The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 23, 2013

Mike Pound: Two efforts display the area’s spirit of doing

By Mike Pound

— I don’t mean to generalize, but it seems to me that a lot of folks around here tend to be doers.

Rather than sitting around waiting for help, folks tend to make their own help. In the past few days, I’ve come across a few people who are working on a couple of neat projects that help others.

Debbie Evans is part of a Carthage Relay for Life team known as Team Mike Donut Man. Mike is Debbie’s older brother, Mike Evans, who owns Daylight Donuts, 431 S. Garrison Ave. in Carthage.

In 2011, Mike was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and he has been undergoing treatment ever since. I don’t think anyone would blame Mike or his family if they decided to sit around and feel sorry for themselves, but that’s not their way. The family members have always been strong supporters of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and this year they’ve stepped up their involvement with a number of creative fundraisers.

One of the neat things Team Mike is doing takes advantage of Mike’s business. Through May 31, Daylight Donuts will sell purple doughnuts shaped like the cancer awareness ribbon. Purple is the Relay for Life’s color symbol of survival.

Doughnuts need to be ordered in advance and will be available for pickup each Friday through May 31. The doughnuts cost $8 per dozen for glazed; $9 per dozen for glazed with icing; and $10 per dozen for glazed with icing and sprinkles. Round cake doughnuts are $8.

You need to place your order by Wednesday for the doughnuts to be ready on Friday. To place an order, people may call 417-358-6075 or call or text 417-358-8006. You also may drop your order off at Daylight Donuts or email it to Debbie at

Mike is donating the doughnuts, and all money raised will go to the American Cancer Society.

Meanwhile, in Baxter Springs, Kan., a great group of people is working to raise money for the Seneca Black Elk Matthews Scholarship Fund. Seneca Matthews was a Miami, Okla., resident who was killed in an auto accident in February 2011. Since Seneca’s death, his family has begun an Oklahoma State University scholarship for Native Americans. The first fundraiser was held last year, and two students have been awarded scholarships.

Ted Tate is married to Seneca’s cousin and is helping put together the event, which will be held this Saturday and Sunday at the Field of Dreams baseball complex in Baxter Springs.

The two-day event will feature a softball tournament, a silent auction, a host of kids’ activities and concessions. From a food standpoint, the big event is something Ted calls the Black Elk Brisket Burnout. Ted said chefs from almost every casino in the area will compete to see who can prepare the best brisket. Cooking will begin at 8 a.m., and judging will be held at 5 p.m.

The good news is that after the judging, people may purchase a plate of the competition brisket and sides for just $10.

I didn’t know Seneca, but Ted said I would have liked him.

“He was an awesome kid,” Ted said. “He always had a smile on his face, and he always made people feel good.”

Ted said Seneca was preparing to enroll at Oklahoma State University at the time of his death.

“Seneca didn’t get to go to OSU, so we want to make sure other people can,” Ted said.

This weekend’s event isn’t the only fundraiser for the scholarship fund. Ted said there will be a golf tournament later this year, and then a concert will be held in Miami.

See, rather than sit back and feel sorry for themselves, these people are reaching out to others. They are working to make their communities better places to live.

Like I said, it’s what folks do in this part of the country.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.