Twelve girls and and coaches make up the 2018-19 Fredericktown Gold Dusters. It is clear to all of them them that it is about more than the dance.
"They have become like a second family to me," Coach Shannon Hovis said. "This year was the first time I have had to step away due to my maternity leave and I missed them just like they told me they missed me."
Hovis said she wants nothing but the best for these ladies, and three of this year's seniors she has coached the last four years, one for three years.
"It is going to be one of the hardest things to do, to let them go at the end of the season," Hovis said. "It wasn't a bond we made in just a year, it took us three, four years to grow into what we have."
Hovis said she has watched these young women grow into adulthood.
"They are going to do great things outside of high school and I know if I need them to come back and choreograph they would," Hovis said.
What does being a Fredericktown Gold Duster mean?
"To me, being a Gold Duster allows me to gain confidence in myself," Senior Gold Duster Hope Turnbeau said. "I started dancing my freshman year with little experience, on a team with girls who have danced their whole lives."
Turnbeau said it took countless hours, long nights and extra practice with her coach to learn the routines, but because of her coach and teammates, she now has full confidence in herself as a dancer.
"To me, being a Gold Duster allows me to do what I love with the girls I love," Senior Gold Duster Skylar Sikes said. "I've grown up with most of these girls and getting to combine the two means everything to me."
Sophomore Gold Duster Emilee Goldsmith said Gold Dusters means many things to her, including the close friendships she has made with the other dancers.
"They will always be here for you, anytime," Goldsmith said. "If someone is sad or has had a bad day, they are always there to cheer you up no matter what."
Goldsmith said she has always loved to dance and performing for people brings her joy.
"Just having a 'family'-like team there for you during high school is so amazing," Goldsmith said. "I am so glad to be a part of something like this."
Gold Dusters have the longest season for any sports group with tryouts in May, camp in June and the season being from August to February.
"The girls learn anywhere from 10 to 12 routines a year," Hovis said. "We learn them, clean them up and perform them two to three times."
The team can be seen at half time during both the home football games and home basketball games.
"We are your football and basketball halftime entertainment," Hovis said. "We also attend at least one dance competition in January. It makes for about 30 performances with the two sports seasons, basketball being our biggest season."
Hovis said the team also performs at the Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament, Central Christmas Tournament and the MAAA tournament at Mineral Area College.
"Dedication is key," Hovis said. "I am dedicated to them just like I expect them to be dedicated to this team. I express that and push that all year long."
Hovis said she is honest with the girls and if they do not know the routine well enough they will sit out.
"I have had to do that," Hovis said. "They don't like it, and they still have to dress out and show up to the game. Therefore, they are having to work on it at home or with another teammate making sure they have the dance down."
Hovis said most everyone wants to be up front and center and to get there they better know the routine.
"It takes every one of the girls to do their job for them to do good," Hovis said. "I notice each year how great my group of girls are willing to work with each other and accept each other for who they are."
Hovis said there have been moments when parents could not attend performances and the team really stepped up and held each other up.
"I had a dancer that didn't know if she would have someone for parent night able to attend," Hovis said. "I had one dancer that said 'my parents will walk with you,' another said 'we all will walk with you.' That meant so much to me because deep down my heart hurt for her."
Hovis said in the end the parents were able to make it, but that she loved seeing how the team came together to try and find a possible solution especially since all the solutions were so very sweet.
"They build one another up on a daily basis even if they don't realize it," Hovis said.
Hovis has been coaching for four years but began dancing when she was three and spent all of her high school years dancing for her school team.
"I always wanted to coach my high school dance team," Hovis said. "Since I don't live in that town anymore, I am very thankful to get to coach in what I call now my hometown."
Hovis said she used to say music makes her happy, and it still does.
"I just don't get to dance around like I used to," Hovis said. "That is why coaching brings me so much joy. I am very thankful to be allowed this opportunity to coach them and hope to continue for many years."
The Fredericktown Gold Dusters participated in the Farmington Dance Invitational, Feb. 2 at the Field House in Farmington. The team took second place in Hip Hop, third place in Jazz and third place in Pom.
"I am so proud of these young ladies," Hovis said. "They danced their hearts out and performed the best they have ever done not only in our routines but also in our placing."
When it comes to providing quality health care services and taking exceptional care of people, BJC HealthCare’s mission has remained steadfast since the St. Louis-based health system’s founding in 1993: “To improve the health of the people and communities we serve.”
In commemoration of the organization’s 25th anniversary in 2018, BJC invited employees to nominate a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that had personal meaning to them to receive part of $25,000 set aside to support grassroots, local organizations with a shared mission of improving health, education, child/youth development, senior/disabled support or community-building.
BJC employees responded with more than 100 nominations, which were subsequently evaluated by the St. Louis Community Foundation. The foundation made recommendations on how to allocate the $25,000 total funding opportunity among these deserving nominations.
Thirteen organizations were chosen to receive donations ranging from $1,500 to $4,000.
Selected charities span the St. Louis region, outstate Missouri and the Metro East, and support health, wellness, basic needs, youth and child development, education and behavioral health. All selected organizations and the employees who nominated them will be recognized at a reception in March.
The charitable organizations receiving donations are Burns Recovered; Maggie Welby Foundation; Christian Activity Center East St. Louis; Shared Blessings, Inc.; CJ’s Journey; The Hayner Public Library District; Every Child’s Hope; The Ollie Hinkle Heart Foundation; Gateway to Hope; Voluntary Action Center; Inn from the Storm; Whole Kids Outreach; and Jefferson County CASA.
“As a nonprofit organization and one of the region’s largest employers, BJC works to be a good neighbor and community member, including support of charitable organizations that share a similar mission,” said Rich Liekweg, BJC president and CEO. “We hope these donations to some unsung heroes among charities can help support our collective missions in the communities we serve together.”
BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. Serving the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities, BJC includes 15 hospitals and multiple health service organizations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice. BJC’s nationally recognized academic hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, are affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.
Leadington VFW Post hosts Bingo every Wednesday, doors open at 3 p.m. and Bingo starts at 6 p.m.
Open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are held 7 p.m. each Friday at St. Michael’s Church, 304 W. Main Street in Fredericktown. For info call 573-934-3742.
The Mineral Area Woodcarvers meet 5:30-7 p.m. each Thursday at the Farmington Senior Center. All skill levels are welcome.
TOPS of Bonne Terre meets every Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Bonne Terre, 41 E. School Street. Weigh in at 8 a.m., meeting starts at 8:30 a.m.
The meetings are held on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene in Farmington. Park in the rear of the building and enter through the glass door.
The Bonne Terre Knights of Columbus Council #1088 holds its monthly chicken and dumpling dinner from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Please bring a non-perishable food donation for donation to the Bonne Terre Food Pantry.
TOPS of Farmington meets every Monday except holidays at the Nazarene Church, 501 N. Middle Street in Farmington. Weigh in at 4:30 p.m., meeting starts at 5 p.m.
Open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are held noon-1 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 309 Taylor Avenue in Park Hills. For info call 573-482-4120.
Bonne Terre Eagles Aerie #4210 will host Bingo each Tuesday and Friday evening. Doors open at 4 p.m. and speedball starts at 6 p.m.
Bonne Terre Eagles Auxiliary #4210 will host Bingo each Sunday. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and speedball starts at 1 p.m.
St. Francois County Democrats meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Desloge Elks Club. For info visit them on Facebook or call Nikki Asher at 573-330-5903 or Linda Dickerson-Bell at 573-330-2436.
Farmington American Legion Post 416 meets 7 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month, beginning Feb. 4, at the Farmington VFW on Karsch Blvd.
Music and dance is held 6-8:30 p.m. every Monday at Farmington Senior Center.
First Free Will Baptist Church, 300 Emerson in Park Hills, host a Celebrate Recovery in St. Francois County event each Saturday night, dinner at 6 p.m. and meeting at 7 p.m.
Farmington VFW Post 5896 meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
Single Moms Investing In Life Eternal meet 5:30-7 p.m. the 1st Thursday of each month at the Liberty Hall office building, 400 North Washington in Farmington.
Sayer Center, 109 Lawrence St. in Potosi, hosts a dance 6:30-9:30 p.m. each Saturday night featuring local country music artists and groups. Admission is $6, this is a smoke free and alcohol free event.
Overeaters Anonymous will meet Mondays, 11 a.m., in the small conference room at the Farmington Public Library, 101 N A Street. For info call 573-431-6798 or 573-756-7022.
The Sarah Barton Murphy chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution meet 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month, Sept. through May, at Farmington Public Library, 101 North A St.
Desloge Public Library host early literacy story time 10-10:45 a.m. every Tuesday through May 8. Program is designed for 2-5 year olds, must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
The women's shooting club meets 6-7 p.m. the 2nd Monday of each month at Ozark Thunder Indoor Gun Range, 5157 Flat River Rd, in Farmington. Women over age 21 are welcome. For info call 573-518-0500.
Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge 2583 in Desloge will host Bingo each Monday afternoon. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., speedball starts at 6 p.m.
Farmington VFW Post 5896 will hold a Fish Fry (with a weekly special) 5-7 p.m. Fridays (except on Fridays that fall during a holiday week). Call 573-756-8852.
Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy hosts diabetic education classes 1 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month at Midwest Health Group, 555 W. Pine St. in Farmington. For Info For info email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Beginnings will host a grief and loss support group 10-11:30 every Wednesday in the conference room at Belgrade State Bank, 414 N. State St. in Desloge.
Bonne Terre Memorial Library will host an adult coloring night 5-6 p.m. every Wednesday.
Parkland Health Center hosts a diabetes self-management class 1-3 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Farmington Public Library. The class is free of charge and open to all ages. Reservations are not required. For info visit parklandhealthcenter.org or call 573-760-8396.
Irondale Lodge #143 will meet every 1st and 3rd Saturday each month at 7 p.m., meal both days at 6:30 p.m. All Master Masons are welcome.
Samaritan Lodge 424 AF&AM in Bonne Terre, meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m., Dinner meeting 3RD Thursday only, meal at 6:30 p.m. and meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons welcome.
Elvins Ionic Lodge 154 AF&AM in Desloge meets the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. Meal, both days at 6 p.m. and meeting at 7 p.m. All Master Masons welcome.
American Legion Post 83 in Bonne Terre meets 5:30 p.m. the 1st Friday of every month.
The Desloge Public Library will host storytime 10:30-11 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. The program is for children ages birth through 5 years and their parents or caregivers.
Leadwood Lodge #598 meets the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month August through May, meal at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons are welcome.
Parkland Health Center offers a childbirth class from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. the 2nd Saturday of each month. The class is free of charge and open to any expectant parents. To register, please visit Parklandhealthcenter.org, then click “classes and events.”
Parkland Health Center offers a breastfeeding class from 5-7 p.m. the 1st Monday of each month (2nd Monday in Sept.). The class is free of charge and open to any new or expectant mother. To register, please visit Parklandhealthcenter.org, then click “classes and events.”