With Spring just around the corner, there are many festivals, cook-offs, clean-ups and runs coming in Mobile County the next few weeks, we're bound to pack on the pounds at the first two, but can work them off by participating in the last two.
First, the runs and rides: Alabama Kidney Foundation's Mobile Kidney Walk is Saturday, March 7 at UMS-Wright Cooper Stadium. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.; the Walk is at 8:30 a.m. The morning will be full of entertainment, children's activities, cold drinks, healthy snacks and door prizes. A $30 minimum donation is required for adult registration. Patients and children attend free. For more information, visit www.alkidney.org.
On Saturday, March 7 at 5 p.m., South Mobile County Tourism Authority is sponsoring the Sunset Bridge 5K Run/Walk, which begins and ends at the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo headquarters on Dauphin Island. Call 861-8747 for additional information.
As it has for more than 30 years, the Dauphin Island Woman's Club is sponsoring the St. Jude Bike-A-Thon for youngsters on the Island. The ride is Saturday, March 7, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Call chair, Joann Sprinkle, 861-3212 for information.
Some community clean-ups include Grand Bay's Clean-Up Saturday, March 7, 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Old Irvington Landfill. No electronics or hazardous waste will be accepted. Call Dave Dishon, 865-0557 for more information.
Keep Saraland Beautiful's Annual Clean-Up Day is Saturday, March 21. The Saraland Avenue area will be targeted this year, and volunteers from KSB, Saraland Shell Chemical Refinery, Saraland City Schools, a Boy Scout troop and others will assist with clean-up tasks. Residents can receive help with yard cleaning by signing a waiver. Call Juanita Chandler, 679-1879, or Jason Weatherly, 751-9473 for further details.
In the beautification area, Keep Saraland Beautiful Spring Gardening Workshop is Saturday, March 14, 10 a.m. at Saraland Chamber of Commerce, 939 Highway 43 South. James Miles, Alabama Cooperative Extension agent will be guest speaker. No reservations are required, but seating is limited, so guests should arrive early.
Chickasaw Garden Club will meet Tuesday, March 3. A tour of the Bragg-Mitchell Home and Garden is planned. Contact Katherine Johns, firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Now on to the festivals; cook-offs; teas; breakfasts. lunches and dinners:
The 6th Annual Dauphin Way Baptist Church Spring Expo is Friday, March 6, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This free-admission event offers a little of everything, including arts and crafts, information, music, food and fellowship. The Expo is held indoors and out at 3661 Dauphin Street at I-65. There's plenty of parking space and individuals and groups (such as seniors and civic organizations) are encouraged to attend. Call 445-4163 or 341-0773 for more information.
The 3rd Annual Satsuma SwampFest will be Saturday, March 7, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Satsuma High School campus. Included in this day of family fun will be children's activities, raffles, door prizes, food, music, arts and crafts, a car show and the crowning of a Miss and Little Miss SwampFest. Admission is free. Call 377-2747 or 675-0421 for information.
The 13th Annual Semmes Azalea Festival is Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the Mary G. Montgomery High School campus in Semmes. In addition to arts and crafts and numerous other vendors, there'll be a Fun Run to benefit the Semmes Boys and Girls Club and a car show For more details, call 649-1200.
Cooking for a Cause: Downtown Cajun Cook-Off to benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Mobile is Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Cathedral Square in downtown Mobile. For $10 tickets to attend, visit http://www.cacmobile.org/ or contact Elaine Henderson, 432-1101 for physical locations.
"Tea at the Mansion" at the Bragg-Mitchell House, 1906 Springhill Avenue, is Friday, March 13, 1-4 p.m. The Southern-style tea includes a tour of the historic home. Call 471-6364 for information or tickets ($12 for adults; $8 for children aged 8 and younger.) Proceeds benefit preservation and maintenance of the Mansion.
It's time once again to purchase tickets for the Saraland Lions Club Annual Pancake Breakfast. This 7th annual benefit event will be Saturday, March 21, 6:30-10:30 a.m. at Catfish Junction, 300 Industrial Parkway. Call 675-6172 or 455-5325 for information or $5 advance tickets.
The Community Foundation of South Alabama annual luncheon is Wednesday, March 11, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Alabama Cruise Terminal. For ticket, mail $35 check to CFSA, P. O. Box 990, Mobile AL, 36601. For other information, call 438-5591.
Dauphin Island United Methodist Church Men's Club is planning a fish fry Wednesday, March 4, 5-7 p.m. in the Christ Life Center. Donations will help the men fund their church and community projects, one of which is to keep the one-mile easternmost stretch of beach clean of litter.
On Friday, March 6, 13 and 27, 6:30 p.m., the Knights of Columbus at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Boykin Boulevard will hold a fish fry. Cost of the meal is $6. Shrimp and Grits will also be available.
The 38th Annual Taste of Mobile is Tuesday, March 3, 6 p.m. at the Mobile Marriott, 3101 Airport Boulevard. Proceeds from ticket sales will help support a scholarship program for Murphy High School culinary graduates. Call Christi Silbernagel, 694-2575 for tickets at $100 each.
Assistance League of Mobile's "Fans for Philanthropy" dinner is Thursday, March 12 at The Grounds. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; dinner is at 6:15 p.m. Call Tamara Feldman, 633-7800 for tickets.
Among the items of specific interest to area seniors are the following activities:
Chickasaw Senior Early Bird Breakfast at the Civic Center on Grant Street is Monday, March 2, 7:30 a.m. No reservation is required; the hearty breakfast is $3 per person. First-Friday Lunch for Chickasaw seniors will be at Burger Master March 6. Call Stephanie Stewart, 452-6464, for details, reservations and pick-up.
Chickasaw Adult Bingo is Wednesdays at noon at the Civic Center. Exercise is Monday and Wednesday at the Chickasaw Auditorium.
Along with regular activities, such as line dancing; cards and dominoes; genealogy; guitar, computer and painting lessons; crochet and needle arts and Walking with Wanda and Friends, Semmes seniors will have lunch with Mayor Judy Hale on Thursday, March 5. Call 649-2010 to register for the $5.50 Hickory Pit lunch.
Grand Bay seniors can enjoy fun, fellowship and a hot, nourishing meal (weekdays, 11:30 a.m.) at Grand Bay Community & Senior Center, 11610 Highway 90 West. There's also bingo on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, as well as line dancing; dominoes, games and conversation. Call site director, Mary Lee, 865-4010, for transportation and more information.
Some other Mobile area events and activities in the next couple of weeks are as follows:
Shakespeare's comedy, "Twelfth Night," continues at Chickasaw Civic Theatre, 801 Iroquois Street, March 6-8. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Call 457-8887 for reservations.
At Playhouse in the Park, 4851 Museum Drive, "The Miracle Worker" continues its run March 6-8 with 7:30 p.m. openings Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. for the Sunday matinee. Call 602-0630 for ticket reservations.
"A Tribute to Elvis" by David Harcey is scheduled March 7, 7 p.m. at Mobile Country Mussic Association, 310 S. Craft Highway in Chickasaw. Call Carolyn Cain, 455-6748 for information.
Saturday, March 7, is the 25th Annual Colonies of the Gulf Coast at Fort Gaines Historic Site on the east end of Dauphin Island. Visitors can experience life as it was in the 1700-1800s as re-enactors in period garb perform. Call the Fort at 861-6992 for more information.
On St. Patrick's Day, March 17, SNAP (Special Needs Athletes Programs Inc.) is sponsoring a fundraising trip to Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi. RSVP at 455-6948 or 366-9978.
SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce networking luncheon is Wednesday, March 4, 11:30 a.m. Guest speaker will be Lt. Col. Robert Barrow (Ret.), director of Army Instruction for Mobile County public school system. Call 666-2488 for reservations.
Chickasaw Public Library, 224 Grant Street, will hold an Open House Reception on Saturday, March 14, 2-4 p.m. A Story Time for Children 2-5 years of age is Thursday, March 5, 1 p.m. Registration is required; call 452-6465 for details.
Some of our neighbors being honored for their good works include Carolyn Cain of Hollinger's Island Chapter #480 Order of the Eastern Star. She'll be recognized at a ceremony on Sunday, March 15, 2-4 p.m. at the Guy T. Smith Masonic Lodge F A&M #880, 6715 Dauphin Island Parkway.
Creola Community Development Organization will announce Creola Citizen of the Year 2014 at the City Council meeting March 12. Creola Chevron was the winner of Creola Business of the Year 2014.
Deadline for nominating a resident for Satsuma Citizen of the Year 2014 is Monday, March 2. Forms are available at Satsuma City Hall and the Satsuma Public Library or can be downloaded at www.cityofsatsuma.com. The winner will be announced March 26, 7 p.m. at Steele Creek Lodge.
Two north Mobile County towns will receive Historic Markers: Satsuma's dedication will be Wednesday, March 4, 10:30 a.m. at Satsuma City Hall, and Prichard's ceremony will be on March 15, 3:30 p.m. at the Prichard Complex, 216 East Prichard Avenue.
As always in our communities, there are needs, and many are very simple and easily filled, if they are known by generous residents. Below are just a few:
Georgetown-Chunchula United Methodist Church is holding a health fair on Saturday, April 25. Pastor Diane Baldwin said that she is in need of certain participants, including a pharmacist, a dentist and a vision professional. Other vendors are welcome; contact Baldwin at email@example.com or (251) 243-2649 to offer services.
Residents at Eagle's Landing transitional housing for homeless veterans are always in need of paper products--toilet tissue and paper towels--and washing machine detergent, liquid or powder. A collection of these items would be a perfect way for youngsters to rack up their community service hours or a civic club or other organization to garner points. Contact Director Stephen Dahmer, 251-421-1229 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on these and other needs.
One Meal for the homeless, coordinated by Mike McKinley of Satsuma, needs spices and--always--cash donations. McKinley feeds 125-200 homeless and working poor every Sunday afternoon in downtown Mobile. Call him at 379-9014 or log onto www.onemealmobile.com for other needs.