The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 4, 2013

Jo Ellis: Fundraisers for school backpack program in offing

CARTHAGE, Mo. — For several days now, tents have been going up on the grounds of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix in preparation for the Marian Days religious festival slated to begin Wednesday.

Despite the excitement of 40,000-plus visitors to Carthage, the pageantry of the Saturday parade, the exotic Vietnamese costumes and the unusual foods you can sample, I always feel a bit depressed when Marian Days comes around.

For me, it signals the end of summer, even though that actually is more than a month away. It’s already back-to-school shopping time. It’s less than two weeks until the first day of school on Aug. 15. Of the many contingencies parents and school officials have to plan for to ensure a successful school year, one of the most vital is that all students have the ability to receive good nutrition so they will have the energy and brain power to study and learn.

The Carthage R-9 Foundation and the R-9 Backpack Program are combining efforts to ensure that all youngsters are provided the nutrition they need through a series of fundraising events. More than two dozen events were planned for the summer, and 22 of them have already taken place. To date, the community has raised $11,000.

That’s good, but it’s not enough. You still have the opportunity to join in this worthwhile endeavor by attending one of the five events left.

On Thursday, Aug. 15, Amy Grimes, who is director of the R-9 Foundation, is having a “Mad Men Retro Party” at her home, 2265 Whitten Road. The cost is $15 per person. Cocktails and snacks will be served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Come and add fun to the party by dressing in attire from the 1950s and ’60s.

On Wednesday, Aug. 21, enjoy a “Hot, Hot, Hot Bunco Caribbean Style” poolside party at the home of Wayne and Miriam Putnam, 16236 Fir Road. The games run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with Caribbean flavors enhancing a light meal of jerk chicken, coconut shrimp, conch fritters, salad and fruit. The cost is $25 per person.

Anglophiles will love the event planned for Saturday, August 24. Pastor Steve and Melinda Wilson will be the hosts for a nine-course dinner accompanied with matching wines at Grace Episcopal Church. In the elegant tradition of “Downton Abbey,” white tails and evening gown attire are appropriate but not required. The cost is $60 per person.

Sports fans should not miss the “Tiger Tailgate” party set for Friday, Aug. 30, at the home of Doug and Beth Simmons, 1522 River St. The usual tailgate fare, including spaghetti red and Frito chili pies, will be served in a pregame party, and then guests will walk across the street to watch the Carthage Tigers play their first home game at K.E. Baker Stadium. Afterward, guests may return to the Simmons home for some post-game quarterbacking. The cost is $15 per person.

The final event to help fund the backpack program will be “a really nice party” at Broadview Country Club from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. With a theme of “Under the Big Top,” the party is being sponsored by the R-9 Foundation and the McCune-Brooks Health Care Foundation. For $25 per person, you can enjoy a variety of delicious appetizers, and participate in a live auction and an online auction of donated items. A cash bar will be open.

The children of today will be our policemen and firefighters, doctors and nurses, teachers and farmers, engineers and business people of tomorrow. Don’t we want them to be as bright and intelligent as they possibly can be? If you do, contact Amy Grimes, 417-850-7806, and make your reservation for one of these events while there is still time.

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email

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