Monday, June 27, 2011

Archery tournament coming to Cullman 2012-14

By Rob Ketcham The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — In Cullman, it’s rather easy for everyone to get their fill of almost any and all traditional sports, such as baseball, football and basketball, among numerous others. However, the Cullman City Parks and Recreation has struck a deal to bring a lesser-known sport to the city — archery.

According to Nicole Ard, the marketing manager for Parks and Recreation, the city will host the McKenzie Archery Shooters Association Pro/Am Tour Classic from 2012-14.

She said the event, which will be held at St. Bernard Preparatory School, will bring in at least 1,000 professional and amateur archers for a 3-D target competition.

“This is as big as it gets,” said John Hunt, director of parks. “You’re talking about 1,000 to 1,200 of the world’s best archers.”

In addition, Ard said Parks and Recreation is estimating each year’s event to bring in at least a $1 million economic impact for the city.

“More than anything, this will be a great opportunity to showcase our city,” Ard said.

Hunt added, “We’re really excited about all the people it will bring into the community.”

According to the ASA website, each sanctioned tournament features competitive rounds of 20 life-like, 3-D animal targets made of foam. Binoculars are permitted in order to assist archers determine the target’s distance and aim correctly before executing their shot. The competitors are then scored using a scoring system of 14, 12, 10, eight, five or zero points per arrow.

While Hunt acknowledged Cullman already has the 2009-built Community Archery Park, he said the event will be hosted at St. Bernard because of the massive amount of space needed for such a large event.

The park that will eventually be set up at St. Bernard will include 20 lanes with 20 targets in each.

He said they plan to use the open land behind the school for a village and utilize the woods for a near-realistic hunt of 3-D animals varying in size, such as foxes, bears or deer, among others.

Hunt said, “We’re very appreciative of St. Bernard for letting us use their facilities for the duration of the tournament.”

With nearly 1,400 happy members belonging to one of the nation’s top parks and recreation departments, Ard said they are continuing to try and stay ahead of statewide and national trends by hosting the tournament and emphasizing archery’s popularity.

She said, “We’re very competitive, and we like to be the ones setting the trends.”

Hunt said people can prepare for what the larger-scale tournament will be like when the Cullman Community Archery Park plays host to the Bowhunters of Alabama State Tournament this Aug. 27 and 28.

Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257.

Friday, June 17, 2011

St. Bernard Buzzing with Activity

The month of June is proving to be a very busy time for the St. Bernard Community in Cullman. Debris clean-up efforts in the city are expected to continue through the month of June, but that has not hampered access to Ave Maria Grotto, St. Bernard Abbey or St. Bernard Prep School.

Fr. Joel Martin, Headmaster at St. Bernard Prep School, says registration is taking place on a daily basis for both the middle and high school. School personnel are working diligently to get new textbooks ordered and to complete the scheduling process. “We are ordering several new textbooks to include all levels of English literature, AP Chemistry, Spanish, Anatomy and Physiology,” Fr. Joel said.

Applicants are showing great interest in the program offered at St. Bernard Prep. “We are delighted with the interest shown in our middle school program,” Fr. Joel said. "It’s early June and already we have twenty-one students registered for the seventh grade and twenty-five for the eighth."

The upcoming senior class will include those students who enrolled in the St. Bernard Middle School when it opened five years ago. Fr. Joel commented, “We are excited about the possibilities of this class. They have some exceptionally gifted students.”

Renovations are currently underway at St. Bernard Dining Hall to overhaul the public restrooms located in the lobby. Plans are to eliminate the unused cloak room, expand the restroom walls and install new fixtures.

Camp St. Bernard is underway during the month of June. Sixty-six students were enrolled in the first camp. The fourth camp is currently booked, but a few openings are available in camps two and three.

Youth Basketball Camp is slated to begin June 20-23 for boys; and June 27-30 for girls.

June 23-26 St. Bernard will host the annual alumni reunion. Anyone who attended St. Bernard is welcome to attend.

Ave Maria Grotto continues to welcome visitors on a daily basis. The grotto is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information regarding Ave Maria Grotto, summer camp, basketball camp, or registration to the Middle and High School, call (256)739-6682 or visit

Friday, June 10, 2011

Graduation Ceremonies held at St. Bernard Prep

The Alabama Pipes and Drums played “Pomp and Circumstance” which set the tone for a joyous celebration of the Class of 2011 at Saint Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman, Alabama. Twenty-four graduates, their family and friends packed the Abbey Church on Sunday, May 22, 2011, at 2 p.m. to celebrate the final chapter of their high school years.

Dr. Lewis Sumberg was the commencement speaker addressing the graduates on their service to their family, community, and country. Having published many books and teaching in classroom, Sumberg is most proud of his service to his country during World War II and demonstrated his patriotism by morphing from an academia professor with an academic hood to his proud cap identifying him as a WWII Veteran.

Traditionally at St. Bernard, honor is bestowed on distinguished alumni who have shared in the St. Bernard educational experience. Abbot Cletus Meagher and Fr. Marcus Voss honored Dr. Albert Fromhold, and Fr. Richard Martin for their outstanding contributions to society in general and for their impact of the many individual lives they have touched.

After the presentation of diplomas to each senior, Fr. Joel Martin announced this year’s graduation awards. Minji Kang received the valedictorian award while John Russell was named salutatorian. In giving the general excellence medal, the highest award given to a graduating senior, Fr. Joel stated that “the criteria for this award requires that a student must be enrolled at St. Bernard Prep for the last two full years, be dedicated to academic excellence, exercise leadership and represent the values of the school.” The 2011 General Excellence Medal was awarded JC Albritton.

Minji Kang’s farewell address spoke of the challenges facing a new high school graduate, memories created, and friendships made. In her valedictory address she said, “Graduating from high school is not the endpoint of our journey through life; only the beginning. We just finished writing one chapter of our life journey successfully, now it is time for us to write another chapter.”

“You will never know what will happen next when you go to college,” she continued. “Never be afraid of the new beginning, for Helen Lowla said, ‘You will never win, if you never begin…’ Remember when we all first started at SBP we were all afraid, but look at us now,”

She concluded her remarks with a quote from Richard Bach, "Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or a lifetime, is certain for those who are friends."

The Class of 2011 garnered $1.8 Million dollars in scholarship offers to colleges and universities across the country.