My Pulse News

Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

2015 Community Awards Nominations

Citizen of the year:


Mark Campbell – posthumously

  • Founder of Street & Performance business
  • Founder of Rod Run Event




Harold Coogan

  • Well respected historian and teacher to this community. After teaching at Mena High School for 21 years, he moved to RMCC to teach there.
  • Even thought he is retired now, he still teaches a class of high school students at RMCC. He is always providing information about Mena and the surrounding communities. He donated his Mena Star Collection and other items to RMCC to be on hand for anyone to see. RMCC has named a collection room after him in his honor which holds his donations.
  • Serves on the Quorum Court.
  • Contributor to “Mena Centennial History – 1896-1996”.
  • Disabled veterans honored him with “Outstanding Citizen of the Community” for his extensive work and research to the fallen warrior memorial at the courthouse.


Chris Daniel

  • For almost 30 years, Chris has served and worked in Polk County. He is dedicated to keeping the community informed about weather and local news.
  • Provides safety tips and ways for people to be prepared in case of an emergency.
  • He serves as president of three non-profit boards; these are Fresh Start PRC, Community Radio, Inc. and Pine Crest Cemetery. He also manages several Face book pages as well as actively updates his own personal page keep Polk County informed.



Diane Mathis

  • Known as “the cookie lady” using home baked cookies as tangible thank-yous and tokens of appreciation for others.
  • Founder of Social Seniors and continues to support sociable seniors, a group of 50+ individuals and couples who have chosen Mena as their new homes. Provides warm welcome and opportunities to network for social and informational resources.
  • Remembering Hearts Forever founder, booster, and promotes via media.



Mena Lioness Lion’s Club

  • Supports local charities and nonprofit organizations through community service volunteer at events and fundraising efforts to combat issues of hunger, domestic violence, child abuse and maltreatment.
  • Provide resources to persons with disabilities.





Elizabeth Thompkins

  • Local Special Olympics organizer and fundraiser






Best Renovation/Beautification:


Mena Art Gallery

•The Mena Art Gallery completed an extensive renovation of the art gallery that provides the community culture through the arts, encourages artists, provides numerous free demonstrations as well as provides children classes and adult classes and much more.




 Non-Stop Fitness

•24-hour gym and fitness facility





Ozark Inn Motel

Interior renovations and upgrades hotel rooms and beds





Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge      

Date Reopened: July 2015

• Interior and exterior renovations as the lodge was expanded from 25,881 square feet to 37,029 square feet to include the addition of a new hearth room with wood-burning fireplace, two additional guest rooms increasing the total to 40, and more space within all the rooms. Two guest rooms on each floor at the west end include gas fireplaces and spa tubs.

• The upstairs meeting facility increased in size and includes a balcony overlooking the gorgeous south view from the mountain.

• An elevator was added to the lodge, as well as more stairwells. A wrap-around porch on the building’s south side will provide visitors with comfortable outdoor space to enjoy a cool breeze in a southern style rocking chair. A new porch was added at the west end and a new fire protection system covers the entire building.

• Other improvements include a new energy efficient heating and air-conditioning system, energy saving lighting throughout, solar hot water, and other such features. A new laundry serves the housekeeping staff.



The Front Porch

• Renovated former Meat Works Butchery and created a merchant center from community entrepreneurs, providing economic growth to the community, one entrepreneur at a time.





The Main Street Shoppe

• Extensive interior renovations to historical downtown building.




The Mercantile

• Extensive interior and exterior renovations to a vacant historical downtown building.





The Old Bank Antiques

• Extensive interior and exterior renovations to a vacant historical downtown building.




Best New Construction:


Mena Family Fun Park

• Go-Kart track and laser tag games for youth and family entertainment.




Polk County Extension Office (4-H Building)

• The facility provides and growth opportunities for youth and community activities and functions to support 4-H endeavors, that is a free program for youth and adults that focus on leadership, mentorship and agriculture. Promoting Engagement, Involvement and Education.



Business of the Year:


 The Fair Lady Boutique

  • Started in 2014 in a tent at Lum & Abner Festival
  • Grown to 2 store-fronts in Mena & Glenwood
  • Online store generating sales internationally
  • Respected as “Best Clothing Boutiques” in the U.S.
  • Member of Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce since opening day
  • Located in historical downtown district
  • Owner Amber Brewer is active in community, member of both the Lioness and Lady Ouachita Organizations; Founder of MAPP Relay for Life Program.


Union Bank of Mena

  • Generous support to community organizations, schools, college and hospital.
  • Bank family active in community
  • Serve or hosts at numerous events through out the community

Supports the community in all aspects of service to improve the quality of life for the those whose live and work here.


Volunteer of the year:


Teena Brown

  • Founder of “Clarice’s Room of Hope”.
  • Holds monthly cancer support meetings that provide emotional and financial support to cancer patients.
  • Provides wigs, scarves and other essential items that cancer patients may need.
  • Leads fundraising efforts that brings attention to the needs of the community in this area and all money raised is kept local.


Jim Corazzo

  • Provides transportation to those in need.
  • Volunteers maintaining many yards in the Hatfield area for those who are unable.
  • Promptly responds to accidents in the Hatfield/Cove area to assist with traffic control.
  • Member of Hatfield Fire Department and first responder.
  • Constable for Hatfield community.
  • Assist PCSO & state troopers when needed.
  • Volunteered with Polk County Long-Term Recovery & New York Says Thank You


Karl Cunningham

  • One of the founding members of 9th Street Feeding Ministry of First Baptist Church.
  • Continues to faithfully serve – every week – seeing that 300 people are served weekly, as meals are prepared and delivered to shut-ins.
  • Karl serves on several boards in the area.
  • He is a deacon and the financial chairman at First Baptist Church.



Terri Neugent

  • Volunteering as the interim marketing director since October 2015 for the Mena Advertising & Promotion Commission and all duties associated therein including advertising, brochures, website, social media and communications.
  • Acting director of the 39th Annual Lum & Abner Festival.



Jack Peebles

  • Volunteers his time to Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Prosecuting Attorney’s office since his retirement.
  • Served as interim sheriff after serving as chief deputy sheriff of Polk County.
  • Active with a Masons and his church.




Rudi Timmerman

  • Rudi is currently serving us president of the Ouachita Little Theatre, His undying support of the theatre had been not only his volunteer hours but by financial support as well. Follwing the ’93 tornado, Rudi helped push to save the heavily damaged building and today is again tirelessly working on a capital campaign to raise money to reroof the same building providing quality theatre to Polk County. Faithful, focused, community minded, dedicated.



John Vacca

  • Has served on A&P Commission
  • RMCC Foundation board member
  • Ouachita Arts Celebration planning board
  • Co-organized Janssen Park Players
  • ARCO (Arkansas Regional Coalition of the Ouachitas) board chair



Capt. (USN retired) John Robert “Bob” Young

  • Decorated navel aviator
  • Has volunteered with local youth sports programs
  • Has served seniors with the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program with AARP, ultimately becoming the local program director and eventually regional manager and is IRS-CERTIFIED to teach and qualify new volunteers.
  • He founded “Healthy Connections”, and working with child abuse and pregnant and parenting teens. During his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Connections, he secured over $11,000,000 in federal, state and corporate grants to support this non-profit organization that now employs nearly 100 employees serving over 17,000 patients each year.


Tommy Young

  • Tommy is the vice-president and founder of Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center
  • He has rehabilited and released thousands of birds mammals and other wildlife.
  • Recipient of numerous awards including the governors award, Rex Hamcock award, Audubon wildlife award, citizen of the year from both Elks club and the rotary club of Mena.


Dr. Dick Black

  • Board of Directors of The Oaks
  • Mena Regional Health System Volunteer and Volunteer Coordinator
  • An active member of The Quality of Life Coalition
  • Board of Directors for SMART (Small Maintenance and Repair Team) The faith-based organization builds and repairs wheel chair ramps for the disabled. They also search for volunteer carpenters and plumbers to do extensive work for those unable to afford the repair costs.
  • He, often times, provides transportation for veterans to the Veteran Hospital.
  • An active volunteer and supporter of Clarice’s Room of Hope


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