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Around Town

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From left to right: Chad Nehring, Steve Waters, Meg Camp (front row), John Black (back row), Cindy Eubank (front row), David Chadwick (back row), Amy Lindley, Collin Mathews, Bridgette Liem, Jason Balkcom, Aaron Gilchrist, Rayford Copelin, Joe West, Robert Hughes (back row), Mack Hughes, and Lawrence Davis. Photo by J.J. Ford.

December 6, 2022 - The Rotary Club of Center met on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 and enjoyed a program presented by Operation Blue Santa. Amy Lindley, a representative of Operation Blue Santa, reported over 300 applications were turned in this year! She reported Blue Santa has made his list and is checking it twice just in time for Christmas.

A special thanks was given to all the businesses, individuals, and civic groups for donating to help bless children with a better Christmas and make it a special Christmas for many families.

Following the program, club members came together to present Operation Blue Santa with toys and gifts collected. The Rotary Club of Center wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas!

From left: Robbie Kerr and veteran Don Richey

December 6, 2022 - On November 9th, Center Garden Club met at its Blue Star Memorial to hear a Veteran’s Day message from veteran Don Richey and to hold a laying of the wreath ceremony there.

Pictured below are members Janette Wittmann, Carolyn Bounds, Robbie Kerr, Shirley Richey, veteran Don Richey, Merry Carnes, Pam Sykes, and Carol Chance.

Photos by member Cherry Jones

December 5, 2022 (Parade Photos) - The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade Committee announces the winners of the 2022 Annual Santa’s Christmas Parade, which was held this past Saturday, December 3rd. The theme for the parade was “Christmas Around the World”.

Winners by Category are:

Individual Category:
1st Place – Matt Carrington

School Category:
1st Place – Center High School Marching Bank
2nd Place – Center High School Chaparrals

Church Category:
1st Place –St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church
2nd Place – First Baptist Church Worship Ministry
3rd Place – Hillcrest Baptist Church

Civic Organization Gategory:
1st Place – Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department
2nd Place – Girl Scout Troop #102175
3rd Place – East Texas Disciples

Business Category:
1st Place – Tri County Community Action
2nd Place – Brock’s Rocks
3rd Place –Farmers State Bank

Overall Best in Show – Tri County Community Action (Editor's note: Float with the snow machine)

Thank you to all our sponsors: High Roller Wells, Presenting Sponsor; City of Center, Float Competition Sponsor; Town and Country Real Estate, Grand Marshal Sponsor; and Silver Sponsors Farmers State Bank and Specter, Inc.

Thank you to the Center Police Department for assisting with traffic. Thank you to the Center Fire Department for transporting the City of Center City Council and Santa Claus.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 5, 2022 - VFW Post 8904 and the Auxiliary visited Center Elementary School on Friday, December 2, 2022 to present third grade teacher Alisha Murray with her Teacher of the Year Award. She was selected after being nominated by Vice Principal Elizabeth Bennett.

It was kept a surprise until members and elementary school staff invaded her classroom and shared the good news with her students. Alisha was given a framed certificate and check for $100 while her students were rewarded with cupcakes. Congratulations Alisha!

November 25, 2022 - Cookies & Cocoa with Santa is going to have some big changes this year as it has officially outgrown the Center Police Department lobby! The event is moving to the Center Community House at 425 San Augustine Street in Center and is scheduled for Sunday, December 4th from 2pm to 4pm.

Cookies & Cocoa with Santa is our BIG Toy Drive, and the Blue Santa team are very excited to be having it again this year. Enjoy Cookies & Cocoa, and FREE pictures with Santa! Bring in a toy to donate and be entered into our raffle for a 32" Smart TV, a Christmas movie watching goody basket, and a $100 Ivan Smith Furniture Gift Card.

If you are interested in donating any items for the event such as cocoa, cookies, or any type of finger foods, please contact Amy at the Center Police Department at 936-598-2788.

The Center Police Department's Blue Santa program is asking for donations of new toys, books, or clothes for all ages of boys and girls, and don't forget the teenagers! Monetary donations are also welcomed, and can be given in the form of Cash, or Check, or through Paypal @BlueSantaCPD.

December 4, 2022 - Santa's Lighted Christmas Parade filled the historic downtown square with businesses, churches, and community groups decking their vehicles with a "Christmas Around the World" theme on Saturday, December 3, 2022.

With more than 20 entries, the floats filled the entire square as they made their way around. The Center High School band led the way followed by the parade's Grand Marshals, Dr. Danny Paul and Sally Windham. The parade had lots of great floats including one which made snow. The end the grand Christmas celebration was Santa at the end.

To view photos from the parade, click here.

The Parade was presented by High Roller Wells. The Float Competition Sponsor was the City of Center. The Sponsor for the Grand Marshal was Town and Country Real Estate. Farmers State Bank and Specter, Inc. were Silver Sponsors. 

December 3, 2022 - Joaquin celebrated the Christmas season with their ‘An Olde Fashioned Festival’ on the Joaquin square which was full of a variety of activities throughout the day Saturday, December 3, 2022.

There were a large variety of vendor booths with items for sale, while a car show and tractor show were held at the other end of the square.

The East Texas Chopper Guys also held their Toy Drive and Food Drive in addition to their bike show. There were many more events through the day to attend, including the Christmas parade.

See Christmas Parade photos by clicking here

December 3, 2022 - Christmas cheer in Timpson was a plenty Saturday with the Christmas Parade traveling around the downtown streets lead by the award winning Timpson Bear band. Parade participants included emergency responders, area businesses, church groups, and lots of community members driving golf carts, four wheelers, and more! To view photos from the parade, click here.

During the festivities, vendors where open for Christmas shopping and the Grinch was ready for photos.

December 2, 2022 - Members of VFW Post 8904 in Center were presented with a check from Pineywoods Beverage on November 18, 2022.

In recognition of Veterans Day, the business offered a 5% discount to its customers who were veterans. In addition, 5% of the sales from Veterans Day were contributed to the VFW Post.

December 2, 2022 - Operation Blue Santa would like to thank the Businesses of Shelby County for their support and Christmas Spirit in decorating their windows. Six businesses entered, and a decision will be announced on Monday the 5th on who wins.

Those businesses are: Ace Hardware, Johnston Properties (brokerage), Roughrider Quick Lube, White Cottage Mercantile, Morrison Insurance, and McNeill and Brown Drugstore.

Ace Hardware, Contestant #1

Johnstone Brokerage, Contestant #2

Roughrider Quick Lube, Contestant #3

White Cottage Mercantile, Contestant #4

Morrison Insurance, Contestant #5

McNeill and Brown Drugstore, Contestant #6