Fundraiser for veterans outreach at CEPA raises more than $7,000

CEPA Director Jeff Thompson presents a check for $7,018 raised through the Nov. 10 show Run Through the Jungle to agencies that seek to assist veterans in St, Clair County. From left are Al Morrow of VFW Post 4758, Thompson, St. Clair Veterans Outreach Coordinator Wayne Johnson and Gerald Mortz of DAV District 2.

Run Through the Jungle, a performance of Vietnam War-ear music by The WingNuts in November, raised more than $7,000 for veterans services in St. Clair County. This week, the three organizations that will distribute the funds to those in need met to celebrate the success of the effort.

“I haven’t heard a negative word about the show,” said Gerald Mortz of District 2 of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). “In fact, people are saying over and over that we should have it again next year.”

Run Through the Jungle was held Nov. 10 at the Center for Education and Performing Arts (CEPA) in Pell City. The WingNuts, a local band of aviation enthusiasts – some veterans themselves – originally came up with the idea of playing a veterans fundraiser, and the final product was the result of months of planning by many in the community.

Largely thanks to critical donations from Team Hennessey, Franklin First Financial – Teresa Carden and The Realty Pros (Barb Turbville and Nancy Locklar), as well help from other donors and an army of volunteers, the event raised $7,018. Those funds were turned over in their entirety to Al Morrow of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 4758 on Dec. 5.

Wayne Johnson, St. Clair County Veterans Outreach Coordinator, said the funds would be used for discretionary spending for the immediate need of local veterans. His department, operated through a partnership between the St. Clair County Commission and the Alabama Extension Service, will work with Mortz and Morrow to take care of the problems that come up in the day-to-day lives of our local heroes, bypassing some of the red tape that they often experience.

“Sometimes it can take more than a month to get help if you’re a veteran – like if your water line ruptures at your home or your car breaks down when you need to get to work,” he said. “But when we’re out in community talking with our vets and we find a situation where they need something immediately, we’ll be able to help them on the spot.”

Johnson said all three organizations would work together and communicate with each other before distributing the funds raised.

Run Through The Jungle was organized by CEPA, The WingNuts and the St. Clair County Extension with help from the Robert L. Howard Veterans Home, VFW Post 4758, DAV District 2, and the Military Order of the Purple Hearts, Springville Chapter 2213.

The WingNuts are a group of aviation buffs who enjoy playing music from primarily the 1960s-80s. Three members are pilots and all enjoy playing in their home hangar at the St. Clair County Airport. Band Members are Alan Furr, Sandra Furr, Donnie Todd, Mickey Farmer, Teresa Carden, Glenn Wilson, and Bobby Breed.

For more on efforts to serve veterans in St. Clair County, visit


PCHS Drama performs Godspell this week at CEPA

This week the Pell City High School Drama Department premiers Godspell at CEPA, performing four shows available to the public.

Godspell was conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak, and music and new lyrics were written by three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden). Led by the international hit, “Day by Day,” Godspell features a parade of beloved songs, including “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All for the Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side.”

According to Music Theatre International, in the play a small group of people help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and hefty doses of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus’ life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’ messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.

Directed by PCHS Drama Teacher Ginger McCurry, Godspell features a cast and crew of more than 20 students who have put in countless hours of rehearsal and set construction getting ready for the performance.

Godspell premiers at CEPA, the Center for Education and Performing Arts, on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. It continues Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-18 at 7 p.m. and its final showing is Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.

CEPA is located next to Pell City High Schools at 25 Williamson Drive, Pell City, AL 35125.

Tickets for each performance are $5 for students and $10 for adults.


Godspell Cast and Crew

Alex Duck

Chapman Smith

Trey Lee

Trevor Howard

Nic Jones

Jeffrey Wills

Braxton Lee

Matthew Owens

Connor Hamlin

Will Treadwell

Corey Kirby

Chase Spears

Lannon Weiss

Sarah Foote

Maggie Lee

Maggie Reynolds

Maci Johnsey

Hollie Thweatt

Kristyn Sims

Karlie Blankenship

Andrea Nicastro

Sydnee Harris

Justin Wilson

Skyler Ferguson






St. Clair Veterans Day concert at CEPA returns to original time thanks to PCHS Football

Now, thanks to Coach Etheredge and the PCHS Football team, the Veterans Day concert has returned to the original schedule.

Last Friday, Nov. 3, the Pell City High School football coach announced that the first round playoff game vs. Shades Valley has been moved to Thursday, Nov. 9. The team decided to move the game in order to show respect and honor our veterans Friday night at CEPA. Coach Etheredge reported that AHSAA authorized the schools to play the first round either Thursday or Friday night.

Due to the rescheduling of the game, times for the veteran’s event have returned to the original schedule. On Friday, Nov. 10, doors will open 5:30 p.m. The event will begin with free food for attendees at 6 p.m. at the Center for Education and Performing Arts in Pell City (CEPA), and the show will begin at 7 p.m. with Judge Bill Hereford serving as narrator.

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Varsity Basketball Youth Camp to Become an Annual Event

The first PCHS Basketball Youth Camp had 27 attendees, a turnout that encouraged coaches to announce the event will continue annually.

The Pell City High School Varsity Boys Basketball program conducted an inaugural Youth Basketball Camp at CEPA this month, and program leaders said it went so well they’ll be planning more in the future.

“We had 27 kids attend the camp, beating our expectations,” PCHS Head Basketball Coach Joel Bowman said. “It was definitely a success, and we plan make it an annual event.”

The camp was conducted Oct. 18-20 in the gymnasium at the Center for Education and Performing Arts in Pell City (CEPA). Bowman, joined by members of the team and the assistant coaching staff, taught a variety of drills and techniques over the three-day camp. PCHS basketball assistant coaches are Ryan Shell, Benny Bowman and Trent South.

Bowman said a primary goal for the camp is to support the team financially heading into the season. Camp attendance fees are used by the Basketball Boosters to purchase pre-game meals and team clothing for players, as well as purchase supplies for the concession stand.

However, Bowman also said the camp serves a second, equally important purpose.

“This camp gives our basketball program a chance to reach out to the community and make relationships with our program’s future,” he said. “We’re building character in our players, and we love giving them the chance to demonstrate it to the next generation.”

If you would like to support PCHS boys and girls basketball by becoming a sponsor or donating to the boosters, please email

The PCHS Basketball 2017 season kicks off in the CEPA Gym on November 14 against Moody.