Annual Greenway Picnic is Set

Thursday, July 31, 2014
This marker, honoring the 1952 Greenway Tigers, has been placed in the community's park due to the generous efforts of the Gatewood family. The team was a state semifinalist, as well as NEA Tournament and Clay County Tournament champions.

The 84th annual Greenway Picnic, to benefit the Mitchell Cemetery, will be held Saturday, Aug. 2, at the community's picnic grounds. The annual event will officially kick off at 9 a.m. with the opening ceremonies on the grandstand, and activities will be going on throughout the day. Visitors will have an opportunity to view the Greenway Volunteer Fire Department's new fire truck, which will be on display at the picnic grounds.

There will be food stands, games, bingo, novelties and rides for the kids. The day also will include a full schedule of live entertainment.

Following the opening ceremonies, the first of the day's pageants will get underway at 9:30 a.m. with the Baby Greenway contest for boys and girls ages birth through 12 months. The entry fee is $25. Registration will get underway at 9 a.m. prior to the event. Those who want more information may contact Sandy Hill at (870) 529-3325.

At 11 a.m. the toddler contest for boys and girls ages one through three-years-old. Sunday attire will be featured. The entry fee is $25 and registration will begin at 10:30 a.m. that day.

At 2 p.m. the Little Miss Greenway pageant for little girls ages four through eight will be held. Contestants should wear Sunday dress. The entry fee is $25 and registration will begin at 1:30 p.m. prior to the contest.

The afternoon also will include the Junior Miss Greenway pageant at 4 p.m. for girls age nine to 12. The attire will be Sunday dress. The entry fee is $25 and is due prior to the event. Registration will begin at 3:30 p.m. Those wanting more information may call Della Jackson at (870) 324-1277 (after 5 p.m.).

At 8 p.m. the highlight of the evening, the Miss Greenway pageant, will be held on the stage. This pageant will include young ladies ages 13 to 18 and contestants will wear formal wear. The entry fee is $25. There will be no practice and pre-registration is not required.

Those who want more information on Toddler, Little Miss and Miss Greenway pageants may contact Barbara Collier at (870) 598-7311.

The annual Greenway Picnic serves as the primary fundraiser for Mitchell Cemetery, located west of the community.

Basketball Team Remembered

The 1952 Greenway High School Tigers basketball team is one of the most successful squads to take the court not only in the small Clay County community, but throughout the entirety of northeast Arkansas, as well. The 1952 Tigers finished the season with a stellar 35-5 overall record, reaching the semifinals Class B State Basketball Tournament at t time when fewer teams in a particular district were able to qualify for the state tournament, essentially going from district to state tournament, with no regional tournament, incorporating more schools throughout the state, but fewer at the local level.

"That was a big accomplishment for a school our size, especially in those days," Greenway alum Don Gatewood said. Gatewood's brother, Earl, was a member of 1952 squad, and Don, along with other members of the V. O. Gatewood family, partnered with local supporters in creating a memorial for the legendary team. A beautiful memorial featuring a photo of the team and the names of the players and coach Troy Walls, was erected at Greenway's community park earlier this month. Fittingly, the monument is located near the park's basketball court, where those playing on the court today can be reminded of the accomplishments of those who played in the small community more than 60 years ago. Players featured on the marker are Bob Ward, Sam Ward, Byron Webb, Harrison Bateman, Winfred Wright, Bradley Benson, Billy Powell, Harold Speer, Doyle Speer, Junior Newman, Glen Norman, Jimmie Milliken, Gale Kegley, Earl Gatewood, John Dean and Bill Copeland.

"We wanted something there in the community to remember those guys and that team," Don Gatewood, who now resides in Ada, Okla., said. "With the school gone, we wanted to do something in a place where people would still gather and be able to see it, and the park they've built there seemed like the perfect place."

The marker also serves to honor the memory of the Gatewood family, members of whom spearheaded the project with the aid of other local supporters.

Saturday's annual Greenway Picnic is an ideal time for those with long-reaching ties to the community to return to Greenway and take the opportunity to visit this tribute to a talented team and a supportive community effort.

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