The trails of Quinta Mazatlán in McAllen will be lined with thousands of candle luminarias to celebrate the winter holidays around the world. Presented by SpawGlass, ILLUMINA Fest 2020 takes place on December 16, 17, 18, and 19 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets go fast and can only be purchased online at www.ticketleap.com, search for Quinta Mazatlán.
The Rio Grande Valley supports two chapters of Texas Master Naturalist and both chapters are taking applications for the new class training that will begin January 7. The deadline to register is December 18.
This time of year always brings a spirit of Thanksgiving, We continue in this spirit even after the holiday of Thanksgiving, well into the Christmas season. My church leaders invited members to give thanks during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. We were invited to share what we were thankful for on social media platforms. You may have noticed a few #GiveThanks tags this past week.
It was a week filled with many things to be thankful for and a time to reflect on what we are truly grateful for in our lives. Seeing others that posted their “Give Thanks” made me see even more things in my life that I could be thankful for. It was a very rewarding experience.
This past week, Olga Papp of Lone Star National Bank, on South Padre Island, was excited to accept a pickup load of grocery items donated by Winter Texans Jean and Steve Fisher of Iowa. The bank is helping with a food drive for the food bank. The donated grocery items will be taken to Pharr where bank employees will continue to volunteer by helping to sort and distribute the food to needy families in the Rio Grande Valley. This is the Fisher’s third year visiting the Valley and each year they have found at least one organization to support. Their first year they donated nearly $5000 of stuffed animals to Sunny Glen Children’s Orphanage. Last year, they donated over $10,000 in Christmas presents, clothes and other items to over 30 children in Cameron County. When asked by the bank manager, Martin Infante, why they were generous with their donation, Jean said it is because they have been blessed and enjoy giving back. When we did a story on them last year, we learned Jean grew up in foster homes and has a connection with how hard it can be this time of the year. Both have worked hard to get where they are today and feel they are blessed with everything they have. They have made the choice to give back like this at least once a year to share their blessing with others. Last year Jean said, they were not in it for the glory, “It is not about the giving or the getting, it is letting them know that someone cares.”
The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the City of Mission and Mission Regional Medical Center to host its 26th Annual Mission Community Health & Wellness Fair. This year’s event will be a two-day event that will be held at the Mission Event Center on Thursday, December 3, 2020, and Friday, December 4, 2020, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free, open to the public, and will provide free comprehensive blood screenings, awareness, and education.
This year is the year for reimagining, reinventing, and pivoting the way events are being held so that we can continue to enjoy what we have enjoyed in previous years. The City of McAllen has done just that with it’s South Pole experience and also with the McAllen Holiday Parade. The seventh annual presentation of the World’s and Texas’ Best Parade will be celebrated on Saturday, December 5, in a broadcast television production with no spectators in attendance, stepping off at 6 p.m. from Oval Park at McAllen Convention Center. The event will run live on six local networks and later be rebroadcast on the top 31 U.S. Hispanic markets and throughout Texas on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
The Senior Texan Softball League will not play ball this month. The League will consider playing ball in January and February. Interested players may call Fred at (956) 897-6961 or Ed at (956) 581-2254 for more information at the end of December.
For those collecting shoeboxes for Operation Christmas, this is the week to drop them off at a collection place. Baptist Temple will be collecting shoeboxes during various times during the collection week – Monday, Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m; Tuesday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Wednesday Nov. 18, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Friday Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday Nov. 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Monday Nov. 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you need any additional information on drop off times, directions, call Baptist Temple at (956) 686-5296.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse and COVID-19 protocols, visit their website at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/. Links are also available with directions on how to pack your own box, set up a Goal Page, volunteer opportunities, or to build a shoebox online.
The Valley has seen some great weather these past two weeks. So, I took the opportunity to visit parts of Brownsville I have never been to.
I visited the Old Cemetery, Historic Brownsville Museum, Stillman House, Fort Brown, Palo Alto Battlefield, and stopped at a few other places to get some pictures. It was so nice outside that if I did get a little warm, I was easily cooled off with the next breeze.
Operation Christmas Child drop-off will take place during the week of November 16-23.
Baptist Temple will be collecting shoeboxes – Monday, Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m; Tuesday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Wednesday Nov. 18, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Friday Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday Nov. 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Monday Nov. 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you need any additional information call Baptist Temple at (956) 686-5296.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, visit their website at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/. Links are also available with directions on how to pack your own box or to build a shoebox online.
Palm Valley Animal Society is over cat capacity and is in need of community support. Currently, there are 701 cats in our care that need to find new homes.
We encourage potential adopters to stop by our Trenton or Andrews Center, open seven days a week between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to find their new fur friend. All adoption fees for cats are currently being waived until further notice. A $25 deposit for spay/neuter procedures may apply, but all adoptable cats are up to date on vaccines and can be microchipped to their new caretakers.
Can't adopt? Register your home at pvastx.org/foster and help care for our kittens as a short or long term foster parent. For info and pictures of all our adoptable cutie-cats, visit pvastx.org/cats.
The Pharr Community Theater (PCT) is offering half hour online acting classes from November 9 to December 4, twice a week, for kids, teens and adults. Learn the basics of acting and a little more including auditioning tips and digging deeper to discover characters and real acting. Classes will be on zoom.
Make the most of the fall bird migration by joining Quinta Mazatlán’s Center for Urban Ecology for a journey into the world of migratory birds on Saturday morning, November 7. The presentation will deepen your understanding of bird migration and elucidate what we can do to help birds on their journey. You will leave the presentation empowered to make a difference for our bird community and with a deeper appreciation for these winged wonders. You can also purchase bird-friendly plants from Heep’s Native Plant Nursery at Quinta Mazatlán to jumpstart your bird habitat from 9 a.m. to noon.
Nestled on a 15-acre tract of land near downtown Weslaco, Frontera Audubon is a city escape for the birds, butterflies and other wildlife that make it their home. Filled with rich vegetation, it’s hard to imagine that just a few feet away heavy traffic runs up and down Texas Blvd. It has become a birding hotspot for Weslaco. At one time, this place was an abandoned grapefruit orchard and thicket of Guinea grass and Mesquite – an area the city had wanted cleared in 1989.
We received this adorable photo from Sara Young this past weekend and thought we would share it and her message. “For Halloween this year, we truly missed our trip visiting Mission Bell for trick or treating! I’ve been going since I was a little girl, and now have been taking my little family. Although we missed it this year, our babies decided to pay tribute to their wonderful Winter Texan friends dressing up as...well... Winter Texans! Here is Noah Young (three years old) and Grace Young (six months old). Little Grace missed her first year visiting Mission Bell, but we are hopeful to take her next year!” Parents are Sara and Caleb Young.
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