The hatchery visitor center is adorned with wreaths and the halls are decked with ornaments.

The hatchery visitor center is adorned with wreaths and the halls are decked with ornaments.

We are happy to welcome Becky Wylie as our newest volunteer worker in the gift shop/bookstore. Anyone interested in volunteering one morning or one afternoon a week, please contact Betty Wright at 451-6642. Local visitor of the week is Euleda Mae Denefrio of Neosho. Long distance visitor of the week is Francesca Rich from Athens, Texas.

The following articles were printed in our National Newsletter for the Fish and Wildlife Service and reprinted here to share the successes of our wonderful Friends group.

Friends have quite a successful year
• 1 picnic shelter;
• 2 picnic tables;
• 3 park benches;
• And a partridge in a pear tree;
• 1 industrial popcorn machine;
• 25 folding chairs;
• 9 banquet tables;
• 200 fishing rods and reels;
• Countless fishing tackle supplies;
• 2,000 BBQ grilled lunches;
• Hundreds of hours prepping fishing equipment;
• Hundreds of hours running the visitor center gift shop/book store 260 days a year;
• Hundreds of hours spent crafting artwork and books to supply the gift shop/book store;
• Printed post cards of the hatchery;
• Compilation and publication of “Good Friends, Great Food” cookbook, proceeds fund fishing derbies;
• Countless hours of volunteering during countless events;
• Countless food and drink items for countless events;
• Countless publicity, news articles and media outreach on behalf of hatchery;
• Endless support and love for a Neosho landmark and a national treasure.

Thank you, dear Friends
‘Our’ Mr. Hively re-elected

Russell Hively was unanimously re-elected as president of Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

Under his leadership, the impressive list above is a representation of the group’s many accomplishments for 2012.

Russell and wife Kay have long been champions of the NNFH but their passion doesn’t stop there. Wherever there is a story to tell, both Russell and Kay, columnists for the Neosho Daily News, are there to capture the story with flare.

Russell also writes a weekly column for his hometown newspaper in Minnesota and is a regular feature of the Ozark Mountaineer. He has published more than 1,250 articles and authored several books. Wherever there is a need in the community; the Hivelys are making a difference. They serve on committees and boards for many projects including Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association; George Washington Carver National Monument, and Shoal Creek Historic Preservation, to name a few.

The couple has served as volunteer “fish squeezers” at several hatcheries. A fish squeezer is someone who massages fish bellies to aid in the release of their eggs.

Perhaps Russell’s greatest role, however, has been that of a beloved English teacher, 25 years at Neosho and 17 years at Crowder College. He even donned costumes with a friend and toured the four state area with a historical representation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is estimated that Russell has touched the lives of some 5,000 students as their educator. The adoration of students and parents is evident when Russell volunteers one day a week in our Visitor Center gift shop/book store. Fans often drop by to bid him a fond hello. One mother shared that her son, Scott Wylie, a former student of Mr. Hively’s and a university computer science major, recently reentered college to receive a degree in education because he discovered “I just want to be someone’s Mr. Hively.” The hatchery is blessed to have such a man and his wife as friends to lift it up at every turn. We should all strive to be someone’s Mr. Hively but only one can do it well. Thank you Russell, for being our Mr. Hively.

The hatchery staff sends best wishes for the holiday season and a prosperous new year to all.

 Janice Eaton is the automation clerk at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.