The Classic Charitable Foundation
The roots of the Classic Charitable Foundation began in 1995 with the presentation of the Mercy Celebrity Classic. Over the years, we have generated more than $2,500,000 for local charities.
Our purpose of presenting these events has always been to raise funds to assist a wide variety of local organizations serving many in need in our community. Thank you to our sponsors, artists, volunteers, and our "hands on" board members... it does take a "Fort!"
Classic Charitable Foundation History
1992 - 1994
Mercy Golf Tournament - Fianna Hills Country Club
The St. Edward Hospital Auxiliary presented a weekend golf event with four or five well known pro golfers. Funds went to Harbor View psychiatric Hospital and the Auxiliary.
1995 - 2005
The Mercy Celebrity Classic
State Senator Mac McGhee (Fort Smith) and Bob Moody approached St. Edwards Hospital Auxiliary to help them promote an event in Fort Smith similar to the Phillips Classic in Northwest Arkansas. The Auxiliary accepted the challenge and with the dynamic leadership of Mac McGhee selling the idea to the major companies and movers in the community; we began. The first Classic was a two-day golf tournament with John Daley and Mike Springer. Other celebrities from sports, film, television, and local celebs were flown into town for the event. Tennis and an evening Gala with entertainment rounded out the first event. We operated under the St. Edwards Mercy Foundation umbrella. All work was done by volunteers until 2001 when the need for a full time, paid Coordinator was apparent.
2006 - 2010
The Celebrity Classic
When Sparks Medical Center became a sponsor, Mercy Foundation advised that a separate foundation needed to be established for the Classic. This was done and a name change was established.
The event grew from a weekend golf and tennis event to a week-long series of multiple events. Cycling, Poker, Tennis Ball Drop, Bowling, Leadership Luncheon, Pairings Party, Gala Dinner, and Survivors Challenge. Out list of celebrities from across the country continued to grow. Many local charities benefited from these events.
End of the Celebrity Classic
After 16 years it was time for a change. Local economy was in a down turn and we lost our two major sponsors.
Festival on the Border
We joined a group of community leaders who wanted to present a music festival at Kelley Park on the river in September. The event went well but due to expenses and weather we made no profit. The second year was worse, so the event was retired.
2014 - 2017
Championship Fore Charities
April 2014, another group came to us with the idea of combining several charities to benefit a golf tournament at Hardscrabble Country Club Golf Course. They used our 501c3 to operate. We helped organize and volunteered at the event. After the third year it became apparent, we were not getting enough profit for our charities to continue with the group. We also realized we needed to put our efforts into Art on the Border for it to grow and succeed.
2014 - 2018
Art on the Border
In 2014 the Board voted to join a group promoting Fort Smith Western Heritage in downtown Fort Smith. We decided to put on a Western Heritage Art Show in the Frisco Train Station. After the second year, we changed the name to Art on the Border with a wider choice of artworks. We also outgrew the Frisco and moved to the UAFS Blue Lion for more space. In 2018, we added the Fort Smith Pavilion to Blue Lion for more space to accommodate our growth. 21 West End gave us their restaurant space when the Pavilion air-conditioning failed.
2020 - 2021
No Events due to COVID-19
Art on the Border
July 2022 marked the return of Art on the Border after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 virus. It was the BEST ever. 74 artists filled the newly renovated and spacious event center at the ACHE Research Institute, Health and Wellness Center. A record number of guests and shoppers came through the doors Friday evening and all-day Saturday prompting record sales. The four charities received $70,000 as a result of this event.
President: Teresa Keller
Secretary: Harry (Skip) Freeman - APAC Inc.
Treasurer: Justin Anthony
Vice President: David Roberts
Daren Dozier Dallas
Rebecca Hattabaugh Frueh
Bob Skinner DDS
Advisory/Inactive Board Members: