Category Archives: Business

CarHelp opens location in Fort Scott

After providing car services from a mobile unit for the past few years, Leroy Walker and others with CarHelp Mobile Mechanic, LLC, celebrated the opening of their new location at 1114 S. Clark Street Saturday with a ribbon-cutting event and open house.

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Walker said he first started his business with a pickup and a toolbox, but has since expanded to include two mobile trailer units as well as “The Shop” that opened in the past couple months. And Walker said he did so without credit.

“It’s already booming,” Walker said of their business, which has already begun turning a profit. “Fort Scott has been absolutely wonderful.”

Walker said Fort Scott has already become like a family for him as he provides services to the community through car repair and maintenance, whether at the customers home or at “The Shop,” and even helps inspect used vehicles someone might be considering purchasing.

“We’re so excited,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison said before the ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, congratulating Walker. “Thank you for everything you’ve done to be involved n the chamber and the community.”

Saturday’s open house also included lunch provided by 5 Corners, numerous drawing prizes and KOMB radio on site.

Sunshine Boutique a downtown staple 35 years after opening

Despite changes over the years because of health restraints for the owner as well as a change in location, Sunshine Boutique continues to sell a variety of items and provide a number of services to their visitors.

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“This is a family affair,” owner Georgia Brown said during the weekly Chamber Coffee Thursday, explaining she and her granddaughter Kinede Houdashelt run the business. “We’ve always been a family-oriented business.”

The boutique is open limited hours each week because of other employment responsibilities, with the doors open 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, but faithfully provides a wide selection of greeting cards, gift items, therapy products and more than 40 flavors of gourmet coffees as well as about 20 chai tea flavors and a number of dip and soup mixes.

With high school proms and Mother’s Day approaching, Brown also pointed out that the Sunshine Boutique provides tuxedo and suit rentals, fresh and silk floral arrangements and a number of ideal gifts for mothers.

“I think we’ve really got some neat stuff right now,” Brown said, saying she enjoys meeting people at her place of business and finding out what they are interested in.

The boutique, located in the oldest building in downtown Fort Scott, also rents out upstairs apartments, which Brown says are currently filled.

“We’re so lucky to have them,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison said of Sunshine Boutique, adding they would like to see more businesses join them in the downtown area.

Other announcements concerning upcoming events in Fort Scott included:

  • CarHelp Mobile Mechanic’s ribbon-cutting and grand opening open house will be held Saturday, with the ribbon-cutting at 10:45 a.m. and activities and food to follow, including drawings held throughout the event. The open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1114 S. Clark Street.
  • The Good Neighbor Action Team will hold one of their first organizational meetings of the season Tuesday at 5 p.m., at City Hall unless informed otherwise. Anyone interested in becoming involved is encouraged to attend the meeting.
  • Mercy Convenient Care will host a DEA drug take-back event Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mercy, in conjunction with the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office and the Fort Scott Police Department, will accept expired prescriptions and other medications and drugs without question to properly dispose of them.
  • The Southwind Extension District will host the second annual barbecue 101 workshop April 30, in Iola. The day-long event costs $50 per individual or $80 a couple and includes an apron and cookbook as well as the information on cuts of meat and how to prepare it.
  • The Farmer’s Market will kick off the first weekend of May and will include plants as well as food items for sale.
  • The Townwide Garage Sale will be held May 13-14. Participants are encouraged to sign up their garage sales.

Lowell Milken Center prepares for Grand Opening

With just a month before the grand opening of its new building on May 24, work continues to install exhibits and other features at the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes.

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Employees of Exhibit Associates, Inc., of Kansas City—which is responsible for exhibits at a number of museums, corporations and trade shows in multiple states—continue to work to install the exhibits at the new center, including interactive exhibits using sound, video and other technology.

“We’re excited about doing it,” Exhibit Associates President Don Jalbert said.

When approached about the project by Lowell Milken Center Director Norm Conard, Jalbert said one of his first responses was to ask why choose Fort Scott as a location. But when he learned more about the center and its beginnings with a project created by local high school students, Jalbert said he was blown away by the concept and eager to participate.

Megan Felt, program director and one of the founders of the original Unsung Hero project, said the center is preparing for not just visitors from the community for the grand opening, but from across the world, with commitments from the Kansas governor, founder Lowell Milken and project creators and subjects from around the nation and even internationally.

During the week of the grand opening, students who participated in Unsung Hero projects, which feature individuals who made a positive and lasting impact but are often unrecognized for their efforts, will give presentations of their projects, created in the form of documentary film, performance or website.

Four subjects of some of those projects will also speak about their experiences and accomplishments that led to their becoming an Unsung Hero at the Lowell Milken Center.

Felt said the team at the center is excited about the completion of the building located across from the original building on Main Street as well as the festivities that will occur during the week of the grand opening.

Anyone interested in attending the festivities occurring Monday and Tuesday, May 23-24, should contact the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes as space is limited. Fort Scott residents should also be aware that portions of the downtown area will be closed off for the events.

Presbyterian Village hosts Art is Ageless Exhibit, Chamber Coffee

During the weekly Chamber Coffee, the Fort Scott Presbyterian Village gave information on their place of residence as well as current and upcoming events being hosted by the assisted living facility.

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Executive Director Ginger Nance explained the Presbyterian Village is an independent and assisted living facility that focuses on serving their tenants’ needs and keeping them involved through events in the community as much as they are willing and able.

The facility is three levels and has three apartment sizes with other features including a pond and services such as massage therapy and beauticians.

“Every dollar that is spent here stays here to make this a nice place for our seniors to retire to and to be in the community involved,” Nance said of the Christian-based, not-for-profit organization. “They want to be involved.”

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Nance said they are always looking for ways to contribute in the community such as at businesses or organizations who their tenants could volunteer for. They also welcome services from other businesses who could bless the seniors who have greatly influenced the community throughout their lives, but now need assistance.

Currently, the Village is hosting the Art is Ageless Exhibit, including photographs, paintings, quilts, woodwork, pottery, jewelry and other items completed by artists often in their 70s or even late 80s. The exhibit also serves as a contest between the manors, with the winning pieces being featured in next year’s calendar created by the Village.

The exhibit will be available to the public through April 20, with a reception held that final day at 3 p.m.

On May 5, the Village will also host a speaker from Kansas City on the topic of the Holocaust while on May 11, they will hold a fundraising dinner to support the non-profit’s Good Samaritan program, which helps provide for the tenants who might need financial assistance for the care they need. That event will include a Chicken Annie’s dinner, an auction and a 50/50 drawing that will provide half the donations to the winner. Donations to the Good Samaritan program are accepted throughout the year and are tax deductible.

Other upcoming events include:

  • Mercy Home Health and Hospice will host the National Healthcare Decision Day Expo at the Ellis Fine Arts center at Fort Scott Community College Friday, 3-6 p.m.
  • The Young Professionals League will hold their monthly social at Nate’s Place Friday evening starting at 5:30 p.m.
  • Mercy Hospital will host a Legislative Coffee Saturday morning, 9-10:30 a.m., at their café. Four state senators and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and share information.
  • Fort Scott National Historic Site will hold their annual, free Civil War Encampment event Saturday and Sunday, featuring a large number of volunteers dressed in period clothing and participating in demonstrations including baking, fashion and weapons firing.
  • A blood drive will be held at the Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene Monday, 1-7 p.m., and Tuesday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • The Friends of the Fort will hold their annual Friends Fest gala at Liberty Theater Tuesday evening, including dinner and a program featuring President Teddy Roosevelt. Tickets must be purchased in advance and soon.
  • On April 23, FSCC will hold a fundraiser dinner, Greyhounds Go Gourmet, on behalf of the football team to raise money for scholarships and other needs. Dinner of steak or chicken will be served by the coaches at Nate’s Place at 5 and 7 p.m., with tickets for the three-course meal costing $30 each. Reservations are requested by Monday.
  • Medicalodges is participating in raising funds for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s with a taco salad and dessert fundraiser on Friday, April 23, at $5 a meal.
  • Fort Scott’s Townwide Garage Sale will be held May 13-14. Those interested in participating can sign up with the Chamber of Commerce and also place advertisements in the flyers.
  • Landmark National Bank locations are accepting canned goods or other non-perishable food items over the next week to donate to the Beacon.
  • Starting this week, athletes from the FSCC football team will begin selling posters featuring the team schedule for $10 each.

Fort Scott community participates in annual Home Show

Numerous Bourbon County residents visited the Arnold Arena Friday and Saturday to attend the annual Home, Farm, Sport and Garden Show, organized by KOMB-FM and featuring more than 50 local businesses and other entities.

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Visitors to the Fort Scott Community College campus could view booths set up by those groups including the city of Fort Scott, the Lowell Milken Center, Hartman Spine and Joint, Brigg’s Auto, Scentsy, Mary Kay and several other organizations and businesses. Those vendors provided information as well as prizes throughout the weekend.

Larger prizes such as a Kansas City Royals package and Branson show tickets were also given away and a prize wheel was on hand.

Saturday morning, FSCC also held a community fair in conjunction with the event, providing games, manicures, experiments, a cheerleading clinic and other activities for children and run by college students as well as the Fort Scott police and fire departments and other community members.

Presbyterian Village names Assisted Living Director

Submitted by Ginger Nance, April 8

When its long-time, assisted living director Lori Collier decided to retire and take a less than full-time role at the end of May, Fort Scott Presbyterian Village did not have to look far to find her replacement. Jennifer Hyer worked at Presbyterian Village for years in both full-time and part-time roles as she continued to grow her expertise.

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“Jennifer is an outstanding nurse,” said Ginger Nance, executive director at Presbyterian Village. “We are so blessed that Jennifer is ready to step back into a full-time role as Lori retires. Many of our residents and their families already know Jennifer and are looking forward to working with her.”

During the transition, Collier will continue to work part-time, enabling Hyer to step into the role while leaning on Collier’s expertise and years of experience, Nance said. “Although I know Lori is looking forward to more days to garden and spend with grandchildren, we will miss her.”  She won’t be far away though.  Collier plans to continue in a more part-time and advisory role so she won’t lose touch with what she has loved doing at the Village for over 10 years.

“What an honor to be taking on the new position as Director of Assisted Living,” states Hyer.  “Lori Collier, has had such an impact on my nursing career and I’d like to thank her for her guidance and support over the years and also for the privilege it will be to train by her side in weeks to come.”  “It’s been six wonderful years since I first started at the Village.”  “This has been a journey filled with love for my profession where compassion, teamwork and our Christian-based mission collide.”  “I have found that the Presbyterian Village is a place where the little things we do for one another become our biggest rewards!”  “This is a community where we take pride in providing the best care for seniors and it’s my duty and promise to continue doing so by carrying out our faith-based mission and caring for each of your loved ones as though they are my own.”

Fort Scott Presbyterian Village has a history of zero-deficiency surveys from the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Last June, the campus received its seventh consecutive zero-deficiency survey and its ninth in the past 13 years. Hyer has worked at Presbyterian Village for six of those years.

“Jennifer’s experience and dedication to our mission will enable us to continue to provide the quality senior services those in the Fort Scott area expect from us,” Nance said.

Fort Scott Presbyterian Village is an assisted living community, which means it is licensed by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. Residents have their own private apartments, one or two bedrooms complete with all appliances, and may receive some assistance with activities of daily living.  The apartment setting is perfect for a single person or for couples to remain together and age in a place with compassionate help always available if and when they need it.

The Presbyterian Village setting is not only suitable for those who need physical assistance but designed for independent seniors, as well.  Some apartments have a comfortable patio and a parking garage is available for those who are active drivers.  The main concept is that people can come and go as they please from their home, but help is always available.

For more information about Fort Scott Presbyterian Village, contact Ginger Nance, executive director, at 620-223-5550 or gnance@pmma.org.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America has 18 senior living communities in Kansas and Missouri. The not-for-profit organization is headquartered in Wichita, Kan.

Employee celebrates 30 years with Landmark National Bank

Fort Scott’s Landmark National Bank recognized Jim Womeldorff Friday with a reception honoring his 30 years of service at the branch.

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Womeldorff began his career in banking closer to 40 years ago as a teller, but came to Fort Scott as the vice president of agricultural lending 30 years ago. Since that time, Womeldorff has helped in various areas of the bank such as loan reports, security and consumer, commercial or mortgage lending, but now continues to help customers as supervisor of the agriculture lending.

“From my perspective, getting to 30 years was basically because of my customers,” Womeldorff said, adding those customers made his job easier as well as worthwhile as he built a bond and trust with those he served.

Some of those customers as well as friends, family and current and former coworkers came to the reception to express their appreciation for his years of work in Fort Scott.

“Fort Scott’s a good town,” Womeldorff said, saying he has enjoyed raising his family in the area as well as working with those at Landmark National Bank.

Despite numerous changes at the branch over his 30 years with the bank, Womeldorff said members of the branch were always able to adjust accordingly and continue to serve the community.

Womeldorff said he plans to continue his work at Landmark for the immediate future.

KOMB-FM, Fort Scott prepare for annual Home Show

KOMB-FM radio station, with assistance from the Fort Scott Community College, the city of Fort Scott and other local businesses and organizations, are again hosting the annual Home, Farm, Sport and Garden Show Friday and Saturday at the Arnold Arena.

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“It’s kind of an exciting time for us at the radio station,” Tim McKenney with KOMB, host of this week’s Chamber Coffee, said Thursday, adding they did not necessarily recognize the task they were getting into when they took over the event a few years ago. “It’s been a lot of fun and I think it’s been a big plus for a lot of businesses.”

Friday, 5-8 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., about 70 booths will be set up inside and outside FSCC’s arena, providing a variety of information, services and products to visitors. Some of the more than 50 organizations represented include Miller Feed & Farm, Fort Wise, the Lowell Milken Center, Mercy Hospital, Midwest Exteriors, Mary Kay, Ruddick’s, Scentsy, Sunshine Boutique, Verizon, Redbud Farms and Nurseries, Brigg’s Auto and several others.

Cars, boats and tractors will be on display outside the arena from local businesses while a prize wheel will also be available to give away prizes including Kansas City Royal packages, Branson show tickets and other gifts provided by the vendors.

“We’re going to have a fun time giving away a lot of great things,” McKenney said. “Overall it’s just going to be fun.”

FSCC will also hold a community appreciation event with a children’s festival in conjunction with the event on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, with bounce houses, cheerleading clinics, carnival games, children’s manicures, science experiments, a teddy bear clinic with Mercy emergency medical services for children who bring their stuffed animals from home for a check-up and other activities with members from the the local police and fire departments.

“It’s going to be a great event for your children and grandchildren, as well,” Deb McKenney with KOMB said.

Other upcoming events in April include:

  • Landmark National Bank is honoring Jim Womeldorff throughout the day Friday for his 30 years of service. Come by their Main Street location for refreshments at any time. Cake will be served between 1 and 3 p.m.
  • Fort Scott’s first 2nd Story Festival of Arts and Ideas will be held at the Empress Center and the Beaux Arts Centre Friday and Saturday, including guest speakers as well as hands-on workshops. The festival finale Saturday evening will have books and art for sale from participating artists and will serve as a fundraiser for next year’s event.
  • The Fort Scott Community College will hold their Greyhounds Go Gourmet fundraiser for the football team at Nate’s Place, April 22. The coaches will be serving meals and an auction will also be held.
  • The new Car Help Mobile Mechanic will hold a grand opening event April 23, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at their new location at 1114 S. Clark Street. Barbecue and prizes will be available.
  • Mercy Convenient Care in partnership with the local police and sheriff’s departments will hold a Drug Enforcement Administration drug take-back program Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., accepting any unused medication or narcotics to be properly disposed.

Other events to put on your calendar include the Townwide Garage Sale May 13-14, the Mercy Golf Tournament fundraiser for an underwater treadmill on June 11, the Good Ol’ Days event June 3-4, and a Fellowship Festival with the First United Methodist Church Sept. 17.

City Commission approves discussions on Memorial Hall lease

During the Fort Scott City Commission meeting Tuesday evening, commissioners heard from film artists Cameron Cowell and Skip James of Last Farmhouse Films, Inc., who are considering leasing Memorial Hall as their location for an annual documentary film festival.

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“We like Memorial Hall,” Cowell said. “It fits our needs.”

Cowell said he has a passion for film and has always had the dream of starting a film festival in the Midwest.

The commissioners unanimously gave their approval to continue the discussion stages as the film group seeks prices for the renovations Memorial Hall would need, including the sound system and stage additions and other modernizing efforts that may be needed for their purposes, while keeping the current structural appearance as it is.

James said their group has visited numerous locations in small communities trying to find a place to hold the festival each year while hosting other events such as live music throughout the remainder of the year, adding he believes Fort Scott is a great fit and is looking forward to see what transpires.

“I’ve looked high and low in the state of Kansas and have really never been able to come up with a place that I felt was suitable,” Cowell said, saying they wanted  a small community that was easily accessible and not far from Kansas City.

City Manager Dave Martin said the plans of Last Farmhouse Films, Inc., fits in nicely with the city’s own recent efforts to promote the arts in the Fort Scott community.

If they decide Memorial Hall is the fit they believe it is and the leasing is approved, Cowell said they would then move forward with raising their own funding for renovating and looking to local contractors when possible.

“We love Fort Scott…and I think it’s a great community,” Cowell said.

The Fort Scott Commission also used the meeting as an opportunity to recognize members of the community including Fort Scott High School senior Garrett Tatro who was awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for his efforts in supporting literacy by collecting books for children of the community. Tim and Anne Emerson and Jim and Martha Scott were also recognized for raising almost $17,000 to purchase an all-terrain trackchair for wounded veterans, the first such effort to be accomplished in Kansas. The two couples were honored in Topeka as well and have challenged other counties and communities to participate.

The commission also welcomed new commissioner Randy Nichols as he was sworn in to take the position left vacant by Lucas Cosens.

Downtown businesses discuss vacant buildings, parking

While many improvements can be seen in downtown Fort Scott such as in the completion of the Lowell Milken Center and work being done at the old Western Insurance building, much remains to be done as vacant buildings deteriorate.

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During the quarterly downtown business meet and greet event held at Papa Don’s Tuesday morning, City Manager Dave Martin and others in attendance discussed this and other downtown needs that need to be addressed in order to improve the downtown atmosphere.

“Quite frankly, folks, I don’t know what we’re going to do with some of these old buildings downtown that people just went off and left,” Martin said, saying they have fined and even issued arrest warrants for not keeping those vacant buildings up to code, but are not able to take further action against them.

During the Fort Scott City Commission meeting later that evening, Martin said a letter is sent to those whose buildings are out of compliance with city codes, giving them 10 days to comply. If they do not comply, they are given a ticket which demands they come to court. If they do not appear at court, they are invited a second time and are then issued a bench warrant if they again fail appear.

Martin said their goal is not to force owners to pay fines or be placed under arrest, but to get them to comply with the codes. Some codes that are not complied with downtown concern unsafe structures or failure to pick up trash or other debris.

“The buildings in our Downtown Historic District are an anchor to our community and compliment surrounding attractions including the Fort Scott National Historic Site and the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison said, saying Fort Scott has a number of great businesses and owners located downtown, but need to attract more.

Martin said some structures such as the former Chop House building are in bad shape, and if the owners do not step in to prevent deterioration, then the city may have to take them down since the city cannot sue the owners to follow ordinances. Martin said certain buildings are at critical points.

Martin emphasized that a lot of great things are currently being done downtown, but that they still need to find others willing to invest in the older downtown buildings who understand what is required to take care of such structures. Madison said there are grants available to those who may be interested in rehabilitating buildings, which she says are well-suited for office spaces, service-based businesses and art venues for example.

Madison said it would be a shame to have to take down any downtown buildings, many of which are historic buildings. She encouraged other business owners or local volunteers to assist owners of vacant buildings who no longer live nearby by helping keep those structures clean by sweeping their entrances, removing weeds in the sidewalk and clearing windows of old fliers.

“Don’t ever think we’re not trying our best to get things done,” Martin said, saying things are being accomplished downtown from behind the scenes. “We have a lot of really good things going on.”

Director of Economic Development Heather Smith gave an update on recent construction, saying work continues at the Western Insurance building to turn it into an apartment building. Already, Smith said they have nearly completed the roof and are working on framework on the fourth and fifth floors.

“Things are going very well there,” Martin said, while Smith explained that it is still on schedule to be complete in the late fall.

Another issue discussed was downtown parking, with business owners expressing frustration at losing customers because they circle the block and fail to find a place to park.

Those owners requested that employees be asked to park in separate lots instead of in front of their or neighboring businesses. Tenants of upstairs apartments also occasionally leave their vehicle parked in front of businesses much of the day.

Smith also proposed encouraging younger shoppers and visitors to consider parking further away from businesses and walking the short blocks, allowing older or disabled visitors to park nearer their destination.

Madison said she will begin working with the city to create a sign to be placed at parking lots such as at Wall and Scott streets, encouraging shoppers to use those areas.

Though it is a good problem to have, Martin said it is also one that needs to be corrected.

Chamber recognizes businesses, individuals for their service

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual Dinner and Awards celebration Thursday evening, with about 200 members of the community attending to show support to the chamber and those businesses and individuals awarded for their service to the community.

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With the theme of Funky Town, speakers such as master of ceremonies Mark McCoy and chamber Executive Director Lindsay Madison emphasized the uniqueness of the city of Fort Scott and its residents and businesses.

“Our community is unique,” Madison said, saying the city’s history, attractions, businesses and people contribute to the area’s “funkiness” that she said can be used to draw others to Fort Scott.

Chairman of the Chamber Board Reta Baker and past recipients presented awards to the 2016 winners, nominated by members of the chamber. Baker said this year they received an increase in nominations as more people participated in the process of awarding individuals and businesses for their service to the community and employees.

Megan Felt of the Lowell Milken Center was named Young Professional of the Year, Melissa Wise of Wise Accounting received the Community Spirit Award, E3 Ranch was named the Agri-Business of the year, Sleep Inn & Suites the New Business of the Year, La Hacienda the Small Business of the Year, Peerless Products, Inc., the Large Business of the Year, and Reta Baker the Business Person of the Year.

Frank Halsey of Mid-Continental Restoration Co., Inc., received the Mayor’s Citizenship Award for his work at the family business as well as his involvement in the community through the creation of the Gunn Park Bike Trails, as a member of the CASA board of directors, the Knights of Columbus and board of directors for the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation.

“Thank you so much for your dedication and your hard work in serving Fort Scott,” Mayor Cindy Bartelsmeyer said to Halsey, who said he likes getting involved because he can learn from others he meets and that he believed there are many others who deserved the award as well.

The esteemed Keystone Award was awarded to Jim and Martha Scott, business owners as well as volunteers in many areas over recent decades such as through the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, tourism, and starting the Forks and Corks: Taste of Fort Scott event, Moonlight and Mistletoe Tour, Friends of the Fort, the Symbols of Sacrifice at the National Historic Site and the Secret Garden Tour and several other organizations and events.

“I can’t think of a better town or a better place to live than Fort Scott, Kansas,” Jim Scott said, saying it is a great place to raise a family and grow old.

The evening also included live and silent auctions of items donated by numerous local businesses and individuals, included but not limited to Nate’s Place, USD 34, Velocity Ammunition, Walgreens, Vinedo del Alamo Winery, J & W Sports Shop, Bids & Dibs, Papa Don’s, Fort Cinema and the Gordon Parks Museum. Numerous other businesses also donated their time and finances to the event.

“We sincerely appreciate all of the community’s support for the chamber and the work that we do for the community,” Madison said.

Mercy Home Health and Hospice shares update at Chamber Coffee

Mercy Home Health and Hospice gave an update of their services during the weekly Chamber Coffee event Thursday, sharing about their history and accomplishments as well as an upcoming event they are providing to the community.

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Community Relations Coordinator Michelle LeChevalier-Szabo said the home health care has been provided to those within an approximate 50-mile radius of Fort Scott since 1976.

For four years, LeChevalier-Szabo said the home health care has made the elite recognition list in its field in the United States, making the top 25 percent of such services. It has also earned four out of five stars for its care when the average for the country is three stars.

“They do a great job of providing high-quality and passionate care,” LeChevalier-Szabo said of the health care employees, which with the hospice care include nurses, physical therapists, social workers, chaplains and outpatient service providers.

The hospice care came along much more recently as it celebrates four years in Fort Scott this summer.

“The team provides really high quality, exceptional service and compassionate care to families and the patients,” LeChevalier-Szabo said, despite the fact they are dealing with families in the midst of a difficult time in their lives.

Mercy Home Health and Hospice is also partnering with Mercy Hospital, Kansas Legal Services, Country Place Senior Living and other local vendors for the National Healthcare Decisions Day event to be held at the Fort Scott Community College Friday, April 15.

“It’s a tough topic and people kind of shy away from it,” LeChevalier-Szabo said, adding their event explores those topics in a fun and informational environment.

But LeChevalier-Szabo said it is important for individuals to know what their options are so their wishes can be honored and so they can appoint someone to speak on their behalf in the event the individual is unable to do so for them self.

The event will provide information and an opportunity to ask questions as it addresses topics such as planning for health care, establishing wishes concerning one’s medical decisions before a crisis arises and other topics including exercise and dementia through a virtual dementia tour.

An attorney, physician, personal trainer and masseuse will be on hand to provide information and services.

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Other upcoming events in Fort Scott in April include:

  • The Young Professionals League will host a networking event during their April meeting Friday at Papa Don’s at noon.
  • Fort Scott Community College is hosting a jazz concert with artist Branford Marsalis Thursday, April 7. Tickets are still available.
  • The 2nd Story Festival of Arts and Ideas will be held in Fort Scott April 8-9, with an entrepreneurial event and panel discussion held Friday evening and pottery, water-color, photography, culinary and book-publishing workshops being held Saturday as well as a guest speaker discussing the business of art.
  • The annual Fort Scott Home Show will be held at the Arnold Arena April 8-9, with events being held 5-8 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.