The Sentinel-Record


- Melinda Gassaway Guest columnist

October has arrived in style in the Spa City.

Fall colors — natural and otherwise — abound in area neighborho­ods and smiley-faced pumpkins greet residents who are out and about in search of decorative homes and properties.

The owners of a brick home on West St. Louis Street are always among the early celebrants of Halloween and other holidays or special observance­s and have once again brought out a host of interestin­g characters to amuse passersby.

Regarding the digit doings of this 10th month, we start out today’s column on the subject of care and compassion.

Thus, we give a “Thumbsup” to Our Promise Cancer Resources for recognizin­g the need for a “temporary home away from home” for certain cancer patients undergoing daily treatments.

There was a recent groundbrea­king at 230 Franklin St. for the Our Promise Cancer Resource House that will provide a comfortabl­e place where patients and caregivers can find respite from the stresses of their medical care.

Many thanks to Stacey Pierce, executive director of Our Promise Cancer Resources; Dr. Timothy Webb of Genesis Cancer Center; donor Lynn Heller and the Heller family’ architect Bob Kempkes; contractor David Boatright; Benny Arego; and the many supporters of this worthy cause.

By the same token, here’s a “Thumbs-up” to the eight students who recently graduated from the Cooperativ­e Christian Ministries and Clinic’s Getting Ahead Spanish and English classes.

This 67th Getting Ahead graduation was sponsored by First Baptist Church on Sept 23 at The Garage Church. More than 600 people have now completed CCMC’s Bridges Out of Poverty Initiative since the program began in 2015.

Getting Ahead is a free, stepby-step, 14-week class to help people discover what keeps them financiall­y distressed or in poverty and assists them in developing workable strategies for success.

Continuing with that upbeat note, here’s a graphic: “Thumbs-up” to the four Hot Springs School District Orchestra students tapped to join the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles for the 2021-22 school year.

Congratula­tions and best wishes to Joseph Martinez, eighth-grade violin; Amerah Harris, ninth-grade viola; Hannah Reagler, 10th-grade cello; and Gary Baldwin; seventh-grade violin.

And thanks to Buck Womack, director of bands, for encouragin­g his students to audition for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles.

Speaking of state and local culture, here is a big “Thumbsup” to the Hot Springs Documentar­y Film Festival, which opens Friday and offers a plethora of interestin­g subjects, via 85 film screenings, in this its 30th year.

Hot Springs is indebted to artistic director Jen Gerber, and all of the dedicated organizers, volunteers, business leaders, and sponsors for their tireless efforts to make the 2021 event special for residents and visitors alike.

Thanks also to the Malco Theatre, the Arlington Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom, and the former Craft Beer Cellar at 120 Ouachita Ave., for being hospitable venues for festival-goers.

Meanwhile, here’s a “Thank you “and “Thumbs-up” to the Arkansas Department of Transporta­tion and all other road-related agencies whose personnel helped take out weeds and various other growths from areas of the MLK Expressway.

The unsightly vegetation ran on for several miles along the concrete medians and its removal is most welcome.

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 purposes. This informatio­n is kept confidenti­al.

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