Bellator Agents Shine Light on Community Philanthropies

17 Aug 2015 · Bellator Blogger

Giving Back…it’s a Bellator thing

“Gratitude” is one of Bellator’s core values, and our agents and staff put this into action daily through their involvement in the community. In lieu of our regular division sales meetings in August, the Bellator team has committed to bring awareness to four local charity organizations by serving in hands-on projects coordinated by our agents.

Prodisee Pantry

When we reached out to our team about suggestions for charities to serve, Jennifer Shirley was eager to recommend Prodisee Pantry in Spanish Fort, AL. She said, “I would drive by the pantry and notice how the parking lots were packed! When I heard what they did, it intrigued me because you never really think about your own community having a need for food like the people that come through Prodisee Pantry.”

Prodisee Pantry is a faith-based nonprofit located in Baldwin County that provides emergency food and disaster relief. Established in 2003, the pantry opens every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. and serves over 77,000 families facing hardship from job loss, health issues, natural disasters and other crisis. This particular ministry goes beyond giving food—it also takes the time to get to know each family and stay connected with their journey. Each individual or family checks in and sits with a trained volunteer to organize a plan to improve their situation. After the meeting, volunteers load the families’ vehicles with fresh produce, dairy, meat, bread, canned food and other essential groceries.


Bellator agents and staff volunteer at Prodisee Pantry on August 4th, 2015

Bellator volunteered at Prodisee on August 4th, and had a successful turnout with 20 team members showing up to work. Agents and staff were humbled by the experience and grateful to be able to lend a hand. Nancy Petitti, broker of the Daphne office, could not say enough positive things about the experience. She said, “It reminds us of how blessed we are and shows you the humanity of what the leaders of the pantry are doing.” For more information about how you can be involved, visit

Wilmer Hall

Shane Hale, an agent in Bellator’s Mobile office, offered another hands-on service event through his favorite charity organization, Wilmer Hall. “Wilmer Hall helps children who are powerless to help themselves.  I have always loved children and having three sons of my own, the oldest of which is thirteen, has only strengthened that affection,” said Shane. “As a group far more has been given collectively in terms of volunteer time and financial support than I could have provided on my own in years.”


Bellator President, Troy Wilson, presenting the check from the Listing Challenge for Charity 2014 to the beneficiaries

Wilmer Hall Children’s Home opened in 1864 by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama when there were several orphans who needed a safe haven after the Civil War. Originally opened in Tuscaloosa, the orphanage was moved to Mobile in the 1900s where it has remained a home for hundreds of children. Wilmer Hall offers three different programs for children who cannot live with their natural parents: Residential Living, Transitional Living, Transitional Family Living and education programs. In addition to providing assistance to these families, Wilmer Hall has a thrift store opened throughout the week where the community can shop or make donations.

Our agents and staff are looking forward to volunteering at the Wilmer Hall Donation Center on August 27th.  For more information, visit

Under His Wings

A goal of our community outreach this month is to delve deeply into the different local areas throughout Mobile and Baldwin County. Agent Dawn Beasley volunteered to coordinate a project with Under his Wings in Robertsdale, an organization dedicated to providing a safe home for young women in need. Dawn said, “I became interested in Under His Wings before the doors were even open. I have learned first hand from a close family member how few resources there are for girls in this age group and I truly believe that love, intervention, and Christian guidance at this young age can transform lives.”

Under His Wings was founded by Mary Mildorf, and it is a ministry that allows at-risk teenage girls to participate in God’s plan by living in a home filled with love. The home works to equip young women with life skills essential to wholeness.

As a mother of two daughters, Dawn knows the challenges that face Under His Wings every day. “I am particularly sensitive to the needs of these girls who possibly have not had the family support and love that my children have had.”

On August 27th a group from Bellator will be doing work on the house such as roofing, painting and cleaning. Visit to see how you can be a part of this ministry.

Truland Homes granted wish of going to Disney World to William "Shep" Hall through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Truland Homes granted wish of going to Disney World to William “Shep” Hall through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Christian Life- The Island Church Food Bank

Fulfilling our goal to truly reach as far as we could, Donna Worley brought forth an ongoing community service project at her church. “My church, Christian Life – the Island Church provides food distribution, job opportunities and prayer to those in need. I’m just one of several who volunteer from Bellator.”

This Orange Beach church has the facility space to distribute over 10,000 lbs. of food and re-distribute the load into 200 large boxes for local families to take home. While waiting for their box, there is a theater where families can watch movies and have free brunch items at the snack bar. Church members also entertain the crowd with jokes, songs or funny stories. Aside from the food donation, there is a room for prayer and a job area for hiring companies to set up booths. If it’s your birthday, you even get a special free cake to take home. The whole operation is funded by the church and Orange Beach firemen come to carry boxes to the cars. Various donors pay $1,500 every six weeks for the Bay Area Food Bank to deliver to the Orange Beach area.

On September 12th, several Bellator staff and agents will gather to help distribute and organize food at the church. If you would like to learn more about this outreach ministry, visit

Fort Gaines Annual Colonies of the Gulf Coast event on Dauphin Island

2 Feb 2015 · Virtual Results

Fort Gaines Annual Colonies of the Gulf Coast

Fort Gaines will be hosting a special family-style event on Saturday, March 7th. Billed as the “25th Annual Colonies of the Gulf Coast”, the event gives visitors the opportunity to explore life on “Isle Dauphine” as it was during the 1700 through 1800s.

Focusing on the lives of French, British and Spanish soldiers, the Colonies of the Gulf Coast event will feature live actors dressed in period uniforms as they go through drills and fire cannons. During the event, visitors will also have the opportunity to watch an authentic Blacksmith live at work. The event will also host a Pirates show for visitors to enjoy.

Even if you can’t visit Fort Gaines during this special event, it’s still well worth taking a trip to explore the site. Established in 1821, the fort played an integral role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. Furthermore, many historians consider it to be one of the best-preserved Civil War era masonry forts in the country. In addition to exploring the fort, you can also explore several other historic buildings – five pre-Civil Ear brick buildings, an operational blacksmith shop, operational kitchens and even a tunnel system that leads to the fortified corner bastions. There are also many artifacts and exhibits on display throughout the grounds – one being an anchor from the USS Hartford, which was commanded by Admiral David Farragut. You might recognize his name as the one who coined the famous phrase “Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!” The original cannons used during the Battle of Mobile Bay are also on display.

In addition to exploring the rich history of the area, visiting Fort Gaines will also give you ample opportunity to take in the scenic beauty of the Dauphin Island shoreline. While at the fort, you can look out at panoramic views of Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. There are also public beaches, parks, trails and opportunities for wildlife watching, boating and kayaking.

Unfortunately, this historic structure is at risk. With its location just several feet away from the Gulf of Mexico, the fort has sustained significant damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. It is also threatened by erosion, with ongoing losses of neighboring sand dunes and beach reaching up to 10 feet per year. Due to these threats, the fort was placed on the History Under Siege list compiled by the Civil War Preservation Trust. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has also placed the fort on its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. With the fort under such threat of being lost, anyone interested in seeing the fort should be sure to visit it while it’s still possible.

To get to Fort Gaines, take Route 193 South all the way to Dauphin Island. After arriving on the island, turn left at the Water Tower in order to get on to Bienville Boulevard. The fort is located two miles down the road at the easternmost point on the island. Admission to the annual event is $6 per adult and $4 per child.

Mobile-Area Mardi Gras Celebrations Kick Off on January 17th

14 Jan 2015 · Bellator Blogger

shutterstock_111956600 (1)

Mardi Gras celebrations officially kick off this year on January 17th with the first parade of the year being held in Dauphin Island. The Krewe de la Dauphine parade is only the start to what is a seemingly endless list of Mardi Gras parades and celebrations that will be leading up to the official big day of the event on February 17, 2015.

Although some people say New Orleans is home to Mardi Gras, history shows that it originated in Mobile, and that is just another reason as to why Mobile is such a unique and culturally rich city. The numerous celebrations range from high-class balls and elaborate parades taking place in and around Mobile, Alabama throughout January and February. According to legend, the celebrations began when a ship captain named Charles Kennerly tied cowbells to a rake and declared himself to be representative of the Cowbellion de  Rakin Society. From that point forward, Kennerly’s “secret society” continued to exist for the sole purpose of partying and throwing parades. Since that time, more secret societies have formed and have taken place in Mardi Gras celebrations. Today, more than 33 groups have parades in celebration of Mardi Gras throughout the Mobile area.

With so many different parades taking place throughout Mobile, it is unlikely that you will have any trouble finding one that you can enjoy. If you hope to get some of the stuff that is tossed out during the parade, you need to come prepared. Since a handful of the stuff does not make it past the barricade, seasoned parade-goers bring small plastic rakes to grab the tossed items and pull them in. If you are tempted to jump over the barricade to get the stuff, you might want to rethink the plan: if you are caught jumping the barricade by local police, you may receive a $172 ticket. Another popular item to bring – plastic bags or totes – so you have more than just two hands to carry everything you catch.

While parades are easy to attend, participating in one of the many Mardi Gras balls taking place throughout the area might be more difficult. Although some societies sell tickets to their balls, most are only open to members and their guests. As such, you will need to receive an invitation if you hope to attend one of these special events. If you are lucky enough to receive one of these invitations, your invite is likely to specify “costume de rigueur.” For women, this means you must wear a floor-length dress. For men, it means you must wear black tails with a white pique shirt, which is a shirt with waffle-textured fabric. You must also wear a white pique tie with white cufflinks and studs. If you fail to dress appropriately, you are likely to be turned away at the door.

Aside from the Krewe de la Dauphine parade, which kicks off at 1:00 pm on January 17th, several parades will also take place in Mobile. The earliest of these will take place on January 30th at 6:30 pm. Since times and dates of parades are subject to change, it is a good idea to check the parade schedule available on the Mobile Mask, which serves as the official site for all Mobile-area Mardi Gras information. You can also find more information about parade routes, secret societies and area balls on the website.

Bellator gives sizable donation to four local charities this holiday season

7 Jan 2015 · Bellator Blogger

Two months. Four charities. Six teams. Ten thousand dollars.

Bellator Real Estate & Development devised the idea to create a charity challenge in order to give back to the community and instill a greater drive within its agents. The result? An inaugural company-wide Listing Challenge for Charity comprised of six teams of Bellator agents from the three company divisions – Eastern Shore, Mobile and Coastal – and $10,000 to be donated to four local charities. Through two rounds of voting, agents selected the four charities Bellator would support this year: the Ronald McDonald House, Under His Wings, the Sheriff’s Boys Ranch and Wilmer Hall. In October, the teams began competing to gain the most listings and, furthermore, fulfill the role of allocating a percentage of the $10,000 to the charities. In mid-December, after two months of hard work, dedication and a total of 172 listed properties, the company staff held a luncheon with the charity representatives in attendance to accept their donations from Bellator President, Troy Wilson.


At the luncheon, Mary McAleer of the Ronald McDonald House, Angie Michal of Under His Wings, Jim Harmon of the Sheriff’s Boys Ranch and Shane Hale, one of our own agents, of Wilmer Hall, each spoke about their organization’s mission, history, operating budget and annual fundraising events. Each of the non-profit organizations has a distinguished mission dedicated to supporting local families and children throughout Baldwin and Mobile Counties.

The Ronald McDonald House of Mobile aims to provide support and a home for families with ill or injured children being treated at local hospitals. The charity’s home accommodates up to 38 families each night and has served over 5,300 families within the past 14 years. According to McAleer, the home is DSC_0384 located on the campus of USA Children’s and Women’s but is open to anyone being treated in the region. The homes are set up similar to a hotel in that they have double occupancy rooms with queen-sized beds, but all meals and entertainment are provided in family-style common areas. “As staff, we do what we can to make the families feel at home, but the most valuable aspect of the program is the support that families can provide to one another as they are all going through a similar experience. That dinnertime conversation between families is so crucial.”

In a similar light, Under His Wings strives to provide a Christian home for troubled young women to live in while receiving academic, physical, emotional and spiritual education. Their goal is to break negative, unhealthy cycles in the area and DSC_0375 within families, and to ultimately establish a more positive community and stronger family ties. Angie Michal, one of the founders of the program, said, “Our home currently cares for 5 young women—this may not sound like very many, but the impact our program makes on these women is going to carry through many generations. Our goal is to break the cycle that happens in these terrible situations and provide a brighter future for generations to come.” Under His Wings operates on an annual budget of less than $200,000 to care for these women, and it doesn’t accept any government funding.

The third charity selected, the Sheriff’s Boys Ranch, is sponsored by the Alabama Sheriffs’ Association and is dedicated to serving abused, neglected, homeless and DSC_0381 dependent children in the community that come from troubled situations. The ranches have housed over 3,000 children and have provided them with a Christian atmosphere and daily responsibilities to instill a sense of work ethic and responsibility. Harmon, the Ranch’s director and life-long supporter of the Alabama Sheriff’s Ranches, explained that the boys are raised in homes of 8-10 boys each, and they are supported physically, educationally and spiritually.

The final charity chosen was Wilmer Hall, whose mission is to provide long-term DSC_0379 homestay for children who are unable to reside with their parents, whether due to  abuse, neglect, poverty or homelessness. At Wilmer Hall they attend school, have a tutoring program, can participate in extracurricular activities and learn necessary life skills and values.

Overall, the challenge instilled competition and drive throughout each Bellator division. Along with company drive, the challenge allowed the company to give back to the community and assist local charities during the holiday season. In addition to providing financial support, the company has also pledged to provide manpower for the charities’ fundraising events throughout the upcoming year.

Snowbird Season Brings a Number of Events to Lower Alabama

5 Jan 2015 · Bellator Blogger


January is the month when many snowbirds begin to make their way to the Gul Landscape6 f Coast – and Lower Alabama is a popular destination. Not only does the area providea much-needed retreat from the cold that much of the country experiences during this time of the year, but Lower Alabama also offers many activities that are specifically geared toward those who wish to get away to a warmer climate.

For some, the unofficial start of “snowbird season” begins on the day of the Snowbird Fest. This year, the event takes place on January 10th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Orange Beach Event Center at the Wharf. As usual, the event will feature an extensive lineup of entertainment, but this year will include tribute shows honoring Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball. The festival will also include vendors, giveaways and exclusive deals on dining, golf, rentals and other forms of entertainment. To learn more about the free event, visit the Snowbird Fest website or call 1-800-270-2457.

A number of fun classes, events and activities will also be offered throughout the month to kick-off a new year and the snowbird season. Some of these include:

  • January 10th: Better Photos with Your Point and Shoot Camera at the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance Art Gallery. Classes are from 10:00 am to Noon and from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Cost is $25. Call 251-948-2627 for details.
  • January 12th and 19th: Beach Flight Aviation at the Orange Beach Welcome Center. The activity gives you the opportunity to fly over the beaches with a unique trike aircraft. In addition, an informational talk will take place from 10:00 am to noon. For more information, call 251-974-1510.
  • January 14th: Meet ceramic artist Steven Dark at the Gulf Shores Welcome Center. The meet and greet will take place from 10:00 am to Noon. Visit or call 251-968-7511 for more details.
  • January 14th: Learn more about Wild Hearts cruises at the Orange Beach Welcome Center from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Call 251-974-1510 for further information.
  • January 15th: Lecture from Gulf State Park Naturalist at Orange Beach Welcome Center at 10:00 am. Learn about sea turtles and shorebirds that are native to the region. Visit the Gulf State Park website or call 251-974-1510 for more information.
  • January 17th: “Post-Camera Production – After You Take the Picture, What’s Next?” talk at the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance Art Gallery. Learn how to produce professional-looking results from your photos. Classes from 10:00 am to Noon. Cost is $25. Call 251-948-2627 for details.
  • January 17th: Editing Digital Photographs with Adobe Photoshop session at the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance Art Gallery. Classes are from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Cost is $25. Call 251-948-2627 for details.
  • January 19th: Local Author Book Signing at the Orange Beach Welcome Center from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Call 251-974-1510 for further details.
  • January 20th: Baldwin County Heritage Museum lecture at the Gulf Shores Welcome Center, from 10:00 am to Noon, to learn more about the culture of the farm communities of early Baldwin County.
  • January 22nd and 29th (also on February 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th): Mini Scrapbooking Sessions at The Hangout from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. $20 per person, which covers the cost of craft AND lunch. Visit the Gigi Scrapbookin’ website or call 251-971-2005 for more information.

This list of events is just a small sampling of what Lower Alabama has to offer throughout the beginning of the year. Visit the Snowbird Events page of the Gulf Shores website to learn more about what is taking place throughout the area.

Mobile, Alabama’s economy is on the rise

24 Oct 2014 · Anna Phillips

Bellator Real Estate & Development is eager to serve you in Mobile! Since 2013, Bellator has been available on the second floor in the Regions Bank building in the heart of West Mobile, prepared to help you make Mobile your home. Our Mobile office location is home Mobile Office to broker, Don Jones, and more than 15 experienced agents who can provide you with residential and commercial real estate services.

The city of Mobile has taken off within the last couple of years and is still rapidly reaching new heights. From numerous charity events and runs, fairs and festivals, new restaurants and businesses, and much more, Mobile is constantly expanding. Downtown Mobile has recently hosted multiple charity runs, including the Down Syndrome Society of Mobile County’s Buddy Walk, the Walk to Stop Diabetes, The Color Run, and many others. Mobile City Everything from BayFest Music Festival, the Greater Gulf State Fair, Greek Fest and Mobile’s International Festival can also be found in Mobile each year, and are only a few of the popular fairs and festivals that the city of Mobile has to offer. The city also recently welcomed Airbus and an Alabama Aviation Training Facility into town, along with many other new businesses. ArtWalks, fresh markets with local vendors, diverse cuisine and a historic scene also adds to the unique and thriving culture of Mobile. Its rich history and being the 12th largest port in the United States are two things the city is widely recognized for.

Along with the commercial and economic growth Mobile is experiencing, the Mobile real estate market has been steadily improving since the economic decline. Homes in the area are averaging $190,000 and productivity and income are on the rise, as stated by the Mobile Chamber of Commerce. In the midst of Mobile’s exciting growth, our agents are readily available to help you find the perfect home for you.