Moving Prairie County Forward is on the Move Print
Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:20


Moving Prairie County Forward is on the Move


altThe effort that began many months ago to organize the different communities of Prairie County into a county-wide organization that could be a stronger and more effective voice to address issues of concern we all share is still a work in progress.  Sometimes things seem to slow for many of us, however, we are making progress and there are photos available on the MPCF Facebook Page identifying some of the ongoing work and one exciting presentation that certainly qualified as a morale booster! 

During our monthly meeting held this time in Des Arc at the offices of the Des Arc High School Superintendent Mr. Rick Burns, (a member of the Steering Committee), we paused from our mission of editing and adopting by-laws for the association to accept two separate grants to the MPCF.  We have a practice of rotating our monthly meeting; the last one was in Hazen and next month we will meet in DeValls Bluff.


Mrs. Amy Whitehead, our partner in this effort with the Center for Community Development at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR, also serves on the board of the Arkansas Community Development Society.  The Society had several groups to consider when making their grant decision.  They include those areas making progress toward economic development and in this round MPCF was awarded a $500.00 grant and Amy presented the check. Three members of our group had attended a meeting of the Society recently where they saw a presentation and did a walking tour of a project in Stuttgart called Let’s Paint Stuttgart.  With a small amount of money and a large amount of volunteerism, they literally gave Stuttgart Main Street a face-lift.  With building owners buying the paint and the volunteers doing the labor, they were able to paint over 40 buildings.  It has brightened the residential section and actually increased business activity in downtown Stuttgart.  Stacy Sawyer, a member of our Steering Committee submitted an essay to the Society about that project and how we might be able to draw from their successes and replicate it in Prairie County.  Stacy is to be commended for her initiative.

Another smiling face in the photos being circulated is that of Mr. Bill Arnold with the Bill and Sharon Arnold F


amily Foundation of DeValls Bluff.  The Arnolds and their son Curtis have a proud record of providing full college scholarships to many students from the schools of Prairie County.  The list of recipients and the level of funding they have provided to young people in this area is most impressive and no doubt will have a positive impact on many Prairie County families in the future.  In addition to their tremendous contribution to furthering education, the foundation has also invested heavily in highlighting the very interesting and exciting history of Prairie County’s role in its early days, particularly during the Civil War period.  They have erected some very attractive and factual monuments identifying that history and they have more installations planned for the future.  In discussing their efforts, the love and concern they have for Prairie County is obvious and also inspiring to others who dream of better times for our communities and for the days when more our youth can come home following their educational career and be able to raise their families here.  It is that great concern for this area that prompted the Arnold Family Foundation to present their $500.00 grant to MPCF.  We are so very grateful to the Society and the Arnold Family Foundation.  Having both grants awarded at the same time, from two distinct organizations who believe our effort to be a worthy one is even more inspiring.

Receiving the grant funds was a fine way to begin a meeting.  It seemed to help the attitudes of those who had to dive into the nitty-gritty part of our agenda of editing and trying to finalize a set a by-laws to govern our future endeavors.  Anyone who has ever been involved in by-law construction surely understands how this job is not about having fun.  But, we have some very qualified people on the Steering Committee and I’m convinced that our finished product will be a good document to guide us.  Susan Lisko has the task of recording edits and retyping the drafts and she plans to send them to the members electronically so we can be that much closer to finalizing the by-laws at our October meeting.


Submitted by,

Harvey Joe Sanner

(Reprinted from Grand Prarie Herald)