Committee of 100 and the Ozark Folk Center State Park Recognize 2010 Staff Achievement

The Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, AR held its annual Awards Banquet to honor their outstanding staff.  The Committee of 100, an OFC volunteer support group, sponsors these awards in addition to many other events and activities at the center.
The 2010 Hospitality award goes to Group Sales manager Jimmie Edwards.  Jimmie unselfishly helps all groups at the Ozark Folk Center, putting in countless hours to make sure the visit is what he has promised. 
He has worked hard to establish good working relationships with the travel and tourism industry across the state and country.  He works well with other attractions in the area to help develop business for the future that will bring the Ozark Folk Center and Mountain View more business. 
Jimmie is a true representation of hospitality. 
Craft Person of the Year goes to Shawn Hoefer.  Arriving at OFC in 2007 with a love of the area, its people and a background in several crafts, Shawn has had a significant impact on what is being taught and demonstrated today. 
During the year, Shawn taught classes in broom tying, yarn spinning, wood turning, and seat weaving – as well as providing computer consultation to many OFC folks. Consistently one of the top four sellers in the OFC craft village, Shawn also helps other crafts people with their business web sites.
His interest in history has led him to develop and perform the character of Obadiah T. Fassbinder during scheduled programs. This late 1800’s traveling medicine man is based on a compilation of true characters of the time. Obadiah has been invited to perform around the state.
In 2010, Shawn developed and promoted the first international Sweep-In at OFC. This gathering of broom squires offered classes and demonstrations that shared this history craft with many visitors to the park.
The Helen Meggs Volunteer of the Year Award goes to Ellen White.  Ellen was recognized for her cheerful disposition and work in the gardens.  Her specialty is harvesting seeds in the fall.  This is a time consuming and meticulous process that makes sure that the herbs and plants around the OFC grounds continue to be preserved and seen each year by our visitors. It is easy to get people to help with the fun tasks around the park, but to find one like Ellen that truly puts everything into making sure her tasks are completed, with a smile even though it is always behind the scenes, is a great find.  She truly is a great example of what volunteerism is all about. 
The Musician of the Year for 2010 is Clancey Ferguson.  Clancy exemplifies what it is to play old time folk music in a way that makes it contagious for those watching. Her music has led others to begin playing an instrument or singing old time music.  Clancey is always willing to play to promote the Ozark Folk Center.  She presents and interprets southern mountain music and all that it relates to.  This past year, Clancey has added the arts of dancing and calling to her repertoire.
To grow in her talent, Clancey has invested time with older musicians. She also works hard to promote the younger generation of players.  At 12, Clancey is the oldest of the performers of Sylamore Crossing, who she plays with on a regular basis. 
Each time Clancey plays, dances or interacts with the public, she has done so with the devotion to folk music that is so contagious and one that shows her dedication to the music, the style of playing, and the love of the Ozark Folk Center. 
Donna Farar was awarded the Bette Rae Miller Spirit Award for 2010.  Donna goes beyond what is expected in both preparation and presentation at the Ozark Folk Center Auditorium.  She consistently and enthusiastically ensures that evening music shows arranged to maximize the visitor’s experience, while also making things pleasant for the performers. 
She encourages our youth to excel and is patient and understanding with each group and individual.  Her work has inspired so many to make sure the performance on the Ozark Folk Center stage is one that really connects to our audience.  Examples are the themed shows during Halloween.  Last year was the Wizard of the Oz and this year’s theme – Circus.  These events that have brought a new spirit to what people experience at the park. 
Donna also built a display at the auditorium using pictures of OFC performers, past and present.  This helps connect the audience with performers.  Guests study each picture and it is like seeing people look at a family photo album. 
This year there were two Arkansas State Parks Director’s Special Commendations awarded.
Joe Jewell has been associated with the Ozark Folk Center for almost two decades.  He has tirelessly performed and shared his time teaching younger players the finer points of performance, dance, as well as stage etiquette.  His efforts on the series of Next Generation concerts have gone far beyond his expected role as a performer.
This very special award is for all the work he’s done over the years with the kids.  He has spent so much of his own time teaching kids to dance, band etiquette, and stage presence.  He treats the kids with respect and expects them to make their own decisions and live by them.  The hours, heart, passion, and thoughtful consideration he has put into the Next Generation concerts, again – on his own time and money – has been way above and beyond the call of duty.
The second award goes to Kathleen Connole. Kathleen has contributed significantly with her labor, research and artistry in the gardens at the Ozark Folk Center State Park.
Kathleen’s artistic use of plants in containers adds appeal to the Craft Village and other public areas throughout the park. Her horticultural skills add to the variety and quality of the plants available at OFC. She has developed several new classes for Ozark Folk School, presented two very good lectures during the annual herb events and provided interpretive research that helped the Ozark Folk Center to win the coveted “Best Use of Theme” Ar