Community Notes | This Week

COMMUNITY NOTES may be submitted for non-profit, civic or church-related events and published free of charge AS SPACE IS AVAILABLE in the Courier Journal.  Community Notes must be submitted in writing by 3pm Friday for consideration in the following week’s issue.  

• Email to [email protected]

• Look for “Submit News” on our website  at

• Fax to 256-760-9618; 

• Mail to 219 W. Tennessee St, Florence, AL  35630; or

• Bring in person.


All properly submitted Community Notes which are dated will be posted weekly at   We do our best, however, there is no guarantee that this free information will be published each week in the paper.  Visit our website for a complete list of community notes.  If your item MUST appear  in the paper a certain week, we suggest you also place a paid ad by calling 256-764-4268.  That way it will be in at least one area of the paper.  When your community note is published, your event will have coverage in two different locations.   

The popular Haunted Hayrides through the LaGrange College site normally scheduled for October have been cancelled this year due to the rise in cases and public vulnerability to the COVID-19 virus.   The rides regularly took place at the historic site every Friday and Saturday in October leading up to Halloween, according to Louise Lenz of the LaGrange Living Historical Association, were used as a fundraiser for the LaGrange College Site Park.


The Foster Grandparent Program is now taking applications for senior citizens in Colbert and Lauderdale County to work 15-40 hours a week with special needs children in the school systems, head starts, and daycares. You will be tutoring and mentoring children with their school work and helping to learn. 

If you are 55 years or older and live on a fixed income, then this is the program for you. You will receive a small non-taxed stipend 2 times a month, mileage reimbursement, and lunch for each day of service. This stipend does not count as income according to Public Law 93-113 under Older Americans Act. It will not affect any other federal or state assistance that you are already receiving. You will also be covered with accidental and personal liability insurance while working with the program.

This need in our area is great! If you are interested please contact our office at 256-332-6800.


Florence-Lauderdale Farmers Market Open at 451 Fairground Road. The market will be open Saturdays during the months of May and October. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday during the months of June through September. Hours are 6am-1pm each day.


LifeSouth Shoals Area Blood Drives – Donate at the Center, 307 Veterans Drive, Florence. Schedule an appointment, 256-765-7038. The hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9am-5pm; Tuesday and Thursday 9am-7pm; Saturday 9am-3pm; Sunday 1-5pm.


Highland Baptist Church in Florence will host the five-week Shoals Family Summit on  Wednesday nights at 6pm, located 219 Simpson Street.

The whole community will be able to gain valuable resources to help best lead your family in our current culture.  Many different highly-qualified speakers will be coming in to speak on a range of topics.  

September 15 – Dr. Matt Burfurd, Christian Apologetic Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions will be speaking on Sexuality & Gender

September 22 – David Thomas, L.M.S.W., Director of Family Counseling at Daystar Counseling, and Sissy Goff, M.ED., LPC-MHSP, Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar will be speaking on Raising Boys and Girls


Race and Religion – Panel Discussion and Book Signing Wednesday, September 16, 2-4pm at Norton Auditorium, Florence, featuring reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author, Jennifer Berry Hawes. Moderated by Dr. Rachel Winston. Other speakers: Dr. Paula Michelle Wyatt, Rev. christopher Reeves, and Rev. Dr. Callie Plunket-Brewton.


Shoals Artists Guild Meeting will be Friday, September 17, 10am at the Southall-Moore House, Next to the Kennedy-Douglass Art Center, Downtown Florence. Ann McCutcheon will do the demo. For more info, contact Carolyn Wear, 256-710-6854.


The last two September meetings of the Florence Kiwanis Club will include the following speakers: 

September 17 – Casey Reed, Head of Federal Programs for Florence City Schools.  He will talk about the effects of poverty on students in school and what is being done to improve their situation.

 September 24 – Chief Ron Tyler, Florence Police Department.  Chief Tyler will discuss changes within our local law enforcement.

Florence Kiwanis meets Fridays at noon at the Marriott Conference Center, 10 Hightower place in Florence.


The Shoals Writers Guild has finalized the remainder of its 2021 Schedule.  Update your calendars.

All meetings at Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, 350 N. Wood Avenue, Florence unless otherwise indicated.

Saturday, September 18  10am-noon   Speakers: Author Bill Clemmons;  FlorAla editor Brooke Freundschuh

For more information, please email, [email protected]


You are invited to a Gospel Meeting atRiver Bend church of Christ, September 19-24. Sunday – 9:30am,  10:30am; 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday 7pm. Speaker: Frank Richey. Info:


COVID-19 and Rapid testing is now available at the SHOALS  COMMUNITY  CLINIC –  FREE to the public. The clinic has partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health to administer these tests. The new COVID Rapid test takes only 15 minutes.   256-760-4713


Want to list your event in Community  Notes?  Email your information to [email protected]


Monthly Book Club Discussions at the Florence Lauderdale Public Library  350 N. Wood Ave. Florence.  For more info contact: 256-764-6564 ext.136 or [email protected]

Thursday, September 23, 5:30pm – “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig


Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness, the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, in collaboration with the Coalition for Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders (CARD), is  presenting a series of free symposiums on Alzheimer’s disease in the coming months.  

Symposiums are scheduled in the library conference room from 5-6:30pm the fourth Thursday each month through October. Future topics will include:

September 23 – Dodging and disarming landmines! • Long distance people with lots of opinions • Car keys  • Diet  • Bathing  • Wandering  • Home safety

Every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease, with 5.8 million American’s living with the disease, according to CARD data. CARD is a nonprofit organization established in 1993 to provide education and support for the residents of Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Marion and Winston counties. 

The scheduled facilitator for the symposiums is CARD board member Donna Tidwell.


The Long Term Care Ombudsman’s job is to protect the rights of residents of long term care facilities, including Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities.

The Ombudsman works to ensure that the Residents receive fair treatment and quality care.  Anyone can contact the Ombudsman to report long term care problems or to request information about long term care facilities.  For more information contact Tina Pitt, local Ombudsman at 256-389-0533.


Want to list your event in Community  Notes?  Email your information to [email protected]


Red Bay Founder’s Fest – family friendly event begins at 8:30am on September 25 at Bay Tree Park, Fourth Avenue, S.E., Red Bay. Hours are 8:30am-4pm. Admission is free. Activities include arts and crafts, antique car-truck-motorcycle-tractor show, live music and more. Bring a lawn chair.


Community Survey Residents of Florence City District 1. (East Florence, North Florence, West Florence) through September 25.

The survey is brief – it takes 3-5 minutes and 100% confidential, I will be the only one reviewing the survey. Please take this opportunity to tell me as your representative some things you would like to see for District 1 and your concerns if you have any.   Find the link on her Facebook page: Kaytrina P. Simmons City Council District 1 or contact her for the link.  256.349.3879 or email [email protected]

This is your opportunity to help shape the future for positive changes for years to come.

The survey is being done in lieu of in-person meetings due to the uprise of COVID-19.  Please consider getting vaccinated if you have not.


Lauderdale County Solid Waste – New Service Announcement – The Lauderdale County Solid Waste Department now picks up yard debris from county residents. This service is throughout the county only. 

Residents who need our service and meet the requirements should call the Solid Waste office at 256-760-5878.

For more information see the advertisement in this issue.


LifesSouth is in emergency need for blood donors, as the national blood shortage continues, and asks donors to help by donating blood during their Back to School Blood Drive. Blood donors who give blood at any LifeSouth donor center or bloodmobile through Sunday, August 8 will help summer blood shortages, save lives, and receive a $20 e-gift card as a thank you for donating.

This year continues to be difficult for LifeSouth and blood centers across the country with the impact of the pandemic causing a decrease in blood donations, while the need to help patients in local hospitals continues to increase.

Regular blood donors who have not given recently and first-time donors can make a major impact by donating. One donation can save up to three lives.

 To find a donor center or mobile blood drive near you, visit or call 888-795-2707. Blood donors must be at least 17 or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is required. LifeSouth donors receive a complementary cholesterol screening with each donation.


Renewed Spirits is hosting a benefit dinner at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center featuring Elizabeth Smart on September 28.   Renewed Spirits is a nonprofit counseling service that works with the underserved in our community through various programs. 

The keynote speaker for the evening will provide a night of encouragement and hope for attendees.  Elizabeth Smart was set to graduate middle school in 2002 when she was taken from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah and held captive for close to a year.  However, this was a rare horror story with a happy ending, as the clues led to the teenager’s safe return.   Elizabeth will be sharing her story of hope, healing, and never giving up. 

Sponsorship packages are available beginning at $500 which include dinner before event, reserved seating for event, and recognition on all marketing/media/signage, and a thank you on social media.

General admission for event is $50 and does not include dinner.  For more information, call 256-335-4062 or visit


The Shoals Area Buddy Walk takes place Sunday, October 3 at 2710 Darby Drive in Florence at 3pm. (on the track behind Riverhill School.)   The event is registered with the National Down Syndrome Society and is part of the National Buddy Walk Program Rachel,  Martha, and Ruthie Mitchener organized the walk in honor of their cousin, Walter who has Down Syndrome.  We look forward to seeing everyone at the Walk with Walter-Shoals Area Buddy Walk.  It is not primarily about raising money; it is about Awareness – Educating – Advocating, and Celebrating the little triumphs and big steps forward in the treatment of Down Syndrome. 

All families and friends who have been touched by Down Syndrome are welcomed and encouraged to attend.  There will be a fun, casual walk around the track with the chance to celebrate everyone. .  All proceeds benefit for the UCP Center and the National Down Syndrome Society.   

For more information, contact Rachel Michener at 256-710-3290 or [email protected]    Follow on Facebook @Shoals Area Buddy Walk or Twitter @walkingwithwalter


“Cold Weather Comforts”, an exhibit of antique and vintage quilts and oil lamps, will be presented at Belle Mont Mansion at 1569 Cook Lane in Tuscumbia from October 6–30,  Wednesdays–Saturdays, 10am–4pm.  

In addition, a special “show and tell” discussion of quilts will be led by Glenn Rikard, on the courtyard of Belle Mont, at 1pm each Friday – Oct. 8, 15, 22, and 29.  Individuals are invited to bring quilts from their personal collections to share.  In case of inclement weather, the courtyard program will be cancelled.  The program, a quilt and oil lamp exhibit, and museum tours are all included in the regular admission rates:] Admission: Adults $6; Seniors, Military, and College Students $5; Youth, ages 6-18 years $3; under 6 years at no charge.   

Social distancing, with masks indoors is encouraged.   For more information, call 256-381-5052 or visit


YMCA of the Shoals Affordable Before & After School Care includes over 7,000+ square feet of childcare dedicated space – homework help, team building activities, arts & crafts, and much more. Have Fun! Make Friends! Learn New Things! If you need affordable childcare, contact us today at 256-246-9622 or [email protected]


Pay it Forward: Donate to Educate.  Shoals Scholar Dollars is an Education Foundation raising money to pay tuition at Northwest Shoals Community College and transfer scholarships to the University of North Alabama for Lauderdale and Colbert County students who meet certain criteria. Donate to Scholar Dollars at any participating financial institution the second Friday of each month.


WoodmenLife Charity Tournament benefiting Local Elementary Schools Back Pack Program on October 11, 1pm Shotgun Start at Turtle Point Yacht & Country Club.

2 person scramble at $250 per team

Prizes for Long Drive and Closest to Pin

3 Flights: 1st Place Team $300

               2nd Place Team $200

               3rd Place Team $100

           (Pro Shop Credit)

Hole-in-One Prize: New Car

Hole Sponsorships Available: $100

More information, contact Rocky Beck 256-710-7133 or Adam Beck 256-762-6499.


The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) currently offers industry-led training certifications at Northwest-Shoals Community College.

The MSSC training center at NW-SCC is an industry-led training, assessment, and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line production and material handling workers. MSSC training offers both entry-level and incumbent workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills increasingly required in the technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century.

If you have questions regarding MSSC certification at NW-SCC, please contact Taylor Franks. You may call 256-331-8092, text 256-415-6992, or email at  [email protected]


Join us for our 2nd Annual SIOD Superhero 5K & Fun Run at Muscle Shoals Middle School on October 16 at 8am!  The race will follow the Swamper’s 5K course.  

Get out and run, walk, or jog while dressing up as your favorite superhero.  This fundraising event is presented by Quad Cities Pediatrics to promote awareness and raise money for SIOD research.

Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia (SIOD) is an extremely rare genetic disease that affects multiple systems in the body, including the kidneys, growth plates and cartilage, heart and arteries, lungs, and immune system.

SIOD has been championed in the Shoals area by Kyle and Jessica Davenport along with scores of friends and volunteers.  The Davenports founded the Kruzn for a Kure Foundation on behalf of their two children, Kruz and Paizlee, both of whom have SIOD.

To sign up for the 5k and Fun Run or for more information, please visit


2021 Shoals Walk to End Alzheimer’s – October 24 at 2pm  at McFarland Park – 200 James M Spain Dr in Florence

Registration at 1pm | Ceremony at 2pm | Walk Immediately Following

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is full of flowers, each carried by someone committed to raising funds and awareness for a breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Whether you join us in person or Walk From Home, your participation makes a difference in the lives of those facing the disease.

The Route Length is a flat 2 miles.   Contact:  Jen Manning at 256-655-5460 or email [email protected] for details

As of July 13 there were 55 participants and 25 teams registered.  $20,817 of this year’s 70,000 goal has been raised/pledged. 


Join the Quad Cities Square Dance Club meeting four Thursdays every month 7-9pm at the Royal Ave. Recreational Center in Florence.  We are refreshing and relearning our fun dance.


Hurricane Cemetery is located between Rogersville and Anderson on Lauderdale County Road 551. The cemetery was established in 1852 and is totally supported by volunteers and donations. Through a private donor, the cemetery committee started a project three years ago to create a historical documentary DVD to preserve stories from the past, as told by older members of the community.  The first release, “Hurricane Cemetery: Memories of the Past”, is a 30 minute video now available for purchase.   A copy of the DVD can be purchased for $10 plus $3 shipping by calling or texting Doug Newton at 256-247-1420.  All proceeds will be used for upkeep of the cemetery and facilities. Please visit our Facebook page “Hurricane Cemetery” for photos and information.


The Friends Bookstore, located in the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, is now accepting donations of books and recent magazines.  Bring your donations by the back entrance of the library on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 10am-2pm, and you will find a volunteer or library staff member to assist you.  The Friends ask that you limit your donation to 20 items during this time and that donated items be in good condition.  Items that the bookstore cannot accept include: encyclopedias, condensed books, cassette tapes, LP records, catalogues, and magazines older than 2 years old.

Donations are vital to the library and the bookstore, as the profit from the sales made in the Friends Bookstore provide the community with free services, materials, and programs.   For  more information, call 256-764-6564 ext. 126, or visit


Florence Parks & Recreation/The Club announcing Beginner Square Dance lessons each Monday, 6-8:30pm with Caller Kevin Cozad.  Sponsored by the Singing River Squares.

$21 on the first Monday of the month. You can begin any Monday. Casual dress and comfortable shoes.  No prior experience needed.  We’ll have helpers to help you.  Two left feet ok! It’s for recreation and fun. For more information 256-760-6642. We do not dance on federal holidays.


The NACOLG SENIORx Medication Assistance Program supplies free and low cost medications for anyone in Alabama with a disability or a chronic illness regardless of age that requires daily medication.  Medicare recipients may also be eligible.  

For more information, contact NACOLG SENIORx today.  There is no charge for this service.

1-800-AGELINE (1-800-243-5463)   Paula Pardue   256-389-0529

This program is in partnership with the State of Alabama and Alabama Department of Senior Services


The American Red Cross has kicked off its Annual Fund Drive,  looking for 1,000 supporters to boost the 2021 Annual Fund and provide urgently needed aid to families facing their hardest moments throughout the year.

Your generous support helps AMC to respond immediately whenever and wherever they’re needed, in local communities and nationwide. And monthly support powers the American Red Cross mission, year-round.

When you make a monthly gift to provide steadfast support for families, they’ll also send you a special

Red Cross mini first aid kit in a vintage-inspired tin.  For more information or to donate, call 1-800-435-7669 or visit


Utility Assistance is Available for those in need who qualify. No Appointment Needed.  Just submit the proper paperwork as directed.  The State of Alabama now mandates the use of a Declaration of Household Income form.  This form is to be completed by the person applying for assistance. It will include income information on each household member 18 and older. You may visit one of our offices to request a form or visit for an application.  Call 256-766-4330 for more information.


Want to see your Event here? Email your information to Edi[email protected]


REAL Rehome Educate Adopt Love offers the following pet preventive care assistance for dogs and cats in Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin Counties:

• Flea/Tick Control

• HW Testing

• HW Preventative

• Vaccine

Submit your Pet Wellness application from our Facebook page REAL Rehome Educate Adopt Love or website


Alabama Hospice of the Shoals in Tuscumbia is currently seeking Veteran volunteers to serve the following counties: Colbert, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Franklin, Marion, and Winston.  For more information, contact Barbara at 256-314-1204.


Did you know that there are 250 children who can’t live at home in our community each month?  These children can’t live at home because the very people who are supposed to protect and care  for them are not able to do so.  These are the children in foster care.   These are the children that need someone to stand up for them when it feels like no one cares.  These are the children that need a CASA Volunteer.  

Please consider becoming a Volunteer Advocate for local children who need a caring and committed adult to speak up for their best interest.  Call the Shoals CASA office at 256-765-0041 or check out the agency’s website for more information 


Want to see your Event here? Email your information to [email protected]


City of Florence  – Recycling Program:

Paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs only (#1 & #2), aluminum cans, and steel cans are all recyclable. Residential curbside cart collection is provided within City of Florence limits. The Florence Recycle Center drop-off is available to everyone, 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Cardboard Boxes

Place large, broken-down cardboard boxes 3 feet away from your recycle and garbage carts. Remove all contents from each box before recycling as Styrofoam and plastic film are NOT recyclable.


Old TV’s are not collected with curbside trash. They can be dropped off at two locations:

–Florence Recycle Center:  1200 Terrace Street, Florence

–Florence Landfill:  29485 County Road 14, Florence

Wrapping Paper

All paper is recyclable if it will tear.  We encourage you to reuse ribbons and bows, but they are not recyclable. 


Want a job? Want a better job? Get your GED! Free GED Prep classes are located near you. The program is open entry with new students starting classes weekly. For more information, call the Northwest-Shoals Community College Adult Education Program at 256-331-5440 or 256-331-5438.


Hospice Volunteers Needed – Veterans, Students, Retirees, everyone with an hour a week to share with someone in your community.  Specific needs:  Male veteran to visit WWII vet, Florence area.  Hairdresser/Barber in all areas.  [email protected]   256-269-2100   Comfort Care Hospice, Sheffield.


Do you have a family member or a friend with a disability?

If so, sign up for our Disability Advocacy Network email list to show your support for a family member or friend through The Arc’s national movement.  

By signing up you will receive reliable updates about state and federal legislative decisions so you can take action as an informed advocate.

Your elected officials will listen to you on issues that are important to the I/DD community by making a call or sending an email!  Go to  to subscribe!

Want to see your Event here? Email your information to [email protected]

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