Hello Nick & Terry Saban,
We just wanted to say thank you for you support of the Boys & Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties. Our organization is new in Troy, AL. The Nick's Kids Luncheon is the 1st event I was able to allow our members to attend. It was actually the 1st event we were invited to. They had so much fun! Youth don't know when family members struggle or a new organization such as ours is growing and support of the community means so much to us. All our members know is the staff love them, they make friends and they have fun when coming to the club. This is exactly what they talked about all the way from Tuscaloosa to Troy. They had a blast! Thanks for giving our members another opportunity to talk about. Thank you for supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties.
Pamela Green Nealey
Chief Professional Officer
Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto with football legend Bob Baumhower to set Guinness World Record for largest pot of gumbo, raise funds for Tuscaloosa tornado victims.
Renowned chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto, in light of the catastrophic tornadoes that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Ala, on April 27, have partnered with longtime friend Bob Baumhower, an Alabama football legend and former Miami Dolphins nose tackle, for a special event.
Together with Baumhower, the chefs have created a high-profile charitable event to assist those in communities still suffering and rebuilding from the tragic losses. On Nov. 5, the day of the much-publicized grudge match between highly ranked University of Alabama and LSU football teams, the chefs will kick off the first-ever "LouisiBama Gumbo Bowl" at the University of Alabama, next to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tickets are being sold in advance, and may be purchased at http://gumbobowl2011.ticketbud.com/tornado-relief.
The centerpiece of the day-long Gumbo Bowl extravaganza will be the creation of the world's largest pot of gumbo by chefs Folse and Tramonto, along with Baumhower and his Executive Chef Steve Zucker, which will be post-certified by Guinness World Records. The team will create a monster pot of gumbo, using a 300-year-old cast iron pot from the sugar cane fields of South Louisiana. The World's Largest Gumbo recipe calls for 750 pounds shrimp, 450 pounds catfish fillets, 100 pounds claw crabmeat, 50 pounds white crabmeat, 200 pounds alligator meat, and 25 pounds Louisiana crawfish tail meat.
All seafood for the World's Largest Gumbo is being donated by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board. Additionally, Arrow Sysco Corporation, based in New Orleans, will provide 200 pounds of diced onions, 75 pounds of diced celery, 100 pounds of diced green bell pepper, 150 pounds of sliced okra, 50 pounds of dehydrated garlic, and 20 pounds of butter. After simmering for three hours, the pot will be weighed via a forklift provided by Thompson Tractor. Then, the delicious, steaming contents will be doled out to hungry football fans during the spirited pre-game tailgate at the University of Alabama.
The day's events will also feature the "Gumbo Bowl" Tailgate Cook-Off, a highly competitive gumbo cooking competition sponsored by the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and Lodge Manufacturing. Four LSU fans and four Alabama fans will square off over their Lodge cast-iron pots in a heated culinary battle for gumbo supremacy. The winner will take home the coveted Gumbo Bowl Tailgate Cook-Off Grand Champion trophy. With sports greats such as LSU legend A.J. Duhe and Alabama star Kenny Stabler, as well as Alabama Executive Chef and Great American Seafood Cook-Off winner Jim Smith judging the challenge, the stakes are high.
Finally, during the game, Folse, Tramonto, Baumhower and Zucker will present a check for the proceeds of the gumbo sales to representatives of both charities.
The 116-year-old rivalry between the two schools will be set aside temporarily, as Louisianans and Alabamans come together in friendship to raise money for Nick's Kids Fund, http://www.nickskidsfund.com/, and Caring Days Adult Day Care, http://www.campaignforcaring.org/, two local nonprofit organizations that are working hand-in-hand with the greater Tuscaloosa community to restore areas and services that were hit hard by the tornadoes.
Nick's Kids Fund, an organization created by University of Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban and his wife Terry to promote and support children, family, teacher, and student causes, is working with several partner organizations to rebuild homes in Holt, Ala., a farming community just outside of Tuscaloosa. Nick's Kids Fund is currently in the process of building 13 homes for 13 national college football championships.
Since 1997, Caring Days Adult Day Care has provided services to enhance quality of life for individuals with memory disorders, their caregivers, and other related populations. In the 2011 tornadoes, many services for dependent adults in West Alabama were wiped out, creating an even greater need for the organization's services. Caring Days is currently in the process of building the new Mal & Charlotte Moore Center, named for University of Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore, whose beloved late wife, Charlotte, suffered from early onset Alzheimer's for nearly 20 years. The new center will allow Caring Days to expand their services to serve more clients in the Tuscaloosa area.
For sports fans, food lovers, and Tuscaloosa community members alike, this will be a festive, heartfelt day not to be missed. For more information, and to purchase tickets to the LouisiBama Gumbo Bowl, please visit http://gumbobowl2011.ticketbud.com/tornado-relief.
Alabama kicker Cade Foster put the ball on a tee moments before opening the Crimson Tide’s 2011 football season, his teammates hopped up and down on the sideline. They smacked one another’s helmets and cracked one another’s shoulder pads and bounced around like preschoolers who had eaten too many cupcakes.
The moment of silence had long since passed. This was a moment to go bananas. Bryant-Denny Stadium, alive with excitement, was a rolling, rollicking, buzzing, boisterous ocean of red and white. Tuscaloosa goes crazy for every home opener, of course, but this one was different, more anticipated than any opener in recent memory because the city is still struggling to recover from an April tornado that left 50 of the county’s residents dead.
From players to politicians to aid workers to victims, residents of Tuscaloosa looked forward to this game because it meant, at least for a while, they would no longer look back at the tornado. Being a distraction is not the only way football has helped the community heal, but on this day it was the most obvious. For at least a few hours, fans would focus on football, which is to say, they would be normal, have their old lives back. A summer without football is always too long; this one was interminable. Finally, glory of glories, football was here.
But first, Foster had to kick off.
Just as he appeared ready to approach the ball, he stopped.
Wind had blown the ball over.
He ran up to where the ball had fallen, grabbed it and set it right.
A few hundred yards to the north and west of where that ball lay after it fell, Priscilla Nail was working at a souvenir stand. Normal for her had returned at midnight, when she started setting up in advance of the 11:20 a.m. kickoff. That is, if it is normal to be lining up hats and shirts on a table as drunks wander by. When you’ve been through what she has this summer, dealing with frolicking frat boys in the wee hours is pleasant. Nail craves the normalcy that comes with the Crimson Tide crazies.
Among the people killed in Tuscaloosa was one of Nail’s neighbors. Two other neighbors were picked up and thrown around before they landed, battered and bruised, on her front lawn, where she discovered them when she emerged—with her two kids, her parents, her sister and her sister’s two kids—from her basement. Nail’s house was destroyed. So was her parents’ house. She lost her job; the gym at which she worked as a trainer was wiped out in the tornado. She is one of the approximately 7,000 people who became unemployed in the span of six minutes on April 27.
As it did for much of Tuscaloosa, the tornado forced Nail to show perseverance, to pick herself up and start over no matter how hard she had been hit, no matter how much she had lost. She and the rest of Tuscaloosa also have had to put their faith in the idea that things will get better. The hard part is putting that faith into action, living as if life is normal when it’s anything but. Once they grabbed hold of faith, they used it as a shield to beat back fear and uncertainty and outlast the tough times. It hasn’t been easy, and it’s not over. Living arrangements for many lack permanence, and work opportunities seem to come and go. No, life is not normal, not yet, but it’s getting there, slowly returning to routine, and football is a big reason.
Something as simple as hawking a T-shirt brings with it newfound power and meaning. The financial impact of football in Tuscaloosa is massive, and the healing power of commerce, as crass as it might sound, cannot be missed, especially for people like Nail who lost their primary sources of income. A home game brings $12 million to $15 million in revenue into the area, according to the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. As the home opener and a greatly anticipated game, the Kent State matchup was expected to be on the high end of that.
HOLT, Alabama -- Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa dedicated the first house built out of a partnership with Alabama football coach Nick Saban's Nick's Kids Fund and Project Team Up on 5th Street in Holt Thursday afternoon.
Bob and Dana Dowling and their two children Marilyn and Drew cut the ribbon on the front door on their new home with help from Saban and his wife Terry.
The Dowlings lost almost everything they owned when the April 27 tornado destroyed their mobile home in Brookwood. Since that time, Bob and Dana have lived with their children in an RV.
Now, the Dowlings will begin the process of moving into the house, located in an area of Holt that has just recently begun to see post-storm rebuilding.
"This is a house built truly though a labor of love," Bob Dowling said.
Dana Dowling praised volunteers for their hard work in the heat of the summer and spoke about the spark of motivation that UA student athletes contributed on the site. Seeing the effort of the workers made the house special to her, she said.
"This house is absolutely, totally perfect," she said. "No matter what you do, it's the most perfect house ever."
Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa executive director Bob Johnson presented a Golden Hammer Award to the Sabans for their dedication to helping storm victims.
Saban, who was presented a $400,000 contribution to Nick's Kids from Drummond Company at the dedication, said the donation would go to the Habitat project, which plans to build 13 homes, one for each of Alabama's football national championships.
"That's really one of our short-term goals, but the long-term goal is to help have an impact on this entire community so that we can restore some normal living for some of these people," Saban said.
Around 75 percent of the Crimson Tide football team has volunteered at the Habitat site over the past months. In July, four Kent State football players joined UA and Auburn students to work on the house, which consisted of little more than a frame with a roof at the time.
"We're just privileged and pleased that we're in a position that we can do something to serve others," Saban said.
Terry Saban thanked volunteers and donors for their support of the project.
"April 27th taught us that life is fragile, but that the human spirit is strong, and alive and well," she said. "I'm proud to be a part of this."
Before the Dowlings cut the ribbon, Johnson handed the family two Bibles, and College Hill Baptist Church pastor Kelvin Croom led the gathering in prayer.
Bob Dowling said his family is thankful and feels blessed. They plan to help their neighbors build back, he said, and he encouraged others to contribute.
"Hand in hand, we can rebuild Tuscaloosa and Alabama," he said. "It's up to people just like you sitting at home to do that."
Two other houses on the street that are part of the Habitat for Humanity and Nick's Kids Fund partnership are set for dedication over the next few weeks.
Nick's Kids Foundation