News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today
SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 2006

Wendy N. McDougal

UDC honors Thomas Whitman

Have you ever gone out on a limb? Not literally, but have you ever taken a step of faith for something you truly believed in.

My husband completed one of his annual tasks last weekend of trimming back the crepe myrtles in preparation for spring. We have one that we always laugh about because even after being cut back it seems to boom when the warm weather hits and takes over the flower bed.

I had to notice the old limbs now crammed into the trash can and the sturdy base that still remained in tact, and it made me think about life.

So many times we want to hang on to that strong, secure root and never let go. For whatever reason, we don't want to branch out with a vision of what may be, but the most beautiful blossoms are the ones on the ends of the branches. These are the ones that blow in the wind and run free, making their dreams of a new spring come true.

Don't be afraid to go on out on that branch. There is no better time than now to make those dreams come true.

Let's see what the "chatter" is around town . . .

Whitman scholarship

During the recent Division Convention in Birmingham, Joe Wheeler Chapter No. 291, United Daughters of the Confederacy, honored associate member Thomas Whitman with a $1,250 scholarship in his name.

Whitman, son of the late John Thomas and Rubye Gibbs Whitman and lifelong resident of Decatur, credits his aunt, the family historian and UDC member, for his interest in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "He has been invaluable to the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans for the past two years," says Chapter President Kay McCarley. "Through his efforts to protect and preserve Confederate heritage, the Confederate Monument in Decatur, has a listing on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and the Confederate Cemetery is listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register."

A graduate of Athens College, a civic leader and cotton broker, Whitman joined the local Sons of Liberty SCV Camp No. 580 on his ancestor Thomas Walter Whitman, Co. D, 7th Alabama Infantry/Co. K, 4th Alabama Cavalry.

Chapter No. 291 thanks Whitman for his untiring efforts to preserve Confederate heritage for future generations and congratulates him on this scholarship in his name. Scholarships are made available to college students with proof of Confederate heritage and are awarded through most of the major universities in Alabama.

Jerod the Subway guy

What better way to inspire others to lead a healthy lifestyle than to hear a motivational message from someone who has seen both sides of the coin? Jerod, the Subway Guy (as he is officially known), was welcomed as special guest at the 2006 Healthy Woman Expo sponsored by Parkway Medical Center and shared his captivating message of hope, happiness and health.

"He told his story to a crowd of more than 400, focusing on his journey from obesity through the phenomenal weight loss that brought him to where he is today," said Healthy Woman Coordinator Tina Weeks. "He truly did an excellent job, and we were honored to have him."

Jerod's story kept the excitement alive throughout the afternoon and evening Feb. 16, as Dr. Joseph Kelly presented his seminars on women's cancer. Two different sessions, "Ovarian Cancer" and "The Most Common Cancers in Women," were the focal points drawing crowds
wanting to learn more about these health issues in women.

More than 35 educational booths promoted everything from plastic surgery and nutrition to skin care and exercise, and kept guests busy talking with experts in various fields and gathering complimentary and valuable information to take home.

Another highlight of the event was a beautiful spring fashion show compliments of Frankie's.

Healthy Woman is an educational program targeted at various issues pertinent to women today. Free seminars are available each month to anyone in the community and are held at Parkway Medical Center.

For more information on up and coming seminars or to have your name added to the mailing list, call Weeks, 301-3370.

Alpha Alpha Blues Party

Decatur Alpha Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi had a Blues Party recently at Windchase Clubhouse. Decorations in everything blue included a wreath, lights, tinsel, various sized bottles and bulbs. Following hors d'oeuvres of blue crab spread with blue tortilla chips, baked brie and blue cheese thumb prints, the group enjoyed a dinner beginning with a salad with blue cheese dressing or blue Italian dressing, pork tenderloin in puff pastry with blueberry mustard sauce, Blue Lake green beans, rolls with blue-colored butter, herb-baked potatoes and a blueberry congealed salad topped with blue whipped cream and pecans.

Following dinner, guests divided into two groups and played charades with all the titles containing the word "blue." Those enjoying the evening, and dressed in blue, were Cindy and George Nelson, Pat and Ernie Tarpley, Melvye and George Cooper, Marsha and Jay Jones, Jan and Mike Schubert, Jan and Larry Abercrombie, Bess and Dean Stark and Ellen Andrew.

Women's Chamber

Excitement will be in the air at the next meeting of Decatur Women's Chamber of Commerce on Friday at noon at Decatur Country Club. The program will feature Betty Sims and "Springtime Goodies."

On the agenda will be the Tour of Homes, set for April 30. Karen Tidwell, tour chairwaomn, has done a wonderful job of arranging for a tour of four nice homes and a neat new business. Tickets will be available at Friday's meeting or you can pick them up at Tammy Eddy Antiques & Interiors, Sam, Frank & Moore, Jimmy Smith Jewelers and Parisian and from any Women's Chamber member. They are $10 each in advance, $15 on the day of the tour. Proceeds benefit All Kids Playground at Delano Park. Call Tidwell, 340-9139, for more information.

The tour will be in the Albany district with the Garden Party, coordinated by Chris Compton, at the Delano Park pavilion. Tour locations are the homes of Phil and Cindy Geddes on Jackson Street Southeast, Joe and Kristen Propst on Sherman Street Southeast, Rex and Sharon Rankin, also on Sherma, Mark and Gay Maloney on Gordon Drive Southeast, and The Backe Door Restaurant on Grant Street Southeast.

Also featured will be Volume II of the Women's Chamber cookbook. This year's cookbook is "Tour of E-Z-Cakes" and features more than 40 luscious cakes that begin with a basic mix. Diane Scanland, cookbook chairwoman, and her committee of Shelia Thistle and Judy Lake say they are looking forward to selling the books at the Garden Party. The cookbook will also be available at some of the homes included on the tour. Proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels.

To make your reservation for the luncheon, call Cathy Wahl, 350-6983, by Wednesday. The meeting is $11 per person, so reserve your spot today. ReMax Realty will host and Shelia Stewart will offer the devotional.

ALS fundraiser

Plans are under way for the April 1 dinner, dance and silent auction fundraiser benefiting the Sims Family ALS Research Fund and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Mark your calendar to be a part of this special night, which is raising funds toward Lou Gehrig's disease research.

Tickets for the event are $125, and Becky Caddell is accepting reservations. If you have not received an invitation and would like to take part in this event, call Stacey Peebles, 355-8841.

Donations also are being accepted for the silent auction. Anyone interested in participating on this level may call Jo Alfano, 341-5895.

Best wishes to the Sims family, particularly Dr. and Mrs. Bill Sims, for a tremendous success with the event and in your effort learn more about ALS. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Auxiliary jewelry sale

Decatur General Auxiliary will host a Phantasia jewelry sale on Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the lobby at Decatur General Hospital. Come check out the beautiful costume jewelry for just $5 per piece.

This is one of many fundraising events sponsored by the Auxiliary to raise money for various projects at the hospital. In 2005, the group contributed to the Oncology Center, Imaging Services and wheelchairs for pediatrics and admissions.

Members of the Auxiliary who will assist in the sale include Winnie Reed, Katherine Offord, Jeanne Reinhardt, Jane Nabors, Yvonne Braly, Howard Ellis, Marjorie Cockrell, Bess Newsome, Lorene Wiseheart, Helen Teague and Zenda Wesnor.

If you have any questions please call Wesnor, 355-2853.

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. E-mail me at, 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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