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Free lunch Tuesdays at Crockett Park

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062322 free lunch tuesday

By Jan White
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CROCKETT – Hebrews 13:16 says, “And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” One of the best things about Crockett is the way residents band together to assist each other in times of need. And one of the newest organizations to offer aid is The Gathering Place.

The Gathering Place is a contemporary church whose primary goal is to serve the community and help people find their relationship with God. This summer, The Gathering Place is reaching out to assist families in several unique ways.

Many families who count on school programs to feed their children during the school year struggle with meals during the summer months. The Gathering Place wanted to help fill the void by offering kids lunches at least once a week. On Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., church members convene under the Davy Crockett Park pavilion to serve lunch to underserved families in the community. And it’s not just cold sandwiches. Cooks fire up the grill and toast fun foods like hot dogs with all the fixings and cold drinks to help stave off the summer heat. And because it’s held in the park, after lunch, kids and their parents can cool off under the recently added splash pad.

In addition to “Free Lunch Tuesdays,” as it is known, the church also has a drawing on Monday night after their evening service, where one lucky winner gets a tank full of gasoline. And the church is also implementing their “Fill the Fridge” ministry, where they visit local businesses and literally fill their refrigerator with drinks and goodies.

A spokesperson for The Gathering Place described the church as “A diverse group of people in culture and age, with a contemporary worship service.” The group currently meets on Monday evenings at 7:00 under the pavilion at Davy Crockett Park.

For additional information about The Gathering Place, contact Pastor Simeon Bradshaw at (618) 580-9674, or message them on Facebook for a quick response.

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Parrish named to LeTourneau Dean’s List

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061622 parrish deans list

LONGVIEW – Hunter Parris, of Kennard, was named to the Spring 2022 Dean’s List at LeTourneau University. The Dean’s List recognizes students who have achieved a grade point average between 3.50 and 3.99 for the semester.

LeTourneau University President Dr. Steven D. Mason said being named to the Dean’s List is a significant academic achievement and honor.
Parrish, an Aeronautical Science major, was named to the list.

“As the comprehensive Christian polytechnic institution in the country, LeTourneau University attracts students who are among our nation’s best,” Mason said. “I’m especially impressed with these honor roll students, and I expect them to have a significant impact on our future.”

LeTourneau University is the Christian polytechnic university where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degree programs online and at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, located 120 miles east of Dallas and 60 miles west of Shreveport, Louisiana.

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Crockett celebrates Juneteenth

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061622 celebrate juneteenth

By Jan White
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CROCKETT – In 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, stating “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious areas “are, and henceforward shall be free.” But because the state had experienced no large-scale fighting or a significant presence of Union troops, the Proclamation went unheeded in Texas. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived on Galveston Island, that Granger’s men marched through Galveston reading General Order No. 3, which informed Texans of the Proclamation that all enslaved people were to be freed.

Local celebrations broke out that day among the newly freed Black community. The following year, on June 19, commemorating the day they received the Proclamation, freedmen in Texas organized what they called Jubilee Day. They celebrated with music, picnics, prayer services, and the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. As the freedmen migrated to other states, they brought with them the annual tradition. Soon the June 19 Jubilee, which had acquired the nickname, Juneteenth, was celebrated across the county.
Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday in 1980. And in 2021, Congress passed a resolution establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday.

This year, the city of Crockett will celebrate Juneteenth with pageants, parades, programs, and picnics. On June 11, the Juneteenth Pageant was held a Crockett High School. Winners and contestants will be featured in the Juneteenth Parade, which takes place on Saturday, June 18. This year’s parade grand marshal is well-known community advocate Hillard McKnight. After the parade, head to the Groves Center on MLK Street so you can attend the Juneteenth Official Opening Ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m. And at 2 p.m., you’ll want to be on hand as Pitmasters compete in the first annual Juneteenth BBQ Cookoff. The two categories for the contest are chicken and pork ribs and will be judged on taste, presentation, and tenderness. For more information on the cookoff, contact KJ Johnson at (936) 300-2477. And the whole family will enjoy the Seventh Annual Juneteenth Fun Day, also located at the Groves Center. Sponsored by Rhonda Ware and Tonya and “Peanut” Harris, the event offers free food, games, bounce houses, and music. The day’s celebrations will conclude with special entertainment presented by Tony Henry, “The Soul Singer,” at Bear Hall in Downtown Crockett.

If you would like more information about the Juneteenth Celebration, contact Jurlinda Gentry at (936) 355-4671.

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S.H.A.R.E gets a facelift

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061622 share muralHouston County S.H.A.R.E. is a non-profit organization that provides food, clothing, and housewares for the underserved members the county.

On June 8, young people and adults from the Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in West Houston arrived in Crockett for a week of work, worship, and willingness to give to others.

The “Workcamp” program has been a cornerstone of the church’s student ministry for over thirty-five years. This year the Workcamp selected Crockett as the destination for its summer mission trip. More than a hundred and fifty high schoolers, counselors, adult volunteers, and full-time staff members were on hand to tackle the projects. All the work is done at no cost to the community. The group used Crockett Middle School as their ‘base camp.’ Days were spent working, and in the evenings, the volunteers reunited for group meetings and worship services.

One of the tasks selected was the revitalization of Houston County S.H.A.R.E. Share is a non-profit organization that provides food, clothing, and housewares for the underserved members of Houston County. Besides receiving a new external coat of paint and colorful artwork representing the Share vision, volunteers built a much-needed porch roof and a covered entryway to the building. The addition of outside lights, bookshelves for the inside foyer, building a large sorting table, cleaning the storage room, and some minor electrical work completed the renovations. The Workcamp team also donated beans and rice for over 400 familiesand are taking up a cash donation to help provide food or services to SHARE clients.

“They had fun, and I had fun,” said Cliff Coldiron, Director of SHARE. In his thank you to the team, Coldiron had this to say, “You know the old saying, when you leave somewhere, try and leave it in better shape than when you got there. You have left Crockett in better shape in three ways. You have served the community by improving the outside appearance of our building, served the volunteers with the indoor improvements, and served our clients by providing food and a nicer place to receive services.” And always a pragmatist, Coldiron’s final words of advice to the group - “If you want to make yourself happy, give yourself away.”

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Food Bank begins summer program

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060922 summer lunch program

TYLER – The East Texas Food Bank has kicked off the Summer Food Program at 27 East Texas locations so children will not go hungry during the summer break.

“The Summer Food Program began in 2005 to fill the meal gap left when the school year ends and children lose access to free and reduced-price meals they depend on for nourishment,” said Dennis Cullinane, East Texas Food Bank CEO.

In 2021, the East Texas Food Bank served 28,811 meals to children. “This year we believe the need will be greater with the rising costs of food and are preparing to serve 50,000 meals across East Texas,” added Cullinane.

The meals are provided at various community sites Monday-Friday. There is no need to register and no proof of age or income required. Some locations offer breakfast and lunch but all offer lunch.

In Houston County, the locations are found at: Crockett Early Childhood Center, located at 1300 MLK Blvd. and Crockett Elementary School, which is located at 1400 SW Loop 304 in Crockett.

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