As the holidays near, the busiest time of the year’s upon us

By Jo Ellen Dale

The siblings and their spouses of the Stoenner family enjoyed a week together in Branson the first week in November. There was lots of visiting, reminiscing and eating along with attending three very good shows. Among them was the Andy Williams show, but without Andy who has announced that he is being treated for bladder cancer.
Family members present were Jessamine and Jack Layman of Independence, June and Bert Harrison of Richmond, Jim and Dina Stoenner of Mt. Horeb, Wis. and Billie Hamann of Richmond. It was a special time for the family as they were celebrating Jim’s recovery from multi-myeloma.
This has been a busy week and looking at my calendar I see no hope for things slowing down. After all, we celebrated Veterans’ Day and holiday open houses last weekend.  A Before-Hours was held at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Nov. 10 and it was well attended. Take time to visit the Chamber and see the display of wreaths and Christmas trees. Perhaps you’ll win your favorite. They’re all so lovely it’s hard to choose.
Also on Thursday, the Ray County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary held a luncheon at Jeffrey Kyle’s.  Officers for the coming year were installed and plans made for supporting our hospital in any way possible.
Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 – 11/11/11 – was an even busier day with a free biscuits and gravy breakfast for all veterans and their spouses at the American Legion Hall served by the Legion Auxiliary. An overflow crowd attended the celebration on the courthouse lawn at 11 a.m. As the wind was rather brisk, I stayed in the car to view the ceremonies.  I could still hear the band and the 5th-grade chorus. I also bought a poppy from one of the Vets standing around the Square.
A jewelry fair was held in the commons area of Ray County Memorial Hospital sponsored by the Auxiliary and Mark Johnson was telling me today that is was an unqualified success both for the Auxiliary and the company that put it on. A variety of things other than jewelry was available.
I managed to visit the crafts and bake sale at the Christian Union Church as well as the Salvation Army fundraiser at Richmond First Baptist Church.  The various displays of Christmas Nativity scenes was even more eyecatching than usual with familiar music being performed as a background all the time. I found some really delicious date pinwheels at the Christian Union.
A highlight of the weekend for me was attending a performance of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. at the Farris Theatre put on by the Farris Youth Theatre Company under the direction of Sandy Cazzell.  Everything about it was astonishing from the young protagonists to the costuming, the set design, the lighting and the sound. I hesitate to mention any one specifically because they were all so good, but I have to say that Kylie Phipps in the role of Belle was superb.
I sat very close to the stage because of my hearing impairment but she projected so well that I could have heard her without the mike she was wearing. Everything about this musical was so professional and the young people stayed in character even in the background with their facial expressions and gestures. A standing ovation was given them by the house. Bravo and brava to all.
The last week in October Ernie and Nancy Jones joined other family and friends on a trip to Eureka Springs, Ark.  Jane and Joe Hellmann of Plano, Texas were here for a visit and decided to go home via Springfield and Eureka Springs. Joining them were Ernie and Nancy, Bret and Patty Cooper and Steve and Lori Smith of Richmond as well as Paul and Sue Davault of KS. On the way they stopped in Springfield to pick up Jan Hamann Jorgensen.  They report lovely weather and a great time had by all.Don’t forget Jeffrey Kyle’s restaurant will be serving breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 19 to benefit the Christmas for Kids program. Hope to see many of you there.

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