Hannibal Salvation Army Advisory Council Chairman John Hark was honored Monday, Sept. 30, by receiving the designation of Salvation Army member emeritus.

Hannibal Salvation Army Advisory Council Chairman John Hark was honored Monday, Sept. 30, by receiving the designation of Salvation Army member emeritus.
In making the presentation to Hark during the monthly Advisory Council meeting, Salvation Army Major Andrew Miller reported that Hark “has served 41 years for the City of Hannibal and Marion County, Mo. He has been recognized by multiple state representatives, including proclamations to honor him on the state House floor.”
“John is a state-certified management director and has multiple connections in the 10-county area. He is also certified to handle hazardous material,” Miller continued.
Noting Hark’s Salvation Army service, Miller said he was chairman of the Hannibal board, “during a tough transition time, when Hannibal changed from their own corps to coming under the umbrella of Quincy, Ill. His role then shifted to Advisory Council chair.”
Miller emphasized that all donations made for the Hannibal Salvation Army are used only in Hannibal and the area it serves in Missouri.
Miller added that “John was a great help in finding and securing the current facility for the thrift store and social services.”
When he received a plaque honoring him, Hark said he shared the honor “with every board member who has served with me” during his 10 years on the local board and council, adding “we have just really begun.”
Hark reported that one of the things he wanted the local Salvation Army to accomplish ”was a very nice thrift store,” and Hannibal now has one.
He added that “what we do here seems small at times, but look at the difference it makes. In 1993 we had a major flood on the Mississippi River and the Salvation Army was right there every step of the way.”
He said when the levee across the river in East Hannibal broke, and people were in need of help, he asked for volunteers to walk across the train bridge, and the Salvation Army leader and then-Fire Chief Roy Hark (currently mayor and a member of the advisory council) agreed to do so, although “water was lapping at the bottom of the railroad bridge. They were going to see if people needed help. ... I cannot receive this award without you.”
After the meeting, Miller explained that Hark received a rare honor, because the title of Salvation Army member emeritus is awarded to only about four people each year in the 10-state territory including Hannibal.
Hark said the Christmas season is coming, and “right now the main thing we are trying to spread is the Christmas spirit, not only within the Salvation Army but in the community, and try to get word out that we are here. Christmas is a time of giving and caring. Not only is Salvation Army here to meet the needs of people but to work with others who are interested in joining us in giving and caring.”
The Salvation Army thrift store is located at 302 Broadway, where Manager Scott Andrews said he welcomes donations of items to be sold. He invited the public to drop off donated clothing and household items at the drop off location in the alley during the store hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. If furniture is being donated and needs to be picked up, he may be called at (573) 248-8008.
The Salvation Army’s social services are provided in Hannibal at the store’s location, also during store hours. For information about services offered and the application process, call (573) 221-7072.

Editor’s note: Bev Darr is a member of the Hannibal Salvation Army Advisory Council.