Show Me the Ozarks - May 2024

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May 2024 • Volume 23 • Issue 9 22ND Annual 4-States Baby Contest winner Karson FEATURING Joplin & Northeast Oklahoma Ask the Expert


May 2024 • • 5
Joplin, MO 525 S Broadway Pittsburg, KS www comeaujewelrycompany com
1936 Rangeline Rd
May 2024 • • 7 Offer of credit is subject to credit approval. Bank NMLS #539634 Kelly Garst VP | Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS# 570206 JOPLIN OFFICE: 417.553.2106 | NEOSHO OFFICE: 417.451.2025 CELL: 417.437.5764 AND WE’D LOVE TO HELP YOU GET THERE! Come in and visit with our home loan lender or scan the QR code to get connected! HOME IS CALLING...


About the Cover

With that sweet smile, Karson is this year’s first-place winner. Karson loves the outdoors and playing baseball and swimming.

Karson and our other contestants helped support our local Children’s Miracle Network hospital through their entry fees. Check out all the adorable babies in the Four-State Area.


30 22nd Annual 4-States Baby Contest

Featuring Joplin

46 Joplin Memorial Run comes to an end after 13 years

48 Why I Run - John Motazedi Challenged Himself to Go From Sitting to Running

50 Route 66 Centennial excitement builds with Street Painting Showcase

52 National Corvette Convention cruises into Joplin

54 The Creative Edge: Jerg and Joan: Laughing through life together

56 Head Coach Emily Killion takes reins of Joplin senior girls volleyball

57 Faces & Places: Comedy for Camp

58 Joplin Business Spotlights

Featuring Oklahoma

62 Summertime Fun in the Sun at 7th Annual Toes in The Grand Festival

64 Magical Fairy Festival comes to life at Lendonwood Gardens

66 Oklahoma Business Spotlights

features SMTO contents May 2024
30 36 73


14 Calendar of Events: Farmers markets are in full swing, and you can enjoy fresh, locally grown produce from local growers. Spend time outdoors learning about nearby critters that slither, pinch or fly, and learn about and purchase native plants. If you’re looking for indoor activities, make a special gift for Mom or make something unique for yourself at a local art workshop. May is for making memories in the Four States! 17 Connect2Culture presents ...

Cultural Arts and Entertainment

Northeast Oklahoma Events Home/Lifestyle

23 Tastes of the Four States - Casa Montez

24 Show Me Dining Guide

68 Your House ... Your Home - Pretty and Tasty Home Gardening

76 The Great Outdoors - Wind songs sweeping through the valley

78 A Naturalist Voice - A little insight to the path of adulthood

Can you find it?


22 Recipe: Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa


72 Building recovery-friendly communities: Recently retired counselor Mark McDonald embarks on new business

73 Celebrating community wellness, St. Patrick’s Day and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States

Fit for Life: Carrots: A popular superfood

other great reads

chose us: Babysitting leads to becoming a party of six

knows no boundaries: A journey of

Find the GREEN smiley face on one of our pages. Email 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!

Congratulations to Lawanna Limback, the winner of the April edition Find the Green Smiley Face contest. Lawanna wins a gift certificate to McAlister’s Deli in Joplin, Missouri. The Green Smiley was on page 39 in the lower right corner of the page, next to the yellow flowers.

May 2024 • • 9 in
every edition
70 Health
20 Experience Carthage 21 Joplin Arts District 28 Things
Love 36 Adoption
38 Love
40 Ask The Expert 71 Bringing Triumph Out of Tragedy
adoption and family
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Kevin Elrod Staff

Show Me The Ozarks Magazine is published monthly by Legacy Publishing, PO Box 3325, Joplin, MO 64803. Copyright 2024 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.
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. The Ozarks Magazine Since 2001
May 2024 • • 11

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“Time and tide wait for no man.”
Chaucer, English author and poet

For many of us, May is a month filled with milestones and momentous occasions. Graduations, Memorial Decorations and Mother’s Day give us plenty of chances to celebrate our loved ones. This month also marks our 22nd Annual 4-States Baby Contest, starting on page 30. Proud moms, dads, nanas and papas submitted pictures of over 100 adorable little ones. This cuteness overload is for a great cause and has raised more than $25,000 for Children’s Miracle Network over the years!

Beyond pictures of pets and babies, our readers also share their personal stories with us, with you. Whether it’s teachers or coaches, city leaders, or artists introduced through our Creative Edge features—we are honored to provide a small glimpse into the lives of your friends and neighbors. We trust that you’ll be inspired by the heartwarming stories of the two adoptive families we profile starting on page 36. As an adoptive mother myself, it was a precious reminder of how God miraculously creates families. It also made me think about how quickly time passes; see me trying to hold on to my son above. In the long busy days of motherhood, it can feel like one minute you’re holding them in your arms, and before you know it, they’re ready to fly and find their way. Savor the moments, mamas, they go by way too quickly!

Can you believe it’s been 13 years since the devastating tornado struck Joplin in May 2011? On page 46, you’ll find the details for the final Freeman Joplin Memorial Run. Race Director Ruth Sawkins is proud of the top-notch event that’s raised more than $300,000 over the years to benefit relief and rebuilding efforts and other community programs. Dr. Phillip McClendon lost his home in the tornado, and his devotional on page 71 reflects on what’s been accomplished thanks to the hope and resiliency of community members.

Other key events happening throughout the region this month, include the 7th Annual Toes in the Grand Festival in Grove, Oklahoma (page 62), and a National Corvette Convention will have Downtown Joplin buzzing on May 16 (page 52). You can enjoy a truly unique outdoor concert experience thanks to our friends at Connect2Culture (page 17) or stroll through a magical fairy world at Lendonwood Gardens (page 64).

We are grateful to our business, nonprofit and civic partners who help us by sharing and promoting their events and activities. Our readers tell us that Show Me The Ozarks Magazine is a go-to source as they plan. No matter what’s on your calendar, I hope you make the most of the time and make precious memories with those you love!


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What’s Happening Calendar of Events SMTO

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.

Support Your Local Farmers Market

Bentonville, AR: Saturday 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Bentonville City Square, 100 S. Main St. 479.222.0946.

Gravette, AR: Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Old Town Park, 110 Park Drive. 479.787.8998.

Rogers, AR: Wednesday and Saturday 7 a.m.-1 p.m., 100 N. Dixieland Rd. 479.246.8383.

Pittsburg, KS: Saturday 8 a.m.-noon, 11th & Broadway streets. 620.231.8310.

Carthage, MO: Wednesday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., north side of the historic Carthage square.

Joplin, MO: Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Empire Market, 931 E. Fourth Street.

Lamar, MO: Saturday 8:30 a.m.-noon, Moore Pavilion, 10th & Poplar Street. 417.682.3579.

Monett, MO: Starting May 16: Saturday 8 a.m.-noon and Tuesday, TBD, South Park by the YMCA parking lot.

Neosho, MO: Starting May 7: Saturday 9 a.m.-noon., directly across from the library downtown.

Webb City, MO: Tuesday 4-7 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-noon, pavilion at the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park.

Grove, OK: Starting May 6: Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m., downtown. Quapaw, OK: First and third Fridays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 326 Main St. 918.238.3168.

Northwest Arkansas

May 24-26: Bentonville Bike Fest, Applegate Property located at 1770 SW Second. Drawing in more than 15,000 attendees from across the nation, with 1,500 racers representing 48 states and 15 countries, this event has become a highlight of the local community and the entire state. Boasting a range of activities tailored to everyone’s interests, this festival has cemented Bentonville’s title as the Mountain Bike Capital of the World. More information:

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

Monday, Wednesday & Friday Pickleball, 6-10 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 1-3 p.m., and Sunday 1-6 p.m. Tuesday yoga 6 p.m.

First Saturday of each month: Carl Junction Lions Breakfast, 8-11 a.m. The CJ Lions Club sponsors a monthly buffet breakfast with proceeds going to various community organizations and projects. Adults and children 11 and up, $7; children ages 3-10, $3; children under 3 eat free.

Baxter Springs, KS

May 31: Spring River Community Green Zone Training, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Crossroads Christian Church, 8448 SE Hwy Alt 69. Lunch provided. Community Green Zone Advocacy Training will empower Cherokee County residents and those in surrounding counties to support veterans as they transition from military to civilian life. Learn military familiarization, communication and military terminology, questions not to ask, how employers can use veteran skill sets and much more. For information: 620.848.2315 or

Joplin, MO

Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center, 201 W. Riviera Drive, Joplin. 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 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday and most state holidays. Call 417.629.3434, email or visit for upcoming events. The parking lot, grounds and trail are open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

May 2: Virtual Program: Fish Cooking 101, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. Whether you are camping, fishing, hunting or enjoying your backyard, this program will add another element to your


outdoor experience. We will cover all four of the fish cooking programs that were held in April.

May 9: Virtual Program: Fish Cleaning 101, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. This session will focus on cleaning skinned fish, with an emphasis on catfish. We will look at standard equipment needed and common methods of cleaning these fish.

May 11: Birds & Brews, 8-10 a.m. Registration required. Ages 14-up. Enjoy some coffee while learning about birds. Explore the world of spring bird migration during a short walk through Shoal Creek. This easy-rated walk will be about one mile long on some uneven trail surfaces. Bring your binoculars, or a pair can be provided during the program. This event is hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation, Ozark Gateway Audubon Chapter and Wildcat Glades Nature Group.

May 15: Virtual Program: Where Can I Purchase Native Plants, 12-12:30 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. We will look at the benefits of native plants and where to purchase them.

May 15: Virtual Program: Bushcraft Skills Series – Knife, Axe and Saw, 6-7 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. This is the first in a multi-part series on primitive bushcraft skills. In part one, we will discuss knife, axe and saw safety while performing various bushcraft skills and tasks.

May 17: Little Acorns: Night Noises, 10:30-11 a.m. Registration required. Recommended for ages 3-7. Join us to learn about the critters of the night and the noises they make. You will also make a craft to take home.

May 21: Conservation in the Parks: Birds & Nests, 10:30-noon. Registration required. Ages 5-up. Join us to look for birds of all kinds and the signs of their nests at Mercy Park. Conservation in the Parks is a partnership event hosted by Joplin Parks and Recreation, Missouri Department of Conservation and Wildcat Glades Nature Group.

May 25: Native Plant Sale, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12up. Drop by this free event to purchase native plants for your landscaping needs. Vendors will offer hardy plants native to Missouri and provide information about the benefits of planting native species. Or pre-order the native plants for your landscaping needs and they will be available for you to pick up. Also, please check with the Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and Ozark Soul Native Plants to see what is available, and pre-purchase your native plants from them.

May 29: Virtual Program: Bushcraft Skills Series – Atlatl: History and Now, 12-1 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. The is the second in a multi-part series on primitive skills and bushcraft. In part two, we will discuss this fascinating hunting technique (Atlatl, or spear thrower), its origin, how to build one, modern usage and more.

May 31: Virtual Program: Snakes of Missouri, 11 a.m.-noon. Registration required. Ages 12-up. What’s scaly, can scurry quickly and some people think are scary? Snakes. Most snakes in Missouri are harmless and play an important role in our ecosystems. Join us to learn more about these often-misunderstood reptiles and see live snakes during this webinar. Must register with a valid email address to receive the program link.

May 31: Snakes Alive, 6-7:30 p.m. Registration required. Ideal for ages 5-up. See live snakes at the Shoal Creek Center. Most snakes in Missouri are harmless and play an important role in our ecosystems. Join us to learn more about these often-misunderstood reptiles and see snakes in person.

George Washington Carver National Monument Visitor Center Free Programs. Two miles west of Diamond, Missouri, on Highway V, onequarter mile south on Carver Road. Visitor center and park grounds open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 417.325.4151 or visit *Programs presented outside on park grounds.

May 4 & 5: Who was George Washington Carver, 1 p.m. World-renowned agricultural scientist, passionate educator and dedicated mentor. George Washington Carver was all these and so much more. Join a park ranger to discover more about this visionary.

May 2024 • • 15

May 11 & 12: Expressions of the Soul, 1 p.m. George Washington Carver had a passion for art and believed his creations were expressions of his soul.

May 18 & 19: History of the Carver Family Cemetery, 1 p.m. Join a park ranger at the Carver Family Cemetery. Explore the cemetery and learn about some of the early residents of the Diamond Grove community.

May 25: Historic Neosho Schoolhouse, 11:30 a.m. Join a park ranger at 639 Young St. in Neosho, Missouri, and learn about the school and neighborhood that supported the education of African American children, including George Washington Carver.

May 26: Historic Neosho Schoolhouse, 1 p.m. Held at the visitor center, this program discusses the school and neighborhood that supported the education of African American children, including George Washington Carver.

ArtForms Gallery Workshops, 620 N. Broadway, Pittsburg, KS. 620.240.0165. ArtForms Gallery is a co-op of artists offering monthly workshops ranging from acrylic painting, watercolor, glass fusing, pottery, metalsmithing, jewelry, textiles, kids’ art and more. Call ArtForms Gallery to register for any artist’s workshop. Refunds/cancellations: Decisions regarding refunds and cancellations are determined by the artist leading the workshop. For more information, check the Facebook page at ArtFormsGallery620/ or go to

Every Tuesday (May 7, 14, 21 & 28): Art Explorations, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Free. Join Gallery Artist Pat Glick every Tuesday afternoon for a fun time working on your own project or art.

May 4: String Pull Fluid Art, 2-4 p.m. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of 10. Ages 16-up. Artist: Debbie Southard. String Pull is done by pulling a string, chain or bead through paint to make a floral look. This technique is dynamic and versatile. The thicker the string, the larger the image. This technique is varied and can produce unique patterns for your pours.

May 11: Medium Round Wood-burned Wall Hanger, 2-6 p.m.

Workshop fee $50, due at time of registration. Class limit of six. Ages 14up. Artist: Ashley Denham. Use a stencil to draw out a design, then use a wood-burning tool to burn the design in. This will take a bit of time to outline and shade in. Wire will be added for wall hanging.

May 12: Mother’s Day Mushrooms, 1-3 p.m. Workshop fee $30, due at time of registration. Class limit of six. Ages 16-up. Artist: Brenda Hayes. Join Brenda to make a fabulous fabric mushroom ornament. You will take felt and fiber and, with hand stitching, create a one-of-a-kind treasure. All supplies will be furnished.

May 19: Yarn Painting, 1-4 p.m. Workshop fee $35, due at time of registration. Class limit of 10. Ages 10-up. Note: Anyone younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult. An adult simply accompanying a child is not required to pay the fee unless they also participate in the workshop. Artist: Neva Rowland. Attendees will sketch their design onto a small canvas board and then glue on their chosen yarn colors to achieve interesting and unique patterns. All materials provided.

May 23: Small Wood-burned Wall Hanger, 4-6 p.m. Workshop fee $30, due at time of registration. Class limit of six. Ages 14-up. Artist: Ashley Denham. Use small stencils to set a design, then use wood-burning tools to burn the design into wood. Will attach a wire for wall hanging.

May 28-31: Young Artist Camp – Let’s Paint, 9-10 a.m. for 6-9-year olds, 10:30 a.m.-noon for 10–12 year olds and 1-3 p.m. for 13-17 year olds. Workshop fee $60, due at time of registration. Artist: Nicole Meyer-Foresman. Students of all ages will be given artistic license to unleash their creativity while learning new techniques in this painting extravaganza.

Every Thursday, May 30-June 27: Stained Glass Workshop, 3-6 p.m. Workshop fee $150, due at time of registration. Class limit of six. Ages

18-up Artist: Dianne Miller. This 12-15 hour course is five weeks and is for the beginner stained-glass art student or someone who wishes to improve their skills. You will learn to score, break, graze, grind, copper foil and solder your creation. You’ll take home a completed stainedglass panel (approximately 8” x 10”). An emphasis will be placed on glass considerations for different patterns, glass-cutting techniques and the steps to assemble a Tiffany-style glass panel. All tools, glass and supplies provided. Protective eyewear is required. Regular eyeglasses are sufficient. Please do not wear open-toe shoes when working with glass. Class is limited to the first eight participants who pay.

Wildcat Glades Friends Group, 201 Riviera Dr., Joplin, Missouri. All programs are free of charge, unless otherwise noted. Registration is requested. To register, email or visit the Facebook page for online registration options. Robin Standridge, executive director, 417.291.3156.

Various Dates in May: Ongoing Project: Wildcat Park Habitat Restoration & KCU Student Trail Initiative. Wildcat Glades Nature Group, in partnership with Missouri Southern State University and Kansas City University, continues to have work days to remove invasive species at Wildcat Park. The Restoration Plan is an ongoing project that will be carried out over the next 10 years. Workdays are held nearly every Saturday during the spring. If you are interested in becoming involved with the restoration effort, you can check out the Facebook page or email

Every other Saturday at Wildcat Park: KCU Student Trail Workdays. The Kansas City University Students for a Sustainable Future Organization spend every other Saturday at Wildcat Park working on the trails. These future medical professionals work with Wildcat Glades volunteers to remove invasive plant species from the trails, remove graffitti from various surfaces, clean up trash and much more.

May 11: Birds & (Coffee) Brews, 8-10 a.m., Redings Mill Bridge. All ages welcome. Partnership program with Missouri Department of Conservation and Ozark Audubon Society. Enjoy the morning air and be serenaded by nature’s best avian musicians while you sip the finest drinks Pearl Coffee has to offer on the historic Redings Mill Bridge. No need to register. Email any questions to

May 11: Yoga in Nature for Kids, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. Free. For ages 4 and up accompanied by an adult. Led by Amanda, a registered yoga teacher, this class is designed to incorporate elements of fun, breathing and yoga poses specifically for kids. Must pre-register. Sign up by following the instructions on the Facebook page, by visiting or by emailing

May 11 & 15: Preschool Connections: Sunflowers, May 11, 1-2 p.m. and May 15, 10-11 a.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. Free. For ages 3-up. Sponsored by Calvin Cassady. Follow the adventures of Squirm the Squirrel as he finds his favorite sunflower seed. After the story, it’s time to sing a song and plant your very own magic sunflower. Must preregister by visiting or by emailing

May 21: Conservation in the Parks: Barn Swallows, 10-11 a.m., Mercy Park. For ages 13-up. Partnership program with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Spring is a great time to get out to look for birds, both migratory and the ones that nest here year-round. Join us to look for birds of all kinds and the signs of their nests at Mercy Park. Must pre-register by visiting or by emailing

May 25: Nature Explorers: Crawdads, 10-11 a.m., Wildcat Glades Pavilion. Free. All ages welcome. Crawdads, crayfish, crawfish, craydads … it doesn’t matter what you call them, they’ll still be snippy. At this month’s Nature Explorers, we’ll wade into a shallow stream and observe crawdads in their own habitat. Must pre-register by visiting NatureExplorersCrawdads or by emailing


The The

presents... Concert Truck

Grab a 16-foot box truck, add some lights and a sound system. Don’t forget a piano. That’s what pianists Nick Luby and Susan Zhang did when they were searching for a way to share the power of music with more people. Suddenly, they found themselves with a traveling music venue, a truck that became a fully functioning mobile concert hall, which they have since used to strengthen communities and make live music accessible to everyone.

Since then, The Concert Truck has traveled the country presenting concerts at music and art festivals, parks, schools and anywhere else you can think of to park a truck. They’ll do that at seven special performances at a number of Joplin locations during their visit May 15 through May 19.

“Connect2Culture is revisiting our nomadic performing arts roots from before we got to our new home at the Cornell Complex,” Executive

Director Emily Frankoski said. “This opportunity will allow Joplin residents and visitors the chance to experience first-hand how music can bring communities together in really fun and amazing ways.”

The Concert Truck will perform at Freeman Health System, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, Third Thursday, Mercy Park, Empire Market, Wildwood Senior Living and Joplin Public Library. Teaching artists Susan Zhang and Gabrielle Chou will play piano four hands and violin/piano duos throughout their time in Joplin.

“These are going to be amazing performances,” Frankoski said.

The Concert Truck team has worked with a number of arts organizations and their communities. They have partnered in the past with the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera, the Seattle Chamber Music Society and many more as they share music and build new audiences with their featured guest artists.

The Concert Truck created an online children’s show in partnership with the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival that has been presented to over 55,000 students in North Carolina schools. And they have worked with major music institutions such as Rice University and New World Symphony to mentor young artists in community engagement and entrepreneurship.

To learn more about The Concert Truck’s Joplin performances, visit or call 417.501.5550.

May 2024 • • 17

This content is also available at

Joplin, MO


May 3: Plain White T’s, 5:30 p.m. (gates 4 p.m.) at Missouri Southern State University Fred G. Hughes Stadium, 3950 E. Newman Rd. The multiplatinum two-time Grammy Award-nominated band Plain White T’s has brought you hits like “Hey There Delilah” and “1, 2, 3, 4.” Tickets available at Tickets: $30. More information: webb-j@mssu. edu, 417.625.9815.

May 3, 4 & 5: “Dido and Aeneas,” First United Methodist Church, 617 S. Main St., Carthage, at 7 p.m. May 3; Northwood Arts and Events Center, 115 N. Wood St., Neosho, at 7 p.m. May 4; and Missouri Southern State University Bud Walton Black Theatre, 3950 E. Newman Rd. at 2 p.m. May 5. Heartland Opera Theatre presents “Dido and Aeneas.” Dido, the queen of Carthage, is hesitant to be coupled with the Trojan Aeneas because she worries it will make her look weak. She eventually accepts his proposal but a sorcerer is plotting to destroy her through a spell that will make Aeneas leave her. More information:

May 3: Joplin High School Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m., Joplin High School Performing Arts Center, 2104 S. Indiana Ave. String-only and full symphonic music. From “All the Pretty Little Horses” to “Rhapsody in Blue,” this concert will be full of great music, including solos and small ensembles from graduating seniors and students who won a gold medal at the State Festival. More information:

May 5: Swan Songs, 4-7 p.m., Landreth Park, 1001 NW Murphy Blvd. The Funkulty, who drew the largest crowd in Porchfest history, together with Sunset Circle and Maddie J Mae, will bring some incredible tunes to Joplin. More information:, 479.366.2005.

May 9: Big Spring Park Free Concert Series: One Penny Shy, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Big Spring Park in Neosho, Missouri. Grab your lawn chairs and join the Neosho Arts Council for an evening of live music. More information:

May 13: Albert Castiglia, 7 p.m. (doors 6:30 p.m.), The Coda Concert House, 2120 E. 24th St. Albert Castiglia’s exceptional instrumental prowess and searing vocals have dazzled audiences from coast to coast. For reservations, email In response, a confirmation email with directions, parking, etc., will be sent. All proceeds benefit the artist performing. More information: info@codaconcerthouse. com.

May 15-19: The Concert Truck. This 16-foot box truck transforms into the ultimate mobile concert hall, inviting audiences to experience firsthand how music can bring communities together in extraordinary ways. May 15: 10 a.m. at Freeman Hospital, 1102 W. 32nd St., and Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, 3401 Newman Rd., at 1 p.m. May 16: 6 p.m. in downtown Joplin on Main Street. May 17: Joplin Senior Center, 2616 S. Picher Ave. at 10 a.m. May 18: Joplin Empire Market, 931 E. 4th St., at 11 a.m. May 19: The Wildwood Senior Living, 3002 S. John Duffy Dr. at 10 a.m. and Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St. at 1 p.m. More information: lauren@, 417.501.5550.

May 15-19: “Promises, Promises,” 7:30 p.m. (Sunday 2:30 p.m.), Joplin Little Theatre, 3009 W. First St. In New York City in the 1960s, an ambitious accountant named Chuck Baxter lends his apartment to his supervisors, who need a discreet place for illicit afternoon rendezvous. Miserable and exploited, Chuck finds a beacon of hope in coworker Fran, who is trapped in a romantic predicament of her own. Reservations encouraged; reserve tickets at or by calling 417.623.3638. Tickets: Adults $18, senior citizens/students $15. More information: info@, 417.623.3638.

May 17: Joplin Improv Live Show, 8 p.m., Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Enjoy happy hour at 7 p.m. Stick around for

a free improvised comedy show. More information: joplinimprov@gmail. com

May 18: “Singing Through the Gospels,” 6 p.m., Missouri Southern State University Taylor Performing Arts Center, 3950 E. Newman Rd. An evening of artistry, encouragement and worship as the Proclamation Youth Choir presents “Singing Through the Gospels.” This choir is comprised of more than 170 voices from across the Four-State Area and is accompanied by skilled musicians on strings, brass, percussion and harp. Prelude instrumental music provided by various members of the choir, beginning at 5:30 p.m. More information:, 417.389.7426.

May 22: Hogslop String Band, 7 p.m. (doors 6:30 p.m.), The Coda Concert House, 2120 E. 24th St. Members of Hogslop String Band walk the line between tradition and bold irreverence, finding their roots in old-time string band music and their energy in wild rock and roll. They thrive on crossing genres, casting off confines and delving into a deep repertoire of rock, folk, psychedelic and original numbers. For reservations, email info@ In response, a confirmation email with directions, parking, etc., will be sent. All proceeds benefit the artist performing. More information:


May 2: Local Color Art Gallery & Studio Spring Open House, 5-8 p.m., Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main St. Participate in an auction benefitting LifeChoices, find the perfect gift for you or someone you love, enjoy refreshments, meet Local Color’s award-winning artists and peruse the spectacular art on display. More information: margiemonet@gmail. com, 417.553.0835.

May 2: First Thursday ArtWalk, 5:30-8:30 p.m., downtown Joplin. Dozens of artists will show or demonstrate their artistic process. All art for sale. Participating artists will be inside various venues along with live, acoustic music from local musicians. Event is held the first Thursday of the month, March through October. Map of participating locations is available at More information: lteeter00@, 417.438.5931.

May 5, 12, 19 & 26: Open Mic Comedy Night, 9 p.m. (sign-up 8:30 p.m.), Blackthorn Pizza & Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave. Join Joplin Comedy and try out your latest stand-up routine or take in the acts of local comedians. Age restrictions: 18+ until 10 p.m., 21+ from 10 p.m. until close. More information:, 417.540.9186.

May 7: Rock Club, 5:30 p.m., Joplin History & Mineral Museum, 504 S. Schifferdecker Ave. Meets at the Joplin History & Mineral Museum the first Tuesday of every month. Club members listen to presentations on various rock-related topics (like faceting gemstones for jewelry making), show off their favorite finds during a show-and-tell portion, help plan upcoming rock shows and enter to win a door prize awarded at the conclusion of each meeting. More information: joplinmuseum@gmail. com, 417.623.1180 X1586.

May 9: Joplin Writers’ Guild, 6 p.m., Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St. Includes a variety of writers from hobbyists to professional, published writers. Members have published novels, nonfiction books and articles. Dues are $10 for the year, but anyone interested can attend their first meeting free. More information:, 417.691.0480.

May 11: Bees & Blossoms Spring Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Joplin Empire Market, 931 E. 4th St. Kick off the growing season and celebrate all things spring! Pick up a free native tree or bush seedling from the Missouri Department of Conservation (while supplies last), view a demonstration hive and discover the magic of beekeeping, pick up a native plant scavenger hunt sheet to see what you can find in your neighborhood, enjoy special goods from vendors and more. More information: ivy@, 417.986.3914.

May 12: 2nd Sunday Cinema (ages 14+), 1-4 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. Seventh St., and 6-9 p.m. at Route 66 Theater, 24 S. Main St. in Webb City. 2nd Sunday Cinema is a monthly


celebration of films produced by regional filmmakers from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Every second Sunday of the month, Great Wonders Productions hosts screenings of films selected by the Uplift Film Fest jury and invites filmmakers for live interviews and Q&As about their films. A portion of the box office sales go to filmmakers to support filmmaking and cinematic storytelling in the Four States. Advance tickets recommended; purchase tickets at Tickets: $10. More information: steve.head@, 417.437.2001.

May 16: Third Thursday, 5:30-8:30 p.m., downtown Joplin. Every third Thursday, March through October, thousands of people gather on Main Street in downtown Joplin to enjoy local artisans, music, entertainment and food. More information:, 417.501.9649.

May 30: Artist Talk with Joan Allen, 6:30 p.m., Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St. Join Post Art Library and Joplin Public Library for an artist talk and closing reception featuring artist Joan Allen and the watercolor paintings in her exhibit, “Artrageous.” More information: jill@, 417.623.7953 X1041.

May 30: Open Mic Night, 7-9:30 p.m., Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Musicians, singers, poets! Performers are each allotted five to eight minutes per set. Two vocal mics, a quarter inch plug-in for guitar/piano and an aux cable are available. To sign up early, message them at All ages welcome. Free. More information:, 417.483.5558.


April 7-May 30: “Faces & Familiar Places” by Rachel Cabral and Shawn Riley, The Maple UnCommon Guest House & Gallery, 120 E. Maple St., Columbus, Kansas. See beautiful, mixed media portraits from artist Rachel Cabral and fine art photography, featuring several images from Columbus, Kansas, taken by photographer Shawn Riley. More information:, 620.762.3782.

April 4-May 30: “Artrageous” by Joan Allen, Joplin Public Library Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery, 1901 E. 20th St. Post Art Library and Joplin Public Library present “Artrageous,” an exhibit featuring the watercolor paintings of artist Joan Allen. In addition to exhibiting her artwork, Joan teaches techniques in painting and drawing. The public is invited to an artist talk and closing reception in the gallery May 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. More information: jill@, 417.623.7953 X1041.


May 10: Watercolor Painting Class with Joan Allen, 1-3 p.m., Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main St. Learn how to use watercolors to create your next masterpiece with artist Joan Allen. All supplies provided. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $30.

May 18: Family Fun Painting Class (ages 8+), 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main St. No experience necessary. Local Color artists Jesse McCormick and Margie Moss will help you create your own masterpiece featuring one of hundreds of Impressionist paintings from artists like Van Gogh or Monet. You can also bring your own printed reference photo to paint. All supplies provided, along with a complimentary ice cream cone from Caroline’s. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $30.

May 18: Fused Glass Lantern with Jane McCaulley (ages 10+), 3:305:30 p.m., Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main St. Create your own fused glass lantern, complete with twinkly lights! All supplies provided. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $45.


Create N Sip Studios, 1505 W. 10th St.:

Wednesdays: Wine’d Down Wednesday, 5-9 p.m. A canvas and home decor DIY event. Cost: $28-$58. More information: coleman@creatensip. com, 417.680.5434.

Saturdays: Saturday Morning Choose Your Canvas, 10 a.m. Select the painting you want to recreate. Cost: $28-$176. More information:, 417.680.5434.

Dream Theatre Co., 124 S. Main St.:

Feb. 6-May 17: The Acting Academy, 4-6 p.m. Students work with experienced instructors to adapt children’s literature into public theatrical performances. This class, Class A, meets Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 17. Register at Cost: $120 per month + $25 enrollment fee. More information:

Feb. 7-May 18: The Acting Academy, 4-6 p.m. Students work with experienced instructors to adapt children’s literature into public theatrical performances. This class, Class B, meets Wednesdays and Fridays through May 18. Register at Cost: $120 per month + $25 enrollment fee. More information:

Firehouse Pottery-Joplin, 112 S. Main St.:

Tuesdays: Ladies’ Night Out (ages 18+) until 8 p.m. Enjoy a creative evening. More information:, 417.553.0671.

Fridays: Date Night until 8 p.m. Friday nights are date night 2-for-1 studio fees for all couples. More information: firehousepotteryjoplin@, 417.553.0671.

Judy’s Ballroom Dance, 3950 E. Newman Rd.:

Tuesdays: East Coast Swing with Judy Schneider, 6-7 p.m. Discover the rhythmic and versatile East Coast Swing during this six-week session! This group meets Tuesdays, April 9-May 14. Cost: $75 per person; $50 for students. More information:, 417.392.0215.

Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main St.:

Tuesdays: Beginner Watercolor Class with Barb Hicklin (ages 8+), 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Bring your own supplies. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $20.

Tuesdays: Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor Class, 2 p.m. 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. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $20.

Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. 7th St.:

Tuesdays: Creation Station (ages 6-11), 4-5:15 p.m. Explore the galleries, enjoy fun activities and experiment with a variety of media. Register at Sponsored by Dr. John and Joy Cragin. Cost: In advance $6, at the door $8. More information:, 417.621.9812.

Fridays: Memories in the Making, noon-2 p.m. This art experience is centered on the expression of creativity through painting for those dealing with memory loss. More information:, 417.621.9812.

Tanglefooter’s Round Dance Club, 1802 W. 2nd St.:

Mondays: Tanglefooter’s Round Dance Club, 7-8 p.m. Learn choreographed ballroom dancing with experienced teachers. Cost: Individual $7.50, couple $15. More information:, 417.529.0686.

May 2024 • • 19

Experience Carthage

How is it summer is almost upon us? We have some exciting events and experiences coming to town in the coming months. You will want to come and check out Carthage, Missouri!

First up, Precious Moments’ 2024 Summer Kick-off will be held Saturday, May 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. This one-day summer kick-off event is the perfect way to welcome the summer season. Join us for free family-friendly activities and a special Chapel tour.

Next, Vision Carthage is hosting its first ever Garden in Bloom Tour Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can pre-order tickets at Flowers and beautification are near and dear to this organization’s heart. Vision Carthage has held a Carthage in Bloom award program over the past couple of years to highlight and celebrate the beautiful gardens throughout the city.

Next, save the date for June 7 and 8 when the 47th Annual Carthage Stampede will be in town. This rodeo features bulls, barrels, steer wrestling, calf scramble, open breakaway and team ropin’. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Race Brothers in Carthage. Gates open at 6 p.m. nightly and Mutton Bustin’ begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Carthage Saddle Club Arena off Route 66 in Municipal Park. You can also attend an autograph session at Race Brothers in Carthage Saturday, June 8, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

And last, but certainly not least, it’s all about honoring heritage. The Battle of Carthage Re-enactment will take place Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. Experience living history with a lady’s tea, Civil War ball and camp life drills and demonstrations. Stay around on Sunday for an outdoor Civil War-era church service. Tickets can be purchased at the door, $5 per adult, 12 and under free. To learn more about history, there’s always free admission at the Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum downtown.

To stay connected with Carthage, you can follow Experience Carthage, MO on Facebook and at www.


Where it’s ‘COOL’ to be YOU!

Visit these local establishments to experience a variety of creative events and entertainment this spring:

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


Join us for First Thursday ArtWalk running through Oct. 3 in historical downtown Joplin. And the monthly Third Thursday Main Street festival runs through Oct. 17. Both events happen between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Connect2Culture, 212 W. Seventh St.: The Concert Truck will be in Joplin May 15 through May 18 with performances at Empire Market, Joplin Public Library, Freeman Health System, Mercy Park, The Wildwood Senior Living and Third Thursday.

For event schedule, visit For ticket information and other details, call 417.501.5550. All performances are held in the Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex.

Dream Theatre Troupe, 124 S. Main St.: Attend performances of “Peter Pan,” the classic tale of a young boy who refuses to grow up, May 2, 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 each. RSVP: 417.553.3742.

Keystone Gallery, at 401 S. Main St., is the newest downtown art gallery showing fine art from 22 local artists. Welcome to the Arts District!

Local Color Art Gallery, 1027 S. Main St.: You are invited to attend the spring open house May 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. And join artist Barbara Hicklin for a beginner’s watercolor class on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a $20 fee. Bring your own supplies. Call 417.553.0835 to register for classes.

Spiva Center for the Arts, inside the Cornell Complex, 212 W. Seventh St.: Presents the Four State Photography Enthusiasts juried show “Through the Lens,” with reception May 2, 5:30-7 p.m. May 17-June 8 is a new exhibit “Art Unleashed: Where Creativity Roams Free.” This is an interactive family-oriented exhibition/makerspace.

Urban Art Gallery, 511 S. Main St.: Presents Locations Reimagined, the whimsical mixed media art of Amber Mintert. Meet Amber May 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Music provided by Tough Luck Chuck.

Countryside in the City


• 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 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Convenient parking.

Bar and Restaurant Offerings

Blackthorn Pizza and Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave.:

• Wicked Temptations burlesque showcase May 3 from 10 p.m. to 11:50 p.m. Must be 21+ to purchase tickets, which are $10 to $25.

• Open mic comedy happens for those 21+ May 5 and May 19 beginning at 8:30 p.m.

• The Spooklights appear May 10 at 10 p.m. with a $10 ticket for those 21+.

• Cosmic Cream, a psychedelic rock band from Hot Springs, Arkansas, performs May 11 from 9:00 PM to midnight. Various Blonde, a rock band from Kansas City, will also perform, along with Oklahoma pop rock band, Thru It all.

• Granger and the Ragetones’ perform May 17 at 10 p.m.:00 PM for those 21+.

Contact the venue for details on event cover charges.

Chaos Brewing Company, 122 S. Main St.:

• Play free trivia Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

• May 9 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. is disc golf putting league night with a local putting night competition each month.

• May 17 at 8 p.m. is karaoke from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Dress the era!

Club 609, 609 S. Main St.: The “Not So Broken” exhibit of paintings of Cain Butcher is displayed throughout May. Meet Cain May 2, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave.: Showing Oklahoma artist Lee Bocock’s paintings reflecting her Native American heritage. Meet Lee May 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dwayne Smith will provide music.

530 Somewhere, 530 S. Main St.: Showing mixed media artist Amber Mintert’s show “Thoughtful Places.”

Dance Clubs:

Club XO, 502 S. Joplin Ave.: Second Fridays are Latin Nights, all Fridays are Ladies Free Nights and Saturdays are College Nights. Whiskey Dick’s, 516 S. Joplin Ave.: Outdoors Fridays/Saturdays. Xscape Bar, 530 S. Joplin Ave.: Thursday-Saturday.

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.

May 2024 • • 21

Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Get ready to shake up your family’s taco night with a fresh twist! The juicy chicken and sweet, tangy salsa make for a perfect combination.


For the Chili Lime Chicken:

1 packet of Mojito Lime Marinade Mix (found in most grocery stores)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 pound chicken breast or thighs

For the Grilled Pineapple Salsa:

1/2 ripe pineapple, trimmed and sliced

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered


Marinate the Chicken:

Prepare the marinade as directed on package and add chili powder.

In a bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat. Let it marinate for 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Grill the Chicken: Grill the marinated chicken for

1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut in half

1 whole jalapeno

1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

about 4-5 minutes on each side, until it is cooked through. Remove from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Make the Grilled Pineapple Salsa: Brush the pineapple slices, red bell pepper quarters, red onion halves and jalapeno with olive oil. Grill them until charred and tender, 3-4 minutes per side for

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

For Assembly:


Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Additional toppings: diced onions, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream.

the pineapple and pepper, and 5-6 minutes for the onion and jalapeno. Remove the grilled pineapple, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno from the grill and let them cool slightly.

Dice the grilled pineapple, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno. In a bowl, combine them with chopped cilantro, lime juice, ground ginger, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Assemble the Tacos: Heat the tortillas on the stove or in the microwave.

Top each tortilla with chicken, grilled pineapple salsa, cheese and toppings of your choice.


Casa Montez

Casa Montez is a perfect destination for Cinco de Mayo and beyond. You can’t talk about Mexican food in Joplin without mentioning Casa Montez. This beloved establishment has been part of the community since 1965. In December 2021, owners David and Cindy Amayo reopened the restaurant at a new location on South Main, and locals enthusiastically welcomed its return. The idea to reopen the restaurant stemmed from the overwhelming demand for their famous cheese dip. Cindy Amayo says friends and former patrons constantly requested its return, and to meet that queso craving, David started making it and making a mess in Cindy’s kitchen. Reopening Casa Montez satisfied the community’s hunger for their cherished cheese dip and other favorites and gave Cindy her kitchen back.

In the beginning of the new era of Casa Montez, the team created a menu that focused on a shorter list of fresh, daily-made dishes. As they adapted to the new space, they added some customer favorites back to the menu, such as the Machaca burrito and Montez salad. Today, Cindy says they offer nearly every dish from their original menu, keeping Casa Montez customers happy and full.

During my visit, I tried some delicious classic dishes. The Chimichanga Dinner was my favorite. Every bite of the chicken-filled crispy fried tortilla and creamy homemade sauce was a treat. I also enjoyed the Chicken Enchiladas, which were new to me and very tasty. The Original Chili Relleno had just the right heat and the perfect red sauce. Lastly, the chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas were delicious for those looking for variety and flavor.

Casa Montez’s popularity is well deserved. It’s simply too good for Joplin to forget. If you’re craving Mexican food, stop by to enjoy the new warm and welcoming space. Whether you’re dining indoors or on the outdoor patio, which is perfect for warmer weather, you’ll feel right at home.

May 2024 • • 23
>> Casa Montez • 4224 S. Main St. • Joplin, MO • 417.624.2272 • Open Tuesday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

ShowMe Dining Guide

Tractors BBQ and Grill

1008 E. 12th St. • Lamar, MO


Tractors BBQ and Grill: Small Town, Big Flavor! We pride ourselves on offering a large versatile menu and serving our community for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From comfort classics to barbecue and everything in between, you will not leave hungry. We offer a Sunday buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and catfish buffet Tuesday night from 5-8 p.m. Stop by and let us serve you! We are open Tuesday through Saturday 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 6:30 a.m.8 p.m. Closed Monday. $-$$

Casa Montez

4224 S. Main St. • Joplin, MO


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 a.m.-8 p.m.

Bricks & Brews

1531 Military Ave. • Baxter Springs, KS 620.304.2056 •

Bricks & Brews Woodfire Grill & Pub is bringing classic woodfired pizza to Route 66! In addition to our delicious pizza, we also offer a selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, desserts and have recently added barbecue and a salad bar to our extensive menu. Come in and enjoy our full bar, as well, featuring a large selection of craft beers. Don’t miss live music every weekend! Come see your favorite local artists perform. We can’t wait to see you soon! $-$$

Hours: Mon-Thu, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

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 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Special Advertising Section

Mis Arcos

1926 S. Garrison Ave. • Carthage, MO 417.237.0547

For the delicious authentic Mexican food you crave, there’s no place like MisArcos. 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 two for $5 margaritas? Mis Arcos is the home of great food, fun times and lots of laughs! $-$$

Hours: Mon-Wed, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sat/Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Sam’s Cellar Bar & Oven

101 N. Wood • Neosho, MO

417.451.3330 •

Sam’s 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! Voted “2023 Business of the Year” by the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce & the Neosho community. $-$$

Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-Close


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: Tuesday -Saturday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday and Monday: CLOSED

May 2024 • • 25 Special Advertising Section 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. $-$$$ Hours: Kitchen open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. • Bar open later

ShowMe Dining Guide

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 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sun, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Mon-Wed Lunch Specials, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Mon-Wed Happy Hour, 3-6 p.m.

Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant

2728 N. Range Line Rd. • Joplin, MO


For over 50 years, Granny Shaffer’s has been serving up the best home cooking in the area. From made-to-order breakfast served all day to pasta, steak and Dowd’s catfish, you’re sure to find something to love. Here at Granny Shaffer’s, it’s the little things that make the difference, like serving real butter with our homemade rolls and making our pies from scratch. There’s a reason we’ve been in business for so long! Come see us for your next meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner! $-$$

Hours: Mon-Sat, 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sun, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Club 1201

1201 E. 32nd Street • Joplin, MO

417.626.0032 •

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, “out-of-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: Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

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 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Special Advertising Section


Trackside Burgers & BBQ

1515 West 10th St. • Joplin, MO


Trackside Burgers & BBQ is more than just award-winning burgers! We also have gourmet chicken sandwiches and tenders breaded and cooked to order, salads and much more. Trackside also offers award winning barbecue specials and catering for events, large and small. We are locally owned and operated. Come by and dine in, pick up a delicious meal from our drive-thru or order online! Cookin’ good food is what we do! $-$$

Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Shawanoe Restaurant

70220 East Hwy 60 • Wyandotte, OK

888.992 SKY1

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. 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. $-$$$

Haven 55

408 Havenhurst Drive • Pineville, MO 417.223.2055 •

Haven 55 is a cozy country restaurant with a magnificent view, delicious homestyle food 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 a.m.-2 p.m., and dinner 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

May 2024 • • 27 Special Advertising Section Find out more about advertising in the Four-States’ favorite Dining Guide! Call 844.417.SMTO or email:

Extreme Sports Scuba

5203 S. Range Line Road • Joplin, MO

417.659.9009 •

At Extreme Sports Scuba, we offer beginning scuba and a large list of specialty classes. We don’t believe in hidden costs and 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. Now is the perfect time to learn to dive! Come see us and like us on Facebook.

Zena Suri Alpacas

35401 S. 580 Road • Jay, OK • 804.389.2579

Lovely spring is here! At Zena Suri Alpacas, that means shearing, where we take amazing, soft, hypo-allergenic fiber off of our cute critters and they suddenly look like adorable Dr. Seuss characters. The tours are $5. Also, cost is $20 for Alpaca Yoga Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m.

Join Tom and Kathleen and all the alpacas for fun and so much more. Call 804.389.2579 to hold your spot.

One 24 Outlet

13105 Kodiak Rd • Neosho, MO • 417.451.1144

Like us on Facebook! • Download our APP!! 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! Everything in the outlet is 40% off. 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 •

Shop Wig’N Out for all your Mother’s Day gifts this year! You’ll find stylish clothing, shoes and accessories for every occasion. At Wig’N Out, you’ll also find a large selection of semi-permanent hairpieces, wigs and extensions. “We’ve got you covered from head to toe!” Stop in and see us today or shop us online.

28 Special Advertising Section

Since 1987, Freeman Health System has been the local member hospital in the region serving families in 14 counties throughout Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. These families receive assistance with medical needs, such as prescriptions, medical equipment and specialty care. Funds are also raised to support Freeman pediatricians and maternal/child departments, including Freeman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Freeman Maternity Center and pediatric departments, for pediatric equipment, medical supplies, educational programs and more. One hundred percent of every dollar raised stays local and adds up to making a big impact toward changing kids’ health in our community.

We are so appreciative of our partnership with Show Me The Ozarks Magazine, which has donated over $25,000 in the last 22 years through the Annual 4-States Baby Contest. These generous donations allow us to help children like Vincent, our 2024 U.S. Local Hospital Champion. Since first meeting Vincent in 2016, CMN has provided travel assistance to several out-of-town specialty appointments. CMN has also provided a wheelchair to use during his many castings, a weighted vest, a sensory sack, helmet and many other critical items to make his life a little easier to manage. Vincent’s mom, Tracy, shared, “CMN has made it possible for Vincent to be a kid and live his best possible life!”

Children’s Miracle Network is hosting its 32nd Annual Tournament of Miracles at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club Monday, June 3. To enter a team, or for sponsorship information, please call 417.347.4624.

Children’s Miracle Network fundraising is dedicated to helping Change Kids’ Lives and Change the Future. For more information, please visit or call 417.347.6639.

May 2024 • • 29

22ND Annual 4-States Baby ContestWinners

Each year, we are delighted and honored to share the sweetest babies with readers in our Annual Cutest Baby Contest while supporting a wonderful organization. All of these children are adorable, and we enjoyed seeing the precious photos that were submitted.

A big thank you to our judges for their help in deciding the winners: Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce

Executive Director Nick Howard; Melissa Williams with Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce; Jill Hickam with State Farm Insurance in Joplin/Webb City; and Mandy Edmonson with Show Me The Ozarks Magazine.

Harper Flenniken

Harper loves going with her mom, Alyssa Olhausen, to work at the coffeeshop every day. She loves seeing the customers and enjoys acting like she is helping mom make coffee. Harper also likes being outside playing in her kiddie pool and splashing in the water. Alyssa says Harper’s favorite time of day is in the evening when her dad, Jordan Flenniken, gets home. She enjoys being pushed on her bike and acting like she is playing video games with her dad.

All proceeds from the entry fees benefit our local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, which is dedicated to supporting sick and injured children. Enjoy the pictures of the cutest babies in the Four States, and we hope their smiles brighten your day!

1STplace 2ND place

Karson Smith

With that sweet smile, Karson is this year’s first-place winner. Mom Lindsey and Dad Payton say Karson is the happiest baby and enjoys being outside. Karson has had swim lessons, so he already knows how to swim and loves it. His parents describe him as all boy! He loves monster trucks, baseball and going for rides on the Ranger to feed the cows. Karson also has a big birthday this month, turning two.

Lenora Thompson

Lenora’s parents, Taylor and Grant Thompson, describe Lenora as super talkative, a little sassy, a lot of fun and has a great sense of humor. Lenora loves playing with her dog, Nola. During the summer, the Thompsons take their camper to the lake and go on boat rides. Lenora loves when she is camping and swimming. Lenora also loves her big brother, Greyson.


Honorable Mentions 3RD place


This bright-eyed baby is this year’s Facebook Fan Favorite! Parents Nakiya and Austin say Sylas laughs at everything right now and is an overall happy and fun baby. He enjoys playing with his basketball goal and loves to eat. Bathtime is his favorite, and he is happy when he spends time with his grandma. Sylas also enjoys playing with his three dogs, Iris, Indie and Israel.

Brooks Deliah Rae Gray Kayn Sophie

Baby ContestEntries Entries

Jivie Grady Victoria Benjamin Everly Duke Lenora Dalyn Karson Fiona Natalia Greyson Sloane Karsen Chloe Barrett Isla River Sylas Samson Beckham Nash Agatha Ross
Annual 4-States
Maverick DeLuca Tucker Lincoln JayDee Kora Noelle Liam Halstynn Connor Mila Lennox Harper Amelia Jace Lauren Ember Marcie Micah Kinley Kohen Oliver Finley Zeke Gray Dalton Eleanor

Baby Contest

Entries Entries

22ND Annual 4-States
Lacey Conan Theo Addison Sophie Emery Charlotte Baker Emberlynn Tianna Matthew Nora Wrenley Madden Demi Embrrlynn Lydia Oakley Ellis Olivia Avery Deliah Brooklynn Scarlett Atalie Madison Charlotte Brooks Rowynn Kinsley Paisleigh Claylin Jocelyn Hesston Elik Novalyn Iris Zeakie Rae Kayn Keatyn Holly Shiloh Gwendalyn Maelelia Sadie Riya Naveah Chason Alyson Zaylee Luca

‘Adoption chose us’ Babysitting leads to BECOMING A party of six

Daphne Tait’s path to motherhood took an unexpected turn, one she now looks back on with awe and gratitude. What began as a simple act of kindness— babysitting for a neighbor in need—blossomed into a profound journey of love and belonging. In the heartwarming story of the Tait family of Neosho, Missouri, adoption found its way into their lives not by choice but by a beautiful twist of fate.

Daphne and Brandon Tait never set out to adopt. Their path to parenthood took an unforeseen turn one day, leading them to two precious baby girls caught in the middle of their parents’ addiction struggles. “We really did not choose adoption, adoption chose us,” Daphne recalls. It was a moment that altered the course of their lives forever.

Babysitting the girls and offering support to their father became more than just a duty; it became a deeper calling. From the very first day they met the girls, Daphne and Brandon knew they were meant to be theirs. “The girls were heavy on our hearts from the day we met them,” Daphne says. Their journey into adoption unfolded naturally, without a roadmap. “God chose us,” Daphne says, acknowledging her faith in what was happening.

For Daphne and Brandon, the transition from parenting fairly independent children to caring for two toddlers brought many emotions. “We thought we were spry and ready to take on the world,” Daphne recalls with a chuckle. Yet, the reality of parenthood hit them with full force, feeling like new parents all over again. “We had all the jitters,” Daphne says. “It’s been a whole mix of emotions that we wouldn’t change for the world!”

On February 21, 2023, with a courtroom filled with loved ones, the Tait family’s journey came full circle as they officially welcomed Bryana Nicole Tait and Brynlee Carson Tait into their family through adoption. With tears of joy and hearts overflowing with gratitude, the papers were signed and both girls stole their daddy’s last name.

As the Taits welcomed the girls into their home, their biological children, Tayte and Kynlee, navigated their own journey of acceptance and adjustment. While Tayte embraced his newfound role as a big brother with open arms, Kynlee, the youngest of the family, grappled with the idea of having not one, but two baby sisters. “She once told us that she had only prayed for one sister, not two,” Daphne shares, illustrating the candid innocence of childhood perceptions.

Yet, amidst the initial uncertainties and challenges, beautiful family bonds began to weave together. Tayte became the protective and caring older brother and taught the girls to fish at Roaring River. Kynlee discovered joy in playing dress up, doing their hair and makeup, and playing school with her new sisters.

“Going from parents of two to a party of six overnight has had its challenges, but we are so thankful for our family. We are now complete,” Daphne affirms, cherishing the memories and moments that have shaped their remarkable story.

“It truly takes a village, and we are blessed with ours.”

May 2024 • • 37

Love knows no boundaries: A journey of adoption and family

Brandi Schol’s journey to motherhood is a testament to the transformative power of love and the remarkable bonds that form within a family. With four beautiful children by her side, Brandi’s story encapsulates the essence of unconditional love and the profound impact of adoption on the children and the parent.


It all began with a serendipitous encounter at Sweetwater Baptist Church in Missouri. It was here where Brandi, from Joplin, Missouri, discovered the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home and its mission, which soon ignited a passion within her to provide a loving home for children in need.

“I knew in my heart this was the path I was meant to take,” Brandi recalls, reflecting on her decision to embark on the journey of foster care and adoption.

In July 2017, Brandi welcomed her first foster placements, a 2-year-old girl and her baby brother, into her home. Despite the initial fears and uncertainties, Brandi embraced her newfound role as a mother with unwavering dedication. “I wanted so badly to simply give them as much love as I could, for as long as I could,” Brandi shares, highlighting her commitment to nurturing her foster children with compassion and grace. As the children’s case goals shifted toward adoption, Brandi’s role as their mother became more permanent, both legally and emotionally. The journey was not without its challenges, but Brandi faced each obstacle with resilience and unwavering love.

One defining moment solidified Brandi’s identity as a mother – the moment her daughter joyfully exclaimed “Mama” upon seeing her at daycare. “It was just the most

“I may be single, but this was never a journey I was meant to take alone. I could not have done this without the loving support of my family, friends, church family and, above all, God.”

beautiful moment! I will never, ever forget this moment for the rest of my life,” Brandi says, cherishing the profound connection she shares with her children.

In 2019, Brandi’s journey took a new turn when she was blessed with a biological son. Little did she know, Brandi’s family would soon expand even further.

A phone call in 2021 brought unexpected news – the biological mother of Brandi’s older children had given birth to a baby boy, who would

soon become a cherished member of their family. With open hearts and open arms, Brandi and her growing family embraced the newest addition, earning them the humorous moniker “ The Schol Squad.” Reflecting on her journey, Brandi acknowledges the diverse forms of motherhood she has experienced – adoptive, foster and natural, and will be forever grateful for the lessons she has learned in each chapter of her story. “I may not have carried all of my babies, but I will always be their mother,” Brandi says, underscoring the enduring bond that transcends biological ties.

Brandi’s story is a testament to the truth that love knows no boundaries. Through the trials and triumphs of adoption, she has created a family bond together by love, faith and unwavering devotion – a true testament to the belief that love truly makes a family.

May 2024 • • 39
May 2024 • • 39
How do I know which injectable beauty treatment or medical aesthetic procedure will work best for me?

We understand the many different options for aesthetic skincare and injectables can be confusing and overwhelming. Our first step with clients is to offer a free VISIA skin analysis. This painless, in-depth digital imaging system evaluates both the surface and sub-surface of your facial skin. VISIA

scans measure various aspects of your skin, including pigmentation, pore size, porphyrins (indicative of bacteria lodged in pores), UV spots, sun damage, texture and wrinkles. Once scanned, we use this analysis to develop a targeted treatment program tailored to your specific skincare needs. This process is included as part of our complimentary consultation.

La Boussole Medical Spa & Wellness Center is proud to offer a rejuvenating day spa experience like no other. Our physiciandirected, certified staff has advanced training to provide the highest level of the latest technology in medical aesthetics, antiaging treatments, weight management, and wholebody health and wellness. Clients appreciate our luxurious experience while always benefiting from our competitive pricing.

Voted Best Day Spa in Joplin, Southwest Missouri and the Four-State Area, and nationally recognized as a Top 10 Medical Spa, La Boussole offers a wide array of med spa services, including: IV infusion therapy, weight management, Botox, dermal fillers, PRP therapies, body sculpting and contouring, laser and thermal-mechanical action therapies, non-surgical facelifts, skin resurfacing, massage therapy, acupuncture, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), facials, peels, waxing, lashes, brows and more.

La Boussole Medical Spa & Wellness Center

Altagrace Hanley, MD Echo Mills, APRN, NP-C

Amy Ipsen, RDH 5594 W. Junge Blvd. | Joplin, MO 417.434.4449

What does the future of the roofing industry look like in our area and how does it affect the homeowner?

The truth is the roofing industry as a whole is changing drastically across the country and will soon affect our area even more so than it is now. There are pros and cons, of course, but the homeowner should be prepared. Roofing technology is advancing right before our eyes. Soon, we will be able to purchase a roof online from the comfort of our own home.

The technology isn’t the only thing advancing, though. There is also major advancement in roofing materials that are making it less susceptible to hail and wind damage, which will save on the number of claims filed annually. This isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing for the homeowner, we will just begin to see a decline in the frequency of roof replacements as more roof installs are done with newer, more advanced materials.

The one thing that could be a con for many homeowners is insurance premiums to fully cover roofs are on the rise with a lot of carriers putting high deductibles on coverage.

Regardless of any changes that may come our way, roof replacements don’t have to be a burden to the homeowner. Over the years, many changes have come and gone. It’s our job to continue adjusting and navigating properly to ensure the best quality and customer service is provided for our customers and communities.

You can rely on Abernathy Roofing & Construction for roofing, solar, siding, decks, additions, gutters, storm repairs, free inspections and more! With over 20 years in business, we provide unmatched workmanship and customer service for the residential and commercial customer.

42 SPECIAL PROMOTION Jon Abernathy Abernathy Roofing & Construction Company 1901 N. Range Line Rd. | Joplin, MO 417.540.4411
How many alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages do we need for our event/ party/wedding?

The average consumption is two drinks, per drinking guest, per hour. This calculation is based on moderatelevel drinkers. It is a good idea to know your crowd and how they might behave. There are many online platforms, like 123FormBuilder, where you can create a survey to send to your guests, to find out their drinking preferences. These types of forms can be a great tool for party planning.

Water is an absolute must for any event. This is a detail that is often overlooked. The average for nonalcoholic beverages is also two bottles, per guest, per hour. Another great option is dispensed iced tea and lemonade. Keep in mind, most parties or receptions last between 3-5 hours.

The Social Sip LLC. Mobile Bar is a seasoned mobile bar and bartending service that elevates weddings, corporate events and social gatherings to new heights. Customers can enjoy customized craft drink menus, ensuring an exceptional experience for every guest. Whether you’re a bride, groom or business owner, The Social Sip LLC. Mobile Bar seamlessly takes the stress out of beverage arrangements, allowing you to focus on creating unforgettable memories.

May 2024 • • 43 Sarah Peavler The Social Sip & Red Carpet 360 Photo Owner 2401 E. 32nd St., 10-113 | Joplin, MO 417.629.7443
Can tattoo removal completely erase a tattoo, and are there any factors that may affect the outcome, such as tattoo size, ink colors or skin type? Additionally, how long does it typically take to see noticeable results?

Absolutely. Laser tattoo removal offers a comprehensive solution to erase tattoos. Numerous factors influence the number of sessions required, including tattoo saturation, color spectrum, skin type and even the tattoo’s location on the body. Additionally, the age of the tattoo plays a significant role; newer tattoos generally require fewer sessions compared to older ones.

Typically, visible results become apparent after the first session. To monitor progress effectively, I document before-and-after photos to track each session’s impact accurately. Given the diverse nature of tattoos and individual skin responses, a tailored approach is essential for optimal results.

I provide complimentary consultations where I offer detailed insights into the laser removal process, ensuring clients are well-informed and guided toward complete tattoo removal.

At Blacklist Laser & Cosmetics, aesthetic laser treatments aren’t just our job, they’re our passion! Services include laser tattoo removal, laser hair removal, laser skin rejuvenation, microneedling along with relaxing facials, chemical peels and more. Blacklist Laser & Cosmetics is dedicated to helping you get the results you’re looking for with industry-leading lasers that are safe for all skin types.

44 SPECIAL PROMOTION Tyffanie Rogers Blacklist Laser Cosmetics 510 S. Main St. | Joplin, MO 417.529.6381
What are some essential tips for staying safe during the summer months, particularly in outdoor activities and extreme heat conditions?

During the summer months, it’s crucial to prioritize safety, especially when engaging in outdoor activities or facing extreme heat. Never leave children or pets unattended in parked vehicles, even for a short time, as temperatures inside can rapidly soar to dangerous levels. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially if participating in outdoor sports or exercise. Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses and a widebrimmed hat, and seek shade during peak sunlight hours. Be mindful of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and know the signs and symptoms. Lastly, if you’re planning outdoor adventures, inform someone of your plans and check weather forecasts beforehand. By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable summer season.

The Quapaw Nation Marshals Service is the primary law enforcement agency within the Quapaw Nation Reservation. Marshals are responsible for the protection, safety, service and security of all tribal assets, businesses, government facilities, casinos, members, guests, contractors, employees and visitors within the Quapaw Nation Reservation.

May 2024 • • 45 Charles Addington Department of Public Safety for Quapaw Nation Executive Director and Chief Marshal 58150 E. 66 Rd. | Miami, OK 918.238.3137 SPECIAL PROMOTION

Joplin Memorial Run comes to an end after 13 years

The 13th and final Freeman Joplin Memorial Run (JMR) is set for Saturday, May 18, and Race Director Ruth Sawkins, owner/founder of Rufus Racing, LLC, says, “The Joplin community jumped in right away to help rebuild (after the 2011 tornado) and make the changes that needed to be made.

“The support of the JMR all those years has been major, and people are really embracing our final year and wanting to finish this strong. It’s special because runners will see the whole town of Joplin and will run through the tornado-impacted areas.”

Festivities get under way Friday, May 17, in downtown Joplin at Memorial Hall/Cornell Art Complex with the Amcor packet pick-up from noon to 6:45 p.m., followed by the U.S. Bank Walk of Silence at 7 p.m. The Saturday morning events include Freeman Half Marathon, Sparklight 10K, Liberty 5K and Sign Designs Kids’ Half-mile Run.

As the finale approaches in a couple of weeks, Sawkins says, “The Freeman Joplin Memorial Run has been the major event (fundraiser) for the Joplin tornado the past 13 years.

“This has been a keystone event for Joplin to showcase our city and the resilience our wonderful community has continued to have over the last 13 years. ‘Run, Remember, Rebuild’ has been our motto since day one, and we have strived to keep that going all the way through these 13 years.”

By late March, Sawkins sensed this last hurrah would be sensational. “Our committee is working hard to make every aspect of this race as good as we can. We are excited to say that our registrations have responded as well, and we expect a big crowd of 2,500 runners for our final event.”

46 Featuring Joplin SMTO

Participants expect all facets of an event to go smoothly for them and Sawkins says, “Runners are looking for a well-organized, fun event. We try and make the entire runner experience top-notch, along with the course, packet pick-up, atmosphere, goody bags, medals, shirts, postrace food and entertainment.”

Although it would be impossible to salute everyone who has been instrumental in putting the event together annually, Sawkins notes, “Active Lifestyle Events is our parent company, and they’ve overseen the event the past 13 years. Freeman Health System has been our title sponsor the entire time and has been so important to the process.”

The thing that has made this worthwhile for Sawkins personally is “producing a high-quality running event hosted in my hometown and inviting so many runners from so many states to be involved. It’s been a huge honor for me to be race director and seeing all the different people in different roles and all walks of life coming together to make this event happen year after year.

The 161 who lost their lives will still be remembered well past this event with our 17-foot banner at Cornell Art Complex as well as other memorials around town.

“You can see how much Joplin has rebuilt and grown through all of this.”

The 13th Annual (and final) Joplin Memorial Run Fast Facts

By the Numbers: More than 2,000 runners are expected to compete, with more than 400 volunteers assisting in various tasks. Organizers anticipate more than 6,000 spectators, volunteers and participants in attendance.

Helping Others: More than $300,000 has been donated to various organizations since its inception. After initially helping with tornado relief and rebuilding organizations, funds raised have gone toward trail improvements, Joplin Humane Society, bikes for school children, scholarships for YMCA programs and more.

Award Categories: Half Marathon, 10K and 5K awards will be given for the top three overall finishers, plus first through third place male and female finishers in the following age divisions: 12-Under (5K race only), 13-15 (5K race only), 16-19 (5K race only), 19-Under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and 70-Over.

161 Remembered: Following all the post-race activities Saturday, May 18, at 11:30 a.m., race organizers will distribute 161 banners/flags to family members of those lost during the tornado. (Note: Additional banners/flags may be requested at

May 17 & 18, 2024

To Register:

May 2024 • • 47

John Motazedi

Challenged Himself to Go From Sitting to Running

John Motazedi changed his awareness, and that changed his life.

“Back when I hit 49, it hit me that my desk job that consisted of staring at screens all day was setting me up for a rough ride down the road,” Motazedi said. “It was not exactly a recipe for a vibrant future, right?” So, he stopped and noticed his friends were all active and into running.

Motazedi decided to ask his pals for some tips on living a more active lifestyle, but he knew running was not for him. “I’d always been dead set against it,” he said. But the friends wouldn’t let it go, and eventually Motazedi became a runner. “It all came down to learning how to run properly. Slowing down, keeping the heart rate in check and actually enjoying the run totally flipped my perspective around.” Now Motazedi has some tips of his own to share with those considering running for exercise.

Featuring Joplin SMTO

“If you have a sedentary life, you cannot underestimate the benefits of just walking,” he said. “If you are healthy, you can slowly start increasing the distance incrementally. For example, walk for one minute and run slowly for 30 seconds. Repeat the process and slowly increase the distance and ratio of the run to the walk.”

He also urges newbies to avoid comparing themselves to other runners. “Just walk or run your own journey and see the benefits,” he advised. “My biggest challenge was to start running fast too quickly after I started. This would cause pain and soreness, which would then make me skip the next training session because I was sore. So, take it nice and easy and be consistent.”

Motazedi has some 2024 goals that include tackling an Ultra race and possibly a 50K. “It may sound crazy, but there’s something oddly enjoyable about pushing myself in this way. Ultimately, my aim is to maintain good cardio health and find pleasure in longer runs.”

Nowadays, Motazedi runs as a chance to clear his head and sort through life’s curveballs and escape the daily grind. “I love a good challenge,” he said. “My coach even says I’m a glutton for punishment, and you know what? I take it as a compliment.”

Motazedi prefers running on the trails around Shoal Creek without any distractions. “The sounds of nature and the opportunity to process my thoughts bring a sense of clarity during my runs. It’s amazing how just an hour of running can help unravel troubling thoughts and issues.”

Those runs leave him with a feeling of accomplishment, tranquility and “a pleasant fatigue that reminds me of a job well done.”

May 2024 • • 49

Route 66 Centennial excitement builds with Street Painting Showcase

Route 66 holds tremendous historical importance for yesterday, today and tomorrow with Joplin at the forefront of this well-known and well-traveled roadway.

As a result of that rich history, the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau supports an artistic opportunity associated with helping promote the Route 66 Centennial year (2026). To help build excitement and enthusiasm two years early, an intriguing creative artistry exhibition is set for June 4-8.

A news release from Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau said, “Introducing the World Street Painting Festival to Route 66 and Joplin

will be a kick-off event featuring three artists. This initial teaching event will be on the grounds of the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex.”

According to the news release, “Introducing the public to what the festival is all about and the 3D Painting Art Form will help build momentum, capture marketing images and video, and attract needed sponsors as the plan moves toward a capstone event in 2026 when the festival will showcase the work of 20 artists.”

There are several organizations and individuals working hand in hand to help ensure the events these next several years are special.

Visit Joplin Director Patrick Tuttle said, “The Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau, with the Joplin Celebrations Commission, Joplin

Featuring Joplin SMTO

Parks & Recreation and various members of the Joplin arts community, in conjunction with our regional Route 66 partners, are developing a series of events that will offer the world a unique Route 66 Centennial celebration in Joplin.

“We could settle and host the same types of events everyone does every year, including a car show, concert, and arts and crafts vendors. But in 2026, the Route 66 Centennial is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop a distinctive, one-of-a-kind signature event that will provide the widest participation and attendance from domestic and international guests.”

The artistic backdrop being featured with this promotion is through a partnership with Netherlands-based World Street Painting Foundation. Tuttle said, “Street painting is performance art, rendering artistic designs on the pavement with semi-permanent materials such as chalk or paint. 3D art is the expression of applying the dimensions of height, width and depth.

Route 66 Centennial/ World Street Painting Fast Facts

Key Dates from 2024 to 2026:

• June 4-8, 2024: Introductory event with three domestic artists.

• June 3-7, 2025: Features 10 total artists (eight international and two domestic artists).

• June 2-6, 2026: Features 20 total artists (18 international and two domestic artists).

• June 1-5, 2027: TBD.

Let’s Celebrate: Events to celebrate the Route 66 Centennial year are being planned across the eight states the historic route passes through. Celebrations will span the 2025 to 2027 travel seasons.

Working Together: Sponsors in 2024 include Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Joplin Celebrations Commission, Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex, Connect2Culture and Spiva Center for the Arts.

“In 2026, two other major events will provide opportunities to increase visitation from domestic and international travelers. The semi-quincentennial (250th) birthday of the United States will be July 4, 2026. Typical Fourth of July events will be amplified and have a greater impact on domestic travel.

“A bonus draw from June to July 2026 will be North America hosting the FIFA World Cup,” Tuttle continued. “The impact on the Joplin market is that Kansas City and Dallas are among 16 cities where matches will be played. Two routes connect the two stadiums, one through Wichita and the other through Joplin.

“A ‘Drive Missouri’ campaign is being developed to keep international World Cup travelers in Missouri as long as possible, contributing to increased international travelers along the I-49 and Route 66 corridors. This will raise the number of international guests within the Joplin market.

“We’re so excited to host a multi-year Route 66 celebration that has no comparison. It will have a big impact on this area, as will the many other events taking place near us.”

May 2024 • • 51

INational Corvette Convention cruises into Joplin

n mid-May, hundreds of classic and late-model Corvettes will cruise into Joplin, for a week-long celebration with the 65th annual National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC) Convention taking center stage.

Jeff Bruggeman, who helped organize and coordinate this convention along with his wife, Mary Lou, says, “It’s exciting that Joplin will host an event with people traveling from all over the country to participate in it.

Featuring Joplin SMTO

“We have rented Mo-Kan Dragway for a day and will hold class elimination drags, bracket drags and matching times drags for registrants. As with all competitive events, the winners will bring home a nice trophy and bragging rights.

“Autocross at Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri, is like the drags with the classed speed events, as well as matching times. Some participants will trailer their specially prepared cars to both events to race only. Others will race a lightly modified or stock car. We have the Crowder College Truck Driving School Practice Pad to compete on for the day.”

The following day will be an event for metal-bodied cars. “Everyone enjoys seeing cars race the clock to see how fast they can go through a maze of orange cones.”

Bruggeman says there’s even more: “The car show and valve cover racing (VCR) will be on Main Street on Third Thursday, which is May 16. Anyone can watch. Winners of the car show are selected by a ballot of convention registrants.”

The VCR event is similar to Pine Box Derby, according to Bruggeman. “You lift a gate and the first one to the end wins. This is a little different. We have a set of timing lights, like a dragstrip with the yellow countdown, and you go on green.

“Go-to-early red light is an instant disqualifier of that round. There are

65th Annual National Corvette Convention Fast Facts

When: Monday, May 13 to Sunday, May 19

What: Hundreds of Corvettes will converge in Joplin to celebrate this historic sports car.


Team: Convention Director Jeff Bruggeman, Convention Co-Director Jim Walton, Convention Treasurer Cindy Urenda, Director of Sponsorship Michele Cantelmo and NCCC Business Manager Allen Morris.

classes, including big block and small block and men’s and ladies’, with simple elimination to be a class winner and get a trophy.”

Along with the activities involving the cars, conference attendees will have an opportunity to enjoy other attractions in the region, including The Branson Belle Showboat and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. “Our guests will get a chance to visit some of the typical tourist excursions while they are in the Ozarks,” Bruggeman explained.

“Busses are chartered to both venues, or our guests can cruise to the locations in their Corvettes. These have proved to be popular with nonracers and especially since they are scheduled during race days.”

It took a lot of teamwork to put all of the plans in place, and Bruggeman credits Allen Morris, business manager of NCCC in Joplin, for bringing the idea to the club members. “Being president of the 4 State Vettes Corvette Club, I had the honor of selling it.

“It seemed like a lot of work, and it has been. But our club members stepped up to the plate and pitched in. Committee chairs reached out to members of their committees. Many members served multiple roles. So many people have gone above and beyond to help make this event a success.

“We’ve been to similar events in other cities and our club has hosted smaller ones in Joplin. But being a major part of this makes us all proud of our city.”

May 2024 • • 53

Jerg and Joan: Laughing through life together

There are things that just naturally go together: peanut butter and jelly and wine and cheese. It’s true for people, too. Like Abbot and Costello and Barbie and Ken. And let’s not forget, Jerg and Joan.

Joan Allen Jerg Frogley
Featuring Joplin SMTO
Ann Leach

You may not know Jerg Frogley and Joan Allen, but you’ll want to. These 80-year-old women have been lifelong friends and support one another in making art daily.

When they were younger, both ladies entered art contests found in magazines and on matchbooks.

“I was 11 years old when I filled out the contest form,” Frogley recalled. “I think I drew an apple.”

Allen said, “Mine was supposed to be a deer, but it looked like a horse. I was just happy to send it and have them write back to say, ‘Good job,’ I drew all through school after that.”

Frogley still has the painting she submitted, and Allen thinks she might also have hers but isn’t sure where it is.

Frogley and Allen encouraged each other in art and in life. They were on the cheerleading squad together, they shared dating highs and lows, and questioned if their art was good enough. “But we didn’t smoke or drink,” Frogley said.

Still, Allen notes there are differences between them.

“Our interests are a little different,” she said. “We complement each other and we’re not harsh. Though Jerg says I am more of a perfectionist, and she really wishes I would paint around the edges of a painting.”

The two friends explored art together and made the commitment many years ago to attend a weeklong class led by Tulsa artist Priscilla Hauser.

“Jerg had invited me to the class, but I knew I couldn’t afford it,” Allen said. “She pointed out that it was only $1 for a brush and $1 for a wooden board to paint on. I went to the class with her.”

It was an intense week of instruction, with the young ladies studying techniques and color theory.

“It was a class where you would paint a little at a time and then go back to add more,” Frogley said. Allen added, “We spent eight hours a day painting a rose. I mean, we know every leaf of a rose now.” But they were hooked on art and began to make it their life’s work.

Today, the friends are teaching classes and creating daily in their studios. Frogley’s is a large shop that she built when she turned 70 and moved to wood turning as her creative expression. “I redid houses as a profession and loved wood,” she said. “I had always wanted to turn, so I bought a lathe from a pawn shop for $20 and started watching YouTube videos.”

Allen’s watercolor studio is a one-room house next to her own that used to be her mother’s beauty salon. “It’s convenient, comfortable and eclectic,” she said.

As for the future, Frogley said, “I just want to be able to keep doing what I am doing.”

“Life gets tough sometimes and we help each other through.” ~ Joan Allen

Allen is teaching watercolor classes in three different towns and selling work at Crabby’s and Club 609. Both women are members of Local Color Art Gallery in Joplin and can often be found greeting customers and

sharing their work with visitors.

“We laughed through our lives together,” Allen said. “But life gets tough sometimes and we help each other through.”

May 2024 • • 55

Head Coach Emily Killion takes reins of Joplin senior girls volleyball

As Joplin High School Lady Eagles first-year volleyball Head Coach

Emily Killion gets her chance to lead a team, she’s understandably thrilled.

“I’m excited to see where this program can go and how we can grow together,” Killion says. “The girls and I will have a continuous learning journey.”

Killion says she “gained a couple years’ experience being an assistant coach at McDonald County High School. Before that, I got experience volunteering at my high school in Wheaton,” which made the timing perfect to join the Joplin team.

“Running my own program has been my goal, and moving to Joplin was a sign for me. It all worked out the way it’s supposed to be. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.”

Killion has been fortunate to have so many influential individuals along the way, such as Robert Creekmore, her high school volleyball head coach during her junior and senior years.

“He developed me into a player I never thought was possible. He’s one of my mentors. He gave me the opportunity to coach and is someone I can turn to for advice on coaching.

“Mark Skapin, my college softball head coach, is also someone I looked up to. I’ve gotten a lot of my organization and style from him. He pushed me as a player, helped me grow as a person and provided me so many opportunities athletically and in life. I still talk to him about everything.”

Another mentor is Marla Kannaday Foreman, Killion’s college volleyball head coach. “She developed me as a player. She helped me grow as a person through her faith. I respect her so much.”

Killion knows the greatest backing has always been with her parents, Shawn and Michele Killion, who’ve been with her every step of the way. “They’ve been my biggest support system. I owe them everything. Without them, I would not be where I am or who I am today.”

Joplin Lady Eagles Volleyball Head

Age: 25

Parents: Shawn and Michele Killion

Siblings: Brothers Cody Weatherman (deceased) and Tanner Weatherman, sister Sarah Abernathy and brother Connor Killion.

Hometown: Wheaton, Missouri

High School Alma Mater: Wheaton High School, 2017.

College Alma Mater: Cottey College, Nevada, Missouri, 2022.

College Degrees: Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Bachelor of Arts (Criminology) and Minor (Fitness Education).

Coaching Career: Volunteer coach at Wheaton (summers between college 2018-2021), assistant high school volleyball coach at McDonald County, assistant junior high softball coach at McDonald County and special education teacher at McDonald County.

Favorite Food: Mexican

Favorite Sports Movies: “Remember the Titans,” “Coach Carter” and “Benchwarmers.”

Favorite Professional or Collegiate Athlete: Jocelyn Alo, an American professional softball player for the Oklahoma City Spark, who also played with the University of Oklahoma Sooners.

Having a sister and brother in her corner as well is comforting for Killion, and she says, “Sarah Abernathy and Connor Killion are my best friends. I can turn to them for anything. They always give me the best advice. I’m so thankful to have them in my life, as I am for my boyfriend, Jordan Walton. He has stood firmly alongside me as I have pursued my career path. He has been patient and supportive. He knows this is my passion. And I’m grateful for him and his constant support.” Although she’s just getting started, Killion already has a crystal-clear vision. “I expect my players to come in each day ready to give 100%. I expect positivity all the time. We have no room for negativity on the court or in our program.

“I expect them to go hard at practice and be open-minded to the things that we, the coaching staff, ask them to do. We are going to challenge them. I expect them to attend class regularly and keep their grades up. They are student-athletes, and school is first.

“I expect them to act respectfully on the court, in the classroom and when we are traveling. We want to represent our school, program and community as best we can and leave a legacy for those to come after us.”

Featuring Joplin SMTO

Comedy for Camp

Soroptimist International of Joplin hosted the eighth annual Comedy for Camp April 6, bringing over 200 people together to laugh for a good cause. The Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex buzzed with laughter and generosity as individuals participated in gift card grabs, silent and live auctions, and enjoyed the talents of two nationally recognized comedians, Chad Thornsberry and Greg Hahn.

The club is thrilled to announce they doubled their net profit from last year, raising nearly $53,000 for Camp Soroptimist, a week-long summer camp for Jasper County foster children. Thank you to everyone who participated in this fun and impactful event!

1. Cathy Brown, Anne McLaughlin and Jayde Thomas.

2. Sarah Alumbaugh and Debbie Hutson.

3. Lisa Paugh, Tracy Asbell, Courtney Barnard and Andi Sneed.

4. Emily Gibson and Michelle Ferguson.

5. Karie and Steve Currence.

6. Shawna Oberoi, Lita Hamiti, and Karen Gunderman.

7. Megan Woodard and Kris Bullard.

8. Kamber Cain and Danielle Dubois.

9. Rhonda Tiller and Roland Miller.

10. Shelby Trimble and Lucas Dickerson.

11. Lea J. Shroer and Anna Leonard.

Far Right: Lisa Paugh, Stacy Turney, Vera Joseph and Megan Paugh.

1 3 4 6 10 5 9 7 11 2 8




Armstrong Pest Control is your shield against pests! Say goodbye to unwanted intruders in your home or business with our expert services. From ants to rodents, we’ve got you covered. Our team of certified professionals delivers effective, safe and eco-friendly solutions tailored to your needs. Don’t let pests take over your space – call Armstrong Pest Control today at 417.317.7135 for a pest-free environment you can trust!


417.529.3883 •

5 Star Moving is a family owned and operated business in Joplin, and we strive to make your moving experience as smooth as possible by offering a professional and friendly service! Whatever your needs are, we can and will provide. At 5 Star Moving, we partner with Habitat for Humanity, providing moving assistance to all of their families at no cost. We also offer free delivery of donatable items to Habitat for Humanity with your full household move. We’re passionate about helping others. Reach out today to see how we can help you! We at 5 Star Moving also want to remind you to have your pets spayed or neutered.


614 Kentucky Ave. • Joplin, MO • 417.625.6679 •

In the realm of integrated automation, one standout is Frank Thompson, COO of Automated Technology Company (ATC). With a global footprint, Frank leads the charge in developing cognitive solutions for diverse settings like buildings, cities and schools. ATC tailors automation services to modern communities, emphasizing sustainability and efficiency. Frank’s forward-thinking approach, supported by hands-on expertise and industry recognition, shapes the future landscape. As a Siemens Technical Support Provider, ATC offers custom solutions across the Eastern U.S. and Canada. Leveraging open protocols, Frank seamlessly integrates controls, ensuring project success at any scale. Reach out to ATC today to explore transformative solutions for innovation and sustainability. Plan to attend the Technology Evolution Symposium June 20 at Missouri Southern State University, featuring speakers from Siemens, ABB, Beckhoff, EisBaer and more.


712 E. 32nd St., Ste. 5 • Joplin, MO • 417.624.3144

Joy has been an insurance agent for 19 years and is driven by customer service. “My mother taught me at a young age to treat people with respect and dignity, which is what everyone deserves.” Previously, she worked in retail, food service and secretarial jobs. “I have always worked with the public, and I was hired by an insurance agent as his secretary and learned pretty quickly how to take care of clients.” Today, she writes and services Auto, Home and Life policies for Shelter’s clients. Over the years, Joy has learned to take a day or two for herself to relax. “I do crafts and love to visit my daughter, Ashleigh, and her husband, Jacob, in Branson and just goof around. I also work in my church with the ladies’ and social ministry.” She and her husband, Roger, have been married 31 years, and he has a son, Steven, from a previous marriage. They have one cat, Penny.

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2029 S. Willard Ave. • Joplin, MO 417.624.1838 •

As we prep for Mother’s Day, let us at Courtney’s Candles help you shower that special mom with unique gifts. Crafted with care and infused with love, from “calm-me-down” lavender to “wakeme-up” citrus, there’s a scent to match every mom’s vibe. And for those seeking variety, we offer an array of beloved brands like Tyler, Aromatique, Zodax, Warmies, Woodwick, Pura and more. Let’s make this Mother’s Day unforgettable by surrounding our moms with the warmth and appreciation we hold for them in our hearts. Shop or visit us in Joplin at 2029 S. Willard Ave.


2601 Oak Ridge Exn. • Neosho, MO 417.451.8872 •

At Oak Pointe of Neosho, residents truly feel like a family, spending their days with former neighbors and making new lifelong friendships. Backed by our comprehensive and compassionate care, residents experience fulfilling, active days with a sense of belonging. Your loved ones are able to enjoy days full of adventure and fun, from scenic bus rides through Missouri to classic movie nights, book clubs and sing-a-longs. As they delight in each moment, our team is on hand around the clock to mitigate emergencies and offer peace of mind. Oak Pointe is a Level 2 assisted living facility and also provides outpatient therapy. Contact our expert team today to learn more about our personalized senior living options.

May 2024 • • 59 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, State Farm Indemnity Company, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas, State Farm Lloyds, Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company, Winter Haven, FL Your local agent for home & auto Call me for a quote today Agent 530 N East Street, Suite E Webb City, MO 64870 Bus: 417-673-2500 Fax: 417-673-2534 Kyle Hickam JOPLIN BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTS
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EVENTS Northeast OK

Grove, OK

May 4: Celtic Day, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Har-Ber Village Museum. Join the museum and the Tulsa Scottish Club for a day full of education, entertainment and everything Celtic in early-day Oklahoma! See pipers and drummers, people in kilts and other regalia, harps circle, educational talks, living history skills demonstrations and so much more.

May 11: Ghost Hunting Tour hosted by Midwest Mystery Tours, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., Har-Ber Village Museum. Join a ghost hunting expedition hosted by Midwest Mystery Tours! Hosts David and John will take a tour of the Village to find paranormal activity. Tickets are sold by a third party.

May 18: Lendonwood Gardens’ Annual Garden Party Fundraiser, 5:30 p.m., Lendonwood Gardens, 1308 Har-Ber Rd. Check in at rear entrance. Buffet dinner by Timbered-In Catering. Music. Drinks. Silent Auction. $60 per person ($35 tax deductible). Purchase tickets by May 7 at the welcome center or at Questions: 620.960.1131.

May 25-27: Memorial Day Weekend Summer Kick Off, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Bernice Nature Center, 54101 E Hwy 85 A, Bernice, Oklahoma. Hands-on scientific experiments, nature crafts and animal encounters with resident animal ambassadors for children of all ages. Information: 918.257.8330.

Miami, OK

May 2-4: Miami Little Theatre Presents Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” 7 p.m., Coleman Theatre, 103 N. Main St. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the 20th century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. That they will succeed in making a new life together we have no doubt, and that this new life will begin in a new state provides the ultimate climax to the triumphant “Oklahoma!” Purchase tickets online or call 918.540.2425.

May 18 & 19: Dennis James and “The Viking,” May 18 at 8 a.m. and May 19 at 5 p.m., Coleman Theatre, 103 N. Main St. “The Viking” is a 1928 American film released with a synchronized musical score with sound effects using the sound-on-film Western Electronic Sound System process. This was the first feature-length Technicolor film that featured a soundtrack and was an all-color silent movie, filmed in color. The title refers to Leif Ericsson, who leaves Norway to search for new lands west of Greenland. On the way, he vies for the love of Helga with his companion Egil and Alwin, an English slave. More conflict arises when he stops at the colony of his father (Eric the Red) in Greenland, for Leif has converted to Christianity, which his father hates. He also must deal with the unrest of his crew, who fear falling off the edge of the Earth. Purchase tickets online or call 918.540.2425.

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

May 2024 • • 61

Summertime fun in the sun at 7th Annual Toes in The Grand Festival

Anyone looking for an atmosphere filled with carefree fun will find the seventh annual Toes in the Grand Festival at Wolf Creek Park in Grove, Oklahoma, a delightful experience.

There will be wide-ranging options for visitors to enjoy at this festival in early June, including Thunder on Wolf Creek Hydroplane Boat Races, featuring top National Boat Racing Association (NBRA) racers, as well as a YMCA triathlon; a car, truck and motorcycle show; and Historical Semi-Trucks Show-NShine.

The three-day weekend will also feature vendors, food trucks, a beer tent, live music and a kids’ zone to provide plenty of excitement for youngsters.

Amanda K. Davis, president of Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, knows it’s a big deal to have something for everyone, and she says, “The festival provides activities for all ages. The goal is to provide a weekend to celebrate

our region with activities that are family friendly.

“This also allows for recruitment of visitors/ non-locals that will be coming here for the free concerts and other events surrounding the festival. In 2023, there were more than 14,000 in attendance. We are working to grow that number each year.

“New in 2024 is the kids’ zone and VIP tent area for sponsors. These allow us to make the festival bigger and better. We’re also teaming with a great group for the Toes in the Grand Car, Truck & Bike Show. There’s a cost to join ($20) and awards will be given in 14 categories.”

Davis says the festival is a great way to kick off the summer season in Grove. “By the time June rolls around, a lot of weekenders have made their way back to Grand Lake. This gives everyone around the lake something to come together and do to help celebrate a successful summer season ahead.

“We believe people are looking for things to do around the lake when they choose to take a break from the water. This event gives people the opportunity to have vendor booths to showcase items, and we hope there is a large

variety of food trucks onsite for people to enjoy, as well.”

This is Davis’ first Toes in the Grand event, although she has experience with music festivals and executing other events.

“I’m excited to bring my experiences together with an incredible Chamber staff, area partners and a great Chamber board and Chamber ambassadors to provide quality entertainment and family fun for the lake region.”

This event is a win-win on so many levels, and Davis explains, “Each time a non-local spends a dollar in your community, that dollar turns over up to nine times. Every single new dollar spent in the communities within the lake region yields an economic boost to local communities.

“Sales tax dollars fund many critical local services. If the Grove Chamber of Commerce can provide a summer festival that shows a valuable impact to spending, then we’ve had a great day at the office.

“We exist to be the business voice for the lake region, and this is a small way to celebrate our region and recruit new prospective residents into the area to experience all the things we love about Grand Lake.”

Featuring Oklahoma SMTO


Friday, June 7, noon to 8 p.m.

Wolf Creek:

• Historical Semi-Trucks Show-N-Shine

• Vendors

• Food trucks

• Beer garden

• Thunder on Wolf Creek Boat Races until 5 p.m.

• Live music from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 8, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wolf Creek:

• YMCA Triathlon

• Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show

• Historical Semi-Trucks Show-N-Shine

• Vendors

• Kids’ zone

• Food trucks

• Beer garden

• Thunder on Wolf Creek Boat Races until 5 p.m.

• Live music from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 18

Wolf Creek Park:

• Thunder on Wolf Creek Boat Races from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Toes in the Grand Festival Fast Facts

When: Friday, June 7-Sunday, June 9

Where: Wolf Creek Park, Grove, Oklahoma

Presented By: Grove Area Chamber of Commerce

For More Information: Contact the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce at 918.786.9079, go to or check out the Toes in the Grand Festival Facebook page. Note: The ramps at Wolf Creek Park will be unavailable for public use during the event.

May 2024 • • 63

Magical Fairy Festival

comes to life at Lendonwood


Anyone who enjoys getting lost in a fanciful fantasy world will find the upcoming Fairy Festival at Lendonwood Gardens in Grove, Oklahoma, a delightfully dazzling experience.

While the June 1 festival will have plenty of things to entice youngsters, Lendonwood Board of Directors President Pauline Hale says it’s not just for kids. “Children seem mesmerized at the idea of fairies, and what better place to celebrate them than in a beautiful garden? And,

quite frankly, we think adults will enjoy it just as much as the children. The level of interest in the Fairy Festival has simply been amazing.” Festival attendees will have a wide range of enchanting activities to help make it memorable. Hale says, “In the crafts area, children can make a special fairy house to take home. The first 200 children under 12 years old will receive wings to wear home.

“There will be a troll magician to amaze the children and adults, a harpist to provide a musical backdrop, a professional photographer to take pictures and a face-painting station. Grove High School cheerleaders will demonstrate fairy dances. Fairy godmothers will be stationed throughout the garden to entertain and engage with children.

64 Featuring Oklahoma SMTO

And children will be dazzled by an enchanted fairy pond. Costumes are encouraged. All may shop in the fairy store at the Garden.”

Hale applauds local realtor and Lendonwood supporter Sharon Lebow for coming up with the Fairy Festival idea this year. “Sharon offered to organize and coordinate the entire event. She garnered support from businesses and individuals to help make sure the festival will be extra special.”

The setting for the event naturally lends itself to the fairy theme. “Lendonwood is a woodland garden with towering oaks and mysterious winding pathways, not to mention colorful blooms along the way,” says Hale. “It provides the perfect backdrop for the whimsy and beauty of a fairy festival.

“Part of Lendonwood’s mission is exposing adults and children to the magic of gardens, plants and nature. We hope they will look around the garden as they enjoy the Fairy Festival and other events throughout the year such as Earth Day and Art in the Garden.”

While events like the Fairy Festival help bring people here, Hale knows this is a perfect place to visit anytime. “Lendonwood is one of only a few botanical gardens in Oklahoma. It’s unusual for a small town the size of Grove with about 7,000 people to have a botanical garden within the city limits.

“We feel fortunate to be able to enjoy Lendonwood with its 8 acres of woodland gardens, featuring special botanical collections like azaleas, rhododendrons, daylilies, dogwoods, Japanese maples and more. In recent years, Lendonwood has added an Oklahoma garden, monarch waystation, hummingbird garden and rejuvenated azalea garden, and now there are accessible paved pathways throughout. So, the garden continues to grow, just as it should.”

Hale is happy to be heavily involved in this operation and says, “I think I’m proudest when I have a chance to just walk through this serene, peaceful place and soak in the color and beauty.

“I’m proud that, during the pandemic, Lendonwood was that place of respite for many who felt trapped during lockdowns and discouraged by a lack of contact with the natural world. We’re working hard to make sure it continues as a special destination for all to enjoy.”

Lendonwood Gardens Fairy Festival

Fast Facts

What: Lendonwood Gardens is an 8-acre botanical garden near Grand Lake in Northeast Oklahoma that features more than 1,000 types of plants, including azaleas, dogwoods, peonies, hostas, evergreen trees and more.

Physical Address:

1308 Har-Ber Rd., Grove, Oklahoma

Phone Number: 918.786.2938


Admission to Fairy Festival: $5 per person

Welcome Center and Garden Shop Hours of Operation: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Gardens: Open year-round during daylight hours.

NOTE: When the welcome center is closed during daylight hours, you still may tour the garden. Enter through the iron gate to the right of the welcome center and pay your admission

Spotlights Oklahoma Business

Lendonwood Gardens

One mile west of Main Street on Har-Ber Rd. • Grove, OK

918.786.2938 •

Enjoy Lendonwood Gardens, an 8-acre botanical garden in Grove. Stop by the Oklahoma Garden for regional plant ideas, the Monarch Waystation to learn about butterflies, the Hummingbird Garden, where you might see hummers landing on nectar plants, or the Japanese Pavilion overlooking the Koi pond, where you can feed the colorful fish. Make a date to visit Art in the Garden May 4 when artisans display and sell their works along Lendonwood’s winding pathways. Also plan on visiting a whimsical Fairy Festival June 1 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with lots of activities for children. You’ll find color everywhere at Lendonwood Gardens! Open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Turner’s Tastee Table Treats

11 N. Main St. • Wyandotte, OK • 918.533.3234

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy pizza! Turner’s Tastee Table Treats serves up piping hot pies with all the classic toppings, or try a new spin on an old favorite! You’ll also find scrumptious cinnamon rolls, calzones, breadsticks and more. This welcoming restaurant is the place to be for delicious food and happy memories with friends and family. Come see us today!

Grand Country Lakeside RV Park

55015 E. 270 Rd., #163 • Afton, OK

918.257.1959 •

Enjoy rustic relaxation for adults over age 55.

Grand Country Lakeside RV Park is a private, year-round, pet friendly, full hookup RV park that serves the over 55 community. We are located 1 mile east of the Bernice/Horse Bridge, a quarter mile off of highway 85A on S 550 Rd; being off the highway is great for peace and quiet plus we are competitively priced for a great value with the best amenities.

Over 100 pages of all things Grand Lake, Oklahoma.

Goodfella’s Pizza



Indulge in the irresistible flavors of Goodfella’s Pizza, where every bite will leave you satisfied! Since 2005, our pizzas have been crafted to perfection, from the crispy crust to the bubbling cheese and savory toppings. Whether you’re craving classic pepperoni or daring combinations, we’ve got something to satisfy every palate. Visit any of our four locations in Northeast Oklahoma today: Grove, Miami, Vinita and Afton.

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Long’s Resort on Grand Lake

1806 Longs Dr. Grove, OK



Book your summer getaway at Long’s Resort on Grand Lake. Nestled amidst nature, our smaller resort features five cozy cabins, each with its own private deck overlooking the lake. We also have a private boat launch, pebble beach area and boat dock for cabin guests, allowing for a great place to fish, swim and watch Grand Lake’s magical sunsets. Adventure awaits with complimentary paddleboards and kayaks for guests and then retreat to comfort in our fully furnished cabins. Conveniently located just minutes away from town, Long’s Resort on Grand Lake offers the perfect blend of relaxation and accessibility. Book your getaway today and discover the charm of Grand Lake.

Har-Ber Village Museum

4404 W. 20th St. • Grove, OK

Email: Info@HAR· • 918.786.6446

A visit to this quiet lakeside village will take you on a nostalgic journey into the past. Har-Ber Village Museum celebrates the bygone era of pioneer life in Oklahoma. Multiple log cabins house eclectic collections of antiques, and frequent living-history demonstrations bring the times alive for visitors. Remember the past, celebrate the present, imagine the future! Open the third Saturday in March through the first Saturday in November. Hours 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

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My diet consists of 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits per day. With more people looking to eat healthier, the trend to grow your own fruits and vegetables is hotter than ever. You do not need to have a lot of space to grow some of your own organic fruits and veggies. You can grow many things in pots on your back porch or in a small area of your yard in raised beds.


For some of you, this may be new territory. You can find a lot of good information at your local nursery. They will also have a higher-quality selection of plants and seeds. Do some research to make sure it is the right time of year for the plants you want to grow. I recommend a great starter book such as “The Backyard Homestead.” There are several books written by this author that take you step by step on how to turn your yard into a useful area for all types of edible plants such as fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Growing vegetables in pots is a simple way to start gardening. Get some simple terracotta pots, some good organic soil and small organic plants, and you are ready to get started. You will need to place the pots where they will get several hours of sun a day and keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet. Place a small stone over the hole in the bottom of the pot to keep all the soil from coming out. I also like to keep a small terracotta plate under the plant to help catch the runoff. The plants pictured here are grape tomato plants, Poupila pepper plant, lemon eucalyptus, bay leaf and sweet pepper plants. To keep these organic, do not spray the soil or the plants with chemicals.

Raised bed gardening can make life much easier on your back. Build your raised beds from natural, untreated wood. Or, you could recycle some old bricks you might have lying around to build small, raised garden beds. Some community gardens even use large metal containers or cow troughs. Make sure to use some type of trellis or stakes for your plants that need support, like larger tomato vines.

And since we want our pots or raised beds to look pretty, plant some beautiful and useful flowers next to your veggies. Some plants that you can plant alongside your vegetables that will help keep bugs away are lavender, marigolds and lemongrass. They are beautiful as well as useful.

Some more general ideas for your garden:

• Place fabric between the beds and add small pea gravel or wood chips on top for a walking path.

• This will cut down on the need to pull weeds between the beds.

• String a drip water line into your beds to help with watering.

• Use large water barrels to catch rainwater, and use that to water your beds.

• Fence any areas where you might have rabbits or deer munching on your veggies.

• Use mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and cut down on the need to pull weeds.

• Small fruit trees can be beautiful as well as edible. Involve your children and grandchildren in gardening. Children love to eat things they help grow, and the activity of playing in the dirt and pulling weeds is good for them. I hope you will give home gardening a try. I know I will be working on some raised beds in my yard. Gardening can by pretty and tasty!

Joplin, MO

Every day: Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings. Call 888.740.4568.

Every Monday: Tips for Living a Healthy Life, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 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.

May 22: Grief Support Group meets every fourth Wednesday of each month, 6-7:30 p.m., 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.

May 7: Espresso Yourself Breast Cancer Support Group, 5-6 p.m., Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Come and enjoy a coffee courtesy of Freeman CornellBeshore Cancer Institute. Our monthly breast cancer support group enables members to share, gain helpful information and useful tips, as well as form new friendships. Enjoy listening to a special guest from time to time. RSVP to Marcella Sowell at 417.347.2662.

May 8: Freeman Cancer Support Group, 2-3 p.m., Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute, 3415 McIntosh Circle. Call Kelley Wheeler at 417.347.4000 for more information.

May 17 & 18: Joplin Memorial Run (JMR) – The FINAL Year, 8 a.m. Hosted in downtown Joplin at Memorial Hall/Cornell Ar t Complex (8th & Joplin streets). The Joplin Memorial Run is a project of Active Lifestyle Events and Produced by Rufus Racing, LLC. JMR hosts a half-marathon, 4-person half-marathon relay, 10K, 5K and kid’s run. Various times and events are listed on the Joplin Memorial Run website at

May 21: Freeman Bariatric Weight-loss Support Group, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Freeman Business Center Conference Rooms, 3220 McClelland Blvd (back entrance). Designed to help those who have had bariatric surgery. For more information, call Janice Drake at 417.347.1266.

May 21: Ozark Center Daytime Autism Support Group, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism, 2808 S. Picher Ave. Open to people with autism, parents and caregivers. Call 417.347.7850 for more information.

National Adult Literacy Action - For information on NALA, call 417.782.2646, email or visit www. Located at 123 S. Main St., Joplin. Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday: 8:30 a.m.-noon.

Nevada, MO

May 10: 21st Annual Caring with Pride Golf Tournament, 8 a.m. The Nevada Regional Medical Center (NRMC) Foundation will host this tournament at the Frank E. Peters Golf Course. The competition will feature 3-person teams competing for prize money awarded to the top three teams in each of three flights. A light breakfast and catered lunch will be provided. To register, visit or call 417.448.3801.

May 11: Birth and Beyond Class, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meets at the NRMC Mezzanine Conference Room. This class covers childbirth, breastfeeding and infant care for women in their last trimester. Includes a tour of the NRMC OB when available. $15 registration fee. Fee may be waived if cost is prohibitive. Register by calling 417.448.3710.

May 17: Community Blood Drive at Nevada Regional Medical Center (NRMC), 1-6 p.m. Join us for our communitywide blood drive in the Mezzanine Conference Room. Blood collected through our hospital drives remains in our area to assist patients in need. To register for a specific appointment time, visit and click on the “Donate Blood” button. Walk-ins are also welcome.

May 28: Rich Hill Family Medical Clinic Screenings, 11 a.m.noon, Kern Senior Center. Free health screenings are offered every fourth Tuesday of the month to residents of Rich Hill. Integris Baptist Regional Health Center, Grove, 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, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Second Tuesday: Nine Tribes Tower, 10-11 a.m. Third Tuesday: Miami Senior Center, 10-11 a.m. Fourth Tuesday: INTEGRIS Baptist Village, 9-10 a.m.

May 7: Alzheimer’s Support Group meets first Tuesday monthly, 11 a.m., Generations fourth floor visiting room. Call 918.542.3391.

May 14 & 28: Depression Support Group meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 2 p.m., Northeastern Tribal Health System Conference Room, 2301 Eight Tribes Trail. Call 918.675.2093.

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.


Bringing Triumph Out of Tragedy

T“So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

oday, we are a living testimony of surviving the Joplin tornado. But we are not merely survivors; we’re victors. The tornado tried to break us, but instead it formed bonds of compassion, courage, and hope that bind us all together.

In the aftermath of devastation when the winds subsided, and the debris settled, we emerged from our closet, battered but unbroken. Our home crumbled, our possessions scattered, but our hearts remained steadfast. We found solace in the arms of our Heavenly Father and the kindness of strangers, who offered water, blankets and comforting words.

Hope was a fragile yet unyielding flame that burned within us. It whispered, you are not alone. We cleared debris, shared stories and held each other up. We mourned our losses, but we also celebrated our survival. We discovered that adversity does not discriminate, it touches the rich and poor, the young and old. But it’s our response to adversity that defines us.

I want to share three messages of encouragement that may help when you face a difficult time.

Unity and Adversity

We are not isolated islands; we are part of a resilient community. Together, we rebuilt what the tornado tore asunder. We extended our hands to those who stumbled, our hearts to those who ached and our determination to those who faltered. In unity, we find strength.

Renewal Amidst Ruin

The tornado stripped away familiar landscapes, the streets we walked, the houses we called home. But amidst the rubble, we found opportunity for renewal like a forest after a wildfire. We not only rebuilt structures, we rebuilt our lives.

The Power Within

Psalm 90:12

We each have an inner resilience – a wellspring of courage that flows, even when the sky is dark. We have weathered the storm, and we rise again. Every challenge is a stepping stone to growth. God has the power to rebuild your life.

I thank God for the leadership of Joplin. The new schools, new hospital, the KCU Medical and Dental school, new businesses – all of these came through tremendous pain and loss, but it inspired us to live even greater lives. As we stand on hallowed ground, we honor those we lost by living fully. We planted seeds of hope where despair once rained down. The sun rose again, casting its golden light on our scars, turning them into badges of courage.

Dr. Phillip McClendon has been a pastor for over 40 years. He is a former presiding commissioner of the mental health commission for the state of Missouri and senior chaplain of the International Fellowship of Chaplains.

The McClendons on the front porch of what was left of their home in 2011.

Building recovery-friendly communities

Recently retired counselor Mark McDonald embarks on new business

Mark McDonald, a licensed therapist, trainer and certified peer specialist, recently retired from counseling in an agency to pursue his passion and start his business, Professional Development and Consulting. His goal is to develop trainings and programs to build collaborations with other entities in Joplin and the surrounding communities to tackle the problem and issues with substance use disorder.

that job because he was tired of arresting people for drug and alcohol issues when he knew they had an illness and weren’t getting access to services. McDonald was also a program director at ASCENT Recovery Residences where he crossed paths with Executive Director Teddy Steen.

“He is one of the best trainers in recovery,” Steen said. “He is very engaging and easy to understand. I always get something out of his trainings.”

A member of the Missouri Credentialing Board, McDonald trains certified peer specialists and other counselors and realized two years ago training is his passion. He enjoys training and developing programs for other counselors. Though he says good counselors are out there, he wants to train them to be better at doing work for the people they serve.

“Knowledge, skills and attitudes are the keys,” McDonald said. “While knowledge and skills are important, it you don’t have the attitude, then you probably shouldn’t do it.”

With his background and experience, McDonald is the right person to try to develop a substance use disorder alliance. Steen believes he is the one who can bring people together.

“If we can build collaborations, the community can work together to address substance use disorder,” McDonald said. “With stronger gaps, it’s not easy to follow through. With a single agenda, we can accomplish a lot of good things, reduce the stigma and improve individuals getting help. It’s not easy, but when it happens, it works well.”

“People don’t understand that substance abuse doesn’t happen in isolation, it happens in the community. Until we have a community response, it will continue to grow.”
- Mark McDonald

Sober for 43 years after an addiction to alcohol, McDonald has been in the counseling arena for 35 years. He initially obtained sobriety in the Navy, and then worked with the Navy program to help his shipmates obtain treatment. After a five-year stint as a police officer, he quit


the right people together at the right time is important for a community alliance,” Steen said. “Education goes a long way, and Mark is very well respected and very valuable to our recovery community.”


Celebrating community wellness, St. Patrick’s Day and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States

The streets of downtown Joplin came alive March 16 as the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Free Community 5K took center stage. Presented by TAMKO Building Products, the event rallied nearly 500 participants, including runners, walkers and volunteers. The support, dedication and enthusiasm of the group reflect the essence of our community spirit.

The event surpassed expectations, raising more than $30,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States (RMHC). This significant achievement underscores the deep commitment of the Four-State Area to support families facing the challenges of caring for a seriously ill child—a commitment that has sustained RMHC for a quarter-century.

Kim Eckerman, TAMKO’s director of communications, said, “Our involvement goes beyond sponsorship; it’s a continued focus on positive impacts for our community. By supporting Ronald McDonald House, we foster not only community spirit, but the empowerment of families during challenging times.”

Lori Jones, RMHC executive director, commented, “We loved the focus of this event: family, fun and a little bit of luck. Thanks to our sponsor support and a streamlined event process, it turns out a free event can be a successful fundraiser. We measure its success not only in the dollars raised, but in the participation of nearly 500 people.”

Beyond fundraising, the 5K fostered a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose among participants. Several families who once called Ronald McDonald House their home-awayfrom-home attended the event in support of its mission. Many volunteers who serve at the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room also joined the effort, donning their best green outfits as runners, walkers and course volunteers. Of course, there was also a long list of community sponsors who generously donated funds to make the event possible.

The event committee’s vision included promoting a healthy lifestyle across the Four-State Area. They opted to make the 5K free to the community, making the event accessible, fun and inclusive for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

“We believe that every run is a good run, and every walk is a good walk,” said Erik Bartlett, owner of Runaround Running & Lifestyle and the event’s timing company, Runaround Racing. “There are countless benefits to exercising regularly, so we want to help individuals in our community make attainable lifestyle changes to improve their overall health.”

Local businesses like Joplin Greenhouse & The Coffee Shop, OWN Inc., and Blue Buffalo latched onto the idea of this unique 5K by encouraging their staff to participate as a team. It was inspiring to see employees cross the finish line side-by-side, proud to support a meaningful cause while challenging themselves to try something new.

Reflecting on the accomplishments of the first ever St. Patrick’s Day Free Community 5K, RMHC would like to extend heartfelt appreciation to all who contributed to its success. The committee members look toward the future, envisioning an even bigger St. Patrick’s Day celebration next year. They are committed to engaging the community in promoting wellness, camaraderie and generosity toward a great cause.

May 2024 • • 73

CARROTS: A popular superfood

As the weather gets warmer and beach trips become more viable, most people start thinking about how they can lose a few pounds or otherwise get healthier. Many will turn to lowercalorie options such as vegetables, and a popular vegetable is the carrot. In America, carrots are estimated to be the fourth most popular vegetable, and while factors such as taste and cost could be why they’re so popular, it just so happens they’re nutritious as well.

As always, I can’t know your health goals or what is best for you. Please consult your doctor or a nutritionist before making lifestyle or nutrition changes. Are there any benefits to carrots? You’ve probably heard carrots are good for your eyes, and it’s true. Carrots are filled with a chemical called carotene, which is a pigment created by plants, often appearing as orange or yellow. Our bodies convert carotene into vitamin A, which helps improve and/or maintain our eye health, immune system and skin health. Carrots also have a lot of antioxidants to promote good heart health as well as vitamin C, which can be good for bone health and helping our body recover from injuries. While carrots provide a wide variety of benefits, how you prepare them can help maximize some of these benefits at the expense of others. Cooked carrots tend to be lower in vitamin C and antioxidants. If you’re looking at carrots for a source of maintaining heart or bone health, eating them raw is probably the better option; however, cooking carrots can actually help our bodies absorb the carotene inside them, meaning we’ll get more eye, immune system and skin benefits from cooked carrots. Also, if you’re cooking carrots, you probably aren’t just boiling them – it’s likely you’re salting them, cooking them in fatty oils or even adding sugar to them. While carrots tend to be healthy, always be aware of what you’re adding to them.

Are there any downsides to eating carrots? Remember, carrots are high in the pigment carotene; high levels of carotene can cause skin discoloration (called carotenemia), which isn’t pleasant. Suddenly eating more carrots can also cause bloating and digestive issues because of all the fiber found in them. In general, starting slow with carrots is the best option to help ensure you don’t have any of these issues.

Low-carb diets are also popular at the moment. If you’ve been cleared for one, you’ll probably want to limit your consumption because of how many net carbs carrots have (about 4 grams of net carbs for the average carrot). Your carb budget will probably be unique to you, so you’ll have to use your judgement on what an acceptable number of carrots is.

Ultimately, carrots have a lot of benefits, but you probably don’t want to eat too many of them. Carrots are popular, so it makes sense to go to them when you’re looking to have a healthy snack option, but always be aware of changes in your health to make sure you aren’t overdoing it and causing yourself problems.

May 2024 • • 75

The Great


I do not remember the first time I heard the melodic sounds of a Native American flute. The music still lingers in my soul. To most people, it is an almost spiritual experience.

Legend has it a woodpecker pecked holes in a cedar limb and gifted a young brave the first flute, but it would not play. He had to humble himself first before it would make its music. The heart of the cedar had been removed from the flute. As a flute player, he was to replace it with his own heart when he played.

I love to read about the time in history when America’s mountain men traveled through the mountains and valleys of the West hunting and

Wind songs sweeping through the valley

trapping animals for their fur. It was a tough life. I sometimes wish I had lived back then. They often heard the flute’s haunting sounds when played by the Native Americans. The mountain men called the mystical music they made wind songs.

The Native American flute is the only melodic wind instrument belonging to the people of this continent and the only instrument indigenous exclusively to America. The oldest Native American flute is the Beltrami Native American flute. It was traded for by the Italian explorer Giacomo Constantino Beltrami on a journey through presentday Minnesota in 1823.

Most Native American flutes were of cedar or river cane. They were made for many different reasons. Some tribes used the flute for

An award-winning magazine and newspaper writer, radio host and blogger for more than 40 years. His book, “Seasons: Stories of Family, God and the Great Outdoors,” is available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle.

ceremonial purposes. In others, young braves would use them to try to win a hopeful bride-to-be.

The flute was also played to empty themselves of things they could not express in words. North American flute music is natural stress relief. In this world we live in today, maybe we all need to learn to play a Native American flute or at least listen to its music to escape the craziness.

The first time I heard a Native American flute, something within me wanted to know more about it.

How are flutes made? What gives them their beautiful sound? Can a musically-challenged person like myself learn to play one?

I consider flutes as not just a musical instrument but also a work of art. Besides cedar and cane, they also make flutes of ash, maple, mahogany, bloodwood, ebony, Alaskan yellow cedar and other woods. Each has its own distinct sound and beauty when crafted by the hand of a master flute maker.

The flute is one of the easiest to play wind instruments. Minor tuning makes it easy because more notes go together than most contemporary instruments. A beginning flute player does not need to know conventional music when learning to play these instruments. It is a tool for self-expression. That simplicity allows non-trained individuals to pick up the flute and make pleasing sounds within minutes. Master flute makers will tell you they have never sold a flute. A flute sells itself.


“The old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.”

You do not have to play songs everyone knows on a flute. Play what is in your heart. Look to a sunset or sunrise, the valleys and mountains, the streams and lakes, the wildlife and wildflowers. The world of nature contains countless songs. Listen to the wind through the trees and rustling leaves. Listen to flowing water and the sounds of the birds. Watch the wildlife. Look for inspiration and play what you feel.

Native American flutes and lessons may be available in your area. You can also go online and order a flute, an instruction book, listen to flute music or order accessories. These special instruments, treated with care, will bring a lifetime of musical pleasure.

If you are not interested in learning to play a Native American flute, you can still enjoy listening to the beautiful music they make on your computer or smartphone. You can even record the flute music and play it anywhere you might be.

It is a beautiful spring morning. The white of the dogwood trees and the pinkish tint of redbud trees dot the forest landscape. Colorful wildflowers cover the forest floor. I sit on a tree stump high on a hill overlooking a valley near the Mark Twain National Forest in Southwest Missouri. A red-tailed hawk makes its familiar screeching sound as it flies in the bright blue sky. A turkey gobbles in the distance.

I hear the music of flowing water from the creek in the valley below. In my mind’s eye, I can see deer crossing the creek. A kingfisher makes its rattling call as it flies over the creek looking for a breakfast of fish. I hear the grunt of a black bear also out looking for breakfast.

I think of the mountain men I read about. They must have loved to see,

– Luther Standing Bear

hear and feel what I was experiencing that morning. Most of them lived in peace with the Native Americans. They traded their furs with them and shared their camps. Some even took Native American women as their wives.

I think of how the Native Americans took care of their land and tried to protect it. I think of how they honored the game when they took its life to feed and clothe their family. They did not waste any part of the animal and only took what they needed. They were the first conservationists.

My flute in hand, I play from my heart. It is an escape from this world we live in for a little while, out in the nature God created for all of us to enjoy. Away from a hectic, fast-paced world, I play. As I play, I also think of the mountain men listening to the haunting, mystical sounds of wind songs sweeping through the valley.

May 2024 • • 77

A little insight to the path of adulthood

Spring is known for renewed life, whether it’s the fresh foliage on the native trees, spring wildflowers, the movement of different fishes to spawn in our streams’ waters and certainly for wildlife babies. The offspring of mammals, birds and reptiles is abundant in spring (yes, have you seen newly hatched skinks? They are cute!). I’m a warm-hearted naturalist since

childhood, plus I’m a biologist and animal behavioral ecologist by schooling. Perhaps, most important, I’m in the field, a landowner, hiker and observer of nature every day of the year.

I understand the people who discover a baby animal and want to help it. The small animal may look alone or in trouble, but most likely it is where it’s supposed to be, or its parent knows where it is hiding. Luckily for wildlife, if people enjoying the outdoors come across a baby


bird, young fox or fawn, they usually observe it and then pass by. Even with the pastime of watching wildlife, we don’t want to observe the young too long. By being in the area, our own scent concentrated in that area will allow dogs and free-ranging house cats to linger.

Our area is blessed with an abundance of wildlife. As a landowner, I enjoy the fawns on my farm. I find it amazing how quickly the twins (it’s usually twins that are born, rarely triplets or singles) stand wobbling and nurse. They can walk at length and run after a few days but they rarely do. Instead of following mom to her browsing needs, the fawns curl up, warm up and rely on their adaptations to blend into the grassy bed or forest floor. Fawns are born attuned to the environment and their eyes and ears are well developed; they simply prefer in the early part of life to rest and grow. Their mother knows of their location even when she seems shy of people coming through the area. If fawns are “bumped” by disturbance, the doe will search vigorously to relocate. They won’t be abandoned.

It’s amazing how many wild animals will pick up and move their individual young or litter, such as the little rabbit found in a yard’s depression or a raccoon cub on a nature trail. They likely have been moved before, and without disturbance, their mother will pick them up and move to a more hidden safe location. Flying squirrels will handle babies up a vertical tree trunk, bats will carry and fly with their pups and rabbits, raccoons and fox will “mouth” their young to a new refuge.

Let’s not overlook the most common baby animal found on school grounds and backyards: nestling birds. Altricial nestlings are the ones of songbirds and raptors. They hatch practically naked and need warmth and food from their parent(s). Precocial birds are the ones that hatch and are ready to go. Go, that is, still under the parent or flock’s watchful eye. Precocial young examples are the quail, wild turkey and wood ducks. They still need the protection and guidance of their kind to survive.

This guidance and learning come in two forms, and this is where my “insight”—animal behavior studies and intriguing classes—kick in! Animals have an instilled instruction already in place; it’s referred to as an instinct. It’s this simple: It’s when the animal performs the act or skill correctly the first time it’s performed. The second type of behavior will come from learned experiences, where the youth learn these skills from its parents, siblings and life experiences. The learning and honing of its behaviors are what’s going to ensure its path to adulthood and carrying out its role in nature. Behaviors and all wildlife observations are tremendous fun. I encourage you to get out as much as possible and consider yourself a student or learner of the outdoors. It’s your path as a naturalist.

And please help spread the word that wildlife and wildlife babies need to be left where they are. Heartfelt efforts and consideration are appreciated from all of us in the biology field, but the energy and effort will do a world of benefit if it’s toward the natural habitat.

Embrace the month of May; it’s certainly for enjoying the trail, the creek and all the wildlife observations. - Jeff

Jeff Cantrell is a local naturalist and MO Stream Team Biologist. He covers the Ozarks and Southwest Missouri Region Dept. of Conservation, Relevancy Branch. Information: and MO Stream Team at

May 2024 • • 79
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