Main Street Batesville receives large monetary gift for 2018 Fundraisers

For the second year in a row, the downtown revitalization nonprofit, Main Street Batesville, is the recipient of a large monetary gift that will fund their lineup of fundraisers for the year.

“We traditionally do five main fundraisers a year,” explained Executive Director Shannon Haney said of the Main Street Batesville organization. “They are events meant to serve both as community events, and also as a means of funding more downtown revitalization work.”

Last year, Merchants & Planters president Lee Conditt extended the offer to the organization as a way to continue downtown development, which has in the past year gained statewide attention. Most recently, Main Street Batesville was honored as a co-recipient of the Governor’s annual Henry Award for Tourism Development.

“To again go into the fundraising year with all of our major fundraising events sponsored is a big leg-up for us,” Haney said. “We’re so appreciative of everyone who continues to help us move forward. Everything accomplished downtown has been thanks to a joint effort by the entire town. We need that support – we’ve got a great start, but there’s more we need to do.“

The organization will still be seeking supporting-level sponsors for the fundraisers, as well as sponsors for other projects on the table for 2018 – in addition to their usual fundraising events, they have three festivals in the works, meant to provide a fun downtown atmosphere and things for residents/visitors to do.

Main Street Batesville is a 501c3. For more information on sponsoring an event or becoming a supporter of the Main Street Batesville organization, call 844-462-4482 or email


Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.