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Around Town

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December 14, 2018 – The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee today announced the winners of “What Shelby County Texas Means to You” photography contest calling for entries in the areas of architecture, events, activities, seasons, people or places all relevant to Shelby County, Texas.

Tera Wilburn received First and Second Places and Lawrence and Angie Davis received Third Place. Over 40 photos were received during the contest period and all photos will be added to the Chamber’s photo stock library to be used for promotional publications. The Chamber Tourism Committee extends their congratulations to the winners and gratitude to all participates in their inaugural photography contest.

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is organized to promote and advance economic enrichment and development, tourism and the social and civic interest of Shelby County and adjoining areas.

December 14, 2018 - Operation Blue Santa would like to thank everyone that came out and supported us at the 2nd Cookies and Cocoa with Santa. We had approximately 75 kids and a few adults come through and have their pictures taken with Santa.

While waiting on pictures everyone enjoyed a Christmas movie, and a great variety of goodies including cookies, cupcakes, brownies, snack cakes, donuts, kalaches, popcorn, spiced tea, and of course Cocoa with all the fixings!

A Big thank you to our local businesses that donated these great treats: Center Walmart, Center Brookshire Brothers, Center’s Best Donuts, Sassy Red’s Bakery, Java Junkies (Vintage Junkie), Just For You (Saundra Christopher) and Shelby County Today for taking our Santa Pictures.

We would also like to say Congratulations to our raffle winners. Carmella King was the winner of the toy drive raffle and won a 32 inch smart TV, DVD player and other Christmas goodies that were donated by Center Walmart. Miranda Thornburgh was the winner of the beautiful Christmas wreath that was donated by the Center Police Department Ladies Auxiliary.

Carmella King was the winner of the toy drive raffle.

We sure hope everyone had a good time and look forward to seeing you next year. With your help and donations we will be able to provide Christmas to over 200 kids. Operation Blue Santa and the Blue Santa Elves are now ready to check their list and gather up all the toys for the children in need.

Phone calls will be made soon when the gifts are ready for pick up. Please bear with us as we try to meet everyone’s needs. Thank you once again from Operation Blue Santa.

December 13, 2018 - Mangum Funeral Home recently presented a donation to The Shelby County Cancer Fund, a group of volunteers made up of caretakers and cancer survivors that provides assistance to Shelby County residents living through cancer. Pictured from left are Becky Elliott, Sandy Runnels and Stacy O’Rear with the Shelby County Cancer Fund and Danny Mounger with Mangum Funeral Home. Not pictured are Shelby County Cancer Fund volunteers LaDonna Kennon, Shanai Oswalt, Emily Koonce, Gina Jones and Sharon Baker.

Mangum Funeral Home has always been a local, family-owned-and-operated funeral establishment. Since G.C. Mangum went into business with S.P. Irving in 1925, Mangum Funeral Home has provided caring, professional service to the families of Shelby County. Today Mangum Funeral Home assists East Texans with comfort and support when they need it most, offers concerned family and friends the opportunity to share condolences and send tributes online, and provides pre-planning services for those who want to protect their loved one from having to make difficult decisions at a time of grief and emotional stress.

Laird Funeral Home recently presented a donation to help the Nacogdoches Senior Center in its mission to provide affordable meals, fitness classes and other activities. Pictured from left are Shannon Mounger with Laird Funeral Home, Tammy Blank, the Senior Center’s executive director, Mike Kelly, President of the Senior Center’s board, and Danny Mounger with Laird Funeral Home.

Lynn Laird opened Laird Funeral Home in 1979. Mounger moved to Nacogdoches in 2008 to partner with Laird. Their family of firms includes Taylor, Corrigan and Mangum Funeral Homes. Laird Funeral Home assists East Texans with comfort and support when they need it most, offers concerned family and friends the opportunity to share condolences and send tributes online, and provides pre-planning services for those who want to protect their loved one from having to make difficult decisions at a time of grief and emotional stress.

December 12, 2018 - During the last meeting of the Rotary Club of Center members brought toys to donate to Operation Blue Santa. Officer Damarcus Williams attended the meeting to accept the toys on behalf of Blue Santa.

Rotarians who haven't brought their toy donation are encouraged to bring it to the next meeting on December 18th.

Operation Blue Santa is still collecting donations for over 200 children who will receive a Blue Santa Christmas! If you would like to donate new toys, clothing, hygiene items please bring them to the Center Police Department located at 1020 Shelbyville Street in Center. Items for boys and girls of all ages will be needed, infant to 15yrs old. Monetary donations can be mailed to BLUE SANTA at P.O. Box 322, Center, Tx 75935 or call the Police Department to make other arrangements.

December 12, 2018 (More Photos Coming Today) - The 23rd Annual Miss Merry Christmas and Mister Happy Holiday Pageant was held Saturday, December 1, 2018 in the auditorium of the Center ISD Junior High School.

This years pageant was dedicated to Tonya Bailey who passed away July 1, 2018 and in her memory all the proceeds go towards a Roughrider Scholarship. The scholarship will go to a deserving student who is in need and wants to further their education which was very important to Tonya Bailey. 

The pageant results were:

Mister Happy Holiday - Benjamin Doggett
Princes - Tennyson Morris, Forest Crocker, Grant Baker

Baby Miss Merry Christmas (Up to 11 months) - JoLee Britton
Princesses - RiNiyah Siglar, Keely Shriver

Tiny Miss Merry Christmas (12-23 months) - Adalynn Caldwell
Princesses - Brylee Weir, Rory Wilson, Primula Jae Rose Page

Toddler Miss Merry Christmas (2-3 years - Kinlee Carlisle
Princesses - Savanna Barton

Little Miss Merry Christmas (4-5 years) - Maisie Steadman
Princesses - Kimmie Kim

Petite Miss Merry Christmas (6-8 years) - Jordin Rhone
Princesses - Aryana Groze, Katlynn Dennis, Mariah Gunter, Marie Flores, and Hadley Huckabee

Preteen Miss Merry Christmas (9-12 years) - Carolyn Mathis
Princesses - Katelynn Wheeless, Jade Ratcliff

Teen Miss Merry Christmas (13-15 years) - Mahalia Ratcliff

December 10, 2018 - (Photo Album) - St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic Church began their annual Our Lady of Guadalupe procession Sunday, December 9, 2018 on the Center square.

Shelby County Today was there as participants offered prayers before the procession began its journey. The group, led by Fr. Nelson Muñoz, traveled the inside of the square around the Historic 1885 Shelby County Courthouse.

After traveling the square, the procession proceeded down Nacogdoches Street to Wheeler Street where they continued across Hurst Street and down Arcadia Drive (FM 138) to the churches location.

To provide safety on the roadways for the pilgrims during their time of worship, the Center Police Department provided a traffic control escort the entire route.

By 4-H Club Reporter Camille Greer

December 7, 2018 - At the monthly 4-H Club meeting in December, youth gathered together their ugly Christmas sweaters of homemade creations and funky store finds. Three winners were crowned: Michelle Gomez won “Best Store Find”; Kassidy Scruggs won the “Most Creative” prize; and Kolton Scruggs took home the “Best Homemade Creation” and overall ugliest sweater.


Kassidy Scruggs, Kolton Scruggs and Michelle Gomez

After eating pizza and homemade desserts, the youth formed a big circle to take on the Saran Wrap challenge. Four large Saran Wrap balls were passed around the circle as the kids tried to unwrap them one-handed using a silicone oven mitt. Chaos followed with candy and prizes flying in all directions!

Michelle Gomez, summarized the night’s activities with, “Tonight was really fun. I loved seeing how all the kids had fun working together to unwrap the prizes in the Saran Wrap.


Gracie Boyd trying to get the prize in the Saran Wrap challenge

The Shelby County 4-H Club meets the first Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the Extension gym building at 266 Nacogdoches Street – Center. Our 4-H program includes projects in food and nutrition, photography, robotics, textiles and sewing, livestock/showing, taxidermy, shooting sports, and horse. Youth in grades 3 through 12 are invited to come out to our next club meeting scheduled for Monday, January 7, as we learn about backyard birding and butterflies. We will be making feeders to take home to attract beneficial wildlife and insects. If you have any questions regarding the 4-H program, feel free to contact county agents Jheri-Lynn McSwain or Lane Dunn at 936-598-7744.


From left: (standing) Kelli Snider, Nancy Dickerson, Officer Andrew Williams, and (seated) Eleanor Ginn

December 7, 2018 – Officer Andrew Williams with the Center Police Dept. accepted a generous donation for the Blue Santa program from Nancy Dickerson, Kelli Snider and Eleanor Ginn with the Center First United Methodist Church. Donations to the Blue Santa program provide Christmas gifts to children in Shelby County.

Currently, Operation Blue Santa has over 200 children who will receive a Blue Santa Christmas!

If you would like to donate new toys, clothing, hygiene items please bring them to the Center Police Department located at 1020 Shelbyville Street in Center. Items for boys and girls of all ages will be needed, infant to 15yrs old.

Monetary donations can be mailed to BLUE SANTA at P.O. Box 322 Center, Tx 75935 or call the Police Department to make other arrangements. The entire Blue Santa team would like to thank everyone for your generous donation to the Blue Santa program.

Operation Blue Santa's deadline was November 30, 2018.

December 6, 2018 (Order Form) - Tomorrow, December, 7th is the last day to turn in your "Letter from Santa" Order Forms!

Time has flown by, but tomorrow is the deadline. Parents have been sending their forms in quick and Santa already has lots of letters to write! Be sure to get your order form in before it's too late.

The letters are $10 per child. Your child will receive a personal letter from Santa Claus along with an ornament to hang on the tree. This ornament will remind them of what the real reason for the season is and the excitement of this moment. Santa will address the letter to your child to make their Christmas season extra special!

Here are the ways you can get a "Letter from Santa" Order Form: Pick one up from Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc. by asking for Josh. You can check our Facebook pages and print one out from there and turn them into the Outreach. Shelbyville Elementary school is also helping us with this fundraiser, so, if your child attends that school, turn all order forms into the front office by tomorrow.

For questions or more information, please call us at 936-598-4990. Just ask for Josh. Thank you and may you all have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

December 5, 2018 - Thank you to Xi Alpha Delta Rho Sorority for their very generous donation to Center First United Methodist Church Lucretia's Christmas Wish program that sponsors a program each Christmas for students around the county.

Each year over 100 students from county schools are invited to the program to select a gift for their mom and dad. It was the idea of beloved FUMC member Lucretia Bussey to give these students the opportunity to learn the joy of giving and she sponsored a similar program in area schools. FUMC adopted the program and named it in her honor and now memory. In addition to choosing gifts for their parents, students also can chose a small gift for themselves. It truly is a joyous occasion.

In addition to the money donated by Xi Alpha Delta Rho, members of the sorority also act as Santa's helpers and put the gifts in Christmas bags lined with tissue paper. What a blessing the ladies of Xi Alpha Delta Rho are for helping with this special project. They make Christmas very special for these students.

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