News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

You can bid on Dr. Seuss' colored pencil illustration of Cat in the Hat at Decatur Public Library's art auction on Thursday.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
You can bid on Dr. Seuss' colored pencil illustration of Cat in the Hat at Decatur Public Library's art auction on Thursday.


Bid on Norman Rockwell, Cat in Hat, ‘Peanuts’ sketches at library auction

Instead of seeing Peppermint Patty, Schroeder and Cat in the Hat in books at Decatur Public Library, the characters are framed for hanging in your home if you make the winning bid Thursday night.

The Charles Schulz and Dr. Seuss original sketches, along with a Norman Rockwell drawing, will be featured at the second annual Pen to Paint Art Auction.

Twenty-five local artists also submitted 50 paintings inspired by literature.

The event begins at 6 with a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres and music by The Dacoda Brass Quintet. The live auction, with auctioneer Scott Willis of Willis Gray Gallery, will follow at 7.

One of the largest private art collectors in the nation donated the original drawings from famous artists, said Shirley Holliday, project chairwoman.

The drawings are worth thousands, but bidding will start at $200 to $500 for the four pieces.

For people who may not be able to afford bigger pieces, the silent auction offers items with minimum bids from $25 to $175, Holliday said.

Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Library, which provides items and services for the library that are above its regular budget.

Call 353-2993, ext. 104, for more information.

Saving babies step by step Saturday

Did you know that one in every 10 babies is born premature in the nation? In Alabama, the rate is one in eight.

March of Dimes wants to prevent premature birth, as well as birth defects and infant mortality, one step at a time.

Those in Morgan County can help at Saturday’s WalkAmerica at Wilson Morgan Park in Decatur. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the 3.5-mile walk starts at 9.

The event also includes face painting, chalk art, food and an arts and craft tent.

For every 1,000 babies born in Alabama, more than 10 will die before their first birthday, and March of Dimes helps to fund research to save those babies.

“We strive to improve health in babies to prevent birth defects, prematurity and improve infant mortality,” said Benita Hopkins of the Alabama Chapter of March of Dimes. “If the babies are born blind, if they’re born with cystic fibrosis, with heart conditions, whatever ... we launch money into research to try to prevent this from happening in another child.”

The group provided $38.7 million in 2006 for research, advocacy and education.

A lot of the money comes back to Alabama to provide research for cures through places like The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Hopkins said.

You’ve probably been affected by March of Dimes already.

“Everyone who has received a polio vaccine and everyone who has received PKU (phenylketonuria) screening as a baby has received benefits from March of Dimes,” she said.

March of Dimes’ goal for the Decatur area is $35,000.

Hopkins encourages participants to register online at, and ask others to sponsor your walk. Call 532-0500 for more information.

March of Dimes is also planning Blue Jeans for Babies Day on Nov. 9. You can buy T-shirts to raise awareness for that project at Saturday’s walk.

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