Danna Rae Black and Joseph Andrew Showalter were united in marriage, Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Eastwood Presbyterian Church, Montgomery, Alabama. The Reverend Bart Lester officiated the service.
Danna is the daughter of Barbara and Robert Harrington, Montgomery, and Dan R. Black of Mathews, Alabama. She is the granddaughter of Jane M. Stearns of Montgomery, the late Ray Black of Brundidge, Alabama and the late Thera Findley McAbee and the late J.H. Findley of Evergreen, Alabama.
Andrew’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. George Showalter of Andalusia, Alabama. He is the grandson of Mrs. Bobby Driver and the late Reverend Driver of Andalusia, Alabama, and the late Mr. and Mrs. George Blaine Showalter of Cumberland, Maryland.
Given in marriage by her father, Danna wore a full-length gown in candlelight, and her veil was designed and created by her mother, Barbara. Danna carried a bouquet of hydrangeas, magnolias, and spring wildflowers wrapped in satin ribbon, assembled by her sister and Matron of Honor Meredith Black Sellars. Her something borrowed was a pearl necklace from Meredith.
Danna’s bridesmaids were Neeley Boston, Montgomery, cousin of the bride; Allison Crusey of Tampa, Florida, cousin of the bride; Caroline Crusey of Tampa, Florida, cousin of the bride; and junior bridesmaid, Madilyn Sellars, niece of the bride, Montgomery. They each wore individual style dresses of petal pink while carrying bouquets that complemented the bride’s. Her precious flower girl was Claire McLure, of Hoover, Alabama, dressed in an ecru hand sewn dress. She carried her flower petals in a satin basket.
Andrew’s best man was his father George, his groomsmen were long time friends Lee Davis and Josh Calhoun both of Opp, Alabama. Brother-in-law of the bride, Ryan Sellars, also served as a groomsman, along with his son Weston Sellars who was a junior groomsman, both of Montgomery. The groom and attendants wore navy blue suits, petal pink bow ties, along with navy blue suspenders given as a gift from the groom. Sawyer Wiley Black was the ring bearer, and he wore a family heirloom hand sewn outfit of ecru color.
As friends and family entered the church, Dr. Sarah Mason, dearest family friend, provided music. They were greeted by the bride’s long time friends Mary Beth McLure of Hoover, Alabama, Johanna L. Stewart of Tallassee, Alabama, and Andrea Fretts of St. Louis, Missouri.
Mrs. Mac Cutchins of Auburn, Alabama decorated the church with banks of magnolias, hydrangeas and spring wildflowers as well as beautiful holly ferns.
The wedding reception was held at the Prattville Country Club where guests enjoyed a Taco Bar catered by the couple’s favorite restaurant, El Rey’s in Montgomery, along with other various favorite foods. The Bride’s cake was a key lime cake decorated with a Mr. & Mrs. topper and magnolias, while the groom chose a chocolate peanut butter cake with small peanut butter cups surrounding it. On the pool terrace, Ben Norris, a local musician, provided entertainment.
After their honeymoon in Florida, the couple now resides in Montgomery.
Despite a looming Hurricane Irma, a close group of friends and family gathered together in Gulf Shores to celebrate the engagement of Abby Luker and Harry Fitzpatrick at The Veranda, the lovely beach home of Mildred and George Wakefield. Guests were invited for the weekend, with the engagement party held Saturday evening. The festive mood was set on arrival with Mildred Wakefield’s bridal veil adorning the front doors. Parents of the couple, Melinda and Charles Luker of Kellyton and Alice and Tom “Fitz” Fitzpatrick of Montgomery, greeted guests.
The Veranda was exquisitely designed for entertaining and hosting weddings and was the perfect venue for guests to enjoy a weekend of celebration and friendship. Saturday night, guests sipped cocktails and enjoyed an appetizer of seafood gumbo while dinner was prepared by the hosts. The lovely floral decor included yellow roses and greenery in a tiered rustic grapevine stand, which was arranged by Charlene Holtsford. The tables were decorated in beach hues and accented with sailboat-themed votives. The central table featured three large glass containers displaying shells and block signs that read, “Happily,” “Ever,” “After,” “Harry & Abby.” The surrounding tables held handsome lanterns.
Fitz Fitzpatrick, father of the groom, thanked everyone for being at this special weekend celebration. He, along with Alice, welcomed Abby to the Fitzpatrick family and toasted the happy couple. George Wakefield offered a prayer before guests were treated to a delicious buffet dinner featuring a shrimp boil, accompanied by a Southern green salad with glazed pecans. A scrumptious chicken and wild rice casserole was an alternative main dish. Dessert was a beach-themed treat, topped with miniature “beach umbrellas” and “beach blankets.”
Abby and Harry met in Montgomery while both were working in the same building. Abby graduated Summa Cum Laude from Troy University and holds a Master’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations from The University of Alabama. She is employed by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, where she serves as the Director of Communication and Engagement. Harry obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Alabama and is a Bank Examiner with the State of Alabama in Montgomery.
Abby’s family enjoying the happy event included her parents, Melinda and Charles, and her sister, Amanda, who will be the maid of honor. Other members of her family in attendance were Abby’s aunt and uncle, Martha and Keith Gray.
In addition to Harry’s parents, Alice and Fitz, his sister, Sarah, and her husband, Mathews Bryan, joined the festivities.
Friends attending the weekend event were Patrick Craddock, Erin Hardin, Kayla Farnon, and Mason Bass. Hurricane Irma did not affect the weekend weather but did prevent Harry’s longtime friend, William McLain, and his wife, Ashley, from attending when William (who works for WAFF in Huntsville), was diverted to Savannah for hurricane news coverage.
Joining Mildred and George Wakefield as hosts of the joyful dinner party were Rebecca and Jud Bryan, Katherine and Eric Crum, Charlene and Alex Holtsford, and Vonda and Tom McLain.
Abby and Harry will marry on November 18 at the Fitzpatrick home in Montgomery. After their wedding and honeymoon, they will make their home in Montgomery.
Lillie Leaps Camp was a labor of love for Josie Aronov, daughter of Loree and Owen Aronov. Josie hosted a free, week-long therapy camp this past July for children with special needs with the help of a special group of friends and volunteers. Josie chose Easter Seals of Central Alabama as the beneficiary to her Bat Mitzvah project this year based on her knowledge of what a key role it has played in her precious friend, Lillie Mastin’s development.
Josie sat down with a very dear mentor in her life, Liza Cardinal early this past summer to plan a camp that would benefit special needs children ages preschool through fourth grades. Lillie has been making great progress attending speech therapy at Easter Seals of Central Alabama, so when it came time for a Bat Mitzvah charity to be selected, Josie felt Easter Seals of Central Alabama would be a great choice.
Lillie had participated in a school enhanced program of Kinesthetic Learning this past year taught by Liza Cardinal. “Through kinesthetic learning, Lillie is able to process, apply and understand cross curriculum learning and the four elements of dance: Body, Energy, Space and Time. Through movement and curriculum integration she explores body and spatial awareness, as well as sequence building,” according to Dance Instructor, Liza Cardinal.
After many organizational and planning meetings with Liza, Josie and Loree Aronov, Speech Therapist, Kathy Welch, ESCA Executive Director, Debbie Lynn and Director of Marketing, Varina Mead, the group decided on a Movement and Language Camp offering occupational, speech and reading therapy with Disney themed curriculum. It would be named “Lillie Leaps” in honor of Lillie Mastin. Josie and Liza then selected which Disney stories to highlight to best suit each of the day’s therapy goals. With the assistance of Jennifer Riley and Laura Leigh Wright, Josie planned the overall decor for the room to reflect each day’s themes including a special reading corner.
Lillie’s mother, Jill Mastin was thrilled this see such a camp offered to benefit even more children through Easter Seals. She writes, “Lillie has loved her weekly classes with Liza during the school year! She is comfortable and always eager to participate. The lessons have been engaging and exciting and I know that this camp afforded that to so many others that might not have otherwise had the opportunity to participate and take therapy skills back into their homes.”
In the days leading up to the Camp, magical Disney themed vignettes were created by Josie, Loree, Jennifer, Lillie’s sister Caroline Mastin, and Josie’s friends: Lela Davidson, Adison Hart and Allie Frances Brazil. A story- themed vignette was placed in each corner of the room to reinforce the reading therapy environment. The children were also given a book of the story they read during story time and engaged in therapeutic activities pertaining to the story each day. The room where the children met each day was transformed into a bright, cheerful and happy place- one where they would look forward to returning to. Throughout the room were colorful wall hangings, ceiling treatments and soft floor cushions for the children to sit on throughout each day’s camp activities. Several new physical therapy pieces, including: foam blocks, tiered climbing steps, floor pillows, a reading mat, dress up items, movement scarves, bouncing balls and books were also donated for the camp and will be used in the children’s wing of the new Easter Seals building that is currently under construction.
Day One: Incorporating the story of Cinderella, the children explored the movement and rhythm of the waltz like Cinderella at the ball. They also discussed the animals found in the story and recreated their movement characteristics. Later, the children enjoyed a coloring activity sheet and story time inside a vignette of Cinderella’s castle.
Day Two: Incorporating the story of Peter Pan, the children traveled through various pathways like Tinkerbell and Captain Hook. They also walked the plank to make shapes. Girl campers dressed up as Tinkerbell Fairies, with wings and tutus; and the boys as pirates with hats and eye patches. Each child received photographs of themselves in costume for their parents to enjoy, compliments of Haygood Photography. The children also participated in an occupational therapy exercise of creating the “Tick Tock” alligator, by gluing specific shapes and pieces onto a canvas, which transformed into artwork they could take home and enjoy!
Day Three: Incorporating the story of Aladdin, the children rose out of their imaginary magic lamps like the Genie from the story, flying and gliding around the room like Aladdin and Jasmine. They also put actions to words for each movement to create a dance sequence. The children enjoyed decorating their very own oil lamps with “jewels” to take home, providing additional occupational therapy techniques.
Day Four: Incorporating the story of The Little Mermaid, (Josie’s Favorite childhood Disney Princess) the children moved through the room in different directions like Ariel swimming through the sea. They moved over, under, around and through the spaces as well as exploring the antonyms through kinesthetic learning such as big and small and tall and short. The children entered the room filled with bubbles blown by the volunteers, and in turn used their hand eye coordination to create bubbles of their own. Their occupational therapy and art for the day included painting with watercolors to create another masterpiece of Ariel and the undersea creatures they could take home and be so proud of doing at camp that day.
“Lillie Leaps Camp here at ESCA was a week full of dance, occupational therapy, speech therapy, reading therapy, arts and crafts, and plenty of smiles and giggles, which made for a great time for all,” states Director of Marketing, Varina Mead.
Day Five: Lillie Leaps Camp concluded with a demonstration by the campers of all their weeklong activities learned at camp. This provided parents with the opportunity to observe their movement skills, and instruction on how to reinforce these new therapy skills at home. Following this presentation, a special reception was held for all of the children that participated in the camp, along with their parents, grandparents and other family members; in addition to the many volunteers of all ages. Once again, David Haygood with Haygood Photography was on hand to capture these many special moments.
Lillie Leaps Camp could not have been possible without the help of many of Josie’s dear friends and a wonderful group of volunteers. Mary Carmen Haynes coordinated all of the volunteers and enlisted the best! Pat Dunn, Lang Cardinal, Libby Weatherly, Amy Berry, Katie Haygood, Gwen Motley, Rabbi Scott Kramer, Maddie, Chandler and Allie Frances Brazil, Lela Davidson, Adison Hart, Mary Margaret Easterling, Allie Dillard, Emma Ellis and Josie’s little brother Aaron volunteered several days, too!