The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

December 24, 2012

Family: Son’s Christmas fundraiser has been a highlight of holidays

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Last Thursday’s trip was more of a chore than usual for the Vocelka family.

As winter decided to rear its head and throw down a blanket of snow and ice across northern Missouri and the Midwest, the Vocelkas — Ron, Sherry and 17-year-old Cooper — were stuck for an hour in their SUV on Interstate 49 in Kansas City, just miles away from Children’s Mercy Hospital. A trip that usually takes two hours took more than four, because of the weather.

Once Cooper arrived for his appointment, another delay surfaced: The doctor wanted to check some swelling in his foot. The day ended with the family driving back to its Carl Junction home.

But one chore made the trip worth it.

In the back of the SUV was a load of about $1,600 worth of presents for children and teens. They were donated to Cooper by students at Joplin High School, so that he could give them to patients at the hospital.

“We’re pretty low-key on Christmas, as far as exchanging presents,” Ron Vocelka said. “In the spirit of the season, this is something Cooper felt he could do.”

It took three hospital employees to haul in the load that the Vocelkas delivered Thursday. Boxes of toys included cars, dolls, coloring books, games and puzzles. Several of the boxes also had presents for older children, things such as earbuds, nail polish, teen magazines and movies.

“They have a lot of teens here, and they are harder to provide for,” Ron Vocelka said. “They don’t want the kiddie toys anymore.”

The donation was appreciated; though the winter weather chilled them, the employees said the boxes of toys warmed their hearts.

“We have a majority of patients who can’t go home for Christmas,” said Jessica Salazar, media relations manager for the hospital. “They have to spend it here, and these donations help us make sure they have a good Christmas.”

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose tours downtown Diamond

    A lost llama on the lam hoofed it down Main Street here today before it took refuge in a fenced yard that had only one way in and out.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Thunderstorms possible overnight in Joplin area

    Thunderstorms are expected to develop across northern Missouri late today and could move south into the area this evening and overnight, according to a hazardous weather outlook issued this afternoon by the National Weather Service.

    July 22, 2014

  • 071514 KC Atkins 3.jpg SLIDESHOW: Treasures of Tut Through Sept. 7, “The Discovery of King Tut” will draw tens of thousands of visitors to Kansas City’s Union Station to discover the history and mystery of the most famous Pharaoh who ever reigned over the Nile Valley.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq_Cast(4).jpg Iraq Christians flee with little more than clothes

    Iraqi Christians who fled the northern city of Mosul rather than convert to Islam by a deadline imposed by extremist militants said they had to leave most of their belongings behind and gunmen stole much of what they did manage to take along.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Kevin Cure resigns as counsel for county commission in wake of Galena landfill debate

    In the wake of a Cherokee County landfill controversy, Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the county’s Board of Commissioners since 2005, submitted a hand-written resignation to the board on Monday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Area residents pessimistic about state of the economy

    Joplin’s employment rate is better than the statewide average, but many area residents “still feel like they’re in a recession,” an economist told a group of public officials and business leaders today.

    July 22, 2014