Seven “Every Day Heroes” were recognized April 7 at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner hosted by the Republican Party of Crawford County in the Commons of Van Buren High School.
Chair Debbie Atwell of the RPCC said the “Every Day Heroes” are community members who go out of their way to make life better in Crawford County.
“Every Day Heroes” were Shannon Smith, Marilyn Sneed, Eva White, Marla Keady, Colin Keady and Thell and Marjorie Ellison.
Atwell said Smith, mayor of Chester, serves her community through servant leadership, managing very limited city resources and leading volunteer community projects from renovating the community building and the farmers markets to pancake breakfasts, fireworks and Christmas parties to unite residents and build a strong sense of community for the people of Chester.
Smith was sponsored by Time Striping.
Sneed is a certified integrative nutrition health coach and worked at Coleman Pharmacy of Alma doing nutrition consultations, presentations and teaching diabetes classes at the Alma Public Library. She volunteers with her husband, Brad, doing Middle School ministry at Heritage United Methodist Church in Van Buren. She joined the Alma Area Chamber of Commerce board in 2017 and is the owner of Better Days Farm, selling fresh produce and teaching cooking classes.
Atwell said Sneed revitalized the Alma Farmers Market in 2017, was named Community Leader of the Year in February and was recently elected interim director of the Alma Area Chamber of Commerce.
She was sponsored by State Rep. Bruce Coleman.
White, Crawford County Library System director, has led the development of the library system in the past 19 years from eight employees and 60,000 items to 29 employees and more than 157,061 items in five new and expanded library locations across the county, Atwell said.
“Under Eva’s leadership, five of our towns benefit from newly built or renovated community libraries, bringing technology and literacy access to each community,” Atwell said. “She tried to retire on us once, and we were able to get her back. She’s talking like retirement is just around the corner.”
Pac Printers sponsored White.
Marla Keady serves her community on various community and regional fair boards and as pageant director extraordinaire, Atwell said.
“Marla volunteers and dedicates her time and talents to help our youth develop and showcase their skills and talents,” Atwell said. “Marla is a model of community service for us all.”
Not only does Keady serve the community by developing the talents and skills of young ladies in pageant work, she is joined by her son, Colin Keady, who is a leader in DECA and TARS, and who has contributed his time and talents with an impressive list of community service activities, Atwell said.
They were sponsored by Viacare.
Thell and Marjorie Ellison, husband and wife for 76 years, began married life in Uniontown on a small farm where they raised vegetables and cattle. Serving their church for years as deacon, and also in the choir and Sunday school, the Ellison’s family has now grown to more 100.
“Theirs is a marriage where God is revered and trusted to meet the needs that life brings,” Atwell said. “They represent the beauty of marriage and family values as a model for us all.”
The Ellisons were sponsored by Rep. Charlene Fite.
Gov. Asa Hutchison was the keynote speaker and Col. Nate Todd, director of the Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs, spoke on the history of the Republican Party.