The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 5, 2012

Events to mark tornado anniversary

From staff reports

— A variety of events — ranging from a half-marathon to a presidential address at Joplin High School’s commencement — are being planned for the May 22 anniversary of the 2011 Joplin tornado. Here are some of the events that have been announced:

Friday, May 11

• Chip Gubera’s documentary on the May 22 storm, titled “Joplin, Missouri,” will premiere at 7 p.m. in Taylor Auditorium at Missouri Southern State University. The showing is free.

Saturday, May 12

• Composer Hubert Bird will present a free concert at 7:30 p.m. in Joplin’s Memorial Hall. There will be 50 musicians from across the country and more than 200 voices onstage that night, including 48 All-City Singers and more than 150 members of area high school choirs.

Bird, a Joplin native who now lives in Baxter Springs, Kan., is a noted composer, penning concerts commissioned for national observances such as the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

To be called “A Vision of Hope,” the concert will consist of two parts. The first part, at about 30 minutes, will feature each choir singing two pieces selected by their choir directors. The second part, in three movements by Bird, will be titled “The Other Side of Storm.”

Saturday, May 19

• The Joplin Memorial Run, consisting of a half-marathon, five-kilometer run and kids’ run, is planned.

The half-marathon starts at 6:30 a.m., the 5K starts at 6:40 a.m. and the kids’ run starts at 6:50 a.m. on Joplin Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets next to the Memorial Hall parking lot. Those interested in participating may register at www.joplinmemorial Deadline for online registration is May 16. The cost for the half-marathon is $60 and the cost for the 5K is $25. There is no fee for the kids’ run.

• Seneca native Erica Tremblay will debut her film, “Heartland,” about the Joplin tornado at Central Christian Center (the former Fox Theater) at 415 S. Main St. Doors open at 3 p.m. and the film will begin at 4 p.m. The event is free.

• A memorial concert featuring contemporary Christian musical artists Steve Angrisano and Tony Melendez begins at 7 p.m. in the McAuley Catholic High School gymnasium, 930 Pearl Ave. Tickets are $5. Proceeds will benefit the Joplin Area Catholic Schools scholarship program. This concert is sponsored by Mercy Hospital Joplin and Orscheln Industries.

Sunday, May 20

• An interfaith service that will focus on “Remembrance, Recovery and Responsibility” will be at 2 p.m. at the Landreth Park amphitheater. The service will include readings, prayers, meditations and music from different faiths in the community. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be conducted at United Hebrew Congregation, 702 S. Sergeant Ave. Information: South Joplin Christian Church, 417-624-2522.

• Three award-winning actors will be in Joplin as part of a special program designed to open up dialogue about the loss suffered by the community during the tornado.

Dramatic readings from the Book of Job — featuring Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn and Arliss Howard — will be held at 3 p.m. at College Heights Christian Church and 6 p.m. at Memorial Middle School. College Heights is presenting the first performance, while the latter is presented by Ozark Center.

The event is sponsored by Outside the Wire, a program that connects classic texts with modern audiences.

Monday, May 21

• The Joplin High School commencement is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center at Missouri Southern State University. President Barack Obama and Gov. Jay Nixon will speak at the graduation ceremonies.

Taylor Auditorium is being reserved for overflow room, where residents will be able to watch a live feed.

Tuesday, May 22

• A “Morning Has Broken” service at 7:30 a.m. at Freeman Hospital West 1102 W. 32nd St. will celebrate the lives of tornado survivors, honor the memory of victims, and pay tribute to the efforts of Freeman employees and other caregivers during and after the storm. Please park at Freeman Hospital East, 932 E. 34th St. A shuttle will be provided to Freeman West.

• Patrons of Joplin Area Catholic Schools will gather at the St. Mary’s Cross to pray at 2 p.m. The cross is on the site of the former church at 25th Street and Moffet Avenue. The public is invited.

• The city of Joplin is holding a 3.7-mile Walk of Unity through the path of the tornado on the anniversary of the storm. The walk will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the 15th Street Wal-Mart parking lot and head west toward Cunningham Park.

Stops along the route include 22nd Street and Indiana Avenue, where participants may watch as a new steeple is placed on the new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They will also stop at the high school across the street for a ceremonial groundbreaking at 3:52 p.m. Another stop will be at the former site of Irving Elementary on West 26th Street for children’s activities.

A ceremony will start at 5:15 p.m. at Cunningham Park and a moment of silence is planned at 5:41 p.m. at the park. The last of 161 trees will be planted in the park in memory of those who died in the storm.

• Joplin school district officials are planning groundbreaking ceremonies for new schools.

At 10:30 a.m., the ceremony for the new Irving Elementary School will be held at 2727 McClelland Blvd., next to the former St. John’s Regional Medical Center.

At noon, ceremonies at East Middle School and the new adjacent elementary school will be held at 4594 E. 20th St.

At 3:52 p.m., the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center will be held at 2401 Indiana Ave. The high school groundbreaking will be held as part of the Walk of Unity.

Thursday, May 24

• “Deadline in Disaster,” a documentary co-produced by the Missouri Press Association and Scott Charton of Charton Communications and Consulting, will be presented. It follows the staff of The Joplin Globe after the May 22 disaster. It will be shown at 7 p.m. at Central Christian Center, 415 S. Main St. The event is free.

Saturday, May 26

• The second annual Restorefest will be held beginning at 1:30 p.m. and last throughout the day in Landreth Park. Some of the musical acts set to perform are Sanctus Real, Mandissa, Jordan Howerton, Jeremy Camp, Andy Cherry and Anthem Lights. General admission tickets begin at $10. More information is available at

Website created for May 22 events

A new, centralized website,, has pulled together information regarding the one-year anniversary of the tornado, according to Joplin officials

The site features a calendar of events noting various activities commemorating the anniversary, as well as news releases and fact sheets from organizations involved in the recovery effort.

The site will be maintained through May 31.