Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back Lot Bash 2008 at SFA

Click to view photos from Back Lot Bash 2008.

An estimated 2,000 SFA freshmen flooded the back lot of William R. Johnson Coliseum at Back Lot Bash on August 28, 2008, after freshman convocation.

Many Nacogdoches County Chamber members enjoyed passing out goodies to the new students and telling all about the products and services that Nacogdoches has to offer.

Chamber member and Roselake Ranch owner Jake Mumm entertained with roping while naming all the recreational things to do at the ranch.

Photos by Lester Simmons and Kelly Daniel.

Friday, August 29, 2008

11th Annual Nacogdoches Blooms

11th Annual Nacogdoches Blooms.
Keep Nac. Beautiful's Fundraiser and Beautification Project 2008
Let's get this Town blooming!!!
Orders must be received by Monday, September 22th!
For more info call 936-560-5624

Community Wide Job Fair

Are you in need of a job? Businesses all over Nacogdoches are looking for you!! The Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation, Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce, and Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas are proud hosts of a Community-wide Job Fair that will take place on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at the Nacogdoches Recreation Center which is located across from Kroger on North Street. Booths are available for only $100 so sign up today. The deadline to sign up is Thursday, September 11, 2008. Booth set ups start at 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. For more information, you can contact Workforce solutions at 936-560-1441 or Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp. at 936-559-1255.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Driving Jacks

SFA's Driving Jacks is back. Driving Jacks is a student-oriented driving service. They provide SFA students and the rest of the Nacogdoches community a designated driver to take them to their destination. Driving Jacks will start up on August 28, 2008-August 30, 2008 from 10:00p.m. until 3:00a.m. they will continue every Thursday-Saturday for the remaining of the semester, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Please take the time to call their number the next time you will be out on the town. Their number is 936-652-6600, for more information about Driving Jacks please visit

Musicians Fighting MS

On September 21, there will be a concert featuring: Honeybrowne, Charlie Robison, Rich O'Toole, Stephen Pointer, Todd Mankin, Jesse Jennings, Backseat Molly, Maren Morris, and Heath Webb. These artists are supporting Musicians Fighting MS (MFMS).

MS stands for multiple schlerosis and it affects your brain and spinal cord. It is a very serious disease, but these artists have come together to help raise money for musicians who have suffered from MS. Now, it's time to do your part, come out to Durango's Canyon; admission is $25, $30 for people under 21. The show starts at 1:00p.m. but the doors open at 11:00 a.m. For more information on the event and MS please visit or

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SFA designates Fridays for Spirit

Fridays will be even more spirit-filled than usual beginning this fall at Stephen F. Austin State University.

SFA President Baker Pattillo has signed a proclamation designating the last day of each work week as “SFA Spirit Friday” to show the university community’s pride. The proclamation encourages faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters to wear clothes that bear the colors and insignia of SFA.

“A lot of offices have been doing this on an unofficial basis for the last several years,” Pattillo said. “This just makes it official.”

According to Monique Cossich, executive director of enrollment management, the university colors and insignia play an important role in promoting SFA’s educational experience and athletic programs, and help to strengthen the spirit of pride within the university.

“We hope the community, as well as our alumni in East Texas and beyond, will join us in showing our support not only for our athletic teams, student organizations and academic groups, but also for the tradition and spirit that make SFA a great place to get an education,” Cossich said. “We hope prospective students visiting the campus on Fridays will be able to see and feel the excitement that is a part of the SFA experience.”

In Nacogdoches, SFA apparel can be found at Barnes & Noble, Belk Department Store, Jack Backers College Bookstore, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

Announcing the Kelly Jack Pack!!

The Kelly Jack Pack is a group of hospitable mature workers who are the Event Staff at SFA home football and basketball games.

While at away games, SFA athletic department staff noticed that other universities have retiree and mature workers who serve as event staff, providing hospitable and friendly service to attendees. The staff assists the athletic department with crowd control, ticket handling, set up, some clean up, and with interactions with attendees at the games. This is a wonderful way for our community to touch hundreds of out of town guests and make a positive impact.

We have a good size group ready to start with the first home football game this Saturday but would like more to join us. The benefits of being a part of the Kelly Jack Pack are:
VIP Parking and Free Admission to the Games
Earn $$ While Working at the Game
Free Shirt to Wear to the Games

This is a great opportunity for:
SFA Sports Fans
Those Seeking Extra Income

There are 7 home football games this season and we would like to have those who can commit to working most of them so they can be oriented to their tasks. Those interested can contact Kelly Services at 936-569-2272 for more information. Kelly Services is the staffing provider for SFA and the Kelly Jack Pack are paid employees - getting paid for having fun!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

$50 winner at Chamber Fourth Friday Luncheon

John and Camille Stevens, owners of Complete Restorations, win the $50 cash prize drawing at the Nacogdoches County Chamber Fourth Friday Luncheon held August 22. Pictured is Corey Ashley on right with First Bank & Trust East Texas presenting the prize to the Stevens.

Everyone who attends the luncheon is eligible to win the $50 drawing, and all Chamber members are entered in a $250 drawing. First Bank & Trust East Texas sponsors both drawings.

Click for photos of the Fourth Friday Luncheon.

Click to read article by Michele Marcotte in The Daily Sentinel.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

JobLink Employment Expo

Do you want to present your business at a job fair that goes above and beyond?
KTRE is putting on the JobLink Expo in October to help you find the right candidates for your open positions.

In addition to being promoted on television, radio, print, to email groups and marketed to colleges, JobLink is a multi-county endeavor targeted at ALL industries and positions. It is planned after hours and includes an anonymous "quick apply" entry for passive candidates.

Participating businesses will receive:
  • A booth with table, chairs and 2 lunches
  • The support of over $25,000 in promotion
  • Listing on the JobLink Expo page
  • A free 30-day job posting at
To sign up for a booth or receive more information, contact Melissa Westbrook, or 936-853-8653.

A link will be available in September.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Remembering Ben Garrison Baldwin 1924-2008

Funeral services for Ben Garrison Baldwin were held on August 14, 2008. Family and friends gathered to celebrate his life and share memories.

Baldwin served for three years in the US Navy during WWII. He was a Gunners Mate 2 on a LCI boat in the Pacific Theater. He married Audrey Blackburn in November of 1946.

Ben and Audrey lived in many towns in South Louisiana while working for Brown & Root in the pipeline industry. He was a pioneer in the development of laying the first underwater pipelines from a barge in the Gulf of Mexico.

They settled in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, where he started his own business in excavation contracting, Ben Baldwin Contractors, Inc., and later was the owner of Custom Metal Buildings where he constructed warehouses and offices.

After retiring, they moved to Cushing where Baldwin served as a Cushing city commissioner for seven years and then, mayor of Cushing for seven years.

He was active in the Masonic Lodge, a past patron of the William D. White Chapter #141 Order of the Easter Star in Gretna, Louisiana, as well as Cushing Chapter #368, and a member of the Landmark Baptist Church in Cushing.

His daughter, Sandra Duncan of Cary North Carolina, said that every day of Dad's life was a testament of his philosophy that "life was good" in the good times and bad times. He loved to be around people and people loved to be with him.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ribbon Cutting - Jack Backers College Bookstore

Jack Backers, SFA's only alumni owned and operated bookstore, celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting on Friday, August 15. Owners Pam and Alan Fitch, pictured below with daughter Reagan, treated guests with cookies and punch.

Jack Backers offers books, supplies, and SFA apparel. They are located at 2301 North St. For more information, you can visit their website at or call 936-462-7328.

Photos by Charity Parkey

Main Street Board continues planning

Advisory Board members from left to right:
Gary Robinson, Tania Watson, Bobbie Ann Anderson, Gerry Larabee (standing), Ron Johnson, Scarlett Sloane (standing), Linda Gilcrease, Lindsey Warner, Betty Shinn, Barbara Gandy

The Nacogdoches Main Street Advisory Board met August 14 and continues to plan various events, improvements and attractions in the downtown sector. The Master Gardeners, represented by County Extension Agent Chad Gulley, made a presentation on the Aqua Vitae Park project. The 7 1/2 acre project at the intersection of University and Main is progressing through stage 1. When finished, it will feature a complete display of native plants, trees, flowers and food items. The purpose will be twofold: to show residents what type of plant materials are best suited for our East Texas climate and serve as a gateway to downtown. Nacogdoches is going to have another treasure when the project is completed. Gulley asks that anyone interested in volunteering for the project to contact the County Extension Office.

For more information or questions about the Main Street Advisory Board or the Nacogdoches Main Street Program's revitalization efforts, please contact the Nacogdoches Main Street Office at 936-559-2573 or via email at

Friday, August 15, 2008

NanoArt for Kids program opens the window

Children learn by exploring their world and will now be able to see a tiny version of our world that looks quite different with powerful microscopes to challenge their imaginations.

The NanoArt K12 program has been launched by Cris Orfescu, artist and scientist from in collaboration with Judith Light Feather, artist and founder of The Nanotechnology Group Inc., which provides support to group members for the facilitation and development of innovative Nanoscale Science education globally.

"It is our intention that the NanoArt for Kids will open the door for teachers to explore the outsource materials being created and include some of the visual elements and experiential online labs in their classrooms in the future," Light Feather said.

The purpose of this worldwide program is to stimulate creativity and expand the visionary imaginations of our children through innovative education activities to promote a new paradigm unifying the art-science-technology intersections at the nanoscale. Size matters in all scales of science, and textbook publishers have not included the nanoscale of science in their subject matter for K-12 students. Universities are now offering teachers workshops in various areas of the country to explain nano science to high school students in hopes that they will introduce new material into their classrooms.

Click here for more information.

In preparing for this launch Light Feather developed an oil pastel painting from the nanoflower scan (shown above) that would serve as an example of an image that was reflected in the patterns. "I could have created a flower, a bear, or a monkey as the example, but my imagination saw the owl as the predominant shape that resonated with my mind. I have titled it "Nano Wisdom" as the energy of the owl has always been noted in Native American cultures to honor wisdom and 'wisdom keepers.' In moving forward to present this science to our young children and the research that will result in new technology we will need this wisdom," she said.

A star studded Alive After Five

The Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital hosted a lively event at Hotel Fredonia on August 14. The star-themed event celebrated Memorial's maternity ward receiving a 5-star ranking. Administrator Tim Hayward thanked all that were involved in this honor.

Live piano music was played all evening while guests socialized and enjoyed delicious refreshments. As a thank you, each guest received a gift. Harlon Brooks' name was selected for the $1000 cash drawing, but he was not present to win.

Photos by the Nacogdoches Chamber

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This week at the Farmer's Market

If you like peas, you are in luck this week. The Nacogdoches Farmers’ Market will feature just about every variety of pea you can think of—purple hull, brown chowder, black-eyed, lady cream, and zipper cream—both shelled and unshelled. But, of course, you won’t want to stop with peas alone. Here are some of the many other products you will find at the Farmers’ Market this Saturday:

Produce: tomatoes, okra, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, squash, cucumbers, new potatoes, pinto beans (unshelled, shelled & dry), watermelons, figs (several varieties), peaches, jalapenos, fresh and dried herbs

Canned goods: jams, jellies, and preserves in many flavors (peach, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, fig, or grape), local raw honey, pickled okra, bread-and-butter pickles, chow-chow, herb-infused vinegars

Free range eggs: At least two vendors plan to have eggs. Come early for these—they usually sell out before 9am.

Fresh-baked items: quickbreads, muffins, cookies, many varieties of homemade bread (whole wheat, black sesame seed, poppy seed, multigrain, rye, sourdough), bagels, rolls, cinnamon rolls, pecan and sweet potato pies, tarts, calzones, quiche, empanada hand-pies (sweet and savory), and pralines.

Plants: ornamental trees (dogwood, redbud, flowering almond), landscape and potted plants for indoors and out.

Cut flowers: zinnias, lisianthus, celosia, unique lime-green hydrangeas and more

Handcrafted items: jewelry, crocheted afghans and other items, custom-made handbags and aprons, handmade candles, perfumes, soaps, and shampoos.

Enjoy Jon Hall’s old-time country and folk music while you shop.

If you would like to sign up for the weekly Farmers’ Market email update, please send an email to Buckley MacInerney also will have a sign-up sheet at the Saturday market.

The Nacogdoches Farmers’ Market, located at the “hitch lot” at the corner of West Main and Pearl Streets, is open from 8 a.m. until noon or later every Wednesday and Saturday. If the market parking lot is full, additional parking is available in the Nacogdoches County Courthouse Annex parking lot. For more information about the market or becoming a vendor, contact Sarah O’Brien, Main Street Manager, at 559-2573.

First Bank & Trust recognized for contribution

Chamber program Co-Chairwoman Linda Foshee, right, and program Co-Chairman Paul Smith, left, thank Bank Manager Jimmy Mize and First Bank & Trust East Texas for being a 2008-2009 Leadership Nacogdoches scholarship provider. First Bank & Trust East Texas will be recognized for the scholarship at the Leadership Nacogdoches Alumni Reception and New Class Welcome, 5:30 p.m., Thursday, August 21, at Liberty Hall on E. Main St.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Business and community leaders recognized

Pictured above from left are Chamber Chairman Kim Luna Snyder, Citizen of the Year Ab Abernethy and Chamber Chairman Elect Donna Finley. (Photo by Bruce R. Partain)

Citizen of the Year and Business Excellence Awards
The Chamber Board of Directors name Francis E. “Ab” Abernethy as Citizen of the Year.

The Business Excellence award recipients are: Elliott Electric Supply, Inc., Large Business of the Year; Cotton Patch Café, Medium Business of the Year; and Shannons Pools, Small Business of the Year.

87th Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet
All award recipients will be honored at the 87th Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet, Tuesday, Sept. 30, at Hotel Fredonia and Convention Center.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a raffle and social hour. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

Contact the Chamber office, 936-560-5533, for tickets and table sponsorships. Click here for event registration form.

To donate items for the raffle and online auction, contact Michelle Smith, 936-569-1947.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Economic Impact of the Texas Blueberry Festival

Chamber Special Projects Vice Chair Michelle Smith presents Mayor Roger Van Horn with a 2008 Texas Blueberry Festival poster. Chamber Chair Kim Luna Snyder also presented City Commissioners with the Film Friendly Texas certificate at the August 5, 2008 Commission meeting. (Photo: Bruce R. Partain)

The Nacogdoches County Chamber’s 19th Annual Texas Blueberry Festival - presented by Brookshire Brothers and held Saturday, June 14, 2008 - was a huge success, with an estimated 16,000 attendees – surpassing the record-setting 2006 and 2007 festivals, which attracted 13,000 attendees.

Being blue brings in a lot of green
Hayter’s Mill Creek Farm sold 12,000 pounds of fresh-picked Nacogdoches County blueberries, surpassing 2007’s 9,450 pounds. The six tons of blueberries sold out in just four hours. Mill Creek Farm reps say they will bring 18,000 pounds in 2009.
The Kiwanis served 6,000 fresh blueberry pancakes to 2,000 people, equaling 2007.
The Blueberry Place pick-your-own blueberry farm saw increases, as well. Visitors picked 1,485 pounds of blueberries this year, compared to 1,370 pounds last year, and only 400 pounds in 2003. In five years, the number of pickers has doubled, according to Roger and Sherrie Randall, who generously welcome the crowds.

Blue Diamond Sponsor Brookshire Brothers doubled their investment in the festival, and again greeted thousands of guests with a fun kids play area at their booth on the historic town square. “We gave out 5,700 ice creams and 3,500 bottles of water,” reported Gloria McDonald, director of public relations for the corporation.

Wal-Mart manager Joe Escojido says that Blueberry Festival weekend causes a 10 to 20 percent boost in business over a typical Saturday. That translates to thousands of dollars in sales – and in sales tax revenue for the City.

Downtown merchant Lyric Muckelroy said the festival brings in a shopping crowd that is “bigger than Christmas.” Shoppers return to her store the following week to buy more furniture and other decorating items. Mark Delaney of the Nacogdoches Antique Market reports a similar pattern.

Restaurateur Donna Finley reports that Casa Tomas – located a mile north of the festival - is usually filled with hungry festival goers from mid-afternoon through the evening.

Hotel/motel occupancy for the festival weekend was very good – with an estimated 80 percent of all rooms in town being sold. Helping the attendance was the upgraded 42 Tournament, which is now state-sanctioned.

Local media were excellent partners, on top of coverage in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Houston Chronicle, Texas Highways and Texas Monthly.

Chair Joe Scifo and the festival’s executive board thank the sponsors, volunteers, attendees, businesses, all City of Nacogdoches departments, CVB, Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful, Expo Center, Sheriff’s office, media and everyone else who made this festival work so well.

Texas Blueberry Festival 2008: Economic Impact
Total Attendance: 16,000
Out of town visitors: 4,000 (approx. 25 percent*)
Hotel occupancy: 50% attributed to festival (est. 80% occupancy)
= using $75 per room; 816 of 1021 rooms.

Direct Income generated at hotels/motels - 816 room nights- $61,200
Total Income generated from out-of-town festival visitors: $432,000
($108 x 4,000, using just one day.)
Economic impact: If using a 3x multiplier: $1,296,000
If using a 3.5x multiplier: $1,512,000

*Note: Forest Trail survey 2005 estimated 48 percent of festival visitors are from outside of Nacogdoches, therefore possible impact could be more than $2 million. 2008 stats to be released soon.

More background:
Kiwanis President Brian Bray reports that their hungry pancake customers sailed through 100 bottles of syrup, 54 gallons of Hastings Hardback Café coffee, 38 gallons of blueberries and 25 cases of water.

Typically at least 50 percent of vendors are from out of town. Many spend one to two nights in local hotels/motels. For just the 130 vendors, we estimate $9,750 in hotel expenditures and another $14,040 in restaurant and food sales.

The Festival budget is about $50,000 - most of it is spent locally with many businesses large and small - from printing to banners to golf carts to hardware to ice and t-shirts.

Aside from attracting out-of-town visitors to Nacogdoches, the event provides a “quality of life” event that makes our community even more attractive for current and future residents.

It has the immediate effect of retaining dollars that might be spent in another community if our own residents were traveling the state instead of enjoying – and shopping in – their hometown.

After hours event gives Chamber members a chance to win $1,000

Celebrate something special – and secret for now – with the Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital team. Administrator Tim Hayward will make a special announcement at Alive After Five on Thursday, Aug. 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Hotel Fredonia and Convention Center.

The reception is come-as-you-are, and gives every Chamber member a chance to meet and greet others in business. Enjoy refreshing drinks and delicious food, and register for great door prizes and take home some cool goodies!

Don Silva, far left, wins a great door prize at a past Alive After Five. Chamber President / CEO Bruce Partain congratulates Silva.

All Chamber members are entered in the $1,000 cash drawing, but you must be present to win.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Scare on the Square vendor forms now available

Organizers of the upcoming Scare on the Square event are seeking food and non-food vendors, church groups, organizations, and businesses to fill available booths at the popular Halloween event. Slated for Saturday, October 25, 2008, this family friendly fall festival attracted over 8,500 people to the historic brick streets of Downtown Nacogdoches last year.

Vendor applications must be turned in by October 10. A limited amount of booth space is available, so vendors are encouraged to apply early.

Scare on the Square will be held from 6-9 p.m. and will host a variety of activities and events, including 2 entertainment filled stages, a haunted hayride, a costume contest, and the popular haunted house.

Photos by Bruce R. Partain

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ribbon Cutting - The Broadmoor

Join the Chamber today at 5pm for the ribbon cutting at the Broadmoor. It is a gated community developed by Mike Liebrum Realty

You can enjoy refreshments catered by Shelley's Bakery Cafe while touring an elegant European villa.

Traveling from N.E. Stallings. - on Appleby Sand Rd, on left, approximately 300 yards from Belle Point Drive.

For more information on The Broadmoor or Mike Liebrum Realty, you can visit the website.

Pack the Pantry

The Nacogdoches County United Way is currently hosting Pack the Pantry, a non-perishable food drive for local food banks. Collection boxes are at Brookshire Brothers on South Street, Fresh Harvest on University, and Wal-Mart. You may also drop off donated food items at the Nacogdoches County United Way office at 2424 Pecan Street, Suite 101.

Pack the Pantry will go on through the entire month of August. All donated food items will be evenly distributed to Nacogdoches County food banks on September 1.

For more information, you can contact Sarah Hueber at 564-5869.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Past Presidents and Chairs

15 Past Presidents and Chairs and six current board members of the Nacogdoches County Chamber met May 13 at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. The group was treated to a breakfast reception hosted by hospital administrator Tim Hayward.

Pictured below are:

Front row from left, Board member Corey Ashley, immediate past chair Jim Elder, Doug Swearingen, Sue Kennedy, Joyce Swearingen, Leon Hallman, Peggy Jasso, Roy Blake Jr., Roby Somerford, Paul Smith III, chair-elect Donna Finley, John Ruckel.
Second row: Betty Shinn, chair Kim Luna Snyder, board member Angela Wiederhold, Roger Van Horn.
Top row: Gary Lee Ashcraft, Cheryl Adamson, Bob
Dunn, G.W. Neal.

Photo by Bruce R. Partain