Spotlight Shines on Longtime Community Supporter
One of Rector's most beloved residents was able to step out of the audience and onto the stage Saturday night, as the Clay County Arts Council placed a special spotlight on longtime community supporter Demetra Shultz during its annual Celebration of the Arts event at the Rector Community Center.
The evening honored Shultz, whose support of community events of all kinds has spanned decades. Early in the program, Shultz was given a seat onstage, as CCAC president Gail Burns and event emcees Barbi Anderson and Sydney Simmons placed a special crown and boa upon the honored lady. The crown, according to Burns, was as "sparkling" as Shultz while the purple boa represented her favorite color and outgoing personality. Shultz, who was joined on the stage by her daughter, Terry, and son, Douglas, also was presented with a uniquely special woven throw quilt which featured screen printed photos of Shultz.
"I don't know what to say," Shultz told the large crowd in attendance. "I never dreamed that anything would happen to me like this." Shultz continued, saying she never went to college, but was happy the CCAC supported Clay County students through its scholarship program as a college degree is more essential today. She noted her own children worked their way through college, and she is proud of them to this day. Shultz thanked the CCAC for their honors, and expressed love for the organization, her church family and the community. "I appreciate everyone that came out," she said. "If some didn't make it, that's just their loss," she added with a laugh.
Glenna Bookout read a poem prepared in Shultz's honor, and more gifts were bestowed upon the honoree.
Local performers Tapestry, consisting of Dana Speer, Cathy Louder, Sherry Jennings and Christy Pazanowski, took the stage for a performance requested by Shultz. Tapestry has long been a favorite group of Shultz's, and the local group performed a selection featuring "Celebrate," One Fine Day," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Time After Time" for Shultz and an appreciative crowd. Next up was Sophie Simmons, who performed a special dance routine to "A Wonderful World" dedicated to Shultz, "because it's a wonderful world with her in it." Jaimie Wilson sang "In the Garden" and "In the Still of the Night" with accompaniment from Jerry Chilcutt on piano. Meleia Lewis, an RHS grad who performed in Shultz's favorite musical, "Oklahoma," as a student returned to the stage to revisit a classic number from the production.
The evening began with a delicious meal catered by the Traveling Wisk of Kennett.
Earlier in the night, CCAC scholarship winners Sydney Simmons, Jim Copelin, Joshua Stone and Amber Christensen were recognized with applause by the crowd. These students put bright faces to the CCAC's ongoing efforts to raise scholarship funds for Clay County students who excel in the arts.
Throughout the evening, the audience took part in a silent auction featuring numerous items donated by area businesses. The auction raised $1,357 for future scholarships.
"We are thrilled and delighted with the proceeds," CCAC member Christa Hedrick said. "We really did have some fantastic auction items this year, and a great variety, too. We are so very thankful to everyone who donated items."
The list of donors for the auction included: Feather Your Nest, Sugar Creek Kids, The Treasure Chest, Legacy Equipment, Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, Piggott Florist, Historic Downtown Inn, Jones Furniture, Baker Equipment, Piggott Community Hospital, MadPies Tea Room, The Piggott Diner, Sue's Flowers, Regions Bank, Exterior Solutions, Flash Mart (Rector), Genny's Kitchen, Barbara and Sherland Hamilton, Clay County Times-Democrat, Gail Ford, Wise Company, Wilson Outdoors, Glen Sain Motors, Dollar General (Rector), Ed's Alley Auto, National Pawn, Mosley Auto Parts, Rector Downtown Drug, Sheryl Crow, Now & Then, Liberty Bank of Arkansas (Rector), Above & Beyond, Sol Sisters, Suzy's Beauty Shop, Piggott Arts and Crafts, Glam-R-Us, Judge David Copelin, Cat's Candy, The Shop Salon and Spa, Dr. Bryan Blackshare, Harps, Pat Presson, Burns Farms, Carl and Melba Bradberry, Jane Gatewood and Serendipity Lane.
The organizers wish to thank everyone who participated in making the celebration possible.