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Around Town

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December 7, 2019 - The Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library was host to Puppet Wise Productions presentation of "Snowbound in East Texas" Saturday, December 7, 2019.

Area children were enthralled by the story and characters as they were entertained at the library. 

Pictured above are (from left): Burt Furlow, Gary Rholes and Jeremy Yates
with toys generously donated by the Lydia Baptist Church.

December 5, 2019 - The Shelby County Attorney Toy Drive is gaining momentum as donations are coming in to support this cause. 

Recently received was a generous donation from Lydia Baptist Church. Representatives arrived with large bags of goodies to help fulfill the Christmas wishes of Shelby County youth this season.

Those members who delivered the gifts were Burt Furlow and Jeremy Yates.

The Toy Drive needs donations of new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls ages 3 through 12 or monetary donations. 

In the past years we have been able to hand out thousands of gifts thanks to the generosity of our citizens. Anyone needing further information can call the County Attorney’s Office at (936) 598-6100.

Pictured are (from left): Lee Roberts (Asset Protection Assistant Store Manager) and Center PD Officer Bubba Lee.

December 4, 2019 - Operation Blue Santa would like to thank Center Walmart #0364 for their generous toy donation to Blue Santa’s Toy drive. Donations like this are what help Operation Blue Santa provide a better Christmas to those in need.

Your local Wal-Mart 0364, Center, Tx, is proud to be a strong supporter of Center Police Department’s Blue Santa drive for children needing a little extra support this year from the community. We here at Wal-Mart are committed to helping our Shelby County community in multiple ways.

With our Everyday Low Prices, we were able to Donate a substantial amount of toys to the Operation Blue Santa this year! We look forward to the smiles this will bring local children and as always, we are #HappyToHelp. This is THAT place! #Walmart364 #BlueSanta #CommunityInvolvement

December 3, 2019 - Christmastime is a season of giving, spending time with family and making memories. But for some, this time of year brings sadness due to the loss of family, friends, and loved ones. To keep the memory of our loved ones alive this season, you can give the Gift of Hope to those in need. This is an opportunity for you to make a contribution in memory of a loved one. While carrying on their memory, you will also be contributing to Shelby County Outreach Ministries, which serves our community by feeding the hungry and assisting the needy.

For a contribution of $10 or more, the memory of your loved ones can shine this Christmas season. A star, bearing the name of your loved one will be displayed in the front windows of Shelby County Outreach Ministries and shared with the local media.

So far, in 2019, our Helping Hands Outreach Center has distributed 2,459 emergency food boxes, which fed 5,178 people. We have also met the needs of 2,926 people in Shelby County. Our Senior Nutrition Site serves fresh meals to seniors, 60 years old and above, during the week and delivers meals to homebound seniors in our community through our Meals on Wheels program. So far, this year, these two programs have prepared and served 11,421 meals to senior citizens in Shelby County. 

So, if you would like to give a Gift of Hope by contributing in the memory of a loved one, or make a year-end contribution, please call us at 936-598-4990. Thank you and have a blessed holiday season. 

December 3, 2019 - Thank you to Xi Alpha Delta Rho Sorority for their very generous donation for the second year 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.

Santa's Christmas Parade Presented by Shelby Savings Bank

December 2, 2019 - Santa Claus is coming to town this Saturday, December 7th.

In keeping with the holiday tradition, the Grand Marshal will lead the parade at 6:00pm.  Fannie Watson, the 2019 Distinguished Service Award recipient is this year’s Grand Marshal. Over 20 floats will make their way through the heart of downtown to delight the young and old alike.

Christmas at the Rio, a holiday program by the Center High School theater department will be presented before the Parade. The Rio box office will open at 4pm and the performance will begin at 4:30 and will be done by 5:15 which will be plenty of time to find a spot to watch the Parade. The Rio concession will be available at 4:00 for the show audience and/or for anyone getting ready for the Parade. Following the Parade, the Rio will be showing the “Last Christmas” a romantic Christmas show.

Many shops will be open and hosting Christmas Open Houses.

Thank you to this year’s Presenting Sponsor, Shelby Savings Bank. Also, thank you to the City of Center, our Float Competition Sponsor; Farmers State Bank and Specter, Inc. our Silver Sponsors.

Parade winners will be announced via media on Monday, December 9th.

Psalm 20:4 "May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed."

November 29, 2019 - Congratulations to DeRoderick M. Johnson, who will be graduating from East Texas Baptist University of Marshall, Texas, on December 7, 2019. DeRoderick is a candidate for a degree of Master's in Business Administration. DeRoderick is the son of the late Eric D. Johnson of Center, Texas and LaFrita Garrett of Joaquin, Texas. He is the grandson of Barbara Garrett, Linda Rushing, Roderick and Pamela Williams. The great-grandson of Pauline Johnson and Pasty Williams.

The path of Mastering something is the combination of not only doing the best you can do at it, but also doing it the best it can be done. Congratulations on your accomplishment! We are so proud of the person you have grown to be and will continue to love watching you grow. We look forward to seeing what else you achieve as you move forward.

His Mother, LaFrita Garrett is proud to announce that DeRoderick will be the FIRST of all four bloodlines: Johnson's, Garrett's, Williams's and Sledge's to be receiving such honors. He has paved the way for who is to follow. 

November 27, 2019 - Rio Theatre owned by Mike and Nita Atkinson received the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award for Shelby County during the 2019 Texas Forest Country Partnership (TFCP) Economic Development Summit in Lufkin on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

This award presentation was made by Don Iles, Board Chairman of the TFCP who commented, “Upon completion in 1926, the Rio Theatre was considered to be one of the most beautiful and complete theaters in East Texas, and definitely the best to be found in the state in a town as small as Center. Originally named, The Shelby Theatre, and located on what was then the West Side Square, it was renamed in 1941 as the Rio Theatre. From the earliest reel-to-reel talkies, to the digital films which begin promptly at seven-thirty, the Rio Theatre has seen many changes, remaining one of the more popular theaters in the East Texas area, specifically Shelby County. The theatre has 4 employees and the staff is still at the doors after each movie night, thanking everyone personally for coming, and inviting all to the upcoming feature films, making a night at the movies the experience moviegoers all knew and loved as they grew up from the early days at the Rio Theatre.”

We are proud to recognize Rio Theatre for their dedication and commitment to the Texas Forest Country region. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our area and the TFCP wants to emphasize their importance to our continued growth.”

“According to the Small Business Administration 60-80% of all new jobs come from Small Businesses. Additionally, 70% are owned and operated by a single person and they represent 44% of the United States payroll,” Iles added.

“Our Summit is an opportunity to discuss ways to improve the economy of our region and we appreciate everyone who attended to help us celebrate small business as an integral part of our future”, he continued.

In addition to recognizing the counties’ small business winners, Betty Oglesbee of San Augustine received the Silver Bucket Award. The Summit’s Keynote Address was made by Christian Fischer, President & CEO of Georgia-Pacific. Featured Presenter was Aaron Demerson, Commissioner Employer Relations with the Texas Workforce Commission. Other topics included East Texas Manufacturing Alliance, Texas Rural Funders Collaborative and an overview of “Jasper United.” Concluding the Summit was a panel discussion with the region’s State Senator and State Representatives.

November 27, 2019 - Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell presented Skylar Sigler with a scholarship on behalf of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas. Sigler attends Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches and is majoring in Environmental Science. Sigler is the daughter of Leah Chase who is employed by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. 

The Sheriffs' Association of Texas offers scholarships to eligible students pursuing an academic degree at a college or university. In addition to the Sheriffs' Association of Texas scholarships, several others are made available through the generosity of individuals or other organizations. These funds are managed by the Sheriffs' Association of Texas for award to qualified students.

November 27, 2019 - The Center HS Theater class will be performing "Christmas at the Rio" at 4:30pm with the box office opening at 4pm on Saturday, December 7th.

Be sure to get your popcorn before the parade starts at 6pm. Following the parade, the Rio will be showing "Last Christmas" at 7:30pm.

And best of all downtown businesses will be open all day for Christmas Shopping.