The Venetian Carnival

Renowned as “The Baron” of each year’s annual ball, Davis Tillman continues to dazzle friends and patrons of Levi Hospital with his recreation of a magical, mystical evening of intrigue at the Baron’s Ball.

Photography by Rett Peek

Davis Tillman is a Spa City icon. From his family’s business Tillman’s Antiques – that graced Historic Downtown Hot Springs for nearly four decades – to his civic leadership and commitment to the community, Davis is a welcomed guest at every Hot Springs gathering. Again this year, Davis brings his talent and flair for the unexpected to life at the annual Baron’s Ball for a magical evening of intrigue and delight.

   Proceeds from the evening’s festivities support Levi Hospital, one of the state’s oldest and longest-serving hospitals. Davis has helped organize and direct the annual Baron’s Ball for 15 years, which helps fulfill part of the hospital’s mission to serve all persons without regard to economic means. All proceeds from the Baron’s Ball support the Levi Endowment Foundation and the hospital’s patient programs.

   Levi Hospital opened its doors on Nov. 1, 1914. It has earned a reputation of providing superior care within its defined services, Levi Hospital Vice President for Development Jackie Arrison notes. “Levi has always focused on meeting the community health needs, and as such, has modified its programming to address those critical, unmet and underserved needs. The hospital is well recognized for its work within outpatient rehabilitation and has received the Sentinel Record Reader’s Choice Award for best Outpatient Physical Therapy Provider.” 

   The hospital also is recognized throughout the state for its work with psychiatric disorders, and it is one of the few hospitals that admits patients 18 years and older. For those who need continued support following an inpatient stay, the hospital offers a well-structured Intensive Outpatient Psychiatric Program.

   It’s the only outpatient rehabilitation therapy clinic that has Hot Springs’ thermal waters in its pool. “This is such a tremendous asset to our treatment plans for our patients,” says Jackie. “The soothing thermal waters aid in the recovery from strokes, surgery, accidents and sports-related injuries.” She notes another surprising fact – during its century of service, the hospital didn’t charge patients for the first 50 years. “The practice of not charging changed after the advent of Medicare,” notes Jackie.

   Jackie credits countless volunteers, under the direction of Davis, that make it a success each year. “Without Davis Tillman – the Baron – and his amazing talents, our entertainment would not be what it is each year,” Jackie notes. “He gives of his personal time and resources to put together a cast and crew that delivers a fabulous dinner show.” And Davis and Jackie insist, this year’s ball – A Venetian Carnival – will not disappoint.

Inviting Arkansas

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