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February 2017

Natural talent

Purdy concert pianist returns to play

Rustic industrial The Firefly Boutique of Pierce City

Healing at home

Veterans Treatment Court success stories

Heirloom antiques A family piece collector preserves local history

d e d d e W omance R

venue views The Coleman Vault

ozark style Picturesque matrimony

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

Connection Magazine | 1


Tuesday, February 14

Specials on FRESH & SILK floral arrangements! Candies & Plush Animals Custom-made Men’s Gift Baskets & Candy Bouquets Balloon Bouquets

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2 | February 2017 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 Nancy Ridgley Shawn Hayden Darlene Wierman Melonie Roberts Sheila Harris Susan Funkhouser Pam Wormington Brad Stillwell Jared Lankford Julia Kilmer Jennifer Conner Anne Angle Dionne Zebert Marissa Tucker Verna Fry Angie Judd Cheryl Williams Sierra Gunter

Everyone has milestones to celebrate. Be prepared to make the most of each one. Join the nearly 7 million investors that trust us with their finances and their aspirations.

Shane A Boyd

802 West Street Cassville, MO 65625 417-847-5238

Financial Advisor 103 East Olive Aurora, MO 65605 417-678-0277 1-866-678-0277

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Nathan Roetto AAMSÂŽ

Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

7 East Broadway Monett, MO 65708 417-235-8216

594 North Spring Park Blvd Mt. Vernon, MO 65712 417-466-4620

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Financial Advisor

PHOTOGRAPHERS Chuck Nickle Brad Stillwell Jamie Brownlee Amy Sampson DISTRIBUTION Greg Gilliam Kevin Funcannon

Financial Advisor

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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.

Jeramie Grosenbacher, CFPÂŽ

Scott Young Financial Advisor

1418 S. Elliott Aurora, MO 65605 417-678-2102


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Connection Magazine | 3

Wedding Fare

From baby’s breath and lace to bling, buns, ball gowns and greenery, wedding vendors offer brides tips on the latest trends for their special day, along with gift ideas for guests.

Carey's Cassville Florist Carey Howe, owner of Carey’s Cassville Florist, which is located at 200 W. First St. in Cassville, shared a few trendy tips for brides-to-be looking for the perfect flower arrangements to beautify their wedding day. “Pinterest is probably the best place for brides to go for ideas,” she said. “What I’ve noticed [has become popular is a lot of the succulents in weddings. People started liking those last year — succulents and greenery in their bouquets; it’s something different. But most of my brides go to Pinterest to get an idea of what they’re looking for, bring me pictures and we go from there. Bruner'S Pharmacy and Gift Shop Guests can find several gift options for the bride and groom at Bruner's Pharmacy and Gift Shop, located in downtown Monett at 321 Broadway. Every new couple needs a wedding album to remember their special day, a mug set to share their morning coffee, a recipe binder to cook heartwarming meals, Mr. 4 | February 2017

Mixed flowers, and even dried flowers mixed with grasses and greenery are popular, and also easy on the budget, Howe said. Brides are also trending toward bouquets of baby’s breath, also known as gypsophila. “Last year, we saw lots of baby’s breath, sunflowers and burlap, very country-type themes,” Howe said. “Also the turquoise blues and browns and a lot of outdoor weddings. We had a few brides that went for the softer colors, and one in December who did orchids and stargazer lilies.”

& Mrs. towels and inspirational messages to hang in their new home, all of which can be found at Bruner's Pharmacy.

Tomblin's Jewelry and Gifts Tomblin’s Jewelry & Gifts, in its convenient location on the square in Cassville, has jewelry and gifts for the bride and groom, including rings and other artisan jewelry and collectibles available in the store.

Country Cakes and Bridal Shoppe Country Cakes and Bridal Shoppe, at 9309 Highway 43 in Seneca, has been helping brides make their wedding day special for 23 years. Manager Sarah Sloan, who has been consulting with brides for 20 years, has been in the perfect position to stay hip on current trends. “Lace is really big, along with coral and royal blue,” she said. “Black is still classy, too.” And so is bling. To help fulfill that trend, one of the cakes the business offers is fancifully covered in jewels, as opposed to the traditional flowers. “We call that bling cake,” Sloan said. But, regardless of current trends, Sloan said brides should focus on what feels right for them. “You can’t let trends dictate your wedding, you really just have to go with what you want,” she said. “Brides also go on Pinterest and that shows the newest trends. But they have to remember that, just because

A Cut Above Salon A Cut Above Salon, located at 1250 Old Highway 37 in Cassville, helps brides look stunning for their special day. “Hair trends are going classic,” said Stylist Aundrea Krallman.”We are doing more bun-type styles, where brides want their hair all pulled up, versus some up and some down. Veils are also making a comeback. Brides are wearing anywhere from cathedral to chapel veils, but not so much over the face. There are all different veil lengths, but cathedral veils are very long, that go down to the floor, and chapel veils are about shoulder length.

Along with hair styles, the salon offers brides manicures, pedicures, lash extensions and makeup services. One piece of advice stylists offer to brides is to book an appointment early so they can help them decide on a do. “We usually tell our clients to bring in pictures from Pinterest or brides magazines that we can do,” Krallman said. “It helps us get an idea of what they want. A lot of times, they’ll want to come in and do a test run of a wedding hair style, and we’ll do anywhere from the brides to the bridesmaids’ hair. That’s been a big thing, for brides to do test runs to see what style they like best.”

they see it on Pinterest doesn’t mean that will always looks good on them or be in their price range.

As for dresses, a certain look is in, too. “Mermaids and trumpet-style dresses are in,” Sloan said. “There’s a difference in the cut. Ball gowns are starting to come back, too.”

Whitley’s Gifts Shop from a variety of collectibles and unique gifts for the bride and groom available at Whitley’s Boutique, inside of Whitley’s Pharmacy on the square in Cassville. Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 5

Barry ElECtriC


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Chris Hammen

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1001 E. Broadway Monett, MO 417-235-6239 6 | February 2017

February 2017

Bridal Issue

They did.

The Coleman Vault





Venue of destination for every season

JB Photography captures the finest of rustic wedding charm in Southwest Missouri

A pick of choice libation for the occasion

Bottles and Brews


Recipes: Tasteful selections for your one and only Connection Magazine | 7


Photo by Jennifer Conner of rural Pierce City, Dec. 18.

28 In the key of love Purdy native excels as a concert pianist 43 The Firefly Boutique New custom gift shop borne out of Pierce City style 48

Seeking life's treasures

Georgia Pryor Writer aspired to collect historical pieces related to those she loved 53 Care for a noble cause Christina Resz of Cassville trains a show pony with personal success 57

Helping those who served

Court lands veterans on stable footing

35 Proud Parent contest 37 Healthy Connection 41 Parenting Column

47 Cutest Pet contest

63 Calendar

65 My Connection 66 Parting Shot

Cover photo credit: JB Photography


Have an idea for a story you would like to see in Connection Magazine? Email it to

8 | February 2017

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Alex Grace and Hayley LaGarce enter through the arch into the main reception area following the wedding at the Coleman Vault.

Looking toward the front of the long reception hall.

10 | February 2017

A place for making memories T By Murray Bishoff ~ Photos provided by Chelsea Wagner Photography unless noted

here’s a spot on the corner of the square in Marionville that has taken on new meaning, where good times take shape and memories are made. It’s the Coleman Vault at 101 N. Market, and it has become a major event spot for the community. Valerie Kutzner, the proprietor, has converted the turn-of-the-century bank building into a place where people can come for parties, weddings and special occasions. Her grandmother, Doris Rapp, bought the building several years ago and ran it as a tea room for a year. Building a clientele for daily business and working 12-hour days offered more of a challenge than the Rapps, both of whom are past retirement age, perhaps wanted. However, Valerie saw an opportunity for a special events center, something Marionville did not have. She bought it from her grandparents and has found a welcome response for her vision. Valerie renamed the building the Coleman Vault, which still has the old bank vault as a center feature in the main room, in honor of the Coleman family, which also owned the Bank of Aurora, now converted into the Bootleggers restaurant. Like many old buildings, the Coleman Vault had issues. There had been a fire that damaged the rear in the 1970s. Doris and her husband, Jack, bought it for $287 at a sale for owed back taxes. They invested about $100,000 to make the building usable again. Previous owners had painted over the high exterior windows, divided with an arched upper half. The Rapps scraped off the paint. Doris laid on her back on boards atop scaffolding to scrape the ceiling. They put a new floor over the old one that had already felt too many feet to have any luster left. Valerie helped to paint.

The happy witnesses at the Grace-LaGarce wedding salute the newly married couple in the long reception hall at the Coleman Vault.

Coleman Vault becomes a gathering center in Marionville


Here they can experience something exciting they’re going to remember forever and you get to be a part of it. - Valerie Kutzner, proprietor of the Coleman Vault

Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 11

Valerie had a unique story of her own that led her to want to run such a venue. “I grew up working at Bootleggers for eight years,” she said. “At 20, I took over Sassy’s Steak and Catfish House in Crane. I had worked for the owner for four or five years as a teen. I ran it for a year, but I didn’t know what I was doing. It was too much for me. I went back to Bootleggers. I worked a while for the Aurora Housing Authority, then I briefly moved to North Carolina. After I moved back, I went back to the Aurora Housing Authority and became the executive director. I work mornings there. This gives me the freedom to try something on my own. “I wanted to do another Sassy’s. The building has three apartments upstairs that pay for the building. What we needed was an affordable venue. I’ve rented a lot of places so I know what costs are.” Valerie opened the Coleman Vault on March 1, 2016 originally just for birthdays. “There have been tons of showers, graduation parties and family gatherings,” she said. “I didn’t expect this to be a place for weddings. They caught me off-guard. In 2016, I had 18 weddings on the books. I have a list of vendors I work with that I recommend to people, including a massage therapist, hair people, cakes, photographers, all you’d need.

12 | February 2017

I let people decorate the place as they like. I help as much as I can, but I tell them I won’t pick up the cake.” The facility itself has two main rooms, divided lengthwise in the center, the entrance from the square opening onto the larger of the two. In the rear of the first room, the wider of the two, stands the vault, next to a commercial kitchen. Wedding ceremonies tend to take place in this room. The second room, which extends back further, offers space for dancing and many tables. Behind the rear wall are separate dressing rooms for the bride and the groom, and the staircase to the upstairs apartments. The bride’s room has an exit onto the street leading to the square. Fre-

quently, Valerie said, brides will choose to exit outside and bring their procession up to the front door to make a grand entrance. Valerie opens the vault for anyone looking over the place. It’s where she stores reception supplies. It opens in the back to the kitchen. She has enough seating for 60 people. Wedding organizers can bring additional tables and chairs, with the potential to seat up to 150, but she said that’s not “comfy.” This coming spring she would like to fence in the rear yard and plant flowers for a garden party setting. She would like to find some kind of old vehicle, like a bus, she could set in the yard as a photo setting. So far she hasn’t found one in her price range.

bridal suite

Valerie Kutzner points to special antique oil lamps she acquired that provide ambiance for table settings for receptions at the Coleman Vault.

the vault

photos by Murray Bishoff

Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 13

Looking at the rear half of the long reception room in the Coleman Vault. Valerie Kutzner stands in the doorway that leads to the bride and groom preparation rooms. Remodeling of the bank building has left the turn-of-thecentury industrial look with the bare brick walls offering period ambiance. The first wedding took place at the end of May. Not expecting the demands of weddings initially, Valerie found brides changing the kitchen, not exactly the romantic setting she would want. Converting the back rooms into refuges for the different sexes gave her the chance to stock them with supplies: a pool table for the men and assorted cosmetic and primping supplies for the ladies. “Bit by bit, I’ve figured it out,” Valerie said. “On your wedding day, you need to relax. You have to be happy with the experience. I don’t want people to regret this or not be satisfied. “Sassy’s taught me to be more careful. I was so busy. I loved the stress. I’m wiser now, not having the overhead. I learned the tenant side from the Aurora Housing Authority. Fixing the furniture and the grease traps was like being back in the restaurant business. But it’s all you. My grandpa and my dad, Randy Rapp, have always been with me.” Andrea Burgess from Bootleggers provided advice and artifacts from the Cole-

14 | February 2017

man family to help decorate. Pricing has been a big part of Valerie’s success. She offers space for $60 for the first two hours and $20 for each additional hour, an entire day for $400, two days for $775 and three days for $1,100, along with other packages and prices for accessories. She offers yearly passes for photographers to use the space. “With the 48-hour package, couples can come in for the rehearsal dinner, decorate, and the next day, come in and relax,” Valerie said. “I had one bride coming in from West Plains. The fiancé’s family was coming from Texas. They liked my prices. They were going to stay in Branson. “I felt sorry for 20-year-olds, paying for college, putting their wedding on a credit card. I ask for a $25 deposit and payment in full in 30 days. I know how it is, so hectic. I try to take out the frustration.” Valerie has been impressed by many of the ways wedding planners have used the space, such as putting up an archway for the couple to stand under, some having the wedding in front of the vault itself. One of

her most fun evenings was for a wife’s 60th birthday. She had never had a prom, so her husband organized one for her. She came in a prom dress. They had photos done, just like at a regular prom. “I love to see these people’s lives,” Valerie said. “Here they can experience something exciting they’re going to remember forever and you get to be a part of it. I have a lot of repeat customers. It’s crazy. And it’s not even been one year yet. I definitely feel like I’ve been blessed.” The Coleman Vault has a Facebook page, Additional details are available by calling 417-229-0167. 

photos by Murray Bishoff

The entrance seen through the arch from the second room used primarily for receptions. photo by Abbey Laine Photography

Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 15

Flowers make the day! Weddings • Funerals • Birthdays Anniversaries • Valentine Gifts

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Financing Available Through Wells Fargo 16 | February 2017


& Brews

Bogle Vineyards Petite Sirah Aged in American oak barrels for 14 months, Bogle Vineyards' Petite Sirah is known for its fruity flavors, despite being a red wine. Blueberries and blackberries provide the main flavor, with roasted, savory and earthy tones filling out the palate. The petite Sirah pairs well with smoked lamb shoulder, braised short ribs and smoked gouda cheese.

Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Ruffino Sparkling Rosé Straight from Italy, Ruffino's sparkling Rosé is a fragrant wine with notes of strawberry and hints of rose petals. It is made primarily from the Glera grape, and blending it with a little pinot noir provides the Valentine-like rose color. The Sparkling Rosé pairs well with grilled fish, roasted chicken and mixed greens salad.

The 2014 Vintner's Reserve Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon is a dark wine with aromas of black cherry, black berry and cassis. It also sports notes of cedar, vanilla and a touch of mocha. Produced in Sonoma County, Calif., the Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with roast beef dishes.

Meiomi Chardonnay Embodying the character of California's most popular wine regions, Meiomi Chardonnay is a blend of Santa Barbara, Sonoma and Monterey counties, combining for a fruity, creamy texture. Layers of lemon peel and stone fruit are accented by notes of créme brûlée, butterscotch, baked apple, shortbread, roasted marshmallow and spices.

Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 17

Valentine's Salmon Ingredients 8 green onions 1 slice bacon, sliced 1 clove garlic 1 leek, white and tender green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced salt to taste 1/2 teaspoon butter 1-1/2 cups diced Yukon Gold potatoes 3 cups water, or more as needed 1 pinch cayenne pepper 2 (12 ounce) center-cut salmon fillets 1 teaspoon tarragon Dijon mustard salt and ground black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 tablespoons Asian chili paste (sambal), or more to taste (optional) 1 green onion, chopped Directions • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add 8 green onions and cook uncovered until slightly softened, about 30 seconds. Immediately immerse in ice water for several minutes until cold to stop the cooking process. Once the onions are cold, drain well, and set aside. • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, leek, salt, and butter; cook and stir until leek is softened, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes and enough water to cover, about 3 cups. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper lightly coated with vegetable oil. • Prepare each salmon filet salmon by cutting the belly, the bottom 1/3 of the fillet, off the skin. Cut remaining 2/3 of fillet away from skin. Cut this piece in half. Cut belly in half horizontally. Spread each piece with tarragon mustard and top with a slice salmon belly. Season with salt and black pepper. Wrap each salmon packet with two green onions, crisscrossing like ribbons, tucking the ends on the underside. • Place salmon packets, belly-side up, on the parchment and drizzle each with vegetable oil. • Bake in the preheated oven until the

salmon is slightly firm to the touch and no longer translucent inside, about 15 minutes. • Heat potato leek soup and stir in chopped green onion. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve soup in shallow bowls, topped with 1 salmon packet and garnished with chili paste.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies Ingredients 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 6 tablespoons butter 3 eggs 1 cup white sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

18 | February 2017

Directions • In the microwave or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the butter stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture until well mixed. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in

remaining 1 cup chocolate chips. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or overnight • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets so they are 2 inches apart. • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

romantic recipes Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Ingredients 1/2 pound prosciutto, sliced 1/2 (8 ounce) package Neufchatel cheese, softened 12 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed

Rich and Simple French Onion Soup Ingredients 1/2 cup unsalted butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 cups sliced onions 4 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth 2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional) 1 teaspoon dried thyme salt and pepper to taste 4 slices French bread 4 slices provolone cheese 2 slices Swiss cheese, diced 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Directions • Melt butter with olive oil in an 8 quart stock pot on medium heat. Add onions and continually stir until tender and translucent. Do not brown the onions. • Add beef broth, sherry and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes. • Heat the oven broiler. • Ladle soup into oven safe serving bowls and place one slice of bread on top of each (bread may be broken into pieces if you prefer). Layer each slice of bread with a slice of provolone, 1/2 slice diced Swiss and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet and broil in the preheated oven until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.

Directions • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. • Spread prosciutto slices with Neufchatel cheese. Wrap slices around 2 or 3 asparagus spears. Arrange wrapped spears in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. • Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until asparagus is tender.

Creamy Pesto Shrimp

Ingredients 1 pound linguine pasta 1/2 cup butter 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/3 cup pesto 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined


Directions • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in cream, and season with pepper. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly. • Stir Parmesan cheese into cream sauce, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Blend in the pesto, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened. • Stir in the shrimp, and cook until they turn pink, about 5 minutes. Serve over the hot linguine.

Valentine Night Strawberries Ingredients 20 fresh strawberries 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts 1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions • Dice two strawberries and set aside. Cut the stems off of each of the remaining strawberries, forming a base for strawberries to stand on. Starting at the pointed ends and cutting most of the way, but not completely through the stem end, slice each strawberry into four wedges. • Beat the cream cheese until fluffy; stir in the diced strawberries, walnuts, and powdered sugar. Spoon or pipe about a teaspoon of mix into each strawberry.

Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 19

Happy Valentine’s Day!


EFCO Corporation has openings for 2nd shift Production Supervisor positions. • Competitive pay • Paid vacation and holidays • Health/dental/life insurance • Advancement opportunities

• 401k • Leadership Bonus • Tuition Assistance • Profit Sharing

Interested and qualified candidates may apply by submitting resumes to or call 417.235.3193


Join us for Valentine's Day

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1-800-255-4194 20 | February 2017

505 Plaza Drive, Monett • 417-354-8408 We cater!

All photos in the following spreads, and the cover photo, are courtesy of Jamie Brownlee Thompson of JB Photography, Monett.

Bridal shots Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 21

Wedded bliss Capturing the moments that will take your breath away again and again throughout the decades makes the art of wedding photography a rewarding endeavor.

22 | February 2017

Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 23

24 | February 2017

Connection Magazine i SOUTHWEST MISSOURI WEDDINGS | 25

Happily hitched A wedding is one day, a marriage is a lifetime. JB Photography captured these moments of local residents on their wedding days so the bride and grooms may look back on their treasured beginnings.

26 | February 2017

s Collision Center ’ n e K The Area’s Finest Collision Repair Facility

At Ken’s, we do things differently Modern vehicles are complex machines. The X-Ray PlanningTM system we use here at Ken’s insures that we use the most advanced, computer-controlled equipment to repair your car or truck. Just another way we work for you, the customer, to make sure your car is fixed right, to Factory Specifications with the right parts, by highly trained technicians.

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Your Locally Owned Independent Bank

Ozarks Showcase Music Concert

Saturday, February 11 at 7:00pm Sunday, February 12 at 3:00pm Featuring Local Area Talent Accompanied by the HomeTown Sound Band

Located at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center




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Let All Our Friendly Faces Serve You At Any Of Our Three Locations:


Jct. 37, 76 & 86 417-847-4794


302 Main Street 417-652-3204


Bill Pay & Internet Banking at

Front Street 417-835-8111 Connection Magazine | 27


Though I didn't take lessons for a long period of time, I don't ever recall being made to practice. I always enjoyed it. - Jason Terry, pianist

28 | February 2017

Husband and wife making beautiful music together A concert pianist from Purdy to perform with the OFO


hen the Ozark Festival Orchestra starts the second half of its 20162017 season on Feb. 19, the concert will feature a pianist with roots in Purdy, who followed a very unusual career path for a classical musician. Jason Terry, Purdy High School Class of 2005, serves as executive assistant for the Young Pianists program at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington. He will perform the Piano Concerto No. 5, nicknamed "The Egyptian," by Camille Saint-Saens. Written in 1896, the piece gained its nickname from the composer having written it while on vacation in Egypt and visiting the ancient temple city of Luxor. "For me, it's one of most digestible of the Romantic concertos, a fun piece, not too long, with excitement in third movement that's worth learning the whole piece," Jason said. This will be the first time the OFO has played the concerto. Previously the orchestra played the Piano concerto No. 2 in the 1990s. The son of Steve and Mary Terry, lifelong residents of Purdy, Jason began taking lessons from Monett piano teacher Ruth Burnside while in elementary

school. "I took from her for a few years and got to the point where I was playing more by ear, rather than reading the music," Jason recalled. "She suggested transferring to another teacher, but I opted out, deciding to play more for pleasure and along with the radio and CDs rather than reading music." In middle school, Jason began playing the trumpet in the Purdy band, where he

my keyboard in by bedroom for hours at a time just playing around, mostly with gospel CDs. "When I started my undergraduate degree at Missouri Southern, I was planning on majoring in math. I decided to simultaneously take music classes, particularly piano instruction, since I already played — or so I thought — during my first semester. I realized music was/is my passion."

Jason Terry at age 9, playing his first piano recital in December 1995, after taking lessons from Monett teacher Ruth Burnside for one-and-a-half months. found the fundamentals of music learned under Burnside a great help. He took guitar lessons as well. "Unfortunately, my tender piano fingers weren't happy with the immediate callouses," he said. None of this sounds like a career path for a concert pianist. Jason certainly didn't see himself headed in that direction. "Though I didn't take lessons for a long period of time, I don't ever recall being made to practice," he said. "I always enjoyed it. However, it wasn't the exactly the 'cool' thing to, particularly as I got older. I remember sitting in front of

He credits Dr. Cynthia Hukill, professor of piano at MSSU, for introducing him to the wider world of classical music. "When I started taking lessons from Dr. Hukill, I knew the names of Beethoven and Mozart, but I didn't know their music," Jason observed. "She was an incredible teacher, and one of the most patient and understanding instructors I've ever known. Because I grew up playing by ear — and a lot of gospel music — this naturally 'infected' any of my classical repertoire. I'll never forget her saying to me on a regular basis, 'We've got to get the hillbilly out of your playing.' Dr. Giuseppe Lupis followed

By Murray Bishoff Connection Magazine | 29

Jason Terry playing with Doug Clifton at a Signature Quartet Christmas banquet in December 2005.

as my teacher and helped to prepare me for my senior recital along with acceptance into graduate programs. We still keep in touch, and I think the world of him as well." As his mind became filled with classical music, Jason realized his technical skills were not up to the challenge. "I had to work my tail off," Jason said. "My first year at MSSU, I was playing Level 1, nothing fancy at all. I have 8 year-old students playing better than I could." At the same time, Jason played with the Signature Gospel Quartet, from July 2003 until the death of the group's founder, Darrel Morlan, in 2007. The quartet even played at Jason's senior recital at MSSU, the moment Jason considers his first "classical music" performance. "I performed some Scarlatti, Beethoven's Op. 31, No. 3 ['The Hunt'], Ravel's 'Jeux d'eau,' and Chopin's Second Ballade. At the time, I thought this was a tough program. Now, I watch 8 to 10-year-olds play these pieces, which can lead to existential questioning." Now that he has the technique, Jason has begun widely exploring the classical landscape. "I enjoy the Romantic composers, particularly Chopin," he said. "However, as of the recent past, I find contemporary composers especially delightful and full of thought. I am currently carrying John Zorn in my performance repertoire and am ready to get started on [avant garde compos30 | February 2017

ers] Ligeti and some John Cage! "Usually I learn music pretty quickly. However, there is one work I've continued to work on, and will likely never master, if that's even possible: Balakirev's 'Islamey' [widely considered to be the most technically difficult piano piece ever written]. It took me about a year to get it 'performance-ready,' and I've continued to work on — and perform — it since that time. I'm on year three now, but I don't feel bad. After all, a piece that takes a year to learn should be enjoyed on the concert stage more than once or twice." The world of classical music has become a passion for Jason that has taken many forms. He enjoys teaching, performing, music ministry and scholarship/research. At the beginning of January, he flew to Europe to research at what point and how hymns started ending in "Amen," a story that apparently hasn't yet been told. "I fell in love with classical music, not just playing, but learning about it, even in doctoral work," Jason said. "The lack of knowledge drove me to know more. There are so many have unique stories: Schumann, and his battle with mental illness, wrote songs of such emotional depth; Ravel, just as proper and uptight a man as you could imagine, but his scores look like they're almost typeset from a computer. So many mixes of influences – Europeans trying to write jazz, Americans being influenced by European composers. There are such individualized stories. To understand their biographies makes the music that much richer."

Jason Terry at Indiana University, November 2015 Jason Terry playing with Doug Clifton at a Signature Quartet Christmas banquet in December 2005. Connection Magazine | 31

Jason has not done that much concertizing until the past year. Most of his performing up to then came by necessity out of his music degree studies. His schedule now allows more performances. Accompanying him as a second soloist at the Monett concert will be his wife, Angela Yoon, a coloratura soprano originally from Korea. She will sing two operatic showpieces. Jason met her while doing graduate studies at Baylor University. She sang in a choir concert. "I don't know if you can believe in love at first sight. I knew very quickly there was something special about her," he said. Angela went to Indiana University to finish her master's and doctoral studies. Through a friend, doors opened gradually for Jason, enabling him eventually to join the faculty. "Teaching is more my passion than performing, especially collegiate teaching," Jason said. "I've known since 2011 that was what I really wanted to do. I thought it was music ministry, but I realized more that my calling is in collegiate field." Coming "home" to perform with the Ozark Festival Orchestra will be a special treat for Jason and gives his family and old friends a chance to hear him play. The concert will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center. ď ś

32 | February 2017

Angela Yoon Ozark Festival Orchestra performs at

3 p.m. on Feb. 19, 2017,

at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center


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CONGRATULATIONS, GUNNER! Gunner Hull, 7 months at the time of this photo, is the son of Jared and Kimber Hull of Aurora.

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 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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healthy connection Marek |

Say goodbye to negative stress


will always remember my grandma saying “What is this stress that everyone keeps talking about these days? Everyone is stressed out now. When I was young, stress didn’t exist.” In fact, there may be some truth to her statement. The term “stress,” as it is currently used, was not coined until 1936, when Hans Selye defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” If you are feeling stressed, you are not alone. A 2014 survey conducted by Harvard University found that one in four Americans reported having a great deal of stress in the past month, and half of Americans reported having experienced a major stressful event in the previous year. The most frequently reported causes of stress included poor health, relationships, work, money, and family. Stress can have many deleterious effects on your health, as well as your family, work and social life. The No. 1 reported response to stress in the Harvard study was sleeping less. Sleep and stress work in a cycle — the less sleep you get, the more stressed you feel, and the more stressed you feel, the less sleep you get. In response to stress, the body releases cortisol, a hormone connected to the “fight or flight” response. Cortisol causes an increase in appetite and cravings for sweet, high-fat, and energy-dense foods, which can lead to weight gain.

Other stress-related conditions include depression, migraines, chronic pain, hypertension, and heart disease. While the first line of action to treat these often includes medication, it is important to consider source of the problem, which may be stress-related. Although we typically focus on the negative aspects of stress, there are also positive forms of stress, called “eustress.” This is the type of stress that motivates us to get out of bed in the morning and pushes us forward in reaching our goals. A key to turning our negative stress into eustress is in the way we interpret situations in our life. While events that

occur in our life are neutral, we attach meaning to them through the way we respond to them. Negative stress results when we attach a negative thought to a neutral event. For example, getting a flat tire is a neutral event, but by responding with negativity and thinking of how it is going to ruin the rest of your day, it becomes a negative stressor. If instead we use positive self-talk and see it as an opportunity to learn how to fix a flat, it now becomes eustress, or a positive challenge. Managing stress is about taking charge: of your thoughts, emotions, and the way you confront life’s challenges.

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.

Connection Magazine | 37


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Keep a stress journal.

Record any stressful incidents, the cause, how you handled it, and your mood. This will allow you to pinpoint the causes of stress in your life and develop ways to change your response to them.

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Limit social media.

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parenting column

Overwhelmed mom to in control mom


sergiubirca |

f you are a mom, then you know the word “overwhelmed” goes hand-in-hand with the role of raising little ones. Whether you’re a first-time parent or a parent of multiples, the life you had before kids looks a lot different than the one you’re living now. When I first became a mom, I struggled with finding balance between who I wanted to be and what I thought a mother was supposed to be. It didn’t help that my first born had severe acid reflux, colic, and a benign developmental delay in walking. Parenthood just wasn’t how I’d imagined it to be and the reality of this seeped into every crevice of my life. Fast-forward eight years, two more kids, and a mom who is a little bit wiser than she once was, I am here to tell you there is hope for you moms out there who feel overwhelmed. The first step is taking a deep breath, grabbing a pen (or the nearest crayon) and writing down what it is that is making you feel overwhelmed. Follow these steps below and you will be well on your way to going from overwhelmed to in control.

1. Write it down.

Once you have written down what it is that is overwhelming you (kids, lack of sleep, marriage, overeating, weight, and so on), you can begin to tackle the very thing that has been causing you so much stress.

2. Ask yourself,

“Why is this overwhelming me?”

If it’s your weight that is bothering you, the reason might be something like, “My clothes don’t feel good on me. I can’t seem to stop snacking, etc.) Once you pinpoint why this overwhelming situation is making you frazzled, you can begin to take back control. State it for what it is and move on.

3. Write down your next small step.

Literally, what is the next small step you can take in going from overwhelmed to in control? If it’s a rocky marriage that has your stomach in a ball of knots, maybe scheduling an appointment with a therapist is your next small step. It’s actually a big step but in the bigger picture, it’s one small step in taking control.

Meagan Ruffing is in the business of helping moms go from overwhelmed to in control. She believes in creating an environment where moms are free from judgement so there will be one less lonely mom out there. You can read more about her movement at and in her new book, “I See You: Helping Moms Go from Overwhelmed to In Control.”

Connection Magazine | 41


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4. Decide how big of an issue this is.

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Over the next several weeks. n Get my house back in order =

Not urgent, but something I will work on over the next few months.

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This is key. Find someone who you can trust and who will hold you accountable. This might be your spouse, your closest friend or your neighbor. You might have different accountability people for different situations in your life, and that’s OK. That is normal. Once you have decided and pinpointed what it is that is overwhelming you, and you have figured out what your next small step will be, go ahead and tell someone what your action plan is. Becoming a mom is tough stuff. It’s great stuff, but it’s tough stuff. Who you once were will come through again, you just have to be diligent and intentional about letting her peek through from time to time. Give yourself a break and a pat on the back for bringing this amazing child into the world and acknowledge things for what they are; tough. You will get through this and you will come out stronger from this. Your days of not showering and forgetting to eat will become a thing of the past before you can say, “I can’t believe he’s 8 years old. Where did the time go?”

The Firefly Boutique creating a buzz in Pierce City


espite the cold weather, the fireflies are buzzing in Pierce City. The Firefly Boutique, offering candles, gifts, women's outerwear and vintage home decor, is now open inside Friendly Supply, located at located at 205 E. Main St. "We started carrying the Mona B handbags about a year and a half ago, and they went over very well," said Mark Chapman, business manager at Friendly Supply. "We added some Goose Creek candles, which also went over well, and we decided there might be a market for a gift shop in town." Chapman, along with his wife, Kristi, and his mother, Cheryl, started tossing around the idea of what merchandise would reflect the unique atmosphere of not only the store but the city of Pierce City, and decided to create a boutique that featured a vintage, country-industrial atmosphere. "I had some pallets out back and searched the internet looking for ideas that I could incorporate into the boutique to distinguish it from the rest of the hardware store," Chapman said. "I saw some pallet walls and they fit in with that vintage, rustic feel we wanted. I built some pallet displays and used black metal pipe we had in stock, usually used for underground gas lines, as shelf brackets, and it all sort of fell together." Chapman's wife is credited for coming up with the name.

String art is quickly becoming a home decor trend. Simple treasures, such as this snowman, displayed by Mark Chapman of Firefly Boutique in Pierce City can be passed down for generations to come.

By Melonie Roberts Connection Magazine | 43

Mark Chapman shows a sample of the lighting he uses at his acoustic shows, built in the "vintage, country-industrial" style reflected in the newly opened gift store, The Firefly Boutique, located inside Friendly Supply in Pierce City. Chapman has had several requests to build similar systems for customers.

44 | February 2017

"I have a song called 'Fireflies,' and she suggested we use it," he said. "It works. I love the hands-on aspect of lighting. I guess it comes from all the lighting work I've done for [The Mark Chapman Band] shows, but it was a lot of fun taking these firefly lights and putting them in jars, with strings of lights flowing out around the boutique and throughout the merchandise. "There is something magical about fireflies out dancing in the field in the summertime. We wanted to keep that feel all year." That said, it's the merchandise that strikes a chord with most shoppers. "What's key here is coming up with something different, something you won't find in a big box store," Chapman said. "We've had a lot of fun sourcing products for the shop. We really like the vintage feel. Pierce City is sort of vintage, and lost a lot with the 2003 tornado." Cheryl Chapman lends her creative touch by repurposing furniture to serve as display pieces, while others are offered for sale. "We wanted to create something for the farmer's wife," Chapman said. "We love our farmers. They come in for materials and supplies all the time. But we're a hardware store, and there wasn't much for women to do other than just wait. Now, they can browse the more feminine items while their husbands shop in hardware." To that end, the Chapmans sourced quality lotions and soaps, locally crafted candles, a limited line of women's outerwear, rustic home decor, kitchen wares and, of course, unique lighting, such as Mark's firefly jars. There are also gourmet food items from Wind and Willow of Mt. Vernon, Primitives by Kathy, metal decor from Colonial Tin Works, and Chapman will soon be expanding the Sweet Grass Farms skin care line. "We may have to add a line of baby items," he said. "That's probably because Kristi and I are expecting a little girl in April. We're really excited about it."

But expansion of the boutique will not be limited to baby products. "We hope to double the size of the boutique by next year," Chapman said. "This has really been a lot of fun. Working with the metal and wood combination has been really neat. It's been a group effort, between my mom, wife and my sister, Stephanie Chipman, who has a real eye for buying and sourcing stuff in here, we've really had a good time. Kristi takes care of marketing new items on Facebook." Chapman keeps his hand in at designing unique lighting fixtures, displaying one of the industrial lights he uses at his acoustic shows, made of metal pipe and Edison bulbs. "I've had several customers ask about it," he said. "Again, it reflects that country-industrial atmosphere." Chapman is looking forward to the next few weeks, after the winter sales when inventory will turn over and focus more on gardening and spring. "We've only been open three weeks," he said. "But it all fell together almost perfectly. We're hoping to make this a shopping experience, where people can't wait to see what will come next. We hope it becomes a destination shop." ď ś

Firefly jar lights are just one of the novel lighting themes inside The Firefly Boutique in Pierce City. Mark Chapman, business manager, has also included lighting and home decor reflecting what he calls "a vintage, country-industrial feel." The shelves, attached to a pallet wall, are held in place by black metal pipe, typically used to run underground gas lines.

The newly opened boutique and gift shop is located inside Friendly Supply of Pierce City. Cheryl Chapman admires one of the locally sourced hardwood cutting boards, made by Harley Johnson, now available at The Firefly Boutique, in Pierce City.

The Firefly Boutique offers a limited line of women's wear, including soft, warm ponchos to fashion scarves, beanies and fuzzy slippers; as well as unique, vintage home decor items, candles, and skin care products. Connection Magazine | 45

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46 | February 2017

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cutest pet Tiger lives in Fairview with her owner, Lana Jo Steele.

February’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. Email your pet’s photo to 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. Connection Magazine | 47

It tells a stor

A view from the top of the antique staircase of the Allen home, which had three floors and 18 rooms. 48 | February 2017

Georgia Pryor Writer (then Ramsey), center, 91, and her daughter Yvonne Stumpff, left, her granddaughter Tricia Vaught and greatgrandson Brody Vaught stand in front of what is known to locals as the Allen home in 2004. The house and numerous, rare collectibles were auctioned Nov. 26.

s ry Local nurse remembered for love of rare antiques, people


hat's in a house, one might ask? Furniture, dishes, clothing, but its inhabitants make

it a home. That's what Georgia Pryor Writer, a Barry County nurse and avid antique collector, did for her household and family. Born in 1914, Writer, a progressive woman for her time, could be written about on a number of subjects — such as her business acumen, medical background and ability to manage resources — but some of the most prominent were her love of collecting and caring for rare antiques, and people. In November, the three-story, Victorian home built in 1895, known locally as the Allen home in Cassville, where Writer resided from 1973 until her passing at the age of 91 in 2004, and its contents, were auctioned — with it, many generations of history. Her family watched as 18 rooms of collections, from china and glassware to dolls and furniture that would impress

even the most sophisticated of antique connoisseurs, were dispersed. "She was a collector of everything," said Linda Mitchell, Writer's daughter. "She had dishes that belonged to her grandmother and great-grandmother and they didn't have a chip or crack in them," said Yvonne Stumpff, Writer's daughter. "They were used when we had dinner and Christmas; she took care of them." "A lot of collections were family pieces passed down to our mother," Mitchell said, "and a lot, she acquired. She loved auctions and she and her brother had an antique store in Monett. She had an eye for antiques. She became the caretaker of the family heirlooms because she loved them. And she acquired pieces that belonged to other families in Barry County. It's been said by several people that she probably had the largest glassware collection and antique furniture in this area." Each piece was cherished. "She could remember when she got

it, from whose auction and why she bought a certain piece," Stumpff said. "Anything historical, she was a part of.” As an adult, she purchased the oneroom school house she attended in Victory Community, Barry County, and donated the blackboard to the College of the Ozarks' Star schoolhouse. But as much as she loved collecting things, she loved collecting people, too, her daughters say, caring for others even as a child, and as an adult, working as a nurse and taking people in. "She was kind of the midwife of her community. She took care of all the sick people," Stumpff said. She married Herbert Writer and had four children, two boys, and two girls — Linda, Yvonne, Gene and Charles. But Herbert died when the children were young, forcing Writer into single parenthood. During her career, Writer worked as a nurse at the Cassville Community Hospital and Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Stella during World War II.

By Julia Kilmer Connection Magazine | 49

Pictured is Writer with husband Herbert Writer as a young woman. Herbert died when their children were very young, making Writer a single parent of four. She was also a licensed nursing home administrator and built the first nursing home facility in Cassville, borrowing money to build Sunset Valley Nursing Home in Cassville, which she managed for years, while raising her family. "All the time she had a nursing home, she maintained a farm, too," Stumpff said. "She always had a farm and big garden." Her daughters believe her motivation to collect items and to manage finances wisely had a direct connection to her upbringing. "We think growing up during the depression had a lot to do with the fact she cherished all of her possessions, because she had very little," Mitchell said. "Times were just so hard and people didn't have money. But we think that's what made her such a collector, because of the way she had to live during that time." "She was an excellent manager," Stumpff said. "She always said she never

50 | February 2017

Pictured is Writer as a little girl (center right), standing with her parents and siblings. Her daughters say that, even as a young child, she loved caring for others.

borrowed unless she had two ways to repay. I think that's why she was so prosperous. Also because she gave God credit for everything in her life, and that started in her early life, in the Log Church Community near Butterfield, where she spent a lot of time with her grandparents. They influenced her a lot." She also loved her community, opening her home for tours to raise money for senior citizens in Cassville. "She loved showing people the treasures in the house," Mitchell said. When going through their mother's belongings, Stumpff found a 200-page book Writer had written about her life. "She starts from her birth and her first memories all the way until she quit writing," she said. "It was very in-depth. I was amazed at how precise and colorful she made all the stories." To an outsider, the large home and its contents could be a museum, but to the family, it was just home, and where they shared each holiday.

Pictured are Writer's children, Linda Mitchell, left, Charles Writer, Yvonne Stumpff and Gene Writer.

This antique desk and dresser was just one of numerous and rare antiques cared for and collected by Georgia Pryor Writer. (below) This family quilt was pieced by Writer's greatgrandmother Caroline Cox in 1866, then quilted by her grandmother America Pryor in 1868, and given to Writer as a wedding gift in 1929.

Of all of their mother's possessions, probably one of the most unique and valuable is this glass jar of roses containing the strands of crocheted hair belonging to several generations of family members. Connection Magazine | 51

Numerous rare antiques, like this antique grand piano, radio and hutch, were disbursed during an auction in November of the Allen house and its contents, owned by Georgia Pryor Writer. "She didn't treat the house like it was something sacred. The kids could go in and play and slide down the banister; it was treated like a normal home. The kids played in the attic all the time. Mother had it set up as a play area for the kids." Considering about all the unique possessions family members might like to keep — the dresser their great grandparents started housekeeping with, the family quilt pieced in 1866, or kitchen

52 | February 2017

hutches generations old, the most prized possession could be a simple glass jar of roses that has been sitting on a dresser for decades. But these are no ordinary roses, they are tangible pieces of several generations of the family, and arguably one of the most unique items their mother could have passed down, or that any family could boast to possess, because the roses are strands of hair crocheted from the

hair of three generations of multiple family members. "Talk about DNA," laughed Mitchell. “I have custody of the hair. We're not sure who has the dresser it sat on." Writer may be endeared for many things, but to her family, she will be remembered for creating a house and a home. "The [best] memories I have are of family," Mitchell said. ď ś

Christina Resz is pictured with the miniature horse, Rhythm, as she grooms and prepared for a show last summer. Rhythm is owner by Shawna Oltjenbruns, of rural Cassville, who is also Christina's caseworker

Happiness comes in small packages By Melonie Roberts


hristina Resz, 26, of Cassville, spends as much of her time as possible in the summer working around and showing a miniature horse, Rhythm, at local and national shows. While that may not seem to be a huge accomplishment for most, Resz, who was born with cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair, has difficulty in completing some of the most basic tasks of daily living. "She's a client, and I don't believe she will ever be able to live outside a group setting," said Pam Modlin, who left office as Barry County public administrator in January. "But I am so excited to see her participating in these shows. She's been doing this for about four years now, and she loves it." "She does everything," said Shawna Oltjenbruns, owner of the miniature horse, Rhythm, Resz shows in the arena. "She's learned basic horse care. She exer-

cises him, grooms him and gets him ready to show. She has literally crawled on her hands and knees in the feed room to pour his grain and get his hay. Due to the extreme limitations of her vision, she's had to learn where the fences are so she can throw the hay over." Rhythm is no stranger to being around people who have developmental disabilities. He's served as a therapy horse at local nursing homes and visited youngsters at Head Start. "I like Rhythm," Resz said, "and he loves me." "He has had a decade and a half of being around people in wheelchairs and other mechanical devices," Oltjenbruns said. "To him, that's just a part of who the

person is, like muscle spasms. Horses are very accepting and forgiving." While Rhythm may have been familiar with wheelchairs, Resz had to build her upper body strength in order to navigate the practice arena and control the miniature's actions through both vocal and physical commands. "Exercises are monotonous and no fun," Oltjenbruns said. "But she did them — just so she could have the strength to work with him." Resz's love affair with horses started through the riding therapy program, Magic Moments, which closed its doors several years ago. "As her caseworker, I saw how depressed she was, and how much she was missing being around the horses," Oltjenbruns said. "I started taking her out to the farm to let her start brushing them so she could get her pony fix. She started coming out a couple of Saturdays a month and really enjoyed it. Her first show was a reward for brushing and working with the horses. Christina Resz helps bathe and groom Rhythm, a miniature horse, that she has shown at local and national horse shows. Resz, who suffers from cerebral palsy, has to work around the horse and in the arena from a wheelchair. Connection Magazine | 53

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She liked it enough she started coming out to work and earn entry money for other shows." Over the past four years, Resz has earned a double fistful of red and blue ribbons, both locally and nationally, for her efforts. "She shows in the halter class and in the color class," Oltjenbruns said. "And honestly, some of the show grounds are not exactly [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant. Sometimes she's had to struggle to get her wheelchair through the graveled areas on the show grounds, combat the summer heat, and prepare the horse and herself for showing. She never complained. She was more worried about making sure Rhythm was kept cool." Most judges can see Resz is in a wheelchair, but don't know the severe limitations of her sight. "I have to wear brightly colored clothing and demonstrate to the judges the limits of her field of vision, to give the judges an idea of what she is having to overcome," Oltjenbruns said. "She's also had to come out of her shyness in order to talk to the judges. She had to learn all about Rhythm, his age, and other information she had to be able to tell the judges if they asked. Along with that, she is usually the only one in a wheelchair that's participating." At the local shows, judges give encouragement to the participants, but it's a practice nearly unheard of at the national level. Yet, Resz was the recipient of one such goodwill gesture. "At nationals, one of the judges took time to come out into the arena and told Christina although she didn't win, she had done a very good job," Oltjenbruns said. "That's impressive. In 33 years, I have never seen a judge do that." At the end of this season, Rhythm, at the age of 20, was retired. That means Christina is going to have to start training with another miniature. "I want to work with Bunny," she said. "But she has a lot to learn." Bunny, a gray yearling and one that will be easy for her to see, will first have to become accustomed to Resz's wheelchair.

Jackie Modlin, left, manager of the MFA facility in Cassville, is pictured with Shawna Oltjenbruns, center, and Christina Resz, of Cassville, along with the miniature horse, Rhythm, with several blue ribbons earned at shows last summer. Modlin has donated bedding for the miniature's comfort as Resz and Oltjenbruns travel to take part in local and national horse shows.

"She's cute," Resz said. "She hops like a bunny." "Once the weather clears and the ground is a little harder, I'll start working with Bunny and Christina and hope they'll be ready to at least show in a halter class next year," Oltjenbruns said. "Right now, Christina can't come out and work through the winter because we don't have an elevated boardwalk and her wheelchair gets bogged down in the mud. If we had the walkway, all kinds of people could be come out all year round. But right now, mud is the biggest issue." For Christina, that means a lot of work as well. "We'll have to walk off their winter fat," she said. But she will also have to get Bunny accustomed to working around someone in a wheelchair and qualified in two local shows under a total of four judges in order to qualify for national competition again. Resz has a lot of local supporters helping her achieve her dream. In addition to Oltjenbruns providing the horses and animal transportation, funding for staff and mileage has come from Arc of the Ozarks; horse feed and double depth bedding material has been provided by Cassville MFA;

and hotel rooms and meals for her staff have been funded by the Barry County Tax Board for the Developmentally Disabled. "We are so excited for Christina," Modlin said. "And very proud of her accomplishments." "She's going to miss her horse friends this winter," Oltjenbruns said. "Hopefully, if the weather isn't too bad, she can come out and see them — as long as it isn't too muddy." For now, Christina is going to continue to build her upper body strength through the dreaded exercise program and dream of spring. "I'm looking forward to exercising Bunny's winter fat away and getting her into show condition by summer," Resz said. "I want to keep showing miniatures locally and at nationals." "I've only heard her complain of her limitations once," Oltjenbruns said. "But she continues to work on whatever challenges she's facing and learning to overcome them. Christina has definitely learned to keep on keeping on." For more information on Fascination Miniatures, call Oltjenbruns at 417-6712184. ď ś Connection Magazine | 55

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Veterans Treatment Court brings troubled vets back to life

Judge Sifferman addressed the audience in his courtroom for graduation ceremonies from Veterans Treatment Court. Seated at right are the graduations, from center: Bobby Owens, Cory Dodson and Aaron Althiser.

t was not a typical courtroom scene. There were cheers and applause, again and again, at the conclusion of each person standing before the judge. Tears flowed during the graduation ceremony, from men. This was neither high school nor a camp. This was Veterans Treatment Court at the Lawrence County Justice Center. "This is the best kept secret in the United States," said Associate Circuit Court Judge Scott Sifferman, who has presided over Veterans Treatment Court from its inception. "It works." The program, using part of the same model as the drug court program as an alternative route for offenders, started

have thrown them into the criminal justice system a choice: more jail time or enter the program as a way out. "We see them in court because they have been involved in a crime," Sifferman said. "They are not necessarily criminals. Their crime might reflect an underlying problem. When they receive medical help, the criminal behavior falls away." Once they volunteer, each veteran receives a battery of diagnostic tests to determine their problems. Sifferman noted that trauma like PTSD show a host of symptoms, such as addiction and losing a driver's license. Programs are developed tailored to each person's problems. Most go to trauma therapy


in the 39th Judicial Circuit in Lawrence, Barry and Stone counties five and a half years ago. Its fifth graduation ceremony was held before Christmas. The premise of veterans court is that the problems of coping and adapting to daily living by military personnel stems from their service, particularly the impact of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — diagnosed or not — alcoholism and drug abuse. "You must look at why this happened," Sifferman said. "You can't just get mad at them. Our motto is leave no veteran behind. Never give up." The process of Veterans Treatment Court involves giving veterans who have developed chronic problems that

By Murray Bishoff Connection Magazine | 57

at the Gene Taylor VA Clinic in Mt. Vernon, as well as to private agencies, and additional therapy programs. Many participate in group meetings with professionals. Because the veterans have problems with the law due to criminal activity, community service is frequently ordered. In some cases, jail time is required. "We use up to 100 different types of sanctions, all based on a therapeutic response to their action," Sifferman said. "The program works because of the rapid, appropriate response to what has happened. If they have consumed alcohol, they may be ordered to attend 10 meetings in 10 days. If there is violence, they may enter immediately into a batterer's intervention program or domestic violence program. If they don't show up in court or a meeting, they may be ordered to spend 24 hours in jail with a writing assignment. That impresses upon them why it's important to show up and be honest. It helps them process it and figure out how to avoid it in the future. "Most are involved in moral recognition therapy. It helps with their thinking and provides more empathy for others. The VA has a similar program. Some do both. The vets pay fees for court ordered treatment. It's not like court fees. The money goes back into the program to fund it. It helps them be invested in the treatment." The program also has incentives to recognize positive changes. For responding well, a veteran may be the first in line to appear in court, or get to leave right after speaking to Sifferman. They may be recognized in front of their peers, even acknowledged by applause. The Bureau of Justice developed the concepts for Veterans Treatment Court 20 years ago. At that time, the bureau set out to answer why programs had so much recidivism. Research determined that 80 percent of cases were only dealing with symptoms.

58 | February 2017

Graduate Aaron Althiser, right, received a framed certificate for completing Veterans Treatment Court from Judge Sifferman. "With addiction and other major issues, you must address them before you can address their behavior in society," Sifferman said. "The key is to combine treatment with justice. If you keep them in treatment long enough, they can heal. The court keeps them involved." Veterans Treatment Court has four phases, each with guidelines. Participants must apply for promotion to the next phase, receiving recognition from their peers with each step. They receive a certificate of promotion as they progress to the next step. "You see dramatic positive results," Sifferman said. "The level of appreciation is incredible. Most of them have suffered for a period of time before they come in. They have tried and failed making changes themselves. When they have attempted to navigate the VA, the process can be so difficult that they may give up. Our veterans outreach justice officer makes it easy and gets them through. We cut through all the red tape. For that, they're very appreciative. When they start getting healthier, it's quite rewarding." Sifferman recalled one case involving a Marine who had served in combat in Iraq. He was expected to transition

back into society without any assistance for the problems he had acquired. "In that case, he'd seen so many of his comrades killed, and he was wounded in combat," Sifferman said. "When he came out, he was in and out of jail for basically five years. He ended up homeless. Within a month of being in Veterans Treatment Court, he was back in a stable home. He started engaging in treatment for his trauma. Thirty days after he started, he came before me, and I said, 'You're looking better.' He said, 'Judge, I had the first full night's sleep I've had in five years. It feels great.' "Thirty days later, I again asked how he was doing. He said he was getting to visit with his daughter. He was learning how to be a good dad again. Now, a year later, he's working full-time. He's a good citizen. He's giving back to the community. He's helpful to other vets, reaching out to them, letting them know help is available. It's quite rewarding to see a total turnaround." One of the graduates, Aaron Altheiser, talked about how he ended up in the cross hairs of authorities. "My first deployment to Iraq in 2003 was a bad time," Althiser said during the graduation ceremony. "One of my best friends died in my arms. Then

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PTSD was not a big thing. I begged for help. My second deployment in 2006 was a bad time again. I was still begging for help. By then they were talking more about PTSD. They gave me medication for it. I didn't realize I was on a downward spiral till I hit hard. I found myself in the Lawrence County jail. I was completely lost." Bobby Owens talked about losing his housing, his driving privileges, his wife moving to Aurora, leaving him in Mt. Vernon, where he could still get to his sessions at the Veterans Administration clinic. He rode a bicycle everywhere, even when he had to work on it daily sometimes to keep it running. Riding his bike, Owens made it to his probation appointments and his VA treatment sessions. By graduation, he had achieved 27 months of sobriety. "We've worked together since 2010," said Marcy VanDeBerg, the veterans justice outreach coordinator for the Veterans Administration, to Owens. "You are amazing. You've gone from living in a tent and from wearing pink [in jail] to living in a home. You've concentrated on your health. You thought, 'How can I improve myself and my community?' You are a true example of how Veterans Treatment Court helps heal the entire community. You allow others to walk that path. None of us can do it alone." During the graduation ceremony, Sifferman equated Veteran Treatment Court with the recovery and rebuilding efforts after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the 2011 Joplin tornado. "We watched workers hauling things out, making progress even though we couldn't see it," Sifferman said. "Our veterans discovered they had damage in their lives. Some of it was visible. Some of it they couldn't see. They knew they had to be cleaned up. Rebuilding would require a team effort." Sifferman reviews a five-step process each of the program participants must face: 1) Attacks sometimes come

60 | February 2017

at a person's weaknesses, sometimes at strengths. Participants must constantly evaluate their vulnerability. 2) Make a thorough assessment of the damage. Here applies two of the rules of Veterans Treatment Court: Be honest and show up. 3) You must implement the plan. "You Bobby Owen appreciatively shakes Judge Sifferman's hand must start the work before receiving his diploma. wherever we are," Sifferman said. "It requires faith. Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Faith is taking the first step when you can't see the whole staircase.'" 4) It's hard dirty work getting rid of the rubble. Before you build a road, you have to get the rubble off of it. 5) After the rubble is gone, the new building goes up. "It's not going to look like the origiCory Dodson cast a meaningful look at his framed nal," Sifferman said. certificate for completing Veterans Treatment Court, after "The lives you build shaking hands with Judge Sifferman. are not like before. You've got strength mer probation officer Zach Adams, you didn't know you possessed. When Prosecuting Attorney and past veteran the enemy tried to attack, you know himself Don Trotter, Veterans Mentor how to deal with it. You know the Corps leader Gary Brooks, database strength in recovery comes from friends administrator Patricia Sams and clerks and family. The veterans service agenLiza Pearson and Sandy Brecht. cies continue to be your ground sup"Everyone is reinforcing what the port. Churches etc. provide our supother team members have done," Sifferport. They've overcome enemies that man said. "The level of trust is increased held them hostage." because we are so consistent. The vets Sifferman repeatedly talked about often have a hard time trusting the govthe team, which he called, "the best ernment. We restore the trust on conof the best." Among those mentioned sistency, respect and decency. They bewere VanDeBerg, Probation Officers gin to understand we do care and have J.R. Wolfe and Heather Fletcher, foranswers to their problems."

Participants appeared before the judge accompanied by a probation officer. Each has to reach a level of achievement, promoted through three phases, before reaching graduation. At each stage, goals were set. Probation officers discussed progress and setbacks. To one vet, Sifferman said, "You missed a UA [urine analysis test] and spent a night in jail. You took it like a man. We don't hold grudges. You figured out what happened." "I appreciate the program," the participant responded. "I understand there's consequences." In several cases, the judge referred to writings by the participants, part of their assignment since the last court session. Writings challenged the vets to examine themselves, and for that, they were praised. Many were quite candid about their struggles. After Bobby Owens was done speaking about his long road, going through drug court, then, after 10 years, completing Veteran Treatment Court, he recounted how his son, now in prison himself, said his father is his "paradigm of hope." Hearing Owens' account, Sifferman commented, "I've heard more truth in that than I have in 11 months of presidential debates." Another of the graduates was Cory Dodson, now in his 30s who had struggled for so long VanDeBerg said she had worked with him "more than half of his adult life." A decorated veteran, Dodson served as a truck driver for the Army from 2002 to 2008. On Easter Sunday 2004, the convoy he escorted south of Baghdad was ambushed and were sitting ducks on a secondary supply road. Dodson got out a machine

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gun and returned 240 rounds under fire, earning a Bronze Star, a high honor, even rarer for an enlisted man. After discharge, Dodson struggled for years, fighting substance abuse, sometimes too "torn up" to do his therapy. "I spent 10 years as an addict," Dodson said. "I want you to know how much I love and appreciate my family," noting the presence of his wife and three daughters, his father and grandfather — "my heroes" — in the courtroom. "Through my sobriety, I got my friends back and gained many more." At the close of the graduation, Sifferman took off his robes and addressed the three graduates — Dodson, Althiser and Owens — as regular members of society. He told the audience, "They've overcome enemies that held them hostage." To the veterans, he said, "When you've completed a mission, what do you do?" "Start a new mission," they answered together. "Are you ready?" he asked. "Your past is redeemed. You can't be bought. You are veteran overcomers. Now your mission is to protect, maintain and enjoy that freedom." Sifferman presented each of the graduates with the Medal of Freedom as a symbol of their achievement. Several spoke of continuing with the program as mentors for other vets. The graduation ceremony received more stature through additional participation by local veterans. VFW Post No. 3404 provided a color guard and was accompanied by Army Chaplain Gary Gilmore from the National Guard. Judge Alan Blankenship, who has the south docket of the veterans

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court at the courthouse in Galena, was present, as were two representatives from the Office of Court Administration in Jefferson City, Lisa Saylor from the office of U.S. Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., Darrel Campbell from the Veterans Way Committee that created the Mt. Vernon mural, and Barry County attorneys Kyle Tolbert and John Lewright, who worked with prosecutors to get their clients into the Veterans Treatment Court. A reception was held in honor of the graduates in the hallway of the Justice Center at the conclusion of the ceremony. When Sifferman first heard of veterans treatment courts and studied the process nationally, he found the evidence was profound. "I felt we had to give it a try," he said. "It's exceeded my expectations." Sifferman worries that the Gene Taylor VA Clinic moving from the former Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mt. Vernon to Springfield will impact the program. It will become more difficult for veterans to reach their treatment sessions and meet with counselors. Some transportation accommodations can be made, but not all of those needing help are up to driving in big city traffic. He noted the city of Mt. Vernon has offered space at the former MRC to keep some services nearby. "It will change things," Sifferman said. "We will find a way to continue the program. For those we've helped, it's been worth it. We've prevented three suicides. The things these guys have overcome are miraculous. This is really the best crime prevention program in the United States." 

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February 2017

photo by Valerie Miller

Feb. 2

n Paint Class begins at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street, in Cassville. n The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center on Highway 37 beginning at 7 p.m. No alcohol or smoking. Under age 18 admitted free. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Feb. 3

n First Friday Coffee, sponsored by the Cassville Chamber of Commerce, will be held at the Barry Electric office beginning at 8 a.m.

Feb. 4

n The Cassville Chamber of Commerce annual membership banquet will be Cassville High School commons area beginning at 6 p.m. n Monthly Dance hosted by the Cassville Senior Center will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Finger foods are welcome. For more information, call 417-846-3024.

Feb. 6

n The Monett Senior Center Valentine Dance will be held at the Monett Park Casino, weather permitting. For more information, call 417-632-4297.

Feb. 8

n Grace’s Foot Care will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street. Call 417-847-4510 for an appointment.

Feb. 10

n Free Lunch will be served at the Monett Senior Center, courtesy of the Old Town Pharmacy in Monett.

Feb. 11

n The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Valentine Dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center on Highway 37 beginning at 7 p.m. No alcohol or smoking. Under age 18 admitted free. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Feb. 14

n Valentine’s Day Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cassville Senior Center.

Feb. 15

n Blood pressure checks will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Feb. 16

n Paint Class begins at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street, in Cassville. n Alzheimer Support Group meeting will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob beginning at 2 p.m.

Feb. 18

n The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center on Highway 37, beginning at 7 p.m. No alcohol or smoking. Under age 18 admitted free. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Feb. 21

n Grace Health Services will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call 417-858-6952 for an appointment.

Feb. 22

n WIC (Women, Infants and Children) will be accepting appointments at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call 417-847-2114. n Nell’s Nails will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street, Cassville. Call 417-847-4510 for an appointment. (walk-ins are also welcomed).

Feb. 23

n Grace’s Foot Care will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street. Call 417-847-4510 for an appointment. n The Pierce City Senior Center monthly dance will be held at the center.

Feb. 24

n The monthly birthday lunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cassville Senior Center. n Nell’s Nails is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Monett Senior Center. Call 417235-3285 for more information.

Feb. 25

n The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center on Highway 37, beginning at 7 p.m. No alcohol or smoking. Under age 18 admitted free. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Feb. 27

n Nell’s Nails (fingers and toes) will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call 417-858-6952 for an appointment.

Cassville Senior Center 1111 Fair St., Cassville • Dominos every Friday at noon. Call 417-847-4510 for more information.

Central Crossing Senior Center Regular events: • 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 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. • Paint Classes, every second and fourth Monday of each month. • Line dancing every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. • Quilting for Charity every Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. • Pinochle every Thursday from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

Do you have an event you would like to have featured in our calendar? Email it to

Connection Magazine | 63

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• Aurora Diabetes Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month at Mercy Hospital in Aurora in the Private Dining Room at 4 to 5 p.m. It is free and open to the public. • 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 Highway 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, 417-847-2965. • 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, 417-4423706.

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• 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. 417489-7662.

My Connection

The TableRockettes, a group of Line Dancers from Shell Knob, brought Connection to one of their performances. They performed all through December at area nursing homes, assisted living and senior centers. Pictured, from left, Linda Holley, Joy Robinson, Lynn Ward, Pam West, Cindy Thomovsky, Monnie Kennedy, Vaida Falconbridge, Sandi Whitehead, Ronnie Wlcek, Randa Lasley, Dorris Lofton and Chloe Gibbons. Not pictured, Sandy Cupps.

Levi and Skyler Bowman took Connection Magazine with them on their honeymoon in Rome, Italy, at the Colosseum.

Allen and Debra Moser took Connection with them during a week at the Grande Caribe all-Inclusive resort in Cancun.

Ad list Acambaro Mexican Restaurant . . . . . . . 20 Barry Electric Coop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Bennett-Wormington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Burrus Jewelers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Carolyn Hunter, DMD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Cassville Health & Rehab . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 CJR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Coast to Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Community National Bank. . . . . . . . . . . 20 Cornerstone Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Country Dodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Cox Medical Centers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Crane Family Dentistry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Dairy Queen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Diet Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Doug's Pro Lube. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Eastside Church of Christ. . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Edward Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 EFCO Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Farm Pro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 First State Bank of Purdy . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Fohn Funeral Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Four Seasons Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Four States Dental Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Friendly Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Grande Tire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Guanajuato Mexican Store & Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 J&J Floor Covering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 J. Michael Riehn, Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Ken's Collision Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Lackey Body Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Les Jacobs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Michael Carman Furniture Gallery. . . . . 16 Monett Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . . 27 Ozark Methodist Manor. . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Peppers and Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Purdy Flowers and Gifts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Race Brothers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Scott Regional Technology Center. . . . . 56 Security Bank of Southwest Missouri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Shelter Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Smile Designers Dentistry. . . . . . . . . . . .56 Superior Spray Foam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 The Jane Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The Niche . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Tomblin's Jewelry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Trogdon Marshall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 White's Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Whitley Pharmacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Willis Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Connection Magazine | 65

Parting shot

Photo illustration by Linda Sparkman of Mt. Vernon.

66 | February 2017

Authorized dealer

Family owned and operated since 1971

Race Brothers carries a complete line of farm and home supplies including clothing, lawn and garden, outdoor power equipment, pet supplies, tack and livestock supplies and much more! You will find our service outstanding whether your needs are for home or acreage in the country.


210 Hwy 37, Monett


2310 W Kearney, Springfield

Big store with a lot of stuff!


2309 Fairlawn Dr., Carthage

Connection Magazine | 67

Connection February 2017  
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