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Around Town

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April 1, 2021 - April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. We are proud of the work being done across the state to protect children. Throughout the month, join us as we share the facts, increase awareness, and move toward ending child sexual abuse in Texas. #ChildAbuseAwareness #ChildAbusePrevention #EndChildSexualAbuse 

March 31, 2021 - VFW Post 8904 and the Auxiliary honored Veterans of Somalia with a wreath laying at the Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the 1885 Historic Courthouse in Center on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Post Quartermaster Larry Hume explained, "Americans consider themselves to be a compassionate people, and the United States military has a long tradition of humanitarian relief operations both within and outside the continental United States. Never has this humanitarian impulse proven more dangerous to follow than in 1992 when the United States intervened to arrest famine in the midst of an ongoing civil war in the East African country of Somalia. Ultimately hundreds of thousands were saved, but unintended involvement in Somali’s civil strife cost the lives of 30 American Soldiers, 4 Marines, and 8 Air Force personnel during the years of 1992 and 1994. The American military has established a tradition for peace in the midst of a famine and civil war but unlike later in Bosnia, the factions were not exhausted in fighting and were not yet willing to stop killing each other and anyone caught in the middle. There was no peace to keep and the United States withdrew all military combat troops in March of 1994. The American G.I. had as always done their best under difficult circumstances to perform a complex, confusing mission. The best military in the world can only lay the foundation for peace; they cannot create peace itself."

To honor the Veterans of Samolia, Post Chaplain Travis Snider laid the memorial wreath. Taps was then sounded as presented by VFW member Gene Hutto.

Following the memorial program, Snider shared that Saturday, April 3rd will be the 50th anniversary of his return from Vietnam and his discharge from the military. Happy Anniversary!

March 30, 2021 - It is with a heavy heart that Dr. Hughes, staff, and family are announcing the official closing of Hughes Veterinary Clinic on March 31, 2021.

Dr. Hughes would like to take this time to thank the community for almost 50 years of dedication to his practice as a Veterinarian. Graduating from Texas A&M's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1972, Dr. Hughes returned to his childhood home starting his career focusing on a large animal practice then transitioning to surgery and small animals. Dr. Hughes added President of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medicine to his long resume as a veterinarian and community member.

The office will be open for appointments Monday through Thursday from 9am until 12 noon till its closing. To honor Dr. Hughes every Friday and Saturday for the month of March, the office will be open from 9am until 12 noon for walk-in vaccinations. We would like to invite the community to come out and pay us a visit. Dr. Hughes will be present and would love to see everyone.

From left: Post Commander Gene Hutto, Auxiliary President Mary Fausett, Auxiliary Chaplain Joy Hutto, Auxiliary Treasurer Theresa Hume, Post Quartermaster Larry Hume, Post Chaplain Travis Snider and Post Life Member Mike Wulf. Photos submitted by Larry Hume.

March 26, 2021 - VFW Post 8904 held a memorial ceremony on Wednesday, March 24 for Operation Allied Force - Kosovo on the grounds of the 1885 Historic Courthouse in downtown Center.

The memorial wreath was placed by Post Chaplain Travis Snider.

Twenty-two years ago, on March 24, 1999 NATO launched an air campaign called Operation Allied Force to halt the humanitarian devastation that was then unfolding in Kosovo. The decision to intervene followed more than a year of fighting within the province and the failure of international efforts to resolve the conflict by diplomatic means.

NATO announced the suspension of the air campaign on June 10, 1999 once it had concluded a military technical agreement with the federal republic of Yugoslavia.

NATO casualties were light, and the alliance suffered no fatalities as a result of combat operations.

The next VFW Post 8904 event is Wednesday, March 31st at 10am. The post will honor Somalia Veterans who served during Operation Restore Hope with a wreath laying at the Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the 1885 Historic Courthouse in Center.

March 17, 2021 - The Center Police Department and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center invite everyone to 'Come help us Save Lives!' on Monday, March 22, 2021 from 10am until 4pm. It's a very important time to donate due to the demand for blood in hospitals being very high. Show you care by being selfless and giving to this cause.

1 donation can help save 3 lives! Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will be set up in the Center Police Dept Parking lot from 10:00am - 4:00pm. There will be 2 (two) Donor Coaches available!

Contact Amy at the PD 936-598-2450 to sign up for scheduled times, or go to www.giveblood.org to schedule a time. All Successful donors will receive a Free T-Shirt!!! COVID 19 Antibodies testing will also be done.

March 22, 2021 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society's goal is to help you become a better photographer and give you a place to meet others who share your passion for photography. Featuring programs and activities with information and instruction for all skill levels in an environment of support and cooperation.

The PWPS meetings are held every third Saturday of the month, at the First United Methodist Church, Center, TX from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Visitors are always welcome to attend, with or without a membership. For more information on meetings or memberships contact Billie F. Jones (936) 591-2426.

The workshop for March was tips and techniques on photographing "Flight in Motion". The monthly challenge "Architecture" features photos submitted by members for critique and voting for favorites. To view all the Challenge photos, visit our Flickr page or visit our facebook page for more info and posts.

March Challenge "Architecture" Favorites

1st Place favorite - Bobbie Jean Wood, "Staircase"

2nd Place favorite - LeaAnn Robertson, "Mesa Mansion"

3rd Place (Tie) favorites - Summer Koltonski, "A Simple Church"

3rd Place (Tie) favorites - Melvin Henson, "Ceiling"

March 18, 2021 - The President of the United States has issued a proclamation ordering the flag of the United States to be displayed at half-staff from now until sunset on March 22, 2021 as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 16, 2021 in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.

View the proclamation here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/03/18/a-proclamation-on-honoring-the-victims-of-the-tragedy-in-the-atlanta-metropolitan-area/

March 18, 2021 - During a Chamber ribbon cutting held March 18th, Shelby County Outreach Ministries Executive Director Sherry Harding gave much thanks and appreciation to those who have supported them during their construction project to repair major damage from Hurricane Laura which hit in late August of 2020.

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and its ambassadors attended the ribbon cutting sharing their support and congratulations. Ambassador President Stephanie Elswick started the event, "I would like to congratulate everyone that is responsible for the Unique Boutique opening again. From all of the ambassadors to you, we are so proud, so proud of you." She then read a quote, "God is working things out for you even if you don't feel it. Have faith and be thankful. Where faith and hope grows, miracles happen."

Harding then spoke about the history of the non-profit organization, Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc., which has been in operation for over 24 years serving the Community. She gave statistics for 2020, "We issued over 15,000 meals to our senior citizens. We have given out 2,386 emergency food boxes which feed over 5,146 people just through our emergency food boxes. And we met over 2,885 needs of the people in this community. It costs us over $300,000 to run our programs every year. As everyone knows, last year was challenging. We survived on fundraisers and donations, and everyone can understand that was challenging last year and we still deal with some challenges this year. But it is just amazing, just like God in our precious word how Jesus took the bread and the fish and multiplied it... He's multiplied it here."

Harding gave special thanks to her wonderful staff at the Unique Boutique who are Floye Parker (Program Director), Shirley Blue, and Thea Perkins. She gave thanks to the Shelby County Outreach Ministries Board of Directors who are Larry Cruse, President; Sammy Arnold, Vice President; Amy Clouse, Secretary; Ann Blackwell, Treasurer; and board members Donna Monroe, Larry Byrd, Karen Jones, Felecia Thompson, Kristie McClelland, and Donald Monroe.

She also recognized Cody Russell with Texas Roof Support, "Cody Russell has been our contractor over this whole ordeal and, we lost everything guys, we basically had to start from the floor up. So thank you Cody for all the extra work. He has really been a blessing to us."

From left: Tim Wulf, Sammy Arnold, Sherry Harding, Lion's Club President Alan Ricketson, Danny Paul Windham, and Bobby Pig.

Plaques of appreciation were presented to organizations who helped with the recovery efforts. The 'Servants Heart Award' was presented to the Lions Club for their donation. She added about the Lions Club, "Because of their efforts, we're going to be able to continue to feed the hungry and assist the needy." She read a scripture she had printed on the plaque, "In the same way let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

Other 'Servant's Heart Award' plaques of appreciation were made for the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and The United Way who both contributed to the deductible for the repairs.

Sherry HardingThe last plaque presented by Harding honored the beginnings of Outreach Ministries, "I don't feel that it would be appropriate if I didn't acknowledge Ms. Pam White who started this program many years ago. And so I called it the 'Hall of Fame Award' and our motto striving to be the hands and heart of Christ and as everyone knows she passed away at 52 years old. So today we acknowledge her and honor her for all of her efforts. And I thank God for the opportunity to serve the people in this community and our prayer is that this place will continue to help those in need."

Cody Russell, Texas Roof Support

March 18, 2021 - The events of the last year or so have given a fresh perspective on what we value as a society, on who we turn to in times of need and crisis. Healthcare professionals have been nothing short of heroic in their efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Without their skills, knowledge, and selfless, caring attitudes, the suffering would have been much worse.

Against this backdrop, the addition of Certified Nurses Day to the National Today calendar is a very timely one. Certified Nurses are experts who dedicate themselves to delivering quality care to those in need. The holiday is celebrated on March 19 — the birthdate of Dr. Margretta 'Gretta' Madden Styles, a pioneer in nursing certification.

March 15, 2021 - Aurora Concepts Family Medical Practice performed a mass inoculation for COVID-19 at the John D. Windham Civic Center on Friday, March 5, 2021.

The clinic had Pfizer-Biontech vaccinations to give and began giving injections at 8am in Foster Conference Hall. Over 1,200 individuals were able to be vaccinated with their first round.

Those receiving shots were processed through quickly, received their injections and waited for 15 minutes on the other side of the room for observation. Once their time was complete, they left and the cycle continued every thirty minutes until the end of the day.

The second round of injections for those which participated on March 5 will be Friday, March 26. The process will be exactly the same with everyone having the same appointment times, and those returning for their second injection will need to supply the CDC card which they received following their first inoculation.

Aurora Concepts has received Moderna vaccine this week for first dose vaccines. If you haven't received a vaccine, they can be contacted at 936-598-3296 to schedule an appointment.