Lift as You Climb: Teddy Steen

Lift as You Climb: Teddy Steen

By Kathleen Swift • Photo by Artistic Expressions Photography George Washington Carver famously advocated the philosophy, “Lift as you climb.” He meant that as we go through life, we should use our experiences and talents to help others. Teddy Steen has applied that...

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Club 609 Celebrates 30 Years

Club 609 Celebrates 30 Years

By Savanah Mandeville Photos by Mandy Edmonson On any given Friday or Saturday night, Club 609 is one of the most poppin’ places in town. Rewind 30 years, and that was exactly the case in 1990. “We held our grand opening night in September with friends and family to...

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!Editor’s Letter


The Month of Giving


November is the month we are reminded to count our blessings and give back to others. Whether it is in celebration of Thanksgiving or via our Pinterest boards sharing ways to reminisce, celebrate and express the good things in our life, the time is here. In our November issue, we recognize individuals and organizations that spend every day giving back to others and making our community the best place to live.

Service. Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities with the vision of creating a world where everyone has an affordable place to live. They bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity in Joplin just completed its 167th home. On page 15, learn what the US military veteran, his wife and five children have to say about their new home sweet home.

Hope. The Bright Futures program in Neosho is now in its 10th year of partnering with businesses and individuals in the community to serve children in need. Bright Futures began when business owners in Neosho and other area communities wanted to help school children whose basic needs for food, clothing and school supplies were going unmet. Turn to page 33 and learn how school leaders and community businesses bring hope and happiness to children every day.

Commitment. On page 60, learn the story of Teddy Steen, a woman whose commitment began to herself and grew to helping anyone who met her. She has experienced new beginnings, more chances and support, and now dedicates her life to giving others the same. She has truly impacted endless lives in our communities.

Support. The Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri opened in 1997 as a not-for-profit organization providing a safe, child-friendly setting for the investigation of child abuse in Southwest Missouri. Children arrive at the center due to allegations of sexual and/or physical abuse, living in a drug-endangered environment, neglect, exploitation through the internet or child pornography, and/or witnessing a serious crime. The Children’s Center in turn provides consistent and prompt follow-up to abuse reports, crisis intervention and compassionate support for the child and family. On page 63, Lori Jones shares with us the process and how the organization’s number-one goal is for children to feel safe and supported during a difficult time.

Giving. Since 1966, Joplin Workshops, Inc., has extended employment opportunities for mentally and physically disabled adults in Jasper and Newton counties. On page 65, learn how JWI has served its employees and the business needs in our communities for 54 years. Read the article and see the projects these men and women work on all day.

SMTO wishes you a happy month of appreciating the kindness of others and giving back. Take the time to thank someone for their help and kindness, or be intentional in your actions to help someone in need. After all, November 15 marks National Philanthropy Day.

Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you!


Lee Radcliff




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