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A tale of survival

Journalist tells all

Hero adventure

Camp for veterans’ children

Tasty grub

BBQ Station

Tastes of the Season

Flea market fantastic

Local couple revives dream

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians


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OAK POINTE OF MONETT 1011 OLD AIRPORT ROAD MONETT, MO 65708 OAKPOINTECARE.COM A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

PUBLISHER Jacob Brower EDITOR Kyle Troutman Marketing director Lisa Craft ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Sheila Harris James Craig Marion Chrysler CONTRIBUTORS Murray Bishoff Meagan Ruffing Lisa Buck Darlene Wierman Melonie Roberts Sheila Harris Susan Funkhouser Pam Wormington Brad Stillwell Jared Lankford Julia Kilmer Jennifer Conner Anne Angle Dionne Zebert Jane Severson Verna Fry Angie Judd Cheryl Williams Sierra Gunter

Merry Christmas During this holiday season, we wish you all the best.

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TO ADVERTISE 417-847-2610 - Cassville 417-235-3135 - Monett Send email inquiries to Mailing address: P.O. Box 40, Monett, MO 65708 Connection is published monthly and distributed free in Cassville, Monett, Exeter, Washburn, Pierce City, Mt. Vernon, Aurora, Verona, Roaring River, Eagle Rock, Shell Knob, Purdy, Wheaton, Freistatt, Marionville, Seligman, Golden and other surrounding areas. Connection is a publication of the Cassville Democrat, The Monett Times and Rust Communications.

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Hablamos Espanol 6 | DECEMBER 2016

FEATURES 11 | Beyond diagnosis Jackie Ryan Witherspoon writes her path to healing after breast cancer treatment 17 | Sweet memories Make the most out of your holiday season with the kids 25 | For their children Kids of our Heroes Adventure Camp aids children in their recovery over grief and loss 31 | BBQ Station Settle in for a Texas-style dining tradition 36 | Keeping on The Fletchers reopen The Ole Home Place in Cassville 41 | Healthy onward Sixteen years of Curves in Monett 45 | Craftsman’s work Shell Knob Woodcarvers make time to create fine keepsakes 48 | Authoring a tale English teacher publishes late 1800s historical fiction

December 2016


Contents 15 Healthy Connection 20 Recipes: Holiday treats 29 Proud Parent 35 Bottles & Brews 51 Submitted photos 55 Cutest Pet 57 My Connection 59 Familiar Faces 64 Community Calendar


Have an idea for a story you would like to see in Connection Magazine? Email it to Cover photo credit: azurita |

Photos on pages 7, 8 and 66 are courtesy of Jamie Brownlee

8 | DECEMBER 2016


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Journalist survives breast cancer, writes book to help women Witherspoon says attitude most important weapon to fight battle of cancer


ackie Ryan Witherspoon was a busy journalism professional with her own magazine, Southeast Kansas Living, when she was diagnosed unexpectedly with breast cancer. Shocked, she had a difficult time accepting it. “Having a doctor talking to me about ‘survival rates’ — that was like someone throwing ice cold water in your face,” she remembers. “I still kept denying it, right up to the night before I had surgery.”

Story by Julia Kilmer

But she took a bad situation and turned it around for her good, and that of others, by using her skills to write a book about her path, The Survivor’s Walk. And, most importantly, she survived, becoming an inspiration to women from all ages and backgrounds, who have found themselves in the same situation. She had always wanted to write a book, just not under those circumstances. “It never would have entered my mind I would write a book about

Her book, and real-life experience, follows the conversations and challenges of several women, all in different places in life, who spent nearly four hours a week in a room together while receiving chemotherapy treatments. breast cancer, because we think, ‘That’s not going to happen to us,’” Witherspoon said. “I had always wanted to write a book, but when you have a younger family and kids, you need that steady paycheck, but, now, I have the time to do it.” Originally from Kansas, Witherspoon and her husband, Gary, retired to Shell Knob last year, where they had vacationed for many years. She had no family history of breast cancer.


“A lot of people think they’re safe if it’s not in their family, but the doctors are seeing a lot of women without it in their families, so I can’t stress enough how important mammograms are.” But in January 2012, at the age of 61, her world changed when she discovered a lump after moving, which she chalked up to a strained muscle. She was due for a mammogram, so she set one up. “After the procedure, the nurse said, ‘Let’s do a sonogram.’ Then, she called the radiologist in, and they suggested seeing a specialist in Kansas City. I had a biopsy and MRI the same day, and they found a lump in the other breast as well, so everything spiraled down very quickly from there.” A year into dealing with breast cancer, she sold her magazine, which she owned for 10 years. “The physical work of running around doing stories, checking on advertisers ... it was just too much.” For treatment, Witherspoon began six weeks of what she called the ‘big chemo,’ which, paradoxically, was the beginning of her second career as a novelist and inspirational author. Her book, and real-life-experience, follows the conversations and challenges of several women, all in different places in life, who spent nearly four hours a week in a room together while receiving chemotherapy treatments. “First, I started writing in a journal,” she remembers. “My treatments were 3-1/2 hours, so with that much time on your hands, I started taking notice of the conversations around me.” Women of all ages and backgrounds — but in the same boat — connected while receiving chemo. “Everyone was in a different place in life,” she said. “We would talk about what we were going through — losing our hair, our taste buds, our

12 | DECEMBER 2016

Before breast cancer, Witherspoon was active and healthy. Here, she recalls a happy memory of her and her sister, JoAnne Harper, at a 5K event the summer before she was diagnosed and blindsided by cancer.

feet hurting, and the side effects. One woman always brought brownies, and we couldn’t taste chocolate anymore. But we just really learned from each other and developed friendships. “We probably talked about the loss of our hair more than anything, because for a woman, that’s really traumatic. One woman said, ‘Go get a wig right now, you’ll want it. I thought your hair would just get thinner until it was gone. But I had a full head of hair one day, and was shampooing it, and it all came out in one hand... It was really shocking.” On March 9, she had surgery remove the cancer, along with a double mastectomy. Fortunately, the disease had not spread. “I had reconstructive surgery the same day, and came out looking pretty much the same.” For a year afterward, she took Herceptin, another type of chemo administered in a port, to ensure all cancer cells were eliminated. While easier than the ‘big chemo,’ it had its side effects, too. “It’s not a good thing to go through, but it’s essential,” she said. From there, she spent a lot of time

resting, and tried to find her footing in life again. “When I finished with chemo, I started reading though my journal thinking, there’s stuff here that will help other people because it wasn’t just my story. The women are a compilation of those dialogues. They’re not actual people to protect their privacy.” The survivor agrees it’s hard to know what to say when someone is going through breast cancer. “If a friend tried to talk to me about it, I’d say, ‘Can’t you talk about anything else?’ and if they didn’t ask, I’d be like, ‘Can’t you understand what I’m going through?’ “You don’t really know if you should talk about it; but you should, and say, ‘I’m thinking about you.’” The most important piece of advice Witherspoon has for women fighting breast cancer is to have a good attitude. “You hear that, but don’t really get how important that is,” she said. “Some women I met didn’t handle it well, because they had already convinced themselves they weren’t going to. The survival rates [today] are so much higher.”

Jackie Ryan Witherspoon, breast cancer survivor, holds copies of the magazine she owned for 10 years, Southeast Kansas Living, which she had to sell during treatment. After being diagnosed with the disease in January 2012, completing surgery, chemo, enduring many side effects including nausea, pain, the loss of taste, the loss of her hair, and her magazine, she found a new, bigger calling inside a small room, with other women battling the disease, and emerged from the experience with a book, The Survivor’s Walk, to encourage women on the same path.

A Survivor’s Walk is available at, Barnes & Noble and on Witherspoon’s website,

Breast cancer survivor Jackie Ryan Witherspoon spends time with her granddaughters on Thanksgiving, the year before she was diagnosed. Witherspoon not only survived, but emerged from the dark experience with a book, The Survivor’s Walk. Nowadays, breast cancer survivor Jackie Ryan Witherspoon is feeling like herself again. This summer, the Shell Knob resident enjoyed some time on the lake.

Some of the women in the room were not as lucky, and did not survive. “One was a young mother,” Witherspoon remembered. “I had a mantra I said every morning, ‘I am healthy, I am healing and I am strong.’ Any little thing you can do to keep positive is key, but I do think the brain and body hears what you’re thinking.” Now, after kicking beast cancer to the curb, Witherspoon is feeling like herself and writing again, but on her own terms and has another book on the way — What She Missed, due to be released in January. i Breast cancer survivor and champion Jackie Ryan Witherspoon, and husband, Gary, enjoy a day at the lake. During that summer, Witherspoon wore a wig and scarf.


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Healthy Connection

Healthful holiday 3. Bring a gatherings healthful


or those of you watching your waistline, the holidays can be the most challenging time of the year. You may still be recovering from the leftover Halloween candy and multiple Thanksgiving dinners, and now here come the Christmas cookies, fudge, and egg nog. How can we stay on track with our diet and fitness goals with so many temptations all around? Instead of waiting until after the New Year to set your health and fitness goals, why not feel good throughout the whole holiday season this year? One of the biggest challenges can be the many holiday gatherings where we are surrounded by tasty treats. Here are some tips to be more mindful at your holiday gatherings this season:

1. Reflect.

Before all the parties and holiday gatherings begin, take some time to first reflect on your areas of weakness. Do you always go overboard on Grandma’s famous chocolate pie? Picture yourself in a situation of temptation and do a mental role play of how you will resist the temptation and instead practice moderation and mindful eating.

2. Focus on

the celebration. Holiday parties are a great time to make memories with family and friends. Focus more on sharing laughter and good conversation, and less on what is on the food table.


You can count on there being loads of high-calorie dishes at your holiday gatherings, so why not set the example and bring a healthful holiday dish? How does thyme-roasted sweet potatoes, curried cauliflower, or wild rice stuffing sound?

4. Slow down.

It’s OK to enjoy some of your favorite holiday dishes, but know your limits. Try serving small portion sizes and slow down the eating process. Savor and enjoy those once-ayear family recipes. Make your one plate last as long as it takes others to finish seconds.

5. Stay hydrated. Skip the sugar-loaded cocktails or eggnog and sip on a healthful lowcalorie beverage. Try fruit or herbinfused water or add frozen fruit to sparkling water to give it an extra kick. Staying hydrated will also help you to feel full quicker and cut down on the calories consumed.

6. Sit wisely.

Try not to sit right next to the dessert table, where the sight of mouth-watering treats will have you coming back for more. As for the bowl of nuts and chocolates sitting on your table – pass it on to the next table before you polish it off!

7. Buy health-

promoting gifts. Instead of another

package of chocolates or cheese and sausage, why not buy a pedometer or exercise band for the next gift exchange?

8. Celebrate

your successes.

The best part – after all the holiday celebrations pass, feel good about your self-control, your waistline, and your health!

LISA BUCK, R.D., LD is a registered dietitian at the Center for Health Improvement at Cox Monett Hospital. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in dietetics and Spanish from Missouri State University and is working on a master’s degree in public health. Lisa is passionate about international development work and has volunteered throughout Central America working in the area of health education and promotion. In her free time, Lisa enjoys biking, running and all things outdoors.


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FIVE easy recipes

using chocolate chips for your Holiday cookies


hocolate chips are the epitome of a class cookie. Shake things up a bit this holiday season and try any or all of these sweet treat recipes for your next holiday gathering.

1. The Classic.

These are the perfect treat for those people in your life who like the basic cookie or a new friend whose taste you don’t know yet such as a new neighbor. You just can’t go wrong with the classic chocolate chip cookie. Use the tried-and-true recipe on the back of any chocolate chip bag. Insider tip: use mini chocolate chips for a sweeter, more dispersed flavor.

2. The Monster Cookie.

A friend introduced these to my family when she made them and brought them to me after I’d given birth to my first baby. Wow! What a perfect thing to bring a new mom who is always hungry and just wants something homemade. You must make these as soon as possible. They are that good. You finally have a recipe where you can use up those leftover M&Ms and that half-eaten bag of chocolate chips.

littleny |


3. Peanut Butter Cups. Warn-

ing: These won’t last long in your house. Feel free to substitute with chocolate chips when a recipe calls for a certain amount of ounces of semisweet chocolate. They are the same thing so just use what you have on hand. This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves peanut butter and enjoys that sweet and salty combination.

4. No-Bake Energy Bites. These

tiny balls of goodness are super easy to make and give you that natural pop of energy we’re all looking for in the afternoon. Stir 1 cup dry oatmeal, 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes, ½ cup flaxseed, ½ cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup honey, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Feel free to throw in other ingredients as well, or substitute some of those listed here for ones you might like better. For example, if coconut is not your favorite, replace it with slivered almonds. Once everything is stirred together, cover bowl, and chill for 1 hour. Once chilled, roll mixture into tsp. sized balls and keep in refrigerator until you are ready to eat them. Recipe makes about 20-25 balls.

5. Reindeer Sugar Cookie. Take your traditional sugar cookie recipe (family recipe or look online) and cut each cooked cookie into four equal parts. Each piece should now look like a tiny triangle. Frost each triangle with melted chocolate chips and top with a green or red M&M for the tip of the nose. Use white chocolate-covered pretzels for the antlers (break a pretzel in half) and press these into the warm chocolate. For the eyes, use white chocolate chips or colored candy pieces. These are great cookies to make with your kids for a potluck, hostess gift, Christmas treat or even a teacher’s gift for this holiday.

Meagan Ruffing can be found trying new recipes out in her home with one, two, or three of her children eagerly waiting to help. For more fun tips and parenting news, visit her at

Monster Cookies Ingredients

½ cup margarine, softened ¾ tsp. light corn syrup 1 cup sugar 3 cups regular oats (uncooked) 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. brown sugar 2 tsp. baking soda 3 eggs ¼ tsp. salt 18 oz. jar peanut bar 1 cup M&Ms ¼ tsp. vanilla 1 (6 oz.) package chocolate chips

Directions n Set Oven to 350* n Cream butter; gradually add sugar; beating well. Add eggs, peanut butter, vanilla and corn syrup, beating well. Add oats, soda, and salt stirring well. Stir in the remaining ingredients (dough will be stiff.) Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes. Center of cookies will be slightly soft. Cool slightly on cookie sheets; transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

Peanut Butter Cups Ingredients

2 full sheets graham crackers ¼ tsp. salt ½ cup peanut butter 2 Tbsp. honey 12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions n Line a 12-cup mini-muffin pan with small paper cups. Ground crackers and salt with processor or spoon. Transfer to a bowl, stir in peanut butter and honey. Chill for 10 minutes.

Chocolate chips are amazing on their own, but use them in any one of these recipes and you’ve got yourself something spectacular. Grab your apron, get your kids, and get baking! Your taste testers are waiting. 18 | DECEMBER 2016

n Line a plate with plastic wrap. Divide peanut butter mixture into 12 1 Tbsp. balls. Flatten slightly. Place on plate; cover with plastic wrap and chill. n Place chocolate in a bowl set, set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. n Spoon 1 tsp. chocolate into each paper cup. Spread over bottoms and halfway up sides of paper. Chill until hardened, about 30 minutes. (Keep remaining chocolate at room temperature.) Press a peanut butter disk into each shell. n Spread 1 Tbsp. chocolate on top of each disk. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. (Recipe originally printed in All You Magazine, September 21, 2012.)

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Seasonal delights

X-mas Cake

20 | DECEMBER 2016

Amazingly Good Eggnog Ingredients 4 cups milk 5 whole cloves 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 12 egg yolks 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 1/2 cups light rum 4 cups light cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions n Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil. n In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour. n Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Peppermint Brittle Ingredients 2 pounds white chocolate 30 small peppermint candy canes

Directions n Line a large jellyroll pan with heavy-duty foil. n Place white chocolate in a microwavesafe bowl. Heat in microwave on medium setting for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth.


n Place candy canes in a plastic bag, or between two pieces of waxed paper. Using a mallet or rolling pin, break the candy canes into chunks. Stir peppermint into melted white chocolate. Spread evenly in pan, and chill until set, about 1 hour. Break into pieces by slamming pan on counter.

Recipes Christmas Cake

Honey Ham

Honey Glazed Ham Ingredients 1 (5 pound) ready-to-eat ham 1/4 cup whole cloves 1/4 cup dark corn syrup 2 cups honey 2/3 cup butter

Directions n Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. n Score ham, and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in foil-lined pan. n In the top half of a double boiler, heat the corn syrup, honey and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking ham. n Brush glaze over ham, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Baste ham every 10-15 minutes with the honey glaze. During the last 4-5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving.


Ingredients 2 (8 ounce) containers candied cherries 1 (8 ounce) container candied mixed citrus peel 2 cups raisins 1 cup dried currants 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped 2 (2.25 ounce) packages blanched slivered almonds 1/2 cup brandy 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter 2 cups packed brown sugar 6 eggs 3/4 cup molasses 3/4 cup apple juice

Directions n In a medium bowl, combine cherries, citrus peel, raisins, currants, dates, and almonds. Stir in brandy; let stand 2 hours, or overnight. Dredge soaked fruit with 1/2 cup flour. n Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Grease an 8x8x3 inch fruit cake pan, line with parchment paper, and grease again. In a small bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking soda, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. n In a large bowl, cream butter until light. Gradually blend in brown sugar and eggs. Mix together molasses and apple juice. Beat into butter mixture alternately with flour mixture, making 4 dry and 3 liquid additions. Fold in floured fruit. Turn batter into prepared pan. n Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Remove from pan, and lift off paper. Cool cake completely, then wrap loosely in waxed paper. Store in an airtight container.

Marzipan Christmas Kringle (Juleskringle) Ingredients 1/2 cup warm milk 1 tablespoon white sugar 1 (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast 1 cup heavy cream 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/2 cup butter 1 (8 ounce) can almond paste 1/2 cup crushed sliced almonds 1/2 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon almond extract 1/2 cup white sugar 1 egg white, beaten 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions n In a small bowl, stir together the milk and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let stand for 10 minutes to dissolve. Stir in cream. n In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or pinching with your fingers until it is a course mealy texture. Stir in the yeast mixture until well blended. Pat into a ball, flatten slightly, then wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. n To make the filling, mix the almond paste, almonds, sugar, cinnamon and almond extract using an electric mixer until evenly blended. It may be crumbly. n Roll the chilled dough out into a 2 inch wide and 24 inch long rectangle. Spread the filling to within 2 inches of the sides and roll up into a tube. Cover your work surface with sugar, and roll the tube of dough in the sugar to coat thoroughly. Roll and stretch the dough out to form a long rope about 40 inches long. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a pretzel shape. n Brush the top of the pretzel with egg white and sprinkle with almonds. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise for 45 minutes. n Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the kringle in the preheated oven until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cut into slices to serve.


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Ingredients 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 6 egg yolks 1/2 cup white sugar 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon salt 6 egg whites 1/4 cup white sugar Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

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Directions n Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff. Refrigerate. n In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt. In large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

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n Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dish towel with confectioners’ sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes. n Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down onto a serving plate, and refrigerate until serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Source:

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24 | DECEMBER 2016

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Mail a check for $28.75 to Subscriptions, P.O. Box 486, Cassville, MO 65625


Children take part in a variety of adventurous activities with an embedded theme to help them develop courage and overcome their fears at Kids of our Heroes Camp, based in Jenkins.

Unique adventure camp helps children of heroes cope and heal


f all the summer activities to enjoy, there is one that provides fun and adventure, but also helps heal hearts, transforms minds and calms fears for a special group of children — Kids of our Heroes Adventure Camp. Truly an adventure, the camp was designed to help the offspring of heroes such as veterans, law enforcement, firefighters and First Responders, develop coping skills, confidence and courage to overcome the daily challenges of living with the injury or loss of a parent or family member who has made the ultimate sacrifice to our nation. The concept was born when retired veterans and husband-wife team Darrell and Michele Hovland decided to use their military backgrounds and life experiences to reach out to “hero kids,” whose families continually deal with visible physical, and not-so-visible, psychological scars, cope. Both bring impressive skill sets to the camp’s operation. Darrell served 22 years in the Army Special Forces, retiring in 2004, and Michele served 30 in the Army and California National Guard, retiring in 2012. “Together, Darrell and I have over 50 years of military service and between us five combat tours,” said Michele.

Story by Julia Kilmer

Campers take a break from a challenging hike.

In fact, all staff are veterans — with a combined service of over 200 years, and all camp counselors have degrees. “Being counselors helps because they understand the counseling theme.” While in the military, Michele served as a commandant for Angel Gate Academy, a camp for inner city kids. “That’s where she found a passion for working with kids, so her dream was to run a kids camp when she returned to Missouri,” Darrell said. The couple met through Michele’s cousin, who was in the reserves, and both had lost a spouse. “Our story to help hero kids comes from our hardship experiences,” Michele said. “I lost my father at 10, and my first husband. Darrell lost his spouse when their son was only in fifth grade, becoming a single military parent for five years with two combat deployments during the same time. Sometimes, life’s lessons gives us a wealth of knowledge.”

The Branson Zipline has been an activity children from Kids of our Heroes camp have participated in, as a means to help them overcome their fears.


Upon retiring in Missouri, Michele, who is from the Cassville area, took on a second career. She is a licensed professional counselor working for the VA Fayetteville, Ark., Veterans Center. “Serving in the Missouri National Guard, Darrell and I attended many funerals for military family members, seeing the kids sitting on the front row looking lost and frightened,” she said. “We thought, ‘Who is going teach those kids courage, confidence and resiliency to overcome their life without their parent who made the ultimate sacrifice?’ Upon my retirement, we thought it was our time to give back.” The first camps were held in 2014, with adventure and interpersonal activities designed to help campers cope with the unique daily stressors they face, and in a setting much like what their deployed parents would have faced — sleeping on cots and keeping a strict timeline. “Just like basic training for soldiers, our hero kids learn to face fears, overcome obstacles and become a team, for there is no one alone on this adventure camp,” Michele said. “Their activities have a counseling theme, Bible verse and coping skill every day. They have a daily adventure away from camp, then at night, have a flag lowering ceremony, dinner and a campfire chat to bring it all together. Each adventure is about overcoming your fears, because if you can do that, you can overcome a lot of things in life.” Each camper gets a journal to record their thoughts and feelings. 26 | DECEMBER 2016

Each adventure is about overcoming your fears, because if you can do that, you can overcome a lot of things in life

-Retired Army Colonel Michele Hovland

“This camp is truly unique,” said counselor and veteran Megan Schiller. “It brings together kids who share something that the majority of their peers can’t comprehend: What it’s like growing up with a parent who has served their country, risked their life, and lives with a constant reminder. Spending a week together teaches them there are other kids experiencing the same struggles. They learn about their parents’ struggles, disabilities, and fears, symptoms of PTSD, TBI, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, and begin to develop coping skills for not only their own fears, but for communicating with their family and living with someone afflicted by such wounds.” “When wounded warrior parents come home, it is a rude awakening to the children to find out their parent can never play catch, attend a ballgame, never take their child to theme parks, and whose medication still can’t keep the nightmares at bay,” Michele said. “It is totally different from a hero kid whose parent died for a great cause. What we’re

finding is the kids who have a parent who’s been to combat and is dealing with PTSD are the ones who have the hardest time. It’s easier to deal with a wound when you can see it [like a lost limb], but it’s the unseen wounds that are harder.” Coping skills are taught to help with those wounds.

Col. retired Michele Hovland and CW3 retired Darrell Hovland

w w w. b e n n e t t w o r m i n g t o n . c o m




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Children sleep in teepees on cots, much like their deployed parents would have experience, during their week at Kids of our Heroes Camp. (below) Shown is a sample of what children at Kids of our Heroes are taught each day, and take home to help them cope long after camp is over.

“The same coping skills I try to get my veterans to embrace is what we share with our heroes kids like: breathing techniques, mindfulness, reframing and thought-stopping,” she said. “Plus, journaling to help the campers put the concepts in their own terms. The journals provide key counseling aspects to include Bible verses and more that can be used as a reference manual long after camp is over. “We can’t solve the world’s problems in a week, but we’re able to give them coping skills to take home so it’s in the back of their head.” The camp is offered at no cost to campers. “It’s completely run on private donations,” Michele said. With the camp on their farm on Flat Creek, the couple is able to run the operation on a shoestring budget, with a cost of about $800-$900 per camper. For more information about the camp, call 931-624-4994, visit their website at, or visit them on Facebook. i Adventure is the name of the game at Kids of our Heroes Camp, where children of veterans, law enforcement and First Responders learn about courage and resiliency to help them face the unique daily stressors they deal with.

28 | DECEMBER 2016

Campers also participate in flag ceremonies during their week at camp. (far left ) Children who attend a week of Kids of our Heroes summer camp learn to overcome obstacles both physical and psychological, with the help of founders and retired veterans Darrell and Michele Hovland.

Spencer is December’s cutest kid.

Proud Parent

Congratulations, Spencer!

Spencer Caroline Grainger, now 3 months, is the daughter of Brody and Jill Grainger of Springfield, and granddaughter of Brett and Donna Grainger of Monett.

Are you a proud parent?

If so, take this opportunity to show off that cute kid of yours. We invite you to share a photo of your child to be featured in Connection’s very own proud parent cutest kid contest. Email your child’s photo to connection@monett-times. com. Photos should be sent in the original JPG format at the highest resolution possible. Remember to include your child’s name, parent’s name, age, city and your contact information. The contest is open to children ages 10 and younger. The photos submitted will be used for the sole purpose of this contest.


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Family-made, A Texas-style

Restaurant D Community Meet


fter 25 years in carpentry, Joel Curren went back to something he enjoyed doing in his past time — cooking barbecue. As a teen, Curren, owner of the BBQ Station in Cassville, worked in his family’s restaurant, Gil’s Burger Bar, in Bentonville, Ark., learning about the restaurant business, including flavors. “That’s where I learned to cook,” he said. “If you could fry it, you could cook it, but what I did learn from them was flavor profiles, like to how to combine things. “I’m not a chef, I’m a carpenter. That’s what I did for 25 years, and I cooked for fun. One of my favorite things to do on the weekend was start the smoker, and enjoy the smell of hickory and fresh-cut grass. So we toyed with barbecue for years, and one day, construction started slowing down, and here we are.”

FLAVOR PROFILES fahrwasser |

Story by Julia Kilmer


That’s when Joel and Tanya Curren took the plunge and opened the doors to the BBQ Station, starting from the ground up with simple concepts. “It’s like everything in life, you start from the bottom up,” Joel said. “We started with the food and good sides, then the customer service. You start with a good foundation and build up. Then, if you just throw in good food, service and a quality price, you’ll succeed.” The restaurant business is a little different from carpentry, however, Curren said. “With construction, you just take it apart and start over again,” he said. “With this, you’ve got to get it right the first time.” Eight years after opening the restaurant in 2009, he’s done just that. The BBQ Station is a favorite among locals, serving hearty portions of pulled pork, brisket, chicken, sausage, St. Louis BBQ ribs and handmade hamburger patties, around classic sides. But whether you like the barbecue, freshly-made salads topped with warm, smoked chicken, pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw, ribs, or BBQ pork nachos with jalapeños, there’s something for everyone. Homemade barbecue sauces amp up the flavors — a semi-hot white sauce with horseradish, a tangy sauce, their ubiquitous Buster Bill’s BBQ sauce, and a sweet, Kansas City-styled sauce, straight from a 1950s handwritten recipe. But as good as the sauces are, it’s really “all about the meat,” says Curren. Sauce an afterthought where he comes from. “I’m straight up Texas style, so it’s no sauce on the meat,” he said. “A lot of places in Texas don’t even have barbecue sauce in their restaurants.” And oh, the meat...

32 | DECEMBER 2016

The meats are hand-rubbed and smoked more than 14 hours over real hickory. But the delectable sides, Curren says, like their baked potato salad, baked beans, cornbread, pinto beans, green beans and coleslaw, are equally important. So important he took samples around town to get opinions. “I made a couple of potato salads and coleslaws and went around town and had them vote,” Curren said. To show gratitude for its customers, the restaurant even named menu items after regulars, such as the Marple Bowl and The Huse hamburger. Curren’s approach to cooking is less is best. “I use minimal seasonings,” he said. “I let the smoke and the meat speak for itself. I’m not a fancy cook, but the profiles fit together perfectly. Cooking is really easy if you think about what goes together, which is the way I was taught.” “Everything I use is fresh. The only thing we don’t make is cobbler and ice cream.” And the service has the same caliber as the food. “My plan was to have your food to you in five minutes, all homecooked,” Curren said. “You watch it being cut and serviced; it’s all made in front of you. No one walks out the door unhappy is one of my rules.” He coaches employees to remember customers. “We always say we’re in the entertainment business,” he said. “I try to remember faces, names and what people do for a living. They are coming into our business and our house, so we need to do the best we can to recognize who they are.” The decor is another draw, reflecting family, artistry and local history. In fact, the entire family contributed skills and expertise to remodel

the building and provide the decor, and Joel, Tanya, his brother Scott and wife Michelle, who originally started the restaurant together, developed the menu. “If you look at my counter (made by Joel), the top was made from wood saved from the Church of Christ (of Cassville), and the bottom was from the Fox Farm Saw Mill that family owned in McDonald County, and that’s also where all the oak came from.” Taxidermy mounts come from Scott’s hunting and fishing trips, and old license plates under the Coke machine came from their grandfather’s truck. “They are the last set my grandfather owned when he moved from Texas to Arkansas in 1993,” said Curren. “All my heritage is from the panhandle of Texas, and Oklahoma; and some of the old woodworking tools in the restaurant are his.” Weathered tin on the front of the counter was taken from an 1860sera log cabin built for a teacher from the east coast who came here to work, and the paper towel holders on the tables were made by a family member.

Curren’s mother, Sue, has worked alongside him since the restaurant opened, sharing her industry expertise, along with his wife, their kids and a handful of employees. Given that everyone leaves satisfied, and the building was originally a gas station in the early 1900s, the logo, designed by Tanya, with the image of a well-fed pig saying, ‘Fill ‘er up,’ is fitting, and pigs are part of the decor. The BBQ Station also offers catering for events. “If you need catering, let us know,” said Joel. i

A customer decides what to order at the counter of the BBQ Station in Cassville, a family-built and family-run restaurant that offers smoked meat, proprietary barbecue sauces, classic sides and cobbler.

The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 417-847-0470, visit their website, or check them out on Facebook.

BBQ Station owner Joel Curren stands behind the counter ready to serve up delicious smoked pork, chicken, brisket, ribs, sausage and classic sides at his restaurant, which has become a local favorite since it opened in 2009.

Photo by Michelle Curren

Truly a family-made and family-run restaurant from the food, recipes to the decor, owners of the BBQ Station and family members Joel and Tanya Curren, along with daughter Sydney, have had thousands of satisfied customers.


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Bottles & Brews Goldschläger

Odell 90 Schilling Ale

The flagship beer of the Odell Brewing Company, the 90 Schilling Ale is a smooth, yet complex medium amber ale. The name, 90 Schilling, harkens back to the Scottish method of taxing beer, with only the highest quality brews being taxed at 90 schillings. Available year-round, 90 Schillings Ale sports a world class rating from the administrators of BeerAdvocate. com. The 97 out of 100 score is complimented by an 86 out of 100 from the site’s 1,687 ratings.

Surrounded in lore and rumor, Goldschläger is a Swiss cinnamon schnapps liquor with thin, visible gold flakes floating in the bottle. It has been rumored the flakes are intended to make small cuts in the drinker’s throat or stomach lining to speed up the imbibing process. However, such rumors are exactly that, and Goldschläger is a safe and classy liquor to add to any liquor cabinet. And, the cinnamon flavor goes well with any holiday party.

Founders All Day IPA

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Old man winter is nipping at our heels, and one of the best ways to warm up in the cold season is with an American classic — Samuel Adams Winter Lager. Spiced with cinnamon, ginger and orange peel, the Winter Lager supplies deep flavor and a malty finish, as it uses five Samuel Adams malt varieties. On, Samuel Adams Winter Lager has earned an 84 rating from the site administrators and an 82 from 5,780 ratings.

A year-round offering from the Grand Rapids, Mich., brewer, All Day IPA is on the lower end of ABV for IPAs with only a 4.7 percent, but it does not skimp on flavor. With a multitude of malts, grains and hops, All Day IPA is as balanced as can be, with a clean finish. It has yet to earn a rating from the administrators at, but 6,779 ratings put it at very good, with an 87 out of 100 score.


Mary Jo and Gerald Fletcher share coffee and a laugh at their flea market, The Ole Home Place, which just opened six weeks ago in Cassville. The two entrepreneurs had a flea market business with the same name and in the same building, 20 years ago.

36 | DECEMBER 2016


Non-stop team have been “everywhere” in business


he life adventures of Gerald and Mary Jo Fletcher could be compared to Johnny Cash’s catchy tune, “I’ve Been Everywhere,” but not geographically — in business. Their entrepreneurial spirits combined with an admirable work ethic have led them to start and develop several different businesses over the three decades they’ve shared. So many they say, one loses track. “We have truly enjoyed every business we’ve had,” said Mary Jo Fletcher. Now in their 80s, you’d think they’d slow down a little. Not so. In fact, recently, they opened a flea market in the same building in Cassville, with the same name, that they had two decades ago. When Mary Jo proposed opening a flea market 20 years ago one night, Gerald responded, ‘What’s a flea market?’ “Flea markets were just getting started,” remembers Mary Jo. “The next morning, he got up, and said, ‘If you can rent half of the space, we can pay the rent,’ recalls Mary Jo. “And before the doors were open, all

Story and photos by Julia Kilmer

the booths were rented.” Two decades later, they’re doing it all again, as in less than six weeks of being open, all 60 booths in The Ole Home Place Flea Market are full, and more are being built. “It seems like we never left,” said Gerald Fletcher. “We just remodeled it, and we even have some of the same renters we had before.” “I think we wanted to do it one more time,” said Mary Jo. “I felt like I came alive when I came back to this building.” Part of their success could be attributed to the fact that Mary Jo just loves to work. “That’s what we’ve always done,” she said. “I never could sit at home.” One day in between ventures, she told Gerald, ‘I am going to work today,’ and he said, ‘Where are you going?’ She answered, “I don’t know, but I bet I can find a place.” And she did, that day. Before marrying in 1978, Gerald had worked in recruiting for the Air Force, and as a salesman for Dial Soap Company calling on wholesalers and retailers, and Mary Jo was managing nine convenience stores in Arkansas.


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The Ole Home Place Flea Market, at the corner of Business Highway 37 and Highways 76 and 112, has only been open six weeks, and already, its booths are full.

“My wife was not a stay at home type of person,” Gerald said. “So we made a deal so she’d have something to do. We decided that if she could make money for the company she worked for, she could make money for us.” The couple moved to Cassville (Gerald is from Washburn), and for their first business pursuit, bought the Fastrip convenience store. “It was an old building and we remodeled it, ran it from 1978-1982, and sold it to Don and Shirley Carr,” recalled Gerald. That was just the beginning of their business adventures. Around 1984, they bought another convenience store and sold it five years later, at a profit also. Although both have a little trouble remembering the exact dates of all of their business pursuits, they remember the end result. “We are too busy to write down dates,” joked Mary Jo. “We were very fortunate to double the volume in both stores,” remembers

Gerald. “We went from $800,000 to $2 million in three years. At one point on Friday afternoons [at Fastrip], cars would block one street to get in to buy gas.” Gerald said they did it simply by giving customers what they wanted and needed. “We also originated the deli/sandwich stores in Cassville,” he said. “Fastrip is still serving the original sandwiches we started in 1978. They were put on special Hoagie bread that we purchased in Rogers, Ark.”

Mary Jo Fletcher does a little browsing herself in one of 60 booths and counting, along with a customer, at The Ole Home Place Flea Market in Cassville, which she and husband Gerald Fletcher reopened about six weeks ago.

They also owned Quick Stop Convenience Store in Wheaton, FourWay Convenience Grocery and Deli, a beauty salon (A Touch of Class), clothing store (Fletchers Clothing and Apparel) and furniture store (Fletcher’s Discount Furniture), all in Cassville, and have rental properties. The two seem to have a unique knack for starting and/or developing a business, making it profitable, then exiting and repeating the cycle — the hallmark of a harvest entrepreneur. “We ran it for 30 months, then sold it,” Gerald said of the Wheaton convenience store. “We increased the volume by $200,000 a year during that time.” But, still, there’s more. “I could probably tell you about five or six more businesses,” said Mary Jo. Meanwhile, Gerald continued to work for Dial Soap and traveled a lot, but often helped Mary Jo on weekends and holidays. He retired after 28 years with the company. Today, they stick to their guns that a successful business is all about the customer, consistency and volume.


“If you give them what they want, plus friendly service and make them feel welcome, they’ll be back,” said Gerald. “If something’s working in a business, don’t fix it. We’ve seen people come in and change everything around, including prices when they take over a business, and within a year, it’s gone. “We were both in the grocery business all our lives, so you pick up a good perspective of why stores are or aren’t successful. I’ve never seen anyone go broke with volume, but have with percentages; so we would always price our merchandise the same as others, or cheaper. We’d pick certain items [like bread or milk] that people bought often, and as a result of that, we doubled all the volume of all the stores we were in, and that has been

40 | DECEMBER 2016

a trademark of ours in any business we’ve had.” Each gives the other credit for their success. “She’s my rock of Gibralter,” said Gerald. “If not for her, we wouldn’t have done all these things.” “He is so smart,” bragged Mary Jo. “He was the number one sales manager in the nation for American Dial Company for three years.” They also credit employee James Hayworth, who helps with construction and maintenance. In all their years together, the two rarely argued. “We had very few arguments,” recalls Mary Jo. “We’ve had a real good time.” It’s been a real good trip,” said Gerald. i

I’ve never seen anyone go broke with volume, but have with percentages; so we would always price our merchandise the same as others, or cheaper. -Gerald Fletcher

Mia Land began working at Curves in Monett at age 16 and helps to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the gym

Youth and prosperity:

Curves in Monett marks 16 years of progressive business

Sweet 16.

A special memorable time for a woman, combining the carefree spirit of youth and the promise of adulthood. Sweet 16 parties may not be as common in recent decades, but their allure has not been forgotten. So it was on Nov. 2, the Curves for Women in Monett franchise held a Sweet 16 party that had a double meaning. Ann Saunders opened the Monett franchise on Oct. 23, 2000. Mia Land, the current franchise owner, started working for Saunders as a circuit coach in 2004 at age 16. So when Land realized how the two came together, it all made perfect sense to hold a Sweet 16 party to mark the anniversary. “As women, we like to party,” Land said. “This was more of a party and a customer appreciation than an open house.” Now in its fourth location, Curves

Story by Murray Bishoff

for Women has been successful in Monett, especially in developing a family atmosphere with the clients. Land will be the first to admit it’s been an interesting journey. She bought the franchise at age 21. In 2013, she bought and remodeled the UMB Bank building at Kyler and Dairy Street. Her mission hasn’t changed, but over time it has become more meaningful. “Ann still comes,” Land said. “She came the day of the party at 6:30 a.m., before going to Springfield for a day of meetings. She said, ‘Can you believe it was that long ago?’ I said, ‘It’s gone by fast.’ It’s been a good experience.” Leading up to the big day, Land had a 16-day countdown. Every day, she challenged her members with a certain task and gave away a Curves product prize each day. “That way they didn’t have to wait till the end to know if they won,” she said. The party itself culminated in the evening with the open house. Several dozen women were on hand to

enjoy the refreshments and fellowship, hourly drawings, and displays of photos from over the years. The evening included a Zumba class and a demonstration by Melanie and Tim Selvey’s self-defense company, Damsel in Defense. “They showed us products and some simple things you can do that you might not think of,” Land said. “That was an added bonus. You usually have to go to a police station for a class to learn things like that.” In the end, for Land, the experience comes down to the people. “These ladies are very special to me,” she said. “This is a gym, but


Carol Gripka, at right, and Mia Land recalled memorable moments as they reviewed photos from past years during the Curves Sweet 16 party.

it’s different. Because there’s no men here, it’s not intimidating. Men don’t care about weight loss generally. For the majority of women, it’s stressful. It’s on their thoughts a lot. There’s so much strong support here. There was a lady who was not a member who came in to the open house. The other members included her in everything. They definitely are my motivation. They’re helping me while I’m helping them.” On her Facebook page the day before the celebration, Land posted, “Women take care of everyone in the family. But who takes care of them? We do! This is a 30-minute workout that is your time to build a stronger body so you are able to take care of everyone else!” Land finds herself amazed that she came into the business as a young girl and trained in how to run a business in a small town. “At one point during the party, I reached a point where I was having a breakdown, there were so many emotions. I had to leave the room,” Land said. “When I started, I was making posters and hanging them. I’m still doing that. It’s all fallen into place.” i

Moving through the regular 30-minute workout at Curves during the Sweet 16 party, and illustrating how the program works for women of all ages, were Anna Krueger, left, and Elsie Verhoff.(above) Melanie and Tim Selvey brought a demonstration of self-defense products and techniques to share from their business, Damsel in Defense, for the Curves Sweet 16 party.

42 | DECEMBER 2016

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! Join us in giving thanks at

1613 N. 17th Street, Monett, Missouri

SALE DATES December 3 & 4 December 17 & 18

Sunday Morning Bible Study - 9:30 a.m. Worship - 10:30 a.m. Sunday Evening Worship - 6 p.m. Wednesday Evening Bible Study - 7 p.m.

Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday 12 - 4 p.m.


Antiques • Vintage • Primitives Pinterest project supplies • Farm sale treasures

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Shop Local This Holiday Season! We Have: The Latest Fashions Great Gift Selection Free Gift Wrapping Friendly and Helpful Staff

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1300 County Farm Road Cassville, Missouri 65625 Ph: 417-847-3386 Fax: 417-847-5449

2136 S. Hwy. 37, Monett, Mo. 417-235-0505

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Broker/Realtor 417-342-1506

CINDY CARR Broker/Realtor 417-847-0156


87 Main Street • Cassville, Mo.

417-847-0156 fax: 417-847-5009


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44 | DECEMBER 2016

Carving out

a niche

Local woodcarvers make time for craft, each other


very Thursday, several likeminded individuals carve out some time to meet for their favorite hobby, and each other, at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. The Shell Knob Woodcarvers group, which began about two years ago, has about 15 members who use their imaginations to make creations emerge from ordinary blocks of wood, and enjoy the inherent beauty in friendships, too. “We have a good time and learn from each other,” said Randy Condron, as he carved on his “gnome home,” creation. “If any of us need help, there is plenty of expertise in here. We have expert woodcarvers come in to talk, too.” Condron got hooked on the group after taking one of their woodcarving workshops. “It’s creative, and a chance to turn a blank piece of wood into something pretty, unique, or unusual,” he said. The class gives him a chance to learn without being in a formal class environment, he said, and an outlet to continue his craft versus just taking a one-time class. “Everyone has been super helpful, and we’ve all gotten to be really good friends,” he said. “My wife got me in-

Story and photos by Julia Kilmer

volved. She makes the cookies for the class,” pointing to a plate of Rice Krispies treats. “Anyone can take a class, but then you don’t have a chance to continue after that. The group has helped all of us to continue and progress as a hobbyist. This keeps us coming and really helped us stay together. There’s a lot of talent in this room.” Master Carver Mike Brown works on a landscape relief and a mountain man, switching between the two. He likes using Basswood from Linden trees. “It’s the most commonly carved wood in the world because it’s soft enough it’s easily carved, but hard enough that everything stays put. “It’s not poplar, but ‘popular,’” he laughs. Member Dave Keele works on a wooden box with a lid, which he says his wife will probably get when finished. Other members tell Keele to show his roses, at which point he pulls out of a briefcase, several perfectlycarved roses that, if not made out of wood, could pass for the real thing. “I gave them as wedding gifts to female members of the softball group I used to coach,” he said. “One rose is about a 40-hour project.”

Shell Knob Woodcarvers co-founder Dave Keele holds up a beautiful, intricately-carved rose, about a 40-hour project, he said, that he is known for.

Master Carver Mike Brown works on a relief carving of a landscape, while members Steve Tolbert, left, and Pete Peterson work on their respective projects, during one of their classes at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob.

Woodcarver Judi Fouser proudly displays an Indian head carving she created, while fellow carvers Mike Twidwell, left, and Mike Brown, chat in the background. Fouser said she enjoys being with the other members of the group, and refers to it as her “therapy.”


Woodcarver Pete Peterson, a veteran woodcarver, proudly holds up an American Eagle he carved and painted. Like many carvers in the group, Peterson makes and sells many of his carvings. When asked how he creates the intricate petals out of a hard substance like wood, he replied: “Very carefully. You start with a pattern, transfer the pattern onto the wood, and use different tools to cut it out of the wood.” Like many members of the group, Keele has been carving for years. “I’m very passionate about and enjoy doing stuff with my hands,” he said. He is one of the founding members of the group. “Every fall, we put on a beginning carvers class to promote our class, and we decided we wanted to form a club.” Keele has been a guest carver at Silver Dollar City and has sold his carved creations at SDC’s shops and stores in Branson. Along with the craft, he enjoys the company of his friends and fellow hobbyists. “There are so many different aspects to woodcarving, and everyone has his own ideas on something. We’re always learning and discovering something different. It’s just fun.” Member Steve Tolbert works on a Keltic knot, which he plans to give to his wife, who is of Irish descent. “She was born and raised in Ireland,” he said. Tolbert joined the group after his wife saw a newspaper advertisement for a woodcarving class, and asked if he’d like to take it. “It was a two-day class about five

46 | DECEMBER 2016

years ago,” he said. “I liked it, and I like the camaraderie [of the class now], and between Dave and Mike, they’re so willing to share their expertise and help you with your carvings. That’s what moved me.” Pete Peterson has been carving for 30 years, and painting, too. He used to go to SDC to watch the carvers work. “It’s a good bunch of people,” said

Peterson of the group. “They all try to help you.” Peterson carves walking sticks, which he gives to veterans. “I’ve done that every month that I’ve carved,” he said. He also likes carving eagles, and has one at home with a five-foot wingspan, carved from Butternut wood. Like several members of the group, he sells many of his carved creations. “I have 20 relief carvings I have to have before Christmas,” he said. “I’ve always said, ‘You can give someone $200 and it’s gone. But if you give someone one of these [a wood carving], your grandchildren will have them.’”

Members of the Shell Knob Woodcarvers enjoy their hobby, and each other’s company, during their weekly carving class, which is held on Thursdays at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. The group, which has a lot of expertise to share, meets in Shell Knob, but is open to anyone who is interested in carving, regardless of skill level.

Member Judi Fouser has been carving for a long time, too, and enjoys carving Indian heads. “I went to a senior center in Illinois and started there,” she said. “I used to sell at SDC but not now, my four kids keep me busy.” Fouser said she enjoys being with the other members of the group, just as much as the hobby. “I call this my therapy,” she said. A few years ago, Fouser had a

stroke, which affected the strength in her hand. “I didn’t have the strength in my hand that I used to [after], but I can still carve.” Mike Twidwell, co-founder of the group and avid fisherman, likes carving fish. He is also president of CASK. “I usually do three-dimensional fish,” he said, as he worked on an impressive relief of dolphins. “I’ve been a fisherman all my life; I probably know

fish better than anything else.” Twidwell agreed that he learns a lot from his fellow woodcarving friends, and appreciates all the benefits the group provides. “You learn from everyone else,” he said, and it’s good advice. It’s a very good social outlet, too.” The group is open to anyone who enjoys woodcarving, regardless of skill. For more information, people may call Keele at 417-858-0765. i


Author Wendie Kryselmire at home in her library with her new book, Willow Creek.

Kryselmire with husband, Ed, and their dog, Bitsy, riding in Monett Christmas parade in December 2014 in their 1903 replica of a curved dash Oldsmobile, powered by an 8-horse powered Cushman engine. Their dog, Bitsy, sits in front. For hobbies, the couple enjoys fishing for trout at Roaring River State Park, and classic vehicles and motorcycles. In fact, Kryselmire was the first person to ride a 1958 Highlander model Cushman motorcycle on the Bonneville Salt Flats timed trials in Utah.

Kryselmire holds a lunker fish she caught in October 2014 at Roaring River State Park in Cassville weighing a whopping 7.25 pounds. Kryselmire is an avid trout fisher, and has been traveling to fish at the park since the 1960s.

48 | DECEMBER 2016

Wendie Kryselmire presents her book, Willow Creek, to Cheryl Williams, to house at the Cassville Branch Library after its release in 2015.

English teacher makes ‘some day’ a reality Author: ’I think that everybody has a book in them’


hile talking about a desired goal, people often use the term “some day.” “Some day, I’ll start my business. Some day, I’ll go on that vacation.” But, most of the time, “some day” never comes. The “someday crisis” almost happened to Minnesota native Wendie Kryselmire, too. She could have just let her dreams of writing a book drift away, especially considering they almost came true four decades ago. But she had a story to tell, and more than one. Now author of the novel, Willow Creek, published in 2015 by iUniverse, Kryselmire’s philosophy is that everyone has a story to tell. “I think that everybody has a book in them, and everybody should be writing for the fun of it,” she said. An English teacher for 35 years, Kryselmire taught in Minnesota, Utah, Iowa and Wyoming. She received her bachelor’s in secondary education from the University of Minnesota, with a major in English and minor in speech/communications, and a master’s in special education from the University of Utah. As far back as the 1970s, she found herself writing on road trips. “We were living in Iowa and coming to Roaring River to fish, and it was a long trip,” she said. “That’s when I picked up a notebook at the next gas station and started writing. I was writ-

ing for self-expression. You’re supposed to have an outline and a purpose. “I did not start out with an outline or topic sentences, but it came together, because the publisher had me work with four different editors and they really guided me. “I wasn’t really thinking about writing a book, but sort of admiring the landscape and the stories I’d heard from my ancestors in southwest Iowa who moved there in 1863. And I think those things jumbled together so when I started writing, I was expressing those thoughts.” But eventually, that self-expression turned into enough material for a book. “In the early 70s, my husband, Ed, walked it into a publishing office in Omaha, Neb. They loved it and were going to publish it, but then they stopped publishing fiction and went into textbooks. About two and a half years ago he found it. He said if I wrote the book, he would get it published, So we retyped it and submitted it.” She is thrilled that her ‘”some day” became a reality, but it took time. “It took a year and half to do the editing on Willow Creek, with the guidance of four editors. I am thrilled, and I think that thrill is what gives me the motivation to work on the second book. I already had the second one done and was working on the third back then, too. Willow Creek tells the fictional

tale of two families, the Beckers and Sindells, who live in 1870s northwest Missouri. Reminiscent of the classic Hatfields and McCoys, the families get into an argument over land. “As the years pass, pranks start, then vandalism over a silly feud,” Kryselmire said. “This is a ‘read for the fun of it’ kind of book. The ending is somewhat of a surprise. It is not a Hallmark movie ending.” Willow Creek readers already want to know when her next book is coming out, and Beckerville, which she expects to be released next year, continues the story. A third book, Sindellton, is also in the works. “I didn’t stop at Willow Creek,” said Kryselmire, who enjoys solitude, and may be why she chose the era she did for Willow Creek. “It’s a quieter, slower-paced time,” she said. “While I loved Minneapolis, it’s a beautiful city, I knew I never belonged there. It’s too big and fastpaced for me. I moved to a small town in Iowa and in Wyoming, and now I live in a pretty isolated place near an Ozark Ridge, and that’s a good fit for me.” She and her husband moved to Barry County in 2008, after deciding it was the right place for them. “Finally, God got his point across and we thought, maybe this is where we’re supposed to be, and found the perfect property, perfect real estate agent and perfect builders, and bought land in 2006.” CONNECTION MAGAZINE | 49


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Her inspiration to write came from her Iowan ancestors’ stories, a high school English teacher and her father. “My dad, Wendell E. Weed, was famous in his field,” she said. “He was a medical science journalist with the Minneapolis newspaper. About 1953, the University of Minnesota began doing open heart surgery, and he observed and wrote down the entire procedure, which the surgery took about 12 hours, so doctors from all over the world learn from it. He would ask me questions like, ‘What does that mean?’ or, ‘Why do you have that in there?’” Experiences with her students also played a part. “Sometimes, you’d have a student who’d just start blooming and writing a wonderful story, and maybe they inspired me to start writing. They were just wonderful. “When I do autographs, I keep telling people, ‘There’s a book in you, just start writing it. And you just see their faces light up.” Between assigned reading for schooling, work, or self-help, with the volume of reading these days, Kryselmire reminds readers to return to the pleasure of the act. “I think it’s really important to exercise the pleasure principle of reading – just to relax and enjoy the story,” she said. “When I autograph a book, I always write: ‘Read for the fun of it,’ because that’s just as important as writing for the fun of it.” For writers looking to make ‘”some day” a reality and write that book, she advises returning to what they learned in school, such as making an outline of their ideas. “That’s how I taught my students,” she said. “I had them write down and organize their ideas, then write the ‘grabber’ sentence, give a little background, then the topic sentence in the first paragraph. “Sometimes, you have something to say, and that’s when you start writing — you make the time.” i

Submitted Photos

Photos by Esther Hightower

Do you have a photo you would like to see published in Connection Magazine? Email it to for consideration.


Photos by Julia Kilmer of Cassville at Roaring River State Park.

52 | DECEMBER 2016

Photo by Mica Plummer

Photos by Linda Sparkman Photos by Valerie Miller


Happy Holidays The future of 1870’s Willow Creek hangs in the balance as a hardworking farmer and an easy-going miller and their families battle over 160 acres of land. Will their battle destroy the once-peaceful town of Willow Creek, Missouri? Available at Bruner Pharmacy, Monett, MO Sater Pharmacy, Cassville, MO Red Barn Antiques, Shell Knob, MO • barnes&



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Cutest Pet

Meet Jetson, 9 weeks old in this photo. He lives in Monett with his owner, Caleb Long.

December’s winner !

If you think your furry or feathered friend is the cutest in the area, let us know! We invite you to share a photo of your pet to be featured in Connection’s Cutest Pet contest. Photos should be sent in the original JPG format at the highest resolution possible. Remember to include your pet’s name, city of residence and your contact information.

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My Connection

Cathy Lewis posed with Connection Magazine at Newfound Gap located at the Tennessee and North Carolina state lines during the October Making Memories Tours.

Jessica Colf (left) and her mother, Tammy Haynes, took Connection Magazine with them on a trip to New York City in October. They are pictured in Central Park with the city behind them.

Edna Haynes of Monett and Wylene Clouse of Springfield took Connection Magazine to Cape Cod, Mass., and the northeast. They became official “Leaf Peepers,� as they viewed the fall foliage in Vermont and New Hampshire. Edna completed her bucket list of visiting all 50 states with a visit to Maine.

Lois Brattin of Cassville and Don and Marilyn Scott pose with Connection Magazine on the Hiwassee River Rail Scenic Adventure train ride to Copperhill, Tenn., during the October Making Memories Tours.

Ron and Linda Crouch of Mount Vernon pose with Connection Magazine above the Nantahala River on train ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad during the October Making Memories Tours.


Connie Rackley of Searcy, Ark., Selma Kinser of Paragould, Ark., Carolyn Courtney of Monett and Barbara McDougle Paulus of Purdy took Connection Magazine with them to Rocktoberfest in Rock City, Ga., in October while visiting Clarkville, Ga.

Angie Varner of Washburn (with Making Memories Tours), Cathy Lewis and Kathie Browne of Pierce City pose in front of the Great Smoky Mountain Railway from Bryson City, N.C., during the October Making Memories Tours.

PO Box 37 • 816 Broadway Monett, MO 65708 58 | DECEMBER 2016

Edgar and Glenda Schoen of rural Mt. Vernon recently accompanied their daughter and family, Dana and Aaron Robb, Katie, Kelsi and Caleb, of Lafayette, N.J., on a road trip into Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Lake George, N.Y. They took Connection Magazine on this trip and captured this photo at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, Vt. They spent eight days together.

Jerry and Angie Varner of Making Memories Tours took Connection Magazine with them on their adventure to Iceland. The picture was taken in the glacial lagoon at Jökulsárlón, Iceland.

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The First Baptist Church of Monett held its

Familiar Faces

Faith Harvest Fest

on Nov. 6 on the grounds of the church.


2 3


5 7

6 1. Judy Scheihing, Mary Ann Cox, Lynn Kellhofer, Tammy Schell and Marney Nowland 2. Jane Stotts and Mary Blinzler 3. Rusty, Ben and Crystal Pack 4. Debbie Hemphill and Linda Gaines

8 5. James Long, Brad Krigbaum and Sibylle Gibbs 6. Jerry Gaines and Gene Schell 7. Doug Hobson and Julie Wages 8. Mary Young and Bessie Nowland

9 9. Jane James and Barbara Foster

St. Lawrence Catholic School hosted its annual fundraiser, a



murder mystery and dinner,

Saturday, Oct. 15, at the parish hall in Monett. Several local residents attended the event. 1. 2. 3. 4.



Jack and Laura Goodman Father Frank Grodecki and Bishop Edward Rice Buzz and Angie Tobin Deborah Owensby and Vicki Irsick











11 The 13th annual

Monett Festival of Flavors 12 1. Jacy and Frank Coy 2. Judy Hudson and Carmen Jenkins 3. Cindy Holm and Janice Byrd 4. Henrietta Hayes and Patsy Wilks

60 | DECEMBER 2016

, a dining event hosted by the Monett Chamber of Commerce, was held on Nov. 10 at the FEMA shelter cafeteria at Monett Middle School.

5. Susan Thomas and Meghan Shaner 6. Ann Hall and Sue Negre 7. Kevin and Braxton Gilmore 8. Amy Mattlage and Shayla Doss 9. Linda Patton and Jane Rogers

10. Linda Holloway and Rita Schallert 11. Mike and Michelle Tebow, Collette Witt and Mike Solak 12. Kelly Lunsford and Karen Nevin


2 3


5 8




11 St. Lawrence Catholic Church held its annual

Fall Feast

on Nov. 6, hosted by the Parish Council of Catholic Women.


1. Carl and Charles Wilke 2. Letty Terry and Donna Hammond 3. Front: Connie Burnett and Maria Gonzalez. Back: Leticia Castillo and Jennifer Torres 4. Vergie Garner and Jeanette Maxwell 5. Stan and Becky Ruscha 6. Front: Easton and Maggie Marion. Back: Russell Marion, Kent Arnaud, Betty Prier and Margaret Arnaud

7. Herschel and Bonnie Worm 8. Jim and Denise Haston 9. Katelyn Conley and Meghan Ceselski 10. Adolph and Linda Finder and Bill and Polly Cowan 11. Gene and Jeannette Gripka and Marjorie Layton



2 3

6 5


The ninth annual Monett community

Trunk or Treat

alternative Halloween celebration was held on Oct. 29 at the Monett Area YMCA.



9 62 | DECEMBER 2016


1. Sabrina Hains, holding dog Minion, and Shaleigh, Markus and Levi Hains 2. Danny and Cindy Evans 3. Kenadie and Jaxon Limb, Casey Harris and Jon Limb 4. Front: Jacob and Melanie Shaw. Back: Ryan Shaw holding Yoshi, and Tina and Emily Shaw 5. Front: Laney and Lauren Lamp. Back: Rick and Tammy Hayworth and Ruth Lamp 6. Lexi and Sahara Brayfield 7. Front: Lilly and Alex Franklin. Back: Angie and Amelia Hernandez and Brooke Dunmire 8. Amelie and Katy Velasquez and Ashley Rollins 9. Jeffrey Davis, Diane Kluhsman, Ashley Davis, Tracie Pack, holding Bailey Davis, and Joshua Foster at rear 10. Mya Walters, held by mom Colista Walters



4 1. Alison and Gary West 2. James and Joyce Lawrence 3. Robert and Vicky McGuire 4. Kathy and Breanna Weston 5. April and Billy Clark 6. David and Margaret Whitlock 7. Hailee Prier, Julie Newman, Ernie Jarvis and Matthew Weston



6 The Liberty United Methodist Church in rural Monett held its annual


chili supper fundraiser on Nov. 5.

Ad list A Beautiful Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Acambaro Mexican Restaurant. . . . . . . . . . 3 Apple Red’s Resale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Barry Electric Coop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Bennett-Wormington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Carolyn Hunter, DMD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Cassville Health an dRehab. . . . . . . . . . . 44 CJR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Coast to Coast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Community National Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Cornerstone Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Country Dodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Cox Medical Centers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Crane Family Dentistry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Diet Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Doug’s Pro Lube. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Eastside Church of Christ. . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Edward Jones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 EFCO Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Farm Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 First State Bank of Purdy. . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Flying V Mercantile. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Fohn Funeral Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Four Seasons Real Estate. . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Four States Dental Care. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri. . . 22 Friendly Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Grande Tire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Guanajuato Mexican Store. . . . . . . . . . . . 23 J&J Floor Covering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 J. Michael Riehn, Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Ken’s Collision Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Lackey Body Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Lacoba Homes, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Les Jacobs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Meeks Building Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Michael Carman Furniture. . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Mocha Jo’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Monett Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . . 22 Oak Pointe Assisted Living. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Old Town Pharmacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Ozark Methodist Manor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Peppers and Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Pitiful to Posh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Plymouth Junction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Race Brothers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Scott Regional. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Second Chances. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Security Bank of Southwest Missouri. . 54 Shelter Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Smile Designers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 St. John’s Lutheran Church . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Superior Spray Foam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Jane Store. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Tomblin’s Jewelry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Town & Country. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Trogdon Marshall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 VisionHealth Eye Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Wendie Kryselmire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Whitley Pharmacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Willis Insurance Agency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19


December 2016 Community Calendar Community support groups  Grief Care Support, sponsored by Integrity Hospice,

is held the last Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. in Marionville at Methodist Manor, 205 South College Ave., in the Alice Lounge. Care group is for anyone experiencing grief through loss.

 The Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 2 p.m.

at the First United Methodist Church, 1600 N. Central in Monett on the second Thursday of every month. No charge to attend. Call 417-269-3616 or 888-354-3618 to register.

 Celebrate Recovery meets at 7 p.m. at the Golden

Baptist Church on Highway J in Golden every Monday of each month. Dinner is served at 6:15 p.m. This is for anyone with hurts, habit or hang-ups.

 The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Group of Cassville

meets at 8 p.m. at 1308 Harold Street in Cassville on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays every month.

 The Turning Point AA Group meets at 7 p.m. at the

west corner of Mitchell Plaza on Hwy. 86 in Eagle Rock on Mondays and Tuesday every month.

 DivorceCare divorce recovery seminar and support

group meets at the First Baptist Church, 602 West Street in Cassville, at 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. Call for more information, 417847-2965.

 Cassville Al-Anon Family Group meets at 8 p.m. at

the United Methodist Church in Cassville every Thursday of each month.

 Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. the first

Tuesday of every month in the basement of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, located at the corner of Seven and Cale streets in Monett, 417-442-3706.

 Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous

group meets at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at the First Baptist Church Activity Center, 618 Second Street in Washburn. 417-489-7662.

Cassville Senior Center 111 Fair Street

Dominos every Friday at noon. Call 417-847-4510 for more information.

Central Crossing Senior Center Shell Knob

 Friends’ Bridge every Friday. Call Quita at

417-271-9803 for details.

 Cards Galore every Friday with Pitch beginning

at 9 a.m.

 Domino Poker every day from 12:45 p.m.  Mah Jongg every Monday and Wednesday

rom 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Paint Classes, every second and fourth Monday

of each month.

Dec. 1

n The Cassville Senior Center will have a paint class starting at 9 a.m.

Dec. 2

n The Cassville Chamber of Commerce will hold its First Friday Coffee at Freedom Bank, beginning at 8 a.m. n Star Lighting at the Central Crossing Senior Center. The event will feature Santa, Singing and Supper, beginning at 5 p.m.

Dec. 3

n Cassville’s Annual Christmas Parade, beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, call the Cassville Chamber of Commerce at 417-847-2814. n Christmas Tour of Homes in Shell Knob. This event is sponsored by the Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce. n The City of Exeter will have its Christmas Parade, beginning at 1:30 p.m. There will be a Christmas dinner served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the parade. n Medicare Counseling by appointment only at the Cassville Senior Center. Call 417847-4510

Dec. 6

n Coffee Klatch at the Cassville Senior Center at 7 a.m. This is free, but donations will be accepted. n Free Hearing Aid Cleaning at 10 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street in Cassville.

Dec. 7

n Blood pressure checking will be held 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. n Methodist Manor Blood Pressure Check, 10:30 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street in Cassville.

Dec. 10

n The Monett Christmas Parade will begin at 11 a.m. No charge for entries, but participants are asked to pre-register. n Wheaton’s annual Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m.

Dec. 12

n The Ozark Festival Orchestra will present its Christmas concert at 3 p.m. at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center. Traditional holiday favorites with vocal soloists Robin Braun and Andrew Jones. $10 for adults, $5 for seniors. Children high school age and under are free.

Dec. 14

 Line Dancing every Tuesday and Thursday from

n A special Christmas Dinner will be served at the Central Crossing Senior Center.

 Quilting for Charity every Wednesday and Thursday

n Grace’s Foot Care begins at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center. Call 417-8474510 for an appointment.

9-10:30 a.m.

from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 Pinochle every Thursday from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

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n Nell’s Nails starts at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street, Cassville.

Dec. 15 n The Cassville Senior Center will have a paint class starting at 9 a.m. n Alzheimer Support Group meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob.

Dec. 16

n Christmas Dinner will be served at the Cassville Senior Center from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. n A performance by the Table Rockettes will be presented beginning at 11:30 at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair St, Cassville.

Dec. 17

n The City of Purdy Christmas parade will begin at 10 a.m. There is no entry fee. Entries will be accepted for floats, bands, flags, antique vehicles, etc. until Dec. 13. There will be sandwiches, snacks, and pictures with Santa after the parade at The Gathering Place in Purdy. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the snacks will go to the Community Pantry. Call Ken or Julie Terry for more information at 417-4423018.

Dec. 17-18

n The For the Kids Foster/Adoptive Parents Association is working with the Seligman Chamber of Commerce and the A&M Railroad to put on the Santa Train Ride. To become a sponsor, call Lynette Bailey at 417-489-7903. All sponsorship money goes to For the Kids.

Dec. 19

n Nell’s Nails will be at the Central Crossing Senior Center. Call for an appointment, 417-858-6952.

Dec. 20

n Grace Health Services will be at the Central Crossing Senior Center. Call for an appointment, 417-858-6952. n Coffee Klatch at the Cassville Senior Center at 7 a.m. This is free, but donations will be accepted.

Dec. 22

n The Pierce City Senior Center will have its regular fourth Thursday night dance. n Grace’s Foot Care begins at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center. Call 417-8474510 for an appointment

Dec. 23 and 26

n The Central Crossing Senior Center and the Cassville Senior Center will be closed for Christmas.

Dec. 28

n WIC (Women, Infants and Children) will be at the Central Crossing Senior Center. Call 417-847-2114 for an appointment.

Dec. 30 n The monthly birthday lunch will be served at the Cassville Senior Center from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Parting Shot

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

66 | DECEMBER 2016

Photo by Jamie Brownlee

Up-Scale Furnishings Top-Secret Pricing

(417) 858-4444

Bridgeway Plaza Shell Knob, MO

Financing Available Through Wells Fargo CONNECTION MAGAZINE | 67

68 | DECEMBER 2016

Connection December 2016