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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. 

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