Group wants to shine positive light on southern women

TUSCUMBIA — On most Saturdays, you can find LaShawn Tuttle at Natchez Trace Harley Davidson helping out a family or group raise money for a charitable cause.

It’s a partnership with the dealership, which features music on most Saturdays. Tuttle helps those in need work through the hassles of setting up an event so the family can concentrate on other things.

About a year ago, Tuttle met seven Alabama women who are active in their communities and they formed a bond.

They met at an event in Huntsville, then began communicating with each other through Facebook.

“Each one has something like that they do in their hometown,” Tuttle said.

Now, instead of one woman being involved, it’s “The Original Girls of Alabama Club” doing it. Since the women live in different parts of the state, they often cannot all attend each event, but Tuttle said at least four will attend.

In the Shoals, the group adopted a puppy and gave it to Eli McMurray, an injured 3-year-old boy. McMurray spent some time with the group at the recent “American Idol” auditions at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

“The girls actually came to Muscle Shoals to the adoption center and adopted a pet for him,” Tuttle said.

She said each member is looking for people in their hometown like Eli they can help. 

“That’s our whole goal,” Tuttle said. “In these days, everybody either wants drama or to feel good. We think the way things are going in the world, we want people to feel good and know there are still good people out there.”

Pam McBride, of Cullman, has been feeding people who sometimes have trouble making ends meet for about 15 years.

She’s a “prepper,” someone who like to be prepared for emergencies or natural disasters, and she gardens, freezes and cans food.

“That’s where I get a lot of the food to feed the hungry,” McBride said. “It comes back to you tenfold.”

She also helps families during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

McBride said she and the other women just “clicked” when they first met.

“It was like God just put us together,” she said. “We became the best of friends.”

Tuttle said a local television production company, Jackson Media, is working on a trailer for a reality television show based on the women’s lives and community outreach activities.

The premise is to help create a more positive view of Southern women, by highlighting in a positive way how they juggle their community outreach efforts with their family lives and hobbies.

One of Tuttle’s hobbies is riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle. Brandy Dunn loves boating and “noodling,” which involves catching catfish in a muddy river bottom with your bare hands.

“It’s about showing what southern girls are all about,” Tuttle said. “We have our families, what we do at home. Every weekend I’m doing a fundraiser for someone here in town. We all have something in our hometowns that we donate our time to.”

Jackson Media TV Co-owner Cindy Jackson said they’ve finished shooting a “sizzler,” a snapshot of what the show is going to be about, and can now start pitching it to television networks.

“We’ve shot a lot of stuff for it,” she said. “We filmed on the river, we’ve filmed the girls shooting guns, and of course, Brandy noodling. Each of the girls just do a variety of things.”

She said they’re trying to turn around negative stereotypes of southerners and show the world what true Southern hospitality is like.

“I just think that there’s so much bad going on, if we can put some good things out there and focus on that, I think maybe people would look at the South a little better,” Jackson said.

Even is the show isn’t picked up, Jackson said they’ve been having fun interacting with the women. 

“Regardless of whether we get the show or not, I’ve got sisters for life,” Tuttle said.

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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