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2 | 501 LIFE October 2019

SHARON STRINGFELLOW Woman of Faith Four Time Cancer Survivor Grandmother Heber Springs Neighbor

HOSPITALS • CLINICS • SPECIALISTS We are friends, neighbors and caregivers. Together, we share a common bond. We love our community and those who make it what it is.

Unity-Health.org October 2019 501lifemag.com | 3

501 LIFE


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


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

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

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


WAMPUS CAT STRONG – Members of the Pink Ladies (back row), organizers of the Annual Pink Night at Conway High School, with members of the Lady Cats Volleyball Team. (Sonja Keith photo)

Celebrating Pink Night There are several seasonal events I look forward to each year and Pink Night at Conway High School is one of them. This is the 11th annual event, which this year will raise money for two local women battling breast cancer. High school volleyball players, coaches and parents put on the event, which is scheduled 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at Buzz Bolding Arena. The fundraising efforts include a special Pink Night T-shirt sold in the school district in advance of the event, which will feature food, raffle prizes and a silent auction. Centennial Bank will grill hamburgers that will be sold at the game. This year’s theme is “Wampus Cat Strong.” A group of team parents and volunteers, known as the Pink Ladies, work with Conway volleyball coaches and players to put on the event and select recipients of the proceeds. This year, money raised will be presented to Alicia Cox, who played volleyball at Conway High School and the University of Central Arkansas, and Anita Cegers-Coleman, a keyboarding teacher at Ruth Doyle Middle School. Anita was the district’s 2017 Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the state honor. Dottie Townsend is the chairman of this year’s Pink Ladies. She said some members believe in the event so much they remain involved even though they no longer have daughters on the team. “We want to honor those that are struggling with cancer,” said Dottie, who is in her second 4 | 501 LIFE October 2019

year as a Pink Lady. “We all have been impacted by someone in our family or someone we know who has had breast cancer.” Unfortunately, that is so true. Former CHS assistant volleyball coach Andrea Bailey-Fournier had the idea for Pink Night and has led the fundraising efforts. She came up with the idea after her aunts were diagnosed with breast cancer. Beneficiaries of the proceeds have ranged from former players and parents to community members. Over the years, the event has generated around $100,000. Wow! For more information on Pink Night, to help or to order a T-shirt, contact Andrea at baileya@conwayschools.net or one of the committee members. Information will also be available on the Conway Volleyball page on Facebook. Here’s the best part – Andrea said beyond the direct financial benefit, the event provides a valuable teaching moment for students. “It teaches the athletes how to give back without expecting something in return,” said Andrea. “While kids often do fundraisers to purchase uniforms or other items, I didn’t feel there were many opportunities for kids to do something completely selfless. Seeing someone else benefit from their work is a priceless lesson.” We applaud Andrea’s vision and hard work, and the Pink Ladies who make the event happen each year. Please help, if you can. Until next month, here’s to “Loving LIFE” in the 501.

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

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

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

Stephanie Lipsmeyer Stewart Nelson Kristi Strain Jim Taylor Morgan Zimmerman

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

Hannah Owens Mike Parsons Brooke Pryor Carol Spears Kristi Thurmon

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


October 2019

Volume 12 Issue 6

features&departments 24 Guest column


Conway Regional Health System President and CEO Matt Troup understands the importance of “Partnerships.”

On the cover

Tom and Melissa Courtway took up bicycling as an activity to enjoy together while remaining physically active. It’s an activity that appears to be gaining in popularity, especially among couples. (See Page 42 - Mike Kemp photo)

50 Health

Surgeon Dr. Guy Peeples drew inspiration from his dad in deciding to pursue a career in health care.

52 Entertaining

Nothing says welcome to fall like the crunchy, toasty flavor and spices of GRANOLA!

68 Life in Maumelle


Police Chief Sam Williams reflects on his career as he approaches his 10-24.

72 Sports

When early morning rain clouds rolled in on Aug. 10, it would have been easy and understandable to cancel the 22nd Annual Conway Kids Triathlon. But that didn’t happen.




20 Couples

Rebekah and John Fincher are loving life in the 501 with their son, Parker.


22 Youth

Mckenzie Muse has accomplished many things throughout her basketball career, but her latest accomplishment will take her to a place that no female Arkansan has gone before.

4 8-9 10-15 52-60 82

32 Conway

Conway native Kyle Bruich is living his dream of a music career in Nashville, Tenn.

82 Person of the month

Dr. David Myers is a collector, which is obvious to anyone who steps into the DJM Orthodontics office.

LIFE pics 13-18

'501 KIDS' 501 LIFE contributors Kellie Bishop and Brittany Gilbert have great tips in the 501 Kids section (Pages 62-64). Have a story idea or a young person you would like to see featured? Send suggestions to info@501lifemag.com.

6 | 501 LIFE October 2019



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

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


501 LIFE is you!

twitter.com /501lifemag

ARcare, 68 Arkansas Dermatology Skin Cancer Center, 66


facebook.com /501lifemag

Banister-Lieblong Clinic, 63 Baptist Health Medical Center, 39 Baptist Health Surgical & Specialty Clinic, 51 Bell & Co., 41 Bledsoe Chiropractic, 45


Central Arkansas Pediatrics, 63 Conway Corporation, 27 Conway Kids Trianthlon, 75 Conway Regional Dazzle Daze, 33 Conway Regional Health System, 83 Conway Regional Rehab, 69 Conway Symphony Orchestra, 33 Crain Automotive, 31


DJM Orthodontics, 23 Double Springs Grass Farms, 28


Edward Jones, 61

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

EL Clinical Aethestics, 49

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


Fairfield Bay, 29 First Security Bank, 84 First Service Bank, 13 Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling Inc., 21

Writers’ Room


Donna Benton has lived in Greenbrier for nearly 25 years. She enjoys most the small town culture and community in the 501. “But most of all, my friends and family are here and that is what makes it home!” Most people probably don’t know that Donna was a rock climber, whitewater kayaker and a backpacking guide. To contact Donna, email donna@waterhousemarket. com. Check out her blog on waterhousemarket.com and follow her on Instagram @ waterhousemarket and Facebook at WaterHouse Market.

Hartman Animal Hospital, 81 Harwood, Ott & Fisher, PA, 71 Heritage Living Center, 5 Hiegel Supply, 33


Julie’s Bakery and Sweet Shoppe, 73


Luxury Pool & Spa, 57


MSC Eye Associates, 48 Methodist Family Health, 38


Northwestern Mutual, 37


Ott Insurance, 35


Patterson Eye Care, 58


Saint Joseph Schools, 55 Salem Place Nursing and Rehab, 67 Salter Properties-Glenrock, 58 Shelter Insurance, 73 Soaring Wings, 25 Superior Nursing & Rehab, 2


The Bridgeway Hospital, 60


Unity Health, 3 University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton, 65 University of Central Arkansas, 47 UCA Reynolds Preformance Hall, 19


Wilkinson’s Mall, 37 Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, 64

Dwain Hebda is a writer, editor and journalist living in Little Rock. The president of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths, he’s covered a wide range of subject matter over the course of his 40 years of professional writing that includes magazines, newspapers and books. When he’s not bringing the tales of Arkansas and her people to the page, Hebda and his wife spend their energy on their four grown children and three lovely dogs.

Recognized throughout the state as an accomplished chef, Don Bingham has called the 501 his home for 47 years. “I enjoy most the people of the 501 – their heart and passion for life and for each other.” A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Don has a bachelor’s degree in communications and is a certified chef. He and his wife, Nancy, have five married children and 12 grandchildren. His interests include music, interior design and event planning. He serves as the board chairman for Renewal Ranch and is a worship pastor. He can be reached at donaldjbingham@gmail.com. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 7

501.332.4292 or email arkansasyarnco@gmail.com.


Oktoberfest in the Bay will be held 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Fairfield Bay Conference Center. It will include crafts and vendors, an artwalk and two stages. There will also be a KidsFest featuring bounce houses, carriage rides, a train, a petting zoo and Clydesdales. Paul Tull and the Red Neckties Band will perform 6 to 9 p.m. For information on the event, call 501.884.4202. For information on staying the weekend in Fairfield Bay, call 501.825.3046.

The Annual Renewal Ranch Chili Cookoff is planned 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Central Baptist Church in Conway. The event will feature a cooking competition and silent auction. Proceeds benefit Renewal Ranch, a drug addiction recovery ministry. For more information, email marketing@renewalranch.net or call 501.733.4263.

The Conway Human Development Center Volunteer Council will host its 37th Annual Walk/Run on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the CHDC Visitation Complex at 150 Siebenmorgen Road. The entry fee is $25 per 5K participant. Registration is at 7 a.m., with the walk/run at 8 a.m. For information, email laquetta. garlington@dhs.arkansas.gov or call 501.329.6851 ext.319/370.

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Several events are planned in October at the Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas: Guest speaker John Quinoñes – “What Would You Do?” Thursday, Oct. 3. “Croce Plays Croce,” Saturday, Oct. 12. “Taj Express – A Bollywood Musical Revue,” Wednesday, Oct. 23. “Jersey Boys,” Sunday, Oct. 27. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit uca. edu/Reynolds. The Conway Symphony Orchestra Guild will host Jazz It Up, its annual community fundraising gala, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Centennial Valley Country Club Event Center. This year’s theme is “Rockin That Jazz.” Tickets are $45 in advance or $50 at the door. To purchase tickets, call Pam Strassle at 501.827.2638 or Bev Freiley at 501.908.9855. Tickets may also be purchased through the Conway Symphony Orchestra Facebook page. The Heber Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will 8 | 501 LIFE October 2019

present its 2019 Business EXPO from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Heber Springs Community Center. Door prizes will be given away. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit heber-springs.com. The Children’s Advocacy Alliance (CAA) will celebrate its 18th Annual Festival of Chairs on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the St. Joseph Spiritan Center in Conway. The theme for this year’s event is “Loud Hope,” which encourages people to love, listen and support neglected children much like the Alliance does. Cathy and Don Potter will be recognized at this year’s event. For more information, visit hopeandjustice.org. The Maumelle Charter Schools Athletic Booster Club will present its annual “Maumelle Charter Athletic Booster Club Classic” golf tournament at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the Country Club of Arkansas in Maumelle. Registration is $500 for each team for the four-man scramble. Email mcsboosterclub@att. net for more information or to secure a sponsorship. Proceeds benefit the Maumelle Charter Schools athletic programs. The Conway County Extension Homemakers will host its second annual craft show Friday, Oct. 4, through Saturday, Oct. 5, at the multi-purpose/ livestock building at the Conway County Fairgrounds in Morrilton. Proceeds will be used for improvements to the educational exhibit building at the fairgrounds. For more information or to reserve a booth, email chapmansmarble@gmail.com. Arkansas Yarn Co. Owner Lorri Helberg and her daughter, Jessica, will host the Arkansas Yarn Crawl, at 202 S. Main Street in Malvern from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, through Saturday, Oct. 12. Enjoy sweet treats and prize drawings, and sign up for a virtual knitting or crochet class. One-of-a-kind knitted creations will be on display. For information, call

Business and industry leaders will be at the Workforce Training Center at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, to share opportunities available in Central Arkansas as part of National Manufacturing Day, an event designed to encourage the public to enter a high-demand career. During the come-and-go event, attendees can speak with business and industry leaders from the region, ask questions and explore opportunities in the job market. Lunch will be available and parents are welcome to bring children to enjoy a kid’s activity center while exploring different career options. For more information, contact Coordinator of Workforce Development and Community Education Denise Pote at workforce@uaccm.edu or 501.977.2189. The 41st Annual Cabot Chamber of Commerce CabotFest will be held Thursday, Oct. 10, through Saturday, Oct. 12, in Downtown Cabot. The free festival features activities for all ages. For more information, call 501.843.2136 or visit cabotcc.org. The University of Central Arkansas will host Homecoming 2019 from Monday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 27. Activities will include a Young Alumni Night, Greek Step Show, Half-Century Brunch and Bear Bash along with home volleyball games in the Prince Center and performances at Reynolds Performance Hall. The UCA Bears will play the Sam Houston State Bearkats at 6 p.m. Saturday at Estes Stadium. For more information, visit uca.edu/ homecoming. Woolly Hollow State Park near Greenbrier is planning its Seventh Annual Woolly Holloween from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. The park will be offering games on the beach, hayrides, a haunted trail and Woolly Cabin tours. Admission: Free. For more information, call 501.679.2098. Travel by lantern to the annual “Spirits of the Cadron” to hear first-hand ghost tales told by guides portraying historical characters at the Historic Haunted Cadron Settlement Park, 6200 Hwy. 319,

Final Soaring Wings event Oct. 19 Organizers are making the final arrangements for the 12th Annual Soaring Wings Half Marathon & 10K scheduled Saturday, Oct. 19, in Conway. This is the last year for the event. Race directors Amanda Castillo and Marla Watson – and their team of about 300 volunteers – put on the event, which benefits Soaring Wings, a Christian family and home that provides security, love and hope to children in need. Soaring Wings currently has two homes for girls and one for boys, ages 6-18, as well as an infant and toddler home that serves children birth through 5 years. Thousands have participated in the event over the years and the fundraiser has helped the ministry care for more than 300 kids. “It has been a fantastic 12 years and we appreciate the wonderful support we have received from the running community, our faithful sponsors and our hardworking volunteers,” said Marla. “Let’s make this year our best yet as we SOAR together one last time,” added Amanda.

WINGED WARRIOR Individuals who sign up to be a Winged Warrior and raise a minimum of $200 can earn a free entry to the Soaring Wings race of their choice. Additional prizes are available based on the amount raised.

EXPO Festivities kick off with the Soaring Wings Expo planned 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center. In addition to packet pick up, individuals can shop for the latest running gear with vendors. Local sponsors will also be on hand, including the Sporty Runner.

KIDS RUN FOR KIDS Sponsored by TLC Pediatrics, Kids Run for Kids is planned 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center, 700 Salem Road. Registration is $10 and includes an event T-shirt, a finisher’s medal and a free Kona Ice! Packet pick up will be during the expo until 4:30 p.m. The kids run is dedicated to young up-and-coming athletes who want to try

out the sport of running or walking, improve their health and run for kids their age who live at Soaring Wings Ranch. There are two parts to Kids Run for Kids: the Kids Half Marathon and “Fun Runs” for kids of all ages. Additional sponsors are Incite Rehab, Reliance Healthcare, First Security Bank, Sporty Runner, The PI Company, Centennial Bank, BankcorpSouth, Conway Women’s Health Center, Mitchell Williams Law Firm and Dr. Robert J. Parker, DDS. For more information or to register, visit swmarathon.com. 501 LIFE is the official media sponsor for the event.

Women’s council plans luncheon The Conway Regional Women’s Council will host a luncheon titled “Staying in Balance: Mind, Body and Spirit” Friday, Oct. 18, at Renewal Ranch Restoration Center. An expo featuring women’s health resources will be held in conjunction with the luncheon. The center is located about 15 minutes from Conway at 75 Lake Dr, Houston (Perry County). Doors open at 11 a.m. with the luncheon beginning at 11:30. “Our mind, body and spirit are all connected, a part of our whole self,” said Stefanie Vann, co-chairman of the luncheon committee. “When one of these factors is off balance, our whole being feels it on some level. To be in complete health and harmony, we need to stay in balance.” The luncheon will feature two speakers: Donna Seal – A local mental health professional. Matt Troup – President and chief executive officer at Conway Regional Conway, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 (weather permitting). The last tour will leave at 8:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Faulkner County Historical Society and the Faulkner County Museum, these haunted tours through history start at the Cadron Blockhouse. Admission is $2 per person or $5 per carload. The Maumelle Chamber of Commerce will host its inaugural 5K Color Run at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. The course begins and ends at the Maumelle High

Health System. Sponsors are Nabholz, Michelle Phillips CPA, Conway Behavioral Health Hospital and Bledsoe Chiropractic. Each attendee will receive a gift and door prizes will be given away. Tickets are $30 each, with a table for eight at $250. The women’s council is committed to improving the health of women in the community through education, advocacy and fundraising. Each year, the council hosts a community-wide luncheon to raise awareness of and share resources related to an important women’s health issue. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to conwayregional.org/ women’s council or call the Conway Regional Foundation at 501.513.5191.

School Stadium and winds through the industrial park. Created by students and facilitated through the Maumelle Chamber Educational Committee, the event also includes a half-mile family fun run. Register at maumellechamber.com. The City of Greenbrier will host its Boo Brier celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at the Greenbrier City Event Center. There will be games and treats for the whole community and a safe place

to trick or treat for kids. For more information, call 501.679.6362.

To submit a calendar item, please send information to info@501lifemag.com. To see a complete list of items, please go to 501lifemag.com. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 9


Sharing the 501 LIFE spirit

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

Tucker and Anna Kay Collins were “Loving LIFE� at their wedding May 11, 2019, at Hillbrook Farms.

Harding University Head Football Coach Paul Simmons, President Dr. Bruce McLarty and Athletic Director Jeff Morgan were “Loving LIFE� at the school’s $5.2 million indoor football practice facility, which is named in honor of longtime football coach Ronnie Huckeba. The 77,146-square-foot building is the largest indoor practice facility in NCAA Division II and one of the largest in the country for any level. The facility will be completely funded by private donations from the Bison Brotherhood — former players, alumni and friends of the Harding football program. Eddie and Joy Kelso of Know The Truth Prison Ministry were “Loving LIFE� at the National BMA Conference in Rogers. 10 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Wayne and Virginia Coats of Greenbrier celebrated 57 years of marriage on Aug. 12. They attended the same school in Mountain Grove, Mo., and were high school sweethearts. They began their courtship in 1957 and were married in 1962. They have been “Loving LIFE” in the 501 for 43 years with their three children and seven grandchildren.

The family of Elmo and Sue Brewer and Wayne and Virginia Coats were “Loving LIFE” as they celebrated family at a shrimp boil at the home of Mike and Kristie Brewer in Greenbrier: Kevin Coats (front, from left), Kristie Brewer, Virginia Coats, Wayne Coats, Savannah Hartwick, Jaxon Hooten, Beckett Hooten, Sophie Hooten, Sharon Hooten, Gary Hooten; Shelby Coats (back), Mike Brewer, Kirby Coats, Clark Coats, Maree Coats, Wyatt Brewer, Tim Odom, Terri Odom, Elmo Brewer, Marshall Hooten and Garrett Brewer.

Virginia and Wayne Coats (middle) with their children Kevin (from left), Kirby and Kristie.

Lifelong Conway residents Joe and Ruby Johnson were “Loving LIFE” and celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary. The couple celebrated with a trip to Hot Springs National Park, where they went on their honeymoon and have continued to travel to each year to celebrate. The two were married on July 1, 1966, by the late Rev. Robert Crawford Jr. at Jones Chapel Church in Conway. Their children are Lolita of Conway, Samantha of Benton and Joe Jr. of Alpharetta, Ga. They are also guardians of their niece and nephew, Ramona of Conway and Antonio of North Little Rock, whose parents died. They have two grandchildren, Nia (11) and Averie (9). Joe worked for the Pepsi Cola Co. in Little Rock for 42 years before retiring in April 2009. Ruby was a stay-at-home mom for many years before becoming a kindergarten teacher’s aide at Ellen Smith Elementary School, a teacher at Harlan Park Church Childcare and a Pre-K teacher at First United Methodist Church. She retired in May 2008. The Johnsons have been members of Greater Fellowship Christian Church in Conway for 27 years, where the Rev. Odie Phillips is pastor. Joe is a deacon, Sunday school teacher, executive board member and maintenance worker. Ruby is a deaconess/communion preparer and announcement clerk. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 11


Catherine Pruitt and Rep. Rick Beck (right) honor twins George and James Morrow, who celebrated their 100th birthday.

Conway County Piecemakers ‘Loving LIFE’ honoring veterans U.S. military oath: I, {name}, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed. With these words, the Conway County Piecemakers have also pledged to honor those soldiers who have taken this oath to keep the U.S. free by presenting them with a quilt. The Conway County Piecemakers was formed in late 2012 with the purpose of making comfort quilts for veterans in Conway County. The effects of war stay with a veteran long after their years of service are past. The quilts that are presented to the veterans are a reminder of the group’s appreciation and gratitude for their sacrifices and service. The members of the group work diligently throughout the year to make as many quilts as possible. Quilts have been given to veterans occasionally during the year as special circumstances necessitate, but most are presented on Veterans Day and Independence Day. As of 2019, the Piecemakers have awarded nearly 600 quilts to local veterans. Members are looking forward to presenting more quilts as names are presented to the group. 12 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Members of the Conway County Piecemakers were “Loving LIFE�: Linda Smith (front, from left), Will Ward, Bryce Vanpelt; Karen Pierce (seated), Mary Brents, Barbara Davis, Nina Richey; founder Catherine Pruitt (standing), Susie Kinslow, Venice Champine, Tracey Corder, Lettie Griffis, Lou Booze, Mary Collins and Marilyn Johnson.

A stack of quilts waiting to be presented to veterans. The quilts are made of cotton fabrics with beautiful patriotic colors, military insignias and prints, and are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts for all veterans who have served. Many appreciative citizens and local businesses have donated to the group’s fundraising efforts to

help purchase the supplies needed to make the quilts. The donations help to defray the cost. There is no charge to the veterans or their families. For more information, to recommend a veteran or to make a donation, contact Catherine Pruitt at 501.215.3326 or Mary Brents at 501.354.5112.

FIRST SERVICE BANK TRAVEL CLUB •Join the travel club if you are 50 years or older, have a First Service Bank checking account, and have $5,000 in deposits • Domestic and international travel • Local trips and events • Visit firstservicebank.com/about/travelers for the latest information

Marilyn Battles • Ina Standridge

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


The Danny C. Harmon Family from Damascus took 501 LIFE along on a visit to Fort Morgan, Ala.

Jason Everett and his son, Joshua, were “Loving LIFE� on July 4 while standing on the beach at Normandy, the same beach that Joshua's great-grandpa, Bud Everett, stormed the day after D-Day.

Organizers and attendees were “Loving LIFE� at the Fabulous Fourth celebration at the Morrilton City Park. The event was presented by the City of Morrilton.

14 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Lori and Dan Crowe took 501 LIFE along to the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle trip.

Wendy and Jillian Duff of Morrilton were “Loving LIFE” in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, after completing a mission trip in Germany.

Lainey Milam of Greenbrier was Loving “LIFE” at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville, as the Arkansas Razorback Gymnastic Team hosted the Florida Gators.

Tangela Willis, whose artist’s name is Tanj, was “Loving LIFE.” She is making a big splash on the Gospel Music scene with her new single, “He’s Been Good.” It is her testimony of God’s goodness in her life and is relatable to all those who hear the song. Tanj is a Twin Groves native who now resides in Conway. She is a wife and mother of two, who is excited about sharing her love for God through her music. Tanj is a very active member of her church, Anointed and Appointed Disciples through Jesus Christ in Conway.

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 15


Workers at the Country Store were “Loving LIFE”: Carl Schluterman (from left), Olivia Williams, Whitnee Mendenhall, Amy Schichtl, Tommy Hiegel, Brian and Pam Cossey, Cash Schichtl and Quinten Motto.

St. Joseph Bazaar Ray Nielsen photos

Chloe Skinner (from left), Katie Morgan and Marleigh Thessing.

The Schichtl Family: Amanda (from left), baby Charlotte, Betty, Kenneth and Zach.

Kelli Turner Dement, her son Cade and his uncle Patrick Turner.

Jerry Hiegel with his grandsons Lucas (left) and Samuel Harris.

Sisters Dulce Maria Cordova (from left), Francisca Nava and Ana Brigida Riveros.

16 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Food and family fun were among the activities enjoyed during the 107th Annual St. Joseph School Bazaar held in August in Conway. The event included box lunches, a spaghetti dinner, a midway, a raffle, a silent auction, games and carnival food. Several items were also raffled as part of the midway. A 2019 Ford Explorer was given away as the grand prize in this year’s raffle. St. Joseph High School social studies teacher Karen Davis was the winner. The vehicle was made available through Smith Ford in Conway. For more information, visit sjsbazaar.weebly.com. Proceeds support St. Joseph School.

St. Joseph High School social studies teacher Karen Davis with the raffle grand prize that she won.

Ella Rikard and Christian Skinner.

Renewal Ranch hosts concert Noted evangelist Carroll Roberson presented a special program of music and ministry during an event Aug. 30 in the Restoration Center on the Renewal Ranch campus in Perry County. Renewal Ranch is a 12-month faith-based and Christcentered program for men ages 21 and older who are struggling with substance abuse issues. Carroll has recorded more than 50 musical albums in 30 years. He has written more than 300 songs and authored eight books. His wife, Donna, who also performed with him, has recorded several musical projects. At the end of the program, Carroll performed “Amazing Grace� with men at the Ranch. For more information on the Ranch, visit therenewalranch.org. Donna and Carroll Roberson with the men at Renewal Ranch.

James Loy (from left) with Chuck and Shawn Clawson.

Kandi Rose (from left), with Jeanne and Happy Caldwell.

Jeanne Caldwell, Donna and Carroll Roberson, James Loy, Happy Caldwell and Bryce McGhee.

James Loy and County Judge Jim Baker.

Allen and Lynnda Noble.

James Loy (from left), Sen. Jason Rapert and Happy Caldwell. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 17


UCA reception honors Erstine

Pam Teague (from left), Kelley Erstine and Amy Whitehead.

The University of Central Arkansas hosted a going-away reception in honor of Kelley Erstine. Erstine, who served as chief of staff, has taken a position as chief executive officer for the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas. He served as chief of staff since 2014. University of Central Arkansas President Houston Davis has named Amy Whitehead to the position. A UCA graduate, she previously served as assistant vice president for Community and Workforce Development in UCA’s Division of Outreach and Community Engagement.

Kelley Erstine (from left), Jack Bell and Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry.

‘Loving LIFE’ and the first day of school Students, faculty and staff were “Loving LIFE” on the first day of school at St. Joseph School in Conway.

Seventh-graders Ava Jackson (left) and Lily Vaughn.

Senior Timmy Coney and kindergartners Elissa Cosey and Elizabeth “Laney” Henderson.

Sophomores Luke Pope (from left), Lucas Raws and seventh-grader Wade Simon. 18 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Eighth-grader Luke Luyet (from left) and sophomores Bailey Brewer and Jake Luyet.

Freshman Harper Woosley (from left), sophomore Luke Potts and eighth-grader Ella Martin.

Seventh-graders Bailey Pope (left) and Allie Evans.

Sophomore Jacob Williams and his sister, freshman Olivia Williams.

Kindergartner Tessa Davis and Elementary Principal Courtney Pope.

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 19


Rebekah and John Fincher are loving life in the 501 with their son, Parker. (Mike Kemp photo)


Rebekah Suzanne Gardner Fincher

NATIVE OF: Shirley (Van Buren County).

PARENTS: Randall and Tyrene Gardner, Shirley.

EDUCATION: University of Central Arkansas, bachelor’s degree, 2007; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, master’s degree, 2010.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: University of Central Arkansas, alumni board member (2014-present), Arkansas State Chamber, Leadership Arkansas Program (2018-2019), Delta Zeta national recruitment chairman (2019- present), Faulkner County Leadership Institute graduate (2016), UCA Delta Zeta Advisor (2007-2019) and UCA Greek Alumni Advisory Board member (2012-2019).

JOB: Chief administrative officer, Conway Regional Health System.

HOBBIES/SPECIAL INTERESTS: Running, cycling, reading, golf, water skiing, traveling, playing superheroes with Ethan Parker (our almost 3-year-old), and eating really good pizza. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF: I’m a collaborator. I strive to identify and create win-win solutions and partnerships when and

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I showed animals in high school. Attending the fair each year brings back very special memories of the value I gained through these experiences. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: I enjoy the 501 way of life; the kindness of people, the amenities of living in a city like Conway but with the ease of access to Greers Ferry Lake and the Ozark Mountains, and the assurance of a community that wants to continue to evolve, adapt and grow to meet the needs of its citizens.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VOCATION: Growing up in rural Arkansas, I have seen first-hand the difficulty in accessing a needed healthcare provider. Focusing on strategy, growth and business development are my primary responsibilities for Conway Regional. Each day I identify ways to increase access to healthcare for Arkansans in our community. There is no greater joy than being able to help fulfill a need for the people and the communities we serve.

where possible. Growing up as an athlete and the granddaughter of a coach, teamwork was a trait I learned to value early on. I am very lucky to be part of some great teams both personally and professionally.


RESIDENTS OF: Conway. CHURCH ACTIVITIES: First United Methodist Church, Conway. HOW WE MET: During our time at UCA. THE PROPOSAL: On April 4, 2009, a week after we purchased our first home, John and I had been to purchase the most important housing accessory, a grill. As he was setting up the

20 | 501 LIFE October 2019

grill, and I was unpacking inside the house, he began yelling from the back deck as if something was wrong. Pretending to be caught up in the grill, I opened the bottom and surprise. I am certain all the right things were said in this moment, but all I can remember is being overwhelmed with joy. WEDDING BELLS: June 12, 2010, First United Methodist Church, Conway,

CHILDREN: Ethan Parker Fincher, who will be 3 in November. PETS: Our dog, Sir Rufus Cotton Fincher. FAMILY ACTIVITIES ENJOYED TOGETHER: Boating on Greers Ferry Lake, traveling, taking Ethan Parker to kid-friendly events throughout Central Arkansas, and cooking large weekend breakfasts.


John Jay Fincher

NATIVE OF: Hot Springs. EDUCATION: University of Central Arkansas, bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master’s in 2011; University of Alabama (A.B.D), doctorate. JOB: Assistant vice president – student services, University of Central Arkansas. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VOCATION: Higher education has the potential to change lives, financially and intellectually. Earning a college degree is more than simply the attainment of academic credentials, but rather it is the culmination of the knowledge, skills and personal development that takes place during those years. During my nearly 15 years with UCA, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to build several departments and numerous service areas, which support each student’s ability to succeed. At the end of the day, I believe the simplest answer is that I’m proud of this work and being a small part of improving the future quality of our students’ lives. PARENTS: Richard and Carlotta Fincher, Hot Springs. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: State coordinator for Arkansas - NASPA Regional Advisory Board, 2018-2020; Arkansas Student Affairs Association - Executive Committee, 2013-18 and president, 2017; Arkansas Partnership for Student Success - Conference Chair, 2017; Faulkner County Leadership Institute (FCLI) graduate, 2012; STAND State Leadership Foundation - Little Rock Class, 2008. HOBBIES/SPECIAL INTERESTS: Audiobooks, podcasts, college football, golf and all things technology and/or tool related. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF: At my most base-level, I’m a builder, tinkerer and maker. Truly enjoying creation and improvement has certainly had a positive influence on both my personal and professional lives. Left completely to my own devices, I’d probably be some sort of cross between Inspector Gadget, Doc Brown, Adam from MythBusters or the guy from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…depending on which generational reference works best for you. MOST ENJOYED WEEKEND ACTIVITY: I’m the homebody in the family. Especially given the current moment in our lives, the activity I enjoy most is just being all together at home. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: Central Arkansas means living in a growing community like Conway where we can both have careers we love, while still being just a short drive from our family and hometowns (an hour north for her and an hour south for me).

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 21


Heading ‘West’

Bryant senior makes history with Army basketball

Associate Head Coach Lisa Strack (left) and Mckenzie Muse. by Mark Oliver

Mckenzie Muse has accomplished many things throughout her basketball career, but her latest accomplishment will take the Bryant senior to a place that no female Arkansan has gone before. Following her senior year at Bryant, Muse will become the first Arkansan to play women’s basketball for the United States Military Academy at West Point—an opportunity that she says is the culmination of many years of dedication to the game she loves. “I’ve always lived by the quote ‘hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard,’” Muse said. “It comes from my favorite basketball player — Kevin Durant. I have never been the biggest or stronger player, but I have always been the hardest worker and that’s how I got to where I am today. I want female athletes in Arkansas to see that if I can achieve greatness, then it’s possible for each of them, too.” The Black Knights first took notice of Muse while she was tearing up the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) circuit across the 501. “West Point first reached out to me after seeing me play in an AAU tournament,” Muse said. “When I began talking to them, I knew that they were a prestigious school, but I didn’t actually think that they would go for me. When they showed up at one of my home games and invited me to an official visit, that’s when I knew that 22 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Mckenzie Muse was “Loving LIFE” at West Point with family. they were serious.” For Muse, New York was a case of love at first sight. Just a junior, Muse quickly received and accepted the offer that would solidify her future. “Choosing West Point wasn’t a hard decision for me at all,” Muse said. “As soon as I stepped foot on campus, I knew that this was the right place for me. Seeing the campus and the people there and knowing the standards that they hold themselves to, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that. As a lifelong Arkansan, I want to represent

not only myself, but every female athlete in Arkansas by pushing our state to a higher standard.” Muse’s path to the next level wasn’t an easy one, however. Just one year before receiving her offer, a knee injury took her off the court completely. “I tore my ACL during my sophomore year and it kept me off the court the whole season,” Muse said. “It was challenging, having to watch and learn the game from the sidelines and not being able to help my team, but it helped me

As soon as I stepped foot on campus, I knew that this was the right place for me. Seeing the campus and the people there and knowing the standards that they hold themselves to, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that. As a lifelong Arkansan, I want to represent not only myself, but every female athlete in Arkansas by pushing our state to a higher standard.

— Mckenzie Muse

develop my game in a way that I never thought was possible. Today, I’m stronger and better than ever because of it.” Before joining the Black Knights, Muse is focused on giving everything in her final year in Bryant blue. “There’s still unfinished business here for me in Bryant this season,” Muse said. “Although having my future in place is a huge weight off my shoulders, I am committed to making my teammates better this season and getting us to a state championship. While our conference opponents lost some strong players, we didn’t lose much. I feel confident in our team and we are all working really hard to be successful this year.” After graduation in May, Muse will journey to New York to begin the next chapter in her basketball career. However, the senior is adamant that she’ll never forget where she came from. “I’ve been playing basketball since first grade,” Muse said. “My parents were the ones who got me started with the game. By fifth grade, I knew

Mckenzie Muse was "Loving LIFE" with her parents, sister, grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins at West Point Military Academy in New York, where she plans to attend after graduating in 2020: Ed Baker (from left), Debi Baker of Vilonia, Madden Kaczor, Matt Kaczor, Jordan Lamphere, Dennis Muse, Amy Kaczor, Janet Muse, Aiden Kaczor, Mckenzie Muse, Emileigh Muse, Kodi Muse and Ben Muse, all of Alexander. that I wanted to play college basketball and now that dream has come true for me. I couldn’t do what I’ve done without the support system I’ve had with my friends and family all these years. “Everything is so surreal right now. I’m really close to my family and they are behind me 100 percent. Now that I know that I’ll be leaving

them within the next year, I try to spend every free moment I can with them. I have always wanted to serve a better purpose than myself. I want to be remembered as someone who is great and who helped America’s sons and daughters. That’s why I know that West Point is the best place for me.”

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 23


Partnership by Matt Troup

The word “partner” can take on any number of meanings in today’s culture. A partner can be a business associate, someone you play sports with, a romantic relationship, colloquialism or a good friend. In business, it can tend to get used entirely too much. I have worked in organizations that refer to just about everyone as a “partner.” What makes a good partnership and why is it important in today’s business world? Reid Hoffman, entrepreneur who created LinkedIn, once said, “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you are playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” At Conway Regional, we have embraced Hoffman’s quote wholeheartedly. Partnerships simply make us better, smarter and stronger. We have a partnership with CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock that enables us to save money on supplies, service important clinical equipment and implement best practices. Our partnership with Mayo Labs gives us access to clinically complex lab testing that would otherwise not be available in our community. They also help us to strategically operate lab services across Central Arkansas. We have a partnership with a board in Dardanelle to manage its hospital. We bring our healthcare expertise to Dardanelle to help serve the needs of 24 | 501 LIFE October 2019

the community. And I would be remiss if I did not mention partnerships with our board and medical staff. The strength of those partnerships is absolutely foundational to our organization’s success. These are just a few partnerships that make up Conway Regional. While these partnerships range in scope, formality and resource allocation, there are certain core components that successful partnerships require to be viable:

Trust Everyone would likely agree that any relationship without trust is doomed to fail. In fact, I would argue that a partnership cannot exist without trust. It might simply be described as a “business relationship.” Without trust, I exchange my resources in exchange for another’s resources — i.e., we buy a good or service from another entity. Trust is the fundamental element that takes the business relationship to partnership, from transaction to transformation. I would define trust along two planes: competence and ethics. I have the blessing of having lots of family and friends. While I know them to be good, ethical people, I likely would not trust many of them to run a hospital, clinic or business endeavor. One can have great ethics and no competence. To have a great partnership, ethics and competence are critical. Likewise, I know many healthcare companies out there that are very

competent but lack trust. I would not enter a partnership with them any more than I would my cousin who is a great person.

Engagement One of our strongest partnerships at Conway Regional is with our medical staff. I don’t say this purely on emotion or in an attempt to gain favor with physicians who may read this. I say it as a matter of fact. For the past three years, Press Ganey, a national survey organization that surveys several hundred hospitals across the United States, surveys our medical staff on their engagement and alignment with our hospital. The past three-year average shows that our physicians are among the top 10 percent in both engagement and alignment when compared to other medical staffs. As great as that performance is, it does not necessarily mean that we always agree. To the contrary, being in partnership sometimes means each party has to hear things we might not want to hear, address things we would sometimes rather ignore and make difficult or sometimes unpopular decisions. A true partner is going to sometimes disagree and challenge you and maybe even make your job more difficult. However, in the end, it is the other perspective that makes our organization better.

Critic vs. cynic Good partners critique, making you better. Inherent in this critique is not simply pointing something out as wrong — it is offering and engaging in a solution. That’s different than a cynic. I would define a cynic as someone who points out the wrong or the failure but does not want to engage in a solution. A cynic can never be a good partner.

Power I love power! I want power in all of my partnerships. Power is what it is all about, and if I don’t have it, then I think I’m failing as a leader. Now, many of you may read that and think, “Man, that Troup guy is egomaniacal!” But read the above and replace the word “power” with “influence.” What is power other than influence? Don’t all leaders desire more influence — influence to improve quality of life, ease suffering and improve performance? I would argue that we all want more power regardless of our role. There are many forms of power. I can have power because of my title, my position, my age or seniority or by birthright, just to name a few. I can also use power in different ways. Lord Acton, a 19th century British politician is credited as saying, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is an accurate reflection of what can happen with the wrong kind of power. Power sourced by greed, ambition or malice is doomed to fail and pales in comparison to referent power. Fundamental to referent power is the ability to influence others through interpersonal relationships and leadership. Referent power comes from a good place, a place of trust. When I have strong referent power, I do not need to “drive accountability” with my

team. My team wants to be accountable because they revere the relationship of trust and don’t want to let the team down. Partnerships can be and often are defined by ownership percentages, legal documents or other formalities. Those elements are fundamental in many partnerships, but to have a partnership that is truly transformational, they must have referent power.

Shared Identity A good partner is loyal and is going to identify with your challenge, struggle or endeavor. Conway Regional has found itself taking strong positions on various issues over the past few years. Some of these have been polarizing. To quote the great Country and Western musician, Aaron Tippin, in his hit song “You Got to Stand for Something,” “You gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Good partnerships have a shared purpose, objective or make a stand. If you can’t identify with your partner, get engaged in the mission or share values, then you’re likely not going to have a partnership that will amount to much or be transformative. I would be naïve to believe that all of our partnerships share all of our values to the same degree or even in the same context as we do. However, I do firmly believe that there is a part of our story they genuinely engage in, support or identify with. When I describe our organization to others, I will use words like “family,” our promise to be bold, exceptional and called, that we are “of” and exist “for” the community, and that we do all of this with a heartfelt and sincere belief that we are here to serve others. A partnership may have a very specific purpose, but when partnerships share calling and purpose, then transformation occurs.

We go from an economic relationship to one that has potential to add value beyond the numbers, to take two plus two and come up with six. I was once asked by someone considering entering graduate school to become a hospital administrator, “Which is more important: the technical knowledge of how hospitals work or leadership skills?” This person thought she needed to go to graduate school to learn the technical aspects of how hospitals operate. You can’t be a good leader without some level of understanding of how things work, but the more “experienced” I become, the more I realize that my primary function is to manage partnerships. To build trust, engage and align partners, influence and create or strengthen a shared identity. My success and that of our organization cannot effectively operate without strong partnerships.

Matt Troup is the president and chief executive officer of Conway Regional Health System. (Mike Kemp photo)

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 25


Mary Boyd recently retired after 29 years as executive director of the Conway Housing Authority. (Mike Kemp photo)

Life of service Mary Boyd supporting those most in need by Dwain Hebda

Mary Boyd had all the tools to be successful in the area of public housing. The Wisconsin native came to Arkansas with a degree in business administration and a minor in human development, a passion for helping the disenfranchised and the backbone to speak truth to power. But Boyd is first to tell you, all of those credentials and attributes paled in comparison to life as a single mother of two, which brought her work and her clients into the sharpest possible focus. “I always felt like that [perspective] was an asset, that I knew what a struggle it was to try and get ahead in life,” she said. “Several of my employees 26 | 501 LIFE October 2019

were single moms as well. When they applied for the job, some of them had just finished college like I had.” Boyd, who retired July 31 after 29 years as executive director of the Conway Housing Authority, started her career in public housing administration in Morrilton, where she was an assistant to the mayor. When a HUD inspector came out to review the work she’d done with the community’s housing units, he was impressed by what he saw. “I don’t know for sure all the facts, but I think maybe the Housing Authority thought they should take over the program,” she said. “Well, after he did the review, he said, ‘You could be doing this on a much larger scale. You did an amazing job.’”

The man mentioned an opening at the Conway Housing Authority and, encouraged by her recent glowing inspections, she applied. She was hired and four years later, she took over the top post. It was a system, then as now, with woefully inadequate space and resources to meet the need in the community. “We only have 74 family units of public housing and that dates way back,” she said. “It’s very difficult with the long waiting list when you only have 74. Most of the clients are elderly and disabled. When I came into the job, HUD was just changing the language so that ‘elderly’ included ‘disabled’. So that changed our clientele quite a bit because they had the same preference, the elderly and the disabled, on the waiting list.”

ister 301; when I started, it was 70. With that, there’s what’s called portability. We have long waiting lists, so anybody that wants to come from another city, that city has to pay for them to come to Conway. We bill them for their rent and their utilities and a small administrative fee. We have over 60 of those. We’re No. 1 in the state for portabilities.” “Another thing that I am proud of is our family self-sufficiency program, which we started with a grant. We were able to help people on the Section 8 program, as they moved up in their job, put aside money to buy a home or whatever they chose to do. Several bought homes with the down payment that they escrowed over five years.” Along the way, Boyd was heavily involved in local boards and commissions, namely the senior center board, as a founding member of Drug Free Arkansas and helping launch the Faulkner County Single Parent Scholarship program. “Anything that would help people get ahead,” she said of her appetite for public service. “I always said I wasn’t going to join something that didn’t directly affect the clientele I served.” As one phase of life closes and another one begins, Boyd has allowed herself a few glimpses back over her remarkable career. She summarized her journey best in a farewell she penned for the organization’s newsletter: “As I start the next chapter of my life, I say farewell with the knowledge I have made a difference in at least one person’s life, hopefully more. My CHA journey is complete,” she wrote, then added in summation, “All we can hope for is maybe making a difference.”

As I start the next chapter of my life, I say “ farewell with the knowledge I have made a

difference in at least one person’s life, hopefully more. My CHA journey is complete. All we can hope for is maybe making a difference.

— Mary Boyd In the face of such challenges, Boyd proved a versatile administrator; deft and diplomatic when she needed to be, staunch and unyielding when she had to be. She implemented several innovative programs during her time at the helm, which continue to pay dividends for low income populations. But it was during adversity that her leadership skills truly came to the forefront. At noon on December 20, 2005, a fire caused by faulty wiring destroyed the East Oakwood Place apartments. To this day, talking about it brings an icy note to her voice. “The East Oakwood complex burned to the point that it cracked the foundation,” she said. “I just thank God it happened at noon because you’re talking about people with walkers, people hooked up to oxygen.” Boyd remembers her daughter driving her

around for two days while the shock and trauma wore off, replaced by her trademark resolve. It was time to get to work, but she wouldn’t be working alone. “The support of the community was amazing,” she said. “The community was giving donations and set up a warehouse full of stuff. Somebody donated TVs from Fort Smith. A mattress company from Cabot donated mattresses. We had everyone in an apartment by January 1st. Up until that, we had them in hotels. That’s teamwork. I learned from that; it’s not a one-man show.” Boyd leaves the public housing administration very different than she found it. Under her leadership, the authority was nationally recognized for its operations and countless residents were shown a path to improve their lot in life under her guidance. “What has grown since I’ve been there is the Section 8 voucher program,” she said. “We now admin-


Just like you.

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


Powering Conway since 1929.


(501) 450-6000




October 2019 501lifemag.com | 27


‘My mission field’ Surgeon, clinic team help player

Searcy High School senior Demaceo Whittier has recovered from a serious knee injury, thanks to the help of Unity Health orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Justin Franz. by Taryn Brown

Coming back from a sports injury can be intimidating. There is the fear of reinjury, ability to come back and uncertainty of regaining skill levels. Searcy High School senior Demaceo Whittier had all those thoughts during the second round of playoffs for the Searcy Lions football team in 2018. Whittier, a defensive end, was playing a great game. Around the third quarter, he made a sack and then was hit on the side of his knee by a player from the opposing team. At first, he thought he hyperextended his knee because he had never experienced pain like that, but he fell back down when he tried to stand. Unity Health orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Justin Franz has been taking care of Searcy High School teams and athletes since 2013. He was on the sidelines that night and knew immediately that Whittier had a significant knee injury. Franz, Searcy High School Athletic Trainer Cody Stubblefield, Whittier’s mother Patricia Landon and his godparents, Trace and Kayla Madden, made their way to the locker room to discuss the seriousness of the injury and next steps. “I examined him and could tell he had a completely ruptured Grade 3 Medical Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprain, which is the ligament on the inside part of the knee that provides stability to the knee and allows you to cut and pivot,” Franz said. 28 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Ultimately, Franz felt Whittier’s injury was significant enough that his ligament needed to be repaired. “It was comforting to have Dr. Franz on the sidelines because he was able to give us an idea of what was going on and we had some peace of mind,” Trace said. “Having Dr. Franz be there and having Unity Health here was very helpful in Demaceo’s surgery and recovery. He received a diagnosis and treatment quickly and his surgery and recovery did not have to be stretched out.” Franz and his team performed an open repair of the MCL and reinforced the ligament, making it essentially stronger than before it was torn. Whittier is also a state champion in wrestling and had a goal of being back for that season. The expected recovery time for his injury was initially 12 weeks, but he pushed himself and came back in eight weeks, just in time for a major wrestling tournament. Franz said he was impressed by Whitter even before his injury. He describes him as not only an amazing athlete, but also an amazing young man with a fun-loving spirit. Because of the hard work he put into recovering and doing his part, he was able to come back in a shorter amount of time. “I think the old school mentality of when you are injured you just have to play through the pain; no pain no gain, is an antiquated view of how we deal with patients,” Franz said. “Today’s outlook should be if you do not feel 100 percent, then you are not helping yourself. You are putting yourself and your teammates in danger or at risk. When you have an injury, tell someone about it, come in, be evaluated

Kayla (from left) and Trace Madden, Demaceo Whittier and his mother, Patricia Landon. and make sure everything is OK before you step back on the field.” After his comeback, Whittier was able to compete with his wrestling team. He won conference and the team went on to take home the state title. He placed second in his weight division. Franz said at Unity Health’s Orthopaedic and Spine Center they take a team approach to taking care of patients. They divide and conquer. They want patients

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to have early and easy access to orthopaedic care. “All athletes know how important teamwork is, and we, as former athletes taking care of these kids, take the same approach. We have everyone from the school administration, athletic trainers, parents and PAs involved,” Franz said. Trace said Franz stayed in touch with him after Whittier’s surgery to see how he was doing overall and wanted videos of his wrestling matches so he could evaluate how he was doing on his knee. “The fact that he did that when he did not have to was so helpful and encouraging,” Trace said. “For me, this is my calling, this is my mission field,” Franz said. “This is how I seek to help make the world, even a small corner of it, a better place. I seek to renew people’s bodies and get them back to the quality of life they expect and hope for.” Whittier is going into his senior year and he said he feels more mentally prepared and ready to have a great year. “My injury and recovery changed how I approach things now,” Whitter said. “I was scared to re-injure my knee when I first got back, but Dr. Franz told me my knee is stronger than it used to be and as I realized that, I stopped holding back and went all out. I am not hesitant to push myself anymore.” Whittier said a great friendship between himself and Franz has formed from his injury and he keeps in touch with some of the orthopaedic team who treated him. Whitter plans on going to college after graduation to further his education. Franz said he is excited to watch him play and continue following his career in the future.

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Jones creates firm, academy by Kiera Oluokun

A love of the game

TJ Jones is the founder of “Nothing but Net Basketball,” a skill development program. He has also authored a book and created the Youth Basketball Leadership Academy. (Mike Kemp photo) 30 | 501 LIFE October 2019

TJ Jones’ love for basketball has helped him turn his passion into a growing business. TJ, a native of Conway, said that basketball has always been a part of his life. “I’ve been playing basketball for as long as I can remember,” he said. “I’ve always had a love for the game.” TJ started playing basketball at a young age. He remembers being a child and going to hang out with his friends and playing games on different courts. Even when he participated in other sports, such as baseball and football, he said that he always gravitated toward basketball. TJ started playing in an organized league in fourth grade through Conway Parks and Recreation’s city league. He then moved on to playing for his school in seventh grade, which continued throughout his high school career. After high school, TJ received the opportunity to play on a collegiate level at Central Baptist College for two years. After his time at CBC, TJ received a scholarship to play basketball at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. When his collegiate basketball career ended at OBU, he returned home to the University of Central Arkansas to finish up college. Although he did not join the team at UCA, it is there that he discovered his niche in skill development. While at UCA, TJ ran into Coach Charles Hervey, the men’s basketball coach at UCA at the time, and he presented him with the opportunity to work with the team’s returning point guard. “I had never thought about doing any skill development. I wanted to coach at the time, but I had never really thought about skill development. I didn’t even know what to do.” TJ worked with Hervey and did skill development for the team off and on until 2004. In 2004, his wife’s uncle asked if TJ would be able to work with his son during the summer to improve his basketball skills. After seeing his client’s improvements dur-

ing the basketball season, TJ decided that he wanted to branch out and see where his skill development coaching would lead him. Under pressure to meet a tight deadline to put an ad in a newspaper for his business, TJ needed to come up with a name. “Nothing but Net Basketball” was the name that TJ went with, although he admits to not being a fan of the name at first. He planned on changing the name the next year, but decided to keep it. “In 2005, I put an ad in the paper and I had one person call me, and as they say — the rest is history.” Currently, TJ has more than 150 client contacts and does around 15 to 20 sessions per week. He does not work with all of the clients at the same time. He works with some during the summer, some during the season and others just here and there. He does one-on-one sessions, camps, private groups and classes, where there may be three or four players in the class. For TJ’s younger clients, around the age of 5 or 6, he likes to just keep it fun. “We work on dribbling and passing the ball. I come up with little games for them to play so that they can have fun.” As Nothing but Net Basketball approaches its 15th year, TJ is open to taking on more ventures. “In the next five years, I really want to get into more consulting,” he said. “When I first started, there was not that much information about skill development. I don’t want to be 60 years old on the basketball court.” This year, he launched T. Jones Consulting Firm, where he will be able to do basketball skill development consulting along with taking on more business opportunities. Through the firm, TJ will be able to work more with parents, players and coaches to create a skill development plan and programs. In addition to starting his consulting firm this year, TJ also authored the Skill Development Playbook, an informative book that teaches parents, coaches and players how skill development is actually created. Although the process was long and there were challenges, the book was finished this year and it is available to purchase on Amazon. “This is not a drill book, but if you are a parent and you want to know how to start working with your kids on basketball, this is the perfect book for you.” In addition to conducting training sessions, consulting and promoting his skill development book, TJ will also soon be hosting the inaugural Youth Basketball Leadership Academy, an idea that came to TJ after he attended a Junior NBA conference. After presenting the information that he obtained from the conference to Mayor Bart Castleberry and gaining his support, TJ said that he hit the ground running with planning the event. He spoke with coaches and got feedback and input on how to put the clinic together. The Academy will be catered toward any person who works with youth players from elementary to high school. TJ will have a range of panelists who will discuss academics as well as skill development. A sports psychologist will also be present to discuss the emotional damage that can be done to players who have too much pressure placed on them and how it affects their performance. The one-day event will be held 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Faulkner County Boys and Girls Club. For information or to register, visit tjonesfirm.com/2019-academy. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 31


Kyle Bruich (above left) playing the Stampede in Calgary. Kyle playing at the 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill in Nashville (middle). “I always play six nights a week. When I’m not on the road with David (Lee Murphy), I’m playing a club in town.” Sound check (right) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, preparing to play at CMA Fest.

Living his dream ‘It’s what I love to do’ by Sonja J. Keith

Conway native Kyle Bruich is living his dream of a music career in Nashville, Tenn. A son of Sammi and Pat Bruich, Kyle traces his interest in music to listening to classic rock tunes while riding in his dad’s truck. After an initial interest in playing drums, he turned to guitar when he was 10 and began taking lessons. At 15, he began giving guitar lessons. From age 13 to 21, Kyle got his first taste of playing with a band while he was attending St. Joseph School. He and some friends played rock music and formed Anxiety. The group had local success and started playing major clubs in Little Rock. He recalled the band would not get home from a performance until late at night but were in school the next day. “That was my heart and soul,” he said, adding that he still keeps in touch with the other band members. “They are my best friends and my brothers.” Kyle always wanted a career in music, but he didn’t know how to go about it. “Even when I moved to Nashville, I really didn’t think it was a possibility. I thought it was a far-fetched idea. Luckily, I ended up doing it.” In 2009, Kyle moved to Nashville. “It was kind of wild. I didn’t really have a plan…It was more of an adventure thing. I was going to see what happened. ” His parents stocked his refrigerator and he had about $50 in his pocket but no job. Fortunately, Kyle found himself in the right place at the right time not once, but twice. Kyle went to Tootsies Orchid Lounge in Downtown Nashville, “one of the world’s most famous honky-tonks,” to inquire about a possible job. “They thought that I was the guy that showed up for a job that day,” he said. “I did a good job and I got the job. I got really lucky because I had to find a job immediately because I didn’t have any money.” 32 | 501 LIFE October 2019

One day at work, a guitar player on stage had to go to jail. When the question was asked if anyone in the house played guitar, Kyle raised his hand. “That’s how I got my first gig.” Kyle joined the house band at Tootsies that led to an opportunity to play for Trick Pony and eventually David Lee Murphy. “One thing led to another. It was not an overnight thing.” When he moved to Nashville, Kyle said he envisioned a “big audition” which would lead to a music career. Instead, his career has been made in baby steps after hundreds of shows, hard work and many hours. “I’m still making those steps.” He considers himself

At CMA Fest. more of a “working man” than a “wanna-be rock star.” His first “traveling artist gig” was with Trick Pony when he was 26. “It was a whole new thing. I had

never been on a tour bus. I was around a lot of veterans who had been doing it for a long time. I was a kid. I kind of had to learn as I went. I was too embarrassed to ask a lot of questions.” The last year, he has performed with David Lee Murphy. He typically travels on the weekends with the band and performs during the week in bars in Nashville. He has traveled throughout the U.S. and to Canada. Kyle enjoys the traveling the music industry has afforded and loves seeing new places. He likes big cities and loves the little towns he has visited that otherwise he would not have ever seen. “I love seeing this beautiful country,” he said. “There are some great people everywhere.” Reflecting on his years in music, Kyle said his parents have been the most influential. “They’ve been really supportive. My dad’s taste in music really inspired me.” He has also been inspired by watching the audience having a good time during each performance. “Knowing that I’m a part of that, it inspires me to do the next show.” He enjoys most the interaction with the audience and other musicians on stage, which he considers a team. The guitar has a special allure for Kyle. “The sound of a guitar and the look of a guitar have always drawn me to that. Honestly, it keeps me awake at night, just thinking of new sounds and new techniques. It’s a problem sometimes. I’m fully addicted to playing the guitar and playing guitar live, for people. It’s something I’ve got to do.” As part of the David Lee Murphy band, Kyle recently performed before a large audience at CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. It was his first stadium concert. “It was amazing…That show was incredible.” The next night, he played at Kid Rock’s bar, which he said was just as important. “I’m lucky to meet some great people and play for some great people. It keeps me going for the next show.”


The 501’s Kyle Bruich will soon return to Central Arkansas to perform as a member of the David Lee Murphy band at the Seventh Annual Carter’s Harvest Fest in Alexander on Saturday, Oct. 26. For more information, go to the Harvest Fest 2k19 event page on Facebook or carteroffroadpark.com/.

Along the way, there are some special moments that stick out for Kyle. Last year, the band opened for Toby Keith in a sold-out Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. “That was one of those moments where you just kind of look around and you get a little overwhelmed and, I know it sounds a little cheesy, but you start to tear up a bit because that’s just something you’ve worked for your whole life.” Kyle has learned that when he is playing he can’t get caught up in the moment because he could mess up. Instead, he focuses on playing and thinks about the experience later. He compares the emotion he has felt after stadium and arena shows to what he experienced when he performed with Anxiety in high school. “It’s still the same exact feeling.” Kyle has been around other big names in country music, including Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan. “I learned these people are successful for a reason. They are all good people. They care deeply for what they do and they respect everybody that paid money to come see them. They are good at what they do and they care.” His advice to others interested in a music career is the same for any field – “treat people right and work hard.” He has nothing against singing competition shows on television, but he said the music industry is different than what is portrayed. “It’s about doing

Performing on the Kenny Chesney tour. “We were direct support for Kenny during the months of April and May.” hundreds of shows that aren’t even the best shows and not the best clubs. It’s doing it every single day like you would any job,” he said. “It’s a crawl, not a race. You have to be in it for the long haul.” Kyle said a career in music involves a lot of hard work. “I wasn’t more talented than anybody. I just outworked a lot of people, I think.” He added he is not good at taking vacations because he can’t be away from his music and performing for very long. “I love it. It’s what I do and it’s what I have to do.” As he looks ahead, Kyle has a few objectives in mind for his music. “I want to continue to make a living playing music and play music in every corner of the world. That’s been my dream forever and I’m right in the middle of it…I want to play hundreds of more shows and see where it takes me. It has been good to me so far.”

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‘Sore throats and sassafras tea’ In other days it was the norm to do home doctoring when someone was ailing or a baby was due. In my family of five siblings, the last two births were the first born in medical facilities. The first three were born at home, not always aided by doctors who arrived from miles away. My oldest brother was born Vivian Lawson at a neighbor’s house as our parents did not yet Hogue have their own. The next A native of Conway, Vivian one was delivered on the Lawson Hogue graduated from the University of Central dining table by a doctor Arkansas with a degree in art who was not a practicing education. A retired teacher, she worked in the Conway School teetotaler. District for 23 years. She can be This brother says, reached at vhogue@conwaycorp. net. “He never turned in my birth to the authorities, so I never had a birth certificate. The birth was entered into the family Bible, but it was destroyed when the house burned. When I applied for Social Security, I had to go through paperwork just to prove I was born.” The third brother was born on the same table, a breech delivery of 10-pounds and possibly weighed on cotton scales. The doctor was unable to attend, as his son had borrowed his car. The duty fell to my dad, who in his time as a sometime veterinarian had delivered other “newborns.”

Annual childhood health events for me were sore throats and bronchitis. I felt bad, but became worse when I saw the little bottle of red iodine and the long throat swab heading for my open mouth. Then came the blue glass jar of Vick’s salve. It was rubbed on the chest and under the nose followed by gargling with salt water. Sometime in the third grade I acquired a case of “epidemic parotitis” or “mumps.” We do not have a single “mump” in our bodies, much less two or more. However, the term originated in 1592 and sounds as good as any. It is actually a viral swelling of one or more parotid (salivary) glands. When you feel that bad, you don’t care what it is; you just want over it. It is bad enough on a kid, but when your 48-year-old father catches it from you, you feel worse. He was actually sicker than I, so I slept in the hall on an old Army cot while he got a nice bed because he groaned louder. Some medicines were thought very harmless when I was a child, as was one called paregoric used for digestive tract ailments, coughs and pain. It has a checkered past as its principal ingredient was powdered opium. While I do not recall it in our home, I do recall later products that took its place in “digestive disturbances,” a mixture of Kaolin (clay) and pectin (thickener). I am fortunate to have had parents who used or remembered the use of ancient remedies. One of those was sassafras tea. Its use was taught to the American colonists by the Native Americans. As a matter of fact, English expeditions would arrive in America in the 1600s to gather up bundles of sassafras, as it was valuable in England. Our local supply of sassafras has

likely suffered the last 30 years through the onslaught of housing developments, as it would just be another bush in the way of the heavy machinery. In ancient days and not so ancient, it was a delicious tea that was for “thinning one’s blood” after staying inside all winter. I have seen sassafras in the past on Faulkner County roadsides, but not much anymore. My dad gathered it in late fall or winter as it is then easier to identify without foliage. Mother brewed it and we eventually regretted drinking the last drop. I recently purchased some in concentrate form, bottled in Ohio. It says, “North America’s Original Tea,” so I knew they knew their history. I was cleaning out a fence row once and removed what appeared to be a type of elm tree sapling. It had flat-sided, somewhat flexible projections along two opposite sides of the stems. Thinking it had some disease, I asked my dad about it and he identified it as a “Winged Elm,” a common elm found throughout the South and presumably all over Arkansas. He said it was used as a toothbrush in his youth. It was easy to see why, and dipped in a bit of baking soda, I guess it did the trick! I have learned a few trivial matters about things medical. For one, don’t ask someone if their sick friend has a temperature. If they say “no,” don’t call the doctor; call the coroner. Now if you ask if they have a fever and they say “no,” that’s better. I also learned that the oath that doctors take does not instruct to “First, do no harm.” Hippocrates did sort of say that in his ramblings, but not in an oath. Now, if I could just figure out why we get sick or hurt at night or on weekends or holidays …

An array of older medicines, including quinine for leg cramps, mercurochrome for minor cuts and oil of citronella for repelling insects. Traditional mercurochrome is no longer sold in the U.S. because of mercury content. Quinine is now discouraged for leg cramps due to serious side effects. 34 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Love yourself What does fair mean to you? What about when I say, “It’s not fair that Ms. Susie or Mr. Frank is about to eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce, but I look at a carrot stick and gain 20 pounds!” Maybe Ms. Susie and Mr. Frank live at the gym, or maybe they have great genetics. Well, say what Adam you want, but it just Bledsoe doesn’t seem fair. Originally from Northeast Ohio, I recently visAdam Bledsoe moved to Arkansas ited a medical clinic in 2000 to attend Harding University after active duty focusing on weight loss, service in the U.S. Air Force. He is hormones, etc. While married to Dr. Amanda Bledsoe, and they have two children, waiting to be seen, I Audrey (10) and Hunter (6), who contemplated all the attend Wooster Elementary. Adam is newly employed by fitness and wellness THV11 as a feature reporter, adventures I’ve taken on focusing on a variety of feel-good community related stories. in my 41 years on earth. Maybe this is the “magic pill” to finally getting the beach body I’ve always desired but never had. Actually, I don’t desire a beach body. I just want to function appropriately for my age and be able to ride roller coasters without having to take the “chunky walk of shame.” Believe me when I exclaim that I don’t say that to be disrespectful to those with a wider waistline. I feel your pain. The conversation of health and wellness immediately draws my attention to physical fitness. Health and wellness has many layers which dictates a complete wellness score. I am fully aware I’m not a health and wellness professional and don’t have

the credentials, so whatever I mention is strictly from my observations as a human being struggling to maintain a passing health and wellness score… whatever that means. Physical, spiritual and mental health combine to determine how well we’re functioning. Some may be mastering one or two of these elements to health and wellness but struggle with something. Show me someone who isn’t struggling, and I’ll show you a super hero. Constantly working to improve on these three elements will allow you to love your neighbor as yourself. I’ve spoken about this in past articles; how can you be a blessing to those around you if you fail to love yourself? Matthew 6:33 says to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will


be given to you. This passage is referring to those dealing with anxiety over the clothes they wear or the food they eat. How about the beach body? I don’t know how much God cares for your beach body, but I do believe what it says about what to seek FIRST. I continue to struggle with my waistline and my anxiety about this, that or the other, and often feel like I’m just a giant sinner who doesn’t deserve grace. The lovely thing is God has given us the ability to press on with the day. Winter is coming. Enjoy the season. By the way, it’s not fair that we don’t get four seasons in the 501! (Insert tongue out one eye winking emoji here.)

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 35


An old photo from the church archives labeled “1894-1947 - Pleasant Grove Baptist Church - Reeves School House community.”

‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ Pleasant Grove to celebrate 125 years by Sonja J. Keith

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in West Conway will celebrate its 125th anniversary with special festivities in October. The theme for the celebration is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” According to Pastor Will Overstreet, a casual celebration is planned. “We invite former members and staff to celebrate the past and look forward to the future,” he said. The church, which is located at 3255 Prince St., has several scrapbooks, old photos and other documents that will be available during the event. In addition, organizers are inviting former members to share their special memories, funny stories and photos. There are more than 300 names on the invitation list for the celebration. The community is also invited to attend and learn more about the church. To RSVP, email conwaypgbc@conwaycorp.net. Pleasant Grove Baptist Church began as a small wood church, which was replaced by a rock building on the corner of Prince Street and Country Club Road. The church later built a new structure that it uses today. Overstreet said the anniversary represents an exciting time for the church. “Pleasant Grove would not have been here for 125 years without God.” Citing the celebration theme, he added that the church has had a lot of faithful members over the years. Anniversary activities include: Saturday, Oct. 5 – A come-and-go reception and open house are planned from 5 to 7 p.m. with refreshments and fellowship with former members and guests. Sunday, Oct. 6 – The service will begin at 10 a.m. The church will honor its past and look to the future with brief messages from former Pastor John Greer, who served 32 years, and Overstreet, who has served since August 2018. The program will also include worship music, video testimonies, historical videos and comments from special guests. The service is expected to conclude at 11:30 a.m. Food trucks will be on-site to purchase lunch from or those attending are welcome to bring a picnic lunch. Church member Alice Smith said the anniversary “confirms our faith and God’s faithfulness to us.” She said the church has always been welcoming to those who attend services. 36 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Barbara Erion, also a member of the church, said the people at Pleasant Grove are important to each other. She recalled her son was invited to attend a Christmas program at the church. One of his friends portrayed one of the wise men. “It made me think I wanted my son to be a part of things like that.” Church member Brenda Worm used the words “warm, welcoming and kind” to describe the members she met when she and her husband visited. She said they checked out bigger churches but did not experience the level of friendliness that they found at Pleasant Grove. “We knew this was the place we were meant to be.” Overstreet said he hopes those in the community without a church home will visit Pleasant Grove. “We are a gathering of believers. We want more people to be a part of that, too.”

HISTORY Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was organized Oct. 7, 1894, with a membership of 19. The Rev. W.L. Dale served as the first pastor until Sept. 10, 1895. John Jones was the church clerk. Many other pastors have served faithfully for decades. “Along with the spiritual growth and membership additions, the material growth is also noticeable,” stated the written church history dated 1894-1950. “Water was made available July 7, 1901, with a joint well drilled for the church and Reeves School House. This was done by a horse-driven rig operated by Bud Diffee. “Five Sunday school rooms were built in the early 20s. Most of the lumber was hauled by wagon from the Fourche River Lumber Company at Bigelow. The installment of electric lights and a redecoration of the auditorium soon followed.” On June 21, 1947, after some time and discussion, the church voted to build a

In 1950, construction was completed on a rock church building. new church building instead of further repairing the old building. Groundbreaking took place on Saturday, July 17. In early 1948, the old church building was torn down and a tent was purchased for $79 to be used for all services until July 7, when the auditorium was finished. The tent was sold to Brumley Chapel, which was also building a new church house. The rock church building was completed for $5,000. In November 1950, it was ready for dedication. The

rock structure was replaced with a new building in 1997. “We take joy in our growth and the growth of our love of Christ and who he is,” states the church website. “Pleasant Grove Baptist Church is a body of believers over a century sharing the love of God and growing in their own faith. We began with 19 members and are loving what Christ is continuously doing in our church.” For more information on the church and its history, visit pleasantgroveconway.com.

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church completed its current building in 1997.


October 2019 501lifemag.com | 37


Peace and healing In one American denomination, there is an introduction to services of healing that reads like this: “...The root of the word healing in New Testament Greek, sozo, is the same as that of salvation and wholeness. Spiritual healing is God’s work of offering persons balance, and wholeness Mark McDonald harmony of body, mind, spirit and Mark McDonald, a Methodist relationships through minister, has served churches in confession, forgiveness and Northwest Arkansas, Booneville, Jacksonville and Conway. His reconciliation…” family settled in Faulkner County “The greatest healing in the 1840s. He attended of all is the reunion or Hendrix College, where he serves as a trustee. He and his wife have reconciliation of a human six children all living in Central being with God. When this Arkansas. happens, physical healing sometimes occurs, mental and emotional balance is often restored, spiritual health is enhanced and relationships are healed” (UM Book of Worship). When we consider “Health and wellness” in the

501, those words can help us remember something basic about health: we are seeking peace with God and peace with others. Most people have struggles with their health. Everyone will, eventually. Whether we struggle with weight, diabetes, hearts, emotions or any host of physical/emotional/ social/spiritual combinations, we see healing. While we want specific forms of healing, such as physical cures, they are only means to an end. They don’t bring real satisfaction unless they provide us with reconciliation to God and others. In other words, we seek peace. Someone once told me that “peace is not merely the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the conflict.” I’ve seen that lived out when I’ve sat with people who felt peace even when facing cancer, illness or even death. They had peace in the assurance that God was with them, and they focused on spending whatever time they had with the people they loved the most. It brought them a joy and peace in spite of dire circumstances, and often led to a whole new level of healing. It is inspiring to realize that there is nothing that can take away our peace, nothing that can separate us from the love of God.

As you seek health and wellness, seek first for reconciliation with God and reconciliation with others. Find peace by loving God and loving others as God loves you.

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Lines Cemetery

Location included in Arkansas Historic Register

Woody Cummins, Nell Sterling, Richard Bell and Jack Ruple gather at Lines Cemetery. They all have helped preserve the cemetery. Story and photos by Callie Sterling

The historic Lines Cemetery – the final resting place for some of the area’s first settlers – has been added to the Arkansas Register of Historic Places. The cemetery is located in southern Faulkner County, near Round Mountain Road and Scenic Hill Road. The Arkansas Register of Historic Places falls under provisions of the state register of Historic Places Act. Nell Sterling, along with her brother, Richard Bell, completed the registration and application process that was necessary to add Lines Cemetery to the Arkansas Register of Historic Places. The application states that the burials in the cemetery are evidence of the early families that settled in the area. The cemetery serves as the last surviving physical remains of early communities in close proximity to Gold Creek and Round Mountain. “It is important to me that Lines Cemetery was 40 | 501 LIFE October 2019

added to the historical register for preservation of the land and graves themselves,” Sterling said. “The Registry provides protection to the cemetery against any type of future urban development for all the years to come. The Registry provides information for others to learn of the history of Faulkner County and the impact of this small country cemetery.” Sterling and Bell felt led to continue their mother’s efforts by working diligently to protect the cemetery, so together the pair of siblings began the quest to include the cemetery on the register. “I think we should pay special tribute to my mother, Edna Higgs Bell, who was the one who originally led the fight to get the cemetery protected from developers and preserved,” Sterling said. “She loved her family and was proud of the impact they had on Faulkner County.” Bell has the same fond memories of his mother that his sister has. He recalls her deep love and pride for her family roots. “My mother instilled in us the importance of family,” he said. “The family cemetery was a part of our family work tasks growing up. Each year, there would be a cemetery cleaning by the Higgs, Barley and Lind families. During this time, food would be spread over tablecloths and served with gallon jugs of iced tea at the cemetery grounds. We would work with sickles, buzz saws, rakes, shovels and hoes while cleaning the grounds.” The cemetery is rich in history and serves as the final resting place for many early settlers to the area. Lines Cemetery contains 34 known marked burials, as well as an unknown amount of unmarked burials and burials marked by fieldstones. The graves include iconography on basic style markers. Oak leaves, books, treestones and upward pointing

A marked grave from 1885. hands are all examples of iconography and funerary art that appear on the gravestones at Lines Cemetery. A closed book represents a life that has been fully completed. An open book can represent the human heart with its thoughts and feelings open to God and the world. Books on gravestones can also represent a book in the Bible.

Oak leaves can represent many characteristics including strength, endurance, eternity, honor, liberty, faith, hospitality and virtue. Oak leaves specifically represent Christianity. Treestones are a popular symbol across the Midwest and can represent the Woodmen of the World fraternal organization. Finally, the upward pointing hand can symbolize a soul making the journey into Heaven. Additionally, three graves are marked with Masonic symbols. The oldest known burial at Lines Cemetery occurred between 1870-1879. The majority of the burials at Lines Cemetery, which numbers 10, occurred between 1880-1889. Approximately 80 percent of the burials at Lines Cemetery occurred before 1960. The Line Family originally donated the land where their family members were laid to rest. In addition to the Line Family, the following families were also buried at the cemetery: Barley, Adams, Goad, Higgs, Lind, Tabor and Shira. The Lines Cemetery Association now possesses direct ownership of Lines Cemetery. Bell and other family members serve as the main representatives for the association. Jack Ruple assisted in the process for adding Lines Cemetery to the register. “I would like to thank Jack Ruple for his research of the Lines, Lind, Barley and Higgs family histories; as well as other pioneer families buried in Lines Cemetery,” Bell said. “Further, I want to thank the Arkansas Historical Commission for recognizing the Lines Cemetery and its contribution to Faulkner County history.”

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Pedal pushers Tom and Melissa Courtway have taken up bicycling as an activity they can enjoy together while also remaining physically active. (Mike Kemp photo) 42 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Courtways take up cycling to connect, stay active by Sonja J. Keith

Melissa and Tom Courtway recently took up bicycling as an activity to enjoy together while remaining physically active. It’s an activity that appears to be gaining in popularity, especially among couples. “We are the beginner recreational cyclists,” Tom said with a smile. “And we love it,” added Melissa. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s good exercise and makes you feel good. To be our age, it’s a good way to keep moving.” “You gotta get off the couch,” Tom said. Eyeing the end of his service as president of the University of Central Arkansas in December 2016, Tom thought bicycling might be a good activity for the two to take up. During conversations over several months, he mentioned to Johnny Adams, an avid cyclist, that the couple was interested in learning more. The two met over lunch to discuss bicycling and Johnny shared with him some related magazines. “After lunch that day, I went home and talked to Melissa. At that time, we were rolling out of the presidency at UCA,” he said. “We realized we had been pretty active for a few years and things were about to slow down and that we didn’t really do anything together as a couple. We didn’t play tennis, we didn’t play checkers.” “I didn’t play golf,” Melissa added. “We decided we would buy a couple of bikes,” Tom said, adding that they went to The Ride and talked with owners Erik and Tara Leamon. “We bought what I would call beginner bicycles. We still have them. She calls them ‘fat tire’ bicycles.” The two began riding bikes in August of that year in their neighborhood. “I hadn’t been on a bike since grade school or junior high,” said Melissa. “And the bikes are different now.” When they could, they would ride a few miles every day. As they became more comfortable, they eventually branched out to longer distances and other places, like the Conway bike trail. “The first day we rode, we did three miles and we felt like we had really done something, which we know is nothing, but we felt proud of ourselves,” Tom joked. At Christmas that year, the couple went to Destin, Fla., with two other couples and took their bikes along. “While we were down there, we went a little further,” Tom said. “There is a state park at Destin and we would ride up in the park and venture out a little bit into the streets,” added Melissa. Melissa and Tom discovered it was a fun activity that they both liked. “It became something we enjoyed doing together,” said Tom, who added that in conjunction with the cycling he did some other things and began to lose weight. “I felt better.” In the fall of 2017, the two tried their first organized event – the Big Dam Bridge 100. The annual Little Rock event attracts around 3,500 cyclists from across the nation and multiple countries around the world. It celebrates the “Big Dam Bridge” over the Arkansas River, which connects more than 15 miles of scenic riverside trails between Little Rock and North Little Rock. (For more information, visit thebigdambridge100.com.) The two made 32 miles that year during the event. “For us, that was quite an accomplishment,” Tom said. “On those fat tire bikes,” Melissa added. The two – who describe themselves as recreational cyclists – had to get off their bikes and walk on one of the hills in the Pinnacle Mountain area, but that was ok. “We don’t ride as fast as some people. We’re not in as good of shape, I’m certainly not, but I’m in a whole lot better shape that I was three years ago when we started,” Tom said. In late fall, the two invested in new bikes, this time without fat tires. They considered the fat tire bikes a good investment and felt like they provided training for their new bikes. Last year, the Courtways rode 50 miles in the Big Dam event. “Our goal is to make it and not have a heart attack,” smiled Tom.

He cites three specific outcomes of taking up bicycling: A - It has been something they enjoy doing together. B– “It has improved my physical health.” C– “It sort of clears my mind.” We’re The two learning have enjoyed as we go. biking along the River Trail Everybody on weekends, in has been very preparation for the Big encouraging, Dam ride. “We would see and everyone we’ve deer and get off the bike, sit there and watch it and talk,” Tom said. “We have a good time. encountered has been very helpful. It’s become something very enjoyable.” There have been a couple minor spills along the way, which they say will happen, — Tom Courtway but the two are adamant about safety and wear their bike helmets. Overall, they said cycling is not as hard on the body as other activities, like running. Other Arkansas locations/events they have enjoyed biking include the annual Tour duh Sunken Lands Cultural Bike Ride in Eastern Arkansas and part of the Razorback Regional Greenway in Northwest Arkansas. Out of state, they have enjoyed biking in New Orleans, Orange Beach, Ala., and Fort Collins, Colo. “We would not have done that had it not been for our interest in cycling,” Tom said, referring to a three and a half hour tour of New Orleans on bikes. “It sort of adds to a vacation.” On their bucket list is the Katy Trail, along the northern bank of the Missouri River. “It goes almost from St. Louis to Kansas City and it’s an old railroad bed that they have converted into a state park,” Tom said. “They have a lot of little towns where you can stay at bed and breakfast inns. You can ride 30 or 40 miles in a day, and then spend the night.” Melissa and Tom know several other couples who enjoy cycling together, and agree that it appears to be growing in popularity. “It is becoming more couples, I think,” Melissa said. “It’s just a great activity for our age, or any age,” Tom said. “We thoroughly enjoy it.” In the 501, closer to home, Melissa and Tom enjoy parking their vehicle at Cantrell Field near Conway and riding their bikes through the Lollie Bottoms along the Arkansas River. “A lot of people ride bikes out there,” he said. For those considering biking, Tom and Melissa are willing to loan their old bikes to try out. “Anybody can borrow my old bicycle for a week or two to see if they like it. They can start out the way I started out, without having to make a financial commitment,” Tom said, adding he can be contacted through his UCA email address.

BIKES continued on Page 44 October 2019 501lifemag.com | 43

Big Bear Classic set for October There will be a new event this year at the University of Central Arkansas homecoming – the Big Bear Classic bike ride. The event is planned the morning of Saturday, Oct. 26, at Donaghey Hall on campus. Net proceeds will be presented to the university’s general scholarship fund. Former UCA President Tom Courtway is leading the group organizing the event. In March, Tom talked with Johnny Adams, president of the Conway market of First Security Bank and a local bicycling enthusiast, about putting together a cycling event in conjunction with homecoming. As the two began planningt, more individuals and groups became interested in helping plan the inaugural event. The committee numbers about 30. First Security Bank and Conway Regional Health System are the major sponsors of the Big Bear Classic. Route sponsors are Nabholz, Rogers Group and Textbook Brokers. Registration is $35 per person before Monday, Sept. 30, and $45 after. UCA student registration is $25. Registration includes a T-shirt and after-party admission. Cycling jerseys will also be available for purchase, separately. Participants have three routes from which to choose from: 50 miles (Big Bear Route), 25 miles (Purple Route) and 10 miles (Gray Route). The two longer routes will start at Donaghey Hall and travel east. The 10-mile route, ideal for families, will go through campus and across the new pedestrian bridge over Dave Ward Drive into a couple of neighborhoods. “Safety is No. 1,” Tom said, adding there will be six rest stops staffed by volunteers. He has high praise for the churches and volunteers who will be assisting as well as the law enforcement agencies and government officials who are on board. After the finish, there will be a social event at Donaghey Hall for participants. “We want to have fun,” Tom said. “We want it to become an annual event.” For more information, visit uca.edu/bigbearclassic. Those involved in the planning include: Johnny Adams (First Security Bank), Lindsay and Jon Ross Henderson (Conway chamber and First Security Bank), Julie and Tim Gorman (Rogers Group), Jeff Standridge (The Conduc-

BIKES continued from Page 44 “The only thing they will have to get is a helmet. I would not get on a bicycle without a helmet. Period. That is the No. 1 thing you’ve got to have.” They both suggest starting out slow and talking to a friend who already rides. “Like any form of exercise, don’t give up the first three or four times you try. Give it a chance. See the health benefits that come,” he said. “It’s made a huge difference to me and how I feel.” As far as equipment, they also recommend biking shorts. “They make a huge 44 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Representatives of the committee organizing the inaugural Big Bear Classic: Tom Courtway (from left), Lisa Christman, Andrea Woods, Lynn Schaefer and Lori Ross. (Mike Kemp photo) tor), Lori Ross (Conway Regional Health System), Andrea Woods (Nabholz), Angi McDaniel (Nabholz), John Ed Moore, Tara and Erik Leamon (The Ride), Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry, Steve Ibbotson (City of Conway), Faulkner County Judge Jim Baker, Mark Ledbetter (Faulkner County road foreman), Conway Police Chief Jody Spradlin, Conway Fire Chief Mike Winter, Lt. Aaron Lenderman (Conway police), Faulkner County Sheriff Tim Ryals, Officer Erinn Stone (Faulkner County Sheriff's Office), Mayflower Police Chief Robert Alcon, Lt. Jamie Boothe (UCA Police), Officer Kevin Ford (UCA Police), Blake Duffield (Central Baptist College); and Kale Gober, Jesse Thill, Jon Stephen Stansel, Peter Mehl, Lisa Christman, Kim Eskola, Lynn Schaefer, Lesley Graybeal, Victoria Mays and Anthony Fillipino (all from UCA).

difference,” Melissa said. A cycling jersey and gloves are also helpful. They also suggest bike lights, especially a red light that flashes on the back of a bike. “We’re learning as we go,” Tom said. “Everybody has been very encouraging and everyone we’ve encountered has been very helpful.” The two see Conway as a great city for biking, with its trails and designated bike lanes. They hope to see more trails in the future. “Conway is a great cycling community. There are a lot of people who do it, and a lot of people support and encourage you.”

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 45


The Conway Regional Interfaith Clinic is located at 830 N. Creek Drive in Conway. For an appointment, call 501.932.0559.

Conway Regional Interfaith Dental Clinic staff: Karli Mizer (from left), Gary Jones, DDS, Teresa Freeman and Misty Trudeau. Not pictured: Laura Huffman. (Mike Kemp photo) 46 | 501 LIFE October 2019

‘A real blessing’

Conway Regional keeps dental clinic open by John Patton

“It’s nice being able to enjoy cold watermelon again,” said Marty Watson of Conway. In 2015, Watson turned to the Interfaith Dental Clinic following a two-year battle with cancer. The medicine that helped her fight off the cancer also damaged her teeth, and Watson thought she might never eat cold watermelon and other cold foods again because of the pain. Watson, a disabled teacher, began looking for affordable dental care after moving to Conway. As a patient of the Interfaith Clinic, she started working with the staff on a long-term plan to restore her teeth. The plan fell apart earlier this summer when she heard the clinic was about to close. “I knew I would never be able to afford to get the rest of my teeth fixed,” said Watson. Her sadness turned to joy in early August when she learned that Conway Regional Health System had entered into a partnership with Gary Jones, DDS, and staff to enable the clinic, now called the Conway Regional Interfaith Dental Clinic, to remain open. “I need to write the hospital board a huge thankyou note,” said Watson. “Affordable dental care is a big medical issue that is overlooked in the community. I’m so thankful that the hospital recognized this as a medical need.” Watson is one of many dental patients who have

expressed their gratitude to the clinic staff. Another is Sandra McNabb of Morrilton, who has made several trips to the clinic. “This sure has helped a lot of people by opening back up,” said McNabb. “People like me are on a tight, fixed income. This is wonderful.” Poor dental hygiene can cause more than just cavities. Severe dental issues have been linked to diabetes, heart conditions and other chronic disease, according to the National Institute of Health. “For us to be able to continue the dental clinic makes a huge impact on the community,” added Jones. “There are many people here who need dental care but do not have access to it because they don’t have insurance.” The Interfaith Clinic provides reduced rates to people without dental insurance. The clinic also accepts individuals with Medicaid and Medicare dental plans. Jones said the clinic sees 20 to 30 patients per day and is open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Services include X-rays, cleanings, scaling and root planing, extractions, fillings, crowns, bridges and selective root canals. “We are thankful for this partnership with Dr. Jones and his staff who are committed to caring for people without coverage,” said Matt Troup, President and CEO of Conway Regional Health System. “As a community-based hospital, this partnership supports our mission, and we look forward to enhancing access

to dental care across the community.” “It’s a blessing to me,” said Misty Trudeau, a registered dental assistant and the clinic’s longest-serving employee. “There is a need for our clinic. We serve a purpose; it’s not just a job.” She has been on staff since September 2004, about a year after the dental clinic first opened. “We are greatly appreciative of all the help that we have had.” The clinic staff includes Karli Mizer, registered dental hygienist; Misty Trudeau and Laura Huffman, registered dental assistants; and Teresa Freeman, office coordinator. The entire staff, including Jones, has practiced together at the clinic for the past two years. Jones, a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry in Memphis, could have taken numerous career paths, but chose to work at the Interfaith Dental Clinic because of its mission. “There are very few jobs that offer the public health component along with the dental aspects,” Mizer said. “This is a rare opportunity to help people.” “A lot of tears were shed when we thought it was going to close,” said Freeman. She recalled how Jones and the team fought to keep the clinic open. “He’s just got that heart to help people.” Noting that some patients drive two to three hours for a clinic visit, Freeman said. “This clinic is a real blessing for all of Central Arkansas.”

PARTY LIK E IT’S 199 9! Saturday, October 26 Big Bear Classic

Homecoming Coronation Parade

8am | UCA Campus

Decades Brunch

3:30pm | Bruce Street

10am | McCastlain Hall

Bear Bash 2pm | Crafton Alumni Pavilion

Tailgates 2pm | Bruce Street

GAME TIME – ON – THE STRIPES UCA Bears vs. Sam Houston State 6pm Kickoff

For a full schedule of events, go to uca.edu/homecoming.

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 47


Health and happiness “A sound mind in a sound body is a short but complete description of a happy life.” – John Locke, English philosopher and physician, 1632-1704

Karl Lenser A Conway resident, Karl Lenser is the employee wellness coordinator at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of WisconsinLaCrosse. An accomplished runner, he can be reached at karl. lenser@gmail.com.

“Health makes for the pursuit of happiness, and gives us a longer time to do it.” – George Sheehan, M.D.

Most of us can probably agree that achieving a state of good health and overall happiness is a goal that, if achieved, can make a significant impact on our lives. In most situations, having good physical health can lead an individual to a state of happiness and a more positive disposition. For example, if one’s blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight are within normal limits, that would seem to assist that individual in becoming happier and having a more positive outlook on his/ her life. Physical health parameters also can include factors such as tobacco usage, sleep, stress management and being free of any diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes. When it comes to one’s risk score for developing life-impacting diseases, the “less is more” rule applies. Studies show than individuals who are physically active are more energetic and productive in addition to being less prone to developing life-limiting diseases. Becoming physically active is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to decrease one’s risk for developing hypertension, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, low-back pain and other diseases that inhibit the potential to live life to its fullest. Movement is medicine. The newest health guidelines indicate that accumulating 150 minutes of physical activity in a week (at a moderate intensity) will improve one’s health, enhance overall energy levels and decrease stress as well. The good news is that you do not need to be working out in a fitness center for hours each day to obtain the health benefits that being physically active provides. Thirty minutes for five days each week will be enough to achieve the suggested number of active minutes per week (150.) Who wouldn’t be happier if they lost excessive fat weight, had more energy throughout the day, slept better and could handle stressors more effectively? Positive physical health usually transmits to improved emotional health and better moods overall. An example of this can be found in fitness

48 | 501 LIFE October 2019

centers. In my 25-plus years of experience in working in fitness centers, I rarely have noticed members leaving the facility (after a workout) in a bad mood. Workouts could also be called “positivity sessions” or “happy hours” as they virtually guarantee an enhanced positive mood or outlook on the rest of the day or evening. Being physically fit provides you with greater energy and provides a big boost in self-esteem, which is directly related to your happiness and productivity. In the words of Dr. George Sheehan, “Becoming the best you can be (physically fit) makes you feel the best you can feel.” If you are not currently active, go out and find an activity that you enjoy. Start slowly and gradually increase your duration of each workout. Wellness is having the energy and capacity to basically function as you are supposed to function. Physical health, mental/emotional health and spiritual health all combine to help individuals become happier and able to live a life full of positivity. Life is all about making choices and choosing a lifestyle that promotes positive outcomes and healthier, happier lives.


Peel it off Now that all those beautiful long summer days spent outside are winding down, do you notice your skin isn’t holding that beautiful glow? Summer sun, saltwater, chlorine, sand and wind can all lead to dull, splotchy and discolored skin. All that fun in the sun may be Susan Isom starting to show up on Susan Isom has acquired your skin now. These considerable experience in are the not-so-nice the world of skin care and has received numerous awards reminders of a long and special recognition during summer of sun called her career. She has deservedly earned an excellent reputation freckles, sunspots, overin Arkansas for her skincare all discoloration and/or expertise. She writes monthly skincare articles for state and local hyperpigmentation. publications. She partners with Hyperpigmentation cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael is defined as excess pigDevlin of Little Rock. mentation. These dark spots are very stubborn and become more pronounced with time instead of fading away naturally. The reason behind this is because the skin stops producing new healthy cells as a person ages. The old cells accumulate over time and give the skin a very dull appearance. Although the definition is simple, the causes are multipart and immense. Treatment is dependent on cause and location (epidermal or dermal), and in many cases, early treatment can be effective. Hyperpigmentation can be due to many causes.

(2) sun exposure or (3) genetics. When it comes to treating Melasma (large brown patches on the face), it can be very resistant to treatment. I usually start with a very mild chemical peel (Jessner or glycolic) and then increase the strength to a Retinoic peel as tolerated. Proper bleaching or fading creams are also recommended. The treatments are virtually the same for hyperpigmentation. Some lasers in “lower” energy can be very effective in treating Melasma. I have had great success with the Clear + Brilliant laser, which uses low-energy fractionated technology to improve the skin’s texture. Multiple treatments will be needed on a monthly basis, and then every six months after that, to help maintain the results. Treatment depends on the severity of the Melasma. Everyone’s experience will be unique, and no treatment plan will be 100 percent perfect or work the same way for someone else.

POST-INFLAMMATORY This hyperpigmentation is simply the darkening of the skin that results from any type of inflammation caused by acne, injury, over processed chemical peel, prolonged picking or scratching. The darker the skin type, the more easily post inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur. In Hispanic or African American individuals, acne results in more blemishes (brown spots), and it takes longer for them to fade. The same amount of acne in a fair-skinned individual would have

SUNLIGHT The most single common form of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. The degree and quickness with which it occurs does not show up until much later. This will vary according to the genetics of the individual and the amount of cumulative sun exposure. Over time, the sun makes the skin thicker and coarser, creating irregular pigmentation. Nonetheless, some people — even with careful use of sunscreen — will develop some new spots because with a lifetime of sun exposure, spots keep coming out over the years. If treated aggressively when younger and by practicing safe sun exposure, you will enjoy a clearer complexion longer in your lifetime.

MELASMA Commonly referred to as “mask of pregnancy,” Melasma results from (1) excess estrogen (associated with pregnancy or oral contraceptives),

very little hyperpigmentation. Unfortunately, pigmentation is much darker on the lower torso than on the face. In fact, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (trauma) in the lower portion of the body can be permanent. The best option for treating this type of skin is micro-needling, which involves the use of a pen containing several tiny needles. The pen is used to inject these needles at different spots to create micro channels. Making small injuries to the skin

Beauty continued on Page 79 October 2019 501lifemag.com | 49


Dr. Guy Peeples has 26 years of experience in medicine. (Todd Owens photos)

A heart for helping Surgeon treats with compassion, respect by Sonja J. Keith

Surgeon Dr. Guy Peeples drew inspiration from his dad in deciding to pursue a career in health care. Peeples said his father, the late Dr. Chester W. Peeples, had the calmest demeanor of any man he has known. “My father was an internal medicine doctor,” he said. “It was sometimes hard to tell when he was ruffled and excited, but I learned a lot from him in the way he interacted with people.” With his dad’s background, Peeples said it was more like the field of health care choosing him than him choosing it. He was able to work in a hospital setting from the time he was 16 or 17. His first job was as an attendant (what was then called an orderly) in the operating room. “I was able to see more of what took place back there than anything I knew of my dad’s practice. I stood sort of wowed by the work that was going on and really, from that moment, never contemplated doing anything else…Everything I’ve done since then is either training or working with the goal to be in an operating room.” 50 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Peeples received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis and completed his residency in general surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Department of Surgery. “As a product of my father’s teachings and the mentoring of countless educators, I strive to provide a level of surgical care that would warrant their approval,” Peeples said. “That includes providing every patient with compassion and respect, employing all that is available to bring healing and avoid harm, and remembering that every encounter with another is a chance to learn and grow.” Peeples, who has 26 years of experience in medicine, sees patients at Baptist Health Surgical and Specialty Clinic-Conway. He enjoys most helping with patient transformation, “the chance to see people go from a point of illness and pain to a point of healing, and being able to help them so they can return to their life without that on their mind. “The acute nature of the provision of surgical health care was so appealing to me. Some of my favorite people in this world do the other spectrum

of health care, the chronic maintenance of primary care physicians. Like anybody who does well what I don’t want to do, I love those people because I need them and I like for them to need me. “I think that’s a synergy that works really, really well.” If he hadn’t become a surgeon, Peeples said he probably would’ve pursued being an engineer or architect because of the hands-on nature of the work, another aspect that he enjoys about being a surgeon. Early on, he considered a surgical sub-specialty. “At that young age, you don’t think about where the money is. It wasn’t so much that, it was where’s the fun, excitement and the love of the work,” he said. “It seemed like surgical sub-specialties were committing to limiting the range of work you did.” During his residency in general surgery in Alabama, Peeples said at that time the department provided coverage for everything and there were no surgical sub-specialty fellowships. “We had an experience that was very old school general surgery. You don’t get that today,” he said. While it wasn’t necessarily appreciated at the time, he said the broad

training and experience have been invaluable. Peeples said as a general surgeon he has a broad selection of services that he provides. He said the majority of his procedures involve the gallbladder, hernia, appendix, a full range of gastrointestinal surgeries and attending to trauma. “We provide services here that extend beyond that, to some degree, to doing thyroid and parathyroid work, breast work including breast cancer diagnosis and procedures, and vascular access for dialysis.” Peeples said the most challenging aspect of his work is dealing with the acute nature of illnesses that are encountered with severely ill patients. “There is a ton of work that we do where somebody has gone from a typical state of health to dramatic illnesses that are debilitating and life is about to change,” he said, adding that for some patients there will be no cure for some illnesses. “Getting people comfortable with the management for those patients is challenging. I wouldn’t trade it off for anything else, but it is challenging.” Noting his “very strong Southern drawl,” Peeples recognizes the importance of connecting with his patients. He said it’s important that his patients know he is from Arkansas. “If people don’t feel comfortable with you, you will catch on real quick. They will stop tuning in and they won’t ask any questions,” he said. “You learn real quickly that the first thing I should do is go in and sit down, because the perception of our interaction if I’m standing in the doorway the whole time is going to be one thing, versus if I walk in, introduce myself and sit down.” With a smile, he added that getting to know his patients helps him learn the best places where the crappie are biting. He added he enjoys fishing “all day long” but no one “has offered to pay me for it.” Prior to joining the Baptist clinic in Conway, Peeples worked as a general surgeon at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center’s General and Specialty Surgical Clinic in Harrison. He also practiced medicine at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould and Schoettle and Lanford Surgical Clinic in West Memphis. Peeples, a native of West Memphis, is licensed with the Arkansas State Medical Board and certified with the American Board of Surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and member of the Arkansas Medical Society. Baptist Health Surgical and Specialty Clinic-Conway is located at 650 United Drive, Suite 240. It is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8

Dr. Guy Peeples sees patients at Baptist Health Surgical and Specialty ClinicConway. a.m.-1 p.m. Friday. Peeples and his wife, Theresa, have been married for 32 years. “She is the best thing that ever happened to me.” Health care runs in the genes in the Peeples Family. His daughter, Brooke, has also decided to join the health care field. She is in her last year of residency in internal medicine in Little Rock. His son, Houston, is an ICU nurse at Paragould. Peeples works alongside general surgeon Dr. Bertrand Fonji at the clinic. “To get someone of Dr. Fonji’s disposition and training…he has been a real asset. He’s a smart fellow. I think he and I complement each other really well,” he said, adding that those he works with are top-notch. Peeples added that he and his wife have been very happy with their transition to Central Arkansas, including his work at Baptist and a move to Vilonia. He said the community has been very inviting and they feel at home. “It’s been one of the most enjoyable changes in my life that we have done.”

Dr. Guy Peeples, Dr. Bertrand Fonji and the staff at Baptist Health Surgical and Specialty ClinicConway provide comprehensive care when you need it most. They’re dedicated to keeping you amazing with surgical services including: • Gallbladder surgery

• Laparoscopic surgery

• Thyroid & parathyroid surgery

• Colonoscopy

• Hernia repair • Breast biopsy & surgery • Gastrointestinal & colorectal surgery • Upper & lower endoscopy

• Vascular access • Trauma care • Robotic surgery • Vascular & peritoneal dialysis access • And more

You’re born amazing.

And at Baptist Health, we want to keep you that way. Dr. Peeples 650 United Dr. Suite 240 Conway, AR 72032

Dr. Fonji

For more information or to request an appointment:

(501) 329-1415 or baptist-health.com

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 51



Granola perfect for fall

Granola is perfect any time of the year, especially during the fall months. (Mike Kemp photo)

52 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Nothing says welcome to fall like the crunchy, toasty flavor and spices of GRANOLA! My wife, Nancy, makes a delicious granola that we often give for gifts. She keeps a supply in the freezer as well. I have included Don Bingham her recipe among others for your Recognized throughout the state as an experimenting. accomplished chef, Don Bingham has authored cookbooks, presented television True, granola programs and planned elaborate events. can be bought, but these offer some choices for you in creating the perfect granola customized to your taste. From the fall season all the way through to the holidays, granola is great to have on hand for that morning cereal, the baggy in the lunch box, as a topping on yogurt and ice cream, and certainly for that healthier nighttime snack. This issue of 501 LIFE has the theme of “Health and wellness.” I’m not saying the granolas are all healthy, but compared to some items, they offer grains, nuts and less sugar, and cure the craving from most of the unhealthy treats of which we often choose. Granola may take a few minutes to prepare and some ingredients that are not always on hand, but the beauty of this mixture is the longevity of most granolas. From weeks to months in the freezer, pre-portioned servings are a great “go-to” as cooler weather approaches! Aromas such as cinnamon, nutmeg and toasted coconut – all of these serve as comfort foods for fall!

TRIPLE CREEK GRANOLA 1 (18-ounce) container old-fashioned oats 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds 1 1/2 cups pepitas 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and coarsely chopped 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 1 1/2 cups honey or maple syrup (or half of each) 3/4 cup vegetable oil 2 cups chopped dried fruit Preheat oven to 350. Toss oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon and brown sugar until well mixed. Heat the honey and oil just to warm; pour over dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are coated with honey mixture. Spread mixture onto lightly greased sheet pans with edges. Bake, stirring frequently to brown evenly (about 17 to 25 minutes total). Keep a close eye on the granola, as toward the end of the browning, it turns very quickly. Remove from oven, add dried fruit and stir occasionally to break up clumps and cool. Store in airtight containers or sealable plastic bags. This granola will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to eight weeks or frozen for up to six months.

NANCY BINGHAM’S LOWFAT GRANOLA 4 cups rolled oats, extra thick 3/4 cup pecans, chopped 1/4 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds Mix thoroughly: 4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons local honey 1/4 teaspoon salt Pour honey mixture over nut/oatmeal mixture and coat thoroughly. Bake at 300, stirring every 7-10 minutes, for 20-30 minutes. Add one cup total of dried fruit of your choosing (golden raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries). Store in airtight container.

SUNDANCE NUTTY GRANOLA 2 cups chopped almonds 2 cups chopped pecans 1 cup sunflower seeds 1 cup wheat germ 5 cups old-fashioned oats 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 1/2 cup honey 3/4 cup molasses 1/2 cup maple syrup 3/4 cup vegetable oil 3 cups chopped dried fruit Preheat oven to 350. Spread the oven racks to accommodate two large sheet pans, avoiding the very top and very bottom of the oven. Spray two large sheet pans with nonstick spray and set aside. Stir the first six ingredients (almonds through cinnamon) together in a very large bowl or a big stockpot. Heat the honey, maple syrup, molasses and oil in a saucepan until warm. Pour the honey mixture over the almond mixture and stir well. Divide the mixture evenly between the two sheet pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes and rotating the pans between the two racks for even baking. Remove from oven when golden brown and stir in dried fruit. Stir occasionally while cooking to break up clumps. Store in airtight container for up to eight weeks, or freeze up to six months.

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 53

CHILI Guests can top their chili with a big scoop of corn chips. The wicker, handled tray makes it easy for guests to enjoy their yummy meal in the den or out on the porch for a closer view of the costumed little ones. (Mike Kemp photos)

2 lbs. ground beef 1 large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 2 (15 oz.) cans petite chopped tomatoes 2 (15 oz.) cans Joan of Arc red kidney beans (optional) 1 (32 oz.) container chicken broth 6 tablespoons chili powder 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon salt Black pepper to taste Brown beef, onions and garlic together. Drain off liquid. Add all other ingredients and simmer for at least 1 hour.

CHOCOLATE CAKE 2 2/3 cups of all purpose flour 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup butter 3 cups packed brown sugar 4 large eggs 1 tablespoon (good) vanilla extract 1 1/3 cups sour cream 1 1/3 cups hot water Creamy Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows) Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds; beat in brown sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients, alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in the hot water; beat at low speed just until blended. Pour into prepared pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks. Remove from pan and cool completely. To assemble, place cake layer top side down on a platter. Spread top with a generous 1/2 cup Creamy Chocolate Frosting. Repeat with another cake layer and generous 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer, top side up. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting.

CREAMY CHOCOLATE FROSTING   4 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate 2 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate 1/2 cup butter 5 cups confectioners sugar 1 cup sour cream 2 1/2 teaspoons (good) vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate and butter just until melted, stirring occasionally; cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, beat together confectioners sugar, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture until creamy.

54 | 501 LIFE October 2019


Halloween memories Growing up, I had the best birthday parties EVER! Seriously. I was born on Oct. 28 and you know what that means — Halloween costumes, haunted houses, ghost stories, the works! Not to mention that every single birthday cake was chocolate, my favorite, and it was ALWAYS Julianne Milner decorated with candy corn, which I’ve never A self-taught baker, Julianne Milner is a caterer, seasonal stylist been a fan of. and owner of Julianne’s Southern My parents and two Table. She can be reached at julianne60@gmail.com. older brothers never failed to create the ultimate Halloween haunted house party for me. Each year, invitations were sent to neighborhood friends to attend the party in the costume of their choice. There was always chili, homemade popcorn balls and the infamous chocolate cake. My mother was a wonderful cook. As my friends arrived, we would all enjoy the goodies she had prepared. One by one my costumed friends were led down the long, dark hall of my childhood home. As my

The buffet is set to enjoy chili, firecracker saltines and chocolate cake while greeting trick or treaters. friends passed the double-louvered doors, my dad —hidden and wrapped in a sheet, a stocking pulled over his face—would stumble out and each child would run screaming past! The next stop was the laboratory of the mad scientist, where the kids were blindfolded and encouraged to feel the “eyeballs, veins, and fingers” (grapes, cooked spaghetti and gnarly carrot sticks) of his latest victims. Last stop was the fortune teller, my mom’s best friend dressed in a gorgeous shimmering gown with a turban on her head. Prior to the blindfolds being

removed, my brothers would tell the fortune teller a few fun facts about the boy or girl anxiously awaiting their fortune. Moments later, each friend was amazed by the facts that Madame Katrina would reveal about them while gazing into my mom’s crystal rose bowl turned upside down! Ghost stories and awards for the best costumes brought each party to its end. Each year brought different highlights, scarecrows hanging in the backyard, new games and new prizes. As I grew older, married and had children of my own, it became quite clear how much time and energy went into each Halloween party. How lucky I am to have these wonderful memories of my family celebrating my Halloween birthday each year. Both Mom and Dad are gone now. This Halloween, I’ll carry on traditions that they started, eating chili with family and friends while welcoming loads of trick or treaters to my door. For dessert, we will most definitely have chocolate cake decorated with, you guessed it, candy corn! I hope this Halloween finds you spending time with family and friends, too. Try my chili and chocolate cake recipes! Silence your phone, play some board games, celebrate old family traditions and start some new ones. Happy Halloween from my family to yours!

Together Everyone Achieves More


St. Joseph School

Class of 2020 Athletes Fall 2019

501-329-5741 www.stjosephconway.org Pre-K - 12th Grade October 2019 501lifemag.com | 55


Lakeside weekend retreat A stone patio is nestled into the woods above the blue-green waters of a Greers Ferry Lake cove. (Makenzie Evans photos)

It was an audacious proclamation. “This house is the one!” This was the first reaction of Danny Smith just after the real estate agent opened the front door of a Greers Ferry Lake home. From the front door, Danny and his wife, Kathy, could see through the open living area and onto the giant deck out back, which looked down into the glassy blue-green water in the tree-lined cove below. Not only had they barely stepped inside, this was the very first house that the Smiths had looked at in Donna Benton their quest to find the perfect weekend getaway on the lake. Nobody finds the perfect Donna Benton is a maker of home in the first five minutes, right? custom home furnishings and specializes in classic painted Even though Danny is the kind of guy finishes for antique and vintage who makes up his mind and goes for it, they furniture. You can see her work decided to go ahead and take a look at a at WaterHouseMarket.com. handful of other houses that the real estate agent had on the schedule for the day. But Danny was right, and before long the Smiths and their family were enjoying summer weekends on the lake in their new home. The Smiths and their children have a family business in the Memphis area and they found that it was hard for them to all get away on a family vacation together. “Someone always had to stay around and take care of the business,” said Kathy. “But we could all get away together for the weekend so we started looking for places close to home.” When the couple’s daughter, Claire, got engaged to Blake White, the rugby coach at Arkansas State University, they focused their search on Arkansas and Greers Ferry Lake. “We made a few great weekend trips over to the lake, enjoying the 56 | 501 LIFE October 2019

The table is set for fall family get-togethers at the lake.

It’s a hard decision whether to hang out in a hammock on the deck or on one of these comfy sofas in the open living area.

The basement is fully outfitted to play hard.

last few weeks of summer, and we were just starting to feel settled in,” said Kathy. “I was at home one day when I got a terrible phone call from the termite guy.” He was at our new lake house standing ankle deep in water. A plumbing leak in an upstairs bathroom had been running for days, filling the house with water.” The couple’s dream weekend getaway went from a relaxing oasis to a major construction project in one brief moment. When the Smiths bought their house, they were thinking more about hammocks and suntans. A few months in, it was more like tile samples and sawdust. “We had only visited the house a few times when it flooded,” said Kathy. “We couldn’t use the home last fall and winter because of the construction. But on the bright side, we got to build it back exactly like we wanted it.”

One of their favorite new features is a water shut-off valve that helps them sleep a little better when they are away. The newly remodeled home has a bedroom for each of her four children and their growing families. There is even a bunkroom for all the current and future grandkids. As this feature is being written, the Smiths have two granddaughters. By the time it is published, there will be four! The Smiths finished up the construction just about the time that things started to warm up at the lake. And now, as summer winds down, they are starting to appreciate the quieter, calmer days of the off season. They are looking forward to gathering with the family on fall holidays and they are excited about the year-round family getaway.

More photos on Page 58



2665 Donaghey Ave, Ste 103 Conway AR • (501) 327-1772 www.luxurypoolarkansas.com

HOME continued from Page 57

What a place to rest up for another day on the water.

Everything in this home is about playing or relaxing. This slipper tub is the perfect place to unwind after a day on the lake.

There are plenty of cozy bedrooms and bathrooms for all the kids and grandkids to get comfortable in.

get f ra m e d at

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


GLENROCKAPARTMENTS.COM | 501.295.3244 2730 DAVE WARD DRIVE | CONWAY, AR 58 | 501 LIFE October 2019

2505 Donaghey, Ste 102 • Conway, AR



Benefits of public power This October, Conway Corp is celebrating Public Power Week along with more than 2,000 other communityowned, not-for-profit electric utilities that collectively provide electricity to more than 48 million Americans. Public power puts the people of Conway Beth first, and Public Power Week gives us the chance Jimmerson to celebrate the reliable, A long-time Conway resident, Beth McCullough Jimmerson is affordable electricity the manager for marketing and Conway Corp provides communications for Conway Corp. She has a bachelor’s degree to our community. from the University of Central As one of only 15 Arkansas and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas. public power providers in She can be reached at beth. the state and 2,000 across jimmerson@conwaycorp.com. the nation, Conway Corp is special. We have operated alongside our customers in Conway since 1929. We not only work for Conway, we are Conway. Knowing our community and its needs helps us keep homes, businesses and public places powered year-round. Our service is safe, reliable and affordable, and we take pride in serving our friends and neighbors. Conway benefits from public power with affordable energy costs, superior service, local control and reinvestment in the community. Local needs are considered when decisions are made about rates and services, power generation and green alternatives. Plus, public power revenues are reinvested into community programs and projects that are for the common good. We work hard to keep the lights on, and we work to keep rates low, invest in our local community and provide hometown jobs. Reliability is our No. 1 job. Our crews work tirelessly to keep the power on and restore it quickly when outages occur. Through continued training and ongoing preventative care, we are prepared to act quickly and safely to restore power to Conway. We are the only utility in the state to be designated a platinum-level Reliable Public Power Provider by the American Public Power Association for demonstrating high proficiency in reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Plus, our employees are dedicated and passionate about this community because it’s where they live too. As a public power provider, we also benefit from mutual aid agreements with other providers. Recently, our crews helped restore power in North Little Rock, Jonesboro and Florida. Should a large outage occur, similar crews would travel to Conway to help restore power for our residents. We focus on providing affordable electric rates, and on a national average, our rates are lower than industry competitors, saving money for citizens and businesses. We also consistently have the lowest


Conway Corp employees recently volunteered at the CAPCA Student Market. residential rates in the state of Arkansas. Lower rates mean citizens have more available to spend on other goods and services which boosts the local economy. We aren’t motivated by profits to sell more power, so we also provide energy efficiency programs like energy audits and zero percent interest loans to benefit customers. Our revenues are reinvested into maintaining and upgrading our system’s substations, distribution lines and more, so we’re able to safely deliver low-cost, reliable electricity. Keeping energy costs affordable serves our community’s long-term needs – and that’s what public power is all about. Conway Corp exists to serve the residents of Conway. We provide friendly walk-in service to customers. Customers can also call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be connected to a customer service representative who is a local member of the community. We are responsive to customers’ needs and concerns and make customer service a priority. Recent data shows we keep the lights on 99.99 percent of the time, but when an outage does occur, we restore power quickly and efficiently because we’re located in the community we serve. On average, our customers get electricity restored after an outage 134 minutes sooner than the national average. We live here and have a vested interest in getting service restored as quickly and safely as possible. We’re accountable to our friends, neighbors and families. Conway Corp is dedicated to exceeding our customers’ expectations in producing and delivering safe, affordable, reliable, innovative and environmentally-sound

utility and telecommunication services while enhancing the quality of life in our community. We believe in enhancing our city through community projects and educational opportunities. We were founded to support area education, and today we provide technology, scholarships and more to our local schools and colleges. We invest in the community because we are the community. We’re invested in Conway, and so are our employees. We employ more than 250 local individuals who serve on local boards, participate with local charities, coach local youth sports teams and more. Each year, Conway Corp employees collectively donate more than $35,000 to United Way. Our employees also hold an annual food drive for a local charity each year and participate in the Angel Tree program. This summer, we also participated in the Public Power Day of Giving by volunteering with the Community Action Program for Central Arkansas Student Market. Our employees donated more than 4,200 breakfast, lunch and snack items to help provide meals to local children during the summer months. In addition, employees volunteered at the market, helping more than 100 students select food for the month. As a public power utility, our loyalty is to our customers and our community. Public power is an American tradition that works, and we thank you for your support and for allowing us to serve you for more than 90 years. For more information about Conway Corp’s public power history in the community, visit ConwayCorp.com. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 59


Funky frugal: Creating niece’s nook

Tanner Cangelosi An alum of the University of Central Arkansas, Tanner owns her own business – www. neonsouthernlady.blogspot.com – and has done a variety of projects, from individual home décor items to painting murals in private residences. For more information, Tanner can be reached at tcangelosi@newlifechurch.tv

Y’all, I have the sweetest niece named Laura, who is almost 15. I love her so! She is kind and always looking out for others. I wish I could just keep her forever as my own! One of five children, Laura is in the ninth grade. She likes babysitting, hanging out with friends, shopping, reading and lots of other stuff! Laura told me that she would soon be getting her own room and wanted to decorate it. She showed me some pictures of her ideas and I asked her to share some of her teenage tips with 501 LIFE readers.

What was your inspiration for your room and where did your ideas came from?

money on things you don’t need. All of the furniture for my room, we already had! So all we had to buy were accent pieces, bedding and curtains.

What were the steps to make the dream room a reality? First, we cleaned out the room, taped and painted the walls a crisp white (this took a layer of primer first). Second, we asked Aunt Tanner to come and paint the mural, although for an accent wall you

could always use a projector and do it yourself or use wallpaper. Next, we made a list of what we needed/wanted and started looking on Facebook Marketplace. We found the bedding and curtains at Dirt Cheap (which is a Target buyout store). Finally, we moved in the furniture and hung the mirror and curtains. The final result is a room I feel refreshed in every time I walked in. The whole project cost around $100, and it was such fun to complete with family.

We saw a picture of some wallpaper on Young House Love’s Instagram account and thought it would work really well for my room. We sent the picture to Aunt Tanner and she said that she could paint something similar in my new bedroom. We love it even more than the wallpaper!

What are your three favorite aspects of your new space? My Papasan chair, the mural wall and my bed. Aunt Tanner is awesome for painting the amazing wall and in such a short time too! (We actually all helped her and videoed the whole thing. It can be found at NeonSouthernLady on Instagram.) If you are going to have an accent wall, it should typically be the wall you see right when you walk in the door (directly across from the door).

What are five money-saving tips for a young girl who wants to redo her room? 1. When you get money from a job, put 75 percent of it in savings. 2. Wait until you have bought the big things that you’re saving for before you buy little things. 3. Even when you want something really bad, use self-control and remind yourself that you can get it later. 4. Shop at discount places (like Walmart, Amazon, Dirt Cheap) and at Facebook marketplace (you can find really good deals). We got the Papasan frame off the side of the road, cleaned it and bought the cushion for it on Facebook marketplace. 5. Use what you already have and don’t spend your 60 | 501 LIFE October 2019

. . l E L a e SSIB R s i e O l P g s i g Y u R r E t The Snd RECOV a

In Arkansas, mental health issues are affecting people of all ages and the suicide rate across all ages is at an all-time high. But there is hope. The BridgeWay provides a continuum of care that is safe, secure and serene. Just as each patient is different, so too are our programs. The BridgeWay is the only psychiatric hospital in Arkansas with distinct programs for seniors 55 and older, adults 18 and older, adolescents, ages 13-17, and children, ages 4-12. Whether it is for mood, thought or substance abuse disorders, we provide separate units for each population.

21 BridgeWay Road, North Little Rock, AR 72113 1-800-BRIDGEWAY | thebridgeway.com


What can a financial advisor do for you? Submitted by Edward Jones

What does investing mean to you? If the word makes you think of transactions – buying or selling stocks and bonds – you’re looking at just part of the picture. To work toward all your goals, such as a comfortable retirement, you need a comprehensive financial strategy. And for that, you might need to work with a personal financial advisor. But what, specifically, can this type of professional do for you? Here are some of the key services a financial advisor can provide: • Help you invest for your retirement – An experienced financial advisor can look at all the relevant factors – your current and projected income, age at which you’d like to retire, desired retirement lifestyle – to help you determine how much you need to invest, and in which investment vehicles, to help you reach your retirement goals. To cite just one example, a financial advisor can review your employer-sponsored retirement plan and help you determine how to use it to your greatest advantage. • Help you save for college – Higher education is expensive, and costs are rising every year. If you’d like to help your children – or grandchildren – go to college someday, you need to save and invest early and often. A financial advisor can suggest appropri-

ate college savings vehicles and strategies. • Help make sure you’re well-protected – If something were to happen to you, could your family maintain its standard of living? Or if you someday needed some type of long-term care, such as an extended stay in a nursing home, would you be able to maintain your financial independence, or would you be forced to rely on your adult children for help? A financial advisor can recommend and possibly provide suitable protection products and services for your needs.

• Help you adjust your financial strategy – Not much will stay constant in your life – and that includes your financial strategy. Any number of events – a new child, a new job, a new retirement destination – can cause you to adjust your investment moves, as will some of the factors influencing the financial markets – economic downturns, changing interest rates, new tax laws, and more. A financial advisor can help you change course as needed – and sometimes encourage you not to change course, when, in his or her professional opinion, you might be tempted to overreact to some event or other. While a financial advisor can help you in many ways, you’ll need, above all else, to feel comfortable with whomever you choose. Ultimately, you’ll want to pick someone who understands what’s important to you, and who will follow an established process to create personalized strategies and recommend specific actions needed to help achieve your goals. And you’ll want someone who will be with you in the long run – someone who will revisit your objectives and risk tolerance and who can adjust your strategies in response to changes in your life. A financial advisor can make a big difference in your life; so, work diligently to find the right one – and take full advantage of the help you’ll receive as you move toward your important goals.

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 61


501 kids


Remember your why Back in 2014, I wrote an article about taking care of yourself as a parent. I discovered some health issues that required me to start re-evaluating how I was treating my body. Fast forward five years, and I am still on this journey. I don’t have it all figured out. There are defiBrittany nitely areas I still need to Gilbert improve, but my family deserves me at my best, Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. and I deserve it, too. She and her husband, Levi, I’ve learned a few have three children and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at things along the way, and b.gilbert37@gmail.com. in honor of this health and fitness issue, I’ll share what I’ve learned. Please know that I’m not an expert. I do love to research, but please check with your doctor for specific health recommendations that are right for you.

Be prepared

Your spouse is watching you work hard, despite all that you have going on in your life. The responsibilities, the stress, the tiredness. In this season, one thing that motivates me the most is that my husband wants to work out. He works harder than anyone I know and deserves a nap, but instead, he is motivated to go to the gym when he gets home and on the weekends. Your kids are also watching. They see you trying to drink your weight in water, they see you trying to make veggies taste edible, and they see you making the most of your smoothies. They see you. Start helping them create healthy habits now.

Plan your meals. Carve out time to prep meals. There are meal programs that can help if this isn’t your thing. Research and find what will work for you. Plan your workouts, too. Look at the group exercise schedule and plan what will work best for you. For us, our workouts revolve around childcare. We know our gym’s schedule very well and know exactly when we can go together. It also really pays to be prepared when you have busy days or nights. There are certain nights of the week that we have a lot of activities, and if we don’t have a game plan for meals, we find the drive-thru much more tempting. Most of the time, we can see these things coming — they aren’t taking us by surprise — so it’s up to us to be prepared.

Have accountability

Schedule in rest

If you have an Apple Watch or other type of fitness monitor, ask a friend who also has one if you can share your daily activity (Apple Watch allows you to do this right from the Activity app). Write down your fitness goals. Share your goals with friends and family and ask them to check on you. Don’t make excuses whenever they do and you aren’t doing your best. There are groups on social media and in gyms in town with great accountability partners. I’ve found that whenever I go to the same workout class and miss a week, I get a text from someone asking where I was that day. It also really helps to meet up with someone at the gym or workout class because it feels like someone else is counting on you.

The “self-care� movement is huge right now. So much so, that I can’t help but roll my eyes when I see it posted anywhere. For some, self-care means eating whatever you want or buying whatever you want, no matter what the consequences, all in the name of looking after yourself. The heart of self-care is good. The actual definition is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.� If you’ve worked out multiple times this week and are tired, please, rest. Ask a friend to go for a walk. Take a long bath and eat your favorite snack. Ask your spouse, or a friend, if they can watch the kids for a few hours so you can get an uninterrupted nap. If that makes you feel uncomfortable to ask

Remember, your family is watching

62 | 501 LIFE October 2019

someone to help you, you need it more than ever. Practice being that kind of friend for someone else, too.

Have a lot of grace with yourself Don’t let one slip up, or a hundred, stop you from bettering yourself. It’s not possible to be perfect. I follow a lot of health and fitness experts, and the only sure thing is that everyone misses a day. Everyone has treats. Everyone has a balance of some sort. I used to let guilt drag me down deep dark holes throughout my journey to be healthy. One cupcake would equal six because I already “messed up� so “there goes the day.� It’s not true, though. I’ve learned that when I decide to treat myself, I can start over with the very next meal. When I started having grace with myself, the guilt started rolling off of me because it could no longer stick.

Remember your why It may be for health reasons. It may be preventative. It may be because you want to look and feel a certain way. There are rarely any wrong answers in why you want to take care of yourself. Write it on your mirror, create a dream board, share it with your friends and family. Keep it in front of you at all times. You will forget. It’s just how life goes. But when you can make it easy to remember, it’s easier to keep the motivation going.


   Spencer Burrows AGE: 6. CITY: Guy. SCHOOL: Greenbrier Westside Elementary School, first grade. FAVORITE SUBJECT: Reading. FAMILY: Dad, Marc; Mom, Leslie; and little sister, Addie.

FAVORITE MEAL OR SNACK: Pancakes. MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION: My first place trophy from the baseball post-season tournament. MORE INFORMATION: My favorite thing to do is play baseball. I want to be a baseball player when I grow up and play for the Razorbacks and Yankees. I finished reading my very first chapter book in August about Jackie Robinson.

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 63


501 kids


Keeping Halloween fun and safe Cooler weather, football, leaves changing color and falling, and pumpkin everything are just a few reasons why most of us love the fall. Another fall highlight for many people, especially kids, is Halloween. While this can be a fun holiday for families to celebrate together, Kellie there are some imporBishop tant safety measures Kellie Bishop is a pediatric nurse to consider. Let’s talk practitioner at Central Arkansas about some ways to Pediatrics in Conway. She lives keep Halloween fun in Plumerville with her husband, Greg, their son and two dogs. She and safe for your family obtained her bachelor’s degree this year. in nursing at the University of Central Arkansas and her master’s One of the biggest and doctorate degrees in pediatric fears for many parents primary care at UAMS. is their child being given tainted candy while trick or treating. If you are taking your child door to door for trick or treating, make sure you know the neighborhood and stay with your child as they go to each door. Make sure you practice safe street-crossing habits and stay on sidewalks, when possible. Watch for cars and make sure your child’s vision is not obstructed by their costume. When you return home, inspect all of the candy for rips, tears or other signs that it may have been opened and tampered with prior to being given to your child. In addition, do not allow your child to eat any homemade treats or unwrapped food, such as apples, if you do not personally know and trust the individual who gave the food to your child. If you have any concerns about the integrity of the candy packaging, it is best to throw it away and not allow your child to eat it. Many local churches and other organizations have events for families to celebrate together without worrying about the safety concerns that often arise from door to door trick or treating. It is still important to inspect everything your child receives prior to allowing them to eat it and make sure any toys they receive are age-appropriate without pieces that are too small or broken. Make sure you stay with your child at these events, as well. Children require supervision and large events offer opportunities for children to become separated from parents, so remain64 | 501 LIFE October 2019

ing vigilant in keeping up with your child is important. If you have a young child, you may consider

the time of day that you participate in Halloween events. Younger children are often scared from the costumes that older children wear so you may want to take your child trick or treating earlier in the evening to avoid the later times when the older kids tend to be out. In addition, consider your child’s normal routine and try to plan your festivities around times when they will still be able to get adequate sleep so your entire week’s routine is not ruined by one night of fun. Halloween can be a fun holiday for the entire family. While children often enjoy dressing up, many families also participate in themed costumes and parties that help create happy memories for the kids. I hope your family has a great Halloween and enjoys the spooky and fun local festivities while staying safe!

Memories of

Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller

TELL US YOUR STORY  Visit rockefellerinstitute.org  Leave a message at (501) 215-1828


Dedicated teacher pens book First and foremost, June Simmons is a dedicated teacher. Following a 40-year career teaching English at Conway High School, she went on to teach writing to adults and elementary/middle level children at Blackbird Academy of Arts for nine years until it closed in 2018. Although June loves Susan books and the written Peterson word, she says she never Susan Peterson holds a PhD in thought she would pubeducation and taught lish one of her own. It at the University of Central was the love of a dog and Arkansas and Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She reconnecting with an old retired in 2004 and now spends friend that inadvertently her time doing artwork (painting and pottery). She is the executive led June to becoming a secretary of the Arkansas Reading published author. Association, a professional organization for educators The title character that has about 800 members in “Jack the Freedom statewide. Dog” is based on her own schnauzer/terrier mix, a “foundling” who joined June and her pet schnauzer Pete about the time she started teaching at Blackbird. Unlike well-mannered Pete, Jack is continually in trouble. June would share stories of his escapades with her creative writing students. They couldn’t wait to hear all about his antics and adventures – from a run-in with a skunk to escaping to the woods to chase rabbits and squirrels. The stories acted as a springboard for students to write about their own pets. June would also use these “teachable moments” to demonstrate and model various elements of writing. Over the course of nine years, June had quite a

June is the author of “Jack the Freedom Dog,” based on her own schnauzer/terrier mix, a “foundling” who joined June and her pet schnauzer Pete. collection of stories about her feisty terrier mix! About a year ago, June reconnected with a college friend, who introduced her to Pat Becker, an animal advocate who has written books, hosted radio and TV shows, and appeared on the national PBS TV show “The World of Dogs Biography Series.” When Pat read June’s story about Jack, she encouraged her to submit it to her editor, Larry Floyd of TurnKey Communications in Oklahoma City. He introduced her to Mina Sadeghi, a freelance graphic artist, who created the illustrations for the book. June, who lives in Conway, credits her son,

Matt, as her best brainstorming partner and source of inspiration. She also receives encouragement and support from members of the Conway Writers Group, which meets weekly at the Ola and John Hawks Senior Wellness and Activity Center. June now has more publications in the works. In addition to a follow-up book about Jack, she is also working on a story about Ruby, a dog that resides at Marlsgate Plantation in Scott, near Little Rock. “Jack the Freedom Dog” is distributed by Oklahoma Books Online. The author can be contacted at junipersimmons@gmail.com.

HANDS-ON, HIGH-TECH TRAINING Earn a Career-Specific or Transfer Degree § Affordable Tuition § Financial Aid Options § Small Campus Atmosphere § Individual Attention WWW.UACCM.EDU | 501-977-2000

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 65


Maumelle Youth of the Month

The Maumelle Charter Schools Athletic Booster Club will present its annual “Maumelle Charter Athletic Booster Club Classic” golf tournament at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the Country Club of Arkansas in Maumelle. Registration is $500 for each team for the four-person scramble. The entry fee includes lunch, prizes, adult refreshments, range balls, team golf carts and post-round pizza. Several sponsorships are also available. Email mcsboosterclub@att.net for more information. All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Maumelle Charter Schools athletic programs.

Dreshaun Doyne is a junior at Maumelle High school.

Dreshaun Doyne CITY: North Little Rock:

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: Basketball and swimming. WHO DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST: Kevin Durant and my mother.

SCHOOL: Junior, Maumelle High School.

FAVORITE MEAL: Fried chicken, candied yams, mac and cheese and sweet tea.


MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION: My grandma’s blanket.

SCHOOL CLUBS/ACTIVITIES: Basketball and swimming.

MOST ENJOYED WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Going to the football games.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST AT SCHOOL: Interacting with other people. EDUCATION PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Go to college. CAREER PLANS: Play pro basketball.

66 | 501 LIFE October 2019

EVENTS IN MAUMELLE Booster club plans tourney

FAVORITE QUOTE: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work.” - Kevin Durant FAVORITE PLACE IN ARKANSAS: Home/gym.

Help needed for clean-up Oct. 5 The Maumelle Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Maumelle Parks and Recreation Department will host its annual fall clean-up from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 5. Volunteers are needed to participate in the event, which is being held in conjunction with the Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC) and the annual statewide fall litter pickup campaign promoted by Keep Arkan-

sas Beautiful (KAB). Officials are encouraging everyone in Maumelle to participate in this year’s litter-pickup effort. Civic and service organizations, church and youth groups, school groups and clubs, Scouts, individuals, families, neighborhoods, and businesses can organize cleanup teams and pitch in. Volunteers will focus on four areas in the Maumelle area: Lake Willastein, Tract D / Town Center, Lake Valencia and city hall. Each participant will select a specific area to be responsible for cleaning up. Trash bags and supplies will be furnished, but some additional equipment may need to be provided by the volunteers. To sign up, go to maumellechamber.com and click on COMMUNITY. Scroll to the drop down for Maumelle Clean-up for details and registration. For more information, please contact event coordinator Sarah Giorgi-Jones at 501.627.2280 or sarah.giorgi@gmail.com, or the Maumelle chamber at 501.851.9700.

Maumelle chamber sets 5K Color Run for Oct. 27 The Maumelle Area Chamber of Commerce will host its inaugural 5K Color Run at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. The course begins and ends at the Maumelle High School Stadium and winds through the industrial park. The event also includes a half-mile family fun run. Created by students and facilitated through the Maumelle Chamber Educational Committee, the 5K is more than just a race. Groups of business leaders mentored young trailblazers on the importance of marketing, sales, business and teamwork to create the race. Working side by side with students this fun run event is designed to promote community wellness and pride. The race kicks off with a color celebration at the starting line. Along the route, participants pass through vibrant color zones. The colored powder used during the run is made in the U.S. from food-grade-quality cornstarch. It is nontoxic, 100-percent safe and biodegradable. It also washes out easily from skin, hair and most fabrics. For specifics, a tip sheet can be downloaded.After the run, there will be a color tailgate experience. Registration is $15 for students and $25 for adults and virtual runners. The fee for the day of the race registration is $35 for adults and $25 for students. Registration includes a race shirt, goodie bag, medal and refreshments. Organizers encourage participants to register early to guarantee a long-sleeve T-shirt, which will be handed out on a first come, first served basis. Race day check-in begins at 1 p.m. Register at maumellechamber.com.

For a list of other events in Maumelle, visit the City of Maumelle Government page on Facebook. For information on health and wellness events and activities, visit maumelleparksandrec.com. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 67





68 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Riding into the sunset Maumelle police chief approaches his 10-24

story and photos by Dwain Hebda

Two elementary schoolchildren, a boy and his sister, burst into Maumelle Police Chief Sam Williams’ office and take turns hugging the police chief. The girl buries her face in Williams’ neck as he asks her about her day, does she like her teachers, how she is. The more she squeezes, the broader he smiles. The kids, who belong to one of Williams’ officers, drop in regularly as if with their favorite grandfather. The feeling is mutual. “It’s the relationships with folks in this building,” Williams said, smile still stuck in place. “You hope, even though you know it changes because it always does, you hope you maintain those relationships.” Williams is approaching his 10-24 – police code for “mission accomplished” – to mark the end of 40 years in law enforcement, 19 of them at the helm. He’s served and protected from Central Arkansas, where he graduated the force, to Baghdad, where he trained local police. He’s got the mementos and stories to prove it. Williams’ father, brother and uncle were all cops, so you’d assume his path was preordained. That’s not the case, though. “My dad died in an airplane crash when I was 3,” he said. “(Mom) was early 30s as was he; she’s got a 3-, 4- and a 5-year-old. We’ve got no money. We did not grow up wealthy. She told us and everybody that listened she would never raise a police officer or a pilot. So the day that I came home and said, ‘Mom, I dropped out of school and the great news is, I got a job on the police department,’ it absolutely broke her heart.” But even Betty Sue Williams had to have seen the need for her youngest to get things together back then. After graduating Little Rock Central High School, Williams’ life lacked direction. “I was working at the drug store, just recently dropped out of college,” he said. “One of the officers that worked that area came and talked to me one day and said he was tired of hearing my name being bandied about. He said, ‘You need to go get on the police department because you’re either going to be riding in one of those cars or you’re going to be in the back seat of one.’ That got me thinking, I didn’t

know I was making that much noise, but I was. So I thought I’d get on the police department and lay low for a while.” To his amazement, Williams found the first true love of his life in law enforcement, especially after he got to spend a little time as a cadet in the vice squad. “I loved the vice cops. I thought they were really cool,” he said. “After I’d been in the department about three years, I went to narcotics and just absolutely loved that work. It was fascinating, intriguing, interesting.” Williams had no intention of moving into administration, but LRPD again had other ideas. One day, David Rowan, an intelligence sergeant and one of Williams’ most impactful mentors, pulled the young hotshot aside. “I’m living the dream by this time; I’m on the DEA task force, buying dope all over the country. It’s just a ball,” he said. “And [Rowan] comes up and says. ‘You’re taking the sergeant’s test this year, aren’t you?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, right. You can’t dynamite me into that.’ He said, ‘You’re taking the sergeant’s test this year.’” Williams passed and, again to his surprise, he liked calling the shots and was so good at it, more promotions followed. It wasn’t all roses – bad guys shoot back, after all, and no narcotics unit can elude tragedy altogether. Williams suffered casualties in his personal life, too, something he looks back on with regret. “One thing that I don’t talk enough about is my daughter, Jessica, from my first marriage,” he said. “I was a cop when her mom and I divorced and I never was going to get Father of the Year. There’s so many times I should have been doing things with her and didn’t and I dearly hate that. But she still hangs onto me and says she still loves me. And I sure love her.” When Williams was hired as Maumelle’s first police chief in 2000, it was a downshift of massive proportions. There wasn’t even a dedicated police force. “It was the Department of Public Safety; officers were rollin’ around with fire gear in their trunk so if there was a fire, now they’re firefighters,” he said. “It was a system to get the most out of the fewest people; not a great concept, because you can’t be great at a

After 40 years in law enforcement, Maumelle Police Chief Sam Williams plans to retire. bunch of different things.” Williams soon got his own department, today numbering 39 officers, built with people who shared the same love for duty and the community as his. His leadership style reflected Clarence Hunter, another longtime mentor. “He was lieutenant when I first came on the police department back in 1973, one of the few AfricanAmerican police officers at the time,” Williams said. “He taught me what it meant to care and have loyalty to people and loyalty to a community. He was just a great leader and understood his role in the community. He was somebody I looked up to from day one. He probably should have fired me half a dozen times

and didn’t, so I’m thankful for that.” “(Maumelle is a) great community and these officers that go out there every day are part of that community. I’ve said over and over to every club, group, anybody that’ll let me talk to them: if the police department and the community aren’t walking hand-in-hand we’re missing the boat. And I think we have that.” Along the way, Williams remarried; he and his wife Terry had three daughters, Kristin, Katie and Kandace. They, his grandkids Hannah and Jonas and the golf course form the crux of his next chapter when he signs off for the last time. He leaves the force wanting more, but knowing the value of what he did

in the time he had. “You’ve got to love people. If you don’t love people this is going to be a tough job,” he said. “One of the things that I have tried to do is create an atmosphere within this department where inside these walls you can have some fun, you can laugh and joke with each other and make fun of things and relax and be comfortable. Because out there you can’t be; you have to be alert and sharp.” He pauses, glances around his office stuffed with four decades of memorabilia, then the indomitable smile returns. “There’s a line in a Merle Haggard song, ‘I’ve lived the kind of life most men only dream of.’ That’s me.”

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 69


Garland County: Vernon Gingrich “I enjoy competition” is a perfect illustration of understatement when uttered by Vernon Gingrich, the 73-yearold athlete from Hot Springs. Even a cursory examination of his life reveals that, far from simple enjoyment, the California native thrives on competition, relishing every opportunity to Dr. Robert test his skills in friendly Reising athletic rivalries. That Dr. Robert Reising retired thirst for competition has from the University of Central served him handsomely Arkansas in 2013 after holding a variety of teaching, coaching and over the decades, earning administrative posts during more him accolades as an than a half-century in education. His doctoral dissertation at Duke athlete and respect as an treated literature and sports. advocate for life-long physical activity for all humans, males and females alike. Hardly out of infancy, he could not resist the playful challenges of his three brothers, and by age 7 he was testing himself as a water skier. By junior high school, he had tried his hand at pole vaulting, a sport for which he was to cultivate a special affection. A broken wrist hardly distracted him. Before graduating from Rose Mead High, near Los Angeles, in 1964, he had jumped 13 feet, a high he was later to surpass by a foot at Citrus (Junior) College in Glendora, Calif. But in 1966, an invitation from the Canyon Lake Ski Club suddenly catapulted competitive water-skiing to primacy in his athletic life, and for almost four decades, it filled virtually every weekend. Its travel schedule was hardly parochial, taking Vernon to numerous states while earning him and his teammates national recognition. Qualifying for national tournaments also became virtually automatic for the Riverside club. For most of the same period, Vernon worked in the automobile industry, much as his father had done. Starting with 13 years as an automobile mechanic, he moved first into sales positions and then into managerial ones, retiring in 2001 at age 54. Three years later, he moved to Arkansas, one of the states in which he owned real estate. The following decade and a half have been athletically full and satisfying. Competitive softball for seniors “50 and Up” quickly became an interest, and in 2005, Vernon’s Hot Springs team claimed the league championship. Today, as the 2019 season moves to a close, he continues to perform at first base and in the outfield for a senior club occupying first place in its league. Yet, his boyhood love has surged in retirement. For the last 12 years, Vernon has given countless hours to pole vaulting. Simultaneously, he has added proficiency in three other track and field events important in the Senior Olympics, state and national: the 50-meter run, the discus and the high jump. 70 | 501 LIFE October 2019

501 LIFE is once again profiling noteworthy athletes, men and women who were born outside of Central Arkansas but who made their mark in the 501. The “Celebrating athletic excellence” series will feature one from each of the 11 counties in the 501. The 11 are representatives of the quality of athletes found throughout Central Arkansas and are not meant to be the best or the most noteworthy. This is the fourth installment in the third “Celebrating athletic excellence” series. He has reaped sizable dividends for his efforts. In the annual Arkansas Senior Olympic Games, the lone Arkansas qualifying event for the National Senior Olympic Games, he has fared commendably for his age group in the four events, commonly finishing among the top three contenders, rarely outside the top five. In 2017, for instance, he claimed first place in both the pole vault and the high jump, and third place in the 50-meter run. A year later, in the same age group (70 to 74), he remained among the top three in the pole vault and the high jump while claiming fifth place in the 50-meter run and the discus. A decade earlier, he had set the all-time record for pole vaulting among Arkansas Senior Olympians of age 62 by clearing 10 feet. Nor has he been undistinguished nationally. Two years ago, in Birmingham, Ala., following his superior showing in the Arkansas Olympics, he surprised no one at the Nationals by capturing second-place and a Silver Medal in the 70-74 age group by pole vaulting 8 feet, 10 inches. The surprising, however, appeared at this year’s Nationals in Albuquerque. Vernon slipped and fell during a practice session, hyper-extending his right knee. His fans were forced to watch him stumble and limp through painful, ineffective performances. He won no awards, except for perseverance and courage. Temporarily disappointed but never discouraged, the competitive Vernon is well again, now aiming for a stellar four-event performance in mid-September at the State Seniors. At press time, he is moving toward his best possible physical condition, preparing especially zealously for a 10-foot high in the pole vault. That mark would not only earn him the state record in his 70-74 age class, but also serve notice that in the 2021 National Games he will be competing for the Gold, nothing less, in his new age class, 75-79. Arkansas Senior Olympics Executive Director Greg Eberdt labels the transplanted Californian “inspiring,” a human whose insistence on physical activity for all citizens, seniors included, Vernon models in his own behaviors. Garland County and the 501 are proud he does.

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Conway Kids Triathlon Rain doesn’t dampen spirits of participants When rain clouds rolled over the Hendrix campus at 7 a.m. on Aug. 10, it would have been easy and understandable to cancel the race. Thunder, lightning and rain pounded the course at 8 o’clock, the starting time for the 22nd Annual Conway Kids Triathlon. The volunteer race board met to determine whether the race would go on and the decision was unanimous. There were 250 kids, 31 in the Community Connections Special Needs Division, who had trained and wanted a chance to see the finish line. Race start was delayed an hour and everyone hoped for the best. By 9 a.m. there was a break in the storm and the first division of 15-year-olds hit the water and headed for transition and the bike course. There were 75 to 100 volunteers in position to support the athletes and ensure their safety and the race was on. About an hour later, with the pool lined with eager 8-year-olds and storm clouds nearing, the decision was made to stop the race. “As much as I wanted to see these kids get on with their race, there was too much risk in getting them on the bike and run courses with potential lightning coming,” said race director Pete Tanguay. “In hindsight, this was a very good decision as hard rain and lightning returned as the last kids on the course were coming through the finish line.” Thanks to the music provided by Fret Monkey Recording Studios and Christina Madsen’s emcee energy, the 6-, 7- and 8-year-old kids had fun while they waited out the storm for their chance to race. The bike course had to be reopened to traffic and a decision was made to allow the remaining athletes to do the swim course and get their medal at the finish line in the pool area. Although slightly modified for the younger kids, the race went on, everyone had a finish and there were no casualties from the storm. The First Security Conway Kids Triathlon, one of the longest running athletic events in Conway, has been impacting kids and families for the last 22 years. This year’s numbers were up almost 25 percent from last year in the Community Connections division, in its third year, as well as the total numbers registered. Completing a triathlon involves three sports (swim, bike and

Participants line up to get their timing chip.

72 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Ca’nyla Farr (from left), Morgan Summers and Savannah Staten.

Bronx (left) and Jax Burton with Matthew Carpenter (back).

The Hankins Family: Austin, Corinne and Hank (back).

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The awards presented for the triathlon. run) and the cooperation of the entire family to get the training, race day preparation and race day logistics done. The event is typically the weekend before the Conway school year starts, which makes it a perfect last accomplishment to summer vacation for the kids who participate. One of the silver linings of the event is the donation of the proceeds of the race to Soul Food Café Mission, a non-profit organization serving hurting kids and families in the Conway area. Rick and Traci Harvey, founders of Soul Food, put the needs in perspective. “Last year, we provided services to over Setting up in the staging area. 29,000 people and 38 percent of these individuals were 18 years or younger.” The Conway Kids Tri met its goal to donate $12,000 to Soul Food again this year. Although next year’s race date has not been confirmed, it will either be on the first or second Saturday in August. For more information on the Conway Kids Triathlon, visit conwaykidstri.com. For information on Soul Food Café Mission, go to soulfoodcafemission.org.

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Louie Schneider (athlete) with buddy Raquel Tejada.

Dave Madsen with daughters Reagan and Sydney. Gage Fincher gets a race number. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 73

Griffin Neighbors (from left), Seth Theriot, Liam Theriot and Sawyer Neighbors.

Malia Anderson (from left), Kensley Capel, Holland Capel and Charley Anderson.

The Pruitts: Dylan (from left), Casey and Arden.

Isaac Cheng (front); Cyrus Higgins (back, from left), Icen Cheng and Andrew Lasater.

Dava McClellan (from left), Izzy Morris and Isaac McClellan.

Charlie and Jessica Crossman with sons Blake and Grayson.

Lucy Holmes (from left), JoHanna Smith and Lily Holmes.

The Halls: Chad, Cooper, Trevor and Genie.

Courtney Leach and her son, Bentley.

Anvi Siddamreddy (left) and Asrith Kavi.

James Looney and Jonathan Looney.

Sheila Sterka and Bevin Sterka.

Maddox Martin (left) and Jack Martin.

Max Henry and Austin Traywick.

Andrew Lasater (left) and Cyrus Higgins.

Kristy Binns and Peyton Binns.

Byron Binns (left) and Shepherd Livers.

74 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Angela and Noah Torian.






Natural Bridge of the 501

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.

76 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Natural bridges and arches are found all over the United States, with many in our most visited national parks. An amazing geographical feature is along Highway 65 in Van Buren County, four miles north of Clinton. I have passed the barns and the signs on Highway 65 advertising the Natural Bridge of Arkansas for years. I travelled to the Western United States to see some of the most famous arches and I hadn’t ever visited any of Arkansas’ natural bridges. I decided it was time to visit the Natural Bridge in the 501. I was glad I took the time to visit. For a small admission fee, you can enjoy the wooded beauty of the site, and see and get close to a natural marvel. The bridge is found down a narrow, winding paved road just off Highway 65. The drive down into the valley is beautiful. It is filled with many types of hardwood trees. I suspect the drive from Highway 65 to the bridge will be filled with gorgeous fall color in early November, and I am planning to return during

that time to see if I am right. The rock bridge is described as a compression bridge. The span of the bridge is a huge flat rock slab supported by two enormous stones at either end. The bridge is a 12 foot high sandstone formation. It is only 4 feet thick at the center and spans about 120 feet. It was created by thousands of years of erosion on the Little Johnny Creek. From the attraction’s entrance, a short, tree-shaded path leads to the bridge. Another path leads to the top of the bridge. Walking on the Natural Bridge is no longer allowed for safety reasons, but the view from the top is a great spot for photos. The attraction was opened in 1969, but long before its opening as a tourist destination, it was an essential crossing for both the Quapaw Indians and the early pioneers. It has also been associated with notorious outlaws who used the October 2019 501lifemag.com | 77

Ozark Mountain Region as a hideout from law enforcement. During the Civil War, Jayhawkers used the rock shelters in the area as a hideaway. In the late 19th Century, the bridge was used by loggers with horse-drawn wagons to haul timber out of the valley. Along with the natural wonder of the area, there is a small museum containing many pioneer era artifacts. These include two log cabins, one of which was built in 1871. Other items of note include a covered wagon, a moonshiner’s still, household goods and farming equipment from the pioneer days. The site is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. mid-March through midNovember. The address is 1120 Natural Bridge Road, Clinton. If your family is looking for a quick Saturday trip to an Arkansas natural wonder, one such place to visit would be the Natural Bridge of Arkansas. So, take a day, load up the car with the family and enjoy a simple but scenic spot in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.

78 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Beauty continued from Page 49 causes surface bleeding which compels the body to start its healing process. The old layer of skin starts becoming dry, and in a week or so, peels off. Over a period of 10 to 14 days, new collagen is formed to cover up the injuries. This new layer of skin is free from any kind of spots or marks. I often recommend growth factors for speedy recovery.

KERATOSIS By middle age, some of the more common signs of hyperpigmentation begin to develop, such as seborrheic keratosis. They can be flat, rough or thickened; they can have texture to them; they can be very light; they can be very dark. These spots start to develop on the sun-exposed areas of the head, face, neck and forearms of the body. They usually do not respond to brightening creams or lotion, but rather respond to various laser modalities. Once the brown spot(s) are lasered off, over time the spot may reoccur, because the person gets sun within the first two weeks after treatment and/or the spots were only treated partially, with the remaining portion re-forming. Of course, many other things happen to aging skin, such as loss of elasticity, wrinkles and roughness. If you have isolated, very clearly seen middle, moderate to dark brown spots, you are going to do well with laser therapy, selectively treating those spots. In some cases, brown spots have to be what I call “shaved” off, which means that a doctor basically puts a little anesthetic on the area and just literally takes the top layer off — and it heals up very rapidly.

DARK CIRCLES Clients often ask, “What can I do about the dark circles around my eyes?” The answer is, “Not much.” These circles are the results of venous circulation, which is somewhat visible through the thin skin of the lower eyelids. Some true hyperpigmentation can happen around the eyes, and usually when adding a small amount of injectable fillers, it will camouflage the concavity. If this article finds you calculating the years you have exposed your skin to direct sunlight, you may be wasting your time. Studies have shown that 20 percent of the skin’s elasticity is altered under the age of 2 when exposed to direct sunlight. An individual who receives a sunburn under the age of 25 will have altered the skin’s matrix by 20 years, which affects the skin’s elasticity (protein fibers). That means your chronological age may be 25, but the stated age of your skin will be that of someone in their 50s. If you have never sustained a sunburn under the age of 25, then you can subtract 20 years from the stated age of your skin, meaning by the time you are in your 40s, you will have the elasticity of someone in their 20s. In other words, by the time you are 25 years of age, 100 percent of your skin will have received irreversible damage from sun exposure. I know that’s a mouth full. I find myself repeating this over and over during consultations. In reality, who hasn’t had a sunburn at one time or another? Now is an important time to take a look at your skin.

IF IT LOOKS WEIRD, TAKE IT TO YOUR DERMATOLOGIST If you have any concern about a new sunspot, talk to your dermatologist. Although the majority of sunspots that develop on the face are benign, malignant melanoma (the most deadly type of skin cancer) can also develop on the face. If a sunspot is very dark and looks different from the others, or is growing, bleeding, itchy or in general just doesn’t “seem right” to you, seek the opinion from a dermatologist immediately. Melanoma is almost 100 percent curable if caught early, so don’t delay in making an appointment. October 2019 501lifemag.com | 79

NEIGHBORS special friends

Friends of the Animals Maumelle group helps furry friends find a home

Jean Lewis serves as the president of the Maumelle Friends of the Animals. “I love animals, have always loved animals, and it just seemed like the perfect fit for me,” she said of her service with the organization. Photos and story by Dwain Hebda

When Jean Lewis moved to Maumelle six years ago, she brought with her two dogs and a desire to get involved in the community. A chance encounter with a neighbor brought those two elements of 80 | 501 LIFE October 2019

her life together in a way she couldn’t imagine. “[My dogs] happened to get out of my fence and somebody called me because they had tags on them with their name and address,” she said. “I was at work at the time and went to go pick them up, and when I did this particular person said, ‘I volunteer with Maumelle Friends of the Animals’,

and he started telling me about it.” Intrigued, Lewis accepted an invitation to the group’s monthly meeting and the rest is history. “I was hooked,” said Lewis, now the group’s president. “This is something that I can do. I love animals, have always loved animals, and it just seemed like the perfect fit for me.”

Incorporated in 1992, Maumelle Friends of the Animals is a 100 percent volunteer-driven organization that works in cooperation with Maumelle Animal Services. Specifically, MFTA works to publicize and promote the pets that are up for adoption, as well as performs a variety of behindthe-scenes work to tend to the animals’ health. “We pay for all vetting expenses for any of the animals that are in the shelter,” Lewis said. “The animals are vaccinated, spayed or neutered and microchipped prior to being adopted. If any of them have any special illnesses or injuries, we take care of all of that.” In addition, Maumelle Friends of the Animals recruits foster families to help manage shelter numbers as well as providing other services. “We use our foster homes for any of the animals in the shelter that maybe aren’t doing well, they’re not adjusting to shelter life, or they are sick and need medicine or observation,” Lewis said. “If the shelter gets too crowded, if we’re running out of space, we pull animals out of the shelter into foster homes to make more room in the shelter.” To fulfill its mission of finding loving homes for as many pets as possible, the organization spends a lot of time in the community and in the media to publicize available animals. “We have an adoption event every Saturday at the North Little Rock PetSmart. We’re there from about 10:30 a.m. to about 3:15 p.m.,” Lewis said, adding they’ve also done adoption events at local companies, upon request. “We take all of our available cats in private vehicles up there, and we have a transport van that we take all of the dogs up there too.” “We also like to get involved in community events. We’re out there when they have the Maumelle Expo and the Bash on the Boulevard or any other community activities that we can attend just so people know who we are.” Lewis, who’s retired, is fully engaged in the mission and spends much of her time on this errand or that on behalf of the animals waiting for a home.

Incorporated in 1992, Maumelle Friends of the Animals is a 100 percent volunteerdriven organization that works in cooperation with Maumelle Animal Services. Specifically, MFTA works to publicize and promote the pets that are up for adoption, as well as performs a variety of behind-the-scenes work to tend to the animals’ health.

“Today I took a dog to the radio station, did our little spot with The Point 94.1,” she said. “Then came back to the shelter and today is surgery day. We have a vet who comes in and does all of our spay and neuters for us on Thursday morning and I help up there during surgery.” “Then I left there and I’ve got some dog food that I’m delivering to one of our dogs that’s in foster care. When I finish with that, I’m going to go and pick up a dog that’s at the shelter and take it to a possible foster home to do a meet-and-greet with her dog to see if it works out. Every day is like that, pretty much. There’s always one thing after the other that needs doing.” Given such a workload, it’s easy to see why the group is always actively seeking new members to help grow its ranks. Lewis said volunteers are needed to perform clerical duties as well as the animal-facing tasks. Interested individuals can learn more at the group’s monthly meeting (every second Tuesday of the month at Beef O’Brady’s in Maumelle) or just contact the organization via its Facebook page, by calling 501.851.7114 or emailing president@ maumellefoa.org. As for Lewis, her participation has left a lasting impression in more ways than one. She’s grown her own personal pack by two, adopting Huskie/German Shepherd mix Lady and Yorkie poodle mix Willis, both former Maumelle shelter animals. She also fosters pooches waiting for their families. “I enjoy being with the animals. Most of the time, even when I’m not doing things for Maumelle Friends of the Animals, I am up at the shelter visiting the animals that are in the shelter and doing things for them,” she said. “The most rewarding thing is getting the animals adopted into good homes and getting feedback from those homes weeks and months and years later about how much they love their animal and what a wonderful decision it was to adopt. “That’s the most rewarding thing, knowing that you’ve gone from this scared, shy, homeless animal into the perfect forever home.”

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NEIGHBORS person of the month

David Myers

CITY: Conway. WORK: I’m an orthodontist in Conway and we also have an office in Greenbrier.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO INTO HEALTH CARE: I always loved going to the dentist as a little

bitty kid and decided I wanted to be one. By the time I was 6 or 7, my grandfather told me what an orthodontist did and I thought that sounded fun, so I decided that was it and never looked back. As I grew older, I began to appreciate the blessing it is to help someone gain a beautiful smile and the positive effect it can have on their life.

FAMILY: Married to my wonderful wife, Michelle,

and we have two daughters. Logan is an occupational therapist and married to Derrick. Our younger daughter, Katherine, is in the ninth grade.


supporters of several ministries, including Renewal Ranch, CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), The Education Alliance and several others outside the community.

CHURCH ACTIVITIES: Members of Second Baptist Church.

EDUCATION: University of Central Arkansas, bachelor of science degree; University of Tennessee for dental school. After graduating with my DDS degree, I did my residency in orthodontics at UT. FAVORITE BOOK: Aside from the Bible, I enjoy

“modern” history books about the early/mid 20th century, particularly the development of technology and the people involved.


doing house/yard projects and junkin’ (remember, I’m a collector? LOL). We also enjoy traveling, especially taking road trips when we can. We once travelled 2,200 miles to Minnesota and back in three days, hitting all the Laura Ingalls Wilder historical sites (we love museums). Given the time, I like to mess with my old cars and attend a few car shows across the country.

Dr. David Myers is a collector, which is obvious to anyone who steps into the DJM Orthodontics office in West Conway. “While I have a fair amount of sentimental things from my childhood and family history, I appreciate it’s ‘just stuff.’ However, I still have my first car, and even though it’s not currently running, it would rank right up there as one of the last things I’d let go of.” (Mike Kemp photo)

FAVORITE QUOTE: I’m going to have to go with lyrics from my two favorite songs….It is Well with My Soul and His Eye is on the Sparrow. FAVORITE PLACE IN ARKANSAS: We love to camp, and our favorite spot is Petit Jean. We never tire of the beauty, being next to nature, the endless hiking and the great programs by the park rangers. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: We love the small town feel and the ready access to adventure….parks, museums, concerts, dining, nature.

82 | 501 LIFE October 2019

Friday night sniffles turning into Saturday night fever? CONWAY REGIONAL AFTER HOURS CLINIC Your best option for after hours care. No appointment needed. We can also share a summary of your visit with your primary care physician so you can continue to get the care you need. Monday - Friday Saturday Sunday

1 pm – 9 pm 9 am – 9 pm 9 am – 6 pm

Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance and self-pay are accepted. conwayregional.org/afterhoursclinic

October 2019 501lifemag.com | 83 437 Denison St., Conway • behind CARTI on College Ave. • 501-504-2330

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October 2019  

Tom and Melissa Courtway took up bicycling as an activity to enjoy together while remaining physically active. It’s an activity that appears...

October 2019  

Tom and Melissa Courtway took up bicycling as an activity to enjoy together while remaining physically active. It’s an activity that appears...


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