No. 901



In a day and time when most movies, video games and television programs are filled with violence, crude language and other less than family-friendly content, I want to tell you about an exciting event we had here in our community this past February. While you may not live here, any organization can host an event like the one I want to share with you.
The event was our second annual Conway Noon Lions Club fundraiser held at the new Hendrix College gym. This was a charity basketball game between the traveling Harlem Ambassadors and our hometown Toad Suck Lions. We had twice as many people in attendance this year as last year, and what a great time we had for a worthy cause -- to help the blind and visually impaired.
In my almost 75 years, I have never attended any event for any reason where everyone who came had as much good, clean fun. We had an abundance of children, from elementary through high school, along with their parents, who found themselves caught up in the moment and having the time of their life. If there was ever a win-win situation this was it, but it took a lot of work on the part of a lot of people to make it happen. First were the Harlem Ambassadors, made up of only five college-educated players who have traveled to 23 countries and islands in the South Pacific. They perform against local talent for a worthy cause. They bring fast-paced superior basketball and showman skills that make it a challenge for any local team to compete. I might add: the local team will lose.
Our Toad Suck Lions were coached by three basketball legends that live here in our community. Coach Cliff Garrison spent 31 years as Hendrix College’s men’s basketball coach and athletic director; Coach Don Dyer coached at the University of Central Arkansas and Henderson State University and is probably best known as Scottie Pippen’s coach; and Marvin Delph, one of the famous “Triplets” who played for the Arkansas Razorbacks team that went to the Final Four. They all understand the importance of giving back.
The Toad Suck Lions are a collection of former college and high school players. Probably best known is Lawson Pilgrim, two-time All American when he played for Hendrix College. He flew in from Dallas, and then took an early flight home to attend a meeting the next day. Also notable was Jordan Neal, offensive coordinator for the new Hendrix College football team. The half-time performance was a group of small children from Woodrow Cummins Elementary School known as the “Little Dribblers.” They possessed basketball skills beyond their years.
As already stated, everyone had a great time, but this would have been just another fun event were it not for our sponsors who gave more than $10,000 to make it a success. We thank and honor them. They are Hendrix College, First Service Bank, Oak Street Auto Sales.Com, Central Baptist College, Nabholz Construction, Smith Ford, Abundant Health Chiropractic, Conway Corp., Super 8 Motel, Heritage Living Center, US Compounding, Walmart Supercenters, Summit Bank, First Security Bank, U-Pull-It of Conway, Regions Bank, Log Cabin Democrat, Conway Copies, Magie-Mabrey Eye Clinic, Golden Corral, Conway Regional Health System, McDowell Properties, Zellner’s Appliance & TV, Just Scrap It – Metal Recycling, Simmons First National Bank, St. Andrews Place Nursing Home and many other friends. This kind of support is what makes our community such a great place to live.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)