TOM SAWYER DAYS

  • By Kelly Wilson
  • 29 Jun, 2017

Event began in 1956 with first fence-painting, Tom and Becky contests

Ellie Locke and Spencer Street pose during the 2016 National Tom Sawyer Days in Hannibal. This year’s event kicks off June 30 and ends on the Fourth of July. Photo by Jake Shane

National Tom Sawyer Days originated in 1956 with the first Tom Sawyer fence-painting contest sponsored by the Hannibal Jaycees and the first Tom and Becky contest sponsored by the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce. The original event took place in May and was an outgrowth of a tour of 1,200 St. Louis children sponsored by KETC-TV, a St. Louis-based educational TV station.

The contests were planned to add color to the event. In 1959, the event was moved to July 4 when Independence Day was proclaimed “Tom Sawyer Days” through a joint proclamation of Hannibal Mayor Clyde Toalson, Missouri Gov. James T. Blair and Illinois Gov. William Stratton. Moving the event combined all of the Tom Sawyer activities with the Hannibal Jaycees’ annual fireworks display, creating one grand holiday.

In 1961, National Tom Sawyer Days was born through a joint congressional resolution sponsored by Missouri U.S. Sens. Stuart Symington and Edward Long and Missouri U.S. Rep. Clarence Cannon. The chartering resolution stated the celebration is dedicated to the recognition of that most lovable, yet unpredictable phenomenon of our American society, the small boy and his fascination for the big river as immortalized by Mark Twain. Here, amid the echoes of the Tom Sawyers and Huck Finns of Samuel Clemens’ day as the events of the past are re-enacted, people discover that the charm preserved by the author still lives in every boy or everyone who ever was a boy. 

The fence-painting contest is the core event of National Tom Sawyer Days and includes several days of events. All local contestants compete in the first event to advance to the national contest. A second event is held for contestants from all across Missouri who advance to compete in the national contest. The national event is the final event. The winner of the national event receives the governor’s trophy, which may be presented to his state’s governor and displayed in the state capitol for one year. The trophy is returned each year for the next contest. 

The national fence-painting contest is a three-part event with contestants receiving points for authenticity of costume, speed and painting quality. Contestants are encouraged to read “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” to attempt to capture a realistic look for their costume. These areas are judged by local dignitaries, distinguished guests and the previous year’s champion. 

Decorated trucks from Bleigh Ready Mix roll down Broadway in Hannibal during 2016’s Fourth of July parade. Photo by Alyse Thompson

Here comes the parade

It would not be the Fourth of July without the Hannibal Jaycees’ parade. It is an event the entire town — and many people from throughout the region — attend. Thousands line the streets of downtown Hannibal to catch a glimpse of their favorite float, classic car or pageant winner. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s parade will be donated to the St. Jude’s run. People should be sure to be there before 10 a.m., when the parade kicks off. Pre-registration is recommended for those who wish to participate. For more information, contact Jamie Bergeher at 573-822-4591. 

Fireworks explode during a 2016 Fourth of July celebration. As part of National Tom Sawyer Days, fireworks will be displayed July 4 at the Mississippi riverfront. Photo by Michael Kipley

Fourth of July fireworks to light up river

WGEM and The Herald-Whig are again spearheading the Fourth of July fireworks displays in Hannibal and Quincy.

Fireworks at both communities are scheduled to begin about 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4. The displays will be synched with a selection of patriotic and popular music simulcast on WGEM 105.1 FM. Anyone can download for free the WGEM FM app to listen to the music from their smartphone or tablet.

Hannibal’s fireworks display will be launched from the top of Lover’s Leap on the banks of the Mississippi River.

“Fireworks have been a staple of the Fourth of July festivities in Hannibal for many years,” said Jacob Knacke, a member of the Hannibal Community Promotions Group that raised funds from individuals and local businesses for the show. “My hat’s off in appreciation and honor to be a part of something larger and better together.”

In Quincy, the celebration will take place on the grounds of the Illinois Veterans Home, beginning at 5 p.m. It will feature the Quincy Park Band, followed by additional local entertainment on the main lawn. A kids’ zone will include a petting zoo, bounce houses and face painting. In addition, there will be skydivers from the Rapid Descent group of Hannibal, along with food and drink vendors.

“WGEM’s goal is to make this a memorable and enjoyable event,” said Vice President and General Manager Carlos Fernandez. “The focus is being placed on maintaining and growing the patriotic community spirit that Independence Day brings out each year and to create memories worth remembering.” 

Tanyard Gardens comes alive

It is named for the back-in-the-day “tan yard” where Huck Finn’s dissolute father, Pap, slept. Now, during National Tom Sawyer Days, Tanyard Gardens is the refreshment center, entertainment epicenter and general headquarters of the event. The garden was started by Hannibal Jaycees in 1975 as a central place for visitors to eat, drink, relax and socialize — and keep up with the event’s myriad of activities.

The refreshment center features a variety of foods, snacks and beverages, including beer and alcohol drinks, in a picnic atmosphere. 

There will be plenty of the music of local and regional musicians, and it is the perfect place to catch up with friends on the happenings of the day. 

Four acts perform at Epic Music Showcase

Tanyard Gardens opens at 5 p.m. for happy hour, with $2 drinks until 7 p.m.

Then, make way for the Epic Music Showcase featuring Down Below, Cost of Desire, Fivefold and Nowake. Admission is $5, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Access Day at the Missouri State Fair, which is sponsored by the Jaycees and allows individuals with physical and mental disabilities from across the state the opportunity to enjoy a special day at the fair. 

Headliner: Drake White 

Drake White and the Big Fire take the stage at Tanyard Gardens, with special guest Broseph E. Lee opening for White, whose debut album “Spark” shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Top Country Albums chart. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the gate.

“Everyone should be really excited to have Drake White, as he was nominated for a Grammy,” said Trisha O’Cheltree, Jaycees public relations officer. “We really think we have put together a stellar lineup.”

Billboard magazine wrote White is a “confident, energetic presence with a mix of gravel, soul and gospel in his voice.”

In an interview with Billboard, White said, “To grow up in a CJ7 Jeep, sitting on a cooler and listening to country radio, then having an opportunity to do it — grateful is the word that I think of.”

The native of Hokes Bluff, Ala., hit No. 36 on the Country Airplay chart with “Simple Life” in 2013, and his singles “It Feels Good” and “Livin’ the Dream” both climbed into the top 40, with the latter hitting No. 12 on the Country Airplay chart last year.

“We’re just at the tip of the iceberg of what we’re going to be able to do, and I’m just glad that God has given me the opportunity. I developed some fans in my early relationships with radio, and it’s those people that I thank for giving me that chance. I feel like everything happens for a reason, and this is our time,” White told Billboard.

White’s website says his new album “tells the visual story of who Drake White is as an artist, husband and native-Alabamian. The images imprinted into his silhouette paint a narrative of White’s life, including his wife Alex, his hometown church where his grandfather served as preacher, his dog Writer and other mementos that inspired his first full-length album ... .”

Three bands out for Big-Hair Night

Saturday night is Big-Hair Night. Hannibal Jaycees, Golden Eagle Distributing, Miller Lite, Town Square Media and the Hannibal Convention & Visitors Bureau will present three of the nation’s top tribute bands — Poison Overdose, Walk This Way and Guns 4 Roses.

• Poison Overdose promises an ’80s rock-concert experience performing the music of, well, Poison.

• Walk This Way is considered one of the nation’s top Aerosmith cover bands.

• Guns 4 Roses brings Axl, Duff and Slash to the stage with a top-notch Guns N Roses tribute.

Tickets are available in advance at County Market in Hannibal, Rustic Oak Pub & Grill or online at hannibaljaycees.org for $10. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Attitudes Salon is sponsoring the Biggest-Hair Contest and will award a $100 prize at 8:30 p.m. 

Washers, cornhole tournaments start July 1 

Get a team in the Hannibal Jaycees annual washers tournament for a chance at $500. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and play begins at 11 a.m. There is a $20 entry fee per team, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams.

Horseshoe tournament: Hannibal P.O.P.S. will host a horseshoe tournament at Ringer Park, with qualifying at 9 a.m. Saturday and the tourney getting underway at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Cornhole tournament: Hannibal Jaycees will hold a cornhole tournament Sunday at Tanyard Gardens, with registration at 10 a.m. and tournament play beginning at 11 a.m. Prizes will be based on the number of teams.

Matt Roberts Blues Band, Donnie Baker return to NTSD

The Matt Roberts Blues Band will take the stage at 7 p.m., followed by the return to Hannibal of comedian Donnie Baker. Baker is the brainchild of comedian Ron Sexton. He is described as rude, wacked-out and a nitwit. The character of Donnie resulted from a series of phone calls to “The Bob & Tom Show.” 

Gates will open at 6:30; there is a $10 cover charge, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Wonderland Camp scholarships.

Fence-painting competition

This is the cornerstone of National Tom Sawyer Days and where it all began — Hannibal Jaycees National Fence-Painting Contest.

Boys ages 10 to 13 from throughout the United States make their way to Hannibal every year to compete for the title and the coveted trophy.

The paint starts flying at 2 p.m. with several competitions — the local contest, the state contest and the over-30 competition.

New this year are a girls contest and a pee-wee contest at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 2.

The national contest will take place 2 p.m. Sunday,   July 2.  

Arts and crafts fest at Central Park

The annual Samuel L. Clemens Arts and Crafts Festival will take place during National Tom Sawyer Days.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Hannibal, which began hosting the festival in 1977, the event takes place in the shady greenery of Central Park, the one-square-block park just a few blocks from Tom Sawyer Days activities.

The fest will include 123 arts and crafts booths, food stands operated by the town’s two Kiwanis Clubs and a fresh lemonade stand provided by the Hannibal High School Booster Club. A variety of entertainers will take the stand throughout the three-day show.

Announcement of the winners of the Tom and Becky contest will take place at noon Tuesday, July 4, at the bandstand.

Winners of the Kiwanis Fiat-Mule raffle will be announced at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets, which are $20 each or three for $50, are available from Kiwanis Club members, with proceeds funding Kiwanis children’s projects. Two preliminary drawings for $300 cash will take place Tuesday afternoon, and the top prizes are a Fiat 500 Pop or a Kawasaki Mule or $15,000 in cash — winner’s choice.  

Additional activities during NTSD

MUD VOLLEYBALL

June 28 through July 1

Hill and Front streets

Sponsored by the Hannibal Y-Men’s Club, the 38th annual Mud Volleyball Tournament is a double-elimination event. More information is available by contacting the YMCA at 573-221-0586.


TOMBOY SAWYER

Saturday, July 1 • 11 a.m.

Cardiff Hill old bridge approach

For girls who like catching minnnows, spitting watermelon seeds and playing in the mud. More information is available by emailing tomboy.sawyer@gmail.com.  


PET SHOW

June 30 • 1 p.m.

Central Park, Fourth Street and Broadway

The 45th annual pet show is sponsored by F&M Bank & Trust Company. Registration begins at noon, and judging will take place at 1 p.m. More information is available by calling Joy McPike at 221-6424 or Joel Booth at 221-6425, ext. 304.


TRICYCLE RACER

Monday, July 3 • 1 p.m.

Mark Twain Apartments parking lot

The Hannibal Evening Kiwanis sponsors this event for children ages 3 through 6 at the parking lot at the corner of Church and Third streets. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. More information is available by contacting Buzz Ballinger at 573-221-8615.


HANNIBAL’S GOT TALENT

July 3 • 3 p.m.

Tanyard Gardens,
100 Bird St.

Do you have what it takes to be a star? Show what you have during Hannibal’s Got Talent, sponsored by Hannibal Jaycees.

Registration begins at 3, and the show starts at 3:30. 

National Tom Sawyer Days schedule

Wednesday, June 28

5 p.m. Mud volleyball teams practice, near Y-Men’s Pavilion, Hill Street

5 to 10 p.m. Miller Spectacular Shows carnival, Lyon Street


Thursday, June 29

5 p.m. Youth Mud Volleyball Tournament, Y-Men’s Pavilion, Hill Street

5 p.m. Beverage and concessions open

5 to 10 p.m. Miller Spectacular Shows carnival, Lyon Street


Friday, June 30

Noon to 10 p.m. Miller Spectacular Shows carnival, Lyon Street

Noon Pet show at Central Park

2:30 p.m. Hannibal Cannibal packet pickup, North and Main streets

5 p.m. Mud Volleyball Tournament, Y-Men’s Pavilion, Hill Street

5 p.m. Beverage and concessions open

5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tanyard Gardens open, $5 cover; portion of proceeds benefits Access Day at Missouri State Fair, sponsored by the Jaycees

5 to 7 p.m. Happy Hour at Tanyard Gardens, $2 drinks, cash bar

7:30 p.m. Epic Music Showcase featuring Down Below, Cost of Desire, Fivefold and Nowake at Tanyard Gardens


Saturday, July 1

5:30 a.m. Hannibal Cannibal registration, North and Main streets

7 a.m. Hannibal Cannibal sponsored by Hannibal Regional Foundation

7 a.m. Mud Volleyball Tournament, Y-Men’s Pavilion, Hill Street

9 a.m. Little Miss and Little Mr. Hannibal and Baby Pageants, Hannibal Middle School; doors open at 8:30 a.m.; Barb Stewart School of Dance

9 a.m. Horseshoe Tournament qualifiers, Ringer Park, sponsored by P.O.P.S. Club

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Miller Spectacular Shows carnival, Lyon Street

10 a.m. Washers/Cornhole Tournament registration, Tanyard Gardens

11 a.m. Washers/Cornhole Tournament, Tanyard Gardens, sponsored by Jaycees

11 a.m. Tomboy Sawyer Contest, Old Bridge Approach, sponsored by Business and Professional Women

2 p.m. Local Fence-Painting Contest, Main and Hill streets, sponsored by Jaycees

3 p.m. State Fence-Painting Contest, followed by Over-30 Contest, sponsored by Jaycees

6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tanyard Gardens open, $10 cover

7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Walk This Way, Poison Overdose, Guns 4 Roses

8:30 p.m. Biggest Hair Contest, Tanyard Gardens, presented by Attitudes


Sunday, July 2

7 a.m. Mud Volleyball Tournament, Y-Men’s Pavilion, Hill Street

7 a.m. Beverage and concessions open

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Arts and Crafts Festival, Central Park, sponsored by Kiwanis

9 a.m. Horseshoe Tournament, Ringer Park, sponsored by P.O.P.S. Club

10 a.m. Cornhole Tournament Registration, Tanyard Gardens

11 a.m. Cornhole Tournament, Tanyard Gardens, sponsored by Jaycees

Noon to 10 p.m. Miller Spectacular Shows carnival, Lyon Street

1 p.m. Pee-Wee and Girls Fence Painting, Main and Hill streets, sponsored by Jaycees

2 p.m. National Fence-Painting Contest, Main and Hill streets, sponsored by Jaycees

6: 30 to midnight Tanyard Gardens open, $12 in advance, $15 at gate

7:30 p.m. Broseph E. Lee Band, Tanyard Gardens

9 p.m. Drake White and the Big Fire, Tanyard Gardens


Monday, July 3

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Arts and Crafts Festival, Central Park, sponsored by Kiwanis

Noon to 10 p.m. Miller Spectacular Shows carnival, Lyon Street

12:30 p.m. Tricycle Race registration, Third and Church streets, sponsored by Kiwanis

1 p.m. Tricycle Races, Third and Church streets, sponsored by Kiwanis

1 to 6 p.m. Tanyard Gardens beverage tent open

3 p.m. Hannibal’s Got Talent registration

3:30 p.m. Hannibal’s Got Talent, sponsored by Jaycees

6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tanyard Gardens open, $10 cover charge, portion of proceeds benefits Wonderland Camp

7 p.m. Matt Roberts Blues Band

10 p.m. Comedian Donnie Baker


Tuesday, July 4

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Arts and Crafts Festival, Central Park, sponsored by Kiwanis

10 a.m. Parade along Broadway, sponsored by Jaycees

Noon Announcement of new Tom and Becky, Central Park

Noon to 10 p.m. Miller Spectacular Shows carnival, Lyon Street

Noon to 5 p.m. Tanyard Gardens beverage tent open

4 p.m. Kiwanis raffle drawing, Central Park

9 p.m. Fireworks show at dusk, riverfront 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

National Tom Sawyer Days originated in 1956 with the first Tom Sawyer fence-painting contest sponsored by the Hannibal Jaycees and the first Tom and Becky contest sponsored by the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce. The original event took place in May and was an outgrowth of a tour of 1,200 St. Louis children sponsored by KETC-TV, a St. Louis-based educational TV station.

The contests were planned to add color to the event. In 1959, the event was moved to July 4 when Independence Day was proclaimed “Tom Sawyer Days” through a joint proclamation of Hannibal Mayor Clyde Toalson, Missouri Gov. James T. Blair and Illinois Gov. William Stratton. Moving the event combined all of the Tom Sawyer activities with the Hannibal Jaycees’ annual fireworks display, creating one grand holiday.

In 1961, National Tom Sawyer Days was born through a joint congressional resolution sponsored by Missouri U.S. Sens. Stuart Symington and Edward Long and Missouri U.S. Rep. Clarence Cannon. The chartering resolution stated the celebration is dedicated to the recognition of that most lovable, yet unpredictable phenomenon of our American society, the small boy and his fascination for the big river as immortalized by Mark Twain. Here, amid the echoes of the Tom Sawyers and Huck Finns of Samuel Clemens’ day as the events of the past are re-enacted, people discover that the charm preserved by the author still lives in every boy or everyone who ever was a boy. 

The fence-painting contest is the core event of National Tom Sawyer Days and includes several days of events. All local contestants compete in the first event to advance to the national contest. A second event is held for contestants from all across Missouri who advance to compete in the national contest. The national event is the final event. The winner of the national event receives the governor’s trophy, which may be presented to his state’s governor and displayed in the state capitol for one year. The trophy is returned each year for the next contest. 

The national fence-painting contest is a three-part event with contestants receiving points for authenticity of costume, speed and painting quality. Contestants are encouraged to read “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” to attempt to capture a realistic look for their costume. These areas are judged by local dignitaries, distinguished guests and the previous year’s champion. 

By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

The fifth annual Missouri vs. Illinois All-Star Baseball Game will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at Clemens Field, 403 Warren Barrett Drive. If conditions are poor Saturday, the game will be moved to Sunday, July 23.

Admission at the gate will be $8, and ages 5 and younger will be admitted free. Gates will open at 6 p.m.

The game will feature the top 40 seniors representing 22 high schools from Hannibal, Quincy, Ill., and the surrounding areas.

The game is sponsored by Benson Financial Group of Hannibal and Shottenkirk Toyota and Refreshment Services Pepsi, both of Quincy. 


Team Missouri

Bowling Green Gaven Comley, Jorden Billings, Josh Gibson and Trey Nichols

Canton Cooper Hudnut and Josh Kermoade

Clark County Addison Sprague and Cory Shatley

Hannibal Chandler Moffitt and Scot Roberts

Highland Isaac Brown

Knox County Hays Klocke, Isaiah Prebe, Josh Hamlin and Kyle Strange

Mark Twain Bailey McMillen, Cory Kunkel and Loren Carlisle

Monroe City Austyn Nevels

Paris Collin Crook

Head coach: Jerry Jerome, Clark County


Team Illinois

Beardstown Mackiel Ruiz

Brown County Carter Lewis and Keaton Wort

Central Lane Marlow

Griggsville-Perry Ian Smith

Illini West Jonah Burt

Pittsfield Austin Ator and Korbyn Personett

Quincy Ben Schroeder, Derek Green and Drake Green

Quincy Notre Dame Johnny Ray

Southeastern Cole Eilers

Triopia Isaac Werries

Unity Brodie Dunker and Jarett Dunker

Western Aleck Hively and Austin Ward

West Hancock Caleb Adams and Will Fox

Head coach: Robin Lewis, Beardstown

By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

In July 1867, in a small, three-room cottage on Denkler’s Alley in Hannibal, a child was born. John and Johanna Tobin welcomed their daughter, whom they named Margaret, into their growing household which included two older daughters, Katie and Mary Ann, and a son, Daniel. Katie, the oldest of the Tobin children, was thrilled with her new baby sister and immediately formed a close bond that would endure throughout their lifetimes.

Who could have known that this small, red-haired baby would one day live a life of wealth, adventure, political and philanthropic pursuits and heroism that the Tobin family could have never dreamed? Who would have thought the legendary life of Margaret Tobin, better known as the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, would continue to be celebrated nearly a century after her death?

Although the exact date is not certain, scholars believe that Margaret’s birth date was July 18, 1867; this year marks the 150th anniversary of her birth. Margaret lived in the little cottage on Denkler’s Alley until the spring of 1886, when, as a plucky 18-year-old, she boarded a train at Hannibal’s Union Depot and made her way to the mountains of Colorado to live with her older brother, Daniel. Margaret dreamed of a life beyond the restraints she felt in Hannibal. Being poor, Irish and female, she faced virtually no opportunities to rise above her socioeconomic class. Margaret had big ideas, big dreams and a big personality, all of which required broader horizons than the one she was raised near along the shores of the Mississippi River.

To learn more about the amazing life of Margaret Tobin Brown, people should visit the Molly Brown Birthplace and Museum in Hannibal. The cottage on Denkler’s Alley demonstrates not only the conditions in which the Tobin family lived during America’s Reconstruction after the Civil War, but also houses exhibits detailing her life in Colorado, her marriage to James Joseph Brown, the circumstances surrounding his sudden wealth in the gold mines of the Rocky Mountains, and, of course, her heroism during the sinking of Titanic in 1912.

This summer, to commemorate Molly’s 150th Birthday, the Muny Opera in St. Louis will stage a production of “The ‘Unsinkable’ Molly Brown,” running July 21 to 27. Although this musical is a highly fictionalized version of the life of Margaret Tobin Brown, Lisa Marks said it would be her honor to join Margaret’s great-granddaughter, Helen Benziger, at the opening night performance. At the request of the staff of the Muny Opera, they have been invited to participate in events to share the remarkable true story of Margaret Tobin Brown’s life and legacy – which, of course, began in a small three-room cottage in Hannibal. 

— By Lisa Marks

By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

Hannibal Regional Intensive Care Unit recently received a Top Performance Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s ICU Liberation Campaign.  

The ICU Liberation ABCDEF Bundle Improvement Collaborative has teamed up with 77 U.S. ICUs committed to improving outcomes for patients and families by reliably implementing the A-F Bundle. Participating hospitals work with a team of leading national and regional experts to:

• Optimize pain control and reduce sedative exposure and time on mechanical ventilation.

• Increase length of time that patients are free of delirium and coma.

• Improve team approach to early mobilization.

• Engage families to participate in the care and healing of their loved ones.

• Validate compliance and improvement through use of an online data collection tool.

• Enhance teamwork through implementation of evidence-based care.

• Engage with many leading experts who have demonstrated improved patient outcomes through the ABCDEF bundle of care.

• Create partnerships with other institutions doing the same improvement work across the United States.

The ABCDEF elements are as follows:

A : Assess, prevent and manage pain.

B : Both SAT (spontaneous awakening trials) and SBT (spontaneous breathing trials).

C : Choice of analgesia and sedation.

D : Delirium — Assess, prevent and manage.

E : Early mobility and exercise.

F : Family engagement and empowerment.

Within the ABCDEF bundle, the “C” element — choice of analgesia and sedation — focuses on constructing a safe and effective medication regimen for the management of pain and agitation in critically ill adults, consistent with ICU pain, agitation and delirium recommendations.

Hannibal Regional was awarded the Top Team Performance Award for the “C” element.

Dr. Pranav Parikh, ICU medical director and administrative leader of the ICU Liberation group, said, “We are happy to have achieved excellence for the ‘C’ element, and continue to strive for excellence in the other five elements.”  Despite the conclusion of the collaborative, work will continue on all elements.

Hannibal Regional Healthcare System serves residents of the Tri-State area from more than 10 locations and includes Hannibal Regional Hospital, Hannibal Regional Medical Group and Hannibal Regional Foundation. Recognized by Healthgrades with a 2016 Outstanding Patient Experience Award, Hannibal Regional is in the top 15 percent in the nation for this category. In addition, Hannibal Regional has also received the 2017 Coronary Intervention Excellence Award, placing it in the top 5 percent in the nation for coronary interventional procedures, and a 2017 Joint Replacement Excellence Award from Healthgrades, which places it among the top 10 percent in the nation for joint replacement procedures. Hannibal Regional Medical Group is a growing multi-specialty physician group delivering primary, specialty and express care services at multiple locations in northeast Missouri. For more information on Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, visit hannibalregional.org. 

By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

Hannibal Regional Hospital received Saving Sight’s 2016 Excellence in Eye Donation Award, honoring the hospital for achievements in providing the gift of sight to those needing a cornea transplant. Overall, the hospital achieved a 70 percent consent rate for eye donation in 2016. Staff at Hannibal Regional Hospital helped to facilitate 10 eye-donation cases, which resulted in 10 individuals receiving restored sight through a cornea transplant.

“We are proud to have achieved a 100 percent referral rate, and will continue to work diligently to honor the organ and tissue donation wishes of our patients. We value our partnership with Saving Sight. We are always humbled to learn of those whose sight has been restored because of this program,” said Patty Brawner, vice president of  nursing at Hannibal Regional.

“Children see to learn, parents watch their children grow and older adults maintain independent lifestyles thanks to the vision made possible through corneal transplants each year,” said Tony Bavuso, CEO of Saving Sight. “We are grateful to our partners at Hannibal Regional Hospital who believe in our mission to change lives by saving sight, and work with our courageous donors and donor families to make the precious gift of sight possible for countless individuals.”

With the help of hospital partners like Hannibal Regional Hospital, Saving Sight provided corneas for more than 2,900 corneal transplant recipients in 2016. Each year about 48,000 individuals in the United States require a cornea transplant to restore vision that has been lost due to disease, disorder or injury. For more information or to learn about becoming an eye, organ and tissue donor, please visit donatelife.net.

Saving Sight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to change lives by saving sight. Founded in Columbia, Mo., in 1960, the organization introduced eye donation and the gift of sight to Missouri. Today, Saving Sight operates community healthy vision programs that serve more than 100,000 people worldwide each year with offices located in Missouri and central Illinois. For more information, please visit saving-sight.org.

Hannibal Regional Healthcare System serves residents of the Tri-State area from more than 10 locations and includes Hannibal Regional Hospital, Hannibal Regional Medical Group and Hannibal Regional Foundation. Recognized by Healthgrades with a 2016 Outstanding Patient Experience Award, Hannibal Regional is in the top 15 percent in the nation for this category. In addition, Hannibal Regional has also received the 2017 Coronary Intervention Excellence Award, placing it in the top 5 percent in the nation for coronary interventional procedures, and a 2017 Joint Replacement Excellence Award from Healthgrades, which places it among the top 10 percent in the nation for joint replacement procedures. Hannibal Regional Medical Group is a growing multi-specialty physician group delivering primary, specialty and express care services at multiple locations in northeast Missouri. For more information on Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, visit hannibalregional.org. 

By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

Ride Cool at the Ramp Park is returning Saturday, July 15.

The Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department and Hannibal Clinic Health Services will start providing helmets to the first 100 attendees at 10 a.m.

Entry to the park will be free throughout the day.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with the Ramp Park community to host a unique summer event that will celebrate their athleticism and skills,” said Mary Lynne Richards of Hannibal Parks and Recreation. “And the energy from the crowd really helps pump up the competitors.”

Blake Robertson, 18, of Hannibal, plans to compete.

“Ride Cool gives you something to work toward, something to compete in to see how much you’ve progressed,” said Robertson, who added he loves going to Ramp Park. “It’s a good way to burn off energy with your friends.”

Richards said, “It’s a fun spirit at the Ramp Park. They really look out for each other and are always encouraging each other.”

Registration for skateboard, scooter and bike competitions begins at noon, and competition starts at 1 p.m. Master of ceremonies will be Casey Otto of P9 Entertainment.

Prizes for the competition will be provided by Coolbyke Bicycle Shop and Pedal’rs Bicycle Shop. 

Spectators are welcome to watch from shaded bleachers behind Ramp Park. Tom and Becky will be on hand to help hand out helmets and award prizes.

The Ramp Park concession stand will be open, along with the Pepsi Wagon. 

By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

The final two productions of the season at Bluff City Theater present different perspectives on family yet arrive at a similar conclusion — family has a way of pulling people back no matter what.

Perhaps it is because both plays are considered autobiographical depictions of the authors’ lives. Separated by half a century and an entire continent, two authors — one male, one female — sought to bring meaning to the bond defined by who we are and from where we came.

“Emily: The Musical” is based on the series of novels by Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery. Emily longs to escape her island home and become a great writer. As she is buffeted by fate and failure, she realizes her home and family are the bedrock upon which her dreams are built. It is only when she writes about them that her writing shines. “Emily” is a warm, uplifting ode that aims to make us feel glad to be alive and to have people we love and who love us back.

In “The Glass Menagerie,” Tom, also a writer, yearns to escape his life of factory work, a dramatic mother and emotionally fragile sister. Tom escapes but is pulled back over and over again in his mind. The play is based on Tennessee Williams’ life. His bittersweet story is about people trapped by the same love and inability to be honest.

Bluff City Theater has assembled a creative team and cast to present these two stories.

Jennifer Stewart (“The Heiress,” “Best of Enemies”) returns to direct “Emily: The Musical.” Stewart, an accomplished musical theater performer, has come full circle as she appeared in the original Canadian production of this adaptation in 2002 as Ilse Burnley. Supported by Musical Director Colin Healy (“C’est la Vie”) and Choreographer David Jamieson (“Oliver!,” “Alice in Wonderland”), she will direct a cast of 16 performers, including members of the Bluff City Theater Young Company, drawn from local amateurs.

This is the American premiere of “Emily: The Musical.” Performances run June 29 to July 8.

Director Sydnie Grosberg Ronga, well known to New York and St. Louis theater-goers for her critically acclaimed work, will direct “The Glass Menagerie,” her first production with Bluff City Theater. She brings a fresh insight into Williams’ masterpiece with a decidedly younger cast than has been traditionally seen in professional theater. In Grosberg Ronga’s vision, Tom is in his mid-20s, Amanda her mid-40s and their dynamic is complex. Amanda, who sees the world through rose-colored glasses, cannot imagine why Tom chafes at being expected to stand in for his long-absent father.  

“The Glass Menagerie” opens in preview on July 20 and runs until July 29.

For tickets and information, visit eventshannibal.com, or call 573-719-3226. Tickets are $26 each, $15 for youth 14 and younger or buy a 4-ticket Flex Pass for just $95. More information about Bluff City Theater is available at bluffcitytheater.com. 

By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

Featured member artist Debra Myers brings a love of color and fluidity to a wide range of media: watercolor, print-making, acrylic, oil, pastel and encaustic. When looking at her portraits, landscapes and abstracts, it feels as though you are entering into a story — an open-ended invitation to join the scene being offered to you. Her work has a soft yet vivid quality. She moves so deftly from medium to medium because she teaches her students at Culver-Stockton College to do the same.

She never doubted her passion for art, even as a child. English assignments became illustrated adventures; math allowed boredom to be endured by artistic compromise. Her parents, who never had the opportunity to go to college, were aghast at her desire to choose such an ill-fated major as art. Even extended family, friends and neighbors saw little benefit for a first-generation college student to study art.

Adjusting to the practicalities of life, and her parents’ wishes, she garnered K-12 education credentials and still wanted to be a pure artist. One day during her mother’s vigorous spring cleaning, she brought the subject up.

“I want to get a master’s degree in art,” she said to her mother. This time her mother said, “You need to do what’s right for you.”

It became, perhaps, the most important blessing of her life, as her mother suddenly passed away the next day. And Debra, having her mother’s blessing, returned to college, got her MFA and ventured into a fulfilling life as an artist — and a teacher. She did not leave teaching behind. In fact, this year she won Culver-Stockton College’s Helsabeck Award for Teaching. Perhaps she was honored because she touches her students lives at every juncture whether it is in the studio, preparing for a Culver-Stockton gallery art exhibit, supporting an independent study or simply being there the way her teachers, and her mother, were once there for her.

An opening reception will be at Alliance Art Gallery 5 to 8 p.m. July 8. The reception coincides with the Hannibal Second Saturday Gallery Night. 

— Bella Erakko

By Kelly Wilson 29 Jun, 2017

When you think of the Fourth of July, you think of our nation’s birthday and everything that goes with it. It is a call of celebration.

This day is dedicated to our freedom gained at the blood of our forefathers to end Britian’s rule while obtaining our independence. We became a sovereign nation responsible for our own successes and failures. The Constitution was drawn and a Declaration of Independence was proclaimed. A rag-tag army of poorly trained, poorly fed and poorly equipped settlers, farmers, sailors, tradesmen and businessmen amassed forces and defeated the most powerful army of the time.

This country was founded on fortitude, blood, sweat and a human will to succeed. Thanks to their endeavors, our flags of freedom still wave 241 years later. Today we still stand tall as a nation. Thank you, patriots.

Patriotism is still alive and well. Many people have no idea what patriotism really is. It is often taken for granted, or it goes unnoticed. A veteran recognizes patriotism. The American veteran is the heartbeat of patriotism.  

Patriotism presents itself in various forms in this great nation. A Fourth of July parade honoring our independence and our veterans is patriotic. Patriotism is also the little child waving a tiny American flag at an event. It is people who volunteer to organize, fund and escort Honor Flights for our aging veterans. It is monuments erected to memorialize our warriors. It is the family that has an American flag in its yard or on the porch every day of the year commemorating the sacrifice of our warriors both alive and deceased. It is children child saying the Pledge of Allegiance with a hand over their hearts. It is the man who removes his hat with his hand on his heart when a flag is unfurled. It is a soldier’s salute to our flag. It is also the young men and women who enlist in our armed services to protect our homeland against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Patriotism is also the widow presented with a blanket placed atop her husband’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery, crying as her children hug the white cross headstone of their fallen warrior. Patriotism is also women like Mrs. Sullivan from Waterloo, Iowa, who lost five sons during the dark days of World War II in a matter of moments while they selflessly sacrificed their lives for our nation.

Patriotism is far more than a word. It is a tribute to all who have sacrificed so we may enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of   happiness.” We continue to this very day to see those dedicated to the success of this great nation while many others try to tear it down.

I am beyond thankful to be born an American. I am proud of my father who served in two wars, my brother-in-law who served in Vietnam and my son who served in the 27th Fighter Tactical Wing of Spec Ops. All veterans are heroes today and forever.

I just ask that this year that you enjoy festivities and celebrate with your friends and families. I just request that you to please take a moment to remember the real meaning of this holiday. Share the meaning with the young people in your lives as an act of rememberance. Many of your countrymen are buried on foreign soil, never to return home to their loved ones so you and your family may live in freedom’s glorious light.

God bless our veterans, our country, our freedoms, and Old Glory — long may she wave. Happy Fourth of July, Americans! 

— By HICK FINN

By Kelly Wilson 31 May, 2017

Join the Rotary Club of Hannibal for a fun-filled day of music, brews and food at the fourth annual Fiesta del Sol.  

The event will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Central Park. It is co-sponsored by Wade Stables, P.C., the Hannibal Convention & Visitors Bureau and Mark Twain Distributing.

Each year’s event features a select craft brewery, and this year’s event will be a double-header of sorts — spotlighting Missouri Boulevard Brewing Co. of Kansas City and Kraftig Brewing Company of St. Louis.

Beverages from Boulevard Brewing will be featured noon to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., with a Kraftig sampling 2 to 4 p.m.  

The first Boulevard sampling will feature its Smokestack Series of beers that are hard to find outside of the Kansas City area.

All samplings are included with the price of admission. Boulevard also will have a brewer on hand throughout the day to discuss the brewery’s history and process.    

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Tickets are available at County Market locations in Hannibal, Quincy and Palmyra or online at hannibalfiestadelsol.com. Children 17 and younger get in free.  

Food vendors and other merchants offering crafts and clothing will fill Hannibal’s tree-lined Central Park; there will be vendors with activities and items for children as well. Missouri Bat Census will be on hand to provide information about Hannibal’s Sodalis Nature Preserve and endangered bats in Missouri.

Details about the event may be found at facebook.com/RotaryFiestadelSol/. 

MUSIC LINEUP

• 11 a.m. to noon

Singer/songwriter Murray McFarlane

• Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Frate

• 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Liz Bentley

• 3 to 5 p.m.

Burnt Toest performing indie rock

• 5 to 7 p.m.

Al Holliday and the East Side Rhythm Band performing rhythm and blues

• 7 to 9 p.m.

Kent Burnside with the Flood Brothers performing blues and rock


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