Community involvement distinguishes JA Charity Ball honorees

January 1, 1900

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


At its 61st annual Charity Ball Saturday, Junior Auxiliary of Columbus announced the 2011 Ball king and queen and celebrated community service.  


Queen Madeline Frances Hardy and King John Thompson Bean III were introduced to a capacity crowd, along with a court of 23 high school seniors who have performed more than 2,000 hours of service in their community, churches and schools. 


Junior Auxiliary's year-round service projects impact children throughout Lowndes County. Funds raised through the Report to the Community and Charity Ball help annually provide school uniforms and clothing for several hundred school children, fund scholarships and character-building service projects and school speakers. They also make possible a disability awareness and education program, a child abuse education and prevention program, a reality fair for high school students and ongoing tutoring/mentoring programs such as Junior Auxiliary Mentors and Girls Empowered to Model Success. 




About the king 


King John Thompson Bean III is the son of Myrrl Hudson Bean and the late John Thompson Bean, Jr. He is married to Kathi Bryant Bean, a Life member of Junior Auxiliary of Columbus. 


He is the father of two children, Lindsay Blair Bean and John Bryant Bean, both past court members of the JA Charity Ball. He has been an active supporter of the Pilgrimage/Charity Ball most of his adult life.  


Bean is a graduate of S.D. Lee High School and served as president of his senior class. He attended Mississippi State University, where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. 


In business 


Along with his mother and family friend, the late Harvey Seifert, John opened the first Harvey's Restaurant in Starkville in 1982. In 1985, they opened Harvey's of Columbus. Bean and his family have expanded the restaurant business into the Eat With Us group, which includes three Harvey's restaurants, as well as The Grill Restaurants, Sweet Peppers Deli, Sweet Peppers Franchise System and Park Heights. Bean serves the group as president. 


He has been a board member of the Mississippi Restaurant Association and served as chairman of the board in 1992-1993. From 1994-2003, he served on the National Restaurant Association board of directors and is presently director emeritus. In 1982, he received the Restaurateur of the Year Award. In 2000, he received the Distinguished Service Award. 


Church and civic 




Bean is an active member of First United Methodist Church of Columbus, where he has served on the Administrative Board, the Church Council, and the Finance Committee. He also served as chairman of the Board of Trustees. He is an active member of the Usher team, as well.  


His commitment to Columbus is evidenced throughout the city. In addition to providing jobs, goods and services through his businesses, his award-winning building renovations and his volunteer work have helped revitalize downtown Columbus.  


He is a founding member and supporter of the annual Market Street Festival. His initiative on the Riverwalk Development Committee, coupled with his family's donation of land near Second Street South, led to the Riverwalk's becoming a vibrant and attractive entrance into Columbus. 


Bean has volunteered his time, leadership skills and expertise serving United Way as its chairman and as a member of the board of directors. He has also served on the Main Street Columbus Board and the Columbus-Lowndes County Convention and Visitors Board.  


He has also served as president of the Columbus-Lowndes Development LINK and is a member of the YMCA Board of Directors. Bean received the Business Person of the Year Award in 1996 and the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2000. 


Bean's recent work with the United Way includes serving as the 2010 campaign's Riverine chairman. He also provides for the United Way's "Day to Care" event.  




CAFB, youth 


To honor Columbus Air Force Base and those who serve Columbus, the restaurateur created "Feed our Men and Women in Uniform Day," an event to honor all military, firemen and policemen by inviting them to eat free at any of his restaurants on Memorial Day. For this event, the National Restaurant Association awarded him the Restaurant Neighbor Award for outstanding Community Service. 


Bean is also dedicated to supporting the youth of Columbus and has served as president of the Heritage Academy School Board and on the Mississippi University for Women Culinary Arts Advisory Board.  


He is also a member of the advisory board for the MUW Women's Center for Entrepreneurship. Bean also volunteered his time and talents in support of Kids with Character, Camp Rising Sun, The Boys and Girls Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Father's Child Ministry, the Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross. His gifts to the Golden Triangle community and surrounding areas have enhanced the quality of life for many. 




About the queen 


Queen Madeline Frances Hardy is a native Columbian and the daughter of Mrs. Mary Ann Hardy and the late Mr. Allen Boyd Hardy. She is a 2007 graduate of Heritage Academy, where she was selected class favorite her sophomore year and homecoming maid her junior year.  


A member of the 2007 Hall of Fame, Madeline was a member of Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society. She also served as reporter of the Student Government Association her senior year. Madeline won the ACE Achievement Award and was a member of the National Beta Club.  


A Fellowship of Christian Athletes member, she was named Best All Around Girl for Tennis her sophomore year. Madeline received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award her senior year and was selected to participate in an Academic Betterment Competition for French and AP Biology.  


A UDA All Star Dancer, Madeline won an award for maintaining the highest average in French I and II. An Academy Honors student, she won the Patriot Award in tennis and basketball her senior year.  




Church, school involvement 


A member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Madeline was an active member of her youth group and was very active in aiding Hurricane Katrina victims in Bay St. Louis by traveling with her youth group to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to help clean up after the storm. She was also very active in Vacation Bible School. 


Madeline is presently a senior at Mississippi State University and will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Journalism and Foreign Languages-French degree in May.  


A Society of Scholar member, Madeline has an overall grade point average of 3.97. She is a member of Delta Gamma Sorority and served as vice president of communications and co-director of public relations. She also served the MSU Student Association on the External Events, Public Relations, Environmental Affairs and Graphic Design Committees.  


She is a member of Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society and served as vice president in 2008-2009. She also holds membership in Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Alpha Lambda, and in Lambda Pi Eta, a communications honor society.  


Madeline was named to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Gamma Beta Phi, and Phi Kappa Phi. She is a member of Mortar Board and Shackouls Honor College and has been a President's Scholar for seven semesters.  


Madeline is also a member of the Southern Debutante Assembly in Greenwood. 






Serving her fellow man, especially children, has always been important to Madeline. She volunteered her time teaching Palmer Home children to swim, and for two summers, served as a counselor at Camp Rising Sun.  


At MSU, she participated in the Chi Omega Limelight, which benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Delta Gamma Anchor Games, which benefit Service for Sight. She has also participated in the Relay for Life and TOMS Club, an organization that provides shoes to children in need. Madeline has also been a member of Rick's Rowdies and The Big Event, two organizations/events that benefit other

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.