Annual event guaranteed to ‘Lift Your Spirits’

Published 4:08 pm Monday, August 8, 2011

Front row from left are Anne Hightower, Ann Whitaker, Marla Corts, Annella Waldrup and Steve Sweatt. Back Row: Brenda Bodine, Terrell Spencer and Carol MacMillan. (Contributed)

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

The eighth Annual “Lift Your Spirits” Gala to benefit Community Grief Support Service (CGSS) will be held Oct. 20 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Park Lane on Cahaba Road in Mountain Brook.

The evening will be uplifting with all fun activities including live and silent auctions as well as a seated dinner.

University of Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore will show that he knows much more than just sports, as honorary chairman of the evening’s festivities. There will be no coaching or refereeing needed — just lots of celebrating in the end zone of life.

Community Grief Support is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization providing free grief counseling, support groups, individual counseling, Grief-in-the-Workplace seminars and overall grief education in the Birmingham Metropolitan area since its inception in 1996. CGSS provided 1,150 hours of free direct services last year alone.

Hospitality will be provided and dinner catered by Kathy G. Granger. Thagard and Associates will serve as auctioneers for the evening.

Among the items to be auctioned are vacations, golf outings, art work, fine dining and — as one might imagine with an athletic director chairing the event — lots of autographed sports memorabilia.

Assisting on the planning committee are:  Maureen Alexander, Brenda Bodine, Betty Bourland, Lois Cardwell, Marla Corts, Mary Gayle Davidson, Linda Dunn, Rick Ebbinghouse, Barbara Forrester, Martha Hastings, Anne Hightower, Melanie Lewis, Virginia Love, Carol MacMillan, Ann Marks, Peggy McClure, Kathy Soltis, Board Chairman Terrell Spencer, Steve Sweatt, Annella Waldrup and Ann Whitaker.

The goal for the gala is to raise $35,000 for adults struggling to rebuild their lives after the death of a loved one. Tickets for the event are $100 each and include complimentary valet parking.

Dress for the evening is business attire. For more information on CGSS or to purchase tickets to the Gala, call 870-9667 or email

Your attendance at this annual event is encouraged, and there is no doubt that your spirits truly will be “lifted” if you do. The spirits of many others will be “lifted,” too, through the much needed, quality services provided by CGSS.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at