Good Samaritans help elderly woman to be able to make her daily walk safe
by Stephanee Jones
Mountain Home News
Gladys Spence's walk from Aaren Brook care home to McDonalds, just got easier.
In the winter of 2008, two Masonic Lodge members, Clarence Joseph and Hampton Wright, were at the McDonalds on Airbase Road, when they noticed 95-year-old Spence, who was using her walker, trying to make her way back to her care home.
Spence's walk was difficult due to the lack of a sidewalk. In its place was a stretch of dirt covered with snow.
Joseph and Wright went to help Spence and assist her to reach the sidewalk at McDonald's. "Gladys had no idea who we were and why we were trying to help her. It seemed to be a routine -- walking in the street and returning to the sidewalk. I knew we had to find out how we could get a sidewalk put in," said Wright.
Wright went to talk with Mayor Tom Rist, who said that money for a sidewalk wasn't available because those funds weren't in the city's budget. But if Wright was able to get funds, Rist said he would use city workers to put the sidewalk in.
Wright spoke with Tom and Susie Bevan, owners of the property between McDonalds and the Eye Care center to get approval to construct the sidewalk.
"How wonderful and grateful these gentleman are. We were in shock when Hampton Wright called us and told us the story," said Susie Bevan.
Wright also spoke with the Masonic Lodges of Mountain Home and asked for donations to pay to get the sidewalk done.
"We got our donation and today is a special day," Wright said last week when the city poured the new sidewalk. "Not only does it make Gladys' walk much easier, but it will benefit the whole community that lives around the area."
Spence and her daughter, Jean McGee of Grand View, were invited to see the pouring of the new sidewalk.
"How wonderful to know that the citizens of Mountain Home care about their elderly," McGee said. "This will make my mom's walk so much easier. She loves coming to McDonald's daily. Not only will my mom benefit from this sidewalk, but several people will."
Pat Spotten, manager of Aaren Brook care home, added that "this is incredible that these gentleman have done this and neat what a community will do to help another. Gladys walks daily, so this new sidewalk will be safer for her and for others who walk around this area."
Other Masonic members, Charles Taylor, James Pentie, Levie Belton and Doug Hosten from Lodges Andrew Horton Lodge #8, Saber Lodge #7 and Elmore Lodge #30, were all on hand for the sidewalk pouring.
"We are proud that we raised the donations and were able to do something to help Mrs. Spence. Not only will this make her walk easier but it is safer for the whole community," said Doug Hosten.
Hampton Wright was also given permission to place a Masonic Emblem in the center of the newly placed sidewalk, an emblem that was made and donated by I-Ron Welding Shop. He said, "the 'G' in the center of Emblem stands for 'God', but how nice that Gladys will see that 'G' and will remind her that the sidewalk was done for her."