Ann Foos photos

Veterans celebrate opening of their new American Legion and VFW hall

Veterans have a group picture taken during the community open house reception Sunday at the new American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars building, at 900 N. Main St.

At right, commanders Joe Wilson and Don Wooten and adjutant Richard Copeland credit those responsible for constructing the new building.

Gwen Allen moves on from running the chamber

LeeAnn Crider takes over as executive director

Gwen Allen

Gwen Allen, executive director of the Webb City Area Chamber of Commerce, recently announced that she is resigning to focus on family businesses.

A reception for Allen will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 28, at the Elks Club. Her last day on the job will be Friday, July 29.

Allen has been with the chamber for nearly 20 years.

In a message to the membership, she wrote, “I have every intention of remaining active within our community and will remain supportive to the Webb City Area Chamber of Commerce organization, its board of directors, the membership, and the business community. Many of you are my friends, and I consider this like a close family. I grew up with this chamber. I know how wonderful all the individuals are who make up the chamber organization, and I know they are supportive to my current growth opportunity and decision.”

LeeAnn Crider, the membership director serving under Allen for the last nine years, will be the new executive director.

Ron Lankford to be honored as Pioneer in Education

Aug. 1 at Lake Ozark

Ron Lankford, former superintendent of the Webb City R-7 School District, will be honored as a Pioneer in Education Monday, Aug. 1, at Lake Ozark.

Five others have been selected for the honor this year. They are Sen. Roy Blunt, Niangua; J.J. Bullington, Caruthersville; Charles Brown, St. Louis; Julie Leeth, Springfield, and O. Victor Lenz Jr., Lindbergh. 

Pioneer of Education awards have been presented for 47 years, honoring teachers, school administrators, citizens and lawmakers for their support of Missouri education.

Ron Lankford

Lankford lived and worked in the Webb City R-7 School District for 45 of his 48 years in education. He became an assistant high school principal in East Newton Public Schools before moving to Webb City, where he served as the junior high and high school principal before becoming the superintendent in 2010.

As superintendent, Lankford oversaw 13 bond and levy ballot measures to better serve Webb City students. He started the scholarship program and led the effort to form what was named the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence, and worked with Crowder College to secure a campus site in Jasper County.

After retiring from Webb City, Lankford served as deputy commissioner of financial and administrative services at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Jefferson City.

He retired again a year ago after spending several years as chief financial officer for the Joplin R-8 School District.

The Pioneers of Education will be honored at 12:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, during the 61st annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators, with more than 600 school leaders in attendance at the Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark.

Historical Society to tour Freedom of Flight museum

2:30 p.m. Saturday

Members and prospective members of the Webb City Historical Society are invited Saturday to attend a group tour of the Freedom of Flight Museum in the old Joplin airport terminal, 501 Dennis Weaver Drive, “Webb City.”

The tour will start at 2:30 p.m. Free ice cream cones will be served after the tour, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Self-guided tours are available any time the museum is open, which is 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Admission is free.

The society’s next event will be a tour at Just-A-Taste, 105 S. Main St., including a program on the extensive renovation of several downtown buidings. It will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30.

A date hasn’t been picked yet for a trolley tour of downtown in September.

New farmers market newsletter published

Online or hard copy 

The Webb City Farmers Market has launched a new quarterly newsletter produced by board member Stefanie Thomasma. 

Printed versions are available at the information table, however, the sure way not to miss it is to sign up for the newsletters to be delivered online.

Click here to sign up for free. All that’s needed is your email address. 

Also at that link is information about helping the market by becoming a member of the market’s G.R.O.W. Team. You can also sponsor musicians and help cover operational costs associated with Cooking for a Cause.

There’s also a newly designed website with information of all sorts about the market, including how to volunteer, rent the certified kitchen, SNAP and WIC enhancements and a gift registry.