Couple recognized for service


LIVINGSTON -- The future of Polk County is always on the hearts and minds of Greg and Amy Hendrix.
Whether for children or friends, the two have contributed endless hours to help create a better tomorrow.

They were honored Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce with a community service award at its 80th annual Chamber Banquet that begins at 6 p.m. in the Polk County Commerce Center.

Amy is originally from Palestine and moved to the area when she and Greg married.

Greg grew up attending school at Big Sandy and is part of four generations that have lived in Polk County. He has established Hendrix Machinery and Hendrix Equipment Rentals, as well as Texas Slam Academy.

The latter is a state-of-the-art facility where small children up to high school seniors can sharpen their knowledge of baseball and softball through camps and clinics.

"Texas Slam is a three-year-old business. It is loaded up with kids all the time, and it has been great for the kids in the community," Greg said. "We have had kids playing with our teams from Seguin to Louisiana, and Dallas to the Houston area. There are over 25 different schools represented with Texas Slam. With the camps, I believe there have been over 20 kids who have signed college scholarships through there. There are been over 500 kids who have come through the camps at Texas Slam. We hosted the first ever East Texas All-Star Game and we'll be doing it again, along with softball this year."

An activity that Greg has passed down to his three children is involvement in the Trinity-Neches Livestock Show.

"We have purchased animals and donated to it ever since I have been in business," Greg said. "We grew up doing the shows in Big Sandy. All three kids have been involved with TNLS as well."

At least two days of the week, the couple oversees a group of high school teens at Livingston's First Baptist Church, where they have been members for 20 years.

"Our main thing now is with the youth in our church. We meet twice weekly with those kids," Amy said. "We have a small group at our house every weekend and in church every Wednesday. We have the juniors and seniors, and that's what we focus in on. There are about 150 kids in the church, but about 30 that come to our house every Sunday night. That is what we love."

One more spring activity the family takes part in is Relay for Life, where Greg and Amy created a team.

"We are on the 'Believers Team' and have been raising money for cancer for about 10 years," Amy said. "We started it for our good friend who was diagnosed with cancer that year. We have been raising money since then. We are usually one of the top teams every year. We also give scholarships now to kids whose parents have been affected by cancer."

The two have similar reasons for involving themselves in community activities, especially for children.

"I really have a passion for the youth and absolutely love sports," Greg said. "I have coached the kids in youth sports from soccer, baseball, and basketball for about 15 years now. Just having roots here you want to see the community thrive. We're raising what's going to be here for the future, so you give as much as you can."

"It's just that the kids of Polk County are our future and I want to invest in them because I want to share what changed my life — and that was Jesus. That's why I do it," Amy said. "I want them to know that's where I get my peace, love and hope, and they can have the same thing."

Both have participated in the Livingston ISD mentor program, and Amy was involved with the schools as a second grade teacher and PTO board member. She also volunteered at a food bank until dedicating additional time to Texas Slam.