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Thumbs column

OPINION by Melinda Gassaway, guest column | May 3, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

May days are here.

And hopefully, they will bring a plethora of balmy temperatures and a myriad of interesting and entertaining events for local denizens and visitors to enjoy.

But first, we begin today's column with a "Thumbs-up" to the six Hot Springs athletes competing in this week's Multisport World Championships on the Spanish island of Ibiza.

Amy and A.J. Johnson, Becka Gartner, Michelle Laux, Jess Soroka, and Kim McAllister, representing Team USA and the Spa City, will compete in San Antonio de Portmany on the Mediterranean Sea island. Amy Johnson is making her fifth world championships appearance.

Per last Sunday's Page One news story in the hometown newspaper, the Multisport World Championships are held in three cities on the island.

Best wishes to these outstanding team members.

We send out another "Thumbs-up" and a "Well done" to Lakeside High School EAST members Abby Brown, a junior, and McKinley Langley, a freshman, for organizing a donation drive for victims of the recent tornadoes in central and northeast Arkansas.

Recognizing the need to assist the storm victims, Brown and Langley contacted their EAST friends at Wynne High School to see what relief items were most crucial. They also received some guidance from the Wynne High School EAST facilitator.

Lakeside Junior High School facilitator Paul Blissit, students Lola Haley and Josie McAfee, Brown, and McKinley, delivered the collected goods to Wynne.

Brown commended the Lakeside community for its support and Lakeside High School EAST facilitator John Stokes said the experience of collecting the items and visiting the school and their friends will be beneficial to the students.

Meanwhile, a "Thumbs-up" to the awarding of $133,735 in scholarships to nursing and health science students during the recent Nursing and Heath Sciences Honors Day event at National Park College.

Some 175 scholarships to students in the Frederick M. Dierks Center for Nursing and Health Sciences were made possible through the generosity of community organizations and private donors, many of whom are NPC alumni.

As we know, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and pharmacies in Arkansas and elsewhere are in dire need of well-educated and dedicated personnel.

Staying on the aforementioned subject, we say, "Thumbs-up" and "All the best" to Sallie Culbreth who will become executive director of Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinics on June 1. She has been CCMC's community engagement director since 2018, helping develop new programs and being involved in all aspects of its mission.

Continued best wishes and many thanks to Kim Carter, CCMC executive director since 2019, leading the nonprofit through the pandemic and enlarging its mission focus on poverty and advocacy. She will transition to a new role as finance and compliance administrator.

Hot Springs is indeed most fortunate to have such caring and qualified individuals involved in the good works of CCMC.

And now we wrap up this digit-doings offering by giving a "Thumbs-up" to Herbert Rogers of Hot Springs Village.

Rogers' letter to the editor saluting Meals on Wheels appeared in last Sunday's Viewpoints section of our newspaper and complimented the services of the organization that "furnishes daily food for folks who are unable to live at home without good people like you showing you care."

We thank Rogers for reminding us of the assistance proferred by Meals on Wheels and other charitable groups committed to helping our citizens.

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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