May 28, 2008 Edition

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Clover Bend Reunion held

Merrill Young plays "The Star Spangled Banner" on the violin during opening ceremonies Saturday morning at Clover Bend.
TD Photo ~ Kathryn Caldwell
Kathryn Caldwell
TD Intern

Those attending the annual Clover Bend Reunion celebrated 25 years of hard work and dedication to restoring the town to the way it was in the beginning.

Viola Meadows, president of the Clover Bend Historic Preservation Board, announced that $196,000 was donated to help renovate the old gym. Half of this money was donated through Congressman Marion Berry, who was scheduled to speak at this celebration.

He was unable to attend, so John Andrews of Walnut Ridge, longtime supporter and campaign member for Berry, spoke in his place.

Andrews, whose grandparents lived in Clover Bend, spoke about how he remembered Clover Bend as a child.

"I remember sitting on the front steps of the school eating a bologna sandwich watching the floodwaters come up," Andrews said as he shared memories of spending time in Clover Bend.

Those honored for their dedication and service to the restoration of Clover Bend included the late Gene Pope, the late Joe Ward and the late Wilma Christopher.

Also honored were Shirley and his wife, Nyokia, Callahan for their continued service to Clover Bend. Meadows said they parked their RV on the Clover Bend School grounds and worked 10 days to completely restore the smokehouse building at Clover Bend School.

Charlie Kirkpatrick, a former coach at Clover Bend School, was presented with a trophy for his many years of dedication to the school. Billy Ed Doyle and David Doyle, two of his students, presented him with this award.

A new program to honor loved ones was also instituted this year to support the efforts at Clover Bend. It is to express congratulations for a birthday or any special event. The gift can be dedicated for a specific part of the Clover Bend historic site or to be used where there is the most need.

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