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Friday, July 31, 2015

Oklahoma men travel through Monett for cause

Thursday, October 11, 2012

(Photo)
Traveling by covered wagon to Nashville, Tenn., New Orleans, La., and Dallas, Texas, are E.L. Smith, at center, and his friend, Charles France. Passing through Monett, they stayed at the Callan farm in Monett. Jim Callan, at center, said his son, James E. Callan, was acquainted with Smith and extended the invitation to stay during Smith and France's fundraising efforts to battle cancer. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Two Oklahoma men left Monett on Monday after staying overnight at the Jim Callan farm on their way to Memphis, Tenn., New Orleans, La., and Dallas, Texas, on a fundraiser to battle cancer.

E.L. Smith, who is making the 1,658-mile trip with Charles France, attempted the trip in 2000 with his son, Patrick. Smith had a stroke in Conway, Ark., cutting the trip short. Earlier this year, Smith had two heart attacks. He recovered enough to make another try.

"We're doing this for the mammogram fund for the Freeman Foundation," said Smith. "My ex-wife, Debbie, is a five-year cancer survivor. I know a lot of people who got breast cancer. We're trying to do something for the community."

Smith carries a letter of reference from Kim Simpson, donor relations coordinator for the Freeman Foundation in Joplin. The Helping Friends Mamogram Fund, supported by the Freeman Foundation, helps people with little or no insurance to get mammograms.

Smith's wagon was built specifically for the trip. The wood was provided by the Chapman Sawmill in Neosho. Miami Machine donated the welding and built the undercarriage and the brakes.

"Me and Mr. France needed a vacation," Smith said. "We're taking it easy and doing something good for the community."

The duo and their horses, Dick and Marie, left Miami on Oct. 1 and expect to make the trip in three to four months. Donations can be sent directly to the Freeman Foundation 1102 W. 32nd St., Joplin Mo. 64804. Smith is also accepting checks that he will deliver to the foundation.



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