Salvation Army 30th anniversary is Saturday

From Staff Reports

Sept. 29, 2008 - Hopkins County Salvation Army's 30th anniversary will be celebrated this weekend with a Saturday reception at Sulphur Springs Airport.

Hopkins County African American Leadership Conference encourages the community to stop by the airport board room between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday to show appreciation to HCSA and Jo Marie Neal, longtime chairperson.

"We are inviting all to come and show appreciation to Jo Marie for her years of service to our community," said Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks, HCAALC president.

Neal has served as chairperson of HCSA since October of 1978, serving in the early 1980s as SA president for Region 2 which covers nine counties, REACT president, and was a board member of Ark-Tex Council of Governments for several years.

HCSA's headquarters are located inside The Bait and Tackle Shop, which Neal and her husband of 50 years, Wickie, own and operate.

HCSA's purpose is to assist those in need on a local level as needed. That assistance includes meals, lodging, utilities, medication, transportation, rent, dental and/or medical aid as well as house fire victim, to provide transient aid as needed and seasonal assistance with food drives and baskets for needy families. HCSA representatives' also respond with emergency officials to provide water and other relief efforts to the officials during emergency situations such as fires, motor vehicle crashes and manhunts.

The Salvation Army also provides assistance as needed during local, regional and national disasters, such as tornadoes, flooding, ice storms and hurricanes. According to Neal, HCSA disasters HCSA has assisted with include tornadoes in Jerral, Lancaster, Dekalb and Pickton-Pine Forest; hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike; and an Asian tsunami.

The local Salvation Army also provides assistance for local youth to attend Camp Hoblitzelle annually.

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