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Central Arkansas’ newest, 24-hour premier skilled nursing and long-term care facility with 94 private rooms is Now Open and Accepting Short Term Rehab and Long Term Care residents

Let Vickey Kirkemier

Schedule Your Tour Today! 625 Tommy Lewis Drive • Conway, AR 72032


2 | 501 LIFE January 2021

See how Superior Health & Rehab is more than a name, it’s our deenition of care!



for you

Your health and safety are our top priorities Unity Health is trained and prepared for health-related crises. Our physicians encourage the community to continue to seek medical treatment when needed. Our hospitals and clinics practice elevated safety for the health and well-being of patients and staff at all locations, and it is safe to schedule regular appointments and come to the emergency department. We continue to fight for our community and will always be here for you.

HOSPITALS • CLINICS • SPECIALISTS Searcy | Newport | Beebe | Bradford | Cabot | Clinton | Heber Springs January 2021 | 3


EDITOR Stefanie W. Brazile PUBLISHER Jeremy Higginbotham FOUNDERS Donna Spears and Sonja J. Keith ASSOCIATE EDITOR Levi Gilbert COPY EDITORS Jordan Hickey and Andrea Miller BRAND AMBASSADOR Donald Brazile ART DIRECTORS Jennifer Godwin and Nick Walker PHOTO DIRECTOR Mike Kemp FINANCE DIRECTOR Debbie Flowers ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Donna Spears

of the

CONTRIBUTORS Donna Benton Don Bingham Kellie Bishop Don Brazile Brittany Gilbert Laurie Green Dwain Hebda Linda Henderson Vivian Hogue Kevin McCoy


The 501 LIFE team is excited to bring

you an issue devoted to Visionaries and the future of the 501. In a special section beginning on page 22, those depicted on the cover share immediate and future goals on enhancing: infrastructure, job growth, the arts and degree plans. The youngest visionary interviewed is an eighth-grade hero who is committed to elevating other people. Along with our Visionaries, I hope you'll enjoy getting to know six women who were recently honored for excelling in business. They represent different segments of the economy, and each honoree reveals whose shoulders she stands upon and how she wants to continue a positive legacy. One example is the connection between Crystal Kemp, who earned the Diamond Achievement Award, and Shaneil Ealy, Ed.D., who was named Outstanding Woman in Nonprofits. In 1995, Kemp helped to establish the Faulkner County Youth Leadership Institute, and Ealy was a graduate of the first class while in high school. Fast forward 25 years, and now Ealy oversees that program in her role

4 | 501 LIFE January 2021

as an associate vice president at UCA. Many years ago, Kemp invested in area youth, and she has seen that come full circle. Both ladies are passionate about developing leadership skills in the next generation. So, how are visionary leaders made? Is it nature or nurture? That question sparked fierce debate in my Sociology 101 class many years ago. Wherever you land on the issue, I think you'll agree that one common characteristic among them is optimism. They believe the future will be better because the projects they identified, and goals they've developed, will improve the quality of life of many. We could all use a dose of optimism after the year we've endured. I hope your "glass is half full" this January as we look to local and national leaders to lead people to a better life. But being a visionary is not just for community leaders. It's a lifelong process we each revisit at the start of a new year. As you declare your 2021 resolutions, consider optimism for the list. If you are looking for someplace to start, I hope you'll find inspiration in the Visionaries' and Honorees' stories.

Jennifer McCracken Mark McDonald Mark Oliver John Patton Susan Peterson Dr. Robert Reising Judy Riley Donna Lampkin Stephens Morgan Zimmerman

FAULKNER COUNTY EDITORIAL BOARD 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 Monica Lieblong 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 Mike Parsons Brooke Pryor Carol Spears Kristi Thurmon

To subscribe or order back issues, visit The subscription rate is $20 for one year (12 issues). Make the Jump Media, LLC 920 Locust Ave., Suite 104 Conway, AR 72034 501.327.1501

501 LIFE is published monthly by Make the Jump Media, LLC (920 Locust Ave, Suite 104, Conway, AR 72034, 501.327.1501) owned by Jeremy Higginbotham and Stefanie W. Brazile. 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.


January 2020

Volume 13 Issue 9

Letter from the Editor 501 Basketball Team announced Loving LIFE Photos `Pulling for Veterans’ trap shoot Loving LIFE Photos Tribute Tree raises money; St. Joseph collects food Couple of the month: Madison & Zo Pollum The Vines conference center grows leadership


4 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

On the cover

Honoring those in the 501 that not only envision, but also create, a better future for the communities that we call home.

By Judy Riley

22 Visionaries

November 2020

Mike Kemp photos. Jeremy Higginbotham design.

Youth of the month - Caleb Hunt Mayor Bart Castleberry Jack Bell Mayor Allen Lipsmeyer Amanda Horton Terry Kimbrow Dr. David Burks Mayor Jimmy Clark

34 Visions of hope

By Chef Don Bingham

36 Connecting all the dots

By John Patton

38 Energy smart challenge

By Beth Jimmerson


40 Commit to be fit in 2021

By Jenn McCracken

41 51 52 54

Women in business honorees Kid of the month: Grace CRMC/UACCM scholarship Different nows; Different thens

By Vivian Lawson Hogue

55 A vision for success


By Laurie Green

56 Roots & Refuge

By Susan Peterson

58 Understanding your child’s symptoms

By Kellie Bishop

59 Raising kids who are visionaries

By Brittany Gilbert

60 Celebrating Athletic Excellence

By Dr. Robert Reising

62 PCSSD opens registration

By Jessica Duff

63 Pet of the month: Koopa 64 Siege of Cadron

By Linda Henderson

66 67 68 69

Swans in Heber Springs Hendrix receives large gift Veteran’s Day celebration A list from the good book

By Donald Brazile

70 Person of the month: Henry Mason

6 | 501 LIFE January 2021


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

Get “LIFE” at home! B

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.

Baker Eye Institute, 21


Central Baptist College, 31 Chicken Salad Chick, 57 Conway Corporation, 33, 43 Conway Institute of Music, 39 Conway Regional Health System, 71 Conway Regional Rehab, 19

While the magazine is distributed to more than 700 locations in Central Arkansas, copies go fast. Home delivery guarantees readers they won’t miss a single issue.

Visit or call 501.327.1501 to subscribe.


DJM Orthodontics, 45



Edward Jones, 53




First Security Bank, 72 First Service Bank, 13 Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling, 52

Writers’ Room


A resident of Central Arkansas most of her life, Linda

Glenrock Apartments, 35

Hoggard Henderson


Hartman Animal Hospital, 63 Harwood, Ott & Fisher, PA, 37 Heritage Living Center, 5 Hiegel Supply, 32


Julie's Sweet Shoppe, 48


MSC Eye Associates, 67 Methodist Family Health, 66


Ott Insurance, 59


Patterson Eye Care, 32 Pulaski County Special School District, 51


Reynolds Performance Hall, 26


Salem Place, 17 Sissy’s Log Cabin, 15 Shelter Insurance, 58 Smith Ford, 47 St. Joseph School, 49 Superior Health & Rehab, 2


Unity Health, 3 University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton, 44 University of Central Arkansas, 61 UCA Division of Outreach and Community Engagement, 49

Dwain Hebda is an awardwinning writer, editor and journalist as well as president of his own editorial services company Ya!Mule Wordsmiths in Little Rock. Hebda’s work is published in more than 35 publications, covering everything from the outdoors to business to the arts. He loves telling extraordinary stories about everyday people. Nebraskan by birth, Southern by the grace of God, he and his wife dote on their four grown children and three spoiled dogs. Contact him at dwain@

shares her love of photography and traveling Arkansas each month with 501 LIFE readers. “I most enjoy our small-town life in the 501, but we are close to Little Rock and state parks,” she said. “Also, most of my family and friends live in the 501.” Linda enjoys traveling backroads, blue-line highways and cooking. A graduate of UCA, retired from the Conway Human Development Center, Linda and her husband, Jim, have a son, John Mark, and daughter-in-law, Jenni Henderson. Contact Linda at lindahenderson@

Books and balls have aided Bob Reising since his Connecticut boyhood. They have guided him to a B.A. with special honors in English at Michigan State while playing three years of Varsity baseball and to a doctorate at Duke with a dissertation treating literature and sports. He has had the good fortune to teach, coach and administer in higher education during seven decades, earning an appointment as professor emeritus at UNC Pembroke. He and his wife, Judy, enjoy the 501. Contact him at January 2021 | 7


501 LIFE is proud to present the 501 Basketball Team for 2020-21. The team boasts 34 honorees representing the best student-athletes the 501 has to offer, both on and off the court. Players were nominated by their coaches and selected by the 501 staff. The nominations were weighted equally between on-the-court and off-the-court attributes. Sponsors for this year’s team are Conway Regional Health System and First Security Bank. “We are so excited for this year’s 501 Basketball Team,” said Associate Editor Levi Gilbert. “We’ve got a great mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen, and there are a few state champions in there, too. We can’t wait to share these students’ stories throughout the winter.” 8 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Photos by Mike Kemp

2020-21 team members include: Brooklyn Adcock (Mount Vernon-Enola), Kayla Akers (Morrilton), Madelyn Atkins (Beebe), Audrey Beck (Wonderview), Wesley Booker (Mount Vernon-Enola), Ashley Brown (Searcy), Luke Bruich (St. Joseph), Chloe Buie (Bigelow), Jacob Cantrell (Quitman), Chloe Clardy (Conway), Matti Clements (Harding Academy), Cooper Ellis (Conway Christian), Devin Foster (Morrilton), McKenzie Greeson (Sacred Heart), Kylie Griffin (Greenbrier), Lilly Hill (St. Joseph), Taylor Hooten (Quitman), Kyler Jones (Bigelow), Molly Madar (Cabot), Artavia Malone (Guy-Perkins), Gram Middleton (Vilonia), Lauren Patterson (Vilonia), Westin Pickell (Mayflower), Darvis Rasberry (Maumelle), Ellie Riddle (Heber Springs), Brayden Roberts (Cabot), Caleb Squires (Wonderview), Gabe Strickland (Guy-Perkins), Kamiah Turner (Mayflower), Bryce Webb (Greenbrier), Jayden Williams (Conway), Josie Williams (Conway Christian), Logan Worthington (Beebe) and Kaeden Wright (Nemo Vista) Not pictured: Lilly Hill (St. Joseph), Luke Bruich (St. Joseph) and Audrey Beck (Wonderview). The team recently met at Conway Christian High School’s gym for a photo shoot. In addition tothe being featured in 501 LIFE’s January issue, each player will be featured individually Brenda Cahill - Citizen of Year throughout the basketball season online at and in 501 Sports Extra, 501’s sports e-newsletter and future editions of 501 LIFE. (To subscribe, email or visit

January 2021 | 9


Sawyer Shouse and his younger brother, Luke, were “Loving LIFE” at Halloween. Sawyer loves the Conway Sanitation trucks so his parents made him one for Halloween.

Stuart and Laura Tillman were “Loving LIFE” and celebrating each another in Mexico as they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary early this spring. The couple toured Queretaro, Mexico City (her birth place), Cancun and Cozumel. They have four children under the age 10 and have lived in Conway for 13 years.

10 | 501 LIFE January 2021

On a trip to Destin, Fla. in September, Brian and Melba Kansaki were “Loving LIFE” as they enjoyed a meal with friends. They are with Quinn and Cissy Thornton of Conway (from left), Brenda and Jimmy Bishop of Conway, Brian and Melba of Greenbrier and Carol and Dwight Atchley of Destin.


Conway Jazzercise instructors Alicia Gough (from left), Leigh Lassiter-Counts, Jill Brannon and Paige Revis are “Loving LIFE” as they celebrate 24 years of Jazzercise.

Kassi (from left) and Lauren were “Loving LIFE” at Kassi’s Cookies, a new bakery in Mayflower.

“Loyalty K Apparel” was founded in Conway this year by Keanu Wade. The “K” is the first letter of her and her daughter Kaliyah’s names. On Thanksgiving Day, Keanu and her friends were “Loving LIFE” as they collaborated with other businesses and gave essentials to those in need.

Kelly Thomas was “Loving LIFE” when our December issue was delivered to Kroger in Maumelle.

The staff at ZaZa Fine Salad & Wood-Oven Pizza Co. was “Loving LIFE” between customers. They are Lex Haden (from left), Kyana Green and Jacob Gadberry.

Kim Doughty-McCannon (from left) and Nancy White of Farmstand (Bell Urban Farm) were “Loving LIFE” in Conway.

Urban Air Trampoline Park staff members were “Loving LIFE” and enjoying their work. They are Dane Schrekenhofer (from left), Cecilia Pantoja and Haleigh Wilson.

January 2021 | 11


Shoot for the sky Pulling for Veterans Trap Shoot aims to make difference for military families The first annual “Pulling for Veterans” trap shoot, sponsored by

ERA TEAM Real Estate, was held Dec. 5 at the Dr. James E. Moore Jr. Camp Robinson Firing Range.

The fundraiser benefitted two veterans groups: Museum of Veterans & Military History located in Vilonia and Wreaths Across America. The event had 38 individuals who shot five rounds each. Prizes were awarded to the first and second place winners. The winners were Chance Martin, Roe Reynolds, Kody Hogrefe and Emma Hickey. The event raised $2,760 for each veteran's group.

Tom Dewine (from left) and Steve Doty are “Loving LIFE” as the new owners of ERA TEAM Real Estate. ERA TEAM Real Estate members were “Loving LIFE” as they raised funds for veterans. They are David Patty (from left), Carol Patty, Nancy Reeves, Kelli Small, Brittney Burks and Joshua Beale. To support veterans, these men participated in the Trap Shoot. They are Nick Horton (from left), Kris Kendrick (Faulkner County Quorum Court Member Dist. 9), David Ray (State Representative Dist. 40), Tyler Lachowsky (Faulkner County Quorum Court Member Dist. 6) and Sam Strain (Faulkner County Quorum Court Dist. 4.) “Loving LIFE” and facing the cold were Lindsey French (from left), Destiny Lankford, Jordan Ester and Josh Walker of Centennial Bank.

12 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Baby August Kelley was a star of the show in red and white stripes with Sherry Atkinson (from left), Spencer Kelley, Chloe Kelley and Garry Atkinson.


Elizabeth Molica, lifestyle coordinator for Ridgemere Senior Living, and Don Brazile, with 501 LIFE Magazine, after a Veterans Day Ceremony that was sponsored by the magazine at Ridgemere.

Senior Shannon Trantina, St. Joseph High School’s Homecoming Queen, was “Loving LIFE” after being crowned Dec. 2. The school’s Beauty Queen and Homecoming Court were formally presented before games in the school’s Family Activity Center it was live streamed for those unable to attend. More than 360 people viewed the ceremony. Shannon was escorted by her father, Jason, and was joined for the photo by her ninth-grade brother, Joshua. Their nephew, Gage Horton, assisted with the presentation.

Loving the Holidays in the 501! Left: Greg Eason celebrated the holiday season in his Christmas Story pajamas at the Pulling for Veterans Trap Shoot. But don't worry, he didn't shoot his eye out! Right: Santa’s work is done for another year, but he was “Loving LIFE” in Downtown Conway last month with his very able helper, Wayne Cox.

14 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Judy and Skip Wheeler were “Loving LIFE” on Veterans Day. He served in the Air Force for 30 years and in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for 10 years.

U.S. Air Force veteran Calvin, and his wife Louise, Holloman following a Veterans Day Ceremony sponsored by 501 LIFE Magazine.



January 2021 | 15


Lighting up the season The Conway Regional Health Foundation hosted its annual Tribute Tree Lighting on Dec. 3. Cars made their way around the hospital on “Gingerbread Lane” as they awaited their turn to see Santa in front of the beautiful tree. Along the way, Santa’s helpers handed craft kits and goodies to excited children through car windows. As people in their vehicles waited in line, they enjoyed looking at the gingerbread houses that had been added to the campus for the season. Proceeds from the Conway Regional Tribute Tree will support scholarships for local students pursuing a degree in a health-related field.

A Good Shave... Principal challenges students to donate food and win opportunity to shave his head Before the Thanksgiving holiday, the children of St. Joseph Middle

School heard a homily from Associate Pastor Father Joseph de Orbegozo about being thankful for blessings and the importance of thinking of those who are less fortunate. He noted that there was only one box in the church’s food pantry donation box and challenged the children to help. The fifth grade boys and girls quickly took up the cause by promising to fill the pantry box by the following week and challenged the 4th and 6th grades to join them. Principal Matt Tucker’s spirits were lifted when he heard what students were trying to accomplish in a week. As an added incentive, Tucker agreed to have his hair cut and his head shaved by the grade that donated the most food. The kids did not disappoint. They collected more than 2,200 food items which the St. Joseph Missions Outreach Committee delivered to those in need. The 5th grade won the shearing honors and followed through on Nov. 18. They had some help from Administrative Assistant Julie Potts, fifth grade teacher Angie Rawls and Preschool teacher Carrie Simon. Fortunately for Tucker, Ms. Simon is a trained cosmetologist. 16 | 501 LIFE January 2021

St. Joseph fifth graders Ava Moix (from left) and Anna Kate Pasierb stand with some of the food that was collected.

Delta Beta Sigma Volunteers passing out craft kits and coloring sheets to children.

Principal Matt Tucker gets the final shave.

January 2021 | 17

NEIGHBORS couple of the month Conway

Madison and Zo Pollum at Chi Alpha (Stefanie Brazile photo)


Zo Pollum Madison Pollum

NATIVE OF: Marion (Crittenden County). EDUCATION: I graduated two years ago from UCA with a

bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders.

WORK LIFE: Chi Alpha Campus Ministries missionary at UCA. PARENTS: Mike and Beth Tolleson who still live in Marion. They also graduated from Marion High School and UCA. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: Volunteering for anything and everything at UCA. We love attending UCA sporting events, especially softball games and XCTF meets. CHURCH ACTIVITIES: We attend The Church Alive. My husband and I lead discipleship groups, mentor college students and lead mission trips stateside and overseas. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF:

Chill, peaceful and down-to-earth? I’m resolved to go for what is good or what I think God is calling me to do.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO: Trust God from the bottom

of your heart, don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go. He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume you know it all.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: What I enjoy most about living here

are all the unique communities that are individually built around Arkansas’ natural beauties.

18 | 501 LIFE January 2021

NATIVE OF: Fort Worth, Texas. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: Keller, Texas. EDUCATION: I am a graduate of


Even-tempered (generally speaking), joyful, hard-working and passionate!



played ice hockey as a goalie – in Texas!

WORK LIFE: I am a campus missionary working for Chi Alpha Campus Ministries at the UCA.


PARENTS: Terry (Dad) and Jaysen (Mom) Pollum. They live in Keller. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: The nature of our work allows us to be very invested in the community. These include, but are not limited to, working with the homeless, serving food and packaging gifts for the holidays.

CHURCH ACTIVITIES: We attend The Church Alive, as well as being a part of our small and large group gatherings with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. HOBBIES/SPECIAL INTERESTS: I love to run, read wholesome fiction books and write short stories.

I love going on a long run at Burns Park in Little Rock. I feel close to God as I run through the beautiful scenery. Then, afterwards, I enjoy a nice coffee date with my wife at one of the local shops in Little Rock.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO: When I’m struggling to hear truth in my life and all I’m hearing is the opinions of people, this is what I imagine Jesus saying to me: “I’m proud of you.”


I thoroughly enjoy the community. First, my campus ministry family (God has used them to change my life) and the people I meet on a day-to-day basis. They are very kind, friendly and genuine here. It’s hard to want to leave!


HOW WE MET ACCORDING TO ZO: We met February 2015 of our freshmen year of college. My best friend invited me to sit with his friends, and lo and behold, Madison was right there. What a beautiful woman she was!

THE PROPOSAL: I proposed to Madison at Cadron Settlement Park in Conway. It’s a beautiful sloped spot that overlooks water. It’s where we had our first date!

WEDDING BELLS: Aug. 4, 2018, in the lovely city of Roland. The wedding venue was called BoBrook Farms, just past Pinnacle Mountain State Park. It was awesome!

PETS: One cat named Care. She’s great!

FAMILY ACTIVITIES ENJOYED TOGETHER: Shopping, long hikes, coffee-shop exploring, running and enjoying deep conversation.

Madison and Zo at the top of Pinnacle Mountain State Park

January 2021 | 19


The Vines

Conference center grows leadership

The Vines Center is nestled in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, just 10 miles west of Little Rock and was built by visionary C.A. Vines 4 decads ago.

By Judy Riley

What began in 1976 as one man’s

vision for a camp for Arkansas’ 4-H youth has became one of the most popular conference centers and training facilities in the South. Sitting on 228 acres in west Little Rock, the center is used each year for camps and training events by more than 25,000 youth and adults. The official groundbreaking of the first building was in October of 1980. The 40th anniversary celebration of the facility includes a yearlong series of events, culminating with a Farm to Table dinner Oct. 5, 2021. The Vines Arkansas 4-H Center was the vision of C.A. Vines, retired director of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Vines took on the support and development of this center as a retirement project. As his vision grew, the size and scope of the facility and its opportunities for youth and adults grew. “Mr. Vines was the most exceptional and remarkable person I ever knew,” said John Langston, retired Extension agricultural engineer. Darlene Millard, vice president of the Arkansas 4-H Foundation and former state leader for 4-H, said, “He had the uncanny ability to get buy-in from individuals, organizations and businesses across the state. People support what they are involved in” was his operating principle. Vines soon learned that only providing 20 | 501 LIFE January 2021

youth events would not sustain the facility of his dreams. The goal broadened to include a conference center offering training in team building and leadership development for adult groups. According to J.J. Pitman, director of the Vines Center, adult groups support youth programs through the slogan “Staying here is giving back.” In order to raise funds for the initial land purchase, 4-H Club members sold chocolate bars, had bake sales, auctioned animals, and solicited funds from parents, leaders, and county agents to raise the needed $200,000. Vines became executive director of the Arkansas 4-H Foundation, a post he held until his death in 2001. He continued to lead a broad-based capital fund drive to match a request made to the Arkansas Legislature. Significant donors have included Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Feland family, Reynolds Foundation, Stevens, Inc., Weyerhouser, Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, and Arkansas Extension Homemakers. A special attraction is the ropes course, the first of its kind built in Arkansas. Originally designed and built by former Extension specialist Mike Klumpp, the course features both high and low elements. The ExCEL program (experience the challenge; experience the leadership) offers U of A faculty-led leadership training, including communication, decision making,

teamwork and management. In addition to training youth, ExCEL is used today as a management-training opportunity for groups such as Cintas, Garver Engineering, L’Oreal, Griggs, Caterpillar, Arvest Bank, Weyerhouser, and Farm Bureau. According to Klumpp, company executives report better bonding and team spirit after their staffs participate in ExCEL. Today, the Vines Center boasts facilities accommodating 5 to 500, 16 conference rooms, hotel-style lodging, dining services for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a wide variety of guided team-building programs. Included on the grounds are a lake with canoeing and fishing opportunities, an outdoor pavilion, an amphitheater, a swimming pool, a ropes course, and an archery and shooting range. The most recent addition is a demonstration garden providing produce for the facility as well as a learning lab for Extension personnel, master gardeners and youth. Participants get hands-on experience, which follows the 4-H slogan, “Learn by Doing.” Vines’ vision continues to grow and develop. He would be proud to know it was recognized in 2018 and 1019 by the Arkansas Times as Best Conference Center and Best Retreat. Truly a 501 gem! For more information, contact www. or call 501.821.4444.


Hunt the Hero Eighth-grader becomes student council president two years in a row 22 | 501 LIFE January 2021

By Stefanie Brazile

YOUTH - Conway

In 14 years, a Conway Junior High School (CJHS) student has

emerged as a leader and a caring young man. He has been declared a hero by a mayor and been voted student council president at two schools. Caleb Hunt is an eighth-grade starter on the football team who also plays the saxophone in band and earned a chair in the All Region, First Band last year. This is his first year at CJHS and he was voted Student Council President, an office he also held last year at Bob Courtway Middle School (BCMS). “I think I might run for a student council office from this year on,” Hunt said. “When I started school this year, it felt cold and people weren’t that nice. I want to make sure people feel how I wanted to feel. I felt like I could kickstart the school spirit environment which should be friendly and supportive. I want people to feel comfortable with who they are or what they like to do.” With deep conviction, he says he wants to offer representation of all students. “I think a lot of students from different backgrounds, or home lives, are afraid to do things. I want to encourage others to take more risks and put themselves out there.” Hunt is also a scholar who earned Spelling Bee

Champion the past two years at BCMS. He was the Faulkner County Spelling Bee runner-up in 2019-20 and was also named Middle School Student of the Year at BCMS. He is a Duke Tip recognized student who scored a 23 on the portions of the ACT offered at the middle school level. Beyond his peers, Hunt cares about his neighbors and demonstrated that at an early age. One morning when he was eight, he heard someone groaning. His bedroom was at the front of the house so he looked out and saw an elderly neighbor lying in her garage. “Ms. Watson fell while taking her trash out,” he said. “I set-off our alarm when I ran out to help her.” Sue Watson had broken her hip, was in pain and needed help. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the hospital. My dad said, “`You’re a hero!’ But I felt like I was just helping someone who needed it.” That day at lunch, news reporters came to his school for interviews. Later, then Mayor Tab Townsell proclaimed Sept. 22 as Caleb Hunt Day. The family stays in touch with Ms. Watson. His father, Greg, was the owner of Sandstone Real Estate Group until he passed away from colon cancer in 2015. “That really helped me understand even more the value of having an impact and building relationships with people while you can,” Hunt said. The young man attends Menifee Church of Christ with his mother and sister, Hannah. They have a dog named Belle who is a lab mix. He loves the small town feel in Conway and looks forward to life becoming “normal” again. “I love going to the movies,” he said. “I love shopping, when I have money. I really like to go to the fair and Toad Suck Daze. I’ve met some really good people at my school and plan on going with them to football and all of those things when we can.”

January 2021 | 23

Caleb Hunt's interests include music, sports and spelling bees.

By Stefanie Brazile


ayor Bart Castleberry has committed his professional life to service. For 32 years, he was a firefighter, serving as fire chief for two decades. Then he worked as Conway's director of permitting for three years before becoming mayor in 2017. In the City of Colleges, nearly 40 percent of the citizenry hold a bachelor's degree. It has a median age of 27. The population has doubled since the mid1990s to around 65,000 people, according to the city's website. "Although we've grown so much in the past few decades, we still have a small-town feel," Castleberry said. He believes the city's greatest strengths are the city employees and the community. As Castleberry leads Conway into the future, his vision for this year concerns: 1. Public safety. 2. To continue to improve transportation infrastructure for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. "We've paved over 100 miles of streets in the past four years, and we plan to continue to overlay more roads next year," he said. 3. To decrease congestion with the new roundabout at the intersection of Salem Road and Tyler Street, and to construct a new roundabout at the intersection of Hogan Lane and Highway 64. 4. To continue working to bring new jobs to Conway. "We need to make sure we provide a range of opportunities, so we have an economy that works for everyone," the mayor said.

Photo by Mike Kemp 24 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Conway Mayor

Bart Castleberry The visionary has long-range goals he'd like to accomplish over the next five years, including:

Castleberry is looking at transportation and land use along that corridor. He is looking for ways to work with partners like the Arkansas Department of Transportation to address traffic challenges.

• Continue improving transportation infrastructure through maintenance, improvement and new construction. "Proper maintenance is important so we spend our dollars effectively in the long run," Castleberry said. "If we don't properly maintain our existing transportation infrastructure, then we'll be on the hook for so much more in the future."

• Regarding land use, he is contemplating the areas where the city is likely to grow. "We need to be prepared to handle that growth in the best way possible," he said. "Key areas of interest include north of Interstate 40, southeast Conway, Hogan Lane and the areas near the projected route of the Conway Western Arterial Loop. At the end of the day, we want to create a city that makes everyone proud."

• The city plans to rebuild Salem Road from Dave Ward Drive to College Avenue. "This stretch of Salem Road is a great example of an improvement project because it's too narrow and doesn't have bike lanes and sidewalks," he said. "Connectivity is one of the central reasons why we've seen traffic congestion go down on certain roads despite the fact we've grown. It's because there are alternate means to get around. This helps to relieve the stress on corridors like Harkrider Street, Oak Street and Dave Ward Drive." He also plans to take advantage of grant opportunities because sometimes they can turn $1 into $5, Castleberry said. • Consider existing corridors and plan for their revitalization, including Oak and Harkrider Streets, which are key gateways into Conway.

• Investing in the quality of life is also on the mayor's radar as he works to develop the community to be a continued community of choice. "You can't make people live where they don't want to," he said. "Recreational amenities support strong economic development." The mayor said he is excited to see what the future holds for the new Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation facility, which is slated to open mid-2021 in a former steel plant, and is expected to create 130 new jobs. Castleberry said the city is currently in discussions with Conway Development Corporation and Conway Corporation about two additional employers that, "will bring a tremendous amount of opportunity to the people of Conway."

Jack Bell

Director of Conway Regional Airport By Stefanie Brazile

Jack Bell has served as director of the Conway Regional Airport at Cantrell Field for almost a year. Previously, he was the city’s chief of staff for 12 years. The airport opened in 2014 and is situated on a 431-acre site in southwest Conway known as Lollie Bottoms. It is a full-service general aviation airport with almost 70 based aircraft. General Aviation Airports are the largest group of airports in the U.S. According to the FAA: A GAA is a publicuse airport that does not have scheduled service or has scheduled service with less than 2,500 passenger boardings each year. The greatest strength of the operation is the people who work there, according to Bell. “A well-qualified staff is number one,” he said. “Also, we offer excellent facilities in a safe environment.”

Bell has a vision for growth in 2021, which includes these goals: 1. Complete the new bank of T-hangars. 2. Attract a maintenance operation for the airport. 3. Attract additional corporate customers.

Photo by Mike Kemp

Airport continued on Page 26 January 2021 | 25

Airport continued from Page 25

The leader is looking to the future and would like to accomplish these goals in the next five years: 1. Extend runway to 6000 feet. 2. Build an additional community hangar. 3. Build additional T-hangars. “Funding is always a challenge,” Bell said. “We are a selfsustaining entity and receive no general fund revenue, but flooding has been a bit of an issue in the past couple of years.”

26 | 501 LIFE January 2021

The community can support the airport and Bell would like to see more people involved. “Buy an airplane and learn to fly, or just come out for a visit,” he said. “We are very proud of our facilities and staff. We would also like for the public to know that the airport is an important economic engine for Conway and Faulkner County.” Air travel is not new to Conway. According to Bell, the original airport opened in 1928. It was managed by Mr. Dennis F. Cantrell from 1945-86, which explains the name Cantrell Field. About the time he finished four decades of leadership, the city began working to construct a new airport. Local, state and federal efforts paid off, funding was secured and the airport was completed in 2014.

Photo by Mike Kemp

Morrilton Mayor Allen Lipsmeyer has served as Mayor

of Morrilton for six years. Lipsmeyer is proud of the town which is the only one by that name in the United States. “Morrilton is a quaint, small town offering a great quality of life,” he said. “We’re a well-kept secret and there’s no question - our citizens are our greatest strength.”

Allen Lipsmeyer As a visionary, Lipsmeyer has his eye on three major targets this year. “Our top goals include continuing with our walkability plans and a pedestrian bridge across Harding Street near Morrilton High School; planning for and promoting the 2024 solar eclipse; and, the Wayland Holyfield Plaza Downtown.

Additional strong suits of this tight-knit community are:

A successful leader looks to the future and Lipsmeyer has set these five-year goals:

1. Morrilton is home to Petit Jean State Park.

1. Build a port off Arkansas Hwy. 9, near the Arkansas River Bridge.

2. The community offers fantastic public and private school options, as well as the University of Arkansas Community College.

2. Complete the little dam bridge project across the Arkansas River.

3. Five of the top employers are family-owned businesses.

3. To develop a mega-site with shovel-ready land to attract large businesses and more jobs for citizens.

By Stefanie Brazile Like other cities across Greater Central Arkansas, Morrilton has challenges to overcome. Lipsmeyer believes that the main challenge is attracting quality jobs for citizens. The mayor says that community members can help overcome this. “I see many of our citizens supporting our local entrepreneurs and I encourage our community to continue being entrepreneurial and supporting local,” he said. “This continued local investment in Morrilton is what will keep us strong.” Lipsmeyer is proud of what the city is accomplishing without raising taxes. “The city has invested $13 million in Morrilton over six years and has generated over $700 million in public and private investment without raising taxes.” January 2021 | 27

Photo by Mike Kemp 28 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Beaverfork Lake in Conway

Amanda Horton

Director of the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall By Stefanie Brazile

Amanda Horton has been the director of the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall for seven years. The state-of-the-art facility is a 1200-seat theater on the University of Central Arkansas campus that presents annual performing arts series with nationally and internationally acclaimed touring artists. It also hosts various other groups, such as student organizations, local performing artists and community events. The greatest strength of Reynolds Performance Hall is that it is part of a college campus that values the educational benefits, cultural experiences and power of performing arts. Along with the community, UCA students have access to many types of arts experiences, including the Reynolds season, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre and the Conway Symphony Orchestra, which are all located on campus. “The people of Conway and their love of the arts are also a big part of our success,” Ms. Horton said. “We live in a community that sees the arts as so much more than entertainment, but also an avenue for educational opportunities, cultural awareness and quality of life enrichment.”

Ms. Horton has a vision for Reynolds Performance Hall that includes: 1. To maintain a safe space for the arts to be performed and enjoyed. We have made many changes this year with the pandemic and will continue to diligently watch the health of our community and adjust to make sure that their needs are met when attending performances. 2. To present an exciting season and honor the commitments we have made to the touring artists. The pandemic has caused many of our shows to be postponed

because the artists are not able to tour. We have worked with these artists to move their show dates into the 2021-22 season. Artists have suffered financially by not being able to perform, but they have also had the opportunity to stay home and work on their craft. They will be eager to perform and I have no doubt they will produce spectacular shows. 3. Finally, to provide shows that will entertain, heal and inspire. Music, theatre and dance all have a special way of benefiting their viewers emotionally and physically. Many people have not been able to attend live performances in months and they are desperately missing this part of their lives. We can’t wait to have the opportunity to provide the arts to them again.

Her top goals for the next five years include: 1. The growth of our annual series is a major priority. In 2019, we celebrated our 20th anniversary and it was quite a milestone. We want to continue to grow by bringing in new, sensational artists. It’s also important that we bring in a diverse offering of artists that will appeal to the various segments in our community. For example, we recently presented our first sensory-friendly performance and many people attended the show who had never been in our hall. It was thrilling to see people who don’t always feel comfortable in a theater be given the opportunity to access the arts in a way that worked for them. 2. Our Main Stage Education Series serves students across Central Arkansas by providing opportunities for schools and home-school groups to see educational shows at Reynolds Performance Hall. We have continued this program on a smaller

scale with home-school groups, but schools have not been able to take field trips this year. We hope to strengthen and broaden this program when schools are able to travel to the theater. We plan on offering amazing shows, master classes with the artists and other hands-on opportunities for our students. 3. In 2019, we kicked off our campaign to raise money to fund a new endowment for our Main Stage Education Series. Despite the pandemic, we have raised 60 percent of the start-up funds needed for the account. We will continue to work toward raising this money to ensure that our students have access to professional artists at a minimal cost for years to come. Like many segments of society, the pandemic has put many artists’ revenue streams on hold because they can’t tour or perform. This does not just affect the performers, but also the technical staff, road crew, support teams and theaters that hire them. “It’s important that these artists find a way to perform in a safe environment,” Ms. Horton said. There are many ways that the community can help with the mission of the Reynolds Performance Hall, according to Ms. Horton. Purchasing tickets and attending events is a benefit for both the theater and the patron. Businesses in the community can also help by sponsoring performances or donating to the Main Stage Education Series Endowment Fund. “If you are not able to financially support, then you can help promote our shows by leaving us a good review, sharing or posting our posters and brochures in your businesses, telling your friends about us and sharing our social media posts.” For more information, visit: publicappearances January 2021 | 29

Photo by Mike Kemp

By Stefanie Brazile


erry Kimbrow has been president of Central Baptist College (CBC) for 16 years. Before that, he was vice president for advancement at the college for 11 years. CBC is a private, four-year liberal arts college owned and operated by the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas. CBC offers approximately 40 baccalaureate degree programs, 16 athletic teams that compete in the AMC conference of the NAIA, and six fine-arts performance groups. For more information about CBC, visit CBC is committed to transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment and their top goals for this year are:

1. Revision of our Strategic Plan and Campus Facilities Master Plan. 2. Increase awareness of the Professional Adult College Education (PACE) program. 3. Meet or exceed our student enrollment and fundraising goals. 30 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Terry Kimbrow

President of Central Baptist College Kimbrow has a vision for the college he has served for much of his professional life. His top goals for the next five years are:

financial aid process to see how affordable CBC is and find out what the CBC Experience is all about.” Individuals in the 501 can help the college by encouraging prospective students they know to consider CBC during their college 1. Continue to increase our academic search. It doesn’t cost anything to make a program offerings to meet the evercampus visit, which can be done either in changing demands of students. This person and virtually. One can also encourage includes the launch of a graduate degree the prospective students in their life to visit program. and schedule their Personal Campus Visit Experience. Prospective 2. Increase awareness of CBC by students can learn more about CBC at cbc. broadening the geographic footprint edu/whycbc. of both student recruitment and Other ways the region can help is by fundraising efforts. supporting a fundraising event next month 3. Expansion of our athletic facilities, that benefits scholarships. including securing land for new athletic On Feb. 20, the college will host its 2nd fields. Annual Scholarship Gala at the Conway 4. Grow enrollment through an increase Expo Center. The black-tie optional event in our new student population and will be a celebration of patriotism and faith, improved retention of current students. and will feature keynote speaker Ret. Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell, a survivor of the September 5. Development of a long-term plan of financial sustainability for the institution. 11 attack on the Pentagon. Proceeds from the event will benefit the CBC Scholarship Fund, Like other institutions of higher education, which supports all institutionally funded scholarships. CBC is working very hard to overcome CBC recently announced that they had the trend of declining enrollment. Much received a $400,000 matching gift from has been written about the impending “enrollment cliff,” but Kimbrow believes that an anonymous donor. This puts the 2021 CBC has something to offer that students and event goal at $800,000! To purchase single parents alike are searching for and calls it the event tickets or to make a one-time donation, which will be matched dollar for dollar, visit CBC Experience. Event sponsorships begin at “Our challenge is to reach prospective students and their families with the message $2,000. that they should consider Central Baptist College in their college search,” he said. Contact Amy Reed, Director of Development, at 501205-8934 or for more information. “Come for a campus tour, complete the

January 2021 | 31

Dr. David Burks at Harding University By Stefanie Brazile

get f ra m e d at

Pa t t e r s o n E y e C a re

2505 Donaghey, Ste 102 • Conway, AR


32 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Dr. David Burks has been in leadership at Harding University in Searcy for 33 years. From 1987 to 2013, he served as president and then accepted the role of Chancellor. With the recent retirement of the president, Burks has been named interim president while a committee searches for a permanent replacement. Harding is the largest private university in the state. It is affiliated with Churches of Christ denomination. Currently, 4650 students are enrolled at both the undergrad and graduate levels. There are numerous graduate programs in the Allied Health area, business and in education. The newest programs include physician’s assistant, pharmacy, physical therapy and Communication Sciences and Disorders. Students come from all 50 states and many foreign nations. Burks believes the university’s greatest strength is the commitment to the integrating of faith, learning and living.

The University is looking ahead and strategically planning to achieve these goals over the next five years: 1. Increasing enrollment opportunities for students through innovative programs and by placing priority enrollment opportunities at all levels. 2. Create, effective immediately, a new organizational unit called “Harding University Online” where we will offer programs to markets all over the U.S. 3. Start new programs to meet the needs of tomorrow’s students. 4. Partnering with business firms to create programs that specifically meet their needs.

Burks considers the greatest challenge they face to be one of their strengths. His goals for this year “We are going against the grain in terms of offering a distinctively Christian higher include: educational experience in an increasing 1. To create the best experience secular world,” he said. possible for students in this COVID-19 “We need the support of every person environment where students can possible to make our work possible,” the attend class in person and have as interim president said. “We want to join “normal” a relationship as they can with the community at large, not only possibly have and still be safe. in Searcy but throughout the state, in 2. Continue to provide a Christcentered education for every student producing graduates that truly make a difference in this world.” who is here.

Heber Springs’ Mayor Jimmy Clark has served the city for six years. He describes the area as a unique, vibrant community that attracts tourist, retirees, families and business from all over the nation. “Heber Springs has many strengths, but two are our natural beauty and our citizens,” Clark said. He has a vision for improvements this year which include street rehab, trails and the Sandy Beach project.

Additionally, Clark has a five-year plan that will address stormwater, sidewalks, beautification and trail completion. “Our citizens and leaders are committed to creating a healthy and sustainable future for the next generation,” he said. Clark hopes that citizens will keep working together for the greater good of all to continue the forward momentum of the community.

Heber Springs Mayor

Jimmy Clark


Just like you.

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January 2021 | 33


By: Don Bingham

Don Bingham

34 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Photo by Mike Kemp

Recognized throughout the state as an accomplished chef, Don Bingham has authored cookbooks, presented television programs and planned elaborate events.

Most of us spend time reflecting and

vision-casting during the month of January — maybe a little dieting thrown in the mix, as well! For me, it is a time of introspection, moving past regrets, and a time accessing the important things and how to encourage those around me. I also love reading, and the following quote from Samuel Davies (1723-1761) has guided me through the past years and will do so in 2021.

I have a peaceful study — a refuge from the hurries and the noise of the world around me. The venerable dead are waiting in my library to entertain me and relieve me from the nonsense of surviving mortals! Whether it's reading a magazine article, a recipe, a book, or Scripture — it’s so comforting to bring into focus those aspects of time and the new year that will propel me into hope and not despair. Listed below are ten of my choice “guideposts” that I must return to, not only at the beginning of every new year, but at the beginning of every new day!

Bean Soup

A new twist to hearty chicken soup. 1 fryer cooked, deboned 1 cup dried beans 5 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped carrots 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon catsup 1/2 teaspoon dried whole basil 1/2 teaspoon dried whole oregano

Sort and wash beans, place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water 2 inches above beans; let soak overnight. Drain beans and combine with 5 cups of chicken broth, celery, onion, carrots, parsley, a bay leaf, basil and oregano; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes, or until both are done. Add catsup and chicken; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Makes about 5 cups.



Chicken Salad

1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup white vinegar 1/2 cup salad oil 1/2 cup orange 1/2 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons honey

Toss salad ingredients with dressing; serve on lettuce leaf.

Hot Almond Tea

6 cups water 1 cup sugar Juice of 3 small, or 2 large, lemons 2 1/2 teaspoons almond-extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix well. Heat thoroughly in a non-metal pan. Do not boil. Serve hot.

Grilled Chicken Salad Cube or dice 2-3 cups cooked, grilled chicken Chop 1 bunch of green onions 2 stalks of diced celery 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds or pecans Water chestnuts, halved (optional)

1. We exist for God. 2. Our thoughts of God are too human (Luther). 3. Pray TO God, not AT God. 4. The Holy Spirit is God, too! 5. Keep confession up-to-date. 6. Cultivate silence. 7. Know experimentally the Omnipotence of God . 8. Read! 9. Worship! 10. Breathe. Whereas this “happy new year” message is more focused on valuable food for thought — I have included a few of my favorite recipes that will make a regular appearance on our family culinary table. Oh yes, and in conclusion, Happy New Year and we pray great hope for you in 2021! January 2021 | 35


C nnecting

d ts all the

Improving access to healthcare with Conway Regional’s new patient navigation center

By John Patton


onway Regional Health System provides complete healthcare services to a seven-county service area in North Central Arkansas. Conway Regional has been a part of the community for nearly 100 years and is centered on a 150-bed acute care medical center. As the community continues to grow, Conway Regional is also growing, supporting patients with new medical offices, more specialists, expanded access to care, and innovative services to ensure the needs of the community are met for years to come. For the community, Conway Regional recognizes that navigating healthcare can be challenging, especially during a pandemic. “One of our primary goals through COVID-19 has been to serve as a resource for our community,” said Matt Troup, president and CEO. “When 36 | 501 LIFE January 2021

COVID-19 reached Arkansas in March, we quickly established a call center to directly communicate with patients to answer questions and provide education on prevention, quarantine, and testing.” Inspired by the coordination of the COVID-19 call center, Conway Regional developed a comprehensive Patient Navigation Center. From supporting and extending provider offices to serving as a resource for patients with general requests, the Patient Navigation Center is focused on simplifying the process of navigating healthcare for patients, while increasing access to the appropriate care. “The COVID-19 pandemic challenged health systems across the nation. At Conway Regional, we do not run away from challenges; we run toward them,” Troup said. “The pandemic created additional opportunities for innovation—like establishing the new Patient Navigation Center that is closing a gap and connecting our patients

The Conway Regional Patient Navigation Center is helping the community access high-quality, compassionate healthcare services. Speak with a health system representative by dialing 501-506-CRHS (2747). Center hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the COVID-19 call center also being open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

to the care they need.” Leslie Mann, who oversees the Patient Navigation Center at Conway Regional, worked with a team to coordinate the development and implementation of the center. “We knew a lot of great work was happening within the organization to serve physicians, our patients, and our community, however, it was happening in a decentralized manner. So, the question became, ‘How do we bring everything together in a way that makes sense for our patients?’” With the patient experience in mind, staff throughout the health system began to identify the best way to bring together existing services, to imagine and create new services to meet patient needs, and to make accessing care within the health system as seamless as possible. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and non-clinical staff were recruited to bring the Patient Navigation Center to life. With this highly trained group of professionals now in place, the center is equipped to help patients in a variety of ways. When a patient does not have an established primary care provider, the center can help find a location to receive a flu shot, connect with a new family care provider or specialist, or even provide directions to an after-hours care location. The center’s staff can also assist patients who may have concerns about whether they should go to the ER for non-urgent care by evaluating their symptoms. The health system plans to continue growing the Patient Navigation Center, adding additional services in the coming months. “As we continue to reimagine healthcare at Conway Regional, we will continue adding services that help meet the needs of our community, while focusing on simplifying the process and improving access to highquality, compassionate care,” Mann said.

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Take the

Energy Smart Challenge I

t’s that time of year again. The holidays are officially over. We’re putting away the decorations and making lists of what we hope to accomplish this year. You can resolve to save energy and money in 2021 by participating in the Conway Corp Energy Smart Challenge. The challenge helps Conway residents make home energy upgrades easy and affordable. Customers can work at their own pace, choosing to start with small upgrades like replacing old light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs, or you can request a free energy audit from Conway Corp to identify goals and develop a tailored plan for your home. Zero percent interest loans from Conway Corp are even available for many upgrades, including attic insulation and appliances. No matter how large or small you start, saving energy is a resolution you can stick with that will save you money in the long run while making your home more comfortable too. Start with these five tips and put them into action in the next three months – you will definitely start to notice changes.Â

START USING POWER STRIPS Many electronic devices and equipment continue to consume unnecessary energy even when not in use. Often called energy vampires, these devices cost families more than $100 a year. Use a power strip for electronic devices and turn it off when not in use to eliminate energy vampires. And be sure to unplug your chargers – they draw energy even when they aren’t connected to a device. 38 | 501 LIFE January 2021

REPLACE INEFFICIENT LIGHTING About 10 percent of the energy your home uses goes to lighting costs. By replacing five of your home’s most frequently used lights with energyefficient ENERGY STAR bulbs, you can save $75 a year in energy costs. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs can yield as much as 75 percent energy savings and last six times longer. You can get even more energy savings, longer life span and less wasted heat by switching to ENERGY STAR LED bulbs.

UPGRADE APPLIANCES Installing and utilizing a smart thermostat can save you 15 percent or nearly $150 on your yearly utility bills, while switching to ENERGY STAR certified appliances can save nearly $750 over the lifetime of the item.Â

REDUCE WATER HEATING EXPENSE Water heating is a large energy expense in your home, accounting for about 14 to 18 percent of your utility bill. By taking low-cost steps, you can reduce your waterheating bill. Make sure your water heater is set to no higher than 120 degrees. Install low-flow showerheads or temperaturesensitive shower valves. Newer water heaters have more insulation than older ones. If your water heater is more than five years old, wrap a water heater jacket around it to stop heat loss from the tank.


Set an energy-saving goal that will both challenge you and serve as an attainable milestone to reach by year-end. Aim to reduce energy use by 5 percent or save $300 from last year. Whatever your goal – set it and work toward it. Once you’ve made the commitment, visit to officially sign up to take the Energy Smart Challenge and pledge to reduce your energy usage and footprint in 2021. You will find other ideas and tips for energy efficiency along with information on free residential energy audits and zero percent interest loans for qualified energy-efficient improvements. Customers who register to take the Energy Smart Challenge will be entered to win a $100 gift card to help with energy-efficiency improvements Beth around the home. Jimmerson The winner will be A long-time Conway selected by a random resident, Beth drawing in February. McCullough Jimmerson is the manager To schedule your for marketing and energy audit or learn communications for Conway Corp. She has more about the a bachelor’s degree zero-percent interest from the University of Central Arkansas and a loan program, call master’s degree from the 501.450.6000. University of Arkansas. She can be reached at beth.jimmerson@

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I think we can all agree that 2021 can’t come soon enough! Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions centered on becoming healthier. For some, it could be as small as just starting a new fitness journey altogether where the focus is on trying to be active a certain number of days each week. For others, it could mean building upon their existing fitness routine to achieve specific goals like finishing a half-marathon. Either way, achieving any fitness related goal will take hard work, dedication, and a plan, which is easier said than done.



to be

in 2021

To help you along the way, here are my top five tips to help you achieve your fitness goals in 2021:

Be realistic It’s easy to start the new year with tons of energy and ambitious goals, but being realistic will give you the best chance for success. Instead of making a goal to bike 20-miles every day before you have even purchased a bike, start by planning to take a spin class just three days a week for a month. With every small achievement, you are creating habits that will be easier to stick to and can help you begin to move your goals forward.

Find your passion One of the reasons I believe most people find themselves falling short of their fitness goals is because they haven’t found an activity that they truly enjoy. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still going to be days where you would much rather binge-watch the latest Netflix show than go workout! However, if you can find something you enjoy doing, it is going to be so much easier to get yourself off of that couch and into those sneakers. When you don’t dread your workouts, it is much easier to keep going!

Put it on your calendar By Jenn McCracken Wellness Programs Director, Asst. to the Athletic Director Hendrix College

40 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Scheduling out your week is something we are all used to doing. Staff meetings, kid’s practices, college courses and

the like can overwhelm our schedules. However, making time for you is just as important, if not more than, any other thing on your calendar! Having carved out a set time each day for exercise will make it much easier for you to stick to your goals.

Grab a friend Having a workout partner can not only make your workouts more productive and enjoyable, but it can also help make you more accountable. I love going on a jog by myself and listening to a favorite podcast, but there is something special about working out with a friend that helps me stay motivated. Knowing that you have someone pushing themselves alongside you can help you push just a bit harder!

Track your progress I am a paper calendar girl throughand-through, and I like to write out my mileage when I complete a run. I love looking back and seeing the progress I made throughout the year, as it helps to know that all of the hard work and time commitments I have made each week are paying off! I hope this helps you with whatever your fitness goals might be. Exercise is a great way to better your health, both physically and mentally. And lastly, know that you are not alone! Good luck, and here’s to a healthy and happy 2021!

Dr. Shaneil Ealy (from left), Cate McConnell, Crystal Kemp, Denise Perry, Vickie Crutchfield and Julie Goodnight (not pictured)

Women in Business 2020 Stories By Dwain Hebda

The Conway Area Chamber of

Commerce's ninth annual Women in Business Awards was held on Dec. 8 at Reynolds Performance Hall on the UCA campus. The award recognizes those who have excelled in leadership, community service and inspired others. The Chamber opened nominations to the public, and women executives outside Conway selected the award recipients. In addition to the awards, the ceremony featured an executive-level speaker. Arkansas native and CNN correspondent Jessica Dean spoke via Zoom. Then, five women were honored: Crystal Kemp of Conway Corporation was named the 2020 Diamond Achievement Award recipient. This award is presented to a woman with at least 25 years of professional experience who has inspired and empowered many generations. It also acknowledges

the positive impact her work has had on those in her profession and the community. Four individuals were named 2020 Outstanding Women in Business. The honorees embody high standards of excellence, dedication, and accomplishment in their respective organizations, industries and the business community. They include: Vickie Crutchfield of Arkansas Property Brokers, Julie Goodnight of Julie’s Sweet Shoppe, Cate McConnell of Smith Ford, and Denise Perry of Sandstone Real Estate Group. The 2020 Outstanding Woman in Nonprofit is Dr. Shaneil Ealy of UCA's Division of Outreach and Community Engagement. In the following pages, each lady is profiled, offering insight into the people and events that inspired her to become excellent in her profession and to give back .


January 2021 | 41

Diamond Achievement Award

Crystal Kemp F

or nearly 30 years, Crystal Kemp has been a vital part of the Conway business community. For 20 of those years, she’s been in marketing positions with Conway Corporation, moving into her current role of Chief Marketing Officer nearly three years ago. Besides being chosen as the Diamond Achievement Award honoree, she was recently named to Cablefax Magazine’s annual list of powerful women in the cable and internet industry for 2020. Kemp is featured in the marketing category of the publication’s “Most Powerful Women 2020” issue published Dec. 4. Cablefax Magazine provides coverage of business developments affecting the cable, broadband and digital markets. “The issue is filled with fearless leaders who have not only persisted, but have thrived during this challenging year. Many have helped others along the way,” Cablefax Editorial Director Amy Maclean said. When asked about her proudest moment during the pandemic, Kemp told Cablefax editors, “I am proud of how our teams rose to the occasion to serve our customers and one another while adjusting to a whole new way of delivering service. I have truly felt honored to serve our teams in any way I can -- going to work every day to make sure they had what they needed to be safe and to effectively serve our customers. It has been one of the most challenging and also rewarding of my leadership experiences.” Throughout her career, Kemp has placed a premium on leadership development, both for herself and in others. She is a 1995 graduate of the Faulkner County Leadership Institute, and with other alumni of the program, created the Faulkner County Youth Leadership Institute program, where she still serves as a session leader and committee member. “I loved being in that [Leadership Institute] class, but as we went through that experience, it occurred to us that you had to be at least 25 years old to go through the program,” she said. “We thought, what would happen if high school students were exposed to the things that we’re being exposed to in the community? We just felt like, as a class, that was something that we could do. “I don’t know what it is about the program, but I just love being involved with it. I still, now, all these 25 years later, volunteer with the program. It’s just been a great experience for me to see teenagers discover where they plug into our community.” Kemp’s other service work includes more than 18 years as a Girl Scout leader, and past and present seats on the boards of United Way of Central Arkansas and Conway Kiwanis Club. In the latter club, she earned Kiwanian of the Year in 2000 and served as the club’s first female president. Mentoring so many individuals, both professionally and through her community service work, has been particularly rewarding, Kemp said.

“I have several quotes hanging at my desk. One of them is from Shirley Chisholm that says, ‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.’ That’s something that I remind myself that it’s easy to get discouraged,” she said. “As a woman in business, sometimes you have to push, so surround yourself with people that can help you with that and encourage you to do that. And, don’t be afraid to bring your folding chair.”

Photo by Mike Kemp 42 | 501 LIFE January 2021

THANK YOU FOR INSPIRING US EVERY DAY conway corp congratulates


Powering Conway since 1929.


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| | | 43 January 2021

Vickie Crutchfield

2020 Outstanding Women in Business Honoree very methodical and he also schooled us A real estate professional for more to learn about lenders, title companies,

than 25 years, Vickie Crutchfield is a well-known and respected figure in the local business community. In addition to serving countless clients with care and concern, she’s also been a driving force in the local real estate industry overall. “I've loved almost every minute of my career in this business,” she said. “It's been a great ride.” Crutchfield learned the ropes of real estate early via her parents who were in the residential construction business in Texas. Once Vickie got her general contractors license, her parents made her a partner in the family firm, Hudson and Hudson Builders. Together, they built “green” homes before it was popular under the motto “A Family Building Homes for Families.” She remembers that time as a great learning experience. “My dad was always way ahead of his time,” she said. “A true entrepreneur, he set me up with building our last house for the company so he could watch what I did to make sure I understood the process. He fired me three times.” Vickie’s father always wanted her to become a real estate professional, but passed away before he knew she’d become one in Arkansas. In his place, she found another essential mentor who helped her earn her wings. “Hands down, my role models were my dad and mom, but my first broker, Dick Longing, was the best person ever to train me and be my mentor,” she said. “He was

inspectors and vendors. He and his wife Janie were always there to support us. I really owe my success to them for giving me a firm foundation in real estate.” Crutchfield has repaid that mentorship several times over by serving her industry, up-and-coming real estate professionals and the community at large. She’s mentored several peers in their formative stages to encourage them to achieve success as owners of their own businesses. Under her leadership of the Faulkner County Board of Realtors, the Community Charity Committee took shape. Today, that body recognizes a local charity with a monetary gift each year, allowing local Realtors® to give back to the community that keeps them in business. “My advice for anyone going into the business, and not just young women, is to choose a real estate agency that has a follow-up education program after your initial required hours by ARA and the Real Estate Commission,” she said. “My best advice is to love your profession so it can take you through the highs and the lows a real estate career throws at you.” Outside of work, Crutchfield devoted time over the past 10 years to the Friends of the Faulkner County Animal Shelter initiative, which works to rescue and transport animals and has a goal of building a shelter to serve the needs of Faulkner County.

Photo by Mike Kemp



To d ay • To m o r row • To g e t h e r

WWW.UACCM.EDU | 501-977-2000

44 | 501 LIFE January 2021

 Financial Aid and Scholarships  2+2 Plans For Transferring Credits  Hands-On Training in Modern Labs  Comfortable, Nurturing Environment

Denise Perry

2020 Outstanding Women in Business Honoree

Photo by Mike Kemp


ducation has always been central to Denise Parry’s career, whether it’s teaching fourth grade at Ellen Smith Elementary School for over 16 years, educating prospective buyers and sellers as a realtor with the first minority-owned real estate company in the area or, as executive broker, training and mentoring fellow agents, helping them achieve their goals and serve clients. “At the beginning of my real estate career and throughout, I took every opportunity to learn from my brokers, the late Greg Hunt, Korry Garrett, and Rhonda Bletsh,” she said. “And, I received my broker training from the National School of Real Estate under Stephanie Guinn.” “During these past 11 years, I've tried to soak in as much knowledge in real estate as

I could. Every transaction that I work and every time I get to assist a fellow agent is a learning opportunity. I want to be the best Realtor® and executive broker I can be.” Perry said another indispensable part of her professional training came from her parents, who taught her by example the lessons of a strong work ethic and overcoming obstacles to reach and exceed goals. “My mom was a teacher for almost 30 years and my dad retired from Kimberly Clark Corporation,” she said. “They provided a wonderful life for my brother and I, while always encouraging us to be college graduates and provide for our families. I appreciate the examples that they set and I can't thank them enough for

the Christian foundation they provided.” Perry said being recognized as an Outstanding Woman in Business is all the sweeter for having built a career from the ground floor at such a landmark company. “I love being a part of the largest minority-owned real estate company in Central Arkansas. I'm very proud of the company we are continuing to become. The sky's the limit of what we can be,” she said. “I’m so honored and grateful to be chosen as one of the Outstanding Women in Business 2020. Being named into this group of distinguished women is beyond belief, it’s pretty darn awesome.” Perry continues to pursue her passion for providing for the artistic, academic and professional development of others. She volunteers with the Reynolds Performance Hall Community Council’s Main Stage Education Series, which offers educational performances to local students throughout the school year. She serves on the Conway Corporation Board of Directors, the first African-American woman to do so, and sits on the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee. Her advice to the next generation: Show faith in yourself and others will follow suit. “The advice I would offer younger women in business is to always believe that you can accomplish your goals with hard work and the right opportunities,” she said. “Preparation is the key; you can have the perfect opportunities, but if you aren't prepared, success will be difficult. Hard work and consistency will pay off if you have a vision and surround yourself with good people that want to see you succeed.”

January 2021 | 45

Cate McConnell

2020 Outstanding Women in Business Honoree Cate McConnell said she never imagined she’d one day return to take over the family business her greatgrandfather started more than a century ago. Now, as office manager for Smith Ford, she says she can’t imagine a career anyplace else. “I have been coming to Smith Ford since I was a little girl, since both of my parents work here, so part of me has been preparing for this job forever,” she said. “With Conway and Central Arkansas’s continuing growth, there are so many opportunities for women to thrive in all businesses. I am so glad that I have been here for over 10 years.” As office manager, McConnell assists with countless aspects of the dealership and is known for always projecting a positive attitude, whether it be in leading her team or working with customers to provide them quality service. Her work ethic and attention to detail are things she learned at the elbow of several valuable mentors growing up. “I am very fortunate to have had a lot of role models within my family,” she said. “My mother has worked for as long as I can remember; she had a career and raised a family. I think my brother and I turned out pretty good. “Also, hearing the stories about my great-great grandmother Ellen Smith would inspire anyone. She was the first woman elected to the school board and has an elementary school named after her. I am told Ellen would go to the schools to make sure all the students had enough food. She would even make soup and bring it to the children.” In addition to her work responsibilities, McConnell also learned the value of community service from her long line of mentors. She has ensured Smith Ford continues its support of local initiatives by providing support and auction items to local schools, churches and hospital fundraisers. She and her family also support the United Way of Central Arkansas and she has served on the boards for both United Way and the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. Between her professional success and active community service schedule, McConnell has continued her family tradition of being a a mentor and role model for others in the business community, particularly women. She said the secrets to success are as relevant today as they were in her great-great grandmother’s day. “Being a woman in business can be hard sometimes, but it is very rewarding,” she said. “Be sure to always stay true to yourself and work hard. Having a great work ethic will help you succeed in any business. I worked at a trucking company after college and learned how to work with all different types of people.” “It is such an honor to be chosen for this award from among all of the wonderful business women we have here in Central Arkansas. There are so many wonderful deserving women in business in our area it makes this honor even more exciting.” 46 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Photo by Mike Kemp

January 2021 | 47

Julie Goodnight

2020 Outstanding Women in Business Honoree On any given morning, Julie’s Sweet Shop is humming with activity.

Photo by Mike Kemp

Regulars chat up current events as the smell of coffee and fresh-baked goods fills the air. It’s more than a business, it’s an entire community, which is exactly what owner Julie Goodnight envisioned for the beloved bakery. “My daily regulars, also known as my ‘Bakery Dads’ are my biggest fans,” she said. “They motivate me to be the best person I can be. Much love is shared in our daily conversations together, including them sharing their wisdom with me, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.” Fellowship is just one menu item that Goodnight has perfected in the course of her bakery career, her skill in the kitchen being equally legendary as she turns out one delicious creation after another. Julie’s passion for perfection is contagious and she spends countless hours behind the scenes to inspire and mentor her team, always holding those around her to a high standard of excellence in their professional and personal lives. “In 34 years, a lot of people have taken the time to invest in me,” she said. “They’ve all shared their experiences and guided me throughout my early years helping me to grow into the bakery girl I am today. “My advice for younger women in business is to set your goals high, stay strong in your faith and never give up on your dreams.” In the more than three decades she’s been in the bakery business, Goodnight was inspired and tutored in her bakery work life by her father and grandmother, hard-working, dedicated employees of Kohler’s Bakery in North Little Rock. Later, she was mentored by legendary cake decorators Delila Reed and Barbara Martin of the landmark Simons Grocery. While few can match her well-honed technical aspects of her craft, the true joy of her work is being included in her customer’s special events “I love the customers for whom I’ve made their wedding cake, then made their children’s and grandchildren’s cakes and wedding cakes,” she said. “That’s a very rewarding part of what I get to do every day.” Goodnight passes along the good vibes through her work supporting various community organizations. She’s devoted countless hours and baked goods to local groups such as Soul Food Café, Bethlehem House, Haven House and Blackbird Collective. As well, her Veterans Day celebration, held annually for the past 20 years, is the stuff of legend. Her selection as an Outstanding Woman in Business has been met with customary humility (“I was totally shocked,” she said) and is considered the icing on the cake for a woman who has made a career out of serving others. “I have a great family who stands behind me in all bakery decisions, which makes my world a lot easier to handle,” she said. “I’ve only known bakery work for the last 34 years and I’m still going strong. Best life ever.”

201 Skyline Drive in Conway Towne Centre • 501-205-4301

48 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Photo by Mike Kemp

Outstanding Woman in Nonprofit

Dr. Shaneil Ealy

When asked her reaction over having been named the 2020 Outstanding Woman in Nonprofit, Dr. Shaneil Ealy confessed to being taken aback by the honor. “I was busy nominating other deserving women when I got the message that I myself had been nominated,” she said. “I was completely shocked and humbled to even be nominated. In fact, I’m still processing the fact that I actually won.” Ealy, a Conway native, holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Arkansas, a Master of Business Administration from UCA and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas Little Rock. She has been a valued member of the University of Central Arkansas team for the past 17 years, climbing through the ranks to the role of associate vice president. Ealy continued on Page 50



Ealy continued from Page 49

“I fell in love with higher education more than 17 years ago and it actually chose me as a career,” she said. “I am so blessed to have a meaningful career in outreach and am fortunate to work alongside some brilliant individuals who are passionate about our community.” In her role, she leads her team in the Division of Outreach and Community Engagement to interact daily with the next generation of community leaders, providing them the tools they need to compete and excel. “Outreach connects the campus with the community and we empower people, both young and seasoned, through customized training, coding programs and online certifications,” she said. “We mobilize our students to make an impact in our community through service learning and volunteerism. We equip community leaders with the resources they need to create vibrant communities and we provide full-service event planning. Our work is significant and relevant to the needs of our university and community, not to mention quite fulfilling.” The responsibilities that fall under Ealy’s professional umbrella seamlessly overlap with the many community initiatives to which she devotes her time, both personally and professionally. She holds leadership roles for the Conway Area Youth Leadership Institute, Conway Downtown Partnership, Minority Business Task Force and Conway Public Schools Foundation, to name a few entities that have benefited from her experience and expertise.

50 | 501 LIFE January 2021

One initiative that holds special meaning for her is the UCA Women’s Leadership Network, of which she is a founder. Through this group, Ealy has shown a personal commitment to advocating for others, connecting people with resources and like-minded mentors, elevating the student experience and investing in her community. “I am so grateful to be in a position and serve in a university that recognizes the importance of diversity and allows me to fulfill my passion of elevating, empowering and embracing women through our Women's Leadership Network,” she said. “I hope to create a legacy of ‘leadHERship’ along this journey.” To top things off, Ealy is also a successful businesswoman, owner of two diesel repair companies in Conway and Little Rock with her husband.

“My advice to young women in business is, ‘You are enough,’” she said. “Don't ever dim your light for others. Take the shot!”

501 KIDS



Age: Age: 9/4th Grade. Favorite subject: Art. Grace enjoys

painting anything and drawing L.O.L. and O.M.G. Dolls.

Family: Mom and Dad. Favorite snack: Doritos. Most cherished possession: A nesting doll collection.

Other interests include: Taking piano and ukulele at Conway Institute of Music. Grace is also part of the Quitman 4H Club in Cleburne County. Through 4H, she enjoys working with a variety of animals, especially Blue Rosecomb bantam chickens and dairy goats.

ooming Grace gr


ry Rosema



Conway Regional, UACCM announce new scholarships for nursing students

Photo submitted by Conway Regional

52 | 501 LIFE January 2021

The new UACCM Nursing Scholarship

Partnership created to aid with nurse recruitment and retention.

Program will provide financial aid opportunities to students pursuing education in nursing with the UACCM Practical Nursing Program. This partnership will award up to six licensed practical nurses (LPN) students with scholarships over the next three years with each student selected receiving $2,500 in financial aid per semester, for three semesters. “Conway Regional is proud to invest in the future of healthcare to ensure the communities we serve are provided highquality, compassionate care for many years to come,” said Matt Troup, President and CEO for Conway Regional. “This partnership will aid students seeking nursing education within our community, giving them valuable clinical experience at Conway Regional, while addressing the critical nursing shortage facing healthcare organizations across the country.” The Chancellor is also positive about the new program. “UACCM is grateful to Conway Regional Health System for the wonderful

partnership opportunity with our Nursing Department,” said Lisa Willenburg. “This partnership affords practical nursing students with the opportunity to defray costs of the nursing program and have guaranteed employment after graduation with a regional leader in healthcare. This is a great example of working together to remove barriers students face while increasing partnerships between education and healthcare for the benefit of all.” Students will also have the opportunity to work in “pool float” medical assistant positions at Conway Regional while completing the LPN program. This will allow them to learn the electronic medical records (EMR) system; Conway Regional policies and procedures; the mission, vision, and values; and to become accustomed to the work culture before they finish school.

Interested students should contact UACCM at 501.977.2000.

January 2021 | 53


Different nows, Different thens When people are musing about “living

in the future,” I want to interject that I AM living in the future! Now, I realize there is another future beyond today, but I wish I could just sit and watch it go by. How will we, our city and area of the state appear in the future? Again, the future is relative to those whose future we are addressing. To a 5-year-old, technology will be business as usual. To those who are “long-in-the-tooth,” it may be intimidating. Someday the 5-year-old will feel the same! John P. Townsend, a descendant of Faulkner County pioneer families, was born in the Cadron Gap community in 1902. When he wrote his book, “As I Remember ...” in 1988, he said that Conway had changed drastically in his 86 years. “My earliest remembrance of Conway is of Front Street as a muddy lob-lolly in fall and winter. I have seen horses and mules sink half-way to their knees in the stiff mud there,” he said. He stated that there were four grocery stores on Front Street that sold dry goods, clothing, and shoes. With our agricultural economic base, feed and farm implements were sold on credit, with balances to be paid when crops were in. There were wagon yards where county residents could sleep after doing business, which was usually selling cotton and buying home needs. Their horse or mule teams were provided water and feed. The next day, the individuals or families would wind their way many miles to their rural homes. There were two hotels, the Laman on North Street and the Hotel DeHines on Railroad Avenue, now Parkway and Main streets. Employees would meet the trains and “holler” [drum up business] for their establishments, then either carry bags and escort guests to their hotel or have a two-horse rig to haul guests and luggage. Among other businesses were butcher shops, a harness shop, three cotton gins, and an ice plant. There was even a “picture show” called the “Arkway” on Front and Smith streets. Admission was an ample54 | 501 LIFE January 2021

sized potato or an egg. Townsend included in his memories the early Faulkner County fairs, the firefighting system, the town’s patriotic celebration of the end of World War I, and hunting raccoons, commonly known as 'coon hunting. As Townsend wrote about the early local scenes, he said, “Looking at Conway today [1988] you can hardly believe these conditions ever existed.” I well remember 1988, and some of us know we Two raccoon hunters display their pelts in Faulkner can hardly believe the County circa 1900. Photo courtesy of UCA Archives. city’s changes since then! Until about 1990, changes known up to now will be different 10 or 20 came at a steady pace and you years from now. The future does not wait, could see them coming a little at a time. and I have found that no one asks you how The 1990s saw acceleration in some you want it. things and deceleration in things that had My own future in the 501 will also be formerly solidified the culture of our town that which is brought about tomorrow and and nation. In the 2000s, our culture was all of those after. Even at a “petty pace,” it hit by what felt like the Union Pacific’s “Big will be fine with me. I’ll just sit here and Boy” No. 4014 steam locomotive and it watch my birds and talk to my plants while didn’t even slow down to grab the mail bag I wait to hear a mighty shout and God’s off a hook. We became a city. Cotton was first-chair trumpet player. I hear he’s been gone and our factories would be next. Suddenly, if you didn’t take typing under practicing a lot lately. Mrs. Tilley or Mrs. Black in high school, you were out of luck unless you learned later to hunt and peck at a computer keyboard. Eventually, it didn’t matter if you used to make boots, billfolds, brooms, or buses in our local factories -- your future was in dealing with numbers, computers, and keyboards and doing too much sitting. Remember when it was important to study Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” in high school and we had to memorize the words spoken by Scottish General Macbeth? “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day… .” What we have

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@


A vision for success By Laurie Green

L-R Laurie in Jan., 2020, at 302lbs By the end of December, she plans to reach her 100 lb. goal for 2020.

Well, folks, it looks like we made it to another new year. Welcome to January 2021. I honestly can’t tell you how many years I have been waiting to have the opportunity to write an article in our January issue and share with all our readers that I finally had success with my weight-loss journey, but every year would arrive and I would weigh exactly the same, if not more than I did the previous year. However, we all know 2020 was a crazy time, and I guess it only makes sense that it would finally be the year for me to succeed. After all, it was only a struggle of more than 25 years. I say 25 years because that is how old my first set of twins are, and I have used that as my constant excuse for having a weight problem … yes, even all these years later. The truth is that weight isn’t even really an issue for a lot of people, but for me it was a major physical and mental setback. As a spiritual person, I would even call this a stronghold over my life. In fact, at the end of 2019 I had once again wrangled my friend Shelia into leading a small group called “Made to Crave” that I can honestly say (short of making some wonderful friendships) was what I considered a complete failure. We all enjoyed each other’s company, but none of us seemed to figure out that magic moment of actual weight loss. But it should come as no surprise to me that God is always at work in our lives even when we don’t see it and we can’t feel it. Even without any weight-loss success that semester, there was something I read that really seemed to stick and started changing me ever so slowly. It was that God never intended for us to want anything more than we wanted Him. If I was happy, I ate. If I was sad, I ate. If I was angry, I ate. Never once in those moments did I go to God first. I ALWAYS went to the fridge first. I knew that was something that needed to change. Now while I would like to tell you

it was that simple, it really wasn’t. It has been a long, slow journey, but for the first time in my life, it has been a successful one. In January of 2020, my regular doctor retired, which left me on a search for a new primary care physician. That is when I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Michael Carson at Baptist Health in Conway. On my first visit, I was so embarrassed to weigh in at 302 pounds. I will never believe it was anything short of a blessing from God to have found him as my new doctor. Dr. Carson assured me that we could get this weight off and I could lose 100 pounds if I would follow this new lifestyle journey. Seriously, I had so many doubts and I was so skeptical, but what did I have to lose other than a lot of weight? Like I mentioned earlier, God is ALWAYS at work in our lives whether we seem to notice it or not, and the fact that I was learning to crave time with Jesus more than time with a plate of nachos was proof of that. Fast forward to the end of 2020 as I am writing this, and I want to share with you two things. First, I have said it so many times, but God is so good and He is so faithful. Whatever it is in your life that gets first place above Him, I encourage you to start rearranging that. We will always crave what we focus on, we will always consume what we think about, and what we think about can consume us if we aren’t careful. You will never regret seeking a relationship with Jesus. Second, I have officially lost 93 pounds, and I believe that I will have reached my goal of losing 100 pounds by the time this article goes to press! I definitely want to encourage you to find the people who will help you and encourage you. There is a path to success, but it does take having a vision, and for me, I believe it takes learning to crave time with Jesus FIRST before food. It’s a new year and this definitely can be your season for success!

January 2021 | 55

Roots & Refuge WRITING

Susan Peterson Susan Peterson holds a PhD in education and taught at the University of Central Arkansas and Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She retired in 2004 and now spends her time doing artwork (painting and pottery). She is interested in literacy and is a member of the Arkansas Literacy Association.

Jessica Sowards had two childhood

dreams - to live on a farm and to write a book. She didn’t know that accomplishing the first dream would provide her entry to achieving the second. Jessica’s first dream came true about seven years ago when she and her husband, Jeremiah, bought a foreclosed property on 5 acres near Vilonia. She admits she had an “idyllic” version of what raising animals and homesteading would be like and says she had no idea how much she had to learn. Jeremiah was more experienced, having 56 | 501 LIFE January 2021

grown up on a farm. Jessica, who grew up in Sherwood, only had fond memories of her mother’s backyard garden and her grandfather’s home-grown tomatoes. But she knew she was destined to live the farm life. While other girls were reading fashion magazines, she preferred browsing farm catalogs or reading books about goats. After moving to the farm, which they named Roots and Refuge, Jessica continued her work as a portrait/birth photographer while Jeremiah worked fulltime in the ministry. In addition, they found

time to homeschool their blended family of six children. But when their son was diagnosed with food allergies, she became even more motivated to provide a direct farm-to-table experience. Growing produce and raising goats, chickens, alpacas, pigs, and bees isn’t easy. Despite all the work and her steep learning curve on how to run a modern-day homestead, Jessica remained optimistic. It was that optimism and passion that led her to start a YouTube channel, Roots and Refuge Farm. She wanted to share her

successes and the lessons she learned by regularly posting videos, or vlogs. Almost overnight, their online garden tours became a success, garnering thousands of hits a day. Jessica credits this to the fact that gardeners are patient people and are willing to spend 30-plus minutes with her. But her fans will credit Jessica - her broad, dimpled smile, her unaffected presence, and the genuine way she shares her innermost thoughts, feelings, and doubts. She makes the mundane extraordinary. Her family interactions are real. And she wants you to love gardening as much as she does. About four years ago, YouTube took notice of the site’s numbers and they promoted it, which then allowed the couple to work full-time on the homestead. Today, Roots and Refuge Farm has nearly half a million subscribers from around the world, making Jess and Jeremiah homestead celebrities. The catalogs she once poured over now have her picture in them. And that dream of writing a book? It’s about to come true. Over a year ago, Cool Springs Press approached Jessica to see if she might be interested in writing for their First-Time Gardener series. Jessica told them her intent would be to provide encouragement to new gardeners and help them find their own path. It was exactly what the company was looking for, and they negotiated a contract over the phone. Working with Makenzie Evans, a photographer and friend from Conway, Jessica finished the 176-page manuscript and sent it off on Aug. 1. Since then, three editorial revisions have been made, with her final approval given in October. “The First-Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables” is set to release on Feb. 2. The tag line for the book reads, “All the know-how and encouragement you need to grow - and fall in love with! – your brand-new food garden.” Pre-orders on Amazon numbered in the thousands by mid-October. “I never dreamed when we started all this that we would be where we are today,” Jessica said. They get feedback from around the world and have a huge following in Australia. She most enjoys hearing the success stories of others due to a tip or trick they learned from her. You can find out more about this incredible success story on their Instagram account @roots_and_refuge, website, Facebook page, or the Roots and Refuge Farm channel on

Jessica Sowards is living out her dreams in Vilonia and has written a book about the farmto-table lifestyle for first time gardeners that will release Feb. 2. She also has nearly half a million subscribers on YouTube.





Perfect For Any Event!

2235 Dave Ward Drive - Conway, AR (Across from UCA)

(501) 710-6677 January 2021 | 57

501 KIDS

Understanding your child’s symptoms this winter By Kellie Bishop

Enjoy the Ride!

With Shelter’s great rates and personal service, you can sit back and enjoy the ride!

Roe Henderson

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



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

58 | 501 LIFE January 2021


he winter months are often known in the medical world as “sick season.” Although illnesses happen all year, we tend to see certain illnesses most commonly in the winter. There tend to be larger group gatherings as most of the major holidays are in the colder months. In addition, people are often inside more than outside due to the cold temperatures. When people are inside talking, coughing, and sneezing, it is much easier for illness to spread. It is anticipated by many that this winter may see significantly fewer of the common illnesses due to people wearing masks and practicing social distancing. However, it is still important to understand some of the major differences between the common winter illnesses so you will know how to properly treat your children and yourselves. It is difficult during a pandemic to differentiate common illnesses from the major focus of the medical world, so let’s examine the common COVID-19 symptoms in relation to the most commonly seen winter illnesses.

As you can see, most common winter illnesses are caused by viruses, so they do not require antibiotics and treatment is typically symptomatic. Asthma and seasonal allergies are conditions that are not caused by a specific organism but rather reactions in the body to an outside factor. It is important to identify and avoid triggers for asthma and allergies. Additionally, take medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Strep throat does typically require antibiotics in children and adults over the age of 2 years, so if you feel you may have strep throat, it is advisable to see your healthcare provider. The symptoms for these common illnesses do tend to overlap, so if you are concerned you or your child may need testing or advanced treatment, consult your healthcare provider. Prevention is key in remaining healthy. It is crucial to wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with other people who are experiencing ill symptoms. Avoid touching your face. Current guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic include wearing facial coverings and practicing social distancing, which also help prevent the spread of other common winter illnesses. Finally, make sure you drink an adequate amount of water each day and get an appropriate amount of sleep. I hope this information may help you seek appropriate treatment for you and your family this winter.

Raising kids who are

visionaries By Brittany Gilbert

I don’t know any parent who doesn’t

want their children to grow up to be considerate adults who thoughtfully contribute to the world. However, I do believe that it takes intentional effort on parents’ behalf to raise kids who are true visionaries. I’m thankful to know people like this — people who are thoughtful in the way they raise the next generation of world changers. I reached out to my friends Jon and Trina Mitchell and received some great advice. “The first thing is that we always encourage our kids to explore and chase after their passions and interests,” Jon said. “We don’t make judgments on how useful or how lucrative it’ll be in their future.” I love watching the Mitchell family put this into practice, even recently. Their oldest son is a young teen and has shown an interest in all things horses. He’s been exposed to horses and the rodeo all of his life through extended family, but in the last few years, his passion has grown and his parents have seen it and encouraged him to work hard for this dream. “We don’t have to personally identify

or have an interest in what our kids are interested in to support and encourage them in it,” Jon said. He admits that he and Trina personally know very little about horses and rodeo sports, but they love seeing their son’s passion and initiative towards it, so they encourage him. We probably all know someone who encouraged their child in a sport or other area because it was their passion growing up only to find that their child isn’t interested in it and really would love pursuing a different dream. This is a huge part you can play as parents in your children’s lives. It’s really difficult to contribute to the world in a meaningful way when your heart isn’t really in it. “Don’t chase the big paycheck,” Jon said. “Instead, do what inspires you and makes you feel alive, and eventually the money will follow.” Jon and Trina own an amazing coffee shop, Zeteo, in Conway, and they tell this advice to their young employees as well. I can say this is true of the Mitchell family, too. They had a dream to start a coffee shop that gives back, and after several years and so much work, they are living

that dream with a full realization that the hard work and the dreaming never stops. “I heard a minister say something recently that resonated with me when it comes to guiding your kids in their future,” Jon said. “He said, ‘Seek God until you know what he’s called you to do, and prepare to do that.’ How do you know if you’re getting the right education if you don’t know what you’re called to do?” Encourage your kids to not avoid failure or fear. “Failure isn’t a result or destination as much as it’s input or information on how to do or not do something based on goals,” Jon said. There wouldn’t be so many songs and pieces of advice saying “pick yourself up and try again” if there wasn’t a lot of truth in this statement. Kids who aren’t afraid of failure are likely to become adults who know the value of hard work and how to succeed despite setbacks. As parents, we want so much for our kids and their future, but one of the best things we can do is teach them how to pursue their unique interests and dreams through hard work and dedication. Then, allow them to fail so they can learn how to succeed.

January 2021 | 59

Perry County: Jim Magie 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 halfcentury in education. His doctoral dissertation at Duke treated literature and sports.

He officiated more athletic contests than anyone else in the history of The Natural State, and emerging over the decades came a growing recognition of his competence, integrity, and professionalism. James Ralph “Jim” Magie cultivated an excellence in officiating respected in all regions of Arkansas. Clearly, he was an asset to athletics to be remembered for generations to come. B

orn on Feb. 2, 1941, in Bigelow, he was one of three boys parented by R.H. “Spot” Magie, a gas company employee, and Helen Stout Magie, a nurse. The family shared an interest in athletics, and Jim proved to be a good baseball and basketball player in his early years and at Bigelow High before graduating in 1958. Before graduating, he is rumored to have gained a taste of what he was to enjoy in abundance years later: umpiring a baseball game at age 16. Mid-century found him enrolled at Arkansas Tech for two years. Yet most of his post-high school education came after August of 1961 and during his almost 40 years with the United States Corps of Engineers (USCE), many of them spent in Mountain Home. Jim earned dozens of certificates of proficiency and achievement in his steady rise from a temporary appointment as a scales man to a career appointment as a construction inspector and to posts as a ranger or civil engineer tech and, finally, as a facility manager. Initially, his duties had him laboring on projects like the building of Toad Suck Dam, completed in 1970. During his last 13 years, he oversaw the operations and maintenance of one of the state’s most valuable natural resources, the magnificent Bull Shoals Lake, widely admired as a “little piece of Heaven on earth.” Six years after joining the USCE, Jim gained membership in the Arkansas Officials Association (AOA) and launched his officiating career, working basketball games. Within seven years, he added two other sports to his officiating assignments: baseball in 1970 and football in 1974. After 1982, girls’ softball also gained his umpiring time. While it is impossible to specify the number of contests Jim officiated during his more than half a century with the AOA, the estimate from Kristy Clark of the Arkansas Activities Association represents an informed guess: “Jim Magie worked thousands of games.” His schedule usually had him officiating four nights a week, but more than once, he was “busy 24-7,” explained Bonnie Magie, his widow. Ultra-demanding periods often resulted from “freebies,” games he officiated without monetary compensation, simply to satisfy unexpected needs. Particularly after his first decades, he also observed--not officiated--many a contest at the request of the AOA or a less-experienced colleague trying to improve techniques. In short, Jim gradually came to be known as both a model and a mentor. Reliability, affability, and cordiality were key in his personality, and in the words of Craig Neumeier, a long-time coach and official, he could be counted on to provide “a fair shake,” while “never upset … [and always as] cool as he could be.” Neumeier also voiced a belief shared by several colleagues: “Jim was very knowledgeable of the rules of all of the sports he officiated.” 60 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Even more noteworthy was his uncanny skill at defusing explosive situations. Danny Keeter, a friend from boyhood who officiated countless baseball and basketball games with him, proclaimed Jim the “best I’ve ever seen at handling situations. He knew people and what to say” to calm players and fans alike. But life was painful, too. On Jan. 27, 1981, he lost his only son in an automobile accident. Jim was shattered. Jamie was all that his father had hoped he would be, a multi-sport high school performer, a promising football player at Arkansas Tech. The sting of the tragedy never left Jim. He persevered, however, and immersed himself in his responsible USCE post and his still-expanding schedule with the AOA. His reputation continued to grow as an official who worked a game not for “a check and a hot dog” but out of love for sports and youth, girls as well as boys. His retirement from the USCE in 1999 did not end his officiating. Returning to Perry County, he continued to call games until failing health forced his retirement in March of 2018. Three years earlier, he had received the highest honors available to an Arkansas official: the Billy Ply Award and induction into the Arkansas Officials Hall of Fame. He succumbed to cancer three months after calling his final contest.

Perry County and the 501 are proud to claim Jim Magie, sports official extraordinaire.



501 LIFE is once again profiling noteworthy athletes, men and women 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. This is the seventh of 11 installments in the fourth “Celebrating athletic excellence” series.



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January 2021 | 61


PCSSD opens registration for 2021-22 school year

By Jessica Duff


egistration for the 2021-22 school year is open for Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD). In addition to registration for current students, the district is once again participating in the Arkansas School Choice program. The program enables a student in kindergarten through grade 12 to attend a school in a nonresident district. PCSSD’s mission is to provide equity and excellence for all students through rigorous college and career readiness instructional strategies. We serve 27 schools in Maumelle, Little Rock and Sherwood. Those 27 schools include 16 elementary schools, five middle school campuses, five high school campuses and, new for the 2021-2022 school year, an online K-12 school. Particularly in the Maumelle area are three elementary schools, Crystal Hill Elementary, Oak Grove Elementary, and Pine Forest Elementary; one middle school, Maumelle Middle; and one high school, Maumelle High. If you live in the Maumelle area, you are zoned for one of these PCSSD schools. However, school choice opens our schools to families outside district lines allowing students to be a part of our school family, no matter their neighborhood. “PCSSD is the place to be because we take your child’s education personally,” said Dr. Janice Warren, Assistant Superintendent for Equity and Pupil Services. “We focus on all children and how to prepare them for success.” 62 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Schools within PCSSD offer unique opportunities for students of all ages and abilities. We strive to prepare students for life, cultivate future leaders, strengthen our communities, and drive innovation in the classroom. Every school within the district focuses on AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). AVID increases student engagement while activating a deeper level of learning in the classroom. This initiative emphasizes rigorous coursework, relevance of instruction and relationships. It also prepares every student with a mindset of college potential. AVID is used in all elementary and secondary schools across PCSSD and adapted to fit each gradelevel. AVID has also re-energized teachers and staff members because they are also learning practical, immediately useful tools and instructional strategies which allows them to cultivate a growth mindset both for themselves and their students. PBIS focuses on teaching behavioral expectations, just as teachers teach about other subjects. PBIS changes the focus to prevention instead of punishment. This aims to improve school safety and promote positive behavior with the understanding that kids can only meet behavior expectations if they know the expectations. The PBIS initiative improves social and academic outcomes for the student, schools experience reduced exclusionary discipline practices, and school personnel feel more effective. DRIVEN is a two-part platform within

the district that includes the School of Opportunity and the Virtual Academy. The DRIVEN concept engages students in online and in-person learning to meet students where they are and allow them to work at their own pace. DRIVEN Virtual Academy (DVA) will serve students in homeschool or who are homebound due to health or social-emotional issues. DVA will also serve students whose families must travel often or are involved in extracurricular activities and desire a more flexible option through online or accelerated learning. Blended learning and extended, in-person tutoring opportunities will add other resources to support students and families. DVA students may participate in PCSSD extracurricular activities upon meeting academic requirements. In addition to a quality education, students who attend Maumelle have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities such as archery, band, baseball, basketball, cheer, cross country/track and field, DECA, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, fishing, football, forensics, Genders and Sexualities Alliance, National Honor Society, science club, soccer club, Spanish club, theater and dance, thespian honor society, volleyball and yearbook staff. Applications will be accepted through May 1. If you have specific questions related to registration and school choice within PCSSD, please contact the Office of Equity and Pupil Services at 501-234-2021.


Keeping up with Koopa When downtown Conway’s

Neighborhood Pet Shoppe found out Koopa, a 17-year old Sulcata tortoise needed a new home, they decided to make him part of the family! Koopa is actually a “pre-teen” when you consider the average Sulcata lifespan of almost 80 years. While lengthwise he may not get much bigger, he is still expected to put on double his current weight which is currently almost 100 pounds! Koopa interacts very well with the numerous people who stop by to see him and always enjoys being scratched gently on the neck, top of the head and on his shell. Store manager Brice Ray says the team at the pet shop gets asked almost daily if Koopa is real. Koopa loves to sit still for long amounts of time and shocks customers when they realize he isn’t store décor. When he does go on the move, Koopa is surprisingly fast! The store has found him to be an escape artist making his way into the parking lot and even once almost to the street. “He sneaks behind the aisles and opens the front door himself,” said Ray. Koopa also seems to enjoy rearranging merchandise so he has to

spend the night in his personal enclosure. Ray says meeting Koopa is a good lesson to customers to understand the commitment adding a pet to the family can be. While most pets may not be around for 8 decades, Ray wants potential pet owners to take the process just as seriously. Come visit Koopa at the store when temperatures reach below 60 degrees for more than a couple of days. When its warmer he goes to the farm with his buddy Bowser, another Sulcata tortoise, to enjoy the sunlight and get exercise. But during this time of year you can often catch him in downtown Conway enjoying his daily salad of sweet potatoes, bell peppers, kale and maybe even some strawberries on top.

Koopa would much rather spend time with siblings Paisley and Paxton than Mario and Luigi!

Koopa enjoying his delicious daily salad.

Photos and story by Jeremy Higginbotham

January 2021 | 63


The siege of

Cadron Photos and story by Linda Henderson

64 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Linda Henderson Jim and Linda Henderson are lifelong residents of the 501. They travel the 501 and other areas of Arkansas. Jim drives and hauls equipment. Linda takes photographs of Arkansas. During their travels, they have gained appreciation and love for The Natural State. They have found the 501 has so much to offer for fun and beauty to photograph.

Last January, Jim and I happened upon a colonial reenactment at Cadron Settlement Park near Conway. The park is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the perfect spot for the reenactment of early Arkansas history because much of it took place there and in the vicinity of the Arkansas River. The park and surrounding area were part of the Cherokee Trail of Tears, an early French trading post, and a port for early settlers and fur trappers traveling the river. The restored Blockhouse, a replica of an early 18th-century defense structure, made for an ideal backdrop for the colonial event. Where the park is now, there was an early Arkansas settlement known as Cadron near the confluence of Cadron Creek and the Arkansas River. It was also among the first permanent European settlements in central Arkansas. Eventually trading routes, trails, and ferries connected Cadron to Arkansas Post, St. Louis and Hot Springs. It was even being considered for the capital of Arkansas Territory, and it was a stop on the Butterfield Trail along the Butterfield Overland Mail Route. The colonial events are designed to share “living history” by providing a first-hand experience of life during a time when Arkansas was first being explored and settled before becoming a state in 1836. Reenactors bring history to life and preserve our heritage by performing for the public at schools, parks, museums, and rendezvous. All participants are volunteers. Most are history enthusiasts who pursue historical reenactment as a hobby. They immerse themselves in the time period they are portraying with the appropriate clothing, eyewear, footwear, camp gear, and daily living accoutrements. Not only is their apparel authentic in design and construction but so are their food, cookware, and cooking techniques. They devote much time and expense to mastering colonial skills and creating accurate gear. A combat demonstration was held during the event. Reenactors used flintlock weapons and wore frontier attire. The skirmish was staged in much the way it would have happened in the backwoods, using guerilla tactics. Historical skills that were required for daily living during that era were presented and practiced during the event. Many of the reenactors had crafts or skills that they demonstrated, including sewing, trapping, food preparation, tool making, gunsmithing, tomahawk throwing, furniture making, and recreational activities. Along with their presentations, they answered questions about how life would have been in Arkansas’ early history. Time travel is not possible yet, but attending The Siege of Cadron may have been the next best thing for Arkansas history buffs like Jim and me. I so appreciate people who seek to preserve our history and demonstrate that life back then was hard. They don’t sugarcoat history but seek to put the spotlight on early settlers’ lives. Historical reenactors share their knowledge and educate both young and old. I loved seeing the faces of the children as the reenactors explained how to cook bread, skin a squirrel, make turtle soup and jerky, sew a dress, or keep warm in a canvas tent. All attending seem to be fascinated with the battle and uniforms of the soldiers. I am happy to be living in the modern era. I am really comfortable with electricity and plumbing, but seeing history come to life was a great way to spend a weekend. At the time of writing this article, plans are still being made to have another Siege of Cadron Reenactment the last weekend of January 2021. But if it is not held this year due to COVID-19, there is always 2022. This event is held every year on the last weekend of January. January 2021 | 65

Retirees, vacationers and swans find winter home in Heber Springs Each winter, Heber Springs becomes an Airbnb for creatures from the Midwest and Alaska.All ages of Trumpeter swans can be found on Magness Lake. Trumpeter swans are the heaviest and longest native birds of North America. Adult mails usually weigh 15 to 30-pounds and can have an 8-foot wingspan. Adults are solid white, except for their beaks and feet, and they make a very distinctive sound. The birds with more gray or brownish feathers are younger birds. As the famed “Ugly Duckling” story teaches, they become white as they get older. The phenomenon started when three swans showed up on the lake in the winter of 1991. It’s believed they were the “pilgrims”. The following winter, a Minnesota swan, that had been banded, visited the lake with her mate and they were spotted the next year with three cygnets (baby swans). Since then, the numbers have fluctuated, but upwards of 150 swans have been on the lake.

It’s believed the original 3 got knocked off course by a storm. They must have liked what they found, because they came again and brought their friends. If you want to see the swans yourself, just head out to Heber Springs now through the end of February. Drive east on AR Hwy. 110 from its intersection with Arkansas Hwys. 5 and 25, just east of Heber Springs. Go 3.9 miles from the intersection to Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, marked with a white sign. Turn left on paved “Hays” Road (the sign is small.) Magness Lake is about a half-mile down. You can view the swans from a public road, with parking spaces available in an S curve. Shelled corn is the only recommended feed and you can purchase it in town at some of the shops.The swans are best seen in the mid-afternoon to dusk hours. This is when they are on the lake. During the earlier parts of the day, they are sometimes off looking for food.

Coronavirus Also Affects Minds That’s why we are available anytime from anywhere, offering all our services in the safest possible manner – Telehealth for: • Outpatient and school-based counseling • Kaleidoscope Grief Center group support • Methodist Behavioral Hospital physician services, family therapy, visitation through Arkansas Division of Child and Family Services, and court appearances • In-person psychiatric testing with plexiglass screen and PPE

Call 877-778-1197 66 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Hendrix receives largest gift in school’s history

Photo by Mike Kemp

the support of alumni and friends of the College, we have strengthened the academic and student life experience with new programs and initiatives,” Arnold said. “We have added new facilities that celebrate the residential experience and support student recruitment, and we have continued to make Hendrix more affordable and accessible for students and families.” This spring, as part of the campaign expansion, Hendrix will launch a multimillion-dollar Residence Hall Renewal Project, beginning with renovations of Veasey Hall that will later move to historic Martin Hall. In addition, the expanded campaign will seek additional funds for the College’s endowment. $10 million of the Windgate gift will provide endowed scholarships for Hendrix students. “These priorities - the Residence Hall Renewal Project and increasing the College’s endowment - will support student

recruitment and retention," Arnold said. “The time for Hendrix to lead is now. We know that many students and families are concerned by the cost of higher education today,” said Arnold. “That is why we recently announced a tuition reset and lowered our tuition by 32% for new students.” “We also know that our current students’ residential experience at Hendrix was disrupted by COVID-19,” he said. “That is why – in addition to our tuition reset for new students – we developed a tuition-free fifth year program for current students to provide the opportunity to have a complete residential student experience at Hendrix.” “We must continue to lead in quality, innovation, and value,” he said. “The Residence Hall Renewal Project will reinforce the vital role of the residential campus experience at Hendrix and growing our endowment will strengthen the College’s financial position to support students today and tomorrow.”


endrix College has received a $15 million gift from the Windgate Foundation, the largest outright gift in Hendrix’s history. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. “We are grateful for the support of the Windgate Foundation,” said Hendrix President W. Ellis Arnold III. “More than ever, it is critical that we continue moving forward, to meet today’s challenges and to continue to be a leader in higher education in the future.” This $15 million gift from the Windgate Foundation surpassed the previous largest non-estate gift of $11 million, making it the second largest gift overall. The $26 million gift from the estate of Mary Ann Dawkins in 2015 remains the largest gift of any nature in the college’s history and will be called A Time to Lead: The Campaign for Today and Tomorrow. This year, the college surpassed its $110 million campaign goal a year ahead of schedule with $114 million in gifts and pledges. The campaign, which was scheduled to end in 2021, will be expanded to $150 million and will extend to 2023. The campaign stands at $129 million. “During this campaign, thanks to January 2021 | 67


Coalition hosts

Veterans Day Celebration T

he Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) - Arkansas Chapter hosted a Veterans Day Celebration at Windy Hill Farms in Searcy. The event offered an opportunity for FVC - Arkansas Chapter and Arkansas Grown Homegrown By Heroes members, other farmerveterans, and program partners, to network and share information. The celebration was the first official meeting of the FVC which was established in May with 410 members. The FVC is a non-profit organization that helps veterans pursue careers in agriculture and serves a network of over 20,000 veteran members nationwide. The organization works with the agricultural community, partners and sponsors to support those who served our country once by defending it, and now serve a second time as farmers feeding it. During the event, official Arkansas Grown Homegrown By Heroes (HBH) personalized signs were presented by Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes 68 | 501 LIFE January 2021

Ward to new members: Jumpmaster Ranch LLC in Independence County and Queen Bee Apiary in Greene County. HBH scholarship recipients, Taylor Brandt and Gavin Sparks, also were recognized. The national branding program is administered by the FVC which enables farmer veterans to market their local agricultural products by labeling them as veteran-produced. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture, with support from Farm Credit, launched the Arkansas Grown HBH program in 2015. More information about the program and scholarships can be found at agriculture.

“When consumers see an Arkansas Grown Homegrown By Heroes sign or logo, they know the food they are purchasing was grown in Arkansas by an Arkansas veteran,” said Ward. “The Arkansas Department of Agriculture appreciates Farm Credit’s support of this important program, and we are proud to honor all of the Arkansas farmer-veterans.” To join the FVC – Arkansas Chapter and Arkansas Grown HBH programs, farmers must be a veteran or currently serving as an active duty, National Guard or Reserve member of the United States Armed Forces. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation. Learn more by contacting Arkansas Homegrown By Heroes Program Manager Karen Reynolds at 501-529-1630 or visit

A List from


the Good Book The New Yorker magazine once ran a cartoon in which a group of prison inmates are huddled in a circle on their cell block floor, spread before them is a map of the prison grounds and on the map is a detailed drawing of their planned escape route. One of the prisoners turns to the apparent leader of the group and says, “I wish you wouldn’t keep saying, “you are here.” Sounds a lot like how we feel at year’s end as we look over last year’s detailed resolutions, we are (pretty much), still where we were a year ago. Maybe the reason so many of January’s resolutions fade so quickly is that we’re relying just on our own resolve to stick to them - relying solely on faith in ourselves. Perhaps we need faith in something more, someone more, like God. If you’re one of those who must write a New Year’s Resolution list, here are a few from the Good Book that are worth making and emulating.

I will… Like Enoch, BELIEVE that I never walk alone, God is near. Like Abraham, BE a blessing to those who cross my path. Like Lot’s wife, STOP looking over my shoulder at the past. Like Joseph, GIVE others another chance. Like Moses, BELIEVE God can use a basket case like me. Like Miriam, KEEP a song in my heart and on my lips. Like Ruth, STAND with others who are going through difficult times. Like Gideon, MOVE forward even if I struggle with trust issues. Like Deborah, SPEAK and share words of wisdom with others. Like Huldah, be PREPARED when new doors open. Like Esther, KNOW that God wants to use more than just my looks. Like Job, be PATIENT under all circumstances. Like the angel Gabriel, REMEMBER that with God all things are possible. Like Andrew, SHARE with others my life-changing experiences. Like John, LEAN upon the Master. Like Mary of Bethany, REFUSE to be weighed down by the opinion of others. Like Stephen, MANIFEST a forgiving spirit toward all who seek my hurt. Like Jesus, PRAY “not my will but thine be done.” I hope you’ll reread these stories from the Good Book’s list and, as you do, I’m pretty sure two things will definitely happen in 2021. One, you won’t be the same person you were; and two, you certainly will have read some of the greatest stories ever told.

Guest contributor

Donald Brazile recently moved to Conway from Texas. His writings have appeared in the Lectionary Homiletics Journal, Open Windows (a Lifeway devotional publication) the Texarkana | 69 January 2021 Community Journal.

NEIGHBORS person of the month


Mason Photo by Mike Kemp




Conway High School, Petit Jean Vocational.


I have worked for Conway Corp for 40 years. I served as Assistant Manager of the Electric Department until a recent promotion to Electric Distribution System Manager.


I’ve always been interested in figuring out how things work, by taking it apart then seeing if I could put it back together and make it work again.


To continue the training and integrity of the department while providing excellent customer service.


Supporter of the Braves baseball field for kids with special needs at Curtis Walker Park. The guys that work in the electric department take a night to provide the concessions for the ball teams. Also, the church I attend provides concessions when asked.


Officer and member of the United Baptist Church.


Married to Wilma Smith; children are Nasha Scott and Lorie Mason Jordan; niece Imani Watson.


My Family.


Playing golf and hunting.


The quality of life, schools and home grown businesses. 70 | 501 LIFE January 2021










Our Safe Care Commitment At Conway Regional, your health and safety remain our top priority. We offer convenient telemedicine appointments, as well as safe in-person visits to provide you with the care you need. When visiting in-person, know that our team is committed to providing safe and effective care with extensive precautions. Safety measures include: Limited visitors in each facility Daily screening for all staff, patients, and visitors Proper PPE for all employees Thorough cleaning and sanitization

Learn more about making appointments and what to expect by visiting

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