Happy New Year! Thanks to all who visited this site in the past two months. My goal for the coming year is the same as it was when I began this blog--to share the good news from our communities and about our people. Thank you for your contributions; please do continue to send news and photos from your neighborhoods, organizations, churches and towns.
Run with a Dot/Caryn's Kids 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run at the Intramural Fields on the University of South Alabama campus is Saturday, January 10, 2015. The run honors Caryn Hyatt Suthoff, a Dodge Elementary School kindergarten teacher who died of cancer December 12; it is hosted by Order of Polka Dots Mardi Gras society.
Meighan Harton, organizer of the race, said that sponsorships can be accepted until the day of the race, but Sunday night, January 4, is the last day that sponsors' names can be added to the race tee shirt. In addition, participants can register as late as 7 a.m. race day, but to be guaranteed a specific sized commemorative shirt, registration forms must be received Sunday. Runners can pre-register at active.com.
Still needed for the event are race-day snacks, items for race-participant bags, the race bags themselves (which can carry donor's business logo), door prizes and a DJ/PA system. Contact Harton at 251-709-2484 for further information.
Senior citizens have reached that status by surviving several decades, sometimes through conscientious and careful choices, sometimes through plain old good luck. No matter; most have stories to tell and memories to share.
At Parkway Senior SAIL Center, a Creative Writing class with Judy Gammage, retired high school English teacher, is at 10 a.m. every Tuesday. This class is an opportunity for seniors to work on their memoirs, fiction or poetry projects with other writers. Call 471-2504 for more information.
The Semmes Senior Center doesn't have a writing class per se, but published writers are invited to speak with seniors often and to share their expertise and experiences. For example, at noon on Thursday, January 8, Joan Malone will offer a presentation on her book, "Sensational Living after 60." Her bio says that her book is "about living an exciting and sensational life from here to eternity, with easy applications to your basic everyday life." Semmes Senior Center is at 9635 Moffett Road; the phone is 649-2010.
There is a writers' meeting each Thursday, 10 a.m.-noon, at Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center, 3201 Hillcrest Road. Led by Susan Rouillier, the five-year-old Hillcrest Writers has produced several authors with their books available at Amazon.com.
In fact, the CHMRSCC has something for everybody--a cliche, to be sure, but true. Seniors can stay fit by working out in the gym or participating in one of several fitness classes; become more educated by learning to speak Italian or being part of a Bible study group; learn arts and crafts such as painting, quilting, crochet or beading; make friends and socialize at a Mardi Gras ball or at one of the popcorn or hot chocolate socials; compete at billiards, bingo or card games or become published authors in the writing class mentioned above. Stop by the Center for a calendar of events or call 602-4963 for information.
Warren Gatwood is the Semmes Senior Center currently featured artist with his work on display for the months of January and February.
Chickasaw seniors' Early Bird Breakfast is at 7:30 Monday morning, January 5; cost is $3 per person. On the second Friday of each month (January 9), Chickasaw Recreation sponsors "Senior Game Day with Friends on Friday," 10 a.m. at the Civic Center. Call 452-6464 for transportation.
One suggestion for the new year: As you clean out closets, pantries, storage and toy boxes, think twice before just dropping items into the trash can or Good Will bin. There may be someone or some group who would welcome your donations and give them a second life.
For example, Tina Poiroux, director at Tillman's Corner Community Center, is asking citizens to "Recycle your old coats and help someone in need stay warm this winter." Coats and jackets can be dropped off at the Community Center, 5055 Carol Plantation Road.
Citizens for a Better Grand Bay is asking residents to help local families in need by cleaning pantries or purchasing non-perishable foods for CBGB Spring Food Box distribution. Time and date for distribution will be announced in March. "CBGB will accept both current and out-of-date non-perishables, as well as health-care items like tooth paste and soap and household cleaning products, such as dish soap, bleach and laundry detergent," said CBGB president, Aleta Boudreaux. Donations can be taken to Tom’s Barber Shop, Azalea Real Estate or the Grand Bay Senior Center. Monetary contributions are tax-deductible and can be mailed to the Food Box Program, CBGB, P O Box 274, Grand Bay, AL. 36541.
One Meal for the homeless can use your outdated spices. According to coordinator Mike McKinley, 379-9014, spices do not lose all their effectiveness as they age, and donations of items such as Greek seasonings can be used by One Meal, leaving funds for other necessities. McKinley is also asking for donations of bottled water. And, he said, he is seeking contributions to go toward the purchase of a van (needs $1,000.) One idea might be to have a yard sale of all those Christmas decorations and white elephants that are not needed and donate proceeds to One Meal.
All God's Children can always use children's school uniforms and other clothing in good condition. New and gently used toys are also accepted. AGC director is Sonya Humphries, 209-9163.
Women's and children's books in very good condition can be used at Salvation Army Women's and Chldren's Center; check with Trinitius Pickett, 459-6151, for guidelines.
Cleveland House socialization program for special-needs adults accepts nice new items for bingo prizes; they also collect trinkets and beads for clients to throw in parades, so save your Mardi Gras beads and throws for Robert McGhee, 251-675-6425. Incidentally, this lovely group of individuals, who meet for a meal and fun on Thursdays at Cleveland House, Norton Avenue in Saraland, like music. So if you're in a small group or are a single performer, contact McGhee to make performance arrangements.
A few other events coming up this week are these activities:
Tillman's Corner Area Chamber of Commerce business luncheon at the Community Center is Wednesday, January 7, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Guest speaker will be Dr. Laurie Owen. RSVP 666-2488.
Chickasaw Kiwanis Club's Disc Golf Tournament Saturday, January 10, 2015. Proceeds benefit the University of South Alabama Children's and Women's Hospital. Call Cecil McGuire at 452-6462 for details.
Christmas trees, sans flocking, lights, garlands, stands and ornaments, can still be deposited at receiving stations through Saturday, January 10. For information, call Keep Mobile Beautiful at 208-6029.