Dr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Hall III were presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Friends of Arrow Rock at their 52nd Annual Meeting. Click to hear KMZU’s Brad Hartman talk with Executive Director Kathy Borgman:
Press Release from Friends of Arrow Rock
The Friends of Arrow Rock presented its highest honor – the Distinguished Service Award – to Dr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Hall III of Prairie Village at its 52nd annual meeting on Sunday, June 12.
The organization also celebrated the completion of a capital campaign, which raised $1.1 million for building preservation, educational programs, endowment, curatorial services for its collections and operating support. The Halls gave a very generous leadership gift to kick off the successful campaign.
With deep family roots in the area, Dr. Hall has been immersed in Arrow Rock’s history all of his life. During the summers while in medical school, he assisted his father in restoring the John Sites Gun Shop, which opened in 1967. This was followed by the building of the John Sappington Museum in 1974 and the publication of a book, “Dr. John Sappington of Saline County, Missouri 1776-1856.”
In 1984, Tom followed in his father’s footsteps and was elected as a trustee of the Friends of Arrow Rock. In 1986, he reprinted the Sappington booklet and also a second book his father authored, “Medicine on the Santa Fe Trail.” In 1990, Tom oversaw the second restoration of the Sites Gun Shop, and it was rededicated as part of the Santa Fe Trail Association meeting in 1991. That restoration and work on the Sites House garnered the Friends the Albert B. Corey Award, the highest award given to a smaller historical society by the American Association for State and Local History.
Tom eventually became the vice president of the organization and began working on a completely new exhibit at the Sappington Museum. Then, due to the untimely death of President Sue Stubbs, he assumed the presidency in 2004. In her honor, he carried out a successful campaign to raise $100,000 to meet a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which established the Friends of Arrow Rock Humanities Endowment.
Tom and Margaret have created a showplace at their family home across from the Bingham House in Arrow Rock, and their magnificent garden and hospitality have been enjoyed by many. Margaret is a national officer and director of the Garden Club of America, which is composed of 200 clubs and more than 20,000 members across the U.S., making them national leaders in the field of horticulture, conservation and civic improvement. Margaret was in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday, being inducted as the only new member into the Rare Plant Society of the Garden Club of America, composed of only 20 people across the country.
In 2008, Tom retired from his medical teaching career at the University of Kansas to devote his full efforts to the Friends of Arrow Rock. As it approached its 50th anniversary year in 2009, Tom led the organization as it embarked on its first-ever capital campaign, with a goal of raising $1 million dollars.
“No one worked harder or solicited with more passion and belief in the mission and vision of Arrow Rock than Tom did, bringing us to this day when we celebrate the completion of this successful campaign,” said past Distinguished Service Award recipient Whitney Kerr in presenting the award. “Therefore, it is with our deepest respect and appreciation, that today the Friends of Arrow Rock presents its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Tom and Margaret Hall.”
The annual meeting concluded with cake and ice cream in honor of longtime Friends trustee John Irvin’s 100th birthday, which is coming up in July. John and his late wife, Virgie, were major benefactors for the capital campaign.
For more information about the Friends of Arrow Rock, visit the organization’s website at FriendsAR.org.