Santa Pete

Bringing Christmas Cheer to Central Arkansas

(501)944-8350

Santa Pete helps Arkansas tornado victims

Santa Pete recently auctioned off an 8 x 12 framed photo to raise money for a family who lost their home in the recent tornado that hit Vilonia, Arkansas. The auction took place on SP's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/santapeteLR). Bids started at $75. With several people bidding, the bid consistently rose throughout the day. The final high bid was for $280. The auction was won by Dr. Marc Muncy, of Clarksville, Arkansas.

Santa Caught on Camera

A friend got videos of Santa Pete visiting his house last night. You can watch here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNNIEkCtsPg

If you would like to catch Santa Pete coming to your house next year, go to the Contact Tab, and enter your information.

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Dillard's Believes!

William Dillard, the founder and Chairman of Dillard’s, Inc., developed a keen interest in retailing at an early age. He started his success story in 1938 when, with $8,000 borrowed from his father, he opened a small store in his wife’s hometown of Nashville, Arkansas. By that time, he had better than 12 years of part-time and summer experience working in his father’s Mineral Springs, Arkansas store. After completing college (University of Arkansas-1935) and graduate school (Columbia University School of Business-1937), Mr. Dillard began working as a management trainee for Sears Roebuck & Company. Shortly after completing the training course, a period of only seven months, Mr. Dillard left Sears and opened his first store.

See more of the history of Dillard's at http://community.dillards.com/history/

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Ray Winder Believes!

Ray Winder Field was a baseball park in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ballpark sat with home plate in roughly the north-northwest corner of the property. The former boundaries of the park were Interstate 630 (south, right field); Jonesboro Drive (west, right field corner); South Monroe Street (west, first base stands); buildings on driveway extended from Ray Winder Drive (north, third base stands); buildings bordering South Palm Street (east, right field). The field was in operation for around 74 years.

The ballpark was constructed during 1931, as a new home field for the Little Rock Travelers, later to become the Arkansas Travelers, minor league baseball team. The Travelers vacated Kavanaugh Field, near Little Rock Central High School, and opened their 1932 season on April 13 at the newly completed ballpark, which was initially called Travelers Field for the team name.

On August 26, 1966, Traveler Field was renamed Ray Winder Field, after Raymond Winder, who was involved with the business end of The Travelers for some sixty years. Winder started as a ticket seller in 1915, was named as the Arkansas Traveler business manager in 1931, and became part owner in 1944. The Traveler franchise was moved to Shreveport following the 1958 season, leaving Little Rock without a baseball club for the first time since 1914. Traveler Field sat empty during the 1959 season while efforts continued to return minor league baseball to Little Rock. After a public stock drive raised funds to purchase a bankrupt New Orleans franchise, the Travelers were resurrected in Little Rock for the 1960 season. Ray Winder was again asked to manage the day to day details of rebuilding the club.

In 2005, construction began on a new ballpark in North Little Rock which would eventually become the home of the Arkansas Travelers. On September 3, 2006, the final game of the 2006 season, a capacity crowd filled Ray Winder Field as fans returned for the last Traveler game at Ray Winder Field. During this game, the Travelers beat the Springfield Cardinals by a score of 7 to 3. Beginning with the 2007 season, the Arkansas Travelers home ballpark is Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.

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Red Cross Believes!

The American Red Cross in Arkansas serves just fewer than three million Arkansans plus more than 43,000 neighbors in Oklahoma. www.redcross.org/arkansas

 

 

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Clara Barton and a circle of her acquaintances founded the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881. Barton first heard of the Swiss-inspired global Red Cross network while visiting Europe following the Civil War. Returning home, she campaigned for an American Red Cross and for ratification of the Geneva Convention protecting the war-injured, which the United States ratified in 1882.

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War Memorial Believes!

 

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War Memorial Stadium opened in 1948 with a natural grass surface and two large grand stand seating areas on the east and west sides. The north and south sides of the stadium were open and looked more like amphitheatre seating than a football stadium. The stadium opened with an original seating capacity of just over 31,000.

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St. Vincent's Believes!

St. Vincent owes its existence to an epidemic that did not occur. In 1878 yellow fever was ravaging the South and was as near as Memphis. It seemed only a matter of weeks, maybe days, before the fever would strike Little Rock, which had few physicians and no hospital service at that time. Many, including Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Hager, believed only an act of God would stop the plague. The Hagers, two of the city's wealthier residents, vowed to God that if Little Rock was spared they would, in gratitude, provide the funds to build a hospital. Miraculously, the yellow fever outbreak did not affect Little Rock and the Hagers kept their vow.

In 1888 Mother General Cleophas, leader of the religious community, with five Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, arrived at the Little Rock train station on the slow moving Iron Mountain Railroad. Sisters Mary James, Cornelia, Mechtildes, Mary Sebastian, and Hortense were invited to Little Rock by the Most Rev. Edward Fitzgerald, Bishop of the Little Rock Diocese. A 10-bed Charity Hospital was founded on East Second Street by the Hagers' estate and with the support of Little Rock financier Edward Parker and others. It was the first hospital outside the boundaries of Kentucky which the Sisters of Charity would operate.

Find out more about this great Little Rock institution at www.stvincenthealth.com

 

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Chenal Elementary Believes!

Selecting one of the Little Rock schools for your children is easy in Chenal Valley. A fresh new approach to education, Chenal Elementary School is the county’s newest elementary school, established with a focus on environmental and expression themes. Environmental themes emphasize the Earth's ecology and studies in environmental protection and sustainability, whereas the academic emphasis on expression offers programs and opportunities in the performing and expressive arts. In light of the school’s intended focus, the new facility is strategically located adjacent to Wildwood Park for the Arts at 21201 Denny Road. Chenal Elementary was voted Best of the Best for three years in a row by readers of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette!

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LR Zoo Believes!

The Little Rock Zoo brought wildlife to the citizens of Arkansas in 1926 with just two animals:  an abandoned timber wolf and a circus-trained bear.  Today the Little Rock Zoo boasts nearly 700 animals representing more than 200 different species, many being endangered.      

The Little Rock Zoo’s first buildings were made of native Arkansan stone and built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  These buildings housed primates, reptiles, birds, and big cats.  Today these buildings are still in use and the cat house has been transformed into Café Africa, a one-of-a-kind restaurant with the feel of an African style lodge.  The Zoo is committed to the historic preservation of these beautiful buildings and guests will see many future renovations.

Check out their website at: www.littlerockzoo.com

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Quapaw Quarter Believes!

The Quapaw Quarter Association is a non-profit, membership-based corporation that evolved out of a working group established in 1961 at the behest of John Robinson, then associated with Little Rock’s Housing Authority. Robinson appointed five prominent citizens to a “Significant Structures Technical Advisory Committee” – David D. Terry, Mrs. George Rose Smith (Peg), Mrs. Walter Riddick Sr., Dr. John L. Ferguson, and James Hatcher – who determined that the area, in decline, needed a campaign to create a more positive image. After considering eleven names for the area, the group chose “Quapaw Quarter” based upon the Quapaw Treaty Line of 1818, which ran through the neighborhood. In 1962, the group adopted the name “Quapaw Quarter Committee” (the “Committee”) and expanded its membership. The Committee identified several structures in the neighborhood in need of protection and in 1963 held the first tour of homes to acquaint citizens with the area’s beautiful and historic architecture. In 1963, the Committee also began recognizing important preservation projects with Quapaw Quarter Historic Plaques: Trapnall Hall, then just restored by the Junior League of Little Rock, received the first plaque.

Read all about it at http://www.quapaw.com

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Wildwood Park Believes!

Wildwood Park for the Arts traces its origins to the founding of the Arkansas Opera Theatre in the 1970s; it was envisioned as "a theatre in the woods" and as "the place in Arkansas to experience grand opera." An expanded vision for the Park in 2007 followed the retirement of the organization's founder, and brought about opportunities to provide an array of experiences beyond just the performing arts.

Find out more about this amazing place: http://www.wildwoodpark.org

 

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Pinnacle State Park Believes!

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is located just northwest of Little Rock in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains near Natural Steps, Arkansas on Arkansas Highway 300. It was set aside in 1977 as the first Arkansas State Park near a major city. The primary natural feature of the 2,000-acre park is Pinnacle Mountain, elevation 1,011 feet, which rises steeply above the Arkansas River Valley, at an elevation of 300 feet.

To discover more about this beautiful park, go to http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/pinnaclemountain/.

 

 

 

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Philander Smith Believes!

Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is the result of the first attempt west of the Mississippi River to make education available to freedmen (former African American slaves). The forerunner of the college was Walden Seminary, named in honor of Dr. J.M. Walden, one of the originators and the first corresponding secretary of the Freedmen’s Aid Society.

In 1882, Dr. G.W. Gray, president of Little Rock University, the institution for the Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, met Mrs. Adeline Smith, widow of Mr. Philander Smith of Oak Park, Ill., while soliciting funds. The late Philander Smith had been a liberal donor to Asiatic Missions and had developed an interest in the work of the church in the South. In making her gift to Dr. Gray, Mrs. Smith designated $10,500 for Walden Seminary. The trustees accepted the gift and gave it special recognition by changing the name of the struggling Walden Seminary to Philander Smith College. A new site for the school had already been purchased at Eleventh and Izard Streets. The gift made by Mrs. Smith was a significant contribution towards the construction of Budlong Hall, the first brick building on the new site.

Find out more about this historic academic institution at www.philander.edu

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Clinton Library Believes!

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park is the presidential library of Bill Clinton. It includes the Clinton Presidential Library, the offices of the Clinton Foundation, and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. It is the thirteenth presidential library to have been completed in the United States.

It is situated on 17 acres of land located next to the Arkansas River. It was designed by architectural firm Polshek Partnership, LLP with exhibition design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. The project cost $165 million. The Clinton Presidential Center was dedicated on November 18, 2004. http://www.clintonfoundation.org

SP FATHEADS

I am selling Santa Pete Fatheads for $30 plus postage, if I get enough orders (need 10). . Email me at santapete42@gmail.com to order. Include your name and address. I'll keep track of the orders and be in touch with you.

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The Capitol Believes!

The Arkansas State Capitol Building took 16 years to build, from 1899 to 1915. It was built on the grounds of the Arkansas State Prison. Most of the workers were prisoners who were housed in a dormitory on the property. Our Capitol is a miniature version of the U.S. Capitol.

 

Santa Pete visited the Capitol Building recently (he parked in the Secretary of State's parking space!). While walking down the steps, he ran into these good people who were visiting from Missouri.

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The School for the Blind Believes!

The Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired was founded in 1859 by Reverend Haucke, a blind Baptist minister. The school was originally located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

The building you see in this picture is The Helen Keller Administration Building. Helen Keller herself dedicated the building in 1939. To read more about this great institution, go to http://www.arkansasschoolfortheblind.org

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LR Central Believes!

Built in 1927 at a cost of $1.5 million, Little Rock Senior High School, later to be renamed Little Rock Central High, was hailed as the most expensive, most beautiful, and largest high school in the nation. There are statues of four figures over the front entrance that represent ambition, personality, opportunity and preparation. Its opening earned national publicity with nearly 20,000 people attending the dedication ceremony. Central is one of the truly great high schools in the United States.

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Robinson Center Believes!

Built in downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the Great Depression as a Public Works Administration (PWA) project, the Joseph Taylor Robinson Memorial Auditorium—known since 1973 as the Robinson Center Music Hall—frequently hosts touring performances, including Broadway musicals, and is home to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Named for Lonoke County native Joseph Taylor Robinson, who was governor of Arkansas and a U.S. senator, the Art Deco building on Markham Avenue near Broadway Street is a major Little Rock landmark.