COMMUNITY NOTES may be submitted for non-profit, civic or church-related events and published free of charge AS SPACE IS AVAILABLE in the Courier Journal. .  Community Notes must be submitted in writing by 3pm Friday for consideration in the following week’s issue.  

• Email to; 

• Look for “Submit News” on our website  at

• Fax to 256-760-9618; 

• Mail to 219 W. Tennessee St, Florence, AL  35630; or

• Bring in person.

All properly submitted Community Notes which are dated will be posted weekly at   We do our best, however, there is no guarantee that this free information will be published each week in the paper.  Visit our website for a complete list of community notes.  If your item MUST appear  in the paper a certain week, we suggest you also place a paid ad by calling 256-764-4268.  That way it will be in at least one area of the paper.  When your community note is published, your event will have coverage in two different locations.   


Florence – Lauderdale County Drive Thru Food Pantry at Northwood Methodist Church, Seven Points. Call for appointment, 256-764-2111.


"Dickens Day Downtown" is Saturday, December 12 from 10am-3pm on Main Street in downtown Tuscumbia.

Carriage rides with Clyde and Pride, the Clydesdales will be free and there will be appearances by the costumed Dickens characters throughout downtown.   It will be snowing at Cold Water Commons (the pocket park) and Santa will be visiting.  Shops and restaurants will offer specials throughout the day.  Complimentary Christmas photos will be available on the Carousel in Spring Park from 11am -1pm.   Please observe masking and social distancing in public places.  Sponsored by Tuscumbia Retail Development.  For more information, please call  256-383-9797, 256-383-0783 or 256-710-9081.


COVID-19 and Rapid testing is now available at the SHOALS  COMMUNITY  CLINIC -  FREE to the public. The clinic has partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health to administer these tests. The new COVID Rapid test takes only 15 minutes.   256-760-4713


Tis the season for holidays! The Muscle Shoals Sound Studio will be closed beginning Tuesday, December 1.   The Christmas closing will be December 22-28, and open December 29-31.  The Studio will be closed on New Year's Day, January 1.  For more information, call 256-978-5151.  


Christmas Lights, Spring Park, Tuscumbia abound in the park this year so a drive-thru tour is perfect to see the Christmas displays and park that is totally lit with twinkling lights.  Through Dec. 24, an evening tour through the park will delight both the old and young! Fountain lights, music, water show will be presented nightly on the hour – 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9pm.  Free.


Christmas Train and Carousel in Spring Park, Tuscumbia will be running this year through Dec. 23 from 4–8pm daily.  Admission fees for the Christmas Train is $5, Carousel, $3; Combination ticket, $7.


Christmas at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia.  Enjoy the beautiful live Holiday decorations at the Helen Keller Home, Sat, Dec. 12, 8:30am-4pm.  Admission.


White Christmas, the Musical, Muscle Shoals High School Auditorium, at 3 & 7pm., Dec. 12, 2pm, Dec. 13 and 7pm, Dec. 14.  Tickets are $12, tickets at (online only)


Winter Art Market 30+ Artists - Hundreds of one-of-a-kind gifts at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art in Tuscumbia through December 23, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, Saturday, 10am-5pm

The Winter Art Market will include works varying from paintings and pottery to jewelry, baskets, and handbags. A wide range of price points will be available, so whether you’re looking for small stocking stuffers or elaborate gifts, the market will have the special, one-of-a-kind treasures you’re looking for.


Shoals Republican Club After Hours + Trivia Thursday, December 10, 6-8pm at High Ridge Spirits Distillery, 1401 Huntsville Road, Sweetwater District, Florence.


Bubbles, Buttons, Balls and Balloons - Shoals Piecemakers Quilt Guild's Annual Challenge exhibit will be on display at the Kennedy-Douglas Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence, through December 15.

The center is free and open to the public 9am-4pm Monday-Friday, and 1-4pm Sunday. 

CDC guidelines observed.


LifeSouth Blood Drives The Shoals Center, 307 Veterans Drive, Florence, 888-795-2707. The hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9am-5pm; Tuesday and Thursday 9am-7pm; Saturday 9am-3pm; Sunday 1-5pm.

Blood Drives for December 2020

Wednesday, December 9, 8:30am – 3:30pm, Shoals Christian School, 301 Heathrow Drive, Florence

Wednesday, December 9, 4:30pm  – 8:30pm, Parkway Community Church of God, 663 Cox Creek Parkway, Florence

Thursday, December 10, 2pm – 7pm, Mangas Tool and Die, 2721 Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals

Friday, December 11, 9am – 1pm, Easter Seals Rehabilitation, 1615 Trojan Drive, Muscle Shoals

Friday, December 11, 3pm – 8pm, Texas Roadhouse, 307 Cox Creek Parkway, Florence

Saturday, December 12, Noon – 7pm, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, 1700 Darby Drive, Florence

Sunday, December 13, Noon – 6pm, Rural King, 3401 Woodward Avenue, Muscle Shoals

Monday, December 14, 9am – 3:30pm, Shoals Dream Center, 2950 Cloverdale Road, Florence

Tuesday, December 15, 11am – 5pm, TVA Community Credit Union, 1405 S Wilson Dam Road, Muscle Shoals 

Wednesday, December 16, Noon – 6pm, Shoals Hospital, 201 W Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals

Thursday, December 17, 10am – 6pm, Russellville Hospital, 15155 Highway 43, Russellville

Friday, December 18, 9am – 3pm, Florence Electricity Department, Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum, 702 Veterans Drive, Florence 

Saturday, December 19, 11am – 5:30pm, North Alabama Flea Market, 65 Sportsplex Drive, Muscle Shoals

Sunday, December 20, Noon – 6pm, Walmart, 1706 Military Street S, Hamilton

Monday, December 21, Noon – 6pm, Walmart, 3100 Hough Road, Florence

Tuesday, December 22, Noon – 6pm, GameStop, 366 Unit D Cox Creek Parkway, Florence

Wednesday, December 23, Noon – 6pm, Walmart, 517 Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals

Thursday, December 24, 8am – 1pm, Walmart, 2701 Cloverdale Road, Florence

Saturday, December 26, Noon – 6pm, Walmart, 13675 Highway 43,  Russellville

Sunday, December 27, Noon – 6pm, Walmart, 42466 Highway 195, Haleyville

Monday, December 28, 11am – 5pm, Frank Dean State Farm, 2001 Florence Boulevard, Florence

Tuesday, December 29, Noon – 6pm, CVS, 1715 Woodward Avenue, Muscle Shoals

Wednesday, December 30, 10am – 5pm, AseraCare Hospice, 1215 Military Street S Suite B, Hamilton

Thursday, December 31, Noon – 6pm, Walgreens, 1801 Woodward Avenue, Muscle Shoals


The Florence Christmas Parade has been a holiday tradition in Downtown Florence for over 50 years. This year’s tradition will have a new spin to allow participants to enjoy the parade from the safety of their own vehicle to adhere more easily to social distancing.

Downtown Florence Alliance will host the 2020 Christmas Parade of Lights presented by Bank Independent on December 10.  Parade from 6-9pm spectators may drive through Tennessee and Court Streets to view the spectacular display of holiday lights in Downtown Florence. Candy will not be distributed in this year’s parade.

The Parade of Lights will begin on East Tennessee Street and veer north (right) on Court Street.  Police will be helping control traffic.  Santa & Mrs. Claus will be featured as the finale of the parade at the intersection of Court and Tuscaloosa where onlookers may turn left or right to exit the parade route. Background music for the full parade experience will be provided by Big River Broadcasting on WQLT-FM 107.3.

Make the holidays special for others by registering an entry in the parade! Incorporate the “Parade of Lights” theme in your entry to maximize your chances of winning a trophy in your division. Awards will be presented in the following categories: Marching Band, Non-Profit, Community/Interest, and Business.  Winners in each category will receive a Christmas themed trophy. Businesses along the route are also welcome to participate to bring additional publicity and broaden their competitive space.

Visit for more information.


YMCA of the Shoals Affordable Before & After School Care includes over 7,000+ square feet of childcare dedicated space - homework help, team building activities, arts & crafts, and much more. Have Fun! Make Friends! Learn New Things! If you need affordable childcare, contact us today at 256-246-9622 or"


Crossroads Community Outreach is hosting its 4th Annual Christmas Community Event. Saturday, December 19 from 2-4pm at two convenient locations, 318 S. Court Street (American Legion building) across from Walgreens in downtown Florence, and at Handy Recreation Center, 1105 Beale Street in Florence.  Both events will be outside with a traditional Christmas meal served to-go and prizes for the kids.  This event is open to the entire community and no registration is required.

Social distancing will be employed, masks will be required, and hand sanitizer will be available.

Crossroads Community Outreach is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that assists those who may or may not qualify for traditional help or where no services for their specific need exists. Crossroads also provides a Homeless Day Space & Resource Center, Street Outreach, Food Pantry and Clothing Closet located at 318 S. Court Street, Suite A in Florence.

For more information about Crossroads Community Outreach, call Executive Director, Dr. Kimberly Jackson at 256-284-2218 or Amy Rogers at 256-443-4585, website or Facebook at Crossroads Community Outreach.  


The Help Center Food Pantry will be hosting its 4th Saturday Food Distribution program on the 3rd SATURDAY during December, due to the holidays.  Therefore, events will take place December 19.   The Saturday distribution is to accommodate families in need of additional food and groceries who are unable to come during the regular weekday distribution days.   The regular 4th Saturday food distribution schedule will resume in January, 2021. 

Help Center days of service during the week are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30-noon.  Please bring picture ID and proof of current address (utility bill, mail, etc).  Warm winter clothing will also be available during the weekdays.   Food donations are being accepted during hours of operation.  If you would like to make a financial donation, the Help Center’s mailing address is: Help Center Food Pantry, PO Box 1713  Florence, AL  35631

 Support from community volunteers, local churches, and civic and social organizations has been vital not just during the holidays, but throughout the year as the Help, Center continues to serve an increasing numbers of families in need.   The Help Center can always use volunteers to help with client registration, packing food boxes, and sorting clothing.  If you would like to volunteer, please come by during hours of operation, and they will be glad to show you around and see if this is a way you can serve our community.  The center is located at the corner of Veterans Drive and Court Street in downtown Florence.


Country Oldies Dance Hall Open Again located at 110 Town Plaza, 500 N. Montgomery Ave., Sheffield. Every Friday and Saturday night 7-9pm.  Come twist, line dance, buckdance, or your choice. Best in country music. Everyone welcome!


Leaf Collection Started Monday, November 2 in Florence. You can find Guidelines for Residential Leaf Collection on the city website at

Leaf Collection Guidelines for Residents:

1. Leaves should be raked curbside, but NOT in street or gutter.

2. Keep leaf piles away from obstacles like cars, trees, fences and mailboxes.

3. Don't cover your WATER METER.

4. Limbs, pinecones, sticks and rocks DAMAGE EQUIPMENT and slow the collection process.

5. BAGGED LEAVES will be picked up weekly with curbside trash.


The Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area opens its latest photo contest this year with a twist: just snap and post.  To enter this year, all you have to do is post a photo on your own social-media accounts with the hashtag #msnhaphotocontest. We’ll do everything else.”

Previous MSNHA photo contests required entry forms and compliance with several guidelines. This year, the only restrictions are that photos must be taken within MSNHA’s six counties—Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan—and they must showcase nature.

Contest deadline is 5pm, Monday, February 1. After the contest ends, MSNHA staffers will choose a first-place and a second-place photo. Winning photographers will receive prize packages with items from local businesses and museums.

A partnership program of the National Park Service, National Heritage Areas recognize regions throughout the country that help tell America’s story. The MSNHA is hosted by the University of North Alabama and focuses on the themes of music, Native Americans and the Tennessee River. Email for more information.  ###


REAL Rehome Educate Adopt Love offers the following pet preventive care assistance for dogs and cats in Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin Counties:

• Flea/Tick Control

• HW Testing

• HW Preventative

• Vaccine

Submit your Pet Wellness application from our Facebook page REAL Rehome Educate Adopt Love or website


The Club (Florence Senior Center) is closed for activities. However, curbside meal pick up is Monday-Friday. Call 8:30-10:30am for meal. Pick up between 10:30-11:30am.

Donations accepted, but not expected. 256-760-6668.


Burrell-Slater Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner for 2021 has been changed from its regular time in February to April 9 due to the coronavirus.

Nominations for honorees are presently being accepted. Athletes who excelled in sports at historic Burrell-Slater School are eligible for this prestigious honor. Applications may be obtained from any Hall of Fame committee member or by calling 256-710-9057. All applications are due by January 15, 2021. Additional information is also available from Dave Smith, Samuel Brewer, or John Humes.


The Friends Bookstore at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library has now reopened!  The bookstore was closed from mid-March-August due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but has now reopened with the new business hours of 12-4pm Monday-Friday.   Don’t forget your mask!  

The Friends Bookstore has a large variety of books at great prices, so be sure to go shop their selection!  Proceeds from the bookstore help the library provide more free books and services to the community.  350 N Wood Ave. in Florence.

The Friends Bookstore is beginning to accept donations again, starting with greeting cards, calendars, and magazines only.  Please bring your donations during business hours, which currently are from noon-4pm Monday-Friday.


Did you know that there are 250 children who can’t live at home in our community each month?  These children can’t live at home because the very people who are supposed to protect and care  for them are not able to do so.  These are the children in foster care.   These are the children that need someone to stand up for them when it feels like no one cares.  These are the children that need a CASA Volunteer.  

Please consider becoming a Volunteer Advocate for local children who need a caring and committed adult to speak up for their best interest.  Call the Shoals CASA office at 256-765-0041 or check out the agency’s website for more information 


Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University is offering educational webinars on Zoom for youth, adults and teachers.  Online users can find a listing of Zoom sessions or other activities at: or

Access Alabama Extension’s website at, sign up for our daily briefing, or visit us on social media to find practical solutions facing Alabama residents and communities.

For more information, contact Kimberly Sinclair-Holmes at 


LifeSouth Community Blood Centers can now test all eligible blood donors for COVID-19 antibodies.

The antibody test conducted by LifeSouth is authorized for use by the FDA and detects if someone has developed antibodies to COVID-19. A positive test result may indicate past exposure and some immunity to the virus. This antibody test is not a diagnostic test and will not determine if the person currently has the virus.

LifeSouth encourages donors to make an appointment to donate over the coming weeks.

For additional information, call LifeSouth toll-free at 888-795-2707 or visit

Donors must be at least 17 or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also needed. 


Want a job? Want a better job? Get your GED! Free GED Prep classes are located near you. The program is open entry with new students starting classes weekly. For more information, call the Northwest-Shoals Community College Adult Education Program at 256-331-5440 or 256-331-5438.


The American Red Cross has seen an outpouring of support from blood donors in response to the coronavirus outbreak. During this uncertain time, the Red Cross continues to encourage healthy individuals to schedule and keep donation appointments in the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic.

Each Red Cross donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions have been implemented to ensure the health of Red Cross donors, employees and volunteers.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate later this month and after by visiting, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. 

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


Motor Coach Tours with The Club (Florence Senior Center).  These trips are open to the public.

Prices for 2020 are being honored for now on 2021 trips!.  Register soon!

Mackinac Island, 7 days 6 nights, $719, August 15-21, 2021.

Niagara Falls & Toronto, 7 days 6 nights, $689, June 13-19, 2021.

For more information, call The Club 256-760-6642


The Nacolg Seniorx Medication Assistance Program Supplies Free And Low Cost Medications For Anyone In Alabama With A Disability Or A Chronic Illness Regardless Of Age That Requires Daily Medication.  Medicare Recipients May Also Be Eligible. 

For More Information Contact Nacolg Seniorx Today.  There Is No Charge For This Service. Paula Pardue at 256-389-0529  or 1-800-Ageline (1-800-243-5463)

This Program Is In Partnership With The State Of Alabama  And Alabama Department Of Senior Services


Volunteers Needed - Alabama Hospice of the Shoals in Tuscumbia is currently seeking volunteers to serve the following counties: Colbert, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Franklin, Marion, Winston.

Areas of need: Patient Volunteer, Administrative Volunteer, Craft/Hobbies Volunteer, Community Outreach/Event Planning/Fundraising Volunteer.

Fore more information contact: Alabama Hospice of the Shoals in Tuscumbia, 1404 East Avalon, Suite C, Tuscumbia. Phone: 256-314-1204, fax: 256-314-1206, or email:


The Keller Hospice Promise Foundation assists patients and families with essential, non-hospice related expenses they are unable to afford themselves–such as rent and utility bills, emergency repairs, personal care items, and food assistance. The foundation also provides funding for patient's last wishes, burial assistance, and community projects like bereavement camps for children and educational outreach programs for end-of-life care.

When you make a donation to The Hospice Promise Foundation, 100% of your donation goes directly to patients and families in need because we are a 100% NON PROFIT FOUNDATION.

Donations can be sent to Barbie Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator, 1404 East Avalon Avenue, Suite C, Tuscumbia, AL 35674. Or contact the volunteer coordinator to answer any questions or pick up any donations: 256-314-1204 or email:


Hospice Volunteers Needed - Veterans, Students, Retirees, everyone with an hour a week to share with someone in your community.  Specific needs:  Male veteran to visit WWII vet, Florence area.  Hairdresser/Barber in all areas.   256-269-2100   Comfort Care Hospice, Sheffield.


Volunteers Needed - Keller Hospice LHC of Tuscumbia is currently seeking volunteers to serve in Colbert, Lauderdale, and Lawrence. 

Areas of need: Patient Volunteer, Administrative Volunteer, Craft/Hobbies Volunteer, Community Outreach/Event Planning/Fundraising Volunteer. 

For more information contact: Keller Hospice LHC of Tuscumbia, 1404 East Avalon, Suite C, Tuscumbia. Phone 256-314-1204 or email


City of Florence  - Recycling Program:

Paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs only (#1 & #2), aluminum cans, and steel cans are all recyclable. Residential curbside cart collection is provided within City of Florence limits. The Florence Recycle Center drop-off is available to everyone, 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Cardboard Boxes

Place large, broken-down cardboard boxes 3 feet away from your recycle and garbage carts. Remove all contents from each box before recycling as Styrofoam and plastic film are NOT recyclable.


Old TV’s are not collected with curbside trash. They can be dropped off at two locations:

--Florence Recycle Center:  1200 Terrace Street, Florence

--Florence Landfill:  29485 County Road 14, Florence

Wrapping Paper

All paper is recyclable if it will tear.  We encourage you to reuse ribbons and bows, but they are not recyclable.


Do you have a family member or a friend with a disability?

If so, sign up for our Disability Advocacy Network email list to show your support for a family member or friend through The Arc’s national movement.  

By signing up you will receive reliable updates about state and federal legislative decisions so you can take action as an informed advocate.

Your elected officials will listen to you on issues that are important to the I/DD community by making a call or sending an email!  Go to  to subscribe!