Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama is holding a special banquet to honor its mentoring program. “Shining Stars” is set for Thursday, April 14, at 6 p.m. at the Tuscaloosa River Market. The evening, presented by Nick’s Kids Foundation, features dinner, entertainment and a special guest speaker – Hall-of-Fame coach Bobby Bowden.

Community Service Programs of West Alabama Head Start and Early Head Start celebrate the Week of the Young Child April 10-16. Week of the Young Child recognizes the importance of early learning and literacy, and celebrates the teachers and policies bringing early childhood education to young children.

Head Start and Early Head Start is child-focused and has the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families. The Program seeks to positively impact development by providing rich, developmentally age-appropriate educational opportunities, fostering family partnerships, facilitating medical and dental care, serving healthy family-style meals, referring children and their families to community resources, and identifying children with special needs, linking them to appropriate services.

Here is how you can celebrate all of the youngest learners in your life.  Join in the fun!

This week, the Tuscaloosa Public Library joins school libraries, university libraries, and communities nationwide in celebrating the dynamic changes that are happening in today’s world of libraries. April 10-16 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library staff. Libraries are transforming.

Libraries today are more about what they do, for and with library patrons as opposed to what they have for them. Libraries aren’t just a place of quiet study, but also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate and learn using new technologies, discover how to use a 3D printer or just relax with a book. Our library offers access to a variety of print and digital resources that can be accessed in person or at home.

It’s another great week ahead here in Tuscaloosa, and that means tons of opportunities to get out and enjoy all that our area has to offer. This week’s events include the Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama’s “Shining Stars” fundraiser, Chris Young at the Tuscaloosa Amp and of course, the BIG A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.

Have a great time, and remember: If you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

18th Annual West Alabama Leadership Prayer Breakfast: April 12, 7:15 a.m. Bryant Conference Center, University of Alabama campus. A full breakfast buffet will be available for all guests. Keynote speaker: Political columnist Cal Thomas. Individual tickets: $25; Table sponsorships: $250. For more information, visit   

NorthRiver Yacht Club Ladies Invitational Tournament: April 12-13, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. NorthRiver Yacht Club Tennis Pavilion, Tuscaloosa. This two-day, combination-style tournament benefits Turning Point. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society’s Sundown Lecture Series: April 14, 5:15-6:30 p.m. Battle Friedman House, downtown Tuscaloosa. This month’s lecture features planter and philanthropist Caitlin Huber Masterson lecturing on “The Life and Times of Alfred Battle.” The lecture is free for TCPS members and $5 for non-members. For more information, visit

Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama Shining Stars: April 14, 6 p.m. Tuscaloosa River Market. This fundraiser features an evening of fun and performances, along with special guest speaker, legendary coach Bobby Bowden. Cost: $100 per person; dinner is included. For more information, call (205) 758-5734 and to purchase tickets, visit 

The Arc of Tuscaloosa County will host the “hottest event in Tuscaloosa” on April 30, starting at 9 a.m. “Pullin’ for The Arc” is great fun and open to the public.

Teams of 10 individuals raise a minimum of $250 and compete against other teams by pulling a 44,000 pound Tuscaloosa Fire Truck a distance of 50 feet. Team costumes are encouraged but not required. Trophies will be awarded for fastest pull, slowest pull, most enthusiastic team and the team that raises the most money.

Run-off elections will be held statewide on Tuesday, April 12, including in Tuscaloosa County – where both a Republican and a Democratic primary race will be decided. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

I have always been obsessed with identifying and adopting the habits of what I call the “five percenters” – the top five percent of the most successful entrepreneurs.

I’ve just read Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen, and it’s having a profound effect on me because it draws conclusions that take conventional wisdom about what makes for wildly successful leadership and turns it on its ear.  Great by Choice Collins is well known for his other titles: Good to Great and Built to Last among others.

Faculty, staff, and students from Shelton State Community College traveled to Montgomery on Tuesday, April 5, to participate in the second annual Alabama Community College System Day. 

During the program, students from system colleges and ACCS Chancellor, Dr. Mark Heinrich, provided comments addressing the critical role of Alabama’s community colleges in the state’s workforce and economic development initiatives. 

The University of Alabama Capstone International Center is hosting the annual Sakura Festival this Saturday, April 9, on the Green at Midtown Village. The event offers the community an opportunity to experience Japanese culture with a variety of cultural exhibits and performances.

This year’s Sakura Festival is from 1 to 4 p.m., and activities are planned throughout the afternoon. Expect lots of games, music and arts and crafts, including demonstrations of taiko drumming, traditional dances and more.

The Holt Community Partnership and Eta Sigma Gamma, the University of Alabama’s Health Education Honorary, are proud to announce the 2016 Holt Community Health Fair. This health-­focused event will be held this Saturday, April 9th, at Holt High School, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Entry to the fair will be free to the public and the event will feature activities for the whole family, including games, food, and health screenings. The Holt High School band and dance team will also be on hand to add some exciting performances to the afternoon.

By Elizabeth Stanard

Calling all humans and canines! Come one, come all to the Will May Dog Park on Saturday, April 9, because Tuscaloosa’s third annual Bark in the Park promises fun for everyone. 

Sponsored by the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors and generous local businesses, organizations, and volunteers, this highly successful fundraising event honors the legacy of Will May while supporting the efforts of the Tuscaloosa Parks and Recreation Authority to maintain our city’s official dog park.  

Admission is free, donations are appreciated, and all are encouraged to attend. 

One of Tuscaloosa’s biggest festivals, the Druid City Arts Festival, returns to Government Plaza on Saturday, April 9 with more than 90 artists in attendance. For years now, this free festival has been a premiere springtime event in town, offering up not just art, but music, food and more. And this year, the 7th Annual DCAF will become an established entertainment district – designated so by the Tuscaloosa City Council, just for the event.  

On Saturday the No. 4 University of Alabama gymnastics team successfully executed the process of qualifying for the upcoming NCAA Championships by gaining the  NCAA-best 31st regional title in the tradition-rich Crimson Tide program's history and its 12th in a row. 

Then on Sunday, Dana Duckworth's squad found out a little more about the path that it will need to take in order to hopefully gain Alabama's seventh national gymnastics title. 

The Alabama State Department of Education has narrowed down the list of potential Teacher of the Year candidates to 16, and one of Tuscaloosa’s finest is among them.

Mikki Powell, a fifth grade teacher at Rock Quarry Elementary School in Tuscaloosa, was named as one of the finalists.

The City of Tuscaloosa will host the eighth annual Lake Tuscaloosa-North River Waterfest and Lake Clean Up on April 8 and 9. The two-day event features an educational expo for local fourth-grade students and a lake cleanup event open to the public.

Residents of the City of Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas receive their drinking water from Lake Tuscaloosa, which is fed by the North River watershed. Waterfest provides an opportunity for local students and citizens to learn more about protecting and conserving the local water supply.

The University of Alabama Quad is the place to be on Wednesday, April 6, as Tuscaloosa residents get moving to commemorate the annual American Heart Association’s National Walking Day.

UA is hosting the National Walking Day event on April 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Quad, in hopes that it will encourage students, staff and all Tuscaloosa residents to take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. This event is free and open to the public.

Annette Cook, Associate Dean of Student Services at Shelton State Community College, has been elected to serve as Vice-President of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE). Cook accepted her position in March at NADE’s 40th annual national conference and will service a two-year term.

Tuscaloosa, you sure know how to pack in the fun every April. Need proof? Just check out this week’s calendar happenings – there’s really something for everyone, particularly families, and particularly on Saturday. Have fun and as always, if you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

Tuscaloosa Walk for Autism and 5K Race to Solve the Puzzle: April 9, 7:30 a.m. (5K) and 9:30 a.m. (Walk). Tuscaloosa Riverwalk. The Autism Society of Alabama is hosting this annual event, which raises awareness and funds for ASA’s autism advocacy and education initiatives and provides interactive ways for residents to support community members affected by ASD. Registration fee: $35. To register, visit 

8th Annual Lake Tuscaloosa Cleanup: April 9, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Binion Creek Boat Landing off Hwy 43 N. and Rock Quarry Boat Landing. Lake Tuscaloosa is the drinking water source for greater Tuscaloosa and a reservoir on the North River, a major tributary of the Black Warrior River. Volunteers are needed to help with the cleanup of litter along the lake and shoreline. For more information contact Dana Willingham at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (205) 349-0279. 

By Stan J. Griffin: April 1, 2016

While the University of Alabama A Day football game has perennially been a nice spring attraction for Crimson Tide fans hungry for a little gridiron action, it has simply become a powerhouse, must-see event during the tenure of Nick Saban as UA head football coach.
The first UA spring game for Saban, who has captured four national championships in Tuscaloosa and five overall as a head coach,  drew a then-capacity crowd of 92,138 to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2007 and the game has drawn an average of over 81,000 fans since then.
The game will very likely draw a huge crowd again this year, with the Crimson Tide coming off yet another national title in 2015, the 16th in the Alabama football program's tradition-rich history.
It may be hard for some to fathom, but this year's A Day Game, scheduled for April 16 at 2 p.m., will be the 10th such contest for Saban as Tide head coach, and a host of activities are planned for this year to celebrate that special anniversary.
The A-Day game is the 15th and final practice of the spring for this year's Crimson Tide team.
Gates open at 11 a.m. and admission will once again be free to the public. The game will also be televised by ESPN.
But fans attending the game will not only that to look forward to, as the UA campus, and Tuscaloosa in general, will be packed with fun events during that entire day.
A Day gameday gets started at 8 a.m. with the Mercedes-Benz Fan Fest, which will take place pregame and is open to the public outside the North end zone (corner of University Boulevard and Wallace Wade Drive). Fans will find inflatables, giveaways and games.
The Alumni Flag Football Game begins at 11:30 a.m. inside Bryant-Denny Stadium and will feature former Alabama greats. The game is slated for two 20-minutes halves and should wrap up around 12:15 p.m.

It happens to all successful entrepreneurs: your business gets to be more than you can handle.

When you first start a company, you have no alternative but to be involved in every aspect – planning, sales, operations, finance, personnel – because you’re working either alone or with a very small team of collaborators. You work hard, and the business grows to the point where being involved in everything is a job and a half. You are overworked, overwhelmed, and the freedom you dreamed of having when you started out is nowhere to be found.

Once a business grows beyond the capacity of the founding entrepreneur, what’s the best course of action? Since about half of all entrepreneurs are visionaries, they need to enlist the help of an integrator. What are “visionaries” & “integrators”?

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.