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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor


Letter to the Editor,

Well, the 18th annual Cherry Blossom Festival has come to a close and with its conclusion comes a flood of new memories. As usual, it takes an army of volunteers to make it all work. I wish to thank everyone who helped to make it another successful weekend. A huge shout out to the Cherry Blossom Festival Committee, Cherry Blossom Auxiliary, Host families, VIP Drivers and Airport Drivers, VIP Assistants, Carl Gore, George and Jan Williams, Shirley Huffman, Sarah Inman, Butch and Jeanette Alcorn, Emmett Thiele, Jackson Inman, Mike Marx, Tim McAbee, Mary Jean Eisenhower (Patron of the Cherry Blossom Festival), Teresa Parson (First Lady of Missouri and Honorary Chairwoman of the Cherry Blossom Festival), Fraker Funeral Home-Dale Fraker, Federal Protection, School Speaker Liaison (Jeannie Moreno), Cherry the Chicken Readers, Square Vendor Coordinators (Dale Hartwell and Rachel Andrews), Cherry Blossom Tea Committee, Sassafras Tea Committee, CBF Decorating Committee, Kim Fortney, Dana Miller-Atchison, Teresa Grunlien, Wommack Monument, Lindsay Laird, Mark Boshe, Phil Rippee, Marshfield VFW Post 4101 Color Guard, 135th Army Band Bear Brass from the Missouri National Guard, James Carter IV, Andrew Och (First Ladies Man), Jennifer Harville, Margaret Hayes Clark, Donnie Kendrick, Richard Gatchell, Kevin Cantrell, Paul Valenti, Connie Roberts, Cheri Colson, Denise Vesely, Justin Cron and the FFA program, Our host facilities (Marshfield Assembly of God, First Baptist Church, Marshfield United Methodist Church, Marshfield Church of the Nazarene, Son-Rise Christian Church, Marshfield High School and the Marshfield Community Center), Ozarks Concert Association, Route 66 Repertory Theatre, Pastor Doug and Cheri Sampley, James Case, Craig Hosmer, Moe Bandy, Margaret Schwartz and family, Mark and Dixie Dawson, Marshfield Public Schools, Laura Ingalls Wilder Children's Literature Festival Committee, Vivian Stuber Memorial Library of Niangua, Fordland Memorial Library, Webster County Retired Teachers Association (Debbie Kastning, President), Marshfield High School Alumni Association, Cherry Blossom Pianists/Organist (including their director- Pat Allen Baker), Dr. Larry Cook, Richard LaMotte, Melanie Fraker, Martha Myers, City of Marshfield (especially Sam Rost-City Administrator), Michael Brand (for installing the stars on the Missouri Walk of Fame), Rost Ready Mix, Inc., our caterers (Sheila's Place and Vidie's Catering), Zuzu House Board of Directors, Jeff Curley, Tammie Maples, Harlan Boll, Tammy Helms, Elkland Independent Methodist Church, Webster County Historical Society, Evelyn Hampton Garden Club, Michael Dove and the Blue Jay Singers, Martha Foglesong, David DePriest, Pastor Rich Cochran, Pastor Kim Polchow, Pastor Gary Davenport, Pastor Wanda Heidemann, Pastor Fred Morrison, Pastor Dylan Robinson, Pastor Billy Young, Pastor Chris Robinson, Marshfield Ministerial Alliance, Susan Newcomb, Brenda Sommerville, Curt Singer, Zane Wood, Dawn Hendrycks, Becky Erb, Karen McMillan, Sir Michael Spyres, Sean Spyres, Kevin Wright, Stan Whitehurst, Jackie Lance, His Fingerprint Photography, Penny Bolin, Sarah Stewart, Carol Larimore and Blanche Firestone (Cherry Pie Co-Chairwoman), Hoover Case (Auctioneer), Andrew Young (Auctioneer), Massee McKinley, Susie Jones (Cherry Blossom Quilt Maker), Pat Capps (Cherry Blossom Quilt Quilter), Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Foundation, Dr. Bill Piston, David Jerome, Paul Sheppard, Ruthie Davis Letterman (Quilt Coordinator), Kasey Thiele and the Whole Kitchen, Rex Vestal, Laurie Ford, Jan Owen, Vivian King, Terry Penner, Dianna Witte, Martha Sheppard, Joan Heintz, Barbara Blount, Dave and Gloria Dancey, Bombgaars, Sully Loves Sugar, MFA, Wendi Lou Lee, Mark Mikkelsen, Pastor Bruce Blankenship, Randall Hathcock, Jeff Willis, Roy Howard Beck, Sherrie Jackson and the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation, Andrew Och, Marshfield Veterans Day Parade Committee, Gifted Program Students and Parents, Linda Murrow and the International Exchange Students, Marshfield JAG program, Sport Shack, Sue Minor, Dee Rader, Presidential Descendants and our VIP guests, Nostalgia Autograph Show volunteers, Bill and Neva Schroder, Isaac Kenneth and Band, David Scrivner and the Square Dance musicians, Cade Crockett (Square Dance Caller), Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Natalie McNish, Greg Will and the Missouri Humanities Council, The Webster County Commission, The Webster County Library and Leah Shelby, Aunt Norma Champion, Rosalie Perryman, Jennifer Glenn and the Marshfield High School Art Students, April McDonough and Roseann Blunt, Community Hand Bell Choir and Combined Community Choir, The National First Ladies Day Commission, Robert Gordon and Webster County Printing, Marshfield Dry Cleaners, Sour Cream Twist Committee, Melba June Young, Joan Keeler, Phoebe Cleir, Regetta Long, Paula Vidal, The Marshfield Mail and Shelby Atkison, CBF Auxiliary Cherry Pie Bakers Committee, Cheratin Dunn and those who played in the MHS Alumni Softball Game, Hal Lewis, Nadine Bunch, Eulala Hutson, Darlene Smith, Georgia Carmichael, Freda Crates, Anna Hedger, Lynn Parker, Becky McGoon, Jay Clark, Dorothy Blankenship, Beverly Harris, Earney Smith, Jill Campbell, Aleeya Wilson, Dorinda Nicholson, Daniel Essary, Rhonda Hubbard, Kevin Powers and the College of the Ozarks Band, United Methodist Men, Don Stockton, Cherry Blossom Medal Recipients and families, Carol Fuller, Juanita Lee and Kenny Kee, Ben Berkstresser, Brandon Rust, Davison Spriggs Insurance, Chuck Cooksey, Delores Turner, Carolyn Moye and the Lola Fern Day family. I sure hope that I did not forget anyone as we appreciate each and every festival volunteer!

The 2023 Cherry Blossom Festival Committee went above and beyond with their preparations again this year. Thank you to CBF committee members; Emma Bell (Vice President and VIP Driving Chairwoman), Carol Cooksey (Treasurer and Host Family Coordinator), Karen Gore (Secretary), Melody Mikkelsen (Airport Driver Chairwoman), Jill Phillips (Festival Photographer and Historian), Vicki Shalloup (Caterer Liaison), Fay King, Joyce Inman, Reagan Inman, Betty Jo Cantrell, Jan Gallagher, Tammie Robison (Silent Auction Coordinator), Carol Koster, Linda Dickinson and Jeannie Moreno.    

Additionally, we are extremely grateful to our many festival sponsors. Their support of the festival is vital each year and we remain grateful for this continued encouragement. Please visit, thank and support the following festival sponsors: The Seymour Bank, King Rental, Federal Protection, Fitch Electric, Price Cutter (Food Sponsor), Prickly Cactus, Casey’s (Food Sponsor), Marshfield Chevrolet, American Family Insurance, Label Solutions, Don Vance Ford, Century Realty, His Fingerprint Photography, Vidies Catering, CR Realty Inc., Linda Lott (Attorney), Fraker Funeral Home, Webster Electric and Sheila's Place. 

I also wish to thank my family for all of their dedication and the countless hours they spend working behind the scenes. It has truly become a family project with multi generations of our family participating. I could not do it without them!!!! Our family is so proud of the festival and we enjoy seeing our festival friends each spring. We thank you for traveling to Marshfield to attend the festivities and we know how much you appreciate all of the festival volunteers as well. You have all become part of our festival family and we hope that you will make many more returns back here for the Cherry Blossom Festival in the future. 

Please mark your calendars for the 2024 festival, which is scheduled for April 25-28. We hope to see you all there!!


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