Show Me The Ozarks - August 2023

Page 1

FEATURING: Barton County Back to School Men in Business

20 years of Teamwork

MAKE THE DREAMWORK in life & love for the Hacketts

August 2023 • Volume 22 • Issue 12
2 833.875.2492 /
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August 2023 • • 5 THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU! SEE US FOR A HOME LOAN JOPLIN 1710 E. 32nd St. 417.621.1453 Offer of credit is subject to credit approval. Bank NMLS #539634 SCAN THE QR CODE TO APPLY ONLINE. KASEY COWGER NMLS# 564095 KELLY GARST NMLS# 570206 NEOSHO 3005 Gardner Edgewood 417.451.2025
6 Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated Member SIPC & NYSE | Brad R. McIntyre Vice President/Investments (417) 627-5715 | Debbie Koehler Client Service Associate (417) 627-5716 | Josh DeTar Financial Advisor Associate (417) 627-5719 | Stifel is pleased to announce the formation of the M/D Wealth Management Group The M/D Wealth Management Group is located in Joplin, Missouri, and is excited to help you create a customized wealth management plan that aligns with your vast goals and needs. (417) 627-5716 main | (417) 781-9847 fax 420 S. Main Street | Joplin, Missouri 64801 M/D Wealth Management Group FREE INSPECTION: 417.540.4411 Sol ar SERVICES YOUR HOMETOWN ROOFING EXPERTS Installation & Repair Storm Damage Repair Commerical & Residential Gutter Installation Skylight Installation & Repair Shingle & Metal Roofing Siding & More

There are those special moments in life when you know without a doubt an idea, a person or a place is your next right step in just the right timing. Floyd and Jacqueline Hackett follow their faith in all things life and love and share how it’s working out after 20 years together in this month’s cover story.

66 Liam Hall

67 Maddy Colin

68 Sarah Mueller

69 Macie Shifferd

70 Quenton Hughes

71 Beclynn Garrett

72 Ella Harris

73 Ian Ngugi

74 Helping raise

for autism

features SMTO contents August 2023 Featuring Barton County 45 Faces of Barton County 48 So much for everyone at the Lamar Free Fair 50 Legacy of Zachary Scott Kelley lives on with family and friends 51 Family Entertainment Comes to Life at Legandary Barco Drive-In Theatre 52 Lamar Career Technical Center Training Guides Students on Their Career Paths 53 Why I Ride - Worthy causes inspire Lamar woman to ride 54 The Creative Edge - Artistry and real estate sales combine for this art lover 56 Barton County Business Spotlights Cheers to the Years 36 Cheers to 22 Years 38 Cheers to 20 Years! Meet Howie and Bubba 40 Cheers to the YearsBusiness Milestones Back to School 58 Faces of Education - 2023 60 Thomas Jefferson Celebrates 30 Years 62 Labette Community College celebrates 100 Years of Education Excellence
Photos by Mandy Edmonson - Focused Memories Photography
Event Studio
Scoop Shoppe,
the Rolled
64 Journey Through Slime
Home of
Ice Cream
is personal
Hampton About the Cover 30 76 86 62 48
for Shaun & Amanda

in every edition


18 Stay cool with water-related activities and other fun events this month in the Four States. Spend a day fishing, learning how to fish or discovering the joys of canoes and kayaks. Spend some time downtown after dark with a sangria summer walk or discover the fun of foraging. Fill your days with summer activities before it’s back-to-school time!

16 Cultural Arts and Entertainment

20 Northeast Oklahoma Events


25 Tastes of the Four States - Club 1201

26 Show Me Dining Guide

76 Your House ... Your Home - Homework Spaces

86 The Great Outdoors - How are you living your dash?

88 A Naturalist Voice - The Lesser-Known Kingdom

Cover Story

30 20 years of teamwork make the dream work in life and love for the Hacketts


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!

August 2023 • • 9
you find it?
health other great reads $41.99 - three years $32.99 - two
- one
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 Issue FEATURING Carl Junction ULTIMATE WEDDING Destinations & Services A Matter of Trust A Matter 80 Health Events 82 Faces & Places: Freeman Hosts JACC Morning Brew 83 Telemedicine provides access and convenience to students, staff and parents 84 Core Activation - Starting core strength from zero 85 The ROCC & recovery community lose a mentor for the second time in three months 21 Oklahoma Business Spotlights 22 Show Me Carl Junction 23 Spotlight on Carthage 24 Joplin Arts District 32 Fashion ForwardThe Vogue Boutique 33 Things We Love 78 Men in Business Congratulations to Makayla Carr, the winner of the July edition “Find the Green Smiley Face” contest. Makayla wins two gift certificates to Panera Bread in Joplin, Missouri. The Green Smiley was on page 47 in the painting on the top right-hand corner.
years $19.99
year Name:

The Ozarks Magazine

Since 2001



Lee Radcliff-Timmsen


Sue Dillmon


Wendy Brunner

Kathleen Swift


Kelley Talent

Kristi Tucker


Cheryl Franklin


Jamie Emery


Holly Hukill

Jeff Cantrell

Kathleen Swift

Don Lowe

Larry Whiteley

Bridget Bauer

Amy Howe

Ann Leach

Allison Lee Riechman-Bennett

Kristi Spencer


Amy Howe

Mandy Edmonson

Ashley Caughorn


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.

August 2023 • • 11

Meeting, Learning and Connecting to Our Region

With age comes clarity. When I started the journey of becoming a small, locally owned and operated business in Southwest Missouri, I was ambitious and determined. My emotions ranged from pure excitement to utter fear within moments, multiple times a day. I knew what I wanted, I knew I would work hard and I knew a magazine highlighting the culture and lifestyle of our region was needed.

So, I embarked on the journey. And now I am celebrating 22 years of service to our readers and communities. In so many ways, it feels like yesterday when a good friend said, “Lee, you can do it!” Those were the words of encouragement I needed. In other ways, it seems like it has been many, many more years. SMTO has been the center of my world.

SMTO has been a labor of love. I love our region. I love the small business owners who work endlessly to provide quality products and services. I love the renowned health care professionals whose life work is to help us stay happy and healthy. I love the non-profits that dedicate endless time organizing fundraising events and spreading awareness. I love our local heroes we get to feature every July. I love featuring the cutest babies and pets and finding unknown gems in our region and giving them the exposure they deserve. I love it all.

It has also been a labor of love because I have been able to take this journey with people I love. Members of my family have been featured writers, photographers, designers, office managers, delivery crew and more. I could never have done it without the confidence my mother had in me, when I was unsure of myself. My family has provided me the freedom to chase my dreams and the support to accomplish them. I will always be grateful.

In 22 years, we have had many talented writers, photographers, designers and office staff along the journey. Each person who contributed soon became family. They were people working together with the same goal with respect and support of each other. They were talented people, passionate about our region. Thank you. Whether you worked with us year one or year 21, you shaped what SMTO is today!

I love all of those things: the mission of SMTO, our readers, my family and the people I have worked with side-by-side. However, after 22 years, I realize what I love most is the people I have met along the way. I have had brief encounters with strangers that will forever remain in my heart, and I have built lifelong friendships. We have celebrated happy moments and we have grieved losses. We have faced national disasters and accomplished amazing feats. The list would be too long to mention names, but so many people have touched my life. It has been an absolute joy meeting, learning and connecting with the people in our region. You are really what it is all about!

Thank you, SMTO. These last 22 years have been some of the greatest years of my life! I can’t wait to see what is in store for year 23!

12 We offer Financial assistance Average Payment Plan
happens We’re here to help Scan to learn more If
Lee Radcliff-Timmsen, P.O. Box 3325 • Joplin, MO 64803 417.455.9898 • 417.850.5557
you find yourself
and need help paying your utility bill, we’re here for you.
August 2023 • • 13 NEWTONSJOPLIN.COM 428 S Main St. | Joplin, MO | 417.623.2800 Celebrate the special moments with Newton’s.
14 Contact Kristi Seibert at 417-434-2200 or The 11th Annual Pink Ribbon Gala, benefiting Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, will take place at Indigo Sky Casino and Resort. Join us to raise funds to provide direct financial assistance to those facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. PRESENTS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2023 | 6:00 PM Masquerade 11TH ANNUAL PINK RIBBON GALA sas Masquerade & Mammo

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Carthage, MO

August 18-20: Arsenic & Old Lace, 6:30 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m, Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre. In this classic farce, drama critic Mortimer Brewster’s engagement announcement is upended when he discovers a corpse in his elderly aunts’ window seat. Reservations required; call 417.358.9665 or email Tickets: Adults $29, seniors (55+) $26, students $24, youth $23, children (6-12) $12, children (0-5) free. Info: stdinnertheatre@

August 19: Concerts in the Park feat. Blister Soul with Splitfinger Rufus, 7 p.m., Carthage Central Park, 714 S. Garrison Ave. Concerts feature locally based talent, all under the beautiful, shaded canopy of Carthage Central Park. Enjoy a rock show featuring Joplin/Carthage locals Blister Soul and Oklahoma band Splitfinger Rufus. This is a BYOC (bring your own chair) event. Free. Info:


August 11-September 16: Choreographing Color by Eric Beezley, artCentral Carthage. Enjoy colorful, abstract paintings. Free; donations appreciated. Info:, 417.358.4404.

Joplin, MO


August 3-5: Heathers the Musical, 7:30 p.m., Dream Theatre Co. Travel to the 1980s with Dream Theatre Co. in this darkly delicious musical based on the classic 1989 film. Reservations required; reserve your ticket at event-details/75446. General admission: $25. Info:, 417.622.6470.

August 5: SGTJ Variety Show, 7 p.m., Stained Glass Theatre Joplin. Joplin’s annual variety show fundraiser! Enjoy an evening of songs, games, skits, bingo, comedy sketches and more during this family-friendly event. Purchase tickets at Tickets: Adults $10, kids $5. Info: sgtjoplin@gmail. com.

August 26: Back to School Bash 2023, 6:30-10 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex. Kick back and relax with live music, local art, raffles, vendors and more! Join The Non-Permitted Project for the third annual Back to School Bash featuring performances from local bands, including The Odyssey, TownHouseFire, The Ragetones, Speciosa, and Riverside Current. Proceeds will go to FosterAdopt Connect and The ROCC. All ages welcome. Purchase tickets in advance at Tickets: In advance $7, at the door $10. Info:, 417.489.9068.


August 1: Chat & Craft (ages 18+), 6-8 p.m., Joplin Public Library. Whether you crochet, knit, stitch, draw or paint, bring along your current project. Free. More information:, 417.623.7953 x1030.

August 3: First Thursday ArtWalk, 5:30-8:30 p.m., downtown Joplin. Dozens of artists will show or demonstrate their artistic process and all art will be for sale. Map of participating locations is available at firstthursdayartwalkjoplin. Free., 417.438.5931.

August 4: First Friday WineShare (ages 21+), 6-8 p.m., Chaos Brewing. WineShare is a national event that takes place the First Friday of each month. It’s a great opportunity to meet new friends or catch up with old ones. Open to ages 21 and up. Free. Info:, 417.501.9649.

August 4: August First Friday with VSM Joplin, 7-10 p.m., Just A Taste Webb City. Join Vintage Swing Movement (VSM) Joplin for a dance lesson. After the lesson, show off your new skills or kick back and enjoy live music from NWA Jazz & More Orchestra and cocktails from Just A Taste during a social dance at

8 p.m. Pre-registration encouraged; for information on how to register, visit Tickets: At the door $10, in advance $8, students $5. Info:, 316.243.8175.

August 4-6: Joplin Emancipation Park Days Celebration 2023, all day, Ewert Park, Murphy Blvd. Annual event aims to celebrate and teach the Joplin area about African American freedom, achievement and culture while uniting everyone in the community. This year, participants can expect three full days of activities, including live entertainment and music, car show, kid’s market, dominoes tournament, movie night in the park, local vendors and more! Free. Info:, 417.438.4980.

August 5: JoMoCon, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex. This local convention brings anime, gaming, science fiction, fantasy and all other parts of the “nerdverse” to the Joplin area. With entertaining panels, vendors selling original art and fandom merchandise, cosplay and gaming competitions and more, this event is a fun way to celebrate pop culture while raising money for a good cause. A portion of the convention’s proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Center of Joplin. Register and pay in advance at Cost: In advance $12, at the door $15. Info: contact@jomocon. org, 417.592.7438.

August 5: Pepper Fest 2023, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Joplin Empire Market. Try a variety of sauces and salsas, roast peppers with Oakwoods Farm, enjoy margaritas and other tasty drinks from the Market Cantina and more! Craft projects for kids of all ages also available. Free; food and drink available for purchase. Info: ivy@, 928.514.7713.

August 6, 13, 20 & 27: Open Mic Comedy Night, 9 p.m., Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. Try out your latest stand-up routine or take in the acts of local comedians. Age restrictions: 18+ until 10 p.m.; 21+ from 10 p.m. until close. Free. Info:, 417.540.9186.

August 8: Sean Fitzgibbon Author Visit & Exhibit, 6-7:30 p.m. Sean Fitzgibbon is the author of What Follows is True: Crescent Hotel, a nonfiction graphic novel that depicts the mythologies surrounding the Crescent Hotel’s two years as the Baker Hospital, a Depression-era cancer hospital in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Following the presentation about his graphic novel, Sean will sign books, which will be available for purchase. This program coincides with the opening of an accompanying exhibit of the original artworks Sean created for the publication. Free. Info:, 417.623.7953 X1041.

August 10: Joplin Writers’ Guild, 6 p.m., 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. Info:, 417.691.0480.

August 12: 8th Annual Joplin Area Arts & Cultural Preview, 10 a.m.noon, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Beshore Performance Hall. Annual event that gives arts and cultural organizations the chance to tell their story and share what they have planned for the year ahead. Each organization has a total of two minutes to present. This event educates the public about upcoming events and encourages collaboration between participating organizations and informs the media of potential news stories. Registration is required for presenters. All presenters must register by Monday, Aug. 5. To register, visit Free. Info: lauren@, 417.501.5550.

August 17: Third Thursday, 5:30-8:30 p.m., downtown Joplin. Third Thursday, Joplin’s premier cultural event, is back! Every third Thursday, March through October, thousands of people gather on Main Street in downtown Joplin to enjoy local artisans, music, entertainment and food. Free. Info: ivy@, 928.514.7713.

August 19: National Aviation Day, 1 p.m., CLA Creativity Lab. Celebrate National Aviation Day with the Creative Learning Alliance and enjoy flightrelated exhibits and events. Registration required; visit creativelearningalliance to register. $5. Info:, 417.850.7137.

August 21: MSSU Choral Society Rehearsal (ages 18+), 7-9 p.m., Missouri Southern State University. The choir is open to anyone, college age and older, and does not require auditions. Registration forms available during the first few


rehearsals. Interested singers may attend the first two rehearsals at no charge. $30. Info:, 417.385.3996.


August 1-September 29: Beautiful Places – Paintings by Dannette Belote, Joplin Public Library, The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery, 1901 E. 20th St. Info:, 417.623.7953 X1041.

August 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. A variety of area artists display and offer their artwork for sale in this downtown, boho store. Drop in to see unbe-leaf-able artwork from Marta Churchwell, Merlen White, Connie Miller, Brent Skinner and more. Free. Info: plantparenthood417@gmail. com.

August 8-31: Sean Fitzgibbon Exhibit, Joplin Public Library. A collection of original artworks by author/artist Sean Fitzgibbon from his nonfiction graphic novel What Follows is True: Crescent Hotel, which explores the mythologies surrounding the Crescent Hotel’s two years as a Depression-era cancer hospital in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Free. Info:, 417.623.7953 X1041.

August 18-October 7: Delectable: Art of the Edible, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts. From whimsical to profound, pop art and lowbrow to classical and surrealism, Delectable: Art of the Edible focuses on unique takes on the subject of the edible. This exciting exhibition looks at food in a different way. What if everything in the world was edible? What if food was the basic component of every aspect of our lives? What happens when good food goes bad? Free; donations appreciated. Info:, 417.623.0183.


August 9: Moving Mindfully: T’ai Chi on the Green with Becky Browne (ages 13+), 3:30-4:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts. Enjoy this gentle movement experience that brings focus and balance to your movements. Please wear comfortable clothing. Registration required; register at $15. Info: jhenning@, 417.623.0183.

August 12: Glass Sunflowers with Jane McCaulley (ages 8+), 10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts. Learn about making fused glass art and create a glass sunflower to enjoy year-round. Registration required; register at $35. Info:, 417.623.0183.

August 12 & 19: Marvelous Mandala Making with Ann Leach (age 13+), 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts. Explore creative methods for creating mandalas as your personal expression of peace and calm. Participants will weave, draw and paint together. Please visit for a supply list. Registration required; register at $15. Info:, 417.623.0183.

August 26: You & Yoga with Sandi Krumsick (ages 13+), 9-10 a.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts. Join Sandi Krumsick on the mat or in a chair for yoga in the gallery. Relax your body, mind and spirit as you move into the weekend feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Bring your mat if you have one and enjoy a unique setting of art, beauty and peace. Please wear comfortable clothing. Registration required; register at spivaarts. org/classes. Cost: $15. Info:, 417.623.0183.

August 26: Wabi Sabi Scrolls with Ann Leach (age 13+), 2-3 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St. Set an intention and use elements from nature, stones and beads and slow stitching to create a scroll as a visual reminder of your personal plan. Please visit for a supply list. Registration required; register at Cost: $15. Info:, 417.623.0183.

August 26: Slow Stitching Open Studio with Ann Leach (age 13+), 3-4:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts. Hand stitching is a meditative practice that combines thread and fabric in simple and imperfect ways. Bring a project in progress or start a new one during this 90-minute open studio. Please visit uploads/2023/05/CALM-PROGRAM-SUPPLIES-LIST-logo.pdf for a supply list. Registration required; register at $15. Info: jhenning@, 417.623.0183.

August 30: Soul-Full Stretching (ages 13+), 9-10 a.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts. Get the kinks out of your body, mind and spirit during this one-hour class. Participants will perform a combination of standing and sitting stretches, all while surrounded by worldclass art in the gallery. Registration required; register at $15. Info:, 417.623.0183.

August 30: Mindful Meditation with Rachel Barnes (ages 13+), 12:15-12:35 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts. Join Rachel Barnes on your lunch hour for a 20-minute meditation in the gallery. Bring your own lunch and enjoy eating on the terrace afterward. Please wear comfortable clothing. Registration required; register at classes. $10. Info:, 417.623.0183.


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

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

Saturdays: Saturday Morning Choose Your Canvas, 10 a.m. 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 a.m.-1 p.m., $20. Bring your own supplies. Ages 8 and up.

Every Tuesday: Improve Your Painting and Learn Principles of Design., 2 p.m. Bring your own watercolor, oils or acrylic paint for personal instruction from award-winning artist Paula Giltner. $20.

Every Wednesday: Drawing class, 3-5 p.m. $25; all drawing supplies furnished.

August 11: Watercolor class; 1-3 p.m. $30, includes all supplies.

August 12: Saturday Paint Class, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., $30, includes all supplies and ice cream cone from Caroline’s; ages 8 and up. Paint Monet or Van Gogh.

August 12: FUNdamentals of Paint Pouring, 6 p.m. One 8x10 and one 11x14. $40, includes all supplies; ages 9 and up.

Neosho, MO:

July 7-August 25: Hidden In My Pencil: Works by Robert Appleby, Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, Big Spring Gallery. Robert Appleby is a self-taught artist who works primarily in graphite and ink. Free. Info: neoshoartscouncil@

Through September 21: Heritage by Sherry Pettey, Southwest Missouri Bank, 110 N. Neosho Blvd. Heritage is a 9-foot by 7-foot acrylic painting on three joined panels commissioned in 2006 by the Newton County Tourism Council. It was painted in a style that resembles the work of famed regionalist painter and Neosho native Thomas Hart Benton, and it includes a variety of elements that pay homage to Neosho’s rich history. Free. Info:

August 2023 • • 17

What’s Happening Calendar of Events

in the Ozarks

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

Support Your Local Farmer’s Market!

Grove, OK: Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m., downtown.

Pittsburg, KS: Saturdays 8 a.m.-noon, 11th and Broadway streets, downtown Pittsburg. 620.231.8310.

Anderson, MO: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon, 100 N. Jefferson St.

Carthage, MO: Wednesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m.-1 p.m., north side of the historic Carthage square. attraction/carthage-farmers-market.

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

Joplin, MO: Every Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Empire Market, 931 E. 4th Street.

Monett, MO: Saturdays 8 a.m.-noon, Tuesdays TBD. South Park by the YMCA parking lot.

Neosho, MO: Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon, directly across from the library downtown.

Webb City, MO: Tuesdays 4-7 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon. Pavilion at the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park.

Pittsburg, KS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 5: Carl Junction Lions Breakfast, 8-11 a.m., CJ Community Center. Cost: Adults $6; children under 6 years, $3. Call 417.439.7724.

Carthage, MO

August 5: All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast, 9-11 a.m., Carthage Shrine Club. Public welcome. $7 per person. Call 417.317.0609.

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

August 5 & 6: Agricultural School on Wheels, 1-2 p.m. Learn more about this innovative solution to rural farm education George Washington Carver helped design.

August 12: Laboratory Demonstrations, 11 a.m-1 p.m. Discover how George Washington Carver used some often-overlooked plants to change the way we think about agriculture.

August 13 Film: Becoming Fredrick Douglass, 1 p.m. This Public Broadcasting Service film highlights how a man born into slavery became a prominent statesmen and influential voice for democracy in American history. (60 minutes)

August 19 & 20: George Washington Carver: A Man of Great Faith, 1 p.m. Learn how George Washington Carver listened to ‘the Great Creator’ when studying nature and science, and in the stillness of his early morning walks.

August 26: Storytelling Day, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. This event celebrates the founding of the National Park Service and focuses on stories about United States culture and history. Discover these stories in all their diversity. Our history is part of who we were, who we are and who we will be.

August 27: History of the Carver Family Cemetery, 1 p.m. Join a park ranger at the Carver Family Cemetery and explore the history of the people buried there. Joplin, MO

Saturdays: Joplin Empire Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 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 available, and orders may be placed Tuesday at 8 p.m. until Thursday at 8 p.m. at Curbside pickup hours are Saturday 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. More information:

August 5: Open House, 12-2 pm, Girlfriends Fitness Boutique, 2915 E. 17th St. We will have charcuterie, prizes and a selfie station. Stop by and tour the studio, see all we have to offer and enter to win class passes and other prizes. Call 417.850.6002 or https://www.

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 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday and most state holidays. Call 417.629.3434, email or visit for upcoming events. The parking lot, grounds and trail are open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

August 5: Waterfowl Chat & Crochet, 1-3 p.m. Registration required; ages: 12 and up. Join us to learn about a few of Missouri’s waterloving birds known as waterfowl. Knowledge won’t be the only thing you will leave with as we create a simple crochet mallard duck. It’s recommended you know basic crochet stitches but isn’t required. Videos will be provided prior to the program to help learn the basics. All materials will be provided during the program.

August 11: Little Acorns: Busy Bugs, 10:30-11 a.m. Registration required. Recommended for ages 3 to 7. Summertime is the best


time to see busy bugs crawling here and there. Join us at Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center to learn more about these interesting insects we see going about their buggy business and make a fun craft to take home!

August 12: Family Fishing, 8:30-10 a.m. Registration required, ages: 12 and up. Have you been yearning to enjoy one of the Ozarks’ favorite outdoor activities and don’t know where to start? Join us for a morning of fishing and family memories. We will start with the basics of fishing to get any beginner angler catching fish. You will learn about the basic gear and how to use it as well as fish identification, strategies, rules and regulations. Then head to the ol’ fishing hole to catch and release a few. Bring your own poles or borrow ours. Bait will be provided. A valid fishing permit is required for Missouri residents ages 16 to 64 and nonresidents ages 16 and up.

August 15: Reading the River Webinar, 12-1 p.m. Registration required, ages: 12 and up. Reading the river is an old term used by canoers, kayakers and other boaters to explain how to travel down a waterway safely. This webinar program will start you on the path to developing important skills needed to look at the waterways of Missouri and make good decisions about how, when and if to float.

August 17: Introduction to Kayaks & Canoes, 6-8 p.m. Registration required, ages: 12 and up. This program is designed to help the first-time canoe and kayaker understand the basics of one of the most popular watersports in Missouri today. We will talk about the types of basic equipment needed to float Missouri’s rivers, lakes and streams safely. Space is limited, so registration is required. Dress for the weather and to get wet!

Webb City, MO

Saturdays: Webb City Farmer’s Market, 9 a.m.-noon. Farm-fresh produce, baked goods, herbs, jams, jellies, humanely raised meats and so much more. Information: 417.438.5833.

August 3: Downtown After Dark: Sangria Summer Walk, 4-7:30 p.m., Just A Taste. Bring your registration confirmation to Just A Taste to pick up your event wristband and a map to all participating merchants in downtown Webb City. With your wristband, you’ll be able to visit each shop to taste delicious samples and score great deals! As you visit each location, make sure to get your map stamped and return it to Just A Taste by 8 p.m. for a chance to win $100 in Downtown bucks, courtesy of Mid-Missouri Bank. Don’t forget to keep track of which wine was your favorite! Just A Taste will offer all the delicious sangria creations sampled for purchase by the glass AND we’ll have the wine bottles used to create the unique cocktails available, too. Want to finish your evening off with a dinner reservation at Just A Taste? Show us a copy of a receipt from any of the participating businesses and we’ll give you 10% off your dining with us! Eat, drink, shop and see all Webb City has to offer! *Must be 21 to participate. IDs will be checked when you pick up your wristbands. Call 417.673.1154.

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

On various dates in August, Wildcat Park Habitat Restoration Initiative, ongoing project. Wildcat Glades Nature Group, in partnership with Missouri Southern State University, continues to have workdays to remove invasive species at Wildcat Park. Invasive species are detrimental to native plants and wildlife in the park. Removing the invasive species provides better habitat for plants and animals, and in turn, benefits us. The Restoration Plan is an ongoing project that will be carried out over the next 10 years. The workdays are completed by Wildcat volunteers,

representatives from MSSU and Wildcat staff. If you are interested in becoming involved with the project, please reach out to maddie@

August 2: Summer Foraging: Confidence with the Basics, 6-8 p.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage, $25 per attendee. Adults ages 13 and up. Join Kelly Hock, certified foraging instructor, to learn about the basics of foraging. Participants will learn how to identify plants to forage, how to utilize those plants and how to gain confidence in identification. This will be a hands-on class, and there will be a short hike outside to test participant’s skills. This program is going to have limited availability and will only be available to those who have pre-registered. You must pre-register by visiting our Facebook page, going to or by emailing

August 9 & 17: Nature Explorers: Trees in Wildcat Park, 10-11:30 a.m. August 17, 6-7:30 p.m. at Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. Ages 7-14, sponsored by the Corely Foundation. Free. Trees are one of the most important plants in a forest. They provide shelter, food and shade to all animals in an ecosystem. Join us to learn about the identification of trees, how they grow and why they are important. We will spend a bit of time talking about trees and then we will go out on the trails to identify them. You must preregister by going to our Facebook page, visiting or by emailing

August 12: Yoga in Nature for Kids, 10:30 a.m., Wildcat Park Pavilion. Free to attend. For ages 4 and up accompanied by an adult. Led by Amanda, a registered yoga teacher, this class is designed to incorporate elements of fun, breathing and yoga poses specifically for kids. Bring your yoga mat or a towel and a reusable water bottle. Yoga is beneficial for children’s health and even better when it can be done outdoors. Must pre-register. Please sign up by following the instructions on our Facebook page, by visiting NatureYogaKids or by emailing

August 12: Animals in Disasters: Awareness and Preparedness, 6-8 p.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage, free. Older audiences encouraged, for ages 13+. Join us in this course designed to increase awareness and preparedness among owners and care providers of pets, livestock and service animals, and learn how typical hazards affect animals and what can be done by responsible owners to reduce the impact of disasters. You must pre-register by visiting our Facebook page, visiting or by emailing

August 16 &19: Preschool Connections: Hummingbird Migration, 10-11 a.m., August 19 from 1-2 p.m. at Wildcat Glades Education Cottage, ages 3-7, sponsored by Calvin Cassady. Free. Hummingbirds are finishing up their nesting cycles and will be preparing to migrate back to their wintering range soon. They need lots of energy for their big trip, and the best way to support them is to provide native plants and/or hummingbird feeders for them. Join us to read a story about hummingbirds, sing a song and make your own hummingbird feeders! You must pre-register to attend, and you can do so by visiting our Facebook page, visiting https:// or by emailing maddie@

August 19: Foraging Hike with Kelly, 9-11 a.m., $20 per attendee, Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. Adult program for ages 13 and up. Kelly Hock is a certified foraging instructor and will take a group of knowledge-hungry attendees on a hike through the trails at Wildcat Park. Those who attend will gain a knowledge of wild edibles along the trails system, the ethics of foraging and how to identify plants. This hike will have a limited number of slots available, and you must pre-register to attend. You can do so by visiting our Facebook page, by visiting or by emailing

August 2023 • • 19

EVENTS Northeast OK

Aug. 25 & 26: Rodeo Miami at Miami Fairgrounds

1129 E. Street SW, Miami

Travel to Miami in Northeast Oklahoma for Rodeo Miami, a two-day rodeo event filled with exciting acts, vendors and concessions. Feel the suspense in the arena and cheer for your favorite championship rodeo participants as they compete in traditional rodeo events such as bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding. The American Cowboy Rodeo Association (ACRA) has named Rodeo Miami as Rodeo of the Year since 2010. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 for adults and $5 for kids. Tickets at the gate are available for $15 for adults and $5 for kids. A two-day adult ticket can be purchased in advance for $20 or at the gate for $25. Advance tickets can be purchased at area Westco stores, at the Miami CVB office at 111 N. Main St., or from a Queen, Teen or Sweetheart contestant.

Gates at the Miami Fairgrounds open at 5 p.m. Kids activities will start at 6:30 p.m. Mutton Bustin contestants need to register nightly at the grandstands by 6 p.m. They must weigh 60 pounds or less, and it is $20 to register. The winner will receive a Rodeo Miami buckle nightly. Rodeo performances will kick-off Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A limited amount of VIP seating is available onsite nightly for $5 per spectator. Slack will be held Thursday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the gate for slack night.

For more information about Rodeo Miami, call the Miami CVB at 918.542.4435 or follow Rodeo Miami on Facebook for updates. Dates and times are subject to change. Please call the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau at 918. 542.4435 to confirm.

Grove, OK

Aug. 4: Food Truck Friday, 5-9 p.m. City of Grove City Hall Lawn, Broadway & W. 3rd St., Grove This month’s Food Truck Friday will feature the Grove Football Boosters as well as musical performance by Jacob Clark. Bring a seat and enjoy the fun.

Aug. 5: Nunsense ll, 7:30 p.m. Grove Playmakers, 121 W. 3rd St., Grove

Nunsense II: The Second Coming - The nuns present a highspirited thank-you program for their many supporters. You are in for a lot of laughs, a lot of sass and a lot of witty lyrics. Reserve your seats soon. The minimum age for attendance is upper elementary students; that’s a guideline not a rule. Group rates are available as are Pay What You Can reservations. Major credit cards are accepted.

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

Spotlights Oklahoma Business

Har-Ber Village Museum

4404 W. 20th St. • Grove, OK

Email: Info@HAR· • 918.786.6446

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

Lendonwood Gardens

One mile west of Main St. on Har-Ber Road 918.786.2938 •

Don’t miss the summer colors of Lendonwood Gardens, an 8-acre botanical garden in Grove. You’ll enjoy beautiful azaleas, rhododendrons, daylilies, dogwoods, peonies and more! Stop by the Oklahoma Garden for regional plant ideas, and check out the Japanese Pavilion overlooking the Koi pond. You’ll see why Lendonwood offers the perfect backdrop for weddings, photography and special events. Open year-round from dawn to dusk.

August 2023 • • 21

Wecan’t believe summer is ending soon. It has been a fantastic season of community celebration with Second Tuesday in the Park. The last one will be held Tuesday, August 8, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The theme is The Great Outdoors, sponsored by Kyle Hickam - State Farm Insurance. Look for food trucks, bounce houses, splash pad, vendor booths, music and more. You do not want to miss it!

The Carl Junction Bluegrass 5K Glow Run/Walk returns September 15 at Bulldog Stadium, sponsored by Stone’s Corner Pharmacy. It’s not too late to register at Make sure to sign up by August 25 to snag a race shirt. We are so excited for this event to kick off September’s bluegrass festivities! If you want more information, visit our website or call us at 417.649.8846.


The Carthage Chamber of Commerce encourages visitors and guests to shop Carthage for all their back-toschool needs. We have some great local shops like Revel Boutique, Sincerely Yours and Sara Jean’s Boutique that will keep you in style with all the latest fashions to have your first day back to school start great!

The Carthage Council on the Arts will also fill Central Park with beautiful sounds as they continue their summer park concert series Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. with Blister Soul with Splitfinger Rufus. So, bring your lawn chairs, blankets, food and drinks and have a great evening in Carthage Central Park.

Volunteers are hard at work in preparation for the 57th Annual Maple Leaf Festival®. This year’s event will occur from Oct. 13 to Oct. 21, with activities taking place each day for nine days. The full schedule will be available at the end of September. Parade and grand marshal applications are now open on the Carthage Chamber website at www. The parade theme is There’s No Place Like Home: Carthage, MO. The Chamber is taking pre-orders on flags, special edition parade T-shirts and Maple Leaf Festival® sweatshirts. For any Maple Leaf Festival® questions, call the Carthage Chamber at 417.358.2373 or email

Marian Days will soon be upon the Carthage community for this annual event from Aug. 2 to Aug. 6. Experience Vietnamese food and culture at the Congregation of the Mother Redeemer, 1900 Grand Ave., Carthage, Missouri. Remember to shop local and shop in Carthage!

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!

August 2023 • • 23 Race Brothers Farm & Home Supply 2309 Fair Lawn Dr. 417.358.3529

the Road-The World We Create.” Missouri artisans showcase members’ talents. Opening Aug. 19 in the Harry M. Cornell Permanent Collection Gallery is “Inspired: Celebrating Indigenous Culture.” Spiva members free and $10 for non-members.

Where it’s ‘COOL’ to be YOU!

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

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

Art Exhibits, Theater and Music

Connect2Culture, 212 W. Seventh St.: For event schedule, visit For ticket information and other details, call 417.501.5550. All performances are held in the Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex.

Dream Theatre Troupe, 124 South Main St., presents the play Heathers, the Musical Aug. 3, 4, 5, 7:30. Tickets: $25 at

First Thursday ArtWalk with seven locations Aug. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in downtown historic Joplin. Enjoy indoor venues with local musicians performing and area artists selling their art. Find a map of locations posted on Facebook/ firstthursdayartwalkjoplinEvents.

Higher Society presents CommunityFest at Landreth Park, 500 NW Murphy Blvd. This free event is Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. with 10 bands, including The Mix Tapes, Randall Shreve and Ashlynn Grey, plus food trucks and vendors.

JOMOCOM will be held within Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. Seventh St., Aug. 5, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $12 (kids 5 and under free). Free cosplay contest. WolfRich Entertainment and Joplin Improv will hold one-hour murder mystery sessions. Actors improv workshops are $5 a session. Information:

Local Color Art Gallery, 1027 S. Main St.: Painter Barb Hicklin teaches beginning watercolor (ages 8 and up) every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $20, and bring your supplies. Walk in or RSVP 417.553.0835.

Spiva Center for the Arts, inside the Cornell Complex, 212 West 7th St.: Enjoy the following shows in four galleries: reception Aug. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m. for “Who Am I: A Queer Perspective” a 4 States LGBTQIA+ and Allies first-of-its-kind show in this area; reception Aug. 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m. for “Delectable: Art of the Edible” from whimsy to profound pop art; reception Aug. 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m. for the “Best of Missouri Hands: On

Blackthorn Pizza & Pub 510 S. Joplin Ave Joplin, MO


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.

Third Thursdays street festival is an outside, downtown community event on Main Street from First through Seventh streets. Learn more at JoplinThirdThursday. Join us Aug. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for the Dog Days of Summer, where you can enjoy music, entertainment, food trucks and artisan crafts.

Urban Art Gallery, 511 S. Main St: Painter Rolanda Root will show during August “Earth, Iron and Fire,” encaustic with iron pieces. Meet Rolanda Aug. 3, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Bar, Restaurant and Store Offerings

Blackthorn Pizza and Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave.: Aug. 9, 8 p.m.: Singer/songwriter open mic, all ages until 10 p.m. No cover, 2-3 songs. Aug. 18, 10 p.m.: Drag show hosted by Victoria and Misty. $5 cover, 21 and up. First and third Sundays 8 p.m.: Free stand-up comedy.

Brew Pub & Parlor, 813 S. Main St.: Karaoke every Tuesday, 8 p.m., 21+, no cover. Jam nights Thursdays, 7 p.m. Catch a free comedy show the last Friday of every month.

Chaos Brewing Company, 122 S. Main St.: Play free trivia Wednesdays at 7 p.m.; second Tuesdays are for disc golf, 6-9 p.m. with Local Route putting competition.

Club 609, 609 S. Main St.: During August, painter Sydney Smith displays “Peony for Your Thoughts” acrylics on canvas.

530 Somewhere, 530 S. Main St.: A new bar/restaurant featuring painter Natalie Avondet with her “Face to Face” colorful pop art series of celebrities. Meet her Aug. 3, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave.: Pittsburg artist Scott Leeper presents his mostly abstract paintings “Light and Heavy.” Meet Scott Aug. 3, 5:30-8 p.m. In backroom Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m.: Open mic poets and museum.

Countryside in the City

Florist • Event Planner Event Venue 422 S. Joplin Ave.


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.


Club 1201

Situated at 1201 E. 32nd St., the aptly named restaurant Club 1201 offers an upscale and charming dining experience. With its elegant decor and versatile meeting room, it offers a unique setting for hosting various events, including showers, birthday parties and special occasions.

Club 1201 serves lunch from Tuesday to Thursday, operating between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The menu features a variety of options such as pizzas, salads, sandwiches and appetizers to cater to different tastes.

On Fridays, Club 1201 extends its hours and offers both lunch and dinner service from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., providing a range of options throughout the day. Whether you prefer a leisurely lunch or an elegant dinner, you can find something to suit your preferences.

If you’re a brunch enthusiast, Club 1201 is the place to be on weekends. The menu features dishes like their 1201 Benedicts, unique breakfast flatbreads and a rotating selection of avocado toast and crepe of the day.

While enjoying your brunch, indulge in a refreshing mimosa or create your own Bloody Mary using the well-stocked Bloody Mary Bar, where you’ll find all the ingredients you need to craft the ideal cocktail.

In addition to its dining options, Club 1201 extends its services to catering for corporate gatherings and private celebrations. This enables customers to bring the culinary expertise of Club 1201 to their own special events.

Club 1201’s bar menu offers a wide selection of cocktails, beers and wines. From classic cocktails to unique creations, their skilled bartenders cater to diverse preferences. Beer lovers will find a variety of options, and wine enthusiasts can choose from a thoughtfully curated selection.

When you’re looking for an enjoyable dining experience with a diverse menu and charming atmosphere, Club 1201 is the perfect choice.

August 2023 • • 25
>> Club 1201 is located at 1201 E. 32nd St. • Joplin, Missouri • 417.626.0032 • Open: Tuesday-Thursday: 11 am-3 pm; Friday 11 am-10 pm; Saturday-Sunday 9 am-2 pm

ShowMe Dining Guide


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

Bricks & Brews

1531 Military Ave. • Baxter Springs, KS 620.304.2056 •

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

Hours: Mon-Thu, 11 am-10 pm; Fri/Sat, 11 am-12 am; Sun, 11 am-8 pm

Club 1201

1201 E. 32nd Street • Joplin, MO 417.626.0032 •

Now serving Joplin’s best brunch! Homemade beignets, pastries, biscuits and gravy, peppered bacon, eggs and parmesan fried potatoes and more! For lunch, enjoy your favorite appetizers, “out-of-this-world” salads, seasoned breads and your choice of dressing, soup du jour, sandwiches from burgers to apricot turkey and over 30 other choices! We offer a full service catering menu for private parties, business meetings and special events.

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 11 am-3 pm; Friday: 11 am-10 pm; Saturday and Sunday: 9 am-2 pm

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

Special Advertising Section

Mis Arcos

1926 S. Garrison Ave. • Carthage, MO 417.237.0547

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

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

Haven 55 408 Havenhurst Drive • Pineville, MO 417.223.2055 •

Haven 55 is a cozy country restaurant with a magnificent view, delicious homestyle food and exceptional service. The culinary masterpieces from Owner and Executive Chef Alan Bone cannot be beat. You will love the New York strip steak with blue cheese cream sauce, the fried green beans, and you don’t want to miss Wednesday night prime rib! Located on the site of the old Havenhurst Mill, built in 1868, this historical restaurant overlooks the dam on Little Sugar Creek. $-$$$

Hours: Tues-Sat for lunch 11 am-2 pm, and dinner 5 pm-9 pm

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.


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

August 2023 • • 27 Special Advertising Section

ShowMe Dining Guide

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

Club 609 609 Main Street • Joplin, MO 417.623.6090

“Treat your appetite to a GOURMET DELIGHT served ‘Joplin style’.” Flavorful specialties for any occasion, featuring salads, burgers and sandwiches. Delicious entrees – beef, chicken, pork, seafood and seven “pastabilities!” Offering appetizers, homemade desserts, soup du jour, beer, wine and mixed drinks. Kids menu available. $-$$$

Hours: Kitchen open Monday-Friday 11 am-10 pm Saturday 11 am-10:30 pm • Bar open later

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.

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.

Special Advertising Section

Hackett Hot Wings

520 S. Main • Joplin, MO 417.625.1333 •

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

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

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

Shawanoe Restaurant 70220 East Hwy 60 • Wyandotte, OK 888.992 SKY1

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

August 2023 • • 29 Special Advertising Section
Find out more about advertising in the Four-States’ favorite Dining Guide! Call 417.850.5557 or email:

2O YEARS of teamwork make the dream work in life and love for the Hacketts

Floyd Hackett was working in Memphis for Pfizer Pharmaceutics and was ready for a change. Managing work stress meant grilling out and deep-frying turkeys for Floyd’s co-workers, family and friends. He shared his talent at a family reunion in Joplin over 20 years ago held at a building on Broadway Avenue owned by his uncle. He asked his aunt and uncle if there were any hot wing places in town and his aunt asked, “What’s a hot wing?” And the idea for a place that featured Southern soul food was born.

Hackett wanted to sample the Joplin area before committing to his idea, so every other weekend he would travel from Memphis to Joplin and deep fry wings out of his turkey pot in that Broadway Avenue building. He accepted donations and used the money to buy more products. He continued his research by watching the TV show, Restaurant Impossible with Robert Irvine, dissecting Irvine’s advice to each week’s featured

restaurant owner and implementing it into his own business plan. “That show taught me so many important things to look for in order to keep from failing that I had never thought about,” Floyd said. “It helped me improve and stay on point. It was like a million dollars of free information, and anybody running a restaurant would benefit from it, too.”

Balancing business and life as partners for 20 years has been quite the journey for Floyd and Jacqueline Hackett. But they would do it all again without changing a thing. “I believe that we go through things for a reason and there is a lesson that we are supposed to learn,” Jacqueline Hackett said. “Our journey has strengthened our marriage and taught both of us valuable lessons. We have been so blessed.” Floyd echoed the sentiment and said, “I enjoy what I am doing, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

The couple have found their natural flow when it comes to work tasks: Jacqueline manages the accounting and personnel, handles food and supplies purchasing, maintains social media (visit www. for links), oversees private parties and catering orders, and ships online orders to customers across the country. Floyd creates the sauces and rubs, does some bartending, steps in to handle a plumbing or electrical challenge, manages the front and back-ofhouse, and serves as a mentor to employees.


“Floyd is much better at the mentoring than I am,” Jacqueline said. “I can truly say we both try to nurture and teach our young staff as well as some of the older ones about life, because some of them did not get that information in their home.”

The restaurant currently employs anywhere from 40 to 45 staff members, but there is always turnover due to personnel challenges. “Life is very difficult for so many; I think it is just the times we are living in right now,” Jacqueline said. The Hacketts show their appreciation of staff efforts in little ways.

“We want to encourage them and show them we care so we have an employee of the month recognition and every year I cook a down-home Christmas dinner for them, and we have Christmas parties with activities and gifts. We also believe in promoting in-house, so we try to encourage them to work hard so they can grow with us.”

When they started the restaurant in 2003, children Floyd Jr., Je’von and Jeremey worked with them after school and during school breaks. “We supported them in their school activities by allowing them to have a flexible work schedule so they could participate,” Jackie said. “We wanted them to learn how to work but also be a kid and enjoy their high school experiences. The boys became adults and worked full-time, starting in the kitchen and

moving to cashiers and on to restaurant managers. Jacqueline said, “I would say for the most part we had many happy memories.”

The business outgrew the Broadway Avenue building, and the Hacketts found their current location on Main Street. Jacqueline said, “Downtown was the perfect location for expansion. We were the first hot wing restaurant in Joplin and became a staple in the downtown community.”

The couple picked downtown Joplin for the location, space and visibility. “It has allowed us to grow from a 5,000-squarefoot building to a 15,000-square-foot one that includes two dining rooms, a private party space and a full-size sports room. The Lord has blessed us, and we can now seat over 450 guests,” Jacqueline said.

As the Hacketts look ahead to the next 20 years of life and love, they continue to share the same vision. Floyd said, “We’re going to keep up with the current trends and make sure the restaurant is operating in topnotch condition. We have been blessed and favored in this area and we enjoy our local customers and those from across the country.” And Jacqueline added, “We are going to let Jesus lead us and we are going to be obedient. We always pray for our next moves and then we are patient and wait. That’s how we have managed to sustain our business and our marriage for over 20 years.”

August 2023 • • 31
We have customers from all over the U.S. that have asked us to open a Hackett’s in their areas, but we have refused; we are committed to Joplin. We want Joplin to be the destination point for the true Hackett experience.
~ Jacqueline Hackett
Back Row: Je’Von Hackett, Chevon Praylow, Brylan Patton, D’Andre Baker, Kelby Schlueter, Thaddeus Robertson, Ioakim Fredrick Front Row: Seqouyah Fixico, Whitney Gazaway, Jacqueline L. Hackett, Floyd L. Hackett Sr., Serena Harris, Ryleigh Andrews and Paden Coonce

The Vogue Boutique

Adyson’s outfit from Z Supply is buttery soft and the most beautiful color! Be sure to check out our huge Z Supply inventory for fall!

Cognac Big

by Birkenstock.

Adyson’s jewelry is from enewton. Swim, sweat and shower in enewton jewelry with no worry of tarnish! Stop by the store for details on this amazing jewelry line!

Adyson’s bag is from Hobo and her glasses are by Diff Charitable Eye Wear.

The Vogue Boutique 144 South Main Street Carl Junction, MO 417.649.7911

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

32 Fashion Forward •
Her Buckle Arizona Sandals are

Hatfield’s Smoked Meats

7329 Gateway Dr • Neosho, MO • 417.624.3765

Grilling supplies approved by Trent! Family owned and operated for over 50 years, Hatfield’s Smoked Meats specializes in fresh steaks, smoked meats, meat trays, snack sticks, beef jerky, summer sausage, meat for special occasions, and more. Come in daily for one of our lunch sandwiches! Did we mention we’re a National Champion Processor for Hickory Smoked Ham & Bacon? Come see us today!

There’s magic in alpaca eyes. Discover just how much as you gaze deeply and meet the girl of your dreams. Oh, wait, maybe she just wants to enjoy a little grain from your hand, a little pet or in Shira’s case, a little kiss.

Come and meet her, Stiggy, the unique llama, and 48 additional alpacas at Zena Suri Alpacas, located south of Grand Lake, Oklahoma. Don’t forget to call 804.389.2579 for details and to arrange your meeting! Tours are only $5, and you will learn a lot while having a very special experience. We are open every day. And plan to shop our alpaca store for unique clothing and gifts!

Big R’s Pies 417.437.3135

Pie is the new cake! Haven’t you heard? is the best … The only thing flaky about us is our crust. We deliver at no charge within the city of Joplin. Order by noon Sunday-Friday for pick up the next day in Joplin or Pittsburg. If you want to sample just a slice, visit Chatters in Pittsburg or Big R’s BBQ in Joplin or find us at the Neosho Farmers Market (check the schedule), then go to to order your whole pie. Give us a call if you can’t find what you need on our website.

Extreme Sports Scuba

Since 1997, the Four States’ adventures have started here at Extreme Sports Scuba. Just like their tag line suggests, “Your adventure starts here,” too. Children as young as 10 can take lessons. Owner Deb Weston takes pride in running a family business alongside her two sons, Justin and Jared, grandson, Drake, and granddaughter, Shaye. Aside from training and diving gear, there is also a selection of kayaks and fishing lures for sale.

August 2023 • • 33 Special Advertising Section
S. Range Line Road • Joplin, MO
Zena Suri Alpacas 35401 S. 580 Road • Jay, OK • 804.389.2579

Blue Moon Boutique

613 S. Main Street • Joplin, MO • 417.553.0826

Facebook: @Blue Moon Boutique Joplin

Comfy colorful summer looks are keeping our wardrobes easy breezy this summer! Bright and cheerful is on trend! If you have an eclectic, boho style, then Blue Moon is right up your alley! Look no further for the coolest clothing, gifts, décor and locally made art and more.

Ozark Nursery

5361 N. Main • Joplin, MO

417.623.0224 • Find us on Facebook

Ozark Nursery is a full-service, locally owned nursery for over 50 years. You will find plenty of flowers to spruce up your yard here, and we also have a landscape division to install fine plants, trees and flowers to help with your landscaping. We offer incredible customer service, and everyone greets you with a friendly smile!

One 24 Outlet

13105 Kodiak Rd • Neosho, MO • 417.451.1144

Like us on Facebook! • Download our APP!!

One24 Boutique is a unique mother/daughter-teamed store that specializes in the unique. Located in Neosho, this small-town store has gifts, home decor, one-of-a-kind finds and FASHION!! The new “One24 Rags” clothing line was custom designed by the two ladies! Everything in the outlet is 40% off. A portion of all proceeds is donated each month to the KU Bladder Cancer Department to fund a research scholarship.


*Wash services

*Nail trims

*Self serve stations

323 S. Main • Carthage, MO • 417.356.5190

The Paw Spa Bathhouse for dogs is THE place to treat your dog to a spa day! A quiet, calm atmosphere is what we strive to provide for your dog’s grooming experience. Located next to BigDog Boutique on the square in Carthage, the Paw Spa offers full grooming, wash services and nail trims in a quiet, one-on-one environment. Let us give your dog a bath while you shop or have lunch with a friend! Services are by appointment only. If you don’t need grooming but have a stinky dog, try out the self-serve stations! Available Fridays and Saturdays only, our wash stations provide everything needed to wash your own dog including premium shampoos and conditioners, brushes, towels and heated dryers. Check us out on Facebook with the QR code above, or call/text us to set up an appointment! 417.356.5190.

34 Special Advertising Section
your dog to a sPaw day!
A Bathhouse
The Paw Spa •
for Dogs

The Vogue Boutique

144 S. Main • Carl Junction, MO • 417.649.7911

Just 10 minutes from downtown Joplin

Insta: @thevogueboutiquecj Facebook: thevogueboutiquecj

The Vogue Boutique has a huge selection of Birkenstock® for summer and early fall. Stop in and let our friendly staff help you put together the perfect outfit or select the perfect gift! Shop in store Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. or online anytime at Located at 144 S. Main St. in Carl Junction, just 10 short minutes from downtown Joplin. Be sure to follow us on socials for the latest updates: Insta @ thevogueboutiquecj and Facebook thevogueboutiquecj.

Wig’N Out Boutique

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

Come to Wig’N Out Boutique to shop trendy fall and back-toschool styles, such as graphic tees, denim and cozy cardigans. Remember at Wig’N Out Boutique, “We’ve got you covered from head to toe!”


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

Facebook & Instagram: @SocietyWebbCity

Discover your back-to-school style at Society! Step into the new school year with confidence and flair as you explore our trendy and unique collection. From trendy overalls to unique statement pieces, Society has everything you need to express your individuality. Embrace the excitement of back to school with our handpicked selection that promises comfort without compromising on style. Visit us in downtown Webb City for the best of the best in clothing, home décor, jewelry and so much more!

Pottery 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-painted and carved mugs, vases, jewelry and planters. Follow Pottery by Kat on Instagram and Facebook for works in progress and shop previews. Shop in Neosho and Joplin, Missouri, at the Clay Cup.

August 2023 • • 35 Special Advertising Section
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So much for everyone at the Lamar Free Fair

It’s time once again for one of this state’s wellknown celebrations as the Lamar Free Fair is set to provide plenty of appealing attractions for residents and visitors alike to enjoy later this month.

“It’s a free fair,” says Edwin Moore, who serves as co-manager of this event with his brother, Terry. “What we mean by that is there’s no charge for parking or admission to get into the fair.

“The only charge for people is for the food and the carnival. We also have local entertainment and that is free as well.”

There’s a wide range of activities, including a carnival, antique car, truck and motorcycle show, antique tractor show, livestock show, swine show, sheep show, 5/10K runs, exhibits and a parade, among many others.

“Our food vendors are the local clubs, schools and churches,” Moore says. “Keeping the food vendors local means money stays local to help different organizations.”

This is a big deal for the Moore brothers as they have played instrumental roles in helping put this fair together for more than 50 years. Moore recalls, “It got started around 1943. Our dad, Bud Moore, oversaw it until his death in 1968.

“My brother, Terry, and I were asked to take it over, and we have been doing it ever since. All the local businesses supported the fair back then, just like they do today.”

When it comes to planning and organizing, Moore says, “My brother and I, along with our fair secretary, Becky Costley, as well as the Lamar Chamber of Commerce and Lamar Democrat help get the fair started each year.

“During the fair, all our help comes from volunteers. They are the people that make this happen for us every year.”

This community of about 4,000 in Barton County goes all out for this annual extravaganza, and Moore assures, “This fair is so important to our town. We advertise it as being Missouri’s largest free fair. It raises money for several different organizations and all that money helps with scholarships and other events.

“It is also the last hoorah for the summer. School will be starting, and fall is coming soon. Beginning in February, we start the process all over again. It is great fun for all.”

As he reflects on the close connection his family has maintained with this fair from when it all began, Moore says, “My brother and I have been doing this for 56 years. We are proud to do this and carry on our dad’s legacy. It is a great event for everyone.”

48 Featuring Barton County SMTO

8Oth Annual Lamar Free Fair Schedule

(August 12 / August 18-26 / September 4)


• Rotary Princess & Pre-Teen Pageant, Thiebaud Auditorium at 4 p.m.

• Rotary Teen & Queen Pageant, Thiebaud Auditorium at 7 p.m.


• Lamar PBR 8-Second Chute Out*, Freeman Outdoor Event Center/8 p.m. (Gates open at 6:30 p.m.)


• Lamar Art League Exhibits Entered, Thiebaud Auditorium/9 a.m.-12 p.m.

• Lamar PBR 8-Second Chute Out*, Freeman Outdoor Event Center/8 p.m. (Gates open at 6:30 p.m.)


• Community Worship Service, west side of square/7 p.m.


• Window Hobby Show Registration, Lamar Bank & Trust/9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Judging on Wed.)

• Antique Tractor Rodeo, Lamar Saddle Club Grounds/5:30 p.m.


• Carnival & Food Vendors Set Up, Lamar square/6 p.m.

• 4-H Exhibits Entered & Conference Judging, Thiebaud Auditorium/6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.


• Carnival & Rides Open (Wed.-Fri./6-11 p.m.; Sat./12-5 p.m. & 6 p.m.-closing)

• Vendors Set Up, south side of square starting at 9 a.m.

• Gospel Sing, Thiebaud Auditorium/7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. Pre-Show)

• 4-H Youth Demonstrations, Thiebaud Auditorium Foyer/6-8 p.m.

• All Livestock Check-In, Moore Pavilion before 9 p.m.


• Swine Show, Moore Pavilion/8 a.m.

• BC Historical Society Museum, courthouse basement/1-9 p.m.

• Goat Show, Moore Pavilion/2 p.m.

• Youth Livestock Judging Contest, Moore Pavilion/6:30 p.m.

• The Lesters, Thiebaud Auditorium at 7 p.m.

• Memorial Hall Exhibits Entered, Memorial Hall/8 a.m.-2 p.m. (Judging at 2 p.m.)


• Beef Show, Moore Pavilion/7:30 a.m.

• Bucket Calf Show, Moore Pavilion (During Beef Show)

• Baby Show, Thiebaud Auditorium/9 a.m. (Judging at 10 a.m.)

• Antique Tractor Show, BC Memorial Park/9 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Lamar Art League Art Exhibition, Thiebaud Auditorium’s West Room/noon-8 p.m.

• BC Historical Society Museum, Courthouse Basement/1-9 p.m.

• Sheep Show, Moore Pavilion/1 p.m.

• Livestock Auction, Moore Pavilion/7 p.m.

• Sheep Leadline, Moore Pavilion (After Livestock Auction)


• 5/10K Run, east side of square/7:30 a.m.

• Livestock Showmanship, Moore Pavilion/9 a.m.

• Lamar Art League Art Exhibition, Thiebaud Auditorium’s West Room/10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

• Antique Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show, Lamar City Park/10 a.m.-12 p.m. (Judging at noon)

• Antique Tractor Show, BC Memorial Park/9 a.m.-2 p.m.

• BC Historical Society Museum, Courthouse Basement/1-9 p.m.

• Rotary Parade, Lamar Square/2 p.m. (Judging at 1:15 p.m.)

• Sober As A Judge, Earp Pavilion/7 p.m.


• Youth Horse Show, Saddle Club Grounds/10 a.m.

August 2023 • • 49

Zachary Kelley Tribute

Born: October 16, 1991, in Joplin, Missouri

Passed Away: December 13, 2022

Parents: Scott and Pam Kelley

Sibling: Shari Ann Mendez

Paternal Grandparents: Don and Shari Kelley, Nancy Robertson

Maternal Grandparent: Frieda Leer

Hometown: Lamar, Missouri

Career: Worked at the Plaza Theatre and Barco Drive-In


Loved collecting coins, playing with his nieces and nephews, and hanging out at the donut shop with the guys.

Legacy of Zachary Scott Kelley lives on with family and friends

While it has now been seven months since 31-year-old Zachary Scott Kelley of Lamar, Missouri, passed away December 13, 2022, at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, his memory and legacy in this community is as alive and vibrant as ever.

It’s easy to get a sense of how Zach was loved by so many people throughout this close-knit community through a story someone at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce shared recently.

Kim O’Sullivan, who serves as the membership director at the Chamber shared, “We had a young man who passed away in December and his name was Zachary Kelley. His dad (Scott) is the manager at our local movie theater.

“He was beloved by all. I was just talking to a family who owns a business on the square, and they had a fire at their home that destroyed almost everything. The lady said, ‘I needed a Zach Kelley-sized hug yesterday.’ Then she got teary-eyed and said, ‘I miss him every day.’ That is a true man of character.”

When reflecting on Zach’s personality and who this genuine young man was on a day-to-day basis, words in his obituary described him best.

He worked at the Plaza Theatre, and you could always find him there running the concession stand, popping the popcorn, getting your drinks or running the cash register.

Zach collected coins and you could often find him walking the square and going from bank to bank in search of something new for his collection. He was that bright smiling face that would speak to everyone, and his love for his community and family were unmatched.

As for other interests, Zach was a huge Lamar Tigers football fan and loved his Kansas City Chiefs. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Lamar.

Zach’s dad, Scott, provided the perfect description of his son in relating, “Zachary never met a stranger. Walking the square, he talked with anyone he would see. He was always checking on friends to see how they were doing.

“He loved helping businesses around the square if they needed change for the day. Dots and Castle Shoes and Cato Connections were a few he visited, as well as the local banks.”

Zach might not be physically amongst his friends and family any longer, but his dad summed up best the legacy of his son: “I think he’s made Lamar a better place to live. He’s missed by so many. The square will never be quite the same.”

50 Featuring Barton County SMTO

Family entertainment comes to life at legendary Barco Drive-In Theatre

Although it has been 73 years since it originally opened, Barco Drive-In continues bringing family entertainment to life for people of all ages and all walks of life for Lamar, Missouri, and many surrounding communities throughout Barton County. Things have only gotten better in recent years with an upgrade to enhance everyone’s viewing pleasure, and current manager Scott Kelley explains, “The picture is clearer and sharper on all movies, but especially when it is in 4K.”

Kelley has a sense of pride in managing this icon in the town where he lives along with the Plaza Theatre. He notes, “I manage both theaters for the community betterment.”

As for the rich history of both theaters, Kelley fondly remembers, “Lamar Community Plaza Rescue (CPR) leases the Barco from Wanda Felts. Her husband, Butler, was at Barco when it started construction in the spring of 1949. He was the manager from 1950 and owner from 1968 until his death in August of 2008.

“My wife, Pam, and I met working for Butler when he owned the Nevada, Missouri, theaters, the Fox, and Trail Drive-In. Our children

Barco Drive-In Fast Facts

Where: 57 S. East 25th Lane, Lamar, Missouri, located on Highway 160, 1.5 miles east of the Lamar square.

Cost: $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 3-11 (Note: No charge for children under 3 years old)

Hours: Open Friday through Sunday during the summer. Friday and Saturday during the spring and winter.

Tune-In: Broadcasting in stereo sound on 87.9 FM

More Information: Call 417.682.2434 or email at

Manager: Scott Kelley

Kelley understands the nostalgia of drive-ins, and he describes what makes it all so special. “Drive-in theaters are known for being a place where people can just relax and enjoy movies under the bright stars in the sky.

“We have customers who bring couches, rocking chairs and La-Z-Boy recliners and make it like all the comforts of home while they are there. They get supper from the snack bar and just enjoy the evening.”

While settings like this have dwindled dramatically over the decades, Kelley firmly believes it is important for them to remain a vibrant part of communities. “At one time, there were more than 4,000 drive-ins. Now, fewer than 325 are open. We’ve got to keep drive-ins going. So few are left now. We are very lucky to have them in this area.”

Kelley is thrilled to be at the forefront of helping residents and visitors experience the delights of a drive-in and he says, “Working at both theaters is very enjoyable.

“It brings happiness to so many people. I enjoy watching all the families enjoy their evenings at the Barco and the Plaza.”

As long as Kelley remains involved, the Barco Drive-In will continue to be a perfect setting that provides a memorable experience for all those who decide this is a destination well worth their time and money.

August 2023 • • 51
both worked at the Plaza and Barco. I’ve worked at both the Plaza and Barco off and on since high school.”

Lamar Career Technical Center Training Guides Students on Their Career Paths

Lamar Career Technical Center (LCTC) Fast Facts


• Precision Machining

• Health Occupations


• Automotive Repair Services

• Graphic Design

• Carpentry Program

• Welding Repair Service

As the Lamar Career Technical Center (LCTC) celebrates a half century of tremendous achievements with this impressive initiative, it’s understandable why this continues to be pivotal.

“The mission of the Lamar R-1 School District is to provide quality education for each student that will impact his or her life with meaningful purpose and successful direction,” says the program’s director, Brian Gillis. “At LCTC, we take that a step further.

“We’re preparing students to be successready for industry or college. Our goal is to offer hands-on, real-life training that prepares students for the next step in their lives. Our students get to see and experience the expectations of a career pathway firsthand.”

Applauding those who play prominent roles, Gillis maintains, “One of the most significant factors is the quality of teachers at LCTC. Our teachers come to LCTC with industry experience and can use that experience to prepare students effectively for their future careers.

“The teachers at LCTC are experts in their fields and have hearts for kids. They work tirelessly to ensure students get the experience and expertise they need to be successful.”

There are several more components and Gillis says, “The communities and businesses we serve are a significant factor in our success. Another factor has been the Board of

Education and Central Office Administration.

“The BOE, Retired Lamar R-1 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Zach Harris and Director of Special Services at Lamar R-1 Mrs. Piper Stewart support LCTC and, more importantly, the students. We’re also blessed to have nine ‘sending schools’ that have bought into the importance of LCTC.”

Gillis appreciates the collaboration and says, “In each of those schools, I work with superintendents, principals, secretaries, and counselors to ensure the education at LCTC is top-notch. Through the support of those individuals and groups, LCTC has been able to thrive and continue to grow.”

It’s all about the youth and Gillis assures, “Students are what’s important and, more specific, their experiences not only at LCTC, but in their career pathway. Our goal is to get students college- or career-ready.

“We use multiple avenues to increase their job skills and leadership potential. LCTC takes pride in developing students into leaders, inventors, outside-the-box thinkers, and doers. All our activities and organizations are important to help us grow kids.”

This is a big deal for Lamar and Gillis stresses, “The industry here needs skilled workers. As the search for quality applicants becomes more challenging, LCTC is stepping up to help develop and provide for those workers. Also, our community not only needs skilled labor, but entrepreneurs as well.

“Small business is essential for our community to grow. Our programs at LCTC are vital to developing small business entrepreneurs.

Looking around Lamar, we see firsthand evidence of former students starting and maintaining businesses in our community. Those could be in construction or the automotive industry. Either way, LCTC had a part in their education.”

Gillis notes, “The more significant part is our influence isn’t solely in Lamar, but positively impacts all nine communities we serve. Students can take what they learn at LCTC and become successful no matter their career goals.”

It’s an honor for Gillis to be involved and he asserts, “I see the benefit and impact. Each year, we have to say goodbye to our senior students, but at the same time I get to see them go out and conquer their dreams.

“In a time when public education is under strict scrutiny, I know we’re making a difference. Our students and their successes are proof of that. The future of LCTC and its students is bright, and I feel privileged to be associated with such a great school and community.”

52 Featuring Barton County SMTO


Worthy causes inspire Lamar woman to ride

Sheila Stevens loves her job as a bus driver for preschoolers with special needs. “It’s the most fabulous job ever,” she said. “Kids are my world, and I have worked in childcare, been a pediatric nurse and have three adult children of my own and a stepson and many grandchildren and great grandkids in the family.” She rides a bike for relaxation and stress management.

And now Stevens is putting her money where her bike pedals are. Well, it’s not just her money but donations from her community of Lamar that are supporting two of Stevens’ passion projects: Stop Soldier Suicide and the Alzheimer’s Association.

“My dad was a Marine veteran from WWII

and had many demons that followed him from the war,” Stevens said. “He tried to chase those demons with alcohol, but the alcohol ended up taking his life in a fatal car crash. And my oldest brother also joined the military and returned with demons, too. They both suffered from PTSD without getting any help. I would like to see all soldiers get the help they need to live a life without the nightmares of service to our country constantly haunting them.”

The Stop Soldier Suicide (SSS) group was formed in 2010 by three veterans who decided to help soldiers work through PTSD and mental health issues and manage the move from soldier to civilian.

“I saw an SSS announcement about a biking fundraiser and signed up,” Stevens said. “I learned 22 soldiers a day commit suicide and that was heartbreaking to hear. I did 250 miles of riding in my first week, which was the mile goal of the fundraiser.” Stevens’ granddaughter challenged her to do more and go for 1,000 miles. Stevens did just that.

“Last year, I intended on doing 1,000 miles again but only got to 965, due to getting Covid,” Stevens explained. “But the last day of

the ride, I put in 100 miles.” And she’s on track to meet her goal for this year’s ride, too. “I’ve just reached a total of $2,500 in donations from friends and family for all of these rides,” Stevens shared.

And they continue to support her biking efforts. Stevens is going into August with a total of $2,030 to support the Alzheimer’s Association, thanks to her friends.

“I cared for my mother who had this disease for eight years,” Sheila Stevens said. “It was hard but rewarding to care for this person who gave me life and to hold her hand during her last hours here on Earth. Many on my father’s side all passed from Alzheimer’s, too.” Once again, Stevens saddled up and put the pedal to the metal by riding for the Dementia Society and completing 150 miles for their 100-mile ride that brought her almost $200 in donations. She did the ride again this year and logged 400 miles that produced $400 for the cause.

“So, I ride, post my progress and wear my awareness T-shirts to bring hope through donations. I appreciate all the support so much.”

August 2023 • • 53

Artistry and real estate sales combine for this art lover

As an arts lover, Nichole West graduated high school as a thespian and longed to pick up a musical instrument like her cousins did. Instead, she discovered the power of a paintbrush and began teaching herself

watercolor painting. As a realtor by profession, she believes art has made her a better agent as she encourages curb appeal, color schemes, interior design and functionality for sales. She merges the two by networking and sponsoring community art events while other realtors usually focus on local sports teams.

“My art started in 2017 when I realized I needed a hobby to help with my winter blues,” West said. “I always knew spring was my favorite season because of all the colors and animals coming to life. Being a visual person, the months-long void of color starting in November is devastating. I was also beginning to notice I mourn the warmth of the sun on my skin more so than the average person. It was validating and a relief when I started getting treatment and prioritizing selfcare.” West started her watercolor journey with YouTube videos and loved the challenge of controlling the water. And she used water from everywhere, taking a travel kit with her and painting with water from lakes and creeks. “I quickly became obsessed with losing myself in the process,” she said. She has since added acrylics, alcohol inks and oil paints to her creative toolbox and often gives her paintings away to friends and family. Then friends started requesting commissions.

Her first acrylic portrait was a first-year wedding anniversary gift for her brother-in-law that she completed the day before the Lamar Free Fair last year. Not only was her brother-in-law surprised to see the gift in the show, West was surprised to learn she won a blue ribbon and a

54 Featuring Barton County SMTO

cash prize for the painting. “I still can’t believe it,” she said. “There were definitely tears of surprise that all that hard work paid off.”

West’s success has continued, and she is actively involved in teaching painting classes at The Vault in Lamar. She is also helping to plan more artists’ showcases on the Lamar square and is pleased with the response. “The Vault hosted An Evening of Art last May and it was a huge success,” West said. “We had a huge community turnout to come and see a few of us local artists, and we had live music from Corey Timmons, and Big Ben’s BBQ food truck sold out in two hours.” West herself conducted two painting classes as there were so many wanting to participate. She hopes it becomes an annual event.

She also participates in the Lamar Art League events and is looking forward to this month’s 56th annual art exhibition during fair week Aug. 25 and 26. The League also meets regularly at the public library to learn new art techniques and share ideas.

The more West learns, the more committed she becomes to furthering her art and finding her niche. She plans to continue offering her step-by-step paint classes and will open her own art studio later this month.

“I’m thrilled to announce this. I hope anyone wanting to teach workshops or learn a new art medium will come and enjoy themselves.”

Cox Barton named a Top Critical Access Hospital for quality

This marks the second consecutive year the hospital has received this recognition

Being named a “best practice” for quality hospital by the Chartis Center for Rural Health holds immense importance for a hospital. It signifies a recognition of exemplary standards in delivering healthcare services to rural communities. This accolade showcases the hospital’s commitment to exceptional patient care, safety and outcomes. It instills trust and confidence in the community, attracting more patients and healthcare professionals.

Cox Barton County Hospital was recently named a “best practice” for quality hospital by the Chartis Center for Rural Health. The designation is part of the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) 2023 Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals program. Cox Barton is the only critical access hospital (CAH) in Missouri to be named a Top 20 recipient for quality.

“The Top 20 list confirms that our patients are consistently receiving high-quality, compassionate care,” says Chris Wyatt, president of Cox Barton. “I am proud of our hospital staff for the work they do every day to sustain this level of excellence.”

The designation also provides a competitive edge in the industry,

distinguishing the hospital from its peers and attracting potential partnerships and collaborations. Being acknowledged as a “best practice” further motivates the hospital to continually improve and innovate, ensuring the highest quality of care for the well-being of rural populations.

The best practice designation was given to CAHs that achieved success in quality measures or a rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across the rural-relevant process of care measures.

“NRHA is committed to ensuring our members have the best information to manage their hospitals,” says Brock Slabach, NRHA chief operations officer. “We’re pleased to recognize the accomplishments of these rural hospitals.”

Cox Barton will be recognized in September at a ceremony to be held at the NRHA Critical Access Hospital Conference in Kansas City. A celebration is being planned locally for all hospital staff, physicians and volunteers. To see the full list of award recipients, please visit the NRHA website at

August 2023 • • 55

Spotlights Barton CountyBusiness

Fields Edge Flower Farm

18599 Thorn Rd. • Jasper, MO • 417.793.0362

Facebook: Fields Edge Flowers

Fields Edge Flower Farm, located in rural Jasper, Missouri, offers the opportunity to disconnect and enjoy nature. Walk through the flower fields, pick some blooms, relax and make some memories! With our “you-pick” experience, we offer a joyful way for you to unwind in nature while taking home a beautiful flower arrangement that’s uniquely you. We also have several photo props scattered about and we invite you to snap pictures along your journey. Create a moment in time for you that brings joy and happy memories and spreads a little beauty! We are open seasonally.

Tractors BBQ & Grill

1008 E. 12th • Lamar, MO • 417.682.6677

At Tractors BBQ and Grill, we serve top-quality food, prepared in-house. We offer only the best in smoked meats, fresh oldfashioned hamburgers, a large selection of sandwiches and salads. We also serve full made-to-order breakfast every day until 10:30 am. With so much to choose from, you will not leave hungry. We offer a Sunday buffet from 10:30 am-2 pm and catfish buffet on Tuesday nights from 5-8 pm. Stop by and let us serve you! We are open Monday through Sunday 6:30 am-9 pm.

Lamar Bank & Trust Company has been a thriving business in Barton County for over 98 years. We are a full-service community-minded bank with local ownership and local decisions. Lamar Bank & Trust Company has so much to offer; bank from anywhere with our online banking, mobile banking and mobile deposits. Our bank strives to promote a community spirit with active involvement in most community events, and we proudly offer our Golden City Eagle and Liberal Bulldog debit cards as well as our very own Lamar Tiger Pride debit cards. You will always find a friendly smile to help you with any of your banking needs. Lamar Bank & Trust: Providing “A Better Way To Bank.”

Lamar Career Technical Center (LCTC)

1501 Maple St. • Lamar, MO • 417.682.3384

The primary focus of the Lamar Career Technical Center is to help prepare every student enrolled in a technical program for success and attainment of skills in their program area. Each program –including automotive technology, welding technology, graphic design, health occupations, carpentry, industry technology, machine tool technology, business and agriculture – is designed to improve student work ethic, experience and knowledge in their desired program of study.

Special Advertising Section

American Family Insurance

Eric Hughes, Agent

407 W. 12th St. • Lamar, MO • 417.682.3725

Celebrating 12 years serving Barton County. As your American Family Insurance agent, Eric Hughes believes there’s more to insurance than the policy itself. It’s about providing dependable protection and service. That’s why earning your trust is his policy. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, life, business, farm insurance or simply comparing rates, Eric Hughes and his team have you covered with all your protection under one roof. Thank you for considering American Family for your insurance needs.

All You Need Is Love

29 SW 40th Rd. • Lamar, MO • 417.489.2666

Facebook: All You Need Is Love, LLC

Nestled a few miles outside of Lamar is the All You Need Is Love event venue. Surrounded with love, nature, simplicity and a splash of elegance, this property is perfect for gatherings. No detail is overlooked and the venue is perfect for weddings. Beyond weddings, owner Lisa Kingsley also offers the perfect space for celebrations such as their A Midsummer’s Night. This event is a farm-to-table dinner with beverage pairings that progress through their venue. All You Need Is Love is also the perfect location for family reunions. For more information, follow them on Facebook!

Barco Drive In 57 SE 25th Lane • Lamar, MO • 417.682.2434

All shows are $8

The Plaza Theatre 107 W 11th • 417.682.6842

On the Square in downtown Lamar

Barco Drive In: Movies under the stars!

Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Double Feature: Adults $8, kids 12 and under $4. Plaza Theatre is open every evening. Just call for show times. All seats $7 for Saturday and Sunday matinees! First run movies at both theatres. Visit our website at


Mutual Insurance 120 S. Main St. • Liberal, MO

417.843.6265 •

Serving Missouri for over 125 years. Barton Mutual Insurance provides property and casualty coverage throughout Missouri, with more than 425 agency locations in the state. From Main Street in Liberal rippling outward to the rest of the state, Barton Mutual’s mission is to provide quality insurance coverage and to make every customer feel valued and respected. They strive to seek the guidance of the Creator in the management of the company.

August 2023 • • 57 Special Advertising Section
August 2023 • • 59 501 S. Madison street Webb CIty, MO Back to School Your New Career Starts Here!! Offering training programs in: 417-673-8828 c i t y p o i n t e b e a u t y c o m Cosmetology Esthetics Massage Therapy Nail Technology time for

Thomas Jefferson Celebrates 3o Years

Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School (TJ) has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence in the Four States community. Celebrating its 30-year anniversary, TJ is committed to preparing students to succeed in college and to be engaged members of their community, now and for many years to come.

TJ is a pre-K through 12th grade liberal arts college prep independent school with roughly 315 students enrolled. The school budget is funded exclusively through tuition and gifts to the school.

“One hundred percent of our students go to a four-year college or university upon graduation, and all of them receive significant merit-based scholarship offers from colleges and universities,” said Director of Communications Robert Carlson.

The average composite ACT score for the Class of 2023 is 30, and the members of that class earned more than $7 million in merit-based scholarship offers. Seven of them were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship program, and three had perfect ACT scores (36).

“Our school just celebrated its 30th anniversary, and we recently received a multi-year, multimillion-dollar legacy gift from co-founders of the school Debra and David Humphreys,” said Carlson. “That gift allowed us to reset tuition last year and make a TJ education accessible to even more families over the next 30 years.”

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the school had special events throughout the school year that brought alumni back to campus for special events; saw world-class authors visit with


their students, faculty, graduates and parents; saw dozens more of alumni athletes inducted into the Cavalier Hall of Fame; and saw enrollment grow. The school also earned the No. 4 ranking in the state for the fourth straight year in the Niche rankings for Missouri K-12 private schools.

As for what the next 30 years will look like for TJ? The school looks forward to seeing students reach their full potential year after year. They are dedicated to ensuring their students achieve this by offering time-tested curriculum in a supportive academic environment. With their size and available facilities, students at TJ receive individualized attention from a world-class faculty in a school community where all of the families have a shared vision of academic excellence.

August 2023 • • 61

Labette Community College celebrates 1OO years of education excellence

When it comes to getting a quality education at a higher level, Labette Community College (LCC) has been providing students with a world of possibilities for nearly a century.

As LCC gets set to officially celebrate its 100th birthday, Mark Watkins, president of LCC, says this institution has thrived because “the administration, faculty and staff have worked to satisfy our mission to the best of our ability, i.e., ‘to provide quality learning opportunities in a supportive environment.’

“We also work to provide these opportunities at a low cost. Our tuition and fees are typically about half the cost of Kansas universities for the first two years of college and this year’s tuition did not increase for the students attending LCC. We also provide students with access to our classes through concurrent education, virtual classes and hybrid classes, in addition to our main campus and Cherokee Center.”

Thinking about what has continued to make LCC so appealing, Watkins says, “We care about our students. We provide various types of support to help ensure our students are successful with their college goals. “We reach out to students to inform them and answer questions about LCC programs and possibilities. We make it easy for students to enroll in classes, offering guidance through an advising specialist. If a student misses a couple of classes, the faculty member may reach out to them to ensure they are alright.”

There’s much, much more. Janice Reese, who serves as public relations director, says, “We have tutors available at no cost to help students

comprehend difficult course concepts. Tutoring is a critical part of what we do to help ensure our career and technical education graduates pass their national exams. We provide mental health support when students feel a little overwhelmed by expectations.

“We provide a food pantry. We have fun activities for students. We have personnel who follow through with students to ensure they graduate on time with minimal costs. We work hard to make funds available through scholarships and work study to minimize or eliminate student debt. Many students graduate with zero debt.”

Of course, LCC strives to remain at the forefront of education and Reese says, “We stay in touch with our industry partners to identify skilled labor needs. We monitor national and state job outlooks for developing needs to provide relevant educational needs for our student graduates to help fulfill business and industry needs.”

62 Back to School SMTO
Parsons Junior College (LCC Now) – In 1923, the college was operated by the Parsons Public School system. The college occupied the top floor of the Parsons High School building at 26th & Main. Dr. Rees H. Hughes Founder of the College

Labette Community College 100th Birthday Fast Facts

What: Labette Community College

Address: 200 S. 14th St., Parsons, Kansas

Phone Number: 620.421.6700/1.888.LABETTE


CELEBRATION FESTIVITIES - Founders Day, Tuesday, Sept. 12

• 10 a.m. Athletic Complex Dedication

• 10:30-11:30 a.m. Facility Tours

• 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Cookout and birthday cake to celebrate 100 years of LCC

100TH Birthday Bash - Saturday, Sept. 23

• 5 p.m. Welcome and Activities Begin

• 6 p.m. Free Food and Cupcakes

• 7 p.m. Live Music

Enjoy LCC history, train rides, splash pad, face painting, beer garden and more!

Labette Community College has forged a solid foundation in Parsons. Watkins says, “Generations of support believe LCC serves a valuable purpose for Southeast Kansas and beyond, including to provide students with opportunities through higher education, to develop their job skills and develop their critical and creative thinking skills, as well

as to provide skilled labor to our business and industry supporters.”

Many of those who work hard to represent this institution are thrilled to be part of it and Reese assures, “I am proud to be a part of Labette Community College because of the opportunities it provides for

the students in our communities we serve here in Southeast Kansas and the Four States.

“LCC is a great steppingstone to help those seeking further education or to be career ready. The integrity and quality education of this institution makes me proud to share the success stories of our students.”

Watkins says, “I am fortunate to be a part of this wonderful community college, to be living and productive in Southeast Kansas, and to give back to a society that has done so much in support of me.”

August 2023 • • 63
Main building with sign. In 1966, the county voters changed governance of the college to an elected sixmember board of trustees. The college name becomes Labette Community Junior college. Labette Community College Main Building now located at 14th & Broadway. It was the former East Junior High School building. Cherokee Center near Pittsburg, Kansas, opens August 2008. Workforce Training Center Grand Opening 2019. Sonny & Sophia Zetmeir Health Science Building dedicated March 28, 2014.

Journey Through Slime Event Studio &

Scoop Shoppe, Home of the Rolled Ice Cream

When you walk through the doors of Journey Through Slime Event Studio & Scoop Shoppe, you will have a sensoryfocused experience that leaves you happier. Guests can make and design slime, shop fidget toys, eat hand-dipped ice cream and now enjoy their rolled ice cream.

In June 2021, Travis Bolin’s daughter, Amelia, had a dream to open a slime company. Travis and Amelia brainstormed what their slime company could look like. Journey Through Slime opened 137 days later.

Life can be really messy, and slime is really messy. The more you work with slime, the more beautiful it becomes. That is how life is; the more you work through your issues and get the help you need, life will become more beautiful.

Travis is a licensed professional counselor at his counseling practice, Journey Towards Hope Counseling, and he believes people can gain

64 Back to School SMTO
Slime Experts......Kendra, Lisa, Steven, Travis, Amelia, and Brylee

better mental health by using their senses. While at Journey Through Slime, guests are using their senses to make slime, create and eat ice cream and play with fidget toys.

Travis is thankful he sat down with his daughter that day in June and took the time to hear her ideas about opening a slime company. His prayer had been that Jesus would speak through his daughter and on that day, that is exactly what happened.

Amelia has been known as the Slime Queen since age 6. She even has a slime room at home where she can design slime and create new slimes to debut at Journey Through Slime. Now, Amelia is 13 and co-owner of Journey Through Slime with her father.

Amelia and Travis love bringing new excitement and fun to Journey Through Slime. Just recently, they went on vacation and ate some rolled ice cream. “We fell in love with the taste, concept, the fun and thought we need this at Journey Through Slime,” said Travis. “After months of planning, it has finally arrived.”

A relatively new concept and first in our area, rolled ice cream has only been in the United States for less than 10 years. The texture of rolled ice cream is slightly different to traditional ice cream as it’s not

churned by a machine but is instead mixed by hand directly on the freezing pans and less air is introduced into the mixture. This can result in a slightly denser texture and a more intense flavor. And as Travis would say: much more fun to make! “We have 20 different creations of rolled ice cream or you can create your own,” said Travis. “Come and try my favorite rolled ice cream with studio cream, Nutella, strawberries and bananas. You can’t go wrong. Can you guess what it’s called? Amelia’s Favorite.”

The Slime Team invites you to enjoy your rolled ice cream with an Allison Golden Spoon. “My friend, Allison, shared with me that ice cream is better while eating it with a golden spoon,” said Travis. “Eating it with a golden spoon allows rolled ice cream guests to taste the ice cream in its purest form.”

Travis is also excited to announce they now have a patio for their guests to enjoy while making slime or eating ice cream. “Having an outdoor space allows families to slime and dine while taking in the beauty of historic Main Street, JOMO,” said Tavis.

Travis and Amelia invite you to visit Journey Through Slime Event Studio & Scoop Shoppe. Come experience the sensory-focused studio where slime makes you happy! The studio is located at 2310 S. Main in Joplin. No reservations are needed, walk-ins welcome. You can also book their party room for private slime parties.

August 2023 • • 65

Success for CJ senior Liam Hall comes from maintaining mental mindset

Carl Junction Bulldogs Archery Star Liam Hall Fast Facts

Age: 17

Grade in School: 12th

Parents: Jerad and Meggan Hall

Siblings: Gavin, Averie and Amelia

Hometown: Carl Junction, Missouri

Favorite Subject in School: History

Favorite Food: Krautburgers

Favorite Archery Character: Hawkeye

Accolades: Academically scored a 34 on his ACT and currently has a 4.0 GPA and will most likely be a National Merit Semifinalist. He’s active in Boy Scouts and is pursuing his Eagle Scout. Liam is a member of Future Business Leaders of America and advanced to state competition in 2023. He’s a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Liam was selected to participate in Constitution Camp in Missouri in 2022. He was also selected to participate in Missouri Leadership Seminar in Warrensburg in 2022 and selected to participate in Boys’ State in St. Charles in 2023.

Carl Junction Bulldogs

senior Liam Hall is the first to admit traditional sports such as football, basketball and baseball just are not for him; however, Hall has proven to be a key member of the Bulldogs Archery team and he says, “I had shot before and enjoyed it.

“I could do okay in it because archery is a very process-based sport and doesn’t require me to be super graceful. I’m not that coordinated, so I’ve avoided other sports.

“Archery is certainly my favorite sport to compete in. I enjoy the feeling of knowing you shot well during a tournament. The rush is amazing.”

As for the challenges to this sport, Hall says, “Archery is 90% mental. It’s easy to get in your own head when competing. Archery has a big mental component to it, so I think the ability to trust yourself is crucial.”

When considering the keys to his success, Hall says, “My genuine desire to improve and ability to listen to my coaches has been the biggest factor in being able to shoot better.”

CJHS Archery Head Coach Chelsi Leggett appreciates Hall’s willingness to be a leader while also adapting his own approach. “Liam did an outstanding job stepping up this past year as a junior and helping lead our team and not just vocally, but by his actions, as well,” she says.

“He swapped shooting hands at the end of his sophomore year and worked exceptionally hard retraining his body to shoot on the opposite side. He never complained but worked hard for progress and still helped his teammates out.

“Liam has stayed positive, accepted coaching advice and didn’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Score doesn’t determine who you are as a person. You’re bigger than a number. His character and actions were on point.”

Hall is grateful for the instruction that helped him improve, and he says, “I took a break from archery in seventh and eighth grade. When I started back, I had a lot of difficulty.

“During my freshman and sophomore years, I struggled. But at the end of my sophomore year, my coach helped me make a crazy change, and I’ve been shooting better ever since. That makes me proud.”

While he enjoys archery a great deal, Hall understands the importance of excelling in his studies and says, “School is my job, so to say. Sports are a good way to have fun and help make life more enjoyable. But it’s important for me to work toward my future in college.”

Coach Leggett says, “At the archery range, Liam never complains about overload stress or frustration. He works hard when he’s present and tries to apply any pointers given to him.

“I have a lot of respect for Liam, not only for his hard work but the loyalty and respect he has for his coaches. His positivity and hard work earned a spot on the state roster last March. He’s a great example of how hard work pays off.”

Back to School SMTO

CHC senior Maddy Colin a bright star on softball diamond

Seeing her older sibling in action was enough inspiration for College Heights Christian School Lady Cougars senior softball star pitcher Maddy Colin to develop an interest in this sport at an early age.

“I first started playing because my sister played and I grew up watching her,” Colin says. “I loved the game from the beginning. The older I got, the more it grew on me.”

Having played for more than a decade, Colin has grown into a superb hurler and when considering her own athletic capabilities, she says, “Having started at a young age, I’ve been able to work and acquire different skills, such as spinning the ball and hitting my spots.

“To be a successful pitcher, you must be patient and work hard. Pitching takes a lot of mechanics and focus. You must trust your defense and work hard to hit your spots.”

Colin’s three main challenges with pitching are “staying composed throughout the entire game, hitting your own spots consistently and staying aggressive, even when you’re behind in the count.”

As College Heights Christian Softball Head Coach Mike Howard assesses Colin’s skillsets, he says, “She comes from an athletic family, so sports run deep in her roots. Also, the fact that she plays multiple sports helps make her a better overall athlete.

“She has a variety of pitches. That, combined with her ability to locate any pitch allows her to keep hitters off balance and guessing.”

Along with her talents on the hill, Colin is also terrific with a bat in her hand, and she says, “To be a successful hitter, you must step into the box with a gameplan.

“Be prepared. Know what the opposing pitcher likes to throw and adjust accordingly. Be ready and always looking for something to hit. Never look to walk. Be selective. Make their pitcher throw to you. She is on defense. Show her what you have.”

Providing his thoughts on Colin’s approach at the plate, Coach Howard says, “She concentrates and puts a good swing on every ball. She’s disciplined and doesn’t swing at any pitches outside the zone. She waits on her pitch and attacks it. She also has good hand-eye coordination.”

While Colin shines bright on the diamond, she knows it’s not all about her and says, “It’s so important not to play for yourself but for the team. Sometimes that means stepping up to the plate and laying down a bunt even though you really want to hit. You must be selfless, patient, encouraging and diligent.”

It’s easy for Coach Howard to see why Colin’s game is so polished and he says, “It all starts with her work ethic and love for the game. She’s driven to be successful at everything she does but especially softball. She comes to practice every day with a great attitude and gives it her all.

“What separates her from the norm is she puts in extra work outside practice. She takes pitching lessons on the side and pitches with her dad at home. Also, when our season is finished, she plays travel ball with some of the best players in the central U.S.

“Maddy is smart and has a great understanding of the game. This allows her to process things quickly, which you need at the next level.”

College Heights Christian School Lady Cougars Star

Maddy Colin Fast Facts

Age: 17

Grade in School: 12th

Parents: Adam and Mary Colin

Sibling: Emmy

Hometown: Joplin, Missouri

Favorite Subjects in School: Bible and Math

Favorite Food: Tacos

Favorite College Softball Players: Former Oklahoma Sooners star Grace Lyons, former Oklahoma Sooners star Jordy Bahl and former Florida State Seminoles star Josie Muffley

Favorite Sports Movie: The Blind Side and Remember the Titans

Accolades: Ozark 7 Conference

Player of the Year in 2023, while also receiving 1st Team All-District and All-Region, and 2nd Team All-State Recognition

August 2023 • • 67

Thomas Jefferson’s Sarah Mueller develops into dominant distance runner

Ironically, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School Lady Cavaliers senior cross country and track star Sarah Mueller started running to help her improve in another sport, and she says, “It was simply to help me get in better shape for basketball.”

As Mueller has continued to run more and more over the past three years or so, she explains, “I enjoy the process of working hard and increasing my mileage week by week. I especially love seeing my hard work pay off.”

“Sarah stands out because she’s made slow and steady improvement all along the way,” says Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School Cross Country and Track Head Coach Clayton Carnahan. “The trajectory of her success is phenomenal, and it’s amazing to see an athlete grow so much over that period.

“Sarah has incredible grit and determination. She is an all-around athlete and lives a life that honors lifelong fitness and growth. She’s also always had excellent performances in track, so it was great to see her grow as she leaned more into long distance.”

While Mueller delights in distance runs, she admits, “Cross country is a very difficult mental sport for me. It can be tough running on

Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School Cross Country Star Sarah Mueller Fast Facts

Age: 17

Grade: 12th

Parents: Cameron and Jeanne Mueller

Siblings: Hannah, Caitlin and Megan Mueller

Hometown: Joplin, Missouri

Favorite Subject in School: History

Favorite Food: Anything from Chick Fil A

Favorite Cross Country

Professional Runner: Nike middle-distance runner and former Oklahoma State University track star Sinclaire Johnson

Favorite Track Sports Movie: McFarland USA

Accolades: Qualified for state all three years in cross country

days when you don’t feel like it. And it is especially hard running by yourself.”

Despite the difficulties competing in a sport that can be demanding and grueling, Mueller remains focused, and she says, “I have seen progress in my running because I’ve been gradually increasing my mileage and intensity in workouts. I’ve also been doing a lot of injury prevention exercises to help me avoid any setbacks.”

“Sarah has a great natural talent, but she is always working to improve,” Coach Carnahan says. “Her determination is an evident factor in her success.

“I would also commend Sarah for her character. She often goes above and beyond in practice and works two-a-day practices into her already busy schedule.”

Although Mueller could pursue an opportunity to showcase her running talents at the collegiate level, she says, “I’m probably not going to compete in any sport in college. However, I will most likely run for fun on my own.”

Coach Carnahan knows Mueller is destined for good things no matter what path she ultimately goes down and says, “I am very grateful to have coached Sarah all this time and proud of the young woman she has become.

“Sarah is an active member of the school, and her success in so many different avenues is amazing.”

Back to School SMTO

Thomas Jefferson’s Macie Shifferd maintains discipline in cross country training

When it comes to going the distance in cross country and track, Thomas Jefferson

Independent Day School Lady Cavaliers junior Macie

Shifferd has a great deal of determination, dedication and desire.

“I enjoy the training for distance events and that you can have longer, easy runs and hard speed workouts,” Shifferd says. “I also enjoy the race strategy and learning how to pace yourself.”

As she considers what has led to her success in these sports, Shifferd says, “One thing I think has really helped in distance events is training for a half marathon. I learned how my body responds to training and what training suits me best.

“I’ve found that doing about two speed type days, three recovery days and a long run every week has helped me become faster. I also learned higher mileage and just running more during the week helped me gain endurance and helped races feel shorter.”

Shifferd admits distance events have their demands, and she says, “One of the biggest difficulties in running is consistency and ignoring motivation for discipline.

“I really struggle with waking up early in the morning to run and especially in the summer when it is hot during the day or just not wanting to run. But I’ve learned to just do it even when I’m not as motivated.” Also, she says, “Since learning that higher mileage works better for my training, I’ve spent a lot of time outside of practice training to help reach my goals.”

Thomas Jefferson Cross Country and Track Head Coach Clayton Carnahan has

Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School Cross Country Star

Macie Shifferd

Age: 16

Grade in School: 11th

Parents: Mike and Molly Shifferd

Siblings: Morgan and Max Shifferd

Hometown: Joplin, Missouri

Favorite Subject in School: Math

Favorite Food: Pasta

Favorite Collegiate Runner: North Carolina State University track star Katelyn Tuohy and four-time individual NCAA Division 1 champion

Favorite Track Sports Movie:

Kipchoge: The Last Milestone

Accolades: Qualified for state in cross country and qualified for state in the 4 x 800-meter relay as a freshman. Qualified for state in the 3,200-meter run last year.

seen Shifferd make impressive strides forward and he says, “Macie showed incredible improvement last season as she pushed her boundaries and expected more of herself than she ever has.

“She works extremely hard and continues to strive toward personal goals that will bring her success. I look forward to Macie’s success in cross country this season due to her hard work, and I expect thoughtful growth in track, as well.

“Macie is naturally athletic and loves sports of any kind. She’s constantly thinking about self-improvement and readjusting her strategy for growth. She is strong-willed and clear-eyed in her approach to personal growth.

“Macie learns equally from successes and failures. She can run forever. She gives every race everything she has.”

Currently, Shifferd isn’t planning to continue her career competitively at the collegiate level, but she says, “I would love to get more into marathons and stay consistent with that.”

Regardless of where her future in running leads, Coach Carnahan couldn’t be more thrilled to have Shifferd on his Lady Cavaliers team. “I’m very proud of Macie for all she learned and how much she has given in the last year.

“She’s been an amazing teammate while constantly aiming at the best for herself and simultaneously encouraging others to do their best, as well.”

August 2023 • • 69
August 2023 • • 69

Neosho senior Quenton Hughes wows as team leader

As the Neosho Wildcats starting quarterback, senior Quenton Hughes needs to be a take-charge guy who helps make sure everyone is lock step together on every play.

And Neosho Football Head Coach Brandon Taute says Hughes is a fantastic field general. “Quenton’s work ethic and leadership skills are as good as any kid I have coached.

“He’s a great leader. He does all the little things right and can bring all his teammates along with him.”

When it comes to his own athletic capabilities, Hughes says, “I’ve always had a strong arm. I’m not the fastest person but my arm has always backed up my lack of speed.

“Although speed isn’t my best aspect as far as athleticism, I’ve always been very agile and can make cuts very well.”

Hughes is confident in his overall understanding of the game’s technical points, and he explains, “Besides my arm strength, I’ve always been able to read the defense very well.

“I can make a pre-snap read to foresee what the defense is going to do before they do it. I can also adjust to what the defense does during the play.”

“Quenton works hard at improving all areas of his game,” says Coach Taute. “Over the last few years, he has developed a greater understanding of defenses and how to attack them, and his arm strength has increased

Neosho Wildcats

Senior Football Star

Quenton Hughes

Fast Facts

Age: 18

Grade in School: 12th

Parents: Eric and Jessica Hughes

Sibling: Brooklynn Hughes and niece Harper Ann

Hometown: Neosho, Missouri

Favorite Subject in School: History

Favorite Food: Spaghetti or Alfredo

Favorite College Football

Player: Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes

Favorite Sports Movie: The Longest Yard

significantly, which is due in large part to playing baseball and being a multi-sport athlete.”

Hughes recognizes it’s not all about his own individual achievements and he says, “It’s important to be a team.

“I can confidently say the most success I’ve had with a team is the camaraderie and the relationships you gain with it. Once the respect is mutual between the guys next to you, you’re unstoppable as a team.” While he’s focused on football for the next several months, Hughes is also a shining star in baseball and has visions of playing both sports in college.

“In all honesty, I would like to try and do both,” he says. “The task will be hard, but I like challenges, and being able to take on both sports collegiately has always been a dream of mine.”

Regardless of where his journey takes him beyond Neosho, Hughes says, “The atmosphere on a Friday night is nothing compared to anything I’ve ever felt. The crowd, the lights and the competition are an out-of-body experience very few get to enjoy.

“Also, the team and relationships you have last forever. I still talk to people who graduated years ago who I played with before. Once you go through the grind during the summer, the fall and the games, you build a connection that lasts a lifetime.”

Coach Taute couldn’t be more thrilled to have a young man the caliber of Hughes on his squad and says, “Quenton is the type of kid everyone hopes their son will grow up to be like. He treats everyone in the school with respect and is always willing to help improve the school and community in any way.”

Back to School SMTO

Hard work pays off for Neosho star Beclynn Garrett

Neosho Lady Wildcats Star Beclynn Garrett Fast Facts

Age: 16

Grade in School: 11th

Parent: Valerie Garrett

Sibling: Maelynn

Hometown: Neosho, Missouri

Favorite Subject in School: Science

Favorite Food: Tomatoes with ranch dressing

Favorite College Softball Players: Former Arizona Wildcats All-American & Olympic Gold Medal Winner Jennie Lynn Finch Daigle

Favorite Sports Movie: A League of Their Own

Accolades: Academic All-State for Class 4 (2021) and Class 5 (2022), along with 1st Team All-District and 2nd Team All-Region recognition in 2021 and 2022

There’s no sibling rivalry with Neosho Lady Wildcats junior standout softball shortstop

Beclynn Garrett, who makes it clear her love of this sport came about as she followed in the footsteps of someone close.

“What made me interested in softball was probably watching my older sister, Maelynn,” the younger Garrett sister recollects. “I watched her play and quickly learned with her.

“I always got to play up (older age division) with my sister, so I was always playing with girls who were two years older than me.”

Garrett has been playing softball for more than a decade and she says, “The key to being successful and this is very cliché, but it’s 100% true, that it’s with hard work. Put in the time and you will have success.

“I show up to every workout. I show up to every practice. I come early and stay after. I just work on what I need to fix.”

Neosho Softball Head Coach Catie Cummins concurs that Garrett gives it her all and then some and says, “She’s a natural athlete. But it’s everything else that makes her such a quality athlete.

“She loves to compete with others and herself. She’s a hard worker and so coachable. She’s also selfless. During her freshman year, she was on the varsity team and played all but three positions.”

As far as pure athletic abilities, Coach Cummins says that at shortstop, Garrett has “quickness in foot speed and a great arm and her knowledge of the game and where she needs to be in the field.”

Along with softball, Garrett is a terrific basketball player and has been Neosho’s starting point guard since her freshman year. She’s also competed in track and field for a few years while achieving fantastic results in the javelin event.

In addition to her numerous skillsets, Garrett has also proven to be persistent while working herself back from a difficult hip injury (torn labrum) that cost her most of last basketball season and all track this past spring, but she says, “I am six months post-surgery, and I’m playing sports like I did before.”

Garrett’s greatest improvement over the years is that “confidence is 100% the key. I walk into a game knowing I’ve earned my spot.”

Coach Cummins lauds that Garrett has “a no-quit attitude, shows toughness, stays focused and is a great teammate. I’ve been blessed with great softball players at Neosho High School the last six years. I’ve had players like Bec that have bought into what we stand for in our program.

“We’ve been continually ranked in the top 10 for academic all-state as a team. Bec is part of that. She holds herself to that standard and all her teammates. I’ve been blessed by her and so many others.”

August 2023 • • 71

Lady Tigers volleyball star Ella Harris leads by example

Lamar Lady Tigers senior standout volleyball player

Ella Harris will be counted on heavily for big things on and off the court as she concludes her terrific high school career this year.

“While I’ve only had her for one season at this point, I can say that Ella has made a lot of improvement as a leader,” Lamar Volleyball Head Coach Chelsie Griffin lauds Harris’ importance to the program. “Ella’s teammates look to her for leadership and guidance, which is something we need with only two returning seniors.”

It’s clear Harris has a passion for playing volleyball and she says, “Watching the older girls made me want to compete.

“I like the combination of individual strengths as well as seeing the team coming together to be successful and having fun while doing so. I also like the combination of athletic ability from each teammate and our strategy as a team to compete well.”

Harris, who stars as an outside hitter and defensive specialist for the Lady Tigers, explains the challenges to playing her position successfully are “having good chemistry between the setter and the hitter, while hitting around the blockers and being smart with ball placement.”

As far as assessing her own skillset, Harris says “having the ability to see the open court around blockers and having the correct timing and being able to run different types of hits” are keys to success.

Coach Griffin says, “Ella is good at reading the court and adjusting to make the best possible play when she gets the set.

“She sees the openings when the ball comes to her and is also always communicating with her teammates to let them know where the best play is at. Ella’s also gotten stronger as a hitter and blocker throughout the year.”

Harris says her greatest improvement is with “my ability and strategy in being able to read opposing teams, my leadership skills

Lamar Lady Tigers Senior Volleyball Star

Ella Harris Fast Facts

Age: 17

Grade in School: 12th

Parents: Zach and Lindsay Harris

Siblings: Noah and Jude Harris

Hometown: Lamar, Missouri

Favorite Subjects in School: English and Art

Favorite Food: Chicken Fried Steak

Favorite College Volleyball

Player: Graduated Texas Lady Longhorns star Zoe Fleck

Favorite Sports Movie: Happy Gilmore

Accolades: District Honorable Mention performer in 21 as well as 16th in the state in aces and a four-year letterman

and the desire to work with different players and coaches to have a successful season individually and together.”

Harris has proven to shine bright as a magnificent member of Lamar’s volleyball squad for several seasons and the way she’s carried herself in displaying terrific athletic ability and achieving success in studies is a standard future Lady Tigers should aspire to for themselves.

“Ella is a positive leader on and off the court,” Coach Griffin says. “She excels in the classroom, and school comes first, which makes her a great example for other student-athletes.

“She is also positive on the court and tries to keep herself motivated. As a player, she loves the game of volleyball, and it shows. She is always wanting to learn and try new things, which is fun to see and work with as her coach.”

Back to School SMTO

Lamar senior Ian Ngugi shows work ethic and dedication

As a talented two-way starter for Lamar Tigers Football Head Coach Jared Beshore’s senior high squad, senior wide receiver and cornerback Ian Ngugi has proven time and again he’s committed to being the best he can be for this program.

“The most progress I’ve seen in Ian is his work ethic in the weight room and during practice and off-season workouts,” Coach Beshore says. “He has always been a kid with plenty of God-given ability.

“But what has made him extremely successful over the last couple of years is his dedication to our weight program and competing at a high level in practice.”

Although he plays offense and defense, Ngugi says wide receiver is his best position, and he believes the skillsets that allow him to be so good in that role are “speed, change of direction and catching ability.”

When it comes to his greatest challenges as a pass catcher, Ngugi admits the difficulties are with “running the best routes and catching the ball.”

As far as developing into a top-notch wideout, Ngugi says among the most important aspects for success are “hand-eye coordination and getting out of breaks quickly.”

In the defensive secondary, meanwhile, Ngugi says the keys to playing at a high level are all about “having good hips and being able to break on the ball fast.”

Coach Beshore says, “Ian has natural strength and speed, but his ability to stay balanced, maintain body control and change direction smoothly with great footwork is what makes him highly successful.

“His skillset makes him successful at both positions he plays. He has great footwork, plays extremely physical for his size and has great hands and eyes. He can outrun defensive backs on the offensive side of the ball and can turn and run with any wide receiver on defense.”

Ngugi says gridiron greatness is all about “putting in work in the off-season in the weight room and on the football field, and watching film and finding things you can improve or add to your skillset.”

“Ian is extremely coachable,” Coach Beshore says. “He isn’t satisfied with his

Lamar Tigers Senior Football Star Ian Ngugi Fast Facts

Age: 17

Grade in School: 12th

Parent: Tabitha Ngugi

Siblings: Eli and Ana Ngugi

Hometown: Lamar, Missouri

Favorite Subject in School: Math

Favorite Food: Steak

Favorite College Football Player: Ohio State Buckeyes junior wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

Favorite Sports Movie: The Blind Side

current standing as an athlete and is always looking to get better. And to me, that is the best trait to have when you’re trying to be a high-level athlete. Great players love being coached.”

When it comes to individuals like Ngugi, it’s a no-brainer how valuable they are on their team. Coach Beshore says, “Ian is the definition of a student-athlete. He is a highacademic, high-character kid that competes at a high level in three sports. Our school district thrives when we have kids like Ian representing us.”

Winning is the goal, but Ngugi says what makes football so much fun and enjoyable for him is “being out there with my friends and teammates making memories with them that we can talk about forever.”

August 2023 • • 73

Helping raise awareness for autism is personal for Shaun & Amanda Hampton

In just its second year and first as a tribute event, the Dale Osborne Memorial Ride 4 Autism Awareness that takes place late this month is a big deal on a personal level for Shaun and Amanda Hampton.

“We have two sons (14-year-old Lincoln and 12-year-old Urijah) that both have autism spectrum disorder (ASD),” relates Shaun Hampton, who also has a daughter (20-year-old Amiah). “We’ve watched our sons change people’s worlds when they’ve met them. Personally, we’ve watched their classrooms grow from two to four special-needs children to more than 10 over the years.

“While the school systems do their best to keep up, anything we can do to help is appreciated. We received our 501(c)3 this past June, which is starting to open more doors to what we can do in the future to help with autism awareness. We have some big goals to help raise awareness in the future.”

As for the upcoming ride, along with the Hamptons, Amanda’s mother, Patty Steffens, and Cory Osborne are among those who helped get this started.

“This is our first time to do a ride as a memorial,” Hampton says. “Cory’s father, Dale, passed away recently. Amanda and I felt it would be a great way to pay our respects and honor him. He (Dale) passed his love of riding motorcycles on to Cory.

“We wanted to thank Cory for all he does to help plan and organize this ride each year. He has really gone above and beyond to put these motorcycle rides together. He’s arranged a police escort and helped get sponsors, gotten cities involved, coordinated the food trucks and booked locations for us.”

74 Back to School SMTO

Showing more appreciation and gratitude for additional support that’s been provided, Hampton says, “I’d also like to thank Scott Hudson and his staff at Cycle Connection.

“As our starting location, there’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes into that and the Cycle Connection has been great. Last year, we had about 150 motorcycles and things went great. This year, we’re anticipating 300-plus motorcycles.”

There’s entertainment to enjoy at this event and Hampton shares, “This year we have a band playing at the location where the ride ends (Happy Jacks Tavern). Nuke Bushner, who was on American Idol and is a Nashville star, is being presented by Divine Stoneworks, LLC, and Kubota of Joplin.”

When considering what makes this such an ideal event, Hampton suggests, “Awareness comes in all forms. Sometimes it’s 300 off-road machines riding together with their lights turned blue. Sometimes, it’s 300 motorcycles rumbling through a small town or down a highway.

“Sometimes it’s a conversation between a grandmother and me talking about the possibility of her grandson maybe being autistic and what steps they should think about next or what services might be available for him. Sometimes it’s an employer asking us how they go about hiring an autistic person. These are all about raising awareness. That’s why we Ride 4 Autism Awareness.”

There’s no doubt the Hamptons and everyone else involved in this worthwhile endeavor are ecstatic to be part of it and Hampton assures, “Personally, I’m thrilled to see all the people that support our vision and want to help us raise autism awareness.

“We have so many great businesses and individuals that support us and we couldn’t have the rides or make the donations without them. I’m most proud of all the hard work that we all put in to make these rides happen.”

Ride 4 Autism Awareness Fast Facts

When: Saturday, August 26, starting at 9 a.m.

Route: Starts at Cycle Connection in Joplin, Missouri. Goes through Galena and Baxter Springs, Kansas, and into Oklahoma. Ends at Happy Jacks Tavern in Seneca, Missouri.

Criteria: No specific rules and regulations other than state local and licensing laws.

Cost: The ride is free to participants

Fundraising: Shirts, other merchandise and raffle tickets are for sale.

Money Raised: Donations go to area schools for special-needs programs, which help with creating or maintaining sensory rooms and various items.

Music Sponsors: Divine Stoneworks, LLC and Kubota of Joplin

Silver Level Sponsors: Gear Head Auto Sales and Glenna Ledford Memorial Foundation

Sponsors: Rockstar Design/Cory Osborne/Cycle Connection/Cutting Loose Graphics/Happy Jacks Tavern/Jays Property Maintenance/The Waffle

Window LLC/Black Rain Energies/M&M Audio Inc./ Pitbull Powersports Route 66/Car Care Tint & Audio/ Riggs Chiropractic/Roper KIA/Epic Drives/Arvest Bank/Air Medics Heating & Air Conditioning/Fireplace

Creations/Bacon Me Krazy Food Trailer/X-Treme

Powersports/Landmark Enterprises LLC/Glo on the Go/Newton’s Jewelers/Ghetto Tacos/The Rental Store/ A2B Trailer Rental/MM Construction Services/Hired Gun Offroad/Rise Fitness

By the Numbers: 70 million individuals worldwide have autism. More than 7 million individuals in the United States are autistic, and half of children identified with an autism spectrum disorder have average or above-average intelligence. About 50% of individuals with autism wander from a safe environment and more than 50% go missing. Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States. One in 27 boys are diagnosed with autism and 1 in 116 girls are diagnosed with autism. The average age of diagnosis of autism is 4 years old.

August 2023 • • 75

Homework Spaces

It’s that time again. Time to get ready for the kids to go back to school! Woohoo! Right? And with school comes homework. Every family will need to create a space for their kids to do their homework and set them up for success.


Each space will need to be set up based on a person’s age and their needs. A younger child will need a desk and chair that is appropriate for their size. Younger children will need to be supervised, so a desk area in the living room or family room would be best. A high school or college student could have a desk in their bedroom or share a space in an office.

Creating a bright space will encourage creativity. That can be achieved with great lighting and bright colors. Organization is a priority when it comes time to study. Everyone needs access to study materials such as books, paper, pens and pencils as well as a way to avoid distractions such as television or household traffic. So, plan your study space with all of these things in mind.

Creating a space for more than one student can be achieved by adding a curved countertop with simple legs for support. Extending the countertop in both directions will allow space for more than one person to study. The upper cabinets are great for storage and the lighting is perfect with the window and task lighting. The bright pops of color with the yellow chairs and patterned curtains make this a bright and creative space that is perfect for one or more people to study or work.

For a study space in a bedroom, you could add bunk beds and use the space beneath for a study desk. The organization in this space is great. This room takes advantage of the bunkbed space perfectly as well as providing storage for clothing under the bunks. The window provides great lighting as does the task light mounted to the wall to allow more space on the desktop. The wall space allows for a corkboard to be hung for paperwork, and storage under the upper bunk allows for shelves to be hung from the bunk, allowing for books to be stored overhead instead of having them on the desktop. The task chair is padded and comfortable. This room has all the things you need for successful studying.

This living room had a small unused alcove where a desk, chair and bookcase fit perfectly to create a great study space. The space is bright

and comfortable with a nice, comfy chair to read a book. It also has great lighting from the window and a movable task light. There is enough space on the desk for a laptop or to spread out a project without taking up space on the kitchen table. It is also a comfortable space with what appears to be items that are not brand new, but sourced from secondhand stores or hand me downs, which is perfect for saving some money when setting up a study space. This space is eclectic, and that is perfect for a creative mind.

Plan out your study space and add pops of color and great lighting as well as comfortable chairs so you or your student are set up for success when doing homework. And, of course, keep the homework away from the dog, as the excuse that the dog ate your homework is no longer valid! Welcome back, students!

August 2023 • • 77
August 2023 • • 79

Parsons, KS

August 8: Breast Cancer Support Group, 3:30 p.m., Cancer Center Conference Room. Meets the second Tuesday of each month. Call 620.235.7516.

August 10: Grief Companions Support Group meets the second Thursday of each month, 6 p.m., Elm Haven West. Call 620.704.1110.

Via Christi Hospital - Pittsburg, KS

August 23: Cancer Support Group, 3 p.m., Cancer Center Conference Room. Meets the 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 a.m.-12 p.m., South YMCA, 3404 W. McIntosh Circle. Free; registration required. Call 417.625.2492.

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

August 8: Brain Injury Support Group meets every second Tuesday, 12-1:30 p.m., The Independent Living Center, 2639 E. 34th. Contact 417.659.8086 for information and referral.

August 23: Grief Support Group meets every fourth Wednesday of each month, 6-7:30 p.m., Hospice Compassus, 2216 E. 32nd St., Ste. 201. Call 417.623.8272.

Freeman Health System

Joplin, MO

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

August 1: Espresso Yourself Breast Cancer Support Group, 5-6 p.m., Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Come and enjoy a coffee courtesy of Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute. Our monthly breast cancer support group enables members to share, gain helpful information and useful tips, as well as form new friendships. Enjoy listening to a special guest from time to time. RSVP to Marcella at 417.347.2662.

August 1: AHA Family and Friends CPR, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Freeman Screen Team Resource Center, 1130 E. 32nd St., Ste.


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C. Friends & 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 $20. To register, call Shelby Allen at 417.347.5646.

August 3: 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.

August 9: Freeman Cancer Support Group, 2-3 p.m., Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute, 3415 McIntosh Circle. Call Kelley Wheeler at 417.347.4000 for more information.

August 15: Bariatric Weight-loss Support Group, 5:306:30 p.m., Freeman Business Center Conference Rooms, 3220 McClelland Blvd (back entrance). Designed to help those who have had bariatric surgery. For more information, call 417.347.1266.

August 17: Freeman Caregiver Support Group, 1-2:30 p.m., 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. Debbie White, Joplin Senior Center director, will present about the activities, meals and healthcare opportunities Joplin Senior Center offers. Door prizes will be given out. RSVP to Kathy Mason at kdmason@freemanhealth. com or 417.347.8463.

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 p.m. 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 p.m.

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

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

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

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

Every Thursday: Family to Family Class, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 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

August 28: Caregivers Support Group meets the fourth Monday of each month, 5-6 p.m., Medicalodge, 400 Lyon Drive. Help with care, finances, insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, respite care, hospice care, day care and support for the caregivers. Sponsors: Avalon Hospice and Medicalodges Neosho. Call 417.451.2544.

Nevada, MO

Tuesdays: Farmer’s Market, 3-6 p.m., southeast corner of Ash and Douglas. Check out the freshest in farm produce each Tuesday afternoon just across the street from the hospital. Local growers meet to offer fresh fruits, vegetables and home-grown specialties.

August 22: Rich Hill Family Medical Clinic Screenings, 11 a.m.-noon, Kern Senior Center. Free screenings every fourth Tuesday of the month: This month features free blood pressure readings along with a bone density test. For further information, please call the Rich Hill Clinic at 417.395.2150.

Integris Baptist Regional Health Center, Grove, OK

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

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

August 1: Alzheimer’s Support Group meets first Tuesday monthly, 11 a.m., Generations fourth floor visiting room. Call 918.542.3391.

August 8 & 22: Depression Support Group meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 2 p.m., Northeastern Tribal Health System Conference Room, 2301 Eight Tribes Trail. Call 918.675.2093.

Crisis Text Line Text 741741

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

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

August 2023 • • 81

Freeman Hosts JACC Morning Brew More than 75 people from around the Joplin metro area congregated inside Freeman Hospital West’s conference rooms for the monthly Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Morning Brew event. Held Friday, July 7, the event highlights individual businesses and offers an informal setting for the area’s business professionals to meet, mingle, make contacts and, of course, sip coffee. Breakfast treats were served while various Freeman Health System department personnel shared their services to guests, ranging from Ozark Center and diabetes education to Children’s Miracle Network and maternity services. Freeman Health System President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker welcomed Chamber officials and area guests to the hospital during the hour-long event.

1. President and CEO Paula Baker, Missouri Southern State University President Dean Van Galen and Dr. David Baker, Freeman’s chief medical officer. 2. Freeman Health System Controller Michael Sanders (center) and Chief Financial Officer Steve Graddy (left) mingle during the July Morning Brew, hosted by the Joplin area’s largest healthcare provider. 3. Stress balls were handed out by Ozark Center Psychologists Jennifer Copeland (right) and Ozark Center Director of Adult Psychiatric Practices Jacob Hefner during the early morning gathering. 4. Freeman’s Director of Service Excellence Catherine Yust mingles during the monthly event. 5. Freeman Health System’s Vice President of Business Development Wes Braman speaks with Construction Services Group Director of Field Operations Carter Marion during the popular Morning Brew. 6. Heather Lesmeister, executive director of Spiva Center for the Arts, speaks to Dean Van Galen, president of Missouri Southern State University. 7. Joplin Schools Community Development Specialist Gina Langston speaks with Tera Lankard, employer relations manager for Freeman Health System’s Business Development. 8. E. Wayne Wilson, senior vice president market leader for Cadence Bank, smiles during the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Morning Brew. 9. Ty Rowe, senior community manager for TLC Properties, mingles among the scores who turned out at Freeman Hospital West for the monthly Morning Brew. 10. Assistant Director of Maternal-Child Services Bethany McGinnis happily speaks about Freeman Hospital West’s maternity services to an interested listener. Left: Freeman Health System President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker converses over coffee at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Morning Brew held July 7 at Freeman Hospital West.
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Photos & Write Up Submitted by Freeman Health System

Telemedicine provides access and convenience to students, staff and parents

Freeman Health System works closely with participating schools to provide telemedicine, which facilitates prompt access to a local Freeman provider. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of school days missed due to illness or injury by providing prompt access to a local medical provider for diagnosis and treatment of minor illnesses. Prompt access, diagnosis and treatment assists to keep students and staff members of the school district healthy and in school. When a student or staff member becomes sick at school, he or she visits the school nurse. If the nurse determines the patients’ need is beyond the resources available at the school, the school nurse will offer or can ask for a telemedicine visit to take place. Permission is obtained from the parent or guardian, then the telemedicine visit is conducted from the school nurse’s office with the school nurse’s assistance. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend the visit virtually to participate in their child’s care. While participating in the visit, parents can physically remain at home or work, and their child remains at school. If it is medically appropriate that the student remain at school, the medical provider will clear the student to return to the classroom.

During the school telemedicine visit, parents connect virtually from their smart phone or computer and are “in the room” with their child, the school nurse and the medical provider. As the medical provider assesses the patient, the parent can see, hear and visualize everything the medical provider is assessing. If the patient or parent has questions, the medical provider will address their questions. If medication is needed, the provider will call in the prescription to the pharmacy of choice. If further testing is needed, the provider will order the needed tests for the patient to have completed at their location of choice. Prompt evaluation and treatment allows students and staff to return to the classroom as quickly as possible, frequently within the same hour.

There is no need for students or school staff to pre-register for the program. Registration occurs at the time the service is accessed. Students and school staff do not need to have a Freeman provider to use the program. At the request of the patient or responsible party, records can be shared with any primary care provider. Freeman’s school telemedicine program is available to all students and staff of participating school districts during regular school hours.   Parents are provided with written information each school year regarding the telemedicine program. More information can be found on your school’s website under their telemedicine link. Additional information can be viewed at > Resources > School Telemedicine.

About the Author

Renee Denton is chief operating officer at Freeman Neosho Hospital, serving in this position since 2012. She joined Freeman in 2010. Renee represents Freeman Health System and plays an integral role in collaborating with local school districts to establish area school telemedicine programs to provide convenient, quality healthcare to students, faculty, staff and their families.

Freeman Health System collaborates with seven area school districts to date. With the success of these programs, Freeman hopes to continue growing area partnerships. Freeman currently partners with the following school districts:

• Diamond

• East Newton

• Joplin

• McDonald County R-1 School District and Freeman Clinic of Anderson

• Neosho R-5 School District and Freeman Neosho Physician Group

• Seneca R-7 School District and Freeman

Seneca Family Medicine

• Westview

August 2023 • • 83
Quality healthcare is readily available in the Four States; however, many families face challenges such as transportation, missed work time or financial constraints that create barriers to easily accessing medical care. Telehealth facilitates access by using digital technologies to assist in the delivery of medical care by connecting multiple users in separate locations. Focusing on reducing barriers and facilitating access to care, Freeman’s school telemedicine program was initiated.
Renee Denton, Chief Operating Officer, Freeman Neosho Hospital

Core Activation

Starting core strength from zero

Core-focused exercises can be hard to get started. While all exercises have their nuances and forms that have to be mastered for best results and safety, exercises such as weightlifting and cardio have built-in difficulty management where you can adjust weight or pace. In contrast, core exercises can be difficult because it’s harder to adjust the difficulty of the exercise, so beginners can easily feel like they’re starting from zero with no prospects for really improving.

Core exercises are important because your core helps you maintain balance and ultimately helps make movement possible. Improving your core is difficult if you’re starting from zero because you probably aren’t being led to exercises that will help those with weak cores. One of the best things you can do when you’re just getting started is simply by activating your abdominal muscles from time to time, holding the activation for as long as you feel comfortable.

As always, your health is your own. Always consult a doctor or physical trainer before incorporating changes to your lifestyle and routine.

What do I mean by activating your abs? Essentially, activating muscles is flexing them. Activating your core is similar to the sensation you get when you try to do a plank or a crunch. This might look a little like pulling in your stomach, but anyone who has done both will notice that there’s a greater emphasis on your lower abs, and any adjustments to your stomach’s position will more likely come from your posture strengthening. One benefit of activating your core is you can do it in practically any position – standing, sitting or lying down. Let’s be clear about what this isn’t: this will not give you noticeable increases to muscle mass on your abs. The act of activating your abs is an isometric exercise, which means, to oversimplify, that rather than using weight as resistance, the exercise uses gravity. Exercises that are better for muscle growth incorporate weight resistance; you can gain muscle mass from isometric exercises, but in most cases, you don’t rely on isometric exercises to increase muscle mass.

If you’re in a situation where you have a weak core, the problem is that you’re often limited by how long you can hold some of these exercises, or you might do them with poor form without realizing it because of naturally bad posture. Initially, you might only be able to activate your abs for a few seconds, but activating your abs often can help build endurance so your posture and strength will naturally improve.

This isn’t a routine for getting fit quickly, and usually strategies for that involve lowering your body fat more than anything else, but if you’re looking to improve your posture or help build your core endurance so you can do more demanding core exercises, it might be a good idea to make sure you’re activating your core throughout the day.

THE ROCC & recovery community

Lose a Mentor for the Second Time in Three Months

Within a span of three months, the recovery community and The Recovery Outreach Community Center (ROCC) has lost two important people who offered their help, expertise and advice to help recovering addicts.

In April, Carl Perkins, who was a program manager and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) at ASCENT Recovery Residences and the ROCC, lost his battle with cancer. On July 8, 2023, Jeff NcNabb, 54, died after suffering a stroke July 4. McNabb was pertinent to Joplin and Springfield as an employee and mentor with New Beginnings Sanctuary, an organization that provides housing and services for recovering addicts. The organization has 23 homes in Springfield, Joplin and Kansas City.

Struggling with alcohol, McNabb achieved sobriety in 2018. His obituary said the key to sobriety was when he decided he wanted it for himself and not because others wanted it for him. Once he obtained sobriety, he wanted to help lead others to the same victory.

Cheri Bebe, a certified peer specialist at the ROCC, met NcNabb when she started working there about a year ago. The two became good friends, and he was a great support to her.

“He not only saved people’s lives when he was alive but also in death as an organ donor,” she said. “He was very encouraging with open arms. I never saw him judge anyone, and he would give the shirt off his back for anyone.”

Bebe also said McNabb’s sobriety inspired her in her own journey. When life situations arose to make the journey harder, he would explain his story to Bebe, encourage her and talk through things with her. He reminded her she was still in recovery and would get through the obstacles.

For Teddy Steen, executive director of ASCENT, losing two mentors and advocates in a short period of time has been devastating. Not only did McNabb mentor at the ROCC, but New Beginnings Sanctuary with McNabb involved had a class at the ROCC on Thursday nights. McNabb came to the ROCC right after it opened, and Perkins and McNabb became close friends.

“Three months apart, and we’ve lost two very valuable, wise people in the recovery community,” Steen said. “They were both highly intelligent and wise. You couldn’t stir Jeff. He was so calm and collected and a great, great guy.”

McNabb also helped in the prisons and spread the word about New Beginnings. Steen also said he was a talented musician, was so thoughtful and conscious of others’ feelings.

“He was well-rounded,” she added. “Jeff also had the same chair he sat in every day at the ROCC, and it will always be Jeff’s chair.”

August 2023 • • 85

The Great


When you die, there will be two dates on your tombstone: the date you were born and the date you died. What matters the most is not the dates but the dash between those two dates.

You see, that dash represents your life. It is all the days you lived here on earth. Your dash is the story of your life. It is how you lived and loved from the beginning of your life to the end of your life. We all should appreciate the simple things that bring us happiness and

How are you living your dash?

joy. Often those simple things are right in front of us. The laugh of our children or grandchildren when we take them fishing, holding hands with our spouse, time spent with friends crappie fishing or sitting alone around a campfire watching the flames dance and flicker.

Sometimes we forget to be grateful for what we have in life: our family, our friends, our health and the great outdoors God created for all of us to enjoy. Make a list of the many things in your life you are thankful for. Make another list of the things you have wanted to do but never did. Find the time to do them so you can check them off your list.

Cherish every minute with your loved ones, be kind to others and give back when you can. That can be with money to help those in need,

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


“The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and

advice to your kids or taking someone with you and teaching them how to catch crappie.

We often measure success by how much we have. Too much of our life is spent trying to get those things. That is not what matters in the end. You cannot take those things with you. Your dash is about your experiences, relationships and feelings. It is not about what you own. Make lots of memories that will add to your dash.

The simple things in life are the best. We only have a certain amount of beautiful sunrises and awesome sunsets. The unfortunate part is not knowing how many of them we have left. Live every day like it could be your last. We never know when that final day will come. Live, love and make the most of your dash.

As the last line says in the famous poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis, “So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?”


August is always hot and humid. The weather has a way of making us all become slug-like, tired, sweaty and irritable. We tend to stay inside more and enjoy the air conditioner. When we have to get outside, it is like walking into a sauna.

How can you enjoy our great outdoors in that kind of weather? Our lakes do not help much unless you find a shaded cove and a slight breeze. My favorite thing to do is to find a tree-lined, spring-fed creek. I can fish, swim, float in a tube while reading a good book or take a nap in the shade.

During the sultriest, simmering days, you can see signs of fall’s approach and the promise of crisp air and colorful trees. It may still be terribly hot, but if you look up and see a monarch butterfly float by or some Virginia creeper turning red in the treetops, it is nature’s way of telling us August won’t last forever and our wonderful fall season is worth waiting for.


God designed a remarkable creature when he created the hummingbird. My wife and I owned a cabin near the Mark Twain National Forest on

Bull Creek for many years. It was perched high on a bluff in the trees and overlooking the creek.

Every spring, hummingbirds would arrive and bring joy to our lives and those guests who came to visit us at the cabin. Hanging from our front porch were five, 48-ounce hummingbird feeders and two, 36-ounce feeders. That is a total of 312 ounces of sugar water. At times we estimated over 300 hummingbirds sitting on the feeders, buzzing around for their turn or resting in the cedar trees. They would empty those feeders in a few days.

It was amazing. We would watch for hours, enjoying their mid-air “dog fights” for a position on their favorite feeder and doing their aerial dance. We loved their delicate features, the hues of color on their tiny bodies and their long needle-like beaks and long tongue they used to draw the sweet treat from our feeders.

When we were not around during the week, they feasted on the thousands of Columbine flowers and honeysuckle that covered all the many bluffs in the valley. As soon as we returned to the cabin on Friday afternoons, they would buzz the feeders waiting for us to fill them.

As fascinating and relaxing as it was to watch, I often thought it must be tough for those little birds to enjoy their meal in such a competitive environment. We live in a world that causes us to hurry and scurry nervously to accomplish our tasks. Anxiety, fear and worry chase us like those dive-bombing hummingbirds trying to knock us off our place of peace and rest.

In this broken world we live in today, it is hard to be still, rest or even quiet our minds. When, where and for how long are you still, quiet and rest from your busy life? A great place to do that is in the great outdoors God created for all of us and the tiny hummingbird to enjoy.

August 2023 • • 87
gave the best he had.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson
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are broad groupings. Historically, there were five kingdoms, but in recent years, some people think there is division among the extremely small life forms (bacteria, for example) needing a microscope to interpret, so currently there may be seven kingdoms. The easier-to-distinguish kingdoms are the animals, plants and fungi. We naturalists are easily in love with the animalia and plantae kingdoms (official nomenclature). But the Kingdom Fungi often takes a little time and patience for us to learn their role in the environment.

sense with each other regarding air conditions, an invasion of pests or other detriments to trees, shrubs and vines.

Walking along the nature trail with a class, we are often intrigued by pretty mushrooms. And some fungi are just beyond pretty; their design and color can be beautiful.

I think most people in tune with Missouri’s nature would raise an eyebrow and question why I would highlight mushrooms in the heat of the summer. I’m in agreement with their initial thoughts because I personally seek edible mushrooms in the spring (cheers for morels!) and the middle of autumn. As a nature observer, I truly notice those attractive formations of many fungus types seem to be their most robust during those times of plentiful moisture in the air and in the soil.

Fungi is one of the kingdoms of life! Biologists and the scientific community in general classify our living things in a hierarchy. The species category would be the narrowest classification of a living thing while kingdoms

Most of our fungi in the hot, dry months will appear drawn up and perhaps hard to the touch. Our observations may scan the trail before us, the leaf litter among fallen logs and certain standing tree trunks, and we’ll see the signs of fungi. The actual mushroom is the fruiting body of the life form and instead of seeds, they reproduce by dropping spores to the ground or in the air. The main substance of the fungi is a network of threadlike structures called mycelium. Mycelium is where my fascination begins. Mycelium may be growing on or throughout leaf litter, the trail’s soil, decaying plants or animals. Mycelium helps break down materials and has an important relationship with plant life to pick up trace minerals, nutrients and moisture in different usable forms. Biologists are on the edge of discovery with these relationships and even how they assist the forest plants to communicate in a

As we learn more about the role of the kingdom of fungi in our ecology, we are also learning its possible future uses in our nutrition, new medicines and even solutions to fight some existing pollution. Many of us are aware of the value of penicillin discovered from this kingdom. Current research is looking at chemicals from fungi to combat pox viruses, a variety of cancer growth and chemical toxins. Fungi proves to be vital on many levels and scientists are just beginning to apply the naturalist eye to inventory and investigate more the fungi before us.

We love our intact communities in nature, and the benefits of nature just keep being discovered. So, enjoy the nature trail, remember where you saw some fungi sign and recheck it from time to time. A surprise summer shower often regenerates the mushroom in minutes on the August stage. I think it will reward you with cool observations and maybe a nature photograph or two.

Field notes by Jeff Cantrell; photos courtesy of the Missouri Dept. of Conservation
Aldo Leopold, one of my conservation heroes and the author of the Sand County Almanac shared, “Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.”
Jeff Cantrell is an outdoor educator and naturalist for the MO Dept. of Conservation. He proudly claims to be a MO Stream Team advocate. Contact him at jeff.cantrell@mdc.

Articles inside

THE LESSER-KNOWN KINGDOM article cover image


pages 90-91
How are you living your dash? article cover image

How are you living your dash?

pages 88-89
THE ROCC & recovery community article cover image

THE ROCC & recovery community

page 87
Core Activation article cover image

Core Activation

page 86
Telemedicine provides access and convenience to students, staff and parents article cover image

Telemedicine provides access and convenience to students, staff and parents

page 85
Homework Spaces article cover image

Homework Spaces

pages 78-84
Helping raise awareness for autism is personal for Shaun & Amanda Hampton article cover image

Helping raise awareness for autism is personal for Shaun & Amanda Hampton

pages 76-77
Lamar senior Ian Ngugi shows work ethic and dedication article cover image

Lamar senior Ian Ngugi shows work ethic and dedication

page 75
Lady Tigers volleyball star Ella Harris leads by example article cover image

Lady Tigers volleyball star Ella Harris leads by example

page 74
Hard work pays off for Neosho star Beclynn Garrett article cover image

Hard work pays off for Neosho star Beclynn Garrett

page 73
Neosho senior Quenton Hughes wows as team leader article cover image

Neosho senior Quenton Hughes wows as team leader

page 72
Thomas Jefferson’s Macie Shifferd maintains discipline in cross country training article cover image

Thomas Jefferson’s Macie Shifferd maintains discipline in cross country training

page 71
Thomas Jefferson’s Sarah Mueller develops into dominant distance runner article cover image

Thomas Jefferson’s Sarah Mueller develops into dominant distance runner

page 70
CHC senior Maddy Colin a bright star on softball diamond article cover image

CHC senior Maddy Colin a bright star on softball diamond

page 69
Success for CJ senior Liam Hall comes from maintaining mental mindset article cover image

Success for CJ senior Liam Hall comes from maintaining mental mindset

page 68
Journey Through Slime Event Studio & article cover image

Journey Through Slime Event Studio &

pages 66-67
Labette Community College 100th Birthday Fast Facts article cover image

Labette Community College 100th Birthday Fast Facts

page 65
Labette Community College celebrates 1OO years of education excellence article cover image

Labette Community College celebrates 1OO years of education excellence

page 64
Thomas Jefferson Celebrates 3o Years article cover image

Thomas Jefferson Celebrates 3o Years

pages 62-63
Spotlights Barton CountyBusiness article cover image

Spotlights Barton CountyBusiness

pages 58-61
Cox Barton named a Top Critical Access Hospital for quality article cover image

Cox Barton named a Top Critical Access Hospital for quality

page 57
WHY I RIDE article cover image


pages 55-57
Lamar Career Technical Center Training Guides Students on Their Career Paths article cover image

Lamar Career Technical Center Training Guides Students on Their Career Paths

page 54
Family entertainment comes to life at legendary Barco Drive-In Theatre article cover image

Family entertainment comes to life at legendary Barco Drive-In Theatre

page 53
Legacy of Zachary Scott Kelley lives on with family and friends article cover image

Legacy of Zachary Scott Kelley lives on with family and friends

page 52
So much for everyone at the Lamar Free Fair article cover image

So much for everyone at the Lamar Free Fair

page 50
The Vogue Boutique article cover image

The Vogue Boutique

pages 34-49
2O YEARS of teamwork make the dream work in life and love for the Hacketts article cover image

2O YEARS of teamwork make the dream work in life and love for the Hacketts

pages 32-33
ShowMe Dining Guide article cover image

ShowMe Dining Guide

pages 30-31
ShowMe Dining Guide article cover image

ShowMe Dining Guide

pages 28-29
Club 1201 article cover image

Club 1201

page 27
Where it’s ‘COOL’ to be YOU! article cover image

Where it’s ‘COOL’ to be YOU!

pages 26-27
Spotlights Oklahoma Business article cover image

Spotlights Oklahoma Business

pages 23-26
EVENTS Northeast OK article cover image

EVENTS Northeast OK

page 22
What’s Happening Calendar of Events article cover image

What’s Happening Calendar of Events

pages 20-21
Meeting, Learning and Connecting to Our Region article cover image

Meeting, Learning and Connecting to Our Region

pages 14-19