Goodrich 4-H student wins at Houston calf scramble

Danielle-Johnson-640pSCRAMBLE WINNER -- Danielle Johnson of the Goodrich 4-H and Tough Rider’s 4-H Horse Club participated in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Calf Scramble last Saturday. Danielle was a winner and received a voucher to buy a registered calf for show next year. She plans on purchasing a heifer where she will return to the Houston Livestock Show and show it in the scramble class and junior breed class. (Contributed Photo)

Local student called to mission service

Courtney-Campbell-BWCourtney Morgan Campbell of Livingston has been called to serve as a Spanish-speaking missionary to Madrid Spain for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Morgan, a 2014 graduate of Livingston High School, is the daughter of Kerry and Kimberly Campbell of Livingston and Chasity McDonald of Gilmer. She is the sister of

Kaylie Ann Campbell and Antony Pelaia and the granddaughter of Anita Campbell of Goodrich and Roger Campbell of Livingston.

She is scheduled to serve in Madrid for 18 months before returning to obtain a degree in teaching.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the great people of Madrid, Spain,” she said.

“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have a heavenly father who loves us so much and I can’t wait to share this with people and be an instrument in his hands,” she added.

Walkathon benefits nonprofit maternity home

LIVINGSTON -- The first annual Miles for Mary Walkathon rallied a large group Friday night in support of House of Mary, a new nonprofit organization in Polk County.
House of Mary will be a maternity home for pregnant women and teens needing a place to live during their pregnancy. Along with housing, House of Mary will offer classes teaching basic life skills and community connections giving them more opportunity to provide for their babies not only spiritually and mentally but physically and emotionally as well.

All proceeds from this event will go towards the building fund for the House of Mary maternity homes.

The evening began with a spaghetti dinner provided by the First Baptist Church Relay for Life team. Following dinner was a short rally before kicking off the all night walkathon event on the First Baptist Church grounds.

Around the track, teams and individuals were encouraged to set up tents and build campfires. These areas served as “rest stops” for the participants throughout the 12-hour event.

Prior to the event, registered participants were encouraged to raise funds by gathering pledges for miles they planned to walk. Prizes were awarded to anyone reaching $250 raised and also for the top earning individual and top earning team.

The walkathon ended with a hot breakfast, announcing of prize winners, and closing remarks made by HOM President Rusti Garcia. The event garnered great success for the organization.

“We are overwhelmed by the support and generosity from the people of Polk County,” House of Mary committee member Cyndie Schmidt said. “Although we reached our goal for this particular fundraiser, there is still much more to be raised before we begin building our maternity homes.”

To learn more about House of Mary or to donate to this organization visit

Local youth advances to state BGCA contest

marlinda-dunham-WEBMarlinda DunhamMarlinda Dunham of Livingston was selected among several outstanding youth as the East Texas Junior Youth of the Year among the Boys and Girls Clubs of the region.

She will now advance to the Texas Junior Youth of the Year competition to be held March 20-22 in Austin during the Boys and Girls Clubs’ Texas State Summit. She will be accompanied by Sherry Wilson, unit director of the Boys and Girls Club of Polk County.

Dunham was nominated as the Junior Youth of the Year by the Boys and Girls Club of Polk County and was subsequently named as the Deep East Texas Junior Youth of the Year and the East Texas Junior Youth of the Year.

The Boys and Girls Club of America Junior Youth of the Year program honors the nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their paths to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire.

“Its not all about winning I’m just here to have fun,” said Dunham.

She hopes to attend Drake University and study to be an OB/GYN.

Miss Polk County Crowned

Miss Polk County 2016

MISS POLK COUNTY — Lindsey Moore, 18-year-old daughter of Mark and Janan Moore of Livingston, was crowned as the 2016 Miss Polk County during ceremonies Saturday night. She was sponsored by the Livingston High School Athletic Booster Club. See Page 5B for addition pageant photos.

Multicultural Festival returning on Jan. 18

LIVINGSTON -- The 16th annual Multicultural Festival will feature a free fish fry, music and dancing Monday, Jan. 18, at Livingston Junior High. The event began in Livingston with the new century to celebrate and honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Those in attendance as the doors open at 4 p.m. will be treated to nearly five hours of entertainment. An estimated 2,000 people from around the county are expected to attend what organizer Pastor Howard Daniel Jr. said has grown over the years.

"This is our 16th year for the Multicultural Festival," Daniel said. "Number one, we wanted to do a tribute to Dr. King and we wanted to use local talent to do that."

Daniel said the festival was built on three tiers.

"The first tier was a health fair. We wanted to offer people the opportunity to come and enjoy a free health fair. Now the hospital does that for us every year. It would cost $150 at a doctor's office if you were to walk in there. In addition to that, there is a free catfish dinner for everyone with all the trimmings. There is no charge for anything at all. The third tier is local entertainment."

Improved interaction with all people is something Daniel hopes will come from the event.
"We need to lose our fear of each other, learn better race relations and learn how to get along a little bit better. It has been very successful and beyond my expectations. We draw around anywhere from 2,000 and up. This year there is a special feature where we will salute our law enforcement and firefighters — who happened to be 100-years-old this year. I just got off the phone with DPS Commander Phillip Steen, who is the regional commander for the entire East Texas area. He will come to do a tribute to Dr. King. I have asked our state representative, James White, to do a salute to law enforcement and firefighters. We are expecting a great crowd and a great time. It is my mission to go out and collect money, so we can put on the event."

Glen Lindemann is coming from Lufkin and will provide basic entertainment during the meal hour, as will John and Nelda Flanagan from North Texas. The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe is always part of the show and Daniel promises there will be a group from the African American community and Hispanic community as well.

"The idea was to have a level playing field one day, so everything is free," Daniel said.
The health fair starts around 4 p.m., while the catfish dinner will begin around 5 p.m. and end at 6:30 p.m. The main program will begin after the meal and end at approximately 8:30 p.m.
The Sheriff's Department will do all the cooking for the catfish dinners and there will be chicken available for those who would like something different. The Livingston High School Junior ROTC will post the colors for the event.