Christmas Party 2023







Blues & Barbecue: 

Democrats Party & Raise Money

The timing was perfect – just as summer’s oppressive heat waned and a hint of autumn cooled the air, a happy crowd gathered to celebrate Blues & Barbecue, the annual fundraiser for the Shelby County Democrats.

A spacious terrace at the luxurious Greystone home of Carole and Al Marks was once again the setting for the Saturday afternoon festivities.  Earl “Guitar” Williams and the Juke Band provided blues music that squeezed the soul, set the feet tapping, and made everybody’s shoes dancin’ shoes.  There’s no better blues in the Delta or on Beall Street, and the Democrats had the band all to themselves!

At the entrance to the terrace, a half-dozen or more tables were piled with items for the famous silent auction.  Collegiate team blankets and dinnerware, a huge Yeti cooler, original artworks, books of cartoon strips lampooning a certain ex-president, antique decorative items, and frozen wild salmon recently caught in Alaska are just some of the treasures offered.  A large bottle of expensive bourbon created a spirited (pun intended), but friendly, bidding war.  All items were donated by generous Democrats and all winning bids were by equally generous Democrats.  Some special souls even donated extra money above the amount of their bids.  Silent auctions are great fun and pure profit.

A source of fun was the photo area that featured Cardboard Joe and Kamala – life-size cardboard cutouts of our President and Vice-President.  Everyone went home with at least one photo of themselves posing with our leaders.

 And there was food!  And more food!  Chopped pork, barbecued chicken and ribs, all from the master of barbecue Al Marks himself, plus slaw and salads, beans, the works, with bountiful adult beverages and soft drinks.  The drinks tables also carried delectable snacks to whet appetites before the buffet service began.  Nobody left this party hungry.

All this fun came with a purpose – to raise money for the Shelby County Democrats’ support for candidates in next year’s elections.  The over $7600 collected from ticket sales, plus over $1600 (!) just from silent auction and donations, greatly increased the total amount in the Party treasury.

None of this would have happened without the weeks of hard work by the committee responsible for it all.  Thanks to Party Chair Marsha Sturdevant, hosts Carole and Al Marks, plus Sheila Roche, Paul Roche, Janet Kennedy, Joyce Wiedman, Troy Gross, Annie Kynard-Hackworth, Leslie Tyus, Carol Moore, and Toni Vaughn for their efforts and energy.

Fun’s over.  Now it’s time for everyone to get to work and elect Democrats.




Shelby Dems Help Make
Shelby Summit a Success

The NAACP-sponsored three-day Shelby Summit, held June 23-25, was an educational and motivational event held on the 10-year anniversary of the Shelby v Holder Supreme Court decision, which removed most of the protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Although a mere two weeks prior to the Summit the current Supreme Court issued a ruling that restored many of those protections, there is still much work remaining, and many of these issues were the focus of events of the Summit weekend.

The Shelby County Democratic Party was well represented in all aspects of the Summit.  Many participants and volunteers in the events are not only members of the county Dems, but also members of the NAACP.

Friday began with a march from the staging area in downtown Columbiana, down Main Street, and to the steps of the county courthouse.  Here about a dozen speakers kept the crowd engaged, even in the sweltering Alabama June morning.  From there the group took vehicles down the road to the Exhibition Center, where the NAACP and supporting organizations provided a bountiful lunch, while the participants from all around Alabama, as well as from other states, enjoyed fellowship and making new friends.

Saturday started early at the University of Montevallo campus, with registration of attendees and a plenary session.  The breakout sessions that followed included presentations on reproductive autonomy, racial equality, gun control, police/prison reform, voters’ rights, and many more issues of utmost and immediate concern.  Members of Shelby County Democrats were involved as both participants and volunteers; the volunteers performed clerical duties and acted as hosts for various areas, plus provided golf cart transportation around the hilly campus.

Saturday evening featured a concert headlined by Peabo Bryson, with other nationally-known figures also entertaining.  Dems volunteering found themselves seeing to the needs of the entertainers and providing backstage assistance.

Sunday was a day of worship and music.  An inspiring ecumenical service was followed by a gospel concert that raised the roof.  Attendees, both local and those who traveled from several states, took home memories of new friends and Southern hospitality.

Annual Blues & BBQ Celebration!



A large crowd of Shelby County’s Democrats socialized and celebrated on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at the Reunion edition of our annual Blues & Barbecue fundraiser.  Warm breezes, a cloud-dotted sky, a beautifully landscaped, party-perfect terrace at the gorgeous home of hosts Carole and Al Marks, plus the hard-driving, gotta-move-to-it music of the Automatic Slim Blues Band – what else do you need for a perfect Saturday afternoon?

Food and drink, that’s what!  Meaty ribs, chicken legs, and sliced pork, evidence of many hours of hard work by the hosts and volunteers, anchored the food table, with side dishes and banana pudding to dream about.  Beer, wine, soft drinks, and harder stuff were in abundance to quench all types of thirst. 

A silent auction included several works of art, some of them originals, plus wild salmon caught in Alaska, some posh ladies’ accessories, collectable books, and a basket of Kickin’ Donkey coffee items.  

A major highlight was the appearance of Senator Doug Jones in our midst.  The Senator, gracious as always, chatted with attendees, addressed the crowd, and did a live interview on MSNBC from the party before he dived into a plate of ribs.

The funds raised from ticket sales and the silent auction will go to much-needed campaign expenses in this all-important election year.  Donations are also accepted on the Donate section of this website.


Shelby Dems Shine at MLK Day Event in Montevallo

January 16, 2023

Shelby County Democrats were honored to be part of the Shelby NAACP-sponsored Martin Luther King, Jr Day march and memorial event in Montevallo on Monday, January 16. Several hundred people, from senior citizens to children in strollers, made the chilly walk from Main Street to Montevallo High School, then funneled into the auditorium for a standing-room-only program that honored the memory of Dr. King and recognized citizens who contribute to their community.

Recognized with the Community Service Award was our own Leslie Tyus, Chair of the Public Relations Committee for the Shelby County Democrats.  She was presented an award certificate and gold medal for organizing successful supply donation drives each month of 2022, which provided many local helping agencies and schools with mountains of items ranging from school supplies to diapers to shelf-stable foods.  Congratulations to Leslie, and many thanks for your hard work and that of your committee!

It also proved to be a grand day of making new friends for the Shelby Democrats who snagged the prime location for an outreach table, just inside the entrance to the lobby of the auditorium on the lovely Montevallo High campus.  The table area, decorated by volunteers Sheila and Paul Roche, Jerry McDonald, and Cheryl Olin, sported our new “Democrats Believe In” banner that highlights the array of policies supported by the Democratic Party.  Available for distribution were replicas of that banner plus handcards with information about our meetings and contacts.  There were lots of introductions and invitations and email addresses shared.  There should be some new faces at the next monthly meeting!