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Memories, volunteering, and tours

Hello, it is now past mid-January and my mind keeps going back to Christmas. Maybe it is because I am reminded daily of the wonderful time I had with family and friends. One half of my dining room table is covered with a thousand-piece puzzle of the nativity. And then my bedtime reading is a historical book given to me for Christmas. It is about the revolutionary women of Texas and Mexico. So many of these women organized for equality mainly in education. But also, for the right to vote and for the right to choose who they wanted to marry.

Perhaps it was this book that finally pushed me into volunteering to be a tutor for children who were having problems with reading. Or maybe it was because I had so long admired our older citizens and Winter Texans who volunteered. Truly they make a difference. So yesterday I reported for my first day as a tutor to help children who had reading problems. Surely the ability to read is one of the most important skills that we can learn.

Earlier in the school year I asked my fifth-grade nephew how he was doing in school. His reply was that he made an A+ in science and in Math, but that you could not make an F plus or an F minus, it’s just an F. He was getting an F in reading. Later in the year, those math problems became written problems and his excellent grade in Math began to drop. Fortunately, some wonderful person volunteered to serve as his tutor. Finally, the book, the example set by so many retirees and my nephew’s experience encouraged me to volunteer.

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Cooler weather makes good for a round of cards

Hearts GAO 03 webRick Light is a competitor.

Whether he’s playing cards online or in person, hitting the pickleball courts on a regular basis, or riding his bike daily, he thrives in and around competition.

“Today is the first day I haven’t ridden my bike,” the St. Paul, Minn. native said during a break from the City of McAllen’s Golden Age Olympics “hearts” competition at Lark Community Center. “I rode it up here last year. I was going to do it today.”

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Ron Hoover Open House continues to be a success

DSC 1111 webBy Herb Moering

Several thousand Winter Texans took advantage of nice weather to inspect the latest in RV fifth wheels, motor homes, boats and 4-wheelers on opening day, Jan. 11, of the 17th annual Ron Hoover RV & Marine Center Open House in Donna. Visitors were treated to free hotdogs and soft drinks along with chances to win door prizes and a grand prize in a drawing at the end of both afternoons of the open house.

The grand prize winners were Luis Lopez, who chose the four-wheeler; and Dan and Sherry Zirnhelt from Forman, North Dakota, who chose the enclosed utility trailer.

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An RGV tradition continues

SPI Market DaysPress Release Photo webThe 27th Annual SPI Market Days will be held on South Padre Island from January 26 to 28 and February 23 to 25. This indoor event will take place at the South Padre Island Convention Center, 7355 Padre Blvd. Event hours are Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is only $1 and Children 12 and under are free.

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McAllen church holds annual polka worship

DSC 0962 webFor 28 years Winter Texans have filled Our Savior Lutheran Church in McAllen to join them in worshipping the Lord by singing polka melodies of familiar hymns. Previous events have included “Beer Barrel Polka” played to the words of the hymn “Come Let Us Worship,” and “The Happy Wanderer” to the hymn “He Lives.”

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Lonestar Jubilee performs for a mission

THE TEXANS webWhile the Lone Star Jubilee shows are certainly filled with inspiration, fun and laughter, they also perform for a purpose. They have a ministry to support that keeps them doing what they love – entertaining, inspiring, and giving.

Sam Ray, who first started performing at Dallas Christian College with the Master’s Four in 1971 moved to Branson in 1983 and changed their name to the Texans. They are now a full-time trio comprised of Sam, wife Brenda, and son Curtis. They began their full-time traveling ministry in 1999, performing more than 300 concerts a year. They have shared their stage with speakers like TD Jakes, Charles Stanely, Jerry Falwell, Tim Lahaye, and many more.

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Men and Women of A-Chord performing near you

MWOAC 2 26 23 webIf you don’t already know, Men of A-Chord and the Sweet Adeline’s have now become one and perform as Men and Women of A-Chord. The group performs in the Winter Texan parks from January through March.

The group still performs Barbershop Harmony, but now you have a wider range of voices to listen to. Something you might not know about the group, with funds collected from their shows, anything over their expenses, goes to music scholarships to high school seniors in the Valley.

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VA holds free drive-thru food pantries

McAllen20Food20Distribution webLocal Veterans Affair offices will be holding drive-thru food panties. On Thursday, January 18, there will be a drive-thru pantry at the McAllen VA Clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. or while supplies last. The Clinic is located at 901 E. Hackberry Ave.

On Thursday, February 22, from 9 to 11 a.m., or while supplies last, there will be a drive-thru pantry at the Harlingen Health Care Clinic located at 2601 Veterans Drive

Veterans must be enrolled in health care at the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System and present a valid VA identification card to confirm their Veteran status

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Monthly meeting to be held

Native Plant Project's guest speaker for the January 23 meeting will be Joey Santore. The title of Joey's program will be "Kill Your Lawn," which is also the title of the cable TV show which he hosts on channel EarthX TV.

Besides explaining how to successfully "destroy" one's lawn in order to install native plant gardens, Santore's presentation will focus on rare plants of the Lower Rio Grande Valley with an emphasis on the more desert-like regions of the Western Rio Grande Valley in Starr County. Santore describes himself as a railroader-turned-botanist who quit his job as a locomotive engineer to travel the world and study plant evolution and ecology. He produces the YouTube channel “Crime Pays but Botany Doesn't,” and moved to South Texas in 2021 to start focusing on the native plants in this area.

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Annual Golden Age Olympics is underway

20190123 GAO Bird a thon HMoering 1169 PRINTThe 44th Annual Golden Age Olympics is underway under the guidance of McAllen Parks and Recreation Department. The event started in 1983 with competition in three events and has grown to include over 30 events. Competition is limited to men and women over the age of 50.

The Golden Age Olympics includes a wide range of competitive events for seniors, including shuffleboard, billiards, poker, hearts, bowling, bridge, bike tours, bingo, pickleball, painting, volleyball, table tennis, jigsaw puzzles, bean bag toss, race walk, and a few others. Different events are offered each week now through February 24.

Read more: Annual Golden Age Olympics is underway