It has been said that a noble life has been led if one leaves the world even a tiny bit better than they found it. Your Parks and  Recreation Department hopes to apply that to our community. We aim to enhance our small town not just by providing events and programs meant to return annually, but also by training you to carry on the community-building spirit by joining it and by passing it on to the younger generations. 

That way, years after our service ends, the positive effects will not only remain but will be more likely to live on as an unending inherited tradition.

This effort is not new. I am the product of the community builders of the 1980s. 

They include — of course — my mom and dad, who volunteered with scouts groups among a litany of other things, along with Ruby Penn and Libby Beckett.  

Those community builders also include Hurd Playhouse volunteers like Mary Jane Scheuth and JoEllen Johnson and John McLaren; the Paul Sullins Library summer reading program leaders and city softball and baseball summer leagues coaches; and the likes of Janie Buck who hosted community art classes, Nancy Horton who volunteered her musical gift of piano playing, Janice Clark and Nancy Toon, who kept the importance of the Wiggins Cabin in our sights. 

And we cannot forget Sylvia White — along with her sorority ladies — who to this day display hospitality and benevolence through their Christmas Dove Tree campaign for Senior Citizens,  or the numerous homeroom moms at Anderson Elementary School like Judy Stagg, Barbara Bouie and Sue Rainwater. 

The list goes on to such lengths I am left with gratitude so vast my human ability to grasp it once again fails.

Once the buck of community is passed on, it is the responsibility of those who receive it to keep it going. And so, enter our endeavour to train you, Crossett, to host events and lead beautification projects. We can do this alone or we can do it better together. 

I have not spoken about the Movement in Crossett for some time. That is not indicative of its absence. The flow of positive energy continues and has grown from a community feeling grateful to a community feeling the need to take action. Months ago, I passed the lead torch of the monthly Crossett Farmers Market Crafters’ Fair to neighbor Pamela Lochala who has done a fine job at continuing this community building event. 

Just last month, Chancie “Speedy” Williams hosted a friendly community kickball game, and Jimmy Avant spoke of doing the same. Before that, area off-roaders gathered at the Clemmie Wimberly and Casey Jones ballparks for a day of connecting with each other and nature while riding the backroads together. Neighbors Jeff and Mandy Tanksley have partnered with Doris McAllister at MaxBowl to host a bowling tournament next month with half the proceeds going to the Junior Auxillary’s Angel Tree and half going to the Crossett foodbank. The outpouring of volunteerism is happening. Are you catching the wave? 

Are you volunteering for our events? Are you coming to them? Are you hosting your own?  If yesterday’s community builders are done, are today’s taking up the call? If you need direction in doing this, just call us at 870-500-0303 and we will let you know where you are needed. 

Upcoming events from Parks and Recreation and other civic groups include the November Crossett Farmers Market Crafters’ Fair on the 28th, Downtown Christmas in Crossett for shoppers on Dec. 4, Christmas in Crossett with the Christmas Parade and Crossett Farmers Market Crafters’ Fair Dec. 5, A Very Wiggins Christmas on Dec. 12, and Painting For a Paws also on Dec. 12.

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