Programs that build character, leadership, and valuable skills for young people are at the heart of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama’s main mission. Today more than 8,000 children and teens count on the four area BGCCA clubs as a place where they can learn to grow and hone their abilities. By providing a safe place where children and teens can both learn and have fun, the centers hope to promote healthy lifestyles, community engagement, and a greater readiness for the working world. That mission is most apparent in the success of program graduates, who graduate from high school at a rate of 90%, compared to 66% nationally.
My Sister's Closet is a unique non-profit resale shop that sells professional women's clothing, shoes and accessories. We also provide free professional clothing to women from over 25 shelters and referring agencies in the Birmingham Area so that they can have appropriate attire for job interviews and everyday work attire.
The home shows produced by Marketplace Events connect homeowners and designers with trusted brands, independent businesses, innovators of new products, and local artisans. The vibrant and inspirational presentations showcase new aesthetic trends and functional designs in the realms of home decor, gardening, energy conservation, and living-space management. In addition to showcasing a range of products and concepts, the event hosts special-guest speakers, who educate audiences on home-remodeling projects from painting walls to adding a fourth dimension to a cramped kitchen.
Gallery owner Kirk Carlisle doesn’t just sell art—he protects it. In addition to showcasing his self-curated collection of century-spanning paintings that deck the walls of Carlisle Gallery, he also helps newer art battle the forces of time with artistic framing services. The gallery’s custom-framing specialist draws on more than 30 years of experience as he pairs diplomas, paintings, and finger-painted replicas of Bayeux Tapestry with complementary matting and outlines before securing them in their new glass-covered homes. Frames make aesthetic statements of their own, with edging chosen from more than 10,000 frame styles ranging from hand-carved Italian moldings to sleek metallic boundaries.
More than 50 species of butterflies flit between the petals of an ever-changing array of exotic plants inside the greenhouse as sunlight streams in through the glass ceilings. Outside, experts launch owls, falcons, and eagles into the air to fly—and many come back down to land on the arms of the audience. Since 1952, the staffers of Callaway Gardens’ educational nature preserve have immersed visitors in their passion for wildlife management and conservation across more than 4,600 acres of demonstration gardens, arboretums, and outdoor sports attractions.
At the 5-acre Horticultural Center, visitors wander through three conservatories, a grotto, and an outdoor garden and stand at the base of a 22-foot indoor waterfall. They can also soar up to 30 feet above the forest floor on a five-zipline treetop course replete with ladders, logs, and netting or practice their lumberjack calls on a 10-mile discovery trail through the trees. Staffers regularly lead guided hikes through the woods, hold a range of butterfly shows and cultural workshops, and help facilitate seasonal events—including circus, music, and theater performances and a holiday light show. On overnight stays, they welcome guests into lodgings such as a rustic inn, 155 secluded pine cottages, and 57 stone and wood villas with balconies.