Show Me The Ozarks - January 2023

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Featuring Seneca, MO | Ask the Expert Ultimate Wedding Features January 2023 • Volume 22 • Issue 5
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January 2023 • • 5 Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated Member SIPC & NYSE | Brad R. McIntyre Vice President/Investments (417) 627-5715 | Debbie Koehler Client Service Associate (417) 627-5716 | Josh DeTar Financial Advisor Associate (417) 627-5719 | Stifel is pleased to announce the formation of the M/D Wealth Management Group The M/D Wealth Management Group is located in Joplin, Missouri, and is excited to help you create a customized wealth management plan that aligns with your vast goals and needs. (417) 627-5716 main | (417) 781-9847 fax 420 S. Main Street | Joplin, Missouri 64801 M/D Wealth Management Group

Most Influential People of 2022

Showcasing individuals who have
leaders, influenced positive change and
difference in the community
They are community leaders, our friends
features SMTO contents January 2023 Featuring Seneca, MO 43 Faces of Seneca 44 Seneca Business Spotlights 45 Seneca Indians Collect Conference & District Championships 46 Chief Wallace and Tribe Give Back To Community 48 Fire Chief Tyler Crow & Seneca Fire Department Remain Focused On Keeping City Safe 50 The Creative Edge: Waste Not, Want NotSeneca artist Erin Poor sees beauty in things others throw away 60 Ask the Expert - Don Gould, First Missouri Insurance, Don Gould Agency, Inc.; Allan P. Weston, MD, FACG, Gastroenterologist, The Digestive Health Center of the Four States; and Mick Ward, Director, Freeman Orthopedics and Health Medicine 68 Why I Run: Runs in the Family: Ultra-marathon runner Brandon Smith instills love of running in the next generation Wedding Features 52 A Perfect Beginning 55 Ultimate Wedding Destinations & Services About the Cover Photos by Mandy Edmonson, Focused Memories Photography 52 46 26 67 48
stepped up as
made a
this past year.

unique events!

health other great

Health Events

More Than Cosmetic: Life Change Through Bariatric Surgery

Recipe: Greek Chicken Soup

Fit For Life: New Year, New Nutrients. The under-looked health change for this year 72 Community Blood Center of the Ozarks: Serving and Saving One Droplet at a Time 74 Style, Comfort and Support: Diabetic shoes provide protection against diabetes-related complications 75 Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Driving Up Homelessness Statistics 18 Show Me Carl Junction

Spotlight on Carthage 20 Joplin Arts District 39 Fashion Forward - Blue Moon Boutique 40 Things We Love

Congratulations to Mica Oates, the winner of the December edition “Find the Green Smiley Face” contest. Mica wins two gift certificates to McAlister’s Deli in Joplin, MO. The Green Smiley was on page 63 on the bottom right corner photo.

January 2023 • • 7 in every edition Can you find it? Find the GREEN smiley face on one of our pages. Email sue@ with the page number and spot where you found it. Submit your entry by the 15th of the month. A winner will be drawn from all the correct entries and will receive a gift certificate from an area retailer. One entry per household please. Good luck!
$41.99 - three years $32.99 - two years $19.99 - one year Name: Address: Form of payment: Check Credit Card Card Number: Name on Card: Card Expiration: / Mail this form with your check, money order or credit card info to: Show Me The Ozarks, PO Box 950, Neosho, MO 64850 Subscription Form Subscribe today! Call 417.455.9898 to place your subscription over the phone by credit card. Don’t miss a single edition of the magazine that has all of the region talking! The Ozarks Magazine Since 2001 WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE OZARKS 14 Calendar of Events - Start the new year outdoors with a hike or a kids’ Christmas bird count. If you made a
resolution to get
or line dancing. Do
or try a
promises to be full of fun and
17 Northeast
Events Home/Lifestyle 21 Tastes of the Four States - Undercliff Grill and Bar 22 Show Me Dining Guide 58 Your House ... Your Home
76 The Great
78 A Naturalist
80 Your
MeettheDoctors | FeaturingCarthage |
October Issue
New Year’s
healthy, try belly dancing
something different by learning fly tying and fishing, join a cornhole league
nature escape room. 2023 in the Four States
Cultural Arts and Entertainment
Winter Décor - Warm and Cozy
Outdoors - Welcome to 2023
Voice - A Winter Treasure To Witness The Past
Realtor For Life - Home Sweet Home
8 PUBLISHER/EDITOR Lee Radcliff EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Sue Dillmon ASSOCIATE EDITORS Wendy Brunner Kathleen Swift GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Kelley Talent Kristi Tucker SOCIAL EDITOR/MARKETING ASSISTANT Cheryl Franklin PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR Jamie Emery STAFF WRITERS PHOTOGRAPHERS Amy Howe Mandy Edmonson Ashley Caughorn DISTRIBUTION Shelby Cagle / Gary and Desma Sisco Show Me The Ozarks Magazine is published monthly by Show Me Communications, PO Box 3325, Joplin, MO 64803. Copyright 2022 all rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in part or in whole, is prohibited without written permission from SMTO. Subscription rates: $19.99 for one year, $32.99 for two years, $41.99 for three years. Advertising rates sent on request. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and art will not be returned unless accompanied by self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage. NOTE: Information published herein is subject to change without notice. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited by law. SMTO makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of published information, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions. SMTO does not take responsibility for, or always endorse the opinions of contributors or advertisers. SMTO reserves the right to not run an ad or article that is reviewed to be in bad taste or goes against the focus or mission of that of Show Me The Ozarks Magazine. Editor photo by Hannah Sanderson Photography. Staff The Ozarks Magazine Since 2001 Sol ar FREE ESTIMATES 417.540.4411 Financing Options Available ROOFING • CONSTRUCTION • SOLAR Holly Hukill Jeff Cantrell Kathleen Swift Don Lowe Larry Whiteley Bridget Bauer Gary Stubblefield Amy Howe Savanah Bandy Ann Leach Allison Lee Riechman-Bennett Kristi Spencer
January 2023 • • 9



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Be an Influencer

This month, we feature the most influential people of 2022. These men and women have passion for what they do, and they continue to make our community better. They are proven leaders across a variety of industries. They are our friends, our neighbors and our community leaders.

What makes someone influential? It is not about power or prestige. It is not about those who are the loudest, strongest or most wealthy. Often, the most influential people are not those who seek to influence, but those who strive to serve. The most influential people are recognized for their actions, more than their words and their heart, more than their accomplishments.

We all have the power to influence. Someone is always watching. Whether that be the child who sees how you handle a stressful customer service situation, your neighbor who watches how you treat your family or a stranger who watches you pick up trash at the park left behind by others, someone is always watching. We all have the power to influence.

In our 21 years, over 250 issues, we strive to influence. To those who are not from our beautiful corner of the Four States, we want to share all the reasons our region is the greatest place to call home. We have endlessly supported local business owners and the impact shopping local has on our community. We love our talented photographers, writers and others behind the scenes who make SMTO magazine possible each month. We value our state-of-the-art medical facilities and talented medical professionals who provide their expertise to keep us healthy. We are committed to filling our pages with stories that inform and inspire. We strive to influence.

2023 is going to be the best year yet. Positivity and optimism are contagious. As we welcome the new year, let’s influence those around us. Let’s spread joy, be kind to others, pick up the trash, have a servant heart and be the change you want to see in the world. Let’s be INFLUENCERS.

The biggest impact on others is not grand gestures. It is the small, consistent acts of kindness that leave the greatest influence, whether that is cleaning out your closet and donating to a church or shelter or offering your company to someone who is experiencing a challenge. Whether that is volunteering at a local nonprofit or coaching a little league team, every act of kindness matters.

SMTO wishes you a Happy New Year!

Lee Radcliff-Timmsen, Editor/Publisher

P.O. Box 3325 • Joplin, MO 64803 417.455.9898 • 417.850.5557


February 10th,11th,13th, & 14th

January 2023 • • 11

This content is also available at

Carthage, MO

January 27-29: Don’t Drink the Water, 6:30 pm, Sunday 1 pm, Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre, 2466 Old 66 Blvd. Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre proudly presents Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water. Reservations required; call 417.358.9665 or email stdinnertheatre@ Tickets: Adults $29, seniors (55+) $26, students $24, youth $23, children (6-12) $12, children (0-5) free. More information:, 417.358.9665.

Joplin, MO


January 5-7: She Kills Monsters, by Qui Nugyen, 7:30 pm, Dream Theatre Co., 124 S. Main St. Meet Agnes, an average girl who wished her life had more adventure. After a family tragedy, Agnes finds herself skeptically discovering the world of Dungeons & Dragons through her little sister’s eyes, getting much more than she bargained for on a journey of self-discovery and understanding. Combat, comedy and love are at the heart of this fantastic campaign. Rated PG-13. Reservations required; $15. Info:, 417.622.6470.

January 11-15: Proof, 7:30 pm, Sunday 2:30 pm, Joplin Little Theatre, 3009 W. 1st St. Proof is an intriguing story about family, truth and mental health set in the context of academic mathematics. In Proof, the young but guarded Catherine has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician who has become a legend at the local university for solving complicated proofs. Proof combines elements of mystery and surprise that unfold as Catherine engages her manipulative sister, who has left the family home and made a life for herself in New York City, and an unexpected suitor in Hal, a former Ph. D student of her father’s, who hopes to find valuable work in her father’s notebooks. Reservations encouraged; reserve your ticket at or 417.623.3638. Adults $18, senior citizens/students $15. Info:

January 20: After the Party (ages 16+), 7 pm, Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Join Joplin Improv for a live improv show featuring possibly true stories about New Year’s resolutions! Free. Info:, 417.763.1464.

January 21: Call of the Wild: Illustrated Edition (ages 9+), 2 pm, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Beshore Performance Hall, 212 W. 7th St. Jack London’s classic tale brought to life on stage! This multimedia adventure mixes traditional storytelling with projected illustrations to recount the thrilling tale of Buck, a dog who is kidnapped from his lavish life and forced to work as a sled dog during the Klondike Gold Rush. Buck’s strength and courage not only help him survive in the northland, but uncover the wild, primal call of his ancestors. Best for ages 9 and up. Tickets may be purchased at, 417.501.5550 or at the Cornell Complex Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-5 pm. Tickets: $15-$20. More information:, 417.501.5550.

January 28: Mad River Theatre Works Presents Freedom Flight (ages 8+), 2 pm, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Beshore Performance Hall, 212 W. 7th St. Freedom Flight transports audiences back to the turbulent time of the Underground Railroad. Here, one of the most famous incidents of the Railroad unfolds: the story of escaped slave Addison White and his rescue by the citizens of Mechanicsburg, Ohio. With original songs and an array of characters, this one-act play illustrates the tension, drama and prevailing sense of hope experienced during an extraordinary chapter in our nation’s history. Best for ages 8 and up. Tickets may be purchased at, 417.501.5550 or at the Cornell Complex Tuesday through Friday, 10 am-5 pm. $10-$15. Info:, 417.501.5550.

Events: December 1-June 1, 2023: Iconic Joplin (ages 12-16). Joplin’s 150th birthday celebration, Iconic Joplin, challenges teams of teens to work together to research, design and build Joplin landmarks – in their past, present or future states – out of LEGO bricks! Teams will compete for prizes. Teams were announced December 1, and each will receive support from local STEM professionals and historians. Winners announced in June 2023. Free. Info:, 417.825.3395.

January 8, 15, 22 & 29: Open Mic Comedy Night, 9 pm, Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. Join Joplin Comedy and try out your latest stand-up routine or take in the acts of local comedians, all while enjoying tasty pizza from Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. Age restrictions: 18+ until 10 pm; 21+ from 10 pm until close. Free., 417.540.9186.

January 12: Joplin Writers’ Guild, 6 pm, Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St. Members have published novels, nonfiction books and articles. Dues $10 for the year, but anyone interested can attend their first meeting free. Information:, 417.691.0480.

January 16: Downtown Poetry Reading and Open Mic, 6-8 pm, Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. A poetry reading and open mic event! Open mic sign-up begins at 6 pm. Featured reader begins at 6:15 pm. Open mic readings follow at 7 pm. This event occurs on the third Monday of each month – same place, same time. Free and open to the public. Info:

January 16 & 17: Leading Ladies Auditions, 7 pm, Joplin Little Theatre, 3009 W. 1st St. Two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, find themselves so down on their luck they are performing Scenes from Shakespeare on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear an old lady in York, Pennsylvania, is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long-lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out the relatives aren’t nephews, but nieces! Romantic entanglements abound, especially when Leo falls head-over-petticoat in love with the old lady’s vivacious niece, Meg, who’s engaged to the local minister. Meg knows there’s a wide world out there, but it’s not until she meets “Maxine” and “Stephanie” that she finally gets a taste of it. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Needed: Three women and five men. Info:, 417.623.3638.

January 17: Trivia Night (ages 18+), 6 pm, Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St. Put your trivia knowledge to the test with Joplin Public Library’s Trivia Night! Play individually or with a group and compete for prizes. This is an adult program for participants 18 years or older. Registration appreciated; register at Free. Info:, 417.623.7953 x1030.

January 23: MSSU Choral Society Rehearsal, 7-9 pm, Missouri Southern State University, Phinney Hall, 3950 E. Newman Rd. MSSU’s Choral Society rehearsals are the place to be! Hone your gift and enjoy the fellowship of this mixed, community choir. The choir is open to anyone, college age and older, and does not require auditions. Registration forms available during the first few rehearsals. Interested singers may attend the first two rehearsals at no charge. Cost: $30 per semester. Info:, 417.385.3996.


Through March 4, 2023: Thomas Hart Benton, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. 7th St. For the first time ever,


view the entire collection of editioned lithographs from Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton. Created between 1929 and 1974, the 91 lithographs are on loan from the State Historical Society of Missouri and include a wide range of imagery that represent Benton’s complex aesthetic and philosophical approaches to American identity. Free; donations appreciated. Info: jhenning@, 417.623.0183.

Through January 2: “The Eyes Have It” by Joplin Regional Artists Coalition, Joplin Public Library, The Bramlage and Wilcoxon Foundation Gallery, 1901 E. 20th St. Free. Info: jill@, 417.623.7953 x1041.

Through January 31: “The Beauty of Nature” by Sandra Parill, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, 320 E. 4th St. Local artist Sandra Parill presents a collection of paintings featuring landscapes, animals and scenery, all capturing the wonder of nature. Free and open to the public. Info:, 417.438.5931.

January 7-March 4, 2023: “The Thread that Connects”, by Holly Wilson, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. 7th St. Multimedia artist Holly Wilson creates figures that serve as her storytellers to the world, conveying stories of the sacred and the precious, capturing moments of our day, vulnerabilities and strengths. The stories are, at one time, both representations of family history as well as personal experiences. Wilson’s work reaches a broad audience allowing the viewer the opportunity to see their personal connection. Wilson works in various media, including bronze, paint, encaustic, photography, glass and clay. Free; donations appreciated. Info:, 417.623.0183.


Spiva Center for the Arts, 222 W. 3rd Street

Tuesdays: Creation Station (ages 6-11), 4-5:15 pm. Painting, drawing, clay, collage, sculpture and more. Pre-registration recommended, and space is limited in this popular class; register at In advance $6, at door $8. More information:, 417.623.0183.

Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. 7th St.

January 7: Glass Cactus Planters with Jane McCaulley (ages 8+), 1-3 pm. It may be winter, but this cute glass cactus is the perfect reminder of sun and warm weather, no water required! Don’t miss out on another chance to make unique glass art with Jane McCaulley. Registration required; register at classes. $35. Info:, 417.623.0183.

January 14: Life Drawing with Sandra Conrad (ages 16+), 10 am-12 pm. Nothing elevates your drawing skills like drawing a human from life. This class will provide everything you need to practice your life drawing, including charcoal, newsprint and a live model. Registration required; register at $25. Info:, 417.623.0183.

January 14: Beaded Jewelry Workshop with Stacy Heydt (ages 12+), 10 am-5 pm. A full-day workshop where students will learn beading and weaving techniques while making their own jewelry sets to take home. Lunch and all supplies are provided. Registration required; register at $125. Info:, 417.623.0183.

January 14: Skeletal Life Drawing with Sandra Pemberton (ages 14+), 1-3 pm. Take your people-drawing skills to the next level! Getting to the bare bones of life drawing will help those human figures come to life. Local artist Sandra Pemberton will

teach the fundamentals of life drawing using a life-sized skeleton as a reference. Registration required; register at $25. Info:, 417.623.0183.

January 14: Wonders of Watercolor with Roxenne Kendall (ages +), 1-3 pm. Are you looking to sharpen your watercolor skills? Look no further than this class taught by accomplished artist Roxenne Kendall! Whether you’re a beginner or experienced artist, this will be a fun and informative experience. Registration required; register at classes. $30. Info:, 417.623.0183.

January 21: Woodburning with Roxenne Kendall (ages 13+), 10 am-12 pm. Learn the art of pyrography with Roxenne Kendall! Gain experience and skill and take home your own wood-burned decorative spoon. Registration required; register at $30. Info:, 417.623.0183.

January 28: Teen Sketchbooks with Jordan Thompson (ages 12-16), 1-3 pm. Sketchbooks are great for practice and ideas but can be useful for so much more. In this class, teens will explore different techniques, look at other artists’ sketchbooks and start their own. All supplies provided. Registration required; register at $25. Info:, 417.623.0183.

Create N’ Sip Studios, 223 W. 3rd Street

Wednesdays: Wine’d Down Wednesday, 5-9 pm. Canvas and home decor DIY event. Choose the project that works for you. Prices vary depending on chosen project. $28-$58. Info:, 417.680.5434.

Saturdays: Saturday Morning Choose Your Canvas, 10 am. Select the painting you want to recreate and let the experienced staff at Create N Sip help you make a masterpiece. Prices vary depending on chosen project. Cost: $28-$176. Information:, 417.680.5434.

Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main Street: Call the gallery at 417-553-0835 to sign up.

Every Tuesday: Beginner’s watercolor class, 11 am-1 pm, $20. Bring your own supplies. Ages 8 and up.

Every Tuesday and Wednesday: 2 pm, $20. Improve your painting and learn principles of design. Bring your own watercolor, oils or acrylic paint for personal instruction from award-winning artist Paula Giltner. (No classes with Paula December 20, 21, 27 & 28.)

January 6: Precious Metal Clay Class, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm & 6 pm, $50 (bronze or copper), $100 (sterling silver). Students will make their own PMC pendant or earrings out of silver, bronze or copper PMC or bronze fossil or flower friendship bracelet; $75. A variety of handmade, one-ofa-kind molds provided for students to choose from to form impressions of wildflowers, botanicals or fossils in their metal art pieces. Items will be fired after class, and finished pieces can be picked up the following week in the gallery (or mailed). Sign up at the gallery or email deitrarocks@ Please indicate which metal you prefer to work with.

January 7: Saturday Paint Class, 10:30 am-1 pm, $30. Includes all supplies and ice cream cone from Caroline’s; ages 8 and up. Paint Monet or Van Gogh; Jesse McCormick, Percilla Penner & Margie Moss

January 12: Fused Glass Potted Cactus Class, 3:30-6 pm, ages 8 to adult; $35; Jane McCaulley.

January 13: Watercolor, 1-3 pm, $30; Joan Allen.

January 21: FUNdamentals of Paint Pouring, 6 pm, one 8x10 and one 11x14, $40; ages 9 and up; Mary Parks.

January 2023 • • 13

What’s Happening Calendar of Events

in the Ozarks

If you have an event you would like to see listed in the Calendar of Events, please email your request to: Events are printed on a space available basis and must be received by the 5th of the month prior to the month of the scheduled event.

Pittsburg, KS

Wednesdays: Trivia Night, 7 pm, Drop the H Brewing Company, 107 E. Rose St.

Thursdays: Thursday Night Line Dance Lessons, 7-9 pm, Dirty Mule Restaurant Bar & Event Center, 134 S. US 69.

First Friday of the Month: Heavy metal bands, live music, 9 pm, Dirty Mule Restaurant Bar & Event Center, 134 S. US 69.

Second Friday of the Month: Drag Shows, 10 pm, Dirty Mule Restaurant Bar & Event Center, 134 S. US 69.

Last Friday of the Month: College Night w/ DJ A Baby, 8 pm-2 am. Free admission with college ID. Dirty Mule Restaurant Bar & Event Center, 134 S. US 69.

January 5, 12, 19 & 26: Cornhole League, 6-9 pm, Lincoln Center, 710 W. 9th St. Every Thursday for eight weeks with games, registration fee is $30, and all teams must be registered by December 29. To sign up or learn about other activities, call the Pittsburg Parks & Recreation Department at 620.231.8310.

January 6: Jackson Dean, Kansas Crossing Casino, 8 pm, 1275 US-69.

January 14: Arch Allies, Kansas Crossing Casino, 8 pm, 1275 US69.

January 20: Peter Steiner, 7:30 pm, McCray Hall, 200 E. Lindburg St. Italian trombonist Peter Steiner has been hailed as “a new trombone star within his generation.” Information: solo-and-chamber-music-series.html.

ArtForms Gallery Workshops, 620 N. Broadway, Pittsburg, KS. 620.240.0165 Check our Facebook page during the month as artists may offer popups.

Every Tuesday: Art Exploration/Weekly Beginning Painting, 12:30-2:30 pm. Free. Explore different art techniques. Feel free to bring something you are working on.

January 5, 12, 19 & 26: Intro to Bellydance, 6-7 pm. No experience necessary! Bellydance is one of the most forgiving forms of dance out there - all shapes, sizes and ages are invited. This will be fun and challenging, but you’ll feel great when you leave. Wear yoga clothes or sweats, and a hip scarf if you have one. Non-grippy shoes are best. Fee: $40 for the month. Must be paid at signup to guarantee a spot. Class limit: 6. Ages: 14 and older.

January 6, 14, 22 & 24: Messages of Love, 6-8 pm. Do you have plans to propose to someone special? Are you a secret admirer? Maybe you have a loved one or pet you’d like to memorialize. Participants will practice lettering on a sign. Your sign can also be part of our February front window installation. Each session is $25, payable at time of registration. Class limit: 15. Ages: 14 and older.

January 12: Toothpick Dandelion Painting, 4-6 pm. This is an easy beginner level make-and-take. This will be a smaller-sized canvas. Workshop fee: $30, payable at registration. Ages: 14 and older. Class limit: 10.


January 14: Pressed Flower Lanterns, 2-4 pm. These cute pressedflower lanterns make great centerpieces, party favors or gifts. We will place dried flowers on jars, which will in turn be candle holders. Feel free to bring your own personal pressed flowers, but a large variety will be offered. Workshop fee: $20 for one jar or $35 for two jars. Ages: 10-100+. Class limit: 12 people.

January 15: Sew and Tote, 1-4 pm. Using vintage materials (quilt parts, doilies, tea towels, jeans, etc.), design your large tote bag. If you have a portable sewing machine and want to sew it yourself, bring your machine along with your sewing scissors and pins. Another option is you design your tote, and we sew it for you. Workshop fee: $25 DIY or $35 if we sew your design. Class max: 10. Ages: 10 years and older.

January 21: Candy Heart Class, 1 pm. Make your very own 6” x 6” candy heart. We will use real candy, plus heart-shaped beads and findings. If you have heart-shaped items you would like to include to make it personal, please bring them. Finished hearts will be ready to pick up at the gallery beginning January 24. Please indicate if you plan to create one or two upon registration to ensure we have enough canvases available. Workshop fee: $50 for 1; $90 for 2. Class size: 10. Ages: 11 years and older.

January 29: Batik Workshop, 1-4 pm. Design and paint your own apron with the Zimbebe batik technique. All supplies provided. Bring a hair dryer, please. Workshop fee: $40. Class size: 10. Ages: 12 and up.

Carl Junction Community Center: 303 N. Main St., 417.649.7237

Monday, Wednesday & Friday Pickleball: 6-10 pm, Tuesday & Thursday: 1-3 pm and Sunday 1-6 pm. Tuesday Yoga, 6 pm.

January 7: Carl Junction Lions Breakfast, 8-11 am, CJ Community Center. Cost: Adults, $6; children under 6, $3. Call 417.439.7724. Carthage, MO

January 7: All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast, 9-11 am, Carthage Shrine Club. Public welcome. $7 per person. Call 417.317.0609.

Diamond, MO - George Washington Carver National Monument Visitor Center Free Programs. Two miles west of Diamond on Highway V, then 1/4 mile south on Carver Road. Visitor center and park grounds open daily 9 am-5 pm. Call 417.325.4151 or visit www. *Programs will be presented outside on the park grounds.

January 7 & 8: Film: Seeds of Success, 1 pm. Eighty years ago, on January 5, 1943, George Washington Carver died at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama. This locally produced program by Ozarks Public Television is a documentary tribute to his work as an acclaimed agricultural scientist, educator and humanitarian. (28 min.)

January 14 & 15 & 16: Film: In Remembrance of Martin, 1 pm. A remarkable PBS* documentary honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with personal reflections by individuals who recall his career and leadership in the civil rights movement. (60 min.)

January 19: Coffee with Carver, 10 am. You are invited to enjoy a special program series on the third Thursday of January, February and March. Visit with park rangers and volunteers to enjoy some coffee or tea and learn about the fascinating work of George Washington Carver.

January 21 & 22: Archaeological Investigations, 1 pm. Over the years, archaeologists have uncovered artifacts at the park. Join a park ranger and learn about some of these collections and glance at pieces of history.

January 28 & 29: Agricultural School on Wheels, 1 pm. Learn more about this innovative solution to rural farm education George Washington Carver helped design.

Joplin, MO

Saturdays: Joplin Empire Market, 10 am-2 pm, Joplin Empire Market, 931 E. 4th St. The Joplin Empire Market is the place to find the best in locally grown produce, gourmet foodstuffs and handmade artisan goods. Curbside ordering also available, and orders may be placed Tuesday at 8 pm until Thursday at 8 pm at http://localline. ca/joplin-empire-market. Curbside pickup hours are 10:30 am-12:30 pm Saturday. More information:

January 29: Phones and families – Parenting in the Cellular Age, 6:30-8 pm, Central City Christian Church, 783 S. Central City Road. There is no device more present, powerful, relevant or dangerous as the modern smart phone. Ozark Christian College professor and student of digital trends Chad Ragsdale provides information and strategies to keep your kids safe and healthy in the cellular age. Evening will include hands-on activities, teaching and prizes.

Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center, 201 West Riviera Drive, Joplin, MO. The Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center is your local connection to Missouri’s fish, forests, and wildlife. Check out the native plant landscaping, exhibits or hike the trails. Purchase a fishing or hunting permit, attend a nature program, or watch for wildlife along the trails and banks of Shoal Creek. Enjoy a variety of free public programs throughout the year. Education Center is open Tuesday-Friday 9 am-5 pm and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday and most state holidays. Call 417.629.3434, email or visit for upcoming events. Parking lot, grounds and trail are open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

January 7: Kid’s Christmas Bird Count, 9 am-12 pm. Registration required. Recommended for ages 7 to 17. Kids, enjoy a morning just for you and the birds. Discover the excitement of bird watching in the tradition of the annual Christmas Bird Count. Experienced birders from the Ozark Gateway Audubon Society Chapter and local staff will lead mentored birding experiences. After exploring the trails, we will discuss what birds we saw and enjoy lunch provided by the Ozark Gateway Audubon Society Chapter. Bring your binoculars (if you have some), dress for the weather and be prepared for an easy rated hike.

January 10 & 24: Project FeederWatch, 9:30 am-3:30 pm. Registration required. Project Feeder Watch (PFW) is a winter-long survey of birds anyone can participate in. Stop by anytime to help us count birds at our feeders for our third year of collecting data and to find out information about Project Feeder Watch.

January 13: Little Acorns: Winter in the Woods, 10:30 am. Registration required. Recommended for ages 3 to 7. Winter has arrived in Missouri’s forests and that means our forest friends are taking special care to prepare and stay warm. Join us to explore Winter in the Woods!

January 14: Introduction to Fly Tying and Fishing, 9 am, Roaring River State Park. Registration required. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Join the Shoal Creek staff and MAKO fly fishers for this program designed for the beginner and expert alike. We will gather at the Roaring River State Park to talk fly fishing and fly tying with hands-on demonstrations and local experts. We will cover basic fly-casting skills, simple fly-tying patterns, what flies and lures to use, and other strategies to catch more fish species in Southwest Missouri and beyond, including trout. You will have the opportunity to practice your new skills and try out that new fly! All supplies

January 2023 • • 15

provided, but if you have your own fishing equipment feel free to bring it.

January 21: Bald Eagle Trail Trivia, 10:30 am-2:30 pm. Recommended for all ages. Enjoy time in the great outdoors and test your bald eagle knowledge by taking part in our self-guided trail trivia! Come inside the center to pick up a question sheet, a pencil and a clipboard before hitting the trail and answering the questions (found along the trail). Answer as many or as few as you like, but don’t forget to stop back by the table to drop off your stuff and grab a prize!

January 28: Nature Escape Room, 10:30 am-2:30 pm. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center’s naturalists need your help to uncover more about Missouri wildlife. Inside a room filled with puzzles and games, your group will have 30 minutes to solve clues to learn about amazing Missouri creatures and their unique characteristics. If your group beats the clock, a prize awaits at the finish. Are you up for the challenge? Recommended for families, teens and adults. Registration is required with a valid email address to receive time slot availability. Limited slots available and group size is limited to six individuals. All participants must register for this program separately.

Webb City, MO

Saturdays: Webb City Farmers Market, 9 am-noon. Farm fresh produce, baked goods, herbs, jams and jellies, humanely raised meats and so much more can be found at the Webb City Farmers Market. Information: 417.438.5833.

Wildcat Glades Friends Group, 201 Riviera Dr., Joplin, Missouri. All programs are free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, please email or visit our Facebook

page for online registration options. Classes are limited to the first 20 students registered for preschool and yoga classes.

January 1: First Day Hike, 10-11 am. All ages. Ring in the new year by spending the morning on the trails! We will walk on an even loop and discuss the natural events in nature. Bring your binoculars, walking sticks, a warm coat, good walking shoes and, of course, a hat and gloves. You must pre-register by visiting our Facebook page or emailing

January 14: Yoga in Nature-Adults, 8:30-9:30 am. Ages 12+. This class is designed to incorporate elements of nature, breathing and yoga poses. Bring your yoga mat or a towel and a reusable water bottle. $10 to attend. You must pre-register by visiting our Facebook page or emailing

January 14: Yoga in Nature for Kids, 10:30 am, free. Ages 4 and up accompanied by an adult. Bring your yoga mat or a towel and a reusable water bottle. Must pre-register. Please sign up by following the instructions on our Facebook page or email maddie@

January 18 & 21: Preschool Program: Feeding Birds in the Winter, January 18, 10-11 am. January 21, 1-2 pm, Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. Free. Ages 3-7. We love our winter birds that come to our feeders. Join us as we have a story, learn to identify some birds and make feeders for our yards. Must pre-register by visiting our Facebook page or by emailing

January 28: Nature Explorers: Bird Watching Basics, 10 am-12 pm. Free. Ages 7-14. Winter is a great time to get out on the trails and begin birding! Join us to learn the basics of identifying birds on the trail and in your own backyard. This event will feature a walk along the trails, so please dress accordingly.

A part of


EVENTS Northeast OK

Grove, OK

Winter Concert Series - Join us for three nights of entertainment at the Grove High School Performing Arts Center for dinner and a show. Receive 10% off your meal at The Regatta, Matt’s Place, Bella Donna’s or Honey Creek BBQ with your ticket. Winter Concert pass includes all three shows for $35.

January 14 - America’s Top Country

January 21 - Confederate Railroad January 28 - Ricochet

For tickets, contact the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce at 918.786.9079.

Though January 8: The Grove Ice Rink, 4-9 pm Friday and Saturday; Sunday 1-5 pm. Community Center lawn has been a huge hit! Skate rental is available.

January 30-February 5, Tulsa Boat, Sport and Travel Show, hours vary, Tulsa Expo Square. Be among the first to see 2023 model boats, RVs and thousands of other outdoor accessories, all under one roof, at the absolute best prices of the year.

Bernice, OK

January 1: 1st Day Hike, 11 am, Bernice Nature Center at Grand Lake State Park. Enjoy stepping into the New Year on our paved nature trail, then stick around to meet our animal ambassadors at the Nature Center. 918.257.8330 for details.

January 6: Grand Lake O’ The Cherokee Quilt Guild, 10 am, First Christian Church, 104 W. 4th St., Celebration Hall. An energetic group of quilters who love to learn and teach others about quilting and who give back to their community through donations of quilts and other items for babies, children, elderly, veterans, hospice, Crisis Center and much more! Monthly meetings include educational programs, show and tell, fun and fellowship. Call 918.520.0378.

Dates and times are subject to change. Please call the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau at 918.542.4435 to confirm.

What a wonderful finish to 2022! One lucky winner from the community won our Think Local First contest with a basket full of goodies from local small businesses in our area valued at over $700! We want to thank everyone in the community for always supporting our small, locally owned businesses not just during the holiday season, but all year long. When you support a small business, you’re giving back to the community and supporting a family. We appreciate everyone for thinking local first.

We are so excited for what lies ahead in 2023. The Chamber Project will come back in February. Last year, over 100 volunteers served at 12 area non-profit organizations doing tasks like cleaning, organizing, painting and more. We look forward to serving again, and a big thanks to 360 Auto Service for being the presenting sponsor! You can expect community favorites like Second Tuesday on Main Street, Trunk or Treat and the 26th Annual Carl Junction Bluegrass Festival to return in 2023. Thank you for a wonderful year!


1. Have a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate with a friend! We are blessed with five great coffee shops in Carthage, and after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, a leisurely cup with a loved one will be just what you need. Visit Maple Leaf Coffeehouse, Mother Road Coffee or Tin Cup Bistro to sit inside or grab drinks to go at Peck and Jen’s or Scooter’s to take with you.

2. Check out the Civil War Museum to remind yourself about Carthage’s connection to this piece of history. Peruse the exhibits and view the battlefield diorama just off the northeast side of the square.

3. Get a massage, new color, pedicure, hot shave or even a whole new look from one of the most talented stylists in the area at The Barber Lounge, Halo Salon & Beauty Bar, Lillian James & Company, The Palms Massage & Day Spa, The Pavilion-Sacry Medical Spa or Royal Clippers & Nail Boutique.

4. Enjoy a grown-up night out with your sweetie with drinks at El Charro, Kascade Steakhouse, Lucky J Steakhouse (plan a night out when they have an arena event), Mis Arcos, Murphy’s Law, Taste of Italy or the VFW.

5. Pack the family in the car and head to a family day or night out at artCentral, Carthage Public Library, ETG Sports, Fair Acres Family YMCA Youth Center, George Washington Carver, Grace Lanes or Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre.

6. Get back into pre-holiday shape at 24 Fitness, Fair Acres Family YMCA or Build Midwestern. For more information, please call 417.358.2373.

January 2023 • • 19 Space available for your business to sponsor this page! Call or email for rates417.850.5557 Race
carries a complete line of farm and home supplies including clothing, electrical, plumbing, lawn and garden, outdoor power equipment, tools, truck accessories, pet supplies, cattle-handling equipment, farm fencing and toys. Dedicated to providing the
area with quality service and products for over 40 years. You’ll like the
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417.358.3529 6 Things to
Do in Carthage When It’s Cold Outside

Where it’s ‘COOL’ to be YOU!

New year … lots of exciting new things going on in downtown Joplin! Keep reading for the best in local arts, entertainment, shopping and dining in the Joplin Arts District.

JOPLIN ARTS DISTRICT NEWS - A snapshot of news, events and activities happening in January.

Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. Open Mic Standup Comedy. Every Sunday. 8:30 p.m. Free admission. 510 South Joplin Avenue.

Chaos Brewing Company. Wednesday Trivia Night. Sign up starts at 5 pm, game starts at 7 pm. Free to play. 112 South Main Street.

Plant Parenthood presents plants in a Boho atmosphere, along with art from eight local artists at 528 South Main Street. Featuring art from Marta Churchwell, Merlen White, Daria Claiborne, Connie Miller, Raelynn Willis, Lois Sayle and Brent Skinner.

Urban Art Gallery. Presenting “Geisha,” a collection of paintings by Merlen White throughout January. 511 South Main Street.

Local Color Art Gallery. Walk-in art classes all month long for different mediums and instructions. See their Facebook page to learn more. TuesdaySaturday. 1027 South Main Street.

Spiva Center for the Arts presents three shows: “Holly Wilson: The Threat that Connects Us” in the Main Gallery; the State Historical Society of Missouri’s collection of 91 editioned lithographs of Thomas Hart Benton in the Four State Gallery; “The Third Grade Collaboration” in the Reserve Gallery, opening January 17. 212 West Seventh Street.

Dream Theatre Co. She Kills Monsters. January 5-7, 7:30 pm. PG13. $15. RSVP 417.622.6470. 124 South Main Street.

Pennington Station. Presenting “Youth D&D.” January 12 and 23, 6-8 pm. For information, call 417.719.1152. 518 South Virginia Avenue.

The Cornell Complex. Connect2Culture presents two theatrical productions in January. The Call of the Wild: Illustrated Edition, January 21, 2 pm. Mad River Theatre Works presents “Freedom Flight” about the Underground Railroad. Both productions are for ages 8+. Tickets $10/$15. 20% off by single payment for a group of more. For groups, call 417.501.5550. 212 West Seventh Street.

For more events and activities, please visit, and @JoplinArtsDistrict on Facebook.

ART ON THE WALL: Where to view locally made artwork on display in January.

Koral Martin, “Nature: Petals to Wings” Photography

Beast & Barrel 530 South Main Street

Merlen White, “January Nights” Acrylic Paintings Joplin Avenue Coffee Company 506 South Joplin Avenue

Kathleen House, “Housewife & Handyman” Pastels and Oil Paintings Club 609 609 South Main Street

Countryside in the City Florist • Event Planner Event Venue

422 S. Joplin Ave. 417.781.3719

Countryside in the City is one of the leading florists in Joplin for fine, quality roses, flowers, plants and gifts for every occasion. Let our experienced designers and staff create a one-of-a-kind gift you will love. We also offer beautiful custom-designed wedding flower arrangements including wedding bouquets, centerpieces and boutonnieres. Open Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm and Saturday 9 am-1 pm. Convenient parking.

Blackthorn Pizza & Pub

510 S. Joplin Ave Joplin, MO 417.623.2485

Facebook: @ BlackthornPizza&Pub

Blackthorn Pizza & Pub is a welcoming and inclusive Irish pub in the heart of downtown Joplin. This hip spot is famous for its delicious food, huge beer selection on tap, the area’s best live music and unforgettable drag shows. Follow Blackthorn on Facebook for upcoming events. Open 7 days a week and now also open for lunch Thursday through Monday.


Undercliff Grill and Bar

Nestled on the bank of Shoal Creek, Undercliff Bar and Grill is more than just your typical restaurant. The restaurant sits on land that was originally home to a general store and gas station—beloved by locals for its unique location at the base of a cliff wall. In the 1960s, it transformed into Frank & Bonnie’s Restaurant, famous for its delicious fried chicken. After burning down in the 1980s, this historic spot resurfaced with new life when rebuilt in 1995. Today, the Undercliff is owned by Brad Ezell. Ezell undertook a 2.5year renovation of the building to bring customers an innovative dining experience. The decor celebrates Undercliff’s past. Historic photos juxtaposed with neon signs compliment the signature back cliff wall. As a child, Brad Ezell would sit at a table in the middle of the Undercliff enjoying meals alongside his beloved grandparents. A metal model airplane, lovingly handcrafted by Ezell’s grandfather, hangs from the ceiling and is an eyecatching centerpiece.

The menu offers a host of mouth-watering menu options. Fresh-made fried pickles, onion rings and battered fish are favorites, along with their burgers, made to order. The fried chicken garners its fair share of attention—an ode to the Undercliff’s storied past. According to Ezell, the dishes served here are classic recipes with unique twists. Friday night prime rib specials are made with locally sourced beef from Hatfield’s Meats. OTT’S Salad Dressing, made up the road in Carthage, accompanies all salads.

At The Undercliff, all the perfect accompaniments for your dining experience are available at the fully stocked bar. Treat yourself to a classic cocktail pairing or try a flavorful flight of margaritas featuring Italian, peach and melon flavors. If you are a Bloody Mary fan, make sure not to miss out on Undercliff’s version—the secret is in the mix!

Every Thursday brings live music to the venue. When the weather allows, you can enjoy a meal on the covered porch or a drink at the outdoor bar, all while admiring nature and getting an unexpected thrill as a train occasionally roars by.

January 2023 • • 21 >> Undercliff Grill & Bar is located at 6835 Old Highway 71 • Joplin, Missouri • 417.629.2869 • Website: • Open W-F 11-9; Sat 9-9; Sun 9-3
Visiting the Undercliff Bar and Grill is a memorable experience. The Undercliff is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Friday. On weekends, you can also enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Undercliff Bar and Grill truly brings together the best of what the Four States has to offer.

Casa Montez

4224 S. Main St. • Joplin, MO 417.624.2272

Casa Montez is back in business and ready to serve you! The team at Casa Montez is serving up all of your favorite recipes as before as well as their famous cheese dip. If you’re looking for the perfect Mexican cuisine including delicious tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and so much more, you must visit Casa Montez at their new location. Call ahead for your to-go order and conveniently pick up at the walk-up window. $-$$

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-8 pm

Haven 55 is a cozy country restaurant with a magnificent view, delicious home-

Just a Taste 105 S. Main St. • Webb City, MO 417.673.9463 •

Just A Taste Webb City has a plethora of incredible spaces for you to try out. Every time you come in, you can have a unique experience. Visit our tasting room, which features our own wine made in St. James, Missouri. Or, join us for dinner in our intimate restaurant or indoor courtyard, where we feature a farm-to-table menu. Or, stop in for a drink in our cozy cocktail bar featuring an inventive cocktail menu and hundreds of beer and spirits. $$-$$$. Check Facebook for hours.


Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 am-Close

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ShowMe Dining Guide
Haven 55 408 Havenhurst Drive • Pineville, MO 417.223.2055 •
and exceptional service. The culinary masterpieces from Owner and Executive Chef Alan Bone cannot be beat. You will love the New York strip steak with blue cheese cream sauce, the fried green beans, and you don’t want to miss Wednesday Night prime rib! Located on the site of the old Havenhurst Mill, built in 1868, this historical restaurant overlooks the dam on Little Sugar Creek. $-$$$
Hours: Tues – Sat for Lunch, 11 am – 2 pm and Dinner, 5 pm–9 pm. Sam’s Cellar Bar & Oven 101 N. Wood • Neosho, MO 417.451.3330
Cellar offers a unique dining experience under the historic square in Neosho, MO. Enjoy gourmet wood-fired pizzas, burgers, wings, wraps, subs or a specialty salad. The full bar offers signature cocktails, draft beers and wine to wet your whistle. Come visit us at Sam’s Cellar for a dining experience you will never forget! $-$$


2707 E. 32nd Street • Joplin, MO 417.624.3466 •

Finn’s is a semi-fine dining restaurant that caters to all your dining desires. Enjoy our dog-friendly patio and warm, inviting fireplaces. From our uniquely crafted cocktails, farm-fresh ingredients and Joplin’s best in-house bakery paired with our elegant, intimate atmosphere for small gatherings or a night out. Finn’s chefs are experts in their craft, with just the right touch to make your restaurant experience special. $$-$$$

Hours: Monday -Saturday: 11 am-9 pm Sunday: CLOSED

Bailey’s Family Dining

1200 Briarbrook Dr. • Carl Junction, MO 417.781.2944 • Like us on Facebook!

Bailey’s restaurant offers a variety of home-cooked meals that are sure to satisfy. Enjoy one of our many delicious burgers with hand-breaded onion rings or try a pulled pork chimichanga. On the weekend, join us for breakfast where everything is made from scratch. From sweet to savory, we offer specialty pancakes, omelets and all your breakfast favorites. $-$$

Hours: Monday-Friday 11 am-10 pm; Saturday-Sunday 7 am-10 pm. Undercliff

70220 East Hwy 60 • Wyandotte, OK 888.992 SKY1

Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 11 am-9 pm; Saturday, 9 am-9 pm; Sunday, 9 am-3 pm.

Shawanoe Restaurant, located inside Indigo Sky Casino is serving delicious award-winning Chef creations daily. Bring your family and friends and enjoy delicious desserts, gourmet sandwiches, upscale salads, and a wonderful selection of pasta dishes. For the steak lover, mouth-watering steaks cooked to perfection. Featuring our 2.5 pound bone-in tomahawk ribeye with a variety of seafood and poultry. Everything to satisfy your appetite, plus your favorite beverage. Go to for additional information. Located inside Indigo Sky Casino, Hwy 60 West of Seneca, MO. $-$$$

• 23 Special Advertising Section
2023 •
& Undercliff Grill & Bar is back in business! This historical restaurant has been brought back to life under new ownership, so come by to grab a bite to eat and see what’s new. Chow down on some good old-fashioned comfort food or grab a beer at the bar. Undercliff Grill & Bar is the perfect spot for breakfast,
date or a
out with friends and family.
to learn more!
Bar 6835 Old Highway 71 • Joplin, MO 417.629.2869 •
lunch, a
Follow Undercliff
& Bar on Facebook
Shawanoe Restaurant

Dine at Crabby’s for a beautiful meal in an elegant, yet approachable finedining experience. Choose from a wide variety of fresh seafood, steak and chops. Enjoy libations from our full bar, including the best Scotch selection in town. Serving the four states for 10 years! Make your reservations today! $$-$$$

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ShowMe Dining Guide
Crabby’s Seafood Bar and Grill 815 W. 7th St. • Joplin, MO • 417.206.3474
Catering • Private Parties • Chef at Home
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 am-10 pm • Closed Sunday Club 609 609 Main Street • Joplin, MO 417.623.6090 “Treat your appetite to a GOURMET DELIGHT served ‘Joplin style’.” Flavorful specialties for any occasion, featuring salads burgers and sandwiches. Delicious entrees – beef, chicken, pork, seafood and seven “pastabilities!” Offering appetizers, homemade desserts, soup du jour, beer, wine and mixed drinks. Kids menu available. $-$$$
specials almost daily. Owner and Head Chef Aleks Sula was born in Albania and raised in New York City, so he brings 20-plus years of experience in traditional Italian and Mediterranean cooking to his menu. You can expect made-from-scratch bread, sauces, pasta and more. $-$$ Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm; Sunday, 11 am-3 pm Trackside Burgers & BBQ 1515 West 10th St. • Joplin, MO 417.717.1161 Trackside Burgers & BBQ offers freshly made items to order. Chef Mike and his staff offer the old-fashioned hamburgers everyone loves and more! Homemade sauces and seasoned fries to perfectly prepared chicken sandwiches and onion rings, Chef Mike’s love for food and his heart to serve people. Call about catering for your next party or event! $-$$ Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 am-8 pm; Saturday, 11 am-3 pm TRACKSIDE BURGERS & BBQ
Hours: Kitchen open Monday-Friday 11 am-10 pm Saturday 11 am-10:30 pm • Bar open later Taste of Italy 4321 S. Chapel Road • Carthage, MO 417.358.2000 “The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later, you’re hungry again.” Taste of Italy serves up delectable, authentic Italian food with new

Hackett Hot Wings

520 S. Main • Joplin, MO

417.625.1333 •

“The only wings better are on an angel.” Offering 13 flavors of wings, plus salads, catfish, chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, boneless wings and more! Call for catering and reservations. Now offering an additional dining area and sports room with 17 big-screen TVs and full bar featuring Coach Hackett’s Ultimate Bloody Mary. Check out the online store at (Smoke-free) $-$$

Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11 am-9 pm; Fri-Sun, 11 am-10 pm; Mon-Wed Lunch Specials, 11 am-2 pm; Mon-Wed Happy Hour, 3-6 pm.

Mis Arcos

1926 S. Garrison Ave. • Carthage, MO


For the delicious authentic Mexican food you crave, there’s no place like Mis Arcos. We offer great choices from our mouthwatering quesadillas to sizzling fajitas to massive burritos, there’s a reason we were voted Best of the Four States for Mexican food! Did we mention our 2 for $5 margaritas? Mis Arcos is home of great food, fun times and lots of laughs! $-$$

Hours: Mon-Wed, 11 am-9 pm; Fri, 11 am-9:30 pm; Sat/Sun 11 am- 9 pm

Red Onion Café

203 E. 4th • Downtown Joplin, MO 417.623.1004 •

Casual urban dining in historic downtown Joplin since 1995. Famous for fresh salads, smoked chicken dip, burgers, pasta, grilled fish and steaks. The menu has a wide variety of gluten-free, low-carb and keto-friendly items. Extensive craft beer menu and wines by the glass. Full-service catering for groups large and small. Consistently voted “Best Restaurant” and “Best Menu” by 417 Magazine and The Joplin Globe. $-$$

Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-9 pm

Kascade Steakhouse

988 S. Country Club Rd • Carthage, MO 417.553.7357 • Like us on Facebook!

Kascade Steakhouse is Carthage’s newest spot for a delicious bite to eat. The chef is an expert in gourmet steaks, steakburgers, salmon and Italian food – his authentic alfredo is to die for. Come in on Fridays for the prime rib special. Under the same owners as Midway Café in Bartlesville, OK, where we are serving up the breakfast you have come to know and love. Dining room and lounge accommodates groups, events and weddings. $-$$

Open Tuesday-Saturday 4-9 pm.

• 25 Special Advertising Section
2023 •

The leaders featured in the following pages are some of the most influential people in our communities. They have a passion for what they do and seek to serve others in their communities. These individuals are proven leaders across a variety of industries, and we are sharing their stories so their positive reach can touch even more lives.

Show Me The Ozarks Magazine is excited to share the “Most Influential People” feature showcasing individuals who have stepped up as leaders, influenced positive change and made a difference in the community this past year. They are community leaders, our friends and our neighbors. We hope you enjoy reading about them and celebrating them with us as truly wonderful inspiring people in our community.

By Amy Howe Photos by Mandy Edmonson
January 2023 • • 27
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January 2023 • • 37
Forward • Blue Moon Boutique A Modern Boutique With A Vintage Soul Blue Moon Boutique 613 S. Main Street Downtown Joplin 417.553.0826

Big Dog Boutique, LLC

319 S. Main • Carthage, MO • 417.359.6740

The Paw Spa • A Bathhouse for Dogs

323 S. Main • Carthage, MO • 417.359.6740

Big Dog Boutique, located on the historic Carthage square, is a unique, vintage-style dog boutique offering goods for dogs of all sizes. Teacup to giant breeds and everyone in between will find what they need from the largest selection of American-made collars and leashes, toys, treats, CBD and healthcare items. Visit the new Doggie Spa, featuring a self-serve dog wash room stocked with everything needed to keep your dog fresh and smelling good! Walk in, wash up, walk out...we take care of the clean up!

One 24 Boutique

13105 Kodiak Rd • Neosho,

One24 Boutique is a unique mother/daughter-teamed store that specializes in the unique. Located in Neosho, this small-town store has gifts, home decor, one-of-a-kind finds and FASHION!! The new “One24 Rags” clothing line was custom designed by the two ladies! A portion of all proceeds is donated each month to the KU Bladder Cancer Department to fund a research scholarship.

Wig’N Out Boutique

20 S. Main St. • Webb City, MO 417.717.5099 •

Who says January has to be drab? Make it fab with fun styles from Wig’N Out Boutique! This cute outfit modeled by Makayla will add a much-needed pop of color to any winter day. At Wig’N Out, you’ll always find stylish clothing and accessories, plus a wide variety of wigs, extensions and hair pieces. The experienced stylists at the Wig’N Out Salon will help you complete your look … because “we’ve got you covered from head to toe!”


4 S. Main St. • Webb City, MO • 417.717.0073

Facebook & Instagram: @SocietyWebbCity

Society Marketplace has everything you need in one place! From boutique clothes, home decor, children and men’s clothes, facials, nails, lashes—they literally have it all! Looking for a unique item? Create a custom hat at their hat bar with add-on accessories such as feathers and bands in lots of colors. Society also has a great selection of permanent jewelry. Society Marketplace is exactly as the name says—a community of people!

40 Special Advertising Section
MO • 417.451.1144
us on Facebook! • Download our APP!!

Blue Moon Boutique

613 S. Main Street • Joplin, MO • 417.553.0826

Facebook: @Blue Moon Boutique Joplin

You’ve heard of bath bombs, but have you tried shower bursts? Shower Burst tablets are made with essential oils to transform your shower into an aromatherapy experience. At Blue Moon Boutique, you’ll always find unique clothing and accessories, quirky home decor and gifts, locally made artwork and more. If you have an eclectic, boho style, then Blue Moon Boutique will be right up your alley!

We offer beginning scuba and a large list of specialty classes.At Extreme Sports, we don’t believe in hidden costs. We supply all gear for the Open Water SCUBA Diver Course except for boots. The Open Water Scuba course is only $395 per person and includes educational material. We also offer a complete line of SCUBAPRO equipment and ask about our excursions and dive trips. Come see us and like us on Facebook.

The Vogue Boutique

144 S. Main • Carl Junction, MO

Just 10 minutes from downtown Joplin 417.649.7911 Insta: @thevogueboutiquecj Facebook: thevogueboutiquecj

The Vogue Boutique has the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! Let our friendly staff help you choose the perfect gift. Shop in store Tuesday-Friday 11 am-4 pm and Saturday 9 am-4 pm.

Shop online anytime @ Located in the historic block of Main Street in Carl Junction, just a short 10-minute drive from downtown Joplin. We hope to see you soon!

Big R’s Pies 417. 437.3135 was 23 years in the making. Owner Twyla Housh sold the barbecue portion of Big R’s in April, but she and her mother Carla kept the pie portion and set up a commercial pie kitchen. Whole pie pickups are at Big R’s, Red Onion Espressoria in Galena, Kansas, and Chatters in Pittsburg, Kansas. No charge for delivery within Joplin city limits.

• 41 Special Advertising Section
2023 •
Extreme Sports Scuba 5203 S. Range Line Road • Joplin, MO 417.659.9009 •

Club 1201

1201 #. 32nd Street • Joplin, MO

Now serving Joplin’s best brunch! Homemade beignets, pastries, biscuits and gravy, peppered bacon, eggs and parmesan fried potatoes and more! For lunch, enjoy your favorite appetizers, “outof-this-world” salads, seasoned breads and your choice of dressing, soup du jour, sandwiches from burgers to apricot turkey and over 30 other choices! We offer a full service catering menu for private parties, business meetings and special events. Hours: Tues-Thur 11 am-3 pm; Fri 11 am-10 pm; Sat and Sun 9 pm-2 pm. We are available for out-of-house and in-house events and catering 7 days a week.

Anderson’s Floral and Gifts

102 N. Walnut St. • Anderson, MO • 417.845.3395

Anderson’s Floral and Gifts is a professional local florist proudly serving Anderson, Missouri, and surrounding areas. We are more than your average florist! We offer speedy, reliable deliveries and customer care that’s beyond compare. Come browse our wonderful variety of living plants for your home or as a gift for others. We also have gift baskets for all occasions. As we celebrate our oneyear anniversary this month, we’re offing a 30% off sale for the month of January. We invite you to stop by and let our friendly and knowledgeable staff assist you.

Zena Suri Alpacas

35401 S. 580 Road • Jay, OK • 804.389.2579

It’s winter. Brrr! But thoughts of spring weddings are not too far away. Plan, but for now, buy your warm, cozy sweaters at Zena Suri Alpacas. Those socks, scarves and shawls are stunning. The blankets feel so toasty and soft, but they breathe, so you don’t feel too hot. There’s a reason alpaca fiber won the West. Come and hear the story. Right here near Grand Lake, Oklahoma, Suri is King—and Queen.

To arrange a tour and/or shop, call 804.389.2579.

New Life Spa

2086 S. Main ∙ Grove, OK • 918.948.2758

This unique spa provides therapeutic services and rooms for your health, healing and relaxation. Owner Deborah Stauss is a naturopathic doctor and LMT, so she can help guide you on your healing journey. Practitioner Joni Eisenbart is certified in Vibrational Raindrop and Aroma Freedom technique and practitioner Michelle Moore is a Certified Body Contour Light specialist. Focus at the spa is on overall health through detoxification, nutrition and building the immune system, pain management, stress management, passive fitness and weight loss. We also specialize in the use of frequency for better mind and body health. Day spa visits and monthly memberships are available.

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2023 Faces of Seneca

Lighthouse Tax Services

Roger Henady

• Seneca, MO

Office: 417.776.1040 • Cell: 417.776.1099

“Providing Hometown Service”

Lighthouse Tax Services is here to serve others and be a light in the community. Roger and his team serve over 700 customers, and they can help with your tax preparation, whether you’re an individual or you own a small businesses or farm. They can also prepare your 1099s and have experience with federal and multiple-state returns. Stop by or give them a call today!

Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home

1101 Cherokee Ave • Seneca, MO

417.776.2251 •

Owned and operated by the Campbell family since 1968, Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home is dedicated to serving families with compassion. They believe every life is unique and, therefore, their celebration of life should represent a life lived. The funeral home offers many services such as inflation proof pre-paid funeral plans, personalized merchandise and monuments. They are known for embracing traditional values as well as diversity and innovation as they serve the families of the Four States.

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Seneca Indians Collect Conference & District Championships

Second-year Head Coach Cody Hilburn’s Seneca Indians High School football team put together a memorable 2022 while claiming a coveted Big 8 West regular-season conference championship. They followed that up with a district title on their way to reaching the state tournament semifinals and finishing with a terrific 11-2 overall record.

Coach Hilburn heaped all the praise on the young men who suited up for Seneca every Friday night.

“First and foremost, the credit goes to the players,” Coach Hilburn emphasized. “In 2021, when I got to Seneca, we had a group of seniors that bought into what we were trying to do and never questioned anything. We were fortunate to win the district championship in 2021, and the momentum carried over into the off-season leading to this year.

“Our current seniors did a great job of leading our football team and building on last year’s success by winning a conference championship and a district championship for the second year in a row, along with a final four appearance.”

Overall, Coach Hilburn couldn’t have been more thrilled with his team’s dedication throughout ’22, and he said, “I think this year’s group really committed to the weight room in the off-season and collectively got bigger, faster and stronger.

“We have a team full of kids that show up ready to work every day and strive to get 1% better each time they’re on the field. We never have to coach attitude and effort, which makes coaching them enjoyable.”

As good as things were for the Indians last fall, that’s not to say there wasn’t adversity along the way. “I think after our success last year, the expectation was sky high in Seneca. Sometimes, the pressure of living up to that expectation can be tough on high school kids.

“We went undefeated until the last regular-season game of the year. I really think that loss may have been the best thing that happened to us leading into the playoffs. It almost felt like it took some of the pressure off and allowed our kids to relax and just play football.”

Regardless of any difficulties from week to week, Coach Hilburn’s talented bunch never lost focus. “Football season is long. It starts in June, and we played almost until December. It takes a high level of commitment from everybody on the team.

“These guys showed up every day with the intent to do things the right way, both on and off the field, which is all you can ask as a football coach.”

While greatness on the gridiron is all well and good, Coach Hilburn most appreciated the way his young men handle themselves in and out of uniform, 365 days a year.

“I think the most rewarding part of coaching in Seneca is the type of kids we have here,” Coach Hilburn said. “We have high-character kids that treat others with respect and understand the process of winning football games.

“As a coach, winning football games is fun, but that’s not the most important part of the job. You try to teach kids more than just football and provide them with tools that will help them go on to be great husbands and dads someday.”

Whatever Coach Hilburn and his staff are doing is working quite well these days with plenty of success taking place on the football field as well as in the classroom. And that’s a championship-caliber combination.

Seneca Indians Senior High Football Team Fast Facts

Head Coach: Cody Hilburn, 39 years old Spouse: Alicia Hilburn

Children: Hadley Hilburn, 12 years old; Emery, 10 years old; and Baker, 4 years old College Alma Mater: Graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006 Degree: Bachelor of Science in Education/ Master’s in Educational Leadership High School Alma Mater: Graduated from Seneca High School in 2001

Favorite Food: Steak

Favorite Football Sports Movie: Remember the Titans

Favorite Football Head Coach: Alabama Crimson Tide Head coach Nick Saban

2022 Season Recap: Finished 11-2 overall, including 8-1 in Big 8 West conference play and 2-0 in district post-season action with a 42-0 rout of Hollister in a semifinal-round showdown, followed by a 25-21 title game conquest of Mt. Vernon. In the state playoffs, Seneca defeated Liberty 28-14 before falling to Lamar 56-14 in the semifinals.

January 2023 • • 45

Chief Wallace and Tribe Give Back to Community

Featuring Seneca SMTO

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe is one of three federally recognized tribes, all located in Oklahoma. Leading the Eastern Shawnee Tribe is Glenna Wallace, the first elected female chief to ever serve. This is one of many firsts for Glenna. She was the first female in her family to graduate high school, the first female in her family to go to college and graduate and the first female in her area to form investment clubs for other females to learn about the stock market, among many other firsts.

Glenna didn’t set out to be the first female in the many things she’s achieved, everything just seemed to end up that way for her.

“I am proud of being the first female ever elected chief in my tribe, but I am even more proud of the fact that I have been reelected three additional times,” said Glenna.

Glenna has broken any barrier that stood to prove females can be effective leaders. “It is not whether you are male or female, it is whether you are a hard worker and have a good work ethic, whether you are persistent, compassionate, able to make decisions and fair to everything. That is who makes an effective chief,” said Glenna.

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe is a big supporter of the Seneca community and is forever grateful the community has helped the tribe for many years. The Eastern Shawnee Tribe is located in Oklahoma and has been since 1832. Today, they have two tribal locations, a larger location on

Highway 10 C and the original location adjacent to the town of Seneca with a Seneca, Missouri, mailing address. To reach this tribal location, you have to leave Oklahoma, enter into Missouri, go to the little town of Seneca, then reenter Oklahoma. The tribe has consistently been dependent on the roads in Seneca for access to their location. Not only did they use the roads but also the water, sewer and natural gas.

“The Seneca Fire Department, ambulance service and police assistance were invaluable to us in our beginning days, prior to bingo and casinos,” said Glenna. “Today, with our large casino Indigo Sky being located just outside of Seneca on Highway 60, we still use their sewer, we still use their roads and many of our employees and our customers are from the community. We are acutely aware of how Seneca has helped us, and we are grateful. Now we are able to give back, not just to Seneca but to our entire area.”

Something you may not know is that almost all of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe services are available to everyone, not just tribal citizens or Native Americans. Their senior center provides daily lunch Monday through Friday and is open to everyone over the age of 60. Tribal citizens eat free with all others paying a nominal fee for a complete meal. The same is true for the Early Childhood Leaning Center, which is open to all children. In the summer time, the tribe hosts its annual Children’s Back to School Powwow where they give 700 or more free backpacks complete with school supplies and is open to everyone.

The tribe also has a state-of-the-art wellness center that is open to everyone. Membership fees are extremely reasonable. Additionally, there are six miles of walking trails free for everyone to use.

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe is extremely generous with their amenities, many of which aren’t listed but can easily be found online.

This past year, the tribe made three major contributions, two to Seneca and one to the rural water district. Part of the funds that were contributed to the City of Seneca were to complete a new fire station facility.

“We have tribal citizens who live in Seneca, we have employees who live in Seneca and we have patrons living in the Seneca area who have supported our businesses for years and, of course, we have Indigo Sky just outside of Seneca, all probably needing fire assistance at some point,” said Glenna. “We donated the funds to finish this fire station and are thankful that we have grown to the point that we can give back to the entire community.”

Same is true for the Seneca Police Department. The tribe knows the number of people coming to Indigo Sky creates a challenge to the Seneca Police Department and a donation was made to them to purchase new police vehicles and remodel and build additions to their facility. “We are simply paying back and paying forward for services and help given to us by the police department,” said Glenna.

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe is indebted to their ancestors who persevered and made it possible for them to live the lives they live today. “We honor our ancestors,” said Glenna. “We have been blessed spiritually and financially. Native Americans are giving people. We gather together, help each other, care about each other, strengthen each other, thus becoming stronger ourselves. Others have helped us reach where we are today, and it is only appropriate that we share and give back to others.”

January 2023 • • 47

Fire Chief Tyler Crow & Seneca Fire Department Remain Focused on Keeping City Safe

During his first year in charge, Seneca, Missouri, Fire Department Fire Chief Tyler Crow has every reason to be thrilled with how many positive things have taken place over the past year or so to help further enhance the invaluable work he and his team provide for this town of nearly 2,500.

Featuring Seneca SMTO
Back Row; Left to Right: Jake Hurley, Michael Baca, Randy Rogers, Ethan Clogston, Jay Rogers. Front Row; Left to Right: Emily Steele, Chase Thomure, Tyler Crow, Rick Hancock and Chris Tackett.

First and foremost, Seneca’s newest Fire Station on 124 Washington Avenue joins the original facility, located at 517 Oneida Street, and Chief Crow knows this is a big deal.

“We are able to have more room for our tools, apparatuses and training,” Chief Crow said of the new facility. “We now have both sides of tracks covered with extrication in case there is ever a train going by or stopped on the tracks.

“We have a nice gear room, tool room, men’s and women’s bathrooms, plus a handicap bathroom, full kitchen, living area, three offices, a reporting room, a massive training room upstairs and three drivethrough bays.”

Having state-of-the-art resources is vital, and Chief Crow said, “People need us to have all necessary equipment to be able to help them in any incident or situation and for the importance of keeping my firefighters safe, while being able to do their jobs quickly and efficiently.

“As fire chief, my main priorities and goals are to leave it all at the scene and do the best we can, and to ensure the safety of my firefighters so they can return home to their families after every call.

“I want my firefighters to know everything there is to know and be trained so they can do their jobs to the best of their abilities. We have stepped up our training a lot. We’ve had a lot more hands-on training.”

Chief Crow is most appreciative of all those individuals working for him.

“I am beyond thankful for the men and women I do have on my team. If it wasn’t for them and their determination to do better and be better, our small town wouldn’t be what it is today.”

As much as they strive to stay at the forefront of all that’s needed to do quality work, nothing is easy. “The main challenge is getting and keeping enough volunteers.

“It’s also hard keeping up with training so the men and women in this department are ready for anything that comes their way.”

Regardless of how demanding this job can be, Chief Crow finds this line of work gratifying and worthwhile. “It’s about being able to help others and having a second family I can count on.”

All those who live in Seneca can be confident Chief Crow and his entire team will be there every time they are needed.

Seneca Fire Department & Fire Chief Tyler Crow Fast Facts

Age: 33 years old Spouse: Kendra Crow

Children: 11-year-old Brenton Crow, 6th grade; and 6-year-old Brenic Crow, 1st grade

High School Alma Mater: Wyandotte (Oklahoma) High School Class of 2008

Hometown: Wyandotte, Oklahoma

Fire Department

Career: Has been with the Seneca Fire Department for 13 years, starting out as a firefighter, followed by a promotion to fire lieutenant, then fire captain, followed by assistant fire chief and fire chief

Quotable: “I’ve been around it my whole life, and I just love being able to help people when they need us the most.”

Equipment Upgrades: Purchased a pumper tanker and brush truck in 2022. Also received a water rescue boat and 13 sets of bunker gear through grants last year. Additionally, will receive 17 new Air Packs at the beginning of 2023, thanks to the Wyandotte Nation. Will start the dirt work on Honor Walk around the flagpole at the front of the new fire station in 2023. This will feature engraved bricks displayed around the flagpole.

January 2023 • • 49

Waste Not, Want Not

Seneca artist Erin

If it’s a little bit creepy, a little bit earthy and a little bit old, it’s right up Erin Poor’s alley.

Erin is a Seneca-based mixed-media artist inspired by folklore, mythology, hauntology and the woods where she resides with her family. She produces her art through her business, Feral Folk Inc, which focuses on sustainable forestry, bee keeping, foraging, education and real estate investing. That theme of sustainability can be spotted in much of her artwork.

“I’m a firm believer in, ‘waste not, want not,’” she said. “I really enjoy repurposing discarded objects like clothes, old sculptures and weird

vintage fixtures to resurrect them into new forms. When I see used clothes or items, I don’t just look at them for their intended purposes ... I think of them as ingredients to what I am cooking up artistically. If I find a shirt and have fallen in love with the fabric, I will buy it and rip it up for my vision. I like to take old fixtures or figurines and make molds from them to create something new. I volunteer at the Seneca Food Pantry and Thrift Store, and sometimes things are unsellable, and it so happens to be something that I want to use, so it goes to my artistic creations.”

Erin is also heavily influenced by Medieval, Gothic and Renaissance architecture. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Studio Art from

Poor sees beauty in things others throw away
Featuring Seneca

Missouri Southern State University and visited the Czech Republic and Austria twice last year – once in May and again in December – on trips through the university.

The most recent trip began with a tour of Prague, followed by a visit to Hradec Králové University in the Czech Republic and ended with a stay in Vienna.

“I took lots of photos and gained a lot of inspiration for future pieces,” she said. “I love seeing the weird dark history, museums, haunted places, beautiful winter scenery and gothic, architectural displays.”

Erin’s knack for spotting beauty in everyday things stretches back to childhood. She has always been drawn to things she found aesthetically pleasing.

“I have always been a creative person. I have always had this obsession to make things that are aesthetically pleasing for myself; and other people also seem to find it pleasing,” she said. “Sometimes I have things to say through my art ... and sometimes, it’s just art for art’s sake.”

In her free time, Erin enjoys spending time with her husband, Andrew Poor, an alternatives energy and solar technology instructor at Crowder College, and their four children. Erin is also passionate about giving back to the community as a volunteer at the Seneca Food Pantry and Thrift Store.

January 2023 • • 51
Where to Find Art by Erin Poor: Online Instagram @FeralFolkInc In Person Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri 75th Annual Spiva Membership Show & Emerging Artist Show Sponsored by Joplin Regional Artist Coalition

A Perfect Beginning

It was a royal wedding according to Aspyn Elbert’s family. When Aspyn married her best friend, Tyler Elbert, September 25, 2021, 400 of their family and friends were there to celebrate with them.

“You know, we could have just had a simple wedding. Something with minimum planning, minimum details. Maybe not. Not with Aspyn,” joked Will King, Aspyn’s uncle who performed the wedding ceremony.

“I’m high maintenance,” laughed Aspyn, “and planning the perfect wedding brought out more of that in me. My mom would say everyone’s life got put on hold for a whole year to plan this wedding.

“For example, I had to have black plates for the reception. I had both of our families looking for black plates at every Dollar Tree. We couldn’t order black plates in bulk, and our local stores ran out of them. I had to have 400 black plates; they made the whole reception, so everyone helped me find them.”

High maintenance or not, the wedding, held at Amadeus Ranch, was the perfect wedding for Aspyn and Tyler. The ceremony was held outside in the green expanse overlooking the rolling hills. Aspyn entered through the opened doors of an elegant white arch. Six flower girls and three ring bearers led the way as Aspyn walked down the aisle escorted by her dads Aaron and Nathan. She joined Tyler before three stunning triangle-shaped arches Tyler built. Before the arches, reminiscent of mountains, the couple exchanged vows in a ceremony conducted by Aspyn’s uncle.

Flanked by eight bridesmaids and eight groomsmen, all dressed in black, it was an elegant, modern ceremony. As the couple returned to the reception, their friends and family showered the couple in white flower petals.

Inside, the reception began with a first dance for Aspyn and Tyler to “Snow” by Zack Bryan and continued with a night of fun. “We had the best DJ,” said Aspyn. “He made the reception. He had us begin with a game, and he got everyone dancing and involved. He didn’t slow down, and he made the party.”

The guests enjoyed a buffet dinner from Bamboo Garden, a photo booth, delicious wedding cake and the bouquet toss. The night ended with a last dance with the couple surrounded by family and friends.

“I loved being surrounded by family and friends all in one place when I married my best friend,” said Aspyn. “It was the absolute best! It was perfect.”

52 Featuring Seneca SMTO
January 2023 • • 53 Photographer: Taylor Jean Photographs Videographer: Wedding Stories by Korey Klein Flat lay: Dayflower Designs Hair: Dakota Plumb Makeup: Rayvn Ash Florist: Debbie Mitchell DJ: Broc Barton // Elevate Entertainment Catering: Bamboo Gardens Dress: Norman’s Bridal I loved being surrounded by family and friends all in one place when I married my best friend. “ ” The Details

Ultimate Wedding

Royalty Event Center

Royalty Event Center is a beautiful venue to say “I do.” Situated on 326 acres, this spectacular Missouri Century Farm is surrounded by charm and history. There is plenty of room for the wedding of your dreams in the 5,000-square-foot upscale barn with beautiful exposed wood beams. It includes two complete bedrooms upstairs with a full bathroom, which are the perfect bride and groom suites.

The venue offers indoor and outdoor weddings under the decorated arbor area and has a full commercial kitchen for catering and a full bar area complete with beverage coolers and ice machine. It comfortably seats 150 guests for a sit-down dinner. Dance the night away in the outdoor lighted entertainment area, and have your guests relax around the fire pit.

Royalty Event Center is located at 638 SE 80th Road in Golden City, Missouri. Call 417.276.1040 for more information or visit their Facebook page. They are currently booking 2023 weddings.

Augusta Bridal

Augusta Bridal is a bridal shop bringing class and elegance to the Joplin area while staying in-touch with today’s trends and styles. August Bridal offers bridal, bridesmaids, prom gowns and so much more.

Schedule an appointment in the luxury bridal salon and enjoy a fun, stress-free environment of styling and try-ons. Augusta Bridal wants you to feel as if you can conquer the world looking as fabulous as possible and will help you find “the one” dress that will turn heads and bring out your inner beauty. They also offer custom handmade veils and flower crowns.

Owner Taylor Austin is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and brings her knowledge of the fashion industry to 502 South Main Street in Joplin.

Schedule your appointment soon by calling 417.553.4888, and let Taylor and her team help you find the dress of your dreams.

Radiant Glo

Get ready to look your best on your wedding day! Radiant-Glo of Joplin offers a wide variety of beauty and skincare services, including spray tans, semi-permanent makeup and body sculpting treatments. Their Jet Plasma Treatment is a pain-free procedure that is proven to tighten skin by 14.8% after just one visit – plus many other skin benefits. Need to freshen and brighten your skin for your big day? Book a face and neck chemical peel or choose from any of their facial options.

Radiant Glo wants you to feel your best and look your best! They also offer free consultations. Book your appointment at, by calling 417.434.2963 or visiting their location at 1710 East 32nd Street, Suite G1, in Joplin.

Venue 105

Say “I do” in the peace and tranquility of the countryside.

Venue 105 is a beautifully constructed event venue and wedding barn located just outside of Carthage. Surrounded by oak trees and nestled in a serene country setting, Venue 105 offers amazing views inside and out, providing endless possibilities for your wedding day.

At Venue 105, you will find all the amenities of a modern wedding. The white-washed barn features an elegant yet inviting atmosphere with high ceilings, polished concrete, stylish light fixtures and fairy lighting, rustic details and a jaw-dropping chandelier. The 5,000-square-foot, climate-controlled space offers plenty of room to celebrate with all your friends and family. Venue 105 is located at 6960 County Road 105, Carthage, MO. Visit or Facebook: @Venue105. Email: See this beautiful venue in person by scheduling a private viewing today! Phone 417.850.8582

January 2023 • • 55
Venue 105

Ultimate Wedding

Lendonwood Gardens

When planning a wedding at Lendonwood Gardens in Grove, Oklahoma, the beauty of the ceremony is only enhanced by gorgeous flowering plants, towering oaks, richly textured evergreens, and lovely water features. Amenities include a gazebo surrounded by rose gardens, an open-air Japanese pavilion overlooking a koi pond, and numerous spots for memorable photographs on the special day. Open grassy areas allow space for chairs, tables, bands and dancing. Electricity is available at key locations to offer romantic lighting for evening ceremonies and facilitate food service and music. The back entrance of the Gardens is close by, offering easy access for caterers, florists, musicians and those with mobility problems. Restrooms and additional parking also are located near the back entrance.

Lendonwood Gardens looks forward to sharing the beauty of the Gardens on your special day. Please call 918.786.2938 or visit for more information or to reserve a date for your outdoor wedding.

Har-Ber Village

Do you like a mixture of old and new? Located minutes from Grove, Oklahoma, Har-Ber Village Event Center offers a park-like setting with rustic backdrops and lake views, with the added ambiance of the Har-Ber Village Museum in its back yard. The Bridal Dressing Suite is even located inside a log cabin. Our event center is an indoor/ outdoor building with lake views, a stage that offers electricity for a DJ or live band, dance floor, separate ceremony area and indoor restrooms. The event center comfortably seats up to 100 guests with table seating. Our event coordinator can offer help with contacts for onsite catering options, local bakeries, local musicians and photographers to help you make your special day seamless. Contact us today at 918.786.6446 or email us at Visit our website for more information at

Judy’s Ballroom Dance Lessons

Judy Schneider, instructor (Master’s Degree in dance and over 30 years of experience in teaching dance)

WEDDING CHOREOGRAPHY – Do you want your first dance to be truly special? Have Judy Schneider create unique choreography tailored to fit your style and your music to let you shine. Private lessons for you and your future spouse, or for the whole wedding party, start at $50/hour.

DANCE LESSONS – Ready to take the first step in furthering your dance ability or to just create a fun date night? Join us in a relaxed environment where you will learn the most popular dance styles like Salsa, Bachata, East Coast Swing, Waltz, Two-Step and more.

Cost is $65/person for a six-week group class that meets once a week. $50/hour for a private lesson for one or two couples. All classes are held Monday-Friday at Beimdiek Recreation Center dance studio at Missouri Southern State University. For more information, call Judy at 417.392.0215 or messages her at Judy’s Ballroom Dance Lessons on Facebook.

Stella Springs Weddings & Events

Stella Springs Weddings & Events has all you need to make your wedding day an unforgettable experience. With over 110 acres of lush wooded country, the possibilities are endless for planning a lovely indoor or outdoor event. Our stunning outdoor sites include natural springs, the large Macedonia Springs pond, Indian Creek and a breathtaking waterfall at Macedonia Springs. Our Event Barn is where vintage charm meets romance. With white-washed walls, crystal chandeliers, antique mirrors and an oversized reclaimed mantle, the Barn is the perfect setting for any wedding. The Barn also has an outdoor deck strung with twinkling lights for a warm, romantic glow. Lodging is available in our Rock Cottage and Blue Bunkhouse with our unique weekend package. Visit to peruse images of the beautiful weddings we have hosted at Stella Springs. We are located in Newton County, just outside Neosho. We are now accepting bookings for 2021 and 2022, so call 417.628.3418 to schedule your special date – your Happily Ever After begins here!


Amadeus Ranch

Amadeus Ranch is a beautiful Tuscan-style venue atop rolling hills in Southwest Missouri. Complete with exposed beams and sparkling chandeliers, our venue can match any wedding style from simple to extravagant. Our outdoor patio, complete with a gorgeous arbor, is the perfect setting for your wedding ceremony or dancing under the stars. We are booking 2023 and 2024 fast but still have availability for any season! We would love to help make your special day worry-free with our packages, which include linens, tableware, decor, vendors, wedding consultation and more! Call, text or email to book a visit to Amadeus Ranch. We look forward to meeting you! 417.850.1042 or 417.850.0980 or email  Check out our website: and find us on Facebook!

Civil War Ranch

Add some country charm to your special day! Whether your style is traditional, country, rustic or chic, the Civil War Ranch offers just the right settings. Take a break from the world’s hectic pace and unwind inside our pre-1900s fully insulated Wedding Barn, gather on the shore of our picturesque spring-fed 2.5-acre pond, celebrate on our beautiful large landscaped Barn Courtyard, relax under our Rose Arbor and Wedding Tree, or picnic in our expansive Pole Barn. We strive to provide value for our couples as well as a beautiful backdrop for their special day. Our full-day rental is from 8 am to 11 pm, and if you book a Friday, you get Thursday included. Maybe you want to save more by booking Monday through Wednesday or want a small, quick wedding with just your closest family. We have that, too.

Browse our gallery and check our prices and availability on our website at Book a tour through our website, Facebook page or by calling 417.237.0771. We can’t wait to hear from you! 11838 Civil War Ave., Carthage MO.

Winter Décor Warm and Cozy

I enjoy the Christmas season and the decorations. However, I am always ready to put them away on New Year’s Day and replace them with winter décor. Decorating for winter is just as fun as decorating for any other season. After putting away the Christmas décor, you can start with a neutral palette or you can add some bright pops of color, and with a few other touches, you will have décor that lasts through the winter and into spring. Here are a few tips on how to add things into your decorating that will add a touch of winter but keep it feeling cozy and warm all season long.


I like to keep some of the things we see outside inside, such as twigs and branches, pinecones, acorns and white snowflakes. There are a lot of choices in winter décor at your local hobby and craft store. They even have garland made from acorns and pinecones. However, you can find some of these things in your backyard or on a nature walk. I add candles, big and small, with warm, comfy blankets and vases filled with branches or twigs to replicate the winter landscape. These things can be used throughout your home in vignettes on side tables, entry tables and placed on shelves to brighten any room in your home.

Keeping the décor neutral will keep a winter feeling but still make it feel warm and cozy. A gray couch could feel cold and stark; however, when you add a hand-knitted creamy-colored blanket and soft gray pillows in various sizes and textures, it makes this room feel much warmer and cozier. The side table is simple and made from a light-colored wood and coordinates with the wooden lantern and the wooden frames hung on the wall. You could add some twinkle lights in the lantern and a larger rug on the floor to add to the cozy feeling of this room.

Your bedroom can have a warm and cozy wintry feeling, too. The color of the wood blinds and rattan hanging lamp mix perfectly with the large lantern sitting on the floor and the other wooden elements in the room. The soft fabric-covered headboard with the layers of pillows and woven blankets add to the cozy feeling. The white blanket, white walls and pops of white in the candles and pillows help make this room feel winter ready. You can definitely curl up for a nap or with a good book in this room all winter long.

For a little brightness during the winter, place battery-operated lights and twigs in vases or bottles and set them on a table to create a lovely display in front of your window, on a side table or the center of your dining table. You can add winter-themed items such as snowmen and gnomes to add whimsy and fun into your décor. You could keep the vases and bottles clear or add in colored ones that match your décor. Either way, the lights will add brightness.

Winter décor doesn’t have to be white and boring. The addition of wood elements with some bright shining lights and hand-knitted or chunky blankets will keep your home feeling cozy and warm all winter long.

January 2023 • • 61

Parsons, KS

January 10: Breast Cancer Support Group, 3:30 pm, Cancer Center conference room. Meets second Tuesday of each month. Call 620.235.7516.

January 12: Grief Companions Support Group meets second Thursday of each month, 6 pm, Elm Haven West. Call 620.704.1110.

Via Christi Hospital - Pittsburg, KS

January 24: Cancer Support Group, 3 pm, Cancer Center conference room. Meets fourth Wednesday of each month. Call 620.235.7900.

Joplin, MO

Every day: Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings. Call 888.740.4568.

Every Monday: Tips for Living a Healthy Life, 10 am-12 pm, South YMCA, 3404 W. McIntosh Circle. Free; registration required. Call 417.625.2492.

Every day: 12-Step Recovery Meetings, Alano Club, 1800 E. 30th. Call 417.623.9645.

Every Friday: Grief Counseling, 11 am-3 pm, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 706 S. Byers. Free. No appointment necessary.

January 11: Brain Injury Support Group meets every second

Tuesday, 12-1:30 pm, The Independent Living Center, 2639 E. 34th. Contact 417.659.8086 for information and referral.

January 25: Grief Support Group meets every fourth Wednesday of each month, 6-7:30 pm, Hospice Compassus, 2216 E. 32nd St., Ste. 201. Call 417.623.8272.

Freeman Health System Joplin, MO

All events are free and open to the public, unless noted; support group meetings are cancelled on days Joplin R-VIII Schools close due to inclement weather.

January 3: Expresso Yourself Breast Cancer Support Group, 5-6 pm, Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Enjoy a coffee courtesy of Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute. Our monthly breast cancer support group enables members to share, gain helpful information and useful tips, and form new friendships. Enjoy listening to a special guest from time to time. RSVP to Marcella at 417.347.2662.

January 4: Freeman Real Living with Diabetes, 12-12:45 pm, Freeman Women’s Center Conference Rooms, 1532 W. 32nd St. A meeting for anyone struggling with diabetes to discuss real issues and concerns. Call 417.347.5700 for more information.

January 11: Freeman Cancer Support Group, 2-3 pm, Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute, 3415 McIntosh Circle. Call Lisa Paugh or Kelley Wheeler at 417.347.4000 for more information.

January 17: Ozark Center Daytime Autism Support Group, 12:30-1:30 pm, Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism,

January 2023 • • 63

More Than Cosmetic: Life Change through Bariatric Surgery

Some people might say bariatric surgery (also known as weight-loss surgery) is the “easy way” to lose weight, but that’s far from true. Not only does it involve actual surgery, it’s also a lifelong commitment to bariatric dietary guidelines. Fortunately, the team at Freeman Bariatric Center partners with patients to help them achieve their goals for a healthier life.

“Bariatric surgery is a lifestyle that is for life, which is why Freeman Bariatric Center gives our patients the tools to be successful,” said Dr. T. Brad Coy, Freeman bariatric surgeon. “Freeman Bariatric offers access to a dietitian, a psychologist and monthly support groups. The bariatric program nurses also assist patients in any way needed.”

Freeman Bariatric Center is accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The first and only comprehensive bariatric program in the area to be accredited within a 65-mile radius, Freeman Bariatric Center meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care.

Freeman Bariatric is proud to offer the duodenal switch procedure, which works by reducing and narrowing the stomach for restriction and hunger control. The intestines are then re-routed to bypass a long segment of the small intestine, reducing the surface for food absorption. These anatomical changes decrease food intake and reduce the absorption of the nutrients and calories eaten.

Other bariatric surgery types include the gastric sleeve, which reduces the size of the stomach with no re-routing of the intestines; and the gastric bypass, which re-routes the intestines and creates a small stomach pouch that bypasses most of the stomach.

“Patients can be successful with any of these procedures,” said Dr. Coy. “Duodenal switch has the highest resolution of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. It is also the better option for patients with a BMI greater than 50.”

Regardless of which type of bariatric surgery is used, these procedures improve a patient’s quality of life. This may mean they can pursue another surgery that they need, such as joint replacements, back surgery or hernia repairs. It can also mean patients become more mobile, allowing them more freedom to enjoy life.

“It can be the ability to get on the floor to play with grandkids, stop taking so many medications or feel healthier with decreased health problems,” said Janice Drake, RN, Freeman Bariatric Service Coordinator. “Ultimately the goal is to live the best life for you!”

For more information, visit or call Janice at 417.347.1266 to start your weight loss journey.

January 2023 • • 65

2808 S. Picher Ave. Open to people with autism, parents and caregivers. Call 417.347.7850 for more information.

January 17: Bariatric Weight-Loss Support Group, 5:30-6:30 pm, Freeman Business Center Conference Rooms, 3220 McClelland Blvd (back entrance). Designed to help those who have had bariatric surgery. For more information, call 417.347.1266.

January 19: Freeman Caregiver Support Group, 1-2:30 pm, Joplin Senior Center, 2616 S. Picher Ave. Are you a caregiver interested in having a safe haven to share your feelings? Receive information about resources and coping mechanisms, gain advice on what lies ahead, make new friends and learn how to deal with family members. Door prizes will be given out. RSVP to Kathy Mason at or 417.347.8463.

January 20: Freeman Blood Drive, 9 am-5 pm, Freeman Hospital West Conference Rooms 1-4W. Save a life. Donate blood. Appointments are strongly encouraged to manage donor flow. To schedule your appointment, call 417.227.5006 or go to donate-blood. For more information, call 417.347.4603.

January 24: Freeman Bariatric Weight-loss Seminar, 4:30 pm (registration), 5:30 pm (seminar), Freeman Business Center Conference Rooms, 3220 McClelland Blvd (back entrance). Better understand the options available for weight-loss surgery. Contact 417.347.1266 or to register.

National Alliance on Mental Illness - For information on NAMI, call 417.781.6264 or visit Meetings held at the NAMI building, 219 W. 2nd St., in Joplin.

Every Monday: NAMI Basics, 6-8:30 pm. A signature education program for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses.

Every Tuesday: NAMI Connection Support Group, 6:30-8 pm.

Every Tuesday: Self Injury Support Group, 5-6 pm.

Every Tuesday: Family Support Group, 6:30-8 pm.

Every Wednesday: Dual Diagnosis Support Group, 2:30-3:30 pm.

Every Wednesday: Post-5/22 Stress Counseling Sessions, 10 am.

Every Thursday: Family to Family Class, 6:30-8:30 pm. For families or caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses. Includes current information about most major mental illnesses; information about medications, side effects and strategies for medication adherence; developing strategies for handling crises and relapse; focusing on care for the caregiver.

Neosho, MO

January 23: Caregivers Support Group meets the fourth Monday of each month, 5-6 pm, Medicalodge, 400 Lyon Drive. Help with

care, finances, insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, respite care, hospice care, day care and support for the caregivers. Sponsors: Avalon Hospice and Medicalodges Neosho. Call 417.451.2544.

Nevada, MO

January 7: Birth and Beyond Saturday Class, 8:30 amnoon, hospital mezzanine. The class will focus on ways the mother and her family can prepare for the birth of their baby. To register, call 417.448.2101.

January 21: Birth and Beyond Weekday Class, 6-8 pm, hospital mezzanine. A class that covers childbirth, breastfeeding and infant care for women in their last trimester. Includes a tour of the NRMC OB when available. Meets in the NRMC Mezzanine Conference Room. $15 registration fee. Fee may be waived if cost is prohibitive. You may register by calling 417.448.2101.

January 24: Rich Hill Family Medical Clinic Screenings, 11 am-noon, Kern Senior Center. Free screenings every fourth Tuesday of the month: blood pressure, plus this month’s focus screening: bone density. Takes place at the Kern Senior Center in Rich Hill.

Integris Baptist Regional Health Center, Grove, OK

January 10 & 24: Depression Support Group meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 2 pm, Northeastern Tribal Health System Conference Room, 2301 Eight Tribes Trail. Call 918.675.2093.

INTEGRIS Baptist Regional Health Center, Miami, OK - For more information, visit

Every Tuesday: Free blood pressure and glucose screenings provided by INTEGRIS Regency Home Care and Hospice. First Tuesday: Commerce Nutrition Center, 10:3011:30 am. Second Tuesday: Nine Tribes Tower, 10-11 am. Third Tuesday: Miami Senior Center, 10-11 am. Fourth Tuesday: INTEGRIS Baptist Village, 9-10 am.

January 3: Alzheimer’s Support Group meets first Tuesday monthly, 11 am, Generations fourth floor visiting room. Call 918.542.3391.

Crisis Text Line Text 741741

Free 24/7 support for those in crisis to create a plan to stay safe and healthy. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code

66 Health SMTO

Greek chicken soup is a must-try! This soup is light, bright and easy. Lemon, roasted chicken and veggies make this a healthy lunch or dinner. Trust me, you’ll love it!

Greek Chicken Soup


4 cups chicken stock

1 small carrot, chopped

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

Fresh dill and thyme

Salt and pepper

1½ cups cooked shredded chicken (leftover or rotisserie chicken works great)

1/3 cup orzo

½ T lemon zest

3 T fresh lemon juice


Add olive oil to a large saucepan on medium heat.

Once the oil is heated, add carrots, celery and shallot.  Cook vegetables until they are just slightly firm.

Add dill, thyme, salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth and cooked chicken. Raise the heat and bring to a boil.

Add orzo and simmer until tender, 5-7 minutes.

Add lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

January 2023 • • 67

Ultra-marathon runner Brandon Smith started running at a young age and today, he’s helping youngsters follow in his footsteps.

“I began running in seventh grade after a friend talked me into going out for cross country to get in shape for basketball,” Brandon said. “My school never had very competitive sports programs, but I learned that in cross country and track, I could be successful on my own if I worked hard.”

Brandon went on to compete at Southwestern College and would make some of his happiest memories as a runner during that time.

“I had an amazing coach and an awesome team to train with,” he said. “I was a 15-time All-Conference runner, three-time Conference champion and even was able to be an All-American in the 4x800 meter relay.”

Brandon hasn’t slowed down a bit – even since becoming a father of three. In fact, his kids run with him. All of Brandon’s children – Nephtali (11), Tzaddi (9) and Manolo (7) – have inherited their dad’s athletic abilities. They all compete in multiple sports, including basketball, swimming, track and soccer, and they have all competed in 5Ks and triathlons.

“They are my biggest priority, and I think it is really important to show them the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Brandon’s accomplishments span countless races of varying distances, and in the last year alone, he ran two full marathons and a 50K.

“The most memorable race I have ever done was this past year,” he said. “I did a three-day trail race in Utah through Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Horseshoe Bend. It was absolutely incredible.”

Brandon isn’t just helping his own children learn the joy of running. He is the head coach for cross country at the East Newton school district where he is also a fourth grade teacher. Between teaching, coaching and being a dad, Brandon admits life can get hectic. But even in the busiest seasons, he still makes time to pound the pavement.

“Running is a part of me, and if I’m not doing it regularly then I go crazy,” he said. “I am currently attempting to get in race shape after one of the busiest seasons of my life as a head coach. I try to run a few days a week with some of my running friends from Rufus Racing and Joplin Roadrunners. I love to run with others and talk, it does not matter the pace.”

In his downtime, Brandon loves biking, hiking, camping, woodworking and helping his daughter Nephtali with her shaved-ice business called Queen Bee.

“Ease into it and find people to run with,” he said of new runners. “It is so much easier to accomplish your goals with others helping. Also, sign up for an event, and it will motivate you to train.”

in the Family: Ultra-marathon runner Brandon Smith instills love of running in the next generation
Brandon’s Advice for New Runners: 1. Take it slow 2. Find people to run with 3. Sign up for an event to motivate you

New Year, New Nutrients

The under-looked health change for this year

Diversifying your nutrient intake is important because different nutrients do different things. One of the things to keep in mind this new year is while everyone wants to cut calories or exercise more to lose weight and get in better shape, one of the more underlooked sides of health is ensuring you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to help keep you healthy.

One thing to remember about supplements is they can affect everyone differently, and one thing to remember about everyone is our bodies don’t always need the same thing. It’s always important to talk to your doctor or a nutritionist before beginning to take any new supplements as some can have adverse reactions depending on your current health or medications.

Believe it or not, the best way to get vitamins into your system isn’t to take a multivitamin but rather to eat a variety of healthy foods. It’s easy to just try a very streamlined diet that allows you to eat the same thing every day – while some people get bored of that approach, some really need to turn off their brains to avoid the temptation that comes from a wandering mind thinking about food. While eating almost nothing other than broccoli and chicken will probably help you lose weight if you’ve got some excess weight to lose, that sort of diet won’t give you a multitude of nutrients. Even making small changes such as snacking on different types of apples or carrots can give you more complex nutrient intake while helping you stay the course.

Supplements vary a lot from nutrient to nutrient and some supplements only really show an effect on certain demographics. Some supplements can be harmful, such as taking an excess of vitamin E or vitamin K. It’s easy to get too much of these if you take supplements but much more difficult if you get them by eating fruits and vegetables. For example, avocados have both vitamins E and K, but you never hear warnings about overdosing on either being a risk of eating avocados.

The point of this article isn’t to convince you to throw away all your supplements and stop taking them. In fact, food has progressively become less nutritious, and fruits and veggies are bread for appearance and taste rather than nutrition. As such, it’s important to be realistic that sometimes we need that extra help, but doing so in addition to eating a diverse set of foods is often the best way to go.

Supplements absolutely have a place in our health and can help us cover up nutrient blind spots, but trying to cover those blind spots by changing up what we eat can have such a bigger impact on our health, while it’s so easy to just focus on your scale and eat your health food of choice, ensuring we’re giving our body everything it needs to protect our health is also important. This year, try something new to give your body an extra boost of health.

January 2023 • • 71

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks: Serving and Saving One Droplet at a Time

It was an exciting time of life for then26-year-old Chase Marcus. He was a 2017 college graduate and a newlywed to his 22-year-old bride, Alyssa. He served as a youth minister and was at church camp when he started feeling ill and noticed a bruise on his thigh that began growing deeper in color. Next came a fever, and he knew it was time to get to the doctor.

Blood was drawn to determine what could be the issue. The results showed severely low levels of platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. “I was flown to University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City and had a bone marrow biopsy, and it was confirmed that I had a rare form of leukemia, so I immediately began receiving platelets and blood transfusions,” Marcus said. “I later learned that I had been a week away from death.”

Marcus remained in the hospital for almost four weeks, getting the needed transfusions and chemo treatments. The chemo treatments continued frequently for the next 10 months until he achieved remission in February 2018.

Prior to his illness, Marcus had been a blood donor but is now ineligible to give. “Since I no longer can, Alyssa does it for those who need it like I did.”

Alyssa Marcus first donated when she was a senior in high school and accompanied her father who regularly donates both whole blood and platelets.

“After watching my husband almost lose his life and knowing his blood transfusions are what brought him back from near death, it’s been important for me to do something as a result of our experience,” she said. “By donating an hour of my time and my blood every couple of months, I can literally help save a life just like my husband’s life was saved by anonymous blood donors.”

One of CBCO’s donors is Josh Pruitt, who said he gives because he enjoys helping others. “When I realized I was a universal donor with an O negative blood type, I knew I would be able to help anyone who needed the lifesaving blood.”

Pruitt worked in a 911 dispatch center for 18 years and served in the military for 17 years. He saw the need for blood donors daily when he took calls for accidents or a variety of other reasons. “You never know who will need blood and when,” he said. “I think it’s good to give when you can because blood doesn’t last a long time in a blood bank, so it always needs to be replenished often.”

Pruitt offered some tips for giving that include exploring the CBCO website and the educational materials housed there. “And, if you are nervous about donating, then ask a friend or family member to go with you,” he said. “I always eat a full meal before I go to donate, and it’s fun to go for lunch with friends before going to the donation center.”

Chase Marcus appreciates both those first-time and long-term donors who give to the CBCO regularly. “They helped me get to this point,” he said. “I was given a second chance at life. Five years later, we found out we’re pregnant with a miracle baby. Not only have I been able to survive cancer, but I’ve been able to enjoy the beauty of life with my wife and soon, with our son. My greatest dream has always been to be a father and a husband.”


month of January is commonly a time of critical blood shortages. People stop donating blood during the holidays and when they get sick during cold and flu season. Blood drives also get snowed out during the winter months. The monthly observance is a way to honor voluntary blood donors and to encourage more people to give blood at a time when more blood is needed.”



• Exclusive provider of blood, plasma and platelets to 44 hospitals in Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas and Southeast Kansas

• About 200 daily donations are needed to meet the needs of your community

• There were 11,277 blood products distributed to regional hospitals last year

• Thirty-eight percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, but less than 6% does.

• Approximately 300 mobile blood drives are held in the Four-State Area. Find a location at

• Plan on spending about an hour for the donation process. Each time you do, you help save the lives of three people right here in the Ozarks

• Donors can donate red cells every 56 days.


Visit the Joplin Donor Center located in Northpark Mall, 101 North Range Line Road.

Hours of operation: Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 6 pm; Friday, 8 am to 2 pm

For more information, call 417.227.5376 or visit


Style, Comfort and Support

Diabetic shoes provide protection against diabetes-related complications

Properly fitting diabetic shoes are essential for the health and wellness of those living with Type I and Type II diabetes.

“Diabetic shoes help decrease the risk of foot ulcers, lesions and offer support and protection that minimize the impact on high-pressure areas of the foot,” said Beverly Helms, who owns Grand Prosthetics and Orthotics LightWeight Artificial Limbs and Braces with her husband, Dave Helms.

I’ve built a couple of street rods, so we had that in common. We’re both Rotarians, so we’ve just always known each other.”

Bob admits he might be a little biased because he considers Dave and Beverly Helms friends, but he said even if he didn’t know them personally, there isn’t anywhere else in the world he would trust for his diabetic shoes and inserts.

“I know their interactions with all clients are the same,” he said. “They’re a top-performing prosthetics shop, and they’ve been doing

Bob Brogdon of Grove, Oklahoma, has been wearing diabetic shoes from Grand Prosthetics for about five years, and the specially designed shoes have helped keep him healthy and active.

“When I found out I could get diabetic shoes through the VA, I made an appointment with my doctor and told him I wanted to get them from Grand Prosthetics,” Bob said. “I get a new pair every six months, and they feel good. They’re comfortable and help prevent lesions or other foot injuries, so they’ve been great for maintaining my health.”

Bob is a veteran who served in both the Air Force and the Army. He joined the Air Force while still in high school and shipped out one week after his high school graduation in 1971. During his time in the Air Force, he held several roles in the fire department and spent a year serving in Korea. In 1976, he got out of the Air Force and joined the Army because he wanted to fly.

“It sounds backwards,” he said with a laugh. “I wanted to fly in Korea, but I could only fly in the Army, not the Air Force. So, once I joined the Army, I went to flight school and flew helicopters until 1983.”

In 1995, Bob, a lifelong Californian, moved to Grove, Oklahoma, where his parents had relocated some years before. It wasn’t long after settling down in Oklahoma that Bob met Dave Helms.

“Dave and I are both car guys,” Bob said. “He builds street rods, and

it a long, long time. And they take care of everything. If they don’t get the right form from the doctors, for example, they’ll handle all the necessary paperwork to make sure you’re taken care of. They’re truly concerned about the customer getting better.”

Today, Bob and his wife, Geneva, are busy running two businesses and keeping up with 12 grandchildren. Bob is able to live his very full life thanks to diabetic shoes that keep him active and on his feet.

74 Health SMTO 5 E a s t 1 4 t h S t G r o v e O k 7 4 3 4 4 A R T I F I C I A L L I M B S & B R A C E S 918 786 4626 ) ( T I F I E D L I C E N S E D H E L M S FA M I LY O W N E D & O P E R AT E D - F R E E C O N S U LTAT I O N S I am glad a f ri e nd told me abou t... “ “ www .G rand P ro. com & O rthoti cs O rthoti cs
“They’re comfortable and help prevent lesions or other foot injuries, so they’ve been great for maintaining my health.”
– Bob Brogdon, Grand Prosthetics customer
Bob Brogdon (third from left) with Dave and Beverly Helms (fourth and fifth from left) at the groundbreaking ceremony for Grove’s F4 Phantom Memorial Display

Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Driving Up Homelessness Statistics

Once upon a time, people living on the streets were thought to be homeless because of being down on their luck or losing a job. Today, the reasons are totally different.

Two things driving homelessness are addiction and mental illness, and often those two illnesses co-exist. Both situations lead to the homeless person struggling to get help. Until communities address those two factors, homelessness isn’t going to get better.

“Here in Joplin, they want to do a homeless study and hire a consultant to help us solve this problem,” Teddy Steen, executive director of ASCENT Recovery Residences said. “We have had consultants for all kinds of things, and I think our money could be better spent. We should be putting more of it toward substance use/mental health and having programs and living communities. It should be a program not just a house.”

Steen discovered the homeless coalition doesn’t have any members from the substance use field and hopes to join the committee. Because she works with homeless addicts, many with co-occurring mental health issues, she sees the drugs on the street these days could be a fast track to a drug-induced mental illness.

Fox News released a report ( December 13 that highlighted two more factors driving up the homeless rate. The article title, “Fentanyl and a stronger form of meth now driving American homeless crisis” details how the potent drugs are driving addicts to the streets because they are unable to function normally.

From the article:

According to a 2022 analysis by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the country’s homeless population fell from a high of over 647,000 in 2007 to nearly 550,000 in 2016. Now the homeless population has seen a resurgence in the years since, rising again to over 580,000 by 2020, the most recent year the organization was able to compile complete data.

An article titled “Substance Abuse & Homelessness: Statistics & Rehab Treatment” from gives some updated statistics.

Current and accurate rates on the coexistence of homelessness and addiction can be difficult to determine due to the nature of these two conditions. Generally speaking, available statistics indicate that rates of addiction are higher in people who are homeless.

• The 2020 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) reports that on a single night in 2020, 580,000 people experienced homelessness in the U.S.

• According to the 2013 AHAR, 257,000 people who were homeless had a severe mental illness or a chronic substance abuse issue.

• The 2015 AHAR reports that more than half of adults living in permanent supportive housing (an intervention that provides affordable housing to chronically homeless people) had a mental health disorder or a co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder.

• According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), 38 percent of homeless people abused alcohol while 26 percent abused other drugs.

• A 2014 report from the United States Conference of Mayors indicates substance abuse was one of the top three causes of homelessness in single people as well as families.

Just building or supplying houses for the majority of the homeless won’t fix the problem. The solution is addressing the root of the problem, which is helping those with substance abuse disorders and/or mental illnesses.

“People want to play it off that they (homeless) are victims,” Steen said. “They are victims of addiction/mental illness. But, those can be stabilized with the proper care. For that to happen, there has to be some accountability on their part. When a person is given everything and they have no skin in the game, there is no motivation to change. Through accountability and proper treatment, they can regain their dignity and their life.”

January 2023 • • 75

The Great



You have a choice in how you use your time this year. You can spend your time worrying about the economy, politicians, COVID, the flu or the mess this crazy world is in. Or, you can spend your time teaching others how to enjoy our great outdoors. You could even learn to do something new in the outdoors you’ve always wanted to do.

You can spend your time in front of the television watching what is supposed to be funny but isn’t, watch a horrendous crime or listen to negative news that depresses you. Or, you can spend time camping with your family, watching the stars or a beautiful sunset reflecting in the water as you reel in a fish.

You can spend your time texting or getting on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and all the other ways you can communicate through social media. Or, you can go hiking or hunt with friends, talking face-to-face about the mountain vistas or the wildlife you see. What 2023 brings to you in your personal life is up to you.


I recently read an article in Reader’s Digest magazine that shocked me. It said more than 3.5 billion people worldwide spend an average of three hours a day glued to their smartphones on social media, texting and checking emails.

The article went on to say according to a study, there are several good reasons to limit smartphone usage by at least one hour every day. The research found by doing so, people were happier, spent more time being physically active, were less depressed and reduced anxiety symptoms by more than 30%. If you quit watching the national and local news


on television, it will help even more. Is there no good news in the world or locally to report?

Pronounce me guilty because I am one of those who spends three hours a day on their smartphone. My smartphone is in my back pocket or always within reach. I am not into all the social media stuff. I do some texting, but not much. I also check my emails when it lets me know I have one and answer the phone when it rings. Instead of pictures in my wallet, I look at memories with kids and grandkids on my smartphone.

I love it. All I can do with it amazes me. Being the outdoor guy I am, I use it for taking pictures of nature, wildlife, scenery, campfires, star-filled nights, sunrises and sunsets. They are better than any expensive camera I have ever owned. I can unblur my photos, remove things I do not want in my photo and lots more.

I use it to record the sounds of nature: Flowing water, birds singing, owls hooting, crows calling, turkeys gobbling, coyotes howling, thunder and lightning. The sound quality is as good as any recording studio. I can also take outdoor videos to enjoy later or add the sounds I have recorded or music to them to make nature videos. I also use it for making notes or recording myself with ideas for future outdoor articles.

Did I mention all the Missouri hunting and fishing seasons are on my smartphone calendar? If I am where I can get a signal, I can click on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s MO Fishing, MO Hunting and MO Outdoors apps to find places to go and what they offer. I can also get an update on the weather.

So, I am happy outdoors with my smartphone. I spend more time being physically active out in the great outdoors. You cannot be depressed when you are out in nature. I only have anxiety if a bear comes walking on the same trail I am on. There are lots of other ways to use your smartphone that are fun and productive. Be smart with your smartphone.


When you develop a relationship with nature, you will begin to feel a pull. The force begins to call to you and pull you away from the chaotic monotony of everyday life. There is no better escape than God’s great outdoors.


Winter is a great time to get ready for future backpacking trips. Walk every day or use a treadmill, stair stepper or stairs. When closer to the time for your backpacking trip, add a loaded pack to your routine to help add more strength to your legs and so your back and shoulder muscles get adjusted to the load.

As ice drips from your roof and snow covers the ground, think of a gurgling stream, the magic of a crackling fire and a million stars in the sky, and all that preparation will be worth it.


Coyotes are predators with little or no competition, and their population is exploding. They are adaptable animals found throughout the entire United States. That includes urban America.

Each coyote needs 2-3 pounds of food per day. They will eat trash, cat and dog food, your cat and dog, rabbits, newborn calves, other livestock and even full- grown deer. In some places, they are responsible for up to 96% of deer fawn mortality. They will travel up to 100 miles to find their next meal.

A female coyote can birth four to 12 coyotes in a litter. The average lifespan of a wild coyote is 10 years, and they are ready to mate at 20 months. That means a female coyote can potentially give birth to more than 120 coyotes in its lifetime. Their only natural predators are bears, mountain lions and wolves, which do little to control them. It is a problem that needs our help as hunters and even learning to be a trapper.


January 2023 • • 77
“Technology should be your servant, not your master.”


The Midwest holds a regrettable loss when it comes to nature and traditional landscapes. Tallgrass prairies were prevalent through Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, southern Minnesota and the eastern regions of Kansas and Oklahoma. Tallgrass prairies are now one of the most critically endangered habitats in the world. Readers of nature magazines and many school children know about the demise of the rainforest in southeast Asia, the Republic of Congo and the Amazon, but few can describe the difference between our native prairies and the common pastures we see around Joplin, Missouri. Historically, a third of Missouri was prairie, and much of the treed area we call woodlands and savannas in our state had prairie vegetation among the scattered oak and hickory trees. Today, less than half of 1% of original prairie is left to represent our natural heritage. Non-profit groups like The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the MO Prairie Foundation have made great strides saving important pieces of this unique ecotype and important biodiversity. One feature that separates a prairie from the average grassland we see idle or livestock grazing is the sheer number of native grasses and flowers (forbs) making up the native remnants. An easy thirdgrade ecology lesson examining food chains teaches all of us those diverse plant species are linked further to each other: fungi, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals …

The relationship of land features, weather and life forms is fascinating in ecology. And it is these relationships that built large numbers. It’s hard to imagine the scale and large population of American buffalo, prairie chickens, elk, etc., that inhabited the Midwest. We would have had huge flocks of shorebirds, swans, terns and gull species coming through similar to how we witness snow geese today. Just in recent

Field notes by Jeff Cantrell; photos courtesy of the Missouri Dept. of Conservation

decades, we have lost the “sheets” of migrating monarch butterflies undulating on pillars of sky traveling through the Show Me region in late September and October.

The high numbers of abundance were signs of the richness of the land and soil. Certainly, prairie ecosystems have built America’s bread basket, and we are fortunate now to recognize the value of prairie and prairie species. I urge concerned readers to visit the area parcels saved by the MO Prairie Foundation here locally, and if traveling in northern Missouri, Dunn Ranch is owned and managed by TNC, and it’s amazing in the spring. I often take people out to the Prairie Foundation lands, and I hope to teach another teacher course at Dunn Ranch this coming September. We appreciate members of these organizations for being true heroes of nature and science. The biodiversity is important and even through naturescaping our flowerbeds in urban areas, we can assist some of these traditional food web roles for our pollinators. Native asters, violets, coneflowers and blazing star help replace a few missing pieces that are essential for a functioning environment.

If people would like to see a glimpse of the sheer numbers a prairie habitat can hold, I would advise some road trips to a prairie

this January to kick your new year off. We’ve lost our nesting harriers and short-eared owls as the prairie declined. Although we don’t have these birds year-round now, they still migrate here from far north and spend the winter with us on our remaining grasslands.

Short-eared owls are a surprise for many people. They may be seen in high-quality prairies at sunrise and sunset. Their flight is like a large moth or butterfly, and they have a toy poodlelike bark they vocalize in the evening air. They, among so many other prairie life forms, give us a treasure to look for this winter and a good reason to fight cabin fever and enjoy the outdoors (even in the cold!).

Have a fantastic New Year! Make some resolutions to include our natural areas and wildlife. I hope to see you outside enjoying the owls, prairie sunsets and so much more. – Jeff

Jeff Cantrell is an outdoor educator and naturalist in Southwest Missouri. He works for the Missouri Deptartment of Conservation and may be reached at the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin, Missouri. Contact Jeff at


January 2023 • • 79
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Your Realtor FOR LIFE


Iwill admit it, I am addicted to HGTV. Oh, sure, I get a little exasperated when they feature a couple home buying. “He collects butterflies, and she makes mosaics out of Smart Tarts. Their budget is one million dollars.”

Those episodes drive me crazy.

But when it comes to fresh tips and trends, HGTV is a great resource for ideas. On HGTV the homes look professionally staged, and most likely are. However, there are many ways that you can do the work yourself and make it stand out to potential buyers.

This month we’ll explore seven tips, courtesy of HGTV, for staging your home for sale. All tips designed with your budget in mind.

Focus on the Kitchen Kitchens are usually where the family spends the most time. Kitchens sell houses! Instead of cluttered countertops, show off storage capabilities. Move small countertop appliances to convey wide open spaces. Give your cabinets a fresh coat of paint and new, updated handles and pulls. Take a good look at your faucet. If it’s corroded, it gives the impression of un-cleanliness and lack of maintenance. Swap it out for one with style and added function. Give your backsplash a new look, by using inexpensive options such as peel-and-stick faux tile, tin tile, bead board paneling, or try painting the existing tile.

You’re not running a furniture store. Remember, you trying to sell a house, not furniture. You want to sell the concept of space. Remove half of the furniture to make the rooms look larger (especially if you have oversized furniture that overpowers the rooms). Buyers are trying

to gain more space, so it’s important that your home look spacious. De-clutter, by removing excess magazines from tables and tone down the number of throw pillows.

Shake things up. Consider changing the current layout of your furniture. Don’t be afraid to experiment with pulling furniture away from the walls and floating it. Remember to pull out excess furniture. Use that opportunity to consider rearranging furniture into conversation areas. This will give a more user-friendly look, while giving the room a larger conceived appearance.

Every home NOW must have: Office Space

In the past few years, our homes have become where we learn and earn. Zoom is here to stay. Whether it’s a dedicated quiet space for the adults to work from, or an efficient classroom for home schooling, every home needs a home office. Even if you can’t dedicate a full room for a home office, try creative ways to carve out space in a corner, in a nook, or even a closet

Make Bathrooms Shine

These rooms need a little elbow grease. If your bathroom doesn’t sparkle, it could turnoff potential buyers. Remove hard-water stains from faucets. Reduce clutter on countertop and in drawers. Invest in new shower curtains, rugs and bathmats. An inexpensive tube of grout will conceal discolored grout. Tile can often be painted. Remove moldy caulk around the tub or shower, removing it with a razor blade, followed by re-caulking.

Light the


Lighting makes a home look warm and inviting. Check your light bulbs. Aim for a total of 100 watts for every 50 square feet. You want more than two light fixtures per room, when possible. Aim for three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).

Use Curtains to Make Rooms Look Larger

Use drapes that are the same color as your walls to give a continuous hue to make space look wider. Create the illusion of height by hanging drapes above the window. They should start at the ceiling and just barely brush the floor. Avoid curtains gathering on the floor.

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