Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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RGV Quilt Guild honors Vets

20191113 RGVQuilt 2Eyes and faces were wet Monday afternoon as the colors were presented by the PSJA Early College High School JROTC during a Veterans event at Brookridge Retirement Community. Quilts in red, white and blue made by the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild hung along the stairway and banisters that circled the dining hall.

Veterans filled the dining hall and stood while the colors were posted, and they sang the national anthem. Some stood even though they needed an extra hand or something to lean on. The vets still showed their love for the country they served, even if their bodies were far different than the ones they had when they served.

The Veterans at the community were gathered to receive quilts that were lovingly made by the RGV Quilt Guild. This group of ladies work tirelessly to be able to present quilts and wall hangings to a community every Veterans Day. This year, they made over 20 quilts for the vets at Brookridge.

The event started with the presentation of the colors, then the anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and the music for each branch of military was played as well. As the music played, vets representing that branch stood at attention with their fingers to their foreheads, paying their respect to the flags, to their country, and to each other.

After this, a poem was read. The poem, titled Thank You Veterans, was written by a then fifth grader, Justin. It read,

“Thank you for the job well done.

Thank you for the battles won.

Thank you for the battles fought.

Thank you for the freedom bought.

Thank you for the time you served.

Thank you for the freedom earned.

Thank your families for sharing you.

I know they miss you, they really do.

I’m sorry for the lives that were lost.

Freedom isn’t cheap,

It comes at a very high cost.

I love my freedom,

My Red, White and Blue.

Thank you Veterans for all that you do.”

Leslie, a Brookridge representative, said a short prayer for the food and the veterans before introducing the ladies of the RGV Quilt Guild.

20191113 RGVQuilt 1

Quilts were presented to each Veteran in attendance. One by one they were recognized for their service.
There were petty officers, specialists, corporals, lieutenants, staff sergeants, sergeants, seamen, and other ranks of all the military branches.

One sergeant receiving a blanket was the only female WWII veteran at the community. Annette said she served in public relations. While serving, she was stationed in three different areas. She shared that she was present as they would bring in the soldiers from the hospitals.

“The hardest, was seeing those that came from Japan,” she said. “From the prisoner of war camps.”

She, as were all the other veterans, were thrilled to receive their quilts. Annette was excited to talk to one of the RGV Quilt Guild members telling her she used to sew quilts years ago.

The event included a barbecue lunch for the Veterans and their family members.

The RGV Quilt Guild has about 300 members during the Winter Texan season. The group meets every second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon at Trophy Gardens RV Park in Alamo, 800 Hwy 495. Each month features a different speaker. December 14 will feature Tina Hilton (Turtle Hand Batik) and a surprise guest. They also hold an Annual Quilt Show in February on SPI. Visit www.rgvqg.com for more information.

Shoeboxes that bring smiles

20191113 Shoebox 1A simple shoebox can bring such toy to a child’s heart. This is just one purpose of Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child. Organizers are building a local team this year to help get the Valley more involved with bringing those smiles to kids faces all over the world.

This year, Elizabeth Dukquits is serving as an area coordinator. On her team is “Big” Lew Corya who serves as the church relations coordinator. They are spearheading to make the Valley more involved in the effort to gather gifts and coordinate packing the boxes and shipping them off.

Operation Christmas Child started in 1993 in the United States when Samaritan’s Purse, an organization from Wales, partnered with them, to take it global. In 2018, 10.6 million shoeboxes were given out to children all across the world. More than 8 million of those boxes came from the United States. There goal for this year is 11 million. 168 million children have received a shoebox since the beginning of Operation Christmas Child.

The project goes to over 160 countries and are pushing to get into more every year. While they want to reach as many kids as possible in impoverished, third world countries, the project is simple to take part in.

Corya, a pastor with BT McAllen, has been helping the organization for several years. BT McAllen has been participating in the collection of boxes for 15 years. Now, Corya wants to get more churches, groups, and Winter Texan parks involved.

Dukquits said, right now, even though collections are coming to an end soon, they are trying to get the word out on what people can do to help out. Their range is from Brownsville out to Laredo and to Corpus Christi. Even though Laredo and Corpus have their own drop off locations, they have chosen to spread the word as far as they can.

Corya said they will be at this year’s Winter Texan Expo. His goal is to get at least two Winter Texan volunteers that will help him make a real impact. They can start collecting or putting together boxes early and already have some things done before coming back to the Valley in the fall.

He wants help in talking to local churches and organizations to share the message of how they can help send boxes to the children.

To date, they have already collected nearly 6,000 boxes.

The program has kickoffs in early October, but they encourage people to start collecting early. The earlier you start, the more you can collect.

November 18-25 is the time to put the boxes together and make sure they are ready to be shipped off.

They said they are looking for leaders that can organize collections in their own parks, or churches, and then bring to their drop off location at BT McAllen. You collect the boxes, make sure they are packed right, and then bring to the church. BT McAllen then goes through the boxes and makes sure it is done correctly before shipping them out to their main office in Dallas.

It’s a simple program – They have suggested items to put in the shoebox for girls and boys from ages two to 14 years old. Although the

Corya suggests buying items in bulk, or they could be something as simple as party favors. The items don’t have to be expensive.... They have to be small. Most boxes have items such as baby dolls, coloring books, crayons, chalk, silly putty, socks, jump ropes, marbles, yoyos, and other small items. These are items the kids would not otherwise have.

A $9 donation per box is welcome to help with shipping and materials, but it is not a requirement to participate.

This program is helping children all over the world, said Dukquits. It’s helping those that have no access to anything. It’s non-denominational, she said, you get a box no matter what, but they do like to share a message.

Corya said Jesus is at the core of this project. While it is not mandatory for the children or families to participate, all that receive a box are invited to listen to a message. After that, they are invited to participate in a bible class that continues sharing the message of the plan of salvation.

“They don’t know God. They haven’t heard of God,” added Corya. This box plants a seed and the program helps that seed grow if they want to take part in it.
They both stressed, that the recipients do not have to participate to receive a box. “It’s an invitation.”

“No strings attached,” said Dukquits.20191113 Shoebox 2

“It’s an opportunity,” added Corya.

They share the main message of the gift of love. When the children see these gifts and wonder why people would do such a thing for them.

“They look at this box, and they can’t believe that somebody clear across the world packed this for them,” said Dukquits.

“To them, it’s everything,” said Corya.

If you would like to help, or need a few boxes, call Dukquits at (956) 458-1005. If you would like to help out at BT McAllen, call (956) 686-5296. BT McAllen is located at 2001 Trenton Road in McAllen.

For more information about Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse, visit online at samaritanspurse.org/occ. For online shopping go to samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.

Veterans celebrate with free golf

20191113 VeteransGolf 1Jim Bartelt was out golfing for the first time in five years.

The Minnesota resident and Navy veteran, now a Winter Texan for 13 years, couldn’t golf because of a surgery, “and falling down the stairs didn’t help,” he said.

He was one of more than 100 veterans who enjoyed a free day on Shary Municipal Golf Course as part of the City of Mission’s Veterans Weekend celebration.

“The first thing I want to do is thank God for letting us be able to serve these veterans who have served our country,” Mission Mayor Armando O’Cana said. “This veteran’s weekend is going to become an annual thing. The feed back and reaction to these events have been wonderful.”

The City of Mission, Ready Tee, the Red, White and Blue Foundation and Lone Star National Bank were major sponsors and not only provided the veterans with the free tournament, but also fed them on the course with tacos, ribs, grilled pineapple and more at hole No. 10, sponsored by the O’Cana family.

The Mayor said that while he was not a veteran, his dad served during World War II and his brothers both had tours of duty in Vietnam. He added that he was a golfer however who played military-style golf. “I hit my ball left, then right, then left...” he joked.

The city turned a Veterans Day into a full weekend celebration with events including a solemn flag ceremony where they placed a flag at every tombstone in the Mission Veterans Cemetery, opened the Veterans Park to the public, had what they expected to be a small parade turn into an event with 70 entries, a car show and other events at 5x5 Brewery, and a one-stop shop with more than 20 agencies in attendance that serve veterans to provide information and services.

“We also had a Vaquero cook off, and a chili cook off with different groups representing different branches,” the mayor said. “A group of cooks from the Marines won that event.

“Our veterans have already given the time for us to be able to be free and to run a city government in a peaceful setting,” O’Cana said. “Now we are committed to making this an annual event that’s bigger and better.”

Door prizes were given to each of the 108 veterans who participated.

“This is a great day,” said Bartelt, who resides at W&I a Resort in Mission, a park he said his in-laws started. “My doctor said I could give it a try, so I am doing it. This is a great event and was a terrific weekend. I love it.”

 

Museums, Museums, Museums

WEB On The Road HeaderMuseums abound in South Texas. If you or your child or grandchild are interested in history, then you have come to the right place. Museums and history can be so much fun! There are so many museums from Edinburg all the way down to Port Isabel and South Padre Island. Museum after museum after museum could entertain you on any of your week end exploratory drives. Let's start with Edinburg and the MOSTH museum ..... MOSTH standing for Museum of South Texas History.

Exhibits take you back to pre-historic times in our area with a mammoth to greet you as you arrive. This museum depicts the history and culture of our area into the 1900's. You can even see the saddle that belonged to Pancho Villa. The museum utilizes the old Hidalgo County Jail, beautifully situated on Closner Street in the very center of Edinburg. Part of the old jail is still intact, and although it brought shivers to my spine, my grandson thought it was really cool. The first time I visited this museum, I was very impressed with the bi-lingual explanations on all of the displays. Since our history and culture definitely tie to that of Mexico, it seemed only fitting to me that people from either country or either culture should be able to read about our history. The museum is closed on Mondays, but other days of the week, convenient hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a. m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call (956) 383-6911 to verify times and any entry fees.

On the other end of the scale would be a second museum - The Motorcycle Museum - with an awesome collection of vintage bikes. Although it is quite small, the cycles displayed are all in very good condition and would no doubt appeal to those who like motors and engines and like to admire the evolution of the Harleys and Indians that are on display. This museum is located at 4403 Richardson Rd. in Edinburg and is open.

All the way from Edinburg to South Padre Island, almost every town has at least one museum. Perhaps one of the most interesting to the young, and to the more energetic, would be the Light House in Port Isabel. This Light House is the only one remaining on the Texas Coast that you can actually enter and climb some 80 winding steps to the top. There, you will have a magnificent view of Port Isabel, South Padre Island and the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You can even see across the channel to Space X on Boca Chica Boulevard! The light house was constructed in 1852 to guide ships through Santiago Pass. I sometimes wonder if perhaps the light house was built not just to guide the ships, but perhaps as a deterrent to Jean La Fitte, the famous pirate who often visited South Padre Island.

Old timers say that Lafitte tied lanterns to donkeys’ legs and had them walking up and down the island. Ships offshore, seeing the blinking lights, would think that must be a village and would run their ships
aground as they tried to make shore only to be looted by the pirates waiting to take their bounty. Just maybe the locals were tired of Lafitte's shenanigans and wanted the pirates to move north and east towards Galveston and New Orleans. Who knows? But if you are taking young ones, or someone with an imagination, they will like the donkey story.

And while talking about Jean Lafitte, why not visit his well in Laguna Vista? Never did I believe that you could really find fresh water if you dug down deep enough - especially if you dug on the leeward side of an island. Then one Saturday afternoon, a lady friend and I were out exploring for a possible shelling tour to Puerto Mezquita, Mexico. As we looked across the bay to the barrier island, we saw several men gathered around what appeared to be a big hole dug into the sand. Buckets of water were being hauled up and poured into 55-gallon drums. Even after filling the drums, the men kept waiting around the well.

Finally, we realized that they must be waiting for us to leave so that they could enjoy their weekly Saturday bath. So much for wells in salty terrains. Maybe Jean Lafitte also enjoyed a weekly freshwater bath at his well!

MHS ENCORE Theatre presents The Wizard of Oz

20191106 Wizard Of Oz Poster 1 MHSThe Mission High School (MHS) ENCORE Theatre is proud to present one of the most famous stories of all time, The Wizard of Oz. Cast and crew have been busy creating what they hope will become an MHS theatrical triumph. The production features Noevelyn Garza, Edwin Velazquez, Jacob Barrera, Juan Segovia, and Ivan Gonzalez.

Showtime is 7 p.m. on November 14, 16, and 21. A special matinee performance is scheduled for 2 p.m. on November 17.

Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. All tickets are general admission and can be purchased at the door prior to the show. The MHS campus is located at 1802 Cleo Dawson, Mission.

DHS present the Wizard of Oz

Join Donna High School students somewhere over the rainbow for their season opener, The Wizard of Oz. The 2019-2020 Donna Drama Theatre Company season opens on November 13 at the Simon Sauceda Performing Arts Auditorium.

The Students, under the direction of Angel O. Leal and Juan Arriaga, bring to life this classic tale of brains, heart and courage. Senior actors Molly Hunt, Anabel Hernandez, Alena Coronado and Francisco Ortiz lead the way for their final season by taking the audience on a journey they will never forget.

You won’t want to miss out on this fantastic journey running November 13-17. Shows will start at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. The Sunday show will start at 1 p.m., with doors opening at 12 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults.

For any additional information, call the fine arts office at (956) 464-0377.

Charity benefiting children in Progreso asking for help

Many Winter Texans take time to donate to local charities while they are here in the Rio Grande Valley. There are many organizations, school, churches, and other places and organizations, that you spend your time with while in the Valley. As we approach the holiday season, our hearts are drawn to those less fortunate – especially children in the community and those across the border. Without the generosity of others, these children, and families, would have a very sad and bleak Christmas.

Winter Texans have a reputation for their generous hearts and are known to plan food and clothing drives, make quilts, and gather donations for the many needy families and children in the Valley and Mexico. If your park or resort is planning anything for Thanksgiving or Christmas, such as food or toy drives, or any other activities to help brighten the holidays for the less fortunate, send us an email at news@wintertexantimes.com or call (956) 580-7800. We would love to hear from you and share your story with others.

With the holidays just around the corner, some of those places are already asking for help. This organization is just one that is already seeking help from their community.

As most know from being located so close to the border of Mexico, many children go without proper food, shelter and essential medical care every day due to a variety of factors. This need is magnified when so many children are denied even the blessings of the Christmas season.

Amigos de Los Ninos de Mexico (friends of the children of Mexico) was organized in 1990 to address this need through gifts of friendship, love, food and presents to the children.

There are many ways you can help. You can help by becoming an Amigo member by attending a meeting and buying a one-time $5 badge; donate or gather some of the needed items; or have fun with the children when they are presented their goodies.

Some big ways to help include going across the border in a caravan of vehicles on December 23rd to bring the gifts collected and get them set up for Christmas day or to sign up to help with various committees who will be distributing the goodies to the children.

General meetings will be held at the Donna First Methodist Church, 228 S. Main St. at 1:30 p.m. Dates for meetings are November 12 and 26, and December 10. December 23 is when the group will be crossing the border with the gifts and December 25 is the Christmas party at the school. A follow-up meeting will be held in January to elect new officers and board members.

For more information, call Barbara at (956) 244-3485.

Again, if your park or resort is doing anything special for those in need, please let us know. Also let us know of any special holiday activities at your park. We look forward to featuring your activities and the ways you help the communities you live in while you enjoy your stay in the Valley.

LJISD present Three School/One Voice

Magallon PhotographyLa Joya ISD is pleased to present Three Schools/One Voice, a Mariachi & Folklórico extravaganza that showcases the musical and dance talents of La Joya HS, Juarez-Lincoln HS, and Palmview HS, and all on one stage. The performance will feature each school group individually, with a finale that brings all three groups together for an “All-Star” performance.

Read more: LJISD present Three School/One Voice

Aviation museum relocates

The Rio Grande Valley Aviation and Transportation Museum is ready for the public. Located within the Port Isabel Cameron County Airport, it is on Veterans Drive, two miles north of FM 510, and off of Buena Vista Blvd.

World War Two exhibits include many artifacts donated by local families. Among the more notable is an Amateur Radio Operator’s logbook, Morse Code keying device, and earphone set. Amateur Radio Operator, John Paul Jones from Brownsville, was the first person in the Rio Grande Valley to learn about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which precipitated the United States entry into World War Two. His logbook notates the time he was in communication with a fellow radio operator from Hawaii and during the attack. His logbook also notates the time the Federal Communications Commission instructed amateur radio operators to clear the air waves for a national emergency, December 7, 1941, “A Day that Will Live in Infamy”.

Tentative hours of operation are Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guided tours for groups of five or more are welcome by appointment anytime by calling David Christopher at 970-397-4604. Tentative hours of operation beginning today, November 6, are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Weather permitting and crew availability one of the Museum’s planes will be flown during the tour. Plane rides are available for a $250 donation. We are a 501c3, not for profit organization. If you would like more information about the CAF please call Tom Santos at 956-579-2611 or email tes2ces@yahoo.com

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