Focus on Greenwood members and guest were treated to two guest speakers on June 17th. Parks Director, Richard McKinney and the Mayor’s Assistant Brooke Holland.
McKinney talked about the the new Veteran’s Memorial Website. The new website will allow family members and Veterans with stones at the site to upload their bio and picture information. The site allows visitors to search for stones and location. "The field is limitless" McKinney stated. Holland and McKinney have been entering information to the site and encourage people to send in their photos and information. The website is GreenwoodVeteransMemorial.org and the email for photos and information is "firstname.lastname@example.org"
McKinney also spoke about the plans to restore the clock in the bicentennial clock tower at the Veterans Memorial. He said the overall phases to restore the tower will cost between $50,000 and $55,000. Verdin Bells and Clocks came out last week to give an estimate to get the clock working again along with the bells and a new striker. The new plans call for a new roof to be built by GHS students next school year as a service project. The new clock will have illumination and will be remotely programmed to ring at appropriate times. The clock will also get a new striker.
Holland spoke about the city’s upcoming Freedomfest. "We are working tirelessly on the event. Lots of new vendors and new food service people." At the time of the meeting there were about 65 vendors signed up. Holland says there is still room for more. The vendors will be placed inside the park this year. Vendor applications are available on the city website. The Freedomfest has lots of fun things planned this year. There will be a BMX show / display, Drums Alive, live bands, face painting, temporary tattoos, a mechanical bull, and gold fish races. There will be lots of free activities for kids to do at the Freedomfest. The 2nd Annual Miss Freedom Fest Pageant will be held as well. Several donors have provided items for the event. Kimberly Brown is the Freedomfest chair and all seem to be excited for the Freedomfest this year.
The group also talked about a recent volunteer project. Volunteers from the group met up at Bell Park to spread mulch under playground equipment. Volunteers helped clean the park and enjoyed lunch. Richard McKinney thanked the group for their help with the project.
The Sebastian County Historical Society was pleased to announce that the Society will celebrate the life of early resident Henry Norwood and re-dedicate the Norwood-Mt. Olive Cemetery at a reception Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 2 PM at the Farmer’s Bank Community Room. Mr. Norwood came to Greenwood following his emancipation from slavery. A photo exhibit will trace his life from birth through his death at age 102 years. Two of Mr. Norwood’s grandsons will speak. The Society will recognize those who restored Greenwood’s Norwood-Mt. Olive Cemetery where many Norwood descendants are interred. A brief re-dedication of the cemetery will occur after the reception. All are welcome. This event is made possible by a Curtis S. Sykes Grant from the Arkansas Black History Commission. The Boy Scouts have cleaned, maintained and weeded the area. Historian and society member Donna Goldstein has pioneered the project writing a book about the cemetery and its history. "There is a tremendous amount of history there." Joel Goldstein stated.
In other FOG News, the group is gearing up for their 17th Annual Focus on Greenwood Golf Tournament set for June 27th with a shotgun start at 9am. Sign in is at 8am at the Vache Grasse Country Club in Greenwood, AR. For more information on the event call Vache Grasse Country Club at 996-4191 or Shari Lynn Nickerson at 996-2040. Focus on Greenwood is a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation.