doesn’t have any problems playing for her mother.

“At Spain Park, she obviously was the head coach,” Emma said. “I believe she had a great impact on me, but I didn’t talk to her, I talked to one of the other assistants. And I never called her mom on the field.”

Coach Hawkins said that’s part of their agreement.

“We have something like a code,” coach Hawkins said. “When we’re in the car going to a game or practice and I put on my hat, then I’m ‘coach.’ But when I take my hat off, I’m ‘mom.’’’

The two enjoy a close motherdaughter relationship. “She’s like my best friend,” coach Hawkins said.

“She’s my biggest supporter,” Emma said. “I don’t ever remember a sporting event when she wasn’t there.”

Emma plays center field for the Eagles (10-9-1) and has been an All-State player. Before spring break last week, she was hitting .418 (23 for 55) and had a .492 onbase percentage in 20 games. She

also had scored 14 runs.

“She’s a great player,” Oak Mountain head coach Jordan Burson said. “She’s our centerfielder and she’s solid out there, and she’s so consistent at the plate.”

Burson was overjoyed when Emma transferred to Oak Mountain.

“I’ve known Emma her whole life,” he said. “She’s the same age as my little sister.” His sister, Jenna Burson, is a senior utility player for the Eagles.

“Emma is a great leader for our team. She’s a super competitor and wants to win. I hated playing against her when she was at Spain Park and I love having her at Oak Mountain.”

I'll refer you to one. 40 years programming..

I make house calls.

Larry Taylor & Assoc.


Emma is a three-sport athlete for the Eagles, also playing volleyball and bowling. As a setter, she helped Oak Mountain reach the Class 7A regionals last fall and finish with a 27-16 record. Twice she has been named first-team All-State in bowling by the Alabama High School Athletic Association bowling coaches.

“I love playing multiple sports,” Emma said. “It’s fun to get out and play with my best friends.

“I like starting off the school year with volleyball. It is so differ-

ent from softball. It’s a fast-paced game, which is definitely fun. The ball is always coming back at you.

“You go straight into bowling from volleyball. At Spain Park, we had all the softball girls bowling. When I came to Oak Mountain, I started recruiting volleyball and softball players. We came in third four years in a row at state, twice at Spain Park and twice at Oak Mountain.”


Emma’s future is in softball. She is headed to the University of Montevallo to play for one of her mom’s best friends, coach Beth Wade.

“I love coach Wade,” Emma said. “I toured the campus and it’s a cute college town. A lot of my teammates from travel ball are going there. I think it’s a loving community, kind of like Oak Mountain.”

Plus, Montevallo is close to home, so her mom won’t have to travel far to see her play in college, but it will be different than having her mom around most of the time.

“It’s only 20 minutes driving time,” Emma said, “but I’ll still probably miss her.”

26 • Thursday, April 4, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SPORTS
Courtesy Emma Hawkins, right, started competing almost from the time she could walk. Her competitive spirit comes from her mother C.J. Urse Hawkins, left.
Locating a Licensed REALTOR, Buying or Selling real estate
Training U-with Word
I repair desktop PCs

Altamont School Dedicates New Tennis Complex to Longtime Coach

The Altamont School recently dedicated an expanded and refreshed tennis complex to honor a longtime teacher and coach at the school.

More than 100 guests gathered

March 17 for the dedication and ribbon-cutting on the Susan W. Keith ’79 Tennis Complex. School officials, alumni, students and friends talked about the influence of Keith, who joined the faculty of her alma

mater in 1988.

For her part, Keith recalled the mentorship of coach Melinda Whitt, who introduced her to tennis in the seventh grade at Brooke Hill School, which merged with

Birmingham University School to create The Altamont School in 1975. Keith joined the school’s tennis team as a sophomore.

“She put something on my heart right then that made me want to teach PE,” Keith said. “The reason I’m still at Altamont has to do with that PE teacher.”

The tennis complex features new and refinished courts, backboards, landscaping, seating, lighting, signage and bathrooms.

The work was made possible by donors, including Deshazo Foundation; Shannon (1996) and Bret (1993) Connor; Lyons Family Foundation; James L. North Jr. (1992); Altec/Styslinger Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Samuel D. Haskell; Mr. and Mrs. Drayton Nabers Jr.; Jimmy (1945), Jim (1983) and James (2020) Shepherd


From page 28

solid,” Harris said. “But if they are not good, then we’re not good.”

The Rebels open Class 7A, Area 5 play this week with three games against Thompson. The area also includes Hoover and Tuscaloosa County.

“I think the area is up for grabs,” Harris said. “I don’t think it’s as good as it has been and it’s reflected in the records.”

Through the middle of last week, Thompson was 19-7, Hoover 11-12 and Tuscaloosa County 11-11.

“Every team in our area has more losses going into area play than they had at this time last year,” Harris said. “Everybody is trying to find themselves.

“Getting out of our area is always tough, but I think it’s a little different this year.”

Thursday, April 4, 2024 • 27 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SPORTS ■ 41st Year Sponsors ■ GRANTS Alabama State Council on the Arts & the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency • City of Birmingham Community Arts Grant Program PLATINUM Kinetic Communications BRONZE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama • Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau • Joe Piper, Inc. • Publix Super Markets Charities STEEL Bancography • City of Birmingham • Coca Cola United • EventWorks Rentals • Sloss Furnaces Foundation, Inc. ■ MEDIA ■ Babypalooza • Bham Now • Birmingham Business Journal • Birmingham Lifestyle • Birmingham Mountain Radio 107.3fm • B-metro • EXCURSIONSgo.com • High Level Marketing • Homewood Life • Over the Mountain Journal • Starnes Media • The Birmingham Times • The Birmingham Lede • WBHM 90.3fm ■ Featured Artist ■ Bryce Speed, “Three Foot”, Acrylic, 2023 April 26-28, 2024 ● Sloss Furnaces www.magiccityart.com To: Jim From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Date: May 2015 This is your AD PrOOF from the OvEr THE MOuNTAiN JOurNAl for Nov. 4 2010 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. Bluff Park WindoW Works Call 205-542-6094 LocaLLy owned and operated f Wood window restoration and repair f Sash replacement, rot repair f Replace broken and fogged glass f Wood insulated, putty glazed, and composite vinyl replacement sashes
Ceremony guests included, from left, Eric and Kat Rogers, Altamont Head of School Cecil Stodghill, Susan Keith, Shannon and Bret Connor and Jim North. Courtesy

‘Tiny but Mighty’ Oak Mountain’s Hawkins Takes After Her Mom on Softball

Field Page 31


Thursday, April 4, 2024 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Altamont School Dedicates New Tennis Complex to Coach Page 27

Hoover senior pole vaulter Collin Pate felt a sense of accomplishment when the 2024 regional winners were announced for the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program in March.

Pate was selected as the Class 7A, Region 3 Scholar-Athlete.

“I was really excited,” Pate said. “I didn’t know what to expect cause there were so many people nominated. I felt very validated. There are lot of athletes who spend a lot of time at school and at the track, so it’s good to represent both of those.”

Pate was one of four student-athletes from Over the Mountain schools who were chosen as regional winners.

Homewood’s Kayla Warren was the Class 6A, Region 5 Scholar-Athlete recipient; Westminster-Oak Mountain’s Alex Montgomery was tabbed as the Class 2A, Region 4 ScholarAthlete winner; and Oak Mountain’s Aniyah McCaslin was chosen as the Class 7A, Region 3 Student Achievement recipient.

The Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program regional winners were selected from school nominations for this year’s scholarship distribution. More than $1 million in scholarships is available this year.

A total of 104 high school senior student-athletes, 52 in the Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete See PATE, page 25

Vestavia Hills captured the 2023 Class 7A state baseball championship, ending a 23-year drought without a title for the Rebels, but please don’t call them defending champions this season.

At least that’s the viewpoint of Vestavia Hills coach Jamie Harris.

“I’m not sure you can say we’re defending champs,” Harris said. “If we had all the guys from last year’s team back, then we would be defending champs. But they’re in college now.

“This is a different deal. We lost 80 percent of our innings (on the mound) and 80 percent of our at-bats. That’s not to say we don’t have good players, but we’re a new team, a young and inexperienced team.

“We’re the epitome of a young team with a lot of ups and downs. We can beat anybody in the state and we can lose to anybody in the state.”

The Rebels’ record reflects that. They were 12-11 after splitting a doubleheader with Grissom last Saturday.

Harris said he’s had to learn to be patient during the first month of the season.

“You can’t simulate experience,” he said.

“It’s not like you can speed up the process of growing. Young players make mistakes that young players do. The only way to get better is to play games.”

The Rebels have a few experienced players with senior John Paul Head being chief among them. He has signed with UAB as a catcher.

base, and he’s hitting at the top of the order.”

Senior outfielder Caden Taylor, who has committed to Northwest Shoals Community College, and junior outfielder William Tonsmeire, a Southern Miss commit, are two other players with some experience.

‘We’re the epitome of a young team with a lot of ups and downs. We can beat anybody in the state and we can lose to anybody in the state.’

“John Paul is the one guy with a ton of experience,” Harris said. “He’s been there, done that. We have played him at first base, DH (designated hitter), catcher and third

“They played a good bit last year, even though they weren’t everyday starters,” Harris said.

The Rebels’ most glaring lack of experience is pitching, where, Harris said, “We had nothing coming back.”

The team is leaning heavily on junior left-handers Chase Rafferty and Colin Jones to carry the load on the mound.

“Both of those guys have been really

Courtesy Collin Pate is a multiple-time state pole vault champion, has a 4.45 grade-point average and scored 32 on the ACT. ‘Validated’ Hoover’s Pate Earns Regional Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete Award ‘A DIFFERENT DEAL’ Young Vestavia Hills Baseball Team Searching for Consistency
The Rebels have a few experienced players with senior John Paul Head, above, being chief among them. He has signed with UAB as a catcher.
See REBELS, page 27
Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.