News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today
SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2007
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CHATTERBOX
Wendy N. McDougal

Cynthia Grugal, left, Barbara Inscho and Gayle Metcalf during a recent PEO Sisterhood meeting at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. PEO provides educational opportunities for women by offering scholarships, grants, awards and loans to help women enhance their lives through learning. See today’s special section,a guide to Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, for more about local organizations.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Cynthia Grugal, left, Barbara Inscho and Gayle Metcalf during a recent PEO Sisterhood meeting at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. PEO provides educational opportunities for women by offering scholarships, grants, awards and loans to help women enhance their lives through learning. See today’s special section,a guide to Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, for more about local organizations.

Local volunteers honored at breakfast

Wendy’s word

“What in the world?” My mother-in-law shared her sentiments during a recent conversation about home renovations. A house in her hometown was undergoing some pretty extensive, exterior home improvements, and she explained she wasn’t sure what it was going to look like. Some parts were sporadically covered in stone, while other parts were torn down. The end result: “Absolutely beautiful!”

We are so quick to make hasty predictions or sum up our own opinions of how something should or shouldn’t be, but in reality, we have no way of seeing the outcome until it’s done.

Sit back and let the beautiful masterpiece of this world weave itself right before our eyes. We are certainly a part of the process, but our part is not to over opinionate. Simply cherish each piece of the puzzle as it finds its place.

Have a beautiful Sunday and blessed Memorial Day as we remember those who serve our country!

Now let’s see what the “chatter” is for today ...

Volunteer breakfast

Those who unselfishly give of their time and talents, expecting nothing in return, are the true lifeline of our community. They are volunteers, devoting countless hours organizing programs and events throughout our area, all with the goal of bettering the world in which we all live.

Representing varied age groups, different backgrounds and an array of personal gifts, volunteers come together, and the results are always amazing. A recent breakfast to honor outstanding volunteers was sponsored by the directors of Volunteer Services of Morgan County.

The ’60s-themed event was at Decatur Baptist Church, where more than 180 guests were welcomed by Keri Sandlin, president. Doug Ripley, pastor of Decatur Baptist Church, opened with the invocation.

Linda Johnson, vice president, introduced special guest Melinda Toole, Miss Alabama 2006, who congratulated volunteers and encouraged their continued community involvement. She also entertained with her vocal talent.

Breakfast featured a menu of biscuits, fruit, coffee and juice. Each volunteer received a tie-dyed T-shirt.

Member agencies include American Red Cross, Morgan and Lawrence County Chapters; Aseracare Hospice; Better Business Bureau; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Morgan County; Carnegie Visual Arts Center; Centers for the Developmentally Disabled NCA Inc.; Committee on Church Cooperation; Community Action, Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion Program; Community Free Clinic of Decatur-Morgan County; Decatur City Schools Community Education and Elementary Extended Day Enrichment Classes; Decatur General Hospital Senior Services; Decatur General Hospital Volunteer Services; Families and Children Experiencing Separation; Girls Scouts of North Alabama Inc.; Hospice of North Alabama; Hospice of the Valley; Mental Health Association in Morgan County; NARCOG-Area Agency on Aging; Parkway Medical Center-Volunteer Services and Senior Circle; Pregnancy Resource Center-Sav-A-Life Tennessee Valley Inc.; Parents and Children Together; Presbyterian Towers; The Salvation Army; United Way of Morgan County; and Volunteer Center of Morgan County.

Agencies work together to share ideas about getting and keeping volunteers.

Breakfast sponsors were Joe Sartain Ford; River City Auto; Stoneriver Inc.; Ronnie Duke; and Hospice of North Alabama.

Women’s Connection

Women’s Connection will meet Friday at Decatur Country Club at 11 a.m. Former Decatur High School art teacher Linda Lee will demonstrate her work, followed by guest speaker Ruth Berkes, an author, composer and world traveler from Fairfield Glades, Tenn. She will speak on “Quilt of Life.”

There will door prizes along with fun and fellowship.

The cost is $13. Complimentary nursery is available. For reservations, contact Nancy Fortune, 340-0113 or nbfortune@mindspring.com, or Maxine Hall, 773-4978 or Hornet@ieee
.org.

Daughters

Joe Wheeler Chapter 291, United Daughters of the Confederacy, held the annual Confederate Memorial Day service recently at the Decatur City Cemetery. With Confederate flags surrounding the burial sites, President Glendora Shelton James welcomed guests to the service, followed by Kathy Jones with the innovation.

Alabama Division Commander SCV Leonard Wilson brought greetings from the state SCV.

Other special guests included Honorary Alabama Division President UDC Kay McCarley; Past President of Alabama Division UDC Charlotte Hazel; Alabama Division Recording Secretary UDC and President of the Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan; Chapter No. 2541 in Huntsville, Cyndi Himes; Director of the Joe Wheeler District UDC Bettye Moore; Associate Member of Joe Wheeler 291, UDC and member of Sons of Liberty 580 SCV Thomas Whitman; Chaplain General Military Stars and Bars Walter Blackman; Adjutant of Sons of Liberty 580 SCV Larry Thompson; Commander of Lt. J K McBride Camp 241 SCV in Moulton, Leland Free; Ex-Commander of Sons of Liberty Camp 580 Ran Pickell; and 1st Lt. Commander Sons of Liberty Camp 580 Donnie Brown.

The program focused on history of Confederate Memorial Day, followed by a history of the burial site. John Allen played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.

Rita Birdsong was awarded the Winnie Davis Medal for her outstanding contributions to the Joe Wheeler Chapter.

James, assisted by Judy Blackwell, recorder of military crosses, awarded four World War II crosses of military service, the most prized award bestowed by the UDC. These were awarded to Hubert James Powell, Army; Orvil Lee Shelton, Army, Posthumous Award accepted by his brother Martin V. Shelton; Everett Esley Shelton, Navy, Posthumous Award accepted by his son Garron Shelton; and Neal J. Stout, Army, Posthumous Award accepted by his nephew Johnnie Jones.

The event closed with the poem “Have Someone Play Dixie” read by Mavis Kimbrell, followed by “Dixie” on the bagpipes.

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 ddchatterbox@yahoo.com, 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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