Rural Missouri - July 2011 - (Page 5)

Hart to Heart Help rebuild Joplin his year, Missouri has found itself squarely in the bull’s-eye of an unprecedented number of damaging weather events. There have been so many storms and so much destruction that the federal government issued a disaster declaration that covers events that took place from April 19 through June 6. The flooding in southeast Missouri caused more than a million dollars in damage to SEMO Electric Cooperative. And on three separate occasions, electric cooperatives in Missouri have come to the aid of Black River Electric. But nothing compares to the devastation that hit Joplin on that Sunday afternoon, May 22, when an EF5 tornado destroyed 30 percent of the city. We’ve all seen the photos and videos that show miles of destruction. The before-and-after shots are especially poignant. Recently, I watched a YouTube video with a song performed by one of Joplin’s own, Kenny Foster. In it, he sings about his hometown while photos of some of the 150-plus victims flash by. What a tribute to those who lost their lives! And what a reminder that it could have been us. It’s hard to find anyone in Missouri who wasn’t touched by the tragedy T by Barry Hart or who doesn’t know someone who is now suffering. While the tornado did not do much damage to the electric cooperatives located in the area, many employees lost homes or had family members who lived in harm’s way. The tornado united the state in a way that only tragedy can. Within hours, efforts were underway to help Joplin rebuild. I was impressed at the way Gov. Jay Nixon took charge of the recovery effort, setting up a day of prayer and remembrance and promising Joplin would rise again. U.S. Rep. Billy Long used his auctioneer skills to raise $25,000 for the effort. So much food and clothing was donated that officials quickly put out the word that these items were no longer pri- orities. Instead, cash donations were stressed. Cash drives organized by clubs, media and church groups got underway. And volunteers poured into Joplin to assist in the cleanup. These volunteers report that Joplin residents fear they will be forgotten now that attention has focused elsewhere. We know that the real work of rebuilding is just getting started. Those who lost so much are only now able to assess what they need to get their lives back on track. Let’s all redouble our efforts to help. Here are a few groups you can trust: • The Red Cross is always there during disasters, but its resources are being stretched thin by all of these crises. You can donate to the Red Cross by visiting “One of the great blessings of living in Missouri is knowing you can turn to neighbors during times of great need.” Barry Hart or calling 1-800-733-2767. You can also text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. • The Salvation Army is providing emergency relief services to survivors and first responders of the Joplin tornado. Text “Joplin” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Or you can call 1-800725-2769 or donate online at www. • Convoy of Hope, a faith-based group that helps with disaster relief, is another good group to support. You can find more info about this group at • Those wanting to help might want to visit this Facebook page: www. • One of the best sources I’ve seen for Joplin relief information is, a website set up by the successful community outreach group Bright Futures. This site is designed for both those affected by the tornado and those who want to help. One of the great blessings of living in Missouri is knowing you can turn to neighbors during times of great need. Let’s all extend our helping hands to Joplin, with the knowledge that they would do the same for us if our roles were reversed. Hart is the executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Guest Column Help the best get better E by Frank Stork ach of us with a connection to the Missouri State Fair now has an opportunity to become a member of the Missouri State Fair Foundation. The foundation is an independent, not-for-profit entity dedicated to preserving the rich heritage and traditions of the Missouri State Fair. For the first time in its proud history, the foundation is offering individual and corporate memberships at different levels. Annual membership dues are tax deductible and offer generous benefits to members. For detailed information on how to become a member and to learn more about the mission of the foundation, visit the group’s website located at At the website, you will discover that funds raised through the foundation are critical to the annual maintenance and improvement of Missouri State Fair facilities. While annual appropriations are made by the state legislature, additional funds from the Missouri State Fair Foundation are needed to meet annual capital requirements. The stated mission of the foundation is “to preserve, improve and perpetuate the rich heritage of the Missouri State Fair for future generations.” Said another way, the foundation’s goal is to recognize the proud heritage of the Missouri State Fair and to build on past achievements. This continuing mission will ensure that future generations will derive benefits from the numerous and varied activities of the fair. Our Missouri State Fair is an institution that is firmly embed- ded in the bedrock of Missouri cultural history. Much more than our state’s premier agricultural event, the Missouri State Fair is the “showcase for the best” of agriculture, our state’s largest industry. The Missouri State Fair is a celebration focused on blue-ribbon excellence. Our state fair is a family tradition with more than 100 years of success in providing present and future leaders with a quality education, keen competition and good clean family entertainment. Throughout the history of the Missouri “Our Missouri State Fair is an institution that is firmly embedded in the bedrock of Missouri cultural history.” Frank Stork JULY 2011 State Fair, thousands of 4-H and FFA members have been encouraged to bring the fruits of their labor to compete in the livestock show ring and other exhibit facilities. Missouri State Fair competition and recognition provides each new generation with strong motivation to achieve a foundation for successful leadership. For the first time, all of us have an opportunity to rejuvenate our “Blue Ribbon State Fair Memories” by becoming a member of the Missouri State Fair Foundation. For more information on how to join this effort, simply go to the website or contact the foundation office at 2503 West 16th St., Sedalia, MO 65301. You also can call 660-827-8120 or send an e-mail to msffoundation@ Your annual membership in MSFF guarantees you many rewards, plus an opportunity to assist those who strive to achieve their very best. Stork is a former manager of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and a member of the Missouri State Fair Foundation Board of Directors. 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2011

Rural Missouri - July 2011
Table of Contents
Raising the Great White Arabia
Now showing: rural broadband
Missouri snapshots
Out of the Way Eats
The changing tide
Pyrotechnic pros
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Sting of relief
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - July 2011