Friday, December 19, 2014

Vote for the best Decorated Home in Helena

Helena Sunrise
Andrea Godsey shared another photo of a Helena Sunrise for us. I like how it is almost like following a yellow brick road. here are the Weekend Shoutout from Readers:

Ann Puccio Tyler: I will be wrapping gifts all weekend if anyone is interested.

Sabrina Vargas: Matt Broach and Bongo are playing at Tyler's on Saturday... 9p-1a

Penny  Miller :HHS Wrestling beat Leeds & Shelby Co tonight. They travel to Oak Grove for a 14 team tournament Saturday. Go Huskies!

Susan  Wiggonton: Helped another sweet family to purchase in Helena today with Colleen Black, David R Black, Dolan Williams and Pam Williams.

Sue Lemieux :Stop by Fox Valley for a glass of sparkling rosé and a crab cake Friday or Saturday night. If it's your first time in let us know.

Suzanne  Schnetzler: Rocking S Farm is headed to Kentucky to horse shop for a client and to visit with friends! Merry Christmas Helena!

Honor band
Brenda Rimmer shared this screenshot of  Nbc 13. They short video of the UAB honor bands on there Saturday shows.  This is my daughter Lily in the middle

Vote Now
Best Decorated Christmas Decorations Here is the voting ballot . Be sure to write down theses addresses and go check them out this weekend before you vote. You have until 10pm on Dec 22nd
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Lion's Donation
Helena Lion President Scozzaro presenting one of the two checks to the Helena high school. One to the Choir Department and one to the Science Lab! Way to Go!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Contest, Carols, and a Blast from the Past

 Helena Picture of the Day
Today's Helena photo comes from John K Hodge. Showing the lights in from of City Hall.

Photo provided by Pete Folmar
Marksmanship Award
In July the Helena Police Explorers traveled to Indiana for the National Explorers Convention and competitions. Drew Marling (17) of Helena was entered in the duty handgun shooting competition and finished 11th out of several hundred competitors. Drew is a senior at Calera High School and will be entering the Air Force upon graduation.

Laura Shaw-Schenck shared this photo of the Helena Intermediate Choir performing at Helena's McDonalds.

Helena Decorating Contest
You have one more day to nominate the best decorated home in Helena. Here is the form to nominate an address: . Voted will begin soon.

Here are the ones that have been nominated so far.
Category: Anything Goes – No Theme, but Wow!
112 Marlstone Ct
8026 Rockhampton Cr
413 Chadwick Cr
242 Chadwick Ln
261 Chadwick Ln
Category: Martha Stewart Would Be Proud
152 Appleford Rd
8043 Rockhampton Cr
Category: Clark Griswald – Wow!
545 Fieldstone Dr
1941 Riva Ridge Rd

20 Years Ago
Here is a blast from the past. The December Helena City News from 20 years ago. The city voted on fluoridation in the water and Brian Hinds was Employee of the Month. You can read more and see how the Christmas Parade has changed by clicking here: Pdf of Helena News 1994 December

Youth Football Recognition
The Mayor and City Council recognized the 3rd Grade 90lb Football team under head coach Jamie Cummins and the 4th grade 105lb football team under Stanley Funches.

Wrestling Wins
The Helena Athletic Association shared there was some, "Great wrestling at Oak Grove Last night!
Team win against Oak Grove 35-18 and a Tough match against Minor Helena short by 3, 33-30.
Having two wins for HHS were: Alex Miller, Braxton Heitt, Mason Kendrick and Cade Scott.
Furman Taylor, Andrew Hatcher, William Cummings, Caleb Coons and Robert Welch each had one victory for the Huskies"!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Monday Reader's Choice in Helena, AL

Santa Coming to Town
Today (Monday) Santa is coming to the Helena Library at 6pm. Bring your camera! Questions? 664-8308
Pig Inspires
The Spokane Washington Voices paper shared that Helena's Dog named Pig inspired their  Washington author Katie Youngren. Here is the story:

Pig is a dog owned by Kim Dillenbeck, and she lives in Helena, Alabama. Pig was born with short spine syndrome, an unusual birth defect. Pig is the subject of Katie Youngren’s new book, “Pig, the Unusual Dog.”

Now, Youngren has published a book about a dog named Pig that was born with short spine syndrome.“I saw Pig’s page on Facebook and I wrote a poem,” Youngren said. She sent the poem to Pig’s owner, Kim Dillenbeck, who loved it and asked if she’d publish it. “And we just hit it off personally,” said Youngren about connecting with Dillenbeck.“Pig the Unusual Dog” is just coming off the presses at Youngren’s Freeman Press and she will be reading from it at Auntie’s Bookstore on Saturday.

Dillenbeck lives in Helena, Alabama, a Birmingham suburb. Pig was found abandoned with her litter mates. Dillenbeck adopted the little puppy and decided she’d use the unusually shaped dog as a therapy animal and an advocate for finding foster families for animals with disabilities. Dogs with short spine syndrome may have some health problems because of the way they are built, but they aren’t in pain and can expect a normal lifespan. Dillenbeck is establishing a rescue and adoption foundation in Pig’s name.Youngren’s book is being sold via Pig’s Facebook page and will benefit Pig’s foundation.“I have books going to Australia already,” said Youngren. LINK

Vote Pig the Dog!
Guess what! Helena's Pig the Dog is running for person of the Year in Birmingham....No Kidding!
You can vote for Pig at this link: Vote for Pig the Dog

Helena Geese Study
Helena's Mary Lou Simms. published author and Goose researcher,  has shared this photo with the caption:" Its numbers in dangerous decline in the early 20th century, the snow goose has made a stellar recovery". She also wrote me a letter about the snow goose appearance in Helena.

Huey: I sent you a photo of two white snow geese. You might want to alert park-goers that two snow geese are among our winter visitors at Tucker Lake. They arrived with a group of Canada geese a few days ago. They are tiny, almost all white and considerably smaller than the white ducks at the lake. They stop here every winter on their way elsewhere; I have no idea where they're from where they're going. This is just a rest stop. There is also a touching story behind them.
     One showed up with a group of Canada geese about 7 years ago. (Snow geese winter in Arkansas after coming down from the Arctic. My guess is that the snow goose got separated from its group and joined the Canada geese who let anyone fly with them.) This goose showed up every year thereafter. Then the year before last, I was observing the first group when another group of Canada geese flew in with another snow goose. I happened to be there when the white snow geese "found" each other; overjoyed by the prospect of being with another of its species. They seemed inseparable after that. I didn't see them leave but I assumed the two left with one of the groups.
       The two arrived together the other day and I was glad to see that they were okay. They look terrific. You can't get near them and they don't like bread but they love corn and grains and I was able to get some cracked corn to them. They seemed skilled at managing their way around the Canada geese.
       They won't be here long so anyone who wants to see them, look for them around the Canada geese. They are always together.

Winter Tournament 
Suzanne Schnetzler that Helena was host the a Winter Horse show this past weekend at "Rocking S Farm". Here is a photo from the event.
Engagement Announcement
Jessica Pires Parker shared "Got engaged last night"!

Santa Visit
Gwen Godsgirl Brown shared, "Santa stopped by my office on behalf of a consumers event that I hosted for the Living and Thriving Family Support Group. Thankful that my youngest enjoyed some of the event after a hospital stay. My oldest was in heaven. I bet that he will get all that he wants for Christmas"

Helena Founder's Day
It is official, we will have our first Founder's Day in Helena. SO excited! Here is the invite and the summary: Event Invite

First Annual Helena Founder’s Day

When: April 18, 2015, 10 am to 3 pm

Where: Old Town Helena at the Amphitheater Park on Highway 261

Why: 150 years ago, L&N Railroad sent Pete Boyle, a company engineer, to survey land in the area that is now Helena, Alabama. After surveying the land, L&N built the “Helena Station” named after Boyle’s sweetheart Helen Lee, the daughter of a local judge. The First Annual Helena Founder’s Day is an event designed to celebrate the naming of Helena, raise funds for the Helena Museum, and bring awareness to the city’s rich history.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekend so Far

Picture of the Day
This one is from John Hodge of the Helena Christmas Parade with a dog riding a horse
Helena Weekend Events
It is time for the weekend! I expect most of you will be shopping or having Christmas parties but if not. Come hang around Helena. Here are the events and if I am missing your Helena event then message me and I will update:

6pm Tonight-Tyler and The Little Mountain Band at Rio's $5 Cover!!

Helena Museum Open
Police Toy Fundraiser
10am-5pm Helena Christkindlemark at the Helena Sports Complex

10am-1pm Walgreen Santa Pictures Toys for Tots (free if you bring a toy)

10 Horse Show: Come out to Rocking S Farm tomorrow for a free horse show! Competitors will be in attendance from as far as Guntersville, Al. The show starts at 10:30 am and we will have a concession stand with lots of yummy homemade soups and goodies to raise money for the Alabama Winter Tournament Association.

4pm Little Italy Fundraiser: The Helena High School Choir is having a fundraiser at Little Italy on Sat. evening, after the first ever HHS Choir concert. You can dine-in or order for take out. Just mention that you are there to support the choir.

8:30pm Karaoke at Rio's

Chance of Metors
  Don't forget the Geminid Meteor Shower peaks this weekend

Helena Ornaments 
 A couple of local stores have Helena Christmas ornaments for sale. Southern Elegance has quite a few and Buck Creek Stained glass also has some for sale.  Here's a blog post about it. Can you share?
City of Helena Christmas Ornaments Available At Local Merchants

Nominate Christmas House
Also don't forget you can also nominate the Best Decorated Helena Home at christmas2014. This is a great way to discover the best decorations in Helena so you can jump in the car and take the family on a tour.

Better Life Award
Congrats to Helena's Jimmy Henderson who received the top award that Regions bank gives to an associate! "Regions Bank today announced that Columbiana, Ala., Branch Manager Jimmy Henderson is the December 2014 recipient of the Regions Bank Better Life Award. The Better Life Award is the top honor given to a Regions associate for outstanding dedication and job performance, as well as exemplary involvement and commitment to the community". Way to Go!

Helena Christkindlemark
A German Style Christmas Market in Helena, Alabama. Booths, Santa, Kid Activities, etc. this Saturday at the Helena Sport Complex their website is Christkindlemarkthelenaal

Here are some of the vendors who will be there:
It Works ~Sarah Poorian
Cake Walk ~Lily Clayton
X's and O's ~Ashley Jewel
Hair By ~Susan Legate
Blue Gill Outdoors ~Brannon LeHane
Pendants by ~Joan Ehlman
Lottie Dottie Monogramming ~Melissa Parker
Dragonfly Boutique ~Erica Hurtzel (DOUBLE)
Jesse's Wood Shoppe ~Jesse Pate
Travel By ~Sofia Markovich
iSpeak ~ Kelly Ross
Paparazzi ~Katherine Wilson
Pampered Chef ~Deanna Bess
Simply Younique Boutique ~Susan Motes (DOUBLE)
Sew Cute Designs and More ~Shannon Coggeshall
P&J Doll Clothes ~Janet Winston
Bellaroma ~Stephanie Alford (PLUG)
Cutting Up/Hedrick Designs ~Meredith Bridgewater/Brooke Hedrick (DOUBLE)
Mary Kay ~Chrissy Hanscome
Crafty Creations ~Hassie Thornton
Park Lane ~Stephanie Billings
YLEO ~Angie Reynolds
Scentsy ~Melissa Owen
Jamberry ~Robia Davenport
Damsel In Defense ~Misty Vick
My Premier Designs ~Anna Rushing (DOUBLE)
A&B Gifts and Designs ~Alex Phillips
Wreaths By ~Lynn May
Swagblossoms by Apron Strings ~Wendy Spratley
Buttnaked Candles ~Pam Weaver
Noble Deeds ~ Dee Noble
Roden & Fields ~Andrea Vest
Loopy Lady Designs ~CD McKinnon
Helena Flair ~ Dawn Daley/Kathy Hall
FRIOS Pops ~Lori and Michael W.
31 Gifts ~Jennifer Paley
Advocare ~Kevin Taylor

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December in Helena

Santa is Coming
JoAnna McClellan-Thorne shared this fun pictures my daughter Julia Owen took at the caboose with Santa. She shared more...

Christmas Music
JoAnna McClellan-Thorne shared this Helena Band video to put you in the spirit of the Season. See Below:

Art Gifts
Barry Graham shared, "Support Helena's most talented artist and find "the" perfect gift for someone on your Christmas list. Visit all the Old Town Helena shops supporting your creative community! Give a gift of art this Christmas"!

Found Dog
Megan Freeman shared that she has found a lost dog. "He has been hanging out in Cedar Bend all afternoon and evening". Let me know if this dog is yours

Rock Band
Debbie Scott shared that her brother, Fred Anderson, who grew up in Helena is playing keyboard with Confederate Railroad this past weekend at the Chalarie Palooza a fundraiser/concert!

Winter Tournament
Rocking S Farm will be hosting the first Winter Tournament for the season this Saturday, December 13. "Starts at 10:30 and will end T 2:00 or 3:00. We will have a fabulous concession stand to raise money for our Association. Bring your chairs and come watch our beautiful American Saddle-bred Horses and our students learning to ride them. 205-441-9490".

Monday, December 08, 2014

Reader's Choice Monday

Helena Band by Linda Wurstner
Helena Christmas Parade
Congratulates to the Winners from the City facebook page:
Floats category
1st Place-Helena 4th and 5th grade cheerleaders
2nd Place-Grace Christian Church
3rd Place-Helena High School Cheerleaders
Walkers category
1st Place-Helena High School Band
2nd Place-Helena 2nd grade cheerleaders
3rd Place-Cahaba Cuties
Thank you Helena for a great parade!!!!
Helena Holiday Home Contest
You can now nominate your neighbor for the best decorated home in Helena. You can also chose a descriptive category for them:
 Clark Griswald - Wow!
 Anything Goes - No Theme, but Wow!
 Martha Steward Would Be Proud
 Snoopy's Delight - Dog House
 None of the above
Nominate here:
New Business
Lucy Lou's opened up last weekend in Old Town in the old City Hall building at 4094 B Helena Road
 Their facebook page is and their phone is (205) 760-9486

Cemetery Volunteers
Penny Weldon shared, "Bob Barefield, Chairman of Support Committee for the Alabama National Cemetery, is in need of volunteers to put wreaths on the graves next Saturday. You can reach him at 205-305-9561 or This would help the community as well as community service hours for some high school students".

Christkindle Market
Charity Miller shared, "The Helena Middle School Dance Team Supporters are still looking for vendors and food trucks for this coming Saturday's Christkindlemarkt at the sports complex. We would love for everyone to come out and shop as well. "

Shout Out
Tracy Bridges Williams, "Would like to give a shout out to parade organizers/police/all participants in parade. What a great time and day for a parade. Loved how efficient the process was this year. It was a great experience"!

Suzanne Dennis Schnetzler, " Rocking S had a fabulous time at the parade yesterday! Don't forget about our Christmas Camp 205-441-9490"

I Love Helena
Sonya Hey-Jackson shared this about Helena:
Since we moved to Helena almost 8 years ago I have wanted to enter Newk's in the Helena Christmas Parade to get the word out about our restaurants. Todd thought no one would be interested. Today was our first Helena Parade and it was so much fun. I had a blast! The people of Helena are the best. You are my sweet friends and neighbors. I don't know what I would do without you. We have a wonderful support network in this town. Everyone helps everyone. It's a part of what makes this town so unique. I heard so many compliments about Newk's while walking in the parade. I'm so glad we were able to give out 1000 free kid meals, 950 Newk's Christmas cups and loads of chocolate. Helena, thank you for being the best place to raise our family. Our family and Newk's will always support you. My Heart belongs to Helena! Hewy Nosleep would you post this for me?

Boy Scout Trees
John Madderra shared, ".Boy Scout Troop 532 (Helena United Methodist Church) still has great trees at their tree lot in Alabaster. Hurry before they are all gone! The tree lot is located across from the Thompson (Alabaster) Sixth Grade Center on Hwy 119".

Teacher of the Year
Shelby County honored the teachers of the year last week. Here are the winners in Helena:
Allison Hoff Festavan of Helena Elementary,
Shelli Abernathy of Helena Intermediate
Meredith George; of Helena Middle
Dale Massey of Helena High

The National Board certified teachers were
Misty Floyd of Helena Elementary,
Sarah Hopper of Helena Intermediate

Friday, December 05, 2014

First Friday, Christmas Parade and Weekend

Helena Photo of the Day
Thank you to Andrea Mina Godsey for this photo of the sunrise in Helena by the High School. It is going to be a great weekend. The Weather will be perfect. We have First Friday Celebration and the Helena Christmas Parade so Old Town will be packed. Here are the Helena happenings for the weekend. Let me know if you want to add something (I will probably update this post later with more):

Weekend Music
Papa Saia's will have a wing buffet from 11am-2pm and Jason Mayo is playing Friday. Also they will be handing out a coupon and candy during the parade.
Rio's will have DJ Dr Bay on Friday night and Karaoke on Saturday night

First Friday Celebration
This is the last First Friday of the Season. The Celebration will return in the Spring but enjoy it now. We are all set and ready to have a great evening celebrating an "Old Town Christmas" at Helena First Friday this week. The event hours are from 5:30 - 8:30 this Friday 12/5/14.

Helena First Friday is tomorrow night from 5:30 - 8:30. Santa Claus will be located at Scozarro Law and all children are encouraged to stop by and visit with him. Parents you will have an opportunity to take a picture so don't forget your camera!

The Food Trucks will be Dixie Fish and Saw's but dont forget about the Depot and Papa Saia's

Come on down and celebrate an "Old Town Christmas" with us! Old Town will be decorated for the season and carolers will be signing your favorite Christmas songs. Here is a map of vendors:
Beautification Ornaments
The Helena Beautification Committee will be selling "City of Helena Christmas ornament" at the tent at First Friday. Only $5. All proceeds support the efforts of the Beautification Board. 

Helena Christmas Parade
Don't forget about the Christmas Parade on Saturday. The parade begins at Highway 261 at the Alabama Telco Credit Union at 1pm and goes down 261 until it hits the tracks in Old Town. The Police will close the roads at 12:45pm. The judges table will be in front of First Baptist if you have a child who will be performing. The parade usually takes 60-90 minutes depending if you are at the front or end of the route.

For those who are new, I asked some parade veterans for advice

Bring a Folding Chair and bags for your Children
Public Bathroom at the Depot
Arrive Early for a good spot and bring drinks
Bring lightweight rain gear and grocery bags to carry the throws coming off the floats.
Be prepared for excruciatingly long breaks in the action as various groups will stop to perform in front of the reviewing stand, bringing everything behind them to a grinding halt.
Make sure kids pick up candy safely, not too far out in the street. Safety first
Be prepared for the crazy woman that will knock a child out of the way to get that candy!!!!!!!!
 I normally will get there early and park at HES.
d Be sure to shop the businesses of Helena Saturday too. The Bead Biz will be open. Plus I will be walking the streets of Old Town with $5.00 Christmas earring and other jewelry for sale. Great Christmas gifts.
Sit on the side of the road where there isn't very many people. It's a better time when no one is pushing. And no gettin in front of already seated families.
 Hold the hands of your little ones and tell your older ones not to run close to the floats and crowd. We do not need a preventable accident. Drive below the speed limit there will be people in the streets trying to get to the parade so have patient. Enjoy yourself and family.
 Please remember that if your child is in the parade that the pick up point is at Helena Elementary School. Please do not try to get your child when they turn onto 2nd street as there are numerous floats and cars that are trying to get back to the drop off point.

Donations During the Parade
Canned Food Donations: Laura Nixon shared that the  girl scout troop will be asking for can food donations from people during the Christmas parade next week. People can bring the can food to the parade and give it to one of the girl scouts or the can drop them off at places like The Hair Station .  how would you suggest we get the word out asap?

Collection drive: Gift of Warmth.  Daisy Troop 648 of Helena collecting hats, gloves, socks and canned goods.  During Helena Christmas Parade and drop off box at The Hair Station next to Walmart Marketplace.  Deadline Saturday December 13th.

Helena Police will be gather donations 11am-3pm at the Helena Walmart (see flyer above)

The Helena Teen Council is sponsoring a toy drive to benefit the children at Children's Hospital. There are drop off locations at Helena City Hall and at the Helena Sports Complex. Please help them make this toy drive a success. (see flyer below)
Christmas Camp
Suzanne Schnetzler‎ shared "Is that time again! Rocking S Farm Christmas Camp: Dec 22,23,2930,31
Jan 2nd  9:00-3:00. Call for rates. Discount for all 6 days or day by day rate.
We have camp even if its raining, snowing, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, riots, mud slides...anything else that may happen"!


 "Unscripted" - A Fine Art Photography Showcase on Sunday in the studio from 1-4. Ken Boyd will exhibiting many of his train images as well as signing his new book: The Art of the Locomotive. Would love to see you on Sunday!
Gretchen B Photography
Celebrate Emotion in Detail