News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Wendy N. McDougal

Rick Paler, left, with Sandi and Berval Bennett, has donated a wine-tasting event as one of the auction items at Gala XXI. The black-tie dinner/dance is Dec. 9 at Decatur Country Club and benefits Decatur General Foundation.
DAILY Photo by John Godbey
Rick Paler, left, with Sandi and Berval Bennett, has donated a wine-tasting event as one of the auction items at Gala XXI. The black-tie dinner/dance is Dec. 9 at Decatur Country Club and benefits Decatur General Foundation.

Wine-tasting one of items up for grabs in Gala auction

Wendy's Word

I heard an interesting quote this week and wanted to share it with you.

It said there will always be someone smarter than you, someone more talented than you, someone more attractive than you, and someone more successful than you, so why do we always seem to strive to live up to that "someone else?"?Why are our efforts and energies focused on keeping up?

Whether it's working to have the most toys, the biggest house, the greatest children, the fanciest clothes or whatever, these goals are so temporary and will take you nowhere. Focus on things that truly matter in life, and that is making yourself the very best you can possibly be. Everything else will take care of itself, and the world will be a much friendlier, happier and less competitive place.

Now let's see what the "chatter" is around town . . .

Get to Gala

As if the holiday season doesn't put enough to do on our plates, Kelley Gillikin and Carol Sartain have taken on even more as chairwomen for Gala XXI. The black-tie dinner and dance benefits Decatur General Hospital Foundation and is coming up Dec. 9, with final details coming together for an evening everyone is sure to remember.

Mandy Backe and committee members Barbara Bartlett, Meg Curry, Amy Lovelace and Kay South have met with Decatur Country Club Chef Ron Casey to settle the delicious menu. Mary Margaret Beggs and Jennifer McCain, auction chairwomen, wrapped up their duties of securing some fabulous items to tempt you and your wallet.

Some of the specialties you won't find anywhere else include an educational wine-tasting at the historic Burleson-Hinds-McEntire House owned by Berval and Sandi Bennett. This is just one such item that will be auctioned off to the first 100 guests bidding $75 per person. Join others meeting your bid for an unforgettable evening of wine instruction and tasting directed by Rick Paler. You certainly can't go to a store and buy a brunch for 16 at the Tennessee River home of James and June Odom, with Bruce and Vivian Pylant, Joe and Katie Worthey and Felton and Anne Davenport. However, if the bid is right you may just be taking this treat home with you.

Other surprises awaiting you are handmade jewelry, fine clothing, autographed footballs, theater evenings and wonderful local art including Berry Baugh Allen's handmade cheese platter, a Gayle Strider painting on a porcelain lace bowl from Romania and other paintings and photographs. Hunters will enjoy a one-day deer-hunting trip in Winston County guided by George Barran, made possible through the generous donation of George, E. Lee Barran and Em Barran. Perhaps the whole family will be called in for a three-night weekend at a Cullman County farmhouse that sleeps 18, courtesy of Kristen and Joe Propst, or better yet, Harvey and Bibi Pride are providing a chance at a week in a two-bedroom condominium on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Responsible for bringing these incredible items to the auction are Whitney Clemons, Annie Cornell and Jeanette Dougherty, auction committee members, who devoted their summer persuading artists and merchants to donate. Other committee members include Charlotte Gregory, Penny Haddock, Nancy Hagood, Madge Hayes, Jacqueline Holdbrooks, Jo Ann Hyde, Jennifer Jackson, Saundy Kittle, Faye McWhorter, JoAnne Mummert, Debbie Nowlin, Amy Orr, Marcie Overstreet, Pat Patterson, Charlotte Ponder, Kate Noble Purvis, Patsy Roby, Deborah Shelton, Jean Spencer, Joyce Torbert, Loretta Troup, Bridget Troup and Melinda Woller.

Plenty of other fabulous prizes and surprises await guests at the upcoming Gala. The party begins with cocktails at 7 p.m., followed by dinner at 8. Silent auction bidding will continue late into the evening, with all proceeds going toward this year's beneficiaries, employee scholarships or the Oncology Center.

Reservations must be made by Friday at a cost of $300 per couple or $150 singles. Even if you didn't get an invitation, it's not too late. Call the Decatur General Foundation office today at 341-2187.

Garden Club auction

The Rainbow Garden Club of Hartselle will have a fundraising auction Tuesday to benefit Hartselle Fine Arts Center. Items will feature everything from handmade items and baked goods to holiday decorations and many surprises. Those wishing to bid can start viewing items at 3:30 p.m. The auction begins at 4.

The event will be in the auditorium of the historic F.E. Burleson Elementary School. Refreshments will be served. This is a free event. For more information, call 751-0131.

Festival of Trees

The annual Festival of Trees, sponsored by the Decatur Charity League, opens this Tuesday at Colonial Mall. Stop by to gather some inspiration for your own tree-trimming or come to enjoy the decorating ideas and expertise of others.

Chorus season begins

Decatur Civic Chorus opens its 2005-06 season Thursday night at 7 with "Gloria" by Vivaldi. Accompanied by a string orchestra and pianist Ann Butler, this popular Baroque work is directed by conductor Ken Turvey of Huntsville. Prepare your hearts for the holidays, as the choir also shares Handel's magnificent "The Hallelujah Chorus" from "Messiah." A special feature will be an original piece written and directed by chorus member Jerry Woodward.

Join the beautiful sounds of the season at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church, 3310 Danville Road S.W., in Decatur. Tickets are $10 or by season membership. All seats are general admission. Call 301-0620.

Country Cousins

Members and guests of the Country Cousins Club met recently at the home of Eleanor and Mize Garrison in Hartselle.

Those attending included Inez Borden, Bob and Edna White, Zettie Wright, Wilma Boger, Jean Dooley, Jimmie Quattlebaum, Zadie Quattlebaum, Johnny Self, Idalene Singleton, Johnnie McElroy, Zettie Atkinson, Billie Hutchison, Lucille Roddam, Vera Horsley and Dot Maples. Ottie Lou Self and Fannie Self were welcomed back, along with Fannie's daughter, Anita Cook.

Hazel Brown was present with her son, Donnie Brown. Garrison's daughter, Shelia Scott, dropped by to pay a visit to the group and brought her daughters, Beth, Sonja and Shana.

The group enjoyed a covered dish lunch and announced that the November meeting will be at the home of Dot and Hoyt Maples. Members are asked to bring items to pack and send to Eleanor Garrison's grandson, Michael Pope, who is in Iraq.

A prayer was said for the soldiers fighting and for the various prayer requests that were shared that day.

That's all for now. It's been great "chattin' " with ya!

Let me know what is going on in your little corner of the world. If it's special to you and features any of the great people who live in our community, then it will make a great Chatterbox item. Just e-mail me at ddchatter, or call me at 350-5730.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wendy N. McDougal Wendy N. McDougal
DAILY Staff Writer

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