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.

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.

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.

Future of the Ozarks: Hollister High School Siblings Ranked No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the Senior Class

Four seniors from the same family will graduate together from Hollister High School in May.

If that is not remarkable enough, the Schultz siblings — Michael, 18, and triplets Allison, Brooklyn, and Samantha, 17 — are academically ranked No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the Class of 2022.

The four, born just eight months apart in 2003, are student leaders who have made their mark in different ways.

“As a group, they set an example for the other kids in the building because of that drive, because of that work ethic, because of that character,” said Principal Jared Terry. “No matter what they’re in, they’re in a leadership position.”

Terry said the siblings have a variety of interests and have found ways to stand apart.

“They’ve each found their own little niche but collectively they just bring so much to our student body,” he said. “They’re really kids that you can point (out) to freshmen and sophomores and say ‘Hey if you want to be successful, look at them and follow their lead.'”

All four are in the National Honor Society and have packed resumes based on involvement in a wide range of student groups. Here are the highlights:

Allison, the valedictorian, is the color guard captain in the marching band, which competed at high levels this year. She is on the student council and secretary of the Future Business Leaders of America.

“I’m in AP,” she said, of advanced placement courses. “My biggest accomplishment is AP. I pretty much pushed for an AP Calculus II class.”

She plans to study accounting or finance and was recently admitted to the University of Notre Dame. She was selected in the first round, one of 1,675 students picked from the 9,683 applicants.

Samantha ranked No. 2 in the class, is president of FBLA, dance coordinator for the student cabinet, and performed in show choir. She is part of the agronomy team, which went to nationals last year.

“That was a really big accomplishment,” she said. “This year we are hoping to go as far.” She plans to study interior design or plant science at the University of Arkansas.

Ranked No. 3 in class, Brooklyn is editor-in-chief of the yearbook and an accomplished photographer who has worked with the Branson Globe and Branson Tri-Lakes News.

“I’ve had a Facebook page called Brooklyn Schultz photography for three years now,” she said. She is frequently booked for shooting senior pictures, engagement photos, and local events.

She plans to study journalism and has been accepted to the University of Missouri. Her goal is to work internationally as a photojournalist.

Michael, the student body president, is ranked No. 4 in the class. He has played football as well as basketball and golf.

He was selected to attend Missouri Boys State and be part of the Missouri Leadership Seminar. The Academic All-State student-athlete wants to study law.

“I received my congressional nomination from Billy Long to get the chance to apply to the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the United States Military Academy,” he said this week. “I will find out if I get into either of them anywhere from January to April.”

‘Grandma prayed too hard’

The story of the family starts in Doniphan, nestled in the Ozark foothills in the southeast part of Missouri.

The parents, Stan and Kathy Schultz, already had son Patrick — currently a student at Benedictine College — when they welcomed Michael in April 2003.

Three months later, Kathy went to the hospital thinking she had a bad stomachache.

“She was like ‘Doctors I don’t know what is happening’ and then they had an ultrasound and they’re like ‘Well, actually you’re pregnant — and, wait, with triplets,'” Samantha said. “My grandma prayed for girls and they got girls.”

Brooklyn added: “We always say ‘My grandma prayed too hard.'”

Twins and triplets do not run in the family so the surprise was overwhelming at first. The pregnancy was difficult.

The triplets arrived on Dec. 21, three months early, but just in time for Christmas. Samantha was first, followed quickly by Allison. They each weighed 2 pounds, 7 ounces. Brooklyn, at just 1 pound, 6 ounces, was last.

There were serious health complications. Allison and Samantha remained in the hospital until early February. Brooklyn did not get to go home until mid-March.

Of Brooklyn, Michael said: “Her middle name is Faith because she had a life-saving surgery on Christmas Eve.”

That night, in the hospital room, the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” was playing.

“So, we watch it every year now,” Brooklyn said.

‘We want to do our own thing’

Despite having triplet girls and a son less than a year apart in age, the siblings said their parents raised them as individuals.

Each child has their own room. The triplets share a striking similarity but do not look or dress identically. With vastly different styles, they rarely share clothes.

They have sidestepped other multiple-birth clichés as well, like trying to fool teachers by swapping classes.

“We were so adamant when we were younger, and still now, that we want to do our own thing,” Samantha said. “We all have completely different interests.”

Their parents also insisted the children do their best, explore their talents and find ways to give back.

“They say all the time ‘We are not going to get mad at you for getting a slightly lower grade than you always get,” Samantha recalled. “But, we are going to get mad at you if you don’t try.”

Michael said his parents set high expectations with their example. “Our mom got all As from fourth grade through college and our dad is an engineer. Part of the drive is from them.”

The seniors were in fifth grade when the family moved to Hollister.

The parents relocated to the community based on academic and extracurricular options available in the school district.

“When we moved in, we were included in everything right off the bat,” said Michael. 

The four siblings believe their close relationship and competitiveness have helped them all excel academically.

“It’s like a game,” Samantha said.

Allison added: “We’re competitors. We’re pretty much just pushing each other all the time to be better because we don’t want to be the worst.”

Despite being the oldest, Michael was not as competitive at the start of high school.

“Freshman year, I was 26th in class,” he recalled. “On our first report card, they were all, like, I don’t know, top 5 or something.”

Allison added: “We made fun of him quite a bit.”

Michael interjected as the others laughed: “They absolutely ripped me to shreds, OK? I have not gotten anything other than an A+ since my freshman year.”

‘Cherish those conversations’

Over the years, the family has created many traditions but the most important may be at the dinner table.

“We all eat dinner together,” said Brooklyn, noting their grades are a frequent topic, especially when two or more siblings are in the same class.

All four of the siblings work part-time jobs in the area at places such as Silver Dollar City, Chick-fil-A, and Top of the Rock.

The siblings said dinner occurs when everybody is finally home from school or work —even if it’s not until 8 p.m.

“That is something my parent’s stress … Even if we’re mad at each other, we’re going to sit down and have a family meal together,” Samantha said.

“It has brought us so close and I will always cherish those conversations.”

With graduation just five months away, the reality of parting soon has hit each one of the siblings.

They have tough classes, leadership positions in extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs.

But they have been making time to get together this year. And they’ve been celebrating each other.

“Our whole lives we’ve been trying to be different from each other,” said Brooklyn. “Like he’s a history buff. We have an art person, we have a math person, an English person.”

During an interview with the News-Leader, the four took turns bragging on each other and pointing out accomplishments others forgot or were too modest, to mention.

The siblings said they realize the constant togetherness — and all the support and the motivation they’ve gained from it — will be gone, or at least different, next year.

In the fall, they’re planning to be on college or military campuses hundreds of miles apart. They are enjoying the time they have now.

“Us girls will go eat breakfast in the morning. We’ll have study sessions at the Landing (in Branson). We’ll have, like, random 2 a.m. talks in somebody’s room,” Samantha said. “That is what I am going to miss the most.”

Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. 

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.

LEGACY ACADEMY RAISES $50,000 IN FUNDRAISER

Branson, MO — Legacy Academy, a classical Christian education school, raised $50,000 in a BINGO fundraiser to help families provide uniforms in the 2021- 2022 school year and to create a uniform scholarship fund. Using BINGO cards, participants earned money by performing curriculum-related tasks assigned a dollar amount. The fundraising effort was completed by the children attending Legacy Academy, their friends and families, and support from area businesses.

Dr. Tim Taylor, Secretary of the Board of Education and Headmaster at Legacy Academy, explained that a classical Christian education is rigorous and requires a concentrated focus on academics. To maintain this focus and limit distractions, Legacy decided to implement a uniform policy. “We are very serious about partnering with parents, and we didn’t want the financial burden of providing uniforms to be an obstacle for families,” Taylor said.

According to Taylor, the goal was to raise money to help parents purchase uniforms and to establish a scholarship fund to help future parents with financial needs. “We accomplished just that!” Taylor added.

The administration of Legacy Academy reached out to parents interested in forming a Uniform Fundraising Committee, and the response was overwhelming. “We are thrilled with the incredible success of this fundraiser. It really demonstrates the love and support our parents have for the school, and the community we have together” Kathryn Jones, Director at Legacy Academy said.

Jones continued to highlight the successful fundraiser:

  • A total of $50,000 was raised.
  • There was a 91% participation rate in the school.
  • 49 out of the 58 children who participated have their uniforms paid for.
  • A healthy scholarship fund was also created for families that need financial assistance to cover uniforms in the future.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped support our school as we work diligently to train Godly young men and women who will grow to lead and serve in our community. I am honored to be a part of the Legacy team,” Jones added.

Kristy Farris, Fundraiser Committee Chair, elaborated on the success of the school and community raising over $50,000 in 14 days. “I think we can all agree that God’s hands were all over this fundraiser. We are immensely grateful for all that Legacy represents as a growing, classical Christian school in our community!” Farris said.

Farris added that the fundraising committee was grateful to the business donations that helped this fundraiser as well. “What a fantastic area we live in, where Faith, Family, and Freedom, are truly lived every day! Thank you, Stonebridge Resort, Oakley Auto World, and Hogan Land Title, for your generous monetary support and for helping us #buildaLegacy!” she said. “A huge thank you also to these businesses that donated time, services, and products to our school: Branson Limousine & Executive Charter, The Track Family Fun Parks, Andy’s Frozen Custard, Reza Edge of Illusion Magic Show, Chick-fil-a Branson, Fritz’s Adventure, and Cakes n Cream 50’s Diner.”

On Friday, April 23, the entire school celebrated the success of the fundraiser with an assembly. The BINGO-themed fundraiser included unique incentives for the students as they continued their learning and raised funds for the school. Some of those incentives included getting to take their shoes off in class, silly stringing Dr. Taylor, and pieing their coaches.

Legacy Academy will add fifth grade next year (2021-2022) with a maximum class size of 18. There are openings available in Second, Third, and Fourth Grade. For more information on a classical Christian education, please email office@legacybranson.com, call 417-336-2139, or visit legacybranson.com.

About Legacy Academy

Legacy Academy is a private, classical Christian school in Branson, MO. In the spring of 2016, a small group of parents approached FBC Branson Pastor Neil Franks with the idea of starting a private Christian school.  Over the next several months, numerous conversations led to the birth of Legacy Christian Academy during the 2016-17 school year.  Legacy started at the First Baptist Church of Branson with a kindergarten class comprised of 6 students.  Having added one grade per year, today Legacy has 64 students in grades K-4.  The Legacy Board of Education is committed to the continued expansion of Legacy through grade 12.  Looking toward the future, our current fifth-grade class will be seniors during the 2028-29 school year, and the first graduation will take place in May 2029. 

“Legacy Academy exists to develop mature Christ-followers to be poured out as salt and light onto the world. Through academic excellence rooted in the classical model, we strive to partner with parents to provide a Christ-centered education, dedicated to shaping students’ affections toward that which is true, good, and beautiful.”

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Options Pregnancy Held Grand Opening for New Clinic in Forsyth

April 16, 2021

Options Pregnancy Clinic invited the public to the Grand Opening of their newest clinic location in Forsyth on Saturday, April 17, 2021. The new clinic is located at 10726 State Highway 76, about a mile and a half south of Highway 160.

The Grand Opening was held from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and included complimentary lunch and tours of the new facility. For more information, visit Options Pregnancy Clinic on Facebook @OptionsPregnancyClinic.

Gov. Parson Declares April as Month of the Military Child

April 13, 2021Governor Mike Parson issued a statewide proclamation last month declaring April as the Month of the Military Child. The proclamation pays tribute to military children across the State for their commitment and sacrifice as they support military service members in their families. In recognition of these children, businesses across the State are asked to hang purple ribbons at their entrances or in windows, and Missourians are encouraged to wear purple this Thursday, which has been designated “Purple Up Day,” the color that represents all branches of the military. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will soon be launching the State’s Purple Star School Program to spotlight schools that are committed to going above and beyond to welcome, embrace and support military children across the State.

Article by LifeFM 88.1 and klfcradio.com

New Use Found for Number One Crop in Missouri

April 14, 2021

Soybeans are the number one crop in Missouri. Now research is finding a use for crop residue; the stems, leaves and shells of soybeans, items that up to now have had no commercial value. Scientists at a research center in Kansas have found a way to use the residue to produce activated carbon material that can be used to make a new kind of battery that is more eco-friendly. The goal is to produce an efficient dual carbon battery that can be charged in just 10-15 minutes. The demand for all types of batteries is increasing 10% annually and has become a $100 billion industry globally.

Article from LIFE FM 88.1 and www.klfcradio.com.

Reeds Spring School District Receives Major Donation to Youth Activities Program

The Reeds Spring Youth Activities Program received a major boost, thanks to the family of a former employee. The Brown family donated $13,000 to the program in memory of the late John Brown, who was a longtime principal and coach at Reeds Spring Schools. The Reeds Spring Youth Activities Program offers football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, running, and cheerleading to students who attend Reeds Spring Schools.

John Brown