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Voices of Our People is expected to be available in October 2009.
Price: $19.95 plus shipping and handling
S&H flat rate: $5 for 1 book, $10 for 2-5 books, $15 for 6-10. For over 10, please email for rates.
You may MAIL a check or money order for the total (books ordered and appropriate S&H), made payable to "NLAF". All purchases are tax deductible donations and will benefit the foundation. Please email any questions.

Voices of Our People features 52 interviews with people born, raised or currently living in Stone County, Arkansas. This book is in partnership with the hometown newspaper, the Stone County Citizen, who ran the pieces weekly. Places of Our People (second in the series) is currently in progress and will be partnered again with the Stone County Citizen. Due out October 2010, it will feature places around Stone County as told by local citizens. Music of Our People (third project) will feature traditional and current musicmakers of Stone County.

The "Voices of Our People" include: Betty Mitchell , Jonathan Clarence “JC” Bonds , Betty Lawrence Allred , Lorraine Jordan , David Dahlstedt , Dean Hinesley , L.C. Sutterfield , Debra Varela , Sage and Tom Holland , Carl Gayler , Mae Dell Lancaster , Glenn Orhlin , Wilma Teague Wolfe , Andrea Hollander Budy , Scott E Branscum , Neva Petty Foll , Les Sutterfield , Sam Younger , Linda Caperton , Linda Burns Stake , Josephine Linker Hart , Martin Darrell , Charles & Linda Cartwright Widmer , Lois “LD” Monroe , Ruby Flinn Stewart , Fern and Franklin Beamon , Mark and Carol Miller , Pete Klinkhammer , Don Mellon , Glenn Morrison , Lois Davis Brewer , Jana Cash Wickham , Jan Lancaster Nesbitt , Albert Junior Fulks , Dorothy Greenway Younger , Eddie A. Walker , Juanita Walker Coleman , Gary Turner and Family , Travis Hartwick , WWII Veterans , Steve Arender and the Hardly Worth It Fellers , Leonard Lewis , Dwain Nesbitt , Virgil “Jack” Thomas , Firse O’Neal Brannon , Becki Dahlstedt , Herbert Poff , Billy Don Burns , Richard Decker , Leroy Deese and Smooth Iron Rail

About the Author
Born in 1957 to Lonnie Edward “Ed” Cruse and Ima Fulks Cruse, Freda Cruse Phillips is the youngest of three children. Both of her parent’s families homesteaded land on the East Side of the county, some where between “Cajun and Dry Creeks.” A multi generational “local” she left the Ozarks after graduating Mountain View High School in 1975, for the beaches of California where she worked as a model and lifeguard while a student at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She met fashion photographer, Richard Avedon, and was privileged to work for him assisting in portions of the shooting of In The American West between 1977 and 1985. As a student at UCSD she met Jack D. Douglas, Sociology professor who became her friend and mentor. She assisted him on a number of publications including Creative Interviewing (Sage Publications). She graduated UCSD in 1980 with a triple major degree in English, American Literature and Sociology. In 1984 Cruse was named one of "America’s Outstanding Young Women," an honor presented to her by then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. In 1988 she co-authored, Love, Intimacy and Sex (Sage Publications) with Douglas. Cruse completed her Master’s then earned her PhD in 1998 in Social Psychology. She returned home to Arkansas in 1988. She worked for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services from 1988-2005. Since 2005 Cruse has returned to a full time profession in photography and writing. She writes for a number of newspapers and magazines throughout the South. In May of 2009, she and JC Bonds assisted photographer, Dave Anderson, with his debut video for Oxford American’s online magazine, SoLost series. Voices of the People is her first non academic book and her first in a series about the Ozarks.

SUCCESS! In 2008, over 100 pairs of new and slightly used shoes were shipped to Mexico!
This success came from the free one-day photographic exhibition by Freda Cruse Phillips called for “Shoes for Mexico”. The event was held on Saturday October 18th, 2008, at Stone County Library, Edith Lowe Conference Room from noon-6 pm and displayed prints taken of the Tarahumari, Totzoli and Mayan Indians tribes that were visited in early 2008. Freda was on hand for a meet and greet during the exhibit for any person or group interested in knowing more about future humanitarian trips into Copper Canyon. In 2008, toothbrushes were taken to the children in Copper Canyon including a Jesuit school deep in the canyon. The roads into the canyon were not intimidating to Phillips who grew up here in the Ozarks on mostly unpaved roads that can turn from dry dusty gravel roads to mud slick pig trails in a moments notice.. Our worst roads are their best. Although she speaks no Spanish and none of the native Indian languages, she had no difficulty communicating with anyone, “a smile, a gesture and my mother in law Naomi Gayler’s chocolate covered peanuts went a long way,” Phillips said. “Mostly the children and the elders wanted to touch my hair.” For this event, Phillips gathered shoes from infant size to adult size 10 in good used condition to new.

Spring Scholarship Fundraising Yard Sale, 2005
May 6th & 7th, Stone County Fairgrounds EHC Building

Thanks to the wonderful volunteers who helped! Donations come in year round to the Foundation and the May sale included antiques, books, clothing ranging from children's sizes to plus sizes, and numerous knick-knacks and household items. This year, just in time for Mothers Day, the Foundation also had new and vintage jewelry pieces.   Donations are tax deductible and receipts are provided. The foundation encourages businesses and persons who need tax deductions to consider making the foundation an on going recipient. Saleable items that are suitable for auctions and or the yard sale qualify for tax deductions. 

Annual "Nikki's Night Out" (2003-2006)
Angler's Restaurant - Evening in May

This is a dinner served with family and friends waiting tables. A percetage of sales go to the foundation. It has been a repeated success and the featured entree sells out early, so don't miss this once-a-year event!

Memorial Wall Dedication at Mt Joy Cemetery
Friday, October 31, 2003 at 4:00 p.m.

This service, occuring on All Saints Eve, was to dedicate the newly built memorial wall that stands near Nikki's grave at Mt. Joy Cemetary. This event will also include a rememberance of Allen Baldridges son, Adam and others. On All Saints Day, Nikki's family laid her unique headstone in place.

First Annual Benefit & Silent Auction in Mtn. View
Saturday, November 1, 2003 at 5:30 p.m.

This event took place at the Large Auditorium of the Ozark Folk Center. Doors opened at 5:30 PM for the silent auction, which included works of art in many different forms from local artists. Most pieces were one-of-a-kind specifically made for this occasion. Artwork by Nikki and other local artists was displayed. The benefit included classical music, poetry of Andrea Hollander Budy, a book signing by author Peter Hotmann, and other entertainment and speakers.

If you missed it, you can catch a glimpse in our upcoming photo section (soon). If would like to help with the next event, have ideas, or want more info, please contact us.


· April 2005, Press Release: Rowby Announced "Youth Facilitator"  
"...This is the first paid position for the foundation and is offered on a part time basis. "We are starting small," Tyler Henderson, foundation board member and childhood friend of Nikki’s reports. The position will involve work with youth, particularly teens and young adults, who have experienced the loss of a sibling. The sessions will be provided based on the Department of Health Grief Support Counseling Program which is offered free of charge..."
This is a Word Doc file to download.

· Arkansas Weekly, October 2003
This is a copy of an article that is from the Arkansas Weekly during the week of Oct 15-21, 2003. The article is in memorium of Nikki and tells about the foundation and events. This link is to a Word Doc file to download and it is intended to fit on a 17 inch long paper and is over 5 MB in size (because of the pictures). If you would just like to view it online, please click here and then click your back button to return.

· Arkansas Weekly, January 2003
This is a Word Doc file to download. It is a copy of the first page of the online Arkansas Weekly from Jan 2-7, 2003. The first article is about the foundation and scholarship creation and includes some information about Nikki's life.

· The Wellesley News, November 2002
Nikki attended Wellesley College from the fall of 2000 through the spring of 2002. This is an article that was published in the college newspaper on 11/20/03, about the memorial that they held there for Nikki.

Nikki Lee Atwell Foundation
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