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VOICES, fire trucks and sweets

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Last week was an exciting one. From the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet to riding in a fire truck, I had my hand in many activities and had a lot of fun while doing so.
The Chamber banquet last Thursday night was amazing. I think all those who had their hands in the event did a great job and deserve a pat on the back. Also, I think Shirley West is an exceptional recipient for the Citizen of the Year Award.
After interviewing West last Friday morning I wanted to take off work and head to Turtle Point Environmental Science Center.
I of course could not do that because my boss would not like that very much, but now that I know what Turtle Point is all about and how much hard work West put into its success, I definitely want to go for a visit.
Everyone I spoke with about Mrs. West said she is a wonderful and passionate person and I could see that when I talked with her myself. She was very sweet and I could tell she loves the outdoors and our environment with all her heart. We could definitely use a few more Wests in the world!
I also felt the entertainment for the banquet was absolutely incredible. I have no other word to describe the VOICES of Mobile than “WOW!”
I was not sure what to expect when the VOICES walked out, but when they opened their mouths to sing I knew I was in for a good night.
The VOICES are one of the 19 ensembles from the University of Mobile’s Center for Performing Arts. If the other 18 groups are as great as the VOICES are, there are a ton of very talented singers running around in south Alabama.
I literally had chills when the VOICES began singing. There were songs that it was appropriate to clap, so I did and there were songs that were so beautiful I almost cried.
Dr. Roger Breland, the university’s director for performing arts, said each year the VOICES, along with many of the other ensembles, put on a Christmas event. I am already excited about the possibility of attending the event because of the fabulous music of the VOICES.
Other than the Chamber banquet, I had a busy week last week. So, when I was at the Atmore Fire Department chatting with assistant chief Mike Staples and he offered to drive me around in a fire truck, I was more than thrilled.
Staples was very kind to allow me to ride around in the truck. I have to say that I have a newfound respect for firemen. I already thought firemen were heroes because they are the ones running into burning buildings when everyone else is trying to get out, but it looks like a task in itself to maneuver one of the trucks.
There are so many different buttons and switches inside the truck that I would never even be able to crank it up, much less drive it.
Nevertheless, riding in an Atmore Fire Department truck was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed that part of last week also.
And of course tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, which adds to my excitement left over from last week.
My sweetie, Matt, and I are going out to dinner tonight and I have no idea where because he won’t tell me. But, I know it’ll be fun anyway and I have a feeling I am going to have to break my diet, at least for one day.
I wish everyone a happy and safe Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Be sure to do something nice for your loved ones because it is a day of love and giving.
Adrienne McKenzie is managing editor for the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123.