Lighting up the courthouse

By: 
Gretchen Ritchey
Staff Writer

Glorie Thornton and Tony Jenkins visited with the Malvern Rotary Club on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 to promote efforts to bring back a Christmas Lighting event to the Hot Spring County Courthouse.
Thornton said she, and Jenkins along with Malvern Mayor Brenda Weldon; Sheri Oden, juvenile probation officer, Rachel Bearden, county agent, and Olivia Santillan, Farmers Bank and Trust formed a committee to raise money for decorations on the courthouse, as a legacy for future generations.
The first event the committee has scheduled is Dorey’s Catering Catfish and Chicken on Friday, April 5, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hot Spring County Courthouse Pavilion. Tickets are $11 each, which include four pieces of fish or chicken (or mixed), fries, slaw, hushpuppies and drink. Tickets may be purchased at the Malvern Mayor’s office, Hot Spring County Treasure’s office or Malvern Insurance, call (501) 627-4547, (501) 815-2383 or (501) 732-0408 for more information or to purchase tickets. Thornton said tables will be available for anyone wishing to eat at the courthouse.
Thornton stressed the need for businesses, corporations and volunteers in the community to make this endeavor work. She said when the committee began looking at the cost of purchasing the lighting for the courthouse lighting, they realized the county did not have the funds to purchase such decorations.
Thornton said she has contacted other counties and inquired about the process they used for their decorations funding. She said other counties said the county did not have the money to fund the purchase of decorations. Other counties funded its Christmas decorations by donations and fundraising.
“It up to the community, the people to see this through,” said Thornton. “If you want this to happen for our community, then we’ve got to all get involved.”
Thornton said the committee would like to have a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony the evening of the Malvern Christmas Parade. She also said that ideally they would prefer to have an artificial tree
Christmas Tree. Expensive. Thornton said she spoke with Ross Whipple, and there is a possibility that a tree can be acquired from the Ross Foundation this year.
She also said that the lights (industrial) costs $1 to $1.50 per foot.
She said during the proposed lighting ceremony the committee would like to have vendors, such as businesses, civic groups and banks on the courthouse lawn to serve hot chocolate and coffee. The group also thought that having choirs from county schools come together and sing songs around the courthouse would be a nice addition.
Thornton said, Bearden has spoken to local FFA programs about possibly building decorations for the event.
And of course, a lighting ceremony wouldn’t be right without the Jolly Red Fellow “Santa Claus”, who will greet guests in the courthouse pavilion.
“We’re working together as a committee,” said Thornton. “That’s what it’s going to take, all of us coming together to do something to be proud of for Hot Spring County.”
Another Dorey’s Catering fundraiser is scheduled for September 27, 2019..

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