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July 16, 2018 - So far with the help from all of you, we’ve been able to help 17 families since we’ve gotten started! Our first fundraiser was done in January and then another in March and in May, we are doing a bbq pit/smoker raffle and have BIG Plans for this Fall!

We are so greatful, thankful and blessed that you all have helped make this successful. We ask that you please keep those who are fighting this battle and their families in your thoughts and prayers. We want to help as many people as we can. If you or someone you know needs assistance please message us on Facebook (Boos Battle Support Fund) for an application. Thank you all again and god bless.

July 16, 2018 - The 127th annual convention of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas was held at the Dallas Addison Quorum Hotel in Addison earlier this summer.

The William Carroll Crawford Chapter, along with the other eleven chapters from District IV, co-hosted the event, called "The Piney Woods: a Pathway to Texas. District IV is comprised of chapters from Center, San Augustine, Hemphill, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Tyler, Longview, Crockett, Jasper, Livingston, Palestine and Mabank. Different chapters furnished decorations, arranged for the entertainment or did the behind the scenes organization that makes any event go smoothly. Our chapter decorated the head table and the stage area each day and Gail Sholar, Barbara McClellan and Maggie Casto led a break-out session on "The Travelin" Trunk" as members from around the state were interested in how to put one together and take it out into the community.

For Thursday nights opening event Bill Smith and Tommie Ritter from the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Tex Ritter Museum in Carthage entertained with the music (and costume) of "Tex Ritter: A Texas Music Legend." Bill O'Neal, the Texas State Historian, also from Carthage, gave the program at the Friday night Historical Dinner. He talked about Texas music and musicians from the days of the Republic to the present. The Texas music theme was continued at the Saturday luncheon with music by "A Texas Republic String Band" from San Augustine.

Attending from the William Carroll Crawford Chapter were Judy Lee, Gina Ferren, Maggie Casto, Fay Eddins, Billie Dawson, Barbara McClellan, Gail Sholar, Lavonne Wood, Vickie Martin and Merle Howard

The Chapter was honored to once again receive Six Star Chapter status, achieved by completing standards of Chapter growth, community outreach, civic participation, communication and to continue to publicly honor our Republic of Texas ancestors and history. This award underscores the DRT mission to "perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas."

The 2018 Convention is now a memory but plans are being made to attend the 2019 event in Austin. God Bless Texas.

July 14, 2018 (Album1, Album2) - Runners braved the Texas heat to run/walk and raise money for the Shelby County Cancer Fund on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at the 7th Annual What-A-Melon Run 5K and Walk.

Blake Collard, age 7, won first place in the fun run while top awards for the 5K went to Antonio Chavez and Cori Lawson. Chavez was the top male finisher with a time of 16:57 and Cori Lawson was the top female finisher with a time of 25:48.

This is the third consecutive year for Chavez to clinch the overall top place. His previous times were 18:45 in 2016 and his fastest time of 15:51 was in 2017.

In comparison to Chavez being an experienced runner, this 5K was Lawson's first 5K and she won the top female runner prize at age 9. With this great accomplishment, the 5K race crew and fellow racers can't wait to see what her future in running brings.

During an interview with Jon Walk, a runner who traveled from Spring, Texas to participate in the run, he said, "This is racing in my 79th different Texas county and 149th different Texas city or town. You know, when you're not faster and not going to win anything, it's a great way to get out and see the state and it's also a great way to get out and meet people. It's a people thing and this is what the sport really is, it's a people sport. This is just a way to get out and support local economy, a local charity, and just get out and have a good time."

Jon Walker

He spoke about Mary Kaplan who has run all 254 counties in Texas and she is 78 years old, "One of her criteria's is she has to be first in her age group or it doesn't count." Kaplan ran in the 1st What-A-Melon 5K in 2012 with a time of 35:29 and won 1st place in her 70+ age division.

From left: Mary Kaplan and Denise Merriman

The complete race results by age category of the 5K are below followed by the overall time results:

Overall Male Runners
1st place - Bib #133 Antonio Chavez 00:16:57.12
2nd place - Bib #137 Cj Goings 00:23:26.44
3rd place - Bib #138 William Small 00:24:26.36

Overall Female Runners
1st place - Bib #125 Cori Lawson 00:25:48.84
2nd place - Bib #107 Sunshine Haley 00:25:50.35
3rd place - Bib #117 Deborah Chadwick 00:25:54.23

Female 0 - 15
1st place - Bib #125 Cori Lawson 00:25:48.84
2nd place - Bib #126 Kate Lawson 00:26:23.56

Male 16 - 19
1st place - Bib #133 Antonio Chavez 00:16:57.12

Male 20 - 29
1st place - Bib #119 Jose Gonzalez 00:29:01.44

Female 20 - 29
1st place - Bib #128 Emily Koonce 00:33:15.39
2nd place - Bib #129 Gina Jones 00:35:49.81
3rd place - Bib #118 Lorena Gonsalez 00:36:34.26

Male 30 - 39
1st place - Bib #137 CJ Goings 00:23:26.44

Female 30 - 39
1st place - Bib #105 Amanda Campaniello 00:45:47.08
2nd place - Bib #131 Shatresa Bates 00:55:32.68
3rd place - Bib #122 Trese Boyd 00:55:32.88

Male 40 - 49
1st place - Bib #116 David Jacobs 00:59:58.20

Female 40 - 49
1st place - Bib #107 Sunshine Haley 00:25:50.35
2nd place - Bib #127 Andrea Mcelroy 00:35:32.09
3rd place - Bib #109 Benita Collard 00:37:10.58

Male 50 - 59
1st place - Bib #138 William Small 00:24:26.36
2nd place - Bib #130 Jon Walk 00:32:18.71
3rd place - Bib #108 Randy Collard 00:32:54.33

Female 50 - 59
1st place - Bib #117 Deborah Chadwick 00:25:54.23
2nd place - Bib #101 Stephanie Elswick 00:45:46.73
3rd place - Bib #112 Barbara Harding 00:52:35.00

Male 60 - 120
1st place - Bib #124 John Black 00:30:51.00
2nd place - Bib #132 Jim Sawyer 00:31:59.21
3rd place - Bib #102 Mike Elswick 00:45:40.04

Female 60 - 120
1st place - Bib #113 Dottie West 00:52:35.55
2nd place - Bib #115 Colleen Doggett 00:55:05.26
3rd place - Bib #104 Doris Bennett 01:07:09.01

Results by Time
1st place - ANTONIO CHAVEZ, Bib #133, Time 00:16:57.13, Pace 05:27, Speed 11.0mph
2nd place - CJ GOINGS, Bib #137, Time 00:23:26.45, Pace 07:32, Speed 8.0mph
3rd place - WILLIAM SMALL, Bib #138, Time 00:24:26.37, Pace 07:51, Speed 7.6mph
4th place - CORI LAWSON, Bib #125, Time 00:25:48.85, Pace 08:18, Speed 7.2mph
5th place - SUNSHINE HALEY, Bib #107, Time 00:25:50.36, Pace 08:19, Speed 7.2mph
6th place - DEBORAH CHADWICK, Bib #117, Time 00:25:54.24, Pace 08:20, Speed 7.2mph
7th place - KATE LAWSON, Bib #126, Time 00:26:23.57, Pace 08:29, Speed 7.1mph
8th place - JOSE GONZALEZ, Bib #119, Time 00:29:01.45, Pace 09:20, Speed 6.4mph
9th place - JOHN BLACK, Bib #124, Time 00:30:51.01, Pace 09:55, Speed 6.0mph
10th place - JIM SAWYER, Bib #132, Time 00:31:59.22, Pace 10:17, Speed 5.8mph
11th place - JON WALK, Bib #130, Time 00:32:18.72, Pace 10:24, Speed 5.8mph
12th place - RANDY COLLARD, Bib #108, Time 00:32:54.34, Pace 10:35, Speed 5.7mph
13th place - EMILY KOONCE, Bib #128, Time 00:33:15.40, Pace 10:42, Speed 5.6mph
14th place - CAYETANO BATRIZ, Bib #123, Time 00:35:18.71, Pace 11:21, Speed 5.3mph
15th place - ANDREA MCELROY, Bib #127, Time 00:35:32.10, Pace 11:26, Speed 5.2mph
16th place - GINA JONES, Bib #129, Time 00:35:49.82, Pace 11:31, Speed 5.2mph
17th place - LORENA GONSALEZ, Bib #118, Time 00:36:34.27, Pace 11:46, Speed 5.1mph
18th place - BENITA COLLARD, Bib #109, Time 00:37:10.59, Pace 11:57, Speed 5.0mph
19th place - AMY STRAIN, Bib #103, Time 00:37:31.12, Pace 12:04, Speed 5.0mph
20th place - MIKE ELSWICK, Bib #102, Time 00:45:40.05, Pace 14:41, Speed 4.1mph
21st place - STEPHANIE ELSWICK, Bib #101, Time 00:45:46.74, Pace 14:44, Speed 4.1mph
22nd place - AMANDA CAMPANIELLO, Bib #105, Time 00:45:47.09, Pace 14:44, Speed 4.1mph
23rd place - BARBARA HARDING, Bib #112, Time 00:52:35.01, Pace 16:55, Speed 3.5mph
24th place - DOTTIE WEST, Bib #113, Time 00:52:35.56, Pace 16:55, Speed 3.5mph
25th place - JOE WEST, Bib #114, Time 00:52:36.13, Pace 16:55, Speed 3.5mph
26th place - COLLEEN DOGGETT, Bib #115, Time 00:55:05.27, Pace 17:43, Speed 3.4mph
27th place - SHATRESA BATES, Bib #131, Time 00:55:32.69, Pace 17:52, Speed 3.4mph
28th place - TRESE BOYD, Bib #122, Time 00:55:32.89, Pace 17:52, Speed 3.4mph
29th place - TINA VAUGHN, Bib #136, Time 00:55:53.46, Pace 17:59, Speed 3.3mph
30th place - NORMAN ISCH, Bib #135, Time 00:55:53.73, Pace 17:59, Speed 3.3mph
31st place - DAVID JACOBS, Bib #116, Time 00:59:58.21, Pace 19:18, Speed 3.1mph
32nd place - DORIS BENNETT, Bib #104, Time 01:07:09.02, Pace 21:36, Speed 2.8mph
33rd place - ZAUNDRA WHITTON, Bib #106, Time 01:07:09.36, Pace 21:36, Speed 2.8mph

July 13, 2018 (Album) - Dogs ruled the day in the What-A-Melon Festival Pet Show held on the Center square Friday, July 13, as they were the only species under the big tent.

A variety of canine specimens graced the stage and presented themselves with their human handlers for the celebrity judges. Each handler crossed the stage and had their pet demonstrate a trick or just show off their coat and personality for the judges consideration.

The following are the results of the show as well as recognition of the event sponsors:

Best of Show - Zema, a 5-year-old Toy Poodle shown by Alyssa Bowers
Best Stage Presence - Pongo, a 7-year-old Dalmatian shown by Sherry Soape
Sassiest - Dolly Jane, 10-year-old Shih Tzu shown by Allie Jane Windham
Most Obedient - Bella, a 2 1/2-year-old Chihuahua shown by Cam Askew
Best Dressed - Ruby, a rescue dog and a beagle mix shown by Jacie Lee
Best Trick - Max who was shown by Stephanie Santana
Friendliest - Little T, a 5-year-old Chihuahua shown by Leslie Gill
Most Talkative - Doodie, an 8-month-old Toy Poodle shown by Zoe Horton

Thank you to Stephanie Snell for being the emcee for the event and to the judges who were: Meg Camp, Past Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board; David Nix with Denning Animal Rescue; Savannah Christensen, 2017 Florida Watermelon Queen and 2018 National Watermelon Queen, and Hannah Crisp, 2018 Texas Watermelon Queen.

Platinum sponsors for the festival are Farmers State Bank,, and Shelby Savings Bank. Additional sponsors who make the festival possible are (Gold Sponsors) City of Center; Focused Care of Center; (Silver Sponsors) Center Glass; R&D Distributors; Citizens Bank; Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative; ACE Hardware; Kyle Coffin, DDS; Coral Cactus; Texas Credit; (Bronze Sponsors) Toledo Automotive / NAPA; Sandy Wheeler State Farm; and Tammy Steptoe Realty. Be sure to thank all the festival sponsors.

Proceeds raised from the What-A-Melon Festival by the Rotary Club of Center are donated back to various organizations in the community to help fight hunger, provide scholarships, support the youth, and more!

Largest Watermelon Winners

July 12, 2018 (More photos coming soon) - Twenty-two watermelons were entered into the largest watermelon contest at the 2018 What-A-Melon Festival and the largest watermelon tipped the scales at 152 lbs! The winning melon was grown by Olivia Johnson who won the title and the $2,500 grand prize money six years previous. She had a spree of five years in a row, 2009-2013, and regained 1st place in 2017.

From left: 2018 National Watermelon Queen Savannah Christensen, Olivia Johnson, and 2018 Texas Watermelon Queen Hannah Crisp.

Nineteen of the entries weighed more than 100 lbs this year for a cumulative weight of 2,494 lbs which was moved to the scales by Rotary Club Past-President Scott Stanfield and fellow Rotarian Armando Lopez. Assisting them with moving the melons into position to be weighed was another Rotarian Ed Johnson.

From left: Whitley Johnson with 3rd place melon, Louise Johnson with her 2nd place melon, and Olivia Johnson with her 1st place melon

Over $5,000 in prize money was given out to the 1st through 12th places.

Below are the full results of the watermelon weigh-in:

1st place ($2,500) - 152 lbs, Olivia Johnson 
2nd place ($600) - 142.5 lbs, Louise Johnson
3rd place ($500) - 140 lbs, Whitley Johnson
4th place ($400) - 135 lbs, Jenny Johnson
5th place ($300) - 132.5 lbs, Dylan Jones
6th place ($250) - 128.5 lbs, Renee Johnson
7th place ($200) - 127.5 lbs, Shelby Johnson
8th place ($150) - 126 lbs, Jaleigh Johnson
9th place ($100) - 124 lbs, Faith Kruebbe
10th place ($80) - 123.5 lbs, Catch Bragg
11th place ($70) - 120 lbs, Malcom Brown
12th place (60) - 118.5 lbs, (tie) Tate Johnson and Cody Carleta

What-A-Melon Festival Time! Opening Ceremonies at 5pm

July 12, 2018 (Updated Schedule Flyer) - The 29th Annual What-A-Melon festival is rolling into downtown Center, Texas starting July 12th for 3 days of fun in the sun! The three days of festivities, July 12th, 13th, and 14th is looking for participants to join in and help make this the best What-A-Melon Festival ever. Platinum sponsors for the festival are Farmers State Bank,, and Shelby Savings Bank.

(Updated) Entry into the festival is $5 per button and admission buttons are good all three days of the festival. Children five and under get in free. Arm bands are available each night of the festival for rides and are $20. Arm band hours are Thursday 5:30pm to 10pm and Friday/Saturday 5:30pm to 10:30pm.

The What-A-Melon Festival's biggest attraction, the Largest Watermelon Contest, is Thursday evening and the winning melons will be on display for festival visitors to see and have photos made with this year's largest watermelons! The weigh-in will be July 12th at 5pm under the big tent. Come see who will take home the big prize money!

The Pet Show will be held Friday, July 13th at 6pm. Sign up is at 5:30pm to enter your favorite pet. Be sure to wow the judges by adding a little watermelon style to your pet's stage presence.

Reed Barton, a singer/songwriter from Burleson, Texas will take to the stage Friday at 8:30pm. Come out and enjoy a finger lickin' mix of classic country and classic rock music and welcome Barton to the East Texas What-A-Melon Festival!

The What-A-Melon Fun Run/5K will jumpstart Saturday's activities at 7am. Proceeds from the run will benefit the Shelby County Cancer Fund. Click here to download this year's entry form. Registration forms can be dropped off at Farmer's State Bank downtown.

The fan favorites - Seed Spitting Contest and Speed Eating Contest is set for 3pm Saturday under the big tent! Come out and demonstrate your watermelon seed spitting skills along with who can down their melon slice the fastest! 

The What-A-Melon Pageant is Saturday evening from 5:30pm until 7:30pm.

Last but certainly not least, a Shelby County favorite, Zach Mason and the Jars will be performing on stage under the big tent Saturday evening at 8pm and will close out all the festival activities with a great live performance that fans won't forget!

The What-A-Melon Festival is hosted by the Center Rotary Club. Additional sponsors who make the festival possible are (Gold Sponsors) City of Center; Focused Care of Center; (Silver Sponsors) Center Glass; R&D Distributors; Citizens Bank; Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative; ACE Hardware; Kyle Coffin, DDS; Coral Cactus; Texas Credit; (Bronze Sponsors) Toledo Automotive / NAPA; Sandy Wheeler State Farm; and Tammy Steptoe Realty. Be sure to thank all the festival sponsors.

Proceeds raised from the What-A-Melon Festival by the Rotary Club of Center are donated back to various organizations in the community to help fight hunger, provide scholarships, support the youth, and more! Through the years the club has made pledges which have helped construct the John D. Windham Civic Center, the Center Baseball Park, and the Center Softball Park.

July 11, 2018 - Center resident, Roger Doyle, was installed as District Governor at the Lions Club 101st International Convention held in Las Vegas on July 3, 2018.

DG Roger will serve over District S1 which consists of 49 Lions Clubs and covers Angelina, Cherokee, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine. Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties.

DG Roger is a member and current secretary of the Center Noon Lions Club.

July 10, 2018 - Tri-C Head Start is taking applications NOW for the 2018-2019 Program Year for children Birth to 5 years old. To complete and application you will need your child's birth certificate, insurance card, WIC card (if applicable), shot record and your proof of income (W-2, Tax Return, check stubs, award letter, etc.). To make an appointment to do an application contact Saundra Christopher at (936) 657-4740,, or Inbox me on the Tri-C Head Start Facebook page.

East Texas Delegates with Congressman Louie Gohmert

July 10, 2018 - For high school students who grow up in rural Texas, visiting a place like Washington, D.C., might sound like a far-away dream. But every year, more than 100 such students are given the opportunity to travel to the capital for an intensive weeklong tour. June 6th – 14th, Texas students representing their respective electric cooperatives had this opportunity to join more than 1,600 other students from around the nation for the 2018 Electric Cooperative Government-In-Action Youth Tour. Delegates representing Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative were Anna Bardwell of Tenaha and Conner Downs of Broaddus.

From Left: Anna Bardwell of Tenaha and Connor Downs of BroaddusIn Washington, tour participants get to see with their own eyes sights they may have only experienced in history books or on television. Texas' students also have the chance to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Tour Mt. Vernon, visit the Holocaust and Smithsonian Museums, take a midnight tour with Congressman Louie Gohmert, watch a show at the Kennedy Center and much more.

In addition to visiting monuments, museums and historical sites that would be a part of any standard tour of the capital, the students also fulfilled the ambition of then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson, who inspired the Youth Tour with his desire expressed in 1957 for young people to "actually see what the flag stands for and represents," when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago. Consequently, some Texas electric cooperatives sent groups of young people to Washington, D.C., to work during the summer in Sen. Johnson’s office. In 1958, an electric cooperative in Iowa sponsored the first group of 34 young people on a week-long study tour of the nation’s capital. Later that same year, another bus load came from Illinois. The idea grew and other states sent busloads of young people throughout the summer. By 1959, the “Youth Tour” had grown to 130 delegates.

In 1964, NRECA began to coordinate joint activities among the state delegations and suggested that co-op representatives from each state arrange to be in Washington, D.C. during Youth Tour week. The first year of the coordinated tour included approximately 400 young people from 12 states. Word of the program has continued to spread and today, more than 1,500 young people and their chaperones from 45 states participate in the Youth Tour every year.

For more information about the Youth Tour, contact the Cooperative at 936-229-3907.

July 10, 2018 - Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc. needs your help! We have been busy this summer handing out emergency food boxes and we need your help to fill up our food pantry once again. Working together is important as we strive to stomp out hunger.    

Any canned good is welcomed, but here is a short list of items we use the most in our food boxes: Corn, Green Beans, Sweet Peas, Carrots, Tuna, Chili, Potatoes, Various Beans, and canned soup. 

You can drop off your canned goods at the Helping Hands Outreach Center, which is located at 930 Shelbyville Street. We are on the corner of Shelbyville St. and MLK. 

For more information please call us at 936-598-4990. 

As always, we are grateful for your support. God Bless you.