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Carin Schoppmeyer: Network of Executive Women, Single Parent Scholarship Fund

Jingle Mingle honors mom by Carin Schoppmeyer | January 9, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
John and Joan Threet (from left), Laura Furner and Taj Johnson and Cathy and Jim Crouch help support the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas at Jingle Mingle on Dec. 9 at Heroncrest in Springdale. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

At a Glance

Holiday Mixer

Who: Network of Executive Women — Northwest Arkansas Region

What: The group gathered for the annual event and recognized outstanding members.

When: Dec. 9

Where: Osage House in Cave Springs

Next: New member orientation, Jan. 18

Information: or

Jingle Mingle

Who: Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas

What: The event is a chance for scholarship recipients and supporters to ring in the holidays and serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization.

When: Dec. 9

Where: Heroncrest in Springdale

Information: (479) 254-8550 or

Network of Executive Women Northwest Arkansas Region members and friends gathered Dec. 9 at Osage House in Cave Springs for the group's annual Holiday Mixer. Organizers say the event was to celebrate "the end of a momentous year with diverse holiday traditions and culture."

According to the group's website: "Network of Executive Women is a servant leader organization focused on our mission to advance all women. Our culture is comprised of values that inspire us to be passionate, humble and appreciative of all contributions."

A new member orientation is set for noon Jan. 18.

New Northwest Arkansas Board members are Carol Vella, Douglas Waller, Katie Holley, Heather McIntyre, Karen Stuckey, Susan Dux, Callie Acuff, Candy Friedman, Bethany Stephens, Lela Davidson, Allison Van Matre, Tina Winham and Kimberly McGee.

Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas supporters gathered for the annual Jingle Mingle on Dec. 9 at Heroncrest in Springdale. Organizers say the event "celebrates the success of recipients and is a night to thank supporters and guests, as well as raising funds to support single mothers and fathers who are attending higher education institutions in pursuit of a better future for themselves and their families."

Melissa Morgan, three-time scholarship recipient, shared her experiences with SPSF NWA with those gathered. When her 26-year marriage ended in 2019, Morgan had been a stay-at-home mom of three for decades. "To say I was scared would be an understatement ... From my first encounter with the scholarship program, I have been treated with respect and warmth. I had a lot of insecurity regarding my age and this situation that I had found myself in at this stage of life. I was bogged down with grief and so much uncertainty."

Morgan was awarded her first SPSF NWA scholarship in July 2020 and has since completed prerequisites for and will begin studies this month in the occupational therapy assistant associate degree program at Crowder College.

"It has been such a gift to have the scholarship money to put toward school expenses, transportation, or utilities, but feeling like I have a group of people who are in my corner has meant the world to me. It's hard to start over and sometimes kind of lonely, so I am grateful not only for the monetary benefits, but all the other benefits of being a part of this scholarship."

The fund helps single parents in Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties and "works to help single parent families become financially stable and independent. We do this by providing direct financial assistance to low-income single parents who are pursuing a career-related course of study in order to gain sufficient employment to meet the basic needs of their families."

Along with money for school, the group helps recipients with living expenses and provides a mentoring program and other supports for recipients and their families through graduation.

Scholarship backers include Anthony Sumlin, Melissa and Randy Werner, Shelle and Brent Summers, Barbara and Wade Smith, Cathy and Denton Selihan, Christina and Shawn Taylor, Sherri and Jeff Dillard, David Erstine, Mary Bauman, James Bell, Ellis Bell, Bob King, Dale Ford, Evelyn and Chuck Jorgenson, Jim Rollins, Janet and Luke Parsch, Kay and Jeff Franco and Melanie Coan.

For more event photos --

Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at

  photo  Lela Davidson (from left), Summer Searcy and Caitlin Lubatty gather at the NEW Holiday Mixer on Dec. 9 at Osage House in Cave Springs. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
  photo  Melissa Morgan, SPSF NWA scholarship recipient (from left), is joined by her son Elliott Morgan and Skyler Gillette at Jingle Mingle. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
  photo  Andrea Kleinhenz (from left), Meredith Lowry, Randy and Melissa Werner and Kelly Robbins attend the SPSFNWA Jingle Mingle. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
  photo  Cheryl Yarbrough (left) and Christy Coats welcome guests at the NEW Holiday Mixer. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
  photo  Beth Stephens (from left), Candy Friedman, Dee Dee Cole and Nate Patterson visit at the NEW Holiday Mixer. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
  photo  Shelle and Brent Summers attend Jingle Mingle. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
  photo  Justin Smith (left) and Scott Nemec attend the NEW Holiday Mixer. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
  photo  Katie Duncan (from left), Kylie Bishop and Allie Klika enjoy the NEW Holiday Mixer. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
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