Saturday, April 29, 2006

Senator Hutchison visits ETCH

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison visited the East Texas Community Health clinic in Nacogdoches in late April. After touring the facility, Senator Hutchison read several books to youngsters visiting the clinic to promote the federal program, 'Reach Out and Read'. The public - private program provides books to pre-schoolers whose parents take them to the doctor. The Nacogdoches Kiwanis club supports the program. ETCH takes the program a step further, writing "prescriptions" to parents, urging them to read to their children.
(Click on photos for larger view. Right click on larger images to copy.)

Governor in East Texas

Governor Rick Perry stopped in Nacogdoches at McCoy's in early April to discuss school finance legislation and the tax effects on business. KTRE's Donna McCollum focuses on the governor for the evening newscast.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Think Pink

The Nacogdoches County Chamber's April 20 Alive After Five at Ambiance helped focus attention on breast cancer awareness and prevention. Members of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority were on hand to sell raffle tickets that benefitted the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

Photo caption:
Front row, from left: J.R. Ornelas, Lauren Huffman, Brittany Johnson, Elizabeth Prasil
Back row: Jill Ornelas, Marty Sik, Jan McCarthy, Myste Campbell, Katelyn Kowalczyk

(Click on photo for larger view. Photo by Bruce R. Partain)

Keeping the Blueberry Festival Squeaky Clean

(From left, Chamber Chair John Ruckel, Sam's Marketing Director Margie McMullen, Sam's Business Manager Aaron Carter, KNB Chair Deb Stevens, Blueberry Festival Chair Darla O'Neill and KNB Executive Coordinator Kent Hutchison. Photos by Bruce R. Partain Click on photos for larger view.)

Representatives from Sam’s Club presented a donation this past week to the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and The Chamber in turn made a contribution to Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful (KNB) for the upcoming Texas Blueberry Festival, a chamber event.

Sam’s Club joined H.E.B. and Brookshire Brothers as one of the festival’s top sponsors.
“We are excited to add Sam’s Club as a Blue Sapphire Level Sponsor for the upcoming Texas Blueberry Festival,” said Darla O’Neill, festival chairwoman and Chamber volunteer.

Knowing Sam’s Club’s interest in beautification, the chamber’s Texas Blueberry Festival donated $500 to KNB to be used for litter removal and festival cleanup efforts. Each year KNB volunteers coordinate the removal of trash at the festival, saving the city taxpayers and festival organizers the expense of hiring someone for trash removal.

“Each year we depend on volunteers to coordinate litter removal at the festival and make the Texas Blueberry a litter-free environment,” said Debbie Stevens, KNB chairwoman.

She indicated that KNB coordinates with the city public works department to have dumpsters available for festival vendors and patrons.

“The city provides us with several dumpsters and through our volunteers we are able to keep the individual trash containers empty and the parking lots and festival grounds litter-free,” Stevens said. Adding,

“However, it takes everyone’s help to actually keep the festival ‘litter-free’ and to make a difference.”

The Blueberry Festival’s donation will allow the non-profit organization to purchase new trash containers to be used at the festival, and volunteer t-shirts.
“Volunteers are the life-blood of our organization,” said Stevens. “Our community is so blessed – but it takes dedicated volunteers to make a difference every day,” she said.

Other festival corporate sponsors include Blue Ribbon Level Sponsors: City of Nacogdoches, Texas Farm Products, Kroger, Texas Blueberry Marketing Association and Regions Bank; Blue Sky Level Sponsors: Burke’s Outlet, Commercial Bank of Texas, Etech, Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride, Regions Bank, Wal-Mart, Citizens 1st Bank, Nacogdoches Medical Center and Timber Springs; Blue True Level Sponsors: Huntington State Bank and Bancorp South and Blue Buddy sponsors Cingular Wireless and Austin Bank. Major in-kind sponsors include the Blueberry Place, Borden, Clear Channel Radio, KJ-103, Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful, Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nacogdoches County Expo Center, the Daily Sentinel, Texas Forest Service, and Yates Broadcasting.
The 17th Annual Texas Blueberry Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 10 in historic downtown area of Nacogdoches. Additional information about the festival is available at
Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful is an affiliate of both Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful. In addition to working with to keep the Texas Blueberry Festival litter-free; the non-profit organization publicly recognizes businesses and individuals for positive environmental involvement; and the organization coordinates community litter abatement, recycling and general beautification programs and activities.
Information on KNB volunteer opportunities is available at

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Texas Blueberry Festival T-shirts!

Blueberry Place farm owner Roger Randall and Festival Chair Darla O'Neill show off the 2006 Texas Blueberry Festival t-shirts available now at the Nacogdoches County Chamber, 2516 North Street. “The artwork features a faded Texas flag and is sure to be a collectable,” said O’Neill. The design was created by Point A Media. T-shirts are also available at The Butterfly gift shop in the Fredonia Hotel and are $15 for most sizes. Also available at the Chamber are official posters for $10 and caps for $18. More info on the June 10 festival is online at (Photo courtesy of Kent Hutchison).