The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 9, 2011

'American Idol' winner: Accolades belong to Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. — In hindsight, David Cook said, going out for a pasta dinner Friday night might have been the undoing of what, up until then, had been a closely guarded secret about the identity of entertainment for the Joplin High School homecoming dance.

Cook, the winner of season seven of “American Idol,” was brought to Joplin by Wal-Mart.

“I was told this was going to be a surprise,” he told students during his performance Saturday night at Memorial Hall. “How many people were surprised?”

A few hands went up.

“I knew we blew it by going to Olive Garden last night,” he said.

Cook, three years after winning “American Idol,” said he is still adapting to his celebrity status.

“I never get used to it, but it is always very flattering,” he said. “I don’t think we could have picked a worse night to go (to Olive Garden), actually. We showed up early, before our reservation.”

Cook said it wasn’t long before he was spotted.

“Two or three soccer teams came up, and I was overwhelmed, but the breadsticks were good,” he said.

Cook played for about 45 minutes, then had to hurry to catch a flight to State College, Pa., where his latest tour officially kicks off. Unofficially, Cook’s latest tour kicked off with an intimate performance for the Joplin students.

Andy Martin, manager of the Wal-Mart store at 15th Street and Range Line Road — one of the businesses destroyed by the May 22 tornado — preceded Cook’s act with the presentation of a $100,000 check to the Bright Futures program. Jerrod Hogan, chairman of the Bright Futures board, said the money will go a long way to help students in Joplin and the surrounding area.

“Joplin Bright Futures is a very successful program,” Hogan said. “We’re helping a lot of kids and helping the community. We’re wanting to share that. We’ve got six other partnering communities right now, and we want to help as many communities as have a need.”

Cook, a native of Blue Springs, said he has followed Joplin’s recovery efforts closely since the tornado. He said he always wanted to help the Joplin community, but he doesn’t deserve the credit for his appearance.

“It was an important thing to me personally. I wanted to do something here,” he said. “I’m really glad that Wal-Mart and the high school and everybody involved really made it happen. We just showed up and plugged our guitars in and played, so the accolades should go to all those people.”

While Cook may not want credit for his visit, JHS Principal Kerry Sachetta said the attention that the school district and the community receive from around the nation serves as a huge morale booster for teachers and students.

“It just makes you feel how much people really care, and how much people want to make sure the kids feel good about what’s going on and getting back to school,” he said.

‘Idol’ fame

David Cook won the seventh season of “American Idol” on May 21, 2008, receiving 12 million votes, or 56 percent of the total, to defeat runner-up David Archuleta.

Text Only
Local News
  • State audit of Joplin School District begins

    Staff members from the state auditor’s office have begun their audit of the Joplin School District, Superintendent C.J. Huff said Monday. They are expected to be in the district four days per week for the next five to six months, or perhaps longer, until the audit is complete, Huff said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Burglary conviction draws shock prison time

    A Joplin man who received 120 days of shock incarceration time Friday in a drunken-driving case in Jasper County Circuit Court was assessed a concurrent sentence Monday in a burglary case.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Family gatherings mirror circle of life

    The annual family gathering is getting bigger. There tends to be an ebb and a flow to most family gatherings. When you’re a kid, and especially if you’re a kid from a large Catholic family, the gatherings seem to be huge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • 071714 Jasper Cty Dispatch1_72.jpg Area communities, Jasper County work to improve communications

    The first law enforcement officer to respond to a fatal shooting last November at Northpark Mall was from the Duquesne Police Department — not Joplin. Joplin police Chief Jason Burns said he wasn’t bothered by that. “We dispatch for them, and they had an officer close who could get there faster,” he said. “And getting help to people as quickly as possible is more important than jurisdictions.”

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • New and old TIF districts on agenda for Joplin council

    Another tax increment financing district is being proposed for Joplin, this one along South Main Street. The area is close to the new Mercy Hospital Joplin that is set to open next year. RKS Development is seeking authorization from the Joplin City Council when it meets Monday night to prepare a request to establish a TIF district.

    July 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Family grows by one — a black Lab named Raven

    If you haven’t experienced the feeling of a tiny puppy in your lap at the end of a perfect July Saturday — hammock time, s’mores, leisurely walks, you know the kind — I highly recommend it. It is pure joy.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Car show, sidewalk sale and more scheduled for weekend in Carthage

    All roads leading to Carthage should be packed this weekend as numerous events geared toward entertainment, cultural pursuits and bargain hunting are expected to pull in large crowds.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Hobby Lobby lawyer to speak at watermelon feed

    Josh Hawley, who helped represent Hobby Lobby in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act, has been added to the list of speakers for Thursday’s annual watermelon feed sponsored by Newton County Republicans.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read


Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter