A ‘Legacy of Love” Quilt collection at C of O

‘A Legacy of Love’ quilt collection at C of O . The Ralph Foster Museum on the campus of College of the Ozarks has  a new quilt display.

The College of the Ozarks “A Legacy of Love” Quilting Collection went on display in the museum beginning Saturday, March 19, according to a press release from C of O. The collection was inspired by award-winning author and quilt historian Judy Howard’s quilt donation to the College in 2020, states the release.
The collection seeks to highlight an artform, which C of O says has seen interest waning in recent years. All the quilts and quilt tops have been acquired
by the museum by donations from estates, several of which were from the Midwest region of the United States. “The exhibit will feature quilts chosen from
the museum archives,” Director of Retail Operations at Ralph Foster Museum Kiley Hutcheson said. “(We) will display quilts of varying patterns
and stitch constructs, antique sewing machines, as well as historical recollections.”

The quilts in the exhibit are not available for purchase but the school does have other quilts which can be purchased online at www.store.cofo.edu or at The Keeter Center. For more information visit www.rfostermuseum.com or contact the museum at 417-690- 3407.

TangerKIDS Grants open for applications

By AJ Meakins
ajmeakins@bransontrilakesnews.com

TangerKIDS Grants open for applications
A Branson shopping destination, Tanger Outlets Branson announces applications are open for their 2022 TangerKIDS Grants.
Tanger Outlets Branson launched their TangerKIDS Grant program in 1996, with a mission of providing funding for schools in the community.
According to a press release from Tanger, the program serves future generations of leaders by providing funds for special programs at local schools
geared toward inclusivity. Applications are now open for this year’s grants, with program updates that further incorporate the company’s mission,
vision and values, states the release. Tanger Outlets invites teachers and other education leaders to identify and apply for grants meeting their school’s specific needs as they work to create a more productive and inclusive learning environment. In previous years, TangerKIDS Grants have funded notable projects,
programs and equipment for schools, including: – Branson Backpack Club Program – Reeds Spring Excellence in Literacy – Taneyville Sensory Lab

“Tanger Outlets Branson remains committed to ensuring local students and their schools receive the tools they need to make learning accessible and
inclusive,” Tanger Outlets Marketing Director Karen Foutch said. “Our goal is to open doors and inspire students, and the generous support from our shoppers
has been instrumental in helping us make a positive impact on the next generation.” The program is funded by Tanger shoppers, as $1 from every Tanger coupon
book sold at the center is donated toward the program. New in 2022, community members will also be invited to have a voice in selecting grant winners.
The annual program is open to public and private schools from pre-K to grade 12. Applications for 2022 will be accepted through June 30 and can
be submitted at grants. tangeroutlets.com. Recipients will be announced in August.

Gift bags brighten the days of cancer patients

By AJ Meakins
ajmeakins@bransontrilakesnews.com

Local resident, Rose Backlin, gives back to area cancer patients in honor of her father. Backlin began the ‘Don’t Give Up Gear’ program in the fall of 2020 and every three months gives out 30 bags with community-donated items to help put a
smile on the face of cancer patients at Branson Cancer Center. “These bags started in small makeup bags and have grown,” Backlin told Branson Tri-Lakes News. “The items always vary, but a few examples would be Fuzzy/Warm socks, Hats, Scarves, Snack Items, homemade rice heating pad, word search books, pens, Germ-x, lotion, stress balls, peppermints, small
sewing kits, first aid kits, and so many more. This program is to bring a smile to their face.” Backlin said her dad, the late Danny Pride, is her inspiration to give back. “He had cancer for many years and passed June 2020 due to cancer. Talking to his nurses at the Branson Cancer Center, they told me how he always made the other patients smile or would reach out to the
new patients when they were nervous to help ease their nerves or even try to encourage them,” Backlin said.

“They said he always had the best attitude no matter how his day was going. My Dad was always cracking a joke with people
around him, especially people he saw regularly or he was just being ‘ornery so these stories just made sense. After (he) passed I wanted to continue bringing smiles to those patients that are going through a rough time and could use that
small gesture to help them make it another day. My dad always thought the reason he could keep going on for so long with chemo was because of his attitude. Now I can help adjust someone else’s attitude.”

Cancer Center of Branson Oncology Patient Navigator Angelia Huels said she remembered Pride and the way he would be there for other patients. “(Rose) and (her) group that are thinking of these patients and families are a blessing and encouragement,” Huels said. “Just like (her) dad, who would come by and visit with people and encourage each of them in
some way.”

On March 16, Cox Medical Center Branson posted this on their Facebook page about Backlin’s program:
A loving legacy. An act of kindness. Our friend Rose started a tradition awhile back while her father was undergoing cancer
treatments. Every few months, she’d drop off goodie bags for our cancer patients crammed full of fun stuff like snacks, fuzzy socks and games. They bring the BIGGEST smiles. She lost her dad Danny but continues the tradition as a way to honor him. We hate cancer with our whole heart! As much as we also miss Danny, we love seeing Rose walk through our doors and the smiles she brings with her bags. Thank you for the joy! There are many things about the program Backlin says makes her feel
she is doing the right thing and gives her the joy of knowing what she does is rewarding. “The most rewarding part of this program is honoring my Dad first and watching his impact on others continue even though he is gone,” Backlin said. “Secondly, it’s simply knowing I made someone smile, cheered them up, or gave them encouragement to keep fighting.” Backlin’s gift bags
have been a beacon of kindness when times are dark for many patients and their families.

She recently had a Facebook message from someone whose mother was a patient at the Cancer Center of Branson. “Rose Backlin, I just want to thank you for doing this. One of the last conversations me and my mom had last year before she died was how a ‘sweet lady brought stuff in for everyone.’ You literally made her day with that, and it was hard for her to have good days being back on treatment,” the Facebook message read. Backlin said she has never kept count of how many bags she has given out but thinks it is between 150 to 180 so far. The community can help her with this mission by gifting items for the bags. “To help the program I am always looking for items to put in the bags. I request that there be 30 of each item so all the bags are the same and nothing perishable. Any item that would bring a smile or some encouragement would be appreciated,” Backlin said. “Eventually, I would love to be able to place restaurant and gas gift cards into the bags.” The bags are a way to pass along kindness to patients who are going through so much, Backlin said. “I would like everyone to know how thankful I am to have this support from the community. I started out with no intention besides passing on some kindness and smiles in my Dad’s honor,” Backlin said. “I can’t develop the words to describe how I feel for all this support or the feelings I get when I leave from dropping the bags off. It is indescribable!”

Backlin recently created a Facebook page called ‘Don’t Give Up Gear’.“The Facebook page is where I will be updating what the cancer patients are needing or wanting and when the collection dates will be.” For more information contact Rose through the Facebook page.

JATC’s ‘Tender Critters’ project continues

Junior Auxiliary of Taney County continues to supply “Tender Critters” to agencies that need something that offers comfort to children in trauma situations. Tender Critters are new 6” to 18″ stuffed animals that JATC collects or buys and donates to agencies that use them to help comfort children who are in trauma.  Holding a soft cuddly stuffed animal helps kids think of something other than what’s going on around them.  Last month JATC donated over 175 stuffed animals to the Cox Branson ER, the Taney County Sherriff’s Office, and the Taney County Health Department.

 When children face the confusing and often scary experience of a hospital emergency room visit or a hospital stay, or receiving a shot at the Health Department, a cuddly stuffed animal can be the difference between anxiety and reassurance. You can brighten a child’s day by donating one of these “Critters”.

 “Tender Critters” is one of the longest running projects for JATC, with members donating new stuffed animals at each of their monthly meetings.  This collection is a year-round effort and JATC invites members of the community to join us in brightening a child’s day by donating a “tender critter” at any time.  Just send a message to jatcmo@gmail.com, and a JATC member will contact you about picking up your donation.

 A special thanks to Legends in Concert who held their area appreciation for residents of Stone and Taney County last month.  Any guest who brought a new stuffed animal to donate to JATC’s Tender Critter project received a free upgrade to preferred seating. Close to 120 “Critters” were collected.

 JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it’s a group of women united by a single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County.  That’s the magic of JATC.  It was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1998 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County. JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi.  NAJA has more than 15,500 active, associate and life members in almost 100 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri,

Whatever It Takes fund provides lifeline for patients

Skaggs Foundation partners with social workers to help individuals recover at home

When a patient in the hospital is healthy enough to go home, sometimes the biggest barrier between them and the comforts of home is what they need when they get there.

“Oftentimes when patients are being discharged, they can’t safely go home without items like oxygen, medication or a walker,” explained Cox Branson Social Work Department Manager Janine Johns-Shaffer. “If a patient doesn’t have insurance, they have to pay out of pocket. For some patients, they simply do not have the funds to pay for those items.”

That is where Skaggs Foundation’s Whatever It Takes fund comes in to help.

“For individuals who have nowhere else to turn to pay for necessities, our Whatever It Takes fund provides a lifeline so that they can transition from the hospital to home,” said Skaggs Foundation President Meghan Connell. “We can’t think of a better name for the fund that literally was established to help with whatever it takes.”

The Whatever It Takes fund was created approximately nine years ago. Since that time, the Foundation has helped fill hundreds of needs for patients. Last year, the Foundation was able to bless 51 individuals through the fund.

“The Whatever It Takes fund is a lifesaver for some of our patients,” Shaffer said. “It is the difference sometimes between a patient being able to go home or having to stay in the hospital and when hospital beds are desperately needed, it is important that we get folks home when they are ready. It’s important for the hospital and it’s important for recovery of the individual.”

Shaffer said with the rising number of Covid-19 patients, the need for assistance with oxygen is growing.

“Patients who do not have insurance would have to pay out of pocket and for some, that is a huge burden,” Shaffer said. “The fact that we can get those folks a month supply of oxygen and they don’t have to stress about the cost, is a blessing.”

Shaffer said they have stories every day of people who had no other resource, helped through the Whatever It Takes Fund. 

“Many of the individuals we are helping have had to miss work, some are missing paychecks and would have to choose between buying a prescription or buying groceries,” Shaffer said.

“This fund is vital and we couldn’t do this without the generosity of our community,” Connell said. “The dollars donated to this fund go right back out into the community to help our friends and neighbors regain their health.”

To donate to the Whatever It Takes Fund, visit SkaggsFoundation.org.

Reeds Spring Teacher Receives Skaggs Legacy Endowment

A Skaggs Legacy Endowment will help kids in Reeds Spring to practice healthy lifestyles. The Skaggs Foundation awarded nearly $4,500 to Reeds Spring Middle School teacher Shane Corporon. He plans to build a frisbee golf course behind the school.

“I just wanted a space for kids to be able to play,” said Corporon. “This course will not only provide students with an opportunity to learn and practice healthy habits but will also provide our community with a new and fun activity that is great for all ages.”

The Reeds Spring area is full of recreational activities on the water but lacks parks, playgrounds, and other recreational resources for the community. This project will help address that need.

Frisbee golf is similar to regular golf. Players throw a frisbee toward a metal basket and count the number of throws it takes to hit the target. Coach Corporon plans to design a nine-hole course.

“For us to make a small contribution is a big deal,” said Skaggs Foundation Board Member Nita Jayne Ayres. “Small grants are sometimes, I feel, the most impactful.”

This endowment grant was one of 30 that The Skaggs Foundation awarded to organizations in Stone and Taney Counties to support community initiatives that improve health and wellness.

Branson Police Department Creates Model For Positive Change

Project funded by Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant

With funding from Skaggs Foundation in 2021, Branson Police Department launched a Regional Peer Support Team. The team is dedicated to helping Stone and Taney county first responders process personal issues and struggles associated with the traumatic events they respond to and manage through their careers.

“In its first year, the team has done incredible work getting the project up and going, which included a 3-day training seminar for 30 first local responders,” says Skaggs Foundation director of Community Relations Mindy Honey. “In just a matter of a few months, they are already making a huge impact. In year one, the peer support team was activated 17 times for individual and group crisis interventions, providing services to at least 46 first responders.” 

Now, the peer support team has been selected to lead a breakout session at the Missouri Crisis Intervention Training Conference in 2022. This gives the team an opportunity to share what they have learned through the process of creating the team which included bringing together numerous agencies that span two counties and multiple disciplines.

The hope is that the peer support team will become a model for positive change statewide in regards to mental health and first responders. 

“This is not a common model that is used, so by presenting at the conference we can hopefully encourage positive change statewide when it comes to mental health and first responders,” explains Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews.

Skaggs Foundation recently presented Branson Police Department with funding for the second year of the project. Funding for this project was made possible by Skaggs Foundation’s community grant-making program, Skaggs Legacy Endowment. Since 2013, Skaggs Foundation has awarded more than $7.1 million in Skaggs Legacy Endowment grants. To learn more about Skaggs Legacy Endowment, visit SkaggsFoundation.org.

To learn more about Branson Police Department, visit bransonmo.gov.

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Cutline: Skaggs Foundation Director of Community Relations Mindy Honey, center, and grants committee member Anne E McGregor, left, present a check to Branson Police Department and local first responders for the second year of a regional peer support team grant.

Five students attend Rotary Youth Leadership Award Academy

Five area students earned scholarships to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Academy from three area Rotary groups.

The academy is a three-and-a-half-day program focusing on Rotary’s “Service Above Self” philosophies, according to the academy website. Students participated in self-assessment personality programs, team building activities, and instruction and direction in service leadership from Rotary leaders.

“Going to RYLA was a life-changing experience, not only did it help grow my leadership skills, I also formed many valuable friendships along the way,” Abby Mulnik, a junior at Branson High School, told Branson Tri-Lakes News. “I am very grateful to the Branson Daybreakers Rotary Club for selecting me to be a part of the experience and helping contribute to my future in leadership.”

Mulnik and Caitlyn Matthews were sponsored by Branson Daybreakers Rotary, Israel Reynolds of Branson and Audrey Remenar of Cape Fair were sponsored by the Branson-Hollister Rotary Club, and Bertha Perez by the Hollister Rotary Club.

“Missouri RYLA was great, I met so new friends and was challenged beyond all expectations,” Matthews told Branson Tri-Lakes News. “It provided tools on how to be an effective leader and use my talents to bring people together for a common cause.  RYLA gave me tools to perform the best I can both on the Branson Band leadership team, in the classroom, and beyond.”

The RYLA Academy chooses students based on a desire to be a part of the program, their willingness to participate in all aspects of the program, and their commitment to serve upon returning to their home communities.

Bradleyville teacher nominated for national award

A Bradleyville teacher nominated for national honor by the Missouri State High School Activities Association. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, Bradleyville School District posted on their Facebook page, “On the 2nd Tuesday of each month, school districts around our region are celebrating #Teacherproud and honoring the teachers of their school district. Today, we want to honor our very own Mrs. Chris Sprague.” 

According to the post, each year the National Federation of State High School Associations asks each state to nominate an individual who has made outstanding contributions to interscholastic music activities within each state. It has been announced that this year, the Missouri State High School Activities Association has nominated Sprague for this award.  

“Congratulations Mrs. Sprague!,” the post said. “We are definitely proud of you and thankful for you!” 

Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks opens a new club in Crane, Mo.

CRANE, Mo. (KY3) – The Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks is opening a southwest Missouri club in Crane. The club will be located at the Crane Elementary School.

The organization held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new location Thursday.

Tracey Howard, a parent, says it’s always been a struggle for parents to find a place for their kids to go after school. Now, students will be provided a safe space to learn and grow outside of the normal school hours.

“This is also going to be very good for them to have extra help with any kind of schoolwork or anything like that,” said Howard.

Stoney Hays, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks, says the Crane School District doesn’t have school on Monday. That leaves an extra day for families to find supervision for their children.

”Our young people go unserved on Mondays. A lot of times they are staying at home alone,” Hays said.

Hays says that can create many challenges for students.

”That becomes part of the dangers of experimenting with drugs and alcohol and getting into other dangerous experiences that wouldn’t happen otherwise,” Hays said.

The Crane club is scheduled to open no later than January. It plans to serve 100 elementary-age students in the community.

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