Archive | June, 2011

Joplin Tornado Devastates Local Special Olympics Program

3 Jun

The World of Special Olympics

Wanted to share this email update we just received from our friends at Special Olympics Missouri.  Needless to say our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of devastation and loss.  I hope everyone who reads this can share your message of support by commenting here, sending letters to the address included, posting on their Facebook wall, Tweeting them, or in your own unique creative way just offering any support you can to them in this difficult time.

June 1, 2011

Thank you to each of you who have reached out to us with words of comfort, encouragement and offers of support. This last week has been one of much grief as so much has been lost in the devastating tornado in Joplin. The outpouring of love we have felt from you is comforting and so appreciated.

Sadly, we lost three very special men. Tripp Miller, Rick Fox and Mark Farmer were lifelong friends and had been SOMO athletes for decades. The three men lived in their own home and took great joy in being Special Olympics Athletes. All three had bowled in our state tournament last November which was held in Joplin. At Tripp’s funeral they shared the story that upon being found in the rubble of what was left of his home, he greeted his first rescuer with a huge smile, and said, “thank you.” Those were his last words. Read more about Tripp.

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22nd North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

3 Jun

The 22nd North Arkansas Ancestor Fair will be held Friday, June 3rd and Saturday, June 4th, in Marshall , AR.  This year the theme will be the Civil War Sesquicentennial, and the talks on Friday will be about what happened in 1861 in North Arkansas and about researching Confederate and Union Soldier ancestors.  Saturday will be devoted to family historians swapping information, but there will also be the opportunity to get help writing family reminiscences about the Civil War.

The North Arkansas Ancestor Fair is the longest running genealogical event of its kind in North Arkansas.  It has two sections:  on Friday, there are speakers who talk about subjects of interest to genealogists and family historians; on Saturday family genealogists are provided tables and chairs so they can visit and swap information with the public, who have com to see what information is available.  North Arkansas county genealogical and historical societies have tables to offer information, publications for sale and to attract new members.

This year, there will be enough seating for both Friday and Saturday events so that advance registration is not necessary, but early arrivals will get the best seats, or table locations.  Friday’s talks will be held at the new VFW building, located just north of the Stoplight, and Northeast of Highway 65.  Russell Baker, Arkansas History Commission-Retired and perhaps the most knowledgeable person on Arkansas research, will speak from 9:30am on “Finding Confederate and Union Ancestors”.  He will also have a fillip on results of DNA tests on a couple of Newton/Searcy county families.  Friday afternoon, James Johnston, Searcy County historian, will tell about what happened in Searcy and surrounding counties in 1861.  This will include the formation, betrayal and capture of the Peace Society and the Chain Gang that took them to Little Rock.  This will be followed by a discussion group where attendees will be invited to tell their family stories of the Chain Gang.  Friday’s lectures cost $7.50 for a half day or $10.00 for all day, which will be collected at the door.  The Discussion Group is free and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Friday night there will be a Mixer Dinner – place to be announced – where folks can mingle, visit, meet new-found kin, and get a start on Saturday’s ancestor hunting.  There is usually some musical entertainment as well.

Saturday’s Genealogical Swap Meet at the Searcy County Civic Center on Zack Road is free all day for providers who want table and chairs for their information and wares and for the public who only want to browse.  The doors are open at 8:00 am to set up for providers of information and wares, and are open at 9:00 am for the public.

The Ancestor Fair has drawn as many as 500 in years past, but recently the numbers have declined.  However, the sponsor, Searcy County Historical Society, expects the Civil War Sesquicentennial theme will attract over 200 visitors this year.

Additional information is available at the Ancestor Fair website.  www.ancestorfair.us ,or from Shirley Gray at shirleysdream@windstream.net or 870-448-3308