"We all have talents, and I consider it a blessing to share what abilities I have," said Sheri Mullin, a retired teacher who generously gives much of her time to others.
For 40 years, Mullin taught speech, drama and English, and when she retired from Baker High School 3 years ago, she began what has become a second "career" for her--volunteerism, particularly in Mobile area schools.
Below is an abbreviated account of her many student-related activities at Davis Elementary school, Dawes Intermediate School and Mary G. Montgomery and Baker high schools:
She mentors younger students in using proper manners; she's shared with them the history of Mobile Mardi Gras; she's even taught them how to make butter, then let them spread it on warm toast to eat. She's written and produced skits for 5th graders to present at PTA meetings and she writing a series of stories on anti-bullying, naming characters after candies that youngsters are familiar with, such as Skittles.
For high-schoolers, she's used her teaching background to help train debate teams and prepare students for speech contests. And for the smallest school children, Mullin has offered herself as a "Grand Friend" for those whose Nanas and PaPas are too far away to attend Grandparents' Day luncheons.
Mullin doesn't restrict her good deeds to schools; she's also active in her church and she helps with holiday celebrations at Mulherin Custodial Home.
Over the years, Mullin has been recognized for her outstanding work and good heart. For example, she has been named Teacher of the Year, she received the Volunteer Mobile Heart of Gold Award and, most recently, she's seen the auditorium at Baker High School named for her.
Of her involvement in activities that better the lives of others, Mullin said, "I am very fortunate to have the time, ability and good health to volunteer, and I try to help wherever I am needed and whenever I am called upon."
Don't miss the 29th Alabama Pecan Festival October 31-November 2 on the campus of W.C. Griggs Elementary School and at the adjoining Tillman's Corner Community Center, 5055 Carol Plantation Road.
One of the headliners will be gospel singer Kevin Holifield. Others include Bo Grant of the 1950s group, The Platters, and the Bluegrass Cartel Band.
For information, visit www.alabamapecanfestival.com or call Billy Bolton, 401-5555.
KSB October Yard of the Month winner Jennifer Campbell receives certificate from KSB's Janice Harvison
Keep Saraland Beautiful's Janice Harvison (center) along with her daughter Lily, recently presented a KSB Yard of the Month certificate to home owner Jennifer Campbell (left.) The Campbells' home is decorated with a Halloween theme (Photo courtesy of Janice Harvison)
So many activities and events are going on in Mobile County in the coming weeks: breakfasts, luncheons, teas, festivals, open houses, art exhibits, fall bazaars, veterans' honors'--and that's all before the real holiday season kicks off.
In Chickasaw, the Seniors' Early Bird Breakfast is Monday, November 3, 7:30 a.m. at the Civic Center, 224 Grant Street. Hosted by the City Recreation Department, the breakfast is just $3 per person. The food is good and plentiful, and those attending also get to hear a short presentation of upcoming city events, shared by senior aide, Stephanie Stewart.
Tillman's Corner Area Chamber of Commerce business networking luncheon is Wednesday, November 5 at noon at the TC Community Center, 5055 Carol Plantation Road. Guest speaker will be a representative from Zevac & Lindsey, LLC (CPAs) Lunch will be turkey and dressing with sides, tea and dessert provided by The Wilton Caterer.
The members of Saraland Woman's Club are celebrating the organization's 65th anniversary with a tea on Saturday, November 15, 2-4 p.m. The event will be held at the historic clubhouse, 216 Highway 43 in Saraland. All who are interested in the Club and its many charitable and civic events and activities, or perhaps in becoming a member, are invited. RSVP to Kathy Gordon, 251-232-0756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on November 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the Episcopal Church Women of St. Francis Episcopal Church, 401 Key Street, Dauphin Island, are holding their Annual Fall Bazaar and "Bring your own Yard Sale." There'll be plenty of food to purchase to enjoy lunch there (wonderful chicken salad sandwiches) or frozen casseroles and gumbo to take home for later. Those who would like to bring a table and get rid of their own "white elephants" can call Joan Smith, 861-2552. The fee is minimal and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 50-Plus Seniors' Club in Theodore is holding its annual bingo fundraiser at St. Philip Neri's Bingo Hall, 9101 Dauphin Island Parkway, on Sunday, November 16 from noon until 5 p.m. This yearly event features a turkey-and-dressing lunch with all the fixings and then BINGO! including Prize Bingo and special bingo games. Spokesperson T. Ray Aspinwall said that an arts and crafts sale, a bake sale, raffles, 50/50 split-the-pot and cake auctions are also on the agenda. The public is invited.
Last-Friday Art Night Celebration, sponsored by Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council, is Friday, October 31, 6-8 p.m. This event includes a special Halloween costume contest and featured-artist exhibit, along with the regular art, music, art demonstrations, food, refreshments "and good company," according to Director Kathryn Carver.
And speaking of art and artists, the WGAS (Water Color and Graphic Arts) show at the Urban Emporium, 260 Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile, will remain on exhibit until November 15. So there's still time to view the works of award-winning artists, including Lynda Smith Touart, Barbara Rettig, Janet Hinton, Joyce Shields, Monique McFarland, Clare King and Satomi Kamei,
In Satsuma, A Little Shoppe, 5475 Highway 43, has a very special event on November 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Lisa Howell, Sales and Marketing representative, said that during that time, the shop is presenting a "Meet & Greet" with Joan Bradley Reedy, the daughter of Vera Bradley and sister of Barbara Bradley Backgaard to celebrate Vera Bradley's Winter 2014 Launch.
"As Vera Bradley's Brand Ambassador, Joan will enlighten and entertain us with personal anecdotes about Vera Bradley's history, their designs and the remarkable women behind it all," Howell said. The public is invited.
A Little Shoppe Christmas Open House is planned for Saturday, November 8, and Howell reminds potential shoppers that the store is an excellent source for Pandora jewelry. For information, call 679-2988.
Area Pumpkin Patches have just a few more days to invite children and their parents into the "fields" for fun.
At Dauphin Way UMC, Dauphin and Catherine streets, pre-schools and day-care centers can bring little ones for story time Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon. Call Wanda Carlberg, 471-1511 to schedule a visit.
At Tanner Williams UMC, school field trips can be scheduled on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday by calling 778-9283. This Patch is open every day, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. with pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, mums and homemade treats for sale. The last big shebang is Friday, October 31, 6 p.m. when the church will present "Trunk or Treat," offering visitors treats, free hot dogs and drinks.
And down at Dauphin Island, the 7th Annual Trick or Treat will take place October 31, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Green Park. Residents are encouraged to bring a table and chair (maybe even decorate their area a bit) and hand out treats to Island youth.
In Chickasaw, a little different Halloween event is planned. Paddlin' South Kayak and Canoe Rental, along with the City Recreation Department, is sponsoring "Scary Night Kayak Paddle" October 26 and 31. Call 648-2962 for details.
The 29th Annual Alabama Pecan Festival is October 31-November 2 on the campus of Griggs Elementary School and at Tillman's Corner Community Center. The event is one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the state and is listed in Sweet Home Alabama Vacation Guide magazine as the #1 spot to visit in November. For information on the line-up of entertainment and activities, visit www.alabamapecanfestival.com.
In speaking of the success of the Alabama Pecan Festival, one has to look toward the event's organizer and director for the past 3 decades--Billy Bolton. Bolton works tirelessly most of the year securing entertainers and other participants in the Fest, and making sure the word gets out across the state to bring in visitors.
"I grew up picking up pecans," Bolton said, and perhaps that explains his affinity for this festival. But as important as the Fest is to him, it's not all Bolton does to make life better for his neighbors and the area as a whole.
Among his many other activities, Bolton, an auctioneer who lives in west Mobile, serves on the Tillman's Corner Senior Center Advisory Board and on the board of Alabama Department of Senior Services. He's on the board of Mobile County Agriculture and Forestry Museum, is a member of the Alabama Pecan Growers Association and is working to restore several historic homes in the area.
His mission, Bolton said, is "to keep history alive, especially on pecan growing and agriculture."
The 1st of November may seem early for "Mark Your Calendar" or "Save the Date" notes, but several activities are just not to be missed.
One is the 2014 Semmes Christmas Tour of Homes and Tasting Tour, planned for Saturday, December 13. The Homes Tour will be 3-7 p.m. and the Tasting Tour 3-5 p.m. Diane Moore of the sponsoring Semmes Woman's Club said that tickets will be available soon.
Another event, "Semmes Old-Fashioned Christmas," will take place Friday, December 5, 6 p.m. at Semmes Heritage Park. This one is reminiscent of the "It's a Wonderful Life" era, when community life revolved around the church, the school and the public square. For further details on this free event, call Carolyn Owens, 649-2184.
The 5th Annual Shirley Looney Memorial Car Show at Dauphin Way Baptist Church brought out many classic and antique auto owners and many more visitors October 25th
On Saturday, October 25, dozens of owners of classic and antique autos displayed their prized possessions for the enjoyment of visitors to the 5th Annual Shirley Looney Memorial Car Show at Dauphin Way Baptist Church.
Among the many auto admirers were George and Sue Wimberly, who found the cherry-red 1953 Ford 100 pick up belonging to Tom Farish to their liking.
Funds raised at this event, which also included an arts-and-crafts show, food booths and other vendor products, will benefit the programs and projects of the DWBC youth department.
Gene Looney was chair of the show named in honor of his late wife.
Grand Bay Senior Quilters complete hand-made, queen-sized bow tie quilt to raise funds for senior programs and other needs at the Community & Senior Center
The Grand Bay Senior Quilters, who meet at the Community Center at 12:15 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, recently completed the hand-quilted, queen-sized bow tie spread they've been working on to raise funds to help support senior programs and other needs at the Center. Ruth Guidroz, leader of the group, and senior Tom Mize, showed the finished quilt at the Grand Bay Community Breakfast, Saturday, October 25, 2014. For more information on the quilt fundraiser or the quilters' meeting, call the Community Center, 865-4010.
Muriel Riley, 4th grader at Chickasaw City School, wins 1st place in her age category in Chickasaw Halloween Costume Contest October 25, 2014
At the 68th Annual Chickasaw Founders' Day celebration October 25, 2014, Muriel Riley, a 4th grader at Chickasaw City School, wore her award-winning milk carton costume to the Ina Pullen Memorial Library Book Sale. With the help of Library Director Teresa Goolsby, Muriel chose a special book to read after school next week.
The daughter of Lawana Riley, Muriel won a 1st-place ribbon in the age 8-12 category of the Annual Chickasaw Halloween Costume Contest. Her "milk carton" even had a red and white straw sticking out of the opening.
The Founders' Day Celebration is sponsored by the Chickasaw Area Chamber of Commerce.
Friends for Satsuma Schools host Appreciation Luncheon for Satsuma Public Safety Departments, Thursday, October 23, 2014
Friends for Satsuma Schools hosted an Appreciation Lunch for the Satsuma Public Safety Departments on Thursday, October 23, 2014, at the Satsuma Community Center.
"Often the great work our police officers, firefighters, EMTs and others do for our city goes unthanked and unappreciated," said FFSS spokesperson Shirley Presnall. "We want them to know how very much we appreciate all they do for us when we present our major annual fundraisers, such as the Top Shot Competition and Swamp Fest," she said.
Among those present at the luncheon were Jarvis Law, Kenny Kessler, Chief Clyde Miller, Ken Waites and Terry Kessler of the Fire Department (pictured L-R Courtesy of Presnall.) Others attending the recognition ceremony were Michael Smith, School Resource Officer, Jana Dukes; Sarah Miller, Animal Control Officer; Jackie Cothran, Dispatcher; Officers Jeremy Wright and Eric Isbell, Chief Chris McLean and Reserve Officer Charles Walls, Satsumas Police Department.
At the Saturday, October 25 Community Breakfast, sponsored by Citizens for a Better Grand Bay, the Harper brothers, Roland (left) and Joe (right) were joined in conversation by Rep. David Sessions (R) after enjoying Kimon Brown's made-to-order omelets. Donations received for the Last-Saturday breakfast benefit the Grand Bay Library and Museum, a work in progress.
CBGB president, Aleta Boudreaux, announced that, because of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, the next Community Breakfast will be January 31, 2015 at Grand Bay Senior and Community Center, 11610 Highway 90 W. in Grand Bay.
Life can be pretty scary when the pumpkins are bigger than you are--and they are EVERYWHERE! So tiny Blakely Brinson, daughter of Jamie and Mandy Brinson, found it comforting to hold the hand of her paw-paw, Buddy Malone.
Blakely was visiting the Pumpkin Patch at Tanner Williams United Methodist Church with her grandparents, Buddy and Sharon Malone, at the TWUMC Fall Festival, Saturday, October 25, 2014.
Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center staff members honored at luncheon on Friday, October 24, 2014
On Friday, October 24, 2014, staff members at Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center were honored for their exceptional service and caring attitude toward the hundreds of senior citizens who find the Center a clean, safe and welcoming "home away from home."
Among the staffers recognized were Kathy Sullivan, Sarah Price, Montez Rice, Adam Jackson, Lanisha Penn, Carl Lewis, Odelma Ware, Mechell Tutt and Doris Saucier.
Arranged by volunteers Sam and Fran America, the appreciation luncheon was attended by Mobile City Council member (District 6) and Senior Center Foundation officer, Bess Rich; District 2 Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson (for whom the Center is named); Dan Otto, Supervisor, Mobile Parks and Recreation; Frank Harkins, Executive Director of Public Works and Sherryll Henderson-White, Retired Supervisor, Mobile Parks and Recreation.
Music was provided by Larry Liddell, Kathy Sullivan, Sam America and Charles Etchison. Appreciation remarks were given by Rich, Hudson, Otto, the Americas and seniors Jane Tirpak and Lucille Harris.
The Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center is located at 3201 Hillcrest Road in west Mobile.
Tom Williams, president of Satsuma Lions Club, along with other members of the group will be selling Williams' famous jambalaya at Alabama Pecan Festival October 31 and November 1-2, 2014. The Fest is on the campus of W.C. Griggs Elementary School, Three Notch and Carol Plantation roads, and at Tillman's Corner Community Center, 5055 Carol Plantation Road (just behind the school.)
Satsuma Lions are also taking orders for their holiday fruit sale of navel oranges and/or ruby red grapefruit.
For information on the Pecan Festival, visit alabamapecanfestival.com or call Director Billy Bolton at 401-5555. To place an order for fruit, contact any Satsuma Lion or visit the Jambalaya booth at the Festival.
Among the many groups and individuals who generously provide service to our community and to their neighbors is the Marine Corps League, P.L. Wilson Detachment #447. Composed of both active and honorably discharged Marines, the League not only honors veterans and active military personnel through such activities as Veteran's Day and Memorial Day ceremonies and Marine Corps Birthday Ball, but also collects Toys for Tots, sponsors scholarships and "adopts" residents of Mulherin Custodial Home on holidays, among other activities.
Formed in 1979 and now 200-members strong, the group meets on the 2nd Tuesday at AL Post #88, 2663 Hals Mill Road in Mobile.
Recently several members, including those pictured--Anthony Fosnight, Mike Nichols and Jim Evans--were on hand at Tillman's Corner Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo to tell visitors about their organization.
Janice Harvison of Keep Saraland Beautiful reports that the organization's choice for Yard of the Month, October 2014, is that of the Campitelli family at 4414 Bella Sara Drive.
The family is "crazy about Halloween and hosts an elaborate party every year," Harvison said. In the photo, from left in back, are Thomas Campitelli, his wife Jennifer, daughter Sarah and son Thomas. In the front is daughter Grace and the family dog, Penelope, "a truly good sport," Harvison said.
Festivals, fairs and other activities and events continue throughout Mobile County this week, from Chickasaw to Dauphin Island and points in between.
For a good, hearty breakfast, members of Citizens for a Better Grand Bay present their Last-Saturday Community Breakfast Saturday, October 25, 8:30 a.m., at Grand Bay Community Center, 11610 Highway 90 West in Grand Bay. Kimon Brown and his fellow chefs turn out some mighty tasty omelets, cooked to order; if you're more into scrambled eggs, they whisk those before your eyes, too. The wait is never long and the ambiance is friendly, sort of like an old Mobile boarding-house meal. The suggested donation is a minimum of $5, which benefits the future library of Grand Bay.
The 5th Annual Shirley Looney Memorial Car Show at Dauphin Way Baptist Church, 3661 Dauphin Street at I-65, is Saturday, October 25, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Some 200-300 antique and classic vehicles will be on display and about 30 vendors will be on site showing and selling their wares. Proceeds from this annual event will benefit the DWBC youth department's projects, programs and missions. For information, call Gene Looney, 665-1290.
Chickasaw's 68th Founders' Day celebration is Saturday, October 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at McConnell (Chickasaw) Civic Center/Paul Devine Park, 224 Grant Street. Chair Janice Chitty numbered among the many activities arts and crafts (think Christmas ornaments and wreaths, crocheted jewelry, paintings); vendors' products, such as Scentsy; entertainment, including Lee Correon of Chickasaw; a children's Halloween costume contest and parade; a book sale at Ina Pullen Memorial Library; lots of food and an exhibit at St. Thomas Catholic Church, outlining the history of the parish from 1947-1957.
Call Chitty at 456-7406 for information on participating in or attending this every-other-year observance of the incorporation of Chickasaw.
Also on Saturday, October 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. is the Coden United Methodist Church Annual Fish Fry and Fall Bazaar to benefit the church building fund.The church at 14943 Coden Belt Road North was founded in 1889 and, though damaged by hurricanes and flooding over the years, has continued to flourish. Plans are, however, to build a new church on higher ground.
This annual event will feature arts and crafts, a fish dinner, an activity area for children, a Coffee and Sweet Shoppe and an Old-Fashioned General Store. For information, call Donna Bradley, 824-7395.
Kathleen Cooper reports that a Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile Volunteer Open House is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21, 9:30 a.m. and Thursday, October 23, 5:30 p.m. The hope is that after seeing all that's going on at the facility at 1626 Springhill Avenue and the Family Rooms inside USA Children's & Women's Hospital, attendees will be eager to volunteer a few hours each week to help RMH continue to provide a supportive home environment offering care, compassion and hope to families with seriously ill and injured children. RMH phone is 694-6873.
Don't forget to visit your neighborhood church Pumpkin Patches for fun, gourds and pumpkins, food and photos. Dauphin Way UMC, corner of Dauphin and Catherine streets in midtown Mobile, will have a free Fall Festival on Sunday, October 26, 2:30-4:30 p.m. They are featuring games, hayrides, jumpies and snacks. Call Wanda Carlberg at 471-1511 or visit www.dauphinwayumc.org/pumpkinpatch for more details.
Fall Festival at Tanner Williams UMC Pumpkin Patch, 1550 Grand Bay Wilmer Road, is Saturday, October 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A pulled-pork dinner will be available for purchase from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and during the rest of the time, visitors can take part in games and contests, eat, drink and be merry. Call 776-0283 for information.
October 24-25 is the 31st Annual Renaissance Festival Gatalop 31 at Fort Gaines Historic Site on Dauphin Island. Hosted by the Society for Creative Anachronism, the event features life in the Middle Ages, with knights in armor, lords, ladies, sieges and melees, artists and medieval merchants. Call 861-6992 for information.
Chickasaw Recreation Department is offering a Halloween Pumpkin Painting Party Wednesday, October 22, 3:30 p.m. at Chickasaw Civic Center. This free fun afternoon activity is for children aged 6-12 to design and paint their very own Halloween pumpkin. Registration by Monday, October 20 by calling 452-6462 is required.
There's no need to take little goblins out for door-to-door Trick-or-Treating. On Saturday, October 25, Chickasaw UMC is hosting Trunk-N-Treat at the Chickasaw Housing Authority parking area. Cars and trucks will be decorated and treats will be distributed. Fun and fellowship for all ages is the theme of the party.
The older generation in Chickasaw is not left out of the Fall fun. On Tuesday, October 21, seniors are invited to go on an afternoon hayride to view the beautiful sights in Bill Brooks Park. Then, there'll be a cook-out, games and fellowship with friends. Call 452-6464 for transportation and 452-6462 for reservations.
The Annual Retired Teachers' Brunch for teachers, principals and counselors who have retired from Semmes, Allentown, Turner, Tanner Williams and Wilmer elementary schools, Semmes Middle School and MGM High School is planned for November 18, 9:30 a.m. at Allentown Elementary. Certified retirees from other schools who live in the Semmes area communities are also invited. For information, contact Toni Davis, 649-5931 or Sandra Hillman, 649-2897.
Among the many people who give their time and talent to making life easier or more fun for others is Tom Neal of Semmes. Retired from his job as Chief Building Inspector of Mobile County, Neal has discovered that he has a talent, completely unrelated to his profession. And he's found a way to share that talent with others.
A couple of years ago, Neal joined a crochet class at the Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center. But, he said, arthritis in his fingers made learning the art difficult.
He didn't give up, though. He bought a circular knitting loom and taught himself to use the same wool yarn he'd have used to crochet an afghan to fashion woolen caps, the kind skiers wear on the slopes in Aspen. And along with fellow enthusiast Harriet Nihart, he began teaching others to make the caps and other items every Thursday, 1 p.m., at the Senior Center on Hillcrest Road.
Neal isn't satisfied with just teaching. In the past year, he's created about 200 hats, donating them to USA Children's & Women's Hospital, breast cancer survivors, homeless veterans' programs and church bazaars to be used in fundraisers. "I like to make other people happy," Neal said.
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One very successful fall festival was the Harvest Fest at Saraland October 18. The weather was perfect, the sausage dogs hit the spot and Spud, the Bama Dog, was cooperative in being photographed.
Michael Mahone, 4, of Satsuma, also a huge Alabama football fan, liked sharing Billy and Gwen Lister's "Tide Ride" trike with Spud.
This was the 19th year Saraland Area Chamber of Commerce has presented the Harvest Festival.