Stars bring beauty to Joplin in storm’s wake


Photos show various volunteers with their decorated stars.

Nathan Mills

Friday and Saturday, the stars will be out in Joplin. Even in daylight.

Stars of Hope will be in town spreading a message of healing, beauty and community through crafts.

“We’re encouraging families, children, all community members to come out and paint a star,” Sandy Lovett, MSSU Resource Center director said.

The stars will be painted as a gesture of remembrance of those lost in the 9/11 attacks and the May 22 tornado.

The event is designed to restore a sense of beauty to a city reduced to rubble.

“The Stars of Hope works in conjunction with the New York Says Thank You Foundation to bring beauty and hope back into communities that have experienced devastation,” Sandy Lovett, MSSU Resource Center director said.

This event is part of the three days of memorial activities planned in Joplin to commemorate 9/11.

The group will bring 3,000 stars to Joplin to be painted and staked throughout the city. They will be placed specifically in the path of the tornado.

“They picked 3,000 because that represents each victim of 9/11 and each victim of the Joplin tornado,” Lovett said.

Stars of Hope is presented along with the New York Says Thank You movie, which will be making its debut in Joplin.

The film is a documentary highlighting the help flowing into New York in the days after the terrorist attacks and how that help was returned.

MSSU Advising, Counseling and Testing Services  Director Kathy Wilson says the film pushes a great message that all residents of Joplin should be able to relate to.

“Jeff Parness, of the foundation, says it’s not a movie about 9/11, it’s a movie about 9/12 because September 12 is when Americans from our great nation went to New York to help them through their recovery,” she said. “And I think Joplin has experienced that here as well,  having over 80,000 volunteers come and help us with our May 22 tornado.”

Volunteers will be coming in from across Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, New York and even Greensburg, Kan.

Stars will be painted on the Oval at Missouri Southern Friday and at Cunningham Park  Saturday.


New York Says Thank You Showtimes


Friday          Saturday


10 a.m.         1 p.m.

1 p.m.          3 p.m.

3 p.m.

5 p.m.         Limited seating available

7 p.m.

9 p.m.