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330 boxes packed for overseas troops

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This is just a fraction of the care packages that were boxed and shipped by local volunteers Saturday in conjunction with F.A.I.T.H. Military Support Group. Photo by Emily Banks WootenThis is just a fraction of the care packages that were boxed and shipped by local volunteers Saturday in conjunction with F.A.I.T.H. Military Support Group. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

From Enterprise Staff

Over 100 students and community members volunteered their time to pack Christmas care packages for those serving overseas in the military Saturday in conjunction with F.A.I.T.H. (Families And Individuals Thanking Heroes) Military Support Group.

Three hundred thirty packages filled with toys, books, toiletries, food, coffee, decorations and all types of snacks and goodies were packed in assembly line fashion. The boxes also included homemade fudge made by the First Methodist Church kitchen crew and stockings handmade by members of the Livingston Piecemakers Quilt Guild.

“Thank you everyone for your donations, prayers and help packing. One hundred thirty-five packages were sponsored and donations for the remaining postage was received. What a great community we live in. It was controlled chaos but what a blessing,” Bea Ellis, a co-founder of F.A.I.T.H., said.

“Thank you to all the students and the parents who brought their children. The cadets from Livingston High School’s Navy National Defense Cadet Corps rocked it. To all who packed, thank you for your patience and help with all of it. A big shout out to Alma’s Donut Shop for the donuts. Most of all, thank you Jesus for the great weather. May God bless our heroes and their families,” Ellis said.

F.A.I.T.H. has been sending care packages every month since 2006. The organization was formed to provide encouragement and support to military personnel while they are away from home. They meet at 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month (except December) at Livingston Physical Therapy at 305 W. Mill St. in Livingston. In December, they meet at 8:30 a.m. on the first Saturday.

Each hero will receive three to four boxes during the holiday season, including a food box and Christmas boxes to share with their buddies.

Below are some of the thank you letters received from previous recipients of the boxes:

“F.A.I.T.H. Volunteers, Good morning! I am CDR Mark Moreno, the command chaplain at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. I want to thank you for your incredibly generous and copious packages! I work closely with the USO and Red Cross to help get these wonderful items into the hands of our service members. It means a lot to them, and to me, and I want to thank you for your support and encouragement. You are a patriot for not just saying you support the military, but doing something that directly impacts the military to lift their morale and let them know that many Americans are behind them. We have many members here from the great state of Texas, and I was raised in Houston. I miss Whataburger! :) Blessings on your week and thank you so much for your care for these sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines! Very Respectfully, CDR Mark Moreno, Command Chaplain Camp Lemonnier”

“My Name is SSgt Jeremy Trujillo and I was lucky enough to receive one of your packages for my platoon of Marines. Our SgtMaj actually signed up for this so I had no idea a package was destined for us. I opened the package this morning to give to all my Marines and they were excited and very appreciative for the time and care you all spent building these packages for us. They snagged up the entire box within a few minutes! It’s amazing to see and feel that there are still people that genuinely care and appreciate the Military. A little about us, we are with Engineer Maintenance Company, 3D Maintenance Battalion, and we are currently stationed in Japan. Our Company is filled with Many Military Occupational Specialties, and it makes us a versatile group that is able to complete some pretty remarkable things. Personally, I am a 1341, which is a Construction Equipment Mechanic, and I work on big tractors that are used for anything from earth moving to material handling. I just wanted to reach back and make sure we thanked you. I know you all take your personal time to do these things, and I want to make sure everyone that gets this email knows that it doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. So again, THANK YOU for your package. Hopefully fall is much nicer where you are because its still hot over here. Have a great rest of the day!!”

“To FAITH Volunteers, Thank you for sending us a care package. My troops and I really appreciate it. Being here thousands of miles away fighting the desert heat and America’s enemies opening your package gave us a smile. Very respectfully, Lt  Mullick, Ph.D. USN”

“Good Afternoon from Al Udeid, I want to thank you for the care packages, everyone gets very excited every time a package arrives, definitely made our Monday. Unfortunately the person who they were meant for has already left, but we made sure to spread the boxes around for all to enjoy. I would like to request boxes for all the new service members that just arrived and will be here throughout all the significant holidays of fall and winter. I want to say thank you again from us all, your generosity is well received, and brings so many smiles. Very respectfully, ALAN”

“Greetings Again FAITH Group! Thank you all very much for the box full of coffee! Our unit continues to be very thankful for the care packages you have sent us. The Black Rifle whole coffee items were a huge hit with the flight! The box arrived on a Friday and the warehouse was full of energized smiles as we put the coffee to good use! We have a new rotation of members this summer. Whole Bean Coffee is still a popular item but also shelf stable snacks are welcome too. No one is too picky about anything. Thank you again for all your work in sending care packages. Very respectfully, SAMANTHA”

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Hometown Christmas on tap

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HomeTownChristmas Stock

From Enterprise Staff

The City of Livingston’s annual Hometown Christmas is slated for noon to 8 p.m. Saturday downtown and will feature arts, crafts, food and gift vendors and the annual lighted Christmas parade at 6 p.m. There will also be a quilt show put on by the Livingston Piecemakers Quilt Guild with raffle tickets available for a drawing for a quilt.

It’s not too late to register for the Jingle Bell Fun Run and Walk and all ages are welcome. The race will begin at noon at city hall. The first 150 registered participants will receive a T-shirt and bells.

A kids area will feature a Candyland course, a trackless train and the opportunity to take pictures inside a giant snowball globe.

Christmas at the Park is the city’s array of lighted holiday displays in Pedigo Park. Experience the wonder of Christmas by driving through and enjoying the lighted holiday figures and thousands of lights on display. The displays will be there until Dec. 31.

Polk County Heritage Society’s Christmas Train Village is up and running inside Good Golly Miss Molly’s at 406 N. Washington. Admission is free but donations are accepted. The village will be on display from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and is also on display 5-7 p.m. other days.

Other Christmas activities are listed below:

The Livingston High School chorale and the Livingston Junior High School performing choir will present “An Evening of Christmas Joy!” at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at First Baptist Church located at 106 Colt Rd. in Livingston.

Pine Forest Baptist Church will present “A Christmas Story,” a musical drama, at 7 p.m. Friday and at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at 10537 U.S. Hwy. 190 West in Livingston. For free tickets, call 936-646-4803.

The Livingston Royal Brigade jazz and concert bands will present a winter concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Florence Crosby Auditorium at Creekside Elementary School located at #1 Lions Ave.

Central Baptist Church will host its children’s Christmas musical at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at its location at 503 N. East St. in Livingston.

The Livingston Municipal Library will host a family movie night from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 15 in the meeting room of the library at 707 N. Tyler Ave. in Livingston. Two Christmas movies will be shown – “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” and “The Happy Elf.” There will be hotdogs, popcorn, candy and drinks. If the weather permits, the movies will be viewed outside, so be sure to bring a chair and a blanket. For additional information, call 936-327-4252.

Pine Ridge Healthcare will host a family movie night with the showing of “Arthur Christmas” at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at its location at 1620 U.S. Hwy. 59 North in Livingston. The free event will include popcorn, cookies, snacks, hot chocolate and drinks. Bring a blanket or lawn chair on which to sit.

“A Texas Christmas Carol” will be presnted Dec. 16-18 at First Methodist Church of Livingston and everyone is invited to comer see Scrooge, Tiny Tim and all the beloved characters from Charles Dickens’ perennial Christmas classic live on stage in a brand-new theatrical adaptation set in late 19th century Houston.

The production is being put on by The Performing Arts Society of East Texas which is an extension of the music and performinh arts ministry of First Methodist Church of Livingston under the direction of Jonathan Kupper, the church’s director of music and performing arts ministrties. Community-wide auditions were held in the fall.

The performances on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the performance on Dec. 18 will begin at 3 p.m. The performances will be at First Methodist Church of Livingston located at 2801 U.S. Hwy. 190 West in Livingston.

The Livingston Community Band will host a winter concert Dec. 20 at First Baptist Church located at 106 Colt Rd. in Livingston. The hall will open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. The Livingston Community Band is under the direction of Johnnie Hower and Emily Albert.

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Winners of Livingston Art League’s Fall Show announced

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From Enterprise Staff

The Livingston Art League recently hosted its Fall 2022 Show and the entries were judged by Cheryl Evans. Larry Kelliher won Best of Show with “Rockport Harbor” and Allen Borchers won the Wilma Lee Ogletree Best Floral with “Wind.”

Livingston Art League meets at 11 a.m. the fourth Monday of each month at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church located at 836 W. Jones in Livingston. The website is www.livingstonartleague.weebly.com and the email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Those placing in the other respective categories are listed below:

Professional Oil/Acrylic – First place, Judy Lackey with “George Strait;” Second place, Paul Richardson with “Evening Glow;” Third place, Celeste Williamson with “Winter Owl;” First honorable mention, Zartasha Shah with “Colors of Assiduousness;” and Second honorable mention, Paul Richardson with “Forest Path.”

Professional Watercolor/Acrylic – First place, Larry Kelliher with “Rockport Harbor;” and Second place, Larry Kelliher with “Kitchen Reflections.”

Professional Pastels – First place, Betsy Steger with “More Please.”

Professional Drawing – First place, Celeste Williamson with “Zen Tangle.”

Professional Photography – First place, Zartasha Shah with “Colors of Appositeness.”

Professional Abstract/Experimental/Non-Objective Art – First place, Judy Lackey with “Outer Space.”

Semi-Professional Oil/Acrylic – First place, Anita Holse with “Buffalo;” and Second place, Anita Holse with “Owl.”

Semi-Professional Photography – First place, Debbie Phillips with “Pow Wow Partners;” Second place, Debbie Phillips with “Old Blue;” Third place, Debbie Phillips with “Ship and Tug;” and First honorable mention, Debbie Phillips with “600 Steps to the Falls.”

Semi-Professional Digital Art – First place, Debbie Phillips with “Cypress at Sunset;” Second place, Debbie Phillips with “Young Buck;” and Third place, Debbie Phillips with “Stained Glass Chaos.”

Semi-Professional Studio Fine Crafts – First place, Janet Hutcheson with “Who?”

Non-Professional Oil/Acrylic – First place, Sydney Murphy with “Rising Star;” and Second place, Peggy Borchers with “Blue Heaven Rooster.”

Non-Professional Watercolor/Acrylic – First place, Caroline Lee with “Sunflower Serenade;” Second place, Peggy Borchers with “U.S. Coast Guard Oil Can;” Third place, Peggy Borchers with “What a Day;” First honorable mention, Caroline Lee with “Open Barn;” and Second honorable mention, Peggy Borchers with “Inez Pink.”

Non-Professional Pastels – First place, Peggy Borchers with “Fall’N.”

Non-Professional Drawing – First place, Peggy Borchers with “Boontown Cemetery.

Non-Professional Mixed Media – First place, Sydney Murphy with “Memory of Lynelle;” and Second place, Sydney Murphy with “Dreamy Blues.”

Non-Professional Photography – First place, Allen Borchers with “Deb’s Sunrise;” Second place, Allen Borchers with “Wind;” Third place, Allen Borchers with “Good Morning;” First honorable mention, Allen Borchers with “Dune Flower;” and Second honorable mention, Allen Borchers with “Elissa.”

Non-Professional Abstract/Experimental/Non-Objective Art – First place, Peggy Borchers with “Some Beach.”

Adult Student Oil/Acrylic – First place, Catheryn Ladd with “Journey of a Leaf;” and Second place, Catheryn Ladd with “Sunrise on Chrome.”

Adult Student Watercolor/Acrylic – First place, Debbie Carter with “The Raissuli.”

Adult Student Sculpture – First place, Catheryn Ladd with “Tears of Our Trees.”

Adult Student Studio Fine Crafts – First place, Catheryn Ladd with “Horse Feathers.”

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406 hot Thanksgiving meals served

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From Enterprise Staff

On Thanksgiving Day, volunteers from MannaFest, First Methodist Church and around the community cooked, packaged and delivered 406 hot Thanksgiving meals with turkey and all the trimmings to those in the area who were alone, ill, or unable to have access to the ingredients of a Thanksgiving meal. This was a group effort involving 20 people on the kitchen team, 24 delivery teams (about 60 people) and 4 more people organizing the whole event.

Recipients of the meals thanked the drivers with tears in their eyes, visited with the drivers, invited them into their homes to share homemade cookies, and called the MannaFest office to offer their thanks.

The kitchen team spent both Wednesday and Thursday mornings preparing food amid much laughter and camaraderie. The drivers who delivered food told of the humbleness and blessings they felt as they delivered and the joy of delivering as a family. For many of our volunteers, this is a Thanksgiving tradition. One of the mother/son driving teams has been delivering since the son was a toddler and he is now a college student. For others, this was their first time, and they are starting a new tradition.

One ministry in town had plans for a meal for their residents fall through just a few days before Thanksgiving and this group was able to step in and provide the meals. A couple of people who didn’t ask for and weren’t expecting a meal received one because the drivers knew of their situation. For other recipients of the meals, it is a Thanksgiving tradition to welcome the drivers and visit with them before enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner.

For more information about MannaFest and its ministries, or to contribute financially or timewise, contact the organization at 936-327-9555 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Bell ringers needed

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Volunteer Coordinator Susan Duncan is one of the Salvation Army bell ringers outside Walmart collecting money to assist those in need. All of the money that is collected locally stays here in Polk County and is administered by local volunteers to help mainly with utility bills and a few other needs that arise. In 2020 there were 333 families served and in 2021 there were 589 families served. The bell ringing began the day after Thanksgiving and will continue through Christmas Eve, every day except Sundays. Contact Duncan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 936-933- 0179 to sign up to volunteer. Many of the people who have put money into the kettles in Livingston say they are doing so because Salvation Army has helped them in the past when others did not. Besides donating in the kettles, you may also send a check to P.O. Box 2074, Livingston, TX 77351. Another option is contributing to the local Salvation Army account at First National Bank. You may also go to the website at www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/ to contribute and designate for Polk County. Please consider helping locally to Salvation Army for those in need.Courtesy photo

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