Tide alumni kicking off season in Pelham

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2011

UA Athletic Director Mal Moore was the keynote speaker during the 2010 Shelby County University of Alabama kickoff party. This year's kickoff will feature Andrew Zow. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A group of University of Alabama alumni will be kicking off the Crimson Tide’s football season Aug. 18 in Pelham while making it easier for a few local students to attend the university.

aThe Shelby County UA Alumni Association will be holding its season kickoff party Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Heart of Dixie Harley Davidson’s Hog Room off Alabama 119 in Pelham.

The event, which the alumni group holds every year a few weeks before the Crimson Tide’s first game, will feature former Tide quarterback Andrew Zow, who played at the school from 1997-2001, and was an academic All-SEC student-athlete.

Chris Stewart, a Crimson Tide announcer and the new co-host of The Nick Saban Show, will also speak during the kickoff party.

Big Al and the UA cheerleaders are scheduled to appear, and representatives from Bama Fever and The Beveled Edge will sell a wide selection of game day gear, photos and prints. The alumni club will raffle off a football signed by Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

The Peach 97.7 radio station, which regularly airs UA sports events, will be conducting live broadcast remotes on the site, and members of the Alabama Frozen Tide hockey team will be signing autographs at the event.

Former Alabama football stars Thomas Rayam and Antonio London will also be featured during the kickoff.

In the face of April’s tornado outbreak, the alumni club decided to bring a “faith and family” feel to this year’s kickoff, said Lori Stamper, the association’s public relations officer.

“Andrew Zow really has an inspirational story,” Stamper said. “With everything that has happened in the past year, we want to get back to what really matters.

“We will open with a moment of silence for those who died in the tornado, the Alabama hockey player who passed away and the members of our military,” Stamper added, noting the group will be collecting baby items and cleaning supplies for tornado victims during the kickoff.

Admission to the event will be free for Shelby County UA alumni chapter members, and will be $10 for friends and supporters.

All money raised through admission sales will go into the alumni chapter’s scholarship fund, which is used to provide scholarships to Shelby County students who have applied to UA.

“Education is so important now. We just want to help kids out any way we can,” Stamper said.

For more information about the event, or the Shelby County UA Alumni Association, visit Shelbycountyrolltide.com.