Simmons First Bank recently donated $15,000 toward the construction of Heritage Plaza at South Arkansas Community College. From left are SouthArk Foundation director Cynthia Reyna, Foundation President Terry Norman, Simmons president Rob Robinson, SouthArk president Dr. Barbara Jones, Foundation Gifts Committee Chair Greg Withrow and Foundation Board member Phil Herring. Fundraising efforts for the project still are underway; visit www.southark.edu/foundation to donate, or call (870) 864-7130 for more information

Entegra-Union Power Partners recently donates $3,000 to the South Arkansas Community College Foundation for the development of Heritage Plaza, a beautification project for the school. From left are Foundation director Cynthia Reyna, Foundation Board member Melissa Jerry, college President Dr. Barbara Jones, Entegra-Union Power Partners plant manager Tom Burger and Foundation Board member Carolane Hays.

El Dorado Chemical Company recently donated $30,000 toward the construction of Heritage Plaza at South Arkansas Community College. In the photo are EDCC employees, Dr. Barbara Jones and Foundation president Terry Norman. Fundraising efforts for the project still are underway; visit www.southark.edu/foundation to donate, or call (870) 864-7130 for more information

BancorpSouth recently donated $15,000 toward the construction of Heritage Plaza at South Arkansas Community College. From left are SouthArk Foundation director Cynthia Reyna, Foundation President Terry Norman, Simmons president Rob Robinson, SouthArk president Dr. Barbara Jones and Foundation Board president Terry Norman. Fundraising efforts for the project still are underway; visit www.southark.edu/foundation to donate, or call (870) 864-7130 for more information

Donese East, an accounting major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted a James Family Endowed Scholarship to attend the school this semester.
She is a 1985 graduate of Spearsville (La.) High School.
The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

jerry-mathersClassic TV legend Jerry Mathers, who played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver on "Leave It to Beaver," will speak at the El Dorado Conference Center at 7 p.m. on Nov. 21, part of the eighth annual South Arkansas Community College Lecture Series.  The event is free and open to the public.

"The Golden Age of Television and Media Trends Today" will include behind-the-scenes stories about "Leave It to Beaver" and other projects as well as Mathers' thoughts on current trends in TV. 

Born in 1948, Mathers began his show-business career at the age of 2 in a PET Condensed Milk commercial on "The Colgate Comedy Hour." He continued in minor roles as a child actor throughout the dawn of television and made his movie debut in 1954 in "This Is My Love." He went on to co-star in Alfred Hitchock's "The Trouble With Harry" and "The Seven Little Foys" with Bob Hope, among several other film roles throughout the mid 1950s.  Mathers reached a higher level of stardom upon being cast as the Beaver in 1957.

"Leave It to Beaver" is one of the most beloved TV series of all time and often is used as a perfect example of 1950s Americana. Even though its original broadcast run ended in 1963, the half-hour comedy hardly ever has been off of the small screen since; on its 50th anniversary it was noted as the longest-running scripted show in TV history.  It also crosses cultural lines well enough that it has been shown in more than 80 countries and translated into 40 languages.

Beaver us

Nostalgia for the era led to a revival with "The New Leave It to Beaver" in 1984, featuring Mathers and most of the original cast. The series aired until 1989. Mathers directed some episodes.  "Leave It to Beaver" charted on Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-Time"; Mathers himself was named as one of the most well-known individuals in TV history by People magazine.

In addition to speaking dates, Mathers still does some acting, including TV, film and stage roles.  In 2007 he debuted on Broadway in "Hairspray," portraying Wilbur Turnblad. 

A type-2 diabetic, Mathers often is a spokesperson for diabetes awareness, even addressing the U.S. Congress on the topic.  Mathers' talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception. 

For additional information about the Lecture Series, call (870) 864-7156.

Jennifer Miletello, an accounting major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted a Langston Endowed Scholarship to attend the school this semester.
She is a 2000 graduate of Parkers Chapel High School and a member of Phi Beta Lambda.
The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Amy Moore of Warren, a nursing major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted a REACH Scholarship to attend the school this fall.

She is a 1988 graduate of Benton High School.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Lewis Whatley of El Dorado, a 1983 graduate of Norphlet High School, has accepted a Lucy Ring Academic Excellence Endowed Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College this fall.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Elizabeth Beaudoin-Fogle, a registered-nursing major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted an Alpha Xi Scholarship to attend the college this fall.

She is a 2000 graduate of MacArthur High School in Lawton, Okla.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Kimberly Bunn, a surgical technology major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted a Mable and Emon Mahony Endowed Scholarship to attend the college this fall.

She is a 1991 graduate of Camden High School.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

LaTanya Hegler, a 2001 graduate of Warren High School, has accepted an Omazel Lawson Endowed Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College this fall.
The scholarship is funded through he SouthArk Foundation.

The Union County Single-Parent Scholarship Fund Board of Directors recently selected scholarship recipients for the fall 2013 semester. A total of 36 awards were given.
The number and amount of scholarships awarded each semester depends on the funds available. Funds are received from various sources including the Arkansas Single-Parent Scholarship Fund, local donors and others.


Scholarships were awarded to South Arkansas Community College students Jeanie Baker, Tracy Barnhart, Rosalin Broadnax, Camillian Brown, Markesha Brown, Solita Jones Brown, Cavorcia Carter, Christie Choate, Amanda Daniels, Allison Dolden, Nicole Edmerson, Ashley Ford, Latosha Gatson, Aretha Glaspie, LaTanya Glaspie, Jessica Hagood, Gerald Hall, Lativia Hall, Adriana Villegas Izucar, Shelia Jones, Veronica LeFear, Briana Malone, Freda Mason, Carmen Marales, KaShekia Miller, Shawana Miller, Katherine McElveen, Memory Parker, Brittany Reynolds, Inez Robinson, Cortney Sherman, Kinetra Swift, Romona Tolbert and Chimorrika Williams.


Scholarships were awarded to Southern Arkansas University students Courtney Caver and Tamara Wells.


To be eligible, students must live in Union County, be enrolled in any college or university and be a single parent providing support of a dependent child or children under the age of 18 in the household.


For more information about donating to the scholarship fund or applying for a scholarship, contact the financial aid office at South Arkansas Community College at (870) 864-7150. Deadline for the spring semester is Feb. 1, 2014.

Amy K. Fugate of Rison has accepted a General Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College in the fall.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

gatson latoshaLaTosha Gatson, an accounting major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted a Robert R. Brown Jr. Scholarship to attend the school this fall.

At SouthArk she is a member of Phi Beta Lambda and Phi Theta Kappa.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Nikisha Faulkner has accepted a REACH Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College this fall.

She is a 1993 graduate of Mount Holly High School.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Dawn Tucker, an early-childhood education major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted a Mabel Stratton Powell Endowed Scholarship to attend the school this fall.

She is a 2004 graduate of Maranatha Christian School.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Kimberly Tucker, an administrative assistant technology major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted an Island Memorial Scholarship to attend the school this fall.

She is a 2007 graduate of Maranatha Baptist Christian School.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation

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SouthArk Smarties team won the AATYC Brain Bowl Spirit Award! The Team was Stephanie Tulley-Dartez, Dean Inman, Bruce Hankins and Denise Robledo.

reyes alejandroAlejandro Reyes, a 2013 graduate of Farmerville (La.) High School, has accepted a Living the Dream Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College this fall.

He is the son of Norma and Marcial Reyes of Spearsville, La.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

southark-fooddonation

About 360 pounds of food, collected at the recent SouthArk Outdoor Expo, are donated to Centro San Martin Food Bank recently by members of the SouthArk Foundation Board of Directors.

comejo selene aSelente A. Comejo, a 2013 graduate of El Dorado High School, has accepted the Living the Dream Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College this fall.

She is the daughter of Elena Puentes of El Dorado. 

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

southark-fooddonation

About 360 pounds of food, collected at the recent SouthArk Outdoor Expo, are donated to Centro San Martin Food Bank recently by members of the SouthArk Foundation Board of Directors.

evans victoriaVictoria G. Evans, a 2013 graduate of El Dorado High School, has accepted a Choral Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College this fall.

In high school she was a member of PRIDE, Future Business Leaders of America, the Young Democrats, the choir, JROTC, the Steering Committee, the Drama Club and Young Poets.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

meredith-nelsonAt an age when most teens are singing along with their car stereos, Meredith Nelson is writing her own music, and performing it at gigs while backed by her own band.
A country vocalist who taught herself to play the guitar at age 13, the Minden (La.) High School senior will be one of the many musical performers at the SouthArk Outdoor Expo on Sept. 14. The Expo is free to attend, but food donations are being accepted.
Nelson, 17, never has performed in El Dorado previously but said that she's looking forward to the experience.
"I enjoy being 'known' in my hometown, and would love to be recognized regionally as a performer," Nelson said. "I want to continue to perform and write more songs and hopefully record my own music some day. I want music to always be something that I enjoy doing."
While Nelson listed her current musical favorites as The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, the Lumineeers, Paramore and the Civil Wars ("They have such beautiful haunting harmonies," she said), she admitted that she "still" listens to love-hate pop culture icon Taylor Swift.
"She was my biggest inspiration years ago. She's the reason I picked up the guitar and taught myself to play," Nelson said.
The young artist went on to say that while she draws inspiration from many of these acts, she herself does not sound like any of them.
"I don't try to sound like any other artist. I think I just sound like me," she said. "If you recognize my speaking voice, you'll know my singing voice."
Nelson said that she is balancing a busy travel schedule that bolsters her young career with all of the fun of her final year of secondary school.
"We just keep a calendar and make sure we know what school activities I have, and what weekends I have free to plan to sing somewhere," she said. "As much as I love to sing, I don't want to miss any of the special things that will be happening during my last year in high school."
She recently provided co-lead vocals for one track on a country gospel music album produced by Grammy-winning artist Sidney Cox.
"Sidney and his family recently joined our church and he and our music minister Todd DuBose wanted to put out a great southern gospel CD, and they asked me to be a part of it," Nelson said. "I've done some recording at home, but this was my first time to be in a professional recording studio, and I loved everything about it! The whole process was really fascinating. I can't wait for the CD to be released because it is going to be awesome! All the songs on it are great!"
To get a sneak peek at Meredith Nelson's music, go to www.youtube.com/meredithnelsonband.
For more information about the SouthArk Outdoor Expo, visit www.southark.edu/expo.

culver tracy sterlingAccording to those who knew him best, Maj. Ronald Wayne Culver was not only a dedicated serviceman, but also a dedicated contributor to the El Dorado community. In his memory and honor, the Hero 5K Run-Walk at the South Arkansas Community College Outdoor Expo has been named for him this year.

The 5K is one component of the annual Expo that seeks to remind audiences of the role of national and community service. The event's date each year falls near the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, and portions of the event center around the Arkansas 9.11 Memorial located at the El Dorado Conference Center on the campus of South Arkansas Community College.

Culver was an El Dorado resident and a member of the U.S. Army National Guard deployed to Iraq in 2010 when he was killed after his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. Culver, second in command of the Shreveport, La.-based 2nd Squadron of the 108th Cavalry Regiment, had been in the military for 22 years, with three separate tours of duty in Iraq dating all the way back to Desert Storm in the early 1990s.

He was highly-decorated during his years in the Guard, receiving among other honors the Combat Action Badge, Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Louisiana War Cross, Louisiana Cross of Merit and Louisiana Commendation Medal.

His unit responded numerous times to state emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina and several others.

"I will always remember his sense of humor, sound counsel and his constant concern for soldiers," squadron commander Lt. Col. William Rachal said at the time of Culver's death.

His full-time job was as the accounting supervisor at AmerCable in El Dorado, and he volunteered time with Camp Fire, 4-H and Boy Scouts of America. Culver was an Eagle Scout himself.

"Naming the Hero 5K for Major Wayne Culver is one way our community can continue his life and legacy of leadership and service," race organizer Dr. Sterling Claypoole said. "What an honor to know that a true American Hero was, and still is, a part of the El Dorado community."

Culver's wife Tracey Culver and daughter Michelle were in attendance for a private meeting recently in which a promotional poster bearing the late major's image first was revealed.

"We thank Tracy Culver and her family for allowing us to recognize Major Culver's service to our country," Outdoor Expo chair Greg Withrow said. "It is an honor for us to name this race in his memory as we recognize his courageous spirit in preserving our country's freedom."

The race will begin on the northeast corner of the El Dorado Conference Center property at 7:30 on the morning of the Outdoor Expo on Sept. 14. The cost to enter is $20 by Sept. 9 and $25 afterward up through race day. For more information, visit www.southark.edu/expo.

shari-balesWhile Shari Bales is a veteran musical performer, having won the talent competition of the Miss Arkansas Pageant twice in the late '90s, her professional singing career is hitting a new gear with the recent signing of her first recording contract.
The Hot Springs native, one of the many acts featured at this year's SouthArk Outdoor Expo on Sept. 14 at the El Dorado Conference Center, brings her Southern rock stylings to independent E-Mic Records. She inked the deal over the summer, the result of what she said was "a longtime goal."
"Signing with the label will facilitate the making of a complete album along with promoting my music career," she said.
She has built a following through playing regional venues and by effective use of social media, with an active Twitter feed, Facebook Page and YouTube Channel to go along with her own website. She's also a familiar voice on Reverb Nation, Twit Music and other music-sharing sites, where she has grown in popularity with country-rock fans. This will be Bales' first show in El Dorado.
Standing out in a crowd is nothing new for Bales, who is one of nine children in her family.
"I have two half siblings who grew up in California and six full siblings who grew up in the same household with me," she said, adding that her house had three bathrooms. "Because of my having grown up in such a large family, I have learned to be quite frugal and highly considerate to those around me. I wouldn't trade my family for the world."
Bales often uses her big voice to take on rock classics like Heart's "Barracuda" and Alannah Myles' "Black Velvet," but says that her musical influences range from Beverly Sills to Reba McEntire—even Frank Sinatra.
"As far as my favorite song of all time, I would be extremely hard-pressed to narrow it down to a single composition," she said. "Both men and women have influenced my musical preferences. I enjoy many types of music and continually find myself 'loving' new songs and rediscovering ones I had forgotten."

El Dorado Insider's Guide
Fall 2013
Inside Events
Outdoor Expo
Head: The Great Outdoors
Subhead: The SouthArk Outdoor Expo is a full day of hands-on activities for outdoors enthusiasts of all ages
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You know autumn is in the air when the South Arkansas Community College Foundation presents the annual Outdoor Expo, a celebration of South Arkansas' rich heritage of outdoor recreation. Slated for September 14, this full day event is about much more than just hunting and fishing, with activities for all ages, plenty of entertainment and competitions for cash and prizes. "The SouthArk Outdoor Expo is a great community and college event," says event chair Greg Withrow. "We are proud and honored that the Tom Loftin Construction Company, for the second year, is sponsoring the Outdoor Expo. They are dedicated to education and providing support to our community."

The day starts with the Hero 5K Run/Walk, while cookers in the Phil Herring Rib Cook-off begin executing their secret recipes and competitors vie for cash and prizes at the Outdoor Photo Contest and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Duck Calling Contestants. The El Dorado Conference Center will be filled with outdoor-related vendors, and (outdoor) activities will include the Arkansas Army National Guard Climbing Wall, a demonstration by chainsaw wood carver Scott Winford, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission aquarium, hunter education, inflatables for the kids, (hands-on archery with the Oak Ridge Bowhunters), the Model Aviators of South Arkansas, and (much more). Live musicians will entertain the crowd throughout the day, with headliner Jason D. Williams, popular boogie-woogie and rockabilly piano entertainer, taking the stage at 2:00 p.m.

Proceeds from the Outdoor Expo benefit educational scholarships for students and general operations of the SouthArk Foundation. "We started this event fifteen years ago on the back parking lot of the college with a few exhibits and cooking teams," says Cynthia Reyna, Director of the SouthArk Foundation and External Funding. "Last year, we hosted over 65 vendors and exhibitors, 40 cooking teams, over 350 volunteers from the college and community."

Insider Info

Admission is one canned good or packaged food item, which will be donated to a local food pantry.

Visit www.southark.edu/expo for information on becoming a vendor or entering the Phil Herring Rib Cook-off, the Outdoor Photo Contest, the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Duck Calling Contest and the Hero 5K Run/Walk.

ambassdrs cynthia karen charlie friends

Dr. D'Orsay and Karen Bryant host the Foundation Holiday party at their home.

Christy Wilson awarded the Tom Baumgarder Students' Choice Award. This award is given to the SouthArk Faculty person who is chosen by students as the most helpful.

expo-flyerRockabilly music phenomenon and local piano legend Jason D. Williams will return home to headline the SouthArk Outdoor Expo, an effort of the South Arkansas Community College Foundation, on Sept. 14 at the El Dorado Conference Center.

The Expo is aimed at outdoor sporting enthusiasts, with attractions like a rib cook-off, archery demonstrations, model aviation, an outdoor photography contest, a 5K run and a duck-calling contest. But the Expo, in its 15th installment, has developed into an event with broader appeal, with vendors and exhibitors from many different walks of life. It has grown into one of the biggest festivals on the area's calendar.
"We started this event in the late '90s on the back parking lot of the college with a few exhibits and a handful of cooking teams," SouthArk president Dr. Barbara Jones said. "Last year we hosted more than 65 vendors and exhibitors, 40 cooking teams and more than 350 volunteers from the college and community."

Williams, who takes the stage at 2 p.m., is just one of a long list of musical performers that also includes southern rock performer Shari Bales, country artist Meredith Nelson, bluegrass band the Goat Pilots and the University of Monticello Jazz Band.
The Phil Herring Rib Cook-Off carries a top prize of $1,000 and other cash prizes. The entry fee is $100 per team; deadline is Aug. 30.
Additionally, there will be a drawing for an official Phil Robertson recliner by Best Home Furnishings, presented by Herring Furniture. Robertson is one of the stars of the hit TV series "Duck Dynasty."

1southark-nelsonThe Outdoor Expo Photograph Contest carries a $200 best-of-show prize plus cash prizes in four categories (people in the outdoors, wildlife, flora, scenes). The entry fee is $5 per photograph; deadline is Sept. 12.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Duck-Calling Contest has a $200 top prize for teams, $100 for adults and $50 for youth, with cash prizes to third place in each division. The entry fee is $40 per team, $25 per adult and $5 per child; deadline is 11 a.m. on Sept. 14.
Registration for the Maj. Ronald Wayne Culver Hero 5K Run-Walk is $20 by Sept. 9 and $25 thereafter, up to the day of the event. It begins at 7:30 a.m. on the northeast corner of the conference center property.

Expo organizers still are accepting vendor registrations; the deadline is Aug. 15.

"The SouthArk Outdoor Expo is a great community and college event. It is the mission of the Foundation board of directors that we make this event informative, fun and educational for outdoor enthusiasts and the whole community," event chair Greg Withrow said. "We are proud and honored that Tom Loftin Construction, for the second year, is sponsoring the Outdoor Expo. They are dedicated to education and providing support to our community."

Admission to the Expo is one canned or packaged food item, which will be donated to a local food pantry.
"We are thankful to local individuals, businesses and industries for their generous sponsorships which allow us to make this event so successful," Withrow said.

Proceeds from the day's activities benefit SouthArk students through scholarships and other efforts of the SouthArk Foundation.
"It's a wonderful event that raises much-needed funds for the benefit of our students," SouthArk president Dr. Barbara Jones said.
For more information about the SouthArk Outdoor Expo, see www.southark.edu/expo or email Cynthia Reyna at creyna@southark.edu.

Jonathan E. Grayson, a computer engineering technology major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted an Island Memorial Scholarship to attend the school in the fall.

Grayson is a 2001 graduate of Arlington (Texas) Martin High School. He is a member of Phi Beta Lambda at SouthArk.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Holly Pill of Crossett has accepted an E.W. Pickering Endowed Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado in the fall.
Pill is a 1983 graduate of Crossett High School.
The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Rosalin Broadnax, a business administration major at South Arkansas Community College, has accepted a James Family Endowed Scholarship to attend the college in the fall.

She is a 2004 graduate of El Dorado High School.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

Zanna Linder of Hamburg has accepted the Melba Tatum Nursing Endowed Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado in the fall.

Linder is a registered nursing major at SouthArk and a 2002 graduate of Hamburg High School.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

blackman rachelRachel Blackman, a 2006 graduate of Parkers Chapel High School, has accepted a Lucy Ring Academic Excellence Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College in the fall.

She is a nursing major at SouthArk, where she is a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

billings rubyRuby Billings, a 1988 graduate of Smackover High School, has accepted an Alpha Xi Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College in the fall.

She is an administrative assistant technology major at SouthArk, where she is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Phi Beta Lambda.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation

daniels terronTerron Daniels, a 2003 graduate of El Dorado High School, has accepted a Lucy Ring Academic Excellence Scholarship to attend South Arkansas Community College in the fall.

She is a practical nursing major at the college.

The scholarship is funded through the SouthArk Foundation.

The South Arkansas Community College spring concert Something for Everyone is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 30 at the El Dorado Conference Center.
It will cover a wide range of musical tastes, from jazz to classical and many points in between.
Free and open to the public, the concert will feature the SouthArk Choral Society, SouthArk Singers and SouthArk Chamber Singers, and is directed by Victoria Harden..
The South Arkansas Arboretum has extended open hours to 7 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time. Some flowers are in full bloom now at the Arboretum.
The Arboretum is managed by South Arkansas Community College.

The South Arkansas Community College Relay for Life Poker Run will take place on Saturday, April 13 starting at 9am at the SouthArk Gym at 311 South West Avenue. Entry fee if $25 and $10 for each additional hand. Winning hand takes 10% of the pot!

Free T-shirts to the first 50 registrants.

All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

Pre-registration is not required but it is available at SouthArk's Foundation office in the Administration Building, 300 South West Avenue. For more information call Becky Riggs at 864.7146 or Cynthia Reyna at 864.7130.

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