Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Text Size

‘Tim’s Coats’ receives 991 coats from Bentsen Grove

20181227 TimCoats Mission GU 1692Tim’s Coats, a holiday tradition in the Rio Grande Valley, is sponsored by Tim Smith, weatherman on TV Channel 5. For over 25 years Tim has encouraged families with old coats that no longer fit or are no longer wanted to donate them to Channel 5 for distribution to families who cannot afford them.

The coats are given to Bill Stockton at Palace Cleaners in McAllen to be cleaned and checked for small repairs needed. Stockton donates his services.

When Channel 5 started the coat drive 25 years ago, residents of Bentsen Grove back then saw Tim’s plea for coats and decided to answer the call. For the past 25 years it has been a tradition to collect coats for the drive, and it has been their goal to donate more coats than any other group.

Residents who return home for the summer visit garage sales and flea markets looking for used coats to bring to the Valley. Or they bring the coats their grandchildren have outgrown. Other residents search out local flea markets and ropa usadas (used clothing stores) in search of used coats in good condition.

20181227 TimCoats Mission GU 1715Vivian Tuttle told the Winter Texan Times that the Bentsen Grove Red Hat Society had recently visited ropa usadas and come up with 70 coats for the coat drive.

This year the number of coats delivered to Tim Coats came in just shy of 1,000, as Bentsen Grove residents donated 991 coats. In 2018, they donated over 1200.

Tim said approximately 10,000 coats have been collected this year for distribution. “As you can see, about one-tenth of the coats come to us from Bentsen Grove. They lead the way each year. Other parks also collect coats but not in the numbers received from Bentsen Grove,” he added.

Once the coats are ready, they will be donated to the Salvation Army or distributed through Catholic Charities to those who need them,” Tim added.

Part of the tradition of Tim’s Coats at Bentsen Grove is that someone receives a pie in the face as a good-spirited way of celebrating the culmination of the coat drive for another year. It used to be that Tim got the pie every year if a certain number of coats was reached but now the honors are spread around. Tim got the pie last year, so they figured it was someone else’s turn this time around. This year’s recipient of the pie was Kathy Tyler, activity director. Peggy Creach, also an activity director, was delighted to assist – by putting the pie in Kathy’s face!

Paradise Park residents enjoy a ‘Cup of Christmas Tea’

Residents of Paradise Park in McAllen sat at beautifully decorated tables, enjoying the camaraderie and sipping a cup of “Christmas Tea” as they waited for the park’s Christmas program to begin.

When it started, they all joined in a sing-a-long of Christmas carols led by guitarist Dwight Brackman and keyboardist Tom Malchow.

Following the songs, residents were treated to interesting stories behind cherished quilts that were displayed, one at a time, in a turning of the quilts presentation. There were memory quilts, a four-generation quilt, gifted quilts and a baby quilt.

Read more: Paradise Park residents enjoy a ‘Cup of Christmas Tea’

Rusty Rierson is coming back

20181227 CMYK Rusty Rierson picRusty Rierson is all country – from his charming looks to his smooth vocals, he brings a touch of yesterday's country and mixes it a little with today's; he doesn't stray (for the most part).

“I don't pretend to be something I'm not,” said the performer from his ranch in Augusta, Kansas. “Of course, except when I'm 'Rockin' Rusty.'”

Rockin' Rusty is an alter ego that makes appearances at some shows. While Rierson is a self-described shy entertainer and is soft-spoken, Rockin' Rusty is the “hippie cousin from San Francisco.”

Rierson makes his return to the Valley starting with a show at Park Place on Jan. 2. Last year Rierson performed for just six weeks but this year he's here for the full season and said he's excited with a pretty packed schedule.

Read more: Rusty Rierson is coming back

McAllen Holiday Parade, bigger and better than ever

20181227 McAllen Christmas Parade Miller IMG 3938The city of McAllen hosted the Rio Grande Valley’s most spectacular Christmas parade in early December, and members from the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard were happy to be away from the snow and cold of Washington, D.C. Anthony Gonzalez, the voice of the animated star Coco, was excited to visit a city “that shows so much excitement and patriotism.” And as for 6-year-old Brianna Ochoa, she just couldn't wait to see Santa Claus.

Celebrities, officials, athletes and all who attended talked about the fun and excitement that is the McAllen Holiday Parade. Nothing more than an idea a few years ago, the parade, carnival, and entertainment event has become an extravaganza and has brought with it plenty of excitement to usher in the Christmas season.

Read more: McAllen Holiday Parade, bigger and better than ever

More players invited to join in as Senior Softball launches new season

20181227 Softball Canada vs USA MILLER IMG 6593Ed Martens was laid up in a hospital bed in Manila, capital of the Philippines, with some type of blood poisoning. His Air Force baseball team had just played the final regular-season game and he was excited to rejoin them the following week for the first round of the playoffs.
Those hopes were dashed as soon as his hospital doctor walked into his room to give him an update.

“The guys wanted me to play and I was in the hospital for 10 days and missed that one Sunday,” Martens said. “The doctor, though, refused to let me go.”

That was more than 55 years ago and today Martens is still involved in the diamond, not as a player but for the past 25 years as the coordinator of the South Texas Senior Texan Softball League.

20181227 Softball Canada vs USA MILLER IMG 6603Today, the League has players from 27 RV and mobile home parks, 23 states and most of the Canadian provinces. The league began playing in Mission – at three different locations – before moving to Edinburg and, finally to their current home at Westside Park in McAllen, located at 1000 S. Ware Road, across from the McAllen Convention Center. Bentsen Grove Resort has the largest number of participants from a single park and is called the league’s headquarters.

Now, Martens is making his rounds, promoting the league around the Valley and looking for players.

“As the years go by, we lose some players and gain new ones – but we are always looking for more who want to play and have fun,” said Martens, a Minnesota native. “It doesn’t matter what level they play, or if they’ve played before, we have a league, a level, that will fit them. This is our 25th year so we want to have a large number to commemorate it.”

The highlights of the season include playoffs for each division and the U.S.-Canada game, which draws 300-plus fans, cheering, dressed in U.S. and Canadian garb, and waving flags and banners.

The Winter League begins Jan. 3 and runs through the first week of March, ending with the end of year banquet. The league is open to Winter Texans and local residents alike, ages 55 and older. Cost is $60 per player and includes the season and the banquet. First-time players don’t have to register for a week, being able to have a chance to try it out.

Call Martens at (956) 581-2254 for more information.

20181227 Softball Canada vs USA MILLER IMG 6635Martens, who played baseball at the University of Wichita, still remembers that time in Manila as if it was yesterday. Some of the players on the team were part of the hospital group. The day of the game, they walked in, gathered Martens’ clothes from the locker, went to where he was and helped him “unofficially get a discharge” for the game.

“I had been lying in bed for 10 days and my legs were a little weak,” he said. “But I wanted to play and they wanted me to play.”

Martens had two singles on the day and was called on for a squeeze play. “I just hoped that I got the sign right,” he said. “You don’t want to call for time at that point, it’ll give it away.”

The next day, Martens was back laying in his hospital bed. His clothes were back in the locker and it looked as if everything was clear.
Then the doctor walked in.

20181227 Softball Canada vs USA MILLER IMG 6693“He said he listened to the game on military radio and heard my name on it,” Martens said. “He was ready to court martial me.”

Fortunately, a colonel by the name of Frank Borman put in a good word to the military doctor and Martens escaped discipline.

“Eight years later, Frank Borman got into the space program and went to the moon,” Martens said. “I’m just glad he was still on earth that day.”

Life is but a dream on the Riverside Dreamer

20181227 Riverside Dreamer Tour JMB 033The Riverside Dreamer pontoon boat ride is a popular destination for locals, tourists and especially Winter Texans, according to Johnny Hart, captain and owner of the 55-foot pontoon boat as well as the Riverside Club where the Dreamer docks on the banks of the Rio Grande.

“It’s very popular with the Winter Texans,” Captain Johnny said as he prepared to pilot a group of 35 passengers on the one-hour boat tour down the Rio Grande. “Some of them come 8-10 times in a season and every time a relative or a friend comes down, they go again.

“Today we’ll be taking the tour down to the Anzalduas Dam. Then we’ll be on the Mexican side and the U.S. side of the river and we’ll point out features as we go up and down the river. We’ll give a little history of [some of the sites along] the river; we’ll point out some of the birds and the wildlife.... And we’ll be touring some of the border wall and the Border Patrol boats and the activity that’s out here on the river,” he explained before launching.

Read more: Life is but a dream on the Riverside Dreamer

Winter Texans join Alamo Chamber Toy Drive

20181219 Alamo Chamber Toy Drive Moering RoyalPalms 1094It’s going to be a bit merrier this Christmas for a lot of elementary school children in Alamo thanks to a community effort organized by the Alamo Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center.

This annual toy drive event draws in Winter Texans from several parks, local businesses and some City of Alamo departments, according to Ana Cano, chamber office manager. Hundreds of toys are being gathered for distribution to six local elementary schools, Zeferino Farias, Santos Livas, Maria R. Garza, John McKeever, Captain D. Salinas and Augusto Guerra Elementary schools.

Read more: Winter Texans join Alamo Chamber Toy Drive

McAllen Holiday Parade, bigger and better than ever

The city of McAllen hosted the Rio Grande Valley’s most spectacular Christmas parade in early December, and members from the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard were happy to be away from the snow and cold of Washington, D.C. Anthony Gonzalez, the voice of the animated star Coco, was excited to visit a city “that shows so much excitement and patriotism.” And as for 6-year-old Brianna Ochoa, she just couldn't wait to see Santa Claus.

Celebrities, officials, athletes and all who attended talked about the fun and excitement that is the McAllen Holiday Parade. Nothing more than an idea a few years ago, the parade, carnival, and entertainment event has become an extravaganza and has brought with it plenty of excitement to usher in the Christmas season.

Read more: McAllen Holiday Parade, bigger and better than ever

Mission Historical Museum accepting entries for ‘Turning of the Quilts’

Mission Historical Museum is accepting entries for its “Turning of the Quilts” program to be offered Jan. 18. The museum is looking for antique, vintage, or just plain interesting quilts for this program. The quilts are presented stacked on a bed. As each quilt is shown, it is turned down to reveal the next quilt, until all have been presented. A knowledgeable presenter will talk about each quilt as it is shown.

The museum will be accepting vintage quilts through Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Quilts can be brought in Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please provide as much information as you can about your quilt, such as who made it, how old is it, how you got it, etc. Viewers would also be interested in any stories associated with the quilt. All quilts will be handled by trained and knowledgeable individuals. You may bring more than one.

Read more: Mission Historical Museum accepting entries for ‘Turning of the Quilts’

Ranchero Village enjoys sharing with local school children

20181212 Ranchero Village Pageant PR 5109Christmas is best when it's shared with others. There’s a lot of sharing at Ranchero Village Resort in Weslaco.

For the past five years, children from both Margo and Memorial elementary schools have performed a Christmas show for the residents of Ranchero as a way of showing their appreciation for all that the residents do for the children – both at Christmas and throughout the year.
“I don't know exactly how it started,” said Jan Murphy, a Ranchero Village resident for the past 17 years and native of Grand Rapids, Mich. “I remember talking to someone and seeing the kids perform at school and asked if they would take kids to the park and one thing led to another and there it is. Now they come and we have so much fun. After all, we are away from all our grandkids.”

Read more: Ranchero Village enjoys sharing with local school children

56 teams compete in Texas Trails shuffleboard tournament

20181218 shuffleboard IMG 9210Winter Texan shuffleboard in the Rio Grande Valley is still just as vibrant and active as the seniors who enjoy the sport. The RGV Shuffleboard Association holds a series of 20 shuffleboard tournaments scheduled at Valley resorts this season. The tournament series began Nov. 6 and continues weekly through mid-March.

Last week’s tournament was held Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 11-13, based out of Texas Trails RV Resort in Pharr. Jim VandeLeygraaf, an “expert” level shuffler from Countryside RV & MH Park in Donna, explained, there are so many shufflers participating in each tournament that some of the shufflers are assigned to compete at other resorts nearby. Having so many Valley resorts with a dozen or more shuffleboard courts makes it easier to run many games simultaneously to expedite play without a lot of wait time.

Read more: 56 teams compete in Texas Trails shuffleboard tournament

Visit The Christmas House and share the Spirit of Christmas

21081212 Christmas House KO 1 Good PhotoMost families have a Christmas tradition – maybe decorating the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving weekend, or maybe eating tamales and Texas chili on Christmas Eve. Better yet, perhaps it is joining a Christmas Posada as we remember Mary and Joseph’s search for a place where Christ could be welcomed into the world. Nothing is better than the traditional hot chocolate and bunelos after your search for the welcoming inn.

Read more: Visit The Christmas House and share the Spirit of Christmas

Victoria Palms Giving Tree helps foster care children

21081212 Victoria Palms Giving Tree PR 1When Chris O'Loughlin, pastor of Cowboy Church of the Valley, connected Jamie Graham with Lori Fanaselle, activity director at Victoria Palms RV and Resort in Donna, nobody had a clue as to the impact that connection would have on so many lives.

Jamie is a representative with Blue Sunday Child Abuse Prevention, an initiative that began in Harlingen and is now recognized annually the last Sunday in April at churches around the world. That is a day when churches take time in their service to pray for the victims of child abuse and for those who rescue them.

“We have a giving tree and Jamie came in last year and gave us 300 names of children who were in foster care and would need a Christmas gift,” Fanaselle said. “Kids in foster care deserve to be happy. Their days are filled with the unknown.”

Read more: Victoria Palms Giving Tree helps foster care children

It’s Doughnut Day at Bentsen Grove Resort

21081212 BentsenGroveDonuts Miller 2924It’s 6:37 a.m. and from beyond the entrance gate to Bentsen Grove Resort, the faint smell of something wonderful wafts through the darkness.

A few cars are lined up in front of that gate, patiently waiting for 7 a.m. to arrive and the gate to open to the outside world so they can be among the first to partake of the wonderful morsels that await the early birds.

Fortunately for those in the small but growing line, the wait was short. Someone – good Samaritan of sorts - exiting the park opened the gate to let the hungry ones in.

Read more: It’s Doughnut Day at Bentsen Grove Resort

Hidalgo Festival of Lights brings the ‘Holly Jolly’ to Christmas

21081212 FOL IMG 8792With cheerful and celebratory Christmas music like “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, “Jingle Bells” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” this year’s Hidalgo Festival of Lights is sure not to disappoint.

Each holiday season, the city of Hidalgo transforms their small border town to a fantasyland for their yearly event. The illuminated event kicked off on November 30 with their 28th annual parade and lighting show and will continue through the rest of the month.

Hidalgo, which sits along the Rio Grande River, converts the city square and local city parks to bring the public eye-catching, dazzling lighted display after display – all throughout the neighboring area, making it a night to remember with plenty of ooh’s and aah’s to get into the holiday spirit.

Read more: Hidalgo Festival of Lights brings the ‘Holly Jolly’ to Christmas

Last chance to see ‘Mamma Mia’

20181128 VMHS Mamma Mia JB 22The Harlequin Club at Veterans Memorial High School has been rehearsing for months to bring another award-winning performance to the stage in Mission as they perform the final shows of this year’s musical “Mamma Mia.”

The final show dates for this year’s production are Dec. 6, 7 and 8 at the Veterans Memorial High School Performing Arts Center. Showtimes are 7 p.m., nightly, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

This lighthearted musical and dance showcase ” has delighted audiences worldwide and has been a fan favorite on Broadway for 14 years.

Read more: Last chance to see ‘Mamma Mia’

Children’s Haven International brings hope to children in need

20181205 Childrens Haven Intl Moering 1022The words “Having somewhere to go is home; having someone to love is family,” symbolizes the ministry of Children’s Haven International (CHI), a Pharr-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing loving Christian care for needy children in Reynosa, Mexico.

Winter Texans and converted Texans have a crucial hand in making it possible for CHI to operate one of Reynosa’s oldest and largest children’s homes, along with a school that embraces the surrounding community.

Read more: Children’s Haven International brings hope to children in need

Museum invites entries for 13th Annual Mission Quilt Show

20180201 RGV Quilt Guild BestOfShow Ben004Mission Historical Museum will be accepting entries beginning Nov. 27 for the 13th Annual Mission Quilt Show. Entries will be accepted in three categories: Hand-quilted bed quilts; Machine-quilted bed quilts; and Wall hangings. The show is open to all quilters, both Winter Texans and year-round residents.

Quilts and wall hangings exhibit must be ready to hang with a sleeve for display purposes.

Read more: Museum invites entries for 13th Annual Mission Quilt Show

McAllen Wind Ensemble Stole Christmas concert planned

201081205 McAllen Wind EnsembleIt wasn’t the Grinch who stole Christmas after all – it was the McAllen Wind Ensemble – and at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 14 they will retell the story with their musical performance “How the McAllen Wind Ensemble Stole Christmas” at the McAllen Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature beautiful Christmas music from all genres to put the audience in the holiday mood.

As the title suggests, expect to hear some “Grinch-iness” sneak into the program. The Rio Grande Valley Children’s Chorus will assist the ensemble as a special guest artist.

Read more: McAllen Wind Ensemble Stole Christmas concert planned

Harlingen museum plans Christmas Tree Extravaganza

20171213 Harlingen Museum Christmas Trees GU IMG 1313Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum will host the Christmas Tree Extravaganza and Exhibit Dec. 6-30.

The public is welcome to come visit and view the wonderful variety of Christmas trees and wreaths decorated by different South Texas organizations. Dozens of trees will be decorated in all shapes and sizes. Many of the wreaths are made by hand and have personal touches.

Read more: Harlingen museum plans Christmas Tree Extravaganza

Local News
Article Count:
920
Features
Article Count:
97
Web Exclusives
Article Count:
9

Top News

  • Product Costume Show will be held at Mission Community Center on Jan. 12

    20190109 TCF Product Costume Show jmb 0070This weekend the Texas Citrus Fiesta is hosting three competitions all rolled into one big event where the winners will be announced. The Product Costume Show is the main event, and those attending the show will see all of this year’s costumes as they are presented to the judges.

    Read More +

  • Mission Historical tour date changed

    20190109 Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 2014 jmb 0005Mission Historical Museum is scheduling a limited number of tours of local historical sites in and around Mission. The tours are being led by local historian, artist and architect Manuel Hinojosa. Due to a scheduling conflict, the date of the next tour has been changed to Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 8:30… Read More +

  • Mission Community joins forces for free health fair

    Mission, TX – The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the City of Mission and Mission Regional Medical Center to host the 24th Annual Mission Community Health & Wellness Fair. The event will be held at the Mission Event Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is free, open to the public and will provide free screenings, awareness, and… Read More +

  • RGV Woodcarving Show is Jan. 11-12

    The 2019 Rio Grande Valley Woodcarving Show will be held from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12, at the Nomad Shrine Club, located at 1044 W. Nolana, Pharr.

    If you can imagine it, they can probably carve it. Hundreds of exhibits in approximately 27 show categories will be on display during this popular two-day event.

    Read More +

  • Williamson Branch making musical achievement

    2019 Williamson Branch 1As the Williamson Branch, the bluegrass family band with the rich sound, soaring vocals and prolific harmonies, departed the Rio Grande Valley following a great beginning to 2018, they couldn’t have mapped out a much better, or busier, remainder the year.

    And that hustle and bustle continues into 2019 as… Read More +

  • Helen Russell & Company

    20190102 Helen Russell promo3 pianoHelen Russell remembers music being a part of her family ever since she was a child, when her parents would travel to entertain and encouraged her to sing and learn to play multiple instruments starting at the age of 6.

    From that love of music she went on to… Read More +

  • Famous matadors to perform at Santa Maria Saturday

    20190109 Bull Michelito Lagravere 1567Bullfight dedicated to David Renk

    As Santa Maria Bullring, the only bullring in the United States, marks its 19th year, this weekend’s bullfight is being dedicated to the passing of American icon David Renk, “El Texano,” who left an impressive mark on the bullfighting world, performing triumphantly at the… Read More +

  • Winter Texans celebrate New Year’s Eve

    20190109 WTsCelebrate David Howard and wifeDavid Howard politely excused himself from the conversation. Time was of the essence.

    “I have to go give my wife our New Year’s kiss,” he said.

    The time was early still for South Texas standards on this day - 9:30 p.m. -… Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all