Page 1 1

2 Your Hometown Magazine 3

4 Your Hometown Magazine

6 Your Hometown Magazine 7

8 Your Hometown Magazine

issue 5 2015

Goodbye Child Care Costs...



City Slickers 52 When We Open Our Eyes What A Difference We Make 58 An Honor To Represent 62 The Power Of Imagination


White County Fair Contestants


Roo, You, And Searcy Living Too! 76 Out & About 78 More Than Robots 80 Veteran’s Day 86 Slaying The Dragon 88

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” ~ Helen Keller

Publisher’s Note 11 Hope Believe 12 Fashion Fun 20 We The People 24 Business News 44 Over The Counter 74 Fab DIY 92 Dinner And A Magazine 94 Games & Puzzles 96

On the Cover adalynn ballard & rudy roo roo Photo by George Dillin 501-268-9304 9

Publisher Christine Walker Art Director & Webmaster Garrett Johnson Editorial Assistant Cherie Sewell Makeover Coordinator Christine Locke Customer Service Angela Fisher Contributing Independent Photographers TJ Boarman (501) 416-7034 Kimberly Brackins (501)279-1515 George Dillin (501)268-9304 Cassie Jones (501)230-0539 Candace Skarda (501)281-6297 Taylor Howard Photography (870)917-8012 Feature Writer Cecelia Wilson

Searcy Living Locally Owned and Operated 812 South Main Street Searcy, AR 72143 (501) 368-0095 For subscription information go to

Copyright 2015 Shark Promotions LLC. Searcy Living, Cabot Living, and Your Hometown Magazine are trademarks of Shark Promotions. All rights reserved. Ownership, rights, and logos are property of their respected businesses. No part may be reproduced without written permission. Shark Promotions LLC is not responsible for claims, misprints, discrepancies, advice of any kind, or content in advertisements or editorials, but will rectify errors in forthcoming issues.

Copyright Š 2015 Shark Promotions LLC

Searcy Living Magazine is a subsidiary of Shark Promotions LLC.

10 Your Hometown Magazine

I went kayaking for a few hours. I had the choice between the 8 mile trip or the 5 mile. It was a river I had never been on before, but I went ahead and chose the 8 mile trip. About half way through, I was determined to get to the end of the trip and was just paddling away when a total stranger in a fishing boat passing by said to me, “You look stressed.” I’ll have to admit, by that time I was a little tired and wishing I had chosen the shorter route. So, not long afterward I pulled over to a beachy area and took a break, deciding to enjoy the day instead of trying to rush through it. ‘Simple’ is the last word I would used to describe my life, and I’m sure many of you would say the same about yours. However, if there is one thing I have really learned over the past few years, it’s that slowing down and keeping it simple is something that is necessary. There is so much I want to do, and so many goals that I want to meet, making it hard to listen to that thought that crosses my mind almost daily lately… ‘Be still.’ That is so hard for me to do sometimes, as I’m sure it is for you, too. But I’m learning that it is the simple things: a (shorter) kayak trip, a walk in the woods, sitting down and watching a movie with my family, skipping an activity and just taking a break. I’m learning to be still. What does that have to do with this issue of the magazine? Well, probably not much, but I did enjoy the cover shoot for this issue. Watching the winner of our Cover Contest laughing and playing with Rudy Roo Roo the kangaroo was one of those small moments. Be still and listen. Enjoy the little things. I hope this finds you well and at peace. And, as always, thank you for reading Searcy Living. We love being Your Hometown Magazine!

Find Us On

Follow Us On

Remember The Extras On Veterans Day: A Searcy Celebration

Slaying the Dragon

“Just remember they were all there for YOU.”

“Searcy is a special place, filled with goodhearted and encouraging citizens, and we thank each and every one of you that contributed and shared in our most memorable journey!”

Page 86

Page 88

City Slickers

“Life changes and, as it does, so do our dreams.” Page 52 11

Hope Believe

Foster Care and Adoption Boutique

* The Searcy Living Foster Care and Adoption Boutique is simply a room in the Searcy Living business office that we have dedicated for use in helping foster & adoptive families, and sometimes emergency situations. Our awesome Searcy Living readers bring in donations and foster parents are able to “shop� for what they need for foster, adopted and disadvantaged children, at no cost. Our office is located at 812 S. Main Street in Searcy. We welcome gently used or new items. Thank you, Searcy, for your generosity and time spent to support the Foster Care Boutique!

s! Thank

Thank Y o


! Thanks 12 Your Hometown Magazine

A Big Thank You! Thank you To Rhea Lana’s of Searcy!

! Thanks

Thank Y o

u! 13

Hope Believe Thanks!

Thank You So Much! Casandra Anthony and Danna Hayes

14 Your Hometown Magazine

We need diapers in all sizes!



Thanks! Thank you to the Riverview High School Lunch Ladies!

Thank Y o

u! 15

Hope Believe ! Thanks



Thank Y o


16 Your Hometown Magazine

Thanks Everyone!

! Thanks

“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.� ~Jim Rohn

Thank Y o




Thank you to Claudette Smith for the much needed diapers! 17

Hope Believe !


s! Thank

18 Your Hometown Magazine

Thank Y o




Thanks Everyone! 19

Thank you to our makeover model Chasity Moeller. Chasity is a busy mom of four with a full schedule and not much time for spoiling herself. So we gave her a day of fun and fashion!

20 Your Hometown Magazine


Makeup by Doris Yates at

Outfit from

Cosmetic Studio


3005 E. Race St. • Searcy (501) 268-0800

By Doris Yates at

Hair by Madison Wyatt at

Bliss Salon

Manicure by Sheena Jackson at

In the Heart & Soul Plaza 1623 E. Beebe-Capps • Searcy (501) 279-2526

Bliss Salon

By Madison Wyatt at

219 W. Market Ave. Downtown Searcy 501-279-2544

By Sheena

Jackson at

219 W. Market Ave. Downtown Searcy 501-279-2544 Photography by

Celina Ann Photography Turn the page for more fashion & beauty retailers. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >

501-593-9741 21

22 Your Hometown Magazine 23

Medical Mission: A Day of CaringA Day of Hope. A Day of Help. A Day of Caring. Unity Health hosted its 19th Annual A Day of Caring on Saturday, Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Ganus Athletic Center on the campus of Harding University, located at the corner of Burks Blvd. and E. Park Ave. A Day of Caring, a community-wide outreach program, is designed to help the uninsured and underinsured residents of White County. Free medical, dental and eye screenings were provided;

24 Your Hometown Magazine

additional services offered included haircuts, immunizations and pap exams. Items such as school supplies, Bibles, children’s socks and shoes, underwear, diapers, bags of groceries and personal care products were also distributed. Various health screenings and social services information were provided. 25

The Women for Harding

Fall Craft Fair The Women for Harding Fall Craft Fair will be Friday, November 13 from 10:00 - 5:00 and Saturday, November 14 from 10:00 - 3:00 pm at the White County Fairgrounds, 802 Davis Drive, inside the Education Building. The fair is going to be even bigger and better this year! We have added even more craft vendors, and this year we will have food vendors as well! The proceeds from the fair go to our Women for Harding need based scholarship fund. This fund benefits students with financial need who desire the Christian education Harding offers. They are a great group of students. In fact, they are on hand to help the vendors unload and set up, and they are available on Saturday afternoon to help them reload their trailers at the end of the fair. It is their way of saying thank you for the vendors’ work in helping to raise money for scholarships.

Frank Earl Fraiser (41) Verlie R. Brackenridge (77) Michelle Irene Eickmeyer (10) Samatha Leighann Eickmeyer (16) calvary chapel Baptisms Evangelist Sid Langley and Brother Kenneth Burch help with recent baptisms from Calvary Chapel Searcy, an extension of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. What a great day to rejoice in the Lord!

26 Your Hometown Magazine

Brooks Parts & Supply, Inc.

Ribbon Cutting We congratulate NAPA Brooks Parts & Supply, Inc. for their recent ribbon cutting!

The Reading and Learning Diagnostic Center The Reading and Learning Diagnostic Center recently conducted a two week reading camp. It has been a wonderful journey and students learned that they could learn and be like their peers in school. We wish to thank the parents who brought their children faithfully each day to camp to enjoy learning to becoming successful. The first week of Camp was titled “Sitting about the Campfire,” and the second week the title was “Christmas in June.” Students learn to be strong readers as they use their strengths and learn how special they are. Self-esteem is a gift. For more information about The Reading and Learning Diagnostic Center contact Jeanine Peck, Executive Director at 501-278-1810. 27

Searcy Living Lunch Day  Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Congratulations to the grill winner at the Searcy Living Lunch Day at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit!

 Thank you to Dickey’s Barbecue Pit owners Jordan and Jacob Hightower!

28 Your Hometown Magazine 29

ASU-Beebe: Annual Chancellor’s Dinner Thanks Supporters The Annual Arkansas State University-Beebe Chancellor’s Dinner was held recently at the Searcy Country Club as a thank you to those who donate to scholarships and university development efforts.

 Interim Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement Carol Johnson (left) and Administrative Specialist Rosemary Frame (right) present Dr. McKay with a plaque and framed print of the ASU-Beebe campus and new logo.

 Interim Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement Carol Johnson (left) welcomes former First Lady Ginger Beebe and former Governor Mike Beebe.

 Governor Mike Beebe (left) greets Barry Farris (far right), Vice Chancellor of ASU-Searcy, and his wife, Beth.

 First Lady Ginger Beebe (left) converses with Unity Health CEO/President Ray Montgomery (right).

30 Your Hometown Magazine

Clarity Health & Wellness Ribbon Cutting 31

Unity Health’s KC Koala Participates in

 Mascot Safety Week Unity Health’s mascot KC Koala recently participated with other local mascots and Searcy Mayor David Morris in proclaiming July 20 – 24, “Mascot Safety Week.” According to the proclamation, this week will be devoted to bringing awareness to the community of the services provided by the mascots and the safety issues to which they are exposed. The proclamation states, “A mascot is much more than a costume – he is a part of a team or organization and has a real personality that the audiences comes to know and love … It is important for individuals to remember that there are people inside the costumes. Mascot costumes are often hot, uncomfortable, can weigh up to 50 pounds and be difficult to maneuver. Mascots are sometimes exposed to hazardous situations such as traffic, unruly spectators and environmental conditions.” KC Koala strives to help carry out the Unity Health’s mission to create a healthy community. KC Koala devotes his time and energy to keeping children safe by visiting local schools to educate students about eating healthy, the importance of exercise and emergency safety tips. For more information about inviting KC Koala to your school, daycare or organization please contact the Unity Health Event Specialist at (501) 278-3230 or via email at

32 Your Hometown Magazine

Unity Health Hosts Momentous Event

Graduate Medical Education Program Ensures Future Healthcare Unity Health’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) program recently hosted a ribbon cutting and white coat ceremony for its inaugural class of physician residents. The event marked a momentous stage in the history of the hospital. At the ceremony, physician residents were presented with their white physician coats and were initiated into the program. Speakers at the event included Unity Health President/CEO Ray Montgomery; Unity Health Director of Medical Education, Dr. Dewey McAfee; Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Graduate Medical Education at Kansas City University, Dr. John Dougherty; and the Honorable Mike Beebe, former Governor of Arkansas. “This ceremony celebrates what a hospital has already done,” said Mike Beebe, Former Governor of Arkansas. “This celebrates what a community has invested and is willing to do. Somebody has to step up and somebody has to be a leader. I’m proud that it’s Searcy, Ark. I’m extremely gratified that it’s this hospital, this healthcare organization, these physicians and these nurses, this staff and administration.” The continual mission of Unity Health is to ensure healthcare in Arkansas for future generations. The GME program, which currently has 16 physician residents in three specialties, is estimated to grow throughout the next three years. The internal medicine program is expected to increase up to 30 residents while the family medicine program is expected to increase to 12 residents. The psychiatric medicine program is also estimated to increase up to 16 residents within the next four years. 33

Highlights Photos by John Baker Photography

Rotary Officers

Front Row: Karen Gossett, Belinda LaForce (President), Autumn Fultz Back Row: Doug Doughty, Keith Slaten, Charles Green, Mabe Mabry, Irene Gray, Jim Carr

Paul Harris Fellow

The Rotary Club of Searcy recently presented two Paul Harris Fellow awards: One to Karen Gossett for her dedication and hard work on the annual “Coats for Kids� Campaign and the other to out-going President Mabe Mabry for his outstanding service and leadership to Rotary during his tenure. The Paul Harris Fellow is an award given to those who have given $1000 to our foundation, possibly over the course of several years or as the result of a sponsor having given money in their name for extraordinary services rendered. It is one of the most prestigious awards in Rotary, thereby named after the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris. The Rotary Club of Searcy meets every Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. at the Searcy Country Club. For more information on membership programs please call 501-593-3263.

34 Your Hometown Magazine 35

Harding University Names New

Center For Student Success Dean Dr. Kevin Kehl, director of First Year Experience and academic resources in the University’s Center for Student Success, was named dean of the center effective Aug. 1. As dean, Kehl will oversee the numerous functions of the center, which include areas of academic advising and resources, ADVANCE, career services, disabilities services, First Year Experience, Multicultural Student Services, TRIO McNair Scholars, TRIO Student Support Services, and TRIO Upward Bound, among many other services, resources and programs. Kehl succeeds Dr. Todd Patten, who will be returning to a full-time faculty position in the Cannon-Clary College of Education’s professional counseling program in the fall. Kehl joined the Harding faculty in 2012 as an assistant professor in the College of Bible and Ministry in addition to his role in the Center for Student Success. “Kevin possesses a wealth of experience along with proven leadership abilities, and I am excited to have him serve in this capacity,” Executive Vice President David Collins said. Prior to joining the Harding faculty, Kehl served as the executive director for the Center for International Education at Abilene (Texas) Christian University. He was also academic coordinator of ACU’s McNair Scholars program in addition to having years of experience in international mission work. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University, a Master of Science in educational psychology from Texas A&M University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Harding School of Theology, and a Doctorate of Education in educational leadership from Baylor University.

In Memory of our Sweet Friend Gladys

 Eddie Follett playing the baritone and marching in the elite 105 member United States Naval Academy’s Drum and Bugle Corps. Eddie is a 2015 graduate of Searcy High School. 36 Your Hometown Magazine

First Community Bank

Celebrates Billion-Dollar Milestone First Community Bank has reached $1 billion in assets, according to Dale Cole, the bank’s chairman and chief executive officer. Locally owned and managed, First Community Bank opened Aug. 4, 1997, with 14 employees, the backing of 153 shareholders and $3.5 million in capital. “This is a milestone that we have looked forward to achieving for a long time,” Cole said. “We actually hit the billion in assets on July 31, 2015. Seeing that $1,000,000,000 number on our financials was significant to me, and a very important day in the history of the bank. When the numbers started getting close, we asked our employees to email their prediction of when we might hit the big day. Suzy Oakley actually predicted the correct day, which happened to be just four days prior to the bank’s 18th anniversary.” “When we opened our doors 18 years ago, our customers embraced First Community Bank because of our commitment to the communities we serve,” Cole said. “Although we are growing continuously, we have never strayed from our commitment. We know that the level of success we now enjoy is all because of the support we have received from our customers, investors, employees and directors. When you bank with First Community Bank, you are making an investment in your community.” The bank recently celebrated the billion-dollar achievement with employees participating in a balloon release at each of the bank’s 17 locations at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4. First Community Bank now employs 274 professional bankers. Arkansas branches are in Batesville, Bald Knob, Cabot, Cave City, Highland, Mountain Home, Searcy, Jonesboro and Bay, and Missouri has branches in Neosho, Goodman and Jane. In addition to full service banking options, mortgage lending is offered through the network of branches, with an additional stand-alone origination office in Jonesboro, Arkansas. 37

(Seated L to R): Alicia Hastings, Vice President; Leah Cook, President; Kristi Valencia, Recording Secretary (Standing L to R): Carolyn Nunnally, Co-Treasurer; Lori Roberson, Treasurer; TJ Higgs, Parliamentarian; Audra Wray, Ex Officio; Amy Crawford, Corresponding Secretary; Jessica Collins, Education; Mallory Sain, Sunshine School Co-Chair; Jamie Jackson, Alumni Liaison; Amanda Little, Finance Chair; Natalie Horton, Public Relations Not Pictured: Allison Chaumont, Sunshine School Chair

 Junior Auxiliary of Searcy Welcomes New Board and Life and Associate Members

Junior Auxiliary of Searcy recently selected board members for the 2015-2016 year. The new board members are: Leah Cook, President; Alicia Hastings, Vice President; Audra Wray, Ex Officio; TJ Higgs, Parliamentarian; Kristi Valencia, Recording Secretary; Amy Crawford, Corresponding Secretary; Lori Roberson, Treasurer; Carolyn Nunnally, Co-Treasurer; Jessica Collins, Education; Jamie Jackson, Alumni Liaison, Natalie Horton, Public Relations; Allison Chaumont, Sunshine School Chair; Mallory Sain, Sunshine School Co-Chair; Amanda Little, Finance Chair. JA of Searcy would also like to congratulate members Heather Glenn on achieving Associate status and Leigh Ann Showalter on receiving Life status. These two women have dedicated the past five and a half years volunteering their time and talent to serve their community through this organization. Junior Auxiliary of Searcy was chartered in 1962, and currently has 32 active members who volunteer throughout the year on a variety of projects that focus on local children and families in need

38 Your Hometown Magazine

of assistance. Projects JA of Searcy supports include the Sunshine School, Searcy Learning Center, Food Baskets, Angel Tree, A Day of Caring and Covering Kids. Junior Auxiliary of Searcy is a part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with Headquarters in Greenville, MS. NAJA has more than 15,000 active, associate, and life members in 101 chapters in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. The NAJA slogan is “Care Today – Character Tomorrow” and when teamed with the current focus of the Association, Junior Auxiliary Chapters are working more than ever before to increase awareness of child health and welfare and how it affects their futures. For more information on Junior Auxiliary of Searcy, and to keep up with all of their projects you can “Like” them on Facebook. 39

Kensett High School Class of 1975 Celebrated 40 years

In attendance Kneeling: L - R, Marshall Pettis, Cherie Banks, and Ronnie Evans First Row: L -R, Mrs. Lou Alice Britton, O C Ethridge, Kenneth Algood, Ricky Rollins, Brenda Jones, Mrs. Doris Brown, Mr. Clyde Brown (Coach Brown) Second Row: L -R, Conway Medler, Teddy Williams, Rosemary Remy, Karen Barnard, Back Row: L -R, Sid Langley, Tommy Prestidge, David Neal, Mrs. Judy Gray

40 Your Hometown Magazine

A bunch of Searcy gals recently celebrated Dorothy Simmons birthday in Walnut Ridge, AR at the Parachute Inn for lunch inside the former Southwest airplane while showing off a copy of the Searcy Living magazine that Cheryl brought along. 41

ASU-Beebe: New Employees Accept Administrative Positions Arkansas State University-Beebe recently announced several new administrative employees for its campuses located at Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy and the Little Rock Air Force Base. Carol Johnson, of Quitman, has been promoted to interim vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement. She has served as Director of Development at ASU-Heber Springs for the past 11 years. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business from Arkansas State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Baker College. This fall, she will receive a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Johnson and her husband Eric have been married 20 years, and have two children, Jessica, age 17, and Evan, age 11. Michael Troop, of Maumelle, has been named interim director of Advanced Technology and Allied Health. Troop has worked for the university the past 13 years, and previously held the position of department head for Computer Systems and Networking Technology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in technology and a master’s degree in business administration from ASU. Troop also received an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Systems Technology from ASU-Beebe. His family includes his son Brian, who lives in Pangburn. Arch Jones, of Conway, has joined the staff at ASU-Beebe as director of Student Center and Activities. Jones earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from the University of Central Arkansas, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in education from ASU. Previously, Jones worked as the director of community services at UCA since 2005. His family includes his wife Candy, and children Caitlin (Church) and Archie. Nina Provence, of Batesville, joined the staff at ASU-Heber Springs as assistant to the vice chancellor. Provence earned a

42 Your Hometown Magazine

bachelor’s in psychology with an emphasis in education from Lyon College and a master’s in education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She was an instructor for 17 years at the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville. Her family includes her husband, Keith. Jesse Arnold, of Rose Bud, has accepted the position of business manager at ASU-Heber Springs. He previously worked in the business office and managed the bookstore at ASU-Searcy for the past three years. He received a technical certificate from ASU-Searcy, and earned a bachelor’s degree from UCA. Arnold’s family includes his wife Jennifer, and two children, Nicholas and Alyssa. Denise Schueren, of Heber Springs, has been named coordinator of Continuing Education and Recruiting at ASUHeber Springs. Schueren earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing and management from Arkansas Tech University. Previously, she was the coordinator of Continuing Education at ATU, county 4-H program assistant, and pre-school teacher. Schueren’s family includes her husband of 25 years, Allen, and two children, Chance and Hope. For more information about ASU-Beebe and its programs, call (501) 882-3600, or visit the ASU-Beebe website at Arkansas State University-Beebe is a regional state university that is an operationally separate, two-year institution of the Arkansas State University System. With campuses located in Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, and Little Rock Air Force Base, the university offers associate degrees, certificates, and non-credit training for business and industry. The Beebe campus also collaborates with Arkansas State, a four-year university in Jonesboro, to offer baccalaureate and graduate degrees on the Beebe campus.

St. James Catholic Church’s

International Food Fest and Silent Auction

Marian Colburn, art teacher with the Searcy School District, served some Cajun cuisine during St. James Catholic Church’s 2015 International Food Fest. St. James Catholic Church’s International Food Fest

and Silent Auction has continued to attract a larger following since it began in 2008. “We have witnessed a larger turnout drawing of patrons from the Little Rock-North Little Rock area and adjoining areas to White County,” says Joe Giezeman, program director. “The IFF has become a social event that enabled friends and customers to meet, eat and visit.” The eighth annual IFF will be held Feb. 6, 2016 in the parish hall, Gieseman said. The IFF drew some 700 this past February. Giezeman, a native of The Netherlands and past chairman of the parish council, has been with the IFF since its inception. His wife, Kathy, an Illinois native, has been in charge of advertising and promotion of the food fest. While specific dishes will vary from year to year, the food fest has included prepared items native to Greece, Germany, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Holland, Italy, Scotland, The Philippines, Belize, India, Vietnam and Spain, as well as from the U.S. They will be served at designated stations throughout the parish hall. Among those having contributed to the food preparation in the past are: Laverne Hess, who prepares her own recipe for chicken and dumplings and peanut butter cookies. Robert Mancini turns to his Italian heritage with Lasagna and Tiramisu, a classic Italian dessert layered with cream cheese.

Giezeman has cooked Nasi Goreng in years past. “It’s a very popular dish in Holland,” Giezeman said. “It’s spicy, but [not] too spicy, primarily involving boiled potatoes, vegetables and a small portion of pork and beef.” Originally, Nasi Goreng was a breakfast dish, but in The Netherlands it was eaten as a main dish, Giezeman said. Jeannie Eans and Lynn Aska team up to prepare and serve German Apple Cake, German beef stew, pork ribs, sauerkraut and potatoes. Judy Pace and Mary Kay Sizemore cook and serve various Greek dishes. One of the dishes they served in the past was Spanikopita, or spinach pie, which is a Greek savory pastry. Harding University students from South America, Mexico and other Central American countries have contributed and served dishes consisting of rice, chicken, sausage, vegetables and spices. They work under the direction of Sandra Chena. Cathy Willems has turned out several dishes from Scotland, England, Ireland and The Netherlands, including various meat pies and venison stew. Scores of other parishioners will be actively involved in the preparation of food, drinks and arrangements, including musical entertainment Items for the silent auction have been provided by numerous donors. Patrons will make their bid on items that will be laid out on tables in the parish hall. 43

Hwy 55 now open!

44 Your Hometown Magazine

Kids First Celebrates Community 45

Contours express has moved to a new location on Hawkins Drive

46 Your Hometown Magazine

Congratulations to riverwind bank! 47

If you’re a working parent, you know firsthand about the difficulties of finding quality, affordable

care for your children. But eventually, your kids head off to school, and those child care bills go away, or at least diminish greatly. When that happens, you could start putting away money for another one of your children’s milestones: college.

Just how expensive is child care? Costs vary greatly among the 50 states, but the national average for a 4-year-old at a child care center is approximately $7,880 per year, according to Child Care Aware of America, a child care resource and referral agency sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. What could you do with this money once your child enters kindergarten? Of course, not all schools provide all-day kindergarten, so you still may have some child care costs. For the purposes of illustration, let’s presume you can finally say “goodbye” to child care costs when your child is in first grade, and let’s also assume your child is attending a public school. If you invested that $7,880 every year for 12 years, until your child reaches 18, you could accumulate more than $150,000 in a tax-advantaged college savings account, such as a 529 plan — assuming the money was placed in a hypothetical investment that earned 7% per year. (Keep in mind, though, that the word “hypothetical” means exactly that, because whenever you put money in any variable investment, there are no guarantees.) Actually, earnings in a 529 plan accumulate and are distributed tax free, provided they are used for qualified higher education expenses. (529 plan distributions not used for qualified expenses may be subject to federal and state income tax and a 10% IRS penalty on the earnings.) Also, your 529 plan contributions may be deductible from your state taxes. However, 529 plans vary, so be sure to check with your tax advisor regarding deductibility. A 529 plan offers other benefits, too. For one thing, the lifetime contribution limits are generous; while these limits vary by state, some plans allow contributions well in excess of $200,000. And a 529 plan is flexible: If your child decides against college or vocational school, you can transfer the unused funds to another family member, tax and penalty free. A 529 plan is a widely used choice for college savings, but it is not your only option. You could also consider a Coverdell Education Savings Account, which, like a 529 plan, can generate tax-free earnings if the money is used for higher education

48 Your Hometown Magazine

expenses. You can typically only put in a maximum of $2,000 per year to a Coverdell account, but it lets you use the funds on K-12 and college expenses. Whichever college-savings vehicle you choose, it will take discipline on your part to continue investing in it, year after year. And after freeing yourself from those child care bills, you can certainly think of other ways to use this “found” money. That’s why you might want to automatically move money from your checking or savings account to your 529 plan, Coverdell account or other investment earmarked for college. As your income rises over the years, you can increase the amount of these automatic transfers. In any case, once those child care bills stop, you can put that money to work on your children’s behalf. Make the most of this opportunity. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. 49

50 Your Hometown Magazine 51

By Cecelia Wilson

What makes city slickers move to the country? For some it’s smog, for others it’s traffic. For Michael and Kari Lakin, it all began with a mule… Mikey and Kari were both raised in Little Rock and, as a young married couple, enjoyed the conveniences of restaurants, entertainment, working out four hours a day at the gym… “We just hung out in the city, went to eat, played putt-putt and [participated in] church activities.” And then Kari’s uncle bought a mule. Not just any mule, but a Belgian Draft Mule. For those unfamiliar with mules, a mule’s lineage has a donkey as a father and a horse as a mother. A Belgian Draft Mule’s particular breeding takes its strength from the mare and its stubborn will from the jack. Large and strong, they make excellent sturdy stock. And that piqued Mikey’s interest. Before long, he informed his wife he wanted a mule just like her uncle’s. “What are you going to do with a mule?” Kari asked from her Pulaski County residence. But, Mikey had a dream. The men trained their mules to be pack mules and took their mules to

52 Your Hometown Magazine

Colorado. Loaded down with campers’ gear, the pack mules, led by Mikey’s team, worked together to make the campers happy with their Colorado wilderness experience. So, it started with a mule. And then the Lakins bought a horse… and then another… Just as babies need new pairs of shoes, so do horses, and after some time, Mikey was having trouble getting his horses shod. Finding few people in the business, he came home one day with a new dream: “I think I’ve changed my mind about what I want to do for a living. I want to be a farrier.” His bewildered wife, unclear what a farrier’s responsibilities were, thought her husband was telling her he wanted to operate a ferry. After further explanation, Mikey left his job selling commercial trucks and moved to Georgia for four months to attend horse-shoeing school, while Kari worked in Little Rock and held down the home front. The transition from city slicker to country folk was well underway.

By the time they were expecting their first child, Easton, the couple knew they didn’t want to raise children in the city - the simple life was beckoning. Late one afternoon, they drove with Mikey’s cousin over a hill in the country and saw a brilliant sunset. They fell in love, and knew in an instant they were ready to leave the city life behind and, befitting their adventurous streak, the land they adored was (of course) in Romance, Arkansas. They bought their acreage in 2004, and when they gazed over the large hayfield and pond they had just purchased, Mikey looked at his pregnant wife and told her about his newest dream. And that’s when they bought cattle… but, not just any cattle. They bought longhorns… It seems that Mikey has an uncle in Beebe who raises cattle. So the Lakins, who had never raised cattle before, made the decision to buy an 18-wheeler-load of longhorns. Though they didn’t have a corral, they put up a round pen of panels and welcomed their herd to their land. All went well until soon-to-be-mother Kari became the target for a cow who had become separated from her calf. With horns that came out and around her head, the mother charged Kari, who scampered away from the gate she was tending and up on a panel in the nick of time. Though the cattle proved to be rather self-sufficient in the long-run, Kari’s initial thoughts were, “What have we gotten ourselves into?” She hated that cow from that point on. Life in the country took on a comfortable, hard-working routine. The couple tore down old fences and put up new fencing (while Kari was 39 weeks pregnant), built a barn, moved a mobile home onsite and began saving money to build their dream house. Kari drew the house plans, perfected it over the next five or six years and then they took the drawing to an architect. By the time the house was complete in 2011, second son Weston had joined the family.

“Dark, polished floors reflect the delicious, caramel-colored walls of the family room outlined in white crown molding and baseboards.”

“A foundation of rich, dark cabinets are punctuated with a tumbled stone backsplash and glimmering earth-toned, patterned granite countertops in the kitchen.” 53

“Generous ceilings make way to a bank of windows overlooking the property in the master bedroom, giving the owners a pastoral view from their ample sleigh bed.” Mikey insisted on stained concrete floors and 2x6 exterior walls, but, otherwise, left the details to Kari. And she echoed the comfortable, calming outside scene in the interior of their new home. Dark, polished floors reflect the delicious, caramel-colored walls of the family room outlined in white crown molding and baseboards. A foundation of rich, dark cabinets are punctuated with a tumbled stone backsplash and glimmering earth-toned, patterned granite countertops in the kitchen. Generous ceilings make way to a bank of windows overlooking the property in the master bedroom, giving the owners a pastoral view from their ample sleigh bed. Kari chose pops of red for Weston’s superhero-themed bedroom which reflect her youngest son’s bold personality perfectly. “He’s in your face, he’s loud, he dances, he’s full of energy, he’s just a wild card,” Kari says of Weston. “You never know what’s coming next, so the bright colors for him suit him well.”

“Life in the country took on a comfortable, hard-working routine.”

54 Your Hometown Magazine

First-born Easton’s room is all-cowboy. “When we first moved up here, Mikey did a lot of roping and going to rodeos, and Easton would go with him all the time. So, he wanted to be a cowboy like his Dad. That’s where the inspiration for his room came from. Anything Dad did, he wanted to do – he wanted to be just like him.” But, these countrified dreamers are now feeling the tug of their next adventure. Though they poured their heart, soul and savings into their home and land in Romance, they both agree it’s time to simplify again. They have decided to sell their house and downsize, allowing Kari to stay at home with their growing boys. “It’s hard to give up what you worked forever for,” Kari muses, “[but] now we have a different dream. So, life just changes.” But husband and wife agree, they hope the next owners love the place just as much as they have and watch that sunset with the same enthusiasm they did when the city slickers first took a deep breath of country air. 55

“Kari chose pops of red for Weston’s superhero-themed bedroom which reflect her youngest son’s bold personality perfectly.”

56 Your Hometown Magazine 57

By Ann Robertson “The capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” –Pablo Casals, cellist hatever your role is in life, your profession, your calling, did you know you can enrich our world for generations, possibly save lives by simple random acts of kindness? No, I’m not soliciting funds, just an open mind and heart, giving you eyes to see. Stay with me for at least five minutes, and let’s acknowledge that our avoiding-all-the-high-crime-areas-thus-are-protected mindset no longer insulates us. Being on a school campus, going to the movies or mall, sitting in a house of worship, doesn’t provide the freedom it once held. This is a hard writing—for you to read, for me to write. Even after I wrote the following, I mulled over its content for almost three months before hitting the send button. The reasons to send it have only mounted though—The horrific Charleston shooting with 9 lives, valuable lives, taken senselessly, while they were supposedly in a safe place. Too soon afterwards, 4 service men—courageous lives, representatives of those who serve our nation—were killed by someone who refused to serve nobly. For it seems what we have refused to see in some segments of our society are ruthlessly reminding us of their growing presence. I’ll speak to my ignorance of those years as a student I could not/would not learn about the histories of countries whose dictatorial reigns of terror were taking innocent lives. Later, as an English teacher, I couldn’t teach The Diary of Anne Frank for several years because of its overwhelming reality played out with a cast line-up of haters. Anne Frank represented the millions of lives stripped of their dignity before being tortured to their death by a driving force whose core is hate. (Present tense because its presence continues to reveal itself.) It was as though my staying blind would remedy the problem—whooshing all ugly away from this world, or, at least, my world. Sadly my “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy hasn’t ensured a Pollyanna world. Because you see, we can no longer avoid facing others’ problems, since their problems are becoming ours. Our being uncomfortable about others’ atrocities doesn’t make them go away; we just build a false wall soon to crumble from outside forces. My latest epiphany occurred one beautiful sun-filled May, this past May, in fact, when I took the time to read our statewide newspaper. On the front page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Josh Duggar sexual abuse debacle from Springdale, Arkansas, took center stage. It was a day behind since the leading news on all of the national networks, online 58 Your Hometown Magazine

services, and entertainment media the night before had already put us on high alert. This printed article just added more words. Reading it only saddened me for the five young girls who were victimized. The downplay that followed was typical of most cover-ups we’ve seen in families, churches, businesses, schools, and throughout communities big and small. Having been sexually abused as a child by a person who should have been protecting me, I’ll be the first to advocate our need for enlightenment so healing can occur. Any abuse scars its victims. However, I am more horrified about the emphasis the press statewide and nationwide has focused on the Duggars in Springdale, Arkansas, in contrast to another case twenty miles away. In the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on Friday, May 22, the Duggar article began on the front page. In the same paper’s section B on page 3, Tracy Neal covered a story one town over in Bentonville. The article began, “The aunt of a man convicted Wednesday in the strangulation death of a 6-year-old girl said the man’s stepfather injected him with methamphetamine when he was a boy.” “Our being uncomfortable about others’ atrocities doesn’t make them go away; we just build a false wall soon to crumble from outside forces.” A six-year old girl was raped and strangled with her pajama bottoms by 30-year-old Zachary Holly. May I emphasize this man never had a chance as a child? His aunt testified she witnessed the boy’s stepfather beating Zachary and Zachary’s mother, and that the stepfather also injected drugs into the child for the fun of it. Typically I would have set the newspaper down at this point, so sickened by the mere thought, worse, the image of an innocent child being destroyed bit by bit, day after day. The next day another article in section B of the same paper described Holly’s mother testifying how she was physically abused by the same man and how young Zachary, along with other step siblings, witnessed her selling herself sexually for drugs many times. I couldn’t finish reading that article. Throughout the next couple of weeks of news-grazing, my eyes kept falling on more true-life horror stories of children abused, neglected, tormented to death—some actually raped of any remnants of hope that their lives have/had any value. Children are being murdered, robbed of their childhoods . . . and for me, for you, not to face what is happening because it upsets us?

The Duggar and Holly cases had me questioning what we can we learn. First, in the Duggar case, we’re reminded how ill-equipped we are in understanding what to do for those sexually abused, especially in how we are to provide counseling and protection for each victim. We have to refute the centuries-old example to cover it up. We can no longer stay blind to abuses in all of its forms. Because all of the incidences swept under the rug have formed mountain ranges of societal problems. Consider this: Psychological studies have shown when children and adults have been abused by an outsider, immediate support by a knowledgable counselor benefits the victim. Since no one is immune to emotional, physical and sexual abuse, making all of us vulnerable, we have to spread the word. We also must pay attention to any claim, regardless of the one charged as the perpetrator. The same studies also reveal that if the abuser is someone close to the victim, a supposed person in a position of trust, and there are repeated accounts, the victim’s healing becomes more difficult, especially when it remains unacknowledged. Worst of all, we can’t blame the child. I’ve spoken with too many victims who were children and/or teenagers, and they were blamed instead of the sibling, parent, other family member, preacher/ priest, neighbor, teacher, boss. I have no doubt the Duggar parents tried to provide the safest and purest environment for their children, hoping to protect them from sinful thoughts and behaviors. They just happen to have had a harsh reality awakened. This leads us back to the Zachary Holly case. No one protected him. He never fathomed his life, or any life, could have any value. Those who ignored Zachary Holly’s victimization opened the door for other innocent lives to be harmed. Holly entered into a neighbor’s house one night and into this six-year old’s bedroom. This is every parents’ worst nightmare. “What has contributed to our collective blindness concerning the abuse of children? There are many important factors, the most important factor being denial,” writes Dr. James A. Chu. Yes, we have many services through our DHS and law enforcement officers, along with community organizations working overtime with too few funds. They can only do so much because thousands of Zacharys live in our area with predators and abusers lurking. So what can we do? Quit denying it exists, and move into the action phase. Do you have more time than money? Volunteer your time and talents. (See suggestions below.) If you have more money than

time? Donate. (See suggestions below.) After your tithe, consider what you are willing to sacrifice for programs in your area that help children not to be victimized physically, sexually and emotionally.

A Few Suggestions Because Children Need a Safe Place to Go For example, in our small town, I am privileged to be on the board of trustees of an organization with a devoted staff who serve children in need, securing foster parents, training them, encouraging them, providing secure daytime care and other services with continual needs arising. The Searcy Children’s Homes staff, volunteers, foster and adopting parents invest their lives to care for children who are in the Department of Human Services system. Volunteers and donations are always needed. Donations of clothes, furniture and household and garden items to the resale shop provide additional income. The White County Child Safety Center is a safe place where children can share if they’ve been physically and sexually abused. A trained staff work with our local police officers and DHS officers. Sadly we need more throughout our nation. They depend on donations. Women’s Shelters Another area of need is for women’s shelters. In our area The White County Domestic Violence Prevention and Rape Crisis Organization provides a hotline and a safe place for women and children who are in an abusive situation. They also have a resale shop that needs volunteers and donations. Call and see how you can give.

If Home is Where the Heart Is Then Let’s Have a Heart Do you have home repairing skills? Many organizations could use free or drastically reduced services. Donate time to your local homeless shelter–ours is Jacob’s Place and/or Habitat for Humanity. They provide a place for those who find themselves out on the streets. I’m learning we can’t judge the reasons why some are homeless. Many are simply imprisoned by circumstances beyond them, without family or friends who could or would pitch in. Our local businesses and artists give services and art for fundraisers. Form a team and play a round of golf with your buddies at one of their fundraising golf tournaments. 59

Do you cook? Could you take a meal to a foster family down the street? Could you gather up unused toys, art supplies, good clean stuff others could use but can’t afford and share them? Are you an athletic, academic, artsfocused coach or educator, full-time or part-time? Please don’t just focus on the gifted ones, the ones whose family offers your team more prestige. Could you be that individual who cares for the unlovely, untalented, insignificant ones and prove to them they have value by your time with them? Can winning be more than outward achievement? Schools need parents as volunteers along with packaged food for hungry children on weekends. Our Literary Council for White County serves children by helping them strengthen their reading skills. Several local churches in small towns have outreaches to serve those in the community with food pantries, clothes and household items, as well as medical services. No child should go to bed hungry, sick, or worse, neglected and abused! Almost daily in several articles our local newspaper’s front page reports the many rapists and pedophiles in our area. This is not just our area. It’s everywhere. That’s why we have to support trained and experienced organizations like those listed to support our overworked law enforcement officers and DHS social workers. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a great organization needing volunteers. Donate food, clothes, toys, books, and household goods, smiles, hours, dollars. We need to continue being uncomfortable as long as innocent lives go unprotected. We help those who can’t help themselves because it’s the right thing to do, because there are children out there like Zachary Holly who don’t have an opportunity to live a productive life on their own without support to change their past. These children grow into generations of adults who so easily can repeat their past.

60 Your Hometown Magazine

A painful past doesn’t excuse a person as much as it explains a person. “May their lives be a credit to You, Lord; and what’s more, may they continue to delight You by doing every good work and growing in the true knowledge that comes from being close to you.” Colossians 1:10 (The Voice)

If you are one who was abused and you are still hurting, will you ask for help? There are people who can help you have victory and live free. Send a message and I’ll do my best to find help someone in your area. You can trust that I will not post your comment. Also, if you need an encouraging read, my story, “When a Door Closes, Keep Knocking,” is in a Baker/Bethany House book entitled Encountering Jesus: Modern Day Stories of His Supernatural Presence and Power.

Your sports photos may be in the next issue!

y o u r

h o m e t o w n

m a g a z i n e 61

Photo by T.J. Boarman 62 Your Hometown Magazine


hat started out almost a year ago as an invitation to represent the State of Arkansas during the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympic World Games, became a lifetime experience recently. In September of 2014, when asked if I would be interested in becoming a torch runner, I said yes without hesitation. It was a two and a half week commitment with 13 days of that running anywhere from a half mile to 2.5 miles at a time throughout the day in several increments. The days usually consisted of activities from 6am to 10pm - midnight. It’s my understanding they chose me because of my history of volunteerism for the Special Olympics over the past ten years. Over the next 9 plus months, I would force myself to get into running shape. (I am not a runner!) Knowing that I had a cause to run helped. I did not want to get to California and make the City of Searcy and State of Arkansas look bad! From the second that I stepped off the plane at LAX, I/we were treated like rock stars. An LAPD officer was waiting at the gate to escort us through the airport to get our luggage and then to our shuttle to get us to a hotel. Anyone that has ever been to LAX knows what a big deal that is! Once we arrived at our hotel, we received our running gear, met our teammates, and got a better idea of what to expect for the next 2 plus weeks. The next day we traveled from LA to Sacramento on a bus with a pit stop at the LA County Detention Center where nearly 22,000 inmates are held. We made the stop at the detention center simply because the Explorers were feeding us lunch that day and the detention center volunteered to host the lunch. The Explorers are a group of youth approximately ages 14 - 18 that are in training to become future law enforcement. It is a great program that is active in many states. 63

The run throughout California consisted of three different routes totaling 122 ceremonies in 122 different cities. All three routes started in Sacramento, with our first ceremony on the steps of the State Capital. From Sacramento, my route went north to Redding while making stops along the way. For every ceremony that we attended, we would stop somewhere away from the ceremony for us to run in, and then we would catch the bus somewhere down the road after another run. This was the routine at every stop. During the ceremony, one law enforcement officer and one of the Special Olympic Athletes would speak, as well as that city’s dignitaries (normally a Mayor and Chief of Police). It was an honor for each city to have the Final Leg group come through their city. The honor had nothing to do with the officers themselves, but all to do with the fact that something like this will never happen to Los Angeles again in our lifetime. The 2015 Special Olympic World Games will end up being the largest event held in LA since the 1984 Olympics. After a couple of days running through various cities, all three routes met up in San Francisco. As a group, we ran across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Fisherman’s Wharf, up Lombard Street (quite a hill!), and eventually to the city hall.

64 Your Hometown Magazine

All three routes split up after San Francisco. We made stops in cities in the middle of the desert, as well as those on the coast. The days were very long, some starting at 5:45 am and some going as late as 12:30 am. Although we were worn out most of the time, we had our Athletes encouraging us the entire time. In the end, that is what it was all about, our Special Olympic Athletes. During the ceremonies, the athlete would speak about what Special Olympics have done for their lives and then the officer would follow with the same. My testimony was probably a little different than most… I spoke about humility. Basically I told of how I never thought of how using the “R” word or other derogatory comments in a joking or casual manner was something that was offensive to people with disabilities before I got involved in Special Olympics. The main focus of each ceremony was to teach inclusion and acceptance of those with intellectual disabilities. We were there to spread the word about why Special Olympics is such a big deal to those that were once sent to institutions but now, because of Special Olympics, they are seen as productive members of our society. We crisscrossed throughout California, covering several cities and seeing several California landmarks. In the end, we made it to LA and delivered the Flame of Hope to the Coliseum, turning it over to the Special Olympic Athletes to start their games. I made several bonds with officers from around the world, as well as athletes. Learning about different cultures and sharing the bond of having the passion to protect our communities created life-long friendships. At one point, I made a speech in San Diego in which I explained I was from Arkansas. At the end of each speech in each city was a ceremonial gift exchange. (Before the trip we were told to bring something that represented our police dept., something that represented our state and something that represented our Special Olympics.) One of the items I brought was

Razorback merchandise that said Woo Pig Sooie on it. After explaining the woo pig sooie, the lady MCing, who was a news anchor for one of the San Diego news stations, told me her husband was from Arkansas. Her husband is Billy Ray Smith, Jr., who is a former Razorback linebacker who then played for the San Diego Chargers for ten years. At the end of the experience, there was a girl on my team who had heard my speech about the Razorbacks. I happened to have a Razorback sweatshirt and she had a Queensland Police Dept. (Australia) sweatshirt she gave me in exchange. She promised to send a picture of a famous landmark from Australia with her with the Razorback shirt. Great memories and great friendships were built throughout the trip. I will never forget this experience and the impact that it made on me. It was an experience that could not have been made possible without family, friends, and coworkers supporting me. It was an honor to be the one selected to represent not only the State of Arkansas, but more importantly representing the City of Searcy and the Searcy Police Department. 65

66 Your Hometown Magazine 67

were all creative as young children. We made up games, sang, drew, built things made out of boxes, and dreamed big dreams. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way in life these creative instincts get suppressed. Our children need to be exposed more to programs and projects that are constructive, especially during summer time. The Minecraft Literacy Summer Camp that was held on June 30-July 2 at the ASU Beebe Library and on July 27-July 29 on ASU Searcy campus, sought to accomplish such a goal. At its basic, Minecraft is a game about placing and mining blocks to build anything the mind can imagine. It takes place in an open world, giving the player complete freedom to explore, and is not restricted to an existing storyline. During this camp, children ages 7-14 were challenged to expand on their own creativity, improve literary skills, and work individually and collaboratively in the same virtual world of Minecraft. On the first day, campers were required to bring their previously read survival/adventure books to the camp. Each one was asked in front of their fellow campers to give a summary of his/her book by addressing character, setting, conflict, plot and theme. From ASU Beebe Camp, some of the books chosen were Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Osborne; Magic Tree House Books; The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan; Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan; The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. From ASU Searcy, some of the books chosen were The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis; I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor by Lauren Tarshis; I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis; The New Captain Underpants Collection; I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 by Lauren Tarshis; Missile Mouse by Jake Parker; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling; and Invasion of the Overworld by Mark Cheverton. Using their chosen books, they were then to plan their project. Planning included a wide array of options. They could build structures of a scene from their chosen book; reconstruct settings, scenes, or event plots. The option to build a story path in the form of a book summary is also a nice option. On the last day of the camp, Minecrafters presented their book reading project. Campers were highly involved 68 Your Hometown Magazine

“Children ages 7-14 were challenged to expand on their own creativity, improve literary skills, and work individually and collaboratively with the game Minecraft.”

in communication, problem solving, and critical thinking. What Common Core expects, this game delivers. So, what do reading books, playing Minecraft, getting an awesome t-shirt, and eating lunch on ASU Beebe campus and great snacks on ASU Searcy campus have in common? Insane and educational fun! Not only do campers enjoy playing Minecraft and retelling the story from their books, they also learn digital citizenship and its application to life. This camp also encourages campers to practice their soft-skills. Two of the ladies who work in the ASU Beebe cafeteria commented on how well behaved and responsible the campers were during lunch. As the camp instructor, and also the World History and Comparative Religion Instructor, I strongly believe that parents and educators need to find more constructive ways to inspire students’ higher-level and critical thinking. Learning is a process, but there is no reason why we can’t have fun along the way! The camp will even be better and bigger for next summer’s Kid’s College Camp, AWESOME, with additional fun courses on ASU Beebe, Searcy, and Heber Springs campuses. Please contact Eddie Supratman at for more details. Special thanks to our mentors Isaiah Lawson, Karissa Neal, Lawson Neal, Kevin Stinnett, Erik Stinnett, Gregory Supratman, Jayden Supratman and Michael Supratman for great leadership qualities. A parent who remained onsite commented on how capable, proactive and helpful they were. They really did a great job showing respect and patience with our campers.

“Learning is a process, but there is no reason why we can’t ” 69

70 Your Hometown Magazine 71

Congratulations to this year’s White County Fair Queen contestants! Photo compliments of Dwayne Laforce.

72 Your Hometown Magazine 73

Over the Counter Rodney G. Richmond, RPh, MS, CGP, FASCP Harding University College of Pharmacy

The Truth about Depression & Medications By Garrett Wilkerson, PharmD and Rodney Richmond, RPh, MS, CGP, FASCP Did you know that Arkansas has one of the highest rates of depression when compared to other states? Unfortunately, many people believe that depression is not a serious illness and that it can be controlled if you just try hard enough. This dangerous misconception can cause people to avoid seeking treatment. People that suffer from depression actually do not have enough of certain chemicals in their brain that are responsible for moods. This chemical imbalance can actually lead to serious problems such as decreased work performance, drug abuse, and even suicide. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for those with depression, including therapy and medications. The medications used are known

74 Your Hometown Magazine

as antidepressants, and include such drugs as Zoloft, Prozac, and Wellbutrin. These medications may also be used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, or even to help you quit smoking. These medications work best when they are taken every day, exactly as directed. The full benefit of these medications may not be seen for at least a month, so remember to stick with it unless you experience serious side effects. I encourage all patients that believe they may have depression to speak with their doctor as soon as possible, because depression is something that you do not have to suffer through forever. 75

& , u o Roo,Y

Too! mpaign

ca ullying b i t n a

Photos by George Dillin

Our Roo & You and Searcy Living Too! Contest had a ton of great participants. We were excited to take a contest and make it not only fun but also have a great message to spread to this community. We thought the message to not be a bully would be perfect since Rudy Roo Roo the kangaroo from Cockerells Country Critters was involved in this contest. How could that not be a perfect fit when other kangaroos tease Rudy Roo Roo because he looks so different from his family compared to other kangaroos? He gets to travel around Arkansas in a pick-up truck and yes... he is a clothes wearing kangaroo. Rudy knows how important the antibully message is. The contest was SO close! It went neck to neck with the 2nd place winner only being five votes behind within minutes of the finale. So we decided to make a second place... why not? Our second place winner will be featured on a Searcy Living 2016 cover. Thank you to ALL the contestants for your dedication to spread the word. Don’t be a bully!

Winner! 76 Your Hometown Magazine

We had our 1st and 2nd place winners parents write us a paragraph on why teaching your children to not bully is important.

Bullying seems to be a big issue in today’s society. I personally believe that everyone has been picked on or made fun of at some point in their lives. It is an awful feeling and not right to be ugly to others, but it doesn’t give anyone the right to return the favor and be rude right back to others. Fighting fire with fire never resolves an issue. I am a firm believer in Luke 6:27-31 (ESV Version). “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to

sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” I believe that this passage says it all.

~Megan Ballard; Adalynn’s mom

Bullying is real. It’s serious. It’s going on daily. On the playground at school, in the classrooms, at our jobs, and even in homes. It tears a person down little by little. Making them feel not good enough, not up to standards. It’s caused lots of tears and heartache. There is enough of that in the world, enough heartache that we can’t prevent. Why wouldn’t we want to teach our children to lift each other up rather than tear each other down? I teach my children to respect and love everyone. No matter their race, religious orientation, hair color, social standing, etc. Every single person is different; we all live a different life. I teach them that just because someone is mean to you doesn’t mean you need to be mean back. Maybe that person or child doesn’t know how to be nice, or they are being bullied, so they pass it along. We have to break that cycle. My children will appreciate everyone’s difference and embrace that. I’ll teach my daughters that love and kindness is what makes others smile. And don’t you like to smile? So, please talk to your children, teach them right from wrong, and also make sure you lift them up because, after all, how you treat your children is how they will treat others. So hug them, praise them, and appreciate their differences.

~Tabitha Browning; Paizlee’s mom 77

78 Your Hometown Magazine 79

By Meredith Novak

Just about everyone loves robots, especially

kids with robots. We have a non-profit organization in Arkansas that offers competitive robotics experiences for kids of all ages. Teams are made up of a handful of kids or many more. They are based in public and private schools, homeschool groups, other clubs, and businesses. Anyone can be involved and teams have the flexibility to organize in whatever way works best for them. Robots range in size and complexity from palm-sized to fast, powerful, and competitive 120 pound machines. Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentorbased programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Arkansas FIRST® is a volunteer based non-profit organization founded to ensure every Arkansas student has access to the exciting world of competitive robotics. We sponsor events, facilitate grants, and offer technical support to teams competing in the FIRST® (Foundation for the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) progression of programs. The progression begins with children ages 6-9 in Junior FIRST LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®). Jr. FLL captures young children’s curiosity and directs it toward discovering the wonders of science and technology. This program features a unique annual real-world scientific concept to be explored through research, teamwork, construction and imagination. Guided by adult coaches, teams use LEGO bricks to build a model that moves and develop a Show Me Poster to illustrate their journey. 80 Your Hometown Magazine

FIRST LEGO League (FLL®) introduces 9-14 year old students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks unique to each season on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society. FIRST  Tech Challenge (FTC®) is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head-to-head using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year to year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors, and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments. FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide teams in their area. But it’s about much more than robots. It’s about mentoring. Engineers and other professionals bring their training and experience to assist the teams and teach the kids what a real career in their specific field is all about. Coach Ellis is with FRC Team 5153 in Huntsville and has a strong opinion about the program: “As a coach and mentor, with my wife and children by my side involved in the program as well, and a great group of students and community, FIRST is the best sporting event ever.” And it’s not just about engineering. The teams do research projects, build websites, create business plans, have marketing

“FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.”

Arkansas Rock City Regional and publicity groups and everything else that any corporation would have to be successful. Two Bentonville FRC Team 5568 seniors have this to say: “FIRST has not only been an exciting experience for me in high school, but it has helped give me direction for the future. After three years on separate FIRST robotics business teams, I have confidence that I will be studying business management in college,” Kloë Sundberg. “FIRST has helped me make many friends and learn the value of engineering,” Sam Bringman. Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, likes to say the robot is the campfire we gather around. Dr. Flowers helped create MIT’s renowned course “Introduction to Design” that inspired inventor Dean Kamen to start FIRST and coined the phrase that defines our culture – Gracious Professionalism®. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no stickysweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition and empathy are comfortably blended. In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity. Searcy Riverview FRC Team 4490 sophomore Tiernan Pierce gave his commentary on the program, explaining his experience. “At first, I was nervous about doing it. I was afraid that people would judge me or make me feel inferior. But then I went for it and I was welcomed by this big family. Everyone is understanding and supportive. Even during competitions, we help each other out. It is an overall amazing thing to be involved in.” Senior Dana Smith explained her experience as “Totally life changing,” saying that there is nothing that can compare to the hands-on experience and teamwork you develop being part of a FIRST team. It’s about Coopertition®. At FIRST, Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition.

“Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.” 81

Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can. “I see many ways FIRST Robotics helps to reach students who otherwise have no other outlet to express themselves. Watching my students accept the challenges and champion every obstacle is rewarding and beyond words. They use this newfound confidence in ways that allow them to fully integrate into their other academic demands by bringing insightful strategies into problem-solving,” FRC Team 4490 Coach Edwards. And it’s about scholarships – over $20 million worth available to FTC and FRC students from the very best schools in the country. John Taylor Novak, a 2015 Mountain Home High Career Academies graduate and FLL, FTC and FRC Team 16 alumni, is attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a FIRST scholarship. “Without FIRST, I wouldn’t have been able to go through with my dream to become a student at MIT, the best engineering school in the world. FIRST gives kids the opportunity to succeed and do great things.” There are several FIRST teams located in Searcy sponsored by Harding Academy and Riverview High School, but most kids in Searcy (and Arkansas) do not yet have the opportunity to be on a

FIRST robotics team. Jr.FLL, FLL, and FTC teams are registering now for their seasons which begin next month. The Arkansas competitions for FLL will begin in November and conclude in January. There is an FLL Qualifier in Searcy at Harding Academy and spectators are welcome. The FTC Arkansas Championship will be in Mountain Home in December. All FIRST events are free and open to the public. There will be an off-season FRC competition “Ozark Mountain Brawl” in Little Rock in October. These high school teams will begin registering in September for their season which begins with a kick-off event in early January at Harding Academy. The annual FRC “Rock City Regional” is our premier event and will be held at Barton Coliseum next March. Information on forming, joining and registering teams, applying for grants, tournament dates and locations can be found on Submitted by: Meredith Novak President, Arkansas FIRST Incorporated FIRST Regional Director, Arkansas

“Watching my students accept the challenges and champion every obstacle is rewarding and beyond words. They use this newfound confidence in ways that allow them to fully integrate into their other academic demands by bringing insightful strategies into problem-solving.” FRC Team 4490 Coach Edwards

82 Your Hometown Magazine

Preston Spencer Growing up I have always had a love for building new and innovative designs. From building with Legos to fighting it out with 200 pound robots in FRC (First Robotic Competition), I have never had a dull moment thinking up solutions for challenges. This Lego ship is just one of my many builds over the years and it will not be my last. It only took me a month to build, but over several years to learn to design an efficient design such as this through many failed builds. In each design, if something went wrong I had to think of a solution to fix the problem. This is how I want to help people through the beauty of technology, by designing new solutions to change the way robotics works today! As a member of a robotics team, I have had the utmost pleasure in mentoring younger students and helping build them into the future leaders of the world. From connecting legos to welding frame, no job was too big or too small. As a young kid I was enthralled at the idea of building something bigger and better from just a small little piece of plastic. Robotics in school is not considered a sport because it is not limited as one. Different solutions are thought up to solve different problems giving the possibility of infinite options.

Preston Spencer, Harding Academy

The Lego ship  83

Parker Spencer, Harding Academy

Parker Spencer The Claw

 An example of a robot built.

84 Your Hometown Magazine

The Claw has an eight wheel drive train. We have a custom made, single speed gearbox that has been configured for 11 ft/s. The middle two wheels are directly driven from the gearbox and the outer wheels are connected with timing belts. The arm weighs approximately 25 pounds and can go from the floor to straight up in a second. In order to do this, we created another custom gearbox. The arm position is maintained through a PID custom loop using a potentiometer to measure the angle. The claw is designed to accumulate the two foot diameter ball and actively control it in the process. We can center the ball by either opening the top portion of the claw or by rolling the wheels in the same direction. The ram rod is pulled back by a custom made winch using a modified ball shifter. When shifted, the spool can free wheel and the rod then strikes the ball. The ram rod is tensioned with surgical tubing with approximately 80 pounds of force. We are able to complete all aspects of the game from getting the ball from the ground or human player to scoring in the top goal. We have also completed our autonomous coding. The robot can score a ball completely on its own and can even do two if one of our alliance partners cannot score it themselves. What a robot! 85

Veterans Day H H H H H H A Searcy Celebration H H H H H H By Irene Gray


o you observe Veterans Day in November? Do you realize what Veterans Day really symbolizes to Americans? Do you only think of Veterans as only those members of the Greatest Generation? Well, on November 11, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. in downtown Searcy on the Square, several groups are working together to make this a very special day as we have veterans in our area who not only served in World War II, but also in the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq, and many of our residents are still serving our country in the military. These people are a special breed, they love our country and they love us or they would not be trying to keep our country free and safe for all Americans. The official time to celebrate Veterans Day is 11-11 at 11, so that is what we will be doing. The Frederick Van Patten Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, of which I am a member, is a patriotic group whose heart is projects for our veterans, and we will be working along with Mr. Larry Robinson and his veterans office, as well as the local Operation Wounded Warrior Support Group to make it a week of celebrating our veterans. We are asking all of the downtown businesses to please decorate their store fronts with red, white and blue for Veterans Week, and if you have room in windows facing the Square and the downtown streets, make a special display to honor our veterans. I know that the downtown First Security Bank always asks residents to bring pictures of their veterans and they have a display in the bank of these for the month of November. It would be wonderful if other businesses would follow suit and do something similar.

86 Your Hometown Magazine

We especially want flags flying all over town. We want people to think of us as a caring community when it comes to our veterans. On Veterans Day at 11:00 a.m. on the Courthouse lawn and surrounding area, we will have a ceremony, which will include the Honor Guard, a White County native singing the National Anthem, prayer for our military and veterans, patriotic music sung by a group from Searcy High School, as well as a speaker and greetings from city and county officials. Bring your lawn chair and come down and join us. Let our veterans know you support them and care for them. Mark this date on your calendar now. We want this to be a week of honoring our veterans, not just a day. That same morning, from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m., the members of Valley Baptist Church on Highway 36 West will be serving a free breakfast to our veterans and they invite all to come and share in this. Our DAR Chapter is making red, white and blue lapel ribbons to give to local churches who want to honor their veteran members by wearing them on Sunday of that week. If your church wants to participate they just need to contact someone in our DAR Chapter. There are about sixty of us all around the area. On Tuesday evening, November 10th from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. the 106th Army Band will be presenting a program entitled “Celebrate our Veterans� in the Spring Park Pavilion in downtown Searcy and all are invited to come and bring their lawn chairs and enjoy this performance. Some of you may be aware of the activities of Operation Wounded Warrior Support in our area, and some may not be

aware, so I am going to tell you more about that. On November 12th our groups will come together to have a Benefit Banquet for our wounded veterans. In our area are two houses equipped to handle five wounded warriors each week during duck season for a duck hunt. They come in for several days and are equipped (thanks to Hays) to go duck hunting. Some of these veterans may not have wounds you can see, but they do have wounds. It has been my privilege to meet quite a few of them and at first they may be a little shy to talk about themselves and their experiences, but once they get to know you, they open up, and they are a group of very special individuals. It takes quite a bit of money to bring them in for this and to have the houses ready and open for them so fundraising is necessary. If you would like to know more about this, you can drop by Ideal Office Supply Co. on Main Street and pick up information and make donations, too. For this Banquet we will have a guest speaker who is a wounded warrior himself. He is SFC (Ret.) Michael Schlitz. Michael retired from the U.S. Army in March of 2010 after fourteen years of service. In February, 2007, Michael and his platoon were on a mission in Baghdad when artillery shells attached to a propane tank exploded and threw him from his vehicle. He sustained burns on 85% of his body, lost both of his hands and his vision in his left eye. He is now committed to “live a better life for the friends he lost that day, a life they would be proud of.” He travels the country for speaking engagements and Veterans events. He has returned to Iraq three times to help mentor some of our military personnel still there. He is truly a hero. In another earlier event we will have a Celebration of our Vietnam Veterans, as this is the 50th year since that war. At our DAR Continental Congress in June of 2014, our President General asked each DAR Chapter to do something special to honor these men and women during 2015, so we will do this on Saturday, October 10, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. in the Community Room of First Community Bank at the corner of Remington Street and Beebe-Capps Expressway. We invite ALL VIETNAM VETS to come and join us and let us honor and thank you for your service, as you were not treated well upon your return from doing your duty and serving your country when others were dodging the draft and going to Canada. We are PROUD of you. Please pass the word about this special event to all Vietnam vets that you know in this area. I hope all of you will be flying your flags and dressing in red, white and blue for Veterans Day 2015, and that you will join us on 11-11 at 11 on the Courthouse Square in Searcy for a day of celebration for all veterans. Just remember, they were all there for YOU.

HHHHH “These people are a special breed, they love our country and they love us or they would not be trying to keep our country free and safe for all Americans.” –Irene Gray 87

By Craig Smith


s the first game ended at the 7/8year old Dixie Youth Baseball State Tournament in 2012, I was standing in a dugout trying to figure out how to motivate a team full of 7-year olds who just got pummeled at the hands of Texarkana West, 19-2. They looked like the Texas Rangers, and we looked like a sanitized version of the Bad News Bears. It was crushing to watch these boys struggle. They were friends and played hard, but they were also just so far away from being competitive, much less winning. I had been to state the year prior with one of my older sons and watched a very talented Searcy team lose to Texarkana West as well. Texarkana has always been good – our dragon that needs slaying, so to speak. So the question became how do we do it? How do we take a group of kids and turn them into a championship team? My assistant coach, Ryan Koch, and I decided to keep this 7-year old All-Star team together and play travel baseball. The team was reborn as the Searcy Shock. It all started as so many travel teams do – picking out cool uniforms and matching helmets! This brought a new excitement for the boys, but we soon found out that looking the part wasn’t near enough and proceeded to lose our first 11 games. The coaches collaborated and refocused our practice

88 Your Hometown Magazine

time, coaching style, and intentions toward developing team chemistry. We wanted the boys to begin to play for each other, rather than just being a member of the team. It was amazing! This same group of boys that were so recently downtrodden went on to win the next 12 games straight and 2 tournament championships in a row. The transformation continued as we placed first or second in several more regional tournaments before winning 2nd place in the 8u USSSA Arkansas State Tournament. Ending the season on a high, the boys all decided to return to the Searcy Dixie Youth Baseball League as 9-year olds. It was difficult, because they were all scattered throughout different teams. Even though they were no longer playing together, the kids, coaches and parents stayed in touch and continued to dream of again playing as All-Stars for our city. We didn’t compete as 9-year old All-Stars, simply because the 10-year old talent was better. The 2014 10u Searcy All-Stars were a great team, but they too fell to the dragon (Texarkana). There was a very familiar feeling associated with the start of the 2015 league baseball season. The core members of our team were back, but they were once again broken up to play for the various league teams. At the end of the regular season, the league coaches combined to choose our Searcy All-Stars. Of those chosen, 8 of the 12 players had been All-Stars at age 7, and eight of the boys had travelled with the Searcy Shock team

Coaches are Craig Smith, Steve Williams, and Ryan Koch (pictured left to right). Players are Colton Smith, Levi Mercer, Eli Wilson, Houston Behel, Jack Henry Wise, Kayden Swindle, Landon Koch, Will Grady, Boe Baker, Kade Ivy, Heath Niece and Nicholas Gray. together. This new 2015 Searcy All-Star team had chemistry! They knew each other, many had played together, and most had even battled against each other at some point over the last 3 years. The coaches and parents knew there was something different about this team, but they had no idea what was to come. After team selections, meetings, new uniforms, and 6 tough weeks of practicing, we went to the state tournament in Texarkana so happy to be playing together. We arrived with confidence, but quickly learned of the difficult task at hand. We were slated to play the host and defending state champion team, Texarkana West, in the first round! It was a battle, but one that we were winning 9-3

going into the bottom of the 6th inning. As anyone who follows youth baseball knows, the tide can change in the turn of an inning. Texarkana West stormed back to win the game 10-9 after a dramatic set of unfortunate events for the Searcy team. Things looked bleak, but this group of boys still believed in each other and were quietly resolved. We burned through the loser’s bracket, runruling the two teams we faced on Saturday to set up a rematch with Texarkana West on Sunday afternoon. We went in with a better game plan and won the game by playing near flawless baseball. Occasionally throughout a long season of baseball, some key things go your way. Such was the case when Searcy won the 89

drawing between the 3 one-loss teams and received a bye straight into the championship game to play TX West again. This token of good fortune was a moment not to be forgotten – the Searcy fans cheered their approval and excitement at the “thumbs up” from the coaches as they emerged from the drawing victorious! In a deafening statement of legitimacy, the Searcy All-Stars played TX West for the third time in the series and went on to beat the dragon, with a score of 4-3! The Searcy 10u All-Stars were the new Arkansas State Champions! This accomplishment was grand, but the coaches, players and parents were even more humbled to receive the Dixie State Sportsmanship award, as well. Each player was recognized and shared their reward with each other. As the dust settled on the championship field, the players and their parents gathered with the coaches and talked of what few had imagined. A trip for this team to the

90 Your Hometown Magazine

Dixie League World Series in Lexington South Carolina! We had come so far, and it was time to see how we stacked up against the best ball players in the country! We quickly realized that we needed funds for new Arkansas uniforms, transportation to South Carolina, and 5-6 night’s stay (as it turned out) in a hotel. The outpouring of support from the people of Searcy and Central Arkansas was jaw-dropping, as we raised over $11,000 in two weeks from private and corporate donors. Everyone was excited and our boys were the talk of the town. It was simply amazing! When we arrived in South Carolina, the coaches couldn’t help but wonder how well we would play with the teams at the World Series. Our first opponent was Louisiana, who were picked by many of the Dixie representatives to win the entire tournament. And, they were good! Refusing to be intimidated, our boys rose to the challenge and beat Louisiana 15-14 by scoring 2 at the bottom of the 6th for the win. We lost our next 2 games, with the second loss being a near comeback that ended in a heartbreaking

loss. Even though we didn’t go on to play in the championship game, the World Series experience was amazing and created memories of a lifetime for the boys and their families! Through it all, we learned some things about ourselves. We found out that the talent here in Searcy is good enough to make it anywhere and to play with anyone. We also learned that a team could be transformed with the right approach to coaching and by building true team chemistry. This team learned how to play together, but not just with each other… they learned to play FOR each other. This team knew how to practice with intensity, but they also understood that it should be fun. They grew to love one another, and it came naturally. Most team dads helped at each practice, moms helped administratively, and everyone stepped up and worked together to make practices and the overall experience efficient and effective. In closing, I believe that the bar has been set high and the road has been paved for many more Searcy teams to have similar success. My desire is for Searcy to become known as the new Arkansas team to beat. The talent is here. The talent is real. With the right support, love, and teamwork, Searcy can be state champions and World Series bound for many years to come. One last note: We couldn’t have done this without the help and support of so many within the Searcy community. Searcy is a special place, filled with good-hearted and encouraging citizens, and we thank each and every one of you that contributed and shared in our most memorable journey! 91


Accessory Organizer One of the hardest things for me to keep organized is jewelry. I am always getting my necklaces tangled and coming up an earring short. I have found that jewelry is easier to keep organized when it is out in the open rather than tucked away in a drawer or box, but if my jewelry is out in the open, I want it displayed in a stylish way. For me, a pegboard organizer was the perfect solution.

1 I started with a picture frame that I picked up at a flea market and a piece of pegboard that I cut to fit inside. (Pegboard is readily available in many different sizes.)

2 I painted the frame in satin white. I chose Valspar Indigo in satin for the pegboard. I allowed both to dry completely.

3 Although I loved the Indigo color on the pegboard, it still looked like something that belonged in a workshop. To add a more feminine touch I wrapped lace snuggly around the entire piece of pegboard. I then spray painted evenly over the lace using Valspar Encounter in satin. 92 Your Hometown Magazine

4 I let the paint dry for about 5 minutes and very carefully removed the lace. (Do not allow the paint to dry completely before removing.) When the lace is gone its beautiful pattern is left behind.

5 After allowing the pegboard to dry overnight, I inserted the pegboard into the picture frame and hung it on the wall. (If a stud is not available in the wall a quality anchor is necessary.)

6 Once the organizer was securely on the wall I hung assorted pegboard hooks and added my accessories. 93

Pancho’s Chartreuse Dressing Okay, so there’s a Mexican restaurant in West Memphis called Pancho’s. It’s at least as old as I am and it likely has never been remodeled. It looks authentic. Rumors spread when I was younger that there were rattlesnakes found in a dark corner of the restaurant, in one of the eating booths.... DURING HOURS OF OPERATION. I am not even kidding. Do you have any idea how terrified of snakes I am? It is so dark in that place, a snake could be my server and I’d never know it! All that being said, the food is worth going for. Luckily for you, I am providing you with what could be the very key to their success: their dressing they pour on tacos, taco salads, and other fare. The bright green color comes from the combination of good olive oil and fresh green onions. It is so delightful! Save a trip to West Memphis and make this at home! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS 1/2 c. yellow mustard 1/2 c. sugar (I like Zulka sugar, found at the big Walmart) 1/2 c. good olive oil 1/3 c. white vinegar 1 tsp dried oregano 4 fresh green onions, most of the white parts removed


Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. (If you have an immersion blender [stick blender] you can also process the ingredients with it and it works very well.)


Store in a glass jar in the fridge. (Olive oil becomes more solid when cold so you might want to set the dressing out of the fridge in advance when serving it.)


Pour liberally over tacos and taco salad.

Tanya Turner Leckie’s cookbook Cartwheels In The Kitchen, is available at Tonya’s Consignment, Midnight Oil Coffee House, as well as through Tanya by e-mailing her at Partial proceeds through sales benefit the Makonde Team mission work in Tanzania, Africa.

94 Your Hometown Magazine 95


2. “A painful past doesn’t excuse a person as much as it _____ a person.” 3. Sgt. Hernandez spoke about _____ during the Special Olympic ceremonies. 4. While having fun along the way, Eddie explains that learning is a _____. 7. Flying American _____ can be a way of showing that our community cares for veterans. 8. “Fighting fire with fire _____ resolves an issue.”

What has one head, one foot and four legs?


1. Acronym that is as close to realworld engineering as a student can get. 2. A group of youth in training to become law enforcement. 5. The Searcy Dixie Youth Baseball League made it to the World _____. 6. What animal made the Lakin’s move to the country?

What word has three consecutive double letters?

Find The Answers On

96 Your Hometown Magazine

Keep your head up. God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers. Show your support for life and help raise money at the same time! Purchase an Official Choose Life Arkansas License Plate for the rear of your car. You can obtain one through direct purchase from the Department of Finance and Administration. Let’s make the readership of Searcy Living the BIGGEST supporters for life in the state! 97

98 Your Hometown Magazine 99

100 Your Hometown Magazine

Searcy Living Issue 5 2015  

Featuring the Roo & You Cover Contest Winner, Making A Difference, The Power of Imagination, and more.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you