Community & Church Events

Guidelines for Submitting your Church/Community Announcements
These are free as long as there are no personal messages and the event is not being charged for (love offerings do not count). Please keep the announcement to one paragraph with who is presenting the event, what the event is, date, time, where it will be held and contact information. Email them to [email protected]. The front office is closed due to COVID-19. We can not take anything over the phone due to company policy.

2023 Upcoming Holiday deadlines: Santa Letters Deadline is Fri., Dec. 1. Christmas and New Year’s Deadline is Fri., Dec. 15 and SCRJ will be closed Dec. 23 – Jan. 2, 2024.

Drive Thru Free Food Giveaway
BlackBelt Gospel Ministry, West Alabama Coalition, and Sumter County Rescue Squad in collaboration with West Alabama Food Bank will have a Drive Thru Free Food Giveaway Fri., Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. Sumter County Rescue Squad, 1509 East 4th Ave., US Hwy. 11, York. ID required, and first come, first served.

Harvest Ministries
Harvest Ministries, Cromwell, will be open on Wed., Dec. 13, 8 a.m. -1 p.m. Free clothes, children clothes, shoes, household items, COVID testing, blood pressure checks, and much more.

Families Sought for Study on Child Brain Development
Participants from West Alabama have the opportunity to enroll in the largest long-term study of early brain and child development in the United States. Researchers at The University of Alabama are part of a national initiative to gather a large cohort of participating families to better understand how the brain develops. Researchers want to understand the effects of exposure to social factors, substances and other environmental conditions during pregnancy and after birth. It will also identify family resilience factors that help overcome adversity. The study is enrolling individuals in the second trimester of pregnancy. Knowledge gained from this research will have lasting impacts on future generations of children. All assessments and procedures for the study are free. Participants receive compensation for their time. HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study seeks participants from a diverse urban and rural population across 27 recruitment sites at universities and research hospitals across the U.S. UA will rely on its University Medical Center locations on campus and rural health care clinics in surrounding counties for recruitment, which serve the state’s historically disenfranchised communities in the Black Belt. However, families do not have to be UMC patients to participate in the years-long study. UA will use its MRI Research Facility for brain imaging over the course of the study. The study seeks participants from the following counties: Tuscaloosa, Pickens, Fayette, Marengo, Lamar, Greene, Hale, Sumter, Perry. Researchers will collect information during pregnancy and through early childhood, including: Pictures of the child’s brain; Growth measurements; Samples of blood and saliva; Medical and family history surveys; Information about social, emotional, and cognitive development The information will help families and society better understand child development and how brains and behaviors are affected by experience and environment. Participating families will receive any medically relevant findings from MRI scans and development assessments. The study will also provide connections to community resources and additional support through pregnancy and early childhood development. UA is partnered with researchers at The University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine as part of a grant expected to provide about $7.1 million over five years to conduct the comprehensive study of risk and protective factors for healthy brain development in children. The study at UAB is led by Dr. Myriam Peralta-Carcelen, professor of neonatology and co-director of the Newborn Follow-Up program, and Dr. Cassandra Newsom, associate professor in neurobiology and director of the Civitan Translational ASD/NND Research Core. Yerby and Dr. Sharlene Newman, executive director of the Alabama Life Research Institute, lead the UA study. The Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative along with numerous institutes and offices at the National Institutes of Health fund the HBCD Study. It is led by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Information on Joining Study. Visit the study’s website or contact site coordinator Sally Sutherland at 205-348-6360 or [email protected].

Community Prayer
Community Prayer for the Sumter County area will be held Thurs., Dec. 7, at noon for one hour at the Bored Well next to the Courthouse Square in Livingston. We are asking all residents, businesses, local jeaders, pastors, governmental and city officials to join us as we come together as a community to pray.

Angel Tree 2023
Your Angel Tree donations help to bring hope and happiness to local individuals and families. The goal this year is to assist with gifts for 200 kids and 10 elderly residents. Donors are asked to stop by or contact the Sumter County DHR Office to select a tag from the Angel Tree Nov. 4- Dec. 12. The tag will list the assigned number for your angel and their wish list.

Community Prayer
Community Prayer for the Sumter County area will be held every 1st Thursday of each month at noon for one hour at the Bored Well, the Courthouse Square, Livingston. We’re asking all residents, businesses, local leaders, pastors, governmental and city officials to join us as we come together as a community to pray. Submitted by Min. Leola Washington, Volunteer Coordinator for NDPTF, Sumter County.

School Events

Online Applications Now Available for Students in all Mediacom Areas
Mediacom Communications is offering $60,000 in scholarship support for high school seniors who plan to obtain further education. The scholarship program is in its 23rd consecutive year and Mediacom’s investment will award $1,000 World Class Scholarships to 60 high school seniors. Scholarship recipients are given the flexibility to use the financial awards to support post-secondary college costs or vocational training from an accredited institution starting in the fall of 2024. Award selection is based on academic achievement and leadership accomplishments. Applications for Mediacom’s World Class Scholarships are available online at: Information has been sent to all high schools in areas where Mediacom delivers its high-speed internet services. High school officials are asked to encourage seniors to submit applications on or before the Jan. 31, 2024, deadline. Applicants do not have to be Mediacom customers but must live in the 22-state area served by Mediacom’s fiber-rich broadband network. A complete list of communities in Mediacom service areas is included with the online application. Inquiries may be sent to [email protected].

UA to Hold Fall 2023 Commencement Dec. 16
The University of Alabama will hold fall commencement with two ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 16 at Coleman Coliseum on the UA campus. Saturday, Dec. 16: 8:30 a.m. College of Communication and Information Sciences, College of Education, College of Engineering, Culverhouse College of Business, School of Law. Noon: Capstone College of Nursing, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Human Environmental Sciences, College of Community Health Sciences, School of Social Work. About 1,800 are expected to graduate. Each year, UA awards around 9,000 degrees and of the graduates that may be tracked since 2015, 52% remain in Alabama. More information, including live and recorded webcast details, an interactive campus map, parking information and fast facts about the 2023 fall class can be found on UA’s commencement website. Commencement information can be heard on UA’s radio station, 92.5 FM.

SSCC’s Terrific Tuesday Concert Series
Shelton State Community College’s 2023-2024 Terrific Tuesday Concert Series kicks off its fall schedule in the Alabama Power Recital Hall on the Martin Campus. Admission is free. Upcoming performances and artists include: December 5 – Faculty Recital – Holiday Themed. Shelton State’s Terrific Tuesday Concert Series is designed to showcase a variety of repertory styles. Weekly performances are offered by guest artists as well as Shelton State faculty and students. For more information, contact Lillian Roberts at 205.391.2399 or [email protected].

UA EXPERTS AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS TOPICS AROUND GOP DEBATE — Faculty at The University of Alabama are available to discuss aspects of the debate and political landscape. This list will be updated, so check back often for new sources. For assistance with reaching any of these sources or for topics not highlighted, contact Alex House, UA Strategic Communications, at [email protected].
UA STUDENTS TO COMPETE IN NATIONAL EV BATTERY CHALLENGE — A team of students from UA will compete in a premier national competition to design, build, test and integrate an advanced battery pack into a commercial electric vehicle. UA is one of 12 North American universities selected for the Battery Workforce Challenge collegiate competition. It is managed by Argonne National Laboratory for the United States Department of Energy in partnership with Stellantis and other government and industry sponsors. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at [email protected]
NEW COLLEGE OF EDUCATION DEAN ANNOUNCED — Dr. Joyce Alexander has been named the next dean of the UA College of Education and will begin her tenure Jan. 3, 2024. Alexander comes to UA from the American Educational Research Association in Washington, D.C., where she served in a dean-in-residence education research policy fellowship. She previously served as dean of the Texas A&M University College of Education and Human Development. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at [email protected]
NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCY MUSEUM INDUCTION — Mary Smith and Nancy Spain from the Muscogee Creek Nation of Oklahoma will be inside the Jones Archaeological Museum at Moundville Archaeological Park Nov. 30. They will provide demonstrations from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. The two will reveal their artwork at 4 p.m. and light refreshments will be served. Registration is required.
DESIRE — The Master in Fine Arts dance program presents Desire Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the dance theatre of the English Building. Desire is a dance concert of expressive and eclectic works choreographed and performed by MFA dance candidates. The concert is free and open to the public.    
HILARITAS — Join the UA choirs and orchestra for Hilaritas Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. in the concert hall of the Moody Music Building. This Alabama holiday tradition is one of the longest running performances at the School of Music. Tickets are available for purchase online.