News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Wendy N. McDougal

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Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
The Birmingham Children’s Theatre performed “The Wind and the Willows” for second- and third-graders Wednesday at Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts in Decatur. Actors Ashley Hubbert, back left, and Sheryl Tucker with Rhonwyn Watson of Boeing, which sponsored the program; actor Tom Wofford, front left, and Brianna Cagle, a third-grader at Leon Sheffield Elementary School.

Baby donations leave FACES thankful

Wendy’s word

Is it just me or can anyone else believe that Thursday is Thanksgiving? Where does the time go? With the hustle and bustle of holiday travels, complete with turkey, dressing and all the fixins’, I hope we will each pause a moment to be thankful.

Be thankful for your health, for your home, for your friends and family, and for you — the perfect person God created you to be.

It is a season of appreciation and gratitude for all we have and for all we are. May you have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving.

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

Toray baby donations

During this season of thanksgiving and wanting to make a difference, staff members at Toray Fluorofibers (America) Inc. and Toray Carbon Fibers (America) came up with what they thought a great plan — and it was! In a first-time effort between employees at both Toray plants, the result was a success as baby donations overflowed.

Accepting the contributions on behalf of Families and Children Experiencing Separation were Margaret Macllveen, coordinator, and Julie Murphy, board president.

“With more than 194 children currently in foster care in Morgan County alone, these ‘gifts’ are greatly appreciated. We could not do what we do without the support of businesses and generous individuals like those at Toray,” Macllveen said.

From diapers and bottles to an array of warm, infant clothing and food, the items will directly assist children in emergencies in Morgan County.

Staff members attending the Nov. 9 presentation included Kango Nagayoshi, TFA president; Yoshiyuki Tanaka, TFA vice president; Tina St. John, CFA; Lisa Shepherd; Wendy Taylor; Shannon Buchannan; Art Nelson; Meredith Baswell; Patricia Beaty; Mike Donckers; Sara McNealy; Ricky Morris; Garth Rathgeber; Kristy Terry; Pat Banks; Tim Lane; and Bill Fowler.

Other Toray staff members making this drive a reality were Kishio Miwa, CFA president; Jeff Powers; Greg Clemons; and Noriko Payne.

Established in 1951, FACES meets the emergency and medical/health needs of abused and neglected children in Morgan County. Children at risk of foster care placement and those currently in out-of-home placement receive direct services from the organization, including clothing/personal needs, food, medical assistance, financial support and counseling.

FACES will host the seventh annual Christmas Open House and Silent Auction on Dec. 3 at Oh! Bryan’s Steakhouse in Hartselle. The event will be hosted by Jimmy and Gina Smith and the FACES board. For more information, call 340-5859.

Festival of Trees

Need some unique tree decorating ideas? Check out the annual Festival of Trees put on each year by Charity League.

With proceeds going toward Parents and Children Together and its continued child abuse prevention/education efforts, the holiday event is open through Dec. 1. at Colonial Mall Decatur in the old Briarpatch store. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Sunday, 1 until 5 p.m.

For a small donation of $2, $3 or $5, your name will be entered into a drawing for the various trees. Drawings will be Dec. 2. You may take one home already decked out and not have to do a bit of work!

Some of the unusual trees you could win include Auburn or Alabama trees, complete with autographed footballs, or a “Circle of Love” tree provided by Jimmy Smith Jewelers donned with a one-fourth carat white gold, diamond necklace.

For additional information, call one of the co-chairwomen: Robin Lemmons, 773-4791, or Dana Bishop, 353-8779.


Morgan County Chapter 234 of AARP met recently with Don Thomas getting things started. Following the pledge and singing, Virginia Smith gave a devotional, “Drinking from my saucer, ’cause my cup has overflowed.”

In support of fire prevention, Norma Jean Melder introduced guest speakers Charlie Johnson, Decatur fire chief, and Jason Jones, emergency medical coordinator. Among the fire safety tips, the two also spoke on the new stations under construction, which will offer faster response time in the event of fire and emergencies. Jones gave an update on the Vial of Life Program and the 12-lead heart monitoring equipment available with each emergency medical team.

John Cromeans and Wayne Wagnon took home smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

Pat Forton shared the need for volunteers for the AARP Tax Aide Program. Anyone with computer knowledge (particularly on Windows), who knows something about taxes and is able to work a few hours a week during tax season, can call Forton at 355-3392. Training is available in Huntsville.

Ray Houlton announced that tax aid and driver safety are two of the most popular programs offered through AARP. He also advised seniors to consider the three “C’s” (cost, convenience and coverage) when looking at changes in Medicare Part D insurance. Ann Thomas took home the door prize.

An AARP meeting note: Effective in January, the group will meet at the Decatur Morgan County Senior Center on Memorial Drive Southwest. Lunch will be $5. There will no more covered dish.

The next meeting is Nov. 27 in the fellowship hall at Central United Methodist Church. Cissy Pearson of NARCOG will speak.

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, 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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