Together Assisting People (TAP) was founded by former University of Alabama football player Chris Rogers in 2010. Rogers was a part of Alabama’s 2009 national championship team, and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. For the third year in a row, Rogers’ paintball tournament is planned for this Saturday, April 19, just after the A-Day game. The tournament will be held at Central High School; the action gets underway at 6 p.m.

TAP raises funds to host multiple educational sessions for high school athletes, with a focus on financial literacy, personal branding, social media etiquette, self-introduction, dressing for the occasion, tying ties, and finding which programs that would best fit the athlete.

The Chris Rogers Paintball Tournament helps to raise funds for these important programs that help at-risk youth. Last year’s event drew several notable former UA football players: Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, and Mark Barron were all on hand. Many former players signed autographs for fans and took photos, too.

If you’d like to participate in this year’s Chris Rogers Paintball Tournament, gather a team together and register! Visit the official TAP website for more information, including registration fees. The deadline for teams to sign up is Friday, April 18.

To honor the third anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornado, the City of Tuscaloosa is holding several celebratory events April 21-26. These events highlight how the City of Tuscaloosa is building back stronger, safer, and smarter. Join City staff, residents and friends to celebrate the progress Tuscaloosa has made.

Here are the events:

Monday, April 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.: Recovery Programs Open House at the Richard A. Curry Environmental Services Building - 3440 Kauloosa Ave. Public is invited.

Tuesday, April 22 at 10 a.m.: Richard A. Curry Environmental Services Ribbon Cutting and Open House – 3440 Kauloosa Ave. Public is invited.

Wednesday, April 23: City Hall Reads Molly and the Tornado – University Place Elementary School, Alberta Elementary School, 315 McFarland Blvd. East.

Thursday, April 24 at 6 p.m.: Debut Recovery Videos at Mercy Me Concert – Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, 2710 Jack Warner Parkway. Videos also will be posted on the City’s social media outlets.

Saturday, April 26 at 8 a.m.: Exhibit at Mayor’s Cup 5k — Government Plaza, 618 21st Ave.

For information about the anniversary events, call Tuscaloosa 311 at (205) 348-5311.

By Lanier Nail

Spring is the season for renewal and rejuvenation. The spring-time desire for a fresh start expresses itself in many ways, including the annual rite of “spring cleaning.” Old items are tossed, new items are acquired, rooms are rearranged, and everyone feels better about themselves! But where does one send the old stuff? And where can one find the new? The 2014 class of Leadership Tuscaloosa has partnered with the West Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts, Tuscaloosa’s One Place, and the Tuscaloosa YMCA to address those springtime needs while at the same time providing the hope of a fresh start to thousands of West Alabama’s youth. 

A community-wide garage sale called “Bargains for Books” has been scheduled and planned to help promote youth literacy and provide for the future of West Alabama. The sale will be held this Saturday, April 19, at the Tuscaloosa YMCA from 6 a.m. until 12 p.m.  Food and drinks will be provided free-of-charge to those who shop the sale. Spring cleaning (and spring shopping!) has never been so easy, so fun, or so worthwhile.

Imagine a garage sale with no junk.  Every item is in good condition, ready for use, and priced just right.  In addition, every penny spent is directly contributed to a reputable non-profit that is fighting for the future of West Alabama’s youth. That is the vision and goal of the “Bargains for Books” community garage sale.

Items are currently being collected for the sale. The Leadership Tuscaloosa class of 2014 is donating personal items for the sale, but they need the wider community’s help as well. Community members are invited to donate any items such as clothes, electronics, furniture, tools, books, movies, sporting goods, etc., which are in good condition for the sale. Donated items can be dropped off at the Tuscaloosa YMCA April 13-19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5-9 p.m. Information about the sale and how to donate can be found at the “Bargains for Books” website, www.bargainsforbooks.com.   

Whether it’s Boys’ Life magazine, produced by the Boy Scouts, the family-oriented reading initiatives promoted by Tuscaloosa’s One Place, or the summer reading program offered by the YMCA, West Alabama is fortunate to have these organizations leading the way in preparing youth for their future.  The funds generated by the Bargains for Books community garage sale will be given directly to these three organizations and will be used specifically to help young people in West Alabama get a head start on the future.

The Paul W. Bryant High School concert band, and the Eastwood Middle School band will present a spring concert on Thursday, April 17, at 6 p.m. in the PWBHS auditorium.

Our Tuscaloosa students are tremendously talented, and this spring show is an excellent opportunity to come out and support the bands from both of these great schools. Both have outstanding band directors: Cailyx Ladson is the PWBHS band director, and Lauren Brown is the EMS band director.

And best of all? It’s a free event! Hope to see you there!

Photo: Paul W. Bryant High School Facebook

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 00:00

Celebrate Record Store Day with Oz Music

This Saturday, April 19, is the 7th Annual Record Store Day, and here in Tuscaloosa, Oz Music is celebrating in a big way. In addition to a ton of awesome, exclusive record releases, a cookout is planned, and eight bands will play all afternoon long.

Oz Music opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, but the line will start way before that – so come early to hang out with your fellow vinyl junkies. You can see a full list of the exclusive record releases here. Many of these albums are seeing their release on vinyl for the first time ever, and if not, for the first time in decades. All are limited release, so if you want one, you need to visit Oz on April 19.

In the spirit of keeping things fair for all, Oz Music does have some Record Store Day rules:

1. Oz will not hold anything for anyone, period. These releases are super limited and to preserve the spirit of Record Store Day, they will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

2. The store will have a very strict rule: One copy per title, per person. This is Oz’s attempt to make it as fair as possible, soeveryone has a chance at getting that one special thing on their list.

3. All purchases must be made in person on the 19th. The store will be way too busy to handle phone orders, and it’s not fair to the person that camped out all night long to get that special release.

And the bands? Oh, the bands: There’s a great lineup for the day, running the gamut of music styles, so there’s something for everyone.

The Lineup:

12 p.m. Knyphon Knife
1 p.m. Jimi Squeezebox and the Cajun Gods of Zydeco
2 p.m. Hartleroad
3 p.m. Mary Tylosaur
4 p.m. The Dogwood Vandals
5 p.m. Follow Apollo
6 p.m. Kane Root
7 p.m. Pen Pals

Record Store Day is a great reason to visit Oz Music and celebrate independent record stores!

This Saturday, the Druid City Garden Project (DCGP) is sponsoring a hands-on workshop designed to help Tuscaloosa residents create vibrant dirt in their own backyards. This class, titled “Backyard Composting,” will be held at University Place Elementary School on April 19 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

In this workshop, participants will join DCGP’s Garden Manager, Josalyn Randall, to learn how to reduce waste, build soil, manage vermicompost, and create sustainable gardening practices by making compost. Participants will leave this workshop with the skills to begin compost piles at home and get their spring and summer gardens off to a tremendous start with excellent soil.

“Composting is an essential part of growing organically,” said Lindsay Turner DCGP’s executive director. “Every plant lives or dies by the quality of its soil and adding compost is the best way to guarantee a productive garden.”

Any size yard, house, apartment, or office is suitable for composting or vermicomposting, the practices of composting using worms. “Participants will be shocked at how much waste they can divert into their compost systems and at how easy it is,” Turner said.

Compost is often referred to as “Gardener’s Gold,” due to its importance in gardening.

This is the second workshop in DCGP’s series. The final workshop in the spring titled, “Free the Plants! Propagation Techniques for the Home Gardener,” will be on May 17 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

A $20 fee will be charged for participants and students will be charged $10. Contributions will go toward DCGP’s mission and efforts to help diverse communities of Alabama build vibrant food systems.

Interested community members and students are encouraged to reserve their spots in advance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and should plan to wear clothes that can get dirty. The first workshop that DCGP held last month reached capacity.

For more information on the Druid City Garden Project please contact Lindsay Turner at (205) 523-5450, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their website at www.DruidCityGardenProject.org or on the DCGP's Facebook page.

The Junior League of Tuscaloosa has not one, but two major events coming up in the next few weeks! Both offer an excellent opportunity for everyone in our community to support JLT and to have a whole lot of fun doing it.

Annual Dragon Boat Races

First, the annual Dragon Boat Races will be held on Saturday, April 26, at the Cypress Inn on the Black Warrior River. If you haven’t seen the Dragon Boat Races in person, don’t miss this event – it’s so much fun!

Registration for Junior League of Tuscaloosa Dragon Boat Races is open until April 20. Top prizes will be awarded, but the real winners are the beneficiaries – the community programs supported by Junior League of Tuscaloosa, like Holt Elementary School, Junior Achievement and Alabama Reach.
Participants rave about the excitement, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the sport. Teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steersperson race in authentic 46-foot long Chinese dragon boats. Participants must be 15 or older but all levels and physiques can participate, making it the ultimate teambuilding sport, requiring synchronicity and finesse -- more than power to win.

Off the water, team members also compete to raise the most pledges for Junior League of Tuscaloosa and its community partners.

The Dragon Boat Races help fund Junior League of Tuscaloosa’s work in the community. Junior League President Niccole Poole says, “Our organization is different than others because we match our money with manpower. We multiply the impact of our dollars by coupling them with thousands of volunteer hours donated annually by our more than 150 active members.”

More information is online at www.jltuscaloosa.org, or contact Janine Gascoigne at tuscaloosadragonboats@gmail.com, or call (205) 310-1573.

Sips N’ Stogies

On Saturday, May 3, JLT presents its annual Sips N’ Stogies event, and it’s another excellent way to give back to the community while enjoying wonderful spirits! This year’s Sips N’ Stogies will be held at the Southern Ale House in Tuscaloosa from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are just $20, and the ticket covers five beer/wine tastings. This event is sponsored by Southern Ale House and R&R Cigars.

If you’d like to get tickets to the 2014 Sips N’ Stogies event, you can purchase them online at www.jltuscaloosa.org.

Photo credit: The Junior League of Tuscaloosa

 
 

Happy A-Day week, DCL readers! That’s right: The annual A-Day game is this Saturday, April 19, and for anyone having football withdrawals, it marks a great time to get a fix. Alabama’s final football practice of the spring promises to be an exciting one, and hopefully everyone will get the chance to hit campus and enjoy the free festivities. If not, know that this year’s A-Day game will be televised by ESPNU.

Kickoff for the A-Day game is 1 p.m., but plenty of fun activities are happening long before the Crimson Tide takes the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Locker room tours, a fan zone, and a Walk of Fame Ceremony: Those are just some of the exciting things going on before the spring scrimmage begins. For a complete lineup and information, including traffic and parking info in and around the UA campus, check out rolltide.com and uagameday.com.

What should we, as Tide fans, be looking for in Saturday’s game? Which positions are most up in the air? For this, I’d like to introduce all of you to Druid City Living’s sports writer extraordinaire, Stan J.Griffin. Stan knows sports. Stan really knows football. So of course, we wanted Stan to weigh in on what he thinks are the most important things to watch for on the field on Saturday.

Much to Watch For at A-Day This Year

Bryant-Denny should be packed for likely the most intriguing spring game in the Nick Saban era at the Capstone. Of course, the reason for much of this fan frenzy is the still-continuing battle to succeed AJ McCarron at the pivotal quarterback position. While many observers and fans believe that Florida State transfer Jacob Coker will be the frontrunner for the position when he reports in the fall, senior signal-caller Blake Sims has seemingly separated himself quite a bit from other contenders such as redshirt freshman Cooper Bateman and sophomore Alec Morris with his performance during spring practices and in scrimmages held leading up to A-Day. Saban has noted Sims' command of the Tide offense thus far and his decision making, so it will be interesting to see how the quarterback play shapes up Saturday and how it will proceed once Coker is actually on campus.

It will also be worth watching Saturday to see how the Tide offensive line is continuing to develop for this season after an overall uneven campaign in 2013 that began with a dismal effort in the opener against Virginia Tech and ended with another struggle against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama has a good nucleus to build around with key returnees such as right tackle Austin Shepherd, left guard Arie Kouandjio and center Ryan Kelly. Other key parts will likely include sophomore right guard Alphonse Taylor, sophomore Brandon Greene (recently moved from tight end) and senior left tackle Leon Brown. More consistent play from the offensive line will be crucial if Alabama is to reestablish a physical identity which Saban said he felt was lost a bit in 2013, especially during the Tide's season-ending two-game losing streak.

I feel the Alabama secondary will also definitely be an area of intrigue for the Crimson Tide Nation heading into Saturday, especially with the loss of standouts such as Vinnie Sunseri and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. That area took a solid hit with the recent knee injury to sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson, who will not return until the fall at the earliest. While Alabama is fairly deep at the safety position with standout Landon Collins, as well as Geno Smith and Nick Perry among others, cornerback will be a question mark with Jackson's absence. Bradley Sylve and Cyrus Jones are the most experienced cornerbacks currently on hand and it's possible that the Tide may have to rely a great deal on youngsters such as true sophomore Maurice Smith and true freshmen like Marlon Humphrey and Tony Brown to have a huge impact if Bama's overall secondary is to be a formidable one in 2014.

See? Told ya: Stan J. Griffin is an expert when it comes to Alabama football analysis. Stan will be contributing a post-game analysis in the May issue of Druid City Living. Thank you, Stan the Man!

And Roll Tide, everyone.See you on Saturday!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Boy Scouts of America Troop No. 7, sponsored by Holy Spirit Catholic Church, recently honored five Scouts who earned the highest rank the BSA offers to Scouts, the Eagle Scout Award. Ozzie Bushery, Jackson Colburn, Robert Hemphill, and Michael Lavender II attend Holy Spirit Catholic High, and Ross O’Rear Jr. attends Northridge High School. Four of these Scouts are part of Troop 7’s Buffalo Patrol, which now boasts a 100-percent advancement rate, as all seven Scouts in the Patrol have now ranked as Eagle.

Each candidate must earn 21 merit badges while planning, developing, and giving leadership to a service project that benefits the community. Bushery held a book drive to replenish the depleted library stacks from the tornado-ravaged Alberta Elementary School. Colburn’s project involved building a loading deck for a truck that is used by Catholic Social Services for donations storage. Hemphill spent several days cleaning up the grounds and refurbishing the landscape of the Holy Spirit Elementary School. Lavender converted the old Weaver-Bolden Library at the Benjamin Barnes YMCA to a computer lab. O’Rear built a pavilion and improved the landscaping at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter’s pet adoption yard.

Bushery is the son of Rebecca and Gary Minder and Steve and Lisa Bushery. Colburn is the son of Dr. William and Lori Colburn. Hemphill is the son of Anne Hemphill. Lavender is the son of Michael and Zelda Lavender. O’Rear is the son of Michael and Melanie O’Rear.

Congratulations!

Front row (L to R):   Robert Hemphill and Jackson Colburn

Back row (L to R):  Ross O’Rear Jr., Michael Lavender, and Ozzie Bushery

Photo credit: Laurie Mitchell, Holy Spirit School