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1920s-themed event will benefit Good Samaritan Clinic in Fort Smith

By Scott Smith / Times Record /

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Flappers, stars of the silent movie screen and several gangsters are tapped to temporarily “take over” one venue for fun and a noble cause in downtown Fort Smith, according to one official.

Individuals dressed in Roaring 1920s attire are expected to congregate for a fun-filled evening during the Good Samaritan Clinic’s second annual Best Night of the Year! fundraiser, which will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Old Shipley Baking Co., 73 S. Sixth St., said Patti Kimbrough, executive director for the Good Samaritan Clinic.

“It’s very cool, and it’s an event that was started last year,” she said of the 21-and-older fundraiser, which will raise money for the Good Samaritan Clinic.

“They had about 200 people last year, and they decided then that they would change the theme every year,” Kimbrough added. “They selected a speakeasy-soiree theme for this year, and Shipley Baking Co. definitely has a great, speakeasy quality about it. The building itself is amazing, and there’s some amazing art installed inside there.”

The upbeat fundraiser will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, an Italian buffet, live and silent auctions and musical performances by Mr. Cabbagehead and the Screaming Radishes and the Don Bailey Combo. Don Bailey’s group will perform “great jazz” for the Happy Hour and dinner segments, while Mr. Cabbagehead and the Screaming Radishes will “wrap up” the evening with dance-friendly songs that span several decades, Kimbrough said.

“Mr. Cabbagehead and the Screaming Radishes are an Arkansas Arts Council band, so we were able to apply for a grant to have them play,” she said. “Almost half of their band’s regular fee will be wiped away, thanks to that grant we received from the Arkansas Arts Council.

“That means more money to go for our cause,” Kimbrough added. “That means 100 percent of all the funds stays here, and almost 70 percent of what we raise goes directly to patient care. We don’t get any state or federal money, so all of the money we receive is from local support and private donations.”

Those attending can pose near a 1920s-style car, street light and bench for photographs to commemorate the event, she said.

At A Glance

Good Samaritan Clinic’s second annual Best Night of the Year!

When: 6 p.m. to midnight Feb. 17

Where: Old Shipley Baking Co., 73 S. Sixth St.

The event benefits the Good Samaritan Clinic and will include a Roaring 1920s theme. The event includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, culinary delights, live music by Mr. Cabbagehead and the Screaming Radishes and the Don Bailey Jazz Combo, silent and live auctions, dancing, pictures and more. Dress can be flapper, gangster, silent screen star or attendee’s choice. Tickets start at $75 each and can be purchased by calling (479) 783-0233 and at Those attending must be 21 or older.

Email or visit the Best Night of the Year! Facebook page for information.

“We’ll have great Italian buffet food from K-MAC Catering,” Kimbrough said. “We’re really excited about that.”

Last year’s Best Night of the Year! event raised $30,000. Kimbrough said she and other organizers are hoping this year’s gathering will raise $50,000.

“We’re also launching our new tagline, which is #IAmGoodSam,” she said. “Our main objective is to provide quality, affordable health care for people who don’t have insurance or are vastly under-insured.”

Located at 615 N. B St., the clinic provides onsite, affordable health care such as primary care services, optical care, chiropractic care, mental-health care and limited dental services. Staff and volunteers at the clinic see as many as 90 “brand-new patients” each month, Kimbrough said.

“It’s astonishing that we help over 5,000 people a year,” she said. “And we’re fortunate to have entities like Mercy, Sparks and ARCOM that support us financially and with support staff. It’s front-line medical care for people who otherwise wouldn’t have a choice but to go to the ER and run up a huge bill.

“Our patients don’t pay a huge amount of money, and we never turn people away for an inability to pay,” Kimbrough added. “We are faith-based in nature, and we are helping those people in need.”

Less than 5 percent of the patients at the Good Samaritan Clinic are homeless, she said.

“Our patients just need a hand up, like one lady who came here is now Miss Senior Arkansas,” Kimbrough said. “Her name is Sherry Marshall, and she is Miss Senior Arkansas 2017. Had she not had the Good Samaritan Clinic to help her in her time of need, she wouldn’t know where she’d be today.”

Tim Hearn, a board member, co-treasurer and past chairman for the Good Samaritan Clinic, said he hopes the Best Night of the Year! fundraiser helps spread the word about the clinic’s mission and success stories.

“This is a really big, fun event, and the first part of the word fundraiser is fun, as Patti says,” Hearn said. “There’s great music from the bands, a big meal and big auction items. It really helps us make people aware of the clinic.

“We see a lot of people who are underinsured or uninsured; they can’t afford health care any other way,” he added. “The Good Samaritan Clinic is crucial to many people’s health care in Fort Smith.”

According to Hearn, the “crew” at the clinic is “the real deal” and is always willing to help patients.

“Our crew at the clinic are dedicated to helping people from all different socio-economic statuses and languages,” he said. “The clinic is a great thing.”

The Good Samaritan Clinic “has survived 15 years because of the everyday hero who gives and gives regularly” and supports the clinic and its patients on a daily basis, Kimbrough said.

“I am overwhelmed by how Fort Smith has supported this cause, and it’s nice to have events like this to raise funds and touch new lives,” she said.

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