Tuesday evening was the annual Life Choices Banquet. This organization has accomplished the near impossible! Groups from all over the country visit the facilities here to determine why it is so successful. Just one more example of how extraordinary Southwest Missouri is! They outdid themselves again with a record crowd to hear the guest speaker Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson lived up to his reputation and gave a barnburner of a speech! The great thing about the evening was that sponsors had covered all the food and expenses, so all the money donated went directly for the services provided by the clinics! What a great place to live! Thanks to all the sponsors!
On Wednesday I had the privilege of addressing Karen Almeters' adult education class in Southwest City. I explained how State Government was structured and discussed the process by which our laws are made. There was a question and answer session and I'm sure I enjoyed the visit as much as anyone. I sure hope they invite me back.
Thursday morning I was at White Rock Elementary for an assembly to honor teachers. I was then able to surprise Mr. Graham Bunting with a resolution recognizing him for becoming a U.S. citizen earlier this year. It's always fun to visit White Rock, the home of the "Roosters".
We went to Newtonia on Saturday for the Fall Festival. Two of our grandchildren were with us and they really enjoyed a tour of the Ritchey Mansion. You probably know that last year they had the 150-year celebration of the First Battle of Newtonia. Well, next year will be the 150th year celebration of the second battle of Newtonia. For history buffs like me it will be a chance to see the Civil War encampments, displays of surgical tents, cannons and weapons of the era, as well as dozens of other displays. It may be a little early to start planning the day, but at least mark your calendar.
We have been getting quite a few requests for times to speak at the Town Hall Meeting on October 8. If you have something to say about the Division of Children's Service, we are soliciting opinions at the Pineville Community Center beginning at 9:00 A.M. This is part of our ongoing Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. My sub-committee has been holding hearings all year with various department heads and now we want some community feedback. Call my Jefferson City office to schedule a time or just show up and we'll try to work you in for a five-minute segment. The more I learn about abuse and neglect of our children the more determined I am to help make the State's Children's Division as effective as possible. We've spent our first year looking at the problems, now it's time to seek solutions.
More next week, until then I am, and remain in your service.