Photography by Jamison Mosley
Fellow Arkansans – neighbors, colleagues and friends – are sharing a light of peace, kindness and generosity that makes The Natural State a little brighter. Inviting Arkansas and Methodist Family Health celebrate individuals who illuminate our community with goodness. Nominate someone today for a future feature that SHINES.
You’ve heard of Southern Silks Stakes, but have you been? This annual, not-so-typical event returns each fall for an evening of healthy competition in support of Methodist Family Health Foundation. Inspired by the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Horseracing – the celebration features stick-horse races, unique auction items and so much more! Melanie and Matt Buchanan will host the festivities in 2023 and encourage guests to begin training for another year of faux racing fun.
Members of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Melanie and Matt were familiar with the mission fulfillment work of Methodist Family Health. However, their involvement didn’t begin until good friends and neighbors Becka and Brian Webb invited the Buchanans to the Southern Silks Stakes committee. Becka graced the August 2021 Inviting Arkansas Magazine cover for her family’s unwavering commitment to Methodist Family Health. Melanie shares, “Since then, we have learned just how vital Methodist Family Health is here in Arkansas and can’t really imagine not supporting them. Children and families receiving the support and assistance they need to be successful and thrive is incredibly important to us.”
Methodist Family Health offers a complete continuum of care for Arkansas children who are abandoned, abused, neglected and struggling with psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues. Matt supports, “Methodist Family Health is unique in the range of services they provide across the entire state. We love that Methodist Family Health works to heal the whole self: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.” From inpatient facilities to day treatment and counseling, clients can enter and transition through any program based on individual needs.
With a portfolio of programs and services that improve the health and wellness of Arkansas families, there are countless reasons to gather in support of this worthy organization. This childlike take on the Kentucky Derby will be a fun-filled evening of fanciful hats and festive fare as guests don their race day-inspired attire. Melanie jokes, “It’s laid back and genuinely a raucous good time! Matt’s looking forward to not having to wear a tux.” Matt adds, “And, Melanie is looking forward to winning the hat contest. She loves a good hat!” Methodist Family Health Director of Communications Kelli Reep attests, “Melanie and Matt have provided a lot of good feedback for refining Southern Silks Stakes, and the committee has really taken to their input,” She continues, “This year is the first time we’ll be back live and in person since 2019 so next year will be a sure winner with the Buchanans at the helm.”
The idea of “grow where you’re planted” is something that Melanie and Matt implement into their lifestyle. The couple has always been civically minded, but it wasn’t until they started a family that they realized how important it was to raise their children in an environment that fostered the same values. Now, the couple is dedicated to their three, young daughters and the community that they love – a community that they believe they can help make even better. “We stay because we’ve kept growing and we still see work to be done in our community and our state to help others be able to do the same,” Melanie concludes. This civic-minded family invites you to join them at one of the city’s most beloved events, Southern Silks Stakes, to ride to the rescue of children and families in Arkansas.
Sponsored by Methodist Family Health | Nominations accepted at Foundation@MethodistFamily.org
methodistfamily.org | #ShareTheLightandSHINE