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I am so blessed to have the opportunity to get to know the Men of Distinction in our community. Since 2015 when MOD started, I get to spend a few minutes with these guys and learn their secrets to success and community involvement.

Of course, I haven’t lived anywhere else as long as I’ve lived here, but I just can’t imagine there being another community with so many giving individuals as we have. We are blessed.

We get to resurrect the career of retired editor, Dwain Lair for the job of videographer twice a year for Women of Distinction and Men of Distinction. I’ve had him in some interesting situations trying to get video interviews while instructions are being spoken over a loudspeaker system. One time in a nursing home, someone was mopping the hallway and using a squeegee to rid the mop of excess water. We had a lot of laughs about the fly that kept dive bombing Dave Morton at Goblin Stadium.  A few years ago, we were even too lost for Google Maps while in Marion County. This year we borrowed the services of a Colorado library to Skype with Joe Nance. But Dwain wasn’t happy with the sound quality and lighting, so Mr. Joe was a good sport and we did it again when he returned to the Ozarks.

This year, our most calm place was the cemetery. Yes, we did Robert Shaddox’s interview at Maplewood Cemetery. Several have asked why a cemetery? I’ve seen him several times walking and praying in that serene place, and it just seemed appropriate. I had taken some lawn chairs, and it was so quiet and peaceful that morning, we could have stayed all day. But other interviews were calling … so we had to move on. 

It’s fun to see what men collect and how they decorate their favorite spot in the house, office or back yard. Each man’s space is always different. There are usually stories they share and then say, “Now don’t use that!” Dwain and I will take those comments to our graves. But that makes it fun. I get a small window into what makes them tick. 

This was an interesting year for decorating, too. As the wife of a man in ministry, I’ve had my fair share of decorating events — but it’s not what I love to do, and I know it’s not one of my strengths. I got to help a little with the Women of Distinction, but my Business Editor hat had priority over my time on Tuesday and I didn’t do a thing to help set up, except drop off the MOD magazines, programs and table number do-dads (Thank your Northark for loaning those to us!)

God knew a long time ago I would need help! (That’s really an understatement.) He prepared Kim Rosson with the love for decorating, the education and a network of volunteers to do an amazing job. Every table was incredible. When I realized there was no way I would be able to help, I rested in the fact that God had my days planned out a long time ago, and felt his whisper, “I’ve got this.”

Planning these events are a lot of work and expense. But they are so worth it. A scholarship for a college student can change their world and encourage them to also be men and women of distinction. For our community to survive, we must keep the young adults engaged in serving others. And honoring men who usually try to avoid the limelight is so rewarding and fun.


The newspaper couldn’t host this event without our sponsors, partners, volunteers and all those who attend. You are encouraging that student and the honored guests. 

I am also grateful to Jamie and his crew at Creative Catering. I kept adding numbers to his count. Other chefs would probably string me up by the thumbs or throw pots and pans at me. But not his crew and the food was delicious, and always plentiful. (Just don’t show up at my house and expect a nice lunch without prior warning!)

We live in the best place in the world. Of course we have our problems — the same every community has. But we have lots of men, women and students doing their part to make it better. I am so grateful to live here and thank you for reading my ramblings!

Donna has written for the HDT for more than 19 years. When off the clock, she enjoys writing for children, teaching piano lessons and being a pastor's wife. The Braymers have three married sons and daughter-in-laws and 9 grandchildren.

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