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May Day Update:

Friends of the Sunflower River

We have reached our goal:

$3,000+ raised

thanks to the Friends!

Y’all, WE MADE IT! Over three thousand dollars has been raised by the Friends to contribute to the Weir Capping Project. Our commitment to the capping addition was $3,000, but thanks to your enthusiastic response we went considerably further -- $3480 total to date! You won’t hear from me anymore about this fundraising campaign. Next email you get from me will be reporting about progress of the construction.

Now its up to the City & County to start work. If you recall its a $20,000 budget -- total shared by City ($5K), County ($5K), and Yazoo Water Management District ($7K) and community contributions (US!). We will make up the $3K difference as we hoped we would be able to do, maybe more. On the other hand we might set aside the additional $480 for future improvements along the Sunflower River, such as the new stage construction in Martin Luther King Park. This decision will be voted upon within the month of May by the membership of the Friends of the Sunflower River. The 2012 membership includes anyone who donated. If you donated, you will have a vote in the decision.


Many thanks to Bill Luckett who sent the first donation we received. Thanks also to my mother-in-law, Emma Crisler, who sent in the second donation. Many thanks to Shonda Warner who ushered in a $500 donation through the George and Lillith Burner Foundation and started tipping the scales towards the halfway point in the fundraising campaign.

A special recognition of Dick Laurie & Abby Freedman who will be donating annual proceeds from Dick’s book of poetry about Clarksdale “If the Delta was the Sea.” We’re not sure how these proceeds will end up being, but if you go buy a copy of Dick’s book it will of course end up being a little bit more. Thanks Dick & Abby!

Special thanks to all of you who live out of town and were motivated to contribute to the weir capping project. Your thoughtfulness & generosity is refreshing to us, as well as an inspiration. Many thanks to those who live near or along the Sunflower River and are helping clean it up and make it a healthier river. We’ve got problems for sure, but at least we’re trying to improve on what we have.


Anyone who donated to this project will be automatically made a member in good standing for the next full year with the Friends of the Sunflower River. You will receive all future mail-outs with news, stories and developments from the loneliest little muddy river in the middle of America!

Campaign Details:

End of April Donations:

Delta Bohemian ($100)

Rob & Anna Tyner ($50)

Mac Crank & Shelley Ricker ($50)

Beverley and Gerry Grant ($100)

Michael & Cari Waters ($100)

Sandra & John Hughes ($25)

Sarah Foley Thornhill ($25)

Sandra & Charles West ($50)

Erin Lee ($50)

Sub: $550


James & Cathy Butler ($50)

Previous April Donations:

R.M. and M. Tyner ($25)

John & Robin Cocke ($100)

John Henshall ($50)

John H. Barnes ($100)

Joe & Dorothy Middleton ($50)

Karen Kolhaas ($50)

Cliff & Lucille Ochs ($250)

Tim & Meri Tenhet ($100)

Mrs. Walter Thompson ($100)

Delta Bohemian ($100)

Bob Long ($100)

Tom & Lois Irwin ($25)

Lou & Gary Ruskey-Halsey ($100)

Linda White ($15)

Charlotte Huddleston ($15)

Bo Graham ($25)

Sub: $1205

March Weir Donations:

John & Susan McKee ($50)

Billy & Madge Howell ($25)

George and Lillith Burner Foundation/

Shonda Warner ($500)

Charles Evans ($100)

Bill Luckett ($50)

Emily Cooper ($25)

Emma Crisler ($100)

Dr. McGee ($25)

John & Sarah Crisler-Ruskey ($100)

Quapaw Canoe Company ($500)

Sub: $1475

Thanks to the internal support from Quapaw Canoe Company (administrative, staff & structural), all 2012 membership donations to Friends of the Sunflower will be diverted to supporting the completion of the Weir Project, including:

New Members: Bob “Spoonz” Rowell and Jon Popper (sub: $50 total)

Renewals: Laura Barnaby, Guy Malvezzi, Curtis Boschert, Bill Hayden, Bob Long, and Sandra & Charles West, Tom & Lois Irwin (sub: $175 total)

Lifetime Members: Charlie & Henrietta Musselwhite

Memorial: A $25 donation made in memorial of the late Sonia Fox of Sunflower County. Ms. Fox was a founding member of the friends.

Total: $3480

***Weir Project***

The Sunflower River Weir needs to be raised another 18 inches -- local support needed to complete project -- $3,000 goal by June 1st. (THIS HAS BEEN MET!!!)


1. Isn’t the weir project completed? No its not done. It is 90% complete but now it needs to be fine-tuned.

2. Why wasn’t the weir built higher? Its complicated, but the short & pquick explanation is that the engineers didn’t want to cause flooding problems for downtown Clarksdale. But now that we’ve seen the effects of the weir we know 18 inches can be added without future detriments.

3. Why donate? This is your way of participating in the future of Clarksdale, and its a good investment: concrete, steel and rock have longevity!

4. When will the weir be completed? Its now up to the City & County of Clarksdale/Coahoma County to complete this capping project. Promises have been made and now nothing stands in the way but making the first step.

5. Who will benefit from the raised weir? The weir will provide life-long beauty and promote healthy living to downtown Clarksdale and all the neighborhoods along the Sunflower River including Riverton, Brickyard, Lower Brickyard, West Clarksdale, Duckwalk, Circle Drive neighborhoods, Chancellorsville, Ridgecrest, and anyone else who lives along Sunflower Avenue, Riverside Drive, Cypress Street and enjoys Soldier’s Field Park and the Sunflower River Walk. ($20,000 budget total shared by City, County, and Yazoo Water Management District + contributions).

Friends of the Sunflower River

291 Sunflower Avenue

Clarksdale, MS 38614

“This river has the blues…”