McCrory lauded for quality of life

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published February 24, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated February 22, 2013 at 10:22 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Curt Youngblood

Mayor Doyle Fowler, from left, Earline Fowler and Carroll Wilson gather around a table at FG Express in McCrory to drink coffee. Although it may be a small town, McCrory is doing big things. The town was recently declared a City of Distinction for 2012 by Arkansas Business and Crews and Associates Investment Bankers.

— Although McCrory has a relatively small population, the city is doing big things to show the state of Arkansas what an impact a small community can make.

McCrory was declared a City of Distinction by Arkansas Business and Crews and Associates Investment Bankers for 2012 in the Quality of Life division for a city under 5,000 people on Jan. 17 at the Arkansas Municipal League Winter Conference.

McCrory Mayor Doyle Fowler said that in the 2010 census, McCrory had a population of 1,767.

To win this award, a resident of the city submits an essay addressing progress the city has made in the past three years.

Sharon Dozier, who has lived in McCrory for the past 8 1/2 years, wrote the essay for the city.

“This is just a wonderful place to be,” Dozier said. “Everybody works together here. It’s so different than any other city.”

Dozier’s essay talks about the volunteer efforts that are made within the community to bring the city together.

The McCrory Youth Association develops sports programs in the city and is staffed completely by volunteers. If a child wants to play peewee basketball or football, he or she is not turned away if the family can’t afford it.

“The money is provided if they don’t have it,” said Carroll Wilson, who has lived in McCrory for 20 years.

Not only does McCrory focus on its children; the beautification of the city is also important to the people who live there.

Local garden club members volunteer to work on flower beds and keeps planters in the community looking nice.

Mayor Fowler said he is proud of the city for getting the award.

“For a small community to win an award like that, it says a lot about our community,” Fowler said.

The sense of actual “community” McCrory has is one thing that makes the city stand out to Fowler.

“Tornadoes go through and ice storms — anything like that happens, everyone comes together,” Fowler said.

Fowler, who is in his second term as mayor of McCrory, also said the city has one of the top-rated schools in the state.

Gary Proffitt, one of the owners of the FG Express, a convenience store in McCrory, said the town is a great place to do business because of the people who live in it.

“We had an accident where someone drove through the building, and half the community was here helping us within 30 minutes,” Proffitt said.

McCrory has a wonderful police force and a low crime rate, Dozier said. Along with the police force, McCrory boasts 21 certified firefighters, all volunteers.

If someone’s house burns in McCrory, Dozier said, clothes from the thrift store are given to those who need them.

The McCrory Ministerial Alliance also has programs throughout the year to help people in the community if there is a need.

Tom Higginbotham, who has lived in McCrory for 48 years, said the alliance provides meals to people during the Christmas season and has a thrift store it operates.

“The money made [in the thrift store] goes to help people in the community,” Higginbotham said.

Higginbotham has been on the McCrory City Council for 25 years and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

With all of the events and volunteer work that goes on in McCrory, Wilson said that what has kept him there is the people.

“It almost has to be. That’s what makes us what we are,” Wilson said.

Staff Writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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