Show Me The Ozarks - December 2022

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December 2022 • Volume 22 • Issue 4
Moments A stocking full of Christmas memories Featuring McDonald County HolidayWish Lists
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6 Christmas is a time for making merry memories! Three families share with us their own best Christmas traditions and those gifts that have meant the most to them. As you read their stories, you might recall your own traditions that fill you with Merry Moments! features SMTO contents December 2022 30 Featuring McDonald County 50 Faces of McDonald County 54 Customers Are Always First At Cowin Construction 55 Luap & Lasandra McKeever Focused On Making A Difference in McDonald County 56 Grounds For Learning 57 Lady Mustangs Senior High Softball Team Shines Bright On Way to District Title 58 McDonald County High School JROTC Program Guides Students Toward Becoming Better Citizens Holiday Guide 30 Merry MomentsA Stocking Full of Christmas Memories 32 Capturing a Carthage Christmas - The Loy Home 34 Gift of Life - Gift of Love 36 Holiday Wish List 44 Holiday Recipes 59 The Creative Edge: Teacher, Leader, Artist, Musician, Friend - Charlene Bergen 60 McDonald County Business Spotlights 62 Why I Ride: The Accidental Cyclist - How Casey Williams Found His Passion for Gravel Riding at the Age of 52 64 Lifelong McDonald County Friends Recall ‘Happy Days’ About the Cover
Focused Memories
Photos by Mandy Edmonson,

and your family!


Color For The Holidays

Great Outdoors - Have a Very Merry Outdoor Christmas

A Naturalist Voice - And So, Winter Begins

Your Realtor For Life - Holiday Home Buying Advantages

health other great reads

48 Cutting Through The Noise 49 Holiday Etiquette: Tips For Surviving The Season 66 Covers For A Cause 68 10th Annual Pink Ribbon Gala 72 A Calmer Winter - Finding Peace in Winter’s Long Night With Yoga 73 Health Events 75 Many Concerns Exist About The Passage of Recreational Marijuana Use 16 Make the Season Even Brighter with the Annie Moses Band 19 Joplin Arts District 20 Spotlight on Carthage 21 Show Me Carl Junction 70 Faces & Places: 2022 Horses of Hope Gala 71 Solace House of the Ozarks

Congratulations to Charlene Daniels, the winner of the November edition “Find the Green Smiley Face” contest. Charlene wins two gift certificates to McAlister’s Deli in Joplin, MO. The Green Smiley was on page 30 in the photo of Israel Nunnelly playing the drums.

December 2022 • • 7 in every edition Can you find it? Find the GREEN smiley face on one of our pages. Email sue@ with the page number and spot where you found it. Submit your entry by the 15th of the month. A winner will be drawn from all the correct entries and will receive a gift certificate from an area retailer. One entry per household please. Good luck!
$41.99 - three years $32.99 - two years $19.99 - one year Name: Address: Form of payment: Check Credit Card Card Number: Name on Card: Card Expiration: / Mail this form with your check, money order or credit card info to: Show Me The Ozarks, PO Box 950, Neosho, MO 64850 Subscription Form Subscribe today! Call 417.455.9898 to place your subscription over the phone by credit card. Don’t miss a single edition of the magazine that has all of the region talking! The Ozarks Magazine Since 2001 Meet the Doctors Featuring Carthage Home Living Design Guide WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE OZARKS 12 Calendar of Events - Round out the year by perusing holiday open houses and markets,
homes decked out for the holidays or
Or, take a break from the holidays by
The last month
is filled with fun for you
Home/Lifestyle 23
spending time in the
air on an owl hike
learning how to identify birds.
of 2022
Cultural Arts and Entertainment
Northeast Oklahoma Events
Holiday Events
Tastes of the Four States - Finn’s
Show Me Dining Guide
Your House ... Your Home
76 The
8 PUBLISHER/EDITOR Lee Radcliff EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Sue Dillmon ASSOCIATE EDITORS Wendy Brunner Kathleen Swift GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Kelley Talent Kristi Tucker SOCIAL EDITOR/MARKETING ASSISTANT Cheryl Franklin PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR Jamie Emery STAFF WRITERS PHOTOGRAPHERS Angela Spieker Amy Howe Mandy Edmonson Tera Miller Ashley Caughorn DISTRIBUTION Shelby Cagle / Gary and Desma Sisco Show Me The Ozarks Magazine is published monthly by Show Me Communications, PO Box 3325, Joplin, MO 64803. Copyright 2022 all rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in part or in whole, is prohibited without written permission from SMTO. Subscription rates: $19.99 for one year, $32.99 for two years, $41.99 for three years. Advertising rates sent on request. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and art will not be returned unless accompanied by self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage. NOTE: Information published herein is subject to change without notice. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited by law. SMTO makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of published information, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions. SMTO does not take responsibility for, or always endorse the opinions of contributors or advertisers. SMTO reserves the right to not run an ad or article that is reviewed to be in bad taste or goes against the focus or mission of that of Show Me The Ozarks Magazine. Editor photo by Hannah Sanderson Photography. Staff Holly Hukill Jeff Cantrell Kathleen Swift Don Lowe Larry Whiteley Bridget Bauer Gary Stubblefield Amy Howe Savanah Bandy Ann Leach Allison Lee RiechmanBennett The Ozarks Magazine Since 2001
December 2022 • • 9 Debbie Koehler Client Service Associate TO OUR JOPLIN OFFICE We Welcome: Brad McIntyre, AAMS™ Vice President/Investments Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated | Member SIPC & NYSE | (417) 781-6161 401 S. Main Street | Joplin, Missouri 64801

Energy for

Energy for life

TraditionsNew and Old

Traditions. The holiday season would not be the same without the family traditions being passed down from generation to generation. Family traditions are not only a time to reminisce about holidays past, but an opportunity to create memories to one day, too, be cherished. Family traditions help us remember the past while looking toward the future.

Each year, we create new traditions or add to existing ones. We decorate a gingerbread house or wear new matching pajamas to bed. We add our own twist to a family recipe or holiday celebration. Traditions, new and old, connect us and hold the magic of the season.

Show Me has a tradition. Each year during the holiday season, we remind our readers the importance of shopping local. We recognize the significance of supporting small businesses within our community. Shopping local creates jobs, keeps money spent right here at home, promotes better customer service, and local business owners are the biggest supporters of non-profits. Shopping local helps turn someone’s dream into a reality.

Each year, I share, as a local business owner, the meaning of support from the community. I tell the story of how a community of local business owners helped my dream come true. Show Me The Ozarks Magazine is here because of the support of small business owners who live and work right here in our region and the individual people who value our art by reading our magazine each month. Sharing my story and promoting shopping local are two of my favorite things to do during the holiday season.

This year, I want to add to the tradition. I want to put a twist on it. I want to encourage you to “do one more.” If you have not shopped local to purchase gifts for loves ones, start by buying one. Look at your list and find one item made or offered locally at a small business right down the street. If you have started the tradition to shop local during the holiday season, find one more gift and purchase locally.

If each of us “do one more,” we can make a difference. Our region continuously proves we are stronger collectively than we are as one. One more turns from an individual goal to a community mission.

“Do one more” can create a job, help support a local sports team, help gives funds to an animal shelter or provides medical care to someone in need. “Do one more” can make a difference, if we do it together.

I wish you a happy holiday season and New Year. I hope you are surrounded by warmth, love and the true spirit of the season.

Lee Radcliff-Timmsen, Editor/Publisher P.O. Box 3325 • Joplin, MO 64803 417.455.9898 • 417.850.5557

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the holidays
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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.

Pittsburg, KS

Wednesdays: Trivia Night, 7 pm, Drop the H Brewing Company, 107 E. Rose St. Thursdays: Thursday Night Line Dance Lessons, 7-9 pm, Dirty Mule Restaurant Bar & Event Center, 134 S. US 69.

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

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

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

December 3: Holiday Market, 9 am-3 pm, The Barn at Timber Cove, 832 S. 250th Street.

December 3: Holiday Craft Fair, 9 am-noon, Memorial Auditorium, 503 N. Pine Street.

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

December 2: Holiday Open House, 5-9 pm.

December 4: Icy Winter Night Credit Card Painting, 3-5 pm. An easy, beginner level make and take. Bring an old credit card, library card, grocery club card-whatever you have. This painting goes fast, but you’ll have plenty of time to finish. This will be a smaller-sized canvas, $30, payable at registration. Ages: 14+. Class limit: 10.

December 10: Kids Paint Party, 10-11:30 am. Holiday-themed paint party for young artists! Children will create a holiday masterpiece using acrylic paint and embellishments. Painting techniques will be taught; however, emphasis will be on enhancing creativity through personal expression. Hot cocoa and cookies will be served! $25, payable at registration. Age: 6-11 years.

December 10: Teen Paint Party, 1-3 pm. Workshop is designed for young artists who love to paint and would like to improve their skills. A variety of materials will be provided, but students will choose their own content. $30, payable at registration. Ages: 12-17 years.

December 10: Paint & Sip, 5-7 pm. Drawing skills are not required for this loose technique as we will use a reindeer silhouette and then fill in with color scheme of your choice. Acrylic paint on a 16” x 20” stretched canvas. $40. Class limit: 12. Ages: 21+ to bring alcohol.

December 17: Poured Ornaments, 2-4 pm. Let’s pour some ornaments for your tree! $35. Ages: 14 and up. Class size: 10.

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

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

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

Carthage, MO

December 3: All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast, 9-11 am, Carthage Shrine Club. Public welcome. $7 per person. Call 417.317.0609.

December 3: Holiday Homes Tour and Tea, 10 am-4 pm, presented by Carthage Historic Preservation. This festive homes tour features a cross section of beautiful homes in a variety of styles decorated for the holidays. $25 per person/$30 at the door. Also, for your enjoyment that day, tea at the Historic Phelps House. Available by reservation, $30 per person. Tea times: 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 5:30 pm. For more information, call 417.358.1776.

We have unique handcrafted Holiday gifts! jewelry, paintings, pottery, glass & wood Holiday Open House Friday, November 18th & Friday, December 9th 5:30 8 PM enter our free raffle for art Monday Saturday 10 6 pm Friday & Saturday Nov 25 Dec 17 11 7 pm 1027 S Main, Joplin, in the Gryphon Building

Diamond, MO - George Washington Carver

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

December 3: Holiday Open House, 1-3 pm. The park staff and volunteers invite the public to a holiday celebration of the season!

December 4: Film: Seeds of Success, 1 pm. This locally produced program by Ozarks Public Television is a documentary tribute to acclaimed agricultural scientist, humanitarian and educator George Washington Carver.

December 10 & 11: George Washington Carver: A Man of Great Faith, 1 pm. Hear how George Washington Carver learned to listen to “the Great Creator” when studying nature and science, and how he communed with God in the stillness of his early morning walks.

December 17: Astronomy: Wonders of The Night Sky, 6-8 pm. The largest natural resource is the night sky. Learn about celestial navigation, star stories and the effects of light pollution, including an outdoor constellation tour.

December 18: Struggle for Education, 1 pm. Can you imagine being denied entry to school simply because of the color of your skin? Learn more about this and other challenges George Washington Carver faced in his pursuit of a formal education.

Joplin, MO

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

December 2: The Woman’s Club of Joplin, noon, Twin Hills Golf and Country Club. Lunch will be served followed by a Christmas Extravaganza presented by the Show-Me Harmony Choir. Call 417.483.6336.

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

December 9: Holiday Open House, 5-8 pm. Join us as we celebrate the holidays with light refreshments and holiday activities for young and old alike. Learn how to recycle last year’s Natural Event Calendar into this year’s holiday gifts. Enjoy an evening of crafting a variety of nature ornaments to take home. The Wildcat Glades Friends Group Nature store will be open for shopping, so you can find that perfect gift for the nature-lover on your shopping list. Stop by anytime!

December 10: Holiday Natural Craft Day, 10:30 am2:30 pm. Stop by anytime to make some simple holiday ornaments from recycled and natural materials. We’ll supply the materials, kids bring the creativity and parents provide guidance. Bring a bag to carry your ornaments home.

December 10: Short-eared Owl Hike, 4:30 pm. Winter in Missouri means short-eared owls may be seen flying low over native grasslands in search of mice, rabbits and other small mammals. Join us at Shawnee Trail Conservation Area to discover more about these uncommon winter residents. Bring the family and dress for the weather for this easy-rated hike.

December 14: Virtual: Attracting and IDing Winter Birds, 6 pm. Winter is a great time to start the hobby of bird watching while stuck indoors. Join us to learn about common birds seen during winter and how to keep them around your feeders.

December 20: Little Acorns: Busy Birds, 10:30 am. Recommended for ages 3 to 7. A winter breeze makes a busy bird. While some birds are moving south, others are finding food and a warm place to stay. Bring your little ones to learn about the wonders of our feathered friends during winter and make a bird feeder to take home.

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

Wildcat Glades Friends Group, 201 Riviera Dr., Joplin, Missouri. All programs are free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, please email or visit our Facebook page for online registration options. Classes are limited to the first 20 students registered for preschool and yoga classes.

December 9: Holiday Open House, 5-8 pm, Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center. The Wildcat Glades Nature Store will be open and will have exclusive sales for this night only. Come get all of your holiday shopping done for the nature-lovers in your life! After shopping, join the staff at Missouri Dept. of Conservation as they offer ornament crafting and refreshments.

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

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

December 10 & 28: Preschool Program: Snowy Nap, ages 3-7. Free. Dec. 10: 1-2 pm, December 28, 10-11 am, Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. We will read a book by Jan Brett called Winter Nap. We will talk about hibernation and other ways animals prepare for and survive winter. Must pre-register. Please do so by visiting our Facebook page or by emailing robin@

December 12: Winter Craft Day, Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. Free. Ages 8 and up: 10 am-12 pm. Ages 13 and up: 1-3 pm.

December 2022 • • 13

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Carthage, MO

December 1-4 & 8-11: A Christmas Story, 6 pm, Sunday 12:30 pm, Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre, 2466 Old 66 Blvd. Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s follows Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Info: stdinnertheatre@, 417.358.9665.

December 31: My Fatal Valentine by Eileen Moushey, 6pm, Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre, 2466 Old 66 Blvd. At a convention of romance writers, the contenders for the LoveKnot Book of the Year Award are anxious to find out who wins the prize. Editor Benton Fish tries to keep the award ceremonies civilized amid jealousies and rivalries. When the winner is announced and then abruptly murdered, it will be up to the amateur detectives in the audience to vote for who they think “dunit.” Reservations required. Info:, 417.358.9665.

Joplin, MO


December 1-4: Holiday Inn, 7 pm, December 3 & 4, 2 pm, Ozark Christian College Chapel, 1111 N. Main St. Rd. In this musical based on the beloved film, Jim Hardy leaves behind the hustle and bustle of showbiz for a quiet life on a Connecticut farm. Tickets: or Adult $15, children (ages 12 and under) $10. Info: or 417.626.1292.

December 8-11 and 15-18: A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas, 7 pm, Sundays 2:30 pm, Stained Glass Theatre Joplin, 2101 Annie Baxter Ave. Hayden Stewart’s wife, Judith, and her sisters are concerned about their parents, who they claim argue constantly. Tickets: Adults $10, children (ages 4-14) $5, children ages 3 and under admitted for free. Info: sgtjoplin@

December 9 & 10: Who’s Holiday! (ages 18+), 7:30 pm, Dream Theatre Co., 124 S. Main St. Reservations required; reserve your ticket at Combination tickets for guests attending Who’s Holiday and A Christmas Crawl are available at Tickets: Who’s Holiday ticket $15, combination ticket $25. Info:, 417.622.6470.

December 10: Glenda Austin, 6 pm, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. 7th St. Glenda Austin is a life-long pianist, church musician and educator. Tickets may be purchased at or at the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex Tuesday through Friday, 10 am-5 pm. $10. Info:, 417.501.5550.

December 11: JPTA Christmas Recital, 1:30-4:30 pm, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. 7th St. Support some of Joplin’s youngest musicians during the Joplin Area Piano Teachers’ Association’s December recital! Free. Info:

December 11: MSSU Choral Society Holiday Concert, 3-4:15 pm, First Community Church, 2007 E. 15th St. Members of the choir will sing several selections that celebrate the holiday season. Free; donations appreciated. Info:, 417.208.9654.

December 16: Holiday Breakaway (ages 16+), 7 pm, Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Join Joplin Improv and enjoy some laughs before jumping into Christmas and New Year’s! Free. Info:, 417.763.1464.

December 17: Christmas with the Annie Moses Band, 3 pm & 7 pm, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. 7th St. The Annie Moses Band is an ensemble of Juilliard-trained siblings whose genre-defying performances have thrilled audiences for more than a decade. Tickets may be purchased at, 417.501-5550 or at the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex Tuesday through Friday, 10 am-5 pm. Tickets: $35-$45. Info:, 417.501.5550.

December 17: Sing Noel, 6-7:45 pm, Ozark Christian College Chapel, 1111 N. Main St. Rd. This Christmas concert includes a combined youth and adult

choir of more than 140 members. Free; donations appreciated. Info:, 417.389.7426.


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

December 2: Elements Art Gallery and Studio Ribbon Cutting, 4:30 pm, Elements Art Gallery and Studio, 2207 W. 7th St., Suite 8. Meet the artists who call this gallery home, and enjoy food and wine. Free. Info:, 417.691.8285.

December 3: Anime/Manga Club (ages 11-18), 2 pm, Joplin Public Library. Watch some anime, draw your favorite characters and more. Cosplay is always welcome but never required. Free. Info: teen@, 417.623.7953 x1027.

December 4, 11 & 18: Open Mic Comedy Night, 9 pm, Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. Join Joplin Comedy and try out your latest stand-up routine or take in the acts of local comedians, all while enjoying tasty pizza from Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. Age restrictions: 18+ until 10 pm; 21+ from 10 pm until close. Free., 417.540.9186.

December 8: Joplin Writers’ Guild, 6 pm, Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St. Members have published novels, nonfiction books and articles. Dues $10 for the year, but anyone interested can attend their first meeting free. Information:, 417.691.0480.

December 9: Makers Market Craft Fair, 2-9 pm, Missouri Southern State University Billingsly Student Center, 3950 E. Newman Rd. MSSU’s first Makers Market Craft Fair is the perfect place for MSSU students and staff and community members to showcase and sell their artful items! Visit the market on the second floor of MSSU’s Billingsly Student Center to peruse and purchase original artwork from vendors. Free. Info: Orcutt-R@mssu. edu, 417.625.3004.

December 9 & 10: A Christmas Crawl (ages 21+), 9 pm, Dream Theatre Co., 124 S. Main St. Join Scrooge for a wintery pub crawl highlighting the signature holiday drinks from the hottest locations in downtown Joplin! Photos with Krampus, live carolers and Dickens-era ghosts are included in this seasonal pub crawl. Must be 21 or older to participate. Registration required; register at Combination tickets for guests attending Who’s Holiday and A Christmas Crawl are available at Tickets: Pub Crawl ticket $15, combination ticket $25. Info:, 417.622.6470.

December 16 & 17: Wizard’s Magical Yule Ball, 8-11:30 pm, Dream Theatre Co., 124 S. Main St. The Ministry of Magic requests the pleasure of your company at Dream Theatre Co.’s Yule Ball! Muggle or wizard, you’re invited to celebrate Christmas and the Triwizard Tournament with a magical evening of dancing and fun. All ages welcome! Reservations required. Tickets: $15. Info:, 417.622.6470.

December 30: A Novel New Year, 4:30-9 pm, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 505 Byers Ave. Join FosterAdopt Connect Joplin in partnership with Dream Theatre Co., for a novel New Year celebration! This family-friendly event features a cocktail/mocktail hour, dinner, desserts and a live, interactive performance by Dream Theatre Co. Can you find the clues and solve the mystery? Info:, 417.744.9728.


Through December 31: 75th Annual Joy Spiva Cragin Membership Show, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. 7th St. Back for its 75th year, the Joy Spiva Cragin Membership Show honors the wide range of passions and creativity its members channel into their work. Free; donations appreciated. Info:, 417.623.0183.


Through December 31: Emerging Artist Exhibit, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. 7th St. Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC) presents a juried exhibit specifically for new or emerging artists! Designed for high school or college students aged 16 or older, the Emerging Artist Exhibit exposes the community to the next generation of artists and their work. Free; donations appreciated. More information:

December 1-31: Art at Plant Parenthood, Plant Parenthood 417, 528 S. Main St. Plant Parenthood, a store that helps people experience, grow and decorate with plants, is not only dedicated to plants, but to local artists as well! Drop in to see unbe-leaf-able artwork from Marta Churchwell, Merlen White, Daria Claiborne, Connie Miller and Brent Skinner. Free. Info:

Through March 4, 2023: Thomas Hart Benton, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W 7th St. For the first time ever, view the entire collection of editioned lithographs from Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton. Created between 1929 and 1974, the 91 lithographs are on loan from the State Historical Society of Missouri and include a wide range of imagery that represent Benton’s complex aesthetic and philosophical approaches to American identity. Free; donations appreciated. Info:, 417.623.0183.

November 1-January 2: The Eyes Have It by Joplin Regional Artists Coalition, Joplin Public Library, The Bramlage and Wilcoxon Foundation Gallery, 1901 E. 20th St. Free. Info:, 417.623.7953 x1041.

Through January 31: The Beauty of Nature by Sandra Parill, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, 320 E. 4th St. Local artist Sandra Parill presents a collection of paintings featuring landscapes, animals and scenery, all capturing the wonder of nature. Free. Info: lteeter00@gmail. com, 417.438.5931.


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

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

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

December 3: Intro to Encaustics with Jodie Sutton (ages 16+), 1-3 pm. A fun beginner class, participants learn how to paint with beeswax and resin, also known as encaustics. Explore how to prepare wood panels, fuse, add color and build up texture on works. Registration required; register at Cost: $40. Info:, 417.623.0183.

December 3: Printmaking Wrapping Paper with Ela Hosp (ages 15+), 2-4 pm. Make your own custom wrapping paper! Ela Hosp will teach participants the printmaking process and students will take home several sheets of their own holiday paper to wrap gifts or to keep for themselves. Registration required; register at Cost: $30. Info:, 417.623.0183.

December 10: Collage Accessories with Jill Halbach (ages 14+), 10 am-noon. Make either a brooch, bolo or pendant using magazines, paper, wood and more! Registration required; register at $25. Info:, 417.623.0183.

December 10: Vintage Upcycled Snowmen with Brenda Hayes (ages 14+), 10 am-noon. Unique vintage materials that have been carefully collected over time and will make a perfect addition to your holiday décor. Registration required; register at Cost: $35. Info:, 417.623.0183.

December 10: Glass Ornaments with Jane McCaulley (ages 8+), 3-5 pm. Create a beautiful fused-glass ornament in preparation for the upcoming holiday season! Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro,

you’ll have a blast in this glass class. Registration required; register at spivaarts. org/classes. Cost: $35. Info:, 417.623.0183.

December 17: Snowflake Resin Ornaments with Jade Henning-Cantrell (ages 12+), 10 am-noon. Participants will make stunning resin ornaments using beautiful accoutrements – making the perfect holiday keepsake to enjoy for years to come. Registration required; register at Cost: $35. Info:, 417.623.0183.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 3: Saturday Paint Class, 10:30 am-1 pm, $30. Includes all supplies and ice cream cone from Caroline’s; ages 8 and up. Paint Monet or Van Gogh.

December 9: Holiday Open House, 5:30-8:30 pm.

Elements Art Gallery and Studio (2207 W. 7th St., Suite 8):

Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Art Buffet, 1-4:30 pm. Gather some supplies and go to Elements Art Gallery and Studio any time between 1 pm and 4:30 pm to create with others and receive assistance from professional artists. All ages and all types of media welcome. Cost: $5 with your supplies, $15 with provided acrylic and watercolor supplies. Info:, 417.691.8285.

CLA Creativity Lab, 905 S. Main Street:

December 28 & 29: Christmas Break Lego Camp (ages 10-16), 1-5 pm. Enjoy a fun, interactive Lego robot camp! Classes run on both December 28 and 29. Registration required; register by emailing $100 per child. Info:, 417.850.7137.

Monett, MO

December 4: Winter Wonderland: Holiday Celebration, 3-4:30 pm, Monett High School, 1 David Sippy Dr. Sing-along carols will complete a concert that is sure to raise spirits and inspire seasonal cheer! Admission: $10 seniors (ages 65+), $5 children (ages 17 and under) free. Info:, 417.316.3302.

Neosho, MO

December 1-3 & 8-10: Little Women, 7:30 pm, Saturdays 2 pm & 7:30 pm, Crowder College, Elsie Plaster Center, 601 Laclede Ave. Group rates available. Tickets available at or call 417.455.5678. General $10, seniors $8, children (2-12) $6. Info:, 417.455.5458.

December 2022 • • 15

Make the Season Even Brighter with the Annie Moses Band

Aspecial holiday performance is on the schedule for December 17 as Connect2Culture (C2C) welcomes the Annie Moses Band to the Beshore Performance Hall in the new Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex.

“There will be two shows available,” said Emily Frankoski, executive director of C2C. “This group was one of the most popular bands we hosted in 2018. Despite an ice storm, fans flocked to see these siblings perform, and we want to give everyone the opportunity to experience their musical abilities again. We couldn’t be more

pleased to bring the Annie Moses Band back to Joplin for a holiday performance!”

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Annie and her siblings are experienced musicians whose talents have taken them to Carnegie Hall, the Grand ‘Ole Opry and to television screens across the nation during several specials on PBS. Born and raised in a musical family, siblings Jeremiah (electric guitar), Gretchen (violin, mandolin and harp), Alex (viola), Annie (violin and lead vocalist), and Benjamin (cello) have been performing together for more than a decade. Their parents, Bill and Robin Wolaver, are songwriters, and their mother once taught at Joplin’s Ozark Christian College.

Retired Ozark Christian College music faculty member Meredith Williams worked alongside Robin Wolaver, formerly Robin Donica, in the early ‘80s and has watched her family grow up and become


the magic that is the Annie Moses Band. “They play a wide variety of music,” he said. “They’re not just locked into one style. The way they play those violins and move around the stage creates excitement.”

Williams also shared why he believes people of all ages will enjoy the show, adding, “So many artists have been inspired by seeing someone else [perform], and that’s what can happen when a third or fifth grader or a seventh grader comes to see these siblings, who started learning and playing together at an early age: they could be inspired to do something like this at this level and they possibly could.”

Williams’ hopes of the band inspiring future generations of musicians seems to be an ideal close to the Annie Moses Band’s heart. “When we began,” the band said on their website, “we had no idea how God would lead us to stages and screens not usually occupied by Christians in the arts. The music we made was inspiring other families to develop the artistry of their children with greater excellence.”

As the band has grown in age and experience, they have discovered their true purpose is “to declare Truth and Light in the midst of the darkness.” They will continue to further this mission with their holiday performance in Joplin.

“The Annie Moses Band is truly extraordinary,” said Frankoski. “We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off C2C’s flagship series, the ‘Curtains Up Series,’ and the holiday season than with a group of distinguished artists, and the Annie Moses Band is the perfect fit!”

The band will have performances in Joplin at 3 pm and at 7 pm Saturday, December 17. To purchase tickets, contact Connect2Culture at, by calling 417.501.5550 or visit their box office at the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm.


with the Annie Moses Band

December 17, 2022 3 pm & 7 pm Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Beshore Performance Hall Tickets: $35-$45 Series: Curtains Up Series __________________

The Annie Moses Band is an ensemble of Juilliard-trained siblings whose genre-defying performances have thrilled audiences for more than a decade. Drawn together by family, faith and a love for their audience, these exceptional musicians apply their talent to a cornucopia of iconic melodies through innovative arrangements and original songwriting. Celebrate Christmas with the Annie Moses Band as they masterfully present the season’s favorites alongside original holiday compositions.

December 2022 • • 17
“The way they play those violins and move around the stage creates excitement.”
Meredith Williams
Botanicals & Glass
High-quality glass pipes. Firehouse Pottery Joplin
Where you can CREATE lasting memories.
Starkweather Photography 212 S. Joplin Ave. • phy Timeless portraiture for modern women.
Point of View 102 S. Main St. • 417.627.9797 @BrucesPointofViewJoplin It’s Clear to See.
Art Gallery
S. Main
Representing over 15 emerging artists Where unique in the norm, and the norm is unique.
Center for the Arts
Hours: 10
the creative experience.
& M Bistro Restaurant
Family-owned Mediterranean cuisine.
& Barrel Restaurant and Bar
515 S. Main St. • 417.825.4414
112 S. Main St., Ste. A • 417.553.0671 Facebook/firehousepotteryjoplin
212 W. 7th St. • 417.623.0183
612 S. Main St. • 417.627.9996 Facebook/MMBistro.LLC
530 S. Main St. • 417.623.2228 Facebook/beast&barreljoplin Our menu is unique. Meat or vegetarian, we have your dish!
Joplin Avenue Coffee Company 506 S. Joplin Ave. • 417.206.5222 Facebook/joplinavecoffeeco Not your average Joe!
Plant Parenthood 528 S. Main St. Facebook/Plant Parenthood 417 We are a plant store and gift shop.
JOMO Pride LLC. Facebook/jomoprideinc Pridefest 2023 is September 8-10 in the Joplin Arts District.
Electric Supply
LED upgrades and
your electrical needs!
Local Color Art Gallery &
1027 S. Main St. • 417.553.0835 Facebook/localcolorartgalleryjoplin Holiday open house December 9, 2022. 5:30-8 pm
raffle for art! CES-Covert
202 N. Main St. • 417.782.3877 For your
Pinnacle Bank 802 S. Main St. • 417.623.8860 The way banking should be.
CGA Architects 716 S. Main St. • 417.206.3134 Building community and empowering progress through design.
VISIT JOPLIN MO 602 S. Main St. • 800.657.2534 • Facebook/VisitJoplinMO Find attraction, art, and event info at

Where it’s ‘COOL’ to be YOU!

‘T is the season to be jolly! Keep reading for holiday art, entertainment, shopping and dining in downtown Joplin, including events at the new Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex!

JOPLIN ARTS DISTRICT NEWS - A snapshot of news, events and activities happening in December. There is still time to vote for the best “March of the Toys” theme in the Downtown Window Decorating Contest! Vote December 1-16. Visit Downtown Joplin Alliance on Facebook to learn more.

Spiva Center for the Arts presents four shows: The 75th Joy Spiva Cragin Membership Show; The State Historical Society of Missouri’s collection of 91 editioned lithographs of Thomas Hart Benton; The Emerging Artist Show hosted by the Joplin Regional Artist Coalition; and Experiencing Africa: Selections for the Harry M. Cornell Jr. Collection, a curated exhibit depicting the people, flora and fauna of Africa. 212 West Seventh Street.

Brew Pub & Parlor. Ugly Sweater Bash. December 1, 7 pm. Uncle Bann Comedy Show. December 2, 9 pm. Karaoke every Tuesday. 813 South Main Street. Special holiday deals at downtown boutiques and gift shops. Play Santa for others … but don’t forget yourself! December 2, 4-7 pm and December 3, 11-4 pm.

Local Color Art Gallery. Annual Holiday Open House. Free raffle for art! See their Facebook page to learn about walk-in classes throughout the month. December 9, 5:30-8 pm. 1027 South Main Street.

Dream Theatre Co. Who’s Holiday by Matthew Lombardo, a wildly heartfelt story of Cindy Lou Who recalling when she met the Grinch. December 9 and 10, 7:30 pm. $15. 124 South Main Street.

Dream Theatre Co. A Christmas Pub Crawl. Join Scrooge for a wintery pub crawl throughout downtown. December 9 and 10, 9 pm (following performances of Who’s Holiday). 21+ $15. RSVP 417.622.6470. Starts at 124 South Main Street.

Christmas Concert with Pianist Glenda Austin. She is a Joplin native who breathes new life into enduring Christmas classics. Presented by Connect2Culture at the new Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex. December 10, 6 pm. $10. Discounts available for students, seniors and military. 212 West Seventh Street.

Chaos Brewing Company. Barks and Brews Dog Adoption Night. December 15. 112 South Main Street. Urban Art Gallery. Presenting their annual Holiday Group Show of local artists invited to participate in a friendly competition in a juried show themed ‘Tis the Season. Awards for best interpretation of the theme will be presented at their reception, open to the public. December 15, 5-7 pm. 511 South Main Street.

Christmas with the Annie Moses Band. Juilliardtrained siblings “drawn together by family, faith and love for the audience.” December 17, 3 pm and 7 pm. $35-$45. Discounts available for students, seniors and military. 212 West Seventh Street.

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

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

Rolanda Root, “Autumnal Winds” Cyanotype, encaustic, botanical paper printing

Beast & Barrel 530 South Main Street

Al Gritten, “Spiritual Encounters” Watercolor and oil Joplin Avenue Coffee Company 506 South Joplin Avenue

Countryside in the City Florist • Event Planner Event Venue 422 S. Joplin Ave. 417.781.3719

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

Blackthorn Pizza & Pub

510 S. Joplin Ave Joplin, MO 417.623.2485

Facebook: @ BlackthornPizza&Pub

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

December 2022 • • 19

The City of Carthage is certainly ready for the holidays, with many activities planned throughout the community to enhance everyone’s holiday spirit.

Stop by Carthage’s Central Park, 714 S. Garrison, and take in the beauty of the Second Annual Sparkle in the Park hosted by Carthage Water & Electric and the Carthage. Walk through the park and enjoy thousands of lights on decorated trees, walking paths and more. Visitors will not be disappointed. Through the Christmas holiday, the Hometown Holiday ice skating rink and fun bounce houses will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30-10:30 pm, located just off the square in historic downtown Carthage.

Once again, the Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre will offer its Christmas show, A Christmas Story, December 1-4 and 8-11. For more information:

The Annual Christmas Parade will take place at 7 pm Monday, December 5, and go around the Carthage historic square. While you are in Carthage enjoying all of Carthage’s holiday beauty and events, make sure you take advantage of all the unique shops, eateries and boutiques to finish out your holiday shopping.

For more information on upcoming events, contact the Carthage Chamber of Commerce at 417.358.2373 or

Race Brothers Farm & Home Supply

2309 Fair Lawn Dr. 417.358.3529

Race Brothers carries a complete line of farm and home supplies including clothing, electrical, plumbing, lawn and garden, outdoor power equipment, tools, truck accessories, pet supplies, cattle-handling equipment, farm fencing and toys. Dedicated to providing the Carthage area with quality service and products for over 40 years. You’ll like the way we do business…tell a friend!

Space available for your business to sponsor this page! Call or email for rates417.850.5557

The Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce encourages everyone to Think Local First when doing your last-minute holiday shopping! Our region is filled with small businesses that carry one-of-a-kind gifts, friendly staff and customer service, and holiday shopping hours. We are proud to have so many small businesses to shop at, and they need our support. By shopping local, you are supporting a family that invests in our community, making it a better place. We hope you always Think Local First, not just around the holidays, but every day of the year!

Another way we are celebrating our small businesses and organizations is with a Holiday Open House “Cheers at the Chamber” Tuesday, December 13, from 11:30 am-1:30 pm. Our business community can enjoy light lunch, sweet treats and refreshments while connecting with each other. From now until December 22, we will accept donations of pet food on behalf of the Economic Security Corporation to benefit furbabies of senior citizens who receive Meals on Wheels. Contact the Chamber at 417.649.8846 if you have any questions. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!

December 2022 • • 21

EVENTS Northeast OK

MLT Presents The Family Fruitcake at the Coleman Theatre

December 1, 7 pm & December 4, 2:30 pm • 103 N. Main St.

Mom wants to have a normal dinner, just this once. But with a teenage daughter being very “teenage-y,” a younger daughter prepared (literally) for combat, a newly marriedinto-the family man getting lost in the backyard, and a great aunt whose wild stories get wilder by the minute and who needs no prompting to spin the tale of the Swenson fruit cake, it’s an impossible dream. The fruitcake was made some 20 years ago and has never been eaten. It has become a family tradition to keep it in the pantry until Christmas.

Miami Christmas Parade

December 2, 6 pm

Jim Brickman: A Very Merry Christmas at the Coleman Theatre

December 8, 7-10 pm • 103 N. Main St.

Jim Brickman, the multiple Grammy nominated songwriter and piano sensation is back this festive season with his annual holiday tour “A Very Merry Christmas,” a magical eve ning celebrating music, love and family. Brickman will warm the hearts of all as sounds of faith and love make spirits bright, bringing family and friends together for anything but a silent night. Join Brickman for this live and joyous concert experience that blends yuletide memories and holiday favorites with his own hit songs.

A Big Band Christmas Featuring Tulsa Praise Orchestra

December 10, 7-10 pm • 103 N. Main St.

The Tulsa Praise Orchestra continues the Christmas tradition at the Coleman, performing the Big Band sound set to your favorite Christmas music. A special guest vocalist will join them, so don’t miss out on the unmistakable sound of yesteryear that will round out your holiday! Tickets: Adult: $18, seniors: $15, students: $12.

It’s a Wonderful Life the Movie at the Coleman Theatre

December 11, 2:30-4 pm • 103 N. Main St.

It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas family film produced and directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his personal dreams in order to help others in his community, and whose desperate attempt to solve his problems on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers).

Asleep at the Wheel Merry Texas Christmas Y’all at the Coleman Theatre

December 17, 7-10 pm • 103 N. Main St.

Asleep at the Wheel will dust off the carols, grab the eggnog and proceed to boogie— holiday style—with a very special concert dubbed Merry Texas Christmas, Y’all! The band will take the stage playing fan favorites as well as choice cuts from their three previously released Christmas albums. Tickets: $25-$50.

The Return of the Nutcracker Staring William Lee Martin at the Coleman Theatre

December 19, 7-9 pm • 103 N. Main St.

Comedian William Lee Martin Brings Holiday Laughs to the Coleman. A holiday night of comedy, music and surprises.

Diamond Rio Holiday & Hits LIVE at Buffalo Run

December 22, 7-11 pm • 1000 Buffalo Run Blvd. Tickets Starting at $30. Age: 21 and over only.

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


For regulars Tom and Patsy Mountz, Finn’s is like home. Originally from Austin, Texas, the couple dines every week at Finn’s. When asked why, they replied, “Because

Hovering over Tom and Patsy was Michelle Ferson. Ferson has managed Finn’s for 3 years now, and her relationship with customers is what keeps them coming back. Since Finn’s was founded in 2019, the business has grown wildly, thanks to Ferson’s attention to the customers, details and a loyal staff that joins in loving and listening to their customers.

Of course, the real reason people keep flocking to Finn’s is the food. Asked to describe what kind of restaurant Finn’s is, Ferson replied, “We’re not a steakhouse, we’re not a seafood restaurant, even though we are the best at both. What Finn’s really is is a fancy dining experience.” It’s true. What was once a hidden secret, Finn’s has quickly become a destination known for its over-the-top cooking, “surprise” specials, full-service bar, all set in an ambience that is second to none.

Putting out the freshest, made-from-scratch menu requires attention to every single detail, including sourcing the freshest meats, using locally grown produce and doing all the baking in-house. Ferson said Finn’s likes to support local growers and farmers.

Total control of what is served at Finn’s is a process that starts with the ordering of ingredients, finally ending up on the plate of the happy diners, home parties, catering jobs and, of course, in their extensive bakery case. All pasta is made fresh in-house. All steaks are primed before being prepared. All pork and chicken are brined 24 hours in advance.

Supporting local is a commitment Finn’s extends into the weekend, when it hosts local bands on Fridays and Saturdays on the patio. The patio is also dog friendly.

Our servers, Liz and Harmony, kept Mandy and me wondering if they were bringing out the entire kitchen to us. We started with the hottest item going, the butter bread. All breads are made in-house, so each butter bread tray offers a variety of assorted breads, served with Kerry Gold Irish Butter. The butter boards change weekly. We followed with bruschetta, chicken

fettuccine, a 6-ounce prime rib and a surprise day special, a Lebanese dish called kibbeh, which was served with cucumber yogurt sauce.

We followed with a steak salad with raspberry jalapeno vinaigrette. We wrapped up with corn brulee, grilled asparagus and Brussels sprouts. You would have thought we would have stopped there. But no trip to Finn’s is complete without a visit to their bakery case. Both of us left with a tower of carryout boxes and looking forward to our next trip to Finn’s!

December 2022 • • 23 >> Finn’s is located at 2707 East 32nd Street • Joplin, Missouri • 417.624.3466 • Website: • Open: M-F 11am-9pm; Closed Sunday
the food is excellent, and the people are even better!”
after the owner’s
know Finn’s is named
chocolate lab?

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

24 Special Advertising Section ShowMe Dining Guide Red Onion Café 203 E. 4th • Downtown Joplin, MO 417.623.1004 • Casual urban dining in historic downtown Joplin since 1995. Famous for fresh salads, smoked chicken dip, burgers, pasta, grilled fish and steaks. The menu has a wide variety of gluten-free, low-carb and keto-friendly items. Extensive craft beer menu and wines by the glass. Full-service catering for groups large and small. Consistently voted “Best Restaurant” and “Best Menu” by 417 Magazine and The Joplin Globe. $-$$ Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-9 pm Crabby’s Seafood Bar and Grill 815 W. 7th St. • Joplin, MO • 417.206.3474 Catering • Private Parties • Chef at Home Dine at Crabby’s for a beautiful meal in an elegant, yet approachable finedining experience. Choose from a wide variety of fresh seafood, steak and chops. Enjoy libations from our full bar, including the best Scotch selection in town. Serving the four states for 10 years! Make your reservations today! $$-$$$ Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 am-10 pm • Closed Sunday Hackett Hot Wings 520 S. Main • Joplin, MO 417.625.1333 • “The only wings better are on an angel.”
Offering 13 flavors of wings, plus salads, catfish, chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, boneless wings and more! Call for catering and reservations. Now offering an additional dining area and sports room with 17 big-screen TVs and full bar featuring Coach Hackett’s Ultimate Bloody Mary. Check out the online store at (Smoke-free) $-$$
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!”
appetizers, homemade desserts, soup du jour, beer, wine and
Kids menu available. $-$$$ Hours: Kitchen open Monday-Friday 11 am-10 pm Saturday 11 am-10:30 pm • Bar open later

Taste of Italy

4321 S. Chapel Road • Carthage, MO 417.358.2000

“The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later, you’re hungry again.” Taste of Italy serves up delectable, authentic Italian food with new specials almost daily. Owner and Head Chef Aleks Sula was born in Albania and raised in New York City, so he brings 20-plus years of experience in traditional Italian and Mediterranean cooking to his menu. You can expect made-from-scratch bread, sauces, pasta and more. $-$$

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm; Sunday, 11 am-3 pm

Bailey’s Family Dining

1200 Briarbrook Dr. • Carl Junction, MO 417.781.2944

• Like us on Facebook!

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

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

Kascade Steakhouse

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

Kascade Steakhouse is Carthage’s newest spot for a delicious bite to eat. The chef is an expert in gourmet steaks, steakburgers, salmon and Italian food – his authentic alfredo is to die for. Come in on Fridays for the prime rib special. Under the same owners as Midway Café in Bartlesville, OK, where we are serving up the breakfast you have come to know and love. Dining room and lounge accommodates groups, events and weddings. $-$$ Open Tuesday-Saturday 4-9 pm.

Mis Arcos

1926 S. Garrison Ave. • Carthage, MO 417.237.0547

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

Hours: Mon-Wed, 11 am-9 pm; Fri, 11 am-9:30 pm; Sat/Sun 11 am- 9 pm • 25 Special Advertising Section
December 2022 •

Finn’s 2707 E. 32nd Street • Joplin, MO 417.624.3466 •

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

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

Just a Taste

105 S. Main St. • Webb City, MO 417.673.9463 •

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

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

Creek. $-$$$

Hours: Tues – Sat for Lunch, 11 am – 2 pm and Dinner, 5 pm–9 pm.

Dining Guide Special Advertising Section
Shawanoe Restaurant 70220 East Hwy 60 • Wyandotte, OK 888.992 SKY1
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

Casa Montez

4224 S. Main St. • Joplin, MO 417.624.2272

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

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-8 pm

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! $-$$

Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 am-Close

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: Tues-Thur 11 am-3 pm; Fri 11 am-10 pm; Sat and Sun 9 pm-2 pm. We are available for out-of-house and in-house events and catering 7 days a week.

Undercliff Grill & Bar

6835 Old Highway 71 • Joplin, MO 417.629.2869 •

Undercliff Grill & Bar is back in business! This historical restaurant has been brought back to life under new ownership, so come by to grab a bite to eat and see what’s new. Chow down on some good old-fashioned comfort food or grab a beer at the bar. Undercliff Grill & Bar is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, a date or a night out with friends and family. Follow Undercliff Grill & Bar on Facebook to learn more! $-$$.

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

• • 27 Special Advertising Section
December 2022 • • 29

A Stocking Full of Christmas MemoriesMerryMoments

Trees, gingerbread, presents, movies and cookies are all part of our holiday traditions. We each carry merry moments with us from year to year that make our family traditions. Each moment is unique, and each one is dear to us. Take a peek into three families who offer their own merry moments to you.

Sarah Abernathy: As Sarah Abernathy reflected on Christmas, she shared, “My favorite Christmas tradition with my family is getting out all the Christmas decorations, including the tree and decorating after Thanksgiving. One of our favorite traditions is getting a special ornament each year with all of the family’s names on it. Beckham loves to help place the ornaments all around and even climbs the ladder to put them up high.

“It’s also tradition to watch all the Hallmark Christmas movies while doing some holiday baking. We love making puppy chow and gooey butter cookies and sugar cookies to decorate. And, of course, we have to buy a gingerbread house to put together and decorate.

“Christmas is our favorite holiday by far because we love to celebrate the reason for the season, Jesus! There is truly a special joy and spirit of giving that is present during the Christmas season. It’s our goal to carry that giving spirit and joy through the whole year.”

“My favorite part about Christmas is playing games with my family the night before and waking up on Christmas morning and spending time with my family. My favorite Christmas gift was a remote-control RC car.”

- Beckham Abernathy (six years old)

Cover Story SMTO
Beckham Abernathy

Mandy Edmonson: “I grew up receiving Christmas Eve pajamas every year from my parents (and still do). I have carried on that tradition with my own little one. It’s the perfect way to snuggle up with a hot cup of cocoa and watch our favorite Christmas movies! On Christmas morning, we take the obligatory Christmas jammie pictures as she eagerly awaits the unwrapping of her first present. It has also been a tradition for as long as I can remember to go to the Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City. The park is illuminated in lights and is so breathtaking! We can’t leave without seeing A Dickens Christmas Carol; it’s like seeing a Broadway musical and is phenomenal!

“My first Christmas as a mom is my most cherished Christmas memory. My first time experiencing all of the magic through Emma’s eyes, taking her to see Santa, watching her open presents and be more excited about the pretty shiny bow than the actual present. These are precious memories and traditions I hope Emma will carry on into adulthood.”

Eight-year-old Emma said her favorite present is, “All of it!”

Emma Edmonson

“My favorite parts of Christmas are the presents, baking with Mommy, playing with my cousins, and the Christmas lights.” - Emma Edmonson (eight years old)

Audrey Emery

“Another tradition we have is watching a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve. We open our matching Christmas pajamas, wear them to bed and wake up matching on Christmas morning.

“One of my most memorable Christmases was when I used an app to capture Santa next to our Christmas tree and how excited the girls were when seeing the picture of Santa in their very own home. That moment created a very magical Christmas Day!”

For 12-year-old Audrey, Christmas is special “because I enjoy all of the family traditions and events we get to go to during the holiday season.

“My favorite Christmas present was a scavenger hunt that led my sister and me to puzzle pieces. The pieces of the puzzle revealed a letter from Hogwarts, inviting us on a trip to Universal Studios.”

- Audrey Emery (12 years old)

December 2022 • • 31
Jamie Emery: “One of our family Christmas traditions is building a gingerbread house and baking cookies for Santa,” said Jamie Emery. “We usually make sugar cookies and have our own version of The Great British Bake Off. Our kitchen turns into a wonderland of green and red frosting and sprinkles for days!

Capturing a Carthage Christmas The

Loy Home

When Carthage residents sing “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” the Clint and Cathy Jo

Loy home will most likely come to mind. Especially after getting to tour the home during the Carthage holiday homes tour this December 3.

“Dad always lit our house up with tons of lights,” Cathy Jo said. “And about a week after Thanksgiving, he would put on his Liberace or Julie Andrews Christmas album while my mom made Chex Mix and hot cocoa and we would spend the evening decorating as a family.”

The tradition continued for Cathy Jo, commissioner of Missouri Chartered Schools, when she started decorating every room back in the ‘80s for open houses to bring in extra cash by selling her homemade crafts, wreaths and custom art that was scattered around the house. She would invite friends over for hot cocoa and cookies at the end of the evening. When she married, she established theme trees she changed out every couple of years. One item that has remained consistent, though, is the little felt dove she bought as a tree topper for their first tree.

“I was given a few of my childhood Hallmark ornaments, but over the years, I have become very sentimental as a mom and now a grandma, so although the trees have themes, they are laden with ones we’ve made or collected over the years.”

That’s right, she said trees. The Loys have 11 full-size trees, and every room is decorated, including the laundry room and the bathrooms. “My husband thinks I am trying to compete with Silver Dollar City,” Cathy Jo said. “He says it ‘drips’ Christmas at our house.”

Clint Loy, an ER physician in Lamar, said, “I have always loved our home during the Christmas season. Gathering family and friends is always so important, but especially so this time of year.” And Clint participates by “generally doing some heavy lifting. The leg

lamp in the front window is probably my finest contribution.”

The Loys begin the decorating the week before Thanksgiving and then host the annual open house and see about 120 people in an evening coming for the fun. The family continues to have game nights, gingerbread house decorating and crafting times together. Their extended family comes every other year.

“Home is a place to gather, eat and love people well.”

Most of the decorations are used from year to year, though Cathy Jo will buy something that catches her eye each year and is usually making things to add. And she does have favorites: the White House ornaments her aunt started collecting for them in 1982. “We love getting the new one and reading its history,” she said. “I also love the giveaway ornaments we make each year: The driftwood Santas made from the suitcase of driftwood I brought back from a vacation in Puget Sound or the gnomes made from masks during Covid are some of my favorites.”

When the Loy family isn’t relaxing or entertaining at home, they enjoy driving through Carthage and the Vietnamese Monastery lights exhibit on a hay wagon and enjoying the Lights in the Park. With her love of the holiday season, Cathy Jo is asking Santa Claus to bring Carthage the gifts of “our community truly engaged in taking care of one another, knowing each other and seeing our little town prosper.”

December 2022 • • 33

21st Annual Gift of Life, Gift of Love

Amber Marrett checked into the hospital March 4, 2020, and was ordered to remain on bed rest due to severe preeclampsia. Five days later, she and her husband, Korey, welcomed their first child into the world, 8 weeks before his due date. Walker, weighing only 3 pounds, 14 ounces, was quickly taken to Freeman Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Being new parents, 30 minutes from home and facing a global pandemic, Korey and Amber were so very thankful for the blessing of Ronald McDonald House.

Amber shared, “Ronald McDonald House quickly became the solution to challenges we didn’t even know we would soon face! No one can prepare you for the world of being a preemie parent. Postpartum anxiety, separation, insomnia, missing home and the very unnatural process of letting go and allowing others to care for your baby were all challenges we faced. Ronald McDonald House reminded us we were not alone on a sometimes very uncertain journey.

“Each day, the staff and volunteers made it their mission to meet a need of ours. Whether they offered us a warm meal, a listening ear or community resources, they were there when we needed them most.”

Today, Walker is a happy and healthy 2-year-old who keeps his parents on their toes. The Marretts are just one of many families who called Ronald McDonald House their home away from home while their seriously ill child was treated in the hospital.

Please join us for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States’ 21st Annual Gift of Light, Gift of Love. Your donation will help keep families close to their seriously ill or injured child being treated at Freeman Health System or Mercy Hospital Joplin. Learn more at RMHJoplin.


Crystal is wearing the Watch Me Walk Checkered jumpsuit.

For a pop of color she accessorized with everything turquoise.

Come shop Wig’N Out Boutique for this entire look and others!

She paired it with Crystal’s trendy white star sneaker, and to add some detail, she tied the Smile More Denim Jacket around her waist.

We love helping ladies feel as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside!

From clothing, shoes and accessories to hair pieces, extensions and wigs.

“We’ve got you covered from head to toe.”

Wig’n Out Boutique!

20 South Main Street Webb City, MO • 417.717.5099

Fashion Forward • Wig’n Out Boutique

December 2022 • • 35

Wish ListHoliday

The Vogue Boutique

144 S. Main • Carl Junction, MO

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

The Vogue Boutique has the best gifts for everyone on your holi day list! Stop by and let our friendly staff help you choose the perfect gift. We have the latest styles from Kendra Scott, Julie Vos, E-Newton, Hobo Handbags, Birkenstock, Ecco, Hunter Boots, Lucky Brand, Liverpool, Ivy Jane, Uncle Frank, Barefoot Dreams, Mudpie, Nora Fleming, Happy Everything, Mackenzie-Childs, Nest, Tyler and more! The Vogue Boutique is located at 144 South Main Street in downtown Carl Junction. Gift wrap and smiles are always FREE! Shop online anytime @


by KAT

Handmade, hand carved, one-of-a-kind Shop online at Shop in Neosho, MO at The Clay Cup, A Coffee Pottery Follow on Instagram and Facebook @potterybykat

Creating nature-inspired, hand carved mugs, vases and planters. Follow Pottery by Kat on Instagram and Facebook for works in progress and shop previews.

Blue Moon Boutique

613 S. Main Street • Joplin, MO • 417.553.0826 Facebook: @Blue Moon Boutique Joplin

Enjoy your Christmas morning in a set of the softest (and cutest!) pajamas around! These adorable jams are now available at Blue Moon Boutique in sizes S-2XL. Give fun, unique gifts including quirky home decor, knick-knacks, locally made artwork and more. And you’ll always find stylish clothing and accessories at Blue Moon Boutique … your shop with a vintage soul!

Radiant Glo

1710 E. 32nd St., Ste. G1 • Joplin, MO 417.434.2963

Treat yourself this holiday season! Radiant Glo now offers semipermanent foundation that can last up to 9 months. In addition to the effortless glow semi-permanent foundation provides, you will also see discoloration improvement, and your fine lines and wrinkles will be smoother. There is no downtime, no needles and no upkeep. Radiant Glo also offers everything for your body sculpting and skincare needs, including chemical peels. Now offering a lash lift and tint services! Stop in and see what Radiant Glo can do for you this holiday season!



4 S. Main St. Webb City, MO 417.717.0073

Facebook & Instagram: @SocietyWebbCity

Society Marketplace has everything you need to be the perfect gift-giver this season. We offer unique gifts like our new hat bar with add-on accessories and our permanent jewelry selection. Looking to pamper yourself this season? Book a ladies’ night event for facials, waxing, Botox or fillers, all done by a licensed esthetician. Check us out online for quick and convenient shopping or visit us at the store in beautiful downtown Webb City and let us help you select the perfect gift. Society Marketplace is exactly as our name says – a community of people!

Ozark Nursery

5361 N. Main • Joplin, MO 417.623.0224 • Find us on Facebook

Set the scene this holiday season with a beautiful evergreen from Ozark Nursery. You will find a large selection of hard-to-find trees, including Austrian Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce and Blue Atlas Cedar. Your yard will be as pretty as a Christmas card with elegant spirals and festive pom-poms. Ozark Nursery is a full-service, locally owned nursery and garden center that has served the Four States for over 50 years.

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

Revel Boutique

500 Peachtree Dr. • Carthage, MO • 417.359.4127

Revel Boutique has a gift for everyone this holiday season! Whether you’re shopping for a mom who loves all things pink or have men on your list who love Patagonia, Revel is always your one-stop shop for the hottest trends and brands of the season. Christmas shopping is made fun when you attend one of our holiday shopping events and experience next-level customer service while finding on-trend, must-have gifts for the whole family.

December 2022 •

Zena Suri Alpacas

35401 S. 580 Road

Jay, OK • 804.389.2579

Hats and sweaters, coats and socks, toys, and gloves—Oh, My!!!

Find your warm and cozy, luxurious gifts at Zena Suri Alpacas—the unique and amazing, the soft and warm. Call 804.389.2579 for the best alpaca products and tours.

Don’t forget blankets, yarn, slippers, rugs and so much more in Zena, just south of Grand Lake.

Trackside Burgers

1515 West 10th Street • Joplin, MO • 417.717.1161

Trackside Burgers is a locally owned hamburger restaurant in Joplin offering freshly made items to order. Chef Mike and his staff offer the old-fashioned hamburgers everyone loves and so much more! From homemade sauces and seasoned fries to perfectly prepared chicken sandwiches and onion rings, Chef Mike’s love for food and his heart to serve people make Trackside Burgers the perfect place for lunch or dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am-8 pm. Call for information on catering for your next party or event!



historic Carthage square. BigDog Boutique is a specialized

offering high-quality (primarily “Made in the USA”) accessories and all-natural food and treats for dogs and cats. The Paw Spa offers a unique and exclusive self-serve and grooming option for keeping your fur baby the envy of all the paw’ed critters. Let us help you get your pooch pawliday ready with festive sweaters, collars, toys and gourmet Christmas goodies at BigDog Boutique, and with a fresh bath or groom at The Paw Spa.

Notable Outdoor Living 4600 US HWY 59 N • Grove, OK • 918. 810.2175
Big Dog Boutique, LLC 319 S. Main Carthage, MO 417.359.6740 The Paw Spa A Bathhouse for Dogs 323 S. Main • Carthage, MO • 417.359.6740 Spoil your
Wish ListHoliday
Bring Your Outdoor Space to Life! Notable Outdoor Living specializes in outdoor furniture, accessories and structures with high-quality product lines such as Berlin Gardens, Big Green Egg, Iron Ember fire pits and so much more. We offer styles ranging from modern to contemporary, and our knowledgeable staff can assist you with every step from colors and add-on pieces to set up and delivery. Our fully stocked showroom displays a wide range of furniture, firepits, accessories and so much more. Great for last-minute gifts or in-person orders. We look forward to being your complete outdoor furniture, structure and accessory store.
fur babies this pawliday season with BigDog Boutique and the NEW Paw Spa, A Bathhouse for Dogs.
on the
dog boutique

Hatfield Smoked Meats

7329 Gateway Dr • Neosho, MO • 417.624.3765

Eat, drink, and be merry with the help of your friends at Hatfield’s Smoked Meats! Our delicious, award-winning holiday hams and turkeys are a must-have for your table. Our meat and cheese trays are perfect at parties, and our house-made snack sticks, beef jerky, and summer sausage make terrific stocking stuffers. We can even cater your next event! Family owned and operated; Hatfield’s Smoked Meats has a proud tradition of taking care of customers like family. We look forward to serving you this holiday season!

Extreme Sports Scuba

5203 S. Range Line Road • Joplin, MO 417.659.9009 •

Give a gift they’ll never forget: scuba lessons! Extreme Sports Scuba offers gift certificates for the open Water SCUBA Diver Course and a complete line of SCUBAPRO equipment. For all the water lovers in your life. Ask about excursions and dive trips! Learn more at www., on our Facebook page or come by the store! We’re always happy to help!

Wig’N Out Boutique

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

This Christmas, treat the stylish lady in your life to a Consuela bag from Wig’n Out Boutique! These handbags are classic with a quirky twist and the perfect accent to any outfit. At Wig’n Out, you’ll always find stylish clothing and accessories plus a variety of wigs, extensions and hair pieces. The experienced stylists at the Wig’N Out Salon will help you complete your look … because this Christmas: “We’ve got you covered from head to toe!”

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

December 2022 •
One 24 Boutique 13105 Kodiak Rd • Neosho, MO • 417.451.1144 Like us on Facebook! • Download our APP!!

Holiday Events


Missouri Parades

December 3: 2022 Neosho Christmas Parade, 5 pm, Neosho Square. Theme: Christmas Through the Decades. This theme will allow participants to create a showcase of what Christmas looked like during the decade of their choice, and entries are encouraged to be creative, as several prizes will be awarded. 417.451.1925.

December 5: Carthage Christmas Parade and Mayor’s Tree Lighting, 7 pm. The square will be outlined in lights for the first time in decades. Come experience the warmth and charm of the season in the downtown historic district with decorations, window paintings and more.

December 6: 2022 Joplin Christmas Parade: Christmas in CandyLand, 6 pm. Parade runs up Main Street from 15th Street to 2nd Street. Freeman Health System is proud to continue its ongoing support and sponsorship of the Annual Joplin Christmas Parade.

December 9: Seneca’s Annual Hometown Christmas Parade, 6 pm, Bordertown lot. The theme is Hometown Vintage Christmas. Free hot chocolate, cookies and pictures with Santa.

December 10: 69th Annual Pierce City Christmas Parade, 5:30 pm. Free to entrants and no application. Arrive between 3:30 pm and 5 pm. Use ONLY Myrtle Street to get to the lineup. For more information, call/ text Becky 417.489.3041.

December 14: Webb City Christmas Parade, 6:30 pm, downtown. Help Project Graduation celebrate Christmas in downtown Webb City! Contact Susan Fodor

Oklahoma Parades

December 1: Vinita Christmas Parade of Lights, 6 pm, downtown. This year’s parade theme is Christmas Movies. Bring the family out for a night of magic at the annual Vinita Christmas Parade of Lights.

December 1: Pryor Christmas Parade, 7 pm, downtown. Join us for the 2022 Parade of Lights! Let’s celebrate our way into a magical holiday season.

December 3: Miami Route 66 Christmas Parade: Christmas Movie Magic, 6 pm, downtown. Let’s fill Miami with movie themes, music and lights for this fun downtown parade!

December 10: 22nd Annual Lights on the Lake Christmas Parade, 6 pm, Grove. Join us for the 22nd Annual Lights on the Lake Christmas Parade.

Kansas Parades

November 28: Pittsburg Christmas Parade, 6:30 pm, downtown Pittsburg. This year’s theme is Charlie Brown Christmas.

November 30: Columbus Celebration, 7 pm. Parade, children’s activities, food.

December 1: Parsons, 7 pm, downtown. Christmas activities.

December 3: Baxter Springs, 2 pm, downtown. Events

Pittsburg, KS.

December 3: Holiday Market, 9 am-3 pm, The Barn at Timber Cove, 832 S. 250th Street. Shop local and support small businesses in the community.

December 3: Holiday Craft Fair, 9 am-noon, Memorial Auditorium, 503 N. Pine Street. Shop for homemade gifts and goodies. Tons of vendors with handmade items that are a perfect gift for that special someone. Non-perishable and unexpired food donations accepted.

December 3: Santa’s Workshop, 9-noon, Memorial Auditorium, 503 N. Pine Street. Join us to celebrate the holidays with a special visit from Santa, kid’s activities and hot cocoa.

December 4: Holiday Extravaganza, 3-4:30 pm, Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 South Homer Street. The SEK will partner with faculty, community members and students to bring the excitement of the holiday season to the Bicknell. Christmas Around the World will not only showcase our student conductors, Thomas Smith, Jonathan De Soto and Astrid Jerez, but also baritone Patrick Howle, dance ensembles such as the PSU Dance Studio, SEK Danza Folklórica, accordion player Gene Corsini, and a lot more. Contact Raul Munguia at 806.300.4601 for information.

Carl Junction, MO

December 13: Cheers at the Chamber! Holiday Open House, 11:30 am-1:30 pm. Enjoy lunch, light refreshments and networking as we celebrate the holiday season together. Accepting donations like child mittens/gloves, scarves and unwrapped toys to benefit local charities. Joplin, MO

November 29-December 31: 2022 Holiday Tree Trail Kickoff Event, 6-8 pm, Mercy Park. Enjoy the lighting of 40 decorated trees along the park’s walking trail, watch performances by Karen’s Dance Studio students, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, read a fantastic winter book along a special StoryWalk® and visit Santa!

December 1-9: Gingerbread House Contest, Joplin Historical Society, entries from December 1-9. The first 25 people at the museum December 2 at 3:30 pm receive a gingerbread house kit to decorate and enter the contest. Entries can be brought to the Joplin History and Mineral Museum from December 3-9. Entry is free. Three categories - youth, adults and professionals; first prize in each category is $50. Judging December 10 with winners announced at 11 am. Everyone can see the houses Dec. 10-17.

December 2 & 3: Downtown Christmas Open House, Holiday Tree Trail Kickoff December 2, 4-7 pm; December 3, 11 am-4 pm, Downtown Joplin-The Brick District. Check out participating boutiques and shop for special deals, new releases and other treats to get you in the holiday spirit!

December 4: Christmas on the Ridge, 2-6 pm, La Boussole Medical Spa and Wellness Center, 5594 W. Junge Blvd. Join us for our holiday open house and inaugural Christmas on the Ridge! Lots of goodies, holiday shopping, special services and Santa! You won’t want to miss celebrating with us!


December 10: Chase the Chill, Homewood Suites, 2642 E. 32nd St., 10 am, distributes scarves, hats, & gloves in public places so that those in need, regardless of income and without any qualifications or other criteria, can help themselves. To learn more, like the Facebook page wwww.Facebook. com/ChaseTheChillJoplin or contact Tupper Moss directly at 417.680.4906.

December 17: Creepy Christmas Bizarre, 9 am-11 pm. The fabulous gals and pals of Auntie Sal’s are hosting a Creepy Christmas Bizarre, JB’s Downtown: The event will begin with yoga and breakfast at 9 am with vending from 11 am to 5 pm, photos with Papa Strange from 5 to 7 pm, and the evening will end with a costumed dance party. We hope to see you there. The price also includes 10 tickets to give to friends or family; other tickets may be purchased at a 50% discount ($10 regular price).

Neosho, MO

December 3: Breakfast with Santa, 8-11 am, Neosho Auditorium. Join us for a fun morning for your whole family! Enjoy a pancake breakfast, crafts, games and pictures with Santa. Call 417.451.1925.

December 9: Holiday Sip & Shop Pop Up Market, 5 pm, Shoe Sensation, 1166 S. Neosho Blvd. Event is free to everyone; drink cards available for those in attendance who want to drink wine. There will also be nonalcoholic beverages and snacks.

Seneca, MO

December 3: 2nd Annual Seneca Jive Tribe Holiday Bazaar, 9 am-3 pm, Seneca High School. Handmade crafts and treats. Follow the signs. For free admission to the craft fair, do not use the doors on the west side of the building.

Seneca, MO

December 1, 2 and 3: Journey to Bethlehem, 6-9 pm. Experience a live stage show, interactive outdoor theater, real animals and a living nativity at Racine Christian Church, 12218 State Highway K. Begin this Christmas season with an unforgettable new family tradition. Travel back in time to first-century Israel to experience the original Christmas story, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. or call 417.776.2280.

Webb City, MO

December 17: Santa at the Market, 9 am-noon. Come inside the heated pavilions to share those last-minute wishes. Enjoy breakfast, coffee and Mexican hot chocolate. Local produce farms, apiaries and ranches sell farm fresh products.

Carthage, MO

Friday & Saturdays Through December: Hometown Holidays, 4:30-10:30 pm, Carthage square. New attractions, a bigger ice rink, a transformed Winter Wonderland and Santa within the Village! Food Trucks will also be onsite. Tickets are on sale now! Ticket options include: $5 activity wristband and $5 ice skating. Ice skating tickets are sold per 45-minute time slot starting at 5 pm. Reserve your time slot online @ hometownholidays. Online ticket sales close daily at 2:30 pm and can be purchased in the Village. Entrance into the Village is FREE and includes free pictures with Santa. Carthage event details follow Vision Carthage on Facebook or visit www.visioncarthage. org/hometownholidays.

December 2022 • • 43

Holiday Recipes

Cranberry Salsa

Whether you are hosting a festive party or just getting together with friends, these recipes will help make your celebrations extra special. From elegant appetizers to a Christmas cocktail, here are some recipes to add a touch of sophistication to your holiday gatherings. Let’s get started!

The 5-Minute Festive Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa is the perfect party dish. Fresh cranberries, cilantro and a little jalapeno kick will bring rave reviews!


12 ounces fresh cranberries

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup cilantro

4 green onions

2 tablespoons of lime juice

Pinch of salt


Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the salsa to blend. Serve with tortilla chips or over cream cheese with crackers.

White Christmas Sangria

The holidays are a time for family, friends and, most importantly, good cheer! This festive drink is sure to please any crowd with its beautiful Christmas colors and light, sweet flavor. The sugared rosemary garnish is an extra-special touch that will have everyone raising their glasses in holiday cheer.


1 green apple

1 red apple

1 heaping cup fresh cranberries or pomegranate seeds

1 large sprig rosemary

Garnish Rosemary

A few tablespoons of sugar


Chop apples into small pieces.

Add apples and the rest of the ingredients to a pitcher.

Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Put the pitcher in the fridge for an hour or so. While the sangria is chilling, make your rosemary garnish. Pour sugar into a shallow bowl. Lightly wet the rosemary, shake off excess water. Roll the sprigs in the sugar until they are coated. This will make your drink extra special and sparkly!

1 bottle of medium sweet white wine (Reisling or Pinot Grigio work great)

½ cup white grape juice

¼ cup sugar 1 can club soda

December 2022 • • 45
Derailed Commodity
Furniture Joplin, MO • Brazilton, KS • Independence, KS • Butler, MO • www. Derailed EST. 1967
Freshen the look of any room in your house with the help of your friends at Derailed Commodity! For over 55 years, Derailed Commodity has served the Four States with one of the largest selections of in-stock flooring including carpet, luxury vinyl tile/ plank, sheet vinyl, ceramic tile, hardwood, and hundreds of area rugs. We also have a showroom full of beautiful furniture, including mattresses, lift chairs, recliners and much more! Invest in a gift everyone in your home can enjoy for years to come.
Flooring &

As we enter the holiday season, our thoughts turn to decorating our home with our holiday best. Trees and stockings and all kinds of items that remind us of tradition and family will be displayed.

The traditional red and white colors make our home feel warm and comfortable. A flocked tree adds the feeling of the outdoors and makes a perfect backdrop for classic red ornaments. The stockings are hung on the mantel and red-andwhite-checked pillows, wicker baskets, a sleigh and stuffed animals set the stage for a wonderful night in front of the fire and a morning spent opening presents with the kids.

Set your table with simple white dishes accented with pinecones and sprigs of pine, and serve hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows, candy canes and sugar cookies. These are traditional holiday decorations at their best!

Adding Color for the Holidays


My sister and her family love to decorate with blue, silver and white ornaments and décor at the holidays. Blue is such a bright and lovely color to use in your home and especially at the holidays. This tree is perfectly decorated with its blue ornaments, silver stars, and the addition of the ladder and teddy bear nearby makes this area feel warm and cozy. Twinkle lights draped down the wall and casually over the ladder give a feel of simple casualness and whimsy.

The table is set with blue linens and place cards, and the centerpieces are simple yet elegant with greenery and blue candles. You could add more twinkle lights to the table for even more brightness!

Whatever your inspiration for the holidays, carry it through from your front porch to your tree and to the table, as well. Pick a color or theme and build upon it. Whether traditional red and white or a bright color like purple or blue, fill your home with what you love.

Have a happy holiday season surrounded with family, friends and your favorite decorations and traditions!

The holidays are a wonderful time to try out some color in your holiday decorating. Dark purple and lavender mixed with white and silver make for a beautiful color combination for the holidays! I love the addition of several strings of twinkle lights hanging over the sheer curtain and bright white lanterns filled with more candles to fill this room with color and light. Take the opportunity to really embrace this color and add matching wrapping paper, stockings and set your table with a beautiful purple tablecloth, lavender napkins and decorations and accent it with white dishes, crystal glasses and more twinkle lights. A bright and beautiful mix of colors for a bright and beautiful holiday.

December 2022 • • 47

Cutting Through the Noise A Pediatrician’s Holiday Toy-Buying Guide

Who among us hasn’t at least been tempted to remove the batteries from a loud, light-flashing, noise-making toy? We know our children are having fun, but to adult ears, the noise is all but overwhelming.

While children are certainly drawn to sensory-stimulating toys that light up and make noises, these toys take away from the social engagement play is meant to provide, meaning parents and children alike talk less when electronic toys are in use. Even toys marked as educational elicit “fewer adult words, fewer conversational turns [and] fewer parental responses than during play with traditional toys or books,” according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Like sugar, these toys light up the reward centers in our children’s brains without providing any real value to help them grow.

So, what’s a parent to do with Christmas around the corner and all the shiny, new, battery-powered toys on display? Our advice is to go oldschool! And if that makes you think of wood-grain building blocks and tinker toys, remember there are plenty of non-electronic toys that are also fun and exciting. Here are some examples:

• PRETEND-PLAY TOYS: Think Barbies, action figures, animals and dinosaurs. Many franchises have their own line of toys, including low-tech options, your child will get excited about. These are a great option for toys that have a “wow” factor while still giving children

the opportunity to use language and stories to learn about the world around them.

• MANIPULATIVE TOYS: While this category does include those wood-grain blocks, it also includes things like Legos, building kits, puzzles and trains. These toys foster children’s fine motor skills, and some can build early math skills, as well.

• ART SUPPLIES: Crayons, markers, coloring books and paints all make great gifts children can have fun with while building their creativity. If you want something more elaborate, art supply stores often have kits for activities you can do with your child.

• EXPERIENCE GIFTS: Does your child love sea creatures? Give them tickets (or even a membership) for a nearby aquarium. Are sports more their thing? Consider tickets to a game. Art classes, martial arts classes, concert tickets or a ticket for a camping trip can all make great gifts your child will be excited about.

In short, choose toys that spark your child’s imagination, give them the chance to explore their world and bond with others in their family. (And, of course, make sure the toy is age-appropriate for your child.) In the process, you can save your sanity from the roar of noisy toys.

For more information about play and development, visit for American Association of Pediatrics recommendations. Visit for more information about pediatric services at Freeman Health System.


‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also a time to mind your manners. Whether you are attending an office holiday party or wondering who you should tip at Christmas time, I am here to get you into the holiday spirit and avoid the stickiest holiday situations.

Family Matters

For some of us, the holidays can be a time of year when expectations run high. We expect everything to be perfect from our decorations to our relationships. If you find yourself dealing with a difficult family member, keep in mind the only thing you can control is your reaction. Do your best to avoid difficult conversations by avoiding off-limit topics (politics, money, religion and past relationships). It is fine to limit contact by keeping visits short. Also try to practice tolerance and focus on having the happiest holiday possible.

Office Parties

The office party is not just an opportunity to socialize with co-workers, it is also still considered a work function. This means you should dress professionally and appropriately so your outfit does not distract from the rest of the event or give off any inappropriate vibes. Even if there will be free alcohol flowing, you do not want to end up making a fool of yourself in front of your colleagues. Take the opportunity to interact with a variety of people at the party, including your boss. This is a great chance to get to know them better and build relationships that can help you in your career. Just don’t overdo it - nobody likes a kiss-up.


Regifting can be a fantastic way to save money and reduce waste, but there are a few etiquette rules you should follow. Make sure the gift is something the recipient would actually like to receive. The gift should be brand new and come with its original packaging and instructions.

You also want to make sure to put the gift in a new gift bag or wrap it in a box. Handmade and personalized gifts should not be regifted. Make sure your regift will not hurt anyone’s feelings—either the original giver’s or the new recipient’s.


The holiday season is the perfect time to show your appreciation for the people who provide you with year-round services. This includes your newspaper delivery person, dog walker or housekeeper. If you do not tip someone regularly, the holidays are an ideal opportunity to show your thanks. The quality and frequency of the service you receive are both key factors in deciding how much to tip. Additionally, your relationship with the service provider may influence the amount you choose to tip. Holiday tipping is about saying thank you, so any tip should be accompanied by a handwritten note of appreciation.

Kristi Spencer is the founder of The Polite Company and an etiquette expert. Kristi provides personalized in-person or online etiquette lessons that build social skills and self-esteem. She helps clients find success at work and in personal relationships. Kristi is a graduate of the Emily Post Institute, the gold standard of etiquette training. Kristi is the exclusive Emily Post Institute-trained etiquette instructor in the Four-State Region. She lives in Carl Junction with her husband and two sons.

December 2022 • • 49
2022 Faces of McDonald County SPECIAL PROMOTION
SPECIAL PROMOTION 2022 Faces of McDonald County
SPECIAL PROMOTION 2022 Faces of McDonald County 2022 Faces of McDonald County
Faces of McDonald County SPECIAL PROMOTION 2022 Faces of
McDonald County

Customers Are Always First at Cowin Construction

Q: Tell me a little about Cowin Construction and some of your specialties.

A: We are a family-owned and operated business, headquartered in Pineville, Missouri. We specialize in residential and commercial roofing. We do shingle, metal, tile, shake, flat roofs and everything in between. But what separates us from other construction companies is we also do a lot of specialty copper and sheet metal projects.

A: Three generations work for the business day-to-day, but a case could be made for four generations. Ken, my father, began the company back in 1968 and continues to work for the business in customer relations and managing the subcontracting side of things. I have been the current owner and CEO of Cowin Construction since 2008. My son, Matthew, is the top salesman for the business, winning awards from Owens Corning for the last 3 years now. His cousin, Levi, is the lead coppersmith and has been recognized multiple times in different media sources for the work he has done. Lastly, my granddaughter, Caroline, stars in all the Cowin Construction commercials seen on TV alongside her cousin Sarah.

other town. This town is in a great location to serve the four corner states: Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

A: We have a lot of exciting things our team is working on to expand the business. We have hired a new marketing coordinator, a couple more production managers and looked into different programs we could be involved in to expand the work we do across the nation.

A: Our motto is “Customers First at Cowin Construction” because first and foremost, we value our customers. We work hard to increase customer satisfaction and the customer experience in all areas of the business. In addition, we value integrity, accountability, diligence, perseverance and discipline. These values are essential to be successful in this industry because this industry is largely based on referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. Many times, we have received three or four more houses in a neighborhood because our initial customer was greatly satisfied with our work and recommended us to their neighbors and friends.

in the McDonald County community?

A: Ultimately, the people. We have a strong support system within our community and could not imagine growing, not only our business, but also our family in any

A: Our family loves to spend time together doing different things like cooking meals at my dad’s house, hanging out at the family pavilion on the farm, or going out and exploring different places like the zoo, hiking trials and fishing ponds.

A: One unique fact about our work is we travel a lot to various places in the US to do custom copper projects, including historic copper work like one we did at the First Lutheran Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

54 Featuring McDonald County SMTO
Q: How many generations currently work for the business?
Q: In what ways do you provide exceptional customer service?
Q: What do you love most about living and working
Q: What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
Q: What do you and your family enjoy doing outside of work?
Q: What is something our readers may not already know about Cowin Construction?

Luap & LaSandra McKeever Focused on Making a Difference in McDonald County

S imply helping others and finding ways to support wide-ranging community events and companies across McDonald County, where they proudly call home, is incredibly important to Luap McKeever and his wife, LaSandra, while they strive to be differencemakers.

“Giving back gives a sense of satisfaction and purpose,” Luap assured. “It may not be a big deal to the giver, but the person or persons we help, with even the small things, can make a world of difference. ‘It’s better to give than receive’ comes to mind.

“I also enjoy being on multiple director boards, which allows me the opportunity to offer feedback, perspective and direction on specific goals. There are few things more satisfying than seeing a goal come to fruition and knowing you had a small hand in it.”

The McKeevers have a hand in Mountain Happenings, which they founded in 2018, and Luap shared how it all began: “While reminiscing on the older days of the 1970s and how the entire community of Mountain would gather every weekend for a potluck dinner, music and games, we decided to kick something off again.

“My wife and I started as a lone entity and have seen steady growth over the years. It’s now an incorporated 501c3, where we serve on the board of directors.

“Any given Saturday, you’ll find anywhere from 20-40 vendors and hundreds of people from all over the Four States coming to our little corner to shop local products. The basic premise is: Local products only with minimal rules and completely free vendor setup, fun and camaraderie.”

As for what has made this work so well, Luap said, “The people make it successful. All we do is promote it, prepare the area, set it up and offer products for sale. The people (customers) do all the rest. I enjoy the feedback regarding a sense of community.

“We keep it operating solely from donations and a few small Mountain Happenings-branded merchandise items. This model has proven successful and recently, other communities/venues began asking for our help with similar markets. It isn’t about competition. We believe ‘the more the merrier.’ What’s good for this county is good for everyone.”

While he wants his own various works to succeed, Luap is focused on assisting others who have taken similar paths and said, “I’ve been running small businesses for a long time and understand their challenges. Helping promote small businesses became a passion for me.

“There are a lot of people that don’t understand the importance of small businesses, yet they are the first ones solicited for charitable donations, prizes, sponsorships, etc., for community functions.

“Our county is fully funded from sales tax. So, to increase our sales tax revenue, we must educate citizens on the importance of shopping in our county whenever possible so the 2 percent local sales tax stays here.

Luap McKeever FAST FACTS

Age: 52

Spouse: LaSandra McKeever

Children: Alicia Hawkins (30), LeAndra Peters (30), Kristyn McKeever (26) & Hunter Bruce (23)

College Alma Mater: North American School of Conservation & Community College of the Air Force Degrees: Wildlife and Forestry Conservation & Munition Systems Specialties High School Alma Mater: McDonald County Favorite Subject: Science

Corporate Employment: Coordinator of Technical Services at SAMS Club, Inc. (1996–2001) & Team Leader, Information Systems Service Center with JB Hunt Transport, Inc. (2001–2006)

Small Business Owner:

• Ozark Computer Works, LLC (1126 N. Walton Boulevard, Bentonville, Arkansas. Phone number 479.268.4068 and website

• Mountain Happenings (Located at 10289 E. State Highway 90, Pineville, Missouri. Vendors range from arts and crafts to farm goods and everything in between)

• McKeever Mountain Farms, LLC Fruit, Vegetable and Honey-Bee Farm (Sell organic peaches, produce, jams, jellies, salsas, raw honey and beekeeping supplies, as well as custom floral arrangements, wedding/birthday cakes and small tractor/dirt work for those customers with jobs too small for big equipment)

• Own and operate (The world’s largest Moto Guzzi Motorcyclespecific website with more than 10,000 members worldwide. The bulk of Wildguzzi is used for the discussion, which connects all members together. Discuss issues, modifications, enhancements, sales, etc., in relation to the motorcycles)

Urging people to shop locally is the single best way for citizens to give back to their community.”

In pondering his drive to help, Luap said, “I like dabbling in many things. ‘An open mind opens many doors.’ I like learning, researching, analyzing and teaching. I enjoy helping get something going and then moving on to my next venture.”

Of course, with every good work, there can be obstacles. “The biggest challenge is probably time. Deep down, you wish you could just snap your fingers and make it happen, but you must continue to work at it.

“Knowing that I might be making a little bit of a difference is the thing that makes me most proud. Whether making a difference in one life or many, I believe deep down most people want to do exactly that – make a difference.”

December 2022 • • 55

Grounds for Learning

In a collaboration between the McDonald County High School business department and the McDonald County Chamber of Commerce, business students are taking on a real-world business project as they establish a new coffee shop. The yet-to-be-named business will reflect the spirit of the community and this unique learning partnership.

The School’s Perspective

Students learn best by doing, and McDonald County High School business teachers Kristy Gilgen and Sherry Lemm are providing their students a realworld learning experience.

Gilgen said, “The students have operated a school store, but the coffee shop will serve the entire community. We have taken students to visit other coffee shops run by schools and have a business curriculum in place. The students have a million ideas about the operation, such as making deliveries and including the foods classes. They would like to hang student artwork on the walls. They want to make the endeavor inclusive to many students beyond the senior level Supervised Business Experience class.

“We believe our students need to possess critical thinking and problemsolving abilities. What the Chamber coffee shop collaboration will offer is the experience with interpersonal and intrapersonal skills and soft skills like resilience, teamwork and adaptability. These skills are difficult to replicate in the classroom without the hands-on opportunity true work experience gives.

“The students have considered how to keep the coffee shop operating when school is not in session. They are working out real business problems. We hope to open by early in the second semester. And yes, it does make for extra work for teachers and some sleepless nights, but we think it is well worth the effort to give students this experience.”

McDonald County Chamber of Commerce Perspective

“From the Chamber perspective,” said McDonald County Chamber of Commerce Director John Newby, “this is exactly the type of project and initiative we should be encouraging. We have long complained that our youth graduate from high school, go off to college and in most cases, never return to their roots. The best way to provide the incentive to stay or return is to provide a compelling reason to stay or return. By involving the youth of our community in the growth, the outcomes, the inner workings and the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, we are providing them with a foundation upon which they can build if they choose to stay or return.

At the core of most of us, there is a drive to create, a drive to grow and a drive to contribute to our community. The problem is that most communities fail to provide either of these critical elements to their residents. The student-operated coffee shop is only the beginning. We would like to seque this into other projects through the Chamber, such as an innovation and entrepreneurial center, youth leadership teams and so much more.

“The student coffee shop is a great beginning, but like any progress, it is only a beginning. As we succeed with this and other projects, we will begin to see a transformation throughout the entire community. Never underestimate the power of younger generations. While they may need coaching and mentoring from time to time, they indeed have the ability to change the world, but to do that, let it start right here at home.”

56 Featuring McDonald County SMTO

Lady Mustangs

Senior High Softball Team Shines Bright on Way to District


Atalented McDonald County Lady Mustangs senior high girls softball team put together a sparkling season on their way to celebrating a Class 4, District 7 championship and advancing to the state quarterfinals, while finishing 23-10 overall.

Lady Mustangs Head Coach Heath Alumbaugh figured this group had a chance to excel. “Going into the season, we thought we had a chance to win a district championship and get into the state tournament. We had a great nucleus of players that played a lot for us over the last few years.

“We thought we’d be successful because of the amount of work our girls put in. They work tirelessly on their own and at practice. We felt like we’d be able to play great defense, throw strikes and score some runs. We also knew we had the potential to have a good mix of power and speed at the plate.”

As he thought about the mindset of this group and what was a driving force for them game by game and week by week all season long, Coach Alumbaugh said it had a lot to do with “our girls’ attention to detail and our core covenants with our program.

“We talk about our core covenants: discipline, fundamentals and competition all the time. Our girls bought into these core covenants. We say we want to be the more fundamentally sound team, the more disciplined team and the fiercest competitors every night we stepped on the field.

“If I had to list one other thing that contributed to our success, it was the growth and maturity of our girls throughout the season.

“Our girls were able to put small mistakes and negative moments behind them so they could be ready for their next opportunity. This is not always easy for high school kids.”

While Coach Alumbaugh had a terrific bunch, he still knew nothing would come easily and said, “I think the biggest challenge along the

McDonald County Lady Mustangs Senior High Softball Team FAST FACTS

Head Coach: Heath Alumbaugh/3rd Year Head Coach (1st Year Baseball Head Coach)

District Tournament Results: Defeated Monett 2-0, Webb City 3-1 and Nevada 8-3

State Tournament: Lost to Kearney 6-4

Team Strengths: Pitching and Ability to Drive in Runs at the Plate

Top Pitcher: Junior Nevaeh Dodson finished 22-8 with a 1.22 earned run average, while tallying a single-season record for strikeouts (339 total) and only issuing 45 bases on balls

Top Hitter: Junior third baseman Jacie Frencken broke the single-season offensive record for home runs (11), RBIs (53) and doubles (16)

way was the parity of teams in our area this year. The level of softball throughout Southwest Missouri has gotten to the point that any team can be beat on any night.

“Every night you step on the field, you must bring your best or you may get beat. This creates a mental grind that can get to some players. I felt our girls did a good job staying positive and finding ways to stay loose throughout the season.”

Coach Alumbaugh has a great deal of appreciation for these players, and he said, “The thing that will always make me the proudest with this group is their dedication to doing whatever it takes to be successful at all things. This team has not only been successful on the field, but also in the classroom.

“They’ve been a Top 10 academic all-state team the past 5 years. It’s not uncommon to go on a road trip and see girls helping each other with schoolwork or asking a coach for help. These girls have also committed as a team to volunteering every year for the Special Olympics Track Meet held at McDonald County.

“The thing that has made me happiest throughout the season is the growth and maturity they’ve made as young women.

“We tell them all the time, the game ends for everyone. What life lessons can you learn to help make you a better person on and off the field? I believe this group of young women will be great leaders in their homes and communities. They represent what it means to be a Mustang.”

December 2022 • • 57

McDonald County High School JROTC Program Guides Students Toward Becoming Better Citizens

“Leadership skills, academic success, social skills and everything we teach goes into our mission ‘to mature young people to be better citizens.’ Our curriculum being centered around this allows for a foundation of future success that a cadet can look back on and be proud about.”

Gibson said, “On the community side, our nation gains a competent leader who can take a team to places it could have only dreamed about. The military produces amazing leaders. And having the necessary structure and mentorship helps create great leaders to go into our workforce and influence our nation.”

Of course, this program is not easy, and Gibson said, “The most challenging thing is putting cadets out of their comfort zone. Most cadets are not used to being in front of others and commanding them.

“They are afraid of making a mistake, so by putting them in situations where they must be in charge, it helps develop them and teaches them how to not be afraid of leading and how, instead of shying away from it, to put themselves in situations where they can lead and lead well.

“This also develops their character and discipline, because now that others are looking at them to help make the program succeed, they understand that they must set the standard. When cadets come into our program, at whatever stage of leadership development they’re at, they always find areas to improve.”

It’s impressive the McDonald County High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Mustang Battalion program has existed for nearly six decades and is only growing stronger.

Although Captain Eric Corcoran wasn’t about to credit himself and Lieutenant Colonel Tim Gibson for what the JROTC has achieved at MCHS as they’ve helped guide things along, he affirmed, “With the discipline and direction we instill in the cadets, we’re looking better and doing more for our community and school.

“From building the Field of Flags to Chris Marion Day to other competitions, community events and our own traditional events, our cadets are taking an active role in supporting McDonald County.”

Chris Marion was a McDonald County High School graduate who died in battle in 2006 while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

The benefits of being part of this program are twofold. Corcoran said, “On the cadet side, the most important and helpful tool JROTC develops is a foundation for life.

Not surprisingly, there’s plenty of pride in being part of this program, and Cadet Captain Katie Moore said it’s all about “motivation, camaraderie and involvement. As a team, we’re constantly learning and growing together, and using the influence of our instructors.

“At the end of the day, the things that matter most to us are not if we win or lose, but rather that we tried our best, learning something new and improved together.”

Cadet Private Dawn Rickett conveyed, “JROTC is so helpful because you have a voice, and they want you to use it. Our opinion matters in every choice the battalion makes.

“Our program not only helps us with using our voice, but it prepares us for postsecondary education life, whether that is college for some or the workplace for others. We learn personal skills like teamwork, discipline, time management and communication. This program is designed to teach high school students things they couldn’t get anywhere else.”

Cadet Master Sergeant Morgan Camp said, “We have been shown how to act, how to speak and even how to conduct ourselves with professionalism and pride.”

Cadet Major Michael Hackworth said, “I’m glad to see cadets participate with teams they love and try something they never thought they would be able to do.”

Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Canaan Moore summed it up best: “Everyone knows they belong. We learn together, we fail together and at the end of the day, we are still McDonald County JROTC, and our mission is to motivate young people to be better citizens.

“Being united by a common goal helps us trust each other, and it goes beyond just the JROTC program. This is the best program on campus, and it will only get better the more cadets we add and the more diversity this program has, the more things cadets can be involved in.”

Featuring McDonald County SMTO

Teacher, Leader, Artist, Musician,


Charlene Bergen has touched thousands of lives through the power of art

Charlene Bergen is a lifelong artist who uses her gifts and talents to spread good throughout her community.

Charlene served as an art and music teacher for the McDonald County R-1 School District for 18 years, teaching students of all ages before her retirement in 2017. As an educator, she is known for her involvement with the Van Gogh Art Bus program, a mobile art classroom that visits all the schools in the McDonald County school district.

“Our idea for the Van Gogh Bus evolved from a district art teachers’ meeting along with our advisor, Angie Brewer,” Charlene said. “I taught students of all ages about Vincent Van Gogh while promoting character education and creating art. As I taught art history, specifically about Vincent Van Gogh, I brought out facts about his life that showed his honesty and integrity as well as his failures and vulnerability.”

In 2014, Charlene received the District Teacher of the Year Award for her district. Two of her high school students won the prestigious Billy Long Congressional Art Award and won trips to Washington, D.C. Their artwork hung in the halls of the United States Capitol for a full year. Shortly after retirement, Charlene opened Bergen Studios in 2018.

“My studio is in my home, and I own a kiln and potter’s wheel,” she said. “I create and sell pottery and paintings in local shops, such as Hello Sunshine Boutique in Granby. Bergen Studios has taught art in the Mustang Academy classroom, high school summer school SOPE class, as well as classes for homeschool groups in the area. I have demonstrated the art of throwing clay on the wheel for the annual New Bethel Preservation Day.”

She also hosts a Crafts and Christ Holiday event each year that brings in approximately 300 women from the community. In addition, she will be speaking to a crafts group at New Life Church in Anderson this January. “I enjoy speaking to women and using art as the medium,” she said. “My motivation for everything in life comes from my relationship with God … I believe all of our talents are gifts that are uniquely given to us. Our talents and gifts should be used in order to live our God-given purpose. Everyone has a purpose if they are still breathing!”

– Charlene Bergen

Charlene has also taught community painting classes, including classes to help raise funds for MCKIDS Backpack Snack program that provides food for school children on the weekends.

A lifelong resident of McDonald County, Charlene and her husband, Dennis, reside near Splitlog, Missouri, on land that’s been in the Bergen family for over 100 years. She is a graduate of McDonald County High School; Crowder College; Missouri Southern State University; and she holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University.

“I’ve always loved art and music, except for one period of my life. My dad became very sick, and we helped him during his 15-month bout with cancer. I had stopped all drawing and creating art at that time. One day, my mom asked, ‘How long has it been since you have made art?’ I said, ‘I haven’t felt like doing art since Dad has been sick.’ She made me promise her that day that I would begin again, and I did. I am so glad she prompted me to start again. It was just a few years later that I became a teacher.”

Charlene is also a gifted gospel singer, guitar player and saxophonist. She and Dennis have sung in gospel groups throughout their 41 years of marriage. They have performed at Silver Dollar City and have toured the southern states, singing on the radio for over 100,000 listeners. Charlene has recorded a gospel CD that is available for purchase through her Facebook business page, Bergen Studios.

“One of my favorite things in life is to somehow share good and love through my paintings, drawings, pottery or music,” she said. “They are just mediums I use to get the true message of Jesus out to those I come in contact with.”

December 2022 • • 59
“One of my favorite things in life is to somehow share good and love through my paintings, drawings, pottery or music.”

Anderson Floral & Gift

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

Anderson Floral and Gift has proudly served Anderson and the surrounding area for over 40 years and is for sale! You can always expect outstanding, friendly customer service from this fullservice flower shop. We specialize in custom arrangements for any occasion, candy bouquets, silk arrangements, gift baskets, diaper cakes and even tuxedo rental. Schedule a consultation today to learn how our experienced florists can create the perfect arrangement for your next party, event or wedding. We also carry a wide variety of home décor, soup and cheesecake mixes, and gifts, so be sure to add Anderson Floral to your list for stocking stuffers!

Brady’s Jewelry + The Rowdy Cowgirl

116 Main Street • Anderson, MO • 417.845.6261

Brady’s Jewelry/The Rowdy Cowgirl is owned and operated by Jeff and Alicia Brady. Their store is filled with vintage fixtures, new jewelry, antique jewelry and antique clocks, along with their own line of leather jewelry set with natural stones and crystals that they design and make along with the help of their employee, Theresa Cox. See them on Main Street in Anderson for that perfect Christmas gift. Call 417.845.6261 before you come and set up an appointment or make sure they will be in the store. Find them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram at The Rowdy Cowgirl or


Stop by our office in Anderson and discover why our customers have trusted CBT with all their financial needs since 1884.

Arvest Bank 607 U.S. 71 Business • Anderson, MO 417.845.3600 •

The folks at Arvest Bank - Anderson are committed to the mission that unites all Arvest banks: people helping people find financial solutions for life. Arvest Bank - Anderson is a full-service financial institution with small-town values and big-city services. Whether you’re opening a checking account, starting a business, shopping for your dream home or looking for a personalized investment, you can trust the professionals at Arvest Bank - Anderson to have your best interest at heart.

119 W. Main St. Anderson, MO

Corner Stone Insurance

308 S. Main • Southwest City, MO 417.762.3268 •

“Providing Hometown Service”

Corner Stone Insurance provides auto, home, life insurance, business insurance including worker’s compensation and more. For friendly service, call or stop in. Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm or after hours by appointment.

Tatum Motor Company

931 N. Hwy 71 • Anderson, MO • 417.845.3563

You can rely on Tatum Motor Company of Anderson, Missouri, and Tontitown, Arkansas, to provide high-quality farm equipment and tools. Since 1889, our store has provided the farm equipment you need at the lowest prices in the area. Our staff makes sure each customer feels wanted, and we make sure your needs come first. Each customer receives personalized, one-on-one service every time they come in. Whether you are looking for Mahindra™ or Branson™ tractors, Bush Hog™ implements or zero-turn mowers, Cub Cadet, Avant and Ferris, you can find them at Tatum Motor Company. We guarantee all our work and other manufacturers’ warranties that may vary according to the product.

Mustang Bistro

216 S. Hwy 59 • Anderson, MO • 417.845.3858

At Mustang Bistro, we offer a full line of lattes, mochas, frappes and specialty coffee drinks. Needing a little breakfast or lunch? We’ve got you covered with a breakfast and lunch menu that includes homemade sandwiches, muffins and many other baked goods. We also offer non-coffee drinks like hot tea, chai, apple cider and a variety of fruit smoothies. Mustang Bistro is a locally owned small business located in downtown Anderson, and we appreciate our community support! Stop by and let us serve you. We are open Monday through Friday 6:30 am-2 pm, Saturday 7:30 am-1 pm and closed Sunday.

The Jane Store

2890 Rains Road • Jane, MO • 417.226.1234

“If you don’t have a friend when you come in, you will have one when you leave.” That’s what you get when you visit the Jane Store. Whether you come in for our famous down-home breakfast or our daily lunch specials, you will be treated like family. The store also serves homemade pies, cookies and cinnamon rolls. Friday is always Reuben day. You can also find bulk spices, enamelware, local honey and jams, and other local gift items. Owners Gayla and Sam Baker want you to feel at home, and when you come home, you get home-cooked food. They are open Tuesday-Friday 7 am-2 pm.

December 2022 • • 61 SPECIAL PROMOTION


Casey Williams of Pineville, Missouri, started cycling three years ago after getting a wakeup call about his physical fitness.

“I thought it would be a good idea to run in a 5K, but I was very disappointed in the results,” Casey said. “I had to walk half of it, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I was concerned about running due to my knees and joints, so I ended up getting a bike and started riding.”

Casey started going on 4-6 mile rides and built up from there.

“The first time I made it from Pineville to Cyclone – that’s 15 miles – I thought it was such a big deal. I put it on Instagram and everything,” he said with a laugh. “That’s nothing for me now.”

A typical week for Casey involves a long Saturday ride of about 40-50 miles paired with a shorter, 18-mile recovery ride during the week. The last two years, he has ridden 3,000-plus miles each year.

62 Featuring McDonald County SMTO
The Accidental Cyclist How Casey Williams Found His Passion for Gravel Riding at the Age of 52

“I’m 55 now, so it’s a late-life hobby for me. If someone had told me when I was 30 that I’d be riding a bike 3,000 miles per year, I would’ve said they were nuts.”

Casey has a gravel bike and prefers hitting dusty country roads to be in nature and spot wildlife.

“Mac County is a beautiful area for gravel riders because of the bluffs, creeks and narrow, winding dirt roads,” he said. “I love to get out in the early morning or evening, and I see a lot of wildlife. I’ve had raccoons square me up and want to take me on. I’ve seen bobcats 25 yards off the road. I once saw nine deer cross and jump a fence. I’ve watched eagles fly over the creek when I was above them, looking down.”

Casey started cycling to get in better shape (and eat whatever he wants), but the mental health benefits of riding quickly caught up with the physical benefits.

“I’m a better person when I get done riding,” he said. “It’s a stress reliever and a release for me. I tell people sometimes it’s cheaper than therapy! There’s a sense of self-satisfaction to go on a gravel ride and be out from your home 30 miles and have a leaking tire and be able to fix it and get home without having to call anybody. But I’ve made friends out on the road, too, and people lend a helping hand when it’s needed.”

One of those friends is Casey’s cycling buddy and mentor, Will Sharples. Casey said having Will to motivate him and give him pointers has made a big difference in his progress.

“I would say to anybody first starting out to find someone to mentor them,” he said. “I’d also say it’s okay to enjoy a hobby and not be the best at it. Remember why you started biking and don’t get too wrapped up in getting your miles in or your physical condition. Just enjoy it.”

When he’s not riding, Casey enjoys spending time with his wife of 34 years, Laura; their two grown children, Ashly and Dillon; and two grandsons, Deacon, 6, and Corbin, 4.

December 2022 • • 63
“If someone had told me when I was 30 that I’d be riding a bike 3,000 miles per year, I would’ve said they were nuts.”
– Casey Williams

Lifelong McDonald County friends recall ‘Happy Days’

It was 1960: the beginning of a new decade, John F. Kennedy was running for president and six Noel, Missouri, girls who had been friends through elementary and junior high were now graduating from Noel High School together.

All of them were born in 1942, and Jean Rae (Allpress) Hook, Beverly (Davis) Robinson, Marilyn (Hansen) Ruestman, Jeannie (Kerry) Phipps, Martha (Pogue) Gregory and Karen (Whitten) Buchanan spent the late 1940s and all the 1950s hanging out together before, during and after school back when Noel was the vacation capital of the Ozarks.

All of their families owned small businesses in and around Noel. The girls spent their summers swimming and floating on inner tubes in Elk River, dancing at Shadow Lake, and drinking sodas and shakes at the local soda shop.

“We actually lived Happy Days,” said Ruestman, referring to the popular TV series. “We all had the same interests,” said Buchanan. “We all got along real well, and I never knew of a time that a harsh word was said; we were a group of sisters.”

Recently, four of the girls met at Ruestman’s Grand Lake, Oklahoma, home for a weekend reunion.

“It was Jeannie’s idea to get together,” Ruestman said. But sadly, she couldn’t make it from South Carolina due to a family emergency, she said.

“During a period when women had very little choice outside the home, all these women have held executive-type positions in the business world,” Ruestman said. “Ranging from small business ownership, entrepreneurship, teaching, executive assistant, elected official and vice president of a bank.”

Ruestman, after owning her own business, worked alongside politicians and eventually served as a Missouri state representative and then as a Newton County presiding commissioner.

Featuring McDonald County SMTO
Longtime friends holding hands Jean Rae (Allpress) Hook, Marilyn (Hansen) Ruestman, Karen (Whitten) Buchanan, Beverly (Davis) Robinson. The reunion included looking through school yearbooks, photographs and old newspapers. Graduation from Noel High School, maiden names from left to right: Jean Rae Allpress, Beverly Davis, Marilyn Hansen, Karen Whitten, Jeanie Kerry.

The ladies are so happy to be together.

Jean Rae (Allpress) Hook, Marilyn (Hansen) Ruestman, Karen (Whitten) Buchanan, Beverly (Davis) Robinson.

“All of us were in each other’s weddings,” she said. After that, the girls never failed to keep in touch through the years, but mostly through birthday and Christmas cards.

Now, 62 years after high school graduation, as the ladies sat around a table covered with school yearbooks, old photographs and newspaper clippings, laughter filled the air as they reminisced about friends and schoolmates they haven’t seen in years. The faded images captured a lifetime ago seemed to spur on stories all of them seemed to remember vividly.

“We just picked up where we left off,” said Robinson, who now lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. “When we got together, it was like we never parted. Something about old friends, they really know you, they are the basis of who you become.”

It wasn’t all talk about high school, however. All of girls married and raised children; four of them married their high school sweethearts.

“We enjoyed catching up on each other’s lives and families,” Buchanan

said. “We all decided that none of us have changed a bit.”

All of the girls were members of the nine-piece choral group that won first in the state. Buchanan, who lives in Joplin, continued her love of singing by joining a community choir in her adult years.

“One of my most memorable moments was getting to sing in Carnegie Hall,” Buchanan said.

“Through the 70-plus years, we have added a few age spots, made a few mistakes but helped create wonderful families and memories,” Ruestman said after the reunion.

The friends are already planning more get togethers, and they are going to do it soon.

All of the ladies will be turning 80 years old within the next year.

“At our age, you don’t bring home bananas and not eat them that day,” Robinson said.

December 2022 • • 65
“Something about old friends, they really know you, they are the basis of who you become.”
Beverly (Davis) Robinson
Beverly and Marilyn sitting on the hood of Marilyn’s father’s 1953 Chevy in front of a grocery store on Main Street in Noel wearing their saddle shoes and penny loafers. An unidentified resident also poses for the photo.

Covers for a Cause

Show Me The Ozarks hosted its 12th annual Covers For a Cause event at Freeman Health System October 27. Participants had the opportunity to smile for the camera on their own cover of Show Me The Ozarks Magazine. All $2371 raised from the event benefit the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation, which provides mammograms for women in need. We are proud to be supporters of Hope 4 You and our sisters battling breast cancer for over a decade strong! Thank you, Freeman Health System and Lakeland Office Systems, for being our sponsors! And a big thank you to Dr. Flys Salon for donating pink hair extensions!

Shila Lowe, Jade Elmore, Katie Counts, Wes Braman, Kathy Mason, Bobbie Cornell, Jane Clark, Treva Geiger, Charlene Milligan, Amber Seymour and Brittany Drake Jim Crossley, Charlie Brown, Wendy Anderson, Brandi Cerone, Whittney Armstrong and Paise Whitehead Jessica Schaer and Michelle Wood Adrienne Carey, Shelly Shoemaker, Kyleigh Fordyce, Celina Mercado, Lenna Hanna, Nicki Lopez and Mayra Ramirez
Health SMTO
Isa Greenwood and Cavanaugh Studyvin Elissa Lea, Alice Smirl, Stephanie Thorne, Alizabeth Webber, Marley Hensley, Lisa Baker, Madison VanDorn Photos by Ashley Caughorn Vicki Gilson Linda Teeter Arminta Malin, Jackie Lewis and Jill Mullere Tiffany Hill, Sue Junken and Pilar Ethredge Jennifer and Lincoln Rickman Howie Nunnelly and Bubba Evansco Taylor Ebbinghaus and Becca Malcolm Lee Timmsen and Lauren Gilbreth Stephanie Vaughn, AKA Jessie and Woody Betty Cooper and Kenzie Jones Kenzie Jones and Amanda Merrill Lee, Lily and Scott Timmsen Cheryl Franklin, Scott Timmsen, Lee Radcliff-Timmsen, Sue Dillmon, Kristi Tucker, Ashley Caughorn Alexis Clemo and Tiffany Alaniz Kelly Duffin and Shelly Walrod Paula Baker

10th Annual Pink Ribbon Gala

The Four-States Area came together October 28 for Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks’ celebratory 10th Annual Pink Ribbon Gala. Indigo Sky Casino Resort and Casino and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe were presenting sponsors of the 2022 Gala. Approximately 288 guests were in attendance and enjoyed a wonderful buffet-style meal.

Guest speaker was local business owner Mitzi Starkweather, who delivered a touching account of her recent breast cancer journey. Ms. Starkweather is under

35 years of age, which highlighted the need for a new program BCFO started in April 2022 called U35. This new program addresses the needs of a growing number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35.

Brandon Abramovitz served as the live auctioneer, as he has for over 8 years.

The Gala was another huge success as it raised nearly $130,000. BCFO thanks every sponsor, donor, attendee, volunteer, committee member and the good folks at Indigo Sky Casino and Resort for making the evening so nice and such a success.

1 3 2
December 2022 • • 69 4 6 9 12 5 8 15 7 10 11 13 14
1. Duane and Holly Hukill, Randy and Brenda Kaiser 2. Rhonda and Kurt Stork, Alan and Lori Marble Margie Moss, Beth Sellers, Ruby Schmidt and Susan Richards
Charity Mathis, Meleah Yarnell, Jamie Strickland and Jennifer Reeves Jerri Holguin and Marry Morris Beth Newman and Anna Lance
Cheryl Franklin, Bob and Sue Dillmon, Kristen Radaker Sheafer, Scott and Lee Timmsen, David and Tracy Freund, Allison Riechman-Bennett and Melodee Colbert-Kean
Dian Jones, Steve and Stacey Bishop David Clements and Wendy Belden
Wendy Belden and Linda Brown
Lee Timmsen and Cynthia Olmstead Mike and Patty Moss, Gary Stubblefield
Natalie Demint, Elijah Ochoa, April Kontak, Mitzi Starkweather, Jennifer Reeves Meleah Yarnell, Katie Fields, Charity Mathis, Ashley Franco and Tara Haws
Lee Timmsen and Kristi Seibert Photos by Ashley Caughorn

Horses of Hope could not have had a better way to celebrate its 25th Anniversary than at the 2022 Horses of Hope Gala, its annual fundraising event held at Downstream Casino, under the major sponsorship of Fletcher Toyota. Jim Adams, general manager of Fletcher Toyota in Joplin, is the inspiration and served as the master of ceremonies for this large event, with over 520 guests attending this year. Entertainment featured the Confederate Railroad.

1. Kristi Seibert and Lee
2. Mike
Scott and Lee Timmsen, Tracy and David Fruend 3. Pamela Thompson, Vallerie Sweeton and Sarah Oglesby 4. Jennifer Leeper and Heaven Whorton 5. Jennifer Wallace, Angelina Wallace, Kelsee Embree and Micah McColm-Hopkins 6. Judy Lowe and Melody Morgan 7. David and Ashley Groves, Leslie and Doug Heady 8. Brad and Emily McIntyre, Debbie and Gerold Koehler 9. Steve Kelly, Shanna Heckmaster, Lauren Gilbreth, Melanie Morton and Kevin Sidenstricker (AMI Radio) 10. Ash Wise and Dustin Guthrie 11. Kayla Boyd, Belinda Jasmin, Donna
Randy Ferson 12. Steve Bale and Dorothy Johnston 13. Taylor Warner, Marty and Teresa Armstrong 14. Dillon Leggett and Lee Radcliff-Timmsen 15. Jana and Dan Hickman Left:
Jim and
1 8 9 10 11 6 7 5 4 3 2 12 14 13 15 2022
Photos by Mandy Edmonson
Horses of Hope Gala Goes Down in History as ‘the best’!
December 2022 • • 71 SPECIAL PROMOTION

A Calmer Winter

Finding peace in winter’s long night with yoga


t’s darker earlier and a lot colder. Late fall and winter pose a problem if you’re looking to maintain your health, because while some people are fine keeping their routine with a few extra layers on and potentially out in the dark, many others will find exercising becomes a lot less convenient. If you’re in this situation, you might find indoor machine exercises such as treadmills or exercise bikes don’t engage you enough while weightlifting doesn’t necessarily fit your health goals. A great exercise you can perform indoors and that most people can do in their living room is yoga. While you do need enough room to extend your arms and legs out, I’ve been surprised to find how little room even a bigger guy like me needs to have small yoga sessions.

What are the benefits of yoga? While not as intensive as running or jogging, yoga increases your circulatory health, helps you build and maintain muscles and improves less obvious functions such as your metabolism, energy and breathing. If you suffer from any chronic pain or health issues such as high blood pressure, yoga has also been found to help with that.

How should you get started with yoga? A beginner-friendly class is a good bet if you have one nearby you can attend. Having people there to do the exercises with you can give a sense of community to strengthen your sense of commitment and accountability and can help you perfect your form and really get the exercises down. If that isn’t an option for you, finding some sort of video series, whether on home video, television or the Internet, can also give you a good step-by-step of how to do beginner exercises and even give you a beginner routine.

As always, ensuring you don’t strain yourself is as important as getting the work in. If a pose is too hard to hold for the targeted time, don’t be afraid to back off. Pushing yourself too far can cause injury, and hurting yourself while trying to improve your health isn’t a great thing. If you’re concerned about pushing yourself and feeling the burn, don’t forget that going too far and injuring yourself will make it so you must take time off. Losing a day or two of exercise to recover from an injury you got trying to hold a pose for a few seconds longer isn’t a good tradeoff at all, so always listen to your body and make sure you don’t go too far.

While yoga might not be right for you, it’s a great option to consider if you’re looking for a new winter routine. Routine is very important to ensuring we stay healthy or improve our health, so losing your routine to the long, cold nights of winter can be a burden all its own. Ensure you don’t lose too much of your progress in the coming months – or even give yourself a head-start on New Year’s routines.

Parsons, KS

December 13: Breast Cancer Support Group, 3:30 pm, Cancer Center conference room. Meets second Tuesday of each month. Call 620.235.7516.

December 15: Grief Companions Support Group meets second Thursday of each month, 6 pm, Elm Haven West. Call 620.704.1110.

Via Christi Hospital - Pittsburg, KS

December 28: Cancer Support Group, 3 pm, Cancer Center conference room. Meets fourth Wednesday of each month. Call 620.235.7900.

Joplin, MO

Every day: Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings. Call 888.740.4568.

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

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

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

December 13: Brain Injury Support Group meets every second Tuesday, 12-1:30 pm, The Independent Living Center, 2639 E. 34th. Contact 417.659.8086 for information and referral.

December 28: Grief Support Group meets every fourth Wednesday of each month, 6-7:30 pm, Hospice Compassus, 2216 E. 32nd St., Ste. 201. Call 417.623.8272.

Freeman Health System Joplin, MO

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

December 1: Freeman Early Detection Screenings, by appointment, Freeman Screen Team Resource Center, 1130 E. 32nd St., Ste. C. Early detection screenings include abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease and stroke/carotid artery screenings, as well as osteoporosis risk assessment. Fees vary. Call 417.347.6555 for an appointment.

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

December 6: AHA Family and Friends CPR, 6:30-8:30 pm, Freeman Screen Team Resource Center, 1130 E. 32nd St., Ste. C. Friends and Family CPR is open to the community. This is not a certification course, but a participation card will be given. Class will cover adult, child and infant CPR, choking and AED techniques. Cost of course is $20. To register, call Shelby Allen at 417.347.5646.

December 2022 • • 73

December 7: Freeman Real Living with Diabetes, 12-12:45 pm, Freeman Women’s Center Conference Rooms, 1532 W. 32nd St. A meeting for anyone struggling with diabetes to discuss real issues and concerns. Call 417.347.5700 for more information.

December 13: Freeman Bariatric Weight-loss Seminar, 4:30 pm (registration), 5:30 pm (seminar), Freeman Business Center Conference Rooms, 3220 McClelland Blvd (back entrance). Better understand the options available for weight-loss surgery. Contact 417.347.1266 or to register.

December 15: Freeman Caregiver Support Group, 1-2:30 pm, Joplin Senior Center, 2616 S. Picher Ave. Are you a caregiver interested in having a safe haven to share your feelings? Receive information about resources and coping mechanisms, gain advice on what lies ahead, make new friends and learn how to deal with family members. Door prizes will be given out. RSVP to Kathy Mason at kdmason@freemanhealth. com or 417.347.8463.

December 20: Bariatric Weight-Loss Support Group, 5:30-6:30 pm, Freeman Business Center Conference Rooms, 3220 McClelland Blvd (back entrance). Designed to help those who have had bariatric surgery. For more information, call 417.347.1266.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neosho, MO

December 26: Caregivers Support Group meets the fourth Monday of each month, 5-6 pm, Medicalodge, 400 Lyon Drive. Help with care, finances, insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, respite care, hospice care, day care and support for the caregivers. Sponsors: Avalon Hospice and Medicalodges Neosho. Call 417.451.2544.

Nevada Regional Medical Center, Nevada, MO

December 2: Lighting the Tree of Shining Memories, 5:30 pm. Join us on the square in downtown Nevada as we light the Tree of Shining Memories. We’ll meet on the southeast corner of the Vernon County Courthouse lawn as we read the names of all those being remembered.

For information on how you can purchase a light on the tree, call 417.448.2101 or visit This event will take place just prior to the Annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade through downtown Nevada.

December 3: Birth and Beyond Saturday Class, 8:30 amnoon, hospital mezzanine. The class will focus on ways the mother and her family can prepare for the birth of their baby. To register, call 417.448.2101.

December 10: Holiday Open House, 9 am-12 pm. Join us at the hospital to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, decorate cookies, make an ornament and take a picture with Santa. This will be a great opportunity to kick-off the season! For more information about this free event and to RSVP, call 417.448.2101.

December 13 & 15: Birth and Beyond Evening Class, 6-8 pm, hospital mezzanine. This two-session class will focus on ways the mother and her family can prepare for the birth of their baby. To register, call 417.448.2101.

December 27: Rich Hill Family Medical Clinic Screenings, 11 am-noon, Kern Senior Center. This month, we will offer free blood pressure checks, plus a free body fat test. The event takes place at the Kern Senior Center in Rich Hill.

Integris Baptist Regional Health Center, Grove, OK

December 13 & 27: Depression Support Group meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 2 pm, Northeastern Tribal Health System Conference Room, 2301 Eight Tribes Trail. Call 918.675.2093.

INTEGRIS Baptist Regional Health Center, Miami, OKFor 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 am. Second Tuesday: Nine Tribes Tower, 10-11 am. Third Tuesday: Miami Senior Center, 10-11 am. Fourth Tuesday: INTEGRIS Baptist Village, 9-10 am.

December 6: Alzheimer’s Support Group meets first Tuesday monthly, 11 am, Generations fourth floor visiting room. Call 918.542.3391.

Crisis Text Line Text 741741

Free 24/7 support for those in crisis to create a plan to stay safe and healthy.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code

74 Health SMTO

Many Concerns Exist About the Passage of Recreational Marijuana Use

With the passage of Missouri Amendment 3, which legalizes the use of marijuana for recreational use, ASCENT Recovery Residences Executive Director Teddy Steen has serious concerns.

“I think it was very short-sighted,” she said. “It is about money for the people who funded it. It was a 39-page amendment that no one read. For one thing, it is a $100 civil fine for supplying someone under age 21 with marijuana. That should be a criminal offense.”

Steen’s concerns lie in two areas. One is what using the drug can lead to, and the other is the affect it has on younger individuals. She wants parents to know it is not a harmless drug. Research from states who have legalized recreational marijuana use shows some startling facts. Unfortunately, law officials from those states with legal marijuana use know what happens each day. Many law enforcement agencies oppose the legalization of marijuana and alluded to a study conducted by the National Fraternal Order of Police, the University of Colorado, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical about the impact of legalization in Colorado.

An article titled “Marijuana Legalization Will Cause Many Problems for Missouri Law Enforcement and Schools” taken from Missouri Medicine, the Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association, May/ June 2019 outlines the following:

1. There is evidence of a persistent black market for marijuana which may increase the presence of Mexican drug cartels that are bringing in other drugs like heroin.

2. There are higher rates of traffic fatalities while driving under the influence of marijuana.

3. An increase in marijuana-related poisonings and hospital visits for children occurs.

4. There was no reduction in crime or significant increase in tax revenues.

5. Use of marijuana by children less than 17 years of age is rising faster than the national average and arrests of juveniles for marijuana-related offenses are up 5%.

Because the THC in marijuana causes a high, marijuana use can lead to addiction, mental illness, violence, crime, traffic deaths and social problems. Of particular concern is the correlation between mental problems and marijuana use.

From the article “Marijuana Legalization Will Cause Many Problems for Missouri Law Enforcement and Schools”:

Research linking marijuana use to psychosis and schizophrenia and acts of violence is uniformly ignored by the proponents of marijuana use. The American Psychiatric Association and other authorities report that current evidence supports, at a minimum, a strong association of marijuana use with the onset of psychiatric disorders.

Because many people think using marijuana is less risky than other behaviors, it is not thought of as being dangerous. Teenagers particularly think this and are turning to marijuana over cigarettes and alcohol.

“Younger people are becoming marijuana users,” Steen said. “For many young people, that leads to higher drug use. The younger ones are the ones I’m most worried about. Their pre-frontal cortex is not fully developed. THC has a negative impact of the brain’s higher levels of thinking. Those executive functions include the ability to make decisions, remember important data, plan, organize and solve problems, as well as control emotions and behavior. The marijuana that is out there today is as high as 99% pure. It is not the marijuana of old.”

December 2022 • • 75

The Great


Have a Very Merry Outdoor Christmas

Have a Very Merry Outdoor Christmas

Before Halloween even started, the onslaught of Christmas sales had already begun. The real reason we celebrate Christmas gets lost in a bombardment of commercialism. Sell, sell, sell. Buy, buy, buy. It is supposed to be a celebration of the birth in a manger of the Christ child.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas Day. Time with family and friends. The holiday meal. The Christmas tree. Opening presents. Christmas is also my birthday. My family stopped getting a birthday cake for me each Christmas. They said all the candles would cause the fire alarm to go off. I love them anyway.

The rest of the month, I avoid the holiday traffic, computer, commercials, social media, TV news and politicians. I escape all that for a while out in God’s great outdoors. It is my Christmas gift to myself.

The sun rising over the water or woods, an eagle flying in a bright blue sky or a deer happening by your secret hiding place is

better than any TV show. Crows calling, owls hooting and chattering squirrels are much better than the sounds of a crowded store of shoppers.

I know it’s cold, but the fish are still there under the water, waiting. Even if they aren’t biting, the outdoors is a natural stress reliever. If you enjoy hunting, deer seasons are still going on. So is squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl and upland game.

Hiking a trail is better than sitting in traffic. December is a great time to take a hike. The leaves are gone, allowing you to see things you can’t at other times. It’s also a great time to camp if you prepare yourself for the cold. You can’t worry or fret when you’re sitting

around a campfire. You can’t get Facebook, TikTok, Instagram or text messages if you go where there is no cell signal. Be sure to tell someone where you are going, just in case. Christmas is about gifts, and it should be. That all started when wise men brought them to a baby in a manger. Gifts do not all have to be store bought or online stuff the retail world says everybody wants for Christmas. You can give the same gift to family or friends someone gave you once: The great outdoors. They will never receive a better gift.

Happy birthday, Jesus. May all of you have a very merry outdoor Christmas!




Research has indicated deer may use up to 400 different vocal sounds to communicate with each other and with other animals. Some of the vocalizations may be so subtle they are barely discernable to us humans. For instance, during hunting season, they are always quietly telling other deer where we hunters are hiding.


Your body burns more calories in cold weather, so you need to eat more.

About 4,500 to 5,000 calories per day will keep you fueled for strenuous outdoor activities. So, this is no time to diet. Carbohydrates and fats are good sources of energy. You should carry fruit, candy, nuts and cereals for snacks.

Drinking more doesn’t mean alcohol. In cold weather, alcohol is dangerous because it dehydrates. It may make you feel warmer, but it causes you to lose core body heat, which can contribute to hypothermia – a lowering of the core body temperature. That can be dangerous, even fatal, if not stopped.

Drink before you’re thirsty. Your body dehydrates more quickly when it’s cold because you are warming the air you breathe. Hot, sugared liquids will help keep you warm and hydrated.

Remember that being tired and hungry can make you feel colder. If that happens, take a rest break and eat something.


Where will you be when the weather is nasty? In staying dry and warm watching TV or outdoors dressed for the weather, where the big bucks and flocks of ducks are still doing their thing?


As another year comes to a close, it is time to announce our choice as the overall winner of the 2022 Deer Darwin Award. This award goes to those who do some dumb things involving deer throughout the year. It was hard to choose, so we decided to have two winners. We will not name anyone to protect them from further embarrassment.

The first award goes to the good folks at a suburban Chicago airport. They had a problem with deer wandering onto runways and being struck by airplanes. They erected an electric fence around the airport. The deer jumped over it, avoiding the shock, and still got hit. Someone suggested smearing peanut butter on it. If the deer licked it, they would get shocked and run off. To their surprise, they had even more deer on the runways. Now, wouldn’t you wonder if the peanut butter might be attracting the deer?

A town in Illinois voted to hire sharpshooters to cull troublesome deer. Animal lovers threw a fit and forced them into sterilizing the does. Twenty female deer were drugged and had their tubes tied. The cost was $7,500 each. The cost of a sharpshooter? $500 per deer. Also, they still have a deer problem.

December 2022 • • 77
“Before criticizing someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes.”
— Jack Handey
“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this, and people to whom we are worth the same.”
– Donald E. Westlake

And So, Winter Begins

The first of December may not be the official start of wintertime, but most of us start labeling these days with winter verdicts. Our upcoming holiday decorations are often highlighted by the Show Me region’s winter conditions. We see the rich holiday colors of red and green, plus sometimes silver and gold with snowflakes and icicles in the background. Angel profiles in the snow, scarves, a carrot, black walnuts and top hats reconfigure into a happy snowman for neighborhoods. Truly these are signs of the season and make many of us smile and look forward to the festivities.


We happily enjoy the winter outings, as well, and a good winter hike gives us wonderful opportunities to observe wildlife of all types. Our true luxury, however, is at the end of the nature excursion we get to go to the warm vehicle and drive home for security, warmth and nourishment.

Luxuries are different for wild animals. Missouri’s wildlife depends on their surroundings for their basic needs every hour and every day during all seasons.

The wildlife winter scenario gives all of us naturalists topics to ponder … whether it be wildlife needs in our own backyard, our favorite conservation areas or public land areas and even trails we hike. Some say, “Studying and caring for habitats (the needs of food/water/ shelter/space) isn’t appealing or as engaging as actually looking at the individual animal.” But, we can’t have the wildlife if their needs are not satisfied throughout the year and especially when food and shelter might be lean in the cold months ahead.

Between your holiday events and errands, please feel free to drop by the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center. We are nestled alongside Silver Creek Glade in Wildcat Park, and our trails head out to the banks of Shoal Creek. Inside our nature center, you’ll find refuge from walking the beautiful winter trails. If you are interested in habitats and native plant information for your wildlife needs, we have plenty of free resources. If you have relatives and friends who love nature, be sure to drop by our Wildcat Glades Friends Group gift store where they have quality gift ideas like outdoor adventure items, field guides, bird feeding accessories and beneficial shade-grown coffee (supporting our songbirds).

I hope to see you on a stunning Ozark trail! Merry Christmas! Lastly, I truly appreciate everyone taking our habitats and natural communities to heart this season! - Jeff

Jeff Cantrell is an outdoor educator and naturalist. He works on and teaches conservation curriculum to area educators.

Born and raised in this community, I have a heart to see businesses grow in and around my hometown. With a degree in Marketing from MSSU, I have 15 years of experience in Branding, Marketing, Sales & Social Media content. Helping my customers with creative campaigns that set them apart from their competitors and seeing consistent results is what drives me.

When working with my clients, I become a partner, a goal setter, and most importantly, another member of your team.

Building and maintaining your trust is very important to me, and I know how that can correlate back to your business. I thrive on growth and success and would love the opportunity to help you with yours.

December 2022 • • 79 417-691-0688
Gilbreth SeniorMarketingSpecialist/Promotions TICKS

Your Realtor FOR LIFE

Holiday Home-buying Advantages

The holidays are upon us, and that means a busy schedule of shopping, parades, parties and other holiday-related activities. So, you may ask yourself, why would you even consider buying a home in December? The answer is simple: Santa knows best. Santa keeps a lot of lists this time of year. Here is Santa’s list of five tips for considering why to buy a home in December.

Less competition. Let’s face it, most people wouldn’t pick the holidays as a time to move. With so much going on and weather concerns, many people might hold off until spring to buy or sell a house. That’s why spring is always such a busy time for real estate. But the spring busy time equates to more buyers and sellers competing. In December, there is far less competition. Yes, there are fewer homes for sale, but there are also fewer homebuyers, meaning potentially a lot less competition for buying the perfect home off-season. Sellers are motivated. It’s totally understandable that most sellers might not pick the last month of the year to sell their house. However, there can be reasons why they do. Sellers may be relocating, for instance. The seller’s house may be a holdover listing that still hasn’t sold, and now it’s time for the sellers

to deal. Sometimes sellers need the proceeds by the end of the year. Combining these motivating factors with a smaller pool of potential buyers gives you the upper hand in negotiating a better deal.

Real estate agents are motivated. A good real estate agent is motivated to help their clients 12 months out of the year. However, in December, a slower market means fewer clients and more time to dedicate to each client. The greatest satisfaction for a real estate agent, and the reason we do what we do, is the sense of accomplishment in helping a client find their home sweet home. There is an adrenaline rush when the keys are handed over to smiling new homeowners. Even when the market slows down, our desire to help people doesn’t slow down. If anything, we are motivated to go into overdrive to bring more smiles in time for Christmas!

Get to the closing table faster. For all the reasons listed above, it only makes sense that once an offer is accepted, there is equal motivation from all parties to get to the closing table as fast as possible. Getting a home purchase expedited helps buyers or sellers who are relocating stay on schedule. Both buyers and sellers would love to be in their new home by the holidays. Both parties may be motivated for tax purposes to close before the end of the calendar year. The slower season also means home inspectors can respond faster, speeding up the appraisal and title work. Lenders, of course, are extremely motivated to get the loans on this year’s books.

Holiday sales. December also brings a slew of seasonal and clearance sales as retailers try to beat the clock reducing inventories by January 1. A well-negotiated home purchase may very well yield enough savings to allow you to purchase items you need for your new home. A word of caution: Avoid large credit purchases that could negatively impact your credit score during the home-buying process. While this may make perfect sense during the time you are seeking approval of a loan, it is also critical in the few weeks between when your offer is accepted and the day of the closing.

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