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What it means to be a

Mayo Clinic Care Network member

Your physician can collaborate with Mayo Clinic specialists on your behalf. This helps ensure you receive the care you need, close to home. Mayo Clinic Care Network members have special access to resources that include eConsults, eBoards, AskMayoExpert, Inpatient Telephone Consults and Patient Education materials.

For more information, please visit Unity-Health.org/mayo.

HOSPITALS • CLINICS • SPECIALISTS Searcy | Newport | Beebe | Bradford | Cabot | Clinton | Heber Springs


501 LIFE


OWNERS Donna Spears, Sonja J. Keith OFFICE MANAGER Tracey Wilkinson EDITOR Sonja J. Keith


ART DIRECTORS Jennifer Godwin and Nick Walker ASSOCIATE EDITOR Levi Gilbert PHOTO DIRECTOR Mike Kemp

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Tom Keith CONTRIBUTORS Donna Benton Don Bingham Kellie Bishop Adam Bledsoe Tanner Cangelosi Brittany Gilbert Laurie Green Linda Henderson Vivian Hogue Karl Lenser Mark McDonald Julianne Milner Mark Oliver

Kiera Oluokun Todd Owens Bill Patterson John Patton Susan Peterson Dr. Robert Reising Robin Richards Jan Spann Donna Lampkin Stephens Callie Sterling Jaison Sterling Megan Stroud


“Georgia on My Mind – Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles” is planned 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the University of Central Arkansas Reynolds Performance Hall.

‘Loving LIFE’ and UCA’s Reynolds It’s an exciting time as Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas celebrates its 20th anniversary of presenting quality performances ranging from Broadway and pop concerts to educational and entertaining lectures. As longtime supporters of Reynolds, we want to invite 501 LIFE readers to join in on the anniversary celebration by attending a special concert in February that recognizes the first performer who graced the Reynolds stage – the late Ray Charles. “This is a thrilling, monumental year for Reynolds Performance Hall as we celebrate our 20th season of bringing amazing talent to Central Arkansas,” said Reynolds director Amanda Horton. “What better way to celebrate this season than by presenting a ‘Best of Reynolds’ Series, with some of our patrons’ favorite shows.” UCA’s Reynolds opened Sept. 15, 2000, with a sold-out performance by the legendary Ray Charles. “Ray Charles set the bar high! As we celebrate our 20th season this year, we are proud to present a show that reaches that high bar and will delight the audience with favorite Ray Charles music,” said Amanda. “Georgia on My Mind – Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles” is planned 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. “In this exciting 90-minute, feel-good extrava4 | 501 LIFE February 2020

ganza, the cast performs dazzling soulful performances of hit songs including; ‘Hit the Road Jack,’ ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You,’ ‘Georgia on My Mind’ and many more,” said Amanda. “The celebration features 10-time Grammy winners TAKE 6, Emmy Award winner Clint Holmes, six-time Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelon and Grammy Awardwinning saxophonist Kirk Whalum. “This is a performance you don’t want to miss!” Reynolds tickets may be purchased at uca. edu/reynolds, at the box office between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by calling UCA Ticket Central at 501.450.3265 or toll-free at 866.810.0012. For more information, contact Amanda at ahorton@uca.edu, or visit uca.edu/ reynolds. Previous Best of Reynolds performances were The Gatlin Brothers and Straight No Chaser. The final performance in the series is “Cirque Éloize HOTEL” scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3. 501 LIFE is the sponsor of the Best of Reynolds series. We congratulate Amanda, her incredible team and supporters of Reynolds on this special occasion. We are looking forward to “Loving LIFE” and enjoying more great shows at Reynolds in the years to come!

Johnny Adams Jack Bell Don Bingham RaeLynn Callaway Glenn Crockett Kay Dalton Beth Franks Russ Hancock Spencer Hawks Mathilda Hatfield Roe Henderson Jerry Hiegel Mike Kemp

Julie LaRue Karl Lenser Lori Melton Kiera Oluokun Deanna Ott Pat Otto Jon Patrom Amy Reed Lori Ross Margaret Smith Jan Spann Kim Tyler Jennifer Whitehead

CONWAY COUNTY EDITORIAL BOARD Mary Clark Shelli Crowell Dr. Larry Davis Shawn Halbrook Alicia Hugen Alisha Koonce

Stephanie Lipsmeyer Stewart Nelson Kristi Strain Jim Taylor Morgan Zimmerman

WHITE COUNTY EDITORIAL BOARD Betsy Bailey Tara Cathey Cassandra Feltrop Phil Hays Natalie Horton Matt LaForce

Hannah Owens Mike Parsons Brooke Pryor Carol Spears Kristi Thurmon

To subscribe or order back issues, visit www.501lifemag.com. The subscription rate is $20 for one year (12 issues). 501 Advertising and Publishing 701 Chestnut St. Conway, Ark. 72032 501.327.1501 info@501lifemag.com 501 LIFE is published monthly by 501 Advertising and Publishing (701 Chestnut St., Conway, Ark. 72032, 501.327.1501). The contents of 501 LIFE are copyrighted and materials presented may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publishers. Articles should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Products and services advertised are not necessarily endorsed by 501 LIFE. 501 LIFE is produced on recycled paper.

In November of 2019, Heritage Living Center was named the recipient of this year’s

HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence.

Heritage Living Center is proud to be recognized as the first long‐term post‐acute care Davies Award of Excellence recipient in the history of this award. The award recognizes the application of health information and technology to substantially improve clinical care delivery, patient outcomes, and population health. The Davies award program promotes better health through IT usage by recognizing and sharing cases, model practices and lessons learned on how to effectively leverage information and technology to improve patient outcomes. “Lauren Talbot, Reliance Healthcare EHR Solutions Consultant, and Leslie Lamb presented Heritage Living Center’s positive patient outcomes to the National HIMMS award panel in August.

We were humbled to accept this award and acknowledge the deep dedication of our staff to the well‐being of our residents as the primary driver of our success.” Heritage Living Center will be recognized during the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, which takes place March 9–13 in Orlando, Florida.



Volume 12 Issue 10



30 Guest column

The Conway Symphony Orchestra rocked the 501 in TSO-style.

On the cover

501 LIFE is “Celebrating love” in this month’s edition. (Jeremy Higginbotham design)

48 Entertaining

Creamy Chocolate Truffles would be high on many lists to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day!

70 Sports

Organizers of the Second Annual Arkansas Duck Derby are calling this year’s event a big success.

80 Pets

Many dog lovers consider their pets to be family and want to include them in wedding festivities.

neighbors 26 Couples

Meredith and Paul Bradley are loving life, their family and serving in their church.

28 Youth



Nemo Vista piemakers reign in Arkansas.

34 Conway County

Joe Canady is a tailor-made role model to look up to.

80 48

82 Person of the month

Jimmy Bryant recently retired after nearly 24 years working at the University of Central Arkansas.


‘501 Kids’ section

4 8-9 10-17 48-57 82

501 LIFE contributors Kellie Bishop and Brittany Gilbert have great tips in the 501 Kids section (Pages 62-65). Have a story idea or a young person you would like to see featured? Send suggestions to info@501lifemag. com.

LIFE pics 18-24


6 | 501 LIFE February 2020




Editor’s Note Calendar Loving LIFE Home Person of the month

501 LIFE would like to thank its advertising partners for their continued support and encourage our readers to support these businesses:

501 LIFE is you!

twitter.com /501lifemag

# 501 LIFE, 79

A facebook.com /501lifemag

Arkanas Dermatology, 40

B Brookdale Senior Living, 35

C Central Arkansas Pediatrics, 63 Central Baptist College, 69 Conway Corporation, 31 Conway Downtown, 25 Conway Regional Health System, 83 Conway Regional Rehab, 47 Conway Symphony Orchestra 37

D DJM Orthodontics, 29

E Edward Jones, 59

F First Security Bank, 84 First Service Bank, 13 Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling Inc., 27

Get “LIFE” at home! For a limited time, 501 LIFE is offering a special subscription rate for new subscribers - have the magazine delivered to your home for only $20 for one year, $40 for two years. While the magazine is distributed through more than 700 locations in Central Arkansas, copies go fast. Home delivery ensures readers they won’t miss a single issue. Readers can visit 501lifemag.com or call 501.327.1501 to subscribe.

Tune in at 12:30 p.m. the last Tuesday of each month to KARK Channel 4 for a segment on the current issue of 501 LIFE.

Writers’ Room

H Hartman Animal Hospital, 81 Harwood, Ott & Fisher, PA, 43 Heritage Living Center, 5 Hiegel Supply, 37

J Julie’s Sweet Shoppe, 61

M MSC Eye Associates, 39 Methodist Family Health, 55

O Ott Insurance, 41

P Patterson Eye Care, 73 Pulaski County Special School District, 66, 67

S Salem Place Nursing and Rehab, 51 Shelter Insurance, 73 Sissy’s Log Cabin, 19 Superior Nursing & Rehab, 2

U UCA Reynolds Performance Hall, 53 Unity Health, 3 University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton, 33 University of Central Arkansas, 49

W Wilkinson’s Mall, 39

Vivian Lawson Hogue is among the rare “native” segment of pre-mid-20th century Conway residents still living where she was born in 1943. A graduate of Conway High School, Vivian attended Hendrix College for two years and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor of science in education degree in art education. Vivian writes a regular column for 501 LIFE, oftentimes with an historical perspective. “Writing just slipped into my life by a happy accident.” To contact Vivian, email vhogue@ conwaycorp.net.

A regular contributor to 501 LIFE, Susan Peterson writes the “Authors in the 501” feature. Susan has lived in Conway nearly 35 years and enjoys most the abundant Crepe Myrtles in the 501. She has a PhD in education from the University of Akron in Ohio and is retired from the University of Central Arkansas. She has two children, Ashley and Dan, and their families live in the 501. Susan enjoys traveling, reading and making art, especially painting and pottery. To see her work, visit susanleepeterson. wixsite.com/suzart.

A resident of Central Arkansas most of her life, Linda Hoggard Henderson shares her love of photography and traveling Arkansas each month with 501 LIFE readers. “I enjoy most our small town life in the 501, but we are close to Little Rock and our state parks,” she said. “Also, most of my family and friends live in the 501.” In addition to photography, Linda enjoys traveling backroads and blue line highways, and cooking. “I enjoy eating at every dive, drive-in and every mom and pop restaurant in the 501.” A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor of science degree in nursing, Linda retired from the Conway Human Development Center, where she grew up. She and her husband, Jim, have a son, John Mark, and daughter-in-law, Jenni Henderson. Other family include her dad and mom, Tommy and Peggy Hoggard, and Jim’s parents, Joanne and the late Jack Henderson. To contact Linda, email lindahenderson@conwaycorp. net or follow her on Facebook (Linda Hoggard Henderson) and Instagram (lindahenderson).

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 7


Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a special concert in February that recognizes the first performer who graced its stage – the late Ray Charles. “Georgia on My Mind – Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles” is planned 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the University of Central Arkansas Reynolds Performance Hall.

February S






S 1









10 11 12 13 14 15

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 The Faulkner County Circle of Friends chapter, a group supporting Arkansas Children’s Hospital, will host its Seventh Annual Freezin’ for a Reason 5K and 10K and Lap for Life on Saturday, Feb. 1, at John McConnell Stadium at Conway High School. The race was initiated as a way to honor the memories of Charlotte and Stella Mulhearn, two Conway children who received treatment at Arkansas Children’s. To register for the race or for more 8 | 501 LIFE February 2020

information, visit freezin4areason.org. For sponsor information, contact Karil Greeson at freezin4areason@yahoo.com or 501.450.0512. Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas has three events scheduled in February: “The Choir of Man” – Friday, Feb. 7 “An American in Paris” – Tuesday, Feb. 11 “Georgia on My Mind – Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles” – Friday, Feb. 28 Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at uca.edu/Reynolds, at the Reynolds Box Office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by calling UCA Ticket Central at 501.450.3265 or 866.810.0012. Bethlehem House, a transition shelter and program helping the homeless, will host a Journey of Hope Dinner and Auction from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at oneChurch, 1073 Front St. in Downtown Conway. For more information, call 501.329.4862 or email bhouse@ conwaycorp.net.

The 20th Annual Beast Feast is planned Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Conway Expo Center and Fairgrounds. The annual sportsman banquet is for men and boys. The expo begins at 1 p.m., with the program at 5 o’clock. Tickets can be bought at beastfeastarkansas.com or at the Second Baptist Church Office. For more information, call 501.327.6565. The Conway Symphony Orchestra will present “American Portrait: A Concert of Unity” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas. For more information and to order tickets, visit conwaysymphony.org.

To submit a calendar item, please send information to info@501lifemag.com. To see a complete list of items, please go to 501lifemag.com.


Laurels and Stripes UCA to honor two graduates The University of Central Arkansas will celebrate Terri Jordan and Lavon Morton at the 2020 edition of its Laurels and Stripes gala. Jordan and Morton will be recognized with the UCA Distinguished Alumni Award, the most prestigious recognition presented to an alumnus or alumna. It recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the university, community, state or society; outstanding achievements in a particular field of endeavor; or have a character that enhances the reputation of the university. The annual fundraising event is planned Saturday, April 4.

Terri Jordan ’85 Terri Jordan ’85 has been a top-level executive for some of the world’s largest companies — Walmart Inc., eBay Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Her work takes her across the globe to locations from Dublin and Tokyo to Paris and London. She serves as a mentor to up-andcoming professionals and has maintained her connection to the University of Central Arkansas through a scholarship, the UCA Foundation and other activities. With her extensive background and sustained support of the university, Jordan was selected as one of two 2020 award recipients. Jordan received the news in October. “I’m very honored,” Jordan said. “I am still pro-

cessing this. I’m pretty much just shocked.” A native of Morrilton, Jordan graduated from UCA with a double major in computer science and mathematics. She worked part time at a local bank while a UCA student and continued there after graduation because the bank had begun implementing the use of computers in daily operations. She soon found a computer programming role with a small company in Little Rock before acTerri Jordan cepting a position in software development for Walmart stores in 1987. “That’s where my career pretty much took off. I was there for about 19 years,” Jordan said. “I had many promotions, and I worked in many different functions in technology.” Before her departure in 2006, Jordan served as senior director in Walmart’s information systems division. Jordan spent the next three years as vice

president of technical operations at eBay in California before joining Microsoft. Though she and her husband, Richard, live in the Seattle area, she has worked to stay connected and support UCA. “The biggest thing for me is being able to give back and help others, and particularly females, because there’s still a significant disparity between the number of males versus females in the technology space,” she said.

Lavon Morton ’72 Lavon Morton ’72 has visited Buffalo Alumni Hall at UCA many times. During these visits, he would view the plaques hanging in the social room that recognize previous Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. “I know about many of them, but it never occurred to me, not one time, to look at those names

Lavon Morton

Stripes continued on Page 78

‘Walk for Wheezy’ planned Feb. 23 In memory of Eloise “Wheezy” Ann Owen, the fifth annual “Walk for Wheezy” will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Cabot Panther Stadium in Cabot. Eloise was born with congenital heart disease and spent many hours at Arkansas Children’s Hospital before passing away in 2016. All of the money raised goes to the ACH Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit to provide treatment for children with heart diseases. ACH is the ONLY comprehensive pediatric heart care center in Arkansas. In the past years, Walk for Wheezy has raised more than $180,000 and is one of the top fundraisers for the CVICU at ACH. The event T-shirt order deadline is Sunday, Feb. 2. To sign up for the event, donate and/or order a shirt, visit walkforwheezy.com. Walk for Wheezy is a 501c3 nonprofit that was created with the sole purpose of raising funds and awareness for Arkansas Children's Hospital during a community-wide event all in memory of Eloise.

“Walk for Wheezy” 2019-2020 board members include Bailey Moses (front, from left), Anna-Bel Chambers, Kara Crabbe, Zoe Boshears, Brandy Vines; Darcy Eddington (back), Sarah Owen, Leah Conley and Brianna Cook. (Collin Hyder photo)

Wheezy continued on Page 78 February 2020 501lifemag.com | 9


Sharing the 501 LIFE spirit

501 readers are enjoying LIFE and sharing their trips and special occasions with others. An overwhelming number of readers are submitting “Loving LIFE� photos for inclusion in the magazine, and every effort is being made to publish them as soon as possible. Headed out on a special trip? Pack a copy of 501 LIFE in your suitcase, snap a photo at your destination and send it to us for publication in a future issue. Have a special occasion or get-together coming up? Take 501 LIFE along, take a photo and send it to us. Photos can be submitted by email to info@501lifemag.com or by mail to Reader Photos, c/o 501 LIFE, 701 Chestnut St., Conway, Ark. 72032. Please include the names of those in the photograph and their hometowns along with contact information. (Sorry, photos will not be returned by mail but can be picked up at the 501 office.) Here’s to “Loving LIFE.� – Sonja Keith

Abby Lewis, a senior from Greenbrier, was “Loving LIFE� after she entered the Storm Drain Mural Project for the City of Pine Bluff. Abby, pictured with her mural, was one of four artists chosen.

Mac Kennedy, Hershel Wilson and Lewis Kennedy were “Loving LIFE� at the 2019 Guy-Perkins School reunion.

“Loving LIFE� during a Veterans Day program at Guy-Perkins School. Students (pictured) spoke on why they want to be in the military.

10 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Brad and Shawna Parks of Morrilton were "Loving LIFE" in Italy last summer as they celebrated their 10-year anniversary. The trip included a visit to the ancient ruins of Pompeii. They also enjoyed their time in Sorrento, Isle of Capri, Rome, Vatican City and the Rome Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS.

Julia Marie Goodman of Morrilton was “Loving LIFE” and served as flower girl at the wedding of her granddaughter, Cassidy, to Noah Icenhour. The beautiful ceremony took place at The Barn at Moores in Greenbrier on June 8, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Shingleur Photography)

Dean and Leo Treat were “Loving LIFE” as they recently celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary in Branson, Mo.

Little Rock residents Jacob Huggins and Mary Emma Hancock were "Loving LIFE" after Jacob surprised Mary Emma with a marriage proposal at The Old Mill.

John and Louise “Lulu” Thompson of Conway took 501 LIFE along as they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the Sandals Negril in Jamaica. “Our boys are Jay (Jessica) of Jonesboro, Mike of Little Rock and Brock of Washington, D.C. We have three grandchildren,” John wrote, adding that the two enjoyed a candlelight dinner on the beach in Jamaica, the night of their anniversary on Nov 28.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 11


Greenbrier High School students who signed last fall to play sports in college were Cassidy Lear (from left), Lillee Mahan, Makyla Seyller, Madi Spears, Kobe Dunlap, Landon Headrick, Connor Flagg, Cayden Wallace, Abby Lewis, Brae Denton, Haleigh Moss and Grace House. (Donna Spears photo)

‘Historic day’ at GHS Twelve Greenbrier High School student-athletes recently signed to continue playing their respective sports on the college level. Family, friends, classmates, teachers and staff gathered in the fine arts building for the ceremony. “This was a historic day for Greenbrier Athletics,� said Greenbrier High School Athletic Director Steve Wood. “We usually don't have this many athletes sign in a normal year so to have 12 sign during the first signing period is amazing. “Our senior class is made up of a bunch of really good kids who have worked hard for this achievement and we are very proud of them.� Students who signed and the college they plan to attend:

Softball Cassidy Lear, Crowder College in Neosho, Mo. Lillee Mahan, Crowder College in Neosho, Mo. Makyla Seyller, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Madi Spears, Central Baptist College in Conway.

Basketball Kobe Dunlap, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. Landon Headrick, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.

Baseball Connor Flagg, University of Central Arkansas in

12 | 501 LIFE February 2020

501 LIFE co-publisher Donna Spears with her grandchildren, Weston and Madi, who signed to play softball at Central Baptist College. Conway. Cayden Wallace, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Soccer Abby Lewis, University of the Ozarks in Clarksville.

Volleyball Brae Denton, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Haleigh Moss, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Grace House, Hendrix College in Conway.


Community Market President and Sr. Loan Officer Kevin was raised in Clarksville, AR and is a 1994 graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he majored in Financial Management. He began his banking career in 1994. Kevin and his wife Alison have called Conway, AR home since 1998. They have three children, Emily, Natalie, and Anna Claire. Kevin currently serves on the Conway Airport Advisory Committee, Arkansas Aviation Historical Society Board, is a member of Kiwanis Club of Conway, and is a 2002 graduate of the Faulkner County Leadership Institute.


Small Business and Consumer Loan Officer Dawn is a graduate of Vilonia High School and UCA, where she earned a Bachelors of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance. Dawn is married to her husband, Chris Johnson, and they have one son, Brayden. They reside in Conway and attend Second Baptist Church, where she is active in small group and choir. Dawn is a 2018 graduate of the Conway Area Leadership Institute (CALI) and has been a Conway Chamber Ambassador since 2013. Come see Kevin, Dawn, or any First Service Bank associate and experience our superior service for yourself!

We are... CONWAY | 501.932.5050 | CONWAY | 501-932-9700 CLINTON | 501.745.7200 | GREENBRIER | 501.679.7300 | LITTLE ROCK | 501.801.7402

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 13


Representatives of the Central Arkansas Firefighters Christmas Boot Drive were “Loving LIFE�: Chelsi Bates (front, from left), Rita Sanders, Samantha Howard, Brooke Brents; Jered Sanders (back), Josh Sanders, Jonathan Gangluff, Jessica Sanders, Randy Sanders, Brandon Hurst, Charlie Bates (who heads up the group), Doug Howard, Kari Atkinson, Jarrid Govia, Alden Deloach and Justin Adlong. The group raised $40,000 and helped 24 schools, which included 221 families that received food and 649 kids who received gifts.

Perryville High School staff celebrated 501 LIFE with "ugly" sweater day.

14 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Morrilton Cub Scout Pack 93 took 501 LIFE along as members attended the Conway Human Development’s Polar Express on Dec 4. “We rode the train, drank hot cocoa, decorated cookies and had lots of fun,� wrote Laura Fitzpatrick.

Pilot Steve Zimmerman (left) of Olathe, Kansas, and Billy Wright of Conway were “Loving LIFE” during the AirPower History Tour at Cantrell Field in Conway. “A Salute to Veterans” ceremony was held at the airport as part of the national air tour of historic World War II aircraft. February 2020 501lifemag.com | 15


Vanessa Downing (left) of Hot Springs Village and Vickie Robertson of Camden took 501 LIFE along on a hike at Petit Jean State Park. Nathan (right) and Dusty Brand of Nabco M&E, climbed Mount Elbert in Colorado on Aug. 9 and took a copy of 501 LIFE to the top. Mount Elbert is the second highest mountain in the lower 48 states.

Greenbrier Senior Citizens were "Loving LIFE" with a Hawaiian luau.

The Morrilton High School Quiz Bowl team was "Loving LIFE" as members toured Washington, D.C. and competed in the National Quiz Bowl: Emmarie Wilson, Jesse Yocom, Grace Hendrix, coach Brad and Shawna Parks, Claire Koontz and Zach Havner in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

"Loving LIFE" and celebrating with a PIGnic last fall at the Faulkner County Library as Faulkner County seniors enter the University of Arkansas for their freshman year. Freshmen included Henley Masters, Cody Lee Nycum, Matthew McLendon, Timothy Loftness, Bryant Xie and Emma Harrod. The event was sponsored by the Faulkner County Arkansas Alumni Association.

16 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Berdie and Jon Eubank of Conway "enjoyed LIFE" on the American Empress River Boat Cruise on the Columbia and Snake rivers. This photo was taken at Richland, Wash.

“Loving LIFE” at a membership appreciation picnic hosted by the Conway County Branch NAACP of Morrilton. The inaugural event was held in the Morrilton City Park on Aug. 3 to show appreciation to the members for their support of the local branch.

“Loving LIFE” and enjoying the Thanksgiving Day holiday at Navarre Beach, Fla.,: Chad (from left) and Dawn Hearne with their kids, Andrew and Avery; grandparents Robert and Rayla Hearne; and Adam and Amanda Bledsoe with their children, Audrey (holding the magazine) and Hunter.

The Saline County Gold Club of First Security Bank took 501 LIFE along on a trip to Cape Cod, Mass., which included a stop at The Breakers mansion in Newport, R.I.

State Rep. Brian Evans, his wife Melissa and children Laina and Landon were “Loving LIFE” on summer vacation in Turks and Caicos.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 17


Conway Regional Tribute Tree The Conway Regional Health Foundation hosted its 21st Annual Tribute Tree Lighting on Dec 5. The Tribute Tree helps fund scholarships for area students who want to work in the healthcare field. Supporters purchased lights and ornaments for the tree in honor or memory of friends and family. The tree lighting is a Conway holiday tradition and draws families from throughout the community. The event included hot chocolate and cookies, a gingerbread house contest display, visits with Santa and a holiday treat for kids. Three endowed lights, created by a gift of $2,500, were announced at the lighting: • In memory of Bob McCormack by the Conway Regional Health System Board of Directors. He served on the hospital board. • In memory of Dr. Audie Lynch by Rosemary Adlong and Dr. Alan Lynch. He was a longtime volunteer at Conway Regional. • In memory of Lyren Grate by Dr. Barbara Williams. Anna Kate Throckmorton was chosen as the Conway Regional Honorary Tree Lighter in a special drawing. A sing-along was presented by Preston Palmer Music and the Conway Christian Choir. For more information, contact the Conway Regional Health Foundation at 501.513.5771.

Matt and Melissa Troup. 18 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Rebekah Fincher and Santa (Wayne Cox).

Lori Ross (from left), Lanette Grate and Rosemary Adlong.

Marla Hambuchen, James Reed and Santa.

Marla Hambuchen, Dot Welch and Angie Longing.

Lanette Grate (left) and Barbara Williams.

Cornell Maltbia (from left), Andrea Woods and Richard Tyler.

Anna Kate Throckmorton and her mom, Laura.

Donna Hambuchen and Cornell Maltbia.



February 2020 501lifemag.com | 19


Holiday events at Fairfield Bay

The Fairfield Bay Baptist Church Choir performed. Members of the Fairfield Bay (Gamma Kappa) chapter of Beta Sigma Phi with their “Christmas Around the World” themed tree: Rose Teer, Nancy Mueller, Shirley Rudolph, Sheila Brown and Demi Reynolds.

The Light Up the Bay holiday celebration was held Dec. 3 at the Fairfield Bay Chamber of Commerce. "When we Light Up the Bay, our town becomes a magical place,” said Fairfield Bay Chamber of Commerce Director Jackie Sikes. The event included a tree lighting, Santa photos, music, refreshments, a cookie exchange and buckboard rides with Clydesdales provided by Cowboy Dodge. The Fairfield Bay Baptist Church Choir, Greg Duggan and Kay Sharpe performed. The event kicked off the annual Festival of Trees, a collection of trees created by local groups that are displayed throughout the holiday season. In the

tree decorating contest, the Fairfield Bay Community Club won first place and the Fairfield Bay Police Department won second. The People’s Choice Award went to the Fairfield Bay Library. “We are looking forward to an even bigger event next year,” said Jackie. “We sold out of 1,300 cookies in 45 minutes so will have twice as many next year as well as a second possible carriage ride with caroling outside while you wait. The Grinch was very popular this year so he will be back next year as well.” Funds raised through this event will support Chamber programs and events in the Bay. For more information, go to visitfairfieldbay.com.

Santa and Fairfield Bay Mayor Paul Wellenberger.

Jackie Sikes and Bob Snow.

Doris Wilkinson (from left), Nancy Mueller and Rose Teer.

Tom Cloud and Judy Helton.

Nancy McGowen and Jim Adams.

Santa with the James Family: Amanda (left), Abby and Dale.

Sandra Crowder (left) and Rebecca Savchin.

20 | 501 LIFE February 2020

U. S. Army Private Daniel Moore (from left), Private Shawn Overton, Private Zachery Taylor, Master Sergeant James Bacon, Mayor Shawn Gorham, Bob Connell and U.S Army Private 1st Class Brian Tims.

State Rep. Cameron Cooper (front) and State Sen. Missy Irvin; White County Judge Michael Lincoln (back, from left), Rose Bud Mayor Shawn Gorham and Army Master Sergeant James Bacon.

Celebrating Veterans Day with a Purple Heart City by Megan Stroud Robin Richards photos

Rex Moore (front) and Leslie Dennis; Joe (back) and Joy Jernigan and Jeff Gulich.

Charles Smith (left) and Buddie Murray.

Tim and Sharon McAfee. Tracy Bane and Calvin Ballew.

White County Judge Michael Lincoln and his wife, Shelley. Emory and Debbie Majors.

Rose Bud in White County was declared a Purple Heart City on Nov. 9 in honor of Veterans Day. Following the precedent of surrounding towns, the local city council unanimously voted to begin the process in October 2018, and Mayor Shawn Gorham got behind the effort when he was elected in November 2018. In addition to veterans and purple heart recipients in the community, special guests at the event included White County Judge Michael Lincoln, State Rep. Cameron Cooper, State Sen. Missy Irvin and Master Sergeant James Bacon and the color guard from Harding University. “Judge Lincoln got us laughing and Senator Irvin got us crying, so it was the best of both worlds,” said Gorham of the event. “It was really special. It was a good time of fellowship and showing a little love for the guys that protected us and sacrificed so much for us.” At the event, they verbally recognized each individual brick that makes up their veterans memorial, including the name, years of service, rank and military branch. They also added 10 new bricks to the memorial. Bricks on the memorial represent soldiers from all branches including the National Guard, as well as war and peacetime veterans dating all the way back to the Civil War. “All the veterans that I spoke to, and a couple of the purple hearts, said it was very special to them,” Gorham said. “It certainly ranks at the top of the things that I am most proud that we were able to do.” In addition to the ceremony, the city also bought 45 new American flags to display around town, which did not go unnoticed by Rose Bud’s veterans. “I got more compliments and thank-yous from that than anything else,” Gorham said. February 2020 501lifemag.com | 21


Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry and UCA President Dr. Houston Davis.

Annual Veterans Day event at UCA The University of Central Arkansas hosted its Annual Veterans Day Celebration Nov. 7 in McCastlain Hall. The event helps raise money for an annual veteran student scholarship program. It featured free food provided by local restaurants, a performance by the UCA Pinnacle Brass, educational information and vendor booths. The theme was “Honor our Homefront,� which paid tribute to the families of service members who have been deployed. SFC Steven Gray, ROTC Bayonet Battalion served as the master of ceremonies. Senior Airman Amanda Paladino was the keynote speaker. Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry read a proclamation and announced plans for a Veterans Roundabout to honor those who have served in the military. The idea was proposed by Conway veteran Mike Mason. For more information about the event, contact David Williams at veteranservices@uca.edu or 501.852.2999.

Mike Mason (left) and Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry holding up drawing of roundabout planned to honor veterans.

22 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Ray Briggler (from left), Hughie Craig, David Ellis and Larry McDonald.

Jim Richardson (from left), Dale Harlan and Darrell Farley.

Pinnacle Brass: Justin Cook (from left), Dr. Brent Shires, Gail Robertson, Brian Eubanks and Ross Ahlhorn.

Bob Lewis (left) and Doyle Batey.

Peggy and Mike Mason.

Sharon Williams (from left), Robert Bland, Charlene Bland, Berthina and Moses Adkisson and Corey Bland.

Susan Baker (from left), Billy Leach, Shirley Leach and Sherry Griffith.


Bill and Karen Clay.

Jody and Carolyn Caviness.

Kathy and Bill Pearson.

Teresa and Mike Lefler.

Renewal Ranch hosts Christmas Celebration Hawk Hays photos Renewal Ranch hosted its annual Christmas Celebration on Dec. 6 at the ministry’s Restoration Center. The event featured testimonies, live music, games and door prizes. Dr. James Nichols, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Marion (Crittenden County), was the guest speaker. The Ranch is located at 75 Lake Dr. in Houston (Perry County). It is a 12-month, faith-based

and Christ-centered program for men 21 years of age and older who are struggling with substance abuse issues. Six months are spent in Phase I and six months in Phase II. During this time, residents are given an opportunity to develop a personal love relationship with Jesus Christ. Through this relationship, they can find freedom from the chains of addiction, forgiveness from their past, and hope for their future. For more information on the Ranch, contact Bryce McGhee at 501.733.4263 or marketing@ renewalranch.net.

Dr. James Nichols (left) offers a prayer during the Christmas event held at the Renewal Ranch Restoration Center.

Foster Family: Thomas (from left), Karen and Paul.

Virginia and Rich Sayner with Trey Brasell (center).

Patrice Duncan with LeAnn and Larry Winters.

Dr. James Nichols and James Loy.

Chase Moser (from left), Carrie Komjati, Chase Chism, Courtney McKendree, Raegan and Bryce McGhee.

Brian Wicklund (left) and Tim Glover.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 23


Bryan Lloyd (from left), Ariyana Lloyd and Na'taria Johnson.

Charlotte Suarez (from left), Tijuana Taylor and Whitney Elmore.

Dorothy and Ellis Maltbia.

Mary Spencer (from left), Sharon Ausler and Meashery Credit.

Pastor Robert and Sandra Oliver.

Seth (from left), Jeremy, Ada and Isaiah Oliver.

Todd Owens photos

Better Life Ministries hosted its Second Annual Feeding Our Community One Plate At a Time

Thanksgiving Dinner in November.The event was held at Carl Stuart Middle School in Conway. For more information on the ministry, call 501.908.4915.

Louise Beebe Endowment Scholar Tara Davis (left) presented by Kay Price.

Betty T. "Nanga" Martin Scholar Alyssa Benton presented by Tom Martin.

White Co. Community Foundation Scholar Cassie Reed (left) presented by Denise Eaves.

United Way of White County Scholar Aasha Sawyer (left) presented by Anne Eldridge.

First Security Bank Scholar Dakota Saia (right) presented by Kristi Thurmon.

Billy Wayne and Wanda Emde Endowment Scholar Tanazia Weng (right) presented by Wanda Emde.

Thanksgiving dinner

WCSPSF marks anniversary at fall scholar/donor event The White County Single Parent Scholarship Fund Inc. held its Fall 2019 Scholar/Donor Reception at Harding University. Twenty scholarships with a combined value of $17,750 were awarded. 24 | 501 LIFE February 2020

In addition to awarding fall scholarships, WCSPSF also celebrated 20 years of providing scholarships in White County. Since its beginning in 1999, WCSPSF has awarded 674 scholarships with a combined value of

$410,374. For more information, contact executive director Dan Newsom at wcspsf.inc@gmail.com or call 501.230.2414. Information is also available at aspsf.org.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 25



Paul Bradley

NATIVE OF: Conway.

EDUCATION: University of Central Arkansas, bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management information systems, 2006; and a master’s degree in business administration, 2010. JOB: Director of marketing and communications, Conway Regional Health System. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VOCATION: I’ve always had an interest in technology. From a young age, I have been involved with building websites and programming applications. Right out of college, I began working at Acxiom and saw the importance of technology and data driven marketing. I also have a creative bent about me, so the director of marketing position at Conway Regional was a perfect fit. PARENTS: Floyd and Debra Bradley of Conway. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: I have been the accompanist for the Conway Men’s Chorus since 2006. I am 2017 graduate of the Conway Area

26 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Paul and Meredith Bradley are very active in their church, Fellowship Bible Church. He is a member of the worship team. She leads the design and décor teams at the church. (Mike Kemp photo)


Leadership Institute. Meredith and I are both year-round volunteers of Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child. CHURCH ACTIVITIES: I am a member of the worship team at Fellowship Bible Church. I also assist Meredith with design and decorating at the church — I’m the Chip to her Joanna. HOBBIES/SPECIAL INTERESTS: I am a classically trained pianist and have played the piano since I was 5 years old. WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I am actually pretty introverted and was very shy as a kid. MOST ENJOYED WEEKEND ACTIVITY: I enjoy spending time with my family

at Greers Ferry Lake and at the pool. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: I’m very partial to Conway, but it’s a great large “small” town. It is rare to go anywhere and not see someone I know, but Conway has many amenities seen in larger cities.

Meredith Bradley

NATIVE OF: Jonesboro; grew up in Harrisburg. EDUCATION: University of Central Arkansas, bachelor of science (interior design) degree. JOB: I am currently a stay-at-home mom, but have spent time working in home improvement and retail. PARENTS: Gary and Julie Brown, new residents of Conway (just moved from Jonesboro). COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: I am on the leadership team of Koinonia Cooperative Academy, a home-school co-op in Conway. I also serve as a year-round volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child. CHURCH ACTIVITIES: I currently lead the design and décor teams at Fellowship Bible Church. Fellowship recently completed a very large children’s ministry expansion, so my team and I were heavily involved in that building and finishing process. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF: According to enneagram, I’m a Type Two. I am a caring, interpersonal type: generous, demonstrative and a people pleaser. WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I am a first degree blackbelt in Taekwondo and Shorin Ryu. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: I really enjoy the community and small-town feeling.



HOW WE MET: We were both involved with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at UCA. THE PROPOSAL: I (Paul) bought the ring, kept it for about three days, and it burned a hole in my pocket (I am terrible at keeping gifts a surprise). I had a picture book made, featuring many photos of Meredith and I, along with a few of our friends. At the end of the book, there was a blurred photo of a rose with a ring on it. While Meredith was trying to figure out the photo, I slipped the ring out of my pocket and asked her if she would marry me. Much to my relief, she said yes. (I’m still bad at keeping gifts a surprise.) WEDDING BELLS: May 23, 2009, at Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Conway. CHILDREN: Karis, Levi and Ezra. PETS: Cats, Trixie and Lizzie. FAMILY ACTIVITIES ENJOYED TOGETHER: Annually, our family packs shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. It has been a great way for us to get our kids involved in an activity that teaches them to put others first. In the summer, we also enjoy spending a lot of time in the pool. MORE INFORMATION: Early on during our marriage, we were given some great advice that has really served us well. The advice was to set aside time each year for a trip for just the two of us. Doing so has become much more complicated since having kids, but it has been really helpful in our relationship.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 27


Arkansas First Lady Susan Hutchinson with Nemo Vista students holding their 2019 pie-making award ribbons: Shyanne Webster (from left), Andrea Johnson and Julia DeSalvo. (Jason Burt photos)

Student success

Nemo Vista piemakers reign in Arkansas by Dwain Hebda

There are plenty of high school powerhouses in Arkansas, schools that year after year dominate their field of competition. For Class 2A Nemo Vista High School in Center Ridge – a farming enclave of about 1,400 – it’s pie. Within the recently completed and well-appointed Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) building with teacher Christina Loyd, students learn the finer points of baking along with a raft of other domestic survival skills from cooking and nutrition to financial literacy. Loyd has been a teacher for 19 years. “We’re blessed,” she said. “This is one of the top-notch FACS departments. The vocational departments – ag, business and FACS – are a vital part of kids’ learning everyday life experiences that you can’t 28 | 501 LIFE February 2020

just learn sitting down. You have to have hands-on experience and they all do well with all three of our programs.” Last fall, Loyd’s students swept the junior division of the First Lady’s Pie Contest at the Arkansas State Fair for the second straight year. The school is no stranger to such sweet success, having brought home nine State Fair placements in previous years, although 2018 was the first time Nemo Vista kids took first, second and third in the same competition. And lest you think they’re just experts in one mascot pie baked over and over, consider the First Lady competition changes pie species every year. In 2018, it was pecan and in 2019, apple – which means students have to be accomplished in different varieties year after year. Loyd puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of her students to ensure their creations are their own

work, save for the collaboration they might do with their family. And that, she said, is by design. “I want them to have family help. I want them to go home and make that bond with whoever it is, their parents, grandparents or their aunts,” she said. “That gives them something to do at home, plus it gives ownership.” Dalton Chaney, a sophomore, entered the winning pecan pie in his first attempt at baking in 2018 – literally, because he didn’t want to spend the money on ingredients for a second. “I was going to get [my recipe] from my grandma because she makes some really good pecan pies, but she had to go through jaw surgery and so you couldn’t really ask her anything or have her tell you anything back,” he said, opting instead for an online recipe. Chaney chose well; not only did his pie win the blue ribbon, it beat his older brother Austin who’d been

First place 2018 winner Dalton Chaney with First Lady Susan Hutchinson.

Second place 2018 winner Cecelia DeSalvo with First Lady Susan Hutchinson.

Third place 2018 winner Shyanne Webster with Susan Hutchinson.

tinkering with his creation for a month. “He hasn’t really gotten over that,” Dalton said with a little brother grin. Cecelia DeSalvo took second behind Chaney with a pecan pie she likes to bake with her grandmother. Following the competition, she wore her state fair ribbon to school to show all of her classmates. “My Mimi helped me,” she said, beaming. “The secret is using good pecans.” Incidentally, the DeSalvo house is a pretty safe bet if you’re a pie lover as Cecelia’s little sister Julia, a ninth-grader, took home top honors for her apple pie in 2019. “The toughest part was getting the crust just right,” Julia said. “This is the first time I’d ever baked and even though I like cake better, I’ll make an exception for this one.” Senior Andrea Johnson took second in 2019 with an apple pie made to mimic a treat right off of the State Fair midway.

“I don’t really like apple pie, but I do like caramel apples,” she said. “That’s what this pie tastes like and I also add pecans to give it a nice flavor. I like this pie.” Shyanne Webster holds the distinction of being part of both year’s sweeps at the State Fair. The senior took third in 2018 with an apple-pecan creation and in 2019 took third again for her apple pie. Known for selecting complicated recipes, she said the work to bake a prize pie is more than many people bargain for. “It’s kind of complicated,” she said. “There’s a lot of stuff you have to do; the pie crust, then the filling. It takes forever. After I got done, I was like, ‘I swear, if I don’t get a place, I’m going to throw it.’” Just like other high school standouts, Nemo Vista’s pie makers are celebrated by this close-knit high school in Conway County. Former Principal Logan Williams, now district superintendent, was known for giving the kids a hero’s welcome when they made it back to campus. “Our goal is to have every student involved in

something,” he said. “Taking the kids down and competing at the state level is a great real-world experience for them. They get a chance to compete and to win. Whether or not it lines up exactly with the curriculum, it’s great. The community gets behind it, enjoys it, the students love it. “That’s why I had to meet them on the bus to congratulate them. I was thrilled and excited for them. Everybody wants to talk about [sports], but I’ll put that pie baking team against anybody in the state.” Loyd said the community also takes a lot of pride in the students’ accomplishments. “In a small community, everybody is your child,” she said. “It’s nice to have parents that you know buy in and take pride in their accomplishments. It may not be their child that had that award but they’re so excited for someone else’s. It’s a nice community. This is a very rural but very community-oriented school district. Everybody helps each other and it’s an awesome place to work.”

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 29


The Conway Symphony Orchestra presented a special performance during its Christmas concert. (Blake Tyson photos)


Conway Symphony rocks community by Gunnar Bartlett

Gunnar Bartlett performs on drums for the CSO concert. 30 | 501 LIFE February 2020

On Dec. 7, it is quite possible you heard screaming Van Halen-esque guitar solos and the pounding of drums emanating from Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas as the Conway Symphony Orchestra paid tribute to the yuletide rock-opera giant, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Founded by the late Paul O’Neill, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, at its inception, had a straightforward goal. “The whole idea was to create a progressive rock band that would push the boundaries (of the genre) further than any group before…way, way further,” explained O’Neill. I remember at 12 years old my mother taking me to see TSO for the first time. The performance I witnessed in North Little Rock shook me to my core and I single-handedly attribute that performance to sparking a desire within me to be as good as the drummer in the group. Fast forward 13 years to a conversation between CSO Music Director/Conductor Israel Getzov and myself as we were programming the 2019-20 season. Izzy and I kept asking ourselves, “What are we going to do with the Christmas concert? What will make it refreshing?” My mind immediately snapped to the idea of a TSO tribute concert. I threw out the idea halfway jokingly to Izzy and expected immediate push back, but there was a pause followed by, “Well, that could work. If you can pull it off, we’ll do it!” From that moment, the planning began. The first call was to an agent friend who forwarded me to TSO’s management. I explained the vision to them, and mentioned that the CSO is a non-profit music

and more older generation patrons filing through the doors into the performance hall and I thought they were going to hate it. After the symphony successfully pulled off Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Ballet” with the Arkansas Festival Ballet, it was time. We took one last deep breath and all took the stage. Cue the lights, the music and the theatrics. We were loving it, but there was some mild hesitation in the first tune. The hall went dark after the final note and the entire hall roared into applause, a level of applause I have not once heard at a symphony concert in seven years of performing with this organization. The mood on stage just shifted; we knew they wanted more, so we gave it to them. The entire performance went off without a hitch and the audience of all ages loved it. The CSO had two questions that needed to be answered by doing this performance: Can we pull this off? And, will it be well received? The answer to both was a resounding yes! We also made it a priority to show that every aspect of the show was “homegrown.” The musicians on stage that night were from the Central Arkansas area, many of whom studied music at UCA at one point or another, including our 20plus string musicians on stage who are current students in the UCA Department of Music. The production crew, Solid Rock Audio, is based right here in Conway. Doing this performance proved to the Conway community that the CSO can do these types of shows right here with local artists. We have the talent. We have the resources. We have the vision. We hope to see you at our many other performances and that you look forward to the CSO’s 2020 Christmas production – I can promise you it will be bigger and even better than the last.

performance and education organization serving Conway, and they bought in. Not only did they bless the performance, they provided the original music to make it happen. I was floored. I called Izzy to tell him, “It is happening. We got the music.” He couldn’t believe me; well, up until a week later when the email arrived containing all of the original scores! I began making calls to Preston Palmer to help me find musicians, a production crew, sponsors, etc. Preston’s business, Palmer Music Co., even chipped in as a co-sponsor with Conway Corporation for the performance because the vision spoke to him and his mission. Each day the project became more real. It got bigger and bigger, and then the rehearsals started. After the second rehearsal, my eyes lit up – we were going to pull this off. The next two weeks flew by and then it was concert week. Our friends, Mark Malone and JC Petty at Solid Rock Audio, loaded in at Reynolds Performance Hall and began to make the stage come to life. All of the lighting, the PA, the staging, everything; it looked so real and professional. On Friday night, before the performance, we had our sound check and dress rehearsal with all of the effects. One thought kept circling in my mind, “This is going to be awesome.” Fast-forward to Saturday night, it’s concert time. I’m not a nervous performer, especially having been in this industry for over a decade, but this one started to make me nervous, not due to our collective ability as musicians to pull off the performance, but more so how it was going to be received by our patrons. I noticed more


Editor’s note – A graduate of Morrilton High School and the University of Central Arkansas, Gunnar Bartlett is director of development for the College of Fine Arts and College of Liberal Arts at UCA. He serves on the board of directors for the Conway Symphony Orchestra and is the chair for marketing and audience development.

Just like you.

You’re committed to being there for the people you care about, no matter what. We know the feeling. At Conway Corp, our team works tirelessly to make sure things are running smoothly – the big stuff, and all the little stuff – for everyone who calls Conway home. It’s simple, really: if our families need it, we’ve got it covered. Period.


Powering Conway since 1929.


(501) 450-6000




February 2020 501lifemag.com | 31

NEIGHBORS conway county

Kaitlyn Wright is a nontraditional student at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM). She is pursuing an associate’s degree and would like to become an occupational therapist. (Jared Craig photo)

Long journey

UACCM student pursues career goals by Jared Craig

Opportunities do not arrive all at once. For Kaitlyn Wright, they came through everyday actions from a supportive community. As a nontraditional student at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM), she’s one of the millions of students who defies the perceptions of college students portrayed in mass media. She is a first generation college student and works to pay her way through school. Not everything came easy; as she puts it with good humor: “It’s been a long journey.” She went to Greenbrier High School and graduated as part of the SWIS program, which allows independent-minded students more flexibility to complete their high school education. She had aspirations to be a photo journalist, although she didn’t know how exactly to enter the field at the time. “I didn’t know how college worked,” she said. Right after high school, she left her family’s house and did what is best described as couch surfing. When she went to a church camp as a volunteer, she confided to a friend what was happening. “I told her what was going on and that I was homeless. She led me in the right direction, and I called Bethlehem House (in Conway),” she said. She found out she was pregnant at the beginning of her short stay at Bethlehem House. “That was a big thing because I was trying to get my life together at that point,” she said. “And then when I found out I was pregnant, it changed everything.” Back then as a single mother, she felt that the statistical odds would hold her back from accomplishing her goals. “I never thought that I would go to school. 32 | 501 LIFE February 2020

I never thought I’d do anything,” she said. “I didn’t even know how to apply for college.” Since she grew up on a farm, her parents drilled her about the value of hard work by example. She juggled jobs in food service, retail and a call center, although she felt like she was not gaining the needed experience to develop a career. On some days, she had to take her son to school and get to work by taxi, which added more expenses. “I was making enough to live, but I didn’t have enough to get ahead,” she said. Her outreach to community resources exemplified the principle that the village takes care of its own. She got housing assistance from Deliver Hope, a non-profit dedicated to at-risk youth, which provided her with an apartment. She got childcare from Conway Cradle Care, which also provides mentoring to teenage parents. After meeting with a representative from the YES Program operated through UACCM Adult Education, she got jobs at the Morrilton Housing Authority, a temporary placement where she gained office experience, and the D&R Railroad Company, where she learned a range of tasks, from putting together an invoice to the process of switching rails. She took classes at UACCM’s Adult Education program and earned workforce readiness certificates on employability, customer service and office technology. The Arkansas Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE) classes are designed to give job seekers a chance to develop their skills, and she found them beneficial. “I think everybody can use it,” she said. “You learn so much and on things you need to know. You filled out your resume, learned about banking, and took

simulators on what to do during situations common in jobs.” She eventually got hired as an administrative specialist at the college in the general education department, and she now presents on the value of workforce training. In August 2019, she spoke at the West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District meeting in Hot Springs on “How Workforce Changed My Life.” During the fall 2019 semester when she first enrolled at UACCM, she registered for three classes. Along with her job and childcare, she had a full workload. “It’s a lot, but it’s doable. It’s not overbearing,” she said. “Instructors work with you, and they are understanding. That comes with being in a community college. The support system is huge.” As she’s working toward an associate’s degree, her career goals have shifted to occupational therapy so that she can give back and serve the community that once helped her. She got the idea after her son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. Taking him to therapy sessions and seeing how specialists worked with him and other children convinced her. “I like to be somebody who is caring about kids. That’s more than a job,” she said.

Kaitlyn received childcare assistance for her son, Brody Kaide, from Conway Cradle Care, which also provides mentoring to teenage parents. Kaitlyn took classes at UACCM’s Adult Education program and earned workforce readiness certificates on employability, customer service and office technology. (Jared Craig photo)



501-977-2000 WWW.UACCM.EDU

NEIGHBORS conway county

Joe Canady gives back to the community while serving as president of the Conway County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP). (Mike Kemp photo)

Community leader

‘I love what I do; I love serving’ by Dwain Hebda

Anyone involved with the Conway County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP) has a tailor-made role model to look up to in Joe Canady, branch president. But ask Canady about it and he’ll say he’s just reflecting the light of others, a roster of blood kin, church family and various other mentors and influencers who have illuminated his path. He tries to harness the collective wisdom of those mentors in order to be a light for others. “I love what I do; I love serving,” he said. “One of our church elders, her name was Ruthie Moore, used to sing a song, ‘Lord, Don’t Move My Mountain but Give Me the Strength to Climb It,’ and I’ve used that song in my life. What she was saying is, if we ask the Lord to move our mountain, we might be wanting him to move someone out of our way. So don’t move this person if we’ve got opposition. Just give me the strength and courage to climb it or go around it.” 34 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Canady, 56, was born the ninth of 10 children to Modiller and the late L.C. Canady, who reared their brood in a two-bedroom house in Cleveland, a Conway County community about 20 miles north of Morrilton. Good grades and respect for others was the law in the Canady household, reinforced by a strong sense of community and family. “My mother, Modiller Canady, and my grandmother, Mary McDaniel, are two remarkable women in my life,” he said. “My mom has 27 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. My mother and grandmother really instilled a lot in me, so I credit them for my upbringing. Even when they thought I wasn’t listening, they were planting the seed and it’s growing to fruition now.” Canady was in the fifth grade when his all-black school closed and integrated with Wonderview. While you didn’t have to look far to find racial tension in those days, his new classroom was more awkward than hostile. As the kids gravitated to seats based on their race, one of Canady’s more prominent early role models emerged. “When the little black kids and the little white kids came together, it was a

different experience for us,” he said. “But I remember my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Beeson, mixed her classroom (seating) up. She said we’re one class and we’re all going to get along. From that point on, I held her in high regard as to helping our transition go smoothly.” Graduating from Wonderview High School, Canady headed north for a time, but pined for the wide-open spaces of his childhood. Coming home he learned a trade and eventually landed at Green Bay Packaging Arkansas Kraft Division, where he’s been for nearly 30 years. Along the way, he developed a reputation as an accommodating and community-minded individual who was always pitching in when asked. “Growing up, my grandmother made a statement to me and she said, ‘Sometimes you’re going to have to wear more than one hat.’ Over the course of the years I’ve come to find out what she meant,” he said. “I guess I don’t know how to say no when people ask me to volunteer to help on whatever it is. I just really like being involved. I know there’s a lot to do so I don’t mind helping out where I can.” A little more than a decade ago, one invite from his pastor was to join the NAACP, which Canady readily did. After just one year, he was an officer and before long, president of the Conway County branch. “Some of the things we do, we go to the Conway County Detention Center and talk to the inmates there,” he said. “Locally we’ll talk to the inmates and ask them how they’ve been treated, if

I guess I don’t know how to say no when people ask me to volunteer to help on whatever it is. I just really like being involved. I know there’s a lot to do so I don’t mind helping out where I can.

— Joe Canady

their rights have been violated. “We also monitor the courts in Morrilton, Plumerville and Menifee. And we get numerous calls from people who feel like their rights have been violated, so we will investigate those complaints. It might be on the job. It might be with the police department or county sheriff. We want to see that everybody is treated fairly.” When Canady says “everybody” he means it in the broadest possible sense of the word. “When people hear ‘NAACP,’ they think only of blacks, but we help all people. We’re not biased to who we help,” he said. “Anybody whose human rights or civil rights have been violated, that’s what we do.” Canady has used his position to rally support

for other community improvements. Earlier this year, the Morrilton City Council unanimously approved plans to rename a stretch of Highway 64 as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway, an effort he initiated. He’s also given talks to local schoolchildren during Black History Month on the history of civil rights and the NAACP organization. In 2011, these and his many other civic and volunteer activities earned him the Morrilton Citizen of the Year Award presented by the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce, only the second African American so honored. It’s been a long road from his teenage years in the 1970s when blacks were still being denied inside seating at some restaurants or the ability to park on the street in Morrilton. But where others may have let such experiences embitter them, Canady sees too much hope and potential in people to waste time and energy on something that isn’t constructive. “I guess that’s why I got involved with the NAACP, to try to change some of those things,” he said. “Like now, you’d think it would be getting better, but the racial issues and tension is still there. My mom is 91 and she’s lived through a lot of that. But one thing she taught me, and taught all of us (kids) is, she taught us about love. “She said, ‘No matter what other people do, say or think, you’ve got to love them.’ That’s been instilled in us as children and that’s how we grew up, trying to love everybody even if they don’t like you. You’ve got to love them enough to pray for them.”

It doesn’t just feel like it. It is


Moving into a new phase of life sometimes means moving to a new address. Even though it’s a different place, it still has the comforts of your home with people who care about you. At our Assisted Living communities, you become part of our family. And we’ll be right here for you with a helping hand.

Call (501) 204-6752 for more information. Brookdale Conway

Assisted Living 1160 Hogan Lane, Conway, AR 72034 © 2019 Brookdale Senior Living Inc. All rights reserved. BROOKDALE SENIOR LIVING and BRINGING NEW LIFE TO SENIOR LIVING are registered trademarks of Brookdale Senior Living Inc.

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February 2020 501lifemag.com | 35


Changing lives CHDC serves hundreds living with disabilities Sarah Murphy serves as the superintendent of the Conway Human Development Center, where services are provided to about 480 residents. (Mike Kemp photo)

36 | 501 LIFE February 2020

by Dwain Hebda Kirk Rainwater is special in all the best definitions of the word. Despite dealing with the challenges of severe autism spectrum disorder, Rainwater has made major strides in developmental and social interaction. He’s also completed special education and is now enrolled in adult education program classes. His mother Deborah knows where the overwhelming majority of credit belongs for her son’s accomplishments: the Conway Human Development Center, where Kirk has lived full time for the past nine years. “It has been very good. Kirk has made so much improvement since he’s been here,” she said. “He participates in things that we never thought would be possible.” Like a lot of families of people with special needs, the Rainwaters were overwhelmed by Kirk’s needs for the first nine years of his life. “At home he was not potty-trained and he selfinjured,” Deborah said. “We could not keep him dressed and his attention span was maybe 10 seconds at the most. “We were looking for help and we were told the only place that the state has for school-aged children is here at the Conway Human Development Center where they provide residential 24-hour nursing care.” Kirk is one of roughly 480 residents who live at CHDC. The vast majority are adults, but the 50 or so children whom the center currently serves sets the CHDC apart in the spectrum of such facilities. "Serving children makes us very unique,” said Sarah Murphy, CHDC superintendent. “We do have children’s homes which are separate than those for the adults. And we have a school here on grounds with certified special education teachers to provide their education as well.” Like all the patients here, youngsters are served according to their individual level of need. Murphy said while it’s not an automatic outcome, it is not uncommon to find adult residents here who initially arrived as children or youth. “The goal is for residents to be served in the least restrictive setting that they can function in safely,” she said. “We have residents who are kiddos that just need medication management, or maybe they just need some form of support or stabilizations and then maybe they’re able to go back home. “Others maybe come in at 16 and when they hit adulthood, they can transition to an adult home. That definitely does happen. And then we also have those folks that come in as adolescents and they still need this level of care where they need 24 hour supervision on site. They would transition to an adult home.” CHDC was founded in 1959 and directly employs about 1,000 people, many of them physicians, nurses and other allied health care workers who serve the needs of the residents daily. “We are very blessed to have five physicians here on site and they each have a primary care caseload of about 100 residents that are their patients,” Murphy said. “We also have around 87 or 88 nurses that work here; about 24 of them are RNs and the remainder are LPNs. They give the meds and they do the seizure care and those sorts of things. “We have very good medical support here. We have a respiratory therapist on staff, we have a psychiatrist on contract that comes here two days a week and

sees residents. We have physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy here on site. We have an audiologist that is onsite. We have our own dentist that works for us full time.” Residents are spread out over 32 homelike living units, assigned by gender and level of functioning. There’s also a workshop where residents help directly serve a need of the community in a unique way. “We make our own wheelchairs, we build them,” Murphy said. “Many of our residents have deformities or anomalies where they can’t sit straight up and down in a chair and if they don’t get support in specific areas, they can get pressure sores or just not have comfort. In our state-of-the-art workshop, we pour this foaming material into a form and it forms up around the person and it creates seating that meets all of those pressure areas. “Because of that, we have little to no issues with pressure or pressure sores because the chair is made

A lot of the times I think we’re kind of like a treasure that is hidden right in the middle of Conway.

— Sarah Murphy for the individual. It's one of those things where it's so simple, yet nobody else is doing it.” Murphy said even though CHDC has entered its sixth decade, and on the same ground to boot, there are lots of misconceptions about all that the center offers residents, as well as sketchy understanding of the physically and developmentally challenged in general. “A lot of the times, people don’t realize what a big part of the community we are,” she said. “Sometimes they think of us like we’re separate because we are so self-sufficient with these wonderful amenities on our grounds. But we get off-grounds; our residents are beside you in the movies, they are at Kroger with you. They have disabilities, but they are just like anybody else. “A lot of the times I think we’re kind of like a treasure that is hidden right in the middle of Conway. We're right here, but people just kind of look past us.” Not so with the Rainwaters, who say the services Kirk has received not only positively impacted him directly, but have indirectly served the entire family. “Kirk is our youngest of four,” said Deborah, who is president of the CHDC parents’ group. “For us to be able to place Kirk at Conway Human Development Center has made it where my older children were able to go on and do other things, like graduate from college and get married and start having their own children, whereas before, they were part of the team helping try to take care of him. “When he was living at home, I wasn’t sleeping because he was my job, 24 hours a day. There’s a peaceful feeling now, I can have a life outside of taking care of Kirk. These people that work at CHDC, they love him, they’re caring for him and they’re not going to let anything happen to him. They’ve changed our life.”

American Portrait: A Concert of Unity SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 • 7:30 PM Gershwin’s An American in Paris plus music from Porgy and Bess played by violinist Min Yen-Chien! Come enjoy a guest lecture at 6:45.

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February 2020 501lifemag.com | 37


At St. Joseph Catholic Church in Conway, a parish dance group called Matachines celebrates its spiritual and ethnic heritage as part of a Mass twice each year.

Leaping and dancing Mexican dance troupe resounding at St. Joseph by Dwain Hebda

The first thing you hear, the thing that really grabs you and won’t let go, are the drums. Hammering, thundering, pulsing drumbeats announce the entrance of the dancers and demand the attention of the audience. It is a summoning of God’s children, a war cry against the Evil One. Compelled by the driving drumbeats, come the dancers, feet in constant motion, brilliant costumes swirling in space. Some carry rattles that lend their scratchy throat in harmony; others are trimmed in bells that announce each step and twirl in time. It’s not hard to imagine this spectacle playing out hundreds of years ago just as it does today. Welcome to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Conway, where twice a year a parish dance group called Matachines celebrates their spiritual and ethnic heritage as part of the Mass. In Conway, the Matachines perform on the parish patron St. Joseph’s feast day in March and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December. “It gives me the goosebumps every year, and I get emotional when this time comes around. It is a feeling that I cannot explain,” said Claudia Brito, founding member of the St. Joseph Matachines. “We are all sinners, and I’m not an exception, and I think to myself that I am not worthy of so much love from Mary and Jesus. 38 | 501 LIFE February 2020

“But just like Mary said during the Annunciation to the Archangel Gabriel, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word,’ and so I ask God to keep on giving me strength to dance until I cannot anymore.” The history of the Matachines dates back to the early 17th century in Spain. As explorers traveled to North and South America, the dance rituals took root among native people, roughly aligning with the introduction of Christianity in these regions of the world. Today, dancers like Brito view the Matachines as inextricably intertwined with her family and faith. “I learned the steps 18 years ago in Mexico. A lot of my family are involved in the Matachines here and in Mexico,” she said. “The Matachines, like the natives in Mexico back in the day, offer their garments, their steps and especially their physical effort to the only true God that the Virgin Mary came to reveal to us.” Brito has an even more personal connection to the local group, which numbers about 25 dancers and musicians across a range of ages. “It is also a promise that I made out of faith,” she said. “I have two children, and before giving birth to my youngest son, I had a miscarriage. When I found out I was pregnant again, I asked Our Lady of Guadalupe to intercede for my pregnancy. I promised to her that if my baby was born, then I would keep dancing in the Matachines for as long as my body would let me.

Claudia Brito with her two grand-nieces, Kenia Ramirez (left) and Daliah Ramirez. “When we came to Conway, there was no dance group of Matachines here, and I asked if we could start one. Our priest agreed, and here we are today.” The dance group practices for months to prepare for their performances with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe being particularly meaningful, as steeped as

it is in Mexican spiritual history “This celebration started when Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico City in 1931,” said Sister Brigidia Riveros, CMST. “Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, and she asked him to go and visit the bishop to ask him to construct a church for her. Juan Diego went, but the bishop didn’t listen to him because he didn’t believe it. “Our Lady appeared to him again, so he told what happened and the following day he went to the bishop again, and the bishop then believed and asked Juan Diego to bring him a sign. So Juan Diego went and Our Lady appeared and told him to go to the hill and he will find some roses to pick and bring to her. “He went to the hill, picked the roses, brought to Our Lady and she sent him to the bishop. He showed the sign to the bishop, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his tilma (cloak). The bishop believed, and the temple was constructed and since then we celebrate every year.” Sr. Brigidia said that while the appeal of the Virgin Mary is universal among Catholics, she is particularly comforting to her, inspiring her to give her life to the Church. “‘Do not be afraid, do not worry. I am taking you in my arms.’ Those words, to me, are the words that give me the meaning of my faith and my dedication to her,” she said. “I know that she is always with me and with all of us as a community.” Brito agreed, saying she not only enjoys

dancing for the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration as an expression of her culture, but also for the connection Our Lady of Guadalupe offers all people, no matter what their background. “It is important to me during this (feast day) because Mary is like a bridge of unity for all Catholics,” she said. “No matter what race or color we are or where we come from, she is our mother, therefore we are all brothers and sisters. I admire her for her bravery to say, ‘Yes,’ to life, that she gave birth to Jesus. She is always interceding for us.” Today, the child Brito prayed for is one of the drummers in the St. Joseph Matachines, and every time she practices or performs, she is reminded that God is at work in her life. “I’m grateful that God heard my prayer. There is no one more important in my life than God and my family,” she said. “He’s been so good to us.”

In Conway, the Matachines perform on the parish patron St. Joseph’s feast day in March and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 39


One, true love We have so many ways to talk about love. You’ve probably heard about them all: The seven types of love (eros/physical, philia/“brotherly,” ludus/playful, pragma/steadfast, philautia/self, storge/child and agape/godly) The five love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch) The four types of love (family, friendship, acquaintances and romantic relationships) The three people we love in a lifetime (first love/ looks right, second love/hard work, third love/lastMark McDonald ing) Two types of love in marriage (intimate and Mark McDonald, a Methodist minister, has served churches in selfless) Northwest Arkansas, Booneville, With a countdown like that, doesn’t it feel like Jacksonville, Batesville, and Conway. His family settled in there should be a drumroll for No. 1? While we genFaulkner County in the 1840s. He erally only have one word for “love” in English, we attended Hendrix College, where he has served as trustee. He and know there are several adjectives that can describe a his wife have six children. particular kind of love. Most of the time, when we describe love, it’s related to our love for other people, whether that person is a stranger or our partner. If you read back through that list, most of it is clearly focused on how we discover love with people, which may be why there is not a No. 1 in that list. A deeper understanding of love is found in at least three of the world’s major religions. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment of all was, he quoted the Shema Yisrael from the Hebrew scriptures (Deuteronomy 6:4): “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.” That is basically the Sahada in Islam: “There is no god but God.” When we think of this as the No. 1, it becomes amazingly clear. The singular, pure, true and holy love is God. The word that best describes a perfect love is “God.” In fact, when Jesus quoted the Shema, he immediately quoted the second verse: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your

40 | 501 LIFE February 2020

soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5, Tanakh). Finally, Jesus lifted the challenge to live in the No. 1 love by adding another aspect: “The second is this: You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:31, CEB). As Jesus challenges us to find perfect love with God, he also challenges us to follow in God’s example by loving ALL with the love of God, and thus we begin to discover the truest form of love. Instead of focusing on our love for others first, we find that there is a single love that is like no other. That love — our No. 1 — is God. It reminds me of a scene from the movie City Slickers when Curly (the cowboy leader of the cattle drive) talks about how many people come looking for answers. He quickly points out that they only need “one thing.” And that’s what you’ve got to figure out for yourself! What if that one thing is love, but what if that one love is simply called “God?” God is love. Start with that love, and all the rest will fall in line.


Love is patient, love is kind I’ve got movie guilty pleasure. I watched a movie in the early 2000s that captured my attention for the music and just the bizarre cinematography, but I was attracted to one specific scene where Christian, played by Ewan McGregor, was courting a young lady, Satine, played by Nicole Kidman. Christian had love at first sight when he saw Satine. After meeting up, Christian wanted Satine to love him and began with a medley of love songs. “Can't fall in love? A life without love? That's terrible! Love is like oxygen. Love is a many-splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love…” I love hotdogs and ribs. I love ice cream. I love Adam rollercoasters. I love my Super Duty truck. I love Bledsoe my wife. I love my children. I love my salvation. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Do you see a difference with these items in which Adam Bledsoe moved to Arkansas we love? Though tempted to regurgitate what I’ve in 2000 to attend Harding University after active duty learned about Agape vs Phileo love, which are Greek service in the U.S. Air Force. He is definitions of two types of love, I’ll refrain. That’s married to Dr. Amanda Bledsoe, and they have two children, not my style. My love for food and entertainment is Audrey (10) and Hunter (6), who obviously so much different from the love I have for attend Wooster Elementary. Adam is newly employed by my family and even more so for God. THV11 as a feature reporter, Many of us have been fortunate to find love, as focusing on a variety of feel-good community related stories. in the kind of love where one is able to move past shortcomings. There are many times when my selfish, hardheaded self doesn’t deserve to be loved by my family, but they stay with me and forgive my shortcomings. The longer my wife and I have been married, the deeper our love grows. I know there are people reading this who have been married MUCH longer than our (almost) 16 years (in May). Without a doubt I can tell you our love for each other is way stronger now than it was on our wedding day. We all know couples who have been married for a long time. While living in Conway, we had neighbors, Leonard and Nita Zemp, who were married on Nov. 3, 1946 — 73 years of marriage is a LONG TIME! I loved visiting with the Zemps. They always had wisdom to bestow upon our young marriage. The thing I took away from our relationship was they never gave up on each other, and their love gained strength with time. By the way, they worked circles around us on landscaping and yard work. They were amazing neighbors and I

will always think fondly of them. How could I have this platform without taking an opportunity to discuss one of the greatest passages in the Bible? “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 - ESV).” Verse 13 may be one of the most well known verses in the Bible. “Son, now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Are you still with me? Sometimes we stop reading when someone quotes the Bible. You’re not a believer? Read what that says. Read it again. Why would one not want to be surrounded by someone who strives to love like what is described in the above verses? Furthermore, are you treating your spouse and family this way? Are you patient and kind with your loved ones? I opened with a confession of liking the movie “Moulin Rouge” (yes, I left the title out to see if you’d remember it). It has many inappropriate points to it, but I like the message about LOVE from what I mentioned. However, I LOVE the description of what love is according to the scripture I quoted. Love your neighbor as yourself. Oh, and tell your kids you love them. For them to just know you love them isn’t good enough. I love you. Have the best day of your life. Thanks for reading.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 41


‘A time to keep; a time to cast away’

Vivian Lawson Hogue A native of Conway, Vivian Lawson Hogue graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in art education. A retired teacher, she worked in the Conway School District for 23 years. She can be reached at vhogue@conwaycorp. net.

Tools and inventions are only a few demonstrations of mankind’s higher intelligence than that of other creatures. His faculties for reasoning produce ideas; then he takes them to a reality for our benefit. Man can also be careless about not using them for their intended purpose. I clearly remember 1965 when I was a belowbudget art major trying to live “on the cheap.” A fellow student offered me a cast-off canvas that needed re-stretching on its frame. This involved removing heavy-duty staples. Not having my own tools, I spied a chisel that would work. I would just “prize” them out. The first few pulled out easily; the last one refused, and the chisel went past its target. My left hand became the new target, and soon the blood that normally pulsed throughout my body was now pulsing out of it. I grabbed a grubby paint-covered cloth, wrapped up the one-inch wound, and a pale friend gave me a shaky 1960 Volkswagen ride to the local ER. A painful antiseptic scrubbing, a few

42 | 501 LIFE February 2020

stitches, a tetanus shot and bulky bandage ensued, and I was dismissed. Occasionally I still use the wrong tool for a purpose, but am mindful of precautions and past history. The chisel has existed since about 8000 BC and has never gone into disuse. Without the chisel and its earlier and later counterparts, our current ingenious inventions and developments would never exist. Almost anyone living in the last three decades has seen those proliferate rapidly, each version supposedly intended to make life better. One might also say they have, instead, made life lazier and discouraged exercising our own physical and mental abilities. However, they are used, unused, misused or abused, they are well-intended tools. In the last year, I have come across some miraculous tools. Perhaps some appeared in a photograph, itself a valuable concept. I have a photo of my grandfather and family proudly posing beside their elegant, covered horsedrawn carriage. Five years later, he is pictured standing beside his 1917 touring car. Time, ideas and inventions at work. Other tools were within my lifetime, and I saw them evolve. I can’t discard my portable typewriter. It was certainly better than primitive cuneiform writing on clay tablets! However, I must say that clay and styluses are still cheaply available, but the same can’t be said of typewriter ribbon and the necessary white-out tape. I encounter a lot of the past in my possessions, such as my mother’s school

bell she rang as a teacher in a one-room school. My husband’s bulky 1990 “brick phone” (early mobile phone) will stay tucked away. I treasure our 8mm home movies and the projector that shows them; they wait for us to make some popcorn and sit down to rewind life. I’ll keep my phone books with yellow pages. It is said that “everyone” uses computers or phones to do that work now. It is quicker for me to pick up the book. Remember when we were told in 2007 that we would no longer be able to buy traditional light bulbs? I now have a large bin of them that languish in storage. And remember when we had the toilet tissue scare in 1973? It started with a rumor, and stores couldn’t stay stocked. It is amazing that it

I have a large metal chicken feed scoop with a wooden handle that my maternal grandfather made. As much as I’d like some chickens but don’t have, it is unusable for me. I never got to know my granddad, but I can’t help but feel his kinship knowing that his hands and woodworking talents fashioned it.

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was 39¢ a roll then and about a dollar now. You may also remember colored toilet tissue. One company still makes it, selling four rolls for around $16. It is hard to let go of things of which we are fond. Cars, especially those with names like “First Love.” Leisure suits with white stitching around the collar and the required white shoes. The flimsy 1960s infant seat you strapped your baby into for a ride in a car that had a “Baby on Board” sticker in the back window. Upon braking quickly, you might find the baby and carrier on the floorboard. There are tools that just keep hanging around, unused but meaningful. I have a large metal chicken feed scoop with a wooden handle that my maternal grandfather made. As much as I’d like some chickens but don’t have, it is unusable for me. I never got to know my granddad, but I can’t help but feel his kinship knowing that his hands and woodworking talents fashioned it. You can keep and display items, hand them down or donate to a museum; just don’t throw them away. Remember that when they are gone, you’ll one day probably wish you had them back! While you may feel they are not needful in your life, they were needful to someone . . . who was, or is now, in your life.

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Dr. Don Steely (in the photo), Dr. Lensey Scott and Dr. Deepali Tukaye have enhanced imaging technology available at Conway Regional to help with stent placement.

First in Arkansas

Technology helps cardiologists pinpoint stent placement by John Patton

Conway Regional is the first health system in Arkansas to have the new Philips IntraSight with Sync Vision cardiovascular technology. The new imaging technology is an important step in providing the most innovative care for patients. The IntraSight technology allows cardiologists to precisely identify the location of blockages within the coronary artery. Interventional cardiologists at Conway Regional began using the new imaging technology in December. The technology works by sending a tiny camera into the vessels of the coronary artery where it records and overlays two separate images of the vessels to determine the best place for a stent to clear blockage. This also provides enhanced visuals during image-guided procedures of the heart or surrounding vessels. It gives cardiologists the capability to pre-plan stent placement prior to the procedure. “It gives us a precise treatment plan for each individual patient,” says Paula Weatherley, director of cardiovascular services. Weatherley previewed the technology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis last year and all three of Conway Regional’s interventional cardiologists endorsed it, including Dr. Lensey Scott, Dr. Don Steely and Dr. Deepali Tukaye. Symptoms of a blocked coronary artery include shortness of breath, nausea, 44 | 501 LIFE February 2020

pain in the arm or chest (men) and other indicators of heart failure and heart attack. Patient benefits include reducing the cost of heart catheterization procedures and a faster and more efficient treatment time. The imaging platform is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and training included the team of interventional cardiologists at Conway Regional as well as the support staff.

Innovative services The new imaging platform represents one of the many ways Conway Regional is growing the healthcare services it provides to the community. Alongside the growth of the communities it serves, the health system is currently in a $60 million capital investment project that will expand and enhance services, touching a total of 19 areas of the health system. Elements include a three-story medical office building and a new façade that will connect the building to the emergency room, allowing easier access and navigation of the hospital. A keystone element of the project is a new and expanded critical care unit. Critical care includes advanced life-saving care for cardiology, surgical, respiratory and other patients with critical injury and illness. With the expanded space, Conway Regional looks forward to adding new technologies and building larger rooms to accommodate patients and families.


Unity Foundation receives pledge NorthStar EMS of Searcy recently pledged $12,500 to the Unity Health Foundation’s campaign, “Home is Where the Heart is.” The donation goes to naming the patient beauty shop as part of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center renovation on the Specialty Care campus. The “Home is Where the Heart is” campaign focuses on continuing to improve both patient and associate safety at Unity Health and raising funds for the renovation of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center, Patient Safe Handling Rooms and Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots. “I have had personal experiences with family members in the Inpatient Rehab Unit and I could not think of another area I would rather support as they provided outstanding care to my family,” said NorthStar EMS President and CEO Donald Shull. “A hospital is the foundation of a community and we are honored to partner with the Unity Health Foundation.” Resources for the Foundation are obtained through donations, memorial gifts, planned gifts, special events and other sources. The Unity Health Foundation works to develop a lasting partnership with the community to preserve, sustain and develop Unity Health for years to come. “We are incredibly thankful for NorthStar’s support of our foundation and our campaign,” said Unity Health Foundation Executive Director Cassandra Feltrop. “It is relationships such as this that

NorthStar EMS of Searcy recently pledged $12,500 to the Unity Health Foundation’s “Home is Where the Heart is” capital campaign. continue to help the health and well-being of those in our community.” To learn more about the Unity Health Foun-

dation and the “Home is Where the Heart is” campaign, please visit unity-health.org/foundation or call 501.278.3184.

Conway Regional acquires sports medicine clinic Conway Regional Health System has acquired Conway Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center (COSMC). The announcement brings together two organizations that are committed to providing comprehensive orthopedic services to Central Arkansas and the River Valley. “Partnerships are what make our community successful and organization stronger,” said Matt Troup, president and CEO of Conway Regional Health System. “After a long-standing relationship with the Conway Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, this is an exciting opportunity to come together and enhance orthopedic access. The dedicated physicians and staff of COSMC have built an extremely reputable practice, and we are honored to align our two institutions as we continue our mission to provide high-quality, compassionate care.” Conway Regional Health System will manage and oversee all operations of the orthopedic center. Physicians who currently practice and who will remain at the COSMC location include Scott Smith, M.D., Tod Ghormley, M.D., Jay Howell, M.D., Grant Bennett, M.D., James Head, M.D., Rick McCarron, M.D., and Glenn McClendon, D.P.M. The center is located at 550 Club Lane in Conway.

“Over the past several years, we have been approached by many hospitals and orthopedic groups seeking to partner with our organization,” said Smith. “In evaluating the landscape and what will ensure our long-term success, we have chosen to partner with Conway Regional. This exciting partnership will strengthen us as an organization, expand our reach in the community and enhance patient experience.” Conway Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center has provided comprehensive orthopedic care to Central Arkansas since 1988. The clinic offers a wide range of services, including specialized care for the hand, upper extremity, foot, and ankle; minimally invasive surgeries of the knee and hand; total hip, knee and shoulder replacements; and sports medicine services. All current services of Conway Orthopedic &

Sports Medicine Center will remain in operation, and patients will continue to see their current physicians. Physicians and staff of the orthopedic center will become Conway Regional Health System employees, and the center will retain its name and current location. Conway Regional Health System provides complete health care services to a seven-county service area of North Central Arkansas including Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Perry, Pope, Van Buren and Yell counties. Centered on a 150-bed, acute care medical center, the health system provides patients with a variety of services including heart health, orthopedic care, neuro-spine surgery, vascular surgery, gastroenterology services, women’s health, surgery and rehabilitation. Conway Regional operates an expansive physician enterprise, including 10 primary care clinics and seven specialty clinics. Additionally, the health system operates a rehabilitation hospital and a 70,000-square-foot health and fitness center. In June 2019, Conway Regional announced a management agreement with the Dardanelle Hospital, since renamed the Dardanelle Regional Medical Center. Learn more at conwayregional.org. February 2020 501lifemag.com | 45


New technology

Unity Health first in state with SafeGait by Taryn Brown

Unity Health recently became the first facility in the state and the first in the southern region of the country to add the G-EO System to the Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Center, as well as the first in the state to implement SafeGait 360. The G-EO gait trainer, manufactured by Reha Technology AG, is a robotic-assisted gait training system that assists patients in re-learning to walk after neurological, neurodegenerative and orthopaedic circumstances. A harness is used to relieve patients of their body weight while simulating walking on level surfaces, slopes and climbing or descending stairs. Gorbel Medical developed the SafeGait 360 Balance and Mobility Trainer to improve patient recovery and safety. According to Gorbel Medical’s website, SafeGait 360 is an overhead, dynamic body-weight support and fall protection system that promotes patient confidence and faster recovery and enables safer patient handling. Unity Health Director of Rehabilitation Services C.W. Siler said the machines provide increased safety for both the patient and clinician, while allowing the therapists to provide a more intense approach to therapy; patients are able to start therapy sooner and have an earlier discharge at a higher functional level. Both the SafeGait 360 and G-EO can help reduce a patient’s fear of falling. The SafeGait 360 prepares patients for everyday challenges and the G-EO improves their ability to walk, while both allow patients to gain confidence throughout their treatment plan. Unity Health installed two SafeGait 360s and the G-EO as part of phase one of the Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Center renovation; the current Unity Health Foundation capital campaign. Unity Health is also the only Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation facility in the area. The facility provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy seven days a week. Patients receive therapy customized to their condition for a minimum of three hours at least five of every seven days of their stay, and the Inpatient Rehabilitation physician is available on a daily basis. For more information about Unity Health’s Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation 46 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Center, please visit unity-health.org/rehab-services. As the leading healthcare provider in an eight-county area, Unity Health and its associates strive to improve the quality of health and well-being for the communities it serves through compassionate care. Unity Health is the largest employer in an eightcounty area with more than 2,300 associates. The Searcy facility has a combined total of 438 licensed beds and a medical staff of 150 physicians that specialize in various areas of healthcare.

Unity Health recently added the G-EO System to its Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. The G-EO gait trainer is a robotic system that assists patients in re-learning to walk.


Going for a run in the 501

Karl Lenser A Conway resident, Karl Lenser has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin- LaCrosse. An accomplished runner, he can be reached at karl.lenser@gmail. com.

I recently received a question from a reader interested in joining a running club and learning what is available in the 501. We are fortunate in Central Arkansas to have numerous running clubs that provide individuals with opportunities to become connected with others who enjoy jogging, running, walking and the tremendous social aspect that is part of being a running club member. What can clubs provide or offer to members? Several of the benefits include group runs (typically early mornings or early evenings) as well as social gatherings that provide members with a means to develop friendships and learn more about what the club offers. Participating in group runs is probably the most popular reason why individuals join a running club as it allows runners to find others who run at his/her pace, and it makes time go by a lot quicker compared to running solo. An example of the power of the group run is evident in Conway at 5 a.m. every weekday morning when 25-35 runners meet in the

parking lot of the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center. Several bands of runners disperse at different paces and distances to get a good workout in before the day gets going. One can always find a group to run with in any running club due to the variety of fitness levels within each group. In addition to providing opportunities to join in on training runs, running clubs also provide opportunities for members to serve as a club officer, volunteer coordinator, communications director, social director, etc. One of the common myths that seem to permeate the running communities is that running clubs are only for fast runners. Most of the members in running clubs are beginners to moderate level runners who enjoy the social aspect of the club and are not as intense as the racing enthusiasts. The key is finding a few other runners who run at your pace. If you are thinking about getting connected with a club in your area, please take a look at the following list of clubs and their website addresses. Another excellent resource for runners is Arkansasrunner.com. This site is loaded with information that includes a race calendar, race results, course maps, calculators and links to access more information on running. Running is an excellent mode of exercise that can be made more enjoyable and rewarding by joining a running club. Take the time to check out a running club that is in your area.

Little Rock Roadrunners


Cabot Country Cruisers


Conway Running Club


Searcy Rush


Arkansas Running Klub


Saline County Striders


White River Road Runners


Hot Legs Running Club


Spa Pacers


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In love with chocolate truffles How do I love thee – let me count the ways! I’m quite sure the delightful, delectable, delicious chocolate truffle would be high on my list of ways to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day! While perusing some of our favorite dishes that lead one to romantic heights, I Don Bingham found some interesting history that supports Recognized throughout the my enjoyment in giving state as an accomplished chef, Don Bingham has authored anything chocolate for cookbooks, presented television valentines. programs and planned elaborate events. That grand “old” reliable source of history, Google, tells me that by the 1840s, Valentine’s Day as a holiday was in full bloom in the Englishspeaking world. It was a time of Cupid’s golden era. The prudish Victorians adored the notion of courtly love and showered each other with elaborate cards and gifts. History tells us that Richard Cadbury of a British chocolate manufacturing family had recently improved their chocolate-making technique to produce a purer cocoa butter from the whole beans for a more palatable drinking chocolate. This process resulted in an excess of cocoa butter, which in time led to the production of elaborate “eating chocolate.” Exquisite boxes – satin-lined, heart-shaped, bejeweled and carefully decorated with filled chocolates – became the rage! I also discovered in my research that two of the leading prominent proponents of early Valentine’s Day celebrations were both beheaded for their valentine convictions! Oh dear! My condolences to these gentlemen, and kudos for their sacrifice that does not go unnoticed. One of our all-time favorite treats for this love-sharing time of year is perfect to prepare days ahead of time; simple to make, and can be presented in the simplest of fanfare to the most elaborate! Creamy Chocolate Truffles take a few minutes to prepare, using basically three to four ingredients. The key to their success is the reduction of the cream, which takes just minutes to produce. Rich chocolate is folded into the hot, reduced cream mixture, and then refrigerated before rolling chocolate delicacies into small culinary wonders. The chocolate balls may be flavored with your choice of liqueurs and/or rolled in nutmeats, powdered sugar or even more powdered cocoa!

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Whatever your choice, start the simple process days ahead and enjoy the season. For those of you who are not familiar with the term “truffle,” this is actually a root tubular growth found underground, often sniffed out by pigs. It is a rich addition to many savory dishes not at all of the chocolate variety. The truffles are roughly formed in nature, thus making the chocolate truffle’s resemblance to a misshaped golf ball the perfect desired look for the assorted box of candies. I prefer my creamy chocolate truffles on the hefty side; my wife prefers hers to be far daintier. The choice is yours, but the result is one of the many proper ways to say “from your valentine” with great grace and style!

CREAMY CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped Powdered unsweetened cocoa, cinnamon, grated chocolate or ground nuts (for rolling) In a large heavy saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over moderately low heat. Boil, stirring constantly, until reduced by half to ¾ cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Scrape into a shallow container and refrigerate uncovered until firm, 4 to 5 hours. For each truffle, form about 2 teaspoons of the cold chocolate mixture into a rough ball. Roll the truffles in the coating of your choice and refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. They keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or they may be frozen for several months. These creamy truffles may be rolled in powdered cocoa, cinnamon, grated chocolate or nuts. They are best made with top quality chocolate. For a special treat, serve them with coffee and brandy. Makes about 2 dozen.

WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup water 3 egg whites 1/2 pound white chocolate, finely chopped Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows) Whip the cream and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring the sugar and water to a boil and cook for a few minutes to form a syrup. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl. Beat until they are fairly stiff. With the mixer motor on, pour the hot syrup slowly into the egg whites. Continue to beat at high speed for a few more minutes. Fold the chopped chocolate into the

egg whites, then fold in the whipped cream. Pour into individual serving dishes or wine goblets and chill. Serves 6-8.

RASPBERRY SAUCE 1 package frozen raspberries, thawed or 1 pint fresh raspberries, rinsed 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 shot Kirschwasser (German cherry brandy) Put the raspberries, sugar and Kirsch in the container of a blender or food processor and puree. Strain the sauce and pour it over or around each serving of white chocolate mousse.

BLACK AND WHITE TRUFFLES Pastry: 1 cup butter 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour With steel blade in food processor bowl, mix butter, vanilla and sugar until smooth. Add flour and press until ball forms on blade. Divide into 40 pieces on a baking sheet. Wrap and refrigerate while making filling. Black Truffles: 8 ounces almonds 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate 2 egg whites Using steel blade in the work bowl of a food processor, finely grind almonds and chocolate. Add egg whites and process until holds together. Divide mixture into 40 pieces, using 1 tablespoon for each. Roll to form a ball. Remove pastry from refrigerator. Flatten in palm of hand. Wrap it around truffle. Roll into a ball. Place on ungreased baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake 18-20 minutes until lightly browned. Cooled cookies may be sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar or ground chocolate. Makes about 2-3 dozen.

STRAWBERRY TRIFLE 2 angel food cakes 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen or fresh strawberries 3 cups vanilla pudding 3 cups heavy cream, whipped Break or tear cake into small pieces; use 1/3 cake for layers. Pour 1/3 strawberries over cake, next 1/3 of pudding, then 1/3 of cream. Repeat layers in desired quantity. Trifle bowls are preferred as containers to allow the layers of the dessert to be enjoyed to the fullest.

Creamy Chocolate Truffles are perfect for Valentine’s Day. (Mike Kemp photo)


BEST PEOPLE. ( You s houl d be t here .)

Raising Funds for Student Scholarships

April 4, 2020 Featuring

7p m at UCA HPER Center


Memphis Soul Revue


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Sweets for the Sweet

Thoughtful and tasty Valentine’s Day treats. (Mike Kemp photos) 50 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Valentine’s Day! The perfect day to scatter kindness like confetti! This month I‘ve gathered a few of my favorite sweet recipes and wonderful paper products to give you some ideas for Valentine’s Day giving. These ideas are great for a spouse, co-worker, Julianne Milner neighbor, a teacher, your UPS driver, postal A self-taught baker, Julianne delivery driver, anyone Milner is a caterer, seasonal stylist who helps you out and owner of Julianne’s Southern Table. She can be reached at graciously throughout julianne60@gmail.com. Check the year. out her posts on Instagram at juliannessoutherntable. The Oatmeal Lace Cookies are delicious, delicate cookies that are both crunchy and chewy. I like to give them in glassine bags. The translucent, wax paper-like finish lets a little of the cookie show through. These bags are great when you are serving the cookies too, making it easy to grab a cookie and go. Pretty pastel bags are just what I needed to slip the heart-shaped Scotcharoos into. These are easy to decorate with stickers, ribbons or patches. I like to use cone-shaped cello bags to package my candied pecans and caramel popcorn with Ghirardelli chocolate drizzle. They make a dramatic presentation tied with a ribbon. You can make your own cones by purchasing a large sheet of scrapbook paper, rolling it into a cone shape, taping and adding a handle. Next, stuff with a small amount a crinkled paper, add flowers, candy, etc. and tie it to a friend’s doorknob. What a fun Valentine’s Day surprise! Drawstring burlap bags are perfect for small items. I chose these bags to package my candied pecans. The “Nuts About You” monogram is sure to bring a smile. If you find yourself short on time this Valentine’s Day, you can purchase an extra large candy bar from your grocery store and wrap it in a pretty paper. Or, grab a jumbo Hershey's Kiss and give it its own little box and ribbon. It’s all in the presentation. Sometimes the smallest gifts get the grandest response! I hope after reading this article you are digging through your craft drawer and searching for ribbons, boxes, buttons and bows to create special little gifts for YOUR valentines! Maybe you‘ve said to yourself, “I’ll try THAT recipe”! It only takes a minute to create that little treat that really makes someone’s day. Happy Valentine’s Day from my family to yours ...XOXO!

OATMEAL LACE COOKIES 1 cup (2 sticks) butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats 1/2 cup chopped pecans

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, blend the flour and baking soda. Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the oats and pecans. Drop the batter on the baking sheet, using a 1 1/2 cookie scoop, spacing the cookies 4 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely (trying to move them to rack sooner may cause them to tear). Make sure cookies are cooled completely before you stack or store. This recipe has been around for a long time. I had a good friend I met in elementary school whose mom made these for us regularly. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've made these over the years! They are my son’s favorite! Thank you, Mrs. Clary.


Stir together and bring to boil in a heavy pot: 1 1/2 cups lite Karo syrup 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar Remove from heat and stir in: 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter Add: 9 cups Rice Krispies Lightly spray a 9 x 13 glass dish or 12 x 17 jelly roll pan (depending on how thick you want the bars) with cooking spray and spread the mixture, using the back of a spoon to smooth the top. At this point, you can cut into squares and enjoy. Or, melt 6 ounces of Ghirardelli milk chocolate in a double boiler and drizzle over. These are easy to cut out into your favorite holiday shapes with cookie cutters if you use the jelly roll pan.

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Georgia on my

Mindthe music of Ray Charles

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A new look for traditional dining room

Donna Benton Donna Benton is a maker of custom home furnishings and specializes in classic painted finishes for antique and vintage furniture. You can see her work at WaterHouseMarket.com.

It is exciting moving to a new home, and especially exciting moving to a new town. It’s a little scary, too. Turning the page to a new chapter is all part of life; the exhilaration of a fresh start with new opportunities and possibilities, along with the nostalgia for the parts of your world that inevitably must be left behind. When you pack all of your worldly belongings into a moving van, whether you are going across town to a new neighborhood or across the country to a whole new city, and you take that last walk around the old place with its bare walls with nail holes where family portraits once hung and where imprints on the carpet are the last traces of your time there, you realize that walls and a roof do not make a home. Still, when you walk out for the last time, it seems like you are leaving a little bit of yourself behind in the echoes of the empty rooms. The new house, on the other hand, is a blank slate, a notebook full of clean white paper on which you will continue to write the rest of your story. It’s a story of progress and promise and the future. Still, it is only walls and a roof and not yet a home.

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The couple’s old dining set had them feeling blue, but now their family is dining in style with a bold new look. (Makenzie Evans photos)

Fabulous new lighting is like putting on jewelry in this dining room renovation.

A dining chair makeover with a new, aged finish and scrumptious upholstery.

Every table deserves fresh flowers.

“Before”- This dining set had “good bones” but a dated finish.

THERAPY -A Crucial Component of Our Continuum of Care


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Last year, Troy and Wendy Brooks packed up their home in Covington, Ga., and made the move to the 501 when Troy took a leadership position with the Conway Regional Health System. They chose a stately home in Conway’s established Pippinpost neighborhood; a well-appointed home with classic styling on a tree-lined street where strolling neighbors are quick to shoot you a wave. It has been the perfect place to settle into a new adventure. Wendy began unpacking and arranging her family’s furniture, artwork and personal effects in the new place and the house began to take on some life. Family photos found new places of prominence. Prized and sometimes hard-earned furniture that had been collected over the years nestled nicely here and there. There is always a point when moving into a new house, when you have about half of your stuff moved in, that you start feeling pretty good about your new space. It is neat and clean, filled with just the things you need and love, and without any clutter. Then the other loads come and the realization sets in that some of the furniture and décor that might have worked just fine in the last place just don’t work with the new style or colors. Things are way too big or too small, or you just don’t have a space for them at all. Wendy called on local designer RaeLynn Callaway to help her furnish their new home with a look and feel that was befitting the style of the house. “RaeLynn had worked on a recent renovation of this house for the prior owner,” said Wendy. “She did such a great job that we knew we wanted her help updating and freshening up the look. “We have had our dining room furniture for 25 years. It is very nice and in great shape, but it just didn’t work in our new home,” Wendy said. “We considered buying new furniture but we hated to give up the dining table that we had raised our family around. RaeLynn proposed having the furniture refinished to give it a more up-to-date look and she brought in WaterHouse Market to do the work. I had been drawn to this certain shade of blue for the dining room china cabinet and I know that I couldn’t have found a piece that color in a million years. We started there and chose a complementary lighter blue for the table and chairs, accented with shimmering pewter edging.” RaeLynn selected new upholstery for the dining room chairs and added two new captain’s chairs in gorgeous dark blue velvet. The old dining set with its dated finish was just too formal for the new space, but the new painted finish gave the pieces a more casual and contemporary look that worked great in the new space. The Brooks family has settled into their new community and they are enjoying their beautiful new home. For the holidays, Wendy and Troy and their family gathered around the same old family table, just like they have for the last 25 years, but this year they were joined by friends from their new hometown, blending new and old traditions and making their new house into a home. 56 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Luxurious blue velvet captain’s chairs and shimmering pewter edging on the table bring this dining set into the 2020s.


Understanding energy efficient appliances

Cold weather might be hanging around a little longer, but it’s never too early to start spring cleaning. When you’re reorganizing — or remodeling — your home this year, spend a little time thinking about how the outdated appliances in your home are affecting your bottom line. That Beth old dishwasher isn’t just Jimmerson an eyesore; it’s an energy A long-time Conway resident, guzzler, too. Beth McCullough Jimmerson is Upgrading to more the manager for marketing and communications for Conway efficient appliances can Corp. She has a bachelor’s degree bring significant savings from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s degree on utility bills, but how from the University of Arkansas. do you know where to She can be reached at beth. jimmerson@conwaycorp.com. start? These five tips for buying energy-efficient appliances can help you choose the right upgrades to maximize your savings potential.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE For HVAC systems and smaller appliances, size matters. Air conditioning units that are too small will have to remain on for longer periods of time, which reduces efficiency. You might be tempted to err on the larger side, but that also causes efficiency problems because oversized units will cycle on and off more frequently. So what size is perfect for you? HVAC performance is usually measured using a variable called BTU (British thermal unit). A home between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet requires an HVAC system that offers 34,000 BTU per hour. A smaller home around 1,000 to 1,200 square feet will only need a unit with 21,000 to 24,000 BTU per hour. This same principle also applies to other appliances. You can maximize efficiency by always washing a full load of clothes, but if you never have enough dirty clothes to fill an oversized washing machine, it’s

Energy-saving settings are especially important for dishwashers. If the dishes are only slightly dirty, they will still come out clean after a light wash. A regular, fullpowered wash cycle would use more energy and more water than necessary. An energy-saving setting lets you save energy and water when possible, without sacrificing the ability for a heavy-duty cleaning when needed. Look for other appliances — like washing machines — that might also have similar settings.

through energy-efficient practices and products. The ENERGY STAR label on a product means it has met strict energy-efficiency requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Products that have earned the ENERGY STAR certification help you save money and energy without sacrificing performance. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products in our homes and business, including appliances, lighting, electronics and more. Refrigerators are one of the most energy-intensive home appliances, but an ENERGY STAR model can save you more than 15 percent on utility costs compared to current standard models and more than 40 percent compared to fridges sold 10 years ago. An ENERGY STAR certified washing machine uses 45 percent less water than standard models while an ENERGY STAR dishwasher is 10 percent more energy-efficient and 20 percent more water-efficient.



Most people only look at the upfront cost of a new appliance, without considering the estimated cost of operating the appliance over its lifetime. The Department of Energy requires most appliances have an EnergyGuide label. These yellow stickers provide the efficiency statistics for that particular appliance, plus estimated yearly operating costs and energy consumption. While they only display average usage costs, EnergyGuide labels offer insight into how much money you might spend or save on energy over the appliance’s lifetime. Energy-efficient models are often more expensive than their standard peers. However, the lower energy requirements will save money in the long term. Many energy-efficient appliances also qualify for zero percent interest loans from Conway Corp, so you can eliminate the upfront cost and pay off the amount financed over 36 months.

Certain appliances consume more energy than others, so it makes sense to replace the least efficient and the most energy-hungry first. Start by determining which of your current appliances require the most energy to operate. Next, figure out which of those appliances you could upgrade for the largest jump in efficiency and biggest monthly utility savings. Need help deciding? Conway Corp offers free energy audits for home and small business owners to help identify improvements and develop a plan of action. Once you’re ready, apply for a zero percent interest loan. The loan program, funded by the City of Conway through the American Recovery Act of 2009, is available only to Conway Corp customers. Although there are no income limits, applicants must have a good credit history with Conway Corp. Loans are available between $500 and $2,500 and are repayable over a 36-month period. The possibilities are endless — and so are the money savings. Visit ConwayCorp.com/EnergySmart to learn more or call 501.450.6000 to schedule a free energy audit.

not worth it. The right size for an appliance is the one that fits your usage needs.


INVEST IN ENERGY STAR APPLIANCES ENERGY STAR is designed to help everyone save money while protecting the environment

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Dr. Amanda Bledsoe and her staff were “Loving LIFE” during a second anniversary celebration at Bledsoe Chiropractic in Conway: Rayla Hearne (from left), Susan Skinner, Emily Pennington, Dr. Amanda Bledsoe, Gail Eller, Stephanie Maree and Alvin Warren III.

Johnson joins First Service team First Service Bank has hired Dawn Johnson as a small business and consumer loan officer in its Conway market. “We are excited to be expanding our lending team and feel Dawn will be a great addition and will help enhance our customer experience,” said Kevin Wish, community market president and senior loan officer. Dawn is a graduate of Vilonia High School and a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance. Dawn Johnson Dawn and her husband, Chris, have a son, Brayden. They reside in Conway and attend Second Baptist Church, where she is active in Small Group and choir. Dawn is a 2018 graduate of the Conway Area Leadership Institute (CALI) and a Conway chamber ambassador. "Our Conway team is proud to have Dawn join us, and we feel that her strong banking background will be an asset to our Conway team and, most importantly, to our customers," said Tom Grumbles, CEO and president of First Service Bank. 58 | 501 LIFE February 2020

The Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame Inc. was the recipient of a $1,000 donation from Centennial Bank of Conway. Board member Dwight Witcher (left) and board member/treasurer Jason Duvall were “Loving LIFE” as they accepted the donation. The AMVHOF is a non-profit corporation whose sole mission is to induct each year 15 Arkansas veterans into the hall of fame. All donations are tax deductible and encouraged. For more information, call 888.329.3845.

Conway Corp recognizes employees Conway Corp honored Operations System Coordinator Chris Boudreaux, Customer Care Specialist Michelle Hatfield and Plant Maintenance Worker Rickie McPherson with awards for their exemplary work performance. Conway Corp is dedicated to exceeding customers’ expectations through the exceptional work of employees and recognizes employees annually for their individual dedication to the mission of the Chris Boudreaux company. Boudreaux won the Tower of Excellence Award, which recognizes an employee who has made a significant impact on Conway Corp through outstanding dedication and exceptional job performance. In Boudreaux’s nomination, a coworker said, “Chris’ efforts in recent inMichelle Hatfield

frastructure upgrades have made a significant impact on Conway Corp and its customers. The four-year development required many long hours of work and focus and will make a positive impact on the community for years to come.” Hatfield received the Customer Service Award and was nominated by one employee stating, Rickie McPherson “Michelle always makes sure customers feel confident, engaged, respected and valued. She also makes sure that her teammates feel this way. She is always looking for ways to improve morale and build a positive team environment.” McPherson received the Safety Leadership Award. He was nominated by a co-worker who said “Rickie goes above and beyond to ensure everything from Brewer Lake to our pump stations are in good working order and safe.” “We are extremely proud of our employees and want to recognize those who continue to exceed customer expectations,” said Conway Corp CEO Bret Carroll. “The peer nominations submitted make these awards even more meaningful.”

UCA officer graduates FBI academy Capt. Justin Tapley of the University of Central Arkansas Police Department graduated from the 277th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. Tapley is the first officer to represent the UCA Police Department at the FBI National Academy, and he was one of two police officers to represent Arkansas at this session. The FBI National Academy consists of 10 weeks of advanced communication, leadership and fitness training. Participants must have proven records as professionals within their agencies to attend. On average, officers have 21 years of law enforcement experience. Tapley is a 25-year veteran of the UCAPD. He currently serves as the operations commander for the department and has oversight of patrol operations. “Attending the FBI National Academy has been a goal of mine for years,” Tapley said. “I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by the FBI and UCAPD Chief John Merguie to represent the UCA Police Department. It was an outstanding

Capt. Justin Tapley, a member of the University of Central Arkansas Police Department, graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. learning and networking experience.” Tapley earned a bachelor of science degree in 1997 from UCA. He has a combined total of 28 years of law enforcement experience. Tapley is a graduate of the XXVII session of Arkansas Leader sponsored by the Criminal Justice Institute and the FBI. He holds a senior certificate in law enforcement from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. He holds an instructor certification and is a certified firearms instructor.

“Loving LIFE” at the grand opening of the Conway location of Sissy’s Log Cabin: William (from left) and Dawn Jones with children Matthew and Murphy, Wyatt Jones, Sissy Jones, Sharri and Bill Jones.

Sissy’s opens Conway location Sissy’s Log Cabin hosted a two-day celebration in November at the opening of its fifth and newest location in Conway. Celebrating 50 years in 2020, Sissy’s Log Cabin is the premiere diamond and bridal jewelry store in the mid-South. As Arkansas’s largest independently-owned jewelry store, Sissy’s Log Cabin prides itself on quality and customer service. A family-owned and -operated jewelry store, Sissy’s has Arkansas locations in Pine Bluff, Little Rock, Jonesboro and Conway, and one in Memphis. The store is located at 820 Elsinger Blvd. in Conway Commons. For more information, please visit SissysLogCabin.com.

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Planning for the next phase of life Submitted by Edward Jones

As a business owner, you’re always thinking of what you need to do now. But you can’t forget about the future – yours and that of your business. So it may be a good idea to consider your personal retirement plan and business succession strategy. Let’s start by looking at a few retirement plan possibilities:

Solo 401(k) This plan, which is also known as an Owner-only 401(k), is available to self-employed individuals and business owners with no full-time employees other than themselves or a spouse. A Solo 401(k) offers many of the same advantages of a traditional 401(k): a range of investment options, tax-deductible contributions and the opportunity for tax-deferred earnings growth. You may even be able to choose a Roth option, which allows you to make after-tax contributions that can grow tax-free. Your Solo 401(k) contributions consist of two parts: salary deferral and profit sharing. In 2020, you can defer up to $19,500 of income, or $26,000 if you’re 50 or older. Your profit-sharing contribution is based on your earnings. The sum of your salary deferral and profit sharing can’t exceed $57,000 (or $63,500 if you’re 50 or older). If your spouse is employed by your business, you each can contribute the maximum amount allowed.

SEP IRA If you have just a few employees or are self-employed with no employees, you may want to think about a SEP IRA. You’ll fund the plan with tax-deductible contributions, and you must cover all eligible employees. (Employees themselves 60 | 501 LIFE February 2020

cannot contribute.) You can generally contribute up to 25 percent of compensation, up to $57,000 annually. And you can fund your SEP IRA with virtually any type of investment.

Solo defined benefit plan Not many businesses still offer pension plans, also known as defined benefit plans, but you can set one up for yourself if you’re self-employed or own your own business. This plan has high contribution limits, which are determined by an actuarial calculation, and your contributions are typically tax-deductible. A financial professional can help you choose the appropriate retirement plan, but you’ll still need to think about succession planning. Of course, you can always sell your business outright at any time you like. Or you could leave your business to your children in your will, but if you give it to them gradually during your lifetime, you can become more confident they’ll be able to manage the business on their own. Another alternative might be to transfer the business with a buy-sell agreement, which allows you to determine when, to whom, and at what price you can sell it. Because you can establish the purchase price as your business’s taxable value, a buy-sell agreement is useful in estate planning. If you want to keep the business in your family, you might want to consider funding the buy-sell agreement with life insurance, so family members can use the death benefit proceeds to buy your ownership stake. In any case, given the complexities and tax issues involved with succession planning, you’ll need to consult with your legal and tax advisors when creating a strategy. But don’t wait too long. You can’t predict the future, but by planning ahead, you can help achieve the outcomes you desire.


Author known for ‘giving back’ Jim Davidson — author of “Learning, Earning & Giving Back” — has certainly done all three, but it is the “giving back” by helping others succeed that is his proudest accomplishment. Now in his 80s, Davidson is a nationally recognized radio commentator, motivational speaker and syndicated Susan newspaper columnist. Peterson His column ran in more Susan Peterson holds a PhD in than 375 newspapers in education and taught 35 states, totaling well at the University of Central Arkansas and Slippery Rock over a million readers. He University in Pennsylvania. She often wrote of issues facretired in 2004 and now spends ing parents and students her time doing artwork (painting and pottery). in today’s society. While doing research for his column, Jim realized that many of society’s problems were directly linked to illiteracy. He also observed what researchers know about learning to read. For example: The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school. The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home. The best way to develop readers is for parents and adults to read to and with their young children, yet 61 percent of low-income families have no books in the home. Eighty-five percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. It was Carolyn Wilson, executive director of the Mississippi Press Association, who knew of Jim’s interest in solving this problem and suggested that he compile his best columns into a book and use the profits for a literacy project. Jim compiled the best of his essays into the book “Learning, Earning & Giving Back,” which he

published in 2005. Profits from the book were used to fund “A Bookcase for Every Child” project. “A Bookcase for Every Child” tackles the problem of illiteracy by using local volunteer talent in an innovative way, using no government or tax dollars. Fifty preschool children enrolled in Head Start are given a starter set of books along with an oak bookshelf personalized with their name. For some children, it’s the first item they can truly call their own. These “personal” libraries provide a ready-made reading nook, a place to easily store and browse through treasures that open new worlds to them. The project has now spread to six states with the farthest being Fairbanks, Alaska. Since its inception, more than 2,000 volunteer-made bookcases have been presented. Jim hopes to turn the reigns of the project over to a national service club that has potential to expand the project nationally. “The Best of Jim Davidson” is his most recent publication. It includes 60 of his most requested selections from his nationally syndicated radio series. It is a book of “hope, encouragement and inspiration.” Again, Jim’s motivation in publishing the book is to “give back” by assisting others to achieve personal success. Jim thinks it has a chance to become a New York Times Best Seller. Jim and his wife, Janis, live in Conway near Pickles Gap Village, which Janis owns. They were both widowed when they met about five years ago at a Gospel singing event. She explained that early in her career as a real estate agent, she would purchase Jim’s self-help books and often give them as presents. Now, Jim’s latest is dedicated to her. His other publications include: “How to Plan Your Life” (1986); “My Heartfelt Passion: Saving Our Nation One Child at a Time” (2017); and a new, revised edition of “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.” HIs books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from the publisher (SBPRA.com/JimDavidson). Jim’s “giving back” gift seems to be providing blueprints — whether it’s for building a bookcase, starting a community project, succeeding in one’s vocation, leading others or charting an entire life course.

Profits from Jim Davidson’s book titled “Learning, Earning & Giving Back” have been used to fund “A Bookcase for Every Child” project.

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501 kids


Falling in love with reading

Kellie Bishop Kellie Bishop is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Central Arkansas Pediatrics in Conway. She lives in Plumerville with her husband, Greg, their son and two dogs. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Central Arkansas and her master’s and doctorate degrees in pediatric primary care at UAMS.

A love for reading is one of the most important things you can instill in your child. The earlier you begin reading to your child, the more beneficial it is. While it may seem silly to begin reading to an infant, it is actually a very important factor in their development. Reading to your infant helps develop a bond between you as it creates one-on-one time without distractions. We live in a technological world full of deadlines and endless tasks, so taking the time to read to your child each day allows the quiet time needed to bond. Reading regularly also helps your infant develop social and language skills as they learn more words, better understand the meaning of language and develop social skills. As children grow, there are more benefits to reading than just language development. A child’s cognitive development, the ability to think and understand, is expanded and improved when they are read to regularly. Some of the cognitive processes that are developed through reading include memory,

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problem solving and decision-making. Their imaginations and creativity are expanded, as well, as they explore the people, places and experiences in the stories they hear and the pictures they see in the books you read to them. Sitting to read with your child regularly also increases their ability to concentrate. These skills lay the foundation for academic success as your child grows. The earlier a child develops language and literacy skills, the more likely they are to succeed academically. Reading is crucial to academic success and social development, but, unfortunately, is not something that many families devote time to. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that more than one in three American children start kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read, and about two-thirds of children cannot read proficiently by the end of the third grade. We can encourage early reading by gifting books to infants and children instead of other toys, utilizing public libraries and avoiding the use of electronics. Most children enjoy reading and exploring the different stories when they are introduced to it from a young age. As parents and caregivers, we must make the effort to take time each day away from electronics and our to-do lists to help our children fall in love with reading!



   Elleigh White AGE: 9. CITY: Conway. SCHOOL: Third grade, Woodrow Cummins Elementary School. FAVORITE SUBJECT: Math. MUSIC INSTRUMENT PLAYED: Voice lessons, Conway Institute of Music. FAMILY: Dad - Brad, Mom - Emma, brothers - Emory (19), Brooks (18) and Hudson (11). FAVORITE MEAL OR SNACK: I LOVE steak! MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION: My lifelike silicon baby dolls. They are my kids. MORE INFORMATION: I love my teacher and look forward to my voice lesson every week!

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501SPORTS kids


Give your marriage some extra attention Your marriage needs just as much nurturing, if not more so, than your relationship with your kids. It can be really difficult to connect with each other when schedules are busy, kids need attention, work is crazy, etc. However, that makes it even more necessary to give your marriage some extra attention.


Brittany Gilbert Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have three children and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at b.gilbert37@gmail.com.

Find your spouse’s love language and fulfill it. We tend to give love in the way we’d like to receive it, unless we are versed in the five love languages and have been able to identify the one that fits our spouse. To find out more, there are descriptions and also quizzes online that you can take and, of course, the original book called “The Five Love Languages� written by Gary Chapman.


Go on dates as often as you can. Babysitters are expensive and not everyone has family near, so it’s OK if it needs to be an hour-long date to go get ice cream, walk around Target or sit in the car and catch up on life. It’s all about checking in with each other and connecting. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve read on strengthening or maintaining a marriage relationship is to have frequent “check-ins.� The idea is to just ask each other how you’re doing and if there’s anything you can be doing better. It sounds kind of like a boss interviewing an employee, but once you get past that, it can be really beneficial to your marriage. While you’re out on a date, you can ask each

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other what you need and take the opportunity to give praise for ways that you’ve felt loved and appreciated.

GETAWAYS Get away together, if possible. I know this one can be really difficult. We have small children and no close family that can keep them overnight, so this has always been a struggle for us. We found a sitter that we trust and who loves our children like family, and that has been our solution. Even with this option, it can be expensive and difficult to arrange, so it has to be planned out far in advance. It’s worth it. Again, it doesn’t have to be a lengthy vacation. The 501 area has so many things to offer. Check out the spas in Hot Springs or the Capital Hotel in Little Rock. Just get a night away.

COUCH TIME Couch time is something we learned about when we were expecting our oldest. It was a part of a parenting curriculum where we first learned this idea to put each other first, above our children. The leaders encourage parents to have “couch time.� Couch time is just 10-15 minutes in your day, and it can happen anytime, but the most popular is at the end of the day while kids are still awake. The idea is to just spend a few minutes together and for the kids to see that your spouse is the priority and for them to see mom and dad spending time together. It may take some effort to work up to 15 minutes of uninterrupted conversation, and in the beginning there may be lots of coaching to help your kids understand that this time is not for them and that they need to wait until after your “couch time� is done, but it is such a neat idea. And the benefits are always worth the effort.

Autumn Davis (from left), Abbie Flake, Nick Chambers and Gracie Keathley (back).



Elijah Bailey and Erika Gonzalez.

Riley Tucker (from left), Hunter Watkins, Caleb Hiegel and John McKenna.

St. Joseph class wins first place in parade contest Members of the St. Joseph High School Senior Class took part in the Conway Christmas parade on Dec. 14 and took home first place in the float competition. The students helped assemble a float which resembled a manger like the one in which Jesus Christ was born. The students dressed as the Holy Family, a shepherd, the Three Wise Men and visiting angels to ride on the float.

Arbor Day art contest winners named The City of Conway hosted the 2019 Arbor Day Celebration on Nov. 2 at the Splash Pad in Laurel Park. Presented by Conway Corporation and the City of Conway Tree Board, the annual event attracts more than 500 people each year. Winners of the 2019 Arbor Day Young Artists Award Contest were recognized during the event: • Jordan Avance – first grade, Ellen Smith Elementary School • Averie Bishop – sixth grade, Simon Middle School • Natalie Claret – third grade, Jim Stone Elementary • Semiah Dean – sixth grade, Courtway Middle School • Lily DiGiacomo – second grade, Julia Lee Moore Elementary • Kristen Escobar – seventh grade, Simon Middle School • Madison Fear – eighth grade, Conway Junior High School • Westin Hipp – kindergarten, Jim Stone Elementary • Emery Howell – second grade, Woodrow Cummins Elementary • Hayden Johnson – seventh grade, Carl Stuart Middle School • Morgan Kailey – fifth grade, Simon Middle School • Sarah Lanaux – sixth grade, Carl Stuart Middle School • Sophi Ligon – fourth grade, Woodrow Cummins Elementary • Harper McLellan – second grade, Julia Lee Moore Elementary • Brady Quick – junior, Conway High School • Emmee Roe – seventh grade, Courtway Middle School • Allison Selezneva – first grade, Ellen Smith Elementary • Marley Stewart – fifth grade, Courtway Middle School • Yhasmine Walker – sophomore, Conway High School For more information on the City of Conway Tree Board, visit http://cityofconway.org/boards/conway-tree-board/. For more information on the 2019 Arbor Day Celebration visit https://www. facebook.com/conwaytrees/

Art contest winners who attended and were recognized at the Arbor Day Celebration: Westin Hipp (front, from left), Natalie Claret, Allison Selezneva, Lily DiGiacomo, Emery Howell; Marley Stewart (back), Emmee Roe, Sarah Lanaux, Yhasmine Walker, Averie Bishop and Sophi Ligon (Daniel Adams photo).

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Student engagement

District implements AVID strategies by Jessica Duff

Pulaski County Special School District is implementing strategies that help improve and evolve our educational processes. Among those strategies is AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID is a college and career readiness system centered on engaging professional learning. AVID shows educators how to increase student engagement, promote classroom collaboration and activate deeper levels of learning in the classroom with practical, immediately useful tools and instructional strategies. It is research-based with nearly 40 years of evidence. Teachers who participate in AVID professional learning begin to shift their beliefs about teaching and learning, allowing them to cultivate a growth mindset both for themselves and their students. The AVID Advantage: • Reduces variation in classroom instruction • Leverages grit and determination of students • Emphasizes rigorous coursework, relevance of instruction and relationships • Raises expectations of educators, students and their families • Re-energizes the staff on campus and in the district PCSSD implemented the AVID system this school year (2019-2020) at every school in varying grades. All grades in elementary are applying AVID in the classroom, seventh grade at the middle schools and ninth grade at the high schools. More grades in the middle and high school levels will be added in the coming years. According to Dr. Janice Warren, assistant superintendent for Equity and Pupil Services and the district’s AVID director, more than 200 PCSSD educators attended AVID’s Summer Institute in Dallas or San Antonio this summer. PCSSD administrators and teachers continue to enhance their AVID instruction through training and observation this year. PCSSD hosted the first Arkansas AVID Elementary training for the state in September 2019 and will host Arkansas AVID Elementary in the spring. “Our first AVID Training was a tremendous success! Positive comments were heard from

Cato Elementary students participate in an AVID project. our teachers, administrators as well as the AVID National Staff Development Team. [They] praised our professional staff for their professionalism and thrust for learning,” said Warren. Every AVID classroom is unique as teachers adapt the skills they acquire at these training sessions to work best for each student’s individual needs. Teachers apply five styles of learning in the classroom to help their students.

PEER TUTORING Students work together to master new content through inquiry-based tutoring. Students learn how to ask questions that go beyond memorization and encourage higher-level thinking. Peers ask each other questions that prompt deeper learning, and students know how to articulate their points of confusion.

FOCUSED NOTE-TAKING Students utilize the Cornell note-taking process to create powerful study tools. They are not just copying down words. Students learn to recognize the most important parts of a lesson, create questions to guide their COLLABORATION: Students demonstrate a strong sense of mutual respect and support, engaging in rigorous discourse and building on each other’s thoughts. Collaborative activities are structured and graded to promote participation from each student.


PURPOSE COMES ALIVE REGISTER NOW pcssd.org/register 66 | 501 LIFE February 2020

• Preparing students for life • Cultivating future leaders • Strengthening public schools • Strengthening our communities • Driving innovation in the classroom

Baker Elementary School "gets geeky" when it comes to AVID.

Clinton Elementary School teachers and staff show their AVID spirit.

EMBEDDED SOFT SKILLS Students learn soft skills like public speaking, self-advocacy, time management, organization and more. Here, a student is showing her presentation skills by confidently communicating with her group. There are a variety of AVID activities that allow students to hone their soft skills in an authentic way.

CLASSROOM SET-UP Desks and chairs are arranged to best suit the learning activity and to encourage students to talk and to work more effectively together. PCSSD superintendent, Dr. Charles McNulty, shares his support of this initiative as schools across the district execute AVID strategies. “It’s exciting to see this group of professionals work toward getting our young people college-eligible and that every child gets the right to choose and not have their lives chosen for them,” he said. “This is the beginning of an amazing pathway to equity and excellence.”

Sylvan Hills Middle School AVID students participate in a community service project.

AVID continues to gain popularity across the nation as more than 7,000 schools in 47 states implement its structure. Ninety-four percent of AVID students complete four-year college entrance requirements. Of that number, 75 percent are from lowincome households and 56 percent have parents who did not attend college. This approach to learning provides opportunities for all students, and especially those who may not have considered higher education as an option after graduation. About PCSSD The Pulaski County Special School District spans more than 600 miles in Central Arkansas and requires highly skilled and passionate personnel to adapt educational policies and personalization to 25 schools. Every school is accredited by the Arkansas State Board of Education. PCSSD has served schools across Pulaski County since July 1927. PCSSD is committed to creating a nationally recognized school district that assures that all students achieve at their maximum potential through collaborative, supportive and continuous efforts of all stakeholders.

AVID teachers from across PCSSD participate in summer training.

Mills Middle School AVID teachers visit an AVID school in San Antonio.


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The Harding Academy Football Team claimed a state championship in December with an undefeated season (15-0). The Wildcats beat Osceola in the Class 3A state championship game, 51-26, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. It was the school’s seventh state championship and first since 2015.

The Searcy Lions defeated Benton, 28-27, in December in the 6A state championship game. The Lions successfully defended a Hail Mary attempt from Benton on the final play of the game to seal the victory at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. It was the first state title for the school since 1933.

The Faulkner Falcon 12 & Under Volleyball Team took 501 LIFE along to the NCHVC (National Christian Homeschool Volleyball Championships) tournament on Oct 2426 in Wichita, Kansas. The squad is the 2019 12U NCHVC Undisputed Gold Ball National Champions: team members Kiki McKissack (from left), Madison Derden, Ally Crow, Claire South, Eleighana Ruhman, Eva Benson and Coach Tonya Lipp. Not pictured: Kiah Covington and Gigi McMurtrey.

Coach John Hutchcraft and his girlfriend, Shara Brazear, took 501 LIFE along to Springfield, Mass., to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Hutchcraft was named MVP in the game played on the Naismith court. 68 | 501 LIFE February 2020

The Conway Christian School Junior Eagles Football Team was “Loving LIFE” as they played in the Red Zone Games in AT&T Dallas Cowboys Stadium. The team won three out of four games, creating a great ending for these fourth- through sixth-graders in their inaugural football season.

Cabot athletes sign with colleges Fifteen Cabot High School student-athletes recently signed letters of intent to continue playing on the college level. The students: Patrick Babcock – baseball, Allen Community College in Kansas. Wil Camplain – baseball, North Arkansas College in Harrison. Shy Christopher – basketball, Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. Halley Gamewell – softball, Lyon College in Batesville. Marissa Gilmore – sand volleyball, University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Clayton Gray – baseball, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Justin Graham – baseball, Allen Community College in Kansas. Mason Griffin – baseball, Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. Rylie Hamilton – softball, Southern Illinois in Carbondale. Thomas Jasmin – track, Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. Houston King – baseball, University of Kentucky in Lexington. Aubrey Lee – softball, Hendrix College in Conway.

Cabot High student-athletes who signed to play in college: Rylie Hamilton (front, from left), Grace Neal, Aubrey Lee, Halley Gamewell; Jackson Olivi (back), Patrick Babcock, Austin Scritchfield, Houston King, Marissa Gilmore, Wil Camplain, Shy Christopher, Clayton Gray, Thomas Jasmin, Mason Griffin and Justin Graham. Grace Neal – softball, University of Arkansas at Monticello. Jackson Olivi – baseball, Northern Oklahoma

College in Tonkawa. Austin Scritchfield – baseball, University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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Duck Derby a big success Story and photos by Sonja J. Keith

While the final tally is still being calculated, organizers of the Second Annual Arkansas Duck Derby are calling this year’s event a big success. Nearly 850 tickets were sold for the Pre-Hunt Community Banquet on Jan. 6 at the University of Central Arkansas HPER Center. It included dinner, a gun raffle, silent and live auctions, men’s and women’s raffles and big ticket raffle items. The competitive one-day hunt took place the following day and featured a team of four hunters and a landowner or designated host who compete for a grand prize. This year, there were 28 teams that competed. The Duck Derby benefits the Conway Regional Men's Health Initiative and the Lodging Assistance Program that provides short-term housing for patient families in need. Prior to announcing this year’s winners, Conway Regional President and CEO Matt Troup thanked participants and the organizing committee. He said the event will help generate funds to increase the focus on men’s health and screenings. “I know this is fun but you should feel good about what this is going to support,” he said. “The proceeds are going to be used for a really good purpose.” Thad Hardin, M.D., a family practice physician at Banister-Lieblong, and Mike Armstrong are co-chairs of the organizing committee. Other members are Dr. Andrew Cole, Dr. Lew McColgan, Bret Carroll, Kevin Carter, Chip DeBoard, Kelley Erstine, Jon Ross Henderson, Jim Rankin Jr., Josh Robinson, Reggie Rose, Jason Smith and Jeff Standridge. “Nothing pulls guys together like a great hunt and this also is an opportunity for us to focus on men taking care of their health, a topic that men rarely discuss,” said Hardin. The competitive hunt took place Jan. 7 on multiple parcels of privately-owned land in Central Arkansas. Teams were randomly paired with landowners and hunting locations. Teams returned to C2 Powersports in Conway for final check-in, scoring and an awards ceremony. After the hunt, point values were assigned to the duck species to determine winners. Members of the first place team received $1,000 each; $500 each for the second place team; and $250 each for the third place finisher. The winners: First place – Wes Holland Party with Wes Holland, Adam Boucher, Chris Voss and Jeffery Enloe. Jon Ross Henderson and First Security Bank were the hosts. Second place – Jacquelyn Elliott Team (Lean Back and Quack) with Jacquelyn Elliott, Ron Kise, John Reno and Todd Sears. Kevin Carter and Bryan Neal were the hosts. Third place – J Reynolds Party with Jason Carruth, Ralph Carruth, Jonathan Reynolds and Clint Meadows. Jim Rankin Jr. was the host. Hunters donated 91 ducks and Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry donated them to Teen Challenge in Hot Springs. Major sponsors for the Duck Derby were Sissy’s Log Cabin, Arkansas Urology, Centennial Bank, Ambush Legend Craft, Nabholz and Natural Gear. For more information, visit ArkansasDuckDerby.com or contact Marla Hambuchen at mhambuchen@conwayregional.org. 70 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Members of the first place team with Duck Derby organizers: (from left) Jon Ross Henderson (host), committee co-chairs Dr. Thad Hardin and Mike Armstrong, hunters Wes Holland, Adam Boucher, Chris Voss, Jeffery Enloe and Conway Regional President/CEO Matt Troup.

Members of the second place team with Duck Derby organizers: committee co-chairs Dr. Thad Hardin (from left) and Mike Armstrong, hosts Kevin Carter and Bryan Neal, hunters Jacquelyn Elliott, Ron Kise, John Reno and Conway Regional President/CEO Matt Troup.

The J Reynolds Party won third place: committee co-chairs Dr. Thad Hardin (from left) and Mike Armstrong, hunter Jason Carruth and Conway Regional President/CEO Matt Troup. Not pictured: hunters Ralph Carruth, Jonathan Reynolds and Clint Meadows. Jim Rankin Jr. was the host.

Duck Derby participants and organizers gathered after the awards ceremony.

Aimee and Jeff Prince.

Bart Tucker (left) and Jon Ross Henderson.

Dr. Thad Hardin (left) and Mike Armstrong.

Lindsay Henderson (from left), Dr. Houston Davis and Terry Kimbrow.

Melissa and Matt Troup.

Paul Bradley (from left), Angie Longing, Rebekah Fincher and Carter Dodd.

Tim McKenna (left) and Marcus Elliott.

William Wofford (from left), Chase Williams, Osmar Garcia and John Bishop.

Scott and Andrea Champlin.

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Pulaski County: Hubert ‘Geese’ Ausbie Few people would argue with his priorities; few, too, that those priorities have failed to guide his actions throughout his almost 82 years. Basketball icon Hubert Eugene “Geese” Ausbie’s life of good will, generosity, service and showmanship continues to reflect the priorities on which his parents insisted: “Church first, school second and sports third.” Born in Crescent, Okla., in 1938, the man who modestly confesses that “he played in front of about three or four popes, queens and princes,” is the youngest son of Bishop and Nancy Ausbie, a mother who taught her eight children “to always love one another.” Geese recalls two other beliefs his mother held dear as he moved through adolescence, even in difficult circumstances — “we are a rich family,” and on Sundays, “we didn’t play basketball.” But the remaining days of the week saw an abundance of the court sport, as well as baseball, tennis and track. And he excelled in all four, none more spectacularly than basketball. At Frederick Douglass High School, his basketball statistics were astronomical, including a scoring average of more than 40 points a game, and a three-game 1955 districttournament barrage of 186 points, remaining to this moment an Oklahoma tournament record. By high school graduation in the spring of 1956, more than 200 colleges and universities striving to be the nation’s basketball best were battling for his commitment. Geese politely declined their offers, however, and opted to join his brother, Attaway, at the small Arkansas college whose religious affiliation he respected. Geese has never regretted his choice. Nor has Philander Smith College. The fit was perfect. Geese enjoyed the setting in which he completed

his degree in four years while his stellar athletic play brought Connecticut-to-California attention to the liberal arts institution he represented. By his senior season, 1959-60, not only had he earned All-American basketball honors, but he was also the nation’s third most prolific scorer, behind legendary Elgin Baylor and Oscar Robertson. Hence, awaiting him

In 2017, Ausbie’s jersey was retired in a ceremony at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. (Photos courtesy of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame) 72 | 501 LIFE February 2020

upon graduation in 1960, in addition to a contract from baseball’s Chicago Cubs, were offers from two National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, the Cincinnati Royals and the Los Angeles Lakers. Yet, although flattered and grateful, he accepted none of the three. With his new wife, the former Awanda Lee, another Philander Smith graduate, he envisioned a more fruitful avenue to combining his love of church with his love of basketball. Geese believed he could most effectively satisfy goals for his life by gaining a spot with the famous touring contingent founded by Abe Saperstein, the Harlem Globetrotters, professional sports’ most entertaining team, talented court performers who delighted crowds across the globe with their skills, antics and pranks. After a series of letters overseen by Awanda, Geese received an invitation to try out in Chicago, excelled in a competition with more than 500 players from across the United States, emerged the lone aspirant to receive a contract, and in 1961 launched 24 years of professional play that permitted him to answer the call of his church. With eyes sparkling, countenance beaming and athleticism flowing from every bone and muscle of his angular 6-foot-5 frame, No. 35 performed in more than 6,000 games while, in his words, “having fun and making people happy.” He brought the joy of his faith to so many crowds in so many arenas in so many countries — more than 100 — that, in 1980, he replaced Meadowlark Lemon as the Globetrotters’ “Clown Prince of Basketball” upon the latter’s retirement. As the team’s brightest star, he enjoyed even more fun-making opportunities and greater success and popularity in the final five years

501 LIFE is once again profiling noteworthy athletes, men and women who were born outside of Central Arkansas but who made their mark in the 501. The “Celebrating athletic excellence” series features one from each of the 11 counties in the 501. The 11 are representatives of the quality of athletes found throughout Central Arkansas and are not meant to be the best or the most noteworthy. This is the eighth installment in the third “Celebrating athletic excellence” series.

374,088 LIVES SAVED The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports seat belts have saved 374,088 lives since 1975, when NHTSA first began recording this data. Because we care, we encourage you to buckle up

EVERY TIME EVERY TRIP EVERYONE Geese Ausbie (left) with fellow Harlem Globetrotters Meadowlark Lemon (center) and Fred “Curly” Neal.

Seat belts save lives! Roe Henderson

1416 Prince St. Conway, AR 72034 501-327-3888


We’re your Shield. We’re your Shelter. ®

of his professional play. But his relationship with the Globetrotters did not end in 1985. He later served the team as head coach, followed by a stint as the manager of operations. He was also one of the Globetrotters featured in a series of movies and television shows created in the 1970s and thereafter. Although his faith was never absent from his life after his playing career, it was most discernible in his countless clinics for and visits with the nation’s youth. Nor was it inconspicuous in his numerous interactions with hospitalized military veterans. Honors began to flow, too. In 1990, came induction into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the first of a long stream, including, in 2017, retirement of his No. 35 in Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. Pulaski County and the 501 are proud of the transplant whose priorities inspired those honors.


get framed at

Patterson EyeCare

Dr. Robert Reising Dr. Robert Reising retired from the University of Central Arkansas in 2013 after holding a variety of teaching, coaching and administrative posts during more than a half-century in education. His doctoral dissertation at Duke treated literature and sports.

2505 Donaghey, Ste 102 • Conway, AR



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Legendary coach receives hall of fame nod

From 1980-2004, Coach Ron Marvel built a legacy at UCA, leading the Sugar Bears basketball team to a 489-207 record — marking Marvel as the winningest women’s coach in Arkansas college basketball history. (Photos courtesy of UCA Sports Information) 74 | 501 LIFE February 2020

by Mark Oliver

It’s been 16 years since Ron Marvel hung up his whistle, but the legendary coach is dusting it off one more time for a special occasion. In March, Marvel, 76, will join seven other Arkansans to be enshrined in the 2020 Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. For the former coach, the honor is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to the game he loved for so long. “Being named to the hall of fame is pretty unreal,” Marvel said. “I was just a small-town kid from Coal Hill, Ark., who wanted to be a coach. I never dreamed of being in the hall of fame one day, so it’s a great honor and a major surprise to me.” With some guidance from his own high school coach, Leroy Douglas, Marvel’s coaching journey started with a dream and an opportunity. “When I was in school, my coach was my hero,” Marvel said. “I lived near him, so I spent a lot of time at his house. I always admired him and thought that he knew a lot of people. I wanted to know a lot of people like he did. That’s what got me interested in coaching.” Marvel landed his first coaching job in Magazine (Logan County). After getting his feet wet in the high school circuit, which included stents at Cedarville (Crawford County) and Fountain Lake (Garland County), Marvel received a phone call that would propel him to the next level. “My wife and I loved Hot Springs and we never planned to leave there,” Marvel said. “But one day I got a call from Dr. Simpson at UCA and he told me he was looking for a women’s basketball coach. He told me that if I came and did what he thought I could do, that my pay would increase and he was true to his word. When I got to UCA, I couldn’t believe they paid you that good to coach just one team — I had been coaching four teams for 13 of my 15 coaching years at that point. I thought I was on vacation. Pretty soon, I learned to fill in my time with recruiting and talking to players. I really enjoyed being the coach at UCA.” From 1980-2004, Marvel built a legacy at UCA, leading the Sugar Bears basketball team to a 489-207 record — marking Marvel as the winningest women’s coach in Arkansas college basketball history. “I’m thankful for the time I had there,” Marvel said. “I see the differences in the program from where we were when I was there and where they are now, and I have to say I’m a little envious. I like to think that I helped them grow to where they are now.” When the time came to say goodbye, Marvel’s decision to hang up his whistle wasn’t a difficult one. “Our grandchildren were growing up and my wife and I decided that we wanted to see them participate in sports and whatever they participated in,” Marvel said. “We were ready to take the time to see them grow up. When I looked at my grandchildren, that’s how I knew it was time to move on.” Through each step of his coaching career, Marvel had one constant — his wife, Jeanette. “Although things changed from time to time during my coaching career, one thing stayed the same, and that was my wife,” Marvel said. “I started dating her in seventh grade and we were married for 53 years before she passed away. She was my biggest supporter and the biggest influence in my life and saw thousands of ballgames with me. She supported my dream of being a coach and helped me get through college. From taking care of the kids to doing the daily things, she

always had the toughest job.” Looking back at his coaching career, Marvel said he is most proud of the lives he touched along the way. “I have some doctors out there,” Marvel said. “I have some teachers and college professors out there. There are a lot of good parents out there. Those are my greatest achievements in my coaching career. I will always remember the relationships I had with the kids. Even today, I can recall every name of every kid that was on my team. I stay in touch with a few of them regularly.” These days, Marvel enjoys a simpler life filled with golf, church and raising his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Located in the heart of the 501, Marvel still manages to find time to watch the sport that remained so dear to him for so many years. “I try to go to one high school basketball game each week,” Marvel said. “From where I live in Bryant, Benton, Bryant, Bauxite and Haskell Harmony Grove are all within 10 minutes of each other. I have a grandson that works for [Arkansas Razorback coach] Musselman, so I like to go see Arkansas play, too. I even try to see UCA play a couple times each year. I still like to watch the game and strategize about the game and I still have a desire to win.” On Thursday, March 12, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame will host its Night of the Stars VIP reception at the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, located in Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock. The following day, Marvel and the remainder of the 2020 class will be officially inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet in the Wally Allen Ballroom at the State House Convention Center in Little Rock. Tickets to the ASHOF reception are $40. Tickets to the banquet are $150 and can be purchased at arksportshalloffame.com.

Coach Ron Marvel is interviewed by Monty Rowell.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 75




76 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Story and photos by Linda Henderson

It is February, it is cold outside, and at our house, it is the one month of the year we stay at home most weekends and cook. I have discovered I love to make simple artisan bread. In many parts of the world, bread is Linda eaten with every meal. Henderson Outside of the United Jim and Linda Henderson are States, bread- making is lifelong residents of the 501. taken very seriously. In They travel the 501 and other areas of Arkansas. Jim drives and France, a trip to a favorite hauls equipment. Linda takes bakery is part of the daily photographs of Arkansas. During their travels, they have gained routine. People choose appreciation and love for The their bread with care and Natural State. They have found only frequent the baker the 501 has so much to offer for fun and beauty to photograph. who has what they think is the best bread. Not us in the United States. Most of us have come to rely on the stuff that comes in plastic bags and is found on the grocery store shelf. I think bread needs to hire an advertising agency to publicize its virtues. Flour, water, salt and yeast — these basic ingredients have fed humans for thousands of years. Separately they cannot sustain life, but when you combine them and apply heat, they form bread. They become the basic food of most societies and have everything necessary to sustain life. We seem to have developed a fear of bread, especially gluten and yeast in the United States. There are people who do have a disease, Celiac disease, that does interfere with the digestion of the proteins in gluten. According to the Celiac Foundation, “Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.” So, for these people, they must avoid gluten, but for the rest of us, bread should and can be a part of our daily diet. I must admit, I feared yeast for many years, but not because of a disease process but because I didn’t understand how it worked or how to use it. But then, I found artisan no-knead bread, and my world was changed. Artisanal breads are generally round loaves that are hand-shaped. Rather than putting them into a baking pan, they are baked in large, covered Dutch oven pots at high temperatures. The heat and the covered pot produce steam, which causes the bread to rise, be moist inside and cook quickly. There is something almost magical about the process of bread making. You add water to flour, salt and yeast, and it turns into a lovely round loaf that

has a crusty golden-brown exterior and a heavenly aroma. The interior is soft and filled with tiny air holes. I know it sounds way too easy, with flour, water, salt, yeast, time and no kneading, but it really is that easy. The secret ingredient is time. It takes between 12 to 18 hours for the dough to develop. Over that period, the dough will ferment and develop. The gluten will ripen and fill the dough with air. This is a much slower process than using kneading and larger amounts of a leavening agent. There is a satisfaction that comes from the hearty, complex loaf of bread that makes artisanal baking worth the wait. Back to my fear of yeast. Yeast is a living organism, which may explain my fear. With baking soda, you add an acid liquid, and it activates immediately. The action of yeast is activated by water, temperature and time. The more variables, the scarier the process is. Like how the temperature of the kitchen will affect the dough; how humidity will affect rising of the dough; and how the ingredients in the dough will affect the growing yeast. Here are some tips I’ve picked up, and, yes, I have made all these mistakes. Do not use hot water to activate the yeast. Use room-temperature or slightly warmer water, around 90 degrees. You do not have to have sugar to activate the yeast. Modern yeast does not require sugar for activation. Yeast will feed upon the starches in the flour and expiring CO2. Flour and yeast combining cause a chemical reaction that produces the rising of the dough. Yeast feeds and reproduces between 70 and 80 degrees. If your house is too cold, turn on the clothes dryer and place the dough bowl on the top of the dryer. If your house is too hot, find a cool place to let it rise. Yeast goes dormant at below 50 degrees, so if you keep it in the refrigerator, let it warm up before adding it to your dough mix. During my exploration of bread making, I have discovered that there are many styles of bread baking, and for the most part, they are based on traditions of different regions of the world. French bread is a long loaf, golden crust, with a light chewy interior and made with white flour. French bread is tightly controlled; French law dictates that the loaves contain only flour, water, yeast and salt. Although pizza, spaghetti and other pastas are normally associated with Italy, bread plays an extremely large role in the diets of most Italians. There is rarely a meal served in Italy where bread is not included. Various cities in Italy have their own distinct recipe for bread making, but many contain cheeses and vegetables. American bread recipes were brought over by pioneers and homesteaders from their native countries and adapted to the conditions found in the “New World.” North American breads are unique for sourdoughs, skillet corn breads and quick breads, which are made without the traditional yeast leavenings.

MY BASIC NO-KNEAD RECIPE: 3 cups of all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for dusting 1/2 teaspoon yeast 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 cups of warm water (about 90 degrees) In a mixing bowl, add flour, yeast and salt; whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the water to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until all are combined. Do not over stir or knead. Dough will be wet and sticky; best description of the mixture is it looks like a shaggy mess. Next, place the dough into a floured large plastic or ceramic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 12 to 18 hours at room temperature. Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume and doubled in size. Start pre-heating oven and a 6-quart covered Dutch oven (oven safe cast iron, enamel casted iron, Pyrex or ceramic bakeware) at 500 degrees. Drop the proofed dough onto a lightly floured parchment sheet. Shape the dough by folding the dough in half and then fold it in half again. Tuck the sides of the dough into a ball. Shape with a gentle hand to prevent it from completely collapsing. If the ball of dough is sticky, dust the top of the loaf with flour. Cover the ball of dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise again. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to one hour. To enhance the browning of the bread, score the top of the bread with a very sharp knife. This is optional, but it creates peaks of browned crust. After the dough has had time to proof, turn oven down to 450 degrees. Remove pot from the oven. Be very careful to not touch the pot without protection as it is very hot. Place the bread into the pot using the parchment paper by gently lowering the dough and the parchment paper into the Dutch oven. Cover with the lid and return the Dutch oven with the dough to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, covered. After 30 minutes of baking time, remove the lid and let the bread bake and brown for 10 to 15 minutes to desired level of brownness. To make sure the bread is completely cooked, take its temperature. Carefully tip the bread onto its side and insert a thermometer into the bottom. The thermometer should read 200-205 degrees. If it is less than 200 degrees, place the loaf back into the oven for a few more minutes. When the loaf is done, transfer it to a wire rack to cool. Resist the urge to slice the bread as it will continue to cook inside as it cools. Let it cool for at least one hour. Cutting it when it is hot will cause the bread’s internal structure to fall.

Who knows, now that I am mastering Artisanal bread-making, maybe I will take on biscuit making or even homemade yeast rolls. February 2020 501lifemag.com | 77

Conway Regional staff recognized for care Conway Regional Health System has awarded Gabriel Gartman, RN, Critical Care Unit, the quarterly DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) award, which recognizes nurses for their exemplary care. Gartman was nominated for the compassionate care that he provided to a fellow nurse and his critically ill father. His co-worker nominated Gartman for the award. The DAISY is a national nursing award that was established by the family of the late J. Patrick Barnes, a man with an autoimmune disease, in recognition of the care provided by his nurses. Conway Regional nurses who achieve the award also receive national recognition through the DAISY program. Dr. Michael Fahr, an emergency medicine physician, was awarded the BEE (Be Exceptional Everyday) award for the compassion he showed to a family from Mississippi that was treated in the Conway Regional Emergency Department. The award is given to non-nurses who provide exceptional care to patients.

Angie Longing presents BEE award to Dr Mike Fahr.

Caring for father, son Gartman’s nomination read, “Gabe took the extra time to sit with my dad and got to know him. He wrote a four-page letter to me detailing some special times dad and I shared, stories my dad had told him during their visit, and his concerns with leaving my mom behind.” The nomination continued, “Witnessing his actions, accompanied with the letter he wrote me is the sweetest thing I have experienced and it gave me a new definition of holistic nursing. Gabe cared for my dad, but he cared for my family too.”

Emergency cat duty Fahr was nominated for the BEE award for the care and compassion he showed for an elderly couple from Mississippi and their cat. During a journey to Branson, the husband was injured due to a fall and was being treated in the Conway Regional Emergency Department. He was concerned about his wife who has

Stripes continued from Page 9 and think that I would one day be selected,” Morton said. “UCA has a lot of really outstanding graduates,” he said. “I am tremendously honored, very surprised, but tremendously honored to be selected.” Morton has enjoyed a stellar career since earning a bachelor’s in accounting and later becoming a certified public accountant. At the advice of a UCA accounting professor, Morton applied for and was offered a position at Ernst & Young in Little Rock, one of the largest accounting firms in the nation. After 12 years at the firm, Morton was named a partner, eventually serving as both a tax partner and an audit partner. He spent a total of 24 years at Ernst & Young before moving to Fort Smith in 1996 to join Arkansas Best Corp., now ArcBest, a publiclyheld, nationwide freight transportation company. He served in multiple financial positions at ArcBest 78 | 501 LIFE February 2020

DAISY presentation: Mike Henry (from left), Angie Longing, Gabriel Gartman and Matt Troup. dementia as well as their cat, Snoopy. The ER staff cared for the wife and Fahr shared his home with Snoopy. “Dr. Fahr kept contact with the patient’s daughter until she arrived from Chicago. She picked up her parents from Conway Regional, the cat from

Dr. Fahr, and they all traveled safely back to Mississippi,” the nomination concluded. Conway Regional presents the DAISY and BEE awards each quarter based on the nominations of patients, families and co-workers.

and eventually became a senior vice president of risk and chief audit executive. He retired from ArcBest in 2016, but he continues to work with the company as a consultant. Morton supports the Fort Smith community through a number of endeavors and has served on a number of boards. Morton’s passion and commitment to service include his alma mater, evident through his life membership in the UCA Alumni Association. He served on the UCA Foundation Board of Directors for six years, including two years as chair. As a member of the UCA Foundation Board, Morton focused much of his energy on boosting private scholarships. He and his wife, Brenda Yelvington ’91, established the J. Lavon Morton and Brenda Yelvington Scholarship Fund at UCA to provide annual scholarships for students majoring in accounting or any business-related discipline.

Wheezy continued from Page 9 “Wheezy” was born June 15, 2006, and shortly after birth, it was discovered that she was born with a severe congenital heart defect called HypoPlastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). This is when the left ventricle of the heart never fully forms. After a very difficult and life-threatening first couple of weeks of life, she had her first openheart surgery at the age of 13 days. Eloise had three more open-heart surgeries over the next 5 years that completed the expected treatment plan until time for a full heart transplant. On Jan. 7, 2016, she suffered an extreme series of pulmonary hemorrhages that ultimately led to the end of her life. Because Walk for Wheezy is a nonprofit organization, donations are tax deductible. To donate, become a sponsor or for more information, visit walkforwheezy.com.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 79

NEIGHBORS special friends

As part of the family, 3-year-old Sophie, a golden retriever, played an important part in Tyler and Gavin Langley’s wedding ceremony. (Photos by Sterling Imageworks Photography)

Family affair

Conway couple includes ‘fur-baby’ in wedding by Callie Sterling

Tyler and Gavin (Styles) Langley. 80 | 501 LIFE February 2020

Many dog lovers consider their pets to be family. It has become a trend in the wedding world to include them in wedding festivities. As a wedding photographer, I have photographed many brides and grooms with their fur-babies within the last few years. As an animal lover myself, I enjoy photographing pets with their owners during such a meaningful time in their lives. My husband, Jaison, and I personally included our English Shepherd in our wedding as the ring bearer; she walked alongside our two small cousins. When couples ask me if I think they should include their dogs in their engagement, bridal or wedding photos, I always encourage them to do so. If a pet is important to you, and to your story, include them. It is a great way to preserve the moment and the love you

share, not only for your future spouse but also the love you feel for your pet. In May 2019, Gavin (Stiles) and Tyler Langley, of Conway, tied the knot at the Grandeur House in Little Rock. Their fun-loving Golden Retriever, Sophie, was alongside them during their engagement session, bridal session and on their wedding day. “Sophie is our 3-year-old golden retriever,” Gavin said. “We adopted her together while dating. She celebrated our engagement with us; and we could not have imagined our wedding day without her. She truly made us a family and we love her so much!” Sophie was included in the couple’s wedding party, where she happily greeted guests throughout the day. “She was our ‘dog of honor’ and made her presence known while wandering down the aisle, being sure to stop and say ‘hello’ to everyone along the way,” Gavin said.

As a member of the wedding party, Sophie greeted guests throughout the day.

As an important addition to the Langley’s lives, it was a must that Sophie was able to participate in their special day. “Sophie is truly a blessing and adds so much to our lives,” Gavin said. “She never fails to show us unconditional love and bring many, many laughs. She is happy every moment of every day and reminds us to find joy in the minute and mundane moments of life.” As a therapy dog, Sophie is used to interacting with people, and is highly socially adept. Her training as a therapy dog helped make her a great fit for her role in the Langley wedding. “Sophie is also a certified therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International (TDI) where she is able to serve others by bringing joy and comfort to those in need,” Gavin said. If you are considering including your fur-baby in your wedding, they can certainly add a unique sense of comfort and joy to an exciting, yet overwhelming day. As a wedding photographer, this is a trend that I hope does not fade and couples continue incorporating their furry friends into their wedding and engagement photography.

February 2020 501lifemag.com | 81

NEIGHBORS person of the month

Jimmy Bryant

CITY: Conway. WORK: Retired from UCA as of Dec. 31. I begin a new position as director of the Division of Arkansas Heritage in January 2020. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: I served for eight years on the Faulkner County Quorum Court. I am a former board member of the Faulkner County Council on Aging and a former president of the Faulkner County Historical Society.

FAMILY: My wife, Jann, and I have been

married for 38 years. We have two children. Zack, who is married to Cassie, and they have two children — Jeremiah and Zoe. Melanie and her husband, Brandon, have a child, Juliana.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history, both from UCA.


Taking short trips in the Central Arkansas area with my wife, Jann.


(Lonoke County), where the Bryant Farm is located.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: Central Arkansas has so much

Jimmy Bryant recently retired after nearly 24 years working at the University of Central Arkansas. He has taken a new position as director of the Division of Arkansas Heritage. (Mike Kemp photo)

to offer and so many things to do. The vast majority of my friends and family are here, and it is home to me and always will be.


and always look forward to the next issue.

82 | 501 LIFE February 2020

A Growing Health System for a Growing wing Communityy

Left to Right: Dr. Don Steely, Dr. Lensey Scott, and Dr. Deepali Tukaye of Conway Regional Cardiovascular Clinic

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February 2020  

501 LIFE is “Celebrating love” in this month’s edition. (Jeremy Higginbotham design)

February 2020  

501 LIFE is “Celebrating love” in this month’s edition. (Jeremy Higginbotham design)