Friday, December 13, 2013

To the people of the great state, Alabama:

It is my hope and prayer that during my time as First Lady, people feel loved and heard. The more time I spend learning about my home state and the more opportunities I have to meet our people, the more honored I feel to serve. We have rich traditions, beautiful landscapes, and our people have hearts of gold. Although my chosen platforms focus on three major areas, I feel they are widely encompassing. I work with women to help promote healthy marriages and families and fight to end domestic violence in our state. Whether its through visiting domestic violence shelters, handing out blankets, donating old devices to Verizon's HopeLine program, or standing in silence at vigils, I want to stand strong and stand for healing in our homes. I support children and their adoption through foster care because to me, everyone should have a family and a forever home. Every person in Alabama deserves someone to remember their birthdays, to celebrate Christmas, and to encourage them through life's journey. We all need support and love. I also promote literacy and education through a variety of national programs. Reading is fundamental and in order for our state to continue its success, we must have the students in our classrooms today, prepared for higher education and/or the workplace tomorrow.

I will be adding another facet to my agenda by spending time promoting Alabama. It is something I have always done but it is something that merits more attention. It is important to me that people recognize Alabama for the treasure it is and spend time exploring our hidden gems. I want to let everyone know about the adventure they can find in their backyards, the delicious food made close to home, and the talent of our people. Who knows, I may make a trip to your town, park, or local eatery!

Really to me, my job as First Lady is to take care of our people and show everyone why we are all proud to call Alabama home. Join me as I continue to promote domestic violence awareness, adoption through foster care, literacy, and Alabama. As 2013 winds down to a close, make your New Year's resolution to join me in support of at least one of these causes. It is easy to get involved and it is so rewarding.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season and an exciting New Year!

Monday, December 9, 2013

HopeLine for the Holidays

For the past year and a half, I have championed domestic violence awareness and prevention throughout the state of Alabama. I believe that healthy families are the foundation for healthy communities. While many of us are decorating our homes and excitedly planning for friends and family to visit this holiday season, some people are instead experiencing stress and anxiety during this time. Nationally, domestic violence cases decrease during the holidays. Women try to make their relationships work so they can stay home during the holiday season instead of being in a shelter. However, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the number of domestic violence cases increases immediately following the holidays.

I discovered a program through Verizon Wireless that allows all of us to play a role in decreasing the incidence of domestic violence in our state. Through HopeLine, Verizon collects no-longer-used phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider. The phones are then refurbished or recycled and the proceeds go to support the efforts of law enforcement, advocacy groups, shelters and other non-profits across the country via refurbished phones or cash grants.

I encourage each of you participate in HopeLine for the Holidays with me. As you undertake your holiday preparations, if you come across a cell phone or any wireless accessories just taking up space in a drawer, turn them in to HopeLine. If that special someone gifts you with a new device, donate the old one. The process is simple – just take the phone to a company-owned Verizon Wireless store or visit the HopeLine page on Verizon's website to print a pre-paid mailing label.

During the holidays and year-round, domestic violence shelters in Alabama count on community support to help them care for the victims they serve. By donating your old devices, you can help save someone’s life. Together let’s bring hope to these victims this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

65th Annual Turkey Pardoning

One of our favorite occasions of the year happened today on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion: the 65th Annual Turkey Pardoning.  Each year, Bates Turkey Farm brings Alabama's favorite turkey couple, Clyde and Henrietta, to be pardoned from our plates by the governor.  Kindergarteners from Riverchase Day School sang fun songs celebrating Thanksgiving as the turkeys wobbled and gobbled in front of them.  Needless to say it was a fun day at the Mansion, and Clyde and Henrietta are once again relieved to be pardoned!

This year's pardoning was much different than the others due to the recent passing of Bill Bates.  Sixty-five years ago Mr. Bates and his family began the tradition with Gov. Jim Folsom.  As the sun shined down on the Mansion grounds, we all knew Mr. Bates was with us and remembered him for his service to our state and country. 

Over the past few weeks, the First Lady has been collecting blankets for the Blankets with a Blessing drive.  Though receiving a blanket may seem like a small gesture, it means love, hope and a new beginning for those who have suffered through domestic violence.  The First Lady will shortly donate the blankets to a shelter that houses victims who have been displaced from their homes with everything lost.  Mrs. Bentley is grateful for those who donated blankets thus far, for it is her goal that every Alabamian feels love and support during Thanksgiving. 

Thank you to the Bates family, Riverchase Day School and everyone who participated in one of our favorite traditions at the Governor's Mansion!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Story of a Clock

After standing silently for years, the Mansion’s grandfather clock is once again marking the passage of time. It is now softly ticking, thanks to local clock expert Tommy Williams of Clockworks.

Through the Friends of the Governor’s Mansion, Mr. Williams volunteered to examine the clock and assess its condition. On his recommendation, the Friends arranged to have the mahogany case repaired and the badly damaged clock dial refinished. Mr.Williams took the works to his shop, took them apart, cleaned everything, and painstakingly reassembled them.  He observed the works for several months to make sure that everything was running properly before reinstalling them in the case.

Research by Friends of the Governor’s Mansion has determined that the clock is original to the house. Documentary and photographic evidence support this conclusion, and Mr. Williams’ inquiry in the clock experts’ world yielded additional  information.

The clock appears on the staircase landing in a Montgomery Advertiser photograph dated October 22, 1950, taken shortly after the purchase of the house from the Ligon family. The house, built by Adjutant General and Mrs. Robert Fulwood Ligon in 1907, was to become the official residence of the governor of Alabama. An even earlier photograph, taken in 1919, depicts the wedding party of their daughter Emily, assembled on the stairs in their wedding finery.  The clock is dimly visible on the landing.

The clue to the clock’s provenance is provided by a small plaque on the dial, engraved “LeBron Jewelry Co.” City directories reveal that Adolph W. LeBron, originally of Galena, llinois, owned a jewelry shop at 14 Dexter Avenue by 1901.  By 1913, he had moved his business, “LeBron Jewelry Co., A.W. LeBron, Pres. and Manager, Diamonds, Watches, Jewelry & Gifts,” to 104 Dexter Ave.  From 1914-1917, his advertisement included: “at the Sign of the Big Clock.” By 1919, LeBron was no longer listed in the city directory for either business or residence.

Mr. Williams learned through the “clock network” that Mattias Bauerle made the clock in 1909-10 in St. Georgen, Germany. The clock has Westminster and Trinity chimes,

The clock was certainly purchased by the Ligons for their new home before 1918. It has stood there for  a century, serving as a link between the early days of the house and the Governor’s Mansion.

Friday, November 15, 2013

First Lady Bentley Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Last month was Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Mrs. Bentley was honored to participate in a number of activities to help bring awareness to a cause that is so important to her.

Mrs. Bentley held the first ever Domestic Violence Awareness Month Candlelight Vigil at the Governor’s Mansion on October 1, which brought together representatives from domestic violence shelters from across the state, local and state leaders and community organizations who support domestic violence awareness. It was a beautiful event that honored all of the victims of domestic violence here in our state.
Last year, Mrs. Bentley focused on domestic violence awareness and prevention on college campuses, so this year she decided to move her focus to younger students. Mrs. Bentley had the opportunity to visit two schools, Minor High School in Birmingham and Carver High School in Montgomery and talk to students about the importance of healthy, safe relationships.

Both schools were participating in a SafeDates Program where a local domestic violence organization sends representatives into the classroom to take students through the SafeDates curriculum. This curriculum includes lessons on healthy relationships, learning the signs of dating abuse and pre- and post- tests for students to take to test how much they learn from the program. The SafeDates programs were partially funded through a grant from HopeLine from Verizon.

"I think it is so important that young people learn early how to recognize healthy relationships," Mrs. Bentley said. "Those relationships are the foundation for healthy families and homes and ultimately healthy communities here in Alabama."

To end the month, Mrs. Bentley marked a major milestone in her project to collect cell phones for HopeLine from Verizon. With the help of the Department of Corrections, Mrs. Bentley has now donated more than 10,000 cell phones to HopeLine. To celebrate the milestone, the Governor’s Office organized a press conference at the Verizon Wireless store in EastChase for Mrs. Bentley and Department of Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas to donate their most recent donation. The Department of Corrections donates all cell phones confiscated from inmates to Mrs. Bentley’s HopeLine collection.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Gearing up for Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, and what better way to ring in the holiday season than by having your fourth grade class send in ornaments to be displayed at the Governor’s Mansion for this year’s Christmas tours, which will take place December 2, 9 and 16, 2013, from 5-7 p.m.
First Lady Dianne Bentley is once again inviting fourth graders across the state to be part of the Christmas festivities at the Governor’s Mansion by creating ornaments that incorporate their Christmas spirit along with their knowledge of our state’s history.

“When we celebrated last Christmas, a box of ornaments came in every day. I was so impressed with the creativity of Alabama students and their teachers because we never knew what we would find when the package was opened. Not only was it a joy to receive them, but it was an honor to have so many people involved in our Christmas celebration,” Bentley said.
            First Lady Bentley is hoping to receive even more ornaments this year and to add to the number of trees on display at the Mansion complex. It’s a great way for your students to showcase their talents and creativity, but, more importantly, it allows them to be part of the Mansion’s Christmas celebration.
            Please mail ornaments to the Alabama Governor’s Mansion c/o Heather Hannah 1142 South Perry
Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 by November 18, 2013, in order for them to be displayed in the house. Unfortunately, the ornaments will not be returned due to the amount received. Please note: they should be the size of a softball or smaller.
       If you have question, please contact Heather Hannah by phone 334-834-3022 or by email

            Thank you for your help and participation, and we look forward to celebrating the holiday season with you and your fourth grade classroom!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

First Lady Dianne Bentley Delivers 10,000 Phones to HopeLine from Verizon in Efforts to Stop Domestic Violence

What an exciting day for our domestic violence prevention efforts in the state of Alabama!  Today the First Lady continued her efforts to help victims by donating another 1,300 cell phones to HopeLine from Verizon Wireless Foundation.  After today's donation, Mrs. Bentley has now delivered more than 10,000 phones for HopeLine from Verizon since 2012. 

The phones turned into HopeLine are given to victims of domestic violence with free minutes so they can call for help without the abuser's knowledge.  Numbers for hotlines and shelters across the state are also programmed into the phones.  Phones that can no longer be used are sold for parts, with proceeds going to domestic violence shelters. 

Join Mrs. Bentley and the Verizon Wireless Foundation by turning in your old phones (or accessories!) to any Verizon Wireless store.  Thank you to the Verizon Wireless Foundation and the Alabama Department of Corrections for your support of domestic violence prevention!

First Lady cuts the ribbon to the new play house at One Place Family Justice Center

Alabama's First Lady has developed a wonderful partnership with the One Place Family Justice Center in efforts to prevent domestic violence and promote healthy marriages.  Because of organizations like One Place, shelter, counseling and protection are provided for the victims of domestic violence and their children. 

Today marked a very special day for One Place, because of an initiative made by Alabama youth to build a playhouse for the children's room.  Miss Pre-Teen Alabama Laura Grace Henry and teen volunteers from Bridge Builders raised $4,600 to construct and paint the playhouse, giving children a joyful and comfortable experience while their mothers receive counseling.  In order to continue her support of One Place and thank the teens for serving the kids of Alabama in such a special way, the First Lady attended the playhouse's ribbon cutting.  She even shared a few words about her passions for domestic violence prevention and the children of our state.

Thank you One Place Family Justice Center, Laura Grace Henry and the Bridge Builders for giving children from battered homes a happy home.  The First Lady and her staff are delighted with your work!


Monday, October 28, 2013

FLDB talks to Alabama women's groups

The First Lady considers it an honor to share her heart with the women of Alabama and was grateful to have the opportunities to speak to the Woman's Club of Gadsden and the Pike County Republican Women

While in Gadsden, she spoke about the importance of letting God take the lead in our lives.  When her husband decided to run for Governor, she knew her life would become drastically different.  However, when the Lord calls you to step up into a leadership position "at such a time as this," you must answer to it.  She continued talking about the peace God gave the first family and the amazing things that happened in their lives once they allowed him to have control. 

The Pike County Republican Women hosted a large event where the First Lady spoke about her faith and agenda items.  After discussing what she has done for domestic violence prevention, adoption and childhood literacy, she talked about her number one agenda item: taking care of our Governor.  Whether she is helping him find what he needs throughout the Mansion or making sure his health and well being are protected, she is his caretaker, confidant, and constant. 

Thank you Woman's Club of Gadsden and Pike County Republican Women for your hospitality to the First Lady and her staff!

FLDB speaks to high school students about safe dating

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, First Lady Dianne Bentley and representatives from the Family Sunshine Center spoke to both Carver High School (Montgomery) and Minor High School (Adamsville) about safe dating.  She joked with both groups that although they may be wondering what an "old lady knows about dating," she has been married for 48 years and might be able to provide insight!

In order to grab the student's attention, she informed them of the following statistics from the Center for Disease Control:

  • One in three adolescent girls in the U.S. is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
  • Nationwide, one in ten high school students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • One in five tweens (ages 11-14) say their friends are victims of dating violence and nearly half who know friends who are verbally abused.
  • Fourty-five percent of teens have been pressured to become intimate.
Her goal in speaking to the students was to prevent them from becoming a part of the alarming statistics.  It is much easier to teach a teens to respect themselves and their partners rather than heal the physical and emotional wounds that come with unhealthy relationships.  She encouraged the students to really listen to the tips that the Safe Dates program shared and reminded them of their value. 

Thank you Family Sunshine Center and Verizon Wireless for the Safe Dates program and for what you are doing for Alabama teens! 

Photos Below:
1. FLDB with the Minor High School Ambassadors.
2. FLDB with the Minor High School Jazz Band who performed at the reception
3. FLBB with coaches and principal from Carver High School

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blankets With A Blessing 2013


First Lady Dianne Bentley announced Tuesday her Thanksgiving tradition, “Blankets with a Blessing” has officially started to help those in need this holiday season.
“As a quilter, I know how much a blanket can mean to someone,” Mrs. Bentley said. “Not only does it provide for a physical need by keeping a person warm and protected, but it also serves an emotional need.  When a person receives a blanket, they are reminded that someone else cares.  They may not know the identity of the person who gave them this gift, but they know that they are a neighbor and a friend.  Although it is a small gesture, it has a big impact.”

Since the initiative began in 2004, “Blankets with a Blessing” has provided thousands of quilts and blankets to homeless and displaced families during the holiday season.  Last year, Mrs. Bentley donated blankets to SafeHouse of Shelby County to help victims of domestic violence.
The Thanksgiving collection will take place starting immediately and will continue through November 18.  Blankets can be dropped off at the Governor’s Mansion Guard Gate or the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop on Finley Avenue in Montgomery.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Roses for the Cause

One of the causes I’ve adopted as First Lady of Alabama is domestic violence awareness and prevention. In support of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am planning to be a part of various events and activities around the state aimed at raising awareness about this important issue.

On October 1, I held the first DVAM Candlelight Vigil at the Governor’s Mansion. State leaders, directors of domestic violence shelters from across Alabama, awareness organizations and other community partners joined together to remember victims and re-energize the efforts of those fighting domestic violence crimes in our state.  

Another big part of my DVAM plan is taking special care to remember victims and survivors. I am partnering with the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence to raise money in honor of victims of DV through Roses for the Cause. Throughout October, for every $10 donated, a rose will be placed at the Governor’s Mansion to honor victims of domestic violence. Each person who donates will be able to write a short note about the person they are donating the rose on behalf of. I am truly looking forward to honoring all of the survivors and hearing their inspiring stories.
If you’d like to donate, I encourage you to visit the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Facebook page. From there, you’ll click on the “Roses for the Cause” tab and be able to follow instructions to donate your rose. The initiative will run October 1 through October 31. Purchase of the flowers will be supported by HopeLine® fromVerizon, with your full donation going to support domestic violence prevention and victim services across the state.

Photo taken by Mickey Welsh, The Montgomery Advertiser

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Candlelight Vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Shortly after becoming First Lady of Alabama, Mrs. Bentley had the opportunity to meet and work with victims of abuse whose stories captured her heart.  She then decided to use her role to become an advocate for domestic violence prevention.  On the evening of Oct. 1, Mrs. Bentley held a candlelight vigil to bring attention to Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the organizations across the state that give victims the strength to leave unhealthy relationships. 

During the program, Mrs. Bentley read the proclamation signed by the Governor declaring October Domestic Violence Awareness Month and had representatives from Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and One Place Family Justice Center speak about their services and their impact in Alabama. 

Mrs. Bentley was ecstatic about the Verizon Wireless Foundation and HopeLine presenting a $95,000 grant toward domestic violence prevention and a $5,000 award in Mrs. Bentley's name that will be given annually to an outstanding organization that works to fight domestic violence, encourage healthy relationships and support victims.  This year's award was given to Harriet's House.  The generosity displayed was remarkable and greatly appreciated.

It is Mrs. Bentley's hope that the candlelight vigil and the rest of her speaking engagements this month encourages the people of Alabama to intervene unhealthy relationships and gives the abused knowledge of where to seek help.  Domestic violence must be stopped, and there is a way out.

Purple ribbons line the Governor's Mansion in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Other links:
Montgomery Advertiser photos, "Candlelight vigil against domestic violence"
Montgomery Advertiser video, "Dianne Bentley holds candlelight vigil for domestic violence"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Promoting Childhood Literacy

One of the most rewarding and fun parts of First Lady Dianne Bentley’s role is reading to the children of Alabama throughout the state.  Childhood literacy is an issue on Mrs. Bentley’s platform, because she believes in the importance of encouraging students to read and expand their minds in the midst of today’s technological distractions. 
On Sept. 18, Mrs. Bentley had the privilege of visiting fourth grade students at Deer Valley Elementary in Hoover, Ala. and A. H. Watwood Elementary in Childersburg, Ala.  During this time she read to the students and told them about her love for reading.  Afterwards, she shared with the fourth graders her binder of state symbols from the state flower to the state marine mammal (which by the way is the West Indian manatee!).  Needless to say it was a hit, and the binder will be used again and again.  The most fun reactions from the students however came from showing photos of the Governor’s Mansion and the Alabama-shaped swimming pool.  She was asked if her grandchildren ever get lost in the Mansion, and the answer is yes! Another cute question was "What's it like being the government's wife?" 
The First Lady and her staff loved seeing the fourth grade students and teachers of Deer Valley and A.H. Watwood Elementary Schools.  We especially loved seeing how eager the kids were to learn, how passionate the teachers were about serving the children of Alabama, and what steps administrators were taking to move their schools forward.  Thank you for making time for us!

Women's Ministry at FBC Prattville

First Lady Dianne Bentley had the opportunity to visit with the ladies of First Baptist Prattville last week at an event hosted by their Women's Ministry. The event was titled, "Fall in Love with Alabama's First Lady Dianne Bentley." Mrs. Bentley was asked to share her heart with the group and describe what it is like living in this new role. She explained that although every day is different she consistently prays for her husband and the people of Alabama. She also talked about various service projects and organizations that she works with as First Lady such as the Heart Gallery of Alabama, HopeLine, domestic violence awareness agencies, and literacy groups. At the end ladies were able to ask her questions and Mrs. Bentley charmed them with her quick wit and grace.

She is thankful for the opportunity she has to speak to the wonderful people of the state of Alabama and is looking forward to other speaking engagements in the future.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Gold bows have been placed on the gates of the Alabama Governor's Mansion in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month which is recognized every September.

Below is an excerpt from the aTeam Ministries page that tells more about the GO GOLD campaign.

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and as supporters of pediatric cancer families in Alabama aTeam Ministries organizes its annual “GO GOLD!” campaign with three general goals:
  • Increase public knowledge of pediatric cancer and its symbol, the gold ribbon.

  • Increase public/community support of pediatric cancer patients and their families.

  • Provide opportunities for childhood cancer advocacy

aTeam is passionate about helping Alabama families as they journey with this disease and simplistically wanted to show pediatric cancer families that THEY ARE NOT ALONE!

To achieve the goals of the GO COLD! campaign aTeam annually enlists the support of supporters, city and state officials, retailers, businesses, and media outlets to spread the word.

To learn more about aTeam or ways to get involved please visit!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

News from the Governor

Gov. Robert J. Bentley, lineal descendant of Revolutionary War patriot John Horton, holds his SAR membership certificate that he received at the 10th anniversary of the ASSAR Cahaba-Coosa Chapter. Attending the celebration were other Horton's descendants: 5th great-grandsons Roger Massey, Danny Massey, David Nolen; 4th great-grandsons Gov. Bentley and Bobby Joe Seales; and 5th great-grandsons Mike Seales and Terry Massey (left to right). (contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnistpreceding

Robert Julian Bentley, 53rd governor of the State of Alabama, was the honored guest and keynote speaker at the 10th anniversary celebration dinner of the Cahaba-Coosa Chapter of the Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution (ASSAR). The dinner honoring Shelby County’s only ASSAR chapter was held at Liberty Hall, American Village in Montevallo. SAR is an educational, historic and patriotic organization for men over the age of 18 who are lineal descendants of an ancestor who supported the War for American Independence.

Gov. Bentley is a descendent of patriot John Horton who served in the South Carolina militia during the American Revolution. He was awarded his ASSAR membership certificate and SAR rosette by ASSAR President Marvin Vickers. Horton was Gov. Bentley’s 4th great-grandfather. Also attending the dinner were other Horton’s descendants: 4th great-grandson Bobby Joe Seales; and 5th great-grandsons Roger Massey, Terry Massey, Danny Massey, Mike Seales and David Nolen. Nolen is Gov. Bentley’s nephew, son of his sister, the late Marjorie Bentley Nolen.

Gov. Bentley was also awarded the prestigious SAR Silver Good Citizenship Medal and Certificate by Bobby Joe Seales, charter member and founding president of Cahaba-Coosa Chapter and current ASSAR senior vice president. This medal is presented to a person of prominence in the area of government, military service, religion, education, business, the professions and other appropriate fields of endeavor and may only be presented once in a lifetime.

“I love Shelby County,” said Gov. Bentley. “I was raised in Columbiana and consider Shelby County my home. Shelby County is the geographical center of Alabama; Alabama is called the Heart of Dixie; and Shelby County is the heart of the heart. I love the people of Alabama and am honored to be your governor. Every day as I lead this state, I pray for God to give me His wisdom as I deal with complex issues and make decisions. My daily goal is to be a servant leader to represent Alabama with honesty and integrity. This honor is very special to me for we are a country who should never forget those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Alabama Domestic Violence Prevention Solutions Grant Program Sponsored by Verizon Wireless

Verizon Foundation

2013 Alabama Domestic Violence Prevention Solutions

Grant Program


The Verizon Foundation is pleased to invite nonprofit agencies in Alabama to apply for grants of up to $10,000 that support Domestic Violence Prevention solutions. 


Applicants can apply for the grant online through the Verizon Foundation web site:


We are interested in making awards to programs that are able to do one or more of the following: 

Ø      Support health and wellness programs that promote the well being of families affected by domestic violence or provide training to first responders/health care professionals to safely screen for domestic violence

Ø      Engage men to take action to prevent domestic violence in the office, at home, or in other social situations

Ø      Educate teens on using new choices to create safe digital dating and healthy relationships

Ø      Provide workforce development and entrepreneurship training for individuals participating in domestic violence prevention programs



Ø      Applicants must be nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations

Ø      Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $10,000 and will cover a one-year period: 11/01/13 – 10/31/14.

Ø      Applicants must be organizations whose programs benefit communities in Alabama.

Ø      All grant applications must be submitted through the Verizon Foundation web site: using the Competitive Grant – Programmatic Domestic Violence Prevention application.

Ø      All decisions on grant applications are within the sole discretion of the Verizon Foundation and are final.


Funding Restrictions:

Ø      These funds may not be used for any products, goods or services offered by Verizon or any of its affiliates.

Ø      These funds may not be used for capital renovations or furniture.

Ø      No administrative expenses or grant preparation fees may be included in the overall grant request.

Ø      No more than 20 percent of the grant may be used to purchase hardware or software.



Timeline/Review Process:

Ø      Proposals must be posted via the online application process no later than Friday, August 30, at 5 p.m. CST.

Ø      Verizon Foundation representatives will review all proposals.

Ø      Verizon Foundation reserves the right to determine funding levels based on the merits of the programs presented and available resources.

Ø      Verizon will notify recipients of grant decisions by early October, 2013.


Grantees' Reporting Requirements:

As part of our measurement and evaluation module, applicants will be required to complete quarterly progress reports. Applicants will be asked to report on financial accountability, anticipated and unanticipated results based upon objectives, participant evaluation and feedback.


How to Apply:

Applications are accepted online only.  For complete information about the Verizon Foundation, please visit our website at


To reach our online application, please go

 The invitation code: ALDV50VZF will be required on the login page.  This indicates you are applying for a 2013 Domestic Violence Prevention Solutions Grant Award and will ensure that your request reaches our Advisory Committee for review.


In our online application, be sure to select Domestic Violence Prevention as the social cause and Programmatic as the proposal type; then select one of the following applications that best fits your program:


Ø      Health & Wellness – First Responders

Ø      Health & Wellness - Victim

Ø      Engaging Men

Ø      Economic Empowerment

Ø      Young Adults


Any questions regarding the application process may be directed to Debby Kampert 


Please note that if desired you may save drafts of the application before submittal.  This will enable you to start and stop the application process to accommodate your own internal reviews and corrections before final submission.  For technical support with the application, please go to this link does not appear to be working….recommend directing them to send an e-mail to or call 855-807-1319 for assistance.

In addition to an e-mail indicating receipt of the submitted grant request, all applicants will receive a disposition notice when the grant decision is announced.The target date to announce final grant decisions is October 1, 2013.


About Verizon Foundation


The Verizon Foundation helps people to live healthy, safe and independent lives by addressing disparities in education, healthcare and sustainability. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information, visit



About Verizon


Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with nearly 99 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 181,900. For more information, visit

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Montgomery Zoo and Ethan the Rhino

Earlier, First Lady Dianne Bentley visited the Montgomery Zoo with two of her granddaughters. Each exhibit is impressive with sections of the zoo separated by continent. Today the Rhino Exhibit got most of their attention. They were on a mission to meet Ethan, the first rhino species to be produced by artificial insemination in the United States. Since it was a hot day, Ethan was found asleep on his mother Jeta in a water pool but he did get up for a snack at one point during the visit. To learn more about Ethan, please see the Article below. He was featured on TODAY and many other news sources across the nation. This seemingly small animal, at least compared to his mom, is just one other reason to be proud of Alabama.

Mrs. Bentley also took time feeding the birds, talking to the giraffes, and admiring the bald eagle. Each animal is so unique and the plaques by each exhibit are very informative. While there, you can ride in a paddle boat, take a ski lift over the zoo, and even eat in the café. There is a museum on the grounds as well as a building dedicated completely to reptiles.

A trip to the zoo takes less than a day but you walk away with a lot of new knowledge. The First Lady encourages everyone to take time visiting attractions in Alabama, like this zoo, because you never know what you will discover.


Montgomery Zoo announces birth of endangered rhino in captivity

By Julie Bennett  

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - Meet Ethan, a 191-pound male Indian rhinoceros and the newest member of the Montgomery Zoo family. But this isn't just another cute zoo baby. This is the first calf of any rhino species in the United States, produced by artificial insemination, to be born and thrive in captivity, according to a press release from the Montgomery Zoo.
The Indian rhino is an endangered species. The Montgomery Zoo partnered with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife to inseminate Jeta, the Montgomery Zoo’s 12- year-old female rhino, with frozen-thawed sperm from the Cincinnati's male rhino collected in 2004. Jeta gave birth on June 5, 2013, to a healthy calf.
According to the press release, only about 2,500 Indian rhinos remain in the wild and 60 live in captivity in North America. "This is a significant birth and scientific achievement for the Montgomery Zoo, CREW and the Zoological Association of America," the release states. "Jeta’s calf demonstrates using AI science as a repeatable and valuable tool to help manage the captive Indian rhino population."
Want to go see the new addition? Zoo hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The animal exhibits begin closing at 4:30pm.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Grilling with the Governor

    Grilling With the Governor was a success! After a month of planning, guests arrived at the historic Alabama Governor's Mansion for a hot dog cook-out. Although storms prevented everyone from enjoying the outdoors, they were accommodated inside the house with tables topped with quilts, wildflowers, and candles. The dining room table was used as a buffet and showcased some of Alabama's best products. Zeigler donated hot dogs, and Conecuh Sausage Company donated sausages. The King's Table catering provided buns, Golden Flake donated individual bags of chips, Dreamland BBQ gave their slaw, and Jim 'N Nick's delivered baked beans. There was also a dessert bar that featured Blue Bell Ice Cream, Bud's Best Cookies, and toppings from Winn Dixie.
    Governor Bentley was responsible for grilling but he finished in time to greet all of his guests alongside Mrs. Bentley. Karren Pell and her band provided entertainment and door prizes were given away.
    It was a special evening and one that the Bentley's hope to recreate in the future. They thoroughly enjoyed hosting the public and reminding them that although they do live in the Governor's Mansion it is the "people's house."
    This event was sponsored by the Friends of the Alabama Governor's Mansion.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       

July 16, 2013                                                              

Department Donates Confiscated Phones to HopeLine® from Verizon
MONTGOMERY, AL Through an initiative spearheaded by First Lady Dianne Bentley, the Alabama Department of Corrections has donated more than 4,000 phones confiscated from inmates to HopeLine from Verizon, a phone recycling program that turns no-longer used wireless devices into support for organizations working to help reduce the incidence of domestic violence and assist victims.
            First Lady Bentley, who supports the cause of domestic violence awareness and prevention through a number of initiatives, first learned of HopeLine in early 2012 and challenged Governor Robert Bentley’s cabinet members to collect phones for the cause. In just one month, the First Lady raised 2,500 phones, due in large part to a significant donation from the Department of Corrections, which had previously disposed of cell phones confiscated from inmates. Since then, the Department has continued to donate confiscated phones to HopeLine.
            The Department of Corrections donated approximately 2,500 phones to HopeLine in 2012 and has contributed 1,553 phones so far this year.
            "The Alabama Department of Corrections is pleased to support the First Lady's efforts around such a worthy cause," Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas said.  "Cell phones in a prison setting are a real danger as contraband.  We diligently battle their illegal use and are glad to donate them to such a productive cause and to assist the First Lady.  This is just one of the many positive things we do on a daily basis."
            Wireless phones given to HopeLine are refurbished and sold for reuse, generating grant dollars for nonprofit organizations to help fund education, support services and community outreach. Refurbished phones – complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service and text-messaging service – are provided to local domestic violence agencies or local law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients.
            Verizon has provided HopeLine grants to organizations across the state including the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence as well as many of its member shelters, the North Alabama Crisis Services Center, Montgomery’s One Place Family Justice Center and the Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention in Dothan among others.
            “This incredible collaboration between First Lady Bentley and the Alabama Department of Corrections has generated a substantial volume of phone donations and therefore new resources for Alabama non-profits working to reduce the incidence of domestic violence,” said Jonathan LeCompte, president – Georgia/Alabama region, Verizon Wireless. “We applaud both the First Lady and the Department of Corrections for this innovative way to be a part of community change.”


Kate Jay
Verizon Wireless
Follow me on Twitter @VZWkate  

Brian Corbett
Alabama Department of Corrections

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