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Jo Anne McKnight's Points North, March 28

Print Email >AL.com and Press-Register Correspondent By AL.com and Press-Register Correspondent Press-Register

on March 28, 2010 at 6:20 AM, updated March 30, 2010 at 10:16 AM

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The Saraland Lions Club Pancake Breakfast at Catfish Junction on March 20 was from all indications a great success, according to Martin Walker of the organization.

Hundreds of Saraland residents, along with diners from the nearby communities of Satsuma and Chickasaw, as well as Mobile, supported en masse the second annual Lions Club Pancake Breakfast fundraiser.

Former Chickasaw mayor Jim Trout and Barbara Trout enjoyed the morning. Their granddaughter, Bailey Trout, an eighth-grader at North Mobile County Middle School, was one of the singers who entertained during the event. Bailey’s mother, Mandy Trout, a Saraland Lion, helped serve the breakfast and make guests comfortable.

Another performer was Keith Stokley, who helps with the Wings of Life ministry in Mobile.

Among the many families who took breakfast out instead of staying home to cook were Albert Murphy Sr. and Toni Usannaz and their children, Albert Murphy Jr., 2, and Ronald Usannaz, 6.

Present and helping cook and serve pancakes and sausage were Lions president Newton Cromer (who worked the tables to sell opportunity tickets on several desirable items); Paul Stanley, owner of Catfish Junction and Lions member; Sherry Caylor, Lions Club member who was chief ticket-taker; Ron Mitchell, chairman of the fundraiser; and Lions members L.G. Jackson and Bill Silver.

Also volunteering was Robert McGhee, director of Cleveland House, which offers a weekly social for special needs adults. The program is one of the recipients of funds raised at this year’s breakfast.

Donna Jones, who attends the Cleveland House socials, along with her mother, Birdie Jones, volunteered at the function. Their hope, said McGhee and Birdie Jones, is that funds from the Saraland Lions will help build a gazebo at Cleveland House so that barbecues and fish fries can be conducted under shelter from rain and sun.

In addition to aid offered to Cleveland House, the Saraland Lions Club fundraiser will benefit other area charities, Cromer said.

Saraland Lions Club meets for lunch on the first and third Tuesday of each month at Saraland United Methodist Church, 415 McKeough St.

The Episcopal Church Women of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Chickasaw also held a fundraiser on March 20, a bake sale that included primarily whole cakes, as opposed to smaller items. Funds raised from this annual event will benefit projects of the ECW. Gwen Gilbert is president of St. Michael’s ECW; Mary McGlown is vice president; Nell Davis is secretary; and Lenore Cadden is treasurer.

March 20 truly was a perfect day for the Semmes Azalea Festival. The temperature hovered around 70 degrees and there were occasional gusts of wind, but nothing dampened the spirits of the hundreds who attended the annual event.

There was free entertainment galore, and vendors offered everything from plants to jewelry to birdhouses, and of course, food — barbecue chicken, chicken-on-a-stick, funnel cakes, brownies and fried candy bars.

A popular booth was one with homemade chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream and an old favorite — root-beer floats. Julia Ching, 5, and her little sister, Roxanne, 18 months, enjoyed a mutually-owned chocolate cone, with the older sister feeding the younger little tastes from a plastic spoon.

Julia and Roxanne live in Fish River, but spent the weekend with their grandmother, Semmes resident Cindy Barnett, so they could attend the Semmes Azalea Festival.

American Cancer Society Relays for Life in north Mobile County are filled with activities to raise funds to battle the disease and to offer education and aid — and fun, to boot. April 23 is the date for the Citronelle Relay, to be held at Citronelle High School. Relay for Life of North Mobile will be at Satsuma High School on April 24. The Semmes event will be May 7 at Mary G. Montgomery High School and Prichard Stadium will be the site for the Relay for Life of Prichard on May 14.

One of the biggest contributors to the ACS fundraiser is McDavid-Jones Elementary School in Citronelle, and events are in full swing at the school right now.

Allison Hester, who heads up the school’s Relay for Life program, said students, staff and faculty are busy with events that are both fun and profitable.

First-grade teachers pitched in to sell loaded baked potatoes on a teacher work day recently. Teachers who baked and served the potatoes to fellow teachers were Sheila Lambert, Ginger Danzey, Amy Dees, Stephanie Newgaard, Janice Arrington, Nicole Rhoads, Val Shirah, Deborah Snow and Britaney Thornton.

And the most recent fundraiser was one that involved kindergarten, first- and second-grade students.

“McDavid-Jones Elementary students,” said spokeswoman Cindy Childers, “had the opportunity to interact with some very special ‘kids’ ... goat kids, that is!”

The family of coach Sam Lassiter brought some baby animals from their farm and set up a kid-friendly miniature farm at the school, Childers said. For a fee, students including Landon Hester, son of Allison and Steven Hester, could feed, pet and have their pictures made with “the special visitors,” Childers said.

One way Relay for Life of North Mobile has raised considerable funds for ACS is a Miss Relay Pageant, held recently at First Baptist Church of Satsuma.

North Mobile Relay chairwoman Debbie Harbin said more than 30 girls entered the contest to the tune of some $1,100 in proceeds for the Relay.

Winners of the competition and first runner-up, where applicable, were the following participants: Pre-School Miss Relay is Sarah Kate Williams; first runner-up is Hannah Hartley Hadley. Grades K-2 winner is Miah Daniels; first runner-up is Kamden Johnson. Grades 3-5 winner is Kathryn Eubanks; first runner-up is Olivia Patrick. The Middle School Miss Relay is Addie Crane; first runner-up is Abbie Eubanks. The High School Miss Relay is Chelsea Primm.

Robert E. Lee Primary School participated in the annual Jump Rope for Heart event on Feb. 13 and raised more than $5,300. Top prize winner was Gabe Andrews with $175. In second place was Alexis Mayhugh with $126.71. Alyssa Krogen came in third with $110. Shannon Harville’s first grade won top class honors with $487, and Donna McGee’s kindergartners placed second with $439.85.

Lee Primary School in Satsuma has announced the roster of Key Classes for February; students in those classes are the following, according to spokesperson Sonya Bryant:

In Barbara Hudson’s kindergarten room are Logan Brewer, Katy Beth Holmes, Cole Whigham, Josh Ledkins, Trinity Phillips, Elijah Murphy, Bradley Pierce, Garrett Phillips, A’Kira Martin, Kailee Clark and Taylor Roberts.

Traci Green’s first-graders are also Key Students, and they are Raven Hall, Blake Turner, Alyria Payton, Hayden Hill, Cory Hunte, Taylor Chappell, Brianne McDonald, Devon Cobb, Madisyn Collins, Connor Thames, Kylee Jednat, Callie Speights, Cheyenne Stapleton, Timothy Weaver, Layla Knight, Kolden Waters, Camron Lee, Haven Howard, Ashlyn Stewart and Abby Hutchins.

Second-graders in Maureen Richardson’s class also took top honors as February Key Students. Those in Richardson’s room are Amy Jernigan, Caden Ryan, Noah Gardner, Morgan Mendyk, Tamia Taylor, Nathan Pierce, Reese Heathcoe, Chanie Weaver, Jason Mixon, Amber Bridges, Logan Kyle, Haley Brunson, Takiyah Howze, Dalton Prestridge, Cammie Ward, Zachary Cochran and Ryan Ellison.

Lee Primary’s Teacher of the Year is Suzanne Bahr, a second-grade teacher at the K-2 grade school in Satsuma.

Heidi Crittenden, activities director at Saraland Senior Center, said about 30 seniors attended the Senior Expo on March 17. “We wore our Saraland T-shirts and had a wonderful time,” she said. Among those who enjoyed the day at the fairgrounds were Ruth Mills, Dot Bradley, Gertrude Johnson, Carolyn Stetter, Carolyn Andrews, Marcie Kelly, Voncille Ellis, Cecilia Bush, Joyce Owens, Gene Day, Fred Landcaster, Betty Dorman and Pat Castleberry.

Saraland senior citizens have their monthly Birthday Bash scheduled March 31 at 10:15 a.m. There’s also a week of fun that includes dominoes, Rook, an auction and several art classes. For information on activities at the senior center, call 251-375-5438.

Demetra Adams, who teaches third grade at Collins-Rhodes Elementary School in Eight Mile, has been chosen as that school’s Teacher of the Year for 2009-10.

Sharon Fox with the Wilmer Community Action Group reminds residents that April 3 is the second biannual Wilmer Cleanup Day from 7 a.m. to noon. Pickup will be in front of the Wilmer Volunteer Fire Department.

The Chickasaw Community Safe Room groundbreaking ceremony is set for March 29 at 10 a.m. The safe room will be built at 799 Iroquois St. All citizens are invited to join key governmental officials and business and community leaders at the event. For details, contact Sherrie Graham at 251-404-3924 or [email protected], or Mayor Byron Pittman at 251-452-6450.

Chickasaw girls’ softball teams are forming for ages 5-17. Coaches are needed as well. For information, call 251-452-6462.

Chickasaw youth baseball registration is taking place every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at John Dotson Park. For details, call 251-508-7113 or 251-459-1945.

Chickasaw Senior Adult Easter Luncheon is April 1 at noon at First Baptist Church of Chickasaw. Cost is $4 per person; call 251-452-6462 for reservations, which must be in by March 29. The senior lunch outing for Chickasaw senior citizens is April 2. For details on this first-Friday event, call Stephanie Stewart, 251-452-6464.

Chickasaw Community Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 12 and younger is scheduled for April 3 at 10 a.m. on the Chickasaw Housing Authority Walking Trail behind the post office. There’ll be refreshments, prizes and, of course, the Easter Bunny. Children are asked to bring an Easter basket and parents are encouraged to bring a camera. For information, call 251-452-6462.

Chickasaw Woman’s Club will meet March 29 at 7 p.m. at McConnell Civic Center, 224 Grant St.

Chickasaw Garden Club meets April 6 at 2 p.m. at McConnell Civic Center, 224 Grant St.

Turnerville Community House, 13868 Roberts Road, will be the site of the first-Saturday concert on April 3 at 7 p.m. Featured singers will be Trinity Gospel with Hughey Fillingim. A dinner will be served beforehand and though there is no admission, donations toward the building fund are accepted. For information, call Mary Dickson, 251-454-3556.

Chickasaw Chamber of Commerce met March 18 with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Johnson as speaker. With Johnson was his wife, Kathy.

At the same meeting, Mobile Gas was designated as March Business of the Month for the support they provide to the community. Labaron McClindon accepted the award on behalf of Mobile Gas. Chickasaw Chamber president is Tom Hayward.

RSVP of Mobile County will prepare simple tax returns for qualified persons (senior adults and low-income families) at the Chickasaw Library through April 14. To schedule an appointment, call 251-574-7787.

(E-mail Jo Anne McKnight at >[email protected].)

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