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Around Town

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June 6, 2022 - The New Hope Cemetery Association would like to thank Trent Sims and Project Cemetery for the beautiful flowers put out at the cemetery recently. 

We had our annual homecoming yesterday and the cemetery was beyond gorgeous with all the color! The graves that don’t have anyone to put out flowers for them all had pretty flowers due to this sweet ministry! We cannot thank you enough! 

New Hope Cemetery Association

June 1, 2022 - All Hours Fitness welcomed the community inside their doors to view their 6,000 square foot expansion to a 12,000 square foot facility at an Expansion Ribbon Cutting on Tuesday, May 24th. Owners, Walker Alford and Randy Seegers, and managers from many of their locations in Louisiana and Texas were in attendance along with Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

Chamber of Commerce representative Stephanie Elswick started the event, “Thank y’all for coming to welcome the expansion for All Hours Fitness. It’s marvelous, don’t you think.” She then invited owner Walker Alford to tell everyone about the gym.

From left: All Hours Fitness owners Walker Alford and Randy Seegers

Alford gave appreciation for their Center location, “We’ve been in Center, Texas since 2006, we started [on San Augustine Street] on the other side of the square. We really like the square, we really like the square after y’all redid it. It’s really, really improved and it’s super, super nice. That we went from an area that we thought maybe we should look for a different location to we felt like we were in the right location. So, we had this big building, if you remember Factory Connection [next door], this was a small gym [here], so, we ended up gutting the whole thing… massive, massive project. There is no resemblance of the old gym in the new gym. This is a totally different building. But we believe in Center, Texas, we believe in East Texas. Love Texas.” Walker continuing speaking about the quality of the gym and how important it is to him and Randy Seegers to over deliver to small towns and under charge because small towns have the best people. The 12,000 square feet facility offers an exceptional workout environment. He ended by saying, “Everybody needs health and fitness and we do our best to provide it to you. So, Randy and I couldn’t be happier with what we’ve seen over here. We just want to continue to grow this area. We are happy to be in Center, Texas.”

All Hours Fitness managers from various locations in Texas and Louisiana attended the ribbon cutting.

Carol Eberenz is the manager and gave a tour of the new facility following the ribbon cutting. Be sure to watch the view for more information.

The facility opened in Center in May 2006 with 2,500 square feet of workout space. The first All Hours Fitness location was 113 San Augustine Street. Five years later in June of 2011 the gym was moved to its current location with 6,000 square feet of workout space. Today, All Hours Fitness has grown to 12,000 square feet of space and is equipped with the latest fitness machines and a new virtual exercise room. Members can choose from an extensive library of digital classes and workout with the instructors on a large screen. Classes include yoga, pilates, cycling, high or low impact and much more.

June 1, 2022 - On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foothold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high - more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded - but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

Shelby County Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8904 and the Auxiliary will lay a Memorial Wreath in remembrance of the 78th Anniversary of D-Day on Monday, June 6th, 2022 at the Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the 1885 Historic Shelby County Courthouse in Center. The program will begin at 10 am and as always, the public is cordially invited to attend and remember their fellow Americans.

More information contact Post Quartermaster Larry Hume, 936-332-0349 or

May 27, 2022 - Staff with Allegiance Mobile Health in Center gathered for their annual crawfish cookout Friday, May 20, 2022.

Crew members gathered to dine at their facility on State Loop 500 in recognition of EMS Week honoring frontline heroes dedicated to providing emergency medicine.

Congratulations to the Joaquin FFA recipients of the Shelby County AG Mechanics Foundation Scholarships, Beto Romero Gonzalez and Kace Sherrod.

May 26, 2022 - The Shelby County AG mechanics foundation has awarded eight scholarships this year to graduating seniors from Shelby County schools.

The requirements are for the students to be a member of FFA or building trades, build projects with their schools and show them at the Shelby County Poultry festival.

They had to be a graduating senior, and write a short one page essay explaining what they would do with the scholarship and why they needed it. This scholarship is different than most.

Congratulations to the Timpson FFA Shelby County AG Mechanics Foundation Scholarship recipients McKayla Huss and Issac Mathis (not pictured).

These students do not have to use it towards college, they can use it to buy equipment, clothing for work or anything else to help them with a job once they graduate high school. The Shelby County AG mechanics foundation thanks all of our sponsors for making this possible and investing in the future of our youth.

If you would like to become a sponsor of the Shelby County AG Mechanics Foundation please contact Taylor Buster, Jamie Hagler or James Raymond.

Congratulations to Jake Hanson and Wesley Wages with the Center FFA, Shelby County AG Mechanics Foundation Scholarship recipients. 

Congratulations to Cole McDaniel Shelbyville ISD recipient of the Shelby County AG Mechanics Foundation Scholarship.

Congratulations to Toby Taylor Shelbyville ISD recipient of the Shelby County AG Mechanics Foundation Scholarship.

Sweepstakes contributions from the organization to area schools include:
1st place - Timpson FFA $3,500
2nd place - Center FFA $2,000
3rd place - Joaquin FFA $1,000

If anyone would like to be a future sponsor:
Large Logo on shirt and banner, $2,000
Name on shirt and banner, $1,000
Name on shirt only, $500

Shelby County FFA Ag Mechanics Foundation is always accepting donations.

Shelby County FFA Ag Mechanics thanks their sponsors: High Roller, K&L Contractors, Raymond Construction, JML Management Inc., Southern Fluid Solutions - Center Texas, Gen 2 Properties LLC, Few Ready Mix, Omni Environmental Solutions - CHI - RTI, Hometown Marine, Lynda K. Russell Attorney at Law, Center Motor Company, Ray Jones Chevrolet, Farmers State Bank, Center Glass, 4/C Electric, R&D Distributors, Boles Feed, Law Office of April Prince PLLC, General Shelters of Texas LTD.

Related article:
SC FFA Ag Mechanics Foundation Has Successful First Auction

May 25, 2022 - Memorial Day is Monday, May 30th , 2022. United States Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon. All banks, schools, businesses, government offices and citizens that fly a US Flag that can be lowered are asked to please do so in honor of those Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice. All other flags flying with the US Flag should also be lowered.

If you fly a flag that can’t be lowered you can still show respect for the day by tying a black cord or ribbon to the top of the flagpole. It too should be removed at noon.

If you have no one to lower your flag at sunrise it is permissible to lower it the night before so it will be in place at sunrise.

Luncheon presented by Badders Law Firm

May 24, 2022 (More Photos) - The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and Center Independent School District hosted an Appreciation Lunch for First Responders, presented by Badders Law Firm on Friday, May 20th. Pete Low cooked a delicious barbeque meal.

First responders including Police Officers, Department of Public Safety officers, Constables, Sheriff Deputies, firemen, medics, Game Wardens and law enforcement officials were the honored guests.

Public servants and peace officers carry a responsibility for maintaining order, enforcing the law and protecting the lives and property of our citizens. Often, service involves personal sacrifices and even personal danger. The appreciation lunch recognizes the contribution law enforcement makes to the community.

Thank you to all our Generous Sponsors.

Presenting Sponsor was Badders Law Firm. Gold Sponsors were Focused Care of Center, Spartan Structures and Specter Inc. Silver Sponsors were Baldwin Tree Service, Farmers State Bank, H&R Block, McWilliams and Son and Ray Jones Chevrolet.

Table Sponsors were: American State Bank, Aurora Concepts, C&J A/C & Electrical, East Texas Towing & Storage, Hope Community Medicine, Hospice Plus, Mathews Realty, Shelby County Today, Shelby Insurance Agency, Shelby Savings Bank, Southern Lemonade, Viatrace Fertilizer and Wright Dodge.

Thank you to Chicken Express for donating all the tea.

Thank you to everyone who helped, especially the Center ISD Maintenance Staff.

May 24, 2022 - The Center Police Department Auxiliary will be selling shirts to help support our officers/families in times of need, and also to add to our Scholarship fund. This is our “Back the Blue" Patriotic shirt that we will be selling for the public to purchase and hope to have in by 4th of July. We will be doing some pre-sale orders, but will also order extra to sell later. Hopefully will have in time for the Battle of the Badges Community Blood Drive on Friday, July 8, 2022.

Please contact Amy, or a CPD employee, or come by the PD to place your order. Pre-sales end May 30th, and all money needs to be in to place the order to ensure plenty of time for arrival. Paypal accepted.

Scholarship recipient Gage Weldon pictured with Garden Club members. From left: (standing) Gage Weldon, Alison Scull, (seated) Carolyn Bounds and Cherry Jones.

May 24, 2022 - Center Garden Club met on May 11th in the home of hostess Alison Scull. The club was pleased to recognize a special guest, its 2022 scholarship recipient Gage Weldon from Joaquin High School.

Gage will be attending SFA in the fall majoring in forestry and minoring in horticulture. The club’s other scholarship recipient Chandler Jones from Center High School was unable to attend the meeting.

Other guests included Luciana Barr and Merry Carnes. The group enjoyed an end-of-year video program produced by Buster Bounds recapping the many garden club activities throughout the 2021-2022 year. They also enjoyed both a delicious luncheon served by Mrs. Scull and warm fellowship. The club is looking forward to celebrating National Garden Week the first week of June with a special plant exhibition and then resuming regular monthly meetings beginning the second Wednesday in September.

From left: (Back row) Jennifer Wright, Leigh Porterfield, Janette Wittmann, (Front row) Madalyn Bryant, Kinsey Bryant, Tim Verner

May 23, 2022 - On April 26, 2022, the Center Garden Club sponsored the program “Nature in Music” at First Baptist Church for the community. This lecture/recital was designed and written by Janette Wittmann, local music teacher and Garden Club member, whose purpose was to remind the audience of how nature has influenced the development of music since time began. Music has been our vehicle to express our thoughts and feelings through sound. Throughout history, composers have used the muse Nature for inspiration.

Information was cited for the following categories included in Mrs. Wittmann’s exploration of nature’s influence on our music: seasons, water, birds, mountains, hills and valleys, prairies and meadows, trees, garden critters, flowers, and air and wind. For each of the natural categories, examples of orchestral, movie music, spiritual, opera, children’s songs, songs of yesteryear, choral, madrigals and rounds, Christmas, ballet, cowboy, college songs, patriotic, metaphysical, folk songs, sacred, pop and other genre.

Performers for the event included students Kinsey and Madalyn Bryant, Mrs. Jennifer Wyatt, Mrs. Wittmann, and guest performers Mrs. Leigh Porterfield and Tim Verner.

Examples illustrating the different categories were: “Over the Rainbow” (Vocal - Leigh P.), “Waiting for Sunrise” (Piano – Kinsey B.), “Icicles” (Piano – Kinsley B.), “The Engulfed Cathedral” (Piano – Tim V.), “The Birch Tree” (Piano and Gusli – Madalynn B.), “Trees” (Vocal – Leigh P.), “Kuckoo” (German Vocal – Madalyn B.), “Yellow Butterflies” (Piano- Kinsey B.), “Jumpin Junebugs” (Piano – Madalyn B.), “Blue Daisies” (Piano – Jennifer W.), and “Cotton Bale Blues” (Piano – Janette W.).

In final segment of the program, Mrs. Wittmann also introduced several unusual instruments: the “Sea Organ” in Zadar, Croatia and the Jean Siblius Monument of six hundred pipes in Helsinki, Finland. Mrs. Wittmann had visited both of the unusual instruments. She also introduced the beautiful manual Stalactite Organ located in the Virginia’s Luray Caverns which Center’s own Ann Harmon had once played. Mrs. Wittmann also cited the annual ice music festival held in Geilo, Normay where instruments are carved from ice and then played. In conclusion she encouraged everyone to view these musical wonders on YouTube.

From left: Carolyn Bounds, Janette Wittmann, and Cherry Jones

Through this most informative, inspirational, and moving program, produced and narrated by Mrs. Wittmann, the audience became vastly more aware of how the marriage of nature and music is therapeutice and inspirational, expressing beauty and showing us as Louis Armstrong used to sing: “What a Wonderful World!”