Shelby Living June 2016

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Roses Helena man takes love for roses nationwide

Local Hangout Margarita Grill brings good food, drinks and fun to Pelham June 2016


Teeing Off Program helps junior golfers reach the next level

Happy Family Restaurant serves variety of food and drinks

Hope is a Home My Sister’s Place helps women in need

Enjoy the luxe life Social Membership includes access to swim, tennis, fitness, and dining for only $300 a month. For Membership Information, contact Ashley Fuentes 205.986.5146



Act of Congress 7191 caHaba vaLley roaD biRminghAm, al 35242 205-408-6600




merica’s favorite rose gardener is right here in our backyard. Chris VanCleave has earned that title from his extensive rose knowledge and garden in Helena — although he has branded himself the Redneck Rosarian. Featured on the cover, Chris has made a name for himself with his blog, garden tours and by traveling around the country to give talks and seminars. He shares tips for garden enthusiasts and for others (like me) who don’t have a green thumb. Get a glimpse into his not-so-secretgarden starting on page 40. He definitely puts my backyard to shame. Another Shelby County native who has gained national attention is Shazi Visram, who found the Happy Family Brand. Her line of organic food is created for pregnant women, babies, toddlers and older children. Shazi is the definition of a success story. Her journey is not only motivating, but it’s also making a difference in people’s lives by offering healthy, organic options. Whether you’re a parent, entrepreneur or just enjoy seeing a local person thrive like I do, her

story is a must-read. Check out her story on page 14. I don’t know about you, but when I read a story like the one on Shazi, it makes me want to change the world — or at least make a difference here. If you’re looking for a way to give of your time and resources, check out My Sister’s Place. This non-profit Christian organization gives hopeless and homeless women in Shelby County a place to stay and the support they desperately need. They also give the women a way to raise money and tap into their creative sides with their “My Story, Your Jewelry” pieces. They create charm bracelets to sell that include a bio of the woman who created it. There’s a lot of love that goes into each piece, and all of profit goes toward a good cause. You can read all about this ministry on page 20. And there’s much more in this issue, including features on Margarita Grill, a student-led program, Hank Johnson’s School of Golf, a chess champ and local artists. Have a person or event we should feature? Just send me a message!

Lauren Dowdle, Editor ON THE COVER Chris VanCleave, known as the Redneck Rosarian, travels around the country to talk about his passion for roses. Cover design: Layken Gibbs Photography: Dawn Harrison

SHELBY Living EDITORIAL Graham Brooks Molly Davidson Lauren Dowdle Baker Ellis Jessa Pease Emily Sparacino Neal Wagner CONTRIBUTORS Laura Brookhart Angie Brown Dawn Harrison Samantha Hurst Lisa Phillips PRODUCTION Jamie Dawkins Layken Gibbs Keith McCoy Connor Bucy Clark Stockhouse MARKETING Meagan Barton Kristy Brown Christy Coleman Ashley Duckett Kari George Daniel Holmes Rhett McCreight Kim McCulla April Spivey ADMINISTRATION Tim Prince Katie McDowell Mary Jo Eskridge Hailey Dolbare Stacey Meadows Shelby Living is published monthly by Shelby County Newspapers Inc., P.O. Box 947, Columbiana, AL 35051. Shelby Living is a registered trademark. All contents herein are the sole property of Shelby County Newspapers Inc. [the Publisher]. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from the Publisher. Please address all correspondence (including but not limited to letters, story ideas and requests to reprint materials) to: Editor, Shelby Living, P.O. Box 947, Columbiana, AL 35051. Shelby Living is mailed to select households throughout Shelby County, and a limited number of free copies are available at local businesses. Please visit for a list of those locations. Subscriptions are available at a rate of $20.41 for one year by visiting, or calling (205) 669-3131, ext. 532. Advertising inquiries may be made by emailing advertise@, or by calling (205) 669-3131, ext. 536.

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features 24

TEEING OFF Program helps junior golfers reach the next level


CHECKMATE Indian Springs student becomes national chess champion


STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS Spain Park group’s golf tournament raises money for scholarships

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34 in every issue 7














arts & culture 11

ROCKIN’ ART Find art and music for the entire family this summer

12 ART TO DYE FOR Doug Baulos leads workshops focused on natural materials



health & fitness features 14

NOURISHING HAPPY FAMILIES Shelby County native creates business organically


TEEING OFF Program helps junior golfers reach the next level


BLOCK PARTY One Nineteen celebrates Urgent Care opening


CHECKMATE Indian Springs student becomes national chess champion

faith 20

HOPE IS A HOME My Sister’s Place provides shelter and more for women in need

34 STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS Spain Park group’s golf tournament raises money for scholarships

gardening 40 REDNECK ROSES Helena man takes his love for roses nationwide

food & dining 48 HANGOUT SPOT Margarita Grill offers live music, tasty dishes and fun atmosphere

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Share the Love Every day when we see a need in our community, manpower, money and prayers are graciously given. An outpouring of love is shown whether we are dealing with Mother Nature’s devastation, a friend dealing with sickness or a school food drive. While cash is always welcomed, there are many things we can contribute on a daily basis. Not only does this help provide for others, but it also it helps us to declutter and simplify our own lives. Start with a box. Use shopping bags, clear bins or cardboard boxes that can be donated along with the items. Label the container. Put a container in a few different rooms, such as bedrooms, closets, garages and basements. This makes purging easier when you have a place to put unwanted items. Ask hard questions. Do you love it, need it or value it? If you said “no” to any of these three questions, then out it goes. Reasons to keep items should not be that you might squeeze back into it one day, it was a good deal or you have barely used it. Saving things for when the kids are on their own — not a good reason either, especially if you don’t have the room to store items long term. Is it usable? Some things are beyond donating. Would you want something that is dirty, stained, broken or missing pieces? If it is beyond repair, then donating may not be the answer. Household items. One thing that typically causes overcrowding in your closets are sheets for beds you no longer have. Too many towels and linens take up space and are much needed in animal shelters. Newspapers, dog food and kitty litter are also excellent items to donate to our four-legged friends. BOGO. Coupons, daily deals or

store specials may save you money; however, if you don’t have the space to store these deals, then clutter just Lisa Phillips, owner of SimpleWorks, appeared to save a few dollars. 205.981.7733 Consider donating the extra toilet paper, paper towels or giant dish soap to First Light, Jimmie Hale Mission, King’s Ranch or the Salvation Army. Go ahead and buy the box of 500 envelopes since the cost is comparable to a small quantity, take out a few that you need and donate the rest. Toiletries: Shampoos, toothbrushes and toothpaste, bath soap and deodorant are easy to pick up while shopping and add to your donation box. Here’s a great idea for those involved in meetings, networking groups, associations, Rotary, Kiwanis or the Chamber of Commerce: Everyone contributes $1, $5 or $10 along with their business card for a drawing. The winner gets to donate the money to the charity of their choice. Or tack on $2 to each lunch ticket. While door prizes can be the highlight of a meeting, do you need another coffee mug, logo-enhanced lunch bag or ink pen cluttering your home or office? How good would it make you feel to know you contributed a couple of bucks to hundreds of dollars donated to a non-profit organization that is dear to someone’s heart? That, my friend, is called, “A lot doing a little, and a little doing a lot.” It’s that simple. l

Every home and office has an “excess” of usable items, and the key is to know how and where to organize your family’s donations.

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Indian Springs student wins art competition Congressman Gary Palmer announced Emery Walton, a student at Indian Springs School, as the winner of the 6th District’s 2016 Art Competition. Her artwork, titled “Hide and Seek,” was selected as the grand-prize winner by three local artists: Amy Crews, Melanie Morris and David Nichols. “There’s incredible creativity in the sixth district and really throughout the state of Alabama. Every year, this competition displays a great deal of talent, something our district and indeed the state can be proud of,” Palmer said. “I want to especially congratulate Emery Walton for being selected as our overall winner of the art competition.” Walton, along with the other congressional district winners, will be invited to attend an award ceremony in Washington, DC on June 23 where her artwork will be unveiled before being displayed in the U.S. Capitol for a year. Eighty-four students from 24 high schools submitted original artwork for this year’s Congressional Art Competition. Their artwork was displayed at the Riverchase Galleria Mall for a week. 8 |

SES students hatch an idea When Amy Nelson and her firstgrade students at Shelby Elementary School walked into their classroom April 25, they were surprised to find some new arrivals. All of the eggs the class had been taking care of hatched and were replaced by fuzzy-feathered chicks. It all started when the grandmother of one of Nelson’s students offered to let Nelson borrow her incubator. Each of the students kept a chick journal where they noted the progress of the chick and egg every day for the 21-day life cycle. Nelson said the class discussed the basic needs of life and the differenced between an incubator and being hatched by a hen. With the lights off, the students could

hold a candle up to the egg to see the chick inside. Nelson said the students took notes on which chicks seemed to move around more than others. The activities quickly became the students’ favorite part of the day. Nelson said they planned on watching the chicks hatch during the week, but when they arrived at school April 25, all the chicks had already hatched. “They were so excited. I don’t even think they went to the closet to unpack their backpacks,” Nelson said. They hosted a birthday party to celebrate the arrival of the chicks. The class enjoyed birthday cake and a rendition of “The Chicken Dance,” and Nelson granted each student a certificate declaring them an “Eggspert on chickens.”

Library Movie Day kicks off in Chelsea Families looking for two hours of wholesome entertainment this summer can attend a new weekly movie event in Chelsea. Library Movie Day at the Chelsea Community Center will be held each Tuesday starting June 7 through July 26 from 1-3 p.m. Summer movies will kick off with “Woodlawn,” a 2015 film based on a true story about high school football player Tony Nathan as he joins fellow

African-American students at Woodlawn High School following its government-mandated desegregation in 1973. Popcorn will be provided, but attendees can bring lunch. Library Movie Day will feature a mix of new releases and classics. Some of the movies will go along with the sports-related summer reading theme, and some will be just for fun. All movies will be family appropriate.

Spain Park students place at FBLA Conference At the Alabama Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Conference April 7-8 in Birmingham, the following Spain Park High School students placed in their respective areas and will advance to the national competition at National Leadership Conference in Atlanta this summer: Matthew Pickard and Arrez Charania placed 1st in Global Business; Michael Dowben placed 2nd in Insurance

and Risk Management; Cassady Wade placed 2nd in Introduction to Business; Davis Culwell and Amer Mohammed placed 4th in Management Decision Making; Tyler Noles placed 4th in Securities and Investment; Shams Halani and Adam Salem placed 2nd in Social Media Campaign; Gordie Stewart and Houston Hollis placed 4th in Sports and Entertainment Marketing; Elise Gasser placed 2nd in Data-

base Design and Application; Sectric Guilford placed 3rd in Cyber Security The SPHSBiz FBLA Chapter won Outstanding Level on their Blueprint, as well as District 2 Largest Chapter Award, second only to Hoover High School. See SPHSBiz. com for more information. Jane Bruce is the Information Technology Academy Director and leads the SPHSBiz (Business) FBLA Chapter.

When YOU’RE in the driver’s seat, choose Children’s South Surgery. When a patient goes in for a surgical procedure at Children’s South, that child receives world-class care from board-certified pediatric professionals: l surgeons l anesthesiologists l nurse anesthetists l recovery room nurses and l support staff. Everyone on our staff makes the choice to work with children and their families 24/7, 365 days a year. Children’s South Outpatient Center 1940 Elmer J. Bissell Road Birmingham, Alabama 35243 205.638.3217

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JSCC’s Georgia named in top students Jefferson State Community College student Erin Georgia has been named one of the top 20 community college students in the nation as a member of the 2016 All-USA Community College Academic Team. The annual honor recognizes students who display an outstanding combination of academic achievement and community service. Georgia, of Trussville, will receive a $5,000 scholarship and was recognized with her fellow team members during the American Association of Community Colleges national convention in Chicago in April. “I would not have received this honor without Jefferson State,” Georgia says. “I served in the Marines and was out of school for 15 years. I needed the personal

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support that Jefferson State provides.” The competition, which included more than 1,900 nominees from more than 1,000 community colleges across the United States, evaluated students on grades, leadership, activities and their contributions outside of the classroom. “Leadership comes natural to Erin,” says Matt Boehm, Jefferson State instructor and Phi Theta Kappa advisor. “As an

advisor, it is rare to encounter a student who is so comfortable in counseling others.” In addition to the All-USA Team, Georgia was recently named Alabama’s CocaCola New Century Scholar. This program awards a $2,000 scholarship to one student from each state with the highest All-USA Community College Academic Team application score.


Rockin’ Art

Find art and music for the entire family this summer Story and photo by LINDSAY DYESS Photograph CONTRIBUTED


une is about all things Rock and Roll at the Shelby County Arts Council. This month rocks with a great lineup of musical guests and gallery openings. Beat those summer blues, and join us for some entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Kicking off Rock and Roll month will be a very special performance by local band Noyoko. The Alabama-based Beatlemaniacs will take the stage to perform all of your favorite Fab Four hits. This Beatles tribute band is full of seasoned musicians and led by producer and front man Tony Wachter and guitarist Doug Lee. This performance is perfect for the biggest Beatles fanatic or for introducing these Rock and Roll legends to a new generation. Join us in the Black Box Theater on Saturday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $20. On June 24, join us for the much-anticipated B-Side Art Show gallery opening. This show is the brainchild of Tuscaloosa-based visual artist Tony Brock. B-Side originally debuted in Tuscaloosa in 2013. “The B-Side show has two main characteristics: First, it can best be described as the flip-side to more mainstream art. The B-Side of any music record sometimes contained a hidden gem,” Brock explains. “The second characteristic of B-Side is the requirement that participating artists execute work that is somehow related to music. It doesn’t matter if it’s a portrait of a musician, album cover recreation or song interpretation. It just needs to be music-related.” Brock’s interest in pop-culture-themed images with a retro feel had a great influence on the concept of this show. Although the artists featured

in the show have changed during the years, there is no doubt that this will be one incredible exhibit. The Shelby County debut of B-Side will feature the work of Brock, Nashville native Jeff Bertrand, painter Bruce Andrews and sculptor Nelson Grice. The B-Side Art Show will open at the Shelby County Arts Council on June 24 at 6 p.m. This free event will feature live music by The Goods and complimentary refreshments. Be sure to stick around after the gallery opening for Columbiana’s free event Music on Main Street. This will be a night that is perfect for the whole family. Also, mark your calendars for the annual Shelby County Shindig on July 16 from 1-7 p.m. Your $10 ticket includes a BBQ tasting, live blues music and one good time! There is always something happening at the Shelby County Arts Council. Check us out for some quality summertime entertainment. For information on these events or to check out our event and class schedule, be sure to visit l

Visual artist Tony Brock is opening the B-Side Art Show gallery in June.

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Art to Dye For Doug Baulos leads workshops focused on natural materials Story and photographs by LAURA BROOKHART


or a group of quilters and fiber artists, a springtime workshop taught by Doug Baulos was an inspirational introduction to methods to create their own distinctively hued fabrics. Primarily focusing on dyeing with natural materials, Baulos led the group through several techniques. “In my role as programs chair with the Evening Star Quilt Guild, my goal this year has been to encourage guild members to try something new… to step outside their comfort zones and try a different style, technique, tool or method,” says

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Shirley Hamilton. She first met Baulos in 2014 during Magic Chromacity, which is a community art project and installation. “Doug led an indigo dyeing workshop, and the resulting fabric was incorporated into two huge patchwork quilts sewn during community sewing days,” Hamilton says. They draped the stunning quilts on two buildings on the UAB campus. “As much as I loved the indigo dyeing process at the recent workshop, I was amazed when I saw the sun prints using leaves, lace and stencils.” Hamilton says. “Each of the five separate techniques of dyeing we learned during the

workshop was my favorite – until I did the next.” With a silkscreen frame, Baulos first demonstrated “charging” the open area with a product called Color Magnet Dye Attractant. When the silkscreen is laid atop the cotton fabric and squeegeed, the stenciled design is transferred. This intensifies the color when next dipped into the natural dye. Another project experimented with sandwiching eucalyptus leaves and branches in yardage that was wrapped tightly with string and then steamed to imprint leafy abstractions into the fabric. The colors produced were colorfast reds, oranges and coppers with some pale green areas. Some natural dyes, such as onions, red cabbage and beets, are called fugitive dyes, as they will gradually fade and disappear after seven years. This is not the case with indigo (a range of beautiful traditional blues) or walnut. Baulos prepared a large vat of natural indigo, added alum, then showed how the immersed

fabrics may be selectively dipped in parts. The twisting and tying techniques used to prepare the fabric or T-shirts brought by some participants were similar to tie-dye. The fabrics initially emerged in green hues, but afterwards when hung on the clothesline, one could watch the transformation (oxidation process) from bright green to indigo. The desired effect is finally rinsed with water or textile detergent. Baulos, BFA MFA, is assistant professor at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. His drawings, poems and books have been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally. His current books are explorations (visual) and meditations (poetry) centering on his ideas of spirituality, love, death, shelter and hope. Currently on the UAB campus, Baulos is planting a dye and paper garden where indigo, madder, woad and eucalyptus will be growing, as well as several species of lilies for paper fiber. l

PAGE 12: Baulos leads a variety of workshops. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Another technique includes using dye with eucalyptus leaves. Evening Star Quilt Guild member Alvin Harris and his granddaughter, Madison Davis, added their handprints to this sunscreen process alongside the lacy stencil. Baulos uses an indigo dye mix for some of his projects. This walnut, stencildyed fabric showcases leaves when hung in the sun.

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Happy Families

Shelby County native creates business organically Story by SAMANTHA HURST Photographs CONTRIBUTED RIGHT: She knows from experience how important it is to give your child healthy food.

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mom gasps when she hears a clash of glass hitting a freshly swept floor. Her 1-year-old son’s tiny toes could tiptoe into the kitchen any second, ready for his afternoon snack. What will she feed him now with the last jar of baby food smeared across the tile? Was that jar of processed food really healthy for him anyway? Happy Family Brands aims to solve these daily worries for parents through practically designed pouches of organically made baby food. Indian Springs School alumna Shazi Visram founded Happy Family Brands. The idea grabbed her attention during business school when her friend, the mother of twins, lamented the struggle to find healthy and convenient food. Everywhere Visram looked she could find high-end strollers and diaper bags, but no premium food options. “I was shocked that there was nothing really nutritional and healthy,” Visram says. “There was a great opportunity to create a truly healthy brand to impact kids’ health for the rest of their lives.” Visram says she was obsessed with the idea; couldn’t stop thinking about it, in fact. She scanned grocery store aisles and researched

the industry to find very few innovations since the 1960s. Glass jars had long been the packaging of choice. Labeling remained cutesy, vague and anything but informative. Parents deserved to know the makeup of the food they trusted to spoon into their precious kids’ mouths. “You see a young, perfect little baby and you think, ‘Wow, what are we doing as a society to protect this fragile little immune system,’” Visram says. Visram began surrounding herself with trusted advisors — those who had done something similar before her. “I knew I could do it: It was just a matter of figuring out how,” Visram says. She was fortunate to connect with advisors already running unique brands — some focused on organic food, some on other innovative products. Seth Goldman, cofounder of Honest Tea, became an advisor right away. “People like that when they see you have an honest sense of purpose, they are willing to help you,” Visram says. By 2006, Happy Babies launched with a line of

“We just want people to feel empowered to make healthy choices.” — Shazi Visram

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frozen organic baby food. In 2008, the first organic baby food cereal with probiotics and DHA launched. The very next year, after realizing mothers weren’t looking for baby food in the freezer aisle, the company introduced pouches to replace traditional glass jars of food stacked on grocery store shelves. Happy Family Brands’ products launched in a handful of health food stores in New York City. Eventually, Visram’s team found their way into Whole Foods. Now the brand is everywhere — Publix, Walgreens and, most recently, Winn-Dixie. “It just shows you that we are really on to something and that parents, regardless of where you live, really just want the best for your kids,” Visram says of the company’s expansion into a wide variety of stores. For families of all demographics to take better care of their kids, they need access to better information, she adds. “I don’t think of Happy Family as a company that puts food in a package and sells it to people. We are so much more than that,”

FIND HAPPY FAMILY AROUND TOWN Happy Family offers organic products for mothers and children. There are prenatal blends, bars, gummies and supplements. They carry even more products for babies, toddlers and children.

This nationwide brand can be found at local places like these:  Sprouts  Target Supercenter

 Walgreens  Walmart Supercenter

Visit to find a nearby location.

Visram says. That is why the Happy Family Brands website and blog provide information on things such as the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15. The Dirty Dozen are fruits and vegetables like strawberries and celery, which are more prone to absorbing pesticides. Fruits and vegetables like bananas and eggplant, the Clean 15, are less likely to take on pesticides. “We know how hard it can be from a financial standpoint to buy everything organic,” Visram says. “But we also understand the problems with pesticides and toxic residues that can be found with traditional food. We just want people to feel empowered to make healthy choices.” Visram says she learned to think this way through her surroundings as a student at Indian Springs School. “I remember Mr. Gibson’s biology class where we grew our own fruits and vegetables as a science

project,” Visram recalls. “The school is doing a really nice job instilling these lifetime values in the students.” Visram says she went to college in New York City and “became a New Yorker pretty fast,” yet she held on to her experience growing up in Alabama. She says that youthful experience taught her the value of healthy living. She also held on to lessons learned from history teacher Dr. Bob Cooper. Visram says he taught her by example how to tell a story. In the life of Happy Family Brands, expressing the impact of healthy food is all about the art of storytelling, she adds. Indian Springs School named Visram its 2014 Outstanding Alumna with good reason. By 2014, Happy Family Brands could be found in most major grocery stores. On Mother’s Day this year, the company marked its 10th anniversary and

They have a variety of healthy baby food options in pouches that include fresh ingredients like mangos, apples, kale and oats. They also provide information about which fruits and vegetables absorb the most pesticides.

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Visram balances her company with family life.

has reached more than $105 million in sales. In Visram’s view, there remains so much more to do. “We’ve innovated a lot in the last 10 years, but we have a lot more to do over the next 10 years,” Visram says. The company’s newest line of food, Clearly Crafted, again changes the landscape of food for kids through innovative thinking. Distributed in clear packaging, parents can see the mixture of apples, kale and avocados. Not only can parents clearly see the food inside, but they can also read information right in their hand about the farmers from which the food is sourced. “It is so beautiful, and so fresh, and so abundantly clear that this is healthy and clean,” Visram says. Visram says that kind of transparency is the next topic in food. More and more consumers demand to know not only that the ingredients are organic, but that the farmers produce the components ethically, as well. “I’m not going to say it has been easy,” Visram says of holding her company to such high standards. “It is really challenging, but our babies are worth it.” For more information, visit, or follow them on social media. l 18 |


Block Party One Nineteen celebrates Urgent Care opening Story by STEPHANIE HOLDERBY Photograph CONTRIBUTED


e’re celebrating the opening of our Urgent Care Center with our largest free Block Party and Health Festival yet on June 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Like every year, everyone is invited. Our 10th annual event is poised to be our biggest Block Party yet. Back by popular demand, the band Act of Congress, which has performed for Disney, NPR and as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department, will present a live concert at our free community event. In addition to our ever-popular Block Party activities that draw area residents annually, there will also be food vendors, free health screenings, fitness demonstrations and lots of activities for the whole family. There will be a rock wall and an inflatable obstacle course, along with my personal favorite, hot air balloon rides. Our St. Vincent’s One Nineteen associates have been planning this Block Party for months. Last year, we celebrated St. Vincent’s One Nineteen’s 10th anniversary, and this year our goal to bring you “health care like no other” was realized with the opening of our Urgent Care Center. This event offers us a chance to not only have a lot of fun with area residents, but also celebrate the community we serve.

Our June 18 gathering also gives you a chance to learn more about the full range of wellness services we offer, from spa to fitness, nutrition to physical therapy, seminars to physician offices, camps to diagnostics and now thanks to the Urgent Care Center and expansion, ambulatory surgery, urgent care and even more medical offices. That additional office space allows us to extend our specialty offerings to best fit the needs of area residents. Come celebrate the opening of our Urgent Care Center and the 10th annual Block Party on Saturday, June 18. If you can’t come then, drop by to browse the spa gift shop, ask about yearround children’s activities including numerous summer camps or enroll in our fitness program. We’re excited to show you how St. Vincent’s One Nineteen’s committed to health care is like no other. For more details on the Block Party or other events and services, visit or call 408-6600. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen’s is just off U.S. Highway 280 at 7191 Cahaba Valley Road (Alabama Highway 119). l Stephanie Holderby is the executive director of St. Vincent’s One Nineteen and vice president of operations for the St. Vincent’s Ambulatory Healthcare Network. June 2016 | 19


Hope is a Home My Sister’s Place provides shelter and more for women in need Story by JENNIFER CORN-FREEMAN Photographs CONTRIBUTED


rior to 2011, there was not a Christcentered shelter in Shelby County to meet the needs of local hurting women. Despite an overwhelming need, women released from correctional or rehabilitative institutions — or simply fleeing dangerous living conditions — had few options aside from returning to the primary source of their dysfunction. Meeting the needs of hopeless, hurting and homeless women in Shelby County began only as a vision, as an emotional response to need, but materialized after several years of prayer, planning and, finally, the incorporation of My Sister’s Place Inc. in June 2011. My Sister’s Place, a non-profit Christian organization, welcomed home its first resident in October 2011. But even before the doors could be opened, the first resident was sleeping on the sofa in the home of My Sister’s Place director, Cindy Hildebrand, whose heart for hurting women would not allow for the homelessness of a single woman. “Recovery is a life-long process and one

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that requires active participation especially in the first several months of one admitting their powerlessness to substances or behaviors that have been destroying their lives,” Hildebrand says. “I just couldn’t live with the thought of so many women who earnestly desired help with recovering their lives facing closed doors or none at all. I was tired of seeing good women return to hopeless situations only because they had nowhere else to go.” The first MSP residents were housed in a single garden home that was rented in Montevallo. Although this home comfortably accommodated six women, it quickly reached maximum capacity. Through the blessing of prayer and faithful Christian service, only seven months after opening the doors, the organization was able to purchase the rented garden home as well as the one adjoining it, thereby doubling the capacity to care for women. “It’s the goal of MSP to change lives, not addresses,” Hildebrand says. “Our mission defines how many women we can assist at a given time, not mere property. The program isn’t easy: It

requires focus, effort, honesty and time. It’s a process, one individualized to specific needs rather than a predetermined length of stay and/or services.” Although MSP is not technically a rehabilitation facility, the fundamentals of this rigorous program include the 12 Steps of recovery and especially their corresponding biblical principles. Women seeking the refuge and services of MSP must genuinely desire assistance with overcoming life-threatening issues. In the absence of healing, many of the residents face serious consequences such as incarceration, estrangement from children and even death. “Although the afflictions may manifest in a variety of ways, the core issue is generally always a spiritual one and unfortunately can prove to be a deadly malady,” says board member Jennifer Freeman. “Because the problem is serious, so must be the commitment to healing.” For this reason, MSP residents must be prepared to commit to a minimum of six months of support during which time they will live in a very structured environment with an emphasis on spiritual recovery. The level of commitment required of the

residents is equaled only by that required of the village of Christians who give of their time and talents to invest in the lives of every MSP resident. My Sister’s Place is funded by generous donors and the residents themselves. As the women become gainfully employed, they are provided money management tools, and through contributing to their own sustainability financially are instructed on responsible living. Because My Sister’s Place is fundamentally Christian, the program is ineligible for most federal or state subsidies. Although in need of funding, the organization remains unwilling to accept conditions that may compromise their ability to proclaim Christ as their cornerstone. So at times, extreme resourcefulness and creativity have been required to meet budget demands. First introduced in 2014, residents began making personalized charm bracelets, uniquely created by the use of charms specific to the designer’s individual story. “My Story, Your Jewelry” includes a brief bio of the lady who created the bracelet, which according to many, is more precious than the jewelry itself. “The bracelets have been popular gift ideas because the gift has little to do with the value

The women tell their stories through bracelet charms.

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of the jewelry and everything to do with the investment in the life a stranger,” Hildebrand says. “This is truly a gift that keeps giving.” The addition of handmade body scrubs and body butters brought with it the need for a product label. All MSP products are now collectively sold under the label of “Cahaba Lilies,” symbolic of the process MSP residents undergo as they become firmly rooted between the rocks of Christ and His love, cleansed and then flourish with a new kind of beauty. Until recently, these products were only available through special events and sites like Facebook and Etsy. However, the organization has planned a June grand opening of its Calera store, “Transitions,” where these products and others will be available for purchase six days a week. “Transitions,” located on Highway 31 in the heart of old-town Calera, will be more than a place of business for the sale of MSP handmade goods: It will also offer the community a comfortable environment for browsing, refreshments and relaxation. Additionally, it will create much-needed jobs for the ladies recovering their lives through MSP and will serve as a model for those who may have

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aspirations of opening a small business of their own. Although sales are important because operational costs require it, the goals of this business far exceed traditional business goals. “We’re dealing with people’s lives,” Hildebrand says. “The goal is to restore lives, not accumulate financial wealth.” Despite its limited resources, My Sister’s Place has enjoyed steady growth since first offering its services to the community in 2011. The addition of two homes purchased in 2014 made it possible for the organization to accommodate children who are reunified with their mothers while residing at MSP. The need to support mothers and children during this fragile time made offering this muchneeded service a top priority. Since opening its doors to children in 2014, MSP has provided refuge, support and healing to 14 children who have been reunited with their mothers and

introduced to a new, improved way of living. Although pleased with the success of this program, MSP supporters are quick to point out that more is needed. In their efforts to meet the needs of Shelby County women, there is a plan of extending MSP services through the acquisition of additional property that will accommodate more women and their children. To meet this goal, there is an aggressive fundraising campaign underway. In addition to tax-deductible monetary donations, MSP highly values the contributions of time and talents of those willing to invest in the life of a Shelby County sister. “Donated property would be a dream come true — an answered prayer,” Freeman says. “But, it is prayer that makes MSP successful, and we can never have enough of that.” For more information, visit Mysistersplaceinc. org. l

PAGE 22: Recently reunited with her children, MSP resident Kelly has now been accepted to nursing school. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: They also offer their Cahaba Lilies body scrubs and body butters. My Sister’s Place is a haven for women in need of shelter and hope. People can enjoy a memorable piece of jewelry made by MSP residents.

June 2016 | 23


Teeing Off

Program helps junior golfers reach the next level Story by GRACE THORNTON Photographs by DAWN HARRISON


hat do you call “success” when it comes to golf lessons? Hank Johnson smiles at the question and looks across the sunny practice tee at a young woman practicing her swings. “She came to us a year ago as a high school senior and a beginner golfer and told us she wanted to get good enough to play college golf,” Johnson says. “So we put a program together for her, and she’s going to Spring Hill College in Mobile on a golf scholarship.” The mission of Hank Johnson’s School of Golf is to give highquality instruction at an affordable price and in a convenient manner, he explains. And they put a large emphasis on junior golfers, like the beginner-turned-scholarship golfer headed to Spring Hill College

24 |

— about half of their students are junior golfers. “We’re very successful as far as our goals go,” Johnson says. “We have a large number of skilled juniors, and we have a large number of club members who are enjoying their game more because of lessons. That’s exactly what we’re after.” Johnson’s golf school has been based at Timberline Golf Club in Calera for two years now, a move Johnson made from Greystone, where he had been for 20 years. He likes to stay places for a while — before that, he’d been at North River in Tuscaloosa for 10 years, and before that, he lived in Pittsburgh for eight years getting his golf career kicked off. It was a career that had been brewing for a while. Johnson grew up in Shelby County golfing with his father, who

PAGE 24: The school is founded on the researchbased fundamental principles of effective performance and motor skill learning. ABOVE: Hank Johnson is a renowned teacher and a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

June 2016 | 25

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ran the Siluria cotton mill. “I started when I was around 12. I’d play nine holes, then I’d go do something else,” he says. By the time he finished the eighth grade, he was serious enough about it to leave Thompson and drive every day to Shades Valley High School so he could be on a golf team. “Then I played in college at Auburn and attempted to play as a PGA tour player,” Johnson says. It was something that evolved into teaching — and eventually earned him a spot in Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers as well as the designation of PGA National Teacher of the Year in 2014. He’s a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, too.

And professional golfer Zachary Portemont says he’s glad he found him. “I started working with Hank three-and-a half or four years ago. He has to be one of the top instructors in the nation,” Portemont says. “Working with him has been the best decision of my career.” Johnson loves seeing pro players like Portemont excel, but he also loves seeing students hold a golf club for the very first time. “We can teach anybody who has a passion to learn — skill level is not a factor,” he says. “If they have a passion and interest to improve, we want them as a student.” He likes to get them before they have the opportunity to get any bad habits and start from scratch with proper form if he can.

LEFT: They use different tools and technologies to show golfers exactly what they’re doing and how they can improve. ABOVE: The golf school is now at Timberline Golf Club.

June 2016 | 27

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Students can work on their swings and other techniques. They want students who are passionate about the game and want to improve. They like to work with junior golfers from the start so they don’t learn bad habits. They offer junior golf summer camps for 7-to-12 year-olds.

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“People often ask me how young is too young to start playing golf, and I tell them I want them before they hit the first ball so we can get their first swings to be as correct as possible,” Johnson says. “We practice to develop good habits so they don’t even have to think, just react.” And he’s passing those instructional skills to young players like Scott Hassee, his second in command there at the school. Hassee got certified as an apprentice golf instructor several years ago through Johnson’s program and is now the school’s lead instructor. “It’s been an adventure,” Hassee says. “It’s been a great benefit to me.” Hassee and Johnson both say they enjoy having the school in its new home, Timberline Golf Club. June 2016 | 29

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7950 Hwy. 31, Ste. B Calera

“Just by looking at it, most people probably think it is a private club because it is so well developed and well run, and we do have members. But it’s a daily play golf club in addition to having members,” Johnson says. “And it has all of the elements a golfer would want — great practice areas, great facilities and the course is extremely good. It’s got all of the pieces.” For more information about the School of Golf, call 205529-8546 or visit l

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Checkmate Indian Springs student becomes national chess champion Story and photographs CONTRIBUTED


ndian Springs School junior and Chess Team member Matyas Jakubu made some smart moves, and he is now a national chess champion after placing first in the unrated section of the National High School Chess Championship held April 1-3 in Atlanta. More than 1,400 players competed in the national tournament, one of the largest in history. Jakubu, a native of the Czech Republic who is studying at Indian Springs this year through the school’s partnership with ASSIST (American Secondary Schools for International Students and Teachers), won six games and drew one, for a total 6.5 out of 7 points in K-12 Unrated. “Matyas finished first in a field of 119 players, stunning the unrated section and placing Alabama 32 |

and Indian Springs School on the national chess map,” says ISS Chess Team Coach Charles A. Smith. In other exceptional showings for Springs’ Chess Team, freshman Logan Mercer tied for third place in a field of 298 (scoring 6 out of 7 points) and finished fourth overall on tie-breaks in K-12 Under 1600. Mercer, whose playing was “outstanding,” says Smith, competed for the national championship in K-12 Under 1600, losing only to the national champion for that section in the final round of competition. Senior Jack McGuire tied for 12th place in a field of 357 and finished 18th overall in K-12 Under 1200.

Springs’ team of Jakubu, Maddie Smith and Ashlynn Berry placed sixth in a field of 28 teams from all over the country, “also making a name for ISS,” Smith says. “This is one of Springs’ strongest showings ever at nationals,” says ISS Director Gareth Vaughan. “I’d like to congratulate all of our Chess Team members for their excellent playing. I also want to thank Coach Smith for his many years of dedicated coaching of Springs students and ISS alumnus, along with Board member Frank Samford (Class of 1962) for his longstanding support of chess at Indian Springs. Chess

and Springs have a natural affinity, and to be successful in a national competition run by the highly regarded U.S. Chess Federation puts us in great company, among some of the best private and public schools in the country.” Named in 2015 by Business Insider one of the smartest boarding schools in the nation, Indian Springs School is a national leader in coed boarding and day education for grades 8-12. Inspired by the motto “Learning through Living,” the school seeks to develop in students a love of learning, a sense of integrity and moral courage, and an ethic of participatory citizenship. l

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: ISS Chess Team members Ashlynn Berry, Maddie Smith, Matyas Jakubu, Spencer Robinson, Matthew Lash, Jack McGuire and Logan Mercer win big. Logan Mercer, shown here with ISS Chess Team Coach Charles A. Smith, tied for third place and finished fourth overall on tie breaks nationally in K-12 Under 1600. National Chess Champion Matyas Jakubu celebrates with ISS Chess Team Coach Charles A. Smith.

June 2016 | 33




Students Spain Park group’s golf tournament raises money for scholarships Story by MOLLY DAVIDSON Photographs by DAWN HARRISON


ast year’s largest community scholarship given to one Spain Park High School student didn’t come from a business, club, church or corporation. The $6,000 scholarship came from Spain Park students through the nonprofit organization, Students for Students Scholarship Foundation. The 501c3 charity hosts an annual golf tournament to fund the Students for Students scholarship. From getting sponsorships, to organizing the tournament, to tournament day operations, the entire effort is student driven. Students for Students Scholarship Foundation was created in January 2015 as students Tommy Kulkis, Trevor Kulkis, Jack Peters and Jameson Floyd were thinking about college and the legacy

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they would leave behind at Spain Park. “We were trying to think of ways to make an impact on our school,” Floyd says. The four students set their sights on helping a fellow Spain Park high schooler with the challenging financial burden of college. “College is really important to all of us,” says Students for Students member Elizabeth King. “It’s the next step.” The first year was challenging. The group set to work on the long process of creating a 501c3 nonprofit organization, allowing for tax-deductible donations and planning a golf tournament. Students for Students members went out in to the community seeking donations and golf tournament sponsorships.

The months of hard work paid off. The tournament raised $6,000, all of which went straight to a senior chosen by a faculty-selection committee. “We were able to get up there and give the scholarship to a student,” Floyd says, noting the pride and sense of accomplishment he and other Students for Students members felt. Students for Students was back to work again this year, and with more members and a strong business structure, they worked to reach beyond last year’s accomplishments, raising more than $10,000 at this year’s tournament.

The group’s founding members head up the finance, operations, marketing, sales and human resources for the foundation. Other students specialize in public relations, design, social media and more. “We all help each other, but everyone has their role,” Floyd says. “There’s organization to it, but it’s collaborative.” King, the head of — Jameson Floyd public relations for Students for Students, said this year the group focused on building their public image in the community. “We’re really trying to get the word out there,” King says. Students for Students members have held weekly

The students held this year’s tournament April 30 at the Highland Park Golf Course.

“We were trying to think of ways to make an impact on our school.”

June 2016 | 35

LEFT: Last year, the group of students raised $6,000 to give to a classmate as a scholarship. RIGHT: The entire program and event was led by students.

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Sunday meetings to plan for the tournament. Floyd estimated some members have done more than 80 hours of work for the event. This year’s tournament was April 30 at the Highland Park Golf Course. Awards were given to the teams with the best and worst scores, closest to the pin and longest drive. There was also a putting contest. Along with the tournament, golfers received a box lunch, post-event dinner, drink tickets and a chance to win raffle prizes. “Anyone can come out and golf,” Floyd said,

adding the fun event was for golfers of all ages and skill levels. The core of Students for Students is made up largely of seniors, but King and Floyd said they’re confident the group will continue and grow. “We’re training the people that are going to replace us,” King says. “It sounds ideal, but it would be cool to see (Students for Students) as a national thing,” Floyd adds. For more information, visit l

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Redneck Roses

Helena man takes his love for roses nationwide Story by GRACE THORNTON Photographs by DAWN HARRISON ABOVE: For the past few years, Chris VanCleave has traveled across the country to talk at plant and garden shows. RIGHT: VanCleave has about 170 roses.

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hen people meet Chris VanCleave, one of the first things many of them say is, “You’re not a redneck.” And VanCleave just laughs. It doesn’t seem like it would be a very normal greeting except that VanCleave has branded himself as the Redneck Rosarian, a rose gardener who’s gained a wide following at his blog, “They’re right … I’m really not necessarily a redneck,” he says. “But what I want people to know is that regardless of where you are or who you are,

there’s a rose for you.” Sometimes people have in their mind a certain stereotype for rose gardeners — maybe that they’re usually older or more affluent, VanCleave says. “Part of what my mission is with my blog is to break down those barriers,” he says. “The rose is our national flower, and it should be grown in everyone’s garden.” In the small-lot garden behind his family’s home in Helena, VanCleave — a banker by day — has about 170 roses, with about 90 different varieties. Which one’s his favorite? “Oh gosh — the one that I’m looking at,” he

June 2016 | 41

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stem of that rose to every member of the inaugural says. “I love so many different varieties: I don’t meeting of the United Nations.” think I could ever choose just one.” It’s a rich history, not unlike his personal story Every single one symbolizes all the good things of how he became a rose enthusiast. of life — love, hope and peace, “My mom loved growing roses VanCleave says. and so did my wife’s mother, but it “And I think every rose has a story goes back much further than that,” to tell,” he says. “If you look at the VanCleave says. “I’ve been able to names of roses, there is a story behind trace it back to the Civil War era. My every name.” great-great-grandmother cut blooms One rose, for instance, wouldn’t be Chris VanCleave has out of her garden to lay on the graves around now if a man in France hadn’t about 170 roses, with about 90 different of the war dead.” clipped it during World War II and varieties. So it was just natural that once sent it to the United States when Hitler VanCleave got out on his own and was burning the rose fields in France, had a space to garden, he took up the hobby. VanCleave explains. And when he did, he went all in. “They took that rose and bred it, and now that “I kept a garden journal of what we grew, rose is called the peace rose,” he says. “They gave a

There are plenty of color combinations people can choose from.


June 2016 | 43

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what did well and what didn’t, and someone at the bank where I worked said, ‘You really ought to transcribe that into a blog,’” VanCleave says. “It was more just for me so that I could have a chronicle of what was going on in the garden, but people started to read it.” The next thing he knew, he had amassed a following, and he found himself on a national speaking tour. “For the last three years, we’ve been on the road in our spare time speaking at home and

garden shows, district and national plant society conventions,” he says. He’s often been a headline speaker at these types of events. Much of his popularity has come from his podcast in addition to his blog. On his podcast, he tells stories about roses and how they’ve affected people’s lives. And he walks listeners through the basics of purchasing and growing roses. “Many people just want to know the basics, like what color is it going to be, and ‘Can I get

PAGE 45: Chris VanCleave shares his love for roses through blogs, talks and appearances. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: He’s gained popularity for his rose podcasts and blogs. Red is an iconic rose color. There are a variety of rose colors, textures and looks. Roses have a deep history, which VanCleave enjoys sharing about.

June 2016 | 45

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one that can grow about this high?’” he says. “Roses have always been around, but it’s just been in recent years that we’ve begun growing them, crossbreeding them and getting creative with the process.” His approachable manner has become popular with rose gardeners of all kinds. “We just hit half a million downloads this year, and that alone has put us in the national spotlight,” VanCleave says.

The local one, too — listed him as one of the 10 things not to miss at the Birmingham Home + Garden show in February. “People have started calling me ‘America’s Favorite Rose Gardener.’ That’s something I’m still trying to swallow,” he says. “You never expect anything like that to come from a hobby or from a blog.” For more information, visit Redneckrosarian. l

LEFT: Many roses have a deep history. ABOVE His garden has a variety of rose colors, textures and scents.

June 2016 | 47


Hangout Spot

Margarita Grill offers live music, tasty dishes and fun atmosphere

Story by ANGIE BROWN Photographs by DAWN HARRISON ABOVE: Brothers Rodrigo and Javier Jerez opened Margarita Grill in Pelham in 2006. RIGHT: Margarita Grill has been in Pelham for nearly 10 years.

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hances are if you are in Pelham any night of the week, you may hear music as you drive by the Margarita Grill restaurant. Owners, and brothers, R.J. and Javier Jerez, opened their restaurant back in November 2006 and are coming up on its 10th anniversary. The brothers have restaurant experience in their backgrounds, and so they decided to open one of

their own. With two patios and music every night — not to mention two different musicians featured on Friday and Saturday nights on both of their two patios — Margarita Grill has become a popular place to hang out, order good food and drinks and enjoy the lively atmosphere with friends and family. “We are one of the few places actually that I know of to have two different venues going on

“The friendliness of it all, I think, is what really makes Margarita Grill an exceptional place.” — Javier Jerez

June 2016 | 49

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PAGE 50: They have two patio areas and plenty of live music. ABOVE: Their sizzling fajitas are served with guacamole salad, chicken soup, rice and flour tortillas. . LEFT: Rodrigo Jerez (owner), Eleazar Melendez (manager), Javier Jerez (owner) and Jesus Melendez (manager) have enjoyed being part of the Pelham community.

at the same time in Pelham,” says Javier of the music featured on both year-round patios on the weekends. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Margarita Grill has been voted Best Margarita and Best Patio in Shelby Living magazine in recent years by the local community. The restaurant features traditional Mexican cuisine, and Javier notes the Cuban sandwich and quesadilla dishes are some of the best sellers. The menu also features such items as fajitas, mahi mahi, mesquite burgers, seafood tacos, burritos, chimichangas and much more. The ambience is another popular thing that attracts guests. “The friendliness of it all, I think,

is what really makes Margarita Grill an exceptional place. And that’s not just me saying that. I’m quoting customers throughout the years,” Javier says. In addition to their patios featuring live music on the weekends, they also open up the parking lot sometimes before certain concerts at Oak Mountain, such as Jimmy Buffet which has been a big hit. Spring and summer weather means even more people on the patios, making for a fun, festive time. There is also a sports bar seating area inside with plenty of televisions to watch the game. And the entire restaurant is going smoke-free as of May 10. Margarita Grill also has a catering service June 2016 | 51

The mahi mahi sizzler is served over crawfish Julie sauce and Mexican rice, with pico de gallo on top.

that can handle everything from office events to birthdays and weddings. Menu items to choose from for catering include a fajita bar, taco bar, carnitas bar and more. Further information can be found regarding catering options on their website or by calling Margarita Grill. Javier notes that not only does the restaurant have great and fun-loving customers, many of whom have become friends, they have great people who work there, making for an ideal combination. “We have fun-loving customers and made a lot of friends throughout the years,” Javier says. They are also grateful for the support of the community throughout the past almost 10 years. “I would like to say we are very thankful to the Pelham community for taking us as part of their routine, their local hangout place. We are very grateful for that,” Javier says. Margarita Grill is located at 234 Cahaba Valley Road in Pelham. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and the bar stays open later every night. Find out more information at Themargaritagrill. com, and follow them on Facebook to keep up with current events at the restaurant. l

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Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce

Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce C o m m u n i t y • C o m m e rc e • C o l l a b o r a t i o n

Business Connections

Liberty Day Parade June 25 be live music, fireworks and the announcement of the Parade winners at the Shelby County Football Field. If you would like to have a float in the parade please call Keyla Handley at 663-4542 ext. 106 for a registration form, or visit our website at www. If you are interested in participating as a vendor, call Elizabeth Smith at 669-6800 for more information or visit www.


The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is assisting the City of Columbiana with its 30th Annual Liberty Day Parade on June 25. The City of Columbiana began its annual Liberty Day festival in 1986 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. There will be vendors, tons of activities for children and at 3:00PM the Liberty Day Parade will begin. That night there will

June Community Luncheon Features Update on Shelby County’s University of Montevallo From its humble beginnings in 1896, the University of Montevallo has become a leading institution of higher learning in the state and region and is nationally recognized as a model for quality and affordability in higher education. Dr. John W. Stewart, III, the University’s 15th President, will be the featured speaker for the Chamber’s June “Community Luncheon” scheduled for Tuesday, June 28 at the Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena,

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500 Amphitheater Road in Pelham. Dr. Stewart will provide an update on “Shelby County’s University”. The cost for Chamber investors is $20 per person, and $30 per person for “Future” investors. Reservations are requested by Noon on Friday, June 24. Please call the Chamber at

663-4542 or register on-line at NOTICE: The luncheon is on Tuesday this month -one day earlier than usual. Please make reservations accordingly. There is also an opportunity for up to 10 Chamber investors to have a Showcase Feature Table at this Community Luncheon. If your organization is interested in participating in the Showcase Feature, which begins at 11:00 during the networking portion of the

program, please visit the event page to access the form and return to the Chamber. June 2016 | 53

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce


Health Focus of the Month: Men’s Health Why Do Men Skip Health Tests? It’s a fact that women are quicker to see a doctor when they develop symptoms. In contrast, men are more likely to ignore symptoms and hope they go away. Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor in the last year. According to an American Academy of Family Physicians survey:  36 percent of men only see a doctor when they are extremely sick,  55 percent of men did not a have a routine physical in the last year  Almost one in five, age 55 or older, had not been screened for colon cancer.

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Not seeing a doctor regularly means you lose out on important health screenings or early diagnosis. You can feel fine and still have conditions that require treatment like high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Early detection and treatment of cholesterol and blood pressure problems can prevent a heart attack or stroke. Men may also miss out on preventative care. Early detection is the key

Regular checkups Testicular exams Cholesterol testing Prostate cancer screening Colon cancer exams Blood pressure to fighting many illnesses and diseases. Getting the right test at the right time can increase chances of treatment success and survival. Ask your doctor about what is right for you. Suggested Checkups and Tests for Men Screening tests can help men stay healthy. Find out which tests you need based on age, health and risks for

Aortic aneurysm Diabetes testing Obesity Dental checkups Eye exams Skin exams other health problems. This checklist is meant only as a general guideline. The tests and screenings you need depend on your individual risks, medical and genetic histories, and age. Talk with your doctor to know what you need to do to keep up your health. Your doctor can also tell you how often you should have these tests and screenings.

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Federally insured by NCUA

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce

Snapshots The Chamber held its inaugural “Ready to Shred” Recycling Day in conjunction with Earth Day. The 2016 presenting sponsor, Gone for Good Document & E-Waste Recycling and the host sponsor, Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena ensured its success. As a result 70+ businesses and individuals brought 4,001 pounds of paper which was shredded and 939 pounds of e-waste (Computers/ Laptops, Cell Phones/ PDAs, Batteries, DVD Players/ VCRs, Household Appliances, Communication Equipment, Office Machines, Printers, Stereos, Servers/ Routers) were collected.

An Investors Reception is held once per quarter to allow for investors, long time and newly joined, to learn about their many Chamber benefits. Thank you to Mutual Saving Credit Union for being the presenting sponsor of the 2016 Investor Receptions.

The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s Health Services Work Group is seeking nominees for its second annual Healthcare Professional of the Year program. This award will recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to healthcare in our community. Any healthcare professional

2016 Presenting Sponsor:

employed in the Shelby County area is eligible to be nominated. The deadline for nominations is June 27. The nominees and recipients will be recognized at the August Community Luncheon to be held on Aug. 31, from 11

a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. You may go to the Chamber’s website at to access the nomination form. For more information contact

Keyla Handley, Director of Community & Investor Development, at 419-3357 or

Join the Greater Shelby and Montevallo Chamber for “CoffeeNet” at Eclipse Coffee in Montevallo Be sure to mark your calendar for Thursday, June 9 and join us at Eclipse Coffee, 1032 Main Street, Montevallo from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. for CoffeeNet! The morning meeting is designed for members to enjoy networking, coffee and light refreshments -- all before

Presented in 2016 by:

heading to the office. CoffeeNet events, sponsored by Cahaba Valley

Computer Services, Inc., are a great way to make new business contacts so bring plenty of business cards. There is no cost to attend however reservations are requested by Monday, June 6 to assist in preparation. Please contact the Chamber by phone at 663-

4542 or register online at June 2016 | 55


Chamber Seeking Nominations for Second Annual Healthcare Professional of the Year

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce

Welcome New Investors (as of 4/6/2016-5/2/2016)

Camp Branch United Methodist Church



Precision Chiropractic


Special Load Logistics


Transportation Management & Solutions

Xpert Drilling


Utility Companies

Chiropractic Care

For complete listing of all current Chamber investors please visit our Online Business Directory at


Mark Your Calendar for the Next Multi-Chamber SpeedNetworking Event! The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is joining together with multiple chambers for a SpeedNetworking event for investors to expand the opportunity to connect. Bring a minimum 200+ business cards

and ready for a morning of fun, fast & no cost networking! SpeedNetworking, presented in 2016 by the Birmingham Marriot, will be held on Thursday, July 14 from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. at the Birmingham Marriot Hotel,

3590 Grandview Parkway, Birmingham. There is no cost however reservations are requested by Tuesday, July 12 to assist in preparation. Contact the Chamber at 6634542 or register online at www.

Presented in 2016 by:

“Entrepreneur Roundtable 280” Being Formed A group of small business Chamber investors are interested in forming an Entrepreneur Roundtable 280 program. The Chamber’s Roundtable program is part problem-solving, part information-gathering

and contacts building. Participating business owners from non-competing companies meet for a confidential, peer-to-peer session each month to gain valuable insights into others’ successes and achievements,

and learn how to avoid the pitfalls of their mistakes. The Roundtable program is exclusively for the single individual responsible for the direction of their company and with the authority to make final decisions.

For additional information on the Chamber’s Entrepreneur Roundtable program or for an application to join either Roundtable I or Roundtable 280 please contact Kirk Mancer at 6634542 ext 101.

Go & Grow Workshop: “Turning Trade Shows, Conferences & Other Networking Events into Appointments…Not Business Card Collections” A lot of time and money are spent on using Trade Shows, Conferences, and other networking events as a tool to build our business and prospects. The June Go & Grow Workshop will show attendees how to maximize their ROI on these investments. Topics covered during this hands-on and interactive workshop include:  It’s Not How many 56 |

Go & Grow Workshops Presented in 2016 by:

people you meet, but Who & How you turn introductions into conversations,  Creating Booths environments that get people to stop and talk to you,  How to work the show the floor as an attendee,  Learn how making

Heroes of others at a Trade Show or Conference get you the attention you want. The workshop -sponsored by Business Telephones, Inc. and facilitated by Michael Smith of The Great, The Good and The Gone -- will be on June 7 from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Chamber. There is no cost to attend, but lunch is

available for $10 per person for Chamber investors ($20 for “Future” investors). To ensure we have a proper headcount, please make reservations for this workshop by contacting Payton Thomas, the Chamber’s Manager of Business Development & Support via e-mail at or by calling 663-4542, ext. 105.

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce

Celebrating Growth

2016 Ribbon Cutting Sponsor

Thank you Pelham Flowers by Desiree’ for providing the ribbon and bows for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies and Cake Art by Cynthia Bertolone for providing a cake for the Ambassador of the Month. The Grand Reserve at Pelham held its official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to mark the completion and opening of its “grand” community. Owners Juston Trimback & Steve Corbett cut the celebratory ribbon and was joined by Pelham Mayor Gary Waters, City Officials, key partners, family, friends and Ambassadors.

The Chamber’s Existing Business & Industry Work Group is holding its third Quarterly Industry Tour, sponsored by Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon, Inc., from 11:00 a.m. until 1 p.m. on June 29 at the National Carbon Capture Center on

Highway 25 next to the Gaston Steam Plant in Wilsonville. “The National Carbon Capture Center offers a worldclass Neutral Test Facility & Highly Specialized Staff. The center accelerates the commercialization of advanced technologies to enable fossil

Presented in 2016 by:

fuel-based power plants to achieve near-zero emissions.” Participants will meet on

site at 31800 Highway 25 North, Wilsonville, 35186. There is no cost to attend. Lunch will be provided after the tour. Register by June 27 to Payton Thomas at payton@ or 6634542 ext. 105 or register online.

Small Business Mentorship Program Offers Guidance & Support The Chamber’s Entrepreneur & Small Business Mentorship program continues to provide much needed assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Participants have received guidance on starting a new business, expanding an existing business, launching a new product, downsizing and dealing with a difficult

The GOOD and The GONE will be held Tuesday, June 7 from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. As the Chamber’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Smith is available for a oneon-one confidential meeting employee. with any small business owner The next Mentorship or entrepreneur to discuss opportunities, facilitated by Michael Smith with The GREAT, any topic. Appointments

are required and usually last 30-45 minutes. Please contact Payton Thomas, the Chamber’s Manager of Business Development & Support, at 663-4542 ext. 105 or via e-mail at for availability on June 7.

June 2016 | 57


3rd Quarterly Industry Tour to be Held at the National Carbon Capture Center

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce


Ambassador of the Month Michael Ray is the Sales and Project Manager for Plexamedia. Plexamedia is a company that specializes in responsive web design for businesses, churches, and non-profits. They also have the ability to live stream church services. He joined the company in June of 2011 shortly after receiving his bachelors in Information Systems from UAB. His company became a member of the Greater Shelby Chamber in February 2014, but he has been an ambassador of the chamber for only two months now. While a native to Gadsden, Ala., he recently moved to the Hoover area after getting married and finishing his MBA at UAB in May 2014. His wife is a recent graduate from the University of Montevallo. Before working for Plexamedia, he was an IT manager for a local bank in Etowah County. Outside of his work, he is very active at the Station Church on

(as of 01/01/16)

Officers Paul Rogers NobleBank & Trust (Chair) Keith Brown Jefferson State Community College (Chair-elect) Lisa McMahon Warren Averett, LLC (Immediate Past Chair)

Valleydale Road and enjoys photographing weddings with his wife. For more information about Plexamedia, call Michael at 256-458-7656 or visit Ambassador Program Presented in 2016 by:

Contact Us

Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce 1301 County Services Drive • Pelham, Alabama 35124 Office: (205) 663-4542 • Fax: (205) 663-4524 •

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GSCCC Board of Directors

John Browning Cahaba Valley Computer Services (Vice Chair, Business Development & Support) Jim Purvis A. C. Legg, Inc. (Vice Chair, Communications & Marketing) Kathy Copeland White Rock Quarries – Vincent Hills (Vice Chair, Community & Workforce Development) David Platt Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (Vice Chair, Finance & Administration) Joe Meads Sain Associates (Vice Chair, Governmental Affairs) Charlie Stevens Thompson Tractor Company, Inc. (Vice Chair, Investor Development)

Matthew Hogan (2016) Bama Budweiser Gregg Maercker (2016) First Commercial Bank - Retired Bill Connor (2017) America’s First Federal Credit Union Matt Fridy (2017) Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt Chris Grace (2017) Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon, Inc. Katie McDowell (2017) Shelby County Newspapers, Inc. Michael Smith (2017) The GREAT, The GOOD and The GONE Craig Sorenson (2017) SouthWest Water Company Jeff Brown (2018) Brownstone Marketing Solutions William Carroll (2018) Armstrong Relocation Companies Alex Dudchock (2018) Shelby County Brian Massey (2018) St. Vincent’s Health System Bob Phillips (2018) Shelby Baptist Medical Center Ashley Robinett (2018) Alabama Power Company Tracey Morant Adams (*) Renasant Bank

Board of Directors Tim Benefield (2016) Buffalo Rock Company

Brandon Greve (*) Regions Bank

Linda Cencula (2016) Avadian Credit Union

Mark Griggs (*) Summer Classics

Steve Chapman (2016) Alabama Gas Corporation

Mark Meadows (*) Chick-fil-A @ Inverness

Bruce Fryer (2016) Lhoist North America

(*) Serving a one-year term in 2016

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce

Greater Shelby County Chamber Recognized Outstanding Students & Educators Educator of the Year” Luncheon sponsored by America’s First Federal Credit Union. Congratulations to the following 2015-16 recipients: (Front Row)

College Ready Recipient, Peyton Strickland; Career Ready Recipient, Emily Hill (Back Row) Paul Rogers, NobleBank & Trust/ Chamber Chair;

Elementary Educator Recipient, Michelle Dunning; Secondary Educator Recipient, Dawn Cabrera; Bill Connor, America’s First Federal Credit Union/ Presenting sponsor.


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June 2016 | 59


Shelby County’s leading students and educators for the 2015-16 school year were recognized at the Greater Shelby County Chamber’s Third Annual “Student &

Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce

CHAMBER Events Read more details or register for events online at or the Chamber office 663-4542. Unless otherwise noted events listed will be held at 1301 County Services Dr., Pelham 35124. CANCELLATION POLICY REMINDER: Cancellation for a paying event must be made TWO days prior to the event.

June 2016


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Ambassadors Work Group 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sponsor: NobleBank & Trust Small Business Work Group 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sponsor: Brownstone Marketing Solutions South Shelby Chamber Luncheon 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Columbiana First Baptist Church, 208 North Main Street, Columbiana Investment: $12. Reservation required. Small Business Mentorship Appointments 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. Michael Smith, The Good, The Great & The Gone By appointment. Contact Payton Thomas at 663-4542, ext. 105. Go & Grow Workshop “Turning Networking Events into Appointments” Presented by Michael Smith, The GREAT, the GOOD and The GONE Sponsor: Business Telephones, Inc. Reservations requested by June 6. Investment: No cost for workshop but lunch is available for $10 investors, $20 “Future” investors. Existing Business & Industry Work Group 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. iBERIABANK 2695 Pelham Pkwy, Pelham CoffeeNet 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Sponsor: Cahaba Valley Computer Services, LLC Eclipse Coffee, 1032 Main Street, Montevallo No cost. Reservations requested by June 6.

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Education Work Group 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Shelby County Instructional Service Center 601 First Street South, Alabaster Montevallo Chamber Monthly Luncheon 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Parnell Memorial Library, 377 Park Dr, Montevallo Investment: $20. No reservation required. Entrepreneur Roundtable I 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Governmental Affairs Work Group 8:30 a.m.- 9:30 a.m. Sain Associates, Two Perimeter Park South, Ste 500 East, Birmingham Liberty Day Parade 3 p.m. City of Columbiana GSCC Community Luncheon “University of Montevallo Update” featuring Dr. John Stewart Sponsored by: ARC Realty Doors open at 11:00 a.m.. Program 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena 500 Amphitheater Rd, Pelham Reservations requested by noon, Friday, June 24. NOTICE: The luncheon is on Tuesday this month. Investment: investors $20, “Future” investors $30. Quarterly Industry Tour 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sponsor: Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon National Carbon Capture Center 31800 Highway 25 North, Wilsonville No cost. Participants will meet on-site. Reservations requested by June 27.

Health Services Work Group 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

YOUR CHAMBER AT WORK Calera Chamber Monthly Luncheon 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Timberline Golf Club 300 Timberline Trail, Calera Investment: $12. No reservation required.

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Facebook: 46 New Likes, 198 Visits and 4,906 Post Reaches. Twitter: 2,499 Followers, 124 Tweets, 19,000 Tweet impressions, 337 Profile Visits and 19 Mentions. Responded to 192 requests for business & community information.



2 3

5 4 Helena Spring Fling

Hundreds of students and families packed Helena Elementary School April 8-10 for the annual Spring Fling. Numerous rides and games were enjoyed in the carnival atmosphere.

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1. Tara Brenner with Gigi and Andrew Russell and Megan Collins with Hope and Gus 2. Brad, Rachel and Palmer Peeks 3. Sydney and Brianna Strawbridge 4. Anna Grace Walley and McKinley Maxwell 5. Dave Bremer with Tucker and Drew Russell 6. Sebastian Molina, Rebeca Elias, and Pamela Molina with Giannina and Geraldine Flores 7. Shea, Michelle, Meryl, Myles and Bryce Baird 8. Brandon Henderson, Charlie Delph and Jeffrey Matherson June 2016 | 61




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Boots and Bow Ties Silent Auction

The South Shelby Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2016 Boots and Bow Ties silent auction event benefiting the Chamber’s scholarship fund on April 28 at Douglas Manor in Columbiana. 1. Eric Chambers, Heather Hartfield, Bryan Morrow and Roxanne Statham 2. Vicki Everett and Jeff Adams 3. Peg Hill and Alicia Johnson 4. Ouida Mayfield and Mayor Stancil Handley 5. R.E. and Mary Ann Nelson 6. Megan Traweek and Chad Davis 7. Diane Smith and Paula Moore 8. Casey Dooley and Donna Gannon 9. Ouida Mayfield and Retta Argo

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10. Pastor Melissa Patrick, Joan Garrett and Janet Shaw 11. Chris Curry, Mayor Stancil Handley and Chris Smith 12. Chris and Elizabeth Smith 13. Mayor Stancil Handley, Ann Handley and Bill Lewis



Send us photos of your community events, parties or meetings — we love to get photos for our Spotted section!

Brenda Ladun Run

inter nt UM W enceme Comm

Email Katie.mcdowell@ with event details

June 2016 | 63




3 4 Helena Founder’s Day

Local families and residents spent the day at the Helena Amphitheater on April 23 for the Second Annual Helena Founder’s Day celebrating the city’s past, while enjoying local vendors and musicians. 1. Steve, Jacob and Nancy Young 2. Jodi Wallace and Angela Blocker 3. Stephen and Courtney White 4. Jonathan and Sarah Carter 5. Taylor Sharbel and Morgan Jacobs 6. Rob, Kelli and Michael Gerchow

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chelsea comprehensive dental Ryan A. Draiss, DMD

Welcome to the good life. Welcome to Shelby Living!

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7. Dan Dearing and Shannon O’Guin 8. Jessica McKay and Randy Clark 9. Brittany, Charlee and Riley Davis 10. Shannon and Brandy Jacobs

10 June 2016 | 65


Feast of St. Mark Italian Food Festival

St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church held the annual Feast of St. Mark Italian Food Festival on April 30. 1. Steve and Sue Lovoy 2. Jacqueline and Jack DeMarco, Dylan and Evan Gatlin, Angela and Isabelle Rodriguez and Alyssa Raiford 3. Christian, Isabella and Tatyann Arruda 4. Angie Lorino Meadows and Carol Pilleteri




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5. Victor Graffeo, Marsha Saia, Norman Saia and Andy Graffeo 6. Lana Guess Thompson and Bill Thomas 7. Pat Albano and Katelyn Marshall 8. Gretchen Franz and Paris Malensek 9. Dorothy Hughes and Joe Huttoe

9 June 2016 | 67





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Cellar 91 Opening

The Greystone Golf & Country Club held a grand opening and ribbon cutting for its new restaurant, Cellar 91. 1. St. John Bender, Delaney Porter and Mallory Bobba 2. Delaney Porter and Mary Madison Hiers 3. Phillip and Camille Lozito 4. Dave Porter, Terry Smith, Russ Hale, Roy Sewell, Frank Paduch and Jeff Clifton 5. Aimee and Greg Stohler 6. Kiki and Petros Kartos 7. The Coles

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8. Jeff Kaufman and Lisa Rains with Elliott and Ryen Valentine 9. Julie Kim, Dottie Smith and Lynda Morris 10. Charlotte Culton and Al DelGreco 11. Jeff, Addison and Kristy Curl


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2 4

3 Greystone Ladies Club April Luncheon

The Greystone Ladies Club learned all about pearls from Love The Pearls Inc. executive Taylor Brennan at the club’s April 13 luncheon at the Founders Clubhouse. 1. Janie Green, Patti Stahlhut and Betty Galbraith 2. Wendy Howell and Sierra Parle 3. Debbie Coston and Jenice PratherKinsey 4. Wendy Weldman, Susie Hammers and Rita Wood 5. Judy Arnold, Wilma Thompson and Roula Hakim 6. Leigh Anne Priest, Lisa White and Trudy Vaughn

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Chamber Luncheon



The South Shelby Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon May 5 at First Baptist Church of Columbiana. The speaker was Dr. Joe Sumners, director of Economic and Community Development at Auburn University. 1. Caroline Ward and Melinda Ward 2. Mike Cooley and Ann Handley 3. Ron Shaw, Eddie Huggins and Don Robinson 4. Sallie Ray, Kay Ray and Karee Hughes



June 2016 | 71







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Celebrate Hoover Day

Thousands of people flooded Veterans Park on Valleydale Road for Celebrate Hoover Day on April 30. 1. Sarah Oliver, Tamryn Brophy and Shealee Gibbons 2. Lindsey Fincher and Bragg Scroggins 3. John Lyda with Mike and Shelley Shaw 4. Sherlyn and David Bolin 5. Kristin Prunchak and Alicia Corle 6. Daniel and Nichole Smith with Odin and Izzie 7. Justin and Tiffany McNair with Luna and Demi 8. Eddie and JaWanda Jackson 9. Glenn Nivens and Don Roberson 10. Aspen and Haley Williams

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11. Julie Gibbs, Allyssa Colburn, Apryl Stanley and Hannah Christie with Red Bull and Lily Ann 12. Anya, Ronan and David Todd 13. Thomas Hart and Marissa Latham 14. Shawna Herron, Lauren Ford and Theresa Davis

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Celebrate Hoover Day

Thousands of people flooded Veterans Park on Valleydale Road for Celebrate Hoover Day on April 30. 1. King, Sicileigh and Shaun Hunt 2. Ashley Kigondu, Amanda Vogel and Midhelle Kigondu 3. Amanda and Jackson Reagan 4. Eugene and Lennox Rogers 5. Jazmyne Marion and Brandy McCainey 6. Jackie Wanjiku and Georgina Maina 7. Tammy and Arianna Duren 8. Angel Walls, Joy Walls and Kayla Johnson 9. Nyla Hall and Karlynn Pettaway 10. Deahanna George, Aliya Atkins and Malachi Manderia

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South Shelby Chamber Luncheon



The South Shelby Chamber of Commerce held a monthly luncheon April 7. Lauren Hartin and Jeff McDowell spoke to Chamber members about a new non-profit organization called Blanket Fort Hope. 1. Julie Godfrey and Carol Bruser 2. DeAndra Ragland and Stacy Walkup 3. Charity Havercroft, Stephanie Grissom and Ward Williams 4. Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister and Allison Boyd



June 2016 | 75



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Chelsea’s 20th birthday celebration

Nearly 100 people gathered at the new Chelsea Community Center to celebrate the city’s 20th birthday and to hold a ribbon cutting for the center. 1. Hoyt Picklesimer and Dominique Dubois 2. Katie Griffith and Joyce Blackerby 3. H.D. and Charlotte Ingram 4. Michael and Lori Cheney 5. Jim and Joyce Thornton 6. Ponnie Edmondson 7. Barbara and Tom Boaz 8. Lynette and Don Shirley

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Marketplace Shelby Living • 205.669.3131

Cooling Season starts June 5 for Chilton/Shelby County. Call Appointment Line at 205-287-0139 or online at 11th Area of Alabama O.A.C.

Montgomery Stockyard Drop Station at Gray & Son’s in Clanton. Call Lane at 205-389-4530. For other hauling arrangements, contact Wes in Harpersville 205-965-8657

Acceptance Loan Company, Inc. Personal Loans! Let us Pay Off Your Title Loans! 224 Cahaba Valley Rd, Pelham 205-663-5821

AFFORDABLE HIGHSPEED INTERNET Available where you live! Call Today for this Limited Time Offer!, 800-266-4409.

B&J Metal Fabricators Professional sheet metal replacement and fabrication on classic cars/trucks. $65.00/hour for labor Parts/supplies additional Quotes based per job. Media blasting available. Powder coating coming soon. Montevallo area. (205)665-4687 (205)296-9988

CLOCK REPAIR SVS. * Setup * Repair * Maintenance I can fix your Mother’s clock. Alabaster/Pelham Call Stephen (205)663-2822

Backhoe Work and General Hauling Services. Gravel, red clay, sand, pea gravel. Can clean ditches out and recover road with new gravel. Contact Barry Cunningham (205)217-5731 FIREWOOD-OAK or HICKORY Pick up - only 6 cents per pound. Commercial and Residential delivery also available. Columbiana Wood Products 21421 Hwy 25, Columbiana (205) 671-5202 Welder Training Short Term Licensing Call for Details 866-432-0430

Become a Dental Asst. in ONLY 8 WEEKS! Please visit our website www. or call (205) 561-8118 and get your career started! TARGET AUCTION. Advanced Real Estate Marketing. 800-476-3939 ONLINE AUCTIONS www.GTAOnlineAuctions. com 205-326-0833 Granger, Thagard & Assoc. Jack F. Granger #873 TARGET AUCTION Advanced Real Estate Marketing 800-476-3939

Marble Valley Manor Affordable 1 and 2 Bedroom Apartments for Elderly & Disabled. Many On-Site Services! 2115 Motes Rd, Sylacauga 256-245-6500 TDD#s: 800-548-2547(V) 800-548-2546(T/A) Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm Equal Opportunity Provider/ Employer HIRING Production Workers in McCalla. IMMEDIATE OPENINGS! Various shifts, temp-to-hire positions! Apply online at: or call our office at 205-497-6400 ext. 2033 NEED A JOB? NEED A BETTER JOB? AIDT recruits, screens and trains qualified applicants for outstanding jobs statewide. All at NO COST to you! Visit jobs today to view your opportunities! Bibb Medical Center & Nursing Home Currently Hiring For: •Hospital DON •Billing/ Insurance Clerk •MLT/ MT •LPN & RN’s •Labor & Delivery Nurses •CNA’s & PCT’s Apply at: Hospital Information Desk, 208 Pierson Ave., Centreville, AL Or email resume to: bmchr@bibbmedicalcenter. com. Apply Online:

BURGER KING JOIN OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM Schuster Enterprises, Inc., a Franchisee of Burger King, is looking for Management professionals who have a desire to join a team where people are the most important asset, where growth is based on ability and where opportunity is abundant. Benefits: Competive Wages, Health & Life Insurance, Paid Vacations, 401(k). Apply online at: www.jointeamschuster. com. (EOE - DRUG FREE WORKPLACE). Class-A CDL Driver. $500 Sign-On Bonus. Must be 25+ years with clean MVR. 1 year with 6 months flatbed experience. $.34$.40pm w/dh $.20 pay. Contact HR: (205)706-4837 JOIN OUR TEAM! MAINTENANCE ENGINEER FOR A BURGER KING FRANCHISE Schuster Enterprises, Inc., a Franchisee of Burger King, is looking for a person with skills in HVAC and Refrigeration, Light Electrical and Plumbing. •Competitive Wage based on skills and experience, annual reviews. •Health and Life Insurance •401 (k) Profit Sharing Plan •Paid Vacations •Maintenance Vehicle & Tools furnished FOR INTERVIEW CALL DAVID STEVENS (706)563-3066 (EOE—DRUG FREE WORKPLACE)

Seeking Experienced Delivery Drivers Requires 2-years experience/ clean driving record. Knowledge of Birmingham/ surrounding areas beneficial. Benefits included. Apply: 140 W.Oxmoor Rd., Birmingham Email resume: CHANGING SPACES RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL MOVING, INC. NOW HIRING! EXPERIENCED HOUSEHOLD GOODS MOVING DRIVERS Health, Dental & Retirement Benefits. Full Time, Part Time, or Seasonal. Drug Testing and Background Checks Required. (205)972-0744 Masters Level Counselor Needed Chilton County Treatment Center 2100 Holiday Inn Drive, Clanton, AL 35045 Call for more info. 205-755-4300 Ready to Work for the #1 Brand in the World? Now Hiring Class A-CDL Drivers for Coca-Cola Bottling United. Go to to apply! COLUMBIANA HEALTH & REHAB LPN Charge Nurse PRN - 12 hour shifts Excellent Salary. Interested applicants should send resume to: shannon.bell@

May 2016 | 77 June

Coosa Valley Medical Center Now Hiring! Respiratory Therapist: 7pm7am RNs (Med/Surg): 7am-7pm & 7pm-7am RN (Labor/Delivery): 11pm7am Email resume to: Janean.Crawford@cvhealth. net or to apply, go to DCH Health System Caring. For Life. $5,000 sign-on Bonus. For More Information Contact: Annie. Apply online at: WELDERS NEEDED! Experienced MIG welders, fitting experience preferred. Weld test required: bring welding helmet. Must pass mandatory drug test prior to employment. Weekly pay and benefits package. Apply in person from 9am-1pm: E-Box 101 Air Park Industrial Road Alabaster, AL 35007 NOW HIRING FOR HOMECARE AIDES & LPN’s IN THE SHELBY COUNTY AREA. Apply Online: www. eldercareofnorthalabama. com under the ‘Cullman’ office or call 256-727-5312 (M-F 8am-5pm) $3000 SIGN ON BONUS NEW PAY SCALE TO QUALIFYING DRIVERS EVERGREEN TRANSPORT, is accepting applications for local drivers in the Calera and Leeds, AL, area. Must have class A CDL, good driving record, 1 yr verifiable tractor trailer experience. Good pay and benefits. Apply in person at 8278 Hwy 25 South, Calera, AL, or call for info 205-668-3316.

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THE FISH MARKET RESTAURANT CASHIERS & SERVERS NEEDED. NOW HIRING HAPPY People with GREAT Attitudes! Must be Flexible/Hours Vary Apply in Person ONLY Hwy 280 & Hwy 31 Locations PLANT MAINTENANCE POSITION Desired Skills: •Minimum 10-years experience in plant industrial maintenance environment (mechanical/ hydraulics/electrical/ fabrication/pneumatic) •Strong electrical trouble shooting skills in highvoltage as well as lowvoltage •Ability to work on PLC is required Apply At: Foley Products, Clanton or online: Foley Products Company is an EOE. Franklin Iron Works Now Hiring Grinders & Laborers Must apply in person at 146 Tommie Dr, Thorsby Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm Hiring Stylists in Chelsea & Calera Average Pay $12 & Up 205-966-7254 Hardee’s Now Hiring •Crew Members/Hoover •Management/Calera Email resume to: LPN’s, RN’s, CNA’s Full-time & part-time • 2nd & 3rd Shift Apply in person: Hatley Health Care 300 Medical Ctr Dr Clanton, AL 35045 Tree Climber / Bucket Operator Top pay guaranteed. 5 yrs exp. CDL required. Drug Test Required. 205-836-2038 or 205-229-7144

J & M Tank Lines is now hiring qualified Class A CDL Drivers for our Calera, AL terminal! If you are hired in the next 30 days then you will be eligible for the **$2,000 Sign-On Bonus** Benefits : •Paid Weekly by direct deposit •Paid Vacation & Holidays •401K with company % match •Medical, Vision & Dental through BCBS starting as low as $10/week •Company Paid $50,000 Life Insurance Policy •Safety, Referral and Christmas Bonuses Requirements: •You must be at least 25 years old •Have no more than 3 moving violations in the past 3 years •18 months of Tractor Trailer experience •Tanker Endorsement preferred but NOT required as you will be trained If you meet the above requirements and are interested in a position with us at J & M Tank Lines then you may contact Sarah Murphy @ (205)769-3544 or go to www.jmtank. com to fill out our online application! We only have a couple of positions available so please don’t pass up this great opportunity! Klassy Klean hiring Cleaning Techs. Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 Cleaning homes & businesses. Requirements: good background/drugfree/good work ethics/ trustworthy, able to work w/team, project positive attitude, and learn professional cleaning techniques. Call 205-685-9883 for more information.

NOW HIRING •Tri-Axle Drivers- Class A or B •Backhoe Operators •Asphalt Laborers Lake Mitchell Construction CALL 205-755-7264 Owner Operators Wanting Dedicated Year Round Anniston, AL FT Drivers Needed. Must be willing to work days, nights or weekends. Wages begin at $10/hr. 866-217-1928 or email MACS Courier Service Christian Mission Agency in Wilsonville Seeking Administrative Assistant Excellent organizer, proficient in Excel, data entry and manual filing systems. $25-28k. Send resume: McKinnon Toyota and Nissan Hiring for Detail and Lube Tech. Apply online at or in store (see Receptionist). Shake up your career!!! Are you looking for something new and FUN? Milo’s is always looking for great managers to come join our growing and dynamic team. Apply online at Class-A CDL DriverDry Bulk/PneumaticBirmingham,AL Must be 25+, have clean driving record, two-years tractor/trailer experience. Will train drivers on tank. Good benefits-almost all drivers home everynight. Contact Keith 205-438-4959

Production / Manufacturing Vance, Alabama Starting pay: $12.00 – $14.50 /hr. • Have 2 years+ Production/ Manufacturing experience. • Have Recently Lived in Alabama at least 2 years. • Have A High School Diploma or GED. • Are at least 18 years old. Complete your application on line at Noland Health Services Now Hiring RN’s Day & Night Shift Available Noland Hospital Shelby Located in Shelby Baptist Medical Center Alabaster To Apply Visit: Odyssey Early Schools. Birmingham’s Best Daycare/ Preschool is Seeking Experienced Teachers. 4 Year Degree Preferred. Full-Time. BEST Pay. FULL Benefits (Insurance, Leave, Holidays). Call Annie Fine 991-0039. OFFICE ENVIRONMENTS Commercial Furniture Dealership Currently Accepting Applications for Experienced Furniture Installer. We offer excellent pay and benefits. Qualified applicants should call (205)443-8344. E.O.E M/F/D/V/ADA PawTree. Love Pets? Love People? How would you like to educate pet parents about customized pet nutrition and other fun pet products? We are looking for positive and motivated people who love pets to open up the Alabama area! No experience necessary. Full or Part-Time! Own your own business while making profit with a purpose. Minimal start up fee. For more information, email

Manufacturing/Assembly positions available in Calera & McCalla areas. Full time hours, all shifts available. Call today 205-267-3910 A Peace of Mind In Home Care has an Immediate Need for Care Givers Must have 4 years verifiable experience in a residence or a facility. Flexible schedule. Companion care/personal care/total care patients. Light housekeeping, meal prep,transportation to dr and activities. Must pass background check/drug screen/clean driving record. Call (205)671-5102 Fax 205-671-5069 Or Email Resume Class A CDL Drivers Needed Immediately for Dump Trailer Hauling • $2000 Retention Bonus • Local Hauling • Home Nights APPLY ONLINE: Perdido Trucking Service, LLC 251-470-0355 Burger King Hiring General, Assistant & Shift Managers Top Pay/Monthly Bonus/ Vacation/ Medical Benefits. 3yrs fast food experience required. Fax resume: 334-649-1112 Or apply at: OTR Class-A Driver •Montgomery, AL 3yrs Experience •$.40-$.50 Per Mile Paid Weekly •BCBS Insurance Home Weekends •EZ Press & Prepass Safety & Fuel Bonus Call: (334)288-8106

HIRING Afternoon Teachers for Christian Early Learning Center, 6wks to 4k in Helena. Also, hiring Subs. Call 426-1910 or email resume to S&G Poultry-Hiring Farm Staff Requirements: •Ability to lift/move 60+ lbs. •Valid DL Duties: •Feeding birds •Collecting/grading eggs •Moving birds/cleaning pens •Perform related work as required. Some weekends/holidays. Can not own/come into contact with other poultry. EEOC-Employer 205-7557082 Local Concrete Delivery CDL Drivers Experience preferred. CDL Required. Chilton/Shelby/ Jefferson County Deliveries. Benefits include BCBS, vision, dental. Late model equipment. 205-755-3930 Order Selectors Food Dist. Center in Pelham Al. Day Shift: Mon-Fri. 40+ hours/week. 10:00AM until finished (varies). Benefits: Medical, vision, dental, vacation & 401k. Requirements: Reading & math skills, Lift 40 lbs. repetitively, Work in -10 Temperature Apply 8:30AM-5:00PM Southeastern Food, 201 Parker Drive, Pelham, Alabama 35124 205-685-4533 MECHANICS NEEDED: Afternoon Shift SOUTHERN HAULERS 2157 Hwy 16 Calera, Alabama 35040 Call Vince: (251)230-1692 Fax resume to: (330)726-7887 Email to: kzook@rjtrucking. com

Immediate Positions!!!! Positions needed: Warehouse • Sales Reps • Assistant Manager • Delivery Drivers • Customer Service. Laid back atmosphere, good pay, plenty of hours available! Company vehicles to qualified individuals! Call Andrew 9am-7pm • Monday-Saturday at (205)490-1003 or (205)243-6337 TaylorMade Transportation Hiring CDL Drivers for Flatbed Regional Division! BCBS Insurance After 30 Days. To apply call: (334)366-2269 or email: CV Home Health currently recruiting for: LPNs/RNs •Great pay •Manage own schedule If you’d like to become part of our growing team, call: 866-273-3984 TEMP FORCE HIRING NOW: Assembly and Inspection! Childersburg & Vincent. Full Time. 1st and 2nd Shifts. Entry Level OK! Apply at TempForce: (256)245-8367 Shoal Creek Barn Hand Flexible part or full time hours w/benefits Call Carrie: 991-4654 or 427-5591. Landscape Assisstant 6:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. Full Time • Monday-Friday Paid health benefits. Looking for a quick learner, with great work ethic! Call Carrie 205-991-4564 or 205-427-5501

Now Hiring Experienced Class A Drivers. Thorsby/ Prattville Lane. $500 SignOn Bonus. 7 Paid Holidays and Vacation Pay. Call (334)687-6000 ext 18. Evergreen Forest Products. ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS CDL-B DRIVERS WITH TWO YEARS EXPERIENCE. WASTE REMOVAL EXPERIENCE PREFERRED, 25+, CLEAN RECORD, HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF SHELBY AND JEFFERSON COUNTIES. CALL: 205-419-4005 Hiring Installers for new Alabaster Location! Responsibilities: Install according to work order and guidelines, Follow all OSHA and Company Safety policies/procedures. Requirements: HS diploma or equivalent, Valid DL, 18+ years old, Overtime/ weekends as required, Outof-town travel as required, 0-6 months experience in Construction/ Insulation/Trades/etc., 1-3 years construction experience preferred, Pass drug/background screenings. Come_Join_Our_Team Apply online: or in person: 220 Scotland Drive, Alabaster AL 35007 OTR DRIVERS WANTED 24 years or older. Hazmat preferred but not required. Full benefit package available. Pneumatic tank equipment. Dry bulk hauling. $500 SIGN-ON BONUS HOME EVERY OTHER WEEKEND Apply Online: 800-753-1993

NOW HIRING CDL-A DRIVERS w/Haz. $5000 Sign-On Bonus. Apply online: www.westernintl. com or Corporate Office: 979-413-2140 $5000 SIGN-ON BONUS! HIRING CDL TEAM A DRIVER Apply online: Or Contact Corporate: Western International Gas & Cylinders 979-413-2140 or 979-413-2192 (EOE) NOW HIRING: •ASPHALT OPERATOR •ASPHALT EQUIPMENT OPERATOR •ASPHALT CREW LABOR. JOB CONDITIONS: •Candidate will be required to work outside, sometimes in inclement weather conditions •Day, some night and weekends shifts •EOE. PAY RANGE & BENEFITS: •Pay Based on Experience •BCBS +dental/vision/ disability •401K plus match. Submit Application/Resume: Wiregrass Construction, 951 Dow Street, Pelham, Alabama 35124, 205.620.4132 CLERICAL Part-Time/FullTime 30-40 Hours a Week $11.00 - Plus Benefits General Clerical Duties Basic Office Skills Needed Start Date - ASAP Send Resume to: SMALL BUSINESS FOR SALE CompuChild franchise in business for 15 years. Teach preschoolers to use computers. Perfect parttime business for mothers. Call Jean (205)995-1225 LEVYS FINE JEWELRY Others buy Gold, We buy Jewelry! 205-251-3381 Downtown Birmingham

May 2016 | 79 June

OUT & ABOUT Shelby County Senior Picnic

June 2

Shelby County Senior Picnic: The Shelby County Senior Picnic will be held June 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the American Village in Montevallo. The event will include historical interpretation, live music, food and fellowship. Call 670-5770 by May 19 to make a reservation.

June 2

South Shelby Chamber Membership Luncheon: The South Shelby Chamber of Commerce will spotlight education at its June membership luncheon June 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Columbiana First Baptist Church. The cost is $12 per person. The speaker will be Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller. No RSVP is required.

June 3

I Hate Hamlet: South City Theatre will hold performances of “I Hate Hamlet” on June 3-12. The production will be directed by Cliff Keen Jr. For more information, visit or call 621-2128.

June 6

Youth Tennis Summer Camps at Pelham Racquet Club: Camp dates are June 6-9, June 13-16, June 2080 |

Youth Tennis Summer Camps at Pelham Racquet Club

23 and June 27-30. Sessions are Monday-Thursday with a make-up day on Friday at 9-10:30 a.m. daily for kids ages 6-10 and 11-15, beginners to intermediate. Camp includes T-shirt, bag, sunglasses and other extras. The camp directors are Rusty WilkesUSPTA Elite Certified Pro and Michael Smith-USPTA Certified Pro. There are discounts for larger families or multiple weeks. For cost and more information, e-mail Asbury UMC summer activities: Starting June 6, Asbury United Methodist Church will offer various activities for children throughout the summer. Vacation Bible School will be held June 6-9 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Chess camp will be held June 6-9 from 12:303:30 p.m. Soccer camp will be held June 6-9 from 12:303 p.m. Softball camp will be held June 13-15 from 9 a.m. to noon. Volleyball camp will be held June 13-15 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Musical theatre camp will be held June 28-30 from 9 a.m. to noon. Basketball camp will be held June 12-14 from 9:30-12:30 p.m. Football camp will be held June 12-14 from 1-3 p.m. Twirling camp will be held June 19-21 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. La Crosse camp will be held June 25-27 from 8:30-

Ninth Annual Fear Factor Food

11 a.m. Lego Challenge will be held June 30 from 10-11:30 a.m. For more information or to register for the camps, go to, call 271-9910 or visit Asburyonline. org/summercamps. For even more information, contact Ellen Dean at 271-9919.


June 13

Party Art Craft Camp: Party Art in Helena will hold its Craft Camp June 13-16 and June 20-23. Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with door hanger art, mixed media, pallet art, June 7 rock art, string art, journaling Mt Laurel Summer Reading and a T-shirt craft. The camp Kickoff: Come to the library to will also include an ice cream enjoy a bouncy house, a giant party. For more information, slide, face-painting, crafts, call 253-2984. games and refreshments as the Mt Laurel Library kicks off Anime Night + Art Challenge: its Summer Reading Program, Come to the teen department sponsored by the Mt Laurel at the North Shelby Library Sales Office. The program will for an evening of anime and be held June 7 from 5:30-7:30 snacks June 13 from 6-7:45 p.m. p.m. The audience will pick what the group watches. Cosplay is June 9 welcome. Plus, participate in Ninth Annual Fear Factor an art challenge to improve Food: Do you have an iron your skills in animation. stomach? Brave taste buds? Put yourself to the test with June 16 some new and unique food Coffee with the Mayor of combinations. Scary food not Westover: The South Shelby your thing? We’ll have a tasting Chamber of Commerce will of the most interesting soda hold Coffee with the Mayor we can find. The event will be of Westover on June 16 from held June 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Westover at the North Shelby Library. Town Hall, 3312 Westover Road. The event is free to Prizes will be given away. attend. No RSVP is required. Mt Laurel Book Club: This For more information, call month the club will discuss 669-9075. “The Secret Garden” by Francis Hodgson Burnett on North Shelby Library Book June 9 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Club: The North Shelby the Mt Laurel Library meeting Library Book Club will meet

June 16 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. For more information, contact Michelyn Reid at

entire catalog. Formed in 2013 by Doug Lee and Tony Wachter, the group relies heavily on their long careers as professional musicians Mt Laurel Miss Kit’s Bubble and studio expertise. The Show: Science, comedy and group will perform at the bubbles will entertain children Shelby County Arts Council in at the Mt Laurel Library on Columbiana on June 18. Doors June 16 from 2-3 p.m. open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission Nerf Wars: It’s an all-out war is $20. For more information, in the North Shelby Library call 669-0044. on June 16 from 6:30-8 p.m. Bring your own Nerf gun June 21 and the library will provide Tuesday Tech – Holograms the cover, the eye protection and Virtual Reality: Try out and the prize. The program virtual reality with Google was planned by the Teen Cardboard and turn your smartphone into a hologram Leadership Council. projector June 21 from 2-3 June 17 p.m. at the North Shelby SCAC Instructors and Library. This program is for Student Gallery Exhibit: The teens and tweens (8-12-yearlast day the Shelby County olds). Registration is required. Arts Council Instructors and Student Gallery Exhibit will June 23 be on display is June 17. The Mario Kart and Just Dance exhibit showcases the art of Tournament: Who will reign SCAC instructors and students supreme on the Wii? Compete and is free and open to the against other teens to see public. Regular gallery hours who can make it through are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday– Mushroom Mall the fastest in Thursday. The gallery is Mario Kart and who will be located at 104 Mildred Street the top dancer in Just Dance in Columbiana. For more on June 23 from 6-7:45 p.m. at the North Shelby Library. information, call 669-0044. Prizes will be given. Register June 18 to make the brackets. NoYoko – Beatlemania in Columbiana: NoYoko is a Mt Laurel Cookies and group of Beatle nuts who Cream Social: Bring the perform classic Beatles whole family and enjoy a cool songs from the Beatles’ treat on a hot day and cookies

from the TownHouse Tea Shoppe on June 23 from 2-3 p.m. at the Mt Laurel Library.

June 25

2016 GBAC Aubie 5K: The 2016 Aubie 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run in memory of Meredith Maddox will be held June 25 at Veterans Park, 4800 Valleydale Road in Hoover. All proceeds go to support the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club’s academic scholarship endowments. The eight endowments are awarded by Auburn to students attending from Shelby and Jefferson counties. Race times are 8 a.m. for the 5K and 9 a.m. for the 1-mile fun run. Participation costs $30 for the 5K by May 9, $35 for the 5K between May 10 and June 19, $40 for the 5K from June 20 to race day, $20 for the fun run and $10 for kids 12 and under. Refreshments, door prizes and activities for kids will be available. For more information, contact Nick Hall at and (256) 298-1494 or Michael Lovett at (205) 966-6776 and

June 27

Summer Theater Camp: Missoula Children’s Theatre will work with 50-60 campers to produce a fullscale musical performance of “The Frog Prince” in just one week. All children will have a role in the production.

The camp will help reinforce educational components such as memorization and interpersonal relationship skills, all while having fun. The camp is $100 per student and will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting June 27 through July 2, with a performance Saturday at 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 669-0044.

June 28

Mt Laurel Family Movie: This event is for all ages. Come for a showing of a movie each Tuesday from 2-4 p.m. Snacks will be served. Contact the Mt Laurel Library to find out which movie is showing.

June 29

GSCCC Quarterly Industry Tour: The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s Existing Business and Industry Work Group is holding its third Quarterly Industry Tour, sponsored by Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon Inc., from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. June 29 at the National Carbon Capture Center on Alabama 25 next to the Gaston Steam Plant in Wilsonville. Participants will meet on site. Admission is free. Lunch will be provided after the tour. Register by June 27 to Payton Thomas at or 663-4542 ext. 105 or register online.

Mario Kart and Just Dance Tournament

2016 GBAC Aubie 5K

Mt Laurel Family Movie June 2016 | 81


Mary Grace Long:

‘I love that it has a small-town feel, but you are not far from big cities.’


and I am proud to have my roots here. I love that it has a small-town feel, but you are not far from big cities.

Photograph CONTRIBUTED ne Shelby County student has shown other young women how to “be your best self.” Mary Grace Long, who first won the title of Shelby County Distinguished Young Woman in July 2015, went on to win at the state level in January. She will travel to Mobile to compete at the national program June 23-25, where all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be represented. A senior at Evangel Classical Christian School in Alabaster, Long is the daughter of Drew Ann and David Long and has a sister, Caroline, and brother, Matthew.

What are your plans after you graduate high school? I will be attending Auburn University in the fall to double major in broadcast journalism and political science, with plans to possibly attend law school. I want to go into political analysis. What do you like to do in your free time? I am a very busy person, so free time is rare, but I do love spending my free time hanging out with friends, going to the lake or watching the news or “Dancing with the Stars.”

Why did you decide to compete in Distinguished Young Women? Distinguished Young Women is a college scholarship organization, so I primarily decided to participate for the scholarship benefits. However, as I did more research on the program, I realized it was so much more and represents a lot of things that I stand for. What’s been your favorite experience since winning? I had the opportunity to speak to a Girl Scout troop about the Distinguished Young Women platform, “Be Your Best Self.” I got to do a presentation and talk with the girls about what it means to “be your best self” and teach them how easy it is to implement the five pillars: be healthy, ambitious, involved, responsible and studious. Other than that, the friendships I have made are ones that I know, without a doubt, will last a lifetime.

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How are you preparing for the finals in June? I have been working out every day and practicing my talent rigorously. On top of that, I’ve been keeping up with current events and watching the political race. I’m really just trying to get myself in the best shape mentally, physically and spiritually before I leave in June. What do you love about Shelby County? Shelby County is the only placed I have ever lived, so I love that it is my home,

How has Distinguished Young Women affected or changed your life? This is such a cliché, but I have to say it: It has made me such a better person. Being in this program has motivated me to excel in all areas of my life and has motivated me to put my 110 percent into school, dance and all other clubs and organizations I am involved in. The people I have met have also impacted my life significantly. What would you say to other girls interested in competing in the program? Do it! You will not regret it. You don’t have to be a “pageant girl” or have the best clothes or have the coolest talent to compete: This program is for all girls and is designed to be a celebration of each girl’s individuality and accomplishments, not a competition.

June 2016 | 83