Award Winning Film and Its Maker to be Featured in Museum
Larry Foley, veteran broadcast journalist, educator and documentary filmmaker will introduce the showing of (two of his films) his film ”The First Boys of Spring” in the Old Independence Regional Museum on Sunday, June 3 at 1:30.
His films have earned seven Mid America Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and 19 Emmy nominations in writing, journalist enterprise, history, cultural history, special program and community service. He has also received four Best of Festival of Media Arts awards from the international Broadcast Education Association for his films.His most recent award was for his short film about Frank Broyles, which received a Best of Festival Award from Broadcast Education in Las Vegas last April.
His “The First Boys of Spring” is an hour-long documentary film, narrated by Arkansas native Billy Bob Thornton. It shows the close connections between Hot Springs, Arkansas, and early professional baseball payers and teams. Despite its somewhat remote location, the town was the pre-season training site of choice for decades before many teams began going to Florida or Arizona sites for Spring Training.
Using vintage photos, interviews, anecdotes, re-enactments and historic locations in Hot Springs the film tells the interesting and often overlooked story of the important role the Spa City played in helping baseball become the national pastime.
Between the 1880s and the 1920s early spring found many teams from big-league baseball, the minor leagues and the Negro Leagues in Hot Springs, AR, preparing for the upcoming season. The film shows Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, and Cy Young and others as they trained there. They were just a few of the many players on dozens of well-known teams who regularly spent pre-season time there.
In 1939 about half of the first class of inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, had spent time training in Hot Springs. Many teams and players attributed their on-field success to the time they spent conditioning, training and playing exhibition games in the hills and valleys of Hot Springs.
Players loved to begin conditioning and training there, believing the famed mineral waters helped them condition their bodies and shed extra winter pounds. They also appreciated other Hot Springs diversions such as horse racing, gambling, and the generally free and easy lifestyle of that era in Hot Springs.
Filmmaker Foley is professor and chair of the School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas. In 2017, he was inducted into the Mid America Emmy Silver Circle for a distinguished career invested in teaching, reporting, writing, producing and directing stories, mostly about his beloved home state of Arkansas. He was honored because he personified the spirit of innovation, passion, creativity and commitment that are hallmarks of excellence in television arts and sciences.
His PBS credits include The Buffalo Flows, Saving the Eagles, The Lost Squadron and When Lightning Struck: Sago of an American Warplane. Foley’s scripts have been narrated by President Bill Clinton, Academy Aware winners Billy Bob Thornton, Mary Steenburgen and Ray McKinnon, county music star Joe Nichols, ABC reporter T.J. Holmes, and NFL Hall of Fame broadcaster Charlie Jones.
This program is open and free to the public……..
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
Jeff Drew is her husband of almost 29 years. They have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.