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Thumbs column

OPINION by Melinda Gassaway, guest column | May 4, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Bestselling author Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series always includes an interesting English-origin phrase or two. One of my favorites is, "Don't go over-egging the pudding," which means, "Don't exaggerate or embellish when stating one's case."

Via this editorial offing, we are simply pleased to recognize the contributions of Hot Springs residents who do so much to move our community forward.

And so we lead off today's column with a "Thumbs-up" to the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts Foundation for hosting the sixth annual Community of Learning luncheon on Friday, April 29.

"Investing in Tomorrow" was the theme for this year's on-campus gathering that featured Courtney Woods, Class of 1997, and watch officer, U.S. State Department of Operations, as keynote Visionary speaker, and Cameryn Berryhill, Class of 2022, also a Visionary speaker.

Special thanks to ASMSA Director Corey Alderdice and Stephanie Alderdice for their ongoing commitment to making the residential public high school one of the best of its kind in the country. Salutations as well to the local benefactors, businesses and organizations that support its educational mission.

Staying on the education front, here is another "Thumbs-up" to the good news that National Park College nursing and health sciences students were awarded 92 scholarships totaling $136,857 at the annual Nursing and Health Sciences Honors Day on April 14.

This year's event at the Frederick M. Dierks Center for Nursing and Health Sciences saw an increase of almost $61,000 in scholarship funds over 2021.

Appreciative applause is in order for the community groups and private donors who recognize the vital importance of health care workers in today's society.

Meanwhile, we give a "Thumbs-up" and "Thank you" to the show of support for the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund's annual benefit on April 19 at The Hotel Hot Springs & Spa. All proceeds from the luncheon go to help single parents continue their education. The nonprofit's last fundraiser was held on March 11, 2020 -- the day before the state shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, perseverance prevails and as Laura Lee Williard, ASPSF Ouachita Region program manager, noted, "Last year, the organization was still able to fund 89 scholarships totaling $93,000 in Garland County alone -- and even without a fundraiser."

A well-deserved "Thumbs-up" is due the Hot Springs Area Cultural Alliance for kicking off its Arts & The Park activities -- which go on through Sunday -- with the Hot Seats in Hot Springs 2022 launch party at Mid-America Science Museum on April 23.

The evening fete featured food fare, an exhibition and live auction of creative Adirondack chairs, a silent auction of artworks and numerous other items, and a special tribute to Hot Springs resident, Sunny Evans, recipient of the 2022 Arts Ambassador Award.

Plaudits to all of the artisans, the emcees and auctioneers, the Hot Seats Committee members, the Cultural Alliance Board of Directors, and the patrons who continue to expand the area's affinity for the arts.

On behalf of Hot Springs resident Dean Stafford, we give an additional "Thumbs-up" to the quality care he received during a medical emergency.

In his email, Stafford wrote, "I was recently taken by ambulance to National Park Medical Center. Health emergencies can be scary. I received excellent care from the EMTs and the emergency room staff. I stayed at NPC for three days and could not have asked for better attention. Mary Lambert, LPN, and other members of the nursing staff did an outstanding job. I will always be grateful.

"Thank you and God bless."

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 contact and verification purposes. This information is kept confidential.

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