By Grayson Edds
Hands were shaken, neighbors were greeted, information was passed around, and fun was had by all on Tuesday night during another successful National Night Out event in Belton.
Police officers, fire fighters, city officials, and numerous other organizations were making their way to as many of the 17 parties as they could to get to know the community. Games were played, giveaways were awarded and children laughed and played on bounce houses and playgrounds.
The Housing Authority’s block party, held in the park at Mitchell and Ave. H, was a success with their bounce house, sno cones, deejay, firemen playing catch with the locals, volunteers from a handful of organizations passing around information and visiting, and police officers taking the time to sit and visit, answer questions or address concerns with citizens.
On the plush grounds of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, children were delighted to be able to climb up a fire department booster truck, sit inside a police car, try on fire department gear, and even play a game with the Texas Department of Transportation to learn about the dangers of drinking and driving.
15 additional parties were held between the hours of 6-8 Tuesday night, each one with the same goal in mind: to bring the community, as a whole, closer together to make a stand against crime.
Special to the Journal
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor President Randy O’Rear and Baylor University President Ken Starr were among the students, alumni and friends of both universities who took part in a rededication service at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at the foot of the historic columns of “Old Baylor” in Independence, Texas.
The four columns from the original campus of Baylor University – which was chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845 – still stand today in Independence. Last repaired 60 years ago, the columns have been restored with limestone and strengthened with carbon and steel rods. Surrounded by carefully lit native oak trees, the columns at Independence glisten at night and are visible from FM 390 or FM 50.
The occasion marked the first time the presidents of Baylor and UMHB have met at Old Baylor in 60 years. The program included remarks from Lanella Gray of Brenham, a 1954 Baylor graduate who has played an active role in celebrating Baylor’s heritage at Independence; Presidents Starr and O’Rear, UMHB professors Carol Holcomb, Ph.D., and Leroy Kemp, Ph.D.; Dr. David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas; and special music by UMHB’s One Voice and Baylor’s Chamber Singers.
History of “Old Baylor” at Independence:
Nate Schumpert, although quite the young man, has already started to make a name for himself in the Longhorn industry, landing him on the Longhorn Journal’s 20 Under 40 list.
The list, published in the August and September edition of the publication, included the following excerpt about Schumpert:
“He started out in the industry by just having a simple love for their long horns and variation in color. That’s when he knew breeding Longhorns was the way to go. Nate and his dad bought three WR cows to get their feet wet, but then the learning began. After visiting several ranches, Nate recognized how the horn helps the animal’s value tremendously.
Along the way, Nate has been able to obtain great cattle and great advice from established breeders such as Glenn Clinard, Joe Sedlacek, Phil Norwood, Kathy Kittler, Lane Craft, Bear Davidson, Vincent Girolamo, Mike Casey, Dan Tisdale, David Mills and Craig Perez. Nate believes he’ll never stop learning the ins and outs of the industry. ‘Kind people are always teaching me so much stuff,’ Nate says. ‘It’s hard to keep up with sometimes…One of my proudest accomplishments is shooting my first buck. I had so much adrenaline I couldn’t even speak. Another one was selling my first longhorn. I felt like I had started my business right then.’
His family has been influential in his personal life, and his learned morals have helped him to know that a leader in the Longhorn industry has to be responsible, have integrity and make neutral agreements for everyone.”
By Grayson Edds
After conquering breast cancer in 2007, Belton resident Pamela Kirkland took her experience and became an advocate for breast cancer awareness, often found participating in many Susan G. Komen events. Her family was often found walking along with her in Race for the Cure events.
“Anything that she could go to, participate in, donate to, she did because it was so important to her to prevent others from having to go through what she went through,” said Kristin Tindell, the Kirkland’s daughter.
But this year, Pam was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, and didn’t win the battle. Lung cancer took her life in June.
While the family was grieving their loss, it didn’t take long to assume her spirit and begin raising awareness of their own – this time in her memory.
“She was an inspiration to us,” Tindell said.