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Logan Love stands on the bridge that he, along with other members of Troop 90, completed as his community service project.

Logan Michael Love, a 16-year-old member of the Black Warrior Council Boy Scouts of America Troop 90, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout earlier this year. Love’s community service project involved working in conjunction with PARA to help complete a bridge, to extend the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk. The bridge is located adjacent to the Tuscaloosa Public Library on Jack Warner Parkway.

Teams of 20 paddlers will compete for top spots as they paddle along the Black Warrior River.

Tuscaloosa’s Black Warrior River will again be the scene for this year’s 2015 Dragon Boat Races to benefit the Junior League of Tuscaloosa. The fourth-annual event, which features hundreds of participants on dragon boat teams paddling along the river (and hundreds more cheering them on from the banks), is set for Saturday, April 25, at The Cypress Inn.

Top prizes will be awarded, but the real winners are the beneficiaries – the community programs supported by Junior League of Tuscaloosa.

The annual Dragon Boat races are exciting, and the friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the event is hard to miss. If you're looking for an excuse to get outside and enjoy all of this great spring West Alabama weather, watching the Dragon Boat races is the perfect thing to do.

The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, in partnership with the Birmingham Vet Center, will hold outreach events for veterans in and around Hamilton and Fayette on April 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The April 29 event in Hamilton will be held at the Marion Regional Medical Center, and the April 30 event in Fayette will be held at the Fayette Civic Center. Additional events are planned in May in Vernon and Carrollton (see below for specific dates, times and locations).

The purpose of the outreach events is to provide information to veterans about services available to them from the Tuscaloosa VA, Birmingham Vet Center, and the other agencies. Information about the Tuscaloosa VA will include how to enroll for VA services, primary care services, mental health services, job training, job opportunities, telemedicine, homeless programs, women’s programs, My HealtheVet, rural veteran programs, and student veteran programs.

Sokol Park will be filled with fun on Saturday, April 25, for the annual Child Abuse Prevention Services’ (CAPS) All About Kids Festival. The event is free and designed for families to spend time and have fun together, while celebrating children and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“The day will be filled with games and activities,” CAPS executive director Lisa Maddox said. “We’ll have bouncers, cartoon characters Dora and Spiderman, Miss Alabama, Miss Stillman and Miss University of Alabama. The Humane Society will be there, and we’ll have horseback riding, music, food and many more activities that everyone can enjoy.”

The City of Tuscaloosa is hosting the 9th annual Mayor’s Cup 5K this Saturday, April 25. The race, which is aimed at increasing awareness and raising funds for the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative, is presented by Mercedes-Benz U.S. International.

The race will start and end at Government Plaza behind City Hall. The route will go through downtown and will cross through the Walk of Champions on the University of Alabama campus.

The 100th area Habitat for Humanity home will be build this week in just 100 hours.

  By DCL Staff

Several events are planned this week to mark the fourth anniversary of the devastating April 27, 2011, tornado. It’s a somber time for area residents, but the rebuilding post-storm efforts continue to give hope. Included among the events is the dedication of a new Tuscaloosa fire station, the building of a Habitat for Humanity house in one of the hardest hit areas, and more.

Habitat for Humanity Builds 100th in 100

On Tuesday, April 21, volunteers will begin building the 100th Habitat for Humanity House since the local Habitat chapter was founded here in 1987. And what’s even more impressive? Volunteers will build the house at 25 Juanita Drive (in the heart of the tornado zone) in 100 hours! Several city leaders, including Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, will be on hand to help with the effort.

Ellen Potts, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa, explains that the work will be done by volunteers and staff working two shifts each day, 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and 3:00 - 10:00 p.m.  

“While Habitat Tuscaloosa has done other ‘blitz builds’ which completed a house in five days, this will be the first 100 hour house.”

UA’s Greek community partnered with Habitat for Humanity for the annual all-Greek service project.

The University of Alabama Greek Week, held last month, fostered friendly competition among campus fraternity and sorority organizations, but more importantly it will have a lasting impact on the Tuscaloosa area. All total, $101,000 was donated to over 30 different area non-profits. All total, UA Greeks contributed 1200 hours of service to the community.


Greek Week consisted of competitions between fraternities and sororities, including bowling, basketball, dodge ball and a dance competition. The highlight of the week was a service component, in which UA’s Greek community partnered with Habitat for Humanity for the annual all-Greek service project.

Editor's Note: With the passing of one of the greatest authors of all time, Harper Lee, Druid City Living wanted to revisit one of our favorite pieces. We hope you enjoy this story.

Mark Mayfield was working as the executive editor of Southern Accents magazine when he made a bold inquiry to one of America’s most beloved authors ever – Nelle Harper Lee.

“I wrote to her, asking if she would consider writing an essay on southern photography to coincide with an exhibit we were featuring,” Mayfield said. “This letter is her wonderful response. She declined, but it’s the nicest turndown I’ve ever had.”

This letter exemplifies Lee’s charm and eloquence.

Brock and Jackson Siskey didn’t hesitate to donate money from their video game fund to help students halfway around the world.

By Cokie Thompson

Jackson and Brock Siskey ran to their piggy banks, each to get one dollar while they were getting ready to leave. Their elementary school was having a hat day, and they needed a dollar to participate. When they pulled up in the car line, mom Erin Siskey realized Jackson had grabbed more than a dollar.

He had grabbed a hundred. Specifically, the hundred dollars he and Brock were saving to buy a Wii U.

“I was like ‘You can’t give them a hundred dollars,’” Siskey said. “And then I thought, ‘Wait, yes you can!’”

Rock Quarry Elementary and Middle Schools have spent this school year raising money to build a school in Lagos, Nigeria. Andrew Maxey, the principal of Rock Quarry Middle, grew up there, and his parents are still there working as missionaries.

Pictured, Top row (L to R): Sophie Livaudais, Ben Midkiff and Layne Goodbread. Bottom row (L to R): Josiah Gleason, Alex Williams (captain) and Alex Krallman.

The Holy Spirit Catholic Middle School Scholar Bowl team recently won the regional ASCA competition and earned a place in the state meet. The team set a school record for the most points ever achieved in a single round. Holy Spirit is proud of the team’s outstanding performance.

Photo: Laurie Mitchell

A drawing on the sidewalk of Lloyd Wood Middle School reminds students to “Dream.”

By Cokie Thompson

Every spring brings fresh life, but the spring of 2016 will bring something extra special to Tuscaloosa County Schools and the families they serve.

The Tuscaloosa County School System is preparing to renovate what was once Lloyd Wood Middle School for its new Sprayberry Learning Center. Sprayberry serves students in the county who have multiple disabilities, in addition to housing several of the county’s alternative classes.

The center has grown considerably since its inception in the 1970s after the first Americans with Disabilities Act regulations went into effect. Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Swinford said at the time, no one could have foreseen the number of students they would now be serving, specifically those in wheelchairs.


“As soon as I told some of the parents, it was just amazing to hear them say, ‘Dr. Swinford, you know we’ve been asking for this,’” Swinford said.

(Front row L to R): Sam Allen, Emery Geyer, Shannon Kim, and Mary Katelyn Price. (Back row, L to R): Elizabeth Vann, Sidney Becher, Joy Becher, Sarah Corbett Woods, and Will Henson. Not pictured- Austin Rice.

Several students from Tuscaloosa Academy participated in the AISA Secondary Festival and Honor Choir, held in March at Hooper Academy. Mary Katelyn Price was chosen as Most Outstanding Choral Student. Price was a featured soloist, performing Pietro Yon’s Gesù bambino.”

Photo: Chelsea McKenn

Students in Tricia Schuster’s art class at Holy Spirit Catholic School recently had the opportunity to learn all the different ways engineering is used to create Automata Artwork. Local artist Chris Davenport demonstrated pieces of her work to show the students they move by cams and crank power or pull strings. The students will get hands on experience by creating their own Automata designs in art class.

Photo: Laurie Mitchell

By Cokie Thompson

The storms that blew through Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, had come and gone in a matter of hours, but residents have spent the years since trying to get back to normal. On January 6, the students, faculty and staff of Alberta Elementary School began a new routine on their old stomping ground--now The Alberta School of Performing Arts.


Principal Brenda Parker is excited to be back in Alberta.


“We looked at video clips later, and everyone--every teacher, every child--talked about a homecoming,” Parker said.

By Marlena Rice

Mercer Mayer and his wife Gina could not have summed up a parent’s late night frustration any better than in their popular children’s book, Just Go to Bed. In the book, one in the Little Critter series, Little Critter attempts to bypass bedtime by becoming a robot, a cowboy and even a space cadet flying to the moon, all before finally giving in to his stuffed animal and bed. Does this sound familiar?


After countless nights of waking up after midnight after having fallen asleep on one of my living room couches with my son, not only do my back and neck hurt into the early hours of the morning, but I find myself wondering who in their right mind would air cartoons on TV after 8 or 9 p.m. The people who make this call must not have children, but, if they do in the future, I’m sure they will come to believe in karma. As my son nears age two, I’ve had to get creative when it comes to television rules and bed time.

Here are a few tips...

Farm-to-Table restaurants have become huge across the U.S in recent years, and in Alabama, it is not different. Here are five great farm-to-table restaurants to check out statewide. 

By Mike Green

Before I talk a little about parenting teenagers, please allow me a minute to share part of my story.

In the winter of 1983, I walked through the doors of the old Campus Life Teen Center off of 15th Street. It was a building I had been in as a kid when it was the Southern Grass Tennis Academy. I had spent many summers swimming in the pool and playing pinball with other youth my age. Now, as a college student, I was drawn back to these familiar grounds. That night I would meet a guy named Perry Liles. Perry was a volunteer with Campus Life and had invited me to learn more about what the organization was doing for area high school students. That night I began to learn the nuts and bolts of Campus Life, but what really impacted my life was the people I met.


Though I couldn’t quite label what this ragtag group of teenagers and adults had going for them, I sensed something unique. And I wanted to be a part of it. So, what was it that made this group so inviting? Yes, they were Christians, and that resonated with me. I had given my life to Christ in junior high. And this group gave me the opportunity to live out my faith. But there was more. They were fun. Campus Life in my college days was some of the most fun I have ever experienced. Trips to Gatlinburg, Scream in The Dark, Burger Bashes, the electric chair and more are the most vivid memories I have of my college days. But that wasn’t really it either. So what is it that made Campus Life, Campus Life?

There is one word that keeps coming to mind when I think of the people and relationships I made in those days, and it is “authentic.” These people were real. So much of my teenage and college years before Campus Life seemed to lack any of the honest relationships that I so eagerly desired. Many friends seemed focused on impressing me with the drinking escapades. My committed Christian friends wanted me to believe they were perfect and somehow had “arrived.” But here, I found others like me who were still trying to figure life out and were honest enough to say so. This place created a safe environment for teenagers and young adults to actually have honest conversations about life, God, church, and whatever the controversial issues were of the day.

I wish every person could experience what I found in Campus Life. I can’t imagine my life without these very special years of college. They have laid a foundation for my life and, of course, have a whole lot to do with why I still am a part of Campus Life 32 years later.

So here is my point: Help your teen find this authentic, safe, honest, challenging, and fun place to lay a foundation for life. Create this place at home. Find a youth group or youth ministry that will do the same. In doing so you will change the course of your child’s life.

Mike Green is Executive Director of Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ/ Campus Life. He and his wife, Laura, have two grown children.

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



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