Fort Smith Community

River Valley Regional Food Bank Summer Essentials

River Valley Regional Food Bank Summer Essentials

Rath Auto Resources has worked closely with the River Valley Regional Food Bank for the past few years. With every car sold, we allow our customers to choose one of five pre-selected local charities of their choice. One of the options available to them is the River Valley Regional Food Bank. At the end of month, we tally up the votes and make donations on their behalf. We love the food bank and we know how vital their cause is to our neighbors and community as a whole.

           Summer time…a time most people are excited for.  It is the gateway that sets the platform for family barbecues, picnics in the park, or an afternoon hiking adventure.  However, for many children here in the River Valley, summer break is not a time of fun with friends and family.  With no school lunch program to rely on, summer just means three months without consistent meals.  It means hunger.  This is a crucial time, when children and families are struggling with hunger in our community and face the summer months of wondering where their next meal will come from.   

            Now is the time to come together to get the word out about the River Valley Regional Food Bank, secure donations, and obtain volunteers to make the summer months a time of fun with friends and family.  With the various donations we receive and the wonderful volunteers who jump in and lend a helping hand, children and families in our community have a place to go where they can receive healthy, nutritious meals.  They can put food on their tables throughout the summer.  Your support makes it possible for many local programs and organizations like that of the River Valley Regional Food Bank to help even more hungry individuals and families this summer.  With that being said, now is a critical time for us to come together and get the word out. 

Here at the Food Bank, we distribute food to food pantries.  We have 184 active pantries in our 8 counties.  The food pantries then distribute the food to the families.  It is estimated that 62,000 families are served.  Fort Smith currently feeds children in 19 different schools.  I have placed a call to the school board to see if I can get an estimated number of children served.  Last year, we distributed a little over 7 million pounds of food to our community and we are hoping to increase that this year.  $1 feeds 5 people a meal!!  It is amazing how it works, but I am so very grateful! 

The food bank serves eight counties in West Central Arkansas, where just over 305,000 people reside. We source the most nutritious foods we can find and provide that food to about 62,000 people in the area.  A total of 196 member agencies create a far reaching network of food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, churches and nonprofit groups that get food to people in need of assistance.

They are a member of Feeding America, a national organization supporting more than 200 food banks across the country. They are also a member of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.  As a community partner of the United Way of Fort Smith Area, they support our other UW partners in any way we can.

The Food Bank is always in need of individuals, families, groups or organizations, church missions and businesses looking to serve the community in a meaningful way.  Should you wish to volunteer, Call Tracy Engel at 479/785-0582 for more information. 


See their latest Network Fact Sheet

Items requested for donation

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned goods
  • Dry goods
  • Bottled water

We Surprised a Northside High School Teacher Today!

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day! If you saw our last blog post, you noticed that Mrs. Courtney Hardcastle helped us come up with a list of things that teachers actually want as teacher gifts! Well, we decided to surprise her with the things from her list today! 

"I have been a math teacher at Northside for 7 years. I have lived in Fort Smith all my life, except for my college years at Arkansas Tech in Russellville. I graduated from Southside and knew that I would want to come back and teach in Fort Smith. There are so many things I love about Northside: my great co-workers, my awesome students, and the general spirit of Northside. My students are full of personality. They are funny, witty, smart, and caring. There is never a dull moment with them!

Northside Highschool Math Teacher Appreciation Surprise
Northside Highschool Math Teacher Appreciation Surprise
Northside Highschool Math Teacher Appreciation Surprise

Valentines Day Reservations - Fort Smith, Arkansas

These days not many restaurants take reservations. For those few times a year, it can be difficult to balance work, finding a sitter and planning a romantic night! We have compiled a list of restaurants that are currently taking reservations. If you are looking to make a reservation, we encourage you to do so now so that you can have a perfect evening without a difficult wait in line!

  • 21 West End -(479) 434-4213 -  21 N 2nd St, Fort Smith, AR 72901 

21 West End Fort Smith Ar
21 West End Valentines Day Menu
AJ Oyster Hourse Fort Smith AR
AJ Oyster House Valentine's Day Menu

Bella Italia - (479) 785-1550 - 407 N 8th Street Fort Smith, AR 72901

Bella Italia Fort Smith AR

Emmy's German Restaurant - 479-242-EMMY(3669) - 200 N 13th Street Fort Smith, AR 72901

Emmy's German Restaurant Fort Smith AR

Doe's Eat Place - 479-784-9111 -  422 N 3rd Street Fort Smith, AR 72901

Does Eat Place Fort Smith

Movie Lounge - (479) 226-3595 - 7601 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72903

Movie Lounge Fort Smith AR
Movie Lounge Fort Smith AR

Taliano's Italian Restaurant - (479)  785-2292 - 201 North 14th Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901.

Talianos Italian Restaurant Fort Smith AR
  • River City Bistro - (479) 434-6474- Stonewood Village Shopping Center, 7320 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72903

River City Bistro Fort Smith AR
River City Bistro Valentine's Day Menu

 

R. Landry's New Orleans Cafe - (479)783-2505 - 613 Garrison Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72901 Local musician, Bill Flashpoler, will be there to serenade the crowd during their dining experience.  

R landrys Fort Smith AR

Stonehouse at Chaffee Crosing - (479) 668-2828 - 8801 Wells Lake Road, Fort Smith, AR 72916 . They are doing a Valentine Wine Dinner on Sunday February 12. Limited seating available.

Stonehouse at Chaffee Crossing

Don't forget to get your special loved one a sweet treat from our favorite local candy shops and bakeries!

Kopper Kettle - (479) 474-6077 - 4300 Rogers Ave #8 

Kopper Kettle Fort Smith AR

Bliss Cupcakes - (479) 434- 3787 - 7110 Rogers Ave Fort Smith AR 72903

Bliss Cupcakes Fort Smith AR

Confectionately Yours - (479) 478-7223 - 215 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72903

Confectionately Yours Fort Smith

Sebastian County Humane Society Needs Your Help

The Sebastian County Humane Society has been working toward transitioning into a No-Kill shelter. As of right now, the only animals they euthanize are ones that are ill beyond recovery, too violent to be around or have court orders by a judge. When making this decision to work toward becoming a No-Kill shelter, this meant they would be treating each dog that has heart worms too.

This treatment costs the humane society approximately $1,000 per dog. They currently have 28 dogs suffering from heart worms. This means they are looking at $28,000 to treat the dogs to help them recover and ultimately save their lives. Unfortunately these dogs are not able to be adopted out until they have been treated for their heart worm condition. The Sebastian County Humane Society receives no financial aid from the city, state or federal government or United Way. This fund raising is solely up to the people of our community. 

We know how much the Sebastian County Humane Society means to our community and our customers. They are consistently one of our top voted charities for donation contributions. 

Heartworm disease is a very painful and expensive procedure that ultimately will save their lives. This is nothing short of an emergency.
— Sebastian County Humane Society
 Here are a few of the dogs that currently need treatment. 

Here are a few of the dogs that currently need treatment. 

The Unexpected Project - Murals Downtown Fort Smith with Map

At some point, traditional art became lost. It was replaced with TV, Video Games, Facebook and other forms of digital visualization. The Unexpected Project came changed everything for Fort Smith, Arkansas. Suddenly people began talking about art on this building, art on that building, art everywhere. My mom even called me on phone while shopping at the Fort Smith Farmer's Market and I could hear the amusement in her voice as she told me about "all these artists painting things on buildings." 

The Unexpected Project brought the dead back to life. It revitalized the greater downtown area of Fort smith.  It is something that people in our town are proud of "owning." When visitors come from out of town, one of the things to show them in the area as part of the "tour" is taking them to see the murals. 

 "The completed murals includes world recognized artists Vhills, D*Face, Roa, Maser, Ana Maria, Bicicleta Sem Freio, Askew and the UAFS students. During a week, the artists painted 12 new murals which rejuvenated the historic and beautiful buildings from downtown Fort Smith and also awakened the town that didn't received so many people in its streets since a decade. Fort Smith was a former real western town at a border of the lawless Indian territory and has a rich history of legendary heroes and outlaws. From highly colorful pieces by Bicicleta Sem Freio, western-inspired artworks from D*Face ora  majestic carved portrait of a Native American by Vhils, the festival was critically acclaimed by the local residents which fully embraced the event. After a week of painting, the face of Fort Smith has drastically been changed by Unexpected and the happy residents will now be living with their new history." -Justkids Vimeo Video.

The first session was completed in the summer of 2015, but stay tuned because September 2-11 of 2016 will provide ten new murals with returning artists: D*Face and Maser. New artists for the 2016 projects will include: Northiside and Southside High School Students, new UAFS students, Guido Van Helten, Bordalo II, Jaz/Pastel, Cyrcle, Okuda San Miguel and Faith 47.

Whether you are a Fort Smith native or are a visitor coming to explore, we encourage you to check out all the murals. We have created a map of the murals to help you easily find them all! 

1. 5th &Garrison Ave - Artist: Askew, D*Face
2. 317 Garrison Ave. - Artist: D*Face
3. 505 Rogers Ave. - Artist: Roa
4. 7th St. & B St. -Artist: UAFS students
5. 702 Garrison Ave. - Artist: Roa
6. 800 Garrison Ave. - Artist: Ana Maria, Bicicleta Sem Freio
7. 900 Garrison Ave. - Artist: Vhills
8. 10th St & Rogers Ave. - Artist: Ana Maria
9. 1004 Garrison Ave. -Artist: Maser

The Unexpected Murals Map Fort Smith Arkansas

Artist Spotlight

Askew

Askew is a self taught artist from New Zealand who has over 20 year of experience. His portfolio consists of photography, graphic design, publishing, illustration, directed and editing music videos and moving images. You can find more information about him and his works on his website. http://www.askew1.com/ . You can find Askews mural in Fort Smith, on the backside of the new location of Neumiers Rib Room that is at 5th and Garrison.

 Artist: Askew - Location: 5th and Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkanas

Artist: Askew - Location: 5th and Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkanas

D*Face

D*Face, also known as Dean Stockton, is a street artist from London who uses spray paint, stencils, stickers and posters as his medium. You might also recognize his work from the most recent cover art of the newest Blink-182 Album. In the 2015 project, he became known for two different murals in Fort Smith. One at 5th and Garrison and the other at 317 Garrison Avenue. 

 Artist: D*Face - Location: 317 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas

Artist: D*Face - Location: 317 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas

 Artist: D*Face - Location: 5th and Garrison Fort Smith, Arkansas

Artist: D*Face - Location: 5th and Garrison Fort Smith, Arkansas

Roa

Roa is an artist from Belgium. He is primarily known for his strong obsession with animals - particularly rodents. Most of his work consists of gray scale colors using various shades of black and white. He has two works that he completed in the 2015 project in Fort Smith - one is an otter and the other is a mole. They can be found at 702 Garrison Avenue and 505 Rogers Avenue (near the hotel and convention center)  in Fort Smith, Arkansas. You can find out more about Roa and his work by visiting his website at: http://www.streetartbio.com/roa

 Artist: Roa - 702 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas (Photo credit: Rom Levy)

Artist: Roa - 702 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas (Photo credit: Rom Levy)

 Artist: Roa - Location: 505 Rogers Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas (Photo credit: Rom Levy)

Artist: Roa - Location: 505 Rogers Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas (Photo credit: Rom Levy)

Ana Maria

Ana Maria (also Ana Marietta) was born in the center of an agricultural town in Puerto Rico but now resides in Houston, Texas.  When painting her murals she uses acrylic and paint brushes. She has two murals from the 2015 project - one is located at 800 Garrison Avenue and the other is located at 10th street and Rogers Avenue. 

"In my imagination, different dimension of life and time collide to create characters with mixed phenotypes, animal and human, functioning parallel to a story that I feel, from anger, melancholy or love, every second I spend on the process...but only the spectator can tell. " - Ana

You can find out more about Ana and her work on her website here: http://anamarietta.com/bio/ or you can follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/anamarietta

 Artist: Ana Maria - Location:  800 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Photo: Rom Levy)

Artist: Ana Maria - Location:  800 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Photo: Rom Levy)

 Artist: Ana Maria - Location 10th Street and Rogers Ave Fort Smith, Arkansas.  (Photo: Ben and Sara)

Artist: Ana Maria - Location 10th Street and Rogers Ave Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Photo: Ben and Sara)

Vhills

Vhills, also known as Alexandre Farto, is a Portuguese based street artist born in 1987. Growing up in an urban area, he couldn't help but notice the way the the city walls molded to the historical and social changes that took place around him. "His striking form of visual poetry, showcased around the world in both indoor and outdoor settings, have been described as brutal and complex, yet imbued with a simplicity that speaks to the core of human emotions." -source

He has one mural located on the backside of a building on Garrison avenue that will be known as the Garrison Commons. You can find out more about Vhills and his work on his website:  http://vhils.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vhils/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vhils1?lang=pt

 Artist: Vhills Location: 900 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas (Photo Credit: Rom Levy)

Artist: Vhills Location: 900 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas (Photo Credit: Rom Levy)

Bicicleta Sem Freio

Bicicleta Sem Freio (translates to: No Bicycle Brake) is a two man team made up of two guys, Douglas and Renato, who met in a visual arts course at their local university in Brazil. Together they started small projects like local rock concert posters and worked their way up to collaborations with major brands such as Nike, Nokia, MTV and Levi's just to name a few. They have probably one of the most popular and colorful murals you will see in Fort Smith, Arkansas. You can easily spot their work at 800 Garrison Avenue. 

To learn more about this duo and see their work, check out their website or follow them on Instagram

 Artist: Bicicleta Sem Freio . Location 800 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas (Photo: Rom Levy)

Artist: Bicicleta Sem Freio . Location 800 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas (Photo: Rom Levy)

Maser

Irish born artist, Maser, began his career by painting on the streets of Dublin as early as 1995 where he soon learned the respect of seasoned graffiti artists. He later studied visual arts in his home country while he established himself as a leading graffiti artist that would soon go on to partake in street art projects worldwide..  He is well known for his abstract and colorful style that can be seen at our own home at 1004 Garrison Avenue by the United States Post Office.  You can even bring his work into your home by purchasing prints from his online store

 Artist: Maser . Location: 1004 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas . (Photo: Rom Levy)

Artist: Maser . Location: 1004 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas . (Photo: Rom Levy)

We have even used the murals as a backdrop for blogging out vehicles! 

D*Face Street Artist
Fort Smith Murals

River Valley Endurance Run

Saturday March 19 Rath Auto Resources got to be a part of the River Valley Endurance Run by providing a pace car! We had a blast out there watching all the faithful runners make the rounds during the 5k and half marathon! They were all awesome! 

Here is a preview of the race results. Click the image to see the full list of results. 

Rath Auto Resources Pace Car
Rath Auto Resources River Valley Endurance Run
Rath Auto Resources River Valley Endurance Run Pace Car
Rath Auto Resources River Valley Endurance Run Pace Car
River Valley Endurance Run
River Valley Endurance Run
River Valley Endurance Run
River Valley Endurance Run
River Valley Endurance Run

Youth With A Mission - Adamson Phiri

Adamson Phiri is an African Native that is currently being hosted by Linda and Jerry Musgrave of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. Musgrave have been longtime friends of Larry Rath. During Dr. Phiri's stay, he had the opportunity to meet Larry and some of the other employees at the dealership and a presentation on his mission work in Africa. We were so amazed by his selfless efforts that we wanted to bring attention to it in our community. 

This is Dr.Phiri's third time to visit the United States. He has friends and connections in both Van Buren, Arkansas as well as California. He is using his time in the States to bring awareness and raise funds for his efforts. 

While in Africa, Dr. Phiri works with an organization known as Youth With A Mission as a surgeon to correct cleft lips and cleft palates in Senegal. Cleft lips and palates often can interfere with feeding, speech, hearing, dental problems and can increase risk of infection.  Even worse, in their area, children who are born with these birth defects are seen as outcasts or rejects. They are often excluded from education, marrying, and sometimes even left to die. One in twelve hundred babies in Africa are born this difficulty. 

Surgery to repair a cleft lip usually occurs in the first few months of life and is recommended within the first twelve months. Surgery to repair a cleft palate is recommended within the first eighteen months of life or sooner. After these surgeries are performed, these children have a chance to success in life physically and socially. It is literally a life changing operation for them. They still sometime need professionals to assist them in the recovery process after the surgery such as speech therapists, dentists, physiotherapists, etc.

Over 20 years ago, missionaries from the United States with Youth With a Mission visited Dr. Phiri's hometown.  He was greatly inspired by their challenges to accept mission work and pursued a medical degree .  After he earned his medical degree, he accepted his first mission work and spent four year in Kenya.  He then moved to Senegal in 1998 where he has since remained. Dr. Phiri and his team performs, on average, one hundred of these surgeries annually. They have spent the past four years and are still currently  fund raising to build a mission hospital that will house 107 patients.

If you would like to support Dr. Phiri's efforts, you can email adamsonphiri@gmail.com .

December - Fort Smith Children's Emergency Shelter Donations

The month of December, we will be taking donations for the Fort Smith Children's Emergency Shelter. They currently need any household cleaning supplies, office supplies, etc. You can bring your donations to our dealership at 4515 Towson Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Supplies that are specifically needed are household cleaning supplies, paper plates, trash bags, laundry detergent, clothes washing pods, and office supplies.