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Staying informed and taking precautions are the guidelines of the day as Arkansans and fellow Americans confront the many challenges of a coronavirus pandemic.

As this national emergency weighs heavily on the minds of all citizens, it is still important to recognize the good works of our local residents.

And so we begin today's column with a big "Thumbs-up" to the organizers, sponsors, officers, committee members, models and volunteers who on March 12 presented another successful luncheon and style show to benefit the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Garland County.

The annual spring fete at Hot Springs Country Club was highlighted by the inspirational stories of Stephanie Thompson and Tyanny Osbourne, beneficiaries of the educational program.

Thompson is now the new co-chair of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Garland County's Council. Osbourne is a student at the SUM Bible College & Theological Seminary and was accepted into the scholarship program in the fall of 2018.

Here is another well-deserved "Thumbs-up" to the generosity of Hot Springs residents David and Sharon Turrentine for their $1 million endowment to the University of Louisiana Monroe. In honor of the couple, the university and the ULM Foundation have established the David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management.

The endowment funds will be invested and "about four or more students per semester will get a full scholarship for their college career."

An Entrepreneurship for Women scholarship also has been made possible by the couple's financial commitment to higher education.

By the same token, here is a "Thumbs-up" to the third annual Cherry Blossom Festival that recently drew a record crowd and raised more than $15,000 to help send Hot Springs students to Hanamaki, Japan, this summer.

Mary Zunick, executive director of the Hot Springs Sister City Program, said every seat on the second floor of St. Luke's Episcopal Church Parish Hall was sold out for the March 7 celebration. Attendees enjoyed Japanese food, art and musical performances.

Zunick noted that students, teachers, and chaperones had not yet purchased trip tickets "due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns."

Meanwhile, here is a "Thumbs-up" to National Park College's Cultural Diversity Awareness Club and Office of Diversity for recently saluting International Women's Day (March 8) with a Women of Distinction panel discussion and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

Three alumni -- Kristy Carter, director of Marketing for the Division of Outreach and Community Engagement at the University of Central Arkansas; Lenora Erickson, executive director for the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy; and Stephanie F. Rose, assistant professor of the University of Central Arkansas, Addiction Studies Program -- returned to campus to share their personal stories.

Our thanks to Darla Thurber, NPC's vice president of external affairs, and the NPC staff for arranging this program.

Turning to arts, here is a "Thumbs-up" to the recently announced restoration of a "whimsical wooden sculpture" that was displayed in the sculpture garden near Transportation Depot for 15 years.

The now weatherworn work, named "Crooked House," is being restored by Arkansas Career Development Center students working in the former U.S. Reserve Center Building at Reserve and Opera.

According to Anthony Whittington, Park and Trails director, the sculpture's artist is unknown. He said a staff member referred him to the ACDC construction technology program and its instructor, David Morrow.

The Thumbs Column appears in The Sentinel-Record the first and third Wednesday of each month. The newspaper welcomes readers' comments and suggestions, which should be submitted in writing with a telephone number and home address for verification and contact purposes. This information is kept confidential.

Editorial on 03/18/2020

Print Headline: Thumbs column

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