Snapp, Blasini honored
for 'Triumph of Spirit'



Carrie Mae Snapp (left) of Walnut Ridge and Raul Blasini of Pocahontas were two of seven Triumph of the Human Spirit honorees at a banquet held Monday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn of Jonesboro.
Submitted Photo ~ Ginger Bibb
Carrie Mae Snapp of Walnut Ridge and Raul Blasini of Pocahontas were two of seven Triumph of the Human Spirit honorees at a banquet held Monday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn of Jonesboro.

The annual event, first held in 2004, salutes people in Northeast Arkansas who have taken difficult situations and turned them into opportunities for service. Hope Circle, a program of NEA Clinic Charitable Foundation in Jonesboro, and The Jonesboro Sun sponsor the event.

Besides Snapp and Blasini, others honored were: Teresa Ashley (deceased), Mickey Bridger, Lora Mason and Sarah Smith, all of Jonesboro; and Rick and Nakostta Dement of Paragould.

Each honoree received a special print, "The Circle of Life," by Gima Jansen of Paragould. The print represents "the transformative journey though pain, hope, faith and freedom - the ultimate Triumph of the Human Spirit."

"It was such a wonderful event and honor!" said Snapp, who teaches art at Hoxie High School. Approximately 22 of her family members and friends were present to support her at the event.

Having battled ovarian cancer and kidney failure, Snapp has continued to teach art, direct dramas and use her talents and energy to improve the Walnut Ridge and Hoxie communities. In December, she underwent a successful kidney transplant.

Through the years, Snapp has helped support and raise funds for such causes as The Children's Shelter. She annually takes students to various parts of the country as part of Hoxie High School's Traveling Classroom.

Raul Blasini, although a resident of Pocahontas, is well known in Lawrence County and other areas of the state for his efforts to promote early detection and screening for prostate cancer. He was only 44 years old when he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Over 10 years ago, he underwent surgery that saved his life.

In 2001, Blasini organized the first screening fair in Pocahontas with 68 men attending. Last year more than 2,500 men were screened statewide through his efforts. He has organized a Lawrence County Health Fair and Prostate Cancer Screening in Walnut Ridge for the past two years and another is planned in October.

Blasini has also been named to a third term on the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation Board of Directors.

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