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My Town Hero

Tell Us About Your 'My Town Hero'!

Tell Us About Your 'My Town Hero'!

Do you know someone in your community who goes above and beyond? Maybe they’re always helping people, or greets everyone with a smile. Perhaps they’ve beat unthinkable odds or have accomplished something exceptional.

We want to highlight them. To have your My Town Hero featured, email the following information to web@thv11.com:

  • Their name,
  • Their hometown,
  • Their contact information,
  • A photo of them, and
  • What makes them extra special

Include “My Town Hero” in the email subject line, and we’ll take care of publishing it for you. Their story might even be told on air by THV11's Denise Middleton.

My Town Hero: Shirley Faulkner

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - Hidden away in the River Valley, specifically Russellville, Ark., is a lady that never tires of giving herself to her passion; sharing the gift of music to everyone she meets.

The lady is Shirley Faulkner, the executive director of Arkansas Center for Music Education (ACME). Shirley founded ACME because of her love of music and her deep desire to bring the art of music to the community around her.

The Arkansas Center of Music Education's mission is to provide quality and affordable (free, if needed) music education in classroom instruction, instrumental and vocal ensembles to students, pre-kindergarten to adult, who would not otherwise have such an educational experience available to them. 

My Town Hero: Planting seeds to grow a better community

My Town Hero: Planting seeds to grow a better community

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Along the 12th Street corridor in Little Rock, seeds of change are being planted as neighbors work to revitalize their community.

"It creates a kind of community bond when people are able to work together, work the land together," said Tauheed Salaam with the Central Little Rock Promise Neighborhood.

Salaam started this community garden almost a year ago, teaming up with non-profit groups to open this Young Adult Opportunity Center. Both have been breathing new life into the community ever since.

My Town Hero: Program helping children become better readers

My Town Hero: Program helping children become better readers

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – One man in Little Rock has started a program designed to help children become better readers. Second Baptist Church in downtown Little Rock started the MLK Reads program a year ago with the help of Minister Chris Ellis.

"We looked around and felt that third grade reading levels were connected to drop out rates, poverty rates, and incarceration,” explained Ellis. "We didn't want to just put a Band-aid on something. We wanted to get to the root causes."

According to a recent report published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, about 16 percent of children who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade do not graduate from high school on time. That number rose to 35 percent for children who were also poor, putting them at a major disadvantage when it comes to their education.

My Town Hero: Batesville mom provides kids with second chance at childhood

My Town Hero: Batesville mom provides kids with second chance at childhood

BATESVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - In Batesville, one woman has dedicated her life to helping children believe in themselves and lead fulfilling lives.

"When I first moved in I was scared to death,” said Jamey Vanlandingham, who first set foot on Cheyenne Ingram’s porch 7 years ago. "My parents at the time were not stable enough, and DHS stepped in. I'd gone from one place to the next.”

But this time was different.

"You walk in the door, and you immediately get a feeling like ‘I'm at home,’" Vanlandingham described, saying that Ingram welcomed him with open arms when he came to the Arkansas Sheriff's Youth Ranch in Batesville. "It wasn't like ‘Well what did you do? Why are you here?’ It was more of a ‘Well, you're one of mine now. Let’s be a family.’"

For Jamey, the ranch provided a second chance at childhood, but he wasn't alone. Cheyenne was raising several other young boys just like him who'd been abused or neglected.

My Town Hero: The Motivator

My Town Hero: The Motivator

JACKSONVILLE Ark. (KTHV) - Every now and then, we find ourselves stuck in a rut. One man in the city of Jacksonville has made it his duty to inspire just about everyone he encounters. It's one of many reasons he was nominated for My Town Hero.

When James Bolden is on the move, he's bound to light someone on fire with enthusiasm.

"He makes people feel motivated by his demeanor, his behavior, personality everything about him," said Jill Ross, Jacksonville human resource director. Internationally, he's known as The Motivator, but Ross also knows him as a city alderman. When employee morale was down, she knew exactly who to turn to. "He spent 15 hours of his own time training 300 city employees.”

She said Alderman Bolden spent an hour teaching them how to handle stress and stay motivated during tough economic times.

My Town Hero nomination: Danny and Debbie Gallaher

My Town Hero nomination: Danny and Debbie Gallaher

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) – Debbie Gallaher said her parents are her hometown heroes.

Her father, Danny Gallaher, had a heart attack in 1992. As a result, he and his wife, Delena, were left to pick up the piece left from extensive medical care and emotional set back. Debbie said her parents found a way to make life work after Danny’s sudden illness and have proven to their children that anyone can overcome an obstacle with perseverance.

Debbie said to this day, many of her friends still call her parents Mom and Dad, and no matter what is going on in her parents’ lives, they still make themselves available to help others.

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Do you know someone in your community who goes above and beyond? Maybe they’re always helping people, or greets everyone with a smile. Perhaps they’ve beat unthinkable odds or have accomplished something exceptional.