CCAC Names Honorees for Celebration of Arts
The Clay County Arts Council will honor Jessie Malin and Sue Hoggard at their annual Celebration of the Arts, set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at the Rector Community Center. Each year the arts council recognizes county residents for their efforts in support of the arts in an event which generates funds for the CCAC's many programs.
Jessie Malin is ever the lady, always having a kind word and a lovely smile, and has taught just about everyone in Rector. She is beloved in the town and her influence is widespread. With 25 years in the classroom and 10 years of school counseling at Rector High School, she always supported student involvement in the arts and athletics. Malin believes that through this involvement, students learn work-ethic and civic leadership which reach far into adult life. “Often equal to academics, student involvement in school activities affords students important lessons from teachers, coaches, and other influential adults,” she comments. Mrs. Malin taught by example highlighting the goals of a healthy home and service beyond self.
It was Malin’s interest in the arts and forthright statements that gave Rector High School the stage that it has today. When the old high school was demolished and plans made for the new facility, Malin was charged with planning classroom and lab space for the home economics department. She addressed the school board in that regard but also noted, “I wonder where anyone would be able to have a program that requires a stage.” No plans to facilitate any kind of stage presentation had been considered, even though the district had enjoyed a large auditorium in the old building that was torn down. Therefore, the school board decided to lengthen the cafeteria to include a stage area. It was this little stage that Gail Burns worked her magic to develop a showcase theatre program while she taught at Rector High School.
Jessie Malin remains proud that her parents taught her to be an independent person and an independent thinker, involved in all that life offers. She remarks that she is a junkie for politics and tries to stay active in many of Rector’s committees such as the Community Center Committee.
The Arts Council also honors Sue Hoggard, co-owner and co-founder of Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home and matriarch of the Hoggard family. She was also the founder and owner of Sue Flowers and Gifts, which was operated in two different locations before she sold the business in 2000. Sue also worked many years alongside her husband, the late Gerald Hoggard, in operating the funeral home which bears the family name. Later they were joined by their sons Paul Wayne and Sherrell Hoggard, in the funeral business serving families in the Clay County area. Sherrell passed away several years ago, and joining the firm later was his daughter, Stephanie (Hoggard) Lowe and her husband, Jarrod.
Through both her businesses, and volunteer efforts, Hoggard has grown to love this community and the community has grown to respect her. She is known around the Piggott area as "Mrs. Sue." She continues to this day working at the family business from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and during the course of a day you may find her cleaning the funeral home, making trips for the business--even driving on long trips for the funeral home as needed, or working visitations at night. She always has a smile on her face and truly loves people, always serving as a great example to her family in many ways. One family member noted, “to be honest we wouldn't know what to do without her!”
As well as her work at the funeral home, Sue Hoggard also truly cares about her community.
Rarely in the spotlight, she quietly works for the community in her day-to-day life. She attends picnics, chamber events, arts council events, car shows and ribbon cuttings around the community. And, although she might not be active on boards and councils, she is always quick to supports these events by her attendance or her donations.
Sue Hoggard has been a member of CCAC since its beginning and regularly serves as sponsor and donor for all the council’s programming. Hoggard and her family support CCAC through attendance at events, always bringing a lively group of friends. CCAC has come to count on a generous donation from Hoggard and Sons due to Mrs. Sue’s commitment to the arts.
“I have enjoyed attending the Arts Council events over the years and am delighted to see local artists displaying their talents,” she says of her involvement. Hoggard also credits the Arts Council for making this possible, as they allow local artists to be represented and acknowledged for their many talents and abilities. She takes great pleasure in being a vital part of a great organization that encourages the arts in the community.
Tickets for the event are on sale at the Rector Water Department and Honeysuckle and Home in Rector. They are also available at The Nest, Madpie’s Tea Room and Shoppes, Suzy’s, and City Market in Piggott. Ticket prices are $35 for non-members and $30 for members with the dinner catered by Traveling Wisk. A silent auction of locally produced art will be held during the event. Doors to the Rector Community Center will open at 6 p.m. on June 2, for this year's Celebration of the Arts.